Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years!

May your 2009 be better than your 2008.

Peace and Blessings to you and yours.

Orgeron Is Coming To Tennessee, The NCAA Won't Be Far Behind.

I am predicting that within three years from now Tennessee will be investigated for recruiting irregularities involving their new Defensive Line Coach and Recruiting Coordinator, Ed Orgeron. Lets just say I have "heard things" about him so I am not impressed.


Ed Orgeron is headed to Tennessee.

The former Ole Miss head coach, who spent the 2008 season as the New Orleans Saints defensive line coach, confirmed via text message this afternoon that he has accepted an offer to be the Volunteers recruiting coordinator, defensive line coach and will have the title of associate head coach.

"I'm so excited," Orgeron said via phone. "I get to coach with Monte [Kiffin] and I'm getting to recruit again. It's pedal to the metal and I can't wait to get up there."

Orgeron came to his decision after spending the past few days in Destin, Fla., with his family and weighing his options which included an offer in a smiliar role at LSU or staying in New Orleans.

The 47-year-old Louisiana native had been intrgued by the chance to coach at LSU, a school he grew up rooting for. However he was ultimately swayed by the chance to work with new UT coach Lane Kiffin and his father, legendary defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin who also has relocated to Knoxville. Orgeron is expected to make $650,000 making him one of the nation's highest paid assistants.

The move back to the college ranks had been rumored for weeks as it was well known how passionate Orgeron is about the chase of the recruiting trail and the chance to help develop young players.

Harpin Bob Ass Nigga

Everyone meet Larry Elder the Republican enabler. I honestly hope that good ole Larry keeps his status as the go to racist Republican apologist for a long long time. He will help to reinforce to them yet again that they don't need to change a thing.

I was just waiting for Larry to break out dancing a jig for O'Reilly calling him Boss and talking about the gun line.

For those who don't get the title

(h/t Thinkprogress)

Lazy Day

I won't be blogging much today but the good folks over at dailykos will help to keep you informed again stuff up again with Abbreviated Pundit Round-up. Enjoy and be safe celebrating New Years Eve tonight.

What You Supposed To Be, Ron O'Neal Or Somebody?

Gimmie Your Love By Curtis Mayfield

Straight Cash Homie

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks tells the story of how the CEO of Merrill Lynch, Peter S. Kraus, got $25 MILLION dollars for 3 months of work after Merrill Lynch got $25 BILLION from the financial bailout. Well actually the story is about how he paid more than $30 MILLION dollars for a penthouse in New York with the help of the money he got for 3 months work. I guess the bailout worked for some folks.

P.S. If I had a Tee Vee show this is EXACTLY how I would have described the "incident" on Morning Joe earlier today.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Martz For OC

I am going on record right now as saying that if Mike Singletary fires Mike Martz as it is rumored he will Jerry Jones should spare no expense to bring him to the Cowboys as Offensive Coordinator. If Jerry wants to keep Jason Garrett around then he should let him be assistant Head Coach and QB coach. You can say what you want about Mike Martz but he knows how to use talent on offense. He would be an evil genius with Felix Jones, TO, The Barbarian, Witten, and Roy Williams. Don't forget that Williams got his only Pro Bowl invite with Martz as his OC.

That would be change I could believe in.

Update: Its now official that Mike Martz is out in San Francisco. Jerry Jones its time for you to step up to the plate!

Brzezinski PWNS Scarborough

Santa granted my wish today and he used Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to do it. I asked Santa to bring a guest on to "Morning Joe" who would stand up to Joe Scarborough and tell him to shut the fuck up because he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Well it wasn't exactly in those terms but I suppose "You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you." will just have to do.

This is a clip from today's show where Mika's dad is on to talk about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The money quote comes at about 6:53. Enjoy.

Oh by the way, Dr Brzezinski was very insightful with his analysis on the U.S. role in the problems in Gaza.

Well That Will Help To Pay For Some Pampers.

Kinda makes the 150 grand that the RNC paid for Sarah Palin's wardrobe look like chump change doesn't it? Kinda funny that the other grandma is the reason that the price went up though.

From Huffington Post

MSNBC is reporting that the Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston may receive up to $300,000 for the first pictures of their son Tripp.

The price didn't soar immediately, according to the sources, because Sarah Palin stories just didn't sell all that well for the weeklies on newsstands.


The drug-related arrest of Johnston's mother, however, caused the price tag for the photos to go up.

They Are Just Making This Too Easy

I didn't really post anything about the Chip Saltsman story where he sent out the "Barack the Magic Negro" song to all his friends up until now because it has been widely covered and I really didn't have much to add. I didn't think it was that earth shattering because I have always seen the Repubican party as white and racist. Now I know that there will be card carrying rank and file Republicans who will be offended by that but I have some advice for you. If you want to stop being seen as racists stop supporting racist elements in your party. There aren't a whole lot of Democrats listening to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. I don't see Howard Dean sending out racial parodies of Condeleeza Rice. It is what it is. But here is the thing, not only did Saltsman not apologize about the incident, he didn't even admit it wasn't a very smart thing to do at a time when his party is trying to reach out to minorities. Hell he basically said he didn't do anything wrong and get over it. I mean I should also point out that the CD had the "Star Spanglish Banner" on it as well. Stay classy GOP

Now I don't honestly know if Chip Saltsman is a racist or not, but I do know at the very least he is very racially insensitive. But I blame not only him but also the few black folks that actually are members of the Republican party. They are so eager for those white folks to accept them that they never stand up and protest when members of their own party pull this kind of bullshit. Ken "Uncle Tom" Blackwell almost fell all over himself trying to defend Chip Saltsman which in my eyes is enabling. From now on whenever Saltsman or any other GOP member tells a racist joke the can say "Don't worry, Ken said its OK". Talk about being a useful fool.

This is why I say the Republican party is about to go the way of the dinosaur. They aren't headed for the wilderness, they are headed for the abyss. Time has truly passed them by and they still don't get it. Minority outreach will become more and more important in the coming years because very soon there will be more minorities in this country than there will be white people. And after so long of not caring about the minority vote, the good white folks in the Republican party have not the first clue about how to reach out to those minorities. They think that if you just explain that the "Magic Negro" song is just a joke then nobody will really care. Especially if its a joke from that notoriously funny guy Rush Limbaugh. Seriously.

Now today we get a story from Politico with this headline:

'Magic Negro' flap might help Saltsman

I absolutely hope so. I want Chip Saltsman to be the RNC chair so bad I wish I could vote for him two times. Because anything that helps him is going to hurt the Republican Party. If they can't see that electing a guy to lead their party who sent that CD out is going to cost them minority votes in perpetuity then they deserve to have him as chairman.

Speaking of the RNC I wonder what their committee members think about Saltsman's stunt.

