Friday, February 29, 2008

The Colbert Report: Stephen Colbert on William F. Buckley

Colbert makes the comparison between the father of modern intellectual conservatism, William F. Buckley and what we have today, e.g., Billo. His guest is Richard Brookhiser, a direct descendant of Mr. Buckley.

The Daily Show: Jon Stewart

In the middle of this Daily Show clip, there's footage of the Decider giving advice to Turkey about their invasion of Iraq without a single shred of irony. But then, that's what we've got Jon Stewart for.

Trending Away from Microtrends

An interesting and ironic analysis of why Barack Obama is winning by Arianna Huffington at Huffington Post. If you're tired of poll after poll, and coverage of tit-for-tat bickering between the candidates, and the other useless information you get from the best political team on television, or as I've just this moment decided to start calling them, the best political team in show business, and the rest of the MSM (of course except for the man Keith Olbermann), and want to read something that won't reduce your IQ by 5 points, check out her post.

Jay Rockefeller Endorses Obama

CNN has just reported that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has endorsed Barack Obama.

McCain Calls Himself Liberal: A Limbaughian Slip

What happens when you let comedian Rush Limbaugh get inside your head.

Happy Leap Day!

This video is not only scintillating but educational. It explains why we have leap years, resulting in a day like today, February 29, every four years.

If those facts aren't enough to make your day, it is also Sadie Hawkins Day.

John McCain: the Slime and Sublime Tour 2008

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, in the second part of this video, explains how John McCain and the Republicans can simultaneously wallow in the muck and stay above the fray in the general election campaign against Barack Obama. They are already showing signs of their strategy if Obama is the nominee. Republican attack machine surrogates will do all the dirty work, sliming Obama with innuendo, while McCain and the party committee condemn them and remain squeaky clean.

It's the same strategy Bush used against McCain in 2000 with push pollers in South Carolina and later against John Kerry with the Swift Boaters. This is just the warm up. We can expect a lot more once the general election campaign is on. McCain has traded in the Straight Talk Express for the Slime and Sublime Tour.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Informed Voter Part Deux: Take Back the Mike

This is a follow up video to one I posted awhile back under the title, An Informed Voter is Beautiful. But there is a lot more to this informed voter than meets the eye, and more than was evident in the first video I shared. This video goes beyond the surface of this gentleman whose name is Derrick Ashong. And he presents an important and impassioned view that all Americans, especially young Americans should hear. He talks about the reasons he's informed and there are some interesting insights in what he shares here, as, if you've seen the video, you already know. The video is originally posted on Youtube and on Think on These Things blog.

Southwest Beauty Nazis: Too Pretty to Fly!

Damn Beauty Nazis at Southwest! It's 2008. When civil rights for beautiful people in this country finally be realized? We shall overcooommmee...!!! The Beauty Nazis respond below.

-Beautiful people, fight the powers!

The Billboard Liberation Front Strikes AT&T and the NSA

This is great. Found it at More from the BBL here. An excerpt from the BBL's statement:
The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants.
First comment, also hilarious:
Oh, someone's going to Gitmo for this one.

-Fight the powers.

There's also video:

Rove's Denials Re: Don Siegelman Bound to Unravel

This story is not getting nearly as much traction as it should. I have only twice seen in on the home page of a major TV news organization's web site. Not on CNN, in fact I searched for it there a couple days ago and found zip, nada, zero. But the CNN web site's search sucks. It was on MSNBC's front page once and obviously it was on the CBS site. It's a very important story. It's about basic American freedoms and the justice system. It may generate the kind of publicity that will finally open up the US Attorney's Office scandal and force people like Josh Bolten, Harriet Miers, and Karl Rove to honor subpoenas and appear before congress.

The denials and stories from the Republican Party heads in Alabama are bound to start to unravel when phone and other records are checked and it turns out that Jill Simpson has been telling the truth about Karl Rove. Thanks Dan Abrams for bringing it to us. It may be the most important story in the news today.

What's in a "Middle" Name?

MSNBC's Dan Abrams completely blows this opportunity to point out precisely what is behind the far right's out of bounds attacks on Barack Obama in this lame interview of Republican congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia. First he lets the congressman repeat the charge that Michelle Obama said she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life when he knows what was actually said, taken in full context, was that she was proud of the American political process for the first time. And he wasted half the interview on a minute point about the congressman wearing a flag lapel pin.

Much more egregious is the fact that he lets the congressman get away with calling things like using Obama's middle name repeatedly and pointedly, just a little back and forth "banter". Which is really all Abrams engaged in with this guy when he should have nailed him. This is a classic smoke screen the right uses by bringing up something that they know is incendiary and claiming that it is, or should be innocent. Using arguments like, well, that really is the guy's middle name and, we use other people's middle names. Or we show other politicians on diplomatic trips in the garb of other nations. When we all know that the intent of pointing these things out is to make an association with Obama and symbols that people fear.

This is all about the politics of fear and the problem with it is that it causes fear in people, some of whom are hateful, some of whom are violent, and some who are completely mentally unhinged. It is not the simple innocent fact that his middle name is Hussein or that he dressed in middle eastern clothes on a diplomatic trip. It is the attempt and intent to draw a parallel between him and terrorism in a way that could inspire a nut case to do something that could hurt the Senator or other innocent people. It is the repeated use of his middle name and that photo in an attempt to make people who may be a little on the edge question him in their minds. To make them ask, why does this guy keep pointing out his middle name is Hussein.

It's something old people, especially from the south, used to say when I was a kid; throwing a rock and hiding your hand. Pretending you did nothing when you have the worst intentions. It's getting as close as you possibly can to hate speech and still being able to deny it. It should never be tolerated or soft-balled in the way that Abrams did. Dan, you have to hammer these people because this is the same thing as using code words. We see it in the heated undocumented worker debate where supposed innocent speech by people like Lou Dobbs results in an increase in hate crimes against Latinos. And I don't mean in any way to compare Abrams to Dobbs. There's no comparison, but he let this guy off the hook. In fact in my next post I give Dan well deserved credit for what he's doing to expose the corruption involved in the Don Siegelman case. One of the most important stories not being covered enough at this time.

