Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trepidation

Waiting - not only for the decision of the Rules Committee, but also for the Clinton camp's reaction to that decision. Lord, this is excruciating.

UPDATE: Mrs. Clinton "reserves the right" to take up the issue of the Michigan delegation with the credentials committee at the convention in August. Unbelievable.

UPDATE 2: Digby is more optimistic. I hope she's right.

Friday, May 30, 2008

An Incomplete List

I want Barack Obama to be President of the United States.

I want my country to immediately stop sanctioning torture.

I want George W. Bush and Dick Cheney convicted for war crimes and imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

I want Karl Rove convicted for, at the very least, election fraud.

I want a functioning news media that enforces acceptable standards of integrity and competence.

I want the United States government to provide universal healthcare for everyone.

I want it to be legal in the United States to grow marijuana for personal use.

I want any woman who wants an abortion for any reason whatsoever to be able to get one safely, legally, and without stigma.

I want my country to use its power and resources for peace and the defense of human rights around the world.

I want my country to be a leader in responsible stewardship of the planet.

I want widespread recognition of people like James Dobson, Tony Perkins and John Hagee as despicable charlatans and the relegation of such hucksters to the dustbin of irrelevance. (UPDATE: Aaaauuughhhh!)

I want civics and science to be taught in public schools, and religion to be taught at home and in church.

I'm sure I'll think of some more, but these are just a few highlights right off the top of my head....

A Few Quickies

For Freewheel

Heydave, a.k.a. this guy? Enquiring minds want to know!

Nettie blogs from France.

Donna and Mike: I know, I know. Next year.

In Memorium

I'll get back to the other stuff eventually. But today, I just want to point out that it's been a pretty rough week for the decadent Liberals in Hollywood:

Sydney Pollack:



Harvey Korman:



And Joseph Pevney:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This made my day!

Someone give this guy another medal. (H/T Thers at Atrios' place)

P.S. Sorry about light posting - I'm swamped, both at work and at home. What's going on where you are?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Back!

What'd I miss?

Took me an hour to go through my email this morning. Now I'm swamped with other crap, er, interesting work-related activity.

Why is it always that at least a week's worth of work seems to stack up when you're only out for one day?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Can't get enough of these! Today I'm packing up the car with enough food to feed an army for a month and heading up to Austin (sans kiddos, if you can believe THAT! The little dears are otherwise occupied) where I will meet up with friends and tomorrow morning we will pack up another car with even MORE food and set off for the hinterlands where a friend of ours has a farm near the booming metropolis of Bullard, Texas. I will be nowhere near a computer until I get home Monday night, so you guys and gals are on your own! All I ask is that you pick up after yourselves and don't terrorize the cats.

Scoop!

KMBBB has it. I, too, was liking him for the AG, but this is mighty interesting.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

For Biff DeBris



And check out Freewheel's contest! (May not be safe for work if you work with some really un-fun types).

23%

Why is it so high?

Zero Restraint

Digby hits another one out of the ball park.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

War Crimes

Add this (H/T Atrios) to the list. Seriously. You know, as a child of white middle-class priviledge, I could never really understand what it would have been like to experience the Jim Crow era in the South from an African American's point of view. To live through such blatant, horrifying injustice and know that it was institutionalized and that there was absolutely nothing you could do about it, would instill an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and rage, it seems to me. Yet that is exactly how I would label the feelings I experience as I read about these routine, systemic, ongoing abuses that have been perpetrated by the Bush administration, and I see George W. Bush strutting around, making demands, planning his library, smirking. I feel sick. How in God's name are we going to let them get away with this? How?? How can we, as a country, survive letting them get away with this?

Clinton

Barbara O'Brien(emphasis mine):
The difference between the two campaigns, IMO, is that while there is all kinds of blatant sexism and racism out there –some of which is being expressed by partisans on both sides –I don’t see the Obama campaign cultivating sexism to win votes. I do, however, see the Clinton campaign cultivating racism (and one hell of a victim complex) to win votes.

