May 2009 Archives

Got Drama?

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Here's a web page to help increase it's dramatic impact.

Hat Tip: Elizabeth Bear

Update; You know, I'd almost forgotten about this:


My Intuition Calling

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This move to fight the gay marriage ban strikes me as right. Mustang Bobby is cautioning that a quick move to the Supreme Court could cause a backlash, as seen with several other cases. However, those cases were not quickly rushed to the courts, but made their way through the usual process of courts, appeals, etc., until they appeared before the SCOTUS.

This whole movement for gay marriage has happened quite quickly. In my 47+ years*, I've never seen social change occur at this pace. No doubt, it seems to be the tone for this particular issue, California and Florida not withstanding. For there to be a quick move to address this issue in front of the SCOTUS is in complete harmony with the advent of this topic. My gut tells me this will work out. I wish I could point to something concrete facts to support my intuition, but I can't. But then, if I could, it would be called reasoning, not intuition. Duh!

Oh, and as a side note, in a not totally unrelated topic, the California Supreme Court did not rule the ban on gay marriage to be constitutional. At least not from what I read of the decision. What they did was hold up the process by which the ban was passed. Hopefully, Californians will pull their collective heads out of their collective asses, and reform their ballot initiative process. Because, quite frankly, Proposition 13 has destroyed them. But then, what the hell do you expect when you number it 13?

* Yes, I'm old. What of it?

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One of the greatest cons ever pulled was AOL baiting Time Warner into a merger. Well, the con is over.

Personally, I don't see how AOL is going to survive. Dial-up is the dinosaur of the internet age, and I don't think they've managed to convert themselves into a Yahoo style internet portal.

Thankfully, I no longer receive one of those irritating AOL discs with my new software programs.

Missing The Point

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Okay, look. The conservatives don't have a problem with empathy. They have a problem with where that empathy is employed. If it's employed towards minorities, BAD. If it's employed towards old white guys, GOOD.

Got that?

If you need a more in depth discussion on the whole judicial empathy kerfuffle, go read GG.

Thank God For Other Blogs

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If it weren't for other blogs, well, I'd never discover the true depth of conservative stupidity.

(TPM) According to Hill reporter Alexander Bolton, "This has prompted some Republicans to muse privately about whether Sotomayor is suggesting that distinctive Puerto Rican cuisine such as patitas de cerdo con garbanzo -- pigs' tongue and ears -- would somehow, in some small way influence her verdicts from the bench."

Curt Levey, the executive director of the Committee for Justice, a conservative-leaning advocacy group, said he wasn't certain whether Sotomayor had claimed her palate would color her view of legal facts but he said that President Obama's Supreme Court nominee clearly touts her subjective approach to the law.

Slightly gobsmacked, I called Bolton earlier today and asked him whether this was for real--whether any conservatives were genuinely raising this issue. He confirmed, saying, "a source I spoke to said people were discussing that her [speech] had brought attention...she intimates that what she eats somehow helps her decide cases better."

Bolton said the source was drawing, "a deductive link," between Sotomayor's thoughts on Puerto Rican food and her other statements. And I guess the chain goes something like this: 1). Sotomayor implied that her Latina identity informs her jurisprudence, 2). She also implied that Puerto Rican cuisine is a crucial part of her Latina identity, 3). Ergo, her gastronomical proclivities will be a non-negligible factor for her when she's considering cases before the Supreme Court.

Got it? Good. This is the conservative opposition to Sotomayor.

See, what's nice about other blogs is that I don't have to wallow through an entire article of standard batshit crazy just to get to this phenomenally stupid conservative talking point. In this particular case, I was able to cull the above piece of "wtf" from TPM by way of Mustang Bobby. The end result, I don't have to wipe up the green discharge of my brain leaking out of my ears.

Oh, and what is it about the people with the last name of Bolton? Are they all naturally insane, or is it a curse that comes with the name?

Look Ma! No Hands!

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I learned how to use tools! Damn, I'm good. Now NTodd will have to surrender his tiara to me!

Mwaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

World Domination, here I come!

Much funner than Disneyland, I hear.

She's Got My Vote

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Unfortunately, I'm not a senator.

(NYT) She loved Nancy Drew mysteries, she once said, and yearned to be a police detective. But a doctor who diagnosed her childhood diabetes suggested that would be difficult. She traded her adoration of Nancy for an allegiance to Perry -- she became a fan of Perry Mason on television, she said, and decided to become a lawyer.
Que copious amounts of Perry Mason reruns on TBS.

