Archive for April 20th, 2007

The Definition Of Irony

John Cornyn doesn’t think Gonzo should resign, because the Democrats are pursuing “all these investigations for political advantage.”

The Republicans really have raised this to an art form…

5 comments April 20th, 2007 at 10:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Advice For MSNBC

If you really don’t like it when your hosts say bigoted things, then… don’t hire bigots.

Is this so hard to grasp?

1 comment April 20th, 2007 at 09:59pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Republicans,TV,Wankers

Gunsanity

Well, it looks like the two main strands of Republican reaction to the Virginia Tech shootings thus far have been:

1) This never would have happened if those pussies in the VA legislature hadn’t banned guns on campus. (By the way, if guns are such a necessity for taking out rampage killers like Cho, then why are the wingnuts accusing the students of cowardice for not taking him on without guns?)

2) It’s shameful how the liberals are trying to score cheap political points off of this tragedy.

Chuckie “Yes, I am a psychiatrist” Krauthammer embraces #2 (so to speak), and adds two more of his own:

3) Because improved gun laws won’t stop really determined criminals and might stop law-abiding citizens, they’re a complete waste of time. (I’m pretty sure this one has been around for a very long time, actually.)

4) We need to crack down on crazy people.

E.J. Dionne provides an excellent rebuttal:

[Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)] said that when he confronts voters in his district who criticize him for being “for gun control,” he asks whether they favor background checks for gun buyers, a ban on assault weapons and greater efforts to trace guns used in crimes “to check out gun dealers who supply guns.” In large numbers, he says, such voters agree with him and reject the positions taken by the gun lobby.

Dionne also addresses the illogic of taking precautions against such deadly weapons as shoes and liquid carry-ons, but not guns. He also compares the US to Australia:

John Howard, the solidly right-wing Australian prime minister closely allied with President Bush, bragged this week that when a mass killing took place in Australia in 1996, “we took action to limit the availability of guns, and we showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country.”

Unfortunately, as Dionne also describes, the Republicans are completely captive to the gun lobby, and the Democrats are afraid of it.

Finally, I want to link to this blog post by NY State Senator Eric Schneiderman about the Tiahrt Amendment, which essentially makes it illegal for cops to pursue the criminals’ sources for their illegal guns. By way of background, Schneiderman provides this amazing stat:

[A]pproximately 1 percent of guns dealers sell approximately 57 percent of the guns that are used in crimes (ATF Commerce in Firearms Report, February 2000). For an individual shop that is supplying the illegal market that means having hundreds of “crime guns” traced back to them per year, as compared to a law abiding gun dealer who may have one or two of their guns per year recovered from crimes. In fact, 86 percent of gun dealers had no “crime guns” traced to them at all. (2000 ATF Report)

But God forbid that we should take any action against gun dealers who blow off background checks. Not only are they largely shielded by the Tiarht Amendment, but Bob Barr is actually suing Mayor Bloomberg for $400 million over an NYC sting operation to crack down on dodgy out-of-state gun dealers who supplied guns used in NYC crimes.

Gun control is not about taking people’s guns away, as the Republicans and NRA would have everyone believe (although that wouldn’t break my heart); it’s about making it difficult for criminals and terrorists to obtain them. If you’re a law-abiding citizen, you can still buy guns. Will it completely eliminate all gun violence? Hell no. But it will sure as hell reduce it. Guns kill roughly 10 times as many people as 9/11 (Worst Tragedy Ever!) annually. Even a 20 or 25% reduction in that number would be significant and worthwhile.

My own recommendation for the Democrats would be to take a page from the Republican playbook and emphasize the terrorism angle. There are al Qaeda manuals that talk about how easy it is to get guns in the US – how can anyone oppose comprehensive background checks and anti-straw-purchase measures?

April 20th, 2007 at 09:48pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Republicans

Well, I Suppose This Is Good News…

Catholic Church closes Limbo.

I’m not entirely sure how this works – are they saying that Limbo never existed in the first place, or that it is now eliminated and all those souls are just going to be dumped into Heaven all at once.

Does Heaven have sufficient resources to handle that kind of mass influx? Who’s going to give them their orientation and swear them in as citizens of Heaven? Where are they going to work? What are the impacts to the celestial ecosystem? Maybe the new souls can be added in gradually to reduce the impact? I’m not any kind of cherubimmigration expert, so I have no idea, but hopefully Someone has worked out all the logistics here.