Let’s be clear. The Dems cannot win in November without a strong turnout by African Americans. I think they can, however, win without the “white working-class non-urban voters who live in states in which the African American population is above 6 percent but below 17 percent of the total” vote. That’s why Kentucky is irrelevant.

And the Clinton campaign already looks ridiculous to everyone but her die-hard supporters. She’s become a caricature. For those of us who defended her for years against the ravings of the Right, this is terribly sad.
Yes, it is. And I really want her to get on with the business of salvaging her reputation. She has important work to do, and much to contribute to the progressive causes that she and her husband have championed so well for so long.

UPDATE: The high road, will she take it?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why

Our friend Mike gamely responded to a young upstart's "challenge" that he defend his reasons for supporting Barack Obama (with "rules" no less, namely that Mike was apparently not supposed to say anything bad about John McCain - a dead givaway right there that this endeavor was little more than an excuse for some Heritage Foundation wannabe to polish up his bonafides), whereupon the young upstart, along with a bandwagon jumper, proceeded to parse Mike's post to death under the rubric of "analysis" reducing the entire exercise to a silly game of Gotcha.

Well, screw that I say. This was, I suspect, less an attempt to encourage a lofty debate of issues than a staged opportunity to smear Obama supporters as robotic cultists (note the bandwagon jumper's helpful illustration), a tired tactic that the wingnuts seem especially fond of for some reason. First Al Gore, now Obama. Pfft. I, for one, have no problem declaring that my vote in November will be just as much anti-Republican as it is pro-Obama, if not more so. I am, after all, a liberal first and a Democrat second - but above and beyond everything, I am anti-Republican. Ever since the age of 7 when I watched the first televised Presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon with my very Republican parents, I have been left of center in my opinions, primarily because I have never seen anything come out of the Republican Party that wasn't dominated by crooks, perverts, assholes, or usually some combination of all three. Add to that the fact that they can't seem to govern their way out of a paper bag, and my primary reason for voting for Obama simply boils down to my desire to throw the bastards out and put grown-ups back in charge of my country.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tsunami

Obama in Portland:

(H/T Publius at Obsidian Wings)

Meanwhile. Or, in short.

It appears that some Republicans are already (or finally!) acknowledging that they are going to need a bigger boat.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How to help

I must say that it has been rather surprising to find out what places around the world have been planning Gay Pride parades but here are a couple of suggestions for ways to help out in Burma and in Haiti.

Bring. It. On.

I can't wait. That's right, anytime, any place.

November can't get here soon enough.

Happy Friday!

And a special Shalomdedoodledoo to heydave:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Advances

Even though, since the '70s, Virginia Slims has informed us constantly that women can now die of lung cancer at the same rate as men, it can sometimes be useful to look back and realize that we have, indeed, come a long way. This is helpful in reminding us that change IS possible, as well as in giving some perspective to those who might not have lived through more difficult times. I like to save these little vignettes and send them in response to those emails I get occasionally that wax nostalgic about the Good Old Days before the DFH ruined everything.

Giving Do-Do its Due

Of course:
A Little Respect, Please

I would like to join Treason-in-Defense-of-Slavery Yankee in scolding certain bloggers who yesterday chose to make light of President Bush's ominous warnings of a disaster in Iraq. If we have learned nothing else from his seven years in office, we have learned that when President Bush speaks about Iraq or the greater Middle East, his insights must be treated with the respect to which only clairvoyants are entitled.

Posted by d at 11:43 AM

Froomkin (H/T Atrios)(all emphases mine):
The White House yesterday also released transcripts of interviews Bush gave Monday to members of the foreign press.

Here's the transcript of his interview with Mona Shazli of Egyptian Dream TV.

