Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Craig's List

Follow-up and fallout on Senator Craig:

UPDATE: [up top, so they don't get lost]
• Via Andrew Sullivan's stand-in, Jamie, a great column putting Craig and the gay struggle in perspective.

• A very telling, and startling, comparison between Mitt Romney's shiv of Craig and legendary Republican of yore, Barry Goldwater in a similar situation. I'd venture there's barely a politician alive today in either party that would act as nobly as Goldwater did. Things HAVE changed, and any progress in culture, is more than cancelled out by degradation of politics in this circumstance.

• Good article at about bathroom sex, the closet culture, risky behavior and denial.


Hilzoy has a great post on how any sympathy for a closeted man exposed evaporates with Craig. I concur—read the whole thing, pretty much sums up my feelings...

• Josh Marshall explains the Catch 22 Craig was in after getting busted. It really was a no-win situation for him once he was caught...
[...] Given what's described, it seems quite possible that, with a good lawyer, Craig could have beaten the rap.

But had he tried, it would have become public and it would have been pretty clear -- clear enough to doom him politically -- that Craig is gay and that he gets sex in public restrooms. [...] Remember, there'd already been lots of unconfirmed reports in the past. Because of that, Craig couldn't fight the charge even though he might well have been acquitted. But once he pled guilty, it really wasn't a he said/he said, as his press spokesman said yesterday. Craig had said under oath that he was guilty of the charge.

One way or another, once he was arrested, the apparent facts, even if you think they aren't ones for which you should be criminally culpable, were ones that were not compatible with his continuing in public office -- given his politics and the state he represents. All he could do was plead out and hope against hope that no one ever noticed.

• Also at TPM, a reader points out the fact that Craig really didn't do anything, yet this whole thing is a result of his own actions and attitudes...
Look at the police report. Did he directly ask a cop for sex? No. Did he expose himself lewdly (as opposed to exposing himself to use the facilities)? No. Did he do anything that was unambiguously sexual? No.

All he did was tap his foot, reach down (possibly to pick up a piece of TP), wiggle his fingers, and put his bag in front of him when he sat down. Oh, and he waited in front of an occupied stall. Even if he did everything the cop said he did, where was the lewd conduct? No actual sex happened. No actual sex was discussed...

If Craig was looking for sex, I hope that he can look into his heart and realize that it's 2007, and gay people are allowed to be out, and even get involved in meaningful relationships that don't begin and end in a squalid men's room. I'd hope that he'd recognize that there are even gay Republicans out there (look at former Rep. Kolbe, for one), and that a lot of the stigma and fear that still exists about homosexuality in this society has to do with the behavior of people who are in the closet.

• Andrew Sullivan is on his (gay) honeymoon, but one of his subs notes the evolution of gay culture:
In other words, say goodbye to anonymous cruising and say hello to more weddings. [...] Indeed, this scandal could not have arrived at a more opportune moment. The same day that Andrew--who has spent much of his intellectual life advocating for gay marriage, when many in the gay rights movement were trumpeting separatism, the necessity of being "queer," and other such indulgences--gets married, a United States Senator --who has been a loyal foot soldier in the movement to deny gays civil rights-- is revealed to have allegedly sought out sex with an anonymous man in an airport restroom. Perhaps there is no greater comparison between the stability of being comfortable with who you are and the self-denial and self-hatred of the closet. It's not just the "old" gay culture of anonymous sexual encounters vs. the "new" gay culture of monogamy; it's self-loathing vs. self-affirmation.

John Cole has a good rundown of reactions, and still maintains some sympathy for Craig:
And again, I am as guilty as everyone else for having fun at the Senator’s expense (and couldn’t even control myself in the beginning of this post), but despite Craig’s voting record, I can’t help but feel sad for him and his family. Going through life where you have to fulfill your deepest urges in quick, anonymous, and meaningless sex acts in public bathrooms so you can hide who you really are from everyone you love is not something I would want anyone to have to go through. I wish Craig’s voting record and political positions were such that he was not helping to damn other people to the same sort of fate.


That's the reaction on the internets, the reaction from Craig's own party is fairly disgraceful. The rest of the GOP has the long knives out for Craig—immediately opening an ethics investigation, stripping him of committee seats, and a chorus of calls for his resignation—what stand-up guys! I'm sure the same treatment is in store for David Vitter (busted with prostitutes), Ted Stevens (FBI raids his house) as the GOP cleans house...

Please. The Republicans circle the wagons around you no matter what you're caught doing, and have an amazing capacity for denying wrongdoing and defending each other—unless it deals with teh gay. And if something "gay" and you're from a state with a Repub governor to appoint your replacement, you are an easy mark for the rest of the GOP to shamelessly posture and pander to the homophobe base. Romney and McCain are leading the charge.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nelson Award: "I Have a Wide Stance!"

