Saturday, July 28, 2007

Let's Sell Arms to the Saudis

Then when we those weapons show up in Iraq, we can look really surprised. How did that happen? Our good friends the Saudis. Terror financers. 15 of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Let's give them smart bombs.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

McClatchy: U.S. to sell advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and others

NYTimes: U.S. Set to Offer Huge Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia

Friday, July 27, 2007

Your New Healthcare Card 'SiCKO' Health Care Card

Download the PDF of the card below and follow these simple guidelines:

1. Carry the card in your wallet with your insurance card.
2. If denied treatment, show your SiCKO card to your doctor/insurer.
3. Ask your insurer if they'd like to be in Michael Moore's next movie, DVD, or appear on
4. Tell them that, if denied, you will seek coverage from your local media.
5. E-mail your story to

Mr. Potato Head * Chases Hank

This could be my new favorite of all the anti-Bonds signs. But that Philly left field's close.

UPDATE: Sorry, the photo has been taken down, so I've removed it. It was a picture of a woman wearing a huge San Francisco batting helmet, with a sign saying, "Barry, I found your hat."

hat tip to SPORTSbyBROOKS

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lionel Messi, Age 5

A great dribbler from the beginning:

hat tip to Who Ate All the Pies?

They Hate Us For Our High MPG

I'm proud to say I drive a Prius. What does Robert Samuelson drive? He's not telling.

I want to know what Robert Samuelson drives. He insults me and all other Prius owners with his column today, calling us "show-offs" who aren't serious about cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Hey, message to you, moron, I can't change the government's CAFE standards. I can only change my own, and now I get 48 MPG instead of 28 MPG. That's not some theoretical goal. That's my mileage today.

He also derides Prius owners for buying the Prius instead of Honda's Civic hybrid, which gets 10 miles per gallon less for the same price. That's not style, bonehead, that's performance. Why pay the same for less?

I bet he drives some big gas-guzzling SUV.

Robert Samuelson, WaPo: Prius Politics

My younger son calls the Toyota Prius a "hippie car," and he has a point. Not that Prius drivers are hippies. Toyota says that typical buyers are 54 and have incomes of $99,800; 81 percent are college graduates. But, like hippies, they're making a loud lifestyle statement: We're saving the planet; what are you doing?

This helps explain why the Prius so outsells the rival Honda Civic Hybrid. Both have similar base prices, about $22,000, and fuel economy (Prius, 60 miles per gallon city/51 highway; Civic, 49 mpg city/51 highway). But Prius sales in the first half of 2007 totaled 94,503, nearly equal to all of 2006. Civic sales were only 17,141, up 7.4 percent from 2006. The Prius's advantage is its distinct design, which announces its owners as environmentally virtuous. It's a fashion statement. Meanwhile, the Civic hybrid can't be distinguished by appearance from the polluting, gas-guzzling mob.

The Prius is, I think, a parable for the broader politics of global warming. Prius politics is mostly about showing off, not curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Politicians pander to "green" constituents who want to feel good about themselves. Grandiose goals are declared. But measures to achieve them are deferred -- or don't exist.


Deep reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases might someday occur if both plug-in hybrid vehicles and underground storage of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants become commercially viable. Meanwhile, Prius politics is a delusional exercise in public relations that, while not helping the environment, might hurt the economy.

National Park Service Cutting Trees at Gettysburg

USAToday: Photo by William Bretzger
A cannon rests on Cemetery Ridge, marking a Union line of artillery and facing recently cleared land that previously had obstructed the views.

This project is controversial as it cuts some trees over 100 years old. But on balance, I think it will be good. When you go to Gettysburg, you try to imagine the battles; having the landscape look as it did in 1863 will aid that imagining. Trees to be cut this week on battlefield

The project will cut about 10 acres of trees near the battle site, part of the park's plan to cut 576 acres of non-historic trees to restore as many 1863 viewsheds as possible.

So far, the Park Service has cut 165 acres of trees, but has left "witness trees" - those that were there at the time of the battle - intact, said Jim Johnson, chief of resource planning.

Johnson said a staff biotechnician marks trees old enough to have stood during the battle as not to be cut.

He said the Park Service spared a tall, shady tree that stands on top of Devil's Den because it probably stood during the battle, though it would have been a sapling then.

