Tuesday, February 28, 2006

FEMA Mardi Gras Float

For my loyal commenter, nonheroicvet.


But no one was clapping for one. Sick bastard, that Bu$hCo.

"'U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the White House beginning more than two years ago that the insurgency in Iraq had deep local roots, was likely to worsen and could lead to civil war, according to former senior intelligence officials who helped craft the reports"

Clarification: No one with a heart or a mind was clapping.

SideKick, Say It Ain't So

"Memorial service for Butler to be held Thursday"
Oh, sorry, wrong Butler.

"Let Those Who Ride Decide"

I've written a couple of posts about the idiotic embarassment that is South Dakota. I suppose I'll need to boycott the state if this stupid infringement of freedom is passed. No more pheasants, no more Mt. Rushmore, no more Crazy Horse, & sadly, now that I actually have a ride, no more Sturgis. Several years ago, while returning from a trip to Mexico to visit Mrs. coldH2O's uncle, & to celebrate the kid's high school graduation, we took the return trip through Sturgis, blissfully unaware that it was THE time to be in S.D. It was, well, fucking amazing. Bikers & bikes up the wazoo. & while I didn't have the disease back then, I believe I may have been infected during those couple of days. Up until that time, my whole idea of Sturgis was from a former Boy Scout leader, yes, yes, I know. He had been a biker in his youth & had gone to Sturgis for the racing & other competitions. What I remember so distinctly was that he told us that the guys with the coolest, cleanest, most chromed bikes were black people from Milwaukee & Chicago. Looking back, what a wonderful thing to have learned in Northern Wisco*, not to mention in the contemptible Boy Scouts. & during that trip with the family in the mid-1990s, the one billboard I remember said "Let Those Who Ride Decide" - yes, it was about abortion. Ironic, eh? & now in a state where they let a murderer serve a 100 days, we now get these idiots denying over half the population the right to their own bodies. Now this will be challenged & thanks to NARAL & Planned Parenthood, who both stood by extremely passively during the Alito mess, Roe will problably be history. All these morons in S.D. ought to be made to have a colonoscopy with a coathanger.

*It may be that a friend ENK, from the, temporarily, we hope, state of California, has trademarked this abbreviation of our home state of Wisconsin.

Ned Lamont

Another small step towards democracy. All these small steps, Brown-OH, Tester-MT, Lamont-CT might just get us moving in the right direction.

More Amur Tiger

I'm still reeling from the intense, but apparently not successful, anti-term limit blogging of last weekend. So to start this Tuesday. This Fat Tuesday. This Mardi Gras. I'd celebrate at The Black Cat, but you know, the owner refuses to install WiFi, so I must abstain until she comes to her senses. Sadly, however, I'm not going to hold my breath. I did have a pleasant lunch yesterday with my favorite barista & a couple of other regulars at a new place. The food was great. So on to the tiger. Oh, oh, tigers & cute tigers at that.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Yee Haw

Pony up.

Mardi Gras Indians

One of the coolest traditions of Mardi Gras continues, with help from friends. Good.

"Last Monday, Boudreaux and Davis sat at a table in Tipitina's waiting to release more than 170 pounds of large plumes, 4 pounds of two-tone dyed plumes, 3 pounds of quills and 905 links of marabou to 88 Indians.

And Mardi Gras Indian costume traditions don't come cheap.

'It cost probably around $500 per Indian, plus taxes,' said Lisa Tracy of Jefferson Variety, who organized the orders. At one point, Davis said, Tracy called him to say he had to stop taking orders -- not because of the cost, he said, but because she didn't know where else to find more plumes in time for Mardi Gras.

'I am telling you, there is not one plume left in America, we got them all,' Davis said. 'Everyone came together to help one another, respect each other's situation and work to get things done. This one project is an example of how New Orleans can come back.'"

Bu$hCo Down?

Froomkin quotes Karen Tumulty, of Time Magazine.

"'The closest thing to a working political antenna at the White House these days may be the one on Dan Bartlett's car radio. Congressional anger over President George W. Bush's decision to allow a Dubai-owned company to operate terminals at major U.S. ports had been at a low boil for days before the White House got its first inkling of the furor: Bartlett, the presidential counselor, happened to tune in to conservative talk-show host Michael Savage on the way home from work.'"

James Wolcott

Go read.

"Iraq 3.0: This Time We're Not Dicking Around."

I'm Tired

tired of waiting for you, so I'm going to pull a 'the kid' & take a shower before I go exercise. That's how out of it I am today. Later.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Deep Do-Do

Even Atrios is a bit down-in-the-mouth today. Given the earlier discussion of term limits, term limits? I mean WTF? Term limits are so 1990s & we're reduced to arguing about them today. This is what Bu$hCo has wrought. I don't think, however, that it is as tough as iron, so we will, in the long run, prevail. That's the way we need to see it, the long run. Granted, this is not the country I envisioned as a youngster, as I've stated many times before, but we do have politicians like Sanders & Boxer,among others, who are worth supporting & working with. I do want the revolution as Ms. Susie says, I need to keep remembering what the prize is & it's something I used to take for granted - freedom. & boy, do I feel naive just thinking about that. Time for more legal condiments, if you know what I mean.

From Atrios:

"Reed Hundt talks about what should be done on Iraq. Such discussions are fine as think pieces but they ignore the basic reality: George Bush is president, Republicans in congress have abdicated their power and are merely presidential sycophants and no 'responsible Republicans' are going to come forward to save us, George Bush admits no mistakes and thus cannot change course, Donald Rumsfeld is still Secretary of Defense, the Democrats are still frightened of the war as a political issue.

So, we stay the course."
Emphasis added.

From Ms. Susie:

There is nothing in your life more important right now than fighting this regime. Our country and the values we hold dear are imploding. There are lives in the balance, and you can’t wait for someone else to do something. Either you join the Resistance, or you’re part of the Vichy regime.

Start small, but goddamnit, start! Turn your friends on to blogs, or write one yourself. Don’t back down when a wingnut makes a public assertion in line at the supermarket: challenge their immoral insanity. Write letters to the editor, call talk radio, sign petitions. Become an advocate and pay your dues in the fight against the forces of global destruction. There are many wonderful groups that offer political training, and it’s cheap. (My best friend is off at a Democracy for America training this very weekend.) Affiliate with likeminded citizens, because there’s more power in the network than there is in one lonely individual. Go to your local Drinking Liberally, or start one yourself. Join hands - and join forces.

We are the body politic. And this mess ain’t going to fix itself.
Emphasis added.

Oh, & BTW, it doesn't look like my man Jeff Gordon is going to win the NASCAR race. Things aren't well.

