Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cry Me A River

Alberto Gonzales can't find a job.


Gonzales: "What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?"

Do you hear that? It's the world's smallest violin playing "You're Breaking My Heart."

The Smell Of Taint

Innocent until proven guilty. It's harder to accept than it sounds. But here we go again with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Under investigation and recently arrested on alleged corruption and perhaps a week away from being indicted, refusing to resign after repeated calls to do so, with a Senate Democratic Caucus who said they would not seat anyone he would appoint to the vacant seat left by the President-elect, after his lawyer insisting that he would definitely not appoint someone to the seat, what does Captain Helmethead do? He appoints former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to Barack Obama's vacant seat. Oh, how he loves the smell of taint in the morning.

You really can't make this shit up. And when you listen to Burris speak with Rachel Maddow, he makes complete sense. Blagojevich is still the Governor, still has the responsibility of appointing someone to the Senate seat, still has not been indicted, and according to Burris, wants proper representation in the Senate for the people of the state of Illinois.




Still, it's a bitter pill to swallow, isn't it? Although I haven't heard the actual tapes (just snippets), Blagojevich is allegedly recorded trying to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder. And yet, although Burris is scandal free according to the New York Times, there's still the smell of taint in the air. Blagojevich could have chosen Pope Benedict and it would still smell tainty fresh because of the green cloud of taint over Blago's taintilicious head. But hey, innocent until proven guilty, right? ...Right?

Where Did The Year Go?

Holy shit! It's New Year's Eve! More blogging later after I collect my thoughts, but for now, if we don't see each other until 2009, here's wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year full of joy and happiness!

(I'm saying it now because it's already 2009 in Australia... a concept that freaks me out a little. It's tomorrow in another country... cool.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scarborough PWNED By Zbigniew Brzezinski

Oh. My. God. It's a belated Christmas present. A Festivus miracle!

Today on Morning Joke™, Joe Scarborough spoke with former US National Security Advisor (and Mika's daddy) Zbigniew Brzezinski about the current Hamas/Israeli conflict in Gaza. Joe steps in it big time as he claims that "you can't blame what's happening in Israel on the Bush administration" and goes back to 2000 when Bill Clinton "gave Arafat and the Palestinians everything they could have wanted," to which Brzezinski responds, "You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you."

OH SNAP, MUTHAFUCKAAAA! (The throwdown takes place at 6:30 but watch Mika's take to the camera at 6:47 as she knows that Beaker is going to get steamrolled by her Pops.)

Brzezinski went on to explain what really happened while Joe licked his wounds. Instant classic! I think I'm going to make a ringtone out of this.




(H/T Jason Linkins)

T Minus 21 Days





"But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me."


- Washington, DC, December 2001

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jets Fire Mangini

I am one of many frustrated Jets fans who watch their team fall apart in December year after year.

NY Times: The Jets have fired Coach Eric Mangini, hours after the team completed a late-season swoon and was eliminated from playoff contention with a loss at home to the Miami Dolphins.
I'm used to seeing this, but it was especially greuling this season. The Jets went out and signed 87 year old Brett Favre to turn the team around after the quarterback injured team went 4-12 last season. The playoffs were in their sights after crushing an undefeated Tennessee Titans team 34-13 in Week 12 to take their record to 8-3.

And then the December collapse. They lose to Denver at home and San Francisco on the road. They squeaked out a win versus Buffalo with a last second defensive touchdown but then proceed to lose at Seattle to set up the Chad Pennington revenge scenario that took place yesterday.

The firing was deserved in my opinion. Eric Mangini looked like a deer in the headlights when it counted and had no second half adjustments to throw at his opposition. And even though the loss to the Dolphins was academic (the Jets needed to win and a Balitmore loss to get into the wild card slot), Mangini was stupid enough to admit that even though they were playing the Seahawks in Week 16, he was prepping for the Dolphins game for two weeks! He bypassed Seattle, and they wound up kicking the Jets around in the snow 13-3, and still lost to Miami with two weeks of preparation?! Unacceptable.

Congratulations to Chad Pennington and the Miami Dolphins for not only deserving to be in the playoffs, but knocking the New England Patriots out of the playoffs in the process. I hate those fuckers. It's of little solace but it does soften the blow just a bit.

One more thing: 48 days until pitchers and catchers. LET'S GO METS!

T Minus 22 Days

"I knew it might put [Senator John Breaux] in an awkward position that we had a discussion before the - before finality has, you know, finally happened in this presidential race."


- Crawford, TX, December 2000

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rush The Fucking Asshole

© Broadway Carl 2008
(sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon and inspired by
Bob Cesca's post title)

Rush the Fucking Asshole, bloated as can be
Sits at his desk and spews his lies when he's OxyContin free
Little Chippy Saltsman thought it would be cool
To send a racist Christmas gift, he's another right wing tool

Operation Chaos didn't do a thing
For fat man Rush and the GOP to inspire the right wing
He called for violent riots like 1968
'Cause Rush does nothing else but try to stir up wingnut hate

Rush the Fucking Asshole, hoping to get laid
Smuggled in Viagra that he got from his ex-maid
Flew down to the islands with pills and his sex toys
But we all know that he flew down just to butt-fuck little boys

Little Chippy Saltsman wants the RNC chair
But after sending out those gifts he doesn't have a prayer
Chairman Michael Duncan says that he was shocked
What else did he expect from crazy druggies with small cocks?

Rush the Fucking Asshole, as fat as he can be
Always carries water for the Republican Party
One day Rush will clutch his chest and his heart will explode
And we will fin'lly be rid of that horrible pantload

Music Break! Paquito D'Rivera

Tico Tico

Driftglass' Rebuttal To Bob Herbert

Yesterday, I added Bob Herbert's editorial, "Stop Being Stupid" to my short list of "Must Reads." It looks like Driftglass has taken offense to Herbert's use of "We" in describing the stupidity of the American people.

