I figured that out when people didn't laugh the first time I asked for money.
You many not be able to buy a New Democratic party, but you can create an alternative media.
If you're unhappy with the quality of the news you get in your home, especially the commentary and if the campaigns against Tweety and Pumpkinhead are any indication, you are, well, support other media, mainly us.:)
We may be small, but we rage against the traditional media as well as anyone.
Stephen Gilliard 217 E 86th St NMB 112 New York, NY 10028
Update: Looks like this isn't the first time Mr Zhidkov has sent legal threats to critics of this company -- check out this email he sent CNet, which opens "Dear Sir, calling StarForce 'nefarious Rootkit/Virus' is a good enough cause to press charges. How do you like that for a start?" (Thanks, Alexander!)
Update 2:Fiona sez, "I just contacted a friend who works in the testing department of the UK branch of the worlds largest games publisher, and they hadn't heard of it! I now think they have the (very healthy, by all accounts) fear of god about what this thing could do to peoples systems. They're testing a third-party game that uses it, and have found the drivers on their test box. They're not happy about having it on an open test system,"
Update 3:Avi sez, "Their business seems to depend on people not knowing how much they suck. For example, I was on a private beta list for a new game I won't mention by name due to NDA -- but the game authors agreed to drop StarForce after an outcry from the community. You don't often hear the stories about game developers dropping StarForce in favor of their customer."
Didn't anyone learn from the MPAA case against 2600?
The litigants get massive support and good lawyers, as Apple is finding out now. They assumed their popularity would allow them to bully bloggers. Well, one contentious bit of litigation later, they may have reconsidered. since they haven't sued anyone else. This is a dumb strategy, especially when such suits draw unusual attention online.
Then there is threatening CNet, a large company with deep pockets.
FRANKFURT, Jan. 31 — The ABC News anchor and cameraman wounded in a roadside bombing in Iraq left a military hospital in Germany for the United States today, and a doctor who treated them said both had made "remarkable" progress since being admitted on Monday.
The anchor, Bob Woodruff, has been able to move his fingers and toes, said the doctor, Lieut. Col. Guillermo Tellez. Mr. Woodruff remains heavily sedated, Colonel Tellez said, but "he does open his eyes a little bit."
While Mr. Woodruff, 44, faces months of recovery and the full extent of his injuries are not yet known, Colonel Tellez said he could imagine him going back to work someday as a broadcast journalist.
"He has a very good chance," Colonel Tellez said.
The cameraman, Doug Vogt, who was not as severely injured by the explosion, was "awake a lot, and talking to family and friends," said Marie Shaw, a spokeswoman for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
Colonel Tellez, the hospital's chief of surgery, said, "We're optimistic that in the long term, they will do very, very well."
Mr. Vogt, 46, and Mr. Woodruff were being transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Ms. Shaw said. They departed from the Ramstein Air Base shortly before 1 p.m., local time, on a C-17 medical evacuation plane that also carried soldiers wounded in Iraq.
On Monday, Mr. Woodruff had surgery to cleanse and extract bomb fragments from his neck and head. Colonel Tellez said it was too soon to assess the head injuries suffered by Mr. Woodruff, who was wounded Sunday while standing in the hatch of an Iraqi military vehicle northwest of Baghdad.
"We really won't know the full extent of those injuries for days, weeks, or even months," Colonel Tellez said. "In a case like this, you've actually had an injury to your brain. It takes a while to recover from that."
Colonel Tellez said it was also not yet clear whether Mr. Woodruff or Mr. Vogt would need plastic surgery.
I would like to see a very bad thing happen to my mother-in-law.
By Cary Tennis Print EmailFont: S / S+ / S++ story image
Jan. 31, 2006 | Dear Cary,
My eight-year marriage has been to the perfect husband (12 years older), and has produced the perfect child. We are both emotionally and professionally fulfilled scientists. Our marriage is perfect, except for one thing -- my mother-in-law. I want her to die. Violently. Now. And I want her to see it coming.
My husband had a childhood the Cleavers would envy. Born to uneducated parents, he and his sister were loved and had an idyllic, sunny existence. I, however, was horribly abused by highly educated parents, hit, kicked and told I was hideous, worthless and unlovable. ............... Nevertheless, I wonder if my past colors the way I feel about my mother-in-law. Click Here!
First, my mother-in-law initially irritated me with little things, like insisting that we invite 80 of her out-of-state friends (whom we didn't know) to our tiny wedding -- we didn't. Then the irritations became rudeness. For example, once during a work commute, news of a school shooting was broadcast on my radio. I phoned our home, where she was visiting, to ask her to turn on the TV and tell me what was going on. She knew my mom was a teacher in the school mentioned in the report, but she refused to go to the TV, saying that my father-in-law was watching something else. I had to wait until I got home an hour later to see the news myself. My mother was not shot, but people my family knew were killed.
Later, three days after my C-section, she and my father-in-law arrived, expecting a full Thanksgiving dinner to be hosted by me, tired and in pain. During this time, I got no sleep, could not bond with my child and had to be the maid, cook and entertainer.
Next, she visited uninvited on my first Mother's Day and took over, stealing my special day, insisting that attention be lavished on her. Often, when asked to pass my baby to me so that I could rock/feed/talk to her, she got upset or would simply ignore me. Many times she refused to hand my child to me at all.............She addresses our Christmas cards to Dr. and Mrs., although she knows I am a Ph.D., and she has been often corrected by my husband. She told everyone that we named our daughter after her, and when I told her that this wasn't true (it isn't), she became angry at me. Traditionally, when her feelings are hurt (by me, see instances above) she cries at mealtimes or gatherings, making everyone uncomfortable. And so on ... the petty list is long.
For the record, I am kind to her, honest and diplomatic, but when I speak the truth instead of pretending to be the sycophantic little woman who had no identity until I met her son, I am treated with derision and hostility. ........How do I cope?
Dear Invisible Daughter-in-Law,
I would venture to say, amateur pretend psychologist that I am, that yes, your childhood very likely has something to do with your feelings toward your mother-in-law. I would also say that the thing about mothers-in-law is that you cannot get rid of them and you cannot change them. So in spite of the litany of behaviors you cite, your only recourse is to change yourself.
No Cary, her mother-in-law is an ignorant, passive aggressive bitch. This has NOTHING to do with her abusive childhood or her feelings about herself.
I think it has to do with the fact that her mother in law has no, as in zero respect for her. The TV thing would have gotten them tossed from MY house. There may be cultural issues here as well, but honestly, she treats the daughter in law like shit and her husband doesn't back her up. If my mother showed up to my house looking for a Thanksgiving dinner after my wife had a C-Section, directions to the nearest restaurant would be provided if I wasn't cooking.
The woman makes her disrespect open and pronounced and the wife suffers it and the husband allows it.
Rani Karnik, 27, at an audition for "American Idol" last fall in Greensboro, N.C.
Why Hold the Superlatives? 'American Idol' Is Ascendant
By BILL CARTER Published: January 30, 2006
Simon Fuller was on vacation in Africa three weeks ago when the fifth season of "American Idol" started on the Fox network.
