Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards Speculation

Is This why John Edwards "suspended" his Presidential campaign?

Poll numbers for Senator Elizabeth Dole, R-North Carolina

Approve: 44%
Disapprove: 33%
Not Sure: 23%

A Presidential bid you can't win, Versus a Senate Campaign you CAN win?

A religious experience

A good friend loaned me a "book on tape" for a long drive I have tomorrow, and I was all excited because it was Molly Ivin's last book, published after her death. I make no bones about my reverence for Molly and the fact that I miss her wit and perception and her interpretation of what is going on in the world and why. Then, when I got the "book" I was disappointed in realizing that is was not a book on tape...but a book on CD.

The CD player in my car has been dead for two years. I tried to have it fixed after it made a crunching sound when I tried to insert a disc some time back. They were able to get my disc out but said the player was toast and that I needed to buy a new one. I did the math and bought XM radio, Air America, BBC, Blues, 60's, and World Cup soccer, for about the same money as the new cd player would have cost. I never missed it until I opened Molly's book and saw those discs.

I had decided that I could use my laptop as a player and headphones and make it a couple of hours down the road until the battery gave out and them I would flip back to something on the satellite. But at some point on Interstate 81, probably in that desolate stretch north of Abingdon, I would be left hanging...Just like in real life, when Molly died.

An unfinished story is a terrible thing to folks who love yarns. Even better if it's non-fiction. Some of the best stories I ever hear are the ones told amongst friends who were actually there when whatever it was went down. Big Games, disasterous wedding receptions, car wrecks, or practical jokes (which I dislike intensely, just so you know). Some folks can tell you about something you experienced with them much better than you remember it yourself. Molly could do that, and I was looking forward to hearing about it.

Wandering around town, I was getting the tires changed, oil changed, underwear changed, and all those things one does on the way out of town for a trip. I looked at the CD player on the dash and wondered what is was that had messed up inside that little slot that the cd's go through. I knew it was the changer mechanism and not the electronics. I thought about Molly and looked at the buttons on the cd player. For some reason I pushed the eject button, expecting to hear the usual whine and crunch and silence indicating that it was going to refuse to cooperate. it functioned perfectly. After two years and being pronounced dead? I couldn't believe it.

I had long ago given up and removed the cd's from the car, so I stopped and searched the various compartments for something to play. I found the first album that No Doubt had recorded in a side pocket. and plugged it in. next thing I know, Gwen Stefani and I are rocking out.

I have given this some thought and decided that this is an example of divine intervention. My CD player is back from the dead.

As a result of this miracle, I offer Molly Ivins to be hereafter known as "Saint Molly"

Well, Crap!

John Edwards will officially drop out of the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination with a speech from New Orleans at 1:00 today.

I'm bummed but I'll recover. There's no question that Edwards was the best choice to be our President. I also think that his choice to refuse Corporate and Pac money, and money from lobbyists greatly hampered his financial prospects. The big money flowing into the Clinton campaign from corporations and lobbyists and the big money flowing into the Obama campaign from well to do supporters let them ignore spending limits that Edwards had to obey.

I'm thinking that... barring some back story we aren't privy to or a change in Elizabeth's medical condition...Money will have been the determining factor.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Comment on the State of the Union


...And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to
slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This
agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major
economy and gives none a free ride. The United States is committed to
strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change...

So after seven long precious wasted years, we get that?

Suddenly, realizing that we could lose everything and condemn our children to a hell on earth of our own making, George W. Bush thinks we should do something about global warming.

I suspect it will be something like the Surge or No Child Left Behind, both of which are working so well that we can count on leaving Iraq sometime in the next century, and our children are taught that Science is bad.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Scariest Freudian Slip in years?

Strange...Very strange.

Uh...What does the Washington Post mean by the use of the words "Probably Final"?

...the problem Bush faces as he prepares to deliver his seventh and probably
State of the Union address tonight. …
Talking Points Memo

Why would that wording be used in the Washington Post today just as this appears in my email?

Holy, Crap!

And the vote on giving your Phone Company retroactive immunity for helping your President break the law? That's today.

We're Screwed!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tennessee Liberal Blog Roundup

TennViews Roundup

Sunday Reader

I read what Josh Marshall has to say. He is studious and rigorous in pursuit of the truth and when he gives his opinion it is clearly labeled as such and well thought out. He may have agenda but he doesn't have spin.

In a brilliant opinion piece today, Marshall fires shots across the bow at both Hillary and Obama, but his harshest judgement is for Bill Clinton. effect, Bill Clinton holds a de facto office within the Democratic
party. And what he's been doing amounts to an abuse of office. He has come into
a primary process between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and used his unique
power to jam his thumb down on one side of the scale in a way that I think is
very difficult for anyone to overcome.


