Sunday, August 31, 2008

Graham (R-SC) Making A Fool Of Himself (Again)

Our Honorable Senator Graham is trying to defend the Republican VP choice by complaining about Obama's Senate attendance. There are only 2 problems with that:

1) He lies about Obama's absentee rate, claiming that it is over 50%, it isn't

2) His man, John McCain, has missed about 30 percent more Senate seasons than Obama.

At this point I tend to ask, is he dishonest or stupid, but with our man Graham it is a safe bet that he is both dishonest (he knows he is lying about Obama, but thinks it's OK) and stupid (did think about how this line of complaint would look when reflected onto his one candidate).

But I must admit, dishonest and stupid to seem to be a perfect combination for a Republican from South Carolina.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Tabs Corrupt Republican

To serve as his running mate

She appears to be a classic example of corrupt power abusing Republican

Tue, 07/29/2008 - 13:27 — Judicial Watch Blog
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is being investigated for abruptly firing the state’s public safety commissioner because he wouldn’t get rid of a state trooper who had gone through a bitter divorce with the governor’s sister.

As the mayor of Wasilla, the Republican governor had written a letter of recommendation for her ex brother-in-law (Mike Wooten) to get the trooper job in 2000, but her sister went through a nasty divorce and custody battle in 2005 that some say led Palin to push for the trooper’s firing.


God Does Have A Sense Of Humor

You may remember some fake Christians tried to advance a very stupid and childish campaign to pray for rain during Obama's acceptance speech.

Well it appears that their prayers may not have been answered in a manner they expected.

Republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.

I think Obama may have picked up another super delegate.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

I had so much planned for the convention. I was planning on being a dedicated viewer and prolific commentator.

And the life happens.

Work has been a disaster this week. We have had people working till midnight Tuesday and till 5am this morning. While I have not had to pull hours that long, I have gotten home after 8:30pm every day this week.

On top of that we have had a family emergency with the death of my Mother's sister on the west coast.

So instead of joyfully watching the convention and adding then to the national dialog, I have been limited to only an few minutes of coverage every day. To make matters worse, there is a great new way to enjoy the event. Tim at Cracked the Bell, and a number of others blogger are hosting Cover it live during the conventions. A Internet tool that allows for conversations and live group blogging of an event.

Short of being there, it is the best way to view the action.

I hope I am able to join in the fun tonight, I fear that Gang aft a-gley will come into play again.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reflections On Day 1

Since I am slammed at work this will be brief.

The show last night was very very good. The speeches were strong and the energy was palpable, but;

We have to attack.

The Republicans are so effective at this and the Democrats are so bad at it. Unfortunately, attacks move voters and unless we kick it up we will have 4 more years of George Bush's policies.

It is type of politics I hate, but it is the only type that has been proven to be effective.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Convention Coverage

Click over to Cracked The Bell where Tim and selected guest bloggers will provide coverage of the Democratic Convention with a palmetto perspective.


Friday, August 22, 2008

The McCains Will Lie About Anything

How can you lie about your child so you can use them a as political prop.

McCain lied about his wife Cindy meeting Mother Teresa

How do you not remember, or remember when it didn't happen, that you met Mother Teresa? Even worse? How do you remember, incorrectly, that that is how you adopted your daughter? Here is what McCain's campaign Web site used to claim about his wife,
Cindy led 55 medical missions to third world and war-torn countries during AVMT's seven years of existence. On one of those missions, Mother Teresa convinced Cindy to take two babies in need of medical attention to the United States. One of those babies is now their adopted daughter, 15 year old Bridget McCain.

It isn't true:

The McCain campaign had also put out the story that Mother Teresa “convinced” Cindy to bring home two orphans from Bangladesh in 1991.

Mrs. McCain, it turns out, never met Mother Teresa on that trip. (Once contacted by the Monitor, the campaign revised the story on its website.)

This is just disgusting.

and we have this rather obvious and easily checked lie:

I know, it isn't a surprise


Friday's Recomended Links

Click over and enjoy.

Sacraments Wholesale considers his occupation and pay grades, wonderful stuff.

Joe Wilson's (R-SC) latest efforts to rip off the South Carolina taxpayer is the focus of a couple of Elonkey posts.

