Saturday, March 31, 2007
I'm open to other suggestions. Faythe, with yer cats gone wild?!
Friday, March 30, 2007
I'm glad the new Ravu realized Rocky was a total ass. But I think Rocky clinched his own fate by making fun of his tribemates after they won the reward challenge. Hey, if you chow down on hotdogs, brownies, and beer, you're not exactly gonna feel good. Rocky decided to jeer at them for being little girly-men, saying, “And if you can’t take stuff like that here, you shouldn’t be here.”
Guess they decided YOU shouldn't be here. Bye bye, Rocky.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Does anyone else think Chris Sligh looks like David Lee Higgins, the guy who played Coffee Joe on the sitcom "Ellen?" All Joe needs is a perm.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Well, she is a bit extreme (unless she is looking for an excuse to lose pounds, in which case there are better ways to diet), but she is right. Sanjaya is the weakest and most boring singer in the bunch and should've been kicked off weeks ago. If he survived last night's performance with that bizarre "fauxhawk" of his, I'll have to conclude that Americans have no appreciation of genuine talent whatsoever. Tsk.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
A laundry list of drugs (including Benadryl, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, atropine, topiramate, ciprofloxacin) combined with sleep drug chloral hydrate to cause acute drug intoxication.Hmm. Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication for allergies, but it's also used as a sleep aid (e.g., Tylenol PM is Tylenol and Benadryl). Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan are all prescription medications used in treating anxiety, and they are sedatives/muscle relaxants. Cipro is an antibiotic, and I honestly don't know what atropine and topiramate are. But considering she also had yet one more very serious sleep agent--the chloral hydrate--in her system, it's no wonder she fell asleep never to wake up. And wasn't she supposedly drinking earlier in the day as well? Or at least the evening before? Alcohol's a depressant, too.
The medical examiner stated that, taken by itself, none of the above drugs would've killed her. But when you put them all together, they intensify the effects, and her respiratory system simply shut down. It's so sad, and her death was so completely preventable.
Read about it here.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, both already under siege for other matters, are now being accused of failing to prosecute officers of the Texas Youth Commission after a Texas Ranger investigation documented that guards and administrators were sexually abusing the institution's teenage boy inmates.
I'm sure someone with their head in the sand figured this would be a cost-cutting measure that would actually prevent unwanted pregnancies as it would force students to be abstinent. Hey, I also have some swamp land in Florida for sale! This provision benefits no one but the pharmaceutical companies (read the rest of the article), which seems to be something that Bush's Medicare changes were intended to do, at least the way they've been playing out. Personally, I think it's profoundly cheaper to be realistic, give students access to birth control they can afford (I didn't say make it free), and prevent unwanted pregnancies in actuality (rather than by just wishing they'll be good little boys and girls).
You’ve heard the complaints about paying more for tuition and textbooks. The
latest sticker shock to be upsetting students: the rising cost of birth control.
A little known provision in a deficit reduction law enacted in 2005 is taking effect this year and leading to sharp increases in costs for students who use prescription birth control. Exact costs vary from campus to campus, but students whose birth control needs could have been financed with $10 to $20 a month now find themselves facing bills as much as $50 a month. That may not sound like a huge increase, but health educators report that many students don’t have an extra few hundred dollars a year in their budgets and are furious about the change. Those frustrations upset health educators, who already worry about students having sex without birth control, and who don’t want any unwanted pregnancies on their campuses. In addition, health educators note that students who seek prescription birth control typically receive guidance on sexual health issues, guidance that might disappear if students are discouraged from these froms of birth control.
I'd say it's good to be home but two things are making me want to crawl back into bed and just stay there: (1) it's snowing in parts of Spokane County and (2) I haven't even installed TurboTax yet, much less begin inputting information. It's much more fun to blog and whine.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
James Hansen, pictured here, is Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is currently being questioned by a federal panel for his outspoken views on global warming. Hansen has indignantly called the the current Administration's tactics as being like those of Nazi Germany. (Strong words; I kind of wish he'd put it another way and not gone the blustering Bill O'Reilly route.) But essentially, Hansen is attacking the administration's rule that a government information officer listen in on his interviews with reporters and its outright refusal to allow him to be interviewed by National Public Radio.
"This is the United States," Hansen told the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. "We do have freedom of speech here."
Republicans argue that it is reasonable for the government, which is Hansen's employer, to ask him not to state views publicly that contradict administration policy. Read about it here.
Monday, March 19, 2007
A protester named MIDGE POTTS from Code Pink got inside the Valerie Plame Wilson hearings, appearing directly over Plame’s right shoulder, wearing an IMPEACH BUSH NOW T-shirt. Midge, who is transgendered, is a U.S. Navy veteran. I love her Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat, but even funnier is her "shame, shame, shame" finger gesture.
