Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Stuff

Staind ("Believe" - I guess this could go out to those disaffected-former-Hillary-supporters, right?)...

...and there were a couple of flubs, but otherwise, Biden did good here I thought (biased, I know - "seven kitchen tables"...heh, heh, heh).

Obama/Biden Yields A Fournier Farce…Already

Boy, this didn’t take long…

In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.
Apparently, Fournier needs me to point out that NO ONE who becomes president has “foreign policy experience” compatible with the requirements of the job. Every person who has assumed the responsibility of President of the United States has received a crash course in all of the world’s hot spots where the potential exists for U.S. military intervention, to say nothing of places where are troops are deployed.

The Sainted Ronnie R didn’t have it. Bill Clinton didn’t have it. And Dubya sure as hell didn’t.

The media, including Fournier, typically cedes the “foreign policy experience” card to the Repugs. In the case of someone like Poppy Bush, though, I could see it to a point because he served both in the military and overseas in government. But over the last 30 years or so, no one else taking over in the White House had that as a strength from the moment their presidency began.

The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative — a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.
How the hell does Fournier know that Obama “worried that he couldn’t beat John McCain” without Biden as an attack dog? Did Obama need Biden’s help to launch ads attacking McBush on the war or the economy, to say nothing of the matter of McBush’s homes?

Chief sponsor of a sweeping anti-crime bill that passed in 1994, Biden could help inoculate Obama from GOP criticism that he's soft on crime — a charge his campaign fears will drive a wedge between white voters and the first black candidate with a serious shot at the White House.
This is exactly the type of unsubstantiated, garbage “reporting” that has earned Fournier (and many of his AP colleagues) the wrath of blogger types such as your humble narrator (here). Is it too much to ask that Fournier communicate that, thus far, these charges have proven to be baseless (re: soft on crime, black...).

Fournier’s piece concludes with the AP note that he has covered politics for nearly 20 years, as if that’s automatically supposed to endow him with the mantle of respectability. Well, based on reading his dreck over all this time, I believe that (with all humility), though I’ve only been doing this for a little short of three and a half years, I know more than he does.

Update 8/24/08: This puts an exclamation mark on the fact that the AP remains an utter farce of a news organization for countenancing Fournier's behavior.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Stuff

Jane's Addiction ("Stop!" - my opinion on the "Obama's VP" speculation at this point)..

...oh, and let's not forget this "golden oldie" from McBush (h/t Atrios)...

...more Dubya scandals, particularly Our Gal Condi's remarks about "missile defense" in Poland (all jokes aside, this truly is shocking)...

...and here's K.O.'s "Worst Persons" from last night - technical difficulties prevented me from embedding it; more "mystery-ware" from MSNBC...

...and here's today's, with Sean Hannity apparently prepping himself to attend a cross burning (what a pathetic human being)...

...and by the way, keep fighting, Al (h/t The Daily Kos)...

..."The Pap Attack" gives us the lowdown on The Mittster and his VP chances with McBush; I'm not particularly concerned about Jindal at this point (and by the way, Mike, watch that "Democrat leadership" remark, OK?)...

...and one more time, here's K.O. from tonight over McBush and his homes.

Uh Oh, Silvio “Nips” This Just In Time

It seems that Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi took a page out of John Ashcroft’s book, as it were, and covered up a female body part in a work of art, in full public view of course (here)…

ROME: The government cover-up making headlines in Italy this August has been over its clumsy attempts to hide the truth.

The truth, in this case, refers to an 18th-century allegorical figure in a painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo that serves as a backdrop for government news conferences in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's official residence.

It was retouched in recent weeks to cover an exposed breast, which "might have upset the sensitivity of some viewers," Paolo Bonaiuti, the prime minister's spokesman, told the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera over the weekend.

"That breast, that little nipple, ends up right in the shots that TVs make during press conferences," Bonaiuti said.


And then there is tradition. From an iconographic point of view, "the truth is usually depicted nude," Bertuzzo-Lomazzi said.

"It's kind of pointless to have wanted this allegory and then to cover it up. They could have chosen another subject."
I have to hand it, as they say, to Berlusoni; he always finds a way to keep things interesting (more evidence here and here).

And in other news concerning the female anatomy, Helen Rumbelow of the (UK) Times Online tells us here about the “Lycra Revolution” that includes a headline with as bad of a pun as anything I could ever conceive, though she makes a good point about women from Arabic countries being allowed to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Truly a beautiful thing, in more ways than one.

Update 6/3/09: If only Silvio had "kept his mitts off the kinder" here...I guess, even with all the slack he was cut in Italy, somebody had to draw the line somewhere.

Friday PA Blogger News

I received the following in my “in” box a few days ago…

When I was a boy growing up in Boston I had an older neighbor who was a little different. As a teenager Rick was outgoing, liked to dance and wore flamboyant outfits. Despite his clothing choices, he was popular with a lot of the boys in the neighborhood because he was a great dancer, and he was willing to teach us some basic moves so that we could go to the junior high dances and not look completely foolish.

One day I saw Rick walking by my house, but I didn’t recognize him. His face was swollen, his nose was broken, and he lost some teeth. My mother said he was beaten up because he was “a queer.” I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew it was wrong to beat up somebody simply because he was a little different. I remember telling my mother that there should be a law to protect people like Rick.

In Pennsylvania, there was a law protecting people like Rick. It was an amendment to a law called the Ethnic Intimidation and Institutional Vandalism Act, better known as the PA Hate Crimes Law. It was overwhelmingly passed in 2002 by Democrats and Republicans and signed into law by then-Governor Mark Schweiker.

That bill extended protections against hate crimes for people based on their gender, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, and mental and physical disability.

But last month the PA Supreme Court struck down the law on a technicality, saying it was passed illegally. That leaves Pennsylvanians in all of those categories vulnerable to hate crimes once again.

I don’t know about you, but I find that unacceptable. That’s why we’re calling on our State Senators and State Representatives to once again pass this legislation—and to do it right this time.

Pennsylvania protects people based on their religion, race and ethnicity. Shouldn’t we extend the same protections to people based on their gender, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and mental and physical disability?