Respectful Insolence looks at the damage being done by antivaccinationists, and what special gift that has given us.

The quick (and often foolish) response of the right wing talking heads in circling the wagons to protect John McCain is noted at Sadly No.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

So What Reason Fits

There are only two excuses for McCain's not knowing how many mansions he owns.

1. He is so rich and so out of touch he just doesn't care about what most people consider one of their prize possessions.

2. He is suffering from early stage dementia.

Either answer disqualifies him from serving as our president.


Polling, Defining and Stupidity

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public"

This is a lesson that the Democratic Party seems unable to learn.

Recent polling data shows that the presidential race it getting tighter. John McCain has been able to define Obama as a 'celebrity', the whisper campaigns keep the false issue of his faith in play and of course old fashioned racism has an impact. The end result is both Candidates, on a national level, are neck and neck.

Then you see polls focused on issues, and it is a landslide for the left. The American people want the product that the Democrats are selling. The trouble is, the Democrats have not been able to get their message heard over the noise coming from the Republicans.

The debate is again focused on style over substance. We hear arguments about elitism and college papers, vacations and parents faith but we don't hear about health care, the budget, civil rights or any other issue that matters.

This year has been just like every election that I have followed. The Democrats have gone in thinking that they can debate the issues, failing to recognise that the Republican party, the traditional media and even the American public don't want to hear it. Talking about Social Security, health care systems, defense budgets and national infrastructure takes time, it not that exciting, it demands thought and grown-up behavior. To make these efforts work will require compromise and nuanced ideas. It takes time and effort devise workable solutions, there is no quick easy fix.

While vital and important these issues are not what most citizens seem able to focus on. They are complex, hard to understand and are not fun to think about or work on. These issues are not real good for TV and radio either. They don't translate well into sound bites and are far to complex for most talking head arguments. Simply put they are not nearly as easy as gossiping about a candidates elementary school or private life.

So while the Democrats offer up a plan of attack that focus on ideas, the media and the Republicans offer a cage of poo flinging monkeys. We all know where the American public, and thus the political debate will choose to focus.

They want poo flinging monkeys and some still wonder how the polls could be narrowing.

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public"


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just A Quick Reminder

In all the media reporting about Russia's (and I agree totally unjustified) failure to leave Georgian lands, Russia's efforts to punish Georgia's military (justly this time) and the west's anger over the situation one little detail never gets mentioned.

Georgia not Russia was the initial aggressor.

Yes, in case you missed it, and if you have been getting your news from the US media there is very good chance that you did, little, abused, defenseless and misunderstood Georgia started this fight by attacking land that big ol' meanie Russia was protecting.

This little detail needs to be mentioned anytime someone talks about current affairs, and especially needs to be mentioned the prospect of Georgia being a member of NATO.

Just consider this, if Georgia had been a member of NATO 2 weeks ago, by treaty obligation the US, Canada and most of Europe's nations would now be a war with Russia because of one small nations minor miscalculation.


Monday, August 18, 2008

More Evidence, McCain is 4 More Year Of Bush

One of the men often mentioned as a top choice as a running mate for McCain can not even think of anything new that John will bring to DC. Just more of the same; John McBush with four more years of war, economic malaise and concentration of wealth in the top .1% of the population.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

What Are They Talking About?

The Boston paper did a couple of word clouds based on what are the most mentioned terms in the presidential candidates blogs.

What I noticed first is McCain's obsession with Obama. The second is just how positive Obama's is. He talks of Future, Change and Hope, and how negative John McCain's is, his focus is opposed, canceled and skipped.

McCain is presenting no real ideas. He offers little hope and no room to dream, just the promise of 4 more years of Bush policies.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This Is What You Get

When you let your leaders act like uneducated criminals.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the United States for viewing Georgia as the victim, instead of the aggressor, and for airlifting Georgian troops back home from Iraq on Sunday.

"Of course, Saddam Hussein ought to have been hanged for destroying several Shiite villages," Putin said in Moscow. "And the incumbent Georgian leaders who razed ten Ossetian villages at once, who ran elderly people and children with tanks, who burned civilian alive in their sheds - these leaders must be taken under protection."

Our own past behavior and foolish excuses are tossed back at us.


