Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nanny State Gone Wild

Oh for God's sake. From email.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007. ~USA Today

Next time somebody asks me where I would start with spending cuts? I've got a quick easy answer.

Time For Some Triumph

One week from the election seems appropriate for this.

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog at the 2004 debates.

"I'm just one of those helping the President do the job that he has to do."

"Yes, I believe the term is whore"

Quote Of The Day

Katherine Harris is writing a tell-all about her campaign!

And I was worried I would have nothing to pay attention to after she gets thrashed next week.

But the best part is a quote from University of South Florida poly sci prof Darryl Paulson:

The only way Bill Nelson could lose this is if he got himself in a drug-induced stupor and ran naked down the main street of his home town.

Now Darryl. You should know better than that. It is Florida after all. Never count anything out!

Harris On The Board With TV Ads

Katherine Harris campaign has issued a press release informing us all that they are now running a statewide TV ad. But no one seems to have seen it.

I predict it will appear in some form later today. When it does, I will definitely put it up. If stupid blogger will let me.

UDDATE: Okay, you can see it on the Harris campaign site. I have to give it to them. It's decent. And they definitely get the award for finding the most hideous picture of an opponent. Nelson looks like a freak!

Do You Know Who Karl Rove Is?

ABC's Mark Halperin:

But for goodness' sake, as Abramowitz was smart enough to demonstrate, people who live in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Manhattan should understand that in much of red America, Rove is beloved and respected, and they should ask themselves why that is

Half the time, the pundit class nitwits think we are all a bunch of ass-scratching, tobacco chewing, banjo picking, Ned Beatty ass raping inbreds . The other half of the time they see us as bunch of doe eyed cows that get herded too and fro by the electric prods of Machiavellian direct mail wizards.

Here's what Karl Rove gets that you don't Mark. Most people out here don't even know who Karl Rove is and even less know Mark Halperin. We save the "beloved" and the "respected" for our mothers and fathers. What we do know is when we are being talked down to by a bunch of snot nosed, shoe gazing jack asses. That's why people like you keep failing to understand why your side doesn't win effing elections.

This rant is sponsored by the Spacey Gracey Review.

Rethinking Georgia Amendment II AGAIN

It's interesting that this amendment that sort of simmered all summer long is suddenly getting people fired up.

I admit when I wrote Amendment II could cause a constitutional log jam if a local municipality passed an anti-hunting ordinance it was based on my memories of such things as non-hunting bird sanctuaries. I believed that there was certain leeways in the state regulations that allowed cities to pass certain type of bans on hunting. Fortunately, I have readers who will correct me. And in this case I was wrong.

The law was changed in 2001. Here is the relevant section.

No political subdivision of the state may regulate hunting, trapping, or fishing by local ordinance; provided, however, that a local government shall not be prohibited from exercising its management rights over real property owned or leased by it for purposes of prohibiting hunting, fishing, or trapping upon the property or for purposes of setting times when access to the property for purposes of hunting, fishing, or trapping in accordance with this title may be permitted. Nothing contained in this Code section shall prohibit municipalities or counties, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, from reasonably limiting or prohibiting the discharge of firearms within the boundaries of the political subdivision for purposes of public safety. ~O.C.G.A. 27-1-3

So both Mike King and I were wrong. Hunting is the sole domain of the state. This amendment would do nothing to change that.

I'm still voting no. This is amendment is still badly written and wholly unnecessary. Few things cause more mischief than unneeded and vague additions to the highest law in our state.

Pro-amendment II people think I'm still nuts? Write and let me know why.

UPDATE: Former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Tanner supports Amendment II. Mr. Tanner is someone that I respect. I feel myself being pulled back up on the fence again.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Rethinking Georgia Amendment II

Georgia Amendment II:

Fishing and hunting. The tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.

Originally, I was going to hold my nose and vote for this pig. After speaking to friends and fellow bloggers, no more.

The final blow was the AJC's Mike King's brief analysis of the proposed law. As he correctly points out there is a potentially nasty poison pill in the wording. The amendment might very well trump any local hunting ordinance. It's carte blanche for any nutjob to sue any well-intentioned city council for enacting reasonable hunting ordinances in populated areas. The fact that this type of case might be a winner is worrying enough. The reality that our appellate system could be tied up with about a bajillion of these nuisance complaints is truly frightening.

This is bad law. I strongly urge my fellow hunters to reject this type of crass politicization of something we love. It does us no good and ultimately could do us great harm.

Is This A First?

Katherine Harris did not pick up a single major Florida newspaper endorsement. A complete shutout for Bill Nelson. I don't think that has ever happened in modern American politics.

By the way. In my recent visits to the border, I have noticed a blatant lack of commercials for Harris. I suspect the campaign is out of money and someone with some sense talked Kitty off the ledge of selling all her possessions to fund the LSD-laced quixotic quest.

UPDATE: Apparently, Republican Party of Florida is practically burning money but still no ads for Katherine. I've almost reached the point of sympathy. Almost.

Do You Want Us To Win?

It's a question Lynne Cheney asked Wolf Blitzer last week. It's the type of "when did you stop beating your dog question" that those with no argument use. Bill O'Reilly used it on Letterman.

Thinking this morning about my favorite football team and their horrible 4-4 record, I came up with a simple and effective answer.

Of course I want FSU to win. I want us to win every time. I want us to win by a huge margin. But that doesn't blind me to the fact that right now we are not winning. And doesn't that mean we have to make a change? Shouldn't we try something new?

Now substitute "the U.S." for FSU.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Busy Sunday

Rovers vs West Ham and it's on FSC. YAY!

Falcons at Cincy

The city team trivia championship.

And wrapping up with a podcast party.

My brain is not used to this much activity on a Sunday.

Tallahassee Democrat Supports Crist

This is the one I was waiting to see. Charlie Crist has the endorsement of every major Florida daily except the St. Pete Times. The Tallahassee Democrat is a "liberal" paper sitting in a blue outpost surrounded by a sea of red. And now they are endorsing Republican Charlie Crist.

