Friday, December 28, 2007

MSG Settles Courtney Prince Sexual Harassment Suit

Just two weeks after settling with Anucha Browne Sanders, MSG eliminates their other pending sexual harassment suit by announcing a confidential settlement with Courtney Prince.

Both sides issued statements saying that there was no admission of wrongdoing by MSG. Sure. There's no way Courtney Prince did not get serious money here. The case was settled on MSG's timetable, not hers. Her trial was not even scheduled. MSG needed this to go away as it tries to get the focus off the ridiculous behavior of its front office.

The other reason I think she got serious money is that the Bush EEOC, not exactly a hotbed of liberal activism, tried to force an $800,000 settlement on MSG a few years ago. There's no way she settled for less. Just no way. Especially after some of the cheerleaders she worked with said that MSG had coerced them into making false statements against her. She had plenty of evidence against MSG, now evidence of them fabricating evidence; and what kind of reputation does James Dolan have at this point? You can't feel anything but happy but that jerk is writing her a big check.

NYTimes: Garden Settles a Lawsuit Filed by a Former Rangers Cheerleader

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bloggus Interruptus

Credit Card Wrap

Heading to the midwest for a week with family. Posting will be sporadic for the rest of 2007.

I'll be using this site to guide me as I wrap presents:

Wrap Art

Lots of ideas for recycled wrap. I hate the waste of wrapping paper, and in years past have used the comics, newspapers, and brown paper bags as wrap.

We Love Lists

wikipedia: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte painted by Georges-Pierre Seurat

Times (uk): The greatest art shows on Earth in 2008
If you are taking a winter break, there are a host of fine exhibitions around the world. Our correspondent picks her Top Ten

I'd like to get down to see this one, but it's only open for 3 more weeks:


Georges Seurat: The Drawings This show focuses entirely on the Neo-Impressionist Seurat’s breathtaking drawings, such as The Echo (1883), left, of which he left around 500 after his death at the age of 31. Seurat’s lightness of touch belies the complexity of his investigation of the relationship between darkness and light, which gives these delicate but dramatic works their singular luminosity. The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York (001 212 708 9400; ), until Jan 7 Also on: Foto: Modernity in Central Europe 1918-1945, Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York (001 212 423 3500; ), until Jan 13

Beckham Speaks

David Beckham interviewed by Michael Parkinson earlier this month:

Part 1:

Part 2:

hat tip to Who Ate All the Pies?


This time last season, fans at TD Banknorth Garden were chanting, "Fire Doc" because they felt Celtics coach Doc Rivers, above, wasn't getting enough out of a poorly assembled team. (AP)

One of the nice things about the revival of the Celtics (I take back all the s**t I said about you, Danny Ainge) is Doc Rivers finally getting the credit he deserves.

I've been a big fan of Doc's since the 1980 Boston Shootout (high school tournament), which my friend and I attended to get a look at this tall sophmore from Cambridge we'd been hearing a lot about. Whatever happened to that Patrick Ewing guy, anyway? But we walked out incredibly impressed by one Glenn Rivers, a senior on his way to Marquette, who dominated every game he played in and was named the tournament MVP.

Now that the Celtics have started the season a blistering 20-2, Doc is getting the kudos he deserves.

WaPo: The Doc Is In for Celtics
Rivers Perceived More Favorably With New Roster, 20-2 Start

If You Lived In Iowa: John Edwards

hat tip to TowleRoad

The True Cost of Ethanol

If he's for it, it's a bad idea.

The Bush Administration loves to tout ethanol as the next fuel to replace oil. But it is an environmental disaster, both because of the tremendous amount of energy that is expended to make it, and because of the environmental effects.

Boston Globe: US corn boom threatens sea life
Fertilizer runoff polluting Gulf

JEFFERSON, Iowa - Because of rising demand for ethanol, American farmers are growing more corn than at any time since the Depression. And sea life in the Gulf of Mexico is paying the price.
more stories like this

The nation's corn crop is fertilized with millions of pounds of nitrogen-based fertilizer. And when that nitrogen runs off fields in Corn Belt states, it makes its way to the Mississippi River and eventually pours into the Gulf, where it contributes to a growing "dead zone" - a 7,900-square-mile patch so depleted of oxygen that fish, crabs, and shrimp suffocate.

The dead zone was discovered in 1985 and has grown fairly steadily since then, forcing fishermen to venture farther and farther out to sea to find their catch. For decades, fertilizer has been considered the prime cause of the lifeless spot.

Bush & Cheney's Next Job

A rat sniffing for mines (top)

Telegraph (uk): Rats being used to sniff out land mines

Monday, December 17, 2007

LIE-berman Endorses Republican McCain

WaPo: Former Democrat Lieberman Endorses McCain

Joe Lieberman running against Democrat Ned Lamont, July 6, 2006:

I want Democrats to be back in the majority in Washington and elect a Democratic president in 2008.

Lying sack of shit. Harry Reid, lead. Strip LIEberman of his precious committee chairmanships. He is not a Democrat and is now actively supporting the opposition. What a schmuck.

The Mittwit: Tax-Dodging Corporate Thief

LATimes: Island tax havens factor into Romney's business success

-- While in private business, Mitt Romney utilized shell companies in two offshore tax havens to help eligible investors avoid paying U.S. taxes, federal and state records show.

Edwards Gets Endorsements

Newsweek: Cover Story

I'm still bitter about 2004. Bitter that John Kerry who spent a year proclaiming that he would make sure that every vote counted, turned tail and let the Republicans steal Ohio. He had millions in the bank and didn't stay and fight, just meekly accepted the rigged result. And I guess I blame Edwards for that some, too. He was on the ticket and he let us down too. I have more sympathy for John E. Just as that decision was being made, his wife Elizabeth was being diagnosed with breast cancer. He had other things on his plate. But I'm also bitter about the way Edwards laid down in his 2004 debate with Darth Cheney. He was just too nice.

And while he was in the Senate he voted for the Bush's bullshit war. (Was I the only American in 2002 standing at the kitchen sink at night yelling at the radio, THERE ARE NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION! THEY'RE LYING TO YOU! I don't think so.) Obama, on the other hand, while he wasn't in the Senate, gave a speech before the war calling it 'a dumb war'. Perfect. So, in sum, that's why I have been swayed from Edwards to Obama.

