Monday, June 30, 2008

Hypocritical whining from McCain

Wesley Clark goes on TV and makes a simple statement:
"I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president."
An obvious truth. Of course, Republicans hate truth, so they throw a hissy fit. Obama gets nervous and disavows it. Republicans claim yet again that it's legal for them to lie about Kerry's military record but Democrats are not allowed to touch McCain's.

It looks like the Democrats are just going to let the GOP walk all over again for another election.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Time to get a MoveOn

LeeJ and I were at a MoveOn meeting last night and LeeJ signed up to head our local council for this election. That means we're going to be really busy for the next 5 months. That's okay. This is the most important election of my life and we're going to need all hands on deck if we want to pull this country out of the muck.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Try not to breathe too much

There are about 900 fires going on around us right now. Whenever that happens, the outside gets this weird apocalyptic look. The sky is grayish and the sun is a salmon-pink color. The paper said that exercising outdoors was not advised so I drove to work today. I needed to make a Costco run anyway. I don't think fire season has officially begun and we're already worse than last year. Last year was a bad year. As scary as this is, I'm still glad I don't live in the midwest.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's starting

Karl Rove on Obama:
Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.
Of course, the country clubs Rove hangs out at wouldn't let a guy with Obama's complexion in without a court order. Karl Rove is trying to paint Obama as a sarcastic elitist, yet he uses a country club metaphor. Sounds to me like Rove has had a fair amount of snide comments directed his way by kids who were cooler than he was, and he hasn't quite gotten over it.

Rest in fucking peace, George Carlin

This sucks. We really needed this guy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Congressional Cowardice

Security Fail
Passage of the FISA Destruction Bill by Congress today was a total collapse of integrity by congressional Democrats. This bill, which will bury forever any knowledge of how far our government has gone to undermine our rights. The President has given himself the right to eavesdrop on anyone, without a warrant, for any reason purely because he wants to.

The Democratic Congress, who we spent hours on the phone for and donated money to, betrayed us. Nancy Pelosi let herself be steamrolled by Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel, then gave a mealy-mouthed defense. Barack Obama had a golden leadership opportunity pitched right down the center of the plate and didn't even swing.


The Democrats are still better than the Republicans, who are just plain crazy, but we have a lot dead weight to get rid of before we can turn this country back to the light.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

War Criminals

Lots of info lately on the authorization, nay, encouragement of torture by the Bush Administration. First, via Meteor Blades at Kos, the stunning report by Physicians for Human Rights called Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by the US. This has accounts by the victims backed up by medical tests. The PHR is a  human-rights organization that shares the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize and demonstrates that international standards for the treatment of prisoners were willfully broken by the White House and the Defense Department.

Another article from the Guardian via C&L depicts how Donald Rumsfeld overruled military lawyers who warned against using torture. C&L also writes that General Antonio Taguba, who investigated Abu Ghraib and was fired for doing his job to well, states that "there is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes."

Naturally, Congress's response to all of this is another toothless hearing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Out of the tunnel

Less than a month after graduating, LeeJ found a job. Starting Monday, she will be officially a paralegal. She's contracted for 5 months, which is perfect, because it will give her experience without locking her in long-term. Plus, it's close by so she doesn't have to spend all her money on gas.

More McCain goodies

I'm just going to link because I'm too lazy to write and these people say it better than I could.

DemFromCT at Kos writes about McCain on women's issues.
BarbinMD at Kos summarizes McCain's support for the troops.
McCain will be Bush 3 on Iraq.
MCCain wants a filibuster on raising the minimum wage.
McCain lets industry lobbyists shape his housing policy.

We want to be your one-stop shop on all things McCain!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Liveblogging from Modesto

We're at the Days Inn in Beautiful Downtown Modesto! I'm blogging naked on a motel bed! LeeJ says no pictures.

We spent the day at our friends Gretchen and Mike's for their son Cody's 3rd birthday. There was a backyard barbecue and a zillion little kids running around squirting each other. Getting hit by the occasional errant shot felt good actually because it was 100 degrees out. That's pretty temperate for Modesto.

We're watching The Stand on the room TV. Isn't this fascinating? OK I admit it. I'm doing this because I can.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Space case

Last night we went to a meeting of the Sonoma County Astronomical Society. We'd been to one back in October that was really interesting, with a talk given by an engineer for NASA who worked on the Hubble telescope. This time the speaker was Bernard Pietsch, who is a longtime member of the group.

I dunno. I thought it was a little too Da Vinci Code. The other people in the room seemed pretty skeptical as well. But LeeJ got a handmade replica of the Philosopher's Stone, although the way Pietsch described it was different than anything we had heard. Pietsch claims to be in possesion of the Stone, and said it explains the mysteries of the universe. So why hasn't he gotten us out of Iraq?

