Friday, April 29, 2005

Comics Out of Context

EXACTLY! How many times have I told Mr. Mooch the VERY same thing?? Posted by Hello

Bush Social Security Plan--short version.

*Cut the hell outta everyone's benefits. if you're poor...less so.
This was Bush's way of re-directing his Social Security program that has already proved unpopular.

...Now, for those keeping score, the bush plan not only costs TRILLIONS of dollars more than the program we have now, but it ALSO will have fewer benefits! What's not to love!?!

(Mr. Mooch encourages you to read on in the linked article, but c' get the picture).

Thank GOD Bush is Fighting the War on Terrorism!

i mean, since the number of international terrorist incidents more than TRIPLED this year...well, just imagine how bad it would have been if Bush wasn't our President!

Luckily, to protect us, the State Department will no longer be making these records public (since they don't look too good).

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Governor Jackass Protects Those Abusing the Elderly.

Governor Haley Barbour (R, MS) has just vetoed a bill funding the Attorney General's division on Elderly Abuse. This division, which I worked in for a short time, is the state's ONLY investigative and prosecutorial arm dedicated to protecting the state's elderly from attack, neglect, and sexual abuse. The division handled 900 claims last year. His explanation?

"Establishing a new program within another agency of state government would be confusing to the general public and would cause unnecessary new administrative costs."

Well, the only one confused is Barbour. It isn't a new agency at all. it has been around for years. There is a cost for protecting our elderly and you can see above, Haley Barbour has no interest in paying it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Great Trades?

I usually like Trade Paperbacks of the really old comics that i won't or can't get anywhere else. The problem is that Marvel & DC put their rare, vintage comics into nice hardcover editions with hefty price tags. Often I want to just read the stories and not necessarily collect the finest tome. on a rare occasion they'll do a softcover version of their super nice hardcovers and sell them at a decent price. Barnes and Noble recently did a lot with marvel at the $10-12 price point (see above link). i think that doesn't happen enough.

There's now a Trade Paperback of The Black Panther comic by Jack Kirby. has anyone read these comics (or the trade)? it sounds good.

Essential Marvel__ (Fill in the Character's Name). Does anyone else read these things? i have a few of 'em so far. when they came out i was sorta pissed at the 'mistreatment' of these comics. putting them on crap paper in black and white...but you know. i can't decide. now i DO think i'm missing a LOT by not seeing them in their colored glory, but maybe it's ok. i WANTED to read the first 40 issues of Thor and Iron Man. i knew i'd never have the original issues, and there's no way i'll ever get 'em all reprinted (if i even can) for a better price than $16. usually they're about 600 pages long(!)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Four Hours and Half a Bottle of Bourbon

As some of you know, I (along with Mr. Mooch) practice law. I'm on my own, but I also work with other attorneys on a contract basis. Sometimes the money is good. sometimes it isn't. I've been wanting to work on a steady basis, maybe even join a firm, so i'm currently talking to attorneys and sometimes interviewing with firms. I pitch my ideas.

On Friday the interview lasted 4 hours.

This had to be the hardest interview of my life. Not really because the Interviewer was harsh...on the contrary...he seemed pleasant as can be. it was hard because i've never had to recall so much information in my life.

Every 5th sentence/question was about law or legal work. i was quizzed about what i've done from my 1st year of law school to the present day, as well as my plans for a legal career whether i work with this firm, another, or on my own. Basic stuff, right? well...that was only part of it.

Throughout this 4 hours i also had to talk (with a working knowledge) about Every Governor since the 1930s, 1966 Democratic Primary for the 3rd Congressional District and how a Tornado effected the outcome, What Teddy Roosevelt books were best, what, exactly, are the best American auto-biographies of all time, My thoughts on "Lanterns on the Levee", just who were the premiere Bear hunters of Mississippi around the turn of a century (hint, he didn't like to use a gun!--jesus), each President over the last 100 years, and who sang the best version of "Bei Mir Bist du Schön" (The Andrews Sisters)...that last one intrigued the guy so much that i even knew the song at all, it created a new twist to the interview where i was quized on who was singing the songs playing in the background while we talked. He'd stop the conversation to quiz "Who's THAT?". None were newer than 45 years old and I missed one.

