Thursday, August 31, 2006

Comair Flight 5191

Is it just me, or does it seem that the NTSB is trying to do everything it can to spread blame around for the Comair flight 5191 crash in Kentucky last Sunday when it is perfectly clear that pilot error is to blame?

We're told that there was only one air traffic controller in the tower when there should have been two, and he only had two hours of sleep. The runway had just been resurfaced, the taxiway had been changed. It just seems to go on and on. The bottom line is that in the end, this was pilot error plain and simple.

Look, the tower correctly informed the pilots they were cleared for take off on runway 26 and these runways are purposely numbered to indicate bearing. If you line up for take-off on runway 26 and your compass doesn't indicate your bearing is 260º, you're on the wrong runway. These pilots didn't do that and are therefore at fault. The rest is simply hysterics.

I understand that a complete investigation is necessary, but at this point it just seems to me that they are providing cover for the airline.

David Broder

Ah, David Broder. I think it's safe to say the pasture Broder should have been put out to is long past green, hell it's long past snowed upon. Today, Broder writes that after coming back from a one week vacation he has learned the Democrats are changing their primary schedule. Pretty impressive, Hotline only reported as such on July 22nd, although the final official vote took place August 19th.

Anyway, in Broder's eyes the Dems "have gone and messed it up again." Why? Well, apparently Broder believes that the great unwashed masses that reside outside of New Hampshire do not possess the skill sets needed to pick the Democratic nominee to be the leader of the free world. From the Washington Post:

What was lost in all this was any sense of public deliberation about the choice of the next president. In the general election, people have two months or more to evaluate two or maybe three candidates. In the early primaries, eight or 10 people may be vying. What is most needed is time -- and a place -- for them to be carefully examined.

Historically, New Hampshire has fulfilled that responsibility. Voters there -- in both parties and especially among the numerous independents who also vote in the primary -- take their role seriously. They turn up at town meetings and they ask probing questions. So do the interviewers at local papers and broadcast stations. So do high school students.

New Hampshire voters don't need -- or particularly want -- guidance from Iowa, and frequently they ignore the Iowa results. But they are stuck with Iowa. Now, thanks to the Democrats, they may be stuck with Nevada as well, and crowded from behind by South Carolina.

Well , we wouldn't want to mess with that, especially considering New Hampshire's track record. Since 1952, when the state became the nation's first primary, New Hampshire has picked exactly four Democratic presidents. Those four primary winners that went on to be president were an unopposed JFK, an unopposed LBJ, Jimmy Carter over political powerhouse Morris Udall, and a second term Bill Clinton (New Hampshire picked Paul Tsongas in Clinton's first run).

Some of the other "great" picks New Hampshire Democrats have picked include Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart, Edmund Muskie, and C. Estes Kefauver (Twice!). I guess we should just cancel all other primaries and caucuses and just let New Hampshire pick our nominee.

Hell, Broder doesn't even seem to understand that the real reason for this shuffling of the primaries is to balance the field against Hillary's massive war chest. Time to move on old man.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Hmm, I seem to be having trouble uploading You Tube videos to the new Beta Bloggger. Anyway, go check out this one.

Shaking My Head

The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran this bit of shoddy journalism a week ago Sunday. From the Plain Dealer:

Clermont County- In a county that proudly paints itself political red, where about 70 percent of voters backed President Bush in 2004, Nathan Estruth showed up at a park Saturday morning to hear the blue people.

In particular, he wanted to listen to Ted Strickland, the Democratic candidate for governor who, with U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown, was headlining a three-day bus tour promoting the party's statewide ticket in some of Ohio's most Republican counties.

Estruth, a father of four who typically votes Republican, milled in the back of a partisan crowd of about 100, one of just a handful of people not wearing a shirt promoting a Democratic candidate. At the urging of a friend, he came to give the Democrats, who have been out of power in Ohio for more than a decade, a chance to win his vote.


After the 40-minute rally, Estruth said he was not ready to vote Democratic. He was put off, he said, by their harsh rhetoric.

"I wanted to see if he was an executive with clear plans for fixing the state," he said about Strickland. "What I got was partisan talk. He confirmed my worst fears."

Nathan Estruth is the President of Common Sense Ohio, a front group running ads on behalf on Ken Blackwell. Estruth and his wife have donated $20,000 personally to the Blackwell campaign.

I mean, come on, the guy didn't even give a false name. How hard is it to check out the guy to see if he is a media plant? Or are reporters so naive as to believe there is no such thing?

Found via Buckeye State Blog

Upside Down World

How badly has the republicans election swagger deteriorated into a wobbly stagger? Consider this, the NRSC has spent at least $181,587.66 in Rhode Island to defeat a republican in a primary. Meanwhile, various GOP affiliated groups are providing money and manpower to elect a Democrat in Connecticut.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

A story today in the Washington Post isn't going to play very well for incumbents in the fly-over states. The three most prosperous counties in the United States are now all suburbs of Washington DC. From the Post:

The three most prosperous large counties in the United States are in the Washington suburbs, according to census figures released yesterday, which show that the region has the second-highest income and the least poverty of any major metropolitan area in the country.

Rapidly growing Loudoun County has emerged as the wealthiest jurisdiction in the nation, with its households last year having a median income of more than $98,000. It is followed by Fairfax and Howard counties, with Montgomery County not far behind.

That accumulation of suburban wealth, local economists said, is a side effect of the enormous flow of federal money into the region through contracts for defense and homeland security work in the five years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, coming after the local technology boom of the 1990s. "When you put that together . . . you have a recipe for heightened prosperity," said Anirban Basu, an economist at a Baltimore consulting firm.

Make no mistake about who lives in these counties. They are pretty much all living on your dime through the repeating cycle of money flowing from contractors to lobbyists to Congress critters campaign accounts, and sometimes their personal accounts, followed by a raid on the federal treasury though earmarks to send even larger sums back to the contractors.

I think these last few paragraphs sum up the situation pretty well. Again from the Post:

The suburban prosperity has been brought about by people such as Tony Dawood, 46, of Leesburg, who moved to Loudoun County from Pennsylvania to take a job as a civil engineer. He is paid about $130,000 a year and augments his income with business investments.

"The affluence is overwhelming," Dawood said. His 17-year-old son has developed an interest in golf, an expensive hobby given the cost of $50 to $100 to play on a public course, and drives a new Mitsubishi Montero. It would be considered a nice car for a teenager, except that one of his friends has a brand-new Hummer and another drives a new Cadillac.

"They pull up in my driveway and my jaw drops," Dawood said.

What do the kids in your neighborhood drive?

Oh, and I should also tell you the report that generated this story noted that a record number of American now live without access to health insurance. Hope you don't have a doctor's office appointment scheduled.

He's A Witch!!

The witch has been outed as Ted Stevens, was there really any doubt?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

And Then There Were Fourteen

Thirteen Senators and one witch left in the brew. The three most likely culprits are all still on the board. (Stevens, Byrd, Reid)

The Witch List Is Getting Lonely

In TPM Muckrakers effort to get an on the record statement from each Senator about which Senator put a "secret hold" on a transparency in government bill, the list of hold-outs is starting to get awfully lonely. Seventy Senators are now on the record with a no response.

