Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shirt of the day

A Vladimir and Natalya Malkin special, as worn by Jim Shearer in the latest Yinz Luv Da Guins video.

Quotes of the weekend

Not content to just let right wing critiques of Sonia Sotomayor completely scrape the bottom of the barrel, Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy decided to lift up that barrel and look for another barrel underneath it, so that they might scrape that one too.

El Rushbo:
LIMBAUGH: Not only does she lack the often discussed appropriate judicial temperament, it's worse than that. She brings a form of bigotry and racism to the court. I don't care, we're not supposed to say it, we're supposed to pretend it didn't happen, we're supposed to look at other things but it's the elephant in the room. The real question here that needs to be asked and nobody on our side from a columnist to a TV commentator to anybody in our party has the guts to ask, how can a president nominate such a candidate? And how can a party get behind such a candidate? That's what would be asked if somebody were foolish enough to nominate David Duke or pick somebody even less offensive.
The felon who wanted to have his political enemies murdered:
LIDDY: I understand that they found out today that Miss Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, which means in illegal alien, “the race.” And that should not surprise anyone because she’s already on record with a number of racist comments.
LIDDY: Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.
It's hard to know why this party is out of power when it has such stunning intellectual lights as these two. Sotomayor=David Duke/menstruation will destroy the legal foundation of this country. If the debate is already this degraded three days after her nomination, imagine where we'll be when her conformation hearings start up. I can hardly wait.

Saturday News Hole 5.30

Glowing Baby Monkeys: Marmosets Inherit Genes Added By Science
As if glowing beagles weren't enough. Science, in its unending quest to shame God, has decided that marmosets need to glow in the dark. Why? So you can experience that zoo monkey house smell at night and still know where all the monkeys are. Just kidding, its so we can better give lab animals diseases so we can do medical experiments on them. So yes Virginia, you may have a glowing monkey, but only if you're going to do some medical tests on it.

Dem Senators Open To Allowing Innocent Chinese Detainees To Live In U.S.
Sure we can't let the criminal masterminds at Gitmo onto American soil, but what about the innocent 17 Chinese Uighurs we're also holding there? Shouldn't we , I don't know, let them go free. That would make sense, wouldn't it? Well you don't think like a Senator. Even though everyone recognizes they are innocent and even though they should be let go, our elected betters in the senate still aren't totally sure what the next course of action should be. They have to negotiate what to do with innocent people we've held for six years. And now you know why nothing useful ever happens in the Senate. It's where common sense goes to die a thousand deaths.

North Korea Test-Fires Missile, Vows To Retaliate If Provoked
Gotta love North Korea. Illegally tests a nuke, illegally tests some short range missiles, vows to illegally test some long range missiles, and all but says it doesn't consider the 1953 Korean War truce. But also simultaneously claims that everyone is provoking him and that if the UN so much as tries to sanction them for any of this, well then they vow to get really crazy. When did starving his people and kidnapping Japanese directors so they could make monster movies for him stop being enough for Kimmy? I'm afraid it's looking like Kim Jong-Il gonna provoke us into a war in Korea before the crazies in this country can regroup after the Obama victory to provoke us into a war with Iran. And I did really want to see Tehran in the springtime.

Debate Over Child Executions Roils Iran's Presidential Vote
You think Presidential elections over here are full of bullshit macho posturing? Iran has us beat. They're arguing over whether it's cool to execute children after they hit the age of maturity (15 years old for boys, 9 years old for girls). What's the other big issue in the race to unseat Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Freedom to blog/freedom of speech. Haven't these people ever heard of injecting dimwitted plumbers and hockey moms into their elections? Everything's gotta be so serious.

370 Beech Street Highland Park, IL 60035
When Cameron was in Egypt's land........let my Cameron go. If you've got $2.3 million and are interested in 5,300 Sq Ft on 0.75 acres which also happened to be Cameron's house in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, then you're in luck. It's even been repaired since the time some damned idiot backed a Ferrari out of the steel and glass garage into a ravine while trying to run the mileage backwards.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Word of the day

La·od·i·ce·an [lay-oh-diss-see-an]
1. Of or relating to Laodicea.
2. Indifferent or lukewarm especially in matters of religion.
3. A word that was used once, when it was created, and then never used again until the 2009 National Spelling Bee.
4. A word that is apparently easier to spell than "palatschinken."
A native or inhabitant of Laodicea.

[Adj., sense 2, in reference to Revelation 3:14-16.]

SI: South Africa

Quick question: how would you sell the newly imported Sports Illustrated to a South Africa yearning to read about sports and Peter King columns about Brett Favre? Here's a hint: apartheid.

Give up? By stressing Hitler and America's checkered racial history and ethnic divides. The whole black/white schism moves sports magazines, baby.

Another ad takes on the 1968 civil rights protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Olympics, while a third ad takes on Muhammad Ali vs. the draft board. It would have been better if they were able to come up with a more South Africa-centric sporting event to sell a sports magazine to South Africa, but then I guess I'm the only one that remembers Nelson Mandela beating FW de Klerk in a 1-on-1 basketball match to end apartheid. De Klerk just couldn't handle Mandela's inside game and rebounding.

The end of filmmaking as we know it

We strongly urge all aspiring filmmakers to hang it up now while they still have the chance to pursue other careers. Why? Because a gentleman named Tommy Wirkola went and took everything good about life -- graphic violence, Nazi zombies, heavy drinking, Norwegian women -- and combined it into one epic tale of love, loss and... did we mention the Nazi zombies?

...all set to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." Naturally.


Cyber Wars...the Punishment Due

If you had to guess one high tech thing you were almost certain the Pentagon was already doing, it would be working to protect government, stock exchange, and air traffic computer systems with a elite squad of hackers and nerds, right? I mean Michael Bay thought to have it in the first Transformers movie. Surely our government is smarter than Michael Bay. Nope. But they are finally getting to it. The Pentagon is finally making steps towards weaponizing and militarizing Geek Squad.
The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, administration officials said Thursday, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare.
Mr. Obama, officials said, will announce the creation of a White House office — reporting to both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council — that will coordinate a multibillion-dollar effort to restrict access to government computers and protect systems that run the stock exchanges, clear global banking transactions and manage the air traffic control system.

White House officials say Mr. Obama has not yet been formally presented with the Pentagon plan. They said he would not discuss it Friday when he announced the creation of a White House office responsible for coordinating private-sector and government defenses against the thousands of cyberattacks mounted against the United States — largely by hackers but sometimes by foreign governments — every day.
This is a tricky issue. Will this enable Skynet or can it be used to fight Skynet? I guess we'll never find out until the bombs start dropping.

