Wednesday, March 29, 2006

NPR Early Tomorrow

eMail from the Ned Lamont campaign:

I just wanted to drop you a quick note that Ned's race for the Senate will be the topic of a story tomorrow (March 29) on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. The piece, by David Welna, is scheduled to air at 6:20 a.m. and again at 8:20 a.m. Please note the time may change.


Tell Joementum, "JoMama!!"

Fish In A Barrel

Brotherman the Elder sent this to me this afternoon:

On The Bible and The Constitution

On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at American University, was requested to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: "Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?"

Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

The room erupted into applause.

Goddamn right!!

James Webb For U.S. Senate

eMail received from the former Republican Navy Sec'y:

Dear Friend,

At a time when our nation is facing serious challenges at home and abroad, George Allen is more focused on his political career than he is on his job representing Virginia in the Senate. I don't know about you, but I cannot think of even one example of true leadership on national issues from Senator Allen in the five crisis-filled years we Americans have experienced since he took his seat.

And yet, according to the New York Times he seems…bored. "It's too slow for me," he told a reporter. Maybe that's why Allen is spending so much time these days thinking about running for president. His heart is not really in the job.

If Allen wants to run for president, more power to him. But Virginia deserves a full-time senator. That's why Jim Webb is running for the Senate. He understands the serious challenges facing Virginia and the nation, and he will go to work every day focused on using his position to improve life for the people of this state.

Support Jim Webb for Senate today. Help us meet our fundraising goals by the March 31st deadline.

Iraq is on the brink of civil war, and Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The Chinese have embarked on a vast program of military expansionism. Al Qaeda is probing our defenses, looking for a way to deliver another devastating attack. With some of the nation's most sensitive military and intelligence installations located in Virginia, we are on the front lines of the war on terror.

That's exactly why we need Jim Webb in the Senate. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a much decorated Marine in Vietnam, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy, Jim is also a world-traveled journalist and author who has seen first-hand the issues our governmental leaders must deal with. Jim has spent his career focused on national security. His first book, written when he was only 28, was about national strategy. He was a journalist in Beirut when the U.S. Marines were deployed there in 1983. He covered our troops in Afghanistan for Parade Magazine in 2004. His experience and vision are exactly what we need to help protect the American people at home and our vital interests abroad.

Give Virginia the experience it needs in the Senate. We're less than 60 hours from the end of quarter fundraising deadline. Please rush a contribution to Jim today!

And most importantly, Jim Webb is a leader, from his earliest days as a Marine rifle platoon and company commander in Vietnam. He has never been afraid to speak his mind, including speaking truth to power. He recognizes that leadership involves making tough decisions, and that it requires backbone, vision and courage in the face of harsh criticism.

Unfortunately, George Allen appears to be little more than a rubber stamp for the president. He supported George Bush 96% of the time in the Senate. That may make sense if you are trying to please voters in a Republican presidential primary, but not if you are trying to represent Virginia. It's time to put Virginia first again. We need a thoughtful, independent leader, not one busy thinking about his next job.

Donate to Jim's campaign before Friday's deadline.

With your support, we can give Virginia the strong leadership it deserves: a senator who will be on the job, everyday, working for the people of this state.


Steve Jarding
Senior Advisor
Webb for Senate

P.S. The momentum on our campaign continues to grow. Today, General Wesley Clark endorsed Jim's campaign for U.S. Senate! Join General Clark and support our campaign today!

Contribute today!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Requiem For A Dink

More has been said elsewhere, and said better, but I wanted to offer just a couple of thoughts on the shortlived career of Ben Domenich at the Washington Post:

1) Had he been hired by the Washington Times, nobody would have heard about it; and 2) is it me or is he, like, a parallel-universe clone of George W. Bush, i.e., a pampered, privileged, snot-nosed, self-absorbed, self-righteous, and right-wing little asshole, who, in this reality-based universe, is little but a legend in his own mind?

Taking him down on the merits, then, was expediant, highly-proper and a such a delightful pleasure, an experience akin to voiding your inflamed gastro-intestinal tract of last-wednesday's stale burrito.


Making it as public as it was... Might that have saved the future lives of hundreds-of-thousands, as similarly would, say, the summary arrest and prosecution of a certain air-national guard officer jack-off who went AWOL some 34 years ago?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Go You One Better, Natalie...

Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from the United States.

Go Dixie Chicks!! (check out the new tune)...

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

This goes hand-in-hand with the whiny little shits who grow up to become conservatives:
In other words, if you are an American Christian, you are more likely to support torture than if you are an atheist or agnostic.
Of course the whinies will dismiss Andrew Sullivan's conservative street creds due to his sexuality.

But I'm sold.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pay Per eMail?

Noises are being made on whether AOL might start blocking email or might make people pay to send email thru AOL. I glumly admit to having paid too little attention to the matter, resigning myself to the depressing conclusion of an inevitably ham-fisted corporate takeover of what may never again be a freely accessible internet. Now I'm hearing Yahoo! is considering the same thing, which shook me from my slumber, for I do do Yahoo!

But not true... ! Or so indicates a forwarded email I received today:
From: "Luke Wolter"
Subject: RE: Yahoo question
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 09:26:08 -0500

This is false. We have no policies in place to block any email accounts from our Groups property, especially Gmail.

Furthermore, I can't imagine a business reason why we would ever do this in the future. At Yahoo! we respect our customers above all else and never forget that they come to us by choice. We share a personal responsibility to maintain our customers' loyalty and trust.
Uh huh! Was "respect" for its customers the reason Yahoo! capitulated to DOJ's demand for its search-engine records (i.e., who's looking up what) without a fight?

And dig the wording here: "I can't imagine a business reason... " Well now, how about profit? If AOL does it, then Hotmail falls in line, how long before Yahoo! and Google agree to agree? This smells of a politician who says he has "no plans to run for higher office" the day before he announces he's running for higher office.

Hold on to your genitals, folks, if you like your 1-horse cable service, yer gonna love corporate-controlled, anti-trust waived, monopolized internet service and its ever-more cheesily commercialized content.

Coming to a monitor near you!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wrapping The Mind Around

Maddening as the Dem's so-called strategy for retaking Congress from the evil-doers is, I just had a moment of clarity about it -- or perhaps it was madness, and is that dependent upon the particular alternative-reality i find myself inhabiting? I believed, for the moment, the strategy to be correct, that is if one can define it as some kind of political jiu jitsu. This imagined plan is predicated on keeping the Republicans front & center and under the kleig lights, while offering them ever more rope with which they can only become hopelessly entwined and left twisting in the wind. Meanwhile, the Dems play understudy, just offstage and ready to assume the lead role when the time comes.

For the longest time, I thought it madness, and will doubtlessly again. The method is too familiar and sickeningly typical of this invertibrate species known as Democrat, the very same species that has no natural defenses and is now running in dwindling numbers.

Meanwhile, the Republicans cannot possibly keep screwing up.

And yet they do.

And gahd bless 'em for it.

Even so, I'd rather see an organized and progressive mob assaulting the White House gates with fire, catapults, and a battering ram, and for no other reason than to have cause to pound my chest with a primordial yowl.

Meanhile, I'll take an understated pleasure in the efforts of the lone ranger unmasked: Russ Feingold and his censure motion. It's a time-bomb... and well-timed it is. Watch now as the people pass by in slow-motion, as the fuse slowly burns. I expect a neat little explosion and pray it brings the walls of mendacity down around their heads.

And then I woke up...

... And They Is Us

From Salon:
As Knight Ridder reported Sunday, Iraqi police say that U.S. soldiers last week executed 11 people, including a 75-year-old woman and a 6-month-old infant, after raiding a house where an al-Qaida suspect was captured. Knight Ridder says that such accusations are "commonplace" in Iraq, and that most "are judged later to be unfounded or exaggerated." This one is different, Knight Ridder says, "because it originated with Iraqi police, and because Iraqi police were willing to attach their names to it." The report, a copy of which Knight Ridder has obtained, says: "The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 persons, including five children, four women and two men. Then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals." The military said today that it is investigating the allegations.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Headline Of The Day (and the day's still young)...

By way of The Raw Story:

"Study Confirms: Whiny Kids Grow Up To Be Conservatives"

This is news?

