Monday, June 30, 2008

BOK Center to feature local restaurants

Tulsa's new onion arena will feature local restaurants instead of fast food chains:

So, when the arena opens in September vendors will include: In the Raw, Billy's On the Square, Oklahoma Style BBQ, Te Kei's, Rubicon Restaurant, Mazzio's and Borden Dairy.


All tasty restaurants. Right on.

Can Obama win Oklahoma??

Thanks to Okiedoke for pointing this out:


6/09 - 6/11, McCain 52% Obama 38%
- Research 2000

4/01 - 4/10, McCain 62% Obama 21%
- Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Assoc


Can we?

EDIT: I should have copied the whole post. Changed above.

Monday loldog

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

SCOTUS overturns DC gun ban - local connection

The Supreme Court overturned Washington DC's sweeping ban on handguns today, ruling that the 2nd amendment applies not just to "state militias" but to individuals who wish to own guns.

This is an interesting ruling in light of a recent home invasion robbery in Tulsa that turned deadly when the intruder used the couple's own handgun against them.

Alright, I won't extrapolate that one incident into a screed against the right to own handguns, as I once would have. But it is a cautionary tale. A handgun in the house is much more likely to be used against the owner of the gun than against an intruder.

I don't know. I've always been conflicted about the 2nd amendment. Back in my radical days, I favored abolishing the 2nd amendment completely, not realizing that doing so would disband the National Guard.

The civil libertarian in me wants people to have the right to own guns, but the social democrat concerned with the common good wants to make sure that the right to own guns doesn't cause unnecessary risk to public safety. I tend to lean toward Howard Dean's 2004 campaign position: let the states make their own gun laws, but have federal laws in place to ban assault weapons and require background checks and other public safety measures. I believe today's Supreme Court ruling allows for that kind of a compromise.

God, I'm agreeing with a Scalia ruling? Shudder.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Origin of Love

Just a great song from a great movie:

CD1 has candidates!

Oklahoma's Congressional District 1 has two candidates vying to replace John Sullivan: Georgianna Oliver and Mark Manley.

Oliver doesn't have her website working yet, but Manley does. I'm familiar with Manley's work in the local peace and impeachment movement, so I'm inclined to support his candidacy. However, in the spirit of fairness, both candidates' websites will now be featured in the "Links" section of this blog.

The primary election is July 29th.

Netroots for the Troops

Click the link to read about an ambitious project to send 101 care packages to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US government, despite spending billions of dollars on two ill-conceived wars, isn't giving our troops such essential items as work gloves, phone cards, or even socks and underwear. If you can, give something. If you want to, promote this on your own blog.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dobson vs. Obama on "the Bible"

I'd link to this story, but it's an AP story, and apparently they don't want people doing that.

The jist of the story is that James Dobson (of "Focus on the Family"), that great authority on what constitutes an "abomination" in the sight of God, has accused Barack Obama of having a "fruitcake" mentality about the Bible. Obama had the audacity to suggest that, even if we declared this a Christian nation, and we expelled every non-Christian from America, we would still have an argument about whose Christianity should rule. He said some other things, but I fear that paraphrasing more of the article might get me in trouble with the AP, so you'll have to just go look it up yourself.

Here's the point. Obama should just ignore Dobson. He shouldn't suggest meeting with Dobson to talk about religion. He shouldn't legitimize Dobson's theofascist organization with any kind of comment. The answer to this whole argument is very simple: "The Bible is irrelevant to civil law." Of course, saying that would be political suicide in a country where 92% of people believe in God, whatever that means. But my point stands. We cannot make laws base on Biblical precepts. Laws should be vetted only by their constitutionality. Therefore, any argument about whose interpretation of the Bible should govern is moot and frankly idiotic. And therefore it is Dobson who is, in fact, the fruitcake.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mosquitoes.

I have an uncanny ability. There can be one mosquito in a room of 50 people, and it will find and bite me. As a bonus, I'm allergic to the little bastards, and their bites turn into horrible, itchy welts that I scratch into plague-like lesions.

Last night my partner and I took the dog for a nice walk along the river. I had had some hope recently that something had changed, and maybe I was no longer quite so succulent, because I've had very few mosquito bites thus far this summer.

