Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Stuff

Time for more seasonal stuff; no video here, but it's still a nice tune ("Merry Christmas Eve," by Better Than Ezra)...

...and it looks like Santa got busted by the COPS again - every year the audio tracking for this one is off by a second or two; eventually the sound track will play completely independent from the cartoon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Stuff

I wanted to put my fist through the monitor listening to Geraldo Rivera, of all people, saying that the UAW was "unpatriotic" for supposedly letting the Big Three loan deal collapse, to say nothing of Governor Rick Perry of Texas saying that union contracts are "onerous" - of course you don't care if the automakers go belly-up, you hypocrite (exactly how much oil money ARE you sitting on, anyway?). They all make me want to vomit...and for the reality point of view once again, here is Michael Moore...

...I'll be honest with you; I'm too disgusted to deal with politics right now after this story, so instead, let's just take a minute to celebrate a guy named Francis Albert Sinatra, who was born on this date in 1915 ("It Was A Very Good Year," recorded at the Sands in Las Vegas in 1966)...

...My Morning Jacket ("I'm Amazed")...

...and here's "Soulful Christmas" with James Brown, of course; bet they're gettin' down wid' da' funk at the pearly gates, right?

The Writing Is On The Wall, Senator

(By the way, I also posted over here.)

Throughout this entire saga of whether or not Congress decided to help the Big Three automakers (and I cannot possibly see how that will happen now), the actions of one person have been of particular interest to your humble narrator, and that is Repug Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio.

As his party dealt what may very well be the death blow to the employment of millions of people all in the name of trying to destroy the UAW, I’ve been trying to figure out how he is going to pull off the balancing act of trying to represent those who will lose their jobs and saving his political hide at the same time.

With that in mind, I found the following statement at his web site (here)…

“There are millions of hard-working Americans tonight who are worried about their jobs and providing for their families. And tonight, Congress failed them. Sen. Levin and I had a true, bi-partisan compromise on the table three weeks ago ready to be voted on, yet it never saw the light of day. The politics need to end before even more companies fall through the ice. Tonight, I am calling on President Bush to use the already-appropriated TARP funds to provide the oxygen needed while they restructure and become healthy and competitive. If we can use the funds for the financial industry, we can use them for the auto industry. We’ve said all along this money was for Main Street and not Wall Street. I think it’s about time we prove it. Time is running out.”
Sounds good for the most part, trying to get Dubya to loose the money here (who, shockingly, actually isn’t the bad guy for a change).

But when you read this story from The Hill dated today, you find this…

“[G]iven the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary – including use of the TARP program — to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino in a statement issued minutes before markets opened.

(New Hampshire Senate Repug Judd) Gregg said White House action would “set a new precedent that the next administration may use to aggressively assert industrial policy and expand government control into numerous specific businesses that are having troubles during these difficult times.”

But Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio), a key GOP supporter of the auto bailout, said it would have been very difficult for lawmakers to reach a deal on legislation. Voinovich preferred from the beginning that the White House directly assist the auto manufacturers, but understood his colleagues had reservations.

"Frankly speaking, my feeling early on was that they [the administration] should have dealt with it through the TARP but they didn't want to set a precedent," Voinovich said.
My, Voinovich sounds positively like a lion when you read the statement from his web site (“Congress failed them,” and “I am calling on President Bush to (give us oxygen),” more or less), but positively kittenish in The Hill article (“it would have been difficult to reach a deal,” and “I understand my colleagues have reservations”).

Senator, if there’s no “last-minute TARP miracle” here to save the automakers (and based on the reactions of Senate Repugs like Bob Corker of Tennessee in particular, who apparently view this as some kind of a political last stand given their justly ill fortunes in the 2006 and 2008 elections, they seem bound and determined to keep that from happening), your constituents aren’t going to blame Congress for the loss of their jobs. They’re going to blame you.

Take a look at this poll from Quinnipiac University, which tells us that…

U.S. Sen. George Voinovich faces a tougher 2010 fight for a third term, with 36 percent wanting to give him another term and 35 percent backing an unnamed Democratic candidate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Yes, it’s early, but 36 percent? Do you honestly believe you stand a chance of being re-elected with a number like that?