Mr. Crist's optimism and his undisputed reputation as a very decent man and good judge of character are strong selling points in this important race, and we recommend him as a solid choice for temperate voters of both parties.

The TD goes on to say that Jim Davis is also an "excellent and thoughtful public servant". While others want to focus on the seamy underside of this race, the dailies in Florida get it. Floridians have a choice between two decent men who only want to be good public servants. We should all be so lucky.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Going Over

I've been completely converted. It's Saturday afternoon and I am watching Newcastle / Charlton instead of college football.

It is still unclear if this is a good thing.

UPDATE: By the way, Charlton is all around bad but Newcastle looks awful. They should be much better.

UPDATE II: I'm now back to watching good ol' American football. Identity crisis over.

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's Friday

Have one on me!

Playing With The Look

Just messing with the look. Don't get frightened.


An interesting chart. I don't want to make too much of it as I am one of those pollyannas that actually believes the economy is doing o-tay. However, it is an interesting view of who walks the walk and those that just talk the talk on such things as spending cuts.

Georgia Makes News Of The Weird....Again

I would like to point out that Perry is technically middle Georgia. Americus however is not.

In September, police in the Georgia towns of Perry and Americus were investigating incidents probably involving the same unnamed man, who provided an additional dimension to the typical foot-fetishist: religion. An 80-year-old Wal-Mart shopper in Perry reported that the man was sitting on the floor of an aisle and asked her for help with his "religious" ritual. The lady accommodated him by stepping on his hands and then spitting on him, but when he began to lick her feet, she called for help.

News Of The Weird

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Georgia Judge Race Gets Nasty

I hate that we elect judges. Just hate it. For so many reasons. Ultimately though, I really hate it because it causes the judiciary to be tainted with the vileness of politics.

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Carol Hunstein is being challenged by lawyer Mike Wiggins. Wiggins took the gloves off first using the usual tactics of rumor, innuendo and accusations of judicial activism. Well, Justice Hunstein is not taking it lightly. She has taken the gloves off with a new campaign ad accusing Wiggins of threatening to kill his pregnant sister.

You can find a link to the ad here.

I have a Carol Hunstein sign in my yard. I will still vote for her. But I really, really wish it hadn't come to this.

And frankly I don't understand it. Hunstein has strong bipartisan support and the endorsement of practically every paper in the state. Disappointing. Extremely disappointing.

UPDATE: The Wiggins camp responds. You can read it here.

I really don't get this. Why was this ad necessary? If any of you insiders want to provide a reason, feel free to email me.

Wackos Just Don't Get It

There is an element out there that is doing its best to defend Rush Limbaugh. You can guess the usual suspects. Their tactics are a rehash of Coulter's trashing of the "Jersey Girls" i.e. liberals always trot out "infallible" spokespeople blah blah blah.

Here's what they don't get.


In the highest form of irony these are also the usual suspects that claim they are the only ones that understand the "regular" Americans. Rich. Just too effing rich.

UPDATE: The defense of Rush continues. It now includes some in the right wing that I respect. I have one thought for you. Stop it. What Rush did was unthinkable. Period. You lessen yourselves.

Michael J. Fox on Katie Couric

The Thorny Issue of Stem Cells

Republicans are taking an interesting tact on the stem cell kerfluffle. They are acting like libertarians.

Ken Mehlman just said on CNN that Jim Talent supports stem cell research but he just doesn't think the government should pay for it. ~thus sayeth Digby

Fascinating that local libertarian Jason Pye said pretty much the same thing just yesterday.

And once again, here is where I part ways with my libertarian brothers and sisters.

I understand the ideological position here. Many libertarian stances devolve down to "we don't mind it as long as the government doesn't pay for it". I agree with that about 90% of the time. I begin to part ways when the reality rubber hits the road.

Two undeniable facts prevent the private sector from developing certain types of science. Incentive and money.

The private sector at its simplest has one responsibility. Make money. If there is no money i.e. profit, there is no incentive. Even in an optimum environment, it would take a maverick CEO who would risk an enormous amount of money on research that would take years and might never show a monetary reward. In today's hyperactive performance market where executives are fired in six months for not showing enough growth, it's inconceivable.

Even if you could find a private company with the foresight to take such a risk, they still probably wouldn't have the money. For perspective, look at the Gates Foundation. It is funded by the richest man in the world and it only has a $32 billion dollar endowment. Before you roll your eyes at my use of the word "only" understand that last year's NASA budget was just over $16 billion. Even Bill Gates could only fund a few research project of this magnitude. The only entity that controls money in this scope is the federal government. It's the only bucket that holds enough water to irrigate the field.

I admit to having a soft spot for science, but it's an easy one to understand. Simply look at the history of government funded science. The Manhattan Project. The Apollo program. Projects so massive and risky even if a private firm had the courage, it may have taken decades or lifetimes for them to be successful.

Stem cell research is certainly nascent and there are many questions to be answered. However, the promise is so rich that it has the possibility of ushering in a golden age of medicine. Isn't that worth the public investment? Isn't that worth putting aside ideological absolutes? I believe it is.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Jersey Court Rules

It's all over the web so just use Google. New Jersey's Supreme court rules that gay couples must be afforded the same basic rights as straight married couples although it doesn't have to be called marriage.

The key passage in the ruling.

Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.

You will hear screams about activists judges but you just go read that passage again. The ruling is based on the wording of a constitution written by the people of New Jersey through the legislative process. The judges simply ruled on the law. That's exactly the way things are supposed to work.

Source: Star-Ledger is probably going to be the place to be on this one.

It's Quiet

Nothing is going on. Well there's the fruforal over Rush Limbaugh picking on sick people but other than that not much is happening.

I've resorted to comtemplating in a taoist manner my love of egg noodles.

So I give you the It's Good To Be Dead List.

