Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Classic Republican Stupidity

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Ks) is mad!

It seems that the government in China is demanding that hotels install surveillance devices that will allow them to monitor Internet usage and data transfers. Well Sen. Brownback wants us to know that this is spying and spying is wrong.

This is the public security bureau in China requiring the installation of hardware that they can listen to anybody and everybody’s and their communications and their recordings that are sent over the Internet in a real-time purpose or over long-term. That’s spying, John. […] Your Internet communications can all be monitored in a real time basis by the public security bureau of the Chinese government. I think they’re clearly intent upon spying. they’re going to be spying.

He is upset, he is offended, he is shocked. He is also a lying two faced idiot.

He seems to have forgotten that the Bush administration did just about the same thing almost 8 years ago. In fact they Bush Administration went China one better and placed their spying devices where they could intercept all communication, not just that coming out of hotels.

Please remember this man, who is now shocked and offended by China's actions, voted to allow the US government to spy on electronic communication of it's citizens without any oversight. He refused to take any action to help stop the Bush spying efforts and voted to not hold responsible those companies who broke the law by spying on our communications in the US. Yet, this man is livid about China's actions.

Stupid and dishonest, two defining traits of so many current members of the Republican party.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Sprained my Shoulder

Patting my self on the back.

Yesterday I mentioned that the Tennessee Shooter, while being a general nut, was not doubt influenced by the bile that is so often vomited up by the American right wing media.

well guess what he was.

A Powell man sits alone in a jail cell following a fatal shotgun rampage in a church prompted by a hatred of liberalism and Democratic leaders who have hamstrung the nation's war on terror, records show.


Still seized three books from Adkisson's home, including "The O'Reilly Factor," by television commentator Bill O'Reilly; "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder," by radio personality Michael Savage; and "Let Freedom Ring," by political pundit Sean Hannity.

He bought books by O'Reilly, Savage and Hannity. I bet that the spent hours watching Fox news and listening to Rush and the rest of the tiny brain crowd.

I will also note how the paper didn't add perceived to the line about Democratic leaders but why anyone expect the traditional media do their job.


An Amazing Fact About South Carolina Politics

One man orchestrated over half a million dollars in donations to candidates in the primaries.

And he doesn't even live in the state.

So just how badly does NYC millionaire Howard Rich want our state to be a "foothold state" for the privatization of public schools? How badly does he want a state house that will pass his voucher and tax credit agenda?


A total of 37 candidates got a total of over $579,000 through the funding scheme. $419,000 of that came from at least thirty entities using an address at 73 Spring St., New York City.

We should just put a giant for sale sign up at the state house, at least it would be an honest reflection of how we operate.


Monday, July 28, 2008

It Was Bound To Happen

Since Regan's rule in the 80s, right wing radio has been a dominate player in political discourse. They have preached that the liberals were to blame for all that was wrong with the world. They have encouraged irrational thinking and cultivated a passionate hatred for people and ideas on the left.

And now it appears that Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Savage, and so many others may have their first scalps.

KPD Chief Owen says the shooter acted alone, and based on a letter found after the shooting, the suspect was troubled by joblessness, and wanted to strike a blow at a "liberal movement."

When you look as some of the specific issues that appear to have fed his anger it is clear that he has no real understanding of what the left has been fighting for. One clear trigger for his anger is that fact that he was jobless a second appears to be that his food stamps had reduced. These are both issues where the left has tried to fight off the right wing and the Republican party and stand with workers like Adkisson.

Broadly speaking, the left has championed fair not free trade. When times got tough the left tried to extend jobless benefits and expand the food stamp program. But somehow in this man's broken and dysfunctional mind he has developed the view the those who were trying most to aid him and others like him we to blame for his problems. Where could this screwed up understanding of this nation (at least as it is currently being reported in the media) have come from?

Now I wonder, just how much right wing media did this man consume? I suspect that it was not an insignificant amount.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

It Is Going To Be A Nasty Race

It was clear early on that the Democratic Party's choice for president would provide plenty of red herrings for the slimy wing of the republican party to use in silly false attacks. They have attacked him for his name, his mixed racial parentage and made up issues about his faith.

This is standard operating procedure for the Republicans but Obama's fit so perfectly into the prejudices of this segment of the party that you knew that the number of attacks and their transparent, crude and racist nature would create a vile stream of hate that will continue to taint our nation as long as Obama is a national figure.

It was also obvious that, in time, the McCain camp would have to embrace this type of attack. His camp lacks the enthusiasm, ideas or energy that is present in the Obama camp. He can not run on his agenda, for it is just a continuation of the Bush Administration and Republican Party agenda that has been rejected by the majority of people of this nation. So it was clear that the only path left is to attack Obama on non-issues and it is safe to assume that these attacks will be only slight less disgusting that that of the likes of Sen. Bryant (R-Anderson S.C.).

