Sunday, June 29, 2008

You Know It's REALLY Bad When...

Gas prices hit Amish

Lego Death Star!!!

3,800 piece Lego Death Star! Check out the details here.

And a here's a video of it:



Heh heh. Some guy goes, "Where's the thermal exhaust port?" :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Paradox

Canadian CSI

If I'd had milk in my mouth when I read this, it'd have been all over my computer screen!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

See? Obama Isn't Such a Liberal After All...

From the AP:

Obama disagrees with court on child rape case

CHICAGO - Democrat Barack Obama says he disagrees with the Supreme Court's decision outlawing executions of people convicted of raping a child.

Obama told reporters Wednesday that he thinks the rape of a child, ages six or eight, is a heinous crime. He said if a state makes a decision, then the death penalty is potentially applicable.

He disagreed with the court's blanket prohibition.

In a 5-4 vote, the court said the Louisiana law allowing the death penalty to be imposed in such cases violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Frankly, I agree with him. On the other hand, another way to deal animals like those who rape children is to lop off their nuts. And everything else attached down there.

L'CHayim!

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this.



Hattip: My old friend, chaimster. Yeah. We used to work together at the Shoah Foundation. And have air lightsaber duels when we'd bump into each other between trailers...

Fond, good memories. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Looks Like Rav Heinemann Might Be Next on the Cherem List...

Heh. The latest "controversy" in the Jewish world is Shabbos Mode ovens. (I don't have one, yet, but) It seems there is a setting on them that allows one to lower and raise the temp on a delayed reaction on the oven on Yom Tov. Well, it seems the self-proclaimed "Gedolim" have put out yet ANOTHER "Kol Korei" denouncing this practice and claiming it ruins the observance of Yom Tov (and Shabbos, for that matter, too). Information from Kosherquest.org:

Preventing Transgression: Gedolei HaPoskim Asur Shabbos Mode on Ovens
June 4, 2008

The modern electronic ovens presently being sold are no longer simply ovens that cook, but rather sophisticated, computer driven electronic marvels. While in the past, the Halochos pertaining to using ovens on Shabbos and Yom Tov were pretty straightforward, nowadays simply opening and closing the ovens can entail violations of Shabbos and Yom Tov.
The “Sabbath Mode” on many of the ovens sold today actually do resolve many of these issues, and is very useful.
However, utilizing the “Sabbath Mode” to raise or lower the temperature on Yom Tov is a matter which has been presented to the Gedolei HaPoskim and they have all unequivocally rendered their decision that it is absolutely forbidden to utilize that feature on Yom Tov.
Having seen the written explanation for the basis of the leniency, HoRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlit”a, HoRav Shmuel Wosner Shlit”a, HoRav Nisim Karelitz Shlit”a and HoRav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit”a all signed that it is strictly forbidden to rely on this leniency on Yom Tov.

In addition, when a written lenient opinion ("
Daas Yochid") was presented to local Rabbonim, they were also unanimous in their decision that it is forbidden to utilize that feature on Yom Tov.
Among the Rabbonim who signed were HoRav Yechezkel Roth Shlit”a, HoRav Shlomo Miller Shlit”a Rosh Kollel Avreichim of Toronto, HoRav Yechiel Tauber Shlit”a, Rosh Kollel Mechon Hoyroa in Monsey, HoRav Yaakov Horowitz Shlit”a, Rav Of Telze Minyan in Boro Park, Horav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, Rosh Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, HoRav Gershon Bess, Rav Kehilas Yaakov in Los Angeles.

HoRav Feivel Cohen Shlit”a corresponded with HoRav Elyashiv shlit”a and also expressed his opinion that one cannot rely on the leniency.
HoRav Yisroel Belsky Shlit”a responded publicly that it is forbidden to adjust the temperature on these ovens. Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, Av Bais Din of the Agudah in Chicago also publicly forbade the adjustment of the temperature on Yom tov.
Click HERE to view the Kol Koreh signed by the Poskim, and a letter written by Rav Moshe Shternbach Shlita forbidding its use as well.
The following is a translation of the Kol Koreh sent to YWN by a prominent Rov and Posek:

The development of “Sabbath Mode” operation of ovens seeks to permit the raising and lowering of oven temperatures on Yom Tov. The change in temperature settings is accomplished by pressing keys on a keypad that is connected to the microcontroller built into the oven.

Pressing the keys while in “Sabbath Mode” does not result in an immediate change in oven temperature nor does it have any other observable effect. Allowing this activity is based on the presumption that pressing the keys is merely a “Grama” and is therefore permitted on Yom Tov.

In our opinion, pressing the keys on Yom Tov is strictly forbidden since pressing a key immediately closes an electrical circuit and instructs the microcontroller to carry out an action. Pressing the key is forbidden just as all manipulation of electricity is forbidden on Shabbos and Yom Tov either because of “Makeh B’patish” or because of “Mesaken” as described in Igros Moshe (vol.3 §42 and vol.4 §84) whereby there can be a Torah violation immediately upon pressing the key even if no “fire’”is created.

This operation is not considered “Grama”. [Furthermore, according to a number of authorities, “Grama” does not apply to situations where the eventual outcome is intentional.]
In our opinion, use of “Sabbath Mode” to change the temperature of an oven on Yom Tov represents an assault on the sanctity of Shabbos and Yom Tov and will lead to deterioration in their observance.

We hereby declare that one may not rely on “Sabbath Mode” operation to adjust oven temperatures on Yom Tov despite the presence of a Hechsher on these ovens.

To all of the above we affix our signatures:
{HoRav) Yosef Shalom Elyashiv
I have seen the lengthy words of the Rov that permitted the above and they are Halachically incorrect and it is clearly forbidden.
(HoRav) Nisim Karelitz
There is no Heter for the above, nor will Grama accomplish here.
I affix my signature, awaiting the redemption.
(HoRav) Shmuel Wozner

Surely, surely one is obligated to protest this leniency with all our might. Such leniencies are a great degradation in the foundation of Shmiras Shabbos and those that are careful with the honor of Shabbos will bring an eternal Brocho upon themselves.
(HoRav) Yechezkel Roth, Head of Karlsbad Bais Din
Aside from the actual prohibition, there lies herein a breach in the wall of Shmiras Shabbos and Yom Tov through which the Jewish nation is sanctified thoughout the generations.
(HoRav) Yaakov Horowitz, Rav ,Telz Minyan
(HoRav) Elya Ber Wachtfogel
(HoRav) Shlomo Miller, Rosh Kollel, Kollel Avreichim Toronto
(HoRav) Yechiel Tauber, Rosh Kollel Mechon L’Hoyroa, Monsey, NY
(HoRav) Gershon Bess, Rav Kehilas Yaakov, Los Angeles

June 5, 2008

Now, I know who a couple of these people are and I personally don't hold of psakim by them at all (many of these people were involved with the Slifkin thing and the wig thing and the internet thing). Hell, I've never even heard of most of these dudes.

