31 July 2008

A Poll and A Map

The latest presidential poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corp. shows Democrat Barack Obama leading Republican John McCain by a healthy 7-point margin:
Obama 51%
McCain 44%
The race is beginning to remind me of 1980's contest between the incumbent president Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. During that campaign the economy was in the shitter, our foreign policy was in tatters, and the ruling party (in that case, the Democrats) were seen as incompetent. Despite that, voters were unsure of Reagan. The cowboy from California seemed a bit too conservative for many Americans. He lead President Carter by between 1 and 5 points through out the summer, falling behind the incumbent on a few occasions. On Election Day however, the country had had it with the failed policies of the ruling party and handed Jimmy Carter a 10-point defeat and 49 measly electoral votes.

John McCain and the entire Republican Party are in the same exact position as the Democrats of 1980, with Barack Obama playing this cycle's Reagan. Does that mean a 10-point, 44-state landslide for the Democratic ticket? Doubtful. First, too many states are solidly Republican. It would take McCain getting caught in bed with a young boy the night before the election for Obama to win that big - and even then Utah, Idaho, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Alabama would still go Republican. Second, there is still a nice hunk of the electorate that just won't be able to vote for an African American candidate. Are there enough of those racist undertones to lose Obama the election? No. But enough to keep his Electoral College score well under 400.

Only time well tell if I'm correct on this 1980-2008 parallel. In the mean time, based on CNN's polling and other state-by-state numbers, here is where I see the map as of today:

Obama 363
McCain 175

It's very optimistic and I suspect Obama's real election night number will be closer to 300, but right now the Democrat looks to be in a very good position.

The Media's Darling

So much for the "liberal press"...

Eye Candy

Hunter Parrish, who plays Silas Botwin on Showtime's superb series "Weeds," spent his most recent hiatus molding himself one uber-hot body. Turns out, according to IMDb, that he's to join the Broadway cast of "Spring Awakening" in August. (If you know the play, Parrish's toning up will make sense.)

30 July 2008

The Vanity Fair McCain Cover

The cover of Vanity Fair's August issue is hilarious! Note the picture of Dubya, the bottles of (stolen) prescription drugs in Cindy's hands, and the burning Constitution in the fireplace. Kudos to the VF artistic team!

PG&E Donates $250,000 to Defeat the Fascist Anti-Marriage Amendment

From the LA Times:
Giving a financial and public relations boost to gay marriage proponents, PG&E announced today that it is giving $250,000 to the No on Proposition 8 campaign.
It's like a slow train picking up speed. I'm actually beginning to feel a wee-bit optimistic about the "no" side's chances. There's still a long way to go, and the other side is also raising big time cash, but when PG&E gives money to the cause you know the tide is turning.

Update: Meanwhile, on the other coast, the Massachusetts state legislature voted 118 to 35 yesterday to repeal the 1913 law forbidding out-of-state couples from marrying there if the marriage wouldn't be recognized in their home state. Gov. Deval Patrick said he will sign it.

The Songs of Summer

The latest single from the hunky, humpy Colton Ford is called "Tug of War"...

29 July 2008

WordPerfect Founder Donates $1M to Fight California Marriage Amendment

During a dinner at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday, WordPerfect co-founder Bruce Bastian wrote a check for $1 million to help fight California's Proposition 8, the proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban marriage between gay and lesbian couples.

One thing I learned as a Mormon was that preaching costs money. The Mormons will raise a lot of money to support Proposition 8 in November. You can't change people's minds. They have to change them for themselves. If people are shown the truth and have fear taken out of the equation, I believe they will stand up for what's good and fair.

Gallup Schizophrenia

The Gallup polling organization released two contradicting presidential election polls yesterday. The first, their daily tracking poll, shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by eight points, 48% to 40%. Their second poll, done separately for USA Today, shows McCain leading Obama by four points, 49% to 45%.

So, what gives? Well, I for one can't believe that last week's hugely successful foreign tour hurt Obama. Given that other polls show a comfortable Obama lead, the Gallup poll for USA Today must be some sort of anomaly or outlier. Time will tell, of course. And with the summer Olympics starting in a little over a week and the Democratic Convention following in short order (not to mention news of Obama's VP pick somewhere in there), coverage of the McCain campaign is going to be minimal at best.

