Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blogthing Break!

You Are Austin

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick

I actually think of myself more as New York or Chicago, but hey...
You Are Rain

You can be warm and sexy. Or cold and unwelcoming.
Either way, you slowly bring out the beauty around you.

You are best known for: your touch

Your dominant state: changing

Now this weather is just NOT me.
Your Haloween Costume Should Be

Candy Corn

Halloween is a few months off, but maybe this costume is a possibility.
Your World View

You are a happy, well-balanced person who likes people and is liked by others.
You question whether many conventional views on morality are valid under all circumstances.
You are essentially a content person.

Sometimes, you consider yourself a little superior.
You are moral by your own standards.
You believe that morality is what best suits the occasion.

Can't argue with this result.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Update on GOP attack dog turned pedophile

Carey Lee Cramer, the brains behind an anti-Gore attack ad, has been found guilty of sexually molesting two girls. One of the victims, incidentally, appeared in Cramer's infamous ad. Cramer faces 149 years in prison.

Well, for once, justice was served.

Speaking of The New York Times...

Dan Froomkin suggests that the wingers doth protest too much. Turns out that SWIFT, the program that monitors bank transactions, isn't a secret. Not when it has a Web site and puts on a trade show. And especially not when its name appears on wire transfer forms.

Glenn Greenwald points out that the wingers hate America's free press even more than they hate the troops. Real un-American bunch these Bush cultists are, aren't they?

From the "mean but funny" files...

Britney and Ursula from "The Little Mermaid": Separated at birth?

About double standards...

Right wingers are enraged because The New York Times published the details of the government searching bank records to catch terrorists, in partnership with an international an organization called SWIFT. According to the wingers, the Times has committed a crime by sharing this information with the public.

So where was their righteous anger when Bob Novak revealed the name of a covert CIA agent, thus jeopardizing her work and her contacts in the Middle East?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Roger Ailes is not a happy man

So sez this news article.

Sleater-Kinney broke up.


Flag-burning amendment DOA

The amendment failed 66-34. Okay, now can Congress debate actual important, substantial issues facing our nation? Pretty please?

In the words of Senator Daniel Inouye, who lost an arm fighting for his country in World War II:

While I take offense at disrespect to the flag, I nonetheless believe it is my continued duty as a veteran, as an American citizen, and as a United States senator to defend the constitutional right of protesters to use the flag in nonviolent speech.


How to make a Swiftboater cry...

It's pretty easy: call them on their pathological hatred of patriotic American veterans. Exhibit A: Why Do Republicans Hate America's Troops, by Bob Geiger. Just yesterday, Geiger--himself a veteran--ripped Amanda P. Doss a new one in response to her FrontPage-generated John Murtha hate site. At this rate, poor, persecuted Ms. Doss will never get around to putting anything on her site.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Yeah, I'm reeeeeaaaaallly shocked by this

Shakespeare's Sister reports that a political consultant behind a 2000 anti-Gore attack ad has been charged with sexually abusing two girls--one of whom appeared in the ad.

This kind of news isn't even shocking anymore.

Billionaire wants to keep the estate tax!

Warren Buffet, second richest guy on earth, calls the estate tax--aka the Paris Hilton Tax--"a very equitable tax."

See, Mr. Scaife? Even your fellow rich people think that you should pay tax like everyone else.

It's not Fitzmas, but it's good enough

Guess who's been detained for illegal prescription drugs?

Crybaby Conservative Alert!

Today's crybaby conservative is Amanda P. Doss, wannabe Swiftboater. The above photo shows Ms. Doss at an anti-Jane Fonda protest. Ms. Doss is the Web "designer" for Operation Street Corner, billed as "the Vietnam Veterans' Grassroots Campaign Against John Kerry and Jane Fonda, traitors to our country." (She claims to be a professional Web designer, and, to be fair, she does seem to have a decent grasp of the Frontpage web editing program.)

Anyhow, Doss must've gotten bored with Kerry and Fonda, because she's now created a Web site called You can guess who the target is here.

