Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hello from London!



Arrived here last Saturday, here with Daniel and Scott. Today Eric and I are doing our own thing and will meet up with the lads tommorrow for New Year's Eve.

Eric says hi to everyone. Will post more later in the week and will try to put up some pictures as well. In the mean time HAPPY NEW YEAR Everyone!

Dave

Friday, December 19, 2008

As Christmas Fast Approaches...

We pause the blog for just moment for two of my all time favorite Holiday TV memories...

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And the last word in Holiday Specials always goes to Linus.

"Lights please..."


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Star Trek's First Lady Passes Away...

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From the Associated Press...

NEW YORK – Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, has died. She was 76. Roddenberry, an actress who appeared in numerous "Star Trek" TV shows and movies, died Thursday of leukemia at her home in Bel-Air, Calif., her representative said.

At Roddenberry's side were family friends and her only son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr. Gene Roddenberry died in 1991.

Her romance with Roddenberry earned her the title "The First Lady of Star Trek." A fixture in the "Star Trek" franchise, her roles included Nurse Christine Chapel in the original "Star Trek," Lwaxana Troi in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and the voice of the USS Enterprise computer in almost every spin-off of the 1966 cult series. She recently reprised the voice role in the upcoming "Star Trek" film directed by J.J. Abrams.

Dear President Elect Obama...

Mr. President Elect, I would like you to consider embracing the following statements.

"If Darwin was right, which is survival of the fittest then being Black would be a recessive gene because it doesn't reproduce strong families and you would think that over thousands of years that being Black would work itself out of the gene pool."

And this...

"Most people know I have many Black friends. I’ve eaten dinner in Black homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of Purpose Driven Life helping people who got AIDS through Black relationships. So they can’t accuse me of Racism...”


Or even this...

“We support Segregation. And if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Segregation. …[T]he universal, historic definition of marriage [is] a White man and a woman, for life. And every culture for 5,000 years and every religion for 5,000 years has said the definition of marriage is between White man and a White woman. …This is not even just a Christian issue, it is a humanitarian and human issue, that God created marriage for the purpose of White family, White love and White procreation. I urge you to support Segregation and to pass that on.”


Pretty awful stuff right?

Well then, take out the word "Black" and substitute the words Gay or Homosexual. Take out the word White, and change "Racism" to homophobia and "Segregation" to Proposition 8. What you get is all of those disturbing quotes are in fact, statements from interviews and speeches by Pastor Rick Warren.

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If Rick Warren had said, the same things about African Americans or Hispanics, or Asians, or Jews, or even people who are left-handed, that he has about LGBT Americans, you would be appalled. If Warren had said about your family the things he has said about mine, he would not be allowed with in 100 miles of your inauguration. Yet you have chosen to put this man front and center on the day you take office.

You don't feel that you need to "agree to disagree" with White Supremacists, you don't say we need to "agree to disagree" with those who deny the Holocaust ever happened. You don't "reach across the aisle" to xenophobic bigots who want to round up immigrants. Yet you have embraced someone who is the equivalent to LGBT Americans. Why?

Millions of LGBT voters remembering the betrayal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act under the Clintons rallied to your cause during the primaries and then in the general election. Your choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation on inauguration day sends a clear message that Gay and Lesbian Americans can expect no better under your administration.

You are sending a clear message that to use the tyranny of the majority to strip away civil rights from a minority is ok. Your choice of Pastor Rick Warren says you intend to govern a nation that has two levels of citizenship. First Class for heterosexuals, and Second Class for anyone who isn't.

This isn’t bipartisan compromise, this is politically expedient cowardice.

And it is beneath you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

John Stewart takes Rev. Mike to task...



John Stewart by gently asking simple questions gets Mike Huckabee to admit that for "social conservatives" it really is about a desire to brand Gay and Lesbians as second class citizens. His arguments for "defending marriage" simply don't hold up to even basic scrutiny.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Reports from the Front Lines....

Of what Fox News calls "The War On Christmas"

Sunday, December 07, 2008

You Gotta Give 'em Hope...

I just got home from watching the movie "MILK", Gus Van Sant's bioepic of the life of murdered San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk. I had the good fortune to watch the film at the Castro Theater here in San Francisco.



The theater was completely sold out. I actually got to sit in the balcony of the theater for the first time. The Castro is of those fantastic "movie palaces" from a bygone era. Thankfully it has not carved itself up to make several smaller screens. The full theater remains today complete with its Wurlitzer Organ which plays prior to every movie.



I already was very familiar with this particular movie because I am actaully IN the movie, in the huge crowd scenes in front of San Francisco City Hall. (No you cant see me, but I'm there.) Its true that many people outside of California probably have no idea who Harvey Milk was, what he did and why he was killed for it. Hopefully this movie will change that.

Do yourself and me a favor, and go see it please.

Thanks

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's PROP 8 - THE MUSICAL!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die


Brilliant...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A word or two about the Mormon Church

Lately the conservative blogs have been seething with rightous indignation over the "backlash" against the Mormon Church for their multi-million dollar involvement in the passage of proposition 8 in California. Conservatives are screaming about discrimination against the Mormon Church that was just "practicing their religous beliefs."

Actutally, no.. they were not just practicing their religous beliefs.

Seattle columnist Dan Savage and Americablog's John Aravosis state the truth better that I can:

"Millions of Californians definitely lost their civil rights," says John Aravosis. "But I'm not hearing a lot of concern about any of those victims, only sympathy for their attacker. When you use the power of the state to rip away my civil rights, and force me to live by your 'values,' you are no longer practicing your religion. You're practicing politics."

In the wake of Prop 8 millions of gays and lesbians all over the country have decided that we're no longer going to play by the old rules. We're not going to let people kick our teeth down our throats and then run and hide behind "Nothing personal—just my private religious beliefs!" That game's over."


The Mormon Church chose to expend millions of dollars of church resources in an effort to create public policy. That is not religous practice, that is being a poltical action committee. For the Mormons to engage in political activity that strips away the civil rights of millions of people, and then not expect those same people to fight back shows the Mormon Leadership are not just bigots, but idiots as well.

The great irony of this is how for the Mormon Church it really wasn't even about same sex marriage. It was about proving to the American conservative religous right that the Mormons are "one of them". This was about getting James Dobson and his ilk to not openly oppose a Mitt Romney candidacy in 2012.

