Friday, January 12, 2007

Got Tickets?



LA Galaxy website: Summer 2007 Beckham Comes To America

Since the league schedule hasn't been announced yet, you have to buy season tickets to get David Beckham tickets. Coach Mom has already called to put in an order for New England Revolution tickets!

Blogtopia* Roundup, Friday January 12, 2007

Crawford Caligula

Best post title of day: Brilliant at Breakfast:

Potent Military Victories To Make Benefit Glorious Image of the Crawford Caligula

Mmmmm.....Crawford Calugula....must use often.

The Left Coaster reports that Pelosi and Hoyer have sold out seniors by watering down Dem changes to the Medicare Part (D)isaster pharmaceutical bill. Since the bill will be vetoed by Crawford Calugula anyway, I can understand Dems saving their energies for more productive fights.

In case one of those lizard brain Bush supporters tells you the Congress gave Bush the authority to attack Iran, tell 'em they're wrong. The foolish Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq (AUMF) which all those dummies in Congress voted for, was the second draft of that bill: The first draft was not limited to Iraq, so it was soundly rejected by Congress. Crawford Caligula can't rely on the AUMF to attack Iran, therefore. Not that he cares about Congress. Link is to Dover Bitch, via Digby.

Steve Gilliard says Bush will leave in disgrace.

Glenn Greenwald, outlines Bush's belief that he has the power to attack Iran without Congressional authorization; he doesn't, but he thinks he does. Woe to the world.

Did anyone else hear Condoleeza Rice say 'augmentation, not escalation' yesterday, and think breast implants? Dependable Renegade did.

Greg Sargent eviscerates Tom Friedman, who really needs eviscerating. Is there a bigger waste of column space at the New York Times? Oh, there's David Brooks.

It's all about the corporate Benjamins: IRS closing corporate audits, taking a fraction of the millions US is owed. Expand this ThinkProgress post, 8th item down.

It's Too Late for Bruce Arena

Listen to me, and listen to me good.

He could have used this advice, too:

YanksAbroad: THE NEW US COACH DON'T LIST

Here are the article's recommendations; read the whole post for the reasoning behind them. Personally, I would make #2 "Don't play Landon Donovan", but I'm prejudiced against Landycakes 'cause he didn't stick it out overseas. If you won't play club football at the highest level your talent allows, you shouldn't play on the National Team. Period.

1) Don't play Bobby Convey (or DaMarcus Beasley or Eddie Lewis or ...) as a left back

2) Don't play Landon Donovan as a forward

3) Don't be so secretive

4) Don't be so conservative

5) Don't schedule friendlies away from FIFA dates

Senator Tim Johnson Update

This is excellent news:

WSJ: Sen. Johnson Begins to Say Words

Sen. Tim Johnson has been transferred to an in-patient rehabilitation unit for “aggressive” therapy, and has started to say words, according to a statement released by his office.

“Yesterday, Senator Johnson underwent an MRI which showed that his speech centers were spared of injury. This is confirmed by the fact that he is following commands and has started to say words,” said Vivek Deshmukh, the neurosurgeon treating the senator. Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, was hospitalized in December after a brain hemorrhage.

It is common, the statement said, for there to be a delay in speech while a person heals from bleeding in the brain. Johnson is currently being weaned off his tracheotomy tube. “The fact that Tim is beginning to use words is remarkable as is his strength and determination,” said Johnson’s wife, Barb. “He even maintains his sense of humor when I share emails about his grandsons’ adventures.” –Sarah Lueck

Update: The senator has responded correctly when asked his name, though there is not much sound coming out of his mouth because of the tracheotomy tube, his spokeswoman, Julianne Fisher, told the AP. “It is clear that he understands that people are introducing themselves, he is looking at name badges to try and associate it with the person, he is saying words and responding to commands,'’ she said. “It’s clear the electricity is on and the system is humming.'’

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Deja Vu All Over Again: 1967, Vietnam, Presidential Speech, 2007, Iraq, Presidential Speech, Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Attytood: "E-Day": It was 40 years ago today

This comes with a huge hat tip to a good Friend of Attytood who was born 40 years ago on this date -- Happy Birthday, dude! -- and as a result is more up to speed on what happened on January 10, 1967, than the rest of us.

The big news story that night? President Lyndon B. Johnson's State of the Union address.

The topic that dominated all others: Vietnam.

I'm going to guide you to some excerpts of that address -- exactly 40 years ago tonight. See how it compares to some of the excerpts from President Bush's speech that were just released minutes ago:

LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967: We have chosen to fight a limited war in Vietnam in an attempt to prevent a larger war--a war almost certain to follow, I believe, if the Communists succeed in overrunning and taking over South Vietnam by aggression and by force. I believe, and I am supported by some authority, that if they are not checked now the world can expect to pay a greater price to check them later.

GWB, Jan. 10, 2007: Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror – and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.

LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967: I wish I could report to you that the conflict is almost over. This I cannot do. We face more cost, more loss, and more agony. For the end is not yet. I cannot promise you that it will come this year--or come next year. Our adversary still believes, I think, tonight, that he can go on fighting longer than we can, and longer than we and our allies will be prepared to stand up and resist.