In the back of his mind, Mr. Fuller, an executive producer of the program, hoped that "Idol" would be strong again this year. But he and the others involved in the production were willing to be pragmatic: in a fifth go-round, no previous reality television show, and very few programs of any kind in television history, had significant ratings increases.
At Fox, the executives who buy the show from the company Mr. Fuller founded, 19 Entertainment, were similarly anxious about how yet another new season of "Idol" would start out. After all, the show's ratings increased a year ago, after Fox had anticipated that it might decline as much as 10 percent. This season, Peter Liguori, the president of Fox Entertainment, did not really want to go out on a limb with a prediction.
On the morning of Jan. 18, both Mr. Fuller and Mr. Liguori called for the overnight ratings of the "Idol" premiere as soon as they could. What they heard startled them almost into silence, a state surpassed only by the shock at networks competing with Fox. "American Idol," already top-rated, was up an astonishing 15 percent among the 18-to-49-year-old viewers that Fox most sought to reach. It was up almost 10 percent among all viewers, at 35.5 million, the second-largest audience ever for an entertainment show on Fox.
The thing about Idol isn't the numbers, but what it says about the American psyche. It isn't just bad signing,but ties directly into Tom Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas.
Most Americans have an inflated sense of self and self worth. They don't want hear about tax cuts ruining their future or unfair taxation because they imagine that they will be rich one day, or rejoice in the comforts of the middle class. The fact that most are living off $8,000 in credit card debt and risk poverty with a divorce eludes them as they lust for big screen TV's and new cars.
So you get thousands of people, most of whom can no more sing than fly, competing for a spot on American Idol. Some people show up with voices so bad, you have to think they're kidding, yet leave in tears when rejected.
One girl, dressed in a subtle silver sequined halter and go go boots with a mini skirt on her 180 pound frame, along with fake blonde hair extensions, was shocked that she couldn't sing. That she didn't come close. She stormed out, cursed up a storm and presumably went back to tacky land. The fact that 180lb fat girls don't make Idol, no matter how good they sing, eluded her.
The fact is that you see the one percent who either suck so bad or sing so good that they're worthy of being on TV. The other 99 percent are so mediocre that they just don't make the cut.
So why do people try out? Because they all wants the fame and money. America's celebrity culture is pervasive and consuming to many people. With adroit publicity, Jennifer Aniston, despite her moderate acting talents, is now "America's Sweetheart" while Angelina Jolie, despite adopting two kids, is now some pregnant man-stealing hussy. The fact that we know this is due to our celebrity driven news media.
So, people go and risk humiliation to get a payday.
The fact, that for 99 percent of them it is a complete waste of time, escapes them.
You had one woman who was homeless with kids and looking for fame to solve her problems, another quit her job.
The flaws are obvious, they don't look the part, obviously, they can't sing, they are too fat, too weird.
One example, which pissed off the gay community, was a teenager who looked like a 17 year old girl, who was a 17 year old boy. How much like a 17 year old girl? Page boy haircut, white V-neck top, white belt and tight jeans. But he was pissed when Simon Cowell asked him if he was a girl, and so was GLAAD. He said in a high pitched voice that he was a boy.
If he had worn some makeup, he'd have looked like a 17 year old female volleyball player. His sister said sweetly, "he's just excentric". I just laughed. I mean he really looked like a girl.
Now, even if he had the voice of an angel, he wasn't going to make the cut. Because American Idol is not a talent contest. It's as much about salability as anything else. You have to fit a certain type to make the cut.
It's the same kind of unreality which infects much of American politics. Liberals think policy trumps all, conservatives think self-interest trumps all and neither does. The problem is that there is no one who can convincingly introduce reality into the conversation. Simon Cowell is rich because he doesn't lie to people.
The Republicans have been successful because they tell people what they want to hear while picking their pockets. Democrats don't tell them anything because they're afraid to tell the truth. Neither is being honest and people know it, like they know Randy and Paula are full of shit.
When Howard Dean tells the truth, so many Dems get shit scared, they make up bullshit to tell the WaPo. You get idiots like Harold Ford telling people his grandmother was white, so that they will like him better instead of thinking she was a nigger lover. They think they can be elected without levelling with the American people. They refuse to see how honesty and a little bluntness has made Simon Cowell the owner of a room full of $700 sweaters.
When Jack Murtha tell a truth every private knows, half the Dems run from him like he's swinging a chainsaw with a hockey mask on. You think people respect that?
Party regulars shit their pants at the idea of Cindy Sheehan challenging Diane Feinstein because "she might seem like a wacko". Give me a fucking break. The California GOP got lucky with Arnold and that's it. Her seat is safe, but it's time she explains why she won't demand the US leave Iraq.
The Republicans tell nice stories which conflict with reality by every known standard, just like people who couldn't hit a note with a baseball bat think that they could sing.
But at some point, reality enters the picture and Cowell is the only who gets respect. Maybe the Dems might want think that over.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 — After nearly a century of political infighting and delay, the Smithsonian Institution on Monday selected a prominent space on the Mall near the Washington Monument as the site of its National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
Supporters of the project, including many black cultural, political and academic leaders, who labored for years to have the museum approved, greeted the selection by the Board of Regents, the institution's governing body, with elation.
High-profile advocates of the museum, the institution's first dedicated to a comprehensive study of the black American experience, had told Smithsonian officials that any site off the Mall would be viewed as a slight to African-Americans.
In September 2004 the National Museum of the American Indian opened to much fanfare and high visibility on the eastern edge of the Mall near the Capitol.
Some groups responded to the announcement on Monday with disappointment, arguing that the project would clutter the Mall, the grassy expanse stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol.
Smithsonian officials said the vote on the site was not unanimous but would not give details. Officials said they hoped to open the new museum within the next decade.
"My first task for tomorrow is to stop smiling," said Lonnie G. Bunch, director of the museum.
The selection of the five-acre site allows Mr. Bunch to move forward with choosing an architect, as well as to begin raising money and acquiring collections. Cost estimates for the museum, the 19th in the Smithsonian complex, range from $300 million to $500 million. Fifty percent of the cost will be paid by the federal government, the other half by private sources.
The building will probably be at least 350,000 square feet, roughly the same size as the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian officials said.
I hope it is as well done as the Museum of the American Indian.
But I want to discuss something else, well sort of something else.
I could blather on about what a great job I'm doing, and get a lot of agreement. Most good bloggers could.
But we don't talk about your role in all this. The reason the great weakness of the the right blogs is that they don't have conversations with the readers. Then when they do, they either censor it or it turns into a hate fest. As scary and counterinutative as it seems, Frei Republik has a much more moderated and intelligent discussion than LGF. And that's because Charles Johnson is a clown. You can have a discussion on terrorism without lapsing into muslim hate, if you aren't intellectually lazy.
The reason we accept comments is not because they allow people to vent, as Glenn Reynolds says, he gets a thousand e-mails a day he doesn't read, but because it allows people to bring their experience to the topic at hand. Part of the reason that I repost from other blogs so frequently is that it brings other ideas to the discussion and gives other writers wider exposure.
It's easy to take credit for blogging, but the fact is that it's a cooperative arrangement. I post something, you respond and we're all the better for it.
So why do you get asked for money every few months?
