Friday, December 21, 2007

How things look in Iowa

The Iowa caucuses are weird and interesting...especially on a year with no real clear front runner in either party. I thought this blog post from Iowa was really interesting and shows how up-for-grabs the votes really are there. My bet is on Edwards winning the caucuses - and maybe by a significant margin. Clinton will come in 3rd at best.

Click on the jump and read the whole thing..

Iowans Discuss What It Means to Support, And Then Support Again

Call it a testament to the seriousness of Iowa politics. Blame it on a field of so many acceptable candidates. Credit an Iowa caucus season that has now spanned two years. Regardless of reason, it's the stuff that drives pollsters and campaigns crazy: supporters realizing they're no longer sitting in a comfortable chair.

Nine Iowans have agreed to put their thoughts on the record and describe how they came to support one candidate -- and then another. Finish reading...

Wanna Bet?

I'm thinking about placing a bet that Rudy is going to drop out of the race because of "health problems." Anyone wanna take that bet?

Remember when he started to run against Hillary for the Senate in NY? It was pretty obvious he was going to lose, so he quit.

Just for fun...

Friday, December 7, 2007

"Freedom requires religion." Really??

Mitt Romney has been getting all kinds of praise from reporters and pundits for his speech trying to put voters at ease that he is a Mormon. I thought parts of his speech were good, but parts were strange and inconsistent. For instance, if there should be no religious test for presidential candidates, then why the need to proclaim your belief that "Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind?" Those two statements just don't fit together in the same speech...

But, the biggest failing of the speech, as noted in a Washington Post editorial today, was Romney's failure to include ALL Americans as equal. He may have reached out to other religious communities, but he purposely left out A LOT of good Americans:

Where Mr. Romney most fell short, though, was in his failure to recognize that America is composed of citizens not only of different faiths but of no faith at all and that the genius of America is to treat them all with equal dignity. "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom," Mr. Romney said. But societies can be both secular and free. The magnificent cathedrals of Europe may be empty, as Mr. Romney said, but the democracies of Europe are thriving.

"Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government," Mr. Romney said. But not all Americans acknowledge that, and those who do not may be no less committed to the liberty that is the American ideal.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"One dude with a computer" - KG

It's that time of year again...time for the small group of Christofascists to try to tell parents not to let their kids think about big issues. Veiled as a warning to parents that "The Golden Compass" will lead their little kids into atheism and demonic influences, the Catholic League ("one dude with a computer," according to Kathy Griffin) is set for a new round of publicity seeking.

So, while I'd like to just ignore the guy, I do like that it gives thoughtful people (particularly thoughtful religious people) a chance to express why they want their kids to experience challenging books, movies and conversations. Mary Elizabeth Williams is one such Catholic, writing on Salon:

I want my children to understand that human beings and institutions are fallible. That sometimes those who claim moral authority can traffic in corruption and abuse. I want them to be angry at every wrong perpetuated in the name of God. To question authority. To be feisty troublemakers for positive change. I've told my daughters that no one knows for certain that there's a God or a heaven. I always thought that was the beauty of faith -- that it rests on our willingness to believe in the things we can't prove, to consider, when we look up at the stars or contemplate the elegance of a DNA sequence, the possibility of a higher architecture. I hope that my daughters will find contentment and community in their religion. But I would rather they grow up to be kind, generous unbelievers than sanctimonious, blindly dogmatic Christians.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My GOP prediction


I've been watching Gov. Mike Huckabee and his presidential campaign for a while now, and I am ready to go out on a limb and say, "Forget Rudy, Forget Romney, Mike Huckabee is going to be the Republican candidate for president."

If you haven't heard it before, then you heard it hear first!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Recognize this guy?


Do you recognize this guy? He's about to be Australia's new Climate Change Minister...and he's a great dancer (just ask my brother).

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What I'm reading...

It's been a very relaxing day at home...nothing to do (yeah!) but read and watch a little TV (and some housework, but that's not interesting).

So, between catching up - and freeing up some space on my Tivo - on Grey's Anatomy and The Hills, I've been reading. Here's today's reading list:

Radar Magazine
Real Simple Magazine
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

And, I am about to start the long-awaited (for me, anyway) new novel from Richard Russo, The Bridge of Sighs.

I haven't had a weekend at home in more than a month...I'm enjoying it!

(We did also watch the movie, The TV Set - two thumbs up)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm going to miss The Office...

...while the writers are on strike! Here they are on the picket line:



I guess Mindy (aka Kelly on The Office) is also going to need to watch what she buys and blogs about on her great site: Things I Bought that I Love

Senator Kennedy reminds me why I like him

From Talking Points Memo and the Washington Post:

Schumer and Feinstein said they took solace in Mukasey's assurances that he would enforce any future waterboarding ban passed by Congress. That argument prompted a robust retort from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

"He will, in fact, enforce the laws that we pass in the future? Can our standards have really sunk so low?" Kennedy said. "Enforcing the law is the job of the attorney general. It's a prerequisite, not a virtue." . . .

Friends in moderately-high places

A friend of mine from LA is a TV writer and producer, and once the strike started, I wondered what he was up to. Well, he's in a photo in the New York Times, as he put it, "in the photo behind the famous guy."


Here's the shot - my friend, Tim, is in the red shirt, in the Boston baseball cap - and the story from the New York Times!

Family News

My little brother had his second daughter yesterday. The family is glowing!

Pat Robertson Endorses Rudy Guiliani?!

Wow. Read my Plunderbund post here, and catch up on the coverage here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Writers

My favorite tidbits about the Writers' strike:

1) Jon Stewart is paying his writers from his own pocket for the next two weeks (love him!!) - UPDATE: this may just be a rumor...check the link for updates from Portfolio.

2) A group from the Laborers Union came to show the writers how to picket - there were cheers of "No moolah, no ha-ha!"

3) I might actually have time to catch up on TV shows! The first season of Friday Night Lights and the series Wonderfalls are each in my Netflix que...as well as the TV show Grosse Pointe, starring one of my friends :) If it goes on longer, maybe I can even catch up on movies! (John - thanks for catching my typo!)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Vacation Photos

Here are some shots...

Beautiful beach sunset; Aruba underwater; Me, Keith and friends...









Monday, October 29, 2007

Vacation

I just got back from my week-long vacation in Aruba...it's such a great escape destination!

But now, back to reality: work, politics and celebrity gossip :)

I'll post a picture or two from Aruba this week and I'll try to get back to regularly updating this blog and contributing to Plunderbund again soon!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Congratulations, Al!


Now, will you announce for President??

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thankful for TV Distractions

I haven't blogged in sooooo long! Politics are wearing me out...I have nothing to say on the subject. But, the new fall TV season is another story :)

I have to repeat that the CW did the best overall job with new shows this fall...I am watching all three: Gossip Girl, Aliens in America and Reaper.

I've been falling behind on just about everthing else - and filling up the Tivo! I am all caught up on Heroes (after a marathon viewing this summer to get caught up on season 1) and because Keith likes it too, we are keeping up with the show. Hope it gets better though...

