Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday of Another Week

It's a dreary  Monday around here, with rain still threatening. There's not a lot going on, even on the political front. Obama's on vacation and that brings up an interesting note online.
Obama's On Vacation, McCain's Press Office is...Silent
With Sen. Barack Obama vacationing in Hawaii, Sen. John McCain now has an opportunity—one that will not likely come again before the November general election—to push its message to the public while the presumed Democratic nominee relaxes on the beach. So has the McCain campaign come out swinging this week? Not really. Much of the talk today has [...]

Friday, August 08, 2008


Okay, so I've been absent. Again.  Good reason, though. We've been completely re-doing storage around the house, something that's a bit easier now that both kids have moved on!  I've been assembling storage units for the garage and utility room, moving kitchen appliances to free up kitchen storage for other items, etc.

Nothing glamorous, I'm afraid, but more than enough to keep me busy!  However, the news this afternoon that the National Enquirer got one at least partially correct came as a bit of a surprise. And doesn't bode well for future political hopes for one John Edwards.

John Edwards admits affair to ABC News

 Okay. For the record, I really don't care who sleeps with whom -- as long as the person isn't a hypocrite. But, this long-rumored story is now sweeping through the traditional and online media. I debated whether even to post this revelation, but we're adults and it's news. It's out there. I'm not [...]

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

On The Road

He's STILL on the road.  But, there's something just "wrong" about John McCain at the Sturgis Biker Rally. Especially when he does this...
John McCain’s Unpresidential Exploitation of His Wife
 I’ve missed a lot of big news today… Including the very unpresidential act commited by John McCain at the 68th annual Sturgis Rally at Buffalo Chip campground, when he exploited his wife, Cindy McCain in front of a ”tens of thousands” of cheering bikers:...The Buffalo Chip beauty contest, that McCain was referring to is an “infamously [...]

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Caring For Our Veterans

Locally, the Arkansas Times has a linke to a Washington Times article PLUS some accompanying explanation from those involved.  It all makes for fascinating reading, not to mention the comments that are included with the blog post.

Personally, I'm not sure if the WT is on target, or the locals have a legit explanation.  Perhaps, as is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in between.  At the very least, for those of you who don't peruse all the local blogs and publications, this is an excellent read...

LR vet research: 'rampant violations' UPDATE

The Washington Times reports something that sounds like a bombshell in the local medical community: "An investigation of research conducted at an Arkansas veterans hospital has uncovered rampant violations in its human experiments program, including missing consent forms, secret HIV testing and failure to report more than 100 deaths of subjects participating in studies.The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on [...]

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Anthrax Story

Just in case you haven't been following this story in the non-mainstream media, it's a good one. Pay attention.  It takes some effort to follow the plot line, but it's worth is.  Something is fishy.  REALLY fishy.

Exclusive: The Purported 'Anthrax Killer' Was a Registered Democrat
 Bruce E. Ivins, reportedly on the verge of being indicted for capital murder in the anthrax killings, was a registered Democrat, according to the Fredrick County, MD Board of Elections. He had been registered there since 1982 and records indicate that he voted in "every election since 1996," [...]

Countdown Loses A Regular

Dana Milbank was a regular contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann.  You remember him, dressed in hunter orange, talking about Dick Cheney...

No more. It's kinda sad, really.

Dana Milbank And Unhappy Endings
Since I was a little less than proactive about this issue last week on television (for reasons which I think will become readily apparent), I thought I'd offer a little preview of an item on tonight's Countdown. The headline: Dana Milbank won't be on the news hour any more [...]

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Housing Problems

It ain't getting better..

Housing Lenders Fear Bigger Wave of Loan Defaults
The first wave of Americans to default on their home mortgages appears to be cresting, but a second, far larger one is quickly building. Homeowners with good credit are [...]

Here Come The Delegates

Late Sunday news from the political front...Obama wants all of those pesky delegates from Michigan and Florida seated!  Didn't Hillary want the same?

