Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio takes a look at Freddie's campaign and the odd sex appeal that some people like to talk about:
Saturday, September 08, 2007
If Barry Bonds or A-Rod are people you look up to this may not be for you. Though if you admire the brave men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan that are making huge sacrifices and do not see their faces on the nightly news enough, then pay attention. Starting tomorrow night, HBO is featuring "Alive Day," which tells the stories of soldiers that came close to death and ultimately lost limbs fighting in a civil war without end.
In a war that has left more than 25,000 wounded, ALIVE DAY MEMORIES: HOME FROM IRAQ looks at a new generation of veterans. Executive Producer James Gandolfini interviews ten Soldiers and Marines who reveal their feelings on their future, their severe disabilities and their devotion to America. The documentary surveys the physical and emotional cost of war through memories of their "alive day," the day they narrowly escaped death in Iraq.
Watch the entire ALIVE DAY MEMORIES special on HBO.com beginning Sunday, September 9 at 11:30pm, immediately following the premiere.
Put together by the famous "Tony Soprano," James Gandolfini is a star in his own right. Doing this show is a great way for him to shine in a different way as well as giving back to the stars that do not get their own award-winning show. In our society, Emmys mean more than purple hearts and Congressional medals of honor and it is time to highlight a few of these unsung heroes.
If you happen to have the afternoon off this Tuesday and have appreciated what Molly Ivins meant to American journalism and literature, then make your way up to Central Park West and 64th Street at 4:30pm that day.
The Society for Ethical Culture will be hosting a tribute to the courageous woman who lost her battle with cancer this past January. The guest list is impressive to say the least. Those in attendance will be treated with writers such as Calvin Trillin, Gail Collins, Maya Angelou and John Leonard and the actress Kathleen Chalfant. If Molly made an impact on them, you know Molly had a way with her wit and charm. In case you haven't read her books or columns, check them out here.
The music isn't from 2007, but it goes great with the montage of all the different Republican scandals from this year so far. Senate 2008 Guru counts forty of them, but I'm sure our friends on the right can add to that list before the year is through.
Republican contender Rudy Giuliani told the press yesterday there was no way he would miss the ceremonies next week at Ground Zero. He is even going to take part and read a passage for the event. Isn't that sweet of him. He wants to show he cares, or something like that. I call bullshit. Rudy doesn't care, he just wants to look good. He wants to reaffirm the false image of "America's Mayor" when he was anything but.
Many of the victim's families do not want him there and for good reason. His presence brings politics to the memorial, when politics has no business being there. Talk about it, write about it, speak your mind on how you feel....but when thousands of families take the time to remember their loved ones at was once called the pile, Presidential politics needs to be kept at bay.
Rudy's track record around 9/11 is enough, he doesn't need to add more grief for those that will have politics at the back of their minds when more important things are at hand.
Friday, September 07, 2007
We are now in our seventh torturous year of George Bush's presidency and yet he still manages to make a fool of himself wherever he goes. Today was another shining example of what a buffoon he truly is.
From The Huffington Post:
He'd only reached the third sentence of Friday's speech to business leaders, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, when he committed his first gaffe.
"Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit," Bush said to Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
Oops. That would be APEC, the annual meeting of leaders from 21 Pacific Rim nations, not OPEC, the cartel of 12 major oil producers.
Bush quickly corrected himself. "APEC summit," he said forcefully, joking that Howard had invited him to the OPEC summit next year (for the record, an impossibility, since neither Australia nor the U.S. are OPEC members).
The president's next goof went uncorrected _ by him anyway. Talking about Howard's visit to Iraq last year to thank his country's soldiers serving there, Bush called them "Austrian troops."
His grand finale at APEC was to walk off stage the wrong way. Thankfully his pal Australian PM John Howard steered him towards the stairs instead of a precipitous drop off the platform. Not only does Bush fail in his policies and general "Presidentin." He can't talk, walk or see straight. The only thing I'm wondering is whether this had something to do with Jack Daniels or something more local to the event like Fosters?
Well the rag known as the New York Sun is at it again. Presumably they saw their pick for President in Dick Cheney as ultimately hopeless, so they went to pick another. Who would come out of their magical bag but General Petraeus. Oy!
