18 August 2009

With a Heavy Heart

After much consideration, it is with a heavy heart that I announce the suspension of this blog. Following last month's health scare I realize I just don't have the time to tend to USW right now. Between the long commutes to and from work and major projects ramping up at the office, I need to find the time to tend to my doctor's orders: exercise more and decrease my stress levels. Unfortunately, the only logical cut that can be made in my schedule at the moment is to cease blogging.

A deep, heartfelt thank you to the 400+ readers who checked in everyday. This "little blog that could" was never a DailyKos or a Daily Dish, and I never intended it to be. USW was simply a way for me to express my thoughts on matters of the day, with the occasional personal post thrown in for good measure, as well as some comedy and some music (I love my music). I would have been thrilled with 3 or 4 readers. That an average of 426 of you clicked in each weekday to see what I was rambling on about was a thrill beyond measure.

If and when I come back, the blog will be more streamlined. If and when that happens, I'll let some key players know. But for now, I need to close shop.

You all take care of yourselves...and each other.

And, again, thank you.

11 August 2009

Summer Recess

My sister has been visiting from Chicago these past few days, thus the lack of posts here on the ol' blog. She leaves town tonight, but I have decided to take the rest of the week off. Unless something huge happens in the interim, you'll hear from me again after the weekend.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 1921 - 2009

Eunice Kennedy Shriver - sister to President John Kennedy and Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy, mother to California First Lady Maria Shriver, and founder of the Special Olympics - died early this morning. She was 88.

07 August 2009

Unemployment Drops

The national unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly in July, down to 9.4%. The Obama administration had been bracing for a number above 10%. Whether this means we've truly turned a corner or if this is just a bump on the road to long term unemployment remains to be seen.

Shut Up

Quote of the Day:
I expect to be held responsible, but I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking.
-President Obama, yesterday at a party fundraiser in Virginia.

The wing-nuts on the right will, of course, jump all over the President for those remarks. That would be fine if they contributed anything of substance to the debate. But they do nothing but scream at the top of their lungs, pound their fists on the floor, and say "no."

Thus, Mr. Obama asks them to zip it while he attempts to rectify things.

06 August 2009

John Hughes, 1950 - 2009

The director of such classic 80s films as "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles" died of a heart attack in New York today. He was 59.

Disaster Porn

"The Poseidon Adventure," "Independence Day," and "The Day After Tomorrow" all rolled into one...

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed today by a Senate vote of 61-38. Eight Republicans joined 59 Democrats in a "yes" vote, with Sen. Ted Kennedy (Democrat-MA) missing the roll call due to illness.

NBC News reports that she'll be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday. (Let's hope he doesn't try to wing it this time.)

Congratulations Associate Justice Sotomayor!

The Secret Plot to Kill Old People

A must-see segment from Rachel Maddow...

The Better Choice?

Really? With Sarah Palin on the ticket, Sen. Alren Specter (then a Republican, now a Demorcat-PA) thought the Republican ticket was the better choice? That she represented the moderate wing of the Republican Party?

He has since become a Democrat, however this clip will be his Achilles heel going into next year's Democratic primary. And it should be.

05 August 2009

Your Daily Santorum

Today's Daily Santorum award goes to the powers that be at CNN. Greg Sargent has the poop on the scoop:
I’m told by a CNN source that the network privately pressed cable operators not to run the Media Matters ad attacking Dobbs, which pilloried his footsie with the birthers as CNN’s “Lou Dobbs problem.”
Here is the ad in question...

The Arrival

The Statement

Yesterday's Glorious News

The news that American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were released from a North Korean prison yesterday is truly glorious news. Their release - secured (without a single shot fired, thank you very much) by former president Bill Clinton working in tandem with his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former vice-president Al Gore, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, and President Obama - proves, I think, that the Democrats are grounded, thoughtful and steady on matters of foreign policy. Had we been seven months into the presidency of George W. Bush rather than Barack Obama, those two women would have been left to rot.

Steve Clemons talks with Keith Olbermann about Mr. Clinton's efforts in this matter, and how this might well serve as a reset button in relations between the U.S. and North Korea after eight long years of incompetence by the Bush administration...

Update: The Fascist wing of the Republican Party, of course, have their panties in a wad over this. "Appeasement!" "Weak!"