Monday, August 11, 2008

My God, John McCain Has Been Grounded

His people have placed him on restriction and taken his cell phone.

Mr. Schmidt has sought to cut down on Mr. McCain’s use of his cellphone and limit the people who have regular access to Mr. McCain in an effort to keep him more focused, advisers said. He has been the impetus for an effort by Mr. McCain to limit sharply his engagements with reporters, the kind of freewheeling encounters that Mr. McCain enjoys — and that helped him charm the news media for years — but that often lead him to veer from his campaign’s message of the day.
Emphasis mine

In addition it looks like he is also being sent to bed early.

don't know if you like this much detail -- if I can sleep in to about 7:30 or 8, then it really helps me. When I get up real early, like 5:30 or 6, then, you know, you don't go to bed until 10, 10:30 or 11 -- it seems to help me to get up a little later in the morning.

His staff is treating him like a wayward 14 year old or a more apt comparison, a slight senile grandfather who regally had to be reminded to zip up after a trip to the bathroom.


Georgia, Russia and South Ossetia Part 2

One odd thing I have noticed in media reports from Georgia is the anger and fear of the Georgian population.

The fear is understandable, war should scare the hell out of rational human being. Anger too has it's place but where the Georgians are projecting has me a bit confused. The anger appears to be directed at the people of South Ossetia, Russia and the USA (the west).

I can fully understand the anger they feel to the people of South Ossetia. This is the root of the conflict, and if this had been resolved then there would be no war. In addition, they are understandably mad at the Russians for supporting South Ossetia in it's efforts to leave Georgia and for their current attacks on Georgia (a far less understandable position, since it was Georgia who attacked Russian troops). They are also mad at the west because we are not doing more to stop Russia from attacking them.

This is the one I find rather confusing. It was the government of Georgia who escalated this fight, apparently without consulting the west. To do this they had to attack the Russians who were acting as 'peacekeepers' in South Ossetia. Russia responded as any nation who's troops have been attacked and fought back. In addition this gave Russia the perfect excuse to use force of arms to achieve their political goals of weakening Georgia. If the facts of the case are as I understand them, this was a huge miscalculation on the part of the Government of Georgia, and most of the anger should be aimed driectlt at them.

Georgia walked up to the biggest guy on the beach and kicked sand in his face. Now that they have this guys attention, they want to run over and hide behind us. But because we have, so far, refused to beat this guy up for them, they are mad at us.

Sadly typical, but not very rational.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Georgia, Russia and South Ossetia

This little adventure on the part of the Georgian government has held my attention for the last couple of day (well that and the Olympics). I keep thinking that some information will come out that makes Georgia's action make any sort of sense.

From what I can piece together; Over the last few weeks the cross border fire between the South Ossetia rebels and the Georgian military has been (per media reports) rather heavy. As a result the Georgian government made the decision to send forces into an area that, in addition to rebel forces, also had Russian 'peacekeeping forces' on duty.

In effect Georgia decided to attack Russia.

The foolishness of this boggles the mind.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Cindy McCain A Stripper?

Well, it appears that her husband thinks she should jump on stage and give it a go.

It holds a Miss Buffalo Chip contest every night, which is essentially a topless beauty pageant. And occasionally bottomless, too. During a drenching rain Wednesday night, the contest broke up into smaller groups and one woman wound up dancing naked on a bar top. Her boyfriend/husband saw her and angrily dragged her away as she struggled to put her pants back on and muttered something about how, "It's only this one week a year."

Clueless doesn't begin to start to define just how out of touch this man has become.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What Is Wrong With This Country?

How can we build a society where people are left with a volunteer MASH unit set up at small town fair ground as their only real health care option.

Sheila Fowler is 43. She has short brown hair, a soft, girlish voice and three grandchildren. What she does not have is teeth, or a way to pay for dentures. But Fowler is stoic; she jokes that she's got tough gums, adding that she can even eat pretzels if she sucks on them for a bit.

Fowler has made the hour-long journey from her home in Cleveland, Va., to the small town of Wise to take advantage of a huge annual medical and dental expedition


She has almost no income after an auto accident left her unable to do her restaurant job. She's covered by the state Medicaid program, but Medicaid doesn't cover any preventive or routine dental care for adults. It will pay for emergency extractions, but, for Fowler, as for many others in areas where dentists are scarce, finding one that will take Medicaid payments isn't easy. That's why she came to Wise in 2003 to have her teeth pulled for free.

