Saturday, January 2, 2010

Quote of the Day

Michelle Bachmann is the new It Girl of Teabagging – the combination sex symbol / Great Conservative Leader for people who think Sarah Palin is a bit soft and a little too book-smart.

Guess Who I Met New Year's Eve?

Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd and his family attended the New Year's Eve Broadway matinee performance of Mary Poppins. I met him as he was being given a backstage tour after the show. He was very friendly and down to earth, and his wife Jackie and their daughters were lovely.

I know that for the most part friendliness is normally the way of politicians in order to secure votes, but I don't live in his state and it felt genuine.  Imagine my surprise when after I thanked him for posing for the photo with me, he replied, "Thank you for asking."

Must Reads

Gin and Tacos: The Bomber Will Always Get Through

Chez Pazienza: The Year of Living Painfully

Bob Cesca: Republican Hypocrisy on Terrorism Reaches New Levels of Awful

Dan Pfeiffer: The Same Old Washington Blame Game

Eugene Robinson: Dick Cheney's lies about President Obama

Heather Hurlburt: In Fact, We do Have A Counter-Terrorism Strategy -- And Experts Say It's Producing Results

Kimberly Kindy: Ex-Homeland Security chief head said to abuse public trust by touting body scanners

Will Wright: New Year's Wish: Getting My Country Back

BooMan: Why Support The Democrats?

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 2, 2010

The Fight Against Al Qaeda

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31, 2009


One thing that won't change with the New Year.

Also, wasn't it a Northwest Airlines flight? On screen errors abound!


Rachel Maddow Dissects GOPs Hypocrisy on Underwear Bomber

Rachel was ON FIRE last night!

ADDING... Ed Schultz does a good job as well, including Rep. Eric Massa challenging Cheney to a debate anywhere, anytime.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rush Hospitalized - 2009 Out With A Bang?

NY Times: Rush Limbaugh, the pre-eminent conservative talk radio host, was said to be resting at a hospital in Honolulu after suffering chest pains Wednesday afternoon.
...paramedics responded to a call at 2:41 p.m. from the Kahala Hotel and Resort, and then took Mr. Limbaugh to The Queen’s Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition.
A hospital spokesman, N. Makana Shook, would not not comment on the report when called by The New York Times Wednesday night, and Mr. Limbaugh’s associates could not be reached for comment.
Why would Rush pick such an exotic place to have a vacation? Why couldn't he choose Myrtle Beach or even San Diego, even though that sounds strangely foreign as well? I mean, isn't Hawaii a foreign place? It doesn't even sound like a US state. In an ironic little twist, the hospital that Limbaugh was taken to is the same hospital that was misidentified in the Obama birther conspiracy.

If ever there was a time for imprecatory prayer...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quote of the Week

...the former Vice President makes the clearly untrue claim that the President – who is this nation’s Commander-in-Chief – needs to realize we are at War. I don’t think anyone realizes this very hard reality more than President Obama.
...The difference is this: President Obama doesn’t need to beat his chest to prove it, and – unlike the last Administration – we are not at war with a tactic (“terrorism”), we at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered.
~ White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer in response to Dick Cheney assertion that President Obama wants to "pretend we're not at war."

Just Like Bush

TPM: Fulfilling one of the transparency goals of President Obama's administration, the White House today released more than 25,000 records of visitors who came through the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this year.
...They are the first administration in history to release the names of people who have visited the White House.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Not About Knitting Needles

Every airline trip is an adventure for me. Having a similar name to someone on the "No Fly" list, I never know what I'm going to encounter from trip to trip. Sometimes, I check in and print my boarding pass at home, sometimes I can't. Sometimes I zip right through TSA security, sometimes I get pulled out of the queue.

I suppose I've learned to deal with the inconvenience of it all. I greet the TSA agent with a friendly salutation and a smile, obediently take my shoes off and empty my pockets, deposit anything metallic in their requisite rectangular, plastic gray bin, pull out my laptop from the bag that's going to get scanned anyway. I don't find the whole process any less asinine. I've just learned to deal with it. I must admit that appeasing my wife on these travel trips instead of showing my displeasure about being scrutinized it is part of the reason. But still, I deal with it.

Then comes the Scrotum Bomber. Seriously?

