People often ask me what happened and what was the big deal. Lieberman knew exactly what he was doing-- far better than the batty wives' group that preceded him-- when he insisted on ratings on CDs and it had nothing to do with helping parents supervise their children. Few people understand-- the way Lieberman did -- that in the late 80s something like 70% of all recorded music was sold in stores in malls and that malls have very stringent lease arrangements about their tenants not selling "pornography." Over the course of this controversy two of the Senate's most uptight and close-minded prigs, Sam Brownback and Lieberman, pushed for the kinds of stickers that would make it impossible for the kind of music they objected to -- like anything talking about masturbation or homosexuality, for example -- to be stocked by 70% of American retailers. The effect inside the music business was chilling-- and instantaneous. Suddenly a whole new internal bureaucracy had to be created to police every record and suddenly artists were being pressured -- sometimes overtly and sometimes less overtly -- to cave in to demands by two really reactionary fundamentalists whose values are far from mainstream. In one fell swoop Lieberman destroyed an alliance between young voters and the Democratic Party that had started with John Kennedy's election as he ham-fistedly savaged their culture for his own political ambitions.Rid us of him, Connecticut! Por favor!
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
Just RSVPed the Meet-up for this Wednesday evening at 7:30 at the Chili Bowl in DC. That's Howard Dean at the left, whom I met at the last meet-up I attended on Capitol Hill last fall, and took the pic with my crummy cell-phone cam.
The crowd treated him like a rock star. Think Joe Biden ever got that kinda treatment? Never mind, it was rhetorical.
As for this'n: "Progressive Democrat Ned Lamont is giving Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman a primary election challenge. Progressives in the state (and from around the country) have Lamont standing up to the status quo. Special guest, Aldon Hynes, senior campaign advisor to Mr. Lamont, will be there to talk about why progressives are challenging Senator Lieberman and answer your questions about his campaign and the tactics of challenging an incumbent Democrat."
Jeez... ! How 'bout the Big Enchilada Lamont hisself??
It can't get much worse than that, can it? Oh, it can. Perhaps Lieberman's most galling characteristic is his willingness to appear in conservative media and to publicly and unreservedly bash Democratic policies and other Democrats. As a Democrat with a bullhorn, Lieberman can and does do more harm to the Democratic message machine than any Republican. It is no surprise then that his approval rating is 15 points higher among Republicans than among Democrats or that he has fundraising parties hosted by Republican lobbyists. He carries water for the GOP and reinforces GOP frames. Consider the case of Rep. John Murtha, a retired colonel. After many talks with commanders on the ground and other Pentagon experts, Murtha -- an elder statesman of the House Democratic Caucus and a respected voice on security issues -- called for a measured withdrawal of troops from Iraq. In response, Sen. Lieberman cried, "In matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril." Murtha retorted, "What credibility?" It's bad enough for someone like Karl Rove to routinely impugn the motives of Democrats; it is quite another for our own Democratic senator to do so.Joementum = Momentum building to get rid of that twitch Lieberman. Hat tip to Kos for the link.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
New Rule: If churches don't have to pay taxes, they also can't call the fire department when they catch fire. Sorry, Reverend, that's one of those services that goes along with paying in. I'll use the fire department I pay for; you can pray for rain.The beauty is, of course, nobody high up in the food-chain as Maher -- nobody (Carlin doesn't have a weekly show) -- is brave enough to take swipes at the church, or does it as well as he.
Oh, I'm going to get letters on that one.
I want my HBO!
"Perhaps the day will come when the United States is no longer addicted to imported oil; but that day is still many years off. For now, the reason for America's rapt attention to the security of the Persian Gulf is what it has always been. It's about the oil."Would that Mr. Squirrel-Hair had pushed this notion right after Tora Bora.
