26 April 2007

Off to Chicago...

...to give the bride away. My sister is getting married on Saturday and Brent and I fly to Chicago this morning for the celebration.

There'll be no blogging between now and our return on Tuesday. I'll check in then.

In the mean time, your Song of the Day is dedicated to my sister and future brother-in-law. Click here for "Wedding Day" by the Bee Gees.

Special Shout Out

...to L & T. Thanks for watching Ms. Chloe while we're away. We appreciate it!

Them vs. Us

Quote of the Day:
Neither one of them [Clinton or Obama] took the chance to do what Rudy [Giuliani] did: explain in a few short sentences why the country would be safer with a Democrat in the Oval Office. Is it really that hard? Giuliani's position is clear: more war, more domestic surveillance, more torture, and fewer civil liberties. And while it's true that the liberal position on making America secure is a little more complicated than the schoolyard version of foreign affairs beloved of Bush-era Republicans, it's not that complicated. So instead of complaining about how mean Giuliani is, why can't Obama and Clinton just tell us what they'd do?

Whining just reinforces the message that Democrats are wimps. The real way to be "hard hitting" is to explain why Giuliani is wrong and what Democrats would do instead...Until they do, Rudy and the Republicans are going to win every round of this fight.
-Kevin Drum, on the tepid Democratic response to a speech by Rudy Giuliani in which the former NYC mayor laid out why a Republican should be elected president in 2008.

Many of my fellow progressives tend to get themselves worked up when I agree with people like Kevin Drum. But the thing of it is, he's right. I aruged this point in 2004. John Kerry needed to play "Reagan" to George W. Bush's "Carter." Even at that point in his presidency Mr. Bush's weaknesses and incompetence were bubbling under the surface. A stronger Democratic candidate would have beaten him soundly.

The 2008 Democratic ticket can't make the same mistake. The country can't afford it.

25 April 2007


Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Madonna's very first single, "Everybody." It's your Song of the Day. Enjoy.

Fascist F*ckheads

F*ckhead of the Week...Oregon State Rep. Dennis Richardson (Fascist):
This past week has been like no other. On Monday the world witnessed the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. On Tuesday Oregon witnessed the passage of Domestic Benefits for same-sex couples (HB 2007) and Civil Rights based on sexual orientation.
I understand that there are many Americans who are against gay marriage and a smaller number who are against civil unions. But when Republican lawmakers equate the passage of a civil unions bill with the largest mass shooting in recent American history...well...is it any wonder I refer to those lawmakers as Fascists?

Idol Delay

Sorry, folks...but this week's "Idol" recap will be posted before the West Coast feed of the results show. I've been assigned DJ duties for my sister's wedding this weekend and was busy last night putting playlists together. I'll view the show later this afternoon and give a brief critique later.

24 April 2007

Dirty Diapers

That's what I think of when I hear the name of Ford's latest gas guzzler...the Super Duty.

25 Years with Madge

Twenty-five years ago today, on 24 April 1982, Sire Records released the very first single by an artist from suburban Detroit, Michigan. The single was called "Everybody."

And it was by artist named Madonna.

Pop music - not to mention pop culture - has never been the same.

Ebert on the Mend

Quote of the Day:
I have received a lot of advice that I should not attend the festival. I’m told that paparazzi will take unflattering pictures, people will be unkind, etc.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

...We spend too much time hiding illness. There is an assumption that I must always look the same. I hope to look better than I look now. But I’m not going to miss my festival.

P.S. to gossip rags: I have some back pain, and to make it easier for me to sit through screenings, the festival has installed my very own La-Z-Boy chair.

Photos of me in the chair should be captioned “La-Z-Critic.”
-Film critic Roger Ebert, in a letter to his readers in today's Chicago Sun-Times, on why he plans to be in attendance at his 9th Annual Overlooked Film Festival in Urbana, Illinois this week.

Ebert has been out of commission since last summer when he was hospitalized with some unantcipated bleeding episodes following surgery to remove a portion his mandible.

Wishing him all the best from the left coast!

Happy Birthday, Ouisa!

It is Shirley MacLaine's birthday. The Academy Award winning actress turns 73 today.

Her previous life is 156.

And the one before that is 262.

Up 12

Sen. Barack Obama (Democrat-IL) has pulled even with Sen. Hillary Clinton (Democrat-NY) in the quest for their party's presidential nomination. Trailing Clinton in late March by 12 points, Obama is now tied at 32% with the former First Lady.

I figured these two would go back and forth through 2007, but a 12-point gain in less than a month is a bit unexpected. Did Obama really pick up that sort of speed, or is this poll just an outlier?

We'll have to watch what other polls show over the next couple of weeks. And if Al Gore enters the race, Hillary and Barack might just find their early numbers tumble.

