Archive for August, 2006

Same song, second verse.

Aug 30, 2006 in Uncategorized

In an overture quite familiar to most South Americans, the US Agency for International Development is funneling money to anti-Chavez organizations.  No suprise considering that Venezuela is number four on the list of countries who we’re most dependent upon for our liquid petroleum needs and there’s a democratically elected president with populist tendencies.  Consider the response if France was financing anti-Bush campaigns state-side.  Do you think that would make the papers?

-mg           

Not exactly A list.

Aug 30, 2006 in Media, Uncategorized

I frequently dine at the Hy-Vee deli for lunch which is located a couple hundred yards from my place of employment. For some inexplicable reason the television is always tuned to Fox News. There have been a few occasions where I’ve sat down with my usual two piece chicken meal (with mashed potatoes and corn as side dishes, of course) and ESPN has been playing or the kitchen help has been watching Univision but it’s been rare. Most of my lunches are spent watching the stalwart Neil Cavuto shamelessly plug away for a failed administration which has become increasingly laughable with each passing day. What is most fascinating is the thinning crop of characters Cavuto brings on that will publicly support his daily theses. Today I watched as Don King was brought in to wax political and support Bush on this day that most rightly remember him as being a resounding failure. Next time you see a poll reflecting Bush’s popularity rankings ranging in the thirties you can count pillar of the community Don King as amongst those casting the yea vote.

Update> looking at Fox’s ratings you would think they’d recalculate their strategy. Ratings like these are what you get when you establish an image that is so ideologically married to a failed administration.

-mg

How much have you spent?

Aug 29, 2006 in Uncategorized

The National Priorities project has an interactive map where you can investigate your local tax contribution to the Iraqi debacle.   Total for Johnson County?  $92,800,000.

-mg

Get a load of this cat.

Aug 28, 2006 in Uncategorized

L.A. Confidential, American Tabloid, and The Black Dahlia have been three of the most awe-inducing exciting books I’ve ever read, as well as at least one great film (Dahlia comes out 9/15 but it looks promising). I’ve got My Dark Places sitting on my desk awaiting. I plan on reading at least The Big Nowhere, White Jazz, and The Cold Six Thousand soon. Any James Ellroy fan soon becomes acquainted with his particular brand of riding-the-razor madness, which is separate yet inseparable from his literature. I won’t get into the political views that arise from his state of existence, only to say they do nothing to diminish his 99% pure genius as a writer. The printed page has a way of distilling the pure beauty inside that is so easily violated by the actual task of living. Lord Jeebus knows I produced my best stuff when I was halfway off my rocker. I calmed down and threw the brunt of my power into avoiding any more trouble. Who knows if Ellroy ever will?

He still burns. Check it out.

-jb

Are you pumpin’ more hot gas than Rush Limbaugh?

Aug 27, 2006 in Energy

Shenanigans!

An investigation by The Kansas City Star has found that at current prices U.S. consumers are spending about $2.3 billion more for gasoline and diesel this year than they otherwise would if fuel pumps were adjusted to account for expansion of hot fuel.

Of course we’d put the gas pumpers out of business if we tried to keep them from bilking people!

-jb

The stupidest blog post ever?

Aug 26, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives

You won’t believe your eyes, if you can read past the typos.

Be that as it may, the whole thing got me thinking, and today ii occured to me: science is dead.

Watch out when a rightwinger says “I started thinking…”  What follows may be hazardous to your mental health.  By all rights, Mark Noonan should at this point hang his head down and mutter to himself, “I have reached an all time low, and perhaps I should no longer inflict my idiocy upon the world…” but we know nutballs don’t work that way.  The irony that it is the crazies on the right that have waged an active campaign to pervert science utterly escapes him, obviously.

See if you can handle the words of a man who has traveled past the point of no return in stupidity.  He’s so lost, he doesn’t even realize how lost he is.

-jb

Coinkydink?

Aug 26, 2006 in Education

Via the NYT:

Evolutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students.

The omission is inadvertent, said Katherine McLane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, which administers the grants. “There is no explanation for it being left off the list,” Ms. McLane said. “It has always been an eligible major.”

Another spokeswoman, Samara Yudof, said evolutionary biology would be restored to the list, but as of last night it was still missing.

