Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar Night

Well, before the night goes on too far, I want to go on record as saying I don't think "Million Dollar Baby" should win the Best Movie Oscar. It was an interesting movie and Hillary Swank was great -- and I liked very much how it looked. But, to tell you the truth, I thought Clint Eastwood was terrible...that raspy whispery voice and the cheesy crusty old guy with a heart of gold was just a bit much. AND, I thought the second half of the movie was gross. I spent most of it with my eyes closed.

I didn't particularly like "The Aviator" either but if I have to make a choice, this would be the one I think should win the Best Movie. I'm holding out hope that when I see "Sideways" it will impress me more than either of these.

Anyway, it's 9:30 pm and "The Aviator" has won a couple of awards. Hopefully, it bodes well for more ahead.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Selling Social Security in Red-Land

Interesting article from the Cincinnati Enquirer describing Social Security forums in the bright red part of the country. This, I think, is a fairly good sign that the Chimp had better figure out another plan other than PRIVITIZING Social Security. If he can't sell it there, where the hell can he sell it?

Cheers to our pals in Ohio for this one!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Smearing the AARP

The folks who brought us the Swift Boat Veterans are now gearing up to apply their same tactics to -- of all people -- the AARP. Check out this blogger's take on it to get a great deal of the story, if you need to catch up.


Fighting Back

Barbara Boxer has unleashed some potent thinking among Democrats...that perhaps we ACTUALLY can fight back. This article has a nice run-down of the issue.

Here's an exerpt:

Since November of last year, there has been this pathetic hand-wringing by the left over how to appeal to those who don’t presently support them. Some want to move more to the center while some want to de-emphasize the traditional core principles that make up this party. This would be a drastic mistake because it ignores something so obvious and so simple: Leadership like Dean’s and Boxer’s will help the Democrats – not hurt.

The fact is there are more than eighty million people who were eligible but did not participate in what was the most important election of our age. That number is a disgrace because it points to the despair still consuming far too many Americans. These are the people that need to be brought into the fold. These are the people we must reach out to and instill a sense of pride and participation. Howard Dean was successful in bringing fire and pride back to his party and there are uncounted (literally) numbers of new members to his credit.

I don’t think Democrats ever got over the despicable and disrespectful slap in democracy’s face that Bush gave America back in 2000. But instead of standing up and speaking out, even when it meant the media would beat them up over it, they fell to their knees while trying to work with a leadership that held as much disdain for them as it did those it purported to “serve.” Now because of their inability, or maybe their unwillingness, to shove the lies and the crimes and the corruption back down their opposition’s throats, the Democrats find themselves with less than they had a year ago. Because of this, America is led by liars and thieves who wage illegal wars, advocate torture, rape the environment, dismantle the social structure and security of this country while they profess to be empowered by God Almighty Himself.

OK, and just to be sure we're all on the same's the results of a recent Wall Street Journal poll of Democrats AND Republicans:

Q: Which of the following roles would you like Democrats in Congress to play:

- Work in a bi-partisan way with Republicans to help pass President Bush's legislative priorities so that we do not have gridlock?


- Provide a balance to make sure that President Bush and the Republicans do not go to far in pushing their agenda.

The results: 60% say "provide a balance"...34% say "work in a bi-partisan way"

Fight on, Democrats, fight on.

What Did You Do On Winter Break?

Our Congresspeople are taking a break this week. Many of them are going back to their districts and putting their proverbial finger in the wind to see how constituents are feeling about the Social Security issue. I checked with my Congressman (Jim McGovern) to see if he was holding any sessions and sure enough, he is. Unfortunately, all during the day, so Rita and I can't go lend our opinions. Luckily, he is not on the side of the Commander-in-Chimp, so we don't have to worry that he's going to do something stupid.

However, it also appears that some of the goobers...oops, I mean GOPers...are also having some unexpected difficulties with their folks. Check this out.

Let's Just Change the Subject, Shall We?

In today's New York Times, Paul Krugman reveals one of the Chimp's favorite pleasures...changing the subject when times are tough. Excellent story here.

Monday, February 21, 2005

From yesterday's trip to the Pioneer Valley...thanks, Bob.

True Blue in NH?