Please, Release Me, Let Me Go

You know, I don’t know quite what to say. I thought we were discussing term limits. Apparently, we weren’t. The SideKick has yet to answer any of the points I made concerning the fact that term limits will to nothing to alleviate the problems we are facing. He responds be asking me a series of questions that do not address the question of term limits. & I might add, dear SideKick, they are ‘Do you still beat your wife?” type questions. So I’ll answer them as follows:

1. No, yes.
2. I agree with you.
3. I agree with you.
4. I agree with you.
(How am I doing so far?)
5. Yes.
6. Another election cycle.
7. I’m not going to live forever.
8. Oh, I don’t know, a lot, I suppose?
9. The next election cycle. Maybe.
10. I don’t think this is a question, but I agree.
11. I agree with you.
12. I agree with you.
(So why do you stick with this idea?)
13. No question, but if you, yourself, don’t think it’s going to happen, why are you spending so much energy defending it?
14. I disagree. Bernie Sanders election to the Senate will be an incremental step of huge proportions. & whatever you think of the Brown/Hackett fiasco in Ohio, the incremental step of electing Brown will be great.
15. Are you suggesting an armed insurrection?
16. This isn’t even part of the discussion. They are limited to two terms. Although it is true that Cheney could theoretically run for office again, I doubt that he will, even without the gunning down of the old guy situtation.
17. I really don’t understand this question. Arguments against Bush/Cheney=term limits. What the hell is that supposed to mean?
18. I agree with you. Forget them, it’s a band aid approach that has no real meaning.
19. The “sun’s” the correct usage here, it’s a contraction - "sun is". I hope your camera has a glitch or something else that will limit your term outside, since I am in here watching NASCAR & working on this post.

Darren McGavin R.I.P.

Merry Xmas. If there is ever a marathon of his famous Xmas movie, the kid would watch every minute, tape it, & burn it to a DVD.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My Favorite Animal #3

The Amur Tiger

Sadly, this great beast's term is about to be permanently limited. Send your positive vibes, your good thoughts, your goddamned money to any organization dedicated to preserving our wild, non-human brethren. Remember, Bu$hCo is taking care of our security. Oh, sorry for the downer. Just look at the picture & you'll feel all better again.

Not The Last Word, Sadly

So, the SideKick isn'’t convinced. Now he'’s going to ruin a perfectly good lonely Saturday night. A Saturday night where I was going to watch some high class SciFi Channel movie about liquid rock, lava for the laywoman, invading New York City. I'’m not sure I'’ll ever be able to prove to the lovely & talented SideKick the error of his ways, he'’s a coaster after all, if you know what I mean. But I'’m Polish & Norwegian & German & Bohemian so here goes.

Going back to Mr. Greenblatt, & Maine, we note the following:
"“In 2003, the state created the Dirigo program, which seeks to provide universal health insurance coverage through subsidies to employer-based plans. But new legislators are already arguing about the complex law they inherited. A few months ago, some of them accused Governor John Baldacci'’s administration of pulling a fast one by imposing assessments on insurance companies. They hadn't been around when these particular charges had been negotiated through a long, drawn-out process in the legislature itself. "“That'’s a major issue that was fought over just two years ago,"” says Sharon Treat, a former Senate leader and sponsor of the program, now term-limited out. "You would have thought there would have been some awareness.""
Yes, "“some awareness"” would be a good thing when it comes to important things like health care. The new legislators didn'’t even have a decent short-term memory, much less the "“institutional memory"” required to actually do the people'’s business.

Another thing Mr. Greenblatt notes is that the power of legislatures, in general, has diminished. Now, before you chortle about how that'’s the point, consider this:
In other ways, though, the revolving-door system created by term limits has reduced the influence of the legislature itself. In particular, it has lost influence to the executive branch. One southern legislator-turned-lobbyist, who prefers not to be identified, says that he sometimes bypasses his state'’s legislature altogether, taking his clients' business directly to agency officials -— the people who actually know how to operate the machinery of government. "There are some legislators who know as much as agency people do, but they're few and far between and they'’ll be gone very quickly," he says. "“Agency heads are the true winners. They can outwait and outlast anyone and everyone on the playing field and they have consolidated their power.""“
So the influence of lobbyists, of money, is not replaced by the good intentions of all the Mr. Smiths sent to the capitol. Instead, civil servants, while doing yeoman's work & doing it honestly for the most part, are now the targets of the money. The influence of spin & deceit, the lobbyists stock-in-trade has not disappeared, it's just been refocused. & those who will now make & influence the decisions are absolutely not accountable to the voters. Plus, instead of just doing their jobs, now they must do their jobs & deal with lobbyists. How has this helped democracy? How has this made government more accountable? The obvious answers are: it hasn't helped & government is actually less accountable.

More Maine:
"Some governors have complained that lack of experience and expertise among legislators leaves them without strong negotiating partners. "“A lot of these issues have to be dealt with in consecutive legislatures," says Angus King, a former governor of Maine who initially supported term limits but came to disdain them after burning through four different speakers, including Rowe, during his eight years in office. "“They're very complex and if you always have to go back to square one, you never get anywhere.""“
Imagine, if you will, about going back to square one on all the important things in a life, whether it be taxes, transportation, child-rearing, you get the drift. It makes no sense to constantly go back to square one, particularly when it comes governance. Actually, it never makes sense to go back to square one. Unless, of course, strip bars are on the agenda.

