Sunday, August 14, 2005

New Beginnings

Ohio Liberal is dead. But you can now find me at Bring Ohio Home, where I'll actually be posting every day and keeping up with things. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Adventures in Spam Email

This has to be the best spam email I've ever received:



She looks like my kind of Christian.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fox News: London Bombings a Good Thing

From Media Matters:
Fox News' Brian Kilmeade: London terror attack near G8 summit "works to ... Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together"

The following exchange between Fox News host Brian Kilmeade and Fox News business contributor and substitute host Stuart Varney occurred during breaking news coverage of the attacks on London subways and buses on the July 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: And he [British Prime Minister Tony Blair] made the statement, clearly shaken, but clearly determined. This is his second address in the last hour. First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 --believe it or not-- was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened.

VARNEY: It puts the Number 1 issue right back on the front burner right at the point where all these world leaders are meeting. It takes global warming off the front burner. It takes African aid off the front burner. It sticks terrorism and the fight on the war on terror, right up front all over again.

KILMEADE: Yeah.
It's amazing how low that network will sink.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

October 6, 2003

Interesting.
Q Mr. President, on another issue, the CIA leak-gate. What is your confidence level in the results of the DOJ investigation about any of your staffers not being found guilty or being found guilty? And what do you say to critics of the administration who say that this administration retaliates against naysayers?

PRESIDENT BUSH: First of all, I'm glad you brought that question up. This is a very serious matter, and our administration takes it seriously. As members of the press corps here know, I have, at times, complained about leaks of security information, whether the leaks be in the legislative branch or in the executive branch. And I take those leaks very seriously.

And, therefore, we will cooperate fully with the Justice Department. I've got all the confidence in the world the Justice Department will do a good, thorough job. And that's exactly what I want them to do, is a good, thorough job. I'd like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information inside our government or outside our government who leaked, you ought to take it to the Justice Department so we can find out the leaker.

I have told my staff, I want full cooperation with the Justice Department. And when they ask for information, we expect the information to be delivered on a timely basis. I expect it to be delivered on a timely basis. I want there to be full participation, because, April, I am most interested in finding out the truth.

And, you know, there's a lot of leaking in Washington, D.C. It's a town famous for it. And if this helps stop leaks of -- this investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked -- and this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action, but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth.

Q What about retaliation? People are saying that it's retaliation --

PRESIDENT BUSH: I don't know who leaked the information, for starters. So it's hard for me to answer that question until I find out the truth. You hear all kinds of rumors. And the best way to clarify the issue is for full participation with the Justice Department.

These are professionals who are professional prosecutors who are leading this investigation, and we look forward to -- look, I want to know. I want to know, and the best way to do this is for there to be a good, thorough investigation, which, apparently, is going to happen soon. And all I can tell you is inside the White House, we've said, gather all the information that's requested and get it ready to be analyzed by the Justice Department.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Friday, June 24, 2005

Pryce

I think it's fair to say that Rep. Deb Pryce has her head up her ass:
House Republican Conference Chairman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) chuckled when asked if that was a conflict and suggested that anyone who sees one is looking at the world through blue-colored glasses. "You know, this is probably as relevant to people's lives now as any other time," she said, "because of what's going on with Democrats putting everybody in the world before our soldiers and the American safety. They're so worried about what's going on at Guantanamo Bay. And the flag has a place in that debate."
Via Bring Ohio Home.

I personally wish Pryce was worried about all the jobs fleeing Ohio, but I guess the flag burning epidemic is just too damn pressing.

Supremes

Disappointing, but not surprising:
Seven homeowners in this small waterfront community lost a groundbreaking
U.S. Supreme Court decision Thursday when justices ruled that City Hall may take their property through eminent domain to make way for a hotel and convention center.
How long until beseiged home owners start fighting back in ways that don't involve courts? The rich get richer, the poor poorer, la di da, la di da.

This decision stings even more because the so called "liberal" wing of the Court ruled against the homeowners. Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer all ruled for the hotel and convention center.

I don't think I've ever agreed with Scalia before. I feel dirty.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Blogging Preacher

Somehow I ended up at this blog tonight. It's written by a pastor named Scott Stiegemeyer based in Pittsburgh. His Lutheran church offers "Christ-centered ministry", which seems like fundamentalist code to me (which Christian church isn't Christ centered?), but whatever. What I found amusing was this post about 5-10 books he'd recommend to youth:
3. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) by Ann Coulter. This one is to fulfill the humor requirement. Not only do I think Ann's perspective on politics and culture to be generally very clear-headed, but her acerbic wit slays me. She truly makes me giggle like a little girl. Her bit on Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ is the number one best review essay I saw. She totally gets it. Her understanding of the atonement is refreshingly blunt. I quoted her in a sermon once. Her earlier book, Slander, is good too.
Ann Coulter makes this man of God "giggle like a little girl". I wonder which Coulter quote in particular made him giggle so uncontrollably? Maybe it was this quote:

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Or perhaps this one:

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

Or possibly this one:

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

Ok, I'll stop because it's far too easy to find quotes that make Ann Coulter look psychotic.

It's honestly disturbing to think that people look to this pastor for spiritual guidance ... and he thinks Ann Coulter is clearheaded. Not only does he recommend her books to "youth", but he also quotes her in sermons. There's something very wrong with a pastor so fervently mixing politics and God. It's guys like this that give organized religion a bad name.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Downing Street Memo

So now the Republican blogger wunderkinds have to decided to attack the Downing Street Memo, saying that it's essentially fake and scrutinizing the typeface.

Make no mistake: this is all about casting a pall of doubt over the issue, muddying the waters so that the average American doesn't know what to believe, just like "Rathergate" and just like the Schiavo Republican talking points flap. This kind of cowardice is now standard operating procedure for Wingnut bloggers, and we need to expect more of it in the future.

It doesn't have to be this way, but it's altogether possible that US journalists, who've essentially ignoring the documents for the past seven weeks, will now be attacking this story from the "fake" angle. The fourth estate is crooked, blind, and probably on the take, and Democrats need to start doing whatever is necessary to get out the truth.

More DSM reading:

Newsday: Memo Shows US Push for War
Knight Ridder: British documents portray determined U.S. march to war
Iraq, Tony, and the Truth

Friday, June 17, 2005

Someone Worth Listening To

Democrats should probably listen to this guy:
Mudcat (a childhood nickname earned by tireless bottom-fishing of the Roanoke River) was serving as Graham's "Bubba Coordinator." A couple of years earlier, Mudcat and his mentor, Steve Jarding, had become a hot ticket: They'd masterminded Mark Warner's ride to the governor's mansion in Virginia by figuring out how he could pick off the rural vote, a feat Democrats hadn't accomplished in the state in nearly a generation. Subsequently, the two formalized their partnership and hung out a shingle, calling the firm "Rural Renaissance." After a brief stint with John Edwards, whose campaign they fled over philosophical differences with other staffers, the pair signed on with Graham, who himself had entered the race so late that his poll numbers never stopped resembling those of Dennis Kucinich.
It's lengthy, but read the entire thing, it's worth it. Definitely made me think twice about writing off the South. This especially resonated with me:
Jarding, who nearly entered the priesthood before casting his lot in politics, says, "It's a moral argument. How morally right is it for our Democratic nominee for president to tell 60 million people, 'You don't matter to me'?"
He's absolutely right, and I'm actually a little ashamed that I've never approached the issue from that angle before.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hunter

A Technical Guide for Editing Gonzo by Robert Love:
I never drank with Hunter, nor did I do drugs with him, but I was his editor on about a dozen pieces over three decades and with three magazines.
Great piece. I think if I ever have a son that I'm going to name him Hunter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Peak Oil

Political Animal recently did a series of entries on Peak Oil that I found to be very enlightening. If you've never heard of Peak Oil, then go here first:

Peak Oil Primer

Don't freak out, as lots of people do. Life After the Oil Crash presents things in as terrifying a manner as possible, and it's just no fun to live life that pessimisticly. It's a bit of a downer. Anyway, here are the links to the series:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Coda

Highly recommended. I pity the politician who finally deals with this issue, because the solutions probably aren't going to be popular or easy.