Conservative Hick Murders Church Goers

An out-of-work truck driver accused of opening fire at [the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church], killing two people [and injuring seven others], left behind a note suggesting that he targeted the congregation out of hatred for its liberal policies.

Jim D. Adkisson, 58, was charged with first-degree murder and was being held on $1 million bail.
The fascists of the religious right had a hand in this guy's warped world view. I'm not a church-going man by any stretch, but in what world is it ok to go into a church and murder people?

UPDATE: Here's a commercial the Unitarians produced about a year ago. They seem about as christian as you can get, if you ask me...

The McCain Lie

NBC's Andrea Mitchell calls out the McCain campaign on the TV commercial they released yesterday that listed lie after lie after lie against Barack Obama. This is journalism at its best...

28 July 2008

Seattle Birthday Bash

As promised, pictures from the big Beth-Brent-Wayne birthday weekend in Seattle a couple of weekends ago...

Outside Pike's Place after a quick walk through the world-famous market...

My birthday buddies outside Pike's Place...

The view from Brent's suite at the Westin...

Dinner at the Space Needle (I love these pictures of Beth and Brent)...

After dinner, looking South from the Space Needle...

Outside Marcus' Martini Heaven in the Pioneer Square neighborhood...

The view from across Elliott Bay...

My sweet, handsome man...

A theatre across the street from Brent's hotel had a marquee that said "Happy Birthday to Us." We thought it quite appropriate for the celebratory weekend...

One last thank you to Brent and Beth for one fanTABulous weekend!

The Songs of Summer

A hot dance track from the summer of 1999, enjoy "NoMansLand" by DJ Sakin & Friends...


John McCain's new ad accusing Barack Obama of not visiting the troops in Iraq because the Pentagon wouldn't allow cameras is flat out false according to...the Pentagon. Grandpa BushBitch is getting QUITE desperate, it seems.

According to Greg Sargent over at TPM:
A Pentagon spokesperson confirms to me that because of longstanding Department of Defense regulations, Pentagon officials told Obama aides that he couldn't visit the base with campaign staff. This left Obama with little choice but to cancel the trip, since the plan to visit with campaign aides had been in the works for weeks. [...]

"We have longstanding Department of Defense policy in regards to political campaigns and elections," Pentagon spokesperson Elizabeth Hibner told me. "We informed the Obama staff that he was more than welcome to visit as Senator Obama, with Senate staff. However, he could not conduct the visit with campaign staff."

After being told this, the Obama campaign announced yesterday that it had decided it was "inappropriate" to make the visit as part of a campaign trip.

It's unclear how Obama could have made the visit at all, given the Pentagon's directives. No Senate staff was on the trip, and the Obama camp says they received the Pentagon's directives on Wednesday, after they were already abroad.
And Jonathan Martin reports (by way of Patrick Appel) that McCain sort of stuck his foot in it with an image used in the ad:
...while McCain chides Obama for making time to go to the gym and not time to visit with the troops, the image used in the ad is Obama shooting hoops in Kuwait— with the troops.

A Bit Belated

A picture, borrowed from Larry's Training Blog, of the June 27th marriage ceremony between him and Trevor at San Francisco's City Hall. Quite the handsome couple, don't ya think?

24 July 2008

So Long, Seattle

The key part of the project I've been working on has ended and my long term stay in the Seattle area has come to an end. I'm home this morning but then Brent and I are off to Big Basin and Santa Cruz for a weekend of camping with his side of the family.

I'll return to the blogosphere on either Sunday or Monday. Enjoy your weekend.

21 July 2008

Continued Light Blogging

My Seattle project comes to a close this week (although I may have to return for a couple of short 2 or 3 day visits over the next couple of months) and I am preparing to return home later this week after several months here in the Pacific Northwest. Once home, Brent and I are joining his family for a long weekend of camping down near Santa Cruz.

So, heads up: Blogging will be light through Wednesday, and non-existent from Thursday to Sunday.

The Songs of Summer

"See us face down on the floor of another cheap bar room..."
Ya gotta love Bernie Taupin's lyrics!

Here is another track from Elton John's superb 1981 album, The Fox. Enjoy "Just Like Belgium"...