According to the Boston Herald, the Bush team had trouble attracting an audience for the Chimp's most recent visit to the Granite State. I guess this proves that NH might actually be a little more blue than people sometimes think.

Favorite quote in the story: ``The president tells a good story, but I think this is scare tactics.'' No I wasn't in NH last week...Dianna, was that you?

Live free or die!!! Whooopeee!


He's baaaaaaack

For the folks in Cincinnati, there's hope on the radio...1530AM WCKY. For the folks outside Cincinnati, he's really an ok guy, with good politics. Does this mean he's preparing a run for office? Sounds like it to me...and I do hope so.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I Never Thought I'd Say This...

...but Peggy Noonan UNDERSTANDS the importance of blogs. Mark the calendar...this is the first time I've ever agreed with that pretentious blowhard of all things Republican.

Have fun...

What Will Privitization Cost You?

The Democrats are starting to learn just how to frame the message on Social Security. Use this handy tool on the Senate Democrats website to figure just how much PRIVITIZATION will cost you.

Nanner, this one's for you!

Male Prostitutes in the White House (part deux)

Today's New York Times had two great articles that advance the story of the wacky White House and their male prostitute friends.

First, Maureen Dowd. Then, Frank Rich chimes in on the lack of reality in the media. How come these two get it, but the rest of the media doesn't? What's it going to take? God knows Clinton couldn't have gotten away with any of this crap.

And Sidney Blumenthal weighs in.

Academic Freedom At Risk

This one's for you, Janet.

Yesterday's Progress Report describes actions being taken in Ohio (sorry, guys) that would prevent university professors from introducing "controversial material" in the classroom.

Well, ummm...let's see, maybe they'll finally get everyone to believe the world really IS flat.

Read all about those crazy college kids, some of whom are actually fighting back, I'm happy to say.

Howard's OK By Me

If you haven't been to the Democrats' Website, be sure to do so. Read all about Howard's plans for the party. I particularly liked the whole notion of not conceding a single matter how 'red' it is! Good start.

So Much to Blog; So Little Time....

Well, I've been busy for the past few days with work and house activities, so I haven't had a chance to add much here. BUT, I have been setting aside a bunch of different articles...for your dining and dancing pleasure.

First, this article from Ron Brownstein at the LA Times. (You have to register on this site, which is free, but this is your chance to come up with a good alias. I personally like to tell them I'm a 100-year-old male student who owns my own home and works full-time, just to screw with their demographics.)

Here's the first paragraph, which makes me actually want to barf, but it's probably the right approach, sad to say:

"For inspiration, Democrats these days appear to be looking more to Newt Gingrich than to Dick Gephardt, more to Bill Kristol than to Al From, and more to George W. Bush than Bill Clinton."

Monday, February 14, 2005

I Hate Wal-Mart More Today Than Yesterday

From today's Progress Report:

In January, Wal-Mart secretly settled federal charges that it violated child labor laws more than 20 times in three states, including allegedly allowing workers under age 18 operate dangerous machinery like cardboard balers and chain saws. It's no wonder the deal was kept under wraps. Wal-Mart was forced to pay just $135,540 – about .000055 percent of the retailer's annual revenue – to settle the charges. Moreover, the agreement includes a promise by the Labor Department to give Wal-Mart 15 days' notice before the department investigates any other "wage and hour" accusations, like failure to pay minimum wage or overtime. John R. Fraser, the government's top wage official under the first President Bush and President Bill Clinton, told the New York Times the 15-day notice was "very unusual," saying it "appears to put Wal-Mart in a privileged position that to my knowledge no other employer has."

Male Prostitutes in the White House?

Have you heard about the homosexual prostitute who got White House credentials as a member of the media...and proceeded to lob softball questions to the Chimp (and his press nazi)? I don't know all the details, but apparently this dude was a front for a GOP entity of some sort. has broken the story. Luckily they've put a summary here. Here's the start of it:

Talon News "reporter" Jeff Gannon abruptly quit his post as Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent this week -- but unanswered questions remain about how he was able to infiltrate the White House press corps and disrupt briefings and press conferences. The following is an overview of the Gannon story to date, along with several open questions journalists should pursue rather than continuing to focus on irrelevant details about Gannon's other activities.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

No Mullah Left Behind

Changing America's energy policy can save the world? Tom Friedman thinks so. I agree. Read his article from the New York Times today.