“When I heard about the story I had to figure out what was going on for myself,” said Mark Ellis, the chairman of the Maine Republican Party. “When I found out what this was about I had to ask, ‘boy, what’s the big deal here?’ because there wasn’t any.”

Well thats just one white guy, lets see if anybody else has an opinion.

Alabama Republican committeeman Paul Reynolds said the fact the Saltsman sent him a CD with the song on it “didn’t bother me one bit.”

“Chip probably could have thought it through a bit more
, but he was doing everyone a favor by giving us a gift,” he said. “This is just people looking for something to make an issue of.”

Oh so he was doing everyone a favor. Oh now that makes all the difference in the world. But maybe these views aren't all that representative.

“I don’t think he intended it as any kind of racial slur. I think he intended it as a humor gift,Oklahoma GOP committeewoman Carolyn McClarty added. “I think it was innocently done by Chip.”

Yeah, it was a humor gift... because Saltsman is a fucking joke. What makes it so bad is that the song isn't funny AT ALL. Over at Coates' spot we had a conversation about a different parody song of K Fed a few weeks back that had racial overtones. Now that song was bad, but it sounds like comedic gold compared to Limbaugh's tripe.

Now I know what you are thinking. "What about the hanful of white guys who came out and blasted Saltsman over the gift." Well I would point out that Mike Duncan had a vested interest in doing that seeing as how he is the current RNC chairman and wants to keep the post. But thats not even really my strongest selling point today. What do you think other party members think about Duncan coming out and doing the right thing and saying Saltsman was wrong?

Not everyone is so sure, with some RNC members contending that Anuzis and Duncan may have actually hurt their candidacies with their responses.

“Those are two guys who just eliminated themselves from this race for jumping all over Chip on this,” one committee member told Politico. “Mike Duncan is a nice guy, but he screwed up big time by pandering to the national press on this.”

Ok Ok so thats just one anonomous person. I mean surely nobody else in the Republican party thinks like that.

While South Carolina GOP Chair Katon Dawson and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele have decided to stay away from the controversy, offering no comment, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who would be the party’s first black chairman, has drawn notice for his vigorous defense of Saltsman.

“Unfortunately, there is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race. This is in large measure due to President-Elect Obama being the first African-American elected president,” Blackwell said in a statement. “I don't think any of the concerns that have been expressed in the media about any of the other candidates for RNC chairman should disqualify them. When looked at in the proper context, these concerns are minimal. All of my competitors for this leadership post are fine people.”

As a result of his position, a source close to the race said that at least 12 uncommitted committee members have contacted Blackwell to thank him for his support for Saltsman and have expressed anger toward Duncan and Anuzis “for throwing a good Republican under the bus.”

Indeed, in a fluid race in which six candidates are vying for the votes of 168 members,
both Blackwell and Saltsman stand to benefit from a backlash to the flap.

Yeah you read that right folks. Sending a "Barack the Magic Negro" CD out and defending the guy who did it will get you MAJOR street cred in the Republican Party. Coming out against such a racially insensitive and all around dumbass move might get you fired though. Great job on that minority outreach thingy Republicans.

Is there really anything more to say? I mean I haven't even brought up the disasterous Republican positions on Economic and Foreign Policy. What exactly does a Republican bring to the table these days? IMHO not much.

So don't believe the hype Republicans, you aren't going into the wilderness. you are going into the abyss. I can't say that I am sorry to see you go.

Monday, December 29, 2008

By Request

Intro singing Ribbon In The Sky

Bradie James Is My New Hero.

I am still smarting from the complete and thorough ass kicking my Cowboys recieved last night from the Eagles. Now I for one felt like the Cowboys had a shitty game plan offensively and just too many mental errors on defense. But a lot of people online have been saying they thought the Cowboys quit or didn't have any heart. Personally I think its bullshit when "Stan the Fat Ass" sits on his couch eating XXL pizzas talking shit about players not having heart. Well evidently Bradie James shares my feelings on this, especially when Stan the Fat Ass shows up to his job trying to stunt.


IRVING, Texas -- On the day Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was saying he plans to change, linebacker Bradie James got into an altercation with a fan outside the team's training facility.

James confronted the fan, who was protesting the team's 44-6 loss to Philadelphia, which eliminated the team from playoff contention. The fan was wearing a sandwich board that said, "Cowboys have no heart" on one side and "Wade is an embarrassment to the star" on the other.

James apparently stopped his vehicle and demanded the fan give him the sign. When the man refused, James removed it from him, breaking the man's eyeglasses in the process.

James then went to his locker, got a pair of expensive shades he'd been given and returned with an apology, a handshake and a gift. Police came and left without taking any action.

"He was like, 'Why you guys didn't have that fire last night!' You should've showed that much heart last night!' So the next thing you know I'm just ripping that sign off of him," James said. "So I went and gift-wrapped some Oakleys, and he got something out of the deal. I told him, 'I share your frustrations. But where we differ is I wouldn't go to anybody's job, especially not up here with 300-pound guys, trying to tell them what they didn't do right."

Now I know some people will call him a thug or a bully or say he was wrong but I say to hell with all that. If you are gonna be Billy Bad Ass and come to another man's job and tell him he doesn't have heart, then YOU better get YOUR weight up when he shows you he does.. Fans better learn to know their damn role otherwise next time it won't just be some glasses that get broken!

Juan Cole Is Recommended Reading

I was dissappointed with Juan Cole for a day or two because he did not post immediately on the Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Well now I take it all back. I am going to tease some of his post on the subject but if you want some straight forward insight into this conflict you should run not walk over to his blog.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Iraq has called upon Arab and Muslim nations to support the Palestinians in Gaza with more than lip service. Iran's PressTv translated the statement this way:

"Condemning what is going on in Gaza and supporting our brothers only with words is meaningless, considering the big tragedy they are facing . . . Arab and Islamic nations need to take a decisive stance, now more than ever, to end these ongoing aggressions and to break the unjust siege imposed on the brave people of Gaza . . ."


If the Gaza population doesn't turn on Hamas, and Israeli measures don't destroy the organization (which they helped create and fund back in the late 1980s when they wanted a foil to the secular PLO), then what? They'll just go on half-starving Gaza's children for decades? Malnourished children have diminished IQ and poor impulse control. That would make them ideal suicide bombers. Plus, sooner or later there will start to be effective boycotts of Israel in Europe and elsewhere over these war crimes. The Israeli economy would be vulnerable to such moves.


But by refusing to negotiate with Hamas, Israel and the United States leave only a military option on the table. The military option isn't going to resolve the problem by itself. Gaza is a labyrinth. Those Qassam rockets are easy to make. There is so much money sloshing around the Middle East and so many sympathetic Muslims that Gaza will be kept just barely afloat economically, making Hamas hard to dislodge. And the Israeli blockade of Gaza is so distasteful to the world that eventually there is likely to be a painful price to pay for it by the Israelis.

