Thursday, November 30, 2006

GASP! Jim Webb is a bad dinner companion!

Ah, that Jim Webb. Not only is he a terrible writer, but he is also a bully, a boor, and a meany-mean pants to the president. Today we learned from my buddy Liberal Progressive that Jim Webb is also a...wait for it...pain in the ass. Well, that is not all pholks. I learned today that in addition to all of these horrible personality traits Jim Webb possesses, he is also...
That's right. Don't go out to dinner with Jim Webb if you want to have a good time. This is all according to R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. of the American Spectator, a CLASSIC example of neo-conservative writing at its best. And by best, I mean laughable crazy barrel of NUTS.

Some highlights:
When Ronald Reagan's former secretary of the navy, James Webb, eked out victory against the Republican Senator George Allen in Virginia, what did the Democrats gain? To be sure they gained control of the Senate. That has been widely noted. Less widely noted is the fact that they gained something infinitely more subtle, but delightfully more amusing as will become apparent in the months ahead. In Webb they gained yet another very unpleasant person as a conspicuous member of the party hierarchy. He will not be easily obscured. Webb now takes his place with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Howard Dean, Al Gore, Jean-Francois Kerry, and so many other Democratic notables as a rebarbative blowhard with whom you would not want to share a gondola. Nor would a civilized American want to have any of these churlish cads to dinner or even as neighbors down the block. Just the other day one of Senator Clinton's neighbors turned up with a gunshot wound. I would not be surprised if it were self-inflicted.
Oh, ok. So everyone wants to use big words now that George Will has decided Jim Webb doesn't speak plainly enough. Got it. That makes perfect sense.

You know, by the way; I had no idea that Howard Dean WASN'T a former governor and that he was JUST a doctor. Huh. Oh, and did you know that John Kerry's middle name was Francois? I didn't. I must have missed that in 2004 when I was glued to the television for every single second of the election coverage. And WOW-Hillary's neighbors are trying to kill themselves? Sheesh. Tough neighborhood.

But wait...there's more.
AS IT HAPPENS I DID dine with Webb, sometime after his brief stint at the Department of the Navy. He is a pretty good novelist and in print at the time had expressed some ideas of which I approved, particularly his scruples against women in combat, though other of his references to women strike me as coarse. At any rate, I invited him to dinner for what turned out to be a gruesome evening. Webb is one of those people of whom it is said he is uncomfortable in his skin. At first I thought his discomfort might come from the fear he was going to have to pay his way. It was a classy eatery. I reassured him that he was my guest. I went on to make clear I considered him a fine writer. Nothing I said reassured him, not even my insistence that he have dessert. I left baffled. Most of the military men I have known are gents. Many writers are cads, but I thought a writer who had also served high up in the Reagan Administration might be civilized. After that dinner I never made the mistake of inviting him anywhere again.

His campaign was a prolonged demonstration of his caddishness. He who had called President Bill Clinton's administration the most corrupt in modern history invited Clinton to campaign with him. He actually exploited his own son's present service in Iraq for political advancement. While campaigning he paraded around in his son's combat boots! There were others in the 2006 election with sons in Iraq. One is a leading opponent of the war. None put a son in such an embarrassing and potentially dangerous position. Once elected, Webb took his boorishness to the White House.
So Jim Webb sucks to go to dinner with, and the decision to wear his son's combat boots out of respect for our members of the military and as a reminder of this atrocious war was ACTUALLY an exploitation. It's all clear now.

God, why the hell did I vote for this guy? Maybe it was because he is one of those "angry leftists" I love so much, right? Well, the brilliant Emmet Tyrrell thinks so.
Believe me Senator Webb is going to be a vast source of amusement, and he will fit in nicely with the unpleasant pols whose political base is the Angry Left.

I have said it before and I shall be saying it again, often politics is not a rational act. Increasingly, especially in the Democratic Party, it encourages behavior that is abnormal: politicians windsurfing to assure their constituencies that they are just like them or ranting to show how genuinely human they are. These pols play on the fantasies of mildly delusional voters. In the case of the unpleasant Webb, the delusions are a bit over the top. It makes me wonder why his stay at the Department of the Navy was so brief. Did the Reaganites shove him out? Did one of them make the mistake of taking him to dinner? Or did they catch him acting up at a White House reception that has gone unreported? Some reporters should have looked into this.
Well, I must say, my eyes are opened. You know, it's a good thing all of these writers are telling me what a bad guy Jim Webb is. I am DEFINITELY going to take their word for it. They must REALLY know what they are talking about, right?


Oh, sour grapes. It's so nice to be in the majority.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Read George Will - lose brain cells

George Will has written one of the stupidest, most inane articles I have ever read. It's actually kind of sad, because he really means to make Senator-elect Jim Webb look like an idiot, but it completely backfires. He has decided that George Allen's move to attack Jim Webb's words on a page was a good one, and he has dutifully followed in the footsteps of the now unemployed campaign members. Some highlights include:
A week after the election, he (Webb) published a column in The Wall Street Journal that began this way: "The most important -- and unfortunately the least debated -- issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country."


In his novels and his political commentary, Webb has been a writer of genuine distinction, using language with care and precision. But just days after winning an election, he was turning out slapdash prose that would be rejected by a reasonably demanding high school teacher.

Never mind Webb's careless and absurd assertion that the nation's incessantly discussed wealth gap is "the least debated" issue in American politics.

And never mind his use of the word "literally," although even with private schools and a large share of the nation's wealth, the "top tier" -- whatever cohort he intends to denote by that phrase; he is suddenly too inflamed by social injustice to tarry over the task of defining his terms -- does not "literally" live in another country.
Um...what? OK, but I get what Jim Webb is saying. I understand what he means. He said "it is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country." Well, we KNOW that he doesn't really mean that they are not in the United States of America, but the "world" a poor person lives in compared to that of Paris Hilton most certainly WOULD seem like "another country", don't you think? Actually, Jim Webb paints a picture of the land we live in a pretty realistic light.

But notice, in the same sentence that the word "literally" appears, the word "infinitely." Earth to Webb: Words have meanings that not even senators can alter. And he has been elected to be a senator, not Humpty Dumpty in "Through the Looking Glass." ("When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.") America's national economic statistics are excellent; Webb could actually tell us how much richer the "top tier" has become, relative to other cohorts, over a particular span. But that would require him to actually say who he is talking about, and that takes time and effort, and senators -- Webb is a natural -- often are too busy for accuracy.

Based on Webb's behavior before being sworn in, one shudders to think what he will be like after that. He already has become what Washington did not need another of, a subtraction from the city's civility and clear speaking.
OK, back up. George Will is attacking Jim Webb's writings and speech, and in the same article he does so, he drops the following literary masterpieces:
Earth to Webb
(seen Zoolander?)
And he has been elected to be a senator, not Humpty Dumpty in "Through the Looking Glass."
He (Webb) already has become what Washington did not need another of, a subtraction from the city's civility and clear speaking.
(OK, buddy, here's the thing. If Bush is a "clear" and "civil" speaker, I will gladly take Jim Webb's big, fancy SAT words, ok? I happen to be the type of person that would LIKE their POTUS to be a little above the fray and well-educated.)

I apologize if reading this made your brain hurt.

Re: Jim Webb vs. George Bush; Reps would have been pissed either way

By now, the entire blogosphere and much of the MSM knows the story of Jim Webb and his dinner at the White House where George Bush was incredibly rude and did not resemble in the slightest a president of anything, much less the great United States of America. Today, the Republicans are madder than a wet cat, declaring that Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) was "rude and disrespectful" to George Bush. They are all loudly claiming that a man who is such a "loose cannon" cannot be trusted in the Congress. They "can't believe" that Jim Webb didn't just shut up and smile, and LIE to the President's face about his feelings, just to "respect" the President and his decisions which affect the entire country (except him, his family, and his administration). "The HORROR", they say!


Listen, it's not surprising to me that they have decided to have this...a-HEM..."discussion" because this is the behavior they exhibit whenever they are up against a wall, defeated, frightened, and angry. None of us should be surprised that the right side of the aisle is acting as out of control and insane as they are right now. After 6 years, we are used to it, right? However, I have to say; had Jim Webb reacted the way they would have liked, would their response have been any different? Would they have applauded Jim Webb for shaking Mr. Bush's hand, posing for a picture, and giving him a canned answer he is used to hearing from moony eyed supporters?


