Thursday, November 30, 2006
faux news only net to lose viewers compared to last nov.
"fox's fancy number crunching is a day late and a dollar short. they are desperate to mask the fact that fox news was the only cable network to lose viewers this month over last november. and when they say they 'retained more' since the midterms, this actually means they didn't have as high of a peak on election day from which to fall. seems that fox news' continuous slide in the ratings just keeps going on and on..."
stupid but funny
nobody's watching: diet coke & mentos
nick nolte at night
the cable channel for nolte fans
plenty to swear about
how's the economy?
michael "golden turkey awards" medved, writing in usatoady, is all a-twitter that the latest animated family film happy feet is actually - gasp - liberal propaganda disguised as children's entertainment! even worse, there's a kiddie book out (tango makes three) that discusses the real-life phenomenon of two male penguins (in the central park zoo) who
gasp! more liberal propaganda!!!
of course, many parents might not relish the idea of exposing their kiddies to a "view of hell," no matter how much they agree with a movie's propagandistic purposes? nor would they necessarily welcome a picture book for 4-year-olds that has plunged an illinois school into the bitter debate over same-sex marriage.
(yes, that pun was intended. we apologize.)
medved goes on to rail against tango makes three, pointing out news stories that report that one of the homosexual penguin daddies actually left the alternative-penguin-lifestyle configuration for a girl penguin, as if that somehow negated what went on before (a victory for sexual re-conditioning schools, we suppose).
however medved fails to mention those same news stories point out that there's still other same-sex couples amongst thantarcticic bird population.
tho we digress, and we do it well, our point here is that the only connection between these two bogeymen that the right needs to rail at is...penguins.
only in the mind of medved can there be one single column about the evils of two completely different issues...global warming and homosexuality...and how the "liberal media" is brainwashing our children.
we guess we're just lucky that crown hasn't published "lucky the penguin hates christmas." then medved would have really had something to whine about.
oh, by the way, michael...happy feet was #1 two weeks in a row.
[ed. note: for fun reading, check out the comments left on the usatoady page of medved's column, the majority of which deride medved for his faulty reasoning, strawmen, and generapetulantnt attitude. we especially like the one comment by a conservative reader that accuses usatoady of "only publishing" comments against medved, as if someone had the time to monitor the comments and throw out all the conservative, positives ones. here's a clue, bub: there weren't any!!!]
what a surprise
president bush today proclaimed prime minister nuri kamal al-maliki "the right guy for iraq," and said the two had agreed to speed the turnover of security responsibility from american to iraqi forces. but mr. bush dismissed a reported decision by an independent bipartisan panel to call for a gradual withdrawal of troops.
"i know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of iraq," the president said during a joint news conference with mr. maliki, referring to the panel's reports that are expected next week. "we're going to stay in iraq to get the job done so long as the government wants us there." - nytimes
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
like this calendar, awol's days are numbered
tony viardo of sourcebooks tells us you can go to amazon to order this calendar at a discount, and even tho the amazong page says they're out of stock, they will get another order on dec. 5, and you get free shipping.
the politically correct christmas album
guaranteed not to offend anyone!
ron white was right...
...at a private reception held at the white house with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, bush asked webb how his son, a marine lance corporal serving in iraq, was doing.
webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from webb.
"i didn't ask you that, i asked how he's doing," bush retorted according to the source...
that's amazing, if a little unnerving. awol has become so defective that even his trademark phony sympathy isn't working properly...
(credit: tristero at digby's place...)
Pulling out: lessons from Vietnam
While in Vietnam recently, aWol claimed if the United States had stayed in Vietnam, the war would not have been lost.
Many have commented on how it showed Bush didn't learn the lessons from the Vietnam conflict.
But neither has the media nor those arguing against pulling out of Iraq really learned from Vietnam.
The media points to the failure of Vietnamization as a reason against withdrawal. Here's one example in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Comparisons to Vietnam and terms from that era like "quagmire," "hearts and minds" and "body counts" swamped the media the moment the invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, but Vietnamization didn't make it into the mix until November. Then, the White House, which initially shied off anything linked to Vietnam, started a media campaign to roll out what it was calling "Iraqification," perhaps as an answer to critics who doubted the "mission" had actually been "accomplished" and feared there was no "light at the end of the (Iraqi) tunnel." But the term was quickly dropped. Perhaps it resurrected too many Baby Boomer memories of Vietnamese clinging to the skids of choppers fleeing the fruits of Vietnamization.
It seems, however, that there is no way of keeping failed Washington policies in their graves once the dead of night strikes. I was amazed when, in 2005, in Foreign Affairs magazine, Melvin Laird resurrected a claim that his Vietnamization policy had actually worked and plugged for Iraqification of the war there.
When Gen. George William Casey Jr. -- whose father, a major general, died in Vietnam in July 1970 -- announced in June that the Pentagon might soon begin the first American troop withdrawals from Iraq, I couldn't help wondering where the Iraqi version of that sign might eventually go up. In the desert? On the Iranian or the Syrian border? (The withdrawals were rescinded before even being put into effect in the face of an all-out civil war in Baghdad.)
While Judith Coburn may have witnessed much combat on the ground in Vietnam, she misses the big picture.
When the U.S. began to turn the war over to the South Vietnamese, there were considerable problems, not the least of which involved corruption in the South Vietnamese officer corps.