Sadly, they were just waiting for the right time to pounce. This morning, I woke up and found at least 3 or 4 lovely new mosquito bites.

I will bet you money that my partner didn't get any. I haven't asked him yet.

I hate mosquitoes. I really, really hate them.

JStreet's new ad in the New York Times



They have a point.

Cancer Schmancer Comedy Jam

Description: Rina Fitria has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is cancer in the lymph nodes. Rina was a student at Oklahoma State University before cancer interrupted her course work. She is only twenty-one years old. The cost of the bone marrow transplant is $180,000. Rina and her family must come up with the funds themselves before the transplant can be provided.

To help with the cost the Nightingale Theater is putting on "Cancer Schmancer Comedy Jam", an Improv Benefit Show. There will be different troupes all coming together for one night to raise money and have a fun in the spirit to help Rina. The show is free but we will be accepting donations.

Troupes performing include:

Laughing Matter
Sac O’ Silly
Crayons
The Spontaniacs
Old Crow Players
OSU Improv
Super Ovum
Date: Friday, June 27, 2008
Time: 10:00pm-11:59pm
Category: Improv or Stand-Up Comedy
Company: Various
Location: Nightingale Theater
Reservation Required: No
For Mature Audiences: No
More Information: http://www.orgs.okstate.edu/iosa/rina.html


Your blogmaster will be performing in this benefit.

Monday loldog

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Apparently George Carlin died. That's sad.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tulsa Humane Society has cat crisis

There are more cats that need adoptions than spaces available at Tulsa shelters, and the problem is only getting worse.

A cat is a wonderful addition to any home. If you have space in your home for a furry friend, consider adopting today!

Humorous Pictures
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Sinister announces Left Handed Candidates

Sinister now has its own ActBlue page - Left Handed Candidates. Our first endorsement will of course go to Andrew Rice. Look for more worthy candidates to be added to the page soon.

Please use this resource (or heck, use any of the other ActBlue pages that have been set up by Kos and others) to give to Andrew Rice.

Kos endorses Rice

DailyKos has endorsed Andrew Rice as part of the "Orange to Blue" fundraising effort. Great news - Senator Rice can definitely use the exposure and the financial help as he tries to bring down Inhofe.

Happy Friday

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Real McCain



Straight talk? Only if by "straight" you mean a zig-zag that doubles back on itself quite a few times.

James Bond's drink

Last night for the first time I made myself a "Vodka martini - shaken, not stirred."

And let me tell you, James Bond knows what he's talking about. It was delicious! I think that's my new favorite drink!

For some reason, there's going to be an outage on Blogger in about an hour.

Sigh...

Is it November yet?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Streets bill delayed over widening bickering

The $2 billion package to fix Tulsa's streets hit a snag (I refuse to say it hit a pothole) over the issue of street widening projects included in the bill.

According to the article, these are the widening projects included in the bill:

They include 81st Street South from Sheridan Road to Memorial Drive, Mingo Road from 71st Street South to 81st Street South, 91st Street South from Memorial Drive to Mingo Road, 81st Street South from Harvard Avenue to Yale Avenue and 91st Street South from Harvard Avenue to Yale Avenue.


Ok, let's take a look.

81st from Harvard to Yale is one lane in each direction, but it's hardly ever congested. 81st from Sheridan to Memorial could do with another lane in each direction. Mingo from 71st to 81st I'm not that familiar with, but I think it probably gets somewhat congested with Mall traffic. 91st from Harvard to Yale probably needs another lane also. I don't really know a lot about 91st from Memorial to Mingo.

But here's the crux of the problem: all of these roads are in fine shape - they don't need to be repaired. And isn't that the main purpose of the bill?

Several things occur to me. First, I'm a little tired of South Tulsa getting so much of the attention when it comes to street widening and repairs. Midtown streets are a moonscape. Instead of fixing the streets in Midtown, last year Tulsa spent millions of dollars demolishing a hill at 81st and Delaware to widen 81st street to four lanes - because of the PGA Golf tour (or was it the LPGA? I don't remember - whatever, I hate golf.)

So Tulsa's priority at that time was to make a comfortable drive for the tourists coming into town for a golf tournament.

Meanwhile, the streets in Midtown continue to deteriorate.

