Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin on Countdown with Keith Olbermann

I feel as though I've lost a brother.

Will he be lionized like Russert? No.

Had he more impact? Yes.

Thanks, George, for everything,

I'll surely catch you later...

George Carlin - 1937-2008 - American Icon

Now what do we do?

George Carlin dead at 71.

George, you will be missed....

Thank You, for all you did for us...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

GOP frets Barr could play spoiler in prez race

"...Bob could be the Ralph Nader of 2008," said Dan Schnur, a GOP consultant in California who worked on McCain's 2000 campaign but is not involved in this year's contest. Consumer advocate Nader is the third-party candidate many Democrats blame for helping George W. Bush narrowly win in 2000."...

"...No reasonable conservative is going to vote for anyone except McCain," Gingrich said."

Reasonable Conservative? Talk about mutually exclusive terms!

Catch you later.....

Enfeebled superpower: how America lost its grip (Times Online)

The mighty US has held the best ever hand in global political history but played it spectacularly badly. Now its influence is waning on all fronts. (© Fareed Zakaria 2008 )

"...America remains the global superpower today but an enfeebled one. At a military-political level it still dominates the world but the larger structure of unipolarity - economic, financial, cultural - is weakening.

...There is also another reason. The United States has had an extraordinary hand to play in global politics, the best of any country in history. Yet by almost any measure - problems solved, success achieved, institutions built, reputation enhanced - it has played this hand badly. How did America blow it? Beyond specific personalities and policies, about which much has been written, the condition that made such errors possible was, ironically, America’s immense power.

...THE task for today is to construct a new approach for a new era, one that responds to a global system in which power is far more diffuse than before and in which everyone feels empowered. The rise of the rest ensures America a vital, although different, role."

It's always instructive to read the overseas papers, especially the op-eds, to get a sense of balance in the news.

Though I disagree with some of the authors conclusions, I agree that American power is on the wane, our policy approach to the rest of the world must change, and that George W. Bush is/was a complete and total disaster, at home and throughout the world. Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama Swings and Misses!

My dissappointment with the nominee and his anemic response to the FISA/Telecom capitulation is acute.

This is an important issue which presents him with a tailor-made opportunity to show leadership and he whiffs on it.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon gets to the heart of the matter:

"...This bill doesn't legalize every part of Bush's illegal warrantless eavesdropping program but it takes a large step beyond FISA towards what Bush did. There was absolutely no reason to destroy the FISA framework, which is already an extraordinarily pro-Executive instrument that vests vast eavesdropping powers in the President, in order to empower the President to spy on large parts of our international communications with no warrants at all. This was all done by invoking the scary spectre of Terrorism -- "you must give up your privacy and constitutional rights to us if you want us to keep you safe" -- and it is Obama's willingness to embrace that rancid framework, the defining mindset of the Bush years, that is most deserving of intense criticism here."

"...Making matters worse still, what Obama did yesterday is in clear tension with an emphatic promise that he made just months ago. As the extremely pro-Obama notes today, Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, back in in September, vowed that Obama would "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." MoveOn believes Obama should be held to his word and is thus conducting a campaign urging Obama to do what he promised -- support a filibuster to stop the enactment of telecom amnesty. You can email Burton here to demand that Obama comply with his commitment not just to vote against, but to filibuster, telecom amnesty:

"...What Barack Obama did here was wrong and destructive. He's supporting a bill that is a full-scale assault on our Constitution and an endorsement of the premise that our laws can be broken by the political and corporate elite whenever the scary specter of The Terrorists can be invoked to justify it. What's more, as a Constitutional Law Professor, he knows full well what a radical perversion of our Constitution this bill is, and yet he's supporting it anyway. Anyone who sugarcoats or justifies that is doing a real disservice to their claimed political values and to the truth."

So, yet again I will call my Senators, E-mail my Senators, fax my Senators (Hi Barbara, Hi Dianne, remember me?!) and generally make my concerns heard. I expect the usual polite hearing from Sen. Boxer's office and the usual rude dismissal from Sen. Feinstein's.

I don't know what to expect from Sen. Obama's office, but he is now on my list and the reception I get will be reported here.