Unfortunately for her, the reality-based blogosphere has grown wise to Swiftboat-style smearing, and Ms. Doss found herself on the receiving end of angry e-mails. Subject lines like "BURN IN HELL, FASCIST" and messages like "Go fuck yourself. Better yet, prepare for the swiftboating we're about to do to you!" A social worker suggested she get mental help. Floored by such a vicious response, Ms. Doss posted some of the nastiest e-mails on her site in the hopes of winning sympathy. The poor dear is so traumatized that she hasn't even put any Murtha-bashing content on her site yet.

Bob Geiger has advice for Ms. Doss: Stop whining.
You better toughen up, my little poisonous cupcake.

This is nothing. I get more nasty hate mail than that every week. My mother "should have aborted you when she had the chance," said one recent correspondent. One guy said I should "… move away or at least, go to hell" and another said I should "burn in hell forever." They even threaten me and my family on a regular basis.

Doss is going be really devastated to find out that people are on to her before she had the chance to post a single lie about Murtha. Over at the Agonist, they've done some digging on Ms. Doss. She is, it turns out, an unpleasant piece of work, the worst kind of raging wingnut fruitcake. And while she claims to be the daughter of a Vietnam vet, she herself remains happy to be stationed with the 101st Fighting keyboardists. In short, she's a classic crybaby conservative, one who'd happily be concocting all kinds of smear campaigns were it not for all those mean reality-based people calling her on it.

Friday, June 23, 2006


How can you not love this nontraditional family?

The story of Owen, the orphaned hippo, and Mzee, the 120-year-old male tortoise who became his surrogate "mom," has been e-mailed all over the world.
And according to Snopes, it is not an urban legend. Now, there are plans to make a movie based on Owen and Mzee's story.

It's probably a hippo searching for a mother figure and a tortoise willing to let the hippo follow along, but it's just too sweet!

A brief note on thunderstorms

Sometimes, in the summer, the sky turns gray and the air hangs warm and sticky from the humidity. The sun is hidden behind clouds, and you know it can mean only one thing: a thunderstorm. But the sky stays gray, the day stays hot, and you sit there waiting and waiting, but the rain doesn't come. Not a drop. Nothing. And you wonder about this suspense when there's no ear-splitting thunderclap and no sudden whoosh! of lightning. The thunderstorm doesn't come, the rain doesn't fall...until you step outside to make an emergency run to the grocery store.

I hate when that happens, don't you?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


John Murtha at Huffpo on the horrible murder of two US soldiers. Meanwhile, not only are Iraqis killing Americans, they're also killing other Iraqis. Can you say "start of a civil war"?

From a letter to the local newsweekly:
Bush once again did his eye examination. When in 2001 he looked into the eyes of Putin he said, “I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul.” Now, he stealthfully flew to Iraq to look Prime Minister Maliki in the eye. Let us hope that Bush’s vision has improved. But maybe I’m being too critical. Perhaps he is merely a closet optometrist. Surely he couldn’t handle that job any worse than he has his present.

Yaaaaaaaay! Lewis the kitty is saved! The cat had been attacking neighbors, including an Avon lady, and he was fighting for his life in court. Now, the judge says he will live, but has to stay indoors for the rest of his life.

Elayne Riggs has discovered the Highway Sign Generator.

As it turns out, there's more where that came from. Check out the Construction Sign Generator!

How about the Vegas Sign Generator?

(Yes, it's true. Now that CBGB's has lost its NYC lease, there is talk of Hilly Kristal packing up and moving to Vegas. Joey Ramone must be spinning in his grave.)

And, of course, the error message generator.

Sheesh--I could get hooked on this if I'm not too careful!

Well, this is an interesting finding

Noo Yawkas da most polite in da woild! And don't you fuhgeddaboutit!

Dem Women on TV: Some notes

Larry King has all 9 Democratic women senators right now (including La Hill). Patty Murray from Washington was talking about how badly underfunded the Veterans' administration is, and Mary Landrieu concurs.

Larry asks the women if they feel frustrated as women in a minority party. All say "Oh yes!" Then Dianne Feinstein talks about "tax cut after tax cut after tax cut in the middle of a war," with money coming out of government programs.

