Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I've been holding back on this story. It's one that's too easy to jump all over. Justin Gardner sums up my feelings nicely. If crimes were committed accountability is required. Until we know more, perhaps it is time for reflection instead of the screaming that is coming from both sides.

P.S. I listened to Sean Hannity (yeah, I know) today and once again he is the most heinous of the gas on the fire crowd.

Welcome to Washington, N.C.!

I drove past New Bern because the hotel in Washington had a better rate. When I first drove through town I thought I made a mistake. It's smaller than my hometown. It appears to be a sleepy fishing village on the Pamlico River. Now that I am settled, I think it's going to be okay for the night. There is a local bar and restaurant next door. I plan to venture over their a little later.

The drive today was pretty good but I am glad that I am moving inland. Two days of the Carolina low country was beginning to wear. There's only so many salt marshes you can cross. The drive from New Bern to Washington was nothing but tree-lined roads and cornfields. It reminded me of home.

Two things I learned on the way.

The Marines still use the V-22 Osprey. Camp Lejune is near Jacksonville, NC and I saw one flying over the highway. I nearly wrecked attempting to get a picture. Alas, safety got the better of me and no picture.

PBR supports NPR! If you've listened to any public radio lately, you know there is no such thing as commercial free. The ads are limited and usually once an hour. Imagine how it warmed my heart to hear at the top of the hour on All Things Considered to hear it was funded by the Pabst Blue Ribbon. Here's tipping one to you NPR!

Scene From The Road - New Bern, N.C. II

Tryon Palace, New Bern, N.C.

I have to say that New Bern had the prettiest downtown I have seen so far. I will definitely visit again when I have more time.

Scene From The Road - New Bern, N.C. I

John Wright Stanly House in New Bern, N.C.

It was so big I couldn't back up far enough to get it in the whole frame.

Scene From The Road - Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

Sorry, no actual beach photo. First, I got completely lost in Wilmington. But like any good man I just kept driving. Eventually I found the road to Wrightsville. Then I was confused by the weird parking situation and frightened by the sheer amount of vacationers. Wrightsville seemed very nice but man was it crowded. As pretty as it was, I prefer my beaches a little quieter.

Scene From The Road - Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Driving down the Grand Strand.

It was just as tackalicious as I remembered.

Scene From The Road - Georgetown, S.C.

Quick snap of the marina in Georgetown, S.C.

I feel like I've already crossed a hundred bridges.

Scene From The Road - Charleston, S.C. II

One of the mansions along the waterfront. There are many beautiful, huge houses in Chucktown. I was struck by how much the city reminded me of Boston. Makes sense when you consider they are both colonial port towns. It's filled with narrow winding streets lined with old buildings.

Scene From The Road - Charleston, S.C. I

Charleston Harbor looking towards Fort Sumter

Departure Charleston

Destination Washington, N.C.

More pictures and thoughts later today.

In the meantime, you can catch up on the latest shenanigans at The Copeland Institute of Lower Learning or The Moderate Voice.

Gary Busey Evangelized

I just saw freakish Gary Busey screaming his testimony on Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Now I'm really going to have a hard time getting any sleep.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Frontline - Age of AIDS

I watched part of Frontline's special Age of AIDS tonight. When it is repeated in your area, I urge you to watch.

It's been 25 years since AIDS was first diagnosed.

Much as I have spoken previously of my generations fears during the Cold War, it may be almost inconceivable to some today just how terrifying it was to live during the height of the AIDS frenzy. If a person was diagnosed with AIDS, they died. No other options.

The possibility of certain death combined with the elusiveness of the virus caused an explosive panic. I will never forget the vivid image of a haz mat unit being called to the scene of a car accident because it was discovered one of the victims had the disease.

That people now live with AIDS as a chronic and not necessarily fatal condition gives great hope. However, the Frontline piece brought back many sobering memories.

Of course I remember Reagan's seeming indifference to the crisis. What I did not remember or did not know was that there was an opportunity for Reagan to allay the nation's fears. White House staff had prepared Reagan for potential AIDS related questions prior to a particular news conference. At the conference Reagan was asked what he would do if his child's elementary school allowed a student with AIDS to attend. Given what we know today, Reagan's answer was shocking. He said in so many words that he would understand the trepidation of parent's in this situation. Given that his staff had prepared the President to state that the chances of casual transmission was non-existent, the sharp turn in the response was surprising.

Compare this to the actions of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Yes, Uganda. You know. That shining light of progressive thought in the 20th century. Museveni spoke personally to Ugandan's about AIDS, their fears and most importantly the medical facts. In his own words to not do so would have been criminal.


And the reason Reagan changed his response in that press conference?

A memo advising the President to ignore facts from professionals in the fields of medicine and science.

The memo writer?

John Roberts.

Unity 08

An online centrist party?

A revolution or pie in the sky?

Scene From The Road - Entering S.C.

Entering S.C.

Scene From The Road - Midway, Ga.

Midway Church in Midway, Ga.

When I was a little boy I visited this church and obviously it stuck in my mind. It was built in 1756 , burned during the American Revolution and rebuilt in 1796. It now sits serenely in the midst of moss draped oaks.

Welcome To Charleston!

Ye Gods! I'm having tremendous issues with the hotel proxy so posting is going very slowly. I have a few more pictures from the trip but unfortunately none from this fine city yet.

The reason is that when I arrived I had three things on my mind. Get a nice picture, find a hotel and find a bathroom. Not necessarily in that order. Between squeezing my knees, trying to find the harbor and looking for a decent hotel, I nearly wrecked three times. So I punted.

Some observations on Charleston so far.

Traffic here at rush hour is surprisingly bad.

There's a crap load of bridges.

There needs to be more signage.


But now I have had a beer and I hope to get my last two pictures up. Then maybe a few political rants. Tomorrow, I will grab a picture on the way out of town.

In the meantime, due to the lateness and my own frustration, I ended up eating at a freaking Applebee's.

Tomorrow I will end up somewhere on the Carolina coast. Probably around New Bern. If any of you people have a decent bar to recommend, now is the time to speak up.

Now back to fighting with the proxy.

Scene From The Road - Jesup, Ga.

Who the heck is Mark Williams? He's a Republican running for Georgia House seat 178. He also has a lot of signs. I saw dozens of yard signs throughout Wayne County and then this monstrosity in downtown Jesup. My conclusion? He has a big budget for signs.

I'm sure one of my regular local politico experts will now chime in and inform the child griftdrift that either Williams is running a hopeless campaign or is the incumbent in a district that he has already clinched.

Either way, it's still a butt load of signs.

Scene From The Road - Bristol, Ga

The post office in Bristol, Ga.

I just couldn't resist taking a picture of this tiny P.O. Bristol is a literal crossroads town. They don't even have a stop light. Just a 4 way stop!

Scene From The Road - Douglas, Ga

Coca-Cola sign in Douglas, Ga.

This was on the side of an office building. I don't know the origin but it looks like they just painted over it. I just thought it looked cool.

Scene From The Road - Ocilla, Ga

Ocilla Baptist Church

When I first went past it, I thought it was the court house.

Departure Moultrie

Destination Charleston.

Six hours on the road so no posting until then. Once I arrive, I will have pictures and thoughts.

The adventure begins.

Friday, May 26, 2006

My Chariot Awaits

The journey begins. Today I leave the ATL for a road trip. My first stop will be back at my little cabin in south Georgia to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend with friends. If you are a regular reader you know that my posting from down there will be limited. Expect some pictures once I get back online.

Next Tuesday I leave the south and head north. Four days to get to D.C. then on to Dover for the race on June 4th.

My first stop will be the Charleston, S.C. area. I plan to blog on my impressions as I travel and take plenty of pictures.

In the meantime have a good weekend and remember the reason for the day.

Breaking News: Gunfire In Rayburn Building

Sound of gunfire in the parking garage of Rayburn Building. Probably nothing but it seems these things are happening almost weekly. Washington is starting to feel a lot more like Deadwood these days.

