Archive for the 'Original Commentary' Category

DINO Dan Boren Takes the Heat for Supporting Bush

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Dan Boren–a genuinely nice guy–is unfortunately gutless when it comes to doing the right thing about the war. He appears to be more concerned with keeping his job than ending this disastrous conflict. His unwavering support for Bush’s failed policies is one reason why he is called DINO (Democrat In Name Only) Dan. Congressman, do the right thing…please. You know, it is not inconceivable that your constituents are dead wrong about the war. That’s where you (someone who should know better) need to exercise leadership. Quit begging for their approval when they are hopelessly wrong.
In Oklahoma, a Patriotic Silence - washingtonpost.com
excerpt:

“I’ll tell you, the pressure that people receive from their political parties,” he said, sighing and shaking his head. “The speaker appoints which committees I serve on. If I want to get money for Highway 3, if I want to keep furthering my career so I can be more effective for my district, there’s all these pressures that go with it.

“And it’s like any job,” he went on, “you want people to like you. And I’ll tell you, that last week, I took a lot of votes against my leadership, and you sit there, and nobody wants to talk to you. It stinks. It’s like being back in the schoolyard.”

As he chats with his constituents, tapes spots for the radio and holds town hall meetings, the 34-year-old conservative Democrat is quick to slip into criticism of the war.

“We have tried a preemptive strike,” he said at a meeting in Hugo, parrying a pointed question on Iran from a retired major, Aubrey Jackson. “We tried that in Iraq, and you saw how successful a preemptive strike could be.”

But that criticism has not changed his votes, which have been consistently with the president. For now, that seems to be just fine with the voters here, who pride themselves on suffering in silence. The day that Bush hailed “Mission Accomplished” aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, the town of Antlers was holding the biggest funeral anybody could remember to bury one of its own, a recent high school graduate who died in those “major combat operations” that supposedly just ended. And it has gone on from there. At least 15 of Boren’s constituents have died in the war.

[…]

The town was named after the French novelist Victor Hugo, a stretch, it would seem, for a hamlet without a Starbucks. And its residents cheered as Boren bragged about raising the minimum wage and trying to mandate insurance coverage for colon cancer screening, then cheered again when he vowed never to endorse Clinton for president.

Bits and Pieces for the Week Ending August 18 2007

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Denny The Prisoner

So, Denny Hastert felt like a “prisoner” when he was Speaker of the House. “When you are speaker, you’re almost a prisoner in that office,” Hastert said. “You really didn’t go out of your office, because they had 26 people asking you for something without an appointment, just trying to grab you. You were vulnerable every time you walked out.” So, I have to ask, now that he is not Speaker and can enjoy hanging out freely with the other Members, why is he retiring?

Maybe he wanted a better job with lots of overtime. Go apply with Oprah. Her assistant got 800 hours of OT in just four months. Nice work if you can get it–and if you’re a robot with no life.

Rudy the Hero 

Rudy G. has said that he spent more time at ground zero after the 9/11 attacks than cleanup crews and first responders. However, according  to the New York Times: “A complete record of Mr. Giuliani’s exposure to the site is not available for the chaotic six days after the attack, when he was a frequent visitor. But an exhaustively detailed account from his mayoral archive, revised after the events to account for last-minute changes on scheduled stops, does exist for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001. It shows he was there for a total of 29 hours in those three months, often for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble. In that same period, many rescue and recovery workers put in daily 12-hour shifts.

“I think Mayor Giuliani did a fine job as mayor during probably the most difficult time in American history, especially in New York history,” said Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association of New York City. “Having said that, it’s unfair for him to characterize himself as being in the same position as the first responders.””

Rudy, isn’t it enough that you got as many photo ops as you did? Must you act like you were actually heroic? No doubt you did a fine job after the shitstorm, but let us not forget it is your fault the City’s emergency center was in the World Trade Center because of you. Called “The Bunker,” it reportedly (by the Village Voice) came equipped with “a humidor for cigars and mementos from City Hall, including a fire horn, police hats and fire hats, as well as monogrammed towels in his bathroom. His suite was bulletproofed and he visited it often, even on weekends, bringing his girlfriend Judi Nathan there long before the relationship surfaced. He had his own elevator.”