Please join Keystone Progress in calling for the reinstatement the amendments to PA’s hate crimes law by clicking

Michael Morrill
Executive Director
Keystone Progress
(610) 568-0469-office
Well said (sad to say that I missed that revolting legal development the first time around).

Also, click here to register for the BuzzFlash Conference on "The War Against the Working Class," to be held on Saturday, September 27th at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Speakers are scheduled to include:

  • Richard Trumka (Second in Command at the National AFL-CIO and former head of the United Mine Workers)

  • Jim Hightower (Texas Populist and Rabble Rouser)

  • David Brock (Founder of Media Matters)

  • David Cay Johnston (Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Perfectly Legal" and "Free Lunch"), Kathy Black (President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women)

  • Jeffrey Feldman (Author and Expert on How the Right Wing Frames Issues Against the Interest of the Working Class)

  • Joe Bageant (Author of "Deer Hunting with Jesus")

  • Kia Franklin (of the New York-based Drum Major Institute, and an Expert on Why Civil Liberties Violations Threaten All Americans)
  • For more information, contact Mark Karlin, Editor and Publisher of, at (312) 829-7760.

    The McBush Veep Push From “Comrade” Holy Joe

    Oh, by the way, with all of the overwrought navel-gazing from our corporate media and blogger types such as your humble narrator concerning Obama’s No. 2 person, did anybody besides me notice the latest from Connecticut’s Republican senator (here, concerning Russia’s incursion into Georgia)?...

    "We're not going to let Russia, so soon after the Iron Curtain fell, to again draw a dividing line across Europe," said Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut and close friend of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain. "It is simply unacceptable."
    I hate to break the news to Mr. Excitement here, but the Iron Curtain fell 19 years ago, though this does echo nicely with previous comments from John W. McBush (R-Too Many Homes).

    And even though I’m the last person in the world who will defend Vlad Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, I thought our former pal Gorby had some interesting – though highly biased towards his country, I thought – observations in yesterday’s New York Times on the crisis...

    What is needed is a legally binding agreement not to use force. (Georgian President) Saakashvili has repeatedly refused to sign such an agreement, for reasons that have now become abundantly clear.

    The West would be wise to help achieve such an agreement now. If, instead, it chooses to blame Russia and re-arm Georgia, as American officials are suggesting, a new crisis will be inevitable. In that case, expect the worst.

    In recent days, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Bush have been promising to isolate Russia. Some American politicians have threatened to expel it from the Group of 8 industrialized nations, to abolish the NATO-Russia Council and to keep Russia out of the World Trade Organization.

    These are empty threats. For some time now, Russians have been wondering: If our opinion counts for nothing in those institutions, do we really need them? Just to sit at the nicely set dinner table and listen to lectures?

    Indeed, Russia has long been told to simply accept the facts. Here’s the independence of Kosovo for you. Here’s the abrogation of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, and the American decision to place missile defenses in neighboring countries. Here’s the unending expansion of NATO. All of these moves have been set against the backdrop of sweet talk about partnership. Why would anyone put up with such a charade?
    Aside from his point about “the unending expansion of NATO,” I find it hard to argue with a lot of that prior paragraph; despite what may have been Clinton’s best intentions regarding Kosovo, I have no evidence to indicate that conditions on the ground have ever improved.

    Still, though, anyone who denies that Putin has expansionist designs is a liar or an idiot, and Gorbachev definitely isn’t the latter. The former Soviets are playing this game of chicken with both Georgia and the Ukraine, trying to keep them both under their thumb but knowing that they both seek autonomy and greater cooperation with the West. For this reason, the Georgia conflict was inevitable, and a confrontation with the Ukraine looks more likely as well. However, adult leadership in this country could have seen this coming and, through something called “diplomacy,” tried to head it off; I grudgingly give that point to Gorbachev.

    But as we know, “no one could have foreseen this” (here)…

    Will Obama-Rama Meet The “Biden Boogaloo”?

    Yes, I know this stuff is really trite at this point, but I just want to add some thoughts before that text message supposedly goes out from Obama naming his selection (though it may be delayed as John W. McBush continues to count his houses – also, how laughable is it to me that people like Tim Kaine and Evan Bayh actually received serious consideration?).

    The “conventional wisdom” seems to be congealing around Joe Biden, who (as I noted here) is sound on foreign policy, as well as our infrastructure needs (here), but (as I noted here and here...some repetition, I know) brings some baggage that could present some issues in this campaign (though he really came through for Obama in a big way here). Also, a tipoff to me is when BoBo starts “concern trolling” on Biden’s behalf, as he does here today.

    But my concern has, as far as I can read, gone unexpressed elsewhere, so I’ll state it plainly here; I’m afraid the Dems are getting ready to kiss off the Hispanic vote again (sorry to go all Ruben Navarrette, Jr. on you, but I feel I have to).

    As much as I detest the Repugs, I grudgingly have to admit that they know how to win elections (though actually having to govern after they do so is highly problematic, as history tells us). And they know who they can rely on in November, and even though the numbers definitely don’t portend in their favor, they still – in spite of everything – have enough bedrock support to make this a horse race.

    And my nightmare is that they gather enough of those people, plus too much of a slice of the Hispanic vote that feels slighted by the Dems, to elect John W. McBush.

    And if anyone out there doesn’t think they’re going to be “in play,” I would suggest you take a look at this photo; this is what happens when “the call goes out” to protest more Repug nonsense on denying a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (this took place in Dallas).

    Now imagine half to a third of those people voting Republican. And imagine that scene played out primarily across the southwest.

    Are you starting to get the same bad feeling that I am, people?

    And Biden does nothing to help you reach them; if anything, we’ll end up hearing that quote about Indians running convenience stores from the Repugs and their media acolytes as proof of Biden’s supposed insensitivity to diversity. Also, if Biden gets it, get ready to learn all about a guy named Neil Kinnock, whether you want to or not (see "1987 General Election").

    I wouldn’t say this if the Dems didn’t have a highly qualified candidate to solidify support among Hispanics, by the way (and I know you know I’m talking about Bill Richardson). But, though Biden neutralizes McBush on foreign policy, his state only delivers six electoral votes that Obama would win anyway.

    And as far as this business goes about Obama trying to win the “blue-collar, ‘Bubba’ vote,” I say screw ‘em. If they actually want to give the hammer to McBush that Dubya was using so they can get beaten over the head for four more years, then they deserve what they get as far as I’m concerned.