The public bathroom-related sexual exploits of the GOP (Gay Old Perverts?) Party continue...

[TPM link] Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

[...]“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly...The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet.* ... Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

In a recorded interview after his arrest, Craig “either disagreed with me or ‘didn’t recall’ the events as they happened,” the report states.

Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,” the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.

Fortunately for Craig, this story comes out during a week when Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are on vacation, so I won't have any video links like I did for the last Chester the GOP Public Restroom Molester**

To Craig's credit the bowlegged defense is better than claiming the cop was wearing "what looked like a black guy's shoes" and opting for the racist "afraid for my life" defense like the previous perv. Though, like Rep. Allen, he tried to pull rank/bribe/intimidate the arresting officer:
Allen: When Allen was loaded into the patrol car, the statement said, he asked if "it would help" that he was a state legislator.

"No," the officer said.

"Help?" Helps make it funny as hell... Craig tried likewise:
Roll Call quoted the Aug. 8 police report as saying that Craig had handed the arresting officer a business card that identified him as a member of the Senate.

"What do you think about that?" Craig is alleged to have said, according to the report.

Oh, and for the record both of these jackass hypocrits were stalwart defenders of marriage and voted 100% against gays.

*Should we assume he also left without WASHING?

** I had this story set aside as a draft, and after today's story I went back, finished it off and posted it.

In Case You Were Wondering...

Hope the Door Hits You Hard on the Way Out

CRAWFORD, Texas - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, ending a months-long standoff with Republican and Democratic critics who called for his ouster over the Justice Department's botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firing of U.S. attorneys, officials said Monday.

Finally. This should have happened long ago. This is a positive developement, but it shouldn't do a thing to change the way the Democrats pursue the Administration. Unfortunately I think it will satisfy many enough to let up pressure, which would be a mistake. The issues they are investigating are far bigger than Gonzales himself.

Early reports point to Bush nominating the Swedish Chef as the new A.G.

UPDATE: I just watched Gonzo's "announcement press conference" live on CNN, and it was so brief I almost thought I missed something. No reason for leaving, he simply lied about how much he respected the people at Justice, and walked away without taking a question. Not the he would have honestly answered any...

I think the White House correctly did the calculus that Gonzales being raked over the coals as sitting AG hurt them, and it had become impossible to defend him through their minions in the media—he was that bad. But now, if he is up there stammering before Leahy's Committee, the FOX News, Rush etc. can play the "the guy resigned already, what do the Democrats want?" card and start to swing him over to sympathetic character.

As opposed to just merely pathetic.

For maximum grave-dancing* pleasure head over to WaPo's Andrew Cohen who has a great "Good Riddance" post, and check out his four-part expose on Gonzales, Rough Justice.

* Or, if dancing isn't your thing...a diffent kind of relief

UPDATE 2: My early money on a replacement is Orrin Hatch. Just about the only guy who remained unashamed to defend Gonzales and the Administration through all of this. He's been auditioning for the role all year. Hatch would cruise to confirmation because he's in the club—collegiality will trump Constitution—even though he will be just as obstructionist as Gonzales was. Bush may still nominate somebody offensive (or at least un-confirmable) first to pick a fight and score points first, then offer up Hatch as a compromise.

Friday, August 24, 2007


The other day at VFW, The Boy King made a speech in which he held up his Iraq Clusterfuck to history and past successes and failures in geopolitical adventuring—so we sheeple could understand His Grand Scheme—or at least be reminded of our place, and to get the hell out of His way or be branded a traitor...

Everyone's talking about his comparisons between Iraq now and to the withdrawal from Viet Nam, but Bush wraps himself in layers of WWII and Korea as well. All of it is equal parts treachery, dishonesty and just outright fucking nerve, especially coming from him.

Any resultant "discussion" should have began with his getting booed off-stage by an audience that should know better, followed by a media that derides him out of office for being either that fucking stupid, or that fucking much of an asshole.

Instead, he's treated like a serious thinker, and any Iraq "withdrawal" must be carefully considered against the lessons Bush learned* about the Far East.

Over at Obsidian Wings Hilzoy has a brutal 18-round takedown of this bullshit-laden treachery from Young Churchill.

No quotes, because you really need to. Read. The. Whole. Thing.

*on Monday. From his speechwriter.

Mr Furious Heartily Endorses… Barack Obama

It's early. It's waay early. But the more I see of Barack Obama, and the more I see from Hillary and everyone else, the more I realize how much I'm impressed with and drawn to Obama.

I haven't been shy about the fact that I do NOT relish the idea of Hillary being the Democratic nominee, and there are a variety of reasons—that I think she could actually lose being the biggest one, but strategy and victory aside, she doesn't bring enough change—she brings back a posse of nineties retreads on her coattails who I want banished from the Party's power structure. She's too connected. She's too indebted. And she will rejuvenate a demoralized GOP base for the election and the duration of her term should she win. No thanks.

