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.

From the "Judging a Book by Its Cover" Department

Researchers accurately predicted the results of Super Tuesday's elections in August of last year using Australian and New Zealand school girls' snap judgments of whether the candidates looked competent.
Researchers Scott Armstrong, Kesten Green, Randy Jones, and Malcolm Wright had their interest piqued by the work of Alexander Todorov.

“Todorov and co had found that snap judgments of competence based on color pictures of candidates’ faces did a good job of predicting congressional and senate races,” Prof Wright said.

“So the Wharton team decided to extend the test to the current US presidential election and from May through mid-August 2007 we worked with them to get ratings of competence, based on photos of the faces of the 24 potential contenders for their parties’ nomination as candidate for the 2008 presidential election.”
Only a little bit scary to think that the entire process of picking a president could boil down to who looks presidential. Australian and New Zealand school girls were picked precisely because they did not know the candidates. The results of those who recognized a candidate were discounted. The full article is here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

First Prediction of Winner of Maine Caucuses - Obama

Arevolutionofone Projects Obama Winner of Maine Caucuses. Based on 59% of the caucus voting returns and, although we are unable to conduct exit polls, we are also basing our projection on some creakiness in our joints that also crops up when it's about to rain, we are calling the Maine causes for Barack Obama. We planned to read chicken entrails but that would make the PETA folks go nuts. Barack Obama, according to Arevolutionofone blog, is the winner of the Maine caucuses.

Based on 59% reporting, Obama leads in state delegates 1,305 (57%) to 956 (42%) for Hillary Clinton. Here's a link to results from CNN.

With 70% reporting Obama leads 1,564 (58%) to 1,122 (41%) for Clinton.

Possible End to Writer's Strike Today

I almost posted some boring MSNBC video about writers considering and voting on the newest proposal to end the strike and that some may be back at work as soon as Monday. In fact I may post it below. Instead I searched Youtube and found something not only more interesting, but that makes their case in the most convincing way that I've seen to date (not that I needed to be convinced).

The video above was posted last fall soon after the strike began, but it demonstrates what pricks the studios are for causing the strike, and for letting it last so long when it was the only fair thing to do. Not to mention the fact that they screwed the writers on their last deal for a share of DVD sales. These are the studios that put out the anti-piracy ads telling us how people are stealing from them when they copy their movies and TV shows. But the studios are not stealing when they don't pay the people who wrote them. They're just being tough minded business negotiators. When you think about how this business has treated artists, those anti-piracy ads should make you laugh. Or if you're a writer, they might make you cry. Now, here's that boring MSNBC video.

Much Ado 'Bout Pimpin'

This would be funny if it wasn't sad and a little bit silly. Ok, sorry, it really is funny.

Ok, not to dump on Chelsea Clinton, but while we are on the topic; I found this at Crooks and Liars. This really is sad and not at all funny. And not surprisingly, it was said by John McCain back in 1998.
Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.”

– Sen. John McCain, speaking to a Republican dinner, June 1998.
I guess the point being made is that this is a lot worse than what David Schuster said. Point taken. The real question might be, why is John McCain so ugly? And we're not just talking about his looks.