Wednesday, November 29, 2006

President Asshole

The latest in a long series of demonstrations that President George W. Bush is an asshole.
At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source.

Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.
Rumor I hear is the exact words the President used were, "How's your boy doing?" Boy.

Christ, what an asshole.

Must Read Education Story

Paul Tough in the New York Times magazine has written a must read piece on the state of the Education debate today. He provides as clear an overview on No Child Left Behind, the achivement gaps between students of various backgrounds, Charter schools and the state of the current reform efforts and the issues surrounding it. I highly recommend the whole thing to get a grasp on what the stakes are here.

A few things jumped out at me in my first read through. Tough highlights the conclusion of research that tried to get a handle on why some students achieve more than others. This passage is a nice summary of the dual nature of hte achievement gap question:

The issue was complicated by the fact that there are really two overlapping test-score gaps: the one between black children and white children, and the one between poor children and better-off children. Given that those categories tend to overlap — black children are three times as likely to grow up in poverty as white children — many people wondered whether focusing on race was in fact a useful approach. Why not just concentrate on correcting the academic disadvantages of poor people? Solve those, and the black-white gap will solve itself.
There had, in fact, been evidence for a long time that poor children fell behind rich and middle-class children early, and stayed behind. But researchers had been unable to isolate the reasons for the divergence. Did rich parents have better genes? Did they value education more? Was it that rich parents bought more books and educational toys for their children? Was it because they were more likely to stay married than poor parents? Or was it that rich children ate more nutritious food? Moved less often? Watched less TV? Got more sleep? Without being able to identify the important factors and eliminate the irrelevant ones, there was no way even to begin to find a strategy to shrink the gap.

Tough provides a nice overview of the most important studies and their conclusion on why kids are less or more prepared to succeed in school, and its not as simple as rich or poor or black or white:

What’s more, the kinds of words and statements that children heard varied by class. The most basic difference was in the number of “discouragements” a child heard — prohibitions and words of disapproval — compared with the number of encouragements, or words of praise and approval. By age 3, the average child of a professional heard about 500,000 encouragements and 80,000 discouragements. For the welfare children, the situation was reversed: they heard, on average, about 75,000 encouragements and 200,000 discouragements. Hart and Risley found that as the number of words a child heard increased, the complexity of that language increased as well. As conversation moved beyond simple instructions, it blossomed into discussions of the past and future, of feelings, of abstractions, of the way one thing causes another — all of which stimulated intellectual development.

Hart and Risley showed that language exposure in early childhood correlated strongly with I.Q. and academic success later on in a child’s life. Hearing fewer words, and a lot of prohibitions and discouragements, had a negative effect on I.Q.; hearing lots of words, and more affirmations and complex sentences, had a positive effect on I.Q. The professional parents were giving their children an advantage with every word they spoke, and the advantage just kept building up.
In the years since Hart and Risley published their findings, social scientists have examined other elements of the parent-child relationship, and while their methods have varied, their conclusions all point to big class differences in children’s intellectual growth. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, a professor at Teachers College, has overseen hundreds of interviews of parents and collected thousands of hours of videotape of parents and children, and she and her research team have graded each one on a variety of scales. Their conclusion: Children from more well-off homes tend to experience parental attitudes that are more sensitive, more encouraging, less intrusive and less detached — all of which, they found, serves to increase I.Q. and school-readiness. They analyzed the data to see if there was something else going on in middle-class homes that could account for the advantage but found that while wealth does matter, child-rearing style matters more

These studies challenges, or at least adds depth, to many of the broad, simplistic arguments that we all tend to apply to education such as Racism, poverty, funding inequities, not to mention the IQ issues that have arisen, most notably since the publication of the Bell Curve

