s skippy the bush kangaroo: November 2008

skippy the bush kangaroo

Sunday, November 30, 2008

skippy's sunday nite music club

the clientele - bookshop cassanova
posted by skippy at 6:12 PM | 2 comments

i want to believe

the the truth will released.
desperate to see the us emulate the british government and disclose reported "contact" with ufos, the enthusiasts have written to mr obama to ask that his administration comes clean about the contents of america's "x-files". - the telegraph
spooky mulder and scully wouldn't mind.

Mulder and Scully
Originally uploaded by nino.smile

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 5:44 PM | 1 comments

saxby...diebold cabbage patch 0800 kid

let's make sure we've sewn up that patch for this run0ff election.
...whistleblower chris hood, former diebold employee, spoke with atlanta progressive news in detail about an illegal patch, which may or may not be the same “0808" patch diebold now admits its workers applied during the 2002 primary election.

as previously reported in 2006 by atlanta progressive news, hood and another whistleblower, rob behler, had given independent accounts regarding illegal diebold patches used in 2002, to rolling stone magazine, as well as black box voting (bbv) and wired news magazine, respectively.

hood told rolling stone in 2006 that he and other diebold employees were instructed by then-diebold president, robert urosevich, to install the patch on some 5,000 machines in dekalb and fulton counties in july 2002.

"those are the democratic hot spots. if you can control those 2 counties, you can control the election. we don't need to bother with every county; we need to only bother with the democratic counties," hood told atlanta progressive news. - atlanta progressive news

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 5:37 PM | 0 comments

venus are mars are so, well, 70s

it's venus and jupiter that will be "all right" tomorrow night. they're "hooking" up with the moon.
every once in a while, something will appear in the night sky that will attract the attention of even those who normally don't bother looking up. it's likely to be that way on monday evening, dec. 1.

a slender crescent moon, just 15 percent illuminated, will appear in very close proximity to the two brightest planets in our sky, venus and jupiter. - msnbc

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:26 PM | 1 comments

environmental news story sunday

bush aides rush to enact a safety rule obama opposes. the labor department is racing to complete a new rule, strenuously opposed by president-elect barack obama, that would make it much harder for the government to regulate toxic substances and hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed on the job. - nytimes

at the last minute, a raft of rules. in a burst of activity meant to leave a lasting stamp on the federal government, the bush white house in the past month has approved 61 new regulations on environmental, security, social and commercial matters with an economic impact exceeding $1.9 billion annually. washington post

climate alters intensity of western fires. wildfire has marched across the west for centuries. but no longer are conflagrations fueled simply by heavy brush and timber. now climate change is stoking the flames higher and hotter, too.- sacramento bee

mercury a concern in eagles. bald eagles have been making a soaring comeback in new york, becoming more common along lakes and rivers. but eagles living in the catskills face a hidden danger carried on the wind from distant coal-fired power plants. albany times union

acorn watchers wonder what happened to crop. the idea seemed too crazy to rod simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. naturalists in arlington county couldn't find any acorns. none. no hickory nuts, either. then he went out to look for himself. he came up with nothing. - wapo

cheap food may bring next health crisis. almost a quarter of the average american's food is imported. but increasingly, imports are from developing countries that do not meet u.s. standards regarding sanitation, worker safety, environmental practices, quality of ingredients and treatment of animals. - sfgate

californians right to lead environmental charge. a democrat from california will now lead the prestigious u.s. house energy and commerce committee. this could be another prime opportunity to call even more attention to solar and wind technology, as well as supporting business here in the desert. - palms springs desert sun

city to extract, sell natural gas from garbage. the billings regional landfill will soon be more than just a graveyard for potato peels, lawn clippings and old christmas cards. the trash is about to start giving back. - billings gazette

ocean currents can power the world, say scientist. a revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim. - london daily telegraph

potomac river's health getting worse. the health of the potomac river is worsening and threatening the washington, d.c. area’s drinking water, according to a recent report from the potomac conservancy. - cumberland times news

obama grabs the reins. nobel prize–winning chemist mario molina, who advised president bill clinton on science, is assisting barack obama's transition team. - science.

katrina kids: sickest ever. even before the storm, they were some of the country's neediest kids. now, the children of katrina who stayed longest in ramshackle government trailer parks in baton rouge are "the sickest i have ever seen in the u.s.," says irwin redlener, president of the children's health fund. - newsweek

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:44 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, November 29, 2008

skippy's saturday nite music club

fountains of wayne - hackensack
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 4 comments

plus some rolling rice paper

via talkleft, scientists have found the world's oldest stash of weed:

researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of china.

the cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly ``cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the journal of experimental botany.

the 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed caucasian man, likely a shaman of the gushi culture, near turpan in northwestern china…

remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the greek historian herodotus. but the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.

the 18 researchers, most of them based in china, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis.
and inhaling, we suppose.

reports also indicate that along w/the 789 grams of marijuana, researches found some rice rolling papers and a three thousand year old half-eaten twinkie.
posted by skippy at 8:18 PM | 9 comments

say hello

to laughing at the pieces.
posted by skippy at 7:43 PM | 0 comments

awol administration says to the poor

"just go ahead and die."

in "how the grinch stole healthcare", from the progressive puppy, we learn that this administration puts the screw to the poor yet again.
low-income americans who depend on medicaid will soon face higher co-payments for doctors’ services, hospital care and prescription drugs, thanks to a new federal rule by the bush administration. enacted as a money-saving measure, the rule will allow states to deny care or coverage to patients who can't afford their premiums or their share of the cost for a particular item or service. the administration concedes that this will cause our nation's poor to forgo medical treatment rather than pay the more expensive cost-sharing obligations. (which is, of course, the whole idea behind the rule.)
the hole in the american safety net is becoming a huge, gaping hole.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:37 AM | 2 comments

say hello to...

the santa claus blog.
at the moment, i have my laptop, a steaming mug of starbucks thanksgiving day blend coffee, a roaring fire, and i'm reclined in my favorite leather arm chair in my den. it is a brief interlude between what has been a chaotic day and what is sure to be a busy night. i can feel the christmas buzz building as we are on the cusp of the holiday season tonight, but.... i also need this brief respite. i usually post a little later on thanksgiving eve; however, i know this is going to be a very long evening so i wanted to go ahead and write my post now rather than trying to keep my eyes open at 3am in order to string together a few semi-coherent thoughts for the blog.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:03 AM | 0 comments

the first cookie

of the first family...and apparently the rest of the country. sales of the "obama" cookie are booming at baby boomer cafe.
want an example of the change barack obama is bringing to the country?

check out cookie sales at baby boomers cafe in des moines.

ever since word got out of the president-elect and his family's fondness for baby boomers' chocolate chunk cookies, the small downtown restaurant can't get them out of the oven fast enough.

...tommy vietor, a spokesman for the obama campaign, said the obamas and the campaign staff loved the cookies, and they're fond of maxfield, too.

"he knew most of us by name, and he cared about how everyone was doing," vietor said.

michele obama would hold meetings in the cafe, and barack obama even called maxfield the day after the caucuses to thank him for helping feed the staff and his family.