And, two of my friends finally convinced me to watch The Hills on MTV. So, they forced me to start with season 1 via Netflix...now, I'm hooked. The main problem - other than the fact that it's a show about a group of 20-somethings with too much of their parents' money - is that each episode is only 20 minutes long, so I finish one and decide I want to see what happens next - because, after all, it's only another 20 minutes! Before I know it, I've gotten sucked in and watched 3 or 4 episodes (you do the math on the "wasted" time!)!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More TV

I just have no time for blogging these days!

I did want to add a note that we watched Aliens in America tonight...and it was funny! Pause-and-rewind funny. If you haven't seen it, it's on the CW and I hope the rest of the season is as good as the premiere!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kid Nation


I watched the new show on CBS called Kid Nation this afternoon (it aired sometime last week). When I first read about the show, I thought it might be interesting, then it started getting bad press from the (bad) parents who signed their kids up for this experience: a group of 40 kids ages 8-15 (I think) live alone in an old deserted town for 40 days to see if they can create a working society. Any press is good press...I was even more interested in seeing how this worked and what the kids thought about it.

I give the first episode a thumbs up...I'll tune in for another week or two, as long as the annoying 15-year-olds shape up!

And, I love Heather Havrilesky's take:

I think kids are better off trudging around in the desert, tired and alone, with no one to turn to for comfort but other miserable kids. Doesn't that sound just like your first entry-level job? By lugging big buckets of water in extreme heat for hours on end, these children will gain an accurate sense of conditions in today's rapidly changing job market!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Does American Really Need More Ann Curry?



I don't know if anyone else has had the pleasure of watching the new 4th hour of the Today Show on NBC yet, but everytime I see it, all I can think of is The View. Do we really need another hour of this kind of programming? And with Ann Curry as a co-host? Yikes. I'm sure Ann Curry is a very nice person, but she is such an awful interviewer and ad-libber. She doesn't need more screen time.

Just my morning TV rant for Today.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fall TV

I can't watch news all the time (I already have depression issues!), so I am getting excited about the new fall TV shows.

Now, I get excited every year and am often disappointed...but I'm hoping, like always, that this year will be different. Afterall, we just had a great summer of new TV - and I wasn't expecting that! I'll soon miss The Closer, Damages, Psych, Monk and Top Chef.

But, I'm looking forward to Pushing Daisies (ABC), Chuck (NBC) and the return of some of my favorites like The Office, 30 Rock and Grey's Anatomy (with some improvements, I hope)!

Our President's Strategic Thought

See my latest post on Plunderbund.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"Clash of pathos, hypocrisy and ridiculousness"

I have to agree with Josh Marshall on both points: This is not the best part of me either, and I am looking forward to the 'clash' as well.

Perhaps this is not the best part of me. But I must confess that quite apart from the larger issues of public and private, public acceptance of homosexuality and Republican politics, I am in favor of an aggressive defense on Craig's part simply because I cannot resist the novelistic clash of pathos, hypocrisy and ridiculousness of seeing Craig's effort to 'clear his good name' torpedoing the White House's September Petraeus propaganda campaign.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Prick any conservative and the kink oozes out."

I had not heard the theory about the corruptness and hypocrisy of conservative politicans put that way before, but I like it.

I also like the rest of Nina Burleigh's post about finding some sympathy for Senator Larry Craig:

Because we are people of compassion, we should also feel a little horrified by this tortured man's sad, humiliating demise. He's obviously lived his whole life afflicted by the religious psychobabble and outright bigotry of people who say homosexuality is a sickness and a lifestyle decision instead of an innate state of being that has nothing to do with illness or choice.

The sickness, of course, is in the suppression, which is why closeted men seek love in rank public bathroom stalls.

Does Dodd have "The Buzz"?

Chris Dodd got all kinds of great media attention yesterday after the IAFF endorsement. Today, I see this post on the Huffington Post highlighting Dodd:

Yesterday, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) stepped up to the patriot's task and gave the American Freedom Campaign the following statement:

"It's a sad day when a presidential candidate actually has to talk about restoring the Constitution, but that's where we are after this administration's assault on the rule of law -- an assault, by the way, that actually makes us less secure and more isolated by weakening our standing around the world. I have said repeatedly that if elected, the *FIRST THING* I would do after being sworn in is to reverse as much of the damage done to the Constitution by President Bush as possible. And I would immediately do as much as I legally can by executive order."

Chris Dodd is acting like an American. He should be congratulated. But the rest of the candidates should be ashamed -- at least for now. We know they are aware of our efforts, since they have all received thousands of emails from supporters of the American Freedom Campaign. In some cases, calls to the candidates to defend the Constitution have been even more direct.

Wonder what sort of coverage he'll get over Labor day weekend...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vick and diapers

Okay, I know it's a Friday, at the end of summer, but does this stuff really constitute as news (and Breaking News, no less)??

- Someone named Michael Vick who gets paid a lot of money to play a sport is pleading guilty to something having to do with being a bad person.

- The sad female astronaut - who we all remember (because it was "reported" incessantly) wore diapers to drive cross country to attack another woman who was also dating her cheating boyfriend - was in court asking to have her ankle tracker removed.

- And more old news about a child molester who has already been convicted of horrible crimes gets sentenced in Florida.

- Then, there are those pictures and video of that poor little 5-year-old Iraqi boy who was set on fire. Very sad, compelling even, but does CNN need to air it every 5 minutes?!

Ahhhh! Does this remind anyone else of the summer of sharks immediately preceding 9/11? Maybe it's just me...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

If this weren't so sad...


...it would be funny.

Via Political Animal:

Here's the new press policy at the NHTSA, the federal agency in charge of auto safety. (1) Agency experts are no longer allowed to talk to reporters on the record. (2) The communications office (!) is not allowed to talk to reporters on the record. (3) The agency's administrator is not available to talk on the record about the policy barring staffers from talking on the record. (4) Her chief of staff explained to a reporter that "we were finding a lot of stuff did not need to be on the record," but then insisted that this statement itself was off the record.

I can at least laugh through my tears, I guess!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Books, books and more books

According to the new AP/Ipsos poll, 27% of Americans didn't read one book last year. Wow.

I'm lucky I grew up in a house full of books with a mom would have three books "going" at once. She'd come home with a new tome and Dad would say, "We'll see you in a couple of days." She would get lost in all sorts of stories...and she still does. Thankfully, she passed that love of reading on to me.

Oh, and I should definitely also credit a grandmother who reads a lot, as well as two aunts who were librarians and have stacks of books in their houses.

Any recommendations for what I should add to my reading list?

This is what I'm reading now:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Plunderbund

Just a quick note...I am now contributing (hopefully once a week) to a great blog on Ohio politics: Plunderbund. Since I no longer live in Ohio, and pretty much get my Ohio political updates from this blog, I'll be writing mostly about national politics.

Check out my first post: The Permanent Republican Majority? Not so fast.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Who knew??

Lou Dobbs is a chain smoker!

