Saturday, November 24, 2007

G'Day Mate!

SYDNEY, Australia - Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.

Labor Party head Kevin Rudd's pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that had made Howard one of President Bush's staunchest allies.

Rudd has named global warming as his top priority, and his signing of the Kyoto Protocol will leave the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.

Bush loses another suck up. I still feel my spidey senses tingling for November, if and when Bush tries to pull a Musharraf in the guise of national security.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another Heartwarming "Support The Troops" Story

Jordan Fox received a $10,000 signing bonus when he joined the Army. The Mt. Lebanon man served his country in Iraq, where as a sniper he survived machine gun battles and a roadside bomb that knocked him unconscious and blinded him in his right eye.

The injury forced the military to send him home. A few weeks later, Fox received a bill from the Department of Defense, saying he owes the military nearly $3,000 from his original enlistment bonus because he couldn't fulfill three months of his commitment.

"I tried to do my best and serve my country and unfortunately I was hurt in the process and now they're telling me that they want their money back," Fox told
CBS station KDKA-TV.

This is apparently not an isolated bureaucratic foul-up. The military is allegedly demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses - up to $30,000 in some cases. Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

The real kicker is that Fox helps with a charity founded by his mother, Operation Pittsburgh Pride, sending care packages to troops in Iraq... and was personally thanked by President Bush.

And now they're thanking him by sending him a bill.

Pakistan Primer

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What Happened?!... the the title of Scott McClellan's new book(punctuation mine). The former White House Press Secretary reveals in a stunning tell-all that he (gasp!) knew he was lying when covering for the Bush Crime Syndicate.

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself.

The book is scheduled for release in April of 2008, with plenty of time to hand out presidential pardons before then. Great going, Scotty, you li'l ol' patriot, you.

UPDATE: November 21, 2007, 9:30pm EST

McClellan does not believe President Bush lied to him about the role of White House aides I. Lewis Scooter Libby or Karl Rove in the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, according to McClellan's publisher.

...the president told McClellan what "he thought to be the case." But... McClellan believes, "the president didn't know it was not true."

So that makes Bush incompetent instead of a liar. Either way, it's a sorry state of affairs for the Oval Office.

I just want a member of the press corps to ask one, simple question: Dana, now that this story has come out, how can we ever trust what anyone in this administration says from that podium ever again?

Be Prepared To Vomit

Does everyone have their barf bags or waste paper baskets handy? Or perhaps you'd like to take a copy of this to the bathroom and prepare yourself.

Dear Mr. President,

As you know, it is with a profound sense of gratitude but a heavy heart that I have decided to take a respite from public service.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve at the White House. My time here and every day of my nearly 23 years of of public service have ben both a blessing and a privilege.

In 1937, the playwright Maxwell Anderson wrote of President George Washington: There are some men who lift the age they inhabit, till all men walk on higher ground in their lifetime.

Mr. President, you are such a man. And so, it has been an honor to serve by your side in this extraordinary moment in our Nation's history.

May God bless you and all those who serve and may He continue to bless out great Nation.

Fran Townsend

You may now heave. Did she just compare Bush to George Washington? What the fuck?! The only people walking on higher ground during Bush's administration are the flood victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Where In The World Is Frederick of Hollywood?

I haven't heard word one on Thompson since he officially announced his candidacy. And apparently, neither has his supporters. Maybe he's in his bomb shelter awaitin' fer them Pinko Commies.

I think he’s kind of done a belly flop,” said an estranged Thompson backer who indicated he will not pull his public support before the “Super Tuesday” primaries. “We’ll just wait till after Feb. 5 because I think he’s going to get beat.”
Another GOP lawmaker said, “I’ve kind of pulled back. I’m not not supporting him, but I’m not doing anything.” With six weeks to go before the first contest, that’s not quite the enthusiasm a presidential hopeful wants to hear.

Uh... isn't "not doing anything" equivalent to not not NOT supporting him?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Broadway Shows Canceled For The Week

NY TIMES: Shortly after the talks with the stagehands’ union broke off on Sunday, the League of American Theaters and Producers announced that performances of the 27 shows affected by the strike would be canceled through next Sunday. The league said the performances were canceled so that tourists could make other plans. It was a surprising move, given that producers had seemed so eager to reach an early agreement when negotiations began months ago, to avoid the risk of a work stoppage during the lucrative holiday season.

Kucinich at the Global Warming Conference

Daily Show - John Bolton Interview

I completely missed this John Bolton interview on The Daily Show back in March, 2007. Since the writer's strike, reruns allowed me to catch it.

Bolton and Stewart trade verbal jabs and run in circles regarding what goes on behind closed doors in the White House, until Stewart smacks him down with this one:

BOLTON: "I think you should be held accountable for your performance... (LAUGHTER FROM STEWART AND THE AUDIENCE)... let me just finish. You should be held accountable for your actions, but the ability to have candid exchanges of views in private is very important."

STEWART: "I'll tell you what: If you give us the first part of that, I'll give you the latter, because we haven't had that for a long time."

Op-Ed Death Match Continues

Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher continues the updates of the editorial sparring match between David Brooks, Paul Krugman & Bob Herbert. Lou Cannon now enters the steel cage.

How's About Some Music?

Here's a little John Coltrane (1963) to get you swingin'.

Clinton Heckled at Global Warming Conference

MyFox Los Angeles:

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio detailed their positions on global warming, energy conservation and other environmental issues -- and occasionally talked about other issues, including the war in Iraq -- before an invitation only audience at the Wadsworth Theater in Westwood.

The forum was sponsored by Grist, an environmental journalism magazine and Public Radio International's Living on Earth.

Candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties were invited, but only Kucinich, Edwards and Clinton accepted.

During the conference, a Code Pink protester rose and yelled at Clinton because of her pro war Iraq vote. Clinton took it in stride and continued with her talk after asking, "Were you invited to speak here this afternoon?"

Now whether or not the protester chose the right forum (global warming) to voice his opinion is one thing, but it does bother me that when a protester gets ushered out of whatever forum he decides to attend, that the audience cheers at he exits. Don't they care to listen to what he/she is protesting about? Have Americans become so blasé, that the sight of a struggling protester flanked by security is something to cheer or laugh about?

Watch the video.

Stagehands Strike Continues

NY TIMES: The latest round of talks between the producers’ league and the stagehands’ union broke down last night, leaving no end in sight for the strike that has darkened most of Broadway for nine days.

...The negotiations — which lasted for more than 13 hours Saturday and for 11 hours yesterday — came to a halt a little after 9 p.m.

Bruce Cohen, a spokesman for the stagehands’ union, Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said in a statement that “producers informed Local 1 that what Local 1 offered was not good enough, and they left.”

This is a big disappointment. I thought that surely a deal would be worked out to salvage the Thanksgiving week, financially the largest week of the year for Broadway. As the day wore on, several colleagues figured that since the League has a $20 million cushion, then why shouldn't they use it? When thought of in those terms, it's not a financial loss at all. They've paid for this week slowly over the last three years.

Will road shows come next?

No one, not the union nor the producers, is talking on the record about what might be the next step in Local 1's battle with the League of American Theatres and Producers. Such a move would need the endorsement of the local's parent union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

It would seriously undermine producers since such megahits as "Wicked" and "Jersey Boys" on the road regularly pull down weekly grosses of $1 million or more.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Giuliani Theatre

Walt Handelsman has a great new animation video worth watching.