Barbara Mikulski says, "We are frustrated because of the agenda!" Meaning Bushco's, of course. She's frustrated over "amendments that aren't going to take us anywhere." Meaning the gay marriage amdnement, of course. And, of course, Bushco's fiscal policy.

The senators all emphasize the need to pursue a better energy policy.

La Hill is being a team player here. Nobody's even mentioning her as a possible presidential candidate.

Just found out that Cher is campaigning to provide our troops with better helmets. Go Cher!

Cantwell wants to make college affordable. She talks about how the cost of education has skyrocketed. She wants college tax deductions to be permanent and she wants more money for Pell Grants. She talks about her previous career working for a software firm.

Louisiana senator Landrieu's new pet cause is "Preparing for Future Disasters!" Unlike David Vitter, who thinks gay marriage is more important. She says that Americans are now "sitting ducks" for future disasters.

"The Bush administration dismantled FEMA," claims La Hill and talks about how money has not been used to improve borders and security.

Boxer praised the Clinton administration for responding to natural disasters in California effectively and keeping it on budget.

Landrieu seems less DLC wimp and more concerned senator here. Gee, maybe she figured out that Bushco isn't interested in helping her state.

Verdict so far: La Hill is La Hill; Landrieu is finding her spine (or at least pretending to); Boxer is crisp, forceful, and effective. Eloquent and passionate. Mikulski is brash and slightly abrasive. She'd be great behind a podium, but hearing her speak? I wouldn't want to be one of her staffers. Interesting to hear Landrieu talk about Katrina and the role of effective government.

An e-mail asks about the mammoth deficit. Stabenow (who before now seemed to be invisible) talked about the huge deficit under Clinton which has vanished under Bushco. Boxer wants a return to "pay-as-you-go" budgeting.

More Landrieu: "They don't WANT to pay for their tax cuts!"

Blanche Lincoln wants to make healthcare affordable. She's from Arkansas, and she's got an accent, and that's fine with her. I don't like the idea that Southerner = dumb hick. Lincoln was easily re-elected two years ago. Still, Lincoln and Landrieu have never been known as rock-the-boat types. Again, I'm surprised by Landrieu, considering her on-the-air performance with Anderson Cooper during Katrina.

So far, the best speaker is Barbara Boxer.

Now for La Hill. Larry asks her about Kerry's "Lie or Die" meme. Larry asks if there's a rift in the party. She reframes it as Republicans "blindly following the president."

Boxer then condemns al Qaeda: "This is a group that's beyond the pale." She talks about using the resources we have in Iraq to find al Qaeda instead. Murray talks more about security here in the USA.

Milkuski then discusses pensions. Feinstein talks about stem cell research.

A Canadian sends an e-mail asking if the women have seen Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." La Hill saw it and thought it was "great." Would she like him to run again? She laughs and then suggests Larry ask the FBI director (who's Larry's next guest) about cuts in homeland security money. Again, they steer it back to tax cuts for billionaires, which take away money that the country needs to keep the country safe. Stabenow and Boxer talk about energy policy again.

Larry says he'll ask the FBI guy about homeland security funding.

Verdict: Guess some of them have been taking media relations tips and maybe even suggestions on framing and handling difficult questions. And they related policy to what's going on in their states. Not bad. Not bad at all. Boxer, of course, was the best and most effective speaker. La Hill is, after all, still a junior senator. Boxer, Mikulski, Lincoln, and Murray all have more seniority.

Monday, June 19, 2006

There's life after conservatism--right?

Things still look fairly crappy right now on the national stage. The malaise permeates the entire country. While about one third of this country are still immersed in the Bush personality cult, the remaining two-thirds either want the guy impeached or are just biding their time until 2009. But there's a shift in national mood. With the rise of Bushco and Republican control of all three branches of government, conservatism has entered its decline. The Bush administration has tried to turn America into a testing ground for all sorts of right-wing frames and ideas hatched in conservative think tanks when it should've been, y'know, running the country.