If we weren't talking about millions of Americans having their civil rights elminated , I would have to laugh. Because the joke is on the Mormon Church, which could very well lose it's tax exempt status as as result of their direct involvement in political activity while claiming to be a church.

But even funnier still, is the fact that the Christian Right will NEVER welcome the Mormons into the club. While conservative evangelicals may approve of what they did with Prop 8, in the eyes of Dobson, Robertson, Reed and company, the Mormons will always be that goofy non-christian cult from Utah that claims being born black is a punishment from god.




Oh yeah, one more thing ... Prop 8 will likely get tossed out by the California Supreme Court. So I have to ask the Mormon Leadership, when all is said and done, and your millions of dollars spent, in the words of Dr. Phil...

How'd that all work out for you?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Questions of Faith and Law

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In April of 1521,Martin Luther was brought before a tribunal where the Catholic Church demanded he recant his teachings and writings that challenged the doctrine of the day. His response was brief, yet powerful;

"Since your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason--I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other--my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen."

I remember in the Winter of 2005, I sat and read the “final report” of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) task force on sexuality. I remember being so disappointed, but also wanting to believe that there was some good to be found there.

I really did want to belive that even though there were no real steps forward, just even having the discussion was a very positive step. At least it could be said that there were no real steps backwards.

That isn't the case in 2008. The passage of Proposition 8 here in California marks the first time the tyranny of a razor thin majority was allowed to strip away civil rights from a targeted minority. And like with the ELCA statement in 2005, once again the issue of LGBT equality reveals the ELCA to be a divided church desperate to avoid taking a stand at all costs.

With that 2005 statment the ELCA, in an attempt to avoid division, opted to remain a divided church. Congregations like St. Mark’s here in San Francisco or Holy Trinity Lutheran in Chicago were told they could continue to proclaim the good news to ALL people, but with slightly LESS fear of being punished for doing so. Yet elsewhere in the very same ELCA, it would be perfectly acceptable to tell a gay or lesbian teenager, from the pulpit, that they are sick and could be cured if they just prayed hard enough.

Now with Prop 8 we find the ELCA has in fear, boxed itself into the same corner once again. Where the Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod can, as an individual, join other clergy on the steps of San Francisco City Hall to denounce prop 8. Yet the church that elected him as a Bishop remains, for all intent and purposes silent on the issue of discrimination and turning religous bigotry into civil law.

In the offical ballot recomendations from the Lutheran Office of Public Policy, the ELCA urged us to vote YES on expanding rights for farm animals, (Prop 2) but couldn't muster the courage to say Lutherans should vote NO on taking away rights from human beings. (Prop 8)



So much for "Here I Stand".

The sheer cowardice of the ELCA is mind boggling. My church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was so scared to anger people who hate me that it couldnt bring itself to say that taking away my civil rights was wrong. The ELCA has made it clear it is unable, and/or unwilling to say loudly and clearly, that I am as much a human being as anyone else. Equal in the eyes of God, and therefore equal under the laws of Man. The leadership of the ELCA will (very quietly) assure me they believe that. I just need "to be patient" because the church can't say things like that publicly yet.

For once I find myself in agreement with the Neo-Conservative religous right. They have said for years that if you are not clearly against evil, your silence may as well be outright support of it.

I love my congregation of St.Mark's Lutheran here in San Francisco. It is a vibrant diverse thriving community of faith that shouts God's unconditional love for all loudly and proudly each and every Sunday. Yet St. Mark's is an ELCA congregation. I must confess, that I am struggling with that. I find myself wondering if my continued membership isn't just part of what helps preserve the current double standard in the ELCA . Where as a church, we will say one thing in San Francisco, but do quite the opposite elsewhere.

I find myself wondering if a Lutheran denomination that doesn't believe I am 2nd class citizen, but is too scared to say so, and tell those who do believe it, they are wrong, might as well be a Mormon or Catholic Church that donates millions of dollars to try to make me a 2nd class citizen.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You gotta love Mark Fiore..

In a totally sanctified Heterosexual way..of course!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Uh... Wow.

Ok I had serious misgivings about this movie when I saw some of the still photos that had released, but now I get it. Just like the Sci-Fi channel did with Battlestar Galactica, rather than try to recreate the original Star Trek, Director JJ Abrams has re-imagined it.

It's gonna be a loooonggg wait until May 2009 :(

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's in a Name Anyway?

Conservative Out Blogger Andrew Sullivan writes on his site today that Evangelical Conservative Tony Perkins over at the "Family Research Council", had indicated he would have "no problem" with Civil Unions in California that provided Gay and Lesbian couples with the same rights as marriage,but just a different name for it.

Interesting...

I will confess that for the longest time I held a very similar view. I would get frustrated with marriage equality activists who seemed to be so hung up on the terminology. If calling it "Marriage" is the problem why not call it Civil Unions or Domestic Partnership or call it "Fred" for that matter. As long as all rights are the same why did it matter it was called?

The counter argument has always been that this would be agreeing to something that was "separate but equal" and history has clearly shown that separate structures for civil rights are never equal, just separate. Racial segregation in the decades before the civil rights movement proved this. Whites and Blacks had separate things like drinking fountains, restrooms and schools that were anything but equal.

Yet the argument could be made that this was hardly the same thing. If both a gay and straight couple had the exact same hospital visitation rights, as long as both couples had access to the same hospital and quality of care, how is calling the basis for those visitation rights by different names unequal?

I found myself thinking that by insisting on the word marriage the LGBT community was just being stubborn and more interested in the symbolism of labels than actual equality.

I was thinking about this while I was voting last Tuesday. I was reading in the newspaper and on the web of various spots around the country that were experiencing voting problems. Things like long lines at polling places, out of date registration lists, etc. The media was rightly focusing on these problems with the emphasis that the right to vote was such a fundamental part of our democracy that states owed citizens every form of assistance if they encountered difficulty in exercising their rights to vote.

It suddenly occured to me to wonder how Tony Perkins would feel if California passed a law saying that evangelical conservatives would longer have the right to "vote" but instead anyone who was of the same religion as Perkins would have the right of "electoral choice". They would go to the same polling place as everyone else, use the same ballots, and have the same choices. Their choices would count just as much as everyone else', but for them, and only them it just wouldn't be called "voting".

