Saturday, December 6, 2008

Must Reads




William Ayers: The Real Bill Ayers

The Rude Pundit: Al Franken's Requiem for Florida 2000

Bob Cesca: No Attacks Since When?

Ben Cohen: 10 Republicans Who Should Go Away; 10 Democrats Who Should Go Away

Obama's Weekly Address - Dec. 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Burger Whatnow?

I just tried walking into a local Burger King about an hour ago to grab a quick bite and the sign on the cash register read, "Sorry. We are out of BURGERS!!!" Out. Of. Burgers.

You can't claim to be the Burger King, if you don't have any burgers. THE BURGER KING IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE BURGER KING!

... Or maybe Queen Wendy.

Michael, Plaxico and OJ

OJ Simpson just got sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty on 12 counts including armed robbery and kidnapping. And my one question is, what the fuck are these millionaires thinking?

Remember when OJ was everyone's hero? The Juice! He was on television, in the movies and all those Hertz commercials. He was on top of the world until he became a pariah when he allegedly killed his estranged wife Nicole Brown a decade and a half ago. I say allegedly because he was amazingly acquitted. But come on... we all know he did it.

And you'd think that the lessons learned from OJ would strike fear into the hearts of today's NFL players. But, no. You have dimwits like Michael Vick running a dog fighting ring on property he owns now serving time and out of football. And that doesn't stop NY Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress from carrying a handgun into a New York City nightclub and accidentally shooting himself in the leg. Are you fucking kidding me?

Less than a year ago, this guy was a Superbowl Championship hero, signed a $35 million contract extension and due to his actions, pissed it all away in a matter of months. And to top things off, he wasn't scheduled to play in Sunday's game anyway because he is nursing a hamstring injury. So what the fuck are you doing in a nightclub on Friday night? Shouldn't you be resting and rehabilitating your injury in order to play and support your team as soon as possible? You know, show a little loyalty to those rich, old guys that pay you millions to play a fucking game? And that's completely disregarding the gun issue!

Even if you do decide to be a complete idiot and go to the nightclub, are you really stupid enough to carry a gun (which is illegal in New York City and carries a mandatory 3 year sentence)? And then, even if you are off your fucking rocker and actually do carry a gun, maybe you should wear a decent pair of pants and not the sweatpants you wore causing the gun to fall through your belt line and go off in you pant leg, you fucking dipshit!

Now the Giants are done with his mook. He's been suspended and will most likely serve deserved jail time. I don't understand these fucking guys who think they can do anything they want because of their perceived status in society. Dude, you play a fucking game for a living. You can fall of the face of the earth tomorrow and no one would care. What makes you so special?

And this is just scratching the surface - what about Ray Lewis or Pacman Jones or half of the Cincinnati Bengals? The NFL should seriously consider a "one and done" no tolerance policy. If you get in legal trouble and it is substantiated and you're found guilty, you're done. I wonder how much of a deterrent that would be?

T Minus 46 Days

"I think it's important to bring somebody from outside the system, the judicial system, somebody that hasn't been on the bench and, therefore, there's not a lot of opinions for people to look at."

- Discussing his nomination of Harriet Miers, Washington, DC, 2005

Music Break! Jamie Cullum

All At Sea

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Bush Legacy Project

For an administration so adept at the Reverse Midas Touch, where everything they touch turns to shit, the one thing I give the Bushites credit for is their ability to spin. They are Rembrandts in the art of Flim-Flam. They were able to, for eight long years, fool enough of the people enough of the time to remain in power just long enough to fill their coffers and almost destroy the country in the process. And the P.T. Barnum of the political three-ring circus that is the White House? Karl Rove.

Ron Suskind, 2004: In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
We all now know that "the senior adviser" in Suskind's piece was Karl Rove. And Rove was right. Study we did. While everyone was flipping out over the latest Bush Administration outrage, the Bushites were creating another and another. And another. Until this endless avalanche of bullshit was so overwhelming, the focus of the "judicious students of history" Rove was talking about splintered apart. There was no consolidated front. There was no one particular story that would stick.