From The New York Sun:
......"What I cannot countenance is for you today to commend my skill and bravery in Anbar and Baghdad and then tomorrow to hold votes on how futile this struggle is. So let me make this choice easy for you. I believe we have a good chance to drive Al Qaeda and Iran's network from Iraq and stand up in due time a functioning democracy in Baghdad. I am prepared, even eager, to command our forces in this battle Â-- but only on one condition: That you signal that you share my goal of victory. If you think I am mistaken and wish to continue your efforts to undermine me, then I cannot command. Absent that signal, I will resign, effective immediately, and take my case to the voters in a run for the presidency on a campaign to finish the work of winning the war and redeeming the sacrifice of so many Iraqis, allies, and our own GIs."
* * *
That's the speech we'd like to see General Petraeus deliver to Congress on the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. No doubt he has another speech in mind. For he understands that he stands a better chance of getting the support he needs from Democratic leaders in Congress if he gives them a chance to save face and reverse course. That chance is for Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to tell the Democratic Party base that their victory at the polls in 2006 forced the president to change strategies. Today our soldiers are patrolling streets whereas a year ago they were cooped up in the bases. Today Sunnis have a stake in destroying Al Qaeda.
The Democrats could even claim that General Petraeus would not be in command today had it not been for Democratic gains in the mid terms. Secretary Rumsfeld, after all, is a man who punished General Petraeus after his first tour in Iraq by sending him to Fort Leavenworth. No doubt this kind of line will infuriate the hard left who only eight years ago was holding mock war crimes tribunals of President Clinton for his decision to stop Slobodan Milosevic. But to continue to appease this fringe has infuriated many other Americans, such as the commanders in Iraq who are fighting everyday for that country and our own.
What the hell are they smoking over there?
When I arrived at Pace University this morning, I was a little bummed to find myself at the end of a 250 person line, many students and locals waiting to get in to hear Edwards' major policy speech on global terrorism. In what seemed like divine inspiration, I turned to see Philip Anderson's press badge on a table behind the gates.
After a couple quick text messages to Philip and a little persuasiveness talking to the security guard and the girl behind the press desk, I skipped the line and got myself a nice, close-to-the-stage seat inside the auditorium. A guy named Adam with the campaign also helped out by handing out advanced copies of the speech. So I was all ready to go when John took to the stage.
First off, Kristin Breitweiser introduced the Presidential nominee. In case that name does not ring your bell, she is one of the Jersey Girls, a 9/11 widow who lost her husband in the attacks on that terrible day. She is friends with the Edwards family and believes in them as people who care and want to make a difference. She sees an Edwards presidency as one that will confront terrorism with a plan that is smart, creative and bold and not that is based on fear (as George Bush does so terribly well). Her presence was impressive to me because she is an ordinary citizen that took great initiative when presented with extraordinary circumstances.
Edwards talked about many different sub-topics that could never be condensed into a sound bite, but I did try with my title above. Basically, George Bush failed to act before September 11th even though he had intelligence that showed an attack by Al Qaeda was imminent. When our nation was mourning the tragedy almost six years ago, the world was ready to unite behind us to aid us in the fight against terror. Instead George went into Iraq, and the global goodwill disappeared shortly after.
We all know the history of the last few years, so the question is...what will John Edwards do as President to right the wrongs of the 43rd President and make our country and the world safer?
First of all he wants to create CITO. It stands for the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization. Far from being a weak bureaucratic shell, it will band nations together to fight terrorism by cooperating against terrorist organizations. Our go-it-alone policies of the past have only made groups like Al Qaeda stronger, a unified effort is what we need to make progress in this 21st century conflict.
Edwards admits this will not be a "panacea" but a first step that echoes the words of President Kennedy when he first began the fight to curb nuclear weapons. In addition to CITO, basic diplomacy is essential to bring the world together so that we all have a stake in making our society safer and reducing the hostile rhetoric that we have become accustomed to with George Bush.
Then he tied the subject into his broader campaign theme of fighting against poverty. Fighting poverty on a global scale is absolutely necessary to curb terrorism, because giving people from poor countries a step up will make a difference with the world's youth and their reasoning for joining such organizations like Al Qaeda. He gets that this is the root of the problem when it comes to terrorism. His leadership on this goes above and beyond the other Democrats' positions who are running for office.
Finally he addressed his other major theme in the campaign, that he alone cannot solve America's problems. Every one of us must do our part to achieve a better world in the present and for the subsequent generations. He told the audience "it is time to be patriotic about something other than war" and to do that by going out and working for NGOs that fight poverty, to talk to their representatives in Congress, to learn Arabic so that we can begin to break down the cultural divides as well as improving our nation's deteriorating intelligence capabilities. He also proposed the creation of the "Marshall Corps" that would resemble the military reserves but would deploy "to serve on reconstruction, stabilization and humanitarian missions."
