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Saturday, July 30, 2005
Turning now to the NBA...
I don't know why I've chosen this moment to talk sports, but I guess it's because it's hot out, and I'm irritable. I'm a baseball guy, unreservedly, but the National Basketball Association is in the throes of free agency season, and I can't hide from it. I'll keep this brief.
Fuck Larry Brown. How is it that this guy signs a contract with Detroit, decides he wants to break it, gets millions of dollars from the team he became bored with, and is free to sign another huge deal with any other team immediately? Did I fuck up and make a bad deal with my employer? Can I quit on them and demand they keep paying me? Am I that stupid? Yeah, you are.
But the asshole that's really pissing me off right now is Pat Riley. Pat Riley is the biggest pussy in sports, and I'll tell you why. First of all, he coached the Lakers. FUCK the Lakers. He made wearing mousse in your hair seem like a good idea. This guy wins a few of rings with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson on his team. Phil Jackson would have won twice as many. Then this guy wins nothing of value in New York with Patrick Ewing, and essentially does nothing of value as coach of the Miami Heat. Well, he did do one great thing.
And he didn't just step down after losing 57 games in 2002-2003. Nah, this dickwad waits until 15 minutes before the 2003-2004 season started before being the first rat off the ship. He knew he had a garbage team, and ran away like a bitch to become General Manager. It was left to Stan Van Gundy to clean up Riley's mess.
But Van Gundy managed to get the Heat together after a couple of months, and they ended up in the Eastern Conference Finals the following spring. An unbelievable job.
Then, before the 2004-2005 season, Miami traded for Shaquille O'Neal, and became a legitimate threat to win the NBA title. Suddenly, Pat remembered his love of coaching.
"This is a great team! I know how to coach great teams. I just put on an expensive suit, and get out of the way!"
This douchebag Riley has been stabbing Van Gundy in the back for a year now, because it kills him that Van Gundy has been able to do what he has not, that is, win games with a dumbfuck named Pat Riley running the front office. Talk about a handicap! Pat Riley could never have coached even a great team to a championship. Without a roster full of Hall Of Famers, he'd probably have been lucky to win half his games. He's worthless.
I have no real close to this, to be honest. You may return to watching baseball for the next few months.
posted at 11:35 PM
We have a nominee!
President Bush announced John G. Roberts last night to fill the slot on the Supreme Court vacated by the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor. The reaction has been interesting.
I'm sad to say that there has been a fairly obvious knee-jerk reaction on the part of most of your left-wing lobbying groups. I don't really like the President, his legislation, worldview, or anything, really. But I want to examine Judge Roberts before I form an opinion.
Roberts has argued cases 39 times before the Court, winning 25 of them. He knows how this thing works. He has only been a judge for two years, which means there isn't a substantial paper trail of his rulings. The left seems to be focusing on the fact that he had argued against the Roe v. Wade as an advocate. Abortion is going to be a major point of contention. However, when he was nominated for his current post at the DC appellate court, he stated simply that the Roe case was "the settled law of the land." I'd like a guy to say he supports a woman's right to choose, but I think we have to take this at face value.
Most of Roberts' experience was as a paid advocate for corporate, and in general, right-wing interests. This may indicate his personal leanings, but not necessarily. Every single one of us has done things we didn't believe in, or said things we didn't believe, just for money, sex, or even food. I'm not convinced this guy is another Scalia.
Judge Roberts may yet turn out to be a staunch conservative, but from what I've read of his writings, he has a substantial intellect. He has the capability to examine all sides of an issue, and it is my sincere hope that he will invariably choose to do so. I'll take a brilliant conservative on the court if I can get one. You can't buy insight, ask the president.
What's equally encouraging to me, is the right-wing reaction to Roberts. No less than Ann Coulter has spoken out against him. Ann is an interesting case. Clearly, one of the smartest people out there, and so terribly twisted and bitter. I wonder how she got that way, and if she can recover from it. Part of her statement read as follows:
"It means nothing that Roberts wrote briefs arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade when he worked for Republican administrations. He was arguing on behalf of his client, the United States of America. Roberts has specifically disassociated himself from those cases, dropping a footnote to a 1994 law review article that said:
'In the interest of full disclosure, the author would like to point out that as Deputy Solicitor General for a portion of the 1992-93 Term, he was involved in many of the cases discussed below. In the interest of even fuller disclosure, he would also like to point out that his views as a commentator on those cases do not necessarily reflect his views as an advocate for his former client, the United States.'
