Friday, May 30, 2008

Oldie But Goodie: "SELF MADE MAN"


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to a subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor and benefactor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe simply forgets that in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by the Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of himself, just like I have."

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

R.I.P.: Harvey Korman

The actor was famous for "Blazing Saddles" and "The Carol Burnett Show."

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Putting the Puzzle Together

OK; so earlier I said this about "Frustrated Ex-Press Secretary Gate:"

I'm just saying that "s/he did it for the money" is a lame reason for dismissing any writer, author or book. If we take that out of the question, we are left with two other tried-and-true neoconservative smear tactics: (a) call the person a liberal hater (which is ridiculous considering his former job), or (b) claim that the person doesn't have Clue One what s/he is talking about (well, then, why the hell make this person a Press Secretary?).

Well, Dana Milbank from the WashPost reminds us that

Of course, nobody's really puzzled about anything. They're peeved and perturbed. But they can't admit that, so they have retreated to the practice -- time-honored in the Bush White House -- of discrediting your opponents by labeling their actions confusing and irrational.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's claim that Bush can't launch military action in Iran without congressional consent?

"I'm puzzled," Perino said at the time.

The media's interest in John McCain's criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq war?

"It's puzzling to me," Perino said.

Opposition by Democrats to Iraq war spending?

"I'm puzzled," said Vice President Cheney.

Problems with deficit spending during a war?

"I'm always puzzled," said then-press secretary Ari Fleischer.

Disagreements over Bush's Medicare proposals?

"Very puzzling," Fleischer said.

But perhaps nobody spent as much time being publicly -- and implausibly -- puzzled as McClellan himself did, from the White House podium.

An article on the treatment of prisoners? "Puzzling."
Democratic complaints about Karl Rove's fear tactics? "Puzzling." Changes to
restrict information on the White House Web site? "I'm somewhat

It's almost like "puzzling" was the White House's default response to any story or event that revealed their incompetence or indifference.

I could say, "I told you so," but that would imply that these people aren't predictable.

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Another Example of the Broken Clock Theory

While I don't agree with everything Michael Crichton says, I'll agree that he was fairly on point (if not late) with his predictions of the media.

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Around the Internets

  1. As far as votes for 2008 are concerned, John McCain = George W. Bush.
  2. If Hillary Clinton was performing at the Apollo...
  3. As far as foreign policy is concernec, John McCain is worse than George W. Bush.
  4. While it's nice to see the media pay tribute to such a political (and liberal) icon like Ted Kennedy, where the hell was this "love" a few years ago?
  5. Scott McClellan wasn't the first ex-"loyal Bushie" to develop a sense a independent thought and be bashed for it...and he probably won't be the last.


One Less Eastern Conference Team For the Wizards to Worry About

According to the WashPost's Michael Lee, Doug Collins may return to Chicago.

Doug Collins. Ailing franchise. #1 pick available. Sounds vaguely familiar.

If history repeats itself, the Wizards may have at least one punching bag next season. I can't wait for Collins to try and make Larry Hughes a PG again.

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Now NeoCons Hate Capitalism

Or rather, they hate it when one of their (supposed) own writes a tell-all book about a corrupted Administration that they backed 100%. From Think Progress, these are some of the things being said about Scott McClellan's motives for writing his new book:

Brad Blakeman, former White House staffer: “A publisher got to him and he waved a lot of money, I’m sure, in front of him and he took the bait and that is just unfortunate.”

Trent Duffy, former White House deputy press secretary: “It’s like he just turned over the pen to a publisher and signed his name at the bottom and got a big fat book contract.”

Bill O’Reilly: “McClellan is in it for the bucks, keeping in mind his publisher also distributes books by George Soros and other far left people.”

Newt Gingrich, former House speaker: “Here is this guy who want to sell books. He’s cut his ties to the administration and his publisher says, ‘Now look, you can spice it up a little bit.’”

Sure the message deviates to "Scott has been brainwashed by the left" or "Scott's just disgruntled" or whatever, but all of these excuses are anchored with the same theory: the primary motive was money.

Now two things on this:
  1. How can a group who has made untold amounts of money because of the Bush Administration's questionable policies fault someone of trying to make money legally? When there were whispers that Bush's oil contacts were making a killing of of the Iraqi occupation, those people were met with scorn; they were even accused of being unpatriotic. But strangely enough, neither the facts nor the arguments were really ever disputed.
  2. Even if McClellan's motive was financial in nature, how does that detract from what he's written? Anyone who writes something with pertinent information, and has it published, is most likely doing so for monetary compensation. If we were to assume that the sole motivation behind any book was to get money, and as a consequence of that books can't be considered "reliable," then should we trust any publication?

I'm just saying that "s/he did it for the money" is a lame reason for dismissing any writer, author or book. If we take that out of the question, we are left with two other tried-and-true neoconservative smear tactics: (a) call the person a liberal hater (which is ridiculous considering his former job), or (b) claim that the person doesn't have Clue One what s/he is talking about (well, then, why the hell make this person a Press Secretary?).

One last thing: McClellan wasn't the first to write such things, and he probably won't be the last.

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No Main Topic

  1. Stop me if this sounds familiar: For those who are in and were employed in the Bush Administration, no one could have known that lying to a press secretary and making him look like a fool would push him to writing a tell-all book. Add this "surprise" to 9/11, Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the economy...
  2. New York Governor Paterson wants the state to recognize same-sex unions that are preformed elsewhere.
  3. R.I.P.: Earle H. Hagen.
  4. Jane Coloccia wrote a book about how fun and addictive online dating can be.
  5. The longer the Democratic Primary lasts, the more fanatical some Clinton loyalists are getting.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Too Close To Home For Me

What a development.

Keith A. Washington, the former Prince George's County police corporal and homeland security official, was sentenced today to 45 years in prison for shooting two unarmed furniture deliverymen, one fatally, last year at his home in Accokeek.

Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Whelan noted that evidence contradicted Washington's claim that he fired in self-defense as the two larger men attacked him. "There wasn't one discernible injury to any of the medical personnel who examined him," Whelan said.

Washington was found guilty in February of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of first-degree assault and two gun charges in the shooting of Brandon Clark, 22, and Robert White, 37. The men were at his home on Jan. 24, 2007, to deliver a set of bed rails from Marlo Furniture.

You'd think a cop would know better. You'd think.


One Less Kingdom In the World

Talk about history in the making:

KATMANDU, Nepal -- The world's last Hindu kingdom became its newest secular republic Wednesday as Nepal's lawmakers, led by former communist insurgents, abolished the monarchy that had reigned over this Himalayan land for 239 years.

Throughout the day, thousands of people marched, danced and sang in the streets of Katmandu in anticipation of the vote, waving red hammer-and-sickle flags as dour King Gyanendra awaited his fate in the pink concrete palace that dominates the city's center.

