Monday, October 30, 2006

Not to beat a dead horse or anything...

We need to swing the pendulum of power away from Bush next week. It has to happen. Under normal circumstances, I'd never say, "Just vote a party-line ballot." But these are not normal circumstances. No, these are desperate times and we all know what those call for. I had a conversation while at a wedding over the weekend with some staunchly Democratic folk and I realized how, in the good and evil times that the Village Idiot has wrought upon our great nation, those folks that I might in other times call not quite open-minded enough for my tastes, were clearly good and I enjoyed hearing their views. One of them spoke of participating the the Washington Caucus in 2004 as a member of the Kerry camp. Even in 2004, I would never have thought of actively rallying in any camp that included Kerry. Sure I voted for him and encouraged others to do the same. But I'm so fed up with the Village Idiot and his polarizing policies that I'd volunteer time for anybody who's stated mission is getting rid of Bush and his cronies.

Below are a couple of excerpts from a blog that runs on the Washington Post's website from a dude named Froomkin. He's awesome. It's like the Daily Show but with the jokes being actual facts that you have to laugh because if you didn't they'd make you cry. He's very passionate about having an open and responsive government and a vigilant media. As a result, he's passionately anit-Village Idiot, which makes him OK in my book. When I started reading him, his distaste for Bush was just that. Now, you can sense his seething. I suspect his blog has fed my ire to an extent. Anyway, his blog is call The White House Briefing. Any way, here's the first bit taken from George Will, the Classically Conservative (different from the modern neo-con) commentator. If the Republican strategy next week is to mobilize your base, and George Will is not part of the Conservative base, then I think we should be far more afraid of the people that the Republican party is pandering to.

George F. Will writes for Newsweek: "In a recent interview with Vice President Cheney, Time magazine asked, 'If you had to take back any one thing you'd said about Iraq, what would it be?' Selecting from what one hopes is a very long list, Cheney replied: 'I thought that the elections that we went through in '05 would have had a bigger impact on the level of violence than they have . . . I thought we were over the hump in terms of violence. I think that was premature.'
"He thinks so? Clearly, and weirdly, he implies that the elections had some positive impact on the level of violence. Worse, in the full transcript of the interview posted online he said the big impact he expected from the elections 'hasn't happened yet.' 'Yet'? Doggedness can be admirable, but this is clinical.
"Anyway, what Cheney actually said 17 months ago was that the insurgency was in its 'last throes.' That was much stronger than saying we were 'over the hump' regarding violence. Beware of people who misquote themselves while purporting to display candor."
And this bit goes a bit deeper into the Village Idiot Polarization affect.
And this bit goes a bit deeper into the Village Idiot Polarization affect.


Ronald Brownstein writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Bush has absorbed his share of body blows from Democrats criticizing his management of the war. But tagging his rivals as the party of 'defeat' is nonetheless extraordinary language for a commander in chief to use in a political campaign.
"Other wartime presidents have been much more reluctant to argue that only their party was committed to success. . . .
"In 1942, the first election after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was ... emphatic about separating war and politics. Roosevelt spent much of that fall visiting defense facilities on a tour during which he barred press coverage and insisted on being accompanied by Republican as well as Democratic local officials. When the chairman of the Democratic National Committee suggested that a GOP takeover of the House would be bad for the country, Roosevelt publicly rebuked him.
"Even President Nixon displayed more restraint during the 1970 midterm election. Nixon barnstormed the country asking voters to elect members of Congress who would support his war policy. But he took pains to avoid claiming that only his party wanted to win. 'This is not a partisan issue,' Nixon declared that October at a rally for a Texas Republican Senate candidate named George H.W. Bush."
As a result of Bush's polarizing strategies, Brownstein writes, "he now looks less like the president of all the people than the champion of a single faction."