There was actually MUCH more, but you get the idea. Moreover, the interview was conducted while being plied with a HALF BOTTLE of Wild Turkey: Russell's Reserve. Thanks to my strong constitution, all ended well. The guy is from the Mississippi Delta, as am I, and THAT place produces some strange birds. Anyway, I don't know if I'll get/take a job there, but I got invited to dinner the next day, so it couldn't have gone too poorly. We'll see.

Lord in Heaven, go see The Kung Fu Hustle

I spent a happy Saturday eating Crawfish and then diving off into the theatre to see Kung Fu Hustle. THAT is one of the best movies i've seen in a while. I just don't have it in my head right now to explain it all to you, but it is exciting, funny, and beautiful to watch. I give it my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. by far, the most fun you can possibly have at the movie theatre watching ANYTHING that's been on the big screen this year.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Dr. Wagner - Method to the Madness

If you look to the side, you can find my old roommate's blog. Dr. Wagner, or "BigTime" as he's otherwise been known has just kicked off his site. Go there and egg him on to write more. he's good when he does it. I know for a fact that he had an opportunity to write a comic for Marvel Comics and didn't do it...because...well...he didn't have a damn reason not to. he just didn't. (guilt trip here). OK, Dr. Wagner, START WRITING!!

A word from his blog:

"Just a blog in the worst possible sense...vaguely biographical with too many references to comics, music and wrestling. We aim to disappoint."

Friday, April 22, 2005

How do you Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:

45% Dixie

45% General American English

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Yankee

Throwin' Down from the Book of Isaiah

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.

Isaiah 10-1

damn right. woe be unto you.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

You Hack Bastard!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned on Thursday that unless lawmakers come to grips with spiraling U.S. deficits, the economy was at risk of stagnation 'or worse.'

under existing tax rates and reasonable assumptions about other spending... projections make clear that the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, in which large deficits result in rising interest rates and ever-growing interest payments that augment deficits in future years,' Greenspan said in testimony prepared for a Senate Budget Committee hearing.
This is the same guy that was cheerleading bush's tax cuts and our continued over spending on credit. Now he says we can't maintain the budget w/ this sort of tax revenue coming into the government. Greenspan's guidence is non-existent with his criptic proclaimations and downright irresponsible political advice. He's basically saying our problems come from doing EXACTLY what he's suggested. this senile old man needs to retire--yesterday.

Vaguely Giving Credit Where Credit is Due...

On the way to work today I was listening to NPR and heard a(nother) discussion about the pope and being conservative/orthodox and what that means to the church. They hit on something that really seemed to make sense to me.

We have entered a new era. Christianity is less divided between denominations but rather by the division between Orthodox and Progressive wings of each denomination. 20+ years ago, there was real hatred between orthodox protestants and catholics. I saw it firsthand, many times, on the side of the protestants. Now, issues like abortion seem to have created a common bond, at least politically among the Orthodox. other issues, notably women's rights/issues, Seem to be galvanizing the Progressives.

Previous letters from Pope Benedict XVI have gone out to other denominations indicating that he's not completely against recognizing other denominations. However, this seems to be directed exclusively towards orthodox the wings of these other denominations. Because of this, we may be entering into a new era of peaceful coexistence between Catholics and Protestants. By the same token, we seem to be entering into a new era of intra-denominational strife in places where divisions don't already exist (Presbyterian PCA and PUSA, i'm looking at you).

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Never too Early to Smile (a little).

It seems Penn. Right-WingNut Rick Santorum is behind 14pts now against Democratic Challenger Robert Casey jr. The election is a ways off, but anytime one of the GOP's hate mongers is behind 49-35%, i'll take it!

Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me....Aren't you?