GWB, Jan. 10, 2007: Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.


Go read the whole post -- it's eerie.

Juicer McGwire Rejected by Hall Of Fame Voters

Philly fans held this sign up for Barry Bonds last spring


Here's how McGwire and Bonds and Sosa and all those juicers did it:

But I'm not here to talk about the past.

NYTimes: Steroid Cloud Stops McGwire From Entering Hall

Bill Plaschke, LATimes: McGwire's call to the Hall should remain unanswered


DAN SHAUGHNESSY, Boston Globe: A strong message sent to McGwire

Ronald Blum, AP, WaPo: Don't Expect Hall Call, Big Mac

Global Warming News, January 9, 2007

Brian Schweitzer with a vial of fuel made from coal (Telegraph [uk])

Tom Friedman meets my guy Brian Schweitzer [TimesSelect Wall; also here] and likes what he sees; Schweitzer is touting clean coal technology, which I'm not sold on even though I think he's great. He certainly won over Friedman, who's probably just happy to stop talking about Iraq and Friedman Units (Hint: The next six months are ALWAYS critical).

Last year officially the hottest on record. Great.

"No one should be surprised that 2006 is the hottest year on record for the U.S.," said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a public interest group. "When you look at temperatures across the globe, every single year since 1993 has been in the top 20 warmest years on record."

"Realistically, we have to start fighting global warming in the next 10 years if we want to secure a safe environment for our children and grandchildren," she said.


The Beeb caught a Chrysler economist
mocking European attitudes toward global warming:

describing climate change as "way, way in the future, with a high degree of uncertainty".

a comment which Chrysler has now disavowed.

The UN is trying to convene a meeting
to prepare the successor to the Kyoto protocol; I would advise January 2009, after the Master of Disaster has left the White House.

Guantanamo Unclassified

Inventive lawyering by some public defenders in Oregon who were assigned to represent one of the disappeared souls in Guantanamo Gulag. Since Bushco's draconian rules don't allow the lawyers to really represent their clients, they've put together a video of some of the interviews they did with witnesses in Pakistan who know the man is an innocent caught up in our anti-Muslim dragnet. The video is about 9 minutes in length:



I saw this story on BoingBoing

Breaking: Deuce Gets His Work Permit


EPL, watch out!

Boston Herald: Dempsey to join Fulham

'that man just didn’t respect enlisted people'



From Art Pottery, Politics and Food:

A C-SPAN caller from Mississippi, this morning around 7:57 AM EST, presented his historic memory for national rumination before Mr. Bush's latest political attempt to save his doomed, lie-strewn presidency :

I do not believe that the President has a real good grasp of reality.
I don’t believe that he, uh, values the lives of enlisted men.
I served with him in the early 1970s.
I was in the Louisiana National Guard when he flew in from Texas.
He got drunk on a Fri--on a Saturday night.
He couldn’t fly out on Sunday morning.
And, from his treatment of me and other young people waiting for him to sober up on the Flight Line from 7 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon…It taught me that that man just didn’t respect enlisted people…That’s true.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Senator Tim Johnson Update: Good News (Updated)

BBC: US Democrat's health is improving

Mr Johnson's spokeswoman, Julianne Fisher, told news agencies that the senator's condition "had been upgraded from critical to fair".

"The senator continues to make progress," she said, adding: "The next step would be rehabilitation and we hope that would happen within the week."


Update: Here's the AP take on the story; significantly, Johnson still requires a ventilator at night.

Hybrids Are Economical

ELECTRIC PIGGY BANK: Detail shot of the engine of the 2007 Toyota Camry hybrid, a popular new hybrid model.
(Beatrice de Gea / LAT)

Despite previous studies to the contrary, a new study reported in today's LATimes says hybrid cars save their owners significant amounts of money over five years. Here's my favorite part of the article:

There is no better example, the study says, than Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius. The study concludes that a Prius owner over five years will save $13,408 over a similar-size sedan that is not a hybrid.

This makes sense to me, especially when you factor in resale value. I saw a 2005 Prius with 39,000 miles advertised in the local paper this weekend for $20,000, which is pretty much the price of a brand new 2006 Prius if you got the $3,150 tax credit.

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy: January 9, 2007

Commander Codpiece with his buddy Jack _____off

Today is the 5th anniversary of the founding of that abomination, the Guantanimo Bay Gulag. (dailykos)

John Edwards speaks out against the war escalators and their lies. (Atrios) Edwards seems to be making a concerted effort not to be a mealy-mouthed milquetoast or managed to death by consultants. Go Johnny Go.

In not-news, Joe Lieberman is despicable. But we already knew that. (Brilliant at Breakfast)

Photo of Chimpy McFlightsuit and his enabler (above) dug up by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). You know, Bush and the guy he can't remember, but nonetheless has spent the last four years disappearing all the official records that might tell us they met. That guy.

