August 2009 Archives

Huh

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He does have a point. Driftglass, that is.

What To Post

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Sigh. Slow news day. Nothing stands out as meme changing, or even meme misdirecting. Just the usual pointing out how insanely the current crop of Republicans continue to act, the pointing out of lies by the corporate arm of the conservative movement over health care reform, and the usual past time of comparing the size of a gnat's ass with a conservative's brain.

I do believe the gnat wins.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 18

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Really quick with the stats:
  • Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifAverage Speed: 11.5 mph
  • Total Distance: 11.95 miles
  • Top Speed: 23.0 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 1.01.58
  • iPod: Led Zepplin - II & IV (Runes)
  • Wind: 3 mph WSW
  • Temp: Start; 59° F. Finish; 63° F.
  • Humidity: 60%

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 17

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Well, I almost did not go out for a leg today. I woke up sore all over, and with a dry, scratchy throat. However, after my morning coffee and breakfast, my body's pain eased and my throat moistened up, allowing me the pleasure of a Sunday noon ride.

Stats:
  • Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifAverage Speed: 11.6 mph
  • Total Distance: 10.67 miles
  • Top Speed: 29.5 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 55:43
  • iPod: The Beatles - 1967/1970
  • Wind: 9 mph NNW
  • Temp: Start; 60° F. Finish; 63° F.
  • Humidity: 53%

Blind To Their Own Thinking

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Never underestimate the power of denial.

(The Washington Monthly) Reading this, it reminded me just how challenging the right's sales pitch was going into the debate over reform. In some ways, conservatives couldn't possibly win the argument -- the status quo is ridiculous. We spend too much and get too little. Tens of millions of Americans go without coverage, and thousands die as a result of not having insurance. The existing private system screws over consumers, is a drag on the economy, and undercuts wage growth. The two groups of Americans best served by the status quo are seniors (in a Canadian-style, socialized system) and veterans (in a British-style, government-run system). Everyone else is in, at best, a precarious position.

[...]

They've pulled it off, so far, by telling almost comically-ridiculous lies, and managing to get scared, gullible people to believe them. It's no small feat. Indeed, it's almost impressive. Conservatives have managed to create a debate out of nothing but partisanship, paranoia, and greed.
Steve misses the most important reason the Conservatives have managed this feat; the ability of people to ignore even the most obvious of facts. Denial makes blind people of us all when we are not diligent of our thinking.

Sunday Cat Blogging

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Okay, okay. I admit I occasionally weaken, succumbing to societal pressure, and do Friday Cat Blogging - about twice a year. But, for the most part, I stand strong and steadfast in my desire to remain above such superficial cultural activities. Unfortunately, some pictures are just too damn cute not to post. By way of Jonathan Turley, I give you Sunday Cat Blogging; because Friday is just too damn far away.

humorous-090.jpg

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 16

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Well, seems I took a longer break then I meant to; I have not ridden my bike since August 9th! Well, I corrected that oversight today. Here are the stats:

  • Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifTop Speed: 25.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.7 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 40:32
  • Total Distance: 7.93 miles
  • iPod: The Beatles - Abby Road
  • Wind: 9 mph N
  • Temp: Start; 61° F. Finish; 60° F.
  • Humidity: 62%
If the weather allows, which looks to be the case, I will hit the paths again tomorrow.

Chess Board Dancing

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This was a game of dancing. I managed to take my opponent's Queen, but at a cost. In the end, my Queen and his two Rooks were dancing around in an effort to advance Pawns. So busy with advancing Pawns that I missed the mating move the first time. In the end, though, I was able to mate using my Queen and a Pawn, with his Rooks blocking any escape.

Play online chess

Finally!

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Some truth in advertising.

2790950732_f8c0c01554_b_fc9e2.jpg

Let's Do The Time Warp!

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DougJ over at Balloon Juice hops into his wayback machine to discover the wise wisdom of Cookie Roberts as she espouses on about the Democratic Party kicking Joe Lieberman out in 2006.

.....I think, a disaster for the Democratic Party, and it's going to be very interesting to see what happens as a result of it.

[....]

