Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I chose to take a casual day today because I just don't care. And, if challenged I will offer up one of my many "Casual Day Coupons." What are we in second grade? I get these things when I do something for someone, help them out etc. Casual Days and Free Lunches. Now, I like casual days (though it doesn't mean so much to me now that my boss has said, essentially, that as long as I don't do it EVERY day, I can have a casual day pretty much anytime I want - which is often), and like like free lunches (though I don't so much eat at the cafeteria anymore, because my coworkers don't get back in time - we can only have one person gone at a time, and the person before me is always late, and the cafeteria does close.), but what I would prefer is cold hard cash. Now my company does have a program where you can reward your co-workers with points on their incentive card (which works just about everywhere) but, since I am a lowly temp, that program does not apply to me. Thus all the casual day coupons and free lunches. Thanks guys. Oh and health insurance, as a temp, I don't have that either.

I hate when people call and ask me about something, then, I tell them the answer and they are completely confused. They explain again, I tell them the same thing. Then they put someone else on the phone, and they explain more clearly. I realize that they shouldn't even be talking to me, but should be talking to another department and transfer. But, if they had just been clear in the first place, then no one's time would have been wasted. So don't fucking get mad at me. Thanks, love Jalynn.

Monkey still with the diarrhea. Lovely.

Senator John McCain is a douche bag. He thinks that it would be perfectly safe for an American to take a stroll through some neighborhoods in Baghdad...unarmed and unescorted. Uh, yeah, right. No fucking way, man! Have you seen the news reports coming out of Baghdad, even if the main stream media doesn't cover them. Just look at the body counts in the paper everyday. Then read the report out of the BBC that the UK has determined that the Lancet study that said that 650,000 civilians had been killed during the occupation, is completely valid, and probably understates the fatalities. (This would mean that on average, 500 civilians are killed every day.) Check out that report and tell me that you would go walking through Baghdad. In fact, don't tell me about it. Fucking go over there, shed all your security personnel, and just stroll around. If you don't get shot by roving bands of militia men, and gangs, you'll probably be shot by a US soldier, or security contractor. So don't say that it's safe in some neighborhoods of Baghdad. And don't then lie about saying that you ever said it. Your presidential hopes are over.

To track the probability of current events, you might try Its set up like a stock market. You buy and sell shares of the yes/no chance of something happening. For instance, will the 2008 Dem Presidential Nominee be xx; will Gonzales resign in march 07? will xx be kicked off of American Idol tonight? That sort of thing. Now you might think that this is just like a poll. But, the beauty is that you can actually buy and sell shares - it's all based on points, one point equals $.10 - so, for example 2008 Dem Nominee = Gore is trading at right around 10 points, $1. If you buy it at 10 points, and he is the nominee, it closes at 100 points - you make $9. So, people have money involved, incidentally, they make better predictions. Intrade users accurately predicted the change over of the House and Senate, and several individual races.

Ok, let's get to the good stuff:

2008 Dem Nominee
Clinton - 47.9 (+.1)
Obama - 27.2 (-1.2)
Edwards - 7.2 (-.5)
Gore - 10.6 (+.1)

People are still saying that Gore will run, and that he may announce as late as Sept 07. Note, not only is Intrade saying that Gore will run, they're saying that there is a 1 in 10 chance that he'll win the nomination. I think, if he runs, he wins.

2008 GOP Nominee
Giuliani - 40.3 (0)
McCain - 20.3 (-3.3)
Romney - 16.2 (0)

As I mentioned, McCain is on the way down, and so is Romney (not shown here). Giuliani is not an acceptable candidate for a majority of social conservatives. Look for a dark house candidate to at the very least, make a play for the nomination, if not outright win it. And that candidate could be Law and Order's own Fred Thompson - he gets 12% of a recent Gallup/USA today poll. (Romeny got 3%) And as Jen says about Thompson - "he's conservative as fuck" (though, incidentally, the conservatives don't very much believe in fucking, one wishes that they would either a) stop fucking altogether and not produce anymore of the fuckers of b) fuck more and lighten up.

UPDATE: Focus on the Family's Dobson doesn't think that Thompson is Christian enough.

UPDATE 2: Rasmussen just released a poll showing that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich garners 11%.(He could be the dark horse, but he has problems in his personal life that should make it hard for social conservatives to support him.) Romney gets 8% Thompson was not included, but will be included next week.

Airstrike on Iran
March 07 - 2.0 (0)
June 07 - 15.6 (+5)
Sept 07 - 16.0 (+4.5)
Dec 07 - 23.1 (+6.2)

Hmm general trend towards bombing Iran. Look for these numbers to shoot up, if Iran doesn't release those 15 British sailors. Word has it that they are releasing the only female sailor today or tomorrow. And it's pretty much been shown that the sailors were in Iraqi waters, and that Iran is, as mentioned yesterday, ASKING for it.

UPDATE: CNN is reporting that an Iranian admiral is claiming that the US is NOT in fact conducting military exercises in the Gulf. And really, is there any way for us to know?

Gonzales Resigns
Dec 07 - 66.0

Yeah he's out of here...Kossaks overwhelmingly think that he will not last until the middle of April - I tend to agree. Intrade pegs his leaving before June 07 at 55.0.

