Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scary Gays

What's an old Nazi to do?
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Paris Friday to start a four day visit to France amid continuing reports police are spying on gay, HIV/AIDS and other groups critical of the Vatican.



Does Bush ever do anything without the most cynical of political motives?

The helicopter-borne U.S. Special Operations raid in Pakistan last week was not an isolated incident "but part of a three-phase plan, approved by President Bush, to strike at Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaeda leadership'' at the end of Bush's term, National Public Radio is reporting, citing well-placed sources.

"The plan calls for a much more aggressive military campaign, said one source, familiar with the presidential order, which gives the green light for the military to take part in the operations,'' NPR reports. "The plan represents an 11th-hour effort by the Bush administration to hammer al-Qaeda before leaving office.''


Friday, September 12, 2008

Catblogging Hurricane Ike

Friend and reader Sorcha from Houston sends this picture of her cat Beatrix (a.k.a. Queen Bea, a real sweetie!) as she practices finding shelter.

Cats are naturals at shelter-finding, it seems!

Keep safe, Sorcha, Bea, and everyone in Ike's path.


McCain the Feminist

More proof that his choice of Palin for VP is motivated by a deep respect for women:

The Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen reported this one McCain told during a fundraiser for his 1986 Senate campaign:

"Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, 'Where is that marvelous ape?'"


Screwed Twice

Commenter Bitter Scribe has alerted us to an imminent travesty in Michigan.

First take their homes, then take their votes:

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week.


Things to Do in Nebraska

One might deem this to be rather odd:
People in a Nebraska town wish their busiest vandal would find another way to make his mark.

Beginning more than a year ago, some man has been skipping from one business to another at night, pressing his naked behind - sometimes his groin, sometimes both - on windows. Store owners, church workers and school janitors have had to wash lotion and petroleum jelly off the windows he selects.

"This is the weirdest case I've ever seen," said police Chief Ben McBride.

Some residents of Valentine, a remote central US town of about 2,650 people, find some humour in the strange vandalism and have taken to calling the perpetrator the "Butt Bandit". But they also can't help but cringe when finding his marks.


Friday Frogblogging

Another rare critter found:
A tiny frog species thought by many experts to be extinct has been rediscovered alive and well in a remote area of Australia's tropical north, researchers said Thursday.


Bloody Friday

In Iraq:
A car bomb ripped through a crowded commercial district in a mainly Shiite town north of Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 32 people and wounding 43, Iraqi officials said. The explosion in Dujail was apparently targeting a police station but instead it badly damaged a nearby medical clinic, according to police. Concrete barriers largely protected the police station, the officials said.
In Afghanistan:
At least 23 people were killed when Taliban insurgents ambushed a U.S. security firm convoy in southwestern Afghanistan on Friday, provincial officials said, the second attack on the firm in as many days.
In Pakistan:
Pakistan's main opposition party said Friday the country could pull out of the war on terror over stepped-up attacks by U.S. forces in the restive tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

An aide to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued the threat hours after 12 people were killed in the latest in a flurry of suspected U.S. missile strikes into Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan.


Friday Okapi Blogging

Very good:
The okapi, an elusive animal that scientists say has not previously been photographed roaming in the wild, has been snapped by a camera in Congo.

Officials at the Zoological Society of London, which released the photos, said Thursday that the images were important evidence that the rare species still exists in the wild, despite poaching and civil unrest in Congo.


Up, Up, and Away

The Bush economy sets yet another record:
Foreclosures hit another record high in August: 304,000 homes were in default and 91,000 families lost their houses.

More than 770,000 homes have been repossessed by lenders since August 2007, when the credit crunch took hold.

The report from RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosures properties, is the latest in string of bad news for housing.

And meanwhile, we're number one!
The United States leads the world in economic loss from deaths caused by armed crime, according to a global survey released Friday.


Everybody Out!

The United States and South America aren't getting along very well these days:
The United States is expelling the Venezuelan ambassador to the United States in response to a similar move by Venezuela, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday.

The U.S. decision to expel the Venezuelan ambassador, Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, is the latest move in an escalating diplomatic battle that pits the United States against two of Latin America's leftist leaders.

It comes a day after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that he was expelling the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, Patrick Duddy. Chavez also said he was recalling the Venezuelan ambassador from the United States.


The president said he was making the moves "in solidarity with Bolivia and the people of Bolivia."

Bolivian President Evo Morales on Thursday accused the United States of fomenting a coup d'etat by rich eastern department landowners against him, and he called for the U.S. ambassador to leave for allegedly encouraging those protesters.


The New Katrina

Ike is looking very nasty:

Floodwaters surged into Galveston Island neighborhoods Friday morning.

Waves washed for blocks inland, the beginning of a storm surge that forecasters warned could reach up to 22 feet and bring "certain death" to anyone who remained in Galveston Bay homes.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Old Ink Pen?

One wonders what new pens use...

Leave it to McCain/Palin to add a surreal tinge to traditional GOP hypocrisy:
Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, equate lawmakers’ requests for funding for special projects with corruption - even though Palin herself has requested nearly $200 million in so-called “earmarks” this year.

Campaigning in Virginia, McCain suggested earmarks are particularly shameful at a time when families are struggling with rising food, gas and home mortgage costs. He vowed again to veto any bill that contains such funding.

“I got an old ink pen, my friends, and the first pork barrel-laden earmark, big-spending bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. You will know their names. I will make them famous and we’ll stop this corruption,” McCain said during a rally at a park in suburban Washington, D.C.