Overall I thought it was a great speech, the only challenge is to turn those ideas into substantive action. That change from words on paper to actual reality will take a walk down a long road. Yet as Edwards evoked the words of Kennedy, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." Perhaps this could be that step.
The practice of recruiting kids from our high schools is a shameful one. We as a country have allowed this to go on for far too long. Having a table at "career day" is one thing, having uninhibited access to classrooms is another. IT professionals, activists, lawyers, doctors and a myriad of trades do not even come close to having the face time with students that the military does. Thankfully someone with some authority in the city sees this and wants to do something about it.
From The New York Times:
Military recruiters are frequently given free reign in New York City public schools and allowed into classes in violation of the school system’s regulations, according to a report released yesterday by the Manhattan borough president and the New York Civil Liberties Union.
The report, based on surveys of nearly 1,000 students at 45 high schools citywide last spring, said the city’s Department of Education exercised almost no oversight over how much access recruiters had to students at high schools.
“There were recruiters who were in the classroom not to talk to students about reading, writing and arithmetic, but to talk to them about how to get a one-way ticket to Iraq and all the benefits you will accrue by that process,” Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, said at a news conference. “This is something that must be stopped. It’s outrageous, and it gives recruiters a captive audience.”
Perhaps schools could start by getting representatives from trades other than "killing people in Iraq" would be a good start. There is more to life than dying in Iraq.
Of course the Bushie interviewed for this article claimed ignorance, but that isn't too surprising. The report she claims she'll review shows that these recruiters disproportionately go into schools with large percentages of minorities and students from low-income families. We all know they do this, the report just confirms it. The question is....what do we do about it?
Not that this news is too shocking for people that paid attention to the whole Valerie Plame mess but it confirms a lot about the "reporter" we all came to abhor. She of course was the *cough* journalist *cough* that
was used by used information from Scooter Libby to write on the Plame saga, allowing the Bush Administration to leak information on a covert CIA agent. When she denied the justice system pertinent information on the episode, they threw her in jail for 85 days. Well now the conservative demigods have bestowed a nice cushy job for their useful tool of a woman.
From New York Magazine:
Judith Miller, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent that pushed all the Bush administration spin about the (so-far non-existent) existence of WMD in Iraq, has finally come home. She's taken a job with the friends of "greater economic choice and individual responsibility" at the Manhattan Institute. She’s written for their City Journal quarterly before, so look for more stories from her on the cop beat. “The Manhattan Institute is doing pioneering work in policing and counter-terrorism,” Miller said in a release today. “As an adjunct fellow, I hope to continue writing about how best to enhance national security and public safety without sacrificing our freedom and civil liberties.” Or sacrificing her journo ethics — Neo-Con propaganda goes down much better when it's properly labeled. —Geoffrey Gray
I agree with Gray, she is definitely in the right place for the crap that she writes. Working at the New York Times helped bring down their journalistic status a few notches. At the Manhattan Institute the acquisition of Judy will keep them at the same spot in the cesspool of neo-con thought.
Although his three wives and the stories surrounding them are morally repugnant, it isn't going to affect my vote that much for President of the United States. The hypocritical nature of him and "family values" does much more....but this video by Brave New Films takes a look at a topic that instantly cancels him out on my list for the next Commander in Chief.
John Edwards will be in town tomorrow, starting with a major policy speech down at Pace University at 11:30 AM. The topic will be about global terrorism and will definitely differ from the crap we hear from the usual suspects on the right. I'm thinking it could also be unique from the other top tier candidates on the left as well. Of course, we'll have to wait and see what he says.
His site says seats are limited if you have the time to go. If not, stay tuned here to get a recap, as I will be attending and writing down all the pertinent information, maybe even with some photos.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
The media treated the story of the accidental transfer of nuclear warheads as an unfortunate mishap that thankfully did not translate into a global catastrophe. Of course I am glad that the plane did not crash or a cruise missile was inadvertently launched, obliterating anything in between Minot, ND and Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. Yet, this explanation of events felt weird to me, and it did so to Larry Johnson, who is far more qualified than me to talk about these things.
From TPM Cafe:
Why the hubbub over a B-52 taking off from a B-52 base in Minot, North Dakota and subsequently landing at a B-52 base in Barksdale, Louisiana? That’s like getting excited if you see a postal worker in uniform walking out of a post office. And how does someone watching a B-52 land identify the cruise missiles as nukes? It just does not make sense.