I am just surprised that it happened so early. I have to admit the Obama camp has responded well.

“John McCain is an honorable man who is running an increasingly dishonorable campaign. Senator McCain knows full well that Senator Obama strongly supports and honors our troops, which is what makes this attack so disingenuous. Senator Obama was honored to meet with our men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan this week and has visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed numerous times. This politicization of our soldiers is exactly what Senator Obama sought to avoid, and it's not worthy of Senator McCain or the 'civil' campaign he claimed he would run,”

With Rove now working with McCain, we can expect a lot more of these attacks based on lies.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Media Check Weeks 3-5

I had 3 more weeks of spot checking the online headlines of the 3 major cable news services. As I have stated before this is simply spot checking and this week, one where Obama is said to have gotten a lot of favorable press, I was not able to do much tracking. But this is quite indicative of how most of the population get their news, spot checks, quick updates when they have a second to check in.

Over the last three week I saw McCain get 14 positive headlines and 10 that were negative. Obama has gotten a lot more headline mentions and it has been a touch more positive that McCain's. Obama got 28 positive mentions on the front page and 22 that were negative.

When we look at it from a network by network basis we see that CNN had 6 positive and 5 negative mentions of McCain and Obama pulled in 15 positive and 8 negative. On MSNBC we saw 6 Positive for McCain and 4 Negative while Obama went 10-10. Over a Fox, a site I check far less often, McCain went 2-1 Obama 3-4.

The Big difference in coverage this period, three weeks, is that since the Obama world tour hit the news, Obama is getting a lot more press than McCain, but the tone has not really shifted.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday's Links

This week there aren't any. I have been so busy at work I have not had much time to do any real reading myself, so I have not had time to come up with any options for today list.

So, look on the right hand side of this page and check out a few of the blogs linked there. I suspect that you will find something of value to spend your time with.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An End Of The Empire Sale

Follow this link for Lewis Black's take on the current sale off of American Icons. As one would expect, the language is not family friendly.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Who Needs Foreign Policy Help?

One of the arguments that the McCain camp keeps trying to make is John McCain is the far more seasoned foreign policy voice. Yet, Sen. McCain keeps making obvious and stunningly dumb misstatements that have to make you wonder about this.

He has made some small and understandable mistakes, he has referred to the Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia. He has made larger mistakes like confusing Sudan with Somalia. He has complained about Obama's judgments about the war, and then adopted his position on Afghanistan. And he has inexcusably confused the alliances between shia, sunni, Iran and Al Quada.

After looking at these series of mistakes it takes an astounding amount of hubris to claim the right to lecture anyone about world affairs. In fact I would recommend that John McCain try to pick up a few simple world geography classes.

And it was McCain who owns the first big gaffe of the trip -- appearing to confuse Iraq and Afghanistan.

Asked by ABC's Diane Sawyer Monday morning whether the "the situation in Afghanistan in precarious and urgent," McCain responded:

"I think it's serious. . . . It's a serious situation, but there's a lot of things we need to do. 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," said McCain, R-Ariz., said on "Good Morning America."

Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border. Afghanistan and Pakistan do.

Yet another mistake from the self proclaimed expert.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Want A Perfect Example of the Class of South Carolina


Just click over to Representative Kevin Bryant's Blog (R-Anderson) for a sample.

Yes, we did have the bigoted preacher who tried the same stunt, but Kevin is an elected Representative of the state.

Just more evidence that getting elected doesn't increase ones intelligence.

A tip of the hat to and an acknowledgment that we in South Carolina can often be Not Very Bright


Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Friday

and your links to interesting reading are below.

This is not a single post, but a collection of post. At Barbecue & Politics a review of how much money one man will spend in an effort to buy control of the South Carolina House.

An ode to a nation that is gone Can be found at BadTux the Snarky Penguin

Could the Vets for Freedom, a Republican AstroTurf group be lying?. Seeing the Forest point to a good reason to think they may be.

Rob's Blog looks at the Oil, Banking and the effects of deregulation.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

If You Are Going To Lie

At least do it well.

After the republicans spent a little over a week lying about China drilling for oil off the Florida coast, and after finally being called on it, the Republicans have come up with a new lie; That drilling offshore is safe since Hurricane Katrina didn't cause any oil spills.

Well this is even easier to disprove that the China lie. There were media assessments and reports about the spill damage and there were government funded reports outlining the damage. There was a lot of evidence that oil spills as a result of the Hurricanes were a major issue.

It was a bad lie and it was a sloppy lie.

