Thursday, January 31, 2008

Heartbreak Or Not?

You can do something this Valentine's Day besides buying in order to get some love, love of the physical type, you know Biblical, carnal, loving your neighbor as yourself, doing unto others, oh, wait a minute, I mean, buy organic & fair trade. I'm copying the whole of this item from the Organic Consumers Association. It's a good one.
TIP OF THE WEEK: UNCHAIN YOUR HEART:
BREAK THE CHAINS OF TOXIC PESTICIDES AND CHILD SLAVERY ON VALENTINE'S DAY

Tis that time of year when more than 20 million Americans are buying sweets and flowers for their loved ones on Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, these tokens of love aren't as sweet or pure as they may appear. Over 40 percent of the world's conventional chocolate (i.e. non-organic and non-Fair Trade) comes from Africa's Ivory Coast, where the International Labor Organization and US State Department have reported widespread instances of child slavery. Meanwhile, commercial flowers, most of which are produced in countries such as Colombia, are the most toxic and heavily sprayed agricultural crops on Earth. In order for you to deliver your bouquet to your beauty, poorly paid workers in Third World countries put in up to 18 hour work days for poverty wages during peak flower buying times such as Valentine's Day. But don't let the bad news squelch your Valentine's plans. Show your love by choosing Fair Trade and organic flowers and chocolate for your Valentine's Day gifts. Check out OCA's Buying Guide, watch an entertaining flash movie and take action against the 5 major chocolate and flower corporations:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

OK, Sure

Notice the enthusiasm here. I feel the same way, although I'm writing in Edward's name as previously disclosed. I'm afraid that this sort of enthusiasm doesn't bode well for this November. I've been wrong before.

Thanks

John Edwards left the campaign for the Democratic nomination today. He did it in New Orleans, Louisiana, the city where he announced his campaign. I supported him, & will still write his name in at Wisco's primary. He was the only candidate that addressed what is truly right about America & what is truly wrong about America. He understood the unimaginable cruelty of the Bu$hCo administration's attitude towards New Orleans. & while a backward thinking commenter below somehow thinks that C-Ray had/has a lot more money & power than the federal government, Bu$hCo effectively abandoned New Orleans. The local pols aren't even important, frankly, since this was a national disaster, not some tragic local tornado destruction. It's easy to rebuild the local Log Cabin Pizza Place or Let's Kill Us Some Deer Sporting Goods & Liquor Emporium. It's harder to rebuild a distinct American culture of the kind that New Orleans developed over the centuries. & this is not to say that the culture existing in NOLA pre-Katrina didn't need some deep fixing, it certainly did, but it's hard to fix the schools, for example, when the whole community is not behind that fixing. It's easy to have good schools in Whitefish Bay, WI, where the median income for a family is $95,744. Yes, that's pretty close to a hundred thousand a year. In NOLA, by contrast, the median family income, pre-Katrina, from the 2000 census, was $27,133. The poverty stats are interesting as well. Whitefish Bay had 3.2% of its citizens living below the poverty line. NOLA had 36.38% of its citizens below the poverty line. & in that range of folks below the poverty line the highest percentage was 61.4% among families with a female as the head of the household & with children under five. Now I know that I am comparing rutabagas to eggplant here, a small, upper Midwestern suburban city with a large, multi-ethnic southern port city. But my point is that Bu$hCo deliberately ignored NOLA because it is predominately black, poor, & Democratic. It is a bright blue spot in an otherwise dismally red state. Bu$hCo's response was the response of a racist, of someone who just doesn't give a shit about poor people. Parse it anyway you want, but don't blame a ReThug turned Democrat, that would be C-Ray, for the disaster. He was a ReThug, you know, the responsible cable television exec. Anyway, back to Mr. Edwards. He went to New Orleans today & gave this speech. I hope Clinton or Obama listens not only to this speech, but to much of what Edwards had to say. He, alone among all the initial Democratic candidates, had the mettle to smack the Rethugs down, he does understand just how awful the present administration is. I can only hope that whoever wins the nomination & then the presidency would have the ovaries or balls to appoint him as Attorney General. Then we will finally make the criminals in the Bu$hCo mafia pay all their debts to society, a society they are/were hell-bent on destroying.