Q. "You will be in the region very soon -- Israel, Saudi Arabia, then Egypt. The question is, maybe there are 250 million Arabs who think that President Bush has added to their suffering and problems during his administration. How would you adjudicate this?"

Bush: "I would just ask them to wait for history to answer the question. There's an advent of a young democracy in Iraq. Ask those people what it's like to live under a freer society, rather than the thumb of a tyrant or a dictator; or the people that we're trying to help in Lebanon by getting the Syrians out through a U.N. Security Council resolution; or the Palestinians who -- for whom I've articulated a state.

"In other words, I understand people's opinions. All I ask is that when history is finally recorded, judge whether or not I've been a contributor to peace or not."
'Kay.
Q. "Do you think history will be in your side?"

Bush: "I think history will say George Bush clearly saw the threats that keep the Middle East in turmoil, and was willing to do something about it, was willing to lead, and had this great faith in the capacity of democracies and great faith in the capacity of people to decide the fate of their countries; and that the democracy movement gained impetus and gained movement in the Middle East. Yeah, I think people will say, he had a difficult set of circumstances to deal with, and he dealt with them, with a sense of idealism."
"idealism"? Yeah, right. Try "imbecilic arrogance."
And here's Bush talking to Lukman Ahmed of BBC Arabic.

Q. "You are calling both Iran and Syria to halt their support to Hezbollah. But in the absence of any direct contact with Iran and Syria, your administration -- how do you think both countries should stop doing this? You are not negotiating with them, you are not exploring other means to have them halt their support."

Bush: "So what's there to negotiate? I mean, they know my position. . . . "
Got that? "They know my position."
Q. " Syria is -- last question, last question. Mr. President, seriously the end question. Obviously the people have in mind that the presentation at the U.N. with regard to the Iraqi weapon of mass destruction, so how do you see that?"

Bush: "Look, the difference was, in this case, there was concrete examples. I mean, everybody that analyzed the data realized it was true."
Which, of course, is a blatant, outright lie. Surprise, surprise.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hold on to your breakfast

Regarding this story (H/T Atrios), Sandy Underpants has it exactly right.

Meanwhile.

250 gut-wrenching, agonizing more days.

UPDATE: Add this to the Butthole-In-Chief's legacy.

UPDATE II: More legacy, from a comment at Greenwald's blog:
It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people. First, it is a small power, and fights small powers. Then it is a great power, and fights great powers. Then it is a great power, and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity. After that, the next step is to become a small power itself.

Summary

Democrats win, Spurs lose, and Clinton is digging in her heels.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Turn your volume WAY up



Enjoy. I had tried to post something of hers last year in my early blog days, but at that time there weren't any YouTubes with very good sound quality, so I was glad to see that this one has been added.

And the Molly Ivins Award Goes To....

My new BBFF:
Honey, he's lumps in the kitty litter.

Not to belabor a point or anything...BUT:

I've seen and heard McCain talk, and I've seen and heard Obama talk, and yes I know that McCain is "experienced" and that he has lots of media support and, yes of course There Will Be Spin, and maybe I'm just a hopeless idealist in my naive belief that Americans, by and large, can't be THAT STOOPID (can they??) that they can't tell that one of these two candidates is better than the other by, like, a Grand Canyon-sized margin and that candidate is Barack Obama:
I also liked this, from Obama's speech:


"Abraham Lincoln once said, "I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. But I also like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him."

There is no doubt that we are a nation that is deeply proud of where we live. But it is now our generation's task to live in a way that Stanley Dunham lived; to live the way that those heroes at Walter Reed have lived; the way that all those men and women who put on this nation's uniform live each and every day. It is now our task to live so that America will be proud of us. That is true test of patriotism - the test that all of us must meet in the days and years to come."



Amen.
Just sayin'.