More on Gore

From Patrick Healy at the Caucus:
...about 20 former fund-raisers and supporters of former Vice President Al Gore will gather in Washington next month to talk about politics, memories and Mr. Gore’s future at a dinner being organized by Peter Knight, his close friend and political ally.

The dinner comes as speculation has intensified about whether Mr. Gore will be a late entry into the Democratic presidential race. Two people who plan to attend said that a possible presidential run by Mr. Gore in 2008 would inevitably be a topic, given the recent Oscar victory for "An Inconvenient Truth," the buzz about his recent congressional testimony on global warming, his new book that will be out two weeks after the May 8 dinner, and his global "Live Earth" concerts in July.
Whether he runs or he doesn't, something tells me Mr. Gore will make the announcement at one of the "Live Earth" events this summer.

Then again, what do I know?

Dave on George

This has been all over cable news and the "internets" since the weekend, but on the off chance that you haven't seen it, take a look at David Lettermen's contribution to this past weekend's White House Correspondents Dinner (#6 is just plain sad and #2 had me rolling!):

23 April 2007

Makes Me Wonder

Your Song of the Day is the new single from Maroon 5. It's blasted off since being released (at least hear on San Francisco radio). Enjoy "Makes Me Wonder."

Run, Al, Run

From the Sunday Telegraph:
Friends of Al Gore have secretly started assembling a campaign team in preparation for the former American vice-president to make a fresh bid for the White House.

...aware that he may step into the wide open race for the White House, strategists are sounding out a shadow team that could run his campaign at short notice. In approaching...political strategists and communications officials, they are making clear they are not acting on formal instructions from Mr Gore, but have not been asked to stop.
He really is, I believe, our strongest hope for winning back the White House and restoring America's standing as the shining beacon to the rest of the globe. Believe me...there are a ton of voters out there who were undecided in 2000 - and who eventually came down on the side of Mr. Bush that year - who would gladly cast a ballot for Mr. Gore in 2008.

An articulate, intelligent, elder-statesman as chief executive? Imagine!

Ambassador Bill

Quote of the Day:
I can't think of a better cheerleader for America than Bill Clinton, can you? He has said he would do anything I asked him to do. I would put him to work.
-Sen. Hillary Clinton (Democrat-NY), telling a crowd in Marshalltown, Iowa that if she were president she would make her husband a roaming ambassador to the world, using his skills to repair the nation's tattered image abroad.

That proposition alone is worth giving Hillary another look.

20 April 2007

Blog Break

Over the next two weeks I will be taking one brief and one rather long blog break. The first one begins today and will last until Monday morning. The in-laws are driving in from suburban Sacramento for a weekend in San Francisco.

The second, to begin next Thursday and last until the following Tuesday, is due to the fact that my sister is getting married in Chicago on April 28th.

So, the first break starts now. Enjoy your weekend. I'll return to the blogosphere Monday morning.

19 April 2007

America's Decline

Yesterday's Supreme Court decision upholding the Federal law that outlaws so called "partial birth abortions," highlights three things. First and foremost, the conservative court indicated they hold the lives of American women in low esteem. The procedure that is outlawed is generally done to save the life of a mother suffering from critical problems related to her pregnancy. It is rarely, if ever, used to terminate a pregnancy just for the sake of terminating a pregnancy.

And so, in their decision yesterday, five men - none of whom have a clue as to the subject matter on which they were applying Constitutional law - told the 2,000 or so women forced to have this procedure each year that their lives are less important than the wishes of social and religious conservatives who know nothing of what they talk about here.

If just one woman dies because her doctor was unable by law to perform the necessary procedure to save her life, then Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy will have her blood on their hands.

The second thing the ruling highlights is the effect of judicial appointments on the long term fabric of America. Americans tend to forget that the jurists placed on the federal bench by a president are there for life. These judges will rule on matters of law for potentially decades after a president leaves office. Americans need to remember that on Election Day, 2008. Conservative courts will throw away the Constitution they've taken an oath to protect in order to keep the government in our bedroom, in our doctor's office, in our womb. So much for "limited government."

Whatever your thoughts on the "partial birth abortion" issue, this Court - in which not one medical professional sits - just issued a direct order to physicians nationwide. It was as if these five bafoons were acting as the American Medical Association. In reaction, doctors around the country have denounced this barbaric and short-sighted ruling.

And finally, for those who argue that, should the Court re-visit and overturn Roe v. Wade, the issue will simply go back to the states...well...take a look at this ruling. The law is Federal, therefore the ruling is Federal. States have no say so. Granted, there is no Federal law on the books attempting to overturn Roe; and with the Democrats in control of Congress, one is not likely to be passed for the President's signature. But, should control of Congress turn back to the Republicans, and should a Republican be sitting in the White House at the time, a bill could eventually pass, and the current Supreme Court will obviously rule in the bill's favor.