William Greider calls for a new economic approach to replace conservative orthodoxy. Recent years have demonstrated that Reagan-style trickle-down economics don't work. Shrinking government until it can't provide the basic needs of the people doesn't work. The everyone-for-themselves mentality doesn't work. Behaving as if the market is a magic wand of sorts that can solve everything doesn't work. Long story short: the conservative movement jumped the shark in 2004 when Bush was re-elected. Since then, all Bush's bumblings have come back to haunt him and the conservative movement.

Public dialogue seems to be dominated, however, by people with a profound sense of entitlement. People who blab on and on, ad nauseum, about "wealth redistribution" without knowing what it is. People who think public parks and traffic signs are a form of socialism. People who don't complain about tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy but do react with horror to the idea of more money for schools. People who identify themselves as "libertarians" just so they aren't mistaken for garden-variety dittoheads. People who believe they live in a perfect world marred by a few pests who somehow manage to get really sick, have car accidents, become victims of terrorism, or generally have a streak of bad luck. People who haven't figured out that borrow-and-spend conservatism is as bad as tax-and-spend liberalism.

So what can replace conservative economic policy? Greider has some ideas.

Could this be true?

Could the Democrats finally have a plan for Iraq? One that involves getting US troops out of there? Of course, we can expect to see the usual shopworn talking points; "cut and run," "white flag," and "party of surrender" are the most common ones.

Yo! Republicans! Your president told Iraq's prime minister that Iraq's future is in the hands of its new government. It's their job to run the country--NOT ours.

"Just like Saddam ran it."

That's how Bill O'Reilly would run Iraq. Gee, with attitudes like his, who needs Saddam, anyway?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Military Man Murtha Mauls Rove

From Think Progress, we have a complete transcript of hawkish war veteran John Murtha tearing Rove yet another new one:
He's in New Hampshire. He's making a political speech. He’s sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside-saying stay the course. That’s not a plan! We've got to change direction. You can't sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying seventy pounds on their backs, inside these armored vessels-hit with IED's every day-seeing their friends blown up-their buddies blown up-and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, DC.

Uh...guys? Do some fact checking before reporting a story, OK?

Anatomy of a celebrity urban legend:

A satirical web site publishes a couple of mock news articles about a celebrity. The text clearly indicates that the story is intended as satire. At least one gossip site recognizes the story is bogus, but then the regular news media, entertainment Web sites, and blogosphere are reporting the story as possible fact. All this even though the original site is a collection of spoof articles and the original piece that started everything
includes the following:

Like Jolie and Pitt, Spears too, might be expected to arrive in Namibia with Kevin Federline, her husband of twenty-one months. Asked why she had chosen Namibia for the birth of her child, Spears apparently said: "Kevin has always been a fan of African-American culture. I'm sure he'll feel at home there, rapping with all the natives. Besides, there's lots of quiet unpaved roads where Sean Preston and I can go driving."

The story circulates the net and news media for a few days, until finally they figure out that the story "may" be a hoax.

Erm..."may" be a hoax?

Some people (especially journalists) should check their facts before reporting stuff like this, especially when the story comes from a satirical Web site. One pop star spent years trying to live down a comment she never made.

Some people are either a. waaaaaay too eager to hop on a news story or b. just plain gullible. Besides, would anyone really want to inflict this on Namibia? Why not throw in Courtney Love, Tom Cruise, and Pete Doherty while you're at it?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Snow White hits Kansas

...Which means Dorothy Gale is off frolicking with dwarfs in a forest somewhere and trying to keep Toto from eating suspicious apples, right?

Anyway, you'd think a state like Kansas would have a credible GOP challenger to the Democratic governor, Kathleen Sebelius, right? But when she's wooing former Repubs over to the Democratic side, that's a little hard. Suffice it to say that the Wichita Eagle has taken to calling Sebelius' re-election bid Snow White vs. the Seven Dwarfs.

Note to national Dems: Governors like Mark Warner and Sebelius seem to be doing something right here. Maybe you should ask them what it is.

Bruce Willis: "I'm not a Republican!!!"

