Sunday, December 31, 2006

Do you really care?

You may not, but in the spirit of the new year, I have decided to follow the lead of Waldo and Vivian Paige. The following are 5 things you never knew about me...
1. I majored in musical theatre at a small private college just outside of Cleveland, OH. I loved it, and post graduation I got exactly one paid acting job before I quit the business and moved on toward finding a "real career." I don't have a huge problem with rejection, but rejection for a recent college grad in NYC with all of the other millions of Broadway Bound kids was a bit much.

2. I have gotten out of exactly 17 tickets after being pulled over for one of many reasons. I never really tried to get out of the tickets; I think that police in general just got tired of listening to me speak, hence the numerous "warnings" I was given. I also helped the police catch a criminal at the ripe age of 9, and I was allowed to leave the scene of a crime at both 17 and 22. I have no idea why they allowed that, but rest assured that I play it a lot more safely these days.

3. If I like a movie or a song a lot, I have been known to play whatever form of media it is on repeat, for many days. I have had to buy replacement CDs and DVDs because of the wear and tear of repitition.

4. I have been in many long term relationships, yet I have absolutely zero desire to marry. The thought of inviting more than 5 people to an event I have to plan makes me sweat and pant (not in a good way), and I would much rather have a big old casual party outdoors with kegs and burgers and play a video of my nuptials for the guests.

5. I moved to Virginia from northern NJ and lived with Thadd's sister and her girlfriend of 11 years for the first 8 months I was here. I mucked the barn, fed farm animals, and peed in a bucket at night. I lived in the "mother in law" house with Thadd and we had no water, no heat, and no air conditioning. Once, I thought a horse outside was a madman murderer, and another time Thadd found a mouse family in the garbage can I slept next to every night. We now live in the heart of the city.
Happy New Year, everyone. Be safe, have fun, and take care of you and yours.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wow, Gov. Huckabee (R-AR); that's a bit harsh

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) is positioning himself for a presidential run and is laying the groundwork to come off as a moderate Republican with independent ideas and true conservative values. He has recently claimed that he isn't an "angry" conservative who "scare(s) the living daylights" out of independents and moderate Democrats. Unless you follow his career closely, you may best rememebr Governor Huckabee for one of two thing; he's the politico who lost a bunch of weight, and he is also the guy who barely made it into office bc of the dramatic antics of his predecessor. From Wiki:
On 15 July 1996 he was sworn in as Governor of Arkansas to fill the vacancy created by Governor Jim Guy Tucker's resignation because of a felony conviction in the Whitewater scandal. This was a dramatic moment for Arkansas as Tucker at first resigned, and then rescinded his resignation as Huckabee was preparing to be sworn in. For a short while the event had the makings of a constitutional crisis not seen in Arkansas since the Brooks-Baxter War in the 19th century. Within a few hours Tucker reinstated his resignation, and Huckabee was sworn in.
When elected governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee was significantly overweight. During 2003, physicians diagnosed the governor with adult-onset diabetes and informed him that he would not live more than 10 years if he did not lose weight. This diagnosis (as well as the subsequent death of former Governor Frank D. White, whose obesity led to a fatal heart attack) shocked the governor into reflecting on his own mortality, and his ability to serve as the governor of Arkansas. Huckabee subsequently lost over 110 pounds through a disciplined diet and exercise, according to a New York Times article at a pace so rapid that "it was as if he simply unzipped a fat suit and stepped out." The governor now wakes up at approximately 5 a.m. for a five-mile jog, and he and his wife routinely pack his own healthy meals for lunch and dinner in a portable cooler--even when attending political, ceremonial, or fund-raising events.

He has publicly recounted his previous burdens as an overweight man: the steps of the Arkansas capitol building from the entrance of the building up to the Governor's office were so long and steep that Huckabee would be out of breath and exhausted by the time he reached the top of the stairs; Huckabee secretly feared that he would be interviewed by media at the top of the steps, and that he would be unable to respond appropriately due to his overexertion and breathlessness.

Huckabee has trumpeted his weight loss and made health care reform a major component of his later tenure as governor, promoting both his own life story as well as his decision to dedicate 100 percent of tobacco settlement proceeds to health-related issues.

Huckabee ran in the 2006 New York City Marathon.
I give him a lot of credit for taking his life into his hands and losing the weight that was killing him without the use of expensive pills and dangerous surgery. You go, Governor Huckabee.

However, I think that Governor Huckabee's early alienation from his friends, colleagues, and party may not be good for his political future. It seems a bit too soon to be saying things such as:
"I think I would appeal to true conservatives for whom conservatism doesn't mean they're angry at everybody," Huckabee said in an interview with The Associated Press. "My brand of conservatism is not an angry, hostile brand."


"I would be the kind of Republican who doesn't scare the living daylights out of people who are in the center or slightly to the left," he said.

"When people say it's all going to be settled by March or April. Who says? George Allen was the hottest brand going until he made a little speech that got on YouTube. Now he's gone," Huckabee said.
OUCH. Looks like Governor Huckabee, whom still has not officially announced an 08 presidential run, is out there trying to appeal to moderate Americans from both sides of the aisle as opposed to hard party line towers. As someone who probably would not vote for Huckabee as he is a Republican, I don't know what to think of this behavior. Will it work? Will it destroy his career? Will his own party shun him and quietly force his exit from the public life?

Or will we see a whole slew of "I'm independent, I am NOT one of them" candidates step forward over the next few months?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holiday packages for the troops

As many people are already aware, there are countless organizations set up to help show our support to the brave men and women in the US military. These organizations send care packages, books, clothing, and many other items to the troops to help them feel more comfortable as they continue to fight for our country. Sending a small (or large) care package to the soldiers is easy, and it's really the least we can do (especially those that voted for "President" Bush and support the lie of the century) to show our gratitude and thanks to these brave souls.

The Daily Kos community has pulled together and sent over 50 care packages to FOB Falcon's aid station, an Army medical unit. The Democratic blogosphere was happy to help, and I am sure that we will do more of the same in the future. 50 packages may seem like a small amount to some, but keep in mind that this incredible feat was accomplished through three simple requests (in diary form) in a little over 4 weeks. All who participated deserve a note of thanks.

To read the incredibly inspirational diaries on the subject, and to help those who may also want to send a care package to our troops, please see here, here, and here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm with Kenton...

The Virginia Republican bloggers look like 4 year olds right now. A quick note to all of the idiots of the rightosphere -
Please grow up and get over yourselves. No one really cares that you are upset. Start your own aggregator if you need so much attention, alright? We aren't here to hold your hands and teach you how to blog; you need to figure it out on your own. If you need so much attention, go get a puppy or see a shrink. Thanks.
As for the Democratic side of the blogosphere, we have a lot more important things to discuss, such as Virgil Goode's despicable behavior that has undoubtedly ended his political career. We also need to bring the focus back to all of the other races we will win as we continue to paint Virginia blue. We need to move on from this issue because frankly, these immature "bloggers" just aren't worth our time. They are only bothering with this issue to take the heat off Virgil and to cry for attention. Let's end it now and move on; they simply aren't worth our time unless we are laughing at them (which I do every day).

Kenton puts it best:
The continued attacks on Waldo need to stop. Now. Those of you on the right side of the blogosphere have shifted the conversation away from Virgil Goode, taken it away from its message, and have proceeded to shoot the messenger (Waldo). It is beyond pathetic.

It is his aggregator. You can request to be taken off it, if you feel that passionately about it. Hell, I could set up my own aggregator if I wanted, and only pick the blogs I read. Before you complain about the VPB aggregator, you should probably figure out if you have the know-how to do better. It saddens me that some in Virginia have resorted to the sophomoric tactic of viciously attacking the messenger. It’s hard to sink any lower.

I enjoy the VPB aggregator. It’s one-stop shopping of just pure content. BNN has fascinating statistics, and lets you know about trends, but the VPB aggregator gives you the straight-up news.

So to those who seem not to have left the playground, and can’t figure out that personally savaging the messenger isn’t doing you any good, put the crayons away and grow up.
So awesome, and so true. Listen closely and take heed, Republicans. A person not yet out of high school has schooled you succinctly and correctly. You all ought to be ashamed and silenced.