But the biggest problems from the early Vietnamization came from the fact the South Vietnamese still expected in 1969 and 1970 for the U.S. forces still there to do the fighting for them. Why should they risk their lives when they could get the Americans to do the fighting?
However, and this is a big however, by 1972, the ARVN (South Vietnam's Army) did well in fighting against the North Vietnamese Easter offensive.
The eventual collapse of South Vietnam had as much to do with many causes, both political and diplomatic as much as militarily.
Militarily, the U.S. Army had turned over heavy equipment and a style of fighting requiring a large amount of logistical support and materials to the ARVN. This was equipment built to fight a war against the Soviet Union in the fields of Western Europe, not a guerrilla war in the jungles and paddies of Southeast Asia.
That is not as much an issue in Iraq. The equipment and training being provided by the U.S. military followed the lessons learned in the first Gulf War.
The South Vietnamese also could not maintain the heavy equipment - M-48 tanks damaged in South Vietnam had to be shipped to the U.S. for repairs - because the educational system was not in place to produce enough technical expertise to keep the machinery operating. Iraq has a highly educated and technologically advanced population.
The U.S. also failed by providing so much material support to the South Vietnamese that they failed to adapt once they did not have the U.S. military backing them logistically because the Soviet Union and China continued to provide material support to North Vietnam.
However, the opposing parties - whoever they might be - in Iraq will not have that same advantage. They aren't being backed by other superpowers like the North Vietnamese were in the early 1970s. While a withdrawal of the U.S. military from Iraq might leave a vacuum that will be filled by the regional powers such as Iran on one side, Saudi Arabia on another, neither are going to be willing to spend so heavily to fund a prolonged conflict as President Bush. The surrounding regional powers have too much to spend on domestic programs to fund a war indefinitely which will lead to them pressuring their clients inside Iraq to reach a settlement, much quicker than if the United States stays.
One other lesson to point out from Vietnam that isn't as obvious.
Vietnam had a long history of civil wars and disturbances. It was at the end of a long period of civil war that the French were able to conquer and colonize Vietnam in the 19th century. The Vietnamese are actually made up of numerous people: ethnic Chinese; Montagnards; Polynesians; Khmer; as well as other minority groups. Their divisions were deep. Many of those in the south opposed communism, but fought against the United States because they saw the U.S. military as occupiers, according to the Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War. Occupiers have a way of turning local populations against them, even uniting traditional enemies. That is a lesson that should never be forgotten for any war.
and the cats of the country breathe a collective sigh of relief
oj and the o'jays
he's a double murderer...they're a funky 70's group!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
journey to the centrist of the earth
of course, the problem with "centrism" is that, everybody...everybody...whether on the surface of their daily thought or deep down in their intense convictions...everybody believes they are smack-dab in the center, and all right-thinking people, when they finally hear the correct arguments, will eventually agree with them.
ergo, the term itself is meaningless.
the left truly believe that once the truth is known, everyone will ascribe to their agenda, and they will be in the center. the right believes it, too. even fundamentalists and anarchists think that sooner or later, the world will come around to their way of thinking, and it's everybody else who is extreme.
but, as usual, digby nails it:
san francisco values
- fort mason became the primary port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the pacific theatre of operations.
- the un charter creating the united nations was drafted and signed in san francisco in 1945
- in 1951, the treaty of san francisco officially ended the war with japan.
- the san francisco median household income, at $57,496 in 2005, is the fifth-highest for any large city in the nation
- the federal government utilizes san francisco as the regional hub for many arms of the federal bureaucracy, including the u.s. court of appeals, the federal reserve bank and the united states mint.
- until decommissioning in the early 1990s, the city had three major military installations - the presidio, treasure island and hunters point - a legacy still reflected in the annual celebration of fleet week.
- foreign governments have located in excess of thirty foreign consulates in san francisco
- san francisco attracts the fifth highest number of foreign tourists of any city in the united states pier 39 near fisherman's wharf is the third-most popular tourist attraction in the nation.
- more than 15 million visitors came to san francisco in 2005, injecting nearly $7.5 billion into the economy
- san francisco also is a top-ten north american destination for conventions and conferences
- the small business commission supports local merchants in an effort to keep a larger share of retail dollars in the local economy.
- small businesses with fewer than ten employees and self-employed firms make up 85 percent of city establishments.
- the san francisco metro area is the fifth largest tv market and the fourth largest radio market in the united states.
- founded in 1855, the jesuit-run university of san francisco is one of the oldest universities established west of the mississippi.
- the ucsf medical center is ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the united states.
when sea lions go wild
in the most frightening of the recent episodes, a rogue sea lion bit 14 swimmers this month and chased 10 more out of the water at san francisco's aquatic park, a sheltered lagoon near the bay. at least one victim suffered puncture wounds.