Here's where the strong-arming comes in. Rav Heinemann, a MAJOR American Posek and head of the Star K, one of the most respected Kashrus organizations in the United States, disagrees and says use of this oven is completely PERMISSIBLE.
June 6, 2008
Regarding Star-K certified Sabbath Mode ovens

Rav Heinemann, shlita, stands by his Psak that it is permissible to raise and lower temperatures on Yom Tov on ovens equipped with that particular Sabbath Mode feature. 

Check out his psak and explanation thereof below:

It is interesting to note that he mentions, in discussing why one MAY use these ovens utilize them on Yom Tov, the issue of ingesting things NOT visible to the naked eye, like the New York Microbe thing a few years back. His thesis there: God didn't intend for people to go nuts keeping the Torah. He gives other examples as well. It's kind of long, but here's the audio (hope this works... And it's about 52 minutes long.):




Here's a direct link to Rav Heinemann's site: Rav Heinemann on Shabbos Mode.

So, it seems Rav Heinemann will be a "Daas Yachid," a single voice, here, won't it. Wonder how long until he's in Cherem for being a kofer...

Anyway, should I ever get a Shabbos Mode oven, I'll know I have upon whom to rely when I gleefully use my oven on Yom Tov.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Some signs of relief on gasoline prices - Yahoo! News

Some signs of relief on gasoline prices - Yahoo! News

Public Service Announcement

Some good articles on saving money and how we really ARE deeply a recession, if not a full-blown depression:

Web savvy ways to slash your grocery bill.

Making a good living, but still feeling strapped.

Consumers could be paying higher grocery bills until 2010.

Follow links at the end of the articles for more.

More and more moving to to escape gas price burden.

Interesting article about people flocking to the cities to be closer to work and save money on gas. Unfortunately, all this is going to do is overcrowd the cities, which is bad, as when that happens, pollution goes up, crime goes up, real estate goes up, rents go up, etc. etc. etc.

Yet more evidence that Arab world's economic terror war on the US is being far more successful than 9/11.

What a Moron...

FRESNO, Calif. - John McCain distanced himself Monday from a top adviser who said another terrorist attack on U.S. soil this election year would benefit the Republican presidential candidate. Barack Obama's campaign called the comment a "complete disgrace."

Charlie Black, an adviser already in the spotlight for his past lobbying work, is quoted in the upcoming July 7 edition of Fortune magazine as saying such an attack "certainly would be a big advantage to him."
Ok. This guy's an ultra-moron. Not only is he, as the Republicans tend to do, using the whole politics of fear thing, which is just dumb. He's also a complete nincompoop! His logic is VERY fuzzy. If, God forbid, there WERE another terrorist attack on US soil, wouldn't it PROVE the the Republi-Stupids have FAILED MISERABLY? Wouldn't that automatically be a BOOM for Obama? Not that a terrorist attack would be good in ANY case, obviously, but if, God forbid there were one, it would CERTAINLY show the Republicans are completely inept at fighting terror, wouldn't it, now.

Let the Negative Campaigning Begin

Thank you, Republicans and conservatives for yet again dragging this election through the muck: 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The same publisher who helped to sink John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign plans a follow-up effort to dish dirt on this year's Democratic hopeful, Barack Obama.

"The Case Against Barack Obama" by conservative journalist David Freddoso will offer an alternative to the media's "whitewashed" view of the Illinois senator, Regnery Publishing president Marjory Ross told Politico.com Monday.

Ross said the book was due out on August 4 -- the same month in 2004 that he published "Unfit for Command," a scathing attack on Kerry's Vietnam War record that contributed to his defeat.

The release date is three weeks before Obama is to be crowned the Democratic White House nominee at the party's Denver convention, when his general election campaign against Republican John McCain will move into top gear.

"I think it's critically important that the country gets a clear and honest view of who is running and what they stand for -- warts and all," Ross said.

While the publisher promised a "comprehensive, factual look at Obama," the new book's subtitle is: "The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate."

A publicist at Regnery Publishing did not immediately respond to AFP's requests for comment.

Politico said the book would examine Obama's ties to his controversial former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and to a Chicago professor named William Ayers who was once part of a 1960s group of leftist bombers.

It will also portray Obama as an unvarnished liberal with a Senate voting record that contradicts his talk of ending bipartisan rancor, the website reported.
Now, then, isn't that just wonderful. Here we go again with the politics of fear.

You know, sometimes I feel like I live in two countries, depending on what party is in power. It seems even bipartisanship is a thing of the past. Washington politicians on both sides of the aisle seem to be working just for themselves. Then, along comes a candidate who loves this country and wants to unite it, and all the Republicans seem capable of doing is negative campaigning and feeding the fears of the people in order to stay in power. It's pretty sick.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

NICE!!!

Go Alex and Alex's mom!! She speaks for me, too! John McWarmonger, you can't have my Dovid or my Devora either.

Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face...

Barack Obama won. Hillary Clinton lost. So it goes in primaries. And this primary will probably go down as the most famous of them all because no matter who won, an African-American or a woman, it would have been, and was, quite earth-shattering. But in the end, there was a winner, even if nearly half the voters didn't want that person to win. Personally, had Hillary won, I'd have been very disappointed. But come November, I'd have voted for her because the alternative is COMPLETELY unacceptable to me.

And this is the nature of a primary season. The voters speak, a candidate emerges who then goes on to the general elections. And in most cases, if not all cases, the party and voters line up behind the party's candidate and do their best to get him elected because, again, the alternative is simply unacceptable.

