Saturday, June 21, 2008

Offshore Drilling

I'm kind of surprised at the media's nonstop questioning of the offshore drilling question. C'mon guys, this is the gasoline tax holiday redux.

Even the Bush Adminsitration's Department of Energy states that "Access to the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030."

But I suppose that's what happens when the powers-that-be tell the news offices what to talk about.

2030! I hope my tank of gas lasts til then. Maybe if I drive 55...

T Minus 213/212 Days

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe - I believe what I believe is right."


- Rome, Italy, June 22, 2001

Defending Obama On FISA

I woke up Friday morning to an e-mail in my box from the Obama campaign. It was a two and a half minute video of Barack Obama and his announcement that he was foregoing public funding for the campaign.

"Join me and declare your independence from this broken system, and let's build the first general election campaign that's truly funded by the American people."

So I gladly donated for a second time to Senator Obama's campaign. I spent the rest of the morning writing a rebuttal to an Obama smear e-mail and taking great joy in sending it to every schmoe that ever e-mailed me crap like that and giggled as I imagined their faces as they read. On my way to work, I felt good for the first time in a while, sending some cash to Obama and fighting the lies. I actually felt a spring in my step.

Then I got to work and read this: House Passes New Steny Hoyer/FISA Bill. KAPOW!

It took me a couple of minutes to regain my breath, and just as I was starting to feel better, I read this: Obama on FISA - "It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives - and the liberty - of the American people."

KABOOOOOM!!!! Kicked in the balls!

Still seeing stars, I decided to take a deep breath, count to ten, and try to sort this all out. Steny Fuckin' Hoyer... that's where the anger needs to be directed. Hoyer and Nancy "impeachment is off the table" Pelosi.

Think about it. It's been barely two weeks since Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Barack Obama. The most recent polls show Obama leading McCain in swing states, rewriting the fucking electoral map by the minute. No scandal du jour to speak of - Rev. Wright is forgotten, and guest preacher Father Michael Pfleger's Hillary rant was the last straw that caused Obama to actually sever ties with Trinity United Church of Christ. Even Michelle Obama co-hosted The View to improve her image and show the world that she's always been proud of her country. A hard stance on the "compromised" FISA bill voted in the House would fan the flames of dying embers.

He's stuck between a rock and a hard place and it's the House Democrats who put him there. The worst part of the whole thing is that it always seems like the Democrats in Congress don't know what the fuck they are doing. Maybe because they really don't. They are so petrified of being perceived as soft on national security that they capitulate to the whims of a lame duck president who made us less safe in the first place; and they don't realize that the capitulation itself is what truly makes them look weak. It makes the Republicans look like they were right all along.

Let's take a step back and realize that through it all, Barack Obama is a politician. And at this point in time, it's not wise to come out in harsher tones than is necessary regarding a crap FISA bill that still has to pass through the Senate.

Unfortunately, before you can say "telecom immunity", the liberal blogosphere goes apeshit and acts as if Barack Obama just ran over their dog. Twice. Atrios calls Obama "Wanker of the Day." Digby is "tempted to say this is a Sistah Soljah moment." It's understandable to a point. But why trash our own Democratic nominee and likely next President of the United States before we've gotten him out of the wrapper?

Here's John Cole's reaction to the liberal freakout entitled "Things I Learned Today":

Obama can not snap his fingers and magically change the minds of hundreds of Democrats elected by people other than Barack Obama, and because of it, he does not deserve the votes of the netroots.

Also, compromise means getting everything you want, not just shifting the debate and working to remove portions of a bill that you find objectionable. Compromise to the netroots is much like George Bush’s definition of compromise. Who would have thunk it.

Additionally, Obama apparently hates the Constitution.

The last thing I learned today is that the ideal candidate goes down with the ship. It does not matter if that candidate was right on the issue all along, did everything he could to win the fight, but that he must go down with the ship. It does not matter if the fight is already over and the battle lost, real candidates try to maximize the loss by inflicting political pain on themselves.

You all make me cranky. Enjoy President McCain, whiners.

And he makes a good point. Is Senator Obama supposed to slit his own throat with a FISA tantrum to satisfy his loyal base, damn the consequences? Don't forget that he also said this in his statement: "It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses."

