Sunday, April 29, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Happy Friday News Roundup

I haven’t had much time to blog this week but here is a news roundup for your very own Happy Friday.

It's so inspiring to see Stephen Hawking floating around in zero gravity. Nearly completely paralyzed because of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Hawking has done groundbreaking work in Astrophysics. Now he hopes to travel in space. Thursday’s first run was characterized as a huge success. story

Check out this funny video I found that took the clip of Bush's dancing the other day and put it to a funky James Brown jam. It's one of the few times that W has made me laugh. He looks uncomfortable but that’s one part of his job where he can do no harm. So it is good to see him sorta let loose. Maybe he should dance more often.

I watched the Democratic debate last night. Brian Williams, the moderator, asked some really pointless questions and with 8 candidates there was little time for them to really elaborate on anything. I think Obama and Hillary did well. Richardson has some strong moments. Kucinich and Gravel are kind of out there but made some good points. Dodd blended into the background while Biden screamed for attention. Edwards was less dynamic than I expected and if I forgot anyone then that tells you what I thought of their performance.

The Yankees lost again last night for the 6th time in a row. Boston visits this weekend and I have tickets for Saturday and Sunday. I hope we can bounce back. We have so many injuries now including our best pitchers so it is going to be a challenge.

Finally, I have been following one story with urgent interest. The only thing is that whenever I tell people what I know they beg me to stop because it too depressing. Since it’s a Happy Friday edition of MQAblog let me accentuate the positive and simply assure you that I’m keeping an eye on the bees.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Voice of the Right

This is really something. It's an audio clip from the Rush Limbaugh show (someone else did the video portion). If you listen to it you'll hear a parody song supposedly sung by Al Sharpton and titled (no joke) "Barack The Magic Negro". I don't think you can underestimate the influence Limbaugh has had on the conservative movement. It could not have happened without him motivating the ground troops. It's amazing that the man is still so beloved by Republicans (with a $285 million dollar contract). I'm surprised he is still so influential - not just because of the content of his daily hate fest, but for his repeated falls from grace. Limbaugh is still lauded by the Right despite a lifetime of unseemly behavior. Further proof of the insincerity of this so called conservative movement.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mets Fan Arraigned For Temporarily Blinding Braves Players

A Bronx man was arraigned on reckless endangerment charges Sunday after prosecutors say he flashed a light into the eyes of Atlanta players during Friday night's Mets game. The Queens district attorney’s office says 40-year-old Frank Martinez temporarily blinded the Braves' pitcher and shortstop by aiming a high-powered flashlight at them in the eighth inning. If convicted, Martinez faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. NY1

Cartoon Commentary

Friday, April 20, 2007

Gonzo and the Red Menace we face for decades to come

I'll give a quick summary of the Alberto Gonzalez hearings yesterday. I was amazed at just how shallow Gonzo's thinking is and what a dim bulb this guy is. I knew he was soft and no genius, but I did not realize that he appears to be even more stupid than George W. Bush. Within the first 15 minutes I knew that he would soon be gone. Even the Republicans on the panel seemed amazed at the simple minded responses by the #1 law enforcement agent in the nation. (My personal favorite was when he said that HE made the decision but could not recall when, where or how)

His testimony showed me a few things. First, The republican party will promote for loyalty above anything else (including competence). It's just too bad for what's left of the USA. Two, George W. Bush probably kept Gonzo around all these years not only out of an ability to steer him around by the nose , but also because Gonzo was one of the few people on earth that made W feel smart! (It explains a lot.) Three, the Justice Department is simply one arm of Karl Roves' grand political scheme to assure one party rule. He has used DOJ to plant rightwing nutjobs in important positions - doing damage in the here and now as well as beefing up their resumes for future appointments in the US Government. Like little ticking time bombs, the Justice department is now full of little Roves', Gonzos' and W's, ready to go off whenever they are needed. Some are smart, others dumb but all willing to promote an ideology so removed from reality I can only describe it as a political cult preaching one truth (learned not real), absolute loyalty to the "cause" and a willingness to do whatever they are told to help the "movement". God help this country -now and in the years ahead as these little time bombs inevitably go off to do more damage for at least a generation to come.

Heyyyy B! Happy Friday

Love ya B!!!! I know you'll remember this! :)(odd ending to the video, but what can I say, I still love the song.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A little roundup

A couple of quick things before I shuffle off to work for the day.

THE NOR'EASTER It has been raining here almost non stop since Saturday evening. Real windy too. But compared to tropical storms in Florida or the dire warnings of the New York Weathermen, the Nor'easter wasn't really that bad. Just really wet and windy.