As far as I can tell, these studies seem to align with the test results, particulary in reading scores, where you would expect these language issues to have the greatest impact. That impact is often referred to as "Social Capital", the advantages students carry with them on the first day of school, as opposed to other students who are less successful. These resulst do not neccesarily debunk or fatally undermine arguments that emphasize the impact of poverty, racial discrimination or other related ideas. But it does seem to challenge the tendency to compress those inherently complex notions into tools to dismiss arguments we do not like or appear at first blush to be politically unpalatable. I think the IQ/race arguments that some people attribute to the Bell Curve suffer the most, since IQ does not seem to be the ultimate determining factor according to the research Tough cites. Rather, it appeared to be one of several outcomes that affected ultimate education success (just for the record, I'm not a fan of the arguments pushed by Murray in the Bell Curve concerning social policy or policy in general.)

Tough proceeds to the next logical step in the piece, how do we address these problems and reform our current system of eduction to accomplish whatever strategy we decide on. I plan on highlighting various elements of this piece in future posts. But read the piece and offer your comments on the research issues. Did it surprise you? Do you vehmently object to their conclusions? Do you agree?

Monday, November 27, 2006

When Morons attack!

Via Josh Marshall, we find yet another example of what a dangerous moron Newt Gingrich really is:

That night crossing, immortalized in paintings of Washington's standing in the boat as Marblehead Fishermen rowed him across the ice-strewn river, led to an amazing victory on Christmas Day. That victory led to a surge in American morale and a doubling in the size of the American forces under Washington within two weeks. And that gave Washington the strength to win a second surprise victory at Princeton.
In two weeks, Washington had gone from defeated, hopeless bungler to victorious American hero and personification of the American Cause.
Imagine there had been a Baker-Hamilton Commission -- the group charged with assessing our options in Iraq -- advising Washington that cold Christmas Eve. What "practical, realistic" advice would they have given him?

"Angels and Ministers of Grace, defend us!", as Hamlet would say. Newt Gingrich is a plague upon the living. The rest of his "article" is a pathetic exercise in strawman logic devoid of any real value other than to indicate Newt's intention to blame everyone but himself and his fellow travelers for the horrible mess in Iraq. It really is a primer in the Green Lantern theory of foreign policy. I particularly liked this little gem:

Winning is key. We are in a power struggle on a worldwide basis with dictators who want to defeat us (Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea) and with fanatic organizations that want to kill us (al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc). In a struggle like this, the goal has to be to win. Anything less than victory is very dangerous, because it allows our enemies to gather more capabilities and prepare for more dangerous campaigns. Time is not on our side. Time is on the side of those seeking nuclear and biological weapons to use against the civilized world.

Winning is good. Losing is bad. Diareha is storm raging inside you. Just Do it. Does even Newt know what the hell he is talking about? More dangerous campaigns? Ummm..Great idea Newt, a half trillion down the crapper is just the opening salvo in our war against the whatevers. Lets invade Hezbollahland and send Patton over to Hamasville to save Christmas. We'll send the Cuban exiles back over to finally have it out with the dying Castro. And we'll just dryhump Venezuela because we just don't like the cut of Chavez's jib.

See you in 2008 Newt. You know he is going to run, correct? He most certainly is, and probably on a platform of that will sound alot like the dreck he produced in this article. He and John McCain are going to duke it out for most dreadfully insane militarist freak.

I cannot wait!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Laughing My Ass Off

The Editors have a brilliant idea. I'll spare you the snark (though, it's very good, and you should read the whole thing) and skip to the concluding paragraph where you find the nut:
But more seriously, I think I can do Rangel’s solution one better: introduce a bill to let soldiers get a General Discharge, no strings attached, if they give two week’s notice. Call it the “Take This War And Shove It Act”. I think even Antiwar might be able to puzzle that one out.
Oh my. I think I just bit my tongue.

St00piddest Things Ever Said, Part V

GamePolitics.Com identifies yet another of William O'Reilly's entries in our Most Stupid Things Ever Said contest buried inside an extended anti-technology rant about the evil of computer games. Quoth the pundit:
I don’t own an iPod. I would never wear an iPod… If this is your primary focus in life - the machines… it’s going to have a staggeringly negative effect, all of this, for America… did you ever talk to these computer geeks? I mean, can you carry on a conversation with them? …I really fear for the United States because, believe me, the jihadists? They’re not playing the video games. They’re killing real people over there.
ZOMG! "They're killing real people over there!"