Mr. Greenblatt again:
"“Still, almost everyone involved in the legislative process sees governors as big winners under term limits. In addition to their constitutional authority to sign and veto bills, governors in term-limited states control many top-level state jobs that legislators facing short stints will soon want. Whether it is a question of job ambitions, a shortage of information or sheer inexperience, the reality seems to be that legislators do a far less effective job of competing with governors for power once term limits take effect."
Now, just replace the word "“governors"” with "“presidents"” & you can see where this will lead. Look at how Bu$hCo has run rampant over the Bill of Rights & the Constitution. Imagine if he was dealing with a less effective Congress, or should I say, a Congress even more cowed than this one. Now, I am certainly not defending the present Congress. It has basically bent over & asked for more, even without a lubricant, while demanding nothing in return. & boy, are we getting nothing, nothing but a police state, a failed, vicious war, a demoralized populace. The point here is that the governors have much greater powers than their supposed equals in the legislatures. Talk about the unitary theory of the presidency. As mentioned earlier, see where that has got us at the present time.
"Still, it'’s not like the old days, when speakers in many states held sway for more than a decade, far outlasting governors. "“If leaders are there a short time, the idea of taking on the responsibility of preserving and protecting the institution is eroded,"” says Alan Rosenthal, of Rutgers University, who wrote a book about governors and legislatures as contending powers. "If the legislature and the governor are controlled by the same party, the legislature pretty much gives the governor whatever he wants - they view themselves as members of his team.""
Now, if you have nothing but derision & contempt for the institutions of government, then term limits are the way to go. If you want legislators to view themselves as just members of the governor'’s team, well then, winning the game is all that counts. & politics just becomes, as the mainstream media keeps pounding into our heads, nothing more than a game, a horse race, a tit-for-tat affair to discuss over cocktails in Georgetown or Bayfield or Whitefish Bay. That'’s Whitefish Bay, WI, not the Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior. It's all about winning & all the Mr. Smiths we will be sending to the capitol will soon just be mini-DeLays, mini-Abramoffs, etc.
"Talk to people who work in any state capitol where term limits exist - members, staff and reporters as well as lobbyists -— and you will encounter the nearly universal opinion that term limits are obstacles to careful legislation and effective oversight."
It'’s also true that the idea of term limits is still popular out away from the centers of politics. I believe it'’s because it's easy to bitch at politicians, I do it all the time. But I also believe in politics, in democracy, in elections. Limiting the terms of politicians appears to level the playing field, of showing contempt for lamaking with a better health plan than millions of Americans, for making more money than the average citizen. My answer to those weak arguments is that rather than drag these people down, we ought to be working hard to provide all Americans with comparable benefits. There is nothing wrong with a good health insurance plan, with a good paycheck. These are things we ought to aspire to, rather than complain about.

& while, presently, it may be impossible to prove that term limits have made legislatures less powerful, it'’s exactly what those in favor of term limits want. A lousy government, one unable to function without the powerful dear leader is apparently what the people deserve, at least according to those that support this attempt to truly strip citizens of their ability to govern themselves.

All the quotes in this post come from Mr. Greenblatt'’s article, linked to above. I'’m sure this is not the end, but hopefully, it will add to the growing evidence that shows how anti-democratic term limits are.

Here is one last word, & I know I'’ll never get the last word in on the SideKick, it'’s a really annoying habit of his. I am too poor to actually buy this article, but I am posting the abstract from the Journal of Politics.

“Term Limits, Professionalization, and Partisan Control in U.S. State Legislatures
Scott R. Meinke, Bucknell University
Edward B. Hasecke, Cleveland State University

As states across the country have adopted term limits provisions for their state legislatures, political scientists have analyzed how mass unseatings of incumbents are affecting legislative composition, capacity, and activity. Yet this reform may impact legislatures not only directly through forced retirements but also indirectly by changing the incentives to prospective candidates. Following hypotheses suggested by Fiorina (1994, 1996), we argue that term limits have changed the incentive structure for typical Democratic candidates in some legislatures. This change in incentives has, in turn, affected the partisan composition of statehouses just as the professionalization movement affected incentives and partisan composition a generation ago. We provide quantitative evidence that supports Fiorina's conjectures about term limits, suggesting that the presence of term limit provisions even before they take effect creates an environment that is less attractive to Democratic candidates.”
Emphasis added.

That, in & of itself, ought to give the SideKick pause. & while I was unable, thanks to the SideKick's sad obession, to watch the whole movie about a volcano destroying New York City, it appears a good looking young hottie saved the city with her knowledge of geology & her ovaries. Which were really something. Of course, she had to be ultimately saved from the tunnels of NYC by an equally hot guy with great biceps. No, I'm not drooling.

Don Knotts R.I.P.

Excuse me, I meant Barney Fife. I wonder if they'll bury him with his one bullet?

Warning: A Long Post

Y'all can thank the SideKick for this long post. The SideKick & I got into a quite heated argument this morning about his naive belief that term limits for members of Congress will actually accomplish anything. He ruined my day, since I now must sit in the living room of my home, the sun pouring in the windows from a 15° F day, ingest certain legal condiments & write this rebuttal to his bad idea. First off there’s this from the Arkansas News Bureau. Here’s a selection from the article:

“I certainly do not profess to be an expert on the Arkansas Legislature, but I have heard a few folks who make a living reporting the ins and outs at the state Capitol say that our state's legislative branch is in bad shape. I'm not completely sure what is meant by that dire appraisal.

“Both legislators and reporters claim that the body lacks the institutional memory it once had: Lawmakers waste a lot of time making the mistakes previous bodies made years ago.

“Another criticism is that lawmakers don't have enough time to learn the intricacies of the budgetary process, which doesn't allow them to make informed decisions.”
Emphasis added.

In fairness, the article concludes by saying that extending the time that legislators serve is probably not the answer. One other possible problem seems that the Arkansas legislators are not paid very well & the article correctly reasons that you get what you pay for.

Of course the SideKick has great company in the term limit arguement, Fred Barnes, for one. But Fred is given the following to chew on:

"...but I think we already have term limits in this country. They’re called elections. Every two, four or six years, the voters have the opportunity to replace every elected member of our government. If the American people aren’t exercising their sovereign franchise as often or as definitively as we’d like, then let’s get out there and change some minds. That’s how democracy works, even a purely representative democracy like ours.

"But the bigger problem with term limits is that it would shift the legislative power from the accountable to the unaccountable. Washington already runs on rails greased by the career staffers and lobbyists. Legislators who hold on to their offices learn to conduct the business of politics — “learn to play the game,” I could have said less optimistically — while retaining the approval of their constituents. Pulling these men and women out of Washington just when they’re gaining the experience necessary to become good legislators would tip the balance solidly in favor of the unelected D.C. establishment.

But what about the bad legislators, you ask? That brings us back to elections again. The people are the final arbiter of who gets to make the laws in this country. If they’re not doing the job, throw the bums out.

I think imposing term limits would be slapping a bandage on some very real challenges. Legislative ethics is a giant muddle; voter participation is embarrassingly low; the Washington bureaucracy is a Gordian knot of above-board and under-the-table deals. These things all need to be fixed. But slapping term limits on elected representatives wouldn’t solve those problems, and it would create a whole raft of new ones in the process."
Emphasis added.

