June 28, 2004

Breaking News

Wow, as far as I can tell from the blogs I read, I'm one of the first people to write about this which I'll gladly chalk up to my fancy Eastern time zone.

By this point many people have commented on the fact that the handover isn't complete in any sense of the word and is more likely than not just a way for Bush to say he handed over sovereignty to Iraq when people grill him on it as we get closer to November. It seems to me that if people were worried that the fact that the interim governing council can't make a lot of real choices (they're not allowed to repeal some of the laws the US, I mean, Coalition forces made, etc.), this hastily thrown together handoff isn't going to make the new government seem any more solid. It just looks like the US was expecting some kind of attack and wanted to get the Hell out of the country ASAP. Who knows, maybe Paul Bremmer just wanted to be back in the states for Spiderman 2 on Wednesday instead of doing boring political ceremonies.

I don't know, I'm sure I'll have more to say about this in the coming days.

June 27, 2004

You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth?

This type of hypocrisy is exactly what pisses me off about the neocons. If a Democrat had told a Republican to "fuck off" in the Senate, in session or out, the Republicans and their pundit lap dogs would be all over it calling for a formal appology. If Dick Cheney does it though, it's just tensions running high in an election year.

I actually don't care that much about the actual swearing at all really. It just annoyes me that the Republicans always try to claim the moral high ground, especially when Kerry lets the sailor talk out, but they conveniently forget moments like this and when GW called a reporter an asshole.

June 26, 2004

Are You Freakin Kidding Me?!

So the Bush campaign released a web video ad which used clips from rejected MoveOn.org commercial submissions which compared Bush to Hitler and claimed that this was part of Kerry's "Coalition of the Wide-Eyed". Kerry's campaign, understandably pissed at this unfair and dishonest link being made.

The thing that pisses me off most about this is the response from the Bushies. Seriously, as if either party has the monopoly on crazy things being said by the fringes of their side of the political spectrum. Really, so I need to bring Pat Buchanan into this debate?

And I Haven't Even Seen It Yet

Well, looks like Farenheit 9/11 is doing ok at the box office.

At this pace, somewhere between 2.4 and 3 million people will see this movie over the weekend. Assuming the movie has decent staying power, it won't take long for more people to see it than voted in the last election. Might not happen, but it'll sure be interesting. I know nowhere nearly all of the people seeing this movie will vote Kerry, but it can't hurt.

Oh, and Disney, it turns out people ARE interested in political movies in an election year. Who woulda guessed it?

June 25, 2004

You Know What, Fuck Him

Zell Miller, a Democrat, is speaking at the GOP Convention and in endorsing Bush for President. He votes with Republicans, he endorses Republicans, and he speaks out against Democrats. Why the Dems haven't kicked his slimy ass out of the party I'll never understand.

June 24, 2004

Bill O' Rights 2.0

Man, I wish we could dig up Roosevelt's bones and make him some kind of mega cyborg president. These are about the best ideas ever:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

Where are our politicians like this? They're called Ralph Nader, but Kerry will have to do I suppose.

Aren't They Supposed To Fight In Hockey?!

So Todd Bertuzzi has been charged with assault for the bash job he did on Steve Moore last season. While I think we all know he's not going to get the 10 year possible maximum, nor do I think he should. In fact I think it's likely he won't go to jail at all and I'm ok with that too. Hockey's a tough sport and shit happens. Granted, Bertuzzi went way over the line of acceptable behavior, but I don't think it warrants jail time. Still, it's nice to see the league, and the courts, taking this seriously. Hockey should be physical, but hockey is not ABOUT fighting and random violence.

June 24, 2004. From Comedy Central's News Headquarters...

Michael Moore will be on The Daily Show tonight at 11:00. Everyone who's reading this is required to watch, though I'm betting this order will get, well, me watching tonight.

Mission Still Not Accomplished


Insurgents staged what appeared to be coordinated assaults in cities across central and northern Iraq today, overrunning police stations, ambushing American patrols and driving car bombs right up to government buildings.

< snip >

A spokesman for the Iraqi Health Ministry, which tracks Iraqi casualties nationwide, said today's death toll was 69 Iraqis dead and 276 injured, with 44 killed in Mosul alone. The spokesman said he expected the death toll to climb.

< snip >
In the early afternoon, pillars of smoke curled up above the skyline. Helicopters swooped through the sky. Columns of vehicles carrying American soldiers rolled along the roadways leading to the downtown area, where three buildings were reduced to rubble by 500-pound bombs dropped from American aircraft.

And three American soldiers died as well along with many more injured. Six days and counting until the country is supposed to be ready for handover...yeah right.

Just When You Thought Ninjas Couldn't Kick Any More Ass...

We can rebuild him. We have the technology...Better than he was before.
Better . . . stronger . . . faster.

The Rumor Mill Is Milling

So the newest batch of Xbox 2 specs may indeed be real, or at least close to real. MS recently said that they haven't decided whether or not Xbox 2 will include backwards compatibility, so these could change a bit, but it's speculation, take it for what you will.