This is just great. The United States is losing the GlobalWarOnWhatever™ and fiddling away while ThatIraqiThingiePoo™ descends into sectarian civil war and chaos, and whose fault is it? The computer geeks. Who are too busy playing Ghost Recon to be bothered to haul ammunition, fuel and water to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Where the "jihadists" are. Over there.

If only there were more red-blooded Americans who realized how the iPod is making their beloved country soft, turning them into a nation of semi-conscious zombies, glued to computer screens instead of intellectually stimulating television screens, learning about useless things like strategy, tactics and logistics instead of soaking up hyperpatriotic propaganda on the AM radio dial, and using the Internet to organize and communicate with one another as a network instead of joining hierarchical command and control systems directed from the top by the nation's economic and political elites— why, then the United States would be able to Kill Real People too. Pay no attention to the hundreds of thousands of corpses in Iraq that say Made By The USA on them.

I want to be introduced to William's dope dealer. He clearly gets a higher grade than I do.

The amusing thing, as notes, is that O'Reilly runs a subscription web service that includes podcasts of his shows. That's where got the quotes to transcribe for their post.

Monday, November 13, 2006



At a Wharton Business School conference on business in Africa, World Trade Organization representative Hanniford Schmidt announced the creation of a WTO initiative for "full private stewardry of labor" for the parts of Africa that have been hardest hit by the 500 years of Africa's free trade with the West.

The initiative will require Western companies doing business in some parts of Africa to own their workers outright. Schmidt recounted how private stewardship has been successfully applied to transport, power, water, traditional knowledge, and even the human genome. The WTO's "full private stewardry" program will extend these successes to (re)privatize humans themselves.

Full, untrammelled stewardry is the best available solution to African poverty, and the inevitable result of free-market theory," Schmidt told more than 150 attendees. Schmidt acknowledged that the stewardry program was similar in many ways to slavery, but explained that just as "compassionate conservatism" has polished the rough edges on labor relations in industrialized countries, full stewardry, or "compassionate slavery," could be a similar boon to developing ones.

Wow. Those WTO guys— they really like to expand the boundaries of acceptable policy proposals, don't they?

Update 1.0: Congratulations to The Yes Men for fishing me in with a truly excellent prank. I knew about The Yes Men, but I didn't know that is their prank site. Nicely done, gentlemen. Nicely done.

Welcome to the 110th Congress...

"Why no, I'm not member of a organized political party... I'm a Democrat..."

mojo sends

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It Was Barzini All Along...

So the GOP corpses aren't even room temperature yet, and mouth-breathing pimps like DLC shill Marty Peretz has to stagger through the town square like a brutish, dumb village drunk bent on starting a meaningless fight by publicly ramping up yet another Democratic auto-cannibalism fest...

This time the party is threatening to eat itself over a split between Field Marshal Rahmel and MD's Stenn Hoyer, who want to be Speaker and Majority Leader respectively, and the Pelosi/Murtha faction for those same jobs, who also have the DNC's backing (or at least DNC Chair Howard Dean's backing).

Someone from the DLC needs to get Peretz on the line and tell him to shut his pie hole, or just finally go register Republican, and tell him he can take the rest of the Joelusional DLC Cybermen with him...

Now that our forces are in still the field, perhaps it is time to take out the trash. We do not need DLC; this was not their victory, in spite of their turgid efforts to spin it otherwise. This is about the DLC and Rahm Emanuel settling scores with the progressive base, Pelosi and Dean. Especially Dean.

And Peretz' comments and those of his ignorant sycophantic supporters about San Francisco will not go forgotten! Memo to DLC craphounds: we just spaced a good deal of the GOP out the airlock for talking like that. Today the family settles all scores.