    I just have this sick feeling that the Dems may be blowing a huge opportunity by naming Biden. And you can’t imagine how much I want to be proven wrong.

    The “One And Done” McBush Myth

    I really have to wonder how seriously the freeper faithful out there are willing to rally behind John W. McBush as he tries to remember how many houses he has takes a stab at he and his wife’s net worth tells us why he wasn’t in the “cone of silence” at Saddleback runs for president.

    This occurred to me as I glanced over Peggy Noonan’s latest diatribe against Barack Obama and the Democrats (echoing the line that Obama’s accomplishments are supposedly no big deal) and then saw this U-turn in her column…

    Mr. McCain told Politico on Wednesday that he's not considering a one-term pledge.

    (This is) a move that would help him win doubtful voters, win disaffected Democrats, allow some Republicans to not have to get drunk to vote for him, and that could possibly yield real results for his country. This seems to me such a potentially electrifying idea that he'd likely walk out of his convention as the future president.

    And Mr. McCain would still have what he always wanted, the presidency, perhaps a serious and respectable one that accrued special respect because it involved some sacrifice on his part.
    (Note: I purposely inverted the order of the paragraphs in the WSJ piece because I think it reads better that way.)

    Wow, what a glowing endorsement from “Nooners” here, huh, people? Can anybody fill me in on the latest numbers from that powerful “not have to get drunk to vote for him” Repug demographic?

    Those oh-so-enlightened and utterly-consumed-with-themselves “values voters” out there want nothing more from McBush than to name one of their own as the veep. And they wouldn’t give a fig if the “straight-talk express” permanently went off track and ended up in That Big Rail Yard In The Sky during his term so their favored No. 2 would take over (a group that would include this guy), spurring them to life once more as they seek to abolish Roe v. Wade and thus criminalize women seeking abortions and their medical providers, to say nothing of herding LGBT individuals into pens where they could be identified, tagged, and scheduled for “Christian reindoctrination” back to heterosexuality.

    Most politicians are patsies for special interests of one type or another, but McBush falls egregiously into that category to the point where he would do nothing but prolong our current misery, or likely exacerbate it. And regardless of whether or not he named “one of the faithful” as his running mate, I predict that, in the event of a McBush term in office (God help us), his V.P. would mount a primary challenge to him anyway four years from now, “one-term pledge” from McBush or not (and the right-wing stirring out there over the whole “one term” thing, including that from “Nooners,” a reliable “weather vane” of sorts regarding their intentions, is a tipoff).

    Update: Oh, by the way, I should start displaying this every time McBush commits a gaffe, so get ready to see it a lot.

    (Image credit: tbctbc - hat tip to Kagro X at The Daily Kos)

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Thursday Stuff

    The Cute Lepers ("Terminal Boredom" - perfectly describes my response to "reality" TV)...

    ...and by the way, I care a lot less about the number of homes McBush thinks he owns - though that's bad, I'll admit - than I do about the fact that he said this...

    ...and The Onion zeroes in on those elusive, undecided voters untouched by Zogby, Rasmussen and those people...

    Latest Poll Reveals 430 New Demographics That Will Decide Election

    ...and congrats to Rachel Maddow for getting her own show - FINALLY - on MSNBC (and if those pissants at Joe Lieberman Weekly are unhappy, all the better).

    Update 8/22/08: I've got two words for Howard Kurtz based on this, and they're not "happy birthday."

    I Know How Many Houses I Have, Sen. McBush

    At times like this, I wish we had the lyrics scrolling at the bottom of the screen with a bouncing, singalong ball for emphasis (home ownership we can believe in, my friends)...

    ...and "pile on"? Why, sure!

    Update: Keep it going? You got it! (h/t Kagro X and The Daily Kos).

    Update 8/22/08: And just keep telling yourself, "McBush isn't an elitist, McBush isn't an elitist" (here and here).

    A Thursday Edition Of "Repugs Behaving Badly"

    As long as resident know-it-all Glenn Beck held court today on the corruption of Democratic mayors in our cities courtesy of “The Most Trusted Name In News,” I feel it is my duty to respond in kind with examples of Republican ineptitude in government (don’t look for me to support individuals such as Milton Milan or Sharpe James, though, I hasten to add).

    This post by R.J. Eskow tells us of a proposed $803 million cut in health care financing for the low-income residents, the poor, and senior citizens in the state of Florida (Republican senate and governor), as part of what Eskow calls “medical apartheid” (he also mentions McBush’s warmed-over proposals on health care that I noted earlier).

    This tells us of idiotic non-management of water in the state of Georgia that has led to their crisis, with Governor Sonny Perdue (first Repug governor in that state since Reconstruction, elected in 2003) calling for a prayer vigil in response (uh…gee, maybe it’s a problem when you pump 3.8 billion gallons from the Chattahoochee River in 1991 but end up pumping 20 billion by 2001? Try using the brain God gave you before you ask for His help, OK?). And this talks about how the state of Georgia, like the rest of this country, has been absolutely screwed over on spending for social services by the budget proposals of that alleged Christian, President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History.

    This tells us that the state of Mississippi, under Repug governor Haley Barbour, is the only one in the South without a state-funded early childhood education program. And this tells us that Repug Governor of Louisiana and (former?) Repug vice-presidential possibility Bobby (“Don’t Call Me Piyush”) Jindal didn’t even know that Hurricane Katrina caused an oil spill in his state.

    You may now return to your speculation on Barack Obama’s vice presidential nominee (I think the death of Generalissimo Francisco Franco was the only other more tedious media spectacle that I can recall).

    Update 8/25/08: And why exactly should I take Beck seriously based on nonsense like this?

    Reading The Tea Leaves

    John W. McBush will, at first, approve the following three items, but then, upon further reflection, claim not to because of his status as a former POW (here...h/t Atrios)…

  • Phil Gramm’s proposal to reinstitute debtors prison for anyone defaulting on their ARMs due to the subprime mortgage meltdown

  • Rudy 9iu11ani’s call to launch a preemptive missile strike on Moscow to test their reaction upon completion of the “shield” that will be deployed in Poland (assuming all goes as scheduled, a big “if”)

  • Flush Limbore’s proclamation to reinstitute the “poll tax” at voting locations nationwide, with anyone unable to pay subject to being forced away by means of attack dogs and water cannons
  • Actually, you can play this game at home if you so choose – it’s easy and fun!