Losing It, Part 2

Ok...Grandpa BushBitch really is losing it. His new commercial, airing in 11 states, is below...

Does he seriously think he can convince Americans that Barack Obama is responsible for $4 a gallon gasoline?

To use a Bill Clinton phrase...give me a break!

Losing It, Part 1

Quote of the Day:
We have a lot of work to do and I'm afraid it's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq/Pakistan border.
-Republican presidential candidate John McCain, to ABC's Diane Sawyer on Monday morning.

Uhhh...Senator...hmmm...I hate to break this to you, but Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border.

Well, we all misspeak on occasion so we should give you a break...right?


Last week you mentioned Czechoslovakia as if it were a country that still exists, never mind that it ceased to exist in 1992.

And foreign policy is supposed to be the "ace-in-the-hole" of your presidential campaign!?

Weekend In Seattle

Since he had to run a conference here in town this week, Brent joined me on the flight back up to Seattle this past Thursday night. Our dear friend Beth met us at Sea-Tac Airport, and we all had an absolutely wonderful weekend celebrating our birthdays (July 6, 10, and 14). Dinner at the Space Needle, a boat ride around Elliott Bay, shopping at Pike's Place, and perfect weather for all of it.

Plenty of pictures were taken but are currently in Brent's camera. I'll post them here sometime next week.

In the mean time, the biggest of thank yous to Beth and Brent for making the weekend one for the ages. I had an absolute blast!

Eye Candy

French Canadian diving stud, Alexandre Despatie...

18 July 2008

Little Miss Chloe

...and her buddy Smokey, who took over Chloe's crate last weekend when Larry and Trevor were kind enough to dog sit.

(Thanks to Larry for sending the pic!)

Polls, Polls, Polls...and a Map

Three new polls show Barack Obama continuing to have a strong single-digit lead over John McCain...
Quinnipiac University Poll:
Obama 50%
McCain 41%

Obama 47%
McCain 40%

CBS News/New York Times:
Obama 45%
McCain 39%
And an optimisitc read of state-by-state polling shows the Electoral College map looking rather healthy for the Democrat...

Obama 334
McCain 204

We're in the middle of summer and most Americans aren't quite focused on the presidential contest right yet. Thus, these polls and that map are fluid. The task for Sen. Obama is to make sure he holds - or better yet, strengthens - his lead.

Blogging Break

After a quick trip home yesterday for a department meeting, Brent joined me for the return flight to Seattle last night. He has a conference here beginning Sunday and we'll be spending the couple of days before then taking in the city. Our friend Beth is joining us from Santa Barbara for a joint birthday celebration.

So the blog will be quiet through the weekend. I should be back on Sunday.

16 July 2008

The Songs of Summer

From early summer of 1974, here is the title track to the Bee Gees album "Mr. Natural." The precursor to the mega-hit "Main Course," the set was produced by the legendary Arif Mardin. While it bombed commercially, "Mr. Natural" is pure genius and served as a vital stepping stone to the super-stardom that would begin for the brothers a year later.

Mid-Week Brain Break

Hilarious spoof of "Saturday Night Fever" from the 1970's, via YouTube...

Abuse of Power

From Yahoo News:
President Bush invoked executive privilege to keep Congress from seeing the FBI report of an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney and other records related to the administration's leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity in 2003.
This little prick thinks he's above the law and Congress still does nothing.

It's simple, really.

Say it with me: Impeachment Now!

Poor Little Rich Bitch

Quote of the Day:
In Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane.
-Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, in an interview with CNN yesterday.

Because, you know, that two-and-a-half hour drive from Phoenix to Tuscon can be quite difficult with Grandpa Hubby in the passenger seat calling you a trollop and a cunt the whole way down.

Marriage Amendment Remains on CA Ballot

As expected, the California state Supreme Court refused today to remove a proposed ban on same-sex marriage from the November ballot. They did so unanimously and without comment.

It's Time For Some Campaignin'

The guys at JibJab are back with a vengeance...

15 July 2008

"Beacon of Light"

Obama's new TV ad is very Reagan-esque...

The New Yorker Flap

All the debate over the cover of the current issue of the New Yorker comes down to this, in my opinion:

While many Americans will laugh out loud at the satire, many more aren't smart enough to get it. The publishers of the magazine inadvertently handed the right-wing fascists plenty of fodder with which to continue to spread the lies that Sen. Obama is a towel-headed terrorist from outerspace.