On a personal note, CNN just showed a clip from a house committee meeting where a member noted that he had received the alert on his Blackberry.

That's a software product that my former engineering team worked on for the last three years.

Pat on the back for me.

Update: Press conference happening now. CNN cut in just in time to see some old codger reporter asking the Cap Police officer to identify herself. Then an off screen voice barked that she should turn her radio off. The officer was not phased by the feeding frenzy. What a fruforal.

Update II: Reports of a gunman in the gym. And my cable keeps cutting out. Damn you Comcast!

Spanish-American War Tax Refund

Quick! How many of you can tell me when the Spanish-American War happened?

Well, all these years you've been paying a tax to fund it. So did your parents, your grandparents, your great grandparents...

No, I'm not kidding.

Do What?!

Cate Blanchett to play Bob Dylan in biopic.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Only Democrats Need Civil Rights History?

I weep for us all.

UGA freshman questions the need for Civil Rights history.

Last week, however, a freshman in my 300-seat US History Since 1865 course
came in to discuss her exam with one of the graders and proceeded to work
herself into a semi-hissy over the fact that we had spent four class
of them consisting of a visit from Taylor Branch) discussing the
civil rights

"I don't know where he's getting all of
this," she complained,"we
never discussed any of this in high school." One
might have let the matter rest
here as simply an example of a high school
history teacher's sins of omission
being visited on the hapless old history
prof. had the student not informed the
TA in an indignant postcript, " I'm
not a Democrat! I don't think I should have
to listen to this stuff!"


Cool Electoral Map

This is a cool map.

I think I've seen this before but it looks like it has added the ability to click on the districts to see the latest news.

This is a must bookmark for anyone following the midterms.

h/t: Centerfield

Pat Robertson And The Leg Press

Pat Robertson claims he can leg press 2000 pounds. LIAR!

An article that catches Pat Robertson in a lie and also mentions FSU football cult hero Dan Kendra.

My day feels fulfilled.

Conservative Rock Top 50

A friend from NY sent me the National Review's Top 50 Conservative Rock songs.

Co-opting or accurate?

The Top Ten.

1. Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
2. Taxman by The Beatles
3. Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stone
4. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
5. Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys
6. Gloria by U2
7. Revolution by The Beatles
8. Bodies by The Sex Pistols
9. Don't Tread On Me by Metallica
10. 20th Century Man by The Kinks

I find the presence of The Sex Pistols deliciously ironic. Hell, I'm a little overwhelmed by the irony.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Gonzales and The Pentagon Papers

I know I am late on this but I did catch Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on This Week on Sunday.

Apparently, he believes that reporters can be prosecuted for publishing classified information. My personal opinion is it would depend on the circumstances. However, I am no lawyer.

This lawyer thinks Gonzales might need some remedial law lessons.

Senator Dodd To Seek Democratic Nomination

My reaction?


Home, Home Again

Back in the ATL. It's going to take me some time to set up the new laptop, catch up on TV and go through over 3000 articles on Bloglines.

Hopefully, I'll be back a little later with some pithy thoughts.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Yardwork

I am truly an old man. All I do is cut grass and pull weeds. Back in the ATL with more politics tomorrow.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Done Got Kicked Off!

The librarians kicked me off before i could edit my last post so Im sorry for any typos. Talk about ruthless government effeciency!

The Sensible Libertarian

It is a conflicted feeling to call oneself a libertarian while writing on a public library computer after listening to NPR on the drive and reminiscing on the John Prine concert seen on PBS over the weekend.

I've always told people that there are three types of libertarians: faux, hardline and sensible.

Faux libertarians generally listen to Neil Boortz. They are hard core Republicans on every issue but like the cache of being able to call themselves something different. It's rebellious. It gives them a thrill. They generally hate government and use buzz words like government schools. Oh but ask them about immigration, open borders and pre-emptive war and watch them squirm. They know nothing about libertarianism.

Hardline libertarians are generally good people. They follow the libertarian mantra of the only good government is no government. They stick to both the economic and social principles until it enters absurdity. Leglalize drugs but also dismantle all public health care. You can shoot smack all you want but when your dying in the gutter, they will walk on by. The hardliner says that the free market or the legal system will handle all corrections. Of course that only works in the through the looking glass world where when someone dumps nuclear waste in a stream, the downstream neighbors either don't care or get a fair settlement in court. Exactly what is a fair settlement for all of your descendants having third eyes?

The sensible libertarian recognizes that government is not evil but it should limited to what is absolutely needed. I have always said that I am a libertarian but I think the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is a pretty good idea. Government does a lot of bad things. Start with the I.R.S., our insane tax code and proceed outward.

But government also does a lot of good things. Like this library. For a miniscule cost to the tax payer, a person can come in here spend thirty minutes on a computer reading the news from across the world, read various local and national papers and find books that you may not be able to find in a local bookstore.

Now the hardliner and the faux would cast me as lazy. I could easily get my own computer, subscribe to any paper and order any book. They would be right. But they would be wrong about the young missionaries sitting next to me whose only contact with home is the few minutes a day they sit at these computers. They would be wrong about the young girl who spent less than 15 minutes researching a topic for a school paper and then scampered off to find a reference book. They would be wrong about a lot of things.

I challenge the hard liners and the fauxs to spend one day making a list of every service they use that is provided or enhanced by the government. I think the enormity of that list would be sobering.

Screaming in a vacuum or living in ideological fantasy land is easy. Acting with good sense is never easy. Maybe one day when the sensible libertarians start making themselves known we might have a true third party in this country.

Update: There is a very interesting discussion on this topic at Being Amber Rhea.

Gay Marriage In Georgia. Here We Go Again

Rep. Tom Bordeaux's predication has come true and Jay Bookman nails what I believe is the appropriate opinion on this matter.

Atlanta Public Affairs decaturguy is outraged over Cathy Cox's reaction and if what he says is true, I agree with him. What cowardice.

I'm a cautious fan of Cathy Cox. I think she has been an effective leader and is the type of poltician that could unite Georgia on many fronts. But this type of craven display is exactly what I abhor in politicians.

South Georgia people don't flow with the wind, Cathy. There is more to being from down here than sitting in a rocking chair on a porch talking about daddy.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

John Prine

On PBS. Good stuff.

Friday, May 19, 2006


It was a busy day in the real world. Time for fun. Have a good friday night and we will talk more in the morning.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Watching The Wheels

People say I'm crazy
doing what I'm doing,
Well they give me all kinds of warnings
to save me from ruin,

When I say that I'm o.k.
they look at me kind of strange,
Surely your not happy now
you no longer play the game,

People say I'm lazy
dreaming my life away,
Well they give me all kinds of advice
designed to enlighten me,

When I tell that I'm doing Fine
watching shadows on the wall,
Don't you miss the big time boy
you're no longer on the ball?

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go

Crist Not Attending Florida Family Policy Council

Good for you Charlie.

Now don't bow to the pressure that will be placed on you. There are plenty of Floridians who understand and respect personal values but also understand that there are some places government shouldn't intervene.

h/t: Florida Politics

Joe Galloway Blasts Pentagon

Joe Galloway is a legendary war journalist best known for co-authoring the bestselling "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young".

He recently participated in a rather heated exchange with Rumsfeld spokesman Larry Di Rita.

the question is what sort of an army are your bosses going to leave behind as
their legacy in 2009? one that is trained, ready and well equipped to fight the
hundred-year war with islam that seems to have begun with a vengeance on your
watch? or will they leave town and head into a golden retirement as that army
collapses for lack of manpower, lack of money to repair and replace all the
equipment chewed up by iraq and afghanistan, lack of money to apply to fixing
those problems because billions were squandered on weapons systems that are a
ridiculous legacy of a Cold War era long gone (viz. the f/22, the osprey, the navy's gold plated
and aircraft carriers and, yes, nuclear submarines
whose seeming future purpose is to replace rubber zodiac boats as the favorite
landing craft of Spec Ops teams, at a cost of billions).