Justice wins for once

The recent Supreme Court decision to uphold habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees is a rare victory for our civil rights. The problem, of course is that it never should have been an issue. Also, it just barely passed with a 5-4 majority. Given the fact that the majority judges are all over 68 years old and the dissenters were under 60 except for Scalia at 72. The next President will most likely pick at least one new SCOTUS judge.

McCain and Obama are polar opposites in this regard. Obama supports it and McCain is against it. Also, to use a familiar lightning rod, McCain wants a judge who will overturn Roe v. Wade and Obama does not. For the future of this country we can't afford a McCain presidency.

P.S. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hates our rights so much he wants to amend the Constitution to overturn this ruling.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Warren Harding was a negro!

That was a line shouted out by TV gasbag John Mclaughlin. We saw this excerpt on The Colbert Report. I cannot believe this is real. I can't find a video, otherwise I'd post it. It was on a recent segment on Obama's historic nomination and that he might be the first black President. McLaughlin denied it's historic and when asked why, that's when he said it. Apparently there were some rumors that Warren G. Harding had a black grandmother. I swear, conservatives are bonkers.

Monday, June 9, 2008

He wanted to be 25

Political Picture - John & Cindy McCain
By now everybody's getting familiar with Cindy McCain, the beer-heiress second wife of John McCain but what about his first wife? The Huffington Post points to a story about her in the venerable London tabloid, the Daily Mail. We have to go overseas to find news the media here will ignore.

"My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that just does."
Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centred womaniser who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to ‘play the field’. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.

He first met Carol in the Fifties while he was at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.He was a privileged, but rebellious scion of one of America’s most distinguished military dynasties – his father and grandfather were both admirals. But setting out to have a good time, the young McCain hung out with a group of young officers who called themselves the ‘Bad Bunch’. His primary interest was women and his conquests ranged from a knife-wielding floozy nicknamed ‘Marie, the Flame of Florida’ to a tobacco heiress.

I suppose everyone has their wild oats to sow. But I'm sure his experiences made him the straight-talking maverick he is today, right?

And yet despite his popularity as a politician, there are those who won’t forget his treatment of his first wife. Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.

‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.
‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.
‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’

Whew. Apparently she forgives him. But this old family friend hasn't:
But Ross Perot, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel – even by the standards of modern politics.
‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ he said. ‘After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.’

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Who'll be guarding the henhouse

Political Picture - John McCain & George W. Bush
One of the many frustrations that the American people has with George W. Bush is the pervasive, almost proud corruption under his administration. Anybody who thinks a McCain administration would be any different should meet McCain's top economic advisor (and future Treasury Secretary should he get elected) Phil Gramm. Gramm, a former Republican Senator from Texas, is one of the wonderful people who gave us our current foreclosure crisis. He also was, like a large number of McCain's people, a registered lobbyist for UBW Bank of Switzerland.

Well, Gramm's former boss, UBW, is under investigation for helping billionaires evade taxes. Mr. Straight Talk, naturally, doesn't want to talk about it.

Gramm's record as a Senator should be a warning. A gleeful deregulator, Gramm had no qualms about slipping a bill amendment benefiting Enron when his wife was on the board.

I don't know about you, but I can't afford much more from George Bush. With McCain in office as Bush 3, we'll be living with LeeJ's parents by 2012.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

OK, Barack, you're the quarterback

You got the job. Well done. Now it's up to the rest of us to give you time in the pocket and get open downfield. In my 30 years of voting there has never been a presidential primary like this one. Three great candidates in Obama, Clinton and Edwards, with Clinton and Obama making like Ali and Frazier.

Now it's game time. Our chances look good. The other side is out of ideas and out of gas. Led by a colorless old crank, bloated by kool-aid, the only option they have is dirty tricks. However, they are very good at dirty tricks and the media, who should be the referees, are in their corner. Not to mention the Democrats' storied ability to screw things up. We can't take anything for granted.

I initally had doubts about Obama's toughness, but I like what I'm seeing from him lately. This is going to be one hell of a season.

Monday, June 2, 2008

"Stay the course! Kill them!"

In the hubbub over Scott McClellan's book, the Washington Post found a chilling anecdote from an new book by Lt. Gen, Ricardo Sanchez:

Among the anecdotes in "Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story" is an arresting portrait of Bush after four contractors were killed in Fallujah in 2004, triggering a fierce U.S. response that was reportedly egged on by the president.

During a videoconference with his national security team and generals, Sanchez writes, Bush launched into what he described as a "confused" pep talk:

"Kick ass!" he quotes the president as saying. "If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can't send that message. It's an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal."

"There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"

A White House spokesman had no comment.

Bring it on. This swaggering frat boy who's never faced any danger in his life.