And he was "outed" by Howard Stern...NYC is an odd place...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Burying the Lead

Over on The Huffington Post, there was an article about who is actually going to be writing the Septmber report on the "progress" in Iraq. Unbelievably, after all the "let's wait for General Petraeus' report" talk, the political hacks in the White House will be writing the report. I'm sure it will all be factual and about what's really happening on the ground...

Anyway, the bigger surprise to me was reading the original Los Angeles Times story. They totally buried the lead, instead going with:

Intent on demonstrating progress in Iraq, the top U.S. general there is expected by Bush administration officials to recommend removing American troops soon from several areas where commanders believe security has improved, possibly including Al Anbar province.

I wouldn't even have read past that paragraph! But, towards the end of the article, comes this news:
Administration and military officials acknowledge that the September report will not show any significant progress on the political benchmarks laid out by Congress. How to deal in the report with the lack of national reconciliation between Iraq's warring sects has created some tension within the White House.

Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report's data.

The senior administration official said the process had created "uncomfortable positions" for the White House because of debates over what constitutes "satisfactory progress."

During internal White House discussion of a July interim report, some officials urged the administration to claim progress in policy areas such as legislation to divvy up Iraq's oil revenue, even though no final agreement had been reached. Others argued that such assertions would be disingenuous.

"There were some in the drafting of the report that said, 'Well, we can claim progress,' " the administration official said. "There were others who said: 'Wait a second. Sure we can claim progress, but it's not credible to . . . just neglect the fact that it's had no effect on the ground.' "

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Clueless

From today's Washington Post: Bush May Try to Cut Corporate Tax Rates

I don't know why this news surprises me...but I do like Nancy Pelosi's response...

Appearing before cameras at the Treasury Department alongside his economic team, the president vowed to veto spending bills that exceed his targets, and he accused Democrats of plotting the largest tax increase in history to fund an additional $205 billion in discretionary spending over five years.

"Put another way, it's about $1,300 in higher spending every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year for the next five years," he said. "Now, somebody is going to have to pay for it. And that, of course, will be the hardworking American people. . . . I will use the veto to keep your taxes low and to keep federal spending under control."

Democrats quickly returned fire, noting that Bush inherited a surplus that turned into a deficit and that he never vetoed a spending bill during the six years that Republicans controlled Capitol Hill, even as the budget grew by 50 percent.

"After six years of reckless spending in Washington, President Bush is the last person who should brag about fiscal responsibility," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She accused the president of misrepresenting Democratic spending plans, which she said come in lower than his and have received some Republican support. And she said Bush wants "to spend $2,800 each second . . . to keep our troops in the middle of a civil war in Iraq."

Friday, August 3, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

I ran across this via the folks at Plunderbund...wow.


Here's the Intel apology.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Calling all Teen Movie Fans...

When I started this blog, a good friend said she couldn't wait for me to post about my new favorite teen movie. It's not really a secret that I love a good angst-ridden, silly teen movie. The problem is, I haven't seen ANY good ones come out lately. (I have high hopes for Superbad though).


In the meantime, I've discovered something to fill that void: Greek. (And, yes, it is on ABC Family.) From the first episode, I was actually interested in the characters, and it doesn't hurt that this cutey, Scott Foster, plays the good-at-heart bad boy. Fun summer viewing! I Tivo it, so I don't actually know when it's on, but I do know that the episodes are online here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A shared pet peeve

Caught this in The Washington Post this morning...

How Fresh Is Your Cable News? Check the Label

This just in! There's no more news on TV, at least not on the cable news networks. Plain old news apparently just isn't good enough anymore, so TV news stories have been getting new and improved names.

President Bush's latest news conference? CNN labels it a "Developing Story." A car bombing in Baghdad? The banner on MSNBC reads, "Breaking News." A blown transformer in New York City? Fox News Channel is on it, with a graphic that announces, "Very Latest."

Perhaps the biggest question is why the news needs such quickened-breath labels at all. Isn't all news just, you know, new information? Jeremy Gaines, a spokesman for MSNBC, replies that the labels "telegraph the story in a visual way" for channel-surfing viewers.

Ah. Kind of makes sense. With all the talk shows and shouting heads on TV, with all the opinion-mongering and vicious partisanship, a banner on the screen reading "News Alert" reminds viewers that the news channels still sometimes get around to . . . covering the news.

And then there was "news" about Anna Nicole Smith's baby's daddy (see image). Was that really Breaking News?

Monday, July 23, 2007

This is great


Who wouldn't have loved to get the questions in advance before taking a test or being interviewed? The results would be a slam dunk, right?? Well, we'll just see how well Gonzales does this time around:

Via Bob Geiger writing at The Huffington Post:

Leahy, the [Senate Judiciary] committee's Chairman, sent a letter to Gonzales on July 17 pointing out the number of times the embattled Attorney General said he could "not recall" in response to previous direct questioning on his department's operations and saying that he "would like to avoid a repeat of that performance."

So Leahy sent questions in advance hoping to give Gonzales a week to think about some better responses to the questions surrounding the U.S. Attorney firings, National Security Letter abuses and the White House's warrantless domestic spying program.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What that guy said...


Despite the fact that President Bush and VP Dick Cheney have committed high crimes and misdemeanors, I have not been very supportive of those calling for their impeachment. But, like Mike Lux, writing at the Huffington Post, today's news was the last straw for me:

With the announcement yesterday that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges filed by Congress, the Bush administration has made it 100% clear, once and for all, that they consider themselves utterly and totally above the law. Democrats in Congress have to take a stand, and have to push back. They have to make it clear to the country that the President and Vice-President are not free to do whatever they want, whenever they want.

I wouldn't stop at impeachment either. Congress has an "inherent contempt" power, allowing them to hold their own trials and jail those found in defiance. It hasn't been used since 1934, but it's time to roll that power out of the mothballs. Democrats, if you fear going the impeachment route because of the reasons I mentioned above, then that idea is worth trying.

You can read more from The Washington Post here.

And to make this development worse, all I've seen on TV news today is that Bush is getting a colonoscopy (labeled: breaking news), the Harry Potter book is being released tonight (I'm excited too, but this is not news) and Hillary's opponents are offering advice to other opponents on how to beat her (does this do anything to inform the public?). Amazing.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thanks to the Emmys...


I've got the "Dick in a Box" song stuck in my head today...Seems SNL got an emmy nomination for the clip today:

If you are the last person on earth who hasn't seen the video (or if just want a good laugh), you can see it here. (with a warning that this is the uncensored version, so if you are under 18, you'll have to go find the censored version on YouTube!)

Depressing Confirmation

I think many of us living in the real world, with some sense of human nature (the good and the bad) have been saying this for a while, but it's finally coming from within the Bush Administration. Let's hope they listen (but again, those of us in the real world doubt it will make a difference):

The latest National Intelligence Estimate concludes that al-Qaeda and its leader have only grown stronger since the inception of Bush's war.