Seeing the Light

It's nice to see that some people eventually come to their senses:
Two years ago I was a neocon. I supported Bush’s war on Iraq and I called everyone who didn’t a liberal Kool-aid drinker. I voted for Bush in 2000 and I listened to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and just about any right-winger on the radio that I could get a four-word talking point from to use against liberals. I would say things such as "liberals won’t defend America," "shut up and sing," "freedom is on the march," and "you’re a great American." I supported the war at first because I bought into the lies and propaganda.

I no longer do. I’m a recovering neocon.

The fact is, the neocon movement is a lot like a cult. I don’t remember how I got so involved and the details are hazy on how I got out. I just woke up one day and said "WTF!" and then ran outside to rip the "bring it on" sticker off of my car bumper. What pulled me in to the neocon cult however was a combination of American nationalism and group mentality. It was a time when questioning the government’s response to Iraq divided you between being with your country and government at a time of need, or against them. I wanted to be with them.

Rude Pundit on Dean

Awesome.
This manufactured uproar over Dean all started in earnest (this time) with his appearance on Meet the Press on May 22, where, in so many words, Dean said, "Republicans are vile cocksuckers who deserve nothing less than to be shit on by legions of diarrhea-ridden cows. They have fucked up the Congress, the Presidency, the judiciary, and the world. Now why should I play nice with those goddamn evil powermad assholes like Tom DeLay?"
That pretty well sums it up.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Rally, Wednesday June 15th

A rally will be held this June 15, concerning subject matter that I'm absolutely behind:

Fiscal responsibility
Academic success and access to health care
Investment in families and communities
Tax reform that is fair to everyone
Hope for a better Ohio

That's a faith based initiative that I can support.

The rally will be Wednesday at 3:00, on the West side of the Capital building (High St.).

If you'd like more information then contact the office of Senate Minority Leader C.J. Prentiss at 614-466-4857.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

American Taliban

Brilliance.

This was a quote I found interesting, from a fellow named Gary Bauer:
"We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There's a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody's values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe.">
The reason I find it interesting is that I agree with it (save for the idiocy about pluralism).

And the Democrats need to start realizing that we are in a cultural war. These people want to crush people who hold progressive beliefs, and so the only way for us to move forward is to, in turn, crush them.

We must be even more ruthless and dedicated than the American Taliban themselves. We must be willing to go every bit as far as these nutters in our pursuit of dominance.

Because do you really want this:
"Hear the word of the LORD, America, fag-enablers are worse than the fags themselves, and will be punished in the everlasting lake of fire!"
being taught to your children?

Yeah, me either. This is especially important in Ohio, because we're turning towards ignorance more and more with every election.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hiatus

Well it has been awhile since I've posted in this space, and I've been thinking lately of what I want to do with this site. I purchased the domain quite awhile ago (www.ohioliberal.com) so I'd like to move forward and not continue to let the site simply sit. The first step to doing that will probably be to get away from Blogger and to something different like WordPress or possibly Scoop, the platform that Daily Kos and my Reds blog both use. I'd like to build a community centered around Ohio politics, something that is sorely needed.

For now I'll at the very least be back to blogging, but in the next few weeks expect some changes in this space.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Republican Artists

Why do Republican musicians suck so badly? (embedded video)

Monday, March 21, 2005

Boston Envious of Cincinnati

From The Boston Globe:
CINCINNATI -- Jean-Robert de Cavel, French born, French trained, and seasoned by seven years as chef de cuisine at Le Regence in New York, thought long and hard before taking a job at a five-star Cincinnati restaurant. When he did, he figured he'd spend three years, five tops, and then make his way back to civilization in New York.

A dozen years later, de Cavel is still here, a successful restaurateur who has opened three restaurants in three years, with a fourth on the way.

''There's something about this place," said de Cavel, 43. ''It starts as a destination for a job, and then Cincinnati becomes your home."

De Cavel is one in a long line of people who planned short stopovers in this Midwestern city and ended up staying -- a line reaching back to an English candle maker named William Procter, whose respite from a westbound riverboat eventually led to a partnership with an Irish soap maker, James Gamble. For the better part of two centuries, Cincinnati has won the affections of entrepreneurs and executives with its small-town friendliness, big-city attractions, and central location, convincing them not only to stay, but to keep their companies here, too.
Interesting article, you don't see much envy of the Midwest from the East Coast.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Army Failing to Recruit

Never say kids don't know what's going on:
In what could be a troubling sign for the military, the active-duty Army missed its February recruiting goal by more than 27%. It was the first time in almost five years that the Army has failed to meet a monthly target.
I'll go ahead and say it - anyone enlisting right now must have a death wish or be somewhat brainwashed. We're accomplishing nothing in Iraq, we've been lied to, and the only question remaining to be answered is what the final death toll will be for our mistake. I'm glad that young people seem to understand that, and are resisting enticements such as "the largest enlistment bonuses it has ever offered: up to $20,000 to some recruits willing to sign on for four years".

Via Bring Ohio Home.

Quote of the Day

"If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM." - Lyndon B. Johnson

Sheen for Senate?

From Szollosi Toledo:
Sources tell me that President Bartlett is considering a run for the Senate from Ohio in 2006. Sheen is from Dayton. More details to follow...
Let's hope so. DeWine is damn near undefeatable for mere mortals, so we may as well bring in someone larger than life like Sheen to get the job done.

Good German

The "Good German" Syndrome. Great read, doesn't really provide any answers, but it resonates.

Eason Jordan

was right.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Seemann for Congress

Jeff Seemann announced his candidacy for House of Represenatives 16th District, a seat he ran for in 2004. Seemann is a true blue progressive, and I wish him all the luck in the world.

On the same subject, here's a fascinating look into Seemann's race in 2004. Very interesting, check it out.

Quote of the Day

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Supreme Court Rules Against Executing Children


Hard core for life. Especially when it comes to executing children.
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Constitution forbids the execution of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes, ending a practice used in 19 states.
[...]
The executions, the court said, violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
[...]
In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia disputed that there is a clear trend of declining juvenile executions to justify a growing consensus against the practice.

"The court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter: 'In the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty,"' he wrote.

"The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards," Scalia wrote.
Clarence Thomas wrote "What Scalia said goes double for me. Triple even."

Quote of the Day

"What has destroyed liberty and the rights of men in every government that has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating of all cares and powers into one body." - Thomas Jefferson

More Bronson Idiocy

At first, I wanted to be upset by this "editorial" where Bronson bashes the recently deceased Hunter Thompson, but I realized pretty quickly that Bronson just isn't worth it. Thompson was ridiculously superior to Bronson in every measurable aspect of life, and it's clear that Bronson is bitter. As a professional writer with opinions contrary to Thompson's I'm sure he felt it necessary to tear down Hunter in some fashion - and since he's a raving rightwinger the best way he knew how was to attack Hunter's drug use. It's sad to see a man who obviously feels so inconsequential that he has to attack his betters. But you see it often, especially from the Right.

Credit Report

Today is the first day that Ohioans can receive their free credit report since this law was enacted. To receive your credit report click here.

