Friday, December 23, 2005

The "I" Word

After President Bush's wiretap bait-and-switch doubletalk, there's been a lot of whispers about the dreaded "I" word.

Some people/place of note: Editor&Publisher, Tony Blankley, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator John Kerry, The Washington Post, Pat Buchanan, Keith Olberman and Rush Limbaugh.

So I guess it's time to stop making execuses and do a real poll, right?


Thursday, December 22, 2005

For Your Approval

As of this week, only 8 states have a favorable approval of President Bush, Kansas is on the fence, and the others don't think he's so hot. That's 41 states who don't approve (for those who are counting).

The South Shall Rise Again

And the West too, apparently.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Everything's Connected

The recent Iraq elections? Some Iraqis think something shady went down.

Maybe they think something's shady because of the ridiculous increases in petrol prices since the elections.

And as an American, I can understand why they think something's shady. After all, there's that little issue of Preisdent Bush spying on Americans in the name of fighting terrorism. I mean, I know he basically said that any American-to-American domestic contact didn't get recorded, but is he really sure?

Don't Get It Twisted

While everyone debates what "power" the President of the United States has, let's not forget that important document called the Constitution.

First of all, the "Commander In Chief" thing applies to the military only. Not civilians.

Seccond, he/she must take an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

You may now resume your regularly scheduled debates (already in progress...)

The Bizarro Robin Hood Theory

The BRHT is in full effect now that VP Dick Cheney flew in to cast the final vote on a suspicious budget.

But if you believed John Edwards during the 2004 debates, it's not hard considering that Cheney was against: Head Start, banning plastic weapons that can pass through metal detectors, the Department of Education, funding for Meals on Wheels for seniors, a holiday for Martin Luther King, and a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Becoming the enemy?

New Bolivian President Evo Morales says US President George Bush has become that which he swore to destroy.

The Empire Strikes Back

Vice President Cheney says that Bush should have even more executive power, and that those who agree are traitors to the cause. I guess that includes FISA judges. And conservative thinktanks. And Congress.

Presidency For Dummies

The title says it all......and pics don't lie. Ok, well maybe they do...SOMETIMES. But in this case, we all know Bush isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer on this or any other planet. Care to disagree? If that's so, you can cram it with coconuts, you ugmo :)

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Hillary Factor

Did Cheney finally decide to go to Iraq because Senator Clinton asked him to?

Back to Life; Back to Reality

The WashingtonPost says that President Bush's speech tonight shows his humble side.

I'd argue that humble people don't use ultimatums. They don't say things like "Yet now there are only two options before our country -- victory or defeat" knowing that there are people who want to stop terrorism but think the President's methodology is flawed.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Fried Rice

ThinkProgress points out how that as former National Security Advisor (and current Secretary of State) Condeleeza Rice should have been aware of Bush's decision to allow wiretaps on American soil (read: spy on Americans). More specifically, they argue that this professional relationship should have allowed her to know what the legal precedent is, regardless of her legal experience.

I'll take that point one step further: if Condi is one of the four females who also double as President Bush's confidants (the others being Karen Hughes, Harriet Miers and his mom), she probably did know. She may not be a lawyer, but she knows enough about law not to say anything incriminating on a popular Sunday morning news show.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Borderline Dissention

The House of Representatives is pushing a border-themed immigration bill that doesn't seem to endorse all of President Bush's ideas.

I don't know about everyone else, but it seems that the only thing Congressional Republicans are willing to publicly back Bush on is Iraq. Every other issue (torture, Social Security, the Patriot Act) has ended up creating splinter groups.

Why? The 2006 mid-term elections are right around the corner (politically speaking) and many Republicans believe Bush has his best interests ahead of their survival. Living in a bubble can give people that impression.

No More Secrets

The Senate torpedoed any chance of getting the Patriot Act (aka "Your Freedom for Safety Act") renewed today. But considering that President Bush was getting the National Security Agency to backdoor his plan to spy on American citizens (under executive orders), I'd say the Patriot Act was little more than a formality.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Be Careful What you Wish For

Ann Coulter wants to be arrested. Really.

"Oh Yeah, New Orleans!"

Finally: President Bush will ask for $1.5 billion in levee repair for New Orleans. But why do I get the impression that he won't be as passionate about this as his tax cuts, the Patriot Act and Operation: You Broke It, You Buy It?