-Fight the Powers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Help Speak Out for Don Siegelman

A post at the blog is targeting attacks by the Birmingham News on Don Siegelman, the unfairly indicted former Alabama Governor. I should make a practice of calling him what he his, because he is in effect a political prisoner of the Bush Administration. If you agree with the post, they are asking that you email or call the Birmingham News and let them know how many people know and care about this case of injustice. I plan to write them now.

-Fight the powers.

William F. Buckley Dies at 82

Conservative or liberal, whether you agreed with his ideas or not, you had to agree that William F. Buckley was a class act in the conservative movement. Far more so than what we have today. He was no Rush Limbaugh or any of the other ridiculous, chickenhawk, shock pundits and comedians we find in conservative talk radio and on Faux News. He was erudite and reasoned. I watched Firing Line often many years ago. Sometimes I agreed with him, and when I didn't he made me think. We will miss the dignity he brought to liberal v. conservative discourse.

Don't Let Comcast Shut You Up

I'm going to be lazy here and cut and paste the text from email I just got from Save the Internet. It's an important cause and here's what they said. just caught Comcast Corp. stacking a FCC hearing with paid (and apparently sleepy) seat-fillers.

The hearing was set up to investigate Comcast's recent blocking of the Internet. But Comcast packed the room so that the public couldn't get in to voice their support for Net Neutrality.

Comcast is blocking the public debate just like it is blocking the Internet: it wields its substantial political and market power to shut out debate and shut up people.
If you're not familiar with Net Neutrality or why it's important, visit and learn about it. It is crucial to your ability to use the internet on an equal playing field with everyone else, including large corporations. It is a key freedom of speech issue.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obama v Clinton: Democratic Debate in Cleveland Ohio

The Democratic Debate in Cleveland Ohio between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in it's entirety. Enjoy.

-Fight the powers.

Rove Holds Up "Free Don Siegelman" Banner

A pretty gutsy gotcha by Bradblog contributor Alan Breslauer. Rove denies the allegations made by Dana Jill Simpson Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes. Hit the Bradblog link to hear what he says. In denying the allegations Rove says "I'm a myth." And, "Anything you can't explain, blame on Rove." I'd like to see him use the myth defense before congress.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

All I have to say about this, actually it's a question; where do they find the brothers they have standing behind this guy? Where on earth do you dig up people like this, who will stand behind an obviously, let's call him, a not very open minded person? I wouldn't feel very comfortable in an environment with people like this. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm stereotyping. With people who could listen to this guy's rhetoric without flinching, I would feel like I was surrounded by the kind of people who wouldn't want me to move into their neighborhood or marry their daughter. Am I wrong?

Ok, actually I have one more thing to say. It's this, if this is really the kind of silliness we can expect in the general election campaign from the Republican nut cases, it's going to be a fun election. It's really shameful. It should embarrass most people and it won't present the kind of picture of our country that we want the world to see. But if that's the way they want to play, I say bring it on, because it's a sure way for the Republicans to loose. Maybe it shows that they are already just that worried about the prospect of running against Obama.

The Naked Violin: The Music Wants to be Free

Classical violinist Tasmin Little is offering a CD of her music free online here. The CD is entitled The Naked Violin. I've been listening to it all morning. I recognize and really enjoy the Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita No.3 in E major for Solo violin BWV1006 by J.S. Bach. It rocks! Figuratively speaking of course. Check it out.

I ran across it by way of this article in the Telegraph, wistful for the days of album art and liner notes, which I empathize with. Yet somehow the author uses it as an argument against giving music away free. As if we are some how deprived of something by only being able to pay inflated sums for music that's only available for purchase in a certain physical location. Instead of a few paragraphs of liner notes on a physical sleeve and front and back art cover, we have as much digital media, text, graphic and video, as we want over the web. Plus the ability to access our music almost wherever we want.

Even less valid is the argument that he old way of selling music was better for the artists. That having large corporations market them and take most of the profit for marketing departments and executives, leaving the artists pennies per album was better than what new media offers. They lament the decline of the music industry as if that is the same as the decline of the music business for artists. Corporations who got rich off many artists who died penniless. Which is why anti-piracy ads would make me laugh if they weren't sad. But I'm going on a bummer rant in a post about a good thing, free music. I'll finish on a positive note by saying that new media gives more artists the ability to deliver their music directly to their audience for more money in their pockets than the industry ever gave most of them.

Please enjoy this new CD from Tasmin Little, even if you think you're not into classical. Give it a listen, something on it may draw you in.

Just Words: A Couple Different Takes on Hillary's Anti-Words Message

I may date myself with this reference, but after Clinton's Many Faces of Hillary performances this weekend, at tonight's debate (on MSNBC) I'm expecting her head to spin in a complete circle Exorcist style. First at the end of the last debate she was Ms. Congeniality. Then she was a scolding parental figure, shouting, "Shame on you Barack Obama!" Next she was Night at the Improv featuring Hillary Clinton, with a mocking comedy routine. Except I wasn't sure whether to laugh with her or at her. Ok, I laughed at her.

The video above sardonically exposes Clinton's recent attacks on Barack Obama for just what they are, BS. And at Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington has a post (actually it was there yesterday, but I just got around to reading it this morning) that has a interesting and insightful deconstruction of the Clinton argument that Obama is all empty rhetoric and speeches. Definitely worth a read.

It's really getting harder and harder for even the most die hard Clinton supporters to defend her. Not to mention those of us who at least had some good will toward her, and would have voted for her if she was the nominee. Probably still would, but she's really pushing it with these performances. She's in desperation mode, which is sad to watch. But she put herself there from the beginning by triangulation and leaning whichever way the wind blows politically. Even so she had the chance to go out with a little class and style. That chance has just past her by.

-Fight the powers.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obligatory Oscars Clip: Jon Stewart Monologue

Jon Stewart was once again excellent at the Oscars last night. Here's a piece of his monologue, very funny. And a post with a little levity to break up my sarcastic, but strident calls for impeachment of the current president, sandwiched between effectively calling Bush a fascist and comparing him with Fidel Castro. Because man cannot live by revolution alone.

