Friday, October 28, 2005

I Didn't Win the World Series...

...but I'm still going to Disneyland. Well, Disney World, actually.

I'm going to miss out on the chance to get in on Miers, Rove/Libby and who knows what else. Somehow I don't think the world will spin off its axis without Mr Furious. Fot the next five days, I'll be Mr Fun instead. See ya Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In Memoriam: Paul Wellstone (1944-2002)

Three years ago today, the country lost a tremendous servant and I lost my hero.

That fall I was probably at my political-agitation peak. I cannot tell you what a gutpunch the news of this man's death was. The race for some out-of-state Senator was the most important thing to me. Paul Wellstone actually made me feel like I was fighting FOR something. Even last year's elections, while bigger than 2002, were not the same to me, because no one running was inspiring or even earned my respect (aside from a brief window with Dean who tried to channel Wellstone). The elections were about Bush and not hope. Hope had died in a Minnesota field two years earlier.

No politician alive (that I've heard of anyway) is or will be anything close to Paul Wellstone. Tragic. For his family, for Minnesota, and for the country. Never have we needed a man like him more than the past few years.

Go to the library and get his book. And be inspired.

UPDATE: The book is back in print

Deserved photo credit to Jeff Wheeler

A Nice Frosty Mug of STFU

All week, the right-wing machine has been slamming prosecutor Patrick Fitgerald, spinning him as some kind of partisan firebrand on a Bush witchhunt. Every time you hear that, or need to convince somebody otherwise, remember this:
This investigation has gone on for 22 months. Most of the evidence was collected before autumn 2004 – the last year of delay has mainly been caused by reporters challenging subpoenas in the federal courts.

If [Fitzgerald] were political - or, worse, if he somehow had it in for the Bush administration - it was fully within his power to return indictments in the weeks before the November elections, which would almost certainly have cinched things for Senator Kerry. It is something, I am quite certain, it would never even have occurred to him to do. The only thing the guy I know would do is bring charges or close the case without charges when the facts of the investigation warranted doing so.

Case fucking closed. No matter what happens in the end, remember, if Fitzgerald wanted to take down the Administration, he could have done it a year ago—and didn't.

Drink up, Rush, Sean and Kay Bailey Hypocritson.

[via kos, link to original]

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sinking Ships and All...

A great little piece over at Crooked Timber on the state of the good ship Bush [note to self: check out CT more often...]:
Matt Yglesias is quite right when he says that Scowcroft, Wilkerson and company don’t deserve any kudos for giving the administration a few more kicks when it’s already reeling. But you can also turn this argument on its head – that they’re doing it illustrates exactly how much trouble the administration is in.

[...snip...] That far more prominent Republicans* are now knifing each other in the dark tells us that the disciplining mechanisms that made diIulio recant his apostasy are breaking down very badly. Key people are calculating that they’ll be hurt worse if they stay on message and go down with the ship than if they try to get their own version of the story out while they can...

Here's Matt
I'll certainly read the article on Brent Scowcroft when it comes out, but I feel compelled to at least semi-dissent from the heaping of praise upon the likes of Scowcroft, Larry Wilkerson, Richard Haas, and other Republicans who've started speaking out against the Bush administration lately. Everything they say could have been said 12-18 months ago when it would have made a difference for the future of the country. But that would have meant taking fire from the then-intact conservative attack machine, and gotten them labeled as bad party men. Instead of speaking out when Bush was strong and trying to weaken him, they've waited until Bush is weak and decided to pile-on in an effort to save their own reputations.

Better late than never is a true enough adage, I suppose, but it's actually pretty shabby behavior. It also tells you a lot about the way Washington operates and the sort of dysfunctional culture that deserves a lot of blame for the unfortunate circumstances in which the country now finds itself. See also Richard Holbrooke's excellent op-ed on some related points. Richard Clark, by contrast, offered a study in trying to do the right thing when it mattered.

Kevin Drum piles on.

I'm sure there will be an avalanche of these stories to come. I will throw my own slight "little help" for Scowcroft as I think, from very early on, he has been pretty consistent in his criticism of Bush II. He gets a life vest from me, but I'm not pulling him out of the water...