"it's just insane. i mean they are the coolest people," said maxfield. - chicago tribune

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:25 AM | 1 comments

Friday, November 28, 2008

skippy's friday nite music club

gillian welch & david rawlings - caleb meyer
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

corporate greed didn't take a holiday

aig is giving away taxpayer money as "retention" pay (i.e., stay with us some more to drain the life out of this company bonuses.)
american international group inc., the insurer that said yesterday it scrapped bonuses for top executives after a u.s. bailout, will still pay 130 managers “cash awards” to stay with the firm, including $3 million to retirement services chief jay wintrob.

..wintrob was one of six top-paid aig executives in 2007, with total compensation valued at $7.63 million. he earned a salary of $775,000 and a $1.74 million bonus in addition to stock and options, according to an april regulatory filing.- bloomberg
soldiers go without body armor....armed forces families have to rely on food stamps...our nation's bridges and highways are collapsing...and these worthless, spineless pieces o' you know what are taking taxpayer money so they can sit on their overbloated behinds to drive the company even further in the ground....

it's your tax money feeding these pigs. call your congresscritters. tell them to turn off the money draining spigot. now.

get them out of their comfy offices...send them to irag or afghanistan where they can perhaps learn what hard work and sacrificing for the good of the nation is all about. don't ask me how i really feel.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:03 AM | 6 comments

consumerism turns deadly

on black friday.
worker dies at long island wal-mart after being trampled in black friday stampede

a wal-mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a long island store friday morning, police and witnesses said.- daily news
this is what our country has come to. a bargain price on cheap c*** made in china is more important then a life of a fellow human being. just whose birthday is christmas supposed to be celebrating anyway? would he approve?

our hearts go out to the family and friends of the 34-year old victim.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:37 AM | 6 comments

i'm thankful for....

folks who work hard to put food on our table.

and the discovery channel for highlighting their travails.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:28 AM | 0 comments

it's not black friday...

it's buy nothing day.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:52 AM | 4 comments

we like what you've done with the place

driftglass has a snazzy new look!
posted by skippy at 5:42 AM | 0 comments


as of now, around 125 people are confirmed dead, and more than 300 are injured. early reports said that foreigners -- britons and americans in particular, along with jews -- were targeted, but more than ninety percent of the victims are indians. wikipedia currently says that between fifty and sixty terrorists carried out the ten attacks, but one of the attacks may or may not be related to the other nine -- a taxi bomb went off in an area removed from the others. that could be a coincidental event, since india's endured several separate terrorist attacks this year alone. whatever the case, fifty to sixty people carrying out ten (or nine) coordinated attacks is a couple magnitudes higher than what the mere nineteen who carried out the 9/11 attacks accomplished in terms of organization and execution. it's just astonishing that a group that large managed to wreak as much destruction as it did before it was taken out.

barack obama's transition team has said that it will work with india and other nations to "root out and destroy" terrorist organizations. governments around the world have unequivocally condemned the attacks. as well they should be condemned, rooted out, and destroyed. the group claiming responsibility calls itself the deccan muhajedin. no one seems to know who they are, but i think it's safe to say that they're nothing more than criminals. one of these @$$#0!e$ allegedly shouted out, "are you aware how many people have been killed in kashmir? are you aware how your army has killed muslims?" -- "you" being the people of india. he had a point, granted. but when you resort to killing the same people you want to get the point that killing people is wrong across to, well, you can expect to be profoundly disappointed.

some are saying, "we are all indians now." i refuse to go down that path. the last time, it was "we are all americans now," and all that did was encourage our bush administration to rewrite the terms of national security, moral integrity, intestinal fortitude, and existence itself in a language only neo-cons, movement conservatives, and fake-christian fundamentalists could understand. and look where that landed us.

i'm appalled over what has happened in mumbai this week, just as i was appalled at what happened in my country seven autumns ago. but i am not the least bit more appalled than i am with what has been happening to muslims in kashmir at the hands of the indian government or the people of iraq at the hands of our government. murder is murder, i don't give a damn what you call it or how you rationalize it.

my 2 cents.

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posted by Jim Yeager at 3:31 AM | 7 comments

macy's is aware of all internet traditions

brandy @ moue magazine points out something we noticed ourselves about the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade...it got rick rolled!

posted by skippy at 1:43 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, November 27, 2008

skippy's thanksgiving nite music club

andrew gold - thank you for being a friend

and you thought bea arthur wrote it!

we'd like to present tonite's music club as a token of our appreciation to all our dear readers. thank you for your support, and we hope your holiday is a bountiful one, full of things to be thankful for!
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

this could be interesting

wonder if the names will be made public here, stateside. i think they should be forced to sit down with american soldiers to explain why they didn't want to pay taxes to pay for soldier's body arm0r, healthcare, etc.; forced to go public on the teevee and explain to their fellow americans why they hated america so much they didn't want to pay taxes to support educating it's people, protecting it's people from rotten food, making it's roads safe to drive upon.
...considering it came less than two months after the last occasion when thousands of ubs shareholders assembled to hear about the swiss banking group’s woes, thursday’s special meeting in lucerne held more information than might have been expected.

the 2,395 investors gathered in a dingy suburban hall and heard for the first time that the world’s biggest wealth manager looked poised to bow to u.s. pressure and release the names of an unspecified number of american customers who may have committed tax fraud in squirreling away their assets. - ft.com

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:34 PM | 2 comments

your tax dollars at work

welfare king ken lewis of bank of america decries $25 billion bailout for automakers while using $7 billion of his $25 billion bailout to buy a bank in china. thanks, paulson, deadeye dick, awol, pelosi, reid, obama and mccain - way to spur the economy.

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posted by George at 5:59 PM | 0 comments

happy turkey day

hope your holiday travels are uneventful.

Wild Turkey (Tom)
Originally uploaded by amkhosla

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 5:55 PM | 0 comments

down the penrose lane

posted by skippy at 9:23 AM | 0 comments

always low prices....always

well...not necessarily so.
wal-mart locations in california will pay consumers $3 at the register when they make a pricing error, according to terms that are part of a settlement over price-scanning errors announced monday by officials here.

the settlement, announced by california attorney general edmund g. brown jr., dates back to a 2005 investigation that found wal-mart stores in california were scanning items at a higher price than the prices advertised on store shelves and signs. through random price-checking, officials found that 164 wal-mart stores in 30 california counties had made scanning errors. on average, customers who were overcharged paid an extra $8.40 at the checkout. - supermarket news

the company was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in penalties; $190,621 to reimburse costs to numerous state agencies and prosecutors’ offices; and $50,000 to a consumer-protection prosecution trust fund. - walmartwatch