-Fight the powers.

Bill Moyers: Mr Heath Goes to Washington

The video above is a preview of a Bill Moyer's exposé on earmarks. It is eye opening. When you see what the money really goes to and why, it makes you wonder who is really getting welfare in this country. Republican's like to carp about social program and entitlements. When you see people getting millions, even billions of government dollars for basically nothing, for things that are worthless, it makes entitlements look like...there isn't a word for what it makes it look like. It's like nano-chicken feed. The entire program can be seen here on the PBS site.

In Case You Missed It: 60 Minutes on Don Siegelman

Here's the 60 Minutes piece on Don Siegelman in two parts, above and below. It aired during the Oscars so you might have missed it. Not only that but with the McCain lobbyist/not really a sex scandal, Obamania, and the many faces of Hillary Clinton this weekend, a story like this could get overlooked.

It is understandable, after all, it's only about the president's chief political adviser politicizing the legal arm of the US government and making a former state governor a political prisoner. I mean, it's not like Bush got a blow job from an intern in the White House or anything. If that happened we'd have to go through another one of those pain in the a** impeachment trials. That'd really suck (no pun intended). But back to the Oscars, Jon Stewart was great wasn't he?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

SNL: The Press Has A Crush on Obama

Obama Girl is not the only one who's got it bad for Obama, at least, that is, through the lens of Saturday Night Live's satirical skit comedy. In this skit they slightly exaggerate the press' fawning over Barack Obama. A funny skit, but the guy playing Obama looks, or sounds nothing like him. Which is a bit of a let down, because SNL spent at least a news cycle hyping it. Making a big deal out of who their Fauxbama would be.

The guy they picked, just happens to be a white guy, which I have no problem with. Darrell Hammond did a great Jesse Jackson. Of course Jesse Jackson gives you a lot to work with in terms of speech patterns, facial expressions and body language. And that was part of the hype, that Obama's character and mannerisms were too generic to easily mimic. I don't know if that's true or a cop out for not having someone who could do him. Obama isn't as distinctive a character as Jesse, but there's definitely something to work with there. The skit worked anyway, bad Fauxbama notwithstanding, soooo.... Not live, over the internets, it's Saturday Night!

Oh BTW, Amy made a great Hillary Clinton, because she's Poehlerizing. Hahahahahahaha, get it, Poehlerizing! Whooooo, Ok, I'll stop.

SNL's Tina Fey: B*tch is the New Black!

Saturday Night Live returns to the tube, and actually the internets as well obviously, after a long hiatus due to the writer's strike. In this skit, Tina Fey, from the SNL anchor desk, delivers the women's news.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Harassing Smiley's Momma for Dis of Obama

Talk show host Tavis Smiley is getting some heat for criticizing Barack Obama for not attending the State of the Black Union Forum in New Orleans this year. From an article posted on CNN's site Smiley says:
"I have family in Indianapolis. They are harassing my momma, harassing my brother. It's getting to be crazy."
The story is here on CNN. Briefly it states:
In a letter to Smiley earlier this month, Obama commended the forum for addressing important issues, but explained he needed to focus on his presidential run ahead of the critical March 4 primaries....

.... Smiley has been vocal about his disapproval of Obama's decision.

"I think it's a missed opportunity on Mr. Obama's part," Smiley told CNN. "Now, I am not interested in demonizing him for his choice, but I do disagree with it."

But Smiley's criticism has also prompted many people to come to Obama's defense. The talk show host told The Washington Post he has been inundated with angry e-mails and even death threats.
It's kind of crazy for people to threaten the man with death for criticizing Barack Obama. That's a little bit scary. People who would do something like that are probably a bit unhinged in the first place. It might be time for Barack Obama to ask people to give Tavis a break before things get out of hand.

As an aside I have to say that although conferences like this are absolutely valuable, no doubt necessary, I think the name is a bit unfortunate. It can be construed as meaning black people have a separate union as opposed to being part of the union we are all a part of, the United States of America. I know it doesn't mean that, but it's a matter of perception and it sounds separatist in a way that a name like, the State of Black People in the Union, though definitely not as catchy and not a name I'm recommending, but I put forth as a contrast to illustrate my point, does not. It seems to me that we fought long and hard not to be separate and symbols like these and the Black National Anthem, put forth a perception that belie those struggles.

Hot Naked Babes!

Mr. Spock challenges American beauty standards in his new book featuring nudie pics of women who don't necessarily meet those standards, but are beautiful regardless. Leonard Nimoy's book is the Full Body Project. Featured on the Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central last Valentine's Day, 2/14/2008.


BTW, I'm not trying to boost my blog's readership or hits by posting a title like "Hot Naked Babes!" It would be beneath the high standards this blog upholds. I only mean to affirm along with Mr. Nimoy that the women featured in his book are indeed beautiful.

Stop With All the Plagiarism Charges Already!

Ok, enough. We get it. Everybody borrows from everyone. It's like I've always said, and I coined this phrase myself, "I only steal from the best." Please, don't steal that from me. You know what, Ok, Barack, you can use it. I give you my permission. If anyone accuses you of plagiarizing it, just have them see this post.

-Fight the powers.
(That's mine too.)

More on Don Siegelman, Cuba, Castro and Irony

The video above is from a 2004 interview with former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman discussing irregularities in vote counts when he ran for re-election. A few posts back I wrote about new revelations regarding Siegelman's conviction on bribery charges being featured on 60 minutes Sunday. About how Republican lawyer Jill Simpson admitted doing "opposition research" for Karl Rove to catch Siegelman in a compromising position.

A few days ago I posted this video about the irony of George Bush scolding the Castro brothers for holding unfair elections. If it turns out that Rove and his minions through the US Attorney's office targeted Siegelman with a politically motivated prosecution, convicting him on trumped up charges, we will have another irony to add to the list. George Bush will have what amounts to a political prisoner.

With regard to Cuba and Fidel Castro what we'll have is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. And one more way that the Bush administration has sullied the reputation of the US in the eyes of the world, by doing the kinds of things I learned in Civics class in High School only happened in Communist countries and under dictatorships. But then I never really bought a good portion of the crap they taught us in Civics as we fought an unjust war in Vietnam and beat down peaceful student protesters and civil rights marchers.