So why is it, as stated in this article, there are so many Hillary supporters who refuse to back their party's candidate simply because that candidate is not the candidate they wanted? Is the alternative, having yet another minimum of four years of Republican rule under a candidate who intends to keep the status quo and allow, even cause this country to sink even lower than it already has both in the international community and economically, better than backing and voting for the candidate who had mostly the same solutions to many issues as Hillary did? Is the candidate of ones choice not winning a primary enough of a reason to go and vote for everything against which a person stands, just to spite the party that didn't deliver ones candidate of choice?

I just don't get it.

Furious loyalists of the former first lady protested at a Democratic Party meeting in Washington, vowing to bolt from the party if Clinton did not win the nomination.

Last week, the co-chairs of the University of Iowa Students for Hillary told followers they should vote for McCain, or, if they could not "stomach" that, consider Cynthia McKinney, the presumptive Green Party candidate.
Bolt from the party?! What are they? Three-year-olds? Vote for another candidate, one who has NO chance of winning, just to take away votes from the Democratic candidate?! How incredibly selfish and stupid IS that? It's insane!

Hopefully, as the article stated, tempers will indeed cool and all those ardent Hillary supporters will actually LISTEN to their candidate, or ex-candidate in this case, and vote for Obama, as Hillary has stated several times they should. Hopefully.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Texas GOP cuts off vendor that sold racist button
By APRIL CASTRO, Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Republican Party is distancing itself from a vendor who sold campaign buttons at last weekend's state convention that asked, "If Obama is president ... will we still call it The White House?"

The state GOP party said Wednesday that it will donate the $1,500 rent it collected from the vendor, Republicanmarket.com, to Midwestern flood victims.

State GOP spokesman Hans Klingler said the party does not vet the merchandise being sold, but officials plan to discuss doing so in the future. The button sales at the convention in Houston were first reported in The Dallas Morning News.

"This vendor need not apply to another Texas GOP state convention," Klingler said. "We will neither tolerate nor profit from bigotry."

Barack Obama, who clinched the Democratic nomination this month, is the first blackpresidential nominee of a major party.

The vendor, Jonathan Alcox, said he was trying to be funny and based the button on apolitical cartoon. He said he made 12 buttons and sold four, two of them to reporters.

"We're into humor, not racism," said Alcox, who described himself as an independent who may vote for Obama in November. "Why would I do that purposely? I thought it was funny."

The state GOP will bar the vendor from booth space at future events and "encourage him to clean up his act," Klingler said.

"The Republican Party of Texas told me I can never go there again. They're my biggest event," Alcox said. "It's pretty much put me out of business."

State GOP officials said they also have alerted the Republican National Convention so that Alcox will not be allowed to sell merchandise at the convention in St. Paul, Minn., in September.

The Texas Republican Party, whose platform is often far to the right of the national GOP, has been in hot water over diversity issues before.

In 1998, the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest organization of gay Republicans, was denied a booth at the GOP state convention in Fort Worth and likened to the Ku Klux Klan by a Texas Republican Party spokesman.

"We don't allow pedophiles, transvestites or cross-dressers, either," then-GOPspokesman Robert Black said at the time.

So, I'm just curious. HOW is this any different than the Rev. Wright-Obama thing, exactly? Note two things here. First, the guy DID have his booth and presumably kept it for the entire state convention, which means he WAS allowed to pander his crap for the entire convention. Second, that last bit about gay Republicans (isn't that an oxymoron? Better yet, doesn't that pretty much prove no one CHOOSES to be gay?). Is there some reason the state GOP then didn't "distance" itself from its own spokesperson?

See the Exciting New Invention - Shabbos Bathroom Tissue

From the people who brought us the Kosher Lamp and Shabbos Toothbrushes, comes this exciting new product: Shabbos butt wipes!!

What? Are people SO busy they can't take two minutes (fine, up to ten for large families) to cut a roll of toilet paper? Or is this just the next step in Jewish American laziness?

It's Amazing What An $80-$100 Investment in Your Home Will Give You

While we rented the house we recently purchased, I never bothered replacing the broken blinds and curtains all over the house because I didn't want to sink even one red cent into a house that wasn't mine and that the owner maintained not at all. After all, why should I improve someone else's property?

Well, we bought the house, so I decided to start sprucing things up a bit. The first thing I did was spend somewhere between $80 and $100 to buy mini-blinds at Home Depot. These are the inexpensive blinds ($4-$15, depending on size), but boy, do they make a huge difference! You really don't need to spend too much money to make your house look like a home.

Next project (after I finish with the blind - I've got six more to put up - four in the living room and two in the dining room): Priming, painting, and trashing the dining room carpet in favor of the beautiful, NEVER USED, hardwood flooring.

Cool!!

Um. Mazal Tov?

George Takei of `Star Trek' Gets Marriage License

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- "Star Trek" star George Takei is ready to "live long and prosper" with his partner of 21 years.

Takei will marry 54-year-old Brad Altman on September 14th in Los Angeles.

The 71-year-old actor, known for his role as Sulu on the "Star Trek" sci-fi TV series, was the first to pay $70 for a marriage license in West Hollywood early Tuesday. The marriage license is good for 90 days.

Takei was jubilant, saying "it's going to be the only day like this in our lives and it is the only day like this in the history of America."

He told reporters and a swelling crowd outside the West Hollywood city auditorium "may equality live long and prosper."

The California Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Idiot In the White House's Statement of the Day...

"I, unfortunately, have been to too many disasters as president," Bush said after a briefing on the flooding.
Yeah. What he should have said, what most of us probably heard, was:
"I, unfortunately, have been too many disasters as president," Bush said after a briefing on the flooding.

And Obama Responds. Forcefully.

Obama's not taking any crap from McSame-As-Bush about having a pre-9/11 mentality:

WASHINGTON - A defiant Barack Obama said Tuesday he would take no lectures from Republicans on which candidate would keep the U.S. safer, a sharp rebuke to John McCain's aides who said the Democrat had a naive, Sept. 10 mind-set toward terrorism.

"These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11," the presumed nominee told reporters aboard his campaign plane. "This is the same kind of fear-mongering that got us into Iraq ... and it's exactly that failed foreign policy I want to reverse."


*SNIP*

On his campaign plane, Obama told reporters that Osama bin Laden is still at large in part because President Bush's strategy toward fighting terror has not succeeded.

