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The Donnybrook
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
"This guy threw at his own kid in a father-son game."

That quote by Bob Uecker's character in Major League never rang so true.

Roger Clemens, consumate red-ass/mercenary actually played some chin music for his own son yesterday after he took his old man yard in his first at-bat.
Roger Clemens 's son took dad deep on the Rocket's first pitch of spring training, crushing a trademark fastball over the left field fence yesterday.

"That was probably one of the harder fastballs I cut loose," Clemens said after throwing to son Koby and other Astros minor leaguers. "He got my attention."

Then Clemens got Koby's. The next time his oldest son came to the plate, Clemens buzzed him high and tight with another fastball. The younger Clemens dodged the pitch, then smiled at his father.

"He was like, 'Sorry about that pitch inside. I was trying to change the view of the ball for you a little bit,'" said Koby, a third baseman who was drafted by Houston last summer. "I said, 'I knew what you were doing.'"
Helluva guy, that Rocket...

My 5 Newest iPod Downloads...

"Stuck On You" by Lionel Richie
"Walking Away" by Craig David
"Look What You've Done To Me" by Boz Scaggs
"Moon River" by Andy Williams
"A Little Respect" by Erasure

What do you guys have floating around out there that might be of interest to a guy like me with reliably cheesy musical tastes?

Monday, February 27, 2006

34%...What a fucking disaster.

Spin for me, my babies...

A Great Article About "The Office"...

Entertainment Weekly has a good article this week about what is probably the funniest show on TV, now that Scrubs has hit the shitter.

Those of you that were fans of the original BBC version of the show will be happy to hear that the show's original creators, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant will be writing an episode for the American version next season.

Pretty cool...

Finally, A Politician With Balls AND A Sense Of Humor...

Ohio Republicans want to ban homosexual, bisexual, and transgender individuals and couples from adopting or taking in foster children.

Clearly, their priorities lie in areas other than cleaning up the corruption in their own ranks.

In response the Republicans' homophobic gambit, Democratic state Senator Robert Hagan has proposed a ban of his own.
"Credible research exists that strongly suggests that adopted children raised in Republican households, though significantly wealthier than their Democrat-raised counterparts, are more at risk for developing emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, an alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves, and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities, " Hagan wrote.

"In addition, I have spoken to many adopted children raised in Republican households who have admitted that 'Well, it's just plain boring most of the time,'
Well done, Sen. Hagan. Keep the bastards laughing...

All 50 Governors Think Bush Is Hurting The National Guard...

Getting 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats to agree on anything nowadays is pretty much impossible.

It looks like Bush turned the trick. Maybe he's a uniter after all.
Governors of both parties said Sunday that Bush administration policies were stripping the National Guard of equipment and personnel needed to respond to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, forest fires and other emergencies.

Tens of thousands of National Guard members have been sent to Iraq, along with much of the equipment needed to deal with natural disasters and terrorist threats in the United States, the governors said here at the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.
Feeling safer yet?

Friday, February 24, 2006
Fox News Does It Again...

(Thanks to MediaMatters)

In Case You Had Any Doubt That Bill O'Reilly Is A Giant Pussy...

He's got a petition on his website to convince the head of NBC Universal to fire Keith Olbermann.

O'Reilly wants MSNBC to replace Keith Olbermann with Phil Donahue, a guy that O'Reilly himself referred to as "clueless" and a "mouthpiece for left-wing propaganda" a mere five months ago on his own show.

Why is he doing this?

O'Reilly claims to be looking out for MSNBC, one of Fox News' primary competitors.
We, the undersigned, are becoming increasingly concerned about the well-being of MSNBC and, in particular, note the continuing ratings failure of the program currently airing weeknights on that network at 8:00 PM EST.
A Fox News host looking out for the well-being of MSNBC?

Have the heads of Pepsi ever offered to give Coca-Cola a helping hand?

Would Ronald McDonald even be seen in the same damn room with that creepy king guy from the Burger King commercials?


O'Reilly is looking out for himself because Keith Olbermann is just about the only voice on television that calls him on his dishonest bullshit. Take a look...