But the bought and paid for Republican politicians act as spokespersons for the oil industry and tell these easily debunked lies. And more amazingly, the media doesn't even challenge them, and lets them continue to tell these lies for weeks.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some South Carolina Polling Numbers

PPP (Public Policy Polling) has a new poll out for the South Carolina Presidential race.

Long story short; John McCain hold a noteworthy lead, but it isn't anything special. He is leading 45-39, with a margin of error of 4.2%. I still think that South Carolina is a McCain lock but McCain can't take it easy. His low polling numbers indicate that the hard core right wing that is so well represented in the population of South Carolina are still not strongly behind him.

With Obama placing paid staff in state and if the youthful enthusiasm can be fully tapped, there is an outside chance that South Carolina will at least be competitive. Mix in a big effort by Barr sucking away some of McCains votes and there is an outside chance, maybe 1 in 10, that South Carolina could turn purple.

This is just another indicator that the damage that Bush has done to the Republican brand can not be underestimated.


Monday, July 14, 2008

So, This Is How A Free Market Works

Ever since Ronald Regan's rule in the 80s we have been moving away from a regulated market. Our republican leaders have preached on the ill of governmental regulation and the wonders of the self correcting free market. They have spoken with an evangelist's fervor on how, by removing the burden of following government imposed rules and standards and letting the natural economic rules of survival of the most fit, American business and a market economy would manage itself.

And now we get to see this free market correction in action.

The Fed said in the plan announced Sunday it would lend to the two companies “should such lending prove necessary.” Secretary Henry Paulson said the Treasury is asking Congress for quick approval of a plan to expand its line of credit to the two companies and to make an equity investment in the companies, if necessary.

For the last almost 30 years we have been following this economic model. The Republicans and the DLC Democrats have both embraced the idea that free market 'economic regulation' was far better and far cheaper and far more effective than government oversight.

Yea, this is working great isn't it. How about we let this lie die and get back to having our government do it's job.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

South Carolina Governor Sanford

Confirms, John McCain's presidency would just be 4 more years of George Bush.

Blitzer: Are there any significant economic differences between what the Bush administration has put forward over these many years as opposed to John McCain’s support?

Sanford: Yea, I mean for instance take, you know, ummm, ahhh, take for instance the issue of, ahhhh..(knocks on table) I’m drawing a blank. I hate it when I do that, particularly on TV.

Yet, our Governor seems to think we can use 4 more years of this fabulous Republican economic stewardship.

Not very birght, is he.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday, A Few Links

For your reading pleasure.

From Crooks and Liars, a question. How many loathsome ideas will the McCain staff voice.

Ed at Dispatches From the Culture Wars wants us all to remember, all to often it is not what you know but who you know.

At Vanity Press, and question on how you might define elitist.

And last but, when comments are considered, certainly not least, PZ Meyers Pharyngula. Mid week he noticed that a few rather unhinged Catholics were freaking out because someone failed to consume the host and returned to the pew with it in his hand (to show it to a friend who had never seen one of the communion crackers). A day or so later, Bill Donohue, a professionally offended Catholic and religious right talking head noticed PZ's post and the fireworks started in earnest. The post are interesting, the comments, while not safe for work and highly inflammatory at times are great reading.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

NPR Does Healthcare

NPR has been doing a series this week on health care and how other industrialised nations address this issue. They are looking at the ways other nations deliver health care, how the people there feel about the health care offered them, and how it compares to the US. We do not fare well, but that should surprise no one.

Today's story focused on France and motherhood, it, like the rest of the series, is worth listening to. What it comes down to is France wants it people to get good and comprehensive medical care and the US just doesn't care.

Again, this should surprise no one, but listening to this series has reinforced my opinion that our health care system is worthless, totally broken, and our efforts should not be focused on tweaking what is in place, but a fundamental restructuring of every aspect of health care delivery.

I don't know where to start, but I do know that we are wasting our time when we argue over minor and mostly cosmetic changes in a system as screwed up as ours is.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Never Let Facts

Get in the way of advertising campaign.

McCain's new radio ad, in Spanish, aims to show Florida would benefit from the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which he supports. But every number in the ad is wrong, except one

Personally I am surprised that they didn't make up that one too.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cheney Meddled On Climate

I hope no one is surprised.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s office pushed for major deletions in congressional testimony on the public health consequences of climate change, fearing the presentation by a leading health official might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases

Typical Republican behavior, when the facts become a nuisance, hide them or lie about them.


Monday, July 07, 2008

A Timely Reminder

At some point this week the Democrats in the Senate will follow the lead of the Democrats in the House and give a free pass the the Bush administration and the telecommunication companies that spied on the people of the US by both making the spying legal and protecting those who allowed if from the consequences of their illegal activity.

The justification for this is that 9-11 'changed everything'. It is a cowards argument and provides no justification for shredding the constitution, but it is the main excuse we hear as to why this is important.