In Maine, Alan Greenblatt notes, one of the big problems is the “orphan program”:

“Steven Rowe is a big proponent of early childhood interventions. He believes they can help reduce rates of mental illness, learning disability and, ultimately, criminal behavior. While serving as speaker of the Maine House six years ago, Rowe translated his ideals into a specific program, sponsoring legislation that expanded child care subsidies, provided tax breaks to businesses offering child care help to their workers and created a statewide home visitation network. When it came time for a vote, Rowe left his speaker’s rostrum for the first time to argue for it, saying, “I have never felt more strongly about a bill.”January cover
“With that kind of a push from the chamber’s top leader, it’s no wonder that his package passed by an overwhelming margin. It may have been Rowe’s most important accomplishment as a legislator. It was also one of his last. After eight years in the House, including two as speaker, he was forced out of office by the state’s term limits law. Rowe is now Maine’s attorney general — a good job, but one that doesn’t give him much leverage over the program he created. His cosponsors on the child care law aren’t in the legislature anymore, either. They have been term-limited out as well.
“In the absence of Rowe and his child care allies, funding for the package has already been slashed by a third, with more cuts likely to come. Plenty of programs have lost funding in recent years as Maine, like so many states, has suffered from fiscal shortfalls. But Maine, along with other term limit states, is experiencing an added phenomenon: the orphaned program, vulnerable to reduction or elimination because of the forced retirement of its champions. “We’re probably seeing more neglect because legislators aren’t there to babysit their own legislation,” says Renee Bukovchik Van Vechten, a political scientist at the University of Redlands, in California. “We’re seeing laws that need updating, and that’s the least sexy part of the job.”“
Emphasis added.

& more from the above:

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that short-term legislators aren’t prone to engage in long-term thinking.”
In California, researchers found that term limits had the following negative effects on the state legislature: the “new” legislators, while in some ways more female & minority populated, behaved much like their predecessors. Many of this “citizen legislators” simply run for another office once they reach the term limit imposed on them. The committees of the legislature report out fewer bills &”[T]he practice of ‘hijacking’ Assembly bills...has increased sharply.” There is less stability & expertise in the California legislature since the implementation of term limits. & here’s another item the report notes: “Special interest money still flows in roughly the same proportions to Senate and Assembly leaders and in ever-rising amounts; term limits have not eased the burden of fundraising in any way.”

Emphasis added.

& now let’s go to Ohio.

“Whoever said the cure can be worse than the disease could have been talking about term limits for those elected to political office.”
“In addition, knowing their time in office will be limited, no matter how good a job they do, can discourage individuals from running, especially those who are most qualified and may do the best job.”
“ More of today's legislators come from the political left or right, rather than the center where the views of most Ohioans tend to fall. That means many of those responsible for making our laws aren't in touch with the concerns and views of average Ohioans.” (Well, well, SideKick. What do you make of this?)
“Term limits have had another negative effect. With less time in office, legislators are less able to understand the long-term impact of such actions as underfunding education and the pressing need to reform Ohio's tax code as the state moves from a manufacturing-based economy to one that relies on research and service industries.”
Emphasis aded.

Had enough, oh venerable SideKick? Didn’t think so. On to Florida & this:

Term limits have done nothing to reduce the naked pursuit of power for ego's sake. The coup orchestrated 10 days ago to strip Miami Sen. Alex Villalobos of his designation as Senate president in 2008 proved that -- and more. If anything, term limits have made the obsession with political dealing worse.”
Emphasis added.

I could go on & on, but I think you get the picture. The term limit cry is simply red meat for those that really don’t believe in politics. They believe that the term professional politician is derogatory, rather than an expression of understanding the need for professionalism in politics. This doesn’t mean that a politician ought not stand up & speak truth to power. But it means that politics, like any other human activity, requires knowledge, time, & practice in order for it to become something. They believe that the past was somehow more pristine, more civil, less tainted by money. That, too, is a false perception & is fodder for another really long post.

Jeez Louise

& the big fool says to push on.

"The Bush administration said Friday it won't reconsider its approval for a United Arab Emirates company to take over significant operations at six U.S. ports. The former head of the Sept. 11 commission said the deal 'never should have happened.'"

Friday, February 24, 2006


Well, not the kind that make a great soup, but leaks by the White House. It's OK, of course, because whatever the President does is legal, but only if it's a ReThug President.

"Did the Bush administration “authorize” the leak of classified information to Bob Woodward? And did those leaks damage national security?"

Via susanhu who also has this to say at the Booman Tribune:

"One of my complaints about Sen. Rockfeller is that while his noblesse oblige is admirable, his style is too gentlemanly to deal with Bush's vicious rogue state. Would that Sen. Rockefeller would set aside the pen, and pound the table on every news show on every channel!

"And my overall complaint is that this is yet one more instance in which the White House thumbs its nose at the congressional branch. One under-discussed issue of the Port/Dubai brouhaha is that the White House is telling members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, to butt out. It's a pattern we here are all too familiar with.

"Really, Sen. Rockefeller. Drop the pen and shout to the high heavens. Stand on the steps of the Senate and speak directly into the cameras to the American people. Tell them we are in peril from a presidency that is decimating our system of government."

Emphasis added.


This analysis from the St. Petersburg Times is right on the money.

"'By the nature of our military operations, we have in a sense already lost the war,' said retired Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, a senior fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

'You misuse firepower and kill a bunch of civilians and they recruit more than you kill. That's why - despite the thousands of insurgents we claim to kill - the estimated strength has not gone down.'"

Emphasis added.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Favorite Animal #2

The Amur Tiger

Imagine meeting this guy in the woods of northern Wisco?

We Want Butler


Bush library

I'm real sure this 1 million dollar donation had nothing to do with the port security fiasco. Well, this is pretty transparent, isn't it?

Via BuzzFlash.

Otter, OK

Beaver, no. As most of my students, in my previous life, know, I hate beavers, destroyers of trout streams & bad examples for humans, too busy. But otters, on the other hand, are very cool, funny, inquisitive & good all around non-humans. This is an interesting find.

"But scientists are reporting today that they have uncovered fossils of a swimming, fish-eating mammal that lived in China fully 164 million years ago, well before it was thought that some mammals could have spent much of their lives in water.

The extinct species appears to have been an amalgam of animals. It had a broad, scaly tail, flat like a beaver's. Its sharp teeth seemed ideal for eating fish, like an otter's. Its likely lifestyle — burrowing in tunnels on shore and dog-paddling in water — reminds scientists of the modern platypus.

Its skeleton suggests that it was about 20 inches long, from snout to the tip of its tail, about the length of a small house cat."

Taylor Blogging

The things I do for biscuits. But, boy, I'm cute.

Yeah, Lot's Of Improvement

Will this resonate with the Beltway Dems? It's resonating in the rest of the country. Wake the hell up, Shumer, et.al.

"The average income of American families, after adjusting for inflation, declined by 2.3 percent in 2004 compared to 2001...."


James Wolcott

"As I post, President Bush is on Fox News delivering a speech in Indiana, looking jaunty and relaxed, repeating soundbites such as 'As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down' and working that Determined Jaw as if he were personally going to grind terrorists between his back molars. He has to repeat himself ad nauseum because if he paused to reflect on the harm he's done and the horror he's unleashed he'd collapse like a paper cup crushed beneath a boot."