Last Year's "Earnings" For The Following People:

1. Kurt Cobain, $50 million
2. Elvis Presley, $42 million
3. Charles Schulz (Peanuts creator), $35 million
4. John Lennon, $24 million
5. Albert Einstein, $20 million
6. Andy Warhol, $19 million
7. Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), $10 million
8. Ray Charles, $10 million
9. Marilyn Monroe, $8 million
10. Johnny Cash, $8 million
11. J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings author), $7 million
12. George Harrison (Beatles member), $7 million
13. Bob Marley (rasta rocker), $7 million

Is anyone else shocked that Kurt Cobain is number one? Not to knock ol' dead Kurt, I was a big fan, but really? How are they making that much money? Are there a billion "authorized" compilations out there that I don't know about? Is Courtney just rolling naked on piles of money?

Can someone please do something? Life is not just getting weird, it's on shrooms.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The War And Home

After spending nearly a week out of town, I just caught up on my Newsweek reading. I was particularly struck by this article.

Jodi is "a great Army wife," Brad adds. But they both worry about how they will adjust to life as a family again. "He may think I've used bad judgment but I have to make decisions," says Jodi. "He isn't here, so it's too bad. I've been alone for over a year and in some ways we are mourning someone who is gone and have to get on with our lives. They need to come home. This needs to come to an end because it's tearing families apart."... The 172nd Stryker Brigade is scheduled to return home in December. But at a recent meeting with families of the 4-23 at their base in Alaska, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he couldn't promise that would happen. For Jodi, the uncertain wait can only be adding to the strain.

For some reason the online article leaves out the following print edition paragraph.

In Vietnam and Korea, the average soldier spent less than a year overseas..The grunts who fought in the 1991 Gulf War rejoined their families after a few months in the desert. In Iraq, much of the burden has fallen on older reservists and National Guardsmen, many of whom have gone back for second or third tours.

This is not about whether the war is right or wrong. If you have read my blog for very long, you already know my view. This is about what is right for our troops. This is about the fact that the current strategy is not only affecting the effectiveness of our military as a fighting force but when soldiers come home that part of their life may be destroyed as well. And from all appearances the architects of this disastrous strategy, the Secretary of Defense and the Commander in Chief, just don't give a damn.

Ugh. Just Ugh.

Rush Limbaugh attacks Michael J. Fox's medical condition.

Gas bag politics as usual. Ditto this, you puke rag.

UPDATE: Fox sort of responds and as usual with humor and class. Two things Rush Limbaugh will never understand.

UPDATE II: Jason has the amendment opposition ad as well as some thoughts on the incident. You can see my comments there.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wingnut Watch

Wingnutdaily has a new columnist.

Chuck Norris.

So what subject does he choose for his first column?


I guess liberals have not actually cornered the market on hubristic Hollywood types.

Report From The Border

I'm spending a couple of more days down south so I thought I should give another update on political ads down here. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!

The Valdosta / Tallahassee / Thomasville markets are flooded with ads. All the way from local councilman to big races on both sides of the border.

Florida dominates the border. It's apparent that the size of the state affects the economics of races. More people equals more money. When's the last time any of you Georgians saw a TV ad for a county commission race?

Local issues dominate the local races. Property taxes, water rights issues, education. State issues dominate the state races. Property insurance, taxes and economic growth. The governor's race dominates all and Davis and Crist in Florida have let loose the dogs of war.

My favorite current ad is by Crist questioning Davis congressional attendance. It has an office chair flying across the screen to jangly goofy carnival music. At the end, a reporter approaches an exhausted, sweaty tourist family in Washington and ask why they are here. They say they are from Florida, came to see Jim Davis and can't find him. The young boy then in his best Opie Taylor says, "You think we'll see him next time, paw?" He says "paw". I kid you not.

On the Georgia side its the same Perdue / Taylor slug fest over the Florida land deal. Over and over again. I can understand the strategy with Florida right next door and folks down here having a keen understanding of land deals. It's good old fashioned populism.

Media buys are fairly cheap down here and the tornado of ads will continue for two more weeks. It makes me long for a few Braves promos or even a Wolfman and Donna commercial.

Oh My!

Florida's GLBT Democrat Caucus is sponsoring a Katherine Harris look-a-like contest.

Both men and women are welcome to enter.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Into The Woods

To sit in a little wooden box with windows while holding a high powered firearm.
Blogging will be sporadic. Enjoying nature will not.

More True Gritz

True Gritz has a new episode up and I can't stop laughing!

It's ain't real! True butter comes from a cow!

Lord, I do love them gals.

It Had To Come Out Sooner Or Later

With all the storms involving sex in politics these days, there was no way this one could be kept secret much longer. An independent candidate in Florida is about to out Republican candidate for governor Charlie Crist as gay.

Anyone who follows Florida politics will tell you this is about the worst kept secret in the state. It's always been known that Crist was probably gay and frankly no one cared.

I have intentionally stayed away from this aspect of the Florida race because I keow it would be nothing but a 100% crap storm. It would have been easy to talk about this non-stop in an effort to make a "name" for myself. But that is the only purpose it would have served and that would have been wrong.

Some activists have implied that there is a version of Republican gay "stockholm syndrome". We could have an interesting argument on that point but it isn't going to happen in this post. Because that is in no way what Charlie Crist is about. Yes, he plays the conservative card but he also harms himself politically by very publicly snubbing organizations like Florida Family Policy Council.

A word of warning to Democrats who would make something of these revelations and possibly attempt to tag Crist with some sort of hypocrisy.

In the primary, religious right activists attempted a whisper campaign about Crist sexuality. It didn't work. Floridians just didn't give a damn.

And neither should anyone else.

Is It Civil War Yet?

There are those of you out there that will not admit to civil war in Iraq since there is no front line between Richmond and Washington and people aren't wearing blue and gray.

Maybe this will begin to open your rheumy eyes.

Shiite militia The Mahdi Army just took control of a whole freaking city.

Still want to deny the civil war? What will be the tipping point that will wake you up?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

John McCain On Gay Marriage


I think gay marriage should be allowed if there's a ceremony kind of thing if you want to call it that. I don't have any problem with that...I think private ceremonies are fine. I do not think gay marriage should be legal.