The right would be exactly the same but it just would be called something different. Since there would no difference in the actual ability to make their choice at the ballot box, the name shouldn't matter right? As long as an "electoral choice" counted the same as a "vote", why should the name make a difference?

Well you can bet Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Pat Roberson and every conservative from Sacramento to San Diego would be rioting in the streets claiming discrimination.

I can practically hear Newt Gingrich railing how "electoral choice" was NOT the same as voting. Because symbolism DID matter, calling voting by a different name is sending a message that Evangelicals were not as important as other Americans. The change in terminology would even result in evangelicals feeling like they shouldnt participate in our democratic process. The fact that rights were the same was irrelevant. To call voting by a different name for just one group of Americans was unacceptable.

So what is in a name? Isn't a civil right by another name just as equal? If you think so, ask yourself this question; If your family, and only your family's right to make your choice at the ballot box was called "electoral choice" and everybody else had the right to "vote", how would you feel?

Separate but equal suddenly doesn't feel so equal does it?

Monday, November 10, 2008

THANK YOU KEITH OLBERMANN

There is abesolutely nothing I could add to this..

Just watch it please...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Melissa Etheridge May be on to Something...


You Can Forget My Taxes
by Melissa Etheridge
November 6, 2008 | 2:15pm

Singer Melissa Etheridge rails against the passage of the gay-marriage ban in California—and she won't be paying the state a dime.

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

Okay, cool I don't mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We're gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that's not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won't have to pay their taxes either.

Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.

Oh and too bad California, I know you were looking forward to the revenue from all of those extra marriages. I guess you will have to find some other way to get out of the budget trouble you are in.

…Really?

When did it become okay to legislate morality? I try to envision someone reading that legislation "eliminates the right" and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, "Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today" and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say "I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me"? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California?

I got news for them, someday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is. Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.

I know when I grew up gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzie, faggot, dyke. Ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many "thems" back then. The blacks, the poor ... you know, "them". Then there was the immigrants. "Them.” Now the them is me.

I tell myself to take a breath, okay take another one, one of the thems made it to the top. Obama has been elected president. This crazy fearful insanity will end soon. This great state and this great country of ours will finally come to the understanding that there is no "them". We are one. We are united. What you do to someone else you do to yourself. That "judge not, lest ye yourself be judged" are truthful words and not Christian rhetoric.

Today the gay citizenry of this state will pick themselves up and dust themselves off and do what we have been doing for years. We will get back into it. We love this state, we love this country and we are not going to leave it. Even though we could be married in Mass. or Conn, Canada, Holland, Spain and a handful of other countries, this is our home. This is where we work and play and raise our families. We will not rest until we have the full rights of any other citizen. It is that simple, no fearful vote will ever stop us, that is not the American way.

Come to think of it, I should get a federal tax break too...

Melissa Etheridge is an Academy Award-winning and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter.

Copyright 2008 The Daily Beast

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Goodnight Opus, Sweet Dreams Old Friend....




(From the Daily Cartoonist.com and the Los Angeles Times:)

Berkeley Breathed’s final Opus appeared today. The comic that appeared in newspapers directed readers to the Humane Society’s web site to see the final panel which depicted Opus in children’s storybook, “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. Berkeley’s own web site appeared to be struggling under the traffic load.

Berkeley reports on his website that the contest to guess Opus’ final resting place received about 6000 entries which included an entry suggesting Opus would replaced the sequined eagle on Elvis’ jumpsuit whilst the “king” spends the eternities on the potty.

Berkeley Breathed has a message for those “Opus” fans who were worried that the penguin was deep-sixed Sunday when his five-year-old comic strip shut down. “Jumpin’ Jehosphat,” Breathed told The Times via e-mail, “Tony Soprano sleeps with the fishes, which is to say, dead. Opus sleeps with a bunny in a feather bed, dreaming of a more hopeful tomorrow morning.”

Most fans got that sweet image when they saw the final “Opus” online at the Humane Society. But others were worried when the penultimate strip in print took place in an animal shelter setting and that in the finale Opus was being put to sleep (so to speak) in the pages of “Goodnight Moon,” the gentle nursery classic. Those fans can rest easy now that Breathed has clarified that Opus is, well, resting easy.

The 51-year-old Breathed’s “Opus” ended its run Sunday with one foot in children’s literature and another in the unpredictable world of technology. The final comic showed Breathed’s pudgy penguin peacefully napping, while Breathed’s farewell note to his readers crashed the comic strip artist’s website.

Some who just saw the image fretted about the flightless bird’s final fate, so Breathed wanted to be especially clear in his e-mail to The Times.

“I assure people in my web note that Opus is in the comforting place that would make me smile when I think of him in the years to come. I can only hope that his fans will smile too. If Opus was cuddling with tropical girls wearing coconuts, I suppose I’d smile too, but tinged with regret that those things just never last after that early giddy stage.”

Sunday’s comic ran in newspapers and showed Steve Dallas smiling wistfully as he looked down into the pages of a book that couldn’t be seen by the readers. Online, the last strip revealed it to be “Goodnight Moon,” the beloved bedtime story written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd; in Breathed’s panel the book’s nurturing rabbit sits in her rocker with Opus curled asleep in the baby bunny’s bed. The final words are “Goodnight Opus / And goodnight air / Goodnight noises everywhere.”

Breathed had pulled the plug on Opus because of his frustration with current events and to write books for children.

A contest for readers to predict the ending gave $10,000 to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The winner was Stephen Allen, one of 55 of some 6,000 entries to guess correctly.

“I thought it was a fitting ending for a character that everyone liked,” Allen said.

Now that Prop H8te passed...

Wow! Sorry Karl, we were both wrong!

Back last May, GOP Strategist Karl Rove came out with his Electoral Vote predictions, I posted on here with my own map side by side with his.

Let's see who was better at predicting the outcome shall we?




Gee Karl, looks like we both were a bit off the mark. You overestimated McCain by ...well, let's just say a LOT. And I underestimated Obama.

I have never been so happy to be proven wrong!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post Election Thoughts....

President Elect Barack Obama -wow!

I was at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco when the race was called for Senator Obama. As of this moment my voice is still hoarse from having cheered so loud for so long. Last night's landslide victory has finally closed the door on the sad saga of arrogance and incompetence that has been the last eight years of Republican insanity.

Senator McCain's, incredibly gracious and moving concession speech was sadly marred by his own crowd there in Arizona. Who rather than cheer the accomplishment of their candidate, instead felt the need to jeer at the mention of Barack Obama's name. Disappointing, but given the nature of the crowds we saw at McCain/Palin rallies in the last month, sadly not surprising.

