Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm Smarter

Than a seventeen year old. I wonder how much that is saying? Here's a seventeen year old dog. You be the judge.


http://www.tripawds.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/20071001_hagglebaggleallydog_0002web.jpg

17 year old Greyhound


Monday, February 25, 2008

Too Little

& way too late. Pfizer ought to be forced to provide Lipitor for free for the rest of time. That sort of penalty just may have the needed effect on the capitalistic bastards.
One television ad depicted Dr. Jarvik as an accomplished rower gliding across a mountain lake, but the ad used a body double for the doctor, who apparently does not row.
....
That committee was examining whether the ads misrepresented Dr. Jarvik and his credentials. Although he has a medical degree, Dr. Jarvik is not a cardiologist and is not licensed to practice medicine.

How can anyone defend this? & yet, Bu$hCo & the ReThugs go on & on about the free market & the ownership society. It does make me sick, & I mean sick.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Dark Ages

This is what we ought to be doing, cool research about all of our beginnings. Instead, we've allowed Bu$hCo to destroy our optimism with a failed Iraq & a failed Afghanistan. To be clear, there have been many actors in this descent into stoooopidity, all ReThugs & many, many, many Democrats, as well as dickhead Ralph Nader. & I realize that there can't be this dumbheaded way of thinking that envisions constant progress, i.e., we'll develop an oil eating bacteria & everything will be fine & we can go on building crappy oil tankers & burning oil & coal 'cause we'll invent a smog eating bird who will then morph into a something to fix that problem over there. The trouble with the Bu$hCo vision of America is that it's all about the size of your bank account, how much you own, not what turns on your mind or your body or the society at large. & MIT will be held accountable for the antennae array, while Scooter Libby walks.

Another Example...

...of a drowning victim. You don't have to be a great fan of Edith Wharton, or even a fan of houses built by the overly-rich to want to have a literary artifact saved for the future generations of America. I don't want to hear about poor management, blah, blah, blah. If we have decided, as a country, that Edith Wharton deserves to be remembered, honored, then the government ought to pay for the upkeep. In fact, the government has a responsibility to maintain a lot of stuff that actually helps out the country, whether it be a writer's big house, or the Anasazi ruins, or Walt Whitman's grave. Or the site of the first trading post in Wisconsin, & how that trading post led to the decline of the neighborhood.



http://www.keltaskavern.com/images/walt2.jpg

Indian Cemetery

One More Thing

Everyday brings more certitude, more sadness. Today, there is the situation with the Minnesota moose population.
It might be a complication of heat stress, induced by a climate that's gotten too warm too fast. It might be combination of those and other factors.

850-pound canary?

The fate of the state's largest herbivore is about more than postcard imagery, Schrage and others say. The moose may be an outsized canary in a coal mine, representative of a struggle facing many other animals whose home ranges and climate are changing, said Dennis Murray, a professor of terrestrial ecology at Ontario's Trent University.

& then there is this.


UPDATE: & this.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Just Because McCain Says It

It must be a lie.
“Out of 535 Members of Congress, John McCain is the only one who chose to miss every single key environmental vote scored by the League of Conservation Voters last year. When it came time to stand up and vote for the environment, John McCain was nowhere to be found,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Every other Member who received a zero from LCV last year at least had the temerity to show up and vote against the environment and clean energy time after time. And unlike John McCain, I doubt any of them would claim to be environmental leaders or champions on global warming.”

Don't Have A Heart Attack #2

Read this. Then go buy or rent or borrow SICKO & watch it. It's clear the Michael Moore knows a bit more than either Clinton or Obama. That's too bad, health care is one of the many problems that are probably going to explode & drive lots & lots of folks into worse desperation.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) proposal to mandate that all people purchase health insurance would be a boon to the industry, filmmaker Michael Moore said Friday.

“Can you imagine, every time Sen. Clinton says that, the licking of the lips that goes on with these health insurance executives?” Moore said during a conference call with reporters.
....
Moore credited Clinton and Obama with good intentions but suggested they were too influenced by campaign contributions from healthcare interests.

“I think in their hearts, they want to get it. But it’s not just their hearts that’s speaking, it’s their wallets,” he said.

