Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Need A Resolution?

If you're a smoker, here's a suggestion for a great New Year's Resolution (from a former smoker): STOP!

Smoking ban leads to big drop in heart attacks

A smoking ban in one Colorado city led to a dramatic drop in heart attack hospitalizations within three years, a sign of just how serious a health threat secondhand smoke is, government researchers said Wednesday. The study, the longest-running of its kind, showed the[...]

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Happy New Year!!!

 For some of you, 2008 has already become history, for others (like me) we still have a few hours to go. Since we seldom stay up to celebrate the actual arrival of the new year, we'll call this our New Year's post - at least for now.  I figure the new year can't be any worse than 2008.  I hope.  However, it is disconcerting to see that Microsoft is going to lay off 17% of its staff in January. First a rumor, now confirmed they say.

And, the Middle East continues to make headlines. As does President Bush.

Bush Refuses To Interrupt His Final Vacation As Middle East Crisis Escalates

In an effort to “prevent Palestinians from attacking towns in southern Israel” with rockets, Israel today undertook its third day of offensive military airstrikes in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, raising the death toll to more than 300. The Palestinian casualty numbers have been described as the highest over such a brief period since the [...]
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Headed For The New Year

It is, I guess, just a very busy time of year.  I don't seem to find the time to research posts for here, but promise (yes, it's a resolution) to do better in the New Year. I remain fascinated by the debacle in Tennessee...

Everything the EPA Never Wanted You To Know About Ash Toxins

Well, my goodness. It looks as though the people in the path of that massive ash spill are going to be, um, immunologically challenged!
Yes, despite official assurances, it turns out there's all kinds of nasty stuff in the sludge. And surprise, surprise - the [...]

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Running The Numbers

 In case you're keeping track...

America can’t wait for Bush to leave.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll finds that 75 percent of Americans are glad President Bush is leaving office; just 23 percent indicated that they will miss him. CNN notes that when Clinton left office, more Americans — 45 percent — said they would miss him. Twenty-eight percent also believe that Bush is the worst [...]

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Say Goodbye

The storms have moved on. The sun is out and there is a definite chill in the air, compared to our recent 70 degree days. We are, after all, in the waning days of December. The cup of hot coffee tastes particularly good this morning. 

Scanning through bloglines, I'm reminded of the horrific reports coming out of Gaza and Afghanistan and the very problematic situation next door in Tennessee.

Has TVA Been Stockpiling Lies Along With Toxic Coal Wastes?

This week TVA deliberately dumped massive amounts of toxic corporate waste matter into a shared public resource: America's broadcast media. Why did the PR flacks who ooze around TVA's headquarters give America such generous portions of [...]

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Saturday, December 27, 2008


 It's not easy these days to feel optimistic.  However, I just noticed a Twitter post that pointed me the website of an organization called the Foundation For A Better Life.  They focus on hope and optimism and have an incredible series of television spots that are as well-produced as any I've seen.  Take a few minutes to feel good about things, again.

Foundation for a Better Life TV Spots

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In Review

 Here ya' go - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You KNOW it's gonna be good!

Jib Jab - 2008 Year in Review !!!

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What A Concept

Here's an amazing energy-saving idea.  The ultimate, it would seem.  I'm ready!

Germany Pioneers Houses Encased In Airtight Shell From Which Little Heat Escapes

From the outside, there is nothing unusual about the stylish new gray and orange row houses in the Kranichstein District, with wreaths on the doors and Christmas lights twinkling through a freezing drizzle. But these houses are part of a revolution in building design: There are no drafts, no cold tile floors, no snuggling under blankets until the furnace kicks in. There is, in fact, no furnace.In Berthold Kaufmann's home, there is, to be fair, [...]

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Preferential Treatment

 Looks like Sarah Palin got a tad bit of preferential treatment during the campaign, just to avoid negative publicity.

Cops Sat on Sherry Johnston's Search Warrant Due to Palin

There are new details the the drug case of Sherry Johnston, the mother of future Palin son-in-law Levi Johnston, who was arrested on oxycontin-related charges last week.The police busted a couple of her associates, turned them into snitches, wired them, and [...]
By the way, we're hunkered down under late December tornado watches. Stay tuned.  They're talking like this one could be rough. Follow me on Twitter!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Slowing Down

The Christmas rush is over (yeah, it's from a really nice Christmas song) and things are returning to normal. Kind of!  I ended up with a productive day, mixed up my first batch of homebrew in my new Mr. Beer system, tossed out the herbs in my Aerogarden and set it up with the Spring Mix that I got for Christmas (amazingly, these are supposed to sprout in a day or two and be ready to use in three weeks!), and made ANOTHER batch of my "famous" Chex Mix scrambles for the kids and me!

Something a bit more serious? Or not.

Sarah Palin: Blast From The Past

Remember Sarah Palin? Governor of Alaska? Republican vice-presidential nominee? Expensive wardrobe? Can see Russian from her house? Gets her news from a vast variety of sources? Yeah, that's the one. Here at TPMmuckraker, we've kind of been steering clear of [...]
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 It's Friday. Christmas is over, celebrated in shifts to conform to work schedules and other family obligations. That's the way life is today, at least in this family. And it's not a bad thing; it stretches the good feelings and lets us all enjoy them just a bit longer. I felt a sense of accomplishment, producing a pretty darn good twice-smoked ham via my little LP gas smoker on the deck. Got some great gifts, but truly enjoyed the time with our kids and their families. Our 7-month-old granddaughter truly got into ripping the paper from packages and enjoying her toys and books - I was impressed.