Doctors On Call

On the take is more like it. When, O when, will the AMA clean up the mansion it built? I'm not holding my breath.
As it turns out, Dr. Zigler had more than a medical interest in the outcome. So did doctors at about half of the 17 research centers involved in the study. They stood to profit financially if the Prodisc succeeded, according to confidential information from a patient’s lawsuit settled last year.
....
The way the Prodisc was tested and approved provides a stark example of conflicts of interest among clinical researchers — conflicts that are seldom evident to doctors and patients trying to weigh the value of a new device or drug. Instead of serving as objective gatekeepers who can screen out potentially harmful or ineffective new devices or drugs, some medical experts say, clinical researchers with conflicts may have incentives to overstate the value of a new product for patients.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh Yeah, Down There

The son-of-a-bitch Bu$hCo continues to fuck the people of the Gulf Coast, New Orleans to be specific. This is the ReThug (Republican) response to all things that have to do with the poor: open your trailer windows & ketchup is a vegetable. Depraved indifference indeed. & Pelosi won't impeach, but will stand & applaud.

I've Hated Indiana For A Long Time But...

...there is something good about Indiana besides my friends Tom & Marsha & Jeff & Emily & that something else is Doghouse Riley.
Through all of this no harsh words were heard from the mass-market press--except those still being aimed at the Clintons or Al Gore's Beard--despite the fact that had your favorite daughter pulled just one of those stunts you'd have had her written out of the will. Mike Allen's still eatin' good. So's Chris Matthews, Kit Seelye, and Bill Kristol; Andrea Mitchell's still filing for the Liberal Keith Olbermann show. Judy Miller's still drawin' breath. Bush's tough talk on the recently re-discovered Osama bin-Laden gets a standing ovation from Nancy Pelosi as he squeezes out his final hot links before returning to the Crawford Texas of Eternity. (Good Christ, I forgot about Crawford.)

So long, asshole; we'll always have the French Quarter.

My sentiments exactly. Go read the rest. My emphasis.

Dan Froomkin

Here.
There it was last night, for all the world to see: A presidency running on empty.

In his final State of the Union address, President Bush had almost nothing to say. Certainly nothing new and significant. Nothing remotely memorable.

It's a safe bet that nothing he said last night will amount to much. Nothing he said will help bring the country together, or undo the damage he has done to American interests abroad. Nothing he said will help him win back the trust or support of the American people, both which he lost a long time ago.

On the traditional State of the Union litany of subjects, his repetition of familiar and sometimes delusional talking points conveyed a clear, though unintended message: That those looking for meaningful progress on the key issues facing our nation and our world.

My emphasis.

Chickenshit



Rove "decides" not to speak at a graduation ceremony. I'm happy. Remember, however, that the tuition at Choate is $39,360. If you don't want to live on campus, i.e., you'd be a day student, it will only cost you $29,260. Hey, pretty cheap for a high school. Of course, there are some other fees you need to pay, but for a measly $117,040 (no room or board) you'd have one hell of a high school diploma. & then on to college. & some people still wonder about who rules America. Anybody attending this school won't have to worry about paying a fee to play football or to take driver's education. Eat the rich, man, eat the rich.

I Did Not Know This

Funny how Johnny Carson pops up when I realize I've just formed a new nueral pathway in my brain. Anyhoo, this article in today's NYT was quite interesting. &, as a Wiscoite, I learned another way that we are progressive. I know, we must atone for the evil Joe McCarthy, &, of course, Ed Gein, well know lampshade maker, but I think we are making a stab at it with, well, the UW-Madison, the Green Bay Packers, & beer, & the abolishment of for profit bail bondspersons, among other things.
“It’s a very American invention,” John Goldkamp, a professor of criminal justice at Temple University, said of the commercial bail bond system. “It’s really the only place in the criminal justice system where a liberty decision is governed by a profit-making businessman who will or will not take your business.”

Although the system is remarkably effective at what it does, four states — Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin — have abolished commercial bail bonds, relying instead on systems that require deposits to courts instead of payments to private businesses, or that simply trust defendants to return for trial.

