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
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
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


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!