5 Years Is All It Took

It's come to this says PM Carpenter:
Yes, Iran, of all nations, is now talking to the U.S. like an exasperated but conscientious Dutch uncle. Said one of that nation’s diplomats on Thursday, “I think Iraq is a good testing ground for America to take a harder look at the way it acts. If there’s a determination in America to take that hard look, then we’re prepared to help.”

How embarrassing.

From *Rocky Horror* To *Bull Durham*

I've alway kinda dug Susan Sarandon:
"I find Hillary to be a great disappointment," the lefty actress tells More magazine. "She's lost her progressive following because of her caution and centrist approach. It bothered me when she voted for the war. There were brave people who didn't. She's not worse than other politicians, but I hoped she would be better. What America is looking for is authentic people who want to go into public service because they strongly believe in something, not people who are [just] trying to get elected."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Take It To The Bank

Speculation on the Rocket at career's end:
Roger Clemens was a loser in what might have been the final start of his outstanding career, and Mexico eliminated Team USA from the World Baseball Classic.
What?? A Texan getting beat by the Messicans??

He'll be back. If he wasn't coming back before, he sure as Hell is now.

Madness Indeed

Don't know which is nuttier: Dubya's re-assertion of pre-emptive warfare or my winning the pool with Kansas and/or Boston College.

Let that be a lesson to you... er, two lessons: 1) never bet on college basketball while drunk; and 2) never elect a drunk for president.

I mean, Jeeeezus!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Gary Hart: America Could Lose Its Army

If one can remember, this is the guy whom the Reaganites were most afraid of in the then projected '84 general election -- not Walter Bleepin' Mondale. Refreshing nonetheless to get a dose of reality-based analyses on the goings on in the world, if only periodically, and wondering wistfully what might have been.

Meanwhile, back at the Baghdad ranch:
The character of warfare and violence is being transformed. The warfare of the future is not World War II, or even Korea or Vietnam. It is Mogadishu and Fallujah -- low-intensity conflict among tribes, clans, and gangs. We are not prepared for that kind of warfare.

The United States is in danger of finding combat forces trapped in a civil war that they cannot prevent, control, or win.

America's army is in danger, and that danger is possibly just around the corner.

Imagine Dubya the Boy King exhibiting any semblance of coherence with respect to Iraq.

And come to think about it: Donna Rice turned out to be a Christian fundamentalist, didn't she? . . . Those bastards!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Wasn't Specter The Bad Guys in The Old Bond Films?

Josh Marshall's tag on the following had me thinking:

It was coming to this. Responding to Sen. Feingold, Sen. Specter is now arguing on the floor of the senate that FISA is unconstitutional. Ergo, President Bush couldn't have been violating the law becuase it's not valid law.

Quite a way for Specter to end his career.

Lest we forget, Arlen Specter was on the Warren Commission, which, some would have you believe, white-washed the investigation of JFK's assassination. Assuming for the sake of argument that this is true, it would seem, then, Sen. Specter has come full circle.

The Bigger Picture

You hear stories of how coastal animals will book to higher land, well before a man can realize a tsunami's about to crash on his head; same thing with earthquakes, the animals start to freak even though the tremors are as yet humanly imperceptable.

Well the Brits are pulling out 800 soldiers from Iraq:
The reduction constitutes a 10 per cent decrease in numbers and marks a reduction from the high point of 10,000 British troops in Iraq in October 2003.
What the story doesn't address, if even speculatively, are the ramifications, by way of Iran's response to an attack on their nuclear facilities by the U.S. and/or Israel. The Brits, stationed primarily in the southern part of Iraq and along the Persian border, are most vulnerable in this scenario and would easily sustain the greatest number of coalition casualties, and is why the British government has been quietly, although steadfastly, resisting U.S. machinations toward expanding its hostilities in the Middle East.

Could this, then, be a harbinger of things to come?

Maher D Har Har...

Bill Maher again:

New Rule: Stop saying "Brokeback Mountain" lost Best Picture because of a homosexual backlash. The only homosexual backlash in Hollywood involves an actual homosexual literally hitting you on the back with a lash. Besides, if "Brokeback Mountain" taught us anything, it's that there's nothing wrong with coming in number-two.

Oh, are we still on?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

First Thing We Do Is Feed These "Christians" To The Detroit Lions

I.e., if'n we ever get back in power. Good to know, Nahhmy, Heavnews, et al., Sandy baby is now in the "radical" camp. Think maybe she, like, totally regrets her vote in Bush v. Gore?