But you will also be grateful to know that our government's deranged perversion about putting someone in control of something and then calling them "_______czar" is still intact. The man who'll run the militarized Dell Support Center will be given the title Cyberczar. If that title gave you an idea for a movie about a Putin-esque despot who, through some electrical accident that happens while he's touching his computer, is transported into the intarwubs, and an elite squad of Ukranian hackers has to do battle with him for control of cyberspace, well then you can just fuck right off, because I already thought of it and patented the idea.

Still, better late then never. I mean it's not like China has been launching cyberattacks on us for years, is it?

The torture debate gets stupider

Guess who just decided to re-enter the torture debate? Yep, that's right, former President George W. Bush. I guess he saw all the fun Cheney was having blithely lying about anything and everything and said "me too." But surprise surprise Bush has decided to come down on the side opposing torture. No, just kidding, he thinks it's fucking awesome.
Bush spoke broadly about his decision-making after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in March 2003.

"I vowed to take whatever steps that were necessary to protect you," Bush said.

'"The first thing you do is ask, what's legal?" he said. "What do the lawyers say is possible? I made the decision, within the law, to get information so I can say to myself, 'I've done what it takes to do my duty to protect the American people.' I can tell you that the information we got saved lives."
I would have thought that torturing terrorists for the purpose of trying to link al-Qaeda to Iraq was a tremendous waste of time. Maybe he was talking about that whole torture/time travel scenario that Karl Rove posited.I did like that he first asked "what's legal". I mean sure the way he really asked it sounded more like "this is what we're doing, come up with any justification" and the lawyers memo's basically said "sure this won't hold up in court, but who's got the balls to sue us?", but Bush asked. He wasn't even told by Cheney to "shut the fuck up" when he asked either, so that's like a double ask.

I'm just so glad Bush has decided to re-enter the political debate with his own brand of mewing justification of his failures in front of prescreened audiences who signed loyalty oaths. I mean it shows just how much he is willing to stand up to scrutiny.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quote of the Day: Someone tell him to breathe

Tom Tancredo, out there proving that you can't a tarnish your reputation if your reputation is as someone who race baits Mexicans.
TANCREDO: If you belong to an organization called La Raza, in this case, which is, from my point of view anyway, nothing more than a Latino — it’s a counterpart — a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses. If you belong to something like that in a way that’s going to convince me and a lot of other people that it’s got nothing to do with race. Even though the logo of La Raza is “All for the race. Nothing for the rest.” What does that tell you?
I'm not that surprised he mistook the real La Raza slogan “Strengthening America by promoting the advancement of Latino families” with “All for the race. Nothing for the rest.” and confused the country's largest Latino civil rights advocacy group with a bunch of hooded white supremacist terrorists who murdered and harassed hundreds of thousands of people. Don't we all often make those mistakes?

He does raise an interesting philosophical question would a rose by any other name smell just as sweetly?" can you really be the KKK without the hoods and nooses? I'd like to thank Tommy for bringing up this important esoteric point about the nature of racism. Oh, he wasn't doing that? He was just being a racist? Sorry, my mistake.

Picture of the day

From the Big Picture blog comes today's entry: idiots from Gloucester mangling their bodies chasing a wheel of cheese down a steep hill. The winner of each race gets to keep the cheese and becomes the Queen/King of Britannia for a calendar year. Liz Deuce has been in power this long because she loves cheese and can fuckin' hoof it down a steep hill. See this is the type of shit you get to do when you have national health care.

That makes one

Instead of trying to present themselves as a sane party who was going to fight this SOCTUS nomination battle over judicial philosophy or even wait until Sotomayor's hearing to throw a hissy fit, most of the GOP decided to spend yesterday stripping themselves naked, setting themselves on fire, and running through the town square, nude and ablaze, screaming "RACIST!!!!!!" But there was a man who took a look at what was going on and decided he was going to kindly step aside and not associate himself with all the other people that decided to speak for his party yesterday. That man? The Balladeer, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) attacked Judge Sonia Sotomayor on his Twitter feed today as a “Latina woman racist” who should withdraw her nomination. On CNN this afternoon, Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who sits on the Judiciary Committee, if he agreed with Gingrich. “No, I don’t agree with that,” replied Hatch
Ok, that makes one. Anyone want to lay odds on there being a second?

Oh Liberal Media, when will you learn?

There's ThinkProgress, out there doing it again today. They've gone and taken a set of statements made by the racist spawn of Karl Marx and Beelzebub, Sonia Sotomayor, and gone and compared it to things Sam Alito said during his confirmation hearing. Whereas Sotomayor is the world's greatest racist/monster when she says her ethnic background and upbringing inform her judicial decisions, Sam Alito is a salt of the earth working class hero when he brings up his ethnic background and how it informs his decisions.
ALITO: Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point. … And that’s why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position. [...]

And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.
Now the more ill informed of you might say "Doesn't that make him as big a racist as Luftwaffe Reichsmarschall Sonia Goebbels or at least show that both of them aren't racist?" First things first: Alito made those statements while in the possession of a penis (which he prominently displays in a jar on his desk), white skin, Italian heritage, and nomination from a Republican; Sotomayor didn't. Secondly: Alito's schooling at Princeton and Yale Law and his tenure on the 3rd circuit were the product of hard work and achievement, Sotomayor's schooling at Princeton and Yale Law and tenure on the 2nd circuit were the result of affirmative action, racism, and ancient voodoo rituals. Thirdly: I don't have to say a third thing, didn't you listen to the first two reasons?

Clear enough yet? Thank me later for explaining it to you, Liberal Media. I don't want to have to do this again during the next SCOTUS confirmation.

Chump change

Want to know exactly how much local, state and federal governments are spending on health, justice, family assistance, and "education" because of the concerted effort to treat drugs/tobacco/alcohol as a reactionary problem of not enough prisons and hospitals instead of one of treatment, research, and prevention? Since it was done by a national research organization at an Ivy League school and was written about in the New York Times complete with charts and graphics, I'm going to guess the number is large. Like half a trillion a year large.
Government spending related to smoking and the abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs reached $468 billion in 2005, accounting for more than one-tenth of combined federal, state and local expenditures for all purposes, according to a new study.

Most abuse-related spending went toward direct health care costs for lung disease, cirrhosis and overdoses, for example, or for law enforcement expenses including incarceration, according to the report released Thursday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, a private group at Columbia University. Just over 2 percent of the total went to prevention, treatment and addiction research. The study is the first to calculate abuse-related spending by all three levels of government.

“This is such a stunning misallocation of resources,” said Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman of the center, referring to the lack of preventive measures. “It’s a commentary on the stigma attached to addictions and the failure of governments to make investments in the short run that would pay enormous dividends to taxpayers over time.”

