Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is this a joke? [UPDATED]
From TPM
In the department of 'you can't make this stuff up' Scooter Libby, lawyer, foreign policy hand, author and Dick Cheney's personal one-man heat shield, has hired a memory loss expert to assist in his defense.
The new cottage industry? Psychics and other mediums willing to reach into the tortured souls of Republican elected officials for the purposes of legal defense?

[UPDATE: As Deb points out in the comments, Scooter may well be more interested in hiring the kind of "memory loss experts" you saw in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind...making sure his memory gets erased, not restored.]
all-time low [UPDATED]
34% -- ouch

UPDATE: Meanwhile, college teachers are at 59% and rising (link found via Wonkette)
-- Deb

Monday, February 27, 2006

What have you been reading, listening to, watching?

New York's MOMA's a Scream
The Museum of Modern Art is running a Munch retrospective through May, and there's a great slide-show with commentary at Slate on it. Check it out.

Load and fire that one bullet, Barney.
One of my personally best loved actors has died, Don Knotts, 81, apparently Friday night.

The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club was founded in 1979 by four students at Vanderbilt University. The club now has approximately 20,000 members and 1,150 chapters around the world. I'm a founding member of the Girl Campers of America chapter of Nashville, TN, and probably not a week of my life has passed without watching TAGS at some point. I think Barney Fife is possibly the best sitcome character ever, thanks to Don Knotts' comedic timing and style.

Join me in tribute by watching an episode or two tonight, it's always on TVLand and usually a handful of local affiliates every day. (For non-aficionados, black and white only, please, no color episodes.) Barney, thanks and happy motoring.

Weekend Box Office:
1 Madea's Family Reunion
2 Eight Below
3 The Pink Panther
4 Date Movie
5 Curious George

Does anyone know anything about this Madea’s Family Reunion and the man behind it and it’s predecessor movie? Is it another Big Momma’s House, or something more substantial?

Programming Note: Jon Stewart will be on Larry King tonight to talk about the Oscars thing, for those of you who can overlook Larry King to enjoy Jon Stewart.

Friday, February 24, 2006

No matter where you go, there you are
I thought I had moved away from embarrassingly goofy politicians, but I should have known better: Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is all over the news today for his cluelessness in a recent Daily Show interview.

As predicted by Springfield IL radionewsguy/blogger Jim Leach when the interview aired two weeks ago, Blago was unaware of The Daily Show when they interviewed him about his emergency contraception executive order (forcing pharmacists who refuse on religious grounds to dispense).

I don't believe anyone who is not aware of The Daily Show is fit to govern; perhaps one of Rod's staffers agrees.
No time today
But read this. It would seem that our math-challenged friend Richard Cohen (see Tuesday's post) has associated himself squarely with sub-canine mathematical ability. Well, sort of. Just read it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Plenty of bad news in a recent report on average family income, which declined 2.3% from 2001 to 2004. But to me the scariest was this bit:
The Fed survey found that debt as a percent of total assets rose to 15% in 2004, from 12.1% in 2001. Mortgages to finance home purchases were by far the biggest share of total debt at 75.2% in 2004, unchanged from 2001.
So personal debt is up, and it's not due to taking on more in home mortgages.

And it's no small increase. 12 to 15 may be an gain of only 3 points, but that's a 25% increase (try to follow along, Richard Cohen) in debt as a percentage of total assets in just 3 years. So, that's more than just a tracking of the fact that income declined.
Not a good night...
"The subject dropped the knife." Yeah no kidding.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

worth thinking about
While the feeding frenzy continues piling on Bush for the UAE port security deal, Jimmy Carter is for it. There may be political gain here, but I'm still not convinced on the substance. Neither is Kevin Drum.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

3 branches?
I still am not sure what to think about this issue of port security. It feels like something of a trap for some reason--this one's too easy. But I was struck by a couple phrases from the President's statement in strong defense of his position today, even threatening veto if Republican leadership pass a bill that would undo the deal.
I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction. But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully. Again, I repeat, if there was any question as to whether or not this country would be less safe as a result of the transaction, it wouldn't go forward.
The last time I checked, Congress was in fact a part of "our government." They even - if my high school civics class serves me right - have something of a role to play. But Bush sure doesn't sound like he considers the body to be anything other than a sideshow, allowed under some circumstances to "raise questions". It's certainly in keeping with other stances he's taken - that the Executive branch is really the only governing body. But kind of shocking that he can say it so starkly--he really is saying to Congress: "don't worry so much... 'our government' has things under control."

