The Airing of Grievances
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Ali G Addresses Harvard U.
Great stuff. The link is here.
(Note: Fast forward to the 1:27:00 mark of the clip to see Ali G.)
Saturday, October 30, 2004
A Son Only a Mother Could Love
Sweet jeebus! Looks like some folks are taking this whole election thing a bit too seriously. According to this news report (video link to the right), some 18-year old dude was ready to take out his girl with a screwdriver because her allegiances are with Kerry. And, ridiculously, sounds as if his mother's justifying the whole deal in the name of "patriotism." Umm, ok.
Anyways, somehow methinks Mama Chiles would NOT be having it. But I can say with a pretty good deal of certainty that we will never be finding out.
Al Qaeda for Kerry
So aparently, Bin Laden has joined Cozmo, The New York Times and The Economist in pulling for Kerry - or so says Der Sturmer.
Sounding remarkably calm and lucid for a homicdal terrorist maniac, Bin Ladin was on Al Jazeera yesterday via videotape saying that American security depends on the decision of the American people. Then he topped it off with, "Despite entering the fourth year after Sept. 11, Bush is still deceiving you and is hiding the truth from you and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened." Sounds alot like Bin Laden has been reading the AofG. All kidding aside, I have a real bad feeling about all this.
Of course, Bush is psyched. It gives him a bully pulpit spread fear among the voting populous, especially in the swing states which have virtually no chance of being at the receiving end of Bin Laden's next possible attack.
Karl Rove, shame on us for doubting you.
You lied in wait while Bush flubbed his way through the debates, sounded like an idiot on the campaign trail talking about OB/GYN's practicing their "Love" with women. You waited patentily as the Iraqi explosive story broke. As Bush's support dematerialzed, you just grinned. All the while, you were biding your time until the Friday before the election. Then, as we sleep here in the US, "somebody" delivers this Bin Laden tape that shows him imploring the American people to not vote for Bush to be broadcast. All this on the 2nd to last full news day before the election. Just slimy, man, just slimy. Karl Rove, you are a true genius of campaign smear.
Have you seen this video? Dope.
Friday, October 29, 2004
New Apartment Smell
Remember this little rant? Turns out, everything went as smooth as silk and I lost alot of sleep for nothing.
Time to go get hammered!
This Could Be Your Last Chance ...
To give Bush a brain.
Watch out, He's a slippery lil' bastard.
Bin Laden is Back
Courtesy of Reuters:
Arab satellite television Al Jazeera said on Friday it would broadcast a video tape from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden addressing the American people.Hold onto your seats.
It said the tape, to be aired at 4 p.m. EDT, would discuss the reasons behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and their repercussions. It gave no further details.
It's About Damn Time
True conservatives who live in the "reality-based community" (To borrow a term from Ron Suskind) are jumping off the Bush bandwagon like rats from a sinking ship.
Today, The Economist - the London based rag for economically minded numbers geeks and word snobs like myself, came out with an endorsement for Kerry along the lines of Cozmo's Option Pricing Theorem for supporting him. This is The Economist, people. The same publication that endorsed Bob Dole in 1996. Basically saying that Bush is too much of a simpleton to do the job they endorsed him for in 2000.
It certainly is a worthwhile read. The basic tenent is no matter if you support his policies, Bush has proved himself unable and unworthy to handle the office of the Presidency, so at least Kerry offers some hope to restore rationality and responsibility in the White House. As always, The Economist saves it's best for last - Check It:
After three necessarily tumultuous and transformative years, this is a time for consolidation, for discipline and for repairing America's moral and practical authority. Furthermore, as Mr Bush has often said, there is a need in life for accountability. He has refused to impose it himself, and so voters should, in our view, impose it on him, given a viable alternative. John Kerry, for all the doubts about him, would be in a better position to carry on with America's great tasks.Amen, Brotha.
Thanks to long-time AofGer Jose Chip-Buttie for the linkage.
Hilarious. Bush gets the duke for the Money Walk.
Following the Boy King's Lead (Update)
Check out Senator Jim Bunning's (KY-R) reply when told that a lad from Louisville was one of the Army reservists who recently disobeyed a direct order in Iraq:
"Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information."Disgraceful.
Update: So now this joker is having his cronies suggest that his democratic opponent is gay."While campaigning with Bunning [fellow Republican David Williams told crowds] that Mongiardo is 'limp-wristed' and a political 'switch-hitter.'" No shame.
Julian Bond & The IRS
AofG regular Kramer just sent along this article discussing threats by the IRS to revoke the NAACP's tax-exempt status because chairman, Julian Bond, "condemned the administration policies of George W. Bush" during a speech this summer. Here's what Kramer had to say:
"I am no fan of Mr. Bond. He taught a class I took in college and showed up inveterately at best.However, this appears to be the tactic of a bully, and ill-timed at that. Wait until after the election, duh. However, in the interests of egalitarian treatment, the IRS also investigated Pat Robertson through an arduous 10 year investigation on similar allegations."On first blush, I agreed with Kramer, the timing of this thing seems kinda stinky. But upon further consideration, I'm not so sure. Seems to me that news like this (only a few days before the election) should serve to further motivate pro-NAACP/anti-Bush folks to get out and vote on the second. Of course, not that they need much, but still ...
Secretary of State Biden?
According to this report, if Kerry gets the presidential nod he will appoint Senator Joseph Biden as Secretary of State. Definite thumbs up here. Have always liked Biden. A no nonsense type of cat who shoots about as straight as any politician. A few other things in his favor. One, he seems to have a great sense of the real threats facing our country (before they smack us in the face):
The day before the attacks [of Setpember 11], Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, almost prophetically warned of an exclusive focus on missile defenses. He cited the Joint Chiefs to support his view that a strategic nuclear attack ''is less likely than regional conflicts or major theater wars or terrorist attacks at home and abroad.'' If we spend billions on missile defense, he feared, ''we will have diverted all that money to address the least likely threat while the real threats come into this country in the hold of ship, or the belly of a plane or are smuggled into a city in the middle of the night in a vial in a backpack."Two, I feel very comfortable that an upfront person like him will not be the type of unaccountable – I can make no mistake buffoons – that we have running things now. Three, with the strength of character he clearly seems to have we can be sure that in four years AofG regular Nordy will not be saying anything like this:
[Biden] has turned into a spineless bitch and deserves whatever amount of scorn comes his way. He had the credibility to stop this disaster ... from ever happening. But he decided to roll over, just so he could keep getting his tummy scratched. What makes it all so funny is that instead of rewarding his doggy tricks, his masters decided to kick him instead.So, all in all, I’d be pretty cool with Biden getting the nod. One thing worries me though, the guy just might get so worked up that his head will explode. Other than that (notwithstanding the plagiarism incident of ’88), he’s fine with me.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Hey Ann Coulter, GFY!
In a piece oh so wittily entitled 40 Excuses and a Mule, the insufferable jackass that is Ann Coulter offers up the following:
"The Kerry campaign is hemorrhaging black voters like teenaged girls fleeing an R. Kelly house party."Pretty low even for her. But honestly, with all the news of the GOP's Jim Crowish attempts to suppress the minority vote, it makes you wonder from what nether regions of her ass she pulled this stuff.
Giuliani blaming the missing explosives on the troops. I would go on a rant here, but Wesley Clark has already done better than anything I could offer up:
“For President Bush to send Rudolph Giuliani out on television to say that the 'actual responsibility' for the failure to secure explosives lies with the troops is insulting and cowardly.Amen.
“The President approved the mission and the priorities. Civilian leaders tell military leaders what to do. The military follows those orders and gets the job done. This was a failure of civilian leadership, first in not telling the troops to secure explosives and other dangerous materials, and second for not providing sufficient troops and sufficient equipment for troops to do the job.
“President Bush sent our troops to war without sufficient body armor, without a sound plan and without sufficient forces to accomplish the mission. Our troops are performing a difficult mission with skill, bravery and determination. They deserve a commander in chief who supports them and understands that the buck stops in the Oval Office, not one who gets weak knees and shifts blame for his mistakes.”
(Hat tip to Atrios for the goods.)