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:56 AM | 0 comments

sgt. culpepper's only hurts club band

gavin @ sadly, no! points out that one of awol's pardonees is actually quite illiterate, or at least, stupid:

mrpepper2 (posted 4 months ago)
why can’t we produce our own oil. and bring back good paying jobs and avoid the lead posioning that we are getting from china . and why do we hae to recue every country that cries out for help . we are in a jam and no one comes to help us . i have become disabled and can’t get any one in washington d.c. to help me get a loan to save my home . but we can help everyone else . when do we stop and say ok we are going to help the average person . we have 175thousand acres that we have in this coutry that are signed for oil drilling . come on wake up i need help can’t find a single sole in washington to help because i don’t qualify because we are so full of red tape we can’t get through it. sincerely
richard culpepper
mahomet illinois 61853
p.s. is thier anyone out that cares about the people of this country.
pardons and commutations

the 14 people who were pardoned and 2 who had their sentences commuted by president bush on monday, as reported by the associated press:


richard m. culpepper, mahomet, ill., convicted of making false statements to the federal government.
posted by skippy at 8:22 AM | 0 comments

mad about clearing brush

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 6:44 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to the nefarious lair of lgppp, inc. (lebian gangs packing pink pistols).
posted by skippy at 5:54 AM | 0 comments

don't foget 11, they want all christian babies to get gay married and then aborted

sara robinson gives thanks today for stupid conservatives as she lists ten myths conservatives believe about progressives at ourfuture.org.
posted by skippy at 3:12 AM | 0 comments

from first hand election experience

i can attest to the accuracy of this test.
a new report from the intercollegiate studies institute (isi) on the nation's civic literacy finds that most americans are too ignorant to vote. - wapo
when people can't seem to grasp the concept of bubbling in the bubble on the ballot or even know what day the election is being held on, one begins to lose hope for the future of our country.

time to demand civics classes be brought back into schools and having election day as a national holiday so people don't have the excuse "it's too inconvenient to vote." better yet, let's do as the aussie's do and fine people who don't actually get off their lazy butts to cast a ballot.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:41 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

skippy's wednesday nite music club

sapna(swapna) awasthi & sukhwinder singh - chaiyya chaiyya

spike lee used this bollywood number (which was a huge hit in england as well as india) as the theme to his jewel heist flick inside man
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

the obamas visit a chicago food bank

and help hand out food.
president-elect barack obama and his family spent an hour handing out chickens, potatoes, bread and other thanksgiving food to poor families on chicago's south side wednesday morning after obama introduced his latest economic advisors. then he shook hands with catholic grade school students ecstatic to see him.

..."at thanksgiving, it's important for us to remember people in need," obama said. "they told me the number of people coming here is up 33 percent from last year."

about 600 families got food, said kate maehr, executive director of the greater chicago food depository. that's up from 270 families last year, said the rev. matt eyerman.

this is the fourth year in a row obama has handed out food before thanksgiving. last year, he did it in new hampshire. - chicago sun times

could you see the elite bushies do this?

i hope that you remember those less fortunate this thanksgiving. find a food bank near you and donate some money, food or time volunteering. follow the president elect's lead.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 5:04 PM | 7 comments

say hello to...

the mess that greenspan made

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:55 PM | 0 comments

environmental news to "chew" on

dig in.

honey bee crisis threatens english fruit farmers. britons have a deep nostalgia for home-grown honey and its associations with an ordered rural lifestyle. but here the honey bee population is dwindling, and with winter under way faces a tough fight for survival. - reuters

bluefin tuna: call for boycott. conservationists have called on consumers to boycott dishes containing endangered bluefin tuna after an international body set catch limits next year higher than scientists recommended despite warnings that stocks will collapse. - london daily telegraph

oceans acidifying faster than predicted, threatening shellfish . oceans are acidifying 10 times faster than predicted, threatening heightened damage to coral reefs and shellfish, university of chicago scientists said. - bloomberg news

wasted opportunities. britain dumps 6.7m tonnes of food a year in landfill sites that emit co2. but there are cleaner ways to deal with our leftovers. - london guardian

u.s heading to deregulate corn for ethanol use. the u.s. agriculture department is moving to make it easier to grow genetically engineered corn for ethanol production, despite fears among safety advocates that some might end up in human food. - chicago daily herald

greening up thanksgiving, one turkey leg at a time. the holiday associated with falling leaves and football is now celebrated by some people as an exercise in environmental conscientiousness. - austin american statesman

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:41 PM | 0 comments

terrorist attacks in india kill dozens, injure hundreds

this is bad...times of india:

mumbai: in one of the most violent terror attacks on indian soil, mumbai came under an unprecedented night attack as terrorists used heavy machine guns, including ak-47s, and grenades to strike at the city's most high-profile targets -- the hyper-busy cst (formerly vt) rail terminus; the landmark taj hotel at the gateway and the luxury oberoi trident at nariman point; the domestic airport at santa cruz; the cama and gt hospitals near cst; the metro adlabs multiplex and mazgaon dockyard -- killing at least 80 and sending more than 900 to hospital, according to latest reports. ( watch )
"mumbai" is the right way to pronounce "bombay," which is considered the financial center of india. nytimes:

coordinated terror attacks struck the heart of mumbai, india’s commercial capital, wednesday night, killing dozens in machine-gun and grenade assaults on at least two five-star hotels, the city’s largest train station, a movie theater and a hospital…
gunfire and explosions rang out well into the night, and hours after the assaults began parts of the landmark taj hotel, next to the iconic gateway of india, were in flames. fire fighters worked to rescue guests from the windows of their rooms on the top floors. fire also raged inside the posh oberoi hotel, according to police.

several high-ranking law enforcement officials, including the chief of the anti-terror squad and a commissioner of police, were reported killed. the military was quickly called in to assist the police.
looks like hillary has her work cut out for her!
posted by skippy at 3:30 PM | 1 comments

and stuff it w/some gold, frankencense and myrrh!

mike finnegan of c&l sends us this great offer from the landover baptist church: receive a free frozen turkey by accepting jesus christ as your personal savior before december 25!

each of our salvation offer turkeys has its genitals carefully removed and mailed to a synagogue or mosque of your choosing. this is done for your convenience and to avoid any unnatural temptations you might have left over from your former life before you met jesus. this year, we invite you to use other turkey parts to make your delicious gravy! the turkeys are also quick frozen and specially packaged so they will arrive in your new christian home only partially thawed. since god has thawed your frozen heart, we celebrate this spiritual event with you by providing a gift that profoundly symbolizes your transformation into a reverent, genital-less being with a somewhat unfrozen heart. when you receive your frozen turkey, please share the significance of this special love offering as you witness to unsaved family members and friends! please also use this opportunity to lead others to christ by offering them some of your turkey. be a fisher of men by dangling a drumstick on a string in front of a passed-out hobo's nose.
sounds too good to be true!
posted by skippy at 3:15 PM | 0 comments

down the penrose lane

posted by skippy at 4:45 AM | 2 comments

richard clarke for cia director

the young turks have an interesting idea, there.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:17 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

skippy's tuesday nite music club

shelby lynne - dead flowers

country star shelby lynne gives us a soulful down-home rendition of the rolling stones' hit.
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

fantasy football for foodies

who will be the "top chef" at the white house. will cristeta comerford stay or will she be told to pack her knives and go? will chicago cuisine reign supreme? insiders say it's too early to say...but it's never to early to speculate.
outside speculation has focused on the personal chef of denver nuggets star carmelo anthony, daniel young, who cooked for obama during the democratic national convention in denver...- the denver channel
i'm kinda liking the long shot chicago rising star chef "kendal duque"

we already know that the president elect enjoys chili, pie, hot sauce and arugula...but not beets.

a first family of foodies. their decision on the white house chef may cause some indigestion...but we'll just have to see. we'll have to wait for the playing of hail to the chief...i mean chef.