State Sen. Robert Hagan sent out e-mails to fellow lawmakers late Wednesday night, stating that he intends to "introduce legislation in the near future that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents."Now ain't that the point!? But then again, your humble commentator's parents are both Republican: Mom a New England matriarch, Dad a good ol' boy; Mom hates George Bush, Dad loves 'im; but Dad's pro-choice (go figure!), Mom was raised traditional Catholic; Mom watches Jeopardy and Seinfeld reruns, Dad inflicts Fox News 24/7 on any innocent passer-by. I'm sooooo conflicted.
Of course, niether of whom will be adopting anytime soon. So we're good here.
Moving right along...
Thursday, February 23, 2006
To wit, check out this particular inanity:
Yahoo! is banning the use of allah in email names - even if the letters are included within another name.Yahoo!, of course, is repeatedly going the cheap, cowardly corporate (alliteration purely coincidental) route in conducting its cost benefit analyses; the best most recent examples being its caving to Bush administration demands for its search-engine records, and to demands by China to censor websites deemed contrary to government sensibilities. Of course Microsoft and Google are equally complicit, save for Google's resistance, at least, to White House demands for its search engine data (if for reasons addressing its profit margin and not some heroic principle, but, hey, any ol' libertarian port in a storm), and one can only conclude that continued email usage is a sure ticket to identity theft if not government surveillance hell. But then, why not have it all??
This was uncovered by Reg reader Ed Callahan whose mother Linda Callahan was trying to sign up for a Verizon email address. She could not get it to accept her surname.
Note to family & friends: will soon be changing my email address away from my Yayhoo!! And a month later, somewhere else again.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
One of the uglier attacks on Joe Lieberman is that he has "divided loyalties" because he's Jewish. Apparently, that means he puts Israel's interests above America's.I am loathe to admit I too have wondered, and still do, whether Lieberman isn't really an agent for Likud. What is certain is he's no Democrat. It's one thing to consistently vote for an agenda that is defining today's Republican party as morally bankrupt and corrupt, but also proactively undermining resistance to the systematic elimination of The New Deal and the Civil Rights Act (not to mention the Great Society, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, voter rights, etc., etc.), ultimately subverting the principle of "equal justice under law."
But today we have definitive proof that Lieberman's divided loyalties aren't to Israel, but to George W. Bush.
What, then, can one make of this self-styled moralist, this devout observor of his orthodox faith, getting into bed with the likes of a president, whose facistic tendenecies and abject wrong-headedness will almost certainly render him to history as a war criminal? It beggars one's sense of decency.
Zell Miller, for an example, came as no surprise. That dude was fried squirrel on toast from the get-go. But Lieberman? When did he jump the track? What switch went off in his ugly head, and triggered all-Bush-all-the-time? And don't feed me "9-11, 9-11!!" because New Yorkers themselves are back to despising Bush and all he represents, and quite properly so.
But Lieberman? What's his game? What's in it for 'im?
And why's he still a Democrat?
I just don't get it.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
An email I just discovered:
Congratulations. Since we launched www.NedLamont.com more than 1,000 people from Connecticut have signed up to volunteer, giving us the beginnings of the ground army we need to launch our campaign. During the next few weeks a team of volunteers will be individually contacting each volunteer from Connecticut who signed up and get you involved in specific campaign activities.
Because of your enthusiasm I have established a candidate committee and am in the process putting together a great campaign team.
I will formally announce my candidacy in March -- but first we need to do some more work. Joe Lieberman has already raised over $5 million and not surprisingly Republican lobbyists in Washington DC, including George H.W. Bush's former Chief of Staff, are stepping up to raise money for the Senator that was voted the most popular Democrat amongst lobbyists and Republicans in the National Journal’s annual poll.
In addition to what I will contribute, it will cost $500,000 to launch this campaign and we need to begin right now. You can make a secure contribution directly to my campaign on my Act Blue page.
Republican lobbyists are falling all over themselves to support Joe Lieberman. It's not just his votes for awful legislation such as the transportation bill with over 6,000 pork ridden earmarks, his unquestioning support for the 'stay the course strategy' in Iraq, or his support of last year's sham of an energy bill with billions in tax giveways to the oil producers and few incentives for conservation. During the past six years Senator Lieberman has been more likely to support the President on the big issues and too quick to criticize the Democratic alternatives.