He finally found out the fate of his throne late in the day when, as expected, the newly elected Constituent Assembly declared the country a republic and abolished the monarchy by a vote of 560-4. The assembly's 37 other members were not present.

"We have entered a new era today," said Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, calling Nepal's rebirth as a republic "the dream of the whole nation."

It's hard to say whether a "federal democratic republic" that was ushered in by former communists is better than a monarchy; it really depends on who's running things.

Nevertheless...considering what's happened between 2006 and now, it's really a contrast to Iraq, aka, "The Big Bush Debacle." But I guess Bush supporters can say, "Hey, at least Iraq hasn't become a communist country." Well, yeah, there's that.


Hillary Clinton Is Trying to Sell Herself As the 7-Minute Abs

Eugene Robinson on Sen. Clinton's surreal "assassination" remark:

Clinton has always claimed to be the cold-eyed realist in the race, and at one point maybe she was. Increasingly, though, her words and actions reflect the kind of thinking that animates myths and fairy tales: Maybe a sudden and powerful storm will scatter my enemy's ships.

Maybe a strapping woodsman will come along and save the day. Clinton has poured more than $11 million of her own money into the campaign, with no guarantee of ever getting it back. She has changed slogans and themes the way Obama changes his ties. She has been the first major-party presidential candidate in memory to tout her appeal to white voters. She has abandoned any pretense of consistency, inventing new rationales for continuing her candidacy and new yardsticks for measuring its success whenever the old rationales and yardsticks begin to favor Obama.

It could be that any presidential campaign requires a measure of blind faith. But there's a difference between having faith in a dream and being lost in a delusion. The former suggests inner strength; the latter, an inner meltdown.

What Clinton's evocation of RFK suggests isn't that she had some tactical reason for speaking the unspeakable but that she and her closest advisers can't stop running and rerunning through their minds the most far-fetched scenarios, no matter how absurd or even obscene. She gives the impression of having spent long nights convincing herself that the stars really might still align for her -- that something can still happen to make the Democratic Party realize how foolish it has been.

Robinson puts the ordeal in a context I can only hope to achieve. Me? I have to resort to referencing YouTube videos. Here's how the Clinton Campaign's constant "hypotheticals" look to most average voters, who will be played by Ben Stiller (the guy driving the car):

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Around the Internets

  1. By all means, take the "Are You John McCain?" Test.

  2. Not that I'm hating on Jake Gyllenhaal, but this means we have yet another movie that should involve ethnic cast member but doesn't.

  3. Sure, doctors are smart, but don't believe everything they tell you.

  4. I wonder if the media had time to look for these ailments when they were reviewing John McCain's medical records.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sound the Hypocrisy Alarm!

And I only say this because the GOP (especially President Bush) came off really absolutist in their "talking to the enemy" tirades. Anyway: Ring-ring!

WASHINGTON - Sometime in the next few weeks, a special envoy of President Bush plans to meet with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government sheltered Osama bin Laden and pursued a scorched-earth policy in southern Sudan that resulted in more than 2 million deaths.

Bashir's government has been accused by Bush of participating in a "genocide" in Darfur, the only U.S. government use of such a strong accusation. Yet Richard S. Williamson's visit to Khartoum follows a series of direct contacts by senior Bush administration officials with the Sudanese president, including Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Rice's deputies, and several special presidential envoys.

Bush has spoken to or exchanged letters with Bashir on numerous occasions, underscoring how White House policy has departed from his pointed public call to shun talks with radical tyrants and dictators. His appointees have also pursued aggressive diplomacy with North Korea and Libya and have even conducted limited business with Cuba, Syria and Iran.

Luckily for the Democrats, their leading candidate isn't letting this slide:

"The Bush administration has spent years not only talking at very senior levels with one of the world's worst tyrants, who is responsible for genocide, but also reportedly offered the regime major concessions in exchange for minor steps and rolled out the red carpet for some of its most reprehensible officials," said Susan E. Rice, who handled Africa policy in the Clinton administration and is a top adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

But as usual, it's OK as long as Bush does it:

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the administration has been willing to talk with both Sudan and Iran -- though in the case of Iran, only if it halts uranium enrichment. "We enter into discussions with countries where we have leverage to achieve results," he said. " In the case of Sudan, they want better relations with the United States and we want to stop a genocide."

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R.I.P.: Sydney Pollack & Thelma Keane

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hey Young World

Rapper Slick Rick is pardoned by New York Gov. David Paterson.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Operation Iraq Liberation

That was the original name of "Operation: Iraqi Liberation" before someone pointed out the acronym: OIL.

But after seeing this, I think they should has stuck with the original:

Iraq could have largest oil reserves in the world

Iraq dramatically increased the official size of its oil reserves yesterday after new data suggested that they could exceed Saudi Arabia’s and be the largest in the world.

The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister told The Times that new exploration showed that his country has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, with as much as 350 billion barrels. The figure is triple the country’s present proven reserves and exceeds that of Saudi Arabia’s estimated 264 billion barrels of oil. Barham Salih said that the new estimate had been based on recent geological surveys and seismic data compiled by “reputable, international oil companies . . . This is a serious figure from credible sources.”

The Iraqi Government has yet to approve a national oil law that would allow foreign companies to invest. Mr Salih said that the delay was damaging Iraq’s ability to profit from oil output, robbing the country of potentially huge revenues. With oil selling for more than $125 dollars a barrel and demand rising, Mr Salih is frustrated that Iraq still struggles over the establishment of a regulatory framework. “There is a real debate in the Government and among political leaders about the type of oil management structures we should have. I am for liberalising this sector and allowing the private sector to come in to develop these vast resources.”

There's more. But remember: invading Iraq was about stopping Saddam Hussein, freeing the people of Iraq, and something else. Not oil.

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My Beef With "X-Files"

I was watching other shows when it first came on, but once I saw a few old episodes (like the vampire one or the one written by Stephen King) I was hooked. Problem is, it seemed like some force (the actors, Chris Carter, the studios) didn't want to make the damn movie.

But they finally did. And what happened? It revealed pretty much nothing; it was almost like a two-hour commercial for the show. And this is coming from someone who likes a cartoon (and subsequent movies) that was a series of commercials (if watching the show didn't make you want to have every toy, you're not a fan). If I were a die-hard "X-Files" fan, I'd be pissed.

Nevertheless, the movie raked in the dough (mostly due to "Independence Day" hatred, IMHO) and lasted on in TV for a few more seasons, despite the rumors that both the principle actors wanted out (or drastic changes).