Now, this bill suggests even more widening in South Tulsa. I'm sorry, but these areas should NOT be the priority.

Why the residents of Midtown aren't in the street with torches and pitchforks over this issue is beyond me. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had to spend hundreds of dollars replacing prematurely destroyed tires, whose car needs hundreds of dollars worth of work on its shocks, whose teeth get knocked out every time I cross the intersection of 31st and Harvard heading north.

Councilor Bill Martinson, who has been opposed to including widening in the bill, proposed several other areas of town for widening:

Yale Avenue from 21st Street South to 31st Street South, Lewis Avenue from 51st Street South to 61st Street South, 51st Street South from Yale Avenue to Sheridan Road, 51st Street South from Sheridan Road to Memorial Drive and 61st Street South from Peoria Avenue to Lewis Avenue.


Now, Yale from 21st to 31st probably needs widening, Lewis is already 2 lanes in each direction but it does get congested, 51st definitely gets congested and could probably use another lane in each direction, and 61st street could definitely use it.

But again, none of these things should be a priority.

The priority, Mayor Taylor, is to FIX THE STREETS. FIX them. Not WIDEN them. We don't need MORE moonscapes to drive on, we need NO moonscapes.

Whatever the case, as long as the project includes enough money to fix Midtown, I'll vote for the project. I would prefer if it didn't also have money in it to widen streets in South Tulsa that don't need it.

Vote for Andrew Rice in Barbara Boxer's List

Dear Friend,

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is launching her PAC for a Change's 2008 "Choose a Challenger" contest. It's a great opportunity for us to help decide which Democratic Senate challenger the PAC for a Change online community will support next. The winner of our online contest will be featured in a fundraising email to PAC for a Change's entire online community, potentially adding tens of thousands of dollars to his or her campaign war chest this fall -- going a long way towards helping us build a stronger progressive Senate majority in 2009 and beyond.

I hope you'll join me and vote in the "Choose a Challenger" contest before the June 25th deadline. Click on the link below to cast your ballot!

http://ga4.org/pacforachange/challenger_open_vote.html


Andrew Rice is in the running here - vote for him!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hope in Gaza?

Hamas and Israel have agreed to a truce to begin Thursday morning. The first phase of the truce is a simple cessation of violence and a "partial reopening of Gaza's borders." The second phase may see movement on the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.


Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said: "Words are important, deeds much more so.

If indeed we see an end of hostile terrorist attacks from Gaza into Israel, if indeed we see the end to the Hamas military build-up inside the Gaza Strip, if indeed we see movement on the issue of our hostage Gilad Shalit, then of course it'll be an entirely new situation.


Here's some more good news - Hamas and Fatah appear ready to talk:

Mr Yousef said that the aim now was to push ahead talks on a prisoner exchange, as well as a new round of talks in Cairo between the rival factions of Fatah and Hamas.

A delegation from Fatah has already traveled to the Gaza Strip from the West Bank for talks with other party members.

The group is the first representing Mr Abbas to go to Gaza since Hamas seized control. Hamas has said it is prepared to hold talks with the Fatah officials, but there has been no word from Fatah on whether such a meeting will take place.


A big nod of respect and gratitude to Egypt for mediating this truce. Let's hope the extremists in Gaza abide by it. As long as they stop their violence, Israel will not have to defend itself, and life will be easier for all involved.

I would argue that the isolation of Hamas in Gaza, which has led to the deteriorating conditions there, has been the prime mover in this case. Isolating Hamas and depriving it of the ability to govern effectively has forced Hamas into a weakened position, allowing this truce to happen.

Of course, there's always the possibility - nay, the likelihood - that Hamas only wants this truce so they can re-arm and regroup for another assault on Israel. That's happened before.

Not Alex

New ad by moveon.org and AFSCME:



Powerful ad.

Breaking down some polling

I've been looking at this site electoral-vote.com, which compiles recent presidential polls and puts them together into a projected electoral map. The site currently has Obama up 317 electoral votes to John McCain's 221.

One thing you learn when you do campaign work is that if you can keep your opponent below 50%, you have a shot, no matter what else is going on.