I’ll cut to it, Senator – if Al Franken pulls it off in Minnesota, that gives us 59 (and the utterly compromised Norm Coleman is suing to stop the recount; oh, we’ve DEFINITELY seen that movie before, haven’t we? And wasn’t it inevitable anyway?). You know the math as well as I do.

Join us, and that gives us 60. That puts an end to the games and the filibustering and the parliamentary antics of people like Corker, Chambliss, Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao, and the whole sorry Senate Repug lot. That puts us on the path of making this country whole again.

Given the Quinnipiac poll I noted earlier, I’ll put it in starker metaphorical (and electoral) terms:

Join, or die.

Update: Wow, George, you're a real tough guy, beating up your presidential namesake with the worst approval ratings on record (here); how about some of this scorn for some of your colleagues where it belongs?

Update 1/9/09: Maybe he got the message...??

“Seasons Bleatings” From The Gang of 18

(As in “Let’s give those financial services geniuses $700 billion in TARP funds with no oversight, but loan $14 billion to the automakers to keep people at work? Are you nuts? Who cares who we screw over – as long as we put it to the UAW!)

Here they are by name:

Bob Bennett, R-UT
Richard Burr, R-NC
Saxby Chambliss, R-GA
Tom Coburn, R-OK
Norm Coleman, R-MN
Bob Corker, R-TN
John Ensign, R-NV
Chuck Grassley, R-IA
Judd Gregg, R-NH
Orrin Hatch, R-UT
Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX
Johnny Isakson, R-GA
Jon Kyl, R-AZ
Mel Martinez, R-FL
John McCain, R-AZ
Mitch McConnell, R-KY
Lisa Murkowski, R-AK
John Thune, R-SD
(A great big hat tip to Jed L over at The Daily Kos for the pic; he has been all over this like the proverbial “white on rice” - Think Progress has more here.)

Update 1: More from Michael Moore here...

Update 2: Actually, Think Progress has the total at 20, when you consider the two Dems who said yes to TARP but no to the autoworkers, and that would be Max Baucus of Montana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas (here - and in an appropriate postscript, Jim "I Hear Voices" Bunning (R-Crazyland) was due to sign baseball cards at a show in Taylor, MI, but he got booted off the schedule for refusing to support the Big Three loan).

Update 3 12/18/08: Here's the complete list for the vote on HR 7005 (took awhile, but I got it):

NAYs —35
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Corker (R-TN)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)
You know, it would almost be worth it to see Reid lose in 2010 because of stuff like this.

Lots Of Idle Time Awaits For An Idle Person

(Definitely not trying to insult a member of Monty Python with that title, by the way…)

I meant to get to this earlier, but Parade Magazine last Sunday included a feature on what ex-presidents earn in their post-presidency here, in which we learn that…

Bill Clinton has earned $52 million in speaking fees since leaving office, and his memoirs brought in $23 million more. George H.W. Bush earns up to $100,000 per speech and was a paid adviser to the Carlyle Group. Jimmy Carter has made millions from his books.

But while publishers have been courting the First Lady, they’ve told President Bush to wait several years before trying to sell a book. He will have a steady source of income, though: Like all former Presidents, he’ll receive a pension (currently $191,000) and money to cover rent for an office, a small staff, and ancillary expenses—paid for with our tax dollars.

Given ex-Presidents’ high earning potential, should taxpayers foot their bills? Yes, says Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
The article goes on to tell us that the biggest expenditure is for secret service protection presidents receive for the rest of their lives; Carter gets the most, and I suppose that’s because he’s traveled more frequently than other former presidents – the fact that Dubya is getting anything is a disgrace; once again, he’s reaping a benefit for something he didn’t earn (and by the way, I have some stuff on Sabato that I want to get to later).

(And I will never begrudge Bill Clinton for any money he makes in his post-presidency, by the way, seeing as how he was practically bankrupted defending himself from the Ken Starr Inquisition during his term in office.)

So what exactly is an ex-executive pretender to do? Well, as noted here from September of last year, a “fantastic Freedom Institute” is in the works for Dubya to bask in the completely imagined “successes” of his term in office.