If you're happening to stop by here, avoiding the crowds (?) at the malls, here's an idea to consider. Leave a comment. I'm thinking that there isn't much of a downside to it, other than the cost to the government.  But, we're throwing money at everything else...

Establish Medicare Part "E" for All Americans Under the Age of 65: Keep It Simple President-Elect Obama

In Canada, the universal health care system is simply called medicare -- and that's what it should be in the U.S.  And instead of the 1342-page proposal Hillary Clinton put together that was a politically jerry-rigged, confusing plan -- or the Obama proposal that would leave insurance companies pretty much intact (whose goal is to make money by reducing care as much as possible) -- it would be the simplest and boldest political move to simply propose to Congress this sentence to become law: "All Americans under the age of 65 will be covered by Medicare Part 'E.'"Simplicity is often the most audacious and [...]


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grrr. Tuesday.

Good golly! Cloudy, rainy, cold.  Change that - not cold. FRIGID! Yeah, I'm complaining. Made a run to the supermarket and knew I was in trouble when I got in the door and there were only 6 carts available. Seems the world decided to do the Christmas grocery run at the same time.  Plus, Tuesday gets all of us "over 55" a five percent discount. It was a lengthy, drawn out, disaster.  But, I survived.

Oh, did you notice? The economy is still cratering.

Home Sales Drop To 18-Year Low

Sales of new homes fell in November to the slowest pace in nearly 18 years, while new home prices dropped by the biggest amount in eight months.The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that new home sales fell [...]

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Week

 I'll be primarily tied up with holiday doings this week, so blogging may be sporadic.  Not that it's been impressively regular lately, anyway! Still, some things catch my eye and this one certainly did.  It is simply wrong. Does the administration  not know the meaning of the word "oversight"?

Report: $1.6 billion went to executives at bailed out Wall Street banks last year.

An Associated Press analysis finds that the executives of Wall Street firms that have been bailed out by taxpayer dollars received “$1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits” last year. “Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management.” Meanwhile, the [...]

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Suffering

 It's still Sunday around here. Cold. Frigid. And my blood is boiling over stuff like this:

Bailed-Out Execs Still Fly Corporate Jets

Crisscrossing the country in corporate jets may no longer fly in Detroit after car executives got a dressing down from Congress. But on Wall Street, the coveted executive perk has hardly been grounded. Six financial firms that received billions in bailout dollars still own and [...]

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Saturday Shuffle

 It's a cloudy, chilly, Saturday here, with a forecast for downright frigid air beginning tomorrow. I know we're coming up on "winter", but high temperatures that don't break freezing aren't normal! I've been busy with a lengthy "to do" list that included picking up the monthly bushel basket of locally produced food. It's always a treat and this month was no exception: fresh pork sausage, raw milk cheeses, organic milk, multi-grain bread, jams and jellies, sweet potatoes, smoked peppers, locally grown brown rice, homemade fudge, and pecans.  If you live around here, let me give Jody and Barbara a plug and suggest you visit the Foodshed Farm Website for more information.

Now, one of the strangest stories of the weekend, and one that's not getting a lot of high profile attention.

One of my sources died in a plane crash last night...

I don't usually reveal sources, but I think this is incredibly important. Michael Connell died in a plane crash last night. He was a key witness in the Ohio election fraud case that I have been reporting on. More importantly, however, he had information that he was ready to share. You see, Mike Connell set-up the alternate email and communications system for the White House. He was responsible for[...]

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Friday, December 19, 2008

The Big Picture

We now have the "official" presidential portrait.  And, he appears to be one happy, contented, Texas dude.

Bush’s Official Portrait: What, Him Worry?

President George W. Bush's two terms in office have been marked by wars, a global financial crisis, and a steady stream of political opposition. But his official portrait, unveiled Friday at the National Portrait Gallery, shows him [...]
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Your SEC At Work

 Nice job, folks. This might explain why so much "stuff" fell through the cracks.

SEC Watched Porn, Ran Private Businesses Instead Of Catching Madoff, Report

The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking a drubbing these days for its abject failure―despite detailed tips―to catch Bernie Madoff in what appears to be the biggest Ponzi scheme in our nation's history. Now, thanks to little-noticed report from the agency's inspector general, we have a [...]
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Not Giving Up

 Not giving in to pressure from all sides.  Ya' know, this is gonna be a fun ride!

Blagojevich claims he'll be 'vindicated'

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has barely uttered a public word since his arrest 10 days ago, but he held an event in Chicago this afternoon. Regrettably, he did not break his silence to announce his resignation, [...]
TPM has the MSNBC video of the news conference.  This is quite remarkable. I'm thinking this guy may be certifiably over the top.

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Say What??!!

This is wrong. Just wrong.  Have any of you smelled it?  It IS, after all, time for stocking stuffers...

If you'd like to smell like Burger King...

Looking to beef up your mojo this holiday season?Burger King Corp. may have just the thing. The home of the Whopper has launched a new men's body spray called "Flame." The company describes the spray as [...]