Hurricane Katrina was really the first time they took a big hit, but how many people still talk about Bush and Cheney testifying together, not transcripted and not under oath during the 9/11 Commission investigations? How many of us are still thinking about Alberto Gonzales and the mockery he made of the Justice Department? And when one jamoke resigns, another is ready to take his place and condone torture while avoiding answering what torture is. Who talks about the devastation that still haunts New Orleans over three years later? Or even the slow recovery efforts of Hurricane Gustav's wake just a couple of months ago?

We all know the long, long list that George W. Bush leaves as his legacy: 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act, illegal wiretapping, cherrypicking intelligence reports, the Iraq War, rendition, torture, waterboarding, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, economic meltdown, record foreclosure rates, and on and on. That's just scratching the surface. Amazing isn't it?

And here we sit, eight years after the first national Bush atrocity that no one could have anticipated would become the norm from the crooks residing in the White House. Yet we are now hearing that Karl "Bush's Brain" Rove, former Bush communications director Karen Hughes and other senior Bush advisers are brainstorming ways to salvage Bush's legacy. A Bush legacy project. And they're meeting in the White House with current officials. They're doing it on our dime! How does one wrap their mind around the dilemma of attempting to create a positive spin on Bush's "legacy"? And since when is a president's legacy part of a White House agenda? Legacies are made, not manufactured.

This think tank's plan is to rewrite history. Already we're seeing Bush's farewell tour, kicked off with a Charles Gibson/ABC interview in which the Chimp in Chief tries to pass the buck in a sad, Bart Simpson-like "it was like that when I got here" attempt.

GIBSON: Do you feel in any way responsible for what's happening?

BUSH: You know, I'm the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written,
people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President.

"... before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President." What the fuck?! How does one turn that into anything positive? And isn't it ironic that Karl Rove, the man who only a short time ago was plotting a permanent Republican majority (possibly the last Republican majority for at least a generation), the man Bush nicknamed "Turdblossom," now has the dubious task of polishing a turd?
leg⋅a⋅cy  [leg-uh-see]noun, plural -cies.

1. Law. a gift of property, esp. personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
4. Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of a legate.
Hmmm.... Oh, here's one!
leg⋅a⋅cy - A gift of property by will, esp. of money or personal property; a bequest. Also Fig.; as, a legacy of dishonor or disease.

That last line nails it. Bush will be remembered for his indifference; for his lack of curiosity; for his ineptness; for his butchering of the English language; for his disregard of that "goddamned piece of paper," the United States Constitution; for his preference to be at his photo-op Crawford, Texas ranch; for the hubris of his crony appointments.

But most of all, the George W. Bush legacy will be one of dishonor to the office of the Presidency. His legacy is one of a parasitic disease that sucked our treasury dry, bled us of our moral standing in the world and crippled the last remaining superpower (if such a thing still existed). And no amount of revisionist history will scrub The Shrub's "legacy" clean.

T Minus 47 Days

"Some reports are issued and just gather dust. And truth of the matter is, a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody. To show you how important this one is, I read it, and our guest read it."


- Washington DC, December 2006


Is there any wonder why this administration and this president have failed so miserably when you read a quote like that?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prop 8 - The Musical

For some strange reason, I'm having trouble embedding this hysterical FunnyOrDie.com video with a star-studded cast performing in Prop 8 - The Musical. So click on down there and watch. Enjoy.

Awww... Fox News Snub Streak Is Over

President-elect Barack Obama finally called on Fox News White House correspondent Wendell Goler during his press conference to announce Bill Richardson as the new Secretary of Commerce. Fox News had been shut out for five previous conferences as Obama rolled out his economic and national security teams, so you would think Goler would have a big question to ask.

He asked Obama if he was worried about Hank Paulson spending all the bailout money before he got to the White House. And to new Commerce Secretary Richardson? "What happened to the beard?"

I shit you not. He waited through six press conferences to ask about the New Mexico governor's beard. Awesome news group they have over there at Fox. Look at the chryon: ALERT! Fox News gets to ask a question! Our pants are now wet.

Check Your Credit Report

I bought my first home (a two bedroom co-op) 4½ years ago. As many new and even repeat homeowners know, during that stressful time of house hunting, mortgage pre-approvals and getting anally raped with untold numbers of fees, your credit report gets checked fairly frequently. Back then I had a collection on my report that wasn't mine for about $350. Having a real estate lawyer to take care of all the petty errant information was well worth her fee. I mention this because of a letter I received yesterday.