I'm going to guess the culprit will be dropping the hold before it becomes a list of one.

Safety In Our Skies

Michael Chertoff has an Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post about what he calls a much-needed program to stop the next airline plot, the collection of PNR date on passengers flying internationally to the United States. Sure, that is probably helpful, but since we are likely going to be dealing with autonomous cells in the future, we are simply still playing a game of chance with airline security.

None of these spying programs likely would have broken up the recent plot by home grown British terrorists, that was achieved by a tip from someone in the plotters' community. That is a dice game we don’t need to be playing in the future. I’m not saying this program isn’t helpful, but we clearly need to do more, and Chertoff and the DHS are woefully neglecting the additional things we need to do to provide the best airline security in the world.

True airline security involves interdiction at the point of attack, and that interdiction breaks down into four categories. Those are cabin security, cockpit security, cargo security, and external threat security. Let’s take a look at what can be done in each of those areas.

Cabin Security

First of all, no liquids, gels, etc. should be allowed past the security gate. That is going to have to stay with us for the duration of our lives, I’m afraid. Each passenger should only be allowed to carry one carry-on bag. When you reach the gate, everything on your person must go into that carry-on including keys, wallet, medicine, and any personal electronic devices. That bag will then be zip-locked by gate personel. Upon boarding, all carry-ons are to be locked into the overhead baggage compartment for the duration of the flight. If you should need any essential medicines or baby formulas during the flight, the attendent can retrieve it for you.

This will effectively end internal cabin threats on commercial airlines. Yes, it will make for a boring flight, but I’m sure the airlines that most quickly solve this problem will thrive in the new environment. It’s also true that it will make work on the plane impossible, but to paraphrase a golfer I heard one time when a cell phone rang on the course, “ If that guy is that damn important, he ought to be in the office.”

Cockpit Security

Cockpit security is about a lot more than securing the cabin door. Remember, roughly two years before 9/11 a pilot ditched Egypt Air flight 990 into the ocean. We’ll never know if this was an act of terrorism or simply a suicide, but the result was that 217 people lost their lives. I’d like to see routine pre-flight pilot screening and periodic backround checks. This would not only help prevent acts of terrorism by pilots, it would certainly end the practice of pilots showing up drunk or hung over to perform their duties.

Also, I would like to see the end of the practice of allowing pilots to carry guns into the cockpit. With a secure cockpit door, one pilot can simply kill the other and then fly the plane into any target he chooses as long as he doesn’t meet any external force to stop him along the way.

Cargo Security

We simply don’t do enough at the present time in scanning the cargo that is on almost every commercial flight in the United States. A good start would be for Congress to pass HR 4373, the Safe Skies Cargo Inspection Act. This would require that all cargo carried on commercial airliners be inspected by the TSA. The fact that we don’t do this already is tantamount to criminal negligence. It is the easiest way to put a bomb on a plane.

External Threat Security

The final major threat to US commercial airliners comes not from within the plane itself, but from a should fired missile (MANPAD). As I wrote back in March the cost to retrofit the entire fleet of US airliners with defense measures is an embarrassingly small $10 billion (Can’t remember where I heard that number), and that someone manages to bring down an airliner with one, the next bailout of the airlines would likely cost double that, plus we would have to equip the fleet anyway to return passenger confidence in air travel.

This is the next threat, and how has the government responded to it? Congress at least appropriated over $200 million for studies over the last three years, but President Bush effectively cut that funding by only asking for $4.9 million this year for the program. Funding needs to be renews to previous levels with an implementation goal of 2010.

That pretty much covers it, in a general overlay sense. I sincerely doubt you will see any of these ideas initiated any time soon. The republicans that currently control our government are too reactive, and not nearly proactive enough to solve problems that don’t yet have the blood of Americans already staining them.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Horrible Anniversary

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, especially since I had a visitor today who has been working on the recovery since the early days of it. He quit last Friday.

The conditions he described today, one year after the storm sounded nothing less than post-apocalyptic. He told me that there is still so much destruction that it is too depressing to continue working there. He had to have some time away.

He also told me one other thing. The IRS has decided to discontinue the tax incentives that drew so many workers to the area to help with the rebuilding as of June 31. These incentives were one of the main factors drawing people to put up with living in the hell that is the reconstruction zone.

The bottom line is that for all intents and purposes without these incentives the reconstruction will likely slow dramatically. The federal government needs to step in to re-instate them immediately. Not doing so is the first step in giving up.

Doesn't Match, Never Added Up

In an oh so surprising development, Mark Karr's DNA does not match that found at the crime scene in the Jon Benet Ramsey case. I thought pretty early on that this guy was just trying to play his way out of a Thai prison. I wonder if we'll send him back?

It's no wonder we have trouble catching terrorists when fools like this guy baffle both the FBI and of course the media.

Update: They let this asshole just walk right out the door.

I Love A Good Witch Hunt

Both the right and left blogosphere are smelling blood in the water and are feverishly trying to smoke out the Senator who put a secret hold on a bill that would require transparency in government spending. It would require a internet database to be created that would be searchable online.

My money is on Ted Stevens of Alaska, the porkiest porker in the Senate. Plus, he probably doesn't want you clogging up the series of tubes that is the internets with dump truck loads of searches, thus delaying the internets he receives in his office.

Deb Pryce Runs Away From Deb Pryce

I saw my first Deb Pryce television ad over the weekend, and after sitting there in shock for a brief moment, I rolled around on the floor laughing. It had to be the most disingenuous ad I've ever seen in my life.

In it Pryce does everything but announce she is leaving the republican party, and the word republican doesn't even appear in the ad. She touts her independence and all the times she has had to go against her party.

Umm Deb, You're in the freaking leadership of the House republicans!!! You hold the number three position in your caucus, Speaker excluded. Now you're trying to run away from an agenda you helped to shape? You've got to be kidding me. If you're saying the republican leadership needs to be challenged, you're saying you need to be challenged.

Move On should just start running fifteen second ads that simply say Deb Pryce....... Republican.

More Polling

Rasmussen has some new Ohio numbers out as well with Ted Strickland leading Ken Blackwell 57% - 32%. and Sherrod Brown leading Mike DeWine 44% - 42% among likely voters. Both polls have a 4.5% margin of error.

Given the closer proximity to this poll to some other polls I've seen, I think that Blackwell's merry group of right wing nutjobs might be gaming the Zogby poll. It requires you to register with Zogby Polling, (Note: I am a registered member and take part in these polls) and I have to guess there must be some coordinated effort by The Ohio Reformation Project or some other group to get all their members registered to push Blackwell's numbers higher than they actually are. I'm also not sure which type of voters Zogby is considering.

One thing for sure, this poll is among likely voters and this would at least tend to show greater enthusiasm among Strickland voters than Blackwell voters. I should also be noted that Rasmussen in general seems to favor republicans across the board.

While I don't think it will happen, if the most recent Dispatch poll and this poll more correctly show the situation on the ground in Ohio, republicans must be freaking out because Blackwell is starting to sink into de-listing territory for the party.