Never take sides against the family Rahm, because it gets awfully lonely out there in the row boat...

Re: Mojowire Tinfoil Hat Theatre

In the post below S9 offers a interesting theory:

When the Military Times editorial calling for Rumsfeld's resignation made the news over the weekend, I wrote my fellow MojoWire editors privately to express my misgivings about predicting GOP retention of both houses of Congress. That single event seemed to signal to me that the military brass had privately brandished an extremely frightening set of teeth and claws to the civilian leadership of the Bush Administration, going all the way up to the President, making it clear that the midterm election had better not come up with official results that wildly diverge from independent exit polling numbers or there will be very serious Hell To Pay as a consequence.

My fellow editors didn't respond to my crazy tinfoil hat theorizing, so I still don't know what they think about that.

I didn't respond because I'm not sure what I think about that. It certainly sounds logical from what I understand of the available facts. There is just no way I can see to advance this notion beyond the hypothetical. Essentially, S9 seems to be suggesting the military, or a faction thereof, threatened the civilian leadership with some sort of retribution if they engaged in any kind of electoral hijinks beyond the usual dirty tricks. What those consequences are is the rub. In order to scare them more than losing Congress and possibly (if highly unlikely) going to jail or being impeached, it would have to be pretty harsh. I am clinging perhaps naively to the idea that military force was not on the menu.

I don't think it is beyond the realm of the possible or even likely that various people in the Pentagon, frustrated by the civilian leadership, have files or memos in their possession that could make life unpleasant for certain people. I have no doubt that what we know about the terrible actions of the Cheney Cabal is the tip of the iceberg, and that the truth would explode our heads like Pumpkins at a backwoods turkey shoot. People in the Administration are guily of War Crimes, at least in the Nuremberg sense, regardless of how many 1L legal rationalizations get scribbled down by Conservative legal pukes. And we know military lawyers have been less than thrilled about how the military's core values about torture and POW treatment embedded in the UCMJ was so casually and contemptuously dismissed by the Cheneyites.

Obviously the issue of the military or faction within the military threatening the civilian leadership in this fashion is a Faustian bargain, even if I like the outcome. And clearly the Pentagon is a political player that often leverages their direct supervisors through the same methods other people institutions do, most notably during the Clinton Administration where they bullied the White House some through their friends on the Armed Services Committees.

My take on the tension between this White House and military has been focused on the electoral consequences of the constant rotations in Iraq pressuring military families and eroding the loyalty of that consituency to the Republican party. It's not the largest constituency, but it has serious credibility among many other republican factions. If military people are unhappy, that unhappiness influences the GOP rank and file. I would also like to point out that MANY people in the military agree in large part with the destruction of many of the legal barriers to more aggresive action, particularly the covert kind.

I need more information before I really form a concrete opinion on this. If someone(s) in the Pentagon threateded disclosure or someother whistleblower activity to spook the Administration into better behaviour, I can live with that. If something of a higher order was threatened, that's in a different league, and that truly scares me.

On a related note, in light of the conflict between CIA and the White House/DOD/VP Axis, is the ascension of Gates, one of Poppy's lieutenants, the final laugh of Old School Langley, thier revenge for the insult of Porter Goss?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

MojoWire Tinfoil Hate Theatre

Glenn Greenwald addresses people like me, who have nearly lost all hope in the basic integrity of American democracy. He says...
Chronic defeatists and conspiracy theorists — well-intentioned though they may be — need to re-evaluate their defeatism and conspiracy theories in light of this rather compelling evidence which undermines them (a refusal to re-evaluate one's beliefs in light of conflicting evidence is a defining attribute of the Bush movement that shouldn't be replicated).