While the president diverted the military to Iraq, the real terrorist threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan intensified. If he reads the estimate, he will weep for the more than 3,000 lives lost and billions of dollars spent in a war that's only heightened the hatred of Americans in the Islamic world and increased their desire to kill us -- here.

Read more from Margaret Carlson/Bloomberg here and from the Christian Science Monitor here:
The nation's 16 intelligence agencies began compiling the report last October and completed their assessment in June. Though the report indicated that Hizbullah may become a threat if the US takes action against Iran or seriously threatens or attacks the Islamic organization, the majority of the report focused on the "rejuvenating effect the Iraq war has had on Al Qaeda."

For the last few years intelligence officials have suggested much of Al Qaeda's central leadership has been neutralized, and that the primary national security threat came from splinter groups [Osama] bin Laden inspired but doesn't command. Yesterday's assessment summary concludes that the same organization that meticulously planned and executed the September 11th attacks is alive and well.

"This clearly says Al Qaeda is not beaten," said Michael Scheuer , who formerly headed up the CIA's bin Laden search team.

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Orleans


I was in Atlanta recently for work. This billboard was near my hotel and it made me smile everytime I passed by...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bush vs. Science, part 205

Former Surgeon General Says He Was Muzzled
By REUTERS
Published: July 10, 2007, NYT
Filed at 4:25 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first U.S. surgeon general appointed by President George W. Bush accused the administration on Tuesday of political interference and muzzling him on key issues like embryonic stem cell research.

"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried," Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the nation's top doctor from 2002 until 2006, told a House of Representatives committee.

"The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science, or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds. The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation, not the doctor of a political party," Carmona added.

My question to Dr. Carmona: Why did you keep working for these people for four years????

Bush Administration thankful they are not in China!

Holy shit! This is some severe punishment for government officials!

China Executes Former Food and Drug Regulator
By JOSEPH KAHN
Published: July 11, 2007, NYT
BEIJING, July 10 — China executed its former top food and drug regulator today for taking bribes to approve untested medicine as Beijing scrambled to show that it is serious about improving the safety of Chinese products.

Okay, okay, China, we get it, you are serious...

Friday, July 6, 2007

iPhone


I really thought I was going to be able to hold out and not get an iPhone until its next generation. Then I read this:

iLove my iPhone

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bush and Libby

Okay, I really didn't think I was going to write anything about the Libby fiasco. I keep turning the channel every time a liberal and a conservative windbag start going at it and I've skipped most of the blog entries on the topic. We all know Bush is an idiot and that he was never going to let Libby go to prison...aren't there bigger crimes this administration has committed?? Let's let him hang himself on this one and move on.

But, this headline at Huffington Post stopped me and I had to read what Tony Hendra had to say:

War Criminal Commutes Sentence of Convicted Perjurer at Behest of Traitor

Honor among liars, killers -- and thieves.

Forget the carefully measured, judicious judicial analyses. Here's what actually went on today. George Bush who has so far been directly responsible for the deaths of at least two hundred thousand of his fellow human beings (that was the most reliable count more than a year ago) is a mass-murderer. That's letting him off the hook for the close to half a million lives lost in the civil war he set in motion. And it doesn't even count the most important figure of all: the 3500-plus incalculably precious lives of our children, which he's squandered with his bare-faced lies and whom he refuses to stop sending to their deaths because then he would lose face, the poor thing.

This gutless coward who deserves to spend the rest of his worthless life in a 23-hour lockdown has just set free a convicted perjurer. For the buzz of the drug called power, aforementioned perjuring reptile did anything for his master however immoral, unconstitutional and criminal, but just like they got Al Capone for taxes, The Man got him on a technicality: lying under oath. (You know that thing his fellow mobsters impeached Bill Clinton for).

But this was no ordinary lie under oath. It was a coverup for his employer who is almost certainly a textbook traitor. That's not polemic overstatement. Just to drive this home one more time: revealing a covert CIA agent's identity is treason. It's treason because it gives aid and comfort to the enemy by informing him that all the other people that person has dealings with may be threats to him. Especially in time of war, a state in which according the Banana Republican junta, we are currently residing. For ordinary people this treason would be punishable by death and few would complain.

Which brings us to the main event: a sack of moral sewage called Richard Cheney.

The angry white whales of the troglosphere can huff and puff all they want about outing a covert agent being no big deal. (Chiefly no doubt because it was a Girl - you know not a real covert agent like one of those cool guys in Ludlum novels). But that's what Richard Cheney did: the five time draft-dodger, the flesh-eating military-corporate parasite Eisenhower warned us about, the snarling hate-mongering flag-waving terror-gogue, stabbed a fellow-member of the national security establishment in the back during time of war. And did so never forget, to save his own soft, white, muscle-free hide.

And I thought I hated this administration!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

TV News


I've been traveling for a few days, but have been catching up on fall TV news. My reactions to the two latest announcements:

Yeah!

'Veronica Mars' Star Basks in CBS' 'Moonlight',
Vampire drama woos Jason Dohring
In one of the oddest pieces of recasting you're ever likely to see, Jason Dohring is joining CBS' "Moonlight."


That's the best ABC can do??
ABC renews Belushi's 'According to Jim'
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES -- After mulling the fate of "According to Jim," ABC decided to bring the James Belushi sitcom back next year. The network said Wednesday it has ordered 18 episodes to air in midseason.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

How to go from hip to unhip in 2 seconds


Hillary's Sopranos video is great (and "hip"), but I can't believe she's going to make us all listen to Celine Dion throughout her campaign. I'm so glad to see that other people are "not pleased" by Hillary's choice of campaign song. (And I don't want to hear anything else about 'she didn't pick it, her supporters did'! As president, I hope she'd overrule bad choices!)

Here's a great post:

Hillary Clinton is a woman of stupendous intellect. She's a political leviathan. But is she a woman of taste?

For her "campaign song," a tune that presumably defines the tone and intent of the campaign, Hillary Clinton chose Celine Dion's "You and I." This is the song that's supposed to make me want to rally the troops in support of our first female president? Are you kidding me? I have so many problems with this song I don't even know where to start.

Click here to read Laura Thomas list of gripes!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I have to agree with Kevin Drum on this

As Newsday reported yesterday:

WASHINGTON - Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.

Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit, and a look at his schedule suggests why - the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

Yet, it has barely even been mentioned by the MSM. Here's what Kevin had to say at Political Animal:
I'm keenly aware that an awful lot of blog criticism of the mainstream media is basically just partisan sniping. But is this seriously not considered news? A guy who's running for president based on his reputation as a hero of 9/11 was given a seat on the highest profile group ever created to investigate a way forward in Iraq, but he decided it wasn't worth his time? He blew off James Baker and Lee Hamilton so that he could give speeches in South Korea and attend fundraisers for Ralph Reed in Atlanta? And the consensus reaction is a big yawn?

UPDATE: Well, CNN just covered this story - but only after talking about the Giuliani supporter who got busted for dealing crack and the campaign aide who just jumped ship. I don't know...I think the Iraq Study Group news is more important than either of those two tidbits.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Speaking of voting...

