Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fitter Happier 

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Coming soon to a battleground state near you: a new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party and to counter President Obama's characterization of Republicans as "the party of 'no.'"

CNN has learned that the new initiative, called the National Council for a New America, will be announced Thursday.

It will involve an outreach by an interesting mix of GOP officials, ranging from 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and the younger brother of the man many Republicans blame for the party's battered brand: former President George W. Bush.

I know Jeb isn't George W, but when you're "rebranding" your party, some new faces not named "Bush" or "McCain" might be a good idea.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Work getting in the way of blogging...


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

High and Dry 

I wonder if she is also a witch:
Marissa and her parents joined a group of about 50 others at the courthouse. Before showing the photos, Mr. Skumanick explained his offer to the crowd, answering one father's question affirmatively, that -- yes -- a girl in a bathing suit could be subjected to criminal charges because she was posed "provocatively."

Mr. Skumanick told them he could have simply charged the kids. Instead, he gave them two weeks to decide: take the class or face charges.

He then told the parents and teens to line up if they wanted to view the photos, which were printed out onto index cards. As the 17-year-old who took semi-nude self-portraits waited in line, she realized that Mr. Skumanick and other investigators had viewed the pictures. When the adults began to crowd around Mr. Skumanick, the 17-year-old worried they could see her photo and recalls she said, "I think the worst punishment is knowing that all you old guys saw me naked. I just think you guys are all just perverts."
I think the outcry over "sexting" is ridiculous. Teens will be teens.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nobody Does It Better 

Interesting (warning: long piece) look at how the oil fixing business works.


Dollars & Cents 

A tea party must watch. The guy's got stones.


No Surprises 

Apparently, the National Security Agency wiretapped beyond the legal limits, all by accident!
he National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.

Several intelligence officials, as well as lawyers briefed about the matter, said the N.S.A. had been engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications of Americans. They described the practice as significant and systemic, although one official said it was believed to have been unintentional.

Update (11:34AM EST): Sullivan is right, let's hear from the right wingers who were all in a tizzy about the DHS report mentioning the rist of right wing extremism (but also touches on left wing extremism). Are they concerned about everyone's civil liberties, or just their own?


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blow Out 




Time to go, Norm. There's still a chance to bow out somewhat graciously. I'd like to be proven wrong, but I don't think the modern GOP, and Norm Coleman in particular, have it in them.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Outta Here 

Goodbye, Harry. Hearing your voice always reminded me of home.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Trickster 

Spies hacked into the U.S. electric grid and left behind computer programs that would let them disrupt service, exposing potentially catastrophic vulnerabilities in key pieces of national infrastructure, a former U.S. government official said Wednesday.

The intrusions were discovered after electric companies gave the government permission to audit their systems, the ex-official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

"The vulnerability may be bigger than we think," the official said, adding that the level of sophistication necessary to pull off such intrusions is so high that it is "almost without a doubt" done by state sponsors.

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the intrusions earlier, said officials believe the spies have not yet sought to damage the nation's electric grid, but that they likely would try in a war or another crisis.

Chinese and Russian officials have denied involvement in hacks on U.S. systems.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Great story. Dog eats baby goats, survives on remote island after going overboard.


Give it Up 

Remember when the segway was a mysterious invention that was going to revolutionize the way we get from one place to the other? What, you don't really remember? Well, my memory's a bit hazy on that too, but now they Segway folks have teamed up with GM (this is what they've been spending taxpayer money on?) on be this:.

Project PUMA -- or Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility -- is a joint development program between GM and Segway, a New Hampshire-based manufacturer known for its innovative electric stand-and-ride scooter.
Looks like a segway for people who need a wheelchair. Color me unimpressed.



Good for the Vermont State Senate:
The Vermont Senate voted 23-5 to override Gov. Jim Douglas’s (R) veto of the marriage bill.

Let's see the Legislature step up.

Update 12:12PM EST 4/7:And the Vermont House steps up!
The Vermont House has just voted 100-49 to override Gov. Jim Douglas' (R) veto of marriage rights legislation. One hundred votes were needed to override, and exactly 100 were cast in favor.


The Tourist 

President Obama makes a surprise trip to Iraq:
On a trip shrouded in secrecy, President Barack Obama flew into Iraq on Tuesday for a brief look at a war he opposed as a candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief.

Obama flew into the country hours after a car bomb exploded in a Shiite neighborhood of the capital city, a deadly reminder of the violence that has claimed the lives at least 4,266 members of the U.S. military since March 2003.

The visit came at the conclusion of a long overseas trip that included economic and NATO summits in Europe and two days in Turkey.

I think it is great that he is over there, but can we stop using the "surprise" storyline each time a U.S. President goes to Iraq? There's a reason it is a "surprise": We trust nobody over there and if it wasn't a "surprise", he'd be more likely to get blown up by Sadr, Al Qaeda, Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Son's of Iraq, 1920 Brigade, random Sunni, random shiite, whothefknowsatthispoint.


Monday, April 06, 2009


I wish he was...
I'm "glad" we will now be able to see the caskets of the fallen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As someone who's read a lot on the Soviet adventure in Afghanistan, I can't say I'm thrilled with the new "surge" there, but I hope seeing those who made the ultimate sacrifice will remind our Government of the true cost of the war.

Update: I highly recommend this book on the Russian-Afghan War. Scary stuff.


Climbing Up The Walls 

Once again, the media misses the story:
Dude just stood there and told reporters -- twice, and matter-of-factly both times -- that his friend who just killed three cops was motivated "by the Zionist-controlled government," and was upset, "that there was about to be military policing," and by "the fact that there was about to be a gun ban."

Zionist-controlled government. Was about to be military policing. The fact that there was about to be a gun ban.

Not a single one of these reporters says, "Hey, wait a minute. What?!?"

Guy says, "Zionist-controlled government," and the reporter's follow-up? "Did he have a lot of guns?"

Second reporter was even worse! He believed there was a Zionist-controlled government. That there would be military policing. That there would be a gun ban.

Follow-up: So there was never anything that made you think there could be a situation like this?

Are you kidding me? Everything that guy just told you should have been an indicator that there could be a situation like this!

What the f is wrong with these people?


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Murder in Virginia 

CIA, Chinese Embassy bombing, Iraq, Kosovo. This reads like a Tom Clancy novel.


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