Well, there are bills that come up, and other bloggers who need money, but it's more than that. Liberals have come to expect free labor for so long and then wonder why people can't get things done. Frankly, we need resources to be politically and journalistically active. There are books to buy, places to go, things to do. The wealthy liberals here refuse to open their purses, so we do this on our own. They have becomed accustomed to pay so little for what needs to be done, and then act surprised that it doesn't get done.
We have to break that habit. We have to value the work being done.
As usual, the snail mail addy is:
Stephen Gilliard 217 E 86th St NMB 112 New York, NY 10028
I was going to talk about the Senate Dems and Alito, but that isn't the news today.
It may be online, but it isn't off.
Because today, all the offline news sucked.....for Bush
Bob Woodruff's wounds is the first story from Iraq about someone people actually know. Just like the death of Peter Jennings personified cancer for people, Woodruff and his cameraman's wounds, have, for the first time, brought the Iraq War home. Jennings, Rather and Brokaw went to war after war and came home without a scratch. Ted Koppel rode all the way to Baghdad uninjured.
The journalists killed and wounded in Iraq have worked either behind the camera or in print, so no one knew them.
All of the newscasts, cable and broadcast, lead with this story and it made up most of ABC's newscast. And Elizabeth Vargas looked freaked most of the time on air.
So while we're kicking around the Dems for not filibustering, America was seeing the Iraq war with a human face. It has a human face for 16,000 families, but not for most of America. Not too many people know someone in Iraq. But they know Bob Wooddruff, because he comes in their homes every night.
But that wasn't the end of it.
A crying Jill Carroll was begging for her life on videotape. It was truly disturbing to watch.
Then of course Al Qaeda number 2 Al-Zawahiri was back in technicolor and taunting Bush, saying he lived in the "Muslim masses".
I guess aerial assasination has it's drawbacks.
One of the things about politics is that you can get sucked into the inside game easily. We did a good thing this weekend, but it fell short, for a host of reasons.
But if you watched the news tonight, that quickly took second place. Why? Because a line has been crossed in Iraq War coverage. It isn't strangers any more and that has shook the entire industry. Because anchormen were invunerable to mere bullets and bombs....until this weekend.
Sometimes we get cloistered in our battles in blogostan. But tonight, on the evening news, I heard the voices of the wounded loud and clear for the first time ever.
And that is not good news for Bush and maybe be the beginning of the end of the Iraq debacle.
The announcement this morning that Lincoln Chaffee would vote "no" on Alito but "yes" on cloture was a hollow gesture to NARAL and the pro-choice community he pretends to cultivate. A vote for cloture is a vote for Alito. It's that simple.
I write this post with great regret because I am a long time supporter of NARAL, an unabashed feminist and pro-choice advocate who understood why they backed Chaffee in the first place. As Democrats quickly tried to shed a commitment to choice in a rush to become "Republican lite," it was a way for NARAL to say don't take us for granted -- don't assume we will be here just because the other guy is worse. I thought it was an effective way to telegraph to Democrats that if they wanted the tremendous money and resources NARAL could put behind a candidate, they were going to have to take a stand.
I just got off the phone with NARAL and I am being told that they do not consider Chaffee's vote on cloture to be significant. They are not going to pull their support for him over this.
Let's just be clear. Lincoln Chaffee is getting ready to vote for the single biggest blow to choice in this country since Roe v. Wade was passed 33 years ago. This ridiculous little kabuki about voting AGAINST Alito and FOR cloture is a sham, and if NARAL is going to look the other way they no longer deserve to be the guardians of a woman's right to choose in this country.
They had the money. They had the manpower. They did not organize effectively to oppose Alito's confirmation, and now they are rubber stamping his ascendancy to the Supreme Court.
I don't want to take people's efforts away from calling their Senators and keeping the pressure on as we come down to the wire, but watching groups like NARAL sit this one out is unacceptable. They should be calling Chafee right now and letting him know that they will cut him off if he throws his vote with the Gang of 14. Anything less is unacceptable, and a mockery of everything they purport to stand for.
NARAL Pro-Choice America 1156 15th Street, NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20005
Main Number: 202.973.3000 Main Fax: 202.973.3096
This pisses me off because I've defened NARAL's right to support Chaffee. Now he failed them and they still defend him? Please.
LANDSTUHL, Germany - ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Monday, after treatment in Iraq that included surgeons removing shrapnel from Woodruff’s head and neck. ...................
Their body armor likely saved them, “otherwise these would have been fatal wounds,” Gamble said. ...............
Brain swelling went down
Former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw said Monday that he had spoken with Woodruff’s wife, Lee, and said the family told him they had received “some encouraging news.”
“The doctors had told them once they arrived that the brain swelling had gone down. In Bob’s case, that had been a big concern. Yesterday they had to operate and remove part of the skull cap to relieve some of the swelling,” Brokaw said on NBC’S “Today” show. ..............
He said the family told him doctors don’t know for sure whether shrapnel penetrated Woodruff’s brain but they were removing additional shrapnel from his neck area.
Woodruff could have lifelong injuries and given that he's in his mid-40's, his recovery could be a lot slower than the average soldier. He will probably be transferred to Walter Reed as soon as he's stabilized. I guess his insurance will reimburse the government for the cost of his care, because there isn't really any civilian facility which can deal with his wounds. I wouldn't expect to see him on TV until the end of the year at the earliest.
By Shankar Vedantam Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, January 30, 2006; Page A05 ..................
Another study presented at the conference, which was in Palm Springs, Calif., explored relationships between racial bias and political affiliation by analyzing self-reported beliefs, voting patterns and the results of psychological tests that measure implicit attitudes -- subtle stereotypes people hold about various groups. ............................
Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said he disagreed with the study's conclusions but that it was difficult to offer a detailed critique, as the research had not yet been published and he could not review the methodology. He also questioned whether the researchers themselves had implicit biases -- against Republicans -- noting that Nosek and Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji had given campaign contributions to Democrats.
"There are a lot of factors that go into political affiliation, and snap determinations may be interesting for an academic study, but the real-world application seems somewhat murky," Jones said. .....................
"Obviously, such research does not speak at all to the question of the prejudice level of the president," said Banaji, "but it does show that George W. Bush is appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor greater anti-black prejudice."
Vincent Hutchings, a political scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said the results matched his own findings in a study he conducted ahead of the 2000 presidential election: Volunteers shown visual images of blacks in contexts that implied they were getting welfare benefits were far more receptive to Republican political ads decrying government waste than volunteers shown ads with the same message but without images of black people.
Jon Krosnick, a psychologist and political scientist at Stanford University, who independently assessed the studies, said it remains to be seen how significant the correlation is between racial bias and political affiliation.
For example, he said, the study could not tell whether racial bias was a better predictor of voting preference than, say, policy preferences on gun control or abortion. But while those issues would be addressed in subsequent studies -- Krosnick plans to get random groups of future voters to take the psychological tests and discuss their policy preferences -- he said the basic correlation was not in doubt.
"If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50 years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of research."
What a shock.
Seriously, this is why black conservatives cannot win primaries, much less general elections. People who vote GOP also hate blacks. The racism makes the task of the black Republican nearly impossible, because their voter base is prejudiced against blacks without concern for policy.