Maybe I should have voted for Hillary Clinton's campaign song. It seems her supporters voted for Celine Dion...

I'm not kidding...check it out here (with a warning that the song starts playing!)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Time to Vote!


Time to vote on matters of extreme importance...quality TV :)

I happen to love this weekly TV Gal column on Zap2it.com. Every year, she holds the Amy Awards...her readers nominate categories and then nominate the potential winners in the categories. So, all of that has been done and now it is time to vote in such categories as: Excuse Me, I'd Like My Emotional Investment Back (Most Beloved Canceled Show); Sorry Addison, but THIS Character Deserves a Spin-Off (Character Most Deserving of a Spin-Off) and I was Born at Night but Not Last Night Award (Worst Plot or Storyline).

If you love TV, go vote!

I thought I was the only one...


I used to be a Sunday news junkie...The New York Times, The Washington Post, Tim and George (and before him David, Cokie and Sam). But in the last couple of years, I could care less about the TV side of Sunday mornings. We now Tivo the programs, but we tend to fast-forward through most of Tim, and we tend to wait a couple of days before we just delete George. (And sometimes we do watch Chris Matthews...that probably says something about my attention span, and the fact that he only interviews reporters.)

So, I was happy to see that I am not alone in my increasing lack of interest in the Sunday shows. Today's Huffington Post has a piece by Peter Smith, If it's Sunday, it's Increasingly Irrelevant:

Sunday morning political shows may have reached their high water marks during the impeachment and the 2000 presidential recount. They seem to have struggled for influence and relevance ever since. They matter less now...

...The debate -- the genuine give and take of ideas -- has moved on to the Internet. Radio (public and talk -- both left and right) remains somewhat relevant, too. But its over for the Sunday morning political shows. They're done. Time to replace those stooges with the Three Stooges.

Do you still watch the Sunday shows?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Virginia Politics


So, yesterday was primary day in Virginia...I am an election geek, so I went to vote for the only "contest" in my county...the Democratic primary for County Treasurer. Not much of a contest...the incumbent won with more than 73% of the vote, with a 4.5% voter turnout. Well, at least he had a challenger...

News was a little more interesting around the state though - and November's elections should be good. I'm not sure I can imagine the Democrats in control of the Virginia Senate - we need to pick up 21 seats - but it's great to have a goal (and some actual competition in the state)!

Here's the quick recap from the Washington Post:

Two moderate Republican incumbents lost to conservative challengers who accused the sitting senators of having morphed into big spenders just like the party's now widely disliked standard-bearer, the president of these United States. Martin Williams of Newport News and Brandon Bell of Roanoke are gone goodbye, and while hard core Republicans will celebrate this as a reassertion of the party's pre-Mark Warner-Tim Kaine era commitment to chopping spending and eschewing taxes, plenty of Democrats will also be cheered by these results. That's because Kaine and the Dems had already planned to make this fall's campaign--the entire Virginia legislature is up for election in November--about how the Republicans are supposedly so far to the right that the state needs to push the Senate over to the D side to provide safety and balance. These primary results will only strengthen the Dems' hand--not necessarily in those firmly Republican districts, but elsewhere around the state where the party split is closer.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Is this ever going to stop?


Why do "journalists" and their editors/producers insist of force-feeding us news about Paris Hilton?? Now, I subscribe to Us Weekly because I like celebrity "news" as much as the next red-blooded American, but I don't expect to be getting that same trashy info from CNN. Celebrity gossip has more than enough outlets; the MSM should go back to actually trying to report things we need to know!

Here's how Marty Kaplan's latest post concludes...definitely worth reading! (And the photo included here will make sense once you read his post.)

Democracy, said our Founders, depends on an educated citizenry. That's why they protected the news business with the First Amendment. On the other hand, it's a good bet that Spring Comes Early for Paris isn't exactly what they had in mind.

Also related...Read about how CNN's anchors reported the Paris Is Free news (I actually felt a little sorry for them): CNN Anchors Mock Paris Hilton "News;" Who Forces Them To Cover This Crap?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Wow.


Mitt Romney said that Hussein did not allow the IAEA inspectors into Iraq??? Where has he been??? Do we really need another clueless president???

Al Gore, we really, really, really need you!

Slowly...

I'm slowly getting back around to checking emails and reading some news. I hope to have a new blog post up soon!

(I'm in Ohio with my mom.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I will be buying this book...


I haven't blogged about my love of Sassy magazine before, and I'll spare you all my gushing about how great it was, how I wish there were something like it today (for teens and those of us no longer teens) and how I've met the first Sassiest Boy in America. Instead, I'll just link to this article by the authors of How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time:

Vapid celebrities, too-skinny models, coverlines that promise girls their best bikini bodies: there are plenty of things about teen magazines to criticize. (And plenty of places that do, Gawker and Jezebel among them.) But if you think today's teen magazines leave much to be desired, you should seek out copies of teen magazines from the '80s, when Seventeen still pushed multiple diet stories per issue and college was seen largely as a means to getting a Mrs. degree.

Sassy magazine changed all that. Launched in 1988 by Jane Pratt, who later went on to start Jane magazine, Sassy tried to not make girls feel bad about their bodies or their sexuality; in fact, it was boycotted by the religious right for running informative --but not pedantic-- sex stories. It was also unabashedly feminist and resolutely liberal, with one infamous article bashing Bush Sr.'s drug war. It even had a sense of humor! (A one-star record review meant "I'd rather work for Clarence Thomas" than listen to this CD).

Read the rest...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Daily Kos to DCCC: "Go to hell."


As many of my friends and family already read in an email from me today, I could not believe the gall of the DCCC in trying to use yesterday's retreat as a fundraising opportunity. I'm now starting to read other blogs and see that I'm not the only one who was disgusted.

You can read all about it on the Daily Kos.

UPDATE: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is the chair of the DCCC and he even voted against the legislation...I am so confused...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why history class is important

It really is like 70+% of us live in one reality, while Bush and the Bushies live in another. From Josh Marshall:

President Bush, yesterday: "Now, many critics compare the battle in Iraq to the situation we faced in Vietnam. There are many differences between those two conflicts, but one stands out above all: The enemy in Vietnam had neither the intent nor the capability to strike our homeland. The enemy in Iraq does.”

There are so many problems and distortions with this statement that it is difficult to know where to start. But here's one place. Can we review the main arguments for why we were in Vietnam? Or at least try to distinguish them from the ones for getting out?

President Bush appears to be embracing the argument that the Vietnam War was a fight against Vietnamese nationalists who wanted to kick us out of Vietnam but had no interest in us one way or another beyond that. Certainly they weren't going to launch attacks against the US mainland. But that was the Doves' argument. The premise of the war was that it was a battleground in the larger Cold War struggle, one against the Soviets (who certainly had the ability and arguably had the intent to attack us), the Chinese (though that's much more complicated) and international communism generally.

In any case, the arguments for staying in Vietnam and staying in Iraq are actually quite similar -- and the arguments for leaving actually have a degree of parallelism too.