Rehquiem for a Rehnquist
The Rude Pundit weighs on news of Rehnquist's thyroid cancer. Here's the opening:
Chief Justice William Rehnquist reclines in his bed, sucking precious air through a hole in his throat. His body had turned against him, his cancerous thryoid actually strangling him; Rehnquist always knew cancer was a killer, but he's surprised to discover it's an active murderer. So he half-sits, half-lays in his bed in Bethesda, wondering if he should retire or return to the bench. There's ghosts around his bed - oh, so many ghosts, all of whom have come to Rehnquist to ask for justice at last, justice at last: the ghosts of blacks from the segregated South, an apartheid Rehnquist so long supported; the ghosts of wrongly convicted prisoners, jailed because of the reduction of rights for the accused; the ghosts of kids who died of cancer from decisions gutting the Clean Water and Clean Air acts. And let's not even get into the ghosts of women, of kids, of doctors due to his abortion rulings.Dude sure is rude. The Cheney stuff, the rudest of it all, had me guffawing.
One-Fingered Victory Salute
How incredibly presidential.
Tracking Polls 10/28/04
Zogby: Bush 48, Kerry 46, Undecided 4
Rasmussen: Bush 48.9%, Kerry 46.9%, Other 1.7%, Not Sure 2.5%
WaPo: Bush 49, Kerry 48, Nader 1
Electoral Vote: Bush 254, Kerry 260
This will be my last post for a few days, enjoy the weekend...
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer recently let loose with some brutally honest stuff regarding his vote in the Court's decision to cancel the Gore-Bush recount.
"I had to ask myself would I vote the same way if the names were reversed," Breyer said Saturday at Stanford University Law School. "I said 'yes.' But I'll never know for sure — because people are great self-kidders — if I reached the truthful answer."Sheesh. With stuff like that on the record, I would have to think he runs a very real risk of disqualification if a similar case arises this year.
Gotta Love New York
So, I'm in a Times Square bar and some cats (clearly not New Yorkers) are grousing about the $6 a pint beer prices. One of 'em gets his courage up and asks the bartender: "Where can I go to get a reasonably priced beer?" The bartender: "Back to fucking Alabama." High comedy. Almost made me forgive him for being decked out in full Red Sox gear. Almost.
Just What You Needed To Hear
If you just NEEEED to stick your head in the sand and igore real grievances like this, this and this, then your good buddy Cozmo has got the site for you.
The LIE Girls are working hard to (ahem) spread (ahem) freedom this election year. They will whipser sweet nothings in your ear that will keep you thinking good thoughts about our economy, domestic policies international position. "They'll be anything you want them to be."
(Don't be afraid, I promise the girls are work friendly)
Tracking Polls 10/27/04
Zogby: Bush 48, Kerry 47, Undecided 4
Rasmussen: Bush 48.8%, Kerry 47.1%, Other 1.4%, Not Sure 2.8%
WaPo: Bush 48, Kerry 49, Nader 1
Electoral Vote: Bush 274, Kerry 257
Hmmmm, verrrrrry interesting!!!
Okay, nice story and all that this very big fella pulled through surgery, but I've gotta be honest here. Unless you have some type of thyroid problem or something, allowing yourself to be well over 1,000 pounds is nothing short of disgraceful. I mean really, there's pleasantly plump, there's hefty, there's fat, there's obese, and there's absolutely positively friggin' ridiculous. One thousand and seventy-two pounds? Can you have a salad? Can you go for a walk? Can you have the slightest modicum of self respect? I mean really, being fat is one thing, weighing one thousand and seventy-two pounds is a whole 'nother. C'mon now.
Bush on the Bulge
We covered the whole "Is Bush Wired" deal a little while back, but we never did hear from the man himself. Well, here's what the president has to say about the bulge:
"I don't know what that is,” Bush said. “I mean, it is – I’m embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."A poorly tailored shirt, huh? Shaking my head and chuckling.
Right on time. Whew, I was starting to worry that Karl Rove had lost his edge.
The direct refernce to Bush is a dead giveaway. These guys can't even do convincing propaganda, how can they possibly be trusted to make public policy for another four years? Al Qaeda looooooooooves Bush, four more years will do more to further their agenda than any of them could possibly dream.
It's convenient, though, isn't it? Released on a Wednesday to obtain maximum media exposure, coming at a time when Kerry is hanging in there and story after story casts a bad light on Bush, impugning a mainstream media source in the process.
Update I: According to TPM, important people don't care.
Bush Speaks on Missing Explosives
The Boy King has broken his silence on the al Qaqaa story that Frank shared with us here. And, unsurprisingly, he has some incredibly weak shit to offer.
"Now the senator is making wild charges about missing explosives when his top foreign policy adviser admits, quote, 'we do not know the facts.' Think about that. The senator's denigrating the action of our troops and commanders in the field without knowing the facts…Denigrating the actions of our troops? Umm, ok dipshit. That's precisely what Kerry -- who served in a friggin' war by the way -- is doing. Actually, no, it isn't. He's denigrating you, Mr. President. The guy calling the shots. But considering how you see yourself as never having made a mistake and all, I could see where you might miss that. After all, if anyone is at fault, it certainly could not be you, right?
This investigation is important and it's ongoing, and a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief."
Anyways, gotta admit that as a matter of principle I agree with Bush on his last point. Jumping to conclusions before you know the facts is certainly not a good thing. That being said, jumping conclusions before you know the facts and sticking to those conclusions after an avalanche of facts clearly illustrate that your conclusions are wildly inaccurate is just a tad bit worse, no?
One Helluva Gene Pool
Check this out. Twin brothers from Long Island both scored a perfect 1600 on their SAT's. Pretty damn impressive. Brings back some very fond memories for the kid!
My nomination for link of the week goes to this Bloomberg piece on the commercial madness in response to "The Da Vinci Code". Money quote:
"Over 50 percent of my customers are lost souls looking for something," says the 31-year-old proprietor of the Pizzeria de la Place in Rennes-les-Bains. "I moved here in the summer of 2003 and land prices already have doubled because of `The Da Vinci Code.' The mystery wasn't originally part of my business strategy, but I'm looking to make Crusty Christ and Papal Pepperoni pizzas part of the menu."Indeed.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Fuck My Management Company
[Ed. Note: I apologize for the length. All inspiration for this rant comes from the incomparable Jackie Chiles]
This is the Airing of Grievances, right? Boy, have I got one. As my friends and family know, I'm in the middle of a move, scheduled to take place on Thursday night and Friday morning. This thing has been like a precision military strike from Day 1. I found an apartment that I loved six weeks ago, it was in an area that was at the top of my list of desired locations in the city, it was available a few days before I needed to vacate my current apartment (at no extra cost to me), my landlord is friendly, attentive and very pro-Frank, the two brokers who worked to find me the apartment, although hard-asses when it came to negotiating on the infamous Manhattan fees, are nevertheless absolute joys to deal with, I got an early jump on packing, such that I've never felt like i was rushing around at the last minute, I was able to get a new bed, mattress, entertainment unit, and club chair delivered within a week of my move-in so I wouldn't be living like a squatter for too long, I even had a timeline written out of when I would pack/throw out which things in my current apartment. Life was good. I call my new super today, to let him know that I'll be swinging by to say hello sometime later this week. "Hi Frank. Hey, someone else wants to move in on Friday, we can't have two people moving in on the same day, it just creates too much traffic." "Excuse me?" I say. "I told Landlord that I was moving on Friday two weeks ago, this is the first I'm hearing of any conflicts." "Yes, well, we just can't have two people moving in, it ties up the elevators and I'm just not allowed to do it." "That's your problem, I was told that day was fine, now you're telling me three days before the fact that one of us has to reschedule? I would say it's a little bit late in the game for this, don't you think?" "Yes, but we just can't do it, the management company won't let me." "Let me see what I can do with the movers, but if they can't reschedule for a convenient time, I'm moving in on Friday." Before I get a chance to call Super back, the phone rings. It's the Super again. "Hey Frank - the management company has not approved your paperwork, you can't move in at all before that's approved." "What the fuck are you talking about? I had my paperwork in six weeks ago, everything was fine, and yet again, this is the first I'm hearing of any problems." "No, they said they only received the paperwork yesterday and they haven't had a chance to look at it yet. You can't move in until they approve it." "Bullshit. They had everything. Everything was fine. Why the fuck am I hearing about this now?" "I don't know, but I can't let you move in until they give me the green light." "Who the fuck do I need to talk to to get this sorted out?" He gives me the number for the building manager, which I call. "Hi, this is Frank Costanza, I understand there's a problem with some paperwork?" "Yes, I just got the paperwork in, I haven't had a chance to look at it." "What do you mean? I signed all the paperwork weeks ago?!? Why am I finding about this now?" "Oh, well I didn't have some of the paperwork until this morning. I can't approve anything until it's all together." "OK, well can you please have a look, because I'm trying to move in this Friday." "That's another thing, you can't move on Friday, someone else is moving in Friday." "I know. I didn't know that until now, but I'm going to see if the movers can change, but I may have to move on Friday anyway." "You can't, we can't allow two moves in one day." "Hopefully that won't be a problem, but can you get this paperwork approved? I have to move by the end of the week." "You have until Monday" "I know, but I'd really like to sort this out as soon as possible, because I may not be able to get movers on Monday." "Sir, I'm allowed to take 10 business days upon receipt of paperwork before I have to approve it." Fuck. I'm fucked. This woman has my life by the balls and she's starting to squeeze. This was the point at which my argumentative tone turned on a dime into syrupy sweetness. "Um, OK. It would really be a help if you could take a look, because I'm kind of up against a wall here. I don't even know when the movers can come now and this is the first I'm hearing about all these problems, I'm a little bit frustrated. Can you call me as soon as it's all done?" "I'll see what I can do." I call the movers. They can do Thursday, which I was planning on taking off work anyway, just for any last-minute things (an 11th hour fuckup like this being a good example) that might come up. Perfect, I wanted to move in earlier anyway, I'll just have to accelerate the packing/trashing of my stuff and get it all done by Wednesday night. But I can't reschedule the move until I know that I'm allowed can move in. This is where we stand. My broker and landlord have been great, they are fighting and calling out all the big guns (namely, the people who pay this bitch) to get this all sorted by tomorrow morning. We'll see. As of now, I'm sleeping on a foldout sofa, because I had to get my bed in the trash tonight, because I can't do it when I planned to, this Thursday. My apartment is a disaster area that I can barely walk around in, because I ran out of packing boxes and Mail Boxes Etc. is closed. I smell like shit, because I had to take apart a heavy bed and dresser and lug them out in to the street all by myself.. So I'd like to say a big FUCK YOU VERY MUCH! to the bitch at my management company. FUCK YOU for making me way more stressed out than the Yankees-Red Sox series ever could. FUCK YOU for the insomnia that will no doubt set in when I finally finish packing tonight. FUCK YOU for the pathetic little power trip you're pulling, completely fucking a model tenant over in the process. Most of all, FUCK YOU for making the conscious choice to be a bitch when the issue of someone potentially becoming homeless is at stake. In the words of my broker, "This is so un-fucking-necessary." Sometimes I really fucking hate New York.