The Army We Have Created

Thanks Rummy & Bu$hCo, this is what your have created.
One full-moon night I was sitting outside a sandbag-reinforced hut with Kearney when a young sergeant stepped out hauling the garbage. He looked around at the illuminated mountains, the dust, the rocks, the garbage bin. The monkeys were screeching. “I hate this country!” he shouted. Then he smiled and walked back into the hut. “He’s on medication,” Kearney said quietly to me.

Then another soldier walked by and shouted, “Hey, I’m with you, sir!” and Kearney said to me, “Prozac. Serious P.T.S.D. from last tour.” Another one popped out of the HQ cursing and muttering. “Medicated,” Kearney said. “Last tour, if you didn’t give him information, he’d burn down your house. He killed so many people. He’s checked out.”

As I went to get some hot chocolate in the dining tent, the peaceful night was shattered by mortars, rockets and machine-gun fire banging and bursting around us. It was a coordinated attack on all the fire bases. It didn’t take long to understand why so many soldiers were taking antidepressants. The soldiers were on a 15-month tour that included just 18 days off. Many of them were “stop-lossed,” meaning their contracts were extended because the army is stretched so thin.

& from the same piece this is for all the Neanderthals out there who say women just can’t be in the military, especially in combat roles.
As the medevacs flew out, Sergeant Sandifer had talked in air cover: Slasher, the AC-130. The pilot was a woman and, Sandifer later told me, “It was so reassuring for us to hear her voice.” She spotted guys hiding and asked if she was clear to engage. “ ‘You’re cleared hot,’ I told her. And we killed two people together.” But, at this point, the killings were no consolation to Sandifer.


My emphasis.

Nothing To Say

Exxon Valdez

Once, a long, long time ago, during a full lunar eclipse, a male ship captain toasted the sea, his lover & the moon, mover of seas. Apparently he kept right on toasting & ran his ship aground, ripping it open & dumping 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound. The undersea reef our romantic & sloshed captain put his ship into, Bligh Reef was named after William Bligh, yes, that William Bligh - ...thin-skinned vanity was his curse through life.... I bring this all up because this a.m. I read a post from some Norwegian guy about a lawyer affectionately known (well, not really) called assrocket. Assrocket is part of stoooopidline, a blog Time magazine named its Blog of the Year awhile back, a prize they have never given out since. Well, assrocket is a lawyer with Faegre & Benson, a big, old bunch of lawyers over in Minneapolis. While assrocket didn't initially join in representing the injured parties in the Exxon Valdez disaster, he will benefit from the fees his co-workers generated. Read this post. It tells about other lawyers that are very unlike our Mr. assrocket.

Full disclosure: when I brought this topic up to the guys over at stooooopidline, one of theshitforbrains, not assrocket, called me a "moron," a badge of honor, to be sure. I also made up the bosom-busting beginning of this post, just because I wanted to honor the lunar eclipse of a couple of days ago. So sue me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Such A Maverick

Seems like McCain has learned the true values of the ReThugs, to wit:
The man who's absurdly proclaimed that "I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to" is surrounded by lobbyists.

In fact, he got a headstart during the Savings & Loan scandal.

One More

Seems like the ReThugs just loves them some indictments. It builds character, I'll bet.
Republican Rep. Rick Renzi has been indicted for extortion,
wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in
Arizona.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Just Wonder

Just how many chances McCain will get from the press? He seems to have skated on this one. Now I'm a big believer in redemption, re: Bret Farve, but not from Bu$hCo penis caressing asshole liar John McCain. Here's the good Roger Ailes take on this real truth.
Who wouldn't be proud of a country where you could steal drugs from a charity and not suffer any consequences?

I'd be Yakov-Fucking-Smirnoff if I could get away with such shit.

Communism, Yeah, That's The Ticket

I always get a kick out these right-wing do-hah morons, who went to public universities, & were probably raised on Army bases, yes, that's right - at the public expense, bemoaning the lack of stoopid right wing professors. Now we have, via the incomparable Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo, more evidence that these morons are just like the rest of the American population, communists.
...the research led the Woessners to conclude that if higher education wants to attract more conservatives to the professoriate, it should smooth the way financially, offering subsidized health insurance and housing for graduate students, and adopting family-friendly policies for professors.

My emphasis. Fell out of my chair, well, not really, laughing so hard.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Teamster Endorsement

Look like the Teamsters are set to endorse Obama. Come on Sen. Clinton, end your campaign & get behind Obama.