...in southern california in june, a sea lion charged several people on manhattan beach and bit a man before waddling into the water and swimming away. in berkeley, a woman was hospitalized last spring after a sea lion took a chunk out of her leg.
last year, a group of sea lions took over a newport beach marina and caused a vintage 50-foot yacht to capsize when they boarded it. and a lifeguard in santa barbara was bitten three times while swimming off el capitan state beach.
in alaska, a huge sea lion jumped onto a fisherman's boat in 2004, knocked him overboard and pulled him underwater; he escaped without serious injury. - ap
the united states warned people to stockpile food, water and medicine in venezuela in case a vote on sunday sparks public disorder as anti-s.s. president hugo chavez seeks reelection.
in a warning to americans living in venezuela, which provides about 12 percent of u.s. oil imports, the u.s. embassy said on tuesday it had no information venezuela would slip into lawlessness.
wonder if the u.s. embassy had the same sort of warnings when we....uuagh...i mean "they" managed to unseat (a.k.a. kill) democratically elected president allende in chile.
if politics were a popularity contest, awol would have gone home long ago
giuliani, a republican, scored the highest at 64.2. obama and mccain, who are also considering a 2008 campaign, finished next at 58.8 and 57.7…
secretary of state condoleezza rice was fourth in the poll, far ahead of her boss, president bush, who was the 15th most popular national leader. mr. bush finished just behind the man he defeated in the 2000 presidential race, former vice president al gore.
former president bill clinton finished fifth in the poll, while his wife, new york sen. hillary rodham clinton was ninth with a score of 49. massachusetts sen. john kerry, the 2004 democratic nominee who was roundly criticized before the election for suggesting that students who don't study could end up stuck in iraq, came in last at 39.6.
cue donna summers: blog the radio...wo-wo-wo-woah blog the radio...wo-wo-wo-woah...
why can't it be "one strike"
judge strikes down bush on terror groups
a federal judge struck down president bush's authority to designate groups as terrorists, saying his post-sept. 11 executive order was unconstitutionally vague, according to a ruling released tuesday. - ap
feed the hungry
sally struthers' post-thanksgiving message
we agree with christy
rwcole at 168:and there you have it. a distillation of the most asked question and the answer to it, in a few short sentences, by two of our fdl readers. this is why our comments section makes my day pretty much every day. it's a gold star kind of morning.impeachin the bad news bears?no. and yes. in that order.
well there are two issues..
one- should some dems attempt a doomed and token effort to raise the issue of impeachment knowing full well that it’s goin no where?
two-should dems begin investigations into areas that could very well lead to the discovery of improprieties that even goopers would have to regard as impeachable.
impeachment is first and foremost a political act, and the available evidence (nixon and clinton) shows that the electorate views it so. starting in office saying they’re going to impeach the two stooges is repeating the gingrich mistake.
if, on the other hand, carefully conducted oversight hearing bring forward compelling evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors on the part of bushco, then impeachment grows organically from the findings. the analogy then becomes nixon rather than clinton. and bushco will be gone.
Monday, November 27, 2006
news from the land of $1.2 million median priced homes
last year, 39 people died on the streets of santa barbara. - ksby
stolen nut case cracked
about $400,000 worth of stolen nuts was recovered sunday night from the two suspects. the edible goods apparently were headed for india, china, canada and other destinations in europe and the united states, police said.
the discovery accounts for part of the estimated $2 million of nut crops reported stolen from the heart of california's farmland during the past year and a half. at least 14 large truckloads of almonds and walnuts have gone missing. - sfgate
the latest poll-osi
music to surf and shop by
at the mall with the beach boys
cultural leanings of blogtopia make glorious benefit for kangaroos
big thanks to allison of hartsongs for the pic
if we stole this joke by skippy
two bloggers no waiting
Closure and denial
For two women, so much comes down to this: a fragment of bone and the lick of a love letter.
Military scientists recently compared the bone recovered in a North Vietnamese jungle where an Air Force pilot's plane went down 40 years ago to saliva on letters he had sent his wife. It was a DNA match, they announced. At last, they said, the remains of Col. Charles J. Scharf had been found.
What they couldn't have known, however, was how differently that announcement would affect two women he left behind.
His widow, Patricia Scharf, 72, of Northern Virginia, has never remarried, has never had children and still considers the Vietnam War officer the love of her life. For her, the announcement was the gentle rub across the shoulder she had waited four decades to feel, one that let her know it was all right to let go.
For Barbara Scharf Lowerison, 72, his sister in California, the announcement was a slap. It meant she was losing -- if she had not already lost -- her fight to convince officials that her brother is alive, a prisoner of war.
Entire story well worth reading.
you really ought to be reading glenn greenwald
what makes althouse and reynolds' claim here so particularly dishonest is that their ideological comrade, hugh hewitt, previously made the same argument -- that sullivan's use of the term "christianist" is "deeply offensive." hewitt was just as petulant and hysterical as reynolds was, labelling the term "hate speech." in response, sullivan explained exactly what the term means and what it does not mean:seriously, go read greenwald. but come back for more song parodies.christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. the distinction between christian and christianist echoes the distinction we make between muslim and islamist. muslims are those who follow islam. islamists are those who want to wield islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. not all islamists are violent. only a tiny few are terrorists.that is not a complicated distinction. are althouse and reynolds (and their like-minded comrade, hewitt) really incapable of comprehending it? "christians" (like "muslims") are those who believe in the religion. "christianists" (like "islamists") are those who believe that their religious beliefs ought to shape politics and dictate the law. "christian fascists" (like "islamofascists") are those who believe in the use of violence and terrorism to achieve those goals. the term "christianist" has nothing to do with violence, only with a desire to compel others to adhere to christian religious views via the force of politics, state power, and secular law.
and i should underline that the term christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. i mean merely by the term christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. it is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, christian and non-christian alike.
