Wednesday, November 30, 2005
and, if you have not done so...i highly recommend renting or buying the fog of war. listen to the words of robert mcnamara and wince at just how relevant his words are to the current administration and the war in iraq.
we've seen it before: an embattled president so swathed in his inner circle that he completely loses touch with the public and wanders around among small knots of people who agree with him. there was lyndon johnson in the 1960's, richard nixon in the 1970's, and george h. w. bush in the 1990's. now it's his son's turn.
...a president who seems less in touch with reality than richard nixon needs to get out more- the grey lady
more "smoke" and mirrors...a little heavy on the smoke in this instance
the head of the government trial team in a landmark lawsuit against the tobacco industry pulled out of the litigation wednesday amid a probe of whether high-level political influence was brought to bear in the case.
eubanks' withdrawal follows a stunning reversal in june in which the justice department disregarded the recommendations of its own witness -- dr. michael fiore -- and reduced the amount it was demanding from the tobacco industry for smoking cessation to $10 billion. fiore had proposed $130 billion.
after strong criticism from democrats, the department agreed to investigate whether political appointees inappropriately pressured the trial team to slash the proposed penalty against the companies. - ap
(hey...skippy's been both naughty and nice and we still didn't get on "the list")
we know how much o'lielly's been ranting about the "p.c." usage of "holidays" instead of "christmas", so we're wondering why faux news is selling "holiday items"
nice to see how billy boy won the bronze, silver and gold medal of keith's "worst person in the world" today....
this is in response to one of cookie jill's posts. i was going to just leave a comment, but then i opted to post my thoughts instead. so...
jill quoted an arizona psychiatrist remarking on the national idea of getting ahead in the world:
it's admirable to the extent we're willing to take personal responsibility for picking our own damn selves up. it only enters the realm of the pathological when we substitute dragging others down for accepting personal responsibility -- then it becomes 1) a matter of degree, and 2) a question of how much pathology we're willing to tolerate.
next question, doctor...
sebastian mallaby, in a washpost piece that is obstensively about economics (specifically wal-mart policies) and has nothing to do with the past election, partisanship or politics, nonetheless manages to smear the democratic candidate from 2004:
there's no analysis of the national political campaigns in the piece; there's no reference to any other politico, or any other mention of the campaign or partisan position; it's merely a rebuttal of wal-mart criticisms.
so why the gratuitous smear against kerry?
we don't know. why don't you email sebastian and ask him? or at least tell him how outraged you are by the vicious and uncalled for attack in an otherwise pensive piece?
(link via romenesko via atrios)
erratum addendum: both linkmeister and reader elizabeth have pointed out the possibility (which was also made clear in the romenesko link) that sebastian may have been referring to kerry's remark about "benedict arnold" corporations who outsource jobs overseas. though we regret the error, we don't especially feel bad about it, as it is our opinion that it's the duty of every writer to make his or her point clear to the reader. and, as we noted, since there was no other reference to any political positions or statements in the piece, it's not a matter of our taking the quote out of context. if the reader wasn't aware of kerry's remark, the sentence was confusing both in and out of context.
howard dean predicts the dems will take back the house and the senate in 2006. after listing the advances the dems have made this year (in the dc publication the hill), dean lays it out:
americans of all political persuasions are tired of and worried about the culture of corruption that republicans have brought to washington and to so many statehouses around america. we will offer real ethics reform and election reform so that the government accountability office can report in three years that we can have confidence in our voting machines.
thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to kitty's dkos diary for the link!
congressman rush holt's (nj-12) hr 550 is languishing in the house administration committee like gloria swanson on a chaise lounge. it needs your help to get moving again. this bill would eliminate the issues surrounding verified voting and those unreliable electronic voting machines that now plague our elections. the petition gives a great description of the problems and how hr 550 solves them, so please go read the petition (and sign it, too).
u.s. military covertly pays to run stories in iraqi press - troops write articles presented as news reports. some officers object to the practice. - washington — as part of an information offensive in iraq, the u.s. military is secretly paying iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by american troops in an effort to burnish the image of the u.s. mission in iraq.
the articles, written by u.s. military "information operations" troops, are translated into arabic and placed in baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to u.s. military officials and documents obtained by the los angeles times.
many of the articles are presented in the iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. the stories trumpet the work of u.s. and iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout u.s.-led efforts to rebuild the country.
though the articles are basically factual, they present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the u.s. or iraqi governments, officials said. records and interviews indicate that the u.s. has paid iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles, with headlines such as "iraqis insist on living despite terrorism," since the effort began this year.
it's nice to know that the msm has higher standards for iraqi journalism than it does here at home. iraq, the model.
is a bush "pioneer" and a republican "atm"
the left coaster asks the question "so what does bush think about one of his pioneers being named in a bribery conviction against a gop congressman?" we want to know, too.
and this co-coconspirator and millionaire heads up a "cutting edge technology" oriented firm?
adcs is also a driving force in developing leading-edge techniques, practices and solutions in information assurance, providing an unparalleled level of quality and security.
then why does their website suck? one page? some "unparalleled quality" there, dude. what did they use the $3.2mil that the dukester sent their way in military contracts?