Yes, I do because I think, first of all, that pushing the party to the left, which is what's likely to happen, is pushing the party to the position from which it traditionally loses, and In presidential elections but also it will send a signal to everybody in the Senate, watch out, the only smart thing to do here is play to your base, and then what that means is that your legislation becomes a mess, which it already is but even more of a mess, and you get.

[.....]

Well, and it certainly - and Bill Clinton, it's also no accident that Bill Clinton is the only Democrat who has been elected president for two terms since Franklin Roosevelt, because he was a Democrat in the middle from the south with a very strong acquaintanceship with scripture. All of that and I think you start, you know, talking about the liberal blogs and all that taking over the party and it will be a disaster.

Is she not just one amazingly precise prognosticator? Since then, the Democratic Party picked up 15 senate seats, 55 house seats, and the Presidency. One seriously unmitigated disaster, I tell you.

About Ted

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Look, everyone from this side of the tracks ought to know there will be vile, horrible things said about Ted Kennedy. I, for one, am not about to go out and look for them. It will be a waste of time. Not to mention it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. In any case, it accomplishes nothing, and only adds to the distraction away from the importance of getting on with life. The Kennedy family is use to this insanity by now, and Ted himself surly was able to rise above the fray.

So, move alone. There really is nothing to the vile words of vile people.

Too Damn Early

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I am just not use to getting up this early in the morning. My eyes feel like they are two buckets of sand, my mouth can't stay closed for longer then 30 seconds before a yawn erupts, and I have about as much motivation as a slug facing a salt flat.

And I once took pride in being a morning person.

Right Cross!

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(Why Now?) What I don't understand is how these Republicans think they can be self-sufficient when they can't even change a P-trap under a sink? If they "go Galt" they'll be back as soon as they run out of toilet paper.
Ouch! That had to hurt. Check their noses, to see if they are bleeding.

Or, as Mustang Bobby would say, SNAP!
(NYT) Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.

Rest long, and prosper in the light, Brother Of Camelot.

Back To The Playground

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Can he be any more infantile and juvenile?

(Salon) According to Scahill (via email), Todd approached him after the Maher show and the following occurred:

Right as we walked off stage, he said to me "that was a cheap shot." I said "what are you talking about?" and he said "you know it." I then said that I monitor msm coverage very closely and asked him what was not true that I said on the show. He then replied: "that's not the point. You sullied my reputation on TV."

Media stars are so unaccustomed to being held accountable for the impact of their behavior -- especially when they're on television -- that they consider it a grievous assault on their entitlement when it happens.

"You sullied my reputation on TV?" A grown man pouting like a kid in the playground who had the ball taken from him.

Seriously, I expect better from my 12 year old.

Hat Tip C&L

Desperation

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There is sacrifice in chess, and there is desperation in chess. The following is desperation:



Had he taken my Rook with his Bishop, my game is over. Instead, he uses his Rook, allowing me the diagonal into his back rank, and bang! I have mate in one.

Jack Ass Of The Day

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Okay, asshole, those are our kids you are using as the butt of your joke.

We have an education system in this country that has been corrupted by narrow-minded, intellectually challenged conservative Christians, of which he is one. Now TPaw has the audacity to make jokes about the very kids he and his ilk have harmed? Seriously, how do you expect to win the Presidency when you make fun of the children of the very people you are looking to have vote for you?

Not only an asshole, but an idiot.

Distrust Of Media

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What does it say about the state of the modern Legacy Media when, between 1985 and 2004, the percentage of Americans stating they trusted the Legacy Media plummeted from 84 percent to 54 percent. Granted, this poll was focused on newsprint, but I have a hard time believing the average American separates newsprint from TV. Especially when many of the pundits spend as much time on TV as they do typing out opinion columns.

Now, we have the babbling hard on for men in power Chris Matthews claiming bloggers don't get fact checked. Look who's talking.

It's ironic that a cable news host such as Chris Matthews would attack bloggers for supposedly not checking their facts, considering the amount of falsehoods and factuallyinaccurate statements he regularly utters on the air -- which have all been fact-checked by bloggers.
This is what's know as projection.