Today is the Home Office tribunal hearing on whether England will grant Clint Dempsey a work permit and let him join Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra at Fulham FC. The Boston Globe thinks it's likely the permit will be granted as Dempsey was injured for one of the matches that he didn't play. If he had played he'd qualify for the permit automatically because he would have played in 75% of the US National Team matches in the last two years. You can check in at the boy's website to see how he made out. I wanna see him do the Texas Two-Step celebration on the banks of the Thames!

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Rich Get Richer


Which is the real point of Bush's deceptively marketed tax cuts. He's working for his base: The Haves, and the Have Mores.

NYTimes: Tax Cuts Offer Most for Very Rich, Study Says

Households in the top 1 percent of earnings, which had an average income of $1.25 million, saw their effective individual tax rates drop to 19.6 percent in 2004 from 24.2 percent in 2000.

More Questionable Investments By Gates Foundation Revealed

Part II of LATimes report on Gates Foundation's questionable investments:

Money clashes with mission
The Gates Foundation invests heavily in sub-prime lenders and other businesses that undercut its good works.


The conflict is one of many that a Times investigation has found between the foundation's investments and its good works. The Gates Foundation reaps vast profits every year from companies whose actions contradict its mission of improving society in the United States and around the world, particularly the lot of people afflicted by poverty and disease.

The Times has found that the Gates Foundation had major investments in:

• Mortgage companies that were accused in lawsuits or by government officials of making it easier for thousands of people to lose their homes.

• A healthcare firm that has agreed to pay more than $1.5 billion to settle lawsuits accusing it of medical lapses and fraud going back a decade.

• Chocolate companies said by the U.S. government to be profiting from the slave labor of children.

Critics fault the Gates Foundation most for failing to use the power of its immense wealth to improve the behavior of the companies in which it invests. At the end of 2005, the foundation's endowment stood at $35 billion. In June 2006, Warren E. Buffett, the world's second-richest man after Bill Gates, pledged to add about $31 billion.

That $66 billion will give the Gates Foundation more than 10% of the assets of all of the charitable foundations in the United States and provide it with unmatched muscle and potential moral authority. Though it does a vast amount of good with its grants, the foundation declines to use its influence in efforts to reform companies whose business practices flout its goals.

Western Pennsyvania: Take Cover


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Cheney to hunt at Rolling Rock

About.com: Dick Cheney Hunting Jokes

Tip o' the hat to RawStory

Headline of the Day: Quagmire of the Vanities









Paul Krugman, New York Times: Quagmire of the Vanities

I began writing about the Bush administration’s infallibility complex, the president’s Captain Queeg-like inability to own up to mistakes, almost a year before the invasion of Iraq. When you put a man like that in a position of power — the kind of position where he can punish people who tell him what he doesn’t want to hear, and base policy decisions on the advice of people who play to his vanity — it’s a recipe for disaster.

It's a TimesSelectWall article; you can also find it at Welcome to Pottersville, Poltika Erotika, and Wealthy Frenchman, among others.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Bill Gates Needs Some Socially Responsible Investment Advice


LATimes finds that Gates Foundation investments are killing the very people it purports to help with its charitable works. Poor folks get free Gates Foundation vaccinations then spend the rest of their lives breathing fumes from the local oil company -- whose chief investor is the Gates Foundation. Left hand, right hand?

Bill: Try

Calvert

Domini

PaxWorld

Or just stop investing in oil companies. That would be a good start.

John McCain's Bullshit Express


John McCain is no maverick. He'll say whatever he thinks is the most popular thing du jour. The Carpetbagger Report has documented thirteen (13) McCain flip-flops. Play at home! If you can add to the list, leave your McCain Bullshit Express Flip-Flop in Comments.

* McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade to saying the exact opposite.

* McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but has since decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks. (Indeed, McCain has now hired Falwell’s debate coach.)

* McCain used to oppose Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, but he reversed course in February.

[]

And now McCain has gone from insisting that the war in Iraq would be easy to insisting that he’s always said the war in Iraq would be hard.
And yet, you’ll still find most of the political establishment arguing that McCain’s strength as a candidate is his credibility.


link via BoingBoing.

TIme To End The War For Oil


Here's why Chimpy McFlightsuit is proposing escalation: It's all about the oil, the riches, the spoils of war. The sons and daughters of the poor will die so the uber-rich can get richer. The Independent (uk) reports that the Iraq parliament is planning to introduce a law that will allow foreigners (giant international oil firms, that is) to take Iraq's oil, for profit. Not only were the WMD not there, they were a complete smokescreen for the real purpose of the war: to make money for Bush and his cronies. Hundreds of thousands of dead, for money. The moneychangers are in the temple. Sickening.


Independent (uk): Future of Iraq: The spoils of war
How the West will make a killing on Iraqi oil riches


Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.


Independent (uk): Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity

Independent (uk): Iraq poised to end drought for thirsting oil giants
After 35 years, the third-largest reserves in the world are to be opened to American and British companies


Independent (uk): (Commentary) Leading article: The oil rush


Gerald Ford's only achievement in office, according to Frank Rich in today's NYTimes, was getting the U.S. out of Vietnam . Bush isn't getting out of Iraq. His entire plan is staying until he leaves, then dumping the fetid mess in the lap of the next president. That's the plan. Don't let anybody tell you different.