Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
On the side of goodness and light, the Dem primary is weird. Since it's been disowned by the party, and the candidates didn't show up to campaign, it's going to be a tug of war between name recognition (nod to Hillary) and grass roots enthusiasm (nod to Obama and Edwards.) I think the thing to watch for as most important to the Dems is turnout. If, despite the lack of any campaigning, we have good turnout for the vote, that's a big indicator of party enthusiasm. If the Dem turnout is, like NH, vastly larger than the GOP, then it's a GREAT sign for the general.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
In August, Bush dictated the terms of the bill he wanted to Congress, and Congress (like the telecoms) rolled over for it, rather than delay their recess. Bush told them what he wanted in the bill, threatened to veto any bill that didn't have exactly what he wanted, and further threatened to use his constitutional powers to actually hold the Congress in session against its will until they passed the bill he wanted.
And in August, the Congress gave him what he wanted.
Fast forward to the present day, with that law now set to expire in February. Unsure of how to proceed on telecom amnesty (and remember, this is easy: the answer is no), the Senate offers to extend the law for an additional 30 days so that the Congress can work out a deal.
"The president would veto a 30-day extension," a senior administration official said.
That's right. In August, this very bill was so important to Bush that he threatened to veto anything else, and to force the Congress to stay in session until they gave him the custom-built law he wanted.
Now, Congress offers to extend the very same law for 30 days, and Bush threatens to veto it. Yes, the same one he practically wrote himself, when he stomped his feet and held his breath back in August. Now that bill isn't good enough for him. And what's the difference between now and August? In August, we hadn't yet found out the details of how and the extent to which the "administration" had asked the telecoms to break the law on their say-so.
But now we know, and suddenly the law WATB Bush screamed his lungs out for in August is veto bait in January.
So here's the deal. The message to Bush here is, "F you. Do it. Veto this. Go ahead."
You're gonna veto the exact same law you swore to God we had to pass in August or we'd all die?
F you. Do it.
And it's not that I think you won't. You will. But f you, anyway.
You didn't bother asking for retroactive telecom amnesty in August, because you didn't need it. And you didn't need it because nobody had found out that you'd twisted their arms into breaking the law for you. That's why you're threatening to veto an extension of the only law you said in August would save our lives.
By your own claims, you'd be playing with the lives of the Americans you're charged with protecting. Either you were lying in August (and now everyone knows you were), or you're aiding and abetting terrorism now.
Take your pick, moron.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
War funding, which averaged about $93 billion a year from 2003 through 2005, rose to $120 billion in 2006 and $171 billion in 2007 and President George W. Bush has asked for $193 billion in 2008...
It would be a start.....
Monday, January 21, 2008
The BF and I went to see Cloverfield today. I had HUGE hopes for this film. It was done by J. J.J. Abrams (of LOST and ALIAS and FELICITY fame, and heading up the upcoming STAR TREK flick) whose work I've really liked in the past. The trailers for Cloverfield were great.
The movie was, however, a big disappointment. The two biggest problems were the shooting, it's all done as if shot by a handheld videocam, and the characters, who were, at best, unsympathetic, and, at worst, downright annoying. The visuals of the film were so 'amateurish' (albeit, intentionally) that the BF was almost physically ill from motion sickness by the end of the film. It didn't affect me that badly, but it was annoying. As for the characters, the protagonist is mainly a whiny wimp, and the 'cameraman' is so annoyingly stupid and obtuse that I cheered when he was killed. The two main female leads were kinda blah, altho the secondary one got more amusing before her, admittedly intriguing, demise.
There wasn't much of a plot. It's sort of an Odyssey to rescue another minor character, but it struck me as a human pinball game with great sound effects. There was suspense in that you don't know what's going to happen to the characters, but by the end, you don't really care much what happens to them. There's no, none, zip, nada, niente explanation of what the monster thing is, where it came from, why it's eating Manhattan, and what happens in the future. We are lead to assume that everything turns out alright for the world, since the 'videotape' is marked with government/DoD labels, etc, so someone survived to find it, but that's it for resolution.
Even the cinema staff was unimpressed (I guess they don't have profit sharing :) ) because we heard a couple of disparaging comments in the period they were in cleaning the theater before the screening. All in all, I wouldn't recommend it, unless you just want a visual experience. Very disappointed.
for more erudite dismembering of the flick, read the NYTimes review.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I think it's way too early to determine who the candidates will be, but it's becoming clear who they WON'T be.... barring the direct intervention of Jesus (which still probably wouldn't sway some of the evangelical crowd....), Rudy Giuliani will permanently remain the ex-mayor of NYC and nothing more (well, possibly a number on a prison uniform if some serious investigating is done....) Fred Thompson gave what sounded like the first three halves of a 'dropping out' speech this evening, but never got to a point, so he's out even if he's not officially out yet. Duncan Hunter is out, officially. It was never, ever, except in his own wildest dreams, ever going to be Ron Paul. The wild card here is Huckabee. If he can do WELL in Florida, he's got a shot; if not, stack him up next to Rudy.
So, it's pretty much down to McCain and Romney. That will be entertaining, watching the pander fest as two basic centrists try to convince the Repug base that yeah, man! I'm as bat-shit crazy as you peeps! The Repug establishment is more behind Romney, and he does have all the money in the world, but McCain plays better with most of the base (the bat-shit crazies....) so it'll be a slugfest for the ages. I'm betting on a brokered convention with no one getting a majority.
The caucuses in Nevada today really didn't tell us much, and if they told us anything, it's bad news. Edwards' reported numbers are terrible (altho not as bad as they look, due to the rules arcana of caucuses.) But even without the draining off of his numbers, his raw numbers weren't good at all (10ish percent!) So, it pretty much all comes down to SC; if he can't do well (25-30%) there, he's done. If he does, then he's still got a shot. I don't want to come off as racist here, but the best bet is that HRC and Obama split the black vote, and their pandering to get there, sends the white vote to Edwards. It's not a pretty way to win, but at this point, I'll settle.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
There are two main reasons it's absurd. First,even if he doesn't win a primary, he'll be third at worst in all of them, gathering a substantial number of delegates. If Obama and HRC continue to swap wins, which is very possible, it may be impossible for either of them to garner the number of delegates required to win outright, which sends us to the convention, and puts Edwards in a position of immense influence over what comes out of that convention (ie, politics as it has been practiced for all of our history, EXCEPT for the last few election cycles.)
Second, his message is compelling, particularly among rank and file employee/union types. So even if the unions are endorsing someone else, his message will have great pull among the members, and the MEMBERS have votes, the endorsements don't. So, it's possible that he will start to do better in the bigger, more urban state (who picked three rural podunk states (sorry, I really do like NH!) to be the grand poobah determiners of our presidential candidates?) So, it's conceivable he could pull out the nomination.
To wit, the following chart, ripped from the front page of CNN.com. Despite his horrific third place finishes in the two primaries, look at the delegate counts. The winners have maybe 1% if the numbers needed to win the nomination, and Edwards is SEVEN votes behind, but he's DOA. Go figure. Stupid media.
Democrats /States Won /Del*
Election Center » *Pledged delegates to date
Update: Sorry, all my attempts at maintaining any semblance of formatting on the chart have failed. Should have grabbed a screenshot, but it's 4am and too much work :)
Sunday, January 06, 2008
As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president.
After the 1972 presidential election, I stood clear of calls to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for his misconduct during the campaign. I thought that my joining the impeachment effort would be seen as an expression of personal vengeance toward the president who had defeated me.
Today I have made a different choice.