Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thriller, South of Manila

1,500 plus CPDRC inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines at practice!

Michael Jackson must be so proud.

hat tip to the Group News Blog.

Running Republican Chickenhawks

Excellent article in Salon about Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney and how they avoided service in Vietnam. Typical Republican chickenhawks, they talk big, but they and their children are never the ones to go fight their big, important wars. Rudy and Romney: Artful dodgers
When the most belligerent Republicans start to beat the war drums, it's important to look at what they're trying to hide.

As the great tabloid columnist Jimmy Breslin noted 20 years later, during the former prosecutor's first campaign for mayor: "Giuliani did not attend the war in Vietnam because federal Judge Lloyd MacMahon [sic] wrote a letter to the draft board in 1969 and got him out. Giuliani was a law clerk for MacMahon, who at the time was hearing Selective Service cases. MacMahon's letter to Giuliani's draft board stated that Giuliani was so necessary as a law clerk that he could not be allowed to get shot at in Vietnam."


Like Giuliani and millions of other young American men at the time, Romney started out with student deferments. But he left Stanford after only two semesters in 1966 and would have become eligible for the draft -- except that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Michigan, his home state, provided him with a fresh deferment as a missionary. According to an excellent investigative series that appeared last month in the Boston Globe, that deferment, which described Romney as a "minister of religion or divinity student," protected him from the draft between July 1966 and February 1969, when he enrolled in Brigham Young University to complete his undergraduate degree. Mormons in each state could select a limited number of young men upon whom to confer missionary status during the Vietnam years, and Romney was fortunate enough to be chosen. (Coincidentally, or possibly not, Mitt's father, George W. Romney, was governor of Michigan at the time.)

No wonder they both supported Bush's pardon of Scooter Libby. They don't believe Republicans are subject to the same rules as the rest of us.

Beckham and ...?

A man walks past a David Beckham advertising poster at Los Angeles Galaxy stadium shop in Carson, California, July 20, 2007. He is scheduled to play against Chelsea on Saturday, although an ankle injury may prevent his debut. REUTERS/Toby Melville (UNITED STATES)

Good article on the BBC Football site about David Beckham's LA Galaxy teammates, heretofore pretty much anonymous except for Landycakes Donovan (Invisi-Landon in big games) and old pro Cobi Jones, the most-capped player on the US Men's National Team.

BBC Football: LA Galaxy pen pics

Grand Ol' Pervert Party

It's hard trying to keep up with all the Republican sex scandals. But it's important to keep this in mind when you hear Republicans bleating about family values. Here are the most recent Republican hypocrites who got caught. Oh, let's just call them Republicans; hypocrite is just redundant.

(1) United States Senator David Vitter (R-La): His telephone number appears on the DC Madam's phone list 5 times between October 12, 1999, and February 27, 2001 (fun fact: that was Mardi Gras!); two of those phone calls were made during House roll call votes. He trotted his wife in front of cameras during a press conference (video link) in which he refused to take questions; the look on his wife's face belied her strong words of support.

Mrs. Vitter couldn't resist a little slam at Hillary in 2000 when Mr. Vitter the john was simultaneously running for office and employing prostitutes. I bet she regrets those words today:

I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary,” Wendy Vitter told Newhouse News. “If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

A one-source story about Vitter's previous house of prostitution in New Orleans says that Vitter has a diaper fetish. Ewwww. I can't get the mental image of him standing on the floor of the Senate House outfitted in his diaper, calling Debra Palfrey's escort service during a Senate House rollcall, out of my mind. Wouldn't it be fun if, I don't know, Henry Hyde or some other Republican hypocrite (stop being redundant!), was presiding over the Senate at that very moment?

(2) Last week the chair of John McCain's campaign committee in Florida, Florida state Rep. Bob Allen was arrested for trying to give a police officer $20 to let Representive Allen perform a blow job on said police officer(CNN: 'an unspecified act'! They specified it plenty when it was Bill Clinton, and no money or public bathrooms involved.) in a public bathroom. Ewwww, in a public bathroom.