Oh, and by the way; again I ask, why aren't you all fighting in Iraq? They did raise the age limit...but I guess you haven't heard about that either...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry merry, happy happy

Twas the night before Christmas, when at the White House
Big brother was watching by using his mouse.
Money bags were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes Abramoff would again be there.

Cheney and Rummy were snug in their beds.
While visions of cakewalks danced in their heads.
Condi and Powell in their statesmen caps
Practiced explaining their memory lapse.

When out in Iraq, there arose such clatter
The Decider decided that none of that mattered.
He and Cheney to the window did dash
To denounce their critics as "traitorous trash!!"

The moon on the crest of the fallen dictator
Gave an open invitation to the nuts of Al Qaeda
More rapid than eagles, the terrorist came!
Where they once feared to tread, they strutted with out shame!

Meanwhile, out at Abu Ghraib,
Interrogators plied the tools of their trade
Prisoners were herded into permanent detention,
Where no one has heard of the Geneva Convention.

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly
Detainees disappeared, like clouds in the sky.
Guantanamo Bay took four hundred or so,
The black hole of retention took the rest, don't you know?

Then, in a twinkling, on the White House roof
Came the prancing and pawing of a fancy Texas boot.
George looked down as we waived our vote
He shouted, "Too late, you missed the boat!

He was dressed in his flight gear, from head to boot,
Victory Accomplished his whistle did toot.
"No democratic Iraq?" we defiantly said.
Clearly the irony was over his head.

His eyes how they squinted -- an attempt to be merry.
He said, Stay the course or you might end up buried.
He spoke with a mouth that was full of food!
(Where he comes from in Texas that's not considered rude.)

He held the constitution. With his knife he did whack
And neatly carved out the Patriot Act
Now the laws of this country, he can decree,
No longer apply to you or to me.

With money and tax breaks, he went right to work
Filling silk stockings, then turned like a jerk
And laying his fingers in front of his nose,
He called down the chimney for his Texas clothes.

He sprang to his copter. Gave the pilot a sign
And they all flew away, leaving us behind.
But I heard him exclaim since he did not linger,
"Happy Christmas to all!" Then he gave us the finger.
Bill Sanders

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Another hilarious holiday poem...

Let's face it...those who make fun of Republicans are just funnier and more clever than those who try to make fun of the other side of the aisle (which gets bigger every day, since Mr. Bush is now below a 30% approval rating...)

Twas the night before Christmas here in the White House.
Laura was sleeping and the twins had passed out.
Their stockings and spike heels were strewn everywhere,
while I sat there thinking, 'It just isn't fair'.
Here it was Christmas and everything sucked.
Life really stinks when you're just a Lame Duck.
Nobody called, so I sat there alone
My polls are so low even Cheney won't phone.
No Angela Merkel, no Ehud Olmert
no Vladimir Putin, they all think I'm a jerk.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
the Secret Service rushed in to see what was the matter.
But I sent them away. "It was nothing.", I lied.
I didn't want them to see me, their President, cry.
Then I went to the window to see what was there
and what I saw outside just made me so scared.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gave the luster of midday to objects below.
When what to my bloodshot red eyes should appear
but a massive Blue sleigh, and it filled me with fear.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it wasn't St. Nick.

It was Nancy Pelosi, and with her there came
so many Dems, and she called out their names.
"Now Daschle! Now Clinton! Now Kerry and Gore!
Obama and Edwards! Get us out of this war!
To the top of the Ticket! Make the GOP fall!
Now dash John McCain! Now dash away all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
I watched my Legacy wither and die.
So up to the White House these candidates flew
with a sleigh full of programs, and entitlements too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The dancing and cawing of this Liberal group.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney they all came with a bound.
Then they stood before me, each tapping their foot
and their clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot
from the coal fired plants I said, "Build everywhere!"
I cried, "Leave me alone!" but they just stood there.

Then Obama stepped forward and looked down at me
He said, "I'm taking your job, or at least the VP's."
Hillary said, "You know, this once was my place,
and it'll be mine again when I win the next Race."
I think it was Kerry who called out from the rear,
"Take your Swift Boat and sail off with your Culture of Fear!"
Then Howard Dean screamed from the back of the crowd,
"You wouldn't listen before, but you're listening now!"

Dennis Kucinich, with his face filled with grief
held up in his hand a large funeral wreath.
And on it the names of the thousands of dead
and there was real pain in the words that he said,
"You've started a War, but you'll stay alive.
The same can't be said for all the children who've died.
All of their deaths now rest on your head
and you'll see their faces when you're on your deathbed."

For a moment I wondered if that could ever be true.
Am I really to blame for the all things that I do?
I thought about calling to Karl for help,
then I shook my head no, and I laughed at myself.
You see, I can't be blamed for the things that I've done
since you can never have Peace without bombers and guns.
So I called to my guards, "Send them into the night!
Merry Christmas to all, now get out of my sight."

~~Author Unknown~~

Oh, and in case you didn't understand...

I DEFINITELY support Waldo, and I hope all other CREDIBLE and RESPONSIBLE bloggers do the same. The attack (though laughable and pathetic and really beyond sad, considering the age of the two aggregators) was out of line and out of control, and really; can it be seen as anything BUT a desperate and despicable cry for attention? I guess no one at home pays them any mind. For shame, swac and the dog. You make the blogosphere look bad, and we don't deserve to have to stand in your shadow of insanity.

Quick notes from New Jersey...

Ahhhhhhhhh, to be a political celebrity! I cannot tell you how many horn honks, thumbs ups, and random positive comments I have gotten for my Jim Webb sticker on my Virginia plated car. It is a fact that this race was a lot bigger around the country than most of us thought it ever could be. Kudos again, Webb supporters and Democratic voters of Virginia! We truly did an amazing thing.

On another note, looks like I was right-Jim Webb was the silent one, whiny and pathetic Mr. Bush was the one who broke the story to the papers about the "feud" between the two men. I have been saying this to people for weeks, and there is an excellent write up here. Wow, shocker; Mr. Bush lied. Well, his lips WERE moving...

And speaking of which...I don't know what the heck is going on between the highly esteemed and credible Democratic blogs of Virginia and the brand new, full of mistakes and bad writing Republican SLOP of Virginia that like to call themselves "blogs", but it's hilarious. The Republicans are foaming at the mouth, and it's totally enjoyable and amusing. Keep it up, guys. We're working on 07 elections and you are playing with photoshop and whining to your grown children about internet fighting while they are most likely rolling their eyes and wishing they could get the hell out of your house and back to their life without you. GROW UP, ALREADY (and yeah, if you're stalking my blog and you THINK I am talking about you-I AM). Republicans, stop your whining and start thinking of the future already. We won, PLEASE get over it and move on. What are you accomplishing?

Mature and responsible; hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Alright, well I'M posting it...

The following video has taken the internets by storm, and it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. It's not political, it's not about Virginia, it's not Hollywood gossip, and it sure isn't tOSU football; but it IS awesome. I thought long and hard about posting this because of the lyrics, but in the end I decided to use my freedom of speech and spread this around for your amusement. Enjoy.
WARNING: (Questionable) explicit lyrics-if you're young, go ask your parents if you can click this. And by typing that, I absolve myself of any and all resposibility for you repeating dirty words and laughing your ass off.
Ladies and gents, I give you "Dick in a Box"...

And just in case you are interested, you can already order a T-shirt to go along with the song.

I've got a few more....

This one is actually pretty funny, and VERY important. If more people accepted all Americans as opposed to just those Americans they agree with, we would be a much better country. By the way-I'll be doing this all day. Funny poems, funny songs, funny, enjoy.
An Overdue Visit

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the nation
Friends of Freedom knew it was a special occasion.
Lady Liberty stood taller just off the shore
Her torch shining brighter than a few weeks before

But it wasn't the flame turning her cheeks all rosy
It was thoughts of Snowe, Feingold and Nancy Pelosi
And leaders from every side of the aisle
Who would soon bring the Bill of Rights back into style.

The Amendments had all hurried out of their beds -
Which was no easy task, they were nearly in shreds -
And they rushed to the window on papery feet
As a jolly old man flew right over their street.