But by and large these guys are right. The people streaming overboard now were content to sit on the sidelines, if not carry Administration water, at the time when this could have made a difference. As long as the ship goes down, I don't really care. And to mix metaphors, as long as the long knives are out, they can continue to sink each others' life rafts too.

The real question is how much spine will this give the Democrats? Will they get beat out the door by the Republicans on this? They need to throw all these fuckers anchors.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Music: Friday Random Ten — ALL NEW!!

Shakin' things up. Went to the library last week and took out a good 20-30 CDs and uploaded 'em all. Also made some progress out of my collection at home. The result? A whole new playlist on the iPod. There'll be some overlap with the old list here and there, but no matter how hard that little guy tries, there'll be no live Journey or Chris Isaak...

1. "Red Dragon Tatoo" - Fountains of Wayne
2. "Whole Lotta love" - Led Zeppelin
3. "Cecilia" - Simon & Garfunkel
4. "Take a Picture" - Filter
5. "Super Bad" - James Brown
6. "Blue Light'" - David Gilmour
7. "Freedom" - Rage
8. "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" - Eels
9. "The Camera Eye" - Rush
10. "3 Is A Magic Number" - Blind Melon

To save space on the front page, go to the comments for the breakdown...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Don't Piss Me Off...

Just throwing this in so I can link back to this as a place to host the artwork.

"Don't Answer That, it's Dinnertime!"

You're not even going to believe this. Just go watch.

Quicktime. If you need Windows Media Player, go to Crooks and Liars, but it will ruin the surprise some.

[h/t Otto Man]

Free One-Week Membership in the Tom Coburn Fan Club!

What the hell did Tom Coburn pour on his cereal this week? He's actually being honest and making sense! At least until it wears off...

[link] n a speech this week to the George Washington University College Republicans, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said of the 2006 elections, “It’s OK if the Republicans lose control, for our country in the long run, because one cycle won’t make a difference, two cycles won’t make a difference.”

But Coburn, who made a habit of creating headaches for his party when he was in the House from 1995 to 2000, didn’t stop there. Of the current debate over spending and the budget, he said, Republican politicians are the same as Democratic politicians in that they like to spend money. Democrats want to raise taxes to pay for it, and Republicans allow the next generation to pay for it.”

Preach it, Tom! I hope you guys try and run on that stuff.

And then he introduced a sensible Amendment:
This amendment will transfer funding from the wasteful pork project, the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska, to the repair and reconstruction of the “Twin Spans” bridge in Louisiana. According to published reports, the Alaskan pork project costs $220 million for a 5.9-mile bridge connecting Gravina Island (population 50) to the Alaskan mainland. [The cost of the bridge alone would be enough to buy every island resident his own personal Lear jet.]

You know what they say about stopped clocks and all...

[h/t Carpetbagger, John Cole]

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What About 'My Pet Goat'?

TIME has come up with a list of the 100 Best Novels [they limit it to English-language and since TIME started in 1923]. I feel like I'm a fairly average reader, but I know I am way skewed to more contemporary novels, and somehow I made it through school without reading many of the classics/staples. Before even looking at the list, I figured I would have read 15-20, tops.

Here goes. These are the books on the list I can remember reading:

Go Tell it on the Mountain
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lord of the Rings
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
To Kill a Mockingbird

Ugh, not even ten. What a philistine. Fortunately, I don't have to even go to the library to double up. These books are sitting on the shelves just across the room:

Animal Farm
The Blind Assassin
The Catcher in the Rye
The Corrections
The Great Gatsby
Light in August
On the Road
The Sound and the Fury

Which one should I pick up first? Anybody?

[h/t Otto Man]

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Holy Shit.

U.S. NEWS: White House Watch: Cheney resignation rumors fly

Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

First of all, these are rumors. We might all be laughing (or crying as the case may be) about this tomorrow. But if Cheney actually resigned now, I don't know what to think about that. A long-ass time ago—last year, before the election and the blog—I actually worried about this exact scenario (Rice for Big Time). Now? I'm not so sure what to make of it. The political landscape has changed greatly.