Although babbling on about men in power appears more aligned to penis envy than projection.

And they wonder why they have lost the average American's trust.

Sometimes Sacrifice Works

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Here is a game where I did what seems insane; I sacrificed a Rook for a Pawn!



Advancing my pawns up the left side of the board gave me the advantage. Unfortunately, his pawns on the right side of the board were in the way. Sacrificing my Rook to clear that Pawn away gave me open access to his King while keeping his Queen and Rook pinned behind my Pawn. He resigned when I was two moves from checkmate.
I am sick and tired of listening to people who have good coverage, who make good money, and are not threatened with the loss either, spew ignorance and false facts about health care reform. These people are content with their coverage because they don't need it to begin with.

Health care reform is about making the system work for people who need health care. But as long as health insurance is strictly a for profit system, people will be refused treatment. The insurance companies are set up to make a profit, which means NOT spending money on providing health care. So, you're procedure no longer costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is a reasonable thousands of dollars, big woo. The insurance companies still work at NOT paying for treatment, because it cuts into their profit. And if you are in the lower middle class to lower class, even thousands of dollars is not reasonable.

Cutting health care costs will not rehabilitate the health insurance system. It is run with a simple purpose, to make money off human suffering and death. There has been more then enough examples of the inhumane actions of this industry over the years. That they are willing to spend billions to prevent reform ought be a clue as to the depth of their callousness and inhumanity.

They already ration health care treatment. They already have made decisions that have resulted in the death of countless people. The original intent of HMOs were to contain cost. Instead, since their inception we have witnessed an escalation of health care costs.

Damn, I am in a foul mood.

Sniff, Sniff

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Is there no one who loves Rook the Blogger?








Clarification

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No, I am not making a direct accusation of Joe Klein being a drunk or drug addict. However, one could easily make the claim that Joe Klein is addicted to power, Hence his bet hedging with both sides of the political spectrum.

What I Have To Deal With

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In case anyone is wondering, the behavior of Joe Klein described at No More Mister Nice Blog is the exact behavior I have to deal with when confronting drunks and drug addicts on their behavior at the beginning of treatment. And, of course, Glenn Greenwald presents the facts to expose the denial and outright lies, just like I have to with drunks and drug addicts when they first enter treatment.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered Joe was confronted at a barbecue, with a drink in his hand. My my.

Of course, I leave you, my humble readers, to draw your own conclusions.

Once Again, Just A Reminder

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.

My Bad!

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Geez, you'd think I would know how to administer my own blog. Turns out I didn't have a system email set, which means that every time someone registered under my MT installation, I was not notified. So, I also discovered I had about 48 people registered, most simply because they were manually attempting spam comments, others who wanted to bad mouth me about my political stances, and about 6 or 7 who are actually bloggers I read and visit regularly.

So, for some of you who are regulars, or who I recognized, there is a good chance I sent you a password recovery email. I have deleted most, but those whom I recognized. All of you whom I sent emails, are enable to leave comments.

Now that I've got a system email set, any future requests for registering under my MT installation should get a response soon enough.

My apologies for being an idiot.

Comments

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So, I received a threatening email, one that suggested I put cream and sugar in Sumatra coffee. Such vileness. I was properly offended. Oh, okay, it wasn't threatening, it wasn't vile, and it most certainly didn't properly offend me. Yes, yes, I was offended by the suggestion that copious amounts of cream and sugar be added to coffee, but that's just my issue.

Anyway, Carl of Unpopular Ideas sent me an email complaining about my comment registration system. Yes, I do hear a lot about my registration system. So, I increased the amount of ways to register to Rook's Rant. It seems the last few updates expanded login avenues. So, now, if you have a Google ID (all you Blogger bloggers have a Google ID), you can now use that to log in when you want to leave a comment. I also found that those with WordPress IDs can also login.

I'm not sure what the problem is with trying to register through my Movable Type installation (that is, registering through my server's MT software, not through some 2nd party application). I suspect it has to do with MT failing to send me emails, or some such thing. I do have a few people that have registered through my MT installation, but not many, considering the difficulty that exists for registering with my site.