    (And by the way, here's a primer on the whole "McBush forgot how many houses he owns" thing.)

    "McBush Care" - No Good For What Ails You

    This post from The Swamp, the political blog of the Chicago Tribune, jogged my memory a bit on the matter of the health insurance proposals of Barack Obama and John W. McBush (and a hat tip goes out to SG for the article I’ll cite later from Money Magazine).

    The Swamp post tells us…

    McCain, for example, would eliminate favorable tax treatment for employer-sponsored health insurance and provide individuals with tax credits of $2,500 per person or $5,000 per family to buy insurance. He would promote competition among the insurers by allowing people to choose insurance companies outside their state.

    Obama, on the other hand, would require all children to have health insurance and would require employers to offer health benefits to workers or contribute to the cost of a new public plan. He would expand Medicaid, which provides health coverage to the poor and the disabled, and he would expand SCHIP, the children's health insurance program.
    That provides some explanation, but this Money Magazine article tells us (concerning McBush)…

    (The elimination of the tax break employees receive if their employer provides coverage) may not sound like a shocker, but it is. The exclusion dates from World War II, when the federal government imposed controls on wages, but allowed companies to compete for workers by offering tax-free health benefits in lieu of pay. The law is largely responsible for the nightmarish patchwork of corporate-provided medical plans we enjoy so much today. Employees and their unions demanded richer and richer packages, and employers complied, since they could buy far more benefits for their employees than workers could buy with after-tax dollars on their own. Americans have paid a steep price, however, by sacrificing their raises as corporate insurance bills exploded, never more so than now.
    The phrase “nightmarish patchwork of employer-provided medical plans,” the dig about employees “demand(ing) richer and richer packages” (any sign of complaint about CEOs awarded “richer and richer” compensation?), and the silly speculation that, without that tax break, employees would not have had to “sacrifice their raises” are tipoffs that this article is geared towards the “wealth” perspective (as are later references to the “Democrat proposals” and the “Democrat plan”).

    And here’s another tipoff (if you can relate to this “hypothetical,” then good for you - I can't)…

    McCain suggests that we junk all that. Say you're earning $100,000 a year and your company provides about $9,000 toward your $12,000 family premium, which is about average. Today you're taxed only on the $100,000. Under McCain's plan, you'd also pay on the $9,000. That could mean an extra $3,000 or so in federal taxes alone. To compensate for the extra levy, McCain would provide a $2,500 federal tax rebate for individuals and $5,000 per family, meaning a family would simply subtract $5,000 from its tax bill, the equivalent of a big cash payment.

    Here's where it gets interesting. Employers would no longer be able to buy more health care with $9,000 of their employees' money than the workers could buy on their own. The raison d'être for corporate health benefits would vanish. Employers have another compelling reason to pass the ball to the employee: While wages are rising around 3% a year, their health-care costs are growing at three times that rate. "I predict that most companies would stop paying for health care in three to four years," says Robert Laszewski, a consultant who works with corporate benefits managers. Hence, an employer that pays $9,000 for your benefits would simply pack an extra $9,000 a year into your paycheck. (Why? Because in a competitive labor market, companies would have to hand over that cash to employees or risk losing them.) So you'd have $6,000 after tax, plus the $5,000 family credit, to buy insurance. That's $11,000 in new cash that employees can set aside for health care.
    I for one am not going to buy into this con that supporting something like this, absent anything bearing even a slight resemblance to a government run or cosponsored plan, will automatically mean more money in my pocket. Besides, if employers were so worried about retaining employees, they wouldn’t be looking to dump their coverage to begin with.

    (I should note, though, that one of the strongest disagreements with anyone I’ve ever been friends with has been on the matter of employer salary versus benefits, in which he argued that an employee would take more money every time even over questionable bennies. Though he was basically a Republican, he had sound judgment on many other matters, but I thought he was flat wrong here; I will admit, though, that age and family status play a huge role in a decision like that.)

    The Money article discusses the Obama plan, whereby if an employer chose to opt out of coverage, they would have to pay into “a new, government-administered system…swell(ing) the ranks of Americans with government paid health care.”

    To which I ask, “And the problem is?”

    The conclusion of the Money article is that McBush’s “plan” is better because Money’s precious free market provides employee choice, or something like that, whereas your humble narrator truly believes that that is exactly the reason for the problem we now face; as health care consumers, we are left to bargain for ourselves instead of doing so collectively and utilizing the force of government to stimulate competition in our favor (I seem to recall that that was the centerpiece of the plan from that Edwards guy a little while back).

    And even though the Money article compliments McBush, it raises a dire specter under what could take place if his plan were to become law...

    ...under the McCain plan, states with no restrictions - Pennsylvania, for example - could sell policies for 25-year-olds that cost around $1,200 a year, one-third the price in New York. Young New Yorkers would drop their plans in favor of Pennsylvania providers, forcing New York insurers to jack up premiums for people in their 50s or early 60s, who need those rich, community-rated plans that cover as many procedures as possible - but who no longer benefit from the excessive premiums paid by the youngsters. It gets worse. Anyone with cancer, diabetes, or other pre-existing conditions will see their premiums multiply too.
    What Obama proposes is the equivalent of “Take two of these and call me in the morning.” However, what McBush counters with is something along the lines of “Bend over and say 'Aaahh'.”

    Update 8/27/08: Hat tip to Avedon Carol for this; haven't made it all the way through yet, but it looks interesting.

    Trying To Kill More Thursday Zombie Lies

    Julie Pace of the AP serves up the following steaming hot mess (from here)…

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The political landscape is littered with Democrats whose campaigns have been hurt by questions about their patriotism. Barack Obama wants to avoid the same fate.