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Unbelievable Terror In New Orleans

Please tell me how the "real" law enforcement in New Orleans let this happen. I love that city, but this certainly paints a horrible picture of some of its residents.

In Katrina's wake, white neighborhood 'militia' murdered blacks

A.C. Thompson has a devastating piece in The Nation this week describing the all-white militia that took up arms to defend one of the few neighborhoods in New Orleans to stay dry after Hurricane Katrina broke the levees in 2005: "Facing an influx of refugees, the residents of Algiers Point could have pulled together food, water and medical supplies for the flood victims. Instead, [...]


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Best Story Of The Day

Hands down, it just doesn't get any better than this!

Bristol Palin's future mother-in-law arrested

Ah, those small-town values: "The mother of Levi Johnston, the 18-year-old boyfriend of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's teenage daughter, has been arrested on drug charges, the Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.Sherry L. Johnston, 42, has been charged with [...]

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Farewell Speech

At this point, isn't every one of his speeches pretty much a "farewell speech"?

Bush: I might not give a farewell address because I don’t want it to be too ‘emotional.’

In a new interview with C-Span’s Steve Scully, President Bush said that he might not give a traditional “farewell address” when he leaves office because he doesn’t want the American public to go through a “real emotional goodbye” with him:
SCULLY: Will you deliver a farewell address in this office?
BUSH: Thinking about it. Thinking [...]


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It's Friday!

It's a glorious day around here, sunny and wonderfully warm. A very welcome change from the ice and cold we've been having. Enough of a change to get me out of the house to fight the crowds at the stores for some final shopping. For those of you at home or work, here's an update on one of the hot topics of the day:

AP: Minnesota Recount Will Drag Into Next Year

With Republican incumbent Norm Coleman's lead shrinking
to just two votes, the state board examining disputed ballots in
Minnesota's U.S. Senate race is close to wrapping up its decisions on
challenges.However a key court ruling has practically guaranteed that the recount will drag into the new year.The Canvassing Board hoped to [...]

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mystery Time

Big Da Vinci mystery to ponder tonight.  Really!

Sketches Found on Back of Da Vinci Painting

Someone call Dan Brown: French painting experts have discovered faint drawings on the back of Da Vinci’s painting “The Virgin and Child With St. Anne” at Paris’ Louvre Museum, including a sketch of a skull! Intrigue abounds [...]
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One Busy Guy

Chuck Todd now, officially, has his hands full at NBC.

Chuck Todd Named Chief WH Correspondent

NBC News has named Chuck Todd its new Chief White House correspondent. He will retain his title as NBC News political director as well. Todd is also being named [...]

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The 9/11 Conspiracies Won't Go Away

And, you know, they do gain a bit of credibility when the allegations come from someone career-military.

"Career Army Specialist sues Rumsfeld, Cheney, saying no evacuation order given on 9/11"

RAW STORY: A career Army specialist who survived the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, claims that no evacuation was ordered inside the Pentagon, despite flight controllers calling in warnings of approaching hijacked aircraft nearly 20 minutes before the building was struck. According to a time-line of the attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration notified [...]

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It's still cold around here. My old Northern blood has (apparently) thinned after 20+ years in the South. 40 degrees now feels like 30.  Hey, guess what? We may not be looking at a cash bailout for the auto industry, after all!

URGENT - Bush considering 'orderly' auto bankruptcy

The White House says a managed bankruptcy for automakers is one option being considered to help save the troubled industry. White House press secretary Dana Perino told reporters Thursday that [...]

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Competition Is Good

That's why I'm pleased that MSNBC is getting some good numbers. It helps even the laying field with Fox and CNN. However, I'd really appreciate it if they'd cool it with the "Breaking News" stuff during the day. When you're doing the same "Breaking News" two hours after you first "Broke" it, I get irritated. And change the channel. Take heed.

2008 Numbers: MSNBC…

MSNBC is noting its 2008 ratings… MSNBC HAS BEST YEAR EVER – IS FASTEST GROWING CHANNEL IN ALL OF TELEVISION IN 2008 “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” Dominates “Campbell Brown” at 8 PM “The Rachel Maddow Show” Out-Rates “Larry King Live” Launch to Date NEW YORK – Dec. 17, 2008 – MSNBC had its best year ever in 2008 and [...]

How's This For A Raise?

I'd take a 20% bump any day. How about you?

Palin-appointed commission recommends $25,000 raise for the governor.

The new Alaska State Officers Compensation Commission has recommended that Gov. Sarah Palin (R) receive a 20 percent raise, pushing her salary up from $125,000 to $150,000. However, the five-member commission was appointed by the governor, with two of them selected “from lists recommended by legislative leaders.” At the same time, Palin has proposed cutting [...]
UPDATE: I'll give her credit for turning down any raise.  For now.

Palin won't accept raise

Gov. Sarah Palin didn't ask for a pay raise and won't accept one during her current term, a spokesman said Wednesday. A new state commission appointed by Palin recommends [...]

It Ain't Gonna Be Cheap

Start socking away those pennies now.

Obama considers $1 trillion plan to jolt economy

Anxious to jolt the economy back to life, President-elect Barack Obama is considering a federal stimulus package that could reach a whopping $1 trillion, dwarfing last spring's tax rebates and rivaling drastic government actions to fight the Great Depression. Obama [...]

