Common Sense for Uncommon Times - Fair and Balanced
Random, occasionally rambling thoughts with links to interesting, scandalous, or partisan news of the day.
Fair and Balanced
We owe the liberty and freedom we take for granted to the enlisted men and women in the armed forces. They sacrifice family, ease, and even life laboring in service to all of us. The least we can do for them is honor their devotion with dignified pay scales, decent education for themselves and their children, and reasonable compensation for service away from their families and death on the battlefield. Flag waving politicians who praise the troops on one hand and cut their pay and benefits with the other should be deeply ashamed of themselves.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Credit where credit is due
I'm sorry, but this lame sentence from the Washington Post just doesn't quite give due credit to Bill Clinton's hard work on the budget:
The federal government had a modest budget surplus when Bush took office in 2001, but ran a deficit -- funding itself to a significant degree with borrowed money -- of 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2004 and 4 percent in 2005, even as the economy was growing at a healthy pace.
Read the Republican response to Clinton's budget and marvel at how wrong they were. 22 million new jobs and rising prosperity for all AND a budget surplus were the fruits of Clinton's (and the Congress to be fair) efforts. All that work and the Washington Post can't even give Clinton a full sentence for all of us to admire in the splendor of its content:
The federal government had a modest budget surplus when Bush took office...
posted by Dave on 7:17 PM | 0 commentslink
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Solar amd wind are patriotic
Fred Kaplan, in Slate, arguing in the context of Russia invading Georgia, for long term diplomatic leverage:
In the long term, the best way to take Russia down a notch (along with Iran, Venezuela, and other hostile powers overflowing with oil money) is to pursue policies and fund technologies that slash the demand for oil. The Georgia crisis should make clear, if it isn't already, that this is a matter of hard-headed national security.
T Boone Pickens is on the right track, but UPDATE 3/11/13: Climate Crisis Coalition has the solution instead of an old link to Al Gore. 100% of electricity from wind, solar, and other renewables in 10 years.
And why the hell not on behalf of a commenter who updated me on a broken link:
How Retailers Can Prevent Climate Change
posted by Dave on 2:54 PM | 0 commentslink
Friday, August 08, 2008
A McCain Blast from the Past
There's way too much great stuff on the real John McCain in this Amy Silverman article from the Phoenix New Times.
Here's a taste:
When it comes to Arizona environmental issues, though, McCain's best known for an infamous U.S. Governmental Accountability Office report that details threats he made to the job of a forest service official who dared to disagree with him on the topic of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel.
There are too many other stories like that about a taste for revenge that make me uncomfotable with McCain's temperament. We've already had a Nixon's List of enemies. We don't need another vicious hater in the White House.
posted by Dave on 7:38 AM | 0 commentslink
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
McCain Unfit for Army WMD Program
Guidelines issued at the end of July make it clear that people that share John McCain's aggressive personality would probably be prohibited from working with dangerous biological materials. (Army Regulation 50-1 in PDF)
Section 2-8.d. Inappropriate attitude, conduct, or behavior. In determining reliability, the certifying official will conduct a careful and balanced evaluation of all aspects of an individual. Specific factors to consider include, but are not limited
McCain's temper isn't a partisan issue. A long list of Republican Senators have been on the receiving end of a McCain "Fuck you!". He carries his foul language and emotional abusiveness home with him as well. As Cliff Schechter has reported,
Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.
Are we sure we want to have a commander in chief who can't qualify to handle our own country's WMD?
posted by Dave on 8:15 PM | 0 commentslink
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
John McCain, American Hero and Gallant Husband
"All IÙm saying is that if Barack Obama had gone to an event with 20,000 people wasting gas to talk about energy and said that his wife should have simulated sucking a banana dick between another womanÙs legs, this race would be fucking over."
Jesse at Pandagon
posted by Dave on 7:58 PM | 0 commentslink
Paris Hilton's First Campaign Ad
What can I say? She's got my vote when she hits 35.
posted by Dave on 3:31 PM | 0 commentslink
McCain's Top Ten
As a follow up to the last post about McCain and the Army restrictions on angry people, I thought I'd send you to McCain's top ten outbursts.