Fast forward to now: in an era where anything old is either being re-made or re-envisioned, in a time when shows like freakin' 90210 is getting a makeover and movies like "Indiana Jones" are being dusted off after twenty years (what's with George Lucas always waiting two decades to revitalize a franchise?) what better time to have an "X-Files" revival? Hey, can't have that new Star Trek movie stealing all your sci-fi thunder, right?

Maybe it's just me, but I just don't get a sense that people were clamoring for a sequel. Maybe five years ago, but now? It's like wanting a movie about "Cheers" or "NYPD Blue."

Either way, the trailer for the sequel looks pretty cool.


A Clean Bill of Health?

In relation to what I found about the "release" of John McCain's health records: check out Randi Rhodes . She's saying that the media was only given three hours to look through selected pages.

If this is true, the obvious question is: what's in the records that McCain doesn't want the American people to know?

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One Day At a Time

Eugene Robinson sums up the Hillary Clinton's (not so) Master Plan for Winning the Primary: Keep moving forward until you drop.

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Maybe He Forgot (He *is* Old, Ya Know)...

Back in 2000, Sen. John McCain hinted that a 2008 run may be too much for him. What a difference eight years, millions of dollars and a whole lot of flip-flopping makes.

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Around the Internets

  1. Actress Evangeline Lilly (aka Kate) talks about LOST fans, the season finale and her vacation time.
  2. I expected this: After Warren Buffet endorses Barack Obama -a candidate who's economic policies doesn't exactly support the super rich- the investment community begin to question his abilities.
  3. Charley Rosen has some advice for the Pistons and the Celtics.
  4. Remember: John McCain was for Hagee before he was against him.
  5. Top Ten Most Sexually Satisfied Cities...and none of them are coastal. Sigh.
  6. Hollywood and their last-minute movie changes.
  7. There are many takes on that old clip of Bill O'Reilly going Coo-coo for Coco Puffs. Here's one of my favorites.


Another Sign of Lame Duckness

State Department employees are giving Bush Administration photos the "fake mustache" treatment.

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Foreign Policy the Marvel Way

Our favorite communist and ex-communist (so far) nations aren't too happy about having missiles aimed at their backyard:

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and Russia on Friday condemned the United States' plans to set up a missile defense system that Washington says is crucial to protecting the security of it and its allies.

"Both sides believe that creating a global missile defense system, including deploying such systems in certain regions of the world, or plans for such cooperation, do not help support strategic balance and stability, and harm international efforts to control arms and the non-proliferation process," Russia and China said in a joint statement.

"It harms the strengthening of trust between states and regional stability. In this respect (the two sides) express their concern," it said.

The statement was signed in Beijing by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is visiting China on his first foreign trip since taking over the presidency this month.

The US (read: Bush Administration) say it will help the country against enemies like Iran. You know, enemies that we apparently don't want to talk to because they've said mean things. I guess it's way easier for them to just threaten and saber-rattle, allies and potential allies be damned.

Keep in mind that before 9/11, the Bush Administration was also on the "missile defense" bandwagon. Looks like the experience of terrorists using American airplanes to attack people hasn't quite sunk in, because the whole purpose of a missile defense system is to defend against a nation with the ability to send rockets to your nation (it's doubtful that the Bush Administration could care less about another country's safety to such a degree that they'd build a missile defense system just for them). Iran (like Iraq before our invasion) had no such capability.

But as always, the Bush Administration lives life like it was a Marvel "What If" comic.

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Whither the Kennedy Court?

Wasn't Justice Anthony Kennedy supposed to be the backbone of numerous 5-4 Supreme Court decisions. Not lately, according to the New York Times.

Justice Kennedy’s dominance last term was so complete that, of 68 decisions, he cast only two dissenting votes. He has already dissented five times this term. So have Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Stephen G. Breyer and John Paul Stevens. In other words, no longer the essential justice, Anthony Kennedy now looks like just one of the pack.

Something is happening, clearly. The question is what. The caveats against drawing any hard conclusions at this stage are obvious. For one thing, the term is functionally only half over, with 35 cases down and 32 to come. And it is common for the hardest-fought decisions to come at the very end. The District of Columbia gun control case, the latest case on the rights of the Guantánamo detainees and a case on whether the death penalty is a constitutional punishment for raping a child are yet to be decided.

Still, there is a clear pattern in the cases the court has already decided this term. The court upheld Kentucky’s method of execution by lethal injection by a vote of 7 to 2. It upheld Indiana’s law requiring photo identification at the polls by a vote of 6 to 3. The justices voted 7 to 2 on Monday to uphold the latest federal effort to curb trade in child pornography.


It would be too simplistic an explanation to say that the liberal justices, at least some of them, have simply given up. Something deeper seems to be at work. Each of those three cases might have received a harder-edged, more conclusively conservative treatment at the hands of the same five-member majority that controlled the last term.

Instead, the lethal injection and voter ID decisions hewed closely to the facts of each case. Kentucky’s lethal injection protocol passed muster, but the court left open the possibility that another state’s practice might not. The voter ID challenge reached the court on a nonexistent record, so perhaps a stronger case could be made at a later time. Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in the child pornography case construed the statute so narrowly as to allay the

First Amendment concerns of Justices Stevens and Breyer and win their full concurrence. So perhaps there was a bit of movement on both sides — not simple liberal capitulation, but liberals using their limited leverage to exact some modest concessions as the price of helping the conservatives avoid another parade of 5-to-4 decisions.

With the conservative bloc so clearly in control, what leverage could the liberals possibly have? Recall the pledge that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made, both in his 2005 confirmation hearing and in the early months of his tenure, to seek consensus and to lead the court in speaking in a modest judicial voice. That was not how the last term looked, as the majority took aim at precedents and appeared to have in mind an agenda much more ambitious than simply calling balls and strikes.

I'm not too sure how having decisions be 7-2 instead of 5-4 helps the liberal Justices, unless the "concessions" were along the lines of, "Give us these other things, and we won't overturn Roe v Wade."

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Reason #4,792 Why Venture Bros. Is Funny

When I die, I can only hope someone has the courage to sing "Pump Up The Jam" to me.

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No Main Topic

  1. When you can't even give your car away as a bonus for buying your home, you have to say there's a housing problem.
  2. Congratulations to 11-year-old Nebraskan native Akshay Rajagopal; who won the National Geographic Bee.
  3. Yankees sting the Orioles.
  4. For a 71-year-old temperamental senator, John McCain is fairly healthy.
  5. High Gas Prices = Blockbuster/Netflix Memorial Day Weekend.
  6. Burma/Myanmar finally lets the UN come in to help them.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Around the Internets

  1. Tom Tomorrow: Intervention, the Hillary Clinton Way.
  2. JP: A list of possible VPs for John McCain.
  3. Before the Internets there was...
  4. This is enough to make me re-think my Comcast subscription.
  5. House Minority Leader John Boehner vs. House Oversight Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman...guess who won?
  6. Did the World really need a remake of this? I guess so...OK; does this mean that we can get rid of the stupid knock-offs now (aka, half of the CW and FOX dramas)? Please?
  7. Be sure to take a closer look at your bill next time:


Mirror Image

Kevin Garnett sees alot of similarities between himself and Pistons forward/center Rasheed Wallace.