I suppose I'd rather keep the VP a lame duck along with Bush. Upgrading Rice to VP will only bolster her chances in 2008 if she ran. And if she is the VP, she is the presumptive nominee, no matter what she or anybody else says. She will be the "man" to beat. McCain included. In fact, because Rice is pro-choice and fails on a lot of Dobson qualifications, this might be the only way for The Cabal to get their nominee past the fundies. Do I want Rice, McCain or a fundie-backed maniac? Who would be most beatable?

Cheney stepping down could be the nail in the coffin, or he could be the effective "ultimate" fall guy. Yikes. My head is spinning.

[I hope that photo makes you feel like the ant Cheney regards the rest of us as...]

UPDATE: I can't find the diary or or wherever I first posted on the whole Rice/Cheney trade-in, but I found an old Kos open thread where I threw it out there...

UPDATE 2: Tim Greive at salon writes:
As stories pushing the Plame investigation higher up the chain of command swirl about -- Cheney's face is on CNN right now -- perhaps it would be wise to remember this. The Bush White House is full of masterful spinners, and they're good at playing the expectations game. Maybe they're really concerned that Cheney will be indicted or at least implicated in Plame's outing. But maybe they know that, if they get enough people thinking that Cheney may face charges, the indictment of a Karl Rove or a Scooter Libby might suddenly come off as no big thing. [emphasis mine]

That's probably about right. This whole post has been more of a "wouldn't that be crazy if..." than "I believe it." The thing to keep in mind, no matter what happens, is that this kind of story gets play now. Even Big Dick is in bounds now.

Hatin' Pledge Like John Cole*

I really hate "Pledge Week" on NPR. It seems like whenever I crawl into the car this week, they've stepped back to the phones" for the whole time I'm in the car.

Oh well, more "Jungle" for me then.

*For an explanation of the headline, go here.

Turn on the Lights and Watch Them Scurry

John Cole links to an interesting suggestion for slowing down the out of control spending of Congress. He mentions it as a "long term solutions to the current budget crisis." I disagree, as it only seriously addresses the spending half of the problem—most specificallly how money is appropriated. But the plan hinges on a really good idea—transparency in government. Imagine that!
• The text of all budgetary/spending legislation should be published on the internet at least Seven (7) days prior to a Congressional vote, giving citizens and legislators the time and opportunity to actually read each bill—and to express an opinion to their representatives should they so desire.

• All specific expenditures will be voted on independently; riders are prohibited. If Congress wants to load up a spending bill with Pork, then each Congressman will have to vote up or down on each individual item. If a majority of Congressmen/Senators believe that a $233 million bridge in Alaska is a worthwhile use of public money, let them vote accordingly—individually, specifically and publicly.

• If there are 6000 similar earmarks—as there are in the Transportation bill—they can repeat the process 6000 times. It's not terribly difficult to mark each expenditure with a "yea" or "nay" vote. At the end of the day, any earmark with majority approval can go on the budget; an earmark that cannot get the approval of a majority of Congressmen on its own merits does not deserve approval as part of a larger spending bill.

I love it. Making the text for spending bill available to the public a week before the vote is huge, as well as the requirement for a vote on each earmark. If they were forced to do that, not only would those disappear as a matter of accountability, but as a simple matter of convenience/getting the thing out the door.

Some in the comments [at the original thread] wanted even longer public review, but there is no way that would ever work. Even asking seven days will be a near impossibility. As it is right now, members of Congress themselves often have to vote without reading it first. It is commonplace for the leadership to produce one copy of legislation (often inches thick with pages), keep it in the chamber where everyone's staff will be forced to share it, and introduce it so late in the game that no one gets a chance to even have aides pore through it.

Then they vote in the middle of the night and hold that vote open 'til the vote goes the way they want. They pulled this stunt again just last week.

If this process can be exposed for the bullshit that it is and made transparent and accountable, it will be the biggest step all by itself. No more posing and preening for your constituents about what you brought home for the district without having to answer for what you sent to Alaska (or wherever).

As for the rest of the suggestions—all valid arguments, but I'm never going to favor a flat or consumption tax over a progressive income tax that targets unearned income over earned payroll income—I am after all a liberal. Just more on the tax side than the spend side.

UPDATE: Commenter and professional skeptic/curmudgeon ppGaz points out, "You guys are dreaming. Read the spending bills? Not even the legislators do that; they have staff for such things. The public is not going to read those stacks of paper..."