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
don't mess with eliot.
spitzer's office dispatched investigators who, disguised as customers, were able to purchase affected cd's in new york music retail outlets - and to do so more than a week after sony bmg recalled the disks. the investigators sought cds at stores including walmart, bestbuy, sam goody, circuit city, fye, and virgin megastore, according to a nov. 23 statement from spitzer's office.
..."it is unacceptable that more than three weeks after this serious vulnerability was revealed, these same cds are still on shelves, during the busiest shopping days of the year," spitzer said in a written statement. - businessweek
for those keeping score at home, sony distributed 4.7 million cds that, when inserted into a computer's cd drive, installed so-called rootkit software aimed at limiting the number of copies of the cd that could be made. the software hid its presence thoroughly, while also opening up a dangerous set of security holes that could let virus writers take over pcs. - cnet security blog
according to new research.
today, a broad array of recent psychological research has led some researchers to conclude that hypercompetitiveness resembles a diagnosable mental disorder — a volatile alchemy of obsessive compulsiveness, narcissism, neurosis and sometimes a dose of paranoia.
..."we define the american dream as people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps," says steven eickelberg, a paradise valley, ariz., psychiatrist who specializes in the psychology of high-performance competitors and whose clients include high-profile athletes and business executives. "but how many people do we walk over to be successful? when is this kind of competition admirable, and when is it pathological?"
...at the core of every massive corporate unraveling, whether it is sunbeam, enron or the helmsley hotels, sits a hypercompetitive manager or ceo, says barbara kellerman, research director for the center for public leadership at harvard's john f. kennedy school of government and author of the 2004 book "bad leadership: what it is, how it happens, why it matters.""at a minimum, those whose competitiveness makes their reach exceed their grasp are ineffective and unethical; at a maximum they are downright detrimental to society," kellerman says. - latimes
the problem with goverment really IS the red tape ...
from the ap:
two government employees were charged tuesday with taking kickbacks on the purchase of 100,000 rolls of red tape. (they were) charged with taking bribes for buying the tape, normally $2.50 per roll, for $6.95 each.ahh, you really can't make this stuff up ... (ok, so it's not the identity of scooter libby's informant. it's a story, isn't it??)
the red tape, stamped with the word "security," is meant to deter tampering.
the laweekly tells us that, since absentee ballots are still being counted in caleefornia, it's turning out that gov. ah-nold got his butt kicked even worse than anybody thought:
and they were all wrong. as the count proceeded this past weekend, the percentage of california voters who cast ballots was up to 47.3 percent. when the count’s all done — the county registrars have to wrap it up by december 8 — that figure may be close to 48 percent, 11 points higher than each of the two preceding specials...
it’s also a testament to the scope and efficacy of the campaign the unions ran to pull their voters — and not just union members, but black, latino and progressive voters more generally — to the polls. in l.a. county, not only was the turnout surprisingly high, but the margins against arnold’s measures were huge. as of this weekend, proposition 74, extending the probationary period for teachers, was losing by 22.8 percent among l.a. county voters; proposition 75, curtailing unions’ ability to wage election campaigns, was trailing by 23.2 percent; proposition 76, limiting funding on schools and giving the governor unilateral power to cut spending, was down by 35.6 percent; and proposition 77, establishing a mid-decade reapportionment, was behind by 32 percent.
the article goes on to mention the latimes' new hard tack to the right (under new management), and thereby how out of touch with its core readership the paper is now appearing. the op-ed page not only endorsed 3 of ah-nold's 4 propositions, the editors, after the loss, chided, derided and broad-sided the citizenry of the state for failing to pass them.
to the brand spankin' new blog (four days old!), accept no substitutes.
taylor marsh wonders, if awol's national guard issue is such a non-starter for conservatives, how come powerbar is so up in the air about mary mapes' new book discussing same?
after much hoopla, bill o'lielly has published his enemies list of all media outlets that have "defamed" him (we wish...if anybody needs to have fame removed from them, it's bill!) and, much to no one's surprise, there's very little to it.
there are exactly three...count 'em...three whole organizations on his list: msnbc (any bets on exactly whokeitholbermannhe's referring to?), the nytimes, and the st. petersberg times.
like the rest of bill's oevure, it's all much ado about nothing. and to tell the truth, we're hurt that we're not included. at least we made this list.
(thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to the brad blog for the heads up!)
reader chris finds this asspress piece reporting about a loss in court for everyone's favorite black box voting corporation:
diebold inc., which makes automated teller machines and security and voting equipment, is worried it could be charged with a felony if officials determine the company failed to make all of its code — some of which is owned by third-party software firms, including microsoft corp. — available for examination by election officials in case of a voting mishap.
the requirement is part of the minimum voting equipment standards approved by state lawmakers earlier this year following the loss of more than 4,400 electronic ballots in carteret county during the november 2004 election. the lost votes threw at least one close statewide race into uncertainty for more than two months.
uh oh! diebold might be forced to reveal its secrets! and we all know, repubbbs, like vampires, hate the sunshine!
awol was greeted by protesters today in denver, and the demonstrators were smart enough to temporarily block the press bus from moving, thus assuring they wouldn't get arrested for assaulting a president, and also getting plenty of media play. asspress:
protesters briefly blocked the path of two press buses that were trailing the motorcade, and some shouted and made obscene gestures before police cleared them out of the way. the motorcade was not blocked.
awol is attending a fund-raiser for ineffectual homophobe marilyn musgrave, who is seen as the weakest candidate in an already-lame field of republicans trying to hold onto their seats in congress. talkleft has a good round-up of musgrave's pointlessness.
we had no idea this one would be such a stumper! we asked folks to name actors who now play regular recurring characters on any l'n'o series, that previously portrayed another character on any other show in that franchise. only we asked them in a less clumsy way the first time.
caveat: playing the same character on different shows doesn't count. sorry, dann florek and richard belzer!
our dear readers came up with four of the six that we knew of initially:
s. epatha merkerson, now the police lieutenant on the original show, played a cleaning woman whose son was involved in a case in the early days of that same show;
jerry orbach, who played det. lennie briscoe (during the best years of the show when he partnered with chris noth's det. mike logan), originally played a defense attorny on that same show;
and diane neal, the ada for suv, orignally appeared as (our favorite of the bunch) an upscale auto-erotic asphyxiation devotee on an earlier case of that series.
(tangent: skippy drives mrs. skippy crazy whenever the announcer begins the suv program..."in new york city, sexually based crimes are considered especially heinous," skippy adds "especially up the anus.")
upon researching the answers, we decided to stretch the criteria a bit, finding another actor to fit the bill.
and apparently dancinfool found the same data base as we were using, for she correctly named annabelle sciorra, who is chris noth's new partner on l'n'o ci, but who played a defense attorney on the first episode of the short-lived "law and order: pirates of penzance" series last year.
dancin fool also spotted michael imperioli, who subbed for jesse martin (while he was filming "rent"...a great flick, go see it!) as dennis farina's partner last year. michael played a chaffeur who killed some girl because he was in love with her early on.
and she pegged jk simmons (spiderman's boss) who is the sometimes shrink for the da's office, but was originally a white supremacist in one of the bizarre "homicide: life on the streets-law and order" cross-over shows in the 90's.
dancin fool also found anna parisse, who plays ada borgia (who has the worst clothing sense for a lawyer we've ever seen...what, does she think she's an evil twin on a soap opera or something??) but also played someone else named "jasmine blake" in an earlier episode (we don't remember that one...she must not have been wearing hot pink sweaters with a chartreuse scarf).
both dancin fool and rose is a rose mentioned courtney vance, the ada for criminal intent, who played two different villains on the original series. rose also got amy carlons, who was ada on pirates of penzance (sorry, we mean trial by jury) and someone named collette connolly on the original (we don't remember her, even in her starring role on last year's show. sorry).
by our count, there are still two answers left. but even more interesting, rose offers a counter-trivia challenge: name the four actors who played the same character on all four shows!
our guess: jerry orbach as briscoe, sen. fred dalton as the da, carolyn mccormick as the shrink, and the morgue lady, leslie hendrix, who must have the best career in television.
what are your guesses?
update: only one answer left! dancin fool, using the international movie data base, correctly found bebe neuwirth, the star of l'n'o pirates of penzance last year, also guested on suv, playing a different asst. district attorney!
also, as to rose's challenge...rose, you're not counting the narrator guy, are you? (who has the best voice over career in television!)
double update: nope, we are only three for four on rose's challenge! meanwhile, elizabeth finds that tamara tunie, who plays the morgue lady on suv, also played a defense attorney on the original. and dancinfool nominates ice t, who, before assuming the role of det. tutuola on suv, was a drug dealer on the mow "exiled" which concerned the adventures of mike logan on staten island. now, that's an exile!
still one answer left! who is it??
according to tom defrank of the new york daily news, aWol has been calling people and asking "who's leaking on me?" this comes after years of aWol "leaking" on the rest of the country. but my question isn't "who's leaking?" my question is "where do i get in line to take a leak on aWol too?"