Obama's Day

It's been kind of a rough one for Obama, in terms of public reaction. First, his choice for Agriculture Secretary isn't getting rave reviews from folks in his home state of Iowa.

What some of the folks from where he used to be governor think

Obama Selects Vilsack as Agriculture Secretary (Copied as is with no editing): 10:36 PM bad choice wrote ...Seems to me that this is a terrible choice.......what does he know about farming? Guess Nobama isn't as smart as everyone thought he was. I knew we would find that out sooner rather than later, if you think things are bad now, just wait, with Nobama and his Clinton people, it can only get [...]

Then, he announced who's giving the invocation at the Inauguration. Oh, my goodness! It's getting horrible response from people who were his strong supporters.

Rick Warren is a major fail and a total affront

Throughout the campaign, there were a few times when I was irritated with the Obama campaign, but I have never been so angry with Obama and his staff. By choosing homophobe Rick Warren, who helped pass Prop 8 in California, to do the invocation at the inauguration, Barack Obama just said to LGBT Americans that we're not part of that event. Thanks. I'm sure the brain trust [...]

Goodbye To The Ice

That's one good thing about living in the South - winter precipitation usually doesn't last very long. Such was the case with our recent bout of's vanished already. I'm headed out to hit the grocery store, since I avoided it earlier this week, knowing the rest of the world would be stocking up for a month-long hibernation. It happens every time there's a mention of winter weather. So, as I work through my to-do list, here's a gossipy bit of news for you!

Drunk George Tenet lashed out at Bush’s neocons: ‘The Jews’ who tried to ‘pin the Iraq WMD fiasco on him.’

Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg recently picked up a copy of Patrick Tyler’s forthcoming book, A World of Trouble, which focuses on “America’s tortured relations with the Middle East.” Goldberg says that the book’s prologue contains a “whopper of a scene” featuring former CIA director George Tenet “drunk on scotch, flailing about Prince Bandar’s Riyadh pool, [...]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And The New Ag Secretary IS....

The guy who used to run my old home state.

Report: Obama Picks Iowa's Tom Vilsack For Agriculture

Barack Obama will reportedly name former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack -- who had previously said he didn't think he was at all in the running for a cabinet post -- as his Secretary of Agriculture. The fact that Obama is [...]

Long Drive

Ya' know, I'd say this little "bennie" needs to go for the UAW. I don't often agree with Michelle Malkin, but this golf thing sounds like a bad deal to me.

Money pit: The UAW’s gold-plated golf course


Not A Teacher In Trouble

Not this time. But, how about a PTA official? In trouble after being caught with a 13-year-old boy. She, by the way, is 44.

Joan Tuckruskye, PTA Official, Caught Half-Naked With 13-Year-Old Boy

A Long Island PTA official has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after police say she was caught half-naked in a car with a 13-year-old boy. Joan Tuckruskye, 44, of Baldwin, N.Y., was found with the boy in [...]


I changed the RSS feed settings, having no luck with routing through feedburner these days. So, if you had subscribed to the blog's feed, you'll need to opt in, again. The good news is I've added in more functionality, to make it easier. The new stuff is right at the top of the right hand column. They also make it possible to automatically post updates via Twitter. I, by the way, can be found at
Come along and join the fun!

Ice Day

We were iced in all day, so it SHOULD have been great for blogging.  There just wasn't that much going on! So, just a taste of what seemed to be attracting attention today.  It's all about money.

Why Didn't SEC Look Closer At Madoff?

The Bernie Madoff fiasco is looking more and more like a serious regulatory failure by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Washington Post confirms that, despite several complaints dating back to 1999, the SEC never examined Madoff's investment advisory business [....]

Fed rate cut

The cut, to a record low of 0 to 0.25 percent, is not exactly a vote of confidence in the economy.
A roundup of news headlines gives you the flavor.UPDATE: The market chooses to be happy about it, for one day at least. The Dow [...]

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh, Nice.

You just can't win, for losing.

Major Oil Projects Come Undone as Price Collapses

Falling oil prices are welcome at the pump, but attendant oil project delays will likely reduce future supplies and may set the stage for another oil price surge [...]

The Unemployment Conundrum

It's a vicious circle out there.

Layoffs Now Main Factor in Foreclosures

I can't even keep track of how many people I know have been laid off in the last month, and a few of them are already having trouble paying the mortgage: "Unemployment is now the cause of almost half of all foreclosures on conventional mortgages, raising concerns that mounting joblessness will stall any housing recovery and could cause more foreclosures next year.The increase in unemployment as a cause is [...]

Icy Evening

For what it's worth, we're icing up around these parts - the interstates are littered with crashes and schools are already closing for Tuesday.  Good night to be inside. I do love it when people do their research and catch politicians in a little white lie.

Bush Rewrites History: ‘I Never Said The Taliban Was Eliminated’

Early this morning, during a press conference in Kabul with Afghan President Karzai, President Bush attempted to paper over his previous declarations of victory over the now-resurgent Taliban. Bush claimed emphatically, “I never said the Taliban was eliminated.” Watch it: In fact, Bush used the word “eliminated” to describe the state of the Taliban on [...]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On The Road

President Bush hit the road, secretly, overnight.  Grabbing Air Force One for an unannounced jaunt to Iraq, toting a group of sworn-to-secrecy reporters with him. It's his right, as President, but it just seems a bit self-serving - with so little time left in his administration, and no real purpose for the visit.