So I called a old friend and retired B-52 pilot and asked him. What he told me offers one compelling case of circumstantial evidence. My buddy, let’s call him Jack D. Ripper, reminded me that the only times you put weapons on a plane is when they are on alert or if you are tasked to move the weapons to a specific site.
Then he told me something I had not heard before.Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?
His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.
Hmmm. Are we trying to threaten someone with those WMDs?
Apparently the General has spoken his mind before about Iraq, giving the situation a glowing assessment. Then he finds himself running the show (wonder how that happened) and now it his turn to be in the Congressional spotlight. Will he be candid this time or keep earning Bush's loyalty? I'm gonna go with the latter.
What does land rights in the American West have to do with arresting people for lewd conduct in airport men's rooms? Absolutely nothing of course, but that isn't how the American Land Rights Association sees it. They are appalled at the conduct of the airport police in Minneapolis-St. Paul and are telling their supporters to boycott the airport. That is going to be tough next year for the GOP since their convention happens to be in the city. It'll be a long drive from Eau Claire, WI or Dubuque, IA if Republicans follow the lead of the American Land Rights Association. You think I'm kidding about this? I couldn't make it up if I tried.
From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
BATTLE GROUND, Wash. -- Supporters of Sen. Larry Craig with the American Land Rights Association are calling for a boycott of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport.
The Battle Ground (Washington) based association says airport police who arrested the senator in a men's room sex sting are responsible for weakening private property rights in the West. Craig is a Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The American Land Rights Association, which has an office in Washington, D-C, advocates for the use of federal lands and against what it calls federal "land grabs."
The association says the airport should apologize to Craig for what it calls "ambushing" the senator.
Seriously, no one can make this shit up.
So last week the traditional media saturated itself with a "breaking" story that claimed horrifying and terrible chemical weapons had been found in a filing cabinet in the U.N. where the old Iraqi government had their offices. New York was practically under attack ten years after the fact. In their nutty bum rush to the wires, the "journalists" forgot to do their due diligence (whats that?), because if they did there would have been no story to report and no fear to spread through Manhattan and the rest of the country.
From The New York Times (at least they are clarifying a week later):
When officials said that a potentially deadly chemical from Iraq had been found last month in a Midtown United Nations office, many questions followed. How did the sample get here? How did it get misplaced? And how could it sit in a box, unnoticed, for more than a decade at a world agency in the middle of New York?
But now, heaping embarrassment upon embarrassment, it appears that the chemical was merely a commercial solvent, a law enforcement official said.
Initially, officials said the substance was phosgene, an old-generation nerve-gas component used extensively at the end of World War I, and in Iraqi attacks against Kurds in the 1980s.
“We learned later,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, “that initial tests indicated it might be some kind of over-the-counter solvent, though we don’t know what kind.”
Of course, the State Department is to blame for feeding them this crappy information....but seriously, these reporters need to do their jobs before falling all over themselves for the first crack at the airwaves and newspaper columns. Come on guys and gals, repeat after me, "I will do my due diligence, I will do my due....."
The Republican candidates had themselves another debate last night, and when it comes to the GOP, not much was really said. The man that stands out here, Ron Paul offered some reality on the war...but no one listened. He knows their stance on the war (is part of) the reason the Republicans are going down in flames yet it seems everyone prefers the fire for fear of not looking tough.
From Yahoo News:
DURHAM, N.H. - Republican presidential contenders voiced support for the Iraq war Wednesday night despite a warning from anti-war candidate that they risk dragging the party down to defeat in 2008.
"Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor," shot back former Arkansas Gov., "and that is more important than the Republican Party."
Huckabee was in the majority, Paul very much in the minority on adebate stage when it came to the war. The politically unpopular conflict has emerged as the dominant issue of the 2008 race for the .
Tough is all these busters have. No one has any real ideas. Certainly not Giuliani, definitely not Thompson and Romney just sails around on the wind with no clear principles in sight. Huckabee, who showed some promise in the Iowa straw poll, is another conservative who would rather die a gruesome political death than deal with reality.
Save for Paul, they all have this convulted notion that they have to seem stoic like their minds tell them Ronald Reagan was. The only problem with this is that Reagan was nothing that his image creators made him out to be. He was full of hot air for eight years and his ideas are just as hollow now as they were in 1980.