I agree, I guess: both are a skinny 6'11", both play with great intensity, both a above-average offensive and defensive players.

The biggest differences I see is that Garnett is more of a media darling and Wallace has a ring. Nevertheless, if I was a GM and had a chance to get both of them on my team I wouldn't hesitate.

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Chris Cooley Is Now My Favorite Redskin

No Main Topic

  1. "The 5-year-old daughter of Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said."
  2. Iraqi Troops - Overt American Presence = Warm Reception.
  3. Rats in NW DC.
  4. "Fire investigators in Gaithersburg uncovered and removed more than 230 pounds of explosive chemicals in a townhome."
  5. A loyal spouse.
  6. It's easier to quit smoking when you do it in groups.
  7. Unlike Clint Eastwood, Spike Lee plans to make a WWII film with some black people in it.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A (Lame) Duck Goes...

Tell me again how George W. Bush plans to stay relevant with his veto powers (the ones he waited for a Democratically-controlled Congress to use on).

Because I think our President has forgotten about a little thing called "override."

WASHINGTON -- The House quickly rejected George W. Bush's veto Wednesday of a $290 billion farm bill and the Senate was poised to follow suit, a stark rebuke of a president overridden only once in his two terms.

Only hours before the House's 316-108 vote, Bush had vetoed the five-year measure, saying it was too expensive and gave too much money to wealthy farmers when farm incomes are high.

The legislation includes election-year subsidies for farmers and food stamps for the poor _ spending that lawmakers could promote when they are back in their districts over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Senate could turn to the bill as soon as Wednesday night; there were expected to be enough votes to overturn the veto.

The veto was the 10th of Bush's presidency. Congress so far has overridden him once, on a water projects bill.

But in case anyone thinks that the Democrats did (and can continue to do) this on their own:

With Bush at record lows in the polls in the waning months of his term, it was fellow Republicans who joined with majority Democrat in rejecting the veto. GOP lawmakers are anxious about their own prospects less than six months from the Election Day.

That's the true sign of lame-duckness: when the president's own party member begin to go against him.

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All In the Family

According to the cheater, anyway:

NEW YORK (AP) - Disgraced basketball referee Tim Donaghy told investigators in the NBA betting probe that relationships among officials, coaches and players "affected the outcome of games," his attorney said. The league said the charges were unfounded.

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Will Karl Rove Cover His Own Story On Fox News?

Eric Boehlert on Karl Rove's pundit problem:

My beef with the Rove hiring, though, centers on two issues related specifically to him. The first is about the still-unfolding saga out of Alabama (more on that below) and the way Rove's new employers consistently downplay that troubling story. As do journalists now busy handing out kudos to Rove for his talking-head talent.

But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, why is Rove being held up as a paragon of political analysis at the very moment the Republican president he helped mold, and the Republican Congress he helped steer, are both in complete free falls? I don't remember the mainstream media clamoring to sign up the political insights of Hamilton Jordan just as President Jimmy Carter plummeted in the polls.

According to the most recent surveys, President Bush's current second-term debacle exceeds any other White House calamity in modern times. Yet the man who made it all possible, the "brains" behind the president who has become "radioactive" inside his own party, is toasted in the press as a political wise man.

Since when do the spoils go to the loser?

"Since when?" indeed.

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My Theory About the Detroit Pistons

It's very simple: if their opponent's best player is a big man, they have a harder time winning a series than if their opponent's best player is a wingman/guard.

I not only say this due to yesterday's results, but also aslo because of the last two NBA Finals appearances for this current Detroit team.

NBA Finals 2004: The Lakers had Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaq and Kobe Bryant. Sure Shaq was still dominant, but it was pretty clear that Kobe was the team's best player.

NBA Finals 2005: The Spurs had Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Although Parker had proven himself as a key component, Duncan was still "The Man."

One might say that overall offensive output played a factor, but they averaged more points than San Antonio (86.71 points to the Spurs 84.86 points). I'd think it's safe to say that the deciding factor was that the 2005 Spurs had a player that could give them a high-percentage shot in the closing minutes of a close game, whereas the 2004 Lakers were still trying to decide between Kobe and Shaq.

What does this have to do with now? Well, it says here that as long as the offense goes through Garnett, the Celtics have a chance at heading to the NBA Finals this year. But if Boston tries to funnel everything through Paul Pierce, the team may struggle. The Pistons are designed to shut down perimeter-based teams; post-up teams, I think, are a different story.

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No Main Topic

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Popular Vote Myth

Kos makes a good point here:

A reminder -- the Clinton campaign keeps claiming that they lead in the popular vote. Just a reminder that the only reason they can do that, is to claim that Obama got zero votes in Michigan, and that voters in Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington don't count.

This was also pointed out by one of the commentators (Jeffrey Toobin) on CNN. Clinton isn't counting the states kos mentioned because they used caucuses, where the actual number of who voted for who has not (and typically isn't) revealed. With them, you just get the delegate allocation. Ipso facto: they don't count when talking about popular vote.

Add the result of the voting mess known as Florida and Michigan, and you have a perfect recipe for an underdog who just happens to have enough name recognition to be relevant in a primary race.

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Freedom of "a" Speech, but Not "Speech"

Gotta love how freedom is so situational in America:

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Some faculty members at Furman University have suggested they won't attend graduation ceremonies because President Bush is scheduled to speak, but a group of conservative students wants the university to step in and block the protest.

Bush is scheduled to give Furman's graduation speech May 31 at the fairly conservative school of 2,625 undergraduate students with Baptist roots.

More than 500 members of the Furman community signed a letter released Monday asking that administrators refuse to allow faculty members to skip ceremonies in protest of the Bush visit. The move comes after more than 200 students and faculty members signed a statement earlier this month criticizing the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war and environmental issues.

"Some professors seem intent on turning what should be a celebration of their students' accomplishments into a forum to air their political differences with President Bush," said the letter, released Monday by Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow.

So the ironically-named "Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow" want President Bush, who already (via his title and role) has a commanding audience to be able to go to yet another venue where dissent will be silenced. A venue where, I'm almost positive, Bush will use to talk about freedom.

Apparently, to these students a "better tomorrow" includes a country where no one questions their leaders, especially when they have a different POV.

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Note to Fashion Magazines

When you have themes like "fashion remix in South Africa" you may want to consider who you choose to "represent" Africa.

Seriously: an entire continent and not one model-worthy person of color? Or is this mag catering to the Tarzan demographic?