WHERE: Bistro Restaurant 316 N Main Bloomington, IL 61701 Get Map & Directions
WHEN: 1/31/2006 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
HOSTED BY: Danial Johnson 309-827-xxxx email@example.com
A Message From Your Host
We will have a Jesse Jackson piñata , a dunk tank where you'll get the chance to sink my wife who will be dressed as Hilary Clinton, and a special guest appearance by my uncle - Rep. Timothy V. Johnson who will be giving away "Proud to be G.O.P." American Flag windbreakers. Bring a side dish if you like. We will have burgers, hot dogs, chili, and pizza, but nothing vegetarian! This party is family friendly, so feel free to bring children. It's never too early to get them involved!
(Contact me if you want a pdf of the full invitation email, complete with GOP headers and footers)
The Winter Blues As a stand-alone, the Winter Games can't sustain a buzz. They certainly can't match the passions brewing for football's world cup. By Mark Starr Newsweek International
Feb. 6, 2006 issue - ..................
Now almost six years later, that kind of Olympic excitement is finally stirring again. I sense the anticipation, the lure of a proud nation anxious to show off its prowess to the world. An epic celebration looms, perhaps even a great wall coming down. Alas, Beijing is still more than two years off. It is Torino 2006 that opens in less than a fortnight—and with a marked absence of anticipatory fervor. My friends in the States are amazed to discover that another Olympics is imminent and have no clue where it will take place. That may be par for the provincial. But I was startled to learn from a colleague in Rome that, in the wine and coffee bars there, folks seem unaware that the Games are afoot in their own country.
These are "The Stealth Games," coming up very quickly and under the radar. It is hardly the fault of Torino, a fading, former auto-manufacturing capital known around the globe for a great football team and its shroud. Its Olympic credo—passion lives here—lends itself to parody, crying out for the addendum and only here. Truth is that Sydney, for all its natural blessings, had the good fortune to be the last hurrah before the events of 9/11 irrevocably altered the Olympic landscape.
Once upon a time, not all that long ago, there was an Olympic season. It came around every four years and commanded considerable attention. Infrequency was not its only virtue. There was a natural progression. The Winter Games—smaller, less compelling but more charming—served as athletic hors d'oeuvres, whetting our appetite for the big acts of summer. No doubt it made sense, as the Olympics became an increasingly vast enterprise, to balance the IOC workload by staging one every two years. But as a stand-alone, Winter can't sustain a buzz. It certainly can't match the passions brewing for football's World Cup, which begins in June. In Italy more folks are worrying whether aging superstar Alessandro Del Piero will win a place on the World Cup team than whether Giorgio Rocca will win the Olympic slalom.
I will put this simply: NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE OLYMPICS.
Not with the World Cup in June. Only to Americans was the Olympics the surpreme sporting event in the world.
To nearly every other human on the planet, it's the World Cup. That exhibition Major League Baseball is holding: NO ONE GIVES A SHIT.
The World Cup is the ONLY sporting event which matters to most people. Whole countries shut down. In 2002, Senegal just stopped working after a World Cup victory. Stopped cold. They had riots in Moscow and London after losses, because the games were on giant screens in downtown.
The Italians were bitching because the US was in their same group. They claimed the pick was rigged and this was news for a week, Headline news. The fact that the Olympics are in Italy will get less coverage than the World Cup did in the US.
NEW YORK - More guys want Jessica Alba for their girlfriend than any other woman, according to AskMen.com’s top 99 list for 2006.
The 24-year-old actress tops the Web site’s list ranking female celebrities on their “long-term relationship material.” Alba is followed by “Alfie” star Sienna Miller and the ubiquitous Angelina Jolie.
“We encouraged readers not to go on looks alone,” Bassil said. “I don’t believe it’s an entirely accurate reflection of what a reader strives for in their long-term relationships, but at the same time, it’s not a sheerly surface appreciation.”
The rest of the top 10, in order, is Brazilian model Adriana Lima (No. 1 last year), “Access Hollywood” correspondent Maria Menounos, Charlize Theron, Jessica Biel, singer Amerie, Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria.
This says something about the diversity of America that the women cross all types and ethinicities, although I never got the Natalie Portman thing. It's not that she's not pretty, but she's as pretty as a lot of women. The mystique of her being exceptional eludes me.
THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ Army's Rising Promotion Rate Called Ominous Experts say the quality of the officer corps is threatened as the service fights to retain leaders during wartime and fill new command slots. By Mark Mazzetti Times Staff Writer
January 30, 2006
WASHINGTON — Struggling to retain enough officers to lead its forces, the Army has begun to dramatically increase the number of soldiers it promotes, raising fears within the service that wartime strains are diluting the quality of the officer corps.
Last year, the Army promoted 97% of all eligible captains to the rank of major, Pentagon data show. That was up from a historical average of 70% to 80%.
Traditionally, the Army has used the step to major as a winnowing point to push lower-performing soldiers out of the military.
The service also promoted 86% of eligible majors to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2005, up from the historical average of 65% to 75%.
The higher rates of promotion are part of efforts to fill new slots created by an Army reorganization and to compensate for officers who are resigning from the service, many after multiple rotations to Iraq.
The promotion rates "are much higher than they have been in the past because we need more officers than we did before," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman.
The Army has long taken pride in the competitiveness of its promotions, and insists that only officers that meet rigorous standards are elevated through its ranks. .....................
They say that with many officers in line for a third yearlong combat tour in Iraq, it is inevitable that a growing number would choose to leave the military to relieve strain on their family lives.
The exodus "will be among officers whose families say, 'Look, there are 300 million people in this country; let somebody else take their turn,' " McCaffrey said.
The Pentagon-commissioned report, released publicly last week, agreed.
Hilferty, the Army spokesman, said there was only "anecdotal evidence" that the strains of war were pushing officers out of the Army.
But, he said, the Army has begun a series of initiatives to keep young officers in its ranks, including a program that pays graduate school tuition for those who agree to sign up for more years of military service.
Krepinevich, in his study, warned of other "storm clouds on the horizon" for the Army, including the rise in divorce rates for active-duty soldiers.
Also, the Army has begun lowering recruiting requirements, such as accepting more high school dropouts and Category IV recruits — those who score near the bottom of the military's entrance exam.
Commanders in Iraq say morale among officers and enlisted soldiers in the field remains strong, even among those wrapping up their second tour of duty in some of the country's most violent territory.
"Are our professional commitments as soldiers out of whack with our family and personal lives for these troopers? I mean, certainly they are," said Army Col. H.R. McMaster, commander of the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment that serves in Iraq's restive Al Anbar province. "But you know, it's wartime, and our troopers understand it."
Oh, bullshit. I like McMasters, his boys are certainly loyal to him, but come on, morale is high and only the absolute worst captains are not making major? People are placing their marriages ahead of their careers and morale is high?
That's truthiness in action. Because it means that you have the facts, and you have what people are wishing are facts.
I'd like to see the divorce filings for Pendleton/29 Palms, Lejune, Benning, Riley and Hood. I'd bet you dollars to donuts, divorce lawyers are cashing in like lottery winners.
