August 2007 Archives

Time With My Family

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Today is an off day. Unless something serious comes along to grab my attention (I know, I ought be careful about making these claims, they always bite my ass) I am going to lounge about, enjoying the last day of summer vacation with The Fuskers™ and just plain relaxing.

So, with that said, I bid you a fond farewell!

Minnesota U.S. Senate Straw Poll

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Minnesota Campaign Report has a straw poll up. Go, cast your straw at the person you would like to see challenge Norm Coleman for the Minnesota US Senate seat.

washingtonpost.com

A half-dozen or so lawyers are being discussed among administration officials as possible candidates to replace Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, but no clear favorite has emerged, and President Bush is willing to fight for the right candidate, administration officials and Republican advisers said yesterday.
Oh. My. God.

The President is willing to fight for the right candidate! I'm quaking in my boots.

Wait.

I'm not wearing any boots.

You know, come to think of it, I'm not quaking either.

Damn, I hate when that happens.

You want to know why I am not quaking?

You don't?

Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway.

That lazy, silver spoon-feed pansy never had to fight for a damn thing in his life. He wouldn't know what an honest effort at a job entails. Hell, he's a child who's yet truly earned even a dime in allowance.

Fight for the right candidate. How about he first try and re-learn the English language.

Democratic Senate leaders have called on the White House to consult them closely during the selection process, but administration officials warned yesterday that the president intends to nominate an attorney general who agrees with his policies. "It is the president's prerogative to appoint someone who shares his views," a senior administration official said.
Look, I'm all for nominating an attorney general who agrees with his policies. The problem is that the President does not have any policies. He's making this shit up as he goes. If he truly had any policies, thought out, reasoned policies, I doubt we would be in the mess we find ourselves at the moment.

Besides, if the founding fathers had wanted cabinet members picked solely by the President, I think the whole advise and consent part of congress's role would never have been written into the constitution. But then, we are talking about a President who's yet grown up and learned to share.

Fielding and White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten are leading the effort to draft and cull a list of potential nominees. Officials familiar with the process said that the White House has begun reaching out to potential candidates to gauge their interest in the job.

"They're less concerned about confirmability and more concerned about the candidate's ability to steer affairs in away that is consistent with good problem-solving down the road," said a lawyer familiar with the selection process. "That means some combination of being a straight arrow and having a forceful presence, along with the diplomatic skills necessary to deal with the Hill."

Okay, so maybe the President is not even involved in the process this time. We can only hope, right?





Right?



No?



Fine. Have it your way. I care not.


Welcome The New Boing Boing!

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Boing Boing

We're also happy to be reintroducing comments to Boing Boing, a feature we reluctantly dropped a couple of years ago. At that time, we lacked the resources to manage the comments, and felt that a lousy comment system was worse than no system at all, so we pulled the plug. We've never felt good about it, though, because our readers' comments added a great deal of value to the blog. To correct this, we hired a terrific community manager to oversee the conversations: Teresa Nielsen Hayden. At her own blog, Making Light, Teresa has proven herself to be a wonderfully wise and talented tender of online conversations. Teresa worked closely with our designers to develop a commenting system that supports the Boing Boing community while preventing noise from drowning out the signal. "We want this new community system to make Boing Boing even more fun and informative," says Teresa. Under her supervision, we're sure it will be.
Most awesome news bloggers! Boing Boing has returned to commenting. Like here, it requires registering. But it's native, and in today's spam clogged intertube reality, necessary.
msnbc.com

WASHINGTON - After finding no evidence of astronauts drinking before launching into space, NASA said Wednesday it is considering limited alcohol testing of its employees, including astronauts. An internal investigation recommended alcohol testing while at the same time clearing astronauts of much-publicized drinking allegations. In response, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said he would come up with a policy for testing after a mishap or when there are suspicions of substance abuse.
So, is Michael Griffin's policy going to replace the one instituted back in 1989 by James C. Fletcher.

nytimes.com archives
Published: January 31, 1989

Random drug testing for key personnel, including astronauts, will start in March at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the chief of the agency has announced.

The NASA administrator, James C. Fletcher, said Thursday that a system of random drug testing will be applied to all employees in sensitive positions, including senior level management, astronauts, flight controllers, researchers and engineers.