    Critics have questioned Obama's patriotism for months, whispering about why he didn't wear a flag pin on his lapel and contending he didn't put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Republican rival John McCain has asserted that Obama has placed his political self-interest ahead of his country's.
    You know, it really would be nice if our corporate media lap dogs would bother to tell people that what she just “reported” on Barack Obama contains not a speck of truth in it (and if you don’t want to believe me, fine; Media Matters, as usual, has done the “heavy lifting” on this stuff, noting here that, though Obama was criticized for not selling flag lapel pins at his online store – the silly season is truly upon us, my friends – McBush was given a pass for the same “offense”).

    Also, this takes you to another Media Matters link where Sean Hannity is called out for his claim that, supposedly, no one is questioning Obama’s patriotism (that’s a common Repug trick to say that they’re questioning someone’s judgment instead, when in fact they’re really criticizing both).

    And if the Democrats are so “unpatriotic,” why did Maj. Gen. John Batiste and Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton call here for a Democratic takeover of Congress two years ago? Is someone seriously going to question their patriotism and judgment? Also, this tells us of another Iraq “surge” which has received scant reporting, and this tells us who of the two major political parties in this country served in the military.

    Yes, it’s true that “patriotism remains a pitfall” for Democrats. Our corporate media cousins wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Tuesday Stuff

    The Offspring ("Hammerhead")...

    ...and K.O. names Harvey ("It's Raining Nazis") Kushner as "Worst Person" for reflexive demagoguery on ANYTHING criticizing John W. McBush (dishonorable mention to Newt Gingrich and rappers who want to hang Billo The Clown - have to tone it down just a tad).

    An Un-Kohn-Scionable Smear

    Even by the laughably lax editorial standards of our corporate media, I thought the following excerpt from this Reuters column that purports to be political analysis was outrageous (re., the supposed edge in patriotism McBush holds over Barack Obama)…

    "There is a historic suspicion that African Americans are less patriotic," (Richard) Kohn, (professor of history at the University of North Carolina), said.

    Black Americans have fought in all the country's wars but their loyalty has been questioned because many black leaders have criticized U.S. policies on race and some whites assume historic discrimination against them, which includes slavery, would have undermined their commitment to U.S. ideals.
    So…the fact that African Americans have had to overcome decades of racial prejudice somehow “undermines their commitment to U.S. ideals”?

    Because of sloppy editing, I don’t know if the words in that second paragraph are directly attributable to Dr. Kohn or not, though the supposition in the first sentence is bad enough.

    I’ll tell you what; here is Kohn’s contact information at UNC. Feel free to ask him what the hell he’s talking about, OK? I’d be interested to find out the answer myself.

    Rousing The Faithful

    (Posting will be a bit iffy for today - we'll see - and particularly for tomorrow, just to let you know.)

    I recently visited the web sites for both the Democratic and Republican Conventions partly out of curiosity as a result of the news that Kanye West and Tony Bennett will be performing in Denver for the Dems, and the Beach Boys and some country acts that I don’t care about will be in St. Paul while attendees have the chance to visit the Larry Craig Memorial Men’s Room Stall at Minneapolis Airport (and I should note that that their political sympathies are primarily the reason why you won’t find any Beach Boys videos at this site).

    I realize that construction is ongoing at both sites, but I should point out that, when you visit the Dems’ site, the first messages you receive pertain to diversity, faith-based caucuses (a first), and the fact that Lilly Ledbetter will address the convention a week from today. This is all good stuff, hitting populist concerns. There is also access to a “Convention 101” set of links providing a convention glossary, information on how delegates vote, and more on the super-delegates, something I wish the party would seriously consider scrapping after the Obama/Clinton dustup this year. And there is a link to tourist information telling people what to see and where to go in Denver, as well as a link directly to the convention blog, of course.

    When visiting the Repugs’ site (where the first thing you see is the scary countenance of John W. McBush), there is about a one-second delay when navigating between links because they apparently want you to view the photo of one of the lakes in the vicinity; nice to play up the natural beauty after the first click or two, but after multiple clicks it gets to be a little ridiculous, always having to look at that photo (it kind of reminded me of the “How Not To Be Seen” Monty Python bit, and I was expecting to click on a link at some point, and then see the photo with someone in the foreground doing something silly).

    Also, I think the display and text fonts at the GOP site are too big; not sure what they had in mind with the page design. I should point out, though, that they have it over on the Dems in one important category, and that is the En Espanol link; the Dems would be well advised to come up with something similar to that by next week. It is also not difficult to navigate at their site to access the typical information one would find, though I must tell them that, under the FAQ section, I for one don’t care how many balloons will drop when McBush and his surrogate officially win the nod.

    And speaking of the Repugs, I thought it was amusing to read here that Sen. Norm Coleman basically said he wouldn’t attend the soiree except for the fact that it’s in his home state (keep trying to run from Dubya, Cheney and McBush, Norm; you’re part of their party too).

    Update: And by the way, I realize the conventions are meant to whip up everyone into a fervor, but as I look down the list of speakers here, I know Steny Hoyer definitely has some issues, but the presence of this guy is just about too much to tolerate, given his seamy, cowardly capitulation on FISA; Kagro X has more here - Rockefeller opposed all FISA amendments, not just Bingaman's.

    More Than Just Words

    This San Diego Tribune story tells us that former Arkansas Democratic Party chairman Bill Gwatney (pictured), who was murdered last week, received a nice sendoff, with both Bill and Hillary Clinton in attendance…

    (Bill) Clinton told mourners Monday at the Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church to “make a list of what you were grateful for in Bill Gwatney's life.

    He was a better golfer than I was. I am not grateful for that. But he seemed to genuinely like it if I hit a good shot, which is a sign of grace.”
    When you consider Gwatney’s tragic, utterly senseless murder, as well as the recent Knoxville shooting rampage in which two people were killed (during a children’s musical recital by some human accident named Jim David Adkisson, allegedly because the church was “liberal” or something, as noted here), I think we need to keep in mind the influence of truly sick haters out there like Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Savage, and that crowd.

    And I think another reason to vote for Obama in November is because those media clowns have a much better chance of facing an action as a result that could lead to prosecution from a majority Democratic FCC board that it ever would under one with Repugs holding the advantage.

    Some (Imperfect) Humanity From John W. McBush

    I didn’t watch any of that Saddleback business the other night between the presumptive nominees for president, partly because I think the whole exercise was meant to inflate the profile of Rick Warren beyond what I believe he deserves (I realized later that I should have given my post on this last Thursday the hardly-original title of “The Purpose-Drive Hype”).

