Rockridge Nation: We Owe Our Veterans Health Care.
Archives for October, 2007
Lush, sensuous and acid-soaked... that's how I always thought of Donovan's Sunshine Superman album, especially "Ferris Wheel." The album came out in my freshman year and it was one of the first by a folksinger embracing psychedelia-- totally embracing psychedelia, which was also what I was up to at the time. The song still gives me those special chills. Not one Bush reference in the clip, either:
This past Saturday the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, held a ceremony during which he named Stephen Colbert SC's Favorite Son and officially proclaimed October 28th Stephen Colbert Day. Colbert, who is running for President in SC on both the Democratic and Republican tickets, seized the moment and delivered a stump speech like no other candidate could (or would dare) ever make. Pure genius...
Colbert: "Today's WORD is Gamecock. (cheers and applause) Mr. Mayor, thank you so much, I accept your proclamation naming me South Carolina's favorite son. This is a tremendous honor, you all must be thrilled to have me here. Citizens of Columbia, I grew up in South Carolina and I continue to spend a great deal of time here -- in fact, if the IRS asks, we do this every weekend."
UPDATE: According to CNN Colbert will only be running on the Democratic ticket. Apparently the GOP priced him out of the market.
UPDATE #2: (Nicole) Uh oh. It looks like Colbert was foiled again. The South Carolina Democratic Party has rejected placing Colbert on the ballot on the basis of national viability. Haven't they seen the polls? Colbert could still run as an Independent with a 10,000 signature petition. Given that he got more than 17 million votes to rename a Hungarian bridge in his honor (8 million more votes than there are Hungarians), 10,000 signatures should be a walk in the park.
One of the things that I've come to really appreciate in the time I've been working with John is just the diversity of the regulars here at C&L. There are some incredibly smart and interesting people that really just enhance the quality of this blog with their comments and perspectives. One of those people is Lee Jackson, who very early on started sending me post ideas and tips (I realize now a lot came from research for this book). While the name might be unfamiliar, Lee is a very recognizable voice on C&L. More on that later.
Lee has a new book out, Redemption, published by St. Martin's Minotaur, and it touches on themes that should be familiar to anyone on this blog. From the description:
Set a few months or a few years from now, novelist Lee Jackson’s portrait of America is a very familiar one. People carry their ID cards wherever they go. Gas is expensive and the value of the dollar has dropped so far that even rural areas like Redemption, Montana, have thriving black markets, barter economies, and high unemployment. But otherwise, life in the small town goes on day by day. And terrorism is a constant worry across the country, even in a town three thousand miles from New York City with a population of only three hundred.
Ben Trinity hitchhikes into Redemption during a snowstorm with a story about a parole-mandated job on the West Coast that he’s never going to make. His story earns him a job as a handyman at Carlene Ryton’s roadside diner and a place to sleep, and once he clears it with Homeland Security—the top law enforcement agency in the United States—he tries to settle in as best he can. But hiding in plain sight is no easy task for a convict, much less a terrorist, which is what the government says Ben is, and it’s only a matter of time before the locals find out who he is.
Never tried, let alone convicted—due process has been suspended in the United States—Ben contends that he is innocent, and he may be, but does he have enough strength and conviction left to prove it?
Lee Jackson’s engaging thriller is both a powerful cautionary tale and a mesmerizing portrait of an unlikely hero.
Amazing how it doesn't sound as far-fetched as it did seven years ago, isn't it? So we at C&L are thrilled to support Lee with Redemption and we encourage you to purchase the book (mine should be here soon). Another one of our regulars will be reviewing the book and we'll be scheduling our very first book salon with the author to discuss in the coming weeks (we want you to have a chance to read it first!)
Any guesses as to the cyber-identity of Lee Jackson? She's our very own "Voice of Reason," NonnyMouse. :) Congratulations, Nonny...er, Lee.
A couple of weeks ago, Brave New Films released this devastating six-minute clip above about a Rudy Giuliani’s Achilles heel: his decision to ignore (and lie about) concerns over the FDNY’s radio equipment, which ultimately cost so many lives on 9/11.
Thanks to the film and 20,000 petition signatures collected in response, the city is going to launch an investigation.
In the midst of his presidential candidacy, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani now faces a looming government investigation into his handling of the radios used by firefighters on 9/11.
The investigation, which will examine how the FDNY ended up using faulty equipment during the terrorist attacks and why Giuliani gave a no-bid contract to Motorola for that equipment, has been endorsed by New York City Councilman Eric Gioia, chair of the city’s oversight and investigations committee. […]
Gioia said, “These families deserve answers and really the entire city and our country deserve answers.... To watch this documentary and see the important questions that were asked and seemingly unanswered and ignored for so many years, it’s disturbing.”
This probably isn’t what the Giuliani campaign was hoping for. As Greg Sargent put it, “At the very least, such a probe could reveal more unflattering facts about his allegedly heroic 9/11 performance.”
Remember this charmer?:
When we last saw Trent Wisecup, chief of staff to Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.), he was busy blowing a gasket on YouTube and berating an anti-war protestor for following around the congressman with a video camera. [..] It was not a pretty moment, and Wisecup was mocked by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann for his generally unhinged behavior.
Wisecup followed up his on-camera performance with a long recitation to The Crypt of what makes a "true American," as well as posting comments on Fealk's own blog.