"Could it be!?" they inquired as the roof shook and trembled
And they crept toward the mantle, peaceably assembled,
Just as someone emerged from the chimney with flair
In a shiny red suit, with a shock of white hair

And a top hat, and pants all in red, white and blue -
"Wait a minute," the Amendments exclaimed, "Who are you?"
"Don't be frightened my children," he said, "it's no scam.
"You can't have forgotten your old Uncle Sam!"

"Holy crap!" said Free Speech. "Stop right there!" yelled Bear Arms
And Privacy cried "Who shut off the alarms?!"
The Fifth remained silent, but Uncle Sam said
"We've been having some trouble, but Freedom's not dead."

The Amendments were cautious. "It's just been so long
We've seen Liberty lost, we've seen so much go wrong.
The President's trying to mangle and warp us,
The Fourth is in tatters, so's Habeas Corpus!"

The old man sat down - he had had quite a ride -
But he told them "Don't worry, the Law's on our side,
'Cause the nation's fed up and more people are crying
For Justice and an end to illegal spying,

"And secret abductions by the CIA,
And laws that would take women's choices away,
And Gitmo tribunals and secret detention,
And other intrusions too numerous to mention - "

"Not so fast," said a grinchity voice from above
And Don Rumsfeld pushed past the Fourteenth with a shove.
He was covered in soot and he looked kind of scary.
It seemed like his Christmas had not been so merry.

The Amendments said they weren't happy to see him:
"You tried to throw all of us in the museum!
You've done so much the Constitution forbids!"

"And I would have gone on, but for you meddling kids!"

Uncle Sam told him "Rummy, your plans just won't do,
So we've got a brand new timetable for you!"
And as Rumsfeld retired and crept into the night
The Amendments cried out "Have a good secret flight!"

From the distance they heard him reply with a snort.
"Bye-bye, Rummy!" they answered, "we'll see you in court!"
Uncle Sam rode the chimney up out of the room
And, like Frosty, he said "I'll be back again soon."

But they heard him exclaim "Oh, and just one more thing! This year, when the holiday bells start to ring,
Try to honor religion. Honest faith can't be wrong.
It's America, can't we all just get along?"

"So, on Christian," he cried, "Muslim, Hindu, and Jew!
On Quaker! On Shaker! And Atheist too!
On Buddhist! On Taoist! And to show we're not chickens
We'll file a few lawsuits defending the Wiccans!"

"Your belief is your right, so get out there and savor it.
Uncle Sam's not a preacher, and he doesn't play favorites!"

So this holiday season, whatever you do,
Warmest wishes for Freedom, from the ACLU.

Fine, I'll play the game too.

I see all over the right-o-sphere, bloggers are tripping over each other to be the first to put up cutesy, anti-Democratic holiday poems. I guess after losing both houses all they can do is stand on the sidelines and weakly yell
"But....but, wait! But there is a war on Christmas!, I have a ribbon! Yeah, it's on my car! Beat that, you crazies that actually want an exit strategy. I have a RIBBON."
Did anyone think the holidays would make them MORE sane? If so, you were fooled, big time.

So, in honor of them and their new tradition, here's a little piece I found on the internets. It's from 2005, so it is a bit outdated, but still full of snarky fun. Enjoy!
Twas the Night Before Christmas
By Keith Boykin

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land
The war was proceeding exactly as (not) planned.
Republicans were plotting against liberals and gays
With threats that the left would take Christmas away.

Mr. Bush was drunk and over 2,000 were dead,
As visions of Baghdad still danced in his head.
And Condi in her kerchief, and George in his cap,
Had finally decided to pull out a map.

When in the next office they heard such a clatter,
They sprang from the desk to see what was a matter.
There Cheney appeared in an undisclosed location,
With a poll-tested soundbite -- "The war on creation."

On that little strategy, they all hastily agreeed
So they took a quick break and pulled out the TV.
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a new evil demon, a cowboy quite queer.

With Iraq and Miers and indictments and scandal
The dropping poll numbers were too much to handle,
This new little target could shift the blame,
As they recalled the disasters and said them by name!

"Now Katrina! now, FEMA! now, torture and leaks!
They would all disappear if we picked on the weak!
Get O'Reilly and Dobson to start a new brawl!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

But a strange thing had happened as they plotted this sneak
The White House had lost its big winning streak
Social Security "reform" had now been suspended
And the Patriot Act was barely extended.

The critics demanded an end to the lying
When the next thing they knew, they heard about spying
The Congress was starting to use the word "impeach"
So the president decided to give one last final speech

There was only one way to get out of this mess
The president knew he had to confess
There was one other person who had just left the town
And the president decided to call Michael Brown

If he handled a hurricane, he could handle this too
But when the story leaked out, the public was through
Bush flew to New York to exploit nine eleven
When there at the towers came a message from heaven

"Don't support your agenda by using my name
When things fall apart, they will know who to blame
I wiped out great Egypt and Greece and Rome
Now you will seek shelter in the old Superdome."

So the people chased Bush from the north to the south
When on his way out he opened his mouth
And I heard him exclaim, as he ran from the mob,
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Republicans: have you thanked a liberal today?

Without us, all you cherish would not be possible. You're welcome in advance, and have a happy holiday.
A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican
By John Gray, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 2004

Joe gets up at 6:00 AM to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.

He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and that they would work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, that Joe now gets too.

He prepares his morning breakfast-bacon and eggs today. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how many chemicals itcontained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is cleaner because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some
liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employeesto call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It's noon time. Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dad's; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards.

He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration (FHA) because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republicans would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad, who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show. The host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn't tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day)

Joe agrees.

"We don't need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I'm a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."
That's right, Republicans. Now get on your knees and start groveling; our thank you for your easy life is long overdue.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

BREAKING: The soldiers want out; a call for withdrawal

Active duty and retired members of the military alike are coming together to sign a simple and polite request to be heard over the drumbeat of the war mongers. The Bush Administration and their supporters (albeit, the numbers are shrinking every day) have disrespected and demeaned our toops for far too long, and it is about time these fine men and women stand up for themselves against these violent criminals. I urge all active and retired members of our armed forces to sign, and I hope all will pass this along to everyone they know.
As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.
Luckily, this is about to get a lot more attention from the masses. The Nation has an in depth article focused on the petition and some of the people who have signed it. Although most men and women have decided to keep their anonymity, others have come forward, feeling confident in their protection under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. From the Nation:
For the first time since Vietnam, an organized, robust movement of active-duty US military personnel has publicly surfaced to oppose a war in which they are serving. Those involved plan to petition Congress to withdraw American troops from Iraq.

After appearing only seven weeks ago on the Internet, the Appeal for Redress, brainchild of 29-year-old Navy seaman Jonathan Hutto, has already been signed by nearly 1,000 US soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, including dozens of officers--most of whom are on active duty. Not since 1969, when some 1,300 active-duty military personnel signed an open letter in the New York Times opposing the war in Vietnam, has there been such a dramatic barometer of rising military dissent.

Interviews with two dozen signers of the Appeal reveal a mix of motives for opposing the war: ideological, practical, strategic and moral. But all those interviewed agree that it is time to start withdrawing the troops. Coming from an all-volunteer military, the Appeal was called "unprecedented" by Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice.
Pretty damning to the POTUS, his administration, and anyone who claims to support the war AND the troops. At this point, it is pretty clear that you EITHER support the war OR the troops; doing both is impossible. What struck me most were the interviews conducted with those that chose to sign the petition. Remember, there is no way to anonymously sign; rank numbers and names must be certified, and all names will be presented to Congress. These men and women are indeed brave.
The military command exercises enormous power through individual reviews, promotions and assignments. But that hasn't kept a number of signers from going public with their dissent.

Navy Lieut. Cmdr. Mark Dearden of San Diego, for example, enlisted in 1997 and is still pondering the possibility of a lifetime career. "So this was a very difficult decision for me to come to. I don't take this decision lightly," he says. But after two "tough" deployments in Iraq, Dearden says signing the Appeal was not only the right thing to do but also gave him personal "closure."

"I'm expressing a right of people in the military to contact their elected representatives, and I have done nothing illegal or disrespectful," Dearden adds.
The rest are a bit harder to read, but I encourage all to do so. This is such an important mission.
"Lisa"--20 years old, E-4, USAF, Stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii:
I joined up two weeks after I turned 17 because I wanted to save American lives. I wanted to be a hero like any American child.