Who knew broadcasting success could cause such a drastic thinning of the skin...

This Week's Donnybrook DVD ANTI-Recommendation...

Don't watch Elizabethtown, I implore you.

Those of you that think this blog serves no purpose can finally thank me for something. I'm going to save you 2 hours of your life that would be much better spent clipping your toenails or defrosting your freezer.

This movie flat-out sucks. My wife and I watched this thing in its entirety and still have yet to find a character with any redeeming qualities. The plot is a decent idea, but the acting is absolute poison.

Orlando Bloom's performance comes off like an illness, if that makes any sense. I hope it does, because it sounds exactly right to me.

Kirsten Dunst sports the worst phony Southern accent I've heard since the three months before my brother moved to South Carolina.

I should've known this movie was gonna be a wreck when they cast that annoying Southern pain-in-the-ass from the Food Network to be the sassy grandmama figure. By the way, she's such a fine thespian, they gave her about 4 lines. That's what theologians refer to as a "small miracle".

On a serious note, what's happened to Cameron Crowe?

Check out his IMDB page:
Fast Times at Ridgemont High: First-ballot Hall-of-Famer, even if Phoebe Cates wasn't in it.
The Wild Life: Never saw this, but I've heard good things.
Say Anything... Another certified classic. Lloyd Dobler rules.
Singles: Again, didn't see it, heard good things.
Jerry Maguire: Awesome flick. Quite possibly the last time Tom Cruise seemed quasi-normal to me.
Almost Famous: Utterly disappointing, and I'm exactly the guy that should've loved this movie.
Vanilla Sky: I didn't expect much and still wound up wanting to kill myself after seeing this acid trip gone wrong.
Elizabethtown: I think you get it.
So there it is. Crowe's stock is falling faster than the Farrelly Brothers' at this point.

A big problem is that his obsession with music is overtaking his ability to make a halfway decent movie, and it's too bad. The guy has good tastes, he just lost his movie-making skill about 6 years ago...

Thursday, February 23, 2006
Please God, Let Him Win This One...

Kid Rock is suing to keep a sex tape he made from being released. If there's any justice in the world, he'll succeed.

In the interest of disclosure, Mr. Rock comes in at #136,394 on my list of celebrities I'd like to see involved in a videotaped sex act, right between Rue McClanahan and the old lady in the bathtub of Room 237 at the Overlook Hotel.

Who's #1 on that list? If you guessed Scott Stapp, you were very wrong...

Are The Stakes High Enough Yet?

If the South Dakota Senate gets its way, a young girl raped by a family member that becomes pregnant will be forced to carry that baby to term.

Amendments were offered to South Dakota's abortion ban bill to keep abortion legal in cases of rape or incest, but they all failed.

"The momentum for a change in the national policy on abortion is going to come in the not-too-distant future," said Rep. Roger W. Hunt, a Republican who sponsored the bill. To his delight, abortion opponents succeeded in defeating all amendments designed to mitigate the ban, including exceptions in the case of rape or incest or the health of the woman. Hunt said that such "special circumstances" would have diluted the bill and its impact on the national scene.
The appeal of this bill will most likely go all the way to the Supreme Court.

At that point, the new Bush-appointed justices will go to work on depriving women all over this country of their right to choose, even when their own life is in danger.

Way to think it through, America...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I'll Be In Orlando For A Couple Of Days, Talk Amongst Yourselves...

Since I'll be in one of the country's most synthetic cities for a couple of days, I'll give you a few topics:

Take care...

UPDATE: Rich is still doing terrific work over at his site, Wulfie's Wurld. Take a look...

Friday, February 17, 2006
A Reprieve For A Show That's Lost It's Mojo...

For a few years, Scrubs was the funniest show on TV.

Great characters, good storylines, funny when it needed to be, serious when it needed to be.

Lately, the show has unfortunately fallen into that slump that so many good comedies fall into. The jokes seem forced, and the storylines are a little boring.

Last week, they did an episode where J.D. (the main character) broke up with his girlfriend because she didn't laugh, but instead said "That's funny".

Those of you without lives probably know that they lifted this idea directly from an episode of Seinfeld. Not good.