Is this is a "Michael Dukakis riding in a tank" game changer? I certainly hope not, but only time will tell.

Fucker From Hell

Quote of the Day:
Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter.
-U.S. President George W. Bush, to the leaders of the other G8 countries, as he left the G8 summit last week.

The Fucker from Crawford made the defiant farewell after refusing to endorse proposed global climate-change targets.

I guess the shithead thought he was being funny. Because...you know...destroying the world our children will live in is freekin' hilarious!

Fucking asshole! January 20th can't get here soon enough.

14 July 2008

"Our Wonderful Nature"

The story of two male shrews...

Link: sevenload.com

Juliana Sophia

She arrived a month early but Juliana Sophia joined the world this past Friday afternoon, July 11th. My neice and sister are both doing quite well, and the baby should be home next week. Welcome to the world, Little Girl!

I'm Back

Didn't turn the computer on but once this weekend to buy something on line. I just needed a break from the cybersphere. I'm back now.

Happy Birthday, Brent

I love you dearly and look forward to celebrating your day when you arrive in Seattle this weekend.

11 July 2008

That's Religulous!

Thanks to Gil for sending me the link to this preview of Bill Maher's coming documentary "Religulous."

If this trailer is any indication, the Jesus-freaks are going to get their panties in a wad.

I. Can't. Wait.

End-of-the-Week Levity

Tic-Tac the chihuahua hates "C.S.I."

And another dog sings along (literally)...

10 July 2008

Happy Birthday, Beth!

On the 6th anniversary of your 39th...Happy, Happy!

(Picture: Beth with Brent last February during our Oscar weekend visit to Santa Barbara County.)

Battling Flint's Crack Epidemic

Officials in Flint, Michigan, the nation's third most dangerous city - situated 65 miles north of Detroit, the nation's most dangerous - have passed a law that will remove the most undesirable of elements from their streets...the boys who where their pants down below their ass!

If convicted, the badly dressed boys of Flint face a jail term of between 93 days and one year, and/or a $500 fine.

Quite frankly, on this issue the little guy on my right shoulder (the law and order side) beats the left-sided mini-me that is the liberal libertarian. The whole pants around the knees thing is way too out of hand, and perhaps more laws like this could serve as a very small step forward in the fight against the overwhelming presence of gangs on our urban streets.

(Graphic: Detroit Free-Press)

The Giant Returns

Sen. Ted Kennedy (Democrat-MA) returned to the Senate yesterday for the first time since being diagnosed with brain cancer. Just listen to that ovation from his colleagues...

"The Women"

The trailer for the long-awaited remake of the 1939 classic "The Women." The new film stars Meg Ryan, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett Smith, among others.

At first blush, they don't hold a candle to Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, and Joan Crawford...

The original just can't be beat. Some select scenes below...

"Holding Trevor"

The trailer for the new Here Films release starring Brent Gorski and the absolutely adorable Jay Brannan ("Shortbus")...

Fuck the Fourth Amendment

Quote of the Day:
By the time the election rolls around the only people left supporting Bush will be the Democrats in the House and Senate.
-A comment from "socalmonk" in this post from Markos Moulitsas over at DailyKos, regarding yesterday's 69-28 approval in the Senate of a bill overhauling bitterly disputed rules on secret government eavesdropping and shielding telecommunications companies from lawsuits.

This is exactly why I have decided not to cast my ballot for Nancy Pelosi this November. My representative, in her role as Speaker of the House, along with 20 Democratic Senators have caved in to a war criminal President with an anemic 28% approval rating here at home and who is well on course to be named the worst president in our nation's history. Since winning the 2006 elections, Pelosi has not been able to get her chamber to steamroll over this idiot on just about every important issue sent to the floor. As a result of her mismanagement, this FISA bill went to the Senate yesterday where it passed overwhelmingly.

You know, the Fascist-Republicans currently in the White House have wiped their asses with the Constitution since taking office. Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and yes, Barack Obama, did the same thing yesterday.

Obama particularly should be ashamed of himself. He's a Constitutional scholar, for crying out loud! What doesn't he get about the Constitution's protection against "unreasonable searches and seizures."