America's decline following six uninterrupted years of Fascist rule becomes more prominent with each passing day.

18 April 2007

Sometimes, Blogger Sucks

For some reason most of the pictures on here aren't showing. Seems to be a problem with Blogger. We'll see if they have it rectified by morning.


It's About Freekin' Damn Time!!

BUH-bye, TikiTiki Tembo.

Blaming the Victims?

Just when you think they can't sink any lower, the right-wing nutcases fall ever closer to the depths of hell.

They're blaming the victims of Monday's shooting rampage at Virginia Tech for the high death toll. They argue the male students should have got up, played hero, and rushed the shooter.

Yeah...you know...forget about the kid shooting the guns. He shouldn't be blamed. He was simply exercising his Second Amendment rights.

"Idol" Recap: April 17

'twas country week on "American Idol." The recap...

Phil: His performance was energetic and soulful, and the country genre seems to fit him well.

Jordin: She started out very strong, so much so that I was almost impressed. But then she started caterwauling and, by the end of the song, I hated it. She really is not the best singer of the bunch and that is probably why Simon thinks she has a chance at winning. Last year's best singers were Chris Daughtry and Elliott Yamin, yet Taylor Hicks won the contest. So, I guess it wouldn't surprise me if Simon's prediction comes true in May.

SuckySuckyFiveDolla: Bonnie Raitt should take that do-rag he was wearing and strangle him with it. My gawd! His version of her classic "Something To Talk About" was horrendous on so many levels. I can see why the judges are starting to get so exasperated. Ryan Seacrest really annoyed me when he tried stop Simon from commenting that this peformance wouldn't have gotten Sanjaya past the initial audition. Frankly, I applaude Simon for finally saying something that I've been ranting about for weeks. This is not funny anymore. Send the idiot home. Please!

Lakisha: Her version of "Jesus Take the Wheel" was probably her worst vocal of the show so far. Has Kiki run her course? Has she done all she can do? Or is it just that country wasn't her genre?

Chris: By nature country music is usually pretty nasally where male performers are concerned, but with Chris it was just annoying. His voice isn't made for country and there was no power or personality behind the performance.

Melinda: Love. Her. THAT is how you do it, my friends. Melinda rocks no matter what she does. She's the ultimate professional and once again turned in the best vocal of the night...far and away.

Blake: Love. Him. Once again Blake turned in an excellent, sexy performance. He took a country song and made a grade-A pop tune out of it. Whatever the outcome of this contest, the combination of his vocal and arrangement talents will take him far in the business.

Update: A reader mentions that many of my critiques seem to match what the judges say each week and that they think I'm taking their comments and making them my own.

Ummm...no. My weekly "Idol" updates are based on notes I take during the actual performances, as the contestants are actually singing. If my comments match the judges then it just means we're on the same page.

The Biden Plan

I've touted his plan here before, but Sen. Joseph Biden (Democrat-DE) reiterated it in a Washington Post op/ed last week. The highlights:
If the president's plan won't work, what will? History suggests only four other ways to keep together a country riven by sectarian strife:

We allow or help one side to win, which would require years of horrific bloodletting.

We perpetuate the occupation, which is impossible politically and practically.

We promote the return of a dictator, who is not on the horizon but whose emergence would be the cruelest of ironies.

Or we help Iraq make the transition to a decentralized, federal system, as called for in its constitution, where each major group has local control over the fabric of its daily life, including security, education, religion and marriage.

Making federalism work for all Iraqis is a strategy that can still succeed and allow our troops to leave responsibly. It's a strategy I have been promoting for a year.

I cannot guarantee that my plan for Iraq will work. But I can guarantee that the course we're on - the course that a man I admire, John McCain, urges us to continue - is a road to nowhere.
Republicans constantly moan and groan about how the Democrats don't offer up alternatives to the President's failed Iraq strategy, yet here is Sen. Biden laying out a detailed plan.

Today's political climate breaks the presidential contenders into tiers based on the money they've raised and their standing in the polls. I, however, place them in tiers based on their credentials and key strengths. And Joe Biden is, in my opinion, one of the Democrats' top tier candidates. None of the others have proposed a solid post-Bush plan for Iraq. I'm sure they will eventually, but until then Biden's plan proves he is up to task of cleaning up George's horrendous mess.

17 April 2007

The Massacre at Virginia Tech

There isn't much I can say about yesterday's massacre at Virginia Tech that hasn't already been said or thought or reported. For the next few days we mourn as a country, offer our condolences to the victims and their families, and begin the process of moving forward, even as details on what exactly happened continue to emerge.

