Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FISA

Looks like they're going to buy some time. The House passed a 15 day extension, and the Senate seems moving in that direction, if they haven't done so already. Let's go for a 12 month extension, and let the next Congress/Administration deal with it.

Oh Yeah

Guiliani is out too. Whee. Was he ever really in it?

Oh Well

Edwards bailed out of the race today. I've been sort of depressed all day about it (not Sylvia Plath level, just sort of blah....) and am not quite sure how to respond to it. I'll probably go ahead and vote for him on Tuesday, since I don't have any real preference between Barack and Hillary. I have pros and cons for both of them, but can live with either of them, as candidate and as President. My only real hope is that he can get some mileage out of them in exchange for his endorsement. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Musing on Florida

Watching the pre-closing time ballyhoo on tv, I got to thinking about what today means for the election in general. Probably not as much as the yakking heads seem to indicate. The GOP race is still unrealistic, since Huckabee and Rudy are still around, sucking votes from the top two; once they're out (since the McCain-Romney numbers in FL seem relatively even in the polls/exit poll summations), and we're into the country at large, things should start to clear up- whether clearing up means a clear winner, or two contenders limping into the convention is a toss-up.)

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

Kagro Writes Reid and Pelosi a Speech

Kagro X has a great post on dKos today on the FISA foulup in Congress. He absolutely nails the response that Congress should have to Dumbfuck:

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.

Bush's response?

"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

Yet Another Reason to Burn Repugs at the Stake

ICE (and every other proto-law enforcement agency) thinking they're God (or at least working for him.....)

You Knew It Would

... but apparently the 'stimulus package' really, REALLY sucks. Paul Krugman explains why. Thank the evil Repugs and the spineless Dems. God.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's Starting to Sound Like Dodd will Filibuster

... new unimproved FISA bill.

Wanna Balance the Budget?

The budget shortfall this year has been estimated at $250b. According to this:

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.....


Edwards On FISA

He's ag'in it!

Bush 935, Truth 0

Every wonder how many times Bush lied about Iraq leading up to the war? Turns out Bu$hCo put out 935 lies in the run up. Yup, somebody counted.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Overpromised, Underdelivered

(NOTE: contains a couple of minor spoilers for the movie CLOVERFIELD)

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

ONE YEAR!

One year from today, we shall be free. Free from insanity. Free from babbling untruths. Free from incompetence. Well, we'll at least have 'friendly' versions of the above. But, in one short year, barring Shrub pushing the Big Red Button to usher in Armageddon (which I bet he can't pronounce or spell properly!), someone other than the Dumbfuck in Chief will Preznit of these Untied States. Maybe he/she can retie them.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jesus Nothing, Politics As Usual One

The SC primary seems to be over, and John McCain (R-POW) has won. Huckabee finished second, with Thompson and Romney more or less tied for third (Giuliani finished sixth behind Paul). In Nevada, Hillary edged Obama on the Dem side, while Romney cleaned the field (truth be told, he was the only R to campaign in NV, besides Paul, who finished a DISTANT second.)

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

Lies, Damn Lies, and Intelligence?

Why should Shrub believe in an intelligence report? He has no intelligence, so any would confuse him.

Dirty Sheriff Out

Here in O.C. (NEVER 'the' O.C., please!), our beloved Feckless Dealer, errrr I mean Fearless Leader, Sheriff Michael 'Big Mikey' Carona has resigned. I suppose he's been despondent since losing the Golden Dukey award on TPM......

Thursday, January 10, 2008

ROTFL

Vote MITT in MICH!

Brief Rant About the Press

Argh! The MSM having blown the 'call' in NH is now blaming NH voters for being racist. It couldnt have anything to do with crappy polling or analysis. Nope, had to be those racist abolitionists in funny rural clothes. Or maybe it had to with the fact that almost every poll showed a HUGE count (I forget the numbers, but it was in the 20 percent range) of undecideds. Or the wall to wall Hillary bashing in the media (personally, I blame the arch-asshole Chris Matthews for putting her over the top... take the red pill, Chris!) that may have pushed female voters to vote for Hillary just to see CM cry on MSNBC.

Richardson Out

NM Gov Bill Richardson announced today he was dropping out of the primary race. He had no real chance, which is a shame, because he was a good candidate and would have made an excellent President.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Media Crap

There's been some talk, in the media, and in a few of the blogs, that Edwards should drop out, since he's 'lost' both of the primaries so far. What a load of horseshit. Granted, I'm backing Edwards, but this is such insanity, I can't believe it gets spouted.

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.

Election Results
Delegate Count /

Democrats /States Won /Del*
Edwards --- 18
Republicans /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

McGovern Calls for Impeachment

From the Post:

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.

Another Reason to Burn Repugs at the Stake

Britain has surpassed, for the first time since King George, America in quality of life. Of course, it was on Oxford study, so maybe they're biased.

Friday, January 04, 2008

What's Wrong with the MSM, Part MMDLXIII

Glenn sums it up!

Race Question

I was listening to Sam Seder this morning and a caller called in to say that Barack Obama couldn't win the general because America just wouldn't vote to elect a black man. Sam objected vehemently, but neither of the arguments was terribly persuasive. From my viewpoint. I think Obama's 'blackness' will probably be a wash. The wingnuts will turn out to vote against an 'uppity nigger', but most, if not all of them, would turn out to vote against HRC, just because she's Hillary. One the other side, I don't think the Dem base will stay home and not vote, just on the race issue, and a lot of fence-sitters who might not vote normally, including a lot of the black population, WILL get out and vote for Obama because he IS black. So, like I said, probably a wash.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Obama and Huckabee

The results are in (and ubiquitous) and the survey says.... Obama, by about 7 percent over Edwards, who nudged HRC out for second by a very few votes, for the Dems, and Huckabee who swamped Romney (what DID that $53 million buy, Willard?) with Sleepin' Fred Thompson and John "Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran" McCain fighting for third (Giuliani finished 6th, if the reports re correct). This is great for Obama, okay for Edwards, and mildly troubling for HRC, so we'll how it all seques in NH.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

'Special' Prosecutor for CIA Tapes Mess?

AG Mukasey has appointed an 'outside' prosecutor to investigate the destruction of the CIA torture tapes. Just how independent he'll be is open to debate, but given posts on TPM today, it sounds like he'll be somewhere between a Bu$hCo lapdog and Patrick Fitzgerald. Either way, it's a start.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Here's wishing you have better, happier, and more prosperous 2008 than 2007 (Lord knows, I hope I do!) It's going to be an exciting year, no matter what, with the primaries and the election, and the probable restoration of sanity to government (well, maybe, at least, some level of competence....) The international situation is still a bitch and will continue to be so until the Idiots are gone, and probably beyond; some messes take much longer to clean up than to make.

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