Read the exchange here. It's worth it. There are no punches pulled.

Want to write it off as another left wing journalist out for blood? No so. Retired Special Ops Colonel W. Patrick Lang calls Joe Galloway"one of the greatest friends the American soldier ever had".

So is there anyone left that doesn't have a talk radio show that wants to shill the story that all the negativity is just about Bush hate by the radical left?

Big Day In The Senate

I was listening to NPR on the way over and they are covering the Hayden / CIA confirmation wall to wall. It was also noted that there will be several recesses to attend to key votes. The key votes involve the Senate version of the immigration bill.

Unfortunately, griftdrift will be travelling most of the day and although he will be listening will be unable to comment.

Click through my blogroll links to see what some diverse voices are saying on these two critical subjects.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lookin Out My Back Door

I think that's all I got for now, so I leave you with the view out my back door...

Katherine Harris and Charlie Crist

Kate and Charlie sittin in a tree

I got an email that said Florida Senate candidate Katherine Harris and Florida Governor candidate used to date.

I don't have time to research at this moment, so if you can find more, leave them in the comments.

Naughty, naughty Charlie!

UPDATE: Found it in the St Pete Buzz. Check out those snazzy pictures!

Georgia's Gay Marriage Ban

As expected, judges are beginning to strike it down because of the single subject rule.

Good is that means the issue will be revisited.

Bad is that even when correctly worded, it will still pass.

Good is that the rule of law demands that civil unions be addressed separately. It's a compromise that I believe with which many Georgians can live. Let's hope that moderation holds sway when this is inevitably discussed again. Another round of vitriolic sewage as before is the last thing the state of Georgia needs.

Information Underload

So I went exactly two days without using a real computer. Of course I used the poor substitution that is my phone for reading email and the occasional blog entry. Now, I sit at a computer in a local library in south Georgia. Once again fixing my jones for the blog world. Although I keep getting distracted by the same geode I noticed on a shelf and stared at 30 years ago.

Of course, I haven't looked at my blog reader yet. I track over 100 blogs a day which means generally I read about a thousand entries. I'm almost ascared to look at it right now.

Despite my now slightly sated internet addiction it has been amazing how quickly I have been able to unplug. I believe we sometimes forget that there is a vast world out there that does not refresh google news ten times a day, turn on CNN first thing in the morning and has never read a blog. Flyover states, red states, the sticks, whatever you want to call these idyllic places that are as foreign to some in the internet world as the internet is foreign to them. It makes you begin to question just how much the online world really matters.

Where before I was constantly drenched with information, now I am limited to the local paper, the local news and NPR. This means I get quick jolts from the information hypodermic instead of the slow steady drip of an IV bag.

The strange thing is that I don't feel I am missing out. I know there have probably been a thousand pieces of minutiae and a dozen blog storms since I disconnected but I don't feel as if I missed that much.

I know that the immigration bill's passage in the Senate is imminent. I know that President Bush is sending 6,000 National Guard to the border. I know that Georgia gubenatorial candidate Cathy Cox has finally begun running TV ads. That's what I know and I feel pretty comfortable with it.

If someone like me who used to be wired 24/7 feels okay with knowing the top layer issues, how do the thousands of other people in the sticks feel? Probably the same way except they know a little more about local topics than I do.

Thoughts worth pondering for the internet activist of the world. Your consumers are voracious but there's a lot of people that have never heard of you and probably never will. The internet has created unlimited possibilities to present message and have discussion. It should not become a limiting agent because we have blinders on that it is the end all and be all of those very things.

Now it is time to catch up on the blogs but then I am going to cut some grass and get ready to head to my niece's high school graduation in Florida.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cuttin grass open thread


Monday, May 15, 2006

Sitting in south Georgia

Things I cannot do on my phone. Carriage returns. Thats going to be obvious. This might end up looking like something out of James Joyce. Cant do links. Maybe i could but i bet its hard. But i can sit here under the south ga stars with a beer and a belly full of steak and its ok.

Blogging via phone

I have discovered i can blog with my phone. We have entered a new era. P.s. Triple tapping is the suck

The Future Of The Drift

As you now know, I left my job on Friday.

I've been given the opportunity to take some time off and figure out what I really want to do in life.

The first item of business is about five acres of yardwork in South Georgia. Today I hit the road heading south. Unfortunately, there is no internet at my little cabin in the woods. For the next several days, my posting will be limited. I'm going to attempt to head to the library at least once a day and update you on my latest thoughts, political tidbits from the hinterlands and possibly how much grass I cut that day.

In the future, I will be travelling quite a bit. I just ordered a lovely new laptop and I have a feeling it will be my new companion.

I honestly don't know the fate of this little blog. Yesterday was the first time in 47 days that I did not post. And people still came. That makes me glow a little bit. In just a few months, I've attracted my circle of friends, other bloggers and even anonymous people scourging me for my positions. That's when you know you've made it. Anonymous flames.

I'm going to keep it going. I won't be posting like a monkey on an overdose of ritalin, but I am sure over the next couple of months, I'm going to have some interesting stories. I hope you will continue to drop by and see what I wander into next.

I'll see you when I find my next internet outpost.

Let the griftdrift world tour begin!


(grifter editorial note. I'm intentionally leaving the subject of this post anonymous. I'm sure he wouldn't mind but I stupidly didn't ask permission to use his name and I do have some standards)

As I posted earlier, Saturday I had an interesting lunch with a man from South Georgia.

Before we get to our conversation, I'm going to shock you a bit. I've had to travel to my ancestral home many times over the past year. About a month ago, I began hearing rumblings of an ethanol plant being built in the region. Now here's the shocking part for you big city folk. When I heard that a group of south Georgia farmers and business men were getting together to build a high tech energy plant, I knew something was up. Many times, when it comes to managing resources, cutting edge innovations go hand in hand with knowing how to run a tractor or fix a combine. If you don't believe me, simply go to the F.U.E.L. website and look at the pictures tying this venture to it's illicit past. There's a reason men in overalls knew to use corn to make liquor.

The man I met on Saturday is typical of those I knew growing up. Most people would not expect a vibrant energy from a south Georgian. Most have the image of the slow talking hayseed with not much to say. This gentleman may be that way until you start to talk about ethanol. The secret we all keep is that we do generally keep to ourselves, until you mention something that's an interest. Then, we can't shut up.

I admitted that I knew very little about ethanol but since Dateline, 60 Minutes and, as I was leaving my house that morning, CNN had covered the subject, I thought I should learn a few things.

I received the answers and more. To be honest, the amount of information was a bit overwhelming and the numbers had my head spinning. It's taken this long to absorb everything. I am not going to go into details here but I encourage to visit First United Ethanol's website and view their slide show. It's fascinating.

My two main questions were could ethanol be profitable and why south Georgia?

Admittedly, my questions on profitability rose from my memories of the gas shortage in the 70s. I remember lots of excitement about products like gasahol, but I also remember the economics of processing these alternatives was not feasible. I had stuck in my mind the old canard that it takes three gallons of gas to make one gallon of ethanol.

What I discovered on Saturday is that most people still have these ideas floating around in their head. The problem is the industry has improved but no one knows. It's been 30 years since the last fuel crisis and alternatives were seriously discussed. The ethanol industry has not been sitting around doing nothing. Plant operations and refining processes have grown to the point of effeciency that a plant of 50 employees can produce massive quantities of ethanol. With the rise of effecient technology, the economics have now reached feasibility. With gas prices at their current cost, ethanol can be competitve. Even the E85 blend that requires "flex vehicles".

Let me interject that I believe there is still a psychological problem with Americans giving up their gas guzzlers but I am not going to go into that here. The current fuel crisis combined with a growing awareness of the public that we are beholden to some not so friendly people I believe will eventually overcome the stigma of driving "hybrids".

