January 29, 2009

Same Shit, Different Day

Back in the late 90's and even during the Bush administration, network and cable news tended to book more conservative guests than liberals. One rationale was that ostensibly the host, being a "journalist", was automatically a liberal and so needed at least two conservatives to balance him/her, especially if another liberal was on the set. Kinda funny to imagine Brit Hume as part of the "liberal media".

Anyway, the main reason for this, we were told, is that, look, Republicans are in power. They control the Congress and/or the Executive Branch, and so they get on TV more. So now that the Dems have won a landslide election and control both houses of Congress with large majorities and the Executive Branch, you would think that more liberal guests would be getting to speak out on talk shows since liberals are in power now.

You would think that, and you would be wrong. Thanks, "liberal" media!

Posted by Observer at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

Old Rules?

I hope all the wingnuts who agree with Rush Limbaugh and want Obama to fail will remember this: since 9/11, you have been saying constantly that dissent against a sitting president in a time of war is tantamount to treason.

Just sayin'.

Oh, and for people bitching that Obama criticized Bush too much in his inaugural? Of course he did. He had to show the world we are sane again.

Bush didn't criticize Clinton much in 2000, but then again, Bush was inheriting a healthy economy, peace and a budget surplus, so what the hell did he have to complain about?

And for those of you who think the "liberal" media is fawning over Obama, it is really simple. If you want to see what a REAL liberal media editorial would look like, go read Bartcop, then you can go back to your cable channels complaining that Obama isn't fixing the economy fast enough or the newspapers which suddenly think a government running a huge deficit is, like, a seriously major problem that we just can't put up with!

Posted by Observer at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2009

Zero Votes

When is Obama going to swing back? Apparently, Republicans are rallying to oppose the stimulus package, promising "zero votes" despite lots of things that have been inserted into the bill in attempts to compromise with Republicans. Atrios likens this to Lucy and the football. When are the Democrats (Charlie Brown) going to learn that no matter how much they try to talk and act bipartisan and be friendly with the corporate media, etc., Lucy (Republicans) are going to pull the football away every time?

I guess if zero Republicans are going to vote for it, then anything in the bill that Republicans might like (such as tax cuts for corporations) should be stripped out, right? Why is this not happening? Are they still trying to ensure a few Republicans will vote for it in the Senate so there's no filibuster?

I guess it doesn't matter if zero Republicans in the House vote for it, but if zero Republicans in the Senate support it, it is doomed. This is why it is so important to get to 60 votes in the Senate. When Franken is finally seated, we'll be two votes away.

Posted by Observer at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2009

Statute of Limitations

It seems like there's a good reason Republicans are trying to hold up the nomination of Obama's new Attorney General: if they can run out the clock for just seven more weeks, the statute of limitations on the torture (waterboarding) that stopped in 2004 will run out, and nobody in the Bush administration can then be prosecuted for it, at least not under American law.

I have to say, I'm a little bit surprised that Republicans in the Senate are bothering. It's not like Bush did anything for them except cost any Republican a chance to chair a committee or hold any real power for the next 10-20 years or so...

Posted by Observer at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2009

Apples and Oranges

I'm so glad the ultra-super-duper liberal media is relying on right wing nutballs for its stories. They do it so much I wonder when they have time to bow down and worship Obama 20 times a day because they're so darned liberal.

Unless they don't, really.

Posted by Observer at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2009

Propaganda 101

From Bartcop:

Somewhere in the United States there will be at least one party where a man will dress as a woman. In a country with more than 300 million people, it is bound to happen at least once. FoxNews will find
that party, and play its tape at least once an hour, from the inauguration straight through the 2010 election.

Posted by Observer at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2009

Door Alarms

Not much motivation to blog right now. I feel like the last five or six years of blogging has just been mostly a big vent against the direction the country was going. Now I feel relieved that there's a chance we're going to be back on the right track again, but time will tell. By the same token, I find myself much less interested in listening to political talk radio (which means podcasts since almost no liberal shows are on the air thanks to all the super-duper liberals who control the media).