And is he the only Senator opposed to this bill? Did everyone forget the existence of Russ Feingold? Or Chris Dodd? Filibuster away. My hope is that Harry "Poopy Pants" Reid will get all flustered because nothing else is getting done in the meantime and table the bill. And if they are able to strip the retroactive immunity from the bill, then Mensa Man will veto it anyway and at least the Dems can say they tried, but Georgie doesn't care enough about national security and too much about the corporations that did his evil bidding in the first place.

So chill, people, or I will hide your Firebird keys. Direct your anger at the cowards who voted for the bill.

My other thought (initially, while I was still angry) was that both sides are knee deep in shit (would that be so surprising?) and this is a way for the whole thing to go away. Immunity equals the end of getting the bottom of things and finding out the truth. If there are Democratic hands that are as dirty as Republican ones, then the bill will pass. And that would make me very sad indeed.

And I started the day with a spring in my step.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Obama Foregoes Public Financing

You can donate to the campaign here.

Correcting The Record

A couple of days ago, I received two more Obama e-mail smears in my inbox sent to me by a good friend who knew I'd get riled up about them. For the record, he doesn't believe them either but gets a kick out of me going off on a rant.

Now that I've had time to calm down and process the information, I decided to rebut the e-mail with one of my own, defending Obama's true positions and debunking the smears with the truth, complete with links for all the naysayers to look it up on their own, all the while trying to be polite and not calling them out for the idiots they are. I sent it to everyone on the forwarded list, and then some (including Obama supporters and non-idiots) in an attempt to start an e-mail blast of my own.

Here is the email:
From: Broadway Carl
To: Undisclosed list
Subject: Re: THE TRUTH - Obama "saluting the US flag" and "standing with the Muslims"


Most of you don't know me, but I received this email with all of your emails attached to it so I thought it would be nice to respond to all of you.

I know we're in the habit of receiving emails like this "Obama not saluting the flag" email and assuming that every time we get an email, it MUST be true. Just like the "forward this email and Bill Gates will give you $100,000". Or "If you don't forward this email, bad luck will befall you and your dog will crap on your carpet".

We all know those emails are false, and all you have to do is look it up on this amazing internet we have and be able to find out in about 5 seconds if they are true or not. Unfortunately, if you have a preconceived notion of someone or something in particular and want to believe it, then you will. We all have an inclination to believe or not believe something based on how we feel about something rather than based on fact.

So I decided to look up the “Obama doesn't salute the US flag" to see if it had ANY merit whatsoever. Just as I suspected, it does not.

According to

Back in October, 2007, one of the hottest e-mail forwards was a picture capturing Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama standing in front of a US flag (at an Iowa political event) with his hands clasped in front of him during the playing of the US National Anthem (while other persons on the platform with him stood with their hands placed over their hearts.) This photographic brouhaha soon mutated into a FALSE claim that Obama “refused to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance” and the into the EVEN MORE FALSE claim that “he refused to recite the Pledge” at all – rumors which the Obama campaign soon provided evidence to negate.

While this controversy was all the rage on the Internet, political columnist John Semmens included a bit at the end of one of his satirical
“Semi-News” columns (found on the website THE ARIZONA CONSERVATIVE) offering a mock explanation from the Senator about his non-hand-over-heart stance, poking fun at Obama by having him voice the opinion that “the American flag is a symbol of oppression” and that the US national anthem is too “bellicose” and should be replaced by something gentler like “I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing.”

This bit of satire evidently came off as too believable to some readers, as it has since been excerpted from Semmen’s column and forwarded via e-mail (WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION) as a genuine statement from Obama. However topical it might be, it’s just a bit of political commentaty-cum-humor, though, not the Senator’s own words.
So it took me longer to type the last three paragraphs out than it did to look this rumor up and find out it was false. And I’m letting you know the truth, COMPLETE WITH LINKS to verify that I’m not just making it up. You’re just one click away from seeing it for yourself and not just taking my word for it.

Here is another email I received. It’s a touching email about “John McCain’s Sons” and their military pedigree. At first glace, and about a 5 second check to verify it, the story seems to check out. Great! Good for John McCain and his sons. I’m sure he’s very proud of them. But then this touching email gets trashed by someone writing the following:

Has anybody heard if Barack Hussein Obama has served in The American Armed Services?

This is for all you Barack voters.
From Barack's book, Audacity of Hope:
"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."



I don’t know who “Laura” is, whether she was the originator of the email or just someone passing it on, but here is THE TRUTH on this one. And all you had to do was actually look it up in the book which Laura claims the quote came from.