Meanwhile....back at the University.... Sam Fox Arts Center...financed by Missouian Sam Fox. Sam Fox was nominated by President Bush to the position of ambassador and plenipotentiary (i get excited when i get you use big and relatively obscure words, especially when you have to use the big word, because it has a precise meaning. Plenipotentiary: a person, especially a diplomatic agent, invested with full power and authority to transact business on the behalf of another.) of the United States to Belgium. Unfortunately for Sam (and fortunately for us), due to outrage over his involvement with the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, he has withdrawn his bid. HAHAHA - that's what you get for financing a group that told outright lies, and was then hit with the largest election law fine ever. Liars don't get to be ambassadors. There's a new sheriff in town. Oh, and the juiciest bestest part? Senator Kerry was the one that got to question Fox at his confirmation hearing. How delicious....and Kerry made him his bitch. reports that one of the rarest weather patterns has been photographed on Saturn. The formation is at the North Pole and is in the shape of a hexagon. Yes. A hexagon.

"This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides," said Kevin Baines, atmospheric expert and member of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We've never seen anything like this on any other planet. Indeed, Saturn's thick atmosphere, where circularly-shaped waves and convective cells dominate, is perhaps the last place you'd expect to see such a six-sided geometric figure, yet there it is."

Oh, and just to put your tiny Earth into perspective - the formation is 15,000 miles in diameter - four Earths could fit inside it. Also, the formation goes down into the atmosphere 60 miles. It is a 15k mile wide and 60 mile deep hexagon. All I can say is WTF mate?

Here's some amusing cartoons.

I like this one best.

I broke down and bought Swords and Sandals II - the full version. I first encountered s&s at the old building, so at least four months ago. Basically, you are a gladiator. You fight battles, buy armor and weapons and gain experience. The more experience you get, the better stuff you can buy, the bigger baddies you play. I'll admit it. It's addictive. However, version one was a little too formulaic, and you didn't have too many options.

Version 2 is much better, gameplay is more involved, and you have much more leeway. Also there's magic, the first version had no magic. But, because they've moved to making money from their game-writing skills, you can only play the second version as a demo version and that means no SAVE option.

This sucks because you spend hours and hours building up your character only to have him smoked by some guy that hits you for 700 points in one blow. And you thought your lvl 12 armor class would save you. (I told Jen that this smacks very strongly of Dungeons and Dragons, but she insists it's different :)

At any rate, payment was finally process and when I go home tonight, games will be played, characters will be saved and games will be beat. IF you want to start a new addiction:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I love nice weather. Spring is just so much better than winter. People that prefer winter are strange. 70-80 degrees is the perfect temperature. Sunny, but not humid. The sunlight is warmer, not cold like it is in the winter, not harsh. And it's not blazing like it is in the summer (which is sometimes nice). Now, if I could only escape from cubeland long enough to enjoy some of the lovely.

L Word
And thus concludes season 4 of the L word. At least it was better than last year. Too bad about Shane and Paige, I liked them together - even though Paige seemed like she was going to eat Shane. Talk about nice sex scene though. I understand the story-line need to intersperse with 50's depictions of the couple, but really it killed a great scene. I'm waiting for someone to splice it all together on YouTube, sin 50's scenes. And how do we feel about the revelation that Papi got down with Carmen? Hmm? Hmm? Will that come back and bite anyone, or is that thinking too much on the long scale? It's called mythology. Anyway, no new episodes until next Jan/Feb, too long. And it all seemed to go by so quickly. I guess in the interim, I will finally watch Season 1 and 2.....

Pottying Puppies
There's nothing worse than waking up to a klaxon alarm, and the stench of doggy diarrhea. I love my puppies. I love my puppies....Dublin still needs to learn to potty outside, and Cinque needs to set a better example. Though most of the times she is a very good dog. And most of the time she holds her diarrhea a really long, impossible time. I guess she just had to go last night. shrug. Don't make it a habit, pup.

Attorney Purge
Remember when I said this would be big? Yeah, it's still big. It's pretty hard to hold the position that there was nothing wrong, illegal or improper about firing 8 US attorneys when all the low level people involved resign or plead the 5th. (and I use the term "low-level" loosely. Specifically, Gonzales' chief of staff resigned and the Department of Justice liaison to the White House is pleading the 5th) Meanwhile, Steven D (Dkos) reasons that she may not be able to plead the 5th, at least for the reasons that her attorney lays out. Check out his diary here, for an excellent run through.

Long story, short, even if she does plead 5th, the committee can extend immunity (in one form or the other) and compel her to start frying a bigger fish. Look for this story to continue.... Did I mention that it has come to light that White House staffers (and big wigs, like Karl Rove) were using and RNC server to send sensitive emails that they didn't want in the official record? And that recently Rep Waxman (backed by Spkr Pelosi) have directed the RNC to preserve all emails in case of future subpoena? Oh yes, the plot thickens. Did I mention the possibility that they would have discussed classified information on an unsecured server? I think the Republicans can kill that defenders of National Security label goodbye.