Hat Tip Steve Benen

Update: Here are the relevant Legacy Media links about Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court: BBC, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, StarTribune, Washington Post.

Goodbye MN GOP

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I think this grandstanding by Pawlenty has sealed the fate of the MN GOP. At a time when the GOP nationally is losing ground, to stand tight with a failed ideology, after having already lost ground in the state congress, is only going to hasten the decline of the MN GOP.

At this point, if he should run, I doubt TPaw could win another term.

Update: Dave Mindeman is right, of course, in pointing out that Pawlenty now owns the MN Budget and all its fallout. 

Well Said

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When Kevin Drum left The Washington Monthly, I gave up on the site. However, I kept finding others linked to the postings of Steve Benen and Hilzoy so often, I ended up restoring it back to my RSS reader (Sage - a plugin for Firefox).

Today, that action paid off in spades with this simple graph:

It's a real shame Bush and Cheney screwed up so spectacularly, and ignored the law so systematically, that it's interfering with Obama's desire to govern. It really is. If I were in the president's shoes, I might feel the same temptations. But he signed up for this gig, vowing to rebuild the nation. As much as he'd like to get beyond the recent past, nothing of any value is ever built on a corrupted foundation.

'nough said.
I have been remiss these past few weeks with stealing code from Mustang Bobby. But not this week! So, without further to-do, here is the Friday Blogaround as assembled by the hard working maestro of Bark Bark Woof Woof.

Friday Blogaround

This was the week I got to meet another member of the LC. So what else was the rest of the gang doing while 'noz and I were cruising around Miami...?

- A Blog Around The Clock: check your sources!
- All Facts and Opinions: When "Christian" lawyers attack.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: Crist Almighty.
- Bloggg, with a great new look, looks at Dick Cheney.
- Dohiyi Mir: NTodd on the road home from a fruitful trip to D.C.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: a bully post.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog makes a prediction.
- Iddybud Journal: Oprah at Duke.
- Left Is Right: Glenn Greenwald debunks the inflaming meme.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: Miss Fag Hag Pageant
- Rook's Rant: child's play.
- rubber hose: "the conservative intellectuals have no party."
- Scrutiny Hooligans: supporting the arts.
- Speedkill reviews Star Trek.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Something Something, objects.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation and the mythology of absinthe.
- The Invisible Library also gets his kicks with Star Trek.
- WTF Is It Now?? Tea Party 2.0
Our Canadian friends are in for a nice long weekend.

This Is A Test

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This is a test of my new plugin. It's job is to automatically tweet twitter when I post a new entry. This post is a test of tweeting twitter.

Is it me, or does the above somehow sound dirty?

Cheney's Torture

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(TPM) Because if it turns out the President didn't get the full story from Cheney and the torture memos were after-the fact justifications, not explorations of policy options, we are looking at something far, far greater than we realized a week ago.
Now Josh, being Josh, is a bit hesitant to paint Bush as out of the loop by claiming it's really not salient, but at least agrees there are new dimensions to the story. Personally, I see Dick Cheney protesting too much and throwing paranoia into the mix because he knows it all leads back to him. What we are witnessing is the behavior of a guilty man.

What is really interesting is the suggestion the DOJ memos on torture came out after waterboarding and other "harsh interrogation" methods were used. Now, I remember reading somewhere that apparently then Vice-president Cheney requested waterboarding be used. Of course, now I can't find the blog. However, I do know it's become common knowledge that torture was used extensively to force an acknowledgment of connection between Iraq and al-Qaida.

Now, if that's the case, with the memos an effort to give Cheney cover after the fact, we are back to the age old political controversy of cover-up. It's never the crime that does in politicians, it's the cover-up.

Outrage Fatigue, Part II

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Honestly, have our conservative brethren deteriorated to a state of second childhood? This age old cry of "tattle tail" is right out of noon recess at the local grade school playground.

Smith: Some of the critics are really labeling this 'Abu Ghraib Part II.'

Herridge: Well, you remember that after Abu Ghraib there was worldwide condemnation for these images of humiliation. And I learned in my research today that there was also a military report in 2008 that concluded that there is a connection between these images and also suicide bombers. Forty-eight bombers, or potential bombers, were interviewed, and they said that these images were a big factor, a big motivating factor, in the decision to become a suicide bomber.