My second question was why south Georgia?

As a native of the area, I know that it is the most agricultural portion of the state, but they don't grow much corn. As my guest put it, farmers grow what will make them money. I believe he had an eye to the future with that statement but the current economics is cotton and peanuts will make a heck of a lot more money than corn. There are two reasons for building a plant in this are and both are compelling: distiller's grain and carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide? Yeah, I had the same quizzical look on my face that you probably have right now.

CO2 and distillers's grain are by-products of the modern ethanol refining process.

Distiller's grain is easy to understand. For many years, grain by-products have been used for livestock feed. That there is significant portions of this grain left over from the refining of ethanol is a fortunate coincidence. That there are many cows in south Georgia and a high demand for feed products is not.

CO2 sounds odd when you first here it, then you get the explanation. Chicken McNuggets. CO2 is used in the freeze drying process for processed chicken. There are two large chicken processing plants in Camilla and Moultrie. They always need more carbon dioxide. Once again, no coincidence.

The business model incorporates these two potentially profitable by-products into the economics of the plant. The hope is these two additional revenue streams will make up and surpass the cost of having to import the ethanol corn.

Maybe the most important item I took away from my lunch is that ethanol appears to be viable and potentially profitable. First United Ethanol has a solid business plan and good financial backing. The names on its board of directors will not be familiar to you but they are to me. This is not a group of wacky environmentalist sitting around a campfire singing kumbaya. These are business men. They intend to make money and it appears they have a plan to do just that.

Maybe next time, you see that farmer driving a John Deere with a twinkle in his eye, you will have second thoughts about calling him just another backwards hayseed.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ethanol Saturday!

I'm having lunch with a couple of south Georgia boys. One is starting up an ethanol refinery. I'm going to pick their brains.

More later.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Freedom Is Just Another Word

For nothing left to lose.

For the first time in 15 years, I am unemployed.

And it's a good thing.


More this weekend on the future of griftdrift and the future of Drifting Through The Grift.

Where Did All These People Come From?

Suddenly Katherine Harris has 4 opponents in the Republican primary.

Tampa businessman LeRoy Collins Jr
Orlando attorney William "Will" McBride
Pinellas developer Peter Monroe
Tampa attorney Belinda Noah

Okay, drifters, get to researching! The probability that one of these is a wacko is high!

UPDATE I: Belinda Noah already has a campaign web site up. And it's on Blogger?!?!?! YE GODS! What hath the internet wrought?

UPDATE II: Thanks to a tipster, I now have Belinda Noah's official website.

UPDATE III: William McBride was admitted to the Florida BAR in 2003. So either he's a late bloomer, a transient or a young'un.

UPDATE IV: Pete Monroe helped clean up the S&L mess. You know the Bushes and failed lending institutions just go together like peas and carrots.

The Magic 30 Mark Has Been Broken

Harris poll shows Bush approval rating at 29.

How low, oh how low can it go?

Oh Crap!

Katherine Harris has renewed her concealed weapon permit!

Please remember, Katherine or should I say Ms. Harris, yes Ms. Harris is more respectiful, yes it is now the time to be as respectful as possible, anyway.....


Love, Ms. Harris. Nothing but love.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bad News For Cathy Cox?

Cathy Cox, candidate for Georgia Governor, always proudly touts her primary accomplishment as Secretary of State. Following the Florida ballot disaster of 2000, Cox moved quickly to install Diebold electronic touch pad voting machines in Georgia. The machines were installed by the 2002 elections and initial feedback was positive.

The nagging doubt has always been security. Without a paper trail, how could anyone be sure there had been no tampering? There is no doubt the new machines solved problems of undervoting but were all the votes cast as expected?Just fodder for the conspiracy theorists and tin foil hat brigades?

Maybe not.

Elections officials in several states are scrambling to understand and limit the
risk from a "dangerous" security hole found in Diebold Election Systems Inc.'s
ATM-like touch-screen voting machines.

I still believe this is less of an issue than someone will make but surely Cox primary opponent Mark Taylor will use this to go the offense and question her judgment. Only time will tell, if this will be a non- issue or a drag on Cox current momentum.

We're The Governnment., Trust Us

The sad fact is that I believe the NSA program of collecting domestic telephone data, not conversations, was not only legal but probably a good idea. If used correctly, simply knowing who was calling who and attempting to detect connections to known terrorist suspects is little more intrusive than asking for ID when you board an airplane. Given that this type of sifting through the noise could have actually prevented attacks convinces me that the potential good outweighs the theoretical harm.

I also believe that if this program had been revealed three years ago, most Americans would have agreed.

But after discovering that we have an administration that will not obtain warrants for domestic surveillance, uses provisions of the Patriot Act to target non-terrorist activities, formed secret cabals to plan torture and declassifies intelligence for the sole purpose of defaming political enemies ,I believe most Americans are no longer willing to give our government the benefit of the doubt.

Even if a program has potential benefit, why should we trust you to run it honorably?

Neil Boortz Is Full Of Crap

Yeah, tell you something you didn't know.

I was listening to the loud mouth on my way to work this morning when he posited the following scenario.

(Paraphrased)Let's say that there is an al-Qaeda bomb maker in Pakistan and
he calls someone in Ramallah. The NSA picks up this conversation, notifies the
authorities, the guy is picked up. Let's say the same bomb maker in Pakistan
calls someone in Bali or Malaysia. The NSA picks up this conversation, notifies
security forces and the guy is picked up. Now, let's say the bomb maker in
Pakistan calls someone in the U.S. and the NSA disconnects because they can't
listen to a call in the U.S. What happens a few days later when this terrorist
blows up a movie theater?


Here's what would really happen. NSA picks up the calls from the Pakistani bomber. Records the call. Applies to the FISA court for a retroactive warrant. There is no chance the FISA court would not grant the warrant. Given the evidence of the phone call, the NSA now notifies local authorities who possessing the phone tap evidence get their own warrant and apprehend the U.S. suspect. All legal. All constitutional. And all possible within 24 hours of the initial phone call.

And people accuse "liberals" of being chicken littles?

The next time I hear someone call Boortz a libertarian, I'm going to vomit on their shoes.

You Better Call Mama

Mother's Day is coming up and if you don't call your mother, the NSA will know.

The agency in charge of a U.S. domestic spying program has been secretly
collecting phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, including calls
made within the United States, USA Today reported on Thursday

So far the database only contains the surface information of the calls. They are not actually listening to calls. But anytime a government starts making a huge database of information on the acitivities of its citizens, I start to get nervous. I'm not the only one.

Among major U.S. telecommunications companies, only Qwest Communications
International Inc. (Q.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
has refused to help the NSA program, the paper said.

Qwest, with 14 million customers in the Western United States, was "uneasy about the legal implications of handing over customer
information to the government without warrants,"
USA Today said.

Good for Qwest and good ol' fashioned western independence.

UPDATE: I just read this at Glenn Greenwald's.

Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest's lawyers
asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the
agency refused.

The more I hear about this, the more nervous I get.

UPDATE II: Bush to speak shortly about recently revealed NSA program.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Shame, Sonny. Shame.

What the holy hell?

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has vetoed Senate bill 236 that would have extended health coverage to the survivors of any state employee killed in the line of duty. This was not a giveaway. It merely gave the survivors the right to continue the coverage by paying the same premium as an active state employee.

The bill passed the Senate 51-0. It passed the house 124-3.

Let's put aside the right or wrong for a second and just look at the politics. How does he do this in an election year? With a giant revenue surplus? How do you deny benefits to widows, widowers and children of someone who gave their life doing the state's work? This makes exactly zero sense.

Democrats, you have an issue that you can pound until the cows come home. Will you run with it?

Republicans, if you can explain the political sense of this action, please do?