(3) Yesterday there was North Carolina State Representative David Almond, second term Republican. This headline from Alternet says it all: Republican State Rep. Exposed Himself to Female Employee, Chased Her Screaming, "Suck It"

Oh, but there's more. The female employee in question was reportedly his own legislative aide, a 63-year old widow. No wonder he was forced to resign, and

The State House wasted no time making changes. His name plate was removed from the voting board. All that remained on his desk was a bowl of Almond Joy candy bars.

(4) Today's addition is 74-year-old Republican North Carolina county commissioner (and retired Baptist minister) Coy Privette, who paid a prostitute for sex. He got caught when the prostitute apparently stole blank checks from him. He filed a forgery affidavit with his bank, which triggered a police fraud investigation. Bingo!

Charlotte Observer: Official accused of paying for sex
SBI: Cabarrus' Privette met with woman at motel in May and June

These are the people who think they have the right to judge others, and to ban same sex couples from marrying. Grand Ol' Perverts, indeed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Envivonmental Destruction From Our Friends the Coal Companies

The latest method of coal mining is 'mountaintop removal', a bland-sounding name for the destruction of the West Virginia mountains with dynamite. This causes flooding, pollution, and the destruction of the natural environment. Watch the video:

hat tip to Suburban Guerrilla

Future Leaders of the Republican Party

Max Blumenthal, HuffPo: Generation Chickenhawk: The Unauthorized College Republican National Convention Tour

Watch these chickenhawks warily; they may not be willing to go to Iraq, but these are your future Republican Party leaders-in-training. Beautiful young shock troops for Bush

College Republicans are the party's farm team. Stalwarts who got their start as College Republican leaders include Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and right-wing strategist par excellence; and [Karl] Rove himself.

And don't forget Republican bagman Jack Abramoff, former College Republican National Chairman.

Hillary Trivialized in the WaPo

Democratic Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton speaks to her supporters while campaigning in Nashua, New Hampshire July 13, 2007. REUTERS/Lisa Hornak (UNITED STATES)

WaPo: Fashion
Hillary Clinton's Tentative Dip Into New Neckline Territory

There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Next from Robin Givhan: Do the Republican candidates dress to the left or the right?

If a Republican dresses to the left, can he still call himself a conservative?

Nah, that will never happen. Givhan writes mainly about women and how they look. (Women are always reduced to how they look, not what they think or do. Always.) When she writes about men (George Bush's Crocs, Cheney wearing a casual ski parka to a Holocaust memorial service) she writes about outerwear. She doesn't get close to the Presidential-wannabees packages. No writing about men and how their pants are tailored. No, she writes about Hillary Clinton's "sexuality and femininity". She will never write anything so intimate about a man's dress. She will never look as closely at the way the male candidates look. Never.

Barroid Hits 752*, 753*

A baseball fan holds a up a sign referring to San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds after he hit a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 19, 2007, in Chicago. It was Bonds' 752nd career home run.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

WaPo: Bonds Gets Two Closer
Giants' Slugger Hits Nos. 752, 753


Posse of Mittwits

Not one of Romney's staff; just a fan. Mittwit.

The Mittwit's best and brightest campaign staff made up fake police badges to get special treatment. Mittwits.

Boston Herald: Romney aide’s bogus badges: Sources detail ‘illegal’ security tactic

In an apparent violation of the law, a controverisal aide to ex-Gov. Mitt Romney created phony law enforcement badges that he and other staffers used on the campaign trail to strong-arm reporters, avoid paying tolls and trick security guards into giving them immediate access to campaign venues, sources told the Herald.

The bogus badges were part of the bizarre security tactics allegedly employed by Jay Garrity, the director of operations for Romney who is under investigation for impersonating a law enforcement officer in two states. Garrity is on a leave of absence from the campaign while the probe is ongoing.

A campaign source said Garrity directed underlings on Romney’s presidential staff to use the badges at events nationwide to create an image of security and to ensure that the governor’s events went smoothly.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hans von Spakovsky: Liar

McClatchy: Ex-Justice Department lawyer changes his testimony

WASHINGTON — A former senior Justice Department official has backed off sworn Senate testimony that he consulted with senior agency voting-rights lawyers before inaccurately advising Arizona officials they could deny thousands of voters their rights to provisional ballots.

