You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2007.

It’s official, well not really but almost…in a little over a month anyway.

Come hither gentlemenFred Thompson, a mediocre character actor from the state that brought us both Bill Frist AND Al Gore, has told insiders that he intends to officially announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on July Fourth aboard a red pickup truck. Sources say he will also have an eagle on his shoulder, a burning effigy of Osama bin Laden making out with Nancy Pelosi will be displayed behind him, and several other metaphorical symbols his campaign is keeping secret for the time being.

Sure, we’ve known this was going to happen sooner or later. Republicans have been saying for years that the Democrats have been bringing Hollywood values to Washington, except for Sonny Bono, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, and of course Fred Thompson. Mr. Thompson would bring his Presidential experience (via a demo reel) to the fold and make this race foam at the mouth.

That being said, the Republican race is now interesting again. All the indications point to a war of attrition between the 47 men running for the nod, and this may actually cause a vote to take place at the convention, which would be kind of cool.

Mitt Romney has executive experience, John McCain has foreign policy experience, and Giuliani has experience looking busy. Thompson has pretended to be Admirals, District Attorneys, hell, he even pretended to be President once on camera! Please, elect this guy!

In all seriousness, what does this mean for the race on both sides of the isle? Well, the GOP now has it’s proverbial pretty boy, someone with free media exposure who has had enough experience in Government to overstep Tancredo and Hunter, but doesn’t have enough to cause the scrutiny the current top three contenders have. He’s charismatic and folksy, but incredibly condescending at the same time and his radio hosting stints will provide the Democrats with more than enough ammo to pound him to the ground. His personal life is as contentious as Giuliani’s, and the enthusiasm around his campaign is similar to that of Ted Kennedy’s bid for the 1980 Democratic nomination.

In terms of fundraising, Thompson is relying on friends and associates, he doesn’t have the network of Mitt Romney, the suburban appeal of McCain, or the national admiration of Giuliani. His performance during the debates will be paramount, though his support from right wing media and the blogosphere will be fierce.

Let’s make something clear however, the Republicans still don’t have an Obama or an Edwards. There is no candidate that creates the ubiquitous excitement that Obama does for the Dems, and there is no candidate with an insurgent activist network as comprehensive as Edwards’. Democrats WANT to win this election, and the Republicans are projecting this as an uphill battle. They need to remember that there will eventually be a general election.

That being said, I’m still banking on Romney, I suppose we’ll see what happens.

Via The Politico.

Gay Photo by Fred08.com

Thomas JeffersonMuch has been said of the dichotomy of left and right. While what each concept actually means is up for debate, a marriage between the two extremes has always been disturbingly visible.

It is from the far left and far right that the calls for impeachment are coming in America and it is from the far left and far right that the isolationist currents are forming. The far left and the far right are fueled by populism, by distrust of the existing government, by the Lou Dobbs Democrats and the Ron Paul Republicans of the country.

The fact is the new emerging economies in Russia and China are perfect examples of the complicated ideologies in modern political theory.

Read the rest of this entry »

First off, let me say that I sincerely believe that people like VP Dick Cheney (and Pres. Bush) are not as bound to their more socially conservative positions in their day to day lives. Since they’re fairly intelligent people (note: I did not say strategic planners or orators), reason and maturity help prevent them from going as apeshit with a real life issue as they would during a press conference. Of course, we currently live in the political version of X-treme sports so these days no Republican (with national aspirations) can really say anything short of the Falwell-Party line without risking a serious backlash (McCain in 2000, anyone?).

Back to Cheney: With his lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, 37, he’s usually avoided any discussions about GLBT rights. Well now the VP has something else to stir around in his head: Mary Cheney and her longtime partner, Heather Poe, just gave birth to Dick’s 6th grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, this morning. From published photos, he and his wife seem (expectedly) happy for their new grandson, thus we see the glimmer of a warm human figure behind the normal political bullshittery. While I’m tempted to go with the whole “see? Cheney loves his daughter for who she is and has some admirable traits”, at the same time I think there’s a strong argument that, if he really loves his daughter and is okay with it, he should be screaming at the barricades for GLBT rights. For now his position is going to go down in history has one of the ironic spots in the Bush Administration’s heavy social conservatism.

BAAAhahahahahaJerry “Dick in a Box” Falwell is no longer among the living. Thus, if attendance at his funeral is any indication, he is of no use to the Republican Party any longer.

At least not formally.

Falwell was the founder of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, an enormous ex-soda bottling plant, that was hailed as one of the original “mega churches” in the country. The complex housed more than 10,000 people for the douchebag’s funeral, and while the building isn’t quite large enough to decimate entire planets…it could easily take out Massachusetts, part of Vermont, and a good chunk of Tattooine.