I expect a Democratic nominee, especially this year, to stand up, stand for something and say:

"No more! Never again!" And to make it stick.

Keep your eye on the ball, Sen. Obama. We need a hit.

Catch you later.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Honest McCain Campaign Poster - Part ...

What a fertile field to plow...

Catch you later.....

McCain T-Shirt: Where can I get one?

From Darkblack,

Someone please license these and get them out, pronto!

I'll take a dozen, XL, Hanes Beefy T's, please, grey or white, thanks.

Catch you later.....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Colin Powell slams Bush - Welcome, but overdue.

Colin Powell slams Bush, From the Vancouver Sun:

"...But Colin Powell said Thursday in Vancouver that he is considering voting for Democrat Barack Obama in November -- and he took shots at the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war and the holding of terrorism suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

...The former secretary of state discussed the controversy that drew a small but loud protest outside the convention centre -- Powell's use of flawed intelligence during his 2003 presentation at the United Nations to sell the world on the invasion of Iraq.

Powell told the audience that he wouldn't have agreed with the decision to go to war had he known that the data about Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction was exaggerated.

Powell said that every word of what he called his "infamous" presentation about WMD had been vetted by the intelligence community -- "and I had no reason to disbelieve it."
The former secretary of state has previously described his prewar UN speech as a "blot" on his record.

Powell went on to say that the Bush administration fell into "disarray" over how to govern Iraq after it overthrew Hussein.

"If we had handled the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad differently then we wouldn't be where we are today," said Powell....

...Powell said the use of torture and denial of habeas corpus at the prison for suspected terrorists at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo has diminished America's standing in the world. "It [Guantanamo] is not a seen as a place that is consistent with what America says justice will be."

...Powell said that torture, including water-boarding, should stop at Guantanamo and that terrorism suspects should be given lawyers and afforded all the rights of the American criminal justice system....

..."We will not be terrified into changing our way of life because of some guy [Osama bin Laden] hiding in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan."

I was always most disappointed with Secretary Powell out of all of the Bush appointees, but that is because I always expected the most from him.

His reluctance to trash the Bushies to the extent he must be able is a measure of the man's loyalty and devotion to duty.

I just wish his loyalty had not been so misplaced in certain people, rather than in the institutions he swore to protect.

His endorsement, when it comes, should prove interesting.

Catch you later.....

Lefties hug their children less. Don't they?

From the Times of London:

Whether we're left or right-wing, we use strong political beliefs to exonerate our own personal nastiness...

...All you need is a book (or a handy digest, which I will try to provide) written by a research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Peter Schweizer.

...He has a simple and arresting theme, supported by artfully selected research. In Makers and Takers he says that conservatives are, in their private behaviour, superior to liberals: “Conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more and are less materialistic.” Liberals are narcissistic, selfish and grasping. They think benefit cheating is fine and prefer charities that campaign to those that actually help the poor. They sleep around, hate marriage and family and - “according to research carried out at Princeton University” - hug their children less. “My wife,” chortles the author, “thinks they're too busy hugging trees.”...

...Conservatives, meanwhile, are a benign cadre of honest Cheeryble brothers: giving to the poor, caring for their parents. Left-wing ideology corrupts, concludes Mr Schweizer on raising his head from “America's premier social research database”. He joyfully quotes Orwell's gloriously intemperate observation that “the mere words socialism and communism draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, nature-cure quack, pacifist and feminist in England”...

...And none of this means that there is anything innately wrong with the Left or the Right, or religion, science or gay pride. The fact is that deep down we are all a bit nasty and selfish. When we use ideologies to camouflage what should be our shame, any belief will do. Mr Schweizer calls his book Makers and Takers. He should have admitted that every banner also shelters fakers, snakes and haters: unoriginal sinners all."

I've been so busy hugging trees, I haven't had time to force gay abortions on Christian virgins or even take my neighbor's guns then sell his children to the Mexican slavers. Not to mention what I was going to force his wife to do with the falafel.

Sheesh, catch you later.....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Texas GOP - More Stupidity From Those Wonderful People Who Gave Us George W. (You're doin' a heckuva job) Bush

Laughs aside, the platform of the Texas Republicans as revealed here by one of the Lone Star State's finest political reporters, leaves no doubt about where the zeitgeist is not in 2008.