Tracking Polls 10/26/04
Every day, three good tracking polls and an electoral vote counter are released, all of which have been alluded to in posts and comments in the last 24 hours. They are:
electoral-vote.com - release time varies, usually early in the morning
Reuters/Zogby - released around 8:00am
Rasmussen Reports - released at 12:00pm
ABC News/Washington Post - released 5:00pm
To further my obsessive devotion to reading polls, for the next week, I'll be throwing them up on AofG as soon after 5:00pm as they're available. Rather than have a scatter shot dialogue from post to post, this should also be a good forum for Comments on the day's movements. For ABC News/WaPo, I'll use the likely voter survey, rather than registered voters. Here are today's:
Zogby: Bush 49, Kerry 46, Undecided 3
Rasmussen: Bush 47.8%, Kerry 47.8%, Other 1.5%, Not Sure 2.9%
WaPo: Bush 48, Kerry 50, Nader 1
Electoral Vote: Bush 285, Kerry 247
Come to think of it, since the numbers probably won't move that much, this is probably a meaningless indulgence. Oh well...
Bush Relatives For Kerry
First, Cozmo. Then, Sully. And now even his own relatives are tossing the Boy King under the bus.
I Knew It!!!
After weeks of dancing around it, Andrew Sullivan takes the Kerry plunge.
This is hilarious. I imagine it looked a little something like this.
LPGA'er celebrating her tour victory a few years back. Helluva trophy, huh?
Another goodie courtesy of AofG regular Jay Jay. Forwarded along with this note:
"I am sure this is not earth-shaking, but it is interesting for those of us who think multi-laterally. And to think that I found it while trying to research possibilities for my next vacation. Damn, even the non-partisan travel web-sites are affected by this political atmosphere."Yes, it's been said a million times, but it bears repeating that the amount of international goodwill squandered by this administration since September 11 is damn near criminal.
Voting While Black
(Thanks to AofG regular Jay Jay for the heads up.)
More Hits Than Sadaharu Oh
This may interest only Cozmo and I, but I had to link to a site that I found last night as I was surfing around. Possibly the only album in history to make reference to Knick benchwarmer Hawthorne Wingo, the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique is, after all these years, still one of my top 5 favorite albums. It contains hundreds of samples and inside jokes, some of which are easy to figure out, some of which are damn near impossible. Here's a website that tries to sort it all out.
An Open Letter To The RNC
(I apoligize in advance for the length of this post. You will see if you read it I actually tried to cut it down. I won't be offended if you don't though...I have alot to get off my chest)
October 26th, 2004
President Bush, Mr. Gillespie, and the Republican National Committee:
I am writing to you as a disenfranchised Republican party member. I am writing to voice my displeasure over the way you have run our country over the past four years. I cannot possibly enumerate all of the reasons why I am writing this letter to you. Basaically, I retain the quixotic hope that my words can help stop your current programs, methods and inertia in the national elections to be held just one week from today.
First, let me offer you a brief introduction to Cozmo Cramer. I have been ideologically a progressive conservative and an avowed Federalist ever since I can remember. My political philosophies were formed as a young man looking up to men such as Ronald Reagan and Tom Keane, governor of my native New Jersey in my youth. What I mean by a progressive conservative is that while I am fiscally conservative, government should actively take a role to improve the nation's social fabric and infrastructure. When I say fiscal conservative, I hold that when not in times of deep national crisis, our government should be as small and fiscally balanced as possible. As a Federalist, I believe that each state has the right to conduct itself in its own manner in matters that do not rise to constitutional levels (and ironically, I strongly believe in the function of the Electoral College). Also, as a progressively minded person, the actions the national government does take should be made should be for the betterment of the general state of the nation, not a particular demographic or voting block. It was once a policy espoused by many Republicans. Names like Teddy Roosevelt and David Rockefeller come to mind immediately as progressive conservatives, as do Rudi Guiliani and John McCain.
I have voted for a Republican candidate in every major election since I turned 18 in 1993 – Dole, Bush (43), D’Amato, Lazio, Guiliani and Bloomberg. Heck, I even gave money to the McCain campaign in 2000 while I was in business school and had no job or offer of employment. However, through the decisions and actions of you, Mr. Bush, you Mr. Gillespie and the Republican party in general over the past year and a half, the party of my youth has left me alienated and without a political home.
You decided to turn your back on American heroes like Guiliani and McCain in favor of religiously-bated politics and a turn further to the right than our country has taken since the 1920s, all while alienating our friends and allies around the world. In the process, you have disgraced the political process of our great nation and dragged the Presidency through the mud, all in the name of consolidating power within the part both domestically and internationally. The Republican in me is outraged.
The Lesser Bush
President Bush, I voted for you four years ago because I believed that you may have been merely a younger, more communicative version of your father. George Sr. was a strong man, and accomplished businessman, diplomat and statesman. He lead the country through the end of the Cold War, the transition to a unified Europe and to victory in its first major ground war in over 20 years when he built a true coalition of free nations and kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and put into place international sanctions which all but ended his ability to be a global or even regional threat to stability. Yet, your father lacked the swagger and braggadocio to express himself in a manner that was deemed presidential, and it cost him a second term.
You, George W., on the other hand, came into office promising to unite the nation in the wake of the Clinton Presidency. You had on your side many people I respected and Trusted, Including Colin Powell, James Baker(whom I have changed opinion of post-9/11), Condoleeza Rice (whose work I studied on Central Asia as an international relations major in college and was far in advance of the most of the world’s view of the post-Soviet republics) and Paul O’Neill. Your call to arms was “Compassionate Conservatism”, and although there was no substance to your claims at the time, I bought them hook, line and sinker.
It turns out, however, that the apple just fell too far from the tree. While your father was a man of quiet competence and measured decision-making, you have proved yourself to be the diametrical opposite. Whereas he used enlightened and rational thought, you ignore facts and pray that reality be changed to meet your version of the world. Whereas he openly opposed his party’s base on certain issues which he could not abide, you mirror the party platform as a puppet mirrors his puppeteer. Those who challenged your view of the world or an issue were swiftly silenced as traitorous and removed from positions of influence. Whereas most Americans live in a world of facts and reality, your sheltered life as allowed you the luxury of shutting your eyes until somebody cleaned up your mess and made the world look as you wanted it to. Ron Suskind’s article in last week's NYT Magazine (if anyone has a text copy of this amazing article, please share it with us in the comments section) illuminates this point in more detail and eloquence than I could ever muster, but your hide your smallish nature in what you to be deem your faith in God. This thought process is foreign and terrifying to me. In fact, it reeks of tyranny.