In this section of the book, Senator Obama was speaking about immigrants and citizenship. He often makes speeches to new citizens taking the oath after going through what they had to in order to become legal US citizens. And he speaks of the importance of not allowing inflamed public opinion to result in innocent members of immigrant groups being stripped of their rights, denied their due as American citizens, or placed in confinement, as was done with Japanese-Americans during World War II. Here is the actual passage from the book. Notice it contains no specific mention of “Muslims”:

"Whenever I appear before immigrant audiences, I can count on some good-natured ribbing from my staff after my speech; according to them, my remarks always follow a three-part structure: "I am your friend," "[Fill in the home country] has been a cradle of civilization," and "You embody the American dream." They're right, my message is simple, for what I've come to understand is that my mere presence before these newly minted Americans serves notice that they matter, that they are voters critical to my success and full-fledged citizens deserving of respect.

"Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." [Page 260-261]

Senator Obama was speaking of legal US citizens, immigrants who came to the US looking for a better life, legally emigrating here and that he would support them just like any other US citizen, as is their right. Anyone see the word “Muslim” in that quote? Me neither.

As far as Obama not serving in the Armed Services, well that’s another matter entirely. Obama is 46 years old. I think that means he missed the draft during Vietnam, and isn’t our Army an “all-volunteer” army as our current administration continually reminds us? If serving in the armed forces was a pre-requisite for an elected official, then George Bush, Dick Cheney, Fred Thompson, Trent Lott, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Dennis Hastert, Newt Gingrich, John Ashcroft, Karl Rove, Phil Gramm, Tom Delay, and a host of others, would never have been elected to office.

Yes, I am an Obama supporter, but that isn’t the reason I’m defending him here. The reason is that this upcoming presidential election is probably one of the most important of our lifetime, and no matter who you support, you should base your actions on facts, not rumors or email smears. Some of you are going to believe what you want to believe and I know that this won’t change your mind. But others might realize that you can’t believe everything you read in an email, or what you see on the evening news, and you might want to take just a couple of minutes to look things up for yourself.

If you’ve sent emails like “Obama is a Muslim” or “Obama won’t salute the flag” to some that aren’t on the list above or emails similar, I hope you’ll forward this one just like you forwarded the last one. To make a monumental decision like who you want to run our country and how you want the world to view us should be based on the issues and policies and not if someone wears a flag pin or not, or if someone’s wife plagiarizes cookie recipes.

And to whoever originated this email, thanks for inspiring me to find out the truth for myself, base my decisions on facts and to have the inclination to email everyone back to correct the record.

Thanks for reading – and please, forward this to anyone you know to correct the record. You wouldn’t want them to think you were a liar, would you?

By the way, I’m still waiting for my $100,000 check signed by Bill Gates.

************************End E-mail******************************

I would ask you that if you are reading this and haven't received my e-mail personally (which is traveling worldwide at this very second!) that you please copy and paste and send to your friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, pen pals, softball buddies, bowling team, garden club, movie club, book club or next door neighbor.

I'm sure they'd like to find out the truth for a change.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I suppose it's a hair of an exaggeration depending on what kind of beer you drink, but you get the point.

Cyd Charisse Dead at 86

NY TIMES: Cyd Charisse, the leggy beauty whose balletic grace made her a memorable partner for Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in classic MGM musicals like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Band Wagon” and “Brigadoon,” died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was believed to be 86.

...Set during the dawn of talking pictures, “Singin’ in the Rain” starred Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen. Ms. Charisse appeared in only one of the movie’s many indelible dance sequences, but one was enough. During the “Broadway Melody Ballet,” opposite Kelly, she was both sultry vamp and diaphanous dream girl.

Here she is with Gene Kelly in "Singin' In The Rain".

T Minus 215 Days

"I'm sure you can imagine it's an unimaginable honor to live here."

- The White House, June 2001

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

McCain: Pre-Surge Levels?

How many times can this guy be wrong on a daily basis? You gotta love the McCainstream Media. What a maverick!

Mets Fire Randolph

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Willie Randolph was fired as manager of the New York Mets, who have struggled this year after missing the playoffs last season in the biggest collapse in Major League Baseball history. He was replaced by bench coach Jerry Manuel.

I don't know if the timing of this move was right, but when a team is underachieving as much as the Mets have been, you can't fire 25 players. Letting Randolph go was inevitable when you consider the collapse at the end of last season coupled with the fact that this team has been playing .500 baseball since last June (a full calendar year).