Obama has disappointed me recently. All this equivocation, talking about compromising with Republicans, attacking Paul Krugman, and adopting right wing talking points about Social Security. Right now based on rhetoric alone I should be voting for John Edwards. I completely agree with his take on corporate power. We need a president who realizes that he will have to FIGHT the Republicans and the media for every inch of ground as we take our country back from the Bush brink of disaster. You can't compromise when your opponent is using scorched earth tactics. You must fight just as hard as your opponent, and fight every battle.

I'm still in the Obama camp. I think his message of hope and change is powerful enough to win no matter what mud the Rethugs throw at him before November. (And I must admit my northern prejudice, I hate John Edwards's southern accent. It sounds dumb to my eastern ear.) I don't think my vote here in Massachusetts will matter. I think we'll have a nominee long before the Massachusetts primary on Super Tuesday, February 5th, 2008.

John Edwards picked up some important endorsements today. The first is outright: the Iowa first lady, Mari Culver, has endorsed him.

The second endorsement is implied. Paul Krugman eviscerates Obama and praises Edwards in his column today.

Over the last few days Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards have been conducting a long-range argument over health care that gets right to this issue. And I have to say that Mr. Obama comes off looking, well, naïve.


[I]t’s actually Mr. Obama who’s being unrealistic here, believing that the insurance and drug industries — which are, in large part, the cause of our health care problems — will be willing to play a constructive role in health reform. The fact is that there’s no way to reduce the gross wastefulness of our health system without also reducing the profits of the industries that generate the waste.

As a result, drug and insurance companies — backed by the conservative movement as a whole — will be implacably opposed to any significant reforms. And what would Mr. Obama do then? “I’ll get on television and say Harry and Louise are lying,” he says. I’m sure the lobbyists are terrified.

As health care goes, so goes the rest of the progressive agenda. Anyone who thinks that the next president can achieve real change without bitter confrontation is living in a fantasy world.

Which brings me to a big worry about Mr. Obama: in an important sense, he has in effect become the anti-change candidate.

If I really had to vote on January 3rd in Iowa or on January 8th in New Hampshire, I'd have a hard time making up my mind. Edwards. Obama. Edwards. Obama. After reading Krugman, I lean Edwards.

'Carbon dioxide levels at 650,000-year high'

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

WSJ (republished in Denver Post): Carbon dioxide levels at 650,000-year high

For a half century, sensors atop Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii have captured the world-wide signature of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, due largely to burning coal, oil and natural gas. The carbon dioxide traps heat. For 50 years, these CO2 readings, known as the Keeling Curve, have been climbing steadily, setting and then breaking a new record every 12 months or so.

Global concentrations of CO2 in 2006, not surprisingly then, reached the highest level since the record-keeping began in 1958, the World Meteorological Organization recently announced in its annual greenhouse-gas bulletin. Based on samples from 40 countries, the level of carbon dioxide in the air reached 381.2 parts per million, up fractionally from 2005 — concentrations not seen in 650,000 years, scientists said.

This week, while diplomats from 180 countries argued over the cost of staving off predicted climate changes, the Mauna Loa readings started to approach even higher levels.

These annual measurements are the world's longest continuous record of CO2 concentrations and, plotted as data points in a rising arc, form one of the most important graphs in science.

By 1960, the data had provided the first clear evidence that carbon was accumulating in the atmosphere and implicated human activity. By inference, it also records how little has been done each year since to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. "It is one of the iconic records of human influence on the planet," said atmospheric chemist Pieter Tans at the federal Earth Systems Research Laboratory in Boulder. "When you look at it, it is shocking how overwhelming the human influence has been on the atmosphere. It is the scientific basis for the whole anxiety we have about climate change caused by human beings." Climate scientists call the graph the Keeling Curve in tribute to a skeptical atmospheric chemist named Charles D. Keeling, who first began monitoring the pure air at two of Earth's most remote locations — Mauna Loa and the South Pole — in 1958. Oil then sold for $3 a barrel, a new fuel-efficient Ford Edsel promised 12 miles to the gallon, and no one thought the carbon released by burning fossil fuels, making cement or clearing land could have a measurable effect on Earth's climate.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Farmed Salmon Killing Wild Salmon

Young salmon infested with sea lice. Adult salmon can generally live with the lice, but wild juveniles migrating out to sea are particularly vulnerable because they are small and thin-skinned.
Alexandra Morton - Salmon Coast Field Station

Remember this the next time you are tempted by that pasty pink stuff in the grocery case:

WaPo: Salmon Farming May Doom Wild Populations, Study Says

David Beckham's Right Foot

I watched Love Actually last night (one of my favorite movies) and laughed when Hugh Grant, playing the Prime Minister, described Britain as home of, among others, "David Beckham's right foot; David Beckham's left foot..."

Here's that famous foot in action (hat tip to 4 Eyed Keeper)

Impeach Rat Bastard Cheney

Darth Rat

Sign the petition here.


wikipedia: National infection rates for HIV. No data is available for the areas shown in white.

Birth control prevents the spread of HIV. Duh. In other news, the Pope is Catholic.

Fewer babies are born with HIV to mothers with access to birth control. Of course, our stupid fundie policies deny federal monies to groups that do this life-saving work, unless they do it the stupid way, abstinence education only. (See, Global Gag Rule)

WaPo: 'Best-Kept Secret' For HIV-Free Africa
Birth Control Better Than Drugs, Researchers Say

400 days until our long national nightmare is over and the Chimperor and his puppeteer leave the White House.

The Real Mitt Romney

"He took good jobs with benefits, and created low-wage, part-time, no-benefit jobs. That's what he was creating with his investments."

- Randy Johnson, Ampad worker, fired after Mitt Romney's Bain Capital took over his paper plant.

Which is why people like Romney are rich and people like Randy Johnson are struggling. Why no non-wealthy person should even consider voting for Romney or any other corporate Republican.

