June 28, 2007

Well, at least we know how he'll treat Democrats

(cross-posted to The Agonist)

Romney’s Cruel Canine Vacation

The reporter intended the anecdote that opened part four of the Boston Globe’s profile of Mitt Romney to illustrate, as the story said, “emotion-free crisis management”: Father deals with minor — but gross — incident during a 1983 family vacation, and saves the day. But the details of the event are more than unseemly — they may, in fact, be illegal. The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.

In a Presidential election season sorely lacking in ANYTHING resembling entertainment value, leave it to Mitt Romney to be the first to have his past come back and poop on him. OK, I recognize that this incident took place 24 years ago- not that time mitigates the crime of animal cruelty, of course- but I’d like to think that Romney has grown and matured over the past 24 years. Man, if some of the things I did in 1983 came back on me, I’d have a helluva lot to answer for.

This incident, while certainly regrettable and horribly abusive, happened long ago. What I’m more interested in is how Romney and his merry band of apologists handle damage control. Cue the photo op at your local ASPCA shelter, eh?

I can hardly wait to see what jumps out of Tom Tancredo’s closet….

June 28, 2007

Score one for decency, fairness, and "Compassionate Conservatism"

9/11 volunteer faces charges for ‘Sicko’ role

After suffering for more than five years with health problems related to his volunteer work at ground zero, Maywood, N.J., resident Bill Maher believed he had nothing to lose joining documentarian Michael Moore on a sneak trip to Cuba for medical treatment, captured in the new movie “Sicko.” Maher knew he was taking a risk, but he didn’t think he was breaking any laws. He was surprised to learn last week that, for violating travel restrictions, he and two other 9/11 responders featured in the picture are under investigation by the Treasury Department, which is building a case against Moore.

I suppose if this Administration actually cared even a whit about 9.11 first responders, they’d be trying to figure out how they can help this hero get the care and treatment he deserves. After all, Bill Maher (no, not THAT Bill Maher) sacrificed his health and risked his neck in the aftermath of the 9.11 attacks; you’d think the least a grateful nation could do would be to take care of him. Yeah, right; this IS the Bush Administration we’re talking about here, whose mission statement seems to be “GO F—K YOURSELF. WE’RE IN CHARGE.”

Maher isn’t about making a political statement, although he’s been reduced to doing exactly that in an effort to draw attention to his health issues. This is a man who gave of himself on the worst day in this nation’s history…and yet the health consequences he continues to suffer as a result of his selflessness and service continue to be largely ignored by a government who wishes he’d simply go away. Worse, that same government is looking to persecute prosecute Maher for having the temerity to attempt to draw attention to his plight. OK, so travelling to Cuba is illegal, but this is a law that has been very subjectively enforced over the years. Now it simply looks as if the Bush Administration is trying to tolerate for being to made to look like the self-absorbed, uncompassionate ideologues they really are.

Nice, eh?

“It’s ridiculous,” the 54-year-old Maher said. “What about paying attention to the 9/11 responders who are dying, who can’t get any help? If we wind up going to jail, it’s going to send another message out.”

It is ridiculous, and it sends the very clear message that Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader cares far more for ideology than the health and welfare of those Americans who gave of themselves on and after 9.11. Hey, we’re sorry you got sick, but go f—k yourself already. We don’t care.

Welcome to the true definition of “Compassionate Conservatism.”

June 28, 2007

You can say anything you want as long as you pander to the knuckle-draggers

KPRC listeners say no to fill-in host after one day: Geoff Berg cites his moderate views as reason for firing

Filling in for conservative talk-show host Michael Berry Tuesday morning, Houston lawyer Geoff Berg was direct with KPRC radio’s listeners…. “I am a moderate,” he announced. “Michael is a right-wing fanatic. We are going to disagree.”…. He was on point. Listeners — and apparently advertisers — disagreed so much that KPRC/950 AM fired Berg after one day on the job, ending his brief stint as a talk-radio host…. “Right after the show, the producers told me that I’d done a great job as host,” Berg said Wednesday…. “(But) later in the day, they said don’t come back.”

This sorry episode illustrates everything that’s wrong with radio in Houston. John Cobarruvias has addressed this issue much more than I have, but you cannot find a voice on Houston talk radio that isn’t firmly ensconced on the far right side of the ideological and political spectrum. When the “best” Houston has to offer is Sam Malone and Michael Berry…well, you can understand why I detest talk radio. It’s not about honest discussion, or open debate, or tolerance for those who might think a bit differently. No, ultimately it’s about bigotry, ignorance, and slavish lock-step Right-wing propaganda.