Well he finally did it. The non-candidate candidate is now a full-fledged candidate. The announcement took so long...the event feels especially anti-climatic especially knowing what we know now. Fred's "dapper-ness" has faded from the media narrative after showing him in an unfriendly light. His fundraising powers are seemingly sapped and now all he can do is turn to Arnold's buddy Jay Leno to announce on taped TV.
"I'm running for president of the United States," Thompson told Jay Leno in a taped appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show" airing Wednesday.
Thompson also is calling attention to his candidacy with a 30-second ad being broadcast during a Republican debate in New Hampshire that he is not participating in, and he will explain the rationale for his candidacy during a 15-minute Webcast on his Web site just after midnight.
"On the next president's watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can't allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation," Thompson says in the ad that will air on Fox News Channel.
To sum up what he said, let me say three words: "blah, blah, blah." There is nothing exciting about him, I'm literally falling asleep typing this (it is almost one in the morning though). He's another bumbling idiot that tosses red meat to the conservative masses...but does nothing wen it comes to policy or shaping the country for the next four years.I'm just waiting for him to drop like the others....even though he never really got going.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Senator Craig's story keeps growing legs and I couldn't be happier. Him and his lawyer won't shut up about the incident and Republicans are furious. The outbursts from the Craig camp in the last couple of days has been nothing short of hilarious. His kids came out to defend dear old dad, then he left a voicemail at a wrong number talking about how he'll come out of all of this because Arlen Specter wants to support him. Now his lawyer is comparing all of this to a little traffic offense. It just gets better and better.
Comparing Sen. Larry Craig's arrested in a public restroom sex sting to a "traffic offense," the Idaho Republican's lawyer says his client should stay in the Senate and fight ethics charges against him.
"It seems to me that we ought to seek to have the committee dismiss this outright, given the fact that this arises not from his official duties but from his private conduct," Craig's attorney, Stan Brand, said on the Today Show Wednesday, noting that the Senate previously sought to expel only members involved in treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
"If the Senate of the United States is going to begin taking up every traffic offense and petty offense committed by senators in their private capacity ... I think the Senate needs to go full time session to deal with those alone," he said.
Stan just wants to get his client out of being investigated by the Ethics Committee. Well he can forget about that. His crime is unbecoming for a Senator and he should expect to have his conduct fully examined. The time for covering up for bad behavior needs to come to an end. It isn't about his sexual preference (even though he must be very confused about that), it concerns the trust of his constituents and the respect for the Senate.
Stan Brand has a lot of chutzpah to compare this to a traffic offense. Soliciting sex in a men's room is hardly the same as being pulled over for speeding or running a red light. If the two were the same....I could be in a lot of trouble (thank god I don't drive anymore...).
A report done by the New York Civil Liberties Union has shown that the Civilian Complaint Review Board might not be doing the job it was created for. The board should be investigating civil complaints made against the police, but more than half of all cases are easily dismissed, and the rate of finding fault with the cops is significantly under the national average. Are cops just better here, or is there something else going on we should know about?
From AM New York:
Of the nearly 7,000 civilian complaints filed against New York City police officers in 2006, close to 60 percent were dismissed without an investigation, according to the report titled "Mission Failure," which looked at police complaints since 1994.
On average, the Civilian Complaint Review Board found police at fault in just 5.2 percent of complaints - far below the 10 to 13 percent average found at similar boards across the United States, the report said.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board was added to the City of New York Charter in July 1993. The board was tasked with conducting thorough and impartial investigations.
Of course the NYPD quickly came out to slam the report and the NYCLU in general. Who is more believable, a group that fights for civil liberties or the NYPD? First of all this board is compromised of people selected by the Mayor, the City Council and the Police Commissioner. Why would the latter have any say over who gets to do a civilian review. It is called a civilian complaint review board for a reason. On top of that, the Mayor and the council more or less are generally on the same side as the cops. This board doesn't seem fair at all when you look at how people are appointed.
Perhaps instead of trying to dismiss the NYCLU so quickly, the city should review how the board is put together. Perhaps civilians designating other civilians would be a good start. Common sense people...lets get on board here.
HotLine TV makes a good point in this web broadcast about why the press is deserting Craig as fast as his Republican colleagues.
Like most things George Bush has set out to do in his life, this Presidency has fallen to pieces. Sure, he was successful in making a mockery of the United States and tearing apart the Constitution, as well as being hated by the majority of people on the planet....otherwise, he is a massive failure. The latest proof comes from his record in the Democratically controlled House of Representatives.
From Yahoo News:
’s success rating in the Democratic-controlled House has fallen this year to a half-century low, and he prevailed on only 14 percent of the 76 roll call votes on which he took a clear position.
