Archive for February 12th, 2008

Off The Market

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hQnOC0L8pWc

Tony Bobbins helped me let go, so I could burn my ex-girlfriend with my noxious saliva.

Sorry, ladies:

Gary Coleman is a not-so-newlywed.

The former ”Diff’rent Strokes” star married 22-year-old Shannon Price in August on a mountaintop in Nevada, but they have been keeping their vows under wraps, the pair told ”Inside Edition.”

”Nobody was around but the minister, preacher, the videographers, the photographer, the helicopter pilot and us,” Coleman, 40, said on Tuesday’s broadcast of the program.

Coleman met Price on the set of the 2006 comedy ”Church Ball.” Price said it was she who proposed to Coleman, but that he surprised her on her birthday by whisking her to a mountaintop in the Valley of Fire State Park to exchange vows.

She said they kept their wedding secret because she wanted to keep being seen as her own person.

”I just want my own identity as well because I don’t want to be known as Gary Coleman’s wife,” she said.

Coleman played down their age differences, saying ”I don’t have issues with age, I have issues with intelligence … She’s more intelligent than I am and that’s what matters to me.”

Price, who is 5-foot-7, and Coleman, who is 4-foot-8, also played down their height gap.

”That doesn’t really matter to me,” she said. ”He was 10 feet tall to me because he was sweet and I really liked his personality.”

I guess we’ll never get to see that Gary Coleman edition of The Bachelor.

February 12th, 2008 at 11:11pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,TV,Weirdness

EPIC FAIL

funny-pictures-calm-cat-crazy-toy.jpg

Well, those useless bloody wankers have gone and done it again. Yet another Profiles In Courage moment from our allegedly Democratic Congress:

The bill to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including a provision granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that facilitated government spying, passed the Senate on a 68-29 vote Tuesday evening.

(…)

On Tuesday, the Senate struck down several proposals to strip retroactive immunity from an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act and seemed ready to pass a final bill. However, the FISA update still needs to be squared with the House, which passed an immunity-free version several months ago and remains opposed to the proposal.

The Senate actions would shield from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on their customers without court permission after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After nearly two months of stops and starts, the Senate rejected by a vote of 31 to 67 an amendment sponsored by Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) that would have stripped a grant of retroactive immunity to the companies.

Also voted down were amendments that would have shielded the companies from most aspects of the lawsuits while still maintaining some judicial oversight of Bush’s program, which critics say violated privacy and telecommunications law. On a 30-68 vote, the Senate rejected a proposal from Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that would have made the government stand in as defendant in those suits. The Senate then rejected an amendment to allow the FISA court to determine whether the companies did, in fact, respond in “good faith” to government requests; that proposal from Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) failed on a 41-57 vote.

Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ) took some time from campaigning for Tuesday’s slate of “Potomac Primaries” in Maryland, Virginia and Washington to swing by the Capitol and vote on the amendments. Obama voted for the amendments to strip immunity from the bill, while McCain opposed the amendments and voted in favor of keeping immunity.

Hillary Clinton did not vote on the immunity issue at all, although she was in Washington at least part of the day Tuesday, competing in the same primaries as Obama and McCain.

(…)

Glenn Greenwald, a lawyer and blogger for Salon who has sharply criticized the warrantless wiretapping program, offers a brief history lesson Tuesday on the catalyst for FISA reform and its disappointing endgame:

It’s worth taking a step back and recalling that all of this is the result of the December, 2005 story by the New York Times which first reported that the Bush administration was illegally spying on Americans for many years without warrants of any kind. All sorts of “controversy” erupted from that story. Democrats everywhere expressed dramatic, unbridled outrage, vowing that this would not stand. James Risen and Eric Lichtblau were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for exposing this serious lawbreaking. All sorts of Committees were formed, papers written, speeches given, conferences convened, and editorials published to denounce this extreme abuse of presidential power. This was illegality and corruption at the highest level of government, on the grandest scale, and of the most transparent strain. What was the outcome of all of that sturm und drang? What were the consequences for the President for having broken the law so deliberately and transparently? Absolutely nothing. To the contrary, the Senate is about to enact a bill which has two simple purposes: (1) to render retroactively legal the President’s illegal spying program by legalizing its crux: warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, and (2) to stifle forever the sole remaining avenue for finding out what the Government did and obtaining a judicial ruling as to its legality: namely, the lawsuits brought against the co-conspiring telecoms. In other words, the only steps taken by our political class upon exposure by the NYT of this profound lawbreaking is to endorse it all and then suppress any and all efforts to investigate it and subject it to the rule of law.

Yes, the most effective way to stop lawbreaking is to make the illegal behavior legal. Problem solved.

There is still a faint ray of light, however:

There seemed some hope for blocking immunity in the House, as its Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, who has seen secret White House justifications for its warrantless wiretapping, said the documents do not support giving immunity to the telecommunications companies.

“Indeed, review and consideration of the documents and briefings provided so far leads me to conclude that there is no basis for the broad telecommunications company amnesty provisions advocated by the Administration and contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) bill being considered today in the Senate,” Conyers wrote in a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding (.pdf). and that these materials raise more questions than they answer on the issue of amnesty for telecommunications providers.”

…[T]he FISA update still needs to be squared with the House, which passed an immunity-free version several months ago and remains opposed to the proposal.

The two burning questions that I have are:

1) Who gets to select the House-Senate conference committee members? Will they stack it with pro-immunity creeps?