A young wife can tolerate one tour, but three? The fear just builds up to the point that a choice has to be made. And in the combat arms, the guilt is especially strong. How do you leave your men to face Iraq again? But how do you let your wife leave? Easier to not reenlist again.
Ever notice all of the PTSD stories center around young EM's and NCO's? When have you ever seen a young Captain interviewed about his combat stress. The guilt of combat, and of command must be especially heavy.
This is the Rusty Calley factor. Are you promoting officers to fill slots when they shouldn't be promoted? Because the consequences of this could be horrific.
LONDON, Jan. 29 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Sunday that the United States had failed to understand the depth of hostility among Palestinians toward their longtime leaders. The hostility led to an election victory by the militant group Hamas that has reduced to tatters crucial assumptions underlying American policies and hopes in the Middle East.
"I've asked why nobody saw it coming," Ms. Rice said, speaking of her own staff. "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse."
Immediately after the election, Bush administration officials said the results reflected a Palestinian desire for change and not necessarily an embrace of Hamas, which the United States, Israel and the European Union consider a terrorist organization sworn to Israel's destruction. But Ms. Rice's comments seemed to reflect a certain second-guessing over how the administration had failed to foresee, or factor into its thinking, the possibility of a Hamas victory.
Indeed, Hamas's victory has set off a debate whether the administration was so wedded to its belief in democracy that it could not see the dangers of holding elections in regions where Islamist groups were strong and democratic institutions weak.
Nobody saw it coming?
Yeah, like "Bin Laden determined to attack US"
Come on, it was clear that Hamas was at a minimum going to tie Fatah, and could well win.
Had they not heard of Algeria? Weak governments are especially vunerable to an Islamacist vote, because they represent reform.
The reason they missed that is truthiness. They thought backing Fatah would work and it blew up in their faces. What a shock.
"How does one report the facts," asked Rob Corddry on "The Daily Show," "when the facts themselves are biased?" He explained to Jon Stewart, who played straight man, that "facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda," and therefore can't be reported.
Mr. Corddry's parody of journalists who believe they must be "balanced" even when the truth isn't balanced continues, alas, to ring true. The most recent example is the peculiar determination of some news organizations to cast the scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff as "bipartisan."
There have been both bipartisan and purely Democratic scandals in the past. Based on everything we know so far, however, the Abramoff affair is a purely Republican scandal.
Why does the insistence of some journalists on calling this one-party scandal bipartisan matter? For one thing, the public is led to believe that the Abramoff affair is just Washington business as usual, which it isn't. The scale of the scandals now coming to light, of which the Abramoff affair is just a part, dwarfs anything in living memory.
More important, this kind of misreporting makes the public feel helpless. Voters who are told, falsely, that both parties were drawn into Mr. Abramoff's web are likely to become passive and shrug their shoulders instead of demanding reform.
So the reluctance of some journalists to report facts that, in this case, happen to have an anti-Republican agenda is a serious matter. It's not a stretch to say that these journalists are acting as enablers for the rampant corruption that has emerged in Washington over the last decade.
What the media refuses to get is that the K Street Project was about creating an effective one party state, by sucking up all the lobbying money and funding Republicans. So why would the Dems get money in that scheme?
The media is so shit scared of being called biased from the right, they seek out false balance.
“The Woodstock of Politics” – a caller to The Young Turks radio filibuster for filibuster, about the grassroots Alito activism.
First, THANK YOU for your hard work over the weekend! As far as I can tell, all key Senators' D.C. voicemails, and over 90% of the voicemails in their various District offices, were filled up by the end of the weekend. I started hitting random extensions and leaving messages for poor hapless staffers. Every Senator will get the message on Monday morning. Awesome!
For today, I want to back away from the shotgun petitions. It's frustrating that no one in the Dem leadership will tell us who the "Alito 8" are (the Democrats who aren't hewing the party line), and we don't know how well Kerry and Kennedy are doing at moving them around to our side. But we can make an educated guess, and focus on those key Senators. In addition to calling their offices, we're also going to target their re-election campaign HQs. (A great idea thought up by our friend and fellow-traveler, Bob Fertik!) Finally, we're going to hammer away at a simple, but politically powerful, message.
Our theme today is: Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of the Way. In political terms, that's:
EITHER SUPPORT THE FILIBUSTER OR ABSTAIN FROM THE CLOTURE VOTE, BUT DON'T GET IN OUR WAY.
People are arguing that people sat on their hands, this wasn't organized, we will lose.
My reply to that is simple: so fucking what.
We didn't fight over Ohio, we didn't fight over Terri Schiavo. We let the GOP fuck up and smiled.
That cannot last.
If this is not the reason to fight, what is? Do you think we can wait for the perfect campaign and the right ads? No one will care by then. The best is the enemy of the good.
We didn't need a campaign for this. We did it ourselves. Congress is flooded with faxes, e-mails and phonecalls. They will know when they get to work how many, many Americans feel.
Americans can tolerate a loser who fights hard, but one who sits on his hands? Never.
There's a movie on cable now, Miracle, about the 1980 US hockey Team. They had NO chance of beating the Soviets. NONE. They were college kids, and the Soviets were pros. They were expected to lose, badly. In fact, they weren't supposed to play the Russians at all. But they did.
They were playing and scoring and even into the third period, they expected to lose. But they won, and as people saw they could win, the support just exploded, they crowd went crazy and the Soviets never recovered.
Even fighting hard gets you respect. The 1998 US World Cup team embarassed itself while the French suprised everyone by beating Brazil. In 2002, the expectations were the same, but they won. They played hard and won all the way up to the quarterfinals, losing 1-0 to Germany who wound up playing Brazil in the championship game.
Did they win it all? No. But they proved two things: one, Americans could play soccer (they are the 8th ranked team in the world) two: that they could play with the best in the world and win, They weren't good enough to win, but the confidence which came from playing hard has set the course for the future of the US team. And the respect flowed from that. Because before then, the US had been a joke. Not after 2002.
Why are so many liberal bloggers up in arms about Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine being picked to give the Democrat's reply to Bush's State of the Union? There's been fury in the blogosphere about everything from Kaine's looks, style, obscurity, his open talk about his faith and his inexperience in national security.
Liberal writer Ezra Klein (no Brad Pitt, last time I checked him out) vented that Kaine is "a squat, squinty, pug-nosed fellow." Even the invariably smart and strategic Arianna (Huffington) weighed in: "What the hell are they thinking?" She accused Democrats of picking "someone whose only claim to fame is that he carried a red state" when they need to make the case that "the GOP is not the party that can best keep us safe."
But, let's get real here.
1. It doesn't really matter who gives the reply, since no one listens and it's an impossible task.
2. This is slightly less important than whether House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi chooses to wear blue or red to listen to the speech.
4. And, hell, Kaine is pretty liberal for a Virginian. During the campaign, he was derided relentlessly by the GOP, in an expensive and vicious campaign, as "the most liberal candidate who's ever run for governor in the Commonwealth of Virginia's history." Kaine is a guy who made a name for himself working with the American Civil Liberties Union, who connected his faith to his politics in authentic ways (he was a thoughtful opponent of the death penalty), who was an honest and forthright advocate of government's affirmative role--supporting moves to increase taxes to fund education, transportation and environmental programs.......................