I could not help but note that the technical term for people who tried to suggest any of this at any point over the last couple of decades was "Dirty America-hating Liberal".
...Truth is, Bob, there is no “we” anymore; there are those of us who look at your laundry list as a reasonable assay of our challenges and changes ...and there are the Pig People, their panderers, exploiters and ringleaders.

He makes some very good points, which is why I'm mentioning it here, but like I wrote in my comment on DG's blog, "when I read the article, I didn't include myself in the "we." I assumed Herbert was just being polite and not trying to be accusatory to get the "we" has was talking about to the end of his column. It's like the simpler days when we were in school and you aced a pop quiz but the rest of the class failed. The teacher berated the class as a whole but you knew he/she wasn't talking about you specifically."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Must Reads




Bob Herbert: Stop Being Stupid

Joby Warrick: CIA buys Afghan chief's loyalty with Viagra

Obama's Weekly Address - Dec. 27, 2008

Christmas Eve, 2008

T Minus 24 Days

"Dick Cheney and I do not want this nation to be in a recession. We want anybody who can find work to be able to find work."


- 60 Minutes II, December 2000


Well, shit. If I'd known it was that easy...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Rove: Bush Likes Too Reed

Oh, Turdblossom, Turdblossom... is this what your legacy has come to? For someone who was planning on a permanent Republican majority in the very recent past, this is an incredibly pathetic attempt to try and fool what's left of the public that still believes a word you and the Chimp in Chief (up 2 points to 29% at last count) have to say. And now you're writing an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal talking about the reading contest between you and the MENSA Man. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

With only five days left, my lead is insurmountable. The competition can't catch up. And for the third year in a row, I'll triumph. In second place will be the president of the United States. Our contest is not about sports or politics. It's about books.

It all started on New Year's Eve in 2005. President Bush asked what my New Year's resolutions were. I told him that as a regular reader who'd gotten out of the habit, my goal was to read a book a week in 2006. Three days later, we were in the Oval Office when he fixed me in his sights and said, "I'm on my second. Where are you?" Mr. Bush had turned my resolution into a contest.


......At year's end, I defeated the president, 110 books to 95.
Sorry, Karl. The Preznit pulled one over on you. The Pet Goat and Alexander and the Terrible,Horrible,No Good,Very Bad Day don't count. Green Eggs and Ham and Where The Wild Things Are don't count. Picture books don't count. The side of a cereal box doesn't count. The tag in his trousers pocket reading, "Inspected by #12" doesn't count.

It's a shame Bush didn't have this zest for reading on August 6th, 2001. And yet we have Bush's Brain extolling the virtues of Mr. Peeance Freeance's vast literary "curiosity" and kissing his wrinkled ass in the process. But I guess Rove is used to having his nose up Bush's rectum. Where do you think the "turd" in Turdblossom comes from? Get a load of this:

...Each year, the president also read the Bible from cover to cover, along with a daily devotional.

...He read one book meant for young adults, his daughter Jenna's excellent "Ana's Story."

......He reads on Air Force One and to relax and because he's curious.
It's amazing how far Karl Rove can get his large, bulbous head up George's ass and still manage to give shout outs to Jebus and Jenna. But "curious"? Well, now you've just gone too far, Karl.

The saddest part of it all is that if any of this were true, Bush, as leader of the free world found enough time to read as little as 40 and as many as 95 books per year over these past three years. I don't know what's worse: the fact that he really doesn't read or the fact that he really had to finish Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before he could get to his PDBs.

No amount of revisionist history or pathetic "Legacy Project" work is going to convince the educated public that George W. Bush was and is nothing but an uninspired, uncaring, incurious two-bit hack who had no business being the President of the local PTA chapter, let alone the United States. And if you think that you are likely to persuade anyone otherwise with your worthless Wall Street Journal op-eds, then maybe you weren't the political genius everyone gave you credit for being, either.

(H/T Crooks & Liars)

T Minus 25 Days

"I am mindful of the difference bewtween the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them."


- Washington, DC, December 2000


And let's not forget Turdblossom who celebrated his 58th birthday yesterday and gave us this little dingleberry of wisdom:


"As people do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic..."

Happy birthday, Douchebag.
And Happy Boxing Day! Also, today is the first day of Kwanzaa.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt Dies at 81

NY TIMES: Eartha Kitt, who purred and pounced her way across Broadway stages, recording studios and movie and television screens in a show-business career that lasted more than six decades, died on Thursday. She was 81 and lived in Connecticut.


I'll always remember my first exposure to Eartha Kitt - as Catwoman.


Harold Pinter Dies at 78


NY TIMES: Harold Pinter, the British playwright whose gifts for finding the ominous in the everyday and the noise within silence made him the most influential and imitated dramatist of his generation, died on Wednesday. He was 78 and lived in London.
Photo: John Haynes/Lebrecht

T Minus 26 Days



Merry Christmas, Mr. President-elect.

Merry Christmahanukwanzika!



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Last Minute Shopping



A little bit chilly in a rainy Bryant Park on this Christmas Eve day.

(Pic taken by Broadway Carl on his crappy Treo700WX. Not the phone, just the camera feature.)

T Minus 27 Days


"I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."


- Washington, DC, December 16, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BREAKING NEWS! Obama Staff Guilty of Nothing...

... in the Blagojevich investigation. Whew! With all the right wing hackery of guilt by proximity, I was beginning to worry.

NY Times: An internal report issued on Tuesday by lawyers for President-elect Barack Obama found that his top advisers had numerous contacts with the office of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and attempted to guide his choice to fill a vacant Illinois Senate seat, but none of the talks suggested an attempt to play along with the governor’s alleged attempts to sell the seat.

Suck it, fuckers.

T Minus 28 Days


"I'm not the expert on how the Iraqi people think, because I live in America, where it's nice and safe and secure."


- Washington, DC ,2004

Monday, December 22, 2008

Facebook

This Facebook thing is a blessing and a curse. Does anyone else feel that way?