I won't be naive and pretend that Obama isn't also a politician. That running for President won't force him to bend to influences I prefer he resist. He is not a perfect person, none of them are. There's something about Edwards I don't like—and he is realistically the only other guy in the discussion. Biden is, well, Joe Biden. He's a good quote, but he is bought and paid for. I like Chris Dodd, but he doesn't have a chance. Bill Richardson knows how to run an ad campaign (or allow someone else to), but I just don't think he's viable. I have to work with the system the media is going to force on us, and it means picking one of The Big Three and backing them.

I'm picking Obama, and I feel really good about it. This isn't a Hillary-block. This is a guy I think will be a good President, and more importantly, will be good for the country. Watch the following videos and tell me I'm wrong.

I'll let Mrs. Obama introduce her husband...

Here's Obama on "The Daily Show". Now I recognize that Joe Biden, even John McCain can look and sound good across from Jon Stewart, so this is more for entertainment than persuasive value...

A lot can change between now and the time I cast a primary ballot, but at this point Barack Obama will have to really piss me off to lose my vote...

UPDATE: Ugh. Another reason not to support Hillary...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mr Furious Heartily Endorses…

BABY TEE's Baby Dept. Some of these are great! I hope Charlotte is ready to start making a statement. I'd love to get one of those (at right) for Ruby in "boybeater"-style, but while she totally kicks ass, she doesn't take naps, and they don't have 'em big enough.

I'm still in my trial period, but the early results are good. Here at work, my office is in a cement bunker where cell reception is almost impossible. But, the school has WiFi everywhere...Combine the two, and viola! My new Nokia phone switches automatically to a voice-over-internet phone when I walk inside and lose the cell signal. Reception at my desk is crystal clear, and the phone makes and recieves calls via the internet, and T-Mobile charges nothing for the service. Works at home in my basement office as well. So far so good.

This site is just getting off the ground, but has potential. People send in pics of random sports jerseys on the street...some of which never should have been marketed. I've seen some good ones I wish I had documented. Straight Cash Homey Dot Net.

Of course, I thought the same thing when I saved this link and it went nowhere...

I've tried several, and the only energy bar that doesn't make me want to retch is a Balance Gold chocolate peanut butter bar. Chow that baby down, and I'm ready for the return trip home on the bike.

Every dog on Earth deserves a free shot at Ron Mexico, but failing that, they can get even with this.

At least my local library... Ann Arbor has a state of the art website that allows you to search for everything, reserve items, and then renew them when you continually fail to get around to watching something. I use them as a free Netflix. I have a list of DVDs reserved, they email me when to come get them (picking up "300" tonite). Also handy for music. I have ripped dozens (a hundred? more?) of the library's CDs into my iTunes.

94% humidity. Having a hickory tree over your driveway. All other nasty-ass energy bars. Squirrels.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Nelson Award: Worse Than "Wash Me!"

Just because I don't (quite) condone this, doesn't mean this punk's not worthy of a "Ha Ha!"...

Hummer Owner Gets Angry Message
Vandals Batter D.C. Man's SUV,
Slash Its Tires and Scratch In an Eco Note

By Allison Klein | Washington Post | July 18, 2007; Page B01

On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."

"The thought of somebody vandalizing it never crossed my mind," said Gareth Groves, 32, who lives with his mother in a three-story home in the 4300 block of Brandywine Street NW in American University Park. "I've kind of been in shock."

Now, as Groves ponders what to do with the remains of his $38,000 SUV, he has been the target of a number of people who have driven by the crime scene in his upscale neighborhood and glared at him in smug satisfaction.

"I'd say one in five people who come by have that 'you-got-what-you-deserve' look," said his friend Andy Sexton, 27, who is visiting from Arkansas and has been helping Groves deal with fallout from the crime.

It's a pretty big leap from muttering "Jackass" when a Hummer drives by (my reflex), or even partaking in the sport of FUH2, to taking a bat to somebody's wheels. That does suck. But sympathy runs low when your a 32-year-old gangsta-wannabe loser who lives with his mom, drops $40K on jacked Hummer that won't fit in the garage, and in the course of a photo shoot sports $300 worth of footbal jerseys... Here's the video interview where he switches to his Aaron Brooks persona.

"Groves ponders what to do with the remains of his $38,000 SUV..." What to do with "the remains?" Busted windows and slashed tires and he's declaring a total loss and ready to dispose of this thing? I guess the fact that he needed help "dealing with the fallout" means he wasn't man enough for a Hummer to start with.

RELATED: Not sure what ever happened to this legislation to close the obscene SUV tax loophole.

Credit Due

More reason to like GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee*. This is refreshingly honest...

"You know, I've never hated the Clintons. I still don't, I have great respect for them. He made a lot of mistakes — a lot of personal ones — but you know something that I think should not be forgotten. There's two things about Bill Clinton I tell Republicans, it drives them nuts, but here it is.