I sat in wonderment in the middle of Cincinnati when I heard about the attempted bombing of a plane in Detroit by a Fruit of the Loom freakazoid and thought I would wind up being strip searched in the airport just to get home after the holidays. I heard about new "restrictions" while flying such as not being able to access carry-on baggage, not being able to leave your seat and not being able to use a blanket during the last hour of a flight. And I thought it was the stupidest thing I had ever heard.

And this is the crux of the problem with airline safety. We live in a world of reaction, not prevention, hence the ridiculous rules and restrictions. We have to take our shoes off because some idiot tried to blow his shoes up on a plane. What are the chances that method will be used again? We can't pack liquids of more than 3 ounces. Who made that arbitrary decision? Why not 4 ounces? Or 3½ ounces? If I can only find a 3½ oz travel size bottle of hair gel or toothpaste, will TSA take it away because it's a half ounce over the limit? And why do we have to put it in a separate plastic bag and unpack it for inspection when the baggage is being X-rayed anyway? Please don't insult my intelligence by telling me that your friendly, neighborhood TSA agent is specially trained in detecting the difference between hair product and ignitable chemicals with the naked eye. And why do I have to remove my laptop from my bag when they eventually scan the now empty bag as well?

But this show is what passes for security. And in the latest case of the would be terrorist who dared set his nutsac on fire, the problem in the security lapse had nothing to do with TSA, at least not in any of the US airports. His name was on a watch list after the government was warned, yet never made it on to the no fly list. So they watched him get on a plane. Twice. This has nothing to do with removing my shoes at the TSA security gate.

And we're not even thinking of our incredibly porous port security. We may as well shut down everything coming in and out through our borders if we want to begin thinking about safety. But that's not what we do. That would affect our bottom line. Gotta keep those lead laden children's toys coming in from China. Instead we stand in a booth and get little blasts of air shot at us. Boy, do I feel safer after that. And the show continues.

And of course, there's nothing like politicizing the situation and playing the blame game. US Representatives Pete Hoekstra (yes, the same Hoekstra who compromises our security every time opens his mouth) and Peter King were pretty quick to blame the Obama administration for this security lapse. Maybe they should talk to their own party's Senator Jim DeMint who has personally blocked the confirmation of Obama's nomination for head of the TSA for the last four months. Or maybe we should ask why the nomination of Tara O'Toole for DHS Undersecretary of Science and Technology was blocked by GOP members for six months. So quick to accuse, these Republican hacks, while blocking literally hundreds of nominations for posts in the Obama administration. That's the equivalent of bitching that your quarterback gets sacked when you refuse to let the offensive line on the field.

The thing is, that if they're angry enough, and crazy enough, no matter what we can do to try and deter terrorists, there will always be a way to get around the security. Because it's not about looking for weapons. It's not about profiling. It's about proper training to distinguish suspicious behavior. And that takes a little more time than 10 weeks of training just to shine a little blue light on driver's license or confiscate bottled water.

It's not about box cutters or pocket knives or knitting needles. It never was. It's all reaction.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Beginning of the End for Reality Show Freaks?

I wonder how they like this fifteen minutes... multiplied by 9,680.

Balloon Boy’s parents Richard and Mayumi Heene have been sentenced for this hoax. Larimer County, Colo. Judge Stephen Schapanski sentenced the couple to a total of 110 days in jail and eight years probation. He also prohibited the couple from making any money off the balloon boy fiasco during that time.
I hope this deters other fame seekers from trying something this stupid, but I know there are too many morons around for that to be the case.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Must Reads - UPDATED

David Weigel: Why I Don’t Write About Sarah Palin’s Facebook Posts

The Rude Pundit: A Few Random Thoughts Regarding the Tone of Debate in the Senate

Maureen Dowd: Is There a Real McCain?

Paul Krugman: Tidings of Comfort

Timothy Egan: Profiles in Cowardice

BooMan: The Anti-Corporatist Movement

Chez Pazienza: The Unfriendly Skies

Wendell Potter: Why I'm Not Joining the Call to "Kill the Bill"

Can I Go Home Yet?

In Ohio for the holidays.

Ugh. I did see a "I Miss Reagan" bumper sticker yesterday. Wanted to ask the driver of the Chevy Tahoe if he missed the 50% income tax rate back then as well.