I supported the war when I joined because I thought it was justified. Only after my own research and the truth coming out did I learn how wrong I was, how--for lack of a better word--how brainwashed I was.

Now I know the war is illegal, unjustified and that our troops have no reason for being there.

When I saw an article about the Appeal in the Air Force Times I went online right away and signed it and have encouraged others to do the same.

"Sgt. Gary"--21 years old. US Army. Deployed with 20th Infantry Regiment, near Mosul, Iraq:
I joined up in 2001, still a junior in high school. I felt very patriotic at the end of my US History class. My idea of the Army was that you signed up, they gave you a rifle and you ran off into battle like in some 1950s war movie. The whole idea of boot camp never really entered my head.

I supported the war in the beginning. I bought everything Bush said about how Saddam had WMDs, how he was working with Al Qaeda, how he was a threat to America. Of course, this all turned out to be false.

This is my second tour, and as of a few days ago it's half-over. Before I deployed with my unit for the second time I already had feelings of not wanting to go. When in late September a buddy in my platoon died from a bullet in the head, I really took a long hard look at this war, this Administration, and the reasons why.

After months of research on the Internet, I came to the conclusion that this war was based on lies and deception. I started to break free of all the propaganda that the Bush Administration and the Army puts out on a daily basis.

So far in three years we have succeeded in toppling a dictator and replacing him with puppets. Outlawing the old government and its standing army and replacing them with an unreliable and poorly trained crew of paycheck collectors. The well is so poisoned by what we have done here that nothing can fix it.

"Lt. Smith"--24 years old, 1st Lieutenant, US Army. Deployed near Baghdad:
I cannot, from Iraq, attend an antiwar protest. Nor could I attend one in the States and represent myself as a soldier. What I can do is send a protest communication to my Congressional delegate outlining grievances I feel I have suffered. Appeal for Redress gives me that outlet.

I am encouraged by the November elections, but still wary. We rushed into the war on false assumptions, and now we might rush out just as falsely. What troops need now is a light at the end of the tunnel, not just for this deployment but for all deployments. Bringing everyone out this summer is too fast to be supported by our Army's infrastructure. We would hemorrhage lives if we do so. But so would we if we stay the course.

I am encouraged by politicians who call for a withdrawal by the conclusion of President Bush's term in office. That seems a realistic timetable for me.

Mark Mackoviak--24 years old. US Army. Recently returned from Iraq. Stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina:

I joined the Army on September 23, 2001. I had been out of school for a year when September 11 came around, and I was supportive of our action in Afghanistan. I wound up there a year later, and it was pretty eye-opening to see how people live.

I was also in Iraq for about a year, deployed near the International Airport, west of Baghdad. I was never that supportive of the invasion. I thought the media coverage of it was horrendous, really disgusting.

Just about everything I saw in Iraq reinforced my views that it was wrong. The point that really hit me was when the Asmara Mosque got blown up. I said, Wow, this is really a civil war.

I really enjoy being in the Army, enjoy the experience. I just happen to not support this war. I'm very open about that. My buddies either disagree with me or just pay no attention. But I get absolutely no hostility. None.

"Rebecca"--26 years old. 101st Airborne, US Army. Just returned from Iraq. Stationed at Fort Hood, Texas:
I joined in 2004. I was trying to go into the human rights field, but it was very competitive. I was in need of health insurance, and the Army seemed feasible. Now it looks like I will be stop-lossed until 2010.

I had strong feelings about the war, against it, but I'm the type of person that wants to fully understand both sides of the argument.

My experience in Iraq confirmed my views, but it also gave me a more multifaceted view of things. I did see some of the good things being done, but it seemed like a Band-Aid on a gushing wound. Mostly I saw the frivolity of the missions, the lack of direction, the absurdity of the mission. You go out in your Humvee, you drive around, and you wait to be blown up and get killed by an IED.

About 40 percent of my unit were stop-lossed. Their first mission was to take down Saddam and his regime, and they seemed to understand that and agree with the mission to take down a ruthless dictator. Now they can't seem to understand why they are there, caught in the cross hairs of a civil war.

I think it is safe to say that the majority of soldiers are wondering what this grand scheme is that we keep hearing about from those above us but that is never translating down to the ground level.

Some politicians are starting to see that not only a majority of Americans oppose to this war. Now they see this very powerful statement of soldiers who have already been on the front line and who are still in uniform and are also opposed. None of them have been where we have been, none of them have seen what we have seen. It's time they do.
Heartbreaking. Hopefully, the "brainwashed" (as the honorable soldier "Lisa" says above) will soon come to grips with reality.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Well, it's (n)o-phishal....

In spite of the rumors that have been swirling across the web for the past few weeks, it looks like Phish will not be getting together for a reunion tour anytime soon after all.

Trey Anastasio (birthname Ernest Anastasio) was charged with driving under the influence of drugs at 3:30am this morning. Cops also found a wide array of scrips and pills in the car, although none of the medication (legal or not) was prescribed to Trey, the former lead guitarist for the (greatest) band (ever) Phish. Anastasio was charged, booked, and released with a date to appear in court.

Here's more:
The former Phish frontman was pulled over by an officer who saw his car failing to keep to right side of the road at about 3:30 a.m., Whitehall village police said.

A search turned up quantities of the painkillers hydrocodone and Percocet, as well as the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, that had been prescribed for someone else, police said.

Anastasio, who was driving with a suspended New York license, was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated-drugs, police said.
Considering how absolutely TERRIBLE the last few years of Phish were (pre and post hiatus), I cannot say I am that surprised. However, Trey has claimed many times that he has been sober since the break up of Phish, that Phish and "the scene" made him do drugs.
Anastasio lives in Vermont and has been performing solo since Phish broke up in 2004.

The Phish tour was well-known for its active drug scene, and Anastasio said in a 2005 Associated Press interview that part of the reason he went solo was to escape that atmosphere.

Asked how sobriety had affected him, he said, "It affects you positively in every possible way that you can imagine, 'cause it's YOU. ... Any feeling you're trying to achieve using hard drugs you're gonna achieve through sobriety."
Well, Trey; you certainly weren't playing to 100,000 people last night, melting face, when you were arrested with enough drugs to kill a large child, now were you? Don't blame anyone but yourself for throwing away an amazing talent.

I'm ashamed.

The most hilarious Christmas card ever

WOW. See the cigarette in little George's hand? And Babs looks like she is going to murder someone, doesn't she?

H/T to the debutant.

Soldiers behaving badly

I hate seeing things like things like this. Now, before you click, I must warn you that the following video contains profanity and despicable behavior by some of the nation's greatest heroes. I realize war is terrible, and I deeply respect our men and women of the armed forces. However, bad behavior towards Iraqi children by our soldiers is still considered wrong and unnacceptable.

I hope events like this cease.
In the brief, undated video at the site, a U.S. soldier appears atop a military vehicle as another mills about, directing the children to shout, "F*ck Iraq." The youngsters, though smiling, do not seem to understand what it is they are saying.

The soldiers have a laugh, presumably at the childrens' expense, with one at the end heard saying with a chuckle, "Oh God, that was so wrong."

Ode to Dogs

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"Tis pity not to have a dog, for at the long day's end,
The man or boy will know the joy, Of welcome from a friend.
And whether he be rich or poor, Or much of little bring,
The dog will mark his step and bark, As if he were a King.
Though gossips whisper now and then, Of faults they plainly see,
And some may sneer, from year to year, My dog stays true to me.
He's glad to follow where I go, And though I win or fail,
His love for me he'll let me see, By wagging fast his tail.
Now if I were to list the friends, Of mine in smiles and tears,
Who through and through are staunch and and true, And constant down the years,
In spite of all my many faults, Which critics catalog,
Deserving blame, I'd have to name My ever-faithful dog.
"Tis pity not to have a dog, Whatever be his breed,
for Dogs possess a faithfulness, Which humans sadly need.
And whether skys be blue or gray, Good luck or ill Attend,
Man's toil by day, a dog will stay, His ever-constant friend.......