col. ted westhusing
air force erred with no-bid iraq contract, gao says - the air force, under pressure from the pentagon, committed a "gross error" last year when it rushed to sign a no-bid contract for advisers to help plan and implement iraq's national elections and draft its constitution, the government accountability office has ruled. [snip]
"our defense department has continued to pay, through pliant contractors, for a flock of iraqi political exiles as our paid political agents in iraq," said charles tiefer, a government contracting professor at the university of baltimore school of law.
your tax dollars at shirk.
a growing wariness about money in politics - republicans, who control the white house and congress, are most vulnerable to this wave. but pollsters say that voters think less of both political parties the more prominent the issue of corruption in washington becomes, and that incumbents generally could feel the heat of citizen outrage if the two latest guilty pleas multiply in coming months.
with one exception the indictments that birnbaum describe are of republicans. (we might add that if any democratic politicians are caught up in this frenzy of investigations of corrupt republicans, we believe that they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.) the entire capitol hill culture of corruption is the creation of delay, abramhoff, rove and norquist. the whole point of the k-street project is to drive democrats away from the lobbiest gravey-train.
still, birnbaum has to write a "voters will blame both parties," because he is congenitally incapable of writing the truth, "the republican party's corruption has caught up with them." do you think they make reporters get a chip implanted in their brain before they give them columns at wapo?
update: npr just did it too. maybe they get the chip when they get an msm job in d.c.
Monday, November 28, 2005
or ve vill have you arrested
miami police announced monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.
deputy police chief frank fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the ids of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats - ap
(danke schon duncan)
1) for being caught taking bribes, evaded taxes and lying?
2) in front of the judge sentencing his son for smuggling 400 lbs. of marijuana and testing positive 3 times while on bail?
guess felonious behaviour runs in the family.
(kangaroo kisses to the ever fab democratic veteran who actually met the dukester)
this practice of catch and release has been the government's policy for decades. it is an unwise policy and we're going to end it. (applause.) to help end catch and release, we need to increase the capacity in our detention facilities.
it wasn't an ad-lib, inadvertantly revealing the contempt awol feels for those not blessed by god, as he was, with a birth on third base. it's in the white house text of his comments on immigration. he's talking about human beings. the speechwriters were told to make a deliberate appeal to his racists base. in a previous century politicians employed such dehumanizing rhetoric. the reasons why people talk like this are clear. we know the consequences of such speech. we do not wait for the republicans to denounce this language with bated breath.
neither can we. thank goodness there's a state by state rundown of congresscritters in deep guano...
brownie was just "so good" at his job....
a little-noticed internal report reveals that over a year ago, the department of homeland security knew fema contracting was a scandal
with the less-than-riveting title "an audit of fema's acquisition workforce," the report has drawn little press attention pre- or post-katrina.
but auditors' conclusions were jaw-dropping. in short, they found there was no way to know whether the people charged with buying millions of dollars worth of goods and services in normal times (and a whole lot more after a disaster) had a clue. to use the report's phrasing: "it was impossible to determine whether the acquisition personnel met training, education and experience requirements." record-keeping was so slipshod that auditors were "unable to assess the qualifications of the workforce." - gulf coast reconstruction watch
(kangaroo kisses to progressivesouth's kos diary for the headsup)
rep. randy "duke" cunningham pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax violations after an investigation of the california republican's home sale. - ap
admitting to a judge that he took bribes, cunningham entered pleas in u.s. district court to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004. - wapo and sandy eggo union tribune
**update** the duke went buh bye....
u.s. randy "duke" cunningham, a california republican, resigned on monday after pleading guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for help in securing defense department contracts. - reuters
how many series regulars in any of the law and order shows can you name who played other characters on earlier episodes?? (note: any episodes of any l'n'o show, ie, it counts if a recurring cop on suv guest starred on the original series as a meter maid.)
the definitive aspect of the question here is "different character." so chris noth, playing det. mike logan on criminal intent, doesn't count, because he played that same character on the original.
update: some readers have correctly guessed three of the answers. we thought there were three more, but if we stretch the criteria just a bit, there are four answers left!
congressman randall "duke" cunningham, he of the beautiful san diego region here in sunny california, has just resigned from congress, admitting he took bribes from a contractor in the form, among other things, of selling his house for way more than it was worth. abcnews:
cunningham, 63, entered pleas in u.s. district court to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004.
cunningham answered "yes, your honor" when asked by u.s. district judge larry burns if he had accepted bribes from someone in exchange for his performance of official duties.
cunningham, an eight-term republican congressman, resigned after his guilty plea. he had announced in july that he wouldn't seek re-election next year…
in a statement, prosecutors said cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes paid to him by several conspirators through a variety of methods, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations.
the culture of corruptions continues...
atrios, on us news and world report editor-in-chief mort zuckerman's lament that blogs can get things wrong:
gatekeeper media may be dead, but to a great degree they dug their own grave and dove right in. blogs didn't really get there until after the funeral.