Whose government exactly? Sounds like he just means him, Cheney and the boys.... you know, our government.
Is Algebra Necessary?
If you are a regular reader of the liberal blogosphere, you know that this topic is soooo last week. The story begins with a column by the Washington Post's Richard Cohen, arguing that algebra should not be a requirement for high school graduation.
You will never need to know algebra. I have never once used it and never once even rued that I could not use it. You will never need to know -- never mind want to know -- how many boys it will take to mow a lawn if one of them quits halfway and two more show up later -- or something like that. Most of math can now be done by a computer or a calculator. On the other hand, no computer can write a column or even a thank-you note -- or reason even a little bit. If, say, the school asked you for another year of English or, God forbid, history, so that you actually had to know something about your world, I would be on its side. But algebra? Please.
I will leave aside the issue of whether or not algebra is "used" in daily life or not, other than to say that just because you don't sit down with pencil and paper and factor binomials to solve a pressing problem doesn't mean that the part of your brain stroked by algebra class doesn't come into play regularly.

No, my problem is this: the idea--common among math strugglers--that there is some discrete gene that controls your ability to perform (or not) algebra, and only algebra. I contend that if you failed high school algebra more than once, while giving a sincerely earnest effort to learn, understand and apply it, with all the spoon-feeding direction high school generally affords, then you have some problems that reach outside the walls of the algebra classroom--comprehension, problem-solving, reasoning, likely even fundamental math skill kinds of problems. I'm not saying it's easy. But I can't think that it's too much to ask of a high school graduate.

To be sure, there are certainly bad algebra teachers out there. You may fail to make heads or tails of bad algebra teaching when you might be able to pretty well grasp some better methods of explanation. But that is not the problem of having a faulty couple of brain cells that are useless anyway, which is what I always hear algebra-haters claiming. That is a problem that brings together bad teaching with poor problem-solving skills and a bad enough support system at home that there's nobody to help get you over those humps. You can fail any class with that combination. It's not an algebra problem.

Kevin Drum shows some sympathy for Cohen's basic question here. Atrios does not here. Jeanne at Body and Soul has a response that is beautiful but beside the point. Matt Yglesias tries to get specific with some Algebra uses here. But if you want to read the harshest smack-down, there's Pharyngula.
Japan's Only Resource is Shrinking
I find it ironic that at the same time the world is facing an overpopulation crisis, Japan is facing a crisis of underpopulation. Last year I spent 3 months in Japan, and heard the subject come up at least 10 times, in casual conversation, on tv shows devoted to discussing the crisis, and in a fifth-grade social studies class. Almost everyone in the country seems to be able to cite the low birthrate statistics: 1.3 nationwide and a mere 0.9 in Tokyo.

I saw the current effects in the shrinking schools I visited. My wife's elementary school has half the students it did when she attended. Others already affected include seniors, who are increasingly living alone in a culture that still assumes the norm to be children living with their aging parents. Also, social security has been in the red for a few years now, with no black in sight.

As for solutions? Allowing mass immigration is one possibility. Robots
are another.

Monday, February 20, 2006

What have you been reading, listening to, watching?

Just What is the Big Deal?
Over at the Huffington Post today, Jesse Kornbluth tries to answer the big question I had after seeing Brokeback Mountain: "Why are so many Americans so full of fear and hate for gay men?" I don't get it either. He recounted the study that showed homophobic men being more aroused by gay porn than heterosexual porn. Does it really come down to that? A bunch of dudes with low self-esteem?
--Stevie T

British Film Awards
The British film (Constant Gardener) gets the snub. Cowboys win.

NYTimes on Jon Stewart
Profile of Stewart and the challenge of emceeing the Oscars:
Somehow, Mr. Stewart and his writers must be arch enough to bring along the 1.4 million viewers who lap up "The Daily Show" each night on Comedy Central, while being broad enough to win over perhaps 40 million other people who typically watch the Oscars but may never have seen "This Week in God," a sendup of religion that is a "Daily Show" staple.