Beyond resulting in poor health and crime, addictions and substance abuse — especially alcohol — are major underlying factors in other costly social problems like homelessness, domestic violence and child abuse.
"Stunning misallocation of resources". Apparently Mr. Califano hasn't noticed this country starts wars on whims and throws trillions at Wall Street to thank them for almost destroying the world economy. Half a tril because our drugs policy is "Lock 'em up" , our health policy is "The existence of emergency rooms, for when you get really close to death, is equal to comprehensive health care", and our governmental notions of preventative measures is "Ain't that what them European socialists do? No thanks" is a drop in the bucket. And "failure of governments to make investments in the short run"? Maybe you didn't notice during this economic crisis: we have problems acting in the short run.

But thanks for showing us just what our policies cost us each year. I'm sure it will result in something productive from government. Like more prisons with higher walls and stronger bars, more mandatory minimums, and finding out a better way to tax people well on their way to a cirrhosis and lung cancer filled death/medical bankruptcy. You know, because "treatment" and "preventative measures" sound really gay in a heated primary fight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Broken In Brief: Sonia Sotomayor implicated in Nazi War Crimes

WASHINGTON--In a shocking turn of events, Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor was accused of crimes against humanity after Fox News revealed evidence that she had overseen atrocities at the Ravensbruek Nazi concentration camp during the final years of World War II.

This revelation comes as a serious blow to the Obama Administration, which had hoped to appoint Sotomayor as Justice David Souter's replacement, making her the first Latina female to ever sit on the nation's highest court. Sotomayor's inspiring story of rising from a single-parent family in a south Bronx project, through an Ivy League education, and onto the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is now tarnished by her apparent involvement in arguably the greatest humanitarian atrocity of the last century.

When asked how Sotomayor could have possibly had any involvement in the crimes at Ravensbrueck, given that she was born five years after the camp's opening and therefore probably not capable of overseeing such atrocities, FOX News spokesperson Marissa Florentine assured reporters that although the tips had been provided "on background" and had been attributed anonymously, the network was confident the sources were "as reliable as any of those we have ever referenced in our ongoing mission to report and let you decide. Mr. Gingrich wouldn't steer us down a wrong path."

As of this hour those within the Obama Administration are unsure if the nomination will be rescinded. According to one source close to the President, the administration was "prepared for the revelation that she was in fact a woman, but this Nazi thing is really causing us to reassess our selection." Those close to the GOP leadership say many of the House and Senate leaders were "giggling uproariously" over the reaction and were debating on how best to reveal their upcoming accusation that Sotomayor had personally ferried across the border every single illegal immigrant currently in the United States.

Quotes of the day: On racism

Pat Buchanan on why the fact that no white men were finalists for Obama's SCOTUS choice and the fact that a damned Mexican stole another job from a white American makes this THE MOST RACIST THING EVER!
BUCHANAN: Look, are you going to let me talk, Lawrence? You got down to four women, not a single white male — all women
BUCHANAN: Yes. No, it did not occur to me. You mean there are no white males qualified? That would be an act of bigotry to make a statement like that.
BUCHANAN: I don’t say it’s an outrage, I say it’s affirmative action. They were picked because she’s a woman and a Hispanic and you know it as well as I do.
Newtie twisted a comment she made completely out of context and decided she's a total racist and Tweeted as such. The RNC agreed and reTweeted it.
newtgingrich: White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.
Tom Tancredo concurs go back to Mexico racist!
TANCREDO: I’m telling you she appears to be a racist. She said things that are racist in any other context. That’s exactly how we would portray it and there’s no one who would get on the Supreme Court saying a thing like that except for a Hispanic woman and you’re going to say it doesn’t matter!
El Rushbo is of the same mind
"So, here you have a racist. You might want to soften that and you might wanna say a reverse racist. And the libs of course say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist and now he's appointed one."
So remember everyone, you may think that excelling at the top schools, a distinguished career, impeccable credentials, and a lifetime of service make you qualified for a position of importance, but it doesn't. Unless you're a white guy, you're just there because of racism or sexism and are almost certainly a complete and total sexist/racist yourself. Just wanted to clear that up.

Legal Superfriends

We're about to have a powerful legal team-up and no it doesn't involve a crossover from all the Law & Order's. David Boies and Ted Olsen, the two opposing lawyers for Bush v. Gore, are getting together to jointly file a brief. "On what?" you say. On behalf of gay marriage.
Former U.S. solicitor general Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who argued opposite each other in Bush v. Gore, are now teaming up to “represent two same-sex couples filing suit after being denied marriage licenses because of Proposition 8. Their suit, to be filed in U.S. District Court in California, calls for an injunction against the proposition, allowing immediate reinstatement of marriage rights for same-sex couples.”
“For a long time I’ve personally felt that we are doing a grave injustice for people throughout this country by denying equality to gay and lesbian individuals,” Olson told The Advocate in an interview. A copy of the 10-page complaint is here.
But why do it together? Well Ted Olsen is trying to pitch a legal Odd Couple type reality show to the networks, tentatively and creatively titled Legal Odd Couple. Each season would see them take on a case from one side of the political spectrum. Boies? He's trying to get in the same room with Olsen so he can knock him over the head, tie him up in the basement of the Boies estate and then show Ted a constant loop of Bush-centric documentaries on the war/torture/economy/election in an attempt to show him what his legal arguments wrought in 2000. Also there may or may not be a charity wrestling match where Boies and Olsen team up against Ken Starr and Patrick Fitzgerald (The Special Prosecutors of Doom) in a best of 3 falls, no holds barred, extreme rules, tables, ladders and chairs match.

Discrimination makes strange bedfellows. Best of luck gentlemen. Hopefully you win and provide at least one comical moment where the snooty judge looks at your table and goes "the Bush lawyer...the Gore lawyer...but...but....heavens to betsy" and then either comically faints or is so flabbergasted that his monocle falls out.

Sotomayor: Day 2

We're into Day two of the Sotomayor nomination and we're seeing some themes reveal themselves. On the Democrat side the watchwords seem to be about biography, "compelling personal story", "mainstream", "agrees with conservatives on stuff", "moderate", and chortled declarations that if Republicans can't support her, they can't support anyone. Meanwhile the right's reaction has been split into two parts. From the right wing commentators we've got some variation of "half-wit affirmative action harpy", "possible immigrant", "reverse racist", and "most liberal person ever". As for elected Republicans, well I don't know, do you think there were talking points?
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): "I will focus on determining whether Judge Sotomayor is committed to deciding cases based only on the law as made by the people and their elected representatives, not on personal feelings or politics."

Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): "We will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences."

Charles Grassley (R-Iowa): "The Judiciary Committee should take time to ensure that the nominee will be true to the Constitution and apply the law, not personal politics, feelings or preferences."

John Cornyn (R-Tx.): "She must prove her commitment to impartially deciding cases based on the law, rather than based on her own personal politics, feelings, and preferences."
Uh-oh, a damned woman with her damned feelings and opinions is gonna muck up the He-Man Supreme Court Club. Obama didn't nominate a robot or a man, so now we have to deal with emotions and a uterus blocking the cold Constitutional calculations of the finely honed legal gland. I'm disappointed too. The Supreme Court is no place for feelings, which you only hear about when women are nominated.