Maybe it's because he's never toured the country talking about how important it is for America to have New Orleans rebuilt. Or maybe it's because he hasn't pressured his fellow Republicans in Congress to put the issue on the front burner.

One thing's for certain: noise being made by both of Louisianna and Mississippi is getting too loud.

The Kiss of Death

That fork coming out of Donald Rumfeld's back? Never-you-mind. President Bush thinks he's doing a heckuva job.

Why didn't Bush just put a horse's head in Rummy's bed? Or a rose, even?

Iraqi Elections Checkin'

As we enter the next stage in Operation "Let's Bring Democracy to the Middle East So Their Locals Won't Fly Planes into American Buildings Anymore," I'm curious as to why the American media isn't really asking who these supposed leaders are and what political parties are gaining mojo. President Bush: "We are living through a watershed moment in the story of freedom."

To bad he can't say the same about Katrina Victims. As you can see, nothing's really changed. And things are getting worse.

Almost a Third

32% think impeachment is the way to go as far as dealing with President Bush. While a change in direction may be in order, I think getting a Republican-controlled Congress to even do an investigation is a Herculean accomplishment.


Call a Spade a Spade

A TV station in Charleston did a survey of what should be taught in shcools as far as the "how did we get here?" theories. Evolution got 12%. Intelligent Design beat it out with 16% but was itself beaten by Biblical Creationism, which got a whopping 36%. 30% thought a combination would be effective.

I'd take that as a sign that those of Christian background don't really buy ID, and don't see it as a reasonable alternative to BC.

Pryor to the Facts

I didn't get a chance to experience much of Richard Pryor's comedy, mostly because my parents didn't think his vulgarity and blunt honesty was going to help make me a productive citizen in society. Also, the "shock comedian" in my generation was more or less Eddie Murphy (who with no shame admits that he was influenced by Pryor).

One thing I didn't know about Pryor was that as he aged, he began to reflect on his style as an up-and-coming comic. One of his regrets? The frequent use of the "N"-word, which means many things to many people.


Just when things couldn't get worse for the Philadelphia Eagles, it does. Now the President of the Local NAACP chapter is criticizing Donovan McNabb. ESPN has a quick take, a poll and President J. Whyatt Mondesire's reaction to McNabb's reaction.

I don't agree Mondesire that McNabb is a mediocre QB, but I do think the "I changed my style because people expect black QB to play this way" reasoning was pretty lame on Donovan's part. If being a running QB helps your team win games, why change?

Both sides have flaws in their arguments. This bickering didn't need to involve race (which Donovan injected) and it certainly doesn't help the Eagles improve as a team.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Drown Them in Kool-Aid

Back-to-back-to-back speeches on how good the American economy and Iraq War is seems to be bringing President Bush out of his slump. But will people take this "plan" seriously for long?

Of course, Katrina “has fallen so far off the radar screen, you can’t find it,” as evidenced by the latest White House updates on the manner.

The Writing's On the Wall

Aspiring Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito decides he has better things to do than to visit the Congressional Black Caucus. But his supporters said that the fact that Alito has shunned black leaders shouldn't let people think Alito would shun black people as a whole. From Sarah Wall, senior advisor of the RNC:

"Judge Alito personifies the qualities President Bush said he would seek in a Supreme Court justice and African Americans can have confidence in. A man of great personal character, Alito has shown a mastery of the law and a deep commitment to justice and equality -- particularly during his time as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, where he's best known for prosecuting violations of civil rights,” Wall said. “I have no doubt, once confirmed, that he will serve us well."

Well, I guess that settles that. I mean, it's not like Alito was the President's second choice, right?

Whatever. In his absence, let's just remember what his past decisions (here and here) have meant for race relations.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hearts & Minds

With America two years into the War in Iraq, researchers have been able to do some studies on soldiers who have returned home. Unfortunately, what they've found is far from good news: alcohol abuse and divorce rates among the veterans have risen.

Of the many reasons we have to withdrdraw, this should be near the top of this list. Why can't our government/adequately re-intergrate our brave soldiers back into society? Maybe it isn't something that a session or two with a psychologist can't fix; maybe the root cause has more to do with the actual conditions on the ground in Iraq (and Afganistan) than situations that typically affect a soldier in wartime.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"LOST" In the Shuffle

I've been under the weather lately, and to ease my pain I bought the first complete season of LOST. So before I go any further, I want any fans who don't want surprises exposed to skip this post; it may contain spoilers for you. You have been warned.

