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The Donnybrook
Friday, July 29, 2005

Brian's Required Weekend Viewing: "Shaun Of The Dead"

This is a hilarious zombie comedy from those zany Brits. Just an instant classic from start to finish...

Some of you cooler folks will recognize one of the leads as Dawn from the British version of "The Office"...

Also, for those of you that said you haven't seen it, go rent Real Genius, for God's sake...

Santorum: Birth Control Is Harmful To Women And Our Country...

I've got a new theory that this self-righteous twat knows he's going to get his ass kicked by Bob Casey, Jr. (give generously!) next year, so he's just trying to go out in a blaze of glory.

Today, he's ranting about the evils of birth control and how it could destroy our society.

Let's go to the video tape!!!

Man, I can't wait until the skeletons start popping out of this high-and-mighty asshole's closet...

Big hat tip to SantorumExposed, one of the many sites doing it's best to send Lil' Ricky to the private sector...

Thursday, July 28, 2005
Both NC Senators Vote Against Child Safety Locks On Handguns...


The measure passed by a 70-30 margin in the Senate (about as bi-partisan as it gets nowadays), but Dole and Burr both said "fuck it"...

What Happened To Rep. Charles Taylor's CAFTA Vote?

It seemed odd to me when I got in this morning and saw that Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) had apparently not voted on CAFTA, despite having come out pretty hard against the bill.

I didn't think too much of it since CAFTA passed by 2 votes, not one.

But now it's coming out that Taylor did, in fact, vote "NO" on CAFTA, but his vote was not recorded by the Clerk of the House.

Say it with me now: HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT HAPPEN???

In a vote this close, where the GOP toughguys were breaking balls (more than usual) to satisfy Dubya's whims, how does a vote get lost???

Here's Taylor's statement from his website:
“I voted NO on the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) in the vote last night. I informed the Majority Leader and the Appropriations Chairman I was voting no, as I had informed my constituents I was voting no. Rep. Howard Coble and I voted “no” together. Due to an error, my "no” vote did not record on the voting machine. The Clerk’s computer logs verified that I had attempted to vote, but it did not show my “nay” vote. I am re-inserting my “No” vote in the record. But even with my NO vote re-inserted, the bill still passed.”

Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo is keeping up to date on this bizarre turn of events.

Something stinks...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
NC Congresscritters: VOTE AGAINST CAFTA!!!

It seems like almost the entire NC delegation to the House of Representatives (GOP'ers included) is against the latest trade deal that will cost US workers even more jobs (a la NAFTA), but it's never to late to jump on them one last time...

Tell them to come together and do the right thing for American workers...The vote will be tonight!!!

FacingSouth has more...

UPDATE: CAFTA slips through the House by a 217-215 margin.

Kudos to the 27 Republicans that voted against it (especially NC's own Walter Jones, Virginia Foxx, Howard Coble, and Patrick McHenry).

Big fat boos to the 15 Democrats who sold out the American worker. This group included some of the usual suspects that tend to sell their Democratic principles down the river fairly easily.

David Sirota has some ideas...

2nd UPDATE: It looks like the House GOP leadership worked on Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) something fierce. I wonder who else they roughed up...

It's Nice To Know Some Truth Can Squeak By That Adam's Apple...

Dan Coulter finally comes clean and admits what sensible people already knew.

Take a listen...

(Thanks, Oliver Willis.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Go Check Out My PusBoy...

PusBoy has been on fire lately. Be sure to check out his blog...

Great Lyrics Are Great Lyrics...

Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame, the ones who died without a name.

Hear the dogs howling out of key
To a hymn called Faith and Misery (Hey!)
And bleed, the company lost the war today.

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday...

There's a drum pounding out of time
Another protestor has crossed the line (Hey!)
To find, the money's on the other side.

Can I get another Amen (Amen)
There's a flag wrapped around the score of men (Hey!)
A gag, A plastic bag on a monument.

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday...

"The representative from California has the floor"

Zieg Heil to the president gasman
Bombs away is your punishment
Pulverize the Eiffel tower
Who criticize your government
Bang bang goes the broken glass
Kill all the fags that don't agree
Trials by fire, setting fire
Is not a way that's meant for me
Just cause!
Just cause we're outlaws yeah!

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

This is our lives on holiday...