Eventually we'll realize this and replace the justices with an emotionless robot voice connected to a complex series of punch cards and wires that booms down judgments from on high. Then we'll have perfect justice, until a week later when SCOTUSbot judges that the only way to save us is to enslave us. Until then we'll have to deal with Sotomayor's feelings and the fact that those feelings will make no significant alteration to the court's 5-4 makeup.


So "Mancow", the guy who got waterboarded and figured out within 6 seconds that it was torture, was on Keith Olbermann last night. In a wide ranging interview that covered everything from waterboarding being torture to waterboarding being torture with a foray into seriously...waterboarding is torture, he decided to drop this little bon mot about a call he got.
MANCOW: First of all, Sean Hannity called me and said, “It’s still not torture.” I said, “Sean” — he is a friend of mine — “it is torture.” All right.
That would be the same Sean Hannity who shot his mouth off about how waterboarding was not in any way torture and that he would subject himself to waterboarding to raise money for charity. Then he promptly went and hid in a corner and pretended he never said it. But he is brave enough to throw stones when someone else does it. Maybe Sean just thinks everyone forgot or doesn't care about his offer anymore. We didn't Sean, we're still interested. We still want to see you get tortured waterboarded...for charity's sake. C'mon, I want to see you try to lie your way through the aftermath of torture. I want to know if you're the Ruth of dishonesty or just a Joe Carter or Dale Murphy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fare thee well Carolina

Play the Canes off, keyboard cat. Not even the vaunted Conference Finals winning expertise of one William Laird Cowher could help Carolina avoid the drop. Four games, four wins, utter domination. Jordan Staal gets to talk shit to Eric all summer and Tom Barrasso gets to use his winning attitude and warm people skills to repair the fragile psyche of the battered and abused Cam Ward. Sid and Geno dominate, as per usual, and both move into the top five all time in playoff points per game, behind Gretzky and Lemieux.

We move onward to an almost probable Finals rematch with the hated Detroit Red Wings and Benedict Hossa. Hopefully they'll finish off the Blackhawks tomorrow so the series can get started at a reasonable date, otherwise the Pens won't see the ice until June 5th.

One more thing.

Is this good?

Despite all of the predictably sad, sadly predictable, and mildly racist conservative opposition to President Obama's nomination of Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, one voice of... um... reason has emerged:
I have no questions in my mind about her qualifications in terms of education, experience. A president is not required to nominate the most qualified person to the court. I think he’s obliged to nominate someone who is well-qualified, and I think by any measures, she is well-qualified.
To whom can this measured, level-headed assessment be attributed? None other than former criminal mastermind Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. I suggest we all forget about the perjury, the abject politicization of the Justice Department, the narrow pursuit of anti-American ideals, and just focus on backhanded semi-endorsement of an Ivy League-educated judicial scholar that the crazy right has sought to vilify and demean for, oh, the last 13 hours or so...

Dogs and cats, living together. Mass hysteria...

A compendium of childish reactions to the new liberal devil

Mike Huckabee hears "Latino" and "woman" and doesn't bother learning Judge Sotomayor's first name before he fires off a complaint about "feelings" and "the far left." He just assumes she's named Maria and may or may not be in the middle of a doomed romance/pitched dance off between the Jets and Sharks.

The Judicial Confirmation Network's Wendy Long dropped in the phrase "liberal judicial activist", accused her judicial style of dishonoring police and firefighters who died on 9/11, "reads racial preferences and quotas into the Constitution", and said she was more liberal activisty than the current liberal activist Supreme Court which is full of liberal activists. Judicalpocalypse in other words.

Rod Dreher calls her a mediocre Quota Queen, the left's Harriet Miers, and is relieved that Obama picked a dumb liberal woman instead of someone who can match wits with Scalia.

Charles Krauthammer decided she cares more about minorities and affirmative action than justice and that conservatives essentially need to oppose her to show that white people will not let this stand, man.

Red State: Intellectually shallow. To be clear: they were describing Sotomayer and not the entirety of their website.

Powerline wonders if she's "Che Guevara in robes". I guess we won't know until she's dead in Bolivia after failing to foment a revolution there.

The New Republic is perplexed as to why its dirty, anonymously sourced hit piece on Sotomayor is being used by conservatives to attack her. Gee, I wonder why.

National Review's Mark Hemingway: ‘Dumb,’ ‘Bully,’ ‘Doesn’t Play Well With Others,’ ‘Obnoxious’

ThinkProgress has video from Karl Rove to various Fox Newsies giving different variations of "not smart" and "intellectual lightweight".

There are also reports of a Virgin Mary statue bleeding from the eyes and the birth of a white two headed calf that the media ignored in favor of the birth of a tan two headed calf. We aren't even 12 hours into the nomination yet.

Soros-funded nanny state home of communist sodomites officially less-gay, more 'Merican

Flag officially invalid as of 5/26/09

So the California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Strangely enough, this same court has yet to be asked to address the validity of different-sex marriage, an institution that the state takes about as seriously as a balanced budget. Note: California practically invented No-Fault Divorce in 1970.

Naturally, disappointment, sadness, and outrage soon followed. As much as we here at TB think that human beings have every right to lash themselves to whatever mast they choose, I'm starting to think that the problem here is one of patience. After all, the ruling only rejects the argument that marriage should be defined by the state legislature (as opposed to a ballot initiative) and leaves intact the 18,000 or so gay marriages performed in the last year.

Also, and most importantly, it really is only a matter of time:
Fifty-four percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday say marriages between gay or lesbian couples should not be recognized as valid, with 44 percent suggesting they should be considered legal.

But among those 18 to 34 years old, 58 percent said same-sex marriages should be legal. That number drops to 42 percent among respondents aged 35 to 49, and to 41 percent for those aged 50 to 64. Only 24 percent of Americans 65 and older support recognizing same-sex marriages, according to the poll.
Still, one is forced to wonder why, apart from legal, medical or financial reasons, homosexuals are so eager to gain access to an institution with a 50/50 success rate. This might just be one of many side effects of my Catholic upbringing or negligable Irish ancestry, but I've never found myself looking at a marriage and saying, "How do I join that club?"

Patience, kids. The rest of the country has to wake up at some point.

Broken News: Man discovers he is an expert just because he's on TV

LOS ANGELES—While stirring approximately $400 worth of high-grade cocaine into his sugar-free Red Bull, he said, “I think I knew when I said something completely dishonest and uniformed about the financial crisis. When no one called me out on my gross misappropriation of recorded history and my seeming inability to understand basic economic theory or even third grade math, I knew I was made in the shade. I was officially an expert because I was on TV.”

This was the conclusion that Dick Norsefire, frequent CNN contributor and panel member of the afternoon political show Grunt, came to this morning during an interview session for a New York Times Sunday Magazine article on his meteoric rise to prominence.