Bush Does "Victory Lap" In Iraq

On a farewell trip to Iraq, President George W. Bush said Sunday the war has been hard, but was necessary to protect the U.S. and give Iraqis hope for a peaceful future.Bush visited the Iraqi capital just 37 days before he hands the war off to President-elect Barack Obama, who has pledged to end it. At the end of nearly two hours of meetings at an ornate, marble-floored palace along the shores of [...]
UPDATE: An Iraqi Journalist (that's what the TV is saying) tossed a shoe at Bush during the press conference!

Man throws shoes at Bush in Iraq

A man threw his shoes at President George W. Bush and was dragged away by security officials during the president's farewell trip to Iraq. The incident occurred as Bush was appearing Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Bush ducked and wasn't [...]

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We Did Good


Report Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Blunders

An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucracy [...]

Saturday 'Toons

Each Saturday, Bob Geiger assembles a stellar collection of the best editorial cartoons of the week.  You'll enjoy it. I know!

The Saturday Cartoons

A Bit of Inspiration

Feeling a bit "down" these days?  Take a couple of minutes and watch this video.  From the movies, 40 inspirational speeches, melded together, in two minutes and 15 seconds.  Then, pass it along.

Friday, December 12, 2008

They're Leaving

Such a shame. Both were excellent reporters. State of the industry, I'm afraid.

Kathleen Koch and Kelli Arena leave CNN…

Fishbowl DC reports that CNN’s Kelli Arena and Kathleen Koch are leaving CNN. It also has Koch’s email on her departure… 2009 will be a year of change for the nation. And it will be a year of change for me. After 18 years with CNN, I am moving on. I am so grateful for the [...]

Remembering Bush

His legacy will be what?

Voinovich warns President that he may be remembered as ‘George Herbert Hoover Bush.’

In his closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans on Wednesday, Vice President Dick Cheney urged them to get behind the auto rescue package. “If we don’t do this, we will be known as the party of Herbert Hoover forever,” Cheney said. Ignoring the White House’s plea, Senate Republicans have declared their interest in union-busting rather than [...]

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A Good Friday

Indeed, it's been a good one for Al Franken.  It's looking like that Minnesota Senate seat might be his, after all!

Big boost for Franken

The state canvassing board in Minnesota got together this morning to determine whether to count improperly rejected absentee ballots. For Al Franken, obviously, the goal was to have the ballots included. The canvassing board members agreed, [...]

Blogo In A Minute

Another great bit of video editing from the folks who handle the satiric 23/6 division of Huffington Post. The TV nets report on the Illinois Governor, having some troubles with his name, to start with! And, by the way, the Illinois Attorney General is asking the Supreme Court to rule Blogo is incapable of serving.

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The Auto Bailout

As I write this, the TV machine is talking as if the Bush Administration is going to hand millions of dollars in TARP funds over to the Big 3 automakers, since the Senate failed to approve the bailout plan last night. Honestly, I'm torn on the entire deal.  I'm fearful of the snowball effect through our already struggling economy if the automakers shut down. On the other hand, I'm growing weary of Washington writing big checks to struggling companies. And there is a lot of chatter this morning that using the TARP money for this purpose could be illegal.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just a Little Slip Of The Tongue

Ya' just have to chuckle when the White House spokesperson makes a little "oops"..

Perino admits Bush is a lame duck, slips and refers to the ‘Obama administration.’

In today’s White House press briefing, spokesperson Dana Perino addressed reporters who were skeptical of whether the auto bailout package would actually rescue the struggling industry. When asked if officials were simply “kicking the can down the road,” Perino became defensive and said that they have been “working with the Obama administration.” However, she quickly [...]

Late Thursday

I'm so far behind the curve, it's not even funny!  So, just enjoy this,  you history buffs!

Van Halen's Legendary M&M's Rider

Since we began publishing backstage concert riders about 10 years ago, TSG has been searching for the most famous rider of them all, the one in which Van Halen famously stipulated that brown M&M's were to be banished from the band's dressing room. Well, the hunt is over [...]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Joe Jumps Ship

I know I'm running WAY behind, but it's been a busier-than-usual day.  Plus, I've been lazy! That admission being made, here's one that actually broke yesterday, but is still worth an amazed chuckle. I guess they really weren't BFF's, after all!

Joe the Plumber lashes out: McCain ‘appalled me,’ ‘I wanted to get off the bus.’

Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher has a book coming out later this month, called “Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream.” He previewed it on Glenn Beck’s radio show, revealing that “a lot of liberals are going to love” some of his criticisms about Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). He was particularly angry about McCain’s support [...]

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Illinois' Governor: Arrested

My goodness!  It appears they have quite the air-tight case against him. "Pay to Play" is only the tip of the iceberg.  Can you say "Titanic"?


Reading the case (pdf) against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) paints a remarkable picture. The charges will, of course, still have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but there are tape recordings of the governor's conversations that are [...]

Headed For College

The pockets had better be deep. Really deep.

Remember College?

The high cost of higher education was always the major flaw in the "retraining" argument they so like to toss around the Beltway cocktail circuit. Even when people want to go back to school, they can't easily afford it. (I can't tell you how many people I know had to [...]

