Bills await…I hate pay the bills day. ๐Ÿ™‚

About the title of this post: Senator John McCain said that those who died in Iraq had their lives “wasted”:

When Barack Obama said, during an appearance in New Hampshire, that the lives of American troops killed in Iraq had been “wasted,” he immediately moved to correct himself:

Obama, in an interview with the Des Moines Register right afterward, told the paper, ”I was actually upset with myself when I said that, because I never use that term,” he said. ”Their sacrifices are never wasted. . . . What I meant to say was those sacrifices have not been honored by the same attention to strategy, diplomacy and honesty on the part of civilian leadership that would give them a clear mission.”

Why the swift retraction? Because Obama knows what the press does to Democrats who make mistakes:

By Monday, reporters covering Obama making his first visit as a presidential candidate in New Hampshire, asked Obama, campaigning in a Nashua home, if military families deserved an apology.

Those questions, though, paled in comparison to what the wadded-panties wingnuts had to say on the subject. No need to recount them here. Suffice to say they were typically overblown and unhinged.

It will surprise no one, however, that the same rightist cranks are sitting on their hands now that Senator Magoo McCain has said exactly the same thing:

“Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be,” McCain said. “We’ve wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives.”

The Associated Press, to its credit, picks up on this in the next graf:

In February, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama described the lives of troops in Iraq as having been “wasted” but then apologized a day later for making what he called “a slip of the tongue” that he said was not meant to diminish their sacrifice.

Meh. That’s about what you’ll get out of the AP. It’s fair enough, I suppose, though I’m not seeing any stories with headlines about the gaffe, the way we did with Obama. For instance, where’s the story about McCain “stumbling out of the gate?” This was the announcement of his candidacy, after all, and he blows it… on “supporting the troops” of all things? And this ranks only being squeezed in as a seventh paragraph?

The wild-eyed, sputtering loons that pass for the right’s blogosphere, of course, have all of a sudden rediscovered their disdain for political correctness, and have no interest in holding McCain to account.

You can hear the virtual crickets.

Oh, that’s right; when Senator Obama said what he did, I said that he told the truth. But I am going to act like a Republican wingnut: it is ok when a Democrat says it, but not ok when a Republic party member says it.

(psst: Senator McCain, who has served his country honorably and has endured great personal sacrifice and whose kids are serving in Iraq, spoke the truth when he said what he did).

Speaking of Republic Party candidates for President, check out the following “straw poll” at the Free Republic (thanks trifecta for going to freeper land so I don’t have to):

The media often claim left blogistan is delusional, but look at this here for an example of batshit crazy.

Leading the pack in freepville is Duncan Hunter, who is trying to become the second congressman directly elected to the Presidency after Garfield who was assasinated in office. Duncan Hunter is a proponent of strong borders, likes to tap dance, will kiss with tongue on the third date only, and has no way in hell of winning.

Newt Gingrich isn’t fully in the race at this point. He isn’t likely fully in his pants this moment due to the latest mistress doing dictation if past behavior is any guide. One of his memorable quotes is the following. He is targeting this message to the security/soccer man demographic.

So, what else are the wingnuts saying?

From NewsMax:

Romney tries to stay relevant:

Republican Mitt Romney assailed his two leading presidential rivals Wednesday, criticizing John McCain’s stance on immigration and dismissing Rudy Giuliani’s support for gun control, abortion and gay rights as a losing combination in the GOP primary.

Running a distant third in national polls, Romney used a campaign stop in New Hampshire to challenge McCain’s support for stronger border security paired with an eventual path to citizenship for some of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Also, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, the former Massachusetts governor criticized Giuliani for his moderate stands on abortion, gays and gun control – even though Romney expressed similar views in previous campaigns.

And Senator McCain further angers the GOP base:

Sen. John McCain is the only Republican presidential candidate to spurn an offer to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the nationโ€™s premier gathering of conservatives.

And McCain further miffed sponsors of the event, which begins Thursday at a Washington, D.C., hotel, by attempting to schedule a private reception for conference attendees without seeking approval of CPAC organizers.

“It was a classic McCain move, dissing us by going behind our backs,โ€ declared William Lauderback, executive president of the American Conservative Union, a principal sponsor of the CPAC.

In addition to the other GOP presidential candidates โ€“ including Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney โ€“ Vice President Dick Cheney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are also scheduled to address the conference.


March 1, 2007 Posted by | politics/social | Leave a comment

Traffic Court, first run

Workout Notes No swimming due to thunderstorms. I managed to jog one mile (just about 10 minutes) on the indoor track and then walk for another 15 mintues (1.1 miles?). Nothing hurt other than my right arch. But the track is rather hard; for now the treadmill would be a better bet.

Then yoga with Ms. Vickie; I noticed that my balance was a bit off.

Political Humor

Speaking of Al Gore: evidently the wingnuts are attempting to smear him. Some right wing yahoo (or group of yahoos) calls him/herself (selves) a “think tank” and attempted to smear Al Gore.

This smear is completely debunked here by nailmaker at the Daily Kos.

I was listening to “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio yesterday on my way to picking up my son at school. They had a segment on the Gore utility bills pseudo-scandal.