At issue were comments Obama made in an interview with ABC News Monday in which he spoke approvingly of the successful prosecution and imprisonment of those responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Obama was asked how he could be sure the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies are not crucial to protecting U.S. citizens.

Obama said the government can crack down on terrorists "within the constraints of our Constitution." He mentioned the indefinite detention of Guantanamo Bay detainees, contrasting their treatment with the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

"And, you know, let's take the example of Guantanamo," Obama said. "What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center — we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated.

"And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, 'Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims. ...

"We could have done the exact same thing, but done it in a way that was consistent with our laws," Obama said.

Obama agreed with the Supreme Court ruling last week that detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have a constitutional right to challenge their indefinite imprisonment in U.S. civilian courts. McCain derided the ruling as "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."
Obama said Republicans could be counted on to do "what they've done every election cycle, which is to use terrorism as club to make the American people afraid to win elections." He said he didn't think it would work this time.

Brilliant Ad About Voting Republican

This may be a bit satirical, but it IS 100% true!



Hattip: My old friend, Chaim.

Al Gore's Endorsement of Barack Obama

As my friend Jeff remarked, it looks like someone actually woke Gore up, because this is a WONDERFUL speech!

McAnything...

You ever notice how much fun John McCain's name is? You can literally put ANYTHING after the Mc! You can even put entire sentences after the Mc! I just love it!!

Funny, I used to respect him. But he's a sellout, just like Joe Lieberman, the fake, put-on-a-show-that-I'm-an-Orthodox-Jew (he's really not) fool senator who ran as Al Gore's vice presidential candidate on the DEMOCRATIC ticket in 2000.

Fear, Fear, and More Fear

Well, John McFear, knowing there's no way he'll win the election in November on real issues, is already, pretty early in the game, bringing out everyone's favorite non-issue, fear.

A McCain aide said, "Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mind-set" and does not understand the dangers posed by U.S. adversaries.
Obama, however, was quick to retort:
Obama told reporters that the Republicans have no "standing to suggest that they've learned a lot of lessons from 9-11."

He said they "helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9-11." He said Osama bin Laden is still at large in part because of their failed strategies.
Here's the rest of the article:
In a conference call with reporters, McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann said Tuesday: "Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mind-set. ... He does not understand the nature of the enemies we face." Former CIA director James Woolsey said Obama has "an extremely dangerous and extremely naive approach toward terrorism ... and toward dealing with prisoners captured overseas who have been engaged in terrorist attacks against the United States."

The Obama campaign quickly responded with its own conference call in which Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism official in Republican and Democratic administrations, argued the McCain campaign was emulating Karl Rove, President Bush's former political adviser.

"I'm a little disgusted by the attempts of some of my friends on the McCain campaign to use the same old, tired tactics ... to drive a wedge between Americans for partisan advantage and to frankly frighten Americans," Clarke said.

GOP criticism of the presumed Democratic nominee echoed the words of Rove, who in January 2006 said Republicans have a post-Sept. 11 view of the world and Democrats a pre-9/11 view. Eleven months later, the GOP lost control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections.

At issue were Obama's comments Monday in an interview with ABC News. Obama was asked how he could be sure the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies are not crucial to protecting U.S. citizens.

Obama said the government can crack down on terrorists "within the constraints of our Constitution." He mentioned the indefinite detention of Guantanamo Bay detainees, contrasting their treatment with the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

"And, you know, let's take the example of Guantanamo," Obama said. "What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center — we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated.

"And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, 'Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims. ...

"We could have done the exact same thing, but done it in a way that was consistent with our laws," Obama said.

Obama agreed with the Supreme Court ruling last week that detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have a constitutional right to challenge their indefinite imprisonment in U.S. civilian courts. McCain derided the ruling as "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

Kerry, who as the 2004 Democratic nominee faced Republican claims that he was soft on terror, accused McCain of "defending a policy that is indefensible" by siding with Bush's policies — particularly with respect to the Iraq war.

"The U.S. is less safe, less respected and less able to lead in the world, and that is the record John McCain has chosen to embrace," Kerry said.
And I think Kerry's last statement in this article is really the point. The Republicans may have a "post 9/11 view of the world," but 9/11 happened nearly seven years ago, and it's time for the country to move on, rebuild, restructure, and regain its standing in the world as the best, most respected country on the planet.

Instead, McSame just wants to continue the same old, same old. Only, since 9/11, the country has spiraled in an economic downturn with no end in sight, the world HATES us, and we've waged an illegal war to satisfy The Idiot's (Bush) vendetta.

Isn't it enough? Perhaps it IS time to take a pre-9/11 view of the world. That doesn't mean lowering our guard or giving up. It means picking up the pieces and getting on with history.

Mc-Let's-Suspend-the-Federal-Gas-Tax Is At It Again...

Yup. Remember that whole thing a couple of months back about suspending federal taxes on gasoline for the summer? The one Hillary and McDumDum agreed on, but that Obama opposed because it's just not a real solution? Well, McRepetitive is at it again, lobbying to suspend the $0.184 (that's 18.4 cent per gallon) tax through Labor Day:

McCain lobbied anew to suspend the 18.4 cent federal tax on gasoline and 24.4 cent diesel tax until Labor Day on September 1.

"Even in tough times for our economy, when folks are struggling to pay for gas and groceries, tax relief just isn't change he can believe in," McCain said, turning Obama's mantra of change against the Democrat.
Now, personally, I don't drive much since I work from home and most of the stores I patronize are within two miles of my home. So I did the math, and suspension of this tax would save me a whopping $11 (yeah, a whole eleven dollars). Big whoop. In total, along with my wife driving, it might save us $40 for the whole summer. Big f*****g deal. That won't even pay one of any of our bills, AND it's only a temporary cut anyway.

It's really time for this country to start seriously looking to alternative energy sources and stop allowing oil lobbyists to control what goes on in Washington and stop them from keeping us dependent on terrorist-funding countries like Saudi Arabia.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Man Inside the Bird...

Really great article about the person who plays Big Bird on Sesame Street. This same person has played Big Bird since the very beginning in 1969!

All Quiet on the (Mid) Western Front...