Hans von Spakovsky, who hopes to win confirmation to a full six-year term on the Federal Election Commission, revised his statement in a recent letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee after former senior department voting-rights lawyers challenged his veracity.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee's chairwoman, has yet to schedule a vote on the nominations of von Spakovsky and three others to the bipartisan FEC. The committee is under pressure to act on the nominations, because vacancies have left the main election-regulatory agency limping along as it heads into a presidential election year.

Von Spakovsky couldn't be reached for comment.

Keep the pressure on the committee to reject this vote-suppressing loser:

ePluribusMedia: Keep Yer Vote Thievin' Hans Off (the FEC): Action Alert!

Memo to Manhattan: Dust Floats, and Asbestos Dust Floats Longer Than Other Dusts

A man wears a respirator over his face near the site of a steam pipe explosion in midtown Manhattan during the morning commute in New York July 19, 2007. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The government is lying to the people of New York City again. The steam pipe that exploded in midtown last night was insulated with asbestos, and asbestos was found in the debris in the area. New York City's Office of Emergency Management then announced that the air was safe to breathe.

That is complete and utter bullshit. I have represented people exposed to asbestos since 1983, and I know the following to be true:

(1) Dust floats.

(2) Asbestos dust floats longer than other dusts. Asbestos has unique aerodynamic properties. The mineral frays into tiny microscopic rectangles, and they float in the air like little balsa airplanes.

(3) THERE IS NO SAFE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS. Asbestos is a carcinogen, and there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen.

Don't listen to the authorities. If you live or work in the affected area, you are breathing air which has asbestos particles in it. It may be a small amount, but it's there, and there's no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen. Limit your exposure. Keep your windows closed. Above all, don't listen to the government when they tell you there's no risk. That's false and misleading. There's a reason that the people working at the site are wearing respirators. There's asbestos in the air.

Incredibly, asbestos has not been banned in this country. It is still sold every day and more and more asbestos enters our environment. I support Senator Patty Murray's bill to ban asbestos.

CryptKeeper Return?

Separated at birth.

I guess it's hard to keep a bad rich man down.


July 16, 2007 -- DON Imus is coming back to the airwaves in September, according to private eye Bo Dietl, who was a regular on "Imus in the Morning" on WFAN. Dietl said on Post State Editor Fred Dicker's Albany radio show, "I'm not supposed to say, but . . . if he was to be coming back, I would look to September." When Dicker asked if he meant satellite radio, Dietl replied, "Broadcast." Another source says Imus has been scouting comedy clubs looking for a black sidekick who will take the sting out of any future racial cracks like the one that got him booted off the air.

A black sidekick. How enlightened. Will Imus bring back his pal Bernie, too? Then Bernie can tell the jokes the black sidekick will 'take the sting out of'. Don Imus Returns: The I-Man Back On Air In September

Sunday, July 15, 2007

USA 1, Norway 0

Kristine Lilly, right, and Christie Rampone, left, of the U.S. wave to the fans as they leave the field after the U.S. defeated Norway 1-0 in an exhibition soccer game in East Hartford, Conn., Saturday, July 14, 2007. Lilly was credited with an assist on the goal scored in the 66th minute of the game by Carli Lloyd that gave the U.S. a 1-0 victory over Norway. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

Rampone was named the Woman of the Match.

Coach Mom & attended this game last night. Our seats were directly behind Christie Rampone's elbow in the photo above. Field seats are indeed that; our feet were on the grass (I can confirm that it is real, as I stuck my finger down into the dirt) and we were seated four feet from the sideline. They sold about a hundred of these, and lined up 100 red camp chairs with the USSoccer logo on them behind the advertiser's wall. We got to keep the seat!

It was Kristine Lilly Day in the state of Connecticut. The festivities were ... underwhelming. The governor's proclamation was given by some low-level staffer, and Sunil Gulati of USSoccer didn't show up either. ESPN cut off the showing of the USSoccer video tribute to Lilly to keep to its time schedule.