Mathews In A Minute

Priceless video editing by the gang at Huffington Post.  MSNBC's Chris Mathews - highlighting his shotgun interviewing style - every interview from last week in one minute!

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Bringing Variety Back

This is an interesting idea. I'd likely be watching.

NBC Expected to Give 10 P.M. Show to Leno

The network is expected to announce Tuesday that it has signed Jay Leno to a new contract that will give him the 10 p.m. time period each weeknight for a show [...]

Thank You, Supreme Court

Good move. They certainly have more important things to deal with than this crazy stuff.

Supreme Court Rejects Obama Citizenship Claim

The Supreme Court "has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth," CBS News reports. The man claimed "that [...]

Ancient History

Aw, heck.  That was eight years ago.  That's a l-o-n-g time. Right?

Bush's New Neighborhood Barred Non-Whites Until 2000

Until 2000, the neighborhood association's covenant said only white people were allowed to live there, though an exception was made for servants [...]

George W. Bush and those whites-only Texas suburbs

At a cursory glance, the news about George W. Bush moving into a former whites-only enclave in Texas called Preston Hollow looks to be one of those minor, one-day stories. After all, it's not as if these kinds of covenants are still in existence or are being enforced, right?[...]

It's Midday Already!

Monday midday and I just got a text message saying there's a bit of snow in our forecast Tuesday, as a cold front moves through.  That might be a nice Christmas touch for those of use here in the South!  Trying to skim through Bloglines and it's been a quiet Monday morning - but the Bush Administration has been busy!

Burrowing watch: Bush appointed 18 administation officials last Tuesday alone.

With only 44 days left in office, President Bush continues to “burrow” people into government positions that will continue long after President-elect Obama is sworn in. “All told, Mr. Bush has made roughly 30 personnel moves since the November election, some in nominations that will require Senate approval, and others in direct appointments that will [...]

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bad Sign

When the big papers start to tumble, it's not good.

Tribune (Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, et al.) Prepares for Bankruptcy Filing

Tribune Co. is preparing for a possible bankruptcy-protection filing as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter, opening a new front of trouble for the newspaper industry. As Tribune continues discussions with its lenders to rework its [...]

Duffy's Demise

I grew up looking at Brian Duffy's front-page editorial cartoons in the Des Moines Register. He got the axe this week, thanks to the cost-cutting measure of Gannett's newspaper division. It's a pretty darn good indication that conglomerate ownership of newspapers isn't all that concerned with quality.  And it's a shame.  A big shame.

Canned 'Des Moines Register' Cartoonist Bites Back

Longtime, since 1983, Register cartoonist (also syndicated) Brian Duffy criticizes Gannett, newspaper cutbacks in general and how he was rushed out of the building this week, in this video. He has canceled his [...]

Sunny Sunday

It's a bright, cheery, Sunday morning around these parts. I awoke to the confirmation of last week's media rumor - David Gregory is taking the reins of Meet The Press.  A very classy "passing of the torch" by Tom Brokaw, by the way.
Otherwise, election news out of Louisiana seems to be the talk of the morning.

Ah, Dollar Bill, We Hardly Knew Ye’

One of the continuing mysteries of American politics is how William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson manged to keep holding on to his Congressional seat in Louisiana’s second district. After investigator’s located tens of thousands of dollars, neatly wrapped in tin foil, taking the place of burgers and steaks in his freezer, one might think Bill would [...]
Other media rumors:
Mathews Staying at MSNBC
John King to Replace Blitzer on Sunday morning's "Last Word"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The New Middle Class

The economy is really beginning to slug away at even the well-to-do.  There are some amazing quotes if you follow the link below.  The shopper who's never used coupons?  Yup, she's there. Wondering where you find those darn things.

Hard Times

The rich are trying to pass as middle-class: Now many bankers, along with discovering $15 bottles of wine, are finding other ways to cut back—if not out of necessity, then from collective guilt and fear: "the fitness [...]

Change, Indeed!

Biden takes us back to the way things used to be.

Exclusive: Biden to limit role of vice president

The vice president-elect plans to restore the office to its historical role as adviser to the president and tie-breaker in the Senate [...]

Merry Christmas!

Lookee over there. On the right.  See that music playlist?  Go ahead. Click. Enjoy.

Propping Up The Economy

Bill Clinton has his own ideas, but I'm betting that Barack Obama is listening.

Bill Clinton: US Must Spend Its Way Out Of Crisis

Former President Bill Clinton said Friday the U.S. government has no choice but to spend its way out of its worst economic crisis in decades.With the U.S. economy in a recession, Clinton said President-elect Barack Obama must [...]
UPDATE: Clinton was in Malasia for a speech, paid for by a controversial businessman.  Looks like this might be one relationship that Bill will wish didn't happen.
...“You should be proud of this man,” Mr. Clinton told the audience, pointing at Mr. Sekhar, the 40-year-old chief executive of the Petra Group, a privately held rubber technology company. But several angry investors in Britain and Malaysia say they disagree with the former president’s glowing[...]

Chilly Saturday

We've had a string of (I believe) unusually chilly weather. I know it's December, but an extended string of freezing temps like this one. Global warming seems to be restricted to the polar regions!  At least for now. Yours truly has dog-sitting duties again this weekend.  At least it seems they're all getting along better this morning! Big news of the day seems to be coming from the office of the President-Elect:

Breaking: Obama promises biggest road spending in 50 years

On Saturday, Barack Obama pledged the largest new investment in roads and bridges since President Eisenhower built the Interstate system in the late 1950s [...]