Hopefully, they'll get their shit together before the show is cancelled.

In the meantime, the first season is excellent. If you rent it, be sure to check out the episode entitled "My Old Lady". This one could very easily get the tears flowing. It did for me.

So, check out the first season of Scrubs, this week's Donnybrook DVD recommendation...

Bush Puts Nation With Ties To Terrorism In Charge Of 6 US Ports...

A company owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country with several questions to answer with regards to its connections to international terrorism, will be in charge of the security of ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia if the Bush Administration gets it's way.

Feel the security!

Consider the following points about the UAE's recent history:
– The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

– The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.

– According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.

– After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.
Not exactly a sterling resume for a nation that Bush wants to charge with protecting 6 of the nation's largest ports.

It seems to me that even a mere whiff of a connection to terrorism should be a 100% deal-breaker when it comes to protecting our ports. Call me crazy...

(Thanks to ThinkProgress)

Thursday, February 16, 2006
Iran Borrows A Page From Republican Playbook, Renames Danish Pastries...

It's gotta be embarrassing when one of the craziest regimes on the planet co-opts one of your finest intellectual accomplishments. Right-wing regimes can be so uncreative...
Iranians love Danish pastries, but when they look for the flaky dessert at the bakery they now have to ask for "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad".

Bakeries across the capital were covering up their ads for Danish pastries Thursday after the confectioners' union ordered the name change in retaliation for caricatures of the Muslim prophet published in a Danish newspaper.

"Given the insults by Danish newspapers against the prophet, as of now the name of Danish pastries will give way to 'Rose of Muhammad' pastries," the union said in its order.
So can everyone now see how completely and utterly fucking stupid the whole "Freedom Fries" debacle was???

UPDATE: Iran and the Republicans running our country found another thing to agree on:

Hatred of gays!!!
In a reversal of policy, the United States on Monday backed an Iranian initiative to deny United Nations consultative status to organizations working to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, a coalition of 40 organizations, led by the Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called for an explanation of the vote which aligned the United States with governments that have long repressed the rights of sexual minorities.
Two regimes united in homophobia. It's just so romantic...

Lynn Swann: Big Believer In Democracy...

It's just too easy...

When Lynn Swann votes for himself in the May Republican primary, it will be a rare springtime trip to the polls.

Despite once saying that the right to vote should never be taken for granted, Swann missed 20 of the state's 36 elections in the last 18 years - including 13 of his party's primaries, records show.

In that period, Swann missed elections for governor, U.S. senator and president, while also skipping a chance to vote on a dozen statewide referendums, including a 1989 question on property-tax reform - now a centerpiece of his campaign.

Swann, who was unanimously endorsed by the state GOP last weekend, was not available for comment yesterday. But his campaign spokeswoman, Melissa Walters, said: "He regrets not voting, and he should have voted. He encourages all Pennsylvanians to vote, and he feels that it is an important duty."
An important duty that Swann was just too busy to fulfill...

Get a load of this doozie from Swann's campaign manager, who actually suggests that voting regularly is an activity only suited for those running for office.

Swann's campaign manager, Ray Zaborney, later added: "Like many Pennsylvanians, he did not vote in every election. It was a mistake, but unlike career politicians, Lynn has not been focused on his next campaign."
Wait, it gets better. Here's a gem from Mr. Swann himself on what he thinks of people who don't vote.

In October 2004, in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Swann said: "I have always been someone to believe that when you have certain freedoms, you should exercise them and not take it for granted. If you don't take part in the process and you don't vote, then I am not willing to listen to your complaints."
Mr. Swann, if you don't "take part in the process", why should anyone listen to what you have to say?

Re-Elect Governor Ed Rendell

UPDATE: The folks over at YoungPhillyPolitics have taken to referring to Swann as "Jerry Seinfeld", since his campaign is about NOTHING...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Cheney Grants Interview To Fox News...


I can't wait to see what kind of hard-hitting questions the Foxymorons come up with...

"Did you fear for your life when Mr. Whittington attacked you, Mr. Vice President?"

"Some people have said that there's a history of suicide in Mr. Whittington's family. Can you comment on why this is?"

