Friday, May 23, 2008

T Minus 242 Days

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

- Greece, NY, May 2005

Senate Passes New GI Bill

Final vote 75-22, which means it has a veto proof majority.

Here are the 22 Republican shitheads who voted "Nay" to which I ask, "Why do you hate the troops?"

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lugar (R-IN)
McConnell (R-KY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Voinovich (R-OH)

Oh, and our Vietnam War hero, Maverick McCain? He didn't vote. He was too busy campaigning in California to make it back to Washington. I guess it wasn't that important to him. It doesn't matter anyway. If he had the balls to actually cast a vote, the list of "Nays" would have been 23 Republican shitheads.

The Arizona senator has never said that he does not support the bill because it is “too generous.” He has stated concerns that offering education benefits as early as the Webb bill allows would discourage people from re-enlisting.
...And despite McCain’s opposition to the Webb legislation, retiring Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia told FOX News: “This GI bill, one way or another, will be the law of the land.”

From the LA Times:
McCain, a former prisoner of war, said he supported an alternative that would not encourage troops to leave the service "after they have completed one enlistment."

But his position pits him against some of the Senate's other veterans, including Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and John W. Warner (R-Va.), both former Navy secretaries.

After the vote, Warner said, "I don't know of any day that I'll cherish or remember more than this one" in his 30 years in the Senate.

Clinton also spoke out for the GI benefits. "We often hear wonderful rhetoric in this chamber in support of our troops and our veterans. But the real test isn't the speeches we deliver, but whether or not we deliver on the speeches."

Asked about the GOP support, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who opposed the domestic spending portions, said, "I would say that's why we're not a majority anymore."
I mean, fuck, even Joe "The McCain Shadow" LIEberman voted Yea.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

T Minus 243 Days

"If a person doesn't have the capacity that we all want that person to have, I suspect hope is in the far distant future, if at all."

- Washington DC, Hispanic Scholarship Fund briefing, May 22, 2001

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Israel Doesn't "Appease" Bush

How the monkey has fallen.

HuffPo: According to 29-year CIA veteran and former NSC official Bruce Riedel, Wednesday's announcement of joint peace negotiations between Israel and Syria revealed President Bush's diminished standing in Middle East affairs.

"Think of the irony," Riedel said. "George Bush goes to Jerusalem last week. He gives an impassioned speech about never dealing with nasty regimes [that sponsor terror]. He basically says 'don't make agreements that appease [them].' And less than a week later, the Israeli government announces it is engaged in peace negotiations with the Assad dictatorship in Syria. We're talking about a rather distasteful regime that likely had a hand in the murder of [former Lebanese Prime Minister] Rafik Hariri. I guess [Israeli Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert didn't think the speech was meant for him."

So Bushy had a rather sucessful trip, no? He makes some asinine comments for domestic political gain that are ignored by Israel, and then goes to Saudi Arabia to kiss ass and ask for an increase in the oil output, to which the Saudi prince chuckles and pats him on the head. "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Georgie." That's our powerful leader!

Chuck Hagel's Warning To Bush and GOP

While praising Barack Obama and needling McCain, Senator Chuck Hagel had this to say about Bush and his administration:

When asked to respond to rumors circulating within political circles that the Bush administration was ginning up the possibility of war with Iran, the Senator even raised the specter of impeachment.

“You’ve got the power of impeachment, now that is a very defined measure if you are willing to bring charges against the president at all. You can’t just say I disagree with him, let’s impeach him,” said Hagel. An attack on Iran without Congress’ consent, he added, “would bring with it… outstanding political consequences, including for the Republican Party.

T Minus 244 Days

"Wait a minute. What did you just say? You're predicting $4-a-gallon gas? ... That's interesting. I hadn't heard that."

- Washington, D.C., Feb. 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Clinton Claims Kentucky; Obama Owns Oregon

No surprises here.

Will someone explain to Hillary Clinton and her campaign that she can't keep claiming that she has more popular votes than Barack Obama?

From Josh Marshall at TPM:

Terrry McAuliffe: "Hillary Clinton has now received more votes than any candidate ever running for president in a primary."