"We're hoping to disappoint fans of 'The Daily Show' and similarly disappoint new fans who had no idea who Jon was," Mr. Karlin, now executive producer of both the Stewart and Colbert shows, said in an interview.
Weekend Box Office
1. Eight Below
2. Date Movie
3. The Pink Panther
4. Curious George
5. Final Destination 3
Blah blah blah.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I don't have the expertise to know whether it's a good decision to hand over the US's port security to a company from the United Arabs Emirate. I know that it sounds more than a little funny, and needs to be explained to me. But mostly what it makes me think is it's a good candidate for the next chapter in the book of WICDT? (What If Clinton Did That?)
Powerball Odds
Like much of America, I had a Powerball ticket for Saturday. $360 million and all.
I had: 15, 17, 43, 48, 55--PB 27
The results? 15, 17, 43, 44, 48--PB 29

What are the odds of catching 4 of the 5 numbers without the powerball number? Approx. 1 in 14,254. So...if I got actual odds, my ticket should have turned 1 dollar into $14,254, right? Even if the state splits it with me evenly, I should still be looking at $7,127 wouldn't you say? So what do you get for 4 out of 5 without the powerball? $100. Quite the sucker bet, no?

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Magic BB
Funniest thing I've read in a while. (Thanks Doug)
Where is the Tipping Point?
The president is a compulsive liar and criminal; the vp declassifies CIA info on undercover ops for political retribution and shoots a man while under the influence; Katrina; Iraq; Iran; Abramoff; Libby; glacial melting; Alito's confirmed with no filibuster; I needn't go on.

A recent BBC survey on views of other nations found the US ranked more negatively than positively and finishing just above Iran (worldpublicopinion.org), and I personally agree with the ranking.

Why aren't millions of American people in the streets with pitchforks and torches demanding change, and more importantly, WHY ISN'T THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP LEADING THE MARCH?

Bob Burnett blogs about "Searching for the Democrats - The Leadership Issue" on the Huffington Post, and the question has been analyzed at length in the liberal blogosphere in regards to now-former Ohio candidate Hackett and whether he was swiftboated by fellow Dems.

I get so frustrated I could scream. As is often the case, Molly Ivins speaks brilliantly when I cannot:
What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing President Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich.

The majority (77 percent) think we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) think big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
Do not sit there cowering and pretending that the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

Some days, I lose hope or maybe just patience. If the Dems can't be bold, come together, and kick these soul-less weasels out now when conditions couldn't be more appropriate, is there reason for hope?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Responsibility? What's that?
Former Reagan press secretary Marlin Fitzwater is "appalled": Cheney "ignored his responsibility to the American people."

Join the club, Marlin. We've been saying those things for 6 years now.
Please, No
God help me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What's being said about Cheney
RJ Eskow (at the Huffington Post)
The real story is already emerging, if you're willing to do a little digging. Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives), there was some drinking, and Whittington wound up shot. Armstrong didn't see the incident but claimed she had, Cheney refused to be questioned by the Sheriff until the next morning, and a born-again evangelical physician has been downplaying Whittington's injuries since they occurred.
Alan Dershowitz
A simple cost/benefit analysis suggests that he (or those advising him) must have believed that there was more to be gained than lost by a 14 hour delay that would eventually be made public. It is likely, therefore, that something happened during that 14 hour period which was worth the negative costs of the delay.

What is the most likely thing to happen during a 14 hour delay that is worth the negative publicity? One possibility is that it takes approximately that period of time for alcohol to dissipate in the body and no longer be subject to accurate testing. It is fairly common for people involved in alcohol-related accidents to delay reporting them until the alcohol has left the body. There is no hard evidence that this is what happened here, but we are entitled to a better explanation.
Josh Marshall
How big is the Kenedy County Sheriff's Department? They rapidly concluded that "this was nothing more than a hunting accident."

But how big an outfit is it exactly? Kenedy County has a population of 414 people, which makes it the fourth smallest county in the United States.
David Letterman
[T]he real question now is -- is this a one-time thing or will the vice president try to kill again?
What good quotes have you found?
New Poll

"Based on what you have heard or read, do you think George W. Bush – definitely broke the law, probably broke the law, probably did not break the law or definitely did not break the law?"