Don't get me wrong, I love the networking capabilities. Finding a friend that you haven't seen in years is pretty awesome. Someone finding you that you never really cared for in the first place? Not so much. And Facebook seems to be a much more user friendly than MySpace. That's cool.

But there are people who live on Facebook. That's not cool. I'm not going to preach, because I'm not the outdoorsy type and can waste a day in front of the computer or the TV with the best of them, but it's a little unhealthy to live your life through Facebook, or completely online for that matter. When my desk chair has an ass groove formed in it, there's a problem.

Go out and enjoy the day, at least for a little while. So stop with the "friending" people you barely know. Yay, they're on your friend list now. So what? Do you talk to them on a regular basis? Have they shared a valuable life experience with you? If so, great. If not, then they're not your friend. Stop asking random people to be your friend. It's pathetic. No one has 2,763 friends. Don't believe me? How many holiday cards do you send out? Now subtract the obligatory family cards. How many do you have left? Bet you most of you don't break 100.

But the real reason Facebook can be annoying is all these stupid little applications that seem to dominate your Facebook page. Want to have a good time at the wine bar down the street? Why do that instead of using the "Pass Out Drinks To Friends" application. I mean, I know it doesn't taste as good, but it's cheaper to buy fake drinks for 3,000 of your closest online friends. Here's an idea: share sushi at actual sushi restaurant, not in a virtual "Send Someone Sushi" way.

And stop poking me! Do you poke people in real life? Or do you just say hello? I would most likely beat up someone who poked me. It's rude. And what's with the "Super Poke"? What are you, fucking Superman and think you can ram your finger through my sternum?! And don't fucking "Fling Food" at me unless you want to get a fake dry cleaning bill. I don't need imaginary gyro stains on my shirt.

And the kicker to all of this shit is that they make you jump through flaming hoops to join these fucking annoying applications. Oh look, so-and-so, sent me a hug. I don't know her very well but, what the heck it's just a hug. So you click Accept and get whisked away to another page where they ask you to Allow this application. Okay, so you click Allow and now you are taken to another page to invite your friends - now you get to Give a hug. You still haven't received your hug but now you're doling them out. And you have to choose between the little pick bunny hugging a bouquet of flowers or the green teddy bear holding a rose. What the fuck! And still you can't find your fucking hug! My advice is click Ignore.

The reason Facebook is on my mind is because last night I started a group for some fellow commenters on a specific blog. Some regulars at the threads have become friendly with each other and were exchanging photos, getting to know each other a little better and it became all convoluted because of the secret cross e-mailing as not to divulge your e-mail address on a public thread. After it was deemed you were worthy of that breach of privacy, then you had to figure out who's username matched with who's e-mail address, and was this Kathy the same as that Kathy and who the hell is she? - I thought she was a he! ... it was a fucking nightmare. So now, having the ability to start a page on Facebook devoted to a small group of people for the sake of getting to know each other was actually a valuable thing. That's fine. It was fun to create. But do we have to have groups for EVERYTHING?!

Do I need to join the "Just Say No to Fake Maple Syrup" group? What if I like fake maple syrup? And some groups are just there to make a statement, I know that. I'm a proud member of "I Have More Foreign Policy Experience Than Sarah Palin" group - 244,096 members strong. But is there a need for the establishment of the " Close Your Damn Legs on the Subway So I Can Sit Down Already!!!" group? I know they're venting but that's what blogs are for. Can I live without being the 434th member of "The Man Who Threw A Shoe At George Bush Appreciation Society"? I think so.

So enjoy Facebook. Have fun with it. Meet new friends or reconnect with old ones. But don't let it run your life. Make it the springboard for a destination, not the destination itself.

And stop fucking poking me.

T Minus 29 Days

"We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job. That's what I'm telling you."


-Gulfport, Missouri, 2005

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Final Rick Warren Post... I Hope

Bob Cesca's blog has been all Rick Warren all week. It's been an interesting debate with, unfortunately, no resolution. No one's budged on their stance and it's one of those issues where it looks like they're going to have to agree to disagree (but that's not happening either). So it's been a long week for Cescans¹ and the GDAB². Here's my take on it for (hopefully) the last time. This was a comment I wrote on Armadillo Joe's blog, but I thought I'd post it here as well (with a few grammatical changes for cohesion and slight elaboration on thoughts).

I understand the frustration with the Warren crap, but ultimately will it matter? Obama chose Warren to give an invocation, not to become his new Senior Policy Advisor. I know it seems like a slap in the face to liberals, progressives, pro-choice advocates and the LGBT community now, but who's really gonna give a shit a month from now? That's how I'm looking at it. Obama is not all of a sudden going to become pro-life.

This is why I disagree with Glenn Greenwald's quote in Armadillo Joe's post:


Armadillo Joe: Righties think god is on their side and the devil is in any opposition. In such a formulation, how can we ever find the middle? We can't because there isn't one. As Glenn Greenwald wrote yesterday:
Ultimately, the reason politics is unavoidably "divisive" is because people have really divergent and irreconcilable views on passion-provoking controversies. That's what politics is. It's what it always has been. At some point, Obama either will or won't repeal DOMA and don't-ask-don't-tell; he either will or won't rescind Bush's anti-abortion regulations and appoint new Supreme Court Justices likely to re-affirm Roe; he either will or won't close Gitmo; he either will or won't withdraw from Iraq; he either will or won't investigate Bush war crimes; he either will or won't deliver on his promises to unions, etc. People feel very strongly -- and very differently -- about those issues.

I disagree because I believe Obama's decision to include Warren in his inauguration for a three minute prayer (something that shouldn't be a part of the ceremony to begin with, IMHO) isn't going to change his mind on pro-choice, or closing Gitmo, or troop withdrawal from Iraq, or suddenly make him think conservative judges are what we need in the Supreme Court.