Think about it; Jim Webb ran his entire campaign along the lines that he, unlike FORMER Senator George Allen, was nothing like Mr. Bush, and that he completely disagreed with the decisions made by Mr. Bush in regards to the Iraq war. I am going to go ahead and make a wager that had Jim Webb "behaved" himself at the White House, they would be wailing about what a "typical liberal hypocrite" Webb is, or how he ran on nothing except a stance he "obviously didn't feel strongly about" in retrospect. As I said above; Republicans would have been pissed either way.

Now, we must ask them the question; were they proud of their Congressmen and women who "behaved themselves" when they took over the majority party when President Clinton was still in office? Were they excited that their favorite Republican goose steppers posed for a picture with "the eeeeeeeeevil" President Clinton at their welcome dinner way back when? Would they be happy to know that their hypocritcal, lying representatives smiled and schmoozed with the man they ran their entire platform and campaign AGAINST in order to win a seat in Congress, vying for a vote from the jaded public MAJORITY?


You better BELIEVE that had one of their precious Republican public officials done the same thing TO BILL CLINTON...well, let's just say it would have been the same reaction we all have. Elation, happiness, joyful celebration over our new hero in the Senate. At the very least, they certainly wouldn't be screaming that the newly elected Congress person be "put in their place" or "chastized" or GASP! "made to apologize."

So, let them cry and complain about it. Let them wail and beat their fists and bite their pillows and gnash their teeth over the fact that a man, Jim Webb, who was once revered and respected by conservatives and Republicans alike, actually showed that he had a pair of balls and that he would NEVER be bought or compromised just to show people that he is a congressman for the United States of America.

Let them behave the way they wish, because jealousy is an incredibly ugly feature. They are all finally stripped of their clothing and they are naked for the world to see.

And it's a WONDERFUL thing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

UPDATE: Bush still a jerk (prev. "Oh so THAT'S what was on the menu!")

From the WaPo:
In Following His Own Script, Webb May Test Senate's Limits
By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 29, 2006; Page A01

At a recent White House reception for freshmen members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.


If the exchange with Bush two weeks ago is any indication, Webb won't be a wallflower, especially when it comes to the war in Iraq. And he won't stick to a script drafted by top Democrats.

"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush. "No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. [But] leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is."

A few weeks ago, I reported that Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) was in attendance at a private reception at the White House for incoming freshman members of Congress. At that point I had no other information except that there was a reception, and Jim Webb and other were invited and attending.

According to The Hill, things between may have gotten a bit heated between Senator-elect Jim Webb and President Bush:
Son also rises in testy Webb-Bush exchange
By Emily Heil

President Bush has pledged to work with the new Democratic majorities in Congress, but he has already gotten off on the wrong foot with Jim Webb, whose surprise victory over Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) tipped the Senate to the Democrats.

Webb, a decorated former Marine officer, hammered Allen and Bush over the unpopular war in Iraq while wearing his son’s old combat boots on the campaign trail. It seems the president may have some lingering resentment.

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source..
Well that certainly doesn't seem like a very appropriate or presidential response to me, I must say. If I were Jim Webb, I might be a little irritated with that comment made by a man who has no problem with other people's children going to war. I would have loved to have been a fly on that wall. Good thing somebody was.
Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.

“Jim did have a conversation with Bush at that dinner,” said Webb’s spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd. “Basically, he asked about Jim’s son, Jim expressed the fact that he wanted to have him home.” Todd did not want to escalate matters by commenting on Bush’s response, saying, “It was a private conversation.”

A White House spokeswoman declined to give Bush’s version of the conversation.
Hmmmmm. Well, obviously I know nothing about the source, but the fact that neither parties are elaborating on the story lead me to believe that exchange may have happened. And if it did? Well, I really can't blame Jim Webb for his reaction. I don't fault him for the answer he gave Bush, nor for the way he felt after being basically spat at by the man responsible for this atrocity. They may not want to talk about it, but I am, again, proud that Jim Webb is my new Senator.

Oh, so THAT'S what was on the White House menu!

A few weeks ago, I reported that Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) was in attendance at a private reception at the White House for incoming freshman members of Congress. At that point I had no other information except that there was a reception, and Jim Webb and other were invited and attending.

According to The Hill, things between may have gotten a bit heated between Senator-elect Jim Webb and President Bush:
Son also rises in testy Webb-Bush exchange
By Emily Heil

President Bush has pledged to work with the new Democratic majorities in Congress, but he has already gotten off on the wrong foot with Jim Webb, whose surprise victory over Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) tipped the Senate to the Democrats.

Webb, a decorated former Marine officer, hammered Allen and Bush over the unpopular war in Iraq while wearing his son’s old combat boots on the campaign trail. It seems the president may have some lingering resentment.

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source..
Well that certainly doesn't seem like a very appropriate or presidential response to me, I must say. If I were Jim Webb, I might be a little irritated with that comment made by a man who has no problem with other people's children going to war. I would have loved to have been a fly on that wall. Good thing somebody was.
Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.

“Jim did have a conversation with Bush at that dinner,” said Webb’s spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd. “Basically, he asked about Jim’s son, Jim expressed the fact that he wanted to have him home.” Todd did not want to escalate matters by commenting on Bush’s response, saying, “It was a private conversation.”

A White House spokeswoman declined to give Bush’s version of the conversation.
Hmmmmm. Well, obviously I know nothing about the source, but the fact that neither parties are elaborating on the story lead me to believe that exchange may have happened. And if it did? Well, I really can't blame Jim Webb for his reaction. I don't fault him for the answer he gave Bush, nor for the way he felt after being basically spat at by the man responsible for this atrocity. They may not want to talk about it, but I am, again, proud that Jim Webb is my new Senator.

George Allen and his team will not be charged for attacking Mike Stark

From the RTD
Prosecutor recommends no charges in Allen incident

A Charlottesville city prosecutor is recommending that no charges be brought against any participants in the scuffle Oct. 31 between a U.Va. law student and backers of Sen. George Allen.

"The balance of evidence reflects that no one sought to hurt anyone," said city Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman.

The scuffle occurred at an Allen campaign stop at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel.

University of Virginia law student Mike Stark filed an assault complaint after being thrown to the floor by Allen supporters after he tried to ask Allen whether he had ever spat at his first wife.
WOW. I bolded the "The balance of evidence reflects that no one sought to hurt anyone" statement because I think people making that assumption may just need to see the video again...

Ouch, huh?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm...I must say, I find all of this pretty interesting. I also find it interesting because I believe certain bloggers and participants from the insane rightosphere claim that Mike Stark hurt them, and then they SURPRISE! changed their tune in questioning. Considering they have been known to make crazy assumptions and demands and tell outright lies about their bad behavior before, I have to wonder how much of their false testimony had to do with this incredibly audacious decision by the prosecutor.
Allen supporters know Stark from an incident in Charlottesville earlier this week, where the liberal blogger was tackled and carried out by Allen fans, after shouting a question, and reportedly getting aggressive.

And today, Stark wanted to take care of unfinished business from that incident, asking the Senator about something he allegedly said.

"He said that he wanted to knock the soft teeth down his opponents' whiny throats," Stark cites. "And I wanted to ask the Senator if that's why he didn't stop his campaign aides and supporters from beating me down at the last event."

But Stark didn't get to ask that question. Instead, he says, he saw Allen supporters conspiring against him to get him thrown out.

"The kid that was standing in front of me came flying into the picture, barely brushed my tricep here, and then took a dive," Stark claims.

Stark was immediately cuffed, carried out, and held until the Allen supporter, that ended up on the ground, said he wouldn't press charges.
Well, all in all, I am glad Mike Stark is well and will not be charged because Allen's staff and supporters lied to try to win an election and sweep abuse of a Virginia constituent under the rug. We wish you the best Mike. Hey; at least you will have a political life after this, which is much more than I can say for FORMER Senator George Allen (R-VA).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell pleads not guilty

Not guilty plea from indicted former Virginia sheriff

A former Virginia sheriff is pleading not guilty to charges that could put him behind bars for more than 50 years.