Monday, February 28, 2005

That Wacky Washington Times

You can't make shit like this up:
Any parent with a child in a public school has likely discovered our education system is little more than a means by which liberals indoctrinate children with socialist ideology.
[...]
Take the "community box," for instance. How many elementary school kids across the country show up the first day of school, only to have their brand-new supplies pilfered by their teacher and thrown into one big box, to be distributed henceforth as said teacher sees fit? (Karl Marx also had very little regard for private property rights.) Or how about "cooperative learning" methods of instruction? I use quotation marks to point out how impossible it usually is to get kids to cooperate or learn when they sit in groups a pencil length from their neighbors. But if a teacher is blessed with darling little angels who would never think of misbehaving, students who have "more" knowledge are regularly expected to help those with "less." (How's that saying go again? "From each according to his ability.")
Ever heard of social promotion? This egalitarian concept is standard procedure at most public schools, where students are promoted from one grade to the next regardless of academic aptitude. It practically takes an act of Congress to retain failing students these days, lest we give them the impression they are responsible for their accomplishments.
When the revolution comes we'll be able to thank our public schools.

Terrible News from Iraq

Just awful:
In the deadliest single insurgent attack of the Iraq war, a suicide car bombing killed 125 people Monday in Hilla where police recruits were waiting to get physicals, Iraqi government and health officials said.

The attack wounded more than 150 others when the car bomb detonated outside a government office, the officials said.

Chris Rock

I greatly enjoyed Chris Rock at the Oscars last night, and I loved his bit on Bush. Very to the point, and yet it was funny enough that it'll only piss off the extreme right wingers. That's the way to do it.

Quote of the Day

"If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking." Lyndon B. Johnson

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Randomness

I saw my first freeway blogging yesterday, either on 670E or 270, I can't remember. It said something about keeping church and state seperate. Kudos to you anonymous Columbus freeway blogger.

While in a Barnes and Noble I saw a book entitled "The Bible for Dummies". That's just way too easy.

I bought this book and this book while out, and Battle Royale is pretty good, although hyper-violent.

Could Peter Bronson be any more of an embarassment?

No, no he couldn't.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Peter Benenson Dead

From CNN:
Peter Benenson, the founder of the trailblazing human rights group Amnesty International, has died, the group has announced.

Benenson, who was 83, started the human rights group in 1961. He died Friday night.

At first, the group was started "a one-year campaign for the release of six prisoners of conscience," according to a news released on the Amnesty Web site.
[...]
"That appeal attracted thousands of supporters, and started a worldwide human rights movement.

"The catalyst for the original campaign was Mr. Benenson's sense of outrage after reading an article about the arrest and imprisonment of two students in a cafe in Lisbon, Portugal, who had drunk a toast to liberty," the Web site said.

" From there came a worldwide movement for human rights and in its midst an international organization -- Amnesty International -- which has taken up the cases of many thousands of victims of human rights violations and inspired millions to human rights defense the world round."
Amnesty International is the organization that started my interest in politics, and I think it's one of the most important institutions in the entire world. Benenson started something righteous and beautiful when he started Amnesty International, and I'm thankful for his work.

Amnesty International

Quote of the Day

Last of the Hunter tribute quotes:

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." -Hunter S. Thompson

Mahalo.

Friday, February 25, 2005

They Look so Normal ...

Sean Hannity now has a dating service on his website. Surprisingly most of the people look pretty normal, but they sound like raving lunatics.

Well except for this guy.

Also um, this guy:
I am a 49 year old truck driver. Divorced, one daughter, 18, looking for a LADY, 45 to 55 years old, no tatoos, no body piercings except ears, but most importantly NOT LIBERAL (lady and not liberal kind of go hand in hand, don't they?).
The upside is that at 49 the guy's unlikely to breed. Plus, you know, just look at him.

Heh:
I'm 41 and have never been married.
Wouldn't have guessed it.

Jackass:
I'm a Criminal Justice major with aspirations of being, you may want to sit down, a lawyer. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION ONLY!
[...]
I'm 6 feet tall, but I weigh a tad over 300 pounds.
[...]
I just think that it is my biggest handicap because so much of society is so superficial, most people just submit to that superficiality, and don't wait around to see that I'm really a nice person.
The party of personal responsibility ladies and gentleman. Full of fatasses.

What the fuck IS the matter with Kansas?

From the NY Times:
Attorney General Phill Kline, a Republican who has made fighting abortion a staple of his two years in the post, is demanding the complete medical files of scores of women and girls who had late-term abortions, saying on Thursday that he needs the information to prosecute criminal cases.
[...]
Advocates on both sides of the abortion issue said the broad investigation, backed by a judge's subpoena, is the first of its kind in pursuit of criminal charges, although the federal Justice Department has unsuccessfully sought similar records in its defense of a ban on a procedure sometimes used to end pregnancies after the first trimester that doctors call intact dilation and extraction and that critics call partial-birth abortion.
[...]
Mr. Kline's efforts to obtain records from abortion clinics follows his failed attempt last year to require the state's health workers to report any sexual activity of girls younger than 16, the age of legal consent in Kansas.
We seem to have a real live Nazi living in Kansas. How cute.

I wonder how Kansas is doing with retaining their youth once they hit that magical age of 18? I'm going to guess not real well. I wonder if they see the correlation between their youth flight and crazy shit like this. I hope Kansas continues to wither up and die if this is representative of the state.

More Hunter News

From CNN:
The widow of journalist Hunter S. Thompson said her husband killed himself while the two were talking on the phone.

"I was on the phone with him, he set the receiver down and he did it. I heard the clicking of the gun," Anita Thompson told the Aspen Daily News in Friday's editions.
[...]
Anita Thompson, 32, said her husband had discussed killing himself in recent months and had been issuing verbal and written directives about what he wanted done with his body, his unpublished works and his assets.

His suicidal talk put a strain on their relationship, she said.

"He wanted to leave on top of his game. I wish I could have been more supportive of his decision," she said. "It was a problem for us."

Jury Orders Wal-Mart to Pay $7.5 Million

Why does Wal-Mart hate people with cerebral palsy?
The plaintiff, 21-year-old Long Island resident Patrick Brady, suffers from cerebral palsy. According to the plaintiff's attorney Douglas Wigdor, Brady applied for a position in the pharmacy unit of a Wal-Mart store in Centereach, NY. and was hired in the summer of 2002.

But Brady, who worked for just four days before he quit, claimed he was soon reassigned to other responsibilities that included collecting garbage and shopping carts in the Wal-Mart parking lot
I love how CNN feels the need to toss in pure propoganda from Wal-Mart:
"We appreciate the service of the jurors, but disagree with their decision," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Christi Davis Gallagher told CNN. "We feel very strongly that Mr. Brady did not suffer discrimination in our store. Wal-Mart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."

"As soon as Mr. Brady expressed dissatisfaction with his position, we transferred him to another position that he requested. Although the jury has reached a decision, we do not expect the court to enter a final judgment until we have the opportunity to establish how the jury was wrong. We are optimistic that the award will be substantially reduced or eliminated altogether," Gallagher said.
Way to be CNN, that's some excellent fair and balanced reporting you're doing there.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Quote of the Day

"We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws." - Hunter S. Thompson

SF Weekly Writer Infiltrates Hate Group

Hilarious.
I decide to infiltrate a white supremacist hate group by posing as an eager new recruit, a new hater, if you will. I want to put a face on extreme hate, to find out the hobbies of haters, what haters find hot and what haters find not. I want to learn what someone in a hate group really loooooooves. Ice cream? Everyone loves ice cream. I love ice cream. Maybe hate groups love ice cream, too?

