Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Voted Best Joke In Ireland, 2006

... at least my mom says so.

John O'Reilly hoisted his beer and said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life between the legs of me wife!"

That won him the top prize at the pub for the best toast of the night!

He went home and told his wife, Mary, "I won the prize for the Best toast of the night" She said, "Aye, did ye now. And what was your toast?"

John said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life, sitting in church beside me wife."

"Oh, that is very nice indeed, John!" Mary said.

The next day, Mary ran into one of John's drinking buddies on the street corner .
The man chuckled leeringly and said, "John won the prize the other night at the pub with a toast about you, Mary."

She said, "Aye, he told me, and I was a bit surprised myself. You know, he's only been there twice in the last four years. Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come."

Olbermann Blasts Guiliani

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nothing Surprises Me Anymore

The New York Times is reporting that immunity was offered to Blackwater USA security guards. Well, of course it was. To not have offered immunity would have gone against everything this administration stands for. See below ....

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 — State Department investigators offered Blackwater USA security guards immunity during an inquiry into last month’s deadly shooting of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad — a potentially serious investigative misstep that could complicate efforts to prosecute the company’s employees involved in the episode, government officials said Monday.

The State Department investigators from the agency’s investigative arm, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, offered the immunity grants even though they did not have the authority to do so, the officials said. Prosecutors at the Justice Department, who do have such authority, had no advance knowledge of the arrangement, they added.

Click here for more.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Zombies Lived

This piece written by Darksyde at Daily Kos should start you a shivering in the dark. Real-life zombies, brought to you by that most famous of plagues, the Black Death.

The near full Moon creeps toward zenith on the West Coast, and somewhere over the lonely Pacific Ocean, Midnight Breaks: The Witching Hour is at hand. Halloween is just around the corner, and soon homemade ghoulish gals and junior ghosts will prowl US streets seeking a sugary or salty snack. All in fun, all for show. What a delightful tradition Halloween is. In that spirit, gather thee round Kossacks, dim the lights, and hear a true Dark Tale from the DarkSyde.

Way back in the 'good ole days' of 1347, those carefree times of wanton slaughter, religious torture, and massive infant mortality, another abomination arose far more gruesome than any mere manmade method of killing. It swept across Eurasia, smothering it like a thick blanket, leaving many of the dark, foreboding icons we’ve come to associate with All Hallow’s Eve still hidden and lurking in its deadly wake. Make no mistake: this thriller is not the modern costumed version of a fake fright night; children adorned with made up faces highlighted in dark eye shadow with blackened glossy fingernails. Oh no, that is all just a game my friends.

This was a real Horror Show premiering in the Middle Ages written by Mother Nature gone mad. At its crescendo, entire communities were abandoned to the afflicted and dying; some burned to the ground intentionally or by accident. Leaving animated quasi-zombies oozing dark blood through cracked, blistered skin, stumbling hopelessly through the ruins and streets in mobs, dying en masse, with chunks of dead meat dropping off their disfigured bodies, flies buzzing around them, maggots already crawling through the flesh of the barely living. At times, useless eyes bulged or dangled from bleeding sockets escorted by clouds of gnats. If a team of demented bioweapons researchers led by Stephen King possessed by the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe had set out to conjure up a more terrifying apocalyptic vision, they would have been hard pressed to spin a more macabre fiction, than this sickening historical reality: The Black Death.

No one knew from whence it came or when it might depart. And while science can now explain the basics of infectious disease, what few people understand is, it’s only a theory ...

... click here for the rest of the story.

Edmund Burke - 18th Century Blogger Fan

In this article by Jonathan Schwarz in Mother Jones about Edmund Burke, Schwarz makes the argument that Burke was being prescient in his writings concerning blogs, the new journalists. It's interesting, though I'm not sure that I agree with his point that Burke would have been in step with MoveOn versus today's conservatives (Though, I'm also not sure one can compare conservatism in the 21st century to that practiced in the time of King George II, regardless what George Will may think). Nonetheless, I too think Burke would have made an excellent advocate for bloggers.

What did the famous British parliamentarian and political philosopher Edmund Burke (1729-1797) have to say about the internet and our current political circumstances? Quite a bit, it turns out.