The Park Service will continue to treat cut areas for two years to prevent weeds from growing in and prevent trees from repopulating the area, Johnson said.

"Every meadow wants to be a woods if you don't cut it and maintain it," Johnson said. Slideshow: Gettysburg, When The Sun Goes Down [reenactors!]

USAToday: Sights set on taking back battlefield — to 1863

The finished rehabilitation project is expected to cost nearly $3.5 million in federal and private funds. The Park Service is using historical maps, photos, sketches and archival records to recreate topographic and other features. The plan calls for clearing woods, replanting orchards, restoring fencing and rehabilitating farm lanes and roads that once crisscrossed the battlefield.

Perhaps the most controversial part of the plan calls for demolishing noted architect Richard Neutra's 1962 Cyclorama, home to Paul Dominique Philippoteaux's historic circa 1884 painting of the battle.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It also sits on Cemetery Ridge, the place where Union soldiers repulsed the ill-fated Pickett's Charge.

USAToday: Photo Gallery: Gettysburg: Then and Now Park Service Removing Gettysburg Trees
576 Acres Of Newer Trees Set To Come Down
(link also has slideshow of images of tree cutting and video of 2005 renovations to Gettysburg)

I Don't Believe Him

That's the Sweeneys on the left in happier times

Former Congressman John Sweeney (aka Blutarski), (NY-20), now embroiled in divorce proceedings, claims his soon-to-be-ex-wife battered him. You've got to be kidding. He says he lied about the domestic violence police report that was released days before the election in November "to save his marriage". Conveniently, that lie painted him as being the subject of a sinister plot to get him by the State Police, or Kirsten Gillibrand, or whoever else he pointed fingers at. I point my finger at him in this one. I put my money on Blutarski as the abuser.

Albany Times-Union: Sweeney says he lied about domestic spat
Ex-congressman claims he wanted to shield wife from blame

JOHNSTOWN -- Former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney admitted to a gaggle of TV cameras Monday that he lied last year in a news conference when he said "there was no domestic violence" at his home.

Sweeney claimed he lied then to protect his wife because, he said, she was intoxicated and had assaulted him. The police report on that incident, which occurred late one night in December 2005, became public days before the November 2006 congressional election.

"I had to make a choice about whether my marriage was going to survive or I was staying in Congress," the Clifton Park Republican told the media, standing with his first wife, Betty Sweeney, and their three children. "If I stood up and told exactly what happened, I would have lost my marriage."


Sweeney lost the election to Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand. His marriage fell apart eight months later. Sweeney, 51, filed for divorce July 11.


He described Gayle Sweeney's physical mistreatment of him as "pretty extreme" and said he is afraid of her.
Friday, in an interview with the Times Union, Mrs. Sweeney accused her husband of verbal and physical abuse.


Meanwhile, domestic violence experts traveled to the Fulton County courtroom in support of Gayle Sweeney, saying John Sweeney's counter-accusations that he was injured are "a common tactic" in divorce cases.

Statistics prove that women rarely batter men, said Carole Fox of the Schenectady YWCA. "A lot of times, batterers will get orders of protection," she said.


Last November, with her husband's congressional seat on the line, Gayle Sweeney, 36, made an 11th-hour campaign commercial accusing Gillibrand of leaking the report in a bid to win office. Mrs. Sweeney told the Times Union last week she was "coerced" by her husband's political advisers into making certain statements defending him on the eve of the election.

Albany Times-Union: Sweeney's wife claims he abused her
Says she fears for her life and that election eve denial was "coerced"

Eddie, Eddie, Eddie

SI: The Wizards' Eddie Johnson (just 23), is the first U.S. player to score eight goals in his first eight international games.
Wade Jackson/Icon Sports Media
SI's caption fails to note the Eddie only scored 3 times in his next 22 caps.

Eddie Johnson has turned down a transfer to newly promoted English Premier League club Derby County FC. (Note to AP, it's Derby County, not Derby. Calling them Derby is like calling Manchester United 'Manchester'. Wrong.) Eddie Johnson will stay a mediocre player as long as he stays in the MLS. David Beckham alone does not make a world class league. Johnson is 23 and if he doesn't watch out his prime will be looking at him in the rear view mirror. Go to Europe, young man.