Koufax Awards

I've spent a large part of the morning reading the Koufax Award Winners and discovering new blogs and reading great writing. Here are some of the terrific things I've read this morning:

Al Gore and the Alpha Girls by Jim Capozzola. Made all the more relevant by the fact that I saw this just last night.

Just Go by Riverbend. I remember reading this when she wrote it and wanting to cry. She does that to me alot.

If America Were Iraq, What Would it be Like? by Juan Cole.

The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism by Orcinus.

Crooked Timber a philosophical group blog.

Fafblog a brilliant humor blog:
Don't believe their filthy lies. Giblets saw the Good Doctor with his own two eyes just a few hours ago, heading north in the White Whale. He said he was headed up to heaven to shoot God. "The great bastard's in season and it's long overdue," the Godfather of Gonzo said as he dusted off his elephant gun. "I have full reason to believe they will award me both the head and the tail. Expect me back by the apocalypse." Good hunting, Doctor Thompson. You'll be missed.
Not many people could have pulled that off.

If only Kerry had listened ...

Poker with Dick Cheney. Brilliant.

Very good stuff, and great reading. I'll probably be adding a few new bloggers to my links.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

John Conyers

I'm consistently proud that John Conyers is from Ohio, and especially so today:
Today, Reps. John Conyers (Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee) and Louise Slaughter (Ranking Member, House Rules Committee) have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to include Jeff Gannon/James Guckert in an investigation of "whether the Administration violated the ban on prepackaged news stories by siphoning print stories to James D. Guckert, also known as "Jeff Gannon."

Good for the Goose ...

Good for the gander:
After House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) did it in Texas, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) "has spoken with several Democratic governors in recent weeks about the possibility of revisiting their states’ Congressional lines in response to the ongoing Republican-led redistricting in Georgia," Roll Call reports.

"Democrats believe their best opportunities lie in Illinois, New Mexico and Louisiana, where Democrats have seized control of all the levers of state government in those states since the 2001 reapportionment and redistricting."

"Regardless of the tactics Democrats may eventually choose, what is clear is that redistricting is no longer simply a once-a-decade process but rather part of the ongoing struggle by both parties to make gains in the House."
This is the only way gerrymandering laws will ever be changed. Forgive me for sounding so Republican, but the only thing these bastards understand is force. We've come to a time when if it's legal and it benefits a progressive agenda then it must be done. Good for Rep. Hoyer for recognizing that.

Gannon Selling Domains

He sure seems to hate all this attention, doesn't he?
Four domain names that are associated with the latest White House propaganda scandal have been placed on the market.

The adult domains are registered to Bedrock Corp, the corporation tied to James Guckert, who is the reporter accused of being a propaganda tool for the White House. They have been parked at Afternic, an online domain broker.

Guckert’s two escort domains, militaryescorts.com and militaryescortsm4m.com, can be bought flat out for $7,500 each. The asking price for hotmilitarystud.com, his most popular domain in terms of traffic according to Afternic, doubles to $15,000.
Here are the links to the auctions:

Auction #1
Auction #2
Auction #3
Auction #4

Anything for a buck I guess. I'm sure we'll see a book before this is all over.

Quote of the Day

For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampeled. - Hunter S. Thompson

So Very Hunter

CNN:
The family is looking into whether Thompson's cremated remains can be blasted out of a cannon, a wish the gun-loving writer often expressed, Brinkley said.

"The optimal, best-case scenario is the ashes will be shot out of a cannon," he said.
A giant among men.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

New Minuteman

Unreal:
Intent on securing the vulnerable Arizona border from illegal immigrant crossings, U.S. officials are bracing for what they call a potential new threat this spring: the Minutemen.

Nearly 500 volunteers have already joined the Minuteman Project, anointing themselves civilian border patrol agents determined to stop the immigration flow that routinely, and easily, seeps past federal authorities. They plan to patrol a 40-mile stretch of the southeast Arizona border throughout April when the tide of immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border peaks.

"I felt the only way to get something done was to do it yourself," said Jim Gilchrist, a retired accountant and decorated Vietnam War veteran who is helping recruit Minutemen across the country.
Maybe these people should, I don't know, get a fucking life.

Other sources reported that Gilchrist's wife came up with the name for the group based on her personal experiences with her husband. /too easy?

Isn't vigilantism illegal? Wouldn't this qualify? I'd personally rather share a country with undocumented Mexican immigrants than these jackasses.

Quote of the day

"Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect." - Hunter S. Thompson

Gingrich

Newt Gingrich has been in the news quite a bit lately, commenting on Social Security and writing a new book called "WINNING THE FUTURE: A 21' Century Contract With America". The Republicans don't seem to have a strong candidate in 2008, and I'm beginning to think more and more that ol' Newt is positioning himself for a run. It's hard to tell what that means for Democrats, but it'd be foolish to dismiss the man. He certainly proved in '94 that he's a capable politician.

Steve Gilliard on HST

I've been reading all the HST tributes and this is the one that resonates:
Which is why Hunter Thompson was a hero. He was honest to a fault and mean to a fault. In a world where journalism has become about asking questions politely and fiction about settling grudges with parents and schoolmates, he was about something far more important.

Only Peter Bronson

Only Bronson would call Amnesty International an "outraged left-wing group".

I wonder what he thinks of the Red Cross? They're probably pinko commies in his eyes.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Rolling Stone on Sinclair

Great article on Sinclair Broadcasting:
"We're in the center," Smith insists, sitting in his fifth-floor executive suite. "Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the media is left of center. Paula Zahn or Peter Jennings or anybody who is attempting to pass himself off as reporting news -- they're not telling the whole story. Dan Rather wants you to believe that Saddam Hussein is a nice guy! There are two companies doing truly balanced news today: Sinclair and Fox."

Democratic Underground

This thread is a great example of how Democratic Underground hurts the left more than it helps. I very rarely posted there, and I only check in every now and again, but I think today was the last time.

Seven Cent Nickel - No Senate for Sherrod Brown

The Seven Cent Nickel is reporting that Sherrod Brown has ruled out a Senate run:
My sources are telling me that Sherrod Brown will not run for Senate.

While Sherrod loves his job in Washington, he'd rather not be forced to run a statewide campaign to return. The only way he'll run a statewide campaign is for the governor's mansion and that decision is still forthcoming.
Opens things up for Ted Strickland, and I'm eager to see him in a statewide race.

Time Magazine on Springer

From Time:
Now that he has set his sights on the Governor's mansion, Springer seems to have embarked on an image makeover. For years, Democratic leaders have urged him to start a radio talk show and distance himself from his TV persona. Springer did just that a month ago. For three hours a day, five days a week, on Cincinnati's WCKY-AM, Springer is talking about the object of his renewed passion: politics. "Republicans get elected on cultural issues," Springer says. "But if they ran on tax cuts for the wealthy or the end of Social Security, which is what they actually stand for, they'd lose."

Just about the only subject Springer avoids these days is his own political plans, though he sounds like a man who is spoiling for a fight. "Unless Democrats start redefining the debate," he says, "it doesn't much matter who runs because they'll continue to lose."
If Springer runs, I'm there. I might be hopelessly naive, but I think the guy could win. He's a very capable politician, and I think he's being wildly underestimated right now. That's not a bad position for Jerry, as I think he's shown before that he thrives as an underdog.

"Secret" Bush Tapes

From CNN:
Private conversations with George Bush secretly taped by an old friend before he was elected president foreshadow some of his political strategies and appear to reveal that he acknowledged trying marijuana, The New York Times has reported.