Burke is beloved by conservative intellectuals. George Will, for instance, mentions him all the time. Quoting Burke gives their pronouncements a nice glossy sheen.

Yet their Burke-worship is genuinely bizarre. Few people understand this, since few people (including conservative intellectuals) bother to read what Burke wrote. Anyone who does, though, will immediately understand how strongly Burke would have opposed today's conservative movement, since he strongly opposed their 18th century equivalents.

This is particularly clear in Burke's 1770 pamphlet, "Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents." It's not merely that Burke was writing during a time of uprisings in overseas colonies, and in opposition to a monarch named George who was trying to expand executive power and neuter the legislative branch. Almost every sentence Burke wrote applies precisely to today.

For instance, in one passage Burke sounds like he's describing current efforts by MoveOn and blogs to prevent Congress from granting telecom companies immunity for violating FISA:

Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design. They are enabled to fathom it with common counsel, and to oppose it with united strength. Whereas, when they lie dispersed, without concert, order, or discipline, communication is uncertain, counsel difficult, and resistance impracticable. Where men are not acquainted with each other’s principles, nor experienced in each other’s talents, nor at all practised in their mutual habitudes and dispositions by joint efforts in business; no personal confidence, no friendship, no common interest, subsisting among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy. In a connection, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Burke also covers George's insistence on appointing incompetent hacks to positions of power, to habituate Parliament to impotence; the way the King's cabal is mired in the "deepest and dirtiest pits of corruption" yet purports to be motivated by the "most astonishing prudery, both moral and political"; and the "futility, the weakness, the rashness, the perpetual contradiction, in the management of our affairs" in colonies across the sea. Then there's his description of a corrupted, weak legislature, which could have been written yesterday:

A vigilant and jealous eye over executory and judicial magistracy; an anxious care of public money, an openness, approaching towards facility, to public complaint: these seem to be the true characteristics of an House of Commons. But an addressing House of Commons, and a petitioning nation; an House of Commons full of confidence, when the nation is plunged in despair; in the utmost harmony with Ministers, whom the people regard with the utmost abhorrence; who vote thanks, when the public opinion calls upon them for impeachments; who are eager to grant, when the general voice demands account; who, in all disputes between the people and Administration, presume against the people; who punish their disorders, but refuse even to inquire into the provocations to them; this is an unnatural, a monstrous state of things in this constitution.

Parliament cannot with any great propriety punish others, for things in which they themselves have been accomplices. Thus the controul of Parliament upon the executory power is lost; because Parliament is made to partake in every considerable act of Government. Impeachment, that great guardian of the purity of the Constitution, is in danger of being lost, even to the idea of it. [Italics in original]
So if we truly want to remember the past, rather than repeat it, Burke's pamphlet is a good place to start. As another old dead guy, Thomas Jefferson, said:

...experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny...the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth, that, possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gundrum to Serve in Iraq

I first read it here, and the JS Online has confirmed it ... Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) has been called up to active duty. According to JS Online, he will be stationed eventually in Iraq as a judge advocate.

Other Side wishes him and his family (wife and six children) well. Regardless of political ideology ... this is incredibly remarkable. One would think that he could get an exception (legitimate in this case) with six children.

Now, let's see if all those college-age Republican warmongers, like The Triumvirate, will follow his brave example, or will they continue to wage this war from the safety of their dorm rooms.

Friday, October 26, 2007

No Immunity for Lawbreaking Companies

The Senate is considering a bill that would grant immunity to any telecom company that assisted in the administration's illegal wiretapping. Chris Dodd promised to put a hold on any such bill, and Joe Biden and Barack Obama pledged to uphold it. We believe that any bill coming before the Senate that includes provisions for so-called 'amnesty' for large companies involved in illegally spying on Americans should be opposed, and have authored a letter to this effect addressed to Majority Leader Reid. You can co-sign it below. The letter will also be sent to Senate Democratic leadership and the Senate Judiciary Committee members. Click here to sign the letter. The full text is shown below.

Dear Senator Reid,

Senator Chris Dodd recently announced his intention to place a 'hold' on any bill coming before the Senate that includes provisions for so-called 'amnesty' for large companies involved in illegally spying on Americans, and to filibuster any such bill if necessary. We are writing to ask you use your position as Majority Leader to honor this hold and join Sen. Dodd's leadership efforts to stop legislation that would allow these companies to escape liability.

For decades, it has been against the law in the United States for companies to give data about their customers, or access to their customers' conversations, to the Government without a warrant. But it now appears that for the last five years-at least-AT&T, Verizon, and numerous other politically connected corporations have repeatedly broken the law, turning over to the Bush adminis- tration unfettered access to the telephone calls, Internet activities, and calling records of millions and millions of Americans.

As a result of this lawbreaking, their customers, along with privacy groups, have sued them in federal court, and they are making progress. One federal judge, an appointee of the first President Bush, emphatically rejected the excuse put forward by the corpo- rate lawyers that the companies mistakenly thought that what they were doing was legal. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker wrote:

AT&T's alleged actions here violate the constitutional rights clearly established [by the U.S. Supreme Court]. . . . AT&T cannot seriously contend that a reasonable entity in its position could have believed that the alleged domestic dragnet was legal.
These companies have now asked Congress to pass a special law asking for 'amnesty.' The law would prohibit courts from ruling on whether these companies broke the law and force the dismissal of all court proceedings against them. We know of at least one company, Qwest, that refused these illegal government requests, a factor that adds weight when considering whether these com- panies were 'just doing' what the government requested. The companies seeking immunity clearly chose to break the law.

Providing amnesty to lawbreaking corporations is a complete assault on the rule of law and on the basic fairness of our political system. When ordinary American citizens are accused of breaking the law, they are forced to go to court and, if the accusations are proven, they suffer the consequences. If the telecoms really did nothing wrong, they should prove that in court, like all Americans must do.

Congress has faced up to this before. In 1965, some of our nation's largest banks were found by courts to have broken our anti- trust laws and also wanted amnesty from Congress for what they did. Senator Robert F. Kennedy spoke out forcefully against this. As The New York Times reported:
He objected to the basic philosophy of retroactive immunization which, he said, might logically be applied to 'murder or any other crime.'
The rule of law is the basic guarantee in our society that all Americans are treated equally. Amnesty for big business is an assault on that principle. To grant retroactive amnesty would be to announce that our wealthiest corporations are free to break the laws we pass, and amnesty would be yet another huge step in eroding our core political principles.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ennio Marchetto

And now, a break from blogging to allow someone with talent occupy the page.

Mr. Outrage

Mr. Outrage in the Parallel Universe. Apologies to Tom Tomorrow.

Say What?

Another stupid conservative comments.

"Our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do; they die first."

-- John Tanner, top voting rights official at the Justice Department, explaining why photo ID requirements do not disproportionately disenfranchise minority voters.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chipping In

From my sis ....

For those of you who are not familiar with Las Vegas, did you know there are more Catholic churches than casinos? Not surprisingly, some worshippers at Sunday services will give casino chips rather than cash when the basket is passed.

Since chips are received from many different casinos, the churches have devised a method of cashing in the offerings. The churches send all the collected chips to a nearby Franciscan monastery for sorting and then the chips are taken to the casino of origin and cashed in.

Wait for it ...

The Franciscans are known as the Chip Monks.

We Will Persevere

James Wigderson of Wigderson Library & Pub, doesn't get it.

I like James. He has a wonderful wife, cute kids, a beautiful mother and an always interesting father who keeps sending me the weirdest stuff imaginable via e-mail (keep it up, Bill ... I do look at every one of them). James' politics are diametrically opposed to mine, but we can talk. Sometimes it gets a little hot. Most often, though, humor defuses the tense situations and we come to an understanding.

However, in this instance, his defense of Jessica McBride, while expected and applauded (he is, after all, a friend of hers), is wrong on many levels.

The key point he misses in his lengthy and rambling defense is this: McBride should not have asked the question in the first place.

One would have thought a journalism lecturer (you know, a professional) would have known better than to write such an ill-advised and questionably bigoted statement. One would have thought she would have waited for more facts rather than making flippant remarks. If after the fact it had been determined that the people murdered were indeed gangsta rappers, then perhaps a story about the dangers inherent in that musical profession, with links to the Tupac shooting and other incidents might have been relevant.