Friday, December 05, 2008

Dismal Day

No matter how you look at it, today was a bad day. Except for the fact that the Stock Market went up. Go figure.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: This is ‘one of the worst jobs reports’ ever.

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employers slashed 533,000 jobs in November, “much higher than the 320,000 economists forecast.” BLS commission Keith Hall presented his report to the Joint Economic Committee this morning, and said that it was “one of the worst jobs reports” in the agency’s 124-year history: HALL: If I were [...]

Record 1 In 10 Homeowners In Serious Mortgage Trouble

A record one in 10 American homeowners with a mortgage were either at least a month behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of September as [...]

Leading By Example


Homeland Security Official Arrested For Hiring Illegals

A top homeland security official has been accused in federal court of hiring multiple illegal immigrants as cleaners for her home, reports the Associated Press. Lorraine Henderson is the regional director of Homeland Security, Customs, and Border Protection. She is [...]

Is Something Fishy in Anchorage?

We've been down this road before, but it looks like a couple of the more prominent bloggers aren't giving up.

Questioning Palin's Pregnancy

Andrew Sullivan wants someone to prove him wrong in questioning whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is actually the mother of her fifth child, Trig. "Please make me look like an idiot for asking these questions," he writes. But despite a private meeting with [...]

The Media Merry-Go-Round

Is this a "balance of power" thing? O'Reilly gives up on radio - Morning Joe jumps in.

Bill O’Reilly To Quit Radio Show: Did Rush Limbaugh “Win”?

When Fox News talk powerhouse Bill O’Reilly announced several years ago that he was going to launch a talk radio show, some conservatives were angry, saying he was going to compete with and hurt conservative talk show radio icon Rush Limbaugh. But now the news sweeping the talk show and media world: O’Reilly will give [...]

Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski Begin Radio Show Monday

First on TVNewser: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski begin hosting a radio show on WABC in New York Monday morning. The show will air from 10am-Noon, following Imus in the Morning. Scarborough and Brzezinski will continue [...]

Creating An Image

They're still adding up the cost of making Sarah Palin presentable during the campaign. This is becoming beyond stupid.

Cost of Putting Lipstick on a Pit Bull?

Palin didn't merely cost the RNC upwards of $180,000 to dress, but over $100,000 to style and make pretty. I am told Barack Obama goes to a neighborhood barber shop. The RNC paid in the tens of thousands to style Palin's hair, which wasn't exactly a tough job, from the looks of it. If this wasn't elitism, it [...]

The White House "Delete" Key

Ah, those fun folks in Washington are at it again, working the "delete key" on the White House computers.

White House documents found to be altered

Scott Althaus, professor of political science and communication, and Kalev Leetaru, coordinator of research in the Cline Center for Democracy, recently found that the U.S. White House Web site has modified, and in some cases, deleted key[...]

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's Wrong. Really.

What the heck was he thinking?

Tangled Web: Rangel son got campaign cash

Stupid Moves Of The Day

Actually, this came down yesterday, but I avoided posting anything on it, thinking I'd save up some comments and use it for a new article on Huffington Post.  However, I've decided to go ahead and give you a chance to think about it.  I'm talking about CNN's decision to shut down it's science, space, and technology unit, kicking long-time reporter/anchor Miles O'Brien to the curb. If it's any consolation, he's not alone. NBC is trimming bureaus over the next few days.  But, let's take a closer look at the CNN move and see if we can make it make sense.

CNN downgrades science, space, and technology

When I first heard yesterday that Miles O'Brien, CNN's chief technology and environment correspondent for years, was leaving the network, and CNN was scrapping its science, space, and technology unit, I was deeply disappointed [...]
If you need more. But, the entire industry is filled with stupid moves right now:

More on CNN’s Science/Tech cuts…

CJR Daily’s Curtis Brainard takes a dim view of CNN gutting its Science/Tech unit… Yet it is exactly “what is on the horizon” at CNN that also makes the decision to eliminate its science staff seem so illogical. On Monday, The New York Times published a long article about the network’s intention to begin competing in [...]

Conspiracy Time

Please, somebody tell me how the heck this managed to get in front of the U.S. Supreme Court!

Conspiracy Kooks go to Supreme Court

Check this out: The U.S. Supreme Court will consider Friday whether to take up a lawsuit challenging President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship, a continuation of a New Jersey case embraced by some opponents of Obama's election. The meeting of justices will coincide with [...]

Clarence Thomas vs. Barack Obama

Believe it or not, those laughable efforts, by several individuals and groups in several states, to press a lawsuit that challenges Obama's right to be president -- based on an allegedly fraudulent birth certificate -- finally made it to the [...]

Detroit Pleads For Help

Pleads. Begs. Threatens.  Whatever verb you prefer. It's just quite ugly all around, no matter what the decision is.

Big Three Automaker CEOs Beg Congress For More Money Again

They’re rested. They’re contrite (to a point). They’ve taken public relations advisers’ advice and this time didn’t fly on private jets. The big three automakers CEOs have been back in front of Congress again, making a revamped pitch for a bailout. Some call it a request, others call it begging but the bottom line is they’re [...]