Now if you want to hear from a foreign policy wonk it doesn't get much better than Juan Cole. So for people like myself who want to know more about whats going on in the world and how it affect us and everybody else I highly recommend checking out his blog on the daily.

"Chief" Goes To LSU

John "Chief" Chavis former Defensive Coordinator at my alma mater of Tennessee is reportedly going to LSU to serve in the same capacity.


John Chavis, whose attacking defenses were the backbone of some of Tennessee's best teams under Phillip Fulmer, is trading Rocky Top for the Bayou.

Multiple sources have told that Chavis has agreed in principle to become the new defensive coordinator at LSU and that the deal is expected to be finalized later this week.

Sources told that Chavis' deal is for multiple years and will pay him more than $500,000 annually. Chavis earned $340,000 last year at Tennessee.


Chavis, 52, spent the last 14 seasons as Tennessee's defensive coordinator. The Vols, despite their struggles on offense this season, ranked fourth nationally in total defense.

In nine of Chavis' 14 seasons as the Vols' defensive coordinator, Tennessee ranked among the top three in the SEC in total defense. Miles got an up-close view of Chavis' work during the 2007 SEC Championship Game when Tennessee held the eventual national champion Tigers to just one offensive touchdown.

Chavis, a Tennessee graduate, remained extremely loyal to Fulmer and turned down several opportunities to leave Tennessee, including NFL jobs with the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons. He also was wooed by former South Carolina coach Lou Holtz earlier this decade.

I think this is a GREAT hire by the LSU Tigers. Coach Chavis has been the one steady influence at Tennessee over the past 14 years. Coach Chavis is also a great recruiter who knows how to relate to kids from all kinds of background. He also brings a fiery demeanor to a team that didn't seem all that fired up this year. I think Lane Kiffen made a huge mistake letting Chavis go but his loss will definitely be LSU's gain.

Greenwald PWNS Gregory

As fate would have it I was commenting over at Swampland this morning when another long time frequent commenter said that David Gregory had "challenged" Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni on the military action the Israelis have taken in the Gaza strip yesterday on Meet The Press but not as much as I would have liked. I admit that I didn't watch MTP yesterday as I am not a big fan of David Gregory. So I went to the MTP website to watch the clip of the interview and I could find not even a trace of Gregory "challenging" Livni. In fact to me it seemed almost like a scripted back and forth meant to be used to convince Americans that Israel is right in their actions. Gregory didn't mention the Israeli closing of their border which has created almost inhumane conditions for the residents of the Gaza strip including being reduced to eating grass to survive, he didn't mention the Hamas enforcement of the cease fire agreement when it was in effect, he didn't even mention the fact that Israel had been planning this attack even during the time when they were supposedly engaged in "good faith" negotiations for a new ceasefire agreement with Hamas. Glenn Greenwald wasn't impressed either:

To see what Cheney aide Cathie Martin meant when she explained that Cheney knew he could go on Meet the Press and "control the message" -- and to see in action David Gregory's model of sycophantic, unchallenging "journalism" -- one could do no better than to examine Gregory's embarrassingly deferential "interview" yesterday with Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni. It's a perfect template for how our American press corps (with some rare exceptions) functions.

Whatever one's views are on Israel's attack on Gaza -- pro, con or otherwise -- there's no denying that it's an extremely controversial matter -- at least it is in the world that exists outside of mainstream American political discourse. Even
within Israel, there are scathing criticisms of what the Israeli Government is doing -- on both strategic and moral grounds. Yet none of those objections made their way into David Gregory's interview of Livni. He didn't present her with a single argument against the Israeli attack. He didn't challenge a single word she uttered. He was even more sycophantic with her than the average American journalist is with the average American political leader.


Actually, the only time Gregory challenged her at all was, in essence, to demand that Israel take even more aggressive action than they're talking already. He was essentially pushing her into invading Gaza and deposing its democratically elected government ("Aren't you making the case for pushing Hamas from power? . . . . only the replacement of Hamas by Fatah, by more moderate leaders, appears to be the only answer"). It was almost as though his goal were to make Israel appear excessively restrained and pacifistic.

I honestly couldn't have said it any better. But its worth the entire read because he ties it into the how Gregory sees the press' role and how the press failed us leading up to the Iraq War.

If this interview was indicative of what David Gregory's level of asshatery will be on MTP going forward, you can pretty much count on me passing on that crap to start my Sunday morning.

In the interest of fairness I am posting the offending video so you can make your own decision on the quality of journalism, or lack thereof, Gregory exhibits in the interview.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Evening Mood Music

Say Yes by Floetry

Say Yes - Floetry

Let's Get Ready To Rumble!!!

The big day is here. By the end of the night we will know who is in and who is out of the NFL playoffs. A reminder of the big games today.

Update: Gruden should be fired IMMEDIATELY! And pour out a little something for the winless Lions.

Update II: That fucking does it. Wade Phillips and ever single assistant coach including and maybe most of all Jason Garrett needs to be handed their damn pink slip. That performance was totally unacceptable and utterly ridiculous. Not only that its time to jettison all of the self centered assholes on the team. TO of course, Tank Williams, and Pacman don't let the door hit you in the ass. Its time to bring in guys who actually WANT to win as a team. Guys who are more concerned with Ws than stats. In the 90s the Cowboys were talented but they were also a family on Sundays. They didn't have to love each other to come together for the common good. This group of prima donas are all about self. Its time for major changes with the Cowboys and Jerry Jones needs to step up to the plate! It should totally humble his egotistical ass to see Sparano and Parcells going to the playoffs while he has to stay at home checking on his billion dollar stadium. I am so disgusted after seeing that game that I can hardly see straight.

Update III: Chargers put the wood to the Broncos to set up a very interesting matchup with the Colts next week.

Big Game Season Finales

Patriots vs Bills

Giants vs Vikings

Panthers vs Saints

Raiders vs Bucs

Titans vs Colts

Jaguars vs Ravens

Jets vs Dolphins

Cowboys vs Eagles

Broncos vs Chargers

My Big Game Picks

Patriots: Lamont Jordan and Sammy Morris have big days running the ball.

Vikings: Tavaris Jackson throws for more than 300 yds.

Panthers: The Panthers D is going to smother Brees who will step off the bus throwing.

Bucs: The Bucs D shows up after a couple of weeks of shame. X

Colts: Colts win convincingly and many will question Titans frontrunner status

Ravens: Deee Feeeence

Dolphins: Its karma baby.

Cowboys: Ware falls a sack short of the record but Romo shows up big time. X

Chargers: In a game dominated by trash talk from the QBs LT steals the show.