...I think something similar applies in this case. I respect all the loyalties
and devotions between the two of them in what is clearly a very complicated but
also very enduring relationship. But I'm not part of that marriage. Its
obligations aren't any concern of mine and they have no claim on me. My
relationship with Bill Clinton is as a member of the party that he is, as I've
said, the leader of or at least the most revered elder statesman of. And I feel
like he's violating the compact that I have with him.

The entire piece is worth your time.

The Problem with Bill

In the meantime George W. Bush is still the President and is still trying to do away with the parts of the Constitution that get in his way. He asked your telephone company to join him in breaking the law and spy on your telephone calls without a court warrant...And they did!

This is a problem for the American People. The law applies to you and me and it applies to President Bush and AT&T as well, only they don't like that. When Bill Clinton tread on a gray area in the law, it seemed like every Republican on this planet went berserk, demanding justice. Now that a Republican President has broken the law, they just want the law changed retroactively to forgive and forget and allow your private phone calls to become the province of the Republican party.

All I want is the same right to privacy Corporations have. At the moment, we got nothing and they have everything, including an entire political party that wants to help them get away with breaking the law.

Senators Obama and Clinton are being paid to do a job for the American People. If either one of them deserts their Senate position this coming week as the bill is considered that would allow law breaking Corporations to go unpunished, then neither of them deserve one whit of consideration toward the job they seek.

Senator Obama and Senator Clinton are hereby requested to serve their Country.

For now,


Saturday, January 26, 2008

If This doesn't make you Mad...

George W. Bush is a twit who had little chance of moving America forward without his evil minions.

Remember that these results were achieved by the concerted efforts of all Republicans, especially Bush's General in the Senate, Bill Frist.

Good work, Senator Frist!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Center for Public Integrity Study

Pretty impressive documentation of the sordid run up to the Iraq war.

Oh, Great!

When I heard about the plan for our government to give folks some money so they could spend it and help the economy, I had no illusions that the plan would make any sense or do much good.

I was right.

Giving people who have enough money, a small check will do essentially nothing. A small business tax break? Even less if it is untargeted, as this one appears to be.

If we want to help the economy and do the most good with $140 billion in borrowed money, give it to the folks from the middle of earners down. They'll spend it. Give it to a rich guy and what's he going to do with it? Save it? That's not helping. Put it in the stock market?... yeah right.

If you want to get money into the economy in a hurry, give it to folks who need to pay their heating bill, their doctor bill, their rent, their grocery bill.

Don't give it to people who are thinking about which Caribean Island to visit next.

Republicans repeatedly demonstrate that they are ethically unequipped to do anything except serve rich people, and our Democratic Congressional leadership repeatedly proves that they are ill equipped to do anything except let them and whine about it.

What losers!

I'm talking about us, for having voted for those people.



And how does Krugman feel?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Native Son...The Movie

Native Son

Who do I vote for?

Rick Flair told me to vote for Huckabee, so did Chuck Norris.

Wilford Brimley told me to vote for McCain, Saturday night live guy Lorne Michaels too

John Voight said Giulliani, So did Adam Sandler and Ben Stein. Ben Stein is probably the most disingenuous person on earth, so that one fits, and now you know why John Voight and daughter Angelina Jolie don't speak to each other.

Oprah does Obama, as do Clooney, Jenifer Anniston, and Python John Cleese, and also, just about everybody else with a name.

Pat Boone went for Romney. I know what you're thinking..."Huh?" Yeah, me too.

Streisand sent cash to lots of Dems but came out for Hillary. So did Magic Johnson, Billie Jean King and Jerry Springer...Springer for Hillary? That one should carry a lot of weight.

Desperate House wives guy, James Denton, sent money to John Edwards and BlueGrass legend Ralph Stanley is touring with him. Edwards also gets support from Madeleine Stowe, Danny Glover and Tim Robbins. I like Tim Robbins.

Paul Newman gave money to Everybody on the Democratic side, while Michael Douglas gave money to everybody But John Edwards. (Ok, Michael...Next time I see Basic Instinct or Fatal Attraction, I'm going to to root for the crazy women)

John Mayer went for Ron Paul. If you've seen an interview with either one of know.

Mitt Romney got Donny Osmond, which figures, what with the Mormon connection...Can't have religious people thinking for themselves. Romney also got endorsed by Anne Coulter. Yeah! Anne Coulter. What with Utah and the Zombie underworld backing him, Mitt ought to be doing much better than he is.

I guess Ted Nugent throwing his right wing nut job, turn it up loud enough and they won't notice you can't really play guitar, support to Huckabee is keeping that race tighter than it should be. (Nugent must be in bad shape if he needs a base player THAT badly)

So ultimately, the burning question of the day boils down to , "Can that fat oatmeal guy beat both fake blondes, Rick Flair and Anne Coulter?"



