Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Stuff

And now, a seasonal public service message from Santa and the gang...

...and here's a nice cover of The Kinks' "Father Christmas" by OK Go (not used to seeing those guys without those damn treadmills).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Stuff

I know Rick Warren is the topic du jour, and rightly so, and a lot of this has been covered already, but I still thought this was a good takedown by Cenk Uygur...

...and as CNN tells us here, Mark Felt ("Deep Throat" in "All The President's Men") died recently; though he was a paradox, listening to criticism of him from G. Gordon Liddy and Charles Colson is hilarious...

...seasons stuff: a sweet little cover of the Ventures' version of "Sleigh Ride" from YouTuber mccabbo; don't know anything about the band, but nice work here...

...and "Step Into Christmas" by Elton John (wonder if Sir Elton has ever met Rick Warren...just a thought).

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 4)

Once more, prior related posts are here, here, and here (and I posted over here as well).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Redlasso Inc. of King of Prussia, PA in these parts; the company stated here (registration required) that it “will not acquiesce to several broadcasters’ request that it cease and desist in providing their video content over its Web site” (awesome!)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

A certain Richard Bruce Cheney for this (see you in Charleston, “Dick”...also for this)

Update 12/22/08: And this...and this...and this (I could be here all day).

Update 12/23/08: And this (better take a number and sit down people; we could be here for a little while)...

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Syndicated pundit Kathleen Parker (so many reasons, but this is probably the most notorious; this book of hers sounds like a monstrous slaughter of trees and just about nothing else – h/t Atrios)…

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy activist and leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, as well as a noted prisoner of conscience and advocate of nonviolent resistance. As Wikipedia tells us, she is a past winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; the ruling junta in Myanmar has kept her under house arrest for over 13 years (highlighting her cause is one of the few good things Dubya has actually done).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

E.D. Hill of Faux News for the utterly brainless "terrorist fist jab" dustup here (h/t Atrios), and more is here (awww, bad luck E.D.).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Dem U.S. House Rep Dennis Kucinich for introducing 35 articles of impeachment against Dubya here (they were "tabled" with no further action by Nancy Pelosi, as you might expect)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Tom (“Unless Obama Proves Me Wrong, He’s A Marxist”) DeLay here

Dregs Of The Year Nominees

McCain campaign contributor Clayton Williams here, who apparently thinks that rape is humorous; sick, as is that remark about Ann Richards - scumbag (dishonorable mention to the McCain campaign for keeping his money).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Fred Hobbs, a Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee member representing part of the district of Democratic congressman Lincoln Davis, explaining that neither he nor Davis will endorse Obama because he may be “terrorist connected” here.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, who criticized Major League Baseball’s National League here because his star pitcher, Chien-Ming Wang, hurt his foot (see, Steinbrenner is mad because the National League in Major League Baseball doesn’t have the “designated hitter” for the pitcher as the American League does; if they did, his star would not have injured himself running the bases).

All together now – WAAAAHHHH!!!!!

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt, who will be allowed to keep his $800,000 performance bonus from last year, even though McClatchy stock has lost 71% of its value and the company has announced plans to lay off 1,400 employees, as noted here (some “performance”!).

Dregs of The Year Nominee

Flush Limbore (only a OxyContin-addicted, bigoted individual could come up with this, which explains it perfectly as far as I’m concerned)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona for (temporarily) blocking the 13-week extension of unemployment benefits in the Senate here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Illinois Repug Congressman Mark Kirk for saying we should have a “shoot on sight” policy concerning Obama here (and no, I’m no longer going to buy the “Oh, sorry…I meant to say Osama” excuse; the statute of limitations, if you will, expired for me on that one long ago).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Esther Slater McDonald, a “political appointee at the Justice Department, (who) wrote disparaging statements about the candidates' liberal and Democratic Party affiliations on the applications she reviewed and ... voted to deselect candidates on that basis," according to a report by Inspector General Glenn Fine (here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominees

Ralph Nader here (let’s see; he’s a deadbeat in that he owes PA court costs since he lost the challenge to the signatures on his ballot petition in ’04, and now he’s accusing Obama of trying to “talk white?”).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Former Sixers star guard Aaron McKie here for using the “I’m a former NBA player and Philly is a dangerous place” defense and lying while trying to purchase two handguns, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson and a 9mm Ruger (he lives in a Narbeth French colonial and has a history of domestic abuse against the mother of his daughter - honorable mention for doing his part to make the Belfield Rec Center in Philly’s Olney section a good place for the kids, though)