I have a credit card with Chase that I opened to take advantage of a zero percent balance transfer offer about two years ago. "Good move," I thought as I was going to rid myself of unwanted interest debt and screw the credit card company that wouldn't lower my APR to a reasonable level.

Well, Chase sent me a letter saying the following, or at least this is how I read it:

Dear Douchebag,

Since we are a huge fucking bank with a credit card division and have absolutely no care for our customers, and despite your continued diligence in paying your account in a timely manner and paying above the minimum amount due, we have decided to close your account regardless of its good standing after reviewing your Experian Credit Report. We know it's probably for a stupid reason and Experian probably fucked up your shit, so if you'd like to request a free report as is your right required by law, contact Experian and find out what the fuck was in your report that caused Chase Bank to close your account and further fuck up your credit rating. If you think we've made an error, please contact us and we'll look to reinstate your account as we lo-o-o-o-ove taking your money.

Sincerely,
Paper Pushing Cocksucker
Chase Bank

PS: Suck my balls.

So I got online last night and found my report, for free as advertised. I then I realized why Chase was a little leery of continuing my credit line. There were nine negative accounts on my report that weren't mine. NINE! Looks like Experian merged my file with another person with the same name and who lived in my neighborhood. And if you're in the same zip code, then you must be the same person.

I called Experian this morning and spoke to a very nice lady named Deborah who corrected my report lickety split. In total, between wrong social security numbers, addresses where I never lived, and employers I never worked for (including "Federal Government" no less) there were 52 corrections on my report. FIFTY-FUCKING-TWO! I did have to call a collection agency on my report to let them know that the Sprint PCS account that they wanted me to pay for never belonged to me. The asshole on the other end of the line didn't believe me (why should he I suppose) and is sending me a packet of documents including copies of all the overdue bills... for the account I don't own! It'll take four to six weeks according to Mr. I Hate My Life Asshole Collector to receive the documents with instructions on the next steps I should take - which he wasn't at liberty to discuss.

Then I got paranoid and requested free reports from Trans Union and Equifax. Trans Union also had errors in their report (along with that same Sprint account, although a different total balance owed) and Equifax was the most accurate except for the court judgment for $3000 against me that I don't know about because it's not mine. Luckily, you can dispute claims online with TU and Equifax. Not so with Experian... but I'd rather talk to a human in this instance because although Equifax was mostly accurate, their website was convoluted and sucks ass.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to make sure you check your credit report yearly. All of this errant bullshit happened within the last two years which has probably screwed my credit rating for the next 10 years unless they re-evaluate my rating after the corrections are made... but I'm not holding my breath.

You are entitled to a free credit report from all three companies once a year and can obtain them at annualcreditreport.com

During I Arrived As President

I couldn't bear the thought of sitting through another Charles Gibson interview with a Republican shit for brains sitting with his deer in the headlights wife nodding her head in agreement like a couple of old farmer folk chewin' on a piece of straw and staring out at the ranch from their front porch, so I missed the very exciting Bush "I didn't do it - it was like that when I got here" interview.

I did however catch Keith Olbermann and the lowlights.





"The Wall Street decision making was done before I got there. Blame Daddy and Bubba."

"The intelligence was bad on WMD, not my fault. So what if we chose to cherrypick only what fit into our agenda."

I can't wait until I never have to listen to this nimrod again. Just hearing his voice makes me dumber. I start running into walls and tripping over the dog. Suddenly, I become entranced with shiny things and tend to play Ball in a Cup for hours. Please President Bush, stop hurting my brain.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

RECESSION

So after a year of mortgage meltdowns, burning banks, unravelling unemployment and economic exigency, we are now officially considered in a recession. And we've been in one for the past year. No shit, Sherlock.

The NBER — a private, nonprofit research organization — said its group of academic economists who determine business cycles met and decided that the U.S. recession began last December.
By one benchmark, a recession occurs whenever the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, declines for two consecutive quarters. The GDP turned negative in the July-September quarter of this year, and many economists believe it is falling in the current quarter at an even sharper rate.
But the NBER's dating committee uses broader and more precise measures, including employment data. In a news release, the group said its cycle dating committee held a telephone conference call on Friday and made the determination on when the recession began.