Subodh Chandra

Subodh Chandra, one of the best political speakers I've heard in a while, has an Op-Ed in the American Prospect where he takes on George Allen's recent remarks. It's pretty good, go read it here.

Beta Blogger

If you checked in yesterday, you noticed some changes in the appearance of this blog which have since disappeared. I had to revert to the old version because beta blogger doesn't allow for the raw editing of html yet, thus I couldn't reinstall my site meter. (At least I couldn't figure it out.)

So the look will stay the same and I can't use labeling yet. I only have one complaint about beta blogger, in the old version the view blog link opened in a new window, in beta it doesn't. Please change this!

BTW, if I could label this post, the label would be "Geeky Meta Shit You Certainly Don't Give A Damn About."

Latest Zogby Polls

Fresh off the press this morning is the latest polling results from the Zogby / WSJ Interactive Poll. In Ohio, Ted Strickland lead Ken Blackwell 49.7% - 41.4% and Sherrod Brown holds an eight and half point lead 47.2% - 38.7%.

Also in somewhat of a surprise, Jim Webb now has surged ahead and leads George Allen in Virginia by a very slight margin.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Great Capitulator

Joe Lieberman has an Op-Ed in today's Hartford Courant in which he proclaims himself "a team player." Really? In baseball, a player such as Lieberman is called something else, a clubhouse cancer.

This paragraph from the piece shows perfectly that Joe doesn't get it. From the Courant:

Like many of you, I am fed up with the partisanship and polarization that is blocking us from addressing the issues that matter most to Connecticut families. And that is precisely why I am continuing my campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate as an independent Democrat.

Of course nobody likes polarization in politics, but moderation and bipartisanship can only occur when the majority party allows it to occur. Snuggling up to the majority party when it supports a radical agenda is not bipartisanship, it's capitulation.

Joe goes on to write this:

None of these problems can or will be solved by one party in Washington. And no party has a copyright on good ideas. Progress will only happen if we take the best ideas from across the ideological spectrum, follow the example of Team Connecticut in saving the New London sub base and put the interests of our state and nation first.

When exactly was the last time the republican majority ran with any major Democratic initiatives? Not lately, thats for sure. Yet when Lieberman supports the republicans agenda, he does so at the expense of the moderation he seeks by giving the majority party cover.

It's Now A Hurricane

Here is the 11:00 update of Ernesto, looks bad for the gulf coast of Florida.

New Blogger

I just finished the migration to the new beta version of blogger. I'm going to be screwing around with some of the options today so you might see some weird things here as I redecorate the place as I decide on which format I like the best.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Ladybug Speaketh

John McCain has issued a press release:

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John McCain released the following statement on the war in Iraq: “I agreed with the President’s difficult decision to go to war in Iraq.

I remain fully supportive of his determination not to leave Iraq until the freely elected government of that country and its armed forces are able to defend their country from foreign and domestic enemies intent on thwarting the will of the Iraqi people to create a civil society in which the rights and security of all Iraqis are protected.

“I have often emphasized the importance of leveling with the American people about the high costs and many difficulties of the mission, the potentially calamitous consequences of failure and the many benefits of success, as the President has also frequently stressed. But I have never intended my concern that the American public be fully informed about the conduct and consequences of the war to indicate any lessening of my support for our mission there. On the contrary, I view a candid, informed public discussion of the war as critical to sustaining popular support for the war and, thus, indispensable to ensuring the ultimate success of our mission. And I commend the President for his public statements offering Americans an honest assessment of the progress we have made in Iraq and the challenges that still confront us there, and, of course, for his determination to defend American security and international peace and stability by succeeding in this arduous and costly enterprise.”

Typical. If there is one person the right and the left can agree on, it's John McCain. While those in the middle can't see through McCain seemingly chameleon like ability, those not in the middle can. McCain isn't a chameleon, he is a fucking ladybug. The wind is always at his back.

When it was unpopular to ask the tough questions of this administration over the war, John McCain politely sat down. That is, when we wasn't nuzzling up to Bush for photo-ops. Now that the war is a fiasco, McCain is at least timidly questioning the unpopular administration's handling of the war. Then he gets blow back over those questions and he sends out this press release to pacify those critics.

McCain is walking a tight rope so hopefully he can become the next president. I think it's unlikely. Who wants a president that spins in circles trying to keep his back to the ever shifting wind? What are we going to do, write and repeal laws daily?

Oh No, Ernesto

It's increasingly looking like Tropical Depression 5 is going to become Hurricane Ernesto and get loose in the Gulf where it will strengthen considerably.

Graphic courtesy of the Weather Underground, a must read for weather geeks.

Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman was on the Glenn Beck radio show and now that Greg Sargent has transcribed the interview into easily pilfer-able form, I'm going to do just that and address some of the completely batshit crazy and just plain incorrect things both agree on. From TPM Cafe:

BECK: I am so afraid that we are going to see Lebanon fall into the hands totally of Hezbollah...that you're gonna start to see Iran come into Iraq. The entire Middle East is gonna be on fire. And we are going to find ourselves like Ray Nagin found himself with buses in a parking lot.


BECK: Why is it there aren't more politicians saying, Guys, this is World War III. We are in deep trouble.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, I mean, I don't know the answer to that...Everything you just said about the Middle East is right....If we walk away [from Iraq], then the Iranians will as sure as I'm talking to you surge into Iraq, certainly take over the south and all the oil that's there....We'll have 200-dollar barrel oil, we'll be paying six or seven bucks a gallon. And that'll just be the tip of it. I mean, there'll be instability and war throughout the Middle East. We've got to wake up to this....

$200 a barrel? Let me get this straight, if Iran knocks Iraq's southern oil fields off line, which produce roughly 1/2% of the world's oil, prices will triple? That is utter non-sense. But not as non-sensical as Lieberman's position that we need to attack Iran, thereby knocking a full 5% of world oil production off line. Using Joe's math, that would cause oil to cost $2,100 dollars a barrel. Joe's numbers are simply scare tactics.

Furthermore, and I've been telling this to people I've been talking to lately, you just can't stroll in and steal another country's oil. It's not like robbing a bank where you're in and out. You have to stay to pump out the oil and the locals usually don't accept that lying down. Eventually, you realize it's not worth the effort.

On to the next exchange:

BECK: I've been saying this before we even went into Iraq, that we're trying to change the face of the Middle East. The weapons of mass destruction was a nice side benefit. We were trying to go and pop the head of the snake in Iran. That's what we were trying to do. And I don't think anybody had the courage or could actually come out and say that with world politics the way they are.

LIEBERMAN: Well, you're right. And I think if I fault the administration for anything before the war -- 'cause I think we did the right thing in going in to overthrow Saddam -- it's that they oversold the WMD part of the argument....

The WMD was a nice side benefit? The administration oversold the WMD part of the argument? It was the only reason the American people were told as to why we had to go in. I certainly didn't hear Joe Lieberman saying this was being oversold back in 2003, but that isn't even the worst part of this exchange.

If the end game of this fiasco was always to confront Iran, who the fuck decided the best way to do this was to strategically place our military in quicksand for the confrontation? If Joe knew this all along, as he is suggesting he did by agreeing with Beck, this man, or any man for that matter, should never have anything to do with the security of this nation ever again, period.