--- Egdgar A. Guest ---
Lately, there has been a lot of chatter about dogs in the blogosphere. While we all may disagree with one another about politics and policy, we can probably all agree that our pets mean the world to us. My baby Linus (pictured above) wishes everyone a happy holiday season, and of course, wishes all other dogs well for years to come.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

YouTube's list of top 10 videos (yeah, it's on there)

Of course it's on the list:
AP’s top 10 YouTube videos of 2006
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
December 14, 2006

2006 was the year YouTube became culturally ubiquitous. Declared the invention of the year by Time magazine, the video sharing web site had Ohio judges posting their weekly sentencing hearings and spawned countless explosive experiments involving Diet Coke and Mentos candies.

YouTube provides a list of the most viewed videos, which remains the gauge upon which all clips are judged. Here, though, are the most significant YouTube videos of the year:

1. THE FACE OF YOUTUBE: The cute, bedroom confessions of Lonelygirl15 remain the site’s quintessential expression. Of course, the pretty high schooler named Bree was eventually revealed to be 19-year-old actress Jessica Lee Rose, who was acting out a scripted plot with two behind-the-scenes producers. But that strange mutated duality of what’s real and what’s fiction, what’s amateur and what’s professional, remains the heart and soul of YouTube, where everybody and nobody is a star.

2. NETWORK WAKE-UP CALL: Saturday Night Live’s “Lazy Sunday” mock-rap sketch was, in some ways, what started the revolution. The video was seen by more than five million viewers before NBC asked YouTube to remove it in February. Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg’s rhymes boosted the hipness of “SNL,” but more importantly, it was the first time networks were alerted to their new competition. NBC reacted fearfully, and later opted to built up its own Web sites with online video. The networks continue to experiment with YouTube; recently, CBS has claimed its late shows have increased in ratings after posting clips from “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Late Late Show” on YouTube.

3. POLITICAL FALLOUT: YouTube — like the Internet in general — has made it a specialty to reveal the gaffes and mistakes of the establishment. Of course, few would say Virginia Sen. George Allen didn’t deserve his fate after a video of him calling a rival campaign staffer “macaca” drew constant clicks on YouTube. Allen went on to lose an extremely close election — a race that YouTube could well have turned. On the other end of the spectrum, Michael J. Fox’s tremulous campaign ads for various Democratic candidates who support stem cell research proved powerfully effective and were seen by millions more than would have otherwise caught them on TV.

4. FLOUNDERING FOUNDERS: When Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in October, YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen posted a goofy, unrehearsed video with a glint in their eye and a smirk on their face that said unmistakably: “We just became insanely rich.” It was true to YouTube style, but the site’s video-posting community couldn’t help thinking, “Didn’t we do all the work?”

5. OK STOP: MTV turned 25 this year, but it became clear a long time ago that its programming doesn’t have room for music videos anymore. YouTube’s expanse is endless, of course, and the site turned a little-known power pop group into the music video sensation of the year. OK Go’s video for “Here it Goes Again” was made in one long take with the amateurish creativity that YouTube specializes in. Their playfully choreographed treadmill dancing was the most absurdly graceful thing of the year: YouTube saved the video star.

6. CELEBRITY SPY: Michael “Kramer” Richards’ racist rant at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood in November would have drawn headlines without YouTube, but would millions have seen it? We’ve all become trained at this point: if something happens — check YouTube.

7. NOT JUST TEENAGERS: Though YouTube is generally viewed as a playground for the young, many elderly people have seen its unique facility for communication. A user named Peter who goes by the name geriatric1927 has become one of the biggest and unlikeliest stars of the YouTube community. Dubbed “Virtual Granddad,” the British 79-year-old is beloved for his “Telling it all” series of posts in which he warmly recalls his life stories — from his days as radar mechanic during WWII to his life as a motorcycle salesman.

8. DOCUMENT OF INJUSTICE: A number of videos led to legal action that might not have otherwise been taken. Footage of a police officer striking suspect William Cardenas in Hollywood, Calif. was viewed in court in September and a Superior Court commissioner ruled the officer’s conduct was “more than reasonable.” But after the video hit YouTube, it triggered an FBI investigation. The law can work both ways on YouTube, though. When two Nebraska teenagers posted a video making threats against their high school, they were soon arrested and ticketed on suspicion of disturbing the peace.

9. INTERNATIONAL COMPENDIUM: Unlike perhaps anything before, YouTube compiles videos from around the world, making for a truly borderless repository of pop culture. We’ve become accustomed to seeing soccer highlights among the most-watched YouTube videos, and aren’t surprised to see videos in Japanese or other languages. In this environment, two art students in China — known as the “Two Chinese Boys” — became internationally known without saying a word. The basketball jersey-wearing duo (Huang Yixin and Wei Wei) captivated with their passionate lip-synching of Backstreet Boys songs.

10. STAR MAKER: One of the most viewed, most discussed videos shows a slight figure, his face obscured by a beige baseball cap, sitting in front of his bedroom computer playing electric guitar. Sounds typical right? Except he’s playing a rock arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon using a difficult technique called sweep picking. The guitarist, named in the video only as “funtwo,” was eventually revealed to be a 23-year-old Korean named Jeong-Hyun Lim, now known the world over. Others, like the comedy duo Barats & Bereta, parlayed their video success into deals with giant media corporations like NBC Universal. Some didn’t find fame on purpose: Aleksey Vayner saw no humor in his boastful video application for an investment banking job.

Thursday Night Phunnies

I was perusing through the internets tonight checking out info on the various Christmas specials that are filling the tube as of late. I stumbled across an article in the Christian Science Monitor, which I generally do not read. But I have to say, I was pretty impressed with a satire piece written by Peter Grier. He gets to the root of how the endless television shows geared toward the holidays have lost all creativity and do not represent the holiday itself in a realistic light. Now yes; there are some great classic seasonal cartoons and movies, but I can do without the majority of the new ones. I have to say; I know some people may not believe it, but I too am appalled at what has become of holidays ON A WHOLE.

Holidays are commercialized to such an extent that many times it's easy to forget what's important. It's important to get together with your loved ones and celebrate each other. It's important to do good will unto your fellow man. It's important to love.

Now, I am not preaching, nor am I siding with any specific holiday. I am merely proclaiming that what the advertising world and corporations have forced holidays to become is unnerving and sad.

And now, for the phunnies...
Tired of 'A Christmas Carol'? Here are some 'new' holiday shows that are sure to warm hearts.
By Peter Grier

Awful holiday cartoons remade into worse live-action features. Christmas specials featuring "celebrities" of whom you were previously unaware. Jimmy Stewart round the clock - colorized and updated in HDTV.

Television in December is a wasteland flocked with snow. Creativity on the airwaves, scarce at the best of times, must decamp for the Caribbean until January. How else to explain the endless variations of "A Christmas Carol"? If Charles Dickens were alive today, and saw the misuse to which the world has put Scrooge and Tiny Tim, he'd ... well, he'd happily collect royalties. But the point is he wrote other holiday stories, too, like "The Chimes" and "The Cricket on the Hearth." Yet due to the shortsightedness of network suits, none of those have ever been made into beloved animated shows starring Mr. Magoo.

So, in the spirit of planning for years to come, production execs take note: Here are some holiday shows that are surefire winners:

The Year Jim Baker Saved Christmas (7 p.m., CSPAN-KIDS):
Santa's first-ever North Pole elections backfire when insurgent elves seize power and declare a toy embargo. A wise old diplomat comes out of retirement to teach everyone the true meaning of multilateral diplomacy. Starring Jada Pinkett Smith as Condoleezza Rice and Kiefer Sutherland as Lee Hamilton.

Hedge Fund Holiday (8 p.m., CNBC):
A workaholic Wall Street executive is stranded at a New England inn during a blizzard. Bored, he makes a bad trade on his BlackBerry and bankrupts his firm. Don't blink or you'll miss John Cleese's cameo as the ghost of Adam Smith.

ESPN'S X-Mas Games (various times, ESPN8):
Reedy youths in knit caps compete in seasonal events terrifying to their generation, such as Sitting Up Straight, Talking to Your Cousin, and Keeping Hair Out of Your Eyes.