Franklin Cassell allegedly turned a blind eye while a dozen of his officers sold drugs their department had seized. Prosecutors say since 1998, cocaine, marijuana and other drugs made their way from Cassell's office back to the streets.

Cassell retired two weeks ago. Two of his officers also pleaded not guilty today. But another, who is cooperating with investigators, plans to eventually enter a guilty plea.
Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell had been sheriff since 1992. Over a month ago, Cassell and twelve of his current or former officers and seven other people were indicted and face federal charges in a drug and gun racketeering investigation. Upon indictment, Cassell indicated he would take an unpaid leave of absence. The Henry Board of Supervisors urged him to resign, and days later his attorneys issued a statement saying Cassell was retiring effective immediately. Six of the officers were placed on administrative leave and the seventh was fired.

Cassell, 68, has been sheriff since 1992. He is charged with impeding an investigation by federal agents and with money laundering.

According to prosecutors, cocaine, steroids, marijuana and other drugs seized by the sheriff's office were resold to the public for over eight years. Additionally, guns and other evidenciary material was reported stolen.


People can be really despicable, huh?

We have got to start reforming our political and bureaucratic systems from the top down AS WELL AS the bottom up; there just is no one way or the other. There is corruption everywhere, and the country cannot continue to be run in such a dangerous way. If not, we will continue to pollute our country with abhorrant people and behavior, and we will not be able to recover.

Virginia's waterfowl may be foul

Nov. 27, 2006, 4:48PM
Va. hunters' game tested for avian flu
© 2006 The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Waterfowl hunters in Virginia are being enlisted in the fight against avian flu.

Along eastern Virginia's waterways, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is scouting out hunters at wildlife management areas, popular hunting spots and boat ramps. There, some of them are being asked to allow a swab of their bagged game to test for the highly pathogenic version of H5N1 avian flu, according to Bob Ellis, assistant director of the department's wildlife division.

Species being sampled include tundra swan, mute swan, snow goose, Atlantic brant and mallards.

People are also encouraged to report to game officials unusual sickness or death they observe in waterfowl or shorebirds. Hunters should refrain from picking up the birds but note their location and contact game officials.

Since 2003, the H5N1 virus has killed more than 100 people and millions of birds worldwide, sparking fears that the virus could mutate into a pandemic influenza.

Officials know of no U.S. bird infected by this highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Low-pathogenic viruses common among waterfowl and shorebirds cause little illness among birds and don't threaten human health.

This summer, federal officials began monitoring Alaska and the Pacific Northwest as the likeliest entry point of infected birds from Asia. The Atlantic Flyway, which includes Virginia, stretches from Greenland to Canada and south to Florida and Puerto Rico.

American birds summering in Greenland mix with those migrating from Africa and Europe, where avian flu already exists.

In Virginia, Game and Inland Fisheries has tested about 190 mute swans and about 90 mallards, Jonathan Sleeman, a state wildlife veterinarian, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Game officials have checked on Tangier Sound, Virginia Beach, the Potomac River, the Beaverdam reservoir, Hog Island and Chickahominy River, according to Sleeman.

Tests on a couple of mallards that died suddenly in Portsmouth came back negative for the H5N1 virus, he said.

The surveillance will continue through the winter as the last of the birds migrating south come through Virginia, Sleeman said.
From what I can tell, the odds that Virginia waterfowl will be infected with the Avian Flu seem pretty low, but I do think the Avian Flu is something we need to track and research. I'll be interested in the results of this study, and I wonder what else we will learn about the state of our wildlife.

South Park and Wal*Mart

I'm going to tell you all of a guilty pleasure of mine that some may be disgusted by: I watch South Park. I think it is funny, I think it is crass, and I think that they do a great, non-partisan job of cramming morals down American's throats. It amuses me and I enjoy the show, especially after spending most of my television time watching the events on C-Span. One of the most interesting episodes was the Wal*Mart episode, which did a pretty wonderful job of exposing "America's favorite store" for the fraudulent crap peddler that it is.
Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes
Original air Date: 2004-11-03
The streets of South Park are like a ghost-town when a giant Wall-Mart lures all the townspeople to the new store with its incredible bargains. Cartman becomes a boy possessed by the power of Wall-Mart and its low, low prices. In order to save their town, Stan and Kyle have to find a way to destroy the ever-expanding superstore while keeping Cartman from stabbing them in the back.
As always, the show is funny and it does a great job of bashing and supporting both the argument for and against Wal*Mart. However, what was different about this particular episode was a specific exchange of dialogue that I now use whenever speaking of the atrocities of Wal*Mart, and it seems that the rest of the country is catching on to its sheer brilliance and common sense.

As the boys of South Park attempt to try to figure out how Wal*Mart can keep their prices down for consumers, an interesting point is made; a point that I cannot argue because of it's simple truth. Bear with me; a sound byte for the specific exchange is not available on the web, but the gyst of the conversation is as follows...
In order for Wal*Mart to become and remain "America's favorite store", Wal*Mart must keep their prices very low. By keeping prices low, Wal*Mart keeps their competition at bay, and they draw in more customers as other stores fight to stay competetive or in business at all. As more and more consumers flock to Wal*Mart, it is only natural that companies that charge higher prices suffer in the business community, and many eventually succumb to the price war or close their doors altogether. Eventually, Wal*Mart grows and builds more stores, while other businesses are faced with bankrupcy and closure.
Easy enough to follow so far, eh? And yes; I am fully aware that the above is not only the opinion of the South Park writers, but the opinion of many economists and consumers worldwide. For more information, please see this lengthy article for a plethora of examples regrading Wal*Mart and the American economy.

Now, here is the $1 million question, pholks...a question also addressed in this specific episode of South Park:
What happens when Wal*Mart forces the majority of other surrounding businesses to close? What happens when there is no longer competition for Wal*Mart and the American shopper?
Well, I think I know what happens, and the boys of South Park agree with me. I think that Wal*Mart will finally be able to raise their prices, and without any other options available, the American consumer will be forced to pay higher prices for products they were "getting a deal on" just weeks before. Once the prices rise to the prices those now defunct Ukrops' stores were demanding, how enjoyable will it be to shop in a warehouse sized grocery store as opposed to the once beloved corner market? And where is the freedom for the American consumer?

I guess it can be found somewhere in aisle 1,675, on the clearance rack, marked "no longer in stock, buy 2 get 1 free."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh, now this is just PATHETIC...

Apparently, according to the "small government" conservative bloggers in Virginia, children shouldn't enjoy cartoons anymore.


Because...GASP!!!!! They might contain common sense arguments concerning our environment and other such "LIBERAL" talk!


Go here to read some of the most ridiculous and SAD comments made by Republican bloggers in defense of their "conservative values..."

Virginia right wing blogger fuming over movie; pulls page out of Fox News' playbook

Anyone else besides myself sick of Republicans being paranoid, raging ass-hats that foam at the mouth at the mere thought that someone might be trying to "pull one over on them?" While I generally try not to call out other bloggers like so, given the recent flurry of thoughtless, inane crap posted on SWACgirl, I have no problem pointing out her most recent post about the movie "HAPPY FEET" where she complains that the movie was too politically correct for her. The Liberal Progressive wants to know when telling the truth became 'politically correct,' and what is so wrong with this? She goes on to spew out the following:

Along the way he finds a penguin ("Lovelace" with the voice of Robin Williams) who has a plastic six-pack "necklace" he acquired from the trashy waters ... and discovers humans are, of course, responsible for fishing and diminishing the fish population for the penguins.

Oh? Who is responsible then? The penguins for eating, the fish for sucking so bad that they aren't able to adapt, or the plastic and garbage that ends up in our oceans? She goes on to moan and groan about the movie being "anti human," and makes some broad accusation that it's a new and exciting trend for kids' movies to have some subliminal, left wing message, full of conspiracy and propaganda.

I'm tired of supposed "kids' movies" having some "pro-social issue/anti-human" propaganda woven through them when all I wanted to do was watch a cute animated movie!

Anti human?? I highly doubt the movie had any sort of political intentions, but if it did, what is wrong with educating kids, and perhaps getting them concerned, and aware of the way they treat the environment and such (like teaching them that not properly disposing of garbage can have bad effects on animals?).

