Sunday, July 22, 2007

Matt Groening: " Fox viewer might confuse our cartoon with actual news"

Jon Stewart interviews Matt Groening. From the Carpetbagger.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Good Question

According to David Frost, quoted in the New York fishwrap:
Richard Milhous Nixon, the socially awkward 37th president, tried being jocular with David Frost as they prepared for their famous 1977 TV interviews, which inspired the smash Broadway show. "Mr. Nixon turned to me and quite casually asked, 'Well, did you do any fornicating this weekend?' For a moment I could not believe the evidence of my own ears. Richard Nixon didn't say that, did he? He couldn't have," Frost writes in "Frost/Nixon - Behind the Scenes of the Nixon Interviews," out this October. "I had indeed heard right . . . I suppose Nixon liked to fancy himself one of the boys."

Image from Wikipedia.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

FISA Judge Nixes Plame Suit

The WaPo reports
Judge Dismisses Plame Lawsuit

By Carol Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 19, 2007; 3:30 PM

A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed by former CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband against Vice President Cheney and top administration officials over the disclosure of Plame's name and covert status to the media.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said that Cheney and White House aides cannot be held liable for the disclosure of information about Plame in the summer of 2003 while they were trying to rebut criticism of the administration's war efforts levied by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The judge said such efforts were certainly part of the officials' scope of normal duties.

"The alleged tortious conduct, namely the disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's status as a covert operative, was incidental to the kind of conduct that defendants were employed to perform," Bates wrote in an opinion released this afternoon...
So who is U.S. District Judge John D. Bates?
... Judge Bates was on detail as Deputy Independent Counsel for the Whitewater investigation from 1995 to mid-1997...

... In February 2006, he was appointed by Chief Justice Roberts to serve as a judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Go figure.

Let Us Not Forget David Almond

Mother Jones reports
In the Midst Of Vitter Scandal, Let Us Not Forget David Almond

Republican David Almond, vice chairman of the House Committee on Children, Youth and Families for the North Carolina state legislature, resigned last week after the state's GOP caucus said it was investigating allegations against him of "serious, improper behavior."

According to DownWithTyranny!, Almond exposed his penis to a female staff member, chased her around the room, and commanded her to "suck it, baby, suck it." The employee filed a personnel complaint against Almond. State Republican leaders asked Almond to resign if there was any truth to the allegation, but, they said, "He did it [resigned] himself." I'm not sure what that means, but that is what they said.

One of the pieces of legistlation introduced by Almond was a bill to monitor sex offenders, which was recently signed into law by the governor, and which could come back to bite Almond on the--well, wherever he is most likely to be bitten. In the meantime, he says that intends to defend himself against the charges.

Iraq hasn't even begun

Timothy Garton Ash, a frequent contributor to The Guardian, writes in the Los Angeles fishwrap:

Iraq hasn't even begun
Consequences from the disaster we could have avoided will plague the world long into the future.
By Timothy Garton Ash
TIMOTHY GARTON ASH, a contributing editor to Opinion, is professor of European studies at Oxford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

July 19, 2007

IRAQ IS OVER. Iraq has not yet begun. These are two conclusions from the American debate about Iraq...

So Iraq is over. But Iraq has not yet begun. Not yet begun in terms of the consequences for Iraq itself, the Middle East, the United States' own foreign policy and its reputation in the world. The most probable consequence of rapid U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in its present condition is a further bloodbath, with even larger refugee flows and the effective dismemberment of the country. Already, about 2 million Iraqis have fled across the borders, and more than 2 million are internally displaced...

In history, the most important consequences are often the unintended ones. We do not yet know the longer-term unintended consequences of Iraq. Maybe there is a silver lining hidden somewhere in this cloud. But as far as the human eye can see, the likely consequences of Iraq range from the bad to the catastrophic.

Looking back over a quarter of a century of chronicling current affairs, I cannot recall a more comprehensive and avoidable man-made disaster.
Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Virginia unveils $1000 speeding ticket

Jesus Christ. The Commonwealth is now charging $1025 just for going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. 20 miles? Is that it?

Hell, compare that to my all-time high award in Oregon. Driving 88 in a 55 (good thing that's all he clocked me at, because I'd been going more like 105 a bit earlier), passing in a no-passing zone, defective brake lights, and driving without proof of insurance. Grand total: $445.

Oh, in case this worried my immediate family, this was years ago, and no, I haven't done anything that stupid since.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Internet Weekly Rocks!

I don't know how I missed this.

It does seem that the only way we will rid ourselves of these neocons and their co-religionists is to hunt down each one of these monsters and put a stake a stake through its heart.

Of course, that won't be possible for Darth Cheney

I'll be checking in regularly, or else I might miss something like this.

PA Government Shutdown

As we reported Monday,

Pa. Awakes to Partial State Shutdown
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state museums didn't open Monday. State parks were closed to visitors at the height of the summer tourism season, and many state services were idle because of a government shutdown that kept about 24,000 workers off the job.

Gov. Ed Rendell shut down the Pennsylvania government late Sunday over a budget stalemate with the Legislature that partly hinges on his e
nergy plan for the state.
The shutdown of Pennsylvania state services by Gov. Rendell reminds me of the old joke:
Q: What is orange and sleeps seven?

A: A PennDOT truck.

Hindu prayer in the Senate draws protesters


CNN reports.
Hindu prayer in the Senate draws protesters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Three protesters disrupted a prayer by a Hindu chaplain Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing, calling it an abomination and shouting slogans about Jesus Christ.

It was the first time the daily prayer that opens Senate proceedings was said by a Hindu chaplain.

Capitol police said two women and one man were arrested and charged with causing a disruption in the public gallery of the Senate. The three started shouting when guest Chaplain Rajan Zed, a Hindu from Nevada, began his prayer.