As a reader of Josh Marshall noted the other day, anytime a military force has to play the role of an occupying force, it becomes degraded as an offensive force. Our military has been severely degraded by this operation and Lieberman thinks that is the way to confront a robust Iranian military. It's just plain stupid.

And on it goes:

BECK: I have said before we went in that we are sitting at 1939, right before World War II, that some were engaged in this but most of the world was in denial in 1939. I think this Hezbollah peace treaty is our Chamberlain moment and 1941 is right around the corner.

LIEBERMAN: Well, there are very, very severe echoes of all that. I agree...

Again, this is just more fear mongering, although I do agree with Beck about it being 1939, just for different reasons. You see, lately I've been trying to decide whether the US more closely resembles 1939 Germany with its fascist regime, or 1939 Japan, with its insatiable appetite for foreign natural resources. I can't decide about that, but I have decided it's time for Joe to go.

A Ringing Endorsement

Much like Rick Santorum, I'm really going to miss all the easy material Katherine Harris lays at my blogging feet. In an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Harris claims that nobody showed at a rally because it was moved due to a tree falling on an airplane hanger. Yea, because the one thing you always find at the airport are tall trees. It was proven to be an obvious lie, but what really made me laugh was US Rep Tom Feeney's ringing endorsement of Harris. From the Sentinel:

This week, as Harris made the rounds at a Winter Park political gathering, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney said he continues to back her -- but he does so primarily out of a sense of duty.

"I endorsed Congresswoman Harris a year ago," Feeney said. "I made a commitment, and I'm going to live up to that commitment.

"Feeney was then asked why he offered such a tepid endorsement."I won't disclose publicly what I said to Katherine privately," he said. "But that notwithstanding, she decided to run."

Moments later, Feeney added, "It's very sad."
Friends like these, huh Katherine.

We're Number Three

Forbes magazine has listed Columbus, OH as the third drunkest city in the United States. I'd like to take this time to accept the award on behalf of my fellow citizens of our fair city. I have some prepared remarks.

First of all, I'd like to say there are no superstars on this team, it was truly a team effort. A lot of people did their part to keep the city lubricated with Jagermeister, but I do have a few shout outs I'd like to give. Most importantly, a definite shout out to JC. All praises be. It wouldn't be possible without His bountiful harvest of liquor, beer, and wine. A harvest Divine for your lips and mine.

Also, a shout out to Crazy Swedish Gibberish Shouting Guy. I never know what you're saying, but I can tell it's from the heart man. A special shout out to Bug-Eyed Dancing Bradley. Your wobbly swirling to the beat is in reality a dance to the pulse of the community. A big shout out to Crazy Bike Guy. I've never seen you drink, but you must be indulging in something.

A super big shout out to Maurice Clarett. In Columbus, the goose is definitely loose, just not for you anymore. We'll pick up the slack. Also a shout out to former mayor Buck Rinehart, and all current politicos with DUIs. You know who you are.

I'd also like to shout out to the crew at the Short North Tavern, top ten in the state in Jager sales despite the fact that there are rarely more than twenty or thirty people there at any given time, and indeed, a shout out to the Saturday morning fun bunch at Mike's. Proving every weekend that 5:30AM is fact beer:30AM.

I'd also like to take this time to thank all the bartenders, servers, etc. for ignoring laws concerning serving those who are well past over-served. A fifteenth shot? Don't mind if I do.

And of course, there are the remembrances. Hoist one up tonight for all the campus bars of the past where a bucket of beer was quite literally a bucket of beer. Draft beer served in a two and a half gallon paint bucket. Binging never felt so good.

Have a safe trip home tonight, and God bless.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Darfur: Doing The Very Least We Can Do

I heard a report on NPR this morning about the situation in Darfur. The bottom line is that things are getting worse with an uptick in violence against women as they search for firewood to cook their meals. The protective forces simply aren't great enough to protect them.

I don't mean to sound flippant about the situation, but is it too much to ask to throw some fucking Kingsford in with the humanitarian aid we are sending? That or some other cheap cooking fuel, and yes, I realize that this is probably being done to some degree, but it obviously isn't enough.

Undoubtedly, these women have exhausted the supply of firewood near the camps and thus must travel further and further to acquire it, putting them in harm's way It's not too big of a leap to figure out that this is causing the additional rapes, etc.

I know this is a short term solution to a long term problem, but it would indeed ease pain and suffering in the near term. I just don't get it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Your Government At Work

Time has a good article this weeks asking why we don't prepare better for disasters. Apparently they don't remember the good work FEMA did before the Bush administration ran it into the ground. Anyway, one paragraph stands above the rest. From Time:

In the 12 months since Katrina, the rest of the U.S. has not proved to be a quicker study than the Gulf Coast. There is still no federal law requiring state and local officials to plan for the evacuation of the sick, elderly, disabled or poor. But in the past few months, both houses of Congress triumphantly passed bills that require locals to plan for the evacuation of pets.

I guess they don't want dogs around to eat the dead bodies of the sick, elderly, disabled, or poor.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Surgeries Gone Wrong

In this Dutch video, a reporter questions a man whose testicles were mistakenly removed. I really don't understand why the White House Press Corps doesn't act similarly when Bush answers their questions.

Gots To Get Me Some Whitney

Okay, I don't know whether this story is farcical, some CIA psyop plant story, or the line to obsess over Jodi Foster was too long, but according to Harper's Bazaar Osama bin Laden is obsessed with Whitney Houston. From Entertainment Wise:

According to Bin Laden’s former sex slave Kola Boof the Saudi native is obsessed with the crack addicts work.

She told Harpers Bazaar: “He told me Whitney was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen.”

"He said that he had a paramount desire for her and although he claimed music was evil, he spoke of someday spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting."

Apparently Bin Laden wants to convert Bobby Brown’s lady to Islam and shower her with copious amounts of gifts.

Boof said: "He said he wanted to give her a mansion he owned in a suburb of Khartoum."

Bin Laden probably bit off more than he can chew with this one. George Bush may or may not want bin Laden dead, but well, Bobby Brown is just mutherfucking crazy. He is probably already prowling the back roads of South Waziristan looking to go upside Osama's head. Two birds with one stone really. Brown can protect his special lady friend and at the same time acquire enough reward money to buy more blow than even Houston and himself could ever do in a lifetime.

Eric Alterman On Joe

Yesterday, Eric Alterman (really this time) came to the same conclusion I did about Joe Lieberman and the Secretary of Defense position. From Altercation:

Here’s my prediction: If Lieberman wins the election, he will not switch to the Republicans, as some fear. But he will do the functional equivalent, which is accept Bush’s appointment to replace Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, resign his seat and allow the Republican governor of Connecticut to appoint a Republican in his stead. That is the implicit deal between the Lieberman camp and Rove, Cheney, Bush etc and the reason, that alone, in the entire country, this is the only race where this most partisan of political operations, refuses to support the Republican in the race.

No matter what Joe says, I don't think there is any way Lieberman fulfills his term. It might not matter, the latest Rasmussen poll shows Lamont has closed the gap to two points. Joementum appears once again to be sinking to the bottom.