Maybe SWACgirl needs to refrain herself from pulling pages out of the Fox News playbook. While Neil Cavuto conveniently forgot to mention the cancellation of the OJ Simpson interview by Fox (ON THE DAY IT WAS ANNOUNCED!), he found no problem pointing out that Happy Feet contained a "hidden agenda" that is "pretty far left," during his supposed business news program.

I have never once done a "winner of the week" or other such contest. But today, Terry of The Liberal Progressive gets the "Right on, nice call out" award for making some wonderful COMMON SENSE points. Thanks Terry!

I don't even have words for this kind of jealous anger...

Loopholes don't tell of true disparity
November 26, 2006

I read Sen. Elect-Jim Webb's rambling column about tax fairness ("American workers speak for fairness," Nov. 19). To quote the senator-elect, "The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of the national income."

What's more astounding is the top 1% pay 34% of all income tax. Where are all the tax loopholes? What is even more astounding is a guy like this getting elected.

Kris Weger
Awwwwwwwwwwww. Somebody named Kris FROM CANTON, OHIO who knows absolutely NOTHING about taxes and the economy cannot believe Jim Webb got elected. Excuse me while I play a small violin in the corner for you, Kris...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

UPDATE: Conversation from the other side of the aisle

Update: the blogger I spoke of STILL refuses to post my comments yet feels the need to attack me on her site. The other blogger is SWAC GIRL. I was going to keep her identity a secret out of respect, but I don't see the need to do so at this point.

Well, not that anyone should be shocked and awed, but once again the Republicans are crying and stamping their feet that people don't "pray enough" for Mr. Bush. I really wish I were kidding you, but the following is what they are sending to one another and patting themselves on the back for how much they support the troops and our lame duck preident.
This is a prayer request for a man in need of prayer.

Please, take a moment and pray for this man. He is in a situation that few people find themselves. He is criticized at every turn, and few people have thanked him for the good things he has done.

Few people know the extent of his situation. We need to pray that God gives him the guidance he needs to do his job effectively. I have attached a photo of this man. Look at it. Most of you will recognize him. Please pray for him.

Feel free to pass this on to anyone else who will pray for this man. He hasn't asked me to send this request, but I am sure that he will appreciate all your prayers. If you were facing what he is facing, you'd want people praying for you!


No matter what party you support, this man is our President right now and needs our help in prayers.

This country belongs to all of us.

Yeah. I was speechless too.

I decided to browse through the Virginia "rightosphere" to see whether or not any bloggers were pushing the above tripe down readers' throats, and of course, they were. I decided to ask a few simple questions of the site master. I used my name and did not hide behind any anon comments. At first, my questions were answered and I was treated with respect. However, I couldn't help but notice that after I made better points than the goose-stepping, blind as a bat Bush supporters, my comments weren't posted. So, I decided to show all of YOU readers why that may be.

My first comment was to bring up the FACT that back in 2003, a ministry group asked members of our armed forces to pray for Bush while dodging bullets on the battlefield. Only they didn't just have to pray; the troops also had to fll out a card, buy a stamp, and drop it in the mailbox to prove they were praying for Mr. Bush who was probably riding his bike or hunting.

From ABC:
US soldiers in Iraq asked to pray for Bush

They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush.

Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.

"I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces.

The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president, a born-again Christian who likes to invoke his God in speeches.

Sunday's is "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding".

Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".
The following is the exchange I had with the Republican blogger. The blogger/site master posted a very long and thoughtful comment in response to the link I posted above, and I simply copied their long comment into the comment box, and broke it up with MY feelings, as if we were having a conversation. For clarity, my anwers and comments are in italics, while the Republican blogger's are in natural text.
Jaime, what of the link you posted? Private religious organization provided the pamphlets, they were distributed to the Marines, and they were free to do as they wished with them.

You're right. I wonder, though, what you would think about doing the same.

I know Marines and, trust me, they back our President. That goes for the Army guys I know, too.

I am sure you do, and believe me; I understand that our acquaintances, friends, and family would feel differently. I ALSO know Marines and, trust me, they DO NOT back our President. That goes for the Army guys I know, too.

And lest we not forget ... this is a volunteer military. These men and women joined because of patriotism. They weren't forced, they weren't drafted.

I do not disagree with you on this; I hope you do not falsely disagree with me that many, MANY men and women who volunteered after 911 that I knew (and I would know-I am from the NYC area and I was in NYC on 911) were under the impression that they would be fighting to capture Osama in Afghanistan, NOT "liberating" innocent Iraquis who never asked to be liberated. There is a difference, and the people volunteering to fight deserved the truth.

This is exactly what happened during Vietnam. We lost the war on the homefront because of the MSM and anti-war protesters. Our soldiers felt isolated.

Our soldiers may have felt isolated (I'll ask my dad, an immigrant drafted before becoming an American citizen who served honorably as a member of the Army) but the idea that "we lost the war because of protestors" is an OPINION. Please provide factual evidence as to that being the reason we lost the war as opposed to the other numerous mistakes that were made strategically.

Our men were ostricized when they returned to the U.S. They were pelted with feces, food, whatever protesters could find, and called baby killers. They were told by the military not to travel in their uniforms because it was too dangerous ... in America! Something is terribly wrong with that picture.

THAT may have been caused in part by the media, showing the worst of the worst of Vietnam in the news in order to push another senseless war. However, you are flat out LYING or UNINFORMED if you think that every member of the military was "pelted with feces" and that everyone who was against the war was a protestor. There are many people that are now againsty the Iraq war that do not protest, and again, the idea that some protestors made us lose the war is just absolutely false. As for the media causing the devestation in Vietnam, well, your party under Reagan sure solved that problem, didn't they? When was the last time you saw on TV actual battleground coverage from Iraq? NEVER; we don't even SPEAK of Iraq. Yes, your side says we don't talk about the positives enough, but really; how much time do we spend at ALL on Iraq news? Not much. Just political and entertainment drama.

That is what will happen again if we keep on this path of protesting the war and blaming the President for everything that goes wrong. If you know WW II history you know there were mistakes and lives were lost. It's the cost of war. And, no, no one wants to lose our soldiers ... but we don't want terrorism on our shores either.

So, dissent ISN'T patriotic, and we should all just do whatever the POTUS says. I will remember you said that when we have a Democratic White House.

If we don't stand up to terrorism, we are doomed. They want to kill us just because of who we are.


They don't want to talk about it, they don't want to get along ... they have a jihad to kill us. Period. They are brainwashed from the time they are born to hate America.

OH-are you a Middle East scholar? Or is this another opinion you have?

President Bush was faced with a terrible situation on 9/11. Our country suffered the worst attack ever on our own soil. It could not go unanswered.

I know, I was there, and anyone would have acted the same on 911 and in the weeks following. He had an approval rating in the 90s. So, obviously, he did something wrong. It DID go unanswered, just like Katrina.

Leadership sometimes demands that we do things that are not popular. We have to do things that are right. That's what our President has done to keep us safe the past five years.

You're just completely wrong. I disagree with you on terrorism and the reasons behind it's origin, and I am not alone with my opinion as you are not alone with yours-the difference is that I am in the majority and those that think like you are falling into the twentieth percentile among Americans. Obviously 911 sucked-but imo, the POTUS sucked in his response as well. His response was super popular and heartfelt and CORRECT in the beginning, and had we continued our attack on Osama in Afghanistan and captured him "with his head on a pike" we may have been able to call Bush the greatest POTUS ever. But that is just simply not the case. There have been too many mistakes made, there have been too many lives lost. The Democratic party will do their best to clean up this huge atrocious mess, but it will be hard. This is bad news. Hopefully, we will emerge as a stronger country and better Americans.
So that's that. The blogger refused to post my long comment you see above-they only wanted to leave their long comment as a "period-end of story-31% of us are somehow in ther majority and CORRECT" closing statement.

But, we all know better, don't we? ;)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Google (D-the USA) Man of the Year is Mark Warner (D-VA)

Apparently, some big name companies were really pushing for a certain Virginian to run for President in 2008.

From the Financial Times:

You won’t find this on a Google search …but the $500-a-share internet company wants Mark Warner, Virginia’s former governor, to run for president in 2008.