We Continue To Work With Them

Why? Why not just cut our loses and cut them loose?

KBR, Halliburton sued for sickening U.S. troops

KBR and Halliburton are the targets of a new class-action lawsuit alleging that U.S. troops have been sickened by water, food and fumes produced by the two massive private contractors, according to [...]

Christmas Music

Back in my early internet days, I spent a lot of time on GEnie.  How many of you remember that system?  I think it stood for General Electric News, Information and Entertainment. (UPDATE: I was close on the name. A little research turned up THIS)  I helped moderate the journalism forum until the entire system folded.  One of the posters offered yearly compilations of unusual Christmas music.  All you had to do was mail him a cassette tape, he'd copy the music and send it back to you.  This, of course, was in the dark ages - before mp3's.
Stumbling around the 'net today, I came across a site with some interesting samples, much like the old cassettes I still have packed away somewhere. So, if you're in the mood for some Christmas tunes, the type of stuff that you won't hear on the radio, just CLICK HERE and start exploring.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Setting The Story Straight

They still can't deliver a consistent answer to the question.  In a sense, that may say more than the confused answers themselves.

Rove: We Wouldn't Have Invaded Iraq if We Knew the Truth About WMDs

A remarkable admission that contradicts the past statements of his onetime boss [...]

College Costs

I fail to see how any parent could have stashed away enough cash to cover the skyrocketing costs of a college education that we're seeing today.  That means loans will become a necessity (assuming you can get one). Otherwise, a college education may not be possible.  That means the better jobs, the ones that demand a college degree, will be out of reach.  I agree with John Cole:

The Dream Becomes a Nightmare

I think this is one of the things that will finally be the end of the line for the American middle class: The rising cost of college — even before the recession — threatens to put higher education out of reach for most Americans, according to the annual report from the National Center for Public Policy [...]
UPDATE: From the New York Times:

College May Become Unaffordable for Most in U.S.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Franken's Holding On

Just in case you blinked, the Franken/Coleman election results still aren't known, but it's getting close.  VERY close.

It's Official: Franken Picks Up Three Dozen New Votes!

This is huge. It's now official that Al Franken netted 37 votes from those newly-discovered 171 ballots in the St. Paul suburb of Maplewood, a potentially seismic shift that could throw the recount to Franken if these numbers withstand any [...]

The Auto Industry Tanks

It seems they can't even give 'em away these days.

GM Sales Drop 41 Percent As US Auto Industry Sinks

Chrysler says its November U.S. sales plunged 47 percent, blaming a slumping industrywide demand and a [...]
On the upside, the Dow Industrials gained almost 300 points.  Go figure.

Good Golly, People!

Have you really nothing better to do that try to cook up this kind of stuff?  Really!

Obama's birth certificate

Yes, I'm still getting emails about Obama's birth certificate.One of the more interesting conspiracy theories about President-elect Obama is that he was secretly born in Africa, then apparently sneaked into the United States (in a banana crate?), and now is pretending to be a natural born American, born in Hawaii, when he's really a [...]

Tuesday? Really?

I'm still hobbling back to the reality that it's the second of December already.  The holiday last week completely destroyed my internal calendar.  Checking the printed one, hanging on the refrigerator, I can confirm that the weekend is over, we managed to get through Monday, and Tuesday is here.  Actually, since I'm running at slow speed this morning, Tuesday is almost halfway finished.  That is not a good thing, considering the list of things I hope to accomplish today this afternoon.  So, with that in mind, here's a morsel for your noontime reading.  It falls into the category of "you didn't think this would really come to trial, did you?"

Judge dismisses indictments against Cheney and Gonzales.

Yesterday, a Texas judge dismissed indictments brought against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra had accused the two men of holding responsibility for prisoner abuse at privately-run federal prisons in the county. “I suggest on behalf of the law that you not present any [...]

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Almost 5 PM

You know what THAT means!

It’s National Bloody Mary Day!

Bloody hell, it’s National Bloody Mary Day! Invented by bartender Fernand Petiot in 1920’s Paris, this delicious drink was perfected in New York’s St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan in 1933. So to celebrate the concoction’s 75th anniversary, New Yorkers kicked off with a Bloody Mary toast in Times Square this morning. New York bars are offering [...]

National Guard On Duty

I've posted about this before, but this update lets us know that the plans are, apparently, still moving forward. Can't say that I understand the need.  Not at all.

Isn't this what the National Guard is for?

Funny how the black helicopter crowd (which is sure to crawl back out from the rocks under which they've been hiding during the entire time George W. Bush has eviscerated the Constitution), never mind the "less government" pseudo-libertarian crowd, is utterly silent about this: "The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to [...]

Honesty, The Best Policy

A surprising (in my estimation) admission from George W. Bush:

Bush admits ‘I was unprepared for war.’

In an interview with ABC News that will air tonight, President Bush admits that he was unprepared to be Commander-in-Chief when he was elected: “I think I was unprepared for war,” Bush told ABC News’ Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on “World News.” “In other words, I didn’t campaign and say, ‘Please vote for [...]

They Knew

But did nothing. There is, quite simply, no way to really justify all of this. Now, we have to fix it. No wonder the stock market has been tanking today.

AP IMPACT: Under pressure, US eased lending rules
The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold [...]