"Do remember when John Kerry did his hunting photo-op? He looked silly, don't you think?"

Should be fun...

Create Your Own Caption...

"Dick Cheney's Cat Is The Baddest Pussy In DC!"

The Beer Gods Smile Brightly Upon Raleigh...

Coming April 29th —Raleigh World Beer Festival!
There are some preliminary details at Beerinator.

Other than the rumor that the festival will probably be at Moore Square downtown, there's not much else to report...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
From Last Night's Brilliant "Daily Show"...

Jon Stewart: "I'm joined now by our own vice-presidential firearms mishap analyst, Rob Corddry. Rob, obviously a very unfortunate situation. How is the vice president handling it?

Rob Corddry: "Jon, tonight the vice president is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Wittington. According to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time there were quail in the brush."

"And while the quail turned out to be a 78-year-old man, even knowing that today, Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Whittington in the face. He believes the world is a better place for his spreading buckshot throughout the entire region of Mr. Whittington's face."

Jon Stewart: "But why, Rob? If he had known Mr. Whittington was not a bird, why would he still have shot him?"

Rob Corddry: "Jon, in a post-9-11 world, the American people expect their leaders to be decisive. To not have shot his friend in the face would have sent a message to the quail that America is weak."

What Constitutes A "Legendary" Sports Figure?

The word "legendary" gets thrown around a little too much in these days of ESPN 24-hour instant historianism (kudos to Dr. Masse for coining a great term), but how many truly legendary sports figures are out there right now?

Even more so than a player being considered a Hall-of-Famer, to be considered a "legend", there can be NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.

So who are the legends among today's active players and coaches?
Here's the list as I see it...


Brett Favre
Coaches: Joe Gibbs, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick


Sammy Sosa
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Coaches: Joe Torre


Shaquille O'Neal
Kobe Bryant
Tim Duncan
Coaches: Larry Brown, Phil Jackson


I honestly can't think of any.
Coaches: Snake eyes again among active coaches. No, Wayne Gretzky doesn't count...

NCAA Football

Joe Paterno
Bobby Bowden

NCAA Hoops

Mike Krzyzewski
Bobby Knight
John Chaney

Monday, February 13, 2006
Another Republican With No Moral Compass...

Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele of Maryland.

Steele is running for Sen. Paul Sarbanes' open Senate seat this year, and a lot of Republicans are desperately hoping he'll become the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The problem is, Steele has a big mouth and tends to let his lack of a conscience shine through.

For instance, last week he spoke to the Baltimore Jewish Council and spewed the following about stem-cell research:

"You of all folks know what happens when people decide they want to experiment on human beings [...] I know that as well in my community, out of our experience with slavery, and so I'm very cautious when people say this is the best new thing, this is going to save lives."
Steele has now come out in support of stem-cell research. Flippity-flop...

Then there's the matter of his staying silent about Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Erlich holding a fund-raiser at a whites-only country club last year. His explanation?

"I don't know that much about the club, the membership, nor do I care, quite frankly, because I don't play golf."
Way to see the big picture, sir.

He also apparently made up a charge that protesters threw Oreo cookies at him during a debate in 2002.

If this is the best of what the GOP has in store this year, this should be a good year to be a Democrat...

P.S. Of course, the article says that Steele has "expanded" his stem-cell position, when he's actually done a full 180.

Good reporting is so hard to come by...

An Update On The Big Race...
Bob Casey, Jr. (D) 51%
Rick Santorum (R) 36%
--Quinnipiac Poll (2/13/2006)
Casey's still above 50%, Lil' Ricky's still below 40%.

Oh, and the closeness of the Pennsylvania Governor's race can only help Casey at this point, since the Philly 'burbs will be coming out in droves to keep Ed Rendell in Harrisburg.

For more election info, check out Election Predictions for terrific race analysis and regularly updated predictions...

Sunday, February 12, 2006
My Faith In A Benevolent God Takes A Massive Hit...

I nearly lost control of my bowels upon reading this little bit of speculation...
Sources tell TMZ Van Halen is in the market for a new lead singer, and the marketplace will be the upcoming reality show 'Rock Star: The Series.'