what seems to be guiding althouse and reynolds' hatred of the term "christianist" is that it highlights a fact which they both are eager to ignore -- namely, that the political party to which they are so devoted is dominated by individuals who believe that their religious/christian beliefs ought to dictate the american political process, shape secular law, and exploit coercive state power to constrain the choices of their fellow citizens.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
how is skippy the bush kangaroo like yoghurt?
at least, according to the online magazine reconstruction: studies in contemporary culture.
version 6.4 of this esteemed publication features many bloggers blogging on blogging. and if that's not redundant enough for you, our classic post on the dangers of tbd (ted barlow disease) syndrome was included as part of the cirriculum.
what were they thinking?
mad about the veep
a homeowners association in southwestern colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-iraq war protest or a symbol of satan. - ap
guess they haven't heard that saying that gets thrown around this time of year. "peace on earth. goodwill toward men."
the chuck stops here
"there will be no victory or defeat for the united states in iraq. these terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. the future of iraq was always going to be determined by the iraqis -- not the americans.
iraq is not a prize to be won or lost. it is part of the ongoing global struggle against instability, brutality, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. there will be no military victory or military solution for iraq. former secretary of state henry kissinger made this point last weekend.
the time for more u.s. troops in iraq has passed. we do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to iraq. militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. we are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: america cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose." - chuck hagel in the washington post
the war that dares not speak its name (civil)
the common scholarly definition has two main criteria. the first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. the second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.
american professors who specialize in the study of civil wars say that most of their number are in agreement that iraq’s conflict is a civil war.
“i think that at this time, and for some time now, the level of violence in iraq meets the definition of civil war that any reasonable person would have,” said james fearon, a political scientist at stanford.
while the term is broad enough to include many kinds of conflicts, one of the sides in a civil war is almost always a sovereign government. so some scholars now say civil war began when the americans transferred sovereignty to an appointed iraqi government in june 2004. that officially transformed the anti-american war into one of insurgent groups seeking to regain power for disenfranchised sunni arabs against an iraqi government led by prime minister ayad allawi and increasingly dominated by shiites.
others say the civil war began this year, after the bombing of a revered shiite shrine in samarra set off a chain of revenge killings that left hundreds dead over five days and has yet to end. mr. allawi proclaimed a month after that bombing that iraq was mired in a civil war. “if this is not civil war, then god knows what civil war is,” he said.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
for richards or poorer
sinbad makes a valid point about stand up comedy and hecklers, and that is, it's part of the job. absolutely every comic (and this includes skippy during his stand-up years) gets heckled, it's something you deal with. nobody has a right to become enraged at the daily pitfalls of the trade they've chosen to engage in.
the smart comic deals with hecklers in a clever, controlled way that brings focus back to the comic and makes the audience, and hopefully the heckler, laugh, thus taking the power of the room back to the stage. ("i remember when i had my first beer," is a standard heckler-put down, tho we are found of "ladies and gentlemen, it's a new thing i'm trying here tonight, anal ventroliquism. i stay on stage and my asshole sits in the audience").
richards was neither clever, nor controlled. other blogs have mentioned the famous lenny bruce routine where he uses racial epitaths so much that they lose their power. andy kaufman has also been mentioned in relation to this incident.
but both those comics had points, and shape to their routines (an argument could be made that kaufman didn't have shape to his comic ramblings, but we would insist that his deconstruction of comedy shape was itself a shaping).
richards was simply raging, from a dark, dark place, that obviously is pretty near to his surface, if he can access it so easily over something as mundane as a heckler in an audience (it would rather be like a cartoonist holding a newspaper staff hostage over getting paid late).
there is no excuse for what he did, and tho we love his work as kramer, we can separate the performance from the performer, and no, we don't love michael richards.
addendum: joe gandelman of the moderate voice thinks that it's ludicrous that the hecklers singled out as "m&therf*cking n$ggers" by richards are contemplating a law suit.
the rolling stones eat leftovers
nineteenth turkey sandwich
meanwhile, back in iraq
the exacting of revenge for the deaths of more than 200 shi'ites on thursday came as powerful politicians linked to radical shi'ite cleric moqtada al-sadr threatened to pull out of iraq's coalition government if prime minister nouri al-maliki attends a scheduled meeting with president bush next week in amman, jordan…
yesterday's attacks illustrated iraqi security forces' inability to rein in violence, at a time when us leaders want them to take greater responsibility for the country's security, a vital benchmark for any strategy to withdraw us troops.
the fiery slayings in the mainly sunni neighborhood of hurriyah were a dramatic escalation of the brutality coursing through the iraqi capital, coming a day after suspected sunni insurgents killed 215 people in baghdad's main shiite district with a combination of bombs and mortars.
the attacks culminated baghdad's deadliest week of sectarian fighting since the war began more than three years ago.
Friday, November 24, 2006
best headline for the day
a mosh pit with receipts
remote control wars
skippy has resigned himself to a tear-filled night of chick flicks. but he reasons, at least, that this way there's a good chance that bette midler drowns at the end.