Also Rans

Falcons, Chiefs X, Bears X, Steelers, Lions X, Seahawks X, 49ers

Worth Every Penny

When was the last time you ordered a ppv boxing match and said those words? That it was worth every penny? Well let me say that last night's UFC fight card was actually worth MORE than what they charged. It not only lived up to the hype but surpassed it. You have Quentin "Rampage" Jackson exorcising his demons and knocking Vanderlei Silva the fuck out. You have Frank Mir taking out the legend Antonio Noguiera with big left handed bombs over and over until the ref had to pull him off. And then in the Main Event you have "Sugar" Rashad Evans lowering the boom on Light Heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin and getting a TKO in the 3rd round after two exciting rounds of stand up action. Boxing cards just can't match up to that kind of level of talent throughout, as well as that level of action. Mind you I didn't even go into the undercard with guys like Cheick Kongo, another exciting heavyweight, who also had a TKO victory after he and his opponent traded groin shots. I am telling you right now that if you love boxing you need to give MMA a try. You can still watch the free stuff on HBO and Showtime as far as boxing goes while saving your pennies for the next big UFC ppv card. If you are going to spend your money to watch a sporting event you might as well hedge your bets that you will actually come away entertained. Thats my opinion anyway.

Check out the recap of the events from Yahoo Sports

What You Gone Do When The Worlds On Fire?

There is a must read posted at Huffington Post on this new military offensive by the Israelis in the Gaza strip. I will just excerpt the final paragraph but you really need to read the whole thing.

But there is a bigger picture - and it is staring at the incoming Obama administration. Today's events should be 'exhibit A' in why the next U.S. Government cannot leave the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to fester or try to 'manage' it - as long as it remains unresolved, it has a nasty habit of forcing itself onto the agenda. That can happen on terms dictated to the U.S. by the region (bad) or the U.S. can seek to set its own terms (far preferable). The new administration needs to embark upon a course of forceful regional diplomacy that breaks fundamentally from past efforts. A consensus of sorts is emerging in the U.S. foreign policy establishment that this conflict needs to be resolved - evidenced in the findings of a recent Brookings/Council of Foreign Relations Report or the powerful statements coming from elder statesmen like Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, themselves building on the findings of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. It will require tenacity and bold ideas - in framing the solution, bringing in previously excluded actors, creating mechanisms to implement a deal (such as international forces) and utilizing the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative - but the alternative is far worse, its what we see today and it guarantees ongoing instability in a region of paramount importance to the United States.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rampage Rampage Rampage

The boy is back!!!

I Feel Like Gangsta Walking

And this is what I feel like gangsta walking to.

Trigga Man

Guaranteed to start a fight in any club in Memphis circa 1991.

Win And Get In

There is a lot of drama surrounding the games to be played this last weekend of the NFL regular season. Will Chad Pennington find redemption by beating the and getting the Dolphins into the playoffs by knocking off his successor Brett Favre and the New York Jets? Will my Cowboys live up to their preseason hype and defeat the Eagles to get in the playoffs? Or will Donavan McNabb cap off a very rocky season with an upset in what might be his last game in an Eagles uniform? Can the Chargers with Phillip Rivers get revenge over the Broncos and Jay Cutler from the infamous Hoculi call earlier this season to get into the playoffs? Will the Patriots without Tom Brady be able to beat the odds and get back into the playoffs to make another Superbowl run? Will the Panthers beat the Saints to garner the 2 seed in the NFC and get that always important first round bye? Will Tavaris Jackson shake all of his haters off and lead the Vikings into the playoffs with a win over the Giants? How will the Titans approach their game against the streaking Colts in light of the Giants/Patriots finale last year? These and many other questions will be answered at the end of Sunday night. Are you ready for some football?

Big Game Season Finales

Patriots vs Bills

Giants vs Vikings

Panthers vs Saints

Raiders vs Bucs

Titans vs Colts

Jaguars vs Ravens

Jets vs Dolphins

Cowboys vs Eagles

Broncos vs Chargers

Word On The Street

Good stuff today from the Abbreviated Pundit Roundup over at dailykos

Right And Wrong

As I have said before I am nobody's foreign policy wonk. I can't tell you the ulterior motives of X versus the political motives of Y when it comes to how many countries interact. And the truth is when it comes to the Israel/Palestinian conflict I will acknowledge that I am under informed. However I know what I feel when I see the carnage that has been unleashed by the Israeli airstrikes this morning, and that feeling is that it was wrong. I get that there have been rocket attacks into southern Israel. I get that the ceasefire wasn't extended. But in Israel you have a country with technologically advanced armaments. They have all manner of tanks and helicopters and warships. They also have an organized military with and a highly regarded civilian security apparatus. Palestine has none of those things. So my questions are these: Why is the response to unsophisticated rocket attacks, a show of overwhelming indiscriminate force? You have 155 dead and more than 200 wounded and those numbers are rising every hour and for what? How does this strike make Israel any more secure or safe? Why did they launch attacks at a time when its widely known that kids are getting out of school? How is that justified?

First of all it seems apparent that these air strikes will do nothing to curtail the rocket strikes from Gaza. Not only that it would seem that these strikes will have the effect of garnering support for the Palestinian cause from other Arab and Muslim states and countries. Secondly am I really to believe that these strikes were meant to hit the actual terrorists who were launching the rocket strikes when there was so much collateral damage?

Lets look at the definition of terrorism.

Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.[1] At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism.[2][3] Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.

Now I defy anyone to explain to me how the Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza strip do not fit quite neatly into that definition.

From the AP:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing at least 155 and wounding more than 310 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in recent memory.


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said "the operation will last as long as necessary," but it was not clear if it would be coupled with a ground offensive. Asked if Hamas political leaders might be targeted next, military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said, "Any Hamas target is a target."

The strikes caused widespread panic and confusion in Gaza, as black clouds of smoke rose above the territory, ruled by Hamas for the past 18 months. Some of the Israeli missiles struck in densely populated areas as children were leaving school, and women rushed into the streets frantically looking for their children.


"My son is gone, my son is gone," wailed Masri, 57. The shopkeeper said he sent his 9-year-old son out to purchase cigarettes minutes before the airstrikes began and now could not find him. "May I burn like the cigarettes, may Israel burn," Masri moaned.


Protests erupted in the Abbas-ruled West Bank and across the Arab world.

Several hundred angry Jordanians poured protested outside a U.N. complex in the capital Amman. "Hamas, go ahead. You are the cannon, we are the bullets," they cried, some waving the signature green Hamas banners.

In Beirut, dozens of youths hit the streets and set fire to tires. In Syria's al-Yarmouk camp, outside Damascus, dozens of Palestinians protested the attack as well, vowing to continue fighting Israel.