Most of the legal establishment, including the American Bar Association and the National District Attorneys Association, hates the bail bond business, saying it discriminates against poor and middle-class defendants, does nothing for public safety, and usurps decisions that ought to be made by the justice system.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm One Happy Dog



At least for now. We seem to have won a small victory today. & we can all give a big thank you to Sen. Chris Dodd for his big heart & his big courage. Without Sen. Dodd our civil rights would be even deeper in the dumpster. Here's Sen. Dodd:
And yet—the Senate is frozen today. I’ve objected passionately to retroactive immunity—but I did not shut out debate. Republicans have frozen the Senate since debate began last week. And they unwittingly created a perfect microcosm of retroactive immunity right here in this body. Because both flow from the same impulse: shutting down the organs of government—the courts, or the Senate—when you are afraid you won’t get your way. That’s why President Bush wants his favored corporations saved from lawsuits. And that is why the Republican Party wants this bill saved from any and all amendments—saved from serious and thoughtful discussion.

& here's Jay Rockefeller, who up until now, has been a supporter of letting Bu$hCo & his corporate cronies get off completely free in the illegal wiretapping fiasco:
Jay: Under the tortured logic of protecting America against terrorism, the WH has decided to exercise frankly its own form of political terrorism and has taken the FISA bill hostage.

My emphasis

Accountability

A year ago, Bu$hCo touted one of his bright ideas, the Civilian Reserve Corps during his SOTU speech. Let's see how things are going.
But the initiative, called the Civilian Reserve Corps, has gone nowhere.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.



My emphasis.

Two Things

Tonight Bu$hCo is giving his last State of the Union speech & Wednesday is the 75th anniversary of the day Hitler & the Nazis took power in Germany. Coincidence? I think not.

Evelyn Pinckert Brier, R.I.P.




Obit here.

Vacuuming The Brain

I know that all ReThugs have had lobotomies (It's the Law!), thanks P.O., but now we find that isn't the only way to remove the good parts of their brains. In all seriousness, however, it appears I must reevaluate my complete disdain & hatred of the sucking machines. Anyone who knows me understands how the damn things destroyed my life, took away all my ambition, sucked, yes I'm going to use it again, sucked the edge right out of my life. I better stop before I have a stroke, these machines haven't made into the woods of northern Wisco.




I kind of like the idea of cleaning high, if you know what I mean.

Everything's Working Fine, Just Fine

See?
300 dead in Afghanistan.

5 dead in Iraq.

7 dead in Lebanon.

Hallelujah & pass the organic crackers.

All three happy, happy stories via TPM

& She's Canadian

& they have a successful single payer health care system which is bad. Funny way to start off the week, but I'll take it. Here's part of it, but you need to read the rest of the General's post.
Surprisingly, Hillary Klinton, a known Vogonzuelan, is going with something a bit more in keeping with traditional concepts of morality. Her theme, Celine Dion's You and I, has the opposite effect on people. Listening to it causes a man's little soldier to crawl up inside itself and hide, thus making fornication impossible for at least a month.

"flowers itself to death"

New plant genus.
Now, scientists have confirmed just how unusual that tree was, and how rare are the 92 surviving specimens that have since been found.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Something To Think About

Via Norwegianity, who allows no comments, we are directed to this thoughtful post on the Democratic presidential nomination process & it is worth a read. Here's my favorite, however:
Bubba's status as "the first black president" was kindling for this fire set ablaze by an honor guard of torch-carrying South Carolina voters. His aura of resilience and indomitability could no longer be seen through the smoke. What was clear was the frail presence of an aging and desperate man who is quickly becoming the Willie Loman of American politics.

Ouchity, ouch, ouch. & it is correct.

My emphasis.

Hmmm


We still need to clean up lead contamination. This probably explains, however, the demented state of the physical minds of ReThugs & their denying of reality.

Hypocrisy

One of thy names is Roman Catholic Nuns. So much for truth, justice, etc., etc. It's all about the bottom line, just like Rev. Dollar.
"They preach every worker has a right to justice and dignity, but they do not allow that in their own place," said Allen, adding that she supports a union so workers would have representation in disputes such as firings and schedule changes.

Well...

One good thing came out of the Packer's losing the NFC Championship game. Crooked refs.

Really? You've Got To Be Kidding Me

No surprise here.
His story illustrates how the state's lax system of oversight favors doctors over patients.
Lax might be the understatement of the year.