The President Stinks

It's no wonder the boy king Bush stinks at being president, consider this from US News and World Report:

He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides, but forget about getting people to gas about that.

I suppose it's somewhat comforting knowing le dauphin is kept locked in his playpen making fart jokes far, far away from any of the actual decision making. However it is quite disconcerting that the decision making is in fact being made by Cardinal Richelieu Dick Cheney whilst the French Nobility Republican Congress lives in fear of their own collective shadow.

Found via Attaturk, the only other blogger dumb enough to keep the same hours I do.


A surprise candidate has jumped out of the gym and into the race to replace Stephanie Studebaker in the OH-03 Congressional race. Who is it? I'll give you a hint. He shoots the J like Franklin, dunks like Teddy. Still don't know? It's former University of Dayton basketball star Roosevelt Chapman.

Talk about a blast from the past. I used to love to watch that guy play when I was a kid.

It looks like he may have some problems with labor in this race though. From the Dayton Daily News:

This spring, Chapman said he came back to Dayton to pursue a graduate degree education at his alma mater, and put in a brief stint as a replacement worker at AK Steel's Middletown plant amid the ongoing strike there to earn some extra bucks over the summer.

Strike busting will really put you in a hole with labor.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Not On His Watch

During a rambling press conference today, President Bush said, "We’re not leaving [Iraq] so long as I’m the president. That would be a huge mistake." Talk about a nice morale booster for the troops!

A look at the numbers tells us that given the current kill and spending rates indicates that we will sacrifice another 1478 soldiers in that time. The Iraqis will likely lose another 100,375 citizens, and in that time we will likely spend another $400 billion.

But there is something even fouler in Bush's statement. If we are going to stay there another two and a half years, that is a tacit admission that we have no plan to win this thing in the near term. Of course, we have all suspected that all along. Anyone remember the administration's pre-war claims that this would take weeks, not months?

It could be a good thing however, the first step toward accepting defeat is to concede that victory is impossible, which I now believe it is. We really only had one shot at getting this right and we blew it.

A Minor Row

Over the weekend, TPM contributor DK set off a minor row in Left Blogistan by writing this:

Should progressives shift their money and attention from the Connecticut Senate race to more important contests? Absolutely.

Atrios and Armando at Kos both let loose on the guy with Atrios writing this:

But, anyway, this race is about more than Lamont now, it's about 3 important House races that Lieberman's going to ratfuck with all of his Republican pals. Attention must be paid by time wasters like myself because too many of the powers that be have apparently forgotten that they do, indeed, have a Lieberman Problem. It' not a circular firing squad, it's the implicit Republican candidate (Lieberman) versus the explicit Democratic one (Lamont). Joe's going to try to win by bringing Republicans to the polls, and when he does it won't be the fault of Lamont supporters, it'll be the fault of Lieberman and Dems who failed to confront him.

There is some truth in what both say. Look, the Lieberman / Lamont primary was a mid-season playoff game, one that for all intents and purposes ended in a tie due to the fact that Lieberman is such a shithead. While it's true that people should continue to support Lamont, it's going to be up to Connecticut progressive activists, bloggers, etc. to push him over the top.

Out of state activists poured into Connecticut to help Lamont win the primary mainly for the fact that it was the only game in town at the time. A lot of those people have tight races in their own back yards that they will be returning to in order to help out with so no, Lamont will not have their same level of support in the general election.

While it is important to continue to support Lamont, it's not nearly as important as supporting a Sherrod Brown in Ohio, or say a Bob Casey Jr in Pennsylvania. I'm just saying.

Now, as for what Lamont needs to do to win the general election, he obviously needs to consolidate Democratic support, and he is probably going to have to drive up Lieberman's negatives to do so. Ads portraying Cheney and Bush supporting Lieberman will surely help, but I have a couple of other ideas as well.

I'd like to see Lieberman asked if he intends to fulfill the entire term since republican Jodi Rell is almost certain to retain the Governor's office and would appoint Lieberman's replacement. I ask this for two reasons.

First, Lieberman is going to be almost 71 years old by the time the term finishes. While there are older Senators, I think most people agree that at best it's a fifty fifty shot due to age alone.

Secondly, there have been rumors that Bush is finally fed up enough with Donald Rumsfeld to replace him. It's no secret that Lieberman covets the job. I'd paint this as the ultimate Rovian bait and switch. If you vote for Lieberman, Bush will simply appoint him to a cabinet position shortly after the election, Joe will accept and Connecticut voters will be left with a republican Senator. Judging by the anemic 4% the republican candidate is polling, I doubt that they want such a thing.

If not nominated, Joe will run. But if elected, will Joe serve? And who will Joe serve?

I've changed my mind, this race is as important as the others I've mentioned.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Anybody else have the feeling that JonBenet Ramsey's supposed killer is really just trying to get the hell out of Thailand so he doesn't have to do time in a Thai jail? Sure he knows some details that weren't officially made publicly, but after ten years some of it has to spill out somewhere, and he does seem to have a predisposition to being into that sort of info.

The Joy Of Not Paying Your Bills

When Bob Ney dropped out of the OH-18 race, and Joy Padgett got in the race, I assumed the republicans would manage to keep the seat. Then I read today on The Buckeye State Blog that Padgett had to declare bankruptcy back in 2005, and the quotes from her are priceless. From BSB:

The couple knew they were in trouble with the business about six years ago, Sen. Padgett said. But, they hoped and hoped the economy would turn around and they would be able to make the business what it once was.

"But, the economy just wouldn't let us," Sen. Padgett (R-Coshocton) said. "We believed the bank believed in us because it kept lending us money and they don't do that if they don't believe. But, the economy just never turned around."

Hmm, I wonder which political party was running Ohio into the ground economically when this happened Joy. Oh yea, it was yours!

Seriously though, a personal bankruptcy is one of the hardest life events for a political candidate to run away from. You get attached with a loser label that isn't always justified, plus who wants a elected official who can't keep track of their own money, let alone ours. Also, with the current political climate of runaway spending, this will hurt Padgett big time.

There are eight candidates running in the special primary to replace Ney, and I don't think this will hurt her enough to prevent her from winning, but this will haunt her in the general election. I'd have to upgrade our chances to winning this seat now that I know this information.

Go Baby Go, Vote Baby Vote

Last week, I lamented the fact that more women don't vote, but this election looks to be different. They're a pissed off lot, and surprisingly, it's not over traditional women's issues like abortion. It's about Iraq and politicization of the war on terror. From the Washington Post:

The [Pew] study, which examined the views of married women with children from April through this week, found that they support Democrats for Congress by a 12-point margin, 50 percent to 38 percent. That is nearly a mirror-image reversal from a similar period in 2002, when this group backed Republicans 53 percent to 36 percent. In 2004, exit polls showed, Bush won a second term in part because 56 percent of married women with children supported him.

That is a 29 point swing, and when any large voting block swings that hard it spells trouble for the party in which they are swinging away from. Newt Gingrich has said that the Democrat's slogan for this cycle should simply be "Had Enough." Well, it appears that women with children have indeed had enough. For instance, they are carrying Sherrod Brown to an eight point advantage with their fifteen point lead among them for Brown.