And it looks like the whole “Dubya complex,” if you will, is moving ahead; this Dallas Morning News story tells us…

Construction of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in University Park won't begin for about two years, but visiting dignitaries may start arriving next autumn for events the president and first lady are eager to launch, the head of the Bush foundation said this week.

Planning for the roughly $300 million presidential facility – which will include a museum, library and policy institute when it opens in summer 2013 – is well under way.

(Mark) Langdale (president of the George W. Bush Library Foundation), who joined the foundation in February, declined to discuss details about how the complex will be designed or situated on the tract of land, on the eastern edge of SMU at Central Expressway. Those are matters under consideration by the design committee, he said.

SMU officials said university facilities will be available to the Bush foundation before the library is built, just as they are to campus organizations.

"Obviously, the campus and our venues are part of what is offered to the foundation and to the library for their activities," said Brad Cheves, SMU's vice president for development and external affairs.
“Obviously” now perhaps, but a little over a year ago, we learned the following from here…

"The placement of the George W. Bush Library and the establishment of an Institute to promote the policies of this president at Southern Methodist University would be a tragedy," said Bishop William Boyd Grove of Charlestown, West Virginia. "The policies of the Bush administration are in direct conflict with the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church on issues of war and peace, civil liberties and human rights, care for the environment, and health care. SMU is a university of the church and is home to one of our outstanding theological seminaries. Its United Methodist identity and its moral authority would be seriously compromised were it to be identified with the policies of George W. Bush in this way."
And the post from last September included a petition to keep trying to make Southern Methodist University a “Bush-free zone,” but apparently that laudable effort was unsuccessful.

And before I forget, this is what I wanted to mention about Larry Sabato: he tells us here that the Swift Boat liars were telling the truth; he tells us here that it would be “a national disgrace” to continue “the Clinton/Bush dynasty” (another idiotic construct as far as I’m concerned; things were a hell of a lot better for me and everyone I know under Bill than under either of the Bushes); and he tells us here that the Democrats are the “mommy” party while the Repugs are the “daddy” party (given all of this, I think Sabato should be automatically disqualified from commenting any further on any matter of concern to the Democratic Party).

Finally, this post from Daily Kos diarist trystero includes some interesting facts on the post-presidential activities of our former chief executives, including Ulysses S. Grant (he wrote a critically acclaimed and financially successful memoir – eat your heart out, Dubya – and toured the world to improve our image abroad), the loathsome Andrew Johnson (who I believe was our only president to serve in the Senate after his term), and the esteemed Thomas Jefferson (who founded the University of Virginia).

As for Dubya, maybe he could try his hand at running an Arena Football League team or promoting an Extreme Boxing match, perhaps wandering through the audience to recreate that whimsical “looking for those pesky WMD” moment in the Oval Office that was such a laff riot at the White House Press Club Dinner way back when.

It would be unwise to expect much more out of him than that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Stuff

K.O. takes a shot at naming the 25 most financially corrupt politicians in our nation's history to see exactly how Rod Blagojevich matches up (this should be fun; sounds like Part 2 of 2 is coming tomorrow - I'll watch for it)...

…and by the way, this doesn’t have anything to do with politics, but it seems that a certain Dallas Cowboys wide receiver who once played for the Iggles is now mad at his quarterback (oh yeah, we know how this movie ends; sounds like “the bloom is off the rose” as compared to how it was when this video was filmed earlier this year, after Dallas lost a playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Giants)…

...Teeth ("Shooting Star"; yep, gotta dedicate this to T.O.)...

...and here's "Raging Rudolph" from "Mad T.V." to help us get into that holiday spirit ("you tawkin' to ME?").

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 2)

I'm just picking up where I left off here yesterday (and before I forget, I should note that I also posted over here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Bucks County Chief Operations Officer David Sanko here for locking newly-elected supervisor Diane Marseglia (from last March) out of her office the first day on the job, since she gave a reporter the combination to the commissioners’ office suite; so much for open government.

The “Girls Gone Wild” Citation Of The Year (Thus Far)

The New York chapter of NOW utterly loses its mind over Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama (here).