Probably or definitely broke the law = 49%
Probably or definitely did not = 47%

So, can we please be making more out of this now?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

For the man who has everything [Warning! Not work safe! Unless you work at, maybe, Victoria's Secret.]
The ultimate Valentine's Day gift, discovered via BoingBoing.
Was he drunk?
Lawrence O'Donnell
When Dick Shot Harry -- update
Apparently being "peppered" can include a peppercorn lodging in your heart and causing a "minor heart attack." That's a pretty deep flesh wound, I'm thinking.

BTW, Happy Valentine's Day. I love you guys.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What have you been listening to, reading, watching?

Article 19 Film Recommendation: Match Point
There's good news and bad news about the new Woody Allen film that is getting such good press. The good news is that it's true: this is indeed his best film in many years (ok i didn't see that one with christina ricci and the kid from american pie, but please..). It's a tight, weighty story and best of all it has some marvelous touches--in the story but also, and especially, in some beautiful shots, and some inspired coverage decisions--the way he rarely shows the reactions we want to see--that hits just the right understated tone.

The bad news is that, script-wise especially, the best parts of Match Point were already treated, and better, in Crimes and Misdemeanors. And the handful of moments when it becomes obviously a Woody Allen film, when his quirks and particular devices are most apparent, that's when the film loses me the most. (Only Woody would think that there are actually lots of young good-looking tennis-playing men in london who love nothing more than opera and read Dostoevsky in their spare time.)

So, I recommend it. The last 20 minutes or so are especially great. But there were some annoying moments.
Hollywood Kisses
At MSNBC.com, Erik Lundegaard surveys the history of film for the best kisses, apropos of 2/14 which, apparently, is some kind of holiday. I'm not really into kissing. Probably a credit to my complete lack of skills there (apparently it takes practice or something). So I don't have too many particular scenes that come to mind. But despite my personal handicap there, I think we could come up with a better list. So, what do you say--best movie kiss? As opposed to eric's cumbersome categories, I propose 2: best kiss regardless of context, and best kiss as an integral part of a good film.

Galactica Watching
It has come to my attention that some think the new Battlestar Galactica show is worth watching. I've never seen it. But Atrios has some reasonable questions and expectations for this kind of sci-fi show:
Not every science fiction show needs to be as precisely plotted as was Babylon 5, with not just the basic show mythology and long term plot planned in advance but also the major plot arcs of every character. And, even an elaborately plotted show is going to have some "filler episodes" which do little or nothing to advance the plot. However the opposite approach means that you end up with a show like the X-files which they really did just make everything up as they went along. Earthshattering developments in one episode are forgotten in the next. Seemingly important plot developments are dropped and ignored.
Still not quite sure with Galactica if they know what they're doing or if they're just making it up as they go.
That kind of make-it-up-as-they-go also doomed one of my favorite all-time shows: Twin Peaks. So, who's watching the new Galactica?

Weekend Box Office
1. The Pink Panther
2. Final Destination 3
3. Curious George
4. Firewall
5. When a Stranger Calls

How's that for originality? Out of the top 5, 2 remakes, 1 sequel, and one rehash of an old chilren's book character. And before you think about going to see the Steve Martin flick, you might want to read this: "The Death of Inspector Clouseau."
Cheney's got a gun . . .
Of course we hope his 78 year old victim/donor recovers, but I for one laughed out loud when I saw this story, and I certainly was not surprised they covered it up for 24 hours to create their "blame the victim" story.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The end is near
A lot of people--smart people--might think this is a sign of the apocalypse. But we'd probably do better to look at this.
Remember the Family-Values, Rule-of-Law Party?
We already knew Ken Starr was a grade-A pervert. Today's poll question... which does this make him more of: a big-time idiot? or a major league asshole?
Lawyers for a death row inmate, including former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, sent fake letters from jurors asking California’s governor to spare the man’s life, prosecutors said Friday.
Do they even make law-abiding Republicans anymore?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Daughters Make a Difference
This is not terribly surprising, but is interesting.
[Yale University's Ebonya] Washington analyzed the family composition of the 105th Congress (1997-98), as well as how the liberal National Organization for Women ranked each member based on their votes on 20 women's issues. The rating scale ranged from zero (consistently voted against the NOW position) to 100 (always voted in accord with NOW's position).