LATimes: To assess Romney, look beyond the bottom line

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bill O, In Song

This is hysterical. A musical performance of Mackris v. O'Reilly, the sexual harassment case which Bill O'Reilly quickly settled. The transcript of the recording of Bill O'Reilly's phone call is sung by baritone Charles Robert Stephens.

Excerpt from "Mackris v. O'Reilly", a baroque oratorio composed by Igor Keller. Libretto uses verbatim transcript of sexual harassment complaint brought against Bill O'Reilly in 2004.

Pia Rocks

Video from USSoccer of the first two practices under new coach Pia Sundhage, including the song she sang to start things off! The times they are a changing, for sure.

The War on Play

Joyce Dopkeen/The New York Times

At Oakdale Elementary School in Montville, Conn., tag, dodgeball and other potentially hazardous games have been restricted.

Modern life doesn't encourage unscripted play. Parents are afraid to let their children play outside. They schedule their children's lives including their free time. Kids are let out into fenced pens where an adult can see them at all times. (What fun is that?) Schools have eliminated daily phys ed, and according to this New York Times article, recess is now in the sights of school administrators. God forbid kids should just go out and play. No, now their recess activities are carefully monitored, and in one Connecticut school, the use of balls was prohibited. Balls? Good grief. Let them play.

NYTimes: School Recess Gets Gentler, and the Adults Are Dismayed

NYTimes: Before Children Ask, 'What's Recess?'

Guardian (uk): Playgrounds too soft, mean streets too hard Having scabs from scrapes is part of childhood!

New Jersey Abolishes Death Penalty

AFP: A decommissioned electric chair

Newark Star-Ledger: Assembly OKs measure to end N.J. executions

After more than two hours of emotional debate about justice and retribution, the Assembly yesterday gave final approval to a bill to abolish New Jersey's death penalty, sending the measure to the desk of a governor who is eager to sign it into law.

The lawmakers voted 44-36 to replace the state's never-used death penalty with life in prison without parole. The Senate passed the bill Monday. Gov. Jon Corzine said yesterday he expects to sign it in a matter of days, making New Jersey the first state to repeal its capital punishment law in more than 30 years.

Interestingly, all the non-US papers that cover this story illustrate it with a picture of some method of execution.

ITN (uk)

BBC News

EuroNews, France


The US papers just have pictures of the Assembly, or Governor Corzine.

Reactions To Roger's a 'Roider "News"

Clemens throws bat at Mike Piazza, Game 2 of 2000 World Series. 'Roid rage?

The most prominent name in George Mitchell's report on steroids in baseball is 7 time Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens. I've suspected the Rocket for a long time because he got too big and stayed too good long into his 40s. I couldn't even play once a week competitive (and that's stretching it) softball after the age of 40 because my body was so beat up. He's been striking out 22-year-olds well into his middle 40s. That's just not normal.

Here's a roundup of media reaction:

Tom Boswell, WaPo: The Rocket's Descent (The Australian paper that picked up this article gave it a much better title: Twin peaks just freaks in steroid circus)

Harvey Araton, New York Times: All-Juice Team Has Finally Found Its Ace: Clemens

Dan Shaughnessey, Boston Globe: Tainted Gloves

Peter Gelzinis, Boston Herald: Did Rocket tell son about moon shots?

Bill Madden, NYDailyNews: Roger Clemens' bid for Cooperstown likely will end with strikeout

Jose De Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle: Scandal to cost Clemens support for Hall
Baseball writers have mixed views on whether pitcher will get their vote

Wallace Matthews, Newsday: Clemens must be judged same way as Bonds

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MLB Steroid List: Leaked, Yanked, Here It Is (Updated)

Raw Story

Only one surprise to me: Jason Varitek. But if you look at him, it makes sense. Update: Should have remained surprised. Here's the pdf file of the Mitchell Report; Varitek's name does not appear (I used the search function).

I'll post a better list when ESPN makes it available; obviously the one yanked from WNBC was not correct.

Update 2: Here's the real list, from the New York Times:

Chad Allen
Manny Alexander
Rick Ankiel
Mike Bell
David Bell
Gary Bennett Jr.
Marvin Benard
Larry Bigbie
Barry Bonds
Kevin Brown
Paul Byrd
Ken Caminiti
Jose Canseco
Mark Carreon
Jason Christiansen
Howie Clark
Roger Clemens
Jack Cust
Brendan Donnelly
Lenny Dykstra
Bobby Estalella
Matt Franco
Ryan Franklin
Eric Gagne
Jason Giambi
Jeremi Giambi
Jay Gibbons
Troy Glaus
Jason Grimsley
Jose Guillen
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Matt Herges
Phil Hiatt
Glenallen Hill
Darren Holmes
Todd Hundley
David Justice
Chuck Knoblauch
Tim Laker
Mike Lansing
Paul Lo Duca
Nook Logan
Josias Manzanillo
Gary Matthews Jr.
Cody McKay
Kent Mercker
Bart Miadich
Hal Morris
David Naulty
Denny Neagle
Jim Parque
Andy Pettitte
Adam Piatt
Todd Pratt
Stephen Randolph
Adam Riggs
Brian Roberts
John Rocker
F.P. Santangelo
Benito Santiago
Gary Sheffield
Scott Schoeneweis
David Segui
Mike Stanton
Miguel Tejada
Ismael Valdez
Mo Vaughn
Randy Velarde
Ron Villone
Fernando Vina
Rondell White
Todd Williams
Jeff Williams
Matt Williams
Steve Woodard
Kevin Young
Gregg Zaun

We Love Lists

SI Neg. 95-9614. Date: 1995...Slab containing fossil crinoids (Pentacrinus subangularis), Jurrasic period, between 203 million and 185 million years old. ..Credit: Laurie Minor-Penland (Smithsonian Institution)

Bonanza of lists:

Time: 50 Top Ten Lists of 2007

Told Ya

NYTimes: As Baseball Braces for Report, Pettitte and Clemens Cited

As I suspected:

MainstUSA, 10/1/06: Clemens a 'Roider?

Disgraceful: WaPo Runs Reviews of Presidential Candidates' Clothes. Really.