This is a little old, perhaps, but Bruce Willis, die-hard GOPer, supporter of every Republican candidate since, I dunno, Ulysses S. Grant, has proclaimed that he is not a Republican. He was asked about current events, thus setting off the spiel below:
"I'm sick of answering this [expletive] question," he says. "I'm a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, I want less government intrusion. I want them to stop [expletive] on my money and your money and tax dollars that we give 50 percent of... every year. I want them to be fiscally responsible and I want these [expletive] lobbyists out of Washington. Do that and I'll say I'm a Republican... I hate the government, OK? I'm a-political. Write that down. I'm not a Republican."

What could've caused this change? Maybe he was blackballed by the liberal meanies in Hollywood? Nah, didn't think so.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rick Santorum: "Never mind my silly suit. Just buy some extra copies of It Takes a Family, okay?"

Here's Senator Man-on-Dog in a happy-dippy-dappy springtime mood on the Senate floor. Doesn't he just look festive?

From Senate Majority, complete with a rebus!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

How the Coulter Republicans Lost 9/11

I can't take credit for the term "Coulter Republican." However, the term deserves to replace "Goldwater Republican" or "Reagan Republican" in the political lexicon. It represents a form of conservatism that has nothing to do with all those things Goldwater believed in--you know, restraint, small government, balanced budgets, and the like. Those Republicans are nearly gone. The Coulter Republicans are those who follow a set of talking points and stick to it. They never met a straw man they didn't like and never met a dissenting voice undeserving of their contempt.

There are, of course, shades of opinion among the Coulter Republicans. Sure, they might be troubled over Iraq, but they'll never publicly admit that they made a mistake. They'll react to any semblance of bad news by ignoring it and focusing on--ho hum--liberal Democrats. Doesn't matter how nonsensical the rhetoric is, the Coulter Republican doesn't dare deviate from the script. And, of course, they throw in a bit of nastiness to remind their critics that they're better. They're right. They're special. Sure, Americans are equal...but some are more equal than others.

Don't let all the gasps of horror coming from the mainstream media fool you. Ann Coulter's fan base wasn't limited to Rush-worshipping mouthbreathers or dumbass chickenhawk Republicans. She is, after all, a creation of the right-wing oligarchy: a former Scaife stooge raised in the hothouse of the 1980s/1990s conservative movement. They gave her column space in their magazines and newspapers. They signed her to book contracts and happily invited her to appear on their talk shows. Joe Scarborough may try to distance himself from Coulter, but he didn't have any problem with booking her on his show in years before.

They can't say they never took her seriously. They can't say they just see her as an entertainer. If she were, she would've never appeared on "Scarborough Country."

So why would they book someone who wanted to see judges poisoned, reporters murdered by terrorists, liberals beaten with baseball bats? Maybe they found her amusing. Maybe they led themselves to believe it was all a "joke," even though the joke got stale after a few years. Or maybe they LOVED Ann Coulter's schtick, though they'd never admit it. After all, her work is, to quote Al Franken, "political pornography."

But now, thanks to Coulter and the Coulter Republicans, the right wing has lost 9/11 as its bargaining chip. Beforehand, the right wing could repeat "September 11 security September 11 terrorism" like there was no tomorrow. We can all agree that if it weren't for 9/11, Bush would've been a one-term president.

It was a goldmine for the Coulter Republicans. While the "Hollywood liberal elite" were holding telethons and giving money to help the victims, Coulter was calling for the US to invade the Middle East, kill their heads of state, and force their people to convert to Christianity. While Muhummad Ali--a man who was ostracized for refusing to serve in Vietnam--personally visited Ground Zero, the Coulter Republicans were in negotiations for book contracts. Throw in "terror," "America," and few clever ways to tie the terrorists to liberals, and ta daaaaaaaaa!!!! Instant book! Ben Stein's Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left and What to Do About It is a classic example of this kind of tome. Of course, Stein's love of country doesn't extend to USO tours of Iraq (like Al Franken has done) or personal visits to Ground Zero. Maybe his game show could've been titled Win the Money Ben Stein Made When a Couple of Think Tanks Bought His Book to Use as Mulch in Richard Mellon Scaife's Garden.