The “Yeah, You Both Know How To Prostitute Yourselves” Citation

Actor Jon Voight called Rudy Giuliani here “an angel sent from heaven to save New York” when stumping for him in Florida (here also – h/t Eschaton).

Media Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Harry Smith of The Early Show on CBS for hinting at an Obama assassination here.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Brent Caflisch, who lambasted an anti-Bush petition in Vermont and thought those members of the Select Board responsible should have their heads cut off here – this man is mentally ill (h/t BarbinMD at The Daily Kos).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Lamar Smith for this (Texas U.S. House wingnut - redundant?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

"Jello Jay" Rockefeller (here)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Steven Spielberg for pulling out of his advisory role on the Beijing Olympics in the dispute over China’s role in the Darfur crisis (here).

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Tom Scholz of Boston for telling one-time Repug presidential nominee Mike Huckabee to stop using the band’s song when he was campaigning (here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Pentagon general counsel William (“We’ve Got To Have Convictions”) Haynes (as The Nation notes, we once criticized the Soviet Union for stuff like this).

Dregs of The Year Nominee

Harold Ford, Jr. for endorsing Chris Shays in his re-election bid (Is it any wonder Ford lost in ’06? And by the way, Shays lost too).

Update 5/11/09: He remains an idiot (here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Bill Kristol (no particular reason – so many from which to choose, many of which are noted here)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

U.S. House Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) for telling off FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Jack Kingston of GA (so many reasons to nail this guy, but this is the latest; kudos to Dan Abrams – I’m sure Kingston will still get the chance to spout his garbage on “Real Time” despite this, though).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Pro golfer Tripp Isenhour for killing that hawk (here)

Do Gooder Of the Year Nominee

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) for urging Dubya to boycott the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing (here) - would that Commander Codpiece had actually listened to him

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Oliver North for blaming the Democrats for the bombing of a Times Square Army recruitment office here (many other reasons)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Congressman Steve King for claiming that “al Qaeda will be dancing in the streets” if Obama wins here (and he’s refusing to apologize – what a dick; by the way, he did and they didn’t)

Dregs of The Year Nominee

Geraldine Ferraro (and she left the HRC campaign, let’s not forget, because she thought Obama was trying to get Clinton through her and she wouldn’t let that happen…or something - here, here, and here).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Benefits Daniel Cooper, who said that attending a Bible study class was more important than doing his job (happy to emphasize “former” here).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Structural engineer Peter Kim of the PA Department of Transportation, who spotted an enormous crack in a support column beneath I-95 in Philadelphia while driving to go pick up a sausage sandwich; Kim took a picture of the column crack with his cell phone, contacted PennDOT and sent them the photo, and had the affected portion of the road closed to effect emergency repairs (God only knows what would have happened had Kim not been alert enough to see it - here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Deadeye Dick Cheney (so many reasons, but maybe comparing Iraq to the Civil War and Dubya to Lincoln – and on the 5th anniversary, no less – might be the topper here)

Crybaby Of The Year Nominee

James Carville, who drew an analogy between Bill Richardson supporting Obama and the most notorious betrayal in history here (i.e., Richardson endorsed Obama on Good Friday).

Racist Of The Year Nominee

Pat Buchanan (h/t HuffPo for this – what passes for an intelligent opinion on the Obama speech…still no denunciation of McCain for Hagee/Parsley from Buchanan or his conservative fellow travelers, and Pat’s “typical black hustler shakedown” remark was particularly odious; word to that, yo – dare we revisit The Sainted Ronnie R and Philadelphia, Mississippi again?).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

AG Michael Mukasey here (God, these people will be trying to score cheap political points with 9/11 until they’re dragged kicking and screaming from power – additional dishonorable Mukasey mention for refusing to appoint a task force to look into the subprime mortgage meltdown in June - gee, ya' think that might have helped head off the year-end collapse?; Abu G. did for Enron, which had a lot less impact).

And Glenzilla brings us Lee Hamilton’s response…

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

PA Governor Ed Rendell for praising Fox’s campaign coverage here (I NEVER thought I would include him in a category like this).