None of this stuff - intelligent design and abortion and gay marriage, let alone banning nudies in DC art galleries - sings in 2008.

A party with these folks at its heart is a party in trouble. And so is a party with such deep apparent misgivings about the boss going into the election.

The Republicans might tell themselves, reasonably, that McCain can win and might win, but it cannot happen by magic or by default or by act of Fox News, and the issue that we will look back on as his ticket to the White House (Iraq? Gas Prices? Healthcare?) is not clear to me at the moment...

from the Dallas Morning News, June 13, 2008:

HOUSTON – Robert Hurt went to Washington and didn't like what he saw – nudity in the nation's capital.

"Nude women, sculptured women," he told the state Republican platform committee, which sat in rapt attention....

...The GOP platform will be presented today to the full convention. Like all platforms, it's a statement of principle and a political document to rally the troops....

...In this, a presidential year, it advocates prayer in school, getting out of the United Nations, teaching intelligent design with evolution in science classes, repealing of the minimum wage, declaring illegal immigrants criminals and outlawing abortion with no exceptions.

"Hallelujah!" said a delegate who had urged strong anti-abortion language....

...The platform calls homosexuality contrary to "the unchanging truths" ordained by God. It opposes gay marriage, civil unions and the custody of children by gays....

..."There is no substitute for victory!" the platform says in supporting the Bush administration's war on "radical Islamist terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries around the world."

God, Guns, Gays! Just when I think my opinion of Texas can go no lower, I run across this.

What a bunch of mealy-mouthed hypocrites! A friend who was raised in Texas once told me, "My Daddy always said, whenever you do business with someone who claims to be a good christian businessman, keep both hands on your wallet!"

You Faith and Values types are doin' a heckuva job! See you in November...

Catch you later.....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Justice 5, Brutality 4 - NYT Op-Ed

In re the SCOTUS decision on Habeus Corpus from the N.Y. Times:

June 13, 2008


Justice 5, Brutality 4

"For years, with the help of compliant Republicans and frightened Democrats in Congress, President Bush has denied the protections of justice, democracy and plain human decency to the hundreds of men that he decided to label "unlawful enemy combatants" and throw into never-ending detention.

Twice the Supreme Court swatted back his imperial overreaching, and twice Congress helped Mr. Bush try to open a gaping loophole in the Constitution. On Thursday, the court turned back the most recent effort to subvert justice with a stirring defense of habeas corpus, the right of anyone being held by the government to challenge his confinement before a judge.

The court ruled that the detainees being held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have that cherished right, and that the process for them to challenge their confinement is inadequate. It was a very good day for people who value freedom and abhor Mr. Bush’s attempts to turn Guantánamo Bay into a constitutional-rights-free zone.

The right of habeas corpus is so central to the American legal system that it has its own clause in the Constitution: it cannot be suspended except "when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

Despite this, the Bush administration repeatedly tried to strip away habeas rights. First, it herded prisoners who were seized in Afghanistan, and in other foreign countries, into the United States Navy base at Guantánamo Bay and claimed that since the base is on foreign territory, the detainees’ habeas cases could not be heard in the federal courts. In 2004, the court rejected that argument, ruling that Guantánamo, which is under American control, is effectively part of the United States.

In 2006, the court handed the administration another defeat, ruling that it had relied improperly on the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to hold the detainees on Guantánamo without giving them habeas rights. Since then, Congress passed another law, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that tried — and failed horribly — to fix the problems with the Detainee Treatment Act.

Now, by a 5-to-4 vote, the court has affirmed the detainees’ habeas rights. The majority, in an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ruled that the Military Commissions Act violates the Suspension Clause, by eliminating habeas corpus although the requirements of the Constitution — invasion or rebellion — do not exist.

The court ruled that the military tribunals that are hearing the detainees’ cases — the administration’s weak alternative to habeas proceedings in a federal court — are not an adequate substitute. The hearings cut back on basic due process protections, like the right to counsel and the right to present evidence of innocence.