Rolling Stones Coming To Duke...

This is actually pretty cool news...
For once, the rumors turned out to be true: The Rolling Stones are coming to Durham in October.

On Oct. 8, the venerable classic-rock band will play Duke University's Wallace Wade Stadium, which hasn't seen a concert in decades. Tickets are $60, $95 and $160 plus service charges. The fan club presale begins at 10 a.m. today; see
www.rollingstones.com for details. The general on-sale date is 10 a.m. Saturday at Ticketmaster outlets.
I've never seen the Stones live, and considering the condition of their barely-alive drummer and the narcotically-embalmed Keith Richards, you never know when it will be their last tour.

P.S. Ticketmaster sucks my ass. I just wanted to throw that in there...

Democratic Veteran Running For Congress In Ohio Is Getting "Swift-Boated"...

And the GOP's "honor only Republican troops" pledge kicks in again.

This time, Paul Hackett, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Ohio's 2nd district and a veteran of the ongoing war in Iraq is having his service questioned.

The questioning is coming from an advisor to Hackett's opponent, Republican Jean Schmidt.

Read the details here...

Monday, July 25, 2005
Roberts Tells Senator He Would Have To Recuse Himself...A LOT...

From Kos. Just unbelievable...
According to two people who attended the meeting, Roberts was asked by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral. Roberts is a devout Catholic and is married to an ardent pro-life activist. The Catholic Church considers abortion to be a sin, and various church leaders have stated that government officials supporting abortion should be denied religious rites such as communion. (Pope Benedict XVI is often cited as holding this strict view of the merging of a person's faith and public duties).

Renowned for his unflappable style in oral argument, Roberts appeared nonplused and, according to sources in the meeting, answered after a long pause that he would probably have to recuse himself.

Didn't the GOP rake John Kennedy over the coals by accusing him of being led more by the Vatican than the Constitution???

Alberto Gonzales Says Too Much...

...and gets the CIA leak investigation focused on Andrew Card, the president's chief of staff.

This just keeps getting better...

(Big thanks to ThinkProgress...)

Friday, July 22, 2005
GOP "Family Values" Flare Up Again...

This time, a holier-than-thou Republican congressman from Pennsylvania has admitted to a 5-year extra-marital affair...

In a one-page statement released Thursday, Sherwood, R-Tunkhannock, acknowledged Ore was more than an acquaintance:

“For about five years I had an affair I deeply regret,” Sherwood said. “Although it was intermittent and ended last year, nothing I can say can diminish the pain and hurt I have caused my wife and family. While I can’t change or erase what I did, I accept full responsibility for my behavior and I apologize to my wife, my family and to the people I represent in Congress."

In case you were wondering, Rep. Sherwood (R-Broken Zipper) voted to "protect the institution of marriage" by supporting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage back in September of 2004.

It's unfortunate that he'd previously voted against the institution of marriage by putting his cock in a woman that wasn't his wife...

It's A Matter Of Loyalty...

It happens all the time. Hell, it happened to me...

A person grows up in an area with a very strong sports identity (i.e. Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, etc...) then moves to an area with a less passionate sports fan base (i.e. Atlanta, North Carolina, anywhere in Florida).

Then the test begins: Where do your true loyalties lie?

For me, my loyalties have never and will never change. Anyone with at least one eye and 10% of a functioning brain can see I'm still a die-hard Philly sports fan. Beyond that, I still love the area, the people, the whole deal.

Here comes the curveball: My brother moved to Florida (not the good part) back in the mid-90's and has since tried to disassociate himself with anything and everything Philly. He's apparently trying to convince people he's a bonafide southern redneck. I'm not kidding...

Put simply, my brother and I couldn't be more different if I was a black Puerto Rican Jew.

But, my brother still loves and defends the Philly sports teams.

He even went so far as to call in to sports radio station in Tampa the other day and call out the host (A jerkoff who calls himself "The Big Dog") for saying he had switched his own loyalties from his native Philly teams to the teams his kids liked, the local Tampa Bay insta-franchises.

Being the good brother I am, I tried to call Mr. Dog yesterday and reinforce my brother's position. I didn't get on the air, which seemed kind of odd since Mr. Dog's webpage bio claims "If you call, be prepared to go to war." I was ready, bitch!

