Friday, February 29, 2008

Right Wingers are Easily Led by Idiots

Back in October I wrote about the stupidity of Lapel Pin Politics. Isn't it time for Republicans to start thinking on their own instead of being lead by idiots, particularly liars like Jack Kingston? Aren't you all sick of it already?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

19.... It's a Magic Number

According to the American Research Group, President Bush has acquired the lowest approval rating yet of his "career" as Commander-in-Chief. His approval rating has fallen to a dismal 19%.

N-I-N-E-T-E-E-N percent.

The ARG says:
A total of 78% of Americans say the national economy is getting worse and 47% say the national economy is in a recession. A total of 42% of Americans, however, say they believe the national economy will be better a year from now, which is the highest level for this question in the past year. This optimism does not spread to improvements in household financial situations as 17% of Americans say they expect their household financial situations to be better a year from now, which is the lowest for this question in the past year.
Hmm, I wonder why next year? Maybe because Bush won't be in office next year? It's possible.

19%. What a joke. Who are those 19% of people who still think he's doing a good job? I'd like to have a word or two with them. What am I saying? I don't want to get near those 19%. Whatever flesh-eating disease they might have, I don't want to catch it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's There... If You Look For It

I'm getting a little tired of hearing that Barack Obama is just an empty media meme. So, here's a quick cull from the Internet, of some of Obama's accomplishments in the Senate.

First of all, thanks is owed to a diarist at Daily Kos.

Graph of Obama's legislation in the Illinois Senate.

A second Kos diary with links to bills from Illinois. My favorite? The bill he sponsored to make it mandatory that all interrogations of suspects be videotaped.

A third diary from Kos that compares Clinton's and Obama's records in depth and presents a list of both of their accomplishments in the Senate.

A 2006 article from Obsidian Wings.

More from Hilzoy, 2008

From an Internet comment:

Just a few things a doer (Barack Obama) has done:
• Passed a bill making Illinois the first state that required that interrogations and confessions be videotaped
• Passed Illinois' first earned-income tax credit to help the working poor
• Passed first Illinois ethics and campaign finance law in 25 years
• Co-authored, with Tom Coburn, the new lobbying reform law that requires lawmakers to disclose the names of lobbyists who "bundle" contributions for them
• Passed the Lugar-Obama Non-Proliferation Legislation, expands U.S. cooperation to destroy conventional weapons and the State Department's ability to detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction
• Opposed the war in Iraq from the start and only Barack Obama established legislation that would, by force of law, begin a phased redeployment by May 1, 2007, and have all combat forces out of Iraq by March 31, 2008 (not passed)
• Co-sponsored legislation in the Senate to close a tax loophole that permitted hedge fund investors to pay levies on billions of dollars in profit at a lower rate than most income earners.
• Authored legislation with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to provide $20 million in emergency aid to African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces in Sudan that passed the Senate as part of a larger Department of Defense (DOD) spending bill to be signed into law by the President
• The AU is the only international force in Darfur working to prevent a further deterioration of a situation where 400,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes.
• Obama met with AU commanders in Eastern Chad where thousands of Sudanese refugees have fled from the violence that has engulfed their country," Obama said. "It quickly became clear to me that bolstering the AU mission is critical to short-term efforts to protect innocent civilians and allow humanitarian operations in the region. While we have so much more to do to stop the slaughter of innocents, this funding, combined with recent pledges of assistance from European governments, is an important step in the right direction."
 In late August, 2007 Senator Obama visited the Mile Refugee Camp, one of 12 encampments on Chad's eastern border. The camp is home to 15,000 refugees who crossed the Sudanese border seeking safety from Janjaweed militias who have been terrorizing ethnic African tribes in Darfur. During his visit to Eastern Chad, Senator Obama met with refugees from the Darfur region, AU military commanders, local Chadian officials, U.S. military officers, and U.N. personnel.
• Sponsored legislation that allows gas stations to receive tax credits for installing E85 ethanol refueling pumps.
• Introduced legislation along with Tom Harkin, establishing a National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard that would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions in the short and long-term. The bill requires a reduction of about 180 million metric tons in emissions in 2020 - the equivalent of taking over 30 million cars off the road. The Obama-Harkin fuel standard embraces the growth of the renewable fuels market, including corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, and biodiesel as a key component of fighting climate change, while incentivizing lower carbon emissions in their production. (May, 2007)
• Sponsored legislation, bill dedicated to pandemic flu preparedness
• Introduced Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act of 2006, a bill to improve access to and appropriate utilization of valid, reliable and accurate genetic tests by all populations
• Introduced legislation to better secure one of the most vulnerable gaps in our homeland security-chemical plants
• Passed amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would help speed the creation of regulations to protect our nation's children from dangerous lead paint poisoning
• His "health care for hybrids" bill
• An Energy Security Bill
• Various bills on relief for Hurricane Katrina, including aid for kids and a ban on no-bid contracts by FEMA
• A public database of all federal spending and contracts
• Legislation to raise CAFE standards
• Veterans' health care
• Making certain kinds of voter intimidation illegal
• Proposal to revamp ethics oversight, replacing the present ethics Committee with a bipartisan commission of retired judges and members of Congress, and allowing any citizen to report ethics violations. This would have fixed one of the huge problems with the present system, namely: that the members have to police themselves.
• Supports the Employee Free Choice Act, an act to restore workers' free choice to join unions
• Marched alongside striking hotel workers in Chicago last year

Posted by: Katy7540 | January 9, 2008 08:37 PM

Lawrence Lessig, he of Creative Commons and the Electronic Freedom Frontier, thinks his technology plans are the bees knees.