Even if you change the rules and fully seat Michaigan [sic] and Florida and count them for the popular vote totals and don't count any portion of the Michigan "uncommitted" (which were understood a the to be for Obama) vote for Obama, Hillary is still behind in the popular vote total. The only way she moves ahead in popular vote is if you do all that and don't count four of the caucus states.

Some stuff is just too ridiculous to let pass.

Well hell, looks like Gravel can still win this race too by that standard. Only count the 27 votes he's received and don't count any others.

Oh, and by the way, when you get to the point of trying to remain viable because Karl Rove said so, it's time to hang it up. I don't know if you remember Turdblossom, Hillary, but he was the guy who got us into this mess in the first place with the idea of a perpetual Republican Party rule. I know it's been ages since he's left the White House and you're probably sleep deprived and don't recall, but I'm guessing chances are Rove is saying exactly what he needs to say to help the Republicans.

The longer the race goes on, the longer the McCainstream Media will ignore the Maverick's shortcomings and continue the fallacy of a horserace on the Dem side. At this point, fine - take it to June 3rd and then thank everyone and bow out gracefully. Everyone will have voted, which is what you've been touting all along, isn't it?

Whether you're a Clinton supporter or not, everyone knows she's galvanizes the GOP, and if they have any chance of winning the general election in November, they need voters to come out in droves not so much to vote for McCain, but to vote against Hillary.

So if Hillary Clinton is taking any stock in what Karl Rove is saying, either she's a complete fool, or she thinks we are.

Social Security Sabotage

Thirty-two sponsors of a crap-ass bill in the House of Representatives think it's a good idea that every hire, EVERY HIRE of the 55 million yearly in the U.S. be approved by the government. You're applying for an engineering position? Making ends meet with a part-time job at the local Home Depot? How about garbage collection or a job at McDonald's? We'll have to verify you are a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant. Isn't that what having a Social Security number is all about?

What's the problem with the New Employee Verification Act? Who in the hell is going to manage this colossal administrative nightmare? The Department of Social Security, the same department that is already understaffed and way behind on current issues. But we can trust the government with this one right? I mean, the No Fly List works so well now.

...Business groups opposed the idea of the state requiring companies to use E-Verify.
They worried that mistakes in the system could result in qualified legal workers being turned down for a job. This mirrors concerns nationwide, in addition to worries that the system is ripe for abuse and is a potential bureaucratic quagmire.

...Caroline Fredrickson, chief of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office, said the legislation would create a “no-work list” in the Washington bureaucracy.
“Americans should not have to ask their federal government if they have permission to accept a new job,” she said.
Barbara Kennelly, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said the new workload would overwhelm an understaffed administration. Already, she said, “disability cases are piling up and needy people are waiting years to receive their benefits.”

...There is no official cost estimate, but some think it could run as much as $10 billion over nine years for such things as additional workers, equipment and online capacity.

...the U.S. Government Accountability Office... said a mandatory system could be vulnerable to fraud and abuse and questioned whether the system could detect employees who present genuine but stolen Social Security numbers.

$10 billion cost to run, in an already understaffed department, spells doom for Social Security. Isn't that the ultimate goal? Who'll take over the system you ask? Ask Dubya. I'm sure Wall Street will be magnanamous and take that $8 trillion off our shoulders to invest for us... for a small fee.

Ted Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor

NY TIMES: ...Tests performed over the weekend at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston indicated that Mr. Kennedy, 76, has a type of cancer known as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe, the upper left portion of his brain. Mr. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, suffered a seizure on Saturday in Cape Cod and was airlifted to the hospital for treatment.

...“The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy,” Dr. Lee Schwamm, the vice chairman of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, a primary care physician at the hospital, said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

T Minus 245 Days

"Government can hand out money, but government cannot put hope in a person's heart, or a sense of purpose in a person's life. Government happens when a loving neighbor puts their arm around somebody who hurts and says, 'I love you' and 'Can I help you?'"

- Sioux City, Iowa, 2004

Monday, May 19, 2008

Just Shut Up And Go Away!

C&L: For years now, FOX News pundit William Kristol has been wrong on nearly every subject he’s chosen to write about or speak to. His follies at Fox are legendary, and since bringing his special brand of fact- & research-free hackery to the pages of the New York Times, he’s made not one, not two, but now three glaring gaffes to add to his comical body of work.