There is a larger meaning to this, and a lesson to be learned from both political parties.

I've often written here about the "soft seven," which is the apolitical seven percent of the electorate that ultimately decide elections. They often break in mass toward one side or the other. You piss these people off at your own peril. In 2004, they were fairly evenly split. It now appears that they are firmly in column marching this nation back from the right.

These people are in fact, the moral compass which guides the country as opposed to the righteous left, or the fire breathing right. When the nation gets out of step, they push us back to the place we rightly should be, and they're pushing awfully hard right now because even moderate republicans are falling in line with them. Seven percent can only swing you fourteen percent, this is a twenty-nine point swing.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

I've got to agree with Attaturk, this is the greatest music video ever made.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Million Tiny Pin Holes

It looks like the tables have turned this election cycle with republicans now concentrating their money on fewer races and Democrats pushing the envelope with expansions into new territory. A lot of this is due to the current political environment, but there is also a great deal to be said of the 50 state strategy that a lot of us have been advocating and that Howard Dean has been instituting. Consider this from the AP:

However, the GOP has not reserved advertising time to aid Rep. Chris Chocola in Indiana even though Democrats plan to spend at least $700,000 to win the district. House Republicans have told Chocola that he must fend for himself, given his personal wealth and his ability to raise large amounts of money.

Also, no advertising dollars are slated so far to help GOP Rep. Christopher Shays keep his Connecticut district even though Democrats have reserved $2 million to try to unseat him. His district in the southern part of the state watches television from the New York City media market that's among the most expensive in the country.

Both these guys are extremely vulnerable, and what this means is that the NRCC doesn't have enough money to go around to vulnerable seats. Of course, both "The Count" and Shays have the ability to raise money or spend their own, but being in Congress can't be as fun when you have to pay out of pocket.

What they're experiencing is the effect of a million tiny pin holes bleeding the GOP of its money as we fight them from state to state, locality to locality. Even a House seat in Idaho is up for grabs!


Blogging should return to normal shortly, thus bringing order to the universe. Okay, maybe not, but more crap will be written here anyway.

To satiate your desire for reading crap, I'll give you a couple of morsels I heard last night.

According to a source, three potential candidates have contacted the Secretary of State's office looking to run in the special primary to replace Bob Ney. Joy Padgett is surely one of them, I'm not sure about the other two, but I have heard about someone being interested in the seat, someone who can go toe to toe with Padgett.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Allen's Listening Tour

Here is the video that was supposed to provide a major shakeup in the Virginia Senate race yesterday. In it, George Allen refers to the cameraman as a Macaque, which is a racial slur used in Europe for North Africans.

I think the reference is probably a little too obscure to really make much of a difference. Sure Allen looks like a jackass in the video, but when doesn't he?

Ney Officially Withdraws

We now know how the republicans are going to play Bob Ney's withdraw from the Ohio-18 Congressional race. Ney has submitted his official withdraw more than 80 days before the November general election so a special primary must be held.

Joy Padgett has already kicked her campaign into gear for the as yet set primary date, and it's unclear if others will jump in as well. Padgett still faces potential legal challenges to her candidacy.

I'm not sure what the best play here is for the Democrats, it depends on when Ken Blackwell sets the primary date. We'll have to wait and see.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Look, I'm a liberal. In fact, I'm pretty damn liberal on most issues, but what is going on in Chicago makes all of us look stupid. Effective August 22, the city of Chicago will ban the sale of foie gras. Animal rights activists claim the birds are mistreated by force feeding them in the final four weeks of their life.

I personally don't care for foie gras, so I really don't have a dog, or goose, in this fight, but I really think this is not necessary. If you think the treatment is cruel, don't eat it. Then use your time for the far more important fights we have with conservatives.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mean Green Jean, The Environmental Machine!!!

In today's Cincinnati Enquirer Jean Schmidt shows off her brand new SUV that runs on E85. That way she says, none off her hard earned money goes to the terrorists. From The Cincinnati Enquirer:

The vehicle, which GM sells for $34,000-$47,000, replaces Schmidt's 5-year-old Chevy Blazer, which she said racked up a lot of miles crisscrossing the 2nd District.
I hope she doesn't plan on crisscrossing the district in her her SUV, because there is not a single station in her district that sells E85. The closest one is about thirty miles outside of it. There is one in Washington DC, however.

That leads me to think that Schmidt needs a new campaign slogan. What about this:

Hi Diddly Dee
It's E85 for me

Hi Diddly Doo
No E85 for you
Should resonate well with the voters.

Hat tip to JK for pointing this out to me

Sexy Sexy

SUSA has a new poll out on the Ohio Senatorial race. Sherrod Brown leads Mike Dewine 49-41, but this little tidbit caught my eye from the poll. From WKYC in Cleveland:

Brown's overall 8-point advantage comes entirely from his 15-point lead among female voters.
I really wish we could find a way to get more women to vote. I guarantee this would be a much better country if we could. In fact, I once asked a female humanitarian activist who rarely voted what we could do to get more women to vote. She blithely replied, "Free shoes would be nice."

The Neocons

I'd like to take a minute here to expand on something that MJ Rosenberg wrote over at TPM Cafe about Charles Krauthammer. Rosenberg writes:

But here's the beauty part. Krauthammer doesn't care about the Jews either. He wants a ground war and if it kills 500 Israeli soldier boys, so be it. Can you imagine. Usually, you can count on Krauthammer to weigh in about Jewish losses at every opportunity. In fact, the mean-spirited Krauthammer only cares about Jews. Or so I thought.

Actually I should have known better. About three years ago, I saw Krauthammer flip out in synagogue on Yom Kippur. The rabbi had offered some timid endorsement of peace -- peace essentially on Israel's terms -- but peace anyway. Krauthammer went nuts. He actually started bellowing at the rabbi, from his wheel chair in the aisle. People tried to "shush" him. It was, after all, the holiest day of the year. But Krauthammer kept howling until the rabbi apologized. The man is as arrogant as he is thuggish. Who screams at the rabbi at services? For advocating peace?

So I was wrong about Krauthammer. He doesn't give a damn about Israel. Yes, he moved to the right on foreign policy because he thought that was good for Israel. He endorsed a hardline US foreign policy because he thought that was good for Israel.

But then, with advancing age, he forgot the original reason for becoming a hawk. He actually became an American rightwing (not Israeli rightwing) hawk who believes that Israel's purpose is to send its men to bleed and die in support of some sort of American global anti-Arab crusade.

The Iraq war is more important to him than Israel. And even more important than that is that we fight a war with Iran.

He wants Israel to be the first army in the field. When Olmert seems timid about sending 18 year old Israelis to fight for the Bush doctrine. Krauthamer and company are furious. How dare he defy NeoconInc.

Bottom line. Mearsheimer and Walt have it wrong. The neocons are not loyal to Israel.They are not guilty of "dual loyalty."

Their only use for Israelis is as mercenaries.And they care no more about the Israelis who will die in their imperial adventures than they care about the dead Americans who have.