Do Gooder Of The Year

Paris Hilton for her donation to L.A. Children’s Hospital here (fair is fair)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Massachusetts here, for telling Cheney’s thug lawyer David Addington that he was “glad” that Addington could be identified by al Qaeda in what CNN described as “a contentious hearing” (I don’t care what the Repugs said in response; Addington deserves that treatment at the very least for the stuff noted here and more).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Hugh Hewitt, for saying an Obama election would cause a terrorist attack here (to say that I got sick of hearing this garbage through the election is an understatement, and I know I wasn't alone on that)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Human cockroach Grover Norquist, describing Barack Obama as “John Kerry with a tan” here (and for this also)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Dick Heller, the guy who filed the lawsuit against Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban that ultimately got it overturned here (illegal gun traffickers, psychologists/psychiatrists providing counseling for victims’ families and friends, and funeral directors across the country thank you for what undoubtedly will be increased business as a result – if you didn’t like the damn gun ban, here’s what you could have done instead: MOVED OUT OF D.C.!).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former Judge Advocate General (JAG) Kyndra Miller Rotunda, who described GITMO to Sean Hannity of Fox Noise here as “really more like a Boy Scout camp than it is a prison camp.”

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

NJ Repug House Rep Chris Smith for encouraging Dubya not to go to the Beijing Olympics here (a fruitless gesture, but a good try – I missed a bunch of other stuff on Smith, though, that I tried to make up for here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Dubya, for deciding to attend the opening Olympic ceremonies in Beijing anyway here (many other reasons, but this will do for now).

Update 12/25/08: Here's another reason.

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

L.F. Eason, a 29-year veteran of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, who “instructed his staff at a small Raleigh lab not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday” to honor the late senator Jesse Helms.

As a result, Eason’s superiors gave him the choice of lowering the flags or being forced to retire. To his credit, he chose the latter (here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

“Family values” Repug Troy King of Alabama, who professes to Hate Teh Gay but was busted having Big Gay Sex with his boy toy, and by his wife no less (here)

(Or, as a C&L commenter wittily observed, does this mean King is a Queen?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Phil Gramm for his “whining Americans” nonsense here (dishonorable mentions to George Will and Fred Barnes for agreeing with him, as well as Sean Inanity – more on Will in December)

Dregs Of The Year (Decade? Millennia?) Nominee

Wingnut Fred Phelps (of “God Hates Fags” infamy) here for protesting Tony Snow at the man’s funeral (I’m a bit fed up with people referring to him as a “preacher,” conferring some benevolence he doesn’t deserve)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Ron Fournier of the AP, for telling Karl Rove to “keep up the fight” here (at this moment, Rove has refused twice to honor subpoenas from Congress)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Karl Rove (speaking of the devil): so many reasons, but one is criticizing the New York Times for supposedly outing a CIA agent here, even though the individual in question never worked undercover, and the names of other agents who worked against al Qaeda have been published (hmmm, outing a CIA agent – why does that ring a bell; rhymes with “name,” as I recall).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Former North Carolina Repug Senator Elizabeth Dole, who tried to get an AIDS funding bill named after Jesse Helms, one of the most notorious homophobes this country has ever seen (here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Mike Meehan, a St. Cloud, Florida businessman, who paid for billboards with a message for people not to vote for Democrats that displayed the burning World Trade Center twin towers here (nice freaking guy)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Monica Goodling, who passed over an experienced counterterrorism prosecutor at the Department of Justice because his wife was a Democrat here (Repugs keeping us safe and secure as always…it will truly be a miracle if nothing else befalls us before Dubya and his gang depart at long last – h/t Atrios).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Tigereye Design of Ohio for “accidentally” placing the face of Senator Wide Stance on an Obama button in which he endorses Dem Larry LaRocco of Idaho here (at least they got the name right – and “a wide mouse pointer arrow” is to blame? Sorry, too close to parody)

More later...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Stuff

Memo to MSNBC - way to screw up your videos by attaching a lot of garbage code making them completely unable to be embedded; no K.O., no Rachel Maddow...nobody! Heckuva job, people!

Meanwhile, based on this, it seems that these people will be vindicated (assuming they all voted for Al Franken, and I assume at least most of them did - congratulations!...but for some Georgia bigots, the Dems would have the Senate, and as far as I'm concerned, that's even more reason to lean on this guy - I'm sure, though, that Coleman will sue, but maybe the Franken result can be certified in the meantime; let's put "the shoe on the OTHER foot" as opposed to FLA in November 2000)...

..."The Pap Attack" brings us the thoroughly depressing story of "The GOP's Tax Holiday Hoax"...

...seasonal stuff again: here's "Christmas At The Zoo" by The Flaming Lips...

...and "Mary's Boy Child" by Harry Belafonte; I think the still photos are from the 1978 film "Jesus of Nazareth" by Franco Zeffirelli.

Let's Talk Health Care, Shall We?