Number one, don't get it lost on you that a kid out of a very small, Southern rural state aspired to be President of the United States. This kid came from a dysfunctional family — alcoholic abusive father. And yet he didn't just aspire, he was elected president of the United States not once, but twice. That is an affirmation of the system. And it's a wonderful testament to give to every kid in America that no matter where you've come from, you've got an opportunity to do something extraordinary

The second thing, and this'll really wrangle, again, some of my Republican colleagues. Bill Clinton and Hillary went through some horrible experiences in their marriage, because of some of the reckless behavior that he has admitted he had. I'm not defending him on that — it's indefensible. But they kept their marriage together. And a lot of the Republicans who have condemned them, and who talk about their platform of family values, interestingly didn't keep their own families together."

Too bad for Huckabee, the combination of honesty and failure to demonize the Clintons is deadly for a GOP hopeful.

* "Like" only in the sense that in a field of GOP asshats I would never vote for, he seems like a decent enough guy. But still no one I want to be President.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"I Have the Power!"

Eternia Michigan is having it's primary on January 15th next year. That's one week after New Hampshire. Unless something dramatic happens with California or Florida, it now makes the Michigan primary, arguably, the most important early test for the candidates.

The whole presidential primary system is complex, and I don't pretend to fully grasp how it works. But that's mostly because I've never lived anywhere where it mattered. In 2004, the Michigan caucus was in mid-March, and Kerry was already running away with it. My Dean vote was merely symbolic—it didn't mean anything.

Not this time. Michigan is in play, and that means candidates will be coming here to press flesh—good, and bombard me with advertising—bad. All I can say, is I cannot wait to vote, and have it matter. And that's (probably) bad news for Hillary.

This diary at Kos breaks it all down.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dick of the Week: Harry Reid. "Drink up!"

[via Kos] Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responds to the White House bait and switch on the September Iraq Progress Report:
"The White House’s effort to prevent General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker from testifying openly and candidly before Congress about the situation in Iraq is unacceptable. Not only does it contradict the law President Bush himself signed in May, but it appears to be yet another politically driven attempt to avoid giving Congress and the American people an honest and open assessment of a war we can all see is headed in the wrong direction.

"From the very beginning of this war, the Bush Administration has refused to level with the American people about its flawed policy. It has instead done everything in its power to escape accountability and mislead us about the reality on the ground. The result: an open-ended civil war that has taken nearly 4,000 American soldiers’ lives and an Iraqi government that refuses to take responsibility for its own country.

"If the President is going to continue to ask American soldiers to fight in this civil war, ask taxpayers to spend $10 billion each month to fund this war and ask the American people for patience as he conducts this war, then those closest to the situation on the ground must give Congress and the American people a frank and honest account of this war free of White House political spin."

The Administration has done "everything in its power to escape accountability?" Really, Harry? And who holds them accountible? Oh, that's right, fucking Congress. You guys have done nothing but roll for those lying pricks and I don't want to hear any more "talk" from you, Leahy, or anyone else unless you are going to do something about it.

If approving "The Surge" was contingent upon a report directly to Congress from the General on the ground in six months, and the White House refuses to follow through, than cut off the goddamn money. Period. If Bush wants to continue the War, or the Surge or whatever, Congress gets the report it demanded and Bush is bound by law to fucking provide.

Anything else constitutes you "accepting" the "unacceptable."

The American people did their job, they put you in charge of Congress. Now it's time for you to do your job. Bush is only escaping accountibility because you allow it. As Mr Blonde says, "Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?"

Rudy Does His Digging at the Microphone

Last week, Rudy Giuliani earned D.O.W. honors for claiming to have been "one of them" referring to 9/11 rescue workers. It wouldn't be the first time either... In Septemper 2006:
“I spent as much time here as anyone… I was here five, six times a day for four months. I kind of thought of it as living here.”

"[...] On at least three occasions, in responding to accusations that the city failed to adequately protect the health of workers in the wreckage, he has boasted that he faced comparable risks himself. In one appearance he declared that he had been in the ruins “as often, if not more” than the cleanup workers who logged hundreds of hours in the smoldering pile.

Another time he brushed aside safety claims by asserting that his long hours at the site had left him susceptible to “every health consequence that people have suffered.”

The New York Times went back and checked.
A complete record of Mr. Giuliani’s exposure to the site is not available for the chaotic six days after the attack, when he was a frequent visitor. But an exhaustively detailed account from his mayoral archive, revised after the events to account for last-minute changes on scheduled stops, does exist for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001. It shows he was there for a total of 29 hours in those three months, often for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble. In that same period, many rescue and recovery workers put in daily 12-hour shifts. […]

When these guys lie like this do they really think they will get away with it? I mean, it is easy to check this stuff.