p o'neill also points out what a great job the gatekeepers did on keeping the falsehood that al gore invented the internet out of the public consciousness.
the blogger formerly known as gd frogsdong is asking for a blogswarm to get folks to sign the rush holt for congress's voter confidence petition.
a sign from the flying spaghetti monster
our liberty is crumbling
a basketball-sized piece of marble molding fell from the facade over the entrance to the supreme court monday, landing on the steps near visitors waiting to enter the building.no one was injured when the stone fell.
the marble was part of the dentil molding that serves as a frame for sculptural figures. the piece that fell was over the figures, near the peak of the building, and to the right of the figure of liberty, who has the scales of justice on her lap. (watch
pictures from the scene after the marble chunk fell -- 1:14) - cnn
a lingerie store in augusta, maine is using live models in its window to attract attention. some people have complained, but most folks aren't too concerned. the story hasn't attracted much attention in the mainstream media, and what is worse, only one report has a picture and you have to register on-line for that paper.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
bill maher and will ferrell (doing a spot on impersonation of awol)
(thank you for the "clues" onegoodmove!)
not that we're complaining that someone's trying to do bill o'reilly's work for him, but how come we're second to last?
[ed. note: for a real hoot, read the whole blog, especially this.]
why isn't the corporate going on and on about this auto accident?
mr. hudson hawk is all pissed off at the media. he's pro war and putting his money where his mouth is....he's offered $1mil bounty for osama. (i don't know...wouldn't the money have been better spent on supporting those troops coming home with their legs and arms and psyches blown apart and finding they have little or no medical coverage? we're angry over that) seems mr. armegeddon wants to make a movie to say happy shiny things about the war.
angered by negative portrayals of the conflict in iraq, bruce willis, the hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which american soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.but, when it comes to real life, bruce can't handle the truth. bruce thinks it's ok to sue at the drop of a hat when he gets injured "doing a stunt"....ohhh...big man, there bruce. so...it's not ok to accidently get shot at filming, but it's ok to send over troops without body armor to get shot at with live rounds....?
it will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of deuce four, the 1st battalion, 24th infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern iraqi town of mosul.
...the 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”. - timesonline
bruce willis has just filed a lawsuit against revolution studios and the special effectsoh...and bruce...what about all those "little people" who put their hard work and efforts into your movies? you blame them for the high cost of making films and not your $20m a film or whatever it is you are commanding these days....
foreman joe pancake (don't snigger) on tears of the sun. from imdb themselves:
bruce willis has sued revolution studios and the special-effects foreman of 2003's tears of the sun, claiming that he was injured during the shooting of the film as a result of their negligence. according to the lawsuit, which was posted monday on the smoking gun website, willis says he was hurt when a projectile fired in one scene hit him in the forehead, causing an injury that resulted in "extreme mental, physical and emotional pain and suffering." willis accuses the special-effects man, joe pancake, of negligence while plotting the shooting sequence. - the movie blog
willis, who commands millions of dollars a film, upset most of hollywood's below-the-line workers a few years back when he claimed on a talk show that the reason filmmaking was so expensive was because film technicians make too much money. - christian science monitor
josh over at talking points memo is having a tough time keeping up with the jack abramoff story...(like who isn't?) he seems to feel that it's straight from an elmore leonard book...i'm thinking more tom clancy. everytime i see a photo of jackie a, i'm picturing the character "robert ritter" in the movie version of clancy's "clear and present danger"
parts of the storyline....
gus boulis founds the casino boat line suncruz.confused yet? hey...and i'm not even going into detail about how jackie a got $9mil for arranging a meeting with awol, his ties with ralph reed, grover norquist, rep. pombo, rep. doolittle, sen. burns, his golf expeditions, his connection to the mariana island sweatshops, etc.....
jack abramoff and adam kidan buy suncruz from boulis when he was pressure to sell.
suncruz, under the new ownership, pays the national republican congressional committee (the house gop election committee) $10,000 on behalf of rep. bob ney
(r-oh). that was in exchange for ney's putting anti-boulis remarks in the
congressional record that helped abramoff and kidan pressure boulis to sell them suncruz.
when the casino boat line suncruz was owned by jack abramoff and adam kidan, the company paid the men who blew away gus boulis (gangland style, mind you)
mike scanlon, who formerly worked for tom delay, was the go between guy between abramoff and ney. and, jackie a has a long "working" (aka golfing) history with delay...although tom can't seem to remember who jackie a is anymore.
scanlon also involved in the abramoff's indian gaming bilking schemes (remember when jackie a called the native american tribes as "monkeys", "idiots" and "troglodytes")
now...scanlon is ready to testify against everyone. can't wait for the movie....i'm sure that jackie a won't be "producing" this one.