Working

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Real quick: I'm working. No benefits, hours are not set, but I am working again. Two jobs, in fact. So, I've got to hit the shower and go to Red Wing this morning.

Your Assignment

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Should you accept it, is to go to the Mr Twitter competition and vote for Nathan Fillion. Don't argue with me, just go get it done!

Afternoon Excitement!

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While at work, the weather sirens went off. Turns out a surprise tornado attack occurred in several locations around the metro area and a few suburbs. Just north of Hastings in Cottage Grove, about 5 miles away, there was a touch down. In South Minneapolis one touched down and spewed trees across 35W. Not just a few tree branches, but what looked like entire trees shredded and blocking all three lanes. Some roofs were also removed from houses, only to be relocated as debris on the neighboring roofs.

Since the storm was moving NNW, it put it on track to travel right over my parents' home, so I called and checked in on them. They got lots of rain, and said a tornado touched down just south of town at Branstad, about 5 miles away. Actually, it is not even 3 miles away. But, they said they were all right. Just another day in the upper Midwest.

Chess!

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Jeez, it's been a while since I have posted a chess game here at the old castle.

Play chess online

As you can see, the chess publisher has made a few improvements. Still lacks some basic visual controls, but all in all, it is still viable for posting games. For some reason, the iframe code conflicted with the google ads, so I had to trash the chess publisher and go with the GameKnot code. Again, the visual controls are lacking, but it works.

This game struck me as unique because I felt I was in a losing position, yet somehow managed to pull out a win.

Say Nothing

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I say nothing bad about the dead, no matter how much I despised them when they were living. My condolences to his family.

Loose Lips

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I don't think President Obama has a tightly run administration. At least, this article seems to suggest there just might be some loose cannons running about, making claims unsupported by the President.

White House officials sought to reassure Democratic groups and activists that they did not intend to rule out the public option, a position they are able to maintain, for now, because no final version of the bill exists. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina told some groups involved in the effort that the administration's positions have not changed.

In any event, my earlier pronouncement stands: No public option, no second term

Update: Andy agrees with me.

We should not lower our expectations on health care. We won the election and a bad plan could lose the next one-America needs real reform.

This Is Better

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This is how all police ought to act.

One of two responding officers, Officer Kristie Buble, 24, approached Dylan and asked him for his name.

"She recognized the name, she just really didn't believe it was Bob Dylan," Ahart told CNN. "He was soaking wet because it was raining and he was wearing a hood."

So Buble asked the musician for identification, but he had none.

Buble and her partner, Officer Derrick Meyers, 24, then asked Dylan, 68, to accompany them to where his tour buses were parked. Once they arrived, Dylan showed them identification.


Let's Make It Clear

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No public option, Mr. President, no second term. It is really that simple. 

Great Coffee!

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Damn, my lucky day! The Grand Ave. Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop is serving Sumatra today. Damn best coffee ever.

It's A Gawker Slow Down

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You know what I am talking about. Traffic on the opposite freeway lanes across from the accident slow down, gawking. Well, that is what we have with Sarah Palin. She's an accident and the media just can not help themselves and have to slow down to gawk.

Honest To FSM, she is damn near road kill. It is just that the buzzing flies and the vultures are attracting our attention.

Please, just stop it. Seriously. Stop it.

Upgrade Complete

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So, I upgraded Movable Type to 4.30 this afternoon. It went without a hitch. 

Well, Color Me Surprised

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NOT!

(NYT) WASHINGTON -- Thousands of pages of internal e-mail and once-secret Congressional testimony showed Tuesday that Karl Rove and other senior aides in the Bush White House played an earlier and more active role than was previously known in the 2006 firings of a number of United States attorneys.
Like anyone who has been paying attention for the last eight and a half years didn't already know this.

Oh, and previously known? How about; than Karl Rove publicly testified before congress.

Can the Legacy Media be any more gutless?

I'll Tell You Why

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Dusty wants to know why a teabagger would bring a gun to President Obama's Town Hall meeting.