And despite the whining on the right, part of the healing process should include a discussion on gun control. There is no way, when a massacre of this scale occurs, that the gun debate can be set aside. After all, 32 innocents are dead at the hands of guns that were likely obtained illegally (their serial numbers had been sandblasted off).

But, not now. Emotions are raw, a college campus is devastated, a nation mourns. The debate can take place a little later.

16 April 2007

Getting Our Groove Back

Quote of the Day:
One day Iraq, our post-9/11 trauma and the divisiveness of the Bush years will all be behind us — and America will need, and want, to get its groove back. We will need to find a way to reknit America at home, reconnect America abroad and restore America to its natural place in the global order — as the beacon of progress, hope and inspiration. I have an idea how. It’s called "green"...

How do our kids compete in a flatter world? How do they thrive in a warmer world? How do they survive in a more dangerous world? Those are, in a nutshell, the big questions facing America at the dawn of the 21st century. But these problems are so large in scale that they can only be effectively addressed by an America with 50 green states — not an America divided between red and blue states.
-New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, writing in yesterday's New York Times Magazine, on how America can regain its international reputation, soiled beyond recognition by the Bush folks, by taking the lead in the development of alternative energies and environmentalism.

It's a lengthy piece but I highly suggest you take the time to read it. I've said it before and I'll say it again...Friedman would get my vote for president any day.

Fox News Viewers Are Stupid

Literally. That's the finding in a new Pew Research Center survey that tested knowledge of national and international affairs among Americans in relation to where they get most of their news.

Those with the highest knowledge watched the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and the Daily Show on Comedy Central. The least knowledgable watched the morning news shows and the Fox News Channel.

15 April 2007

Put a Fork In Him

Quote of the Day:
I have no Plan B
-Sen. John McCain (BushBitch-AZ) on the Iraq War, in an interview Saturday.

If McCain has absoulutely no clue on how to clean up the mess over there, then he has no business running for president.

13 April 2007

Stoli: Absoulutely Fabulous?

Not so much.

Brent and I met friends for drinks last night (they're using Brent's graphic design expertise for a new business venture). When we arrived at the Metro, representatives from Stoli were on hand to pimp their "Razberi" and "Vanil" flavored vodkas - pushing six specific cocktails (three made with the Razberi, three with the Vanil).

I ordered a Stoli Cream Soda (Stoli Vanil vodka and Ginger ale).


The Stoli reps forgot to bring the Vanil vodka !! Apparently they use Edwina Monsoon for their public relations.

Charges Filed In Baker's Dozen Brawl

Quote of the Day:
[Entering a not-guilty plea] was absolutely the right thing to do. He is not guilty. This is an event, not a crime. This is a combination of alcohol and testosterone that happened at a party.
-Tony Brass, attorney to Brian Dwyer, after suspects were finally (FINALLY) charged in the beatings of the Yale University singing group, Baker's Dozen on January 1.

Reconstructive surgery was required for one of the victims and Brass calls this an "event" ?!? What would constitute misdemeanor assault? An irreversable coma?

Once a Bushie, Always a Bushie

The cronyism extends beyond the White House with these folks: World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Defense Secretary (and one of the key architects of the Iraq invasion) gave his girlfriend a high-level promotion and a significant raise in his roll as president of the World Bank.

Healing Thoughts For Corzine

Wishes for a speedy recovery to Gov. Jon Corzine (Democrat-NJ), who is in critical condition - and expected to survive - after a car wreck in New Jersey in which he broke his left leg, sternum, collarbone, six ribs on each side and a lower vertebra. He is stable following surgery.

12 April 2007

Candy Man

I've seen this music video several times since the release of the single. It is an absolute joy to watch. Your Song of the Day is Christina Aguilara's latest..."Candy Man." (All three singers are her, by the way.)


Absurd and Closed-Minded

From the Journal of the American Medical Association:
In a breakthrough trial, 15 young patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes were given drugs to suppress their immune systems followed by transfusions of stem cells drawn from their own blood.
How did the trial turn out? Three-years later, all but two of the fifteen subjects do not need daily insulin injections.

How absolutely absurd and closed-minded then that ol' George has promised to veto a new bill - passed last night in the Senate by a vote of 63 to 34 - that would allow embryonic stem cell research.

Say it with me: The. Worst. President. Ever.


Our Armed Forces are at the breaking point as it is, and this is supposed to help?:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced yesterday that all active-duty soldiers currently deployed or going to Iraq and Afghanistan will see their one-year tours extended to 15 months, acknowledging that such a strain on the war-weary Army is necessary should the ongoing troop increase be prolonged well into next year.

