Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where's the Beef?

I've been listening to the speeches at the Dem Convention the last two nights. Not all the time, after all the Brewers are in a pennant race. I do have priorities. Anyway, as I listened I found myself becoming excited about our chances in November. The governor from Montana (what's his name?) was quirky in his delivery, but said all the right things. Hillary actually moved me with her speech. I like Hillary, but her speechifying has never impressed me. I missed President Clinton's talk, but Joe Biden was damn good -- I especially liked his denunciation of John McCain's ("his friend") stances and his all too willingness to continue the Bush legacy.

But there was something missing. I couldn't put a finger on it, so I went back to my game, later putting the kids to bed and then myself.

Today's been busy with household chores. My mother is coming to visit from Arkansas. I'm very happy to have her with us for two weeks. As I cleaned and picked up, I couldn't help but continue to wonder what it was that was bothering me about the convention. I took a timeout and jumped around some of my featured sites and lo -- one can always count on Greenwald.

I have got to get back to work, but here are a couple of paragraphs from his opinion piece today that hit the target dead center on what has been missing (followed by a link).

First, there is almost no mention of, let alone focus on, the sheer radicalism and extremism of the last eight years. During that time, our Government has systematically tortured people using sadistic techniques ordered by the White House; illegally and secretly spied on its own citizens; broken more laws than can be counted based on the twisted theory that the President has that power; asserted the authority to arrest and detain even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and hold them for years without charges; abolished habeas corpus; created secret prisons in Eastern Europe and a black hole of lawlessness in Guantanamo; and explicitly abandoned and destroyed virtually every political value the U.S. has long claimed to embrace.

Other than a fleeting reference to such matters by John Kerry in a (surprisingly effective) speech which most networks did not broadcast, one would not know, listening to the Democratic Convention, that any of those things have happened. Even our unprovoked and indescribably destructive attack on Iraq, based on purely false pretenses, has received little attention. Those things simply don't exist, even as part of the itemized laundry list of Democratic grievances about the Bush administration. The overriding impression one has is that the only things really wrong during the last eight years in this country are that gas prices are high and not everyone has health insurance. Those are obviously very significant problems, but they are garden-variety political issues which don't begin to capture the extremism that has predominated in this country under GOP rule, and don't remotely approach conveying the crises on numerous fronts the country faces.

More here. Thanks, Glenn.

A Series of Tubes

Still silence from the right side of the blogosphere regarding those thugs* in Alaska who voted for Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (R), even though he has been indicted for hiding $250,000 of contributions. One can only assume they're not very smart if this partial text of Steven's attempt to describe the Internet is any indication.

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

[...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Kind of like the thought process that lead Jessica McBride to call those who voted for convicted former alderman Michael McGeee, thugs. She couldn't help herself. Her tubes were full of enormous amounts of racist, right-wing ideology.

(75% of Alaska's 623,000 citizens are white, by the way)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh, the Thugs

Who was it that said “Thugs vote for thugs,” referring to those who voted for since convicted former Milwaukee alderman Michael McGee?

Ah yes, Jessica McBride, former WTMJ radio throat and magician known for her blog disappearing act.

I'd be curious what she would have to say about Alaska Senator Ted Stevens winning the Republican primary even though he has been indicted by a grand jury for hiding more than $250,000 in gifts. I'm sure it would be something along the lines of innocence before proof of complicity (albeit not as eloquently). Well, we'll never know because Jessica has hidden herself from view and closed shop on her wastrel of a blog. Unable to stand the light of day I guess.

I do know this statement by Dave Cuddy, who finished second to Stevens, would probably have resonated with those in McGee's district who voted for him while he was held in jail: "People have been voting for Ted for 40 years and their inclination is to keep doing it.”

The thugs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You Really Need to Leave the House

Patrick McIlheran covers a post by Patrick Dorwin of the humor blog, Badger Blogger, in which is posted a video of a trip to Burlington Coat Factory where are found -- gasp -- Soviet era clothing and other items.