Contraceptive Use Now Count As Abstinence!

Well, it appears that the spread of AIDs is NOT best served by completely ignoring it! I'm sure glad I have the Bush Administration to teach me all these science facts that I learned in 9th grade. It's nice to know that, if nothing else, G.W. is learning neat new things, like junior high health science, from his presidency.

And in other news, it turns out that nuclear weapons in North Korea don't seem to go away if we just stop talking to them and pout.

Justice Task Force....ASSEMBLE!!!!

So the Supreme Court ruled today that the government doesn't have to release information about Dick Cheney's secret energy task force, though it did send the case back to the lower courts to decide if there were other ways to get the info. While this case will still putter along, chances are it is likely out of the way for the election in November. For those keeping tabs, Justice Scalia did not recuse himself from this case despite the obvious potential conflict of interest created by the duck hunting trip he went on with the Vice President and he indeed came down on the side of the Vice President's side.

This case was filed under the Federal Advisory Comittee Act of 1972, which requires comittees to operate in the open unless all the members are government officials, but there is a much more promising case still coming down the pipe filed under the Freedom of Information act, so let's cross our fingers for that one.

Guess Which Of These I Think Is Good And Which Is Stupid?

Club for Growth has a moronic video (it's the first one) that doesn't say a true thing in it.

Partisan Jab shows us what a John Ashcroft summer blockbuster would look like.

I guess I kind of gave away the answer huh? For those interested in my objections to the Club for Growth ad: It mentions nothing of what GW was doing in 1971, they don't seem to comprehend that John Kerry was saying we can't fight Communism like we did in Vietnam and he was right, and there are obvious problems about their portrayal of the fall of the Soviet Union.

June 23, 2004

Sneaky Like A Fox

So the Carlyle Group, a company with connections to the Bushies, has just bought Loews Theaters. Hmmm, right before the release of Micheal Moore's new film, they buy a huge chain of theaters. I'm normally not prone to conspiracy theories, but that's pretty crazy...

June 22, 2004

Time For Walmart To Take It In The Ass, For A Change

A judge certified a class action suit of female workers against their evil corporate bosses for discrimination. Who would have thought that the corpation that not only sells products made with slave labor from overseas as well as abusing their workers here would also discriminate against women? But, you know, that's how that little guy slashing prices.

A Disturbing Trend

You know, maybe I just haven't been watching at the right time, but I'm a little disquieted that we haven't been hearing anything about this. I'd hate to think we only care about gruesome American deaths...

Who knows, maybe the Newsies just haven't caught on yet...

But What Has Science Done For Me Lately???!!!!

So when Kerry said that Bush had a pathetic record on science, the Bushies, of course, deny it like crazy. Well it turns out that, as ever, it's really half a truth if you accept their crazy interpretation. See, the research and development budget has gone up quite a bit, just mostly for bombs and other military stuff and not so much for the science. God, why can't these guys ever be straight with us? Well, I guess if I were wrong all the time I'd try to cover my ass too.

Jesus Is Just Alright With Me, But How Is He With John Kerry?

David Brooks thinks Kerry doesn't like God enough, or at least he doesn't show it. Maybe we should all chip in and get him a WWJD t-shirt, or at least a bracelet. For some odd reason Brooks doesn't even mention all the recent hullabaloo about whether or not John Kerry should be allowed to take communion because he doesn't believe in everything the Catholic Church believes. I'd also like to point out that if, as David Brooks tells us, Americans "don't like to see their politicians meddling with religion in any way" W's attempts to goad the Pope what is essentially an endorsement should blow up in his face as spectacularly as his WMD obsession.

Edit: So it turns out that Brooks' study is a big pile of crap. It seems that the study identified anyone that had strong feelings against "fundamentalists" as a "secularist". Needless to say, there are lots of people, especially on the democratic side of the isle, that dislike fundamentalists like a Falwell or an Ashcroft but would hardly consider themselves secularist. While I'm hardly the most religious person in the world, I'm am greatful that there are Democrats out there trying to reclaim religion and morality from the Republicans.

Saddam Knew A Guy That Knew A Guy Whose Cousin Was In Al Queda!!

Though I get pissed off a lot at the pundits endlessly towing the Team Bush line, I do sometimes chuckle to myself at things like this (via the ever wonderful Pandagon). I just wish I could have been a fly on the wall when these guys decided that they had spent enough months saying "Just wait, we'll find WMDs soon enough, then you'll see that our mission to disarm Saddam was justified" and decided to move on to the next item on their "Defend Bush's Iraq Plan Checklist". I imagine there was an audible click and some sort of whirring sound their brains prepared the next tenuous excuse for the mess we're in.

Electoral Caratography

Here is the coolest map in the world (Thanks TMW), which just reminds us that having a four or five point spread in some polls doesn't mean a thing. You've got to take the presidency state by state, though really having states like NY and CA pretty solid definitely makes the sure loss in Texas lose a bit of its sting.

