Sunday, May 31, 2009

Question of the Day


Josh Marshall asks it.

The only card left


Frank Rich in this morning's Times is scratching his head (as I've done) over the sudden re-appearance of Deadeye Dick. Not surprisingly, Rich's analysis is a sagacious one. The money point:
Cheney and his cohort were using lies and fear to try to gain political advantage—this time to rewrite history and escape accountability for the failed Bush presidency rather than to drum up a new war. Once again Democrats in Congress were cowed. And once again too much of the so-called liberal news media parroted the right’s scare tactics, putting America’s real security interests at risk by failing to challenge any Washington politician carrying a big stick.
I.e., no one looks real good in Rich's estimation. The Democrats are still wimps, the Republicans are still fearmongers, and the media continue to carry water for the latter.

It sure hasn't taken long since January 20 to get ourselves back into the same old rut.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not with a bang ...


Phil Spector (pictured on the right with The Ronettes in happier days) was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for his murder of Lana Clarkson. He'll be eligible for parole in 2028, when he'll be 88 years old.

Once the sentencing was announced,
Spector declined an opportunity to address the court and moments later, surrounded by court officers, he shuffled out a side door.
I'm struck by the statement of Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, who
called the sentence "a message" that justice is blind in Los Angeles even when the defendant is a music icon. "No matter your fame or your wealth or your supposed celebrity, you will stand trial and you will be held accountable."
I'd almost think there was a glimmer of truth in that disingenuous statement if I didn't know better.


Friday, May 29, 2009

And here I thought he was dead


A former POTUS reared his empty head last evening, and, lo and behold,
repeated Dick Cheney's assertion that their enhanced interrogation program was legal and garnered valuable information that prevented future terrorist attacks.
In an argument that was reminiscent of 2005, the legal scholar stated,
"The first thing you do is ask, what's legal?" he said. "What do the lawyers say is possible? I made the decision, within the law, to get information so I can say to myself, 'I've done what it takes to do my duty to protect the American people.' I can tell you that the information we got saved lives."
Shorter version: If the president says it's legal, it's not a crime.

Today's the day


Phil Spector's six years in Los Angeles County's justice system, an odyssey that began with his arrest for shooting an actress in 2003 and included a grand jury presentation and two trials, will conclude this morning when he is sentenced to prison for murder.

... Since the conviction carries a mandatory 15 years to life in prison, the judge's only choice will be whether to tack on three, four or 10 additional years to the minimum sentence for the use of a firearm.
To know him is obviously not necessarily to love him.

UPDATE — The sentence is nineteen years. The originator of the Wall of Sound will now have other walls to contend with.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Group hug


The New York Times this morning picks up on the latest teen phenomenon: hugs.
Girls embracing girls, girls embracing boys, boys embracing each other—the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days. Teachers joke about "one hour" and "six hour" hugs, saying that students hug one another all day as if they were separated for the entire summer.
I can't say this is exactly news to me, and, I suppose, one could ask rhetorically, "What harm could it do?" Alas,
Comforting as the hug may be, principals across the country have clamped down. "Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory," said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal of George G. White School, a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., who banned hugging two years ago. "It was needless hugging—they are in the hallways before they go to class. It wasn’t a greeting. It was happening all day."
I'm struck by the comments of an aspiring Emily Post regarding the fad:
"If somebody were to not hug someone, to never hug anybody, people might be just a little wary of them and think they are weird or peculiar," said Gabrielle Brown, a freshman at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in Manhattan.
That, of course, would be me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

All-Star Vote


For what it's worth, I just voted for the All-Star teams for the first time—six Red Sox and six Phillies for each side. This is what happens when the only team I watch has played only one National League team thus far this year.

Quote of the Day


Right now, it's the bottom of the ninth and we are down to our last out and our last strike. Will our government take strike three looking? Or, will they wake up and save the day with a heroic three pointer on a penalty shot?
Glenn Beck regarding various challenges to the nation
Beck admits he's "terrible with sports," but this is one of the most stunningly stupid mixed metaphors I've ever seen.

And leave it to an idiot like Beck to try to use an analogy about which he obviously knows nothing.

Justice Sotomayor, cont'd


Not that I expected it would, but it took no time at all for various xenophobes to come out from under their rocks and attack the Americanism of Sonia Sotomayor. The well-known extremist, Tom Tancredo, seems already at the top of his contemptible game.

Steve Benen has more.