Assuming that this will be reversed very soon, I still wonder what kind of taffy machine I’d have to use on my imagination to get it to believe that this is mere coincidence.   In this administration?  Who cares that we get a standard denial?

Dr. Krauss would not name his source, who he said was concerned about being publicly identified as having drawn attention to the matter.

Gee, why would a source be scared about pointing out an ordinary error?  It’s not like this administration has a pattern of going after whistleblowers.  Sheesh.

To anyone who would give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt, what on earth have they done to earn such a thing?

-jb

Foreign policy realism vs. “Al Queda supports Ned Lamont!”

Aug 18, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, National Security, Politics, War on Terra

The scorecard.  Hopefully you’ve found it elsewhere, but just in case…

And to combat bleakness, a way forward, if we can gain control.

-jb

What I did on summer vacation…

Aug 17, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Uncategorized

Besides tattooing IOOWA LIBRUL 4EVERRR on my forehead in Iowa City with Mike G’s heroin needles and the blood of a virgin, most of my online time was spent chatting with my beloved and getting scrappy with one of the conservative bloggers I picked on earlier.  Enjoy the pathetic exchange with my lessers

-jb

What passes for an expose’ on the right.

Aug 17, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Little Green Footballs, Uncategorized

Charles Johnson discovered that Reuters ran a badly touched-up picture of a bombing site in Beirut and it’s now being trumpeted as evidence of a vast liberal conspiracy to influence public opinion regarding Arab extremists.  That or Reuters is trying to show that Israeli bombs produce blacker and more abundant smoke than they actually do.  The fact is that Reuters picked up the photograph from a free-lance photographer who was no doubt trying to make a buck by disingenuously doctoring the picture to make it appear more dramatic.  What Little Green Footballs has done is find a pile of shit in the woods and extrapolated it into proof of Sasquatch.

-mg

Well done, guv’nor!

Aug 10, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Uncategorized

Sounds like some intelligence gathering and law enforcement undid a plot to blow up several jetliners.

Sounds good, let’s keep up the good work!

By the way, this has nothing in the world to do with Iraq being a good idea, wiretapping without warrants or George W. Bush being able to disregard and break the law at whim.

As long as you get that, cheers!

Those who don’t…just remember, God knows you’re lying!

-jb

Desperation on the right.

Aug 10, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Like cornered animals:

See, what Lamont really has been advocating is a complete withdrawal from confronting terrorists and dictators with anything but the occasional sharply-worded statement.

They aren’t thinking straight:

(Kos) dedicates his first post on the matter to foaming at the mouth about how Harry Reid must punish Lieberman by taking away his committee assignments and how Democrats must attack Lieberman as a sore loser. The happy warriors of the netroots, ladies and gentlemen! They scream “yeeargh” even when they win!

This is what happens when you abandoned logic long ago:

…the rejection of a three-term Senator who was the party’s VP nominee only six years ago will have repercussions throughout the country and they don’t help the Democratic Party.

“Facts” are randomly generated:

Democrats are largely incoherent on the issues that matter most to Americans today.

Paranoia can turn pathological:

Mr. Lamont and all other liberal Democrats should remember the McCarthy era…. This is a dreadfully serious event. McCarthyism is doubly the right word.

Eventually, the brain turns to liquidized soap:

Now, what message does this send to the other Democrats running for office this year? And what about those planning on running in 2008? It tells them two things: first, they need to move to the far left, because their party just went to the far left; second, it tells them that if they don’t want to end up like Joe, they’d better toss any ideas of cooperation with Republicans in the trash bin. 

Wow, this is just sad.  The radical right wing of the Republican Party, every one of them card-carrying members of the 36% fringe who still think Iraq is fucking superduper and Bush does no wrong (except when he’s a liberal), doesn’t realize that they’ve all gone running in a crazy mob rush to defend and support Joe Lieberman.  Rove is offering help.  Ken Mehlman refuses to endorse the Republican candidate in Connecticut.  And every cheese-brained rightwing blogger is out there extolling the virtues of Joe Lieberman.

Yet Democrats were supposed to support this guy?

You can tell Republicans are in campaign mode.  They’re actually getting that “I must lie constantly or a homosexual will rape me” energy in their pants, and they’re going out today with a mad rush of incoherence and blatant disregard for reality in an attempt to, once again, create a reality.