Robin Givhan, How I Think She Looks:
Wears glasses in vain attempt to look intelligent

The Washington Post is running a series on the leading Presidential candidates. They call it The Front-runners: A revealing look at each of the leading presidential candidates

Good luck to you in finding any actual substance in this series. It is a vehicle for the most puerile and vapid information to be dispatched to the American voter. For example, WaPo Style writer Robin Givhans has a daily article. Originally headlined "How He Looks", now each piece is given an individual title and listed as "[Candidate's] Style".

But the pieces are still completely superficial discourses on the candidate's look and how that reinforces Robin Givhan's belief in the conventional wisdom about that candidate. So far, she's riffed on Hillary Clinton's pantsuits (damn feminist! Robin wants you to wear a dress, or at least show cleavage so she can vamp about that); Romney's perfect hair (too perfect; manufactured); Edwards down-home clothes (fake); Fred Thompson's boring clothes (doesn't really care) and McCain's too young clothes (too old). We breathlessly await her discourses on Obama (too young, inexperienced), Huckabee (hanging off him; not ready for primetime, or bariatric surgery?), and Giuliani (ambition, ambition, ambition).

There are also "tag clouds" called Free Association for each candidate (really), a summary of the candidate's stump speech, 4 things you might not know about the candidate, and a five-page story outlining the candidate's life.

Markedly, there is no special section for each candidate on anything of substance, like "Policy Positions", or "Record on Issues" or anything serious like that. It's all horserace and no soul.

How Robin Givhan looks for writing these empty pieces: Stupid. How the Washington Post looks for running them: Sad.

Journalism is dead. Long live the corporate media!

What Romney Left Behind

Another parody ad. Living in Massachusetts is really tough since the Mittwit left us!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Have You Written to the FEC Yet?

ActBlue is not a PAC! Don't let the FEC penalize small donors who give to political campaigns through ActBlue.

You can use my letter, or use this handy form on the John Edwards campaign site.

Mike Huckabee Parody Ad

It's only a minute, and you will laugh.

Rudy Giggliani

Rudy Giuliani laughs off many questions about his questionable clients and ethics on Meet the Press this weekend. He really is creepy. Ghouliani is more like it.

2007 Is Second Warmest Year Ever

The climate crisis continues unabated. "The Arctic is screaming" says climate scientist Mark Serreze. The Bush Administration position at the climate talks is: Hurry up and wait. Wait until January 20, 2009. Bush will do nothing. He is the greatest do nothing in the history of do nothings. What has he done to stop global warming? Nothing.

And I'd like to give a shout out to the five morons on the Supreme Court who seven years ago today gave us the Master of Disaster George W. Bush as President, over the vote-winner, now Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. Thank you very fucking much for seven years of the plague of Shrub, Sandra Day O'Connor, Clarence Thomas, Injustice Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy (four appointed by Ronald Raygun, one by Buckfush41). Equal protection, my ass. Equal protection for rich malevolent assholes.

ClimateProgress: NASA: 2007 Second Warmest Year Ever, with Record Warmth Likely by 2010

Through the first 11 months, 2007 is the second warmest year in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. The unusual warmth in 2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when solar irradiance is at a minimum and the equatorial Pacific Ocean has entered the cool phase of its natural El Niño — La Niña cycle.

… barring the unlikely event of a large volcanic eruption, a record global temperature exceeding that of 2005 can be expected within the next 2-3 years.


The six warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 15 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1988.

DailyMail: World told to act now on climate change as 'Arctic is screaming'

"The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, a senior US scientist.

Edited to add, oh, and by the way, American scientists told the American Geophysical Union meeting this week that there may be NO ARCTIC ICE by 2013. That's six years, folks. Wave goodbye to the polar bears.

Save the Vince Lombardi Rest Stop!

I have a ritual. When I drive through New Jersey I always stop at the Vince Lombardi rest stop (by Exit 18). It's the last stop before you drive through the city as you are heading to New England. A brief respite before the Cross-Bronx Expressway. As I go through the doors I say "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!" (Doesn't everyone?)

(A side note: Vince Lombardi actually said, "Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is", but what fun is that? It just doesn't have the same blood & guts, fight to the death connotations.)

George Vecsey has lent his clout to the fight to save the historic names of the New Jersey Turnpike rest stops (the Molly Pitcher, the Clara Barton, the Walt Whitman, to name a few). And really, who wants to be reminded of some corporate-welfare-receiving corporation while trying to get a break from the turnpike rat race?

George Vecsey, NYTimes: Call to Arms to Retain Name at a Garden State Rest Stop

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pia Sundhage: Total Football

Johan Cruyff: 'God's gift to football'

All football fans sigh with pleasure to hear the phrase "total football". It brings to mind the legend Johan Cruyff, and his Dutch team's creative, flowing, dynamic, beautiful football.

That's what Pia Sundhage is preaching to the USWNT. Hurrah! Weekly soccer column: Sundhage revives the U.S. team

Not surprisingly [] Sundhage preaches a European-style "total football" approach, where Greg Ryan, her predecessor as U.S. coach, emphasized defense first .

"She's making everybody defend and everybody do the offensive side," said midfielder Shannon Boxx, the former South Torrance High star. "Greg was very much on the defensive side and Pia is very much on the offensive side."

Presumably, that will eliminate the reliance on low-percentage long balls out of the back and then hoping goal-scoring machine Abby Wambach can get on the end of them.

Finesse and tactical awareness will replace brute strength and strategic naivete.

And players will be asked to do more, rather than simply fill a niche and perform a specialized role.

hat tip to USA Women's Soccer blog.

Nick Hornby's New Audience

The British author of such bestsellers as "High Fidelity" and "About a Boy" -- whose main characters resist the conventions of grown-up life -- has now turned to the young adult literature market.
Photo Credit: By Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post

Teens, with his new novel Slam marketed to the so-called 'young adult' market. I'm a big fan of Hornby, starting with High Fidelity, and of course Fever Pitch. The Arsenal fanatic is missing three games to do his US book tour.

WaPo: A New Shelf Life Begins
To Find Nick Hornby's Latest Novel, 'Slam,' You Have to Think Young

Huckleberry Huckabee Leads National Polls

Republicans really are desperate. Nutjob Mike Huckabee is leading the national polls.