Is that why we shouldn't do things like torture prisoners or spy on our citizens? So that when we lecture Communists, dictators, terrorists, and militant religious extremists about it, we don't look like total hypocrites? I was probably absent when they taught that in Civics class. There is a second part to the video above on Youtube. The video below is an interview of a lawyer supporting Siegelman and outlines what was wrong with his prosecution. It is also in several parts. Click on either video to see them on Youtube and see the additional videos.

-Fight the powers.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bill O Apologizes for Lynching Comment

Bill O'Reilly casually apologizes for using the word "lynching" in defense of Michelle Obama, excusing it by reaching way back to remarks made by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. Thomas referred to a "high tech lynching" in defending himself against sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill during his Senate confirmation hearings. There's a major difference in this case.

Beyond the fact that it was 16 years ago and the standards were a little different then, Clarence Thomas is black. Without addressing whether you think Thomas was correct in using the metaphor in his case, it can appropriately used by a black man referring to himself in a befitting circumstance. Meaning said black man is describing a situation where someone did something to him akin to lynching. Not by a white man about a black woman, as in Bill O's case.

It isn't much of an apology, if this clip is all he said. It's almost flippant, using the justification that in Michelle Obama's defense, context justified her statement. Somehow he believes that context justifies his. Except he conveniently leaves out the fact that he made no reference to Clarence Thomas in his original statement about Michelle Obama. So how does it fit into the context of his statement about her? Also, it's a qualified apology, which is no apology at all. And it makes no acknowledgment of the offensiveness of the word and that it should never be used.

It's more of a justification than an apology. The word came out of his mouth. But in the context of, "If I offended anybody", and the Clarence Thomas also said it defense, it's not really an apology at all. Context, Bill, is everything.

Is Rove the Teflon Turd Blossom?

So far Bush's Brain has managed to survive stories of spreading scandal to sink the re-election bid of Texas Governor Ann Richards, and the 2000 presidential candidacy of John McCain. He was suspected of some involvement in Plame-gate. And he is the suspected mastermind behind the effort to use the US Attorney's office politically for the benefit of the Republican party in a scandal that sunk the career of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Yet Mr. Rove has managed, so far, to escape any serious legal entanglements as a result of those suspicions. Some of Rove's nefarious dealings are revealed in this 60 Minutes piece to air this Sunday, and may finally lead to some legal trouble for him. Will charges of dirty dealing finally stick to Rove. Or will he turn out to be the the Teflon Turd Blossom?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clinton - Obama Debate from Austin Texas

I don't know why I ever watch the after debate analysis. It's like those people watched something completely different than I did. I guess so much of it is subjective and probably has to do with who you support up front. I don't think it was a knock out for anyone, but I think Barack Obama clearly won on points. I was following the threads during the debate on Daily Kos, and I think most people there thought Barack won.

The video above was one of the better exchanges for Barack Obama. The video below is of the end of the debate and was by far Hillary Clinton's best moment. It was a moving and warm finish for her and received a standing ovation from the audience, but it also seemed to express a note of conciliation and resignation. Most of the on-air pundits on CNN and MSNBC are saying she won on the strength of that finish. I don't think it's the case at all. I think it practically conceded defeat. It's ironically being described as valedictory by the pundits, some of the same ones who are saying she won.

I think the race is nearly over. The fat lady isn't singing, but she's warming up in the wings. Finally hearing one pundit, Jonathan Alter on Chris Matthew's Hardball, who got it right and said that Barack won the debate.

Bill O on "Hate Speech"

Ok, if I wasn't certain that Bill O'Reilly is basically F-ing with us, excuse my french, I am now. On his site is a column entitled, Hate Speech and the 'Net, in which he takes Arianna Huffington to task for comments, not her own words, but comments on the Huffington Post blog. In my last post, I know I suggested completely ignoring him, but I wanted to see if he was getting any heat at all for his Michelle Obama lynching comments. What I found was all the evidence I need that he's playing games. His comment was obviously intentional. It's simply not humanly possible to be this clueless.

-Fight the powers.

NY Times: John McCain Possible Hook Up with Lobbyist

Did crusty old John McCain get some nookie from a 40 year old lobbyist hottie? No! Wait, aarrgghhh! Get the image out of my head!

Michelle Obama "Lynching" Comment: Is Bll O Crazy Like a Fox?

There is a kind of cluelessness that is completely ironic in the fact that it is both common and utterly shocking at the same time. It is the kind of cluelessness that you encounter regularly, often daily, but simultaneously forces you to say, this person cannot possibly be that stupid. Your mind has trouble wrapping itself around the signs of apparent intelligence in that individual. The fact that they are standing upright, have the power of speech, they are dressed appropriately, and appear to be gainfully employed. Yet they said or did something that exhibited a complete lack of intelligence. Bill O'Reilly's "lynching party" comment rises to that level of cluelessness because it comes after the two week suspension of Golf Channel commentator Kelly Tilghman for making a reference to lynching about Tiger Woods, it comes after the incidence of nooses appearing in work places and hanging from the tailgate of a pick-up truck in the wake of the Jena Six protests, and after the president's unequivocal remarks during a speech for Black History Month at the White House that, "lynching is not a word to be used in jest."

And it makes you wonder, if just for a second, if Bill O could be that clueless, or if it is possible that he does these kinds of things on purpose? Did he say what he said about Michelle Obama with full knowledge and intent because he knew it would stir up controversy à la Don Imus and the, "nappy headed ho's," furor? Is Bill O'Reilly that smart? That crafty? After reading comments on this post at Daily Kos, and listening to clips at Media Matters, I got carried away and started to theorize that maybe Bill O is some kind of media Columbo. Feigning stupidity to boost his ratings, or create an Imus-like controversy in the middle of Barack Obama's presidential campaign by getting himself fired and then hired again on satellite radio for beaucoup bucks.