There are so many simple truths about Lieberman’s loss that cut straight to the no-nonsense straight talkin’ truth, and I really can’t believe the voters won’t see through the rather worn out Rovian soundbites.  They already have.

Here’s just one simple elegant question I heard asked earlier today:  who’s closer to mainstream opinion on the Iraq War?  Ned Lamont or George W. Bush?

Or on the majority of issues?

Well?  Dishonorable rightwingers, care to take a swing at that one?

-jb

Dammit!

Aug 10, 2006 in Uncategorized

By design, computers make terrific electo-static air filters. With cooling fans drawing cool air over metal heat sinks a weak electro magnetic charge is created. Airborne particulate matter is attracted to the metallic heat sinks on the cpu much like the air-filters one sees constantly advertised on television. Over time debris will build up on the aluminum fins and will restrict airflow and cause the operating temperature of the processor to increase progressively leading to over-heating issues which could eventually cause total system failure if a destructive heat threshold is consistently surpassed and ignored. This very situation led to the loss of a two page Lamont/Lieberman post I had written earlier today. You would think that having my computer desk next to a breezeway where we keep two cat litter boxes would prompt me to be a little more vigilant when it comes to maintenance but, well, as the Tralvamadorians say “so it goes.”  In its stead, here is a truncated version of the post:

  • the Mouth-Breathing Right got a lot of mileage during the nineties over Hillary Clinton’s, mention of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” aimed at her husband Bill.
  • ironically, those on the right are the most feverish conspiracy theorists among us (eg-UN black helicopters, fifth column academics, opportunistic meteorologists, etc)
  • the contempt for democracy on the right is so deep that they resort to the above rationalizations to explain away why people don’t vote consistently with their issues despite the reality that the bugaboos they frequently invoke are completely hypocritical (Richard Melon Scaife is the light-bearer of truth while George Soros an insidious, propagandizing charlatan)
  • In a classic fit of projection the Right demonstates how they simply cannot accept an action contrary to their own beliefs.  They either characterize the event in terms of greed and self-interest or pretend that they themselves aren’t hopeless cynics and explain away such incidences as moments when the public are simply duped.

-That about sums it up.  I also wanted to mention that the lack of posting lately can be blamed on a spat of ill health I’ve suffered.  The good news is that I’m not dying.  My heart echo test came back fine.  Turns out I just have an ulcer from watching Fox News.

-mg

Democracy lives, is lauded and scorned, drinks mead and raises sword.

Aug 09, 2006 in Uncategorized

How happy am I that Ned Lamont beat that phony Lieberman? Why, so happy I’m crash-landing in Iowa City Friday night to celebrate for the weekend with Mike G. What are we celebrating?

Why, the DRAGGING OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY TO THE FAR OUT WACKO EXTREMIST LEFT!

Just look at that Lamont guy. Who among us does not know this man’s clear communist sympathies? Standing up to George W. Bush? Opposing the war? Pink, pink, pink. Somebody get that man a mahogany glass cabinet so that he may display his leatherbound copy of The Communist Manifesto for all the world to see.

Honestly, if the stooges in the media and rightwingoverse keep calling guys like Lamont far left nutters, it’s going to make the left look really great. Not only that, it’s going to reveal just how little of a serious point they have about anything. Over and over (the only way they know how to speak) we hear that the Democrats are far left, and that’s bad, because it is. Sooner or later, however, the question rises to the top of the muck: What does that mean? How is Lamont far left?

As Ned Lamont simply represents the majority of Democrat voters, and holds the same position as the majority of the American people, and as the majority of pretty much any group of sane people holds about Iraq and the competence of George Bush, what is happening is that “far left” has been applied to such a common sense ubiquitous position that the stigma is being erased. People scratch their heads and say “Holy smokes, that either makes me far left, or that makes those Republicans fucking idiots!”

Back when Republicans could still run on “Hey, gimme credit, I’ll figure out how to run the country eventually, TRUST ME!” people would look more seriously at option one and then back away from it. Unfortunately, Republicans stayed in office and we all know what a clusterfuck that’s been. They’ve revealed that they can’t be trusted, that they don’t know what they’re doing, and that they’ll say anything to stay in power.

So democracy raised its beautiful head today and the voters of Connecticut went for somebody that represented them. Vile insinuations abound, but what happened was the crazy idea that your vote can make a difference, and that Senators aren’t in office for life. Viva la revolution!