I don't give a rat's ass about any gun law; when the President of the United States is coming to the area, all guns should be locked away, not out in public. This is bullshit. Freedom of speech does not allow for a person to advocate the killing of another man, and that is what this man is advocating.

Awareness As One?

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Steve Benen being naive.

Specter's largely right-wing crowd insisted President Obama isn't an American. One nutty man said to applause, "One day, God is going to stand before you and he's going to judge you!" Another yelled, "This is the Soviet Union, this is Maoist China."

One attendee drew a standing ovation when said health care reform is about "dismantling" the United States and "turning" the country "into Russia." She later added that she feared toilet paper rationing.

Someone in the audience wanted to explain that the Qu'ran says that "all unbelievers will be executed." The same person added that if we close Gitmo, "criminals" will "escape" and we'll find "a bunch of innocent people are murdered. And that's what's gonna happen."

We're better than this. We have to be. [highlighted by me]

No Steve, we are not better than that. The Human Race has always had those whom cling to ignorance and stupidity because it is easier to be led about than to lead, easier to accept what is told them than to look for the answers themselves, and to generally be the tools for their own despair.

Insomnia

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Slept like crap last night. I've slept like crap for the last three nights, in fact. It's my back. It doesn't hurt, but it sends tentacles of numbness down my arms and legs, keeping me awake. A few visits to a chiropractor would resolve the issue, but I don't have health insurance, so I can't get it resolved. And, of course, not sleeping well only exasperates the problem.

Welcome to the United States of Lousy Health Care.

Good Idea!

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Digby suggest putting something so outrageous into bills that it is bound to distract the screaming harpies attention away from legitimate items. The Democrats can then remove the outrageous item, leaving the legitimate items in the bill. Call it the "Ohhhhh, look, shiny" maneuver.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

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Having had plenty of experience inserting my mouth into my foot, when Atrios made his first comment about Philly bicyclist behaving poorly, I just ignored it, despite being aware of it's generalization. Generalizing being one of the hallmarks of bigotry, sexism, and racism, he should have known better. Since then, he has had to follow up with two more posts, attempting to 'clarify' his first comment. Note I said clarify (hence the terror hashes. Doh!) not apologize.

Atrios is who he is, and all the emails, comments, and any other attempts at castigating him, will not result in any type of apology. It is not in his nature. Though, to his credit, he has walked back from the generalized statement. But, with no obvious apology in place, I figure he will continue to receive static for a bit more. Eventually, this will fade into the past.

No doubt, at a later date, he will make another sweeping generalization about one group or another, and once again set off a whirlwind of controversy.

Welcome to another day in Blogstonia.

Debunking The Lies

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The White House has put out a video debunking the Republican lies about health care reform.

 

Blinded By The Right

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Because Atrios already pulled the "Stupid IT BURNS!!!!!!" shtick.

(ajc) "People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless," the editorial claims.
My FSM! You would think a simple Google would prevent such an ignorant statement as this from making it into print. But then, lying might be the motivating force, instead of ignorance. Once it hits the email circuit, it is going to be certifiable truth.

First Post In His New Home

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Froomkin's first post from Huffington. And, as per usual, he criticizes the President.

The other possibility -- well, I call that one the Obama-as-pushover scenario. In this one, Obama will come out of it having given away the store -- having neither significantly improved the health-care system nor lowered its costs, but rather having created a new entitlement that primarily benefits the health insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital industries.

So far, the glimpses we've seen from behind all those closed doors suggest the latter scenario. Most significantly, late last week, first the Los Angeles Times and then the New York Times broke the news that Obama had secretly made a sweetheart deal with former arch-nemesis Billy Tauzin, head of Big PhRMA. The same man who during his presidential campaign so ardently pledged to let Medicare negotiate prescription-drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, has now apparently agreed to block any Congressional efforts to do that -- or anything else that would rein in the industry's obscene profits, for that matter -- all in return for $80 billion in promised cost savings over 10 years and, it turns out, an $150 million ad campaign in support of "reform" efforts.