Gradually, the right wing has lost credibility in just about every major policy affecting America today. What has their administration done in the war on terror? Well, they killed Zarqawi. And then they...and then they...uh...what do you mean, the Taliban's making a comeback in Afghanistan? How about the economy? No comment. Homeland security? Oxymoron. Iraq? What did you say we were there for again? What's the excuse this week?

Through all the disasters, the floundering, the screeching and howling and wailing, the temper tantrums and projection, the finger pointing and the refusal to accept responsibility for anything, the Coulter Republicans still had 9/11. Ah 9/11. How about a fifth anniversary edition with a "Why Democrats Suck" appendix in the back?

But then they went overboard. Coulter trashed four women who'd lost their husbands in the worst terrorist attack in US history. No, Coulter Republicans, she wasn't suggesting they were above criticism. No, she wasn't saying that the left was "using" these women to make a point. No, she was not "joking." She suggested that maybe their husbands were ready to divorce them, that they "enjoyed" losing their husbands, that they were "witches" and "harpies." No matter how you spin it, this wasn't satire or commentary. They had dared to question Bush, demanding an independent 9/11 commission. They even--gasp!--campaigned for Kerry! This after some of them voted for Bush in 2000!

The Coulter Republicans have wasted no time in defending Coulter, the avatar of the current conservative movement. A quick visit to Media Matters will lead you to spirited defenses of Coulter from Mary Matalin, David Horowitz, and Rush Limbaugh.

Here's what they're saying: It's okay to smear the families of the dead. It's okay make money off grieving widows. In short, Matalin, Horowitz, Limbaugh, and the other Coulter Republicans show how much they really care about the victims of 9/11 and the families they left behind. "Griefarazzis"? Obviously, Matalin, Horowitz, and Limbaugh have never lost a loved one. They don't understand the nature of grief.

The Coulter Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They created this media personality, and now they're stuck with her. If they're so willing to excuse Coulter's viciousness, are they really capable of the same grief and anger that the rest of America felt on 9/11? How can they deny the widows' valid concerns over homeland security? Do they really want another terrorist attack? Are they so desperate to believe Bush is a flawless leader that they'll allow another 9/11 just so Bush can rally the troops? Do they really want more widows, more widowers, more parents burying their sons and daughters, more children without parents? Don't they care about what happens to their fellow Americans?

That's going to be hard for them to explain.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bush doing what he does best--Scapegoating

Remember "You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie"? Well, while Bush sang Brownie's praises in public, he was privately hoping that Brownie would take all the blame for the NOLA disaster. CNN's Situation Report got a hold of an e-mail provided by Brownie's lawyers. In this e-mail, a White House official quotes Bush saying, "I'd rather they beat up on him [Brownie] than me or Chertoff."

The sender adds, "Congratulations on doing a great job of diverting hostile fire away from the leader."

Klassy, huh?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Well, I went ahead and did it

I bought a new cell phone. It's an LG that flips open, just like those Star Trek communicators. I can even take pictures with it, which is kind of cool. I'm still trying to figure out how everything works on this new phone. They included a headset with the phone, which is tempting. However, I don't want to end up like those people who seem to be talking to themselves when they discuss the stock market. They just look kind of strange.

Anyway, I switched to Verizon and tossed my old phone in a bin they've set aside for antique cell phones. The antique phones are then donated to domestic abuse victims, so hopefully my old phone will be useful to someone before it finally expires for good.

Friday, June 09, 2006

John Murtha, House Majority leader?

If the Democrats retake the House this fall, Nancy Pelosi will become the new Speaker. Which will leave an opening for House majority leader. Which John Murtha is interested in seeking if this comes to pass.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Awwwwww. Izzums mad at the mean liberal Democrats?

The Bugman gave his farewell speech to Congress today. He bemoaned--YAAAAWWWWWWN--liberalism and liberal Democrats, trotting out old, tired cliches:

In any place or any time on any issue, what does liberalism ever seek, Mr. Speaker? More -- more government, more taxation, more control over people's lives and decisions and wallets.

How many times have we heard this? Seven hundred? Eight hundred? How many liberals actually feel this way? Three? Four, at the most? The Bugman, meanwhile, wants people to forget how he inserted himself into the Terry Schiavo case. Who's trying to exert control over people's lives and decisions, Mr. Delay?