My disappointment runs deep today.

The Songs of Summer

From 1975, featuring Elton John on background vocals, here is "Bad Blood" by Neil Sedaka...

(It's still weird hearing Neil Sedaka sing "the bitch is in her smile" !

Obama / Kaine ?

The hapless Robert Novak is reporting over at the Fascist web rag Human Events that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is at the top of Barack Obama's list of vice-presidential picks.

I personally find this hard to believe - he's only been governor for two and a half years and his foreign policy experience is zero - but with Sen. Jim Webb taking his name out of consideration (he'd rather not go through the vetting process only two years following his 2006 senate run), Kaine would help keep Viriginia in play for the Democratic ticket.

But outside of that Kaine brings nothing to the ticket. Should Obama pick him I would be very surprised.

A Woman In A Mercedes Sees A Dog and A Goat...

...and the goat got arrested.

Only in Alabama.

09 July 2008

Mid-Week Brain Break

The Mental Health Hotline. (Hat tip: Gil.)

John McCain, Plagiarist

The slogan in John McCain's new ad is "Don't Hope For A Better Life, Vote For One." Sort of ordinary and a bit wordy, if you ask me. But there is one teensy little problem...

It's directly plagiarised from a British Conservative Party ad from the 1970's.

George W. Bush For President

Quote of the Day:
We know that George Bush was God's Candidate in 2000. We know that George Bush was God's candidate again in 2004. And George Bush has been God's president for the last 8 years. Trust in God and vote your faith. Keep America safe. Write-in George W. Bush for President in 2008.
That's right...there is a "movement" afoot to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution (the one that allows only two terms as president) and begin a write-in campaign to re-elect "God's President."

I'm not joking, but I certainly hope they are!

Terrorist Attack at U.S. Consulate In Turkey

Three police officers and three assailants were killed in an attempted terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Instanbul, Turkey this morning. According to NBC News, several armed men opened fire on the police checkpoint at the complex's main entrance.

Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said, "There is no doubt that this is a terrorist attack." While no one has claimed responsibility, one of the surviving attackers was apparently trained in Afghanistan.

So glad we're in Iraq. Aren't you?

The State of American Media

On a day when terrorists attack the American consulate in Turkey and Iran test-fires nine medium and long range missles, what is this morning's CNN "exclusive?"

Popping corn with your cell phone.

08 July 2008

The Steadicam Tracking Shot

Laboratory 101 takes a look at some of the more memorable tracking shots in movie history. My favorite is among them. Arguably the best opening scene in recent movie history, shot with one camera all the way through (I mean, the rehearsals must have taken days just to get the choreography down), check out the first three minutes of "Boogie Nights"...

The classic pool scene from the film (also done with one steadicam tracking shot) can be seen here.

Moving a bit outside of Laboratory 101's study, another great opening shot is from 2006's "Poseidon." The visual effects team on this film are credited with creating some superb effects that paved the way for such films as "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." Done in "steadicam style" and accompanied by an amazing musical score by Klaus Badelt, every single thing in the "Poseidon" opening shot (with the exception of Josh Lucas, who was filmed jogging in front of a green screen at the Sepulveda Dam in L.A.) is computer-generated...the water, the boat, the clouds, the sun, the background passengers, the flags on the railings. It's an amazing feat of computer generated imaging! The ship and the water are so life-like one can only assume that the ILM crew lost that year's Academy Award for Best Visual Effects simply because the story was lame and the film barely broke even at the box office.

In any event, give the opening shot a look. You'll swear it was filmed on the open ocean with a real cruise ship...

The Songs of Summer

The best song of the summer of 1996..."Fastlove" by George Michael...

The First Gay VP?

So, does anyone think it's ironic that Gov. Charlie Crist (Republican-FL) suddenly got engaged this month, just weeks before Sen. John McCain is to name his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket?

The rumors of Crist's homosexuality have been running rampant for years, and if McCain names him as the vice-presidential nominee the fascist right wingers will go fuckin' nuts. From the Broward-Palm Beach New Times:
The story goes that the Florida governor frequented the Green Iguana, a bar in Tampa, back in the early 1990s when he was just starting his political career. He was less careful back then, people say, and during his partying at the Green Iguana, he was openly gay.