I mean, yeah, I don't want to be over-confident or anything, and I've lived through enough bone-crushing Democratic defeats and Karl Rove Swiftboating shenanigans to fully appreciate that no victory can ever be 100% certain. (And here I must repeat that if our war criminals in charge pull off an attack on Iran, all bets are off. Period. And yes this is something to worry about.) It's just that there's a reason (okay, several reasons) that Obama has defeated Mz. Inevitable and since McCain stood about a fraction of a chance of beating her, well, I think you see where I'm going here.

The Loneliest Job in the World


Seriously. The Bush administration State Department's Office of Accountability and Transparency

Monday, May 12, 2008

My New BBFF (Best BlogFriend Forevah)

May I introduce (H/T John Cole):

Kiss My Big Blue Butt

What th'..Huh???

Still picking my jaw up from the floor after reading this at the Carpetbagger Report:
In fact, I’d also add that McCain is almost certainly a better debater than Obama, so while both candidates tend to shine in town-hall settings, it’s far from obvious that Obama would look better than his rival.
Fortunately, a number of commenters expressed strong disagreement with this sentiment, so I feel a little less like I'm losing my mind. A little.

Either I'm far more blinded by prejudice than I ever thought, or this assessment of both Obama and McCain is just nuts. I just can't imagine that any side-by-side comparison of the two could be anything other than enormously favorable for Obama, who not only looks better but speaks much better - am I wrong?

The Day After

Hope all of you had a great weekend and all Moms enjoyed Queen For A Day status - I know I did! My weekend started off Friday night when my older son, James, and I finally got in to see The Visitor, a wonderful little film about (among other things) a man who learns to return to life through the friendship of a young immigrant who teaches him to play the djembe. James learned to play the djembe in his youth group at church, and I bought him one as a graduation present from high school. There is a particularly jubilant scene in the film where the main character, Walter, and his young friend are playing their drums in Central Park, and during this scene James leaned over to me and said, "I am so buying this when it comes out on DVD!" so I was pleased that he enjoyed it.

I actually read two (short) books this weekend, which tells you something about how much relaxing I got to do. The first was a book I had picked up a couple of weeks ago called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time an engrossing tale told from the point of view of an autistic teenager who attempts to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbor's dog. And the other was my Mother's Day present from my younger son, Sandy, called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier which was also really, really good. Sandy never ceases to amaze!

Meanwhile, the dears over at Sadly, No! had this Mother's Day gift for us all, and on top of that our Spurs won their game against the Hornets, tying up the series - so, all in all, it was a pretty great day. Let me sign off with this, which was just as hilarious last year when I first saw it as it still is today:

Friday, May 9, 2008

From the Dept. of Got That Right

Expect to find this tidbit in every corner of blogville by midmorning. I got it from Balloon Juice and Cab Drollery in the first 10 minutes of blog browsing today:

Great tits cope well with warming

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Jive talkin'

Clif over at Sadly, No! tells us:
The “well-spoken and articulate” business is, I think, employed with a great deal of calculation by Romney and his ilk. The word “well-spoken” not so subtly reinforces the incorrect notion that most African Americans speak some crude dialect rather than English. And, although the phrase distances Obama from that stereotype, it nonetheless is intended to remind people that the “well-spoken” fella is is still one of a group that, the speaker suggests, are just too stupid and too shiftless to speak acceptable English. So even if he is “well-spoken,” he’s just as shiftless as the rest of them. Best (or worst) of all, when you call someone out on making this remark, they just clutch their pearls, like this putz, and say “My goodness, I was just trying to pay him a compliment!” It’s not a compliment any more than it would be a compliment to describe Obama as a “drug free man with a steady job and no criminal record who hasn’t abandoned his wife and kids.”
Point taken, though I think it's also worth remembering that this is the Party that gave us George W. Bush, so it may not be all that difficult to imagine that the concept of a leader who is "well-spoken and articulate" is, well, noteworthy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A-F***ing-Men

tristero:
We are surrounded by smoking guns on all sides. Crimes have been committed; we have ample evidence of them. But there can be no justice if there is a failure to stand up for it, if we fail to demand it. Here's the flip side of the torture memos. John Yoo can argue that the President can do anything. Let him do what he pleases, but does that mean he can't be held responsible for the things he has ordered or the things done in his name?