Some General Observations:

Watching a show's entire season over a weekend as opposed to one episode a week gave me a unique perspective on how things unfolded last year. You notice little inconsistences and your concept of time changes. When you watch a show and it ends, you move on with your life: there's work, housecleaning, shopping, eating, socializing, blogging and countless other things you do before the next episode. Time passes. So when you watch the next episode and a character says, "It's been a week since we did 'X'," and "X" happened last week, subconciously you believe it. But when you watch back-to-back-to-back episodes you're more skeptical for some reason.

I checked some other "LOST theories" sites, but really didn't read any talking about how (in the opening credits) the names of the actors change where they're displayed from episode to episode. Case-in-point: in the pilot, the actors names were all over the place. The significance? I don't know.

Watching episodes at night with the lights off adds to the spookiness factor, especially when one of the main characters is chasing his deceased father through a mysterious jungle.

Character Notes

Going by Boone and Shannon's comments on how their seating arrangement worked out, they weren't supposed to live. I suppose that's why both characters were basically useless as far as contributors to the other survivors. It's also interesting that all the rich or well-to-do people (besides Boone, Shannon and Hurley) died in the crash while the Middle Class (and later on, tail section) people survived.

Was it me, or did it seem like the writers orginally intended for Hurley and Claire to get together, then decided to pair her up with Charlie after the lame drug rehab episode?

Sun's claim that Jin "has a temper" like he's abusive or something doesn't wash. Other than pounding the living hell out of Michael, he's been fairly normal (considering the circumstances). And in the flashback, he pushes Sun away. I caught that because I remember thinking that he was going to slap her -in fact I expected it. When he just pushed her I was like "Whoa, whatever he's going through hasn't altered his self-control much." And that;s the things about Jin: there's always a logical explanation for everything he's done. He's been the most logical male character on the show so far.

Island Questions:

Why hasn't the "Island Security System" (ISS) attacked anyone on the beach? Why aren't the Others afraid of it (don't tell me they control it; otherwise they could've used it to get Walt and Turnuphead earlier)?

What did they do with the first polar bear's body? What happened to the coffin of Sayid's friend? His ghost wasn't walking around the island like a certain doctor's...

Why, when people lie about where they're from, they use Canada? I swear the next person who says anything about Canada makes my "guilty until proven innocent" list.

Did the Others just basically decide to ignore Danielle after they took Alex? And why didn't the Others loot the Black Rock? You would think explosives might come in handy in case you say, have some enemies on the other side of the island hoarding children and infants you'd like to kipnap.

More stuff to come. But now, back to my medicine!


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Day Late/Dollar Short

Yesterday President Bush had a victory strategy released to the public and spoke about it.

I would like to do a detailed breakdown of both as soon as possible, but for now I'll says this: Now you have a victory plan? Whatever happened to pre-war planning? The fact this document (and the connecting speech) came out when it did tell me a few things:

1. Murtha's press conference had more of an impact than the White House wants to admit.
2. Despite rumors to the contrary, Bush does care about the polls (or at least his trusted advisors do).
3. This document was released early enough to get Bush's Iraq War supporters enough time to make their rounds on TV, on the radio and online and praise him for "being detailed."

Other than that, what else is there to say at this point? Well:

1. President Bush obviously wants the American people to forget that he had wanted to invade Iraq a long time ago.

2. His comparing the War on Terrorism to WWII is not valid and his "strategy" is still muddled. In other words:

To put this in perspective: From December 1941 to August 1945, the U.S. government mobilized an entire nation; manufactured a mighty arsenal; played a huge role in defeating the armies, air forces, and navies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; and emerged from battle poised to shape the destiny of half the globe. By comparison, from September 2001 to December 2005, the U.S. government has advanced to the point of describing a path to victory in a country the size of California.

I think the document was little more than a collage of Bush's greatest speeches regarding the War in Iraq. In other words, it provided nothing that hasn't been suggested or hinted or leaked before. The speech was nothing more than verbal CliffsNotes.

A day late and a dollar short.