Let me guess: the Hong Kong feature will have Kate Moss, right? Jeebus.

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Clutch Much?

The Sports Guy has an interesting take on why Garnett may not be as clutch as one would want:

How far can experience actually get you in matters of clutchness? After Garnett jumped from high school to the NBA, he played eight years without ever getting past the first round. Fellow high schooler Kobe Bryant landed on a talented Lakers team, failing famously as a rookie (remember his hideous air balls that ended the series against the Jazz in 1997?), then getting swept by the '98 Jazz and '99 Spurs. Name me one memorable Kobe moment from his first three springs. You can't. But 28 meaningful playoff games provided him with valuable pressurized situations. By the time the 2000 postseason rolled around, Kobe was asserting himself, capping it off with an MJ moment in Game 4 of the Finals for a championship team.

By contrast, poor Garnett was trapped on lousy and half-decent teams until 2004, when he carried the Timberwolves to the Western Conference finals, submitting an ESPN Classic game of his own against the Kings (32 points, 21 rebounds in Game 7) in the second round. But just when it seemed as if he was getting the hang of clutch, Minnesota imploded, missing the playoffs in its next three seasons with KG. Now he's slightly past his prime. Can you blame him for not being clutch when he never got those reps in his formative years? Probably not. Think of his career like a video game: Spend a ton of time playing Grand Theft Auto, and you're much more likely to complete a mission than some guy who doesn't own a PS3, right?

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Around the Internets

  1. The handwriting's on the wall: "Hillary Clinton is smart and forceful, John McCain is proud but has a volatile temper, and Barack Obama is a diplomat who deals well with different people and situations."
  2. "I never believed women had to be virgins when they got married, or that a woman has to fall in love with a guy just because they're having sex." So says Jessica Alba.
  3. Scarlett Johansson has an album? OK...
  4. Sometimes we have to talk to the "Bad Guys."
  5. Charley Rosen on how the Spurs won and what Boston needs to do against the Pistons.


Walking on Eggshells

Sen. Barack Obama is on the brink of securing the Democratic nomination, as in, "in a manner that the Clinton Campaign will find hard to spin or ignore." Nevertheless, Sen. Hillary Clinton remains absolute in her "We Need to Count Michigan and Florida" and "Popular Vote Count in the Primary = Nominee" arguments.

For Obama, the formula is simple: win by enough of a margin that pundits, Democratic superdelegates and Clinton supporters alike will have to concede that seating Michigan and Florida would make no difference in the lead, and keep the popular vote count close.

For Clinton, it's a little harder. She has to pray that Obama screws up (which is more likely the more he focuses on President Bush and Sen. John McCain). She needs a turnaround of epic proportions; when the dust settles she needs a commanding lead in the popular vote. Without that, she can't persuade any undecided superdelegates nor can she make the case that Florida and Michigan need to be counted.

What they don't want (as pointed out in the NYT article) is to be blamed as the one who destroyed the Democrats' chance of getting the White House and capitalizing on the stumbles, fumbles and bumbles of the GOP. Obama cannot come across as smug or arrogant (he'll lose just about every female Clinton supporter) and Clinton has to avoid the "sore loser" label...which not only destroys any chances of her being involved in the Obama Campaign, but would essentially classify her as "damaged goods" (Goodbye Majority Leader and Frontrunner for 2012).

I've said before and I'll say again: all of this could have been avoided if Clinton would have ran in 2004.

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I'm Going to Spend Time With My Family...Nah, the Other Family.

And another one bites the dust:

New York Rep. Vito Fossella said Tuesday he will not seek re-election as a result of "personal mistakes," a decision that comes after a drunken driving arrest and disclosure that he fathered a child in an extramarital affair.

"This choice was an extremely difficult one, balanced between my dedication to service to our great nation and the need to concentrate on healing the wounds that I have caused to my wife and family," Fossella said in a statement on his House of Representatives Web site.

The 43-year-old Republican congressman has acknowledged fathering a daughter with a Virginia woman, Laura Fay. The two met while she was an Air Force officer working with Congress. He represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.

His secret relationship with the woman was revealed after he was arrested for drunken driving on May 1.

"Despite the personal mistakes I have made, I am touched by the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from so many people," Fossella said in the Web site statement. He said that while many people have urged him to run for re-election, "I believe this course of action is best for my family and our community."

It would be so simple to say it's a Republican Thing, with their party always being so high and mighty until they get tangled in a sex scandal (than it's all about privacy). But this may just as well be a New York Thing, if you count Gov. Spitzer, Rudy Giuliani and others.

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No Main Topic

  1. Burma will not get any money from the World Bank.
  2. When you're in the home-improvement business, a housing slump can spell trouble for your bottom line.
  3. Charles Barkley says he's going to quit gambling.
  4. A no-hitter in Fenway Park.
  5. Stay the Course.
  6. Xenophobia means trouble for immigrants in South Africa.


My Last LeBron James/Cleveland Cavaliers Post of the NBA Season

Meaning: "I'll won't write about him/them again until after the NBA Draft."

It's like this: he's a very talented player who is slowly getting a massive ego. They're a team with good pieces but shaky chemistry.

James can dunk, hit the occasional three, demands a constant double-team, passes extremely well and can rebound and defend adequately based on his build and years in the League.

The Cavs has size, rebounders, spot-up shooters, and decent defenders.

They also made a mid-season trade for four players who have played key minutes.

In other words, they did about as much as expected: they beat an injured Wizards team, and lost to a team with better chemistry, better offensive weapons, and a better record. And when I say "better," I mean in comparison to both Cleveland and Washington (despite the Wizards having the Celtics' number this year).

It's very telling that James left the court without doing the traditional congratulating the winning team. Also, it's telling that while he gave his press conference in a suit, Paul Pierce gave his in Celtics green.

Bottom line: James needs another All-Star in his prime to help defend the opposition's scorer, hit key baskets, act as a decoy and keep the team going when he rests. If Cleveland cannot provide that, it's time for him to go somewhere else.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Numbers Game: West Virginia Popular Vote

For those who love numbers: The Republican Winner of West VA. Primary received less votes then the 2nd-place (aka Loser) of the Democratic West VA. Primary.

John McCain: 89, 654 popular votes
Barack Obama: 91,663 popular votes

And Obama was the one West Virginians supposedly hated because they believed either (a) he was a Muslim; or (b) he is taken orders from his "Jedi Master" Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

In other words: a state who (presumably) bought into the negative stereotypes of Barack Obama still gave him more votes than a guy who presumably fits their demographic.

And how many more popular votes did Obama get? 2009.

And BTW: Hillary Clinton received 239,187 of the popular vote there, more that twice McCain's count. So either way you slice it, the Democrats in West Virginia were way more energized than the Republicans.