Karl Rove isn't all-powerful; he is a rejected loser. Republicans don't possess the power to dictate the outcome of elections with secret Diebold software. They can't magically produce Osama bin Laden the day before the election. They don't have the power to snap their fingers and hypnotize zombified Americans by exploiting a New Jersey court ruling on civil unions, or a John Kerry comment, or moronic buzzphrases and slogans designed to hide the truth (Americans heard all about how Democrats would bring their "San Francisco values" and their love of The Terrorists to Washington, and that moved nobody). It simply isn't the case that we are doomed and destined to lose at the hands of all-powerful, evil forces.
And I'll give him his due. He's right. I've been defeatist, and I've been forced to reƫvaluate my defeatism and conspiracy theory. Now for most of those conspiracy theories, I've never subscribed to them. (I'm still very suspicious of black-box voting, and I don't consider that to be a "conspiracy theory" because the professional organization with which I'm associated, the Association for Computing Machinery, has published peer-reviewed journal articles about the problems that have me most concerned. Problems that Greenwald and others dismiss blithely, ignorantly, and I contend, at our peril.)

That said, I have one nagging little conspiracy theory that keeps me from being completely convinced that I'm looking at proof that Everything Is All Right Now.

When the Military Times editorial calling for Rumsfeld's resignation made the news over the weekend, I wrote my fellow MojoWire editors privately to express my misgivings about predicting GOP retention of both houses of Congress. That single event seemed to signal to me that the military brass had privately brandished an extremely frightening set of teeth and claws to the civilian leadership of the Bush Administration, going all the way up to the President, making it clear that the midterm election had better not come up with official results that wildly diverge from independent exit polling numbers or there will be very serious Hell To Pay as a consequence.

My fellow editors didn't respond to my crazy tinfoil hat theorizing, so I still don't know what they think about that.

Today, when the President announced in a total surprise that Robert Gates would be taking over the Pentagon, despite his earlier lies about how Rumsfeld has his complete confidence and would be serving for the rest of the President's term, I grew even more suspicious that we might be witnessing the results of separate turfs in the executive branch having a very ugly showdown with real weapons drawn behind closed doors.

Unlike Mr. Greenwald, I have no doubt whatsoever that the GOP could have engineered enough electronic vote fraud to retain control of both houses in yesterday's elections, just be diddling with the Diebold software. They only thing I can imagine might have stopped them is not the basic mechanics of American democracy, but rather a literal gun to the head. In fact, I think I'm surprised even that might have been enough.

Mr. Greenwald is right. All the hurdles and problems can be overcome. They just were overcome. However, I'm not yet convinced that they were overcome by fair play. In any event, if movement conservatives really do end up getting their shit dialed back to the 1940's in the next two years, then ultimately I won't care much whether it was democracy or the careful hand of patriotic spooks doing the same thing to our falangists that they did to other country's right-wing jackholes all through the Cold War. My worry is about how I imagine we might just have been traded from one pack of pseudo-fascist gangsters to another, one with smarter and more devious leaders, and for purposes that are far, far from wholesome.

So here's where I am in the reĆ«valuation process... I'm saying, let's see if we can make some progress rolling back the Imperial Presidency and getting an Open Society up and running in America again. If we can do that, then I'll believe I've seen the proof that American democracy still works. Until then, stop blowing smoke up my skirt— you're just pissing me off. We've got a long row to hoe before we can feel good that American democracy still works. We can start by treating our black-box vote tabulation systems like the serious threat they are. I'm looking at you, Mr. Greenwald.


I am cautiously optimistic about the recount process in Virginia.

For one, it looks like under Virginia law, it will end being the Allen campaign that has to pay the costs for the recount, not the local cities and counties. For another, the recount process will expose the issues I've been complaining about for years now about paperless no-audit-trail black-box electronic voting systems. Lastly, the difference in the vote count that the Allen campaign has to recover through this process is so large, that I don't see how it can be done without raising very serious questions about the integrity of the voting systems. Those are questions I've repeatedly said I would like to see more attention paid.

I've not changed my tune.