The moral of the story is this: You don't switch sports loyalties. EVER. FOR ANY REASON!!!

Don't get me wrong, I had a great time in 2002 when the Carolina Hurricanes made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but I would've given anything to see those same Hurricanes lose every game that season if it meant the Flyers could've taken their place in the Finals.

Thursday, July 21, 2005
Rove Is Back On The Front Burner...

President Bush sure didn't get too much of a respite from the CIA leak scandal with his Supreme Court nominee announcement. Almost exactly 24 hours, to be precise.

Karl Rove's outing of a covert CIA operative is back on the front page, thanks to new information culled from a 2003 State Department memo that proves that Valerie Plame was indeed a covert operative at the time of her outing by Novak/Rove, etc.

All conservatives trying to claim Plame was a "desk jockey" when she was outed can shove their heads back up their asses post-haste....
A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the "secret" level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as "secret" the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials.

Anyone reading that paragraph should have been aware that it contained secret information, though that designation was not specifically attached to Plame's name and did not describe her status as covert, the sources said. It is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a federal official to knowingly disclose the identity of a covert CIA official if the person knows the government is trying to keep it secret.

Another juicy little nugget pops up later in the Washington Post's article:
Almost all of the memo is devoted to describing why State Department intelligence experts did not believe claims that Saddam Hussein had in the recent past sought to purchase uranium from Niger.
Paging Dr. Powell, Dr. Colin Powell...

UPDATE: LiberalOasis has great rundown of the newest details in the Plame affair. This ain't gonna be pretty...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Rude Pundit On Judge Roberts...

I simply have nothing to add to this...
When Bush said he was going to announce his nominee in prime time on TV so that today's news cycle might shift away from Karl Rove, what wonders should we have expected? That he'd nominate a half-Mexican, half-Asian one-legged blind female midget who farts Bach perfectly? Instead, glory be, he presented America with another Harvard-educated white guy, one more privileged D.C. lawyer who was Daddy's boy once, and a motherfucker. Someone who you can bet was given a list of issues by Rove and asked point blank how he'd rule. Did we really expect anything more?

Judge John Roberts: You Figure It Out...

At first glance, I see that he was Ken Starr's bitch and a judge for a whopping 2 years. It sounds like he's anti-choice as well. Not really "mainstream", since most Americans are pro-choice.

But whatever...People like John over at AmericaBlog and Tim at SwingStateProject will be a much better resource than me for this kind of thing...

Besides, I'm gonna keep watching this story. It's more interesting...
White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove’s first interview with the FBI, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The omission by Rove created doubt for federal investigators, almost from the inception of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said.
Lying to the FBI. Really smart, Hot Karl...

UPDATE: One other quick note on Roberts. I saw Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) talking about how great it was that Roberts went to Harvard and was very intellectual.

I may be wrong, but during the 2004 elections, I though conservatives thought Harvard was a liberal den of sin and that being intellectual was almost as bad as being a terrorist.

The wheel keeps turning...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Judge Smails: The Greatest Asshole In Movie History?

Kinda hard to refute, wouldn't you say?
It's easy to grin
When your ship comes in
And you've got the stock market beat.

But the man worthwhile,
Is the man who can smile,
When his shorts are too tight in the seat.

Monday, July 18, 2005
Moving The Goalposts, The Bush Way...

A great pickup by DailyKos that bears repeating:

September 29, 2003:
McClellan: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it [the improper disclosure of an undercover CIA operative's identity], they would no longer be in this administration."

September 30, 2003:
Bush: "If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

Bush: "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

GOP Congressman: We May Need To Nuke Muslim Holy Sites...

Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) is a real piece of work. I remember being in Colorado Springs a few years ago and seeing a bumper sticker that read: "Tancredo: Speak The Language Or Get Out!"...

This is what the Congressman had to say about a possible response to a nuclear terrorist attack on US soil:
"Well, what if you said something like if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.

"Yeah," Tancredo responded.
P.S. This guy is thinking about running for Prez in 2008...

Friday, July 15, 2005
Senate GOP Votes Against Stripping Leakers (Like Karl Rove) Of Security Clearance...

For those out there interested in the exact wording of the Reid amendment, here you go:
To prohibit Federal employees who disclose classified information to persons not authorized to receive such information from holding a security clearance.
No smoke...No mirrors...Leakers lose their security clearance...A vote for national security if ever there was one.