(wonder if obama would ever call the butterball hotline? 1-800-butterball)

p.s. say hello to obamafoodorama.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:49 PM | 1 comments

my favorite boutique hotel chain

has a great sense of humour about taxes...and tax relief. they have a great joie de vivre!

ahhh...if i could only afford to spend many, many weeks..months...years at my favorite property of theirs...ventana at big sur.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:26 AM | 1 comments

cookie jill "hearts" pumpkin pie keith

and should you want to try your hand at it, martha's website has the recipe.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:06 AM | 0 comments

we've got flash flood warnings now

flash flood watch in effect for the recent burn areas from tuesday afternoon through wednesday evening...

a pacific storm will bring periods of heavy rain and possible thunderstorms beginning late tuesday and continuing through wednesday. rainfall rates of a half inch per hour are possible during the peak of the event.

who ever repeats the refrain "it never rains in southern california" apparently
forgot the..."it pours...man it pours" part.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:03 AM | 3 comments

if they want taxpayer sponsorship

they need to drop their multi-million dollar sports sponsorships. or better yet, let's "brand" them...american taxpayer's aig...american taxpayer's citibank. hey...we've "earned" the right to naming rights.
aig, citibank and a number of other federally bailed-out financial institutions have no plans to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in sports team sponsorships, even as they take billions in taxpayer support, abc news has found.

...struggling citibank just sealed a multi-billion-dollar emergency "backstop" deal with the u.s. government. the financial behemoth, suffering with billions in bad mortgage-related assets on its books, recently shed 53,000 workers and saw its stock price lose over half its value. yet it's in a 20-year contract to pay the new york mets $400 million to name the team's new stadium "citi field." - abc news

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:50 AM | 1 comments

Monday, November 24, 2008

skippy's monday nite music club

spandau ballet - true
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

and maybe they could start passing out those little packs of peanuts again

john cole has a very good point:

shouldn’t they have to give me the 15 bucks back for checking my luggage, since they lost it? and why are they still charging me anyway, now that prices for fuel are back to normal and they are still running smaller jam packed planes with not so much as one empty seat and a skeleton crew of aggravated flight attendants? bastards.
crude oil has dropped to a few bucks over $50 a barrel (it went up today).

the airlines' excuse for charging for checked bags was rising fuel prices. well, the prices ain't rising no more; in fact, they are dropping. and consumers are not so stupid as to not notice:

robert shields and his mother, ardell archer, just handed over $30 extra to check two bags to dallas. and they are not happy about it.

"it is ridiculous with fuel cut in half," said shields. "they shouldn't charge you to check a bag. that's ridiculous."

with a barrel of crude oil closing at $54, down from $145 in july, airlines are saving a bundle…

“it is ridiculous. on top of the prices already, especially with the gas prices going down, everything should be going down. airlines are ripping us off big time," said traveler matt phillips.

new jersey senator robert menendez recently sent a letter to airline ceo's questioning the ongoing extra fees, saying they are "fundamentally anti-consumer."

david castelveter with the airline transport association says it's up to individual airlines to eliminate fees. but castelveter points out that between 2002 and 2008, domestic airline fees have gone up 19-percent while jet fuel prices have gone up 373-percent.
posted by skippy at 8:21 PM | 1 comments

better late than never...

i guess:

roger stone is one of the last guys on earth one would expect to feel guilty over an episode of rough and tumble politicking. as a self-described hit man for the gop, stone has had a hand in everything from nixon's dirty tricks to eliot spitzer's resignation to spreading discredited rumors of a michelle obama "whitey" tape during the 2008 democratic primaries. you might call stone the forrest gump of scandal, popping up to play a bit part in the most notorious campaigns in recent history.

the capstone of stone's career, at least in terms of results, was the "brooks brothers riot" of the 2000 election recount. this was when a stone-led squad of pro-bush protestors stormed the miami-dade county election board, stopping the recount and advancing then-governor george w. bush one step closer to the white house. though he is quick to rebut gop operatives who seek to minimize his role in the recount, stone lately has been having second thoughts about what happened in florida.

"there have been many times i've regretted it," stone told me over pizza at grand central station. "when i look at those double-page spreads of all the individual pictures of people who have been killed [in iraq], i got to think, 'maybe there wouldn't have been a war if i hadn't gone to miami-dade. maybe there hadn't have been, in my view, an unjustified war if bush hadn't become president.' it's very disturbing to me"...



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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:35 AM | 4 comments

oh, great

now they tell us.
a new earthquake fault that could run as close as 1,800 feet offshore of diablo canyon nuclear power plant has been discovered by pacific gas and electric co. - slo tribune

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:30 AM | 1 comments

hey...detroit dudes....

lookie over here in the state of crispy cal.
founded in 2006, transonic cmbustion has invented a way to improve the efficiency of standard car engines, wrenching as much as 100 miles out of a gallon of gasoline. the technology relies on a new type of fuel injector and timing improvements that let the engine run on a leaner fuel-air mixture and operate at higher compression ratios. - pacific coast biz times
if y'all want taxpayer money, you might want to start talking to these guys...and g.m...you better have some 'splaining to do about why you squished the ev-1. you built it before...and if you want taxpayer moolah...you can build it again.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:01 AM | 2 comments

the new trough

naomi klein's article up at rolling stone re: the wall street bailouts. you'll be "shocked" at the treasury's "doctrine." we're one nation...under financed.
...five days before paulson struck his deal with the banks, british prime minister gordon brown negotiated a similar bailout — only he extracted meaningful guarantees for taxpayers: voting rights at the banks, seats on their boards, 12 percent in annual dividend payments to the government, a suspension of dividend payments to shareholders, restrictions on executive bonuses, and a legal requirement that the banks lend money to homeowners and small businesses.

in sharp contrast, this is what u.s. taxpayers received: no controlling interest, no voting rights, no seats on the bank boards and just five percent in dividend payouts to the government, while shareholders continue to collect billions in dividends every quarter. what's more, golden parachutes and bonuses already promised by the banks will still be paid out to executives — all before taxpayers are paid back.

no wonder it took just one hour for paulson to convince all nine ceos to accept his offer — less than seven minutes per bank. not even the firms' own lawyers could have drafted a sweeter deal. - rolling stone

and we now learn that citicorp is being allowed to feed at the trough, too.
..in the largest single rescue effort thus far in the current financial crisis, the treasury department, the federal reserve and the federal deposit insurance corp. will shoulder 90% of the losses on most of a $306-billion portfolio of toxic mortgages and related securities. - latte times

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:11 AM | 2 comments

Sunday, November 23, 2008

skippy's sunday nite music club

in honor of tonite's american music awards, here's the artist w/the most nominations, plus more, doing the theme song for the new bond film...

alicia keys & jack white - another way to die

from quantum of solace
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 5 comments

it's all greek to us

saturday nite live's newest cast member, michaela watkins, did a spot-on impression of arianna huffington last nite.