The fact is the entire free world celebrated the Obama victory last night. It marks the beginning of the process to restore America to once again being that shining city on a hill.

Hope defeated fear.

Ideas defeated ideology.

Solutions defeated cynicism.

I stood there in a crowded hotel ballroom watching men and women weep, cheer, dance and all say how proud we all were to be Americans at this incredible moment in our nation's history. Our democracy works. Our country's founders would be proud of us all.

For a few brief hours anyway...

I awoke this morning to see in plain news print exactly what English philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) meant when we wrote about the "Tyranny of the Majority."

CA State Proposition 08 -
Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry

YES: 5,235,486 - 52.2%

NO: 4,800,656 - 47.8%


Last night saw another less laudable "First" in California politics. The first time our state Constitution was changed to eliminate existing civil rights for one group of our citizens. It wrote bigotry and discrimination into our civil law, and tells hundreds of thousands of Californians that they are second class citizens, separate AND unequal.

All done in the name of religious bigotry and racial homophobia. The Mormon Church and the Catholic Knights of Columbus both gave millions of Dollars to promote Prop 8. So the polygamists and the pedophile apologists joined forces to attack the Gays. Nice.

The one silver lining in this cloud of stupidity and politically expedient hate, is the fact that like or not, President Barack Obama will the one making the appointment of the next one or maybe even two Associate Justices on the United States Supreme Court.

A court that will one day overturn the likes of Prop 8and reaffirm the concept of Liberty and Justice for All

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Say It Isn't So Doctor!

David Tennant has announced that he will leave the award winning BBC drama Doctor Who when he has completed the filming of four special episodes which will be screened in 2009 and early in 2010.



David Tennant first appeared as The Doctor in 2005 and has gone on to star in three series and three Christmas specials as the tenth incarnation of the Time Lord. The BBC has confirmed that David will continue to play The Doctor in the four specials that will make up the 2009 series before a new Doctor takes over for Series 5. Tennant will also star in the Doctor Who Christmas Special titled The Next Doctor this year.

David Tennant comments "I've had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on Doctor Who. I have loved every day of it. It would be very easy to cling on to the TARDIS console forever and I fear that if I don't take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will. You would be prising the TARDIS key out of my cold dead hand. This show has been so special to me, I don't want to outstay my welcome.

"This is all a long way off, of course. I'm not quitting, I'm back in Cardiff in January to film four special episodes which will take Doctor Who all the way through 2009. I'm still the Doctor all next year but when the time finally comes I'll be honoured to hand on the best job in the world to the next lucky git - whoever that may be.

"I'd always thought the time to leave would be in conjunction with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner who have been such a huge part of it all for me. Steven Moffat is the most brilliant and exciting writer, the only possible successor to Russell and it was sorely tempting to be part of his amazing new plans for the show. I will be there, glued to my TV when his stories begin in 2010.
"I feel very privileged to have been part of this incredible phenomenon, and whilst I'm looking forward to new challenges I know I'll always be very proud to be the Tenth Doctor."

Russell T Davies Executive Producer of Doctor Who comments "I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years - and it's not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left! After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!"

Doctor Who returns to television screens on BBC this Christmas. The Next Doctor starring David Tennant, David Morrissey and Dervla Kirwan will be screened on the 25th December on BBC1

Closing Arguments.



I remember the first course in economics I ever took. It was during my senior year of high school. I didn't pay much attention to be honest. "Senioritis" was in full swing; most of us were mentally halfway out the door and thinking more about college the following fall than Mr. Conom's lectures on the history of capitalism. Yet a few things from that class have stayed with me.

Our textbook defined an "opportunity cost" as; "the cost of something in terms of an opportunity forgone." So basically it is what you can't have or do, because you had or did something else. As a nation we will come face to face with a choice next Tuesday that will define the collective opportunity costs, that our nation may face in the coming weeks, months, years and even decades.

If America makes the decision to elect the McCain/Palim ticket, we will face many such costs. Some of them economic, some political, some social. Yet and all of them, staggering in size and scope.

A common cliché is to say that leadership is about choices. Simplistic as that sounds it rings true regardless of what political party holds whatever end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Yet our choices speak volumes about who we are both as a nation, and what our political parties stand for, or against.

McCain opportunity cost number one: America's health.

Because of an elective choice by the GOP, at present we cannot afford to do anything to shore up our near critical public health care infrastructure.

Earlier this year the Washington Post reported that the cost of the war in Iraq will top $400 billion, and that total is likely to more than double before the war finally ends. Like most people, I find it hard to wrap my brain around how much $400 billion actually is. So to put this in perspective I thought we might want to examine the opportunity costs that a McCain/Palin adminstration will give us.

The number of people without health coverage rose to more than 45 million nationwide in 2003, 15.6 percent of the population compared to 15.2 percent in 2002. Here in California, we are home to the greatest number, with 6.4 million uninsured, or 18.2 percent of the population. The public health care system is overwhelmed by the country's uninsured that turn to hospital emergency rooms for even routine care. And Medicare -- the only source of health coverage for millions of elderly Americans-- is projected to run out of funds by 2019.

McCain Opportunity Cost number two: America's safety and security.

We are for all intent and purposes alone in Iraq. Britain our only real partner is heading for door as fast they can. And the United States of America, the nation that brokered Camp David and Oslo, has next to nothing in terms of political and diplomatic capital in the Middle East. Our credibility as a broker for peace is gone.

Throughout our history, America has overcome crisis and hardship through collaboration. Without help from France and Spain the American Revolution would have failed. Without allied unity in both the first and Second World War, imperialism and fascism would have triumphed. Without strong strategic partnerships and combined resolve, the cold war between East and West might still be with us today, or worse, not ended peacefully. It was the ability of President George HW Bush to create a unified coalition with Arab partners that enabled the liberation of Kuwait in the first gulf war to go as quickly and as successfully as it did.

The only victory that can be claimed so far in the "global war on terror" is "The United States is safer without Saddam Hussein in power." A popular early John McCain talking point on Sunday morning talks shows is if you dare question the President's failing policies in Iraq, then you clearly would prefer that Saddam was still in power. Again I don't know whether to laugh at the desperation of that, or cry at its sheer dishonesty.