Now I'm not a financial guru, I don't have a Ph.D. in Economics from some fancy school, I don't even budget very well, but even I could figure out what was going on over the last year or so. I watched as my 401K was flipping out every time we had a 300 point gain or drop in the stock market. Hell, that's considered normal now. It wasn't like that 10 years ago was it? And yet the "experts" working in and for the White House didn't want to cause a panic and use the 'R' word.

• “We don’t believe we’re going to have a recession though.” [Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/08]

• “I think the experts will tell you we’re not in a recession.” [President Bush, 2/10/08]

• “The answer is, I don’t think we are in a recession right now.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 2/11/08]

• "First of all, we're not in a recession." [President Bush, 4/22/08]

• “The data are pretty clear that we are not in a recession.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 5/7/08]

• “I don’t think we are” in a recession. [Director of the National Economic Council Keith Hennesy, 6/3/08]

• “I think we have avoided a recession.” [White House Budget Director Jim Nussle, 7/31/08]

• “I don’t think anybody could tell you right now if we’re in a recession or not” [Dana Perino, 10/7/08]

I mean, shit, if I knew what was going on, and I knew that the White House was bullshitting us the whole time, (because really, when was the last time something truthful came out of the Bush Administration, if ever?) then what happened? How did we get into this situation?

Oh, yeah. Deregulation of the markets. Thanks, Bushies. To me, it's common sense that people in power will get away with as much as they can. I don't know if greed is in our human nature - it takes a special person to hold to his/her morals and regulate themselves (simple examples are spending an extra hour at the casino slot machine, cheating on your diet, or skipping an occasional class in college). But when you are part of a conglomerate there will always be the one rotten apple (or more) that will infect the rest of the barrel. That is why true self regulation does not work in the free market.

Look at that list of quotes above denying a recession. You expect it from Bush, Cheney and Perino. And maybe even the White House Budget Director because we've seen that no one inside the walls of the Bush gang is immune to corruption and deception. But Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear? Director of the National Economic Council Keith Hennesy? Shouldn't these be non-partisan positions?

I have tried this before, but have been unsuccessful. Now I want you to try to think of one positive accomplishment executed by the Bush Administration. Really think about it... I can't think of one thing in the last eight years, ONE THING, that this administration has touched that has gotten better or has benefited anyone other than the cronies they work for. It's the Reverse Midas Effect - everything they touch turns to shit.

(H/T Bob Cesca for the quotes)

T Minus 49 Days

"I think we are welcomed. But it was not a peaceful welcome."


-NBC Nightly News, December 2005

Monday, December 1, 2008

Team Of Egos

I've heard this phrase used multiple times over the course of the day when wondering about the upcoming Obama Administration. "How will this team of rivals/team of egos work with each other? " Someone actually said, "We're going to be looking at Senator Clinton's body language very closely." Whaaaa?!

For fuck's sake, we're going to be listening to the theories and estimations about team Obama from the very serious news media for the next 50 days! Help me, Jebus!

Scarborough Disciple Chuck Todd

After President-Elect Obama announced his National Security team this morning, Chuck Todd congratulated Andrea Mitchell for getting a Secretary of State "that would make news daily." He's obviously been taking his News Hackery 101 class from the Dean of the News Hackery Department, Joe Scarborough.


ADDING... More hackery.

David Shuster: Jim, during the campaign, Gates was publicly vocal in criticizing Obama's call for getting combat troops out of Iraq in 16 months. What did we learn to day about how those tensions will play out in the weeks and months to come?

Jim Miklaszewski: Well quite frankly David, I don't think there are any tensions. When Secretary Gates took over here at the Pentagon, two of his major objectives were to, one, start drawing down the number of American forces in Iraq and he has begun that with the commanders on the ground and also to bring down the level of violence, and to hand over a viable Iraq to the incoming administration in January.

And even Obama himself was careful to point out that he wasn't talking about the withdrawal of ALL the troops in 16 months... I don't think there's much difference between Obama and Gates on that... or on Guantanamo.... [Obama] said, "I want to close the damn thing."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Obama's Weekly Address - Nov. 29, 2008

I should have posted this yesterday (even though it was released on Thursday for Thanksgiving).

T Minus 51 Days

"As far as the legal hassling and wrangling and posturing in Florida, I would suggest you talk to our team in Florida led by Jim Baker."


- Crawford, Texas, November 30, 2000

 
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