LATimes: Huckabee does a flip-flop on Cuba

Five years ago, in favor of ending embargo on Cuba trade. This week, embargo away! Last week, favored education for illegal immigrants in Republican debate. This week, wants them all deported within 120 days. Sounds practical to me. I think he could start with Mitt Romney's yard workers.

And he's a religious fanatic. This is a quote from Huckabee in 1998: "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."

I mean, Jesus H. Christ, He did sign the Declaration of Independence, didn't He? (I am reliably informed of his participation in the events of 1776 by White House Hostess With the Mostest Press Secretary Dana Perino, with her encyclopedic knowledge of American history.)

dailykos: Top 10 Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism (Go to the post for an individual write-up of each moment)

1. Huckabee Calls for the Quarantine of AIDS Victims
2. Huckabee Enables the Politically-Motivated Parole of Repeat Rapist/Murderer
3. Huckabee Offers Faith-Based Pardons
4. Huckabee Undermines the Teaching of Evolution
5. Huckabee Speaks for God
6. Huckabee Speaks to God
7. Huckabee Claims God Behind His Rise in the Polls
8. Huckabee Proclaims His Theology Degree a Unique Qualification to Fight Terrorism
9. Huckabee Flip-Flops, Calls for Federal Abortion Ban
10. Huckabee Calls for Consumption Tax, Abolition of the IRS

Greenland Ice Sheet Air Temps Have Risen 7 Degrees F --- Since 1991

Melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (

The response of the Bush Administration to these alarming facts? The Republican representative at the UN climate talks in Bali is Larry 'I am not gay, there is no global warming' Craig (R-Wide Stance). Perfect. The man lives in Denial. In the real world, we are terrified as the weather becomes more extreme every year.

Reuters: Greenland ice sheet melting at record rate

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The Greenland ice sheet melted at a record rate this year, the largest ever since satellite measurements began in 1979, a top climate scientist reported on Monday.

"The amount of ice lost by Greenland over the last year is the equivalent of two times all the ice in the Alps, or a layer of water more than one-half mile (800 meters) deep covering Washington DC,
" said Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado at Boulder.


In recent years, melting has started earlier in the year than normal. Air temperatures on the ice sheet have risen by about 7 degrees F (3.9 degrees C) since 1991, mostly because of the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the scientists said in research presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

This is in keeping with persistently gloomy news about the state of the Arctic this year. In October, a U.S. government "report card" found less ice, hotter air and dying wildlife.

In May, a U.S. expert at the National Snow and Ice Center in Colorado found that Arctic ice cap is melting much faster than expected and is now about 30 years ahead of predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Isiah Thomas & MSG: $11.5 Worth of "Innocence"

She's smiling now!

Isiah Thomas, October 2, 2007:
“I want to say it as loud as I possibly can. I am innocent. I’m very innocent. I did not do the things that she accused me in the courtroom of doing. I am extremely disappointed that the jury did not see the facts in this case. I will appeal this.”

Isiah Thomas and MSG today settled with Anucha Browne Sanders for $11.5 million dollars. That's $11.5 million worth of innocent, very innocent.

I have one question. What would they have paid if he were guilty?

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy and a nicer bunch of schmucks.

ActBlue is Not a PAC

John Edwards has asked the Federal Elections Commission to rule on whether he can get public matching funds for the contributions that have been made to his campaign by ActBlue.

The FEC is making it difficult. It says ActBlue is a PAC (Political Action Committee) even though obviously it's not. It's just a mechanism that allows small donors to donate, and to ask their friends to donate, to candidates they like. The FEC is interpreting the law literally (do you really care about the details? Kos explains them here) rather than upholding the spirit of federal election laws which are supposed to let small donors participate.

They are accepting public comments. Your comment can help the FEC interpret the laws the way they were meant to be interpreted. Sent public comments to to the FEC Secretary, Mary Dove, at this address:

The deadline for the submission of comments is 12:00pm noon (Eastern Time) on December 13,2007.

You can use my letter if you like (note that it says I am voting for Obama, you'll need to change that if you are for another candidate). My letter is adapted from a letter helpfully posted by Lynne at BlueMassGroup (thanks Lynne!).

Dear Ms. Dove,

Please accept this email as an official public comment in opposition to the FEC categorizing ActBlue as a PAC for purposes of a candidate's eligibility for public matching funds.

ActBlue is simply a mechanism to set up online fundraising. The rules governing public matching funds are intended to keep big money out of politics, so that small donors can still have influence on the political process.

ActBlue encourages small donors to campaigns, by allowing individuals to set up a place for people to send the same sort of individual donation that you might do directly through a candidate's website or by sending them a check.

By ruling them ineligible for matching funds, you would be stifling small donor participation in the process of donations. While ActBlue only allows one political party to participate, there is nothing stopping any other party from setting up the same mechanism online, and I believe any political party should be accorded the same ruling.

Please allow ActBlue donations to count towards public matching funds. I say this as a voter who intends to vote for Barack Obama in the primary, so I have no reason to want Senator Edwards (who is as I understand the impetus for clarifying this rule) to gain advantage by getting this money. I just believe in fairness and want to ensure that the rules governing our elections encourage instead of discourage public the rules were intended to do. ActBlue is a poster child for the spirit of democratic participation. Please do not let your ruling stifle that.


Multiple Choice Mitt: He'd Say Anything!

Dana Milbank, WaPo: Romney: Anything Goes

Romney has shown impressive versatility on the campaign trail, adopting new positions as he goes along on abortion, gay rights and immigration. This flexibility also makes him an exciting candidate: He seems willing to say just about anything.

Reminds me of the song from the Oliver! musical:

I'd Do Anything (from the musical Oliver!)

I'd do anything for you dear
for you mean everything
to me

I know that
I'd go anywhere for your smile
for your smile
everywhere I see

Would you climb a hill?
Wear a dafodill?
Leave me all your will?
Even fight my Bill?
What fisticuffs?