It turns out that Dr. Julie Gerberding (pictured) of the Centers for Disease Control wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Murdoch Street Journal today, telling us, among other things, that…

Right now, 75% of our current health expenditures target treatment for preventable conditions caused by tobacco use, poor diet and inactivity, alcohol and drug use, motor-vehicle crashes, firearms and other risks. It's time to broaden our conversation about reform to include the entire health system.
I actually agree with a good bit of that (always more we can do when it comes to prevention), and I think, to further “broaden our conversation,” we should ask Dr. Gerberding why top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received premium bonuses in recent years at the expense of scientists and others who perform much of the agency's scientific work (here).

And let’s also “broaden our conversation” to ask Gerberding why she refused to extend the six-year term of Dr. John Howard, in charge of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health under Gerberding’s CDC, for 192 more days, particularly when Dr. Howard was so widely respected (apparently rankling Gerberding and HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt because Howard advocated for those EMT workers at Ground Zero - here).

And I think this is more information we can use to “broaden our conversation,” in particular…

When the United States is compared with other industrialized countries on major markers of health, we rank 31st in life expectancy and 36th in infant mortality. These statistics are all the more disturbing given that we score first in healthcare expenditure. According to the Commonwealth Fund National Scorecard on US Health System Performance for 2005-2006,[1] the US healthcare expenditures as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) are nearly double those of other countries. So what do we get for all of this money?

• The United States ranks last among 6 industrialized nations for the highest percentage of adults who went to the emergency department in the past 2 years for conditions that could have been treated by a primary care physician;

• The United States ranks 16th out of 19 industrialized countries for mortality before age 75 that is potentially preventable with timely and appropriate medical care; and

• The United States has the highest percentage of national healthcare expenditures spent on health administration and insurance among 11 major countries, including: the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, and Australia.
(I realize some of this may fall outside Dr. Gerberding's purview, but it should still be noted - also, registration is required for the medscape link...sorry.)

Fortunately, I’m quite sure that incoming HHS Secretary (pending confirmation) Tom Daschle is quite aware of these matters (and why Dr. Gerberding didn’t resign out of principle given this episode is something that utterly baffles me).

Awaiting The Death Knell

From Dana Perino’s press charade today here concerning the automaker loan (and I also posted over here)…

Q Let me just ask two things quickly. Do you think the week will end without a decision? And, two -- this may have been asked before, so forgive me if it's a repeat -- but when you say "disorderly collapse," can you explain what that means? Does that mean that there's some kind of collapse that's okay, but a certain other kind of one is not?

MS. PERINO: By that I mean a disorderly collapse would be something very chaotic that is a shock to the system. There's an orderly way to do bankruptcies that provides for more of a soft landing -- I think that's what we would be talking about. That would be one of the options. I'm not saying that that is necessarily what would be announced.

And you asked if it would be before the end of the week. I just -- I can't tell you right now, but I can tell you we're nearing a conclusion and we're very close.

Q A structured bankruptcy, as opposed to a disorderly collapse, would involve the cooperation of the unions, the companies, various other stakeholders, presumably including some of the equity holders, and might take longer to arrange. Is that why this is taking so long?

MS. PERINO: That is one of the considerations that we're taking into account. If you remember, the legislation that we supported going back the past several weeks was one in that we said that all the stakeholders, all the ones that you listed, were going to have to come to the table and be willing to make some really tough decisions and concessions on their part in order to become viable companies in the future and to qualify for any taxpayer assistance, if there was going to be any.
Does anybody out there know the difference between an “orderly” bankruptcy and a “disorderly” bankruptcy (and if you think this is an inconsequential matter, I should tell you that I just Googled “automaker,” “orderly,” and “bankruptcy” and received about 88,000 hits, mostly from today).

This is all part of this ridiculous fan dance being performed by our outgoing cabal of crooks in order to protect “some of the equity holders” as noted in the extremely leading (and revealing, I thought) question posed above (for which Perino only needed to pretty much repeat it with only slightly different sounding words; also, I don’t know any “stakeholder” here that is being asked to give up a damn thing except the UAW).

With the notion of “orderly bankruptcy” put out there in our media (wondering where the term originated since I haven’t tracked it down yet; I may start with the RNC, Frank Luntz or Drudge and see what happens), Bushco now has the cover they need in the all-but-inevitable collapse of at least one and maybe two of the automakers (I think Ford will be OK for the most part, but GM is going to go through the wringer, and I think Chrysler is toast). They can claim that any last-minute supposed actions were necessitated by the failure of Congress to do anything about the matter (because primarily of Repug obstruction, though they were able to take enough chicken Dems along with them for the ride, as usual), though the administration sadly fell short (sigh – of course, maybe a million or more people in automaker-dependent jobs would end up out of work, but Bushco is almost done and those people mostly aren’t going to vote Republican anyway).