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Edwards Moment

For some reason the Media have decided that there are only two Democratic Candidates for President, even though John Edwards is doing better than Giulliani or Huckabee on the Republican side, who continue to get coverage well outside their merit.

With 47 States yet to vote in a Primary, Voters need to pay attention to moments like this one:

Are there three people in this debate, not two? This kind of squabbling...How
many children is this going to give health care? How many people are going to
get an education from this? How many kids are going to be able to go to college
because of this?

We have got to understand, this is not about us
personally. It is about what we are trying to do for this country, and what we
believe in. -- John
Edwards, during last night's debate

Via JedReport

Too Funny...Must Share

Lisa outdoes herself today.

Economoronics...Conservative Tax Policy for beginners

Via Digby:

Trading was halted in India when the Sensex index plummeted 9.75 percent within minutes of opening. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 8 percent by midday after diving 5.5 percent the day before.
"Unless we get some positive 'shock affects,' such as drastic measures from the U.S. government, there is almost no hope for a recovery in stocks," said Koji Takeuchi, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo.
"Drastic Measures?"

We're in this mess for several reasons, but primarily because of a tax code generated shift from a manufacturing economy to a capitalist economy with no conscience or guiding force that keeps it in check.

The lust for short term profit has essentially destroyed the middle class while making the elite rich so much money that they couldn't find places to put it, except for wildly speculative ventures, ergo, the sub prime housing bubble. They kept loaning more money to more people but they still had more money to loan because we as a country aren't paying our bills with cash...We're paying our bills with money the government borrowed from the Saudis, the Chinese, the Bahranians, the...well you get the picture.

It's OK, though because the Bahranians are using the tanker loads of American money we're paying them in inflated oil prices to do really good things for all humanity...Ok, maybe Not.

The Saudis are merely funding Osama with our oil money, so relax. Between funding terrorism and the largest American mercenary army in history, your money is going to the right places.

So with food and gas bills tripling during the Bush years (yeah they did) People who are NOT in the elite rich category, which is 99% of us, have seen their cost of survival eat up their discretionary income, and I haven't even gotten to healthcare, our National disgrace. (Actually this means we've come a long way, baby, because our National Disgrace used to be Racism...That's been bumped to third behind our lousy healthcare system which is the most expensive in the whole world, and the fact that our President gets to lie in order to cover up the Vice President's acts of treason...Well, actually maybe it's forth behind the Democratic Congress's inability to grow a spine, testicles, ovaries, whatever)

Anyway, lots of Americans got sold houses they couldn't afford when Banks and mortgage lenders started using the same come on sales tactics that discount "No payments until 2011" Furniture dealers use. And, when the bill finally arrived, say about just before Xmas, people realized they couldn't buy toys and pay the mortgage because they had to have food and gas to get to what jobs they still had.

The reason for all this was that Rich people had too much money and they expected all that money to keep growing at ten percent a year, right? That's what they've always told us, even though the stock market is actually LOWER right now adjusted for everything than it was when Al Gore was refused his rightful place as President if the United States if America. So the pressure was on to find places to invest all that capital. But manufacturing was out and the only true place capital investment really works is in making things. In this case houses, only the people who were supposed to buy houses had jobs that were paying them less than ever and basic living expenses that were costing them more so the Capitalists backed crazy schemes that couldn't possibly work.

Think about that! It was a giant "rent to own" Ponzi scheme...Duh! Only when it came time to repossess the big screen TV it wasn't worth the mortgage. Rich people are about to lose some money over this, therefore this is a huge crisis in America.

So! We have a crisis for Rich people. The middle class has already been screwed so no new crisis here...They just won't have jobs or a place to live, that's all.

Anyway, George W. Bush is still on the job, for reasons which I simply cannot understand, but mostly having to do with Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid having only one testicle between them. George Bush's response to all this is to immediately come out and say "We need to make all those temporary tax cuts, which give even more money to people who already have so much money that they make stupid investments that crash our economy, permanent...Ostensibly, so that they can make even stupider investments and maybe destroy the economy of the whole freakin' world this time, except that the tax cuts will be in dollars and the rest of the world has figured out that dollars have become pretty worthless under George W. Bush.

The value of the Dollar is the unspoken disaster. The Canadian dollar, once about 60 American cents, is now worth much more than the American dollar. Feel good about yourselves, America! Even the French Canadians have run a better economy than you have.

So the Republican tax and monetary policy tanked our economy and their answer to a tanked economy is to do more of the things that tanked our economy, and take care of those poor Rich people who have to make do with one less diamond on the mistress's finger.

They need a tax cut?

I say, "Peace on 'em."

The only way to rebuild our economy is to rebuild the Middle Class. That can't happen until the extremes of both poverty AND wealth are attacked. The gap between the Middle Class and the elite 1% of the wealthy must be eliminated.