War Funding
Speaker Pelosi got a huge boost last week when the House passed the US Troop Readiness, Veteran's Health and Iraq Accountability Act. The bill expands funding for vets' health care and hospitals, mandates Iraqis meet the benchmarks set by Bush, sets a deadline for the redeployment of US troops and refocuses resources on Afghanistan (Talibanistan - see Time's magazine international cover). Oh, and it also carries over $100 billion in funding that the military needs. Bush can't veto without defunding the war effort. And the DOD says they need the money mid-April, that means the onus is on Senate Republicans and the President to sign off on the money....because the Dems have provided it, they have passed a bill that gives the DOD the money -- the fact that it sets reasonable limits is a pill that the country sees as necessary, and the GOP sees as poison. What do you do, if you are a republican congresscritter? Flip flop, and support troop redeployment, or DON'T support the troops. HAHAHA

Heard about how Iran is ASKING for it? In case you've been living under a rock. Fifteen British sailors and marines were detained by Iran while on patrol off the coast of Iraq. Britain says they were in Iraqi waters. Iranians say they were in Iranian waters. The BBC said that there was satellite imagery that showed that they WERE in Iranian waters, but that information has disappeared from their website. Now Iran has taken the Brits to Tehran and (some say) are planning on trying them for espionage. (Doing that would direct contradict the Geneva convention - uniformed agents cannot be tried of espionage). Meanwhile, Britain says give them back or else. OR ELSE WHAT?! you might ask. This is the perfect excuse for the US to help our ally by taking military action against Iran. Iran has to know this. So, either they think that they call Britain and the US' bluff (and their stock goes up in the mid-east) or they got bombed into submission (and are turned into martyrs.) Sounds like a lose, lose situation for us. Assuming that we cannot work out a diplomatic solution, but really, how good have we been at that lately? Meanwhile, the US is conducting war games in the Gulf with two carrier groups. This is the first time the US has had two carrier groups in the Gulf since the invasion of Iraq. Well gee, US don't exacerbate the situation any. Let's not add to the tension.

An unsourced article in the Russian media has been picked up by the German, Italian and French media. It claims that the US is planning to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran on April 6th. The US will target 20ish locations and take out much of the Iranian navy....just a little FYI - not sure I believe the story, but keep an eye out the Friday before Easter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Staying Late
Why is it that my employer will deduct every freaking minute that I am not at my desk from my paycheck, and yet, when I stay late, I feel bad about claiming 5 minutes, or 10 minutes or 15 minutes. I don't want to appear to be "rocking the boat" or not helping out the company. That's my fucking money dammit! That's my $1.25, or my $2.50 or my $3.75. How about when I stayed 30 minutes late because I got caught on the phone? That's my $7.50 and since it's technically over time - that's my $11.25. But will I ever claim those minutes, no. But you can be sure that if I am 1 or 2 minutes late getting on the phones, I hear about it and my paycheck gets dinged.

Here's some more. I hate that I have to be here and, at my desk, and logged in, and on the phone by 9:30a, sharp. Why do I hate this? Because it requires me to actually be here by 9:25, because it takes x minutes for the computer to boot, x minutes to log on, x minutes to open the program and get on the phone. Five minutes for which I am not paid. That's $1.88/day. That's $9.4/week. Since I've been here, seven months - that's $263 that they have cleverly tricked me out of. Bastards. And that does NOT include times that I've stayed late. Fuckers.

Constitutional Crisis
Remember how I said the firing of eight US attorneys was going to remain a big story...yeah, I was right. Today the Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to authorize Chairman Conyers to issue subpoenas to top White House aides (including Rove!), at his discretion. This directly repudiated Bush's temper tantrum yesterday (we'll go through his statement in a moment) - where he said, he would not allow top aides to testify. He did offer that they could be interviewed, NOT under oath, and with no transcript. I know, no transcript. what is this guy on? Anyway, Congress says "subpoena", Bush says "no", Congress says "the penalty for defying a congressional subpoena is the charge of contempt of Congress", Bush says "who prosecutes that charge?....Department of Justice (that I've stacked with cronies and who is led by my boy Alberto) HAHA...joke's on you." Fuck. What's that I smell on this fine Wednesday morning? Ahhhhh, impeachment.

And now for the snarky comments:

THE PRESIDENT: Earlier today, my staff met with congressional leaders about the resignations of U.S. attorneys. As you know, I have broad discretion to replace political appointees throughout the government (they serve at the pleasure of the president - see Daily Show clip on this one), including U.S. attorneys. And in this case, I appointed these U.S. attorneys and they served four-year terms.

The Justice Department, with the approval of the White House, believed new leadership in these positions would better serve our country. (why is that, when all those fired had stellar job reviews?) The announcement of this decision and the subsequent explanation of these changes has been confusing (uh, confusing? you changed your story more times than I get pissed off by dumb people at work) and, in some cases, incomplete. Neither the Attorney General, nor I approve of how these explanations were handled. We're determined to correct the problem.