    Of course, though, you can expect those individuals in our corporate media who claim some notion of spirituality (such as Michael Gerson of the WaPo here) to state decisively that his performance in this forum somehow represented a victory for John W. McBush. See, Obama’s cool detachment, as Gerson sees it, is a vice, whereas McBush’s ability to provide snap answers thus humanizes him in our eyes (implying that Obama is some sort of an automaton; one of the reasons I hate to hear politicians talk about faith like this is because it’s so damn easy for pundits to spin these exercises anyway they want).

    As Gerson tells us, though, there was a moment where McBush opened a metaphorical door, if you will, through which our corporate media has steadfastly refused to cross, so I will do so here…

    The candidate who once seemed incapable of the confessional style of politics talked at length of Vietnam experiences and his adopted daughter from Bangladesh. Asked by Warren about his greatest moral failure, McCain's response -- "the failure of my first marriage" -- had an abrupt and disarming authenticity.
    And in response to that, I present this story from the Daily Mail (yes, I understand the type of a publication it is) about Carol McCain, McBush’s first wife.

    The story tells us of how they married in 1965 when she was “a successful swimwear model” from Philadelphia (Carol had two sons from a prior marriage, and a daughter Sidney was born after she and McBush tied the knot), though McBush requested combat duty in 1966 (he probably could have remained stateside due to his marital status, but I’m not positive of that) leading to his imprisonment in 1967.

    Afterwards (the story tells us)…

    …Carol went to spend the Christmas holiday – her third without McCain – at her parents’ home (in 1969). After dinner, she left to drop off some presents at a friend’s house.

    It wasn’t until some hours later that she was discovered, alone and in terrible pain, next to the wreckage of her car. She had been hurled through the windscreen.

    After her first series of life-saving operations, Carol was told she may never walk again, but when doctors said they would try to get word to McCain about her injuries, she refused, insisting: ‘He’s got enough problems, I don’t want to tell him.’

    H. Ross Perot, a billionaire Texas businessman, future presidential candidate and advocate of prisoners of war, paid for her medical care.

    When McCain – his hair turned prematurely white and his body reduced to little more than a skeleton – was released in March 1973, he told reporters he was overjoyed to see Carol again.

    But friends say privately he was ‘appalled’ by the change in her appearance. At first, though, he was kind, assuring her: ‘I don’t look so good myself. It’s fine.’

    He bought her a bungalow near the sea in Florida and another former PoW helped him to build a railing so she could pull herself over the dunes to the water.

    ‘I thought, of course, we would live happily ever after,’ says Carol. But as a war hero, McCain was moving in ever-more elevated circles.

    Through Ross Perot, he met Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California. A sympathetic Nancy Reagan took Carol under her wing.

    But already the McCains’ marriage had begun to fray. ‘John started carousing and running around with women,’ said Robert Timberg.
    And Perot, as the story notes, is fiercely critical of McBush for all of this. In spite of this, though, the story tells us that Carol McCain is supportive of her former husband and believes he is the better candidate for president.

    I don’t have anything else to add to this post, really. It’s not my intention to present some “money quote” demonstrating that McBush is a worthless heel for abandoning his first wife. That’s not something I admire, to be sure, but this stuff happens in the real world, particularly in McBush’s circles (something which Carol McCain plainly realizes). I’ll let other people make those judgments.

    Also (again), it’s not my intention to try and draw some equivalency here between McBush and John Edwards. I have many other issues with the senator from Arizona, and I’ve actually seen more fortitude from him on this than I’ve seen from the former North Carolina senator on his little tryst.

    I’m just trying to present this information since I haven’t seen it anywhere else (I report, you decide, if you will).

    Besides, if anything like this had been linked somehow to Obama, we’d be hearing about it in a 24/7/365 news cycle, to the point where he would probably already be gone from the race.

    (And by the way, here are thoughts from Jack Cafferty in a related vein - h/t Atrios...I think the difference between Dubya and McBush is that the former is a scheming, pathological liar who knew how to twist and distort enough to wangle two terms in the White House, and the latter is someone who, at this point, is a confused, doddering old man willing to say anything to get elected.)

    Update: And by the way, those "values voters" are none too thrilled with McBush not showing unconditional acceptance of their loony agenda by blindly accepting one of their own, as opposed to what he has stated here.

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Monday Stuff

    I thought this was a great response to the latest neocon war cry...

    ...and I always have to work extra hard controlling my gag reflex when John W. McBush tries to tell us how he thinks we should live our lives...

    ...and yep, K.O. lays it on McBush again; a tour de force of ineptitude by his campaign...

    ...and K.O. again 'splains how Dubya and his pals are turning this country into "an embryonic police state"; better turn off the damn Olympics and wake up and watch this stuff, people!

    (And speaking of Dubya, MoDo "found the nut" in her New York Times column yesterday - nice work for a change.)

    More "Old Gray Lady" Obama Trickery

    I have to bring this to your attention also from the New York Times yesterday, in which Patrick Healy manages to find a few Obama-neutral sources and at least one bought-and-paid-for DLC insider to tell us that the proverbial sky is falling…

    Mr. Obama has run for the last 18 months as the candidate of hope. Yet party leaders — while enthusiastic about Mr. Obama and his state-by-state campaign operations — say he must do more to convince the many undecided Democrats and independents that he would address their financial anxieties rather than run, by and large, as an agent of change — given that change, they note, is not an issue.

    “I particularly hope he strengthens his economic message — even Senator Obama can speak more clearly and specifically about the kitchen-table, bread-and-butter issues like high energy costs,” said Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. “It’s fine to tell people about hope and change, but you have to have plenty of concrete, pragmatic ideas that bring hope and change to life.”

    Or, in the blunter words of Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee: “Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives.”
    Oh, and do I have to point out which former Dem candidate won Ohio and Tennessee, garnering the votes of all of those “hard-working white people”?

    Yes, there are times when I’d like to see Obama show a bit more of a populist mean streak (as I thought Paul Krugman astutely noted here today). However, if you guys are apparently so unsure about him, why don’t you try that Google thingie and navigate to Obama’s web site? As Krugman notes, it's full of good stuff. And it’s not as if there aren’t a million stories already about the guy.