Obama to DNC: Give full seating to Michigan and Florida
 Not unexpected and this move is obviously directed at the upcoming general election. The real implications, however, are for the next cycle in 2012. Have Michigan and Florida finally broken the stranglehold of Iowa and New Hampshire?: [...]

Home Of The Free?

Maybe it's time to come up with a new slogan. Aren't we getting just a bit TOO worried about U. S. citizens making day trips to Canada?

REMINDER: This is No Longer "The Home of the Free"

I just had the distinctly painful experience of reading yet another account of what was supposed to be one man's innocuous trip to and from Canada but became a vivid and infuriating revelation (to him, if not to those of us who've already experienced it) that, as he puts it,"This country is being run like a minimum security prison - you're free to do whatever you want as long as you stay within the borders. If you leave, [...]

Journalism 101 (or 102)

Sometimes what you find in the blogosphere really does make you sit up and go "huh?!?!" Case in point discovered this evening...

Journalists, their lying sources, and the anthrax investigation
 The death of government scientist Bruce Ivins has generated far more questions about the anthrax attacks than it has answered. I want to return to the role the establishment media played in obfuscating the anthrax investigation for so long and, at times, aiding in what was clearly the deliberate deceit on the part of Government sources. This is yet another case where the establishment media possesses -- yet steadfastly conceals -- some of the most critical facts about what the Government has done, and insists on [...]

Just For The Record

In case it actually works out this way, remember where you saw this post.  Okay?

Forecasting Models Predict Obama Win
 "Economic models that have correctly predicted the winner of almost all post-war U.S. presidential elections say recession fears will secure a victory for Barack Obama in November," according to Reuters "Three separate studies showed [...]

Old Radio

And old TV. Combined.  Here's a great post including a TV report about the final hours of a legendary rock radio station in South Florida.


And, here's simply a great site for free access to a whole bunch of classic radio shows from the 30's, 40's and 50's.

Old Time Radio Fan

Just a couple of things to make your Sunday evening more enjoyable.  Might even help you forget the heat!

Sunday Night

Nearing the end of a busy weekend and a busy Sunday.  Visited the new grandaughter and her mom and dad this afternoon, then came home and fixed BLT sandwiches. There's not much that pleases my taste buds better than one of those, with fresh, ripe tomatoes and good bread.  We add some fresh basil to the mix and it brightens up the taste even more.  Now, traffic in front of the house is slowing to the normal Sunday evening pace, since most stores are closed and people are returning to get set for another week. I can safely put my feet up, scan through bloglines, as pass along some interesting bits. 

Let's just go for a combo post tonight, since I'm quite sure it's going to be an early night for us old folks! We begin with an excellent question...

So why on earth is John McCain polling at 40-45%?

 Over three quarters of Americans think this country is on the wrong track: "The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Poll showed that 24 percent have a positive outlook for the country, while[...]

 Obama, McCain to meet in September — but probably not sooner
 In June, the McCain and Obama campaigns considered some proposals for expanding the presidential debates beyond the three approved and organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Obama’s team proposed that both sides agree to the CPD events, plus a debate focused exclusively on foreign policy, plus a town-hall debate, for a total of [...]
 What Happened?
 Jed of the Jed Report saw my post on McCain’s outright lies that he supported the MLK holiday in Arizona and pulled together different footage of the same event, which makes that awkward pause in McCain’s answer that [...]
 No Change of Direction for Conservatism
 Here are a couple of articles that ought to be read together. The first is in today’s Washington Post, by Greg Anrig — “McCain’s Problem Isn’t His Tactics. It’s GOP Ideas.” There’s so much of this I’d like to excerpt I have to ask you to read the whole thing. He begins by talking about how [...]

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Oh, my.  Tough talk and getting tougher. But, you know, he has a point. McCain has baggage.

"For a man who will turn 72 this month, he's a surprisingly immature politician"

 Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on the new John McCain. This is a must-read. Alter is a staple of inside-the-beltway journalism (whether or not he's actually inside the beltway). When people like Jonathan Alter start saying you've jumped the shark, your reputation is [...]