At the end of the day, 44 Democrats thought it was a worthy proposition, 53 Republicans couldn't be bothered...

UPDATE: Josh Marshall has pegged the GOP's reaction to Karl Rove's leaking problem:
There's a point that's probably worth raising with our scofflaw Republican friends. All of their arguments now amount to excuses, like those of a small child caught stealing cookies: Joe Wilson's a liar. Plame's covert status wasn't protected well by the CIA. It was just a short phone call. Rove really wanted to speak about welfare reform. Wilson said Cheney sent him to Africa. Plame sent Wilson to Africa. Rove leaked Plame's identity in the interests of good journalism. Wilson went on too many TV shows. On and on and on.

The salient point is not that each of these claims is false. The point is that they're irrelevant. It's the mid-life version of 'He hit me first!' or 'He called me a name!' or other such foolery.

No presidential advisor should ever disclose the identity of a covert agent at the CIA. That doesn't require elaboration.

Thursday, July 14, 2005
RNC Chief: Sorry About Using Race As A Wedge Issue...We'll Stick to Homo-Bashing From Now On...

That's what I got out of Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman's pseudo-apology to the NAACP for Richard Nixon's despicable "southern strategy" in the 1968 presidential election.
"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."
Of course Mehlman doesn't need to use race as a wedge issue anymore, nowadays his party can wantonly throw gay people under the bus and get more immediate results in almost every state in the nation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Lil' Ricky Trails Casey By 11 Points...

So says Quinnipiac...

Keep talking, Ricky. You'll be out of a job in no time...

UPDATE: A group representing the victims of abuse at the hands of Catholic priests is now calling out Santorum for his asinine "explanation" of the causes of sexual abuses in the Catholic church"...

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis MO, National Director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)

Abusive clergy and complicit bishops are liberal and conservative. The crimes they commit have nothing to do with political philosophy. It is reckless and dangerous to misdiagnose the causes of this horrific crisis by trying to blame any group of individuals, especially using false assumptions and self-serving ideological blinders. This is a deeply-rooted, long-standing, cultural and structural problem within the church and affects Catholics across the globe. To suggest anything less is deceptive or ignorant.

It is very hurtful when a politician tries to minimize the extent of the clergy sex abuse scandal. It is also very hurtful when a politician implies that some vague, larger societal defects somehow caused priests, nuns and bishops to assault innocent children and vulnerable adults, and then to work hard at keeping the crimes hidden.

Montana Provides The "Blue"print...

Put simply, Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) and the Montana Democratic Party did exactly what every state party should do: listen to their constituents.

As a result, they won over the people of Montana not by being Republican-lite, but by being committed progressive populists. So far it's working...well...

In These Times has the full story on how one of the reddest states in the country found it's voice on the other side of the aisle...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Santorum: My Heroes Have Always Been Hypocrites...

I shit you not. Take a look at yet another doozy from Senator Short Time's upcoming book:

“One of my political heroes, the eighteenth-century British statesman William Wilberforce, argued that hypocrisy can often be a social good.” -It Takes a Family, p. 280
On that brilliant note, the good people over at SantorumExposed have done a terrific job of compiled a few (I stress that word because it is by no means a complete list) of the Senator's triumphs in hypocrisy...

Scott McClellan Won't Comment On Karl The Leaker...

And no GOP'ers are coming to Karl's defense. Could the end be nigh?

For the better part of two years, the word coming out of the Bush White House was that presidential adviser Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leak of a female CIA officer's identity and that whoever did would be fired.

But Bush spokesman Scott McClellan wouldn't repeat those claims Monday in the face of Rove's own lawyer, Robert Luskin, acknowledging the political operative spoke to Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, one of the reporters who disclosed Valerie Plame's name.
Time will tell...

Phillies' Bobby Abreu Destroys Home Run Derby Record...

By "destroys", I mean "beats the previous single-round record by 8 and the previous overall record by 14"...

The record performance is even more staggering when you consider two things that were working against Abreu:

1.) He's not really a home run hitter. His career high for HR's in a season is 31 back in 2001. Not exactly Bonds/Sosa material.