But McBride didn't do that. That's the shame of McBride and the reason her exploits are exposed. The right would rather that their words were ignored, while they are allowed to attack with reckless abandon. Why do you think they are so against the Fairness Doctrine and so obsessed with "liberal" bias?

It's because they can't win the argument. And now that liberals have caught on to conservative tactics and are again winning the public opinion war, conservatives are fretting.

Fret away and never fear, the McBride, Fred Dooley, Peter DiGaudio and right-wing watch will continue unabated.


The number of invasions of liberal blogs by Fred Dooley of Real Debate Wisconsin infamy, and the bad taste he usually leaves with his rude comments prompted this artistic rendering. It gives new meaning to the term F-bomb.

And then, of course, there is the double-entendre.

By the way, I like bike paths.

Specificclick and Sitemeter

I've removed Sitemeter from my site, for a number of reasons. One, I don't really care how many people read my posts, regardless of what Fred Dooley may think. This experiment has never been about attracting traffic.

Two, Sitemeter is sending specificclick cookies onto websites hosting the counter. My site was infected and one result was consistent jumping to another screen that said specificclick could not be found. This was annoying.

Anyway, it's gone and good riddance.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Proof the GOP Is Retreating In the Tax Wars

by David Sirota
Working for Change

A while back I wrote a post about how the conservative movement is in shambles in the Rocky Mountain West. Then, a few weeks ago, I wrote a newspaper column on how the long lines at the chronically underfunded/understaffed Division of Motor Vehicles lays waste to the whole right-wing mantra that cutting government is good for the economy. I recounted my own personal struggles at the DMV - struggles that most Coloradans go through. Now, the Rocky Mountain News reports that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) is looking at ways to fix the DMV problems, suggesting perhaps a refund of license fees if customers are forced to wait longer than a set period of time.

The move by Ritter to address these issues in the context of his government efficiency plans is terrific. But what is just as newsworthy is this little nugget buried in the story:

"Republican House Minority Leader Mike May, of Parker, said he doubts a money-back guarantee or discount would work because there simply aren't enough employees. He said the state would be better off hiring more workers and opening license bureaus at night and on weekends."
May actually has a good point - the underlying problem is underfunding and understaffing. But what he doesn't mention is that the Colorado Republicans used their former legislative majorities to pass budgets that slashed budgets for state agencies like the DMV. Colorado Republicans also have championed the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights which creates the rationale for such budget cuts. Now, incredibly, the Colorado Republican leadership is berating the very cuts they championed.

Hypocrisy, as usual, knows no bounds - and it is precisely this kind of hypocrisy that voters tend to see right through come election time.

Drinking Right

Conservatives' weekly night out ... can't hold their liquor.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Because I Care (Surprisingly)

Though I may disagree with him on everything, and I think his over-the-top rhetoric does nothing for civil debate ... .

Still, I don't want him to die and I do hope that he continues to live a full and (though morally impoverished) bountiful life, especially for his family and friends. So, I would like to offer local blogger and right-wing firebrand, Fred Dooley of Real Debate Wisconsin, this heartfelt assistance and help. Below is part of a diet plan that I have been using. So far, it's been useful in helping me lose ten pounds. Coupled with a modicum of exercise, like simply walking for one half hour every day, my energy level has risen precipitously. I was out the other day playing football with my ten and eight year-old nephews ... still got it at 51.

Provided to you because despite all of our differences, we still share humanity. Oh, and I would consider yoga. It helps clear the mind and stretch those muscles.

• 1 cup Cheerios
• 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
• 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
• 1 whole-grain English muffin, toasted, topped with 2 teaspoons light butter or margarine
• Coffee (if desired)

Mid-morning snack
• 5 pieces dried apricot
• 2 fig bar cookies (such as Fig Newtons)
• 1 cup tea with lemon

• Sandwich: one 6-inch whole-wheat pita, spread with 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise (flavored with 1/2 teaspoon horseradish) and stuffed with 2 ounces deli-style roast beef, 1-ounce slice of reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, 3 tomato slices and lettuce
• 6 baby carrots• 1 banana, sprinkled with cinnamon

Afternoon snack
• 8 ounces fat-free plain or light yogurt (any flavor)
• 3 vanilla wafers