Emphasis added. Yes, yes, given the marital issues revolving around certain napping tendencies, I would marry this man.


Via Eric Alterman. He also makes good points concerning the disapproval for the Viet Nam War, which at its highest was 61% He's also right, given all the lies from Bu$hCo, that the American people seem a bit more intellignt than the ReThugs give them credit for. Yes, it's a mistake.

"That figure now stands at 55%, up 4% point since late January. Only once before was the figure higher, at 59%, and that was during the period of overall pessimism right after Hurricane Katrina hit. "

Awful Responsibilities Of Marriage

Legal Napping

Illegal Napping

I Never Did Buy That Book

Look what I was missing.

"Hi, I'm George W. Bush, and do you want money from the Government?'"


I thought we wouldn't hold a Middle Eastern country to a different standard? What gives, Bu$hCo?

"But if that's true, doesn't it prove that Bush is completely out to lunch when it comes to actually leading this country? "

Emphasis added.
The elderly continue to get screwed by Bu$hCo & the lying liars just keep refusing to speak to anyone in America. Heckuva job.

"Since December, the US Department of Health and Human Services has repeatedly overstated the number of enrollees in the new Medicare prescription drug plan.

Yesterday, Mike Leavitt, secretary of health and human services, said more than 25 million people were receiving benefits under the program, called Part D, and that millions more are signing up monthly.

But according to Medicare's own figures, the actual number of voluntary enrollees is much smaller, about 5 million. Some of the 20 million other participants cited by Leavitt were automatically enrolled in Part D on Jan. 1. Others are counted as Part D enrollees, even though they receive coverage from former employers, unions, or the government.

Leavitt, through his press office, declined several requests for an interview."

Marine Corps Justice

Another example of what's wrong with America. No one's responsible for anything. ReThug values.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Please Release Me, Let Me Go

Does anyone in the Grantsburg, WI, law enforcement community have some fluency in the English language? Jesus, Curtis.

• Feb. 16, Ryan P. Wessels, 17, Grantsburg, was arrested and cited for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The car he was driving was rented when he was pulled over.

• Feb. 19, authorities are looking for Ted P. Sperling, 42, Danbury, for allegedly ramming his pick up truck into a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am outside the Last Cast Tavern in Danbury. Several witnesses said they witnessed him ramming into the car. Once arrested, he will be charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

• Feb. 19, the rear window of a 97 Ford Mustang was reported damaged at the victim’s home in Siren. The victim and his friend told authorities a call came in to look at the car outside. A name was given to authorities who is said to have broken the window after an earlier altercation with the suspect’s car. No arrests have been made and the incident is under investigation. The suspect’s last name, address and phone number were unknown.

• Feb. 12, Donald R. Osbourne, 50, Webster, was arrested and charged with domestic disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. Following a fight with his wife, he punched a hole in the home, causing some concern about his safety.

Via PZ Myers. This is a great science blog, among other things. Plus he's from MN.

Go Do This

I did. Via Atrios. Attention any Duluth Clinic Ashland members of the United Steel Workers, Here's a way to help your brothers & sisters, not only in Texas, but everywhere. Go do it. Thanks in advance.


Via The All Spin Zone.

"Dolores tried to give Bush a sense of what type of person Erik had been. She described her son as a “comedian” whose favorite saying was, “Life is good.” The president replied, “How do you know his life would have been good?”"

Roger Ailes, No Not That Roger Ailes

But the good, the pure, the rageful Roger Ailes. Go read of more stupidity spewing from the mouths of, well, OK, morons. I, too, used to be a ray of fucking sunshine before the goddamned internets got their claws into my brain.

Civil War?

This attack could bring on a civil war. Not to be too much of a nitpicker, but, where in the hell was/is the after victory planning? I mean, for Christ's sake, even I have a plan for spending my lottery winnings. Why do people continue to insist that Bu$hCo knows what he's doing? Feeling safer yet?

"Insurgents dressed as police commandos detonated powerful explosives this morning inside one of Shiite Islam's most sacred shrines, destroying most of the building, located in the volatile town of Samarra, and prompting thousands of Shiites to flood into streets across the country in protest.

The golden-domed shrine housed the tombs of two revered leaders of Shiite Islam and symbolized the place where the Imam Mahdi, a mythical, messianic figure, disappeared from this earth. Believers in the imam say he will return when the apocalypse is near, to cleanse the world of its evils."

Mutant Chickens

Something for the IDers to chew on.

"Harris, who is now at a research institute in Germany, and a team of researchers from Madison and the University of Manchester in England have discovered teeth in a mutant line of chickens."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My Favorite Animal

The Amur Tiger

Hoo Boy

Who the hell does know what's going on here? Or, maybe, lying liars & the lies they tell?

"UPDATE: Donald Rumsfeld, as Secretary of Defense, is a member of Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. As such, he was one of the people who, according to the Treasury Department, unanimously approved the sale on February 13. How could do that when he didn’t even find out about the sale until last weekend?"

It Gets Better

Stupid Little Ricky, R-Corrupt, has more trouble. Will Bunch is doing some great reporting here. Why can't the MSM follow suit? I suppose it would jeopardize their million dollar beach homes where they sit on over-priced furniture snickering about the working class.

"A review of federal tax returns filed by the foundation for 2001, 2002, and 2003 shows that the charity spent just 35.9 percent of the nearly $1 million raised on its charitable grants, while spending 56.5 percent on expenses like salaries, fund-raising commissions, travel, conference costs, and rent. Charity experts say that charitable groups should spend at least 75 percent of their money on program grants, and that donors should beware of organizations that spend as little as Santorum'’s has.

'The majority of organizations are able to meet that 75 percent figure,' says Saundra Miniutti of Charity Navigator, a watchdog group. Without addressing Santorum's charity specifically, she noted that nonprofits spending in the range of just one-third on programs are “extremely inefficient.'”"

It Keeps Going #3948

I guess this means were winning. Just crap.

"At least 22 people have been killed and 30 injured in a car bombing at a market in southern Baghdad, Iraqi police say."

ReThug Rick Santorum Has A Bit Of A Problem

Will Bunch has an excellent article on some potentially shady dealings by the senator form Pennsylvania. & this is the guy that supposed to be writing the new "ethics" rules for the Senate. Pity the fool who falls for this one.

"What was curious was the source of the increased mortgage. It was a new private bank catering to “affluent investors and institutions” -- whose officers have contributed $24,000 to Santorum’s political action committees and re-election campaign -- called Philadelphia Trust Company.