2.) Comerica Park is one of the largest ballparks in the league and not terribly conducive to the longball.

Good work, Bobby. Now, how about learning to play on the road when it actually matters?

Monday, July 11, 2005
Why Does Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) Have A Copy Of Terri Schiavo's Full Medical File?

And why is he in a position to challenge the findings of her autopsy?

Does this seem like Big Brother shit to anyone else???

Call Your State Senator At Home And Tell Him/Her To Get Moving On "Pop The Cap"...

The "Pop The Cap" bill (House Bill 392) to raise the alcohol content in beer sold in North Carolina is currently stalled in the state Senate, thanks to a few morons who don't know what they're talking about.

Get on the horn and let your Senator know that this is unacceptable. As Sean over at the PopTheCap blog said, their home numbers on their websites for a reason: They have a duty to serve their constituents.

Don't let the "family values" idiots win one on our turf...

Friday, July 8, 2005
What Comedians Really Make You Laugh?

Stand-up comedy has been endlessly fascinating to me ever since I was a kid. I dig the job, the lifestyle, the whole scene.

Through the years, I've always had a bunch of comedy CD's in my collection. I remember first being fascinated by guys like Andrew "Dice" Clay (he actually had some funny bits), and Dennis Miller (in his pre-hack days) when I was in high school.

Back in college, I discovered the late, great Bill Hicks along with the immortal George Carlin. Perfect timing, I know. Genuinely funny guys with worthwhile things to say.

Nowadays, I love Dave Attell, Lewis Black, Chris Rock (trite, I know), and just about anyone who talks about topics that make people uncomfortable. Jim Gaffigan is hilarious as well. If you've got a strong stomach and you don't offend easily, check out Jim Norton (you've been warned).

I got off on this tangent because Kathleen Madigan is at Charlie Goodnight's this weekend. She's a really funny lady, which is strange to me since I normally only like comics that "work blue".

Who do you guys like?

UPDATE: I believe I deserve a Biblical ass-kicking for neglecting to mention Steven Wright and Denis Leary. I also dig the work that Leary does with firefighters. Great stuff...

Jeb Bush's Last-Ditch Effort Goes Bust...
Florida's state attorney said there was no evidence Terri Schiavo's collapse 15 years ago involved criminal activity, and Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday declared an end to the state's inquiry.
But will an apology to Michael Schiavo be coming any time soon?

Keep dreaming...

Fox News Keeps On Raising The Bar...

Truly a sensitive bunch of MF'ers over there.

First, it was Brian Kilmeade talking about what a great experience the London attacks would be for the Western world. Now comes Brit Hume...

Wanna guess what Hume's "first thought" was upon hearing about the terrorist attacks in London?
I mean, my first thought when I heard -- just on a personal basis, when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, "Hmmm, time to buy."
Allow me to flip the script, if I may, and wonder about Hume's reaction on 9/11/01 if CNBC World came on and immediately said "Time to buy!" while people were still being evacuated from the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

Money first, humanity second (or maybe third or fourth) at Fox News.

Thursday, July 7, 2005
All My Best To Everyone In London...

As usual, DrFrankLives says it better than I ever could...

UPDATE: Sadly, some in the "media" are already looking for the positive effects of today's
terrorist attacks. That's Fox News for you...

Wednesday, July 6, 2005
15% Beer Could Be Coming To North Carolina By The End Of The Month!

It's about freaking time!

Any time you're one of only 6 states to have a law in place, and the other states are West Virginia, Arkansas, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi...well, that's not good...

Sean Wilson from PopTheCap reports that House Bill 392 has moved to the state Senate and passed the commerce committee by a 19-1 margin. The Senate may vote to raise the alcohol limit on beer by July 12th.

Once the vote is complete, the bill would become law 10 days after a successful vote.

Barring a veto by Gov. Easley, which ain't happening, 15% will become the legal limit for beers in North Carolina.

Drink up, North Cackalackey!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Rick Santorum Is A Lunatic That Must Be Defeated...

Strong words, indeed, but take a look at a few of the excerpts from Santorum's soon-to-be-released book that CapitolBuzz has been kind enough to share.

We already know he blames Catholic Church's sex scandal on the city of Boston for being "a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America", so you must be wondering what Santorum has in store for his encore(s).