You simply cannot find talk radio in Houston that doesn’t focus on far-Right politics and ideology. Geoff Berg’s experience on KPRC should serve as proof positive that Houston radio is not about open, honest debate. It’s about reinforcing those on the far Right who’ve long since shut their minds to anything but their own narrow ideology. They may not necessarily be able to defend their opinions, but they’ll sure as Hell be able to insult and demean yours if you have the temerity to think and believe differently.

June 28, 2007

Getting what you pay for....

June 27, 2007

I think I'm due a dozen by now

June 27, 2007

Your tax dollars at work...or not

City Council shaken by thought of being Peppers, too

A 1960s-era marketing slogan proclaimed Dr Pepper “America’s Most Misunderstood Soft Drink.”…. It seems that’s still the case around the City Council. Several members are in a fizz after learning that the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Houston soon will take over exclusive rights to vending machines at City Hall. That means staples like Coca-Cola and Pepsi will be scarce…. “I love Dr Pepper,” said Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck, who attended Baylor University in Waco, birthplace of the sweet, syrupy pop. “But I’m a Diet Coke gal, now.”

OK…so, having apparently solved all of the other myriad pressing problems facing the city, Houston City Council is now free to take on the issue that’s apparently closest to their hearts- their inalienable right to purchase Diet Coke from the vending machines in City Hall.

Repeat after me, kids: WTF??? With all of the issues that the City Council is charged with addressing, how do ANY of the council members have ANY extra time with which to deal with whether the vending machines in City Hall will stock their preferred caffeine delivery systems?

June 27, 2007

Apparently the wasting of human lives is acceptable

June 27, 2007

Whitewashed...and built to stay that way

(cross-posted to The Agonist)

Bexar DA calls execution justified: Report says innocence claims in Cantu case lacked credibility (see the full whitewash report here)

SAN ANTONIO — The Bexar County district attorney concluded Tuesday that convicted killer Ruben Cantu was justifiably executed in 1993 and that “no credible information has been discovered, from any source” that supports witnesses’ innocence claims…. “The claims of Cantu’s innocence, made more than 12 years after his execution lack any credible supporting witnesses or verifiable facts,” the report asserts. Cantu was executed for the Nov. 8, 1984, robbery-murder of Pedro Gomez, a Mexican laborer who was robbed and shot to death in a house on Briggs Street in San Antonio, located across the street from where Cantu, then 17, lived with his father.

I’ve written at some length previously about Ruben Cantu, whose tragic case, regardless of your feelings about the death penalty, reveals everything that’s wrong with the system that exists here in Texas. No, it’s not frontier justice, but it’s not far from the modern equivalent.

Cantu was executed in 1993 for a murder he allegedly committed in 1984. The state killed him, everyone patted themselves on the back for a job well done, and they all lived happily ever after -until Lise Olsen from the Houston Chronicle began asking questions. It turns out that the case against Ruben Cantu wasn’t the slam-dunk that the Bexar County DA at the time, Sam Millsap, felt it was. Now even Millsap is apologizing for the rush to retribution and the sloppiness that led to the murder execution of Ruben Cantu.

Oops…our bad….

Here’s the problem with that apology though- how do you un-execute someone? Mistakes can and will be made- EXCEPT when it comes to executions. You get one shot, and that’s it. If the state murders executes someone, there’s no undoing it. If it turns out later that a mistake may have been made, whether by an overzealous DA, lying witnesses, or detectives eager for another notch on their belt…well, you can’t very well un-kill someone, can you?

Continue reading "Whitewashed...and built to stay that way" »

June 27, 2007

Twin Peaks?

MOTHER’S MILK FOR THE KACZYNSKIS: Nude Merkel Montage Raises … Eyebrows

It’s not exactly how one expects to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel: The broad, friendly smile seems completely at odds with her open blouse, two bare breasts spilling out. On each breast, one of Poland’s governing Kaczynski twins is affixed — Prime Minister Jaroslaw is suckling on the left, President Lech has attached himself to the right. One of them is holding up the “victory” sign right in Merkel’s cleavage. The image is on the cover of this week’s Wprost, a conservative Polish newsmagazine that has not shied away from firing barbs at Germany in the past. The headline reads: “Europe’s Step-Mother.” As current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, Merkel, the magazine seems to be saying, is treating the rest of Europe like her step-children.

If your offended by mild nudity, or the sight of a woman breastfeeding, then don’t click here. And definitely be careful if you’re at work. Having issued that disclaimer, I was quite amused by this little bit of political satire…and if Angela Merkel has a sense of humor, she would be as well.

June 27, 2007

Surely I'm not the only one terrified by the sight of Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader around so many knobs and switches??

June 27, 2007

The next President will need two terms just to undo the damage

With its two newest members, today’s Supreme Court is moving the right-wing’s agenda faster than we’ve seen in decades — slamming the courthouse doors in the faces of ordinary people, favoring big businesses over civil rights, and undermining protections for women and the environment. Because the next president will likely nominate at least one Supreme Court justice, which could shape the balance of power on the Court for years to come, the stakes in the 2008 election could not be higher.