(H/T to Think Progress commenter "shoeless.")

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Around the Internets

Twin, Interrupted

It's a 1 in 500,00 chance that this happens:

ATHENS, Greece - A 9-year-old girl who went to the hospital in central Greece suffering from stomach pains was found to be carrying her embryonic twin, doctors said Thursday.

Doctors at Larissa General Hospital examined the girl and surgically removed a growth they later discovered was an embryo about six centimeters (more than two inches) long.

"They could see on the right side that her belly was swollen, but they couldn't suspect that this tumor would hide an embryo," hospital director Iakovos Brouskelis said.

I'm curious; would the "Right to Life" crowd consider this murder?

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No Main Topic

  1. We are all the NBA Bostocalypse.

  2. Big crowds for presidential wannabe Barack Obama.

  3. LA Laker Ira Newble tries to bring attention to Darfur.

  4. In B-More: Father pleads not guilty to drowning his kid in a hotel bathroom.

  5. Who do you think John McCain will rely on financially to win in November? A grassroots effort from his base, or party money? Don't think too hard.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Beware the Stupid, Uninformed Conservative.

When you attack someone like Barack Obama for "meeting with terrorists," make sure said "terrorist" isn't in pictures with the current President of the United States.

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Saudis Arabia to President Bush: F@ck Your Couch!

Were we expecting anything less?

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia’s leaders made clear Friday they see no reason to increase oil production until customers demand it, apparently rebuffing President Bush amid soaring U.S. gasoline prices.

It was Bush’s second personal appeal this year to King Abdullah, head of the monarchy that rules this desert kingdom that is a longtime prime U.S. ally and home to the world’s largest oil reserves. But Saudi officials stuck to their position that they will only pump more oil into the system when asked to by buyers, something they say is not happening now, the president’s national security adviser told reporters.

“Saudi Arabia does not have customers that are making requests for oil that they are not able to satisfy,” Stephen Hadley said on a day when oil prices topped $127 a barrel, continuing to set records. “What the Saudis wanted to tell us was we’re doing everything we can do ... to meet this problem, but it’s a complicated problem.”

The Saudi oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, said the kingdom decided on May 10 to raise production by 300,000 barrels, at the request of customers, and that increase was

“Supply and demand are in balance today,” he told a news conference. “How much does Saudi Arabia need to do to satisfy people who are questioning our oil practices and policies?”

And that's not all:

As a result, Hadley suggested the White House was satisfied with — or at least accepted — the Saudi response. He added, however, the Bush administration will see if the explanation “conforms to what our experts say.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said the discussion with Bush about oil was friendly. “He didn’t punch any tables or shout at anybody,” the minister said. “I think he was satisfied.”

"He was satisfied?" As in, "he didn't throw a hissy-fit because he didn't get what he wanted?" Wow.

Now compare that description of Bush's demeanor to the times he wants the Democratically-controlled Congress to bend to his will (in this instance, the FISA/telecom immunity bill):

Night and Day, Ladies and Gents. Night and Day.

UPDATE: Here's another example of Bush's at-home temper tantrums.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Around the Internets

  1. The John McCain "brand" is mostly media-made, his message is old-hat, and he's looking more and more like a serial flip-flopper.

  2. It's quite possible that gas prices could be worse than it is right now.

  3. The Republican Identity Crisis is very real and kinda historical.

  4. (H/T: Bullets Forever) Were the Wizards really that good defensively?


Right on Cue!

President Bush attacks the Democratic Party on their foreign policy platform(s) one day and the next Osama bin Laden issues a tape:

DUBAI (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden vowed in an audio tape to mark Israel's 60th anniversary to continue to fight the Jewish state and its allies in the West.

The al Qaeda leader, who has placed growing emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said it was at the heart of the Muslim battle with the West and an inspiration to the 19 bombers who carried out the attacks on U.S. cities on September 11, 2001.

"We will continue, God permitting, the fight against the Israelis and their allies ... and will not give up a single inch of Palestine as long as there is one true Muslim on earth," he said in the message, posted on an Islamist website on Friday.

Bin Laden said Israel's anniversary celebrations were a reminder that it did not exist 60 years ago, and had been established on land seized from Palestinians by force.

What are the odds of that? Can we expect another one, say, right before the presidential elections?

And one more thing: wasn't this the guy Bush said he wanted "dead or alive?" Can anyone tell me why we haven't captured him yet?

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No Main Topic

  1. Cali Supreme Court says same-sex marriage is OK.

  2. The belief is the "Narnia" movies (starting with this sequel) will pick up the Epic Movie Franchise Mantel left by "Lord of the Rings" and currently held by "Harry Potter."

  3. Two states have now reached over $4.00/gallon in gas.

  4. The San Antonio Spurs come back with a Vengeance.

  5. As the ramifications of the earthquake becomes clearer, China asks for help.

  6. Gut-check time (again) for the Celtics.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bill Clinton Brings Up Florida and Michigan...Again

Such fire; such passion!

MISSOULA, MT -- Bill Clinton today made an expanded and direct argument for seating Florida and Michigan delegates, suggesting his wife is being punished and arguing that Obama's campaign opposed a re-vote.

“I never thought it would be the Democratic Party that didn’t want to count votes in Florida,” he said at a rally at the University of Montana. “I thought that was a Republican strategy -- or strategery as the case may be. And I just ask you all this, do you really believe Florida would be getting this kind of treatment if the vote had turned out the other way?”

For more than six minutes, Clinton went through the timeline of how both states lost their delegates, and who was to blame. While he has made the case before, he placed new emphasis on it today, as it becomes clearer that seating the delegates from both states is one of the few remaining options to help Hillary Clinton defeat Obama.

But I'm curious: where was this fire and passion in 2000? In 2004? Why did it take his spouse's presidential run for Bill Clinton to be Captain Make the Vote Count? Or did I already answer my question?

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John McCain's Foreign Policy Flip-Flop

The Senator from Arizona is the last person to be sniping at people for talking to Hamas.

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Sen. Obama Is Sorry

He better be for calling some reporter "sweetie."

I know this a minor thing, a real non-issue, but by this time Obama should know that every single thing he does and says will be scrutinized to the Nth degree. And yes, there are are multitude of things that he can't really control (hello Jeremiah Wright), but being loose with his vocabulary in public is something he shouldn't be doing.

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One Quick Note on the Bush Appeasement-Gate

He's wouldn't be making such comments if he were impeached...and even if he did, guess what? No one would care what an impeached president has to say!

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I Laugh Because I Care... ease the stupid stress associated with politics, here's "The Campaigns the Candidates Wish They Could Run."