It is the only way to save rich people from an American Bastille Day.


Want to see how bad the disparity is? Income used to be described by a Bell curve in America. Conservative policy has given rise to a new term:

The L Curve

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wish I'd said that...

John Edwards gave a beautiful speech today, MLK day. The Press seems to be discussing whether he used the terms "Brothers and Sisters" too much and they missed, or just don't report, his call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, His call for economic justice, his call for environmental justice, his call for...Well...Everything.

It's about the hair to them.

Here's the best comment I read on Edwards:

Now that Biden and Dodd are out of the Democratic race, Edwards is the classiest candidate left. Unlike both Hillary and Barak, who are trying to invent a persona that will appeal to the most voters, Edwards is running on a consistent progressive message that really can bring the country together instead of an invented personality. Barak and Hillary are proving to be divisive; Ewards is decisive. Whether the voters will go for Edwards at some point remains to be seen. It is all too likely that they will continue to go for the Obama\Bill and Hillary Clinton soap opera -- it certainly is more entertaining.


Peace much, baby, do we really need

This is about someone I used to listen to for hours on end... John Stewart.

No, not him. Jon Stewart's last name is Leibowitz, anyway.

Sometimes I thought of myself as the fourth member...I played those old vinyls and belted it out, as "Charlie's wife hands him a sandwich" beneath the streets of Boston. Some folks will know what I'm talking about.

No, I'm referring to the John Stewart who was in the Kingston Trio for seven years. He wrote 600 or so songs and passed away yesterday. Here is one of his songs. A Monkees song:

If I could hide 'neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings
The six o'clock alarm would never ring
But it rings and I rise
Rub the sleep out of my eyes
The shaving razor's old and it stings

But cheer up, sleepy Jean
Ah, what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen

You once thought of me
As a white knight on his steed
But now you know how funky I can be
And our good times start and end
Without dollar one to spend
But how much, baby, do we really need

John Stewart

Just the facts

Peace, John...


Friday, January 18, 2008

INC...Mark of the Beast

I am not a fan of large corporations...They have neither soul nor conscience.

The only thing that keeps them the least bit honest are the consequences of the law. They don't like that and spend billions of dollars on attorneys, lobbyists, and their lackeys in elected office eliminating whatever restraints the law has on their bottom line.

Environmental laws? Get rid of them...and pull the teeth of what ever enforcement powers the EPA still has. We don't care about a healthy Earth or even healthy people...We care about profits.

The Constitution of the United States of America? A "piece of paper." All it does is protect the People from their government and since the Government now works for us corporations...a pair of scissors might be in order. Preacher Huckabee! Step over here just a minute. I know you plan to cut out that part about Establishing a State Religion and that's fine, but we need you to snip out the rest of the first amendment and a few other parts that make life tough on large Corporations.

When President Bush Asked your telephone company to break the law and crap on your Constitutional rights, most of them were happy to oblige. They were apparently promised some changes in laws as pay back. Wonder why the AT&T evil monster has been reassembled from the graveyard? Wonder why your cable company treats you like dirt? (Have I got a story here, but I'll bet you have your own) Wonder why third world countries have universal broadband internet that costs a fifth of what you pay? The Bush Administration asked telcoms to commit illegal acts, spy on your calls, and the Telcoms rolled right over jumped through the hoop and begged for more.

They Broke the law. The President of the United States Broke the Law. No problem, though...Just have Congress change the Law to give retroactive immunity to everyone. Well...not Everyone...

You and I have to obey the law...Not the President... Not Corporations...Just You and I.

Welcome to Fascism in America!



ps: Some folks, like Senator Russ Feingold ,want to change this. How about paying attention?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Want my Writers Back!

OK, look...When I fall asleep snoring on the couch at 8:45 P.M. and wake up to Leno's monologue, I want cracking sharp wit and slashing cruel humor aimed at my country's leaders...You know, the kind they won't put on the evening news where it belongs, like this, from Adam Felber:

Romney’s 9 point victory in the state that his Dad’s a legend in doesn’t
raise its intended message. No, to Republicans, it says three things:

1.Good lord, McCain really is that dull, isn’t he?
2.We’re doomed, aren’t we?
3.God, please give us Hillary, and make sure you send her husband a big, trashy redhead before November…

(See what I mean? Felber's awesome, funny, and right on...Not so, the pundits.)

Want to know the real reason Hillary won New Hampshire? Don't ask a pundit, silly...Pundits are morons.

(In this case, moron = polite term for media whore, btw)

They get paid to think certain things which don't actually involve any thinking.

So in order to know truth, one can go to only one place...Comedy writers!



Heap Bad Production

What is it about the Bush Administration that makes them willing to use such amateurish attempts at deception to back their floundering play on the international stage?