One of McCain's top aides recounted a telephone conversation between McCain and another Senator, who was explaining that he'd already committed to supporting Bush. When he finished, McCain bristled. "Fuck you," he said, and hung up, never to speak to him again.
posted by Dave on 11:39 AM | 0 commentslink
Speaking of Bio-Terror
The Army issued final rules last week that would cover workers who act in an aggressive or threatening manner. Those employees would be denied access to toxic or lethal biological agents under the revised regulations. Other potentially disqualifying personality traits include "arrogance, inflexibility, suspiciousness, hostility . . . and extreme moods or mood swings," according to the document.
posted by Dave on 7:28 AM | 0 commentslink
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I just finished a couple of days at the Inman Connect technology conference in San Francisco. The buzz was all about blogs and social networks and how those phenomenon are going to affect real estate. One of the sites everybody was referring to was Technorati. In shorthand you could call them a service to rate blogs, but it's a lot richer than that. Check it out.Technorati Profile
posted by Dave on 10:20 AM | 0 commentslink
Thursday, July 12, 2007
It must be mating season for Republicans.
posted by Dave on 10:37 PM | 0 commentslink
Leahy gets right to the point.
Watch a Loyal Bushie get taken to the Constitutional Woodshed
posted by Dave on 7:56 AM | 0 commentslink
Monday, April 09, 2007
A good primer on digging out the Bush dead brush.
David Lewis of Princeton took aim at the hiring of Bush cronies just after Katrina. His suggestions for the press about how to dig into the personnel issues then are just as relevant with the new out of today's Justice Department where hundreds of loyal Bushies have been replacing first rate career officials.
posted by Dave on 1:05 PM | 0 commentslink
Saddam and Bush. Two discredited leaders with corresponding legacies of bad personnel and policy decisions. For Iraq, debaathification to purge Iraqi society of the predominantly Sunni government officials who brutalized the Shi'a. For the United States, debushification to purge American society of the predominantly Republican government officials who brutalized the US Constitution.
It's not enough to do the routine end of term housecleaning that will let Bush's successor appoint a new team of department managers. We need to begin planning for a root and branch staff upheaval that undoes the damage that eight years of incompetent, malevolent, and crony hiring has wrought. I will be creating a clearinghouse for anonymous tipsters to start the process of identifying the worst of the Bush hires. In the meantime, email me your selections for the "gotta-goes".
posted by Dave on 12:51 PM | 0 commentslink
Too Dumb to Lead
Rudy did a hell of a job on TV on 9/11. He was the face and voice of the tragedy and I give him credit for that. He screwed up by locating his headquarters in the WTC and he killed a couple hundred firefighters by not having a unified communication system, but he said the right things and helped people through that terrible first few days. Now he wants to run on that week and be our next authoritarian, idiot president. Sorry, Rudy, but dumb as a post just doesn't cut it after eight years under Mr. Statesmanship.
At a house party in New Hampshire, Mr. Giuliani suggested that it was unclear which was farther along, Iran or North Korea, in the development of a nuclear weapons program.
Let me see now, is testing a nuke farther along than trying to build a centrifuge? Ummm, yes. If you don't know this, don't know the history of the the Clinton and Bush North Korea policies, don't understand that testing a weapon means you're really, really far along the weapons development curve, you're just not qualified to be President. Period. Step off the stage.
posted by Dave on 7:29 AM | 0 commentslink
Friday, February 23, 2007
Kung Fu Monkey Speaks
Comedy is truth, truth is reality, and if "Reality has a well-known liberal bias" for now, anyway, you just have to suck that up if your job is the funny. One party has boring, earnest junior Senators with competing health plans running for President. The other party has the guy in charge of fighting child pornography online soliciting minors online, a Senator who talked about "man on dog" action, a State Representative who doesn't believe the Earth revolves around the Sun, and a Vice-President who won on an anti-gay platform with a gay daughter who's pregnant with another woman's child, which may be why he shot a dude in the face. Nobody's fault Fate dealt one player the "goofy" cards for the last few hands.
posted by Dave on 10:24 AM | 0 commentslink
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Blogger Meme test
Here's an interesting experiment to measure how fast Internet memes spread.
posted by Dave on 10:18 AM | 0 commentslink
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Best Paragraph Ever
What the failure of Iraq demonstrates is not -- as Kaplan so earnestly suggests today -- that the rosy-eyed, slightly naive but well-intentioned neonconservative idealists just need to be a little more restrained in their desire to do Good in the world. It demonstrates that they are deceitful, radical and untrustworthy warmongers who led this country into the worst strategic disaster in its history and should never be trusted with anything ever again.
posted by Dave on 7:27 AM | 0 commentslink
Monday, October 30, 2006
Why does Paul Burgess hate America
Somewhere in the cognitive dissonance sweeping his brain might be the recognition that he's merely a gigantic Whiny Ass Titty Baby or WATB. He is after all, used to sucking at the federal trough as an employee of the Bush team and now as a minion for Northrup Grumman. He's so ensconced in the authoritarian bosom that he can't bear to hear uncomfortable truths. The clearest example of that is in his faux concern over the war dead.