Google has blown a cool $13,000 on campaign contributions this year to Warner, according to statistics obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.

That is double the amount it has donated to another highly touted Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton

Warner made millions from a start-up mobile phone company and later led a venture capital fund. He showed his internet smarts when he allowed himself to be interviewed in the virtual world Second Life in August.

But “blown” may be the operative word for the Google bucks - the company would have been surprised to learn last month that Warner had decided to spend more time with his family rather than run for the White House.

Google is spending less of its own time in Washington than other companies. It is one of the least active on the Hill, spending just $720,000 on lobbying firms since 1998, according to the Center.

Its new index on political spending by internet, software and electronic equipment companies suggests a general Democratic leaning among technology companies.

IBM may be known as Big Blue not just for its logo but also for its politics. It has spent $1.6m in campaign contributions since 1998 - 58 per cent going to Democrats and 39 per cent to Republicans - and paid $49m to outside lobbying firms.

It was topped by Microsoft, who voted Republican in contributing 53.7 per cent of its $15.8m to the red party. Microsoft spent $56.5m on lobbying.

Google's campaign contributions are a pittance in comparison at $450,000, but 98.5 per cent of this went to Democrats.

The Center’s Media Tracker includes campaign contributions to all candidates for Congress and the presidency from 1998 to 2006 and money spent lobbying the federal government since 1998.
We can only hope that the honorable Mark Warner runs for SOME political office in 2008. I would think that a multi-million dollar company whose practices I actually respect would be pushing for a good thing.

And it looks like I am right. :)

Former Senator George Allen (R-VA) owes Siddharth $$

Well, he doesn't really, as of now. However, if Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred has her way re: Michael Richards and his racist tirade, then Richards may just have to pay the men he insulted.
'Deeply sorry'
Richards, best known for his portrayal of the wacky neighbor Kramer in the mega-hit series “Seinfeld,” apologized for his behavior in an interview Monday night via satellite on David Letterman’s “Late Show.”

"I got heckled and took it badly and went into a rage," he said, adding, "I am not a racist! That's what's so insane about this. For me to be on stage, and flip out and say this stuff, I'm deeply, deeply sorry."

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing Doss and McBride, said she wants a retired judge to sit down with Richards and the two men to determine if the three-time Emmy winner should pay them for "the pain that he has inflicted on them as a result of his racist words."

"If our children took a rock and threw it through the window of a next-door neighbor, we would say to that child, ‘Go to the neighbor, apologize directly to the neighbor and pay the cost of that window that you broke,'" Allred said. "We think it’s important that he follow his words with deeds."
So, my question is this: why shouldn't George Allen pony up and make a finanial payment to Siddharth? Did he NOT also make a racist comment IN PUBLIC and ON VIDEO this summer in Breaks? And isn't what's good for the goose good for the gander as well?

EDIT: I realize this didn't come across as sarcastic as I thought. Obviously, I do not think either party deserves financial retribution for freedom of speech. I am not that nuts.

Ah well-sorry.

She really is planning on suing Richards, though. Keith Olbermann just reported.

Why there should NOT be an OSU-#1/Michigan-#2 rematch

There are many good reasons, and they are listed pretty succinctly here. But the BEST reason is this:
What are you looking for?
Here’s what would happen in a rematch. 1) Ohio State wins. We’ve done that. 2) Ohio State wins in a blowout. Great. We’ve reestablished that the Buckeyes are better than Michigan. 3) Michigan wins in a close game. Whoopee. Now what? We can’t play a third game. 4) Michigan wins in a blowout. Do we then just blow off the latest Game of the Century just played in Columbus? You'll be entertained, but the issue still likely won't truly be settled.

UPDATE: George Allen wants you to bring your guns to the park

Looks like the bill got passed quickly over to the Senate floor to be looked at by the now lame duck Republican Congress. Hat tip to the Liberal Progressive for the update. Check it out.

From Ohioans for Concealed Carry:
Bill Introduced to Allow Carry in National Parks
Written by Mike Kinsey
Friday, 17 November 2006

Senator George Allen (R-Virginia) has introduced SB 4057, the National Park Second Amendment Restoration and Personal Protection Act of 2006. If adopted as law, this legislation would allow legal carry of firearms into National Parks so long as the state does not prohibit carry in all parks.
Well, I don't own a gun and I do not spend a lot of time in National Parks. I realize that Virginia (as opposed to my home state of New Jersey) is very proud of their right to carry law, and I do not mean to offend those that are pro-firearm. But I have to say, the author's premise for wanting this bill to be passed just doesn't sit well with me:
The arbitrary prohibition of your right to self-defense in a National Park needs to end. Your life is not worth less while visiting one of our country’s beautiful parks than it is anywhere else you may be. Personally, I believe that lonely wilderness trails may be one of the places that I would most want to have my self-defense firearm. Armed citizens regularly argue that we may not be able to wait for 911 to save us. Imagine the additional delay that will occur when you’re hiking in the middle of nowhere! Also, any location that is known to be frequented by tourists would probably be very attractive to criminals. Tourists are generally carrying a lot of money and are unfamiliar with their surroundings. I am certainly not a criminal mastermind. If I can see that this environment makes one more vulnerable to violent attack, I am certain those with less scruples have realized it as well.

It is up to those of us that care about the safety of ourselves and our families to get this legislation enacted. Please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to support this bill. Tell them why it is important to you. Contact Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and ask him to fast track SB 4057. Spread the word to other gun owners and concealed handgun licensees about this issue.
OK, a couple of things here; first of all, I just do not buy into the notion that muggers and rapists are going to hang out in parks waiting for prey. The author employs an interesting twist and spin, but I just don't see the logic behind his reasoning. Secondly, the whole line about "not being able to wait for 911" just reads to me like you shoot someone down who MAY OR MAY NOT BE threatening your life, and then you call 911 and plead self-defense. Interesting. This argument would never work in the inner-city of Richmond, so I find it border-line hilarious that the author thinks that a sportsman in a park should be given a special priviledge while a black man on the 1100 block of Main Street would be hauled off to jail quicker than you can say "But they were asking for it!" Additionally, and maybe it's just me, but isn't it a bit frightening to think that guns will be allowed in secluded places where some people may think it is very easy to hide a body? National Parks are open year-round, and in the winter, there may be only a handful of visitors a day. So feasibly, someone could go to the park with their legal firearm, throw on a silencer, shoot someone down and cover the body in leaves (or not) and get the heck outta dodge. Doesn't sound very sane or "common sense Jeffersonian" to me. And what about people that may have some sick animal killing fetish (like our POTUS did when he was young) who would bring their legal gun into a park and go on a chipmunk shooting spree? What about the frightened and antsy gun carrier who shoots an innocent runner because their imagination got the best of them? And LASTLY, and probably what jumped out at me the most, is the plea to call Frist and get this "rushed" through the now lame-duck Republican Congress. THIS is how the Republicans are spending their time and energy? To make sure people can shoot people and animals in a park, hiding behind their "everyone is out to get me" self-defense argument?

Well, at last I can say I am not surprised that this is how George Allen is choosing to spend his last few days of employment.

Virginia blogs get ANOTHER shout-out

Kudos, Virginia Bloggers, specifically (imho) Lowell Feld of Raising Kaine and Ben Tribbett of Not Larry Sabato. DavidNYC of Swing State Project lists a few of his favorite blogs, and they are made up of 2006 election bloggers. Take a look, and congrats to all bloggers who made a difference this year and who helped give the Democratic party an early Thanksgiving.
What Are Your Favorite Local Blogs?
by: DavidNYC
Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:17:57 AM EST

I think there's no question that local & regional blogs played an important role in many races this year - and I think this trend is only going to grow. And in many cases, these local blogs didn't just have an impact on the online community, but they also drove crucial offline coverage as well.

Some good examples would include the folks at Blue Jersey, who busted a staffer for Republican Tom Kean for posing as a concern troll; the trio of NH blue bloggers (Blue Granite, NH-02 Progressive, and Yankee Doodler) who also nailed a concern troll who was Charlie Bass's no. 2 staffer; and the Virginia bloggers (principally Raising Kaine) who played a big role in getting Jim Webb to toss his hat into the ring.