This would have been the legal equivalent, after O.J.'s acquittal, of Johnnie Cochran saying, 'hey, I never said the guy was innocent. I was just doing my job.'"
Like I said, Ann's a bright lady when it comes down to it. And if she is put off by John Roberts, then America may be in decent shape at the end of the day.
I'm not expecting that I will agree with every decision he sides with, but I have a feeling that even on the ones I do disagree with, Roberts will make a compelling, lucid argument that will make me think. I can live with that. Let's get this guy confirmed, and save filibustering and fundraising for the real nutjob that Bush puts forward when Rehnquist retires or dies.
posted at 7:34 PM
What was I talking about?
Oh, yeah. Karl Rove.
Because I want to be informed, I read the paper each day. The Rove/treason story has gone from Page 1, to page 6, to page 10, to gone. No one cares. It's still being covered somewhat, because the press finally has a story worth it's time. But people just don't care. The President is "a good Christian man," and if Rove is his friend, then all of this must be untrue.
The latest, of course, is that Rove got Valerie Plame's name from columnist Robert Novak. The tried and true "blame the press" gambit, which in this day and age, never seems to fail. The press is so damned liberal, what with your Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Reillys, and the literally hundreds of unimaginative local wannabees spewing half-truths over the airwaves. Aside from Air America, my guess is, you don't have a liberal talker on the air where you live. The liberal press is such a myth, it's the Willie Horton, the Silent Majority, the McCarthy list of our age.
The biggest irony, of course is, that the same working class Americans who deride the liberal, godless media, are the same people who make wholesome shows like I Want To Marry Millionaire, Banging The Boss, and I Fellated A Midget runaway successes. People bitch about the media, but for the wrong reasons. They complain that it is undermining the morals of our country, and maybe it is. All the media ever does is give us exactly what we want. We should be complaining about the lapdog approach that the press takes toward a criminal administration being run by an incompetent president, and his treasonous advisers.
"I would, but there's something good on."
I'm watching the Rove thing fade away. It's not gone yet, but it will play out as I have written previously. You get what you deserve. Choke on it.
posted at 1:13 PM
Well, shock of all shocks, it turns out that the person who treasonously leaked the name of a CIA undercover operative to the press is none other than White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove. I respect Rove's intellect. I mean, he is one crafty bastard. But his politics and loyalties are so far askew that it's nearly inconceivable.
A brief background, if that's even possible.
On July 6th, 2003, Joseph C. Wilson IV published an editorial in the New York Times.
Basically, it said that he had investigated the charges of African nations supplying fissionable material to Saddam Hussein, and there was just nothing to it. Wilson was ambassador to Gabon for several years in the early 90s, and is familiar with the workings of governments in Africa. He is not some dilettante. The report embarrassed the Bush White House.
Eight days later, Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Robert Novak publishes the following column:
Novak's commentary was mostly in regard to Wilson's essay published the previous week. However, the following paragraph is where the problem lies:
"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. 'I will not answer any question about my wife,' Wilson told me."
Wilson hadn't mentioned his wife in his NY Times piece. How did Novak find out classified information about an undercover CIA operative? Ah, yes, "senior administration officials." Well, why would highly-placed men such as these blow Valerie Plame's cover?
These petty hacks, angered because someone dared speak the facts about our mindless march to war in Iraq, didn't even bother to refute Wilson's charges. Instead, they put his wife, an agent of the United States government, at extreme risk, merely to satisfy their need for revenge.
This is the kind of pettiness we've seen time and time again from the people currently in charge.
Wilson rightly complained that the government had hung his wife out to dry, and on September 16, Scott McClellan at a White House press briefing, is asked "Now, this is apparently a federal offense, to burn the cover a CIA operative. . . . Did Karl Rove do it?" He replied, "I said, it's totally ridiculous."