USSoccer must not have a marketing staff. They only had a few souvenir stands at the game, and THEY WEREN'T SELLING A KRISTINE LILLY SHIRT. OR A LILLY JERSEY. On Kristine Lilly Day. Kristine Lilly, the pride of Wilton, Connecticut. In front of her home state fans. Ten thousand fans with money in their pockets couldn't buy a Lilly shirt from USSoccer in Hartford Connecticut. For Christ's sake. How stupid can you get?

Ten years ago when you went to a national team game, you could only buy a "Hamm" shirt. Like Mia didn't play with the greatest player in the history of women's soccer, Michelle Akers. Like fans wouldn't have wanted to wear Akers, Lilly, Foudy, Scurry, Chastain or Fawcett shirts. And today USSoccer has the same brain-dead marketing scheme. Abby Wambach is the only player on the national team whose shirt is sold at games. Kristine Lilly may be the most-capped player in the history of international football, male or female, she may be the captain of the team, she may be heading for her record-setting fifth World Cup, but the morons at USSoccer don't think it's worth selling her shirt at a World Cup tuneup game in her home state. American football fans are ruled by idiots.

Go on the USSoccer site. Click on the link to the new shirt for the Women's World Cup. You can buy shirts of four players whose names are already on the shirt: Boxx, Tarpley, Solo, and Wambach. But if you want a Kristine Lilly shirt? You have to pay $5 extra to have her name and number imprinted. She's the captain, for crying out loud. Idiots.

The game itself was great. The US started the game in our half of the field, so we saw several excellent clears and takeaways by Christie Rampone (the former Christie Pierce, which is what I always call her when I get excited). The back line was immense in this game. Norway was only credited with one shot on goal. Cat Reddick did have one too slow backpass, and Stephanie Lopez mistakenly kicked the ball into a Norway player that bounced back over her head, but other than that Rampone, Reddick, Markgraf, and Lopez were impenetrable.

The offense wasn't as tight. For some reason coach Greg Ryan has Abby Wambach wandering all over the field. Note to Ryan: Wambach is not the Energizer Bunny (that's Kristine Lilly). I can't understand why Abby isn't the Ruud van Nistelrooy of the team, planted in the 18 yard box, waiting for service. She's a big woman and having her run from the left to the right to the middle constantly just wears her out. (Does Shaq bring the ball up the floor? No. He belongs in the paint. Abby belongs in the box.) The US was coming towards us in the second half and she was drenched in sweat, every run an effort by the final 20 minutes (check out this photo to see what I mean).

Coach Mom thought the US really missed Heather O'Reilly, both her speed and her penetrating runs at the defense, and Shannon Boxx. We thought Boxx was hurt, but my sis reports that on ESPN2 Julie Foudy criticized Ryan's decision not to play Boxx. In the midfield, Lloyd scored the only goal, while Osborne did not play well at all and Chalupny was not really a factor. Neither was Lindsey Tarpley, and when Natasha Kai came in her speed was noticeable. I'd love to see more counterattacking with long passes to free Kai and her blazing speed but it's not something we really do. I really hope Kai is named to the final squad (three spots remain). World Cups are won by the young. Especially when the young are led by wily old veterans like Kristine Lilly, our indefatigable warrior.

Those two, the young and the old, combined to create the lone US goal. It happened so fast that we weren't even sure the referee had called for the corner. We saw Lilly whip the pass in to Lloyd who headed it into the Norway goal. On the replay we could see that it was Kai who cleverly took the quick short corner, passing to Lilly.

The next game for the US is against Japan on Saturday, July 28th in San Jose, California. It's at 7:00 Pacific time, and no TV coverage, so to watch it you have to tune it to USSoccer's MatchAccess (if it's working) at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time. Go USA. Photo Gallery Photo Gallery

Hartford Courant: A Tribute To Lilly

Hartford Courant: `Drained' Solo Keeps Performance Level High U.S. Women Defeat Norway, 1-0, in Connecticut Saturday, July 14, is Kristine Lilly Day in Connecticut Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 1, Norway 0