I’m probably still going to Hell, though.

(h/t Atrios)

5 comments April 20th, 2007 at 05:31pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Religion

I Still Love Technology… Always And Forever…

dilbert2007036657420.gif
Dude, I would totally get one of those.

April 20th, 2007 at 11:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics,Technology

NYT Cuts To The Chase

From today’s lead editorial:

If Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had gone to the Senate yesterday to convince the world that he ought to be fired, it’s hard to imagine how he could have done a better job, short of simply admitting the obvious: that the firing of eight United States attorneys was a partisan purge.

Mr. Gonzales came across as a dull-witted apparatchik incapable of running one of the most important departments in the executive branch.

(…)

At the end of the day, we were left wondering why the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer would paint himself as a bumbling fool. Perhaps it’s because the alternative is that he is not telling the truth. There is strong evidence that this purge was directed from the White House, and that Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s top political adviser, and Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, were deeply involved.

(…)

We don’t yet know whether Mr. Gonzales is merely so incompetent that he should be fired immediately, or whether he is covering something up.

But if we believe the testimony that neither he nor any other senior Justice Department official was calling the shots on the purge, then the public needs to know who was. That is why the Judiciary Committee must stick to its insistence that Mr. Rove, Ms. Miers and other White House officials testify in public and under oath and that all documents be turned over to Congress, including e-mail messages by Mr. Rove that the Republican Party has yet to produce.

Exactly. Incompetent wanker though he is, Gonzo is just the fall guy here, loyally stone/firewalling for Rove and Bush, as well as giving Republican senators a golden opportunity to look like they’re not really mindless rubberstamping tools.

The Republicans may be beating up on Gonzo in public, but behind closed doors, I think they’re whispering reverentially about the depth of his sacrifice. It takes real courage to let yourself look this bad to protect someone you love, and Dubya is obviously very grateful.

I still want to see the little weasel in jail, though.

April 20th, 2007 at 11:15am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans,Rove

Belated Meme

Sorry, Sylvia – I had every intention of getting to this sooner, but everything kinda hit the fan all at once and I got sidetracked…

A- Available or Single? Umm… neither?
B- Best Friend. Spear and Magic.
C- Cake or Pie. Pie, especially pumpkin, rhubarb, or banana creme, not necessarily in that order.
D- Drink of Choice. Dr Pepper.
E- Essential Item. My Treo. My laptop and my camera would be close runners-up.
F- Favorite Color. Black. No, re- AAAIIIIEEEE!!!!
G- Gummi Bears or Worms. Worms.
H- Hometown. New York City, but currently living in Pittsburgh.
I- Indulgence. Cheesy sci-fi and horror movies, especially the ones on the Sci-Fi Channel on Saturdays.
J- January or February. January. More holidays.
K- Kids. None, nor likely to.
L- Life is incomplete without… Seasons.
M- Marriage Date. None yet.
N- Number of Siblings? Four half-siblings, so I guess that would technically make two.
O- Oranges or Apples? Oranges, navel.
P- Phobias/Fears. Heights, Republican politicians.
Q- Favorite Quote. “If there’s one piece of truth in your insect soul, I want it!” – Gary Cooper in They Came To Cordura.
R- Reasons to smile. New York teams in the playoffs, Mansquito, congressional oversight.
S- Season. Fall. Baseball and football, and hardly any basketball or hockey.
T- Tag Three. Glenn, Sanjay, and, of course, the shadowy and mysterious Codename V.
U- Unknown Fact About Me. This is, like, a paradox, right?
V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals. Oppressor.
W- Worst Habit. Picking at my nails. Or blogging.
X- X-rays or Ultrasounds. X-rays are cooler, and it’s not like I plan to have kids…
Y- Your Favorite Foods. Sushi, pizza, the pineapple cheeseburgers at Kirk’s in Palo Alto, avocado milkshakes (no, really!).
Z- Zodiac. Gemini.

2 comments April 20th, 2007 at 07:49am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Memes

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote is from the Walter Matthau-Elaine May classic, A New Leaf:

Kneeling on broken glass is my favorite pastime – it keeps me from slouching.

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s cats…

squishzilla2.jpg

In case you were wondering how Squish Vs. Godzilla turned out…

April 20th, 2007 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging


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