Money Changes Everything*

This method of poverty obliteration has been shown over & over to not be the best thing for the poor or for the world.
If cows are like factories, you could say an Ankole is powered by a water wheel, while the Holstein requires a nuclear reactor.

The principle of the “tragedy of the commons,” perhaps the most famous metaphor in ecology, is a cattle parable. It was first described by a 19th-century British economist and popularized by the biologist Garrett Hardin in a 1968 Science magazine essay about human overpopulation. Hardin was trying to refute the view that an unregulated free market invariably produces beneficial outcomes. “Picture a pasture open to all,” Hardin wrote. The benefit of adding a single calf went to each individual farmer, while the cost of adding that calf (the grass it would consume) would be distributed to all pasture users. “Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit — in a world that is limited,” he wrote. The commons, he predicted, would inevitably be picked clean.

With the introduction of the Holsteins, something similar seems to be happening in Uganda. Farmers aren’t literally increasing the sizes of their herds, but they are creating herds that consume unsustainable amounts of dwindling resources. And something else is being obliterated: genes. Each time a farmer crossbreeds his Ankoles, a little of the country’s stockpile of adaptive traits disappears. It isn’t easy to measure genetic “dilution.” What is evident, however, is that the Ankoles possess much worth saving. For instance, their horns, often seen as ornaments, actually disperse excess body heat.

My emphasis.

Tell me, honestly, which is the way cooler cow? Which one would you rather have in your back yard. Remember, they are both domesticated breeds.

First, the Ankole.





Second, the Holstein.




*Cyndi!, The Son-In-Law's favorite.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Finally

A major news' source, McClatchy, uses the L word, &, no, it doesn't stand for Lebanese. Now, it would be great if the rest of the mainstream media followed suit. It is way past the time of the benefit of the doubt. Bu$hCo lied. Hat tip to Shutterwi. This is from McClatchy's Baghdad Observer, a blog by Leila Fadel, the Baghdad bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.
Nine hundred and thirty five _ that's the number of "false statements" made by the U.S. administration about the dangers of Saddam Hussein in the two years following 9/11, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity.
....
The report has a searchable database and tracks the slow trend of lies dating from 9/11, to the invasion, to Sept. 11, 2003. The lies peaked in February and March, the month before and the month of the invasion of Iraq.

Here's the link to the data base. & Dave Obey, my congresscritter, says impeaching the asshole Bu$hCo would be "absurd." Obey couldn't be more wrong.

If It Walks Like A Duck....

It's a duck. Unless, of course, you wear blue uniforms. & to the wingers out there, I don't mean the UN's blue helmets.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Feeling Safer Yet?

Watch out. You might be deported to a country you have never seen. & just like their moron boss, Bu$hCo, they never admit a mistake. It looks more & more like we will need to carry our "papers" with us, just to prove we are American citizens. Unbelievable.
Although it took only minutes for McClatchy to confirm with Minnesota officials that a birth certificate under Warziniack's name and birth date was on file, Colorado prison officials notified federal authorities that Warziniack was a foreign-born prisoner.

McClatchy also was able to track down Warziniack's three half-sisters. Even though they hadn't seen him in almost 20 years, his sisters were willing to vouch for him.

Extinction


Marie Smith Jones, R.I.P. She was the last person who was fluent in Eyak, a language of Alaska. Too bad. We really are losing more than we will ever be able to recoup.
"With her death, the Eyak language becomes extinct," Krauss said.

Just What We Need

Bronze this.


Fonzie, the bronze. That should perk up my fellow Wiscoites. We'll probably be so upbeat that we will go out shopping & save the world, oh, wait, save the country. On the other hand, by Labor Day things may be so far in the tank that a greaser who can make music come out of a jukebox without paying might come in handy.


