Archive for December, 2007

T Minus 3 Days

Monday, December 31st, 2007

…till the Iowa caucuses, with no clear leader for either the Democrats or the Republicans.  Does anyone else think it would be better to have every state’s primary election, caucus, whatever on the same day?  Discuss.

Happy Last Day of 2007

Monday, December 31st, 2007

new-years-eve-fireworks.jpgWell, here it is. The end of a year that has sucked almost beyond belief for my family. I hesitate to say that 2008 will be better — I don’t want to jinx it — but I’m hoping.

So. Who has big plans for the evening, and what are they? Dear Husband and I have been fighting nasty colds for a few days, so we’re going to stay home and watch football. Yeah, we’re old and boring. :)

Pakistan Update

Friday, December 28th, 2007

MSNBC is reporting that Pakistan plans to go ahead with the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8. Meanwhile, the Pakistani Interior Ministry has announced that al-Qaeda extremists assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, and Time has picked up the story and run all the way down the terror field with it, speculating that political assassination is al-Qaeda’s new best friend. Um, Time guys? Perhaps it’s a little too soon to push the panic button. It’s far from clear who engineered the assassination (something the author does concede near the end of the article), and we might want to wait for a little more information.

Ms. Bhutto was laid to rest today as the country continues to be wracked by violent protests. Sad and frightening. More as it breaks.

ADDENDUM:  I’m not taking up for al-Qaeda here.  Destabilizing Pakistan is probably way up near the top of Osama bin Laden’s to-do list.  I’d just prefer not to given Giuliani, et al, any more opportunities to wank about how they’ll protect us from the evil terrists.

Former Prime Minister Bhutto Assassinated

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally in Pakistan today. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for January 8; her death sparked a violent response from supporters, some of whom blame President Pervez Musharraf. Who, I’m sure, had absolutely nothing to do with it. Uh huh. But I bet he’s really sorry she’s gone. At least 20 other people were killed in the explosion when the assassin blew himself up after shooting Bhutto.

Bhutto served twice as Pakistan’s Prime Minister and had returned in October from an eight-year exile. She headed the largest political party in the country, which was expected to fare quite well in the upcoming elections.

Pakistan is a really scary place right now — political unrest, nuclear weapons, and a leader whose power has been threatened. Oh, and, most likely, Osama bin Laden somewhere in the mix. Stay tuned.

Happy Day!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Whether it’s a holy day or just a nice vacation, have a safe and happy one. I wish a special and peaceful day for all of you and your families!

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Happy Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 24th, 2007

…to all of you, but particularly to Paul and Nancy, who are singing in Manger Square today.

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And Happy Birthday to my mom, who is 77!  Many more, please.

Saturday Reading: Regressive Conservatives Stuck in Junior High

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Here’s a perceptive, in a sad-but-funny way, essay from Common Dreams.

Regressive conservatives aren’t really so hard to figure out. You just need to know the key.

It’s junior high.

Remember those delightful years of comity and enlightenment, comradeship, maturity and social inclusiveness?

Yeah, me neither.

For most folks, those junior high years might as well have been a Wes Craven movie, full of Freddies and Jasons and metaphorical (not to mention the occasional actual) chain-saw murderers. And why wouldn’t they be? Throw a bunch of incredibly immature kids together into a big building, pump them up full of raging hormones and self-centered, consumer-driven, amped-up, self-absorbed me-ism, and see what happens. No need to even light a match.

I suspect that for most of us, these were the nightmare years of awkwardness, emotional pinball, and deep wounds over small slights. Oh, and zits, too – just in case you were somehow feeling too good about yourself on any given day.

But for those of you who have for some reason been wishing that you could return to those golden years, I’ve got news for you: You already have! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Courtesy of the regressive right and its Grand Old Party (and isn’t it just grand?), we’re reliving all those many joys again and again.

But here’s the good news: Once you understand this, there’s no longer any mystery to figuring out these clowns.

That’s ‘cause everything you need to know about the regressive right you already learned in junior high.

Junior High was nine kinds of hell for me, and I had no trouble at all recognizing the examples that follow. They ring so true it’s painful. Go read and, um, enjoy, the whole thing.

Naked + Jogging + Priest…Does Not Compute!

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

A Catholic priest in Colorado pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of indecent exposure for jogging while naked, and when I first read that I thought he had to be batshit crazy to go out unclothed in December. Turns out it was June, silly. I guess the justice system has been clogged with actual serious crime since then.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey was arrested June 22 in Frederick, about 25 miles north of Denver, after an officer saw him walking on a street naked at 4:35 a.m. Whipkey told police he jogged naked because he sweats profusely if he wears clothing, according an arrest report.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll take profuse sweat over flapping, uh, parts.  Any day.  Every day.

Tancredo Drops Out of Presidential Races, Endorses Romney

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination, citing his fear that he might split the brown-people-hatin’ vote and open the door for some softy like Huckabee.  Tancredo threw his support to Mitt Romney, who opposes illegal immigration but supports lawn care companies that hire undocumented workers.

See ya, Tom.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

No…Really?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Larry Langford said today that he thinks he’s the target of a criminal probe. To that, I’d like to respond, “Duh!”

Larry and Bill Blount, Chairman of a Montgomery-based investment firm, showed up in Miami last week to respond to an SEC (that’s Securities and Exchange Commission, not Southeastern Conference) subpoena but refused to answer questions. Each of them cited some unspecified constitutional right to avoid giving testimony under oath.

In a 21-page document filed with the U.S. District Court in Florida, the SEC states that its staff “is investigating whether any persons or entities, including but not limited to Langford and Blount, committed violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws relating to the offer, purchase or sale of Jefferson County, Alabama, municipal bonds or security-based swap agreements.”

Langford, as [former Jefferson County] commission president, was “instrumental in selecting participants in county bond and swap transactions during the relevant time period. The staff intends to question Langford about, among other things, his activity in connection with those transactions and the source and nature of certain payments he received. This is certainly relevant to whether anyone, including Langford, violated the securities laws in connection with these bond and swap transactions,” the filing states.

“The staff intends to question Blount, among other things, about his role in these transactions and the aforementioned payments to Langford,” the document says. “Again, this is obviously relevant to whether anyone, including Blount, violated securities laws in connection with these bond and swap transactions.”

The SEC says Langford and Blount may be within their rights to refuse to testify if they’re taking the Fifth, but they’ll have to say so — and they must do so personally, not through their attorneys.

So yeah, I think Larry may be on to something. He’s not worried, though.

“I’d be a liar if I said no,” Langford said, “but the fact of the matter is I’m not scared.”

…”I did not need to cite the Fifth Amendment,” Langford said today. “From now on, I’ll listen to my lawyers and let them handle it.”

He’s going to listen to someone else? Mark the date, people. This might be a first. And it just might be time to inaugurate a “Larry Watch” category.