Mike Nichols on why he cast Dustin Hoffman, instead of Robert Redford, in "The Graduate":

"I asked [Redford] if a girl had ever turned him down, and he replied, 'What do you mean?' [Redford] just couldn't play a loser."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Benedict showed 2 sides after pope's death

There's more being said on the 'hardliner' side of the new pope. the thing that stood out to me was his statement, or homily rather that was sharp edged and seemingly aimed at liberal catholics. it centered on his view accepting little else other than strict obedience to the church doctirne. this is also a pope whom, while cardinal worked hard against the acceptance or recognition of other Christian denominations. I found the statements, given shortly after the funeral of the pope...well, inappropriate. I also don't think that sort of thinking is what the church (or world) really needs right now. here's some comments i've collected and edited down from the links above:

Paul Lakeland, professor of Catholic studies at Fairfield University (DEAD ON)

Every time a new pope is chosen, whoever the predecessor, it is a moment of hope for the Church, a chance to grow and move forward. Today the cardinals of the Catholic Church dashed those hopes by electing a man who, however talented, is a figure who looks backwards to the past rather than forward to the future. The cardinals lost their nerve and settled for continuity. Faced with the challenges of Islam in Africa, Protestant evangelicalism in Latin America, hunger around the world, declining numbers of priests and churchgoers in Europe and North America, and calls for flexibility in teaching and adaptabilty in the search of new ways to preach the gospel, they chose a man who just lectured them on secularism, materialism and hedonism, who thinks the solution for the European church is to settle for a smaller and more faithful community, and who was and is a hardline centralizer. Benedict XVI was the closest thing they could find to a clone of John Paul II-- without the charisma. It was John Paul's charisma that let people forgive him for many of his authoritarian ways. But Joseph Ratzinger is a very clever man, and there is always hope for conversion.

Father Andrew Greeley, sociologist and author of "Priests: A Calling in Crisis"

Women -- and not only in the United States -- are very angry at the church. It is no exaggeration to say that many of them, devout Catholics to the core, will tell you they hated John Paul because he hated women. If the new pope wants to win them over, he will have a very hard sell on his hands. Similarly, gay and lesbian Catholics will find it difficult to forgive him for his comment that they are "objectively" disordered. He will have to put off his persona as stats professor and put on his persona as a parish priest.

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice

I can no longer delude myself about these princes’(The Cardinals) almost total lack of interest in healing the divide in the Church, in showing compassion for or even in listening to the voices of the suffering. The time for nuance is over. Let the unholy war begin.

Mary Segers, professor of political science at Rutgers University

He believes in the idea that Europe is a kind of base for Christian civilization, and he apparently thinks that an admixture of that with a Muslim country is not a good thing. Last year he stated that he was opposed to the admission of Turkey to the European Union because of its Islamic history, even though Turkey has been secular since the 1920s. Ratzinger thinks that since Europe has Christian roots, by definition you can't admit a Muslim country into the European Union. That worries me more than anything else...

James Martin, Jesuit priest, associate editor of America magazine and author of "In Good Company"

While I trust that the Holy Spirit will be helping Pope Benedict XVI over the next few years, I would be lying if I didn't say how disappointed I was by the cardinals' selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope. To my mind, there were many other candidates who had more pastoral experience, who have been more open to dialogue with other religions, and who have demonstrated more sensitivity to the thoughtful questioning that has always characterized Christian theology. But the cardinals quickly settled on a man who would forcefully continue John Paul's approach to governing the church. I can only pray that Pope Benedict proves to be more tolerant and open-minded than Cardinal Ratzinger was.

Amy Sullivan, Salon contributor and editor for Washington Monthly

As tears of joy filled the eyes of Catholic nuns standing in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday with the announcement of Joseph Ratzinger's election to the papacy, tears of anger and frustration stung the eyes of progressive Catholics around the world. The election of Ratzinger signals a decision to stick with the failed policies that have led millions of Catholics in the developing world to leave the church for Pentecostalism(CREEZUS), and millions of western Catholics to simply leave religion altogether. The choice Ratzinger has posed -- between the tyranny of relativism or the triumph of orthodoxy -- is false. The church will continue to suffer for his lack of imagination.

Rabbi Michael Lerner of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in San Francisco, editor of Tikkun

Ratzinger has been the leader of an internal inquisition in the church against any voices that sought to hold on to the message that came out of Vatican II. Instead, he has pushed the church away from social justice and peace concerns. This guy has a history -- from his short time in the Nazi youth organization and service in the army to his authoritarian and anti-gay perspective -- of fighting against the liberalization of the church that occurred under Vatican II. He has taken fundamentally repressive stands on homosexuality and on women's right to make their own reproductive choices. He has denounced anybody in the church who was willing to give equal validity to other faith traditions, including Jews.