    Fortunately, I though David Plouffe of the Obama campaign (a Philly native, by the way), had some good stuff to say here…

    “Democrats should take a deep breath and realize that there are a group of voters who won’t make up their mind about a candidate until deep in the fall,” said (Plouffe), Mr. Obama’s campaign manager. “And there are 18 states that are battlegrounds for a reason, and they’ll be decided by 2 to 4 points. I don’t care about national polls.”

    A New York Times/CBS News poll last month found the race between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain to be a statistical dead heat, not unlike where Senator John Kerry and Mr. Bush stood in a Times/CBS News poll in July 2004. The poll four years ago was conducted after Mr. Kerry, the Democratic nominee, picked Senator John Edwards as his running mate, yet before both the party conventions and the most intense period of political attacks on Mr. Kerry’s war service record as skipper of a Swift boat in Vietnam.
    Uh, New York Times? I have a request: the next time you mention “political attacks on Mr. Kerry’s war service record,” can you please note for the benefit of your readers that those attacks were BASELESS AND UTTERLY DAMNABLE LIES??!!

    And as far as unneeded advice goes, Healy gives us this…

    …several Democrats said that choosing a seasoned party leader as his running mate would help Mr. Obama in the fall if he is unable to fully allay voters’ uncertainty that a one-term senator is ready for the presidency.

    “The one area he still needs credibility in is experience, and picking an Evan Bayh or a Joe Biden as vice president would help a lot with that,” said John B. Breaux, a former Democratic senator from Louisiana. “It wouldn’t be bad if he came out early and said who his secretary of defense and secretary of state would be — that would address and stabilize the concerns about his experience.”
    I don’t know if Biden would be such a terrible choice – he may be the smartest Dem currently serving in Congress when it comes to foreign policy – but picking Evan Bayh would absolutely kill any kind of online momentum (I go with Bowers here on that - Kaine would be even worse…and based on this prior post, Breaux would be more in his element giving advice to McBush than to Obama).

    As far as who I personally want to see on the ticket with Obama, though, I’m sticking with this guy. We’ll see.

    A "South Of The Border" Shoot 'Em Up

    This other New York Times story from yesterday tells us…

    LOS ANGELES — The rising tide of guns flowing into Mexico from the United States, which is fueling some of the worst drug violence in Mexico in years, can be stopped only by cracking down on smugglers the way federal authorities hobbled the Mafia, the secretary of homeland security, Michael Chertoff, said Thursday.
    I should note, by the way, that Mike (“City of Louisiana”) Chertoff was featured in the prior post also about Putin trying to capture more Arctic oil; never a good sign when Chertoff is your “strategy” guy on a vital issue. And I also don’t understand the Times’ choice of a photo for this story – I’m hard pressed to find any source of amusement here.

    Also, you could also make the case that the “mafia” that we have come to know through The Godfather and The Sopranos is in descent, but other international groups, notably from Mexico and Russia, are filling that void.


    The Mexican governors sought to emphasize the United States’ place as the chief recipient of drugs and exporter of weapons. United States officials have estimated that 90 percent to 95 percent of the weapons used in Mexico’s drug violence come from the United States.

    The governors on Friday pledged more cooperation among state law enforcement agencies to curb gun trafficking. For example, Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora across its border, which has experienced heavy fighting among drug gangs, recently signed agreements to share intelligence and use databases to track stolen weapons.

    In the interview, he said the United States and Mexico were working on penetrating the smuggling organizations, an effort he called vital to dismantling them. Getting inside, Mr. Chertoff said, is particularly important because many of the weapons are bought by middlemen at gun shows and shops and then resold or delivered to the cartels, making them difficult to trace.
    In that event, then, I would just call for more restrictions on sales of guns to try and prevent “straw” purchases, such as the type the story describes. Also, I would use this as an opportunity to plug the bill by Dem Rep. Carolyn Maloney McCarthy of New York, which would reauthorize the assault weapons ban (surely assault weapons figure into this deadly mix).

    Finally, though the Tiahrt Amendment noted here restricts the ability of cities to use trace data from the ATF when investigating crimes in U.S. cities, I think this is an opportunity to finally push for repeal of this and the odious rider attached by Richard Shelby in the Senate that mandated jail time for law enforcement officials using trace data outside the narrow bounds of what Tiahrt prescribes. I say this because we should share trace data with Mexican authorities also, and it would be silly to do that but restrict that use in this country.

    But then again, I’m just a filthy, unkempt liberal blogger, so what do I know?

    The governors, pushed by the conference host, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, highlighted the effort to improve the environment and strengthen economic ties. They floated, among other proposals, the idea of an express toll lane at border crossings to ease congestion into the United States and pay for road and other improvements.

    “Some people still think of the border only in negative terms,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said at the opening ceremony at a theater near Universal Studios Hollywood. He added: “Every time we turn on the TV or pick up the newspaper we are hit by stories about illegal immigrants and the problems they create. We see that all the time. But I also want people to know about the positive stories.”
    I suppose the idea of an express toll late could make sense, but I would really want to know more about what would be required for someone to enter this country in that manner before I approved it. The problem is that we can’t make up our minds on who we should include or exclude, to say nothing of the question of citizenship for illegals or whether or not they should receive driver’s licenses. I would say we should work out all of that stuff first before we think about the equivalent of EZPass for them.

    And by the way (speaking of trying to restrict guns), here’s some good news on that front from the Brady Campaign (and by the way, Dems, you are STILL supposed to be the party of gun control; trying to run and hide from that will only make you look more foolish).

    Putin Pushes For Arctic Oil

    The New York Times reported yesterday that Vlad Putin, the guy into whose soul (assuming either has one) Dubya said he famously looked some time ago (or "got a sense of"; whatever), is in hot pursuit of crude likely to be found in the frozen north…

    A growing array of military leaders, Arctic experts and lawmakers say the United States is losing its ability to patrol and safeguard Arctic waters even as climate change and high energy prices have triggered a burst of shipping and oil and gas exploration in the thawing region.