Obstruction of justice, anybody?
Thus it should come as no surprise that the White House is now seeking to replace the Attorney General. In addition, Congress is more than ready to repeal the provision sneaked into the Patriot Act that allowed Gonzales to appoint U.S. Attorneys without Congressional approval.
UPDATE: Bush apparently showed a bit of temper today and called the Attorneygate scandal a Democratic witchhunt. He says he'll not let Rove, Miers, et al, testify under oath, only in private and off-the-record. I say, good grief. If there was no wrongdoing, let them testify under oath. Subpoenas will be issued, so if they don't testify, next there will be "Contempt of Congress" charges. The Dept of Justice will have to investigate. Some of the really liberal blogs (hey, I'm liberal, but I mean the REAAAALLLY liberal ones) are already mentioning the word "impeachment." Whoopee do. President Bush, please just let them testify. Then this'll be all over and done with, now that Congress has acted swiftly to repeal that bit of the Patriot Act that gave Gonzales full reign to slash and burn as the politicos saw fit.
Unless, of course, there's something to hide. And I really hope not.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Star Trek: New Voyages is a new series in the Star Trek franchise, and it will star George Takei reprising his original role as Lt. Sulu. So what? Well, there will be a gay-themed episode called "Blood and Fire." Read about it here.
Tip o' the pen to Elaine.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: New Voyages is a fan-produced series (there have been 3 episodes thus far) available for download for free. The series is a labor of love and not-for-profit.
Now, this is my opinion. It is naturally subject to change as more information comes to light. But in my mind, this "purge" of U.S. Attorneys is actually quite different from Clinton's and Bush I's. In these two cases, both men came into office, canned all 93 or however many there were of the Attorneys, and replaced them with whom they wanted. But in the case of George W. Bush, these were 8 U.S. Attorneys who were singled out to be fired during Bush's second term.
Of course, Bush is still free to fire whom he pleases, or to direct his Attorney General to do so--that fact is not the problem. (It is, however, odd that Gonzales and crew felt they had to lie to Congress about the White House's hand in the firings. Why lie if what they did was above board?)
Here's a short description of each of the fired Attorneys.
What is amazing to me is that of the 8, 6 were Republicans and 2 were Independent. No Democrats in the bunch, folks! These people were okay with Bush & Co. during his first term. I think two furthermore had beyond stellar records, and no one had been caught up in any scandals or anything like that. They weren't incompetent, in other words. So why were they fired?
Well, it appears that they irked certain key Republicans. For example, Carol Lam teed them off by prosecuting another Republican, Duke Cunningham (whom, as we know, now sits in jail for taking bribes). Meanwhile, there were allegations of voter fraud on the part of Democrats in New Mexico, yet the U.S. Attorney there (Iglesias) found there was no means to pursue it. This teed off Senator Pete Domenci for some reason (perhaps he didn't like whatever Democrat it was that ended up winning the vote). But as I understand it, there were three separate recounts-- that's THREE--and I also understand Iglesias put together a bipartisan group to examine whether there was voter fraud. This group found there was not. I'm not sure what else Iglesias could've done, short of making up charges of voter fraud (which is what Domenci apparently wanted him to do?)
In short, it's looking awfully like these 8 U.S. Attornies weren't aggressively helping political campaigns or Republican members of Congress and were simply doing their job of being impartial jurists. And they were fired for being impartial, for refusing to be harpies. I think that's wrong; prosecutors should uphold the law regardless of political party.
Then there's the issue of how these U.S. Attorneys were replaced. The Bush Administration used the Patriot Act to put in as their replacements their own handpicked people instead of going through the usual process of a Senate confirmation for a U.S. Attorney. I think maybe this is the thing that bugs me the most.
So it's not that Karl Rove or anyone else in the Bush Administration made a recommendation for a replacement. That's a red herring. The issue is that the Senate didn't get a chance to confirm that person, as is the usual process. The way it was all done was just underhanded.
And I have to ask why.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Go Sanjaya! And thanks to everyone who voted for him! If we can move him ONE more week into the top 10, he'll go on tour and have to sing a Gwen Stefani song. So we HAVE to vote as much as possible next week. Come on, everyone, this could be the best show ever. Does anyone miss Brandon? Probably not. But now it's obvious that VFTW saved Sanjaya, because he was in the bottom 2 and didn't leave. Had we not voted for him, he would have been gone. Great work, everyone!I have to admit, it is kinda funny to think of Sanjaya taking on a Gwen Stefani song. I'm thinking "Hella Good." Stay tuned.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Revelations about White House involvement in the firing of the U.S. Attorneys means that the testimony of top Justice Department officials to Congress was fundamentally false. And everyone knows that now.