We have suffered more than 2,300 combat deaths in Iraq so far.
Sorry, dickhead. As of the day you spilled your bile in Fredericksburg, the number of American war dead, no doubt including many Democrats you would have hated if you had known them, was 2,803. This woman has a better way of honoring their memory than your vicious, thumb-sucking attack on your fellow Americans. Get a grip on reality before it bites you.
posted by Dave on 7:05 AM | 0 commentslink
Thursday, October 26, 2006
--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
--AZ-01: Rick Renzi
--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
--CA-04: John Doolittle
--CA-11: Richard Pombo
--CA-50: Brian Bilbray
--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
--CO-05: Doug Lamborn
--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
--CT-04: Christopher Shays
--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
--FL-16: Joe Negron
--FL-22: Clay Shaw
--ID-01: Bill Sali
--IL-06: Peter Roskam
--IL-10: Mark Kirk
--IL-14: Dennis Hastert
--IN-02: Chris Chocola
--IN-08: John Hostettler
--IA-01: Mike Whalen
--KS-02: Jim Ryun
--KY-03: Anne Northup
--KY-04: Geoff Davis
--MD-Sen: Michael Steele
--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
--MN-06: Michele Bachmann
--MO-Sen: Jim Talent
--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
--NV-03: Jon Porter
--NH-02: Charlie Bass
--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
--NM-01: Heather Wilson
--NY-03: Peter King
--NY-20: John Sweeney
--NY-26: Tom Reynolds
--NY-29: Randy Kuhl
--NC-08: Robin Hayes
--NC-11: Charles Taylor
--OH-01: Steve Chabot
--OH-02: Jean Schmidt
--OH-15: Deborah Pryce
--OH-18: Joy Padgett
--PA-04: Melissa Hart
--PA-07: Curt Weldon
--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
--PA-10: Don Sherwood
--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
--TN-Sen: Bob Corker
--VA-Sen: George Allen
--VA-10: Frank Wolf
--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
--WA-08: Dave Reichert
posted by Dave on 12:33 AM | 0 commentslink
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Bush White House vows to talk about Clinton
One of the funniest slips of the tongue by Tony Snow,
"'You're going to see a whole lot of the president,' Press Secretary Tony Snow said. 'He has got the ability to talk about the things that ultimately serve as the key issues in 99 out of 100 election cycles -- which are peace and prosperity.'
That ties in with one of the classics from the Onion,
Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'
posted by Dave on 6:20 PM | 0 commentslink
Olbermann on Habeas Corpus
posted by Dave on 4:40 PM | 0 commentslink
Monday, October 09, 2006
Howard Dean: Premature Anti-Idiotarian
On February 17, 2003, a month before the Iraq war, Howard Dean gave a speech about various threats to this country. You can't read it now without understanding how right this bold governor was about the the problems that plague us today. I love America and the people that make up this country, but Dean's Iowa demise will always break my heart.The powers that be at the heart of the Democrat consultant-ocracy didn't want an outsider winning the nomination in 2004 and they colluded with their cronies in the media to dismiss and ridicule Dean into also-ran status. Here's a few samples:
Dick Gephardt, and here
DLC, and here, and here
In this press era dominated by stenographers and sycophants, it doesn't pay to be right if you can't make the press love you. Long live the blogs. To hell with the mainstream media.
Excerpts from the speech:
We must remember, though, that Iraq is not the greatest danger we face today. Consider, to begin with, North Korea.
The Administration says it is wrong to draw a parallel between the situations in Iraq and North Korea, because those situations are quite different. I agree.
Iraq has let UN inspectors back in. North Korea has kicked them out.
Saddam Hussein does not have a clear path to acquiring nuclear weapons. North Korea may already have them - and is on a clear path to acquiring more.
Saddam Hussein has missiles that can go 40 miles farther than the 90-mile range allowed by the UN. North Korea has tested a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile that might be able to reach California, Oregon, and Washington.
I marvel at the discipline of this Administration in sticking to its message -that Saddam is the greatest danger - regardless of world developments.
We have the most dangerous situation in East Asia in a decade - perhaps in five decades, and the Administration is treating it as a sideshow. The reason is that North Korea doesn't fit into any of the Administration's preconceived little boxes.
They haven't wanted to talk to North Korea because a solution requires negotiation - and sitting at the bargaining table is something Bill Clinton used to do. They do not see themselves as negotiators; they see themselves as pre-emptors. But preemption on the Korean Peninsula is a much different proposition than it is in the Persian Gulf.