What is it about the Aemrican Media that they don't immediately reject such ploys with scathing skepticism and derision?

What is it about us that we haven't thrown down our plows and ridden our mules to Washington to give these sick little children a major dose of castor oil and a spanking?

It looks like the Iranian speedboat story was played up to the press in order to coincide with President Bush's trip to the Middle East. An identical event had happened two weeks earlier and nothing was made of it. The "white boxes" may have been flotsam with no aparent tie to the speed boats.

The video with the speedboats was a U. S. Navy production, including splicing the "Philipino Monkey" voice over into it to make it appear ominous.

The decision to play this silly little incident into an act of aggression was made at the highest levels of Navy operation, including the Seretary of the Navy.

It is one more act of treason by this Administration as it tries to provoke another war to cover its failed Military efforts.

The entire story makes me sick.

I'm sick about what this says about the moral cowardice of the citizens of America,



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When we work together

Quote of the Day

"Hillary believes the thing that needs to be changed is that Bush needs to be out and the Democrats need to be back in there. Edwards believes the thing that needs to be changed is that the moneyed interests and the lobbyists need to be taken out of the political game. Obama believes that what needs to change is that he needs to be the president because he is a personally unifying character...

Democrats are being asked whether they believe in party, in which case they should be for Hillary,

if they believe in power they should be for Edwards

and if they believe in personality, they should vote for Obama."

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC last night via Digby.

What Happened this time...

It was the Michigan Primary. Did anything happen? Really?

Edwards and Obama had their names taken off the ballot because the Democratic Primary was decertified because Michigan moved their date up so much, so no delegates will be awarded.

Clinton defeated...Umm..."Uncommitted". Johnny appeared with Hillary and Barry to bury the race card that Barry's campaign director (Marty King Junior, whose dad would have been 79 years old yesterday) had played earlier.

Giulliani narrowly defeated Dennis Kucinich, garnering almost 3% of the vote. "Strategy is working perfectly" said Rudy.

Mitt Romney soundly defeated McCain who doubled up Huckabee, something that was predicted since it IS, after all, Romney's home state. Yeah, I know he was governor of Massachusetts, but he was a "Come Here." He couldn't get elected governor of Michigan...Too liberal, too Republican, too Mormon.

McCain may be a philandering ass, but he's not quite as batshit crazy as Huckabee, who was busy running a million robocalls against McCain in South Carolina...Probably attacking McCain for not wanting to replace the Constitution with Leviticus. (Concubines and stoning adulterers to be legal, gays, not so much!)

Exit polls of Republicans said they thought George W. Bush was doing a fine job and the Iraq war was going really well.

(Note to Republicans: Please contact Ground Control ASAP....Your instrument panel doesn't seem to be working)



Monday, January 14, 2008


Did you know:

Recent sonar surveys of Southeastern US coastal waters clearly show deep grooves cut into the ocean floor by icebergs drifting by Charleston? A mound offshore called the "Charleston Bump" appears to have created an eddy or back flow in the Gulf Stream that swirled monster icebergs along as they dragged the bottom.

The largest mammals ever to roam the earth started their evolutionary lineage as something that looked more like a fox sized water rat. Peculiar skeletal structures in the little beast's skull and ears are only found in whales and their close relatives 48 million years later, according to fossilized remains found in southern Asia.

A subculture of drug addicts is trying to end their addiction by switching to a natural cure. They have found that the bark of a west African shrub, ibogaine, gives a pleasant hallucinatory experience, after which many addicts found that they no longer craved heroin or had withdrawal symptoms.

Spiders have complicated personalities. Water strider girls don't particularly like aggressive boys, dashing the hopes of arachnid bad boy gangs.

Smog damages fat people more than skinny people, and women more than men.

Greenland lost twice as much water from melting this last year, than is contained in all the Alpine glaciers in Europe.

A number of Mammoth tusks have been found in Alaska with particles of shattered meteorite imbedded in their tusks, which date to roughly the same period 30-36,000 years ago when populations of bears, mammoths, bison, horses, and other large animals in northern Alaska and Siberia suffered significant declines. A meteor impact capable of producing the metallic shrapnel found in the tusks would have rendered Alaska uninhabitable for decades.

Since 1921, the non profit organization "Science Service" has published Science News. Originally a few mimeographed sheets with overviews of recent science papers, the magazine is one of my favorite reads each week. The organization has renewed its pledge to "Inform, Educate, and Inspire" by changing its name to "The Society for Science and the Public".

The sustained attack on science by some religions in our country will ultimately have devastating long term effects if allowed to continue. Science is simply a method of judging the factual content of information. It is crucial to our future if we are to have one, and I guess some people have a problem with that.



Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Call

I got that call that every husband dreads...No, no that one...The one where the wife says something like...

"There's water dripping."