Fair enough. That's true. Obviously, no one will be camping out on the Capitol steps waiting for the latest Bill like it was a Harry Potter release… but, if this was SOP, is it possible that, say, the NY Times (or somebody) might actually pay a couple writers to dissect these things into plain English and bullet points for general consumption? That would be an invaluable public service. They could even feel free to editorialize on it if they like.

ppGaz concludes with, "... you are more likely to end up with paralysis than anything else. You want to replace the wheeling and dealing in the halls of Congress with the blathering of Geraldo Rivera and Bill O’Reilly?"

I think most Americans would take a little "paralysis" right about now. It's time to yank the credit cards away from the drunken spring break teenagers. And if Geraldo and Bill O'Reilly are shining a light on the armtwisting and brokering in Congress, that's more oversight than we have right now.

Even if it doesn’t evolve into an effective brake system for bad legislation and spending right away, it creates the clear record and paper trail that I still think is necessary. As shygetz (another commenter) concludes, "the public gets to see policy being made, and back-room deals will be harder. If it does nothing else besides moving back-room deals to the front room, that’s enough for me."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Conservatives Wearing Saggy Diapers That Leak

The new defense meme for the Republicans is taking shape—it's the "criminalization of politics." These poor conservatives are just trying to get things done, and the bitter Democrats and media are on a witchhunt, throwing up charges and indictments, just hoping something will stick... waaahhh...

Bill Kristol had his contribution, and of course, it's complete crap. Hunter over at Kos will have none of it and he takes Kristol to the woodshed.
What's particularly galling is while Kristol and Bell bemoan the criminalization of "conservatives who seek to govern as conservatives", few of the people at the heart of the various Republican scandals represent much in the way of true conservatism at all. Is Abramoff a "conservative", or simply the main driveshaft of a Republican money machine? What about DeLay? Does his deficit-busting, spend-money-like-a-drunken-pirate agenda really square with "conservative" principles, or does "conservative" these days simply mean whatever principles Kristol deems convenient during this particular twenty minute span of time, to be revised as needed by the latest RNC-faxed talking points?

[...] You don't have far to look, in the Republican Party, to find true conservatives. I may not like the political stances of a John McCain or an Arlen Specter, but nor do I fear for the nation if they come to lead the Republican party. Men of integrity can disagree on the principles of government; men whose sole moral compass is directed by what they can technically get away with, however, aren't political men. They're just crooks.

Exactly. This isn't looking at politics and deciding to make some of it "criminal." This is politicians, this time on the Republican side, deciding on illegal means to their political ends and then their consorts bitching when they get caught. They fucking deserve more than what will eventually be coming to them. Trust me.

UPDATE: Would you believe me if there was video? Here you go.
[h/t This Modern World]

Miller Disingenuous Draft

Matt Welch has a nice column on the whole Judith Miller affair. He hits hardest here:
...[Miller] insisted that she "went to jail to preserve the time-honored principle that a journalist must respect a promise not to reveal the identity of a confidential source." Her boss, Executive Editor Bill Keller, similarly praised Miller's "defense of principle."

[...] we now have an altogether different idea of the "principle" animating Miller's decisions. It may indeed be "time-honored," but it has about as much to do with quality journalism as driving a getaway car has to do with catching a thief.

To put it as plainly as possible, Miller didn't want to testify about the Vice President's right hand man not because he forbade her to—on the contrary, he gave her his authorization from the get-go—but rather because she had good reason to believe Libby wanted her to lie. And in Judith Miller's bizarre, journalistically compromised world, it is less important to catch a powerful official in a blatant lie than it is to protect your friendly relationship with a productive, high-ranking source.

And then...
But even now, she remains both defiant and utterly unreflective about how her own attitudes and work habits contributed to the Times' journalistic black eye. "W.M.D.—I got it totally wrong," she told her colleagues. "The analysts, the experts and the journalists who covered them—we were all wrong. If your sources are wrong, you are wrong. I did the best job that I could."

This quote should be a firing offense, but short of that it will serve as an illustration of how Miller-style journalism is destined to fail. If your sources are wrong, you should find that out before you print their accusations as fact; and if you discover they were wrong on purpose, you should burn them with extreme prejudice. Especially if they work in the White House.