Of course, if we're worried about armed jihadism, which we certainly should be, it's really difficult to think of a better way to exacerbate the problem than to permanently occupy a country at the literal and figurative heart of the Muslim and Arab worlds.

Amateurs

It makes my head hurt to not be able to support my own party, but after reading this article in the NYT this morning, my head also hurts from confusion...Neither Pelosi nor Reid will vote for the Iraq spending bill? If they don't support it, who exactly is in charge on the Hill?

The decision by the Democratic majority to strip the measure of a timetable for troop withdrawal has raised the prospect that it could be approved mainly by Republicans with scattered Democrat support. The idea that many Democrats would be left on the losing side in a consequential vote has exposed a sharp divide within the party, drawn scorn from antiwar groups, confused the public and frustrated the party rank and file...

...But scores of other Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, say they have no intention of voting for the more than $100 billion sought by the White House for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan because Mr. Bush refused to accede to timelines, readiness standards and other conditions. They have said repeatedly since taking control in January that they will not turn over more money for the war without some movement toward a withdrawal...

...And Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader and Ms. Pelosi’s partner in negotiating with the White House, had also not revealed how he intended to vote.

Should Mr. Reid decline to support the final bill, it would mean the approval of the war money over the personal objections of the top Democrats in both the House and Senate.

What is going on???

Congrats to the Cheneys


And here's to hoping that his daughter and her partner can some day enjoy the same civil rights as Britney Spears and BOTH of her ex-husbands!

You can read about Cheney's sixth grandchild here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Is this news?


As reported everywhere today:

President Bush offered two-year-old information about Osama bin Laden's connections to al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq on Wednesday, as he used a commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to try to bolster his long-held contention that Iraq is a central front in the "war on terror." (from the Washington Post)

Is this really news? Don't we all know that al-Qaeda has been in Iraq as long as we have? They weren't there before we got rid of Saddam (the two didn't exactly see eye-to-eye), but of course they came in to recruit and to operate out of this newly chaotic environment that we created.

If Bush thinks this is proof that Iraq is a central front on his "war on terror," does he also see this as HIS fault?

What happened??

I'm really at a loss for the Democrats' complete backing down to the Bush administration over war funding, benchmarks, timelines, etc. Don't they have the support of the American people? Didn't the polls show that the public was supporting their efforts over Bush's stay-the-course mentality? I don't get it...

I agree with Mike Lux, over at Huffington Post:

If you're just going to give up because Bush is more stubborn than you, what's the point? The Democratic rank and file should vote overwhelmingly against this deal with the devil, and make clear to their leadership that the Democrats should have the same rule as the Republicans: only bills that have a majority of the majority party caucus supporting them should go to the floor.

I'm making a call to my Congressman's office today.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Forgiveness

One peice of news that I did hear this week was about the death of Jerry Falwell. I have to say I did fantasize a little about the conversation he must have had with his maker...I'm sure many of us thought about what God had to say to this man who preached so much hate in the name of God. I also came across this blog post by the author of The Messiah of Morris Avenue, Tony Hendra. I read the book a few months ago (thanks to Dean for the recommendation). While it's not all that well-written (like Hendra's blog post), it is an interesting story (and a quick read) about what would likely happen today if Christ did return to Earth. Here's some of the blog post (which you can read here):

I resisted editing his post - the typos are Hendra's!

Its' central character, the man in whose hands the immense power of 'knowing' the hour and nature of God's Judgment is concentrated, is the Rev. James Zebediah Sabbath. Sabbath is based to some degree on Jerry Falwell: from the Rugged-Old-Cross roots from which Falwell sprang, to the sleek, corporate theocrats whom Falwell helped spawn...

Into Sabbath's Dominionist heaven (or hell) on earth, comes a young man who might well be the true Christ returned. He's far from the buffed superhero packing overwhelming firepower Sabbath hopes for. Just like the first time around he's poor, from a forgotten corner of the empire (the Bronx) and not of the dominant race (he's Latino). And just like the first time around, the most subversive concept he preaches - and lives - is that fundamental Christian act, to which fundamentalists pay only the scantiest lip-service, forgiveness.

...But while the world believes forgiveness to be weakness, in truth it takes great courage. Just as killing those you feel threatened by is far easier than learning to live with them, payback is the weak and spineless option, the way out no-one will give you a hard time for. Forgiveness on the other hand takes true grit...

Subversive forgiveness may be, but, unfortunately, it's the core message of the guy from Nazareth. What's not to understand in the preachment: love your enemies? And even if the Aramaic (via the Greek and Renaissance English) is open to a slightly different translation, his choice not to defend himself against his enemies -- or even allow himself to be defended -- when they came to arrest him, is unambiguous. It's what defines Christianity against the other two Abrahamic faiths. You don't have to believe that the story's historically true; the example of its protagonist in the defining narrative of Christianity is unmistakable. Violence even in your own defense, is not acceptable. You cannot be a follower of Christ and kill your enemy; you cannot be a Christian and not forgive him. The history of Christianity is largely the history of grappling with this highly inconvenient truth and its manifold implications.

So it goes in my retelling. As Mark Twain famously said: if Christ did return, the Christians would crucify him. The Messiah of Morris Avenue preaches precisely the same core message as before: in the Dominion of Christ this is both blasphemy and - Church and State being one - treason. The Reverend condemns him as the Anti-Christ, hunts him down, tortures him and has him crucified (on the cruciform gurney of a lethal injection chamber). Then, just to make sure there's no hanky-panky about resurrection, he orders the mortal remains cremated.

But -- just like the first time around -- the Messiah does rise from the dead and appears not just to his followers but to his arch-enemy the Reverend. What finally cracks open that hardest of hearts, is not the miracle of resurrection, but that the man he condemned, tortured and murdered and whose body he burned to ashes, embraces him as a brother, forgives him for every one of his hate-filled acts. 'I was the Anti-Christ', the Reverend realizes in that moment 'and still you forgave me'

...And while Falwell's lies and distortions should have been combated by every non-violent means necessary, and the evil and hurt he caused, documented and remembered, that doesn't mean that the retribution Falwell sought to exact on others or threatened to, must be taken on him now, in any form. Which includes crowing that death has somehow found him out, or hoping that he went in pain or that he's up to his eyes in hot sewage in the Ninth Circle of hell or -- as was my intention -- dancing a triumphant two-step on his grave.

No, this is the moment for forgiveness. I hope that Jerry has met again and been reconciled with, the force of love and forgiveness that at some point in his life, he must have encountered. And while I never imagined I would ever write these words: may his turbulent and misguided soul -- however far it may have gone astray -- now find its way home and rest in peace.

Work gets in the way...

I've been totally crazed with work for the last week, but I'm back! I'll have new posts soon!

I haven't even been able to catch much news...but I do know that Wolfowitz will soon be out of a job and that the story about Gonzales and Card at Ashcroft's bedside still has legs. (Who knew this administration would actually make me respect John Ashcroft?!?!)