Over at Juanita's, the World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, we get a first-hand look at what it's been like to be a Bugman constituent. Hint: the blog owner is not a fan. Nonetheless, she's kept a great sense of humor about the wacky Texas GOP, which seems to attract thugs and wingnuts the way sugar attracts ants.

The Paris Hilton tax stays

Sorry, Paris. Looks like the ultra-rich are going to be paying estate taxes after all.

(First the gay marriage amendment flops and now this. Have they started taking sanity pills up in Congress?)

Good riddance

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is now in a very warm place along with Saddam's sons and Timothy McVeigh. Finally!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one"

These are the words of Louisiana's junior senator, Republican David Vitter (above, far right).

Okay, it's quiz time, folks! What's this all-important issue he's talking about?

A. The new hurricane season.
B. The rebuilding of New Orleans.
C. The gay marriage amendment.

The correct answer is...C! That's today's Republican party for you! They may be clueless foul-ups, but at least they make sure that homos don't get married.

Of course, Vitter also said, "Eventually, Congress is going to have to catch up to the wisdom of the American people or the American people will change Congress for the better." In other words, Vitter's toast in the next election, right?

Sometimes, with these politicians, the jokes write themselves...

Okay, that does it. There are too many Kiss tribute bands out there.

When you see a bunch of Ace Frehly and Paul Stanley wannabes in a bowling alley, you know things have gone too far.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Senator Feingold on the Gay Marriage Amendment

"A shameful political ploy" is what he calls it. Okay, that's like saying water is wet, but it still shows why Russell Feingold is one of my favorite Democrats in office.

More on Kansas GOPers jumping ship

Following up this post about Kansas's GOP defectors, it seems that the national media has picked up on the cracks in the Kansas Republican Party.

USA Today has the details.

Meanwhile, Kansas still, believe it or not, has some level-headed Republicans, who've let themselves be drowned out by the Brownbacks long enough. There's a group called the Kansas Traditional Republican Majority who are trying to take back their party.

So who are these guys and what do they believe in? The Kansas City Star explains: "Think Ike. Think fiscal conservatives. Think Bob Dole or Nancy Kassebaum or Bill Graves, pols who stood for personal freedom and limited government..."

This was bound to happen sooner or later. The fundies overplayed their hand and the normal, level-headed Republicans got fed up. That's what happened with Mark Parkinson, the GOP chair turned Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. And while Parkinson has left the party, other Republicans have decided to stick it out.

Back in 2004, I predicted that the Republicans would eventually come to rue their election victories. Instead of laying the groundwork for a permanent majority, the party is splintering, abandoning the ideals that Republicans once cherished. It only took two years for the party to start unraveling.

Man, am I glad I'm not a Republican right now.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Look at those box office numbers. WOW!

"An Inconvenient Truth" is at number 9 for weekend box office results. It's in 77 theaters (so far) and brought in $1.7 million.

Wow. WOW!

Crooks and Liars has the interview here. Apparently Gore is leaning toward not running. Oh well. I seriously want the 2008 candidate to be someone who a. is not a senator and b. doesn't have so much baggage. Yes, it rules out Hillary (or La Hill as I call her). Still, a President Gore would be...well, pretty cool.

I don't like cell phones

There. I've said it. Yes, I'll admit that I have a cell phone. It's a cute little red Nokia cell phone that I got in 2003. And yes, I know how handy and convenient they are and how necessary they are and how some people can't live without them.

Nevertheless, I still don't like cell phones. They're a necessary evil, like cough medicine and the IRS. That's all. That's it.

Consider the reasons...

1. They've provided more opportunities for outright rudeness. Years ago, before I met Le Sweetie, I went on a date with a jerk who insisted on chatting on the cell phone while driving, with me in the passenger's seat. Yes, that's a great way to break the ice with a date. As it turns out, the cell phone was the least of this guy's problems, but that's another story. There's a time and a place for everything, but now that everyone's carrying these things around, they think they can just whip out the cell phone and start a conversation, whether they're eating dinner with friends or at Carnegie Hall. Cut it out!