What? You mean they do get away with it? Oh. Now I see...

Even in the Times piece which just lays waste to Giuliani, they wrap up with this:
Alan I. Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University who specializes in voter behavior, said the Giuliani campaign’s focus on his Sept. 11 record has raised the stakes for any mischaracterization of his actions during that period.

“Its sort of like John Kerry making his war heroism a central focus,” Mr. Abramowitz said, “which may have contributed to the attention that was given to the swift boat veterans’ attacks on him.”

"Sort of like John Kerry?" You mean that as a candidate Kerry was a documented war hero, and the lies were told about him? By the Republicans? Yeah, same fucking thing, "Professor."

[h/t Carpetbagger]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Baseball: State of the Nation

It's been a while since I've sat down and talked baseball. Well, that's not entirely true—I've talked plenty on the road, but the home park's overdue. Some of these are current, some have been collecting dust...

First off, when the only thing preventing you from completing a home sweep of Tampa Bay is a 1-8 starter who doesn't even have a face, it's time to take care of business. The Yankees are facing a Cy Young candidate today. Get this back to a six-game lead. Get some crooked numbers going, boys, I'm sick of this shit.

Jesus. In the time it took me to write that, Tampa's gone up 5-0. Thanks alot, Dice K. I don't want to hear any more crap about this guy being a co-ace. I'm happy he's on my staff, but "ace" means I know what to expect. And it means putting the hammer down in a game like this. This guy hands out four-run innings like candy. Luckily he seems to only do it once a start, but at home, against Tampa? He starts next week in the Bronx, and I am not exactly brimming with confidence.

I'm not worried. Seriously. I thought it was a good move at the time, and I still do. We will see a lot more outing like last night than what we saw in Baltimore. Still should have gotten Jermaine Dye however. Getting two-hit by a faceless Devil Ray only reinforces that.

Congratulations to Rick Ankiel, who finally made it back to the majors last week—in a big way. A one-time pitching phenom for the Cards, Ankiel completely lost it one post-season game walking guys and uncorking wild pitches, losing the game, and he never recovered mentally. Then he needed Tommy John surgery...

Ankiel went back to rookie ball and learned to play outfield. He's actually been tearing it up in AAA all year, but because of his previous service, the Cards had to hold off bringing him up until now. He's hitting .345 with 3 HRs and 6 ribs in less than a week. And he replaces the atrocious Scott Spezio, to boot!

One of my all-time least-favorite Sox still refuses to call it a career. Mo Vaughn "replacement" Jose Offerman is toiling away in a league so obscure that there's not even video of his latest accomplishment. That is, being arrested during a game for assault after charging the mound with his bat and tagging the catcher and the pitcher. Luckily for those two, Awfulman can barely make contact, and when he does, it's weak...

Yeah, he's a Hall of Famer, but I cannot stand Craig Biggio. Poster boy for artificial hustle and grittiness. You got your 3,000 and HBP record, now just go away. Oh, and Don Baylor earned that record by being a hulking brick wall at the plate, not being a little pussy leaning into curveballs with an XXL jersey and a garbage can strapped to his arm.

Evan Longoria, Corey Hart, Grant Balfour (he's a pitcher)

Looks like the interns running the onlince scoreboards were into Berman's stash last week. This is a real screenshot. How many things wrong can you find? Click to zoom in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Bigfoot Possessed by Darwin
Will people never learn that drag races and car-crushing monster trucks are fucking dangerous? [via Jalopnik]

If Your Car's Not From Oklahoma, You're a Pussy!
The far-more-patriotic-than-thou Sooners have come up with an Romneyesque way to fight terror—this senses-shattering display of pure jingoistic bullshit that looks like it came straight from the fevered dreams of Dick Cheney.

I particularly love the tasteful use of the Twin Towers and the pixel desert camo. Stick this on your Hummer, and you're doing your part to fight the terrorists over there. You know, at the mall.

If you look closely, the eagle has a bit of Democrat flesh in its beak. [via proud ashamed Oklahoman Greg at The Talent Show]

I Want One of These
Which will look better with my GWOT license plate—yellow, or silver? [link]

Walking Worse Than Driving
I'm sure this "leading environmentalist" is booked on every FOX News Show possible and will be recess-appointed to head the EPA... [link]
Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated.

Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance. The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes.

Just think! If we all stopped breathing, we could really make a difference! Actually, if this "latest serious thinker to turn popular myths about the environment on their head" would simply share the technology that allowed the car in his study to spontaneously create its own fuel, we might be on to something. Fucking hack.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wave Goodbye, Karl

I've read several things on Rove's departure today, and many are speculating on the "real" reasons—which may be a long time revealing themselves—he's leaving. I don't much care, as it won't effect much as far as I can tell. If nothing else, I think it's an indication that Rove's usefullness was waning.