Read the whole thing.
posted by Dave on 1:11 PM | 0 commentslink
Friday, October 06, 2006
Ashcroft again? Who lifted the rock?
If there is one man that encapsulates the lackluster Bush response to terrorism it's John Ashcroft in the spring and summer of 2001. He was handed a disciplined and focused anti-terrorism effort and did his best to dismantle it in the months preceding 9/11. His idiotic focus on prostitution, bongs, and naked tits on statues at the expense of chasing terrorists hurt the country badly. He needs to crawl back into his hole. I apologize for the length of this rant, but Ashcroft represents the worst our country has to offer... Well, the worst list is pretty long, but Ashcroft and Hastert are both on it.
How about this?
"...just before the Sept. 11 attacks, Ashcroft did not agree to $588 million in increases that the FBI was seeking for 2003. That request included funds to hire 54 translators and 248 counterterrorism agents and support staff...
Other documents indicate that before Sept. 11, Ashcroft did not give terrorism top billing in his strategic plans for the Justice Department, which includes the FBI. A draft of Ashcroft's "Strategic Plan" from Aug. 9, 2001, does not put fighting terrorism as one of the department's seven goals, ranking it as a sub-goal beneath gun violence and drugs. After the attacks, fighting terrorism became the department's primary goal. By contrast, in April 2000, Ashcroft's predecessor, Janet Reno, called terrorism "the most challenging threat in the criminal justice area."
...During his testimony, Pickard confirmed the commission's report that after he briefed Ashcroft twice on terrorist threats during the summer of 2001, "the attorney general told him he did not want to hear this information anymore," according to the findings. Pickard indicated concern about the May 10, 2001, memo that included no counterterrorism strategies...
Or this CBS report from July 26, 2001?
Aschroft flying high (CBS) Fishing rod in hand, Attorney General John Ashcroft left on a weekend trip to Missouri Thursday afternoon aboard a chartered government jet, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.
In response to inquiries from CBS News over why Ashcroft was traveling exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines, the Justice Department cited what it called a "threat assessment" by the FBI, and said Ashcroft has been advised to travel only by private jet for the remainder of his term.
From April to September 2001, the FBI ran a wiretap on the Knock (N) Shop, a brothel in New Orleans, then busted the prostitutes in a federal crackdown. Missouri's Jefferson City News Tribune declares in a June 9, 2002, article that this "brothel investigation has some wondering why the FBI made a federal case out of it." The paper then asks, "Why [are] the FBI and federal prosecutors so interested in prostitution, a crime normally left to the local district attorney?" According to Senator Tom Daschle (Democrat, South Dakota): "If the FBI can spend resources investigating whether there is prostitution in New Orleans, they ought to be able to find the resources to investigate what happened in this country prior to 9/11."
The 9/11 report does it all in better detail, but I see Aschroft as Bush's first "Mike Brown" appointment. He had all the credentials he needed, but none of the insight or sectarian character needed.
In conclusion (for now) I offer this retrospective...In which I quote myself bloviating about Ashcroft all the way back on Monday, February 24, 2003
Please will someone take this Ashcroft lunatic out to the woodshed and demonstrate the proper application of irresistible force with a 2x4 on his ass. On Friday he's busting a domestic terrorist who happened to pose for pictures with President Bush. On Monday he's busy busting bongs. Meanwhile, Osama bong Laden is still on the loose, war is ready to break out in Iraq, and the FBI is probably hunting down hookers in New Orleans again.
On the homeland front, smallpox vaccinations are racing ahead at 1% of the planned rate. I know from all my goal planning that achieving 1% wouldn't get me rave notices from my boss, but Tommy Thompson and Tom Ridge seem to be soldiering on as if everything is fine. It's fine for Bush to be a compassionate conservative, but I didn't think the definition was hiring incompetent Republicans to key security positions. Please will someone smack Tommy Thompson, John Ashcroft, and Tom Ridge upside the head and tell them to straighten up and get their shit together. They are the Three Stooges of the Bushalypse. If we weren't in a Bush-triggered crisis moment it might be funny, but when the President lines up all his duckies on the border of Iraq and asks these three if they are ready to go, it's not going to be a joke for the American people who depend on them to have a clue.