However, keep in mind that Webb has the psychological advantage at the moment, being the nominal winner of the uncertified vote. The state of Virginia is run by Democrats, and the FBI have been called to investigate charges of voter intimidation by the Allen campaign— which could get really squirrelly when the pushing and the shoving starts. Making this recount into a constitutional crisis that goes all the way to the Supreme Court will serve to expose "strict constructionism" as a fetid load of dingo's kidneys. There is a very high likelihood that we can have our investigations, surface the very serious problems with electronic paperless voting systems, and still end up with Democratic control of the U.S. Senate by resolving the seat by other means. That would be a win-win scenario.

(Assuming Joe Lieberman fulfills his promise to caucus with the Democrats.)

Update 1.0: BTW, if the Allen campaign does take the bait and call for a recount, then get ready to open your wallets to the Webb people. They will need every dollar they can get to defend against the Rovian slime-machine that will spin up to throw that recount fight their way.

Mr. Rove, your Agonizer please!

The Agony Booth at the West Wing is going to be quite busy for the next few weeks. So much for the Grand Rovian Strategy for a perpetual GOP majority. Guess what Karl? You are not Mark Hanna. You're not even Mark Hamil. Please present your agonizer to the White House Chief of staff when you enter the Oval Office. Don't make him ask twice.

In addition to winning the House from these theocratic scumbags, I wanted to highlight a few outcomes in individual House and Senate races that gave me particular satisfaction.

CA 11- McNerney (D) defeats Pombo, 53-47. Richare Pombo chaired the House Resources committee, which gave him vast influence over Enviromental policy. Pombo was a greedy duchebag who openly advocated the repeal of the Clean Water and Endangered species act. He also once proposed to sell off a quarter of the land owned by the National Park Service. He pretty much wanted to get rid of every piece of enviromental protection on the books. Oh, and shock and surprise, he was an Abramoff guy. The change in majority coupled with this loss is a great day for the enviroment. Go back to the ranch Richie, and don't ever come back.

PA 7 - Sestak (D) defeats Weldon (R). Curt Weldon is a classic conservative whackjob with the extra handicap of being dumber than most. In the through the looking glass world of GOP politics, he was regarded as an "expert" on national security issues. Seriously. Weldon is famous for pushing the "Able Danger" debacle in hopes of ressurecting the WMD issue. He also famously authored a piece of legislation without realizing the President is the Commander of Chief. Oh, and he's under investigation for corruption. Dumb, corrupt and insane. Buh Bye Curt. Maybe you can dig in your backyard and look for those WMD's. Invite Stephen Hayes over for a dig and sip. Moron.

Pennsylvania Senate seat - Casey (D) defeats Santorum (R), 58-43. Rich Santorum truly symbolized much of what was awful about the current GOP majority. A gay hating theocratic schmuck who gleefully led the charge in most of the worst excesses of that crowd, from Terri Schaivo to Creationism. He famously blamed liberals in Boston for the Catholic Church's coverup of pedophile priests. Yeah, I know it's insane, but that was typical of these guys. Less well known but equally as vile was his leadership role in creating the K Street Project that turned open bribery into a high art form. Spacing this guy out the airlock was a great day for this country. Good Riddance Ricky!

That's just to name a few. Add your favorites in comments.

Measuring For Drapes...

Hey Preznit Chucklehead...Can we do our endzone dance yet?

More importantly... has the West Wing shredder parties started yet? I hear the furnaces over at the Naval Observatory have been going 110 percent on the reactors, 24/7 for more than a week now...

All Flail Great Bleater... For He is Truly Bleat...

mojo sends

Update from S9: (victory image ganked from Atrios)

"Mars, bitches!"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Trek Break

Via Wil Wheaton, a hilarious Trek parody filmed mostly in a Fry's.

Very Fine..

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wanking Over Election Irregularities

This is just a quick reminder. Here at The MojoWire, we've been sounding off for years about black box voting and the threat posed to our electoral systems by paperless, secretly coded, vote tabulation systems and the politically compromised companies that manufacture them. We've also ranted extensively about voter registration purging and vote suppression campaigns run out of the central Republican Party committees.