    The National Academy of Sciences, the Coast Guard and others have warned over the past several years that the United States’ two 30-year-old heavy icebreakers, the Polar Sea and Polar Star, and one smaller ice-breaking ship devoted mainly to science, the Healy, are grossly inadequate. Also, the Polar Star is out of service.

    And this spring, the leaders of the Pentagon’s Pacific Command, Northern Command and Transportation Command strongly recommended in a letter that the Joint Chiefs of Staff endorse a push by the Coast Guard to increase the country’s ability to gain access to and control its Arctic waters.

    In the meantime, a resurgent Russia has been busy expanding its fleet of large oceangoing icebreakers to around 14, launching a large conventional icebreaker in May and, last year, the world’s largest icebreaker, named 50 Years of Victory, the newest of its seven nuclear-powered, pole-hardy ships.
    Funny, but with all of the right-wing yammering at the Dems for not wanting to “drill, drill, drill” at every turn, I don’t hear any of that being thrown back at Dubya for being delinquent on the matter of drilling in the Arctic (and by the way, Pelosi is hedging somewhat on the offshore drilling issue, wrongly I think).

    You see, unlike us, Vlad and his pals have foreseen the opportunity presented by the climate crisis and acted with speed to capitalize on it. And part of that is Russian ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS), a matter about which I posted here, another moment at which Putin moved to capitalize on our indecisiveness while we, as usual, failed to do anything since we were stuck in yet another exercise of finger-pointing due primarily to right-wing blathering.

    And speaking of the price of gas, I should note that, at the Shell station in my neighborhood, the price of regular is about $3.79 a gallon (that tends to be high, and I’m sure I could get it for a few cents cheaper if travel closer to Philadelphia). But even through the price is dipping slightly, you’ll still hear the Repugs blame the Democrats anyway.

    And that is for at least two main reasons: 1) The price of gas has very little to do with political considerations either way, but much more to do with the laws of supply and demand, to say nothing of market manipulation by Big Oil – gas always starts to go up in the spring and starts to come down near the end of summer, and 2) The Repugs care much more about playing a game of political one-upsmanship in search of a wedge issue than they ever will about this country’s efforts towards the goal of energy self-sufficiency.

    The Elephant We All Should Forget

    I ended up on the Email distribution list for (a bit of a story there), and as a result, I received this notification that I can now purchase Victor The Victory Elephant, a stuffed today available as a premium for a membership donation as low as $35.

    Well, despite the fact that this is emblematic of the party mascot, I’d like to propose that the GOP make available instead the following stuffed toys, which provide a much better glimpse into what the party supports and why…

  • Dubya The Gray Whale – Named in “honor” of the individual who has continued to wage war on our environment, with the gray whale being one of the endangered species facing a greater threat of extinction as a result of more “back door” changes in environmental regulations proposed by President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History.

  • Boehner The Bat – Only a true bloodsucker would oppose congressional measures aimed at animal protection, but Boehner (pronounced “bo-ner”) and 30 of his primarily Repug pals (with the odious exception of “Democrat” Dan Boren) have done exactly that, as James Wolcott tells us here.

  • Mitt The Irish Setter – In honor of all the animals who still need to be adopted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (and don’t worry – if you cage this stuffed animal and put it on the roof of your car, it won’t do what Romney’s dog did for real, as noted here).
  • These three little goodies can be yours, but only if you act now while supplies last!

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Sunday Stuff

    Alejandro Escovedo ("Sister Lost Soul")...

    ...and with ratcheted-up tensions between this country and Russia, I'm sure we can look forward to "retro" TV programming based on cold war-era shows exactly like this one (this is about 9:52, and boy, did late T.V. character actor Werner Klemperer boss around Leonard Nimoy here; of course, Nimoy and William Shatner - who also appears, credited, of course - would have the last laugh with little space show of theirs produced by Desilu a few years later...also, as long as I'm talking about Klemperer of Commandant Klink fame on "Hogan's Heroes," I should note that he and his family were German Jews who fled Nazi persecution, and he once told the producers of the '60s sitcom that if Klink even outsmarted Hogan in an episode, he would quit the series - he won Emmys as Klink in 1968 and 1969).

    The Inky Shows Its True Colors, Again

    Just for the record, I happen to know of a comment to this screed by Kevin Ferris of the Inquirer attacking Nancy Pelosi on the matter of not drilling for oil that the Inquirer, in its apparent cowardice, refused to publish (though it had no problem with the "fantastic post as usual" bit of fluffery).

    The comment appears below (if you're registered with the Inky and you choose to subject yourself to what Ferris wrote, be my guest - Ferris also is critiquing passages of Pelosi's book and stating that she falls short in comparing herself to Tip O'Neill. Also, Ferris' comment about one barrel of oil spilled for about every 156,000 produced according to an author of The Economist is to laugh - solid environmental cred? Not for me)...

    So Bush 41 banned coastal drilling in 1990 (a move also favored by Jeb, who was governor of Florida), and we could have been obtaining oil offshore since that time, assuming your argument is correct. Yet Nancy Pelosi hasn't even been speaker for two years, but somehow the inaction on this is entirely her fault?

    And why don't you talk about what Patrick Murphy, for example, has proposed. He also moved to stop filling the Strategic Reserve, which happens to be 97 percent full, its highest level ever.

    Murphy has also advocated a paid-for federal gas tax holiday which could save an additional 18 cents per gallon and does not borrow from the Highway Trust Fund. To counter big oil companies from pocketing these savings, he has also backed legislation that stops price gouging and artificial increases.

    Additionally, Murphy cosponsored the Small Business Investment and Promotion Act which will cut taxes for small business fuel purchases, and increase the tax deduction on fuel for small business owners and independent contractors who use their own vehicles for work.

    So yes, Pelosi and the Democrats are trying to do something on the energy mess besides drill, drill, drill. And did I mention that gas was $1.86 a gallon when Bush 43 took over and he and the Republicans have run our government for just about six of the last eight years, yet I don't hear anyone blaming them for our current energy costs?

    Oh right, that would invalidate your right-wing talking points and that's why it isn't mentioned. How silly of me to forget that.
    Oh, and just for the record (again), Tip O'Neill once called Reagan "the most ignorant man to ever occupy the White House" (concerning the matter of the two of them working together that Ferris mentioned).

    Luckily for Tip, however, he didn't live to see Dubya.