• 4 ounces grilled or broiled salmon (brushed with honey mustard and 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed before cooking)
• 2/3 cup brown rice (garnished with 1 teaspoon toasted nuts)
• 3/4 cup sliced asparagus spears, steamed or microwaved, sprinkled with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese
• Salad: 2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves topped with 1 tangerine, peeled and sectioned; 2 scallions, chopped; and 1 tablespoon chopped almonds; drizzled with 2 tablespoons sesame seed vinaigrette salad dressing
• 1 cup light ice cream (any brand that's about 100 calories for 1/2 cup)
• Water or other no-cal beverage

Good luck and long life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Red Sox v. Rockies

Who would of thought it ... Dustin Pedroia just smoked a 3-run double to put the Sox up 9-2. Coupled with his 2-run homer earlier, five RBIs for the rook. Quite a game.

I'm a National League guy, but I think the Sox will put down the red hot Rockies in six.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Goin' Mobile

For my friend Bill ... trucker extraordinaire and blogger at View From the Cheap Seats.

I'm going home
And when I want to go home, I'm going
Well I'm gonna find a home on wheels, see
how it feels,
Goin' mobile
Keep me moving

I can pull up by the curb,
I can make it on the road,
Goin' mobile
I can stop in any street
And talk with people that we meet
Goin' mobile
Keep me moving

Out in the woods
Or in the city
It's all the same to me
When I'm driving free
The world's my home
When I'm mobile

Play the tape machine
Make the toast and tea
When I'm mobile
Well, I can lay in bed with only highway
When I'm mobile
Keep me moving

Keep me moving
Over fifty
Keep me groovin'
Just a hippie gypsy
Come on move now
Keep me movin' yeah

Keep me movin', movin', movin', yeah
Movin' yeah
Mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile....

I don't care about pollution
I'm an air-conditioned gypsy
That's my solution
Watch the police and the taxman miss me!
I'm mobile!

The Who

Poem for the Day

This was sent to me by my mother. The author of the poem is Roger Keyes. I though it an appropriate way to end the week, a week that has had a number of revealing events occur. Enjoy.


Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.

He says Look Forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself
as long as it’s interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,

every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive
- shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees.
Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strengthare life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.

The Right Wing Bloggers Game

Name the local right wing blogger whose rhetoric and lack of common sense would fit best into this latest masterpiece from Tom Tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where's Harvey?

Like the character Elwood P. Dowd, a likable drunk who introduces an invisible rabbit to his family and friends, John Jazwiec, RedPrairie CEO, recently presented his own stage production remake of the classic "Harvey," starring his bff -- let's go ahead and call him Harvey -- whom he introduced to all of us just a few short weeks ago. But unlike Dowd, Jazwiec is not an alcoholic, rather he is drunk with his own self-importance.

And now, it is being reported today that the short run of the remake of that delightful classic is coming to a close.

A few weeks back, in Act One, Jazwiec told us of his meeting with Harvey, a 6 foot five inch shotgun-wielding invisible black (of course he was black) rabbit burglar. Jazwiec claims Harvey walked into their home through the unlocked front door in search of loot. Instead, Harvey scored a couple beers from the affable CEO and some free electronic equipment. Other than family members, no one else saw Jazwiec's invisible friend. Well, an unnamed local resident said he thought he saw someone enter the Jazwiec's home. But in hindsight, he was probably Jazweic's psychiatrist.

Harvey left the family unharmed, thankfully. And as soon as the door was locked behind the departing rabbit burglar, Jazwiec called the police and told them a burglary had occurred and waited for them to arrive.

Well, no. As Act Two began, Jazwiec, I'm sure in an effort to boost sagging ticket sales, decided instead to wait until the next morning to call ... the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to air his complaints. He also had an assistant contact a reporter to schedule an interview. No police call.

And he didn't stop there. Act two continued with Jazwiec and his wife organizing a neighborhood meeting to discuss crime. According to the JournalSentinel:

"We believe that the city should be doing more than they are," a flier announcing the gathering said. "We certainly pay enough in taxes, and I doubt that there will be any deduction given because we were victimized in our own home!"

The meeting, at the Jazwiecs' house Friday, was attended by about half a dozen people. On Monday, a broadly circulated e-mail from Jazwiec said he and his neighbors had met "and agreed that we can't trust the mayor or the police."

