Friday, February 29, 2008

An important PSA

Damn

4 days of the worst flu ever. Still not over it, but I'm back at the comp. Take your vitamins!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Frank Rich on the Clinton campaign

He's spot on in many areas.

But the fact is, Clinton lacked experience where it was needed most: Running a campaign against a tough opponent. Obama's experience (most recently, against a nasty Alan Keyes in the Senetorial race) came through, while Clinton had nothing to draw upon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"The Spies Who Love You"

Mark Fiore with another good one.

SCOTUS puckers up on government spying on innocent Americans

Glenn Greewald with the blow by blow.

Science and the Right

I'm liking Andrew Sullivan's site even more that he's on vacation. Never thought I'd say that, but this current post by Jim Manzi nails the disconnect that many conservatives are making when it comes to science and the policy decisions science results bring to the table. By attacking science itself (or spending millions of dollars on pseudo-science like ID), conservatives bring upon themselves the title of "non-thinkers."

It doesn't help that this current Administration slashes science budgets, re-writes science reports to suit political ends, and seemingly puts out their policy conclusions before (or instead of) scientific facts.

Another unforced Clinton error

This one has no real consequences, except to make her seem incompetent. I wonder if it is the experience talking?

Al Franken?

Al Franken with a slight lead in the MN race for US Senator.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Superdelegates!

List of superdelegates and their committments.

One thing I didn't realize is that, as of right now, even the superdelagates from Michigan & Florida don't count.

I used to know why superdelagates exist (kind of a moderating force? To act in a tie?) but pretty clearly the use of them will change in the Democratic Party in the future.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I see dead people's emails...

Apropos of nothing, it kind of freaks me out when I run across an old email from someone who is dead. I keep them all, even the ones that I should usually trash. Maybe, like the Native Americans, they remain alive in the next world as long as their emails are not deleted...

Sharpton to DNC: Don't listen to that fool!

Never thought I'd back Al Sharpton over Julian Bond

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Administration sees Nuremberg trials as precedent for Gitmo trials

It seems they want these people to be enemy combatants only when it pleases them.

Headline of the Day

"Drunken orgies tainted system"

Cool obit

Obit for Mitchell Van Yahres

HT: Andrew Sullivan

US to cut funding for UN peacekeepers in Africa

US votes for peacekeepers, then refuses to pony up all the money.

According to White House figures quietly released this week, more than $193 million for U.N. troops would be cut for missions in Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire and elsewhere. A State Department official who would not be named confirmed to ABC News Monday that the cuts could be even worse.

Why I hate humans...

...and love dogs.

seriously.

so i'm driving to work this morning through my happy little neighborhood in northwestern Queens, NYC, heading up some side street on my way to the Long Island Expressway, and out of no where i see this cute girl walking her dog at a pretty fast pace, and heading right toward the intersection i'm about to cross.

now i've got the green light. clear as day. not the "red turning to green so gun it off the line" kind of green or the "whoa, it's about to turn red so gun it" kind of green, but the steady green that's been there for a minute and she clearly has the big red DO NOT WALK symbol right in her face.

so i hit my horn a little bit - a "toot toot" kind of "hey, i hope you're paying attention" kind of honk, because that little bitty cute and happy tail-waggin' oblivious to life's concerns dog - and i love dogs like no one's business - is just scampering about and heading into the street because, well, he's a happy tail-waggin' oblivious to life's concerns kind of dog.

and she stops suddenly, pulls back on the leash, and gives me the nastiest, angriest, full-of-indignation look while mouthing "HONK! HONK!" and slamming down on some faux steering wheel horn that is apparently hovering in mid-air.

well FUCK her. i shoulda hit the skank whore and taken home that little bitty cute and happy tail-waggin' oblivious to life's concerns dog, because, quite frankly, she doesn't deserve him. :o)

and THAT is why i hate humans...but love dogs.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Some big bucks being donated

The Queen of Mean tops the list. Surprised? Don't be.

Bush, the budget, and projections

Bloomberg did an interesting analysis, of what would our budget look like if we took Clinton's last budget (including long-term budgetary projections), and added in the War on Terror costs.

The result: $152 billion surplus.

It makes you sick to think about it. All that money wasted on ethanol and bridges to nowhere has accumulated into a pile that massive. Uncle Sam ate a whopping helping of apple pie every day for seven years, and now he is obese.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

They eat their own...

maybe one day i'll remember to post here with regularity. lord knows, the people that know me know i'm never at a loss for words...

in watching this whole political drama we call "Decision '08" unfold, i'm caught off guard by just how splintered the Republicans are. i mean, it's been clear for awhile that they are a party divided by moderates vs. religious...um...loons, and a party turned upside-down by traditional Republican values no longer holding sway, such as being fiscally conservative, or local and states rights vs. federal rights.

but still, the level of division is astonishing to me. would you have EVER, in your wildest dreams (or nightmares, i suppose), imagined Ann Coulter, and patron skeleton...err, saint, of conservatives everywhere, saying she would vote for Hillary over McCain...now, granted, her rationale is that a Hillary presidency would be a 4 year disaster followed by 30 years of Republican rule, while a McCain presidency would be a 4 year disaster followed by 30 years of Democrat rule, so, for the long term, it kind of makes sense.

isn't that putting the cart before the horse, however? by most accounts, the Bill Clinton presidency was hardly a disaster. Yes, for the religious...um...loons, it was, and they took a blow job and turned it into sweeping victories in congress, and ultimately, a presidential selection for GW Bush.