For liberal bloggers who want to get exercised about something really important: Where are the Democrats or liberals talking about Ford laying off some 30,000 workers, the end of middle class benefits for working Americans, IBM's gutting of pension security, and the collapse of American manufacturing? ......................... If you want to know why Dems don't win elections, it won't be because Kaine is talking this Tuesday night. It's because the mainstream leadership of the Democratic party doesn't think, feel, viscerally respond to the increasing insecurities of working americans.
I guess Katrina doesn't read any labor blogs, oddly enough she should, but that's a pig fight for another day.
First, let's start with her cheap shot at Ezra Klein. He wasn't talking about the man's stature for no reason. It's because it matters. And the point of having Jack Murtha speak was to discuss the war and Bush's lies with impecable credibility. We don't need any fucking lectures on Tim Kaine's strengths and weaknesses. We're the ones who backed his campaign. And frankly, we were more concerned with ginning up support for a filibuster than who refuted Bush at the SOTU. A couple of opinions is not a controversy. Less people posted on this than a discussion on mac and cheese I had on this site a few weeks ago.
I mean, I wouldn't call Marc Cooper a fat piece of shit to describe him, beacuse that's cheap, mean and irrelevant, just like that was a cheap and unfair shot about Klein, who unlike some heiresses with a taste for short skirts and leather jackets, didn't have his blog handed to him. It's an unfair use of power and position to smack someone down for no good reason. But he has friends and friends of friends who won't let that little slam go unremarked.
When Jonah Goldberg attacked her over the hurricane, many in the blogosphere ripped him a new asshole for what he did. It was cheap and unfair and we stuck up for her. This is our repayment.
Ever wonder why liberals get their ass kicked? Because they don't take things seriously like responding to the State of the Union. It may not matter to her and the cocktail party circuit, but it matters to millions of people on TV to hear they've been told bullshit by the President. If she thinks it's on par with Nancy Pelosi's clothing choices, well.........
"Pretty liberal for a Virginian". Wow, not condescending at all. That's pretty much like saying "he speaks well for a black man". And she's giving lectures on what Democrats miss? Well, fuck me, she just sneered at the fairly large number of liberal democrats in Virginia (UVA, what's that?) like they were trained monkeys or something. Just because he has an accent doesn't mean he's a racist or a conservative. There are liberals in every part of the country, but not to the Nation.
She's has the gall to lecture us on workers rights? I mean, I could swing a dead cat around the Nation's offices before hitting a black person. Did you ever notice this city was 57 percent minority? What, not enough blacks or hispanics at NYU or City College to offer internships to? Or only when you know the parents do the offers come through. It's easy to talk about 30,0o0 Ford employees you'll never meet.
But don't you think something is just fucked up when you look around your offices and it looks as white as a country club? You want to talk about visceral? Let's talk about your hiring practices. You want to talk about Democrats and liberals, yet your own publication reflects an increasingly narrow and unrepresentative slice of liberal ideology, one which oddly enough, people are rejecting to read blogs for. Who do you speak for? Not the majority of New Yorkers or urban america, except through a filter of uper middle class entitlement and distant concern.
So I'm in no mood to take lectures from people who have no clue about what Democrats or bloggers even do. And is frankly so spineless as to keep the aformentioned Marc Cooper on the masthead, after he shit on the staff of the Nation to cozy up to his reactionary buddies at Pajamas Media. If the Nation was run by some of the tough minded people who run blogs, his ass would have been bouncing down the street.
I know that you have some grumpy folks who think this can be done for free, but there also people who sneak out on meals and think it's funny.
The fact is that despite being underfunded and relying on your generousity and ads, we have mananged, in one week to:
Challenge the ombudsman and executive editor of the Washington Post
Reveal The Bush administration opposed a bill which would permit warrentless wiretaps
Encourage Democratic senators to reconsider a fillibuster on Judge Alito.
Consider what you get from your blogging dollar compared to other forms of media, which routinely insults your intelligence
You know about Ass Clown Media and their funding. Despite the numerous wealthy liberals around, we still live a hand to mouth existance. There are no grants, a few jobs and you. Without you, blogging goodness would not exist. This is a cooperative arrangement, you kick in what you can, and we do our best to be your voice.
But the fact is that we come to you for a very simple reason: we don't have the resources of the right. No one is going to bankroll this blog except the owners and readers. George Soros may be doing good work, but his money isn't going into blogs.
We're building a structure in months what took the right years to do, and are still getting results, regardless.
But we have to pay for it, just like we pay for the media we no longer trust. I was debating whether to wait or not, but since we have your attention, this was a good time to ask for help. Because, without us, Sam Alito would already be sitting on the bench, the Senators scared to risk something whuch would be hammered in the press with no support. But now, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry post on Kos. And that is our collective doing.
As usual, the snail mail addy is
Stephen Gilliard 217 E 86 St NMB 112 New York, NY 10028
One of the least pleasant things about New York living, and it is only New York, is the lack of decent supermarkets. Most are tiny, some are nasty, and few allow for the kind of shopping experience suburbanites take for granted.
However, there are some charms to urban life.
You can do like my father and go out to Jersey, and shop at King, or my sisters in Boston, who have warehouse-sized Stop and Shops, stores so large that they have their own English food aisle. I don't mean section, I mean aisle.
But the charm of New York is the fact that you can find damn near anything.
The Upper West Side is not reknowned for its restaurants, it's actually better for a drink, but it does have a series of markets which is ideal for people who like to cook. Zabar's is the king of the speciality store, but for some reason, I've never shopped there. Never been inside.
I always liked the food from Balducci's better. The two stores were competitors since I can remember. But being an NYU student at the time, I ate a lot more Balducci food.
There was no Gourmet Garage or Whole Food back then.
In fact, those stores wouldn't exist without Fairway and Stew Leonard's.
In a three block strip south of 79th St on Broadway, there is Westside Market, Citarella and Fairway.
I like Westside Market for their deli and baked goods. Their bread is pretty good as are their bagels. I know, people are thinking why not go to H&H. But I don't like their rather large bagels. I grew up eating Ess a Bagels, because my father, when he worked the night shift, would bring them home warm, because they were a block from his job. When I was a kid, they were tiny, like Lender's Bagels, maybe a little larger.
Citarella, which started on the East Side, has a nice selection of bread. But of course, the reason to shop there is the fish. And to pay some ridiculous prices. If you're going to make a fish dish to impress, this is where you go for the raw materials. They also have a speciality butcher for your venison needs.
But when you think of the Upper West Side and food, it's Fairway, with their produce display which is the real attraction.
The reason I mention this is because unlike most supermarkets, where you go in with a list, this is a place where you can be inspired to create dishes based on what you see. The only other place which can do this is the Union Square Greenmarket where you can see Spinach and heirloom tomatos and be instantly inspired to make a salad.
So I was shopping and whilke picking up some fresh herbs and mushrooms, I walked over to the fresh fish counter and picked up some salmon. But then, I saw these beautiful rainbow trout.
The best thing about cooking is when you have an inspired idea based on what you see. In a regular supermarket and our dependence on lists, inspiration is rarely found. But in a place where the produce is piled high , that inspiration is easier to find.