Iraq has through an elective choice by this administration with the full throated support of John McCain; been transformed from a third rate dictatorship with dreams of one day maybe threatening the United States, into a breeding/training ground for real terrorists who are a threat to the United States. Iraq has become the Alamo for the extremist world. A rallying cry, recruitment poster and fund raising infomercial all wrapped up in one chaotic explosive roadside package. A package, with our name on it.

McCain Opportunity Cost number three: America's economic security.

Be it our crack-addict like dependence on oil, or our crippled manufacturing sector that has been allowed to fall critically behind the rest of the world. U.S. Automakers are unable to sell many of their cars in China, because Chinese mileage standards are higher than ours. That fact alone makes the argument by the auto and oil industries that the costs of better environmental standards is too high, seem downright stupid, or deliberately dishonest.

I remember the news this past Summer, and one of the lead stories was the tens of thousands of people who will be losing their jobs. Intel, Ford Motors, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett Packard, and AETNA are just a few of the companies who announced large workforce reductions for this year. According to my old employer, the HR consulting firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., the number of announced layoffs in August totaled 65,278 jobs, compared with 37,178 in July. The crippled housing market, rising fears of inflation, negative job growth , a staggering budget deficit, ballooning national debt and soaring energy prices have all battered consumer confidence.

Not to mention it would be a lot easier to sell your products overseas if your country is wasn't hated by the rest of the world.

McCain/Palin Opportunity Cost number four: America's soul.

Government is not a religion, it is a function. Ideology is not theology and should never presented as such. To claim that God would vote for you, or to seek to win elections by demonizing whole groups as people God doesn't love is truly un-American.

A GOP senate candidates saying only Christian voters can be trusted, an off the cuff remark by a then Texas Governor, and future President that all Jews are "going to hell". A decorated war veteran in Pennsylvania called a coward and traitor because he dared question the judgment of men who did all they could to avoid combat. All these things damage the soul of our nation. Under McCain/Palin all this would be common place for the next four years

Or even a deliberate choice by their political party to make fear and hatred of Gays and Lesbians a central Republican campaign theme. The result is the same. The party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan is reduced to a mob of big mouths with small minds, and our entire national debate of real issues is diminished.

It is true, opportunity costs are hard to quantify. Yet the choices that John McCain and Sarah Palin have promised to make, just like those made by the GOP and the current Bush administration are ones that our nation will be forced to be pay off for decades. The choices made by George W. Bush. John McCain and the Republican Party have left our nation in debt-- teetering on bankruptcy, in danger-- lacking strong strategic partners and facing increasing global animosity, and have sought to create a divided nation where ideology is based on who you hate, not what you believe.

As we head into this most crucial election of this century to date, it is perhaps a good idea to think not so much on the opportunity costs of the last eight years, but about the possibilities of next four if we stand together and make a much needed change on November 4th.

That is one opportunity I am willing to work for. I will walk into the voting booth next Tuesday and vote my hopes not my fears. I will vote for a better future not a rose-colored view of the past.

I am voting for Barack Obama for President of the United States.

I hope you will too...

Great Moments in GOP History...

Your campaign is so lame that even your fake "real American" disses you...

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Greetings from Europe


Took a bit of a mental Health Break from the US Eleciton Campaign and have been in the UK all this past week. Will post more about the trip and the European press coverage of he US Election when I get back the US next week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apparently this little diddy really bugs Republicans

My old friend James over at the Wigderson Library and Pub has his
knickers in quite a twist over this. So that's as good a reason as any
to repost it :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We now join the McCain Campaign, already in progress...

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Fox News is Not Happy....

Why won't Americans care about what Fox News wants them them to care about??! How dare the American People care more about the their homes, jobs and pensions than they do about Bill Ayers!

Oh this just keeps getting better. I imagine the managing editor over there at Fox is praying every day for some middle class white woman to go missing in the Carribean.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Since GOP Rabid Wingnut Morons Keep Asking..

John "I can't talk about the economy or else I'll lose" McCain likes to ask "Who is the real Barack Obama". Ok Senator, here's the answer.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

National Debt Clock runs out of digits

From Today's NY Daily News...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Times Square National Debt Clock runs out of digits amid Wall St. meltdown
By LARRY McSHANE

Brother, can you spare a digit?

Exactly how bad is the U.S. economy?

Try this: The National Debt Clock near Times Square ran out of numbers to record the federal government's $10.2 trillion shortfall.

The familiar billboard-style clock, erected in 1989 by late Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst, was equipped to handle a debt count of up to $9,999,999,999,999.

The ongooing economic crisis eclipsed the clock's capabilities. As a temporary answer, the space that once held a dollar sign on the electronic billboard is now the number 1.

The clock's owners plan a bailout of sorts next year, when they will make room for two additional digits on the board. Back when Durst launched the clock, the debt was a mere $2.7 trillion.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Senator Grumpy McCranky needs a time out...

Ok, lets talk about consistency...

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Maybe he'll suspend his campaign again to rush up to Alaska to solve the Energy Crisis.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Veep Debate Wrap Up..

It is intersting to note the post-debate polling all shows that Senator Joe Biden won the debate this evening. Yet it is worth noting that Governor Sarah Palin did not lose either. The reason for this is more significant than anything that was actaully said tonight.

The expecations for Gov.Palin were so low, going into the debate tonight, that all she had to do for Republicans to be able to claim a victory was not fall down, pee her pants and set the stage on fire. Seriously.

What we saw tonight was a politician that has shown she is very good at memorizing talking points and repeating them relatively in the right context. Had moderator Gwen Ifill actaully asked any follow-up questions, forcing Palin off-script, we would have seen enough disasterous material to keep Tina Fey well employed for years.

Joe Biden had one task tonight, ok two tasks. The first was not put his foot in his mouth with any major gaffes. The second was to hammer home the point that there is essentially no difference between John McCain and George W. Bush. He managed to accomplish both, relatively easily.

And as much as Pat Buchanon is on MSNBC desperately trying to convince people that Palin won on "energy", the facts are clearly proving otherwise. Her "spunkiness" came across as forced and fake, her folksy manner failed to connect, and by halfway through the debate started to grate. Three different network commentators have compared her to a contestant in a spelling bee. Only able to work off of what she had memorized, unable to stray from her script.