According to electoral-vote.com's map, of the states in which John McCain is ahead of Barack Obama, he is at or above 50% in:

Idaho - 4 EV
Wyoming - 3 EV
Utah - 5 EV
South Dakota - 3 EV
Nebraska - 5 EV
Oklahoma - 7 EV
Texas - 34 EV
Tennessee - 11 EV
Kentucky - 8 EV
Alabama - 9 EV
Georgia - 15 EV
Arizona - 10 EV

These states combined represent a total of 114 electoral votes. Those are the states that McCain can definitely count on in November.

Obama is at or above 50% in the following states:

Maine - 4 EV
Vermont - 3 EV
Massachussets - 12 EV
Rhode Island - 4 EV
Maryland - 10 EV
Washington, DC - 3 EV
New York - 31 EV
Illinois - 21 EV
Minnesota - 10 EV
Washington - 11 EV
Hawaii - 4 EV
California - 55 EV

That's a total of 168 electoral votes.

Already, Barack Obama has a significant advantage over McCain and can play a lot more offense.

Here are the states where McCain is beating Obama, but doesn't hit 50%. I'm putting in bold those states where the current margin is tighter than the result of the '04 election:

Kansas - 6 EV
Nevada - 5 EV
Arkansas- 6 EV
Louisiana - 9 EV
Mississippi - 6 EV
Florida - 27 EV
South Carolina - 8 EV
North Carolina - 15 EV
West Virginia - 5 EV
Indiana - 11 EV
Montana - 3 EV
North Dakota - 3 EV
Alaska - 3 EV

That's a total of 107 electoral votes. These are the states where Obama can conceivably spend resources to break down McCain's lead. Interestingly, none of these were Kerry states in '04.

Finally, here are the states where Obama is beating McCain, but doesn't hit 50%. I'm again putting in bold those states where the current margin is tighter than the result of the '04 election. I'm also going to put in italics those states that went to Bush in '04:

New Hampshire - 4 EV
Pennsylvania - 21 EV
New Jersey - 15 EV
Connecticut - 7 EV
Virginia - 13 EV
Ohio - 20 EV
Michigan - 17 EV
Wisconsin - 10 EV
Iowa - 7 EV
Missouri - 11 EV
Colorado- 9 EV
New Mexico - 5 EV
Oregon - 7 EV

That's a total of 146 electoral votes. These are states where McCain can spend resources. Two things to note here: Obama's margin is either similar to or wider than Kerry's in all but one of these states. That's a very different picture than the states McCain is defending. Also, as we can see, 6 of these states were Bush states in '04, so McCain is again on the defense here.

Let's add it up.

Obama has 168 electoral votes nailed down. He has 146 that he'll need to work to defend. And he has 107 electoral votes to wrestle away from McCain.

McCain has 114 electoral votes nailed down. He has 107 to defend from Obama. And he has 146 that he can wrestle away from Obama.

It's pretty clear that the electoral map in November is going to look very different from recent elections. These results seem to show that a lot more Bush states are going to be in play than Kerry states, which gives Obama an automatic advantage. Assuming nothing catastrophically horrible happens, we can almost guarantee Obama most, if not all of Kerry's states. We absolutely cannot say the same for McCain.

Edit: There are a total of 19 Bush '04 states in play, and only 7 Kerry states in play.

McBush



According to electoral-vote.com, summarizing a NY Times article, here's a summary of McCain's positions vs. Bush's positions:

McCain agrees with Bush: Iraq, Iran, health care, gay marriage, abortion
McCain used to disagree, now agrees: tax cuts, torture
McCain used to agree now disagrees: immigration
McCain always disagreed: climate change, limiting nuclear weapons


Here's a quote from the original article:

A look at Mr. McCain’s 25-year record in the House and Senate, his 2008 campaign positions and his major speeches over the last three months indicates that on big-ticket issues — the economy, support for continuing the Iraq war, health care — his stances are indeed similar to Mr. Bush’s brand of conservatism. Mr. McCain’s positions are nearly identical to the president’s on abortion and the types of judges he says he would appoint to the courts.


Keep repeating it, kids - A McCain in the hand is worth a third term of Bush.