Hospitals crowded with people, civilians rushing in wounded people in cars, vans and ambulances. "We are treating people on the floor, in the corridors. We have no more space. We don't know who is here and what the priority is to treat," said a doctor at Shifa Hospital, Gaza's main treatment center. He hung up the phone before identifying himself.

Dr. Moawiya Hassanain, a Gaza Health Ministry official, said at least 145 people were killed and more than 300 wounded.

Frantic civilians drove wounded people to hospitals in their cars.

In the West Bank, Hamas' rival, Abbas, said in a statement that he "condemns this aggression" and called for restraint, according to an aide, Nabil Abu Rdeneh. Abbas, who has ruled only the West Bank since the Islamic Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007, was in contact with Arab leaders, and his West Bank Cabinet convened an emergency session.

Israel has targeted Gaza in the past, but the number of simultaneous attacks was unprecedented.

There is also a report from Russian Tee Vee

Now at what point do we as the citizens of the United States of America feel it appropriate to call a spade a spade and say that wrong is wrong? At what point do we admonish Israel for these kinds of attacks which do nothing to promote peace nor security? At what point do we have the courage to say that Israel is wrong in this instance and we will not stand with them if they continue such actions? I don't think that takes a PHD in foreign policy to make that kind of declaration, honestly. In my opinion it only takes a conscious and common sense and I would think that most of us in this country still have both.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Breaking The Huddle

I caught the HBO special "Breaking The Huddle" the other night about the integration of black football players on to college teams in the South. I came away feeling very informed, profoundly moved and thoroughly entertained. HBO did the damn thang yet again and I recommend the documentary for just about anybody. It touched me particularly because I grew up in the south and heard some of the same kind of stories from my older relatives. Whether you are interested in sports or American history or just about stories of courage, this documentary has something for you. But don't take my word for it, the LA Times' Adam Rose has also weighed in.

For me, "Breaking the Huddle" helps break through that wall. It shows the day-to-day wrongdoing that went well beyond the notorious lunch counter. Maybe it's seeing a black man hit in the face by a white police officer's rifle butt. Maybe it's learning that Corso, of all people, recruited the first African American to play in the South. Maybe it's watching the old game footage that makes you want to jump on your feet and cheer for the pioneers of integration. Forget the passion of rooting against your rival -- this is a chance to root against evil itself.

Covering this topic requires a delicate touch and I was honestly surprised by how effectively HBO was able to present this story in just 60 minutes. I'm sure a lot of important film hit the cutting-room floor, but what made it into the documentary will benefit all who watch. At times, your blood will boil. At others, you'll laugh out loud. Throughout, you'll be exposed to emotions varying from pride and joy to hate and fear.

So when you get worn out with all of the holiday shows, set some time aside to check out this very powerful documentary. You will be glad you did.

The Bushies Can't Keep Their Story Straight

To say that criticizing George Bush is like shooting fish in a barrel would be over stating how easy it is to shoot fish in a barrel. But I would like to point out yet another contradiction by his peoples. This time its the comedic duo of Dana Perino and Tony Fratto, both spokesman for President Can't Get Right. The topic today is the revoked pardon of slimeball mortgage fraud guy Isaac Robert Toussie. Now some people wrongly assumed that Bush revoked the pardon of Toussie after he learned about the merits of the case he pled guilty to. Not so says Ms. Perino. From the Washington Post:

White House press secretary Dana Perino said neither Bush nor counsel Fred Fielding was aware of the GOP contributions from the father of Isaac Robert Toussie, who had been convicted of mail fraud and of making false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Perino said Bush had also been unaware of other aspects of the Toussie case that were revealed in news reports yesterday.

"Looking at the totality of the case, more could have been described to the president," Perino said. "The political contributions certainly were not known. It raises the appearance of impropriety, so the president prudently decided not to go through with the pardon."

See as usual with Bush it was "all about the Benjamins baby". In this case Perino is clearly stating that the appearance of impropriety because of the political contributions of Toussie's father was the driving force behind the revocation of the pardon. So then you might assume by Perino's statement that whether or not political contributions were made by a potential pardon recipient's family or friends should be a criteria in whether or not they are actually granted that pardon by the President. Not according to Tony Fratto. He says its all crazy talk.

From the USA Today:

Bush spokesman Tony Fratto declined to discuss the Maiss case, saying the White House ordinarily does not comment on individual pardon decisions.

"We do not look into political contributions" in reviewing pardon requests, he said Thursday. "We think it would be inappropriate to do that. They should have no influence over our decision-making."

Now I guess I should in the interests of full disclosure point out that Fratto was actually referring to a different pardon granted to Alan Maiss and the money that he contributed to Bush's reelection in 2004, but isn't it interesting the different criteria that spokesman for the President have for pardons being handed out depending upon who the pardon is handed out to and what their crime was? Some has been ex gambling exec refuses to rat out a peer on his ties to organized crime and who cares what monies he gave to the Republicans. It shouldn't even be in the criteria for granting the pardon. I mean La Costra Nostra hasn't exactly been in the news of late. But let a guy who has involved in mortgage fraud with the ongoing financial crisis where mortgage fraud is part of the genesis of the problem, then in that case party contributions are vewy vewy bad. Don't get me wrong, I think the slimeball should not only not be pardoned but also thrown back in jail. But why the double standard at work here?

Of course maybe, just maybe this contradiction is largely due to the fact that Karl Rove wants to derail the Eric Holder confirmation for Attorney General because of his role in the Marc Rich scandal and Toussie's pardon would have hurt that effort.

Nah, nobody is that devious. Are they?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Great Christmas Present: Gruden Names Raheem Morris Defensive Coordinator.

This is a great move in my opinion. Raheem Morris is a smart young defensive mind and I can definitely see him as a Head Coach in the NFL a few years down the road. Now if only the Bucs could hire a better Offensive Coordinator.


TAMPA - Bucs coach Jon Gruden saw to it that secondary coach Raheem Morris had a very merry Christmas this year.

Before leaving One Buc Place on Christmas Eve, Gruden told the 32-year-old Morris that he will replace
Monte Kiffin as the Bucs' defensive coordinator beginning in 2009.

"It was Christmas and I wanted to give him a Christmas present," said Gruden, who informed his team of the decision Thursday. "I wanted to give him something to be excited about and to reward him for his effort and hard work."

Morris' appointment doesn't come as a great surprise. Since Kiffin announced plans to leave the
Bucs for the University of Tennessee, many have considered Morris a leading candidate to replace him.

Now in the second year of his
second stint with Tampa Bay, Morris has six years of experience in the Bucs' system. He also has a year of work under his belt as a coordinator, earning that in 2006 at Kansas State University.

"I'm just trying to beat Oakland right now, but I am pretty excited about this," Morris said. "It's a great accomplishment and I'm proud they're giving me the keys to drive this defense. It's awesome."

