Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Delegates for Obama?

Michael Nagle/European Pressphoto Agency

A sign supporting Senator Barack Obama on Primary Day in Harlem. Some districts reported that no one had voted for him.

NYTimes: Unofficial Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote

[A] review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Adventures in Customer Service Hell

I have to get on the phone with my internet provider over a problem, and I think I'll just watch this video to pass the time. I wonder what they'll do if I start saying boo boo bah bah. Will the tech in India or Canada even notice?

hat tip to The Consumerist: Small Child Does Accurate Impression Of Father On The Phone With The Cable Company:

My friend, a massage therapist, had this forwarded to him by a client. The kid in the video is her great-nephew. According to my friend, "it's hilarious that the only thing you can clearly make out is him saying "bullshit"".

And Now For Something Completely Different

BBC: German sculptor Stefan Hempel paints wooden Easter bunnies in Stralsund, northern Germany.

Oceans in Peril

National Geographic: No Pristine Oceans Left, New Map Shows

Telegraph (uk): Man's effect on world's oceans revealed

Almost half of the world's oceans have been seriously affected by over-fishing, pollution and climate change, according to a major study of man's impact on marine life.

LATimes: Dead zones off Oregon and Washington likely tied to global warming, study says

Although scientists continue to amass data and tease out the details, all signs in the search for a cause point to stronger winds associated with a warming planet.

Dumb Americans

I want to read this book:

The Age of American Unreason, by Susan Jacoby

Her story of what prompted her to write the book is priceless:

NYTimes: Dumb and Dumber: Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?

Ms. Jacoby, [] the author of seven other books, [] was a fellow at the library when she first got the idea for this book back in 2001, on 9/11.

Walking home to her Upper East Side apartment, she said, overwhelmed and confused, she stopped at a bar. As she sipped her bloody mary, she quietly listened to two men, neatly dressed in suits. For a second she thought they were going to compare that day’s horrifying attack to the Japanese bombing in 1941 that blew America into World War II:

“This is just like Pearl Harbor,” one of the men said.

The other asked, “What is Pearl Harbor?”

“That was when the Vietnamese dropped bombs in a harbor, and it started the Vietnam War,” the first man replied.

At that moment, Ms. Jacoby said, “I decided to write this book.”

Two Good Clemens Reads

Boston Globe:
Former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens (center) gestures as his attorney's [sic] Rusty Hardin (left) and Lanny Breuer (right, standing) try to address members questions during testimony on Capitol Hill.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Joe Posnanski: My Eight Favorite People in Congress

Hang in there and read the whole thing. His bloghead says "Curiously Long Posts", and he means it.

Gerry Callahan, Boston Herald: Congress sends in clowns
Republicans look like bozos

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh My

New York Times: Prominent Clinton Backer Says He’ll Vote for Obama

MILWAUKEE – Representative John Lewis, an iconic figure from the Civil Rights era and one of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most prominent black supporters, said Thursday night that he planned to cast his vote as a superdelegate for Senator Barack Obama in hopes of preventing a fight at the Democratic convention.

“In recent days, there is a sense of movement and a sense of spirit,” said Mr. Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who endorsed Mrs. Clinton last fall. “Something is happening in America and people are prepared and ready to make that great leap.”

Mr. Lewis, an elder statesman of the black civil rights establishment who carries great influence among other members of Congress and in the black community, disclosed his decision in an interview as the Service Employees International Union was on the brink of endorsing Mr. Obama. It also came as fresh signs emerged that Mrs. Clinton’s support was beginning to erode from some African American lawmakers who also serve as superdelegates. Representative David Scott of Georgia, who was among the first to defect, said he would not go against the will of voters in his district who overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama last week.

To mix a few metaphors here, Clinton's firewall has sprung a big leak.

Red Sox Notes

Boston Herald: Photo by Matt Stone
Josh Beckett not looking like a lean, mean pitching machine that he reportedly is at Spring Training in Florida yesterday.

I always feel like this when I put on my bathing suit on the first beach day of the year.

Spring training has begun! Well, at least pitchers & catchers and a few other early birds (click on this link & watch the video on the right for a hilarious interview with Jonathon Papelbon) have reported. Time to begin reading Joy of Sox and The Soxaholix daily again.

We are having one brutal winter, which I hate, but do you realize that the last terrible winter we had followed our last World Series triumph (2004). So now we know: When the Red Sox win the World Series, we spend the winter digging out. Good trade; let it snow, let snow, let it snow.

Great long piece on Dustin Pedroia from Sunday's Boston Globe.

Clay Buchholtz (Mr. Rookie No-No) spent the offseason working out & putting on 10 much-needed pounds.

Dice-K's got a mullet.

Okajima, on the other hand, tells the media that he's got a new secret pitch. Ooooh!