Monday, June 16, 2008

10 reasons why gay marriage is wrong

Kossack posts a list of reasons why gay marriage is wrong. I think I may have a problem with one of these - I mean, I regularly wear eyeglasses, polyester, and mixed-fabric clothing...

Mazel Tov and Mad Props

Mazel Tov to all of the wonderful same-sex couples enjoying California's newly minted marriage equality starting today. This has been a long time coming, and I know that if my partner and I lived in California, we'd be first in line.

Marriage equality is not a wedge issue. I've said this before, and I stick by it. It's not a wedge issue for those of us being wedged by it. And half-measures like civil unions or domestic partnerships or "legal arrangements" just won't cut it. If we can have all of those things, why can't we have the M word? Give me one good reason that isn't based on religious bias. Hell, give me one good reason that a) isn't based on religious bias, and b) doesn't sound like the same arguments used to stop interracial marriages. Come on. I dare you.

Fair use? AP cracks down on bloggers

A blog has been served with "Take Down" notices based on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act demanding that he remove several blog entries because they quote and/or link to snippets of AP articles and comment on them.

If bloggers aren't allowed to snip / link to news articles and then comment on them, that's going to put a huge chill on the exercise of free speech in the blogosphere. Hell, snipping news articles and commenting on them is a huge part of what a blogger does. I do it all the time. Most people would argue that such activities are the very definition of the "fair use" doctrine, but apparently the AP now feels that "fair use" only applies if you pay for the privilege.

I'll be following this story pretty carefully, since it affects what I do and what a lot of bloggers do pretty profoundly. I'd suggest every other blogger keep an eye on this story as well.

Ask Senator Feingold to add Andrew Rice to his list!

Senator Russ Feingold has a slate of Senate candidates that he has designated "Progressive Patriots," and he wants you to vote for one of them for his organization to support. He's missing a very important name: Andrew Rice! Please click the link in the post title and ask Senator Feingold to add Andrew to his list!

To be a Progressive activist

I wrote this piece for my Netroots Nation scholarship application. The question was, "What is a Progressive activist?"

Someone who understands that we all live in a society, and that we're all dependent on each other. That, despite what the libertarians will tell you, the free market doesn't solve all ills, and a strong social safety net is necessary to fill the gaps. That, despite what the social conservatives will tell you, this country was founded on principles of liberty and equality, and that doesn't just mean for white, heterosexual Christians. That, despite what the neocon hawks will tell you, the world isn't divided into "us" and "them," but that we're all an interconnected global community, and to ensure the survival of the human race, we must use all means necessary to promote peace and social justice worldwide. That, ultimately, none of us are better than the least of us.


If you like this blog, please click the link and support my scholarship bid.

Monday loldog

dog
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Sunday, June 15, 2008

How the crap did this happen?

How did this humble blog become #1 "most influential blog" on BlogNetNews Oklahoma?

Thanks, I guess.

:-)

Sheesh - tomorrow's Monday, isn't it?

...

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm voting Republican

This video is everywhere, and now it's here, too:

A day in the life

This is gonna be a long post, but it's worth it.

First of all, here's a day in the life of a middle-class Republican:

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.


Now, let's see what would happen to Joe if he got his wish:

Joe Conservative wakes up in the morning and goes to the bathroom. He flushes his toilet and brushes his teeth, mindful that each flush & brush costs him about 43 cents to his privatized water provider. His wacky, liberal neighbor keeps badgering the company to disclose how clean and safe their water is, but no one ever finds out. Just to be safe, Joe Conservative boils his drinking water.

Joe steps outside and coughs–the pollution is especially bad today, but the smokiest cars are the cheapest ones, so everyone buys ‘em. Joe Conservative checks to make sure he has enough toll money for the 3 different private roads he must drive to work. There is no public transportation, so traffic is backed up and his 10 mile commute takes an hour.

On the way, he drops his 12 year old daughter off at the clothing factory she works at. Paying for kids to go to private school until they’re 18 is a luxury, and Joe needs the extra income coming in. Times are hard and there’re no social safety nets.

He gets to work 5 minutes late and misses the call for Christian prayer, and is immediately docked by his employer. He is not feeling well today, but has no health insurance, since neither his employer nor his government provide it, and paying for it himself is really expensive, since he has a precondition. He just hopes for the best.