While your unwavering faith in your own infallibility comforted the nation (and me) in the days and weeks following September 11th, 2001 – your inability to see the possibility that you or your trusted advisers could be mistaken in any way, shape or form has put our nation in grave jeopardy. The dark side of your personality has alienated over half your nation while at the same time it has squandered an unprecedented chance to support true democracy in the largely despotic Middle East and to again be considered the world’s leader in liberal thought. Worse yet, your small-minded, vindictive nature and inability to control your own party and cabinet have left the country more divided than any time in my life.
In hindsight, the warning signs were all there, (namely your lack of ability to competently express yourself when questioned, your dependence on handlers on policy issues, Karl Rove’s disgusting smear tactics against John McCain in South Carolina) yet I chose to ignore them. I apologize to the American people for making such a gross miscalculation. I promise to never make another mistake like that in the polling booth.
Congressional Rubber Stamp
Our government was set-up with the ideal state of affairs being status-quo – gridlock is the national state of affairs, if you will. The basic model (and I will spare you’re the civics text book definition) of Separation of Powers is designed so that the government moves in one general direction or another only when an overwhelming majority of the population demands such a move. The system pits the bodies of government against each other so that regardless of political affilation, their powers cancel each other out and defend against a Federal tryanny. Even in the past when a party in the White House has enjoyed a majority in both houses of congress, Congress acted as an independent entity from the Executive and the party leadership (1993-1994 come to mind). This is the way our democracy is drawn up, systematically, to oppose the very situation that currently exists in Washington.
Yet the Bush Administration and the RNC have put a stranglehold on the Separation of Powers doctrine with intimidation tactics in the House and Senate that have removed the typical deliberations from American governance. This has allowed an unprecedented amount of pork-barrel funding, questionable powers granted, and a stacking of the lower-ranking Federal judicial appointments which have shifted the tone of public discourse to what was recently the far-right. I hold in particular contempt strong-armed party leaders such as Tom "The Hammer” DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Bill Frist and Trent Lott for the trampling of the Separation of Powers.
The most infuriating part about this move is that the Republican Party is just barely a majority in the Senate and did not gain a majority vote in 2000 Presidential Race. There is no mandate for the RNC to act as it has, in effect, become the tyranny of the majority so feared by the framers of our constitution. Paradoxically, our tyrants have only a phony majority, at best.
The Move Away From of Fiscal Conservatism
The fundamental ideal behind the Republican party since World War II has been the fundamental believe that fiscal conservative ideals are the most sound way to run the nation. Less government is good, because it affords citizens more liberty. This argument has taken on the following form in one way or another for the past 60 years:
Less Government & Taxes = Good; Entitlement Programs = Bad
This is the theory that Ronald Reagan parlayed into his wildly successful two terms. This is the theory that brought Republicans to power in the Congress in 1994. Hell, this is the theory that propelled Bill Clinton to leaving our country with a multi-billion dollar tax surplus at the end of his second term.
However, during the past four years, with a Rubber Stamp Congress and no political checks and balances, the Republican Party has run rough-shod over the economic principles which brought it to power in the first place. Under the Bush Administration, our government has increased spending more than any in American history. Yet they continue to and claim to the American people that the bad “liberals” are out to take their hard earned money away from them.
Let’s examine the Bush administration record with a jaundiced eye, and see just how bad it is. The list of Bush administration largess is long and scandalous. It includes:
- The largest increase spending in dollar amount in the history of the United States, and the largest increase in spending on a percentage basis since FDR.
- The first tax giveaway during war-time in the history of the United States
- Continued loosening of the tax code for international corporations to hide domestic profits via transfer pricing and other repatriation methods.
- “No Child Left Behind” act has taken much of the funding responsibility for local schools away from the states and left it with the Federal Government.
- The $500 billion prescription drug plan for seniors has done nothing to change the underlying uneven-playing field in the pharmaceuticals market, and amounts to less of an assistance measure to seniors as it is an entitlement to the pharmaceutical corporations.
- The $20 billion of funding promised to rebuild and defend New York City in the aftermath of 9/11 has been misappropriated for all manner of “homeland security” measures, including, but not limited to, nuclear decontamination units in rural Washington State.
- Influencing the Fed's Board of Governers to artifically hold down interest rates during an election year, furthering trade imbalances and the sending the dollar into a global nosedive.
In short, the Bush Administration has presided over the worst rape of our country’s long-term financial health in the history of the Republic.
No Bush era program is further afield from the notion of fiscal conservatism than that of President Bush’s beloved “faith based” initiative programs. Leave aside the obvious constitutional conflict of interest with the Federal government simply giving money to church-run groups (in addition giving them complete tax-free status), there is only one faith that is considered worthy of inclusion in these programs (Cozmo belongs to one of the largest, wealthiest, and most politically active synagogues on the planet, and I have yet to hear of A SINGLE non-“Christian” organization being graced with some of this “faith-based” largess).
You see, your “faith based” initiatives are nothing more than an entitlement to a different class of Americans. At their core, “faith based” initiatives are no different than the classic “tax & spend liberal” philosophy common to Democratic tactics of the 1960’s and 1970’s welfare and tax system so derided by Republicans since I can remember. These initiatives are nothing more than giveaways to the party’s power base in order to shore-up and radicalize the party’s base. However, they are even more repugnant than the “Great Society” welfare programs, for they are supra-constitutional and far more cynical in nature. I am not overstating my position when I say that future of “faith based initiatives” are one of the most grave issues facing our democracy and economy over the next decade.
The result of all of this spending and lack of taxation would surely be a catastrophe, right? Yet amazingly, even with oil at $55 dollars a barrel, the Fed has still kept money cheap at less than 2%. This is a fundamental imbalance between real interest rates and their theoretical levels which has resulted in the depression of the US Dollar in the foreign exchange market for the past two years. However, the current situation simply cannot last.
Believe me, we will have to foot the bill for your fiscal irresponsibility over the next four years – only this time a tax-cut stimulus is simply not going to pull us out of the tail-spin. I am not optimistic that the current administration or Congressional leadership has the where-with-all to avoid disastrous consequences for our economy.
For lack of a better phrase, in just four years, you have spent our country into the ground.
After reading over 2,000 of my words already, you have neither the time nor the inclination to listen to me to make a tangible argument against the conduct of the war in Iraq. That will take more time than any of us would care to share, even without the rest of this letter. That said, assuming the following occurred:
- that US intelligence had been accurate to the point that Colin Powell did not make a fool of himself and our country in the UN,
- that Bush administration had properly armed our troops with the soft skills and personnel to “win the peace”,
- a proper coalition could be built that would keep us from overextending our military in a conflict without a foreseeable conclusion,
(NONE of which actually happened), I could support a war with Iraq on neo-realist terms – regardless of the presence of WMDs.
However, the idea that the United States “does not need the rest of the world” to actively participate in keeping our nation safe is laughably out of touch with reality. American hegemony (political, economic, and social) DEPENDS on the very fact that our relationship with the world is symbiotic. Since WWII, the world has looked to America for financial and military support and thought guidance. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, this has only increased throughout the globe, in a way never before seen in human civilization. This has fed our Republic's soul and has allowed us to prosper economically and politically – making the 20th Century the “American Century”. For, from its beginnings in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the words of Jonathan Winthrop (a Kerry ancestor) and his “City on a Hill”, America has held close it it's heart a messianic mission of leading the world to a freer, better existence. Yet, for all of America's current power, such power is meaningless if the world does not follow our lead.
Thus, perhaps the best course of action when it comes to international relations for an American administration in the days of our hegemony is simply a dose of humility. Everybody knows the score. America is currently the most powerful force in the history of the planet, and can act without the permission of any other sovereign entity. However, infuriating the rest of the planet hurts our very ability to exercise this hegemony. Treating other countries as if they are merely a nuisance in the American march to change the world has alienated even those states which are most sympathetic to American interests. In doing so, Bush has It stretched our military resources to the brink, boot-strapped our economy, and hampered our ability to make other sovereign states respond to our desires.
In short, America needs to be needed by the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this simple point seems to be far too subtle for the Bush administration to grasp.