I'll save my biggest scorn for Ashcroft who took time out to diss Janet Reno for neglecting to bust enough bong makers when she was in office. In a moment that calls for thoughtful and visionary politicians, we end up with the tit-fearing terror. This marauder against states rights and civil liberties. Thispontificating baritone who prejudges guilt and stages media events to showcase his commitment to idiocy and premature expostulation. There's an old saying that people deserve the politicians they elect. How cruel it is then, that the loser of the Presidential popular vote appointed the loser of a Senate race to oversee crime and punishment. We didn't deserve this.
Oh, and John. If you stick your head out again, I've got plenty more archives where these came from.
posted by Dave on 8:04 AM | 0 commentslink
Thursday, October 05, 2006
We've gone from the Legion of Super Heroes to...dumb, dumber, and diddler?
posted by Dave on 5:57 PM | 0 commentslink
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Cheney's tender skin
Let me see if I can get this straight. Cheney shoots a friend in the face and the friend apologizes. No charges filed. An American citizen tells Cheney to the face that his Iraq policy is reprehensible and is arrested for assault. Hmmmm. That's almost as puzzling as our Gitmo prisoners being accused of assymmetric warfare for throwing shit at their guards.
Republican Rules of Order
speech = shotgun to face (Dick Cheney special speech clause)
speech = assault (if you criticize a Republican)
speech = humorous exchange (if you're a Tony Snow favored pervert)
speech = cascading series of lies (if you're Tom Reynolds, head of RNCC)
speech = warfare (if you're in captivity on a feared, remote island prison)
posted by Dave on 8:33 AM | 0 commentslink
Main stream media really does suck
No matter how the press ends up covering Predatorgate, one thing is clear. The MSM's top echelon of political reporters and editors is completely in the tank for the Republican party. This fact-filled review by Eric Boehlert rips the heart out of the latest book that attempts to absolve the media of any complicity in helping Bush and his minions to victory. The litany of media sins of ommission and commission is achingly familiar to those of us who are freaks for political flagellation. Sadly, the MSM is unlikely to bring the same insight to their reviews as Eric did in this Media Matters piece. If you hear of any talk show appearances by the fuzzy headed authors of this tripe, do all of us a favor and challenge them with some of the facts of this review.
posted by Dave on 8:19 AM | 0 commentslink
Monday, October 02, 2006
The going away present for Republican pages
posted by Dave on 9:53 PM | 0 commentslink
My vote's on Rice. She's since hired Zelikow to be her chief aide, and he came to the 9/11 Commission from working directly for the Bush team. He's always been their inside guy to quash stuff. I don't know what they've got on Ben Veniste; he always seemed like a straight ahead guy. Maybe he's got some IM out there he doesn't want the public to read.
posted by Dave on 6:22 PM | 0 commentslink
Sunday, October 01, 2006
The Rice is Done
I've never had much of a soft spot in my heart for Condoleeza Rice. In spite of her sterling personal story, anyone who has an oil tanker named after them just fails to trigger my inner warmth. What makes me hostile to her, however, was her inability to make sure that President Bush heard the truth, the only job description that really matters for the National Security Advisor. The two year period from his inauguration to the invasion of Iraq may mark the nadir of anyone who ever served as National Security Advisor. This latest report about an emergency meeting with Tenet and Cofer Black highights her lethargic response to terrorism. Combine her passivity in the face of dire warnings with Ashcroft's lust for drugs and sex and it's easy to see why all the "noise" about an upcoming attack was ignored.
The day she said "nobody could have expected they'd use airplanes..." I fired off a fax to her office (and probably started a file on me) accusing her of gross negligence. That's the mildest charge I would levy today based on this story. I might go so far as to charge her with dereliction of duty. Al Qaeda had no better ally in this administration than Condoleeza Rice.
The final kicker to the report is this:
The July 10 meeting between Tenet, Black and Rice went unmentioned in the various reports of investigations into the Sept. 11 attacks, but it stood out in the minds of Tenet and Black as the starkest warning they had given the White House on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Though the investigators had access to all the paperwork on the meeting, Black felt there were things the commissions wanted to know about and things they didn't want to know about.
If the 9/11 Commission Report is the last word, wouldn't you thnk an emergency meeting like this just two months before the attacks would have merited a mention? Just asking.
posted by Dave on 9:39 AM | 0 commentslink
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Bill of Rights Test
Which amendment does trial without evidence violate?
Which amendment does torture violate?
Which amendment does extraordinary rendition violate?
Which amendment does denial of habeas corpus violate?
Which amendment does warrantless eavesdropping violate?
Which part of the President's inaugural oath has he violated?
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office ofPresident of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
--Presidential oath of office, Article II, Section 1, United States Constitution
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
posted by Dave on 1:03 AM | 0 commentslink