The previous low for any president was in 1995, whenwon just 26 percent of the time during the first year after Republicans took control of the House. If Bush’s score holds through the end of the year, he will have the lowest success rating in either chamber for any president since Congressional Quarterly began analyzing votes in 1953.
A study of House and Senate floor votes, compiled by CQ over the August recess, also showed that House Democrats have backed Bush’s legislative positions this year only 6 percent of the time, making for the strongest opposition from either party against a president in the 54 years CQ has kept score.
Based on what I learned in U.S. History classes, the only President worse than him was probably Andrew Johnson. Funny how Johnson and Clinton were impeached.....I'm looking for a trifecta here fellas. A conviction would be even better. Of course, I won't hold my breath for any type of chutzpah from the Democrats on this issue.
Looking at the streets of Sydney, you would think they were preparing for a full-scale invasion in the city. No, Tasmanians are not declaring war on the mainland, it is just that George Bush is planning to come to town. See, Australians hate him so much (except for their soon to be departed PM John Howard) they are going to protest him on an unprecedented scale. Apparently the riot police chief is shaking in his boots. Not that anyone wants to do him harm, they just want him the hell out of their country...and to end the occupation of Iraq. Authorities are going ape-shit anyways.
Many of the city's usually bustling streets were almost deserted amid the security operation involving 5,000 police and troops, with just a few onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of the US leader through the security fence.
Some retailers, particularly high-end fashion and jewellery stores, were closed -- with signs in their windows saying they would reopen after APEC.
Pavement garbage bins were sealed off with plastic covers while private security guards stood on duty outside office towers.
Some city centre businesses have reported a 50 percent fall in takings, although bicycle courier Rangi Smith said he had not been too badly affected.
"I can get around pretty easy on the bike but it's the pedestrians I'm worried about," he said, gesturing to onlookers near the security fence.
"They look like they're in a cage -- it's like they're imprisoned in their own city."
Sounds more like a raging case of paranoia and nothing that resembles sanity. The police seem to be creating something out of nothing. Protesting against a tyrant should be perfectly legal. The police do not want to give that impression for the media though, instead of showing Bush as the barbarian, they'll do anything to put the protesters in a bad light. Shame on the Aussie cops for this.
Max goes on another adventure, this time meeting the ever so annoying miscreant known as Michelle Malkin. To her credit she tries to defend herself, but it is all just a bunch of BS....enjoy the show!
Bloomberg and pals put on quite a show to show America and the world that NYC is tourist friendly. A whole spread of local celebs went on camera to show off our hospitable nature for the millions that make their way to Manhattan (and occasionally the other boroughs) to see our world-famous sites. Though I have to admit, I do not try to throw rose petals on the sidewalk for our guests. In fact, many New Yorkers including myself have a certain amount of trepidation and even disdain for these travelers.
Whenever I see one of those open-air double-decker buses going through the city I feel as if I am some sort of spectacle to be viewed as one would in a wild animal park (is this just me?). People, we work and live in this city of eight-plus million. We are busy and although happy to provide directions for the lost and confused in a perfectly gridded metropolis (above 14th St. that is), there are certain things that bother us.
If you are coming to NYC for the summer, the Macy's Day parade, Christmas-time or whenever, there are certain things you should be aware of. When you walk around town, be mindful of how you use the sidewalks. They are for walking (shocking I know) and not gawking. If you want to admire the famous buildings and whatnot, step to the side. You might be knocked over by a local that has some place to be. We are a walking city and sidewalks are a sort of highway for us.
There are also the subways you should be aware of. Do not stand in front of the doors when they are about to open. Again, you will be knocked over for not using common sense. I'm not trying to scare you, just making you aware of certain realities. I have seen people barreled over before and I have a feeling it can happen again.
Basically, please use common sense here. We welcome you with open arms....but be courteous of us and we will do the same for you.
Every time I read something about or from Katie Couric I just want to cringe. Her latest gambit is reporting from Iraq during the week before the Petraeus report (not the one that was already finished, the doctored version presented by the White House). Amazingly enough, her words are strangely similar to those coming from the Grand Poobah's mouth when he visited Anbar province a couple of days ago.
"We hear so much about things going bad, but real progress has been made there in terms of security and stability," Couric said Tuesday. "I mean, obviously, infrastructure problems abound, but Sunnis and U.S. forces are working together. They banded together because they had a common enemy: al Qaeda."
"The spike in police has really been significant," Couric said. "The incidents in Iraq have gone down dramatically."
