Thursday, August 31, 2006

Look Out for the Mountaineers!

Unlike last year where everybody knew from beginning to end it would come down to Texas and USC, this year college football is loaded with contenders for the title. Here is SI's Preseason Power Rankings.

It's hard to argue with Ohio State and Notre Dame in the top two spots. I would, however, move West Virginia up to No. 3 given the great talent they are returning this year. USC and Texas are so deep that, even with the loss of numerous stars from both squads, they can still be counted on to make strong title runs.

At Florida, we get to see if Chris Leak, in his senior year, turns the corner to the greatness that was expected of him. If so ... look out. Auburn, Florida State and Cal are also in the preseason top ten and are not unrealistic picks for a title run. In the second ten, I wouldn't count out LSU or a Miami squad that is fully loaded on defense. Louisville is a longshot for the title, but will field an exciting squad that has a favorable schedule given its two toughest games against Miami and West Virginia will be at home.

Here's this week's picks:

In the best game of the opening weekend, Cal is favored by 2 on the road at Tennessee. Give up the points and take the Golden Bears.

The Irish embark on another incredibly difficult schedule (well except fot the military academies) by traveling to Georgia Tech for a battle with Chan Gailey's Yellowjackets. The oddsmakers have not gotten caught up in the Notre Dame hysteria and have wisely pegged the South Benders as 6 1/2 point favorites. I was actually hoping for an irrationally high line for the Irish, so I could get a gimmee with a tougher-than-expected G Tech squad (jeebus, just think of Calvin Johnson and a usually tough D). Notre Dame will win by a touchdown and just clear the spread. Also with the over/under at 50 1/2, I say bet the under.

USC is favored by 8 at home againt Arkansas. USC is dying to avenge its Rose Bowl loss to Texas. So look for the Trojans to put the wood to the Razorbacks.

In yet another Pac 10 game, we have an intriguing matchup in LA where the UCLA Bruins are favored by 3 in a face off with Utah, the perenial Pac 10 upsetter. This is an extremely difficult pick so early in the season. UCLA is loaded with talent but never seems that well coached. Utah has pretty good talent and always seems well coached. Yet, coaching seems to be a bigger problem for UCLA later in the season (especially in the bowls) so take the Bruins to be prepared for this early season challenge and give up the points.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Are Words Even Necessary?

Cornering the Masked Senator!

Senators Obama and Coburn proposed legislation for the creation a public, searchable database of all federal grants and contracts.

As could be predicted, a Senator placed a secret hold on the Obama-Coburn bill.

Now let the fun begin ... right and left blogs have joined to unmask the Senator who is secretly blocking this popular piece of legislation.

TPMMuckraker has an updating count and has narrowed the field to 14 Senators.

Just for comedic purposes alone, its got to be Senator Crapo.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The End of Curt Baggett's Career

The Whackjob Karr has been cut loose from the Boulder, Colorado jail. Ya see ... his DNA didn't match.

But let's not forget Curt Baggett. He was the handwriting expert who got massive publicity in the media - most notably with John Gibson on Fox - by claiming a match between Karr's high school yearbook notes and the note left at the JonBenet murder scene.

An "expert" ... uhm, apparently not. But let this be a lesson, there is always some "expert" the media, especially Fox, will trot out to deliver the desired spin. Remember the "Nobel Prize nominated" jackass Hannity trotted out during the Schiavo controversy.

Now how does that old saying go, "Fool me once ..."

To be fair, Baggett was only 99.9999% sure that Karr wrote the murder note. You can expect he'll be right the next 999,999 times.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More Late Night Trash Talk

Tucker Carlson stated that there are "so few men" and "so many wussies at the helm" of the Democratic Party. Yep, that Tucker Carlson ... the pussy who got his ass handed to him by Jon Stewart on Crossfire.

Firedoglake retorts:

Never mind that Bill Frist is so effeminate he makes Michael Jackson look like a lumberjack, or that none of the current crop of Republican leaders have ever served in a war or fired a shot at anything but a bunch of canned quail and old lawyers ...

Angry Drunk Foreign Policy

Noting the righties present itch to bomb Iran, Kevin Drum quips about the history of conservative international relations: "It turns out that approaching foreign affairs like a guy at a bar with six beers in him hasn't worked so well."