It is easy to dismiss all of this as the unfortunate product of war. But this is not about war, it is about us. How complacent have we become? What does it take? Each day that we allow these crimes to go unanswered erodes the very ideals that this country stands for.


That, my friends, is how you talk about torture. With outrage and disgust. With dismayed horror that this country simply refuses to look at the truth about our government's leaders, refuses to hold them accountable, and refuses to bring them to justice.

God doesn't have to damn America, Reverend Wright. America is damning itself. It is simply unconscionable that this country not only permits the president to torture whomever he chooses to, but that this country's ruling class feels they are too politically weak to stand up and shout, "No!" as our Constitution gets shredded into tiny, blood-stained pieces.

Hear the tune

John Cole:
Whatever. She threw everything she had at him. He weathered the storm. Consider him vetted. Consider Rev. Wright kicked in the junk. Consider me relieved. Now, can we get to the very serious business of dismantling the GOP? I have a very serious axe to grind, and it is deeply, deeply personal for me. There are a bunch of frauds, crooks, and phonies with whom I have a serious grudge that I want to settle. You see, I still have my “Peace Through Strength” button from when I campaigned for Reagan. I believed in limited government, I believed in a strong national defense, I believed in fiscal restraint and balanced budgets and I believed in personal integrity and individual liberty and personal freedom.

I am pissed. I want the frothing nutters, the fraudulent hucksters, the race-baiters, the anti-science frauds, the anti-intellectuals, the gay-bashers, the big-money cheats, the torture fetishists, the religious nuts, the tax and spenders, the xenophobes, and the phonies to pay. I want payback. I want the people who ruined my former party relegated to permanent minority status. I know I am a newly minted Democrat, and, as such, it is ballsy for me to start telling you what I want from the party, but this is my website and you are just going to have to deal with my opinion.

I am under no illusion I will buy into everything Barack Obama puts forward, but I am damned sure convinced he is a decent man who, at the very least, will restore a sense of competence to the national stage. I am willing to meet most Democrats half-way, and I am already doing everything I can to get this man elected. I think Obama will act in good faith for this nation, and I am responding in kind. His policies are not outlandish or crazy or uber-left- they reflect a rational, and I would argue, a decent and progressive way forward out of the mess I helped to create. I won’t like all of them, and I will not agree with all of them, but there is no chance that I will ever be President, so perfect agreement is never a possibility.

And don’t get me wrong- I am not for Obama because of what I am against. I am for Obama because he is a decent man, a break from the past, and really a once in a lifetime opportunity. He has treated us like adults throughout this primary, and it is time to act like adults. There will be times we feel he lets us all down, but we are not electing a diety. We are electing a leader, and Obama is that leader. It is time to get past the bullshit of the last 20 years, the battles I am really tired of fighting, and time to turn our attention to the really important issues of the day- the economy, the budget, our international presence, our crumbling infrastructure, our military, medicare and medicaid and social security, and on and on and on.

If Barack Obama was not your your preferred candidate, I am sorry that person did not win, but it is time to remember that the target is John McCain and the Bush/Cheney way of doing things. If you can not accept that and help move us forward, please at least get out of the way.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Waiting

So, we've reached yet another juncture in this interminable primary season. Will Obama prevail in both NC and Indiana, then will Clinton bow out gracefully? Or will Clinton eke out a victory in Indiana and use that as an excuse to forge ahead? The suspense is awful, but we can't make the clock move any faster, so we'll just have to wait it out. To help pass the time, may I recommend reading this excellent post by a new writer over at Obsidian Wings, and while you're there, don't miss this heart-wrencher from hilzoy, but not unless you already have your blood pressure under control. Robert Farley over at LG&M also has a good response to Wolfowitz's narcisistic blather. Bleh. And I was going to link to something over at Digby's place but I couldn't pick just one - just go over there and read everything! And if that doesn't tide you over until it's time to start watching the poll returns, there's always the YouTubes:

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Greatest Ever

I enjoyed reading this testament to the music that has been influential in this young man's life, even though I don't know squat about the songs or the artists that he listed (I haven't read Part I of his list). I mean, I know some of the names, but they are essentially meaningless to me since I have never become familiar with their music. With one rather glaring exception: Song #2 is listed as "the greatest rock and roll song ever recorded" and is "We Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. Heh. Well, allright! Granted, he qualifies that designation with "at least in my humble non-Rolling Stone opinion" yet it still seems rather ambitious. Having spent most of yesterday evening listening to several hours worth of CSN&Y, Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield, I'd be pretty hard-pressed to pick the "greatest" song even narrowed down to just those musicians - much less the entire genre! Whatever - there's no doubt that The Who was a great band, and Pete Townsend's guitar playing was the stuff of legend - and it's nice to see that, for this fan at least, it is The Greatest.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Meanwhile, back to the future

We must remember that the history this war criminal is talking about will be written and touted by these guys. It will take much work and vigilance to ensure that their revisionism receives the contempt it is due, the same as with other revisionists of equal stature.

A Grim Anniversary

Bluegal over at Crooks and Liars notes that this is the anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University in Ohio and posts this YouTube in memory of those victims:

Thing is, when I start listening to CSN&Y, I can't stop. So here are a few more from that most excellent group that produced one great song after another, most as completely on target and relevant today as they were then:


Friday, May 2, 2008

262 days, and counting...

Coulter, Queen of the Idiot Wing of the Republican Party:
From the April 30 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: You know what? You know what? As uncomfortable as you -- as uncomfortable as you are with Hillary Clinton or I am with John McCain, you are with John McCain, it is not somebody who says, "Hey, I'm going to sit with leaders of Iran and Syria and Cuba and Venezuela who hate us. And by the way, my record on judging people is I didn't think this hatemonger was a hatemonger for 20 years."

COULTER: Right, right. And calls -- and obviously hates the United States. This is part of the traitor wing of the Democratic Party. And I guess the question is: Is Obama a Manchurian candidate to normal Americans who love their country -- and he secretly agrees with the Weathermen and the Reverend Wright faction? Or is he being the Manchurian candidate to the traitor wing of the Democratic Party? And he, I guess, has to take the position now that, "No, I was just trying to hoodwink the traitor wing."

Because it's Friday

...and spirits are in need of lifting, I think it's time for some Fafblog. Sometimes it's the only solution!

R.I.P. Deborah Palfrey

I agree that this is really sad and reflects something deeply wrong with our culture.

Bush administration immunity

This has been pointed out before, but it is well worth repeating: It is clear as crystal that the only reason the Bush administration is pushing so hard for FISA legislation that would grant immunity to telecoms is that they know that if current lawsuits are allowed to proceed, it is their own asses that are going to be on the line. Please read Glenn's post and consider pitching in to the Act Blue ad campaign he links to. It seems like the only thing we can do.

For you baseball fans

Wish a Happy 100th Birthday to this song:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Is it something in the virtual water?

Seems like everyone is experiencing the blogblahs.

By God they did it!

This is the greatest news - not quite as good as an announcement of a war crimes tribunal, but really great nevertheless. Look at that vote: 844 - 20! Good for you, Methodists!

UPDATE: Sharla sends us a poem:

There once was a president named W
Who wanted his library at SMU.
The Methodists said no
So where could he go?
Even Bob Jones is too good for you!

UPDATE II: Mike points out in comments that the battle isn't over just yet. We celebrated too soon.

Happy May Day!


Heh - Liberal Fascists of the World, Unite!

I can't take it anymore

Just shoot me now.