“One day I’m yelling over a Nobel Prize-winning economist, the next day I’m feeding CNBC’s own Billy the Money Goat before they loose him into the Dow Field to christen his ‘Pick of the Day’ with a well-timed defecation onto one of the corporate logos lining the floor,” said Norsefire. “Only in America. Well, maybe England.”

Mr. Norsefire’s own anecdotal realizations confirm a recently released study from Stanford University’s Center for Mass Media Research that addressed a four-year look into television commentators and the expertise that viewers ascribe to them. The study, entitled Why We’re Fucked: How the Rise of 24 Hour News and America’s Decline are Inexorably Intertwined, not only found that individuals are considered "experts" in any field so long as their countenance floats above an American flag-backed graphic declaring such, but, more tellingly, that the degree of perceived "expertise" rose or fell depending on several clearly defined variables.

“What we found is that there were three main areas that affected perception of intelligence,” said lead analyst for the study Dr. Fausto Mendes, who privately admitted to weeping for society at the conclusion of the four-year project. "One directly correlated with the volume at which the televised personality spoke. The second had to do with the moral assuredness with which the expert spoke. Finally, the third had to do with how much time the expert spent assuring his audience that he was as close to being a salt-of-the-earth pig farmer as a pampered TV analyst making six figures could possibly be. The more these three areas were emphasized, the more people trusted their words. Accuracy never entered into the equation. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pitch myself into a ravine.”

When factoring in a ranking system for moral assuredness, dubbed the Hannity Scale, a commentator raking in the 8’s or 9’s could blithely pass off large-scale falsities to the masses with impunity. In fact, if a TV expert ever reached the level of HS10, convincing their own brain of the accuracy of what they were saying, they could even convince others to disregard simple scientific precepts such as gravity or simple historical facts such as the existence of George Washington. They found similar trends when accounting for voice volume, or, as it has come to be known, "The Cramer Factor."

"I’m inclined to believe that study, even though I didn’t see anything about it on TV,” said a relaxed and reassured Norsefire shortly before his afternoon appearance on Fox Business Network's Noblesse Oblige stock tips program. “I remember when I was yelling at that Dr. Nobel guy or whatever about how the dwarves had over-mined our gold resources and plunged us into a recession. The louder I got and the more I talked over his math talk, the more I was convinced that I was right.”

When presented with the results of the study several of the program directors and booking agents for the major news networks were quick to uniformly dismiss the results of the study. They also attack the perception that basing air time around attractiveness, catch phrases, yelling, moral certainty, treating the world as a black & white place of absolutes, and not keeping track of whether these people were even factually correct or had a track record of success was somehow contributing to a degrading of public debate and news media effectiveness.

One executive producer was even said to have remarked “Why should I believe these so-called scientists? They aren’t even on TV!”

“Swish! Money in the bank,” Norsefire was heard to yell at a mirror while pumping his fist. “Oh sorry, were you saying something? I was just practicing my new catchphrase. This baby’s gonna get me my own show, maybe even on prime time. Thank you TV. Man, I’m so glad I quit my job at that think tank, otherwise people just wouldn’t have taken me seriously.”

Department of sensible racism ideas

If there's one thing that we can all agree on hating, it's that stupid little idea that just because you were born here that makes you a citizen. I mean what asshole wrote that? James Madison? Abe Lincoln? Senator Jacob M. Howard of Michigan? Citizenship is earned, either through the military means of the movie 300 that I half remember or through the military means of Starship Troopers that I half remember. Service means citizenship or something, I think there was also some large wolf based fighting. Whatever. At least one smart man agrees with my DVD catalog: U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal. His solution? Fuck the Mexicans.
U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, has proposed changing the long-standing federal policy that automatically grants citizenship to any baby born on U.S. soil, a move opposed by immigrant rights advocates.

Supporters of Deal's proposal say "birthright citizenship" encourages illegal immigration and makes enforcement of immigration laws more difficult. Opponents say the proposed law wouldn't solve the illegal immigration problem and goes against this country's traditions of welcoming immigrants.
"This is a sensible, overdue measure that closes a clause that was never meant to be a loophole," said Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks tighter immigration restrictions.

Under Deal's proposal, babies born in the U.S. would automatically have citizenship only if at least one of their parents is a U.S. citizen or national, a legal permanent resident of the U.S., or actively serving in the U.S. military.
Meant to close a loophole that was never supposed to exist?
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Seems pretty cut and dried to me. But then I'm no Constitutional scholar. Deal also has a plan to change the inscription of the Statue of Liberty from "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" to "Hey you, pregnant foreigner! Don't even fuckin' think about going into labor here! Hold it in!" I just think that's it's nice to know that in this day and age someone has the guts to demonize the Constitution, infants and people wishing to become American citizens through a law solely intended to target one race. The people of Georgia are so lucky to have this man running for Governor.

The greatest throw rug ever

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, presents a carpet to his visiting Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, right, woven with their images, during an inauguration of a joint commercial bank, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 3, 2009. (AP Photo/ISNA, Mona Hoobehfekr)

I know you all wanted a crushed velvet painting of Castro posting up on Mao in a game of pick-up basketball, but you'll have to make due with Chavez and Ahmadinejad in loving embrace in front of some clouds. No word on whether this was just a bizarre gift between two men smitten with their shared hatred of George W. Bush, or if this was just a prototype for a production line of Hugo & Mahmoud items to be followed by a Saturday morning cartoon show.

The new face of Satan

Obama finally made his choice for the Supreme Court and it is Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor. If confirmed she will be the second woman currently on the bench and the first Hispanic ever to become a justice. I know, old white men lose out again. Is there no end to the indignity they must suffer? Her stat sheet:
Administration officials say Sotomayor, with 17 years on the bench, would bring more judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice confirmed in the past 70 years.
Obama had said publicly he wanted a justice who combined intellect and empathy _ the ability to understand the troubles of everyday Americans.
A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, a former prosecutor and private attorney, Sotomayor became a federal judge for the Southern District of New York in 1992. She became an appeals judge in 1998 for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which covers New York, Vermont and Connecticut.

As a judge, she has a bipartisan pedigree. She was first appointed by a Republican, President George H.W. Bush, and won Senate confirmation without dissent. She was named an appeals judge by President Bill Clinton in 1997.
In one of her most memorable rulings as federal district judge, Sotomayor essentially salvaged baseball in 1995, ruling with players over owners in a labor strike that had led to the cancellation of the World Series.
17 years experience? Christ, how's she going to be able to hide her judicial opinions, style, and beliefs with a 17 year history? That was the whole point of Bush picking Roberts and Alto: plausible deniability towards judicial philosophy. Roberts had only been a judge for 30 minutes and Karl Rove decided to pick Alito, a lifetime fry cook, after he saw him buy a John Grisham book and Hannity's book at a Washington area Barnes & Noble.