UPDATE — I've discovered that Justice Sotomayor was involved in a Connecticut case that got quite a bit of attention a few years ago.



I have decided to talk like the Brits, especially when it comes to discussing sports teams. Thus, my language will hereafter be peppered with myriad apparent pronoun-antecedent errors (Viz., "Boston's doing all right; they're in first place.), but I'll be talking like the Brits, so it'll be ok.

The latest poll


I can't imagine voting for either of these turkeys, but
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd is gaining on former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a possible Republican challenger, and now trails 45-39 percent in the 2010 Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 50-34 percent Simmons lead in an April 2 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University ...

Connecticut voters disapprove 53-38 percent of the job the Democratic incumbent is doing, compared to 58-33 percent April 2, his lowest approval rating ever.
The senator is probably very happy with the latest numbers, but he's grasping at straws.

Apparently, the "rebound" is attributable to Creditworthy Chris's efforts regarding the recently passed "credit card bill of rights." Nevertheless, the state's senior senator will apparently have to do more than help credit card users in order to get a majority of Connecticut's voters to approve of the job he's doing.

Merrick Alpert, who's certainly pushing all the right buttons, currently trails Godd 44-24 percent in a Democratic primary.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Justice Sotomayor


I really don't care about the ethnicity of BO's pick for the SCOTUS. After all, the last high profile justice official with a Spanish surname was a hack of the highest order.

What will be extremely interesting is how the Grand Obstructionist Party approaches the nomination, especially given the fact that Ms. Sotomayor was first named to a federal bench by a Republican president. Anyway, here's one person's opinion of how things might go.

Turns out it is torture


DarLucky pointed this story out to me over the weekend.
WLS radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller decided to subject himself to the controversial practice of waterboarding live on his show [on Friday].

Mancow decided to tackle the divisive issue head on—actually it was head down, while restrained and reclining ...

Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop. He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds.

"It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke," Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back ... It was instantaneous ... and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."
The backlash against President Obama's extraordinary proposal for indefinite "preventive detention"—already widespread in the immediate aftermath of his speech—continues to grow. On Friday, Sen. Russ Feingold sent a letter to Obama which, while praising some aspects of his speech, vowed to hold hearings on his detention proposal, and in the letter, Feingold rather emphatically highlighted the radical and dangerous aspects of Obama's approach.
It's too typical for the America First crowd (like the super patriot Deadeye "I had better things to do" Dick) to downplay the horrid aspects of waterboarding, but even such a stalwart supporter as Mancow has to admit to its diabolical characteristics.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Quote of the Day


"We have a lot to consider."
— Red Sox manager Terry Francona on the possibility of dropping David Ortiz lower in the Sox batting order

Well, something better happen. Ortiz struck out twice and left eight men on base in the Sox' win yesterday. He is absolutely overmatched at the plate these days, and the truth of the matter is that the Sox may have gotten all they're gonna get out of the erstwhile Big Papi.

Happy Memorial Day to all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Quote of the Day


I feel bad for our soldiers because I want this nation to be able to say that torturing them is wrong, but men
like John Kyl have officially enshrined torture as a means of doing business on the battlefield.

— Jason Linkins reporting on the inanity that was this morning's Fox News Sunday
Exactly. When reprobates like the junior senator from Arizona espouse torture, the bets are off for all military personnel—no matter which side they happen to be fighting for.

Inside baseball


It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but the Times recently ran an article regarding the notion of "showing up" the small minds who play major league baseball.

The multi-millionaire sensitive souls who play the game apparently can't stand to have their egos damaged in any way, and so a certain protocol has developed.

For what it's worth, the only things that offend me as the game is actually played (I'm not referring to off-the-field inanity.) are the incessant (and pointless) points to the sky by benighted players and the umpires' gesticulations during a called third strike. If the latter doesn't show up players, nothing does, but nary a word is ever said about it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

You missed it, New York


As the AP reports, last night's Red Sox-Mets game
became testy in the fifth, when Santana hit Kevin Youkilis on the elbow with a pitch and the players exchanged words.

Youkilis said he reacted by saying, "'That hurts.' I was joking around." He also said Santana wasn’t throwing at him. But Santana took it seriously.
Truth be told, one of the things Youk clearly said was "Sh*t." It was obvious as one read his lips. Ever the helper, Dennis Eckersley, New England Sports Network's color man in the absence of the ailing Jerry Remy, let viewers know exactly what Youkilis had uttered. There was a shocked silence in the booth after the faux pas, and the Eck was decidedly reticent for the rest of the game.

