Friday, November 30, 2007

Karl Rove Must Have Been a D Student

Just when I thought Math (see 6th, 7th, and 8th answers) was Karl Rove's worst subject, it turns out it was history.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Songs I Love II

Here is the second installment of Songs I Love. "What a Wonderful World This Would Be" by Simon, Garfunkel & James Taylor. Beautiful! I think it was originally done on Saturday Night Live. If anyone knows where I can find it on CD, please let me know. Again, I vouch for the song, not the video.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Road Map to Peace is Replaced by Bush's Road Paved With Good Intentions

Oh boy! According to President Bush, the Israelis and the Palestinians have agreed to agree by the end of 2008. Well, now I feel better. I guess we've torn up the Road Map to Peace that was going to put an end to the conflict by 2005. Now we have a "joint understanding." Even better, they haven't really agreed to agree. They've agreed to try to agree. In the statement read by Bush, the parties: "shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008." Oh, I am bursting with optimism.

And note the three reasons Bush feels now is the time for success.

"First, the time is right because Palestinians and Israelis have leaders who are determined to achieve peace," Bush said. "Second, the time is right because a battle is under way for the future of the Middle East and we must not cede victory to the extremists. Third, the time is right because the world understands the urgency of supporting these negotiations."
Let us examine these, shall we?

1. "Palestinians and Israelis have leaders who are determined to achieve peace." Well, not exactly. Abbas doesn't control his people and Olmert is very unpopular. So calling them "leaders" is pie-in-the-sky thinking.

2. "a battle is under way for the future of the Middle East and we must not cede victory to the extremists." That is not a reason why "the time is right" for an agreement. It is only a reason why Bush hopes the parties can reach a sustainable agreement.

3. "the world understands the urgency of supporting these negotiations." Great, other countries understand it is important for the parties to negotiate. Whereas before now I guess the world didn't think it was that important. And what part of the world does he mean? given that the most important player in the Middle East is Iran, if it doesn;t think negotiations are urgent, what hope is there?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Is the Bush Administration Lying to Us About Mid East Peace?

I don't think anyone actually believes the mid-east peace conference in Annapolis will be a success. Not even the administration that planned it. Iran isn't coming. But Condi Rice herself recently said that the biggest obstacle to Mid East peace is Iran. If the latter is true, the chances for success in Annapolis are small at best. There is no power in the region capable of confronting Iran effectively, so without Iran (and through it Hamas and Hezbollah) a peace deal just ain't going to happen. Add to that the unpopularity of Prime Minister Olmert in Israel, and the lack of control of Prime Minister Abbas is Palestinian territory and you have a recipe for nothing. It seems to me that we are looking at a huge PR push by a lame duck President. Expect an announcement of success coming out of the conference, but with no real progress.

ALERT - Fox News Unfair

Trivia question: What candidate recently accused the Fox News Network of demonstrating an unfair bias against his or her campaign?

A. Hilary Clinton
B. Barack Obama
C. John Edwards
D. Fred Thompson

Answer: D. Don't you just love watching Right-wingers eat their own?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Later, Folks!

See ya after the Holiday Weekend. Travel safely. Eat well. Don't work too hard. Thanks for stopping by.

Huckabee Platitudes

I don't think I've ever read a more vacuous Op-Ed piece than this one from Mike Huckabee in the Des Moines Register. Some of the more meaningful lines from this great thinker:

"We need leadership that will instill hope in the future for every American family"

"America's strength is in its people"

"Strong families need better schools with higher standards that incorporate personalized learning to enable every student to master basic skills while also developing their individual talents so they can exceed those higher standards."

"Strong families need a stable economy, rich with opportunities"

"Strong families need a health-care system that makes sense."

"Above all, strong families need a free and secure society."

"I'll also protect the Second Amendment to ensure American families never lose the right to defend themselves."

And as an afterthought:

"I'm committed to winning the war on terror in Afghanistan, Iraq and wherever radical Islamists seek the means to harm our nation."

Can anyone tell me what the hell he wants to do to make this glorious Eden come about? He is for Opportunities, Standards, Sense, Freedom, Security, Self-Defense, and Winning. Didn't he forget Apple Pie and Baseball?

Does a newspaper have to accept a column from a Presidential candidate, even if it is without any substance whatsoever?