Rick and Karen Santorum do not appear to fit the profile of customers to whom the financial institution would normally issue a loan of any kind. According to information currently posted on Philadelphia Trust’s Web site, banking services “are offered at no additional charge to our clients” and “are available only to investment advisory clients whose portfolios we manage, oversee or administer. Interest rates on loans and deposits are competitive. Loan payments will be customized to match each client’s specific needs. Approved loans will be collateralized by your investment portfolio.”

Santorum’s financial disclosure forms filed with the clerk of the Senate show that he has never maintained an investment portfolio with Philadelphia Trust. For that matter, the senator would hardly fit the profile of the “affluent investor” that the Philadelphia bank seeks -- namely, people with investment assets of at least $250,000. On his 2002 disclosure form, Santorum listed liquid assets, primarily retirement accounts and life insurance, in a range no greater than $140,000."

More Abuse

Via Atrios there's this further chilling of public inquiry. Reported by In These Times.

"Sometimes it’s the small abuses scurrying below radar that reveal how profoundly the Bush administration has changed America in the name of national security. Buried within the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is a regulation that bars most public access to birth and death certificates for 70 to 100 years. In much of the country, these records have long been invaluable tools for activists, lawyers, and reporters to uncover patterns of illness and pollution that officials miss or ignore.

The draft lays out how some 60,000 already strapped town and county offices must keep the birth and death records under lock and key and report all document requests to Washington. Individuals who show up in person will still be able to obtain their own birth certificates, and in some cases, the birth and death records of an immediate relative; and “legitimate” research institutions may be able to access files. But reporters and activists won’t be allowed to fish through records; many family members looking for genetic clues will be out of luck; and people wanting to trace adoptions will dead-end. If you are homeless and need your own birth certificate, forget it: no address, no service.

Consider the public health implications. A few years back, a doctor in a tiny Vermont town noticed that two patients who lived on the same hill had ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Hearing rumors of more cases of the relatively rare and always fatal disease, the doctor notified the health department. Citing lack of resources, it declined to investigate. The doc then told a reporter, who searched the death certificates filed in the town office only to find that ALS had already killed five of the town’s 1,300 residents. It was statistically possible, but unlikely, that this 10-times higher-than-normal incidence was simply chance. Since no one knows what causes ALS, clusters like this one, once revealed, help epidemiologists assess risk factors, warn doctors to watch for symptoms, and alert neighbors and activists."

Well, if you're homeless, you're obviously not enough of an American. Emphasis added.

Give Us A Break

After a life time of work, couldn't these guys give a person a few years to enjoy the results of their labors?

"The age of retirement should be raised to 85 by 2050 because of trends in life expectancy, a US biologist has said."

Promises, Promises

Digby is so right about this. It's really hard to understand what's going through the heads of Emmanuel & Shumer. No one believes the great conciliator crap anymore. Just come into any small town & hear the politics. The ReThugs have created this mess, & now they want to whine about it. Sleep in the bed you've made, morons. & it's time for the Democrats & other progressives to wake the hell up about partisonship. How's that ANWR vote working out for you Mary Landrieu, Mary Landrieu?

"The grassroots of the Democratic Party see something that all the establishment politicians have not yet realized: bipartisanship is dead for the moment and there is no margin in making deals. The rules have changed. When you capitulate to the Republicans for promises of something down the road you are being a fool. When you make a deal with them for personal reasons, you are selling out your party. When you use Republican talking points to make your argument you are helping the other side. When you kiss the president on the lips at the state of the union you are telling the Democratic base that we are of no interest or concern to you. This hyper-partisanship is ugly and it's brutal, but it is the way it is. "

Emphasis added.

What To Say?

Nothing much surprises me anymore, in regards to Bu$hCo & how he's flushing this country down the toilet. This ruling by a judge apparently falls into the category of interpreting the law, not making it. Well, it makes me sick.

"This is the 'democracy' and 'freedom' that the United States seeks to impose on other nations by means of military force, bombing, death and devastation, even on nations that represent no threat to us.

And the defenders of this administration and of these policies still wonder 'why they hate us'? Here's a simple clue for those who insist on such massive denial even at this late date: it's not because of 'who we are.' It's because of what we do. That is much more than sufficient reason."

Via Atrios.

Second Place

Outsourcing ice dance? Jeez, who knew?

Few Biologists

Rubes is too good a word, babe, so I'll just say morons!

"Some said they read the Bible literally and doubt not only evolution but also findings of geology and cosmology that show the universe and the earth to be billions of years old."


I guess we're just too immature a democracy to handle the truth.

"In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents that were available for years, including some already published by the State Department and others photocopied years ago by private historians."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yes, I Hate Eggplant

It’s interesting that as the progressive left is standing up & just not taking it anymore, the ReThugs & their minions have come up with this: the angry, full of hate, liberal. Frankly, I don’t understand this. We refuse to be docile in the face of the unprecedented assault by Bu$hCo on the Bill of Rights, on the very Constitution that has served us for some time now. The response from the right is that we are angry, that we are full of hate. Well, I guess I do hate: I hate the way Bu$hCo has abandoned the people of the Gulf Coast, the people of New Orleans in particular; I hate that Bu$hCo is illegally wiretapping American citizens; I hate that over 2,300 service men & women have been killed in Iraq, a war of choice, not necessity. I suppose I could go on, but what’s the point. The ReThugs will just continue to claim we’re angry & hateful, but never respond to our posts in any meaningful manner. Actually, who cares? The ReThugs have so polarized America, that there may never again be a broad, middle ground. I think that may be a good thing. I mean, which side are you on? Are you “a union man, or a thug for J.H. Blair?” I fear that some good-hearted progressives, afraid of shooting themselves in the foot, will again make the world safe for the worst tendencies of capitalism. In other words, a Democratic candidate who supports the selling of all female uteri to the state is better than a ReThug candidate who also loves sales. Well, no. There are lots of good organizations & people out there who need & deserve money. The morons of the DLC & the Democratic leadership in Washington apparently don’t need the energy or money from the progressives, so why send either? So, do I hate? Do I hate Bu$hCo? Well, yes. I also hate eggplant. I have never had an ulcer, however & my blood pressure, while never sky high, is now under control thanks to the meds & my colesteral is at 92, thanks to meds. I’m in my second week of an exercise program & spring seems to be coming (it’s 30 degrees F today, much better than the 20+ below last weekend). You can accuse me of being hateful all you want, but, frankly, I don’t give a damn.

More Washington Post

Here's more on the fiasco that is the Washington Post. This goes with the post below.

"“We allowed ourselves to be used by leakers, and we gave people cover — and encouraged their underhanded methods — by constantly quoting people anonymously.”"

Emphasis added.