The Mighty Wurlitzer, If You Know What I Mean

Congressional Democratic Leaders Really Need A Couple Of Serious Slaps Upside Their Heads

My Sen. Feingold via BooMan.
Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold On Republican Obstructionism on Fixing FISA

"The conduct of Senate Republicans yesterday was shameless. After weeks of insisting that it is absolutely critical to finish the FISA legislation by February 1, even going so far as to object to a one-month extension of the Protect America Act, they obstructed all efforts to actually work on the bill. Now they want to simply ram the deeply flawed Intelligence Committee bill through the Senate. They refused to allow amendments to be offered or voted on, including my straight-forward amendment to require that the government provide copies of FISA Court orders and pleadings for review in a classified setting, so that Members of Congress can understand how FISA has been interpreted and is being applied. If the Republicans succeed in cutting off debate on Monday, the Senate won't even get to vote on the amendment Senator Dodd and I want to offer to deny retroactive immunity to telecom companies that allegedly cooperated with the administration's illegal wiretapping program.

"Democrats should not allow the Republicans to ram this bill through the Senate without amendments. Monday's cloture vote will be a test of whether the majority is willing to stand up to the administration and stand up for our rights."


My emphasis.

O K

I'm down with this.
Seriously, can we all just agree to say fuck this election, let's kill the rich now?

Oh, & I am a quarter Norwegian & my mom was born in MN. So there.

Art Carney?

No, just commercial art. RLK sent this along. Go read. It's a sad reminder of what is ruling the country. The sun is shining here in northern Wisco & the temperature is slowly rising. It's about 10 degree Fahrenheit right now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Enron

So much for accountability. I'm getting that fatigue again. Nobody cares.

Bailout For The Rich


Again. Like the reader in the comments from from the post, I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that Bu$hco would favor the rich over the rest of us. I'll admit, I haven't been paying as much attention to the economy as I should have been paying. Now I will pay, along with a whole lot of other people. Bu$hCo & Dick "Dick" Cheney won't suffer, however, & they will keep their great health insurance. Too bad.

...over 70% of the Bush tax rebate goes to the top 40% (average income: $134,000) and less than 10% reaches the bottom 40% (average income: $14,300).

Who Cares?

No one. What a joke grandpa daddy is.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King, Jr.




Go here.

BTW, the sanitation workers in Memphis, TN, won their strike. Another fitting tribute to Mr. King.

More Gloom


Apropos the Packers LOSING yesterday (crooked refs indeed), The Twins leaving for home, my freshing cut open left shoulder aching (I'm right handed, never pitched, but played 2nd base & right field), & losing possibly the best post I ever wrote, really, here's more gloom concerning the iconic Joshua Tree. I have that album in vinyl, thanks Mrs. coldH2O's brother.
Given current thinking about climate change, unless we can figure out a way to assist the migration of both Joshua trees and their moth partners, as Connie Barlow is trying to do with Florida Torreya, it seems almost certain that Joshua trees will be extinct in the wild by the end of this century.

Unless we stop burning carbon the way we’re doing. But that would require actual inconvenience, so I don’t hold out much hope.



My emphasis.

The Cost

It's dollars, of course, but there are more costs & this one ought to piss you off as well.
The Pentagon is releasing a report saying, one in five American serviceman and women who have been in Iraq are coming back with brain injuries. Mild, traumatic brain injuries. More than 250,000 people. That legacy of that will last all of our life times and it’s incalculable.

No shit, Dick Tracy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lost

The refs turned against us

Win Lose

Silver Lining?

Bu$ho has exactly one year, 365 days left to destroy the country.

Friday, January 18, 2008

MSM

Asleep at the wheel, once again. Go sign the petition. Look, if you're afraid to give anybody your email, remember this: you've got a functioning brain, Bu$hCo already has you under surveillance. Do it, you're grandbabies will love you even more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pretty Funny

Dickhead is correct.

No Justice, No Peace


Scooter Libby gets out of jail free. A man who pays his taxes & helps other people goes to jail for 5 years. Go figure. It must be because he's Canadian. & you know about them Canadians, eh? See this earlier post. Actually, it's the previous post. Do you see the lights? Pretty, pretty lights. Hey, got any chips? Peanuts?

Good Lord

As it were. Mr. Huckabee:
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."
From the comments:
Let the stonings begin. I won't be participating, I'm already stoned...
Milo Johnson
My emphasis, my view exactly. Via Atrios.