Reprehensible Campaign Tactics
The final straw which has alienated me from your policies over the past year has been the offensive nature of Republican campaign tactics in this election. Firstly, American elections are won by selling the American people on a better vision for the future. Without a tangible vision for a better future, after spending our country into an inevitable recession, after alienating the world, after trampling on the constitution, the RNC has decided its best path is to scare the living crap out the American people instead. Every where you turn, some Republican ideologue is attempting to get the public to fear everything. Fear the “Terrorists”. Fear globalism. Fear liberal (small “l”) thinking. Fear Godlessness. Fear not having John Cheney around to run things. Fear John Kerry.
This fear has been coupled with the repugnant campaigning tactics of Karl Rove. This has been going on with Karl Rove since he started, yet the RNC has never held him accountable for the mere fact that his repulsive smear tactics get the results you desire. You turned a blind eye in Texas in 1994. You turned a blind eye in South Carolina in 2000. You have turned a blind eye this year to the “Swift Boat Veterans For ‘Truth’”. Rove’s methods are dirty, anti-democratic and unacceptable. They undermine not just Bush's opponents, but our entire electoral system. The fact that almost no Republican can admit this makes me lose faith in the party in general.
Yet, the very act of questioning the President or the RNC view of the world has been deemed to be an unpatriotic sin by the far right. Anyone who questions the President is jeopardizing "the troops" or the nation, just in asking the question. Paradoxically, the most facist of all the RNC messages spouted so far in this campaign, this seems to have the most legs.
I simply am not willing to sell my soul and the democratic principles of the United States down the river to win an election. Maybe that’s the difference between me and you – I refuse to become a hypocrite.
The Final Word
I just can’t take it any more. Your tactics as a party make me physically repulsed and I fear for the state of our union. I have not abandoned my conservative, progressive, or Federalist positions, by my party has. So, in response, this patriot is exercising his patriotism right now, at his computer. He is doing it by calling you and your supporters and all your cronies out. Stop ruining my country!
I guess, in this end, Hunter S. Thompson’s slaying of the Bush (43) presidency in Rolling Stone last week has the last word on what is at stake in the upcoming election. He writes, “The question this [election year] is not whether President Bush is acting more and more like the head of a fascist government but if the American people want it that way. That is what this election is all about.”
I urge you all to look deep into your American hearts this week and ask yourself that question, “Do I want my government to continue acting more and more facist?”
Well, this Republican doesn’t want it that way any more. That is why you have lost my vote and support in 2004.
Monday, October 25, 2004
As my AofG Collegues have lit up the superhighway with data and analysis, YT has been D.
But Fear Not, Festivus Makers! Against Jackie's better judgement, I am currently composing a diatribe of epic proportions.
My buddy Encyclopedia sent this along. His note? "I can't believe we live in the same country as these nuts." Feel you, dude. Thanks.
Wow, wasn't expecting this, at least not so soon. Today's Rasmussen Tracking Poll has Kerry in the lead for the first time since August 23, a week before the Republican National Convention. Since it's a tracking poll which takes a three day moving average, today's new sample had to be pretty strong to swing it from a 0.4 point Bush lead to a 2 point Kerry lead in one day.
MC Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Click on "trust" to watch the video. Powerful stuff. Caught me some chills.
This is pretty funny. Surprised that it doesn't happen more often.
Whales, Dolphins Lack Standing To Sue Bush
No shit. How complete garbage like this is heard at the circuit court level (one step from the United States Supreme Court) is completely beyond me.
This missing explosives story. that's in all the papers and on all the blogs today is, well, explosive. If the Kerry campaign can't find a way to paint this as a hallmark example of Bush Administration incompetence, they really don't deserve to win. A few facts, if you don't feel like reading the article:
- We have known of this munitions cache's existence since 1991
- 380 tons are missing. Tons. 40 trucks worth. Or, enough explosives to keep the population of Al Qaeda, ex-Baathists, insurgents, dead-enders, suiciders, or whatever other name Bush administration types want to use to describe the ever-growing circle of people who hate us happy for years to come.
- These explosives are probably being used to kill our troops.
- Our own National Security Advisor didn't know about the missing weapons until last month. Apparently, she's too busy campaiging.
- These explosives can be used to detonate nuclear weapons. The next time Dick Cheney tries to scare the shit out of you by talking about the threat of a nuclear device destroying an American city, know that the bumbling of his co-workers increased the likelihood of such devastation.
That's it, it's that simple. Fortunately, Joe Lockhart is on the case for the good guys.
Tough Stuff From Across The Pond
On Saturday, the UK's Guardian published a column by Charlie Booker on George Bush (and the upcoming election) which, to put it mildly, did not pull any punches. Apparently, due to some unfavorable feedback the piece has already been pulled. But as the result of some scouring of the "Internets" we were able to track down this excerpt:
"Heady times. The US election draws ever nearer, and while the rest of the world bangs its head against the floorboards screaming "Please God, not Bush!", the candidates clash head to head in a series of live televised debates. It's a bit like American Idol, but with terrifying global ramifications. You've got to laugh. ...Sheesh, Charlie, tell us how you really feel.
"Quite frankly, the man's [Bush] either wired or mad. If it's the former, he should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the nuts. And if it's the latter, his behaviour goes beyond strange, and heads toward terrifying. He looks like he's listening to something we can't hear. He blinks, he mumbles, he lets a sentence trail off, starts a new one, then reverts back to whatever he was saying in the first place. Each time he recalls a statistic (either from memory or the voice in his head), he flashes us a dumb little smile, like a toddler proudly showing off its first bowel movement. Forgive me for employing the language of the playground, but the man's a tool....
"Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he's not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat. And besides, in a fight between a tree and a bush, I know who I'd favour.
"On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?"
Ashlee Simpson Exposed! (link fixed)
As a first-rate fraud that is. Check out her Milli Vanilli moment from this weekend's Saturday Night Live. High comedy.
(Thanks to the Sports Frog's Chumley for the heads up.)
Friday, October 22, 2004
Looks like a member of the Red Sox Nation really wants some tickets to the Show. Truly classy stuff.
Update: Apparently, some folks are having trouble with the link. For those that are, we've posted the ad in the comments section.
Update II: Tune in later tonight for a picture of the hubby and his ho.
Update III: Frank here. I won't say how we got a hold of it, but look at the post below to see what two tickets to Fenway gets you:
Ain't exactly Indecent Proposal, now is it?
Update IV: Been having all sorts of problems posting the picture. If you don't see it above, check out the post immediately below this one. Click on the photo for a larger version.
Drudge Kills Me
Say what you want about the guy, but some of his shit cracks me the hell up. Just popped over there on advice from AofG reader Encyclopedia and saw these under the header "The First Lady of Fun":
High comedy. Anyone got captions?
Friday Afternoon Economics
Today, the Dow closed at its year-to-date low. In the spring of 2000, the stock market bubble started to burst. Following 9/11, for obvious reasons, the market tanked. By March 2002, all of the post-9/11 damage to the stock market had been recovered. We are now still 13% below the pre-bubble level and 8% below the March '02 level.
Sure, the economy is just dandy.
As many of you have likely heard, a 21-year college student was killed during the post-game celebration of the Red Sox win against the Chokers the other night. She was shot in the eye by a (designed to be non-lethal) projectile fired by the police in an effort to control the riotous crowd.
Anyways, take a look how the Boston Herald chose to report the story on today's front page. I mean there's poor taste, there's piss poor taste, there's way fucked up taste, and there's that. Disgraceful. (Update: Apparently the link the the front page is no longer good -- probably a good thing. The color photo showed the woman lying on the ground, bleeding from her nose and left eye.)
(Thanks to AofG regular and Sports Frog legend Aaron for the heads up.)
Oh My Goodness
Neil Cavuto astonishes once again, this time with a stirring pick-me-up involving none other than the Boston Red Sox.
So the next time you look at that massive inbox at work, think the Red Sox.Or, the next time you're taking a not-so-satisfying dump and you just know there's more to come, if you just keep pushing, think the Red Sox.
Or fret over that seemingly impossible assignment that can't remotely get done when your boss wants it done, think the Red Sox.
Or that day you feel cursed in life, remember how a baseball team came back to life.
What passes for mass media in this country is really close to pushing me over the edge.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
New MoveOn Ad
Regardless of your thoughts on MoveOn (for those not familiar, it's a very left-leaning political action committee that the Bush Administration is shit-scared of), watch this ad.
It is very simple, it is very effective. It is also very disturbing. The ad uses the clip of George Bush from the White House Correspondents Dinner in March of this year, joking about the inability (in truth, the impossibility) for anyone to find WMDs in Iraq. This speech came after David Kay. It came as the insurgency was mounting and weeks before the bloodiest month of the conflict thus far.