What the hell does that mean? Does he not realize that private ceremonies are perfectly legal? They just aren't recognized as contracts under the law? And that's the real problem? We need leaders and we get pablum from so called mavericks. It would be nice if lawmakers actually say things that give any indication they understand law.

When Bloggers Speak

Snippet from my lunch conversation yesterday.

Friend: What do you think about the President of Iran? He's crazy, right?

Griftdrift: Yeah, he's crazy. Crazy like a fox. He' s Paris Hilton with nuclear weapons.

Yeah. There was drinking at this lunch.

Georgia Amendment II

Georgia voters will be voting on several constitutional amendments in two weeks. One that particularly interest me is Amendment II.

Fishing and hunting. The tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good

As I ready myself to head to Bass Pro Shops to pick up my license and a couple of boxes of shells, I look to the heavens and thank all that is natural that the good legislators have taken the time to preserve my right to hunt and fish.

What a load of crap.

Anyone with any sense can see this is a stalking horse. There is absolutely no danger of hunting being restricted in Georgia. This amendment was nothing more than a blantant ploy to "git more hunters" to the polling place because of how that demographic swings.

I hate rewarding such a blatant piece of political garbage but the fact is there is nothing wrong with the amendment. I guess this is a whole hate the sin, love the sinner thing. I'll vote for it but there will be some vomit in the back of my mouth.

Crossposted at Radical Georgia Moderate

Iraqi Death Toll Perspective

It lightened my heart as I read Libby's blog and saw that Riverbend is finally back. The feeling of goodness was as usual tempered by her on the ground reporting from Iraq. I was discussing the subject with a friend yesterday and I brought up the Iraqi bloggers. I noted that while some pundits continue the myth that the "mainstream" media outlets never report the good in Iraq, I believe that we actually do not get a clear picture of just how bad it is. An example I used was Riverbend only being able to connect to the outside world once every other month or so.

But she is back and the news is indeed grim. The recent Lancet report made waves with the startling figure of 650,000 deaths since the 2003 invasion. Those who supported the war immediately questioned the validity of the numbers and the analysis. Riverbend offers a personal and powerful rebuke.

We literally do not know a single Iraqi family that has not seen the violent death of a first or second-degree relative these last three years. Abductions, militias, sectarian violence, revenge killings, assassinations, car-bombs, suicide bombers, American military strikes, Iraqi military raids, death squads, extremists, armed robberies, executions, detentions, secret prisons, torture, mysterious weapons – with so many different ways to die, is the number so far fetched?

And if the numbers are wrong? What if it's onlly 400,000 or 300,000? What is the number of the permanently scarred and disfigured?

It is time that even those who supported the war face the butcher's bill. We can continue to debate the merits of the invasion and the execution of the post-invasion policy but only the crazy can ignore the fact that Iraq is broken. It is hell on Earth. It is time for true leaders to step forward and true leadership to reign and for we as Americans to demand that some other course must be found.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Liberal Lucidity

Good stuff

Read it

Rick Santorum - Still Crazy

Appealing to the Dragon*Con demographic:

As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else," Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle Earth. "It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S.," Santorum continued. "You now what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.

Methinks it's time for a cleansing in the Shire.

Via: Hit and Run

Harris Committed

Katherine Harris' campaign is low on cash. To keep staggering along she is attempting to sell her house in Washington.

"I am even selling my home," Harris told the Sentinel's Ludmilla Lelis before aspeech in Daytona Beach. "I'm committed."

Truer words. Never said.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Immigration Infects Georgia DOL Race

Immigration. It's the one issue that seems to affect every race at every level.

Republican candidate for Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Brent Brown went on the attack yesterday, accusing sitting commissioner Michael Thurmond of endangering farmers by providing them illegal employees:

“You travel around the state and talk to any of the growers, whether it’s here, whether it’s in Ft. Valley in the peaches or in onion fields in Vidalia. There’s huge issues with labor,” he said. Immigration for one, he said: The labor department under current Commissioner Mike Thurmond often sends out illegal workers to farmers.

Mr. Brown. I am familiar with Labor Department job referral practices and the H2A program. Although I am sure mistakes are made, the program is subject to fairly rigorous federal audits. This accusation is rather strong for a "down ticket" race. I challenge you to provide proof other than vague stories of discussions with anonymous farmers. You want to alledge illegal activity? Back it up.

via: The Moultrie Observer

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Top Ten To Love

As I scrolled down seeing Cynthia McKinney at #7 my heart fluttered.

But when I got to number 1? I swear I ripped off all my clothes, smothered myself in paint, lit a bonfire and danced a pagan dance.

Katherine Harris: #1 Dumbest Congressmen according to radaronline.

If dumb Congress members were the X-Men, Harris would be their Wolverine—a mutant possessing fearsome skills, the product of a demented government experiment gone horribly wrong.
Damn! I wish I wrote that!
Edited to add: I have to also add this line about Rep. Don "Bridge To Nowhere" Young because it made me spit all over my monitor. Not the figurative spitting that most people talk about but literally great gobs of spit all over my monitor. I'm now off to get handi-wipes.
Just look at all the wasteful things the federal government does with taxpayers' money, he tells them. "The National Endowment for the Arts, for example, funds art involving people doing offensive things ... things that are absolutely ridiculous." One student asks, "Like what?" "Buttf*cking," replies the great scourge of obscenity and instructor of youth.

Foley and Me

Mark Foley and I have something in common!

No, not buggery of boys.

A love for the Old 97s!

Awwww maybe I'm just swinging to soft hearted, soft headed, forgive and forget liberal mood today. I promise tomorrow I will swing back to right wing pandering about guns and that damned minimum wage.

Iraq Civil War

Are we there yet?

Some of us have been willing to admit this for some time, will the Administration now admit it and concede finally that there is more to war than "staying the course". Change the strategy now. A good start would be firing the architect. You know who I mean.