In addition, Dr. Fletcher said, ''drug testing may be required if there is a reasonable suspicion of illegal drug use or an accident or unsafe practice.''
Of course, it would appear that Dr. Fletcher's policy might not have been adequate for the job.
startribune.com

Women who have their ovaries removed before menopause run a heightened risk of developing dementia or other mental problems later in life -- unless they take estrogen until age 50, a new study suggests. Experts said the research needs to be confirmed by further study, but the findings suggest another issue for premenopausal women and their doctors to discuss as they consider ovary removal.
A few years ago The GirlFriend™ had her uterus and cervix removed. When it came time to review what procedures were to be done, she saw that the doctor had absentmindedly checked to have her ovaries removed. Despite already being loopy (okay, loopier) from the anesthesia, she had the presence of mind to say she did not want them removed. Good thing too, because they were perfectly healthy.

This article just re-enforces the age old concept of unnecessary removal of body parts simply because you happen to be there. If it's healthy, you leave it be. Or, the old conservative credo: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Held against that credo BushCo™ sure does lack conservative credentials.
MNBlue.com

A Democracy Corps poll from the Washington firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner suggests voters ages 18 to 29 have undergone a striking political evolution in recent years. A Democracy Corps poll from the Washington firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner suggests voters ages 18 to 29 have undergone a striking political evolution in recent years.

Young Americans have become so profoundly alienated from Republican ideals on issues including the war in Iraq, global warming, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration that their defections suggest a political setback that could haunt Republicans "for many generations to come," the poll said.

The startling collapse of GOP support among young voters is reflected in the poll's findings that show two-thirds of young voters surveyed believe Democrats do a better job than Republicans of representing their views - even on issues Republicans once owned, such as terrorism and taxes.
(San Fransisco Chronicle)

I think the Republican party forgot one very important fact about representative democracy - people set the agenda, not the party. The party became so enamored with itself, it's image, it's invincibility, it actually believed the people would simply follow along. Instead, the people are seeing them for what they really are, craven, amoral, and corrupt opportunists with no regard for the will of the people and who's only goal is control and power at any cost.

In the end, if you don't walk the talk, the people walk away.
To steal a routine from Kenneth over at T-Rex's Guide For Living, this is why I am a progressive:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Leona Helmsley's dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley's grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire's estate.

Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court.

She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence, as well as two of four grandchildren from her late son Jay Panzirer -- so long as they visit their father's grave site once each calendar year.

Otherwise, she wrote, neither will get a penny of the $5 million she left for each of them.

Unsung Hero

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nytimes.com

The stock market plunged late in the afternoon yesterday, registering its biggest drop in three weeks as investors were hit by fresh worries over declining consumer confidence, falling house prices, shrinking profits on Wall Street and uncertainty about the Federal Reserve.
Another one of those God damned corners. It's starting to feel like a Nascar Race. Around and around we go.
February, it's the coldest damn month in Minnesota, and yet,
Minnesota Monitor

It's official: State Democrats today announced that they will match Republicans in holding their presidential caucuses on Feb. 5, 2008, pushing up the primary date more than a month ahead of its schedule.
You really think this is going to cause a large turnout of voters? This is just a case of keeping up with the Joneses. Well, fuck the Joneses. I would rather wait and vote in a spring primary. When it's not so flipping cold.

I can say flipping, can't I?
MNPublius

Last week Al Franken was endorsed by the netroots group Blue Majority, an organization made up of the chief-high-muckity-mucks and the members of DailyKos, MyDD, OpenLeft, and the Swing State Project.
Sean is right to state this is nothing more than an endorsement along the lines of...... well, let his words speak for him:

I think that like many other groups, this should be viewed as an endorsement and nothing more. Just like the Sierra Club, Stonewall, NARAL, and EMILYs List Al Franken received an endorsement. It doesn’t carry as much weight or money as the Sierra Club, or Unions, (or likewise before Republicans think they can get all high and mighty you guys have the NRA, religious organizations, CoC’s etc) but it’s an endorsement none the less, and one he should receive kudos for.
So, here's kudos to you Al Franken.

msnbc.com

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Sen. Tim Johnson, speaking slowly and slurring some words more than eight months after experiencing a life-threatening brain hemorrhage, announced Tuesday to state residents: “I am back.” In his first public appearance since falling ill, the 60-year-old Democrat spoke for about 15 minutes to a cheering crowd at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. As the state’s senior senator was brought out in a wheelchair, he waved his left arm to the crowd, then rose to his feet.
More good news!
news.bbc.co.uk