I'd risk everything for one kiss
Yes I'd do anything
Anything for you

[Nancy]Now you try oliver just as we did anything you forget i'll tell you

I'd do anything for you dear
for you mean everything
to me

I know that
I'd go anywhere for your smile
for your smile
everywhere I see

Would you lace my shoe?
Paint your face bright blue?
Catch a kangaroo?
Go to Timbuctu?
And back again

I'd risk everything for one kiss
Yes I'd do anything
Anything for you

I'd go anywhere for your smile
for your smile
everywhere I see

I know that
I'd do anything for you dear
for you mean everything
to me

To me!
To me!
To me!
To me me me me me!

I'd do anything for you dear
Yes I'd do anything
Anything for you

Would you rob a shop?
Would you risk the drop?
Though your eyes go POP!
When you come down PLOP!
Hang everything

We'd risk life and limb
To keep you in the swim
Yes we'd do anything
Anything for you

Oh My

Consider the source, but:

The Sun (uk): JURGEN KLINSMANN is in the frame to become Liverpool boss — if Rafa Benitez gets the sack.

That change would make one coach I know very, very happy.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Four Democrats Briefed About Torture in 2002; Silent Ever Since

Nancy Pelosi
Jay Rockefeller
Jane Harman
Bob Graham

were informed by the CIA in 2002 that the US planned to torture prisoners, and said nothing. Nothing. They did not speak out against torture.

Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left
to speak up for me.

Waterboarding is torture. It has been considered torture for centuries, since it was used in the Spanish Inquisition. It is also a technique favored by the Gestapo, the Khmer Rouge, and now by the United States of America. It is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, the international treaties which are supposed to set the standards for international humanitarian behavior.

The fact that these four supposed Democrats stayed silent about this method of torture for five years is a failure of the highest order. They may have written letters that were stamped "Top Secret" and stored in a dusty file cabinet. But they have stayed silent ever since, protecting the Bush administration as it descended into the lowest depths humans can go.

No wonder impeachment is off the table. The Democrats have been aiding and abetting the very war crimes that would form the basis of the impeachment trial.

WaPo: Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.


With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

Lambert at Corrente says: Barney Frank for Speaker. He wouldn't have kept his mouth shut about torture.

Corrente: We are Democrats. They are enablers.

WaPo Ombudsman Punts Obama Rumor Story

WaPo, Deborah Howell, Ombudsman: Refuting, or Feeding, the Rumor Mill?

Howell whines that people are angry that the WaPo put rumors about Barack Obama's Muslim ties on the front page and didn't identify them as false. Now, horrors, readers are saying bad things about the WaPo and the breakdown of journalistic standards! She may as well have published a column entitled: "Wahhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Here's how I'll describe Howell, using the immortal stylings of the author of the Obama hit piece, Perry Bacon:

"Despite [her] denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege that Howell (Ombudsman), is a "Potted plant" in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected dogcatcher, she would take the oath of office using toilet paper, rather than the Washington Post, as Perry Bacon Jr. did in his front page article on Obama in the Washington Post last week."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Republican Candidate Scandal Updates

Upper Left

Rudy Giuliani let taxpayers pay for security for his lover Judith Nathan even earlier than first reported -- for months before their affair was public.

Mike Huckabee's former senior aide contradicts Huckabee, says Huckabee did indeed tell the Arkansas Parole Board that he supported the release of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond.

The painting company that painted rabid-anti-immigrant-crusader Mitt Romney's Belmont mansion last year is under investigation by the state for labor law violations including using illegal immigrants. Mittwit.

Hybrid Sales Up 82%

High gasoline prices are probably behind the increase in sales, as well as the fact that Toyota actually has enough Priuses available (last year I had to wait up to 10 weeks for one.) Half of the hybrids sold in America are Toyota Priuses. It was named the "most satisfying" vehicle to own in Consumer Reports Car Satisfaction Survey.

My Prius experience has been good overall. My summer mileage is 48.5 MPG and my winter mileage last year was 43.6 (mileage is lower in cold weather). Now that gasoline is at $3 a gallon again those high numbers are even more significant.

The car is roomy and comfortable for its small size. Downsides are the huge blind spot caused by the sporty styling and the horrible traction on snow and ice. I need to get snow tires.

Green Car Congress: Hybrids Post Strong US Sales in November; Up 82% Year-on-Year

Reported sales of hybrids in the US in November rose 82% year-on-year to reach 33,233 total units, representing 2.8% of all light-duty vehicles sold during the month. GM does not break out its hybrid sales separately, and so is not reflected in the hybrid number—thus, the actual hybrid total and new market share will slightly higher.


Toyota posted a strong month, with Prius sales hitting 16,737 units, up 109% from the year before. Camry Hybrid turned in 5,118 units, up 65% from the year before and representing 14.5% of all Camry models sold. Sales of the Highlander Hybrid were back up after a slump for several months to 2,577 units—an increase of 55% from November 2006 and representing 20.9% of all Highlander models sold.

Friday, December 07, 2007

John Lennon Died 27 Years Ago Today

I was reminded of this by BoingBoing, which links to Yoko Ono's website which has a letter she writes to John, and a great video of John Lennon.

Here are the lyrics and video of my two favorite John Lennon songs, which seem so appropriate today as we are ruled by insane and immoral torturers and murderers.

Imagine (yes, a song with its own wikipedia entry)

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Give Peace a Chance

Ev'rybody's talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism
Isn't it the most
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev'rybody's talking about
Ministers, Sinisters, Banisters and canisters,
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Pop eyes,
And bye bye, bye byes.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Ev'rybody's talking about
Revolution, Evolution, Mastication, Flagelolation, Regulations.
Integrations, Meditations, United Nations, Congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Oh Let's stick to it
Ev'rybody's talking about
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy smothers, Bob Dylan,
Tommy Cooper, Derek Tayor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna,
Hare Krishna
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

The More Things Change....

Not much has changed.
Civil engineering faculty in 1930 (MIT Museum photo)

Are you surprised?

Boston Globe: Tenure at MIT still largely a male domain

Just one out of 25 faculty members granted tenure this year at MIT is female, a gender imbalance that appears to contrast with the university's decade-old effort to boost the status of women.