Don't Hurt Em Donny

Donny Hathaway singing "This Christmas"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"We Go Out, We Hit People In The Mouth. That's Number One"

I just saw on ESPN that the San Francisco 49ers will be announcing their retention of MIke Singletary as Head Coach some time next week.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Mike Singletary has been a remarkable short-term solution to the San Francisco 49ers' woes. With each passing week, the interim coach is looking more like the long-term fix as well.

Coach Mike Singletary acknowledged meeting with the Niners' top officials about his future earlier in the week.

When the 49ers (6-9) began preparations Wednesday for their season finale against Washington, Singletary acknowledged meeting with the team's top officials about his future earlier in the week. According to the Sacramento Bee, Singletary laid out a plan for the 49ers that wowed the club's leadership, which could announce Singletary's appointment to the full-time job early next week.

"I will just say this: I don't interpret anything as ... really good or really bad," said Singletary, whose club has won four of its last six. "I think the most important thing is that I just continue to stay focused. After it's all said and done, we can look back at how positive things are, and our direction or whatever, and we can fully pay attention to it."

In my opinion this should have been a no brainer. Not only has Singletary gotten the team to play better, but he has also changed the atmosphere and culture around the team. In watching the 49ers under him I don't see a team that is just trying not to lose anymore, I see a team thats going out and trying to make wins happen. With this hire I think the York family, owners of the 49ers, have finally gotten it right and he will help to usher in a new era of 49er football. Thats not to say that they will be winning a Superbowl next year, but I will bet that they definitely won't be anybody's doormats any more either. Just watching this press conference from after Singletary's first game as interim Head Coach still gets me hyped. Thats old school baby. This is the kind of guy I could definitely get behind.

For The Kids

Glass Houses And Rachel Maddow

I normally enjoy the "Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC and evidently I am not alone. Rachel Maddow's show has already surpassed CNN's offering of "Larry King Live" and has held her own against FoxNews' "Hannity and Colmes" in terms of ratings of the key 25-54 demographic. But since the announcement that Rick Warren would be giving the invocation for President Elect Barack Obama's inauguration, she has taken time out of every show to attack Obama for inviting him. Now I understand that this is actually a personal issue for Ms Maddow because she herself is gay, but she is also a television host and it seems she is personalizing a news story quite a bit too much for my liking. Evidently she sees Obama inviting Rick Warren to do the invocation as an unforgivable sin because in her world that honor is furthering Rick Warren's agenda. But I have a question for Rachel Maddow, using your own purity test, what does that say about you having Patrick J. Buchanan on your show repeatedly? Is not he as bad or worse than Rick Warren on the subject of homosexuality and gay marriage? And doesn't your willingness to allow him to come on your highly rated show legitimize his feelings? To refresh your memory lets take a look back on some of the things Pat Buchanan has said about gay marriage and homosexuality.

First direct quotes from when Pat Buchanan was running for President 8 short years ago:

Buchanan has said that AIDS is nature’s “retribution against homosexuals.”

“If someone is an out-of-the-closet homosexual and if someone advocates the homosexual rights agenda publicly they’re not going to be in my Cabinet. I believe that homosexuality is a disorder. It’s a wrong orientation.”

“Rampant homosexuality, a sign of cultural decadence and moral decline from Rome to Weimar, is celebrated, as our first lady parades up Fifth Avenue to share her ‘pride’ in a lifestyle ruinous to body and soul alike.” He condemned the Democratic Party for ignoring the “moral crisis” and the GOP for seeking “peace” with gay groups.

I think civil unions are absurd. They passed these up in Vermont where homosexual couples have been put on the same level as traditional marriage. And I’m delighted to say that five Republicans that voted for that were defeated and thrown out in the primary. If this country accepts the idea that homosexual liaisons are the same as traditional marriage, which is a God-ordained building block of society, this country is on the road to hell in a handbasket.

Q: Mr. Buchanan mentioned before that he has not embraced the gay rights agenda in its entirety.

A: I don’t apologize for my views with regards to gay rights. I oppose the gay rights agenda in its entirety. I was saying that tongue-in-cheek. Third, I did say that AIDS is in effect what happens to people as a consequence of unnatural and immoral sex. And, as you know, homosexual conduct is the primary--or was the primary way by which AIDS was spread. It was a truthful statement.

And this is all from the person whom you affectionately refer to as "Uncle Pat" and allow to be seen as a serious person on your show.

I know what you are thinking, that was so long ago and Uncle Pat has changed. Well lets look at some more recent insight from Mr. Buchanan.

What about when he vehemently argued against the decision by justices to overturn a ban on gay marriage in California?

What about when he blogged on town hall and compared the fight against gay marriage to "Shays Rebellion"?

And yet another quote about how he sees homosexuality.

"To some of us, homosexuality is an affliction, like alcoholism, and hellishly difficult to control."

Hell lets watch him advocate forcefully against gay marriage yesterday on another MSNBC show.

So Ms. Maddow are you going to ban "Uncle Pat" from coming back on your show? Or are you going to show the hypocrisy of your attacks on President Elect Obama and welcome him back with open arms while still throwing Obama under the bus? Of course there is a third option. You could cut Obama the same kind of slack that you would want afforded you in this situation. The ball is squarely in your court. It will be interesting to see which way she goes on this.

(h/t Coates)

More Proof That Cable "News" Is A Misnomer

If anybody had any lingering questions about whether cable news was credible or not, a couple of good folks over at dailykos have helped to push the answer further into the not column. First we get the back story from kos diarist Setrak on who exactly started the "Rahm Emanuel talked with Rod Blagojevich 21 times" rumor.

Michael Sneed, who is female, claimed that Rahm Emanuel made 21 separate phone calls to Blagojevich. It was all unsourced, thrown out there, and believed until the Obama-camp's internal report was leaked/released.


Amongst memorable moments with Michael Sneed's reporting includes;
Wrongly identifying the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech massacre as an "unnamed Chinese national".


Supporting Sarah Palin.


Oh, and did you know that Michael Sneed herself is mentioned in the complaint against Blagojevich? Thanks to Gawker, you can see for yourself without going through the actual complaint. Is it any coincidence that there are more allegations of Michael Sneed putting lies out into the public?


Michael Sneed is a local gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. And she's the latest journalist to be steamrolled by Chicago's US attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald—the same prosecutor who sent fallen Times reporter Judy Miller to jail! But Sneed won't have to go to court to try to keep her sources secret, because they're named right in the complaint against corrupt governor Rod Blagojevich. You see, Sneed was allegedly the guv's go-to reporter for planting fake rumors designed to help his scheme to extort money in exchange for Obama's replacement in the Senate. Oh, this one is good.