Perhaps had you listened to experts and put that swanky pad in Brooklyn, more first responders would have survived, you jerk.
Daily Show Goes to the Front

Daily Show correspondent and Marine Reserve Major Rob Riggle went to Iraq and will “provide what the network calls “in-depth coverage and insights from the front lines.” Scheduled to be back in New York this weekend, he begins his reports as soon as Monday. (”The Daily Show” airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. EDT.)

While in Iraq, Riggle performed for U.S. troops with fellow comedians Horatio Sanz, Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer as part of an entertainment tour titled “Operation Feel the Heat.”"

Good on you, guys.

Shorts 

Check out Richard Belzer, talking about what Jesus would do in the Democratic Party. The Dems really need to look in the mirror, I’d say.

Catch the wave–the retirement wave–of Repubs jumping ship.

That’ all for now…over and out.

First Father: Tough Times on Sidelines

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

I actually feel for Poppy sometimes. Then it goes away when I read about another U.S. soldier dying in the desert.

First Father: Tough Times on Sidelines - New York Times
EXCERPT:

“I love you, sir, but your son’s way off base here,” they might say, according to Ron Kaufman, a longtime adviser to Mr. Bush, who has witnessed any number of such encounters — perhaps at a political fund-raiser, or a restaurant dinner, a chance meeting on the streets of Houston or Kennebunkport, Me. They are, he says, just one way the presidency of the son has taken a toll on the father.

“It wears on his heart,” Mr. Kaufman said, “and his soul.”

These are distressing days for the Bush family patriarch, only the second former president in American history, after John Adams, to see his son take the White House. At 83, he finds it tough to watch his son get criticized from the sidelines; often, he likens himself to a Little League father whose kid is having a rough game. And like the proud and angry Little League dad who cannot help but yell at the umpire, sometimes he just cannot help getting involved.

Rumor Has It…Top OK Repub Caught with Pants Down

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Word on the street is that a top “family values” Repub was caught in flagrante delicto in his office with an aide.

Wheels turning? (Hmmm…that’s a tough one…trying to single out the “family values” Repub who would have the debauched nerve to cheat on his wife—at work???)

Stay tuned.

Concert Review: Colin Hay Rocks KC

Saturday, August 4th, 2007

Hay 2.jpgColin Hay of Men at Work fame brought his unique singer/songwriter sensibility to the Kansas City Crown Center Aug. 3, and he did not disappoint the smallish outdoor audience. He played a generous number of his more obscure–but excellent–solo songs mixed in with venerable Men at Work hits. Hay’s good humor, coupled with the energy of his wife Cecilia Noel and his solid band made for a fun evening.

Hay.jpg

Hay played nearly two hours for the free admission crowd (I hope Crown Center paid him well for this–he earned every penny), then kindly endured another hour or so of signing autographs and posing for photos with what looked to be more than a hundred of his fans (SoonerThought included). Hay was kind and sweet to even the more demanding types who assailed him. Though tired, he seemed to enjoy it. He clearly respects his fans: diehard, casual or new.

Cuts from his new album, “Are You Lookin’ At Me,” played as well live as they do on the disk, and Hay’s marvelously distinctive voice is undiminished by time. Highlights of the evening included “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin,” “Overkill,” “Are You Lookin’ At Me,” “Down Under,” “This Time I Got You,” “Lose to Win” and “Me and My Imaginary Friend.”

In a summer of incredible reunion tours (The Police, who SoonerThought saw in St. Louis–and yes they were outstanding– Crowded House –who we have tickets to for later this month in KC) vying to take your hard-earned cash, Colin Hay is (relatively) quietly traipsing across the globe–playing incredible stuff for a tenth of the price. If he visits your town, you owe it to your ears to go.

It’s a Series of Tubes…to Jail

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Hmmm…could the man from Alaska who explained the Internet so well be a crook?

SoonerThought says that you could almost expect corruption from anyone with such political power for so long.

But what do we know? We didn’t know the Internet was a series of tubes.

‘Wonder Years’ actress: ‘Smart is cool’

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Ever wonder why I and many others worship “Agent Scully“? McKellar gives yet another example of smart being sexy… and boy, does America need more like her.

‘Wonder Years’ actress: ‘Smart is cool’ - CNN.com

“When girls see the antics of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, they think that being fun and glamorous also means being dumb and irresponsible,” the 32-year-old McKellar told Newsweek for editions to hit newsstands Monday.

art.mckellar.gi.jpg

“But I want to show them that being smart is cool,” she said. “Being good at math is cool. And not only that, it can help them get what they want out of life.”