Two things: Mr. Dorwin did not go on the video expedition though Paddy Mac writes that he did. And two, Mr. Dorwin wondered in his blog whether the next fashion statement would be Nazi brownshirts ... Ku Klux Klan hoods. He did not point out anything probably still being out of bounds, again contrary to what McIlheran wrote.

Aside from an issue with accuracy (remember -- McIlheran is a shill, not a credentialed journalist), don't you think these people really need to get a life if this is what trips their trigger.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mr. Outrage and Yippee Discuss Barack Obama

Two local conservative bloggers, Mr. Outrage and Yippee the Chattering Chihuahua, recently joined forces with the McCain campaign and discussed the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, as only they could.

As always, special thanks to the genius of Tom Tomorrow.

Very Funny Video

While I could do without the Nazi references, the rest of this song and video is right on concerning the fat slob, Rush Limbaugh. Most conservatives won't like it; not because of the content but because there is no violence.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sex Ed

Comment at Blogging Blue:

Were you incensed by Clinton getting blowjobs in the oval office?

Oh cut it out conservative goofballs. Do you honestly think Clinton was the first president to do it other than by using the missionary position?

Come to think of it, what woman in her right mind would have wanted anything to do with any of the Republican oocupants? Nixon was kind of sickly looking, with or without makeup; Ford would have fallen down from a laying down position; "Mommy" would never have let Ronny stray too far; the first Bush already had something up his ass; and the second Bush would have been too busy smirking and trying to push Cheney out of the way.

Ike was kind of cuddly, though.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Faux Outrage II

UPDATE Aug. 15, 2008: Ms. Victoria Osteen, wife of tele-evangelist and virgin oil field, Joel Osteen, has been found not guilty of assault. The second phase of the trial now begins to determine whether she was possessed. Prepare the Cucking Stool.

Newt: Open Wide

With all the talk about the Johns' affairs (Edwards and McCain), I couldn't help but remember my favorite hypocrite of all time, Newt Gingrich. Steve Benen at wrote this in his delightfully titled piece "High Fidelity":

But the most notorious of them all is undoubtedly Gingrich, who ran for Congress in 1978 on the slogan, "Let Our Family Represent Your Family." (He was reportedly cheating on his first wife at the time). In 1995, an alleged mistress from that period, Anne Manning, told Vanity Fair's Gail Sheehy: "We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her.'" Gingrich obtained his first divorce in 1981, after forcing his wife, who had helped put him through graduate school, to haggle over the terms while in the hospital, as she recovered from uterine cancer surgery. In 1999, he was disgraced again, having been caught in an affair with a 33-year-old congressional aide while spearheading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.
What's the difference between the description of "is" and "where did you ejaculate"? Oh Newtie. If only you had run for president. It would have been a field day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't Feed the Bear

If I were Poland I would be especially concerned that any actions I took would not piss off the sleeping Russian bear. Because it's not like Western assurances of coming to the Poles' aid have been very trustworthy in the past -- or currently; ask Georgia.

And it's not like Russia has shown great restraint in the past when it has come to Poland's borders. Partitioning of Polish lands has been the real-life version of a giant Risk game, especially during the years 1795 to 1918, when Poland was partitioned three separate times by Germany, Russia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The final partitioning of Poland that occurred during WWII was horrendous; more than six million Poles were slaughtered. But statistically, that episode was not even the worst in Polish history. In the mid-17th century, Swedish armies and Cossacks combined to devastate the Polish state. Called Potop Szwedzki (the Swedish Deluge), one third of Poland's and Lithuania's population perished.