The decision - coming three months after President Bush put forth his new security plan for Iraq, including the deployment of at least 28,000 additional troops there - reflects the reality that the new strategy is unfeasible without introducing longer Army tours.
I could go into a rather long babble about a lot of things here, but I am pressed for time this morning. Suffice it to say, the President's incompetence from Day 1 (and by "Day 1" I mean the morning of 9/11) has taken the country to the brink. That dark day required a full-scale change in military and social strategy, including (much to the chagrin of my fellow progressives) a full-scale military and domestic service draft. The short-sightedness and incomptence of this President are unprecedented and have brought the United States to a perilous point. We have just less than two years to go under his "leadership." The thought of that, let alone the reality, makes me shudder.

The Downward Spiral

The insurgents are getting pretty ballsy. Today they bombed the Iraqi Parliment building (the seat of the new government!), killing two members of the Council of Representatives and injuring ten others.

Earlier another explosion on the Al-Sarafiyah Bridge killed eight and injured 22.

The attack on the Iraqi Parliment is a rather stunning breach of security three-months into the escalation, don't you think?

11 April 2007

Bu-Bye Ho...I mean...Haley...Bu-Bye Haley!

(Photo: AmericanIdol.com)

Gratuitously, Chloe - Rewind

As a 5-month-old pup, in July 2004.

Update: My sister emailed to remind me that she took this picture during her visit to Santa Barbara in July of 2004. Sorry, Sista Girl.

(Photo: Noel Terril Photography)

Than & Then

Reader e-mail:
You are totally unfair to Haley. If you would actually listen to her rather then use YOUR "one free hand" to type your weekly diatribe and your other hand occupied over Paula you would see she is a good singer!
Whoa! Paula!?

Uhh...sorry, Dude. My hand wouldn't be "occupied" over Paula, but instead over Blake!


Oh...and PS...it's "rather than" not "rather then."

"Idol" Recap, April 10

Melinda: The girl never hits a bad note, she is always solid and always professional. Maybe her rendition of "Sway" wasn't her best performance, but Simon Cowell was flat out wrong in his critique...Melinda did a great job.

Kiki: First off, her dress was horrible! I don't mind a sexy fit on a full figured woman, but last night Lakisha's dress was too tight. On the performance side, her version of "Conga" was a bit average. Nothing special. Perhaps I'm a bit biased, but Kiki never seems to be as strong as Melinda.

Chris: On many occassions I often wonder what the three judges hear in some contestants that I don't. This season that seems to happen with Jordin more than the others. But tonight, that wonderment came with Randy, Paula, and Simon's critique of Chris' slaughter of 1999's "Smooth." He sounded like a really bad Justin-Timberlake-wanna-be, hacking the hell out a Santana/Rob Thomas classic. Truly - his performance was an insult to the original.

Haley: First off, she was dressed like a reformed hooker who had taken a job as the updated Carol Lynley character on the fictional S.S. Poseidon. The song she sang, "Turn the Beat Around," is the song credited with starting the whole rap craze - and Haley failed to pull it off. Moreover, Simon had a point...she was dressed like a slut, and teenaged boys with their weekly woodies have probably kept her around for another week.

Phil: After coming thisclose to being booted off week after week, Phil could very well find himself packing his bags tonight. I thought Santana's "Maria, Maria" would be a good song for him but he had pitch problems through most of it and the performance overall fell flat.

Jordin: Randy loved her version of "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You." Am I high? Tone deaf? What? I don't understand the hoop-la with this girl. She's really just an ok singer.

Blake: Singing Marc Anthony's "I Need to Know," Blake once again turned in another solid, sweet, sexy performance. In my book, he and Melinda tied for the best of the night.

SoyMilk (sorry...Sanjaya...whatever!): Ok...really...I'm getting sick of putting this guy in the weekly round-up. Here's the thing: If he impressed Jennifer Lopez during their mentor meeting, and if he impressed the judges in his intial audition, then perhaps his calling is to sing in front of crowds of 2 or 3 people. Because in front of an auditorium filled with a sold-out audience, and with a national television audience watching, SoyMilk never steps up to the plate. And an "American Idol" that does not make. He's an imbecile. Period.

Contradiction in Terms?

elective (n), not compulsory; a course that you choose, rather than one that is named among the requirements for your degree,

News item: Texas legislators are moving full speed ahead with a bill mandating elective Bible classes in the state's public high schools.

09 April 2007

News Out of Iran

They've increased their efforts on cetrifuge production and by doing so have decreased the time frame in which they might actually have a bomb. This is too big for the idiot in the White House and I shiver at the thought that we're stuck with him for another 20 months. As I have said before, this is a game of high-stakes, high-level chess, and George W. Bush doesn't have it in him to strategize at such a level. And for the record, this is exactly the scenario I was most concerned with when I argued to undecided friends in 2000 that Bush was nowhere near ready for the presidency. You reap what you sew, folks.