(Having said that, I suppose it could have been worse.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Recidivism, cont'd


Apparently, the New York Times isn't quite so sure today about those 1 in 7 terrorists who return to their evil ways as described below.

And speaking of terrorists, for all the hysteria associated with the apprehension of the so-called "Newburgh Four," it sure does sound like they were less than cogent and intelligent as they planned their "attack." It really is time for those who should know better to call vandalism "vandalism" and not think it's part of some huge plot to destroy America as we know it.

Quote of the Day


If ... reporters were at least as concerned about the former vice president's dishonesty as they were about
[White House Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs being mean to him, the coverage would probably be better.

— Steve Benen on the White House press corps' protectiveness toward the previous administration
For the past few weeks, I've been mystified by the amount of air time and space Deadeye Dick (and his daughter, God help us) has received from the MSM. Why he's thought of as a legitimate spokesman for a disgraced (and roundly defeated) administration is beyond me.

Of course, his apologiae substantiate who was really in charge of the Executive Branch for the first eight years of the decade.

What makes us happy?


The current Atlantic's cover story has to do with a longitudinal study started
in 1937 as a study of healthy, well-adjusted Harvard sophomores (all male); it has followed its subjects for more than 70 years [in order to determine their] mental and physical well-being.
It turned out that some of the men were a little shakier than initially thought, and they stayed that way. A number of men started out with everything going for them and followed through on their potential.

However, the article describes some men who started out with everything going for them and screwed up royally. In every instance, a major reason for their shortcomings was their dependence on alcohol. Now this may have to do with the methodology or bias of the article writer, but it's still an interesting correlative.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, May 21, 2009



The plan to close Gitmo and the concomitant prisoner transfer certainly has allowed the hysterics to strut their stuff while making BO look less than effective. Now, as if to demonstrate just how prescient senators are, it's being reported today that
about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are engaged in terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials.
I'm sure that many (I'm looking at you, Pat Roberts.) will use this statistic to underscore just how dangerous the inmates are and how perilous it might be if they were on the US mainland.

I'm not impressed.

Given the fact that more than half of US inmates are re-incarcerated after they serve their prison terms, one out of seven doesn't seem that bad.

Nevertheless, the overwrought legislators seem to think that if "the terr'ists" are imprisoned in the US, they'll somehow consort with our women, drink our blood, and (h/t to Atrios) crawl up through our toilets and steal our vital essence.

I may have more to say on this (including my belief that, in the flush of victory, BO may have gone overboard on January 21), but, at the very least, no one looks particularly admirable in this episode.

Stat of the night


8 (12 times).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

400 years ago today


Today marks the 400th anniversary of the first publication of "Shakespeare's" 154 sonnets. They may have been published over the Bard's objections as more than half are of a homoerotic nature.

The excitement concerning the anniversary just strengthens my feeling that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare.

They're all wimps


Glenn Greenwald discusses the abject hysteria that wingnuts have evinced over the possibility that Gitmo inmates will be released transferred to American prisons.

Of course, hysteria evinced by the American populace is, you should pardon the expression, absolutely viral these days as the media whip up the hoi polloi to a rabid frenzy.

"The first thing we do ..."


I haven't actually seen these clips (due to a firewall), but I'm told they're very funny.

At any rate, they may interest any attorneys who might read this blog.

No matter how you slice it


The obesity epidemic in the US is due solely to increased food intake.

Now this might seem to be a no-brainer, but the recent report from the European Congress on Obesity points out that
"The food industry has done such a great job of marketing their products, making the food so tasty that it's almost irresistible, pricing their products just right, and placing them everywhere, that it is very hard for the average person to resist temptation. Food is virtually everywhere, probably even in churches and funeral parlors."
Indeed, as one who's salivated at the displays of M&M peanuts (in best LBI) in a Home Depot, I know what's being referred to here.

I know I'm fortunate that my metabolism remains such that I can eat about as much as people my age and still not look like John Madden, but it's certainly a challenge.

As Oscar Wilde so famously put it, "I can resist everything except temptation." Given the marketing, taste, and pricing described above, it's clear that many Americans find themselves in the same situation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quote of the Day


"If MPs continue to set their own codes and rules, however objectively they try to do so,
the public will always question the transparency and the standards that they rightly demand."

—British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the current House of Commons scandal
Golly. I can't understand how the Brits can fall prey to such avarice since US legislatures have always been above reproach by making "their own codes and rules."