Palin has sought $197 million worth of earmarks for 2009, down about 25 percent from the $256 million she sought in the 2008 budget year. As mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, she hired a lobbyist to seek federal money for special projects. Wasilla obtained 14 earmarks, totaling $27 million, between 2000-2003, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

War Only Affects McCains

Well said, Meghan. I'm sure the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with their families, appreciate it:
"It's not because John McCain doesn't care" about the "anxiety" amongst Americans, Senator Obama said in his August 28th nomination speech at the end of the Democratic National Convention. "It's because John McCain doesn't get it."

A perceived "not getting it" on the part of Senator McCain has been a popular subject for Obama on the campaign trail. "Obviously, I disagree," McCain's daughter Meghan told NBC's Meredith Vieira. "Obviously I think my father gets it more than anyone."

"I have two brothers serving in the military--one that's about to redeploy to Iraq," she went on. "My father's obviously a famous war hero. No one knows what war is like other than my family, period."


Victory in Florida

Well done:
A state judge has ruled against Florida's gay adoption ban, calling it "unconstitutional" and allowing an openly gay foster parent to adopt a boy he's been raising.


In Bed with Oil

Government brokers responsible for collecting billions of dollars in federal oil royalties operated in a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" that included having sex with energy company employees, accepting lavish gifts and rigging contracts to favored firms, investigators said Wednesday.

The alleged transgressions involve 13 former and current Interior Department employees in Denver and Washington. Their alleged improprieties include influencing contracts, working part-time as private oil consultants and having sexual relationships with - and accepting golf and ski trips, snowboarding lessons and concert tickets from - oil company employees, according to three reports released Wednesday by the Interior Department's inspector general.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Labor Is Pro-Gay

Another positive development:
The New York State AFL-CIO is urging the Legislature is pass a bill that would allow same-sex couples in the state to marry.

It also wants lawmakers to enact legislation banning discrimination against transgender New Yorkers and provide a mechanism to end bullying and harassment of LGBT youth in public schools.

The call came in the form of three resolutions that passed without objection at the AFL-CIO’s annual convention.

“Beyond doing the right thing, there is a very basic need for us as union leaders to actually lead on these issues,” said AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes.


And More Campus Hatred

The kids are not all right:

Police looked for clues Monday into who placed a noose on the office chair of the Abilene Christian University student body president last week.

Daniel Paul Watkins, a senior political science major from Fredricksburg, Va., found the noose on his chair Wednesday in the office he uses as head of Abilene Christian University's Student Congress. Watkins is black.


Young Republicans

Classy as ever:
The leader of a statewide group of college Republicans has been forced to resign after posting racially insensitive comments about Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on the Internet.

Adam LaDuca, 21, the former executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, wrote on his Facebook page in late July that Obama has "a pair of lips so large he could float half of Cuba to the shores of Miami (and probably would.)"

LaDuca, who previously had called Martin Luther King Jr. a "pariah" and a "fraud," also wrote: "And man, if sayin' someone has large lips is a racial slur, then we're ALL in trouble."

Frankly, I'm surprised he resigned.


$50,000 Palin

Rather pricey photo:
Palin is headlining a GOP fundraiser later this month at the home of a California billionaire where the asking price for a snapshot with her and a seat at the headtable is $50,000.


Gratuitous Classic Catblogging

Simply because I just downloaded the hard drive from my defunct laptop onto my new one, and noticed the "cats" folder.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Palin's Church

Surprise, her church is in favor of the idiotic and destructive "ex-gay" movement:
Gov. Sarah Palin’s church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.

“You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality,” according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.
Meanwhile, of course, both McCain and Palin are studiously ignoring AIDS:
HIV/AIDS groups are accusing Republican presidential candidate John McCain of ignoring the growing rate of new HIV cases in the US.

The Republican National Convention concluded last week with no mention of the domestic AIDS epidemic and only passing reference to the epidemic overseas. Neither McCain nor his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, mentioned AIDS in their remarks to convention delegates.

The Republican Convention was held one month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new estimates indicating that the HIV infection rate in the United States is 40 percent higher than previously thought.


The Fight Goes On

The homophobic bigots are seeking to regroup in California, but they're in for quite a fight:
The battle to defeat a ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage in California has gone into high gear with opening of a war room in San Francisco.



Just imagine what will happen when aliens get hold of Colbert's DNA:
Should this world ever cease to exist, Stephen Colbert will live on.

The comedian's DNA will be digitized and sent to the International Space Station, Comedy Central was to announce Monday. In October, video game designer Richard Garriott will travel to the station and deposit Colbert's genes for an "Immortality Drive."

"I am thrilled to have my DNA shot into space, as this brings me one step closer to my lifelong dream of being the baby at the end of 2001," Colbert said in a statement, referring to the 1968 landmark science fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey."


Temper, Temper

More stories continue to emerge:
In 1992, McCain sparred with Dolores Alfond, the chairwoman of the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen and Women, at a Senate hearing. McCain's prosecutorlike questioning of Alfond - available on YouTube[above] - left her in tears.

Four years later, at her group's Washington conference, about 25 members went to a Senate office building, hoping to meet with McCain. As they stood in the hall, McCain and an aide walked by.

Six people present have written statements describing what they saw. According to the accounts, McCain waved his hand to shoo away Jeannette Jenkins, whose cousin was last seen in South Vietnam in 1970, causing her to hit a wall.

As McCain continued walking, Jane Duke Gaylor, the mother of another missing serviceman, approached the senator. Gaylor, in a wheelchair equipped with portable oxygen, stretched her arms toward McCain.

"McCain stopped, glared at her, raised his left arm ready to strike her, composed himself and pushed the wheelchair away from him," according to Eleanor Apodaca, the sister of an Air Force captain missing since 1967.