Anyway, back on track, not ONE of the 3,000 people running for the GOP ticket in 2008 was there, not one. Mary worshipping Papists Giuliani and Brownback weren’t there, Tom Tancredo and Mike Huckabee were harpooning Mexicans and masturbating to Burger King ads, respectively. McCain was pooping in his pants, Tommy Thompson blamed his bladder and hearing aide again, and Romney was sacrificing a Shitzu to the great mormon turkey God, Gobbler.

Am I forgetting someone? Oh yeah, and no one cares about Ron Paul.

Via HuffPo/AP

Photo, and hilariously offensive t-shirt, from (maybe NSFW) T-Shirt Hell.

Woo wooI am absolutely fascinated by the nomination process our Republican friends are currently going through.

As they tear each other into chunks of gay-hating hamburger meat, they are doing it over chunks of policy that the public at large simply views quite differently.

Look, the primary process is an ugly beast that brings out the worst in everyone…but the Democrats are arguing over who wants to end the war faster, get more children healthcare coverage sooner, and who wants to bake America the biggest, most delicious cupcake…and Kucinich wants to make it entirely out of tree bark.

The Republicans on the other hand, are busy arguing about how many babies they want to abort, how many more wars we can start, how many more Guantanamos we can have, and how many John Edwards gay jokes we can throw into a single broadcast.

The hollow dialogue on the right just got substantially more interesting as John “Senile Fucker” McCain finally ripped into Mitt “Sacred Undergarments” Romney over his pandering.

“In the case of Gov. Romney, you know, maybe I should wait a couple of weeks and see if it changes, because it’s changed in less than a year from his position before, And maybe his solution will be to get out his small-varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn. I don’t know.”

Zing. Romney retorted with a highbrow, civilized response that criticized McCain’s support over this week’s immigration bill…but it’s so boring I won’t dignify it with a quote. When a campaign drops the chance for publicity to simply let a zinger like that go uncontested…well that means it’s time to hire campaign staff that are allowed to drink coffee.

via CNN.

“Former [Montana State University] wide receiver Rick Gatewood was arrested this week on drug charges and is accused of using his athletic scholarship money to traffic cocaine from California in the Bozeman area.”(AP)

I am a ridiculously big college football fan (and I’ll try to curb that here) –however if there’s one opinion that’s been bothering me, it’s the vocal minority of people who think that, in addition to athletic scholarships and stipends, college athletes should be paid. Paid as though they were professionals and not amatuer athletes. I’ll stop short of saying the people advocating this are absurd –after all, the top echelon of the D-I/DI-A (top level) college divisions of football and basketball do show aspects close to professional sports, however they should still not be confused with professionals. In football, they are still developing as athletes; unlike basketball, there have seldom any top-college prospects who have the physical development to reach the NFL. In college they hone their skills.

The people who would pay them because the games are starting to look like professional sports forget its the schools that do the job of promoting their teams –first to alumni (since we tend to donate more when they do), and then to anyone else who will pay the school. The biggest factor they forget is that all major college programs are non-profit organizations that will take those funds and pour it right back into the students. The students benefit, the school benefits, and the system works. To pay the students individually would be selfish, waste money that could be used on the school’s athletic programs (most football and basketball programs pay for the rest of sport programs) and kill any semblence of the STUDENT-athlete. I feel that some of the people advocating salaries seem to have a ultra-pessemistic view over why some of these kids go to school, a surprising amount will never get to play pro-ball, and those are the ones that will benefit from a college education.

Contrary to popular belief, college athletes seem to be doing all right with their scholarships. Some of them can’t resist the temptation of extra benefits (by boosters or other nefarious routes), and you start to see that anytime one of these kids get caught, people from their school start to become advocates of paying the students to avoid these temptations –well I say those kids should man-up, learn to live on a “measily” amount of money and accept that it’s college life.

Today I read what I think should be the poster-child story for why college athletes seem to be doing just fine. Dateline: Bozeman, Montana. The head coach of Montana State (not even in the top divison) is fired because his student-athletes keep getting into trouble –the drugs and murder kind sort of trouble. In reading the AP article today, I read about the kid who finally forced the university to act (the quote that opened this post). If that’s not proof that the kids are able to make due with their scholarships (and become entrepreneurial), I don’t know what is.

So Tony Blair is in the US on his farewell tour…  they don’t want to call it that, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from stating the obvious.  I think its sad that Blair burned his approval ratings to the ground in Iraq –he arguably accomplished a lot while in office.  Will time work in his favor?