Both pictures of Bill O'Reilly are equally difficult to reconcile. Is the man utterly clueless or a media genius? And in either case what do you do about him? Do we give him what he's possibly asking for and definitely deserves, a full blown media controversy and demand that he, like Imus, be fired? Or instead do give him what would truly be hell for him, no matter which Bill O you believe to be the real one, ignore him completely. Stop writing about him, stop screaming about him, stop tearing our hair out about him. Because we who hold him in the contempt he deserves, give him far more than half the attention he gets, and raise his stature among those who love him. I believe the latter would hurt him most and give him what he most deserves, anonymity. On the other hand I hate to let the ass get a pass on something that is totally and inexcusably over the line.

Please share your thoughts in comments and as always....

-Fight the powers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Update: Michelle Obama Really is Proud of America

In this video from MSNBC, Michelle Obama clarifies her statement that she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. Her words are clear enough. You can draw your own conclusions.

I'm Sorry, Were You Saying Something...?

Etiquette has been politely pushed aside in the race for a Democratic nominee for president. Since the South Carolina primary on January 26, in each of her losses to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton has either failed, or given only a cursory word of concession to her opponent. Traditionally candidates congratulate their opposition in a concession speech. Clinton, so far, has given her standard stump speech when she looses. Last night Obama's speech started only minutes after Hillary Clinton's began. All the major networks switched from Hillary's speech to Obama's. He basically stomped on her speech, and though neither campaign will admit that it had anything to do with etiquette, Obama's folks saying it was "unintentional", the pundits were all speculating whether his camp had gotten tired of Clinton's lack of courtesy. Clinton's staff later issued a statement that she called to congratulate Obama. But that is not a public concession and I don't think it counts.

At the end of the video there was a clip of Michelle Obama's controversial statement about being proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. It's a statement that will be misunderstood and will probably cost Obama some political capital. But if you are an African American in this country, you know what she means. It's not going to be a popular thing to say, especially for white folks. But I totally understand in a way that Cindy McCain, the rich white Republican wife of a senator, never will. I hate to put it in those polarizing terms. I wonder how the Obama campaign will find a way to cast her remarks in a more diplomatic and politically palatable light.

I hate to speak for any group of people as a whole, but I think most, emphasis on most, African American's will get it and there will be no need for anyone to make an excuse for what she said. I'm sure she did not mean that there was nothing to be proud of America for, but that there is a whole lot not to be proud of. A few things come to mind in recent history, but I don't think I need to make a list. Hopefully people will not take what she said literally and will understand what she meant. I think the most direct and honest way to handle it is to say she misspoke, apologize, tell us what she is proud of, and move on.


I got this Obama response from of all places, Michelle Malkin's web site. I held my nose long enough to copy it to paste here.
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama sought Tuesday to clarify his wife’s statement that she is proud of the U.S. “for the first time in my adult life.” He said her newfound pride is about the political system and was not meant to disparage her country…”Statements like this are made and people try to take it out of context and make a great big deal out of it, and that isn’t at all what she meant,” Obama said. “What she meant was, this is the first time that she’s been proud of the politics of America,” he said. “Because she’s pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she’s not alone. But she has seen large numbers of people get involved in the process, and she’s encouraged.”
I haven't taken the time to look for other sources as yet. It's better than what I came up with above, but then, I'm not a politician and I don't have to say, nor would I ever want to be the person who has to say the politically expedient thing. What I am doing here, I hope, is something different. Above I probably shouldn't have drawn the conclusion that most African American's would agree with me. Maybe most won't. Personally I think living in this country as probably any minority can cause you, at times, to have some ambivalence about it. Sorry I don't have the rose-colored glasses, fag-waving, super patriotic view of America. I don't and never will. Even if Obama is elected.

-Fight the powers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Washington Primary Election Results

Refresh your browser to see available updated results.

MSNBC projects John McCain winner of the Washington state primary election. The Democratic primary results are non-binding, meaning no delegates will be awarded.

Hawaii Primary Caucus Results

CNN and MSNBC project Barack Obama winner of the Hawaii presidential Democratic primary election. The Republican presidential convention will be held May 16-18 in Hawaii.

Wisconsin Primary Election Results

Refresh your browser to see available updated results.

MSNBC and CNN project John McCain the winner of the Wisconsin Republican Primary. Both are calling the Democratic race too early to call, however MSNBC reports that Barack Obama is leading in exit polls.

MSNBC is calling the Wisconsin Democratic primary for Barack Obama. With 1% of the primary results in Obama leads Hillary Clinton 53% to 46%.

CNN - The Most Busted Name in News

I have to post this link from the Huffington Post. This is one of the most insightful and honest posts I have seen about the MSM, CNN in particular, by someone who, until recently worked for them. Chez Pazienza is a blogger for Huffington Post, and was a producer for American Morning on CNN. He was fired for blogging. That is to his and our good fortune because now he is saying what should be said about them and he knows from the inside. In his words:
CNN fired me, and did it without even a thought to the power that I might wield as an average person with a brain, a computer, and an audience. The mainstream media doesn't believe that new media can embarrass them, hurt them or generally hold them accountable in any way, and they've never been more wrong.

I'm suddenly in a position to do all three, and I know now that this is what I've been working toward the last few years of my career.
This part sounds more sour grapes than it actually is, you have to read the post to see. CNN is the cable news network I love to hate. I hate them all, but I have CNN on most of the day, backgrounding while I'm doing other things. They are a prime example of what is wrong with the MSM and what is wrong with television news.

But what really cracks me up is their recent clumsy attempts to adopt new media. As if it were something they invented. Now they are all bloggers. Wolf Blitzer, Jack Cafferty and Anderson Cooper, who live blogs during the commercial breaks. Give me a break. They are starting to figure out that the world is changing and that occasional blog reports from their Internet reporters and email from their audience isn't enough to compete for the attention of young people who are more comfortable with new media than traditional cable news.

Rather than promoting their blogs with every spare moment they have and telling us how trusted they are and how they are the best team of reporters, blah, blah, blah; they could start giving us real news. Stop sensationalizing everything. Stop giving us the Britney Spears and the Paris Hilton news, or from today's headlines it's Lindsay Lohan in a nude photo shoot tribute to Marilyn Monroe. If they did real news, they would never need to tell us how trusted they are, or that they are the best. It wouldn't be necessary. Now thanks the Chez Pazienza, they may soon be known as the Most Busted Name in News.
Rock on Chez!