First, on why working families trying to make ends meet with two salaries are just being greedy:
"In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might confess that both of them really don’t need to, or at least may not need to work as much as they do… And for some parents, the purported need to provide things for their children simply provides a convenient rationalization for pursuing a gratifying career outside the home."
Next, his take on why "radical feminism" is to blame for women daring to have ambition:
"Many women have told me, and surveys have shown, that they find it easier, more professionally” gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children. Think about that for a moment…Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism, one of the core philosophies of the village elders."
Finally, Santorum dismisses the idea that a better education is good way to improve one's station in life:
"The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong."
Let me be clear. This man is not a preacher. He's not a religious leader like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.

He is a sex-obsessed zealot who will not be happy until his brand of intrusive government is infecting every facet of your life.

Think I'm crazy?

Santorum is the 3rd most powerful Republican in the United States Senate. Should he win re-election next year, he could be in line to become the next Senate Majority Leader once Sen. Bill Frist has retired.


Bob Casey, Jr. is a terrific candidate. More importantly, he is a candidate that can win in 2006 and keep Sen. Santorum's brand of religious zealotry from taking full control the business of the US Senate.

Most of my readers aren't in Pennsylvania, but I would strongly urge anyone to look at Santorum's record of homophobia, discrimination, and all-out paranoia, and think about whether you want his narrow view of the world running the US Senate...

UPDATE: CapitolBuzz is back with some more great Santorum excerpts.

On why slavery wasn't that bad:
"But unlike abortion today, in most states even the slaveholder did not have
the unlimited right to kill his slave."
Why diversity is bad:
"The elementary error of relativism becomes clear when we look at
multiculturalism. Sometime in the 1980s, universities began to champion the
importance of “diversity” as a central educational value."
Why Wal-Mart is good:
"Another corporate good citizen cooperating with parents to keep kids from
inappropriate content has been Wal-Mart."
I can think of several other reasons Santorum likes Wal-Mart...

2nd UPDATE: And you don't stop...Santorum thinks public schools are bad, too:
"By asking the right question, we can see that when it comes to socialization, mass education is really the aberration, not homeschooling. Never before in human history have a majority of children spent at least half their waking hours in the presence of 25 to 35 unrelated children of exactly the same age (and usually the same socio-economic status), with only one adult to keep order and provide basic mentoring. Never before and never again after their years of mass education will any person live and work in such a radically narrow, age-segregated environment. It’s amazing that so many kids turn out to be fairly normal, considering the weird socialization they get in public schools."

The Funniest Obituary I've Ever Read...

Yes, it's real...

From Saturday's News & Observer:
ON JUNE 3, 2005 at 10:45 p.m. in Memphis, Tennessee, Dorothy Gibson Cully, 86, died peacefully, while in the loving care of her two favorite children, Barbara and David. All of her breath leaked out.The mother of four children, grandmother to 11, great-grandmother to nine, devoted wife for 56 years to the late Ralph Chester Cully and a true friend to many, Dot had been active as a volunteer in the Catholic Church and other community charities for much of the past 25 years.

She was born the second child of six in 1919 as Frances Dorothy Gibson, daughter to Kathleen Heard Gibson and Calvin Hooper Gibson, an inventor best known as the first person since the Middle Ages to calculate the arcane lead-to-gold formula. Unable to actually prove this complex theory scientifically, and frustrated by the cruel conspiracy of the so-called "scientific community" working against his efforts, he ultimately stuck his head in a heated gas oven with a golden delicious apple propped in his mouth. Miraculously, the apple was saved for the evening dessert. Calvin was not.

Native Marylanders and long time Baltimore, Kent Island and Ocean City residents, Ralph and Dot later resided in Lakeland, Florida and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Several years after Ralph's death, Dot moved to Raleigh in 2001, where she lived with her son, David.

At the time of her death, Dot was visiting her daughter, Carol in Memphis. Carol and her husband, Ron, away from home attending a "very important conference" at a posh Florida resort, rushed home 10 days later after learning of the death. Dot's other children, dutifully at their mother's side helping with the normal last minute arrangements - hospice notification, funeral parlor notice, revising the last will, etc. - happily picked up the considerable slack of the absent former heiress.