How much? How big exactly is a drip? Ok, how big is a big drip? Where? What were you doing? Have you checked the basement? Outside the house, too?


Visions of economic disaster danced through my head. We had just paid the next installment on college tuitions and Xmas, and now this. Driving home with a sense of urgency and being careful to stop at all the yellow lights in Rockwood, I mentally calculated the thousands of dollars that could possibly be involved in the simple statement, "There's water dripping."

Donning my trusty LED headlamp I went on a spelunking expedition under the kitchen sink. Talk about scary. There are superfund sites with fewer hazardous chemicals than the average American sink cabinet. Everything was tight and dry under there so the diagnosis was clear...We would be washing dishes by hand for a few days.

I don't know much about dishwashers, but I think that, with the possible exception of the artificial heart, the dishwasher is the greatest achievement of modern science and manufacturing. The beer cooler is obviously third.

Humankind cannot live without the modern dishwasher (THIS kind of humankind, at any rate), but why do they go bad, and how long are they supposed to last? The great minds of the 21st century must know. I didn't find out why they go bad, but I did find several handy charts showing how long various things around the house are supposed to last. I say "several charts" because I did notice that the ones that the appliance manufacturing associations have seem to say we should be replacing perfectly good gadgets at seriously short intervals. My theory on this is that if it ain't broke, give it a couple of weeks.

Most of the charts seemed to say dishwashers live about 10 years, though, and since we've gotten 15 out of this one, I'll just sigh and get ready to write more checks. Looking around at all the other machinery in the house, we replaced most of the appliances pretty close to what the charts predict, plus a few years, except for the Maytag Neptune washer, which was a piece of bleep. I guess I may as well start budgeting for a new hot water heater and heating and airconditioning system.

The charts say we've beaten the odds by several years and we're due for disaster.

I'm ready.



ps: The links above take you to one set of charts so you can see how long your precious appliances have to live. Don't let it depress you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not again...Diebold wins it for Hillary?

Dennis Kucinich has called for a public recount of the votes in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

What? Does he think he'll pick up 120,000 votes and win it? Hell no! he sees this as a perfect opportunity to test the reliability of electronic voting machines against a paper ballot.

Just so you know...The biggest reason for the final falling out between John Edwards and John Kerry was Kerry going yellow and failing to push for an investigation and recount of the votes and voting process in Ohio in 2004. Every statistician that has looked at Ohio thinks it was manipulated and probably stolen for George Bush, giving him his second term.

So what made this pop up on the Kucinich radar? Pre-election polls predicted a 3-5% win for Obama. When the votes were counted it was a mathematical reversal and a win for Hillary. (I need to re-look at exit polls)

All the votes in new Hampshire that were counted electronically show a win for Hillary: 52.95% to 47.05%

All the votes in new Hampshire that were counted by hand show a win for ObamaL 52.95% to 47.05%

This is as statistically unlikely as Ohio was, when the overwhelming majority of the tally errors that were discovered favored George W. Bush and not John Kerry.

Here's Kucinich:

"New Hampshire is in the unique position to address – and, if so determined, rectify – these issues before they escalate into a massive, nationwide suspicion of the process by which Americans elect their President. Based on the controversies surrounding the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2000, New Hampshire is in a prime position to investigate possible irregularities and to issue findings for the benefit of the entire nation."

Hillary Clinton received a seven point advantage in Diebold counted districts as opposed to hand counted districts.

Read the numbers for yourself:

I am struck by one thing in all this, and I have to tell you that there is a remote...very damned remote...possibility that our elections have been and will be relatively honest and accurate but I am not reassured by the overwhelming reluctance of our lwmakers to even investigate electronic election fraud. All by itself, that is a scandal.

Now we may have the smoking gun.

So why not conduct an open investigation? All we have to do is count the paper ballots and compare the talley to the Diebold talley. It will either prove that our suspicions are unfounded...Or prove conclusively that George W. Bush is not, and never has been the "elected" President of the United States.

Mr. Gore...Your Presidential Limo awaits you!



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Iranian Speedboat incident "Probably Faked"

The "threatening message" was recorded after the video, and there don't seem to have been any "white boxes."

With the President of the USA over in the Middle East today spouting off about the Iranians threatening our ships, you would think that someone would tell him that several officials at the Pentagon think it is a fake.

Duh! I though it was a fake when I heard the "threatening message" that came through really clear with no background noise or static.

Yes there were Iranian Guard speed boats...There always are. They were in International waters only a few miles from Iranian territorial waters. They have every right to be there, and frankly, every right to mess with American ships, as long as they stay out of a ships agressive defense space, which they did.

The only conclusion I can come to is that our Country's International Policy is in the hands of amateurs...Stupid ones.



Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Race is on and here comes Heartache

Hillary won but Obama got exactly the same number of delegates to the nominating convention so actually it's a tie.