I'm sure the mayor lamented that huge drop off in support. But still no police. Harvey was still at large.

Act Three began a week later with the police contacting Jazwiec.

Meanwhile, because of Jazwiec's lack of a sense of civic duty, Harvey reportedly struck again and again, quaffing beers with amiable residents and showing off his new computer.

And the final Act ... Now we find that Jazwiec has apparently decided not to pursue the matter. Are he and Harvey in cahoots? You know, one hopes that Jazwiec will get some serious help for his paranoia issues. Living in a state of denial is not healthy.

Mike Mathias covered this earlier in much better fashion.

UPDATE: Edited to correct a fallacy. Thx, Jay.

UPDATE: Wiggy comes through with a good take on this affair.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Free for All

I find myself appalled at the U.S. Senate's condemnation of MoveOn's “General Betrayus” ad. I am equally appalled at the idea of a resolution by Democratic senators condemning Rush Limbaugh for his “phony soldiers” remarks. Both actions taken are distasteful.

It is completely inappropriate and chilling that any government body be leading such undemocratic actions. Of course, you'll find few if any conservative bloggers who agree.

Apparently, free speech is only free when they're the ones doing the talking.

UPDATE: Well, except for elliot and Dean.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Irony is Dead (or they shot themselves in the foot again)

From The Mahablog:

Keith Olbermann pointed this out on Countdown last night. This is from yesterday’s White House press briefing by Dana Perino. She was commenting on the situation in Burma.

Q: And the protests, themselves, seem to have been stilled. What do you make of that?

MS. PERINO: Well, unfortunately, intimidation and force can chill peaceful demonstrations. And reports about very innocent people being thrown into detention, where they could be held for years without any representation or charges, is distressing; and we understand that some of the monasteries have been sealed. Now, obviously, this has, again, a chilling effect on protestors, but we would ask that everyone show restraint and allow those who want to express themselves to be able to do so in Burma.

Yes, very distressing.

For My New Friend

An oldie but a goodie. Conservatives debating the merits of global warming over a few beers.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A New Crandon Murder Theory

Jessica McBride has a new post up regarding the Crandon murders. Under the title, Open Comment Thread", McBride asks this:

OK, post your theories.

How do you think the Crandon killer managed to shoot himself three times in the head?

I left a comment but somehow think it won't be printed. My theory is this:

Because he read this blog?

All right, it was snarky.

UPDATE: OMG! She did. Free speech lives.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Demise of the GOP

I've been saying the same thing myself. There are many honorable conservatives/Republicans. Unfortunately for them (I'm not terribly unhappy) their party has been hijacked by the wackjobs like Limbaugh, Coulter, Dobson and a seemingly vast number of rude, uncouth and vulgar conservative commenters that you can read regularly on local blogs. This in its entirety from the Anonymous Liberal.

In his column in the New York Times today, David Brooks explains the collapse of the Republican brand this way:

To put it bluntly, over the past several years, the G.O.P. has made ideological choices that offend conservatism’s Burkean roots. This may seem like an airy-fairy thing that does nothing more than provoke a few dissenting columns from William F. Buckley, George F. Will and Andrew Sullivan. But suburban, Midwestern and many business voters are dispositional conservatives more than creedal conservatives. They care about order, prudence and balanced budgets more than transformational leadership and perpetual tax cuts. It is among these groups that G.O.P. support is collapsing.

John Cole, a Republican-voter as recently as 2004, strongly dissents and offers a different explanation:

Like me. It had nothing to do with Burke, and everything to do with what the party had become. A bunch of bedwetting, loudmouth, corrupt, hypocritical, and incompetent boobs with a mean streak a mile long and no sense of fair play or proportion. . . .

Screw them. I got out. They can have their party. I will vote for Democrats and little L libertarians and isolationists until the crazy people aren’t running the GOP. The threat of higher taxes in the short term isn’t enough to keep me from voting out crazy people and voting for sane people with whom I merely disagree regarding policy. Hillarycare doesn’t scare me as much as Frank Gaffney having a line to the person with the nuclear football or Dobson and company crafting domestic policy.