The conversations were recorded by Doug Wead, a former aide to George W. Bush's father, beginning in 1998, when Bush was weighing a presidential bid, until just before the Republican National Convention in 2000, the Times reported Saturday.
Could this be any more transparent? The tapes uncover virtually no dirt on Bush, and portray him in a 100% favorable light. If I was speaking I'd say this really slowly - this ... is ... not ... news.

Gannongate is news. This is not. This isn't bitchy Linda Tripp recording Monica. These tapes are pure propaganda, and every media outlet is breathlessly covering them.

Quote(s) of the Day

All from Hunter:

"Call on God, but row away from the rocks."

"I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me."

"No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master."

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

"You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye."

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."

RIP Hunter

God what a shame.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Jeff Gannon Writing in 2002

I just found a "Jeff Gannon" article that he wrote for an outfit called the Conservative Monitor back in 2002, called "The 2002 Election Mandate":
Finally, once and for all, the 2000 election of George W. Bush was confirmed. Had he been illegitimate in the mind of the voters, the Republicans would have been removed from power and the administration relegated to a secondary role to a Democratic-controlled Congress. But the result was very much the opposite.

Now that’s a mandate.
What a tool.

Ecstasy for US Soldiers?

From the Guardian:
American soldiers traumatised by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be offered the drug ecstasy to help free them of flashbacks and recurring nightmares.

The US food and drug administration has given the go-ahead for the soldiers to be included in an experiment to see if MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, can treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
I really have nothing to add, but I really get a queasy feeling when I think about the US government experimenting on US troops for any reason. Just seems like a bad idea.

Quote of the Day

Think about this when framing debates:

"A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights." Napoleon Bonaparte

Riverbend

Baghdad Burning has a new post:
It’s not about a Sunni government or a Shia government- it’s about the possibility of an Iranian-modeled Iraq. Many Shia are also appalled with the results of the elections. There’s talk of Sunnis being marginalized by the elections but that isn’t the situation. It’s not just Sunnis- it’s moderate Shia and secular people in general who have been marginalized.
[...]
We were seriously discussing this situation the other day with a friend. The subject of the veil and hijab came up and I confessed my fear that while they might not make it a law, there would be enough pressure to make it a requirement for women when they leave their homes. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well women in Iran will tell you it’s not so bad- you know that they just throw something on their heads and use makeup and go places, etc.” True enough. But it wasn’t like that at the beginning. It took them over two decades to be able to do that. In the eighties, women were hauled off the streets and detained or beaten for the way they dressed.

It’s also not about covering the hair. I have many relatives and friends who wore a hijab before the war. It’s the principle. It’s having so little freedom that even your wardrobe is dictated. And wardrobe is just the tip of the iceberg. There are clerics and men who believe women shouldn’t be able to work or that they shouldn’t be allowed to do certain jobs or study in specific fields. Something that disturbed me about the election forms was that it indicated whether the voter was ‘male’ or ‘female’- why should that matter? Could it be because in Shari’a, a women’s vote or voice counts for half of that of a man? Will they implement that in the future?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Good God People are Stupid

Doing some searching on Wal-Mart earlier and I came across this:
All I have to say is Congrats. We all knew this would happen, even before they had their union vote. As sorry as I am to see all those people lose their jobs, they voted for a union and thus must deal with the consequences.
I have worked for the company for almost 10 years and honestly see no need for a union
And some of the comments:
O_o I cant believe any store MADE it far enough like that to have a union. WHY is my question? Were they brainwashed? The concept is way outdated as it is, and Ive seen unions hear tear many things and people apart. People I guess get promised higher wages... so they can pay more in unions dues.

Personally, Im glad to see this. As hurtful as that is, they brought it upon themselves by voting on a union. Walmart needs to stand firm in its policies, like this, and show unions wont be tolerated. Otherwise otehrs might get ideas and it would have all down downhill form there. I just hope the other store mentioned in that article gets the same treatment.
[...]
As far as Unions go, "Wal-Mart is not Anti-Union, it is Pro-Associate."

I couldn't agree with that more whole-heartedly! Never have I seen a reason for a Union. Never have I needed more or less hours and not have a manager work with me on it. If I want more pay, I work for it or get promoted. It's a truly wonderful setup!
[...]
The way that Wal-Mart works, it doesn't need a union. They haven't made us think that unions are bad, not at all.

Unions are great, but in the right places. Wal-Mart is not the right place for a union. I'm a full-time employee with a Northern Ontario store and things run just fine without one. I get plenty of hours (always my guaranteed 28 hrs and more) and there are always chances for more if I want them.
[...]
I really enjoy my job, and i dont wanta union coming in and stealing my money
How can we even deal with people so misinformed? Education? I really feel for union organizers, they've got a damn tough job. Billion dollar corporations with essentially unlimited resources to brainwash their employees vs. a union with nothing but union dues to try to organize.

I've worked my fair share of menial shit jobs in the past five years, and I've worked at a couple that played the anti-Union video during orientation. Biggs, a grocery store chain in Cincinnati, and Blockbuster. They were so over the top as to be ridiculous and yet people seemed to eat it up. I really don't know what to do about people who are so willing to believe whatever their employer tells them, regardless of the inherent conflict of interests. It's almost surreal.

More Wal-Mart Fun

From CNN:
MISSOULA, Montana (Reuters) - Montana's state legislature is targeting the big-box megastores that have taken the place of the old Western general store, weighing a special tax to offset welfare costs for low-paid employees of the retailers.

A bill up for debate Tuesday calls for taxing retailers like Wal-Mart (Research), Target (Research) and Costco (Research) for each store with more than $20 million in sales.

State Sen. Ken Toole, D-Helena, the bill's sponsor, says Montana residents are tired of subsidizing big-box stores whose low prices -- and high profits -- depend on paying workers low wages.

"When you don't pay workers, they get public assistance," he said. "Guess who pays for that?
It'll be a damn good thing when more politicans start to realize that.

Dowd on Gannon

MD:
I am very impressed with James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon.

How often does an enterprising young man, heralded in press reports as both a reporter and a contributor to such sites as Hotmilitarystud.com, Workingboys.net, Militaryescorts .com, MilitaryescortsM4M.com and Meetlocalmen.com, get to question the president of the United States?

Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief?

Quote of the Day

The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.
--Mahatma Gandhi

Bush to Raise Taxes?

I guess now that there's not an election to be won it's not such a worry.
President Bush (news - web sites) is not ruling out raising taxes on people who earn more than $90,000 as a way to help fix Social Security (news - web sites)'s finances.
2008 is still a long time away, but I have to wonder what Bush's approval rating is going to look like after the next few years. If he keeps making moves like this I could see him dipping down into the thirties.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Craig Spence

Life is oftentimes stranger than fiction.
Spence was a conservative lobbyist during the Reagan-Bush years. The New York Times called him "Washington's ultimate power broker." He was also running a gay prostitution ring which employed adolescent boys. As perks of the job, he treated his boys to after-hour tours of the White House. In The Washington Times of August 9, 1989, Spence "hinted the tours were arranged by top level" persons, including Vice President Bush's National Security Advisor Donald Gregg, whose name also figures prominently in the October Surprise story. The paper added that "Spence, according to friends, was also carrying out homosexual blackmail operations for the CIA."

David McGowan writes that one of the White House tours "occurred just after Spence stopped by the Nightline studio to see his friend, Ted Koppel. Spence reportedly introduced Koppel to a 15-year-old boy, whom Koppel later claimed Spence had introduced as his son. Koppel though had been a close friend for over 20 years and surely knew that Spence did not have a teenage son."
Seriously, click the link and read the rest. Very interesting, very odd, and more than a little troubling.