Think Progress: In his New York Times column today, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tried to find reasons for conservatives to be optimistic about 2008 elections,
despite the claims of some Republicans that “
the Republican brand is in the trash can.” To support his argument, Kristol pointed to Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) 41-point loss in the West Virginia primary:

On Tuesday night, while the G.O.P. Congressional candidate was losing in Mississippi district George Bush carried in 2004 by 25 points, Barack Obama was being trounced in the West Virginia Democratic primary — by 41 points. I can’t find a single recent instance of a candidate who ultimately became his party’s nominee losing a primary by this kind of margin.

Apparently Kristol didn’t look hard enough. Writing at Room Eight, New York political consultant Jerry Skurnik says it took him “all of 2 minutes to find what Kristol couldn’t find.” On Feb. 5, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney beat presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by 85 points in the Utah primary.

What an embarrassment to the New York Times that this schmuck is on their payroll. He should be removed immediately along with the idiot who hired him.

UPDATE: Glen Greenwald

" ... Hillary Clinton lost Kansas to Obama by 49 points; lost DC by 51 points; lost Hawaii by 52 points; and lost Idaho by 62 points. So by Kristol's reasoning, Hillary Clinton -- just like Obama -- couldn't possibly be a strong candidate because she lost some primaries by more than 41 points (granted, some of those were caucuses).
Somehow, though, that reasoning doesn't apply to John McCain, who lost Utah by 85 points. In addition to his 85-point loss in Utah, McCain
lost Arkansas by 40 points to Mike Huckabee and lost Kansas by 36 points to Huckabee. For some reason, those facts didn't make it into Kristol's column either."

Obama/Clinton Ticket

No. No. No.

I'm listening to Thom Hartmann online and he's theorizing that an Obama/Clinton ticket can win in November. Whether that's true on not I don't know. But the main problem I have with this idea is that Obama has been running on the message of change. How much change would that be with the old politics one seat away from the presidency?

If Obama picked Hillary as his running mate, his message would be seen as empty rhetoric and another avenue for the GOP to blast Obama.

I Can't Get Over This

It's almost scary!

(Photo: Chris Carlson/Associated Press)

Good Reads

Frank Rich: McCain Can Run, but Bush Won't Hide

Digby: The Wisdom of the Ancients and Practically Lactating

Glenn Greenwald: High Standards at the Washington Post Op-Ed Page

d r i f t g l a s s: The Clintonian Blue

Bob Franken: Hillary: We Really Don't Care

Howard Kurtz, WaPo: Feud Fuels Bill O'Reilly's Blasts at GE

McCain's SNL Appearance

He's so natural!

Hmmm... I think the material was funny. But it also bordered on being too close to the truth to be parody.

Holy Crap!

Obama Draws 75,000 to Portland Rally

The campaign, citing figures from Duane Bray, battalion chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, estimated that 75,000 people are watching him speak.

That's pretty fucking cool.

UPDATE: Bob Cesca has a couple of awesome pics.

"First, let me make it very clear: poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to not be rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill."

- Washington, DC, May 19, 2003

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jimmy Slyde Dies at 80

NY TIMES: Jimmy Slyde, one of the last great tap dancers of the big-band era, whose smooth moves carried him from swing and bebop to Broadway and the movies, died early on Friday at his home in Hanson, Mass. He was 80.

One of the smoothest tappers I've ever seen. Saw him in Black & Blue, a Broadway show in the late 80's. I think there's a video of that show available, or at least it was recorded for PBS or something like that.

Here's a video of Slyde dancing in Brazil in 1998... at age 70! Enjoy.

Robert Mondavi Dead at 94

NY TIMES: Robert Mondavi, the California vintner who set in motion the rebirth of the Napa Valley wine industry and, to a generation of Americans, championed the idea that fine wine was an integral part of the good life, died Friday at his home in Yountville, California. He was 94.

I wouldn't consider myself a connoisseur, be I do loves me some good wine! My wife and I have approximately 60 bottles in our growing collection, including a Mondavi Moscato that we bought while visiting the Mondavi Winery in Napa a couple of years back. Mondavi is not our favorite (or favorite winery for that matter), but it ain't swill.

So keep drinking that wine and you'll live to be 94 too... but at that point, why? All you're doing is drooling on yourself anyway... I kid!