36th Anniversary

Today is the 36th anniversary of my & the illustrious & hard-working Mrs. coldH2O's wedding. & yes, there was no boat in the driveway. Or in the pole barn. Or in the garage (Truth be told, there is no room in the garage for anything, including a car.) The Kid called this a.m. to wish us the best. She & Luci Mae, one of The Twins were watching the early edition of BBC News. I'm also downloading & listening to some One-Man Johnson. He's a long lost friend from way back in the day. Think piano & piano player in the bed of a '56 Chevy pickup truck pounding out a hip version of Roll Out The Barrel, appropriate for Hwy. 8, heading west. Bob was in a band with a piano player at the time. While I really enjoyed those days, in reality, what I really ought to have hung onto was, of course, the truck. Materialism has always been my strong suit. I have attempted to become dialectical, but have had difficulty with that, though I continue to believe. Oh, well....

36th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Bone China
I won't make any jokes about this.


Now really, which would you rather have?

This??

http://img.alibaba.com/photo/11342292/Han_Bone_China.jpg

Or this?

The image “http://www.brindleysharbor.com/images/Alaskan_20.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Absolutely no contest. But of course it's all about love, right?

Unions

One of the worst things that have happened to this country in the last couple of decades is the demise of the labor union movement. Just some perspective: I worked as a full-time bartender at a Labor Temple in northern Wisco in the early '70s. The bartending staff was organized by the Teamsters & I enjoyed a wage of $3.50/hr. I also had full benefits, which included coverage for any possible wife. I also received double time on 7 days a year. Man, $7/hr. I did get married while I had that job, but we left before we could enjoy the pregnancy benefit. The point is, there weren't too many bartending job back then that actually was a living wage, with benefits. Today, I was young people, baristas as well as bartenders, who are great in their jobs, but the jobs do not support a living, or a family. They often have a two, if not more jobs, just to keep up a semblance of a life. Very, very few can afford to buy a house. Luckily, I have seen some be able to buy a house, mostly with assistance, in some form, from tax dollars. An organization that I am familiar with now provides down payment help, closing costs, etc. It has helped a small number of people. With unions, however, the workers, as well as the bosses, thrive. The country is way better off with unions that without them. It is something that better be reversed, or this country will continue to struggle. This is well worth watching. It's from Crooks & Liars.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yes!

Giants 21 - Cowboys 17

This feels almost as good as yesterday, but not quite.

Peek A Choo Choo

The title to this post references a book that I read, ahem, many, many times to the the adorable & super-intelligent Twins. However, I agree with this post. I have bemoaned the lack of real train service many times in my life. I used to ride the train from one northern Wisco town to another, to see my grandparents. I once rode a train to Chicago while I was still in my teens. An adventure I'll never forget, bless the bars on North Clark Street. We, in this country, really are falling behind technologically. I hope it's not too late to bring back the trains. National treasures, at least now, need enhanced shareholder value, so I'm not going to hold my breath. Or believe anymore.
From cell phones to Internet connectivity to high speed rail, we kind of suck as compared to much of the world. We like to talk about how we live in the bestest country on earth, but I've an increasing sense that we're falling behind in far too many ways while all that our politicians give us is pablum.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Packers 42, Seahawks 20

After listening to the first couple of minutes of the game on the radio in Mrs. coldH2O's Ford hybrid motorcar, I decided that we should drive to an undisclosed location in northern Wisco, hard by a frozen lake, & eat some cold shrimp & hot wings, & drink whiskey with soda. We did just that & by the time we got to the aforementioned undisclosed location, the refs came to their senses & the Packers had tied the game. & the best part of the deal is that is was snowing a hell of a lot more south of the undisclosed location & we had no dangerous Cheney to deal with, although several people appeared to be wearing masks, or more specifically, happy faces. More here.


Mitt, The Man With The Special Underwear

Will get a wedgie in Michigan. I sure hope so. Here a bit of the piece:
On the campaign trail, Romney has presented himself alternately as a Christian Coalition ideologue and as a pragmatic, can-do corporate fixer-upper in the mold of Chrysler savior Lee Iacocca. He pledges to do for America what he did for corporations when he ran Bain Capital's private equity business. But these days, private equity is a dirty word for many Michigan voters—even the Republican members of the managerial class. Private equity doesn't signify profits and fortunes. It signifies Cerberus, the new owner of Chrysler, which is presiding over huge job cuts. That's probably why Mike Huckabee's decided to turn his dig at Romney—"most Americans want their next president to remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off"—into a television advertisement.