Quote of the Day

"You have to understand the difference between free-market capitalism . . . and the kind of corporate crony capitalism where you have large corporations running our government. There's a name for that, and the name is fascism."
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Church and State

I've been meaning to put a link up to this for awhile now. It details a military night at a local church where recruiting took place and other really quite disgusting things happened. The church in question is Porter Memorial Baptist, located in Kentucky. You can view their website here.

Someone's tax exempt status needs revoked.

Wal-Mart Sucks

I'm enjoying the anti-Wal Mart flavor that this blog has had the past few days, so I'll continue it today. Here is a story that details Wal-Mart's attempt to place a store right next door to a Union hall:
Friday was a historic day for the UAW. "White Shirt Day" is a time union members remembering the start of the union.

With that backdrop, some labor leaders may take action against the arrival of Wal-Mart in Grand Blanc Township.

The union hall for UAW Local 1292 is right next door to where they want to put a non-union Super Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

Just this week, the company announced plans to close a store in Canada after workers welcomed a union. That event is helping to push the UAW into action.

Although 800 jobs could be created by the development anchored by a Super Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, likely none of those workers will belong to a union.

That infuriates some of the leadership of the UAW.
Here's what I don't get. Conservatives like to hold up Wal-Mart as a paragon of virtue, because they're just so damn capitalist, but at what point will Wal-Mart stop hurting itself with all the bad PR? You can't tell me the child labor infractions, the illegal immigrant hiring, and all the communities nationwide that have fought against Super Centers aren't seeping into the nation's conscience. And ask K-Mart how hard it is to change consumer's opinion once they start looking at your store less than favorably.

If Wal-Mart was really smart they wouldn't put themselves into so many political situations. But the Waltons are crazy right wingers so there's not much chance of that happening.

More on anti-free speech Ohio education bill

The Dispatch has more on the Education bill that aims to "prohibit instructors at public or private universities from "persistently" discussing controversial issues in class or from using their classes to push political, ideological, religious or anti-religious views."

Can we start referring to this as No Right Winger Left Behind?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Wal-Mart Violates Child Labor Laws

From the NY Times:
Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest retailer, has agreed to pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it violated child labor laws in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire.

Labor Department officials said most of the 24 violations covered by the settlement involved workers under age 18 operating dangerous machinery, including cardboard balers and chain saws. In the agreement, Wal-Mart denied any wrongdoing.
Wow, that's a fine with some teeth to it. Wal-Mart made 7.6 billion in operating profits last year, which means it'll take them 9.4 minutes to make enough to pay this fine.

Harsh.

GannonGate

Good God. I really can't wait to see how the right try to spin this one.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Shiites Win Iraqi Election

From CNN:
The United Iraq Alliance, backed by Shiite Muslim Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, won a plurality of votes in the January 30 elections but fell short of an outright majority, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq said Sunday.
Hooray. We've taken out the old secular regime and installed a fundamentalist Iran-like puppet government. I'm overwhelmed.

Supposedly there are around 14 million eligible voters, and there were 8.46 votes cast in the last election.

That means that about 60 percent of eligible Iraqis voted. About the same percentage of voters as America in 2004. Which is really strange because the Washington Times and the International Republican Institute told me before the election that "81.7 percent of [Iraqis] said they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to vote." Huh.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Ohio Casinos

Full disclosure: I play poker. I bet on horses. I gamble. So yeah, I'm biased.

But our state is in serious financial trouble. Three of the surrounding states allow casino gambling, and many Ohioans spend their mone in Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia's casinos. I think we all know that to be true. Why shouldn't that money be spent in Ohio, where the revenue will be taxed and where that revenue will create jobs?

If surrounding states didn't have gambling then maybe I'd think differently. If Ohio didn't already have a lottery and horse racing, maybe I'd think differently. But they do and we do. It's going to happen, so the state might as well get the most favorable terms that it can.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Wal-Mart Closes Quebec Store

From MSNBC:
NEW YORK - In the latest salvo in a long-running battle between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and organized labor, the company said Wednesday it will close a Canadian store where about 200 workers are near winning the first-ever union contract from the world’s largest retailer.

Wal-Mart said it was shuttering the store in Jonquiere, Quebec, in response to unreasonable demands from union negotiators, that would make it impossible for the store to sustain its business. The United Food & Commercial Workers Canada last week asked Quebec labor officials to appoint a mediator, saying that negotiations had reached an impasse.
God I hate Wal-Mart.

This seems like a good time to mention that Callahan's Cleveland Diary is doing a series on organized labor. Remember, it's not true capitalism if workers can't bargain effectively.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What I heard about Iraq

This is a great read.
In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq’. I heard him say: ‘The question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is: not that damned many.’

In February 2001, I heard Colin Powell say that Saddam Hussein ‘has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.’

That same month, I heard that a CIA report stated: ‘We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programmes.’

In July 2001, I heard Condoleezza Rice say: ‘We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.’

On 11 September 2001, six hours after the attacks, I heard that Donald Rumsfeld said that it might be an opportunity to ‘hit’ Iraq. I heard that he said: ‘Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.’

I heard that Condoleezza Rice asked: ‘How do you capitalise on these opportunities?’
The left is squarely on the right side of history on this one. We've been vindicated already, now the key is to minimize further damages from Bush's mistakes.

More Journalist Payola

I'm a few days late, but this story seems to be simmering, ready to boil over:
The Pentagon’s chief investigator is looking into the military’s practice of paying journalists to write articles and commentary for a Web site aimed at influencing public opinion in the Balkans, officials said Friday.
Why wouldn't you just hire freelance writers? Apparently no one bothered to think ahead to how this would all look in the national spotlight.

Dean is DNC Chair

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean appears to have virtually locked up the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, after his last major challenger dropped out of the race and endorsed him Friday night.
Awesome. I feel a sense that things are turning. The Bush backlash is gaining momentum, and Democrats seem to be developing backbone.

Good times.

Don't Like Blackwell? Then you're racist.

I think I'm stupider for having read this:
The leftist blacks, such as Jesse Jackson, and other leftists, such as Barbara Boxer, already are attacking Blackwell. What seems to be behind their message is that he is a disgrace to his race by being a Republican and if he were a genuine Black he would have found a way for John Kerry to win in Ohio.
I'm not ashamed to say it. Blackwell is absolutely a disgrace to his race. The human race.

Link via President Boxer.

Taft, Taxes, and Medicaid

Unbelievable.
Gov. Bob Taft laid out a five-year tax package Tuesday that would lower income taxes for Ohio workers by 21 percent and "unleash Ohio's economic potential."

But that package also includes higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol and keeping part of a sales-tax increase that is supposed to expire June 30.
[...]
Thursday, Taft will unveil exactly how he'll mesh that plan with his new two-year budget of about $50 billion. The budget will include significant cuts to Medicaid - the health insurance program for the poor, disabled and elderly - and no increases for many agencies as Taft overcomes a paper deficit of more than $4 billion.
FOUR BILLION DOLLARS. And he wants to cut taxes. How about raising taxes while cutting programs Bob? How about fixing school funding Bob? Even Republicans hate you Bob.

Bob Taft and the Republican party want to cut taxes in Ohio while simultaneously slashing Medicaid. Surely the Democratic party can pound that message next year. Medicaid isn't exactly an unpopular program, so you'd think we could make some inroads here.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Screw the Elderly

George W. Bush wants Grandma to freeze to death.

If there was ever a meme that bloggers need to pass on, it's this one.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

BlogAds Response

Here is Henry Copeland's response to the concern that I brought up:
There have been questions about several sports adstrips running in parallel on larger nonsports blogs.