That said, voters on the Democratic side need to make Iran (as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East region overall) their #1 issue as they begin the process of choosing a presidential ticket for 2008. With the crises piling up on Bush's watch, it will take someone with a steady hand and some international gumption to begin the process of turning things around - a foreign policy wonk with a great deal of patience and common sense.

With all due respect, that rules out John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, and Chris Dodd. Barack Obama seems to be surrounding himself with some top-notch national security people, but he needs to prove himself as an astute student of foreign policy (and a fast-learning one at that) well before the primary season kicks off in January of next year.

No, the times in which we live require the Democrats to be way more serious at the international level - even if it means giving in a bit on their domestic social agenda. Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, and yes, even Hillary Clinton, are the candidates that should be taken seriously.

Even better for the Democrats, for the country, and for the globe would be former Vice-President Al Gore.

Of the Republican front-runners, one (McCain) continues to hold on to a "stay-the-Bush-course" strategy, and another (Giuliani) can't even decipher between the Shiites and the Sunnis in Iraq.

But mark my words, if the Democrats nominate a foreign policy novice that nominee will lose to either one of those Republicans. No matter how unpopular Bush is on Election Day.

Nancy and George

Quote of the Day:
Most Presidents find their influence waning in the final two years, but with Bush, it seems like that decline will be larger than usual. Bush lies almost constantly, except when he doesn't know what he's talking about and says something nonsensical. Domestically and internationally, that means it's useful to try to ignore him as much as possible and do business with the people that will be in charge when he's gone. Pelosi, in going to Syria, and in telling Bush to calm down, is looking much more like a President than Bush is. Bush is even having his role as commander-in-chief challenged, by both his own ineptitude and the public's willingness to strip him of power. By default, that power is slowly bleeding over to Pelosi, Reid, and whichever member of Congress is leading that day and filling the massive void Bush has left. This is not an ideal scenario, but it's the one that Bush set himself up for when he refused to acknowledge the results of the 2006 elections and what that meant for his method of governance.

He may hold the constitutional office, but he is less and less the President every day.
-Matt Stoller, on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent trip to the Middle East.

Quote of the Day #2:
Pelosi's trip is an embarrassment for the president because it shows an American actually involving herself in realities on the world stage rather than stuck in denial and fantasy. That may sound a bit starry-eyed. But think about it and I'll think you'll see that that's a lot of what this is about.
-Josh Marshall, on the knee-jerk reaction of the incompetent White House over Pelosi's trip.

Somebody has to step up to the plate. We can't spend the next two years being driven off the proverbial cliff by a president who refuses to open his eyes.

08 April 2007

Family Reunion in El Salvador

It’s horrifying. I wasn’t hurting anybody. I was playing on a hammock. And then they took me.
-26-year-old Suzanne Marie Berghaus of suburban Boston, on being kidnapped by government soldiers in El Salvador during a 1982 flare-up in the long civil war there.

Suzanne was then passed along to an orphanage and eventually adopted by an American couple in Massachusetts.

Her life is obviously much better than it would have been had she not been snatched, but the story of her reunion with her birth parents is definately worth reading. It is available here.

Happy Easter

07 April 2007

"How I Roll"

Your Song of the Day is from the Austin-based band 54 Seconds. From their latest CD "Postcards From California," I hope you'll enjoy...

"How I Roll"

Kermit Hurts

Smokin' and cokin'...drinkin'and jerkin'...all over a girl.

Around the Globe

When folks from outside the United States read a post on San Francisco Journal they usually stick around for one post (maybe two if "American Idol" is involved). This little journal gets few hits in the overall realm of the blogosphere, but when I see international readers coming back on a regular basis, I want to give them a shout out.

And so, a big hearty San Francisco "hello" to readers in Reykjavk, Iceland; Braslia, Brazil; and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Thank you for taking the time to read my babble.

Happy Birthday, Melvatile

Click here for a special birthday greeting!

Love, Winthorp.

06 April 2007

Dick the Delusional

Another report comes out confirming Iraq and Sadaam Hussein had no links to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, nor the attacks of 9/11, yet ol' Delusional Dick remains steadfast in his pathological insistance that a connection was there.

Say it with me: The. Worst. Administration. Ever.

Flick Pick: "Shut Up and Sing"

Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.
It was the off-the-cuff stage banter heard round the world. I dare say that Natalie Maines, the Dixie Chicks lead singer who made the comment, wouldn't have thought twice about it had it not been for the knee-jerk reaction of the red-state right-wingers who have, since day 1, blindly backed the President.