this letter to the latimes from veteran bill smart in santa barbara echoes our sentiments about know-it-all pundits who have no trouble calling for other people to give up their lives in foreign wars:
jazz, over at running scared, apparently hit a nerve with his essay on the absurdity of the "war on christmas" argument, and now has started a repubbb flame war.
to the idiotarian savant.
the all-spin zone is trying to get folks to write in cindy sheehan for time magazine's person of the year.
as we suppose skippy has no chance in hell of winning, we'll urge you to vote for cindy (use the form at the bottom of this page).
whilst we were living it up in paris, we missed it when rj missed his own blogiversary!
happy first to night light, and congrats to rj for becoming a major voice in blogtopia (and oui! nous avons inventé cette expression!!), not only here on our humble space, but at the huffington post as well as night light itself (but not...well, why bring up old wounds, stirling?) and everywhere he sets his mighty keyboard to.
many more to come!
bon jour! the skippy's are quite happy to be back home, but must admit that they thoroughly enjoyed their winter break in the city of lights!
the skippy's stayed at a quaint hotel named le tourville in the heart of the 7th arrondisement. the eiffel tower was four blocks on one side of the hotel, and napoleon's tomb was four blocks on the other.
the beautiful d'orsay museum (once a train station, now home to one of the most impressive collection of impressionist art in the world) as well as
the rodin garden museum (home of the thinker as well as the gates of hell) was also walking distance.
the skippy's couldn't have asked for a better homebase for their parisian adventure.
more about their vacation to come in later days...
the republicans are at it again.
fox news sunday host chris wallace argued this morning that president bush never tried to link al qaeda and saddam hussein
think progress has the words. crooks and liars has the moving lips.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
how about "dossier". thanks to the democratic veteran we find we're now living in germany...1930's style.
the defense department has expanded its programs aimed at gathering and analyzing intelligence within the united states, creating new agencies, adding personnel and seeking additional legal authority for domestic security activities in the post-9/11 world.
the moves have taken place on several fronts. the white house is considering expanding the power of a little-known Pentagon agency called the counterintelligence field activity, or cifa, which was created three years ago. the proposal, made by a presidential commission, would transform cifa from an office that coordinates pentagon security efforts -- including protecting military facilities from attack -- to one that also has authority to investigate crimes within the united states such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage.
the pentagon has pushed legislation on capitol hill that would create an intelligence exception to the privacy act, allowing the fbi and others to share information gathered about u.s. citizens with the pentagon, cia and other intelligence agencies, as long as the data is deemed to be related to foreign intelligence. backers say the measure is needed to strengthen investigations into terrorism or weapons of mass destruction.
...the measure, she (kate martin) said, "removes one of the few existing privacy protections against the creation of secret dossiers on americans by government intelligence agencies." she said the pentagon's "intelligence agencies are quietly expanding their domestic presence without any public debate." - the democratic veteran (from wapo)
apparently that manly heterosexual blog, that's back to it's regular name, has been, well, "visited" by cifa.
oh...and welcome back your hoppiness....
the skippy's are back from beautiful paris! and, alas, after flight that was delayed by snow for 4 hours on top of a 10 hour length, suffice it to say they are tres fatigue! so for now, rest assured they had a wonderful time, and will tell you more about their trip anon.
in the meantime, may we mention how refreshing it was to watch tv without people screeching, drowning out each other's points? and the eiffel tower was manufique!
from the missoulian:
helena -- the scope of a u.s. justice department investigation of indicted republican lobbyist jack abramoff is wider than previously believed and now includes his dealings with u.s. senator conrad burns, r-mont., the wall street journal reported friday.
it said prosecutors in the justice department's public integrity and fraud divisions are looking into "possible influence peddling" by abramoff with congressional republicans -- former house majority leader tom delay of texas, rep. bob ney of ohio, rep. john doolittle of california and burns.
the story quoted burns' spokesman, j.p. pendleton, as saying the senator's office has not yet been concated by the justice department and that burns has not retained a criminal defense attorney.
"we are more than happy to help out in any investigation should we be asked," pendleton told the journal...
uh-oh, my b.s. detector just short-circuited again...
filming of 'pirates of the
readers couldn't fail to note the irony yesterday when the huffington post reported that pirate attacks interrupted shooting of two 'pirates of the caibbean' sequels. today, in a further ironic tragedy, filming was once again interrupted when rolling stones guitarist keith richards conducted a daring daylight raid against the set.
richards, wearing a higher-than-usual number of beads in his hair and walking suspiciously like johnny depp, used both guns and knives to conduct his assault. he was, as always, unfailingly courteous. "that's all then," he said after relieving cast and crew of their valuables, "innit?"
security guards described it as the most "relaxed" robbery they had ever experienced.