Tap-Dancing Around the Issue

I"m trying to figure out exactly what Obama is trying to say about off-shore drilling. It's looking like he's begining to tap-dance around the issue, more than just a little bit. I know politics is about change, but...

Obama Says He Would Agree to Some Drilling

 Senator Barack Obama said that he would reluctantly consider accepting some new offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of [...]

1, 2 ,3

That's all we get. Three debates. No town halls. I was hoping for more variety. More content.

Obama, McCain Set Debates, But 'Town Hall' Idea Officially Dead

 Barack Obama and John McCain will debate head-to-head three times - and almost certainly only three times - according to an acceptance letter Obama’s campaign manager sent to the Commission on [...]


It's Saturday night, already.  8:30 and it's still 98 degrees. That's just not right. Another busy day around here, following a short night for both of us, thanks to the book release at midnight.

Big story tonight - the one you'll see in your newspaper Sunday morning - has to do with HIV.  If you thought we were conquering it, well...

Study: Estimate on H.I.V. infection is 40 percent higher than previously believed.

 A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that “the United States has significantly underreported the number of new H.I.V. infections occurring nationally each year.” According to the study, “the annual infection rate is 40 percent higher than previously estimated.” The CDC knew the numbers in October, but waited for them [...]

Saturday Is Market Day

Morning, ya'll!

It's time to head out and pick up our monthly (actually, every three weeks now) bushel basket of locally grown and processed food from the Farmers' Market.   That'll take care of much of our food needs for the next week, but I'll supplement it with a quick run through the other market, on the Little Rock side of the river. It's about time to really buy up tomatoes and get busy canning salsa, like I did a few years ago.  It's a long day in a hot kitchen, but the results were good.

Actually, the results were excellent. I just have to get in the mood to do the work.

Okay, while I'm out, bookmark this page of Beaker Street airchecks. You'll have to play around with the list of clips, but it's a great collection. Nothing better on a hot weekend.  Just fire up the grill. Invite some friends over. And relive some memories of listening to Clyde Clifford and Beaker Street from KAAY in Little Rock. If you didn't hear it, check it out now.  The early days of alternative radio.  GREAT stuff.

It's a Loverly Game

This thing called "politics" is just so much fun. While I've been away from the keyboard, the McCain folks came up with a TV ad featuring Britney Spears.  That's right.  They invoked the image of America's favorite little girl. Is it a negative ad?  Nope, says the candidate.  Not at all.

McCain: Our Campaign Isn't "Negative In The Slightest"

 John McCain just held a presser in Florida. Here are the, er, high points: • Said "I don't think our campaign is negative in the slightest." There are negative McCain ads running as we speak, and in the very same [...]

The Price of Food

I'm amazed with each trip to the grocery store. Perhaps "frightened" would be a better term. The prices just keep climbing.  Day after day. Week after week. We bought some items to make a recipe borrowed from a book that was (supposedly) designed around items that could be purchased for 99 cents or less. You don't find 6 oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts for 99 cents where we shop!  Can you find them? $1.50 was the cheapest we could track down. Still, some research would indicate that things could be worse.

World Food Price Index: Behind the numbers

 Wondering how we got our prices? We contacted a group of friends and colleagues around the world to report on prices in their local supermarket. Where we couldn't find responsive acquaintances, we shopped online. We converted to [...]

All's Fair in Politics

Nice little bit of political theatrics on the part of House Republicans Friday. Certainly made for some interesting watching. Or listening. When the lights went out.

House Conservatives Engage In Political Stunt, Demand A Vote On Gas Prices After Obstructing A Vote

House conservatives engaged in political theater today, storming the floor after Congress was adjourned “to attack Democrats for leaving town without doing something to lower gas prices.” Politico reports, “At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark.” [...]

Just A Bit Of The Bad Stuff

Anthrax. It's bad.  Really bad. One of the big stories this past week deserves some of our attention, since I was remiss in not posting about it earlier. I'm a bit bothered by the amount of time it took to track down this dude.  Aren't you?