Beerhunter. This just won't go away. Good for us.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Mrs. Howell, Mr. Brady & Me

I emailed the Washington Post concerning Mrs. Howell's, the ombudsman, lie concerning Jack Abramoff. She stated that he had given money to both the ReThugs & Democrats. She never corrected her column & Jim Brady, who runs(?) the Washingtonpost.com. website shut down the news blog when people, like me, overwhelmed the comments section by demanding that the Post correct the record. As I pointed out earlier, they never have. He claimed he shut the blog down because of extremely foul language, language that was directed at the sensitive Mrs. Howell. Atios posted an interview with the very same Mrs. Howell that contained several swear words of varying degrees of intensity. I emailed Mr. Brady twice, with the interview attached, & the words highlighted, since I was sure he is a busy man. I asked if the highlighted words were the ones that would keep a comment from being printed. He did not respond. I emailed him a third time & he did respond. Here is his response:

Feb 17 (2 days ago)


Thanks for your note. I don't want us to provide a list of profane words that can't be used; I just assume people will have a pretty good sense of what falls into that category. As for Deborah using profanity at some point, I guess I'm not sure what relevance that has in this debate. Deborah doesn't run the web site, I do. And I don't want to allow that type of language on the site. Heck, I curse in my personal life all the time -- how can I not, I'm a Jets fan -- but that's different than rules for a public forum.

Jim Brady

Well, I'm a Packer fan, but I'm not sure how that is relevant either, except for the fact that we've won 3 out of4 Super Bowls. I have to admit, it's a pretty lame excuse. Anyway, read the interview & tell me how in the world the sensitive Mrs. Howell, yes, I do see Lovey in my head when I type that name, can even be remotely offended by anything anyone could say. She pretty much covers it all. The problem is that the Washington Post is carrying water for the Bu$hCo administration. See Mrs. Howell's column in today's WaPo, as an example. What's so weird about this is that she's supposed to be the Post's ombudsman, responsive to the readers, not to the Bu$hCo coup. What the hell is the deal with the Post? Someone tell me. Mr. Brady did not.

Save the Greater Yellowstone

Go here & do something good for yourself today. Hat tip to Mrs. coldH2O.

Pretty Funny

I think this is exactly what happens at Northland College, our relatively non-environmental local instutution of higher indoctrination. Full disclosure: Mrs. coldH2O sits on a committee of Northland College. Anyway, click on the link & read all of Berube's post.

"The process all starts with the captivity, really. As you know, Sean, in America, students are assigned to their universities by the Federal Education and Re-education Committee. Once they arrive on campus, they are subjected to a rigorous system of mandatory coursework. We like to call it “basic training,” and let me tell you, the foreign language requirements are especially punitive. Now, the FERC records tell of a student who tried, in 1988, to “choose” an “elective” course at a Big Ten university. That student was sentenced to twenty years in the Nevada silver mines, where she works today. And I don’t think I have to tell you what happens to undergraduates who violate curfew!"

My Friend Al Franken

has started a progressive PAC. It's called Midwest Values PAC. Click on the link to find out more & donate. Remember, 5 or 10 dollars to MVP means the ReThugs will sleep a bit more fitfully. & if they're a bit cranky in the a.m., well, so much the better & we can ruffle their chickhawk feathers quicker.

Via The Sideshow.


What's with the air, water, brains in South Dakota? A mobile drunk is a dangerous drunk. While these morons pass fascist laws on women's reproductive rights, they think it's just fine to be drunk on a bike or horse. Jesus.

"In 2005, the South Dakota legislature passed five laws restricting abortion, after a bill to ban abortion outright had failed by one vote in 2004. And new laws are virtually assured for the coming year. A 17-member abortion task force, made up largely of staunch abortion opponents, issued recommendations to the legislature earlier this month that included some of the most restrictive requirements for abortion in the country."

Lon Chaney

Interesting piece in today's LA Times Magazine.

"Since Chaney's private life was just that, the rare personal glimpses of him by contemporaries are revered by devotees as if they were splinters from the true cross. Biographers argue over whether there was any hidden darkness in Chaney, and use words such as 'withdrawn,' 'secretive,' 'uncommunicative' and 'dour.' Yet as always, there is considerable evidence to the contrary as well. Though he likely was, as 'Phantom' cinematographer Charles Van Enger said, 'one person that you did not want to see mad,' he was also something of an instinctive socialist who once refused to work overtime because it would have cheated the film's extras of one more day's pay. Young actresses he worked with, such as his 'Hunchback' co-star Patsy Ruth Miller, invariably remembered him as 'extremely kind, thoughtful and protective.'"

Emphasis added.

Thanks Ronnie, Tommy, & Bu$hCo

When I went to UW-Madison, yes, back in the day, I paid about $2,000 a year & that included living in the dorm, meals, books, tuition, & $50 a month spending money. My Dad made $8,000 the year I went to college & was only able to help me that first semeste. My Mom had started a job as a secretary. It's really lousy that after 16 years of Tommy Thompson, this is his legacy. The ReThugs have made class an issue by actions like this & I sure hope that something is done about it, & soon. A great university, who can generate donations, ought to be serving the people, not being served by them. No one making $8,000, or its equivalent in contemporary dollars, could even think about attending this school.

"Yet in 2004, a mere 8% of the freshman class at UW-Madison, the flagship institution, came from families making less than $30,000 a year, while more than 30% came from families making more than $92,000 a year. The median family income of freshmen was $72,000 - almost twice that of the state.

'Founded to be an engine of economic productivity, the UW-Madison threatens to become an engine of economic and social inequality,' a committee of UW-Madison faculty and staff said in a scathing report last year.

'The disappearance of low-income students from the UW-Madison threatens to exacerbate the growing gulf between the haves and the have-nots.'"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Speaking Of...

Butler! Minus 20 F. ought to be great penguin weather, but I suppose the dog got in the way.


"The first episode of speedskating's soap opera ended Saturday with Shani Davis of the United States skating around Oval Lingotto wearing a big smile, with a largely Dutch crowd standing and applauding a spectacular gold-medal-winning performance in the 1,000 meters."

Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart

The NRA just loves them some armor piercing guns. Can't ban these, right boys? It would lead to a slippery slide into a police state, oh, nevermind, we're already in a police state.

"The Boston Police Department is sounding the alarm that a new type of high-powered handgun is on the streets that fires rounds police say can pierce many kinds of bulletproof vests worn by officers."


The geezers are coming, the geezers are coming. Can the SideKick be far behind? We'll keep you posted.

Do Not Resuscitate

The way slower, the better, in this case.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me

I thought Bu$hCo claimed his numero uno job was to protect the American people? Oh, sorry, I was wrong again. I should have learned from Katrina, the American people, except for the rich, are on their own. Bu$hCo could care less. What a moron.