If you are actually interested in knowing what she actually has decided in court cases, Scotusblog has a nice little round-up. Additionally there's a NYT profile here, and some opinions from those who know her here, here, and here. Otherwise it's all just stupid political theatre from here on out. A world where Judge Sotomayor is cast as either the "most liberal jurist ever" who'll destroy the country with her activist judicial style of rewriting laws from the bench, an assassin plotting to kill the resurrected Jesus, or as someone who is barely literate and unable to even put on her shoes correctly, let alone be qualified enough for the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, the argument for her will be something along the lines of "she's makes John Jay and Thurgood Marshall look like Judge Judy", declarative statements that she is the most qualified person in the country, and a reference to one of her appellate decisions curing cancer. It's gonna be real awesome, and we haven't even got to the part where she tries to dodge questions at a judicial hearing and the Administration pretends not to know her thinking on any kind of legal issues.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Map of Happiness

The North Koreans have The Bomb.
North Korea today risked further international isolation after it claimed to have successfully tested a nuclear weapon as powerful as the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

The test comes less than two months after the North enraged the US and its allies by test firing a long-range ballistic missile.

The KNCA news agency, the regime's official mouthpiece, said: "We have successfully conducted another nuclear test on 25 May as part of the republic's measures to strengthen its nuclear deterrent."

Officials in South Korea said they had detected a tremor consistent with those caused by an underground nuclear explosion. The country's Yonhap news agency reported that the north had test-fired three short-range missiles from a base on the east coast immediately after the nuclear test.
North Korea might not have started the war against the groundhogs, but they sure as shit ended it. But what better way to celebrate a day honoring the soldiers who have served this country and gave their lives defending it, then with a reminder of the next war we might have to fight. With nukes. Rest assured that world leaders are out there right now expressing disappointment (TO THE EXTREME!!!!) wagging their fingers so furiously that the damned things just might fall off.

Who knew that McG's hastily put together, slapdash Terminator movie would be providing us a glimpse of our near future, with crazy Kim Jong-Il taking the place of Skynet. I guess this means we have to pretend they're a real world power now. Like Obama has enough bullshitting skills to fake gravitas with Pakistan AND North Korea when talking about how they're now "important members" of the world community just because they're destabilized shitholes with nukes.

Ah well, just one more thing to make you feel good/optimistic during the long weekend. Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


It’s likely even Jesus would have OK’d water boarding if it would have saved his Mom. He would’ve done the same to save his Dad, or any one of His disciples. For that matter, He even died to save all humans.
Wait, water board to save Joeseph or God? Because if God's in trouble I don't think waterboarding is going to be enough to get us out of that problem. But yes, Jesus clearly would have tortured people in order to spare them the pain...of going to heaven.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

To Vladimir and Natalya Malkin

16 points in the last 6 games, broke a scoring streak record held by Mario Lemieux, and has done severe and perhaps irreparable mental damage to Cam Ward. You two really know how to fornicate.

We also deeply appreciate Tina and Troy Crosby doing the nasty.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dept. of Obvious Conclusions

Right wing blowhard Erich "Mancow" Muller talks a bunch of stuff on how waterboarding isn't torture. Mr. Mancow to simultaneously prove how goddamn manly he is and how waterboarding barely rises above the level of say getting blasted in the face by a strong shower head, says he'll go through a waterboarding session. Unlike some people, he actually goes through with it. Guess what happens? He gives up 6 seconds in and starts telling everyone it's definitely torture.
Mancow decided to tackle the divisive issue head on -- actually it was head down, while restrained and reclining.

"I want to find out if it's torture," Mancow told his listeners Friday morning, adding that he hoped his on-air test would help prove that waterboarding did not, in fact, constitute torture.
Turns out the stunt wasn't so funny. Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop. He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds.

"It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke,"Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."
So what's the count of people who say waterboarding isn't torture, go through one session of it, and can barely spit the water out of their mouth before yelling out "It's torture", up to now? We'll just say that it's everyone who's ever gone through with it.

But that Dick Cheney guy totally swears it's not. So I really don't know who to believe. I think I need to see a couple more self righteous right winger radio and TV personalities get waterboarded before I can make an informed decision.

Quote of the day

Bushie, on just being a normal dude again:
“I no longer feel that great sense of responsibility that I had when I was in the Oval Office,” he said. “And frankly, it’s a liberating feeling.”
Trust us Mr. Former President, it's a liberating feeling for all of us knowing that you aren't President anymore. Frankly it's all that got us through those jobless, homeless winter months.

But lest his idyllic retirement life in million dollar mansions, free from prosecution, and even a basic realization of all that he did to this country is too much for you to bear, know this: he is handling dog shit on a daily basis. There is that smal recompense.
It was the first time Barney had ever been in an ordinary neighborhood, and Bush had to stop when the dog took liberties with a neighbor’s yard.

“And there I was, former President of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand,” he recalled. “Life is returning back to normal.”
It's a shame they don't have a Great Dane.

Picture of the day: Victory lap

How does Mewelde Moore get the best photo spot after Hines?
Looks better than this

Jeff Reed. Possibly drunk. Secretary of Destroying Towel Dispensers.

The champs go to the White House for a visit. Well, except for James Harrison, who is either afraid of flying or is just incredibly outraged that had the Cardinals won Super Bowl XLIII they would have been invited. He's also not thrilled with the fact that the NFL would have given the Cardinals the Lombardi trophy if they had won, but he's dealing with it.

Yellowstone Heat

Terrorism, the Constitution, our system of justice, Guantanamo, credit cards, bankruptcy. You may look at this week as one of our elected betters dealing with important issues of national importance...and you'd be right. But in the distraction, carnage, and horror of Dick Cheney climbing out from under his bridge to publicly eat three billy goats who had transgressed his waterway, you probably forgot perhaps the single most important thing to happen this week: we don't have to take Smokey the Bear's shit any more, we can now pack heat in national parks.
The House voted Wednesday to join the Senate in approving sweeping restrictions on the credit card industry, as well as an unrelated measure, which the House passed separately, to allow loaded guns in parks.
The other measure, to restore a Bush administration policy allowing loaded guns in national parks, had been pushed by conservative Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who persuaded the Senate to add it to its version of the credit card legislation.
But since the gun measure passed, by a vote of 279-147, it nevertheless gets attached to the main bill and becomes law if President Obama signs it. He is expected to do so Friday.
Batman and Robin. Peanut butter and jelly. Ebony and ivory. Credit card reform and the relaxing of firearms laws in national parks. It's fits together so smoothly, like a hand into a glove.It makes sense really. Why not have places with severe restrictions on where you can camp, use fire, place trash, defecate, ride horses, climb, or even walk also have totally lax rules in regards to wielding loaded weapons?