Don't ever accuse Krauthammer, Kristol, Steve Rosen (of AIPAC) etc of "dual loyalty." Because, in fact, that is giving them credit for 200% more loyalty than they actually possess.
It's not that I don't think Rosenberg is right, It's that I don't think that he is right enough. They're asking Israel to give up a lot more than 500 soldiers, a lot more indeed. You see, since the start of this confrontation the neocons have been pushing Olmert for an escalation into Syria, and I don't believe that they have Israel's interests at all in mind while doing so.

The problem with an escalation into Syria is that the Syrians maintain a healthy arsenal of chemical weapons that they use as a deterrence against the far better outfitted Israeli army including Sarin, Tabun, Mustard Gas, and weaponized VX. If Israel would launch a full scale military assault on Damascus, these chemicals would rain down on Israeli cities via missile delivery systems.

I actually believe the neocons hope that this happens, really. Mark my words that if it does happen that very day you will hear these word coming directly out of their mouths. You see, these aren't Assad's chemical weapons, they're Saddam's. We were right. We told you. That sneaky bastard had moved them from Iraq to Syria before the war started. We waited too long to attack, if Bill Clinton would have attacked Saddam we could have contained these weapons but we didn't and the poor dieing souls of Israel are all the Democrats fault.

Now, there isn't a whiff of truth to that, but you'll hear it getting screamed at you on a nightly basis, and for a reason more than pitying Israel's dead.

You'd never know it listening to them, but the neocons credibility has been stained by the Iraq fiasco. In fact, the dog has pissed the carpet yellow. To clean this stain the neocons have to justify their last failure to have any chance of the American people letting them proceed to their next failure, Iran. They're more than happy to let a few thousand Israeli citizens prove to be that cleanser.

Let me as well give you some advise Mr. Olmert. On matters of national security, it's best not to listen to someone who's feet don't touch the fucking floor when sitting at the adult table. France tried that once, well actually twice. Didn't work out so well for them. It won't for you either. (Just to be clear here I'm talking about Kristol, not Krauthammer who is apparently disabled)

Hope You Don't Have To Fly Today

A major terrorist plot has been discovered in Britain to blow up aircraft in flight, so security lines are going to be very long. The targeted flights were believed to be heading to the United States. As a result of this, all US flights are on the highest possible security level.

All liquids and gels are temporarily banned from carry-on luggage.

This does bring up the obvious question, why isn't airport security always on the highest possible level? I know it's a pain in the ass, but it does beat being dead.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blog Harder, Damnit!!

In reading a review of the Lamont Lieberman match-up, I came across this little gem of a statement. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

To triumph in November, Democrats will need the same intensity, including the support of bloggers and groups such as, that powered Lamont to victory in Connecticut.
OK, I get it with Move On. They can provide people in the field and have the organizational capabilities to apply "intensity." I'm not exactly sure how I can blog harder or whatever, but I guess I'll try to blog harder.

But truly, where to start? It's my sense that the DC cocktail crowd sees this race as the bloggers take a head, and now all must bow down before us or risk the same fate. In reality though, a four point win in a intraparty race does not a kingmaker make, even if it is a three term incumbent. They seem to miss the fact that we are only a small part of an overall larger movement. Blogs are simply a single message medium in that movement. While I write things here to persuade voters, a lot of people do a hell of a lot more than me to do so.

In the end, it's always going to be the voters that candidates must connect with no matter how much praise, or shit, we throw at them. Yes, we, and when I say we here I'm talking about activists in general, can rally the base, it's up to the candidate to seal the deal. We'll get you to the door, but you must kick it down. Ned Lamont kicked that door down.

What does Ned get for that? What do we get for that? Another shot at a two faced Lieberman who has filed as an independent to run against the will of the party he claims to love so that he can return to that same cocktail crowd in DC to bash the members of his own party once again and capitulate with those who seek to wreck our country, which strangely still contains that same Connecticut Joe claims to want to return to DC to protect. This time he'll do it with impunity as this is likely his last tour.

Is that hard enough blogging for you?

Tom Delay Takes His Ball And Goes Home

Now faced with the prospect of having to run for another term for republicans to keep his seat, Tom Delay has instead decided to withdraw from the race leaving Texas republicans high and dry. From Hotline:

Earlier this year, I resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives and became a resident of the State of Virginia to establish my new business, and where I now legally reside, pay taxes and vote.

This decision was and is irrevocable, which I made clear from Day One.

The Texas republican party is going to try to rally around a write-in candidate, but with Delay still on the ballot it's a long shot at best. This pretty much gives the seat to the Democrat, Nick Lampson.

From the day Delay was removed from the leadership, I knew he was finished with Congress. It's hard to cede that kind of power and still want to play the game.

Lamont Wins 52-48

Ned Lamont has defeated Joe Lieberman 52-48 in the Connecticut Democratic primary. Unfortunately, this narrow defeat has caused Lieberman to proceed with bid to win re-election as an independent. Lamont needed to crush Lieberman to finish him off for good, but it didn't happen.

I haven't seen the turnout for this primary, but it was likely higher than I had anticipated, thus the closer result than I had expected. I'm sure the national press coverage had a lot to do with this.

If polling in this race results from the primary remain the same, obviously Lieberman will win in the general election. The republicans simply are not fielding a candidate strong enough to draw enough Lieberman votes for Lamont to win.

It is possible that Lamont could consolidate power among Democrats who are turned off by Lieberman's independent run, but it will be difficult. He may also pick up some voters who simply vote straight ticket Democratic.

Now, three 2008 presidential hopefuls, Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards have already thrown their support behind Lamont. They really didn't have a choice, they are just trying to keep their heads down as Lamont supporters around the country are needed for their own higher ambitions. However, I don't know how much pull any of these three will have on the people of Connecticut.

I've also heard that Christopher Dodd will try to get Lieberman not to run, and yes, I know he considers himself a 2008 hopeful, but I do not. I doubt that will happen, but he does have the ability to sway some voters to Lamont should he choose publicly support him, how much I don't know.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Looks Like I Was Wrong

It is getting close, I'll have more on this in the morning, and explain why.

Lamont Lieberman

Looks like a rout, Lamont is going to very easily beat Lieberman, 15 to 20 points.

The Real Reason Ney Dropped Out

Bob Ney says that the reason he dropped out of his re-election bid is due to the stress on his family, and there is a lot of truth to that, but that stress wasn't being applied nearly as firmly by the media as it was by Majority Leader John Boehner.

Several republicans had asked Ney to leave the race to no avail, but Boehner has the ability to issue threats to Ney, ones he could very easily make due on. From The Washington Post:

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) met with Ney last week to urge him to step aside, reminding him that with a son in college and a daughter nearing college age, he will need money, according to several congressional Republican aides. If he lost his House seat for the party, Boehner is said to have cautioned, Ney could not expect a lucrative career on K Street to pay those tuition bills, along with the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees piling up.

Personally, I'm not sure how powerful the licence plate manufacturing lobby is, but I know they don't get up to the Hill too often, tending to prefer to work out of a hotel of sorts.

I Just Don't Get Some People

Paul McCartney must really hate his ex-wife, or he just is not thinking because this is rather embarrassing. From CNN:

But he confirmed that McCartney had frozen their joint bank account and had sent a "legal letter" to his wife to complain after three bottles of cleaning fluid were taken from his Sussex home to clean Mills' nearby office.

