quasi in rem

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

CARNIVAL OF THE VANITIES #93
THE CAPITOL HILL EDITION


Ah, life on the Hill. It's a chore really. Surrounded by the vulgarities of the political process splayed out plainly to see like an intern's half digested dinner laid out on the sidewalk after one too many Happy Hour Pitchers at Red River Grill. But I survive. Mostly by attending tax payer funded parties, parades and celebrations and generally sucking at the Congressional teat. It's nice in a way. Not a particularly proud way to exist, mind you. But nice.

But on to the Carnival. And its a doozy this week. There are some gems in here so check em all out.

Freshman Class Division

Our newbie division is in honor of the newest and loveliest of all Congress-people ...Stephanie Herseth The lovely Ms. Herseth is from South Dakota, she's a libra, and her first task in Congress appears to be getting some. At least she isn't screwing the voters of South Dakota.

Our first entry is so nice and lovely it barely belongs on this blog. Jeff Doolittle dot com reports that Jack William Doolittle has made his way into this world. Because he is not a taxpayer, we care little for Jack up here on the Hill. Unless of course he has already hired a lobbyist to look into diaper related legislation. Then we will listen.

Next we have wonderful little service for all freshmen bloggers provided by Showcase: Everything and Anything.
If you have a new blog and want publicity, the New Blog Showcase Blog (which may use the word Blog one too many times) is the place to go. The author and host of the Showcase at Simon's World, also defends the art of blogging and insists that the New Blog Showcase is not a contest. Well the Carnival is a contest, and Simon, your post loses to the new baby!


Lobbyist Division

Lobbying, much like blogging, is an art really. How does on convince as many people as possible to buy the load of crap you are selling, and how does one do that while making a nice little profit on the side? Solonor's Ink Well: Diary of a Yard Sale has a real life description of this process using the metaphor of a yard sale. (Actually his is the real deal but it really is the same thing.)

Sometimes however, lobbying is for a good cause, believe it or not and a good example of this is at Parableman in a post titled Race and the Death Penalty This is a well reasoning, lengthy and in depth discussion of a very important topic. In that respect it is not like lobbying at all. But the post does give some excellent advice to both conservatives and liberals on the subject. Playing both sides of the aisle. That is the true lobbyist spirit.

And now onto the environmental lobby. Those bastions of integrity and searchers for the common good. This week GREENIE WATCH (not to be confused with the nonblog Heinz Foundation funded BushGreenwatch - which tracks environmental misdeeds)has a look at the false oil scare and what the practical implications of declining oil reserves really are.

In other environmental news, I present the most "must read" entry on this weeks Carnival. Last One Speaks comments on the expenses of Meth Lab clean-ups. Here is an excerpt: "I have to confess that in 1970 I snorted up a whole lot of crystal meth myself. We used to get it from some kid at MIT that brewed it up in the school labs or maybe his dorm room. So I'm thinking if they've been cooking this stuff up for at least the last 34 years -- why haven't we heard about all this toxic waste until recently?" Does that want to make you read more? Me too.

In his latest effort, Micheal Moore has shifted from his role as documentarian to lobbyist. Why do I say this? Well, I don't really have anywhere else to put this post and Moore is the size of your average hotel lobby. Quando does some moore investigation into Moore in his post entitled Celsius 250: The Temperature at which Fat Burns


Senate Division


As most of you know Dick Cheney paid us a little visit here on the Hill last week, to press the flesh, assert his role as President of the Senate, get his picture taken and get support for some of the President's plans. Lets just say he did not achieve all of those goals. Watcher of Weasels describes his efforts with the to-the-point entitled post: Cheney Drops the F-Bomb on Leahy. In light of this, and his health, high negatives, (but forgetting the fact he is actually running the country Patriot Paradox asks the question Should Cheney Be Replaced? His answer, or nonanswer I should say, is truly Senatorial in nature. Good job.

In other news involving the President of the Senate,the Gleeful Extremist has an excellent post entitled "Your bid" describing a poker game between Dick Cheney and Saddam Hussein. Interesting note, Saddam has apparently been spending most of his time in captivity playing online poker ala Chris Moneymaker and plans on going to Binions for next year's world series event. Unless of course, other priorities arise.

This blogs favorite two Senators are Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. I like them so much I hope they stay in the Senate as long as possible (or at least until 2008). But they might be teaming up for a run at the White House. Good luck. Especially when bloggers like the The Big Picture are out there noting that Hillary wants your stuff. And she wants it now.



House of Representatives Division

Just about everything the House does these days is a complete joke. In that vein, Madeleine Begun Kane, has run a contest to solicit names for the new Food Stamps Program. Actually the results are very funny and, knowing this administration, I would not be entirely surprised to see one of them used as long it can be translated to a cool acronym.


Justice Department Division

Yes Virginia, there still is a Justice Department. And shockingly enough, a Civil Rights division. In the spirit of Civil Rights, CognoCentric examines a CNN article about supposed backlash after 9/11 continuing following the Berg and Johnson beheadings. Once again, an excellent piece. Absolutely way above this blog's usual readership's caliber.

In other Justice News, Political Correctness Watch has a well written post looking at immigration policy. This is the money quote but please read the whole thing: "But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom of a much broader disease: the nation’s near-total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy might have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy"



State Department Division

In a must read post for anyone who plans on conducting high level negotiations with China, WICKED THOUGHTS has a post on how to learn important Chinese phrases in one easy lesson. I can't help but think that President Bush learned French in this same manner.

Meanwhile, on the Israeli front, Solomonia has a very interesting photoblog of Boston for Israel Rally - Jerusalem Bus #19. This is a four part post available here, and here and here too. Everyone looks really happy in the pictures. I can't help but think that the Democratic Convention would benefit from inviting everyone of these people to participate. But they won't.

And because this weeks Carnival is a competition I hereby declare the winner. This weeks best post focuses on the upcoming Olympics and the Palestinian team: Israellycool: Olympics - PLO Arab Style. You get all your funding this year, Isreallycool. Everyone else get back in line.

And just in case anyone thought the the blogosphere had moved on from Iraq, You Big Mouth, You! has an excellent dissection comparing reconstruction efforts in Iraq and post-WWII Germany. It looks like a lot of work. (Both the post and the reconstruction.) Fortunately, the State Department has moved into a much more important role over there, and good news too, because the State Department has never screwed anything up.



Education Department Division

Haven't we gotten rid of this agency yet? Well if we have not, The People's Republic of Seabrook demonstrates how all education administrators probably need to go back to school in a post entitled "This is what happens when you teach kids to think, Chapter 2."

Meanwhile, the problem may not be entirely due to the schools Interested-Participant notes that"During this week's conference of Catholic educators at John Carroll University, John Ropar, Director of Counseling, stated that the current generation of college students are unable to cope with simple problems as a result of overprotective parenting." And there's more!


Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Is there a vast Right Wing conspiracy? Yes. Can you join? Absolutely! What do they do? Well mostly we meet one Thursday a month at Tony Cheng's Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown here in Washington D.C. to plan the overthrow of all world governments eat egg rolls. Mmmmm world domination egg rolls.

But if you really want to know about us and what it is all about head on over to Dissecting Leftism where they have a post on STRAUSS AND THE STRAUSSIANs. (capitalized for full and frightening effect).

Meanwhile over at Sneakeasy's Joint, they are Making a Difference for the cause one directory assistance call at a time.

And in a election year, we should not forget our p's and q's, even those of us in the conspiracy. At least that's what Hitler always said. Do you know who reminds me nothing of Hitler? The SmarterCop. Who has a Hitleriffic post on the Hitleresque use of Hitlerish images. He hitler this one right out of the park. Hitler.



Life on the Hill Division

Life on the Hill can be great, and it is often worth a visit, mostly if you just want to come see all your money. Speaking of people who wanted to visit their money, King of Fools has Breaking News about a family who came here and was sorely dissappointed.

And finally, as an attorney, who earns his living soaking good Samaritan for all the help they provide without request, I hope you don't read this post on RoguePundit entitled "Harming Those Who Help" Ahhh, just kidding. It is a well reasoned post that will flyover the heads of most greedy lawyers like myself so what's the harm?