Nice Wrap-Up to Super Bowl 39

As I've said before, I'm not a huge football fan, but anyone with a brain has to look at the New England Patriots and appreciate the excellence they've shown recently. This article takes another view -- and slants it somewhat in political terms. Thought you all would enjoy reading this from today's Boston Globe.

Stately way to play the game
By Leigh Montville, Boston Globe | February 13, 2005

I was hoping that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick would put Tom Menino into the game. There was an opportunity, second half, free safety Eugene Wilson lying on the ground with a busted arm, a spot now open in the lineup. Menino could have ambled onto the field as if he were looking for dining room chairs placed in shoveled-out parking spaces in Brighton, mumbling in consternation, ready to attack the problem. Wouldn't it have been a sight? This would have been the final local dropkick in the pants for the disbelievers out there.

Joe Buck: "It appears that Belichick is putting the Mayor of Boston into that injury-depleted secondary."

Troy Aikman: "What next? They tell me from the truck that Menino is 62 years old. He stands no more than 5 feet 9 and his weight, they say, is `unavailable.' "

Chris Collinsworth: "I don't know what Belichick is thinking. I don't care if this guy is the Mayor of Boston. A 62-year-old man who -- get this -- appears to be wearing eyeglasses is going to have trouble covering Brian Westbrook out of the backfield."

No, he wouldn't. Of course, he wouldn't.

These were the Patriots, the ultimate sum of interchangeable parts, headed toward their third Super Bowl win in four years, unstoppable, unpredictable, unflappable, dismantling the sad Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, on the perfect green grass of Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., one week ago. They were our boys, made in Massachusetts, delivering our blue-state message to the goobers in the heartland.

The message -- listen up, you goobers -- is that the game is won in the head, not the body. Thinking counts. In the greatest American macho fest of them all, the Patriots once again showed that mind is a solid 3-point favorite over matter. Do your homework. Figure out how to cover your weaknesses, maximize your strengths, do what you're supposed to do and "bingo," as Mr. Troy Brown might say. Preparation is everything. Anybody can do this! Everybody, helping each other, can do this! It all works.

Menino would have fit just fine in that defensive secondary. The engine would have kept on purring.

Joe Buck: "That was quite a lick that Menino laid on Westbrook."

Troy Aikman: "Westbrook looks dizzy."

Chris Collinsworth: "OK, it was a nice hit. But how long do you think Belichick's going to get by with Senator Ted Kennedy at nose guard? The guy's got some bulk to him, but you just can't come out of a meeting of the Committee on Foreign Relations and play against the Philadelphia Eagles. I say it's going to hurt somewhere down the line."

For us -- for anyone who knows how to pronounce "Worcester" and "Gloucester," knows Callahan from Sumner, Allston from Brighton, baked beans from shinola -- the ultimate beauty of these cerebral Patriots is where they are from. They're from here. The NEW ENGLAND Patriots. They're from Massachusetts. They run their parade from Copley Square to City Hall. They eat here, sleep here, learn how to win here.

Drawn from well-considered choices in the annual player draft, from shrewd picks off the waiver wire, from the bargain basement of the free agent marketplace, the players have the pedigree and charm of a collection of mutts from the county pound when they arrive from different parts of the country. This is where they are developed. This is where they are tweaked and twisted, molded, brought to full bloom in Belichick's hot-house bubble in Foxborough. This is where they learn how to win the blue ribbons for best in show. Unlike the Red Sox, a collection of imported rent-a-stars brought in to do a job, divas and soloists, here and gone, thanks for the memories, the Patriots are a local product.

The owner is local. The players and the coaches soon become local. They buy houses here. They send their kids to local schools or day care. In a rootless athletic age, they sink roots. A bunch of them even stay when they are done playing. They become local high school coaches (John Hannah) and local broadcast personalities (Steve DeOssie and Fred Smerlas, on television more often than Dr. Phil) and dentists (Bill Lenkaitis), pulling local teeth. They become part of . . . us.