Amen. the whole "I'm protecting my source" argument really only holds when the source deserves or earns protection. If a source uses a reporter to pass along false information or as a conduit for an attack, that protection is forfeit. Miller and everyone else has known this alll along, but the NY Times, and Keller especially, have taken too much pride in her playing the part of hero/martyr to realize they are patsies. The paper gets shot full of holes, Miller gets a book deal and the leakers are probably going to walk. What was protected here? Not journalism, and certainly not the public interest.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Link: Jesse Rides Again

Great post over at pandagon. Jesse is on his game. He just rips it up on abstinance-only education.

Read "Red State PAnties, Blue State Condoms"

Misc: Counter

I added a counter to the site (way down in the sidebar). While formatting the thing, it asked me what number to start off with, and I just felt starting at zero was too pathetic—I mean the site's been around for over a year now. Since my profile alone had 350 or so views, I figured the blog had to have several times that, so I started it conservatively at 1,000. It obviously counts me as well as visitors, so I expect that I will be responsible for many of the hits, but I'm curious what the traffic is 'round here, so, there it is. We'll see what happens. I picked the least-ugly option available, sort of a peudo-odometer...

Music: Friday Random Ten

1. "Airport Song" - Guster
2. "Take It So Hard" - Keith Richards
3. "Feats Don't Fail Me Now [live]" - Little Feat
4. "Rocket Queen" - Guns & Roses
5. "Crush With Eyeliner" - REM
6. "The World I Know'" - Collective Soul
7. "Whip it Up" - Keith Richards
8. "You're the Beautiful One" - Posies
9. "La Do Da [live]" - Journey
10. "All That You Dream [live]" - Little Feat

To save space on the front page, go to the comments for the breakdown...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Merry Christmas Winter-Related Holiday

The Christian right, already being forced to swallow hard on Miers, is going to love this:
I worked with Miers at the White House. Though my interaction with her was limited, since I was merely a Presidential Writer and she was the Staff Secretary, I had a unique experience with her. In 2001, I was given the task of writing the President's Christmas message to the nation….

The director of correspondence and the deputy of correspondence edited and approved the message and it was sent to the Staff Secretary's office for the final vetting. Miers emailed me and told me that the message might offend people of other faiths, i.e., that the message was too Christian. She wanted me to change it. I refused to change the message (In my poor benighted reasoning, I actually think that Christmas is an overtly Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ and the beginning of the redemption of man.).

The director and deputy of correspondence supported me. I even emailed Ken Mehlman (then the Political Director at the White House, now the Republican National Committee Chairman), to see what he thought about the message. He was not offended by it in the least. Miers insisted that I change the tone of the message. I again refused, and after several weeks, the assignment was taken out of my hands. I was later encouraged to apologize to Miers. I did not apologize.

…Miers purposefully sought to dilute the Christianity of the message, thus revealing to me at least a willingness to compromise unnecessarily without outside pressure. That is my opinion based off that experience and I would be more than happy to be proved wrong.

What the hell was Bush smoking with this nomination? Granted, the guy who wrote this is a pretty hardcore Christian type, but that's probably why he was hired to write for Bush in the first place. Here's how he starts out his thoughts on the Miers nomination:
Now I have just a few problems with this nomination. First, I wanted a brawl. I wanted an in-your face, strong conservative nominee with a proven track-record, like a Mike Luttig or a Janice Rogers Brown, that would clear the benches and be a showdown with the left. I’m tired of how the left in America has used the Supreme Court, and the rest of the federal judiciary, to tear apart the moral fabric of this nation. I’m tired that the left has been advancing its cause through the court system because it knows its causes cannot win at the ballot box.

The are plenty of people in Bush's base on the same wavelength as this guy. Dobson's obvious scrambling to endorse her notwithstanding, I don't think any of them are going to be excited about Miers on the Court at all.

Looking at the White House in the last two months, it is clear they are operating in full-panic mode now. And unlike past moments leading to bold and ballsy moves, Bush is really running from a fight on this one, and screwing up everything else, to boot.

[via Carpetbagger]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bush: Blink 182

How do you know when Bush is lying?