It was disturbing that four justices dissented from this eminently reasonable decision. The lead dissent, by Chief Justice John Roberts, dismisses habeas as "most fundamentally a procedural right." Chief Justice Roberts thinks the detainees receive such "generous" protections at their hearings that the majority should not have worried about whether they had habeas rights.

There is an enormous gulf between the substance and tone of the majority opinion, with its rich appreciation of the liberties that the founders wrote into the Constitution, and the what-is-all-the-fuss-about dissent. It is sobering to think that habeas hangs by a single vote in the Supreme Court of the United States — a reminder that the composition of the court could depend on the outcome of this year’s presidential election. The ruling is a major victory for civil liberties — but a timely reminder of how fragile they are."

Emphasis added.

Another voice that demonstrates what is at stake this fall and why McCainocrats need to wake up before they score an "own goal".

Catch you later.....

Too Nice to Blog

I'll be at the pool,
Catch you later.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Captain Kirk for President?

From ABC, set your phasers on FUNNY.

Catch you later.....

McCainocrats Hate the Constitution, the BOR and Personal Freedoms!

The narrow 5 to 4 decision today from the SCOTUS should give great pause to any Dem worthy of the name before casting a vote for McCain.

Few things a President can do have the lasting import of Supreme Court nominations. The chilling effect on the freedoms that we hold most dear can linger for decades.

Though the Wingnut reaction was to be expected, the shortsightedness of certain fellow Dems is alternately puzzling and disheartening.

One more Scalia, Alioto, or Thomas and we're on the way to tyranny. Keep that in mind this fall when the time comes to make your choice. The consequences are staggering to behold.

Catch you later.....

The NSA is Spying on Your On-line Gaming

Bill Moyers via Ballon Juice.

Gotta make sure the 14yr old in the folk's basement, eating Cheetos, doesn't form a terrorist cell.

Catch you later.....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Impeachment? Yes, please. Criminal Prosecution? Hell Yeah!

A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.

"...Henry Waxman, who chairs the House committee on oversight and government reform, said: "The money that's gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, it's egregious.

"It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history."

In the run-up to the invasion, one of the most senior officials in charge of procurement in the Pentagon objected to a contract potentially worth $7bn that was given to Halliburton, a Texan company which used to be run by Dick Cheney before he became vice-president.

Unusually only Halliburton got to bid - and won...."

The cost of the illegal war now is estimated to exceed half a trillion dollars.

The cost to the men and women of the armed forces is incalcuable.

What price will the perpetrators pay?

Catch you later.....

I'm Voting Republican (not)

For far too many, these are good reasons.

Satire is lost on small minds.

Catch you later.....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bill O'Reilly thinks you're crazy

Further proof we're on the right track.

Bill Moyers address (long but important).

Also of note: Dan Rathers.

Countdown puts Billo down for the count.

Catch you later.....

Monday, June 9, 2008

The McCain File

Patriot? Keep sending those jobs and dollars overseas and just watch fuel prices skyrocket. President McCain?

God forbid.

Catch you later.....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

POTUS 44 and 45

Today, nothing warms me so much as the thought of a successful, ground-breaking 44th president (Obama) followed by a history-making 45th President (Clinton) for a great 16 year run.

Can anyone tired of the last seven years and this past primary season argue with that?

Catch you later.....

Jesus Christ Endorses Obama - Media Bloodhound

"In a stunning turn of events Thursday, the Son of God endorsed Barack Obama for President while rejecting and distancing himself from presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

Outside an Applebee's off the New Jersey Turnpike in Paramus yesterday, Jesus Christ told reporters, "Look, it's been a very divisive primary season between Barack and Hillary. I thought my support would aid the healing process and help unify the Democrats."

Asked if he was a registered Democrat, Jesus replied, "I'm actually registered with the Green Party. But no amount of faith and prayer will get their candidate elected." Christ clarified, "I perform miracles, but there are limits."...

...A new 527 ad hit the networks this morning, attacking Obama's latest endorsement:

VISUAL: Series of photoshopped pictures of Barack Obama and Jesus Christ gambling in Atlantic City.

VOICE-OVER: He calls himself the Son of God. But who really is Jesus Christ?