This is what drives the goobers crazy. The Patriots are us. They are our revenge. The home address of the Lombardi Trophy glows in the night across the land. Massachusetts. Massachusetts. Massachusetts. How can a team from that liberal backwater, from that socialist state, from pinkoland, be the champions of the God-blessed National Football League? How can that be possible?

No cultural aspect of American life -- not NASCAR nor lawn maintenance nor harmonized Nashville philosophy -- ranks higher with the goobers than King Football. The prodigies at Gooberville High are the scatbacks and the big-beef defensive linemen, the All-American-boy quarterbacks, not the National Merit finalists. The icons are the wise old men who prowl the sidelines, spitting tobacco juice and aphorisms, molding character on top of busted knees for future generations. The mood of entire communities is affected if Goober State wins or Goober State loses on a Saturday afternoon. Football success is as important as breathing.

So now the sport is ruled by a team from Massachusetts? What do they know about football in . . . Massachusetts? Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Perkins School for the Blind? Massachusetts? Isn't that where men sometimes marry men and women sometimes marry women and people often sit around and read books? Eggheads and perverts. Do they even PLAY football up there?

Here's this coach in his dull hooded sweatshirt, looking for all the world like some absent-minded professor, drawing up plays and saying `Let's try something we used at Andover against Exeter' or `This really shook up Bates when I was at Wesleyan.' Here's this quarterback nobody wanted, sort of discovered the way Robin Williams found that Matt Damon could do math in "Good Will Hunting," who just kills everybody. Doesn't have the stats of that guy in Indianapolis. Doesn't have the size of that guy in Pittsburgh. Can't run like that guy in Philadelphia. Beats 'em all.

Here's this team from Tax-and-Spend-achusetts that operates inside a budget, that plays inside a privately-funded glamour stadium, no tax-killer bond issues, no stadium license outrage; a team that is an unselfish model for all teams everywhere. It all works. The only flips are delivered by Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison. The flops are every challenger that comes along. Here are your moral values. Here is your clear thinking. Here are your champions.

The New England Patriots.

Joe Buck: "Nifty interception by Menino. Just stepped in front of Westbrook, ran the ball all the way back. Look at the mayor do that bird dance, making fun of the Eagles."

Troy Aikman: "Nice block by Kennedy, too, on the runback."

Chris Collinsworth: "Who's this Natalie Jacobson? I think she's coming out to try the extra point."

The goobers might own the country for the next four years, but we own their game.

Leigh Montville is a former Globe sports columnist. He is the author of "Why Not Us? The 86-Year Journey of the Boston Red Sox Fans from Unparalleled Suffering To The Promised Land of the 2004 World Series."

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.

Happy Birthday, Nanner!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Let's Welcome Dr. Dean

Howard's in charge now, so it's time to tell the DNC what we think. If you haven't made any contributions since Black Tuesday in November, it might be time to rejoin the fight.

Contribution amount:

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hey, did you hear the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years?? Only 51 days till Opening Day! (In case you forgot, this is a picture of the celebration in Yankee Stadium after the Greatest Comeback in the History of Sports -- October 20, 2004)

John Edwards: What's next?

I hope the reason I like John Edwards is not just his looks, which is admittedly even shallow to say. But ever since I first noticed him during last year's primary season, I've always felt that he had his finger on something. The Two Americas speech definitely hit home. AND, he talked about things as basic as POVERTY. To me, in a country as rich as this one, it's unbearable to think of people (children) going hungry, not being able to get the health care they need, not to be able to find jobs that are suitable, not to mention satisfactory or stimulating.

Next, I love Elizabeth Edwards. Now there's a woman who has her act together and seems to have a lot of heart. She knows where her priorities lie, especially as she plays down her current trials and tribulations. Here's hoping she continues to do well.

Now I hear John is taking up the cause of poverty as he awaits his next political move. No doubt he'll run for something again. And I, for one, hope he does. Here's his blog.

Read about his new cause at the University of North Carolina: Center of Work, Poverty and Opportunity.

Move On to this Petition to Protect Social Security

If you haven't signed this petition, go to and do it. Their goal is to send 100,000 signatures to Congres in the next ten days.

Stop the madness.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

These are a few of my favorite people. Let's hear it for Gay Pride!