More On Corn

Here's a follow-up on a previous post on using corn to produce ethanol. Thanks to The Kid over at The Twins' place.
Recent research out of Princeton University and other reputable institutions show that switching from dinosaur gas to corn ethanol could almost double CO2 emissions.

But we thought corn could save us! Although ethanol burns cleaner, a host of other petro-intensive costs belie its true benefit. In order to produce enough ethanol – and once again, the Bush administration is complicit in the problem, requiring a six-fold increase by 2022 – valuable crop and forest land would be replaced in the rush to make as much commodity as possible. For agriculture, this means monoculture in the form of either corn or switchgrass.

America, America

I hardly knew ye. Bu$hCo's justice.

"At which point, [Haynes's] eyes got wide and he said, 'Wait a minute, we can't have acquittals. If we've been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can't have acquittals, we've got to have convictions.'"


Feeling safer yet?

This Is What's Really Wrong With The Clinton Campaign

I don't like lattes, drive a one-ton deisel (full disclosure: my wife drives a Ford Escape hybrid), inheirited $17,000 from my parents through the sale of their home when my mom died, & wear Crocs. I'm also an inactive Teamster. This sort of bullshit from Clinton's crowd really sticks in my craw. They really need to grow the hell up. Via TPM. Plus this guy doesn't know much about poetry.
Clinton surrogate and Machinists union President Tom Buffenbarger: "Give me a break! I've got news for all the latte-drinking, Prius- driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies crowding in to hear him speak! This guy won't last a round against the Republican attack machine. He's a poet, not a fighter."

The Public Has Caught On

19% of the country still hasn't seen the evil. Now, will Congress finally get its impeachment deal in order?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama Wins Wisconsin

For better or worse, looks like we helped Obama today.

Click to enlarge



Wisconsin -

Obama 58%
Clinton 41

85% reporting


Actually, quite a convincing win.

Working Together

Yeah, sure, the public /private bullshit that has been foisted upon this society is finally exposed as what it is: private corporations feeding at the public troff with the blessing of the keepers of the public trust. Here is how it really works out. For those of us here in northern Wisco, look how Duluth's deal with NWA worked out.
Yeah, "all we've done for them..." What a fucking putz. NWA used and abused Minnesota every minute of the twenty years I've been living up here. Most of that money left in Al Checchi's back pocket, his reward for suckering the Republicans and DFL alike over the years. Same as his predecessor, same as his successor.

Ditto

Doghouse Riley.
And we know, we've known for over forty years, or since we first bothered to look, that the major predictor of academic success is socio-economic status. Fighting poverty, providing sound nutrition and adequate health care, and giving people below the poverty line a fair shake and the hope of decent employment would do a hell of a lot more for public education than those cadres of virtual software engineers who just can't wait to teach junior-high math, but are prevented from doing so by greedy union bosses.

Funny how that sort of thing never enters into Buck Rogers' Geek Utopia.

OMG

Read all of this post from Crooks & Liars. How stupid? is exactly the right question to ask. Let's see if you believe this:
Bush: Yeah, because we’re buying equipment, and people are working. I think this economy is down because we built too many houses (Curry: hmmmmm) and the economy is adjusting. On the other hand we’re just about to kick out 157 billion dollars to our taxpayers……what would have been had we abandoned Iraq when times were tough and let those soldiers die in vain.

My emphasis.

Good Song



Via Howie Klein at Crooks & Liars.

The Dead

Alain Robbe-Grillet, R.I.P.

Lakeshore Nightmare

I'm just happy I was born in the middle of the 20th century. Otherwise, I might be living with a few less fingers. This frog would have been the culprit.
AP Photo

Monday, February 18, 2008

Democracy, Yeah, That’s The Ticket

Bu$hCo fucked again. Ha.
Pakistanis dealt a crushing defeat to President Pervez Musharraf in parliamentary elections Monday, in what government and opposition politicians said was a firm rejection of his policies since 2001 and those of his close ally, the United States.
....
The results were interpreted here as a repudiation of Mr. Musharraf as well as the Bush administration, which has staunchly backed Mr. Musharraf for eight years....