Didja know that Jacoby Ellsbury is a Mormon? So is Dennis Eckersley. This blogger put both on his her All-Mormon team.

Our happy warrior.
Boston Globe:
Papelbon addressed the media, saying, "Just on the way down here, you know, driving and stuff, you think about what happened last year, going out there and doing it again. You turn the radio up loud. You cruise. It's always a fun time of the year for me."
(AP Photo)

I Don't Heart McCain

For many reasons. The #1 reason is his position on reproductive rights. I can't have an rabid anti-choicer appointing the next Supreme Court justice.

Via feministing, here's a summary of the terrible positions McCain has taken on a woman's right to choose:

* Repeatedly voted for (and cosponsored) the Federal Abortion Ban. After the court upheld the ban, he said, "Today's Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children."

* Supported the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a law that grants separate legal status to an embryo or fetus

* Voted in favor of four anti‐choice U.S. Supreme Court nominees. "I’m proud that we have Justice Alito and Roberts on the United States Supreme Court. I’m very proud to have played a very small role in making that happen." (May 3, 2007 Republican debate)

* Repeatedly voted to deny low‐income women access to abortion care except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment

* Voted to permit federally funded Title X family‐planning clinics to decline to counsel women on abortion services

* Voted against lifting the ban that forbids U.S. servicewomen from obtaining abortion services at overseas military hospitals with their own funds

* Voted to require Title X family‐planning clinics to notify a teen’s parent before providing abortion services

* Voted in favor of the Teen Endangerment and Grandmother Incarceration Act

* Voted against the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE)

* Voted to terminate the Title X family‐planning program

* Voted against funding teen‐pregnancy‐prevention programs and ensuring that “abstinence‐only” programs are medically accurate

* Voted to uphold the Global Gag Rule

* Voted for the domestic gag rule, which would have prohibited federally funded family‐planning clinics from providing women with access to full information about their reproductive‐health options

* Voted to de‐fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an organization that provides family‐planning services – not abortion – for the world’s poorest women

* Voted to earmark one‐third of all HIV/AIDS prevention funds for abstinence-only programs

* Voted to take $75 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to establish a new “abstinence‐only” program

* Voted to impose a federal parental‐consent law on teens seeking birth control. Not abortion. Birth control

* Voted against legislation that would have required insurance coverage of prescription birth control, improved access to emergency contraception, and provided more women with prenatal health care

* Voted to allow medical residency training programs in obstetrics and gynecology to receive federal assistance even if they ignore abortion training requirements

Happy Valentine's Day

From John McCain to his BFF George Bush.

Never let the voters forget their love.

Because if we convince voters that Bush = McCain,

McCain will = toast.

The Verdict is In

Roger Clemens is a liar.

No, you didn't mishear or misremember that. Liar.

MSNBC: Hall of Fame for Clemens? Try Hall of Shame
The longer he talked, the more he looked like a guilty man and a liar

Boston Herald: Roger the Dodger strikes out on stand

Boston Herald: Rocket misfires again
Wiser man would’ve cut losses long ago

Seattle Times: Clemens should try to misremember this day

LATimes: Clemens doesn't come off as a winner

Boston Globe: A strike on Clemens's character

Dallas Morning News: Clemens' credibility takes a crippling hit from shaky testimony

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Clemens the biggest loser of Steroidgate

Lawrence Eagle-Tribune: Who's telling the truth? No question it's McNamee

McCain: Yes to Waterboarding

And Baghdad is very safe.

And they call this guy a maverick.

ThinkProgress: Maverick Fails The Test: McCain Votes Against Waterboarding Ban

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

'[W]hen you pick on Hillary, you pick on all women.'

Don't you just want to kiss this woman for going off on Tucker Carlson and giving MSNBC hell for their treatment of Hillary?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that MSNBC hosts are already feeling the fallout.

To wit: On Tuesday morning, Tucker Carlson, the host of MSNBC’s talk show Tucker, was standing in line at the Palisades Recreation Center in Washington, D.C., waiting to vote in D.C.’s presidential primary. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, a middle-aged woman, standing in line in front of Mr. Carlson, recognized the on-air anchor and began berating Mr. Carlson about MSNBC’s coverage of Hillary Clinton.

According to the source, the irate Washingtonian told Mr. Carlson something to the effect that “when you pick on Hillary, you pick on all women.”

Later the uncomfortable conversation continued outside the voting hub. When reached on Tuesday afternoon at his MSNBC offices in the District, Mr. Carlson declined to comment.

This would be the same Tucker Carlson who was never disciplined in any way by MSNBC after saying this about Hillary Clinton on air:

"I have often said, when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs."

I hope MSNBC realizes that when Tucker Carlson comes on television, I and many other women (and men) voluntarily change the channel.