Sure, I'm disappointed that he chose Warren for all the same reasons everyone else is, but I don't find the invocation so important that I believe it's the beginning of the end for the Obama administration. Unemployment, health care, getting out of the Middle East, vets care, the economy - these are the things that are important to me, not who says what prayer when.

Which is why I don't agree with Christopher Hitchens either.

Hitchens: A president may by all means use his office to gain re-election, to shore up his existing base, or to attract a new one. But the day of his inauguration is not one of the days on which he should be doing that. It is an event that belongs principally to the voters and to their descendants, who are called to see that a long tradition of peaceful transition is cheerfully upheld, even in those years when the outcome is disputed.
So according to Hitchens, yes, Obama can be inclusive - that's what he campaigned on, that he's the President of all Americans; that there are no red states or blues states, only the United States - but not on Inauguration Day! That's the day that Obama voters get to rub the losers' noses in it!

I say either Obama is going to believe what he says every day, or he's going to be politically maneuvering every day. I hope it's the former, but it has to be every day. Including Inauguration Day.

And finally, look at it another way. Warren's acceptance of the invitation is not sitting well with his base. I would say the evangelical right is freaking out about Warren's attendance as much if not more than the progressive left is. So, although I doubt this is the reason for the invite, an unintended consequence is that Warren's power and influence among his flock may possibly be compromised on Obama's first day in office. That can only be a good thing.


¹ - The Bob Cesca blog commenting community
² - Goddamn Awesome Blog

T Minus 30 Days



"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods."

- Washington, DC, December 2000

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Reinfather

Merry Freakin' Christmas.

Pallin' Around With Drug Dealers - UPDATED

It seems Bristol Palin is marrying into a family whose future* mother in law is a cyrstal meth drug dealer.

The mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla teenager who is the father of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter's unborn child, was arrested Thursday on drug charges.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Friday that Sherry L. Johnston, 42, was arrested by Alaska State Troopers at her Wasilla home and charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.
So, using Sarah Palin's guilt by association logic, it seems she's been pallin' around with drug dealers in her hometown of Wasilla, the crystal meth capital of Alaska. And this on the day before Bristol's due date.

If it's a girl, I hope they name her Crystal. I guess it's the thing to do up there considering Levi's mom was named after his grandmother's favorite cooking wine.

(*Levi Johnston and Bristol are still not married.)


UPDATE (10:10pm): Thanks to commenter Chris for bringing this to my attention. It seems that Sherry Johnston's drug arrest is oxycontin related, which means that Rush Limbaugh will most likely vigorously defend her to his death, which in my opinion can't come soon enough. Still doesn't change the fact the Miss Wasilla is pallin' around with drug dealers.

Must Reads




Robert Parry: Obama v. Washington Mythmaking

Amy Goodman: Workers laid off, execs paid off

Marjorie Cohn: Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet, Defies Prosecution for War Crimes

The Rude Pundit: Tubby the Preacher Says That, Because He Fucks Women, "I Have Fewer Broken Hearts. I Have Less STDs"

Doctor Biobrain: The Shoe Rebellion

Obama's Weekly Address - Dec. 20, 2008

T Minus 31 Days

"It's a time of sorrow and sadness when we lose a loss of life."

- Washington, DC, December 21, 2004

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lieberman Did What Now?

Looks like the slap on the hand might have pointed Holy Joe Lieberman in the right direction. Well, at least he's actually doing something as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In a letter to the Office of Personnel Management, the Connecticut Independent demanded information about the outgoing president's "eleventh-hour transfers of political appointees to career government positions."

"At the end of each Administration, there are always concerns that political appointees may improperly convert to career positions," writes Lieberman. "The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently provided a briefing to Committee staff on the process of converting Executive Branch employees from non-career to career positions, often referred to as 'burrowing in.' While I appreciated the information provided at the briefing, I am requesting additional information to ensure that every request to burrow in is transparent, fair and equitable, and free from political influence."
Could Lieberman actually be doing his job and overseeing the Bush administration's abuse of power? Holy check and balances, Batman!

The Rick Warren Debate

I haven't posted much yesterday and today because I've been doing a lot of reading at BobCesca.com where Bob and fellow poster Lee Stranahan have been having a vigorous debate regarding the decision to have Rick Warren give the invocation at Barack Obama's inaugural ceremony.

If you care to take a trip over there, I'm sure something will strike a chord.

Mark Felt Dies at 95

NY TIMES: W. Mark Felt, who was the No. 2 official at the F.B.I. when he helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon by resisting the Watergate cover-up and becoming Deep Throat, the most famous anonymous source in American history, died Thursday. He was 95 and lived in Santa Rosa, Calif.


...Mr. Felt played a dual role in the fall of Nixon. As a secret informant, he kept the story alive in the press. As associate director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he fought the president’s efforts to obstruct the F.B.I.’s investigation of the Watergate break-in.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Music Break! Mel Tormé & Judy Garland

The Christmas Song

The Rick Warren Issue

Yesterday it was reported that Rick Warren was chosen to give the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration. At first I thought it was a joke or a misreporting.

Surely there are better choices than the anti-choice Rick Warren who compared abortion to the Holocaust. There must be a better pick than the anti-gay rights Rick Warren who, athough admitting that divorce is a bigger threat to marriage than gay marriage, still compared it to incest and pedophilia while hiding behind the excuse of the "redefinition" of marrige (which is fodder for a completely different post altogether). The man who said that stem-cell research is "non negotiable" for Evangelicals when deciding on their presidential choice couldn't be the guy that Obama chose to speak at his inauguration, could it?

It looks like it is true, and for a moment I felt a little better after reading this:

...the decision to get involved with Saddleback was actually not Obama's. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, run by the House and Senate, put together the program for the swearing-in ceremony. Congress, not Obama, invited Warren...

What the hell is that all about? Great, so Obama doesn't have a choice on who gets to give the invocation at his own inauguration ceremony?

Or does he? Why is the New York Times online reporting it this way a full day later?