Via Talking Points Memo.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Surge

Here's the concluding paragraph of a great post at BooMan.
It is a lie to say that the “surge” worked. It is nearly traitorous to use the tactics that were used to measure the shortest term of “goals” when it comes to a temporary decrease in violence that is based on arming both sides of a civil war – including those who were attacking US troops a few short months earlier.

Now, go read the whole bunch of paragraphs that are the rest of the story. Oh, & is Paul Harvey still alive?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Feeling Safer Or Heathier Yet?

Via The Raw Story, we get an update on the dismal, despicalbe state of health care in the U.S. of A. The headline alone will set of the right-wing nutjobs, which is a good thing.
France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

Click on the link for the headline.

More On The Benefits Of Living In Northern Wisco

We'll sing in the sunshine,
We'll laugh every day,
We'll sing in the sunshine,
And I'll be on my way.

Or I'll eat a lot of fatty fish or take more pills every day.

Complete lyrics here. More Gale Garnett info here.

Monday, January 07, 2008

It Doesn't Pay

To work with the occupying American military.
A suicide bomber assassinated a major leader of American-backed militia forces in a Sunni stronghold of Baghdad on Monday morning, the latest attack on nationalist Sunnis who have recently allied themselves with American troops. That attack, and a second bomb that exploded minutes later, killed at least 14 and wounded 18 in total, a Ministry of Interior official said.

The killing of the militia leader, Col. Riyadh al-Samarrai, on the fringes of north Baghdad’s Adhamiya district, was one of the most significant attacks so far on leaders of former Sunni insurgents who have banded into militias, known as Awakening groups, to fight extremist militants.

I guess this is part of the great success of The Surge.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Ya Think?

Headline in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Jobless rate reaches 5% - a 2-year high
18,000 new jobs suggest economy's troubles run deep
Story here. Go read it, it will help when you argue with the 30 percenters.

Cool

More on some interesting old guys here.

Yikes!

This is heading our way. Hopefully, it will hit Chicago, the home of the dirtiest team in the history of football, there, I said it again. I hope that steak on New Year's Eve tasted great, Joe, The New Guy.
The most extreme conditions were about 200 miles to the east of San Francisco, in the Sierra Nevada, where the National Weather Service warned of blizzard and whiteout conditions and gusts of 160 miles per hour. Just hours into the storm, a 163-m.p.h. gust was reported on one mountaintop near Lake Tahoe.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Impeach The Bastards

A young friend sent along a link to Robert Wexler's website dedicated to impeaching Bu$hCo & Cheney. I would implore you to go & add your name to this effort. I don't care if there is only a year left in the asshole's reign, we need to hold him accountable. Go

Cool Idea



This is a cool idea, whose time may have arrived.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Afganistan

Looks like Bu$hCo's good war has officially gone to shit, just like his vanity war in Iraq. Via The Raw Story.
British defense expert Michael Clarke told CBC that NATO's greatest weakness has been its failure to follow up on its military successes. NATO politicians play down these complaints, but some of the military leaders have begun to voice them openly.

"NATO miscalculated from the start," CBC explained, "believing the Taliban were thoroughly beaten for good back in 2002." As a result, many of the 37 nations participating in the NATO mission provided units that were unprepared for a combat role and reluctant to confront the Taliban when it reemerged in the south of the country two years ago.

This has largely left the US, British, Canadian, and Dutch forces to bear the brunt of active combat. NATO has even resorted to hiring helicopter services from private military contractors because risk-adverse member nations will not commit their own.
My emphasis.

Two Good Lives

Marianne Lynnworth, R.I.P.

Bert Bolin, R.I.P.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Don't Have A Heart Attack

At least not in a hospital. I wonder how much this problem is caused by a lack of registered nurses? If hospitals were fully staffed with nurses, they wouldn't have to "run so fast" or "drag their feet" to save a patient with a sudden cardiac event.
The consequences were striking. When the defibrillation was delayed, only 22.2 percent of patients survived long enough to be discharged from the hospital, as opposed to 39.3 percent when the shock was given on time.

The study, being published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest ever to look at what happened to patients with “shockable” abnormalities in heart rhythm, and to correlate their outcomes with the time it took to deliver the needed shock.