More later...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Stuff

Ever wonder what presidents actually do? Well, here's The Onion to explain it all...

President To Face Down Monster Attack, Own Demons In Action-Packed Schedule

...and as a tribute to Dennis Yost of the '60s pop group The Classics IV, here's a neat little fan video of "Spooky" by YouTuber JBauder1948.

Dubya, Meet John Gotti

This AP story tells us that Bushco’s EPA is going to produce a “most wanted list” for “environmental fugitives accused of assaulting nature.”

Why does this sound to me like it’s akin to Vladimir Putin decrying assaults against freedom of the press in Russia (re., journalists who criticize him end up shot to death execution style or falling out of the windows of high-rise buildings)…

A top EPA enforcement official said the people on the list represent the "brazen universe of people that are evading the law." Many face years in prison and some charges could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

"They are charged with environmental crimes and they should be brought before the criminal justice system and have their day in court," said Pete Rosenberg, a director in the agency's criminal enforcement division.

But Walter D. James III, an environmental attorney based in Grapevine, Texas, says the EPA is critically understaffed to investigate environmental crimes. While the budget for the division has increased by $11 million since 2000, there are still only 185 criminal investigators. Congress authorized the EPA to hire 200 investigators in 1990.

James said that while the list could prompt the public to turn people in, he questioned whether it would deter others from committing environmental crimes.

"It's like telling John Gotti he is a bad man," James said. "Is that going to matter to John Gotti?"
Uh, no.

And it’s also not going to matter to Dubya (who, as noted here, has cut funding for enforcement of environmentally related laws, dumped as much of what he could in that area to the states, and gutted as many regulations as possible pertaining to endangered species; my guess is that some of them became extinct, but I don't have numbers on that at the moment).

And just for the record, the Natural Resources Defense Council compiled “a comprehensive account of his administration's actions on environmental matters” here (it goes up to 2005; I suppose that, after that point, the offenses became so egregious and so large of an amount that it wasn’t possible to capture them all, and here are some of his particularly repugnant “midnight rule” changes related to his assault on our planet).

Happily, though, after 1/20/09, Bushco will be an “extinct” species also, even though its foul legacy on the environment (and everything else) will live on.

Update 12/11/08: As BarbinMD says, "the long goodbye continues" (here)...

Update 12/12/08: Still not gone yet (this could take awhile)...

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 1)

Yep, it's the time for "year-end" lists once again, and I'd better start getting this wrapup for 2008 together because I have a lot of stuff, and I hope you enjoy it; like last year, it will probably take me up to New Years Eve to get to it all, so here goes (and before I forget, I should note that I also posted over here).

(Probably unacknowledged hat tips to Atrios, Think Progress, The Daily Kos, and others all over the place here - sorry about that).

Corporate Media Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Richard Cohen (here - Everybody else can fend for themselves, but before the Rielle Hunter blowup, it should be noted that John Edwards reported the cost of the infamous haircut on an FEC filing; he didn’t “lie” about it.)

Most Annoying Electoral Narrative

Voting against Hillary to defeat the “Bush/Clinton dynasty” - I should note that this is dated from about a year ago)…there were plenty of good reasons to vote against Hillary Clinton and plenty of bad ones also, but Bush 41 and (especially) 43 didn’t govern like 42 in any way, shape or form; can we actually be clear about that for a change?

Presidential Candidate Meltdown of 2008

Duncan Hunter (here)

Latest “Pray To God My Head Doesn’t Explode” Idiotic Freeper Narrative

Post-abortive men (here)

Journalistic Hack Of The Year (So Far)

Snitchens (here...h/t Thers at Eschaton)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright for dismissing a lawsuit by journalists seeking access to executions (here)

More Stupid Pundit "Campaign '08" Nonsense

Tweety on Hillary’s primary win in New Hampshire (and this guy wants to run as a Dem for the U.S. Senate from PA?)

Update: I know the prior video wasn't available any more, but this one is - aaaarrgghhh!!!

Molly Ivors responds with this fine post from a similar episode inflicted by Maureen Dowd.

…as does Jamison Foser of Media Matters (here)...