In June 2004, President Bush himself said that when the leaker was identified, he or she would be fired and possibly much more. After all, it is a felony to endanger an operative this way.
Finally, this week Karl Rove, just two years after committing this treasonous act, decided to come forward, and admitted that it was he, in fact, who had spoken with Robert Novak about Joseph Wilson's wife. Why did he come forward now, some may wonder? Well, he waited until after he had gotten his boss re-elected. There will be no political price paid for his crime against the country.
And besides, nothing is going to happen to him.
How can I say that? No one in this criminal White House has ever paid for any of the crimes it has committed against the United States. Who took the blame when Enron scammed millions out of their retirements? Who took flack when the White House ignored repeated warnings about an impending al-Qaeda attack on the United States? Whose job was lost when we marched to war with a country that posed absolutely no threat to us? Or when the administration-sanctioned abuses at Abu Ghraib came to light? When millions were added to the ranks of medically uninsured? When gay marriage and flag burning were used to distract from urgent issues? When the separation of Church and State was threatened? When Halliburton reaped billions through no-bid contracts? When Tom DeLay repeatedly violated Texas election laws? When the Medicare bill went from 400 billion to 550 billion? When taxpayer money was used to promote the Administration's flawed agenda and programs through supposedly "unbiased" commentators? Antonin Scalia's conflict of interest regarding the Cheney Energy Task Force case? The President's AWOL period during his "crucial" National Guard service? Guantánamo Bay torture?
How many more have there been, and will there be? This is hardly an exhaustive list. Halliburton itself is pages upon pages of malfeasance.
And now this. Karl is a clever guy and he knows that we will spend a month, maybe two, stamping our feet about this, and then the fall television season will kick off, and we will forget all about it. We are getting dumber and lazier by the minute.
In a bi-partisan Congress, impeachment proceedings would have been initiated years ago. But today, party loyalty is more important that justice, winning at all costs is valued over truth, and faith is being fancied over reason.
Even in my short lifetime, America has been a great country, but I feel like that's all over now. As we slide into the inevitable theo-corporatocracy that we have blindly insisted upon, I wonder why we have done this to ourselves. Sometimes, it is important to pay attention. Sometimes, we must think when it would be simpler to merely believe. And sometimes, we must do what is right, even there is a lot of fucking work involved.
Christians are the majority in this country, and they consider themselves moral, and they love President Bush. How can you continue to support a man of such obviously low character? A man who has never sacrificed of himself in any way? A man bereft of understanding for what the working man goes through? A man who uses Jesus like a lapel pin, to prove his character, when his actions reveal his sickening true nature?
We must demand justice in this case. We must take a stand on something, and unfortunately, as of this writing, we are 1748 American soldiers too late to stand against unjust war in Iraq. If Karl Rove can be served with the justice that his criminal behavior so richly demands, then maybe anything is possible. Maybe this country can be set right again. Maybe the lives of soldiers and Iraqis can be spared.
And maybe pigs will fly out of my ass.
posted at 3:29 PM
Horrible, horrible events this morning in London, terrorists apparently setting off seven bombs simultaneously in the heart of the city. Dozens are dead, hundreds are injured, and once again we stand united against these bastard Muslim extremists.
But what if it was the Irish Republican Army?
I don't think this will turn out to be the case, to be honest. But what if it was? Are you somehow less angry? If you are American, try and remember back ten years. Try to recall how you felt when you found out that an all-American white Christian boy blew up 168 men, women and children in Oklahoma City. You were probably shocked. I mean, this wasn't some foreign wack job whose mindset you can't understand, this was your fucking neighbor.
The British will recover from this, because they are far more realistic about the state of the world than we are. They understand that the entire world is on the front line of a global war, and that they are not exempt. They didn't have the luxury of a 50-year cocoon the way America did. We had to grow up fast after September 11th, 2001. It was our chance to sit at the big table,and talk about the events of the day with the other adult countries. Instead, we retreated from the card table, and ran screaming back to the comfortable high chair known as mindless nationalism.