Catalog Shopping With the Stars (8 p.m., QVC):
Guests team up with celebrities who can't find real work to search for the most useless holiday present. It'll be hard to top last year's winner - a fleece spork cover from Land's End.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Episode IV, the Wrath of Lucy (11 p.m., Sci-Fi):
The first of a promised 12-film cycle updating the classic characters, produced by Steven Spielberg's new animation shop. In this episode, Lucy, enraged by Linus's embrace of a vaguely defined spirituality, sends his blanket into exile on the planet Patooie. Meanwhile, Snoopy finds his Sopwith Camel no match for a Neprusian starfighter.

Rudolph the Red-Faced Agronomist (2 a.m., PBS):
Based on the true story of an Iowa plant scientist who labored years to convert a grain silo into a illuminated candy cane, only to learn from his mother that he was Jewish. Followed by a roundtable discussion featuring director Harold Ramis and former Sen. George Allen (R) of Virginia.

Got ideas of your own? Send them along. The best entries will receive a plate of home-baked gingersnaps, with or without mention of Burl Ives.

• Peter Grier is a staff writer in Washington.

Karl Rove is finished with politics

I haven't seen this widely reported as of yet. Apparently, Karl Rove will no longer participtae in politics once he leaves the President's side (and head) after the 2008 Presidential election.
Bush presidential adviser Karl Rove disclosed during a Washington speaking engagement last week that he will not return to his lifetime profession as a political consultant when he leaves the White House. Rove referred to himself as "a former political consultant" and said that he was leaving the game.
I can't say I blame him. He has been on a steady free-fall for a while now, and he certainly hasn't helped the President's disastrous poll numbers nor did he help the Republicans retain control of Congress in the 2006 election cycle.

Well, good riddance to bad rubbish.

Dick Wadhams is offered a job (no one knows why)

Dick Wadhams (former campaign manager for former Senator George Allen) was probably the worst thing that could have happened to George Allen, and I am sure many Allen supporters agree. We all know that he probably isn't welcome back to Virginia anytime soon, but Colorado has essentially rolled out the red carpet:
GOP leaders ask Wadhams to run for Colorado party chairman
Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

DENVER - Hoping to recover from a series of stinging defeats, state Republican Party leaders have asked former Colorado campaign manager Dick Wadhams to return and run for state party chairman, The Associated Press has learned.

Wadhams guided Republican candidates to victory in Colorado, Montana and South Dakota before signing on this year with Virginia GOP Sen. George Allen in Virginia, a potential presidential contender who blew a comfortable lead in the polls and lost his re-election bid last month.

Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany said Thursday he began recruiting Wadhams shortly after the November election, when Republicans lost control of the governorship and an open seat in the U.S. House. Two years earlier, they lost control of the Legislature as well as another open seat in the U.S. House and one in the U.S. Senate.

"I've been recruiting him as hard as I can," McElhany said.

Wadhams would say only that he does plan to return to Colorado and is considering several offers.

"I don't know what I'm going to do yet," he said.

House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, said he also has asked Wadhams to run for party leadership.
I'm surprised by this news. Considering the fact that George Allen was supposed to be a shoo-in for re-election to the Senate and a prominent presidential nominee in 2008, I really cannot understand why anyone would give him another chance in the GOP. I truly do think that if Wadhams had run the race just a bit tighter, Allen could have won. Perhaps Colorado didn't watch our election here in Virginia.

Golden Globe nominees announced; looks like I won't be watching

Pretty boring, and it looks like it is bound to be pretty predictable. The actors and actresses nominated are the funniest of the lot. Generally, there is a clear winner with the rest of the noms either considered a laughable choice or someone who already has enough awards. I've bolded my choices, and I would love to hear your predictions in the comments. I haven't included all of the categories, because some are just plain boring. This is non-political, so feel free to participate lurkers.

The list:
Picture, Drama:
The Departed
Little Children
The Queen

Actress, Drama:
Penelope Cruz, Volver
Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sherrybaby
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Kate Winslet, Little Children

Actor, Drama:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
Peter O'Toole, Venus
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

***My personal note-I will get this one wrong, but it's the principle of the thing. Leonardo DiCaprio is awful, and never should have been nominated TWICE this year, much less any other year. Giving him a "payback" (typical in the Hollywood awards world) for the Aviator is just stupid***

Picture, Musical or Comedy:
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine
Thank You for Smoking

Actress, Musical or Comedy:
Annette Bening, Running With Scissors
Toni Collette, Little Miss Sunshine
Beyonce Knowles, Dreamgirls
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
Renee Zellweger, Miss Potter

***My personal note-Annette Bening is always good, and doesn't get half as much credit as she should. If she doesn't win both the Oscar and the Globe this year, I think she should pitch a fit and quit Hollywood in front of everyone, and then go kick Hilary Swank in her award stealing horse teeth.***

Actor, Musical or Comedy:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Aaron Eckhart, Thank You for Smoking
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots
Will Ferrell, Stranger than Fiction

Supporting Actress:
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel

***A personal note-Blanchett already has awards, but I hate Emily Blunt and I don't know anyone else, so Blanchett wins by default.***
Supporting Actor:
Ben Affleck, Hollywoodland
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson, The Departed
Brad Pitt, Babel
Mark Wahlberg, The Departed

Clint Eastwood, Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima
Steven Frears, The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu,Babel
Martin Scorsese, The Departed

***A personal note-Ugh, Martin Scorsese vs. Clint Eastwood again. Go away, Clint. Scorsese kicks your ass.***

Guillermo Arriaga, Babel
Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, Little Children
Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal
William Monahan, The Departed
Peter Morgan, The Queen

Series, Drama:
24, Fox
Big Love, HBO
Grey's Anatomy, ABC
Heroes, NBC
Lost, ABC

Actress, Drama:
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Evangeline Lilly, Lost
Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Actor, Drama:
Patrick Dempsey, Grey's Anatomy
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Bill Paxton, Big Love
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

Series, Musical or Comedy:
Desperate Housewives, ABC
Entourage, HBO
The Office, NBC
Ugly Betty, ABC
Weeds, Showtime

Actress, Musical or Comedy:
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

***A personal note-I may as well say now that Desperate Housewives is insanely retarded, so they get zero votes from me (unless there is a vote for the most overrated TV show).***

Actor, Musical or Comedy:
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Zach Braff, Scrubs
Steve Carrell, The Office
Jason Lee, My Name is Earl
Tony Shalhoub, Monk

Miniseries or movie:
Bleak House, PBS
Broken Trail, AMC
Elizabeth I, HBO
Mrs. Harris, HBO
Prime Suspect: The Final Act, PBS

Actress, Miniseries or Movie:
Gillian Anderson, Bleak House
Annette Bening, Mrs. Harris
Helen Mirren, Elizabeth I
Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect: The Final Act
Sophie Okonedo, Tsunami, The Aftermath

***A personal note-consumate actors are allowed to be nominated twice, unlike Leonardo DiCaprio.***

Actor, Miniseries or Movie:
Andre Braugher, Thief
Robert Duvall, Broken Trail
Michael Ealy, Sleeper Cell: American Terror
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tsunami, The Aftermath
Ben Kingsley, Mrs. Harris
Bill Nighy, Gideon's Daughter
Matthew Perry, The Ron Clark Story

Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie:
Emily Blunt, Gideon's Daughter
Toni Collette, Tsunami, The Aftermath
Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
Sarah Paulson, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds

Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie:
Thomas Haden Church, Broken Trail
Jeremy Irons, Elizabeth I
Justin Kirk, Weeds
Masi Oka, Heroes
Jeremy Piven, Entourage

Can Fox news and the AP be any more disgusting?

In a word, NO.

Fox news is just giddy over the prospect that Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) may not be able to serve his term, leaving the Republicans with a chance to gain back a seat in the Senate.
KILMEADE: Steve, remember we were down this road before? If something happens that Johnson can’t continue, 50-50 with Dick Cheney breaking the tie.

DOOCY: That’s right, and you know, in the state of South Dakota, I understand there is the issue of incapacitation. It’s not spelled out in the state law, at the state level. However, the secretary of state of South Dakota says there would be a precedent at the federal level. Is that how you understand it as well Megan?

FOX ANCHOR: Yeah, indeed, there’s a big laundry list that they would have to go through in order to determine that he is incapacitated. It’s something that, ironically enough, might be weighed in on by his advisers. In other words, Sen. Harry Reid, the incoming majority leader, and Chuck Schumer, may advise him on whether he should declare his incapacity, if in fact he’s in a position where he can declare it or not. And so, we’ll have to see what happens in terms of, you know, what exactly his condition is and who’s going to weigh in on whether it should be declared an incapacitation or whether that’s just clear from the facts.
Ugh. You can practically READ the excitement dripping from their words. No kind words for the Senator, no concern for his family or his constituents, just looking towards the future in anticipation of power. Pretty despicable, but I wouldn't expect any differently.