…and Matthews eventually apologized.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Lawrence O’Donnell (Jane Smiley tells us why here - O'Donnell ended up being right in a way, but what he said still showed no class.)

Journalistic Hack Of The Year Nominee

Dan Balz of WaPo for this (what Attaturk sez).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Bob Johnson (here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) for this; she would get cited later in the year for more stupidity which very nearly cost her her seat.

The “1984 Got Here 24 Years Late” Citation

(From here, in which Microsoft submitted a patent application in the US for a “unique monitoring system” that could link workers to their computers; leave it to Gates to come up with something like this, and I don't mean that as a compliment)

Strikeout Of The Year

Congress investigating MLB and the whole steroids thing (here, including Miguel Tejada; with the many, many important issues out there, why on earth did they ever waste time with this - and this is the Dem-controlled 110th, so I can't blame this on the Repug 109th).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Dave Seanor, the editor of Golfweek who approved a cover for the magazine with a noose on it in response to the disciplining of TV analyst Kelly Tilghman for her “lynching” remark concerning Tiger Woods ( all that?).

The thing was about to die out, but Seanor decided to keep it alive anyway. And he was sacked for it.

The “But Pro-Scorched Earth Is OK” Citation

To Choteau schools (Montana) Superintendent Kevin St. John, who cancelled a speech that was to be given to high school students by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and University of Montana scientist Steve Running on climate change because it would be “anti-agriculture” (here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Fareed “The (Iraq) War Has Largely Ended” Zakaria ( more free passes from yours truly for this guy)

Update 12/11/08: Zakaria continues to be right, as you can see.

Clueless Alma Mater Of The Year

Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia (here - it hurts).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Thomas Warziniack (here, for still wanting to stay in this country despite this Bushco garbage).

The “But Any Method Of Torture Imaginable Re-enacted on ‘24’ Is OK” Citation

The FCC proposed a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC affiliate television stations for "multiple, close-up views of (a) woman's ‘nude buttocks’” on a 2003 episode of “NYPD Blue” here.

More later...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Stuff

I gotta tell ya' that K.O. had a hell of a smackdown tonight in response to Dubya and the upbeat talking points that he's told his minions to promulgate throughout our corporate media; the problem is that the clip is 4:51, but you can only view :38 of it before it shuts off...heckuva job, MSNBC!

So in the meantime...

...Mason Proper ("Lock And Key"; why do I have a feeling that this video is going to give me nightmares?)...

...OK, I can't hold back on the holiday stuff any more; here's "The 12 Pains Of Christmas" (formerly viewable by clicking the wreath on the home page; I'll be changing those links from time to time, and I just did so a minute ago).

The CTBT Status For Dana “Bombs Away” Perino

(And by the way, I also posted over here.)

From yesterday’s White House press briefing (which, among other moments of fluffery, recalled the supposed chants of “four more years” with Commander Codpiece in attendance at the Army-Navy game)…

Q The French are calling for a new universal test moratorium -- nuclear test moratorium, and dismantling nuclear testing grounds. Do you have any response?

MS. PERINO: I haven't heard that so I'll have to decline to comment on that.
Wow – she was actually honest (clueless, but honest).

As a response, I should note the following from this Times of India story today…

The European Union is proposing new measures to halt the spread of nuclear weapons, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country holds the bloc's rotating presidency until the end of the year, said on Monday.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made public on Monday, Sarkozy said the 27-nation bloc had proposed a series of initiatives at this year's UN General Assembly aimed at furthering the cause of nuclear disarmament.

"The United Nations have an important role to play in the debate on disarmament. Europe wants to play an important role," Sarkozy said in his letter, dated Dec. 5.

Listing the EU's proposed measures, Sarkozy said one was: "The opening without delay and without preconditions of negotiations on a treaty forbidding the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, as well as the implementation of an immediate moratorium on the production of these materials."
I’m sure Sarkozy knows this, but the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty has been signed by the U.S., but it has not been ratified (the U.S. and China are under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but other nuclear states including Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan fall outside the NPT…they also have not ratified the CTBT – and yes, Iran is one of the countries that has signed also). I don't see a need to negotiate a new treaty when the framework for one already exists.