But I love Rainbow Trout. There's just something so earthy and natural about that fish.
If there is any one thing missing from most people's diets is imagination. They either wind up doing take out or repeating meals because they are so wedded to lists and recipies that true innovation is often missing.
Which is why people need to get into farmers markets and stores which don't hide their produce, so they can decide to actually cook with the food and not make the food fit into a recipe.
Kennedy has been counting votes and running elections for years. We need to listen to what he is telling us. This is our opportunity to prove we are a force to be reckoned with. If the elections were held today we would control the House and the Oval Office. We are the MAJORITY. Let's start acting like it. They Republicans have never accepted defeat gracefully, why should we.
Kennedy gave us a game plan let's follow it.
9am Monday morning shut down the Senate switchboard. You can use these toll-free numbers (and ask for the Senators by name): 888-355-3588 or 888-818-6641.
"It's really a question whether I vote against Judge Alito once or twice," he said. Obama conceded that there is some doubt precisely how many Democrats might oppose a filibuster, describing the situation as "in flux."
"There's some dispute with respect to those numbers. We're trying to check that out right now," he said.
In Flux = We are having an impact and the numbers are changing. Apparently his. Today he said this
10:10 a.m: Good news and bad news: Sen. Obama told George Staphylococcus he will (reluctantly) support the filibuster (#14), but also that it would fail - without identifying which Democrats would cause it to fail, which would help us turn them around. Obama said he opposed "procedural maneuvers" and wished Democrats had framed the substantive issues better.
Senator Kennedygave us his list of where we need to put our efforts. Keep going I have all the info for the whole list
Remind all these Senators that Republicans for Choice oppose Alito
(RMC) regrettably announces its opposition to the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
But Judge Alito's position on choice, however, is not the only disappointment surrounding his nomination. The selection of Judge Alito sends a very clear message from the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership in Congress that they are willing to continue steering the party into a marginalized corner that puts it at odds with most voters.
This is really important. Here you have sane Republicans stating that the Administration is a bunch of wingnuts.
More info on this herein a diary I did a few weeks ago. All of Kennedy's target republicans are on their advisory board. I was called a cog for pointing this out, so is Kennedy a cog too? snark
While Senator Kennedy did not single out the two Senators from New Jersey they were certainly in a very small group of targets. He is telling us these are the key votes, as they move others will move.
They, in a political, sense are vital to our efforts. We must get them to committ as soon as possible. It becomes much easier for other Senators to come out in opposition if the two Senators from the nominee's home state have come out in opposition. It is very difficult for them to do this because he is a hometown boy. Alito has a lot of powerful connections here. We have to prove there is a groundswell of opposition.
Alito comes from Menendez's former Congressional district. They have to know that we are behind them. Menendez also needs to know that he will need us in the fall and he has to give us reason to work for him.
There is some confussion as to where Menendez stands at this point and we can't take a chance until he makes a public statement.
Senator Robert Menendez [NJ] DEMOCRATIC SWING VOTE
I've been amazingly uplifted by the upwelling of opposition, on this site and others, supporting a filibuster of the Alito nomination. My personal gratitude goes out to everyone who has been pouring in time to make this a possibility, to stiffen the backbone and resolve of the Democratic Party.
Now, as I read over the various DailyKos front page stories and recommended diaries on ways we can influence more Senators to commit to filibustering Alito , I noticed that one tactic - one major point of leverage - which seemed obvious to me has not yet been mentioned.
So, here goes
Calling and emailing and faxing are great places to start of course. But, beyond that, here's what I'm going to be doing tonight and tomorrow to stop the Alito nomination...
It's simple : I have my Rolodex ( old school ) and I'm simply going to call people I know - one after another - to convince them to make their own phone calls, send emails, and faxes, sign petitions.
And, if they are especially frisky, I'll work to convince my friends and family to join with me and do the same : to spend a couple of hours calling people they know who likely would be receptive, to convince those folks to take action....
How far will these waves ripple ? I don't know. That's beyond my power to predict.
But, I can say this with certainty :
NOT all those who are dead set against Alito and willing to take action to promote the filibuster are on the Internet, and MANY have not noticed the rapid upwelling of opposition on the net which has stiffened the resolve of Democrats in the Senate.
No, indeed. The DailyKos, and the various other blogs and sites working for a filibuster, are not the whole universe of the left - not by a long stretch.
But, if everyone on this site, and allied sites, who already has called, emailed, faxed, petitioned were to convince people they know - people who don't frequent Internet political sites and may not be fully aware of the gathering push for a filibuster.....
Well then. We could double the numbers of people applying political pressure to support the filibuster.
As Georgia10 said, let's get to work.
What I've just sketched out is basic political organizing, but I suspect the apparent power of the Internet - in politics - has clouded a basic truth :
Sites such as the dailyKos excel at gathering like minded folks, yes. But the people we can exert the most powerful direct influence on tend to be those we know personally, people whose hands we've shaken, people we've hugged, cried and laughed with.
The Christian right - which now sees in Alito the culmination of an over two decade political organizing project bent on achieving political supremacy and theocracy - rose to power initially not on rivers of cash or ties to powerful politicians. Mainly, at first, the Christian right built political power the old fashioned way - through hard work, personal networks, skillful organizing....
So, back to the filibuster :
If every person here on the DailyKos and elsewhere on the net who has already lent their voice in support of the filibuster also can convince just one friend, relative, or associate to join in, well then - Senators who might support the filibuster but don't currently will suddenly notice that popular support has doubled. Convince two people, well then it triples.
Can you convince one other person to join in ? I can. Can you convince two ? Three ? I bet I can do that as well.
As Georgia10 said....
I wouldn't waste my time with wingnut relatives, but if you have friends who share your politics, why not ask them to e-mail someone or call. You can't spam or pester people, but you can ask people who might be receptive.
“The Woodstock of Politics” – a caller to The Young Turks radio filibuster for filibuster, about the grassroots Alito activism.
Sorry it took so long, but here’s the comprehensive game plan for WEEKEND activism. Please take time tonight and Sunday to fill up Senatorial inboxes.
There is a wonderful thing about calling your Senator on a weekend: HIS OFFICE IS CLOSED AND CANNOT ASK YOU YOUR ADDRESS. Leave a voicemail saying you’re a constituent (it’s true – you’re an American), and want a filibuster. They’ll believe you. Take advantage of it. Emails have the same benefit.
There will be a Monday Morning Game Plan waiting for you when you wake up Monday morning, and everyone should be awake and caffeine-fueled by 8:00 a.m. Eastern time to hammer these guys ALL DAY MONDAY before the 4:30 pm (Eastern) cloture vote.
WHAT MAKES THIS RESOURCE SPECIAL? Easy: it has the LOCAL DISTRICT OFFICE CONTACT INFO FOR EVERY KEY SENATOR. And their emails. And all their fax numbers. So fill up their Washington voicemail inboxes. Then fill up every district office inbox. Then fill up every fax machine. Then send emails to every one. Then sign the petitions and auto-faxes at the bottom of this post. YOU CAN GET YOUR MESSAGE TO ONE SENATOR TEN TIMES INSTEAD OF JUST ONCE. And they won’t know whether you’re one stupidly dogged person, or ten different people. Leverage, folks, leverage.