On the one hand, I don't want to stifle experimentation and innovation. Lots of the blogosphere's most interesting features come from stretched envelopes and burst expectations.

On the other, I'd like the Blogads.com order pages to provide transparent, apples-to-apples information that is useful to advertisers and Blogads staff as we prepare proposals. So I've drafted these guidelines for the information that appears, going forward, in Blogads.com order pages:

-- any adstrip running on more than one blog should identify the blogs contributing to our traffic tally.

-- labels like "Premium" should be used sparingly, either denoting exclusivity or ads priced at some multiple to "standard" ads on the same blog.

-- if an adstrip is one of several posted in a blog's HTML, the quantity of adstrips should be noted; something like, "the first of three adstrips," or "third of five adstrips" or "middle left of six adstrips" or "one of many." (From Blogads perspective, two or three adstrips per page are easiest to understand and sell.)

-- every adstrip should appear adjacent to content or functionality.

-- adstrip names suggesting topicality should deliver audiences focused on those topics. If a blog's focus changes, rename the adstrip.

-- adstrips listed in our topic-specific pages should deliver audiences focused on the respective topics.

-- one adstrip should not be posted multiple times on the same page.

Any suggestions or critiques to these guidelines will be welcome, either in comments or by e-mail. It may be that we want to settle on the rubric of "describe your blog accurately and put ads beside content" and only split hairs when people ask for details.

This is now what you can see on the BlogAds order page:
Dallas Cowboys Football
News and analysis of America's Team, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. As a bonus, ads will also run on the archive pages at Outside the Beltway and PoliBlog, where they will be seen by upwards of 20,000 consumers, mostly male and affluent.

The Braves blog and the Final Four blog have no changes.

And all three of these blogs are still in the top four for traffic rankings in the sports blog category.

The Cowboys blog has two ads, the Braves blog has one ad, and the final four blog has 2 ads, and none of the ads are priced at the minimum. To buy an ad on these blogs for a month these are the prices:

Braves Blog: $125
Final Four Blog: $75
Cowboys Blog: $50

The funny thing about those prices is that the Cowboys blog seems to be getting by far the most traffic of the three.

According to SiteMeter here is the average per day traffic for the three blogs:

Braves: 27
Final Four: 27
Cowboys: 47

Except, whoops, the Braves SiteMeter script is also installed on the Final Four blog. So they're also scamming SiteMeter by combining the traffic for both sites.

That's an incredibly low amount of traffic, and yet these guys are making more money from ads on their sites than I make from RedReporter, a site that gets many, many times more traffic per day. Not to mention that I'd have to guess that the majority of the above three blogs traffic comes from search engines, meaning those sites are attracting visitors who could care less about the sites, and who are much less likely to click on an ad.

This isn't a partisan thing, and it shouldn't be swept under the rug. Anyone who makes money through BlogAds (especially sports sites in this instance) should be disturbed by the system being gamed in this manner.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Republican BlogAd Scammers

I've been blogging about the Cincinnati Reds for a couple of years now, and I just recently moved sites from Reds Daily to Red Reporter. I've joined the SportsBLOGS company founded by Kos and Athletics Nation. It is a for profit company and the goal is to make money through BlogAds, the ads you see at many of the higher profile political sites (as well as other sites, but especially prominently at political ones).

So I was looking at BlogAds today to see what it has listed as Red Reporter's traffic. I believe BlogAds pulls its traffic numbers from the Script they have you put on your site.

For quite awhile in the Sports section of BlogAds this site, this site, and this site were the three most trafficked sites.

Not today.

Today these sites were the highest:

Final Four Blog
Atlanta Braves Blog
Dallas Cowboys Blog

Now as I mentioned earlier I'm relatively knowledgable about baseball and sports blogging. I know the bigger Atlanta Braves bloggers, and it's just flat out not possible that I wouldn't have heard of a Braves blog that received more traffic than any other baseball blog listed at BlogAds. There are some pretty high trafficked blogs that have been leap frogged here.

I visited the above blogs and all three are pretty much just press releases with, at best, a small amount of commentary. All three have the same authors, a James, and on the Cowboys blog, a Steven.

Who are these guys?

James is the owner of Celebrity Buzz, what seems to be a conservative celebrity gossip blog. He also operates Outside the Beltway, a conservative political blog.

And Steven is the owner of PoliBlog, another conservative site that gets a great deal of traffic.

The funny thing in all of this is that Steven has the Dallas Cowboys Script on PoliBlog. He's scamming the system, so that potential advertisers think the Cowboys blog is receiving a ton of traffic, when it's really his political blog that people are visiting.

And James has all of the scripts running at Celebrity Buzz, his blog scripts, his OTB scripts, doing the same thing.

I'm not sure if there are rules against doing this with BlogAds, but I'm also not sure that the company currently advertising on atlantabravesbaseball.blogspot.com would be happy to know that they're advertising on a shitty blog with no traffic.

Is this another case of conservative values in action?

Middle Class Bankruptcies

There's a real disconnect for many people when it comes to realizing that politics really does have a real and immediate effect on their lives. This article does a great job of illustrating that concept:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance, researchers said Wednesday.

The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, estimated that medical bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans every year, if both debtors and their dependents, including about 700,000 children, are counted.

"Our study is frightening. Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study. "Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick. Health insurance offered little protection."

That's scary shit. It's really quite amazing how well the Right have demonized government run health care, to the point that people find the alternative of mass bankruptcy filings preferable. Just to emphasize, "most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance". That sounds like just about everyone I know.

We're not talking about the lowest 20% anymore. We're talking about everyone except for the wealthy. Who's best interests do HMOs have in mind?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Coleman for Governor

From ONN:
Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus confirmed what many have speculated for months when he announced he is running for governor of Ohio.

"I just don't want to hold the job of governor, I want to do the job of governor in the state of Ohio," says Coleman.

Mayor Coleman says he's running for governor because his family is behind him and the state is in crisis.

Winning the governorship is going to take an extraordinary candidate, and I'm not looking forward to the Democratic primary for this race. I hope that all of the candidates will keep an eye on the greater prize, and I also hope that high profile figures will be willing to run for the down ticket posts like Secretary of State.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Ohio Academia

How long until we start hearing Ohio jokes, in the vein of Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, etc.?
(C) Faculty and instructors shall not infringe the academic freedom and quality of education of their students by persistently introducing controversial matter into the classroom or coursework that has no relation to their subject of study and that serves no legitimate pedagogical purpose.

The right wing's quest to make Ohio a backwater state is progressing nicely.
From Daily Kos:
[Senator Larry Mumper] is quoted in the Columbus Dispatch on 1/27/05 as saying that SB 24 is intended to shield the youth of Ohio from "liberal" professors, as "80% of them [i.e., professors or academics at Ohio universities] are Democrats, liberals or socialists or card-carrying communists" and so this bill is needed to protect "young minds that haven't had a chance to form their own opinions."

Let the cousin marryin' jokes begin.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Oklahoma Students and Straight Pride

Our future Republican leaders:
A University of Central Oklahoma student group is planning what it calls "Straight Pride Week" on campus.

Members of the College Republicans said despite objections from some, they have every right to celebrate.

"The general gist is that if you are a straight student on campus be proud, be loud, this is your time to shine," said college Republican Kyle Houts.

The group has posted fliers on campus that read, "we're here, we're conservative, we're out."

Look, I live in a red state. I grew up in the reddest of red counties, and I saw plenty of racism and homophobia. I know these people. They were all around me growing up, and they're all around me now.

And yet I'm still stunned when people want to flaunt their ignorance, like it's something of which they should be proud. I think it'll always surprise me. These people are evil. Honest to God evil. It's an evil born of ignorance, but that doesn't make it any better.