The Wikipedia article tells us that the CTBT has built-in safeguards to protect existing U.S. nuclear stockpiles, and this tells us that, if we were to ratify the treaty, China, India and Pakistan would likely follow (the story also suggests that both Iran and Israel should halt nuclear enrichment; I know what the chances are of that happening, but I think it’s a good idea).

I would ask that President-Elect Obama add the issue of ratifying the CTBT to his loooooong list of action items after the grownups return to the White House next January 21st.

"Flyboy Rod" Crashes Big Time

Wow, what a story we have unfolding here concerning Dem Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, where he is busted for demanding a tribute to place a candidate preferred by President-Elect Barack Obama in Obama’s former Senate seat (or even deciding to place himself).

Bad words and egomania lie ahead, cousins…

By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President- elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying....And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.” Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”
Well, since Obama didn’t exactly fall off the turnip truck yesterday, this is what happened…

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is "struggling" financially and does "not want to be Governor for the next two years." ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give this "motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him." ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will put "[Senate Candidate 4]" in the Senate "before I just give fucking [Senate Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don't get anything."

Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them."
Goodness gracious, what a potty mouth! Sounds like it’s time for another blogger ethics panel.

But of course, this is in character for someone who racked up enough unnecessary frequent flyer miles to pay an entire teacher’s salary for a year, and then some probably, as noted here.

And by the way, before he was elected governor, he was the only Democrat in the Illinois U.S. House delegation to vote in favor of the Iraq war.

I realize this complicates things enormously concerning the matter of filling Obama’s Senate seat, but if Blagojevich is dirty, then he doesn’t deserve cover from me or anyone else.

And won't it be hilarious watching the Repugs trying to link Obama to this train wreck.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday Stuff

I haven't featured "The Pap Attack" in a little while, but here's Mike P.'s take on the masquerade currently playing out on Capitol Hill involving the autoworkers (nice to see some jazzed-up production values)...

...and God bless Ben Carter for his testimony (more information is here; Halliburton is a curse word as far as I'm concerned)...

...and K.O. brings us more Bush scandals (Bank of America ends up causing the current sit-in at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago - BOA are scumwads; five Blackwater cretins are formally charged in the massacre of civilians in Iraq last year; and Stephen Hadley loses what's left of his mind over this New York Times editorial yesterday which was absolutely spot-on)...

...Elton John ("Empty Garden - Hey Hey Johnny").

Take The Boffo Billo Right-Wing Quisling Quiz!

(By the way, I also posted over here.)

Why lookee here! It seems that the most-high pontificator against rampant secularism and “the homosexual agenda” (whatever on earth that is, and I’ve never heard a good explanation, by the way) has brought us a “holiday” quiz (hey now, you mean it’s not called a “Christmas” quiz, Bill? What a sellout you are!).

And if you take the quiz, why, you’ve automatically entered yourself into a contest to win a copy of Orally’s book, “A Bold, Fresh Piece Of Insanity,” or something (signed, of course).

Well, since Billo has brought us 10 questions to answer in the spirit of the season, I think it’s only fair that I present 10 questions to answer about Falafel Boy on other matters as well, so here they are…

1) Whose electoral victory did Billo falsely certify in the previous election?

a) Ted Stevens
b) John McCain
c) Norm Coleman
d) Elizabeth Dole
Answer here:

2) Billo claimed that, if Prop 8 had not been passed in California, then “a man could have (multiple) wives,” even though the state Supreme Court said he was wrong. What was the number of wives Orally claimed a man could have without Prop 8?

a) 5
b) 27
c) 162
d) 4,328
Answer here:

3) Complete the following sentence from Billo: “If (Hillary Clinton) wins (the presidency)…my (BLANK) are loaded.”

a) Talking points
b) Friends
c) Testicles
d) Guns
Answer here:

4) Who did Billo say John McCain was not associated with in the prior campaign, even though McCain admitted that Orally was wrong?

a) The Easter Bunny
b) G. Gordon Liddy
c) Andrea Mackris
d) Rod Parsley
Answer here:

5) Billo falsely claimed that President-Elect Obama, when he served as a U.S. senator from Illinois, did not vote to condemn attacks on which two figures?

a) Rush Limbaugh and Naomi Klein
b) Dick Cheney and David Addington
c) Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
d) John Kerry and Gen. David Petraeus
Answer here:

6) To which tyrant did Billo once compare U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

a) Adolf Hitler
b) Yosemite Sam
c) Roger Ailes
d) George W. Bush
Answer here:

7) To what did Billo and other conservatives baselessly claim as the reason for this year’s spike in home foreclosures?

a) The presidential electoral victory of Barack Obama
b) The departure of Susan Lucci from “Dancing With The Stars”
c) The rumored $70-plus an hour salary by GM assembly line workers
d) The Community Reinvestment Act
Answer here:

8) When Billo left CBS News (true!) over a dispute concerning uncredited use of riot footage during the Falkland Islands war in 1982, he wrote a novel in which his character of a reporter exacted vengeance by what means?

a) Verbally abusing on air every single member of the national Democratic Party
b) A series of graphically described murders
c) Losing the coveted 25-54 demographic of his TV talk show to Keith Olbermann
d) Applying an Egyptian or Sudanese fried ball or pastry to female genitalia
Answer here: (hover over link if you don’t have time to read the article)

9) What disaster reported this year was originally dubbed by Billo as “hype”?

a) Sarah Palin’s $150,000 GOP-financed wardrobe
b) The infamous “lime-green” backdrop in front of which John McCain spoke during the campaign
c) Hurricane Ike
d) Dubya’s proclamation of “welcome to my hanging” during the recent unveiling of his presidential portrait
Answer here:

And finally…

10) Which quote is directly attributable to Billo?

a) “It is not a stretch to say that MoveOn is the new Klan.”
b) “Birth control is not a medical condition. It is a choice.”
c) "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels."
d) All of the above
Answer? Do you really need me to tell you?

And I’m sure we can look forward to next week’s holiday feature from Parade, given this terrible lapse of editorial judgment, and that would be the essay “Keeping Christ in Christmas” by Rick Santorum.

I Think The Honeymoon Just Ended

I was willing to give President-Elect Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt when he nominated Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary (though, as Frank Rich pointed out in the New York Times yesterday, it’s a little disconcerting that both Geithner and Larry Summers served in the Treasury Department under President Clinton, where they helped repeal the Glass-Steagall Act and weaken financial oversight – Summers is also a senior Obama economic advisor; Treasury was run by Robert Rubin back then, whose “brilliant” ledership subsequent to his Clinton work experience has led to the current calamitous state of Citigroup, where 52,000 employees have currently lost their jobs despite the fact that Rubin has claimed approximately $115 million in salary since 1999).

I was also willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt when he asked Robert Gates to stay on as defense secretary, primarily because, though he is a Repug through and through, Gates has not acted as a typical neocon in his almost-two-year stint running the Pentagon, and I can see that continuity would be a good thing (please allow me to paraphrase The Rude Pundit who, I think, correctly surmised that true agents of change at this moment would be those who have thus far enforced the status quo in many cases).

I will also admit that I missed the boat on the situation with John Brennan, who was tapped by Obama as transition chief for intelligence policy before he was rightly drummed out of that role by Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher and others (for reasons Greenwald provides here).

But I’m sorry; I absolutely cannot remain silent in the face of this post (h/t Atrios) based on speculation from U.S. News that Obama might ask Michael Hayden “to stay on for awhile” as the head of the CIA.

As noted here, Hayden did not want to issue a report claiming that former CIA Director George Tenet did not marshal his agency's resources to respond to the recognized threat posed by al-Qaeda before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Hayden also defended the CIA’s decision to destroy “at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two al-Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody” (here).

And he has also been a cheerleader for Bushco’s warrantless surveillance (here).

Just because VP-elect Joe Biden voted to confirm Hayden (here, with Snarlin' Arlen actually doing the right thing for a change), that doesn’t mean that he’s qualified to serve once more, assuming he was ever qualified for the job at all.

Update 12/9/08: More from Glenzilla here (h/t Jay Ackroyd at Eschaton)...