As a result, it seems like it should go without saying that the one prediction about tomorrow's election we feel comfortable making without fear of being exposed as not having any precognitive abilities whatsoever is that no matter who wins control of the Senate and the House, there will be a vast, angry hue and cry from the partisans on the losing side about election irregularities and the need to investigate allegations of fraud.

Here's the reminder: we're non-partisan about fraud. Nobody should be allowed to get away with it. Not Republicans, not democrats, not Communists, or Tories or Falangists or anybody.

In the [unlikely, I still contend] event the Democrats win control of the House and Senate tomorrow, I predict we will be treated to a litany of refrains from GOP partisans about vote fraud in Democratic Party strongholds, especially in urban districts, particularly those with large non-white populations. I expect to hear lurid tales of busloads of illegal immigrants voting ten, twenty, a hundred times each. I also expect to hear the GOP suddenly acquire religion about the evils of black box voting. "Great. I sympathize," I'm ready to say to them. "Let's have investigations."

Remember: every election has some irregularities. It's when the irregularities all accumulate to the advantage of one party over all the others, that's when there are grounds to suspect fraud. That happened in 2002. It happened again in 2004. The important point I want to convey in this post is that we have a lot of work on both sides of the partisan divide in America restoring everyone's confidence in the integrity of our elections systems. Here's to hoping whoever wins tomorrow rejects the temptation to pretend that concerns about election fraud are only the puerile wanks of losers over the proverbial sour grapes.

p.s. If you live in California, please consider the race for Secretary of State very carefully. It may be the single most important electoral decision in the country tomorrow.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Stupidest Thing Ever Said v4.0 (God-Said-It-I-Believe-It-That-Settles-It Edition)

Okay sports fans, strap on those tin foil hats and fire up those cerebral corticies... it's time once again with everyone's favorite new online game show... Stupidest Thing Ever Said...

Our contestant this week comes to us courtesy of the wonderful warm glow of schedenfreude washing over us here at the Wire from the burning wreckage of the New Life Church in Colorado and it's now-ejected pastor Ted Haggard.

Now you might be tempted to think that his awesome defense of "I paid a man-whore for crank, but I threw it away and then I only got a massage when I met him at the hotel..." would be a candidate for Stupidest Thing Ever Said...

But no! That was merely feckless... no to get to the reality-bending, vaccum sucking levels of dumb that our fans have come to associate with this occasional feature, you have to go to the afterbirth of this terrible creature born of hubris and loathing...

That brings us to Pastor Mark Driscoll, founder of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle. His learned theological response to the La Cage Aux Ted contained many mind numbing, and to my mind unscriptural, observations...

But hidden deep in there we find this gem:
Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.
That's right ladies, are you sure you are doing your part to keep the man-whore at bay?

Unless you keep yourself porn-star skanky and are ready to flop on your back and "think of God" whenever his little "Golgatha" gets a little anxious, then there is no one but you to blame when he turns up in a seedy motel room dressed in a vinyl mu-mu with a string of fetish pearls up his ass, sucking down syringe after syringe of cheap eight balls while some pox-scarred man-whore flays the skin off his scrotum with a weed wacker while singing Andrew Lloyd Webber (I'm thinkin' Music of the Night from Phantom)...

We've heard it before, and we'll hear it again... wimmins is trubul... nuthin' but... What do you bet this guy actually has a sex slave harem drugged and locked in the basement of his church and writes off edible paints and latex gloves as "liturgical supplies"...

Congratulations Mark, you have won this round of STES pulling away, leaving all others in the dust... Swipe your prayer stick at the reader and your salvation will be mailed to your home...

Bonus Round... If you liked that, then check out this screed wherein we learn that everything you need to know about the Christian doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement can be learned from watching the "Christ-type" character of Jack Bauer on the Fox torture porn, 24...w00t!
(all hail great leader)

mojo sends

Get Your Exit Visas While You Still Can...