Thankfully, Andrew Sullivan is back from his vacation (too long for me) and sums up the Rove Legacy better than anything else I've read. Here's the whole thing:
The man's legacy is a conservative movement largely discredited and disunited, a president with lower consistent approval ratings than any in modern history, a generational shift to the Democrats, a resurgent al Qaeda, an endless catastrophe in Iraq, a long hard struggle in Afghanistan, a fiscal legacy that means bankrupting America within a decade, and the poisoning of American religion with politics and vice-versa. For this, he got two terms of power - which the GOP used mainly to enrich themselves, their clients and to expand government's reach and and drain on the productive sector. In the re-election, the president with a relatively strong economy, and a war in progress, managed to eke out 51 percent. Why? Because Rove preferred to divide the country and get his 51 percent, than unite it and get America's 60. In a time of grave danger and war, Rove picked party over country. Such a choice was and remains despicable.

Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war - and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency. His divisive politics and elevation of corrupt mediocrities to every branch of government has turned an entire generation off the conservative label. And rightly so. It will take another generation to recover from the toxins he has injected, with the president's eager approval, into the political culture and into the conservative soul.

The only problem is if Sullivan and others let the truths of that passage walk out the door with Rove. Pinning all that on Rove, and Rove alone, lets Bush off the hook. Bush was a willing participant and the prime benificiary of those actions, and the same "party over country" condemnation deserves to be clearly attached to him as well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dick of the Week: Mitt Romn Rudy Giuliani!

And I quote...
"I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them...I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them." [link]

Rudy has long been an asshole, a serial exaggerator, and the worst kind of opportunist, but a statement like that is astounding—even for him. If there was any doubt as to whether or not there could be a worse President than Bush, look no further than this man. He's everything wrong with Bush, but actually motivated and driven, and even more of an authoritarian—he's actually Bush combined with Cheney—and he clearly suffers from a Dubya-like self-aggrandizment and is insulated from reality and surrounded by a layer of sycophants thick enough that nobody ever told him how repulsive a comment like that would be.

And this wasn't an off-the-cuff moment, he was actually making statements to defend himself against criticism from victim's families about mismanagment during and after 9/11. So, he goes before the press to "fire back" at those critics (probably not wise to begin with), but the defense he comes armed with is that he was there more than some of the workers and felt the same experiences?

He's fucking nuts! How do you think that would go over if he walked into Ladder Co. 10 and tried that on the guys who literally sifted through rubble for weeks and months for their fallen brothers.

It makes Mitt Romney equating his five sons' campaign work to serving overseas in the military during a war look like a mispronounciation.


Meanwhile, The Village Voice lays waste to the "Myth of Rudy" this week:
Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11
On the stump, Rudy can't help spreading smoke and ashes about his lousy record
Nearly six years after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani is still walking through the canyons of lower Manhattan, covered in soot, pointing north, and leading the nation out of danger's way. The Republican frontrunner is campaigning for president by evoking that visual at every campaign stop, and he apparently believes it's a picture worth thousands of nights in the White House.

And, if you haven't seen this video yet, there's no better context than this.

Where's MY Tornado?

I love extreme weather. Sitting on the front porch during a raucous thunderstorm is bliss. So, I move from Brooklyn to Michigan—where there are tornado sirens, drills, warnings, etc.—fueling my desire to experience a twister (from a safe distance) and there's NOTHING. Instead, a tornado hits a couple neighborhoods away from Park Slope? Craziness.

How do tornadoes form and why don't they hit places like NYC more often? Not enough trailer parks, for one reason, but there are actual scientific, climatological reasons too—just ask this scientician...

Where's the safest place to hide from all varieties of Mother Nature's wrath? This 2005 Slate article says Connecticut.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Links: "Democrats Suck" Edition

UPDATE: More links...

FISA Post-Mortem
Matt Stoller has a simple summary of the procedural screw-ups that resulted in the passage of the crappy FISA bill. While no one comes away looking good to me, this clearly looks worse on Reid and the Senate. To continue an analogy from the piece...if the House "walked the pitcher," it was in relief. It was Reid who loaded the bases and issued the first three balls.

Fucking Dreamworld
David Sirota is smoking serious crack if he thinks the Dems would actually do this—he lays out a strategy to defeat the FISA bill by de-funding it.

A "concensus?" Really?
Somebody buy Joe Biden a clue. Or take Sirota's crackpipe away from him.

Aiding and Abetting
Glenn Greenwald makes the case in his article "Democrats' Responsibility for Bush Radicalism" that the Dems aren't merely gutless, but that they are, in fact, willing accomplices. Greenwald looks at the fatal flaws of the strategy, and also includes an excerpt from his interview of one of the few Dems not on my shit list—Chris Dodd.