The AP is no better with their false and misleading headline:
Senate back to 50-50 with Johnson out
NOTE: After numerous blogs have reported on this atrocious behavior, the headline has changed. You can click here to see the original title on google news, but when you click on the article, the title changes to the revised version. I have attached a screenshot.
Minus Johnson, Senate would split 50-50
Too late, AP; the damage is done and you look like calloused jerks. Nice media coverage.

46 years in prison is not enough for some people

And Kelly Payne is one of those people. Payne was convicted of 4 counts of murder in October, and a 46 year sentence has been imposed on her for the crime. She was driving drunk, and she killed a man crossing the street. Frankly, if this was her FIRST offense, I would applaud the sentnce.

But it's not. It's not by a long shot.
A woman who has killed two people while driving drunk will spend 46 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a Richmond man.

Thirty-four-year-old Kelly Payne was sentenced yesterday for the hit-and-run crash in March that killed a man who was walking along a Richmond street. Payne was convicted in October of four counts in the death of Ashokkumar Patel (ash-SHOH'-koo-marr pah-TEHL'), including felony murder.

The judge imposed the sentence recommended by a jury that heard about Payne's record -- 21 offenses including six drunken-driving charges and the vehicular homicide of a 13-year-old girl in Tennessee. She served prison time for that death.

The prosecutor said that Payne has repeatedly quit counseling or alcohol-treatment programs and resumed drinking.
Disgusting. She should have a much longer sentence, and she should have no chance for parole. She is obviously a sick person who cannot be trusted to act responsibly. She had already killed one person before her most recent crime; why was this woman allowed to drive after that? It may just be me, but I happen to think that if you kill someone once because you were driving drunk, you probably should have the privilidge of driving stripped from you permanently. 21 offenses? 21 OFFENSES, and a history of refusing treatment?

Unfortunately for Mr. Patel, the courts system aided in his untimely death. Payne should have been off the road a long time ago. Good riddance to her, and I hope she enjoys prison. I have a feeling it'll sober her up real quick.

ANOTHER UPDATE on Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)

Update II: CNN is reporting that Senator Johnson suffered from "congenital arteriovenous malformation," a condition which causes arteries and veins to grow abnormally large. The condition requires immediate surgery. They are calling his condition critical because anyone who has come out of brain surgery is considered to be in critical condition. As a side note, Thaddaeus Toad suffered from the same when he was 16. He made a speedy and perfect recovery, and is good as new today. Good luck and Godspeed Senator Johnson.

From CNN:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota was in critical condition Thursday after undergoing surgery, a hospital source told The Associated Press.

Johnson had brain surgery early Thursday at George Washington University Hospital after suffering stroke-like symptoms, two Democratic sources familiar with his condition told CNN.

There was no formal announcement of the South Dakota senator's condition, The Associated Press reported, but a person in the hospital's media relations office, who declined to be identified, said the hospital was preparing to announce that Johnson's condition was critical.
Check out this blog for a synopsis from an emergency physician.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wait a sec...I didn't know George Allen dodged the draft...

I may have missed something, or maybe it wasn't newsworthy during the 2006 Senate election cycle (though I don't know why that would be), but according to Pete Duffy, George Allen dodged the draft. This atrocious was noted in his letter to the editor of the Free Lance Star back on December 4, 2006.
Bush, et al. send soldiers where they refused to go
Pete Duffy
Date published: 12/4/2006

Sen. Kerry was right about education and the military, but for a bygone era.

The ABCs in the mid-'60s to early '70s were: (A) Allen, (B) Bush, (C) Cheney, (D) draft dodgers of the Vietnam War (all of the above), and (E) education deferments (A, B, and C).

After George W. Bush exhausted his student deferments, his father pulled strings to get him into the National Guard during the height of the Vietnam War.

George W., the hypocrite, circumvented the need for a military draft for the war in Iraq by "drafting" today's National Guardsmen.

Dick Cheney, after flunking out of Yale, limped back to Wyoming for more education deferments and a hardship deferment.

George Allen enjoyed several years of student deferments before the Vietnam War finally ended.

I don't begrudge Bush, Cheney, and Allen's use of education deferments to avoid service in the Vietnam War, but I do begrudge their so readily sending our young soldiers to Iraq and keeping them there.

Because of this I voted for neither Bush nor Allen a second time.

Pete Duffy
King George
Well, listen; I don't like former Senator George Allen and I really have no respect for him, but Pete Duffy's one-liner (with no proof or evidence) doesn't make me like him (Allen) or respect him any less. I hate his stance on the war, and I hate his politics, but I don't necessarily believe he dodges the draft.

But I may investigate further...

Another letter to the editor caught my eye, though, and it is in response to the above.
'Dodging' the draft has nothing to do with Iraq
Dana Getty
Date published: 12/13/2006

I'm getting very tired of hearing everyone talk of the young soldiers whose lives are being risked for evil political gain or some backwards agenda.

In his letter to the editor, Pete Duffy goes into detail about George Allen, George Bush, and Dick Cheney allegedly dodging the draft for Vietnam ["Bush, et al. send soldiers ," Dec. 4].

I could respond in kind to these claims, identifying other politicians who dodged the draft, but I can't really conclude what that has to do with the soldiers who are currently going to war.

When people are drafted, they are forced into the military. This is a significant difference from the soldiers who are now in the military, because they've made a deliberate decision to be in the armed services, which always provides the possibility of going to war.

In addition, I can't comprehend why it is that people bemoan the hardship of these young soldiers, because in my mind any soldier lost is a tragedy to this country.

These people made a conscious decision to serve this country. Whether they thought they'd see war is irrelevant.

They signed up knowing full well what the risk was while exercising their own free will.

If Mr. Duffy doesn't like someone's politics (such as Allen, Bush, or Cheney), then that is certainly his prerogative, but he shouldn't act as if these politicians' "dodging" of the draft has anything to do with our soldiers in Iraq.

Dana Getty
Hmmmmmmmmmm...some points to make...

Dana says she is "getting very tired of hearing everyone talk of the young soldiers whose lives are being risked for evil political gain or some backwards agenda."

Oh. Tired of hearing people talk about the soldiers, huh? Well, I must say; that is pretty un-American and downright disgusting. You support a war, but don't want to "hear about the soldiers"? Despicable. Dana Getty of Fredericksburg should be ashamed of herself. I'm ashamed to be in the same state as she is.

Dana says: "In his letter to the editor, Pete Duffy goes into detail about George Allen, George Bush, and Dick Cheney allegedly dodging the draft for Vietnam ["Bush, et al. send soldiers ," Dec. 4]".

Um, yeah...the "detail" was this lone sentence: "George Allen enjoyed several years of student deferments before the Vietnam War finally ended." Yeah...not really much detail. A little on the defensive, huh Dana?

Dana goes on, though I don't now why: "I could respond in kind to these claims, identifying other politicians who dodged the draft, but I can't really conclude what that has to do with the soldiers who are currently going to war.

When people are drafted, they are forced into the military. This is a significant difference from the soldiers who are now in the military, because they've made a deliberate decision to be in the armed services, which always provides the possibility of going to war.

In addition, I can't comprehend why it is that people bemoan the hardship of these young soldiers, because in my mind any soldier lost is a tragedy to this country.

These people made a conscious decision to serve this country. Whether they thought they'd see war is irrelevant.

They signed up knowing full well what the risk was while exercising their own free will."

Oh, I see. So, because they signed up willingly, they deserve NOTHING. They don't deserve any cohesive plan to get in and get out, they don't deserve proper armor, they don't deserve a WINNING strategy, they don't deserve our fear and compassion for them, they should just shut up and do what they are told, do what they are there to do. And hey; all of those "promises" the recruiter made to them (aka selling the war by whoring the military out to prospective members with visions of free school and a stable life upon return-yeah right), well I guess they don't deserve those either. Seems a bit fascist to me, Dana. I'm sorry you are such a pig.