These college kids are no different than their granddaddys who were in the KKK. There's the old Socrates quote that the unexamined life is not worth living. We've become a nation of people pissing all over that concept. And being rewarded for it in many cases.

I wonder how many of these College Republicans are gay themselves? There certainly do seem to be a lot of closeted Republicans.

Friday, January 28, 2005

And then ...

There were three:
One day after President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries to stop hiring commentators to help promote administration initiatives, and one day after the second high-profile conservative pundit was found to be on the federal payroll, a third embarrassing hire has emerged. Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan in his columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.

Time and time again I've read that whatever Bush administration scandal is taking place is going to be "the one". The one to take down the entire lying, thieving, crooked bunch.

And every time Bush and his cronies have slipped away, using a pliable media and plausible deniability.

I think this one might be the one. Not a Watergate, I'm not sure the world works that way anymore. But a good scandal tends to have a snowball effect, and that's what we're seeing right now. A couple of things need to happen for this scandal to reach a boiling point.

We need a bigger name. Someone huge like Novak or a TV pundit.

And we need a direct link to the Bush White House.

We get those two things and we've got a lame duck president real quick. Every revealed name brings the above scenario a little closer.

Sen. Boxer on Daily Kos

Sen. Barbara Boxer dropped by Daily Kos with a message of thanks:
More than 94,000 Americans from across the country signed my petition and stood together to demand the truth from Condoleezza Rice. It was truly an overwhelming response -- much more than I could have anticipated. You helped to get our message out to millions of Americans -- I couldn't have done it without you.

And you made a difference. You gave me the voice I needed to ask the tough questions during Dr. Rice's confirmation hearings. And you gave the entire United States Senate the voice it needed to take its "advice and consent" responsibility seriously. In fact, Condoleezza Rice received 13 votes against her confirmation -- the most votes against any Secretary of State's nomination since 1825.

Good for her for making direct contact with the people fighting for her.

Retired Military Leaders Against Gonzalez

From Stars and Stripes:
The United States’ commitment to the Geneva Conventions — the laws of war — flows not only from field experience, but also from the moral principles on which this country was founded, and by which we all continue to be guided.

We urge senators to take into account the effects of Gonzales’ advice on U.S. detention and interrogation policy and practice.

Surely Democrats won't lay down on this right? A vote for Gonzales is a vote for torture, and Democrats that vote yes on this nomination need to face some sort of retribution.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

President Boxer

I could get behind a Sen. Boxer for President campaign. She's done an amazing job in the past weeks, and I hope she continues in the coming years.

Say one thing, do another

President Bush:
"But all our Cabinet secretaries must realize that we will not be paying, you know, commentators to advance our agenda. Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet,"

But...
In a letter to the Acting Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Human Rights Campaign requested an investigation to determine whether columnist Maggie Gallagher, having received more than $40,000 in federal grants to promote President Bush's marriage initiatives, violated federal law by not disclosing the funding to the public or Congress. Gallagher testified in the Senate in support of the discriminatory constitutional amendment and wrote numerous syndicated columns on these issues.

I have to say that when compared with Williams she's an awfully cheap whore. But then again, you get what you pay for.

Fiscal Responsibility

Wouldn't it be great if conservatives were actually fiscally responsible, the way they claim to be?



Via Oliver Willis.

Critical News Media

Look at this from Save Our City:

It seems that yesterday ABC News posted a call on its website for help from readers: Jan. 19, 2005--For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20. If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below:
(ABC took down the request, fortunately the blog Captain's Quarters copied the page first.) ABC tried to pass this off as "Honoring Fallen Heroes on Inauguration Day."

Imagine the audacity of ABC to dare contrast the price of war with the excess of Bush's coronation!

It's hilarious to see right wing bloggers think they're "catching" ABC doing something illicit here. I'm not sure how much more delusional these guys can get, but I'm sure we'll find out since they feel that they achieved something grand with the CBS Memo.

I commented a few times after the post, and I found this to be kind of amusing:

Anonymous: Did any networks do stories on FDRs big day after he starred a pre-emptive war with germany?

scott rawlings: There were no stories about deaths of soldiers on FDRs inauguration day-despite the fact that there was a pre-emptive war going on.

Apparently being a right wing nut means you don't pay very close attention during history class, because, of course, Germany declared war on the US first.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Draft Condi

Heh.

I'd like to draft her too. I wonder how smug she'd look wearing desert camo in Fallujah?

Link via Mark Adams.

Conservatives mad about no-name calling week?

The story:

NEW YORK -- Using a young readers' novel called "The Misfits" as its centerpiece, middle schools nationwide will participate in a "No Name-Calling Week" initiative starting Monday. The program, now in its second year, has the backing of groups from the Girl Scouts to Amnesty International but has also drawn complaints that it overemphasizes harassment of gay youths.

The initiative was developed by the New York-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which seeks to ensure that schools safely accommodate students of all sexual orientations. GLSEN worked with James Howe, the openly gay author of "The Misfits" and many other popular children's books.
..."I hope schools will realize it's less an exercise in tolerance than a platform for liberal groups to promote their pan-sexual agenda," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute.

Now there's one thing that really has me scratching my head in all this. Why is the director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute a man?

I'll go ahead and placate the conservatives. Robert Knight, you're a fucking idiot. Happy?

Academy Awards

When the usual right wing idiots are crowing about Fahrenheit 9/11 being "snubbed" by the academy, remember that Moore didn't submit the film because he hoped it would be shown on television before the election.

The documentary category is a bit different than others, in that they have to be submitted for consideration. The movie was still eligible for Best Picture, but the odds were always next to nil that the Academy was going to nominate a documentary in that category.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Interesting Article on Christianity

This is a very thought provoking article on Protestant Christians and how they don't really differ from their non-religious counterparts. Here are some highlights:

In a 1999 national survey, George Barna found that the percentage of born-again Christians who had experienced divorce was slightly higher (26 percent) than that of non-Christians (22 percent).
...
As we got richer and richer, evangelicals chose to spend more and more on themselves and give a smaller and smaller percentage to the church. Today, on average, evangelicals in the U.S. give about two-fifths of a tithe.
...
A story in the New York Times reported that, according to census data, in the 1990s the number of unmarried couples living together jumped a lot more in the Bible Belt (where a higher percentage of the total population are evangelicals) than in the nation as a whole.
...
In 1989 George Gallup Jr. and James Castelli published the results of a survey to determine which groups in the U.S. were least and most likely to object to having black neighbors—surely a good measure of racism. Catholics and nonevangelical Christians ranked least likely to object to black neighbors; 11 percent objected. Mainline Protestants came next at 16 percent. At 17 percent, Baptists and evangelicals were among the most likely groups to object to black neighbors, and 20 percent of Southern Baptists objected to black neighbors.
...

Look I certainly believe that anyone can believe whatever they wish to believe, and worship whatever they wish to worship. That's a large part of what makes me a Democrat. But evangelicals are the politically active Christians who want to remake our country to fit their narrow view of what God wants.

Yet they can't even get their own house in order. As a group, you really have to have a lot of balls to scream about moral outrage when you're statistically no different from the rest of America. Evangelical Christianity apparently doesn't work. Why should our laws be shaped by what these people believe if it's not working for them?

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Nuns Deny Food to Tsunami Victims

From Yahoo:

Jubilant at seeing the relief trucks loaded with food, clothes and the much-needed medicines the villagers, many of who have not had a square meal in days, were shocked when the nuns asked them to convert before distributing biscuits and water.

What Would Jesus Do?