So know that Congress is looking out for you. The next time one of those buffalo gets too close to the car, just flash your piece at him and tell him the score. He'll move on.

Look before you leap

As Obama prepared to give his speech yesterday the RNC was looking for anything to hit him for and criticize him for. And why not, that's their job. So as the gerbils ran furiously around the wheel in Michael Steele's head, he finally seized upon what he thought was a slice of fried gold: Obama was making a point to speak in the hall of the place that held the Constitution and the son of a bitch once had the nerve to call that document "fundamentally flawed". Jackpot! To the Twitter-machine!
RNC: as he prepares to deliver remarks in hall that holds the constitution, flashback obama: "constitution flawed" #RNC [Twitter, 5/21/09]
The problem? The fundamental flaw Obama was referring to was the fact that the Constitution not only allowed slavery, but only counted black people as 3/5th's of a person. That the framers did not see blacks or slavery as "a moral problem involving persons of moral worth."

So the RNC basically just went out of it's way to criticize the President for thinking that blacks should have been bumped up to a whole 5/5th's and maybe got paid for their work. It's a bold strategy. The "We believe the Constitution was so right that we need to go back to using the 3/5th's compromise" move is a risky gambit, but I can see why the RNC wants to try it.

I'm not sure the Democrats will go for it, so I think I've come up with a new compromise: blacks go back to 3/5th's but we bump gays up to having the marital rights of 2/5th's of a person. Add it in together and that constitutes the two groups having the rights of a full person. We honor the Constitution like the RNC now thinks we should (except for the parts about the President followin' laws and stuff) and we make our country 2/5th's of the way more progressive towards gays. Win-win.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Atlantis v. Hubble

The NASA space shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope are seen in silhouette, side by side during solar transit

From the Big Picture blog, the "most dangerous mission ever."

Shorter Dick Cheney

The Dick:
"Yeah, I fuckin' ordered torture in an attempt to prove my bizarre conspiracy theories. It was awesome. Do something about it! Wait, let me go wrap myself in the flag and go stand on some 9/11 corpses I dug up. Indict my ass, I double dog dare you."

National Organization for Marriage...Mark II

The National Organization for Marriage is back. This time they aren't going to scare us with ominous storm clouds and doctors who are afraid they won't be able to deny treatment to the gays, this time the threat is to our nation of perpetually confused children. The horror. They will be taught a new way of thinking. Or just be taught to think. I'm not sure which the NOfM thinks is worse.

And really "Anna and Eve"? Please, we all know the pairing that you're supposed to yell out is "Adam and Steve". I'm just glad we can finally start outlawing things that are confusing to children. Like fractions, physics, clouds, the later works of Kierkegaard, the infield fly rule, why mommy and daddy don't love each other any more, how God can let bad things happen to good people, and the underlying mythology of Lost. Confused children is the new terrorism. We must fight it with every fiber of our being.

Bushie's Dallas based Fortress of Justice

Via the good people at Preston Hollow People comes glimpse at the $3.95 million smackeroo, 1.15 acre, 8.051 square foot home our former President will be wiling his days away in, free from prosecution for all that stuff he did. I know you're asking "where's the waterboarding room?" People people, it's at Cheney's house. Also not pictured are Bush's foam cowboy hat and air horn showroom, the room where Laura goes to cry in silence, the mantle where Bush displays the bronzed last shred of American dignity that he and Rumsfeld stole out of Teddy Roosevelt's mausoleum, the workout room with that punching bag that's shaped like his father, the signed photo of Jesus with the message "George, history will totally vindicate the wars I told you to start. Your friend in Christ, Christ.", and the BBQ grill shaped like Reagan.

I guess some things need to be saved for that Better Homes and Gardens spread.

Wait.....they behavior?

In a rare flash of adult behavior, the RNC decided to vote down the eminently childish plan to rebrand the Democrats the Democrat-Socialist Party and rebrand the GOP as the He-Man Handsome Jesus Par-tay. Was it a full moon? Did someone show them a graph charting their Congressional losses with projections for 2010? Did the Holy Spirit jump into Michael Steele and tell the assembled masses not to vote for it during a fit of speaking in tongues? Tell me, I must know.
The Republican National Committee backed away Wednesday from a resolution that officially called Democrats the “Democrat Socialist Party,” but instead voted to condemn Democrats for what it called a “march toward socialism.”

The voice-vote came after an unusual special meeting of the party that underlined fractures among Republicans on how to deal with President Obama and the Democratic Party. The original resolution was backed by some of the party’s more conservative members but was opposed by the party chairman, Michael Steele, as well as other Republican leaders. The opponents said the proposal to impose a new name on the Democrats made the Republican party appear trite and overly partisan, and would prove politically embarrassing.
Oh, they rigged it. That would have been a tense vote count had they decided to really vote on it. Michael Steele counting ballots, flop sweat on his brow, finally ending with a disgusted slam of the last ballot to the ground and a plaintative cry of " dumb bastards." Instead they just had Steele gesticulate his arms up and down while acting as an applause meter while Hayley Barbour yelled out "Let's make some noise for sanity! I can't heaaaaaaaar yooooooooouuuuuuuuuu!" and pretended the guys starting in disbelief at what their party had become were louder than the guys in the Nobama hats and Hannity shirts.

Gotta say, I did not think Steele was this smart. I might have underestimated the intell...oh Christ, Steele just claimed "liberalism will kill you". I take it back. Accidental smartness. Fluke. Won't happen again.

I can't believe he has to defend closing Gitmo

So today President Obama actually has to go out and defend the closing of Guantanamo Bay. Why? Because the Senate is a stupid place. Fresh off a vote denying money to close the blight on America's reputation, he has to go out and make a case as to why we need to close Gitmo and lay out incredibly obvious plans for how to do so. Why? Because the Senate is a stupid place.
President Barack Obama finds himself in a political box -at home and abroad- on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, and will be trying Thursday to use a major address on national security to work out of the tight spot.

Obama takes on the explosive topic a day after the Senate, at the behest of majority Democrats, denied his request for $80 million to close the prison. The 90-6 vote followed a similar move last week in the House and underscored widespread apprehension among Obama's Democratic allies in Congress over the issue.

Providing a summary of the speech on condition of anonymity because it has not yet been delivered, this official wrote that the president will work through the cases of the remaining 240 prisoners at Guantanamo by:

-Using federal courts to try those who have violated criminal law;

-Using military commissions to try those charged with violating the rules of war; and

-Transfering detainees to third countries when that is possible and does not pose a security risk.
My God, trying them according to the level of crime they committed in the appropriate court. How could he ever have conceived of such a strategy? Then after this all he has to do is wage a PR battle with the Senate over their various stupid contentions that American prisons cannot simply hold the criminal masterminds in Gitmo, that our corrections officers are unable to undertake the task of properly throwing a Koran in a latrine, or harry Reid flight into incoherence yesterday when he claimed that any transfer of prisoners would result in the release of terrorists into America. I'm not sure I follow the logic on that one either.

