Friday, August 17, 2007

Nothin' says lovin ... Is Jenna Bush preggers?

In the latest example of rightwing conservative “do as I say” hypocracy, it looks like newly engaged Jenna Bush has put on some weight recently. And it ain't from hanging out with the Cookie Monster, kids:

Last weekend she was spotted being hauled around the family compound in Maine:

From The Wonkette:

This telephoto Reuters shot was taken up at the Walled Family Compound in Kennebunkport last weekend. That’s an unnamed ’80s gal on the right, skinny Barbara in the middle, and on the left … oh my god, what is that, Chris Farley?

That is apparently Jenna Bush. Oh jesus christ they’re going to have to have the wedding tomorrow.

Blog Roundup

I've got a busy day ahead of me today, so I'm going to take the lazy way out and point you to some interesting stories at other people's sites.

The Raw Story has a clip from the Daily Show, explaining “Brain expert says administration figures who 'can't recall' might be lying.” Huh! Who knew?!

Mother Jones explains why CARE Doesn't Want the U.S.' Money. Turns out our charity is more about the needs of our big agriculture than about the needs of those we give to.

Want to see Beckham bend it? Bloggernista has video of his first goal! (Finally!)

Blue Gal delves into the mysterious world of Amy Winehouse with some great insight. Scary.

For some analysis on the recent mining deaths and the current state of coal mining in America, check out Firedoglake.

That should keep you busy for a little while!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lunch break with French & Saunders

Take a few minutes to enjoy part of one of my favorite comedy sketches: French and Saunders in Olde London. Enjoy!

Take the Political Compass test

Interesting site to spend some time at: The Political Compass. By answering a wide variety of questions on social and economic issues, you can get a personalized graph, plotting your position on the political scale. Here's where I ended up:

Ha! No surprise! But I'm in pretty good company, I think:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quick! Somebody call the Humane Society! He's taken a hostage!

President Bush waves after arriving at TSTC airfield in Waco, Texas Monday, Aug. 13, 2007, to start his summer vacation at his ranch near Crawford Texas. (AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte)

Today's edition of “Moron of the Day!”

From today's Washington Post:

Judge Who Filed Suit Plans to Appeal Defeat

The Pants Judge isn't giving up.

A day after the dry cleaners he sued tried to make peace, D.C. Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson filed notice yesterday that he plans to appeal the verdict against him to the District's highest court.

The owners of Custom Cleaners in Northeast Washington had hoped to head off Pearson by withdrawing their demand that he pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees and prevailing on him to let the case lie.

But yesterday morning, a day before the deadline for filing his notice of appeal, Pearson submitted the requisite paperwork to take the case to the D.C. Court of Appeals. Pearson's $54 million suit arose from a dispute over a pair of pants that he said were lost.

Read the rest of the story here.

Never forget the human aspect of this war

A single death is a tragedy;
a million deaths is a statistic.

That's what Joseph Stalin said, and that seems to be what our leaders think. We have lost 3,699 American lives, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives since we invaded Iraq in 2003. I fear that these are indeed simply numbers to many of us.

The American Friends Service Committee put together an exhibit that tours the country with just this problem in mind. Eyes Wide Open shows “the human cost of the Iraq War, features a pair of boots honoring each U.S. military casualty, a field of shoes and a Wall of Remembrance to memorialize the Iraqis killed in the conflict.”

I haven't seen the exhibit in person, but I found the documentary about it to be extremely emotional. Each soldier's death affects such a broad range of friends and family, and many of them speak of their loss in this video. I encourage you to watch it and let me know what you think.

Watch the video Bringing the War Home: On the Road with Eyes Wide Open here.

Wednesday Poetry Break

Today's poem from The Writer's Almanac reminds me of my father, 83 years young and still going strong.

The Book of A

Raised during the Depression, my stepfather
responded to the economic opportunity
of the 1950s by buying more
and more cheap, secondhand things
meant to transform his life.
I got this for a hundred bucks,
he said, patting the tractor that listed
to one side, or the dump truck that started
with a roar and wouldn't dump.
Spreading their parts out on his tarp,
he'd make the strange whistle
he said he learned from the birds
for a whole morning
before the silence set in.
Who knows where he picked up
the complete A–Z encyclopedias
embossed in gold and published
in 1921? They were going to take these
to the dump, he said. Night after night
he sat up, determined to understand
everything under the sun
worth knowing, and falling asleep
over the book of A. Meanwhile, as the weeks,
then the months passed, the moon
went on rising over the junk machines
in the tall grass of the only
world my stepfather ever knew,
and nobody wrote to classify
his odd, beautiful whistle, formed
somehow, in the back of his throat
when a new thing seemed just about to happen
and no words he could say expressed his hope.