The suggestion by Herridge is that by releasing the photos, we are endangering the service members of our armed forces. However, I think

If anyone thought that photos from those centers would not eventually leak out to the public -- or at the bare minimum, be forced out eventually by the inevitable lawsuits, as was the case here -- they were fooling themselves. Or at least gambling that they'd be out of office by then and could lay the whole mess in the laps of whoever had the misfortune to succeed them.

Indeed, the Obama critics are now out in force shouting that the pending release of these photos will hurt soldiers in the field, including Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. Bill Kristol is claiming that "this would be a gratuitous assault on the well-being and the reputation of our fighting men and women."

Imagine my surprise when I see the names of Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and Bill Kristol leading the battle cry from the playground. For Christ's sake, they're supposedly grown men. Instead, we are subjected to hearing excuses I expect from a 4th grader.

President Bush allowed torture to occur under his watch. Torture of which the Great Republican/Conservative God Ronald Reagan himself strongly rejected, as proven by his signing the Geneva treaty banning torture. Now, we are reaping the benefits of torture. Well, actually, al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations are reaping the benefits of torture.

The Bush administration lied about the rational for invading Iraq, then tortured terrorists to acquire proof of a tie between al-Qaida and Iraq (which failed miserably) and now we are faced with this misbegotten horror of a news story.

Some days, I really don't like the human race.

Spade Time

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It's time to call the fighting in Pakistan a civil war, one that's been going on for many decades, and one that George W. Bush managed to put us smack dab in the middle of because of allowing Osama to escape.

Shallow Thought

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Who the hell is Richard Cohen, and why the hell is his name always on my computer?

Let's Play A Game!

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Tech Note

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Just finished upgrading to MT 4.25. It went off without a hitch. Nice.

I've Heard Of Pink Slipping

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But Pink Sheeting?



Hap Tip: Mercury Rising

Opps, found this languishing in the draft section. Oh, okay, it was the only draft I had. I did not realize it was sitting all alone, unpublished. But, It's published now.

Obama's Timing

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I've not much to add to the debate about Obama's efforts at bipartisanship. Better bloggers than I have made hay over that subject.

However, I do have an opinion. I also go to the bathroom a lot. Anyway, when it comes to Obama's efforts, I am willing to allow him his timing. I figure, at some point, he is going to discontinue the following efforts:

Time

When Barack Obama informed congressional Republicans last month that he would support a controversial parliamentary move to protect health-care reform from a filibuster in the Senate, they were furious. That meant the bill could pass with a simple majority of 51 votes, eliminating the need for any GOP support. Where, they demanded, was the bipartisanship the President had promised? So, right there in the Cabinet Room, the President put a proposal on the table, according to two people who were present. Obama said he was willing to curb malpractice awards, a move long sought by Republicans that is certain to bring strong opposition from the trial lawyers who fund the Democratic Party.

What, he wanted to know, did the Republicans have to offer in return?

Nothing, it turned out. Republicans were unprepared to make any concessions, if they had any to make. But the encounter did make some Democrats wish they could see more of that kind of presidential engagement on the issue that Obama says is his top legislative priority. "I want the White House involved, maybe to be at the table," says Senator Chris Dodd, the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. "It's very important." (See five truths about health care in America.)

Look, Obama has shown good judgment, patience, and an innate sense of timing. It was on display during the election. Now, though, people are reacting to the current political situation as if he's lost that particular set of skills. I suspect he will know when to stop giving the GOP an opportunity to participate in the crafting of bills and just work with the Democratic caucuses in the congress.

I voted for the man because I believed he would be able to do the job as he saw fit, not as I saw fit. So far, he's managed to achieve a semblance of what I see fit. Not a perfect fit, but I'm not one to truly judge. Now, don't get me wrong; I do judge. But I also go to the bathroom a lot.

(CNN) -- Credit cards are as much a part of the American economy as $20 bills, but a fervent subset of consumers has sworn off plastic money altogether.

"Credit card debt is our biggest hindrance in being able to take care of our families and set ourselves up for prosperity," said finance student Brad Chaffee, 34, of Charlottesville, Virginia.

"If your paycheck is going toward paying all these credit card companies off, you can't get very far," added Chaffee, who has a Web site called enemyofdebt.com. "You certainly can't use your income as a wealth-building tool -- which is what it becomes when you don't have all these debt payments. I feel very strongly about that."

After our bankruptcy of 2005, The GirlFriend™ and I swore off of credit cards. But what really sucked was the urging of the various mortgage and loan companies to sign up for credit cards again, stating it would be beneficial for our credit rating. "Proof" of our ability to handle making payments. Uh, dumb asses; we obviously had difficulty in making our payments, hence the bankruptcy.