And it infuriated me like little else this Administration has done, and they have done plenty to piss me off. I had not started the blog then, but if I had, you would have heard plenty about it, because this sick attempt at a joke hurt me like few things have. I have three friends in Iraq, one in the Army, two in the Marines, and it made so clear to me how little our President cared about what was happening to them. Since then, every time he mentions how deeply he appreciates the sacrifice our troops make, how he mourns every loss, how he grieves with the families, I know in my heart of hearts that he is a liar.
But my thoughts are nothing compared to the story in the ad. Watch it. And, should you feel so inclined, drop the folks at MoveOn a few bucks while you're at it. We need a President that actually gets the selfless sacrifice that our troops have to make.
The Finest In Fascism ... Er, Fashion
The fall collection is here.
(Thanks, Andrew Sullivan)
Condi Has Some 'Splainin' To Do
Check out Josh Marshall for the details. AofG regular Joeroy feels that Condi has gotten a free ride. Whaddya y'all think?
By the way, with that incredibly icy exterior she has going on, I seriously wonder if all the beheadings even phase her.
Nevada Senior Citizens Speak: Leave The Whores Alone
Looks like the old folks of Nevada are sticking up for the oldest profession known to humankind. Specifically, the Fogies of Fallon are not quite happy with plans to ban a local whorehouse:
"It's been 35 years since I've been in a brothel, so I don't have a personal stake in this," says Montie Pierce, a retired construction manager in Fallon. "But this is part of Nevada heritage. I'm tired of people who think they're in the Bible Belt telling the rest of us what to do."Amen, Fredda. But Montie, 35 years? Disappointing, dude. You clearly need to get out more.
Even more vociferous is Fredda Stevenson, owner of Old Middlegate Station, a desert bar and grill about 100 miles east of Reno. "Banning prostitution is a stupid idea," she declares. "Let it be. It's a service like anything else."
The Crazy Pills Must Be Kicking In
I'll wait a minute or two for ya...
OK, has your head exploded from the sheer inanity? Mine too.
(Thanks to Mathew Gross who, by the way, has a ton of good stuff on his blog today. Check him out.)
Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
The Good Doctor weighs in and, man, does he ever have his fastball. Sorry for the long post, but there is just too much good stuff. Here are a few choice quotes:
Good God, talk about Airing a Grievance!
Presidential politics is a vicious business, even for rich white men, and anybody who gets into it should be prepared to grapple with the meanest of the mean. The White House has never been seized by timid warriors. There are no rules, and the roadside is littered with wreckage. That is why they call it the passing lane. Just ask any candidate who ever ran against George Bush -- Al Gore, Ann Richards, John McCain -- all of them ambushed and vanquished by lies and dirty tricks. And all of them still whining about it.
Things haven't changed all that much where George W. Bush comes from. Houston is a cruel and crazy town on a filthy river in East Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money and violence. It's a shabby sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen women, crooked cops and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the West -- which can mean just about anything you need it to mean, in a pinch.
Houston is also the unnatural home of two out of the last three presidents of the United States of America, for good or ill. The other one was a handsome, sex-crazed boy from next-door Arkansas, which has no laws against oral sex or any other deviant practice not specifically forbidden in the New Testament, including anal incest and public cunnilingus with farm animals.
That is how it works in the victory business. You see it every time. The Weak will suck up to the Strong, for fear of losing their jobs and their money and all the fickle power they wielded only twenty-four hours ago. It is like suddenly losing your wife and your home in a vagrant poker game, then having to go on the road with whoremongers and beg for your dinner in public.
I look at elections with the cool and dispassionate gaze of a professional gambler, especially when I'm betting real money on the outcome. Contrary to most conventional wisdom, I see Kerry with five points as a recommended risk. Kerry will win this election, if it happens, by a bigger margin than Bush finally gouged out of Florida in 2000. That was about forty-six percent, plus five points for owning the U.S. Supreme Court -- which seemed to equal fifty-one percent. Nobody really believed that, but George W. Bush moved into the White House anyway.
It was the most brutal seizure of power since Hitler burned the German Reichstag in 1933 and declared himself the new Boss of Germany. Karl Rove is no stranger to Nazi strategy, if only because it worked, for a while, and it was sure as hell fun for Hitler. But not for long. He ran out of oil, the whole world hated him, and he liked to gobble pure crystal biphetamine and stay awake for eight or nine days in a row with his maps & his bombers & his dope-addled general staff.
If Nixon were running for president today, he would be seen as a "liberal" candidate, and he would probably win. He was a crook and a bungler, but what the hell? Nixon was a barrel of laughs compared to this gang of thugs from the Halliburton petroleum organization who are running the White House today -- and who will be running it this time next year, if we (the once-proud, once-loved and widely respected "American people") don't rise up like wounded warriors and whack those lying petroleum pimps out of the White House on November 2nd.
Nixon hated running for president during football season, but he did it anyway. Nixon was a professional politician, and I despised everything he stood for -- but if he were running for president this year against the evil Bush-Cheney gang, I would happily vote for him.
Bush is a natural-born loser with a filthy-rich daddy who pimped his son out to rich oil-mongers. He hates music, football and sex, in no particular order, and he is no fun at all.
The Deal is Done
Y'all notice who crapped the bed for the Yanks tonight? Kevin Brown. Javy Vazquez. Tom Gordon. All imports. Looks like the devil has finally come around to collect on his long overdue debt with the Boys From Da Bronx. Depressing. Very fucking depressing.
By the way, the NY Daily News has a slightly different Satanic take:
By the double way, Brown and Vazquez certainly did not turn out to be even close to Pettite and Clemens. The both of 'em should return some of the money that they clearly did not earn. Horrible jobs.
(Hey Nordy: Congratulations. You must be in your seventh friggin' heaven.)
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
New York to The Heart - Deja Vu All Over Again
Tonight, I harken back to 1998. The year of the best team of our lifetime, the 1998 Yanks. The team of Paulie O. Of Bernie's great Of Girardi and Brosius, of The Straw and D. Wells and Coney.
Paulie O, Bring us luck!
In keeping with the 1998 theme, I turn the the words of two Boogie Down Poets to bring the Yanks Luck against the insufferable Red Sox. What poets, you ask. Well, of course, the immortal Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz.
[Peter Gunz]Just beat the Sox, for the love of all that is good and holy, send them crying back to Boston.
New York to the heart, but got love for all
Lie and die in the fire, where I learned to ball
Uptown is the place where I lay my dome
On the streets of the Bronx where my fa-mi-ly roam
Playa haters can feel the flame from my heater
I never really liked to play a fool like that
But I love to succeed and see foes fall flat...
... splat, like Deja Vu...
But if it wasn't for the Bronx
this rap sh!t probably never would be going on
so tell me where you from?
Uptown baby, uptown baby
We gets down baby, up for the crown baby
That is all.
Unbelievable. Just unfuckingbelievable.
So, I just tried to make a call on my Sprint cellie and get some nonsense 'bout having to pay three dollars a minute for roaming charges. Sounded way weird so I decided to call my phone to see if everything was kosher. Nope. "The number you have dialed is incorrect." Not "disconnected", but incorrect. WTF!? So, I call the 800 number, deal with automatons for far much more time then I needed to, and then have some representative tell me that my account has been cancelled. Why? "The account reflects that October 10th, you requested a cancellation." "Um, no I didn't on October 10th I went into a Sprint store to get my phone turned back on." "Oh, well it says here you requested cancellation." "No, I obviously didn't. Can we get it turned back on please?" "Oh, that's going to be complicated, sir. Since your account was cancelled that basically means it expired, so it's very likely that we won't be able to turn on your account and you'll have to get a new number." "Excuse me?" "Sorry sir, but once the account is expired the number is gone forever." "So you're telling me that based on a fuck-up on your end, I'm gonna lose the number I've had for eight years?" "Sorry, sir, but that's probably going to be the case. However, since your account was only recently cancelled there is a chance that the tech folks can save it. Thing is, that process will take two to three days." "Two to three days? That's ridiculous. So what am I supposed to do in the meantime?" "Well sir, we can give you a temporary phone number." "Ok, great. Let's set one up." "Oh, one thing sir. If we give you a temporary number and your old phone number is not revived you're automatically entered into a two-year contract for the new phone." "Excuse me." "Well sir, ..." "I heard you. And honestly, I know you're not making the rules, but doesn't that sound a tad bit ridiculous?" "Sir, would you like a temporary number?" "This really is just unfuckingbelievable. Let me get this straight. Someone on your end fucks up and my phone is cancelled. The phone number I've had for eight years may be gone forever. It's going to take two to three days to figure that out. And you've offered me a temporary phone in the interim, contingent upon me entering into a new two-year contract if my old number is dead? You seriously have to be kidding me. That's fucking absurd" "Sir, would you like a temporary number?" "Umm, jackass, are you on fucking crack?"