Last October, Van Halen reps vehemently denied the band would use 'Rock Star' in a talent search for a new lead singer. The reps are now singing a different tune. Van Halen publicist Larry Solters told TMZ: "I'm not denying it. I'm not going to answer any questions about it."
Valium addictions are made of moments like this...

A Question For Republicans Who Think African-Americans Would Be Better Served By The Republican Party...

Why do you think about 90% of African-Americans identify themselves with the Democratic party, a party you regularly refer to as anti-American, intellectually devoid, or even worse?

Are 90% of blacks inherently evil, as you insinuate many Democrats are?

Are 90% of blacks too stupid to figure out that the Republican party would serve their interests more effectively?

Are 90% of blacks too lazy to free themselves of a party that you think has them on a "plantation"?

Do 90% of blacks hate America? Are 90% of blacks anti-patriotic? Do 90% of blacks put their hatred of George W. Bush ahead of their love of their county?

These are all accusations regularly leveled at the Democratic party by Republicans. Do they carry over to it's most loyal constituency group?

Teach me...

Friday, February 10, 2006
It's A Bad Day To Be A Republican Apologist...

Man, it is UGLY out there today...

Ugly, indeed...

UPDATE: Things just got uglier. A former CIA official is claiming that the Bush adminstration misused pre-war intelligence to justify invading Iraq...

The GOP's Double-Standard Of Local Officials' Involvement...

Remember the time period after Katrina destroyed the better part of the Gulf Coast when every Republican to the right of Chris Shays was screaming that it was the fault of the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana that New Orleans was underwater?

Contrast that with what happened yesterday.

President Bush was crowing about a thwarted terrorist attack on Los Angeles back in 2002.

Four years ago...

This story was news to everyone. Including the Mayor of Los Angeles. He was left completely out of the loop, even though it was his city that got stirred into a minor panic yesterday. So much for the Republican talking point about local officials being involved in major security issues.

Now, Antonio Villaraigosa wasn't the mayor back in 2002, but it seems to me that this is exactly the kind of information the Bush Administration would share with him specifically before going public with the information in order to make up for the fact that Bush didn't get a bounce from his State of the Union speech.

Go figure...

P.S. Getting back to Katrina, it turns out the Bush administration did know the levees had been breached, even though they swore at the time that they didn't.

Sleep tight with that floating around in your head...

Wednesday, February 8, 2006
In Praise Of Tom Hanks' Greatest Cinematic Achievement...

That's right, I'm talking about Bachelor Party, this week's Donnybrook DVD recommendation.

Sure, Saving Private Ryan was riveting, Philadelphia was inspiring, and Forrest Gump was thoroughly depressing, but Mr. Hanks' career peaked with this piece of sophomoric gold from 1984.

This movie takes every comedic easy-way-out and makes them all seem fresh and new:

If you're looking for a pill-popping donkey, this movie's got it.

If a middle-aged WASP unknowingly grabbing a male stripper's 15-inch mule is your thing, look no further.

If you ever wanted to see what Kent from Real Genius was like before he was Kent from Real Genius, this is the movie for you.

If you've ever wondered if there's a smaller, more-annoying version of Dennis DeYoung who'd be willing to have sex with a tranny, welcome home.

And if you can't get enough of Adrian Zmed since "Dance Fever" went off the air, you've found your fix.

Check this one out, if you can find it, and just remember that Tom Hanks was way better when he was funny and not a self-important douchebag married to another self-important douchebag...

The Moment McCain Officially Lost Me...

Let me start by saying that I never planned on voting for John McCain in 2008.

I saw McCain as a reasonable Republican and a good guy, but was never in touch with most of his positions. He seemed like a decent guy.

I could deal with him being on the Sunday morning shows every other week and speaking his brand of "straight talk", even when it seemed like a more direct and affable recitation of the Republican party line. I could even deal with the media fawning all over him at every stop because they assume he's the only straight-shooter in Congress, even though he's certainly not.

No longer.