By comparison, Joe Biden who often comes across like an out of control fire hose, firing ten differnet directions at once, was poised, clear, direct and had what polls show was the the most connecting moment of the debate.

Joe Biden won tonight Here is the one moment says it all as to why.

Please America, Just Don't Vote... Seriously.

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Or...option 2,

Register,

Vote,

Matter.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

From Today's Boston Globe

BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL
Wasilla made rape victims pay
October 1, 2008

ONE QUESTION that Sarah Palin should answer during tomorrow's debate is why, during her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, the town started charging rape victims or their insurers for hospital emergency-room rape kits and examinations.

The policy so outraged the Alaska Legislature that in 2000 it passed unanimously a bill forbidding such fees. But Palin has never explained why, under her leadership, the town stopped picking up the cost of the swabs, specimen containers, and tests.

A spokeswoman for Palin wrote to USA Today that Palin "does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test." But that was the practice in Wasilla while she was mayor.

If Palin were like most vice-presidential nominees of the past, reporters would have long since had a chance to quiz her on this subject, and many others. So far, though, the McCain campaign team has treated her as though she were in the witness protection program, permitting just three interviews with television personalities and no open-ended press conferences.

After the Alaska Legislature banned the fees, Palin's handpicked police chief, Charlie Fannon, complained that the state's action would force the town to spend $5,000 to $14,000 a year to cover the costs. "I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," Fannon said.

But the policy on rape kits may have had less to do with easing the burden on taxpayers and more to do with Palin's position on abortion. She has said she opposes it even in cases of rape or incest.

Generally, victims of sexual assault have the option of an emergency contraception pill, which some opponents of abortion consider tantamount to abortion itself. Does Palin support the decision two years ago of the US Food and Drug Administration to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception pills?

Whether the fee-for-kits policy reflected Palin's budgetary zeal or her extreme view on abortion, voters deserve to know. As Alaska's governor in 2000, Tony Knowles, put it: "We would never bill the victim of a burglary for finger-printing and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence."

But in Wasilla they would, if the crime was rape.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Why the 2008 Election Matters So Much...

John McCain admits he need to learn how to "get online".

The next President of the United States will need to lead our country into this new and much bigger world...

Take a look:

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jack Cafferty Read My Mind...

If the thought of Sarah Palin being one 72 year old cancer paitient's heartbeat away from the Presidency doesn't scare the hell out of you, then you are not paying attention.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Uh... Ok...

America meet Sarah Palin, She wants to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency...

Whaddya think?

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The GOP Says this election isn’t about “issues” but rather about the personalities and “life stories” of the candidates. Ok then, courtesy of the "internets" here is what the Republican Party is saying the real choice in November is all about:

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic & foriegn.'
* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, you are a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real
leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America.
* If you're husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

You know something? The GOP is right! The choice in November is MUCH clearer now.

Welcome New Readers!

Monday, September 15, 2008

SNL On Palin and Clinton- Brilliant

Tina Fey and Amy Pohler remind us how every once in a while, Saturday Night Live lives up to its own reputation.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Why I love the Republican National Convention...

It gives John Stewart the chance to show what BRILLIANT political analysis looks and sounds like:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wow.... I mean.. really..., - WOW!

Hat tip to AMERICABLOG.org for this one...

---------------------

Wednesday, September 03, 2008
MUST-SEE TV: Top GOP pundits on accidental open-mic say Palin pick is 'bullsh*t,' race 'is over'
John Aravosis (DC) · 9/03/2008 05:37:00 PM ET ·

Two top Republican pundits, Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy, were just on MSNBC with Chuck Todd, and after their segment was over kept talking about McCain VP pick Sarah Palin. But their mics were still on. Oh my God. Everything we've suspected is true. The GOP is flipped out over this pick. Maybe the evangelical base is happy - maybe - but core Republicans, core conservatives, appears to be apoplectic and demoralized. Noonan was Reagan's most famous speech writer. She's no lightweight in the party, and she's no sexist. Here's the video, and the transcript is below.

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Here's the transcript, courtesy of TPM: (Talking Points Memo)

CHUCK TODD: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.
(cut away)

PEGGY NOONAN: Yeah.

MIKE MURPHY: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --

PEGGY NOONAN: It's over.

MIKE MURPHY: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

CHUCK TODD: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PEGGY NOONAN: Saw Kay this morning.

CHUCK TODD: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --

MIKE MURPHY: They're all bummed out.

CHUCK TODD: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PEGGY NOONAN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

CHUCK TODD: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MIKE MURPHY: I totally agree.

PEGGY NOONAN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

MIKE MURPHY: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.

CHUCK TODD: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.

MIKE MURPHY: Yeah.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Not My Grandfather's Republican Party




Watching the spectacle of delusion and denial unfold at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul MN, the most striking aspect is the clear evidence that the GOP has become completely beholden to a rabidly neo-conservative evangelical base.

The GOP of 2008 bears little or no resemblance to the GOP of only twenty years ago, let alone the Party my Grandfather supported fifty years ago. Yes that's right, my Grandfather was a Republican. He believed in the ideals and values of the party that once elected Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency.

Yet I seriously doubt he, or Lincoln himself for that matter, would recognize the party meeting in St. Paul this week.

Abraham Lincoln believed in freeing the oppressed, uniting the nation, and punishing War Profiteers. John McCain's GOP ignores oppression in countries that don't have Oil or where the leaders are family friends. And ignores the fact that we have had a war profiteer as Vice President for the last 8 years.

Dwight Eisenhower viewed war is always a last desperate resort, and an unchecked military industrial complex is a threat to democracy. John McCain's GOP sees an unchecked military industrial complex is a crucial part of their "base."

Richard Nixon understood that we live in a world of interconnected global relationships. Constructive engagement and detente' are always more successful than direct conflict. John McCain's GOP blusters "You are with us or against us". To seek the cooperation of Foreign Leader or even to have respect of citizens of other nations is ridiculed as a sign of weakness.

Gerald Ford truly believed in duty, and that the interests of the nation are more important than polls or elections. He was a living example on how accepting responsibility for the actions you take in office, is a president's first obligation. John McCain's GOP sees transparency as a threat and can never under ANY circumstances admit a mistake.

Ronald Reagan saw that to achieve PEACE through strength, America's allies were the key to America's security. He knew that Big Government is never a substitute for American Ingenuity, and he understood that Faith is a private matter not a poltical platform. John McCain's GOP uses faith is political tool. America's historic allies are disposable, and big Government is great when it can make your base happy.