That's all folks! Hoped you enjoyed the Carnival at the Capitol! I would just like to add one note. This weeks carnival was entirely powered by Google technology. I used Gmail, a google mail service, Blogger, the google blog service, the little pop-up Blog This on the Google toolbar, and Google itself for searches. I don't know what this means for the Google IPO, Blogging or the world in general but overall I would give the entire process very high marks for ease and usability. However, I would just note that these words were not recognized on Blogger's own spell checker: Google, blog, blogger, blogging and blogs. I might get someone to look at that.

Upcoming Carnival stops include:
June 23rd A Single Guy In The South
June 30th quasi in rem
July 7th democrats give conservatives indigestion
July 14th d-42.com
July 21st Soundfury
July 28th - Jeff Doolittle
August 4th - Seldom Sober
August 11th - The Smallest Minority
August 18th - Fringe
August 25th - Ego
September 1st - Blogo Slovo
September 8th - Food Basics
September 15th Silflay Hraka - The Two Year Anniversary
September 22nd - The Eleven Day Empire

The Carnival of the Vanities #93

coming soon......

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Page 3 - Possibly the All -Time Worst List on ESPN

Page 3 should be shut down, burned out and the cache erased so that no one can find it during even the most intensive Google search.

There list of the top moments in sports movies is so lame, so forced, so pathetic and poorly researched I can't help but think that some university professor was involved somehow. I can't help but imagine Brian and Andy Kamenetzky sending an email to some USC film professor to get this list.

Some of the entries make sense:

The lights out scene in the Natural at number. Fine. Contrived maybe. But memorable and often replayed. Hardly #1 however.
The strikeout scene was much more creative however.

At number 2 they have the third fight from Raging Bull. Also a fine choice...for a film. But this was hardly the best scene in the movie. When De Niro interrogates Pesci for what seems like hours about certain acts with his wife it sucks the breath out of your chest. Far and away the best scene in the movie.

Once again they screw up at number 3. The chess scenes in Searching for Bobby Fischer were fine, but the final scene is hardly memorable or dramatic. Give me the fast paced 2 minute chess tutorial in the park for drama and revelation.

The most unfortunate pick is at number 4 where they pick some psycho-film drabble crap from Hoosiers. Hoosiers has probably 5 of the top 10 sports scenes in the past twenty five years on its own. But somehow Page Three manages to miss all of them. Here they are in reverse order:

5. The final huddle in the movie, when Coach calls the play and the team shuffles in disappointment. Jimmy Chitwood gives away the ending by stating "I'll make it." You know he would and he did.

4. Ollie getting carried off the court after making an improbable underhand freethrow to win the game. Actually the whole scene is classic when right before the shot Strap grabs Ollie's hand in the huddle and Coach advises: "Make it a good one Strap."

3. The team meeting right before the final game where Coach looks them all in the eye and says: "I love you guys." And you believe it. And then at the end when the montage shows Indiana, the team picture in the gym, and replays his words all over again.

2. After Coach Dale gives up his place to Shooter (the scene mentioned on the site) the scene really begins. First he gets some advise from his son, and after a defensive stop the team comes back to the bench and Shooter, well, Shooter says this:

"We're gonna run the picket fence at 'em. ... Merle should be open swinging around the end of that fence. Boys, don't get caught watching the paint dry!"

1. Before the final game against South Bend when Preacher Purl steps up to give his prayer: "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen." After that I was ready to jump up and play for Hickory.

I have no idea what the guys at Page 3 were thinking other than they possibly have never actaully seen the movie.

Next the list goes just plain crazy. Lucas??? Without Limits? Jerry Macguire? Just crazy.

Next on the list without question should be Rudy, when he runs out on the field. You could hear a tear drop in the theatre when that happens. And you did.

The "Do you want to have a catch?" scene from Field of Dreams should be there. Or Moonlight Graham's at bat and subsequent heroics. Nowhere to be found.

Every third scene from Caddyshack should be next. Bll Murray's caddying for the Dalai Lama, Ty's lesson sequence, the Caddy tournament and denouement.

Next, the peg board scene from Vision Quest. Who knew Matthew Modine had it in him?

They pick Bull Durham , and the meeting on the mound, which is quaint, but the coach's tirade in the locker room is much better in my opinion. Lollygaggers!

Their list go on with more unknowns. They get the Karate Kid right, which is a miracle. Right scene too where Myagi revelas what Danny has been training for all day.

This isn't the first list Page 3 has completely screwed up and it won't be the last.

Micheal Moore: 'Hey idiots...give me your money!'

To whom is Micheal Moore referring to here:
"'They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet ... in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy].'

The Bush family?
The Saudis?
Al Qaeda?

No in fact he is talking about Americans. Yes those same Americans who ponied up 8 dollars to see an hour and a half of Daily Show highlights overcut with Moore's insouciant diatriabes and fustian analysis.

He continues:

"'We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing.'"

But he will take your money. Loads of it. Lots of small bills please, Burger King does not carry any change over $20.00 after 10:00 pm.

Yankees vs. Sox in another series...

These guys are at it again.

I can only hope that the Yankees destroy them for a whole variety of reasons but here are a few:

1. Javier Vazquez is on my Fantasy team, and I desperately need a win.

2. I trade Manny Ramirez (and Victor Martinez, yes I am an idiot) for Javier Vazquez (who btw has the best scoring scrabble name in MLB) and so i hope they lose.

3. I hope the Sox are 15 games out by the Democratic Convention in August. So depressing. Wear your Sox hats then you convention losers!

4. Red Sox fans are hands the whiniest fans in professional sports. Sure Yankees fans are insufferable blowhards, but guess what, they back that crap up. Sox fans bitch and whine and moan while the Marlins, Angels and Diamondbacks get the job done. The Marlins have won 2 more World Series than than the Red Sox in the past 50 years. Cry about that.

5. If the Sox are in the World Series it means immense press for the Kerry crew. Lets all try and prevent that.

Take my stuff, please....

Fill in the blank:

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you,' (Unnamed Liberal Said) said. 'We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.' "

The honest liberal in question?

Why its Senator Hilary Clinton!

She must have been speaking to a group of people who have no ability to influence the common good on their own accord.

So good luck with taking all of our stuff away.

That tactic has been sooo successful in the past.

Let Porno Reign!: "The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law meant to punish pornographers who peddle dirty pictures to Web-surfing kids is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech."

(For an example of the law may have blocked please feel free to visit
this link. You sickos.)

What I don't get is why spending on political campaigns is considered an appropriate muzzle on free speech but limiting the access of pornography to children is not a muzzle on free speech? I need to look at the opinion but the comparison of the harms addressed by campaign finance reform and internet pornaghy are stark to say the least.

One thing that is clear however, is the paradigm that "speech", in whatever its form, wills out. The Soviets learned this, as did the East Germans. The Iranians and Chinese are learning this now. And in this country, despite the lauded efforts of campaign finance reform to control spending, more money has poured into this election than any other. More speech has crossed the airwaves concerning these candidates than at any other time.

Similarly with the internet porn law. It is simply unenforceable. No matter what fines, penalties or proscriptions are created in the law, people will find a way to satisfy this countries desire desire for purient material. Base desires are the immovable force of human nature. And clever ways to use an ever changing technological landscape will always outmanuever clumsy legislation.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Negotiations, yes, export? Maybe....: "Illicit sales of uranium from Niger were being negotiated with five states including Iraq at least three years before the US-led invasion, according to senior European intelligence officials."

Incredible first trimester pictures of fetal development...

12 week old fetuses, also known as 'unlawful enemy combatants' by NARAL, have been shown to exhibit all sorts of incredible behaviour according to a new ultrasound technique pioneered by Professor Stuart Campbell at London's Create Health Clinic.

The images have shown:


From 12 weeks, unborn babies can stretch, kick and leap around the womb - well before the mother can feel movement

From 18 weeks, they can open their eyes although most doctors thought eyelids were fused until 26 weeks

From 26 weeks, they appear to exhibit a whole range of typical baby behaviour and moods, including scratching, smiling, crying, hiccoughing, and sucking.


This is really incredible stuff for a whole variety of reasons. Can you imagine if they made this ultrasound available at every Planned Parenthood clinic in the country? I wonder if the same technology could be used to image other interior organs or the brain?