Ok, ok, I didn't really say the last sentence, but damn sure wanted to. Anyways, things continued to go downhill, but I think you get the gist. If not, here it is in shortform: Sprint PCS sucks a friggin' fattie. Fuck 'em.
Piss Poor Sense of Humor
So, apparently some pastor is facing a five-year sentence for having just a downright ignorant sense of humor.
''Upon being questioned by airport security officers about the above episode, Gonzalez admitted having said that he had a bomb,'' a federal criminal complaint states, ''but insisted that he was just kidding.Seriously, can we start adding punitive time to sentences for abject stupidity? Would anyone worth their weight in salt have a problem with that? I mean, really, how friggin' stupid can you be?
''He claimed he had used the term 'bomb' as a way of referring to the Bible as having the ability to change one's life.''
Yankees-Sox: Game Seven
So, up three games to none and one Mariano Rivera shut out inning away from the World Series and it's come down to this. And honestly, isn't this the way it should always be? This really is just about as good as it gets for a fan. Speaking of fans, I was recently asked, "How can you stand to root for the Yankees and all their hired guns?" With the Yanks holding a comfortable three games lead at the time, I decided to just let it go. But now, with this huge Game Seven in front of us, I felt the need to clear the air. My answer? Simple. It's really not difficult for me to root for the Yanks at all. I have since I was a boy and I always will. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of the Scooter Phil Rizzuto and Bill White yucking it up on WPIX while the Reggie Jacksons, Goose Gossages and Gator Guidrys did their thing. Then we slowly graduated to the lean years, but we still had Donnie Baseball. We still had the Boss stirring the pot. We still had Big Dave Winfield. Ricky with the snatch catches. Mell Hall with the jheri-curls. Ed "Moneybags" Whitson completely crapping the bright lights big city bed. We had Mike Paguliarulo. We had Dave Righetti throwing a no-no. We had Doc Gooden doing the same. And then a strange thing happened, the Yanks actually developed some talent from within. Talent that would pave the way for the Bombers recent greatness. So, special props to Derek, to Bernie, to Jorge, to Mo and even to Andy, the homegrowns who have served as the heart and soul of the Yanks since 1996. And yes, with Andy gone, and with the Sheffields, A-Rods and Matsuis clearly at center stage, there is less of a homegrown feeling to the Yankees of 2004, but the pinstripes are still there, the tradition is still there and they're still my hometown team. So will I be rooting for them? Of course. (And honestly, isn't there a little less of the homegrown in just about every sport now? Should we hate the Yankees just because they get better spoils then the rest? No. Not at all. Like "they" say, don't hate the playa, hate the game.)
From a sports fan perspective, there's nothing more exciting than seeing whether or not your team can get it done on the grandest of stages -- a stage where's there's no four corners, a stage where there is no running out the clock, a stage where you have to get those last three outs to be victorious -- its just an incredibly special thing. And if the Yanks get it done tomorrow (homegrown talent or not), their performance will be one I will remember for a lifetime. Really, the question should not be "how can I root for the Yanks", the question should be "how could I not?"
So, Let's Go Yankees! Here's hoping that you give your fans another moment to carry in our souls for a lifetime. Here's hoping you give this great city yet another one of those incredibly electric nights of collective sheer joy. And here's hoping that none of the wack jobs on either side of the fence end up killing themselves over this. After all, it is only a game.
Dick Cheney, STFU:
"The biggest threat we face now as a nation,'' he said, "is the possibility of terrorists' ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us - biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind - to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans."Hey Dick, here's a concept for you to get your mind around: unemployment.
"You have to get your mind around that concept," he added.
More Partisan Hackery
Hey, Kerry supporters! Wanna start your day off right? Check out this list for 35 reasons why, right now, Big John is in control.
(Thanks to Daily Kos for pointing the way)
Condoleeza Rice, STFU.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004Comments-[ comments.]
Thoughts On Game 6
In my frazzled haze, here a few thoughts that I've had today:
- During the 51 hour period that began with the start of Game 3 at 8pm Saturday, ending with the completion of Game 5 at 11pm last night, the Yankees and Red Sox played just over 15 hours worth of baseball. They played 35 innings, almost an extra game's worth. No wonder I keep falling asleep on the subway.
- This is obvious, but once the Yanks make the World Series, Esteban Loaiza has to have a bigger role. A role that includes locking Tom Gordon and Paul Quantrill in a batting cage.
- Could somebody keep Giambi out of the dugout? Please? The once-a-game cutaways on Fox, not to mention the perpetual "I'm about to get shot" expression on his mug are killing me.
- I've said elsewhere that Game 2 saw the '99 Pedro against the '99 Yankees, when it came to the match-up of style and abilities. Game 3's offensive explosion was reminiscent of something the '98 Yankee squad could pull off. Well, the '03 Yankees have been showing up the past two games and that has to stop if they want to avoid embarassing themselves. 18 runners stranded last night? 18?!? The last two nights have been the 2003 World Series all over again, with everyone pressing in big situations, taking massive cuts at crappy pitches and no one, one Jeter at bat excepted, able to get the timely hit.
- I really hope it keeps raining, because I need a night off. I've said this to friends already, but I'll say it here: once the postseason and election are over, I'll be blogging from The Water Club for a week.
- Finally, the dream storyline for tonight for Red Sox fans seems to be that Schilling can come in, Willis Reed-style, and throw lights out and force a Game 7. I'm not saying that won't happen. But I'd like to make sure every Sox fan who reads this blog hears this: no blaming Francona if Schilling gets shelled. You wanted it to work out this way. No second-guessing. The reality that maybe it's not a good idea to bet your season on a guy with a heavily doctored ankle that will require major surgery is not allowed to dawn on you tomorrow.
The most recent New York Times/CBS News poll calls the Presidential race a dead heat, with Bush's approval ratings near an all-time low of 44 percent, a level well below where incumbents are typically re-elected. BC04 advisor Matthew Dowd's response:
"If it were true, it would be a problem," he said. "Gallup has our job approval at 51. They're the ones I pay attention to."Gallup's latest poll also shows Bush with a commanding 52-44 lead. Now, this year Gallup has typically overweighted its polling samples to reflect more Republican respondents than the actual electorate reflects, generating results that usually show Bush with a larger lead than the results seen from just about any other concurrent poll. Steve Soto from The Left Coaster turns in a nice dissection of this point on a smaller scale and other blogs (Daily Kos especially) have been all over this throughout the campaign.
Turns out, Gallup's inaccuracy isn't a recent phenomenon, peep this post on Mathew Gross' blog today. For those too lazy to click on it, polls taken two weeks before the 2000 Presidential election typically showed a Bush lead of anywhere from 0%-5%, pretty much where sentiment was trending, even though all of them overshot the eventual result. Gallup, on the other hand, showed a Bush lead of 10%.
Now, is Dowd just trying to spin a bad story into good? Sure. But hey, if BC04 actually does want to fool itself into relying on the rose-colored Gallup polls as the arbiter of voter sentiment and get complacent in these two most critical weeks, I say let 'em. Me? I prefer looking at tracking polls like Zogby and Rasmussen, both of which have mirrored trends (Bush's post-convention bounce, Kerry's improvement after the debates) to a T and both of which currently show a statistical tie. With undecideds typically breaking for the challenger, I'm feeling just fine if their results hold until Election Day.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Get Your Food On
It's that time of year again, time for the annual installment of the ubiquitous thin red bible of New York restaurants, the Zagat survey. Check out this hilariously biting interview with the Guide's own publisher, Charlie Suisman, courtesy of Manhattan User's Guide.
Steakhouses are closest (and most damaging) to my heart, according to this CNN article on this year's survey, Peter Luger and Sparks stand above the rest, ranked 6th and 26th most popular respectively. IMO, that's just kooky. Both have been going on reputation for years, without the quality to back it up. Frank's Top 3 Spots to Finish Off A Meatathalon?
1. Wolfgang's - opened earlier this year by the former head waiter at Peter Luger, best decor, best service, best steak. They outdo their inspiration, the daddy of New York steakhouses, in every respect.
2. The Old Homestead - consistently outstanding, the best creamed spinach in the city.
3. Keens - a true Old New York experience, a massive wine list and thickly-sliced Porterhouse goodness. Cozmo has been known to take the T-bone in his bare hands and clean it off at the end of a Keens meal. Actually, he does that at any of the above spots.