The bottom line is that, in my opinion, Willie Randolph didn't have the respect of certain players and it ultimately undermined his authority. He also didn't show the personality traits to be hard on his players when he needed to be.

According to general manager Omar Minaya, he decided to pull the trigger on Sunday night, slept on it, and flew out to Anaheim the next morning to let Randolph know personally. The constant media buzz as to whether Randolph would continue as Mets manager over the weekend was the final nail in the coffin, as Minaya thought it was too much of a distraction from the day to day operations of the team and its players.

Jerry Manuel's first game didn't go so well as the Mets fell to the Angels 6-1.

UPDATE (6/19/08, 1:45am): I just have to vent a little bit. Take a look at this front page of the New York Daily News.

Are you fucking kidding me? This is typical of a sports media trying to make controversy out of something that we all knew was inevitable.

"Cowards In The Night"?! The NY press was pissed off that they got a press release announcing the firing of Randolph at 3am. They are up in arms, screaming in disbelief wondering how the Mets organization can possibly have the audacity to do this in the middle of the night. The fact is the Mets were on a west coast trip and the firing happened after the game, in private at about midnight PDT. The news was released immediately. Oh those poor, poor reporters that didn't find out about it until the woke up the next morning, I feel so sorry for them.

And take a look at the subtitle: "Never in the history of New York baseball, has there been a more shameful, indecent firing of a manager."

Seriously? Never? Were any of these intrepid reporters around in the mid 70's when firing managers in the Bronx was practically a weekly occurrence? "Never been a more shameful firing"? Maybe they should ask Yogi Berra how he felt after getting a vote of confidence from Herr Steinbrenner and then getting bounced on his ass 16 games into the 1985 season. 16 games!

Or maybe they should take a look at Billy Martin's managerial career with the Yankees when he was hired and fired five times in ten years. Any Yankee announcer (yes, I'm talking to you Michael Kay and you, Susan Waldman and you, John Sterling) or any Yanks fan who can call this situation "classless" after what George Steinbrenner did to Yankees managers in the 70's and 80's have got to get their noses out of Steinbrenner's decrepit ass and enter the real world.
Where was the outrage at the termination of Joe Torre, a manager who got you to the playoffs every single year he managed the Yanks; where was Kay or Waldman speaking out about having Torre fly down to Florida for a meeting only to be offered an insulting contract with no negotiation? I know, I know. They were sucking Steinbrenner's ass.

And speaking of the real world, it looks like George's son, Hank is a cowchip off the ol' block. After Chien-Ming Wang injured himself running the bases, Hank "Brain Child" Steinbrenner had this to say about the National League not having the designated hitter:
"My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century," Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. "They need to grow up and join the 21st century."
Am I (mad) about it? Yes," Steinbrenner added. "I've got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He's going to be out. I don't like that, and it's about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s."

What the fuck?! Maybe someone should remind Baby Steinbrenner that the D.H. didn't come into existence until 197-fuckin'-2. By that point, the Yanks had won 20 World Series Championships, all while their pitchers took their turns at bat, as the baseball gods intended.

But it doesn't stop there. Listen to this pearl of wisdom from Yanks pitcher Mike Mussina:

"We don't hit, we don't run the bases," Mussina said. "You get four or five at-bats a year at most, and if you happen to get on base once or twice, you never know. We run in straight lines most of the time. Turning corners, you just don't do that."

So let me get this straight: professional athletes being paid millions upon millions of dollars can only run in straight lines?

Hey, Mike. Here's a little tidbit of information for you. Before every game, there's this thing called "batting practice" where you can hone your amazing athletic skills and learn to hit the fucking ball! And the next time you go out for a jog, try making an occasional left turn. You might get that "turning corners" thing down. Dipshit.

T Minus 216 Days

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."

- Washington, DC, June 18, 2002

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gore Endorses Obama

Does it really mean as much now as opposed to... oh I don't know... when Hillary Clinton was still in the race?

GORE: A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama. From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States.

Over the next four years, we are going to face many difficult challenges -- including bringing our troops home from Iraq, fixing our economy, and solving the climate crisis. Barack Obama is clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.

UPDATE: Here's the video. I stand corrected. Awesome speech.

T Minus 218 Days

"I think - tide turning - see, as I remember - I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of - it's easy to see a tide turn - did I say those words?"