Nader to Moore: 'Fat traitor'

Nader has written a rather scathing letter to Micheal Moore wondering why he has forsaken them? (One hint:Green's have no money)

Here are some juicy bits:

"Now there is Michael Moore the Second. Last night he hosted the Washington, DC premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11, and who was there? The Democratic political establishment, the same people whom he took to such mocking task on the road with us in campaign rally after campaign rally in 2000"
...
" [I] asked you to come back to your progressive constituency and take on the two-party monopoly of our rigged election system—to challenge the pro-warlike, corporate party with two heads, wearing different makeup when it comes to playing toady for Big Business. These are the giant multinationals who have no allegiance to our country or to communities like Flint except to control, deplete or abandon them. It is not that your views have changed, with an exception or two. It is that your circles have changed. Too much Clinton, not enough Camejo."
...
"Your old friends remain committed to blazing paths for a just society and world. As they helped you years ago, they can help you now. They are also trim and take care of themselves. Girth they avoid. The more you let them see you, the less they will see of you. That could be their greatest gift to Moore the Second—the gift of health. What say you? "


So how does the Senate look?

TIME.com reports today that the DSCC has real and true hopes to retake the Senate this fall.

Their analysis is fairly weak however, and for an in depth view I would suggest looking at Daily Kos (link provided in the title) for a good review of all the races. Kos is an unrepentant liberal, but I have a hard time finding any problem with his analysis.

Currently he has 8 Republican seats up for grabs in the total of 15. Those are Illinois, Colorado, Alaska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio.

I think there are some rose colored glasses in the final three but he is correct in noting that they are all closer than they should be. Meanwhile, despite the fact that both Colorado and Alaska have a majority of registered Republicanse the Democrats are running better candidates than the Republicans so that difference could be overcome.

Lets agreee that those 8 are all toss-ups however and give the Dem's half of them. Which means that of the 15 Republican seats up for grabs the Republicans go 11-4.

On the Democrat side of the ledger he only has 6 of the 19 seats as up for grabs: Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, South Dakota and Louisiana. He is right here. The other 13 states range from New York, to California to Vermont etc... In almost all of the races the Democrats have both the majority of voters registered and the better candidate. The only one that could be even close among the ones not listed is Washington State with Patty Murray vs. George Nethercutt, but even that race would require a ton of money to be competitive.

Of the rest, Georgia and North Carolina seem like the safest bets. But as with any race who knows. Let's split thses evenly as well, 3-3, so the Democrats go 16-3 in their races.

Currently the Senate is at 51 Republicans; 48 Democrats; 1 Independent, with Jim Heffords, the lone Independent, voting with the Democratic Caucus.

If the races pan out as predicted then the composition will revert to 50 R, 49 D & 1 I, which will be even due to Jeffords allegiance.

So once again it goes back to the President of the Senate, who is the current VP to decide votes. If Bush/Cheney get re-elected then that will be Cheney, if not then who knows?

This is the most likely scenario as we now sit, but once again, as the whole Ryan flap showed, anything can happen between now and election day.

If a Candian votes in the tundra...can anyone hear it?

Canada votes today. It looks like the most likely outcome would be a Liberal Majority ruling Party or Minority Ruling Party with a coalition with the Greens.

The Conservatives should make some gains, but not enough to oust the liberal government.

More Breaking Ryan News!!!!

Unfortuantely, as reported here, the Jack Ryan/Jeri Ryan story is no more due to Jack's withdrawal from the race.

But as Drudge reports, the Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry is also divorced and has sealed divorced records.
(Being divorced is not necessarily a bad sign for Kerry, just this month our only divorced President was lauded quite well for his service as President.)

But in the wake of the publication of Ryan's records could Kerry's records become public fodder?

I hope not. Mostly because there is little potential for important media images like this one anymore.

Granted we may get to see important news breaking images of Morgan Fairchild or Dana Delaney. But seriously, can those women really hope to compete?

I think not.

The woman on the hill's world get's rocked...

6.6 earthquake wakes her up this morning....No widespread reports though.

The trains are still running on time anyway...

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Beautiful Day in the Nations Capitol

I am going to check out the
AIDS Memorial Quilt
, the National WWII Memorial and have some nice BBQ.

Should be a fine day.
See y'all tomorrow.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Why isn't soccer more popular in the United States?

Media Matter Recycles Revisionist History

Media Matters is trying to assert that Bob Casey was not banned from the Democratic conventions in 1992 and 1996 due to his pr-life views. Their evidence? An article from the always honest New Republic.

This is what O'reilly said:

O'REILLY: I think the Democratic Party has developed its own counterpart in the so-called secular left, as [New York Times op-ed columnist David] Brooks called it, which -- especially on the abortion issue, but on other issues -- which you know, exercises a kind of veto power. Which I think led to the, I think, a very serious mistake that the Democrats made at a recent convention in denying the right of the -- the president and the governor -- the current governor of the time of Pennsylvania, Bob Casey, from even addressing the convention because of his pro-life position.


Which is correct.

MM then quotes a TNR article which states:

According to those who actually doled out the 1992 convention speaking slots, Casey was denied a turn for one simple reason: his refusal to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket. "It's [Casey's claim that he was denied a convention speech because of his pro-life views] just not factual!" stammers James Carville, apoplectic over Casey's claims. "You'd have to be idiotic to give a speaking role to a person who hadn't even endorsed you." "Why are you doing this to me?" moans Paul Begala, who, with Carville, managed two Casey campaigns before joining Clinton's team in 1992. "I love Bob Casey, but my understanding was that the dispute was not about his right-to-life views, it was about the Clinton-Gore ticket."

[...]

Furthermore, a slew of pro-life Democrats, including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Jr., Senators John Breaux and Howell Heflin, and five governors, did address the delegates in 1992. Though the speakers didn't dwell on abortion, party officials say they weren't barred from mentioning the issue.


Which is pure revisionist history.

Remember, Kathleen Brown did not endorse Clinton and she was allowed to speak at the convention. Bob Casey was not allowed to speak, unlike the other pro-lifers, because he was a pro-lifer who chose to speak on the subject. At the May 1992 platform hearing he urged the platform to drop the plank committed to aboriton rights.

He lost his fight. And he was snubbed ever since. The truth is that Casey asked to speak and he was denied and it was because of his pro-life views. He was also snubbed at the '96 Democratic convention in Chicago."

For more truth about the convention plaease go here.

And you may remember that Bob Casey was honored at the 2000 convention:

"The convention's tribute to the late Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey raised a few eyebrows, and rightly so.

In both 1992 and 1996, Democratic Party officials refused to let Casey speak at conventions because of his pro-life stance.

Plain and simple, Casey was considered by his own party to be little more than a pariah.

And still to this day, his son, Robert Casey Jr., the state's auditor general, says the treatment his father received underscores the Democrats' "real bitter intolerance" toward opposing views."

For better or worse the Democratic Party has become the political hand maiden of NARAL. No amount of revisionims will change that truth.
The problem for the Democrats was that Casey was snubbed despite the fact that he was a great Democrat and a very successful governor.

He created Democrats from non-voters and Republicans. The reason why it is relevant today is that the same forces that prevented Casey from speaking at the convention are at play today.

Breaux, for example would be a great VP candidate. As would Bayh. Both are weak on the choice/life issue from NARAL's perspective and that might be enough on its own to keep them off the ticket.

Big Weekend for Fehrenheit 9/11!

It leads on Friday. And 8.2 million for the small number of theatres is pretty darn good.

Friday, June 25, 2004

"Why he feels the need to just make stuff up escapes me,": Porter added.

More lies in the Clinton memoir:

Recalling the impetus for his 1992 presidential campaign, Clinton writes that he was initially ambivalent towards seeking the office, but says that a call from Porter “showed what was wrong with [then-President George H. W. Bush’s] administration.”

According to Clinton’s book, Porter—then Bush’s Economic and Domestic Policy Adviser—said that while other potential Democratic opponents could be undermined through weaknesses grounded in their politics, the Arkansas governor was “different.”

“Here’s how Washington works,” Clinton quotes Porter as saying. “The press has to have somebody and we’re going to give them you...We’ll spend whatever we have to spend to get whoever we have to get to say whatever they have to say to take you out. And we’ll do it early.”

But the only conversation Porter can recall the two having came during President Bush’s 1989 Education Summit with the Governors, at which he joked with Clinton about how he ought to run for president in much the same fashion as Ronald Reagan—as a Republican.

“We never had any conversation as he has described in his book,” Porter said last night. “You don’t remember every conversation in life, but I would certainly remember a conversation like that.”