Yesterday's news; here's today's mind blower:
Merck's vaccine had been shown to be completely effective against most strains that cause cervical cancer, with few side effects. But the Christian right seemed to view the vaccine as a license for promiscuity.
Yer Throat Culture of Life, on yer tax dollar, hard at work.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Thought 4 A Day

... And Chuck Gutenson has it:
We realize that Americans are humans and, as such, are subject to the same corruptions as any other human. As long as we fail to see the "myth of redemptive violence" and the errors of American exceptionalism, we are likely doomed to repeat the errors of Iraq, though, of course, in different forms. Let us pray for a genuine repentance, and, given my own commitments, particularly for those who claim to be followers of Jesus and, yet, have been beguiled by neoconservatism.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Study Break

Me & Chontos renewing the licenses online. More hours than expected.

Ooo! Pizza delivery is here.

Back atcha!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Etymology Again?

Guy used to say to me: "Can't talk now, I'm up to my ass in alligators!"

Now I'm, like, "Ohhhhohhhh!"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What HE Said

Not a big fan of Leno's, but...
On Bush's Presidential Library: "$300 Million - That's Almost $150 Million Per Book"...

Sidebar, Yerronner

For you defense atty's out there (and u know who u r), who may've not known:

"Any piece of equipment that is used to test something in the criminal justice system, the defense attorney has the ability to know how the thing works and subject its fundamental capabilities to review," said Flem Whited III, a Daytona Beach attorney who is a nationally recognized expert on DUI defense.

Having to do with breathalyzers and "implied consent" laws, wherever they be. And - Oh yes! - if you've been photographed, by mounted cameras, running a red light, and the camera manufacturer doesn't present hisself in court the day you contest... ? It applies.

Anarchy 101...

Mark Your Calendars

It occured to me yesterday that 3 months hence, the date will be 6/6/06...

I predict Dubya will commence his bombing campaign on Iran that day.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Another Day

So the doctor says lay off the caffeine, and I'm, like, "yeah, sure!"

But then the new admin starts bringing in this gourmet fresh-ground, and has this nasty habit of brewing pots big enough to kill three elephants. The shit smells gooooood. And I'm sitting at my desk catching wafts of it from down the hall. Very distracting, that.

It ain't right!

So I bring in some decaf fresh-ground shit to cut it. But the admin doesn't use it, no good for me when I'm in 10-6 instead of 8-4, and she's always in at 9.

And this morning I find a gold aluminum-wrapped truffle - yah, gourmet chocolate - sitting in front of my keyboard. What can I say, the chicks dig me! Yeh, I'm adorable when my heart palpitates.

At least I hope it was a chick.

Oh to be young again.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

World Baseball Classic

Okay, I'm gettin' kinda stoked about the WBC:
Team USA is loaded in the infield -- with Derrek Lee at first base, Young at second, Derek Jeter at shortstop and Rodriguez at third -- and extremely deep in the bullpen. On any given night, Brad Lidge, Huston Street, Joe Nathan or Chad Cordero could be called on to close.

Because of injuries and defections, Team USA doesn't have much depth in the starting rotation. Jake Peavy will start the opener against Mexico on Tuesday, and Martinez will load up on left-handers against Canada's predominantly lefty-hitting lineup in Game 2 on Wednesday. Willis will start and be followed by Al Leiter, with Colorado's Brian Fuentes also expected to pitch out of the bullpen.

Roger Clemens will work two innings in an exhibition against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday in Scottsdale, then start Friday against South Africa in what looks like a world-caliber mismatch.
Nutshell for you MORs: the Dominican team has, well, a fucking awesome line-up; and I mean one that may dwarf the 30s American League All-Star teams -- you know, Ruth? Gehrig? Jimmie Foxx? Hank Greenberg? Or maybe I'm just a heretic. Meanwhile, Venezuela has the the pitching w/superstud Johan Santana as the marquis feature.