Anyway, we've had some drama with our stupid 14-year-old boy, C*dy. We've had reason to believe he was sneaking around with friends at school and doing stuff he shouldn't be, like smoking, and we busted him trying to practice smoking in his room a month or two ago. His attitude and behavior didn't really change, and his online texting records showed a suspicious amount of texting at odd hours, so I finally broke down and looked. Stupid kid was pretty careful about erasing most of the incriminating messages (I can tell when stuff is erased by comparing the online records with his phone but can't see the text of erased messages), but not all of 'em.

So we both had long talks with him. I never yelled at him, just explained to him where he was headed. First you try to sneak alcohol, then you try to smoke with your friends, the next stop is harmless drugs like weed, and then it goes downhill fast for most kids. Sure enough, eight days ago, he was busted at school during the lunch hour off campus smoking weed with some friends. Now he's going to alternative school and has a citation to deal with.

Further snooping around led us to the conclusion that he has snuck out of the house at night on several occasions to smoke weed with his buddy down the street, who has an older brother in jail for distributing narcotics (probably weed) and so he has connections. So now we're going to install some alarms on all of the doors and windows he can use to get out because I sure as hell don't want to have to lay awake at night wondering if the boy is in bed like he's supposed to be.

We found some alarms online that have keys to control whether they are on or off. Most alarms in stores have on/off switches, which is no good if you are trying to prevent people from getting in *or* out. C*dy thinks he'll be in alternative school for about 3 weeks instead of the full six, but I have no intention of letting him return to that high school unless he's under constant adult supervision, and that probably means lunch detention for the forseeable future.

Even then, I'm pretty sure he'll fall through the cracks if he really wants to. He's just got too many of the wrong kinds of friends at that school, and he's ignoring the advice of most of his teammates and certainly his coaches by hanging out with the loser crowd. I've told it's like watching a race from the sidelines that I can't control. I'm not sure if C*dy is going to grow up enough in time to stop doing this crap or if he's going to do so much stupid crap before he changes his ways that he'll end up growing up in juvenile detention.

Even getting taken to jail and booked by the arresting officer and having to cool his heels there for six hours last week didn't put much of a scare into him. He was still trying to organize a late-night get together to smoke weed with his friend a few days later. Michelle and I took shifts staying up that night, and that's when I decided to get the alarms. They can't arrive soon enough (had to order from amazon to get what I wanted).

Oh, and we've been given a lot of good references to places for counseling and help with kids with C*dy's problems, and we intend to take full advantage.

Posted by Observer at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2009

Hot Stove

Every day, the chances of the Cowboys returning next season with essentially the same cast of characters is increasing, and so is my depression about it. And so we distract ourselves around here with the more depressing talk of just how cheap-ass the Rangers will get to try to steal more money.

Now they're trying to get rid of Michael Young. Actually, I don't mind this so much if his salary gets replaced by someone more productive (which shouldn't be hard offensively), but my guess is his salary won't be replaced. For all the kudos that have come Young's way, the fact of the matter is that in the time he's been a part of the infield, we haven't finished higher than 3rd in a four team division. Not all his fault, but still...

They want to replace him with a hot prospect from the minors who committed something like 34 errors in 130 games last season. Oh great, so now we have Ian Kinsler and an error-prone rookie at shortstop in the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the majors. That's gonna work out great, I'm sure.

I think I'm gonna go back to English Premier League football watching and pick somebody like Chelsea to root for. At least I'll get to cheer on one competent franchise.

Posted by Observer at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2009

Wiretap

Ambrosia software, which has made (and continues to make) lots of really cool games, also has some good utilities for the Mac. One that I recently bought is called Wiretap, and it gives you the ability to record a streaming broadcast on your browser (or from any other source such as a DVD) directly into a digital file which you can then export to iTunes.

Voila! My favorite morning radio program is now on my iPod every day, and I can fast forward through commercials. I'm trying to convince my wife now that she should record the audio from some of her favorite YouTube music videos (that aren't available in iTunes for purchase) so she can have them on her iPod, at least until the artists actually start selling some of that music.