There are many other great sites I could point to as well (Take19, the Idaho bloggers, the North Carolina bloggers), but I'm just one guy and there are only so many blogs I'm familiar with. So I'd like to ask all of you: What are some of your favorite local blogs, whether they cover a particular state, city, region or Congressional district? Please post links in comments. Even if some of your favorites are blogs I've already mentioned, I'd love to know why you like them as well.

And, of course, have a great Thanksgiving!

DavidNYC :: What Are Your Favorite Local Blogs?
Nice. So, what are some of YOUR favorite blogs? Leave your likes in the comments, and I will update as the weekend goes on, seeing as how it will most likely be pretty quiet around the blogosphere for the next few days.

Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving, pholks. And if you don't celebrate T-Day-enjoy the long weekend.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Newt Gingrich does the Democratic Party a huge SOLID

Who is the best man to follow Former Senator George Allen in the "best implosion ever" contest?

Newt Gingrich, that's who:
Gingrich '08: The stealth candidate

The controversial former House Speaker seems to throw his hat in the ring as a GOP presidential candidate, and promises that health care reform will be the big issue. An exclusive FORTUNE interview.

by Nina Easton, Washington bureau chief
November 20 2006: 1:32 PM EST

(Washington) -- Even a crisp Guinness stout can't chill the note of exasperation coming out of Newt Gingrich's mouth. "You still don't get it, do you?" he asks.

The subject is the 2008 presidential race and whether the former Speaker of the House will run. The news is that Gingrich is running, but not on any official campaign trail.

The radical realist who defied conventional wisdom 12 years ago by stealing the House out from under the noses of entrenched Democrats now plans a surprise attack for the presidency. "I'm going to tell you something, and whether or not it's plausible given the world you come out of is your problem," he tells Fortune. "I am not 'running' for president. I am seeking to create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen." So he's running, only without yet formally saying so.
Awesome. Within the first 2 lines of the article, Newt downs a beer AND insults the reporter. You know it is only going to get better.
While other potential competitors like Arizona Senator John McCain, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney build staff and hire consultants, Gingrich revealed to Fortune that he plans to create a draft-Newt "wave" by building grassroots support for his health care, national security and energy independence ideas--all of which he has been peddling to corporate audiences over the past six years. "Nice people," Gingrich says of his GOP competitors. "But we're not in the same business. They're running for president. I'm running to change the country."
OH, SNAP. A back handed compliment that is really more of an insult? NICE. But wait for gets even better...
In casting himself as the reluctant but critical-for-these-times candidate, the former history professor is looking back to 1860, and the wildfire support for Lincoln's candidacy touched off by a series of speeches. Gingrich read Harold Holzer's book Lincoln at Cooper Union in 2004, at a time when he was disgusted both by the tenor of that year's presidential campaign and a California court decision striking "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. "I was fascinated by Holzer's portrait of Lincoln spending three months at the Springfield state library, putting together the definitive argument about the Constitution, the Founding Fathers and slavery," Gingrich says.

"He turns it into a 7,300-word speech--gives it once in New York, once in Rhode Island, once in Massachusetts, once in New Hampshire. Then he goes home. I was struck by the sheer courage of the self-definitional moment that said, 'We are in real trouble, we need real leadership, and if that's who you think we need, here's my speech'," Gingrich says, suggesting he intends to do the same thing.

Gingrich is trying to shape an image as the reluctant, but necessary, candidate for trying times. "I would not have thought that I would be necessary," he says. But even some Gingrich allies are skeptical he can pull it off. "I don't think he's going to be nominated unless he runs a full-blown campaign," says former House majority leader Dick Armey.

But Armey adds: "He's never been a parochial member of Congress. He has big ideas, and has had them for a long time. He's not going to appear to have just discovered them for the purposes of an election. And that's a good place to be for an '08 candidate."
OK, so in closing, we see that Gingrich is a. excited to be the guy that is running but doesn't want to and can't believe he has to, b. lazy and just wants to go to 4 different places and give the same speech, and c. really confident and really insulting to his "friends."

I love this idea, Newt. Go for it. I am going to start buying popcorn NOW in anticipation of the most awesome campaign implosion since George Allen, 2006. Let the eagles soar, and Godspeed, Newt.

Kosmo Cramer goes absolutely NUTS, Mel Gibson style

I rarely post celebrity gossip here on my "political with a touch of OSU football" blog, but sometimes I cannot help but delve into Hollywood for some really juicy bits. Like today:
Michael Richards exploded in anger as he performed at a famous L.A. comedy club last Friday, hurling racial epithets that left the crowd gasping, and TMZ has obtained exclusive video of the ugly incident.

Richards, who played the wacky Cosmo Kramer on the hit TV show "Seinfeld," appeared onstage at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. Kyle Doss, an African-American, told TMZ he and some friends were in the cheap seats and he was playfully heckling Richards when suddenly, the comedian lost it.

The camera started rolling just as Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass."

Richards continued, "You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He's a nigger! He's a nigger! He's a nigger! A nigger, look, there's a nigger!"

The crowd is visibly and audibly confused and upset. Richards responds by saying, "They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger."

One of the men who was the object of Richard's tirade was outraged, shouting back "That's un-f***ing called for, ain't necessary."

After the three-minute tirade, it appears the majority of the audience members got up and left in disgust.

Attempts to reach Richards' reps were unsuccessful.
UM, you better BELIEVE that attelpts to reach the reps were unsuccessful! Stay tuned for a canned answer including alcohol use, Jewish heritage just discovered, drug use, bi-polar disorder, yadda yadda yadda, followed by "I love black people, I have black friends!"

Virginia election moves us closer to a paper trail

Armstrong plans for '07 session
Monday, November 20, 2006

Del. Ward Armstrong, D-Collinsville, plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming General Assembly session that would require every voting machine in the state to produce a paper copy of each vote cast, he said Sunday.

The paper record would serve as a backup in the event that computerized, touch-screen voting machines were to malfunction in some way, he said.

Armstrong said recent close elections in the state, including this month’s Senate contest between incumbent Sen. George Allen and Democrat Jim Webb, prompted the idea.

Webb won by a margin of about 9,000 votes.

“I just feel like there ought to be a piece of paper” that would allow officials to track votes, Armstrong said. He said he might even like to see something “almost like a receipt printed out for (the voter) to take.”
Nice. I agree; I have always wanted a receipt on election day, however, I understand the arguments against it. The most popular argument against the use of a receipt is the idea that it will be much easier to buy votes if people have a way to prove how they voted. So, the thought is out there in the open, but a solution is still far out of our grasp.

The rest of the article is a bit funny; apparently, Armstrong also wants to put the problem of obesity front and center, and I for one say, "hear, hear, good sir! Stop talking about cigarettes and start talking about fat content!" He also admits that he enjoys going to church and talking politics, which makes me very uncomfortable. The entire article can be found here.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Game Day

Friday, November 17, 2006

Twas the night before kickoff

'Twas the night...

Twas the night before game time,
And all 'round the shoe,
Not a creature was sleeping,
They were screaming Beat Blue!

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
Thoughts of a National Championship in their heads
Tressel in his sweater, Neutron Man on his mind,
Hoping that Michigan would be caught in a bind.

The banners were hung by the lamp posts with care,
In hopes that St.Troy would find Ginn through the air,

Drunken and crazy and burning their beds,
While visions of kick off danced through their heads.

When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the keg to see what was the matter.
When there in the sky, in a Coupe Deville sleigh,
Was Woody Hayes decked out in scarlet & gray.

He looked on the crowd that was gathered around,
And said that he heard that a game was in town.
I came here to watch it and wish you good luck,
Though it's not like you need it, cause Michigan


Doonesbury has a poll up

Check it out:
The aftermath of a hotly contested election provides a rare opportunity to savor a heaping bowl of Schadenfreude. The Town Hall is pleased to offer you a spoon. (Next week: Losers we'll miss.)

Which outcome is giving you the most pleasure?

A. Santorum's defeat. First thing he did in concession speech was thank God. Ditto that. You can't vote Rush out of office, but this is what it would feel like.

B. Allen's implosion. From presidential timber to former-senator scrapheap in a macaca moment. Breathtaking. Oh, and way to lose the Senate, dude.

C. Rumsfeld's fall. Was it expected? Good gracious, yes. Overdue? Heavens to Betsy, of course. Will it help? My goodness, I should hope so.