The installation of ten Patriot batteries to intercept [ostensibly] Iranian missiles seems like a drop in the bucket. And, if I were Russia, the following comment wouldn't assuage confusion over the purpose of the weaponry. “Poland and the Poles do not want to be in alliances in which assistance comes at some point later — it is no good when assistance comes to dead people,” the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, said on Polish television. “Poland wants to be in alliances where assistance comes in the very first hours of — knock on wood — any possible conflict.” It doesn't sound like the real worry is a barrage of missiles from a third-rate nation that is being built up to being the 21st century agressor state by an American administration that is barely hanging on.

No, I can't blame Poland. But I would be very careful and tread very softly.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Too Soon to Blame O'Reilly, Limbaugh, et al.

Bill Gwatney, the Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman was shot in his office by a man who was later himself shot and killed by police.

UPDATE: I wish I had more time to write because then, just perhaps, I would be the first to have written this. As it is, Greg Saunders of The Talent Show beat me to it.

And, he's exactly right. Please, please, please don't tell me that the ranting of the more egregious members of the right-wing noise machine (Savage, Coulter, Hannity, O'Reilly and yes, Belling) does not have some sort of weird negative effect on the dimmer bulbs on the right. You can see the violence in print simply by reading Peter DiGaudio's anger-laced and insipid rants at Texas Holdem Blogger, the misplaced cockiness of Fred Dooley and the comments from the happy sycophants that live in their haloscan universe.

James Wigderson tried to say in the comment section here that Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann are as guilty. Well, besides being outnumbered (it's scary that righty bloggers breed, or inbreed) I asked him when had either ever approached the level of evil that the crowd on the right delivers. I'm waiting for the obscure comment from some idiot as an example (using Chris Lato logic -- it was probably planted).

One last thing, again from Saunders. This is what passes for conservative humor. Violence begets violence.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Da Vinci Liked a Tasty Burger

From my friend, Linda. After a two-year visit to the United States, Michelangelo's David is returning to Italy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Faux Outrage

Showing she can act outraged with the best of them, Victoria Osteen does her best Fred Dooley imitation while testifiying during procedings in court regarding the lawsuit brought against her for assault of a Continental Airlines flight attendant.

No need to speak in tongues.

AP Photo courtesy of and h/t to 3rd Way via Illusory Tenant.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Badger Blogger: Russia Invades Georgia; Alabama Next?

Breaking news from that conservative blog that brought you the breaking news that Ned Yost would be fired, and the blog that brought you the news about the Moon leaving Earth orbit ...

Russia has invaded Georgia.

A source has told Badger Blogger anonymously that Russian paratroops have landed in Georgia. Commenters at Badger Blog blame liberals for the apparent ease Georgia has been invaded. One commenter writing that he had called his parent in Alabama and told them to get out as soon as possible.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fred Dooley and 2+2=4

"Good morning class. Today we are going to delve into the mysteries of 2+2 and what the end result of that union of these two numbers equals. As you should all know by now, the answer is 4. The answer ... yes, Fred? Do you have a question?"

A large, balding boy in the front row struggles to get out of his desk. Finally shedding the furniture, he addresses the teacher. “Miss Smith. This process is fraudulent and the real problem is you don't care. The answer is not 4. You know it and you like it.”

“Well, Fred. First please sit down.” Fred struggles back into his desk.

“Now. I'm not quite sure what you are talking about. It has been fairly settled that adding the whole number 2 to the whole number 2 equals the whole number 4.”

“Ma'am. You are a complete ass.” Jumping to his feet again, with the desk dangling from his waist, Fred waddles forward toward Miss Smith.

“I can show you to example after example of 2+2 equaling 5. You just ignore that."

Backing up behind her desk, Miss Smith says, “Excuse me, Fred? What are you talking about?”

“Clue in Miss Smith. WEAC has created an environment that has caused this activity time after time after time in location after location after location. And here we are again.”

“Fred. I'm not sure what the teachers' union has do do with this, but please stop hyperventilating before you hurt yourself -- and do you need help taking off your desk?”

Struggling vainly to remove the desk from his waist, Fred sits down in a huff.