And finally, where Republicans are the most disillusioned: If Mr. Duffy doesn't like someone's politics (such as Allen, Bush, or Cheney), then that is certainly his prerogative, but he shouldn't act as if these politicians' "dodging" of the draft has anything to do with our soldiers in Iraq.

Well now that is just pathetic. If you see nothing wrong with politicians pushing a war on Americans without any knowledge or intelligence of war, then you are just an uninformed and uneducated idiot; plain and simple. The fact that some people cannot see the importance in electing real people with real life experiences over career political hacks who have a sick fascination with sending other people's children to war only makes people like me work harder to make sure people like Dana Getty are ALWAYS IN THE MINORITY.

Go ahead; keep it up with the anger and bitter partisnship, Republicans.

Keep it up...the voters are watching and reading.

UPDATE: Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) admitted to hospital with stroke like symptoms

UPDATE: I see LiberalProgressive has an update...CNN has reported that Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) did NOT have a stroke...Godspeed, Senator. Rest up, and get well.

MSNBC and CNN are currently reporting that Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) experienced stroke-like symptoms today and has been taken to George Washington hospital for observation. There have been no updates regarding his condition. South Dakota is governed by a Republican, Mike Rounds, and both houses of the State Legislature are controlled by Republicans. In the event that Johnson could not fulfill his job duties, Mike Rounds would have the opportunity to appoint a replacement until 2008.
The governor fills vacancies that occur in the state legislature, the state judiciary, and other state constitutional offices. In addition, the Constitution of the United States vests the governor with the power to fill vacanies in South Dakota's seats in the United States Senate.
Senator Johnson, you are in my thoughts, and I wish you well. Governor Rounds, in the case of a tragedy, you better be prepared to follow the will of the people by appointing a DEMOCRATIC MEMBER to fill Johnson's seat.

Nicole Richie is a liar (with pics)

I have to update every once in a while with celebrity news because frankly, some of it is just too good NOT to share. As most of the world already knows, Nicole Richie was arrested the other night for driving her SUV the wrong way on the highway. She admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana and Vicodin. She is a recovering heroin addict who claims she is sober.

Well, Nicole Richie has released a statement to US Weekly explaining her drug use. Apparently, she has bad menstrual cramps and needs the drugs to get through the pain. has learned exclusively that Nicole Richie is telling friends that the reason she was on the painkiller Vicodin during her recent arrest was to treat menstruation cramps.

Richie, 25, was arrested early Monday morning for driving under the influence of marijuana and Vicodin, after she was seen driving the wrong way down a California highway.


The celebutante is said to be upset over media reports that she's addicted to pills, and is insisting to friends that she only "occasionally" takes Vicodin once a month at the start of her menstruation cycle.
OK. I am a woman, and I know menstrual cramps. A hot bath, a heating pad, a couple of Aleve, and maybe a glass of wine should take care of the pain. But VICODIN? That's just ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that I thought women who weighed 85 pounds didn't even GET their periods anymore. Oh, and yeah; she's mad about that "lie" too.
Richie is also unhappy that California cops listed her weight at 85 pounds on the police report because "she's so proud of her weight gain," says the source, who adds that Richie has gained about ten pounds in the last two months and actually weighs around 95 pounds. "She doesn't know where the cops came up with 85 pounds and it's annoying to her."
Well, too bad for Nicole, because there are older pictures of her smoking pot resurfacing on the Web. So, nice try.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here's a thought-Nicole Richie should take the rap, do her little community service for driving like an idiot, and eat a bunch of cheeseburgers after she finishes the pipe.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference will pray for WalMart to see the light

Now, this is interesting. Usually, America is inundated with Christians claiming that WalMart is A-OK in their book because of their new-found willingness to shout "Merry Christmas" at their customers (see original deision here), or their initial refusal to sell Plan-B in their pharmacy (they have since come to their senses). Today, we see that the tides have turned. It turns out that many Christian organizations are shunning WalMart because of their unfair business policies:
Local Community & Faith-Based Leaders Will Call on all Americans to 'Pray for Wal-Mart to Change for the Better, This Holiday Season'

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Local citizens, community activists, and faith-based leaders will hold a day of prayer and candlelight vigil at the Brook Road, Richmond, VA Wal-Mart Thursday, December 14, 2006, at 5:30 p.m. as part of a powerful new faith-based campaign that launches nationwide today in over 40 cities.

At the Richmond, VA event, local citizens and leaders of faith will hold a special prayer calling on Wal-Mart and CEO Lee Scott to do what is right this holiday season, end the company's anti-family policies and immoral business practices by Christmas Day, and change for the better.

Faith-based leaders and concerned supporters, including many children and families, will also light candles on behalf of the 1.39 million Wal-Mart employees and their families in the hope that Wal-Mart will see the light this holiday season and finally change into a more responsible employer. Supporters will also be distributing flyers to local citizens in the area asking them, "Are Wal-Mart's values your values?"

At the event, supporters will also be releasing a new 30-second TV ad, entitled "People of Faith." The new faith-based campaign ad is viewable at beginning Thursday and is part of's national 2006 "Hope for the Holidays" campaign.
Now, THAT'S a change, huh? Is it just me, or are Chrsitians finally acting...Chrsitian?

It'll be very interesting to see how this turns out. Will this get a lot of media coverage? Will WalMart be forced to change their ways? Will more people jump on the anti-walMart bandwagon?

We can only hope. But I consider this an early holiday gift, and I am sure WalMart employees are thankful as well.

The group should probably consider shunning this video game as well...
Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.

The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand today that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens.

The series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins is based on their interpretation of the Bible's Book of Revelation and takes place after the Rapture, when Jesus has taken his people to heaven and left nonbelievers behind to face the Antichrist.

Left Behind Games' president, Jeffrey Frichner, says the game actually is pacifist because players lose "spirit points" every time they gun down nonbelievers rather than convert them. They can earn spirit points again by having their character pray.

"You are fighting a defensive battle in the game," Frichner, whose previous company produced Bible software, said of combatting the Antichrist. "You are a sort of a freedom fighter."

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the retailer has no plans to pull Left Behind: Eternal Forces from any of the 200 of Wal-Mart's 3,800 stores that offer the game, including just seven in California. The nearest are in Chico and Redding.

"We look at the community to see where it will sell," said Tara Raddohl. "We have customers who are buying it and really haven't received a lot of complaints about it from our customers at this time."

Clark Stevens, co-director of the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, said the game is not peaceful or diplomatic.

"It's an incredibly violent video game," said Stevens. "Sure, there is no blood. (The dead just fade off the screen.) But you are mowing down your enemy with a gun. It pushes a message of religious intolerance. You can either play for the 'good side' by trying to convert nonbelievers to your side or join the Antichrist."

The Rev. Tim Simpson, a Jacksonville, Fla., Presbyterian minister and president of the Christian Alliance for Progress, added: "So, under the Christmas tree this year for little Johnny is this allegedly Christian video game teaching Johnny to hate and kill?"

Both groups formed in 2005 to protest what their 130,000 or so members feel is the growing political influence and hypocrisy of the religious right.

In Left Behind, set in perfectly apocalyptic New York City, the Antichrist is personified by fictional Romanian Nicolae Carpathia, secretary-general of the United Nations and a People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive."

Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story.

When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.

"That is so obvious," he said.

Left Behind is a real-time strategy and adventure game. Players don't role-play like in Grand Theft Auto -- it's more like the board game Risk than Clue.

Frichner said more than 10,000 retailers -- including Sam's Club, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, GameStop, EB Games and various Christian stores -- offer the game. He said sales are terrific, though he wouldn't reveal figures.

Protesters are targeting Wal-Mart, where the game retails for $39.96, because it is one of the biggest video game sellers in the United States.

More than 60 million copies of books in the series have sold since the first volume came out in 1996.

Jeff Gerstmann, senior editor at, an online publication, said the game sn't popular. The game itself, which Gamespot rated 3.4 out of a possible 10, has lots of glitches.

"And it's kind of crazy," Gerstmann said. "One of the evil characters is a rock musician. ... If you get too close to him your spirit is lowered."

But Plugged In, a publication of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, gave the game a "thumbs-up." The reviewer called it "the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior -- and use to raise some interesting questions along the way."