Now with all this wealth of information on how sorry of a journalist Micheal Sneed is you would think that cable news shows would have taken the unsourced declaration that Rahm Emanuel was caught on FBI wiretaps talking to Rod Blagojevich 21 times with a grain of salt. And you would be wrong. Jed Lewison also from dailykos documents the atrocities in this video retrospective.

So not only did they not take it with a grain of salt, they ran with the story like it was set in stone. Just remember that the next time you are watching any cable "news" show and understand that they are more of a bastion of sensationalism than a source of credible news

Blagogate Shmagogate, Americans Aren't Buying It

Despite the best(worst) efforts of the RNC, FoxNews and Joe Scarborough, it turns out that not only has the Blagojevich scandal NOT hurt President Elect Barack Obama's image, but according to a new CNN poll his approval numbers actually went UP!

Eighty-two percent of those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday morning approve of the way the Obama is handling his presidential transition. That's up 3 points from when we asked this question at the beginning of December. Fifteen percent of those surveyed disapprove of the way Obama's handling his transition, down 3 points from our last poll.

The 82 percent approval is higher than then President-elect George W. Bush 8 years ago, who had a 65 percent transition approval rating, and Bill Clinton, at 67 percent in 1992.

"Barack Obama is having a better honeymoon with the American public than any incoming president in the past three decades. He's putting up better numbers, usually by double digits, than Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, or either George Bush on every item traditionally measured in transition polls," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll also suggests that the public approves of the President-elect's cabinet nominees, with 56 percent of those questioned saying Obama's appointments have been outstanding or above average, with 32 percent feeling the picks have been average, and 11 percent saying Obama's choices have been below average or poor.

That 56 percent figure is 18 points higher than those who said then President-elect Bush's cabinet appointments were outstanding or above average and 26 points higher than those who felt the same way about then President-elect Clinton's nominees.

Probably the most exciting aspect of the poll is that it shows that the more Republicans baselessly attack, the more the public will flock to Obama. Which makes this post exposed by kos on the National Review Online website even more insightful:

Rod Blagojevich, $1 trillion "fiscal stimulus", Harry Reid, expiring tax cuts, Nancy Pelosi, socialized health care, Charlie Rangel, reinstitution of the oil drilling ban, Joe Biden, liberal judicial nominees, Al Franken (maybe), nuclear Iran, John Murtha, car czars, Dennis Kucinich, PC culture, Chris Dodd, entitlement explosion, Barney Frank, entitlement implosion, Barbara Boxer, card check, the Clintons, Russian adventurism.

If Republicans can't come back in 2010 they should be sued for political malpractice.

Notice how the NRO poster never mentions anything having to do with Republicans solving problems. He is still holding hard and fast to that notion that all Republicans have to do is attack Democrats on big government and corruption issues and the country will just be handed back to them. Well I say more power to him. Please keep up the attacks, lies, and smears. Obviously they have worked so well for you over the last two election cycles.

But back to the numbers, who would have thought that a man who was being framed as a Marxist, Socialist, babykiller just a little more than a month ago would now be enjoying the support of over 80% of Americans? Its a testament to the way Obama has run his ship, both before the election and after, that he has obviously won a lot of his earlier detractors over. Thats not to say that he will keep the high approval rating after taking office, but at least its an indication that people are wiling to give him a fair chance IMHO. And thats definitely a step in the right direction for the country.

Keep handling it YOUR way Mr. President Elect

Season's Greetings

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Et Tu Rev. Lowery? Oh Noes

So I was just watching 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on MSNBC and as I said earlier I am fast becoming a fan. Well tonight David Shuster had on Reverend Joseph Lowery who will be giving the benediction for the inauguration to answer questions about Rev. Rick Warren being on the same program giving the invocation. But a strange thing happened on the way to the Ball. You see Rev. Lowery, who has in fact been a long time crusader for civil rights of all peoples, corrected David Shuster when he said that Rev. Lowery supports gay marriage. Rev. Lowery in his own words says that he has never said that he endorses gay marriage but he does endorse civil unions. Now I DARE John Cloud or any of his homeboys to call Rev. Lowery a bigot as they did President Elect Barack Obama. Nay I DOUBLE DARE you. I would say this puts the issue of whether people who support civil unions are bigots or not to bed forever. Period. End of discussion.

Que the video.

Obama Is The Anderson Silva Of Political Jui Jitsu UPDATED

So we are in day 5 of the meltdown over the Rick Warren pick to do the invocation at the inauguration. Now to be clear once again I will reaffirm my disdain for Rick Warren. Not only is he a homophobe, but he is also a bald faced liar when it comes to Prop 8. I think there is something in the Ten Commandments about bearing false witness but I digress. There has been outrage directed at President Elect Barack Obama however that I believe is way over the top. Besides that there has been, in my opinion a wrong headed analysis but some on the left who have concluded that the choice of Warren does nothing for Obama politically. Well I have to call bullshit on that. I don't personally feel that the choice of Rick Warren is purely politically as Obama has given him praise during the campaign and they have some common interests including climate change and AIDS relief issues. But on the political level I don't think anybody can honestly argue that this is a bad move. Its actually a great move politically if you ask me and allow me to explain.

The plain and simple truth is that Obama has a much better chance of picking up evangelical votes with this pick than he does losing LGBT votes. If you want to look at this through a purely political lens its actually brilliant no two ways about it. Exit polls showed that he garnered 70% of the LGBT vote. How much higher a percentage could he possibly get from that constituency? But with evangelicals he only garnered about 30% of their votes and he has a whole lot of room to grow. The truth is whether we like it or not LGBT folk won't be voting Republican any time soon. Now maybe they stay at home but I am not buying it. Most of them aren't single issue voters and if Obama gets the economy back on track, gets us out of Iraq, and repeals DADT I can't see them risking letting Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee both of which are TRUE gay haters come to power in 2012.

But with evangelicals you have to remember that there was a substantial bunch in the group that believed and perhaps still do believe that Obama is a muslim marxist socialist who kills babies and eats them for breakfast. We laugh but I have had to have heated arguments over people who were so caught up on the faux born alive scandal that they literally acted as if Obama was in a hospital some where with a hammer. And yet he still got almost 30 percent of that vote. And giving Rick Warren a platform at the inauguration is another thing that is going to make their head swirl about Obama. They are already amazed that he didn't name Bill Ayers as his Secretary of Defense. They are already amazed that Rev Wright isn't his Secretary of State. So now that he actually reached out to an evangelical who he clearly doesn't agree with on many issues he is going to at least make them question all of the beliefs they had about him pre election. And if he comes through on most if not all of his campaign pledges then many of those evangelicals are going to vote their best interests in 2012 rather than voting their fears.