After the speech, which actually should be going on now, after Obama lays out a sensible solution to an ad hoc legal clusterfuck and tamps down the temptation to beat Harry Reid with a lead pipe, we'll get to hear a rebuttal of sorts.....from Dick Cheney. I'm being serious. He's giving a speech after the President, where he'll whine and piss and moan about the liberal pussy who is dismantling his chainlink island gulag. Hey GOP, I know you're all scared of the guy and the fact that he knows where all of you live, but when you trot out America's official walking talking personification of it's shame to defend anything, the plan is doomed to fail. Always. I can't believe that you never seem to remember that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Battle of the titans

Jesse "I've been waterboarded and I wrestled Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden, what the fuck do you know?" Ventura vs. Sean "9/11 happened during Clinton's presidency" Hannity. It gets totally awesome.

Your durned science can't control the baby Jesus

Rep. “Smokey Joe” Barton (R-TX), seeing himself lagging behind Michelle Bachmann in the 2009 Dumbest Elected Representative contest, has decided to throw his hat in the ring and opine on global warming. Oh he's not traversing the same old paths of "the scientific consensus isn't in" or "it doesn't exist" or even the highly scientific "It's cold out, so how can the globe be warming? Huh? Tell that to your precious Al Gore and see if it blows his mind." He's decided to blaze a whole new trail.
“I would also point out that CO2, carbon dioxide, is not a pollutant in any normal definition of the term. … I am creating it as I talk to you. It’s in your Coca-Cola, you’re Dr. Pepper, your Perrier water. It is necessary for human life. It is odorless, colorless, tasteless, does not cause cancer, does not cause asthma.”

“And something that the Democrat sponsors do not point out, a lot of the CO2 that is created in the United States is naturally created. You can’t regulate God. Not even the Democratic majority in the US Congress can regulate God.”
CO2 is natural, or do you just hate God so much that you don't realize that? Click the link for his thoughts on "theory vs. fact" and the how smaller and more fuel efficient cars will shank the American Dream and leave its body in a shallow river bed.

Voters are the problem

California voters exercise their power -- and that's the problem
Rightly or wrongly, voters in the special election refused either to extend new tax hikes or to cap state spending. They also declined to unlock funds that they had voted in better financial times to set aside for special purposes.

Nearly a century after the Progressive-era birth of the state's ballot-measure system, it is clear that voters' fickle commands, one proposition at a time, are a top contributor to paralysis in Sacramento. And that, in turn, has helped cripple the capacity of the governor and Legislature to provide effective leadership to a state of more than 38 million people.

Clogged freeways, the decline of public schools, an outdated water system and a battered economy are just a few of the challenges demanding action by state leaders. Instead, they are consumed by yet another budget crisis, one that voters worsened Tuesday.
Wait a minute. Voters deciding important budgetary and legislative matters based on a few months of interest group campaigning, impulse, knee jerk reactions, public distaste or like of the person or persons who created the initiative, and shortsighted views on what's happening now, their unwillingness to scale back when budgetary problems occur, a lack of the understanding they couldn't ever possibly get of the complex budgetary, tax, and legal ramifications of these ballot measures and the many varied problems passing or not passing these measures will cause, let alone the myriad of bad patches, overlap problems, and some complete governmental hamstringing that these varied ballot initiatives create.....has become a problem for the state of California?

No shit. The only people worse at making laws than the people we elect are masses of people in the millions, mostly voting off the marketing language in an ad they saw, a "No on ___" "Say Yes on ____, for the children" sign they saw, and whether Tim Robbins or Rush Limbaugh supports or opposes the measure. Who could have ever guessed that voters weren't realistic about tax rates and spending levels? So now the Governator is left with a smoldering budget crater much larger than the one that got Gray Davis recalled. Arnold is about to hit the part where the only solution is to hack at the schools, public services, police, and fire departments randomly with a machete before complete financial chaos causes California to break off and sink into the sea in a shaky, quaky hellstorm of their own devising.

But hey, at least we might get another amusing recall election that might give them an even weirder governor. Cali might also pass some useful environmental regulations before they are swallowed into the Pacific. So...silver linings.

Things that don't sound good

Iran Announces Successful Missile Test
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday that his country had successfully launched a medium-range missile, just two days after President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed the importance of halting Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Gee, after Israeli elections that make the government more hard-line and right wing, the day after the US talks to Israel about "that Iran thing" and Israel's possible propensity for launching some unannounced missile strikes, Iran decides to do some missile testing. Then when asked about the range of the missiles all Ahmadinejad can say is "Oh, they can go as far as...say Israel, to use an example." This sounds like it's going to make things so much better.

Another Democrat Says CIA Records On Briefings Were Not Accurate
The letter makes Obey the fourth Democrat to allege that the CIA's record of which members of Congress were briefed on the Bush administration's enhanced interrogation techniques contained factual errors. Former Sen. Bob Graham, in an interview with the Huffington Post, noted that the agency's records initially had him being briefed four times in 2002 about the interrogation techniques. Upon contacting officials with the CIA, it was determined that he had only attended one such briefing. Similarly, Sen. Jay Rockefeller has said that the records kept by the agency and made public on May 7 contained errors in regards to his briefings.

All told, the testimonies of these three Democratic officials bolster the case made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the agency's own account of those now-controversial briefings is misleading. Pelosi -- like Graham -- has insisted that members of Congress were kept in the dark in the fall of 2002 about the Bush administration's use of waterboarding on terrorist suspects.
All right! The CIA is back to actively misleading elected officials and fabricating records on their dealings with Congress. Topple a few African governments, rig a few European elections, switch out that high fructose corn syrup for real sugar, and we're back to the classic CIA we all loved. Some of the GOP, in their quest to blame all the torture (which was awesome) on Nancy Pelosi, seem to want to fight a battle based around the thought that the CIA would ever mislead Americans or elected officials...ever. Of all the battles to fight and all the hills to die on, "the CIA is honest" is probably the one you want to fight the least.

Arms Sent by U.S. May Be Falling Into Taliban Hands
Insurgents in Afghanistan, fighting from some of the poorest and most remote regions on earth, have managed for years to maintain an intensive guerrilla war against materially superior American and Afghan forces.

Arms and ordnance collected from dead insurgents hint at one possible reason: Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers.
Why does this sound familiar? *cough*Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Iraq*cough* "May be", NYT? Between the weapons and money we give to Pakistan that end up in the Taliban's hands and all the equipment and money we give to Pakistan for anti-terrorism work they don't do, we're practically funding, arming, and supporting the fight against ourselves and our allies.Good thing we're not going to ramp up military action and funding into that whole entire area. ....Oh wait. least we aren't sending them shipments of uranium that they totally promise to use to build a uranium statue of George Washington.