Top beef
1. War 2. Scandal 3. Incompetence
I voted for Allen's implosion. Why? I knew Rumsfeld was going to be leaving because I knew we would win some seats back from the Republicans. It also became very clear very early on that Santorum "Man on Dog" was going to get fired. So, for me, Allen's implosion was the most entertaining event in 06. I also voted for incompetance, because the depth of the Republican's stupidity and craziness is truly astounding.

Why is Lloyd Carr such a jerk?

Well, the easy answer is because he has to spend his days coaching a team that will just never be up to the same standard as THE Ohio State Buckeyes under the direction of coach/Senator Tressel. So, I guess that makes him a little testy. But really, is swearing at a reporter necessary?
Nerves are bound to be a little frayed this week. We are, after all, on the cusp of the Game of Three Centuries. Never in the history of what ESPN has declared the greatest rivalry in sports—which dates to 1897—has it been a No. 1-No. 2 matchup.

And Monday, in a closed-off room within the Wolverines’ practice facility, the pressure got to Coach Carr, who’s 6-5 in the rivalry but 1-4 since Jim Tressel arrived in Columbus.

After Carr’s weekly press conference Monday, he went off to tape a private interview with Lisa Salters, who does sideline reporting for ABC/ESPN’s college football broadcasts.

A couple other reporters lingered in a nearby lobby, hoping to get a couple more questions with Carr when he finished with Salters. What they got instead was the sound of the coach opening a can of Wolverine whoopass on the ABC folks.

Salters, a former Penn State basketball player, has no doubt heard salty language from a coach before but probably not at the conclusion of the kind of fluffy interview ABC inserts during a game when it’s second down and Brent Musburger can’t think of anything to say about the preceding play.

Jim Carty, a sportswriter for The Ann Arbor News, was one of three reporters who heard the commotion—but evidently the only one who saw fit to report on it.

“All of a sudden,” said Carty, “you sort of heard up the hallway the door opening in a louder, more commotion-y way than it normally would. You heard a loud, angry ‘Fuck!’ which was clearly Lloyd.”

“As he got closer, I heard him say, ‘What the fuck kind of questions were those?’”

Carr then stormed out the door to his SUV, Carty said. As the coach waited for the rest of his entourage to get to the car, the door opened and closed, and Carty picked up bits of Carr’s conversation with Michigan’s football spokesman.

“I heard Lloyd saying, quite irately, to Dave Ablauf, who’s the assistant director of media relations, ‘You go back in there and tell them…’ then the door closed, so we didn’t hear the rest of it,” Carty said.
It's too bad he has to take his anger over his mediocre team out on an innocent reporter. Typical, but too bad.

Funniest video caption I have seen in a long time

"The noble and valiant Buckeyes of The Ohio State University slaughter the child molesting Wolverines of Michigan in 2004."

This video is courtesy of YouTube, from user AnnArborIsAWhore.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The "M" stands for MORON

Good afternoon, readers. I would like to take a break from our reguarly scheduled program about politics to trash the University of Michigan before they get their booties beat by the Ohio State Buckeyes this Saturday, 11/18/06. Let me offer you a few slogans that would be good for signs if you so happen to be at the game.
The "M" stands for MORON
Ann Arbor is a Whore
Muck Fichigan
Welcome to the SHOE - now bend over
Feel free to add in more insults in the comments.

And go BUCKS.

George Allen's sister writes sexy stuff; proves she doesn't know what a comb is

So THAT'S why the Allen camp attacked Senator-elect Jim Webb's books; they were afraid Allen himself would be questioned about his sister's dirty book.
Sen. George Allen’s sister wrote steamy short stories
By Emily Heil

In the final throes of Sen. George Allen’s failed reelection bid, the Virginia Republican took aim at some seamier passages of fiction written by his rival, Democratic Sen.-elect Jim Webb. But we wonder what Allen thinks of some other fiction that hits a little closer to home.

Early fiction written by Allen’s sister, Jennifer, depicts scenes that might make even former Marine Webb blush. "Better Get Your Angel On," Jennifer Allen’s 1989 collection of short stories, includes one story in which a couple engages in violent sexual acts while their child watches and smokes a joint. Other passages depict sex, violence and profanity.

The prose is written in a sort of disorienting, Faulkneresque style. A review from Publishers Weekly that accompanies the book’s listing on noted that with "insistent, arresting voices that hurtle the reader through glimpses of hedonistic, drug-speeded-up lives, some of the 13 very short stories in this debut collection succeed on their technical brilliance and shock value."

Webb, a former Marine who served as secretary of the Navy, is the author of six novels, according to his website. Allen’s campaign trotted out passages from several of them, saying they were "demeaning" to women and "dehumanizing."

Jennifer Allen’s most noted work is "Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach’s Daughter," an autobiography that attracted attention because it depicted her father, beloved NFL coach George Allen, as removed from the family and said George was often cruel towards her.

Calls to Allen’s office weren’t returned by press time.
NICE. Violent sex, children smoking pot, hedonism, profanity...but war stories written from first hand accounts should be stricken from library shelves and covered in shrink-wrap with huge warnings on the cover at the Barnes and Noble.

Typical Repunlican mindset.

I plan on going to the library tonight to see if this book is available; if it's as hot as it sounds, I'll repost some steamy goodness for you.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Allen Supporter Puts Blind Partisan Anger Before America and the Troops

From Style Weekly:

Blind Elephants - In the wake of Sen. George Allen’s defeat, the party of conservatives starts the healing process.
by Scott Bass

Had the election turned out differently, perhaps the party would have been livelier. As the Virginia Conservative Action PAC ends its annual convention downtown Nov. 11 — planned well before the Democrats took over — all the streamers, lights, giant speakers and television screens muster little enthusiasm.

Mostly there is somber disappointment — and anger.

"I’ll always remember November 7, 2006," spews a purse-lipped Rhonda Winfielda, Stuarts Draft mother whose son died in Iraq. "We have been attacked on our own soil. [The Democrats] have declared war on patriotism and the America I believe in.

"November 7 now will forever be a day, for me, when I lost my country," she says.
Let me be perfectly clear for those readers that will undoubtedly accuse me of lambasting people who have lost a child (or children) in this bloody, illegal, and atrocious war brought on by the Republican party in which Rhonda Winfield herself is a member and supporter.

I bear no ill will towards Rhonda Winfield. Like any other American, she is entitled to free speech and her own opinion. I also bear no ill will towards Cindy Sheehan, though I do not agree with her actions nor all of her stances. To me, Rhonda Winfield is the Cindy Sheehan of the right, and I think BOTH of them do more to politicize this war and polarize Americans than anyone in Congress.

Now, for the past 6 years, I have had to listen to one caller after another on Washington Journal (C-Span morning call-in show) whine about the "evil and unpatriotic Democrats" and their unwillingness to work with and support President Bush. I have heard people gleefully express that being part of the majority party means that others have to "fall in line" with their views. I have been called a communist, a pinko, a hippy liberal waste, a freedom hater, an America hater, a troop hater, and much more. I let it go. I knew that I was part of a minority party that was free to complain, bitch, moan, cry, scream, and lament the fact that my voice would not be heard, because "working together" with the Bush controlled Republican party meant falling in line with their RULES.

I believe that the new Democratic majority has made it BEYOND perfectly clear that they are looking forward to uniting the country as opposed to dividing it. I believe that when the majority of the country feels that the war needs to be closely examined and ended as soon as possible, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government owe it to their constituents to govern the way THE MAJORITY sees fit. I believe that this is a time for healing, and I believe that we can do so if we all work together.

Rhonda Winfield, like Cindy Sheehan, put herself on the front line of war politicization when she a) wrote a book catering to the right wing's stance on Iraq and b) became former Senator George Allen's sidekick; dare I go so far as to call her a prop. She appeared at many events with him and for him, and she even went so far as to allow former Senator George Allen to appeal to voters in the last Virginia Senate debate by using her name and pointing her out to the crowd. Now, I have no idea whether or not she was there, but I still believe the move was calculating and polarizing, and begging for sympathy votes.