Today I'm also announcing the following steps my administration is taking to correct the record and demonstrate our willingness to work with the Congress. First, the Attorney General and his key staff will testify before the relevant congressional committees to explain how the decision was made and for what reasons.(Under oath? gonzales has vexed congress by refusing to testify under oath) Second, we're giving Congress access to an unprecedented variety of information about the process used to make the decision about replacing eight of the 93 U.S. attorneys. (except for that minor hole from mid-November to early December - a critical time for this investigation)

In the last 24 hours, the Justice Department has provided the Congress more than 3,000 pages of internal Justice Department documents, including those reflecting direct communications with White House staff. This, in itself, is an extraordinary level of disclosure of an internal agency in White House communications. (it's called oversight, and transparency and democracy - you fucking asshat)

Third, I recognize there is significant interest in the role the White House played in the resignations of these U.S. attorneys.(yes, because it was improper and politicized the Department of Justice, an apolitical entity) Access to White House staff is always a sensitive issue. The President relies upon his staff to provide him candid advice. The framers of the Constitution understood this vital role when developing the separate branches of government. (Right, separate branches - so putting your yes-man as the top guy in the DOJ, that didn't muck up the separation, how? Separate and equal branches shit head, no more of this unitary executive bull shit.) And if the staff of a President operated in constant fear of being hauled before various committees to discuss internal deliberations, the President would not receive candid advice, and the American people would be ill-served. (Hmmmm....the Republicans didn't seem to have a problem doing this during the Clinton years, especially during the whole blowjob bit. And really, this investigation is about the perversion of Justice not a blowjob.)

Yet, in this case, I recognize the importance of members of Congress having -- the importance of Congress has placed on understanding how and why this decision was made. So I'll allow relevant committee members on a bipartisan basis to interview (no oath, no record) key members of my staff to ascertain relevant facts. In addition to this offer (offer? offer!?), we will also release all White House documents and emails involving direct communications with the Justice Department or any other outside person, including members of Congress and their staff, related to this issue. These extraordinary steps offered today to the majority in Congress demonstrate a reasonable solution to the issue. However, we will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants. (How about this, Congress issues a subpoena and you comply, that's how it works.)

The initial response by Democrats, unfortunately, shows some appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts.(Um, no. The Democrats want the facts, under oath and on the record, that seems pretty reasonable to me.) It will be regrettable (what does he mean regrettable, are you going to lock all the Dems up? dissolve Congress?) if they choose to head down the partisan (actually, a fair number of republicans want these answers too) road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials when I have agreed to make key White House officials and documents available. I have proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse. I hope they don't choose confrontation. I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials. (How about this, Congress issues a subpoena and you comply - remember separation of powers, you don't get to make the rules anymore.)

As we cut through all the partisan rhetoric, it's important to maintain perspective on a couple of important points. First, it was natural (actually, it was pretty unprecedented - changing attorneys between administrations, not so unnatural, doing it mid-term, never happened before) and appropriate for members of the White House staff to consider and to discuss with the Justice Department whether to replace all 93 U.S. attorneys at the beginning of my second term. The start of a second term is a natural time to discuss the status of political appointees within the White House and with relevant agencies, including the Justice Department. In this case, the idea was rejected and was not pursued.

Second, it is common for me, members of my staff, and the Justice Department to receive complaints from members of Congress in both parties, and from other citizens. And we did hear complaints and concerns about U.S. attorneys. Some complained about the lack of vigorous prosecution of election fraud cases, while others had concerns about immigration cases not being prosecuted (and we were receiving complaints that they were pursuing investigations into Republican corruption and weren't trying to trump up charges against dems, we didn't like that). These concerns are often shared between the White House and the Justice Department, and that is completely appropriate.

I also want to say something to the U.S. attorneys who resigned. I appreciate your service to the country. And while I strongly support the Attorney General's decision and am confident he acted appropriately, I regret these resignations turned into such a public spectacle. (note: one of the fired attorneys has an op-ed in the NYT, it's basically a big fuck you to the administration. go read it. his name is iglesias)

It's now my hope that the United States Congress will act appropriately. My administration has made a very reasonable proposal (not). It's not too late for Democrats to drop the partisanship and work together (hmm, I think dems are working together, but thanks for the encouragement). Democrats now have to choose whether they will waste time and provoke an unnecessary confrontation (what does he suppose is going to happen in his "confrontation"? you have to follow the law - that's the way it works), or whether they will join us in working to do the people's business. (uh huh, because the do-nothing Republican Congress got so much of the people's business done) There are too many important issues, from funding our troops to comprehensive immigration reform, to balancing the budget, for us to accomplish on behalf of the American people.

UPDATE: From the Chicago Tribune:

" Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law."

(emphasis added courtesy Glenn Greenwald )

Tony Snow in his press briefing today accused them [dems] of trying "to create a court room atmosphere" around the investigation. Uh yeah, that's because this is an investigation, and Congress is the court. Moron.

The Evolving Video Culture

Check out Ava Lowery. She is operator of the website Peace Takes Courage and was recently profiled in Mother Jones magazine. At sixteen, she is a powerful anti-war activist and produces excellent video shorts. Recommended by Michael Moore, her website received an average of 56,000 hits a day in February. Check out the short entitled WWJD and Rightwing Love Letters - keep in mind that the girl that these people are sending their hate mail to, is sixteen. Keep in mind that the death threats sent by Bush supporters, were sent to sixteen year-old.

If you haven't seen it yet, go check out the 1984 Hillary ad on YouTube. The author is unknown, but seamlessly merges video from Clinton's web addresses into an Apple commercial based on 1984. The final scenes urge views to go to, but the Obama campaign has denied that they were involved with the creation of this spot. It is my hope that this excellent piece was created on a mac by a teenager in his/her spare time.