John McCain wants so badly to be the sole arbiter of reform on Capitol Hill that anyone who dares stray from his "bipartisan" script for lobbying reform immediately becomes part of the problem, in his eyes.

Sen. Barack Obama decided to pass on joining McCain's bipartisan task force on lobbying reform, favoring an approach that is more open and accessible to the public. We are, after all, the ones that this process truly affects.

McCain would have none of this. He quickly fired back a snarky rebuttal to Obama's thoughtful decision. This thing sounds like it might have been ghostwritten by Karl Rove himself.

Here's one particularly troubling excerpt:
I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership's preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions.
You can read the full exchange of letters between McCain and Obama here.

After reading them, honestly tell me who comes off as a partisan opportunist in this situation.

In his first 13 months as a Senator, Barack Obama has been a credit to the Senate, honoring the institution itself, and proudly serving the people that overwhelmingly elected him.

He's been fair, he's been reasonable, he's called "shenanigans" when he saw fit, and he's crossed party lines when he saw fit.

That's all any constituent can ask of a representative.

None of this matters to John McCain. He wants to be the anointed savior of the Republican party and the US Congress so badly, that no other voices can be tolerated.

That's a damn shame...

Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Bush's New Budget: The Turd In The GOP Punch Bowl...

Don't take it from me, listen to some of your elected Republican officials...

From ThinkProgress:
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): While fiscal discipline must be our priority, there are some places where the president’s budget either cuts too deeply or fails to recognize the positive impact of a program, such as our agriculture program, Pell grants, Medicaid and Medicare and the Community Development Block Grants program.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH): The Congress doesn’t have to stick to these [White House] priorities. … There are some programs in there I have heartburn about.

Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO): Overall, we’re concerned that some of these cuts are really beginning to bite. … [The White House budget office] sits in some isolated cocoon and comes forward with proposals that we don’t think make any sense.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA): It is scandalous to provide insufficient funding for our nation’s two greatest capital investments, health and education.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA): These budget numbers are extremely disappointing in a number of ways.
Wait, there's more! From DailyKos:
Moderate Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, expressed surprise and dismay at the nearly $50 billion in cuts over five years proposed from Medicare and Medicaid, including $12.2 billion in Medicaid savings that the White House is seeking by regulation rather than legislation.

"I have long fought to protect access to Medicare and Medicaid, and as the budget process moves forward, I will continue to fight against any cuts that would impact those in greatest need," Snowe said.
And one more for good measure...

Senate Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., meanwhile, criticized the budget for "unfairly" targeting farmers for savings."

We will continue to work for deficit reduction that will not burden farmers, particularly after the high fuel costs and extreme weather of the 2005 crop year," Chambliss said.
Will the GOP-controlled Congress finally step up and serve their constituents rather than their masters in the White House?

Stay tuned...

UPDATE: Sen. David Vitter's full official statement strikes directly at the heart of President Bush's total lack of commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast post-Katrina.
“These budget numbers are extremely disappointing in a number of ways. The worst is the Corps of Engineers’ numbers – cut 11 percent from last year and Corps’ construction cut 34 percent! While I was able to secure almost $2 billion to fund all flood and hurricane Corps projects in metropolitan New Orleans through emergency supplementals, we continue to have unmet needs. These sorts of cuts in the past are what led to cutting corners. And that led to catastrophic flooding in New Orleans. The Administration has to remember that most of that flooding was a man-made, not natural, disaster.

North Carolina Has A New Chief Justice...

Congratulations to Chief Justice Sarah Parker.
Sarah Parker officially became North Carolina's 27th chief justice on Monday, taking the oath of office in the building where the Supreme Court heard cases more than a century ago before returning recently.

Parker, a Charlotte native on the court as an associate justice since 1993, was appointed by Gov. Mike Easley to replace I. Beverly Lake Jr., who retired last week. Parker, a Democrat like Easley, plans to run for a full eight-year term as chief justice in November.

"I will continue to render to the people justice based on the facts and law on each case, without regard to any personal agenda," Parker told an overflow crowd in the old House chambers inside the Capitol building. "I will give to the duties of the office of chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina my utmost energy, ability and integrity."
Check out Justice Parker's bio here...