My question is, if 9-11 changed everything and made domestic spying acceptable, why did this spy program start before 9-11.

Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week.

Details about the alleged NSA program have been redacted from the documents, but Nacchio's lawyer said last year that the NSA had approached the company about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records.

An now that the Democrats have caved in it is highly unlikely that we will ever know when the domestic spying began, who was spied upon illegally and why the person way spied upon.

Thanks guys, another great job of defending American principals.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Week 2 of the Media Check

This very unscientific poll of news website headlines enters week 2. I have again spot checked the CNN, Faux, and MSNBC sites and rated the front page headlines about McCain and Obama.

This week McCain had 7 headlines that our crack staff viewed as casting a positive light on him, and 8 with a negative tone. Obama had 11 positive and 9 negative. A bit of a reversial from last week when McCain had a large advantage in positive to negative, and Obama had a notable disadvantage.

When broken down by network we see:

McCain 3 Positive 2 Negative
Obama 5 Positive 3 Negative
McCain 1 Positive 1 Negative
Obama 2 Positive 2 Negative
McCain 3 Positive 5 Negative
Obama 4 Positive 4 Positive

A note on Faux News's numbers; I do not visit Faux normally, so in my day I tend to see it less often than CNN and MSNBC. In addition, they tend to have only 3 major headlines on the front page, while MSNBC may have 6-10 and CNN even more.

These are just random samples, and not intended to be comprehensive. But the samples I track are the ones most likely to be seen by those visiting the various sites.


Friday, July 04, 2008

FOX News Lies

The Republicans Just Keep Lying

One of the newer little diddies running around is the lie that Obama has voted 94 times for higher taxes. Well, as one would expect, when you dig a little deeper you find out it is just not true.

The McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee both claim that Obama has voted 94 times "for higher taxes." We find that their count is padded.


If this type of claim sounds familiar, it's because George W. Bush's campaign used a similar refrain against John Kerry in 2004, charging that Kerry voted for "higher taxes" a whopping 350 times. We found that claim to be incorrect as well. This time around, Republicans are using some of the same tricky accounting to beef up the number of votes.

Another example of how John McCain is simply a continuation of the Bush administration, with an even nastier disposition.


Happy 4th


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Is McCain Just Bush Part 3?

Just consider this headline McCain camp puts Rove man in charge

Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign has gone through its second shake-up in a year. Responding to Republican concern that his candidacy was faltering, McCain put a veteran of President Bush's 2004 campaign in charge of day-to-day operations.


The elevation of Steve Schmidt -- who worked closely with Karl Rove -- at McCain's headquarters represented a sharp diminishment of the responsibilities of Rick Davis, who has been McCain's campaign manager since the last shake-up nearly a year ago. The move is the latest sign of increasing influence of veterans of Rove's shop in the McCain operation.

Yet they right keeps trying to claim that McCain represents change.

Not only do they lie all the time, they lie badly.


A Head Turning Poll

A new Rasmussen Poll has Obama over McCain by 5 points.

Barack Obama is leading John McCain by five percentage points in Montana. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state shows Obama attracting 48% of the vote while McCain earns 43%.

It is just at the margin of error (4.5%), but to me it is still amazing.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Everything Old Is New Again

If you go back in time, a little over 40 years, Columbia celebrated the arrival of commercial jet service. One of the planes that flew into Columbia was the DC-9. It was a small plane, sat low to the ground (some carried their own stairs for passenger operations) and carried about 100 passengers.

Time went on and the planes got bigger. Columbia had regular service with 727s, M80s, even L-1011s. Then we started to see smaller planes. Twin Otters, and Saabs, moving up to the CRJs that are seen everywhere, who have all but pushed the larger jets out of the local airport.

And now we have about gone full circle. We are about the see the introduction of the modern version of the DC-9/10. An Embraer E-Jet, seating just under 100 passengers, another small low to the ground jet will soon start to service our city.

Just this time it will not be big news and it is not a national trunk airline flying this aircraft. Heck, most people may never be aware that this is happening, They will not know that Shuttle America is operating this flight, they will not know this 'baby jet' is actually about the size of the early commercial jets that were a signal of the jet age coming to town.

They will just see it as a Delta Commuter flight with undersized equipment, not aware that we are just back at where we were in 1965.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Shiia, Sunni. Sudan, Somalia

For John McCain, it is all so confusing.


What Happens When You Tell The Truth?

The popular media misconstrues your statement, and almost no one pays attention to the fact that you are making a valid point.

General Wesley Clark had the gall to state that John McCain's military experience had nothing to do with his qualifications for President.


spending 5 years getting tortured in a POW camp qualifies you for a lifetime of physical and psychological therapy and permanent disability payments from the Navy, not for President