Caught a little of the China/Korea match-up last night. Uhm, don't think so! Although China makes the Red & Gold combo work. That and they have Bruce Hurst as pitching coach; he who would have been the '86 Series MVP were it not for Bob Stanley and a certain Bucknerian brain fart. Meanwhile, looks like Japan exposed Taiwan -- uhh, 'scuse me: Chinese Taipei -- as overgrown little leaguers. Then again, we already knew their little leaguers were overgrown.

Clearly the Asian battle is all Japan & Korea, leaving China & Taipei wondering if they'll ever be ready for rookie ball.

Projected WBC Champs: Venezuela or the Dominican Republic.

USA? Not!

The World Baseball Classic could be big in the coming decades.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Joementum 24/7

Wow! Howie Klein doesn't let up on the creep from Connecticut.

So What's The Point?

Here's what bugs me most about Dubya's disregard for the FISA law:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Meanwhile Bush issues these presidential findings, effectively dismissing any law passed by Congress, especially the one pertaining to the goings-on at Gitmo:
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said in a hearing yesterday that she found allegations of aggressive U.S. military tactics used to break the detainee hunger strike "extremely disturbing" and possibly against U.S. and international law. But Justice Department lawyers argued that even if the tactics were considered in violation of McCain's language, detainees at Guantanamo would have no recourse to challenge them in court.
You gotta love it -- or not -- that when it'll come down to brass tacks, the Bushies at Justice will almost certainly dismiss whatever a federal judge has to say against their right to party. And were the right-wing religious thugs in robes on 1st St NE, DC, to suddenly reexamine their fetish for executive privilege and say, "Oh hey, that ain't Constitutionally kosher!" you gotta believe Dubya would thumb his nose at them too.

And there it is! The oath of office, and the utter pointlessness of it.

By the way, what exactly does constitute a "domestic enemy"?

Whoooo coulditbeeeee... ??

I remember when I was in the National Guard back in the early 80s, I would engage in a hypothetical (because there was a lot of time on our hands those weekends -- the good ol' days) and contended that if the president declared martial law, we -- the U.S. soldier, reservist, guardsman, cub scout, what-have-u -- would instantly be freed from our contract and our oath to defend the Constitution... because when martial law is declared, the Constitution is suspended! Of course, on the flip side, we'd be obliged, arguably, to take up arms against the president (or governor) who declared martial law.

The enlisted personnel loved that shit. Not so much the company commander: "What're you, lookin' for a loophole!? Shaddap!!"

Something liberating in thinking as an anarchist...

Uhm, not to be confused with the anti-christ...

Anyway, Bush, as did Nixon, believes it's not against the law for the president to break the law. Now I don't care if he did go to Harvard and Yale on a legacy, that, and he, are just plain fucking wrong.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Another Well Said

... and well received; Normon Solomon, author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, addressing Bush's now fabled gall, this time in laying a wreath on Mahatma Gandhi's grave:
In an important sense, it's plausible to envision Bush as a lover of peace and even an apostle of nonviolence -- but, in context, those sterling invocations of virtues are plated with sadism in the service of empire. The president of the United States is urging "peace" as a synonym for getting his way in Iraq. From Washington, the most exalted vision of peace is a scenario where the occupied no longer resist the American occupiers or their allies.

The world has seen many such leaders, eager to unleash as much violence as necessary to get what they want, and glad to praise nonviolence whenever convenient. But no photo-op can change the current reality that the world's most powerful government is also, by far, the most violent and the most dangerous.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Good Question, That

I'd reached my conclusions before the man announced his candidacy for Governor, but I like the way Garrison Keillor phrases it:
Do we need to impeach him to bring some focus to this man's life?
Uhh, yeah... ?

Bed Time For This Bonzo

The HAMster is serving up some weird & wild stuff again.

From Beyond The Grave

Frank Zappa apparently was a modern-day Nostredamus. Must see TV from 1986, courtesy of Crooks & Liars:
Zappa: The biggest threat to America today is not communism; it's moving America towards a fascist theocracy and everything that has happened during the Reagan administration. Is steering us right down that pipe.

Zappa: When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view and if that code happens to be very, very right wing almost toward Attila the Hun.

Lofton: Well then you are an anarchist. Every form of civil government is based on some kind of morality, Frank.

Zappa: Morality in terms of behavior-not in terms of theology.
Apparently Rickie Lee Jones, isn't a fan of Joementum neither. [Link courtesy of Firedoglake].