Do you want to know what a real leader would do here, as opposed to Dubya? This person would issue an executive order ensuring that the automakers had a portion of the TARP funds to continue operation, that’s what (something a questioner actually asked Perino today).

For some background, I thought this was a good article by a man named David Radtke, whose dad is a UAW member so vilified by the Senate Repugs in particular (I’m not aware of any leftist elitism against UAW members, I must point out...maybe I just haven't seen it). And though this post by David Sirota ties back to TARP, he notes that the whole campaign by Bushco to obtain the $700 billion for the financial services numbskulls is an example of the “shock doctrine” diagnosed by Naomi Klein in her latest book (great recent profile of her in The New Yorker, by the way) – I think the antics by the whole media-political-industrial complex concerning the automaker loan is the shock doctrine in reverse, you might say, in its obsession with blaming the UAW above all others, alleging that THEY are the problem instead of the years-long manufacture of gas-guzzling, poor-performing vehicles exacerbated by the credit crisis (and I thought this related post was good also).

And if our economy is maimed any further by throwing people out of their jobs who would otherwise contribute to it by supporting the automotive industry working as parts vendors or running auto repair facilities, all in the name of cushioning the “pay no price, bear no burden” crowd who will have time to transfer their holdings or outright liquidate as many related assets as possible while our media dithers like this…well, I see nothing “orderly” about that in any way, shape or form.

Update 12/19/08: "Still light on details" indeed, but progress for now (here - and I'm sorry, but to me, there's more than a bit of a symantic difference when incorrectly referring to this as a "bailout" when we're talking about money that had already been negotiated for other purposes)...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Stuff

I'll bet you didn't know what other tricks B-Rod pulled to try and sell Obama's Senate seat, did you? Well...

...seasonal stuff again: here's an "oldie but a goodie" as they say, from that era of lovable mop-tops, Dippity-Do and TV "spy" dramas...

...I embedded a pretty punky, messed up version of this song a couple of days ago, which is OK, but here's a better version of "White Christmas" with a nice slide show accompanied by a performance from Otis Redding...

...The Dandy Warhols ("The Little Drummer Boy"; dude, either put on some clothes or join a gym, OK?).

A Warren Reminder (updates)

I just wanted to take note for those who are quite rightly piling on President-Elect Barack Obama (here, here, and here) for allowing Rick Warren to offer a prayer at the inauguration (remember Donnie McClurkin?) that the Saddleback Church founder also awarded Dubya the "International Medal of Peace" here (which, of course, assumes that Dubya aided two million people living with HIV/AIDS, which isn't even a wash when you consider the refugee crisis spawned by his war of choice in Iraq that has claimed at least two million and probably more by now).

(Also, Atrios suggested that, for the benefit of those attending the inaugural, an appropriate sign of protest would be to turn your backs on Warren as he offers his prayer - everyone in the nation should do the same when watching Warren on TV as well.)

(Also again, I realize this is part of the "payback" for Warren's support during the election, but I think, like FISA, some matters transcend political calculation, and this is one such matter.)

Update 1 12/18/08: But if Warren had his way, they'd receive water and bread, as it were, if they tried to marry, right? Pompous ass (here)...

Update 2 12/18/08: Uh, yep.

Update 3 12/18/08: Kudos to Barney Frank, a person with a perspective on this issue shared by very few others in public life, for this.

Update 4 12/19/08: Kudos again to Rachel Maddow for this (I'd embed the video, but again, thanks to MSNBC)...

Update 5 12/19/08: Given this, I'm a bit surprised at myself for not picking up on Warren's shocking homophobia earlier.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Stuff

Here's Muntadhar Al-Zaydi in action once more, for the benefit of the six people on this earth who haven't seen this clip; Dennis of the OOIBC has a good post here, and to sign a petition, click here...

...the actor playing Dubya doesn't look much like him, but he does have the voice down somewhat - yep, he's going to be a pissant to the very end (here)...

Update 12/17/08: He has a soul? Color me shocked! (here)

...seasonal stuff now: here's Frank Sinatra singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," featuring Cary Grant in "The Bishop's Wife," "Room For One More," "Indiscreet," "In Name Only," "Penny Serenade," and "Night and Day"...

...and from the sublime to the ridiculous we go; here's "Song Of Joy" by The Burping Snowmen (I think I need a "bicarb" too, actually).

"Auditioning" For A Fall?

This AP story tells us that the Screen Actor’s Guild in Hollywood is contemplating a strike, with some members asking the Guild in its entirety to oppose such a move (including Tobey Maguire, George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, and Edward Norton; I thought I read somewhere that Holly Hunter and Mel Gibson were in favor of it).