When I got Rick Calderoni, the bar's well-known owner, on the phone, I expected him to stonewall me about it.

He didn't.

Calderoni, who is gay, confirmed that Crist came into his bar quite often and that the two of them became friends.

Getting to the point, I asked him if he knew Crist to be gay.

"Yes," he answered bluntly. "I just wish he would come out and admit it. That would be a great thing if he did."
No word yet on whether Mark Foley or Larry Craig are on McCain's "short list."

07 July 2008

Now More Than Ever

Reader email (from Larry):
Wayne, it is like your man, the Big O, is trying to get me to not vote for him. You see his fucking FISA letter? The arrogance is simply dripping from it. I've already bailed on Pelosi and have my Sheehan bumper stickers and buttons, but I'll be damned if I go over to Nader. I just may end up not voting for Prez come November. Talk some sense into me!
Yes...Sen. Obama has moved to the center a bit these past couple of weeks. I'll get to the FISA thing in a minute but let me tackle a few other issues first.


Obama has always said that the United States should be "as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." So his current positioning on Iraq shouldn't surprise anyone.

Like Obama, I (along with Larry) was among the few who were against the invasion of Iraq from the early planning stages. We should have never taken our eye off Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden. By moving resources into a country that had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11, 2001 we have allowed the Taliban to restrengthen and pissed off the entire region so thoroughly that America is less safe now than it was when President Bush took office.

That said, while it is essential that we get our troops out of there (for many reasons, not just that we shouldn't have gone in to begin with), withdrawal can not be done in one swift move. Moving American troops out in phases is the only way to keep the region semi-stable. Pull everyone out right now and let the region dissolve into chaos? The world wouldn't stand for it.

Sen. Obama should be taken at his word that he'll remove American troops from Iraq. Whether it's done in 18 months, 24 months, or by the end of his first term as president will be determined in part by his defense secretary and the commanders on the ground. To stick to a fixed timetable regardless of the reality of the situation would make "President Obama" no better than President Bush. America and the world cannot afford another four years of that shit.

Faith-Based Programs.

I must admit, Obama's embrace of such programs caught me off guard. The separation of church and state is quite evident in the Constitution; and with the budget deficit exploding out of control, handing these private religious organizations public money flies in the face of fiscal discipline. This is a major disappointment - made less so by the fact that, unlike Bush's faith-based programs, Obama’s forbids religious charities from using public money to discriminate against new hires based of faith. But if I were a Democrat in Congress and "President Obama" sent this bill to the hill, I would vote against it.

Recent Supreme Court Rulings.

Following recent Supreme Court decisions on the subjects, Sen. Obama came out in support of the death penalty for child rapists and against the gun ban in Washington, D.C. Am I disappointed in his positions here? You bet. Am I surprised? No. Obama discusses his support of the death penalty outside of capital murder cases in his book "The Audacity of Hope." In fact, when the Supreme Court issued their 5-4 ruling against the death penalty in child rape cases I knew Sen. Obama would rail against the decision. By extension, his support of the court's decision in the D.C. gun case (striking down a 30-year old gun ban), while disappointing, didn't surprise.


If one issue where Sen. Obama's move to the right these past few weeks has disappointed me most, this is it. The whole issue of wiretaps is a bit haywire to begin with. The telecommunications companies that are being offered immunity from prosecution in order to allow the government to listen in on private phone conversations are probably being unfairly targeted. The fascist government of Bush and Cheney have forced their hand on this issue.

That said, Obama's support of the new bill is misguided. I understand his desire to move to the center in order to gain some support in middle America (he does, after all, want to win this election), but he could have won that support by refusing to back this bill and instead propose one that would have allowed for the FISA courts to issue warrants allowing the tapping of phone lines.

Obama has said he will join Sen. Chris Dodd in an effort to strike the warrantless language from the bill when it arrives in the Senate. It will be interesting to see if he backs the bill should that effort fail.

Warrantless phone tapping flies in the face of the Constitution and under Bush/Cheney has paved the way for presidential abuse of power. Should he continue this warrantless policy once in office, this blog will rail against Mr. Obama as loudly as it has against Mr. Bush.

The Perfect President?