Maines made the comment on a stage in London (the blasphemy!) in the spring of 2003 just days before President Bush started the Iraq War, and just hours after thousands marched the streets of London in protest against the coming conflict. The result (here in America) was a boycott of the group by country-music radio (that is still in effect today, for the most part), public demonstrations in which Dixie Chicks CDs were crushed, and death threats made against Maines' life.

The original intent of filmmaker Barbara Kopple ("Harlan County USA," "American Dream") was to make your basic documentary about a popular singing group - in this case one the biggest selling female groups in the United States. But after Maines' comment, Kopple took a detour and the resulting film, "Shut Up and Sing," is a compelling and superbly made behind-the-scenes story of the Dixie Chicks' three-year journey between the London concert and the release of their latest album "Taking the Long Way."

Kopple does a superb job of capturing the determination of Maines and her fellow Chicks, Emily Robson and Martie Maguire, to stick to their guns; their refusal to give in to the public and corporate pressure to fall in lock-step behind this President. Their refusal to be brainwashed, as were too many Americans during the run up to the Iraq War in 2003, tested the group in many ways. "Shut Up and Sing" captures the essence of the tried and true friendship of these three women during those turbulent years. That friendship sustained them through the long "post-London" period, and it is what sustains them still today. Their loyalty to one another epitomizes the meaning of the words "friend" and "family" - words the administration of George W. Bush and their ardent supporters will never truly understand.

Four-years later, with the Iraq War in shambles and the President wildly unpopular, the tried and true right-wingers still boycott the Dixie Chicks. But in losing those fans, the group has essentially found a new legion of them. Their passionate and emotional single about the whole affair - "Not Ready to Make Nice" - went gold (in a day and age when few singles sell enough to be certified gold) and "Taking the Long Way" climbed to the # 1 spot on the national album chart.

Poetic justice? You better freekin' believe it!

Kopple's documentary, "Shut Up and Sing," is available on DVD. I urge you to put it in your Netflix queue or pop on down to your rental store and give it a look this weekend. You'll find it one of the better films of the past year.

"The Neighbor"

Your Song of the Day this Friday is a live performance of the latest single from the Dixie Chicks...

"The Neighbor"


They're both the shitty bottom-feeders of the journalistic field, but I have to give Geraldo Rivera props for making Whiney Bitch O'Reilly's head pop off...almost quite literally.

05 April 2007

Living In San Francisco

The fog has been heavy all evening, the wind is gusting so hard the windows are rattling, and it's colder than a witch's titty in a brass bra out there. Yet, just down the hill in the Castro, the night is clear and the streets are bustling.

Ladies & Gentlemen...the Lewis-Richardsons

Image of the Day

It's like one of those "find the hidden object" pages in Highlights magazine, only instead of a toaster in a tree, it's Dick in a tree.

What IS he doing over there, anyway?

Are They High?

The New York Sun endorses Vice-President Cheney for president.

A. He's not running, so the point is moot.

B. If he were running, even Hillary would beat him in landslide.

04 April 2007

'Idol' Shocker: Gina Goes Home

This came out of left field, but I'm not surprised. It's been obvious for the last few weeks that the show has become a joke. Stephanie and Gina are gone but SippyCup Ma-boomba-laka is still on? It's obviously time to re-tool the way "America votes."

"Idol" April 3rd

Blake: Before he started signing, when he announced he was going to sing "Mack the Knife," I knew right then that it was the perfect song for him. And I wasn't wrong. Blake is the best male singer on the show.

Phil: This was a good genre for him. But the critique of the judges was pretty harsh and, should America once again choose to keep Sanjaya on his special little caterwaul catamaran, Phil could very well be the one saying 'goodbye' Wednesday night.

Melinda: Even with a song like "I've Got Rhythm" she exudes a Tina Turner-esque quality when she performs. She rebounded from last week and turned in another superb performance. Once again, she was the far-and-away the best singer of the night.

Chris R: He took a Duke Ellington song and made it pretty hip; but overall it was a just a basic, good performance. That's all. Nothing special.

Jordin: I still don't understand all the fuss with this girl. While she can certainly belt out a tune, she's not the strongest singer. For me, she's this year's Carrie Underwood - and by that I mean this: Someone who I think is just OK, where I can't quite understand the hype, but who will probably go pretty far in the competition, leaving me to scratch my head and wonder why.

Gina: Strong vocal. Nice job.

Sanjaya: Plain and simple: HE. CAN'T. SING. And: HE'S. AN. IDIOT. He's just wasting our time at this point.

Haley: Plain and simple: SHE. CAN'T. SING.