This just in ...


In another triumph for science, we find that
Coffee ... once deemed harmful to health, is turning out to be, if not quite a health food, at least a low-risk drink, and in many ways a beneficial one. It could protect against diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis and Parkinson's disease.
To be sure, the findings don't seem to let those of us who ingest daily around three quarts of Diet Mountain Dew off the hook, but coffee is now described as "a good beverage choice."

We all knew this would happen, didn't we? We've seen one decade's poison become another decade's panacea too many times to be surprised by this. After all, if 80s fashions can be hip once again, anything can make a comeback.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm Busy That Day


James Harrison, star of the Steelers, has decided not to go to the White House with his team as the Super Bowl champs are welcomed/honored. You'd think this might be some kind of a political statement, but he also didn't go in 2006, when his team was invited for the same purpose.

His reason?
"If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl," he told Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV. "So as far as I'm concerned he would have invited Arizona if they had won."
OMG! He cracked the code!!! For years, the American public has been hoodwinked into thinking that just anyone can be invited to the White House to meet the president and have a photo op. But that's not the case, it seems you have to accomplish something significant, such as winning the highest honor in your particular line of work.

Well done, Mr. Harrison. May you continue to open up the eyes of your fellow Americans.

Is her face red!


Well, whaddaya know? Maureen Dowd is a plagiarist. Glenn Greenwald writes about what's becoming more and more a symbiotic relationship between bloggers and "reporters."

Zeroing in on Chris


The Courant reports this morning that Connecticut's senior senator is
about to get his first official Democratic challenger.

Merrick Alpert, a Hartford-born former Air Force officer and entrepreneur, said on his website Sunday that he intends to file his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.
Now I know nothing about Mr. Alpert, but he seems to have a pretty decent pedigree. At least, he doesn't seem to be some bozo who just wants to get his name in the paper. He certainly can't have the baggage that Conniving Chris is carrying around with him these days.

Speaking of same, I got an e-mail from Senator Godd the other day, letting me know that he was working hard to protect me from the predatory credit card companies. The irony wasn't lost on me.

A shorter dynasty


I'm almost glad the Celtics lost last night, as their exit means that I can once again ignore a sport I've paid no attention to for years.

It's hard to believe that the NBA playoffs still have another month to go, but such is life in the TV sports era.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm Speechless


Just when you think the Bushies couldn't have been any crazier than we already know they were, something like this pops up.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Meet the new boss


From this morning's New York Times:
President Obama’s decisions this week to retain important elements of the Bush-era system for trying terrorism suspects and to block the release of pictures showing abuse of American-held prisoners abroad are the most graphic examples yet of how he has backtracked, in substantial if often nuanced ways, from the approach to national security that he preached as a candidate, and even from his first days in the Oval Office.
If even the Grey Lady can see this, BO's not doing himself any favors.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Say it ain't so, O


While I can't say I'm as upset as some others regarding BO's decision not to release the latest round of torture pictures, I am greatly disappointed that he finds it so easy to renege on a promise he made during his campaign.

I got pretty tired of people saying one thing and doing another during the first eight years of the century; I'd prefer not to have such a situation continue.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quote of the day


[W]e the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and
nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party.

— From the text of a proposed resolution of the Republican National Committee
Steve Benen elaborates.

Deadeye Dick


Josh Marshall explains what he's become.

Occupation Without Representation


One out of every four ballots requested by military personnel and other Americans living overseas for the 2008 election may have gone uncounted, according to findings being released at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Be not dismayed; Senator Schumer is on the case:
Schumer, chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, said the study, while providing only a snapshot of voting patterns, "is enough to show that the balloting process for service members is clearly in need of an overhaul."
While we're winning the hearts and minds of Arabs as they aspire to democracy, it might be nice to assure our own service personnel of their basic democratic right—the right to vote.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Perez Hilton and Carrie Prejean are so Mickey Mouse


While I know who Carrie Prejean is, I've pretty much stopped paying attention to her actions since her sordid past was uncovered, so to speak.

Anyway, she (and the National Organization for Marriage) and Perez Hilton have gotten into a pissing match over some nonsense that's kind of explained here. At any rate, the altercation involves the Fair Use Act, one of my favorite bills ever passed since it allows educators to make copies of copyrighted work for classroom use. Since educational budgets are never adequate to concomitant goals, the FUA is indispensable in getting materials to students who might otherwise never get them.