SI: No thanks!
MLS star Johnson rejects transfer to Premier League

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Eddie Johnson, Major League Soccer's leading scorer, has turned down a transfer from the Kansas City Wizards to Derby of England's Premier League.

[] [T]he transfer fee offered by Derby, said to be in the $3.6 million range. Derby won promotion to the Premier League this past season, after being relegated from England's top division following the 2001-02 season.

Kansas City Star: Johnson rejects deal with English club

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

David Halberstram's Last Words: The History Boys

Vanity Fair: Truth
The History Boys
by David Halberstram
August 2007

In the twilight of his presidency, George W. Bush and his inner circle have been feeding the press with historical parallels: he is Harry Truman—unpopular, besieged, yet ultimately to be vindicated—while Iraq under Saddam was Europe held by Hitler. To a serious student of the past, that's preposterous. Writing just before his untimely death, David Halberstam asserts that Bush's "history," like his war, is based on wishful thinking, arrogance, and a total disdain for the facts.

Go read it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

What Really Matters?

New video from the John Edwards campaign:

30 Greatest Footballers: One Man's Opinion

A guy who calls himself hkdollarboy2 has put together two great videos on YouTube with his Top 30 football players of all time. Some great archival footage.

hat top to 101 Great Goals

Action Alert: Oppose Navy Use of Sonar

No more beached whales

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released a Proposed Rule, Number 062206A. This proposed rule would allow the Navy to use Low Frequency Active (LFA) Sonar in most oceans for the next five years.

LFA is bad stuff. The sounds of sonar travel thousands of miles in the ocean and harm the things that live there. For more information, click on the Fact-Esque link at the bottom of this post.

Only 15 days were allowed for comments, and today is the last day. So please send a comment opposing LFA!

Send an email to this address:

You can copy the comment I sent:

To the National Marine Fisheries Service:

I am writing this email in opposition to Proposed Rule Number 062206A.

I oppose the use of Low Frequency Active (LFA) Sonar for the following reasons:

(1) LFA sound can travel at levels that are harmful to the marine environment for thousands of miles underwater.

(2) LFA causes mass strandings and deaths of marine mammals.

(3) Our oceans are already under pressure from pollution and global warming. Adding LFA will just further harm ocean inhabitants.

(4) The NMFS is supposed to protect fish, not harm them. This rule does not further your agency's goals and is not congruent with the latest scientific research on LFA.

(5) I agree with the following groups that have opposed the use of LFA: the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, the United Nations Law of the Sea deliberations, the European Union Parliament, and the IUCN-World Conservation Union.

Please do not approve proposed rule number 062206A.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments.


hat tip to Fact-Esque, which I saw on Newsfare

Fact-esque: Very Easy Anti-Sonar Action - Deadline for Public Comments TODAY

Flooding Linked to Global Warming
The severe flooding can best be appreciated from the air. The Norman abbey in Tewkesbury, founded in 1087 and consecrated in 1121, now stands alone against the advancing flood water.

Independent (uk): England under water: scientists confirm global warming link to increased rain

It's official: the heavier rainfall in Britain is being caused by climate change, a major new scientific study will reveal this week, as the country reels from summer downpours of unprecedented ferocity.

More intense rainstorms across parts of the northern hemisphere are being generated by man-made global warming, the study has established for the first time ­ an effect which has long been predicted but never before proved.

The study's findings will be all the more dramatic for being disclosed as Britain struggles to recover from the phenomenal drenching of the past few days, during which more than a month's worth of rain fell in a few hours in some places, and floods forced thousands from their homes.

The Town of Colchester in New York State got two months worth of rain -- 8 inches -- in two hours last month. Those flash floods washed away homes and four people lost their lives.

This is happening worldwide:

Times (uk): Global warming already changing rainfall

A STUDY has yielded the first confirmation that global warming is already affecting the world's rainfall patterns, bringing more precipitation to northern Europe, Canada and northern Russia but less to swathes of sub-Saharan Africa, southern India and Southeast Asia. Torrential rains cause flooding in South and Central Texas

As much as 17 inches of rain had fallen in some areas between 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, said Pat McDonald, a National Weather Service forecaster. Dozens of people were rescued, some by helicopter, but no serious injuries were reported in the state’s latest round of flooding. Report: Global warming could cause future flooding in Tel Aviv, Haifa

According to the projected scenarios, if no steps are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there will be a 3.3 degree rise in temperatures in the summer, and there will be a rise in the frequency, intensity and length of heat waves. There will also be a 20-30 percent drop in the annual amount of precipitation and a reduction in days of rainfall, but a rise in incidents of torrential rain.

