Friday, July 04, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

El Nino, Age 12

Torres makes look easy in this video of an Athletico Madrid - AC Milan youth match from 1996.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Giving Myself a Break

BBC: A boy carries bread for sale at a market in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Off for July 4th weekend.

Back in a week. Or I may throw up something while I'm at Coach Mom's, but don't count on it.

Happy 4th of July!

Gandhi's Voice

Gandhi at a prayer meeting in New Delhi in January 1948. He was killed by a Hindu extremist at a prayer meeting days later, on Jan. 31, 1948. (Associated Press)

Most of us have never heard Gandhi's voice. A rare recording of Mahatma Ghandhi speaking months before his death -- in English -- has been unearthed. It may have been the last speech of his life.

WaPo: Saying His Peace
Rare Recording of Speech by Gandhi Landed in Safe, if Unknowing, Hands

The Voice of Gandhi (audio)

Another Reason to Vote Against Private Plane McCain

"Why don't all you people just get heiress wives and Gulfstreams like I did?"

He's been trying to kill Amtrak -- affordable train travel for the rest of us, the non-private-plane crowd -- for decades.

Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: McCain's agenda on Amtrak

TRAIN TRAVEL is finally becoming a third rail of politics. The first one to fry over it might be John McCain.

For years, McCain, in the comfort of cheap gasoline for autos and airplanes, made Amtrak a personal whipping boy.
Despite the fact that governments in Western Europe and Asia zoomed far ahead of the United States by supporting high-speed trains to relieve congestion, promote tourism and now as we are coming to know, save the planet, McCain has spent considerable capital in denying the passenger rail system the capital to modernize.

In 2000, when he was chairman of the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation committee, McCain killed $10 billion in capital funding for Amtrak. He denounced Amtrak as a symbol of government waste, claiming, "There's only two parts of the country that can support a viable rail system - the Northeast and the far West."

He made these claims though Amtrak investment had the support of several notable Republicans. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi warned that Amtrak "is guaranteed and doomed to failure if we don't give it an opportunity to succeed. If you don't have modern equipment, if you don't have the new fast trains, if you don't have a rapid rail system, it will not work."

Tommy Thompson, the secretary of Health and Human Services during President Bush's first term, was Amtrak chairman when McCain blocked the funding. Thompson said, "The traveling public are sending a distress call to escape our nation's endless traffic jams and airport gridlock."

Although Thompson claimed "remarkable progress in turning Amtrak around," despite a past where "it was not run like a business," McCain ignored the distress call. In 2001, then-Amtrak president George Warrington said the funding of rail in America was so bad, it was comparable to similar funding in Estonia and Tunisia.

Today's Viral Video

Joe Cocker at Woodstock -- with subtitles explaining what those lyrics really were!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Last Day of Fundraising Quarter

Today is the last day of the fundraising quarter. Make your favorite Democrats look good by donating. Just reporting a great number of contributors is good. You can give $10 by midnight tonight and give your candidate a little more good press.

I'm giving to Barack Obama and Eric Massa (running to replace the Shotgun Senator, Randy Kuhl, in upstate New York's 29th District).

If you give Obama $30 or more, he'll send you a t-shirt

or this one

Or this organic t-shirt

Or if you contribute $15, you can get on of these three car magnets (guess people don't like bumper stickers any more):

5" logo car magnet

5" blue "Yes We Can" car magnet

9" "Change We Can Believe In" car magnet

This concludes the advertising part of this blog!

Google Earth Tour of McCain's Residences

hat tip to Americablog

Spain Celebrates!

And I thought the Celtics knew how to celebrate.

Beware Dow Chemical Herbicide Aminopyralid

Mass spraying of pesticides on farms, pictured here in Florida, is putting gardens at risk. Photograph: David R. Frazier/Alamy

Beware of manure fertilizers. If they come from factory farms sprayed with the Dow Chemical herbicide/pesticide aminopyralid (found in products Cleanwave, Milestone vm, Forefront r&p, and Milestone, among others) they will be contaminated. Gardeners in Britain are finding that manure from fields sprayed a year ago still contains the toxic chemical.

Dow,, the company with the lying ad tagline, we bring good things to life. In my head I always add "and we kill them." From the people who brought you Agent Orange, another toxic nightmare.

Persistent Herbicide In Compost Destroys UK Gardens - Can It Happen Here?

In today's Observer, Caroline Davies describes how this year British gardeners find their fruits and veggies are stunted, deformed, and dying. The culprit: Dow Chemical's persistent herbicide aminopyralid sprayed on grazing land or fodder. The herbicide stayed in the plants the cattle ate, stayed in the cattle (and horse) poop, stayed in the compost produced from the poop, and came out the other end of the process all ready to kill food crops and home gardens.

Problems with the herbicide emerged late last year, when some commercial potato growers reported damaged crops.


[T]he herbicide has now entered the food chain. Those affected are demanding an investigation and a ban on the product. They say they have been given no definitive answer as to whether other produce on their gardens and allotments is safe to eat.

It appears that the contamination came from grass treated 12 months ago. Experts say the grass was probably made into silage, then fed to cattle during the winter months. The herbicide remained present in the silage, passed through the animal and into manure that was later sold. Horses fed on hay that had been treated could also be a channel.

It can't happen here?

Well, the EPA has licensed aminopyralid in several products used in the US: Cleanwave, Milestone vm, Forefront r&p, and Milestone.