I've really got nothing today. McStupid's up to his usual mudslinging, idiotic politics about how much better he is than Obama, and I don't think he got the memo that no one's listening.

Tim Russert of NBC, a very well-respected and wonderful journalist passed away on Friday at the age of 58 of a sudden heart attack.

Tiger Woods forced a tie-breaker game last night.

Lakers won.

Having received a wonderful gift of a $100 gift certificate to Bed Bath and Beyond, my wife and I bought each either a couple of nifty presents (she got a sandwich maker and I got a pillow massager, to which I became quickly addicted). Thanks, K!!

I spent a good part of the morning putting up new blinds on some of our windows, and they look SO much better than the old ones! I just have a few more to go, and I have to find the right sizes for my kitchen windows.

Oh, yeah. We joyfully started stripping wallpaper from our dining room walls! Underneath, it looks like no one has EVER bothered to paint the walls. All they did was just cover over and over with wallpaper. Ick. What a horrible invention. ***SHUDDER***

I'm trying to convince my wife that we should paint the walls a really lightly blue tinged off-white, but she's insistent on "neutral" plain off-white, like eggshell or something. But I REALLY like the blue tinge. She did agree to painting OUR bedroom in the blue tinged, though! :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

McBush Is SOOOOO Gonna Lose This Election...

Pro "free" trade McSame as Bush...

What a doofus.

John McCain is bullish on free trade. The country isn't. Yet McCain doesn't miss many opportunities to reproach Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama's emerging opposition to international trade deals.

McCain is such an avowed free trader that he is scheduled to address the Economic Club of Canada next week in Ottawa to assert his support for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Such an appearance helps McCain burnish his foreign policy credentials. But trade can also carry great risks, especially in election battlegrounds such as Ohio and Pennsylvania where many voters blame trade deals for job losses.
You can't be pro-trade in this economy. It's the kiss of death. And it will be.

But McCain, the great senile one, had even more to say:
Obama, who four years ago declared NAFTA had been beneficial, recently talked about reopening NAFTA to strengthen enforcement of labor and environmental standards. McCain has been thumping Obama on that, arguing that such a step not only would hurt trade, but undermine the credibility of the United States abroad.

"You know what message that sends? That no agreement is sacred to him," McCain told reporters Thursday in Boston.
Well, no, McStupid. It means Obama cares about THIS country and wants what's best for its citizens, not for big business, which has been very, VERY BAD for this country's citizens. VERY bad. So, no. What Obama wants, McStupid as Bush, is to reexamine an unfair trade agreement that has completely screwed over this country's economy, fix it in FAVOR of the US and its now out of work workers, and create a good, non-Republican run economy.

Further, while Obama knows what this country's citizens want, McSchmuck has no clue that, for instance, about two thirds of this country's citizens do NOT have a favorable view of trade agreements. See, John Mc-Doesn't-Know-Anything-About-The-Economy, Obama DOES know about the economy. You don't. This country is sacred to him, not unfair trade agreements that have failed this country miserably.

That, John McIdiot, is what's sacred to Obama.

Understated Headline (and Most Obvious Headline) of the Day...

Fox News calls 'Obama Baby Mama' graphic poor judgment
No shit, Sherlock.

What's McSame Afraid Of?

WASHINGTON - Presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain have failed to agree on joint town hall appearances.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a statement Friday that he offered to meet McCain in five joint appearances between now and the Nov. 4 election. But only one of those was a town hall meeting.

McCain wanted them to appear together in 10 town hall meetings that would be unscripted with questions from voters in the audience.

Obama preferred one town hall, plus three traditional debates and an in-depth debate on foreign policy.
Well, he's afraid of facing Obama in a debate because he knows he'd lose... That's why he wants the "town hall" meetings, where he can try to steer the questions against Obama and in his favor, though he'd fail miserably anyway. He just knows he'd fail LESS miserably than if he faced Obama in a real debate...

The Wealthy Have Gotta HATE This Guy

Democrat Barack Obama would apply the Social Security payroll tax to all annual incomes above $250,000, which he says would affect the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans.

The presidential candidate told senior citizens in Ohio on Friday that it is unfair for middle-class earners to pay the Social Security tax "on every dime they make, while millionaires and billionaires are only paying it on a very small percentage of their income."

The payroll tax is now applied to all income up to $102,000 a year, which covers the entire amount for most Americans. Under Obama's plan, the tax would not apply to incomes between that amount and $250,000. But all annual income above the quarter-million-dollar amount would be taxed under his plan.
Need I say more? It's about time the wealthy started getting taxed proportionately to what they make.

I'm Not One for Conspiracy Theories, But...

You know that "war on terror" the US has been waging? I think, aside from waging it with the wrong country (Iraq), it's also being waged on the wrong front altogether. Has it occurred to anyone the the Arabic countries' stranglehold on oil and the rising prices of such a major commodity might, just MIGHT, be their way of waging a war, an ECONOMIC war, against the west in general and the United States in particular (I say the west in general because I just found out from a friend who recently visited Israel that the price of gas there is a whopping EIGHT DOLLARS A GALLON!!!).

Should OPEC and the Arab countries continue to wage their economic war on the US, things are only going to get worse. This is far more insidious than the 9/11 attacks. At least those were straightforward and obvious, whereas this economic war is practically invisible.

I think the idea that the US SHOULD have attacked Saudi Arabia, the country from which MOST of the 9/11 terrorists originated (NOT Iraq, as The Idiot in the White House would us believe), rather than a useless, senseless war against a country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11.

But no. The Idiot in the White House could not have attacked his good friends the Saudis. After all, The Idiot is oil money, isn't he? Why yes! Yes he is...

Totally off topic: This is post #800!!!

Fox Republican Network

Saw this article today and decided to quote the entire thing. I think it's important. The Fox Conservative News Network has taken some real cheap shots at the Obama's, including the hope Barack Obama would be assassinated, which is really kind of sick. Apologies included the person who made the above comment that people are saying things they wish they hadn't. That doesn't mean they still don't FEEL that way.

Further, the "baby mama" comment did flash on the screen (though never verbally said) and it was expressed on air. And yet these people have the audacity to claim Michelle Obama used the word "whitey" at her church, something she NEVER did!

Pretty sick.