That's easy—when he moves his lips!

Well, not quite. For instance, I doubt he's lying when he calls to Barney the dog...or orders his lunch. But maybe he can't help himself.

"Yes, I'd like the pulled pork. Thanks" Bush says, all the while thinking, "Heh, heh. I really want the burger, but I'm not telling her." [Smirk.]

Anyway, as WaPo's Dana Milbank points out, you can tell when Bush is full of shit (or even more accurately, when he's shitting his pants) by looking at his eyes.

[h/t Mark Kleiman]

Sports: It is ON!

I just want to announce that I am LOVING the Jim Rome (radio) Show these days. I had tired of his act years ago, and in the interim would regularly mock his "Welcome to the Jungle" TV commercials with derisive "Jackass!" outbursts to the TV (as is my wont—I often talk to the TV, especially during sports).

Well, I have to be in the car during midday a few times a week, and he seems to be on while everyone else is in a ten-minute break, and now I am hooked. Laugh out loud funny. Yeah, Romie's still a prick, and I am only hearing 15 minute chunks, but I am thoroughly enjoying The Jungle...

Link: Ezra's Big Time

Ezra Klein has a great op-ed in the L.A. TImes. It's about another stupid California Proposition, but it's just a great column, and it speaks of wider implications. Go read it.

New Rule: George Bush must meet some new people.

Bill Maher:
...And finally, New Rule: George Bush must meet some new people. You know, when Americans see their president giving every job to the same old cronies, they use words like "loyal to a fault" and "stubborn" and "close-minded," "lives in a bubble," "sock-puppet," "asshole." "Worst president ever." But they're missing the point. The problem isn't his political philosophy - "kill people and animals and take their gas" - the problem is he has to expand his circle of friends beyond his mom, Karen Hughes and the House of Saud. Which is why before George Bush makes another political appointment, he has to join Friendster.

This week, President Bush had to nominate a Supreme Court judge, and he picked the most qualified person within 30 feet of his office. Her qualifications: well, she is a lawyer and former commissioner of the Texas State Lottery. And she's seen every episode of "Judging Amy." Abortion, affirmative action, separation of church and state. Yeah, let's ask the lady who peddled scratch tickets to liquor stores.

Does he just go with the first person he sees? I wouldn't be surprised if Laura was his sister. Now, of course, George Bush isn't the first politician to hand out graft gigs to his pals, but he doesn't seem to understand that that's what the bullshit jobs are for: ambassador to the Bahamas. The Recycling Czar. Head of the CIA. But George Bush puts stooges where they can do real damage: Director of FEMA? That guy from the horsie show is available. U.N. Ambassador? Dick Cheney knows a guy with a mustache and anger issues.

Supreme Court justice? Lady down the hall. Labor Secretary? The guy who helped me move that hooker's body at Yale could probably do it. You know - you know, Mr. President, when you got elected, we all figured you were no genius, but smart enough to hire qualified people. But it turns out you're just a dimwit who enjoys feeling superior. And the only way to accomplish that is to surround yourself with the likes of Mike Brown and Harriet Miers: Goober and Aunt Bea. Unspectacular souls who make you feel comfortable and unthreatened. Kind of like when Madonna used to hang out with Rosie O'Donnell.

Well, I hate to burst your bubble. But real friends are the ones who tell you the truth. They're also the ones who work hard so as not to embarrass you. These people who work for you aren't behaving like friends. They're behaving far worse. They're family.

Yes, it's almost enough to make you miss the old pre-"honor and integrity" days. Because at least when Clinton talked about tapping the woman down the hall, he was just having sex with her.

There's more. And the one from two weeks ago is hilarious as well. If 'Real Time' were on every day, I might consider getting HBO. But, if it were on every day, it would probably suck. Coming up with stuff like that on a daily basis is asking a lot...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Baseball: Thank God.

Thankfully the Angels took care of business tonite. I wish I could wake up in NYC tomorrow and enjoy a full afternoon of Chris "Mad Dog" Russo giving it to the Yankee fans...

I enjoyed this little quote from the recap [link]:
A-Rod, just 2-for-17 in the final four games of last year's ALCS collapse against Boston, went 2-for-15 (.133) with no RBIs. Sheffield, 1-for-17 during last year's final four games, finished the series 6-for-21 (.286) with no extra-base hits and two RBIs.