Evangelicals are not some hive mind that are totally inflexible. The fact that many religious leaders are now coming out and saying that voting for a candidate that is pro choice is not a mortal sin shows that there is room for compromise IMHO. And whether people understand or get it or not, Rick Warren's followers are not just evangelicals. There are plenty of people who would never classify themselves as evangelical and might not even go to church who think his "Purpose Driven Life" books are the best books they have ever read. Hell I have a two different copies of the book here at my house that were both gifted to me for Christmas two years ago. Do you think that made me vote for McCain?

The real question in a political lens is this, do you try to reach out to a group of over 20 million who has bought books from this man and respect him and his opinions or do you try to reach out to a group that you already have over 70 percent support from and whom your opposition consistently and repeatedly villifies? I think the answer to that question is a no brainer.

Besides that think about what one of his potential rivals in 2012 has said about the Warren pick. Lets take MIke Huckabee.

HUCKABEE: Well, it’s ridiculous for people to be upset with Rick Warren. He’s one of the most influential spiritual leaders of this generation. I’ve known Rick for over 30 years. We were actually in seminary together in Ft. Worth, Texas, back in the mid-1970s. He is today what he always has been, and that’s a humble, gracious, thoughtful, very intellectual capable person. I think it’s a wonderful thing that Barack Obama reached out to him. I thought it was a tremendous expression on Barack Obama’s part. I’m proud that Rick Warren is going to do it and I think that people ought to recognize…look, that’s part of what being religious is all about. You have strong convictions and nobody is going to have a religious leader who is in agreement with everybody.

Now as the rival who is most likely to bring culturally conservative issues into the race for President in 2012 don't you think its going to be pretty hard for Huckabee to paint Obama as a radical after that kind of praise? Better yet between now and then you will have people like Sean Hannity who will HAVE to defend the choice of Warren to do the inauguration because he has aligned himself with Warren's views. So once again the hypocrisy will be on record for use four years from now.

As a more immediate political motive has anybody else noticed how the whole faux Blago Gate scandal wrt President Elect Obama has pretty much fizzled since the Warren choice came to light? Ask yourself a question, why was that information made available before the new year when they knew it would spark some controversy? Hmmmmm.

Now I will reiterate that yes Rick Warren is a bigot and yes I understand why people are upset about him giving the invocation. But you can't possibly convince me that this is a bad move politically. The invitation of Rick Warren to do the invocation is setting Obama up to do give a rear naked choke to his Republican opponents in 2012.

Update: Don't faint but even Pat Robertson has weighed in with support for President Elect Obama. From thinkprogress

Despite having “grave misgivings about him” earlier, Robertson said he now lauds Obama for picking a “middle-of-the road Cabinet.” “I’m very pleased so far,” he concluded

Keep It Moving, Nothing To See Here

The Blagojevich report from President Elect Barack Obama has finally been released. Nothing juicy has been extracted so far from the talking heads and it seems that true to Obama's word nothing improper was documented. Rahm Emanuel did talk to Governer Blagojevich once or twice but there was never any quid pro quo. One thing I did find interesting was that President Elect Obama did actually float Jesse Jackson Jr's name as one of four people who would make a good appointment to his vacated Senate seat. This was interesting because right after the Blagojevich scandal broke many people were trying to posit that Obama didn't want Triple J to get the Senate seat and had some how snubbed him.

From Karen Tumulty of TIME's Swampland Blogs post on the report.

Between the time that Mr. Emanuel decided to accept the position of Chief of Staff in the White House and December 8, 2008, Mr. Emanuel had about four telephone conversations with John Harris, Chief of Staff to the Governor, on the subject of the Senate seat. In these conversations, Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Harris discussed the merits of potential candidates and the strategic benefit that each candidate would bring to the Senate seat. After Ms. Jarrett removed herself from consideration, Mr. Emanuel – with the authorization of the President-Elect – gave Mr. Harris the names of four individuals whom the President-Elect considered to be highly qualified: Dan Hynes, Tammy Duckworth, Congresswoman Schakowsky and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

There was one caveat that Obama and some of his staff including Emanuel and Valarie Jarrett were interviewed last week by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald but it appears that there it was just an informal deal.

I am sure that there will be some "clouds" that are formulated by the FoxNews folk and Joe Scarborough over the report but it appears that after having had the report vetted by U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald it truly appears that this is much adieu about nothing.

The Grill

I have been kind of hot and cold on David Shuster of MSNBC. I thought he had some great moments during the Presidential Campaign but whenever he guest hosted for the prime time shows he seemed to want to morph into whichever host he was sitting in for. Now that he has taken over David Gregorys 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue I was hoping he would get back to doing his own thing and so far he has. He has introduced a new segment on the show called "The Grill" where he cross examines his guest about something they have recently said or done. Well last night he had on infamous climate change denier Senator James Inhofe and what ensued was definitely a grilling.

Great job Shuster! The chuckle in response was CLASSIC. If he keeps this up I am going to convert to officially being a fan.

(h/t thinkprogress)

And They Have The Nerve To Call Themselves Patriots

From CBS News we learn that there are other casualties of the unfounded and unjust war in Iraq that President Bush and Dick Cheney took us into. A former Haliburton subsidiary KBR stands accused of allowing our men and women in uniform to be exposed to hazardous substances without informing them of the health risks. This is what happens when you use war to make a profit. This is what happens when you hand out no bid contracts to your friends and former business associates. This is what happens when you put money over the lives of the men and women who serve our country. But Republicans are the patriotic party right? I don't know how you can read about a situation like this one and ever trust a Republican administration again.

In April of 2003, James Gentry of the Indiana National Guard arrived in Southern Iraq to take command of more than 600 other guardsmen. Their job: protect KBR contractors working at a local water plant.

"We didn't question what we were doing, we just knew we had to provide a security service for the KBR," said Battalion Cmdr. Gentry.

Today James Gentry is dying from rare form of lung cancer. The result, he believes, of months of inhaling hexavalent chromium - an orange dust that's part of a toxic chemical found all over the plant.

At least one other Indiana guardsman has already died from lung cancer, and others are said to be suffering from tumors and rashes consistent with exposure to the deadly toxin.


In a statement, the company told CBS News: "We deny the assertion that KBR harmed troops and was responsible for an unsafe condition."

The company says it notified the Army as soon as it identified the toxin.

Still, some Indiana guardsmen say they only just learned of the risk.

"I didn’t know I was exposed to a deadly carcinogen until five years later when I received a letter," said Indiana National Guardsman Jody Aistrop.

This is far from the first time the multi-billion dollar contractor has been accused of questionable conduct at Iraq. In addition to convictions for bribery, it's alleged KBR provided contaminated water to troops. The company denies all charges.

Republicans make a big deal about flag pins and saying the pledge of allegiance and all the while they are sending our citizens off to die needlessly while their friends get rich. Is anybody ever going to fall for this again? I certainly hope not.