THE SCHOOL SHOOTING What can be said about this tragedy. It's happened before. It'll happen again. Banning all guns or arming everyone are impractical ideas. The Va. Tech police should have warned the campus that the gunman was still free - but that is hindsight. It is understandable that thought the first shooting was an isolated incident and that the gunman probably was long gone. They were wrong - but it is easy for me to understand how they could have made that mistake. The only person to blame is the killer.

ALBERTO GONZALEZ I took Tuesday off to watch his testimony and then it was changed to Thursday! Fortunately I have that day off too. I am really looking forward to sitting in front of CSPAN all day watching it. I want to know just how much Karl Rove was doing the job of the AG and exactly what are the backgrounds of DOJ staff. My understanding is that a disproportionate number are under qualified or graduates of the universities run by Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson. I want to know who Gonzales has placed in positions of high influence and just what qualifications these folks have.

GOVERNOR CORZINE That's big news here. I feel terrible for him - especially since he was travelling to mediate between Imus and the Rutgers Basketball team. He was travelling at 91 MPH without a seat belt!!! Everyone please (re) learn the lesson to always buckle up.

PAUL WOFOWITZ One of the architect of the Iraq fiasco, Wolfie was rewarded with an appointment to the World Bank. So, what does he do? Promote his girlfriend (another architect of the war) to an sky high paid position in the organization. I have never seen crooked and stupid so intertwined as I have with this Bush Administration. Maybe that's why Karl Rove seem to be calling all the shots. He is not stupid but makes up for it with his attempt to lock in Republican party rule for life. He is the smart fascist of the bunch bullying all the lightweights like Gonzalez around.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bollywood Kiss Too Hot To Handle

The Bollywood actress who was the center of controversy in the UK Big Brother program finds herself in more hot water. It is interesting to see how conservatives in other countries get themselves in an uproar just like here, albeit for somewhat different reason. story of outrage not everyone upset

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty is in the news again -- this time though for some wrong reasons -- as her kissing act with Hollywood star Richard Gere at a function on AIDS awareness has led to widespread protests from several quarters.In Varanasi, Shiv Sena and Bande Mataram Sangharsh Samiti activists as well as Muslims staged protests in various parts of the city and burnt effigies of Gere and Shetty to protest against their "indecent behaviour" which, the protesters claimed, was "an attack on our cultural ethos".

Why Republicans Are So Often Wrong

A new survey of 1,502 adults released Sunday by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press measured the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot -- with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind. Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly.
Conservative groups work hard to make sure people stay misinformed

Saturday, April 14, 2007

'Tiny Bubbles' singer Don Ho dies at 76

Don Ho has died . Here's his classic sing a long hit "Tiny Bubbles" performed at an outdoor party by the The Sampaguita Melody Singers.


Cartoon Commentary

Friday, April 13, 2007

Lee Iacocca: From Bush voter to Bush critic

Former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca calls the Bush Administration "a gang of clueless bozos" and attacks the U.S. auto industry in a new book. "We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind and we can't even clean up after a hurricne much less build a hybrid car," Iacocca and co-author Catherine Whitney write in the first page of "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?" "I hardly recognize this country anymore," he writes. more

Me either Lee, me either. Bad politicians come and go, but what really baffles me is how so many were fooled so badly for so long.

Blind man turns the theory of déjà vu on its head

from Science Blog
Traditionally it was thought images from one eye were delayed, arriving in the brain microseconds after images from the other eye – causing a sensation that something was being seen for the second time. But University of Leeds researchers report for the first time the case of a blind person experiencing déjà vu through smell, hearing and touch.

"It is the first time this has been reported in scientific literature," said O’Connor. "It’s useful because it provides a concrete case study which contradicts the theory of optical pathway delay. Eventually we would like to talk to more blind people, though there’s no reason to believe this man’s experiences are abnormal or different to those of others.

"Optical pathway delay is a quite antiquated theory, but still widely believed – and was the basis for the déjà vu sequences in Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22. But this provides strong evidence that optical pathway delay is not the explanation for déjà vu. The findings are so obvious, so intuitive, that it’s remarkable this research has never been done before."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

White House says they may have "lost" critical e-mails

Why are these people not in jail by now?