She found that legislators with all daughters have NOW scores that are 12 points higher than those with all sons. Among those with three children, "each daughter is associated with an increase of nearly 3 points," Washington said.
Now, if we could just require that each congressperson have one gay child, one black child, and one child born into poverty we might be able to get some things done here.
I know I've made my position clear on this in the past. But one more time, with feeling.

I do believe that the Democratic Party should be a place where people of good will can disagree on this. And it's refreshing to have a new infusion of religious leaders and people guided by faith to find the Dems have the best approach toward being fair, just, compassionate and free. In everything from environmental issues to budget decisions, religious folks are, in small numbers granted, starting to break with their allegiance to the GOP. And if that means that the Democrats take on more people because they agree with Jimmy Carter who still finds a measure of evil in abortion, but believes it should be safe and legal, it's ok by me. Dems can have as big a tent on this issue as they want, and keep me, so long as on the front of the tent is a big sign saying: "legal abortion is the law of the land and it should stay that way."

But the pandering here toward men who would like to have more control over what women do with their bodies can be damned offensive. In short, I agree with Kevin, completely. I don't have alot of patience for men - MEN - who go around preaching/campaigning that making abortion rare (and I will admit to having tried on this position for a time to a certain extent) should be a top-tier, direct goal of government. If the rate falls, it could well be a sign of other good things happening (fewer people impoverished, fewer people uneducated about birth control, fewer people hopeless about their future) but that's about it.
I'm no economist, but this can't be good.
The U.S. trade deficit with China ballooned to $201.6 billion last year, setting a single-country record for a third consecutive year as Americans' appetite for cheap imported clothing and electronics grew.
The U.S. last year recorded a deficit of $725.8 billion with all its trading partners, setting a record for a fourth consecutive year, today's Commerce Department report showed. The gap with China accounted for 28 percent of the total, up from 26 percent in 2004.

The shortfall with China has more than doubled since 2000, when it reached $83.8 billion. That year, China deposed Japan, which showed an $81.6 billion surplus, as the country with the biggest trade advantage ever against the U.S.

The deficit with Japan this year, at $82.7 billion, was also a record for that country. The 2005 deficit with China is equivalent to 1.6 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced. The deficit with Japan reached a high of 1.2 percent of U.S. GDP in 1986, according to Commerce figures that go back to 1985.
But, not to worry, nothing to see here...did I mention that we stopped a serious terrorist threat 4 years ago? Terror terror terror. I wonder why word of that happened to come out today?
How do you spell moron?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

So much for loyalty
Libby rats out Cheney.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Funeral Controversy
I shouldn't be shocked that Republicans would actually find the Coretta King funeral objectionable because people talked about war, poverty and illegal wiretaps, all of which were issues that touched the King family.

If you didn't see it, Joseph Lowery was amazing and his speech totally appropriate (you could tell that he wasn't expecting, or waiting for, a response from the crowd on his statement about WMD), Ted Kennedy kicked butt, and I heard that Jimmy Carter and Clinton were both good but missed them. If anyone finds a transcript of Lowery's remarks will you post a link?

Kos reminds us that MLK himself didn't let some need for deference get in the way speaking truth to power at funerals; and has a link showing that John McCain himself brought up politics at Barry Goldwater's funeral.

Here's Steve Gilliard. Here's Atrios. Here's Digby.
Mass hysteria, dogs and cats, living together . . .

Maybe this is too Jay Leno-like an observation, but what the hell kind of a world are we living in that produces a banner head like CNN's running this morning:

Bush urges end to cartoon violence

and April 1 is still weeks away. Is cartoon violence one of the signs of the apolcalypse?
Who's Running NASA? UPDATE
Not him anymore...
George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word "theory" at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said. Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on file at the agency asserted.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Who's Running NASA?
Last week, I resisted posting about George Deutsch because it's just sooo....depressing. He's the 24-year-old who ended up being a Bush appointee in charge, apparently, of telling NASA what they can and can't say about science stuff.
In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word "theory" needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."
But it's worth posting now because World O'Crap has tracked down Mr. Deutsch's illustrious (and recent) career in college journalism. He believes in alot of interesting things. Makes you wonder how many other freaks make a living barking orders for our tax dollars.

And don't you think that most Republicans really are embarrassed by stuff like this?
Thanks, Dad...
Local story (sorry), but what's the point in helping your son hide the body if you're just going to end up ratting him out to save your own ass?