Andrew Sullivan, columnist and blogger

I'm still reeling, am still in shock. Given the church's internal debate, the choice could not have been more polarizing. Coming so swiftly, and after Ratzinger's pre-conclave rant about "the dictatorship of relativism," it's a statement of where the church is headed: toward more retrenchment, insularity and retreat.
Benedict has no pastoral experience, scant knowledge of the developing world, a terrible reputation in Europe as a full-bore reactionary, and no real comfort as an actor on the world stage.
In other words, he offers all the drawbacks of JPII and none of the advantages. He does have an interesting mind. But the more deeply you read, the scarier it gets: He even backs a pre-modern view of the conscience, which holds that you can only have a good conscience if you agree with him.

Dr. Matthew Fox, founder of Wisdom University and author of "Original Blessing"

Ratzinger will be the inquisitor general of the 21st century. He led the assault on theologians and women, yoga (calling it "dangerous" because it gets you too much in touch with your body), homosexuals (who are "evil"), liberation theology, ecumenism and interfaith, and now he's been made the spiritual head of 1.1 billion people. Cardinal Ratzinger is living proof of the dictum coined by Catholic historian Lord Acton after the First Vatican Council's declaration of papal infallibility: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Ratzinger does not support movements of justice, and has committed his career to silencing those who do. He is also committed to elevating the rich and powerful, such as Escriva, fascist sympathizer and founder of Opus Dei, to sainthood. It is a sad day and a decisive one for the Roman Catholic Church.

it seems i'm not alone in my thinking. Jeez, i've spent a lot of time on this for someone that isn't a Catholic. i guess i really was hopefull that this was an opportunity for the world and now i fear it may be an opportunity lost. i'd love to be wrong.

Pope trivia: Benedict was the name taken by he pope during the 1st world war. he was actually a calming force after hardliner predcessors. ALSO, this is the first German pope since around 1055 if i recall correctly.

The New Pope Spells Trouble for Catholics

Against my non-existant judgement, the Cardinals have selected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany as the new Pope. at 78, one would expect his reign to be relatively short. I believe this this Pope may spell trouble for the Church. He is one of the Arch-Conservative Cardinals that has done much to push away from the modernization of the church. As a Non-Catholic, this impacts me little on a personal level, but in a worldly sense, this will likely do much to (further) drive the industrialized world away from Catholicism--Europe in particular.

The Pope took the name Benedict XVI. He was Theological advisor to pope John Paul II and greatly responsible as the conservative influence on JPII's hardline decisions. From CNN:

As a young priest he was on the progressive side of theological debates but shifted to the right after the student revolutions of 1968.

In the Vatican, he has been the driving force behind crackdowns on liberation theology, religious pluralism, challenges to traditional moral teachings on issues such as homosexuality, and dissent on such issues as women's ordination.

I believe a more liberal pope would have created an influx into the Catholic church, in light of the positive attention being paid after JPII's death. A Catholic Church still calling condom use a sin, in light of their influence in Sub-Saharan Africa (and in light of the AIDS crisis there) is just irresponsible and hopelessly out of touch.

A Day Later and a New Pope!

Seems a new pope was selected today. i was a bit surprised to see it happen in, what? 24 hours? There must have been little debate.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Fox News Host Coaches Conservative Guests on What to Say.

From the NY Daily News:

Fox News host: Repeat after me

If the conservative guests on Fox News' 'Hannity and Colmes' sound especially on-message, that's because they're being coached by the best:

Sean Hannity himself.

On the March 31 installment of the shouting-head show, the guests included two of the late Terri Schiavo's former nurses, Trudy Capone and Carla Sauer Iyer, arguing that their patient wasn't brain-dead.

Between commercials, according to an off-air audiotape obtained by investigative comedian Harry Shearer for last Sunday's episode of his weekly radio program, 'Le Show,' Hannity coached the women on exactly how to respond when liberal co-host Alan Colmes cross-examined them.

'Just say, 'I'm here to tell what I saw,'' Hannity can be heard instructing his guests. 'No matter what the question, 'I'm here to tell you what I saw. I'm here to tell you what I saw.''

Hannity adds helpfully: 'Say, 'I'm not going to be distracted by silliness.' How's that? Does that help you? Look into that camera. Look at me when I'm talking.'