Need I remind anyone that Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) flat out refused to use his son for political gains? I think not. Need I remind anyone that Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) is a war hero who came out against this war before anyone else? I think not. And need I remind anyone that the weekend before the election, 4 major news sources that are read by all branches of the military urged America to vote AGAINST the Bush controlled Republican agenda?


So, today I am calling on ALL partisan Republicans to accept the FACT that the Democratic party is now in the majority, and that we have pledged to work together with ALL members of Congress in order to move our country forward and to again rise to be the great country we know that we are. Please, for the sake of our troops and our international well-being, leave your partisan anger at the door and start supporting America as an AMERICAN, not a Republican.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

UPDATE: Um, I'm sorry, but Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) is NOT a REPUBLICAN

UPDATE: The Army Times has changed their article and added a "D" after Senator-elect Jim Webb's name. Good for them, but I will not delete this diary because calling the MSM out on incompetence and oversight is a much needed job for bloggers.

Of course.

Not only are people truly pissed over the fact that Democrats took the House and the Senate, but they are obviously so irritated that they have to LIE about which party the newly elected officials are a part of.

Well, maybe it's just one elected official, but he is MY newly elected official, and I do NOT appreciate the gross oversight.
November 14, 2006
New lawmakers vie for spots on military committees
By Rick Maze

Some newly elected lawmakers are hoping for seats on the armed services and veterans’ affairs committees.

Intentions are becoming clearer, although committee assignments won’t be made for weeks — or in some cases maybe not until next year if difficulties surface in working out a power-shifting agreement between Democrats who will control the new Congress and the Republicans now in charge.

Sen. Jim Webb, R-Va.
, the Marine combat veteran and former Navy secretary, is asking for a seat on armed services or foreign relations. Both committees will be adding Democrats and eliminating Republicans. None of the other arriving Democratic freshman senators are talking about either committee, so Webb may be able to pick his favorite. in two short paragraphs they completely contradict themselves.

And this is the ARMY TIMES?!?

I mean, I know everyone wants a piece of Webb, but this is just ridiculous.

UPDATE: The final tally: 9,329

I wanted to update this diary and bring it to the top in light of a crazy thing I saw this past weekend.

Every Sunday, Thaddaeus Toad and I head out to Ashland for band rehearsal. We always stop at the big Sheetz for coffe, water, and doughnuts. I have to tell you, I was mighty surprised to see a small local newspaper on the rack right next the Times Disgrace which bore the headline:
Senate Race in Virginia Still Too Close to Call!

You know, I may have been hallucinating, but I believe George Allen conceded to Senator-elect Jim webb (D-VA) on Thursday 11/9/06, so I don't know why this would be a headline on Sunday, 11/12/06.

I guess some people really do believe that if you wish it hard enough, it will come true.

Anyway, I went back and looked at the site for the Virginia State Board of Elections, and sure enough, Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA) is still ahead, and he is now ahead by more than he was when George Allen conceded the race and stated that he would not demand a recount.

The final count of votes Senator-elect Jim Webb has over Senator George Allen is 8,942 9,329.

This was a tight race, pholks. Congratulations, Senator-elect Jim Webb (D-VA). Thanks to all who worked on his behalf. 11/7/06 is a day that Virginians made history.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Senator-elect Jim Webb; a Maverick? Some think so.

James Webb, shown arriving in Alexandria for an election-eve rally, "will be a much better and happier senator than senatorial candidate," said former Virginia lieutenant governor Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D). "I don't think he is a natural candidate, but he is very bright, strong-principled and apparently fearless." (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

Well first of all, what is a maverick, pholks?
mav-er-ick - [mav-er-ik, mav-rik]
1. Southwestern U.S.. an unbranded calf, cow, or steer, esp. an unbranded calf that is separated from its mother.
2. a lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates.
3. (initial capital letter) an electro-optically guided U.S. air-to-ground tactical missile for destroying tanks and other hardened targets at ranges up to 15 mi. (24 km).
[Origin: 1865–70, American; after Samuel A. Maverick (1803–70), Texas pioneer who left his calves unbranded]

—Synonyms 2. nonconformist, independent, loner. Unabridged (v 1.0.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
Sooooooooooooo...I think it's pretty clear what Jim Webb ISN'T, based on those 3 definitions. But I have to say that the thought of Senator-elect Jim Webb as either a little baby calf or a kick ass in your face missile are both pretty amusing.

All in all, it's a pretty good article from Sunday's WaPo, and I think it's safe to say that we have a very interesting 6 years ahead of us.


Is Jim Webb already striking fear into the hearts of the GOP?

It looks like he may be...

From Robert Novak:
Robert D. Novak: Gates, Webb are old enemies
20 hours, 27 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – One reason for hurrying Senate confirmation of Robert Gates as secretary of defense through the lame-duck session of Congress is to avoid confrontation with an old enemy: James Webb, who will be a Democratic senator from Virginia in the new Congress starting in January.

During President Reagan’s second term, Gates and Webb clashed as colleagues. Webb as secretary of the Navy objected to plans by Gates, then deputy national security adviser, for U.S. warships to protect oil platforms in the Persian Gulf. The hot-tempered Webb made clear his irritation with the soft-spoken Gates.

Considering his background, Webb is likely to go on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The White House wants to confirm Gates before Webb is sworn in.

But there's more...

Senator-elect Jim Webb was on Larry King on Thursday, the fateful day that George Allen conceded his Senate seat. That evening, Senator-elect Jim Webb made it very clear that he would indeed like to be able to vote on the next Secretary of Defense for the United States of America.

Sounds like Senator-elect Jim Webb is already making members of the lame duck Republican Congress nervous. I knew we were sending a rock-star to Congress. :)

UPDATE: Here's what Sen. John Warner (R-VA) has to say about Senator-elect Jim Webb, from the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer:
BLITZER: One final question Senator, a lot of the so-called pundits say that Jim Webb didn't really win as much as George Allen lost the election in Virginia with his macaca statement, some of the other blunders. What do you think?

WARNER: Well, I worked with George through much of that campaign, stood by his side, certainly in the last 10 days to two weeks of it. I was always available but that was when he really brought me in. I did my best to see that he was re-elected, a fine man. Jim Webb was actually a Marine Corps aide to me when I was undersecretary, secretary of the navy. So after 35 years we're now two old marine captains, I'm the old one, he's the younger one, are reunited to work on behalf of the men and women of the armed forces.

BLITZER: And people of Virginia as well.

WARNER: Oh yes.

BLITZER: Don't forget about those Virginians. Senator, thanks for coming in.

WARNER: Thank you.

I wonder what was on the menu...

According to various reports, the newest members of Congress were guests at a private recpetion courtesy of President Bush this evening.
The Capitol police weren't quite ready for Tester, a farmer with a throwback flat top haircut and fingers missing on his left hand from an old accident with a meat grinder. They asked him to empty his pockets for inspection.

"Just like at the airport, you put it all through?" Tester asked.

The officer nodded, but quickly waived Tester through once he found out who the newcomer was.

Tester later appeared with his fellow Democratic freshmen - minus Missouri's Claire McCaskill, who is on a post-election vacation with her husband. They met with incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who led the Senate Democrats' campaign effort and took some ribbing on how tough their individual races had been.

"They kept saying, 'You didn't tell us it would be this hard," Schumer quipped. "This is a great group - some are liberal, some are conservative, some are moderate."

One new senator who campaigned strenuously on his opposition to the war, Jim Webb of Virginia, said he was rushing to keep up with the new demands on his schedule.

"I haven't been able to relax yet," said Webb.
For the few new Republicans, success at the polls was clouded by the disappointment in the GOP losing control of the House and Senate.

"I was really hoping to know what it was like to be in a majority here in Washington, D.C.," said Rep.-elect Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Politics, however, took a back seat to procedure for most of the day, as wide-eyed rookie lawmakers seemed both excited and awed.

"From both parties, we all sort of have the same feeling: 'Wow! Is this really happening?" said Michael Arcuri, D-N.Y.

Indiana Rep. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat who beat incumbent Chris Chocola, said he was mostly concerned about getting his office up and running "as quickly as possible, so we can start working for the people back home."

In the evening, President Bush hosted newly elected lawmakers at a private White House reception.
Sounds interesting; I would have liked to have been a fly on that wall. Again, I wonder what was on the menu...