The White House said Wednesday that it may have lost what could amount to thousands of messages sent through a private e-mail system used by political guru Karl Rove and at least 50 other top officials, an admission that stirred anger and dismay among congressional investigators. The e-mails were considered potentially crucial evidence in congressional inquiries launched by Democrats into the role partisan politics may have played in such policy decisions as the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. source

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus off the air - Sharpton off his rocker

MSNBC said that Don Imus will be taken off their air permanently and Al Sharpton wants him off the radio for good too. What a disgrace. This may not only set race relations back, but it might create a bitter debate every time somebody says something hateful. Dangerous ground and very divisive. But, here's one encouraging thing I want to share. I just got back from shopping here in Harlem. With no prompting whatsoever an older black man asked me as I was exiting "whats up with Imus?". Huh? I thought turning to him. "He just said what black people say all the time. He shouldn't be fired". "Uh Huh, every one's talking about it, huh?" I said, stepping outside. (I didn't know what to say. It was not a conversation I expected). But it made me think that maybe Rev. Al is misreading his "constituency". Maybe, we the people, are better than that.

Cartoon Commentary

click on picture to see full size

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Don Imus Controversy

Oh, how time changes things. I had recently grown more respectful of Al Sharpton and less amused by Don Imus. Up until this week, that is. By now everyone is aware that radio host Don Imus made some racist comments on his show and is now suspended for two week. He went on Rev. Al Sharptons' radio program yesterday to apologize and get a fair dose of condemnation. But enough is enough.

I do think Imus' remarks were racist, mean and stupid. He admitted it himself and has apologized many times. Al Sharpton has called for his firing but I strongly disagree. I just don't know how we would be able to define speech as inappropriate and just who would make that decision. For example, it is my sincere belief that Rush Limbaugh is not only more hateful on a daily basis than Don Imus is on rare occasions, Limbaugh is also also promoting a one party authoritarian form of government. I'd call that treasonous. I'd call that fascist. But, I believe that Limbaugh should be condemned, ridiculed and forced off the air BECAUSE PEOPLE REJECT HIS IDEAS AS UN-AMERICAN, not because of the words that he says. In fact, to put Limbaugh underground would only further embolden his sheep like supporters. Likewise, to fire Imus over these recent comments might make some people feel better, but it would hurt - not help - racial relations. Condemn the morons of the world and hope they either change or just lose their audience as the public wises up.

I probably have a unique perspective on racism. I am a white guy living in Harlem, NY and am frequently subject to racism (by much less that 1% of people - when I say frequently it is because of the thousands of people I interact with everyday. Even a tiny proportion of a large number make for something happening regularly. So while it happens more now than when I lived in Florida, it is still very unusual..if that make sense). If I feel I am prejudiced against because of my race - do I want to have that person arrested and thrown in jail? Well, maybe at first. But after a minute or two when my emotions calm down I realize it is just some loudmouth idiot free to speak his mind. He should not be arrested or fired or punished for being mean to me.

(I am suddenly reminded of the Two-Live Crew controversy in the 1980's. I bought the album back then just to support free speech - and actually thought it was hilariously funny. I had to show my ID and sign some paper saying that I wouldn't let minors listen to it. I was told that the list of album purchasers would be forwarded to law enforcement. Bizarre huh. Anyway, the point is that offensive speech should be protected in America no matter who says it).

Last night I saw Steven A. Smith on Anderson Copper 360 bitterly complaining about Imus and calling for him to be fired. Well, I sat in on the taping of one of his shows a few months ago (pic below) and I got the unmistakable sense then that he does not like white people very much. As I said, I have become familiar with what that looks like and I could tell that he has some deep dislike for whites. I felt bad for him, but I don't know his history and I understand that most people have some sort of chip on their shoulder - and it was his show - so I dealt with it. I didn't like it but I don't call from him to fired from his amateurish program buried late at night on a second tier cable channel. He is knowledgeable on sports and I guess that he would be doing much better if he wasn't so angry. But I could probably say that about myself too. We're all human. We all have faults. That's life.

Al Sharpton may just be whipping this up now so he can look extra gracious when he finally forgives Imus. If that's the case than OK, I get it. I know what it's like to stir up controversy for publicity. But if he chooses to use this divide the races than it would mark a return to the Twana Brawly phase of his life. Sharpton really started to impress me during the 2000 and 2004 Presidential debates. I hope he doesn't slip back into his old ways of dividing to conquer. By consciously using this moment to unnecessarily stir up bad feelings would actually be worse than Don Imus' racist and idiot attempt at comedy.