Tim McGraw: Democrat

How deep are the tides shifting? Country singer Tim McGraw to Time:

It's innate in me to be a Democrat — a true Southern populist kind of Democrat. There's not a lot of those anymore," McGraw tells Time magazine in its Oct. 23 issue. "The issues that matter to me are the social safety nets for people, health care, middle-class concerns. We need to take care of the middle class and
the poor in our country. The chasm is getting larger between haves and have-nots, and that's something we need to close down a little bit,"


Via: AJC

Football Thoughts

I had weird dreams last night including ones of football. Not good old fashioned American football but English football. I guess my recent re-reading of Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is in competition with my couch slug ten hours of NFL watching sunday ways.

Having just read again about Hillsborough, I shouldn't find the following funny, but I do admit to snickering a bit as I read the Rovers website tips for fans travelling to Krakow, Poland for the next UEFA match.

You will not be allowed to enter the stadium if you have drunk alcohol or if you are under the influence of alcohol...You must NOT: Drink alcohol in the place and time of mass gatherings, in the streets, squares, parks, enter the stadium with alcoholic beverages...If you are drunk you will not be allowed to enter the stadium!!!

I would think one warning would be enough. Maybe even two. But three punctuated by three exclamation points? Then again, I've had nightmares of ending up in the Atlanta drunk pokey. Could you imagine the nightmare of ending up in the Krakow drunk pokey?

Checking The CQ

House projections two months ago:

220 (R), 202 (D), 13 No Clear Favorite

House projections this morning:

209 (R), 208 (D), 18 No Clear Favorite

Remember Democrats, party of accountability and reform. Keep hitting that and you might actually pull this off.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lazy Sunday

I got nothing today.

Late Night Tift Merritt

I told him that he'd better go
'Cause I was crazy and impossible,
That my love was broken, my dreams had run off wild.
But patient as the easy rain,He never turned away,
Calling, "Hey sweet woman, you know you're not a child."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Squid

Weirdness is in the air.

Friday, October 13, 2006

You Put Your Weed In It

Maybe I should have saved this one until 4:20.

Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall.


Let's Talk About Microloans

There is a tendency in this country to throw gobs of money at problems. Some want to throw it from the top down in the form of tax bribes to spur industry. Some want to push it from the bottom up through tax enabled wealth redistribution.

Perhaps, it's time for a third way.

Which brings me to Muhammad Yunus. He won this year's Nobel Peace Prize and he was not the usual choice. Mr. Yunus founded the Bangladeshi Grameen Bank which specializes in microloans. It operates on the belief that those who need the most help do not necessarily need the most money. He began his economic program with a loan of 27 dollars to 42 people people. Roll that around in your head for a while. 27 dollars. 42 people.

It is an unusual but inspired choice. Peace will always be an illusion without economic stability. It is much easier to discuss such high concepts as peace if the person to whom you are talking is not worried about their next meal.

We've tried bribes. We've tried hand outs. Isn't it worth trying something new? Isn't individual economic independence what we all desire? Isn't it time to talk about new ways like microloans?

Maybe it takes a Nobel Peace Prize to start that conversation. I can only hope.

More Generals On Iraq

Not a retired American one this time.

New joke. How many generals does it take to convince civilian leaders to change military strategy...

Okay. It's not a very good joke.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Everybody's Wrong About Guns

The handwringing had to happen sooner or later.

Three lethal school shootings in a single week. Seven innocents dead, including five little girls in an Amish schoolhouse. Several more incidents around the country of children bringing guns to school, the latest a seventh- grader who brought and fired an assault weapon in his Missouri school on Monday...That is the reality of unfettered gun access in America ~Maureen Downey, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Handwringing comes in all forms but school shootings seem to elicit the most extreme twisting of the fingers. Children in danger triggers our most visceral instincts of fight or flight.

First observation would lead you to believe the political reactions to our most sensational gun crimes are starkly different. In Columbine, the censors and book burners blamed everything from Marilyn Manson to Playstation. The anti-gun left blamed a society obsessed with firearms and a refusal to pass stronger gun regulation. Both ignore the ostracism and possible mental disturbance that led to that awful day.

The two sides have more in common than they would ever admit. Both use extreme tragedy to foster extreme solutions that will have little effect on future tragedies. It is as if both stumble around a dark basement stubbing their toes and then one advocates the elimination of all sharp corners, the other advocates the amputation of toes while both ignore the flashlight with dead batteries in their own hand.

Despite Ms. Downey's claim, gun ownership in this country is far from unfettered. Handguns, by far the source of most violent crime, and in certain cases long guns are licensed, subject to background check and, depending on the state, subject to a waiting period. Reasonable regulations that allow gun ownership while preventing easy access to those that would do harm.

However, the fact that cannot be ignored is no amount of fettering guns would have prevented the tragedies of Columbine or Pennsylvania. If family, friends and society continually refuse to see signs of potential violence there will never be a waiting period long enough to prevent tragedy.

Maybe the path towards a solution starts with both sides attacking the roots that cause people to shoot up classrooms instead of continuing to grasp at karmic band-aids that might make us feel better but never really make us safer.

Cross posted at Radical Georgia Moderate

From The Evolution Battlefront

Via reader email, good news in Michigan.

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved public school curriculum guidelines that support the teaching of evolution in science classes — but not intelligent design...Intelligent design instruction could be left for other classes in Michigan schools, but it doesn't belong in science class, according to the unanimously adopted guidelines.

A clear concise decision. Other school systems should follow this model.

Via: Yahoo News

Warner WIll Not Run

Mark Warner will not run for President in 2008.

Disappointing news for many moderates, centrists and some Democrats.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Calls Em Like I Sees Em

Where ya goin?
I'm goin ta pick a fight.

First I got a phone call.

It was a pleasant phone call. Not angry at all, but the cold, logical, "you don't know what the hell you are talking about" call to which I now feel accustomed. The caller informed me that apparently there was a libel suit way back some time this summer between the Taylor - Cox* camps. I admitted that I didn't remember said suit. Even though I read damn near every Georgia blog every day in addition to reading several local papers, I could have missed it. The call was off the record so I won't quote here. But it did end with a saying about urination and conflagration.