Paul McCartney is worth $1.5 billion. It's fucking cleaning fluid.


I'm not really sure about this, but Joy Padgett may have some difficulty replacing Bob Ney on the ballot. The pertinent language from the Ohio Revised Code that is being talked about over at Kos is the following:

“No person who seeks [the] party nomination for an office or position at a primary election” by declaring his or her candidacy or intent to be a write-in candidate and who loses in that primary “shall be permitted to become a candidate by nominating petition or by declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate at the following general election for any office,”

It's called a sore loser law and it covers state and federal offices, and Padgett ran in the primary for Lt. Governor.

Hmm, I'm not sure about this. It would seem to me that Padgett would have to possibly have to run in another primary to get around this, but I'm just not sure. Any election law experts out there?

The WSJ isn't sure either.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Quote Of The Day, Maybe The Year

One of Rick Santorum's interns collected signatures for Green candidate Carl Romanelli in five separate counties. The reply to this by Pennsylvania State Party Chair was priceless. From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

It's examples such as the apparent one-person, five-county petition tour - plus unregistered voters, multiple signatures by the same person, and fake names - that could form the basis of a challenge, Rooney said. John Michael Glick - the Santorum intern who has worn a duck costume to hound Casey for "ducking" issues - appeared to have collected signatures in Beaver, Washington, Fayette, Juniata, and Schuylkill Counties, Rooney said.

"It's un-ducking-believable," he said. "Instead of his duck attire, one has to ask if he wore a Superman costume that day."

I'm still laughing.


Bob Ney has dropped his bid for re-election, stating that the stress is too great for his family. They must be getting pretty close to an indictment. Ney has asked Joy Padgett to replace him on the ballot.

There is no way to sugarcoat this, it's the worst possible thing for Democrats to have Padgett running in this race. She is a tough out who will sink to any low to win. This race is now a fifty-fifty shot for us, at best.

Double Fuck

Escondida is striking at 8:00AM and BP is shutting down Prudhoe Bay for repairs, which could take weeks. Looks like I'm going to have an interesting day.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Pick The Winner

I think Ned Lamont beats Joe Lieberman 58-42 with about a 28% turnout. After watching the Sunday talkies this week, it became pretty clear that this race isn't a referendum on Iraq, or George Bush, or Joe Lieberman, but instead on Washington DC in general. Like I said of few days ago, the people have decided that shit's gotta change.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Generating Hits

Wow, fucking up sells!! From now on I'm going to misattribute every quote I find to hit generating God Eric Alterman.

Take It Or Leave It Day

I could do a lot more blogging if these guys would settle this.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Straight Eye For The Insane Guy

Since Bravo has cancelled Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, us straights are going to have to pick up the slack. Seriously Mahmoud, I know it's hot in Iran, but do you even own a tie?

Slippery Even When Dry

I've never seen, or for that matter even heard of New Haven mayor John DeStefano, but judging from this article he must be one damned slick politico. From The New Haven Independent:

Mayor John DeStefano stood proudly by Ned Lamont at the Bethel AME Church Tuesday, receiving a big jolt in his gubernatorial campaign as civil rights champions Jesse Jackson (and Al Sharpton, in similar joint appearances earlier in the day) endorsed both candidates. "Ned is full of passion and presents an important choice for all of us -- thanks for being here, Ned," said DeStefano of the man seeking to oust three-term U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman.

Wait a second, mayor, didn't you endorse Joe?

DeStefano's in a sticky place, energized by his co-appearances with Lamont (which continued Thursday), yet staying true to his pledge to support his long-time political pal and hometown co-inhabitant, Lieberman.

DeStefano is indeed maintaining his endorsement of Lieberman while campaigning vis a vis with Lamont, and he is pulling it off. Given the fierce committment of Lamont supporters, you'd think he would get booed, but he's pulling it off. He isn't a fringe candidate either, he's leading in the polls in the gubernatorial race in Connecticut.

Lamont Pulling Away

The latest Q-Poll shows Ned Lamont pulling away from Joe Lieberman 54-41. This poll has especially bad for Lieberman as he only has a four point lead among conservative / moderate voters. Can we now put together the myth that a handful of crazed left wingers are out to get Joe?

I wonder how many petitions Lieberman has in hand for an independent run. He has only turned in 817, he needs 7500.

There is also one breakdown in this poll that should be scaring the hell out of republicans. The wealthier you are, the more likely you are to vote against Joe with the over $100,000 per year crowd picking Lamont 58-36. Looks like the ruling class has decided. Shit's gotta change.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Good News For Kansas, Bad News For FSM

In Kansas we have sort of a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that in the State Board of Education election yesterday, the crazies that don't believe in evolution lost control of the board. Previously, they held a six to four advantage, now they have a four to six disadvantage.

This is a prime example of the coming so called conservative crack-up, where the pro-business wing of the republican party fights back against religious conservatives. These weren't Democrats that ousted the anti-evolutionaries, they were moderate republicans. In fact, nobody running in yesterday's primaries faces a serious challenge in November.

Moderate republicans in Kansas have been fighting for their political life for awhile now, and they needed strongly to rebuke the social conservatives to maintain their viability. Several of them have left for the Democratic party, including a former republican state party chair, who is running for Lt. Governor with Kathleen Sebelius. A lot of moderate republicans are ashamed at the mockery the state has had to endure which brings us to the bad news.

Today is a very bad day for the practice of mockery. I can't count the number of Flying Spaghetti Monster stories I rolled around on the floor laughing at, the rise of which was brought on by the social cons taking the board hostage. I guess you have to take the bad with the good.

Paulson On Wage Growth

Whenever you hear a politician say that now isn't time to "play the blame game," you can damn well bet dollars to donuts that either him or his party is completely to blame, and in this case donuts very well represent the growth we've seen in our take home dollars under republican rule.

Henry Paulson tacitly acknowledges the republicans and their economic vision is to blame for wage stagnation with this quote in a speech from the other day. From the Washington Monthly:

Paulson said the slow growth in take-home pay was simply an economic reality "and it is neither fair nor useful to blame any political party."

"Rather than playing the blame game, we must focus on helping workers move up the economic ladder," Paulson said....If economic growth continues and productivity stays strong, income growth will eventually follow, he said.

Yes, just as Bush told Putin on Iraq, wait and see!! Until that far away day, enjoy the economic security of a critically injured patient without insurance in the waiting room of a hospital whose current administration will never admit you.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Is He Or Isn't He

It's time to play America's second favorite game, Dead Or Cubano. Today's contestant is none other than Cuban leader, strongman Fidel Castro. He he dead, or still leading the country from his hospital bed through his brother Raul? We just don't know at this point.

Normally, I don't give these kinds of rumors any credence, but something in the Washington Post lends me to believe something might be up. From the Washington Post:

He has asked that planned celebrations of his birthday be postponed until Dec. 2, the 50th anniversary of Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces. Castro and the rebels he led landed on the southern coast on that date in 1956, eventually taking power in 1959 after dictator Fulgencio Batista fled into exile.

That would definitely be a opportune time to consolidate power should Fidel prove to be dead. Guess we'll have to wait and see.