McKellar should know. The actress once struggled with the subject around the seventh grade, but a teacher helped her through. McKellar eventually majored in math in college. She co-authored a scientific paper while a student at UCLA.

Diet Sodas Not The Best Idea, Folks…

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Sorry, gang…diet sodas are crap. Do what I did, cut out all but the very occasional soft drink (I stick to the “clear” sodas when I do have one; Sprite, 7-Up, etc.) You’ll lose lots of weight and feel better. Cutting out soft drinks helped me lose 20 pounds. Trust me!

Excerpt  From Reuters:
Sodas — even diet ones — may be linked with increased risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They found adults who drink one or more sodas a day had about a 50 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors such as excessive fat around the waist, low levels of “good” cholesterol, high blood pressure and other symptoms.

“When you have metabolic syndrome, your risk of developing heart disease or stroke doubles. You also have a risk of developing diabetes,” said Dr. Ramachandran Vasan of Boston University School of Medicine, whose work appears in the journal Circulation.

Prior studies have linked consumption of sugar-laden sodas with multiple risk factors for heart disease, but Vasan and colleagues also found the link extends to diet sodas.

The study included about 6,000 middle-aged men and women who were observed over four years.

Those who drank one or more soft drinks a day had a 31 percent greater risk of becoming obese.

They had a 30 percent increased risk of developing increased waist circumference — which has been shown to predict heart disease risk better than weight alone.

They also had a 25 percent increased risk of developing high blood triglycerides as well as high blood sugar, and a 32 percent higher risk of having low high-density lipoprotein or “good” cholesterol levels.

The Police Deliver Arresting Shows

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

The show in St. Louis was transcendent…click below for reviews of other venues. If you can catch this show, do it. It’s a memory you’ll treasure.

ThePolice.com news.news


“Songs like ‘De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da’, ‘Roxanne’, and ‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’ have lost none of their shine and energy. With a catalogue of songs that is the envy of any band, The Police could play for hour after hour without repeats. As it was, they packed everything into a concise, well-tuned couple of hours, including encores.”
- The Windsor Star

The Tragic Story of the Death of McCain’s Presidential Hopes

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Pride, vanity and outright stupidity. Though it seems to work for W, it’s killing McCain. 

Rivalries Split McCain’s Team - washingtonpost.com
excerpt:
This week McCain finally took a dramatic step, as his aides had urged him. But instead of moving Davis aside, he put him in clear control of the campaign. Nelson quit, Weaver resigned, and a dozen senior staff members went with them. With their departure, virtually no money in the bank, and the layoffs of dozens of other staff members, a campaign that once seemed on an inevitable march to the nomination has been left struggling for survival.

Interviews with more than two dozen current and former McCain campaign staffers, many speaking on the condition of anonymity so they could talk candidly about internal deliberations, describe an organization with confused lines of authority and riven with petty jealousies.

CBS News chief: Couric isn’t going anywhere

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Pity….she needs to go. 

CBS News chief: Couric isn’t going anywhere - CNN.com
CBS News President Sean McManus dismissed talk that Katie Couric may leave as “CBS Evening News” anchor by saying Thursday that he expected her to be doing the job through her full five-year contract.

Whisper Campaign Attacking Romney; Mormonism…Is Big Love Slam Next?

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

So it begins…like many non-Mormons, I have plenty of questions about Mormonism–especially their purported views on minorities; but that’s not the issue here. This situation is purely a nasty way of slapping Romney with all the worst (reputed) aspects of Mormonism. Call it the “Big Love” attack. The worst part of this is yet to come, when some devious Brownback(er) will start sending out anonymous quotes from Under the Banner of Heaven.

Link and excerpt below from Chris Cillbig_love_poster.jpgizza’s The Fix:

Romney’s Mormonism Attracts More Scrutiny . . . and a Whisper Campaign - washingtonpost.com
excerpt:

Mitt Romney’s Mormonism isn’t something his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination talk much about in public, but his faith appears to have stoked a whisper campaign, engineered by an Iowa staffer for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.).

In an e-mail obtained by The Fix, former state representative Emma Nemecek, the southeastern Iowa field director for Brownback’s presidential campaign, asked a group of Iowa Republican leaders to help her fact-check a series of statements about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including one that says: “Theologically, the only thing Christianity and the LDS church has in common is the name of Jesus Christ, and the LDS Jesus is not the same Jesus of the Christian faith.”