Back to the Zagat Guide, here are two frequent users:
John Stewart Tears Crossfire "Hacks" a New One
For those that have yet to see it, here is a must see video of John Stewart's appearance on Crossfire. He takes Begala and Carlson to task for neglecting their journalistic responsibilities. Incredibly well done, Mr. Stewart. Applause.
(Thanks to AofG reader G.O.B. for the heads up.)
The Reality-Based Community
I'm a little late on this one, but the New York Times Magazine came with another must-read article, this time on our fearless leader, Furious George. Money quote:
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.I don't know about you, but I find a statement like that fucking terrifying. Scarier still is the fact that such an approach to running the free world is so attractive to 45%+ of the country. These guys are on to something.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Friday, October 15, 2004
A Really Nice Gesture
It stuff like this that restores my faith in the human race. So, I'm rushing back to my office from a meeting, carrying loads of crap and hustling to make it to the subway. Got another meeting that I absolutely can not be late for. It's pouring outside, I'm drenched, almost slip and bust my ass on the subway stairs. Mind you, it's damn near rush hour and the land down under is nothing short of sheer chaos. So, I get to the turnstile, fumbling my stuff and desperately trying to locate my metro card. Got it. Yes! Gonna make that train. Swipe. Whadda I get? The dreaded "insufficient fare." Fuck! So, I start fumbling for another card, the natives behind me are beyond restless and some dude who just exited taps me on the shoulder, swipes his card and says "go ahead." Warmed my heart. Really, it did.
So, in the very off chance that the kind soul who helped me out is reading, I just wanted to say thanks. So, thank you kind soul. Here's hoping that some similar goodness finds its way to you.
-- The Guy From The Penn Station Turnstile
Beyond The Pale
Check out the comments that rapper KRS-One recently made about September 11th:
"So when the planes hit the building, we were like, 'Mmmm - justice.' "Justice? Three-thousand innocent people killed (no doubt some of them hip-hoppers too) and somehow this assclown call this "justice." And even assuming only the "hated-rich-white-oppressing-the-hip-hoppers-class" was forced to choose between burning to death or jumping ninety plus stories to their death, is this "justice?" I think not.
The atrocity of 9-11 "doesn't affect us the hip-hop community," he said. "9-11 happened to them, not us," he added, explaining that by "them" he meant "the rich ... those who are oppressing us. RCA or BMG, Universal, the radio stations."
Hey KRS-One: Newsflash, September 11th was an unspeakable act against "humanity." Not "us." Not "them." But "humanity." I remember a time not too long ago when you had something relevant to offer. But now it sounds like it's time for you to throw on a clown suit, head to Times Square and join the hate-mongering "Black Israelites from Queens." Depressing. Very depressing.
(Thanks to the Swamp's TelkinsJr for the heads up.)
An Illinois state court judge has been removed from the bench and sent for anger management counseling for twice saying "fuck" in open court last week. As a practicing attorney, I say kudos to those who gave the judge the boot. There's just way too many judges who are drunk with power and act like irascible pricks. Obviously, as a lawyer there's really nothing you can do but say, "Yes sir, may I have another." With all the pomp and circumstance that comes with legal proceedings, along with the fact that attorneys can be held in contempt and thrown in the pokie for similar type nonsense, it's nice to see this cat being disciplined for acting like a pissed off boy on the playground. Well done.
Matter of fact, perhaps what the judge needs is a good old fashioned orgie. After all, Supreme Court Justice Anonin Scalia himself says that group sex is great way to ease tension.
Figthin' The System Like Two Modern-Day Robin Hoods
What movie has Burt Reynolds, Willie Nelson, Johnny Knoxville, Sean William Scott, and Jessica Simpson starring and Jay Chandrasekhar (of the Broken Lizard troupe) directing?
Only what looks to be the greatest movie of all-time.
You have no idea how close my head is to exploding with anticipation...
Spirits Are High
Saw the headline "Bush Visits Air Force One Press Cabin" on Yahoo News today when I started up the computer, and found it real bizzare, so I checked it out.
Just a little spin translation for the Festivuseers out there - When the President, who just a month before held a "double digit" lead in the polls starts trolling around the steerage deck of Air Force One (where he had only been twice before, ever) talking about how his "spirits are high" and how it's "the voters who will decide", you have a President who is running scared.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Mary, Mary, Why Ya Buggin?
AofG reader Ted brought up John Kerry's reference to Mary Cheney's homosexuality in last night's debate in a Comment to today's debate post. Here are my thoughts. Today, the right is desperately trying to use their righteous indignation over Kerry's comment as a smokescreen for another Bush debate loss and to slow the Kerry momentum train, if only for just a bit. Kerry's words:
"I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.''Now, was this an awkward way for Kerry to put things? Sure. I can already tell you what the "Saturday Night Live" skit is going to be for this one.
Was Kerry throwing it out there to a) score a point or b) get under Bush's skin a little bit? Yes on both counts.
Do I feel for Lynne Cheney, who now has to see her daughter turned into a political pawn in a heated election? A bit.
Is it totally fair game? Uh, yeah. Mary Cheney is a grown-up, she's head of Big Time's reelection campaign, so the dirty world of politics shouldn't exactly phase her. Plus, Bush is going back to the Compassionate Conservative well hard and his whole bullshit answer of not knowing if homosexuality is a choice is part and parcel of an attempt to seem just a little bit less evil to the gay community (of course he thinks it's a choice - he probably thinks the ingredients that lead to a Sapphic lifestyle are a mixture of Daytona Beach, plastic beads, and Joe Francis behind a video camera). Kerry's just trying to pull the curtain back on the wizard, albeit in a cringe-worthy fashion.
No, it angers the Cheneys because they're ashamed of the situation and they can't defend their position. The real indignation is over the fact that Kerry had the temerity to subtlely jab at the despicability of a Vice President who is willing to sell out his own daughter's rights in deference to the strict moralist idealogy that the Santorum camp is trying to push on the President and, in turn, the country. It leaves the Cheney family with no way of explaining how they support a President who seeks to put in place an amendment which, in its proposed form explicity discriminates against their daughter and deprives her of her rights and her dignity. Rather than agree to disagree with his boss, Cheney puts on the happy team-player face in order to show a unified front.
AMERICAblog has more, talk amongst yourselves.
Might As Well Face It...
...you're addicted to 9/11.
Tom Friedman, it's nice to have you back.
Neil Cavuto Is Retarded
Read this, but only if you feel like having your IQ drop 5 points.
Jesus, a Bill O'Reilly phone call makes more sense than this waste of bandwith.
Back With A Vengeance
After months of alienating his readership with pompous Patriots columns and syrupy love letters to the Sox, The Sports Guy is back in top form with today's online chat, going on as I type.
In the wake of two devastating ALCS losses and the announcement that Curt Schilling is out at least until a Game 6, he appears to have been taken down a peg. The bitterness and gallows humor are not to be missed.
Update: And, within an hour of its completion, the chat wrap is now available only to Insider members. Fuck ESPN.
The Presidential Debates: Final Round
Once again, the Yankees were calling so the debate go short shrift. But we did want to get a post up to get some discussion going. Comment away.
Please Daddy, Don't Hurt Me
There is only one word for last night's Yankee victory - Satisfying.
In case you have been living in a hole for the past week, Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez made an half-hearted joke at the expense of the Boston media after he lost his last regular season start against the Yanks in September, saying "I tip my cap to them and call them my Daddy." Well, Pedro's joke has taken on a life of it's own, and the Bronx faithful (Including Frank and Yours Truly) REALLY let him have it last night. Pedro had his good stuff working in Daddy Stadium last night, but Lieber was better. Brilliant even, if you ask Mike Lupica. Lieber's dominance and Olerud's 2 run 6th inning dong gave the home team the 3-1 victory.
After the game, Pedro hits us up with more post-game interview goodness about his former life living under a banana tree. (See the video here, by clicking on the link "Pedro's 'who's your daddy reaction'" on the right side of the page.) Enjoy. This morning, it's doom and gloom in the Bean, as even true believer Bob Ryan is shocked by the first two games. But a 2-0 series lead means it is truly the Best of Times in the Boogie Down.
As for Cozmo, I've still got love for Pedro, even though I said "Who's your Daddy" at least 50 times last night. I personally am glad that Pedro came out and represented, and didn't get chased early. Yeah, he's a villain. Yeah, he's insane. But he has been the most consistently entertaining part of this rivalry over the past 8 years (other than the Yanks winning, of course) and a pitcher I will always remember as a warrior. Well played, Little Petey, and fare thee well if you leave the Sox this off-season.