George HW Bush said it best in his inaugural address; "In crucial things, unity, in important things diversity, and in all things generosity. When America says something, America means it. Whether a treaty an agreement or a vow made on marble steps." He used Personal diplomacy to build a grand coalition of nations the likes of which had not been seen since World War II. John McCain's GOP thinks that the Geneva Convention is "Outdated and quaint", "public" meetings should only be open to hand picked supporters. And has given us a nation more divided than at anytime since the civil war. When we most needed strong alliances, we instead have a "Coalition of the Willing". A handful of countries with a handful of troops.

My Grandfather's Republican Party fought for smaller,less intrusive Government John McCain's GOP fights to amend the constitution to regulate the bedrooms and bodies of American Women. Along with a pledge to continue the largest and most costly expansion of the Federal Government in History.

My Grandfather's Republican Party sought to make the US the leader of Strong Global Alliances. John McCain's GOP loves to bash the UN, act unilaterally and recklessly, and trash traditional alliances calling them "Old".

My Grandfather's Republican Party understood fiscal responsibility, and that Jobs are the engine of the American Economy. John McCain's GOP, after only eight short years has given us massive Debt and deficits. Policies that tax the Lower and Middle Class to pay for tax breaks for the most wealthy, resulting in the loss of more jobs on their watch than any time since the days of Herbert Hoover.

This week in St. Paul we will hear a great deal about the GOP's "respect for life", an easily packaged label for a zealous push to eliminate reproductive rights for American women, and achieve theologically based government regulation of how life begins and ends.

"Defending families" will be the code phrase for the zealous push to deny any and all, rights, to Gay and Lesbian Americans no matter what the cost. Arabic translators who could in fact, help win the "war on terror" must be purged from the Department of Defense. Veterans who serve with honor and distinction must be demonized if they stand up and say who they are and who they love. Americans who have lost loved ones in Iraq or Afghanistan must be rendered silent and invisible. Denied any right to publicly grieve, because the soldier they mourn was their partner, and loved someone who was the same gender as they are.

John McCain's GOP easily sets aside issues like dealing the impending collapse of Medicare, the over 8 billion dollars missing from the Iraq reconstruction authority, the near 50 million Americans without health insurance, the problem of illegal immigration, massive trade and budget deficits, or the millions of cargo containers still entering our ports uninspected.

For John McCain's GOP, these and other inconvenient truths, are as easily overlooked as the record of the last eight years has been in the speeches at this weeks GOP Convention.

In an interview with Vatican television in 2003 then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, spoke of the death penalty as one the great evils of the modern world. Religious leaders around the world have been critical of the conduct of the war on terror, American disengagement in the middle east peace process, and intense aversion to meaningful foreign development aid. Yet John McCain's GOP is not interested in hearing about Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses, or how wise stewardship of the environment is "Christian Value".

For John McCain's GOP the "culture of life" ends at the prison door. The Neo-Conservative Right, may hate abortion, but they love capital punishment. John McCain's GOP will rush to defend the lives of the unborn. Yet after you come out of the womb however, you get to join the John McCain's "ownership society" - meaning you are on your own.

For John McCain's GOP, when critics dare question, you call them traitors, you have your surrogates question their character, their motives and their very humanity. In that same inaugural address, George Bush's Father lamented a time in our nation where "not each other's ideas are questioned, but each others motives." Sixteen years later, the party John McCain now leads, has embraced the politics of personal destruction, making a new legacy of division, rancor and politically expedient hate.

We live in a time when the Republican Party seeks to define "American" as only those people who conform to a particular limited , fearful view of the world. It is a political party that history will remember for a legacy of "fifty percent plus one." Where the key to victory is to divide people as much as you can, then prevent any who oppose you from having equal access to the political process. Be they people of color, people who don't speak English, or people who are not Conservative Evangelical Heterosexuals.

This what John McCain and Sarah Palin will ask America to vote for in November.

Thanks, but no thanks. I suggest America follow the advice of another GOP icon, Nancy Reagan...

Just Say No.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cindy McCain thinks I am a brilliant Brain Surgeon

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Cindy McBeerBucks claims that GOP Vice Presidential pick Sarah Palin is qualified to be Commander-in-Chief because Alaska is the state geographically closest to Russia.

Ok...

If you follow Cindy's uh... Logic? Then I am qualified to perform brain surgery because I live across the street from a hospital.

Also THIS JUST IN! We have obtained a top secret video of Sarah Palin's first debate prep session to get her ready for her upcoming debates with Joe Biden.

Enjoy...

Friday, August 29, 2008

What the World woke up to this morning...

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So the GOP can rant all they want about the backdrop colums and the royal blue carpet at Ivesco Field last night. Whine all they want how accepting the nomination in front of 80,000 flag waving Americans is "arrogant". All it does is further prove the point that the GOP has nothing to offer America to vote FOR.

The Republicans slink into Minneapolis with an eight year record they are desperately hoping Americans won't remember. A Presidential Candidate who makes Bob Dole look young and vigorous, a VP candidate who makes Dan Quayle look Presidential by comparison, and who practically wears a t-shirt that says; "Hi! I'm Big Oil's Bitch!"

I imagine that the GOP party rank and file will attend their convention feeling a lot like the how the London Olympic Committee must have felt after watching the opening ceremonies in Beijing.



I truly wonder about the future of the GOP when the best they can offer for a convetion key note address is a desperate "noun-verb-9-11!" speech by Rudy Gulianni.

When the best counter punch the GOP can muster to John McCain not knowing how many homes he has, is to try play the POW angle like some sort of magic "get out of stupidity free" card. I truly have to wonder if the best thing for the Republican Party at this point wouldn't be to spend the next 4-6 years in the political wilderness.

Ok Grampy McSame... your turn

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dear Senator Obama...



Ok, This new ad is a good start. The problem is, this is August and this ad is only a good start.

I have been watching the game of poltical tetherball that the George W McCain campaign has been playing with you for the last month. What I have seen is disturbingly familiar.

The days and weeks following your incredible speech in Berlin, you had the momentum, the free world had stood up and cheered the hope that America would return to a path of sane, rational global leadership. A hope that now had a face and a name. Yours.

And then, your campaign dropped the ball.