Fox News refers to Michelle Obama as `baby mama'

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK - Fox News Channel referred to Michelle Obama as "Obama's baby mama" in a graphic on Wednesday, the latest in a trio of references to the Democratic presidential campaign that have given fuel to network critics.

The graphic "Outraged liberals: Stop picking on Obama's baby mama" was flashed during an interview withconservative columnist Michelle Malkin about whether Barack Obama's wife has been the target of unfair criticism.

In the past two weeks, Fox anchor E.D. Hill has apologized for referring to an affectionate onstage fist bump shared by the couple as a "terrorist fist jab," and Fox contributor Liz Trotta said she was sorry for joking about an Obama assassination.

The incidents are further indications of how closely the endless cable campaign chatter is being watched this year. Hillary Clinton's campaign was angered by what it described as the pro-Obama tilt of some MSNBC commentators. Amid protests, MSNBC's Chris Matthews said he was wrong this winter to say Clinton was a candidate because "her husband messed around." And MSNBC reporter David Shuster was suspended for two weeks for saying Clinton's campaign had "pimped out" daughter Chelsea by having her make political phone calls.

"Obama's baby mama" was never said on the air. Malkin said during her interview that she had seen no gratuitous or cheap shots taken against Michelle Obama by Republican or conservative critics.

Joan Walsh, a columnist from Salon.com, criticized the graphic on Thursday as a slur.

"Do you try to explain that `baby mama' is slang for the unmarried mother of a man's child, and not his wife, or even a girlfriend?" Walsh wrote. "Are they racist, or just clueless? Isn't there racism even in their cluelessness, if somebody didn't know what `baby mama' means, but used it anyway? Even at Fox, won't somebody have to apologize?"

"Baby Mama" also was the title of a recent movie about a woman who hired a surrogate to bear a child. It starred Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, both of whom are white.

Bill Shine, senior vice president of programming at Fox, said in a statement that a producer "exercised poor judgment" during the segment. The producer was not fired; no other disciplinary action was announced.

Hill's "terrorist fist jab" comment came in a tease to a segment on the candidates' body language, and it wasn't repeated during the subsequent interview. She told Fox it was taken from something she had read online.

No matter: "terrorist fist jab" quickly became an online sensation.

Hill apologized on-air four days after she said it. Hill said some people "thought I had personally characterized it inappropriately. I regret that. It was not my intention and I certainly did not mean to associate the word `terrorist' in any way with Sen. Obama and his wife."

Fox subsequently canceled Hill's weekday afternoon program as part of a larger reorganization. She remains on staff.

Trotta's assassination joke came May 25 as she commented about how some considered it distasteful for Clinton to refer to Robert F. Kennedy's assassination when explaining why she was staying in the presidential race.

"Now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama," she said, quickly correcting herself. "Obama. Well, both if we could."

Obama's name has often been confused with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden's, by people ranging from Mitt Romney to CNN's Alina Cho. And MSNBC once flashed a picture of bin Laden as Chris Matthews talked about Obama.

Trotta apologized on-air the next day, and hasn't appeared on Fox since.

"I sincerely regret it and apologize to anybody I've offended," she said. "It's a very colorful political season and many of us are making mistakes and saying things that we wish we hadn't said."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Headline of the Day...

Ron Paul to end campaign outside Texas convention
Did anyone out there even realize he was still in the race?

Charting a Child's Course

One often sees TV shows, and even frequent real-life examples, of parents charting their children's course through childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. The parents set a course for their children, expecting them to follow that course. Sometimes, it seems a bit harsh, most often, the children rebel, not wanting to follow that course, instead looking for their own path in life, wherever that path leads.

These parents, often portrayed on TV or in the media as oppressive, mean-spirited, and single-minded, sometimes even as downright evil, believe they are doing what's best for their children. They are setting a course, wanting to make ultimately, their children end up well-educated and with a good, promising career. However, the media portrays them in such a way that we end up sympathizing with the child, or teenager, or young adult, rather than with the parents because the parents are such, well, schmucks. Assholes. Unlikable. Uncompromising.

Three months ago, I wrote a post about my really "fun" childhood. Reading the post, one may notice no course was charted for me. I'm the other child, the child of the parents who just didn't give a rat's ass about anything but themselves. I'm the child of the parents who only got upset, when it came to school, if I got bad grades. I'm the child of the parents who got a beating for losing something, a camera, some money, whatever. I'm the child of the parents who pretended to care, but never showed any interest in ANYthing I did. I'm not the child of career parents who wanted to make sure I, too, was successful. I'm not even the child of poor parents who wanted to make sure I got a better break in life than they did. No.

Dear God, I wish I'd had parents who would have charted my course, cared about my education, and made sure I ended up with a good career, a career they didn't have but should have cared if I'd had one so I didn't end up like them. I'm the child of parents who just didn't care. I'm the child whose biggest concern about me was whether I made my bed every morning and cleaned my room. That was pretty much the extent of their "caring" about what I did - making sure their house, even in the privacy of my room, wasn't a mess.

I'm also the product of schools that just didn't care, even Valley Torah, the high school from which I graduated. I was never considered "college" material. I didn't get the school career/college counselor talking to me about what I wanted to do with my life. I was given no direction. None at all.

What brought all this on again? My wife and I were watching the third season of Party of Five, which we finished watching last night. For anyone who's ever watched this show, it's the season where Bailey struggles with alcoholism and in which Julia decides to skip college, at least for a little while. It's the season in which high school seniors were obsessing about being accepted to the colleges of their choice. It's the season in which THEY were taught to care about where they went, what they did, how they ended up.

Sure, much of it was silly teenage angst. But watching really hit a chord in me. Why didn't my parents care? Why did they give me NO guidance. Even worse, why didn't my high school care? Why didn't Rabbi Stulberger (dean), Mrs. Omara and Mr. Joseph (secular studies principals, eleventh and twelfth grades, respectively), and Mark What-His-Name (see, he had so little to do with my schooling I can't even remember his damn last name). Why didn't ANY teacher take interest in what I was going to do after I graduated? The closest any teacher came was Jeff Benz, the AP English teacher, who decided to kick me out of AP English because I wasn't writing up to college standards and he just didn't see any hope I ever would, so he just gave up on me instead of trying to work with me. I guess I just wasn't worth it, at least as far as he was concerned. I was always in the "lower" level classes of my grade, always looking in from the outside at the "smart" ones, who WERE receiving guidance, help, and who WERE applying to colleges, while I had NO idea what I was going to do with my life, and while no one taught me I even needed to care! And this, on top of my general, all-around crappy Jewish experience. I'd sure like to know, nearly twenty years later, why none of my educators cared enough to guide. It's probably a question I'll NEVER have answered.