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Around the Internets

  1. The Online Left is fighting back against President Bush's appeasement comments today.
  2. Destroy an NBA franchise, get a trip to Europe.
  3. Speaking of Nazi references...
  4. John McCain's grand dreams don't pass the "fucked up predictions" test.
  5. Maybe we should re-think the label "Big Three" for the Boston Celtics.


Cleveland's HomeStreak May Come to an End This Friday

Just over the wire:

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson will miss Game 6 of Cleveland's playoff against the Boston Celtics after separating his left shoulder during the second half Wednesday night.

Gibson, one of the Cavs' best perimeter shooters, left early in the fourth quarter following a collision and did not return. The team estimated he would miss one to two weeks.

The Cavaliers trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven series and could be eliminated Friday night.

Gibson emerged as a star in Game 6 of last year's Eastern Conference finals against Detroit.

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Can't We All Just Get Along?

Apparently, if you're Craigslist or eBay, the answer is: "nope."

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No Main Topic

  1. The Celtics come back on the Cavs; the Lakers dump the Jazz.

  2. Actor Dennis Quaid gave a personal testimony to Congress on the danger of medication errors.

  3. There's a suspect in the bombing that occurred in India.

  4. John McCain goes into the "compassionate conservative" well to drudge out empty campaign promises.

  5. President Bush goes all post-war Iraq over Iran.


What Does the John Edwards Endorsement Mean For Democrats?

Depends on your POV. For example, if you're a

  1. Hillary Clinton supporter: endorsements right now don't have the same impact as primary results. Sure John Edwards has appeal because of his populist message, but your candidate just won a primary from actual people. Besides, John Edwards wife supports Clinton's health care plan more than Barack Obama's. So there.

  2. Barack Obama supporter: Finally, you got a much-needed boost! Here's a guy with Southern appeal, populist appeal and a campaigning passion that's second only to Bill Clinton right now. Speaking of which, can you imagine what quip the Clinton Campaign will use to dismiss Edwards? Can you imagine how it will backfire? Next to having Al Gore's endorsement, this is the best thing to happen to Obama.

  3. John Edwards supporter: You're probably thinking: if he only had stayed a little longer, maybe he could have won this thing.

  4. Average Democrat who plans to vote Democrat: Oh, for Pete's sake, does this mean that this thing will end? Please? If not, what will it take?

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Around the Internets

  1. If you feed your pet the following people foods, they will die a slow, horrible death.

  2. Is Bush's self-imposed gold ban really that honorable?

  3. Those "military analysts" were on TV about 4,500 times on all the major networks, pushing the "We need to invade Iraq" Kool-aid in America's face.

  4. A racist doesn't understand why a T-shirt "depicting a prominent African-American as a monkey" is racist.

  5. Speaking of racists, take a look at what the Secret Service has been doing.

  6. OK; let's switch gear a little bit: wanna know how the Hornets whupped San Antonio?

  7. daveawayfromhome on immigration, Republicans' views on capitalism, crimes against humanity and whether gentlemen = elitist.


Well, Paint Me Green and Call Me Gumby!

Remember what I said before about a "close endorsement?" Well, forget I said that:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Democrat John Edwards is endorsing former rival Barack Obama, fresh signs of the party establishment embracing the likely nominee even as Hillary Rodham Clinton refuses to give up her increasingly long-shot candidacy.

Edwards was to appear with Obama in Grand Rapids, Mich., as Obama campaigns in a critical general election battleground state, the Obama campaign said Wednesday.

The endorsement comes the day after Clinton defeated Obama by more than 2-to-1 in West Virginia. The loss highlighted Obama's work to win over the "Hillary Democrats" — white, working-class voters who also supported Edwards in large numbers before he exited the race.

But don't take this as a sign that Hillary Clinton is calling it quits:

Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe said in a written statement, "We respect John Edwards, but as the voters of West Virginia showed last night, this thing is far from over."


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Washington Wizards: The Keepers (and Why)

Every NBA coach from Phil Jackson to the poor shmoe who ends up coaching Phoenix knows that a good basketball team needs at least eight-to-nine solid players who understand the game and have a real chemistry with each other. It's these teams that not only make the playoffs, but get into the Second Round, Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Sure defense, offense and rebounding matter, but how many teams have won the whole shebang with one guy doing each of those things very well while the other players were stinking the joint up?

So here are my Top Nine Keepers for the Wizards from (and why) with an "Untouchability Factor" ranking from 1 (aka, "give us Kobe and maybe we'll talk") to 10 (aka, "well, if Kwame Brown is all you have...OK"):

  1. Caron Butler (UF of 2): I cannot stress this enough: this guy is the best player on the team. Best. Player. On. Team. He can score, defend, rebound and pass. He's athletic and a smart baller. He can bring the ball up the court. His nickname is frickin' Tough Juice, for crying out loud! Seriously, if someone can mail him the Matrix of Leadership so he can just open it, all will be good.
  2. Gilbert Arenas (UF of 3): I know, I know; "He's the best clutch scorer on the team." That's part of the problem: I may have heard the phrases "good defense by" and "Gilbert Arenas" together maybe once this season. Any spectacular scorer can be an All-Star, Superstars are exemplary on both sides of the floor. Nevertheless, he's one of those guys that wants to take the game-winner and believes that it's going in. You can't put a price tag on that kind of character.
  3. Antawn Jamison (UF of 3): When he's on, he's pretty hard to defend. His unorthodox way of scoring gives coaches fits, and it's always good to have at least one scorer who gives opposing coaches fits. His rebounding since being in Washington has been greatly understated, and (surprise, surprise!) he's actually showing that he can play some defense (but we're never going to mistake him for Bruce Bowen). Plus his leadership both on and off the court is not to be ignored (if Butler's Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime, than Jamison is Ultra Magnus).
  4. Brendan Haywood (UF of 6): It took several years, but the team finally got the Haywood they were hoping to go into a playoff series with. The question is whether he'll be like this from here on out. the way I see it, coach Eddie Jordan needs to realize that Haywood is the team's best big man and Haywood needs to realize that the possible return of Etan Thomas says nothing about his ability to play center.
  5. Antonio Daniels (UF of 7): A little known secret: Daniels is the toughest backcourt player on the team. He takes hard hits and keeps on attacking. His assist-to-turnover ratio is pretty good. Not-so-big-secret: Next year will be Year 11; and the body can only take but so much punishment.
  6. DeShawn Stevenson (UF of 7): He came in for defensive purposes, and ended up being another scorer. I'm still torn as to whether that's a good thing, mainly because he can still handle an above-average player. But other than annoying the Kobes and LeBrons of the world, he doesn't bring much in terms of assists and rebounds.
  7. Oleksiy Pecherov (UF of 7): some want to make him a poor man's Dirk. Hey, if the team can convince some down-on-their-luck team that and get a decent pick and/or player in return, go right ahead. If not, you really may want to hang on to a 7-foot gut who can shoot from the outside for another season or two.
  8. Nick Young (UF of 8): He can score. But until the team decides what to do about Roger Mason, it's hard to say whether or not just being a scoring punch is enough.
  9. Dominic McGuire (UF of 8): He plays "D" in a manner conductive with the team's game plan. But like Young, the rotation may be preventing him from showing his full potential.

I'm still leaning toward trading some of our young guns for more mature talent, but I'm not adverse to having one backcourt guy and one frontcourt guy who are under three years in the League. But looking at some of the recent Championship teams, you can argue that they didn't have a kiddie bench.

As for the core, if you were to stick with Arenas, Butler and Jamison you have to acknowledge that this team is an offensive team first and a defensive team second. I don't see two of the three changing their defensive mentality in any drastic way. That said, I think you can change their scoring mentality: get them more accustomed to attacking the basket early in games (to get high percentage shots and put opposing teams in foul trouble) and then taking more jump-shots as they get in rhythm.

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No Main Topic

  1. Congress says "no" to filling the oil reserve; President Bush doesn't plan on vetoing.

  2. Detroit handle the Orlando Magic; move to Eastern Conference Finals.

  3. House Foreclosures have lead to a rise in copper thefts.

  4. Myanmar/Burma is still refusing help.

  5. The China child-virus arrives in Beijing.

  6. There may be a link between air pollution and blood clots (in the legs).

  7. President Bush's latest Middle East trip (aka, escape from his responsibilities as Commander in Chief) is having mixed results from the press.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Better Late Than Not at All

Michael Moore is planning a sequel to "Fahrenheit 9/11." 'Nuff Said.

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Sen. Clinton; About Your Win In West Virginia...

I hate to break it to you, but there's three things to consider about your well-deserved yet predictable victory:

  1. The demographics of West Virginia was highly in your favor: women older than 60; a majority with no college education; a state noticeably right-of-center. On top of that, the people of this state overwhelmingly believed that despite his words to the contrary, Sen. Obama supports the words and beliefs of Rev. Jeremiah Wright 100%. In other words: you should have won by more than 33-37%, more like 50-60%. Especially considering that your campaign supporters were being welcome with open arms while Sen. Obama's supporters were getting doors slammed in their faces and being sworn at.
  2. As Daily Kos diarist kubla000 points out, you margin of victory doesn't really compare to Obama's blowout wins. He won D.C. by 52%, but many dismissed it because of it's demographics. Why can't the same argument be used for your victory tonight?
  3. According to the Washington Post: John Edwards got 7%. Meaning, as much as the people of West Virginia disliked Obama, you still couldn't get them all to side with you. So ponder this: If it was still a three-person race, would you still be so confident about "changing momentum" or "having every vote count?" Or would you be pushing Edwards out of the race, hoping that you could get his leftovers? It's very likely that many of the votes both you and Obama have received in the past few months could have gone to Edwards, and you should be calling the former Senator every morning and thanking him for suspending his campaign.

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Around the Internets

  1. Could Mississippi be more important than West Virginia?

  2. Who will it be, Libertarians: Ron Paul or Bob Barr?

  3. The chair of the DC Democratic Party and PG County Executive Jack Johnson endorse Sen. Barack Obama.

  4. Will Hillary Clinton realize that her political destiny may lay elsewhere?

  5. I wonder who George W. Bush will handle life after the presidency.

  6. Wizards Fans: who was this season's Most Improved Player?

  7. The Bush Wedding Everyone Missed.

  8. Your Daily Reminder that Vice President Dick Cheney is a Evil Magnificent Bastard.

  9. Karl Rove may have been involved in the military analyst program? That's silly; other than the Plame Leak, the Mass US Attorney Exodus, derailing John McCain's 2000 campaign, and setting up Don Siegelman, there's no reason to believe that Karl Rove would politicize anything to the advantage of George W. Bush and the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party. No excuse me while I take my anti-snark pills.

  10. Optical Illusions: "The Kiss." And Homer, Super Mario and Jessica Rabbit, too.


Another Sport, Another Potential Beef

Mets player Nelson Figueroa calls the Nationals "softball girls" for celebrating their (far-and-few-between) win. Ouchie!


R.I.P.: Robert Rauschenberg

I didn't really know or follow the guy, but I have seen some of his art work over the years. He died yesterday, but if you want to know more about him, this is a good place to start.

I will say that this quote from him is pretty darn good, and that it can transcend art and go into anything from relationships to sports to politics:

It is impossible to have progress without conscience.

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Picture This: Ed Stein

This artist works for the Rocky Mountain News. In light of the stimulus checks coming out (electronically or via mail, depending on how you filed your taxes), I thought it'd be appropriate to show a depiction of exactly how the "checks" are going to "help."

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No Main Topic

  1. Lord only knows why, but Jimmy Fallon will replace Conan O'Brien on NBC's Late Night (Conan, of course, will replace Jay Leno when Leno leaves the Tonight Show).

  2. It seems like the one distinction John McCain wants to make between him and George W. Bush is on the environment (even though both refer to Global Warming as "Climate Change").

  3. Kobe Bryant isn't letting a bad back hold him down.

  4. So much for the "foreigners are taking over" myth: Immigrants of the past quarter-century have been assimilating in the United States at a notably faster rate than did previous generations, according to a study released today.

  5. The ceasefire in Baghdad isn't going as planned.

  6. The Bostocalypse means nothing to LeBron James & Co.


Monday, May 12, 2008

The Rio Deal interviews one of the authors of Don't Blame It on Rio: The Real Deal Behind Why Men Go to Brazil for Sex. What they have to say may surprise you.

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Bad Poll Numbers = "Hey Look, My Daughter Got Married!"

If the rumors around the 'net is true, Bush may want to attack Iran as soon as possible because his approval numbers are getting worse:

The president's 31 percent approval rating is the lowest of his career in Post-ABC polls, and represents the 38th consecutive month his approval rating has been under 50 percent. At the same time, the percentage of Americans with a gloomy outlook about the country in the new poll has jumped to within a point of its June 1992 high: 82 percent now think things in the United States have veered pretty seriously off on the wrong track.

The intensity of opinion continues to go against the president: The number of Americans who strongly disapprove of his job performance is more than triple the number of his ardent backers. And just 8 percent of political independents now strongly approve, a new low; seven times as many strongly disapprove.

What's more interesting is that according to the poll, it's that 82% of the American people believe that the country is on the wrong track (that number has steadily climbed since late April of '03) yet Sen. McCain (who is all but running for a "third Bush term") continues to either win marginally, lose marginally, or come dead even when compared to Sen. Clinton and/or Sen. Obama.

Which begs the question: if Bush's policies is so unpopular, and McCain is holding tight to many of them, then why does the support for McCain so high?

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