we think it's hilarious, and not just because arianna refuses to link to us.
posted by skippy at 8:26 PM | 0 comments

no..not mars

Tea Fire Day 4 - Pano of Gibraltar Road
Originally uploaded by fishgoat23
part of santa barbara showing the effects of what stupid college students are capable of doing to a community.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:45 PM | 2 comments

environmental news story sunday

greetings from the land of year 'round fire seasons and bbq flavored air.

nissan, toyota locked in race to market zero-emission cars. while detroit executives beg for bailouts, japanese automakers speed through turns in a race whose winner could dominate the next generation of car sales. - portland oregonian

gas-rich lake is at stake in feud. in the midst of a rush to tap what could be the biggest natural gas discovery in the country, louisiana is entrenched in a heated legal battle with the federal government over control of a sprawling lake that holds a portion of the underground treasure.- times-picayune

antidepressants aren't for fish. each year, tons of medicine ends up in the environment. some is excreted by patients, some is flushed down the toilet or thrown out with the trash. details of their potential to evoke adverse consequences in wildlilfe have been emerging in dozens of new studies. - science news

beetle invasion to dim new england fall colors? a beetle invasion could mean big trouble for new england's trees—and the syrup fans and leaf peepers who love them. - national geographic

locusts poised to destroy australia's crops. recent rains in new south wales provided a bit of relief from the worst drought in a century, but now those living on the land face another challenge: locusts. - london independent

fishermen caught up in climate change. climate change is reducing the supply of popular types of australian seafood and threatening a multi-billion dollar industry, according to a new government report. - abu dhabi national

chromium polluting wastewater plant. large amounts of a carcinogen hazardous to aquatic life dumped into helena’s sewers is killing nitrogen-eating bacteria at the city’s wastewater plant, causing it to discharge more than five times the permitted amount of ammonia into prickly pear creek.- helena independent record

nasa scientist cites 'global-warming emergency'. time is running out to prevent catastrophic consequences from global warming, a leading climate scientist warned a packed audience thursday at stanford university. - palo alto weekly

warning on nukes and climate by washington's national intelligence council. the next two decades will be marked by a world living with the daily threat of nuclear war, environmental catastrophe and the decline of the us as the dominant global power, according to a frighteningly bleak assessment. - sydney australian

ski areas have wish list for obama. in that vein, 70 ski resorts across the nation are lobbying congress for mandatory caps on carbon-dioxide emissions, hoping to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. - denver post

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:48 PM | 1 comments

since you're still the president...

hey. awol. would you mind doing something about these terrorists?

barely three weeks since america elected its first black president, noose hangings, racist graffiti and death threats have struck dozens of towns across the country.

more than 200 such incidents -- including cross burnings, assassination betting pools and effigies of president-elect barack obama -- have been reported, according to law enforcement authorities and the southern poverty law center, which monitors hate groups...

can you intervene on behalf of your country here, awol? or are you worried you might peeve the aclu?


posted by Jim Yeager at 11:13 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 22, 2008

skippy's saturday nite music club

the boy least likely to - be gentle with me

funny video for a song heard on the soundtrack of the tina fey/amy poehler flick baby mama
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

hawaiin punch

andy martin, self-proclaimed internet powerhouse and all-around nutjob*, has had his lawsuit demanding the state of hawaii produce barack obama's birth certificate dismissed outright. honolulu advertiser:

judge bert ayabe upheld arguments from gov. linda lingle's administration that martin — a political opponent of obama — had no standing under state law to obtain a copy of the document.

the decision, issued late wednesday, first denied martin's "emergency motion" for production of the birth certificate.

martin "does not have a direct and tangible interest in the vital statistic records being sought, namely the birth certificate of president obama," ayabe wrote.

martin did not fall into any category of persons defined under state law as having a legal right to the record, said the judge.

ayabe wrote that martin also failed to demonstrate that "irreparable harm will occur if the records are not provided to the plaintiff."
except he'll be exposed as the loony toons that he is.

we had seen veiled references to this lawsuit in various comment threads thru-out blogtopia and yes, we coined that that phrase, immediately after obama's win.

it's a good reminder that, tho sanity has made a comeback, it hasn't defeated the forces of craziness yet.

* nytimes:

he is a law school graduate, but his admission to the illinois bar was blocked in the 1970s after a psychiatric finding of “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”
posted by skippy at 10:44 AM | 1 comments

quote of the day

tchris, from talkleft:

here's a half truth:

an irrelevant republican party does no one any good.
assuming "irrelevant" in this context means powerless, here's the other half: an irrelevant republican party does no one any harm. it's not as if a "relevant" republican party did any good for the nation as a whole.
posted by skippy at 10:17 AM | 0 comments

the war on christmas begins early

and here we thought the sadly, no! boys were only interested in upping their levels of snark. they are beginning their war on christmas by demanding we "redistribute the wealth" to needy kids:

this year our spies on the inside have provided us with a special amazon toy registry so that sadlynauts can buy toys for homeless, non-productive children — thus “spreading around” i.e. “redistributing” wealth, in accordance with the wishes of president hussein x.

the toys ship from amazon to christmas in the city, a 100% volunteer organization that mentors and supports homeless families in boston. more than 2,000 children attended last year’s gigantic annual christmas party, and many more children who couldn’t come to the party were hooked up with presents. the toys need to arrive by december 19th to be put into wheeled canvas mail bins and rolled out into a screaming crowd of joyful kids.
we'd suggest tht it wouldn't be a bad thing if you'd care to donate a toy or two.
posted by skippy at 4:50 AM | 0 comments

Friday, November 21, 2008

skippy's friday nite music club

lemonheads - if i could talk i'd tell you
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

catching some z's

the terrible z's, ziegler and zogby, are catching the rest of the rest of the alphabet's worth of hell for an incredibly slanted poll which tried to prove that obama voters are stupid. wsj:

zogby international recently conducted a survey for a critic of president-elect barack obama and then, together with the sponsor, interpreted the numbers from the survey in a misleading fashion.

john zogby, the president and chief executive of zogby international, released a statement on his web site tuesday that defended the poll in the face of heavy criticism from bloggers and some media organizations, saying, “we stand by the results [of] our survey work on behalf of [author and former talk show host] john ziegler, as we stand by all of our work. … we were hired to test public opinion on a particular subject and with no ax to grind, that’s exactly what we did.”...

the survey’s sponsor, [right wing radio talk show host john] ziegler, has created a web site called how obama got elected that says the democratic senator’s victory was made possible by the news media, which failed to inform voters of obama’s shortcomings and those of his running mate, joe biden. the survey was meant to bolster that argument, also to be presented in a documentary by ziegler, “media malpractice…how obama got elected.”…

the press release highlighted that at least 80% of obama voters knew that palin had a pregnant teenage daughter and was the candidate associated with a $150,000 wardrobe, and that mccain was unable to identify the number of houses he owned. meanwhile, more than 80% didn’t know unflattering facts about obama, such as his successful efforts to have opponents removed from the ballot in his first political race and his comments that critics have interpreted to mean his energy policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry.