Posted by Observer at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2009

Krugman

Although there is a whole right-wing industry devoted to the idea that FDR's New Deal didn't work, there is plenty of very convincing evidence that it did and should have been taken further. Such a debate is very important today in light of the economic situation. Fortunately, people like Paul Krugman have been making the case forcefully now for a while.

I wonder if there is any room in the Obama administration for Paul Krugman?

Posted by Observer at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2009

Leon Panetta

Apparently, about the only thing Republicans can complain about so far is that a lot of Obama appointees are "Clinton retreads". Hmmm, let's think back to the Clinton administration. Eight years of peace and prosperity. No foreign attacks on our soil. Strong economic growth. Deficit (and debt!) reduction.

Yeah, you know, if it's all right, I'd like to give some of those Clinton retreads another go.

Besides which, if we're going to have a competent government (and Lord knows we need it now), we need people with experience, and since Bush didn't appoint any Democrats, the only ones we have who aren't Carter administration fossils must have worked for Clinton.

Which brings us to Leon Panetta, Obama's choice to run the CIA. David Corn dug up this promising column by Panetta a month ago:

According to the latest polls, two-thirds of the American public believes that torturing suspected terrorists to gain important information is justified in some circumstances. How did we transform from champions of human dignity and individual rights into a nation of armchair torturers? One word: fear.

Fear is blinding, hateful, and vengeful. It makes the end justify the means. And why not? If torture can stop the next terrorist attack, the next suicide bomber, then what's wrong with a little waterboarding or electric shock?

The simple answer is the rule of law....

Those who support torture may believe that we can abuse captives in certain select circumstances and still be true to our values. But that is a false compromise. We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don't. There is no middle ground.

We cannot and we must not use torture under any circumstances..

Imagine that, having a government filled with people who have some sanity and some historical perspective, not to mention competence. I don't think it'll be paradise, but I do think it will work a lot better, and that's what we voted for.

Posted by Observer at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2009

Losah!

Well, I played poker tonight, but I ended up down $140. I had pocket pairs early in a multi-way pot that would've won me about $400 right off the bat had I hit, but I didn't. Beyond that, I had few hands to write home about. Near the end, we were playing Omaha, and I lost $100 on a hand here the flop comes T94 (2 diamonds).

My hand was QTT9, no diamonds. Pot was $50, checked around to me, so with top set I naturally bet the pot (this is a hi/lo game, too, so low wasn't likely). Well, caller had 78 of diamonds in his hand, so with a straight and flush draw, I guess he had the odds to call, and he hit his straight and I didn't fill up a boat or get a higher straight.

A couple of hands later, same caller (my brother!) knows I have him beat but calls my last 40 all-in anyway out of charity, God bless him. I have AK, and he's got JK, and the flop comes JQK, and I lose the last 40. I figure I better go home a tad early before I tilt off another 100. I can handle beats like that a few times after having so much success earlier. All you can do is get as many of your chips as possible in the middle with the best hand, basically, and I guess I did that in the 4-5 hands I really played all night.

One guy was crazy lucky and probably ended up over 1000. On one Omaha hand, the pot was around 500-600, and there are two hearts and two diamonds on the board with only the river the come. The better had an A2 low, I think a high straight. The caller had A3 low and two diamonds. The river comes 2 of diamonds, the only card that screws the original better both ways. Just a horrible beat for a huge pot.

So that could have been me, too, I guess. :)

Posted by Observer at 12:33 AM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2009

Time to Seat Al Franken

He's won.. It's time to let him take his rightful place in the Senate. I'd like to see some protesters show up outside the Senate and demand Norm Coleman "get out of Al Franken's seat" or something to that effect.

Oh well, back to regular blogging soon. I've ceded control of my usual computer to the visiting mother-in-law for the holidays since I don't have to do any work-related stuff, but most of my blogging stuff is there, too, bookmarks and such. So I'm just hanging out on a spare computer and screwing around with various Facebook apps for the holidays.

Posted by Observer at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)