Well, I Personally Was Scared Shitless

But now I feel better that Bu$hCo’s spymaster has explained it all to me. I guess the free, but protected market does solve all problems. Who knew? Or blew, for that matter?

The issue is liability protection for the private sector.

I guess I feel safer, sort of, OK, even fascist liars speak the truth now & then.

Duped & Complicit

Here is the headline in a farmer's publication.
Doubts Raised About Recent Global Warming Studies

Yet, the short article only references the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory & the director of the National Ag-Based Lubricants Center in Iowa. The piece also quotes a former member of the Advisory Committee for Biomass to the Departments of Energy and Agriculture. Talk about loading up on government lackeys. The worst part of this piece, however, is the title. The studies in question actually assessed the role of corn based ethanol production in terms of the land usage issues, i.e., whether the production of corn is affecting global climate change. It's too bad that the farmers are being duped by this periodical. What's even worse is that the writer depends strictly on government employees for testimony. I suppose I ought to be clear that this is the agricultural corporate press speaking, but historically farmers have never known who their true friends are, a reason why so many of them are now out or going-out-of-business. Relying strictly on corn for ethanol production is a really bad policy. Bu$hCo's urging the use of switchgrass might actually be the highlight of his completely failed presidency.

I Promise

Not to sing, too loudly, at least. The best thing that could happen to the Democratic Party is for someone not named Clinton be nominated. This analysis looks about right. What really galls me is Bill Clinton telling the Obama supporters to stop being enthusiastic. That takes the cake. Since McGovern, I have had zero enthusiasm for any Democratic presidential candidate. For Bill Clinton to give that b.s. legs is, to me, very telling about his wife's campaign. I'm with BooMan, I could imagine Hilary Clinton being a good president, but I would rather have someone else. & I may still need to bring Gus Hall back from the dead.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

& Then What?

More on global warming.
Global warming is setting the stage for an invasion of predators on the sea floor around Antarctica, the likes of which have not been there for more than 40 million years.

40 million years? A drop in the bucket.

W In Charge

& our CEO president has done nothing correctly. & we have Kindergarteners out selling candy bars to raise money for their school.
But after spending hundreds of millions of dollars setting up as many as 12 of the companies, the agency shut down all but two after concluding they were ill-conceived and poorly positioned for gathering intelligence on the CIA's principal targets: terrorist groups and unconventional weapons proliferation networks.

It just figures.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Evil Never Stops

It's long past time for impeachment. Now we find out about Bu$hCo's active role in allowing the predatory lending practices. I wonder if the gagglers will ask about this? I wonder if anyone this Sunday will ask about it? As usual, I'm not holding my breath.
Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers. In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative.

My emphasis.

Here's a letter I just received from my Senator, Russ Feingold. He gets it, almost. It's sad that he, too, is buying into this time bullcrap. Oh well, the letter is worth a read anyway. My emphasis.

February 15, 2008


Dear Mr.

Thank you for contacting me regarding presidential impeachment. I appreciate hearing from you.

The Constitution grants the House of Representatives the authority to draft articles of impeachment, and gives the Senate the power to try an impeachment. Each decision as to whether or not to convict on each article must be made separately, and a conviction on any single article is sufficient grounds for removal from office.

On August 3, 2007, I introduced two censure resolutions condemning President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for misconduct relating to the swar in Iraq and for repeated assaults on the rule of law.

One resolution, cosponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), censures the President and the then- Attorney General for undermining the rule of law with respect to the following: (1) the illegal NSA warrantless wiretapping program, (2) extreme policies on torture, the Geneva Conventions, and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, (3) the refusal to recognize legitimate congressional oversight into the improper firings of U.S. Attorneys, (4) misleading the American public about the Patriot Act, and (5) the issuance of signing statements suggesting the President does not believe he has to follow the laws Congress passes.

The other resolution, cosponsored by Senator Harkin and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), censures the President and Vice President for misconduct relating to the war in Iraq. This misconduct includes the following: (1) overstating the case that Saddam
Hussein had WMD, particularly nuclear weapons, and falsely implying he had a relationship with al Qaeda and links to 9/11, (2) failing to plan for the civil conflict and humanitarian problems that the intelligence community predicted, (3) over-stretching the Army, Marine Corps and Guard with prolonged deployments, and (4) seeking to justify our military involvement in Iraq by distorting the situation on the ground there.