The Anthrax Guy

 You’ve probably heard by now that a suspect in the anthrax poisonings of 2001 committed suicide just before he allegedly was to be charged. How … convenient. Glenn Greenwald covers this in minute detail, so I will lean on him for background. As Glenn says, it appears the anthrax was being dispersed from a top U.S. [...]

 WaPo: Purported 'Anthrax Killer' Had 'No Access to Dry, Powered Anthrax,' According to Expert, Lab Officials
 Earlier today we singled out the media's failure to note the purported "liberal" leanings of those targeted by the "Anthrax Killer" (such as two leading Senate Democrats) in their coverage of the reported suicide of suspect Bruce E. Ivins. Those reports noted that Ivins was soon to be indicted in the [...]

Is Hillary Really Out?

There are growing indications that Hillary Clinton is fading from the Presidential campaign.  Yes, I know, the numbers indicate she's not going to be the nominee.  One day this week she was on the short list for VP.  The next day, the group pushing for that folded, saying it wasn't going to happen.  Now, there's another twise.

Hillary Clinton Asks Not to be Nominated at Dem Convention

 The New York Daily News is reporting that a “source close to” Hillary Clinton has ”confirmed she won’t file a formal request to the convention asking to be nominated along with Barack Obama.” Personally, I’m not surprised at all by this news and have suspected that it was a given that she would not request to be nominated. [...]

Friday, August 01, 2008

Your Money

The U.S. continues to run far behind the rest of the world in providing technology to its people.  Really, it does. I've always been a tech geek. I've been online since the early days of Prodigy.  Yeah, go tell your kids about THAT system.  And GEnie.  Remember THAT one? Why do we have to lag behind in providing good Internet access at a reasonable price. Read it. And weep.

Test how fast your Internet connection is

Chris just got a new fiber optic Internet connection installed in his apartment. The service includes high speech Internet, telephone service (which includes free calls to Europe and the US), and digital cable TV all for 49 euros a month (about 75 bucks, and that's at our lousy exchange rate). His service rocks. His old service rocked. The rates are [...]

Cooling Down

It's a relatively late  (for me) Friday evening. My "better half" is working late at Books A Million for the unveiling of the latest book in that series of vampire romance books.  I had to run something over to her a while back, and the crowd wasn't bad. Not the size of the dozens upon dozens for Harry Potter, but surprisingly large.

It's still blisteringly hot around here. My remote temperature gauge says it's still 90 degrees on the deck out back. That's just wrong for almost 10 pm.  Even in August. Even in Arkansas.

My apologies (again) for a lack of posts. We've spent a lot of time in the past week helping our daughter move. And trying to do some things around the house. I make no guarantees that things will get back on a regular schedule, but I do know that I'm going to try! It's disappointing to see those statistics evaporate when posts aren't current.

So, tonight, in the quiet solitude of the empty house, I'm wading through dozens (okay, hundreds) of posts on bloglines. Let's look at a few together, shall we?

 Wal-Mart Corp. Warns Its Employees About The Perils Of Democrats In Office
 Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they’ll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies — including Wal-Mart. In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads [...]
 Obama, McCain, and Pump Politics
In the spring, Democratic primary voters didn’t fall for misguided gimmicks on energy policy. But if recent polling is any indication, Americans in general are so worried about gas prices, many of them are actually falling for the scam being pushed by John McCain and the rest of the Republican establishment. A CNN poll this [...]
Flying much these days?  $50 an extra bag on Delta.  Then, this:
US Airways No Longer Serving Free Water
Charging for checked luggage and legroom isn't enough for some carriers -- starting today, coach passengers flying aboard US Airways Inc. must pay for a drink of water.This morning, US Airways began charging fliers [...]
Think things are really peachy in Iraq? US deaths may be down, but living ain't easy.
 Iraq Suffers From Dirty Water, Fears About Cholera
Just months after Americans repaired a sewage treatment plant in southern Baghdad, insurgents attacked the facility and killed the manager. Looters took care of the rest. Nearly three years later, the plant remains an abandoned shell. Raw sewage is still flowing freely through [...]