On the air, Iyer performs beautifully. 'I don't have any opinions or judgments. I was there,' she declares

After the segment ends, Hannity gushes off the air to the nurses: 'We got the points out. It's hard, this isn't easy. But you did great, both of you. Thank you, guys. Those nurses are powerful, aren't they?'

On his radio show, Shearer injected: 'Yeah, especially when they do what you tell 'em to do. Very powerful when they follow instructions from the host!'

A Fox News flack didn't respond to Lowdown's detailed message yesterday.

Hitting Bottom?

Polly & the Mooch readers may recall Mr. Mooch's rant recently about judges and the extreme behavior of the GOP in appointing judges. the fact that a handful of Bush's judicial picks weren't rubber stamped is just too much to stand (less than 5%). that handful of judges was blocked by (or threat of) the filabuster. This has so enraged the GOP leadership that they are considering what's been called "The Nuclear Option" of getting rid of the filabuster all together. this would eliminate the oldest, most powerful tool of the minority party to protect minority interests (regardless of party).

Apparently Sen. Bill Frist (R, TN) will soon be leading the charge on this matter. so just HOW do they plan to push the PR on this? they already have the AM radio screech boxes going, so what's the next step?


you heard right! The Senate Majority Leader is joining the Right Wing Christian group called The Family Resource Council and their leader Dr. James Dobson for a telecast concentrating on how the Democrats use "the filibuster against people of faith". They would like to convince enough supporters that the Democrats are using the filabuster to stop judges that operate using "Christian Values", as if that were the case and as if those judges were, in fact, godly. Neither is true.

Dr. Dobson has a vivid political history in the last decade and a half. Unfortunately, his Christian organization is little devoted to acting on the actual teachings of Christ, but more to the conversion of people and ideas to their version of what is holy and godly. In the last decade they've tended to value working for prayer in school, ending abortion, and fighting homosexuality more than providing christian charity to the needy, desperate, and helpless in our society. the least among us. today, headlinging their website, you can see how instead of humanitarian aid to the tsunami victims, they're distributing a million booklets (to the non-christians) about "when god doesn't make sense". a hard look at this 'Family' oriented website shows that they ignore the most basic of family needs (in this country or others): food and shelter. Evidently, to these people, fighting over judges and senate rules is more of a family value than fighting hunger.
(thanks to Swirly for her input).

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Interesting Thought

It seems that Scalia appeared at NYU this week to speak to students and faculty:

The room was packed with some 300 students and there were many protesters outside because of Scalia's vitriolic dissent last year in the case that overturned the Texas law against gay sex ... One gay student asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up: 'Do you sodomize your wife?' The audience was shocked, especially since Mrs. Scalia [Maureen] was in attendance. The justice replied that the question was unworthy of an answer. [NYPost]
On its face, i do agree that the question was inappropriate. However, it gets to the REAL meat of the matter. This gay man doesn't like the idea of the government inquiring about his sexual activities so that it can pass judgement and mete out punishment for those activities. This question, to Justice Scalia was so inappropriate that it did not dignify the an answer. That is a question, on the other hand, that he would allow the government to ask--daily. Of course, he--as a straight, married man--never has to worry about the issue. The government would never inquire into his sexual life and he's quite happy with that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

FOX News to the Rescue!!

As you read below, Tom DeLay has caught some heat for taking trips funded by lobbyists for foreign agents. add that to the fact that his family, including his wife, are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the same people, you might think the press is ready to eat him alive...well...not all of them.

At the home of quality journalism, we're seeing these gems from the top anchors at Fox News:

Brit Hume: "Here in Washington, the press is after Tom DeLay again, but wait 'til you hear the facts," and, "speaking of Tom DeLay, the mainstream media were out after him again today." (, is this Fox FINALLY admitting that they aren't mainstream but rather a fringe, wingnut outfit?)

John Gibson: "The liberal media is hammering 'The Hammer' - Tom DeLay under a microscope and under the gun. Is this simply a media hit job?" (To get the fair and balanced answer to this, he interviewed Rich Lowry, editor of the right-wing National Review. Oddly enough, they DID think it was just the media ganging up on him.)