-Fight the powers.

Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday Night

Tomorrow night there will be a total eclipse of the moon. If you're on the left coast, like me, the moon will move into the earth's shadow at about 5:43pm PST (8:43pm EST). First hints of the eclipse will be visible earlier at 7pm PST. It should be cool because the moon is waxing gibbous at 97% full tonight. More details in this Slashdot post.

Castro Resigns: Can Bush Say Fair Elections Without Irony?

Does anyone, but me, find any irony in this statement by President Bush in the video above regarding fair elections? Any irony in the fact that Cuba is just 90 miles from Florida? Hanging chads? Daddy's hand-picked Justices key to his Supreme Court declared election in 2000. Disenfranchisement of African American voters who's votes were lost? Is that Bush talking about fair elections? To give him credit, he has always spoken out for fair elections, that is in almost any country except the US.

The video below is a retrospective of the life and career of Fidel Castro, Cuban leader and dictator since January of 1959. Castro is stepping down this morning from his post as Cuban head of state. This NY Times article also summarizes his career, the things we always hear about him, dictator, Communist, responsible for a failed economy, and inciter of Communist revolution around the globe. Despite all he managed to reign in the shadow of the US, the biggest superpower on the globe for almost 50 years and accomplished a few things we could not in this country with our great wealth. Among them, universal health care, free education through college, and according to the Times, the "rooting out of racism."

-Fight the powers.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Barack Obama Superstar!!!

He's the Beatles of politicians. Or the *NSync. Six separate incidents of women fainting at Obama rallies. Ok, it's strange, but it been a good long time since a politician generated this much excitement, and so far, I think that's a good thing.

More Guns on College Campuses - Bizarro World?

I watch a lot of news, maybe too much. As of yet I have heard absolutely nothing in response to the NIU school shooting suggesting more control of guns in this country. And today on CNN, I see this story, suggesting more guns on college campuses might be what's needed. Am I in Bizarro World? Is this not an absolutely insane suggestion or maybe it's me? Maybe I watch too much CNN.

-Fight the powers.

CNN - Just Sniping: Accusing Obama of Pagiarism

CNN is making a big deal out of this campaign propaganda from the Clinton camp, actually calling it plagiarism. Instead of focusing on real news, like the item I just posted today about Clinton links to a polling company that supplies polls to CNN. Uhm, OK, I can see why they wouldn't want to cover that story, they focus on sniping from the desperate Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign accuses Obama of lifting rhetoric from a speech by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. CNN updated the story with this response from Barack Obama, I'll post video of it as soon as I can find some.
CNN's Chris Welch reports that Obama is playing down the allegations, telling reporters that he's written two books and most of his own speeches.

“Deval and I do trade ideas all the time, and you know he's occasionally used lines of mine, and I at a Jefferson Jackson dinner in Wisconsin used some words of his. And you know I would add I’ve noticed on occasion Sen. Clinton has used words of mine as well,” said Obama, adding, "…As I said before, I really don't think this is too big of a deal."
Reminds me of this cartoon I saw from This Modern World this morning.

-Fight the powers.

the Clintonian Files: CNN Polling Company Linked to Clinton Contributor

I met Zennie (he's in the video below) a couple years ago at Youtube's As One Festival in San Francisco. He's a video blogger and has a regular (not video) blog called Zennie's Zeitgeist. His vlog below is about a link between the Clintons and the owner of a Polling company that supplies polling data to CNN. Zennie makes a few assertions in this video that are yet to be substantiated, the suspicions however, are warranted. But to me there's enough of a problem here without drawing any additional conclusions.

Here's a couple blurbs from Zennie's blog:
I argued that CNN -- the Cable News Network -- should not be using polls that came from a company linked to Vinod Gupta, a major Clinton Donor. Gupta owns Info USA and the Opinion Research Corporation (OPC). It's the OPC that makes the polls that are reported by CNN, and those same polls early in the 2008 Democratic Presidential race gave consistently enormously high leads for Senator Clinton. Polls by the OPC were consistently high for months, even as other organizations like Gallup USA began to show Obama closing on Clinton.

Now, it's revealed in this NPR article that the Clinton campaign sold -- or rented -- their donor list to Info USA and the OPC, but NPR's article does not make the extra step of explaining why InfoUSA / OPC would even need such a list. That's what this video is about. The list was rented for just $8,225, and not the six-figures it's valued to be, and the Clinton campaign did not collect the money until 11-months after the list was delivered.

Meanwhile Gupta himself is in some trouble, as his activities of lending the Clintons the use of his private jet, and hiring President Bill Clinton for $3 million a year have ignited a shareholder lawsuit against Gupta. as Gupta's corporate operatives want to know what value, if any, Gupta's free-spending ways on Clinton have gained InfoUSA.
It raises the question of whether Democrats want someone with potential skeletons in the closet like this as their nominee this fall. Especially in view of the fact that the Republicans will be especially energized and gunning for her. Check out Zennie's Zeitgiest and the accompanying links.

-Fight the powers.

Sir Charles Blasts Fake "christians"

Love him or hate him, you have to give Sir Charles Barkley credit for always speaking his mind. It's not always a virtue, but you can't say that he ever lied about how he felt. I think Charles is expressing the frustration a lot of us feel after almost eight years of George "Mission Accomplished" Bush, and the rest of the chickenhawk Neo-Cons, and the christian Wrong.

I may not be the first, but I'd like to start the practice of referring to their ilk as the small "c" christians. That is the ones who think they can stand as judge and jury on the lifestyles and morality of everyone else in the world. As opposed to the large "C" Christians who are living an example of being Christ-like. I doubt whether speaking his mind like this will get Barkley elected Governor of Alabama. If I was a resident, I'd vote for him. We may have to give Sir Charles a new moniker and dub him Reverend Barkley, because he makes me want to say, Amen!

-Fight the powers.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's Not "Democrat Party", Stupid!