Lastly, I would like to add a bit more of my own thoughts. This is in regards to the phrase alluded to above that those of us are against the War in Iraq, which, as a reminder, has nothing to do with the War on Terror, want nothing more than to Cut and Run. For the record, I think Leaving Iraq entirely is every bit as bad an idea Staying the Course - something Bush has been preaching non-stop for 3 years in spite of the fact that he claims he's never said it at all. This is what we want: AN EXIT STRATEGY!!! Something that would indicate that there is some kind of plan to actually accomplish something while minimizing our losses. Anything that would say, "Hey, look, this is what we're trying to do and this is when we're going to try and have it done by." We as a nation have to agree to do the right thing. Our Village Idiot got us into this mess with, at best, no intentions at all, good or bad. I personally think the intentions were nothing but bad. But now that we're there, and it's our fault as a nation for electing and re-electing this moron, we have to do the right thing and that means we have to make sure the mess we created is stabilized and that there are safeguards in place to prevent it from becoming a mess when we leave. But what we need to see as a people is that there is some plan to achieve this goals, not the least of which is the "when we leave" part. That is not Cutting and Running, that's Having a Plan. And Having a Plan, compared to the first 3 years, is CLEARLY not Staying the Course. When you have a plan and the plan fails, people should be held accountable or at least reasonable examination behind the failure should happen. And of all of the short comings of this Administration, perhaps the one that I find most egregious and most disconcerting is the complete and utter lack of accountability. It reeks of people raised with privilege and without responsibility. It exemplifies the ego-centric, good vs evil, black and white, us vs the world policies that this fiasco of an administration runs on. And with no one taking responsibility, everyone is at fault. And that is why every singe Republican Congressman in completely responsible. You can't be an extremist and ask people to respect that these elections are local matters. You want black and white, you've got it: guilty by association.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Blog recommendation

Jenn was doing a little research on the internet this week when she stumbled upon a totally random blog that I highly highly recommend.

First of all, the way she found it was that she was doing a search for parasitologists, and that's what the guy that runs the blog does. A side story on this, Jenn was so amused that she called me at work about this blog. She told me that there was a crazy blog and that she found it by doing a search for parasitologist. I thought she said parapsychologist so I was infinitely more excited about the blog that I probably should have. A REAL LIFE GHOSTBUSTER BLOGGING!!!! How could that possibly not be a good thing? Needless to say, I was mildly upset when I found out what he really does. I’m certain parasites are absolutely fascinating. But really, they don’t hold a candle to Slimer.

Anyway, she found this blog. And it is good. The real fun starts around September 20. And you absolutely must read his off-shoot rouge blog. Jenn posts a comment on the Oct 20th posting and gets hit on by a Bulgarian. Ain’t the web cool!?!?!

Oh, and I suspect the big question would be why Jenn was searching for parasitologist on the internet. Well, I’ll just leave that to your imaginations.

Monday, October 16, 2006

3 More Weeks

The next 3 weeks should be very very interesting. We have a grill now, so I'll get to reincorporate red meat into the regular meal cycle. The Steelers look like they're back on track for having a semi-successful defense of their Super Bowl title last year. I've made 2 huge trades in my Fantasy League which will either turn around a dreadful season or just continue to add insult to injury. Jenn and I are going to be going to Washington, DC, for a wedding. Jenn's never been to DC and it's one of my favorite places to visit as a tourist, so it will be interesting to see how she takes to it. Oh, and speaking of DC, it very well might be the last 3 weeks of a Republican Majority in the Senate and/or House.

It's this last bit that is obviously the most interesting. In the lead up to this monumental shift - one that should have happened 2 years ago - it will be very interesting to see what the Republicans pull (or try to pull ) out of their hat in an effort to prevent what right now seems inevitable. They are going to go down kicking and screaming. And given the fact that their stale platitudes and fear/hate mongering have yet to drum up the required support from their once solid base, it would seem whatever they have in store is a real doozy. You can't put anything past them at this point. Not a single thing. I would believe absolutely anything from doctoring pictures to make all Democrats appear to have horns to buying out the non-Fox news sources and turning them all into little Fox outlets. The big question during the next 3 weeks for undecided voters is this: name one event over the past 6 years that would indicate that there is a single competent person in the Republican leadership?

Another thing to keep an eye on is how the Democrats will manage to blow one of the biggest sure things ever. The fact that they're not an overwhelming favorite to have solid majorities in both the House and Senate is startling. Only 35% of the country approves of the President. The Republican led Congress has been the President's BITCH for 6 year. Only 35% of the people in this country should even consider voting for a Republican this year. If you're a Republican, you're voting record is indefensible. And the the Democrats are so wishy-washy that they might not even be able to capitalize on that. They're like white guys going for a dunk: they look awkward doing it and you know there's a good chance that they'll blow it. Take the Foley thing for example: the Republicans would be using this in every single ad, they'd be on every single talk show bashing Democrats values, and they'd use it as a rallying cry to get out the vote. You get the sense that the Democrats are afraid to be labeled as players of dirty politics even if it means securing the win. It's so back asswards that the REPUBLICANS were the ones that went on the offensive saying that Democrats were the only ones that knew the truth all along and they waited until now to reveal the news!!! Well, let's hope the Democrats can pull through in spite of themselves like Woody Harrelson at the end of White Men Can't Jump.