A Rant On Oprah

Well, Oprah is going to campaign for Obama. (Sounds like a David Letterman joke, no?) Is anyone else unmoved by the news? I will now admit to my one failing as an American. I don't like Oprah. I remember when Oprah first hit the national consciousness. She was just Phil Donahue without the political connections. Now she is some sort of spiritual icon for thousands or millions of people. From age 19, she has been in the TV business. (most if not all facts on Oprah's life from Wikipedia.) If years of TV news experience makes someone a spiritual icon, why aren't we all listening to Bill O'Reilly for Spiritual advice.

Also - what an ego! Even Martha Stewart doesn't put her own face on every edition of her magazine. But Oprah does. Anyway, I wish Oprah would go away and stop advising all of us on how to live. Do we really think she reached the level of fame she now has without stepping on the toes of some lower beings?

And the last (for now) reason to dislike Oprah - she brought us this.

Hey Ms. Rand, What Are You Thankful For?

John Stossel's lesson from Thanksgiving? Socialism is bad. He argues that without a free market economy, the Pilgrims would not have had a Thanksgiving in 1623. Ok. Maybe. But I bet you they had a doctor who would come to even the poorest among them, without needing the permission of the Plymouth HMO. And I bet that the Pilgrims tried their damndest to make sure that no one starved. In other words, I bet the Pilgrims understood the advantages and limitations of free markets.

Fantastic Campaign Ad

Sadly its from Mike Huckabee and features Chuck Norris. But it is hysterical!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Congressional Approval

I am so sick of the Conservative canard that the fact that Congress' approval rating is below President Bush's means the public prefers Bush's policies to those of the Congressional leadership. Let us make it very clear. People are pissed off at Congress for failing to end the war and take other actions promised by the Democrats. what is the cause of the anger? Republican's in the Senate refusing to allow votes on significant bills, and the Presiden't veto. I suspect Congrtessional approval would go up of Republicans would allow Congress to act, and if President Bush signed bills into law.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

Over at the National Review, there is a lot of discussion of the push polls in NH an IA regarding Romney's Mormanism. Jim Geraghty doesn't think Romney planted the polls in order to make his opponents look bad. Instead, he has another theory:

The more I hear angry accusations from campaigns, and the more bad blood that is stirred, and the accusations that some campaigns employ bigoted arguments against a candidate, I start wondering... isn't this what some deep-pocketed Democrat would want to see in the GOP primary?
Ah yes. If there is a religious smear, it must be a Democrat. My guess is Soros. Republicans have too much class to pull a stunt like this.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Whole New Meaning For "Pixie Dust"

Odd, odd, odd. To freak out kids, do this on the "It's a Small World" ride.

A Blog's Untimely Death

Who Are You To Accuse Me, a great help to the birth of this blog, and a very insightful blog in its own right, has died a premature death. A sad day in the blogosphere.
It is very difficult to blog. Without comments and few people checking in regularly, you start to feel you are talking to yourself. As you can see, I have been posting less often because of that sense. I'll keep trying, maybe because I like the sound of my own voice, but I encourage all, if I say anything interesting or that you find reprehensible or enlightening, to let me know and tell your friends. Thanks to all, and especially Phillipe Duhart, who leaves the blogosphere too early.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tancredo's Ad

Speaks for itself. No shame.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Campaign Money From Evil-Doers

A current blog dustup over Ron Paul's acceptance of campaign contributions raises an interesting question. Why should a campaign return (or contribute to charity) money it receives from a group it finds repulsive? It always seemed to me that if the KKK or Nazi Party wants to throw its money away by giving it to someone that disagrees with them, then great! Should we examine the views and history of a politician who receives such contributions? Sure. But then again, we should examine the views and history of any and all politicians seeking our votes.

It reminds me of the kudos Rudy Giuliani received for turning down a $10 million contribution from a Saudi Prince after 9/11 because the Prince suggested that American policies contributed to the attacks.

[Side note - will Rudy turn down any support from Pat Robertson given his belief that 9/11 was a punishment of God for America's sins, and that liberals "helped [9/11] happen."]

Why not take the money? Isn't it possible that some of that $10 million went to the madrasahs that teach the hatred that actually led to 9/11? I can only imagine that Rudy and his supplicants would prefer the money going to the victims of 9/11 than madrasahs or Rolls Royces, or another palace for the Prince.

In short, I say to Ron Paul, assuming you are not a neo-Nazi, take the money and run!