Joe’s workday is 12 hours long, because there is no regulation over working hours, and Joe will lose his job if he complains or unionizes. Today is an especially bad day. Joe’s manager demands that he work until midnight, a 16 hour day. Joe does, knowing that he’ll lose his job if he does not.

Finally, after midnight, Joe gets to pick up his daughter and go home. His daughter shows him the deep cut she got on the industrial sewing machine today. Joe is outraged and asks why she doesn’t have metal mesh gloves or other protection. She says the company will not provide it and she’ll have to pay for it out of her own pocket. Joe looks at the wound and decides they’ll use an over the counter disinfectant and bandages until it heals. She’ll have a scar, but getting stitches at the emergency room is expensive.

His daughter also complains that the manager made suggestive overtures towards her. Joe counsels her to be a “good girl” and not rock the boat, or she’ll get fired and they’ll be out the income.

His daughter says she can’t wait until she’s 18 so she can vote for change or go to the Iraq War.

They get home and there’s a message from his elderly father who can’t afford to pay his medical or heating bills. Joe can hear him coughing and shivering.

Joe turns on the radio and the top story is a proposal in Congress to raise the voting age to 25. A rare liberal opinionator states that it’s an attempt to keep power out of the hands of working class Americans. The conservative host immediately quashes him, calling him “a utopian idealist,” and agreeing that people aren’t mature enough to make good choices until they’re at least 25.

Joe chuckles at the wine-swilling, cheese eating liberal egghead and thinks, “Thank God I live in America where I have freedom!”

Checking a name off of McCain's list

Fox News has also changed their line-up. They canceled John Gibson's not-so Big Story, and, more recently, they bumped E.D. "Terrorist Fist Jab" Hill. They also added Karl Rove, scheduled a new show for O'Reilly fill-in, Laura Ingraham, and just today announced that failed Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Mike Huckabee, would be their newest political contributor.


Well, if the folksy fascist is going to be on Faux Noise, then I guess he won't be McCain's running mate.

I think that's good news, actually. Fuckabee's folskiness might have been able to humanize the corpse of McCain enough to make this a tight race in November. Then again, he could also have weighed McCain down with far-right baggage and made the independents run screaming to Obama. In any event, it's probably academic at this point. Not just because with this move, it looks like the Huckster's not going to be on the ticket, but because Obama is going to sweep this thing.

Stunning pictures of Iowa flooding

Iowa Kossack posts some truly shocking pictures of the flooding in Iowa.

On the Kos front page right now, another article on the flooding discusses how the increase in storm strength and frequency across the country is related to climate change:

Several readers have asked if this flooding is due in part to climate change. Short answer, yes, it could be a factor. A good analogy is that climate change and storm intensity are like loaded dice and rolling snake-eyes. You can't say that a specific storm, or roll, would not have occured had it not been for climate change, or loaded dice. Only that the frequency of intense storms, or snake eyes, is greater. But regardless, the end result on our aging infrastructure is the same:

Experts say the increasing frequency of severe storms and flooding is undermining the integrity of aging levees, bridges and dams that were not designed to withstand the water flow and pressure that contributed to destruction like that at Lake Delton.

This cat looks a lot like my cat.

cat
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RIP Tim Russert

Apparently Tim Russert just died of a heart attack. That's a shocker. He was only 58.

Bouahahahaha

Ok, yes, it's Friday the 13th. I've got my zombie repellent at the ready.

Happy Friday

Boy I can really relate to this song:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kos posts OK Senate poll results

Kos (himself!) has posted a thorough look at the Oklahoma Senate race. It doesn't look great right now - Rice needs to work like a dog to up his name recognition, but with enough attention and effort, we could just pull this off.

Next steps

Ever since I graduated college, I've been searching for something meaningful and important to do with my life. I've done a lot of very interesting and challenging things, but none of them have really led anywhere. Long story short, I'm working on getting myself out of a rut.

I had been thinking for a little while that I might go back to school for a Master's degree in linguistics, or perhaps go to Rabbinical school, or something else. At some point, the idea of becoming a school counselor came up, and it piqued my interest. That, I thought to myself, was something I could do.

Eventually, the conversation about being a school counselor evolved, and I found myself intrigued about a different angle: becoming a public school teacher. I'd never really considered that possibility before. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.