Barack Obama has selected the Rev. Rick Warren, the evangelical pastor and author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, a role that positions Mr. Warren to succeed Billy Graham as the nation’s pre-eminent minister and reflects the generational changes in the evangelical Christian movement.

...Mr. Obama’s inauguration program, for Jan. 20, was announced Wednesday by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Celebrations.

Inauguration programs follow a traditional outline but also allow a president-elect to put his stamp on the proceedings and set the tone for his administration.

The choice of Mr. Warren, pastor of a megachurch in Orange County, Calif., is an olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals. Mr. Warren is an outspoken opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage — litmus-test issues for Christian conservatives. In fact, his selection set off a round of criticism by gay rights groups angered by his support for California’s ban on same-sex marriages.

So did Obama decide on Warren or what is decided for him? Did the "release" of this information precede Obama's knowledge of it in an attempt to corner him into accepting the program? And why haven't we heard a statement from the transition team? Or is the quesiton even being asked - too much Blagojevichin' to worry about Warren, you know.

I have mixed feelings about this. If this is a political game to placate the Religious Right and try to win them over, then it won't work. Even though Obama did get twice the number of votes from young Evangelicals that Kerry received in 2004 he still received about 25% of their vote overall, the same as Kerry. The other issue I fear is the "what have you done for me lately" effect. Sure, the Religious Right will tolerate Obama... for about as long as Warren's invocation lasts. But unless he's going to do a 180 on Pro-Choice and stem-cell research, I don't think he'll gain any new supporters, and he'd certainly lose more than he'd gain.

On the flip side, what does the choice of Warren say about what Obama or the Democratic party thinks of it's Progessive supporters. Right now, they are majorly pissed off about the Warren issue.

"My blood pressure is really high right now," said Rev. Chuck Currie, minister at Parkrose Community United Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon. "Rick Warren does some really good stuff and there are some areas that I have admired his ability to build bridges between evangelicals and mainline religious and political figures... but he is also very established in the religious right and his position on social issues like gay rights, stem cell research and women's rights are all out of the mainstream and are very much opposed to the progressive agenda that Obama ran on. I think that he is very much the wrong person to put on the stage with the president that day."

**********************************************

..."Pastor Warren, while enjoying a reputation as a moderate based on his affable personality and his church's engagement on issues like AIDS in Africa, has said that the real difference between James Dobson and himself is one of tone rather than substance," read a statement from People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. "He has repeated the Religious Right's big lie that supporters of equality for gay Americans are out to silence pastors. He has called Christians who advance a social gospel Marxists. He is adamantly opposed to women having a legal right to choose an abortion."

**********************************************

..."Let me get right to the point," Joe Solomnese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a harsh
letter to the president-elect, "Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans."

Does someone get to review what Warren will say in his invocation before the event? Will he insert some unapproved passage and take a shot at the LGBT community? Will he compare Pro-choicers to Hitler? Probably not. But there's always that slim chance...

To those who aren't especially religious (including yours truly), does it really matter? Just because Warren is there doesn't mean Obama is all of a sudden adopting Warren's policy views. And I think we're pretty safe to assume that Obama is still in favor of the separation of church and state. Otherwise, we should just be pissed off that there is an invocation and a benediction to begin with. We should be angry that religious observance is part of the inauguration ceremony at all, shouldn't we? Or is that just a formality and therefore okay?

We take what we want out of the words of these people, don't we? If we are in agreement with them, it is of a secular nature. If we happen to disagree with something, it's based on their religious beliefs and don't pertain to us. Yes, Warren has said some pretty shitty things, but that's not to say he hasn't done any good. And let's not forget that Rev. Joseph Lowery, who was a founding leader of the Civil Rights Movement will be there as well. Does Lowery's benediction cancel out Warren's invocation? Does it supercede it?

And finally, maybe in Barack Obama we really did get someone who is doing what he said he would do.

Lee Stranahan:

Apparently, Barack Obama meant what he said about our politics being too small for our problems.

...I don't understand how anyone who listened to Obama during the campaign would be shocked that Obama lets Warren give the invocation. It's vintage Obama. It does not signal agreement with Warren's political positions, some of which are clearly at odds with Obama's. Warren isn't making policy or even giving a sermon. He's saying a prayer and then possibly dancing later at some inaugural parties. If anything, it's the possibility of this dancing that should be deeply troubling to all Americans.

...Rick Warren felt some of this same heat when he invited Barack Obama to speak at his church on World Aids Day. Conservatives railed against Warren for legitimizing Obama. People with different political opinions aren't supposed to come together in anything but a shouting match.


...There's something bigger at play here and you can't say Obama didn't warn you. He talked about reaching out, about expanding our politics and that crazy bastard actually meant it. Nobody on the left or right quite knows what to make of it. We want to cram Obama into our old, divisive, two toned ideological and political frame and if he doesn't fit, we'll attack him too. Attacking is what we're used to doing.

But in the long run this new politics benefits us all. Ironically, it benefits the minorities and marginalized and ill-treated the most. I know this may be hard for many to see right now but the truth is that this sort of symbol is what America needs. Not seeing just Warren on stage or just Lowery but seeing both of them of there at once.

Obama said it in the abstract time and again during the campaign. Now he's showing us. Seeing the things that Pastor Rick Warren and Reverend Joseph Lowery have in common is more important than seeing the things that separate them. America needs to see that. It's a step down the road where a majority of us see the things that straight Americans in love want are the same things that gay Americans in love want, too.
Lee Stranahan is a better man than I. My first instinct is definitely not "do unto others." I think I eventually get there most of the time, and not so quickly. But I do agree with his idea that attacking is what we are used to doing, so maybe we should keep an open mind about things. Case in point, now it seems that the Religious Right is angered over Warren's participation in the inauguration.

So who knows? Maybe he'll back out, although I doubt it. Just as I doubt Obama would change his mind about having him there.



UPDATE (12:20pm): Obama press conference where he is asked about the Warren choice.