Now, this is not to say that every educator uses the FUA in the way it's supposed to be used. That is, since the photocopier made its appearance in our nation's schools, virtually every educator in America has probably broken the law.

However, US copyright laws are so screwed up right now that they probably can't be observed, and it's all Steamboat Willie's fault. When in the 1990s the Disneyans realized that they were about to lose ownership of their precious rodent, they couldn't lobby Congress hard enough to abandon the notion of public domain. And so, by law, the local nursery school can't display images of Goofy or Pluto without getting it cleared by Burbank.

With that kind of nonsense going on, it seems like everybody has just thrown up his hands and is violating copyright laws willy-nilly. Thus, NOM's attempt to invoke the FUA in order to promote its homophobic agenda seems doomed to failure.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Health and Education


This has been out for a while, but it's still interesting.
Going back to school may belong on your to-do list for good health, because better health tends to go along with more education, a new report says.

... The more education people had, the more likely they were to report better health, regardless of race or ethnicity.

That difference didn't just show up when the [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America] compared people with the fewest and most years of schooling. Even a few years of education made a difference.

For instance, high school graduates were nearly twice as likely as college graduates to report being in less than very good health.
It's an interesting correlation and not one I would have necessarily predicted.
David Williams, the commission's staff director, said in a news conference ... that a "poor education can lead to limited job options, lower incomes, and greater work-related stress. Down the road, that can limit a family's chances to live in a healthy home and neighborhood, increasing their exposure to harmful conditions and further emotional stresses that can lead to illness."

In contrast, "better educated people are more likely to have jobs that provide health insurance coverage, to be more knowledgeable about their health, and to have more time to attend to their health," Williams says. "We cannot separate education from health. A good education can lay the foundation for a healthy life."
There's an interesting kind of educational Darwinism at work here. It'll take quite a while to play out, and in the meantime, it looks like many of us will be supporting those poorly educated and unhealthy folk.

David Souter


I haven't commented on the SCOTUS's 105th Justice, but it seemed to me when he announced his resignation that he had pretty much done what the founding fathers had in mind: i.e., farm for a while, do a little public service for a while, and then retire back to the farm. It's an idyllic paradigm, but one with which Bob Schieffer apparently disagrees.

Crocked in Cornwall


Now that prom/graduation season has begun, we're sure to see more stories like this one.

I'm of two minds on this issue (as most readers of this blog are probably aware), and I suspect I will be to my grave.

Pretentious Pagination


I'm amused by Business Week's habit of marking all of its pages with three digits. Thus page 18 becomes page 018.

Now this might be appropriate if the magazine weren't but a shadow of its former self. I can remember decades ago when my father got the magazine, and it frequently exceeded two hundred pages; these days it rarely hits eighty. Thus, the first digit is at best superfluous and at least ridiculous.

Like newspapers, it's clear that Business Week—and many other magazines; has anyone seen the puny journal that Sports Illustrated has become?—is struggling. Expending extra money for the ink to place gratuitous zeroes on its pages can't be helping matters.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quote of the Day


"No one in any sport can tell you it doesn't bother you when the fans boo."
— Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo after another dismal performance
While Sr. Lugo concedes that "the fans have that right," he nevertheless asserts that "people have to understand we're not perfect; we're merely human beings." I might be inclined to accept this argument if it weren't for the fact that Lugo makes the somewhat superhuman salary of $9.25 million per annum.

Please don't pick on my trophy wife!


For the life of me, I can't understand why the Courant would publish such a mawkish declamation as the one Conniving Chris wrote for this morning's edition, but there it is.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Knowing their audience


Apparently the network news outlets have determined that the only people who watch their crappily vapid Sunday morning gabfests are xenophobic, gun-toting, homophobic, plutocratic sociopaths. I can explain this lineup no other way.

UPDATE — As usual, Jason Linkins has the review, and the whole morning was every bit as hideous as could be expected. Deadeye Dick, especially, on Face the Nation demonstrated his real contempt for any kind of democratic tenets—such as the (in his eyes) awful impediment of trial by jury.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The manhunt is over


Our little corner of the republic has gotten quite a bit of notoriety in the last few days, and now the media can go on to the next cause du jour.
The massive hunt for the gunman accused of killing a Wesleyan University junior is over.