What are the current betting odds on how much longer Gonzales can stand looking like a fool to cover for his BFF, George Bush?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What makes you think you're qualified?

Great ad from the Richardson campaign...

Mars Saved?


Looks like Veronica Mars fans may get at least one more season of our favorite detective. From Zap2It.com, quoting the Hollywood Reporter, :

If the new season gets off the ground, the show will have fast forwarded to a few years in the future, when Veronica (Kristen Bell) is studying at the FBI Academy.

Will there still be a role for Logan??

UPDATE: Bad news, Veronica fans...the show's been cancelled. Where will Jason Dohring show up next???

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A personal thanks....to Bill Clinton


So, this blog is not personal, but I have a political note to add to something my family is going through...

My mom has breast cancer again (after being cancer-free for 15 years). I'm going to skip all the details here, but she will be having a single mastectomy soon. We learned yesterday that - thanks to Bill Clinton - as of 2000, all insurance companies have to cover reconstructive plastic surgery after a mastectomy. Not only do they pay for the one breast to be "rebuilt," but they also pay for the second breast to be "done" so women have a matching pair! :)

I can't tell you how thankful I am personally that, because of this policy, my mom will get to feel more like herself again when this is all over. Here's to a Congress and a President who were looking out for real people (and their boobs!)! [and feel free to insert your own Bill/boob jokes here]

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Medal of Freedom


I really thought I would be buying George Tenent's book, At the Center of the Storm, today, but after reading just a little about it - and after the 60 Minutes interview - I have no need to buy a book from a man who should have told the American people the truth and stopped this war before it started. I guess this was going to be his attempt to salvage his public reputation, but it's too little, too late. But hey, he got a medal of freedom (which he should have returned before publishing this book) and $4 million for telling us all what we have already figured out...this administration lies and those who should have been blowing the whistle are now making millions confessing their roles in this mess.

I really wonder how Tenent sleeps at night.

Take a minute and read this open letter to Tenent from a small group of former CIA intelligence officers. It begins:

Dear Mr. Tenet:
We write to you on the occasion of the release of your book, At the Center of the Storm. You are on the record complaining about the "damage to your reputation". In our view the damage to your reputation is inconsequential compared to the harm your actions have caused for the U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Iraq and the national security of the United States. We believe you have a moral obligation to return the Medal of Freedom you received from President George Bush. We also call for you to dedicate a significant percentage of the royalties from your book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed and wounded in Iraq.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Democrats

I have to say I was thankful that Kucinich and Gravel were included in the debate last night (even if they were put in the corner). Gravel is a little nuts and Kucinich, well, I love Dennis...

Without them in the debate last night, it would have been a real bore!



As for the rest...
Richardson: long-winded and sweaty
Edwards: still my fave of the current crop
Biden: should stay in the Senate
Obama: needs more time before stepping onto this stage...did you see how he let Kucinich and Gravel engage him on Iran? wow.
Clinton: I nodded off during at least one of her answers
Who else?...Oh, yeah, Dodd: obviously, he didn't make much of an impression on me last night

And Brian Williams...is Fidel Castro really on anyone's mind these days?! That was the most irrelevant question of the night!

UPDATE: I take back my comment about Dodd. I did love his answer about civil unions! I'm proud he's a Dem...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Changes


I got my latest alumni newsletter from Ohio University yesterday...this photo was on the cover and I had no idea where this little pond was located! How did a mini-lake pop up on campus?? I asked one of my co-workers (who also went to OU)...she said it used to be the little mosquito puddle between the aquatic center and Clippinger Hall.

Really nice change...but it made me miss my school...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kevin Tillman is a real American hero.


I don't think I need to add anything to this blog post. I hope you follow the link and read it.

(Pictured: Pat and Kevin Tillman)

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Return of Bill Moyers!



I already have my Tivo set for Weds and the following Fridays...

Bill Moyers returns to PBS with a look at how the mainstream media "got it so wrong" when it came to reporting on the lead up to the Iraq war. I'm curious to see what he comes up with, and how the reporters and producers he interviews respond. I've always wondered why I was so sure Saddam didn't have any more bad weapons, yet the media kept repeating the Bush Administration's theories about those weapons as fact. If I could gather enough info to know that the weapons inspectors had done their jobs and Saddam had been disarmed in the 1990s, why couldn't the MSM? And why couldn't Congress??

So many lives (American and Iraqi) - and so much money - gone. I'd like the decision makers to explain their actions, but I'll be happy to start with the media's explanations!

Check your local listings!

Graphically speaking...

Via Slate.com, Dahlia Lithwick reported on the Alberto Gonzales testimony:

One of the finest moments comes when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., busts out a big, big chart. Which happens after almost everyone has gone home. The chart compares the Clinton protocol for appropriate contacts between the White House and the DoJ on pending criminal cases with the Bush protocol. According to Whitehouse, the Clinton protocol authorized just four folks at the White House to chat with three folks at Justice. The chart had four boxes talking to three boxes.

Out comes the Bush protocol, and now 417 different people at the White House have contacts about pending criminal cases with 30-some people at Justice. You can just see zillions of small boxes nattering back and forth. It seems that just about everyone in the White House, including the guys in the mailroom, had a vote on ongoing criminal matters.

Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., calls this "the most astounding thing" he's seen in 32 years.

If I find a graphic of that chart, I'll post it!

UPDATE: You can watch the exchange, and sort of see the graphics, at ThinkProgress.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Is he not embarassed?

At my job - I'd be embarassed to say that I didn't know what my staff was doing, or why I made big decisions...but Alberto Gonzales got up there and said he didn't know, or couldn't remember, why decisions were made at the U.S. Justice Department.

Amazing!!

Will he stay, or will he go?


I just don't know...

Yes, it will be better for the country.

Yes, it will make the Democrats happy.

But, he provides a great shield to the President. Who will Bush hide behind next if Gonzales goes?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You say it's your birthday...


Almost every year on my birthday, I get Anthony Michael Hall (pre-gym days) singing "you say it's your birthday...nah, nah, nah, nah, nah...it's my birthday too, yeah" stuck in my head. Now, you all can sing along!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

That's what he's sorry for???

Wolfowitz Apologizes for 'Mistake'
World Bank president apologizes for role in giving raise to staffer with whom he was involved.

Isn't there anything else he'd like to apologize for?

(and is there anything she'd like to apologize for?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is Katie Couric Blushing?


This cracks me up...embarassing on so many levels!

Katie Couric video essay was copied from The Wall Street Journal

Newsweek reports "Couric apparently faces no repercussions, because she doesn’t actually write 'Katie’s Couric's Notebook'—though many of the entries are presented in the form of first-person essays, as was the controversial piece. Addressing her audience, Couric began: 'Hi everyone, I still remember when I got my first library card.'"

Here's the text:

COURIC: "For kids today, the library is more removed from their lives. It's a last-ditch place to go if they need to find something out."

WSJ: "The library is more removed from their lives," says Sabra Steinsiek, a retired librarian in Albuquerque, N.M. "It's a last-ditch place to go if they need to find something out."