As usual, Greenwald is loaded with tons of good stuff. Hell, just read 'em all:
The strong and tough Democrats
Attention Democrats: GOP fear-mongering does not work
Chris Dodd on FISA, habeas corpus and Democratic capitulation

The List Grows Longer
That would be the list of things I don't like about Hillary... Mark Kleiman rightly calls her out for employing a union-buster as her chief strategist and pollster, and for taking lobbyist's money.

"Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy, or are you gonna bite?"
Sen. Leahy extends subpoena deadline. Again. Here's an idea, Senator, maybe you should have told the White House to "go fuck itself" on the FISA overhaul unless they comply. I can hear Fred Fielding and Karl Rove laughing from here.

In Gonzo We Trust
The always excellent Dahlia Lithwick has a column at Slate on the ridiculous contortions by Democrats on Gonzales.
There is virtually no way to reconcile Sen. Mark Pryor's, D-Ark., claim that Gonzales has "lied to the Senate" and needs to go with his vote to expand the reach of our warrantless eavesdropping program. And how can one possibly square Sen. Dianne Feinstein's, D-Calif., claim that the AG "just doesn't tell the truth" with her vote to give him yet more unchecked authority?

[...] Imagine that the Democrats had been hollering for the past six months that Gonzales was an out-of-control drunk. With their eavesdropping vote, they've handed him the keys to a school bus. Nobody was forcing these Democrats to impeach or censure the AG. But this warm pat on the back they have offered him is beyond incredible.

With this FISA vote, the Democrats have compromised the investigation into the U.S. attorney scandal. They've shown themselves either to be participating in an empty political witch hunt or curiously willing to surrender our civil liberties to someone who has shown—time and again—that he cannot be trusted to safeguard them. The image of Democrats hypocritically berating the attorney general with fingers crossed behind their backs is ultimately no less appalling than an attorney general swearing to uphold the Constitution with fingers crossed behind his own.

Damn Straight

While riding with Rickey, I found out that Rickey reads Wil Wheaton's blog. Yes, that Wil Wheaton. How funny is that? Anyway, I did a search for a pic of Wheaton as galactic puss Wesley Crusher, and I found this instead.

Yes, he is. Yes. He. Is.

"Answer the question, Claire!"

Now, you suck too, Obama?

Now I recognize that I am at my absolute low-water mark with the Democrats, and that this is the stupidest of topics to base a political decision on... But for fuck's sake, can any of these non-committal, afraid-to-offend, pandering, calculating jerkoffs ever answer a freaking question?

"Yes" or "No." All that stuff about sports and kids, and cynicism is fine, but take a goddamn stand, already.

I've fucking had it with these losers.

And, yes. You should honor Bonds at the White House.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Eight Reasons I Rule

Toast tagged me. I get into these things, so I'll do it, but I don't need no stinkin' rules, and like chain letters/emails that go straight in the trash, I don't pass these on. Here goes..."Eight Random Things You Probably Don't Know About Me":

1. When shopping, particularly with groceries, I never buy the item in front. I always grab one from the back. Partly for freshness (with food), and partly for the best possible condition package (anal). But, mostly because I'm crazy.

2. I often on occasion cheat on my "Friday Random Ten" iPod lists. If there's a song I don't feel like listening to, or writing about, it's like it never happened...

3. I cut my pancakes, waffles or French toast up completely and THEN dispense the syrup. This annoys the living hell out of Mrs. F... Screw 'er, that's how I roll.

4. I have ADD. It's officially undiagnosed, but my wife and I are convinced, and I have a doctor willing to prescribe the meds...

5. I've had a vascectomy.

6. I NEVER leave shopping carts loose in the parking lot.

7. I've had six car accidents—four before I went to college and one immediately after college (none serious, no injuries, and all involved vehicles remained mobile) and then one about a year ago—I hit a pedestrian. I was pulling away from a stop sign, so I wasn't going fast, but it was enough to knock him unconscious. He ended up being fine, but it really shook me up. I was techically at fault since he was in the crosswalk, but he came out from in front of a truck and I never saw him. Terrible day. Though I am proud of my 15-plus year clean driving period before that.

8. I am NOT graceful or coordinated. I am a terrible dancer, cannot dribble a basketball without looking at it, and have been accused of playing sports "like John Cleese," whatever that means. I think I'm a fairly good softball player however, but I cannot handle the in-between hop. I like to hit to the opposite field—like Jeter.

UPDATE: Just got back from LLPON, and those lazy asses haven't posted in a week. They need something to get them off their asses. Otto, T-Hous and the boys, consider yourselves tagged. If you need inspiration, check out some fine examples in the comments and from these other folks: Disgruntled Chemist, The Howard Boys, and Fridge.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Nelson Award: Fear of a Black Planet

I had what I thought was a pretty clever post written on this, but I'll just leave it to the professionals...

Greatest. Terrible. Excuse. Ever.

Apparently, down South in the GOP, you're better off playing it as a racist pussy than gay…in case you were wondering.

Happy Incompetence Day!