No, I am not trying to turn this site into “HuffPo 2”; I ultimately don’t care whether SAG walks or not, though I cannot imagine how they would expect to generate an ounce of sympathy from your humble narrator or anyone else given our woeful economy. And no, I don’t know what their issues are or how legitimate they may be.

I would just like to point out a couple of things here. First, the last time there was a strike by anyone in the entertainment industry, it was the screenwriters, and I cannot tell you how many bloody posts I read from people about it (mainly over the matter of how much of a cut they were supposed to get for distributing their content over the Internet and other online media, as well as other stuff I don’t care much about). And though I respect Bill Maher, just remember the next time you see him on TV that he didn’t honor their picket line (he tried to compensate for the absence of his writers with that “Blogga Please!” segment on “Real Time,” which was a joke – an unfunny one, I mean).

The second thing I’d like to point out is that I wish I’d seen a fraction of the coverage that the screenwriters received devoted to other union-related struggles in this country. For example, this tells us about the workers at the Smithfield Packing Slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, North Carolina, who recently culminated a 15-year struggle by voting to form a union (pictured).

I didn’t see anyone coming to their side in the form of multiple blog posts at high profile web sites, to say nothing of actually visiting them to march in support or aid in organizing in any way at all (I don’t know if Martin Sheen did or not, but if anyone from Tinsel town would have done it, he would). I know they contacted Paula Deen of The Food Network, who basically blew them off (something to remember the next time you hear her hawking a pecan pie recipe or something with that ol’ draaaawl o’hers – I noted this in “Do-Gooders and Dregs” last year, and I’m sure I could have found more ways to publicize their efforts also).

So go ahead and do what you’re going to do, SAG. I would only ask that some of my blogging brethren please spare me the minutiae of profit-sharing grievances and matters of “artistic control” (or whatever) if the Guild’s members decide upon a work stoppage.

I don’t have the luxury they do (may have?) to turn down work. Besides, CGI is ultimately cheaper anyway.

And speaking of famous people (sort of the nexus between celebirty and politics here), I agree with my "A" list "betters" on the matter of Caroline Kennedy possibly taking over for Hillary Clinton; I respect her personally, but there are many other better candidates (and I'm sorry, but given her prior Obama support, this reeks of payback).

Update: Oh, dear me...

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 3)

Once more, prior related posts are here and here (and before I forget, I should note that I posted over here as well - also, there will be no posting tomorrow anywhere).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

DNI Mike (“Ooga Booga!”) McConnell for alleging that “some” Senators “say we shouldn't have an Intelligence Community,” and “(believe) the President of the United States violated the process, spied on Americans, should be impeached and should go to jail” (I and other dirty, filthy unkempt liberal bloggers have said that, but no one in the U.S. Senate – kudos to Russ Feingold for calling out McConnell over it - here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Patrick McHenry for calling one of our soldiers in Iraq “a two-bit security guard” because he wouldn’t let McHenry go to the gym in the Green Zone (h/t Atrios for this - I remembered this one; McHenry apologized, as well he should)…

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles for making retired police officer Arno Herwerth get rid of his license plate reading GETOSAMA because the DMV thought it was offensive (here, thus resulting in lawsuits for everybody – h/t to the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression; don’t know anything else about the group).

(By the way, in the North Country Gazette link, take a look at all the lawsuits filed by former NYC mayor and presidential aspirant Rudy 9iu11ani - a dozen total, and he only won one of them.)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Stephen Hadley, for calling the question of whether or not Dubya should attend the opening Olympic ceremonies in Beijing a “red herring” here; typical Bushco – come up with the wrong answer and insult as many people as possible in the process (in this case, Gordon Brown of the UK, Sarkozy, Merkel, etc. – if I can find a list of everyone who ended up boycotting the opening ceremonies, I'll post it here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Geoff Davis (no lie) from ol’ Kentucky for referring to Barack Obama as “boy” here (he later apologized)

Stupids Of The Year Nominees

Author David Levy and Glenn (“Instapunkit”) Reynolds for conjuring up images of sex with robots here

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia here, for taking on Flush Limbore over his call for his Repug, knuckle-dragging listeners to change their party affiliations from Republican to “Democrat,” with Diane rightly claiming that it’s an additional expense to pay people to work overtime to change their registration, which causes undo taxpayer cost.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

George Stephanopoulos for his atrocious performance moderating that “debate” in Philadelphia between Clinton and Obama on April 16th, with a dishonorable mention to his playmate Charlie Gibson, to say nothing of George’s glib attitude about it (h/t Atrios).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Kristol Mess here once more (again, so many reasons – in the latest, he calls Americans “feckless” for “snatch(ing) defeat and retreat(ing) out of the jaws of success and victory (in Iraq – huh??), and that Americans need to “get serious”…when all is said and done, never forget that Kristol is nothing but a quota hire).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Hillary, for trashing MoveOn here, and here...and add Bill too, unfortunately