Joe will claim he is an independent voice for Connecticut but in reality his cozy support for the Bush polices undermines our progressive values and undermines the Democrats who are promoting these values. A blue state should have a blue Senator. Early financial support is essential if we are to build the campaign organization and show that this campaign is one to reckon with. Get our campaign started off right.
Winning this campaign will be a tremendous challenge. We are going to need a grassroots organization that combines the best of the old fashioned door to door politics with today's netroots.
We can only do this if we continue to grow. Please ask your friends, families, and neighbors to join us in challenging George Bush's favorite Democrat by signing up today.
So what does this all mean? It suggests that California, with its treasure trove of congressional seats and 2008 electoral votes, is the next battleground. Yes, Gov. Schwarzenegger is wildly unpopular now. But, as the GOP proved in the 2004 Presidential race, unpopularity need not be a barrier to re-election - especially when Diebold machines are counting the votes.If Democrats don't make a sufficient enough stink about this, then they're in on it too.
What next, a Bush Threepeat in '08?
Monday, February 20, 2006
Childhood memories you forget about until, well, somebody dies.
Gowdy made his broadcasting debut in 1944 and went on to call the first Super Bowl in 1967 as well as 13 World Series and 16 All-Star games. He also called the famous “Heidi” game in 1968.
In 1951 Gowdy became the main play-by-play voice on the Red Sox broadcast team. He left the Red Sox in 1966 for a 10-year stint as “Game of the Week” announcer for NBC. He also was the longtime host of the “American Sportsman” series.
“He’s certainly the greatest play-by-play person up to this point that NBC sports has ever had,” NBC Universal Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said from the Turin Olympics. “He literally carried the sports division at NBC for so many years on his back. ... He was a remarkable talent and he was an even more remarkable human being.”
And a little piece of you does too.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
And so the picture tube is dark and I'm currently washing loads of laundry, after having vacuumed the apartment. Now sitting at the keyboard going through the 35th edition of Overstreet's Comic Book Price Guide. Have keyed in all that I possess on a spreadsheet: Marvel, DC, and the indies. I did this once before, back in '90, while temp-gigging at Aetna in Middletown, CT (a great way to look busy, by the way). I had determined at the time the comics I bought since '78 thru '90 had cover prices totalling $900 and change, but had since appraised to $3,227.95, give or take mint conditions. That was 1990.
I remember a conversation with my mother, who worried for me, and my collection, apparently, was no less a source for concern. "Ma!" I protested, "Look! See? They're a great hedge against inflation."
She paused, clearly impressed by the numbers. Then the look, just as quickly, disappared: "Yes, but you read them!"
So, 16 years later, I haven't touched the sombitches, and presumably, the increase in value is only more considerable, given the numbers I'm thumbing through at the moment.
Afterwhich, I'll catalogue my baseball cards. Would that I had my comics from back in the 60s -- when cover prices were 10 cents a pop, and weren't called graphic novels then. I do, however, have some cards that date back to the 50s. No 1905 Honus Wagner, mind you, but there's a '57 Ted Williams and a '58 Willie Mays (w/the NY Giants), a Whitey Ford here or a Nolan Ryan rookie card there... should be interesting.
Think I could pay off that student loan then?
By the way, the Pinot Noir is superb. As is the Chopin & Brubeck.
Recommended: Kill yer television!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Josh Marshall is never more eloquent:
But as we go from the mastication of the shooting event itself to the meta story about Dick Cheney's dark and dangerous shadow presidency, let's not let one salient fact disappear down the memory hole.
Even if Dick Cheney is blameless in this matter in any deep moral sense, let's not forget that his immediate reaction was to send out his surrogates to publicly blame what happened on the victim.