Ava has been profiled by mainstream media and the 1984 spot was mentioned on all the morning talk shows, but I don't think that they really get it. The thing about these videos, is that they are phenomenally more powerful, and effective than anything that is created by political campaigns. It is because they are user created. It is because they are user recommended. It is because viewers can email them to their friends and family. It is because viewers can digg them, delicious them, bookmark them in a thousand ways. People like you give their stamp of approval, and that is worth so much more than a tv spot that you are forced to watch. And that makes these videos infinitely more valuable than any political ad that you will see on tv. (unless, of course, the ad originates on the web, gains enough support that the creator is able to put it on tv.)

Lucky Day
Short story. Guy buys 50 acres from his great aunt so that she can afford to go to a retirement home. Guy has not use for land, but clears a couple acres for a house. Guy finds some unusual rock on land. Rock turns out to be highly prized landscaping rock, valued at $100/ton. Guy has 240 MILLION tons on property. Guy's $50,000 spent on buying the land turns into $2.4 BILLION. Now that's a lucky day.

Boots on the Ground Demonstrations
As much as I like to see innovative new ways to use the internet, in the area of protesting, demonstraing, political activity. I really like to see innovative protests in person. At this time, people on the ground will be more powerful than a video on the internet (now, video of people on the ground, protesting - that works too). So, I really liked this story when I saw it. A group of Iraq veterans, wearing full desert camoflauge took DC by storm yesterday and for several hours went on a mock patrol. They took sniper fire, casualites and arrested participants identified by white t-shirts. They brought the dusty streets of Baghdad home to our capital. I want to see more demonstrations like this one. Additionally, Amnesty International built a life-size replica of a cell at Guantanamo Bay. I'd tell you more, but you need quicktime and the computer won't let me install it. Linky.

Lieberman refuses to rule out switch to GOP. All those who voted for him over Ned Lamont, are you happy now?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"This Presidents Vision"
On NPR this morning (love NPR, love), I was listening to the Diane Rehm Show (what happened to her? she's been out for weeks and I don't believe the "she has pnemonia" line - though I do enjoy the hosting of the BBC's Katy Kay - such a nice english accent), anyway, right, listening this morning. They were talking about whether or not the "surge" (escalation) was working. Bombings are down, bodies found in the street are down etc.

Here's the thing though, according to AJ in DC, (via Americablog - AJ is "a former Department of Defense civilian Intelligence Officer who was decorated for his recent civilian service in Iraq. He is an Iraq expert, and an authority on Iran, democratization, nation-building, Middle East politics, intelligence, and national security matters. ") and according to the Brookings Institute, violence wanes at this time of year anyway, so there really is no way to know if the "surge" is working, or if violence is just declining like it traditionally has. So no, even if the body count is slightly less, the "surge" is not working.

Back to NPR - some idiot, and I'll find out later, actually used this phrase "the presidents vision" - I about drove off the road. The president's vision? What vision? Is this cocaine induced vision? Is he using again? Is he drunk? What kind of megalomaniac psycho has a vision for a country which includes violence everyday, rape and murder by our own soldiers, and the systematic break down of society all so that we can secure oil?

UPDATE: Ok, the idiot was Frederick Kagan from the American Enterprise Institute - "one of the leading architects of the Bush administration's foreign policy." Why do they even have these people on? How about someone that is not tied inexorably to Bush's foreign policy? And if you're going to have someone like, Frederick Kagan, why not just give them a skirt and pom poms and make them comment in rhyme?

UPDATE #2: He actually said "The determination of the president, the vision of this rolling surge." So I misheard him - but he's still an ass... He said the number one problem in Iraq is Al-Qaeda - which is bullshit. 1) The number one problem is the fucking civil war. 2) al-qaeda wasn't even in Iraq until we blew their country apart, and allowed al-qaeda to move in.

The "G" word
By now you've all heard about General Pace's comments on the gays. (at least I hope you heard, after all, I covered it the other day). After he made the comment Sen. John Warner (R-VA) came out (so to speak) and said " I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the chairman's view that homosexuality is immoral." Fantastic. Now with such a strong rebuke of gay-bashing from a Republican, what will our Democratic candidates say in response to General Pace's comments? (extra points if you can match the comment to the candidate - for those living under a rock, the top tier candidates are Obama, Clinton and Edwards.)

asked in person about General Pace's comments:
- "Well, I'm going to leave that to others to conclude"
- "I don't share that view"
- "I think the question here is whether somebody is willing to sacrifice for their country, should they be able to if...they're doing all the things that should be done."

later through a spokesman or press release:
- "I disagree with what he said and do not share his view, plain and simple."
- the candidate "in fact, disagrees with Pace"
- no further clarification

That's right, not one of them could actually say the "g" word. Or come out with a statement like, oh I don't know - "being gay is not immoral." end of fucking story. Clinton is really disappointing, considering how less than two weeks ago she was getting a standing ovation from the Human Rights Campaign - a GAY rights group. She said, "I am proud to stand by your side." Yeah, that lasted real long.

And I'm not at all pleased with everyone's golden boy Obama - "the only silver lining!" What happened to "A belief that we are connected as one people" and "If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties." (insert gay for "arab american family") What happened to that man who talked about the audacity of hope?

Edwards should have just repeated his Feb 2007 appearance on meet the press
Q: Do you believe homosexuality is a sin?
Edwards: No. Nuff said.