Breaking Ryan News!

This may be your last chance to capitalize on the Ryan story an visit links like this one which are integral parts of the whole Ryan fiasco.

Sadly, submarine commando spy hunter, CIA analyst, and President nee Senate candidate Jack Ryanwho was formerly married to Jeri Ryan, not that that is important, will soon announce that he is withdrawing from the Illinois Senate Race. Leaving Barack Obama the chance to stroll to victory this November.

So bid a fond adieu to these news related links.And this one,And this one,And this one,And this one.

Miss this hard breaking news story, a remember that it was because of events like this:

where public sexuality was too much for Ms. Ryan
that killed Jack's Senate career.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Carnival of the Vanities, 92d Edition - A Day Late and a Dollar Short is up! Go and revel in the blogsanity here, made available by A Single Southern Guy in America.

Next week this humble blog will be hosting and the entries are already arriving. As per usual I will be ranking the entries based on height.

Entries to: quasiinrem at gmail.com

Excellent new round of Kerry Polling on RealClearPolitics

These polls seem to put the Zogby conclusions in doubt:

"FL: Kerry 47, Bush 46, Nader 2
PA: Kerry 44, Bush 43, Nader 7
OH: Kerry 49, Bush 43, Nader 2
NJ: Kerry 46, Bush 40, Nader 7
TN: Bush 51, Kerry 41
NC: Bush 47, Kerry 42
AZ: Bush 44, Kerry 41"

If Kerry wins FL, PA and Ohio, that's it, the election is over. Clearly it is very close in PA and FL, but it is better to be close and ahead than close and behind.

On the other hand a new set of polls from FOX News seems to have the opposite conclusion in their polls:

National: Bush 47% Kerry 40 Nader 3
Florida: Bush 48% Kerry 38% Nader 3
Michigan: Bush 42% Kerry 40 Nader 5
Ohio: Bush 45% Kerry 41 Nader 4
Pennsylvania: Bush 46% Kerry 41 Nader 3

Once again, I should say, these polls are completely meaningless until after the conventions.

I should also say that whenever I get a telemarketing call I always say "green beans" to every question until the person hangs up.

My record is 11 green beans.

'Fahrenheit 9/11' ads alleged to run afoul of numerous laws...

The Hill reports that due to the campaign related message of the film, "Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.

At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore’s film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law."

The real controversy is this:

On every single ad I have seen for the movie, the trailer ends with the phrase, "This film is not yet rated."

Which is untrue.

It is potentially fraudulent advertising.

The MPAA ruled last week that he film would be rated R. Moore appealed that ruling, but I do not believe that that appeal necessarily enjoined that rating from going into effect in any way shape or form. At least fro the purposes of the advertising. The movie had been rated. And rated as an "R".

Even if it did somehow enjoin the rating, which I doubt, the MPAA then affirmed the ruling earlier this week.

And yet just last night I saw two ads that claimed that the film was not yet rated.

This is a complete falsehood perpetrated by Mr. Moore. It will lead to consumers who are not allowed to see the movie to attempt to see the movie. Moore disagrees with the ruling and so he is continuing to allow the media to run the fraudulent advertisements despite the blatant falsehood.

Generally, any advertising which is misleading in any material respect is considered to be false advertising. An advertisement is considered misleading if it fails to disclose facts which are important in light of what is stated in the advertisement, or facts which are relevant in the light of the customary use of the product.

In this case, the rating is highly important in a consumers use of the product. This is even worse than running a fraudulent movie review of the film, which has also been done, becuase the MPAA is considered to be an independent third body.

Consumers who have suffered damages from a business’ use of false advertising are entitled to file a civil suit for recovery. Generally speaking. state attorney generals are also allowed to sue for false advertisement on behalf of the state.

It is even possible to get criminal penalties in some states for false advertising.

Moore does not care.

Update:

It is possible that the movie could be advertised as unrated, as reported by Reuters.

"'Fahrenheit' marketing materials so far have used the wording 'this film is not yet rated.' If the appeal does not go 'Fahrenheit's' way, the film's distribution troika (Fellowship Adventure Gruop) could in theory roll it out as unrated because none of the parties are MPAA signatories. However, they see a PG-13 rating as an important strategy in aiming for the widest possible audience. "


Also, there is an important monetary issue here that is also propelling Moore above any idealogical concerns he may have.

"Ortenberg admitted it would be "impossible to quantify" any box office loss from the film's being stamped with an R rating, but he figured it could take away up to 20% of the film's revenue.

So there you have it. Last night I saw an ad for Moore's movie, which was factually innacurate in order to drive ticket sales. Sounds like an open and shut case to me.

Vote for Kerry, or else....: "A Democratic group crucial to John Kerry's presidential campaign has paid felons - some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary - to conduct door-to-door voter registration drives in at least three election swing states."

Meanwhile, Zogby has other polling news...

Zogby has potentially different results from the Washington Post poll and indicates that Bush has acyually gained in the past two weeks, at least electorially speaking.

In a two-week stretch that included more positive economic news and mixed reports from the troubled Middle East, President Bush continued to improve his standing among Americans in key states, wresting the lead in the race for the White House from Democratic Challenger John Kerry of Massachusetts, the latest Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The poll, conducted June 14-19, shows Mr. Bush would win 285 Electoral College votes, compared to 253 for Mr. Kerry.


For the record, I don't believe any of them. Well not entirely, anyway.

I think that of the people currently willing to answer a phone and conduct a political poll, 90% of them are interested in Politics and 100% have nothing better to do. Of those 90%, they are probably pretty evenly split.

Look back at the polls after the conventions for real numbers, and again after the debates.

Up until then it is all just so much fluff.

Bin Laden still not caught The Washington Times reports that "Osama bin Laden remains on the run along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with the U.S. manhunt hindered by restrictions on the movements of covert warriors.
Defense sources say bin Laden plays less of a hands-on role in running al Qaeda than at the time he managed the September 11 plot. A new crop of terror leaders now is planning attacks at the local levels in extremist spinoff groups linked to bin Laden. "

New York Times Issues a Retraction....of a BOOK REVIEW!!!

After getting flack from the liberal intelligentsia for printinga review which flatly panned the Clinton meoir "My Life", the New York Times has come to its senses and issued the following retraction via email:

"
Folks,

I wanted to let you know that Larry McMurtry reviewed Bill Clinton's book
'My Life.' The review is available on NYTimes.com now, two weeks before
it is to appear in The New York Times Book Review on July 4. (Will be linked
from the homepage of NYTimes.com tomorrow)

In the review, Larry McMurtry describes 'My Life' as...'the richest
American presidential autobiography - no other book tells us as vividly or
fully what it is like to be president of the United States for eight
years.'"

This was their original review:

"The book, which weighs in at more than 950 pages, is sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull," wrote Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times. It is "the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history."

Does the New York Times now claim that Kakutani did not read the book? Or that her opinion was somehow wrong?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Kerry makes a vote!


And it's a stupid one. Kerry joined 98 other Senators in passing higher fines for broadcast indecency.

My new favorite Democratic Senator, John Breaux, was the lone vote against it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Carnival of the Vanities #93

The 93d Carnival of the Vanities will be hosted here next week. Because I am constantly treading the slippery slopes of Capitol Hill, the theme will likely be political in nature. And by political I mean in the Jessica Cutler/Jack Ryan/Bill Clinton vein.

This week the Carnival is being hosted by A Single Southern Guy. It should be up tomorrow, so you might still have a chance to submit today.

Meanwhile, starting Thursday, please submit the 'best of' your blog for the preceding week. Please email the link to:

quasiinrem@gmail.com

Have fun and see you next week!

Hello bigwig....from the future...

Ultimate Frat Boy Ticket.... Kerry-Breaux...:

Frat Boy #1 "Dude who you gonna vote for?"

Frat Boy #2: "Bro', I am voting for Kerry-Breaux"

Frat Boy #1 :"Kerry's got a bro'?"

Frat Boy #2: "No bro, Breaux is a Breux not his bro."

Frat Boy #1: Ahhha bro."

So why Breaux, other than the obvious appeal amongst the non-voting male 18-22 set? Well Politics1 reports that "Shifting to the Kerry veep choice, did you know that Kerry held a lengthy private meeting with Senator John Breaux (D-LA) last week -- their second over the past two months"

Breaux makes sense both for the Party and the Ticket. First he is retiring so there is no potential Senate seat loss. Second he is somewhat of a centrist. He is a serious man, who is very popular in his home state. He could tip the already close LA into the Dem category.