I am not sure I agree with this particular claim. The New York Times noted the White House appeared to backed off the deal. So, well, I guess we will have to wait and see.
Paul Krugman, economic superguru, claims Big Government saved us from a depression. Since he knows much more about economics than me, on a quantum scale, I will not argue the point about Big Government's play in today's economic situation. Still, I think 'saved' might be a word used a bit too early. Not to mention that a lingering, protracted recession is not exactly a wonderful, Utopian existence for most of us little people. To me, recession simply implies less people today are suffering the fate of what many experienced during the Great Depression. In the end, today these people are still suffering.

All Politics Is Local

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MN Progressive Project has a post up about Minnesota Republican infighting that has gotten ugly. It is the usual personal attacks on character that we have come to expect from today's Republican party. It is reminiscent of the attack George W. Bush's campaign made against John McCain back in 2000

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that Democrats of days gone by have engaged in the same personal attacks and will do so in the future. Currently, though, it appears to be a Republican trait. If anyone has done any reading on Karl Rove's past, you learn that he started his dirty, character assassination tricks at a young age, and at a local level.

I know, for myself, that in the past I never paid attention to these kind of low brow political attacks. I considered myself above them, or just felt it was not important enough for me to take into consideration. But I have come to learn that it is important these types of antics be exposed and brought to the attention of the electorate, and at a local level. Just imagine a world where Karl Rove's sleazy campaigning were exposed when he first started out, and had not been at the helm of George W. Bush's campaign, and by extension, his administration.

Eight years of George W. Bush in the White House has taught me that all politics is local. Any and all personal attacks, whisper campaigns, and other Lee Atwater dirty trick antics, whether by Republicans or Democrats, must be exposed early on at the local level, or else we can look forward once again to an incompetent and immoral presidency.


2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 15

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Stats:

  • Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifTop Speed: 30.5 mph
  • Average Speed: 12.1 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 45:03
  • Total Distance: 9.19 miles
  • iPod: Indigo Girls - Rites of Passage
  • Wind: 7 mph N
  • Temp: Start; 75° F. Finish; 80° F.
  • Humidity: 55%
New stats added. Weather is an influence, so I figure it should be included. Besides, I added a new gadget to my Vista Sidebar: The Weather Channel.

Also, note that I've done two short legs in as many days. I've realized the longer legs were taking a toll on my physically. So, I figure I needed to strengthen my body with short, fast legs. I'll work on longer legs as the season progresses.

Now, if you will all excuse me (all? Like I have more than one reader) I have to check on movies for this afternoon. It is a toss up between the third Ice Age movie, or Up. Which ever one is still in a local theater in 3D.

Update: Forgot to mention; The Fuskers™ informed me that I am a dork for keeping stats on my bike rides.

A Thought

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I'm sure it has been said before, by more eloquent writers. Still, I want it on record. So, here it is:

The end never justifies the means, especially if the means is in direct contradiction to the very belief the end represents.

Don't Believe My Last Post?

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Then listen to the son, and co-founder, of the man who helped build the modern conservative christian movement.

Legacy Chooses

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Ian Walsh believes President Obama is just about done being proactive. I agree.

The Republican/conservative brightness before the burn out I keep thinking is happening, only gets brighter and brighter, and not in a good way. As the Birthers, Tea baggers, and generally just mad at the world types, descend upon the town hall meetings, I realize that my imagining of their behavior falls quantitatively short of their capabilities.

Then, Ian had this to say:

They took the lesson of the Clinton administration to be "don't enflame (sic) the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues, and don't slash the military".  They were, of course, wrong: the radical right (and there is hardly a non-radical right left) will oppose Obama no matter what he does and if Obama is unwilling to use to the full might of the administrative apparatus against them, they will simply take advantage of his weakness to escalate.  Tactics which are seen to work, will not be abandoned, to the contrary, they will be used more and more.
don't enflame (sic) the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues

Suddenly, my imagination made a quantum jump that pictured a radical increase in the use of deadly force, with a resultant increase in dead minorities (including gay, lesbian, and transgenders).

Now, I am not about to believe one way or another that President Obama understood this possible scenario. Still, to pick health care as his first major policy push might have been for other reasons besides the time was right. Regardless of whether he recognized it was a policy that could result in the least amount of insanity and violence, in the end, it is what happened.