2. Those freaky little head sets that people use with cell phones so that it looks like they're talking to themselves. Unless you've got neck problems OR you are a telephone operator, you do not need a head set. It will not kill you to simply HOLD the cell phone in one hand as you talk. Most people do this all the time.

3. Unlike land lines, cell phones need to be recharged. You can't just pick up a cell phone whenever you like, because use it enough and you'll use up all the juice inside. Sooooo you'll have to recharge the phone, feeling blue because now you can't play the spiffy games that are included on the phone or listen to your new Kanye West and Pink ringtones. And speaking of ringtones...

4. Ringtones are just a way to wring some more money out of you. Why do you need Green Day to let you know that someone's calling? Is Green Day with the telephone company? No. Does Green Day care who's calling you? No. Besides, if you want to hear Green Day AND you're really so savvy with new technology, chances are you've got an iPod to listen to Green Day. A phone is a phone. Not a radio or an mp3 player. Besides, that tinny little recording of "American Idiot" gets on people's nerves.

Meanwhile, I'm looking to replace my cell phone. It's three years old and already on its last legs. That's another thing about cell phones. Unlike 'puters, which can go five years at least, cell phones need to be replaced every 2-3 years. So, I'm going to subject myself to a barrage of propaganda from Sprint (my current plan), T-Mobile, Verizon, et al. I'm thinking of switching to Verizon since that's Le Sweetie's plan and we can talk to each other for an unlimited amount of time. I'm sure they'll try to sell me one of those phones with the cameras and mp3 players inside. Whoopee.

Friday, June 02, 2006

When the going gets tough, the tough try to ban gay marriage

Just in time for 2006, too! Yes, Bush is once again trying to lure the 31 percenters to the polls with a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. YAAAAAAAWWWWWWWN. This is getting tired. Will the wingnuts figure out that they're being taken for a ride? Who knows? This quote is telling, however.
Just over half of all Americans oppose same-sex marriage, according to a March poll by the Pew Research center, down from 63 percent in February 2004.

What a difference two years makes. Perhaps Americans decided there were more important things to worry about

Next time, Republicans, hold your damn convention somewhere else

Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "My party came to New York and all I got was this lousy T-shirt and a 40 percent cut in anti-terrorism funding."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Maybe politics should be more like jury duty?

Jazz over at Running Scared stumbled on to this LTE, with an ingenious solution to corrupt government.

David Rossie's May 21 column contrasting "honest, representative government" with the sorry bunch of politicians trying to get elected got me thinking.

No politician can be representative of me because I'm not a politician. Only people like me and the rest of us can represent us. Politicians can only be representative of politicians.

Here in Tarrant County, there are 10 qualifications required to be a juror. There are three qualifications required to be president. As jurors, we are deemed qualified to make decisions about life and death, terms of imprisonment, how much this party owes that party. And we are required to serve our government as jurors on pain of punishment should we refuse.

So, we would get truly representative government -- and more qualified representatives -- if we fill all elective offices with people picked at random from the jury rolls.

You would get a summons, just like one for jury duty: "You are hereby summoned to appear at the White House (insert date) to serve your required four-year term as president."

No more campaign fund corruption, no more listening to interminable blather. Just honest, representative government.

Ed Martin

Fort Worth, Texas

The only drawback is this: would-be politicians thinking up lame excuses to get out of service. Not unlike what jurors do all the time.

What's the Department of Homeland Security good for, anyway?

This is how Homeland Security makes America more secure:

1. Issuing color-coded alerts
2. Mishandling Hurricane Katrina
3. Cutting money for the two cities who were attacked on 9/11.

Yes, the department slashed NYC and DC's anti-terror funds by 40 percent.

Wow, I feel so much safer under Bush, don't you?

More on the subject here.

Now, even the professional Bush butt-sniffers at the The New York Post are pissed. "DC's Stupid Scrooges Slash NYC Terror Aid and Splurge on the Sticks" is the headline. I'd have fun watching the Post foam and froth if I weren't reeeeeeaaaaallly nervous about another possible attack.