Look at it this way: while most concede Blair had many accomplishments outside of his Iraqi excursion, what will people say about Dubya’s eight years in office?  Once you strip away Iraq… most people seem to remember the first year everyone seemed happy he wasn’t completely stupid, then 9/11 happened and he, for those fleeting moments, had the world on his side… then everything slowly came apart.  There’s no catch-phrase like “devolution” to attribute to Bush’s non-Iraq, non-9/11 related work –if anything the phrase would be “scandal” involving his administration …or maybe “shady” when thinking about all the erosions of civil rights and, before 9/11 the uncomfortably close ties between department heads and the industries they were supposed to be regulating.  Even the initial success in Afghanistan is slowly coming apart.  I think Tony’s future isn’t as dark as it seems now.  As for George, this is a quote from today: “Last year I read three histories of George Washington. If you’re still analysing 1 then 43 doesn’t have anything to worry about.”  Somehow that’s not a great excuse…

So other than the two chums slumming it up in the White House, I’m sure there’s a little bit of politics going on, but nothing more than Bush asking “So, is Gordie going to be cool?”  Seriously now: how long do you think it will be until Dubya dubs the new UK Prime Minister with his own nickname –“Tony” already came prepackaged, Gordon Brown just sounds to stuffy for the President to let slide by.  “Brownie” unfortunately came to an early end after Katrina.  “Gordie” just begs to be used; even The Simpsons used the name for a joke on Canadians (back when they were funny, the Scorpio episode) –now that I think about it, I could picture the President mixing his cultures and addressing the new PM thusly: “Hey Gordie, how’s it going aboot, eh?”

I frankly hope the new UK PM comes over to the US regularly –if only to bring their delightfully interesting press corp –you might know them as the ones who actually ask tough questions.  Today the questions took our domestic-press-spoiled Commander-in-Chief for such a loop that Tony couldn’t help but note: “You had forgotten what the British media were like hadn’t you?”  George didn’t reply, but I have a feeling someone is going to get a noogie when they get back into the clubhou–err, I mean White House.


Rep. Barney Frank, the only openly “left-handed” member of the house and Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, is kind of a dick.

According to Capitol Briefing, the famously rude congressman ruptured a tendon while using the curling machine at a gym (is that what the kids call it these days?) necessitating that he wear his arm in a sling.

Anyway, tired of having fellow Democrats ask him what happened, the congressman decided to send a dear colleague letter out to all house Democrats telling them what happened, and to shut up about it. See the letter below.

_____________________________________________
From: Freitas, Bruno
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 2:36 PM
Subject: Message For Your Boss From Congressman Frank

May 15, 2007

Dear Colleague:

I appreciate the concern expressed by many about why my arm is in a sling. In order to avoid having to repeat the same conversation, I am sending out this Dear Colleague.

I ruptured a tendon in my left arm using a curling machine in a gym, and I had it surgically repaired yesterday at Bethesda Naval Hospital. I’ll be using the sling for a week or two, but I feel fine.

Thanks for not asking.

BARNEY FRANK

via Capitol Briefing

Hangin out in TehranYaser Hamdi was captured in 2001 while he was in Afghanistan. Allegedly, he was fighting for the Taliban against the US and Northern Alliance. However, the truth has never been established. According to his parents he wasn’t part of the Taliban. But then why was he fighting against the US?

He wasn’t.

He was caught in a shootout against the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance is run by the same warlords that the people of Afghanistan tried to kick out before the Taliban took over. It’s no surprise that the people of Afghanistan who were already established in their villages would reject the Northern Alliance. It’s possible that Hamdi was just fighting along side them. At any rate, upon his capture, Hamdi was turned over to the US as a Taliban fighter; probably for a reward. No charges were brought against him until 2004, when the Supreme Court finally decided to hear his case. The Bush administration sought to detain Hamdi indefinitely, as an enemy combatant. Thus, even in the US, citizens may be denied rights as “enemy combatants.”

Read the rest of this entry »

At last night’s second GOP debate at the University of South Carolina, 37 white men promised America that they would torture the living daylights out of anyone who’s ever tasted falafel.

A nice taste of the culture of modern Republicanism can be had in the video below, a few key notes:

  • Brit Hume obviously watches a lot of 24.
  • Everyone in that room thought John McCain was a giant pussy.
  • Rudy Giuliani looks like a grandpa and likes to torture people on the side…maybe by suffocating “terrorists” with gallons of fixodent or whatever it is old people use to “aggressively interrogate” people.
  • Romney wants to franchise Guantanamo Bay.

Even more torturetastic action after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »