Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bohemian Rhapsody

I read the news today, oh boy. It's just SSDD; the wrongwingers are upset with Obama, people killed their families on the holiday, and houses burned down, (Hey, they got footage!)

So I decided to amuse myself, and hopefully you.

This place is awesome, I spent a whole evening just following these links:
Two Words Obvious Trope

Fridge Logic

Lampshade Hanging

Kick The Dog
Sadly, No! is always brilliant, but you reeeeealy have to read the comments to get the full effect:
Three Turkeys for Thanksgiving
Who knew Howie Klein went to a WH dinner!?
David Bowie Has Still Never Attended A State Dinner At The White House

I have a half-baked reason for telling the story of the state dinner I went to in September, 1998
Read it all, it just gets funnier every time I do.

Jon Ronson of The Guardian says:
'I'm going to tell my son the worst swearword in the world'
Fafablog! Need I say more?
Breaking Terror Update!
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his friends are going to stand trial! It's taken about six and a half years for this to happen, during which they were all presumably kept waiting in the parlor of a sumptuous mansion along with the Colonel, the Countess, the jewel thief, the butler and the maid while a brilliant but eccentric sleuth attempted to discern the identity of the true culprit through the use of the deductive method, the thorough examination of evidence, and simulated drowning.

Everybody else has to stay in Special Torture Jail forever on accounta they have all come down with Schrodinger's Guilt. If they stay in the box they might be guilty, but if we open the box they might not be.
And now, since you've been wondering about the post title, here is the bestest ever version of Bohemian Rhapsody:

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rock'n'roll will never die

Things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, in no particular order:

1. My family is mostly close by, and mostly happy

2. No one in my family is Republican

A. No one in my family has been sucked in by Sarah Palin's idiocy

B. Everyone in my family is pretty healthy

3. Rock'n'roll will never die

4. My brain still works fine, even though my knees & fingers, eh, not so much

5. Isabella Carolina Zumaya:

6. Republicans are mostly out of power in DC (yeah, I know . . .)

7. I can still afford my health insurance, which, through Kaiser, is still pretty good

8. I seem to have steady work in this crappy economy

9. My co-bloggers are the best!

10. Mrs. Cupcake

11. Dick Cheney has disappeared . . . oh, wait.

12. GWBush has disappeared.

13. Indy record labels are doing well, like Dangerbird Records

14. Guitars still rule rock'n'roll

Anyone want to contribute comments, please feel welcome.

And co-bloggers, feel free to add to the list, it's all good.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Like, totally bogey

Party Girl

Some people pay good money to get booted in the nuts, but when there's no shortage of out-of-work placekickers willing to do it for free why bother, right?


Case in point - say somebody gets a nice job, even though their reputation for truthtelling and non-partisanship is verifiably sketchy, insofar as they were the last in a long line of professional prevaricators and timewasters hired to keep the Bad Ship Lollipop stacked to the gunwales with fresh bullshit for eight long years.

No biggie - somebody else wants to look professionally magnanimous, extend a hand, build a bridge to...where?
Meh, looks good for the networks...On in five, boss. Kiss kiss.

Not so fast.

First, this legacy hire on the half-shell's former employer claimed he quit golf 'in solidarity' with the troops on a day deemed convenient to do so (In the reality-based world, a dense executive's poorly timed piece of optics management theater) even though that story of staunch sacrifice wasn't quite true...OK, make it a whole lot untrue, but that was sort of par for the course with that fellow, pardon the pun.

Fast forward, he's gone bye-bye...probably out golfing, shooting smack with some caddies in the arbusto behind the 15th hole, who cares?...He's not there anymore.
In the words of Bette Davis - 'Good'.

Meanwhile in the Now, this rogueish ingrate's not even in the saddle of a cushy job for a week and already she's shit-talking her open-armed buddy with the sweet job offer, right there on the teevee, about the same thing she ham-handedly pimped for in a briefing a week after her old pal busted out his feckless fib for the feebleminded...


Plainly put, this poison plum's not even smart enough to shut her mouth and keep from drawing attention via her mere presence to the fact that her former boss, his sidekick, and every other operational body within that place of employment for that period of time is a kleptocratic war criminal or hearts them very much.

President Obama - with all due respect, your countryfolk spent a lot of time and effort to get people like this out of American government jobs so that people who don't bend truth for a living could help float the ship of state a while.

You're bringing them back in.

Indulge an old carny, pal - what's the angle?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Well, you're an untamed youth That's the truth, with your cloak full of eagles

(Fantastic art obviously by our very own Darkblack)

The Big Guy™ is back! After a long summer vacation, TRex's batteries are recharged and he's sizzling:
Hey, y’all, yes, it’s me. I’m back. Nearly two years after getting fired from FDL and a year after tapering off the political beat at the end of the ‘08 elections, I am coming up hard against the fact that I’m apparently constitutionally incapable of disconnecting completely from the media stream and tuning out the noise of the political world. It’s been backing up in my brain and as much as I may try to ignore it, I can’t. Grumble.

So, apparently the only answer is to start back on blogging, if only to provide a pressure release valve for the overwhelming feelings of “ZOMG!!” and “WTF??!!” that are the inevitable human reactions to the farcical circus that is the current political climate. Between Princess Jesus Boobies and The White Witch of the North, Nazi Doughboy Glenn Beck, and that bloated intestinal polyp Rush Limbaugh, I just can’t sit here quietly any longer.

Halle-freakin'-lujah! David's blog has always been one of our fave's, and we're glad he's back on duty.

In his honor, something from the other TRex:

You Go To Armey With The War You have

Think Progress makes a great catch:
‘Read the stimulus’ advocate Dick Armey slammed for not bothering to read the stimulus.

Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform committee held a hearing on the implementation of the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus. Republican members invited former GOP Majority Leader Dick Armey, who now leads the corporate front group FreedomWorks, to testify as their expert witness.
VAN HOLLEN: Let me ask you think. You keep saying ‘if there were,’ did you read the Economic Recovery bill?

ARMEY: No I didn’t.
I had no reason to read it, I wasn’t voting on it.
Ironically, as part of an effort to obstruct and derail the bill, Armey launched an online petition called “”
This is the best republicans can do? They bring in an expert who hasn't read the bill!

It just goes to show that the best thing republicans have to offer is willful ignorance.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hungry Like A Wolf

USDA: Hunger rises in U.S.

America is hungry and getting hungrier, with 49 million people - 17 million of them children - last year unable to consistently get enough food to eat, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

These figures represent 14.6 percent of all households, a 3.5-percentage-point jump over 2007, and they are the largest recorded since the agency began measuring hunger in 1995.

Of those 49 million, 12 million adults and 5.2 million children reported experiencing the country's most severe hunger, possibly going days without eating. Among the children, nearly half a million in the developmentally critical years under age 6 were going hungry. That's three times the number in 2006.

The study documented both "low food security," which describes people unable to consistently get enough to eat, and "very low food security," in which people reported being hungry various times over the year but were unable to eat because there wasn't enough money for food.
I'm just going to bypass any argument about adults going hungry, because we all know they just brought in on themselves, all those white collar people who now go on welfare are just lazy.[/snark] [Editor's Note: I felt compelled to add the 'snark' tag because things are just so damn crazy that The Onion articles can't even begin to approach reality as seen thru GOP whiteout goggles.]

So I'll cry out the constant republican theme, What About The Children! Seriously, why does any child in America, or the rest of the world, go hungry?

There is no excuse, we have the food, we have the means of distribution, what we lack is adults in charge to make this happen.

Texas ranks second-worst in hunger risk, U.S. says

[Jan Pruitt, president and chief executive officer of the North Texas Food Bank] we're seeing a lot more professional people now."

Outreach workers who help people sign up for food stamps recently met a man who lost his job when Hewlett-Packard acquired EDS.

"He was an engineer – he made $100,000 a year ago," Pruitt said. "But he lost his job, his house and his savings, and now he's on food stamps."

"And Texas does lead the nation in the number of food-insecure children," Pruitt said.

"Every fifth child in Texas is in a food-insecure household," she said. "Every fourth child in Dallas County lives in poverty. And every third child in the city of Dallas lives in poverty."
I really don't have anything else to say, the facts speak for themselves.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Will The Real Sarah Please Stand Up?


There, that's better - Now everybody can stop fussing over the Newsweek cover.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shock the Monkey

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?
Officer Shocks Girl, 10

An Ozark police officer used a stun gun on a 10-year-old girl Thursday, an action the child's father has publicly spoken against.

Officer Dustin Bradshaw used a stun gun to subdue the girl, whose mother had called police in response to her daughter misbehaving at the woman's residence, according to an Ozark police report.
Bradshaw said the child's mother attempted to place the girl in the shower to get her ready for bed.

"I witnessed (the child) screaming, kicking and resisting every time her mother tried to touch her," Bradshaw stated. "Her mother told me to Tase her if I needed to."

Bradshaw said he and the mother carried the child to the shower, but the child refused to cooperate.

Bradshaw said after realizing there would not be a "peaceful resolution," he moved the child to the living room and told her he was going to place her under arrest, according to the report.

"She was jerking her arms away from me violently while I was trying to cuff her and thrashing about wildly," Bradshaw stated. "While she was violently kicking and verbally combative, (she) struck me with her legs and feet in the groin."

Bradshaw said because he had difficulty placing handcuffs on the girl, he administered a brief drive stun to the child's back with his stun gun, the report states.

"She immediately stopped resisting and was placed into handcuffs," Bradshaw stated. "She would not [ED: could not, FIFY cop] walk on her own and I had to carry her to my police car."
There's more:
[Ozark's Police Chief Jim Noggle] said the officer properly used his discretion when he fired his Taser at the girl.
OMG, where to start? The Mom is a bad parent and should have custody taken away from her. No responsible person calls the cops on a 10 year old for having a tantrum. And especially not for encouraging a cop to taze their child.

The cop should go to jail for child abuse. This a$$hole managed to carry her into the shower and into a squad car (given, she was incapacitated by 50 thousand volts in the latter instance), yet he can't subdue a 10 year old girl without a potentially lethal weapon?

The police chief needs to be fired and never have another job in a supervisory position, and be sued personally. Who the hell sticks up for a cop that does this?

Addendum: Ozark police argued that had the officer grabbed the girl, he could have hurt her. "If you grab somebody, you can slip an arm out of joint," the police chief added. "They can slip from you and fall on the ground."

Yeah, like adults who are Tazed don't have spastic contractions of their muscles, dislocate their joints, and/or die. TASERs are less lethal than hand guns, not less than lethal.

What a brave and fierce thin blue line we have to protect us from ... 10 year old girls.

Let this be a lesson to you kids; the monster isn't under your bed, he's not in your closet, he's your Mom and Officer Friendly. And if you don't take your shower you'll be Tazed and sent to Juvie.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Letter

This is an open letter to all SteveAudio readers.

We know you're out there, we can see the hit count. We appreciate the fact that you stop by, and we are humbled that you care enough to drop by over and over. We hope you feel welcome here, even if you disagree with a given post or all posts.

That's why we've made it easy for you to make your opinion known. You don't have to comment, (tho we really like it when you do), but if you're not comfortable with that all you have to do is click on the 'stars' below each post to let us know how you felt about a post.

It's a simple scale, just like when we were in school.
1 Star = F
2 stars = D
3 stars = C
4 stars = B
5 stars = A

It's easy, it's quick, it's anonymous, and unlike your teachers, we are grateful for your input.

And if you don't, we'll we've seen what happens

All You Zombies Hide Your Faces

Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum
Same-sex marriage bill, as written, called a threat to social service contracts

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.
City leaders said the church is not the dominant provider of any particular social service, but the church pointed out that it supplements funding for city programs with $10 million from its own coffers.
From 2006 through 2008, Catania said, Catholic Charities received about $8.2 million in city contracts, as well as several hundred thousand dollars' worth this year through his committee.
With the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church and evangelicals churches advocating political actions I think they abrogated any right to the 1st Amendment when they crossed the line between church and state.

Personally, I never understood why religions get a break in taxes. Now pardon me while I go shear my flock for tax exempt dollars.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happiness is a warm gun, bang bang, shoot shoot

A quick round up of Veteran's issues:
GOP amendment allows ‘mentally incapacitated’ vets to buy guns

A press release issued by Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr explained his reasoning
"Currently, when the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) appoints a fiduciary to assist a veteran with managing their financial affairs, VA also deems the veteran mentally incompetent and reports him or her to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)," Burr's release wrote. "The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would require a judicial body to deem a veteran, surviving spouse, or child as a danger to himself or others before being listed in NICS, which would prohibit the veteran from being able to purchase certain firearms.
Camp Lejeune whistle-blower fired
A psychiatrist who tried to prevent Fort Hood-style violence among Marines about to "lose it" instead loses his job

Last April, two Marines at Camp Lejeune predicted to a psychiatrist that some Marine back from war was going to "lose it." Concerned, the psychiatrist asked what that meant. One of the Marines responded, "One of these guys is liable to come back with a loaded weapon and open fire."
Upon returning home, troops suffering mental health problems were getting dumped into an overwhelmed healthcare system that responded ineptly to their crises, the men reported, and they also faced harassment from Marine Corps superiors ignorant of the severity of their problems and disdainful of those who sought psychiatric help.
God, the Army, and PTSD

“God doesn’t like ugly,” one political appointee told Paul Sullivan, an analyst in the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration, in a clumsy attempt to reduce the cost of caring for psychologically traumatized veterans. “You need to make the numbers lower.”
Sullivan was working as an analyst at the Veterans Benefits Administration in Washington in early 2005 when he was called to a meeting with a top political appointee at the VA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Michael McLendon. McLendon, an intensely focused man in a neatly pressed suit, kept a Bible on his desk at the office. Sullivan explained to McLendon and the other attendees that the rise in benefits claims the VA was noticing was caused partly by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were suffering from PTSD. “That’s too many,” McLendon said, then hit his hand on the table. “They are too young” to be filing claims, and they are doing it “too soon.” He hit the table again. The claims, he said, are “costing us too much money,” and if the veterans “believed in God and country . . . they would not come home with PTSD.”
GOP senator slammed for being lone holdout blocking veterans’ health bill
And why, for dog's sake, why would he block the bill? Senator Coburn said he will remove the hold if Senators approve amendments he has proposed.

So this moron threatens to take his ball and go home if the other 99 senators don't pass his amendments. (Senate - n. definition: A dysfunctional political body that is elected by the people and controlled by lobbyists and obstructed by one f**king moron.)

I'd like to say I'm outraged, but the truth is that nothing these people do or say anymore shocks me. The lies, the hypocrisy, the hate mongering have become SOP for the GOP.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Your two lips are dripping honey, ah

How can you tell Dick Morris is lying? He writes an editorial:
As the suicidal Democratic congressmen proceed to rubber-stamp the Obama health care reform despite the drubbing their party took in the '09 elections, the president trotted out the endorsements of the AMA and the AARP to stimulate support.

Um, yeah. Say, Dick. Go ahead, say Dick, because you are. Seriously, I appreciate the concern trollphrase "suicidal Democratic congressmen", but first, some of them are women, and I do agree with you, some of them are suicidal but for far different reasons that you propose. And "drubbing their party took..."? Yes, we lost 2 Governors, which has NO Federal impact, but gained 2 Congresspersons, which does. Say Dick.

Sadly, Dick goes on:
•The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5 percent to 6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors. By now, they have risen to 21 percent. With this blackmail leverage, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill ... or else!

So Congress was brave when they refused to let physician reimbursements be cut, but when Obama does it, it's blackmail. I see, Congress good, Obama bad. Say Dick.
But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.

Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medi-gap, but the AARP – which supposedly represents them – will make more money. (If this galls you, join the American Seniors Association, the alternative group. Contact
Not so fast, Sparky. Medicare advantage offers exactly the same coverage Medicare offers, with a few extra meaningless perks, yet bills the government higher rates. And has higher overheads. Who wins? Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, that's who. So when Morris et al complain about cuts in Medicare to scare seniors, what they're talking about is stopping the taxpayer support for insurance companies profiting on what Medicare gives seniors for free.

Oh, and about the American Seniors Association? From Avenging Angel's diary at Kos:
A little digging into Stuart Barton's 60,000 member American Seniors Association would have made that clear. Founded in 2005 by Barton's father Jerry as the National Association for Senior Concerns (NASCON), the group targeted the "radical agenda" of the AARP. Topping its program is Social Security privatization, hard-line opposition to immigration reform, and an overhaul of Medicare, which Barton deemed "the most abused and wasteful of all federal programs that could be bankrupt even before Social Security." As its press page shows, the ASA is a right-wing talking point regurgitation machine:

"On page 425 of the bill, a person must go to counseling every five years to basically learn how to die," Barton says. "As I read this and hear about no preventative care, it dawned on me that Obama's plan is to let all these baby boomers die quicker so we don't have to care for them in old age."

The ASA's "Four Pillars," also extolled by former Hollywood Squares game show host and honorary chairman Peter Marshall, are a hardliner's dream and a senior citizen's nightmare:
Medicare Reform: This most abused and wasteful of all federal programs could be bankrupt before the Social Security System runs dry!
Social Security Reform: Voluntary personal accounts safe from government meddling must be approved providing senior citizens options and keeping the system solvent.
Illegal Aliens: Lawbreakers do not deserve Social Security payments intended for you and your family who are citizens.
Tax Reform: An easily understood and simplified tax code in the form of the Fair Tax.

Swell. Remember Little Red Riding Hood? Granny, meet fox (pun fully intended).

But you get the idea. Dick Morris will lie, say anything anyone wants him to, as long as he has toes to suck:
On the eve of the Democratic Convention in September 1996, Morris was forced to resign as head of Pres. Clinton’s reelection campaign after Sherry Rowlands, a call girl with whom he had a long-term for-pay relationship, sold her story to the supermarket tabloid “The Star” for around $50,000. In the article, Rowlands revealed that Morris had a fetish for toe sucking, a fact that will always have a place in the TMI hall of fame.

She also offered a glimpse into Morris’ marriage that may have some saliency today, if his phone number does appear on Palfrey’s list:
Asked about Morris’s wife, Rowlands said: “I’m sure this is hurting her, and was not meant to hurt her. He’s the one who hurt her, not me. . . . He loves his wife — that’s why he would pay me . . . to come see him. That makes him feel he is not cheating on his wife. This is business as long as he’s paying for it.”

Shorter: It isn’t adultery if you pay for it.

Since the Clintons kicked him out, Morris has earned millions as a professional Clinton hater inside the GOP noise machine. He bloviates regularly on the Fox News Channel, writes a syndicated column for the Fox aligned New York Post and has authored several books trashing the senator and ex-president.

He also converted to Catholicism.


After all the bad Dick, here's some good Dick: Dick Dale

When I'm Calling Yoo

Yoo's Lawyers Warn of Flood of Political Suits

A ruling that allowed a prisoner to sue former Bush administration attorney John Yoo for devising the legal theories that justified his alleged torture threatens to "open the floodgates to politically motivated lawsuits" against government officials, Yoo's lawyers say.
Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, was a Justice Department lawyer from 2001 to 2003 and wrote a series of memos on interrogation, detention and presidential powers.

The best known was a 2002 document that said that rough treatment of captives amounted to torture only if it caused the same level of pain as "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death." The memo also said the president may have the power to authorize torture of enemy combatants.

Another Yoo memo said that U.S. military forces could use any means necessary to seize and hold terror suspects in the United States.
The article didn't go quite far enough about Yoo's position. Yoo held that Americans can be arrested & tortured by our government.

Personally? I think justice would be served if Yoo should be abducted, tortured and confess to his crimes against the Constitution ... or maybe just disbarred and lose his tenure.

Extra Special bonus points!
More declassified documents reveal FBI warnings about interrogation tactics
You have to figure that if the FBI sez 'OMG! You can't do that!' you've really crossed the line.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Breaking the Law, Breaking the Law

Apparently Italy knows a war crime when they see it:
Italy Convicts 23 Americans for C.I.A. Renditions

In a landmark ruling, an Italian judge on Wednesday convicted a base chief for the Central Intelligence Agency and 22 other Americans, almost all C.I.A. operatives, of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan in 2003.
In June, Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by the brother of Mr. Berlusconi, published an interview that it said it had conducted via Skype with Mr. Lady, the former C.I.A. base chief in Milan, whose whereabouts are unknown. In the interview, he said of Abu Omar’s abduction: “Of course it was an illegal operation. But that’s our job. We’re at war against terrorism.”
Both Mr. Castelli and Mr. Lady have retired from the C.I.A., according to former agency officials.

Most of the top C.I.A. officers said to have planned the Abu Omar rendition have left the agency, with the exception of Stephen R. Kappes, who at the time was the assistant director of the C.I.A.’s clandestine branch.

He is now the C.I.A.’s second ranking official.
But wait, there's more:
EXCLUSIVE: Convicted CIA Spy Says "We Broke the Law"

Sabrina deSousa Says U.S. "Betrayed" Her and Others Found Guilty in Kidnapping of Muslim Cleric in Italy

One of the 23 Americans convicted today by an Italian court says the United States "broke the law" in the CIA kidnapping of a Muslim cleric Abu Omar in Milan in 2003.

"And we are paying for the mistakes right now, whoever authorized and approved this," said former CIA officer Sabrina deSousa in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson.

DeSousa says the U.S. "abandoned and betrayed" her and the others who were put on trial for the kidnapping. She was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.

"Everything I did was approved back in Washington," she said.
Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), a member of the House Intelligence Committee told ABC News that the trial was a disaster for CIA officers like DeSousa on the frontline.

"I think these people have been put out there. They've been hung out to dry. They're taking the fall potentially for a decision that was made by their superiors in our agencies. It's the wrong place to go."
"He was the wrong guy," said Baer. "It was not worth putting the reputation of the United Sates on the line going after somebody like this."
Ah yes, The Nuremberg Defense, 'we vas only following orders.'
It didn't work then and it shouldn't work now.

Yo Pete, you're right in one way, the decision was made in WH & CIA Headquarters, but that just means they should all stand trial for war crimes. As I recall the Nuremberg Trials, the minions got jail time. The puppet masters got death.

They broke US, Italian and International laws. They did it willingly. and they knew at the time they were breaking the laws.

In US criminal courts I believe that's called premeditation.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Saturday, November 07, 2009

After the boys of summer have gone

In sports news, the NYYankees, a small market team with the lowest payroll in the majors, staged an historic and heroic come-from-behind win, against all odds, to defeat the highly favored Philadelphia Phillies tonight in the World Series.

With their lack of well-known superstars, an old decrepit stadium, and virtually no fan base, the Yankees surprised even jaded sports journalists with their unlikely victory. When asked what it felt like to finally be a winner, catcher Jorge "Chinless" Posada said, voice breaking with emotion: "This is a win for the little guy, the guy who tries harder. We never expected to be here, and we're grateful, and humble".

Owner George Steinbrenner, racked with debt, and having tried unsuccessfully for several years to sell the money-losing franchise, remarked: "This is what can happen when guys have hearts larger than their talent. This is destiny".

Update & bump: While I mock Jorge Posada and his less than Dudley Do-right chin, he's a bad-ass player and a good guy:

In 2003, he hit 30 home runs (one every 16.0 at bats, ninth best in the league) and drove in 101 runs, both career highs. He batted .281 and was also fifth in the league in OBP (.405), and sixth in the league in walks (93; walking 17.5% of the time, a career high). He tied Yogi Berra’s record for most home runs by a Yankee catcher and finished third in the MVP voting. He also made the final out of that year's World Series, a groundout against Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett.

In 2006, Posada posted one of his best offensive seasons and he led the major leagues with 20 pinch hits.[4] In addition, work with new first base coach Tony Peña, a former catcher, helped him improve his percentage of runners thrown out stealing second almost 60 points above his career average.

In 2007, Posada batted at .338, with 20 home runs, 90 RBIs, and career highs in hits (171) and doubles (42). He joined Iván Rodríguez as the only two catchers in MLB history to record at least 40 doubles in two separate seasons. He was 3rd in the AL in on-base percentage (.426), 4th in batting average, 6th in OPS (.970), and 8th in doubles and slugging percentage (.543). Posada batted .395 in September, and became the first Yankee catcher since Thurman Munson, in 1978, to finish among the top 10 AL batting leaders. His longest hitless streak was only 11 at-bats. Posada is the first catcher to hit .330 or better with a slugging percentage of at least .540 and an on-base percentage of at least .420 since Mike Piazza in 1996-97. On the final day of the 2007 regular season, Yankees manager Joe Torre allowed Posada to act as the manager for the game,[5] an honor that Torre bestows upon a veteran player if the final game does not matter in the standings. The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-4 to give Posada an unofficial win in his 'managerial debut'.

On November 2, 2007, Posada openly backed new Yankes manager Joe Girardi, after reports claimed that he would have a difficult time playing under Girardi.

On November 12, 2007, Posada signed a 4-year, $52 million contract to remain with the Yankees.[6]

On July 21, 2008, Posada was placed on the disabled list.[7] Posada intended to recover from this injury in order to perform as designated hitter or first baseman. However, the team decided to acquire Xavier Nady, in order to allow him enough time to operate.[8] On July 28, 2008, Yankees officially announced that he would undergo season-ending surgery to repair the glenoid labrum in his right shoulder.[9] Consequently, Posada did not participate again until 2009 spring training. Through 2008, Posada has hit 162 homers from the left side of the plate and 59 from the right side.[10]

On September 21, 2008, Posada was selected to catch the ceremonial first pitch prior to the final game at the original Yankee Stadium. The pitch was thrown by Julia Ruth Stephens, the only living daughter of Babe Ruth.

On April 16, 2009, in the bottom of the 5th inning, he hit the first regular season home run in the new Yankee Stadium against Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians. Teammate Robinson Cano was the first MLB player to go deep at the new Yankee Stadium off of Chicago Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly on April 3, 2009 in an exhibition game.

On May 1, 2009, he hit the first walk off hit in a nine inning game in the new Yankee Stadium against Brian Fuentes to help the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10-9. On October 4, the last game of the season, Posada again served as the honorary manager, as the Yankees went on to win, 10-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays.[citation needed]

On October 11, 2009, Posada hit a tie-breaking HR to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the top of the 7th inning against the Twins. This was also the last home run hit at Minnesota's Metrodome. He hit another HR to tie it 4-4 on Oct, 19, in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Angels.

. . .

On January 21, 2000, Jorge married Laura Posada, an attorney and former model and actress from Puerto Rico. They have two children, Jorge III and Paulina.

Posada's son, Jorge III, suffers from craniosynostosis, which he was diagnosed with 10 days after he was born, and has endured numerous surgeries to correct the condition. Posada established the Jorge Posada Foundation to help find a cure for the disease and support families with children affected by the condition. Jorge released a charity wine in 2008 called Jorge Cabernet to raise funds for his foundation.[11]

Any team would be proud to have Posada as their regular catcher. Hey, Tony Reagins . . .

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Go Cheney yourself, you Dick!

Compare and contrast:
Cheney told FBI he had no idea who leaked Plame ID

Former Vice President Dick Cheney told the FBI in 2004 he had no idea who leaked to the news media that Valerie Plame, wife of a Bush administration critic, worked for the CIA.
In the FBI interview, the vice president's memory of key events appeared hazy.
Cheney's occasional denials that he talked about Plame to various people at the White House are among the few things in the lengthy interview with the FBI that Cheney appeared certain about.
But wait, there's more:
Cheney FBI interview: 72 instances of can't recall

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald famously declared in the Valerie Plame affair that "there is a cloud over the vice president." Last week's release of an FBI interview summary of Dick Cheney's answers in the criminal investigation underscores why Fitzgerald felt that way.

On 72 occasions, according to the 28-page FBI summary, Cheney equivocated to the FBI during his lengthy May 2004 interview, saying he could not be certain in his answers to questions about matters large and small in the Plame controversy.
When Libby discovered Cheney's reference to Plame and the CIA in his notes — notes that Libby knew he would soon have to turn over to the FBI — the chief of staff went to the vice president, probably in late September or early October 2003.

Sharing the information with Cheney was in itself an unusual step at the outset of a criminal investigation in which potential White House witnesses were being ordered by their superiors not to talk to each other about the Plame matter.

"It turns out that I have a note that I had heard about" Plame's CIA identity "from you," Libby says he told the vice president.

And what did Cheney say in response? Fitzgerald asked Libby in front of a federal grand jury six months later.

"He didn't say much," Libby replied. "You know, he said something about 'From me?' something like that, and tilted his head, something he does commonly, and that was that."

Cheney's version of the conversation, as related in the FBI interview summary?

Cheney "cannot recall Scooter Libby telling him how he first heard of Valerie Wilson. It is possible Libby may have learned about Valerie Wilson's employment from the vice president ... but the vice president has no specific recollection of such a conversation."
Lying is a sin. Lying to the FBI is a felony. Outing a covert CIA agent is treason.

Why isn't that evil bastard in jail?

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

'Cause I can play this here guitar

There's a certain connection between sophisticated country music and jazz. Both rely on good musicianship, and improvisation that blurs the lines, yet remains true to the genre. And in the beginning, rock shared most of these roots as well. Rock has moved in different directions, some good, some . . .

And as I've said frequently here, the average country guitarist is miles above the average rock guitarist. But a great guitarist can play anything. Listen & learn.

Here's Merle Haggard doing "Mama Tried", which was a track we covered on the album I recorded in '69 with an L.A.-based group called Wild Oats:

Check out the guitar solo. Jazzy yet appropriate playing from Clint Strong:
His incredible improvisations pay tribute to jazz guitar and sax players of the past, yet are filled with youthful modern explorations. Clint has performed and recorded with numerous jazz and country artists including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Red Garland and fellow guitarists like Howard Roberts, Herb Ellis and Tal Farlow.
While likely self-written hyperbole, Clint does show some mighty skills and musicality. Check this video, Clint's solo is about 1:30:

And for some straight-up jazz, here's Clint playing the sublime "Here's That Rainy Day":

Oh, and any songwriter alive would sell his/her soul to have written "Mama Tried". Sheer country/pop genius. That's Merle.