Dot is warmly remembered as a generous, spiritually strong, resourceful, tolerant and smart woman, who was always ready to help and never judged others or their shortcomings. Dot always found time to knit sweaters, sew quilts and send written notes to the family children, all while working a full time job, volunteering as Girl Scout leader and donating considerable time to local charities and the neighborhood Catholic Church.

Dot graduated from Eastern High School at 15, worked in Baltimore full time from 1934 to 1979, beginning as a factory worker at Cross & Blackwell and retiring after 30 years as property manager and controller for a Baltimore conglomerate, Housing Engineering Company, all while raising four children, two of who are fairly normal.An Irishwoman proud of and curious about her heritage, she was a voracious reader of historical novels, particularly those about the glories and trials of Ireland. Dot also loved to travel, her favorite destination being Eire's auld sod, where she dreamed of the magic, mystery and legend of the Emerald Isle.

Dot Cully is survived by her sisters, Ginny Torrico in Virginia, Marian Lee in Florida and Eileen Adams in Baltimore; her brother, Russell Gibson of Fallston, Maryland; her children, Barbara Frost of Ocean City, Maryland, Carol Meroney of Memphis, Tennessee, David Cully of Raleigh, North Carolina and Stephen Cully of Baltimore, Maryland.

Contributions to the Wake County (NC) Hospice Services are welcomed.

Opinions about the details of this obit are not, since Mom would have liked it this way.
Is anyone else a little sad that they didn't get to meet this lady?

Friday, July 1, 2005

Why I Actually Believe George W. Bush Will Do The Right Thing...

Now, it's true I've got scarce evidence of him doing the right thing in the past to make me believe this, but I actually do think he'll nominate a moderate successor to the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor.

The reason I believe this is simple: Bush will have more light on his actions now than at any point in his presidency since the beginning of the Iraq War.

Think about it:

How many Americans know what the nuclear option is?

How many Americans have heard of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown?

How many Americans are buying the Social Security snake oil that Bush is selling?

How many Americans know who Valerie Plame is?

How many Americans are bothered by the fact that Osama bin Laden is still a free man?

How many Americans know how many of our troops have died in Iraq?

How many Americans care about record deficits and an exploding national debt?

How many Americans actually give a fuck when the man speaks anymore???

Now consider this:

Everyone knows at least a little something about the Supreme Court, and I for one recall learning about Ms. O'Connor before any of the other Justices.

First, because she was the first female Justice to serve on the Supreme Court, and second, because she was appointed in 1981, not too long before I got to the meat of my elementary education. (Sorry if that made some of you older guys feel...well...old)

This woman is an American icon, moreso than any of the other Justices, including the soon-to-retire Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Put simply, if he fucks this up, everyone will see it, and everyone will feel burned.

I believe Bush will do the right thing because more Americans will concern themselves with this issue more than Social Security, more than tax policy, and more (sad to say) than ill-advised wars in far-off lands.

For this reason, Bush has to do the right thing: replace a moderate with a moderate. He needs to do something to catch the attention of the American people in a positive way...

Then again, he may fuck it up once again...

Then it's go-time, bitches...

UPDATE: A key passage from a critical opinion rendered by Justice O'Connor:

(PLANNED PARENTHOOD v. CASEY, June 29, 1992: Opinion written by Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter; joined in part by Stevens and Blackmun)

Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt. Yet, 19 years after our holding that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy in its early stages, Roe v. Wade (1973), that definition of liberty is still questioned.

We are led to conclude this: the essential holding of Roe v. Wade should be retained and once again reaffirmed, in three parts:

1. The right of the woman to choose to have an abortion before viability.

2. The State may restrict abortions after fetal viability if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman’s health.

3. The State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child.

Congratulations To The Employees Of The Newly-Unionized Thomas Built Buses...

The employees of Thomas Built in High Point scored a win on Wednesday when they voted to become a chapter of the United Auto Workers...
Labor organizers are calling the victory by United Auto Workers to unionize the Thomas Built Bus plant a sign that organized labor is gaining strength in a state widely regarded as being hostile to unions.

Employees at Thomas Built Buses voted 59 percent to 41 percent for union representation, with more than 1,200 workers participating in Wednesday’s vote. By electing to form a UAW chapter , Thomas Built workers will become one of the few unionized plants in the Triad.
Big hat tip to DrFrankLives for sending me this...


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