Mid-Week Brain Break

The next generation of air travel...

04 August 2009


Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Birthers Gone Berserk

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on this whole birther thing:
If there's been a more clinically insane political phenomenon in my lifetime than the "birthers," I've missed it. Is this what our national discourse has come to? Sheer paranoid fantasy?

...Is this an orchestrated campaign to somehow delegitimize Obama's presidency? Is the fact that he is the first African American president a factor? Is it that some people can't or won't accept that he won the election and serves as commander in chief?

Maybe, maybe not. Trying to analyze the "birther" phenomenon would mean taking it seriously, and taking it seriously would be like arguing about the color of unicorns. About all that can be said is that a bunch of lost, confused and frightened people have decided to seek refuge in conspiratorial make-believe. I hope they're harmless. And I hope they seek help.
Well, there is another political phenomenon brewing that might rival this if it has any legs. Some on the super-duper extreme fringes of the right have some wacky idea that President Obama has instructed FEMA to build concentration camps. (Actually, they're mental institutions for the deranged fascists among us...but, ssshhh, don't tell anyone.)

As for the campaign to delegitimize Obama's election, that is the typical M.O. for the right wing crazies. They had their panties in a bunch back when Clinton was president. ("Oh my God, he only received 43% of the vote," they screamed. Yet they were strangely silent when their heaven sent savior, George W. Bush, took office after losing the popular vote.) They just can't stand it when a Democrat is president.

Really. It's that simple. Ronald Reagan could come back with the same brand of conservative politics he governed with, but the bat-shit crazies would have none of it if Reagan's name were followed with the letter "D."

As for the birthers, Robinson makes a very good point: We hope they're harmless. But we would do well to remember that the genetic make up of these imbeciles produced a guy by the name of Timothy McVeigh.

Update: Case in point...

Day-yum! Someone bring that woman a straight jacket.


Keith Olbermann's thorough, passionate commentary on the health care debate...

03 August 2009

Little Miss Chloe

Not having any of this cold foggy Monday morning...

Disgusting and Beyond Vile

From Rex Wockner:
A gunman sprayed bullets at a youth meeting in the basement of one of Tel Aviv's two gay centers Aug. 1, killing two people and injuring at least 15, several seriously.
Andrew Sullivan quotes the sister of Nir Katz, one of the two killed:
Nir came out of the closet when he was 20, and since that moment wore the flag of gay pride on his sleeve, believed in what he was doing and always walked with his head held high.
A spontaneous protest took place in the streets of Tel Aviv later that night...

Legalize It & Tax the Hell Out of It

Pot, that is...

Look, alcohol and tobacco are infinitely more lethal than marijuana. In fact, marijuana has proven to be a god-send to many with medical problems of one sort or another. It's California's #1 cash crop, so why not legalize and tax the hell out of it?

Believe me...it would reduce our state's budget gap pretty damn quick.

Post-Existing Condition

Quote of the Day:
I had cancer a few years ago. I like the fact that if I lose my job, I won't be able to get any insurance because of my illness. It reminds me of my homeowners' insurance, which gets canceled after a break-in. I like the choice I'd face if, God forbid, the cancer recurs -- sell my house to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment, or die. That's what you call a "post-existing condition."
-Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, in a must-read health care essay.

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Now the bat-shit nut jobs claim there is a Kenyan birth certificate. The folks over at DailyKos, however, debunk the claim straight away.

More debunking here.

01 August 2009

"Jesus In Your Dog's Ass"

Bill Maher's best "New Rules" segment in a long time...

Digging Ourselves Out

The President's weekly address...

Who makes up the birther movement?

No surprises here. A DailyKos/Research 2000 poll shows the bat-shit birthers are Republican and from the South:
Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?

Yes 77%
No 11%
Not sure 12%

Polling breakdown (pay special attention to those Republican and Southern numbers):


Yes 93%
No 4%
Not sure 3%

Yes 42%
No 28%
Not sure 30%

Independents (No party affiliation)

Yes 83%
No 8%
Not sure 9%


Yes 93%
No 4%
Not sure 3%

Yes 47%
No 23%
Not sure 30%

Yes 90%
No 6%
Not sure 4%

Yes 87%
No 7%
Not sure 6%
Markos Moulitsas, publisher and founder of DailyKos, talked with Ed Schultz about the polling results...