I would phrase it a lil differently -

Modern conservatives approach foreign policy like an angry drunk who thinks his girlfriend was making fuck eyes at some guy on the other side of the bar.

Foreign Policy Misleaders: Lieberman & McCain

John McCain - who painted the rosy, but false, picture of the Iraqi people welcoming us as liberators - is assisting Joe Lieberman in lying about Ned Lamont's position on Iraq.

Please, somebody tell me why these guys should be taken seriously on foreign policy when they can't even engage in an intellectually honest debate.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Once a Marine ...

Always a Marine.

Bush takes this literally. Say hello to the latest backdoor draft.

The World Series of Strip Poker

Yeah, they have one in London.

... and though it may sound like a good idea, there is one big problem. Check out the flick below to see what I mean.

Monday, August 21, 2006

WTF Is Bush's Plan for Iraq?

Does anyone know? I mean, seriously, what is it?

Because right now the plan has us staying and running around like a WWF referee who misses all the dirty shit happening behind his back. Worse, we're the ref that keeps getting whacked in the head with the folding chair.

What about the other "oh-so-serious on foreign policy" politicians who enabled this misadventure.

What's McCain's plan?


Better Odds Than the Powerball

You have a one in 5.5 million chance of this ...

sounds like too much of a good thing to me.

Kill Their Lawyers: An Update on Women's Rights in Iraq gives us this sad update on women's rights in Iraq:

Since October 2005, some 38 lawyers in Iraq have been killed, many of whom were defending women's rights. IRIN News, a United Nations humanitarian news and information service, reports that at least 120 lawyers have fled to surrounding countries since January because of the threats to their safety.

Lawyers at special risk for death threats and murder are those who take cases involving violations of Islamic law, such as adultery, so-called honor killings, and cases of women asking for custody of their children. In July, Iraqi lawyer Salah Abdel-Kader was found murdered in his office with a note that read, “This is the price to pay for those who do not follow Islamic laws and defend what is dreadful and dirty,” according to IRIN. He frequently took on cases involving custody disputes and honor killings.

The threat of violence has had a chilling effect on lawyers willing to take these cases. “We are afraid and terrified by such killings, and many of my colleagues have stopped accepting such cases — even if it could bring good money — because our lives could be in serious risk,” said Iraqi lawyer Qusay Ahmed, according to IRIN News.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Reason and Consequences: Bush vs. Judge Taylor

The media and the blogs are all a twitter with the conventional wisdom that Judge Taylor's reasoning was in some aspects faulty though the result she reached was the correct one.

It's true ... she could have simply relied on FISA to halt the warrantless wiretapping program, but isn't everybody missing the bigger point.

In authorizing and engaging in the program, the legal reasoning of the Bush administration was not only faulty but led to the wrong result ... a result that has likely involved violating the legal rights of an untold number of American citizens.

So anyone expressing disdain for Judge Taylor's reasoning should, if they're intellectually honest, quadruple their disdain for the Bush administration and its plainly illegal program.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Breaking! A Victory for the Constitution

A federal District Court Judge in Michigan has ruled that Bush's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and has ordered that the program be halted immediately.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


The number of Iraqis killed in July. That's a 9 percent increase over June and represents an average of 110 per day.

Bush keeps turning the wrong corners.


The Right is rightfully upset about the kidnapping of two Fox News employees in Gaza.

But who wants to bet you won't be seeing any posts exprssing remorse for the five-year imprisonment of Benemar "Ben" Benatta --- the last 9/11 detainee who was released just weeks ago.

The Bushies have degraded our biggest and best weapon against terrorism and international lawlessness --- our commitment to justice.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bush Endorses Lieberman

Well not specifically ... these guys have to backdoor everything.

But what else can you call it when Bush refuses to endorse the Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut. Indeed, he hasn't endorsed any Republican for the spot.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Underbelly of the Foiled UK Terror Plot

MSNBC has the scoop.

There are so many little threads in this piece its hard to no where to begin.