As far as whether it is right or wrong, this just feels wrong. Some will argue that it's a matter of personal responsibility. Even Sonny indicated that the state shouldn't be liable for benefits while not receiving the "reciprocal benefit of the services of that employee".

Sorry, Sonny and all you personal responsibility ideologues. The state received the ultimate benefit of those employees. Their lives.

I am no fan of the state giving something for nothing, but I am also a human being. Unless the current administration has allowed the state benefit system to run into the ground, the yearly hit it would receive from the small number of employees suffering death in the line would be miniscule. If I am wrong about this then let's see the books. Then, let's have an accounting of how the benefit system could be in such dire straits.

How does anyone see that this is the right thing to do?

Shame on you, Sonny. If you don't provide some pretty solid justification on this issue, shame.

Sort Of Midday Funny

Ever since man first stepped out of the African plains, he has been fascinated
by the act of blowing sh*t up.


In The Navy

Transcript of a recent conversation.

Campbell: So I was just reading about why San Francisco became a gay mecca. It turns out that when the Navy was more hard-core about kicking out gays, one of the processing center was in San Francisco.

griftdrift: When you started this conversation, I seriously thought you were going to say they dropped them off like sacks of kittens.

Campbell: Yep, that's pretty much it.

Things you just can't make up.

Hookergate Enters Oliver Stone Land

TPM asks a good question.

Why does a 64 year old man take an 8 year prision sentence? Don't politicians normally start squealing like a pig the minute the "p" of plea bargain crosses a prosecutors lips?

When I first read this a scene from Oliver Stone's "JFK" came to mind. You know the one. Where Justice Warren confronts Jack Ruby in prison and ask him to talk. Ruby responds, "Can you protect me? You don't know these people".

Life. Art. Take your pick.

John Tester New Ad

John Tester is running for Senate in Montana.

Now this is a heck of a TV spot.

I particularly like the hay tossing. griftdrift has fond memories (hated at the time) of tossing hay.

UPDATE: I'm now officially fascinated with Tester. Check out his blog. And they say populism can't work. You tell that to a farmer with Mr. Smith like dreams. I can't even vote in this race and I just added this blog to my bloglines reader just so I can see what happens next.

Breaking News: Bense Won't Run

St Pete Times blog Buzzline has been tipped that Florida Speaker of the House Allan Bense will not enter the Republican primary against Katherine Harris.

No wonder she looks so happy.

A Day Without Katherine Harris...

is like a day without sunshine.

Ummmmmmm. Okay. I'm entranced and speechless.

h/t: Discourse

Picture courtesy of NY Times

Kos and Me, Part III

I won't bore you with the three hours of lawyering, wonkery and horror that followed the event. One day I promise you a discussion of estate tax, paper trail voting machines and a possible centrist third party.

But not now.

Let's talk about the two things where griftdrift and Kos absolutely agree. (absolute in the sense that griftdrift drank a lot of beer and is paraphrasing.)

In 2004, Richard Morrison showed that Tom Delay was vulnerable. Unfortunately, Morrison stated his pro-life but libertarian view that although certain actions bother him, he believes it's not the business of the government to interfere with private lives. He suffered abandonment by the pro-choice groups.

Kos paraphrase: Single issues are not worth losing the whole game. Once we are in power, things will be worked out.

For the past 30 years, conservatives have built grass roots activists and more importantly financial bases that the Democrats have ignored.

Kos paraphrase: The movement has just begun. You may not see fruits until 2016 but just you wait.

You know. This is a "told you so" moment. Those on the frontlines of the creation vs. evolution battles have been screaming for years that "they" were taking over the school boards. No one listened. No one cared.

Twenty years ago, the Religious Right started winning seats on school boards. Now, they hold the White House.

It's about time somebody noticed.

Epilogue: None of the progressives sniffed out the moderate in their midst. For the most part they were nice and drank a lot of beer. Two marks on the side of good in my mind.

More importantly, I agree with Kos on two very important points.

Most people will care about the big issues and come to some agreement on the hot issues.

Politics is local. And that's where elections are won.

A fun night. Glad I went.

UPDATE: As Rusty pointed out in his comment, he recorded the event and you can now listen to the podcast here.

Also sarawara attended the event and has her take here. I deny everything.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Kos and Me, Part II

Kos has created quite a stir with his Washington Post article on Hillary Clinton.
Reaction from the centrist slice of the blogosphere is as expected. You can read about the larger issues here, here and here.

Instead of rehashing what has been said elsewhere, I want to focus on a particular detail.

Kos on Clinton and Jesse Jackson:

Clinton's third way failed miserably. It killed off the Jesse Jackson wing of the Democratic Party and, despite its undivided control of the party apparatus,
delivered nothing.

Joe Gandelman disagrees:

Actually, Bill Clinton didn't kill off Jesse Jackson's wing of the Democratic party: Jesse Jackson killed it off due to his hubris ("Hymietown"), lack of overwhelming proven clout at the polls, his running into a buzzsaw of bad publicity due to books and articles about how he operated with his organization,
and his personal life becoming tabloid-fodder. Not Clinton's doing.

Not surprisingly, I agree with Joe but I will admit that for me it is more personal.

As I previously recounted, I was part of the relief effort during the devastating 1994 Albany floods.

Growing up just 35 miles south of the city, I knew Albany. I knew the scars of racial tension had never fully healed. It was a city divided geographically by the Flint River and socio-economically by chasms of poverty and race.

In 1994, the disparity never seemed more evident. Rising waters from the Flint River nearly wiped out entire African American neighborhoods. It is a sad legacy of poverty that many times the poor are relegated to the sections of cities prone to flooding. However, the flooding was so devastating, so far beyond imagination that it reached into every part of the city. In one way or another, everyone was affected.

In the face of catastrophe, for a short time, in a city where race was everything, race no longer mattered. The city of Albany faced extinction. There was real possibility that it would never recover. Black, white, hispanic all united to save their city. It wasn't about race. It was about being a citizen of Albany.

Then Jesse came to town.

The seamier side of natural disasters is they almost always generate folklore and legend. In Albany the whispers soon began. Georgia Power, who controlled the dam just north of the city, had diverted water away from white neighborhoods while sacrificing the black neighborhoods downstream.

Anyone I talked to knew it was nonsense. Everyone knew that Georgia Power had fully opened their flood gates only after the flood water had topped the dam by ten feet. More evidence lay in the flooded streets of mostly white middle class neighborhoods surrounding Kinchafoonee Creek. The Flint River crested at over 43 feet above normal level. Water reached over a mile beyond its banks. To think that anyone could have directed this onslaught was to ponder the absurd.

Then Jesse came to town.

Jackson flew in to hear the concerns of the citizens. After hearing the stories of the dam and the unprecedented destruction on the south side, he promised to expose the truth. He promised investigations. He promised justice.

With one whirlwind stop, he shattered the tenous unity that held together a city on the brink.

Weeks later, when Jackson returned for a second town hall, extra security was required. There had been several death threats. The old ways had returned. Lines had been redrawn. Us against them. All undone in such a short time.

Months later, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division concluded there had been no possibility of saving the south side and there was no evidence that any water had been diverted.

Jesse Jackson had no comment. He was elsewhere.

Bill Clinton didn't lose Jesse Jackson. He was lost every time someone witnessed his vampiric tendency to show up at a tragedy. He was lost every time someone witnessed his need to place pride before principle. For me, he was lost one hot day in Albany, Ga.

I believe Kos wants to inflame the activist wing of the Democratic Party by invoking one of its greatest firebrands. For some of us, that particular flame only generates cold.

Kos and Me, Part I

Looks like it's my day to taunt liberals.

Tonight Markos Zuniga and Jerome Armstrong will be attending a party hosted by Blog For Democracy and Drinking Liberally. Festivities will be at a usual hangout of mine: Manuel's Tavern. Of course, I will be lurking about. The possibility of a drunken progressive pep rally? Too tempting to pass.