Friday, November 25, 2005
hoppy ring-in-the-holiday-season kangaroo blogging...
the turkey was delicious. as were the mashed potatoes. smothered in the bestest gravy i ever tasted. and the peas just melted in the mouth like butter. the ham wasn't too bad, either. and the cranberry sauce -- oh! i don't know what was in that stuffing, but i just loved it. loved the bread rolls, too. and who came up with the zucchini-butternut squash idea? nice touch! then, for dessert, i couldn't decide between the strawberry shortcake or the pecan pie -- so i had both!
best thanksgiving ever!
now if i could just stand up...
you can catch it in the archives. (presented on nov. 9)
and if you live in california, time to make a few calls this weekend.
between now and monday, nov 28, the california election protection network needs 1000 californians to dedicate an hour to preserving the integrity of our elections. why a thanksgiving weekend call to action? secretary of state bruce mcpherson, ever the populist, has given all california citizens only through monday to submit testimony regarding his proposed certification of diebold equipment.
we have precious little time to stop diebold from taking over our elections in california. on this thanksgiving weekend, let's give thanks that it's not too late, that we haven't lost it all - like ohio - yet. (this november, ohio couldn't get badly-needed election reform propositions passed because diebold now controls the vote in 44 of 88 counties. polls showing a reform victory, once again, were called "erroneous.")
...the california secretary of state's office will "accept" public comment on the certification of the diebold tsx touchscreen voting machine only until monday, november 28th. tell bruce mcpherson we demand an extension of the hava deadlines and a rejection of diebold equipment.
email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (916) 653-6814 - press 6, then 3......
recommended: fax: 916 653-3214 (paper gets a lot more attention.)
call or fax your state representative
(you look them up at: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset9text.htm put in your zip code to find specific info.)
with the blessings of the state of california
a finnish computer hacker is going to break into the diebold election system with the blessing of california's secretary of state.
harri hursti, a computer security expert from finland, will show how it is possible to turn over the the diebold election system and put who ever you want in power.
secretary of state bruce mcpherson has already refused diebold certification after 20 percent of the new, voting machines malfunctioned during a july test, however now he wants to make sure that the machines are secure.
last may, hursti tested a diebold system and changed the voting results. he also inserted a new program that flashed the message "are we having fun yet?" on the computer screens. he confirmed that if someone has the same access as an employee of the election office it was possible to enter the computer, alter election results and exit the system without any physical record. now mcpherson wants to see this test for himself.
hursti will use a randomly selected voting machine from one of the 17 counties that use a diebold system. diebold wanted it to use a machine that it provided, however that idea was vetoed by the state, we assume because it didn't want a machine designed to cheat the test. - the inquirer and sfgate and kesq
and changes it's name (apparently momentarily) to fuzzy little bunnies media....no wait...it's "pantload media"....
and hopefully we'll turn out the correct vote count next time.
tonight (8 pm on kqed-fm, 88.5) at the commonwealth club...mark crispin miller. (say hello to his blog - news from underground)
the theft of the 2004 election -- the speaker is mark crispin miller, professor of media studies at nyu and author of "fooled again: how the right stole the 2004 election, and why they'll steal the next one, too (unless we stop them)." the pbs and fox news political commentator elaborates on his claims that republicans orchestrated electoral fraud to manipulate the 2004 presidential race into an illegitimate win. he presents his compelling list of evidence, including democratic voter disenfranchisement, discrepancies between official vote counts and exit poll counts, and computer errors. neither a republican nor a democrat, miller is known for his objective analysis on current issues facing media and politics.(thanks to khaavren's kos diary for the heads up)
by practicing those "christian" values.....not
security guards wrestled a man to the ground in a wal-mart after he cut in line to get laptop computers that were on sale friday, a television station reported.
the man started arguing with people inside the store, wftv-tv in orlando reported. he then started fighting with the guards, the station reported
one man told wftv that the laptops were being thrown into the air and people rushed toward them, collapsing on each other. another man described the scene as crazy. - ap
on its own, this quote may seem a little curious, but it's essentially all right:
the sad part is finding out who said it and why...
(shaking head in disbelief thanks to armando...)
Thursday, November 24, 2005
tell the yellow dog blog.
has relaunched the site and calling itself...fox news channel
we bow to it's general manliness and note that it makes for good holiday gifts.
spurs of justice
one for 'the birds':
wild turkeys attack
humans in suburbia
from the wall street journal:
in april, will
millingtonwas riding his dirt bike down a narrow trail in norman, , when he stopped before a flock of wild turkeys. the hens scattered, but two toms flared their feathers and stalked toward him. then they suddenly leapt in the air, beat mr. millington with their wings and tried to scratch him with the sharp spurs on the backs of their legs. okla.
sometimes the good guys get tired of being the victims. sometimes ... they fight back.
and a gaggle of giggles to gobble up from keith olberman via onegoodmove.
a moment to remember those affected by katrina at operationeden
pharyngula goes "pharryngula" or rather..."all pirate" on us...
beware the wild turkey in berkeley...and no, we're not talking the alcohol.
we're so thankful for mark fiore
you wanna know what was a good thanksgiving? 1491. that was a good thanksgiving.
since then? eh.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
ruth m. siems, a home economist who helped create stove top stuffing, a thanksgiving favorite that will be on dinner tables across the country this year, has died at 74 - ap
ladies and gentlemen, this blog will change your life...
everyone's been talking, blogging about the x'ing of darth 5 deferments cheney. it has been proven to be a technical glitch. (thanks to the dan report) however, that isn't stopping one california p.r. firm from claiming it was intentional.
