Friday, January 07, 2005

Best Team Ever?

Probably. There's a good chance this year's Washington Wizards are the greatest team in recorded history.

They're just that good.

"Seattle? They can Sea-Deez-Nuts!


Freedom Is On The March

It just keeps getting better.

TAJI, Iraq -- Seven members of Manhattan's 69th Infantry Regiment, which lost two area firefighters to a car bomb a little more than a month ago, were killed Thursday afternoon when a roadside bomb exploded near an armored vehicle carrying the GIs.


The blast occurred about 6 p.m. (10 a.m. New York time) when a small convoy was patrolling a mostly rural area near the camp about 20 miles north of Baghdad. The explosion caused one squad's armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle to flip over and catch fire, according to military officials. Members of the New York Army National Guard unit known as the Fighting 69th declined to identify the casualties.

One: You can't get the kind of explosives necessary to topple and ignite a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at the fucking Taji Home Depot; and two: did The Prez even bother to read about this, or does he have better things to do?


Thursday, January 06, 2005

"I Can't Get In Trouble If I Can't See You"

"I'm afraid he's got you there sir."

That appears to be the kind of logic The Prez is following these days; from the Al Franken Show blog:

The Nelson Report is a daily political tip sheet and analysis written for the past 20 years for the (US and Asian) corporate and government clients of Chris Nelson, a former Capitol Hill staffer and UPI reporter. (He was actually the first to break the looted explosives story before the election; Josh Marshall then posted it to his blog.) This Monday, he wrote:

There is rising concern amongst senior officials that President Bush does not grasp the increasingly grim reality of the security situation in Iraq because he refuses to listen to that type of information. Our sources say that attempts to brief Bush on various grim realities have been personally rebuffed by the President, who actually says that he does not want to hear “bad news.”

Rather, Bush makes clear that all he wants are progress reports, where they exist, and those facts which seem to support his declared mission in Iraq...building democracy. “That's all he wants to hear about,” we have been told. So “in” are the latest totals on school openings, and “out” are reports from senior US military commanders (and those intelligence experts still on the job) that they see an insurgency becoming increasingly effective, and their projection that “it will just get worse.”

Our sources are firm in that they conclude this “good news only” directive comes from Bush himself; that is, it is not a trap or cocoon thrown around the President by National Security Advisor Rice, Vice President Cheney, and DOD Secretary Rumsfeld. In any event, whether self-imposed, or due to manipulation by irresponsible subordinates, the information/intelligence vacuum at the highest levels of the White House increasingly frightens those officials interested in objective assessment, and not just selling a political message.


Exactly What He Said

From The Poor Man.

Appreciate this. Understand that the people killing us in Iraq aren't motivated by Gore Vidal or inspired by Susan Sontag or organized by Michael Moore or in cahoots in any way with any of the right's celebrity piñatas - not literally, not metaphorically, not if you look at it in a certain way, not to any infinitesimal degree, not in any sense, not in any way at all. They do not lead a clandestine international conspiracy of Evil which has corrupted everything in every foreign country plus everything in America not owned by loyal Bush Republican apparatchiks; nor are they members of such a conspiracy; nor does a conspiracy remotely matching that description exist. To think otherwise is, literally and to a very great degree, insanity. It is insane.

And if you really want to help the American war effort, you can join the fucking armed forces and go to Iraq like thousands of others have, and then you can do the best job you can to show them that Americans care about them and want, above all else, for all of our futures to be better and more peaceful than the past, and get paid shit. You will then be my personal hero, really, and I hope you don't get killed or maimed or see or do something that makes you hate everything for the rest of your life, which is a very real possibility. If you, like me, are too much of a coward to risk your life and health on a mission like that, then you can donate to charities which help soldiers (although it is worth looking into where and what kind of help is needed – some places don’t need it as much as others). But the easiest thing you can do is influence the politicians who create the policies – and in some cases the military strategies - which are being carried out in Iraq, but to do this in a useful way you first have to make some contact with reality. Reality is that the situation in Iraq is horrible, the outlook for any lasting peace is grim, and that this has nothing to do with a nebulous, malignant, all-powerful “Left”, and everything to do with the people in power who make bad and stupid policies. You can pull your head out of your ass, stop dreaming up stupid conspiracy theories about how everyone around the world you don’t like is working together to destroy Freedom, and tell them that they need to do a better job. And if they won’t do a better job, the solution is not to get upset at people who aren’t waving their pom-poms or denouncing Saddam single-mindedly enough for you, it is to fire the fuck-ups so we can maybe have some chance at salvaging something from this fiasco.

There's really nothing to add. Go read the rest of it.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Split National Title My Ass

Matt Leiner should spell his last name with a "W," but that was still an impressive ass-kicking he laid on Oklahoma last night.

The Chicago Sun Times headline sums it up pretty well.