Progressives don't have a sixth sense to detect moderates do they?

griftdrift Mea Culpa


Previously, I posted that Florida Republican candidate for Governor Charlie Crist was hosting online chats. To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, that was correct from a certain perspective. The "online" in this case is a conference call, not a web chat.

My post was based on an entry in a Florida blog that actually described it as an "online meetup". Now, this blog was a major MSM blog and they should know better, but that's not the point.

The point is that I should have followed up. It would have taken me 20 seconds to head to Charlie Crist website and see that the online chat was not web based at all. It's actually a conference call.

The worst part is my lack of follow-through did a disservice to another Florida candidate. As a commentor pointed out, Democrat Jim Davis has already held two real web chats.

The Davis stuff even has transcripts. I encourage you to read it. It's a good example of what I intended to laud.

And for my commentors? Good job. Keep me on my toes. I will try to do better.

Atrios' List And Me

Atrios has list of "consensus issues" among liberal bloggers. James Joyner attacks it from the perspective of potential voters.

Me? I'm going to go with the strictly personal. Okay, the fact is that I got accused of being a "lefty" blogger Sunday and I am feeling feisty. I'm going to use this list to disabuse at least a portion of that notion. For now, my comments will be limited to little more than agree or disagree. I will elaborate on each later. My positions in bold.

The List

  • Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration. Agree
  • Repeal the estate tax repeal. Strongly disagree
  • Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI. Disagree
  • Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one). Agree somewhat
  • Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation. Agree somewhat
  • Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise. Agree
  • Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code. Absolutely disagree
  • Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination. Strongly Agree
  • Reduce corporate giveaways. Agree
  • Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan. Somewhat agree
  • Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions. Absolutely disagree
  • Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too. Abolutely agree
  • Paper ballots. Agree somewhat. Both systems should be improved.
  • Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter. Agree only if tied to job retention.
  • Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes. Absolutely disagree.

Harris And The Bushes

President Bush was greeted by Katherine Harris today at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa. I think the picture says it all. Harris looks scared. George Bush looks skeptical. Jeb looks like he's going to kick her ass.

Some other random thoughts.

Harris looks scarily like an ex-fling.

Wow, Jeb is REALLY TALL!

Midday Quiz

Yet another political quiz.

griftdrift =

Libertarian. You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.

And when I looked at the celebrity picture map of ideology, I nailed Adam Sandler in the face. Make of that what you will.

Monday, May 08, 2006

United 93

Just saw it.

It's difficult. Very difficult.

More later.

Hayden And MZM

It's probably nothing but...

While director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden
contracted the services of a top executive at the company at the center of the
Cunningham bribery scandal, according to two former employees of the

I think the bigger question is does anyone actually vet any more? Good lord. Of course they didn't really have a lot of time to check Mr. Hayden's closet for skeletons. Which once again reminds us that Goss' resignation was all very sudden. Can someone in the Washington press corps please start the digging? Something just ain't right here.

Katherine Harris To File Today

At 3:30 today, our gal, Katherine Harris will officially file for the Florida Republican primary.

Now, is she still serious (heh heh, I said, serious) or is she just sticking it out so that Bense or someone else will be able to get the millionaire exemption on campaign contributions?

And The Winners Are....

Eddie Copeland's quest to find the top Best Picture Winner's is over.

Check out the top 20 here.

You might spy a few quotes from yours truly.

Thanks Eddie for a lot of fun.

A Forward Looking Politician

While the old school power structure in Georgia politics seems to struggle with net activists and grassroots organizations, Florida Republican candidate for Governor Charlie Crist seems to have a handle on the future.

Charlie Crist has announced the first in a series of online chats with
grassroots supporters at 7 p.m. on May 18. The campaign web site,, includes a link to
the online meetup.

Good for him. Mr. Kahn? Are you paying attention?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

With Glenn Beck's Imminent Arrival

Glenn Beck will arrive at CNN Headline News tomorrow. This event has inspired me to resurrect something I wrote back in January.

Originally written on 1-19-06:

Ken Jautz' goal is to revamp CNN's Headline News. Apparently re-vamping is defined in the CNN lexicon as wasting every minute of prime time on bloviaters spewing an unending stream of feces into our living rooms.

On 1-17-05, CNN announced that it was hiring syndicated radio host Glenn Beck to host an hour prime time show on Headline News. This would be the same Glenn Beck that said on his show, "I wonder if I'm alone in this -- you know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year".

I love my mother. However, her obsessive watching of Nancy Grace every night makes me want to run screaming into the woods. Now the geniuses are sacrificing another hour in the name of that new news paradigm, entertainment.

Hey Ken Jautz? I've got a radio show that always pulls in to 10-20 listeners! When will your standards be low enough to hire me? I've got a better idea. How about you use your Headline News channel to actually report the, um I don't know, NEWS.

Ken Jautz. Idiot.

Kos and Hillary

Much will be made of Kos' Washington Post editorial on the Clinton problem.

Instead of another blog regurge, I will just say he echoes a sentiment a local Democrat expressed to me many moons ago. To paraphrase, was the eight years of Clinton worth the cost to the national party?

A difficult question. If Hillary runs, will it be the cold, calculated 90s DLC strategy of centrism and triangulation? Or will it be the forward looking, grass roots activism, web 2.0 vision of current party chair Howard Dean?

Dean acting, well, very Dean-like on Meet The Press. Kerry in Iowa. Hillary with more money than God. Bloggers in the op-eds of major dailys.

Slowly, the ships of political campaigns are turning into the wind. Only time will tell who has the correct tack.

I Once Caught A Ten Pound Bass

Actually it was six pounds but this is a fish story.

President Bush's response when asked what was the high point of his Presidency:

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound (3.402
kilos) perch in my lake,"

This has to be out of context or a bad translation, right? Right? Bueller?

Source: Reuters via Shakespeare's Sister

Pelosi The House Cleaner

This morning on Meet The Press, Nancy Pelosi said "maybe it will take a woman to clean up the house".

I thought it was clever.

Going Through The Motions? Not so much.

Mars and Venus in blogorama.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Derby Day!

I'm off to enjoy cold beverages in the sunshine and watch a little horse racing!

Three thoughts from griftdrift.

1. griftdrift loves gambling. It should be legal everywhere NOW!

2. griftidrift loves horses. A nobler beast was never born.

3. griftdrift hates mint julips. They taste like ass.

Enjoy your day and throw back a few on me!

Bush And World War III

Bush sees United 93 as first blow in World War III.

Yes, World War III. Bush knows as well as anyone what that term meant to anyone in my generation or older. Armageddon. Our children have had the grace of living in a world where the thought of instant total annihilation is foreign.

Do we really want to invoke images that will cause them the constant nagging fears that so tortured the Cold War generations?

I predict a spike in the Rapture Index.

Bush Approval Rating: How Low Will It Go

Regular reader Campbell emailed an interesting link.

Bush on track to have lowest mid-term rating ever.

Each week seems to bring a new low number. I believe that, as others have commented, for the numbers to be this low Bush is actually starting to lose his base. He is starting to suffer from an economic perfect storm. Most political analyst will tell you that the electorate votes with its pocketbook. Although the economy in general is doing well, the rising gas prices are having a sticker shock effect on the psyche of consumers. Combine this with the relentless attacks of the fiscal conservatives on Bush's spending policies and I have the feeling that the Oval is suddenly a cold, lonely place.

Is there anything that can pull Bush out of the tail spin?

I honestly can't think of anything.

Can it get worse?

Based on an observation I made in Florida last week, I believe it can. The gas shock is rippling into other areas of the economy.

As I drove around one of the fastest growing counties in the country, I saw something new. New lots with no construction. A friend in real estate told me that new home sales were off by 40%. In an area where they used to build houses so close that neighbors never had to leave their kitchens to borrow a cup of sugar, dirt now lays fallow.

If the real estate bubble bursts, Bush might be captaining a ship headed for the heart of the beast.