Sean Hannity: referring to what he called the "liberal allegations," all he wanted to know was, "Is he the target of a smear campaign?" (the funny thing is that they actually AREN'T allegations. they are statements of fact that DeLay himself hasn't even denied. He's just said there's nothing wrong with it all.)
I'm actually tired of the media tip-toeing around this. he DID it. it is clearly illegal and unethical, and he's not denying it didn't happen. He is taking money from political interests he openly serves via his elected office and funnels it into the pockets of his wife and daughter. He doesn't deny it. what the hell is the point of a free press and governmental ethics rules when you can do things like this and defend yourself by saying there's nothing wrong with it. what is wrong is that the press says "ok, sure" and rolls over.

GOP House Majority Leader Taking Pay-Offs by Foreign Agents

Now, let's see how craven the Republicans can be. Currently, the GOP House Majority leader--Tom DeLay--wields much power due to his ability to raise money for other Republicans and ease their re-election process by working to gerrymander the districts in favor of the GOP. Recently some interesting facts have come out regarding that money.

Last Wednesday, the Washington Post and the New York Times both sink their teeth into the Republican leader. It seems that he took a THREE trip overseas, which was paid for by foreign agents. The trip was part of a $440,000 lobbying program based outside of the country working for foreign interests. Additionally, these lobbyists have been paying his wife and daughter to the tune of HALF A MILLION dollars.

Are We in the 100 years off?

In the NEWEST twist to conservatives trying to insert themselves into people's lives, we are seeing more and more self-identified 'conservative pharmacists' refusing to fill prescriptions for birthcontrol. what is strange is the fact that this is often NOT being done by Catholic pharmacists. It has been decades (since my birth) that there was a public movement against women's access to birthcontrol. i have to wonder if this is getting press because of the oddity of it all, rather than the existence of an actual movement.

SOMEBODY'S Old Porn Stash!

Archaeologists have found the oldest porn ever in a 7,200 year old statue!

More on the Judiciary from Harper's Weekly

Republicans held a conference to discuss ways to reform the federal judiciary, which they say has "run amok." Senator Tom Coburn's chief of staff said that "mass impeachment" of judges might be necessary, and Tom DeLay, who is under investigation for illegal fundraising, gave a pre-recorded speech entitled "Confronting the Judicial Waron Faith."
Evidently a "War on Faith" comes when judges won't brush aside constitutional rights to allow standing any law that congress feels like passing. Notice how often these folks talk about judges as if they were something in the way of their laws and views rather than a seperate, co-equal branch of government. Notice how LITTLE these folks concern themselves with the rights and interests of others. This comes greatly from the notion among evangelicals that what they are doing is sanction by god and somehow should not be second guessed by mere mortals.

Recently Madcap was posting here about some of the things the GOP Religious Conservatives are doing, and I have to point to this above. The Republicans have controlled the appointments of well over half of this nation's judiciary. maybe 2/3. what more could they want? I'll tell you. they want a dissolution of any real, meaningful seperation of church and state as well as a court that will serve to exert power on social issues they like, as opposed to judicially weigh the laws of congress against the rights protected in the constitution. the cry is often to find no right which is not spelled out exactly in the constitution. The notion that NO INFERENCE may be drawn from the constitution. if it doesn't SAY the words, it isn't actually a right. Stepping beyond the MIRIAD of arguments against that line of thought, think upon what would be lost. Abortion rights, protections against discrimination, the right to privacy...the list goes on and on. This, no matter what principle is asserted, is a tool to undo much of the social progress made over the last century. I'm not saying that the religious right are all commited to undoing these protections (though many are). what i am saying is that they don't mind losing ANY of these as long as the courts allow them to have more religious control over our daily lives. that is a theocracy and THAT is what they are pushing towards...whether they realize it or not.

Mr. Mooch Crunches the Numbers for You and I Run it All Down for You.

Have you heard the moans of complaint over how the MEAN ole Democrats are blocking President Bush's judicial nominees? This has agitated the GOP to such a degree that they have considered doing away with the time honored Senatorial tool, the filabuster (See Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). This has been nicknamed the "Nuclear Option" because of how serious and final such a decision would be to the Senate.