Taleban militants say they have agreed to free 19 South Koreans held hostage for more than a month in Afghanistan. Seoul said the agreement was reached on condition its troops were withdrawn as scheduled by the year's end. South Korea also agreed to end all missionary work in Afghanistan and stop its citizens from travelling there.
This is outstanding news.
news.bbc.co.uk

The MoD has sent written guidance to coroners across England and Wales over the holding of military inquests. According to the Times, its letter says the US "confirms categorically" it will not provide witnesses for inquests. It comes six days after three British soldiers were killed by US "friendly fire" in southern Afghanistan. The Times reports that the letter to coroners states: "The US have confirmed categorically that they will not provide witnesses to attend UK inquests. "While coroners may continue to ask for US witnesses to attend... they should be aware that there will in all cases be a refusal."
Look, I understand that friendly fire is an occupational hazard of military warfare. Nor am I in any way, shape, or form, criticizing our military for having been the cause of friendly fire deaths. However, categorically refusing to provide witnesses is just plain arrogant. For crying out loud, make some agreement to prevent charges in the event of friendly fire deaths and let the witnesses attend the inquests, if it's at all possible.

Because, that's the other point. In most cases, I am pretty sure our military is busy at the moment, and need every member they have out in the field. So, could we maybe have some intelligent (yes, I know. Oxymoron) people actually communicate with our ally, and work at less severe, blunt language?

I'm asking for too much, aren't I?

[sigh]

I know, I know. I'll behave.
nytimes.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Former state Sen. John Ford, once among Tennessee's most powerful lawmakers, was sentenced Tuesday to 5 1/2 years in prison for bribery.
5 1/2 years? That seems harsh. I mean, it's not like he disclosed the name of an undercover CIA operative.

Oh, wait. He's a Democrat. Never mind.
startribune.com

The Ashmore Family Foundation lured people to lend or otherwise contribute money to it by assuring them that they'd earn returns of up to 70 percent, Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a lawsuit against the charity.
I'm sorry, but if you actually believed the 70 percent line, then I have a bridge in Minneapolis to sell........

That being said, the Ashmore Family brothers are assholes.

The preceding statement merely being an opinion. I mean, it's not like bloggers have opinions now.

Sorry. Really. It won't happen again.

Now, about the you buying a bridge.......
startribune.com

Carmen Alldritt's dog Buddy was on the losing end of an attack by an unleashed Doberman. She says she felt helpless to stop it as the dogfight spilled into the street in a Lawrence neighborhood.

Then, she says, a shiny black pickup truck stopped, "and this guy gets out.'' The guy was Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison. He intervened enough that Alldritt's yellow Lab, Buddy, was able to spring loose of the Doberman's grip.
Anyway you look at it, that's just plain cool. But then, what else can you expect from a man who's common sense was strong enough to cause him to switch to the Democratic Party.

Shakesville

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Ho Hum

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Geez, another boring morning in the news cycle. Which, of course means while I am busy at work, all hell will break lose.

Let me guess:

President Bush will resign.

Cheney will be exposed as a Soviet mole left over from the cold war.

Kevin Drum will suddenly give up his passive/aggressive blogging and demand his fellow kwel clutch blogging brothers worship him as the premier blogging God.

Matthew Yglesias will finally come out of the closet and announce he's a conservative.

Atrois will suddenly have an epiphany and link to every insignificant and unheralded blog he can find.
McClatchy has the list.
CNN

The government, which declared a state of emergency, implied the destruction could be part of an orchestrated campaign of arson. But environmental experts expressed skepticism.
Oh, for Christ's sake! I'm sure the terrorists spent months and months saturating the country side with kerosene. Oh, wait. The drought that preceded the fire has always been a terrorist plot. BushCo™ has been denying global warming simply to keep the terrorists from knowing that we know they are behind global warming. God! It all makes sense now. And the damn Greek government goes and lets the cat out of the bag. What the hell were they thinking?</snark>

Jesus! Nothing like a little desperation over the possibility of losing power to cause some fear mongering. Pathetic.
(CNN) -- A Republican senator pleaded guilty earlier this month to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge stemming from his arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to state criminal records.
I really have to stop saying that nothing catches my attention in the news. The Great Blogging God obviously was listening, because he sure did catch my attention afterwards. But seriously, couldn't he (I'm chauvinistic this one time, live with it) have had this break earlier in the day? Like, say at 4:45 AM? Then I could have actually blogged about it. But no he (do you really think a woman God would do this?) just had to release this story during the day at a time when I was on the road.