Starting January 15, the DHS will require international airline and marine passenger carriers to deny boarding passes to individuals not specifically approved for travel. Read the comments [PDF] by The Identity Project on the DHS proposed rulemaking for yourself.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The subpoena is in the mail!

The folks at Homeland Security should read the papers a bit more. Maybe they would have figured out that it is likely the GOP scumbags that have been using the no-fly list to attack and harras people they don't like are about to spaced out the airlock. Maybe they would have had second thoughts about this:

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is stopped in Boise, and not for the usual reason that someone named Sanchez would be stopped in Boise—i.e., their name is Sanchez . . . oh, wait, yes, it is. The Orange CountyRegister’s Peggy Lowe reports on the paper’s blog that Sanchez was stopped because her name appeared on a terror watch list. She was informed that before she could board her flight, she’d have to be cleared; maybe the people checking her out called Sanchez’s work colleagues on the House subcommittee on Homeland Security, on which Sanchez is the ranking Democrat. That would have been a good place to start.

I think you can bet the farm that Ms Sanchez, who is reportedly not the forgiving type, is going to open up on the no-fly list when she ascends to the chairmenship of the sub-committee. The potential to uncover all kinds of politically motivated and possibly illegal activity is limitless.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Non Hostile Weapons Discharge...

So... it's out. Spc. Alyssa Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Ariz., native serving with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne, killed herself after complaining that she could not morally take part in interrogation techniques used at the Tal Afar prison...
"Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed. ..."
So, she shot herself, she did...

with her "service rifle..."

point blank, no doubt...[/cricket noises]

Yeah... I believe this... no really, she wasn't toadcranked by the sadistic pieces of grabasstic amphibian shit that have the nerve to call themselves American soldiers... no, not at all.

mojo sends

Fuck Them!

His Rudeness says it all...

all hail great leader...

mojo sends

Reality Based Politics...

Look, can we as Democrats just come correct and acknowledge, not only the propriety, but the factual basis for Senator John Kerry's "botched joke."
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
Let's face it people, it was a throw away line from a bygone era, but it meant exactly what it sounds like, and is none the more insulting for being absolutely fscking true!

Don't believe me? Go back and watch the recruiting scene from Fahrenheit 9/11... go back and ask yourself who those Marine Corps recruiters are targeting. They are going after the kids without much in the way of educational opportunity.

They are looking for kids who live in a country where the socio-economic infrastructure is systematically being dismantled around them and for whom the choice between a bullet headed existence as the night clerk at the gas and sip and between taking your chances in Iraq and having college paid for (mostly) by Uncle Sam starts to be a no-brainer.

I'm sorry Kerry chose to apologize. I don't think it was an insult to our men and women in uniform, it was acknowledgement of a lack of options and opportunities for a lot of these kids.

We are rapidly approaching a point where you are either "the best and brightest" staying in school and getting those last seats on departing train that is the American Dream or you are cannon fodder.

"Remember... service means citizenship..."

And spare me the anecdotal "well, there's this guy, with double Ph.d's in physics and engineering and he joined the Army within months of getting his degrees..." Yeah, I'm sure that guy exists, really... but he/she is soooo out-numbered by the rank and file kids who were just looking for some help bettering their lives, and got stuck in Iraq because some lying cranks in power were too busy creating their own End Times® prophetic war against all evildoers and too stoopid to understand how badly they botched it.

Look at the pictures of that gang from Abu Ghraib, do any of them look like Comparative Lit, or Pre-Med National Merit Scholars to you?

oh, and "all hail great leader!"

mojo sends

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Place your Bets!

It's time to make the call on the Congressional Midterms. Here are the picks for Provider Biz:

House: Dems pickup 25+
Senate: Dems take control by 1 vote if Liebermen organizes as a Dem, if not, GOP retains control.

I'm putting 25,000 Quatloos on Blue. Any takers?