Actually, our bankruptcy was the result of The GirlFriend™ getting laid off from her job followed by a period of recuperation after surgery. Needless to say, we simply could not keep up with both our house payment and the credit cards.

Now, of course, we've lost the house in foreclosure because I was laid up for almost 3 months with what would turn out to be pinched nerves in my lower back and tail bone. Interesting that in both cases it was a combination of losing a job and medical issues that caused our financial problems, not mismanagement of money on our part.

Anyway, after getting rid of all our credit cards, I am grateful to have not succumbed to the urgings of the loan and mortgage companies to get another credit card, considering the changes in the credit card laws that were passed by congress in 2006 or 2007. In the end, the whole credit card industry appears to be a scam; they tell you you have to have credit cards for a good credit rating, but then can use any excuse to up your interest.

I remember back in the 1970s (God, just typing that makes me feel old) having a credit card was only for the upper middle class and the rich. Otherwise, you simply did not qualify. Even my parents were scornful of credit cards.

Sigh. Back then, I wanted to qualify for a credit card while my parents were scornful of the whole concept of credit cards. Today, I want nothing to do with credit cards while my parents carry one to help with their credit rating. My, my, I've become my parents; my parents have become me. Almost makes me understand the desire to be a conservative.

I said almost. Shut up, you in the back row. I didn't -- I say; DIDN'T -- ask for your opinion. 

So Much For Seniority

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See, there are consequences for acting like an arrogant prick.

The Washington Post

The Senate dealt a blow tonight to Sen. Arlen Specter's hold on seniority in several key committees, a week after the Pennsylvanian's party switch placed Democrats on the precipice of a 60-seat majority.

In a unanimous voice vote, the Senate approved a resolution that added Specter to the Democratic side of the dais on the five committees on which he serves, an expected move that gives Democrats larger margins on key panels such as Judiciary and Appropriations.

But Democrats placed Specter in one of the two most junior slots on each of the five committees for the remainder of this Congress, which goes through December 2010. Democrats have suggested that they will consider revisiting Specter's seniority claim at the committee level only after the midterm elections next year.
You know, I've tried to work up some tears over this surprise development, but my eyes are as dry as bleached bones in the desert sand.

Morning Round Up

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Well, not that I've got anything of consequence to discuss. Still, thought I'd put up a few links just for the occasional stragglers that drop buy the old castle.

In no particular order of importance (otherwise known as alphabetical);

  1. Joe The RNC Chair: Seems Joe might be afraid men are winking at him.

  2. The Other Victims: Renters get screwed too.

  3. It's Deadly To Be Gay In Iraq: The title speaks for itself.

  4. O'Reilly: Still a lying dirt bag.

  5. History fer Plumbers: It's written by Digby, like I need to say more? Oh, and it's Joe's second appearance in today's links.

  6. Great Nations Are Humble: So says Robert Gates.

  7. Glenn Greenwald on Jane Harman's impersonation of a crappie in the bottom of a fishing boat.


More Republican Fail

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Why the hell would you bring back the tail-end administration members for the worst president ever? It's not like they turned things around and improved his image or anything.

TPaw Uses BushSpeak

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The GirlFriend™ cut in line and made use of the bathroom before I got a chance to hop into the shower. As a result, I've a few minutes to fill. What better way to pass the time then to complain about my Governor. Well, not really my governor, since I didn't vote for him. However, I have to accept he is the governor because he managed to squeak out an electoral win. Anyway, Mr. Pawlenty is current engaged in old GOP behavior that, quite frankly, lost them power on the national level in both 2006 and 2008, as well as at the local level in both chambers of the state congress in both years.

See, the whole purpose of being an educated, intelligent adult is to pay attention to when you fail, so that you may learn from your mistakes. But the not so fine governor of Minnesota seems intent on closing his eyes, holding his breath, and throwing a tantrum until he gets his way. In the process, he will take health care away from Minnesotans, continue to starve our government, and generally behave exactly like the former POTUS. As a result, our state will be weaker, as the former POTUS left our country weaker.

Seriously; merge the Health Care Access fund with the General fund? Hello! Any one reminded of the move to privatize social security? This seems along the same order. It's just another attempt by a Republican to steal money from those less fortunate.

On a side note; has anyone looked into whether our not so fine governor dodged a bullet with his connections to the telecommunication industry because of the politicizing of the Justice Department? I am just wondering.

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