You allowed attack after ridiculous attack to go basically unanswered. You allowed the campaign of the consummate lobbyist's pet to question your ethics. You allowed a man who has voted consistently against supporting the men and women of our military, to question your commitment to the troops. You allowed a man who employs lobbyists for foreign nations to question your love of country. You allowed a man who thinks that wide spread conflict in the Middle East would make a good Beach Boys song, to cast doubt on your willingness to defend America. In the past few weeks, you allowed a man with 10 homes, $500 loafers and a private jet to say that you were elitist and out of touch with the needs of working families.

In response? You mumbled tepid statements of disapproval of "old style politics." You frowned at the camera and said John McCain is honorable man who is running a dishonorable campaign. I have news for you. John McCain is not an honorable man, and at some point, unless you are happy with the idea of watching the McCain Inaugural from the bleachers, you are going to have to say so.

I feel like screaming at you. "HAVE YOU TALKED TO MICHAEL DUKAKIS OR JOHN KERRY LATELY???" Yes, playing defense will make you feel very noble and allow you to say how you are leading a "new kind of campaign." Sorry but there is nothing new about losing. Your campaign seems to be heading down a frighteningly similar path to 1988 and 2004.

I hate to break this to you but there is a truth to this Presidential race that you seem to be unable to grasp, so let me spell it out for you:

The Republicans will say anything and stop at nothing to win.

They will lie, they will cheat, and they will steal. They will call you a terrorist, they will call your wife a traitor, and they will criticize you for every thing you do, then turn around and criticize you for everything you don't do.

GOP Surrogates will spew the most insane nonsense about you with impunity on Fox News, which will then be repeated in the rest of the media as "covering the campaign". You CANNOT play defense. You will LOSE.

Not only that - you have yet to get your OWN house in order. This lunacy of having Senator Clinton's name put in nomination is a prime example. You WON the nomination, will you please ACT like it! Senator Clinton's campaign was historic yes. But it is OVER. The time has come for the Democratic Party to say to every Clinton supporter who is still whining about the need for "healing" a simple question. "Why do you want John McCain to win?"

You need to state in clear terms the choice in 2008 is this; "If you believe the right of a woman to control her own body is a bad thing then by all means support John McCain".

You need to state clear terms the choice in 2008 is this; "If you believe our economic and national security, and the lives of thousands of American soldiers should be sacrificed for Oil Company profits, then by all means vote for John McCain."

You need to state in clear terms the choice in 2008 is this; "If you believe the Executive Branch of the Government has a greater right to privacy than the citizens who elected it, then by all means vote for John McCain."

You need to state in clear terms the choice in 2008 is this; "John McCain has no plan to repair any of the damage done to our economy, national security, global standing or environment over then last eight years. John McCain's only plan is to continue doing more damage. To do that the Republican Party can't offer America anything to vote FOR, they can only try desperately to scare enough of us to vote against anything different."

You must be willing to stand up and say out loud that John McCain has nothing to offer this nation but exactly what we have had for the last eight years. Economic disaster, loss of American lives in wars with no end, and a philosophy of Government that sees the constitution at best, as a nuisance, and at worst, a threat to its power.

Unless you are willing forcefully articulate the choice between the two of you. A choice that is, in fact crystal clear. You will allow the GOP to once again cloud that choice with mud, flung without conscience or restraint. The time has come to stop lying to yourself by thinking that deep down the Republicans want the same things as you do.

They don't. They want you to lose, that's it.

The time has come to call liars what they are. Time has come to call cowards what they are. The time Senator has come for you to stand up and say you are a better man, a better leader and the better choice to lead this nation.

Please Senator Obama, stop being the tethered ball on the GOP playground

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jack Cafferty Gets it Right!




Note: Jack Cafferty is the author of the best-seller "It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America." He provides commentary on CNN's "The Situation Room" daily from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. You can also visit Jack's Cafferty File blog at www.cnn.com.


Commentary: Is McCain another George W. Bush?
By Jack Cafferty

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up. Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day. He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it.

He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question -- his wife is worth a reported $100 million -- he finally said he thought an income of $5 million was rich. One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none.

Where are John McCain's writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America's moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.

I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul.

George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.

He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"The Drowsy Chapperone" - Pure Fun...

I went with friends and saw the touring production of "The Drowsy Chapperone" tonight at the Orpheum Theater. When it first premiered on Broadway in 2006 the show won 5 Tony Awards but was eclipsed for the Best Musical award by "Jersey Boys". Still it was great to finally get to see it.

The show isn't terribly deep, but who says all musicals have to have a message?

Once in a while it's nice to have show that is just lots of fun...

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Thoughts on John Edwards...

Over the past day or so I have had numerous emails from friends asking for my reaction to former Senator JOhn Edwards' admission on ABC's Nightline, that he did in fact have an extramarital affair in 2006. Contrary to all his public statements in the days prior to his appearance on ABC.

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Ok, then...

Yes I am disappointed in Senator Edwards. Would I still vote for him if he was running for president? Yes I would. Does adultery disqualify you from running for President? Obviously not since John McCain is still running and is guilty of the exact same thing. Yet that is neither here nor there, as John Edwards is not any party's presidential nominee, nor is going to be anyone's running mate.

I will confess to finding Edwards' "concern" about legalized marriages for same-sex couples vs. civil unions to be a tad hyprcritical now. Just as Newt Gingrich's or Bill O'Rielly's pontifications on family values have been revealed to be stark contrasts to their own personal lives. Yet again, to say that somehow disqualifies any of them from participation in the public discourse is frankly, ridiculous and disturbing.

The idea that John Edwards adultury somehow has anything to do with Barak Obama's candicacy is like saying John McCain's adultury is relevant to George Bush's Presidency. John Edwards' adultury like John McCain's is an issue between those men and their families. A position that I am sure Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich would both agree with.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Let the Games Begin...

Having grown up in Wisconsin I will admit to being more of a Winter Olympics fan than I am of the Summer Games. Yet watching the opening ceremonies from Bejing this Morning you have to admit, China puts on one helluva show.



As I was heading home from work last night I passed a large anti-China / pro free-Tibet rally going on in United Nations Plaza. It is true that the human rights discussion is one that needs to happen in tandem with China's debut on the Olympic stage. Yet it is also important to remember that the athletes competing in Bejing are not the ones responsible for the oppression in Tibet.

I am not sure trying to make these Summer Games about those other issues is the best way to move China towards change.