Well, here's a rundown on just how "bad" it has been for our poor President and his judges:

The Federal Judiciary has 871 judges. The Senate has approved 205 of Bush's nominees. How many have they blocked? 10. TEN!

So, let's get this straight. the GOP is upset because they only got their way 95% of the time! More importantly, this president, in his first 4 years, has filled nearly 1/4 of the Judiciary with his own conservative judges. The disgust I have isn't because this is happening, it is because (to the GOP) this is simply NOT ENOUGH! at this rate, you could see (by 2008) 1/3 to 1/2 of the US Judiciary installed by ONE MAN. I don't like the looks of that at all (regardless of political party).

Along the same line, it is important to note that GOP appointees currently dominate all of the Judiciary. The US Supreme Court has 7 GOP appointees and 2 Democratic. There are 13 Federal circuits and the GOP nominees dominate 10 of them. It is predicted that 12 of the 13 will be dominated by GOP appointees by the end of Bush's term. The real concern for me is that the more recent GOP nominees are MUCH more ideologically bent than, say, an appointee from the Nixon era. Our judicial system is being hijacked.

10 of the 13 appellate circuits. By the time Bush's second term ends, Republicans will almost certainly dominate 12 of the 13 circuit courts, leaving only the Ninth Circuit in Democratic control.

Unrest at the GOP Convention Proves to be Crackdown on Protesters

As you may recall, there were a LOT of protests in and around the GOP National Convention in 2004. There were 1,670 arrests during that time. Well, it turns out that 91% were dismissed or found not guilty...and get this, this is MOSTLY due to the surveilance video tape showing the people arrested weren't actually breaking the law.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Green Wave!

Tulane's baseball team is #3 in the Nation! Miss. State, unfortunately has fallen off the damn poll completely (and the hated Ole Miss is #13).

Sunday, April 10, 2005

In theocracy they trust

this is a very important article to read...looking at where MANY are working to send this country. the alarming part is the deals being made with the devil. the GOP'ers that will take in the extremists to get their votes. the problem is that if you take these people to the dance...the expect a turn on the floor.

read this article and see where we are.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Think Progress » Video: Cornyn Justifies Violence Against Judges

Texas Senator John Cornyn wonders aloud from the Senate floor about whether violence against 'activist' judges is based on frustration over their lack of accountability (as in when they disagree with the religious right on things like the Schiavo case). Now pair this up with Tom Delay, who just last week--from the House Floor--said of the Judges that disagreed with him (on the Schiavo case):

"The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior..."

There's your 'law and order' republicans.

Gallup: Bush Approval Rating Lowest Ever for 2nd-Term Prez at this Point

Bush's approval rating is lower than any since 2nd term President since WW2. Gallup lists the next lowest as still ahead of bush by 10 points (Reagan at 56% in March 1985).

The ALWAYS Great Weekly Review from


Militants in Iraq attacked the Abu Ghraib prison, wounding
forty-four American soldiers and twelve prisoners. Britain
announced that it will pull 5,500 troops from Iraq and
increase its presence in Afghanistan, to help with the
hunt for Osama bin Laden. Syria vowed to be out of Lebanon
by the end of April, and Canada decided not to deport a
flying squirrel. An earthquake off Sumatra killed at least
one thousand people, and five American soldiers were
arrested for trying to use military aircraft to smuggle
cocaine from Colombia into the United States. A Russian
court found a museum director and an artist guilty of
creating blasphemous art and fined them $3,600 each. The
piece in question depicted Jesus on a Coca-Cola
advertisement with the words "this is my blood." In
France, radical wine producers threw sticks of dynamite at
a state agriculture office and demanded that the state
take action to stop the depression in French wine
prices. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's party won a
two-thirds majority in a rigged election, and Malawian
President Bingu wa Mutharika insisted that he was not
afraid of ghosts but did not comment on reports that one
of his predecessors had often been visited by mysterious
dwarfs. A British sex festival was cancelled because not
enough people wanted to go, and the European Union placed
a 15 percent duty on American trousers and sweet
corn. Fifty-nine former American diplomats were planning
to send a letter urging the Senate to reject John
R. Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the United
Nations, and a Saudi Arabian princess was arrested for
keeping slaves in Winchester, Massachusetts.