And so, a few weeks ago, I began the process of applying for the Alternative Certification to become a public school teacher. My degree in International Studies and my post-graduate work experience will qualify me to teach High School Social Studies. It's a complicated process to get certified, but I'm going to pursue it, and hopefully I'll be able to start teaching in the 2009-2010 school year.

Teaching is the perfect outlet for my intellectual energies and for my desire to really make a difference in the world. Yes, I know, teenagers can be difficult, but I was a teenager not too long ago (ok 10 years ago), so I think I have an idea of how to handle them.

It's been a while since I've been idealistic about something like this, so I'm going to enjoy the idealism while I can. I know that once I get down into the nitty gritty world of teaching, it'll be difficult, perhaps overwhelming, but I have confidence that I'll be able to succeed.

OKC ranked last on list of 50 cities best able to cope with high gas prices

CNN story about how both OKC and Tulsa are having trouble coping with high gas prices due to the lack of public transportation and historically long commutes. Here's something I didn't know:

City Manager Jim Couch says that at 627 square miles, Oklahoma City has the third greatest land mass of all U.S. cities.


Tulsa is also pretty spread out. Here's a major problem:

Karlenzig said that while nearly 55% of New Yorkers take public transit, the rate in Oklahoma is closer to 2%.


The article does stress that both OKC and Tulsa are working on improving public transportation options, but emphasizes that any significant changes are "years away."

Fight the Smears

Barack Obama has started a website to document and refute vicious smears against him. There's a lot of crap flowing around these here Internets.

I'm not even sure why I'm justifying this with a response

This right-wing blogger called Fried Green Onions has a problem with me saying that during his lime green speech, John McCain looked as stiff as Hayden Christiansen playing Anakin Skywalker, only 100 years older. But he doesn't say why he has a problem with me doing so, except some rant about "ancestor hate" and something about "flambe preachers." Now, I'm not one to douse preachers with cognac and set them on fire, so I'm not sure what he's going for here. Also, he seems to think McCain fought in World War II.

Oh, and just for the record, FGO, I'm not Christian, nor do I believe, as you seem to, that only Christians practice what is in their "best interest."

Thanks for playing. Your consolation prize is a copy of "How to Present a Coherent Argument for Dummies." Please study it.

Supreme Court Sides With Guantanamo Detainees

Great news - the Supreme Court has essentially restored habeas corpus for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. I'm glad the Roberts court got this one right - makes me hope that they'll get other stuff right in the future.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hump Day

BORED CAT ISÂ BORED
more cat pictures

I'm sure there's a lot going on in the world right now on which I could be expounding. For example, John McCain's startling assertion that it "doesn't matter" when the troops come home, and the Obama campaign's brilliant rebuttal to said statement. Or perhaps Kucinich's articles of impeachment being referred to the Judiciary Committee. Or maybe I should discuss blue dog Dan Boren's shrewish attitude toward Barack Obama.

Eh, I dunno.

Anyone have anything to discuss?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment

Because this isn't being covered on any news stations, here's a link to a DailyKos diary listing Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment that he presented on the House Floor today. These won't go anywhere, but you still need to know that this is happening.

Olbermann eats Billo's head

According to a Daily Kos story, which quoted a press release:

MSNBC continued its ratings surge last week, with viewers flocking out of the "No Spin Zone" and to "The Place for Politics." For the first time ever, MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was the #1 show at 8 p.m., out-drawing Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor" head-to-head among Adults 25-54. This is the first time since June 2001 that MSNBC has out-rated "The O'Reilly Factor" at 8 p.m.

Excluding Tuesday's primary coverage, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" averaged 477,000 A25-54 vs. 472,000 for the "Factor."

MSNBC also out-drew Fox News Channel for the week in primetime (June 2-8, M-F, 8-11 p.m.), averaging 496,000 Adults 25-54 vs. 449,000. This is the first time MSNBC beat FNC for the week in primetime since Feb. 25, 2008, when MSNBC telecast exclusive coverage of the Democratic candidates debate. Prior to that, the last time MSNBC beat FNC in primetime was the week of July 30, 2001.