Pakistan Daily Times: Floods could become more frequent
Parts of China had the heaviest rainfall since records began, killing more than 400. Some 770 people have been killed by flooding in South Asia with hundreds of thousands displaced by flash floods in southern Pakistan.

“They had no time to react,” said UNICEF spokeswoman Kathryn Grusovin from Balochistan. “They hadn’t seen rains like this in living memory. There had been episodes of flooding but this was right off the map. You are talking massive amounts of rain that has never been seen before.”

It is a similar story around the globe. More than 50 people were killed in Sudan. Hundreds had to flee homes in northern England as the water rose. In Colombia, flooding displaced some 50,000 people.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Our Dry Drunk President

Rocker/songwriter Steve Earle is interviewed by the Independent (uk) and tells some stories about George W. Bush and Alcoholics Anonymous. Which kind of blows the anonymity part of it, but there you go. (hat tip to Suburban Guerrilla)

"Somebody told me you said you resemble George W Bush in some ways..."

"Absolutely. I was with some people, and they were all asking about Bush. 'Why is he the way he is? Why does he keep repeating his mistakes?' I told them: Bush, like me, is a recovering addict. And George W Bush..." Earle stops himself. "I can't say what I was going to say, because it would be busting his anonymity."

There is the hint of a pause.

"But fuck him. I can't stand the motherfucker. George W Bush went to AA meetings when he was governor of Texas. I know people who... he was seen in meetings all the time he was governor, in Austin."

"That doesn't make him a bad person."

"No. But the reason this is important is that now, as President of the United States, going to Twelve-Step meetings is impossible. There are rules about that and the CIA writes those rules. The guy who established Alcoholics Anonymous took the principles from something called the Oxford Group, which was totally Anglican, then made a system that worked for anybody - even if they were agnostic."

"So AA meetings tempered Bush's instincts?"

"From the moment he took office, the Christian rhetoric started to ratchet up. In his life, he replaced the Twelve-Step Programme with fundamentalist Christianity. I really believe that."

If You Lived In Iowa or New Hampshire: Bill Richardson

Here's his stump speech. It's moved him into 3rd place in New Hampshire.

hat tip to the Liberal Values blog, which I saw on Newsfare

Apologize to Obama, You Mittwit

HuffPo: Romney Photographed Holding Up Sign Comparing Clinton, Obama To Bin Laden

And while you're at it, apologize to Hillary Clinton and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).


"I Challenge Anybody In Congress To Do My Rotation"

From the Guardian (uk); you have to go abroad to get real news about what the "surge" really means to Iraq, and to the U.S. soldiers on their second, third, fourth and fifth rotations:

Then go down to the next post and watch all those Bushco fuckers lie, then watch Bush laugh about not finding WMD in Iraq. Ha ha. Impeach their cold, empty souls.

hat tip to Brilliant at Breakfast

Watch This Video: "How to Create an Angry American"

Brewers Fans Greet Barroid*: He's No Hank Aaron

Fans on the left field third base side display signs with astericks to protest as San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds goes out to his left field position, as the Milwaukee Brewers come up to bat in the first inning of their National League MLB game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 20, 2007. Bonds is two home runs short of Hank Aarons career record of 755 home runs established on July 20, 1976 going into tonight's game. REUTERS/Allen Fredrickson (UNITED STATES)

John Cutsforth of Poynette, Wis., holds up a sign referring to Hank Aaron's home run record and San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds chase of it before the first inning of a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Giants Friday, July 20, 2007, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A fan holds up a sign as San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds bats during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, July 21, 2007, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Fans hold up signs during a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants Saturday, July 21, 2007, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Elizabeth Edwards

Every time I see her on TV I think, 'I wish she was running instead of her husband.' She speaks so directly and honestly. Reading this article made me admire her even more.

Wall Street Journal: The Nights and DaysOf Elizabeth Edwards
At home and on campaign, she juggles her difficult choices. 'How are you feeling?'