Ask yourself this; had President Obama picked an African American jurist for the Supreme Court, just what kind of push back do you think would have happened? Unlike health care, an African American nominee to the Supreme Court is a racial element that would have inflamed the radical right even more then the current push for health reform. I don't know about you, but my imagination in this situation includes some serious killings, maybe even a lynching or three.

What? You think that's too far? If there are calls by influential leaders of the radical right for people to bring guns to town hall meetings, my suggestion of lynchings had President Obama attempted to place an African American on the Supreme Court is going to far? Considering how easy it is for the radical right followers to kill gays, lesbians, and transgenders during less politically decisive times, any push to end DADT, or otherwise legislate equal rights for sexual orientation, would suddenly result in a decrease of killings? We are talking about a section of the electorate that thinks it is funny to print out liberal hunting licenses.

So, for whatever reason, President Obama went the path of least resistance. But, Ian is right. No matter what policy the President pursues, the radical right will fight back. And they will use any action they perceive to have already been effective. If the push for health reform does stall, and no bill is forthcoming this year, I too believe the President is dead in the water. He will achieve no further legislative goals. And even if he does pass health care reform, I still believe he's dead in the water, simply because the radical right, already inflamed and instilled with an Armageddon mindset, will simply believe the end is nigh and make a homicidal/suicidal push. They are going to take as many with them as possible.

In my opinion, any further legislative attempts by the President and violence is assured. It is already occurring. If President Obama manages to shove a version of health reform through congress, he's going to be faced with one angry, pissed off radical right. He will pretty much be unable to overcome any further resistance because civil unrest is only going to continue. Chances are, it will take up most of his administration's attention.

So, once he's done with as much of the legislative work he can realistically achieve, I suggest he turn his attention to judicial/legal house cleaning. Unleash the Justice Department and force a searching and fearless constitutional inventory of our government. There is a world of hurt in it, with much latent corruption and incompetence set to cause further decades of pain and suffering, thereby weakening our country. If he truly wants to be seen as an agent of change, the more important task he faces is exposure of the past administration's eight years of malfeasance and criminality. Hell, cleaning up the last 30 years of modern conservative governance is one damn fine legacy, if you ask me.

Now, I do not believe President Obama wants that for a legacy. But most people do not get to choose their destiny, it chooses them.

Will It Ever Come To An End?

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I keep telling myself "This too shall pass." and then I realize, these people breed. Dear FSM, help us all.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 14

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Stats:

  • Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifTop Speed: 28.5 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.3 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 46:21
  • Total Distance: 8.84 miles
  • iPod: R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman - Feather, Stone, & Light
When I left on this leg the temperature was 68° F. On my return it was 75° F. A 7° increase in less then one hour. Also, the wind was 10 mph out of the SSE with gusts up to 18 mph. I decided to take it easy and short, considering that yesterday I was sore as hell; achy muscles, stiff joints, and all around just damn wore out. 

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround

The dog days of summer are here, so here's the first week of August as seen by the LC.
- A Blog Around The Clock: snakes on a blog.
- archy: mammoths on ice.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: "Conversion therapy" -- turning gays straight -- doesn't work.
- Bloggg: Clinton does it.
- Dohiyi Mir: Happy birthday, NTodd.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: how to handle a tea-bagger.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: the Democrats' emerging healthcare fiasco.
- Left Is Right: astroturfery.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: Web Site Story
- Rook's Rant: scary photo.
- rubber hose: rattling around Crawford.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: Heath Shuler safe at home.
- Speedkill: ask me about climate change.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: death and taxes.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: funny guy.
- The Invisible Library: help the Louisville library.
- WTF Is It Now?? You too can become a Kenyan.
School starts in two weeks? No way.
Woke up stiff and sore. Probably has something to do with the fact a rain storm finally moved into our area. The rain was sorely needed; the corn out in the fields looked like crap. Unfortunately, that means I have to now feel like crap physically due to a front moving in.

Nature's Fighting Back!