- doug milliken, the newly elected arapahoe county treasurer who ran on a platform that promised to help families avoid foreclosure, is in the process of losing his house. - rockymountainnews
- milliken said he just found out about the foreclosure on friday and that he fell behind because he was focused on his campaign and taking care of an ailing father, along with other considerations. - cbs4denver
- almost 16,000 real estate foreclosures have been filed in the denver area in the first 10 months of the year, 30 percent more than during the same period last year. and by the end of this month, an 18-year record will be eclipsed, with more homes being lost to lenders than ever before. - rockymountainnews
happy thanksgiving from the democratically-controlled congress
“i expect real answers, or we’ll have testimony under oath until we get them,” senator patrick j. leahy of vermont, who will head the committee beginning in january, said in an interview this week. “we’re entitled to know these answers, and in many instances we don’t get them because people are hiding their mistakes. and that’s no excuse.”
mr. leahy, who has said little about his plans for the committee, expressed hope for greater cooperation from the bush administration, which he described as having been “obsessively secretive.” his aides have identified more than 65 requests he has made to the justice department or other agencies in recent years that have been rejected or permitted to languish without reply.
now that they are about to control congress, what he and other democrats regard as a record of unresponsiveness has energized their renewal of longstanding requests for information about some of the administration’s most hidden and fiercely debated operations. in addition, other such requests by committee members deal with subjects like voter fraud, immigration and background inquiries on supreme court nominees. - nytimes
when political analysts talk about one potential presidential candidate for 2008, former sen. john edwards of north carolina, they often mention his wife -- and her down-to-earth appeal. in an interview, elizabeth edwards talks about the death of her teenage son, living a life of politics, and surviving cancer. - npri'd say she'd make a great first lady...or second lady.
hoppy kangaroo blogging friday
christmas at the mall
the true meaning of the season
happy buy nothing day
every november, for 24 hours, we remember that no one was born to shop. if you’ve never taken part in buy nothing day, or if you’ve taken part in the past but haven’t really committed to doing it again, consider this: 2006 will go down as the year in which mainstream dialogue about global warming finally reached its critical mass. what better way to bring the year of global warming to a close than to point in the direction of real alternatives to the unbridled consumption that has created this quagmire? - adbusters
happy black friday
terry lundgren, chief executive of federated department stores inc., told reuters he arrived at the company's flagship macy's herald square store at 5:30 a.m. to find lines wrapped completely around the building, which takes up a whole city block.
"i've been coming here for many years at the same time on this particular day and this looks like the largest crowd we've seen in years," lundgren said, adding that the sunny and cold weather was good for shopping, especially for coats and cashmere sweaters. - reuters
at least 200 people lined up at the port authority bus terminal in manhattan on a rainy thanksgiving night, hoping to be among the first to reach the early-bird sale at woodbury common premium outlets in central valley, n.y.
most stores at the woodbury outlet center, which is about an hour's ride from manhattan and home to more than 200 designer and name-brand stores, open in the wee hours on black friday, the day on which the retail business has traditionally been viewed as becoming profitable for the year, with their famous "midnight madness" super sales, offering early-arriving shoppers additional savings off outlet-store prices. - marketwatch
shoppers who slept in, or slept at all, missed early early-bird deals that started at the stroke of midnight in some stores and as early as 4:30 a.m. at many others…
at the sears roebuck in rego park, n.y., more than 400 people were waiting to get in at 5 a.m., a slightly bigger crowd than last year when the store opened at 6 a.m.
"we've had a very good turnout," said john ford, northeast district manager for sears roebuck, a unit of sears holdings. . "it's encouraging to see the same kinds of crowds an hour earlier"…
disney stores also noted a trend toward the bigger items, at least in the early going.
"with the early-bird special for an extra 20% off, we're seeing people buy the big-ticket toys" such as a three-foot tall ariel the little mermaid doll, said beth moller, a district manager for disney stores in new jersey.
at one disney store that opened at midnight, there were 71 customers waiting to get in, she said. most other disney stores, which are a division of children's place, opened at 5 a.m. - marketwatch
Thursday, November 23, 2006
separated at birth
"god hates fags" own fred phelps,
the guy from the phantasm films.
pass a little green or volunteer at your local foodbank.
mayflower by gary puckett
what we want for thanksgiving
a little white meat - by aretha
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
have a happy thanksgiving
Lost Episode of I Love Lucy
an o.j. thanksgiving
i gotcher house intelligence committee chairperson for ya right here
question of the day...
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
sheryl crow’s thanksgiving
all i wanna do is have some yams
a concrete, problem solving model
when general clark writes, people should listen.
"withdrawal? a bad idea. partitioning? won't work. the right approach is one that addresses u.s. interests in the entire region.
...the right approach is a coordinated diplomatic, legal, economic and security campaign drawing upon broader dialogue in the region and intensified political work inside iraq." - general clark in usatoady
someone get crooks and liars
joe lieberman is on sean hannity sucking up to him and agreeing that democrats are cut & runners. also, he said democrats showed more partisan politics for not supporting his general election campaign which came straight from the politcal playbook. furthermore, hannity proclaims lieberman as the most powerful man in the senate. then the next segment on the show after lieberman was done went right back to attacking nancy pelosilie-berman's no democrat. he's a self absorbed, lying s.o.b. he's got some serious mental issues to work out. preferably on an insurance plan that i'm not paying for.
finally, a little credit, and from the unlikeliest source
the right wing blogosphere has to deal with the facts. the politicians just aren’t that into us.