2) If by some miracle the conference committee reports out a bill without immunity, will all the Senate Democrats vote for it, or will they refuse to vote in favor of a bill that leaves their telecom buddies out in the cold? If all the Senate Dems vote for it, but they don’t have enough votes (Lieberman, 60-vote requirement) to pass it, do they have the balls to let the Republicans take the hit for obstruction? Likewise if they have enough votes to pass it but not enough votes to override the inevitable veto.

I wish I could say I felt optimistic, but the Senate Democrats seem absolutely determined to flush the rule of law down the toilet. Rubbing the stink of Dubya’s rotting political corpse all over themselves appears to be their idea of a brilliant strategy for November success. Yay, team.

February 12th, 2008 at 07:52pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism

Your Stupid Minds! Stupid, Stupid!

Dramatic interpretation of President McCain conferring with his generals.

Because no-one knows more about war-making than John McCain:

Speaking to reporters in Richmond, VA last night, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacked “anyone” who points out that he is “fine” with keeping U.S. troops in Iraq for 100 or more years. “Anyone who worries about how long we’re in Iraq does not understand the military and does not understand war,” said McCain.

He then added that it is “really almost insulting to one’s intelligence”to question “how long we’re in Iraq” because he believes the current “strategy” is “succeeding.”…�

By dismissing as naive those concerned with how long the U.S. military is mired in Iraq, McCain is claiming that top officials in the Pentagon don’t understand “the military” or “war” as well as he does. In a recent GOP presidential debate, McCain argued, “I’m the expert” on Iraq.

Top military brass, such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, have worried in the past year that “a protracted deployment of U.S. troops” in Iraq would not be a wise move for the military:

– In October 2007, Casey said that “it’s going to take us three or four years and a substantial amount of resources to put” the Army “back in balance” and that time frame depends on when “the conflict end[s].”

– In July 2007, Mullen testified that without political and economic progress in Iraq, “no amount of troops and no amount of time will make much of a difference” and that “a protracted deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq… risks further emboldening Iranian hegemonic ambitions.”

By McCain’s logic, both the Army Chief of Staff and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff don’t “understand the military” as well as he does.

They’re all fools! Fools, I say! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Alternet also sees a teensy-weensy potential downside to keeping troops in Iraq forever, namely that the Iraqis are going to be a lot more motivated to expel us from their country if they don’t think we’re going to leave voluntarily.  Whoever could have seen that coming?

February 12th, 2008 at 06:35pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Iraq,McCain,Politics,Republicans,War

A Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You

NYT’s The Caucus blog has the scoop on a HUGE potential endorsement still out there:

One contest, it seems, has been left off the official calendar of the 2008 presidential race: the Colin L. Powell primary.

Mr. Powell, a Republican who has served in two Bush administrations, is letting it be known that he is sizing up the entire field of White House candidates – Democrats included.

“Every American has an obligation right now at this moment in our history,” Mr. Powell told Wolf Blitzer of CNN on Sunday, “to look at all the candidates and to make a judgment not simply on the basis of ideology or simply on the basis of political affiliation, but on the basis of who is the best person for all of America.”

“And,” he added, “what does that party look like?”

It was an intriguing tip-of-the-hat from Mr. Powell, a former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said he was weighing his choices between the Democratic candidates, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, and the leading Republican, Senator John McCain of Arizona.

(…)

While each of the three would almost certainly welcome Mr. Powell’s endorsement, he told Mr. Blitzer that it was not forthcoming. Instead, he said, he was absorbing the “historic moment.”

“Frankly, we’ve lost a lot in recent years,” Mr. Powell told Mr. Blitzer. “I’m going to be looking for the candidate that seems to me to be leading a party that is fully in sync with the candidate and a party that will also reflect America’s goodness and America’s vision.”

Yes, I’m sure the American people are waiting with bated breath to find out who this chump who sold his soul for Dubya’s war thinks will make the best president. It’s kind of sad that he so clearly thinks he’s still relevant and even respected, that his legacy isn’t on a par with, say, Condi’s.

I suspect that the real reason for his moody-Prince-Hamlet indecision is that he’s waiting to see who the frontrunner will be so he can jump on their bandwagon, maybe even get some kind of reputation-salvaging “goodwill ambassador” non-job. Either that, or he’s trying to determine which candidate is least likely to harbor hard feelings over that whole lying-to-the-UN thing.

The world was your oyster, Colin, and then you had to go and be the Worst President Ever’s willing tool. You just don’t recover from that, dude.

February 12th, 2008 at 11:57am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Elections,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War

You Can Never Be Too Rich Or Too Crazy

The overall impression that I get from this Newsweek story is that John McCain, the Straight-Talking Maverick, is trying desperately to pander to the right-wing, but most of them are way too crazy to let him. Never mind that he wants to stay in Iraq forever and build an addition in Iran, or that he’s an archconservative on about 95% of everything: He’s moderate on immigration, pretends to be moderate on global warming, and he once said bad things about the religious right, but that’s about it.

John McCain is much, much farther from the political center than Hillary or Obama, and would probably disappoint conservatives far less than a President Hillary or Obama would disappoint progressives, but that’s just not enough, apparently. Sometimes I wonder whether the McCain hatred is all for show, a colossal ratfuck to make McCain appear more moderate, but I have been assured that the hatred is real, in which case the right wing really is as crazy as I thought.

Also, I’m not sure whether this was calculated or a sign of appallingly weak discipline, but it looks like a rather alarming number of anonymous McCain campaign staffers talked to the Newsweek reporters about stuff they weren’t supposed to be talking about.

February 12th, 2008 at 07:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Iran,Iraq,McCain,Media,Politics,Republicans


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