UPDATE: HRC tells Clinton and Obama they are not happy with their answers. (via A-blog)

UPDATE #2: Hillary joins the club: "I do not think homosexuality is immoral.... let's not be eliminating people because of who they are or who they love." Where''s Obama?

UPDATE #3: Finally, Obama jumps on the wagon: " I do not agree with General Pace that homosexuality is immoral. Attempts to divide people like this have consumed too much of our politics over the past six years."

Chiquita Banana
Chiquita International agreed to a $25 million fine today after it admitted to paying nearly $1.7 million to several terrorists groups in Columbia.
Question #1: Since when do you get to AGREE to your punishment? Don't we punish you and you have to take it? Because if I was arrested for marijuana possession, I don't think I would have the option of agreeing with or not agreeing with the punishment. It's called a crime.

Question #2: Only $25 million? Didn't we freeze all of the assets of some muslim-americans because they might have, maybe donated money to an organization which may have possible provided food for the children of terrorists? Didn't we freeze ALL of their assets and add them to the no-fly list. Didn't we call them terrorists?

Question #3: Isn't this called giving material support to a terrorist organization?

Question #4: Isn't that what we are holding a number of people on at Gitmo?

The terrorist organizations they were supporting were the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia which "has been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports." (Hmm, drugs, cocaine, I think we throw people in jail for that.) And to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - which "has employed vehicle bombings,gas cylinder bombs, killings, landmines, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets, to attack those it considers a threat to its movement. It has not been uncommon for civilians to die or suffer forced displacement, directly or indirectly, due to many of these actions." (wiki)

Nice people. I'm glad an American company was directly financing their activities.

The 101 Uses of 9/11
The White House is feeling tremendous pressure lately, the high profile trial of US soldiers that murdered Iraqi civilians, Walter Reed, the firing of US Attorneys, the Scooter Libby verdict, the revelation that the FBI was/is breaking the law, Senators calling for the resignation of your Attorney General, calling for a timetable for withdrawal etc etc etc. What ever will an embattled White House do? What can they do to distract the American public from their blatant disregard for the troops, the Iraqis, the privacy of the public, the integrity of the DOJ etc etc etc? Why, parade out the Mastermind of 9/11 (said in a scary scary voice).

In a recently released revised transcript (revised?!) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) admits to masterminding the 9/11 attack, 2002 Bali bombings, a deadly attack on a Kenyan hotel, the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl, the 1993 attack on New York's World Trade Center, and an attempt to down two American airplanes using shoe bombs.. Busy boy. He confessed all of this without duress (he says - even though he was probably waterboarded at sometime while in American custody), rather abruptly. Asked if he had been tortured... well we don't know - much of the transcript was blacked out.

(Here's my example of how blacking out a transcript can lead to misleading and false conclusions:

Original: George W Bush is not the best president ever. In fact, he is the worst president that we have ever had, ever. His legacy will be that of pain and misery. He has set the country back one hundred years and destroyed our reputation with the world.

Redacted: George W Bush is not the best president ever. In fact, he is the worst president that we have ever had, ever. His legacy will be that of pain and misery. He has set the country back one hundred years and destroyed our reputation with the world.

See how easy it is?)

Oh, and the 9/11 Commission found that KSM is prone to delusions of grandeur. So tell me why this hack, who probably never planned anything, makes it on all of the news media front pages, displacing those other stories we mentioned above? Oh right, displace the stories we mentioned above. Still don't believe me? This military hearing, where all of this information came out, happened last Friday. So why wait until now? Right, because news dumped on Friday is lost to the memory hole. No one really reads the news on the weekend. So they waited until it could last a whole news cycle, and the mainstream media took the bait. And we didn't hear a thing about Osama bin Laden. I thought he was the guy that planned all the attacks that KSM is taking credit for. We sure don't hear much about OBL anymore. I wonder why? Could it be that we can't fucking find him? Oh yeah, he's eluded capture for 5 1/2 years. Heckuva job Bushie, heckuva job.

Women are from Venus and Men Look at Crotches
The Online Journalism review reports on a new study that focuses on the placement of graphics and webdesign. Jakob Nielsen used eye-tracking to follow how men and women interact with a website, what they look at, when they look at it, how long they look. Given a picture of a baseball player batting, he found that men will tend to focus on genitals as well as the face. Women tend to only check out the face. And it doesn't stop with people either; men will also fixate and the genitals of animals when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site. Uh huh. No word on whether men also check out breasts. My guess is ....YES.

Evangelical Turnaround
Richard Cizik, Washington Policy director of the National Association of Evangelicals caused a ruckus among evangelicals when he said in a recent documentary about global warming "to harm this world by environmental degradation is an offense against God" - refocusing Evangelicals on environmental issues and away from abortion, gay marriage and abstinence-only education. Twenty-five conservative leaders sent a letter to the NAE demanding that they reign in Cizik - the NAE subsequently refused. The association's board also opened a new front by releasing a statement condemning torture - saying the United States had crossed the "boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible."

Which seems like a "duh" thing to say. How can Christians - love thy neighbor - be for torture, or restricting civil rights, or discriminating against other people, or illegal war, or any war?! How can they stand so firm on the side of Republicans, who are pretty much against everything that Jesus ever preached? Here's my favorite statement on the NAE's behalf - "It ought to be God's agenda, not the Republican Party's agenda, that drives us."