USC Sticks It To White, Peterson

January 5, 2005

MIAMI -- [Oklahoma quarterback] Jason White trudged to the sideline, pulled off his helmet and put on a set of headphones. Whatever his coaches were saying to him couldn't have been much consolation.

White flopped in the BCS title game for the second consecutive year, and freshman phenom Adrian Peterson didn't do any better in the Orange Bowl as Oklahoma absorbed its most-lopsided loss since Bob Stoops took over as coach.

With its stars shut down, the second-ranked Sooners hardly had a chance after scoring on their opening drive Tuesday night, and No. 1 USC romped 55-19.

''Nothing you can say outside of 'We just got whipped,''' Stoops said.


Staples To Mark Hyman: Bugger Off

Mark Hyman is the idiot/douche VP of Sinclair Broadcasting, a conservative-run network which attempted to air -- and eventually did in many markets -- an anti-Kerry documentary only days before the election. Hyman also compared those who discounted accusations made against Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to "Holocaust deniers."

Now, thanks to Media Matters, Staples has agreed to stop airing commercials during Sinclair "news" broadcasts (a Sinclair "news" broadcast features about as much actual news as does one from Fox.)

In the latest political fallout for Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. of Hunt Valley, the office supply superstore Staples Inc. will pull its advertising during certain Sinclair programs in response to what it described as customer complaints about "one-sided" news coverage.

The retailer said that beginning Monday, it would stop advertising during local programming on the 62 stations that Sinclair owns or operates across the country. The local Sinclair ads account for a small part of Staples' media spending, a spokesman for the No. 1 office supply chain said.


Sinclair's news operation became a national story just before last year's presidential election when it announced plans to air a documentary that criticized Sen. John Kerry's protest of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. Sinclair's Washington correspondent quit over his concern that the station was slanting coverage to favor Republican candidates.

In the spring, the company ordered stations not to air an installment of ABC-TV's Nightline that listed the names of U.S. troops killed in Iraq.Owen Davis, a Staples spokesman, said customers e-mailed the Framingham, Mass.-based retailer to complain about its sponsorship of certain Sinclair programming. He said he did not know how many e-mails were received.

"Staples did consider, among other factors, the concern of some of our customers in whether or not to run the advertising," Davis said. "Staples takes the concern of our customers seriously."


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Faaaaame, Makes A Man Take Things Over

Ryne Sandberg should have made it into the Hall of Fame on his first try, but nonetheless,
all has been rectified.

Sandberg won the National League Gold Glove award nine times, was a standout second baseman with the Chicago Cubs for 15 of his 16 seasons and was chosen in his third year of eligibility.

Sandberg, 45, the 17th second baseman selected for the Hall of Fame, finished his career (1981-97) with a .285average with 282 home runs and 1,061 RBI.

He topped the National League with 40 homers in 1990 and his 277 total homers as a second baseman are behind only Jeff Kent all-time.

He also had the coolest baseball card of all time.


Set Reports Begin!

Batman On Film (Best. Site. Ever.) is now running daily reports from the set of Batman Begins. And if that isn't enough, millenniumfalcon.com has big-time spoliers for the new Star Wars film (if they haven't been shut down by Lucasfilm yet.)


Sweet Little Lies

From The Center for American Progress -- and via Atrios -- we find this little gem, in which Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is caught in a flat-out lie.

Documents obtained by American Progress show Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist participated in an effort to block one of Bill Clinton's judicial nominees via filibuster, then lied about it.

In recent weeks, Frist has been relentlessly preaching about the evils of judicial filibusters. Speaking to the Federalist Society on November 12, Frist said filibustering judicial nominees is "radical. It is dangerous and it must be overcome." [1] Frist called judicial filibusters "nothing less than a formula for tyranny by the minority." When Bill Clinton was President, however, Frist engaged in the same behavior he is now condemning.

In 1996 Clinton nominated Judge Richard Paez to the 9th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Conservatives in Congress held up Paez's nomination for more than four years, culminating in an attempted filibuster on March 8, 2000. Bill Frist was among those who voted to filibuster Paez. [2]

Frist was directly confronted with this vote by Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation (11/21/04). Schieffer said "Senator, a group called The American Progress Action Fund sent me a question to ask you. And here's what it says: 'Senator Frist, if you oppose the use of the filibuster for judicial nominations, why did you vote to filibuster Judge Richard Paez when President Clinton nominated him to the 9th Circuit?'" [3] Frist replied "Filibuster, cloture, it gets confusing--as a scheduling or to get more information is legitimate. But no to kill nominees."

But American Progress has obtained a document that proves Frist was not, as he suggested, voting to filibuster Paez for scheduling purposes or to get more information. He voted to filibuster Paez for the very reason he said was illegitimate – to block Paez's nomination indefinitely.


I'm Back!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday...

Now top me off you bastards.