Then, on the actually Voting Day itself, there are bound to be some extremely interesting turns of events throughout the day. Firstly, at least one race, and probably far more, will have a black cloud hovering over it as a result of some sense of election fraud. It will DEFINITLEY benefit a Republican. What is unknown is exactly how much National air time the situation will actually get. If it gets as much as the Ohio voting irregularities, then Republicans will have won back one or both Chambers of Congress and it will be clear that Democracy is dead in America. But if there's a big enough stink, which I hope there will be and there certainly should be, then there is hope. But it will be predicated on Democrats controlling the agenda and thereby the stream of news from Capitol Hill. If they don't do that, then they don't have control and we're all in trouble. On the day of the election, anyone who says they are voting for a Republican should be asked this question: are you voting for him based on what you THINK Republicans stand for and how they SHOULD vote or because of they're track record over the past 6 years? If it's based on perception, they need to face the reality and understand what has happened to the size of the government, it's spending and it's involvement in our day-to-day lives now compared to 6 years ago. They need to understand that there is absolutely NOTHING to indicate the next 2 or 6 years will be any different than the previous 2 or 6 years. The votes will be the same, the government will become more obtrusive and the constant threat of terror will become more real. If they are voting based on actual performance, then odds are pretty good they're part of the Religious Right and they are voting based on how their preacher tells them to vote. They have put as much thought into this decision as every other decision they make in their lives: none.

But what will be most interesting is the 2 years that follow. As much as the vote 2 years ago stood as a turning point where Americans could have taken back our Government and wrestled away the control from a group of people set on rigging the system to keep them in power in perpetuity, this vote stands as a chance to wake up the average American. The one that chugs along with no interest in the system thinking there is no way to change it. This is an opportunity to actually get the system back on track and in the middle of the road where it belongs. They call it the middle of the road for a reason: the road represents a path and a path is always a good thing. It's been swung far too right for far too long and we're stuck in a ditch. This is a chance to remind people how our government should function and that the forces that are currently in charge are nothing but bad news. It could be an exciting and invigorating 2 years. It might also be a scary and depressing 2 years. The people have to decide between having a clear path or being stuck in the ditch.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


A funny thing happened on my way to sending an e-mail today. I was talking about the movies I had at home from Netflix and when the checker got to the part where I was mentioning Dr. Zhivagom it suggested Chicago for Zhivago and I almost clicked Change wihtout looking. My first thought was that that would have been confusing for the recipient. But then I took it one step futher: can you imagine the movie and how confusing THAT would be for the patrons? Dr. Chicago: A musical about cheating spouses getting away with murder set with the backdrop of Russian Revolution. "If you're good to Comrade, Comrade will be good to you!!!" If you haven't seen Chicago or know nothing about Zhivago, you probably don't find this remotely entertaining. But it absolutely cracks me up. So another contest: come up with the best line or song from Dr. Chicago. I've already taken 2, but I know you can all do better.

I have to comment on the Foley thing. I'm absolutely enthralled by the whole thing. And this from somebody who never really cared for Clinton but whole Lewinsky fiasco was a ridiculous witch hunt. The dude got a hummer. And we're supposed to be surprised? But this Foley dude was having cyber-sex with 16 year old boys. That's just a little weird. And it could just stop there, but the story builds and gets weirder and weirder. The Monica thing was a story of a guy getting a hummer and that was it. What he said or didn't say at the Grand Jury is frankly pointless. Yeah, he might have lied. But about getting a hummer froma chubby 22 year old intern. The Republicans have been covering up the fact that one amongst their ranks have been jerking off while chatting with 16 year olds. Which is worse? And the actual story started with some mildly disturbing e-mails. Then they got explicit and there was some salami slapping. Then it was all the alcohol's fault. Then he was molested by clergy and he was gay (which, by the way, was by far the least news worthy part of the entire saga). then he's jerking off when he should be voting on Iraq funds appropriations. AND THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP KNEW!!!! And this ISN'T a story!?!?!? Good thing for the Republicans that Democrats will be completely incompitent in trying to capitalize on this.