"team hollywood, inc." has sent out a press release saying that callers were told by cnn that it was done intentionally. the "founders" of the firm then called in and apparently taped cnn staff telling them it was done "intentionally".... "amongst political statements being made by the network were the words that the "x" was intentional, as an act of free speech by cnn."
the thing that "team hollywood, inc" didn't let on is that kevin finn, one of the "founders" that supposedly "called up cnn", is a republican "operative"
kevin finn recognized by national republican congressional committeekevin finn is also the founder of a company called terroralertsaferoom (run out of the same santa monica address as team hollywood, inc. but incorporated in delaware). preska thomas, finn's partner in both ventures, claims on terroralertsafefoom's website that ""it is also factual that prior to 911, both china and russia warned america about the twin towers and the threat of chemical and biological agents. 911 did happen."
the national republican congressional committee (nrcc) announced this week that kevin finn of santa monica, california has been selected as a recipient of the 2005 ronald reagan republican gold medal. - usnewswire
yes, ms. thomas, 911 did happen. but "factual" that china and russia warned the u.s. about 9/11? where are those facts ms. thomas? probably out in the garbage can like the "tape" of the cnn newsroom saying that the x was intentionally done.
so proof is in the pudding republicans reward liars, fear mongers and slime machine operations.
i don't know if this link has been posted here before or not, but it is worth posting again if it has. seriously funny stuff.
that "rumble" man
master guitarist link wray left this plane yesterday at the age of 76. the title of this post is a play on words, of course, because i will miss him. but it's also descriptive - link wray was a gateway, a human bridge, a link between worlds.
like baron samedi in voudoun (who also wears dark clothes and sunglasses), link wray was a bridge between dark and light, day and night, new and old. the fact that he was half native american and half european, and therefore half "new world" and half "old" (i always thought they got those two terms backwards) only added to the bi-dimensionality of his identity.
link wray's tone was dirty but his heart, i always felt, was sweet. ("dirty-sweet," to use the words of marc bolan, who no doubt was an acolyte.) he went from country/western ("lucky wray and his palomino ranch hands" to the grittiest rock & roll.) and as for the sound of that guitar ... i'm reminded of a great dialog between john lee hooker and billy gibbons (zz top), who was interviewing him.
"carlos santana says 'a man's tone is his face,'" said gibbons."
"well," replied hooker, "he know."
link wray's "face" changed rock and roll. when he recorded "rumble," his first hit, he tried to duplicate the sound he got when he played it at a country dance through a blown out amp. when it sounded too clean he drove a pencil through the speakers to get that gritty sound. the gangland name of the record, and the gritty sound, caused it to be banned it several towns. when an instrumental gets banned ... well ... man, you've caught something very, very primal. and rock and roll is supposed to be primal.
when you release the savagery in the human heart, love is free to follow. ca-thar-sis:
- medicine. purgation, especially for the digestive system.
- a purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
- a release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
- a technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness.
- the therapeutic result of this process; abreaction.
that's the secret of rock and roll, the liberating power nobody understands anymore. that's the power link wray and his descendants - those who carried on the power chord and feedback - brought, or should have brought.
you could see the love in link wray's eyes. was he a brilliant technician on the instrument? no. and yes. and who cares? he - and steve jones of the sex pistols, and johnny ramone, and dave davies of the kinks, and everyone else who's ever blown out a cheap amplifier - open a door in the heart when they play to their fullest.
now link wray's opened another door. "rumble" was one of the greatest records of all time. link wray: walk through that door. but i'll miss you.
purchasing faulty body armor.
the army and marine corps are recalling more than 18,000 body armor vests because they failed ballistic requirements when they were manufactured in 1999-2000. many of those vests may now be in the war zone.
the nov. 16 recall order is the second in six months for the marines. the corps recalled more than 5,000 vests in may. all of the vests involved were produced by the same manufacturer, point blank body armor inc. of pompano beach, fla., under contract to the marine corps.
the first recall, and a subsequent investigation that led to the second recall, came in response to a marine corps times investigation that showed that the corps knowingly accepted vests that failed to meet requirements in 2003 and 2004. - army times