WHAT TO SAY: When you call, fax, and email, don’t waste time explaining why you don’t like Alito. Just make your points and get off the line so someone else can get through.
What do we say?
1. We are the hardworking Democratic base, and we are sick to our souls of supporting incumbent Democrats who don’t have the courage to stand up and do the right thing even when it’s hard.
2. We want a filibuster EVEN IF THERE AREN’T 41 GUARANTEED VOTES supporting it, and EVEN IF IT MEANS FACING THE NUCLEAR OPTION.
3. If they aren’t willing to vote against cloture, then ASK THEM TO SIMPLY ABSTAIN – preferably, go visit veterans at Walter Reed Hospital at 4:30 Monday when the cloture vote takes place. ABSTAINING IS AS GOOD AS A “NO” VOTE ON CLOTURE.
If they ask for your zip code or address, give it. Some people advise giving false, local info (basically, just riffing on the area code and zip code info for that Senator’s local office); I’ll leave that up to you and your personal decision as to whether it’s immoral or whether it’s a necessary act of civil disobedience. Personally, I’m being honest, emphatic and sincere.
NOT long after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003, a top aide to L. Paul Bremer III, then the head of the American occupation authority there, excitedly explained that Iraq had just become the front line in Washington's effort to neutralize Iran as a regional force.
If America could promote a moderate, democratic, American-friendly alternate center of Shiite Islam in Iraq, the official said, it could defang one of its most implacable foes in the Middle East.
Iran, in other words, had for decades been both the theological center of Shiite Islam and a regional sponsor of militant anti-American Islamic groups like Hezbollah. But if westward-looking Shiites — secular or religious — came to power in southern Iraq, they could give the lie to arguments that Shiites had to see America as an enemy.
So far, though, Iran's mullahs aren't feeling much pain from the Americans next door. In fact, officials at all levels of government here say they see the American presence as a source of strength for themselves as they face the Bush administration.
In almost every conversation about Iran's nuclear showdown with the United States and Europe, they cite the Iraq war as a factor Iran can play to its own advantage.
"America is extremely vulnerable right now," said Akbar Alami, a member of the Iran's Parliament often critical of the government but on this point hewing to the government line. "If the U.S. takes any unwise action" to punish Iran for pursuing its nuclear program, he said, "certainly the U.S. and other countries will share the harm."
Iranians know that American forces, now stretched thin, are unlikely to invade Iran. And if the United States or Europe were to try a small-scale, targeted attack, the proximity of American forces makes them potential targets for retaliation. Iranians also know the fighting in Iraq has helped raise oil prices, and any attempt to impose sanctions could push prices higher.
No shit. Gee, you think Iranian agents and special operators would see a change to take revenge on US forces in Iraq?
Has anyone at DOD considered this as a likely? NO? Really now?
Bob Woodruff and his cameraman Doug Vogt were injured in an IED attack near Taji, Iraq today. They were embedded with the 4th Infantry Division, traveling with an Iraqi Army unit in an Iraqi mechanized vehicle.
If they get him to a US Mobile Surgical Hospital, he will most likely live. They have a 90 percent survival rate. The medicine they're doing in Iraq is phenomenal.
But I doubt Elizabeth Vargas, mother of a small child, will be going back to Iraq, period.
The American networks have been very lucky that their people have not suffered wounds or been killed in large numbers.
His physical and political collapse comes with Nixonian speed as his cronies fall, one by one, to special prosecutors, federal attorneys and a newly sworn-in and highly pissed of Democratic House, now loaded for bear and aggressively taking on the task of cleaning up the toxic witchbag of corruption, extortion, blackmail, bribery and High Treason that was the legacy of the last Republican House this country will see in a generation.
Now, virtually alone in the White House – except for his loyal, white-gloved Fundy retinue who feed him ice cream and Dewars and dutifully keep and catalog his urine for that special wing of his Presidential Library – Dubya grows increasingly paranoid, calling his Vice-President-In-Exile – Dick Cheney – who fled three months ago to his demesne in Dubai ahead of a truckload of warrants.
(“You told me this’d never fucking happen, Dick! That I'd never have to worry about this shit. Eight years and out was deal; I’ll sign anything you want and I’m set for life, but nobody touches me! I get to do whatever the fuck I want and get my face on the twenty and nobody touches me. That was deal asshole, and now these Liberals have served paper on me. Me!”
“Listen, George, there’s still a way… Wait a minute. Shit! George, tell me you’re not using a White House phone to make this call.”
“What the fuck does that matter now, Dick! Everybody’s gone or in jail or dead. I got little lawyers practically crawling outta the shitters here telling me I gotta be in court at such and so, and they don’t even know about…”
“Shut up, George. Don’t say another fucking word on this line, and you don’t ever call me again. I don’t know you.”)
Abu Gonzalez – himself barricaded in the Attorney General’s Office and under multiple indictments from two separate Grand Juries -- continues to insist that Cheney can still exercise his “magic co-unitary executive powers” to have “anyone he wants shot on sight for any-fucking-thing he likes” even while the Veep is in hiding abroad, evading extradition.
“It’s just another ‘undisclosed location’”, the feisty shyster yelled through the door at reporters. “We won the election, God Damn it!”
But no one listens to Abu G any more.
With fully one-third of the Republican leadership cutting deals with Federal investigators, and another third either on the run, in prison, awaiting trial or having committed .38 caliber sepuku, everyone knows how this will end.
In Iraq, local commanders have taken control of the situation on the ground, and despite a steady stream of increasing incoherent proclamations and “Executive Orders” from the White House to “Finish the mission”, are overseeing the orderly withdrawal of the remaining coalition troops still in Iraq, in coordination with the Provisional Military Command Authority now being run out of the Pentagon under the joint supervision of both congressional Armed Services committees.
With the noose now closing inextricably around President Bush, it now appears to be a grim race to see which will take its course first: The impeachment process, or the multiple criminal investigations that are now underway. However, one thing is certain: even though White House spokesmen, Fox News, a few remaining Republican loyalists and loyal Fundamentalists still speak publicly about how the believe George Bush will eventually rally, in private they confess that they know the end of the Bush Presidency is now measured in weeks. Perhaps days.
In fear for his life from roaming Christopath “Truth Brigades”, one Republican Senator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said:
“Why can’t he just resign! The longer he takes to get the [expletive deleted] message and walk away – pardon deal or no pardon deal – the worse this gets. Every day he stays in office is another year the Party will have to spend living this down.”
“Why the [expletive deleted] did we ever try to make that idiot an emperor,” the Senator added, vomiting into his hat. “I hear that Reid [expletive deleted] is calling him at night. Telling him that he needs to fight on. That the nation cannot do without him during these troubled times.
Holy [expletive deleted] do I hate that mother[expletive deleted] Harry Reid!”
Finally there are strong rumors coming out of NATO headquarters that in the interest of international security, unbeknownst to the Chief Executive and as a hedge against any possible last-ditch, “dead man” strategy to save himself, the so-called “Nuclear Football” has been replaced with a Kosmo Astro (pictured here)