- June 14, 2006, Washington, DC

Pathetic Legacy

Bush Wants To Capture Bin Laden

President George W Bush has enlisted British special forces in a final attempt to capture Osama Bin Laden before he leaves the White House.

...Intelligence on the whereabouts of Bin Laden is sketchy, but some analysts believe he is in the Bajaur tribal zone in northwest Pakistan. He has evaded capture for nearly seven years. “Bush is swinging for the fences in the hope of scoring a home run,” said an intelligence source, using a baseball metaphor.

No matter what happens, whether Bin Laden is captured or not, nothing can be done to change Bush's "legacy" as a dimwit who listened to no one, lied a country into a war on two fronts under false pretenses and doctored intelligence, destroyed the credibility of the U.S throughout the world and sentenced thousands to their deaths due to his stubbornness.

Stunts like this are only tossed around when it was politically convenient. And if he should capture Bin Laden now, in his last months in office, shouldn't the first question out of the mouths of every news pundit and journalist in the country, if not the world, be, "Why did Bush wait so long to finally put forth the resources necessary to capture Osama Bin Laden?"

The answer of course, is if we had captured him, there would be no "boogeyman" to put out there to scare the public whenever the administration chose. Eight years of fearmongering could not have been so easy without a villain's face to flash on the TV screen and in newspapers at a specific time (usually during elections and low approval ratings).

Capture Bin Laden? The "Wanted: Dead or Alive" guy that Bush then admitted just a few months later to not "spending much time on" ? That Bin Laden?

Go ahead, Georgie. I dare you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Winning" In Iraq

Over at Bob Cesca, Bob occasionally presents some e-mail that he receives from wingnuts who fall for the Bush propaganda hook, line and sinker. They want to believe (as any other well meaning American, I suppose) that we are in control, that America is the greatest, and that there is no way the U. S of A. can lose.

Here's part of an e-mail that Bob received:

George W. Bush's legacy: After 9-11, there has not been a single terroirist [sic] attack in the United States. As of today, that's more than 2,400 days and counting.

Oh, yeah, and crushing the Taliban in a matter of weeks, despite the whining defeatism of people like you.

Oh, yeah, and winning the war in Iraq when Leftist douches like you were advising surrender, and accepting defeat, and ridiculing his success even after it was acknowledged by the enemy.

Oh yeah, you're an idiot sheep that's going to be led to the Republican slaughterhouse.

The worst part of this whole thing is that after all that has happened these last 7½ years, idiots like this still believe what the administration and the talking heads at Fox have to say, no questions asked. NO QUESTIONS ASKED! How can that be? How can they compare their lives today totheir lives in 2000 and delude themselves to believe it's somehow better?

Here's what I wrote in the comments section of Bob's blog:


...there has not been a single terroirist attack in the United States.

Really? Doesn't anyone remember Capitol Hill? Whatever happened to ... the anthrax attacks?

...crushing the Taliban in a matter of weeks...

From Council on Foreign Relations website 5/30/2006:
Though the group has been out of power for several years, it remains a cultural force in the region while working to undermine President Hamid Karzai's U.S.-backed government. Violent clashes between Taliban and coalition forces have increased in recent months, underscoring the Taliban's resurgence.

This article was written over two years ago and judging be how badly the administration has ignored Afghanistan, you can probably guess what's happening there now.

...Oh, yeah, and winning the war in Iraq...

To which I reply, "Winning what?"

Some progress is being made not because the militias have been defeated or merged into Iraqi military and police forces but because of an Iranian-brokered truce and because the Iraqi Army allowed the militias to slip away without disarming or engaging them. Though two leaders surrendered on Friday, the militias' existence indicates how far Iraq still must go for political reconciliation.

No mistake, the Iraqi Army in particular has made progress. Negotiating with sheiks is better than warring with their followers. Yet Americans and Iraqis are still dying. The militias' decision not to fight might be because they are spent, are afraid or because they are keeping their powder dry.

And the popular resistance to a long-term U.S.-Iraqi security agreement remains deep in the country, indicating that we might not even be broadly wanted. Many Iraqis believe this accord will cement a U.S. occupation, a fear that militia instigator Iran shares.

Some will look at all these failings and see even more reason to stay, contradicting their simultaneous statements that recent developments mean the U.S. is "winning."

It took me about 5 minutes to look that up. Very sad indeed.


When Army Generals were calling for a Democratic takeover in 2006 so that there would be some oversight, doesn't that tell you something? Yet here we are, two years after the 2006 elections, waiting out Mensa Man.