I have attached for your review a copy of each of the resolutions. I hope you find this information useful.

Introducing these resolutions of censure is an appropriate and necessary step that allows Congress to rebuke an administration that is responsible for such egregious misconduct. When future generations look back at the actions of this administration, they need to see that a co-equal branch of government stood up and held to account those who violated the principles on which this nation was founded. I am pleased to be working with Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who has introduced companion legislation in the House with 19 cosponsors.

I appreciate your support for impeachment, and I respect the anger many Americans feel at the outrageous actions of this administration. I believe that the President and Vice President may well have committed impeachable offenses, but with so many important issues facing this country and so much work to be done, I am concerned about the great deal of time impeachment would take. Because censure does not require multiple impeachments in the House and trials in the Senate, or the support of two-thirds of Senators, it is far less cumbersome than impeachment. However, if the House of Representatives does decide to move forward with impeachment, I will take seriously my role as a sworn impartial juror in any impeachment trial.

Thank you again for contacting me regarding holding the President
accountable for his actions. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.


Sincerely,

Russell D. Feingold
United States Senator

If you wish to contact me again, please visit
http://feingold.senate.gov/contact.html.


Censoring the assholes will not be the appropriate punishment for what they have done to this country.

A Little Vet Humor

That would be veterinarian humor. Thanks GW.

There are three religious truths:

a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.

c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or Hooters.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Christ

Another horror story involving guns.
The gunman was a sociology graduate student who was enrolled in classes at NIU last spring but was not currently enrolled there, Peters said.

Just sayin'. My emphasis.

Up Is Down

This is why I hate capitalism. How in the hell can the fact that one hundred (100) families will lose their livelihoods & the goddamned company's stock price goes up? I hate capitalism & capitalists for that matter, evil bastards.
...The New York Times will bow to growing financial strain and eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs this year, the executive editor said Thursday.
....
Shares in The New York Times Company rose almost 5 percent Thursday after the newsroom staff reductions were reported, closing at $18.84, up 86 cents.

Happy Valentine's Day


See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Watch

Via Crooks & Liars.

Asshole

St. Fucking McCain. What an embarrassment.
John McCain: He was against waterboarding before he was for it.

More Good News

Another Bu$hCo-dog Democrat goes down. & goes down hard.

Edwards 59,462 60%
Wynn * 35,590 36%
Other 4,357 4%

*Incumbent

Damned Farmers

This reason to really dislike farmers is even more important than getting into serious road rage concerning those orange triangles they put on the back of their tractors so they don't have to move over & let the traffic get by.

Weird

& up here in the far north of Wisco, we have, well, not much snow. Madison is close to a record. Go figure.


A Beagle wins Westminster. Well, there's a first time for everything. More on Beagles here & here & here.

What's Wrong With J. B. Van Hollen?

This, among many other things.
A few days after the shootings, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen gave reporters an outline of what happened and then famously advised reporters to "go home." He seems to have appointed himself, Solomon-like, as the arbiter of what the public ought to know. His time might have been better spent familiarizing himself with law enforcement's responsibilities to provide information and public records in a timely, free and open manner.

"This sure doesn't inspire confidence," said Peter Fox, Wisconsin Newspaper Association executive director, in an understatement. "There should be a policy of maximum disclosure, minimum delay in cases like this."

My emphasis.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Feel The Freedom

Feel the freedom to die without health insurance. How much lower can these asshole insurers go before the government steps in to insure everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions? It's way past time for a single payer system in this supposedly great & compassionate country.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Didn't Know

Not that it means anything, I don't know a lot of stuff. For example, I'm still not sure how Velcro works, although I understand my regular commenter, noneheroicvet, did ask a paramedic about it once. Anyway, had any of you, my loyal four readers, heard of this? Jeez Louise, even my sister, who's become happily (I hope) radically political in her 50's, sent me that Yes We Can YouTube. I am so, so ambivalent about a Sen. Clinton candidacy that I may require, ultimately, a kick in the ass as I enter the town hall to vote in November.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

What Do You Think?

Go read.

Who We Are?