Ok, this has been a pet peeve of mine for awhile and I saw this as a user's sig on Daily Kos and had to make a posting about it because it drives me just a little crazy. The sig is:
It's the DemocratIC Party, dammit. The "Democrat" Party is an epithet. Someone can be a Democrat. A Democrat supports the Democratic Party.
It belongs to this user and I had to give him a shout.

Our idiot president starts using the term, Democrat party, basically to make a digs at it, and now you hear it parroted all over the place. On the news by commentators, anchors and politicians who should know better. What the hell, is stupidity contagious?

Ok, rant over.
-Fight the powers.

It's Torture Talk - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

This time Jon examine's Senator Arlen Specter's priorities.

Hehehe, She Said Vagina

Above is video of Jane Fonda letting the "C" word slip in an interview with Meredith Viera on the Today Show on NBC. Below is the entire interview with Eve Enslser, author of The Vagina Monologues, and Jane. More important than Jane's slip, although the slip was the reason it was posted on Huffington Post and how I found it, is the reason for the interview. To promote V Day, an organization that fights violence against women. The organization's web site is

Friday, February 15, 2008

An Informed Voter is Beautiful

An informed voter is a beautiful thing.

School Shooter "Off Meds" Bought Guns Legally Days Ago

It's only a small part of this report, but two important facts are pointed out. One, that the shooter, and lets not give him that much credit, let's call him a murderer; that he was off his "meds". They won't at this point say what those meds were, but it leads one to suspect that he may have had some history of mental illness. The second that he bought two guns a couple days ago in Champaign Illinois.

Sound anything like the Virginia Tech shooting? A person with a history of mental illness able to buy guns legally and use them to murder people. Yet I have not heard a single report in the MSM mention gun control. Not a single one. I even heard a report discussing closing college campuses so that they would not be open to the public. Amazing. To be fair, maybe the press is waiting for confirmation that these were meds indeed for mental illness. Yet, even if this guy was sane as anyone else, gun control should be part of this discussion.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another School Shooting at NIU

Absolutely too many of these school shootings as NBC's Brian Williams observes. But one is too many. How many will it take to convince Americans that something must be done about the ease of obtaining guns in this country? We need national gun control laws and enforcement and we need them now. We need a MADD style organization to oppose the political influence of organizations like the NRA and to bring some sanity to our gun laws.

The shooting occurred at Northern Illinois University near Chicago Illinois, our home town. So far it has been determined that 5 people were killed, including the gunman and 17 more have been injured. Our condolences to those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy and we hope for as speedy and complete a recovery of all those who are injured as can be expected. No doubt they will all be affected for the rest of their lives.

A total of 21 people were shot. Seven people died, including the gunman.

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on FISA Law Extension

Another Keith Olbermann Special Comment. This one on Bush's hypocrisy regarding extension of the FISA (NSA Domestic Spying) Law. I could summarize, but no one says it more eloquently that Keith. He can certainly speak for himself and I will let him.

-Fight the powers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Internet Freedom Preservation Act

The Internet Freedom Preservation Act is being introduced in Congress by Representative Ed Markey (D-MA). You can help get your congresspersons to support it. Find out how at

Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?

The trailer is hilarious, can't wait to see the movie. From the Youtube description:
New trailer for Morgan Spurlock's upcoming documentary 'Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?'

If Morgan Spurlock has learned anything from over 30 years of movie-watching, it's that if the world needs saving, it's best done by one lone man willing to face danger head on to take it down, action hero style. So, with no military experience, knowledge or expertise, he sets off to do what the CIA, FBI and countless bounty hunters have failed to do: find the world's most wanted man. Why take on such a seemingly impossible mission? Simple -- he wants to make the world safe for his soon to be born child. But before he finds Osama bin Laden, he first needs to learn where he came from, what makes him tick, and most importantly, what exactly created bin Laden to begin with.

The Weinstein Company

-Fight the powers.

Stephen Colber on Obama's Biggest Win

Colbert on Obama's Grammy win.

Clinton's Gambit

  1. Chess. an opening in which a player seeks to obtain some advantage by sacrificing a pawn or piece.
  2. a calculated move by which one seeks to gain an advantage.
In 2005 I was sure, like a lot of people, that Hillary Clinton would run for president in 2008. And I was almost as sure that she would win. I knew that it would make the Republican wingnuts absolutely crazy so I was sure I would be glad to vote for her. It was soon after that I started to change my mind about her. I remember because that was when I saw this article on the Washington Post's web site, Star-Spangled Pandering, by Richard Cohen. He starts by citing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's views on flag burning.
The argument that this famously conservative member of the Supreme Court advanced -- actually, reiterated -- was that while he may or may not approve of flag burning, it was clear to him that it was a form of speech, a way of making a political statement, and that the First Amendment protected it. I could not agree more.

Clinton, apparently, could not agree less. Along with Sen. Robert Bennett, a Utah Republican, she has introduced a bill that would make flag burning illegal.

It was nearly the perfect pandering issue. Some, but not many, people are going to speak out in favor of free speech, when it's connected to burning the flag. Anyone who does will surely be branded by the other side as far left and anti-American. And almost no politician wants to appear to be someone who protects people who burn the flag. It was also then I started to notice that Hillary Clinton was beginning to tweak her image. To move as far as possible to the right. At the time it was probably the smart move. It was just after George Bush's election to his second term as president. And all the media were buzzing about "values voters" and the part they played in electing Bush to a second term.

It appeared that the electorate, at least the participating electorate, was leaning to the right and the election was almost 3 years away. She took the calculated risk that either the electorate would be in the same place when the election rolled around, or that they wouldn't remember how she tried to remake herself in the style of the politics du jour. That, along with her support for the war in Iraq, made me a lot less excited about the prospect of another Clinton in the White House. What good would it do to have a someone in the office who was a Democrat in name only? Someone who would pander to the same people and support the same policies that we'd suffered with for eight years.

More important than that is, if Senator Clinton could support a position that would weaken our most fundamental right as Americans, the First Amendment to the constitution, how could we expect her to stand up for and protect us against the assaults on the constitution that we've suffered under the Bush administration. The assaults on our rights to privacy through the NSA's warrantless surveillance of ordinary citizens, the Patriot Act, and human rights violations through use of torture, such as waterboarding and extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects, some of whom turned out to be innocent.