As a result of all that, the loons took over the Republican party, destroyed it from within, lost congress barely a decade after taking control and seeming like they would hold it for eons, and have now caused the aforementioned splintering.

I'd like to think the American people have learned their lessons. We allowed a small minority to convince a near-majority that the true test of a leader was some sort of random morality test. And then, when that small minority was elected to public office, they proceeded to abuse their power, commit felonies of which they've since been convicted, approve of war crimes which they may well be convicted of one day, and basically trample all over the U.S. Constitution in the name of a War on Terror that we're fighting in a nation that wasn't even a threat to us until AFTER we attacked them unprovoked and opened the door for terrorism to take over that nation.

Anyway, it's truly fascinating watching what's happening in the Republican party. When the Democrats did this on a smaller scale in 2000, it cost them the presidency. But the large scale in which Republicans are turning on each other may not just cost them the presidency, it may cost them their party, and their party's relevancy.

Administration: Immigration law enforcement more important that a faster process

Once again, the Administration has their head up their ass on immigration.

Until you start encouraging legal immigration, emphasizing the illegal side (walls, more agents, rooting out businesses which hire illegals) is like dabbing the blood from a cut after it has run down your arm a bit. Just fix the damn cut!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Lenten Prayer

Thomes Merton (ht: Andrew Sullivan):

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.


Monday, February 04, 2008

A cheap shot

Vote on Feb. 5

If you're in one of the primary states, vote. And if you vote, I say "Vote Obama." I am a liberal, and a registered Dem, so I won't discuss the Republicans although I would say that for those who can choose, and are on the fence, I think the Republican party (and their neo-con offshoot) have done enough damage to our fiscal situation and national security, especially compared to the 1990s, so I suggest giving the Dems another chance.

If you're a Dem, and are unsuare, or want to have a discussion of the merits of the two candidates, I say vote Obama, and here's why: I think he is potentially transformational. I say this because he's different, his MO is different, his platform is different, and always has been (not about "me" but about "you;" not about Dems. vs Republicans, but about common ground; not about the war on terrorism, but about building bridges between America and all other nations). He's charismatic, intelligent, wise, and willing, seemingly genuinely interested in unifying our broken political system, and image abroad.

Regarding Hillary, she is no slouch. I think Hillary is smart, knowledgeable, driven, and largely aligned with Obama's policies (policy discussion b/w the two is splitting hairs, and definitely not the most critical factor in choosing the Dem nomination...maybe b/w Romney and McCain, and of course in the general election, but Hillary and Obama are pretty similar, and don't forget, Congress has to agree with their policies, too). The differences are whether one thinks that the Clintons or Obama would be more effective in turning our country around. I think Obama will be less divisive (whether it's Hillary's fault or not, the Repubs like her (a lot) less), less combative, and more reasoned. I think thier motivations are different. Hillary wants to win her political battles; Obama seeks to mend political divisions. He does have a liberalish agenda, and that may not be suitable for conservatives, but he is not going to ram a liberal agenda down anyone's throats. Hillary is decisive, and highly policy-knowledgeable, but also potentially distracted by heavy partisan politicing -- some of which she will initiate or exacerbate. It's her MO. I think our country needs to move forward, going back to Clintons and back and forth between Clinton and Bush is not the kind of change our country needs now. I liked Bill, I like Bill, and for the most part, I like and respect Hillary, but not everyone feels that way, and they know it, and when they feel it, they make it worse. It's their style. She's a strong candidate at the wrong time. I really believe that Hillary would unfortunately continue us along a path of partisan politics where little gets done.

If you don't believe that Obama has the leadership capabilities or the right kind of experience to lead, that's fair, but I think at this stage, it's a belief in their respective leadership potential, effectiveness at governing, and their overally underlying messages, that will determine who gets the Dem nom. I think Hillary's time has passed. The country needs something more than a smart, knowledgeable driven but divisive leader. It's time for someone new, someone who is thinking broad, beyond the Dem party, and for the country. Someone who comes into the role with at least some Republicans interested and supportive. Someone who truly speaks of change and who has enacted change on a grass roots level. I trust Obama and believe he can get bipartisan politics started. It may take 8 years and another president to continue it. It's going take compromise and negotiation, tact and diplomacy, skill and judgment. These are his strengths. What we need, he has. Our country does not need a divisive leader. We need the best unifier out there.

More corruption, from on high

Court filing claims HUD head retaliated against Philadelphia for not playing along.

Maybe it is the cynic in me, but I suspect that if the Administration was Democratic that we wouldn't be seeing this filing--Philly would have played along. I'm not excusing the behavior at all, just saying that Philly is no stranger to backscratching nor to partisanship.

Freezing in Grand Central