"Sir, here's the Presidential Daily Breifing...there's a CIA agent here insisting you read this part about the attack on our soil—"

"Whatever, Harriet. I got wood to chop. Tell him he covered his ass."

[image courtesy Dependable Renegade]

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Fridge of Fury

Toast wants to know, "What's on your fridge?" So, I'll oblige.

Our kitchen, like the rest of our home, is kept in immaculate, surgically-sterile condition with nary a toy or magazine out of place. Behold our gleaming stainless steel obelisk...


You believe that crap? The front of that appliance is the cleanest part of the house only because we cannot easily stick junk all over it. Take a few steps into the room, and look at the part of the fridge that still accept magnets...

Not to worry, we hoarde our Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons in the stack of shit on top of the fridge. And of course, Ruby has free reign on the side of the stove...

For a shot of out kitchen in it's more "natural" state, here's one featuring Mrs. F., Kid Furious and our old fridge in all its paper-and-magnet-festooned glory.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Troubled Bridge Over Water
Yikes! Stay the hell out of New York.

Extreme Makeover
Steve Benen does the best political work on the 'tubes, and the site now looks the part. Check out the redesigned Carpetbagger Report.

"Never a good Idea to attack the dude with the microphone."
Don't crack wise with Kevin Smith, he feeds on the laughter of comic geeks. Video here. Warning: NSFW. Oh, the fan is right—Smith's movies suck.

A Bad Idea
Chrysler's set to offer a lifetime powertrain warranty. As in forever. Something tells me this is going to be another insurmountable legacy cost (aka: another nail in their coffin).

"My name is Ian, and I'm from Minor Threat..."
The David vs. Goliath story of Nike ripping off an old punk album cover to sell stuff. The Legal Satyricon

New Batman Teaser
Unveiled at ComiCon last week. Doesn't show anything, but following on the heels of the excellent "Batman Begins" I have high hopes for "Dark Knight." May suffer from the SM3 problem of too many villains, but so what. Christian Bale is far and away the best Batman yet, and I could listen to Michael Caine read the phone book. Go. UPDATE: That's DC's "viral" Joker site, and it's already something else. Found it on YouTube. Enjoy.

My Path of Destruction
Everywhere I've been long enough to sleep a night or attend an event. Driving through doesn't count. [h/t Fridge]

Visited US States Map from TravelBlog

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Bridge

Obviously a horrible day in the Twin Cities. A couple random thoughts regarding the bridge collapse in Minneapolis...

• It's hard to believe only 4 people died (as of now) during a rush hour disaster like that. There was even a full-sized school bus full of kids on the bridge! It's fortunate that the bridge was only 60 feet high and the river only 7-8 feet deep. I'm sure those are the two biggest positive contributing factors why this isn't much worse. That, and the fact it is summer.

• Anybody else see the film "The Mothman Prophecies?" Can't stop thinking about that.

• I'll go on record and say I have a mild fear of bridges. I used to commute over the Tappan Zee Bridge every day and would often imagine horrible collapse scenarios...and the TZ bridge is much higher, and over a deep and wide Hudson River.

On our regular bike route to the library, Ruby and I ride over a highway overpass on what basically seems to be some tacked-on pedestrian walk. It's a steel grate floor, so you see straight down to I-94. I always imagine that thing breaking off hurtling us onto the highway.

Ironically, one bridge that never frightened me was the Brooklyn Bridge. Driving or walking/biking. That span is well over a hundred years old, the pedestrain path also allows a view straight down to the river between the slats, but for some reason, on that one, I felt fine.

• Can somebody give me a good reason why it should take years to rebuld the span? I've seen anywhere from 3 to 5 years in various stories. I mean, they built the George Washington Bridge and the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges in less time than that, 75-80 years ago!


Perhaps a little late, but, in honor of the movie, here are a few Simpsons related links:

If I Lived in Springfield
Go to the movie website to create yourself as a Simpsons character. That's me. Except for an inability to represent my facial hair, this isn't too far off...

Best. Simpsons Character. Ever.
The Chicago Tribune held a "Simpsons Tourney." I had last checked in during the Final Four—Homer v. Ralph Wiggum, Moe v. Apu. Final results and the whole bracket here.

The Trib also has three trivia, here and here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In Ten Years Will These Guys Even Remember Being in Office?

Cheney actually gets to trot out both of his favorite unproveable lies in this brief exchange: "I don't recall." and "I haven't seen the story."

I particuarly LOVE the old "I haven't seen the story." Do you think for one second that Dick Cheney is unaware that the NY Times has fingered him as the man who gave the order for Gonzo to harrass Ashcroft in the hospital? Of course he's aware of it. Right down to the puncuation. In this and every other case when he feigns ignorance, he's full of shit. I suppose it's plausible he might have one of his lackeys come in a read it to him so he doesn't have to actually see it, but, come on...