Obama: 'Is he tough enough?'

Vanity Fair: Senator Barack Obama (with Lincoln and King [in photos]) in his Capitol Hill office. Photograph by Jonas Karlsson.

Vanity Fair: Raising Obama

Is he tough enough? That’s the question being asked of Barack Obama. To those who have known the candidate since boyhood, it’s not just those “dreams from my father” that make Obama a contender, but also his mother’s daring, his grandmother’s grit, and his own relentless drive.

Vanity Fair Slideshow: The Young Obama

Donna Edwards: A Better Democrat

Last night the voters of Maryland's 4th District had a choice, between their incumbent Blue Dog Democratic congressman Al Wynn and challenger, liberal Donna Edwards. Wynn, during his time in the House

[d]espite representing an overwhelmingly Democratic district, [] voted for the Iraq War, for pro-bank bankruptcy legislation, for massive fossil fuels subsidies, for repealing the estate tax, and for letting the likes of Verizon and Comcast have untrammeled control over the Internet.

The netroots supported Edwards. The establishment, and entrenched interests including many unions, the Democratic party establishment, even NARAL supported Wynn. He had seniority and the money. But Donna Edwards is a better Democrat and a liberal, and her message triumphed last night.

The motto of the netroots is "More Democrats, Better Democrats." That's Donna Edwards. (While this was just the Democratic primary, it is a reliably Democratic district; she'll win in November.)

Steroid Hearings

Droning on in the background of my house.

My take: Roger Clemens is not the smartest person in the room.

Imagine if Congress spent as much time on Bush & the telecoms eviscerating the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution?


Tuesday, February 12, 2008


REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

One to Watch

USSoccer Teresa Noyola assisted on the final U.S. goal in the U-17 WNT's 4-0 victory over U-18 Surf at the 2006 Women's Nike Friendlies.
© John Todd /

Remember this name: Teresa Noyola (nickname "T"). She was named the national player of the year as a high school junior (an award that usually goes to a senior.)

She scored yesterday in the US U20 team's 1-0 win over England, their first game under new coach, old USWNT coach Tony DiCicco.

hat tip to USA Women's Soccer

Chesapeake Primary: Early Results

My sister voted for Hillary this morning in Virginia. Here's how she described it:

Just voted....and it was more emotional than I would have guessed, to pull the lever (or in this case touch the screen) next to a woman's name for President of the United States.

MSNBC just called Virginia for Obama.

The good news for Hillary today is the new SurveyUSA poll from Ohio, one of her must-win states (along with Texas), in which she leads Obama 56% to 39%.

So, it looks like Obama will take all three contests today. The fun will come from seeing how many Republican voters stick it to their presumptive nominee, John McCain, by voting for the Squirrel Fryer. Go Squirrel Fryer!

Only the Little People Obey the Laws

President Bush and the telecoms just get Congress to exempt them.

Glenn Greenwald, Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms

Roger Clemens is more likely to get jail time for lying to Congress than President Bush will ever be for his multiple lies and lawbreaking. Disgraceful.

Does Lipitor Turn Women's Brains to Mush?

I have steadfastly refused my doctor's call to go on statin drugs for lowering cholesterol. Along with recent research showing that the drugs may have no effect on cardiac health, now doctors are reporting that the most popular cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor, may be causing memory loss in women. Can't find a word? Foggy brain? It may be your Lipitor prescription.

WSJ Online: Can a Drug That Helps Hearts Be Harmful to the Brain?

Cognitive side effects like memory loss and fuzzy thinking aren't listed on the patient information sheet for Lipitor, the popular cholesterol-lowering drug. But some doctors are voicing concerns that in a small portion of patients, statins like Lipitor may be helping hearts but hurting minds.

"This drug makes women stupid,"
Orli Etingin, vice chairman of medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital, declared at a recent luncheon discussion sponsored by Project A.L.S. to raise awareness of gender issues and the brain. Dr. Etingin, who is also founder and director of the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center in New York, told of a typical patient in her 40s, unable to concentrate or recall words. Tests found nothing amiss, but when the woman stopped taking Lipitor, the symptoms vanished. When she resumed taking Lipitor, they returned.

"I've seen this in maybe two dozen patients," Dr. Etingin said later, adding that they did better on other statins. "This is just observational, of course. We really need more studies, particularly on cognitive effects and women."

Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor is the world's best-selling medicine, with revenues of $12.6 billion in 2007. The company says that its safety and efficacy have been demonstrated in more than 400 clinical trials and 145 million patient years of experience, and that the extensive data "do not establish a causal link between Lipitor and memory loss." Pfizer also says it draws conclusions about adverse events from a variety of sources "as opposed to anecdotal inferences by individual providers with a limited data pool."

hat tip to Suburban Guerrilla

The Next Mittwit Move?