Women have been achieving tenure at a lower rater than men at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the past 10 years, according to an MIT analysis of junior faculty. Of the tenured faculty, 16 percent are women, up from 10.5 percent a decade ago, but still too big a gap, several professors said.

The point was brought home recently when the school's in-house newspaper published a portrait gallery of the faculty members granted tenure this year; among the sea of male faces was the lone woman.

Hope Speaks

Sounds like Hope Solo is still reeling from the whole World Cup experience, which I summarize as:

Greg-Ryan-Makes-An-Idiotic-Decision, Solo-Gives-Ill-Considered-Interview-After-Goading-By-USSoccer-Press-Flack
Happy-Ending: Moron-Ryan-Fired-Pia-Sundhage-Hired

I hope she realizes how many rabid women's soccer fans support her. There is no proper way to react when your coach makes "the worst decision in the history of organized sports" and takes you out of the most important game of your career. There's no manual for that one.

She is interviewed by AP by phone: Hope Solo Talks About World Cup


In her first public comments since a brutally frank TV interview in which she criticized her benching, Solo told The Associated Press she never saw it coming and wasn't prepared for it.

"I had felt as though my childhood dream basically had been ripped away from me," she said.


"It is a little difficult to relive that," she said. "Mentally, I was full of all sorts of emotions. The World Cup was the only thing that kept me together after the death of my father (in June), kept me fighting and together and dedicated to the game.

"Moreso, the moment I realized we didn't have the opportunity to win the gold medal, my world came tumbling down. I had nothing to immediately give back to my father. I was wound so tight emotionally, and the moment after the loss I broke."

The worst part, Solo said, was her comments seemed directed at her teammates as well as at Ryan, who recently was replaced at coach by Pia Sundhage.

"Of course I know I have some friendships to rebuild and teammates to rebuild relationships with," she said. "But there is nothing I can go back and do.

"Never did I intend to put down a teammate, and that is the thing that hurts the most. I always have respected and will respect Bri. And that is the thing that hurts me the most."


"I have reached out to her, but beyond the Mexico series we have not really spoken, which is not unusual with my teammates, because we're often not together for long (stretches)," Solo said.

"I have spoken to a handful of different teammates here and there at different levels. In the end, we are all professionals and have a common goal to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. I can only hope we put our differences aside because we have a job to do.

"It's important we respect each other on the field; we don't have to be best friends off the field."

The 25-year-old keeper from Richland, Wash., chuckled at the irony of the Olympics, for which the Americans must qualify in April, being staged in China.

"China is going to bring back a lot of memories for me, no doubt," she said. "But I've been through a lot of worse things in life."

Particularly the death of her father, Jeffrey. Would getting that gold medal in the Olympics ease the pain from the World Cup fiasco?

"My father was even more excited about this World Cup than I was," she said, her voice cracking. "Looking back, it is not just gold medals that I have to celebrate his life and give back to his passing. If I never see a gold medal in my life, I will be doing what I can to make my father proud."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If You Lived In Iowa or New Hampshire: The Rethugs

A compilation of snippets (actually, pretty funny) of the TV ads being run by the Republican candidates. Hat tip to Talking Points Memo.

More on CraigsList

US Republican Senator Larry Craig, who pleaded guilty after a police sex sting operation in an airport bathroom, Monday denied a new flurry of gay sex allegations in his home state newspaper.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Alex Wong)

OK, I know a million other people have made the Craigslist joke, but it seems appropriate. This weekend, the Idaho Statesman published a story in which 5 more men have come forward to testify about "sexual encounters" with Senator Larry Craig. That makes the total 8 after the initial expose in the Statesman identified three men who claimed sexual encounters with Craig.

But remember, he is not gay, he has never been gay. What a hypocrite.

Idaho Statesman: More gay men describe sexual encounters with U.S. Sen. Craig
Allegations made since news of the Minneapolis case broke lend weight to rumors about Craig.

We Love Diners

In its previous location

Have to check this one out the next time I'm in New York.

NYTimes: Diner Opens in Catskills After a Hell’s Kitchen Worth of Trouble

When last spotted in its ancestral home, there was the Munson Diner, steel and chrome shining off the streetlights, noirish blue exterior like a ghost from the ’40s, loaded onto a flatbed truck and lumbering toward the George Washington Bridge, bound if not for glory, at least for Liberty, a faded resort town in the Catskills.

It was May 5, 2005, and, as it turned out, getting a 50-foot-long, 30-ton diner onto a truck was the easy part. One of its new owners and a cameraman were taken off the George Washington Bridge by the police as they tried to film the big event without a permit.

The diner hit not one, but two highway bridges on the way up.
And when it finally arrived, dinged up but more or less intact, the crew lowered it triumphantly onto its new foundation ... backward, with the vintage neon sign and steel facade facing away from Main Street.

Times Herald-Record: Long wait, but Munson Diner finally open

Roadside Architecture: Diners

Arrival in Liberty, 2005

Headline of the Day: In A Stunning Development, Telling Horny Teenagers To Save It For Jesus Proves Ineffective

The state of Nebraska features this brochure on its DHHS page

From Blue Texan at firedoglake. Who'd a thunk it?

From the AP article that inspired the post:

In a troubling reversal, the nation's teen birth rate rose for the first time in 15 years, surprising government health officials and reviving the bitter debate about abstinence-only sex education.

The birth rate had been dropping since its peak in 1991, although the decline had slowed in recent years. On Wednesday, government statisticians said it rose 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.

The reason for the increase is not clear, and federal health officials said it might be a one-year statistical blip, not the beginning of a new upward trend.

However, some experts said they have been expecting a jump. They blamed it on increased federal funding for abstinence-only health education that doesn't teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception.

Some key sexually transmitted disease rates have been rising, including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
The rising teen pregnancy rate is part of the same phenomenon, said Dr. Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health.

"It's not rocket science," she said.

Kids are going to have sex. Give them real education about safe sex and birth control. Stop pretending that the world is a giant Ozzie and Harriet episode.

I Hate Huckabee

Because he's a dope: The Politico: Huckabee not aware of NIE report on Iran Two days after it came out, the night after Bush gave his lying press conference, and dim Huckabee wasn't aware of it. Probably too busy consulting his Bible, and I also hate him...