When she got her lower teeth out, volunteer dentists told Fowler that she had a few that could be saved, but she begged them to take every single one. "I said, 'Do it now while I'm here so that a week from now, after you're all gone, I don't have an infected tooth,'" she remembers.


It's a hot Thursday evening, and the clinic, which is held at the county fairgrounds, won't open till the next morning. But Fowler, her 28-year-old daughter and her daughter's husband, both of whom say they also urgently need painful teeth pulled, are camping to be sure they get a good spot in line.

They aren't the only ones. By 8 p.m. on Thursday, the parking lot is jammed with people hoping to be among the lucky patients who make it in to see the volunteer medical staff. At least 200 are turned away. Those who have gotten there early enough have their numbered blue admission tickets in hand. They don't even flinch when they're told that they're in for yet another six-hour wait."

"We see people waiting in those long lines and I simply don't know how they tolerate the pain they must be in because of infection and bleeding in their mouth," says Terry Dickinson, executive director of the Virginia Dental Association. And, says Dickinson, patients still are amazed that they don't have to pay for their care here: "I told a young lady here that we could remove her teeth, she was in her 20s, and she just started crying. 'You mean, I don't have to pay for that?' she asked."

The Doctors and Nurses who are doing this are doing profound good but it is just a small bandage on a gaping wound. They offer diabetes and heart disease check ups and other services in additional to dental care, but this is a one time a year operation that has far more business than they can handle. Once the teeth are pulled and the patient has had their diabetes and heart disease screenings and been told they will need on going care, the Doctors have to move on. Leaving their patients with new information about their medical situation and few viable ways to do much about it.

The people of southeastern Virginia go back to their normal lives. They are left Dealing with having limited to no health care and hoping that next year they can be one of the lucky lottery winners and get a set of dentures after they have the last of their teeth removed.

Our medical care delivery system is absolutely broken. It offers the finest of care in the world if money is no object. But if you are not blessed to have outstanding medical coverage or the wealth of Bill Gates it is a walled off garden that you can never get into. Instead, you get to camp out in a small town fair ground and have your teeth removed because you could not get basic medical care any other way.

It is tragic, aggravating and disgusting.


Interesting Discovery in Antarctica

A research team has found ancient moss and insects.

The moss was essentially freeze dried, he said. Unlike fossils, where minerals replace soft materials, the moss tissues were still there, he said.

"The really cool thing is that all the details are still there," even though the plant has been dead for 14 million years. "These are actually the plant tissues themselves."


Further study uncovered remains of tiny crustaceans known as ostracodes, small midges and beetles, and pollen from southern beech trees and pink plants.

"The existence of wet-based glaciers, proglacial lakes, tundra vegetation and insect remains all indicate that the climate of the western Olympus range ... was warmer and wetter that that of today" about 14 million years ago, the researchers report.

Not that surprising, but still very cool.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Happily Working This Morning

and that means I will not have much time for posting today.

I do have one stray though. Last week the McCain camp and their media talking heads gave us two more reasons why people may be resist voting for Obama. They were; He is physically fit and the people of our nation are interested in knowing more about him.

I know, it doesn't make sense to me either.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

This Week In On-Line Headlines

I think we are now at week 6 of spot checking the tone of the headlines posted on the websited of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. This week looks like a big win for McCain, with a much better ratio of positive to negative and more mentions overall.

Obama was mentioned 13 times, with 9 of those headlines being negative in tone. While Obama only pulled 4 positive mentions, John McCain was feeling a lot more love. McCain had 8 positive headlines 9 negative and 17 overall headlines.

The republican strategy of going negative toward Obama and crying about the tone of the media's coverage of Obama seems to be working in the short term. Next week should tell us if this plan has legs.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Fridays Links

John Cole at Balloon Juice takes a look at Fiscal Conservatism, Republican Style

Reagononomists, Neoconomists, and now McConomists are considered by DarkSyde at Daily Kos

A very difficult (heck almost imposable) way to commit suicide is reviewed at Firedoglake

Why is John McCain so eager to take the low road? Tim at Crack the Bell has a simple explanation.