UPDATE: Congratulations also to Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who was appointed by Governor Easley to fill Justice Parker's old seat on the state's highest court.

Gonzales Says If We Just Keep Quiet, Terrorists Will Forget We're Listening To Them...

No, this isn't from The Onion. It's an actual exchange between Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Biden wants to know how the leaking of the domestic spying program has jeopardized it's effectiveness. What ensues is nothing short of comedic gold...
BIDEN: Thank you very much. General, how has this revelation damaged the program?

I'm almost confused by it but, I mean, it seems to presuppose that these very sophisticated Al-Qaida folks didn't think we were intercepting their phone calls.

I mean, I'm a little confused. How did it damage this?

GONZALES: Well, Senator, I would first refer to the experts in the Intel Committee who are making that statement, first of all. I'm just the lawyer.

And so, when the director of the CIA says this should really damage our intel capabilities, I would defer to that statement. I think, based on my experience, it is true -- you would assume that the enemy is presuming that we are engaged in some kind of surveillance.

But if they're not reminded about it all the time in the newspapers and in stories, they sometimes forget.

And no, I didn't add that "laughter" part...

Monday, February 6, 2006
Digby Pulls Out The Nukes...

...and points them at the Republicans controlling the US Congress.

They're the ones currently turning their Constitutionally-granted powers over to the man they see as omniscient and above error.
I've watched this invertebrate GOP caucus since 2000 as they submitted themselves to this lawless administration again and again, shredding every bit of self respect, every figment of institutional pride, every duty to the constitution. The look in their eyes, which is somehow interpreted as strong and defiant by the equally servile media, is actually a window to empty little men who have given up their manhood to oblige their master. The only reward they seek is unfettered access to the taxpayers money for their own use.


1. I went to vote for the MVP and was excited to vote for offensive lineman Alan Faneca. But only one problem...they didn't make any freaking offensive linemen eligible on the ballot. What kind of crap is that? Talk about a slap in the face. These guys do all the dirty work and are denied even the chance to earn some recognition? Unbelievable. Faneca was the reason Willie Parker ran 75 yards for a touchdown and also was instrumental in springing the Steelers other big plays. It's just bogus that a lineman would be denied the chance to win the MVP. What a message to send to all the aspiring linemen out there.

2. Mike Holmgren made me look like a jackass for saying that I give him the edge in coaching over Cowher a few days ago. I thought his play calling in the second half sucked ass. Now, I know the holding penalty denied Seattle the ball at the 2-yard line when they trailed 14-10 but my question is why were the Seahawks throwing in the first place? Alexander was ripping off at least five yards every time he touched the ball in the second half to that point and had just had runs that produced 15 yards or so prior to that play. You're down around the 20, you have the best running back in the game at your disposal and you have the Steelers reeling...so you keep pounding away. Holmgren was just too pass happy. The series before that Seattle had a chance to take the lead and they don't even give the ball to Alexander and instead go three and out on three straight passes. The guy had 95 yards on 20 carries and one can only wonder what he could have done if Holmgren had utilized him better.

3. Matt Hasselbeck is very good. Yes, he threw that game-turning interception and then received a bogus penalty (man, could the refs have been any more biased toward Pittsburgh) but other than that he played a solid game. This guy is underrated but is one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

4. Good for Bill Cowher and Jerome Bettis. These are two class acts and it was nice to see Cowher finally win the big one and see The Bus go out a champion in his home town. With all that Cowher has done in Pittsburgh I really think he is a Hall of Famer now. Look at his credentials and they match up very well with John Madden who was voted in the other day.

5. Speaking of the Hall of Fame...how the freak does Art Monk keep getting bypassed? The guy was one of the best receivers ever and he gets shafted every time while a guy like Lynn Swann gets in. Compare Swann's and Monk's stats and it's a joke when you realize Swann is in and Monk is not. Yes, Swann was a great big-game player but Monk won three super bowls as well...and he did so with quarterbacks like Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien. It's really ridiculous.