Then I saw the irritated blog post.

It caused me to pause.

So I decided to do some research.

The libel suit did indeed occur. It may have been overshadowed by the fact that everyone knew Cox and Taylor hated each other so much Jimmy Carter had to be called in. But it did happen. I don't remember it and I believe it may have been just a blip in the middle of much campaign folderol.

The only reference I could find to the suit was at So Left. There may have been other references but I can't find them. I expect if they exist, my Democrat friends will point them out and I promise I will print corrections.
Here are the facts. Lots of people know Cox and Taylor don't like each other. And it is indeed the job of the Secretary of State to attend openings of the State Museum. And it probably is true Cox has made campaign appearances with other Democrats. And maybe the boys at the AJC Insider like me chose to report on light instead of heat.
But the bottom line is that 99.9% of Georgians will see Cathy Cox for the first time in public, post-primary not with her fellow Democrat Mark Taylor, but with Republican Sonny Perdue.
That's the fact Jack.
*The Georgia Democrat candidates for Governor for my non-Georgia readers.

Georgia Sour Grapes Continues?

I supported Cathy Cox and am no fan of Mark Taylor. Also, I think a little too much was made of Cox's apparent avoidance of Taylor following the primary. This item in the AJC Political Insider might make me rethink my initial judgment.

I'm sure that the event described is simply a duty that requires the presence of the Secretary of State. However, Cox first public post-primary appearance being by the side of the Republican nominee sends a message. Whether intended or not. And Cox is too savvy a politician to not know that.

You are swimming in interesting if not dangerous waters, Cathy.


That spells crazy!

Katherine Harris staff actually issued a press release that she was ahead of Bill Nelson in a particular poll. You might want to question the veracity of that poll as it cost 25 bucks to vote and age apparently was not a limitation.


A slightly more scientific poll has Nelson up by 28 points.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fire The Chyron Operator

Fox is at it again. This time labeling Lincoln Chafee a Democrat.

To quote our President...

"Fool me once....shame on me.... fool me....WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN!"

Headline Of The Day

Candidate Owes Garbage Taxes

All politics is local and that's about as local as it gets.

Libertarians feel free to snicker over the double entendre.

Monday, October 09, 2006

What The Heck! Let's Hit The Road Again!

South again. This time to the wilds of south Georgia. There are accountants to see, banks to talk to and grass to cut.

And of course, library blogging! YAY!

See you tomorrow morning.

Movie Quote Challenge

Name the movie and the character:

"You just knew it would be good. You knew it would be irresistible. But this has every f*cking thing. Sex, drugs, corruption. And none of it--none of it, Henry, My man-is clear-cut venality. It's all kind of human and awful and sad."

Hint: I've been reading some of the more lurid rumors on the internets.

Squidbilly Politics

Just caught up on my DVR watchin and was shocked, SHOCKED, to see politics infesting my favorite cartoon, Squidbillies.

Daddy Earl was wearing what appeared to be a "flagger" hat with the logo "SONNY LIED!".

Life is weird.

UPDATE: You can watch the video HERE.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


In not-Foley Land, N. Korea may have just tested a nuclear device.

Another member of the nuclear club. A very, very scary member.

UPDATE: Watching CNN and though there is still no absolute confirmation the Pentagon does believe a weapon was tested.
UPDATE II: It's going to be several hours before the test can be definitively confirmed but Washington believes it happened. I'm going to bed with a small prayer that the world will still be here in the morning.
UPDATE III: Defense Tech is calling it a dud. A bunch of nuclear engineering mumbo-jumbo but a dud none the less. Sounds like we could have another case of ol' Kim thumbing his nose at the rest of the world.




It's too late for the Democrats to forge coherent positions on Iraq or tax policy before the November elections. But fortune has presented them with a mission that can be summed up in a simple sentence: They must be the party of accountability and reform.

David Ignatius of the Washington Post via Cracker Squire

Katherine Harris Continues The Lie

And Katherine Harris continues the St. Pete Times lie.

Harris noted those e-mails were not explicit and stressed that the St. Petersburg Times saw the same ones..."You all knew about it as well, and apparently it wasn't enough to go forward. I still find that creepy, but (not) sexually explicit," Harris said. "If any news organization knew about (lurid messages) and did not inform the authorities...then I hope they get prosecuted

It is quite apparent now the Republican representatives have their marching orders and they contain that old canard "blame the press". It is subtle, not a frontal attack but snapping at the flanks. It's a tactic that has worked in the past. Do not let it work this time.

The St Pete Times Lie

On ABC's This Week, Rep. Adam Putnam (R) continued the St. Pete Times lie.

....the Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times had that same email,
they decided they couldn't run with it, they decided it was innocuous...


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Florida 16th Update

Looks like the Republicans are giving up on Foley's former seat.

Republicans in Florida do not plan to spend any money to defend the seat once held by Mr. Foley, effectively conceding it to the Democratic challenger, Tim Mahoney.

Additionally CQ now has the seat leaning Democrat.

Late Night Memoriam

Buck O'Neil passes.

An era truly ends.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Northbound and Down

Loaded up and truckin

No More Foley

I'm implementing a self-imposed moratorium.

I'm just sick of even thinking about it.

Even the Florida papers are moving on.

It's now just hints, lies and allegations.

There are many important things going on. Time for the fog to lift.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Oh Christ

Yeah, I probably broke some commandment with that head.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting Katherine Harris is questioning Bill Nelson's Christianity.

In an interview published by a Christian news service, Harris said that incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson "claims to be a Christian" but supports policies completely contrary to what we say we believe."

The key word there Katherine is we. Despite the wet dream of some fundamentalists, not all Christians are the same. Only the adherents of the most rigid, dare I say Sharia-like, code of Christianity seem to accuse their opponents of being apostates.