Don Imus has been saying stuff like this for years. He says it about Blacks, liberals, gays, Jews and whatever other group happens to be in the news. It's usually not funny. This latest comment was especially racist in nature and since it was directed at college athletes - aimed at a particularly undeserving group of people. He has rightly been condemned for the comments and has rightly apologized for them. But, let's use this incident to learn and come together - not to create another fault line in this country where Americans have to yet again choose a side to be on.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Yanks Lose In Flurries

Well the Yankees lost today but it did snow during the game. It was so wild to be sitting at the Stadium and see snow flying all around. It was freezing cold too. The next home game for me is two and a half weeks away so there probably won't be another cold weather game until very late in the year. The Yankees fall to 2 -3 with the loss. [It was 1996 when it snowed in the Yankee home Opener]

Friday, April 6, 2007

Video for make laughing in weekend time

The hit movie Borat is now on DVD so it seems like a good time to look back at the early years of the "Man from Kazakhstan". I have been a fan of Ali G, Borat and Bruno ever since the HBO show first aired 5 or 6 years ago. Before he did the show on HBO, Sasha Baron Cohen (the real name of the actor playing the characters) did his thing on UK television. Here is a full half hour of Borat highlights from that early British series. High Five!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Is Jack Happy now?

A very sad story has come to a very sad end. Darrel Stingley has died. He was paralyzed in an NFL exhibition game in 1978 by Oakland Raider Jack Tatum. Tatum never apologized or even express any regret at all. In fact, he was boastful of the injury he cause and nicknamed himself "The Assassin". He is one of the reasons I have always hated the Raiders and he certainly is the lowest of the low when it comes to pro athletes.

The Fool On the Hill

I couldn't let this one slip by. Seems the only choice was to mis-alphabetize this list, use the Presidents TITLE and hope that FOX viewers would believe their ears and not their eyes.

(Be sure to notice the percentage totals for each person)

Play (Snow) Ball?

I had to take a little break from work to go outside for a sec and get all giggly about the light snow flurries right now in central Brooklyn. Also, I just had a fantasy that it would be so cool if on Sunday, when I go to the Yankee game, it snowed. Now that would really be doubly exciting - to be at a game and have it snow! I know it happened on Opening Day (2000?) so it is possible. I have a right to dream. And if you read this blog you have to hear me go on about it.


If there was one moment where America ceased being a democracy it was when the GOP riot in South Florida took place. I was in Miami at the time and was sickened to see the recount stopped simply because a bunch of blue blooded thugs (sent by plane from DC) stormed the building and caused a ruckus. (I have written about this many times.) This mentality has continued and accelerated. Now I have just found out that: Tim Griffin, the houseboy Rove insisted replace the Arkansas US Attorney was on the Florida recount team. So was [Alberto Gonzalez' Chief of Staff] Kyle Sampson. Surprised? Me either. In fact even less surprising is the fact that these enemies of America were almost universally rewarded by the Red friendly organizations after stopping the recount. The America that served as a beacon of hope to the world for 200 years is dead and these are the people who killed it.

News Round Up

The downside to attending a bunch of Yankee games is that I have to work like crazy all the other time. It's worth it. So I'll have to be brief today with the blog. As usual there is so much going on in the news. Here are a few stories worth noting.

Fundraising... Hillary Clinton has raised the most money of all Presidential candidates. No surprise. What is surprising is that Barack Obamba has almost matched her (some say even beat her) and Mitt Romney has far outpaced his GOP opponents. What does it all mean? Speculations abound but one result, in my opinion (and that I have not heard anyone else say) is that Romney and Obama have really made a strong argument to be (at least) their parties VP choice. It seems to me that by demonstrating such fundraising prowess, Obama and Romney will be seen as smart choices for the #2 slot if they don't win the nomination outright.

Of all countries in the world... Now it is time for Belgium to suffer. That's right, President Bush has "recessed" appointed a "Swift Boat" fundraiser to be ambassador to that European country. He could not have passed the Senate approval process because of his hateful partisanship, but Bush (of course) went around the confirmation process to place his crony in that position. A brief search netted me no results as to why we would want to punish Belgium by sending this hack over there.

Speaking of suffering...Republicans are hurting in the polls. John McCain has gone from maverick to weak candidate and even Hillary Clinton has seen her support wane. Why? Because they supported George W. Bush! Clinton, is the most striking example of just how far George W. Bush has spread his bad mojo. She wanted to support the President on Iraq. Hell, most of Congress supported the President- thats what people do in wartime - support the commander in chief. What nobody knew at the time was the stunning level of incompetence and dishonesty in the White House and just how far the Curse of the W would spread.

The Florida Gators won the basketball championship for the second year in a row. This, in the same year as they won the football crown. They are my rival school but I have to give credit where it is due. Good job Gators. I hope it lights a fire under the ass of my man (not) Dave Hart at FSU.