(H/T Paddy)

Also, more Stranahan:
If opposing same-sex marriage but being on record for equal rights is homophobic then Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are all homophobic. I can think someone is wrong about gay marriage without calling them a homophobe. Throwing around that word doesn't help and it's generally unprovable.


UPDATE II (3:10pm): Thom Hartmann. Wow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sock and Awe!

Now you too can pretend to be an Iraqi journalist and throw a size 10 at George W. Bush's head!

Play SOCK AND AWE!

But if you feel like sending a shoe to Dubya, why don't you send a pair here instead?

Today's Morning Joke™ Dumbass Quote

Joe Scarborough on the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme (paraphrasing): "I'm not saying that there isn't blame to go around on all sides, but the Democrats and Barney Frank had no oversight. And Chuck Schumer is basically running Wall Street from Washington, DC."

As if this scheme to bilk $50 BILLION from unsuspecting investors only took place in the last two years of a Congressional Democratic majority. And of course, Schumer should have seen this immediately after the $700 billion financial bailout.

By the way, I only heard this while flipping on Morning Joke™ for about 30 seconds. I have a bet with myself that they're going to say something ridiculous on this sorry excuse for a show within the first minute of my TV going on, and I haven't been disappointed yet.

Joe Scarborough: Douchebag of the Day.

T Minus 34 Days

"See, without the tax relief package, there would have been a deficit, but there wouldn't have been the commiserate - not commiserate - the kick to our eceonomy that occurred as a result of the tax relief."


- Washington, DC, December 15, 2000

Monday, December 15, 2008

Evil Incarnate

Well, not too much blogging for me today. Spent the day with the little Mrs. , running errands, trimming the tree (that's sounds nasty) and attending a friend's Christmas party. Got home and caught up on some TV. Needless to say, I was cable news free for the day - good thing too, I needed to clear my head.

But the one thing I did hear is that the King of the Douchebags, DICK Cheney said something to the effect of "even if we knew there were no WMD, we would have gone into Iraq anyways, because that's how I roll, motherfuckers!"

I haven't even looked up the direct quote, so I'll search for it now. Be right back... in the meantime, you can hum The Girl From Ipanema to yourself while waiting.

...

Okay, I'm back. So basically, it looks like Cheney was disagreeing with a Karl Rove quote while he was playing Salvage the Bush Legacy.

Former White House Adviser Karl Rove said last week that if pre-war intelligence on the Iraqi WMD programs had been accurate, the United States likely would not have entered the war. But asked about Rove’s comment during an interview with ABC News Monday, Cheney said “I disagree with that.”
Then he goes on with the same old story; some such shit about Saddam Hussein still having "the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction. He had the technology, he had the people, he had the basic feed stocks."

Uh, why is this news? We all know that it was bullshit then, it's bullshit now, but somehow it's being fed to us as if this is some revelation. There is no new news about Cheney saying we still would have invaded Iraq even if we knew they didn't have WMD, because... well, we did know that there were no WMD. And we went in anyway. And it's because Cheney is an evil, evil demon. I'm starting to believe that he's not really human. He's evil incarnate.

It was all a money grab. That's all it ever was - privatize the military and get your corporate friends the overinflated government contracts, have them do a shitty job, leave the place worse off than when you went in, say it wasn't your fault, rinse and repeat. And don't forget to bleed the Treasury dry in the process. The $700 billion TARP bailout was the final slice across the throat to bleed out the country before riding off into the sunset with boatloads of cash.


UPDATE (12/17/08 12:35am): Anyone in public office who says "So what?" in a conversation as a rebuttal ought to be tarred and feathered. I thought he was just an imbecile, but I've come to realize that even Bush was smart enough to know the Devil when he saw it, and went along for the ride anyway.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boot To The Head! Shoes Thrown At Bush During Iraq News Conference

I just caught this in passing but it looks like an Iraqi reporter went apeshit during a joint news conference in Iraq with George W. Bush and Nouri Al-Maliki and threw his shoes at the President. Both shoes misssed as Bush ducked. Video to follow as soon as I can find it.

UPDATE: Here's the link to the BBC video. No embedding yet.

So, I know that lame duck Georgie has been phoning it in for the last couple of months, but where the fuck was Secret Service? The guy got two shoes off! And the President? Impressively quick for a dry drunk.

UPDATE II: You gotta love Think Progress. Looks like Dana Perino took a shot in the eye from a microphone during the melee.



UPDATE III: Here's the Fox report. Better video, although I could've done without the last line of commentary. (The best quality video for viewing is the BBC link above.)




UPDATE IV (9:10pm):
George W. Bush regarding the shoe incident:

"So what if the guy threw his shoe at me?" Bush told a reporter in response to a question about the incident.

"Let me talk about the guy throwing his shoe. It's one way to gain attention. It's like going to a political rally and having people yell at you. It's like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers.

It's a way for people to draw attention. I don't know what the guy's cause is. But one thing is for certain. He caused you to ask me a question about it. I didn't feel the least bit threatened by it."
It never occured to him that this guy might have just as easily thrown a knife or a grenade. I'm not so sure of the security of the Green Zone in Iraq, but if Secret Service agents couldn't stop this guy from throwning not one, but two shoes, I'm going to venture to guess that reporters entering the Green Zone are probably not as thoroughly screened as they should be. I'm going to assume that after they enter the borders of the zone, they're going to have a false sense of security and not be on their toes.

George W. Bush: Douchebag of epic proprotions.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bush's Legacy - Iraq Reconstruction

This is un. Be. Lieveable. A new 513 page report on the history of the reconstruction of Iraq , or lack of, is about to be released with the New York Times obtaining an advance unpublished copy. The report basically states that the Pentagon's reconstruction efforts have been a complete failure. A complete $100 BILLION failure.

The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures.

In one passage, for example, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is quoted as saying that in the months after the 2003 invasion, the Defense Department “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’ ”

[...]