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Condoleezza Rice for echoing Dubya’s “Bring It On” remark here about al-Sadr (I almost run out of words to describe how contemptible these people truly are)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug Colorado State Rep. Douglas Bruce, who called Mexican workers “illiterate peasants” here (I'll look for an excerpt from a George Lopez stand-up bit as a rebuttal).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Collectively, our corporate media for blowing off the scandal of the Pentagon briefing the TV military analysts as written about by David Barstow of the NYT 4/20, as noted here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Legendary Senate Dem Dan Inouye of Hawaii for hosting a fundraiser for Repug Senator Ted (“HULK SMASH!”) Stevens of Alaska here (this is difficult – I mean, Inouye lost an arm in WWII, for God’s sake – but it must be pointed out).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Mann Coulter, for his “Manchurian Candidate” reference to Barack Obama here (we'd hear this garbage a few times in various forms before all was said and done)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Clif Sams, for saying McCain “needs Swift Boat help” here (scumbag)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, who refused to fly flags at Philadelphia firehouses at half-staff in memory of slain city police officer Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski here; while, technically speaking, Ayers followed accepted protocols by ignoring the request of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, it was still a “callous and unnecessary” act, according to some in law enforcement.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Bush Dog Democrat John Tanner, for comparing our troops to “candlestick-makers” (re: the new G.I. Bill here).

Do-Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Staff Sgt. Luis Falcon, for befriending Iraqi girl Shahad Abbas, whose legs were stumps as a result of a bomb explosion that also killed her brother; Sgt. Falcon helped her to get prosthetic devices so she could walk (here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Don (“Stu Bykofsky”) Rumsfeld here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Media whore Mike Allen of The Politico for that sickening fluffing of an interview with Incurious George here

Do Gooder Of The Year

Chris Matthews for stumping right-wing radio loudmouth Kevin James on the whole “Obama/appeaser” flap (here - Matthews has lots of other issues, but fair is fair)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Sen. Byron Dorgan for getting the Senate on record about what they think of KevMart’s rule change at the FCC allowing greater media cross-ownership (here)

Ignored Scandal Of The Year

Five (count ‘em – five) top officials of the McCain campaign resign, with nary a peep from our dear corporate media cousins here (h/t Thers at Eschaton – 5/19)

The “Praise The Lord And Vote Republican” Citation Of The Year

Georgia (where else? Oklahoma maybe?) Republican Party chairwoman Sue Everhart compared John McCain to Jesus Christ here (does the Kool-Aid taste good, Sue?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Thomas R. Caltagirone, the Dem chairman of the PA House Judiciary Committee from Berks, who has refused to even to hold a hearing on a measure extending the two-year PA statute of limitations to file charges of sexual abuse by Catholic priests (a similar measure has been enacted in California).

That’s bad enough. However, in early May, he also insulted and slighted abuse victims with the outrageous claim that their sole motivation was to win hefty monetary awards. "That's what it's all about, the money. It's not about justice," Caltagirone told a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter (here).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Tennessee Repug Senator Bob Corker (yes, you read that right) for telling his state’s Repug party to stop attacking Michelle Obama in negative ads (here; a real low bar to clear on this one, if you know what I mean, but fair is fair...he would MORE than negate this with his antics against the automaker loan in December, though).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Michael O’Hanlon here (7 of 10, huh? If you were a good little Bushie, you would have given yourself 10 out of 10. You're slacking off!)

The “Now I’m Going To Buy A Chili Dog From A Temple University Food Vendor At 12th and Norris Streets, Eat It Immediately And Let It Drip All Over My Shirt” Citation

Leon Kass of the President’s Council on Bioethics (you know, the zealots who have fought funding of embryonic stem cell research) who opposes eating in public here, including the “cat-like eating of ice cream cones” (eating in public, people! – h/t Atrios)…

More later...

Rachel Maddow Interviews Thomas Tamm

Rachel Maddow interviewed Thomas Tamm, the warrantless wiretapping whistleblower, on her show last night; I just didn't have time to watch it, otherwise I would have embedded it earlier.

And if you wish to contribute:

Thomas Tamm Legal Defense Fund
Bank of Georgetown
5236 44th Street
Washington, DC 20015
Would that anyone who voted to gut FISA this year had a fraction of Mr. Tamm's integrity.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Stuff

K.O. brings us the rest of his "Top 25" most financially corrupt politicians; this started on Thursday and was interrupted on Friday - and yes, the "Blagomeister" places pretty high up there (as bad as "Boss" Tweed was, Charles Forbes is my personal worst at No. 2, though Spiro Agnew gives him a "run for his money," as they say, literally)...