here’s an alternative way of presenting the findings that’s at least as valid. there were 10 questions that were meant to be answered with the name of one of the candidates. five of them covered events that had surfaced in the three months before the election: mccain’s inability to say how many homes he owned; palin’s pregnant teenage daughter; palin’s wardrobe budget; obama’s intent to redistribute wealth; and biden’s comment that obama would be tested by an international crisis. on those questions, more than half of obama voters correctly identified the involved candidate (the percentage for the last question was lowest, at 53.3%; on the others, it was in the 80s).
nate silver @ 538.com took great exception to the obvious slant of the questions, calling the whole endeavor a "push poll."

most of the questions on the survey take the form of a multiple choice political knowledge test, stating a "fact" to the respondent and asking them which of the four major candidates (obama, mccain, biden, palin) the statement applies to…

as should be obvious, the veracity of several of these claims is -- at best -- debatable, yet they are apparently represented as factual to the respondent. it is not clear whether the respondent is informed of the "correct" response after having had the question posed to him.

not all of the items in the poll are intended to apply to obama or biden. several apply to sarah palin, although the items about palin, while probably unflattering ("which of the four [candidates] has a pregnant teenage daughter?") are nevertheless apparently true. the exception is a "twist" question about palin in which the respondent is asked "which candidate said that they can see russia from their house?". ziegler claims in the video that none of the four answers is correct because the statement was made by tina fay rather than sarah palin. (in her interview with charlie gibson, palin said that "you can actually see russia from land here in alaska", not that she can see russia from her house.)to my mind, this survey meets the definition of a "push poll", which the random house dictionary defines as "a seemingly unbiased telephone survey that is actually conducted by supporters of a particular candidate and disseminates negative information about an opponent." that (i) several of the items on the survey contain information which, in addition to being negative, is arguably also untrue; (ii) ziegler brags that the survey includes a trick question to which no correct answer can be provided, and that (iii) apparently only obama voters were targeted by the survey (although this is not 100 percent clear), also inform my opinion that the survey can fairly be described as a "push poll".
ziegler took exception to nate's taking exception to ziegler's taking exception to the election results. ziegler offered nate an interview on the condition that nate post the transcript verbatim. unfortunately for ziegler, nate did:

ns: what was the right answer to that [palin] question?
jz: the technically accurate question [sic] is that none of the four people said that, but we counted it as correct if they said sarah palin.

ns: why would you commission a survey question with no correct response?
jz: the purpose of the question, you pinhead, was we wanted to determine the tina fey effect…

ns: what did zogby charge you -- what did you pay for this survey?
jz: i'm not going to tell you that, i'm not a fucking idiot….

ns: well, [palin’s] husband was a member of a secessionist party.
jz: you are such a hack! that's a very good analogy….

ns: would you consider yourself well-informed
jz: i’d consider myself extremely well-informed.

ns: who are the two senators from south dakota?
jz: thune and, uh, johnson.

ns: very good. south carolina?
jz: go fuck yourself. i'm done with this interview if you're going to ask me stupid questions like that. obviously i know who lindsay graham is.

ns: well, since you’re running a website calling people misinformed, i’d like to see if -- there are certain things you’ve said that i would consider misinformed.
jz: misinformed? you're a piece of work! you are never going to have the guts to post a representative transcript on your website! i thought you actually ran a legitimate website!

ns: thank you, have a good day.
jz: go fuck yourself.
that's the hardly-ever-right wing for you!

mark blumenthal of pollster.com disagrees w/nate's characterization of the survey as a "push poll," but does agree that it was incredibly (and unprofessionally) slanted:

silver concludes -- appropriately -- that zogby's survey appears to be less an unbiased measurement than part of "a viral marketing effort to discredit the intelligence of obama supporters."

zogby's defense is to deny that he conducted a "push poll" (more on that below), claiming instead that his survey represents "a legitimate effort to test the knowledge of voters who cast ballots for barack obama" he claims that "respondents were given a full range of responses and were not pressured or influenced to respond in one way or another." that's a little like describing the question, "when did you stop beating you wife," as fair (and as a fair test of "knowledge") by saying the husband has an opportunity to offer any date on the calendar as a response.
and a commentor on pollster quoted another on nate's site, who characterized the zogby/ziegler survey quite succinctly:

one commenter on nate silver's site, discussing the "poll's" ludicrous distortion of obama's remarks on coal-burning emissions, put it particularly well: "the interviewees were not asked about obama's energy policy. they were asked to identify him with a right-wing caricature of his energy policy, abusing a quote taken out of context -- and then labeled as "uninformed" when they rightly refused or failed to do so."
nate then muses on the whole fiasco, wondering if the very nature of talk radio is actually detrimental to conservatism; mainly the emphasis on stimulation over persuasion, which makes conservatives unable (or at least unwilling) to try to convince someone who doesn't share their point of view:

john ziegler is a shining example of such a conservative. during my interview with him, ziegler made absolutely no effort to persuade me about the veracity of any of his viewpoints. he simply asserted them -- and then became frustrated, paranoid, or vulgar when i rebutted them.
we would go further, ourselves. we would say that conservatives are confounded by the fact that other people don't see the boogeymen hiding around every corner that they do.

ziegler's premise that the william ayers point wasn't mentioned in the media is quite incorrect. the problem for the hardly-ever-right is that when people heard about it, they didn't care. they were concerned with things like a falling stock market, lack of jobs questions about the stability of their retirement accounts.

this penchant for drama on the part of the conservatives is actually quite good for our side. as long as they live in their unreality we have at least a chance to do something good. and luckily for us the country is tired of their drama.
posted by skippy at 8:44 PM | 0 comments

put a matchbook under the leg, your cabinet's leaning to the right

more cabinet news for barack "to the future" obama:

rumor has it that hillary has decided to accpet sec. of state. caucus blog:

“she’s ready,” said the confidant. mrs. clinton was reassured after talking again with mr. obama because their first meeting in chicago last week “was so general,” the confidant said. the purpose of the follow-up talk, he added, was not to extract particular concessions but “just getting comfortable” with the idea of working together.

a second clinton associate confirmed that her camp believes they have a done deal. senior obama advisers said friday morning that the offer had not been formally accepted and no announcement will be made until after thanksgiving. but they said they were convinced that the nascent alliance was now ready to be sealed.
and, in a move that sparked an almost-500 point rise in the stock market, tim geithner was rumored to be up for sec. of treasury. now, we like project runway as much as the next guy, but we're not sure how his expertise will inspire wall street.

luckily, msnbc tells us how:

barring last minute changes, the nominee for treasury secretary will be ny fed president tim geithner -- a career treasury official under both bob rubin and larry summers -- who actually had worked at the treasury in three administrations under five secretaries -- going back to 1988.

geithner has been a key player in the current economic crisis -- helping treasury secretary hank paulson and his team manage the wall street bailout.
oh. we thought they meant tim gunn.


last, but not least, ret. gen. jim jones is being considered as national security advisor.

this is great news, because if jim jones joins the administration, all those "drinking the kool aid" jokes will finally be funny.
posted by skippy at 5:58 PM | 1 comments

mad about clinton rumors

mad kane, that is!
posted by skippy at 2:02 AM | 6 comments

Thursday, November 20, 2008

skippy's thursday nite music club

blind melon - change
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the oc progressive.
posted by skippy at 8:04 PM | 0 comments

and zombie teacher for governor

minnesota public radio sez you be the judge: who gets the vote?