It was then that I started to hope, and I even came close to praying, that someone would present a viable alternative to Clinton in 2008 for the Democrats. At the time Barack Obama was busy dampening speculation that he would run, telling anyone that asked that it was too early to consider, and that he first had to concentrate on his job as senator. After An Inconvenient Truth, I held out hope for Al Gore.

After Barack Obama decided to run and even to win, I still held out little hope that he could beat the well funded, well-organized, politically calculating Clintons. After Super Tuesday and especially after last night, I am starting to believe that it's possible for the person who doesn't rely upon the polls and public opinion to determine their positions on the issues, can win. Clinton's gambit was that if she positioned herself in the right place in the political winds that she could sail smoothly into the White House. And John McCain is pretty much in the same boat on the Republican side. Positioning himself as well, more to the right in order to pander to his party's base. The great irony is that they both still inspire tremendous acrimony from the far right. And now they've lost a lot of us who stood with them at first. Serves them both right.

The voters are now making their first response, it appears in the end we will see Clinton's gambit declined.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Washington DC Primary Election Results

NBC and CNN project Barack Obama winner of the Washington DC Democratic Primary. The Republican race is too early to call.

John McCain is the winner of the DC Primary.

Maryland Primary Election Results

NBC and CNN project Barack Obama winner of the Maryland Democratic Primary by a substantial margin. Both networks also project John McCain the winner on the GOP side.

Virginia Primary Election Results

NBC and CNN project Barack Obama winner of the Virginia Democratic Primary by a substantial margin. The Republican race is still to close to call.


Both NBC and CNN project John McCain the winner of Virginia's Republican Primary.

Colbert in the Garden of Good and Evil

A primer on good and evil with Stephen Colbert and band leader Guy Lombardo...wait a minute, sorry, it's professor and author Phillip Zimbardo. He's the author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (Random House, 2007). About the book Dr. Zimbardo says on his web site,
In this book, I summarize more than 30 years of research on factors that can create a "perfect storm" which leads good people to engage in evil actions. This transformation of human character is what I call the "Lucifer Effect," named after God's favorite angel, Lucifer, who fell from grace and ultimately became Satan.

Rather than providing a religious analysis, however, I offer a psychological account of how ordinary people sometimes turn evil and commit unspeakable acts. As part of this account, The Lucifer Effect tells, for the first time, the full story behind the Stanford Prison Experiment, a now-classic study I conducted in 1971. In that study, normal college students were randomly assigned to play the role of guard or inmate for two weeks in a simulated prison, yet the guards quickly became so brutal that the experiment had to be shut down after only six days.
It's from The Colbert Report, Monday February, 11, 2008.

-Fight the powers.

Election 2008 Campaign Events Calendar

A handy dandy calender of elections, caucuses, campaign events, candidate appearances, scheduled debates and the like for the Presidential elections for 2008. It's a combination of several public Google calendars including the NY Times calendar of events for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain and Mike Huckabee, the NY Times public calendar of state primary elections and caucuses, the NY Times public calendar of scheduled candidate debates, and Google's public calendar of US Holidays. There's a smaller version in the sidebar to the lower right. Enjoy.

-Fight the Powers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

McCain Music Video

This is funny, but what McCain is saying is absolutely tragic and shows a complete misunderstanding of the world geopolitically, especially the Middle East. It's stupid adherence to failed Bush Administration policies. What's he trying to do, recruit terrorists? What made Bin Laden a terrorist is anger over infidel troops, that would be us (actually first the Russians, then us) on Muslim soil. So McCain wants to keep troops in Iraq for 10,000 years. Simply unbelievable. Here, Bill Maher says it better than I do.

The B Word

Recently the punditry and the Democratic leadership have been worrying their little heads off about the possibility of a brokered convention in August. According to them it would be bad. Real bad. There would be party bosses huddled in smoke-filled rooms, actually smoke-free rooms this time, but that spoils the imagery. And they'd be making deals. Back room deals. The kind of deals that would disaffect the party faithful and lead to disaster in November. As evidence that a brokered convention would be bad they cite the last two brokered conventions that happened way back in the olden days. I could provide a link, but hey, you got fingers, google it or look it up in Wikipedia. Trust me, it happened and it was bad.

With the momentum Barack Obama is gaining from this weekend's sweeps of primaries and caucuses in Washington, Nebraska, Louisiana, Maine and the Virgin Islands, talk of a long drawn out campaign could be moot. But if Hillary Clinton should make a comeback as expected in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, making it a horse race to the end, would that necessarily be all bad? It does mean that the candidates will spend time, energy and resources (read: money) fighting each other and not John McCain. And there is also the possibility that the dreaded superdelegates could pick the candidate least favored by the voting public and cause a rift in the party. On the other hand, there are some good things are happening now, and could happen as the result of a real fight to the end.

First, there's the excitement and the participation of Democratic voters in primaries and caucuses in record numbers. A percentage of participation much higher than Republican participation, which is waning. This race has people excited in a way they have not been in a long time. It's much more exciting and generates more news cycles than anything happening on the Republican side. And as Barack Obama frequently states in his stump speech, it's not all because of the candidates. Seven years of George Bush has something to do with it.
Secondly, it would be historic. It hasn't happened since...uhm...I thought I told you to google it. As long as the campaign doesn't turn nasty, which is a possibility as candidates get desperate, but not if they are thinking in the best interest of the party and the country (country should be first). And as long as the decision of the superdelegates does not disaffect the majority. As long as voters don't feel like they did in 2004 after Florida and hanging chads, I think we will be fine.

Polls indicate 84% of Democrats will support either candidate. And the idea of a dream ticket, whether it's Obama/Clinton, or Clinton/Obama, seems to excite Democrats even more. I wonder if there are any polls that pit a dream ticket against McCain and anybody else? It would probably be a landslide. And that possibility might force the candidates to consider it.

So I don't think the pundits, John Dean and Donna "I get two votes" Brazile need to worry their pretty little heads so much over a having brokered convention, as much as how we have one, should it come down to that.

-Fight the Powers.