COURIC: Sure, children still like libraries, but books aren't the draw.

WSJ: Sure, there are still library-loving children, but books aren't necessarily the draw.

COURIC: A recent study found kids use libraries more for DVDs, story hours and computers than for checking out books.

WSJ: Suburban kids, especially, often use libraries more for DVDs, story hours and computers, because their parents buy them books, according to a 2005 study by the Association for Library Service to Children.

COURIC: Many kids skip the library altogether and head for the store. Sales of juvenile books rose 60 percent from 2002 to 2005. It's an encouraging sign that kids value reading...

WSJ: Many kids, of course, skip the library and head right for the store. Sales of hardcover juvenile books rose 60% from 2002 to 2005, to $3.6 billion. Yes, that's an encouraging sign that kids still value books.

COURIC: ...but many tech-savvy kids never experience the joy of using the library's shelves as a place to discover new worlds.

WSJ: But many tech-savvy kids never experience the library as a place for serendipitous discovery.

COURIC: And students are arriving in college unable to navigate libraries with a Dewey decimal system many have never used.

WSJ: Meanwhile, with most teens turning first and foremost to the Internet for schoolwork, students are arriving in college unable to navigate libraries.

Ahhh, Marty Kaplan

More from Huffington Post:

Imagine if the audience's appetite for outrage extended to the dying of American democracy. Imagine if media bosses believed that we're insatiable for information about the Republican attempt to rig the '08 election by politicizing the Justice Department and prosecuting phony voter fraud. Imagine if the same kind of blanket coverage that's currently conferred on loopy astronauts, bratty rehaboholics, and, yes, slandered basketball teams, were afforded instead to the slow-motion fascism on the move in America. Would we watch it the same Pavlovian way we watch tits, twits and tornadoes?

Media executives think not. They believe the jury is in on that one. They don't believe that we're addicted to junk news and shock jocks because it's the only diet they've offered us; they think the market for civically useful information is simply saturated. They don't think that because they're just tools of the vast right-wing conspiracy (though some, like Fox, have made that their market niche), or just because it serves their economic self-interest (though the tax cuts and wealth transfers whose consequences they've declined to cover have benefited them handsomely). No, they air what they air, and cover what they cover, as a capitalist service to us. Us, in the form of our mutual funds, our pension funds, our IRAs and 401(k)s, our collective American existence as Wall Street. Entertainment is exquisitely sensitive to demand. As long as we demand quarterly growth in profits more aggressively than we demand real news, the clowns will always get more airtime than the fifth column of hacks who have penetrated the halls of Justice.

More on Imus

Okay, I really am going to start ignoring the All-Imus-All-The-Time stuff, but I thought I'd link to one more blog post:

The Walkman, Imus, Racism, and My Being an Insensative Smart Ass White Guy

I don't know who this Horowitz guy is, but I think I like his friend Ed Lawson! (even though he has a lot of typos)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus...Blah, Blah...

I don't have anything to say about the Imus "scandal" so I'll just link to my favorite blogger's post on the subject...

Read Imus? on Political Animal.

Update: Here's another interesting opinion: The Luxury of Our Sensitivity

Oh yeah, and from Tom Giago, via Huffington Post:

"Was Jesse Jackson banned from radio and television or public appearances for life when he referred to Jews as hymies and to New York City as Hymietown? Of course not. And was the Reverend Al Sharpton similarly banned for his racist remarks about whites during the Tawana Braley episode."

Back to regularly scheduled programming, please!!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Power of Negative Thinking...

Okay, I am all for the age-old wisdom of the "power of positive thinking," but this The Secret book definitely seems to take things too far, especially for people who may feel desperate and are searching for answers. As reported in today's Washington Post, the author Rhonda Byrne not only thinks good things happen to you when you have a positive attitude, but bad things are also your fault:

"Imperfect thoughts are the cause of humanity's ills," Byrne asserts, in a stunning sentence that had me pondering how to perfect my thoughts, pronto.

Poverty? "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts."

Illness? "You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can. . . . You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talking about their illness."

Puuleeease!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Is this playing where you are?

I listened to an interview this week with Jake Kasdan about his new movie, The TV Set. It opens this weekend, but not in DC! If anyone gets to see this, let me know how it is. I LOVED Freaks and Geeks (Kasdan was one of its creators), so I'm curious about his new movie. Here's the trailor...

Anna Nicole Smith - Anatomy of a Feeding Frenzy


So, maybe I was wrong when I thought the entire MSM had lost its mind...maybe I just watch too much cable news!

The findings of the Project for Excellence in Journalism:

How big was the Anna Nicole Smith story? How pervasive a media phenomenon was it? Can any lessons be learned about the media from the episode?

This PEJ Index Special Report of the 23 days of the Anna Nicole story—from her death on February 8 to her burial on March 2—reveals that it was indeed a major story in the national press, though not equally so across outlets. Only two other stories during that time—the debate over Iraq and the 2008 Presidential race—generated more attention in than Smith’s demise—and those only barely.

Yet the sense that the Smith soap opera—and the clips of her vamping in scanty attire—was a wall-to-wall event from which there was no escape in the media is something of a misimpression.

The Smith saga did not attract major coverage from all the media sectors studied, which includes 48 different outlets across five media sectors. (Please see the methodology for a complete list.) Instead, it was driven largely by relentless attention from two—both television-based. One was network morning news. The other, even bigger, was cable TV news, where this story accounted for nearly a quarter of all the airtime.

What’s more, not all channels devoted equal time to the story. In network morning shows, the story was covered more heavily by CBS and NBC.

And on cable, the Fox News Channel fixated most on the story, followed by MSNBC.

These findings add to the evidence of cable’s fixation on one big event. But they also go beyond that. The fact that for the most part, the newspapers, web sites, nightly network newscasts, and radio news outlets treated Smith’s death as a blip on the radar screen speaks to cable’s ability to magnify an event until it feels like the only story on the entire media agenda.

In reality, the media landscape is diverse with different news priorities. What consumers learn about—and what they do not learn about—can vary dramatically depending on where they go for news.

Theatre or Reality?

I enjoy anyone (even Geraldo) yelling at Bill O'Reilly and basically calling him a moron, but I can't tell if this was a real argument, or "news theatre"...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Planet Earth update

If you haven't yet watched Planet Earth on Discovery Channel, start now and buy the DVD...we are. It's amazing.

Not much TV leaves me stunned...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Candidates, 2


You can watch the whole presidential forum on c-span.org from yesterday...if you know who I am, you can see me several times in cut-away shots :)

Look for this in "Recent Posts" on www.c-span.org:

AFL-CIO Conference with 2008 Presidential Candidates
Democratic presidential candidates addressed a legislative conference titled, “Building Trades: Seize the Opportunity, Meet the Challenge.” They talked about a number of issues including foreign policy and conflict in Iraq, the state of the U.S. economy, labor issues, and immigration.
3/28/2007: WASHINGTON, DC: 2 hr. 45 min.