What I heard made me so angry that I turned off the radio and sputtered with rage.

Here’s how the thinly disguised hit-piece started:

On Sunday night, when the movie An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar, its star, Al Gore, took the stage with a message about global warming. He called for people the world over to change the way they live, so that they have less impact on the environment.

Not so fast, said a libertarian think tank called the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. They called up the Nashville Electric Service and asked about the bills for the Gore’s 10,000-square-foot home.

“The average American uses about 11,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, but Al Gore devoured 221,000 kilowatt hours,” says Drew Johnson, president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

Of Gore, Johnson asked, “Is he doing the sorts of things that he’s asking us to do?”

(The emphasis is mine.)

They then briefly mention that the Gore household uses green energy and buys carbon offsets, and then segue into a mealy-mouthed interview with an expert to discuss whether buyers of carbon offsets can be sure of what they are purchasing (long answer that boils down to: mostly yes but controls are catching up with a fast growing carbon offset industry.)

What got me riled up was that they made no attempt to identify the “Tennessee Center for Policy Research” for what it really is.

The Tennessee Tax Dept. does not consider the “Tennessee Center for Policy Research,” which roughly no one had heard of before this, a legitimate group. It’s run by a long-time right-wing attack hack, and its only registered address is a P.O. box.

They called it a “libertarian think-thank”, left it at that and proceeded to uncritically pass along the smear. I mean, is NPR applying for card-carrying member status in the wingnut echo chamber alongside the”Dredge Report” and “Faux News” and an army of hate radio jockeys? Is this what’s going on here? Do you like how NPR spent your tax money and your much solicited contributions?

A wee bit of research would have revealed that:

* The “average” home electricity use quoted by TCPR is a national average that includes apartments and mobile homes. In Gore’s climatic zone, the East South Central (Dept. of Energy PDF), the average is much higher, thanks to hot, humid summers and cold winters. Within that zone, Gore’s usage is three (not 20) times average, and his per-square-foot usage is squarely average.
* The Gores are not an average family. He’s an ex-VP with special security arrangements, and has live-in security staff. He and his wife both work on their many business and charitable undertakings out of their house, so they have space for offices and office staff. All that would be tough to cram in an average size house.

Traffic Court: Peoria County, Peoria, Illinois

I went to traffic court yesterday; my offenses were speeding (66 in a 55 zone) and not having my insurance card with me (though I had insurance).

The latter forced me to go to court to show that I had a valid policy; and yes, I got a current copy of my insurance card in the truck.

Yes, I should not have been speeding and I should have had an insurance card with me. So I don’t resent the fact that I had to go to court.

My court time was 1:30; I was to leave at about 3:30. At 1 pm they opened the doors to the courtroom. We filed in and took seats in the secton behind the railing in; in TV shows this is where the witnesses sit.

There were two desks were assistant district attorneys worked with folks like me (who were pleading guilty and just needed to show proof of insurance or other things) and beyond that was where the judge sat. There were a couple of bench trials while I was there; in one of the trials the defendant was found innocent on one charge and guilt of another.

Most of us just sat there untill one of the district attorneys called us. I pulled out a magazine to read and was politely told that I couldn’t do that! I didn’t ask why at that time; I just gave the guy an incredulous look and put it away.

The guy who told me not to read was wearing a red smock with a badge over regular clothes.

Now if you say it is a “respect for the court” sort of thing, then why was one of the other guys (also dressed the same way) shooting the breeze with other people sitting in our section?

That was M I C K E Y M O U S E but at least I was spoken to politely.

Just a bit later, someone in a law enforcement uniform (couldn’t tell whether he was a county sheriff or some court security officer) loudly told a young man to sit up and not sit slumped over. “Show some respect for the court; you aren’t at home.”

One of the people next to me whispered “what an @sshole.” I had to agree.

I know one thing: I certainly LOST respect for the court when that idiot did that.

The unfortunate thing was that the district attorney that I talked to and the clerk that I talked to afterwards were very polite and professional; I’d even say that they were downright nice and sensitive to the fact that many of us were embarrassed to even be there.

I asked the discrict attorney why we couldn’t read; he appeared to be incredulus and exclaimed “they wouldn’t let you READ?” He then said “I don’t know” with a shrug. The clerk rolled her eyes and told me it was (while using her figers to make quote marks) it was a “respect for the court” thing, and that she disagreed with the policy.

But as far as the jerk goes (and I’d post his photo if I could find it): he struck me as one of those who let a bit of authority and power go to this head. I saw a few of those in the military (officers and non comissioned officers); fortunately where I served, these were the exception.

Anyway, the point of my writing this post is this: I now have a better understanding of why some who had contact with the court system have grown to hate and disrespect it.

Mind you, as a taxpayer, I realize that my taxes help fund this court and that it is supposed to work for me and everyone else that lives here. But I can tell you that the actions of these people (who strike me as simple minded idiots, but I could be wrong) soured me, though the actions of the others made me feel encouraged.

March 1, 2007 Posted by | hillary clinton, injury, obama, Peoria/local, politics/social, running, swimming, walking, yoga | 3 Comments