Which would be nice for the Dems.

BTW, although this blog does not gamble, Sen J Breaux to be 2004 Democratic Vice President Nominee is a good bet on tradesports right now.

Yet another hostage killed...

Al-Jazeera apparently showed the video of 33 year old businessman Kim Soong-il losing his life.

Unemployed former Senate STAFFER challenges sitting Senator to debate on memogate issue.

Manuel Miranda does not have a reputation for being a very personable guy, and this challenge seems to bear that point well.

I will let the petulant Mr. Miranda speak for himself in this challenge he writes in the Hill today...

So what made reading political documents left unprotected on an open server, which were not confidential under Senate rules, wrong? Except for lack of statutory protection for congressional staff, what made it different than an ordinary whistleblower situation — seeing something not intended for your eyes?
....
For many observers, Memogate was not about reading opposition papers; it was about the ethics of senators showing no loyalty down. If the greatest and perhaps oldest ethic is “do no harm,” how ethical were staffs and senators who placed subordinates needlessly in jeopardy? What ethical judgment can be made of those who chose expediency over ethical justice?
....
What about the reading of documents? For Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), it was criminal. But years spent prosecuting cow-tippers in Vermont doesn’t train a legal mind. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has said consistently that it wasn’t criminal. That may relieve his guilt, but it doesn’t give much comfort. No Republican senator has sponsored more laws later held unconstitutional than Hatch. Fortunately, in this case, the Supreme Court disagrees with Leahy
....
If not a Senate rule, what then? Not a legal ethic. There is no attorney-client confidentiality in Congress. The Code of Ethics for Government Service states plainly that government employees owe no duty to persons or parties. Staff works for the people and for Congress. This is why it is said that we are “assigned” to particular offices.
....
Ethics is worthy of debate, and so I challenge Sen. Hatch to debate me publicly on this issue and prove to folks in Utah and Washington that 30 years later he has not come to abuse power or to hide in Senate corners.


I am sure that Senator Hatch is just dying to debate this guy. What a career boost it will be for the Senator!

It strikes me, based on the tenor of this piece and prior writings and interviews, that Mr. Miranda has extremely poor interpersonal skills. And even worse political skills.

If, as a Senate Staffer, you discover that you have clandestine access to the Democrats files, you really have two choices:

1. The Machiavelli Way:

Slowly and over time download the files and feed off the information unnannounced for years, giving the information from time to timeto your bosses without telling them the source and looking like a prescient political genius all the while. This would have been excellent in this case.

Senator Hatch could have gone down on the Senate Floor during the 30 hour filibuster and expounded how the Democrats seemed to have been delaying nominations in order to disrupt decisions in affirmative action cases in the Sixth Circuit. Because it was true, the Democrats could not have responded! It would have been great!

2. The Abe Lincoln Way:

Leave them alone. It is not yours. It belongs to some one else. tell them that their servers are open. Realize that if you can acces their servers, they can probably access yours and have been doing so for years. The "don;t touch other people's stuff" lesson was taught in kindergarten. Maybe Miranda missed that day.

Instead he chose number 3:

Steal, ahem, appropriate the memos and then feed them to the press to create your own personal buzz and small cult of personality.

Such a stupid move. He is now villified by both sides of the political aisle and the memos are to politically hot to touch. Even though they are gold for the President's cause. Now Miranda has done almost as much as Schumer in preventing the President from getting his judges confirmed.

The point of Mr. Miranda's article seems to be that ethics ends where politics begins, something which Richard Clarke testified to earlier this year in front of the 9/11 commission. The two men seem to have alot in common, a desire for self promotion, an unending belief in their mental superiority, and a complete inability to recognize their own intrapersonal failings and lack of political savvy.

When you are extremely talented at politics, the former President Clinton comes to mind, it is easy to stretch that line betweeen ethics and politics all the way up to and beyond the breaking pooint. But when you appear to have no talent at politics, it is better to tread the ethical path. Otherwise you just end up out on the street, without a job, and a history of choosing the wrong path when the rubber meets the road.

Ahh the Clinton lie machine continues...:

This is from the CBS site, which documents untruths but then completely ignores them...

The article states:

"In the book, Mr. Clinton makes it clear that he compounded his mistake by lying about it to his wife, child, the Cabinet, and the country.

Clinton: "Basically what happened at the end of 1995, I was involved in, as I try to say in the book, two great fights. A struggle with the Republicans over the future of the country, which I won. And a struggle with my old demons which I lost ... And if there had been no Kenneth Starr, if we had different kind of people, I would have just said, "Here are the facts, I'm sorry, deal with it however you please. "


And then the article goes on to write this:

CBS News | Truth And Marriage | June 21, 2004�02:23:04: "Two days after Mr. Clinton told Hillary the truth, he gave his videotaped testimony to Kenneth Starr�s grand jury. The tape, which was released to the news media, showed the normally confident Clinton at his worst, humiliated and embarrassed: "When I was alone with Miss Lewinsky on certain occasions in early 1996 and once in early 1997, I engaged in conduct that was wrong."

His testimony was tortured. And he used careful, legalistic language to avoid perjuring himself. "


The entire friggin thing was perjury. CBS just contradicted itself as Clinton contradicts himself in the same article!!! Which is it?

The Washington Post to its credit points out this inconsistency with the book, his interview and his sworn testimony.

" In his August 1998 grand jury testimony, Clinton said he began an inappropriate sexual relationship with Monica S. Lewinsky in 'early 1996.' His testimony, as was widely noted at the time, was in conflict with Lewinsky's story: She testified the relationship began on Nov. 15, 1995, in the midst of a government shutdown.
Starr's prosecutors, in their report to Congress, accused Clinton of lying about the date of their relationship in order to avoid admitting that he had sexual relations with an intern, as Lewinsky still was in the fall of 1995 before being hired for a paying job in the winter. "


It does become difficult to keep your story straight.

I just wish Clinton would write the real tell al book that everyone wants to read. Something bawdry and purient that would stay on the best seller list for ages.

More Breaking News on Illinois Senate Race!!!!

The Illinois Senate race,which promised to be one of the hottest this season has been kicked up several notches. Details on the link above.

By the way, if you care to re-enact the scenes in the club with a life size Jeri Ryan, that can be arranged.

Samizdata.net has some recap on yesterdays flight to space

"There may have been some re-entry damage affecting roll controls. I have heard incomplete and contradictory information. SpaceShipOne did come into the landing a bit hotter than expected. I have heard numbers like +5 mph"

Scuttlebutt is the best word for it at this point. I have heard stuctural damage to ship itself, missing glide planes (whatever those are) and now this. One report said something was hanging down below the craft as it landned. Another said the whole ship was very close to cracking in half.

Some of the stories are probably based in truth. It is doubtful that the ship returned in the same condition that it left in.

All of the stories serve to underscore the danger inherit in spaceflight which should not be forgotten. It will be quite a long time before exterme types will have consistent access to private space travel and several lifetimes before commercially available flight will safely avaialable for the masses.

Breaking Ryan News!!!!

Once again in the spirit of news gathering I present this news report...

edited to remove photo which can be accessed by clicking this link, photo is completely work safe but url contains certain offending terms like "celebz"

Public Sex with the Borg....:


Barack Obama must be loving this...

"Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan pressured his wife, actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, to have sex in clubs while others watched, she charged in divorce documents released Monday.
The ``Boston Public'' and ``Star Trek: Voyager'' actress said she angered Ryan by refusing. She did acknowledge infidelity on her part, which she said took place after their marriage was irretrievably broken.
In the documents Ryan denied the allegations, saying he had been ``faithful and loyal'' to his wife.
Jeri Lynn Ryan charged during a custody hearing that Ryan took her on surprise trips to New Orleans, New York and Paris in 1998, and that he insisted she go to sex clubs with him on each trip.
She said that after going out to dinner with Ryan in New York, he demanded that she go to a club with him.
``It was a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling,'' she said. She said Ryan asked her to perform a sexual act while others watched, and she refused.
She said they left and Ryan apologized to her and said it was out of his system. But then, she said, he took her to Paris and again took her to a sex club ....


In Ryan's defense, if you are having sex with Jerri Ryan, you want as many people to know as possible.