"An influenza pandemic is inevitable and local communities will be on their own when it hits because federal and state governments will have their hands full, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt warned yesterday."

It's inevitable, but there's nothing we can do about it. Now that's some great planning.

Business Ethics

Of course, it's the welfare cheats we must really worry about, not the hardworking creators of jobs. Seven years is not nearly enough, but we will lock up marijuana smokers for life. Quite a system we have here.

"It was only later - after his wife's medical bills had reached $146,000 - that Konieczny realized his family had no coverage. Instead of putting employees' contributions toward their health insurance premiums, former Badger Die owner Steven E. Whiting was using the money to pay himself exorbitant bonuses and to buy himself a $1.3 million airplane, federal prosecutors said."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Minimum Wage

How'd this guy slip through the Bu$hCo litmus test?

"So there we have it folks - a conservative Republican Federal Reserve Chairman, nominated by a conservative Republican president, acknowledges that the right-wing's rhetoric about minimum wage is a lie. Enough said."


So it's cold outside. I was going to do some witches, cold witches, but, I'm still enamored with Cheney & quail. So here you go.

Yes, switchgrass again.

Friday Random Ten

TBogg is way cool, I mean, who else could Bassett Hound blog & get away with it. But, come now, after this Random Ten, I must sleep with the coolest guy, at least in these parts, & that would be me. Sorry Mr. TBogg. Although, Ms. Madrak should not despair, just keep hitting the shuffle & buy all the music in the world & then put it on all the iPods you can afford. But she's right in a way, we must honor those among us who are almost too cool for words.

Louisiana Sunrise - Tab Benoit
Hell In Harlem - Anders Osborne
No Place To Go - R.L. Burnside
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise - Jess Stacey
Democracy - Leonard Cohen
Eh Las Bas - Dr. John
Two's A Crowd - Shemekia Copeland
Wild Tchoupitoulas - Los Hombres Calientes
Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand - Ray Charles
I Hear You Knocking - Smiley Lewis

Bonus Track:
That Mellow Saxophone - Cyrille Neville

Latitude 46.3N and Longitude -90.77W

It's after Valentine's Day & winter is here. We had a mini-blizzard last night, 6 inches of snow & today it's bright sunshine & as the kids used to say, colder than a witch's tit. Now which witch is the question. Maybe some Photoshop musings later on, if you know what I mean.

& I'm Not Even Religious

This was the last church I ever plan on visiting. Mrs. coldH2O, the kid & son-in-law attended the Ray Charles' memorial jazz funeral. We followed it through Treme, but had to stop at Marie Levou's cemetery, since it was very hot & hunid. & Allan Toussaint said at the service that if he had such a cool cat for a priest, he might come back. I'm glad I got some pics of the inside of this church & it's too bad it's closing. Big hat tip to RLK. Thanks alot, man, this made my morning, in a negative sort of way, but that's OK, since negativity gets a bad rap.

"A vegan, a pianist, a vegetable gardener and a former Xavier University theology professor, LeDoux strove to reflect the city's culture and history in church services. He declined to comment on the closure.

LeDoux made jazz part of St. Augustine's Masses. He blesses jazz bands and presides over jazz funerals. The church holds an annual Louis Armstrong jazz Mass at the end of the first week of August, commemorating the birthday of the pioneering jazz trumpeter.

The church held the city's memorial service for rhythm and blues legend Ray Charles, and held a jazz funeral for Allison 'Tootie' Montana, chief of the Yellow Pocahontas band of Mardi Gras 'Indians."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

More PhotoShop Musings


Here's more evidence supporting the strange, obscure notion that the planet is heating up. I've heard hushed rumors about global warming the past several years, but here's some stuff to back it up. Strange but true.

"It was thought the entire Greenland ice sheet could melt in about 1,000 years, but the latest evidence suggests that could happen much sooner.

It implies that sea levels will rise a great deal faster as well."

Hey, IDers

Get an education, then get a life. Here's a good reading list from PZ Myers.

NOTE: This list is good for us evolutionists as well. Actually, reading is a good thing. Right?

Oh, Sure

Nothing improper, yeah, right.

"Sen. Arlen Specter helped direct almost $50 million in Pentagon spending during the past four years to clients of the husband of one of his top aides, records show."

What? Me Worry?

This is something Bu$hCo won't have to worry about. He'll probably keep torturing us with his brainless life for decades to come. There will be no justice.

"Overall mental agility declined every year among all the patients.

But each additional year of education equated to an additional 0.3% deterioration per year."


This is the fourth day of my joining the local health club. I feel crappy. Rowing machine, stationary bicycle, elliptical strider, & then, the dreaded weight machines. I will tell you that my shoulders, biceps, & sternum are really sore. The good news is that I had a blood screening yesterday & my cholesterol is finally below 100. 92 to be exact. My good cholesterol, however, fell to 26, not good. It needs to be 50. Exercise, exercise, my friend the doctor chanted. Today, I'm going in after lunch. It is getting later & later each day. What's with that? Next, I'll be needing massage in order to be able to crawl onto these machines. That doesn't sound so bad. Onward.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dickie & The Trigger Happy Birdie Killers

Go listen. Contains appropriate language, if you know what I mean. It's a hoot. Thanks to watertiger for the link.

Julianne Moore Has Tremendously Red Hair

Here's what I' ve been doing for the last couple of hours:

& yes, that's switchgrass in the background.

OK, Here's Something Completely Different

All the cool blogs are doing it, so here is a panda for your enjoyment.

Free To Die

This sort of thing is what's so wrong with health care, particularly in the U.S. The very last thing people should be worrying about, when it comes to their health, is having to pay for it. I read crap like this & wonder how many people have been killed, yes, I said killed, by the market forces that the ReThugs believe will fix all of society's ills. In fact, it cures none.

"Doctors are excited about the prospect of Avastin, a drug already widely used for colon cancer, as a crucial new treatment for breast and lung cancer, too. But doctors are cringing at the price the maker, Genentech, plans to charge for it: about $100,000 a year.

That price, about double the current level as a colon cancer treatment, would raise Avastin to an annual cost typically found only for medicines used to treat rare diseases that affect small numbers of patients. But Avastin, already a billion-dollar drug, has a potential patient pool of hundreds of thousands of people — which is why analysts predict its United States sales could grow nearly sevenfold to $7 billion by 2009.

Doctors, though, warn that some cancer patients are already being priced out of the Avastin market. Even some patients with insurance are thinking hard before agreeing to treatment, doctors say, because out-of-pocket co-payments for the drug could easily run $10,000 to $20,000 a year."