UPDATE: The woman from finance I talked about the other day, that was caressing another woman's hair...I just saw the same two in a little hallway off our office and their body language said we are not straight. how exciting.

How many times can someone pee in the course of the day? If you're me, and have had 64 ounces of water by 4 o'clock, the answer is, a lot. That's a half gallon of water.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Don't Ask, Don't Tell sucks. How can you be good enough to fight and die for your country, but not be good enough to serve openly without getting fired? How is that ok? What the fuck is wrong with General Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

General Pace says: "I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we [the military] should not condone immoral acts... I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way."

Hmmmmm. But once again, it's ok if these so-called immoral people fight and die for their country? Immoral huh? I think it's immoral to start a war with a sovereign nation. I think it's immoral to bomb an entire country back into the stone age. I think it's immoral to torture. I think it's immoral to send troops into harms way without proper equipment. I think it's immoral to discriminate against people based on something they cannot change. So fuck you General Pace. And if you really want to go there, in the words of the late great Bill Hicks,

"Here's how I feel about gays in the military: Anyone … dumb enough … to want to be in the military … should be allowed in. End of fucking story. That should be the only requirement. I don't care how many push-ups you can do – put on a helmet, go wait in that fox hole. We'll tell you when we need you to kill somebody. I've been watching all these Congressional hearings and all these military guys and all the pundits going, "The esprit de corps will be affected, and we are such a moral …" Excuse me, but aren't you all a bunch of fucking hired killers? Shut up! You are thugs, and when we need you to go blow the fuck out of a nation of little brown people, we'll let you know." (BOLD emphasis mine.)

UPDATE:Here's someone making sense about morality (from C&L)

"Retired General Paul Eaton worries about the message all of this is sending to America's other allies in the world. "Anybody who threw their lot in with the Americans deserves an opportunity for a future. And the loyalty has got to be in both directions. If we do not take care of these people, then the signal to anybody else in the future is a bad signal. And if you throw your lot with the United States, they'll use you for a while and then they will – they'll just cut you off," he argues. Asked if he thinks it's a matter of honor, Eaton says, "I believe this is a matter of morality."
So, it's ok if you're gay and we're in a war. It's ok for you to die for your country. But if we're at peace, we have to kick you out.
See this story about the gays?
Cariss sent it to me:
LSU Women's Basketball Coach Resigns Amid Scandal
Seems the good coach was getting busy with one of her players....let's see 37 year old coach, 21-22 year old players, 16 year difference, nothing I haven't seen before. Now, what I saw in high school, a 40-something female coach getting awful touch with 16-18 year olds, now that was wrong. Furthermore, you're not really an adult until you are in college - second year. (note: some people are never adults.) So basically, you are an adult in college, if you want to sleep with your coach, fine - as long as there's no sex-to-play shenanigans going on. Two consenting adults, right? right. But in high school, definitely a no no. Why? Because high schoolers are KIDS. ok, done.
Remember how I said that the firing of seven US Attorneys story was going to keep rolling? Well, today it's being reported that at first, Bush wanted to fire all 93 US Attorneys and start completely over. Sure, it's not about politics at all. Administration officials continue to claim that the purge was to get rid of poor-performers, but on their last reviews, they all got very high marks. seems they were all very competent and very good prosecutors ...apparently a little too good.
Meanwhile, Viacom is suing Google for $1 billion (thats with a "b") over Youtube and what Viacom calls "massive intentional copyright infringement" You should not that Google bought Youtube for $1.65 billion. Also, here's my favorite tidbit: "Shares in Viacom gained 1.25 percent to $40.07 and Google shares slipped 1.25 percent to $449.07 in morning trading."(emphasis mine)
So who's the bigger bitch Viacom?
Who doesn't love L word? This season has been pretty good, but I gotta tell you, I'm not on the Bette/Jodi bandwagon. I think they are awkward as hell and have zip for chemistry. Me likey Shane and Paige (duh.) and alice and tasha. helena and what's her face are a train wreck, Tina is Tina, jenny is a mess, papi and kit - ewwwwwy, am I missing anyone? But back to Shane and Paige and their stories. nice. very nice story telling. One thing this season, hasn't had enough of has been story-telling. Unfortunately, a little bird told me that Paige will not be back next year, seems she did not enjoy the cattiness on the set. boo on that. very very boo on that (and as jen would say, le sigh). I thought that perhaps, Paige could do what Carmen couldn't...tie Shane down (in more ways than one) - since it seems that Shane has passed her sleeping with everything that moves torch along to Papi (who, won't be staying with Kit, I mean Kit is straight after all, right? RIGHT? tell me there's not going to be any Papi/Kit sex scenes, please. PLEASE?)
Speaking of lesbians. I just walked by one of the women in the office who I've long suspected of being a lesbo. As I was walking by, I noticed her stopping to talk to some other woman, she said "are you all right?" now, nothing funny here. but as she was saying it and as she was listening to the other woman respond, she was stroking her hair, dare i even say, caressing her hair - in such a way that she had to reach around the other womans head, to the back of her hair and stroke the hairs just above the neck. I walked by and my eyebrows went up. It just didn't seem like gesture that you would use if you were straight, or at the office for that matter. The office plot thickens.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I hate people that take the elevator one floor. Especially when there are stairs to the first floor right after you walk in the front door, the elevator is 200 hundred feet beyond the door. So that person, who was too lazy to take the stairs, walked an extra 200 feet out of their way, to take the elevator. And then I have to wait while the elevator stops at the first floor, and sometimes the second or third floor, and then get out at the fourth floor. I too, would take the stairs, but those stairs by the front doors, only go to the first floor. I have yet to figure out where the other stairs are in this building. I imagine that does not bode well for me in the event of an emergency.