Katie says that if only we restore basic services, everything will be just peachy in Iraq. Wow, Bush's surge must really be working. The only problem is that little things like reality get in the way of Bush's claims and Couric's "reporting." Both of them probably tune out reports like this one, showing the fear in the lives of ordinary Iraqis.
Who reads the Washington Post anyways, right? Certainly not the President with hand fed clippings by whoever is left at the White House. Who knows where Katie gets her information....I'm thinking they brought along a teleprompter for her short visit over there.
Hey Katie, Tony Snow is leaving his spot in the Bush Administration next week....you know you could certainly beat out Dana Perino for his position.
Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films put together a nice little piece on my dear friend Rudy Giuliani. How long would it take you to describe his many, many failures as mayor specifically and as a person generally? It wouldn't be thirty seconds, it wouldn't even be thirty minutes...
So I've been hearing that NYC cabbies were going to strike today and tomorrow, bringing New York City to a standstill. No one would be able to go anywhere, no cabs ruthlessly plowing through the streets, no drivers busy on their cellphones while paying little attention to the road and at the end of the day we would be begging on our knees to give in to their every demand.
Oh wait, that isn't the case at all. I still see cabs zooming around from my current vantage point at 34th and Park. Still being rude, driving like bats out of hell and from 50-100 feet away, the drivers look like they are talking to themselves thanks to all of those little headsets. So what was the big deal anyway? Not being paid enough? Dire working conditions? Not enough space to go from zero to 100 in 10 seconds between 5th and 6th Ave?
The few cabs that are protesting, hiding their cabs sporadically throughout the city, do not like the new GPS trackers. They do not want to have the cab someone else generally owns to know where they are going nor allowing customers (especially tourists) to see if they are going out of the way to the destination for extra cab fare. The new technology also comes with credit card readers, touch screen devices giving riders the news, weather and sports and basically something to play with while being stuck in rush hour traffic.
No wonder they couldn't mount a half-decent strike. No one would believe their cries. I'm always up for a good strike if the cause is worthy. I was fully behind the MTA workers when they shut down the city nearly two years ago. That was worthy. Having GPS on your cab....give me a break.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Anyone who offers something that counters McCain's delusional quest to become the next President better watch out. Although you may be one of many, if your words become public, expect the "wrath" of Senator John. That is exactly what happened to one high school student in Concord, NH today.
During a question and answer session, McCain jokingly called a high school student a "little jerk" after the young man questioned the Arizona legislator about his age.
"If elected, you'd be older than Ronald Reagan, making you the oldest president," the student said. "Do you ever worry that you might die in office or get Alzheimer’s or some other disease that might affect your judgment?"
"Every campaign I've ever been on in my entire life, I've outcampaigned all of my opponents," responded McCain. "And I'm confident that I will. Thanks for the question, you little jerk."
After laughter from the crowd, McCain then quipped, "you're drafted."
Sounds like that over-inflated ego has a thin shell these days.
You would have thought that a guilty plea, condemnation from fellow Republican Senators and a public intention to resign from government would have sealed the fate of Larry Craig. One of the most virulent anti-gay crusaders was caught being gay (not a crime of course) and showed yet another example of hypocrisy in Republica-land. He obviously hated himself so much, he had to bash people who's sexual orientation was different from most Americans, but the same as his. Yet to this day, he claims he is not gay....though he is less believable than a muppet. Well now he is reconsidering his resignation, and the story goes on.
Sen. Larry Craig, who originally resigned from his Senate post after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting, is reconsidering his decision, his spokesman said Tuesday evening.
"We're still preparing as if Senator Craig will resign Sept. 30, but the outcome of the legal case in Minnesota and the ethics investigation will have an impact on whether we're able to stay in the fight - and stay in the Senate," said Sidney Smith, Craig's Idaho spokesman.
Dan Whiting, Craig's spokesmen in Washington, said that the senator was expected to spend the week in Idaho as the Senate votes on spending bills for veterans and other programs this week. Whiting "did not rule out Craig's returning to Washington before the end of the month."
I know there is a large horse community in Idaho...you would think a life-long resident would know when to stop beating one and give up.
Bush is bad news and Cheney is even worse. That isn't earth-shattering to anyone really, but a certain addition to the chorus has made the wires. The National Coalition of American Nuns has voiced their opposition to the President and his VP for their high crimes and misdemeanors. They want them gone as badly as the rest of us.