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad there's finally enough evidence to put Perry March away. But what's with the family loyalty? I smell a lawyer...

Monday, February 06, 2006

What have you been reading, watching, listening to?

Weekend Box Office
1. When A Stranger Calls
2. Big Momma's House 2
3. Nanny McPhee
4. Brokeback Mountain
5. Hoodwinked

Come on....did there really need to be a second Big Momma's House? And did people really need to go see it? If it stays in the top 5 for long, we'll be staring at #3 before long.

RIP, Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and co-founder of NOW, passed away Saturday, February 4 on her 85th birthday. As happens with most social issues, Betty Friedan's message got mixed in with those of more radical feminists in the 1960's, because her message was still a radical concept at the time. I found her more moderate and realistic about keeping men and families in our lives while seeking personal freedom and fulfillment than those who managed to create the lesbian man-hating stereotype of feminists that was easier for many men and women to dismiss. If you haven't read The Feminine Mystique, I recommend it. I'm curious what the word "feminist" brings to mind today, anyone?

Hearings on Illegal Presidential Spying
If you don't have c-span handy, Glenn Greenwald is live blogging the hearings. Good coverage at AmericaBlog too. Personally, I've given up on the hope that any actual good will come out of these things. But making a few Administration shills squirm for a couple minutes is something I guess. Also nice to hear that Feingold is keeping the heat on. I'm feeling better and better about possibly making him my next doomed idealistic Presidential cause.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Multiple siblings, bar ownership, and the new Republican leadership
Gotta love the kind of sense the new Republican House leader John Boehner can make, my favorite Q & A from today's Meeet the Press (my emph.):
MR. RUSSERT: From 535 members of Congress, John Boehner ranked number 10 (in accepting trips from lobbyists) according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which did analysis of this. Over the last five years they say John Boehner received trips which would equal $157,000, privately funded. And they point out where you went, which is—and here’s, here’s a list. Congressmen Boehner: White Sulpher Springs, West Virginia, where the Green Briar Resort is, eight times; Boca Raton, Florida, six times; Scottsdale, Arizona, four times; Monterey/Pebble Beach, California twice; Edinburgh, Scotland, home of St. Andrew’s Golf Course, twice. Foreign travel: Rome, Venice, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona.

To the American people looking at that, they’re saying those aren’t exactly the global hot spots in terms of conflict. But they are places that you’d want to go and relax or play golf.

REP. BOEHNER: People want—people invite me to give speeches. And, and as you know Tim, you know, I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters, my dad owned a bar. What you see is what you get. And I’ve got a very open relationship with lobbyists in town, with my colleagues, with the press, and with my constituents. And, and as a result, you know, people invite me to go give speeches, and I go give them.
Big family + Dad owns a bar = My actions may not be questioned? What the hell is he talking about? And, no, in context it didn't make any more sense. Are those apparent non sequiturs some kind of secret code or euphemism I'm not familiar with?

Friday, February 03, 2006

I'm proud to announce that beginning sometime next week Article 19 will turn into a group blog! You may have noticed that posting has become light and, frankly, a bit stale around here with my time being pressed. I didn't want to have to can the whole site, yet, so I've recruited an excellent team of smart, funny, passionate people to all be co-bloggers with me. Long-time readers Deb, Stevie T, Lisa E, and Kenny B will chime in, in no particular order and whenever they feel like it. Hopefully that will be enough to keep the site alive and hopping. But all former guest bloggers should feel free to post any time as well. A couple (Doug and Lewberry) already have their own fabulous blogs and I didn't want to hone in on their posting time there. But you two shouldn't hesitate to post here if ever you'd like.

So come back often next week. The content should be much improved!

Any other long-time readers who would like to go through the vigorous screening process to become a co-blogger drop me an e-mail.
Article 19 news
Big changes coming soon!! Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ha Ha
Did he have his fingers crossed too, just in case this explanation didn't work?
One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.
The old not literally defense. 75 percent by 2025 doesn't sound like much of a metaphor to me, but Bush has always communicated in strange ways...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Do you have the stomach for it?
Text of the State of the Union speech is here. I thought it was positively hilarious. This was my favorite part:
A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners and that recognize the matchless value of every life.

Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms; creating or implanting embryos for experiments; creating human-animal hybrids; and buying, selling or patenting human embryos.
human-animal hybrids?