Just because I like this picture.

Stop Drive-Thru Masectomies; Sign the Petition

From my pal Julie:

"Please forward this link to everyone in your address book. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times. If you are receiving this it's because I think you will take the 30 seconds to go and vote on this issue...and send the link to others you know who will do the same.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It will eliminate "drive-thru mastectomy" where women are forced to go home hours after surgery against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on.

PLEASE!!!! Sign the petition clicking here. You need not give more than your name and zip code number.

This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends and family. THANKS!"

Thanks, Julie!

Looks Like Condi Will Have Her Hands Full

A carnival float shows U.S. President George W. Bush with a machine gun during the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in the western German town of Duesseldorf, February 7, 2005. The Rose Monday parades in Cologne, Mainz and Duesseldorf are the highlight of the German street carnival season. From Reuters.

With friends like these...

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Chimp Speaks

Well, after a few days off enjoying the weather and paying attention to matters of the home, I came across this quote from the Chimp, discussing Social Security (I think)...

THE PRESIDENT: Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised.

Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

Okay, better? I'll keep working on it.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

For the record... prognostication was off some. Final score: Pats 24, Eagles 21.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Go Pats!

Sunday Super?

If every day could be like today, winter would have a much better image. Took our regular walk through the neighborhood (see pictures below) and enjoyed the sunshine, blue skies, and actually listening to the dripping of melting snow. After all the bitter cold and several feet of snow, we deserved this one!

Well, since it's Super Bowl Sunday, I'll make my prediction....Patriots 28, Eagles 10. Since I'm not a football expert, this is just numbers...

The water is just dripping off the roof...we're expecting significant melting over the next few days.

The front walk....

Here's an update on the snow at our house. A lot has melted, believe it or not.

Our neighborhood sidewalks...getting roomier all the time.

Keep on the Sunnyside, always on the Sunnyside....of this old farmhouse around the corner from us.

Yes, the snowdrifts are quite high this year...they'll probably be still here in June!

Remnants of the last snowstorm...kind of an interesting design.

Super Sunday walk...around 45 degrees, snow melting audibly, but it's still beautiful outside.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Lies, lies and more damned lies

Would it surprise you to know that maybe -- just maybe -- the number of people voting in Iraq last week wasn't quite as high as has been widely reported in the MSM? This bit of conventional wisdom is right up there with Saddam's link to 9/11.

Check it out.

Teddy Sure Gets It!

Proud of my senator, as usual. See why.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm still steamed...

Tonight in its coverage of the nation's reaction to the State of the Union, NBC was interviewing some crackers from Georgia. A woman actually said: "I'm not worried about the President, I'm worried about the half of the country that didn't vote for him."

Holy shit.

Kinky for Governor? Why not?

This link is just for yucks.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Drink Up, Ladies. Our Health Depends on It

Red wine, white wine, beer AND hard liquor...all keep women sharp in their old ages, according to two new studies. Check it out...

I Love New York

Recently I read about a guy who walked every block on the island of Manhattan. While that may sound like an odd thing to do to some, I would love to try it. This story describes a walk up one side and down the other in Manhattan, which I also think would be a nice trek. Anyone want to go along?

Lorelei celebrates her first birthday in style! If you can't read the shirt, it says: "Equal Pay, Equal Rights, 40 Hour Work Week, Social Security, Medicare, Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Food, Freedom of Speech, Voting Rights...We're Just Getting Started! (and includes a Democrat Donkey!)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Want to get some stuff off your chest?

Here's a link to a site that offers you the chance to write a letter to the Chimp in the White House. Alternatively, you can simply read those dropped off by other people. However, be aware that some are actually, believe it or not, writing him love letters. Be careful that you don't read those immediately after eating.

In any event, it's an interesting cultural revelation to read what appears to be written by average Americans.

Welcome Back, Bill!

Thank God there is some important work for our former president to do. Someone with his enormous intellect and political skills needs to be engaged in some critical task for humankind. Way to go, Kofi!

Action for Today


Call your Senator to urge a "no" vote on Alberto Gonzales. Here are some helpful links:

DailyKos Post (January 30)

List of Senators' Phone Numbers

Fliers Now Available for Each State!