This sure makes it clear why swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida get so much attention.

Edit: Speaking of cool maps, I've known about this one for several weeks now from several sources but kept forgetting to post it. From what I understand they update it regularly, so all of you people out there reading this blog (all none of you) should check it frequently between now and election day.

Same Old Games, New Hardware

So the word is that Microsoft has decided not to support backwards compatibility for Xbox 2 and the nerds have come out like villagers to their Frankenstein's Monster. For those that don't know, backwards compatibility means that you could mosey your way down to your local game store, buy a shiny new Xbox 2 (as of now planned to hit in the fall of 2005) along with games designed to play on both the Xbox 2 as well as the Xbox 1 and play them all on one machine.

So yeah, this is a pretty cool feature, but in the scheme of things this isn't that big of a deal. Firstly, as the article says, only around 10% of people are even interested in this feature. I would actually wager that most of those 10% represent a sigificant portion of people that buy the system at launch, but I'd also wager that even these 10% mostly stop using the feature within a year.

My solution to the raging nerd horde is simple. Microsoft should redesign the Xbox 1 into a smaller, sleeker package, as Sony did with the PSone, and sell the thing for $100 or so at the Xbox 2 lauch and then reduce the price again in a year or two. Just my late night rambling thoughts as I read message boards filled with nerds acting tough.

June 21, 2004

The Best Form of Democracy: Dictatorship!!!

Granted, given the history of autorcratic regimes in the Middle East generally and Iraq specifically, this shouldn't REALLY suprise people. This isn't the death knell for democracy in Iraq by any means, but this is just the type of news that brings out the old deep sigh...

And Now, the Main Event!

Sweet Jesus John Stewart just gave Steven Hayes of the Weekly Standard's ass in the most increadible way. Stewart is pretty moderate generally and he usually is pretty even handed with his guests, but he really brought the bitch slap when Hayes tried to make the case for the Iraq/Saddam. The truth is, as Stewart pointed out, the doctrine put into action in Iraq is not only completely unusable on any sort of wide spread, global manner but even using it in Iraq has been anything but a successful way to deal with the people we really should be focusing, terrorist cells actively planning terror attacks.

Oh boy...

I'd like to go on record now and say this is potentially the worst idea ever...

June 15, 2004

Bill O'Reilly sure is a jerk, no?

Now, there are most certainly people on the Left with a nasty habbit for name calling, but really, in what circles is this considered acceptable?

Encyclopedia Riddicka

So I saw Chronicles of Riddick this last weekend and thought you all wanted to know what it was like.

Firstly and most simply stated: Riddick is a lot better than you think it is. Unless, of course, you think it's going to be the Second Coming. For anyone that missed Pitch Black, well, you should rent it before you see Chronicles. Though it's not necessary to the story, it adds a lot of details that make it more interesting as does the recently released Xbox game Escape From Butcher Bay.

But barring some preparation, you lazy ass you, here's a run down: Riddick is a mass murderer. In fact, he's one of the worst murderers ever and has escaped from at least a couple of the most secure prisons in the universe. In Pitch Black he did manage to summon enough emotion to save a couple people, but it seems he ditched them soon thereafter. When we find Riddick at the start of this film he's being stalked by bounty hunters that are sort of like Boba Fett, but if Boba Fett had been down on his luck and had to sell all of his cool along with his plasma to buy drugs. Several killings later, we find out that there is a war like race called the Necromongers that is planet hopping on its way to the afterlife killing as they go. This is where Riddick becomes both exactly what it is and yet slightly more. The fight against the Necromongers is your classic one-man-takes-on-an-army type story that you see in a lot of summer sci-fi action flicks, but there are bits that makes this a more interesting story than it could have been.

The Necromongers worship death, as their name might imply, and evil, violence and death become central themes in the movie. Additionally, there are reletively few "good" characters and those that there are are given pretty marginal roles. Though this dynamic is announced far too blatantly, and with mediocre at best writing, in a Dame Judy Dench naration, I still walked out of the theater thinking about the characters far more than I expected to. I paid a $6 matinee ticket to see Riddick and was satisfied. If you're looking for a summer action flick, you could sure do worse than this.

June 14, 2004

The Supremes dismiss Pledge Case

Whatever you think about this case, involving the 'under God' clause of the pledge of allegience, this is a pretty weak ending. Realistically, the Supreme Court usually waits until they get the 'perfect case' to make a binding precedent so that it's less likely to be overruled later. That being the case, this is the right outcome, it's just sort of a letdown, though not nearly as big a letdown as having the case lose on the merits, which it looks like it probably would have had it made it past this procedural issue.

For those interested, here's some info on the origins of the pledge and what I would like it to be: "The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Baptist minister and educator Francis Bellamy, who made no reference to religion in his version. It was originally worded: "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." It quickly became a part of public school programs."

June 12, 2004

What better way to end a post drought?

Hot damn, this movie is going to rock the house, as rocking as a documentary about horrible horrible things can be.