Also I punched Jordan in the face on Saturday night. Moose did too. And Jen E punched him in the stomach. I think he's fine. After we punched him, he showed us the male version of the yoga position "up facing dog." Apparently boys call it "find the hole." I thought a good description was "hump a ho." At any rate, I think he's fine. And that has just been confirmed. It's ok everyone, Jordan IS fine. Your future babies will still have a sperm donor.

I also hate looking for apartments. Boo.

I do like Family Guy. Especially the episode where they go to the beer factory. That episode gave rise to this classic song:
" Chumba wumba gobbledy goo
Life isn't fair Its sad but its true
Chumba wumba gobbledy gee
When your poor legs are stiff as a tree
What do you do when your stuck in a chair?
Finding it hard to go up and down stairs
What do you think of the one you call god?
Isn't his absence slightly odd?
Maybe he's forgotten you
Chumba wumba gobbledy gorse
Count yourself lucky your not a horse
They would turn you into dog food
Or into chumba wumba gobbledy glue "

What a brilliant show. I just saw the Family Guy movie last night and it had me ROLLING on the floor.

Also, I made the mistake of entering a bookstore last night and walked away with $100 in books. Whoops. Bookstores are dangerous, dangerous places. I bought four books, Jen bought a book and three magazines (and one was career research- Curve) - so, not bad for what we paid. I thought that I just had to have: "Bait and Switch," "Blowback," "The Elegant Universe," and something like "Too Many Choices. I can't deny it, I just fucking love to read. And it's just not the same borrowing from the library. Books should be owned.

And the weather is amazing. 70s today and tomorrow. And the temps not dipping lower than 50 degrees (daytime). I think spring is finally here and 70 degrees is just about the most perfect of temperatures. I can't wait for lazy weekend days lying in the sun. Reading (yes, reading) in the park. Warm thunderstorms and slip-sliding in the mud. Long summer nights spent talking in the park with a bottle of wine....

In other news:Alberto Gonzales is a liar.
Dick Cheney is a liar.
George W Bush is a liar.

Seven US Attorneys were fired from their positions on the orders of Karl Rove. Gonzales testified to Congress that he would never allow politics to interfer with the handling of the Department of Justice -- LIAR. It looks increasingly like the US Attorneys were fired for political reasons, ie they were investigating Republican officials for, what else, corruption. Look for this story to get bigger and bigger.

Scooter Libby was convicted on four of the five charges against him. You might remember that the charges against Libby were the only ones to stem from Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of the then covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame in an effort to discredit outspoken war critic Joe Wilson. NO further charges have been brought against Rove or Cheney even though it is pretty clear that they were the leakers. Disclosing the identity of an undercover agent is a crime and it is unclear how many lives they put in danger when they outed her. NOTE: Bush said, in reference to a different case, that he would fire and have prosecuted anyone that leaked vital information during a war. This doesn't seem to apply to people in his own administration. Look for Bush to pardon Scooter Libby before he gives up Rove and Cheney.

Troops are being sent into battle without the proper equipment and training. They are being sent even though they are "medically unfit for duty" as diagnosed by their doctors. They are being sent into battle even though their wounds prevent them from wearing body armor. They are being stripped of their disability ratings when they are injured. Soldiers are killing themselves because they are not getting the help that they need. Their families are being torn apart. Their commanders are not held responsible. George Bush doesn't support the troops. George W Bush is a liar.

Speaking of supporting the troops. If you are driving around in your giant SUV, despite that magnetic ribbon that proclaims that you support the troops, you aren't. We can support the troops by cutting oil consumption - so that no president ever again will be tempted to invade another country to secure more oil. NO more blood for oil. You CAN support the troops by taking the $3 that you spent on that car decal and use it to buy a care package to send to the troops. Go here - - and send a package to the troops.

Instead of listening to FOX news rant about how democrats "don't support the troops" - write your congresscritter to make sure that both parties are doing everything they can to support to support our KIDS over there. It's ok to hate the war. And it's possible to hate the war and not the troops. DO NOT be sucked into an argument about how protesting the war hurts the troops. PEACE IS PATRIOTIC.

Oh yeah, and the troops aren't stupid - they know that we want them to come home, they want to come home too. They don't feel undermined or demoralized when they hear the news reported that the public wants them home. Or the Dems want to give them more armor, or more training, or more supplies. They are demoalized when they hear that their brethren are sleeping in their own urine, that vets are getting the benefits cut, that their Commander in Chief, defying all logic, and reason wont' bring them home and just keeps sending more and more on a fool's errand. A fool's errand that gets them blown up. SUPPORT THE TROOPS, IMPEACH BUSH.

UPDATE: US Army Surgeon General resigned today.Boxing.

I resumed boxing on Saturday night....drunk. The full impact of that experience did not hit me until this morning when I came to work completely sore and barely able to move. My ribs hate me....and Jen E's roundhouse.