Actually, that may afford him too much credit since it wasn't actually his 'immediate' reaction. It was his considered reaction after the 24 hour cooling off period he gave himself between the shooting and when he chose to make it public.
By my count, he continued to have his public surrogates blame Whittington for fully three days. He only relented and took responsibility himself when the public and no doubt
private political clamor became too much to sustain.
That's Dick Cheney.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The final: GW 69-66. The Minutemen had several chances to take it from the Colonials, but poor ball-control and negligent refereeing (incorrect ruling after confusion over whose possession on a late 2nd-half jump ball and a terrible call involving the senior ref overruling a correct call by a subordinate, all w/three seconds left) made it insurmountable. Overall, it is noted that GW clearly has the bigger, stronger, and faster team, although the Minutemen appeared to be the feistier, underscoring the adage of it being "the size of the fight in the dog." Turned out, however, to be the greater number of horses prevailing.
Supplementally, I know not who in the NCAA is talented enough to make it to the NBA, I nonetheless couldn't help but be mightily impressed w/the play of one James Life, UMass' playmaking 2-guard/small forward.
Also enjoyed the style 0f the UMass head-coach Travis Ford, who can be seen from the nose-bleed seats, or, more specifically, the veins bulging out the side of his head could be seen, that in accompaniment with his protruding eyeballs, indicating what is hoped not to be a thyroid condition.
Best not get him pissed.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets on Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.Whittington apparently wouldn't go fuck himself, this while the Vice President was having his flashback.
The alternative sidebar: Dick Cheney... before he dicks you!
The car is buried and the street remains unplowed, so I walk for my breakfast, something I ought to do every day I reckon, would that I the time, particularly so when my usual 30-minutes of treadmill is converted into 75 minutes of traversing snowy terrain.
Now back from Tysons Mall; just cleaned the bathroom, Eartha Kitt, with Allison Krauss to follow, on the CD Player, the remainder of the merlot in my glass, and I'm cool.
Enjoy your Sunday.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
That was only the beginning of the Busheviks’ subversion of democracy. They’ve been at it whole hog ever since, from the spread of Diebold and ES&S machines throughout the nation, to the gratuitous gerrymandering of Texas, and the recall of Gray Davis (a venture masterminded by the White House). Repeatedly they’ve tried to quash democracy not just in the United States but all over the world, as in Haiti, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, Iraq.It cannot be oversaid, as it has been said here before: Whenever Dubya says, "We're spreading freedom," I'm thinking he's spreading manure.
Mark Crispin Miller is the pre-eminent go-to theorist of this conspiracy, except his theory is well documented in his book Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them). Miller is also the guy whom John Kerry approached saying he agreed with Miller about the '04 election being stolen, denied later by Kerry's people, though the plausible deniability for Kerry pales.
An utterly fascinating interview in Buzzflash captured my attention today. Nice opening question:
Let’s talk about a major problem that the press refuses to discuss: the privatization of the voting process. That’s really what the spread of computerized voting machines is all about. Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia—the three largest manufacturers of such machines—are private vendors. They keep their programming codes secret as “proprietary information,” and, worse, all three are extremely close to the Republican Party. There is no way to determine whether these machines are accurate. Using them is tantamount to having secret vote counts.Read the rest here.
Diebold in particular has been in the news. Some months before Election Day, 2004, Wally O’Dell, Diebold’s CEO, sent a Bush/Cheney fundraising letter out to other rich Ohio Republicans, promising to do everything he could to “deliver Ohio’s electoral vote to the President.” In December, he suddenly resigned. What’s going on?
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
In short, he's a three-dollar bill -- the phony kind, not the queer kind (unless, uhm, you heard something?).
And so here's to a former Reaganaut, now Dem in the race for Allen's seat: James Webb:
Webb, who was secretary of the Navy under Republican President Ronald Reagan, resigned in protest of cutbacks in the Navy fleet. He has been a strong critic of the war in Iraq, saying that the Bush administration has never developed an exit strategy.Allen, as some of you might know is now the front-runner for the GOP nomination in the '08 Presidentials, i.e., if you can believe the screwballs. Just what America needs: another goddamned right-wing dope.