No Sex In The Safe Room

Okay, so it probably wasn't hookers that forced Porter Goss to resign.

I still like my list.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Carp Circles Live!

It's the return of the weirdest friday night radio show on the net.

Carp Circles Live!

Fueled by cheap beer and the love of lost waitresses, join Moe Beers and Jimmy The Hand (aka griftdrift) as they tell tales of two modern rednecks trying to make sense of this crazy world!

Tonight on Carp Circles Radio from 8-11 eastern.

You can also check out the boys on webcam by using yahoo messenger and contacting username griftdrift.

Tonight, we will be featuring music from the newly released Drive-By Truckers CD "A Blessing and A Curse".

Join us for the fun!

Adult Programming Note: We try to keep it clean before 9:00 but after that there's no telling what we might say.

Top Ten Reasons Goss Resignation Linked To Hookers

The Top 10 Reasons Porter Goss' Resignation Must Be Linked To Hookers.

10. Approaching Wilbur Mills birthday.

9. Bill O'Reilly strangely quiet

8. Friday is sexy scandal day. Monday is boring bribery day.

7. Defense contractors are fond of painted ladies.

6. General misunderstanding of the term "tap"

5. With an assistant named Dusty, is there really any question?

4. NSA only listens. CIA is all about action, baby!

3. Democrat conspiracy to distract from drug-addled Patrick Kennedy

2. Cinco de Mayo means White House Press Corps already too drunk to cover story.

And the number 1 reason Porter Goss' resignation must be tied to hookers is....

1. It's Washington. Only consituents get screwed for free.

Joining the Outside The Beltway traffic jam. Lord, what a friday.

CIA Director Porter Goss Resigns

Guess now that all the leakers have been fired...

Read about it on the big boy and big girl blogs.

I know I'm being lazy but I am too busy communing with my hero Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Okay, someone just informed me this might have something do with hookers. I'm going to start paying attention again.

Midday Snack

Have some nuts.

Satanism is reported to flourishing in Russia.

Laughter is flourishing in Driftland.

No Iraq/Vietnam Piece Today

Frankly, I am in too good a mood for such a downer. I'll work on it this weekend and try to publish Monday.

I'm also currently feeling intimidated by the talent of Glenn Greenwald.

Agree or disagree with the politics, Glenn is a talented, prolific writer. His latest entry posits how some conservatives distancing themselves from the "liberal" Bush.

Someone told me the other day that 18% of the people think Bush is too liberal. Also, 18% of the country believes they have been abducted by UFOs. Coincidence?

I don't have anything to back up those numbers, but wouldn't it be funny if it's true?

Yep Yep Yep Yep Yep

I love the Sesame Street Martians!

Thanks to regular commentor Campbell for finding this video!

Another Can't Possibly Be True

TPM Headline: I wasn't drunk, I was high.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy can't really be blaming the trendy new fad of sleep-driving can he?

It's like the 50s all over again! Pills and booze for everyone!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

More On The Atlanta Protests

An eyewitness account of a portion of the Rumsfeld demonstration.

Apparently the turnout was sparse.

Come on lefties! You can do better than that!

At least there was some near nudity.

A quote from one of griftdrift's college professor: "You can't have a proper version of "Hair" without nudity and a burning of the flag!"

Updated: Now with a picture! Courtesy of Going Through The Motions Sarawaracara!

Rummy In Atlanta!

I'm falling down on the job! I didn't even know he was going to be in town.

Rumsfeld was taking questions following a speech at the Southern Center For International Studies when a person ( possibly Ray McGovern of VIPS ) questioned his emphatic pre-war statements that Saddam had WMDs. Rumsfeld tried to side step.

Think Progress has the video.

Decide for yourself.

Big tip of the cap to regular reader Cartmolari for emailing the link.

And griftdrift promises that in the future he will more on the ball when catfights break out in his own backyard.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has video AND transcript.

If Only Were A Bit Less Delicate...

I was putting together some thoughts about Iraq, Vietnam and the use of force but I realized that I want some time to make it more coherent.

In the meantime, for some background, I encourage you to read Shelby Steele's piece in the WSJ's Opinion Journal on why he believes that if we weren't quite so delicate things would be different in Iraq.

"Certainly since Vietnam, America has increasingly practiced a policy of
minimalism and restraint in war. And now this unacknowledged policy, which
always makes a space for the enemy, has us in another long and rather
passionless war against a weak enemy."

Weirdly, he wraps his reasoning around "white guilt".

Not surprisingly this has elicited some strong reactions.

From the left, you have Hilzoy, Glen Greenwald and David Schraub.

From the right, you have Jeff Goldstein, Mark Noonan and Wizbang.

If this all has a familiar ring to it, stick around. I hope to have my thoughts up some time tomorrow.

Wrestling and Immigration

Does wrestling really tell the middle class political winds?

An interesting piece well worth reading.

Bense Ready In Florida?

All the signs are pointing to Florida House Speaker Allan Bense jumping into the Republican Senate primary. GOP higher ups are all but begging him to challenge griftdrift's favorite girl, Katherine Harris.

With the Florida legislative session winding down, there could be an announcement before the end of the week.

Be strong Katherine! Only one week to go!

The Latest Right Wing Meme

I first saw this picture at Little Green Footballs.

Today, Michelle Malkin has picked up the ball.

"Few have challenged the Pentagon's decision to let admitted
illegal aliens
--some using illegal fake
-- join the armed forces."

Talk about a stretch. Gangs in the armed forces are more evidence of an illegal immigrant takeover? Is it any surprise that both LGF and Malkin choose to focus on the Latino gang tags?

When I first saw this story, I was reminded of a conversation I had with friend who was a naval aviator. He had just returned from his first tour of duty on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier with over 8,000 personnel. When asked about the experience, he responded that it was just like living in any small town. There were incidents, crimes and gangs. He actually used the term gangs. He said there were parts of the ship that even the Captain would not visit unless accompanied by armed guard due to the presence of criminal elements.

Despite the John Wayne fixation of some, the military is just like every other large organization. Some really good people, some really bad people and a whole lot of in between.

Based on my conversations with my friend, I'm pretty sure there are gangs in the military. Latino gangs, black gangs, white gangs and every combination. If we want to have a conversation about gangs and crime in the military, good. It is a subject worthy of study and concern.

But what we have here is nothing more than cherry picked information used to propogate xenophobic, paranoid, "the reconquistas are here to take over the country" proproganda.

Ethanol Tariff Rumor

When rumors come from a congressional office don't they warrant the more esteemed title of leak?

"we’re hearing whispers that a senior Administration official may announce a temporary suspension of the 54-cents-a-gallon ethanol import tariff as soon as this afternoon"

From Rep. Jack Kingston's blog.

Cynthia McKinney: A Coda

Okay I promise this is the last on McKinney incident. Yeah, right.

If you missed it, here is the Daily Show's take on the McKinney incident.


Like So Grody


"I can look you in the eye and tell you I feel I've tried to solve the problem diplomatically to the max, and would have committed troops both in Afghanistan and Iraq knowing what I know today."—Irvine, Calif., April 24, 2006

When I was in junior high, we had a dance club called To The Max. Gag me with a spoon.

h/t: Going Through The Motions


Mansion getting pelted by golf balls.

Ummmmmm, maybe you shouldn't build your house adjacent to a driving range?

UPDATE: Okay, so maybe the homeowner has a point. Notice in the added picture that the golfer in the green shirt is not wearing shoes! What next? Overalls? Ye gods!

Picture courtesy of Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Illegals And Taxes

Illegal immigrants pay more taxes than you think they do.

I keep going back to sales tax. Even if illegal workers avoid income tax, FICA and what not, they certainly pay sales tax. Based on my anecdotal observations, the Spanish speaking workers in my area, illegal, undocumented or otherwise, spend a considerable amount of money at convenience stores on boatloads of crap.