A former scout master in Houston, Texas, resigned from the
Lion's Club and turned himself in for sexually abusing a
blind nine-year-old boy, and a former policeman was
arrested for flying to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, in order to
molest boys. Scientists in California developed a scale
that can measure the mass of a cluster of xenon atoms. It
turns out that they weigh a few zeptograms. Harvard
students were upset that the brand-name cereals in their
dining halls had been replaced with generic brands, and
Terri Schiavo's parents authorized a direct-marketing firm
to sell a list of those who contributed to Terri's
cause. New York State legislators met their budget
deadline for the first time in twenty-one years. Cambodia
privatized the Killing Fields at Cheoung Ek; a Japanese
firm will plant flowers near the tower of eight thousand
skulls and will raise admission rates. Laura Bush spent
six hours in Afghanistan and said that she and President
George W. Bush both have living wills. A federal judge
refused to let the Bush Administration, which opposes
torture, send prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to other
prisons abroad without granting the prisoners access to
the courts. The United States announced that it will
establish nine new military bases in Afghanistan, bringing
the total to twelve; Afghanistan announced that it will
once again postpone parliamentary elections. Taliban
militants killed nine policemen in southern Afghanistan.

A new report on American intelligence failures concluded
that the Bush Administration's evidence of biological
weapons in Iraq was almost entirely derived from reports
made by an Iraqi defector code-named "Curveball," who was
described by those who knew him as "crazy" and "a
congenital liar." An investigation determined that the
rate of malnutrition in Iraqi children under five has
nearly doubled since the U.S. invaded, and the U.S. Army's
Psychological Operations group was developing propaganda
science fiction comic books for distribution in the Middle
East. Nearly ten years after the Oklahoma City bombing, an
FBI search found explosives in a crawl space in Terry
Nichols's former home, and Pakistan successfully
test-fired the Hatf II, a short-range nuclear-capable
missile. In Mecca, a man stabbed his father to death after
the father threatened to tattle on the man for not
praying, and in Israel, someone spray-painted the words
"murderous dog" on Yitzhak Rabin's grave. Noting their
mutual hatred of Jews, a neo-Nazi in Florida called on Al
Qaeda to join forces with the Aryan Nations, and Olga, the
first Siberian tiger ever fitted with a radio collar, was
believed to have been killed by poachers. Robert Creeley,
Terri Schiavo, Johnnie Cochran, Frank Perdue, Mitch
Hedberg, and the pope died, as did the man who wrote the
theme song to "Gidget." Turkeys attacked elementary school
students in Indiana, and the Boy Scouts' Director of
Programming was arrested on child pornography charges. A
Minnesota man threw a toddler at a policeman, and a huge
naked screaming Wisconsin man was shot as he threatened
his equally naked children with scissors. Ms. Wheelchair
Wisconsin was stripped of her title after she was caught
standing up, Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced that they
would join the PLO, and a handicapped man used a computer
chip implanted in his brain to control a television. The
Marburg virus was still killing people in Angola. Paul
Wolfowitz was confirmed as head of the World Bank, and a
Toronto man attempted to pass a Breathalyzer test by
stuffing his mouth full of his own feces. In Shanghai, a
man stabbed and killed another man for selling their
jointly owned imaginary cyber-sword without sharing the
proceeds, and after four years of hard work, 1,300
researchers in ninety-five countries concluded that humans
are destroying the world.

--Paul Ford

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Who'da thought they'd lead ya...back here where we need ya? Yeah we tease him a lot, 'cause we got him on the spot...Welcome Back.

Clocks are forward, margaritas are blended, the top is down on the 'Demcrat'-mobile and Mr. Mooch and I are about to sit out back and break the rule about liquor after beer.

It's spring, Jackson Azaleas are topping 10 feet tall in some spots, and I'm day dreaming.


Friday, April 01, 2005

Republican Tom DeLay ponders impeachment against Schiavo judges

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Thursday blamed Terri Schiavo's death on what he contended was a failed legal system and he raised the possibility of trying to impeach some of the federal judges in the case.

'The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior,' said DeLay, R-Texas.
Yeah. This from the guy who let the doctors pull the plug on his father when there was NO evidence at all on whether his would have wanted that to happen. THIS is last Republican i want to hear on the Schiavo issue.