And what a pity. The fact that so many were startled by this is a precise measure of the decay our system has accumulated. Joe Lieberman thought he was entitled to his seat, and apparently so did a lot of other people. Tonight he was revealed as belonging to a fringe.

-jb

Saturday Night Forever

Aug 09, 2006 in Uncategorized

The man who gave me my first club gig, Ephraim Alexander, dj, producer and friend, has died in his sleep from complications of diabetes.  May he rest in peace.

-mg

Bored, pt. 2

Aug 03, 2006 in Middle East, Uncategorized

Bill Maher:

As I watch so much of the world ask Israel for restraint in a way no other country would (Can you imagine what Bush would do if a terrorist organization took over Canada and was lobbing missiles into Montana, Maine and Illinois?) – and, by the way, does anyone ever ask Hezbollah for restraint. you know, like, please stop firing your rockets aimed PURPOSEFULLY at civilians?

And I agree with that as well.  Hezbollah isn’t even remotely being a rational actor here, unless they deliberately acted to provoke an over-reaction on Israel’s part.

I say over-reaction strategically, but I’m bored with Israel’s strategic mistakes even moreso, which is again why this fracas really doesn’t demand serious attention.  Israel seems to firmly believe that giving back harder than they get is a good strategy.  Or else they don’t do it out of strategy, but out of  emotion, or because there is no good strategy for their situation.  Either way, I’m really feeling very blase’ about it.  They chose to live there, and the longer they carry on so the more I feel it’s simply in their court.  Should they stop?

I don’t know, but I know I don’t want to jump in, unless it were as a Bill Clinton-style broker of the peace.  Given that our president currently happens to be George W. Bush, that’s not an option either.  Yes, he approves entirely of what Israel does, but as long as he can stay out of it (also meaning staying out of Iran), that is the best result an American can hope for these days.

Aye, I wish they were better ones.

-jb

Bored by Hezbollah, bored by Israel.

Aug 01, 2006 in Middle East, War on Terra

The usual suspects (i.e. everybody who got us into Iraq) have been utterly unhesitant to whoop and holler over Israel vs. Hezbollah Round 28921. I thought it quite remarkable to hear so quickly and loudly that this was WWIII. Over a couple kidnapped soldiers?

Just as quick, the chickenhawks have started it again, including my poor beloved yet-still-addled Andrew Sullivan (who has been doing a brilliant job of shredding Mel Gibson and Passion of the Christkillers).

I missed Markos Moulitsas’ explanation for avoiding any substantive
discussion of the Israel-Hezbollah widening war. (Shouldn’t we call it
what it is, by the way? This is a war between Iran and Israel, started
by Iran.) For fairness’ sake, here it is, penned over ten days ago. It’s beneath pathetic. But judge for yourself.

Ah, there is is, folks. It may be yet another iteration of “Arabs strike at Israel, Israel responds with overwhelming force,” but Andrew feels he can crow about obsessing over it. That’s classic chickenhawk mentality for you, stick it in a jar of formaldehyde. Even though other users on DKos have pontificated at length, Markos is supposed to pipe up himself, and if he doesn’t feel like it, it’s pathetic. Cue applause for Andrew’s courage in…writing about it.

So, alas, Israel. Hezbollah. Syria. Iran. The USA. Is there really something new and exciting here? Is there more than desperate grabbing at straws in order to get some inertia behind the neocons continuing desire for all-out war in the Middle East?

It seems all the usual elements are not only back in place, but far less subtle. Did you think Iraq was really all about Israel? Iran is. Did you think they wanted World War III? They just blurted out that they needed an ace of diamonds to make a flush. Like children, they saw snow and yelled, “It’s Christmas!”

And, of course, if you aren’t into hysterics, you’re not one of the kool (aid) kidz.

-jb

p.s. Written with the Performancing plugin for Firefox.

“SOS, indeed.”

Aug 01, 2006 in Iowa, Local Politics, Uncategorized

Iowa Republicans are so crooked and disheveled they can’t find a candidate to run for the Secretary of State position.

-mg

Home Sweet Home

Aug 01, 2006 in Uncategorized

As most of you reading this blog have likely realized Iowa Liberal has moved from this address to this address. In doing so we also lost half of our incoming links. We would be very appreciative if you would update your links accordingly. A big Iowa thank-ya!

-the Proprietors