First the importantly balanced: You'll read he's a supporter of Net Neutrality. No surprise there. But read carefully what Net Neutrality for Obama is. There's no blanket ban on offering better service; the ban is on contracts that offer different terms to different providers for that better service. And there's no promise to police what's under the technical hood (beyond the commitment already articulated by Chairman Powell): This is a sensible and valuable Net Neutrality policy that shows a team keen to get it right -- which includes making it enforceable in an efficient way, even if not as radical as some possible friends would like.

Second, on the important: As you'll read, Obama has committed himself to a technology policy for government that could radically change how government works. The small part of that is simple efficiency -- the appointment with broad power of a CTO for the government, making the insanely backwards technology systems of government actually work.

Need more? What about 260 more reasons?

Just a few things to gnaw on. You don't have to agree with them all, as I'm sure a lot of folks won't. But it's time to put this "empty suit" nonsense to bed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


So, you REALLY think that you can be inspired to reach greater heights and purposes with that silly, "Yes We Can" stuff written by some guy who can't even spell his name correctly?

The Billionaires For Bush would like you to remember that while you may consider for a split second a vote for a Democrat (even one who sends tingles down Chris Matthews' legs when he speaks), you will be voting a vote for health, clean climate, rebuilding infrastructure and the return of big money for little people... you! Oh, the horror of it all!

Pshaw, my little friends! The Billionaires have banded together again (or actually, they never go away) in order to remind you that only their power and money matters! So, VOTE GOP to continue their healthy bottom line!

Billionaires are constantly at work in the dark recesses of their walk-in vaults planning new ways to ensure that their power structure remains the status quo! Watch their new video answer to "Yes We Can," answered with a rousing, NO YOU CAN'T!

If this video angers you, then do something about it. Vote for a Democrat!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Summing Up McCain [and the Republican Party]

I was reading a blog entry on Daily Kos tonight after the "Potomac Chesapeake Crabcake" primaries in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. As you may know, Barack Obama and John McCain swept all three primaries, with Obama winning with some impressive numbers and McCain getting by against Mike Hucklebee.

Hillary Clinton spoke in El Paso, Texas tonight without acknowledging tonight's losses, though I do think the little Mexican-American boy with his traditional mariachi outfit who brought her flowers was darn cute. Obama followed up with a moving and powerful speech. McCain came along toward the middle of Obama's speech and he basically said all you would expect him to say: if he doesn't win, America is in danger of Democrats deciding things for you, getting you attacked, taking your money, and doubling the size of government. And he said the last two with a straight face despite his party's reckless spending and bloat. Go figure. I guess if you can believe Bush for the last seven years, you can believe that shit smells good. I sat and watched McCain's entire speech (thank the FSM that it was short) and I laughed out loud at the end of his dog and pony show: Obama is certainly making McCain nervous; McCain stole one of Obama's lines. (As if he's the only one on this campaign who has done that.)

"ipsos," a blogger on Daily Kos said,
[Obama] is no longer running for the Democratic nomination for president. He's running for president, period - and even John McCain knows it, with the addition of his lines about "platitudes" to his speech tonight. (And what a hell of a contrast between the tens of thousands of people of all ages and colors at the Obama rally and the little crowd of old white people, including the exhumed corpse of John Warner, in suits behind McCain a few minutes later!)
Yes there was a definite contrast between both Clinton's and Obama's audiences tonight, not the least of which was the diversity of the crowd... and heartbeat.

At the end of the speech McCain riffed on Obama's line of "Fired Up and Ready to Go." McCain's riff was this: "My friends, I promise you, I am fired up and ready to go." Ok, I know it's verbatim and not much of a riff, and I also know that imitation is the highest form of flattery but can't these people come up with anything of their own?

At the end of ipso's blog entry, he wrote the following signature line that pretty much sums up McCain's run for presidency and why he won't be President, whether he goes against Clinton or Obama:
John McCain: Tired out, and ready...for bed!

I don't want to enter another "ism," ageism, into the 2008 presidential race to join its partners, sexism and racism, but man, McCain looked tired... and more than that, he sounded that way, too.

Americans have been hypnotized into the same old stale rhetoric of the Republican Party, and frankly, it's tired out. Just like John McCain.

Fired up, indeed.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Take the Newtown Creek to the BQE

Newtown Creek Trip
Summer, 2007
Video by Elderta

This video was taken on a trip up the Newton Creek. We usually only go about a quarter mile up the Creek, but on this trip, a smaller group took the Creek further up until we reached the Kosciuszko Bridge. We went a little past the bridge and hung out for a bit at a small bird sanctuary.

The Newtown Creek is still very industrial and is not quite as clean as the the East and Hudson Rivers have become over the last few years. However, it's getting better. Or at least I like to tell myself that as I'm kayaking in a small boat and watching the Creek bubble up from the massive 17 million gallon oil spill that still exists under the Creek bed.

I Dream of Summer

A Future Park
Brooklyn Waterfront, Summer 2007
Video by Elderta

Just a short video from last summer of some kayakers from the Long Island City Community Boathouse. We had just spent the day kayaking down the East River to the Brooklyn Bridge. On the way back to the boathouse in Queens, we stopped by a small cove that one day may be a animal and bird habitat and park.

I want summer to come so I can get back out onto the beautiful water that surrounds New York City. April seems so far away.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Can We?

Can we really have hope and work together for the good of our country and the world?

Sometimes, I just don't know.