...and listening to Charlie Gibson talk about jobs is pretty damn ridiculous as far as I'm concerned (Mr. "Two Questions About The Estate Tax That Nobody Cares About But You In The Democratic Primary Debate"), but at least he isn't Cokie ("Oh Those Bad Dems Who Don't Like 'Free' Trade") Roberts; what the $#@! kind of a question is that for Betsy Stark to ask - "Is it tough looking for a job in this market?" Airhead...

...more seasonal stuff: The LeeVees ask "How do you spell Channukkah?" (think I just did)...

...and here's a version of "White Christmas" that I don't think you'll hear too many other places than at this site (yes, we know what times are like, but seriously, people, please don't get too messed up; you're a good audience, and I'd hate to lose you).

A Monday Meta Post

(God, this stuff is boring I know, but I should say it all the same.)

As a courtesy to those of you who take time from your day to read what the late George Carlin would probably call my “brain droppings” (and as always, thanks for that), I should point out that I honestly don’t know what’s going to be happening after 1/20/09.

Oh, I don’t expect that there will be a dropoff in what would qualify as posting material, but I must tell you that it gets kind of repetitive pointing out the stupidity of people like Bill Kristol, Rick Santorum, Christine Flowers, Kevin Ferris, etc. week after week, when in reality all they do is repeat variations on the same “zombie lies” (as Atrios calls them) no matter how many times you refute them. At least, I hope my responses have been somewhat interesting given my efforts to combat their innuendo, smears and other types of misinformation with actual facts.

Just to give you an idea of what passes for my editorial decision making when it comes to posting content, I’ll just point out that I decided to refute the wingnut Gerecht over at Wordpress today because the lie he was trying to propagate – namely, that Bill Clinton practiced extraordinary rendition also – was one that I found to be particularly odious. On the other hand, Kristol today basically blamed the failure of the automaker loan to pass last week on “environmentalists” and “limousine liberals”; the stupid was so thick that it would’ve taken all day for me to separate it from about two lonely pieces of actual truth that I found buried beneath it all. And for all my efforts, he’ll just likely return next Monday with more of the same, maybe even worse.

First and foremost, though, the purpose of this site for the three and a half years or so that I’ve been maintaining it (God, that long??) has been to serve as a means of responding to Bushco’s lies, misinformation, malfeasance and ineptitude in various forms. As I might have mentioned to someone at some point, I basically snapped on or about June 2005 and realized that I had to do SOMETHING as my means has allowed, and for better or worse, this has been it (I think this speech is what finally did it).

So I may end up by choice or by means beyond my control focusing more on activity that actually generates revenue, or the posts may continue as before, though I have a feeling it will be more a case of the former than the latter. I’ll keep you informed on this stuff as best as I can; I honestly don’t completely know myself. And again, thanks for sticking around.

A Non-Tweety Alternative

(And by the way - you guessed it; I also posted over here.)

I have to admit that this post by Digby (h/t Atrios) got me thinking some more about the upcoming PA Senate race, particularly given the fact that Ed Rendell has called Chris Matthews “the strongest Democratic candidate without any doubt” to defeat Arlen “Gutless Worm” Specter.

This is sad, and I have to admit that I’m less than enamored with our governor at this moment over it, and also for claiming here on 12/12 that “Obama bungled” his response to the Rod Blagojevich mess, when on 12/10 Jamison Foser of Media Matters correctly pointed out here, in a response to a smear by Liz Sidoti of the AP, that “there's a great big ball of nothing here.” How could Obama “bungle” a response to “a great big ball of nothing”?

As I dusted off the memory banks a bit here, though, I realized that there IS somebody out there who would definitely get the netroots buzzing and generate some serious online activism, as opposed to someone like Matthews, who to me is, at best, the very definition of a “DLC” Democrat and, at worst, a Republican in sheep’s clothing (with no record in politics as anything but a commentator, how are we really supposed to know one way or the other?).

(Also, some have suggested that Patrick Murphy should run; though it would be great to see him in the Senate, I pointed out previously that he or someone else would have to “own” Specter in southeastern PA, and given the fact that, for all his accomplishments, Murphy will begin what will only be his second full term in a few weeks, I just believe such talk is presumptuous. And I will admit that I’m being selfish because he’s my congressman and I don’t want to see him give up his seat – aside from FISA and the D.C. gun business, I think he’s done a great job.)

But getting back to the person I referred to in the post, I should note that he’s already run in a Democratic Senatorial primary, and his “progressive cred” is without question.

That would be Chuck Pennacchio – I invite you to read this Letter to the Editor published in the Bucks County Courier Times in May 2006 just to refresh your memories (and here, he pledged to "fight for core American values -- in 2006 and beyond"; yes, I know the Kos post involves the late C. B-Knoll, but he's not being personally disrespectful, just noting that she was a Casey surrogate, which was the truth).