I Wonder What O'Reilly Thinks Of This

Bill O'Reilly over at Fox News likes to complain of the coarsening of American culture. I can only assume he is proud of his own company. So I had to wonder what he would think when the Fox website had this as its Breaking News headline this morning: "Body of Illinois Police Sergeant's Third Wife Being Exhumed: Watch Live."

Watching an exhumation. Entertainment? News? One step above a snuff film?

UPDATE: They have already taken the headline down. Maybe someone over there has a soul.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Born Again, Again

Craig Unger at explains how there are two conflicting versions of George W. Bush's salvation. The official campaign 2000 version has George saved by Billy Graham. That's a pretty good story, that puts George in rarefied air. But, wait! If he was saved by Billy, it was a re-rebirth. According to Unger, George was first saved by a guy named Arthur Blessit. Here is Unger's description of Blessit:

His evangelicalism was rooted in the Jesus movement of the sixties counterculture. To the extent he was famous it was because he had preached at concerts with the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane, and others, and had run a "Jesus coffeehouse" called His Place on Hollywood's Sunset Strip during that turbulent decade. His flock consisted of bikers, druggies, hippies, and two Mafia hit men. The most celebrated ritual at Blessitt's coffeehouse was the "toilet baptism," a rite in which hippies announced they were giving up pot and LSD for Jesus, flushed the controlled substances down the toilet, and proclaimed they were "high on the Lord."

In 1969, however, Blessitt was evicted from his coffeehouse and, in protest, chained himself to a cross in Hollywood and fasted for the next twenty-eight days. Over the next fifteen years, "The Minister of Sunset Strip," as he was known, transformed himself into "The Man who Carried the Cross Around the World" by lugging a twelve-foot-long cross for Jesus through sixty countries all over the world, on what would become, according to the "Guinness Book of World Records," the longest walk in human history. Blessitt delivered countless lost souls to Jesus. He went to Jerusalem. He prayed on Mount Sinai. He crossed the Iron Curtain. Finally, in 1984, he came to Midland, Texas, to preach for six nights at the Chaparral Center before thousands of Texans night after night on a "Mission of Love and Joy." He did not know it, but he was about to bring George W. Bush to Jesus.
Not quite as impressive a leader to salvation as Billy Graham. But then again, if in 2000, you are lying about the roots of your salvation, have you really been saved? Problems appears to be having problems, limiting my ability to post. When Its fixed, I will be posting again. Please be patient!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Musharraf, Chavez, and Administration Response

The latest power grab by Pakistani President Musharraf demonstrates that I am not nuts. Apparently, the biggest criticism of Hugo Chavez' proposed constitutional amendments is the most democratic one - the ending of term limits. We all know the reason Chavez wants this change is to stay in power. But assuming the elections are free and fair (which I do not believe will be the case), ending term limits is very democratic. But because Chavez called Bush a devil, any act he takes is touted as anti-democratic and, by definition, wrong. Musharraf, on the other hand, completely suspends his constitution and jails lawyers and judges. The administration response? Please stop. Pretty please.
Can anyone else remember a time when the United States supported an autocrat in a Muslim nation in times of upheaval? How'd that turn out?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Dubai (Our Ally)

Dubai, which George Bush has praised as an important ally in the "War on Terror," has an interesting deficiency in its criminal law. Apparently, in Dubai, there is no such thing as raping a man. The two men who are alleged to have raped a French 15-year old boy have been charged with "kidnapping with deceit and illicit sexual intercourse." I'm guessing that "illicit sexual intercourse" is Dubai's way of saying "homosexual act."

What this proves is that the realist vision, so adamantly rejected in the rhetoric of the current administration, that we will support immoral regimes so long as they are our immoral regimes is alive and well in the actions of the same administration.

Executive of Arab Airline Doesn't Like Al Gore. Whoda Thunk It?

The Executive Vice-Chairman of Emirates airline, based in Dubai, said An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore is "rubbish." Shocking isn't it. I would imagine that it is in the interest of all airline executives to poo poo global warming seeing as how their businesses burn tons of fossil fuels daily. And even more shocking that someone who works for a company based in Dubai, which gains its wealth from oil profits, would criticize the movie.

Also, the executive claims to have watched the movie three times. Why? Did he see it as one of those movies that was so bad it was funny? Or maybe he had to watch it three times to find all the piddling little nit-picks he is sure to find.