I'll bet he is laughing his ass off.

No, not at me. At Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, for getting exposed as a hypocrite. If I was God, I'd be laughing. Of course, if I was God, I'd have never allowed the idea of cream and sugar in coffee. Talk about vengeance. Hell would be too good for you coffee desecrating heathens.

Go Figure

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I write nothing in the news catches my interest, and what happens? And on a day I have to go over the road 100 miles. Well, at least I was listening to MPR and heard the news, Oh Boy. Is it safe to say Gonzales didn't make the grade? And I wonder how many holes it would take to fill his hall.

So sorry, but I don't love to turn you on..............

Anyway, enough with the vague (or not) references to A Day In The Life. I admit, I listened to The Beatles extensively over the weekend. I'd like to think I'm the biggest 2nd Generation fan that existed. I'm not, but I like to think so.

But, I am stalling. Don't know why, but I am.

[sigh]

I guess the progressives of the nation are happy and celebrating the departure of Alberto Gonzales. But I can't seem to get into the spirit. Maybe it's because I'm tired as hell. Maybe it's because I've yet to see anything constructive result from the resignation of one of BushCo™ cabinet members.

So, should we be happy? Should we be celebrating? I am not so sure. At this point, there is no such thing as positive outcomes when it involves BushCo™. We'll just end up replacing one blank, dull, clown smile of an idiot with another. It's right up there with repaving a bridge deck as the understructure flaks away.

I've no faith the Democrats in the congress are going to do anything more then play lip service to their oversight responsibilities. Considering Alberto Gonzales already managed to get past them the first time. True, the Republicans were the majority. Still a lot more noise could have been generated.

Look, as long as Bush and Cheney are ensconced at 1600, we are all totally fucked. Just ask anybody from Iraq, New Orleans, or who's had a frog's ass. Well, at least those from Iraq and New Orleans who survived. They've already experienced the compassionate conservatism of BushCo™. I'm quite sure the frog asses didn't survive.

Seriously. Am I the only one weired out by the fact our current President stuck lit fire crackers up the asses of frogs?

Monday Morning

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Not much going on in the news that really catches my interest. But then, it's Monday morning. We all know about Monday mornings. Unless, of course, you don't know about Monday mornings. In which case, I hate you.

Anyway, I've got a road trip I have to make today, which has required me to wake up at way to early an hour. I am dog ass tired (how the hell does anyone know that a dog's ass is tired?) and sore from the 31 mile bike ride on Saturday.

Yes, 31 miles. For me, that is phenomenal. At 45 years of age, with 20 to 30 pounds extra weight, to have been able to bike from Hasting, to Afton State Park, and back, is a feat considered heroic. Even more phenomenal, I wasn't found dead on the side of the road.

Well, I've got to get my tired ass body into the shower, so that I can get to work early, so that I can find out where the hell this training is located I am suppose to attend. It's about state funding for treatment, so I best go. I don't want to lose the main source of funds for my salary.

They'll Put Anything On A Stick!

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At State Fairs, they put everything on a stick. It was only a matter of time before one put Bovine Excrement on a stick.

Chertoff For Gonzales?!?!

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By way of BuzzFlash
USNews & World Report

The buzz among top Bushies is that beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally plans to depart and will be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
Chertoff and Gonzales: Dumb & Dumber.

But even more importantly, is it a good idea to replace one toady with another toady who was complicit in the drowning of 1500 people? Of course, I probably should take into account Bush would view that as a plus in considering Chertoff for the position.
NYTimes.com

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- When the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy in February, abruptly halting multiple sex-abuse lawsuits on the eve of trial, Michael Bang thought his chance for a day in court was gone.

On Friday, a federal bankruptcy judge revived hope for Bang, ruling that 42 cases be sent back to state courts for immediate jury trials.

''Doing that in February really reaffirmed to me how significant the cover-up is,'' said Bang, a 46-year-old Atlanta man who says he spent years of his boyhood as a sex slave to a reverend monsignor. ''They want to do anything they can within the legal system to stop it, but all it's done is made me more committed to telling the truth.''
So, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy just to avoid having the truth about their priest's sexual deviancy exposed to light. Huh, just doesn't seem to jive with the whole confession is good for the soul ideology of Catholicism.

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