They shouted "No Lord but Jesus Christ" and "There's only one true God," and used the term "abomination."

Religious figures from various faiths have said the prayer, which is normally recited by a Christian chaplain.

Barry Lynn, executive director of religious watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the protest showed the intolerance of the "religious right."

"I don't think the Senate should open with prayers, but if it's going to happen, the invocations ought to reflect the diversity of the American people," Lynn said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had invited Zed.

"I think it speaks well of our country that someone representing the faith of about a billion people comes here and can speak in communication with our heavenly father regarding peace," he said after the disruption.

Watch the video here.

GOP Blows Another One

AP reports. ABC has the mug shot and the "juicy lead."
McCain Official Busted on Sex Charge

July 12, 2007 11:33 AM
Justin Rood Reports:

An official with the John McCain presidential campaign was arrested for allegedly soliciting oral sex from a policeman in Florida yesterday.

Bob Allen, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, is one of six Florida co-chairs for the Arizona Republican senator's 2008 White House bid.

According to news accounts, local police in Titusville, Fla., arrested Allen Wednesday afternoon after he allegedly offered to exchange $20 for oral sex with the plainclothes officer.

Allen was charged with solicitation to commit prostitution, a misdemeanor.

I guess that is not a regular part of the Straight Talk Express.

Oh, wait.

The McCain web site is reporting:

There are currently no Straight Talk Express Events scheduled...

Does that mean that "blow job" Bob will still be on the job?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

fun in state government

Our Pennsylvania bureau chief found a silver lining in the partial shutdown of PA state government:
On the up side, PennDOT has pretty much ceased to exist. There are 400 emergency highway workers on call for all of PA's 40,000 miles of highway. That's one worker per 100 miles. It's gonna be smooth sailing.
Oh damn, it looks like the fun is already over.

Monday, July 09, 2007

We have a wiener! First GOP MoC in DC Madame's phonebook!

And the wiener is...

Senator David Vitter (R - of course - LA)

My Favorite Senator David Vitter quote is, with a big thanks to Your Right Hand Thief ("laughing off hard truths in New Orleans")
I'm proud to join [Matt Daniels] and the entire Alliance for Marriage in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment... Your group recognizes... that marriage is the most important social institution in human history and is the most significant factor in terms of minimizing all sorts of social ills.
The Washington Post reports:
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the "D.C. Madam," making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.

The statement containing Vitter's apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004...

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter, 46, said in a statement, which his spokesman, Joel DiGrado, confirmed to the Associated Press.

"Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," Vitter continued. "Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way..."

Vitter is in his first Senate term after serving six years in the House. During his Senate campaign, Vitter was accused by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee of carrying on a lengthy affair with a prostitute in New Orleans's French Quarter.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Opera has another loss

Anthony Tommasini, writing in today's Times, reports the death of Régine Crespin, following the death of Beverly Sills earlier this week.
Régine Crespin, the French operatic soprano and later mezzo-soprano, one of the most important vocal artists to emerge from France in the decades after World War II, died Wednesday in Paris, where she lived. She was 80.
I grew up hearing her on the Met broadcasts. I remember her "Tosca", and her Marschallin ( the image at left is Régine Crespin (the Marschallin) and Elisabeth Söderström (Octavian)) with Solti at the helm. The last side of the set of records was pure magic.

Tommasini concludes her obit with this:

In later life Ms. Crespin won wide recognition as a voice teacher. During some 1995 master classes at the Mannes College of Music in New York, the students were enraptured not only by her insightful critiques, but by her insider tales about opera stars.

Recalling her performances at the Met with the powerhouse tenor Franco Corelli in “Tosca” and Massenet’s “Werther,” she said he was convinced that eating raw garlic before a performance was good for the voice. But when they sang duets, Corelli would regularly burp. She learned to adjust, Ms. Crespin said.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rachel Ray Moaning and Groaning

Salon's Video Dog explains:
Naomi Leibowitz explains on her Web site that this video is "comprised of clips from over 30 episodes of Rachel Ray's show '$40 a day' on Food Network." Caution: Keep the volume down, if you don't want your neighbor to get the wrong idea.
Go see the video here.

Why I hate NPR: Reason #25

Reason #25:, Besides having incredibly bad pronunciation, oafish inarticulation, and tons of dead air time in her speech, Debbie Elliot is a moron.

It is pretty clear that NPR hosts don't have to know pronunciation. Foreign words such as "Kiribati" or "Pago Pago" are sure to throw them for a loop. Apparently NPR hosts don't have to know grammar, either.

I heard Debbie Elliot interviewing Peter Overby - wow, there are a couple a dim bulbs - (Obama Leads in Election Fundraising). At the 1:08 mark, Elliot clearly chokes on the use of the comparative "than".

Elliot: ... Now you're saying he's [Obama] raised a few million more than her [sic, referring to Ms. Clinton].

That is what a cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama College of Communication* has to offer. It is no surprise that the complications of history completely overwhelm her. And Elliot isn't nearly as horrible as the Morning Edition crew.

* A communcations degree always reminds me of The Simpsons' episode with this immmortal line:

"Dr. Hibbert: I'm afraid your playing days are over my friend, but don't worry, you can fall back on your degree in--Communications? Oh dear Lord!

Come together! (NSFW)

The EU has a YouTube video that has even The Guardian tittering.

World Naked Gardening Day

I missed it again! Shucks, I'll have to wait for next year's World Naked Gardening Day. Now, I'll have to wait until next May 8.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why we love Keith Olbermann

From what I suppose was the Monday evening (already Wednesday morning here in J-land) broadcast, naming W. the Worst Person in the World (and quoting Cromwell):
"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, GO!"