I am not going to agree with a "President Obama" on each and every issue. No American, whether they vote for him in November or not, is going to agree with any president 100% of the time. But with Obama, unlike Bush (and McCain), I trust him to make what he feels is the right decision based on his analysis of each respective situation. Even if I disagree with a specific decision, I will do so respectfully, knowing full well that he has signed a bill or issued an executive order based on an a full understanding of the issue at hand. After eight years of shooting from the hip - and the horrible situation that such governance has left our country - such enlightenment from our chief executive will be a breath of fresh air.

If Larry wants to abstain on the presidential line of his ballot in November, that is his right. But if he's doing so because he expects any candidate to be the perfect president then he's in for a load of disappointment. No president in the history of our great nation has made any citizen happy 100% of the time on every issue.

Case in point - key disappointments of recent Democratic presidents: Roosevelt put Japenese Americans in internment camps; Truman ordered the atomic bomb dropped on Japan; Johnson expanded the Vietnam War and then failed in his exectution of that war; Carter was about as hapless as they come; and Clinton threw his gay and lesbian supporters under the bus.

When you make your decision on Election Day, you weigh the good against the bad, mark your ballot on a wing and a prayer, and hope your candidate, should he or she win, makes you at least half as happy as you hoped.

And I still believe, in my heart of hearts, that America needs Barack Obama.

Now more than ever.

John Edwards vs. Karl Rove

They'll debate each other on 26 September at the University of Buffalo as part of the school’s Distinguished Speakers Series.

(Hat tip: Ben)

05 July 2008

The Death of Jesse Helms

The man was pure evil, and I am among the many who don't mourn his death in any way, shape, or form.

Joe. My. God. reviews the vile life of the former Senator from North Carolina:
- On threatening the life of a sitting president: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."

- On gays and AIDS: "It's their deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct that is responsible for the disease."

- On equality: "I've been portrayed as a caveman by some. That's not true. I think all men are equal, be they slants, beaners, or niggers."

- On civil rights: "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."

- On journalists: "The New York Times and Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves. Just about every person down there is a homosexual or lesbian."

- On the Duke University students upset by Martin Luther King's assassination: "They should ask their parents if it would be all right for their son or daughter to marry a Negro."
Enough said.

02 July 2008

Starbucks Down

Well, it seems you may have to walk one whole extra block to get that triple grande non-fat bone-dry cappuccino...
Starbucks said on Tuesday it plans to close 600 under performing U.S. stores and cut up to 12,000 full- and part-time positions, as it copes with an economic downturn and increasing competition. The coffee seller, bracing for its first full-year profit decline since 2000, has been grappling with the slowing U.S. economy and consumer spending.
But two things, seriously...

1. My sister works part time for Starbucks in an effort to supplement her teachers salary. I certainly hope this doesn't effect her.

2. This is yet another sign that the economy is in serious breakdown mode. So, when you hear someone like the hapless John Stossel say...
We are not...in recession. Get a grip, guys.
...you are forced to wonder if the psychology major who anchors ABC's "20/20" news magazine even knows what the hell he's talking about.

With record-high gas prices causing an increase in the costs of other goods such as food and services, I just don't believe the government's inflation and unemployment numbers. They seem way too low for the huge problems most Americans are having at the moment. It wouldn't surprise me a bit (A BIT) if we find out next year that the current administration fudged the numbers.

This is, after all, the administration of George W. Bush.

The Songs of Summer

Another from our current summer...the latest single from the Eagles' superb album, Long Road Out of Eden...

Enjoy "Busy Being Fabulous"...

Delta Will Charge For Free Flights

From ABC News:
Delta Air Lines Inc. said Friday it will start adding surcharges of $25 or $50 round trip on frequent flyers' free tickets to help offset soaring fuel costs.
I've been earning some pretty decent mileage flying United Airlines back and forth during this Seattle project. It wouldn't surprise me if they followed Delta on this. Without assistance from the current incompetent government, how else are these already-hobbled airlines supposed to make up for the huge increases in the cost of fuel?

Unintended Break

Sorry for the lack of posts since Friday. I was home for the weekend and spent some much needed time with Brent, Chloe, Gil, and a few other friends. And work has had my attention since I returned. Posting will continue to be sporadic through the holiday weekend, so please bear with me.