Sales tax is the tax that usually has the most direct impact on a community. Unlike federal or even state dollars, there is little delay in distribution of the the funds. Also, the funds are usually earmarked for local needs such as roads and other public works.

The best example I can give is a recent local option sales tax passed in my county. It was designated for roads and parks. A few months after it passed, a particular road that griftdrift cursed every day for a billion pot holes had a smooth new surface.

Mine and those Hispanic workers tax dollars at work.

There are discussions to be had about the impact of illegal immigrants on public services, but don't fool yourself that they skate by without paying any taxes. Chances are an undocumented someone's purchase of a Red Bull and a bag of chips helped pay for that road your driving on.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Moussaoui Gets Life


In light of this, there is an interesting discussion about the death penalty happening in the comments on my earlier capital punishment post.

Can't Possibly Be True

The President on growing corn for ethanol.

Yes, it is true. Of course the picture is out of context. Doesn't make it any less funny. Naughty lefty Shakes.

Midday Drive-By Truckers Lyrics

Review of the new CD "A Blessing and A Curse" coming soon.

In the meantime, I just listened to this one. The beauty of DBT is that every song feels personal.

Sinkhole from Decoration Day

I’ve always been a religious man, I ‘ve always been a religious man
but I met the banker and it felt like sin, he turned my bailout down
The Banker Man, he let into me, let into me, let into me
The Banker Man, he let into me and spread my name around
He thinks I ain’t got a lick of sense cause I talk slow and my money’s spent
Now, I ain’t the type to hold it against, but he better stay off my farm
Cause it was my Daddy’s and his Daddy’s before
and his Daddy’s before and his Daddy’s before
Five generations and an unlocked door and a loaded burglar alarm.

Lots of pictures of my purdy family, lots of pictures of my purdy family
lots of pictures of my purdy family in the house where I was born.
House has stood through five tornadoes, Droughts, floods, and five tornadoes.
I’d rather wrastle an alligator than to face the Banker’s scorn
Cause he won’t even look me in the eye
He just takes my land and apologize,
with pen, paper, and a friendly smile, he says the deed is done.
The sound you hear is my Daddy spinning, The sound you hear is my Daddy spinning
The sound you hear is my Daddy spinning over what the Banker done.

Like to invite him for some pot roast beef and mashed potatoes and sweet tea
follow it up with some banana pudding and a walk around the farm
Show him the view from McGee Town Hill
Let him stand in my shoes and see how it feels
to lose the last thing on earth that’s real
I’d rather lose my legs and arms

Bury his body in the old sink hole Bury his body in the old sink hole
Bury his body in the old sink hole under cold November sky
Then damned if I wouldn’t go to church on Sunday
Damned if I wouldn’t go to church on Sunday
Damned if I wouldn’t go to church on Sunday
and look the Preacher in the eye.

Net Neutrality

I have been avoiding the whole Net Neutrality controversy. Heck, I've always thought that by the time the dinosaur slow phone companies get around to doing anything, Google will have lit up all the dark fiber they have been buying.

But when Tim Berners-Lee speaks, even I listen.

When, seventeen years ago, I designed the Web, I did not have to ask anyone’s
permission. The new application rolled out over the existing Internet without
modifying it. I tried then, and many people still work very hard still, to make
the Web technology, in turn, a universal, neutral, platform. It must not
discriminate against particular hardware, software, underlying network,
language, culture, disability, or against particular types of data. The Internet
is increasingly becoming the dominant medium binding us. The neutral
communications medium is essential to our society. It is the basis of a fair
competitive market economy.

I guess I am going to start paying a little more attention to this subject.

World Press Freedom Day

May 3 is UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day.

In 2005, 59 journalists lost their lives covering the story.

No matter your opinion of the press, today is the day to remember they are just doing their jobs. Sometimes to the point of ultimate sacrifice.

Kobe Bryant: Also A Decider

It's official. Decider has entered the lexicon.

Kobe Bryant on being tossed from last night's playoff game:

"He didn't like my toneage, if that's a word." Bryant said. "He's the decider. Is that a word, decider?"

Yes, Kobe. Yes it is. Now and forever it will live right there beside nukular and d'oh.

Good lord.

Source: Yahoo News

An Innocent Man Executed

One of the great what if's in modern U.S. society is what if we via the death penalty execute an innocent person. Well, the time may have come.

"Four of the nation's top arson experts have concluded that the state of Texas
executed a man in 2004 based on scientifically invalid evidence, and on Tuesday
they called for an official reinvestigation of the case."

I am not a supporter of the death penalty. Not for any high moral reasons but for cold calculated practicality.

I have always been amazed that in my experience death penalty advocates are the same people who barely trust the government to keep traffic lights working. Yet, they trust this same ineffecient, error prone institution to kill its own citizens with 100% certainty of guilt.

There is simply no logic here.

If the investigation of the Texas case does prove that we have killed an innocent man, as a nation we must search deeply in our souls.

Joe Weedon of The Middle Of D.C. has personal experience in these matters and I encourage to follow the links to his previous postings on the death penalty.

Florida GOP Needs To Stop!

I have two words for the Florida GOP. BACK OFF!

They are urging my favorite spandex wearing, horse riding, reporter seducing girl to drop out of the Florida Senate race.

Not until I get my personal interview!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Home, Home Again

Yes, I am finally back in the ATL.

Unless we nuke Iran, Katherine Harris skinny dips in Biscayne Bay or I have about ten more beers and start uncontrollably babbling, I'm taking the night off.

Back in the morning with more southern fried politics.

Jack Kingston Blogs

Georgia Representative Jack Kingston is a blogger.

Rep. Kingston and I probably agree on exactly nothing. But he seems to be a decent guy who is willing to engage in reasonable dialogue.

I'll be checking him out.

h/t Peach Pundit

Gas Guzzling '06 Tours Continues

You know, as much as I've been travelling lately, you would think I would have a few words to say about gas prices.

To be honest, here is how I react to most gas discussions. Profit margins, price gouging, capitalist pig, godless communist, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

But I really believe, whether it is perception or reality, the ongoing gas "crisis" will have a profound effect on the midterms. Despite all our wonkiness wallowing about foreign policy, in the end people vote with their pocket books. (Do people even say pocket book any more? Lord help me, I've been among my south Georgia brethren too long.)

So today, I am travelling a little over 400 miles in my v6 Mustang. I'll have to fill up two times and both times I promise to at least record the price of a gallon: first in Florida and then in Georgia.

It will be a very unscientific but very griftdrift scientific survey.

Check here for updates.

FIRST UPDATE: Inverness, Fl = $2.96

SECOND UPDATE: Perry, Ga = $2.79

Guess Ga is still cheaper.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Georgia Democrats Go Boom, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I opined that the Georgia Democratic Party was in dire straits. Well, it may actually be even worse.

When I saw Andre's post at Georgia Politics Unfiltered, I will admit that I really didn't understand the consequences. I mean everybody knows that the chances of the Democrats winning back the state house are somewhere between slim and none.
But I didn't pay attention to the math.

As decaturguy points out, it appears that the Democrats didn't even really try.

Bobby Kahn? Do you have your fiddle? Rome is burning.

Another Lite Day Of Posting

Still in the Sunshine State on family business but I hope to catch a few running items today.

In the meantime, here is some other reading for you.

Immigration will be the big topic of the day: From the right, From the middle, From the left.

Wonkette is hungover. Shocking!

Katherine Harris is not only crazy but possibly going to jail.

You still have time to vote on Eddie On Film's Worst Best Picture Winner Ever. Even if you feel that you haven't seen enough of these go ahead and vote. Remember, opinions are like...

Institute Of Lower Learning will reopen today and is looking for some lively discussion.

While everyone stateside is obsessed with the "immigrant" problem, another Hispanic population is in crisis. And with this one we cannot avoid our responsibility.

Yeah, I know the middle and left links on immigration don't link to particular articles. I hope to fix that later.