(mpr photo/tom robertson)

the county auditor threw out this ballot, considering it an overvote, but al franken challenged this decision.

we suppose the lizard people did, too.
posted by skippy at 10:10 AM | 2 comments

down the penrose lane

posted by skippy at 2:48 AM | 2 comments

just call us the switzerland of the battle of the sexes!

via first draft, we found out what the genderanalyzer of blogs thinks that this humble space:

we guess htttp://xnerg.blogspot.com is written by a man (56%), however it's quite gender neutral.
is that the royal "we" or editorial "we"?
posted by skippy at 12:09 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

skippy's wednesday nite music club

white town - your woman

a very strange video in many respects...starting from the provacative title of the band (which is actually just one guy, joyti mishra) itself, to the bizarre faux-1920's expressionistic images and plot (??) of the video. but perhaps strangest of all is hearing the obviously male voice tell us he could never be our woman.

still in all, a great ride.
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 6 comments

one happy unexpected side effect

one happy unexpected side effect of the recent tsunami of democratic (if not progressive) wins is that now we are able to stomach reading some of the hardly-ever-right wing blogs (rather, we suppose, like being able to stand close to a dying python. now we aren't repulsed, but intrigued).

case in point: john cole directs us to kathleen parker column about how the religious right is non necessarily good for the gop.

several commentors actually concede parker's point, and it does us good to see the other side admit (if begrudgingly) that yes, virginia, there is a reality, and it will not be ignored:

if the best rebuttal you can offer comes from jonah goldberg, then you’ve pretty much conceded that parker is right.
so long as politics is about abortion, protecting marriage, and other non-essential issues, rather than the most important ones like sound economics, limited government, and a rational foreign policy, the priorities will always be backwards and the gop will continue to flail.

true, there are intellectually conservative christians. but that sliver of the pie is way too narrow to make a sweeping judgment that parker is dead wrong. to the contrary, her argument holds more water than does goldberg, or yours.
sorry, but the problem is christians. christians who never see the mote in their own eye, but demand the the government takes the log out of their neighbor’s.

they (and i myself, the chief of sinners) are giving christianity a bad name, and by tying themselves to the gop, are bringing it down with it.

it’s all abortion, all the time. the gop can say it’s pro-small government and pro-life, but even the thickest of americans are starting to figure out that you can’t be both at the same time.

sell small-government ideology to religious conservatives in the face of the biggest failure in government since the great depression? good luck with that.
sell hard-core pro-life ideology to the corporate supporters of the gop? hands off their daughters, please!
well, contra jonah, the palin people *are* low-brows. sarah palin is one of the least-intelligent, least-thoughtful people ever thrust into the national political scene. she’s an embarrassment to people with brains everywhere. the right does itself no favors by pretending this is a woman whose political persona is worthy of defense.
parker is basically right. it is not comforting but it is truth. you can’t have small government if you are going to dictate other people’s morality. so what is it, republicans? make up your minds.
parker is not badmouthing christianity or christians.
she’s badmouthing a rather intolerant strain of the electorate, who happen to identify as christians.

there are millions of sensible christians throughout the country who have no use for the likes of sarah palin, who have little interest in end days or domestic holy war or any of that other nonsense.

the suggestion that criticism of the gop base is tantamount to religious bigotry is ironic on so many levels, that i don’t even know where to start.
the gop *wishes* it could cut loose conservative christians. but they have to be 50-60% of reliable republican votes.

and it is ok in my book to criticise a group of people whose whole rational as a group is to criticise groups of people.
addendum: kevin drum neatly translates what kathleen parker was trying to say:

there will always be plenty of votes for a culturally conservative party. that's not the problem. the problem is the venomous, spittle-flecked, hardcore cultural conservatism that's become the public face of the evangelical wing of the gop. it's the wing that doesn't just support more stringent immigration laws, but that turns the issue into a hate fest against la raza, losing 3 million latino votes in the process. it's the wing that isn't just a little skittish about gay marriage, but that turns homophobia into a virtual litmus test, losing 6 million young voters in the process. it's the wing that isn't just religious, but that treats belief as a precondition to righteousness, losing 2 million secular voters in the process. it's the wing that isn't just nostalgic for old traditions, but that fetishizes the heartland as the only real america, losing 7 million urban voters in the process. it's the wing that goes into a legislative frenzy over terry schiavo but six months later can barely rouse itself into more than a yawn over the destruction of new orleans.
in our minds, that last sentense is the money quote.
posted by skippy at 5:50 PM | 2 comments

jesus was a carpenter but obama builds cabinets

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

in spite of being the anti-christ, barack "to the future" obama has begun building his cabinet. first off, the guy who defended chiquita banana in the colombia death squad case for attorney general! huffpo:

do not expect these recommendations to be carried forward if eric holder decides to forgo his lucrative corporate law practice at covington & burling and accept the u.s. attorney general position for which many believe he is the top contendor. eric holder would have a troubling conflict of interest in carrying out this work in light of his current work as defense lawyer for chiquita brands international in a case in which colombian plaintiffs seek damages for the murders carried out by the auc paramilitaries - a designated terrorist organization. chiquita has already admitted in a criminal case that it paid the auc around $1.7 million in a 7-year period and that it further provided the auc with a cache of machine guns as well.

indeed, holder himself, using his influence as former deputy attorney general under the clinton administration, helped to negotiate chiquita's sweeheart deal with the justice department in the criminal case against chiquita. under this deal, no chiquita official received any jail time. indeed, the identity of the key officials involved in the assistance to the paramilitaries were kept under seal and confidential. in the end, chiquita was fined a mere $25 million which it has been allowed to pay over a 5-year period. this is incredible given the havoc wreaked by chiquita's aid to these colombian death squards.
secondly, obama has tapped the least effective senate majority leader since...well, since ever, to head up his health & human services dept. wsj:

former senate majority leader tom daschle has accepted president-elect barack obama's offer to serve as secretary of health and human services, according to an official familiar with the situation.

atop hhs, mr. daschle is expected to play a key role in moving mr. obama's ambitious health care agenda through congress. he was an early backer of mr. obama's during the presidential primaries and was a close adviser throughout the former illinois senator's white house campaign.

as a veteran of washington and of capitol hill, he brings knowledge about how to move legislation through congress. he has a particular interest in health care and is co-author of a book published this year, "critical: what we can do about the health-care crisis."
also of note: mrs. daschle is a lobbyist, for baker donelson which has some health care clients.

change, anyone?

one good thing about holder's nomination, is that, having been #2 under janet reno (get your minds out of the gutter, now!) he knows the justice department and how it works already.

and one good thing about tom daschle as health and human services secretary is...uh...well...he gets free aspirin. we guess that's good.
posted by skippy at 12:38 PM | 2 comments

one can only hope

via memeorandum, we find ourselves agreeing w/conservative writer kathleen parker @ washpost vis-a-vis fundamentalists as a political power:

which is to say, the gop has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. in the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.