...In an illustration of the hasty and haphazard planning, a civilian official at the United States Agency for International Development was at one point given four hours to determine how many miles of Iraqi roads would need to be reopened and repaired. The official searched through the agency’s reference library, and his estimate went directly into a master plan.

[...]

...The history records how Mr. Garner presented Mr. Rumsfeld with several rebuilding plans, including one that would include projects across Iraq.

“What do you think that’ll cost?” Mr. Rumsfeld asked of the more expansive plan.

“I think it’s going to cost billions of dollars,” Mr. Garner said.

“My friend,” Mr. Rumsfeld replied, “if you think we’re going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken.”

In a way he never anticipated, Mr. Rumsfeld turned out to be correct: before that year was out, the United States had appropriated more than $20 billion for the reconstruction, which would indeed involve projects across the entire country.

Mr. Rumsfeld declined to comment on the history, but a spokesman, Keith Urbahn, said that quotes attributed to Mr. Rumsfeld in the document “appear to be accurate.” Mr. Powell also declined to comment.


I really, really wish I could say this is a surprise, but when the Bush government loses $8 billion in cash that was flown to Iraq on pallets, nothing is surprising anymore.

Must Reads



David Leonhardt: $73 an Hour: Adding It Up



Gates: Don't Fuck With The Big O

NY TIMES: Mr. Gates arrived in Baghdad from Manama, Bahrain, where he warned that foreign powers should not try to “test” President-elect Barack Obama with a crisis in his first months in office.

[...]

Mr. Gates, who was speaking at a conference on regional security, said that Mr. Obama and his advisers had done more extensive planning across the government for the transition than at any time he could remember and asserted that they would therefore be prepared from their first day in office. Mr. Gates, who is staying on as defense secretary, has worked for seven presidents; Mr. Obama will be his eighth. “So anyone who thought that the upcoming months might present opportunities to ‘test’ the new president would be sorely mistaken,” Mr. Gates said at the conference. “President Obama and his national security team, myself included, will be ready to defend the interests of the United States and our friends and allies from the moment he takes office on Jan. 20.”

Nice to see that Gates has Obama's back... but then again, that's why Obama was smart enough to choose to remain with Gates.

Obama's Weekly Address - Dec. 13, 2008

T Minus 38 Days

"I mean, there was a serious international effort to say to Saddam Hussein, you're a threat. And the 9/11 attacks extenuated that threat, as far as I - concerned."


- Philadelphia, PA, December 12, 2005

Friday, December 12, 2008

The GOP Obstructionism Continues

You can talk about Rod Blagojevich all you want. You can bring up Tony Rezko and the corrupt Chicago political system until Mrs. O'Leary's cow comes home. But after last night, the Republicans in the US Senate have proved once again that they are the armpit, or should I say the asshole, of American politics.

After the House voted to compromise their bill in an attempt to help out the auto industry with a $14 billion bridge loan with White House backing, the bill failed to come to a vote in the Senate 52-35, eight votes short.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader and Incredible Mr. Limpet of the Republican party said, “The administration negotiated in good faith with the Democratic majority a proposal that was simply unacceptable to the vast majority of our side because we thought it frankly wouldn’t work.” You got that? The Democrats and the White House were on board, but most Senate Republicans didn't think it would work. Now all of a sudden, they're economic experts.

And it's all because they think that the workers who actually make the product are making too much money.

The group came close to agreement, but it stalled over the UAW's refusal to agree to wage cuts before their current contract expires in 2011. Republicans, in turn, balked at giving the automakers federal aid.

The double standard is astonishing. A $700 BILLION bailout for financial institutions that caused the mess we're in was a no brainer, but a $14 billion bridge loan (2% of the TARP bailout that the Treasury Department has been frittering away with no discernable plan) for the continued survival of 3 million blue collar jobs? Well that is just too much.

How many of those douchebags in the Senate complained about the salaries of the bankers and the stock brokers and the CEO's when they forked over 700 billion taxpayer dollars? No one batted an eye. But those factory workers? Fuck them, they're the reason the auto industry is in this debacle, right? They make the decisions on which cars to manufacture, what the designs should be. They are the ones who said, "Fuck fuel economy, I want a Dodge Ram HEMI!"

The white collar/blue collar discrimination in this country just amazes me. There's a special place in hell for the obstructionist fuckwads in the Senate. And I hope they get there sooner than later.

UPDATE (8:05pm):

NY TIMES: President Bush and the Treasury Department signaled on Friday that they would consider dipping into the $700 billion bailout program for financial institutions to aid the Big Three car companies, after Republican senators refused to support a compromise proposal to rescue the automakers.
“Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms,” Dana Perino, Mr. Bush’s spokeswoman, said in a carefully nuanced statement released minutes before the financial markets opened in New York. “However, given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary — including use of the TARP program — to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers.”

Also, MSNBC's Countdown just reported that talking points for Republicans in the Senate were issued to use the auto bailout as a union busting opportunity. The internal GOP memo, called "Action Alert," states: "...Senators Ensign, Shelby, Coburn and DeMint... The message they want us to deliver is: This is the Demnocrats first opportunity to payoff organized labor after the election... Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor... If we can hold the Republicans, we can beat this."

So basically, as I said before, fuck the American economy, fuck 3 million jobs and double digit unemployment. We have the opportunity to bust the United Auto Workers Union, so why not?

Bettie Page Dies at 85


NY TIMES: Bettie Page, a legendary pinup girl whose photographs in the nude, in bondage and in naughty-but-nice poses appeared in men’s magazines and private stashes across America in the 1950s and set the stage for the sexual revolution of the rebellious ’60s, died Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 85.

T Minus 39 Days

"In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family."


- Washington, DC, December 11, 2002 - regarding smallpox vaccinations

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Obama Blago Bashing

From Bob Cesca:

Your 'Liberal' Cable News Network
Just now on MSNBC... Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker said (paraphrasing), "Obama wants to change the tone in Washington? He couldn't even change the tone in Illinois!"