Update...

This story is getting more play now, and Ryan's denial has started to make the rounds...

"We did go to one avant-garde nightclub in Paris which was more than either one of us felt comfortable with. We left and vowed never to return," he told the court. "

The normal clubs in Paris are fairly avante garde. The avante garde clubs must be crazy.

For her part Ryan seems contrite...: "'There was never any physical abuse in our marriage - either to myself or our son - nor, to my knowledge, was he ever unfaithful to me,' Ryan said. 'I wish him all the best, both in his life and career. I have no doubt that he will make an excellent senator.'"

And some are asking Ryan to step down...

"Obviously, if people would have known this information prior to the primary, I think there's no way that Jack could have won," said LaHood, who backed another Republican in the primary. "I think he needs to do what's good for himself and what's good for the party, and that's take his name off the ballot and allow the Republican party of Illinois to name a candidate.""


I think that it is lucky for Ryan that:

1. As an actress, Jeri Ryan is clearly used to doing things in public that others would not. I do not know if she has done any nude scenes. but for some reason i seem to doubt it.

2. There is much more significant stroy in the news right now involving sex and the public office. I think the comparison actually help Ryan. Republicans are freaky, yes, granted. But we get freaky with our young hot wives. Not with overweight possibly underaged office staff.

And besides, it allows pictures likes this:



to be newsworthy.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Dirty Birty Songs....Sana Morette Ne Ente

Available below are the lyrics to Sana Morette Ne Ente. A song which I have recorded a solid "C" on Dance Dance Ultramix.

Although now that I have the secret lyrics, I am "A" bound, no doubt. Well, as soon as I figure out what the heck they mean. Maybe its because I have a dirty mind, but more likely it is possible that this is one of the dirtiest songs of all times.

PARENTAL ADVISORY NOTICE...EXPLICIT YET INCOMPREHENSIBLE LYRICS

Romaji Lyrics
watashi no kare ha DABURU PUREI suki
isshoni APENDO de asonde itai no ni...
jikochuu~ jikoman~
jikochuu~ jikoman~

BIITO SHINGU de kono mama doukishite
BIITO SHOKKU de soko o furuwasete ne

kaikan~ daikan~
kaikan~ daikan~


Ahh... taka naru mune (Hi-speed de)
Ahh, Mmm... koi ha Hidden Mode
...soshite SABAIBARU...

SANA MORETTE NE ENTE E YEN GAYA
SANA MORETTE NE
SANA MORETTE NE ENTE E YEN GAYA
SANA MORETTE NE

watashi no kare ha DABURU PUREI suki
watashi no kare ha hidari kiki ja nai...


English translation

My boyfriend loves double play,
He only wants to play Append.

Inside himself~ He's full of pride~
Inside himself~ He's full of pride~

He synchronized the beat sync like this,
He shook it with the beat shock.


Cheerful Pleasure~ Substantial Pleasure~
Cheerful Pleasure~ Substantial Pleasure~

Ahh...High-beating heart(Of High-Speed),
Ahh, Mmm... Love is Hidden Mode,
...And Survival...

Sana morette ne ente e yen gaya,
Sana morette ne ente,
Sana morette ne ente e yen gaya,
Sana morette ne ente,

My boyfriend likes double play,
He is not left-handed.


Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy and Ted Kennedy hate sick people.

No really they do. If you noticed today, "the Supreme Court said Monday that patients who claim their HMOs wouldn't pay for needed medical care cannot sue for big malpractice damages, an issue at the heart of the long debate over efficiency versus service in managed health care. " The two cases, Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila, No. 02-1845, and Cigna HealthCare of Texas v. Calad, No. 03-83, were heard on March 23.

And why is this the fault of Herrs Schumer, Leahy and kennedy?

Because arguing the case on behalf of Aetna was none other than rejected D.C. Circuit Court Nominee Miguel Estrada.

If only he had been on the court, he never would have argued the case, written the briefs and convinced the Justices that HMO's were a protected group under ERISA's ridiculously complicated regulatory scheme.

But noooo, they did not want him on the "second most powerful court in the land." Well guess, what that means he is free to use his grand skills in front of the most powerful court in the land.

Feel free to buy HMO stock. As long as they have Estrada on the case, they may not end up having to reimburse patients for anything.

Bill Gates Applauds the Success of SpaceshipOne

SpaceshipOne, the multi-million dollar private space ship consortium headed by former Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, successfully completed its first spaceflight today, rising over 62 miles into the atmosphere and beyond and then returning to Earth. Allen stated that this flight was the first of many and that someday man could have daily privately funded flights into space.

For his efforts, Allen recieved congratulations from all quarters of the scientific and business community, who welcomed the renewed explorer spirit and hope that one day anyone could experience space, even if just for a moment before plummetting down to earth.

Of special note, Allen's former partner, Bill Gates, was glad he had a front row seat to the momentous events. "It was so cute," Gates stated from the office of his 37 room Space Station named Global Dominance 4, located 88 miles above Seattle in geosynchronous orbit. "His little ship just zoomed right on up here like one of those little scooters or BMW Mini's. And then it just fell right back down."

Gates added his admiration for Paul Allen's efforts, "I am so proud of Paul. I remember my first space flight in 1997, and it is truly an incomparable feeling. Almost as good as walking around on the moon or killing a street bum, or taking a street bum up to the moon and then killing him." Gates added," Maybe one day, if Paul ever gets a real spaceship, he can spend a weekend up here with me, Melinda and the kids."

Gates' two children were also joyed with the prospect of visitors to their private space compound. "The kids had a great time targetting it on our short range laser weapons system," Gates added, "We had it on full safety of course, it's not like we have exclusive rights to all Space up here." Gates' attorneys informed us that at press time while Microsoft does not currently own all of space, but it does own the exclusive license for 88% of known space and all dark matter.

As for the future of private space travel, Gates is very optimistic. "Paul Allen demonstrated today that even on his very limited budget, someone can go to Space. Even with most of your parts bought from what I can only assume to be Walmart, a single man can experience my little corner of the universe, even for just a few seconds."

Is there anything Nelson Mandela can
t do?
"Nelson Mandela counselled Bill Clinton through the Monica Lewinsky scandal, helping him to survive the ordeal that nearly saw him removed from office, the former US president reveals today. "

End apartheid. Survive 25 years incarcerated. Cousel a cheating husband on his sexual imbroglio with an intern. To be fair, Nelson and Bill have alot of things in common.

Well, maybe only one. They both married power hungry cold heartless B*tches similar personality types.

I don't know if the Nobel Peace Prizes have been handed out yet for this year, but Nelson deserves another one.

SpaceShpOne just released....: " A jet-powered airplane with a rocket plane slung under its belly took off early Monday for an attempt to make the first privately financed manned flight into space.
The exotic White Knight mothership lifted off at about 6:45 a.m. PDT on a spiraling flight that was to take an hour to reach an altitude of about 50,000 feet, where it would release SpaceShipOne."

Boing Boing: seems to have a runnignblog of the event.

Granted private manned spaceflight is an awesome thing, but it nothing compared to my ultimate goal of getting an A on Shiny Disco Balls.

DANCE DANCE REVOLTION: DAY 7.....Dance dance dance dance dance dance! I'm a dancing machiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnneeee

The rise of the machines was stemmed this weekend.

At least for a little while.

I have successfully completed a level. I am no longer functionally a parapelegic. The demon box has been tamed. Granted it was on the easiest setting of the easiest level. But I cleared that bitch, and it is going on my resume'.

Perhaps it is a bit harsh of me to blame the evil game for my dancing woes. In reality it is my fault. The key to the game is listening to the music and then stepping on the beat, which happens to coicicide directly to the arrows crossing the arrows on the top of the screen. It is really a very simple game in design.

Who knew?

Up until now my dancing style, such as it is, involved biting down on my upper lip and moving my feet as little as possible, at times lip synching with the words, especially those invovling a roof fire, cotton eyed joe, or, obviously, su-su sudios.

But it is truly the beat that drives the dance. And it has started to become part of my soul. This is easier because the insanely vapid songs are almost bereft of lyrics, or at least, understandable lyrics. My favorite so far is a little latin number that has some voodoo rap in the background. Whenever it starts playing the cat gets a glazed over lok and starts shifting aroud with the music as if controlled by an outside force. Freeaky, but highly entertaining.