6. The Steelers are one of the weakest world champions ever. I like the Steelers and admire what they do but they just don't stack up with the truly great ones like the 89 Niners, 78 Steelers, 72 Dolphins, 66 Packers, 85 Bears...the list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong they are a great team, but they are weak compared to some of the other champions...but that is going to happen in this era of free agency.

7. The Steelers will not repeat. Who knows what will happen in the offseason but for now I say Patriots over Seattle in the big one next year.

Friday, February 3, 2006
The Donnybrook's Super Bowl Prognostications...

Let me start off by saying it is simply unjustifiable that the NFC's #1 seed is a 4-point underdog against the AFC's #6 seed.

While I agree the AFC was much tougher this year than the NFC, it wasn't that much tougher.

At the worst, this game is a pick'em...But I digress.

The popular sentiment is way too heavily in the Steelers' favor for me to be comfortable picking them, and I really think the lack of respect the Seahawks have gotten will light a fire under them.

Here are my picks...

Seattle Seahawks 27
Pittsburgh Steelers 21
Super Bowl MVP: Matt Hasselbeck
It pains me to say Hasselbeck will take the MVP honors, since his obnoxious holier-than-thou sister-in-law will be unbearable for a good 6 months afterwards...

UPDATE: Click here for Dr. Masse's excellent preview of the game.

Dr. Masse's Picks:
Seattle Seahawks 24
Pittsburgh Steelers 21
MVP: Matt Hasselbeck
Great minds think alike at the Donnybrook...

2nd UPDATE: "Cracked" has a hilarious mock-up of ESPN's Super Bowl coverage. Check it out...

Thursday, February 2, 2006
Bush Says We Need To Get Off Mideast Oil, Doesn't Mean It...

"Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025."

--President Bush, in his State of the Union speech two nights ago.

Quite a noble and lofty goal. Too bad it's just window dressing...

One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.

He pledged to "move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past."

Not exactly, though, it turns out.

"This was purely an example," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.
That's comforting...

UPDATE: If you think Bush is serious about reducing America's oil obsession via innovation, you might want to think again...

From today's NY Times:

The Energy Department will begin laying off researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the next week or two because of cuts to its budget.

A veteran researcher said the staff had been told that the cuts would be concentrated among researchers in wind and biomass, which includes ethanol. Those are two of the technologies that Mr. Bush cited on Tuesday night as holding the promise to replace part of the nation's oil imports.

Bush's dedication to American energy independence officially has a shelf-life of less than 48 hours...

House Republicans Get A Boehner...

I have nothing to add to the situation, just wanted to see that headline in print...

P.S. It is funny that it took two votes for the GOP to elect their new House leader. There were too many votes cast on the first ballot.

Let the irony wash over you like a golden shower...

Greatest Movie Scenes Of All Time?

Jamz got me thinking about this yesterday when he mentioned the "purge" scenes from Goodfellas, The Godfather, and Casino.

What is the single greatest movie scene ever?

I'm torn between three:
1.) Goodfellas: The aforementioned "purge" scene where Robert DeNiro's character has everyone involved in the Lufthansa heist killed while the outro of "Layla" plays in the background. Haunting stuff...

2.) The Color of Money: The final scene where Eddie Felson confronts Vincent and demands his "best game". The way it's shot and the mix of cockiness and desperation from Eddie are just incredible...

3.) Rocky: I know it seems cliched, but the original fight with Apollo Creed just can't be topped, from a pure sports-flick perspective...
Let's hear what you've got...

Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Would You Turn In Your Dad???

A 64-year-old bank robber makes for an interesting story, no matter how he was brought to justice.

However, the crimes are not the interesting part of this story. The interesting part is that the robber's own sons turned him in...
The explanations and apologies sounded empty to at least two of the three brothers responsible for turning in their bank-robbing father to authorities.

In an often emotional and tense interview on Monday's "The Oprah Winfrey Show," William Alfred Ginglen, 64, of Lewistown struggled to give his sons the answer to their most pressing question: "Why?"
What a crazy situation.

For the record, I would NEVER turn my Dad in for anything. If my Dad came to me and asked me to bury a gun (a la Goodfellas) , I'd do it without missing a beat.

What about you guys? Could you snitch on your own father?


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