The Numbers

New Hampshire has more registered Republicans than Democrats but Hillary Clinton got 21.5% more votes than John McCain, the Republican winner.

The second place Democrat, Barack Obama, got 17% more votes than McCain.

It appears that the Republicans have chosen their lesser of evils in McCain, since evangelicals can't stand the thought of a Mormon, and nobody BUT evangelicals can stand the thought of a Huckabee, and everybody pretty much agrees that Ron Paul is simply nuts, and Giulliani is so tiresome with his 9-11 blather that all the Firemen and Police in the whole world have sworn to bring him down, now that they aren't getting overtime pay for driving his mistress's dog around to be groomed.

So the pre-election polls were wrong but the exit polls were right.

The Exit polls were right in Florida, too. They said Gore won, not Bush.

The Exit Polls were right in Ohio, too. They said Kerry won, not Bush.

Now that Clinton and Obama are the ones hoping for an accurate election in America, I wonder if it ever crosses their minds to wonder if they shouldn't have done more to guarantee fair elections in the United States?

So New Hampshire is over and it's on to South Carolina, where McCain was trounced by George Bush in reputedly the dirtiest campaign in SC history. One of which was a smear campaign saying he had a black baby. He does have a dark skinned adopted child, but she's Bangladeshi. How much of that legacy remains?

We'll see. At any rate, "It ain't over!" John McCain may well become the first Republican candidate for President who was NOT...

Born in the USA.

Didn't know that, did you?



Monday, January 07, 2008

Charlie Harper

Of the famous people who got away in 2007, Charlie Harper might have been the best known person that nobody knew. We've all seen and probably laughed at his illustrations even though most of us did not know his name.

His haughty cardinal is the stuff of a childish adult whimsy contagious in its mirth and possibly looks more like a cardinal than a cardinal.

You may not actually see what is in his more expressive works until you read the title.

Guess this one:

He has a flickr fan club with several images here.

This one is easier:

The definitive book of his art is both expensive and sold out. I'm hunting one for my own special gift to myself.

Of course the name Charlie Harper belongs to others besides this great visual artist...TV characters, punk rockers, jazz musicians, and others but I only think of the name as associated with his animal art.

The old person's friend, pneumonia, helped him leave our world but his art remains.

Peace, Charlie!


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Reader

Sunday Reader- Tennessee version

The Real Tragedy

Another round of debates went down yesterday with folks paying a lot more attention than before. Rather than give you my version, I'll refer you to a group analysis that I usually find enlightening.

If Obama wins on Tuesday, it is probably over, particularly for Hillary if she comes in third. At any rate with Obama in the lead I'm already seeing racist astroturf and spam from all directions, so apparently, the evil mad men behind the failing GOP machine are retargeting from Hillary to Barry.

Here're the punch lines of a noxious example from yesterday's batch:

"Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?" Finally at the back of the room little Johnny raises his hand. In a stern voice he says: "If a plane carrying the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton were struck by a missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy.""Fantastic!" exclaims Jackson and Sharpton, "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?""Well," says little Johnny, "because it sure as hell wouldn't be a great loss, and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."

I understand where things like this come from. What I don't understand is why otherwise intelligent and caring human beings would forward such bigoted drivel that essentially...

Endorses murder!

I believe America, in its majority, is beyond this type of low life nastiness as seen by the fact that Barack Obama won the Democratic Caucus in a state that is 98% white. In addition the republican winner, a Southern Baptist preacher who ran an attack ad against his main opponent for not executing enough prisoners, received only about half the number of votes Obama got.

Mike Huckabee came in forth overall to a man I keep hearing is black. Frankly, I can't see how any person who was raised by his white mother can be called "black". I don't think of Barry Obama as being any more of a black guy than Bob Marley or Lenny Kravitz, but it's a poor world we live in that can't see shades of gray.

It is a sick sick part of the Republican leadership that would still try to exploit such a vile social disease as bigotry.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

An Epitaph

I don't know what else to say about this, except to say that I must cry too easily...A Soldier is dead in his own words:

I write this in part, admittedly, because I would like to think that there's at least a little something out there to remember me by. Granted, this site will eventually vanish, being ephemeral in a very real sense of the word, but at least for a time it can serve as a tiny record of my contributions to the world. But on a larger scale, for those who knew me well enough to be saddened by my death, especially for those who haven't known anyone else lost to this war, perhaps my death can serve as a small reminder of the costs of war. Regardless of the merits of this war, or of any war, I think that many of us in America have forgotten that war means death and suffering in wholesale lots. A decision that for most of us in America was academic, whether or not to go to war in Iraq, had very real consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Yet I was as guilty as anyone of minimizing those very real consequences in lieu of a cold discussion of theoretical merits of war and peace. Now I'm facing some very real consequences of that decision;

who says life doesn't have a sense of humor?