To be sure, the game is still evil. It is not enough that you complete a level, getting the pseudo-orgasmic "CLEARED" sign, the game also assesses grades on your performance.

In typical japanese-English translation style the grades go a-b-c-d and E. E is the worst that you can do without getting a failed. I get alot of E's. The game is an incredibly harsh grader. One miss is enough to get you demoted from an A to a B even if the rest of the game is perfect or great.

There is no such thing in Japan as an "A" for effort I geuss. A closer reading of the instructons reveals this little factoid on page 38:

"A for effort is for lazy Americans. There is correct and there is incorrect. Do or Do not, there is no try."

I will do, Dance Dance Ultra-mix-san. I will do.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Dance Dance Revolution Day 4: The Revolution will not be Danced

So I got up early this morning to dance, dance dance my way to lobotomized happiness. And I met with middling success.

Good news first: The cat no longer has the high score.
Bad news: That is because I figured out how to erase the high scores.

Still I am an abject failure at this game. FAILED!

I picture myself as one of those hip hop happening kids with seven legs and rhythm to boot but I end up looking like Billy Ray Cyrus at the end of the Achey Breaky Heart Video.

You know the part near the end of the song where he starts to throw his legs and feet around for no apparent reason and completely out of time and step with the music.

That's me.

But worse.

And without a mullet. Sort of the Randy Quaid to Billy Ray Cyrus's Dennis Quaid. The Tito Jackson to Billy Ray's Micheal.

The good news is this. I have decided to make the ultimate teen age decision to aid and abet my quest to Dance Dance Dance my way to cultural understanding.

I am going to use the internet to cheat.

Ahh, the internet. Remember when it didn't exist and there was more than a handful of people on earth actullay putting forth any effort whatsoever into anything? Me too. The Dark Ages. Not that hitting Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V a dozen or so times a day is not effort mind you. I am a collage artist. A mix master. A duper. that is my art, that is real effort.

So now all that is left is to pick a song. Up until now I have been focused on Shiny Disco Balls by Who Da Funk. Which may have been part of my problem. It is a relatively difficult starter set, despite the super cool title.

So now I am going to ratchet down a notch and try: AFTER THE GAME OF LOVE by NPD3.

I think this is more appropriate. I am printing out the steps right now, closing my office door and moving furniture.

It is going to be a busy lunch.

These are real quotes people...:

"'I stood up to it and beat it back,' Clinton says of the impeachment process, which he describes as 'an abuse of power.'
'The whole battle was a badge of honor. I don't see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate.' "

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Is big media contributing to the Kerry campaign?: "The Democratic National Convention will be more than $5 million over budget due to increased construction costs and unexpected production expenses.
Construction on the FleetCenter sports arena, site of the event, began last week after a delay due to union protests and is slated to cost $13.9 million, up from an original estimate of $10.7 million, according to Democratic National Convention Committee spokeswoman Peggy Wilhide. Nearly $1 million of the additional costs will be paid by media outlets covering the convention."

That is odd.

maybe we should check with election law blog for answers....

Dance Dance Revolution.....Day 3

I have begun a quest. It is a modest quest, not like trying to destroy a piece of jewelry or find some cup, mind you, but a quest none the same.

I have decided to become a Japanese teenager.

It is for a variety of reasons. I do like sushi. And giant plastic heels.
Anime, while somehow very boring and busy at the same time, does not completely turn my stomach.

Mostly though, it seems to me that the group in this world who seems most appreciative of some of the pop-culture dreck that is littering our streets, homes and minds are Japanese Teenagers. I used to enjoy the MTV movie awards, the Music Awards, Saved by the Bell, etc. No more. I just don't get it.

So instead of trying my best to avoid pop culture and expending effort to use my time productively and creatively I have decided to succumb to the sickly sweet methadone that is fed to the MTV generation. The easiest way to do that, without learning how to suppress my gag reflex and get a lobotomy is to become a 14 year old Japanese kid.

Step One: Buy Dance Dance Revolution for my X-box. Now I know the PS2 version would be more authentic, but cutting corners is my Americanization of a foreign concept with a touch of added laziness. Now that is true American Pop Culture!

Dance Dance Revolution is really a phenomenol device. You get this 3 foot by 3 foot square pad with presseure senitve arrows in it and you dance around on it guided by a screen of rapidly cascading arrows while the most annoying tecno synth music plays in the background. Watching kids do it in the arcade it looks quite easy. Up arow step forward, right to the right. i did the hokey pokey, I know the score. This is sort of like twister with a beat. I can do that. No problem. Sure I'm 40 pounds overweight. 20 years to old to do it, but if some 12 year old Japanese kid can hip hop his way to the Revolution then dammit so can I.

Well, not so much actually. I failed. And failed miserably and repeatedly. Words cannot accurately describe to you just how difficult that thing is. Arrows are flying up the screen like anit aircraft flak over Dresden. The damn music is so disjointed and crazy it is impossible to focus on the stupid arrows. And what if you just leave your foot on the pad does that count twice? I don't know.

My failure to master Dance Dance Revolution at first is not entirely my fault. The instructions are hilarious and non-sensical. The book looks like it was written in Korean, translated to Mandarin, translated to Japanese and then translated to english. On page 32 it reads: "All your dance are belong to us." We finally figured out how to set on the easiest of easy setting, which I believe is called the Reeves, and yet those little arrows fly up the screen like crazy. And at the end of every round there is this big "FAILED" sign that jumps up on the screen and twirls around. Thanks. Embarassing.

At one point we left the machine on in a fit of exhaustion and the cat walked randomly around the pad in circles while the game ran.

The cat now has the high score.

And that was just Day 1.

Day 2 was a day of rest. I think I pulled something in between up up up down right and left right left up left.

I am back in business now baby. Day 3 is going to be the beginning of the Revolution. Damn the pulled hammy. Damn the incessant techno drone that stays in your head for hours after the game is turned off. Forget my downstairs neighbor who must think we are trying dig through the floor.

I am going to do it. USA A-ok!

The Lawyers and Accountants always get their loopholes!: "Mindful that fund-raising time is running out, Kerry is soliciting donations to a legal compliance fund he can use during the general election campaign to cover legal and accounting costs, reserving his roughly $75 million in government financing for ads and other campaign costs from August until November.
The legal fund, permitted under the campaign finance law, 'will allow the campaign to put more of its resources into getting John's message to the American people,' Kerry national finance chairman Louis Susman wrote in a mailing to prospective donors this month. 'Given the size of the Republican war chest, every dollar counts.'
The Bush campaign also has a legal compliance fund for the general election.
Bush and Kerry will detail their finances, including spending and money in the bank, in reports to the Federal Election Commission (news - web sites) due at midnight Sunday."

We shore can lobby!

It looks more and more like PA, Ohio and Missouri will be the battleground states.

As Bush begins to establish a stronger lead in Florida.

If you know any undecided voters in those states you should have them call the RNC or DNC. At this point they could probably get a new car, or at the very least, Karl Rove might arrange to have someone killed for them.

In case you were wondering, yes I am in mourning.

The sad thing is that this probably hurts Kobe's court case.

The NBA it's fannnntastic!

Monday, June 14, 2004

The Coolest Man in America?

Newdow has no legs upon which to stand...Court keeps God in Pledge. Avoids controversy. Decides not to right the wrongs of 50 years of First amenment Jurisprudence.

"The justices ruled that California atheist Michael Newdow lacked the legal right to bring the challenge in the first place. 'We conclude that Newdow lacks standing,' Justice John Paul Stevens (news - web sites) declared in the opinion.
The ruling came down on the 50th anniversary of the addition of the words 'under God' to the pledge. Congress adopted the June 14, 1954, law in an effort to distinguish America's religious values and heritage from those of communism, which is atheistic"

Which is to say, if you get divorced, and you don't have custody of your kids, stay out of court.

Flag Day Today!

It is also the 50th anniversary of the insertion of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Will it be the day that the Court removes it?

Friday, June 11, 2004

The good news is...

She enjoys Fox News.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

This is probably very accurate.: "- Weather for about the next 15,000 years should be warm and stable -- barring human interference -- according to scientists on Wednesday. "

Yeah. Weathermen are so good at predicting weather for the next few days they should have no problem in extrapolating out 15000 years.