“Now listen, Fred. I want to do a little experiment with you. Please hold up two fingers on your left hand and raise your hand in the air.

Fred raises his right hand with two fingers upright.

“Er, Fred. Your other left hand. Good. Now Fred, hold up two fingers on your other hand and raise that hand in the air. Good. How many fingers total are upright?”


Becoming a bit exasperated, Miss Smith asks, “Fred. How many fingers are you holding upright on that hand?” Miss Smith points to Fred's left hand.


“And now, Fred. How many fingers are upright on your other hand?”


“Very good, Fred. Now, starting with your left hand – yes, that one, Fred. Now, let's count each upright finger. One, two – now the right hand – three, four.”

So Fred, how much is 2+2?”


Miss Smith walks to Fred's desk. She looks down at him and asks, “Please explain how you come up with that answer.”

“Well.” Fred wriggles uncomfortably in his desk. “You know, Miss Smith, that WEAC has a history of creating problems because of how they do what they do. And because they're a libbie group you just don't care.”


“And you might ask yourself, what else has WEAC been up to? They're not such an innocent little group. You know your side needs to cheat to win.”

Hand to forehead, Miss Smith attempts to clear her throat. She sits on the edge of her desk, looks at Fred askance. “Fred,” she asks. “What are you talking about? I asked you a simple question. I asked what the answer was to the equation 2+2. The correct answer, as nearly every sentient being on this planet knows is 4. You insist it's 5 and then tell me it's the teachers' union that is at fault for god knows what.”

“This damn desk.” With one mighty effort, Fred attempts to dislodge his waist from the tiny school desk – to no avail. Panting from the exertion, Fred gasps, “Face it, Miss Smith. You want to cheat. Nothing has changed except that I've called you on this. Just about everywhere you look across the country where the answer to this question is 4, there is WEAC, and some skinny teacher like you. “

“Fred, that's enough.”

“You have a micro focus, I have a macro focus.”

Laughing, Miss Smith says, “That's the most absurd thing I have ever heard. What sort of focus does one need to add 2+2 other than to stay focused on the problem?”

“You like vote fraud, I hate it.”


“Why don't you quit making excuses?”

“Fred, I'd ask you to go to the blackboard and write 100 times, 'I shall not talk back in class.' But with that desk wrapped around your abdomen, it would be difficult.” The class giggles.

Glaring at Miss Smith, Fred sits back, crosses his arms and pouts. "I'll get you someday, he whispers. And your little dog too."

More satire. A source tells me he is reasonably assured that Fred knows the answer to the equation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jocularity at Badger Blogger

While BadgerBlogger, a local conservative blog known for its refined taste in lowbrow pursuits, cannot independently confirm this [and why would it make any effort to do so since its readers are so gullible anyway] sources close to BadgerBlogger (namely BadgerBlogger) have said that the Moon intends to leave Earth orbit later today. The sources base this startling decision on the fact that no tidal effects have been observed in Waukesha County for three weeks and, as of 3:00 pm today, the Moon could not be seen in the sky above Milwaukee. Plus, BadgerBlogger has apparently come into possession of photos of the Moon which suggest the Moon is preparing to depart (one of which is reproduced on the left).

The sources say the Moon has decided to retire because orbiting is getting old. That's it.

BadgerBlogger is also reporting that Pluto, recently downgraded from planetary status, would replace the Moon in the heavens. The sources note that Pluto is much smaller than the soon to be departed Moon. BadgerBlogger is waiting for word on how tides will be affected.

It is also rumored that the DNR may be involved.

No word from the family of Venetia Phair.

Satire. BadgerBlogger is a real blog, however, members have never stated that the Moon will be leaving orbit soon. It is the opinion of this author that its owner and readership are faithfully described.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gleiwitz All Over Again

From Think Progress comes this scary story about an administration gone insane.

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources.
Apparently the idea was to build some Iranian PT boat look alikes, man them with Navy Seals dressed as Iranians, and have them attack Americans. Sound familiar? It should because it happened before -- 69 years ago.