As they say, the sh*t is about to hit the fan. Yesterday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent five letters requesting that White House Counsel Harriet Miers [can you believe Dubya wanted this twit to be a Supreme Court Justice?], her deputy counsel William Kelley, and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove [oink, oink!] to cooperate with the committee’s investigation into the mass firings of US attorneys. I doubt they'll cooperate, so the subpoenas will be next.
In the meantime, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are both calling on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign in the wake of the oh-so-clearly political firings of eight U.S. Attorneys. Gonzales has to turn over damning documents, and even the Wall Street Journal suggests he's quaking in his shoes.
This particular set of Republicans sure does have an interesting conception of what "Justice" is. Politics should have no place in it. Then again, Gonzales is the dolt who claims the Constitution doesn't guarantee Habeas Corpus. The next two years are gonna be long ones, folks.
UPDATE: John Sununu, R-NH, is the first Republican to call for Gonzales' resignation.
A new study on website design and eyetracking (where readers' eyes tend to travel when they are presented with text or images) reveals that men (and not specifically gay men) have a much greater inclination to check out the package than do women, based on their study of an image of baseball player George Brett:
"When photos do contain people related to the task at hand, or the content users are exploring, they do get fixations. However, gender makes a distinct difference on what parts of the photo are stared at the longest. Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed."Thanks to Shakes for finding this.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
by bad machine 08/28/2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- Doctors at University of Virginia Hospital stunned the world today by announcing that famed author Rita Mae Brown has inexplicably transformed into a house cat. (More here ... )
(I know this is hard to see, so either click on the image, or a larger version is here.)
Note that Washington State beats Oral Roberts, but alas, they're taken out by Vanderbilt in the second round. Gotta crack the books more, boys!
Gonzaga? Destroyed by Indiana in the first round.
Do note that little ole Weber State, which won the Big Sky Conference this year, made it all the way to the Elite Eight. The Eastern Eagles beat Weber State, remember?
Now, you'd think the brains over at Stanford would take it all, but they get knocked out by the University of Virginia.
Who wins? Holy Cross beats Michigan State. Holy cow.
Tip o' the pen to Inside Higher Education.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Duck and cover! The brackets are completed! March Madness is about to commence. Here in Spokane, we're all bracing for the
Washington State Cougars taking on Oral Roberts University, the Golden Eagles. (OK, some people care about Gonzaga too, but I don't. Sorry.)
I have driven by Oral Roberts U, which is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They have a huge statue of praying hands right outside the university.
And you can see the Oral Roberts Prayer Tower.
It's beyond gaudy. And, if memory serves, there is, at least in the suburbs, a church on every corner, a pawn shop opposite, a porn shop opposite, and then a fast food chain on the other corner. Or maybe an ice cream shop.
Oral Roberts. Didn't this Esteemed Preacher once claim God was going to kill him unless he raised 8 million dollars? And Mr. Oral actually raised something like 9.5 million?
Then he went bankrupt the next year. Oops! Read about it here.
Why people still listen to Oral Roberts, or send their children to his university, is beyond me. Don't we know a scam when we see one?
But I digress. The Cougars are gonna pluck the Golden Eagles' tail feathers. And then maul them. The Golden Eagles had better summon all their prayers.
Anyway. Mr. "Focus on the Family in My Way but Not Yours" has rebuffed the National Association of Evangelicals because that group sees global warming as an imporant moral issue. Dobson squealed that they are "using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time," such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Let us review, shall we?
1. Same-sex marriage: hurts no one.
2. Abortion: hurts an unborn fetus (and it is arguable to many whether an unborn fetus is fully human and should have rights greater than or equal to an already born human).
3. Global warming: hurts everybody on the entire planet!
I would not call James Dobson a towering intellect, nor even a kind person, given his priorities.
Meanwhile, he allows Newt Gingrich to suck up to him as Gingrich runs interference for himself in anticipation of competing for the next Republication nomination for the Presidency. Gingrich, that hypocrite, was having an affair (not his first) while lambasting Bill Clinton for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. I would venture to say that repeatedly philandering husbands are a greater threat to the sanctity of marriage than same-sex marriage is, but Dobson and his hateful band of cretins wouldn't understand that.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
There are three prep races today: the Louisiana Derby, the Gotham, and the El Camino Real Derby. The last is at Bay Meadows, my favorite track.
In the El Camino Real, I like Bwana Bull to win, followed by Court the King and Brave Sun. (6,3,2)
In the Louisiana Derby, I'll go with Circular Quay since a certain cyber flirt I know favors this horse. (1)
In the Gotham, I'll go with Wafi City simply because I like his trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin; still, it's hard not to like Mint Slewlep because of his cute name.(9)