From The Winston-Salem Journal:
A progressive group of U.S. nuns has called on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney because of their roles in the war in Iraq.
“The National Coalition of American Nuns is impelled by conscience to call you to act promptly to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for ... high crimes and misdemeanors,” the group wrote in a letter written on behalf of its board members.
The letter says that impeachment is warranted for their “deceiving the public under the false pretense that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction” and “destroying” the reputation of the United States and the good will of other nations.
That is a good start, but there are oh so many good reasons to kick them to the curb. Those women in habits know what they are talking about. When people of the cloth feel the need to speak up.....well, we all know it is time for Congress to do the right thing. But will they? For now politics rules over principle.
Even though Paris was my favorite, London was a fantastic city to visit. It was quite an expensive place (more so than Paris) but a fun city to see, with so much history intertwined into a modern high-pace metropolis.
The House of Parliament in the background, where Members get to boo and yell at the Prime Minister for saying stupid shit....if only Congress could do that to Bush, instead they cheer for the buffoon.
Welcome to one of two cities that use congestion pricing to limit the amount of cars and pollution in order to improve mass transit. Will NYC be the third?
Despite the song, it is still standing strong.
Inside Hyde Park.
How to say "Exit" in English. I found it at Gatwick Int'l on Saturday....their airport security is even more ridiculous than it is state-side.
Earth is an amazing place. A huge rock that hurtles through space in an orbit 93 million miles from the sun, it provides life to countless species including our own. We are the only ones that require energy to power our way of life, and for the last couple hundred years we have used unsustainable fuels that have enabled tremendous progress at a devastating price to our planet.
Lately there has been a small but determined effort to get away from fossil fuels. Wind power and to some degree solar energy has begun to light up our homes and businesses, but there is so much more out there. In the last few years Verdant Energy has sought to place turbines in the East River to capture tidal energy though expectations have not been met. Regardless, Verdant is but one example of the drive for clean energy.
From The Washington Post:
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon Iron Works has the feel of a World War II-era shipyard, with sparks flying from welders' torches and massive hydraulic presses flattening large sheets of metal. But this factory floor represents the cutting edge of American renewable-energy technology.
The plant is assembling a test buoy for Finavera Renewables, a Canadian company that hopes to harness ocean waves off the coast of Oregon to produce electricity for U.S. consumers. And Finavera is not Iron Works' only alternative-energy client: So many companies have approached it with ideas that it has created a "renewable-energy projects manager" to oversee them.
(snip)Finavera's chief executive, Jason Bak, believes he knows how. The equipment his company designed, called AquaBuOY, aims to generate electricity from the vertical motion of waves. The buoy, anchored in an array two to three miles offshore, will convert the waves' motion into pressurized water using large, reinforced-rubber hose pumps. As the buoy goes up the peak of a wave and down into its trough, it forces a piston in the bottom of the buoy to stretch and contract the hose pumps, pushing water through. This drives a turbine that powers a generator producing electricity, which would be shipped to shore through an undersea transmission line.
More than two-thirds of Earth's surface is covered by water. Even with many shipping lanes ferrying goods around the world, there is plenty of room to harness energy from the ocean. Now of course there will be initial problems in getting these new ideas online and weaning ourselves off of oil and coal, but it is very possible. The key is to encourage companies like Finavera to do their important work by having our government and others push the market to stop the disease of oil addiction. Not only is it possible, it is essential.
Monday, September 03, 2007
You would think that all the Republican candidates would make empty rhetorical statements about fighting terrorists. Over there, draconian laws attacking our liberties here and instilling fear wherever they go. Yet Mitt Romney is bucking the trend. Not only is he looking outside the narrow Republican box, he's embracing Hezbollah.....yes, that Hezbollah.
From The Daily Gotham:
Missed this when it first came out at the beginning of August. But the National Jewish Democratic Council has brought it to my attention. Mitt Romney has criticized Democrats for being unable to "recognize evil." And yet Mitt Romney ALSO is calling for America to look to Hezbollah as a role model....in an article titled “Mitt Romney cited Hezbollah's social network as a model for U.S. diplomacy,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported on recent comments by GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney that Hezbollah’s “kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become stronger around the world …”
I'm sorry Mitt, I like to think outside the box, but not in that direction, not even close here. Hezbollah is a group of terrorists that uses community aid to support their terrorist attacks on Israel and Lebanon. They put on an elaborate front, more so than you could ever dream of. Maybe its the "Party of God" thing that attracts you. Personally, they repulse me...and so do your statements about them.