So, those "smart" ones got the chance to live up to their full potential. Some are doctors, some are lawyers, some are rich businessmen. They got to go to Yale and other Ivy League schools, they got to be successful. Me? Well, here I am. Same old same old. Just following in my asshole father's footsteps.

My one consolation is I will make DAMN SURE my kids get the opportunities that were stolen from me because I just wasn't good enough, smart enough, or, apparently, worth the effort.

So, yeah, I'm going to chart my children's courses. And I'm going to make certain they get the educations they deserve, the opportunities they deserves, and the lucrative careers they deserve.

So if I'm going to come off as one of those mean parents because I want to make sure my children don't go through the same crap I went through, so be it. I know I'll be guiding them lovingly, though firmly toward those educations and careers, because the alternative is me, and that's no alternative at all, now, is it?

Here's a Surprise! The RWNJ Republicans (Rush Limbaugh and Friends) Have Started a New Anti-Obama Smear Campaign

These pieces of garbage will do anything to stay in power. The latest Republican smear, and complete lie, by the way, is that Michelle Obama, in 1994, called white people "whitey" from the pulpit at Trinity Church (from which the Obama family recently resigned). And the Republican pundits even went so far as to claim they have video evidence. Also completely false. Michelle Obama NEVER

Except it's COMPLETELY untrue. The Obama campaign has created a new site, Fight the Smears, to battle these idiocies the Republicans keep inventing.

Something else to admire about Obama. He's not going to run the dirty smear campaign the Republicans are going to run and want him to run.

And that is what's going to get him elected: Abandoning the old, dirty ways, for a cleaner, more positive message.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tax Plans - McBush Vs. Obama

Let's see who I'M voting for:

The Tax Policy Center said McCain's plan would provide effective tax cuts for Americans across the income spectrum, with the largest percentage increase in after-tax income going to the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans.

This group, numbering around 150,000, would see their after-tax income rise by an average of 11.6 percent, or $678,500, in 2012 as compared with current law that sees tax cuts expiring at the end of 2010.

The lowest income 20 percent of taxpayers would see an increase in after-tax income of 0.9 percent, or $101.

Obama's plan takes somewhat the opposite tack, providing greater percentage tax benefits for lower income groups while the wealthiest would see tax hikes.

The analysis showed that the lowest-income 20 percent of taxpayers would see after-tax income increase by 6.2 percent, or $698 increase, compared with current law, while the top 0.1 percent would see their after-tax incomes decline by 5.1 percent, or $301,400.
Folks, this is an independent study, not something commissioned by the Democrats or the Republicans.

Can YOU guess who I'm going to vote for? Click for full article.

Oh Boy! Just What Obama Needs! Encouragement from Muammar Gaddafi!

This is just great. Muammar Gaddafi, the Madman of Libya, is trying to give words of encouragement to Barack Obama. Said the nut case:

"We fear that Obama will feel that, because he is black with an inferiority complex, this will make him behave worse than the whites," Gaddafi told a rally at a former U.S. military base on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

"This will be a tragedy," Gaddafi said. "We tell him to be proud of himself as a black and feel that all Africa is behind him because if he sticks to this inferiority complex he will have a worse foreign policy than the whites had in the past."
Ok, first of all, you call THAT encouragement?! Telling the first ever African-American major party nominee that he has an INFERIOR COMPLEX?! Does this guy even realize how incredibly stupid he sounds?

Next, Gaddafi told Obama he hoped
Obama [will] adopt a policy of supporting poor and weak peoples such as the Palestinians and be a friend of what he called free Arab peoples rather than U.S. "agents" in the Arab world who, he said, were hated by their own people.

"We still hope he will be proud of Africa and change America and free America of its past policy, namely with the Arabs," said Gaddafi.
Yeah. Because the Arabs, be it with terrorism or oil, have been SO incredibly good for the US...

Finally, we get to the great conspiracy theory:
Gaddafi saw a dark motive behind a recent speech by Obama in support of Israel. "Obama offered $300 billion in aid to Israel and more military support. He avoided talking about Israel's nuclear weapons," he said.

"We suspect he may fear being killed by Israeli agents and meet the same fate as (assassinated former U.S. President John Fitzgerald) Kennedy when he promised to look into Israel's nuclear program," Gaddafi said.
WOW!! So the Mossad killed Kennedy?! Who knew?!

I really hope this doesn't create bad publicity for Obama, and I'm sure it won't. Nobody even takes Gaddafi seriously any longer, and if I recall correctly, some major American journalist who stated Gaddafi is absolutely a madman, and you could see it in his eyes...

"Over" Regulation...

From and AFP article:

On Tuesday, a day after Obama painted McCain as a clone of President George W. Bush, the Republican tied his Democratic foe to 1970s president Jimmy Carter and to that era's big government spending and over-regulation.
As opposed to today's REPUBLICAN gargantuan government spending and complete NON-regulation resulting in big business becoming gigantic business and competition and small businesses being completely killed off or bought out by those gigantic businesses?

Yeah, John McSame as Bush, John McBush, John McKlan. That's a real good comparison...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Conversation Today

Friend and I were discussing how the Republican party is really no longer about small government and less spending. She said the party was, the administration wasn't. She said it's because the administration is bottom heavy.

I said it's because there's a huge ass in the Oval Office...

:)

AAAAHHHHH. Republican Hypocrisy At Its Best...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Obama Sure Sounds Better About Israel Than McCain...