June 26, 2007

Today's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

June 26, 2007

Hey...when's the next flight to Fritters??

Yep…the more things change, the more they stay the same. We may not see another Watergate-type scandal during the reign of Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader © , but there are fewer and fewer places where The Worst President EVER © can truly feel welcome. Before you know it, the Western White House will be in St. George, UT- quite possibly the reddest town in the reddest state in the Union.

God Save the Queen….

June 26, 2007

Well, more than 54 million of y'all did in 2004

June 26, 2007

Another DUMB@$$ AWARD wiener

Dodd tells crowd in Rochester impeaching Cheney won’t help

DUMB@$$ AWARD wiener #607: Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT)

ROCHESTER — Appearing before at least 60 voters at the Governor’s Inn on Sunday, presidential candidate Chris Dodd said he “understands the appetite” of people wanting to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, but he doesn’t think the long process would help the country…. “There are too many other issues out there the American public were hoping Democrats would decide to address and focus on. That’s the choice you make. Others may make a different focus. My choice would be to focus on other agenda items,” he said…. Dodd was responding to a multipart question about whether Cheney has the responsibility to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, whether he was doing it and, if not, what’s the next step.

And people wonder why Democrats are so often viewed as spineless weenies…. Jeebus, with friends like Chris Dodds, who needs enemas…er, enemies? Or DUMB@$$E$, for that matter?

After more than six years of trashing the Constitution, the truth, and the civil rights of Americans, Dodd doesn’t think impeaching Dick Cheney will help this country? Oh, great…so the message to be sent is that if you commit a “small” crime you can expect to do hard time, but spend six years subverting the Constitution, the will of the American people, AND killing more than 3,500 young Americans (and counting) in a war purchased with lies and propaganda…AND YOU’RE A FREAKIN’ HERO???

You’ll have to pardon my anger here, but if Republicans can impeach a President for getting a blowjob from a zaftig intern in the Oval Office, shouldn’t Dick Cheney (AND Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader © ) be impeached for their crimes? After all, which do YOU think is the more egregious offense: getting blown by an intern, or lying and propagandizing your way into a senseless, immoral war that continues to claim the lives of American soldiers?

Continue reading "Another DUMB@$$ AWARD wiener" »

June 26, 2007

Yeah, like that's ever going to happen

June 26, 2007

How many flavors of stoopid do you want?

Tattoos: Grounds for discrimination?

TAMPA - You could call it his body of art. Every line, every design on his body says something about Russell Parrish’s life…. “My first tattoo was after my father died,” he told FOX 13. He was 15. Over the past 14 years, he amassed quite a collection…. With a wife and dreams of kids on the way, he wants a career. He’s looked at theme parks in Kissimmee, home improvement stores down the street in his hometown of Lake Wales, even straight-laced coat and tie jobs. Everywhere he went, he said, “I got a door shut in my face.”…. Russell says in the last two months he’s applied for over 100 jobs. In almost half of them, he says he was denied because of his tattoos. He says that’s discrimination.

OK, if y’all can stop laughing, I’m going to explain why Mr. Parrish, though I sympathize with his plight, is full of crap. I understand the concept of freedom of expression, and I also understand why some people view the human body as a canvas on which to express their artistic vision. What Russell doesn’t seem to grasp, though, is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction (I think I saw that on a bumper sticker once….). If you’re going to use your body as a canvas with which to display your originality and individuality, you need to understand that there are people- the vast majority, as a matter of fact- who will be repulsed by your “art”.

Personally, I’m intensely indifferent about the whole thing, but if I were a hiring manager, and someone sat down for an interview me looking like a Maori tribesman…well, let’s just say it would be a short interview. This has nothing to do with any personal prejudices on my part. If I’m hiring people to represent my company to customers, I don’t want customers wondering if they’re doing business with cannibals. That may seem ignorant and prejudicial, but it’s also reality. Strangely enough, people hire people they like, and also people who can present the image of their company that they want to put out there. Like it or not, image, while not everything, counts for a lot.

Russell Parrish is not being discriminated against. He made choices, and now he’s having to deal with the consequences of those choices. That may suck, but it’s the same reality all of us have to deal with. Most people- rightly or wrongly- don’t like tattoos, and they don’t want to hire or do business with someone who looks like he’s giving vent to his inner Maori high priest.

I’m not saying that Parrish needs to instantly become a conformist, but if you’re going to turn your body into the walking, talking equivalent of cave art, you can’t claim to be surprised when your “art” isn’t universally well-received.

‘Course, there is one place Parrish might want to think about applying- a tattoo parlor. At least he’d be among kindred spirits…..

June 26, 2007

How else is John McCain going to finance his campaign?



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