Webb is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Marines in the Vietnam War. He is the author of the nonfiction book "Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish Shaped America," as well as six novels.
An upset by Webb, then, would be extra-sweet. Stay tuned.
The Texas Rangers, Yankees and Sox all have shown interest in Clemens, but his allegiance is clearly with the Astros. Clemens has a 10-year personal-services contract with the club and owner Drayton McLane that kicks in when he officially retires, and he said that he looks forward to working with minor leaguers.But the Globe is a little more upbeat:
If they determine Boston is the best place to return, Hendricks and Clemens know it would be a great story. Boston is where Clemens amassed 192 of his 341 wins. He won three of his seven Cy Youngs here, and his only MVP. Why not end his career in Boston?Make it so, #21!
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Me & Chontos did a drive 3 or 4 years ago to the Steel city, many thanks to TTown, who provided game tics to the Pirates and the Texas Rangers at PNC Park, or, as Chontos & I like to chortle, "Pink Park!!"
But seriously, gorgeous stadium, very user-friendly. Rate it a notch above Camden Yahds, though my heart will always belong to Fenway.
Pittsburgh's a kinda gray, dreary looking town, but the convergence of three rivers -- the Ohio, the Allegheny, and, uhm... jeez, I'd have to Google it -- gives it at least a little charm. And we had a good time, ending up in a Chinese restaurant on karaouke night after the game. Oh, and lest I forget: Before the game, we checked out the Andy Warhol Museum (complete with its 15 minutes of fame) and the dreariest bar in the universe, resembling a rural VFW stoop, dispensing the dreariest brau in the universe: "Iron City Beer"... urp!
Fun time. Love the ballpark. Like the city. Makes me miss Boston all the more.
Update: Roethlesberger in for the score. Steelers up 7-3.
Osama bin Laden's latest message. Most observers, including the White House, seem to have missed its significance. In it, bin Laden offered us a truce (an offer we should have accepted, if only to attempt to seize the moral high ground). The Koran requires Muslims to offer such a truce before they attack. The fact that bin Laden himself made the offer, after a long silence, suggests al-Qaeda attaches high importance to it.Time to buy the gun?
Why? My guess is because they plan a major new attack in the U.S. soon. I would be surprised if the plan were for something smaller than 9/11, because that could send the message that al-Qaeda's capabilities had diminished. Could this be "the big one," the suitcase nuke that most counterterrorism experts expect somewhere, sometime? That would certainly justify, perhaps require, a truce offer from Osama himself. Of course, al-Qaeda's plan may fail, and it may be for an action less powerful than setting off a nuke on American soil. But the fact that Osama made a truce offer should have set off alarm bells in Washington. So far, from what I can see, it hasn't.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
But Henry Cueller, D-TX, 28th District (w/the "D" to be accepted advisedly), in case you hadn't heard, is a real piece of hard cheese:
In Washington, Democrats say they will monitor Cuellar's votes before deciding how warmly to embrace a man who calls himself pro-gun, pro-free trade, anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage. Several House Democrats, hearing rumors that Cuellar might switch parties, took the unusual step of asking him to confirm his party loyalty.With Democrats like these, who needs enemies? Is why I'm now joining the tidal wave of endorsements for his opponent Ciro Rodriguez.
Kos & Firedoglake (<-- dig the pic!) both blog on this foul bit of business, where it evidently has forged significant inroads, much akin to paying members of the media to parrot the GOP line (oddly enough, something they'd be doing without the payola).
Update 2/3/06: More On Ciro Rodriguez, courtesy of Daily Kos.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
But most of what Mr. O'Reilly was saying was his typical obtuse shorthand of bullying and another word starting with "bull." . . . The bottom line is, as the oldest cliche goes, he can dish it out but, clearly, he cannot take it.See the video, courtesy of C&L.