2) but how come the democrats are so into the blogosphere and the republicans aren’t? how come we don’t generate fear and respect like the kosfather?
because all we do is opine, and often in an annoyingly independent way. while all of us root for the republican party, we’re also pretty expressive when members of the party let us down. we might carry a little water, but as a group, i bet the republican establishment thought of us as more as a pain in the neck than an asset during the last campaign season. i know i won’t be on george allen’s christmas card list.
3) and kos is different?
yes. although he rips democrats when he’s of a mind to do so, he also brings something else to the party. he brings volunteers and money and buzz. although my modem might well explode as i type these words, jon tester would not be a senator starting in january if it weren’t for the daily kos. same for jim webb. he never would have made it out of the primary.
4) okay. so we should be more like kos?
not me. i have no interest in being a tool for the republican party, or at least not anymore so than i already am. but, and again my modem might explode, there is no denying that the daily kos is an asset to the democratic party in terms of winning elections. or at least it was this past cycle.
be sure to visit hoffmania! often!
Monday, November 20, 2006
the general visits "big ed"
ed schultz: .....what can - final question - what can the democratic majority do about this? i mean, we still have the commander in chief.
general wesley clark: probably less than the american people would like, because i think that short of subpoenas and funding cut-offs and so forth, it's, it's hard for congress to directly shape foreign policy. but clearly this election has been a real shot across the bough for the republican party, and i think that despite the protestations of, of the president and dick cheney, they got the message. they cannot stay the course, because it's not working, and they can't lie about it, or they can't represent it as progress to the american people any longer. it's not progress.
something to think about this week
what to do with all that turkey
can your county produce this fantastic number?
yeah...we wuz busy.
the feds pay for a colorado attorney general
colorado attorney general john suthers flew to saudi arabia this week to reassure government officials there that homaidan al-turki was treated fairly when he was convicted of sexually abusing an indonesian nanny held a virtual captive in his aurora home.
suthers sat knee-to-knee for an hour with king abdullah and also met with crown prince sultan, saudi journalists and relatives of al-turki during his weeklong trip to the capital city of riyadh, deputy attorney general jason dunn said friday....at his sentencing, al-turki said he would not apologize for "things i did not do and for crimes i did not commit."
"the state has criminalized these basic muslim behaviors," he told the judge. "attacking traditional muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution."
....the federal government picked up the tab for suthers to spend the week in saudi arabia with owens' chief counsel, jon anderson, dunn said. - rocky mountain news
i know some muslims. sexual abusing and holding nannies hostage is not basic muslim behavior.
completely gratuitous and irresponsible gossip mongering
first cannon fodder....now lab rat
american military doctors in iraq have injected more than 1,000 of the war's wounded troops with a potent and largely experimental blood-coagulating drug despite mounting medical evidence linking it to deadly blood clots that lodge in the lungs, heart and brain.
the drug, called recombinant activated factor vii, is approved in the u.s. for treating only rare forms of hemophilia affecting about 2,700 americans. in a warning last december, the food and drug administration said that giving it to patients with normal blood could cause strokes and heart attacks. its researchers published a study in January blaming 43 deaths on clots that developed after injections of factor vii.
the u.s. army medical command considers factor vii to be a medical breakthrough in the war, giving frontline physicians a powerful new means of controlling bleeding that can only be treated otherwise with surgery and transfusions. they have posted guidelines at military field hospitals encouraging its liberal use in casualties with severe bleeding, and doctors in iraq routinely inject it into patients upon the mere anticipation of deadly bleeding to come.
...yet the army's faith in the $6,000-a-dose drug is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and persists despite public warnings and published research suggesting that factor vii is not as effective or as safe as military officials say. - baltimore sun (part 1 of 3 articles)
...a 36-year-old lawyer from gurnee, ill., with a wife, two young children and a successful general law practice back home, mahaffee never imagined even eight months earlier that he would be working for the army in iraq. he had finished his stint with the army in 1999, retiring after eight years in the reserves, and he hadn't drilled or worn a uniform since.
but in october of 2005 he came home from vacation to find a fedex package from the pentagon calling him back to service. like many retired soldiers, he was still part of the individual ready reserve, a limbo status that allowed the army to reactivate him. the program is so rarely used that few soldiers give it much thought, but the army, suffering a desperate shortage of junior officers, summoned him out of retirement. - baltimore sun (part 2 of 3 articles)
stay tuned to the baltimore sun for part 3.
monday night music club
nanci griffith doing kate wolf's "across the great divide"
hart to hart
the denial machine - a dcoumentary about the faux-science behind the "debate" about global warming:
by all accounts the 'border guardians' are a more extreme version of the minutemen, the vigilantes with guns that have been encouraged at every opportunity by george w. bush and the republican party.
it is not a pretty picture, and if the spl piece is not bad enough, many of the comments attached to a story in the tuscon citizen describing yesterday's events are enough to make any thinking person shudder.
what do you think we were doing back in the 60's all that time?
but they don't want you marching in the streets. they'd much rather you just stay home.
the global orgasm for peace was conceived by donna sheehan, 76, and paul reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.