If I have read anything that makes me hate more this war, I cannot remember it.

America seems to have forgotten Iraq as its financial situation continues what may become a death spiral.

Life may have a sense of humor...Death does not.

Andy Olmstead


Friday, January 04, 2008

What Happened's what happened.

Obama won the Iowa caucus. He beat John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, neither of them by much, by spending almost $3 million more than Hillary on TV ads and almost three times what John Edwards spent. Hillary spent over twice as much money as John Edwards and he beat her in Iowa.

I spend Three Times as much money than you do in a political campaign and I should kick your ass all the way back to Seneca, South Carolina and the mill village you were born in.

Where did their money come from? Well let me just say this...Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are now indebted to some seriously big corporations. John Edwards has refused to take Corporate PAC money. Obama is fairly clean on this but not so Hillary.

Hillary Clinton is a huge loser in this, and even though Obama won, he outspent everybody else a ton to do it. We'll see how your corporate media spin it but I'll bet that they totally downplay how well John Edwards, sworn enemy to corporatists, did last night. (Update: I'm wrong in at least one case...Time picked up on it)

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney had the Hillary experience times Four. He spent $7 Million to Huckabee's $1.2 Million and got kicked. Mike Huckabee has now proved that a Baptist Preacher with a kindly manner and an executioner's heart can get all the other people to vote for him, as long as they don't believe in Evolution, do believe the End Times are upon us, and don't check his record all that closely.

Republicans have apparently decided that they'll take the crazy guy they like over the semi-competent Mormon guy they don't. There are some other white men running for the republican nomination but they seem to have disappeared. Thompson did come in third, but he has to go take a nap now, and nobody thinks he will wake up in time for the next primary. McCain in in the low single digits along with Giulliani "Who?"...Apparently even Republicans have a sleaze and creepy factor threshold that even they can't ignore.

So both races seem to be two man contests, but Hillary has the money to stay in, and Obama may continue to be able to outspend everyone as long as Edwards refuses to take Corporate money.

Romney is severely damaged, but who knows. The only question I have is whether the Republican power mongers, who have so brazenly trashed the constitution in order to play to evangelical conservatives, will blanch at the monster they've created and run to someone else...Anyone else...besides Mike Huckabee.

As for me...I sent John Edwards some money this morning. I'm far more afraid of Corporatism than I am of a Baptist preacher who doesn't seem to have read, and certainly doesn't understand, the second testament of the book he thumps.



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Wish for a New Year

I don't want it to be easy. It never is anyway. The folks up in Williams Cemetery plot on the mountain behind the house...They've got it easy. Nobody ever got better when it was easy. Try asking anybody up there.

I want this year to be hard, just not too hard. In the end, all we have are memories and we almost never remember the easy days. What we do remember is getting through the hard stuff and coming out on the other side of challenges.

Truman Capote, a fairly miserable man, said, "There is no such thing as a happy human."

My Gramma on my Mom's side was never happy unless she was miserable, so not only would she agree with Truman...She was happy for him.

Gramma's life was hard. Her husband died when he was 40 and left her with three children and the rent due on a patch of worn out dirt in Lovett, Ga, a town so miserable that it doesn't even exist anymore, washed away by the O'hoopee river in a moment of tender mercy. Winter's and by default, New Year's Day were tough.

That old story about eating blackeyed peas and greens for dinner on New Year's Day bringing good luck is sort of true. It actually meant that you were lucky enough to have something to eat in the middle of winter even if it was just dried peas and greens. It meant that you had worked your field last Summer and put up peas for the Winter, and that was lucky. It meant that you had tended the turnip patch and hauled manure so that the leaves would be big enough by real cold weather that you could have fresh turnip greens all Winter when you didn't have anything else. That was lucky, too.

Gramma lived to be about 90 and was the funniest person I ever knew...Especially when she was miserable. She called unhappy people "Boresome." I remember her wiping her eyes at funerals as she told some hilarious story on the dead person. Every bad day was a new war story to be rehashed by the fire when it got real cold. Life was supposed to be about getting through it and laughing your ass off every time you got half a chance.

You know that old saying about "What doesn't Kill us only makes us stronger?" Gramma thought of those times as new material, and that was lucky for us kids, listening as we stood rotating by the open fire with one side freezing and the other side roasting in one of those old, drafty, uninsulated farmhouses that New Years Day dinner seemed to wind up at in Georgia on my Momma's side.

Anyway, those folks always seemed to be happy, even when they were miserable, and they were always lucky enough to have turnip greens and black eyed peas. One thing they never had was "easy" and I'm not so sure that wasn't a lucky thing.

So my best wishes to all of you for the New Year...I don't think it's going to be easy...It might even be hard.

Maybe We'll be Lucky.