Stephen Morgan, wanted by Middletown police in the killing Wednesday of 21-year-old Johanna Justin-Jinich, walked into the Cumberland Farms store on Old Colony Road in Meriden about 9 p.m. and bought a Smoothie. He told the clerk, Sonia Rodriguez, that he needed to call police and she gave him a phone.
While Morgan was still at large, the attendant school lockdowns and other safeguards were instituted. While it certainly made for an interesting story, one can't help but feel profound sympathy for the family and friends of Ms. Justin-Jinich, as it's clear that Mr. Morgan is a raving psychopath.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Great Moments In Recent Mets History


1. The Yankees decide that Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are untouchable, so give up on the pursuit of Johan Santana (of the 0.91 ERA).

2. Wilpon loses millions to Bernie Madoff and the purse strings tighten a bit going into the 2009 season. The Mets never make a play for Manny Ramirez, despite a significant corner outfield need.

Manny being juiced


Breaking ...
Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games for violating its drug policy.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, although it can't be good news for the Dodgers' prospects.

A sop to the Christians


On this National Day of Prayer, I can't help but think of something DarLucky sent along a few days ago:
The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week—54 percent— said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released [last] Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
I assume that fundamentalists believe that such activities are justified as long as they're meted out to infidels. Nevertheless, any prayers I make today will have to do with hoping that the holy rollers figure out exactly what their "religion" is based on.

Rhetorical Question


In these days of texting, e-mail, cell phones, and Twitter, how can today's youth possibly relate to Romeo and Juliet, a tragedy based on a failure to communicate?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

HR 1913


When even conservatives see the latest escapade by House hysterics as unconstitutional, you know it's a bad bill.

Boats against the current


Situations like this and this make me hope the rest of the spring won't be too horrific.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Out today


I'll be spoiling a good walk today, so posts will be light at best.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Local Hysteria



Another DINO


The egomania of Pennsylvania's senior senator cannot be overstated.

To borrow a phrase, no one could have predicted that Anile Arlen would be just as much a jerk as a Democrat as he's been as a Republican.

UPDATE — Some heavy hitters appear less than pleased with the senator.

Angels and Demons


I always enjoy it when the Church of Rome gets its undies in a wad over some perceived attack on its claptrap. Of course, the film's director, Ron Howard, seems a bit paranoiac over the situation himself.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Quote of the Day


In fact, there is ample reason to conclude that more people died in 1976 from swine flu countermeasures than from swine flu.

— Colin McEnroe, on the moronic hysteria that is the nation's true pandemic

Jack Kemp


People can (in some cases, surprisingly) praise Jack Kemp all they want, but, as politicians go, he was an adequate minor league quarterback.

Fifteen minutes of fame, or, the NOM rears its stupid head again


A bimbo named Carrie Prejean has been in the news recently, which, on a variety of levels, is unfortunate.

Checks and Balances


Maureen Dowd points out the patently and screamingly ironic obvious this morning.
The Republicans are concerned about checks and balances.

... This is quite touching, given that the start of the 21st century will be remembered as the harrowing era when an arrogant Republican administration did its best to undermine checks and balances. (Maybe when your reign begins with Bush v. Gore, a Supreme heist that kissed off checks and balances, you feel no need to follow the founding fathers’ lead.)
This is exactly why the Repubs' sudden concern with Arlen Specter, David Souter, and the future of the republic is so ludicrous. But, then again, one would expect their mewlings to be nothing less.

Saturday, May 02, 2009



Off to the Bay State to observe yet another 60th birthday today.

Friday, May 01, 2009

"The road leads back to you"


Here's something that's making the rounds this afternoon: 43% of Georgia's Republicans would like to secede from the union.

Golly. Nearly half the Republicans in a state that once elected an unadulterated racist and are now citizens of a nation where the President is a black Democrat want to leave the country? Whoda thunk it?

Now it begins


Souter resigns from the SCOTUS. Good commentary on the situation can be found here and here.

It's pretty clear that the 89-year-old John Paul Stevens will also soon call it quits—one way or another. I realize I'm not a big fan of politicians who've outworn their welcomes, but with his lifetime appointment, Stevens' longevity was a blessing. Who knows what horrid decisions might have been made with an ironclad 5-4 Republican majority on the Court? Certainly the recent news from the DoJ shows just what the Bushies thought of "justice."

Support for gay marriage, legalizing illegal immigrants and decriminalizing marijuana all are at new highs. Three-quarters of Americans favor federal regulation of greenhouse gases. Two-thirds support establishing relations with Cuba.
With these situations going on, it's about time for the SCOTUS to get with the rest of the nation. Here's hoping that the 73-year-old Little Antonin and his porter soon see the wisdom of Souter's decision.