here's the deal, 'pubbies: howard dean was right.

it isn't that culture doesn't matter. it does. but preaching to the choir produces no converts. and shifting demographics suggest that the republican party -- and conservatism with it -- eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs.
well, as was written in some book or other, as ye sow, so shall ye reap.

the repubbbs have courted the fundies for decades, and now have no one to blame but themselves for letting the monster loose.


after years of demanding that the fundies' opinions are important enough to drown out all dissenting voices, they are left w/nothing except the holier-than-thou nutcases. so now, when it comes to real world concerns, like, say, elections, what other result did they expect?

as we have said elsewhere, the religious right thinks that jesus will lift them up out of their clothes into the sky when the dead walk the earth and jews catch fire, and they call us the "loony" left?
posted by skippy at 9:26 AM | 3 comments

say hello

to yooper in crackerland.
posted by skippy at 9:17 AM | 1 comments

wednesday morning "there's something there" youtubery...

antony hegarty's version of leonard cohen's "if it be your will." i love the way he sings this song.

truth be told, i love the way he sings, period. his voice has this quality to it that few singers possess. it's something you either can hear or cannot, and a lot of people don't seem to hear it. i do. i have what's called perfect pitch as well, and i've found that trying to describe that to someone who doesn't have it is like trying to explain what i hear in antony's voice to one who doesn't -- i might as well try explaining algebra to a ferret for all i'll accomplish.

but those who can hear it know what i'm talking about. portishead's beth gibbons has it, too, as did the late jeff buckley. it's almost otherworldly in nature. queen's freddie mercury -- to give those of you who don't hear this quality a vague idea of what i'm trying to say -- did not have it, but in his case, what he lacked in otherworldliness he overcompensated for in style and sheer talent. he had me tricked for a while.

i'm a shut up now. enjoy...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:54 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

skippy's tuesday nite music club

uh huh her - not a love song

this up and coming pop duo - which one wag describes as "something akin to sarah mclachlan making an album with the cure in the mid-’80s" - is composed of leisha hailey and camila grey.

leisha, fans of hot girl on girl action will know, plays alice (the most interesting and least self-centered lesbian) on showtime's the l word. it's good to find out she is as talented muscially as she is theatrically.

strangely enough, this song, titled not a love song, is not this is not a love song by public image, ltd. this song is:

helpful hint: both songs actually sound pretty good when played at the same time!
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

change of address card

great scat! has moved!

make a note of it!
posted by skippy at 11:50 PM | 1 comments

dear hardly-ever-right wing: get over it

well played, mr. silver.
posted by skippy at 10:16 PM | 0 comments

rumor central update: never mind

remember last nite when we said, that according to the rumor mill, hillary was going to accept obama's offer of sec. of state?

cue emily latella:

hillary rodham clinton isn’t certain she would accept the secretary of state post even if barack obama offers it to her, several people close to the former first lady say.

press reports that portray clinton as willing to accept the job – once the obama transition team vets bill clinton’s philanthropic and business ventures – are inaccurate, one clinton insider told politico.

“a lot of the speculation and reporting is out ahead of the facts here,” said the person, who requested anonymity. “she is still weighing this, independent of president clinton's work.”
president clinton works?
posted by skippy at 9:41 PM | 1 comments

stevens job down the tubez

convicted felon ted stevens has lost his re-election bid to the senate. asspress:

sen. ted stevens, the longest serving republican in senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid tuesday, marking the downfall of a washington political power and alaska icon who couldn't survive a conviction on federal corruption charges. his defeat by anchorage mayor mark begich moves senate democrats within two seats of a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority…

tuesday's tally of just over 24,000 absentee and other ballots gave begich 146,286, or 47.56 percent, to 143,912, or 46.76 percent, for stevens.

a recount is possible.
not only possible but very certainly jokable. stevens, you may recall, was the man who insisted that the internet is a series of tubes, in his attempt to thwart net neutrality.

oh, yeah. and he was convicted on 7 charges of corruption.
posted by skippy at 9:25 PM | 0 comments

mad about "traitor joe" lieberman

mad kane, that is! and in haiku, yet!
posted by skippy at 5:28 PM | 1 comments

tuesday morning harrison and friends youtubery...

"wah-wah," from the concert for bangladesh:

my second favorite beatle on guitar and lead vocals, my third favorite on percussion...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:42 AM | 3 comments

Monday, November 17, 2008

skippy's monday nite music club

from half of the minds that brought you jesus christ superstar and half of the minds that brought you dancing queen...

murray head - one night in bangkok

we get our kicks above the waist, sunshine!
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

say hello

to guy blaise - african proverbs political opinion
posted by skippy at 11:05 PM | 1 comments

if only back to the future

could be real.

christopher lloyd picked through the charred remnants of his montecito, california, home monday morning, resigning himself to the fact it cannot be rebuilt.

..."boy, look at that," lloyd said as he approached the rubble. "all this happens in a couple of minutes." - cnn

Christopher & Michael
Originally uploaded by José Manuel - Viper

i've seen mr. lloyd walking around town and he's come into the office on several occassions. he's just a really nice man. my heart breaks to hear that his house is gone. my heart breaks to hear that anyone lost their house in the tea fire, really.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:42 PM | 1 comments

"i...have a relatively short comic strip plot outline!"

via trex, here's slow wave, a blog that takes people's submitted descriptions of their dreams, and turns them into comics:

posted by skippy at 6:15 PM | 0 comments

rumor central: sec. of state hillary!

if anyone has their finger on the pulse of what goes on in american politics, it's the uk guardian. snark aside, or at least as far aside as we can push it (which is about an inch to the left of our monitor), the paper is reporting that hillary will accept barack "to the future" obama's* offer of secretary of state:

hillary clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by barack obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the guardian has learned.

obama's advisers have begun looking into bill clinton's foundation, which distributes millions of dollars to africa to help with development, to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. but democrats do not believe that the vetting is likely to be a problem.

clinton would be well placed to become the country's dominant voice in foreign affairs, replacing condoleezza rice. since being elected senator for new york, she has specialised in foreign affairs and defence. although she supported the war in iraq, she and obama basically agree on a withdrawal of american troops.
may we urge caution in accepting this report at face value, especially in light of the limeys' spelling habits, for which there is no specialized defense.

* yes! we coined that phrase! all the way back in 2006! suck on that, sadly, no!
posted by skippy at 5:29 PM | 1 comments

a writer shade of palin

via alternate brain, it seems that maggie o'connell has a book deal in the offing...

after she spent the last few weeks talking to just about any camera put in front of her, it should come as no surprise that former vice-presidential candidate sarah palin is moving closer to inking a book deal.

just how much could the alaska governor make from putting pen to paper? about $7 million, according to some estimates.

sound like a lot? not necessarily, says one literary insider.

"bill clinton made more than $10 million when he signed his deal in 2001 and that was the most for a former president," says the source. "sarah brings something different to the table — there is so much curiosity surrounding her and her life. if they move fast and get this thing on shelves, then a $7 million advance could be worth it."
yeah, but, bill clinton could actually put words together...
posted by skippy at 5:16 PM | 2 comments