Nelson issued a statement this week, saying, "My faith is the essence of my being. But it is a part of my life I don't feel I should try to take advantage of in the public square."

Even a heathen like me would add an amen to that statement.

Now That's A Quote!

Harold Ford, Jr. is running for Congress is Tennessee. There have been some stirrings about his party animal ways.

"I'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator."

Anyone still think the Foley thing won't have legs into the mid-terms? It must be like Free Ice Cream Day in the halls of the DCCC!

Source: Political Wire

Evolutionary Geek Moment

Maybe I'm wrong about this whole not being design in the universe.

At the very moment that I was writing a grossly long comment on an ID debate thread at Radical Georgia Moderate, A Blog Around The Clock reports a remarkable discovery of an extensive fossil field containing near-complete remains of Icthyosaurs and Pleisosaurs.

Very cool.

Happy Blogiversary

To an early supporter of The Drift

The Sultress of Snark, Shakespeare's Sister.

Shame On You, Jim Wooten

In his blog today, AJC Associate Editorial Page Editor Jim Wooten chose to repeat a recent right-wing meme regarding the Mark Foley scandal:

But editors at The Miami Herald and The St. Petersburg Times apparently had the same e-mails others did last year and thought them not worth pursuing.

100% wrong.

The Executive Editor of the St. Petersburg Times has already responded to these allegations and you could read his column here.

Here are the facts:

  • The St. Pete Times admits that it received the emails last November.
  • The Times DID follow up on the story and interviewed the page.
  • The page's parents apparently would not go on the record
  • The Times could not find additional sources on the story
  • With such a lack of substantiation the Times editors decided publishing such a salacious story did meet their journalistic standards.

Opinions, even of a hyperbolic nature, are to be expected in the editorial pages. Blatant falsehoods are not. Unlike some in the new media, traditional media sources such as print still exercise editorial filters and restraint. The St. Pete Times appropriately chose to exercise restraint. Something as a career newpaperman Jim Wooten should understand.

I am following up with an email to AJC Public Editor Angela Tuck since I for one want to understand how something like this would happen and will there be consequences.

An Atlanta Foley Connection?

An Atlanta man is alledging Foley initiated inappropriate IM conversations nine years ago.

Tyson Vivyan, 26, of Buckhead said Foley began sending him instant messages about a month or two after his nine-month stint as a page ended in June 1997.

The net spreads wider and wider.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Lies Of Sean Hannity

Yeah I tuned in yesterday. I wanted to see how the most unapologetic Republican apologist would handle the Foley affair. Would he use his mostest favoritest strategy? Why yes he would.


These are not exact quotes as I was driving.

"Clinton commuted the sentence of Mel Reynolds, a convicted sex offender, where was the outrage then?"

In 1995, Congressman Mel Reynolds of Illinois was convicted on several charges related to sleeping with a 16 year old campaign volunteer. While serving his sentence he was subsequently convicted of bank fraud and sentenced on that charge. Reynolds served his sentence on the sexual assault charges and most of the sentence on the fraud charge. At this point then President Bill Clinton commuted the fraud sentence. Not the sexual assault sentence. If the sexual assault charge were the only thing still in play, Reynolds would have already been released.

Just enough truth to be plausible. But with just enough facts excised to make it myth. The genesis of a meme.

Kill memes while they are young. It is the only guarantee for complete eradication.

UPDATE: Oops! Even the "Old Grey Lady" fell for the meme. At least they issued a correction. Do you think Sean will do the same?

Harris And Foley

Scandal involving a Florida politician and Katherine Harris not involved? Impossible, you say? You would be right.

Harris: We are going to be very interested to find out who in the media or on the other side of the aisle knew about this and kept it from the public interest because our children were at stake.

Democrat response: The scandal surrounding Mark Foley's sexually explicit emails have forced many in the House of Representatives to begin donating money their campaigns received from Foley to charity - but apparently not Katherine Harris. The Republican Congresswoman is holding on to $2,000 in campaign contributions she got from the disgraced Congressman.

Miami Herald

The Foley Fog

It's the story with the legs of the Jolly Green Giant.

This is just a reminder that there are other very serious things getting lost in the wash.

I know that the Foley thing is important. Especially as a political weapon that could possibly swing the mid-terms. As Libby reminded me this morning it shouldn't cause us to forget there are other things happening in the world.

Florida Attack Ads

Earlier I commented on the seeming civility of the Florida Governor's race. No more. I'm further down in central Florida and just saw my first Charlie Crist attack ad. It was the usual boilerplate "he's a big liberal" thing.

Now up along the border I still have not seen these types of ads. So it make me wonder if it's a regional thing or a timing thing. Maybe it's just later in the campaign and the natural cycle is at work. I'm going to be headed back to the Tallahassee in the next couple of days so I will see if these are running up there.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Land Of The Sun

Headed to Florida for a few days. Between Katherine Harris and Mark Foley, I need to see if my second favorite state still has any semblence of being of this world. I full expect to hear Rod Serling in my head when I hit Lake City.

Taylor In South Georgia

I'm sorry I missed this. I would have liked to have witnessed it myself.

Several state law enforcement officers came out Saturday supporting gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor at a Democratic function at the Colquitt Tower but wouldn’t release their names to The Moultrie Observer, saying they were afraid Gov. Sonny Perdue would fire them.

But Lori Glenn is a good reporter and I have no reason to doubt this happened.

The revelation comes on the heels endorsements for Taylor from two prominent police organizations. Taylor took the opportunity to outflank Perdue on the right again.

The difference in myself and Gov. Perdue is that I’m willing to invest in the criminal justice system. I would not have gone four years as governor without building a prison. I would not have allowed the state patrol, the GBI and the corrections system to be devastated by personnel cuts. I’m not going to just talk the talk like a bunch of them do in Atlanta, I’m going to walk the walk.”

Soft on crime, lack of concern for public safety and with dash of anti-Atlanta all in one triple blow.