Delays were more likely in patients whose hearts stopped at night or on the weekend, who were admitted for noncardiac illnesses, in hospitals with fewer than 250 beds and in units without heart monitors.

Being black also increased the odds of a delay, but the researchers said this finding probably reflected the quality of hospitals in areas where most blacks live and are treated, rather than a decision by medical workers to drag their feet because of a patient’s race.

While I had hoped that things like health care would be fully funded because it would be the right thing to do, & if I wasn't married to a health care worker, & I read the selection above, I would believe that it is individual doctors & nurses that were actually causing the deaths because the couldn't move fast enough. The idiotic bias in the reportage really pisses me off. While the reporter does mention staff shortages, there is no mention of the primacy of shareholder value, or cost effective health care*.

*Normal person translation: lay off the Bachelor's educated nurses & pay someone minimum wage to do their job. & blame them if they don't run fast enough & a patient dies.

New Addition

With the new year, the coldH2O household has a new addition. He's Tab, the cat. We have, the Kid, Son-in-Law, Mrs. coldH2O & me, named our cats with something related to New Orleans, a city we have come to love in so many ways, particularly the resiliency of the people after Katrina. & even though Bu$hCo has done his level best to destroy the city & to ethnically cleanse it, see this piece on Cyril Neville, there is still hope against hope that it will come back. So, to join Toulouse, Tchoupitoulas, Tipitina, we have added Tab, after one of my man crushes, Tab Benoit. Now Tab, the Benoit, is technically from Houma, LA, but it's close enough for us. Her are some pics of the new arrival, along with the new arrivals of last year, born on the one year anniversary of Katrina.

Tab, the cat.


Tab, the cat 2.

Tab & Marigny, they both just know there is something under the tile.

More love from Marigny.


Lucy gets into the giving some love act. It's surprising how gentle The Twins are with the animals.


Love from both The Twins.


Tab the cat 3.


Smiles from Tab & Marigny.

I'm Not Holding My Breath

But this is somewhat encouraging. It would be great that in addition to the investigation, the goddamned Congress would get up off its collective keister & impeach the bastards.
The U.S. Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes, and Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Wednesday that he appointed an outside prosecutor to oversee the case.

The CIA acknowledged last month that it destroyed videos of officers using tough interrogation methods while questioning two al-Qaida suspects. The acknowledgment sparked a congressional inquiry and a preliminary investigation by Justice.

"The Department's National Security Division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation," Mukasey said in a statement released Wednesday.

UPDATE:More from Crooks & Liars here & here.

Here We Go

This is only good for "Dick" Dick & moron boy Bu$hCo. & they didn't even ask us to bend over.
Oil prices soared to $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time ever, reaching that milestone amid an unshakeable view that global demand for oil and petroleum products will continue to outstrip supplies.

An Eye For An Eye

Sort of. Suck on this Huckabee.
“The vertebrate eye is the best example of structural perfection – as used by proponents of intelligent design to claim that something so complex couldn’t possibly have evolved,” Dr Young said.

“Part of the trouble in tracing the evolution of the eye is that soft tissues don’t tend to fossilise. But the eye cavities in the braincase of these 400 million-year-old fossil fish were lined with a delicate layer of very thin bone. All the details of the nerve canals and muscle insertions inside the eye socket are preserved – the first definite fossil evidence demonstrating an intermediate stage in the evolution of our most complex sensory organ.

Well, This Made Me Laugh

While The Twins are bubbling in their breakfast milk, I'm reading Mr. Wolcott's blog & still laughing:
And I'd also never play Wolf's dildoically urgent theme music.


UPDATE: More good stuff from Mr. Wolcott.
I was aware of course that Hemingway had wrapped his big mitt around a glass of Ballantine Ale in a full-page ad back when the marlin ran true and Mary drove the jeep,....

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

BTW, Over There

More blood shed.
A suicide bomber killed 30 people and wounded 38 at a funeral in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, shattering a New Year's day that had begun with hopeful celebrations of a kind unseen in years.

Two police sources confirmed the death toll, which would make it the worst bombing in the Iraqi capital since September and one of the deadliest anywhere in Iraq for months.

Happy New Year

Let's hope it's better than last year. & as good as this.

video