Because he's a religious fanatic dope who believes things like this: dailykos: Huckabee: Gay Marriage Would End Civilization

Oh, c'mon. That's just ridiculous.

And finally, and here's the thing that should keep him from the nomination, because he forced the pardon of a convicted rapist, Mike Wayne Dumond, and Dumond promptly raped and killed at least one other woman. He did this "despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again." And why did Huckabee do this? Because the first woman the scumbag was convicted of raping was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. Clinton hatred taken to its nth degree.

He's been lying about it ever since, and this week journalist Murray Waas dug out the letters from the rape victims that Huckabee has been hiding and denying for a decade. He is a liar and a loon, a fitting successor to George W. Bush, but in no way qualified to be President of the United States.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Congratulations Congresswoman Gillibrand!

She's expecting a new baby in May, to join her 4-year-old son Theo. Congratulations to the Gillibrands!

Albany Times-Union: Exclusive: Gillibrand pregnant

On The Hunt for Civil War Gold

Tom Ewart / For The Times
CODE: Bob Brewer points out arcane symbols on a tree in western Arkansas that he believes are clues to a treasure stashed away by the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secretive Confederate group.

Fascinating story in the LATimes today about a guy who's been looking for the gold supposedly squirreled away by Confederates during the Civil War. Bob Brewer has been compiling clues and tracking the missing gold since 1977, and one of the clues he found was this:

[] Brewer soon was trading stories and information with others who shared his esoteric interest.

In 1993, one of them showed Brewer a book about Jesse James, with passages about the Knights of the Golden Circle, buried Confederate treasure and cryptic symbols.

Founded in the 1850s by George Bickley, a former Virginian living in Cincinnati, the group was reputed to include prominent political figures and Confederate leaders, among them Gen. Albert Pike, a high-ranking member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

I visited Meramec Caverns in Missouri a few years back and they have a (really horrible) diorama showing how Jesse James used that cave to hide out and escape after a bank robbery. (Don't get me wrong, the caverns themselves are spectacular and well worth the visit, but the dusty dummies on the cave floor next to the fake bank bags -- pathetic.)

Maybe there really is something to this hidden Confederate gold legend. Let's hope Mr. Brewer finds it.

LATimes: Shadowy path may lead to treasure

Meramec Caverns: wikipedia

Better Fit Than Fat

An elder woman keeps fit by using fitness machines at a 'fitness playground' in Berlin, in August. People over 60 who exercise and are fit live longer than their sedentary peers, regardless of weight and body mass, researchers said in a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).(AFP/DDP/File/Yannik Willing)

Boston Globe: Being fat and fit is better than being thin and sedentary, study says

WASHINGTON - When it comes to living longer, fitness may trump fatness, US researchers said yesterday.

Men and women who were fit, as judged by a treadmill test, but were overweight or obese had a lower mortality risk than those of normal weight but low fitness levels, the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed.

Exercise specialist Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina and colleagues tracked about 2,600 people age 60 and older, examining how physical fitness and body fat affected their death rates over 12 years. Those in the lowest fifth in terms of fitness had a death rate four times higher than participants ranked in the top fifth.

"Being fit provides protection against mortality in these men and women 60 and older, whether they're normal weight, overweight, or obese," Blair said.

Note to self, bring up this study the next time my doctor drones on and on about how I need to be as thin as she is.

Note to self, get a doctor who's not a size 6. I wasn't size 6 in 8th grade!

Pia Sundhage To Hold USWNT Mini-Camp

Image: ESPN

Boy, wouldn't I love to be a fly on the wall at this camp.

SoccerAmerica: Pia Sundhage sets first camp for U.S. women

THE FIRST TRAINING CAMP CONDUCTED by recently hired U.S. women's national team camp Pia Sundhage will be brief, but it will be important. She has just eight months to repair the effects of a goalkeeping controversy and a humiliating 4-0 loss to Brazil in the Women's World Cup semifinals before the Americans defend their 2004 Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Sundhage named a squad of 23 - including 16 players from the WWC roster - for five days of training at Home Depot Center starting this Saturday.

Captain Kristine Lilly is among the absentees; goalkeepers Briana Scurry and Hope Solo, who were swept up in a media firestorm when former coach Greg Ryan switched Solo for Scurry as the starter prior to the semifinal, have both been summon

Defender Heather Mitts, who suffered a knee injury May 12 that knocked her off the WWC roster, has been invited to the camp. Also selected were seven collegiate players, only two of whom - Casey Nogueira and Angie Woznuk - have been capped for the senior national team. New U.S. coach picks goalie Hope

Sundhage's roster for the five-day training camp reflects her stated desire to play a more possession-oriented style. On it are USDHS alum Angie Woznuk, a talented central midfielder who recently finished her career at Portland, and North Carolina sophomore forward Casey Nogueira, the daughter of former Sockers goalkeeper Victor Nogueira.

The Sports Network: Sundage gets first look at U.S. WNT players

Below is the mini-camp roster by position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.).

DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.).

MIDFIELDERS (9): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.).

FORWARDS (6): Michelle Enyeart (Hemet, Calif.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Casey Nogueira (Raleigh, N.C.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Breaking: Bush not a Chimp

Not George W. Bush, not a White House aide.

A young Chinese girl poses with a chimp at the Shanghai Wild Animal park, in May. Young chimpanzees have an extraordinary memory that is far better than that of adult humans, a Japanese study said Tuesday.(AFP/File/Mark Ralston)

Hmmmm, maybe I'll have to stop calling Georgie-Poo the Chimperor, and calling for Chimpeachment. Because a new study says chimps have much better memories than humans. And we all know that George isn't known for his memory. I mean, for crying out loud, he had to testify before the 9/11 Commission with Darth Cheney holding his hand. He's no chimp. He just plays one in the Oval Office.

AFP: Chimps have better memory than adult humans: study

TOKYO (AFP) - Young chimpanzees have an extraordinary memory that is far better than that of adult humans, a Japanese study said Tuesday.

The research, published in the US journal Current Biology, said young chimpanzees can remember numbers flashed on a computer screen after just one glance.