''the orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it,'' reffell said sunday. ''your mind is like a blank. it's like a meditative state. and mass meditations have been shown to make a change.''
the couple are no strangers to sex and social activism. sheehan, no relation to anti-war activist cindy sheehan, brought together nearly 50 women in 2002 who stripped naked and spelled out the word ''peace.''
the stunt spawned a mini-movement called baring witness that led to similar unclothed demonstrations worldwide.
the couple have studied evolutionary psychology and believe that war is mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of ''my missile is bigger than your missile,'' as reffell put it.
by promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive.
the couple said interest appears strong, with 26,000 hits a day to their web site, http://www.globalorgasm.org/.
''the dream is to have everyone in the world (take part),'' reffell said. ''and if that means laying down your gun for a few minutes, then hey, all the better.''
quantum mechanics? is that what the kids are calling it these days?
the sentence will begin after noe completes a 27-month federal sentence imposed in september for illegal laundering more than $45,000 to president bush’s campaign, judge osowik ruled.
noe was fined $213,000 by judge osowik and ordered to pay the cost of the prosecution, estimated at nearly $3 million, and ordered to pay restitution to the ohio bureau of workers’ compensation for the money missing from the rare-coin fund, estimated at $13.7 million.
“you cooked the books ... it was an elaborate scheme,” judge osowik said before sentencing noe.
mr. osowik said noe’s crimes were premeditated and he “continued to manipulate” the bureau until may, 2005, even after an internal auditor raised concerns about the coin funds more than five years earlier.
the judge said noe created a “facade” of wealth taken from a “bottomless cup” of state coin-fund money.
noe appeared in a dark blue jumpsuit, handcuffed with chains around his waist.
when he walked into the courtroom, he was animated, smiling and joking with his lawyers. when judge osowik entered the court, he turned emotionless.
he remained so during the sentencing.
Fox kills off Simpson
NEW YORK — News Corp., the parent company of book publisher HarperCollins and the FOX network, has canceled publication of the O.J. Simpson book and television special "If I Did It."
"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."
A dozen FOX affiliates had already said they would not air the two-part sweeps month special, planned for next week before the book's publication.
In the book, the one-time football superstar tells how he would have killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman if, in fact, he had done it.
Worst idea ever. Murdoch should fire himself over this one.
stormy past and shower dooms weather forecaster
A heroin addiction, a federal drug case and a frenzy of negative publicity were not enough to pull popular WSLS (Channel 10) meteorologist Jamey Singleton from the air.
Factor in a mean MySpace prank, though, and the forecast got much gloomier.
After a former friend posted a nude picture of Singleton, 28, on the Internet this week, Channel 10 management called in the weatherman at 1 p.m. Thursday and fired him.
As Singleton stepped out of the shower, his friend barged in with a digital camera and took a picture of him from the front, fully naked, Singleton said.
"At the time I just chuckled, like, 'Oh, my God.' I didn't ever think that he would keep it and if he did keep it, I never would have thought that he would put it on the Internet," he said.
This is why I keep my clothes on when I take showers. That and it saves time doing laundry.
the weakly show
"it's a satirical news format that would play more to the fox news audience than the michael moore channel," surnow said. "it would tip more right as 'the daily show' tips left."
also executive producing are "24" producer manny coto, a veteran of "star trek: enterprise," and creator ned rice, who previously wrote for "politically incorrect" and "late late show with craig ferguson."
the show was pitched as "this just in" when it first got life as a 20-minute pilot presentation for fox broadcasting co.'s late-night division. but when that network passed, surnow said it attracted the attention of fox news channel chief roger ailes.
"i showed it to roger, and he really liked it and thought it could work on fox news if we could make it conform to some of the restraints" of a cable news channel. fox news channel confirmed that talks were going on.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
better grab that butter....
dungeness crab lovers whipping up louis dressing eagerly await the boats at fisherman's wharf for today's start of the season, a culinary event rivaling the arrival of beaujolais nouveau or chinook salmon. - sfgate
links for your surfing pleasure
the one word neither party is mentioning....
nh taxpayers on the hook for pensions
the pension system currently is only 67 percent funded -- a shortfall of about $2 billion, according to kim france, spokesman for the nhrs. and under current law, the only way to make up the difference is to raise the rates employers pay.deficit falls at agency that insures pensions
the federal agency that insures private pension plans for millions of americans logged a deficit of $18.1 billion this year...biggest us bank freezes pension plan
citigroup inc. will stop adding money in 2008 to the traditional pension plan that covers as many as 150,000 u.s. employees and raise matching contributions in 401(k) plans at the nation's biggest bank.
he put the 'if' in 'stupidity'
frame the debate contest
life, liberty, and the pursuit of videos of teenagers lip-synching
we have not actually read this blog but it looks funny
Saturday, November 18, 2006
saturday night music club
my pal foot foot - the shaggs
birds of a feather
The trial, Mr. Donohue said, is hardly an ideal process. He was asked to swear an oath of silence, which he refused to do, he told the priests, on the principle that the church’s policy of silence is what has allowed priests to abuse young people with impunity for decades. Mr. Donohue chafes against his role as the star witness for the archdiocese, the very institution that he said protected Monsignor Kavanagh for years.....
Secrecy has abounded at the trial. The Vatican moved it from New York at the request of the archdiocese, which said it feared a media circus. No reporters are allowed at canonical tribunals, and the New York Archdiocese has refused to comment on the trial.
Mr. Donohue’s sister Patricia Donohue testified on Thursday, and she said that when she refused to promise not to discuss the case outside the tribunal, the chief judge, who identified himself only as Father Mark, told her that her refusal would be referred to the Vatican for possible “disciplinary action.”