McCain, Obama positions on Mideast issues - Yahoo! News

"ISRAEL and PALESTINIANS

McCain: Describes himself as strongly pro-Israel and says he would work to maintain Israel's 'qualitative military edge' over Arab states and Iran. Supports President Bush's pledge for $30 billion in U.S. military aid over a decade. Said in March that he supports Jerusalem as 'the capital of Israel,' suggesting he would support current policy that the U.S. embassy should move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents Clinton and Bush have waived a requirement to move the embassy. Supports negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Obama: Told a pro-Israel lobby group this week that he is a 'true friend of Israel' and part of a bipartisan consensus with McCain that is committed to Israel's security. Would go forward with the $30 billion aid plan. Supports the two-state solution for Israeli-Palestinian peace and says he would get started on Mideast peace issues immediately, instead of late in his presidency. Says an 'undivided' Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel, because other possible solutions are impracticable. Also says the status of the disputed holy city should be a matter for negotiation by both sides."

Shavuos Night Shul Announcement

From one of the shuls in the 'hood: "Rabbi _____________ will be giving an all night shiur (class) on Aseres Hadibros (the Ten Commandmants)."

Hope he's an interesting speaker, because my first reaction to listening to one person drone on for an entire night?

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

:)

Still Not a Recession...

Yeah, right. And the moon is made of cheese.

Jobless rate surges in May to 5.5 pct.

And apparently this surprised some people...

Is Obama Backpedaling About Jerusalem?

This morning, the Jewish World Review reported that Obama had backpedaled after his historic statement that Jerusalem will always be Israel's capital and must NEVER be divided. THE JWR quoted Obama's comments:

On Thursday, when queried by CNN, Obama said he was misunderstood.

"Well," Obama explained, "obviously, it's going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations."
Except that, conveniently, JWR forgot to quote the rest of Obama's statement, as quoted by Reuters. The rest of the statement was:
Asked if he opposed any division of Jerusalem, Obama said: "As a practical matter, it would be very difficult to execute. And I think that it is smart for us to -- to work through a system in which everybody has access to the extraordinary religious sites in Old Jerusalem but that Israel has a legitimate claim on that city."
In other words, Obama doesn't think it can be divided, and probably still doesn't think it should be divided. He did not backtrack. He did say it would be up to negotiators and their respective governments to ultimately decide Jerusalem's "final status." And that was the politically correct thing to say and probably didn’t go anywhere near as far as the Arabs would have liked, which would have been to flatly state that Jerusalem SHOULD be divided and that East Jerusalem WILL be the Palestinian capital.

It seems, as a matter of principle, Obama believes quite firmly Jerusalem MUST remain undivided, as he stated quite clearly this week to AIPAC. The evidence of this is that he did NOT come out and say what the Arabs hoped he would say, which is the Jerusalem SHOULD be divided. Instead, the worst one can infer from Obama's statement is that Jerusalem should be open to all, not that it should be a divided city. Frankly, I think this makes Obama a STRONGER supporter of Israel than any president in the recent past.

It also seems, as a matter of principle, that the Jewish Right Wing will do ANYTHING to make Obama look bad to Jews and Israel. It's very disappointing. And all in the name of what? Of keeping those in power who have worked so hard to screw up this country, its reputation, its standing in the world, and its relationship with Israel?

I emailed this post to the JWR this morning with the following comments:
This article is VERY disappointing and misleading, and to be honest, I'm getting kind of sick of your Obama bashing. While Lashon Hara is not explicitly prohibited against non-Jews, the Chofetz Chaim still warns to stay away from it. And the way you represented Obama’s stance was pure Lashon Hara because you did NOT print his ENTIRE statement.
Then, at the bottom of the email, I stated:
You people need to stop knee-jerking and actually do your research before making stupid statements like the one in your article. You also need to quote a person’s entire statement instead of misrepresenting what the person says.
I really am sick of this sewage that comes from these people. It's disgusting.

UPDATE: Article's author responded, but the response wasn't for publication. Wanna know why? Because the answer was a complete non-answer, he ignored my central objection, that he ignored Obama's entire statement, and he focused instead on whether his article was actually Lashon Hara. He completely failed to actually acknowledge his mistake. Pretty sad.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bush Misused Iraq intelligence: Senate report

There's a surprise for you...

Reuters article.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush and his top policymakers misstated Saddam Hussein's links to terrorism and ignored doubts among intelligence agencies about Iraq's arms programs as they made a case for war, the Senate intelligence committee reported on Thursday.

The report shows an administration that "led the nation to war on false premises," said the committee's Democratic Chairman, Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia.
But of course, the Republicans protest:
Several Republicans on the committee protested its findings as a "partisan exercise."
Nevertheless,
The long-delayed Senate study supported previous reports and findings that the administration's main cases for war -- that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was spreading them to terrorists -- were inaccurate and deeply flawed.

"The president and his advisors undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the (September 11) attacks to use the war against al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein," Rockefeller said in written commentary on the report.

"Representing to the American people that the two had an operational partnership and posed a single, indistinguishable threat was fundamentally misleading and led the nation to war on false premises."
And let's not forget the White House chiming in:
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said: "We had the intelligence that we had, fully vetted, but it was wrong. We certainly regret that and we've taken measures to fix it."
Um. Taking measures to fix it?! Isn't it just a LITTLE TOO LATE? The war is, after all, already being fought. How do you "fix" this?! You "regret that?!" Yeah, tell that to the over four THOUSAND young soldiers and heros as well as untold thousands of wounded that you're going to "fix it."

Oh, by the way, even two Republicans supported and approved the report for release...

Yet Another Company Breaking Anti-Trust Laws...

Or at least getting closer to where giant companies consolidate to become GIGANTIC, GARGANTUAN companies: Verizon Wireless to buy Alltel in $28.1 billion deal.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless said on Thursday that it would buy Alltel Corp for $28.1 billion, including $22.2 billion in debt, vaulting the combined company to first place in the U.S. mobile services market ahead of AT&T Inc.

Verizon said the equity value of the deal would be about $5.9 billion.

Verizon Wireless, 55 percent owned by Verizon Communications Inc and 45 percent owned by Vodafone Group Plc, said the deal would generate savings of $1 billion in the second year after closing.

It said it expects total savings with a net present value of more than $9 billion.

The deal comes about seven months after Alltel was bought by TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Group Inc's GS Capital Partners for $27.5 billion.
What sucks is I finally cancelled my AT&T cell phone because the service, when Cingular bought AT&T, went down the drain. Well, at least Verizon has a better and higher rating from Consumer Reports than AT&T.

Oh, yeah, in case I didn't mention it, I have a cell plan with Alltel. Nuts.