I have absolutely no idea what is happening with Chuck at the moment (not much showing up on Google); the last I heard, he was serving as the history program director at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and living with his family in Bucks County. But if nothing else, it was fun helping him campaign against Bob Casey in the Democratic primary in 2006. It would sure be a kick to do it again against Matthews in a couple of years (with Arlen, hopefully, facing a primary threat as well from “Club For Growth” wingnut Pat Toomey; I used to really detest the CFG Repugs until I realized that they do more damage to their own party than they do to anyone else).

So there you have it – Chuck in 2010!

Are we on board?

A Report From The Trenches

Just received this correspondence from a friend of mine; she lost her job a couple of weeks ago...

I attended a scary/eye-opening event today. It was one of those Meet the Recruiters gigs and it took place at one of the outplacement service's sites. This one was my first and it took place in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

I responded to the email invitation the same day it arrived and received a response saying the first two sessions (a workshop and presentation) were fully booked. The invitation said I could still bring my resume and meet the recruiters for a brief interview. I showed up at 11:00 (the time indicated on the invitation) and the workshop/presentation was still in full swing. The door to the meeting room was wide open because the place was packed to the rafters. Looked like the room could comfortably accommodate 65 and there were well over 100 people in there. It was standing room only; many of the attendees (dressed in business attire - men in suits and women in heels) had been standing since 9:00. And, because the room was so full, most were sweating profusely. So much for making a good first impression.

We who weren't allowed to attend the workshop were told to go into a conference room and put our John Hancocks on sign-up sheets so we could to speak with specific recruiters. People were elbowing each other out of the way and things were getting a bit nasty. Suddenly the workshop let out and attendees who hadn't previously signed up to see recruiters were then also trying to cram into that room. It was frightening and a few people had to leave because they were having panic attacks or experiencing claustrophobia.

After the sign-up sheet fiasco, there had to be 150 people crammed into a narrow hallway while they waited to see the recruiters. Had someone from the Whitpain Twp. Fire Dept. been there, I'm sure he or she would have shut down the event. Someone from the outplacement service managed to shimmy through the throng of people and post the sign-up sheets outside of individual offices. Each job seeker was allowed exactly three minutes to meet with a recruiter. Self-appointed time monitors stood outside the doors and banged loudly when it was time for the next person to go in. When it was the monitor's time to meet the recruiter, he or she passed the timing task on to someone else in "line." After the employees from the outsourcing agency posted the sign-up sheets, they avoided the hallway where the rest of us were standing. Can't say I blame them because crowd mentality was kicking in. Of course people were saying "excuse me" as they attempted to push their way through the crowd to see a recruiter but there was no place to move since we were standing shoulder-to-shoulder in that cattle chute. Again, more people started trying to get out because they were having anxiety attacks.

When you're having a tough day at work, I hope this story helps you get through it. If this is indicative of the job situation throughout the country, me thinks we Americans are in for a long, rough time.
I promise that I’m not posting this to intentionally scare anyone, but merely to tell you what you aren’t going to hear in our corporate media.

God bless us every one – we need it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Stuff

Given my earlier post on our esteemed Senator Specter today, I thought I'd replay this Cafferty File clip from June 2006; yes, everyone who capitulated on FISA would be a gutless worm also, and that includes plenty of Dems, but Specter's flip flop was particularly egregious...

...and this is "kind of a 180" I know, but since we're very much in the holiday season, here's "The First Christmas" with Celebrity Bric-A-Brac Theater.

Love That Arlen – Not!

Back to Think Progress we go for this little item involving Snarlin’ Arlen Specter – can’t wait for the Inky and our corporate media in these parts to either sanitize or outright ignore this one.

And here are more uproarious moments with “Senator Comcast”; also, I said something about the book deal, but I've since learned that that's OK, along with Orrin Hatch and his hokey "I Love America" hymns, or whatever they are (nice to practice what you write about - give me a break) because of the ultra-cozy Senate rules on stuff like that.

Update 12/17/08: Specter apologized, as well he should.

He's Good At Ducking, All Right

(Responsibility for the war, responsibility for our awful economy, responsibility for the climate name it.)

A stupid, pointless gesture for a stupid, pointless war; though I don't encourage violence against anyone except bin Laden - not even Dubya - I don't mind that this happened, nor does it bother me that Dana Perino apparently received "a bit of a black eye" (as noted here).

Actually, that's the least they should have to endure, given this story in the New York Times today confirming what we already knew, namely, about all the screwups that took place during the supposed reconstruction of Iraq.

And it sounds to me like Muthathar al Zaidi is the next candidate for "rendition" to a black hole somewhere, likely never to be heard from again - love to be wrong, though.

Update: All I could think about during this whole story was this, by the way.