The Erie diocese denies her charge.
the joke's on us
Friday, November 17, 2006
the owner of this local art gallery, sullivangoss
"gericault had the flailing bourbon government, goya had napoleon bonaparte, picasso had franco, leon golub had kissinger and nixon, and john nava -- well, he’s had enough. louis xviii, napoleon, franco, nixon, bush jr. -- all courageous leaders of wars of occupation. the lineage of the raft of the medusa, the disasters of war, guernica, and golub’s biting portraits provide a forceful precedent for nava to use his canvas to protest the grim consequences of unprovoked war. like his predecessors, nava finds it impossible to reconcile the viciousness of a war so profoundly futile. sullivan goss is proud to present john nava’s “neo-icons.”
we dare to answer the hard questions on everybody's mind
what if star wars was set in modern day los angeles?
friday night music club
violent femmes - add it up
and, for discussion: let's take the opposite of yesterday's question "when was the last (or best) album which had 100% (or close to it) great material in each and every track," and ask, "what was the last album (or cd) you bought and, after listening, said to yourself, 'what a f*cking waste of money! two hit songs and the rest is just bullsh*t! i hate the thompson twins!!!' "
ok, we guess you know what we'd say. insert the name of the band of your choice at the end there.
news from the land of $1.2 million median priced homes
hospitals are going to the homeless.
not all the homeless here in town are "down and out losers"....there are quite a number of "homeless folks" who are actually employed full time at the county or city. there simply are not enough reasonably priced homes available. everyone wants to build and sell that "luxury" house and not care about the people who actually work in the community.
an alarming number of homeless are dying on the streets of santa barbara so today, health care workers are bringing the hospital to the streets.
about 300 people received sidewalk checkups. it's all part of an innovative new program in santa barbara to provide preventive health care for the homeless.
michael steinberg is getting "the works" -- a flu and tetanus shot and a tb and hiv test. all are free of charge.
the healthy neighbors program was started last year with the help of ken williams. the social worker and homeless advocate helped convince hundreds to get themselves checked out. last year, 39 people died on the streets of santa barbara. as the winter approaches -- or "dying season," as williams grimly calls it -- a little preventative medicine is extremely important."i got tired of seeing people die," says williams. - ksby
the owner of the local newspaper (the santa barbara snooze suppress) is still at war with the towns residents. and...wow...does the american journalism review have the "skinny" on the "smackdown."
under mccaw, a libertarian, news-press editorials evolved from respectful, cautious, reasonably argued pieces to raucous assaults, sometimes on the paper's own reporters, with attacks on the coastal commission, affordable housing and the local rodeo, an affront to mccaw's animal rights sensibilities. through her executives, mccaw worked her will: "it was always about news content and news reporters," says an insider no longer at the paper. "if one story wasn't the way she wanted it, it was off with their heads," with cole "just doing her bidding."ah...just another week in "paradise"
housing starts? more like housing stops
bloated inventories and weakening home sales contributed to the drop. economists had been looking for a 5.6% fall to a 1.67 million annual rate.
home-building permits fell for the ninth month in a row, dropping more than 6% to the lowest pace since december 1997. the drop in permits, which are often a measure of builder confidence in the real estate market, is a signal that housing starts could continue to fall -- and a sign that the slump isn't over yet.
"this is a shocking number," phillip neuhart, an economist at wachovia, told bloomberg news. "the market is going to remain weak well into next year."
other economists said the decline was not such terrible news. "the faster builders address their bloated inventories and bring the pace of home construction down, the quicker the housing correction will play out and the economy can return to a more normal footing," stephen stanley, the chief economist for rbs greenwich capital, told marketwatch.com.
the sharp slowdown in housing this year stands in stark contrast to the past five years, when the lowest mortgage rates in four decades powered a housing boom that pushed sales of both new and existing homes to five consecutive records.
other data this week suggested the housing market may be at or near a low. the national association of homebuilders/wells fargo housing market index on thursday got a two-point bump to 33 points in november. the survey hit at 15-year low of 30 in september.
on wednesday, the mortgage bankers association reported that applications for u.s. home mortgages had risen last week to their highest level since january as falling interest rates encouraged more loan refinancing.
msn money video: diana olick says the housing market faces more suffering.
you say it's your birthday? it's my birthday too, yeah
The Bluejersey Begathon
At last count, by the way, Bluejersey had raised $1400 dollars, almost halfway to their goal, thanks to some very generous people.
life imitates playstation
he was one of 15 to 20 people lined up outside the store when confronted by two armed men who demanded money at around 3:15 a.m., lt. j. paul vance said in a press release.
police said the victim had confronted the armed suspects and was shot. he was treated at the scene and transported to the university of massachusetts medical center across the state line.
- level 1: police disperse mob waiting to buy playstation at copley plaza in boston
- level 2: man arrested during playstation chaos in orlando, fla
- level 3: 2 arrested in playstation frenzy in fresno, ca
- level 4: socal walmart closed due to playstation mob violence
- level 5: man runs head first into pole outside milwaukee wal-mart in dash to get playstation
- level 6: reporter & crowd in playstation line hit by bb gun fire in lexington, ky
lone bystander is terrorized by zombie police w/bullhorn on level 1
pic courtesy of george rizer, bosglobe