Born to an out-of-wedlock mother and absentee father, Jesus was a direct product of the welfare state and later became a drain on the occupying Roman Empire.

Barack Obama says he's proud to have Jesus by his side. Maybe that's because Barack Obama would've fit right in with Jesus' ultra-liberal, sandal-wearing, appeasing flock or those Ivy League, latte-drinking Wise Men.

While John McCain is committed to winning the war in Iraq even if he has to kill every last Iraqi to do it and nuke Iran back to BC, Obama's closest spiritual advisor, Jesus Christ, continues to preach, "All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword."

Tell that to Ahmadinejad, Jesus.

Barack Hussein Obama. Jesus H. Christ. Two appeasers in a pod.

Don't roll the dice with our national security.

This message was paid for by Swift Boat Clergymen for Truth."

Go read the whole post. Hysterical! I especially like the way the post captures the voice and style of several of the more well-known pundits we've come to know and love (loathe?). Good stuff.

Catch you later.....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Voting Nightmares

Horror stories from the Polls via C&L:

"...It's even more troubling when one realizes that so little ever seems to be done in light of so many of these horror stories, as those very same failed systems are still deployed across the nation, with little or no modification to correct the mountains of documented problems even now, as we head towards an election likely to be of historic proportions this November.

What follows is yet another one of those stories, where a voter had vote selections flipped by the electronic voting system, such that candidates were chosen other than the ones intended to be selected by the voter, though no fault of his own.

But this time, the voter is me."

Excellent post, see this and that for even more horror.

Catch you later.....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

Back in San Diego County!

Got back home to North County, San Diego, after a week w/ Family and Friends "back home" in Omaha (and Lincoln {Go Huskers!}).

For the gang back home, this is a picture of my first retaurant meal once I got back.

Omaha is for steak. Omaha is for the Bohemian Cafe. And La Casa Pizza.

San Diego is for Sushi! And Mexican!

It's all good.

Catch you later.....

Omaha - Hidden Jewel - Joslyn - third and final part...

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The guard was polite, but firm and I complied immediately. These treasures deserve respect and my ignorance was my fault, not theirs.

Please visit if you can, it's amazing.

If you can't, at least see their Website.

Catch you later.....

Omaha - Hidden Jewel - Joslyn - 2 of 3

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My last visit was almost 25+ years ago and I remember people using tripod mounted cameras with those old Pentax flashes that peeled skin.

Omaha - Hidden Jewel - Joslyn - 1 of 3

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Did you know they frown on photography?

McCainocrats: Meteor Blades (Dkos) has Questions

Why would Sen. Clinton's most fervent supporters vote for a candidate that stands in opposition to the very things their champion stands for?

To make true their claim that Sen. Obama can't beat the GOP in the fall?!?

Out of plain, ugly, petty spite when so much is at stake?

From Daily Kos:

"...Thus is born a new subspecies, McCain Democrats, McCainocrats.

If your shrieking can be believed, you McCainocrats are premeditating ballot support for an exclusive club of racist, union-busting, woman-suppressing, bedroom-peering, rights-scoffing, warmongering, torture-backing, buccaneering, global warming-denying, privatizing, public land-grabbing, Supreme Court stuffing, empire-building, Constitution-shredding raptors. All for self-indulgent revenge. You’re unhappy that your candidate has not won the nomination. I understand that. Mine didn’t win either. But you’re not just unhappy, you're also willing to contribute to the election of someone who stands against most of what your candidate has been promoted as standing for. That, I don’t comprehend at all. Emotionally, intellectually or morally. I get the feeling you would vote for George W. Bush in 2008 if the 22nd Amendment weren’t in the way...."

If you, like me, are anxious to begin to unravel the Olympic caliber mess of the last 7+ years, you would vote for the democratic nominee even if said nominee were a purple/green-skinned hermaphrodite married to a box turtle in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, fer the love of jeebus! Dig up Harry Truman and the corpse get's my vote if he's won the nomination.

Enlightened self-interest should make it clear that intra-party squabbles must end once the nominee is chosen. This is not about the person, it's about policy, direction, ultimately the good of our nation. An "I told you so" vote is a vote against your own interest. Hardly enlightened.

Catch you later.....