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(MSNBC) PHILADELPHIA - A woman jogging in a Philadelphia park has been killed by a falling tree branch just days after a similar incident in New York's Central Park left a man comatose.
Make's me rethink my Tour De Rook routes.
It's insane here. Noisy, crowded, and full of life. Since I am here, it's only appropriate that I "borrow" a pic from Norwegianity.

408.jpg

If this doesn't give you nightmares, you're a Republican.

A quick update: I should mention that I also like this coffee shop. It servers the strongest coffee out of any coffee shop I've ever visited. It's not as strong as what I brew at home, but if they did, I suspect they'd get less business. Also, currently, on iTunes, I'm listening to Cities 97 Sampler; Volume 18. My ADD is getting seriously distracted by all the voices, so I needed headphones so I could concentrate on my morning blog reading.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 13

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Figures. #13 would cause me all sorts of problems. But, more of that after that stats:

  • Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifTop Speed: 22.5 mph
  • Average Speed: 10.9 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 1:07:45
  • Total Distance: 12.39 miles
  • iPod: Lord of the Rings soundtracks - All of The Fellowship of the Ring and a few songs into The Two Towers.
Now, I had two problems today. The first one is more of an annoyance than any real problem - my rear disc brake was rubbing, making an irritating squeak. The second problem was with shifting, as in my chain was bouncing from one rear sprocket to the next. This second problem occurred after I aligned the wheel in an effort to stop the squeak.

So, because I've been having a mild problem with that damn rear brake since I first got the bike, I took my Dremel to it. No, not the disc itself, but to the bolt holes in the pad assembly. I just needed to move the assembly less than a millimeter away from the wheel. Eye-balled the grinding in the bolt holes and nailed it perfectly. Pretty proud of myself on that score.

Once I got the disc brakes situated, that allowed the wheel to be placed squarely in the rear frame. With that done, it was just a matter of doing some fine tuning of the derailleurs. Unfortunately, I still can not get the chain to drop from the middle to the lowest front sprocket. More than likely I need a new chain again, and maybe a new front derailleur.

About Time

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Democrat, Republican; corruption is corruption, and the rule of law is to apply to all. Now, put him in jail. 

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 12

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Well, it was bound to happen. After having riding 1535.4 miles, I finally developed a flat tire. As I was on the home stretch, after coming down the Hwy 61 hill and achieving the decrepit, ready to collapse into the Mississippi River, Hasting bridge, I ran over a construction staple. I had to walk my bike the last mile. Anyway, here are the stats:

  • Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifTop Speed: 27.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 10.2 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 1:58:21
  • Total Distance: 20.36 miles
  • iPod: Peter Lang - Dharma Blues / Cheryl Crow - The Basics (iTune Download) / The Monkees - Greatest Hits
Honestly, I was feeling really good about today's leg. I was in better shape, feeling less pain then the last time I did a long run. So, that's cool.

Also, on the employment front: I've been offered a job at Unity Hospital as an on-call/casual counselor. Despite the reports of green shoots and other positive signs, all I can say is that I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Quite frankly, most of the reports seem to be coming from corporate media sources, so I'll withhold my enthusiasm for the time.

Brain Dead

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Okay, no chess today. I just played a game were I foolishly hung my Queen so the King could take it. So, yeah, I suck more then usual at chess.

2009 Tour De Rook - Leg 11

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Short leg today. I was bloated and heavy from two excessive meals this weekend. On Friday The GirlFriend™ and I went to Sonic. I had planned on going to IHOP that day, but The GirlFriend™ wasn't dressed for a public appearance. So, it was Sonic and a meal in the car. But, on Saturday we both hit IHOP, because The GirlFriend™ had gotten all gussied up to go shopping with her friend and her friend's mother. So, I swept her off her feet with thick, rich, fruit-filled pancakes, eggs, bacon, and hash-browns.

Thumbnail image for Tour_Rook.gifAnyway, here are today's stats:

  • Top Speed: 29.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.5 mph
  • Elapsed riding time: 48:02
  • Total Distance: 9.24 miles
  • iPod: R Carlos Nakai - Emergence: Songs of the Rainbow World.

Calling All Spiders

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This one's for the bots!

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Guy Andrew Hall

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