"I had a great year, something I'm very proud of," A-Rod said. "I left my guts on the field, I left my heart out there. I'm not going to hang my head. I'm going to learn from it and become a better Yankee."

A better Yankee? Jesus. That just shows why A-Job will never really be a Yankee*. Here's Jeter:
"We don't play to just make it to the playoffs, we've been to the playoffs before," New York captain Derek Jeter said. "We play to win, and we fell short again."

Sorry, A-Rod, when you play on Jeter's team, this is the season, jackass! Fifty home runs only gets you to what matters, the post-season. And you don't show up. A-Rod plays for himself and the back of his card. A-Rod, Sheffield, Johnson, Giambi, Matsui, Contreras—all the money and all the trades, and all they have after the last five years is an old-ass team, no prospects and a payroll over $200 million.

Glad to see it.

(Yes, I know I am a Sox fan, and yes, a Yankees loss is as good as a Red Sox win sometimes—like when the Sox can't win any more games.)

* NOTE: As much as I hate the Yankees, there is a core group of true Yankees that are actually pretty classy, and dare I say, I respect. And homegrown even: Jeter, Rivera, the vastly-overrated Bernie, the cast-off Pettitte (who is about to carry another team to the promised land—Go Astros!) and I'll give Tino Baseball honorary status. All the rest? Wannabes. Big-ticket players that have never paid off.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bush: Hacktacular

The New Republic has a cover story on the Bush Administration's cronyism. They come up with their Top 15. Guess who's toppin' the charts [emphasis mine]...
Miers's croniness quotient is high. After all, the president has given her five jobs over the past eleven years. And senior White House aides have repeatedly remarked about her devotion to Bush. A Bush official's Danger to the Republic factor can generally be gleaned by the importance of his or her new job. And, while we grant that some unqualified candidates have turned out to be capable justices, Miers's lifetime appointment to the highest position Bush is authorized to fill is like winning the hack lotto.

[...] In announcing his choice, Bush pointed to her storied career as chairman of the Texas Lottery Commission. Although the Commission has historically not produced many Supreme Court justices, Bush has reason to be pleased with her lottery service. Miers may not have dealt with issues like civil rights or the death penalty, but she dealt with bingo.

[...] Miers's solid job at the Lottery Commission and her other work for Bush catapulted her into the upper ranks of the White House. After three years as staff secretary, she beat out Brett M. Kavanaugh, a bright conservative lawyer with a John Roberts-like resumé, for the job of White House counsel. It was this job that positioned her to lead Bush's search for a court nominee.

Good stuff. And as bad as Miers is, you should get a load of #2—the clown in charge of FEMA in the Pacific Northwest. You know, the part of the country with earthquakes and volcanoes. No chance actual experience with disasters might come in handy there. Bush tapped a 38 year old campaign hack who ran a coffee business. I guess Arabian horse qualifications were scarce in that corner of the country.

Politics: The Pro-Torture Nine

Worth reminding people who their names are:

Allard (R-CO)
Bond (R-MO)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Stevens (R-AK)

[courtesy Sullivan]

Ninety Senators think giving the military some guidelines and restrictions on treatment of prisoners is a good idea [link]. McCain and Graham most of all. They should know. McCain was a POW who was tortured himself and Graham was a JAG. The neanderthals on the list above are a Who's Who list of the the biggest assholes in Washington. Hopefully at some point the people who get to vote on them realize that.

Oh, let's not forget the Asshole in Chief who has vowed to veto it.


[Courtesy Atrios]

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Music: Friday Random Ten

1. "Take the Power Back" - Rage
2. "Gideon" - My Morning Jacket
3. "Black Limousine" - Rolling Stones
4. "Supersatellite" - Our Lady Peace
5. "Gone Crazy" - Marcy Playground
6. "I'm Nuthin'" - Ethan Hawke
7. "In Memory Of Elizabeth Cotton" - fIREHOSE
8. "Go Let it Out" - Oasis
9. "Flame" - Sebadoh
10. "Spit" - NY Loose

To save space on the front page, go to the comments for the breakdown...