Yes, Mr. Whitaker, it was entirely up to the junior senator to change the entire political tone of the state of Illinois. Because he somehow had the power to do that.

Sheesh. Gimme something to break.

If Whitaker had bothered to do any research or maybe even pick up the New York Times yesterday, he would know that it was because of Obama that ethics legislation was passed in Illinois directly leading to the takedown of Blagojevich.


Mr. Obama placed the call to his political mentor, Emil Jones Jr., president of the Illinois Senate. Mr. Jones was a critic of the legislation, which sought to curb the influence of money in politics, as was Mr. Blagojevich, who had vetoed it. But after the call from Mr. Obama, the Senate overrode the veto, prompting the governor to press state contractors for campaign contributions before the law’s restrictions could take effect on Jan. 1, prosecutors say.
So, yeah, Whitaker, Obama actually did change the tone in Illinois. I think it's time Mark Whitaker started doing some actual research and journalism or shut the fuck up.


UPDATE (11:52am): The Rude Pundit nails it.

...Unless you have Barack Obama on a recording saying, "Hey, Rod, I'll give you a hundred grand and three blow jobs from Michelle if you appoint my person to the Senate," then the rest of the nation thinks, "Let Illinois work it out and leave us the fuck alone." Because, see, if you're facing foreclosure after whatever brief grace period your bank is giving you so they don't look like complete cocksuckers over the holidays, the imminent end of your unemployment benefits, a COBRA that's chowed up your savings and your credit card limits, and the only prospect for the future is that shit's gonna get worse before it gets better, do you really give a happy rat's fuck if the President-elect's spokesman was right or wrong on whether or not Obama said jackshit to Rod Blagojevich?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can The Freaks Drop It Now?

I couldn't believe it. It was so ridiculous, I never thought it would get this far.

AP: The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth. The court did not comment on its order Monday rejecting the call by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., to intervene in the presidential election.

Leo Donofrio has to be the biggest moron on the face of the earth. Yet, I suppose I do have to give him credit for not letting go of what he must have believed was the right thing and to take this charade as far as it could go.

But talk about frivilous lawsuits! I haven't heard one word about that from the right wing freakosphere. According to them, you shouldn't sue for malpractice in a wrongful death suit, but challenging the eligibility of a presidential candidate on the basis of not believing he is a natural born citizen and taking that unwinnable case to the highest court in the land is completely fair. Douchebags, all.

Remind me never to move to East Brunswick, N.J.

What's All The Blagojevichin' About?

Innocent until proven guilty. Sure. But in the political world, when your hands are so dirty that you aren't just brought in for questioning, but actually arrested, I think you're done. And to fan the flames, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's arrogance just one day before the corrupt shit hit the fan truly shows you how out of touch he was.

But what's all the Blagojevichin' about? According to the wingnuts, it seems that just because Blagojevich and his hair are from Illinois and Obama is from Illinois then *GASP!*, ipso facto, Obama's hands are dirty as well. Even though US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said there was no tie between Obama and the Blagman, and even though rumors surfaced that it was Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who blew the whistle on the Blagmeister (althought he denies it), even though Obama's push for ethic reform in the state legislature was the beginning of Blagoroonee's shakedown takedown, the wingnuts are frothing at the mouth with their usual guilt by association meme.

Let's take a quick stroll through the wingnut blogosphere, or as I like to call it, Dante's 8th Circle of Hell, and see what they have to say:

Michelle Malkin -"The Democrat culture of corruption" : ...Fitzgerald says President-elect Obama was not implicated in the plethora of charges against Democrats Blago and Harris. The national media went out of their way to absolve him, too. But declaring Team Obama’s hands clean — especially with Blago crony and indicted Obama donor Tony Rezko in the middle of it all — is premature. (And if you’re wondering why I keep putting “Democrat” in front of the accused corruptocrats, it’s because the mainstream newspapers can’t seem to remember to identify their party prominently the way they do when Republicans are nabbed.)

Chicago’s Fox affiliate reports that Obama Chief of Staff and Chicago hometown heavy Rahm Emanuel was the catalyst for the Blago takedown and suggests Rahm-bo tipped off the feds. If so, this raises more questions than it answers about who on the transition team may have talked to Blago and his shakedown artists about what and when. Needless to say, if it were the Republican Bush administration tied to the Blago bust, the White House press corps would be frothing like a pack of Michael Vick’s pit bulls.

Hoo-hoo! "Corruptocrats." She's so clever. And she writes as if this story is being completely ignored and not being covered for the last 36 hours straight. Same with the Cowardly Whale.
Rush Limbaugh: ...By the way, you have to look long and hard in the news today and on television to find that Blago's a Democrat. It's fascinating, but it's very difficult for the national media to find out his party affiliation.

Powerline: ...No doubt Obama would now say that the Rod Blagojevich who tried to sell his vacant Senate seat “isn’t the Rod Blagojevich I knew.” Maybe it’s time to take notice of the fact that Barack Obama is either 1) an astonishingly poor judge of character, or 2) a politician who swims comfortably and successfully in what must be America’s most corrupt pond. This is, apparently, the “change” that millions of Americans voted for.
You're right, John from Powerline. We really didn't want change. We knew all along that Obama's a poor judge of character and is corrupt. We got used to it and wanted more of the same after eight years of the Bush administration.

And it goes on and on from the wingnutosphere. I can't stomach much more so I'll stop there. Stop your whining and Blagojevichin', wingnuts. Obama will be President in 41 days. Get used to it. By the way, are any of them talking about the FBI's investigation into Norm Coleman? Didn't think so.

Why Jon Stewart Rocks

Mike Huckabee was on the Daily Show pushing his new book, "Do The Right Thing" (apparently no longer just a Spike Lee joint) and Jon Stewart calls him out on his "Do unto others..." hypocrisy regarding the issue of gay marriage. Awesome.


 
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