H. D. S. Greenway, Boston Globe: The comeback kid of 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

John McCain; No You Can't

The parodies, they are a' flowing:

John McCain's Vision

Hilarious. If you haven't watched the Obama "Yes We Can" video yet, you won't realize how hilarious.

hat tip to Big Blue

Robin Morgan's Manifesto for Hillary

Robin Morgan's 1970 classic.

Goodbye To All That (#2) by Robin Morgan

Reportedly Chelsea Clinton has circulated this article to friends and supporters via email. I received it from my Hillary-supporting sister. I feel guilty when I read this article. I'm a good feminist. I should support Hillary. But the article doesn't address my main issue with Hillary: She voted for the war. Yeah, the media sucks. Yeah, she's being treated in a very sexist way. Yeah, Obama is young and less experienced. But with all her experience, she gave George W. Bush the authority to go to war. I can't get over that.

Goodbye to the toxic viciousness . . .

Carl Bernstein's disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.” Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid” (check the capital letters). John McCain answering “How do we beat the bitch?" with “Excellent question!” Would he have dared reply similarly to “How do we beat the black bastard?” For shame.

Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs. If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged—and they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.

Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history, including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead!” Shame.

Goodbye to Comedy Central’s “Southpark” featuring a storyline in which terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s vagina. I refuse to wrench my brain down into the gutter far enough to find a race-based comparison. For shame.

Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny. This is not “Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman-hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison. Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?

RIP Tom Lantos

wikipedia: Tom Lantos

The only Holocaust survivor ever elected to Congress has died.

Inspiration (Updated, below)

It's not just Obama who's out there inspiring voters. Here's an 8 minute snippet of Michelle Obama speaking in Omaha, Nebrasks before the caucases this weekend.

Article from today's Wall Street Journal on Michelle Obama: Michelle Obama Solidifies
Her Role in the Election

Think Pink Tribute to Kay Yow

Credit: Nelson Kepley/News & Record

N.C. State's Shayla Fields, (from left) Nikitta Gartrell, Hanna Halteman and Sharnise Beal celebrate their win.

RALEIGH -- Reynolds Coliseum became a pink paradise Sunday in celebration of the third annual Hoops for Hope women's basketball game.

More than 8,000 men and women, young and old, wore ribbons and their favorite shade of pink as N.C. State defeated Boston College 60-41.

The Wolfpack (15-9, 3-6 ACC) wore specially designed pink uniforms and Kay Yow's last name on the back of each jersey to support the team's coach, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and learned in November that she has stage-four cancer.

"We got Yow on the back of our jerseys because we knew that this day was for her, and all we wanted to do was go out, play for her and play our hardest," said junior guard Shayla Fields.

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association is sponsoring the Think Pink campaign against breast cancer. Over 900 teams have signed up to participate. NC State's entire team wore jerseys with their coach Kay Yow's name on the back. She is back coaching while undergoing treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer.

I hate all the pink stuff but it's great to see all the tributes to Kay Yow. She has done so much to promote women's basketball and her very public fight against breast cancer is inspiring.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


BAGNewsNotes: Floats Like A Butterfly...

TKO, as in Technical KnockOut.

Hillary is still standing, but she is woozy and reeling. She has had to loan her campaign $5,000,000 of her own money, some of her campaign staff volunteered to work without pay, and today she sacked her campaign manager. I think a competent referee would call this fight over. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

There is mad spinning going on, but this is what happens when a campaign is near the end. Rudy's staff worked without pay. Romney loaned his campaign money. Both of those moves preceded their dropping out.

Obama has swept the weekend's Democratic contests. Here are the state-by-state results so far (via Dailykos):

The latest count of states won by popular vote, plus the margin of victory:

Clinton (10)

Arkansas +43
Oklahoma +24
New York +17
Massachusetts +15
Tennessee +13
California +10
New Jersey +10
Arizona +9
Nevada +6
New Hampshire +3

Obama (19)

Idaho +62
Alaska +50
Kansas +48
Washington +37
Georgia +36
Nebraska +36
Colorado +35
Minnesota +35
South Carolina +32
North Dakota +24
Louisiana +21
Maine +18
Utah +18
Alabama +14
Delaware +10
Iowa +9
Connecticut +4
Missouri +1

I don't see Hillary having lost this campaign so much as I see her being overwhelmed by a superior campaign and a superior messenger. As always, I wish we could combine the best traits of our best candidates. I wish we could make Obama debate like Hillary. I wish we could make him as tough as she is. I wish she hadn't voted for Bush's stupid war. I wish I could have voted for the first viable woman running for President, but I just couldn't do it. The war, the war, the war, millions dead, billions squandered, for nothing.

Whoever wins must put Iraq out of its misery and end the war.