JFK's dream has turned into this. Karen Hughes was doing what to improve our reputation overseas? I can understand why she retired again.
In an apparent violation of U.S. policy, Peace Corps volunteers and a Fulbright scholar were asked by a U.S. Embassy official in Bolivia "to basically spy" on Cubans and Venezuelans in the country, according to Peace Corps personnel and the Fulbright scholar involved.

You can also read the article in Spanish here.

Obey To Vote For Obama

No More Chair In Nebraska

Good. Now, if the whole practice of state sanctioned murder would be relegated to a museum, a museum of what a truly free people do not allow.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Great Cartoon

Sad country we've become.



John Sherffius
Feb 8, 2008

Low, Low Numbers

& he deserves even lower numbers, but there is no accounting for those in their double-wides voting against their own interests. Here's the first paragraph of an AP story about the latest (The Associated Press-Ipsos) poll on how worthless the American people think Bu$hCo is. Congress gets lousy numbers as well, the result, I believe, of not impeaching the son-of-a-bitch & making him accountable for all the evil criminality.
It's almost as if people can barely stand the thought of President Bush and Congress anymore. Bush reached his lowest approval rating in The Associated Press-Ipsos poll on Friday as only 30 percent said they like the job he is doing, including an all-time low in his support by Republicans.

History Is A Bitch

Especially when we have the internets or intertubes or whatever they are called. Kevin Drum ought to be truly ashamed. Via Atrios. I stopped reading Drum a long time ago. These so-called liberal hawks are no more than ReThug lite, much like the Clintons.
If your opposition to war is based on the idea that Saddam does indeed possess illegal weapons but it's best to leave him alone anyway, well and good. But if it's based on the idea that the administration is lying and none of this stuff exists, you should tread carefully. I think it's pretty likely you will be proven wrong shortly.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Yikes!

I'm sure the headline writer didn't mean it to sound this bad.
School bus drivers to be trained

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Force

Is in the kitty's eyes. This is the new kitty, Tab Benoit showing a Gordon Setter the power of the Demon Eyes.

Betrayal

I've been distracted as of late, & forgot to post about the 5th anniversary of Colin Powell Betrayal Day. That would have been yesterday, 2/5. If I'd have thought about it, which I did, albeit briefly, I probably would have made a mint julip & sat in the snow sipping it. It was warm up here yesterday, 30 degrees Farenheit above zero.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Heckuva Job, Bu$hCo

Talk about taking your eye off the ball.
Islamic insurgents are expanding their numbers and reach in Afghanistan and Pakistan, spreading violence and disarray over a vast cross-border zone where al Qaida has rebuilt the sanctuary it lost when the United States invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.
....
"Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan," warned an Atlantic Council of the United States report last week. The report was directed by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, the former top NATO commander. "What is happening in Afghanistan and beyond its borders can have even greater strategic long-term consequences than the struggle in Iraq."
....
"The Taliban in Afghanistan now control more of the country than at any time since 2001, and their confederates in the tribal areas of Pakistan are expanding their operations almost day by day. While our attention has been diverted by Iraq, we've overlooked a potentially far more serious threat to the security of all Americans," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del., told McClatchy.

My emphasis. How come there are no questions concerning this from the press? How come nobody is asking the candidates about this? I guess it's not as interesting as, well, you know what I mean. Feeling safer yet?

Whew

Great Lakes hit by deadly quakes

I was a bit nervous when I read that headline. Then I went & read the article. The Brits ought to know that there are only one Great Lakes, but they did elect Tony Blair, so that could explain it.

There Will Be Blood

Well, hopefully not in northern Wisco, but we should all read or re-read Upton Sinclair's Oil. Via Fighting Bob, we get something I didn't know about, a proposal from Superior, Wisco's, Murphy Oil. Melissa Malott has the goods on this disaster that will, without strong opposition, happen. This is what occurs when our national leadership on energy is directed by oilmen, & I mean men. This is why dipshit Dick "Dick" Cheney wouldn't let the American people, the people who pay him, remember, the people didn't elect him, a corrupt right-wing Supreme Court did that, know who was "advising" him on energy policy. Here's a bit of the article.
This expansion would significantly increase the size of the refinery, and Murphy has stated that its proposals involve filling 400 acres of wetlands, the largest wetlands fill since the passage of the Clean Water Act.