What with shifting global magnetic fields, unpredictable solar flare activity, unknown volcanic activity, and those damn butterflies in the Amazon, it should be simple to know exactly what the weather will be like for the 15,000 years.

The good news is that I don't need that jacket I was looking into buying.

Warm and mild.

That sounds nice.

This is pretty cool...: "Sen. Bill Nelson pays his respects to Ronald Reagan with a Florida resident whose liver need for a liver transplant was publicized by Reagan in 1985, the Capitol, Washington, D.C. "

19 years of life after a liver transplant?

That is amazing.

Bad tidings for Lance,- Lance Armstrong Outclassed in Ventoux Time Trial

Look for big things from both Tyler Hamilton and Iban Mayo in this year's Tour.

Senator Kerry, Why do you hate Ronald Reagan?

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Moving.

It was very moving.

Very quiet.

We could see Nancy waving to us.

The jets were phenomenal.

Was Bill Clinton a Terrorist?

Iyad Allawi, now the designated prime minister of Iraq, ran an exile organization intent on deposing Saddam Hussein that sent agents into Baghdad in the early 1990's to plant bombs and sabotage government facilities under the direction of the C.I.A., several former intelligence officials say.
...
One former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was based in the region, Robert Baer, recalled that a bombing during that period "blew up a school bus; schoolchildren were killed." Mr. Baer, a critic of the Iraq war, said he did not recall which resistance group might have set off that bomb.

Other former intelligence officials said Dr. Allawi's organization was the only resistance group involved in bombings and sabotage at that time.


For shame Mr. President!

The Teaching Company - Great Courses That Engage The Mind (from Volokh)

This sounds really cool.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Oooooh, that Mohamed....Mohamed the Egyptian.:

Good news from Italy.

"Italy arrested an Egyptian man suspected of helping to plan the Madrid train bombings as police across Europe swooped on Islamic militants in coordinated anti-terror raids, officials said Tuesday.
Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, known as 'Mohamed the Egyptian,' was seized in Milan in a operation that Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said was aimed at a 'dangerous group of terrorists close to al Qaeda' which had been planning more attacks. "

Let me get this straight. This guys name is:Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed. Which is possibly somewhat unique in the Muslim World, but his nick name is 'Mohamed the Egyptian." Which is sort of like saying "John the American" and puts him in the company of about 10 million other Egyptians.

Kerry/Vilsack? "Aides to presidential candidate John Kerry have asked for hundreds of newspaper columns written by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, one of the Democrats whose backgrounds are being checked as Kerry ponders a running mate.
Vilsack wrote the weekly ``Mayor's Moments'' column for the Mt. Pleasant News from 1987 to 1992. He became mayor of the southeastern Iowa town of 8,700 people after a gunman opened fire during a city council meeting in 1986, killing Mayor Ed King and wounding two others. "

Purely political choice. Vilsack carried alot of water for him during the Iowa primary so his interest in him is likely a repayment of past debts. I highly doubt he will be selected.

I still see a Kerry/Warner ticket, or Kerry/Graham as more likely.

Unfortunately, for Kerry, he is still not considering the one candidate who would win him the election hands down- Kerry/Winfrey.

If this is true, it is awesome....: "A new book by former Air Force secretary Thomas Reed reveals that the Reagan administration allowed a Soviet agent to steal gas-pipeline software that had been secretly designed to go haywire on a catastrophic scale. The ruse led to a June 1982 explosion in the Siberian wilderness that Mr. Reed says was 'the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space.' It crippled the Soviet's secret techno-piracy operation because they could longer be sure if what they were buying or stealing was similarly booby-trapped. They had reason to worry: Contrived computer chips found their way into Soviet military equipment, flawed turbines were installed on a gas pipeline, and defective plans disrupted chemical plants and tractor factories. "

As a former embryo, I appreciate this editorial... in USA TODAY:

"For those who believe advancing stem-cell research is the only human good at issue in this debate, the Bush policy obviously makes no sense. But for those who see the ethical and political complexity of the stem-cell question � involving the possibility of curing terrible diseases, the ethical perils of turning nascent human life into raw material and the need to balance and respect the moral views of a diverse country � the Bush policy remains both principled and prude"

I think it is important for those who have religious qualms with stem cell research to do thier best to remove this aspect of their belief system from the public debate. Not because it is innappropriate, but because so many listeners simply turn off their conciousness when religion enters into a public policy discussion.

Winning friends and influencing Enemies errr the Fench : "The U.N. Security Council headed for a unanimous vote in favor of a U.S.- and British-backed resolution on Iraq (news - web sites)'s future on Tuesday after last-minute changes on military policy met demands by France and Germany."


The deal looks like a good for the U.S troops:

The most contentious issue was how much control Baghdad's new leaders would have over major U.S.-run military operations after the June 30 transfer of power. The resolution would give international legitimacy to a new Iraqi interim government and authorize a U.S.-led multinational force, now at 160,000 troops.


Last week the United States and Britain agreed that the Iraqi interim government had the right to order U.S. troops to leave Iraq and made clear the mandate of the multinational force would expire in January 2006, when a permanent Iraqi government is expected to take office.


Which is fine, as we want to leave anyway.

Meanwhile, in other news, Coaltion Forces rescued Italians, Pole Held in Iraq. Which is very nice.

The woman on the hill has a literal front row seat to many of the Reagan related events of this week, so I will keep you updated as to any behind the scenes info.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Daily Kos beleives the power hand over will be a sham and states as proof:: "To be clear, no sovereign nation suffers the imposed and unfettered activities of foreign forces inside its borders"

I am not sure what his definitions are but I can think of a few examples of that.

Afghanistan comes immediately to mind. Unless Kos thinks that's a sham too.

South Korea could be an example.

Bosnia too. Probably Yugoslavia and Serbia as well.

Lebannon has a whole lot on non-Lebanese troops moving freely around the country.

And before the invasion there were lots and lots of non-Iraqi troops moving pretty freely everywhere.

Of course maybe he considers all of these countries sham governments.

I don't think their residents do however and that is what makes all the difference.

Al Gore says the most treachorous person he has dealt with is...a Democrat.
The most powerful comeback came from Florida's top Democrat, U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, whose seat Penelas is seeking.

''People in Florida who know Alex Penelas know he is a quality person and has been a Democrat under difficult circumstances,'' Graham said in a telephone interview with The Herald that was facilitated by the Penelas campaign. ``It is not easy in Miami-Dade County to be a vocal Democrat as a Cuban American."

It is not my place to call Algore unhinged. I am sure he hears that from hs psychiatrist daily. But I would tell him that if he states in consecutive weeks that this administration is the most dishonest since Nixon, but that a Democratic Senatorial candidate is the most dishonest person he has ever met, then maybe just maybe he has to reset his gyroscope.

Christofor Cross denied access to all federal lands.

The ACLU won another victory today when it successfully barred Christopher Cross from all federal property as a potential infringement on the Establishment Clause.

I would take these odds...

The sad news, swept under the rug, is that this weeken J-Lo got herself hitched again so she is once again off the market.

The good news is this. I have now moved up to #456,329,432 on her big list of people to get married to (which slots me roughly around March 2017). Also it is a fine money making opportunity.

Ladbrokes is giving 3-1 odds that the marriage does not last the year.

Good bet.

I would be suprised if she hasn't changed husbands by Labor Day.

Kaus talks up the Clinton VP idea...: "Bill Clinton Could Too Be Kerry's Running Mate: A few days ago, the Drudge Report highlighted a CNN Web page listing Bill Clinton as a possible vice-presidential candidate. CNN argued that
While federal law prohibits a person from seeking a third presidential term, the Constitution does not specify whether or not a former commander in chief can become vice president.
Drudge then effectively took it back by citing citing the text of the Twelfth Amendment, which says, in part, that 'no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.'"

If peopel are talking about Clinton as V.p. then two things are true. We are deep deep in the heart of the Presidential silly season where no story is too ludicrous to print. Or the Kerry campaign is in deep deep trouble. I suspect the former is more in play here.

I would a Clinton V.P run just for the debates and the Press conferences:

"President Clinton, how many interns do you plan on sleeping with as V.P.? Do you plan on interviewing them personally or will you have a pimp do that? Does the fact that you will have to be in the same city as Hillary most of the time discourage you from running for V.P.? Would your sex life be more exciting if you thought Hillary might barge into the room at any time? Would you and Hillary double date?"

Classic stuff.