Well, it seems that Wisecup has now taken a paid leave of absence from Knollenberg's office, and it's unclear when he'll be coming back.
"He took a leave of absence," said Steven Betz, Knollenberg's field rep, of Wisecup. Betz was unsure of when Wisecup went on leave, but it was about a week after the encounter with Fealk.
Let's hope he gets the anger management training that he needed...maybe a course or two in Constitutional Studies would be helpful as well. We just want you better, Trent.
Via The Baltimore Sun: (h/t Nate)
A Baltimore federal jury awarded nearly $11 million Wednesday to the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, deciding that the family's privacy had been invaded by a Kansas church whose members waved anti-gay signs at the funeral.
It was the first-ever verdict against Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist Christian group based in Topeka that has protested military funerals across the country with placards bearing shock-value messages such as "Thank God for dead soldiers."
They contend that the deaths are punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality and of gays in the military. Read more...
No matter what your religious views might be, this is pure hatred. I am happy for Mr. Snyder and his family and we wish him all the best, but you can rest assured, the Phelps flock will appeal this as far as they can.
(guest blogged by Bill W.)
The message from Bush to the Democratically controlled Congress was simple: Approve Mukasey or we will all die, and it will be all your fault.
Bush: "The job of Attorney General is essential to the security of America" ... "Some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden, and the requests of our commanders on the ground, and less time responding to the demands of MoveOn.org bloggers and Code Pink protesters."
(Nicole: Wow. How much more irrelevant can the President get when he starts adopting Fox News talking points instead of vice versa? You know the old Gandhi saying, "first, they ignore you..." Well, fellow bloggers, if the Spoiled Brat in Chief is any guide, we're close to winning.)
Who said this?
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
"I don't know where he is. I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
"Deep in my heart I know the man's on the run, if he's alive at all...I just don't spend much time on it, really, to be honest with you."
And who disbanded the CIA unit dedicated to finding bin Laden?
UPDATE: The President has
thrown a tantrum drawn a line in the sand: No attorney general if not Mukasey (h/t FSA in the comments).
In September I did a post talking about the telecom companies blocking a proposal by Internet company M2Z to supply free broadband Internet to the entire country. In the wake of the disturbing news, we now find out that the United States is rapidly falling behind in Internet speed, availability and price:
The United States is starting to look like a slowpoke on the Internet. Examples abound of countries that have faster and cheaper broadband connections, and more of their population connected to them.
What's less clear is how badly the country that gave birth to the Internet is doing, and whether the government needs to step in and do something about it. The Bush administration has tried to foster broadband adoption with a hands-off approach. If that's seen as a failure by the next administration, the policy may change.
This graph gives a bleak view of how the United States has fallen behind in the online game.
An interesting exchange between Jack Cafferty and Rachel Marsden occurred on CNN yesterday while discussing Bush's new AG pick, Mukasey. Cafferty blasted Alberto Gonzalez over his role in dismantling our rule of law, including torture/waterboarding--here's what they said:
Cafferty: I think he's trying to tread a minefield that was laid down for him by that sycophantic little yes-weasle Alberto Gonzalez. He, who wrote the memos in secret saying the Geneva Conventions didn't apply to American when it came to enemy combatants, who wrote secret memos saying the President of the US didn't have to obey the FISA court laws when it came to spying on Americans. That kind of subterfuge of the American rule of law is an entirely separate issue from whether or not waterboarding is torture or whether or nor surveillance under these conditions or those conditions is a good idea.
And now Mr Mukasey can't say whether waterboarding is torture cause if he does, liability suddenly accrues for a whole lot of folks and who knows what the consequences are. Meanwhile, Gonzalez is wondering around happy as a clam. he out to be in jail for what he did. He didn't answer questions on Capitol hill, he didn't cooperate with the subpoenas, he couldn't remember anything when he was asked. And then he's allowed to resign and walk into the sunshine...
Mardsen: Well I think we do have to define torture. One man's torture is another man's CIA's sponsored swim lesson.
A swim lesson? OK, I had to find out about this Republican talker because she's obviously a bit off. And as we know, there is no such thing as a person being "too far right" in our media. Well. well. well...Why is CNN using a stalker? You see, as I googled Rachel Mardsen, I found some very interesting info on her. And here.
She was also escorted out of FOX:
SECURITY officers hastily escorted "Red Eye" contributor Rachel Marsden out of Fox News Channel's Midtown headquarters yesterday for bizarre and erratic behavior. "She's out of her [bleeping] mind. She was doing crazy stuff," a spy told us...
The 28–year–old woman who falsely accused a swim coach at Simon Fraser University of sexual harassment in the mid 1990s, now faces a charge of criminal harassment.
Rachel Marsden was arrested by Vancouver Police after a 52–year–old Vancouver man complained of being harassed by phone and e-mail. Police say the two had an intimate on–again, off–again relationship over the past 12 months.
But Constable Sarah Bloor says Marsden began making threatening phone calls and e-mails to the man between October 7 and November 12 of this year.
Marsden was held in custody overnight.
Rebecca Traister of Salon has a three page profile about her on Salon. From all the reports I'd have to deduce that she's one crazy gal and I have to ask CNN once again--why was she on The Situation Room?