Murphy is planning to withdraw 5 million gallons per day of water from Lake Superior, approximately 2.5 million of which will be lost to evaporation. Clean Wisconsin has not yet been able to obtain details on any increases in air or water pollution, but we found that Murphy has a track record of noncompliance with air and water laws. In the early 2000s, Murphy was prosecuted for violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and "withheld information knowingly and intentionally" from the Wisconsin DNR regarding its permits.

My emphasis. Go read the rest & it appears we must get organized, one more time.

Newspapers In Trouble

Via Shutterwi, who is out fishing the big lake this p.m. with some of my equipment. I, as y'all know, am still boycotting ice fishing since I do not have a snow machine to get me out & back. Anyway, he turned me on to this piece on the decline of the newspaper. It's a good read & hits, I think, many of the problems with the business. I love my computer & read a lot of papers on-line each day. I buy the local fish wrapper just about every day & buy the nearest big city's Sunday paper. I'm not sure that the money I spend on those local papers is worth it, but I'll continue doing it because I believe their existence means something & someday maybe, who knows baby they'll be worthwhile again.
-The biggest problem, of course, had nothing to do with the newsrooms. It was the collapse of an unsustainable business model. Simply put, the model involved sending miniskirted saleswomen out to sell ads at confiscatory rates to lecherous old car dealers and appliance-store owners. Protecting these profits, whether from national, local or classified ads, became the central focus of newspaper bosses. These areas were the most vulnerable to new competitors. But the condition of the industry by the 1990s – risk averse, promising unrealistic margins, losing its best talent, ignoring ideas outside its preconceived notions – left it unable to meet these threats.

That would be about right.

Two In A Row

Tiger Woods wins in Dubai. I was remiss in not posting his win last weekend. I'll try to do better, since a win for Tiger is a win for me, you know, the vicarious thrill of victory & the agony of my feet.

Happy Mardi Gras

Very Early Sunday Morning Frost Blogging



Saturday, February 02, 2008

Abused Dogs

Some of Michael Vick's dogs are being rehabbed. Many are dead, some by Vick's own hand. This has to be among the most disgusting episodes ever involving a sport's icon. Dog fighting is just beneath contempt, but it fits into the sad section of America's need to kill & win.

Alabama - The Newest Member Of America's Gulag

Disgusting. The racism never left Alabama, it just became the Republican Party battle plan. Where's Mukasey? Oh, I forget Sen. Schumer & Sen. Feinstein, I'm sure he's doing something honorable.

Fee Of The Future

Another drowning victim, 911 in Ventura, CA. WTF? So much for serving & protecting. If you don't pay for the service monthly, you will be charged $50 for each 911 call you make. & you can bet that the city's insurance company will recommend that the city reject any claims for wrongful death. Feeling safer yet?

Missing Mardi Gras


I miss the warm & damp Mardi Gras parades that I went to while The Kid lived in New Orleans. For a northern boy, anytime it rains & it's warmer than 50 degrees Farenheit, it is truly a party. & I've got the pics to prove it, although y'all will have to become, well, dead if I showed them to you. Here's a little factual info concerning the Mardi Gras colors:
The green tucked neatly into the middle of Carnival's official trio of colors symbolizes faith. (Purple stands for justice; gold for power. And if you didn't know these three colors, my friend, you need some serious bead remediation courses and another slice of king cake.)

Reason 1,299 Gazillion On Why I'm A Liberal, Dirty, Fucking Hippie

When I read stories like this, I get a lump in my throat & anger in my head. The Twins took their parents to the hair event & The Son-In-Law had his head shaved in support of Fred. My anger stems from the war-mongering part of our national identity that we cannot resist. We waste so much money on the military, while starving the research that could lead to a cure for kids like Fred, or, frankly, my father who died 20 years ago. & Bu$hCo is a prime example of willful ignorance about both science & the potential of the human species to live in peace. Killing will never bring peace.

Stooopid Groundhog

More winter. & I still don't have a snowmobile.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Let It Go Already

But it was the blasted crooked refs.

My Friend Al

Looks like The Kid's bumper sticker is having the desired effect. Al Franken, that would be my friend Al, leads Norm Coleman, R-Asshat, by about 3 points. Franken also leads all the other Dems in the MN race. In fact, Franken is the only Dem to be ahead of the Asshat. I'm glad. Go give Mr. Franken some love.

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.