The whining out of the White House about Nancy Pelosi's visit to Syria sure is annoying. Especially since Republicans have gone there too. This bloggers give us four reason why her visit is a good thing.

Well off to a long day at work. Hope you all have a great one!

JIB JAB: "What We Call The News"

This is a very funny video about the news media from the folks at Jib Jab. Sorry about the ad at the beginning.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

New Feature: "Priority News"

In the left hand column you will see a new feature titled "Priority News". There are already a few topics listed that you can click to get the very latest news on that particular subject. I will add more and change topics out from time to time. If you have any ideas for topics you would like me to include - let me know. I will change topics to fit my interest (and yours) of particular issues making news.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A few pics from the game

Started watching the basketball game and put together this quick little slide show of pictures from this afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Opening Day 2007


It was a great game. I didn't really get very much sleep last night thinking about it. It looked like rain but only stayed cloudy and cool. I was surprised at the easy walk to the stadium - I had forgotten just how quick of a trip it is. The Yankees had another Opening Day comeback and Alex Rodriquez hit a monster home run. It was a great day. I may post a pic or 2 later. Sleep now.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

One Party Rule (aka fascism) goal of GOP

Here is an editorial explaining something that I have been warning people about for many years. Perhaps the highly educated writers in the New York Times do a better job of explaining it than I have been able to. Basically, it shows how the modern Republican party differentiates itself from other parties in American history. Rather than be a source of ideas and proposals - the GOP of the past 25 years is in fact a "movement" designed to take over ALL power in this country and keep it indefinitely. George W. Bush and Karl Rove are the best at it but they were not the first and won't be the last. It is not democratic, it is not people powered and it is not American in any way. It is just the most recent version of fascism and it's right here in the USA.

Turn over a scandal in Washington these days and the chances are you’ll find Karl Rove. His tracks are everywhere: whether it’s helping to purge United States attorneys, coaching bureaucrats on how to spend taxpayers’ money to promote Republican candidates, hijacking the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for partisan politics, or helping to organize a hit on the character of one of the first people to publicly reveal the twisting of intelligence reports on Iraq. Whatever the immediate objective, Mr. Rove seems focused on one overarching goal: creating a permanent Republican majority, even if that means politicizing every aspect of the White House and subverting the governmental functions of the executive branch.

After his re-election in 2004, President Bush formally put Mr. Rove in charge of all domestic policy. Mr. Rove’s efforts to maintain one-party rule go deep into the government. Last week, we learned about a meeting set up by Mr. Rove’s staff with officials of the General Services Administration that was wildly inappropriate and perhaps illegal. The aim, as outlined by Mr. Rove’s deputy, Scott Jennings, seems to have been to take advantage of the billions of dollars in contracts put out by the agency every year to return Republicans to the majority in Congress in 2008.

Key Bush aid say now says he was "In Denial"

This is a fascinating story of Matthew Dowd, a key Bush and Rove aid who lead the attacks against John Kerry in 2004. You should check it out. In this interview he explains that he was fooled into supporting George W. Bush and went along with things he should have known were wrong in what he now admits was a tragic mistake. This interview in not just about Iraq. It is about the entire Bush administration and the right wing machine that develops a false narrative just to fool the public and keep power. We need more former Bush supporters to step up and admit they were mistaken. Only they really have the power to help other Red Americans see the light. Here are some selected quotes from the article and here is another analysis that goes even deeper into the way the Republican party has been taken over by folks with no need for the truth. Great Sunday reading.

Mr. Dowd, a crucial part of a team that cast Senator John Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security during wartime, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled “Kerry Was Right,” arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq. “I’m a big believer that in part what we’re called to do — to me, by God; other people call it karma — is to restore balance when things didn’t turn out the way they should have,” Mr. Dowd said. “Just being quiet is not an option when I was so publicly advocating an election.”

Mr. Dowd said, in retrospect, he was in denial.“When you fall in love like that,” he said, “and then you notice some things that don’t exactly go the way you thought, what do you do? Like in a relationship, you say ‘No no, no, it’ll be different.’ ”
He said he clung to the hope that Mr. Bush would get back to his Texas style of governing if he won. But he saw no change after the 2004 victory. He describes as further cause for doubt two events in the summer of 2005: the administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina and the president’s refusal, around the same time that he was entertaining the bicyclist Lance Armstrong at his Crawford ranch, to meet with the war protester Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq. “I had finally come to the conclusion that maybe all these things along do add up,” he said. “That it’s not the same, it’s not the person I thought.”