Observer (uk): Home-grown veg ruined by toxic fertiliser

Gardeners across Britain are reaping a bitter harvest of rotten potatoes, withered salads and deformed tomatoes after an industrial herbicide tainted their soil. Caroline Davies reports on how the food chain became contaminated and talks to the angry allotment owners whose plots have been destroyed

This Will Make Some Wingnut Heads Explode

LATimes: Guatemalan women kick aside constraints in the U.S.
Soccer, a frowned on activity in their home country, becomes a passion.

Women from countries where women are denied opportunities, given the chance, love to play soccer! And many of the women in this article are undocumented workers, a group the right loves to revile.

Watch the slideshow "Eager to play futbol" on the left sidebar of the article. It's awesome.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Poetry in Motion

[Fernando] Torres executes a perfect chip over the onrushing Lehmann to give Spain the lead
Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Spain defeated Germany 1-0 in the Euro 2008 final this afternoon. A well-deserved win by Spain which played beautiful attacking football throughout the tournament.

The goal came from Liverpool striker Fernando Torres who dominated the first half. Perhaps inspired by the Spanish fans who according to the Telegraph sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" before the game. The article also notes:

It was a glittering goal that echoed another final gem by a Liverpool striker, Kenny Dalglish's elegant chip over the Bruges goalkeeper, Birger Jensen, to win the 1978 European Cup.

After the game was over, Sergio Ramos celebrated in a white no. 16 shirt in tribute to his fellow Sevilla youth system friend Antonio Puerta, who died tragically at the age of 22 after suffering a heart attack during a game last year.

Guardian (uk): Viennese waltz for Spain as Torres goal wins Euro 2008

Telegraph (uk): Fernando Torres' strike wins Euro 2008 for Spain as Germany say goodnight Vienna

Independent (uk): Germany 0 Spain 1: Torres' flash of steel and skill dispatches laboured Germans Player Rater

Telegraph (uk): Picture Gallery

BBC Sport: Photo Gallery

Richie Rich Cindy McCain Forgets to Pay Her Property Taxes

Newsweek catches Cindy McCain delinquent on her taxes on a La Jolla, California condo. Four years worth of delinquent. The McCains quickly sent out a check for the first three years of the four years of delinquency. Only $6,744 for three years worth of taxes. If that figure seems very low for La Jolla oceanfront property, it's probably because they've owned the property a long time and the pernicious Prop. 13 in California keeps taxes pretty close to what they were when you bought your property. People who bought their property in California in the last 10 years are subsidizing folks like the McCains who've owned their property for a long time.

I guess I will have to update my post about the McCain's lavish wealth, because I missed -- or misidentified -- this property in my prior research. An oceanfront condo in La Jolla, in addition to the $4.7 million condo in Phoenix, the four houses worth $1.8 million on the "ranch" in Hidden Valley, Arizona, the condo in Arlington, Virginia where McCain lives while the Senate is in session. While I listed them as owning two luxury condos worth at least $3 million on the beach in Coronado, California, maybe the "two luxury condos on the beach" included this one in La Jolla as well as the one the McCains use in Coronado. This blogger says the McCains own ten (10) properties. So hard to keep your houses straight when you own so many.

And she's the one who knows how to use the computer. Maybe she's channeling her inner Leona Helmsley, who famously said (before she went to the hoosegow) "Only the little people pay taxes".

I bet some little person at the trust or the accountant's office got fired for embarrassing the campaign.

If the McCains can't keep up with their $300 million fortune, why should we trust them with the federal budget?

Newsweek: Mrs. McCain, San Diego County Would Like a Word

When you're poor, it can be hard to pay the bills. When you're rich, it's hard to keep track of all the bills that need paying. It's a lesson Cindy McCain learned the hard way when NEWSWEEK raised questions about an overdue property-tax bill on a La Jolla, Calif., property owned by a trust that she oversees. Mrs. McCain is a beer heiress with an estimated $100 million fortune and, along with her husband, she owns at least seven properties, including condos in California and Arizona.

San Diego County officials, it turns out, have been sending out tax notices on the La Jolla property, an oceanfront condo, for four years without receiving a response. County records show the bills, which were mailed to a Phoenix address associated with Mrs. McCain's trust, were returned by the post office. According to a McCain campaign aide, who requested anonymity when discussing a private matter, an elderly aunt of Mrs. McCain's lives in the condo, and the bank that manages the trust has not been receiving tax bills on the property. Shortly after NEWSWEEK inquired about the matter, the McCain aide e-mailed a receipt dated Friday, June 27, confirming payment by the trust to San Diego County in the amount of $6,744.42. County officials say the trust still owes an additional $1,742 for this year, an amount that is overdue and will go into default July 1. Told of the outstanding $1,742, the aide said: "The trust has paid all bills shown owing as of today and will pay all other bills due."

Private Plane McCain Can't Remember the Price of Gas

Private Plane McCain relaxes in his wife's plane. Price of gas? I don't remember! I don't have to remember! Maverick! Hanoi Hilton!

ThinkProgress: McCain: I ‘Don’t See How It Matters’ That I Don’t Know The Price Of Gas»

The price of gas is for the little people to remember.

Or, for the young whippersnappers.

John McCain doesn't have to remember the price of gas. No matter how badly he and Bush fuck up the economy, they'll both still be rich. Remember, The McCain Tax Plan Would Save McCain $373,429