"They hate us because of our freedom."
This has to be one of the stupidest things that anyone has ever managed to say. It's so damned nonsensical, that I can barely respond to it. I've covered that ground before anyway.
The terrorists don't want anything. They don't envy us. They aren't jealous of our lifestyle or wealth. Hell, most of the people running the terror show are extremely rich. They think we are corrupt, and they want to kill us.
Let's face it, we are a decadent bunch. And these Muslim fundamentalists are every bit as hypocritical as our homegrown Christian ones. Islam is a beautiful, peaceful religion. A fanatic is a fanatic no matter what the insane motivation is, and whether you're bombing abortion clinics, gang-raping women to punish one of her male relatives, or just waging war on a country that is no threat to you, you're still nuts, and I wish you would just crawl off and die.
I hope they catch the people responsible for the atrocities in London, but it won't matter if they do. For every one we catch, there are ten more just waiting for any chance to kill in the name of God. The Protestants and the Catholics in Ireland are all Christians who worship Jesus as lord, and they've been murdering each other for centuries. The Jews and Muslims in the Middle East have been at war for thousands of years, and even Christianity has had its crosshairs on Islam since the crusades.
Keep your sick fucking religion to yourself. Once you think your god has a bigger cock than someone else's god, you're through. I'd prefer you just killed yourself, and left those of us who'd rather think and wonder alone, and in peace.
posted at 6:38 PM
You say you'll change the Constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head.
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead.
posted at 8:48 AM
What has 18 legs and 5 halos?
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement yesterday, and it took me back five years to the summer of 2000. Candidates Bush and Gore were zipping around the country, pretty much saying the same things in regard to why we should elect one of them President. I now recall just how bored and disappointed I was in the lack of differences between the two. There were some, but you have to remember that Bush was still feeding us that "compassionate conservative" bullshit, so there wasn't a whole lot of difference in the rhetoric.
But even with both of them trying to wear moderate clothes, I knew when November rolled around, I would end up voting for Gore, even though I wasn't truly excited about it. And my sole reason for doing so was because, in spite of the fact that a President Gore wasn't going to really do much to improve the country, he would at least not completely fuck up the Supreme Court should an opening arise.
So, here we are.
Justice O'Connor was really a damned-near perfect Supreme Court Justice. And I say that because, even though I think you could properly peg her as more conservative than liberal, you could honestly say that with any case, she would always consider it on it's own merits, and vote how she saw best for that case. That is such an important distinction. There are justices serving right now that whose opinions on certain issues are very rarely in doubt. I suppose it's ok to have some like that, but it's crucial to have a majority of thoughtful, deliberative jurists like O'Connor to sort out the facts, instead of knee-jerking all the time.
I try to remain optimistic, and hope that President Bush will nominate a mainstream moderate, who is capable of forming an opinion that hasn't already been handed down by Ralph Reed or James Dobson. The idea of an Evangelical Supreme Court Justice is frightening beyond belief. I really don't think that anyone who believes that these are "End Times" and that God is going to wrap this whole thing up in the near future has any business in a position of authority. The Supreme Court's main function is to see the future, and someone who believes that there won't be one ought not be making important decisions for the rest of us.
An example of that type of thinking leaps out from Justice O'Connor's writing on the recent Ten Commandments decision. She mentioned "the violent consequences of the assumption of religious authority" by governments around the world, and asked the only question that need be asked in regard to maintaining secular government:
"Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"
That is the entire argument right there.
I want to believe that this president is capable of doing something that will benefit the entire country, and not just satisfy millionaires and/or Christians. But you look at who his friends are (Ken Lay), who he chooses as his second-in-command (Dick Cheney), or who he nominates for Ambassador to the UN (John Bolton), and you just know he's going to fuck this up. I've been saying it for well over four years now, "Please, prove me wrong. Just once, George. Don't do what I know you're going to do. Do something for all of us."
Sandra Day O'Connor was truly an excellent jurist. I hope she has a long and happy retirement.
posted at 8:09 AM
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