Good news. Americans don't want to be treated like idiots by right-wing squawkers on Faux Noise. They'd rather hear an intelligent, articulate advocate like Keith Olbermann.

Spin on that, Billo.

McCain will veto beer?

John McCain hates beer. Now I really can't vote for him.

Monday, June 9, 2008

New electoral vote widget

Thanks to electoral-vote.com, Sinister now features a widget that will update daily with the current projected Presidential election results (according to that site, and as with all polling data, it should be taken with a grain of salt). So far it looks pretty damned good.

Monday loldog

In honor of the upcoming film, The Dark Knight,

dog
see more dog pictures

but I suppose the more important question is, "Why is it Monday?"

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yes we can.

Hats off to Hillary for a great unifying speech. Hats off to Obama for an historic victory.

Now let's put our hats back on and get to work defeating McSame in November.

Gov. Henry tells Sally Kern to shove her religious indoctrination bill

Gov. Henry vetoed Sally Kerns' "religious tolerance" bill today that was opposed by everyone and their dog. The bill was a sneaky way of saying "students can believe whatever the hell they want and teachers can't discriminate against those students who refuse to believe in evolution, gravity, physics, etc," among other things.

Thank you, Governor Henry.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Really Late Friday

Sorry this post is late, but I just got back from Dallas where I was seeing this guy in concert:



He was incredible.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MSNBC interrupts McAncient to announce Obama as presumptive Dem nominee

MSNBC had to interrupt McCain (snore) to announce that they were calling the race for Obama.

I love it.

God, McCain was so stiff, so bloody old, so bloody ...Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker...only like 100 years older.

We're gonna smoosh 'em.

BREAKING NEWS: Clinton tells N.Y. lawmakers she's open to being Obama's VP candidate

Banner on MSNBC right now.

Yep, it's over.

BREAKING: AP Calls it for Obama

The Associated Press is calling the race for Obama:

The tally was based on public declarations from delegates as well as from another 15 who have privately confirmed their intentions to the AP. It also included 11 delegates Obama was guaranteed as long as he gained 30 percent of the vote in South Dakota and Montana later in the day. It takes 2,118 delegates to clinch the nomination.


Other news outlets are not yet following suit.

Or not.

Terry McAwful says "nuh-uh."

Breaking: It will officially end tonight.

Hillary is expected to concede tonight, according to campaign officials.

Now, let's get in line and start working to defeat Mark of Cain in November.

The end of the Hummer?

GM is closing several truck and SUV plants and considering killing the Hummer.

That's damned good news. There is absolutely no reason why anyone needs a military-grade monster truck to drive the kids to soccer practice. Especially when that truck gets like 5 gallons to the mile.

Here's what I like about the article:

[GM CEO] Wagoner said the GM board has approved production of a new small Chevrolet car at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in mid-2010 and the Chevy Volt electric vehicle in Detroit.

Wagoner announced the moves in response to slumping sales of pickups and SUVs brought on by high oil prices. He said a market shift to smaller vehicles is permanent.


Fantastic news.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Link to story about Sunday's storms

Tulsa World story about the storms that slammed Tulsa on Sunday morning. I was right in the middle of them. As I said, we lost power, because a power line snapped behind our apartment building. AEP, lovely company that they are, have now taken more than 24 hours to get the power line off the ground. To get a POWER LINE off the GROUND.

We should have started burying the lines after the December ice storm. That should have been the point at which we said "ok, having these lines up in a city that's prone to ice storms and high winds and tornadoes is an exercise in idiocy."

But because of a lot of things, rich people in Maple Ridge who didn't want a small ugly utility box in their yards, the fact that AEP is a private monopoly whose primary concern is not line maintenance but profit, and, well, those two things in particular, it didn't happen.

BURY THE LINES, TULSA.

Midtown can't handle another multi-day blackout.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Monday loldog

A message to the power company (or the rich fucks in Maple Ridge who whined and stopped AEP from burying the power lines):

dog
see more dog pictures

Getting a little tired of storms

In a hotel tonight. Had a power line break behind our apartment building. We don't know when the power will be back on.

If only our lovely corporate overlord power company monopoly wasn't so bloody corporate, overlordy, or monopolistic.

Or, you know, they could BURY THE FUCKING LINES.

...