The piece starts with an anonymous "senior British official knowledgeable about the case" (backed up further down by an anonymous "U.S. official") stating that the U.S. pressured the UK to foil the plot earlier than the UK desired. I don't see a big significance here as it seems to be the result of a more cautious US versus a UK seeking to gain more evidence. It does, however, undercut the spin that the attack was imminent.

Thursday morning, when I first heard of the UK arrests, I was left with the impression that suspects with liquid explosives were apprehended shortly before boarding airlines. It was 9/11 being stopped at 6:00 am. By noon that day, I heard there were, in fact, no liquid explosives.

Next, we started hearing about "dry runs" in the plural.

The MSNBC story now notes:

In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.

The source did say, however, that police believe one U.K.-based suspect was ready to conduct a "dry run." British authorities had wanted to let him go forward with part of the plan, but the Americans balked.

Hey, I'm glad this thing got knocked down and we should be especially grateful when they're knocked down in their infancy. But why do we constantly have to go through a stream of politically-motivated misrepresentations to get to the actual good story that happened. How are we ever going to be united on confronting the real issue of terrorism when our victories are spun as some proprietary issue belonging solely to the right and not as a true team effort in which we can all rejoice.

Yet, the story does not end there --- hidden in the later part of the piece is a report about the arrest of the believed ringleader of the plot, Rashid Rauf in Pakistan.

We are told:

[The US and UK] also argued over the timing of the arrest of suspected ringleader Rashid Rauf in Pakistan, warning that if he was not taken into custody immediately, the U.S. would "render" him or pressure the Pakistani government to arrest him.

British security was concerned that Rauf be taken into custody "in circumstances where there was due process," according to the official, so that he could be tried in British courts. Ultimately, this official says, Rauf was arrested over the objections of the British.

Jeebus NBC, quit beating around the Bush and cut to the chase. Ask the question. Was the disagreement over the arrest of Rauf about torturing him?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hero - Motti Tamam

Read this story!

Motti Tamam shows us how to turn grief into compassion and humanity.

This should be on the front page of every newspaper and at the start of every news broadcast.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Imperial Democrats Take One On The Chin

Tonight the Connecticut Democrats dumped Fox Democrat Joe Lieberman in favor of true Democrat Ned Lamont.

To no one's surprise, the man who was quick to concede defeat to Bush/Cheney in 2000 (while selfishly retaining his own Senate seat) finally found an issue he could fight for ... his own incumbency. He announced he will run for the Senate as an independent.

The BIG question is how the other incumbency-loving, imperial Democrats will react.

When will Bill Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer and all the rest announce their support for the choice of the Connecticut Democrats ... and condemn Lieberman's selfish independent run.

We're waiting.

Monday, August 07, 2006

No Room For Bloody Hands Dems

Whiny ass bitch Joe Lieberman claimed a victory for Lamont will send a message to the country: “In the Democratic Party, there’s no room for strong-on-security Dems.”

You can read more of Joe's smear of those who disagree with him (ahem ... liberals) via AmericaBlog.

But Joe's got it wrong ...

... there's just no room for a corporate titty sucking, liberal smearing Democrat who played major role in the worst foreign policy debacle of our lifetimes.

Yeah, its name calling ... but so's Joe's screed.

Let's hope that after tomorrow he is left to roam the streets gazing at his open hands and muttering, "Out Damn Spot!!!"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Must Read Debunking Israel's "Unintentional Deaths" Excuse

The Nation's Adam Shatz has a must-read editorial in the LA Times entitled 'Oops, Sorry' Doesn't Let Israel Off the Hook.

Here's the closing 'graph:

When Israel targets densely populated areas in hopes of killing one or a handful of militants, knowing that it may end up killing dozens of civilians, it can hardly claim to be showing concern for humanitarian law or civilian life. And by asking that we judge it by its professed intentions, rather than by its actions, Israel is asking too much of us and far too little of itself.

Read the whole thing.

190 Rockets

CNN reports on the 190 rockets Hezbollah rained down on Israel today killing one and injuring more than a dozen.

From a liberal perspective, all of the violence is unacceptable and we must continue the demands that all participants in the violence stop.

It's no excuse that Hezbollah "only" succeeded in killing one person in this onslaught ... each one of these individuals had a right to be free from this violence.