On August 31, 1939 a German radio station in Gleiwitz was ostensibly attacked by Polish army regulars thus providing justification for the invasion of Poland by Adolf Hitler's forces. As we now know, the invaders were actually a small group of Germans dressed in Polish army uniforms. To make it even more realistic, a body was left at the scene.

If this doesn't convince anyone that Dick Cheney and the rest of the Apple Dumpling Gang isn't nuts, I don't know what will. And the bozos on the right think John McCain is a suitable alternative?

Clueless: The Real Sequel

Who's the clueless one here? John McCain says the ad featuring Britney Spears and Paris Hilton was an attemopt to inject humor into the presidential race. However, it appears that Mrs. Hilton, a contributor to McCain's campaign, doesn't appreciate the joke.

I suppose nuking Iran would be a knee-slapper, too. That McCain is a funny guy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Solzhenistyn Dead

Aleksandr Solzhenistyn has died at the age of 89. His books documenting the horrors of the Soviet gulag system provided constant reminders [to me] why we fight against fundamentalist right-wing christian fanaticism, and its main enabler, conservatism. And why we fight fundamentalism everywhere in the world, whatever form it takes.


From a friend.

The boss of a Madison Avenue advertising agency called a spontaneous staff meeting in the middle of a particularly stressful week. (This is one pretty sharp boss!) When everyone gathered, the boss, who understood the benefits of having fun, told the burnt out staff the purpose of the meeting was to have a quick contest. The theme: Viagra advertising slogans.

The only rule was they had to use past ad slogans, originally written for other products that captured the essence of Viagra. Slight variations were acceptable.

About 7 minutes later, they turned in their suggestions and created a Top 10 List. With all the laughter and camaraderie, the rest of the week went very well for everyone!

The top 10 were:

10. Viagra, Whaazzzz up!

9. Viagra, The quicker pecker picker upper.

8. Viagra, like a rock !

7. Viagra, When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

6 Viagra, Be all that you can be.

5. Viagra, Reach out and touch someone.

4. Viagra, Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.

3. Viagra, Home of the whopper!

2. Viagra, We bring good things to Life!

And the unanimous number one slogan:

1. This is your peepee. This is your peepee on drugs.

It really comes down to marketing; almost everything in our lives is sold to us in one form or another. Even the race for the presidency. Here's my offering for the McCain candidacy. My two readers are invited to offer their thoughts for either side. Remember, though, to base your idea on Viagra.

Help Erect John McCain.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Gathering a Success

On a gorgeous summer day, seven members of the BRASS League got together at the Rock residence in Brookfield to enjoy conversation, refreshment, sustenance, and whiffleball (Above shown [l-r] Tony Cieszynski, Abby Rock and Bob Gale). And then after all was done, the happy owners drove to Miller Park and watched the Milwaukee Brewers come from behind to defeat the Houston Astros 6-4 and claim a share of first place in the National League Central division.

A fine conclusion to a glorious day, and the only victory on a lost home stand. I think the Brewers should consider having BRASS League members attend all home games in the future. Heck, put us out on the road, too. The Breweres will win their division by 30 games. Above photo: [l-r] Vaughn Nuest, Mark Lentz, Daniel Valois, Tony Cieszynski and Bob Gale.

Anyway, here are a few action pictures of the good-looking guys who got together. There is talk of doing this next year in Milwaukee and on a regular basis thereafter. More news on that front later.

Above photo: BRASS members raiding the Rock refrigerator.

Vaughn Nuest shows off the batting style that won three batting titles in tee-ball.

Tony Cieszynski reacts to a brushback pitch. Juust a bit inside.

At the game. In the back row: [l-r] Kevin Kolb (who joined us late at the game) Mark Lentz, Tim Rock, Bob Gale. Front row: Tony Cieszynski, Daniel Valois, Vaughn Nuest.