— Wesley McNair

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

$456 Billion

That's how much we've spent on the war, so far. Think about how many other things we could have spent that money on:



AIDS research

And so much more.

Peaceman vs. the Chenguin

Just watch it, you'll see:

Make your voice heard on September 15

Plan to be in DC on September 15 to join thousands of other concerned citizens at the March on Washington. Organized by the Answer Coalition, the September 15th March on Washington is supported by a diverse number of organizations, including:

The national Veterans For Peace (VFP); USLAW (U.S. Labor Against the War); Garett Reppenhagen, Chair of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Tina Richards and Grassroots America; Campus Anti-War Network (CAN); Pam Africa; Hip Hop Caucus; Democracy Rising and hundreds of others from veterans groups, and student, labor organizations, civil rights and environmental organizations.

They join with Howard Zinn, Ramsey Clark, the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, Cindy Sheehan, Mounzer Sleiman of the National Council of Arab Americans, Cynthia McKinney, Father Roy Bourgeois and Eric LeCompte of the School of Americas Watch, Jonathan Hutto and Liam Madden of Appeal for Redress, Malik Rahim, Code Pink,, National Lawyers Guild, Latino Movement USA, and hundreds of others.

The Bush Administration is trying to shut down this peaceful and completely legal march by encouraging the US Deptartment of the Interior to fine the Answer Coalition on false charges of improper signage announcing the event. Don't let them get away with it!

From the Answer Coalition website:

In an unprecedented action, the ANSWER Coalition today received citations fining the organization $10,000 for the placement of posters announcing the September 15 March on Washington DC. The fines come after a campaign led by FOX news calling for the DC government to take action against those putting up posters for the September 15 demonstration.

Don't let them keep us away. Plan to be in DC on September 15th!

Monday, August 13, 2007

While Bush Vacations, US Troops Battle Exhaustion & Stress

Why must we turn to the foreign press to cover stories like this one in the U.K. Guardian:

Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is truggling to cope with the crisis.


“The army is worn out. We are just keeping people in theatre who are exhausted,” says a soldier working for the US army public affairs office who is supposed to be telling me how well things have been going since the “surge” in Baghdad began.


A week later, in the northern city of Mosul, an officer talks privately. “We're plodding through this,” he says after another patrol and another ambush in the city centre. “I don't know how much more plodding we've got left in us.”

When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. “Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this army is exhausted?”
Please read the entire article here.

For George, on Vacation

One thing Bush sure can do: Vacation!

He's a real go-getter! President Bush is well on his way to breaking yet another record (he's already got a lock on the “lowest popularity rating in history” record!) Yes, George Bush is on track to ensuring his real legacy: The Vacation President!

According to the Houston Chronicle:

On Thursday, Bush left for a weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine, and his family's summer compound, Walker's Point. On Monday, he heads to his Crawford retreat, where he has spent all or part of 418 days of his presidency, according to Mark Knoller, a CBS News White House correspondent and meticulous record-keeper.


The presidential vacation-time record holder is the late Ronald Reagan, who tallied 436 days in his two terms. At 418 days, and with 17 months to go in his presidency, Bush is going to beat that easily.


Vice President Dick Cheney generally takes August off, often heading to Wyoming or coastal Maryland. Congress left last weekend and is gone until Sept. 4. The Iraqi parliament is taking August off, too.

Still, all this governmental time off is more than most Americans are taking. A recent survey by Yahoo Hot Jobs found nearly half of American workers did not take all of their vacation days last year.

The puppet has no master:
Karl Rove resigns

So another loyal Bushie exits stage left, saying it's “for the sake of my family.” Yes, Karl Rove, (affectionately called “Turd Blossom” by President Bush for his ability to make things happen from poop) announced to the Wall Street Journal that he is resigning at the end of August.

I'm sure that it has been getting stressful for the Rove family, what with those nasty subpeonas and contempt of Congress charges floating around Washington. Time to run for Texas!

From the WSJ article:

Mr. Rove doesn't say, though others do, that this timing also allows him to leave on his own terms. He has survived a probe by a remorseless special counsel, and lately a subpoena barrage from Democrats for whom he is the great white whale. He shows notable forbearance in declining to comment on prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who dragged him through five grand jury appearances. He won't even disclose his legal bills, except to quip that “every one has been paid” and that “it was worth every penny.”

What about those who say he's leaving to avoid Congressional scrutiny? “I know they'll say that,” he says, “But I'm not going to stay or leave based on whether it pleases the mob.” He also knows he'll continue to be a target, even from afar, since belief in his influence over every Administration decision has become, well, faith-based.