I think Cole is much closer to the truth here than Brooks. I think the reason the Republican brand has suffered so much of late is because many people have become embarrassed by and no longer want to be associated with the party's public representatives; its most visible television personalities, radio hosts, writers, bloggers, and activists, are by in large, obnoxious, crazy, and embarrassing. It's a clown show. Intelligent conservatives cringe when they see people like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh on television spouting their toxic nonsense, but this toxic gasbag contingent has come to dominate the GOP. And while this stuff might be red meat to much of the Republican base, it's scaring away the more educated members of the party.

I know this because I know a number of people who, not so long ago, were very proud Republicans and were not at all embarrassed about saying so. And now they're all very disillusioned and quick to tell you that they're not that kind of Republican. The problem for the GOP is that it has allowed a bunch of rabid loons to take control of its messaging and they are tarnishing the brand with their relentless idiocy. As long as this continues, there will continue to be an exodus from the party of people like John Cole, who may not agree with the Democrats on everything, but are just sick and tired of the GOP clown show.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

There is a God

For you Yankee haters, last night's game against the Cleveland Indians was a classic. Here is a link to a humorous article by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick titled "Joba, Yankees can't avoid the plague."

I prefer to think of it along the lines of Yankee shortstop, Derek Jeter's comment:

"Just when you think you've seen it all, you see something new,'' New York shortstop Derek Jeter said. "I guess that's the home-field advantage for them -- just let the bugs out in the eighth inning. It worked.''

Good move, Cleveland.

Ode to the Last Good Conservative

Apologies to Tony Orlando and Dawn, authors of "Knock Three Times."

Hey boy what ya doin' next to me
Sittin' alone in your stall while I sit here beside you
I can hear your bladder contracting
I think of your sphincter compacting
One stall beside me you don't even know me
I love you

Oh, my darling, tap three times on my shoe top if you want me
Twice on the pipe if the answer is no, oh, my sweetness
(Tap, Tap, Tap!) Means you'll meet me by the urinal
Mmm, twice on the pipe (clink, clink) means you ain't gonna show

If you look out your window tonight
Pull in the string with the note that says gays are a no no
Read how many times I said it
How people believed I really meant it
Only in my dreams did I know I was living a lie

Oh, my darling, tap three times on my shoe top if you want me
Twice on the pipe if the answer is no, oh, my sweetness
(Tap, Tap, Tap!) Means you'll meet me by the urinal
Mmm, twice on the pipe (clink, clink) means you ain't gonna show

I can hear your body voiding
I can feel there is no avoiding
That one stall beside me you don't even know me
I love you

Oh, my darling, tap three times on my shoe top if you want me
Twice on the pipe if the answer is no, oh, my sweetness
(Tap, Tap, Tap!) Means you'll meet me by the urinal
Mmm, twice on the pipe (clink, clink) means you ain't gonna show

For Fred (Anytime, Anywhere ... mmm) Dooley

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In Quest for Real Debate

With sincere apologies to Tom Tomorrow.

In tribute to Scott D. Feldstein who reguarly takes on the wingnuts and emerges unscathed, if not feeling a little dirty from the encounters. He was recently banned from the humorously named Real Debate Wisconsin blog, a creation of funny man and saint, Fred Dooley.

(click on picture to enlarge)

Monday, October 1, 2007

What Might Have Been and What It Is

Just imagine for a moment if President Bush had resisted his baser urges and the machinations of the oil industry (using its proxies Rumsfeld and Cheney). With the warring parties in Afghanistan pacified, and its government growing in strength every day thanks to American generosity and military might, and with Al-Qaeda in Afghanstan and Pakistan routed after a long fierce battle, Bush would possibly be remembered as one of our greatest presidents ... one I would have supported. Instead, his arrogance and failure to be focused will ensure he is remembered for this (and the thousands of other innocent deaths his adminstration is indirectly responsible for).

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban militants hanged a teenager in southern Afghanistan because he had U.S. money in his pocket, and they stuffed five $1 bills in his mouth as a warning to others not to use dollars, police said Monday. Taliban militants elsewhere killed eight police.

The 15-year-old boy was hanged from a tree on Sunday in Helmand, the most violent province in the country and the world's No. 1 poppy-growing region.

You failed miserably, Mr. President. You wonder why people hold you in such disdain?