Lakisha: In order to showcase her vocals (and she did do a great job tonight, I'll give her that), Lakisha took a classic song like "Stormy Weather" and "ghetto-fabulized" it. And I think she's better than that.

Alanis Channels Fergie

...and I'm dying. Peeing-in-my-pants-dying!!

(By way of The Daily Dish, via YouTube.)

03 April 2007

The Boys of San Francisco

Meet Fernando and Greg, the morning-drive duo on KNGY-FM (Energy 92.7) here in San Francisco. Since moving up here from Santa Barbara last summer, it seems I have ditched NPR's "Morning Edition" for this vibrant, hip, and absolutely habit-forming radio show.

Take a few minutes out of your day, click the play button below, and meet these Boys of San Francisco...

Gratuitously, Chloe

"Quit reading and play with me!"

What Would Betty Bowers Do?

Wait 'til these people get a load of San Francisco's "Hunky Jesus Contest"...

The Lab Gallery at New York's Roger Smith Hotel has removed a six-foot tall "anatomically correct" Jesus made out of chocolate just days before christians mark the crucifixion of their lord and savior.

As Homer Simpson would say, "Mmm...sacrilicious!"

In honor of the Lab Gallery's lack of cajones, I present to you your Song of the Day:

Bill O'Reilly is a Whiney Little Bitch

In usual O'Reilly/Fox Jazeera fashion, Bill verbally abused - and then cut the microphone of - Col. Ann Wright, a 29-year veteran of the United States Army. Her crime? She had the cajones to stand up against O'Reilly's accusations that she - a WOMAN who served the U.S. for TWENTY-NINE YEARS - of hating her country.
WRIGHT: "I want to make sure the United States treats people properly.."

O'REILLY: "Sure you do. Sure you do."

WRIGHT: "I surely do. That's what I spent 29 years of my life trying to do."

O'REILLY: "Sorry. No you didn't. You know what happened...somewhere along the line you started to dislike your own country…."

WRIGHT: "I served 29 years. How many did you serve? Where did you teach the Geneva Conventions?"

O'REILLY: "Cut her mic."
Cut her mic? If that isn't the perfect textbook example of a wimpy fuckhead losing an argument, then I don't know what is.

You can see the exchange by clicking here. (Windows Media required.)

(Courtesy: Crooks and Liars and Beth's future husband.)

Image of the Day

This one's for you, Larry.

Winning Their Hearts and Minds

Quote of the Day #1:
Do they think that when they come and speak few Arabic words in a very bad manner it will make us love them? This country and its society have been destroyed because of them and I hope that they realized that during this visit...

We are being killed by the dozens everyday because of them.
-Jaafar Moussa Thamir, a 42-year-old Iraqi electronics salesman, on the recent visit by Sen. John McCain (BushBitch-AZ)

Quote of the Day #2:
They were laughing and talking to people as if there was nothing going on in this country or at least they were pretending that they were tourists and were visiting the city's old market and buying souvenirs...To achieve this, they sealed off the area, put themselves in flak jackets and walked in the middle of tens of armed American soldiers.
-Karim Abdullah, 37, a textile merchant, on Sen. McCain's walk through the market.

Oh, and there were two Blackhawk helicopters flying overhead.

Safe to walk the streets of Baghdad, eh Senator?

02 April 2007

The War at Home

You'll lose it about 20 seconds in. I sure as hell did.

She's Glamorous

Your Song of the Day is the latest single from Fergie's solo CD. The video teams her up with Chris Bridges (aka Ludacris), as well as her "Poseidon" and "Grindhouse" co-star Freddy Rodriguez.

"Glamorous" by Fergie

Picture of the Day

San Francisco International Aiport, from the air, at night. Looks like some futuristic space station, doesn't it?

Happy P B & J Day!

Feel the Excitement

A political analyst on MSNBC, regarding the first quarter fundraising of presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (Democrat-NY):
This is the largest fund-raising performance by a presidential candidate in presidential election history in the first third of the year before the year of the presidential election.
Ok...and once you figure all that out you can get excited over this little morsel: Only 581 more days to go until Election Day!

Eye Off the Ball

News Item: ...a new generation of [Al Qaeda] leaders has emerged under Osama bin Laden to cement control over the network’s operations.

And in his New York Times column yesterday (TimesSelect), Nicholas Kristof writes of the Taliban's resurgence in the years since 9/11.

Now, think about this for a moment: What would the world be like today had President Franklin Roosevelt declared war on...say...China following the attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941.

Make no mistake: History will judge this imbecile in the White House quite harshly for taking his eye off the ball. His detour into Iraq has made the entire globe unstable and it's going to take a generation (at least) to fix it.

Say it with me: The. Worst. President. Ever.