There's a lot to think about here. Anonymous voices. Public safety personnel as political pawns. I can only anticipate whisper campaigns will be next. The Georgia Governor race is about to get dirty.

It's old school politics and Taylor is absolutely an old school body puncher. He does not mind getting down and wallowing in the mud. It has worked before. It may work again.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Yeah, I'm a roll tonight. But I've been up for 18 hours and it seems like damn near every thing is coming down behind the fog of Mark Foley.

Days later Condi Rice's memory suddenly clears.

A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda, a State Department spokesman said Monday....Now, after several days, both current and former Bush administration officials have confirmed parts of Mr. Woodward’s account.

There's a lot of crap going down. Don't let the Foley fog glaze you over into not caring.

The President's Press Secretary thinks vile instant messages with underage teens is "simply naughty" while taking a subtle swipe at Democrats. Bill Frist advocates beyond "cut and run" in Afghanistan by saying we should allow the Taliban into the government. And now Condi Rice pretty much lied about her awareness of the danger of Osama Bin Laden on all the talk shows this weekend.

Do not let this stuff get thrown out with the trash. Hold them accountable. Now.

Fire Tony Snow

Fire Tony Snow now.

You may remember I didn't like him being hired in the first place.

So I'm not necessarily objective. So what? This is despicable.

"[I]t's not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. And there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mails.

Yes, he should be fired for seeing things as "simply naughty". But as has been pointed out, there is much more going on here. There is pivoting. There is spin. And then there is just the unconscionable.

Republicans? This is the party of accountability?

Let's Get Out Of Afghanistan!

This cannot possibly be true.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan guerrilla war can never be won militarily and called for efforts to bring the Taliban and their supporters into the Afghan government.... The Tennessee
Republican said he had learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated by military means

JESUS EFFING CHRIST! These sons of bitches scream "cut and run" about anyone that even suggested a different strategy in Iraq and now they want to run away from the winnable war that they chose to lose?!??!?!?!???!?!?!

Democrats? You lose now. You get what you deserve.

UPDATE: And from Donklephant, Frist is spinning that what he really wants is to "win the hearts and minds". Is everyone on acid tonight? I go away for one day and this happens?

Florida Oops

Not Mark Foley

"This election is not about Mark Foley. Mark Foley is not an issue in this election,'' Joe Negron optimistically declared moments after his campaign for Foley's seat began...

A TV reporter asked the second question: "Mr. Foley - er, Mr.

Yep. Republicans may be effed.

The Buzz of course

Oh Lord It's Early

It's been a whie since I've been up at this time. I'm headed out to play golf for the first time in over a year.

I imagine today is going to be All Foley All The Time, so check the blog roll for the latest.

When Scientists Strike Back

I agree with the Shelbinator, this is exciting news.

Organizers of the group, Scientists and Engineers for America, said it would be nonpartisan, but in interviews several said Bush administration science policies had led them to act.
Scientists have been working in the grass roots for years fighting ignorance and failing science standards. It's rare they band together to present a coordinated defense. Generally, most would rather have a nail driven through their left eye than get into the political arena (unless they are fighting for funding of course). A notable exception has been the NCSE in the evolution battles.

Science education in this country teeters on the edge. We are slowly but surely being passed by China, South Korea and the Europeans. It must stop now and it is good to know there are new allies in this good fight.

P.S. They have kicked off a membership drive. If you have any interest in science and politics, I encourage you to visit their site and sign up.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Blogroll Updated

New blogs just added.

Georgia Voices

Blue Heart of Dixie
Buzz Brockway
Casa De Nicki
Georgia Democratic Women's Grapevine
Georgia Politics 101

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

100 Monkeys Typing
The American Scene
Working For Change
Pam's House Blend
Sideways Mencken

Give 'em a visit

Note to Blogger: Your new edit links widget is pretty cool but it should ignore the word "the" when it alphabetizes.

Ickier and Ickier

House officials have alledgedly known about Mark Foley for some time.

Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and
other pages were warned about Foley by a supervisor.

Good lord

Brit Hume, Powerline and All Those Ducks

On the same day that Brit Hume references Democrat Congressmen Gerry Studds and Barney Frank on Fox News Sunday, rabid right wing blog Powerline comments on the Foley scandal by referencing....wait for it....you know it's coming.....

Studds and Frank.


If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Wallace vs Clinton, Part Infinity

Chris Wallace asking Newt Gingrich and Jane Harman about his infamous Clinton interview:

Bush had eight months but Clinton had eight years.

Stop it. Just stop it.

Farm Subsidies

This one comes under the category of "even though he's an aw shucks South Georgia boy griftdrift would never be elected by his own people".

I don't care for farm subsidies. Even though I have profited from them in the past, I know they are wrong.

Interestingly, according to the AJC, some South Georgia farmers agree. Even as they take the entitlement.

"Shoot, we're on welfare," said Houston, the Miller County cotton farmer. "We're no different than people driving up to the welfare center and getting food stamps."
It's not simple issue. Subsidies do create artifically low market prices. So even if on principle you disagree with subsisdies, are you prepraed to pay $8 for a jar of peanut butter?

This promises to be an interesting series. Good for the AJC in reporting on one of the country's dirty little secrets.

Disclosure: I do own land where both cotton and peanuts are grown. I do not farm it myself but rent it out. So, I don't benefit directly from subsidies but I would have to say I do benefit indirectly.

UPDATE: I expected this to cause rumbles from my "south Georgia mafia. Via email:

according to these guys:

We're paying twice as much for peanut butter, sugar, etc. now than we would if the subsidies were removed

Florida Poll News

Looks like earlier polls showing Davis within 6 points of Crist may have been shall we say optimistic.

Crist leads Davis by 21 points according to Zogby.

More disturbing for Democrats 1/3 of those polled didn't even know who Davis is!

Worst President Ever Survey

Copeland Institute of Lower Learning is running a survey to determine the worst President ever.

Details here.

My vote? James Buchanan. He actually caused part of the country to openly rebel. Bush hasn't done that.