Monday, October 31, 2005

A Sad Day

Theo resigns.

Hopefully he'll run for Governor.

Someone please forward me the Saturday globe article in question. I tried looking but I can't find it.

This is like getting an apple on Halloween.

Update (11/1): Here's the original Globe piece. It is of course from Shank the Red Headed Bastard Clown and according to Peter Gammons and Sean McAdam, it is filled with innaccuracies, which is Shaugnessy's m.o. anyway. (His "Go ahead, blame me" article is here.)

I am just sick over this whole thing, because it reveals that we lost a good person for the ugliest reasons. But I guess you have to expect it with the way it is in Boston. I mean, living here in a proud baseball town with lots of history, it is pretty interesting in how different the level of intensity is. Maybe this will calm people down a bit when they see that their overobsessing is a major factor in people not wanting to manage, let alone play, in Boston. I read somewhere Billy Beane said his decision not to go to the Sox was the smartest decision he's ever made. This very public atmosphere of insanity will undoubtedly lead to others being wary of going to the city. My friend Paul emailed me this earlier and I think it needs to be repeated:

I doubt th[e Shank piece] was the reason he walked. there were probably many issues we will never know about. i hate shaughnessy as much as anyone, if not more, but i can't blame him for this. i blame lucchino and i blame red sox nation. the nation needs to get a life. it is a sports team that we all love but they are people first. let them have a life and leave them alone. having passion while wathcing a game at fenway is one thing, bothering these guys when they are with their families or friends is wrong. we have to ask ourselves why a gm was this popular? it's not because red sox nation is knowledgable about the game and its workings, it is because red sox nation is a trend and full of losers. it is way too much right now. i almost wish they have an average season to see what happens to the nation. be a fan, love the team, but know when to draw a line. i don't understand why people here don't understand why players don't want to play here. you know i love the sox as much as anyone, but it is too intense.

After this, I almost have more respect for Theo if that is even possible. I was serious when I suggested running for governor. He won't do it because of the spotlight (ironically, Mitt is not in the spotlight as much as the GM of the RedSox so in that sense it would still be a step out of the public eye to be Governor!) but I bet he'd be good at it. Gammons suggested yesterday that Theo would do social work with his twin brother who he considers his hero. That's right, social work. He also said that though the article may have been the tipping point, it was really about the atmosphere in the city and the building. This is a guy who walked away from millions because he wanted more privacy and after all the power struggles and inter-office political spin he asked him self "Do I really want this?" and the answer was "No." He looked at himself and questioned whether or not the Red Sox GM job was healthy situation for him. Wow, for a Brookline native to come up with a negative after that question is really telling about the city and the man.

As far as souls go, the Red Sox lost a good one.

More Rove

Lawrence O'Donnell thinks Rove is a cancer on the Presidency. He also thinks saying that the White House dodged a bullet is the stupidest thing ever said, or something along those lines. I hope more than anything that he is right.

The White House dodged a bullet’ is the single stupidest bit of nonstop echo punditry we’ve heard this weekend. Karl Rove not getting indicted presents the White House with a worse problem than an indictment would have. The problem being—Rove is going to go to work Monday morning at the White House with TV cameras following his every move and with 47% of the public believing he did something wrong, according to today’s Washington Post poll.
The pundit world, having spent years in awe of Karl Rove, will never understand how bad he is at his White House job. His second term agenda destroyed this presidency long before Patrick Fitzgerald’s press conference. Rove sent his president on a political death march on Social Security reform with the most hopeless legislative idea since the Clinton health care bill. That showed Congress how powerless the second-term Bush would be. Without the Social Security collapse—which I predicted on day one of the Social Security crusade—Senate Republicans and the right wing would not have dared defy their president on a Rove-managed Supreme Court nomination. And Rove obviously had no feel for the politics of Katrina which pulled Bush poll numbers to record lows.

As long as Karl Rove stays in the White House doing the terrible job he is doing and bringing the stench of scandal with him every time he walks in the door, the Bush presidency will remain a powerless gang that couldn’t shoot straight. And the ‘dodge the bullet’ chorus will never understand that.

Maybe Rove will be indicted, or help to bring down the poll numbers on the WH because of his scandalous presense and ineffectiveness. But for now, and especially initially after watching Fitzgerald's press conference, it just seems like the White House could have been sunk in one full swoop and it wasn't. I still think that Rove staying in the White House, even doing a "terrible job," is far better for the WH and their pr machine than had he been indicted. From his WH perch, Rove can attempt to control the story. Scalito anyone?

Also, O'Donnell mentions the "awe" of Rove, and although I understand why he thinks Rove is the exact opposite of his reputation for reasons he noted above, I can see why the pundits continue to praise him because his escape from Fitz, temporary as it may be, furthered the Rove myth and only added to that awe.

Friday, October 28, 2005


All over the blogesphere people are celebrating Christmas in October, or Fitzmas. I see where everybody is pumped because the corrupt White House is finally being exposed, and Scooter is in real trouble. And for that, I am thrilled that the dirty tricks of these scumbags will finally see justice. But politically I can't help but feel the President dodged a huge bullet today. The counts against Libby are huge, don't get me wrong, it is a realy dark day at the White House. But, although Rove (official A?) is still under investigation, it would have been monumentally more disruptive to the White House if Rove went down today, and a true reason to celebrate. Monday Bush will name a new Supreme Court nominee (look for him to go with his driver, or maybe even the head White House chef) and that will control the stroy, or at least bring down the heat.
Anyway after months of speculation and a week of heavy speculation, to put it in the words of my friend Chuck, today I feel "meh."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Death or Decoration


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Idiot in The Olive Tree

A friend of mine recently said that he was going to buy Thomas Friedman's new book "The World Is Flat." I think Friedman is an idiot, so I suggested reading Dr. Suess' "Oh the Places You'll Go" because I figured it held the same sort of cartoonish optimism, and was undoubtedly much better written. Anyway, for the past year or so I have really enjoyed reading Matt Taibbi's political articles in Alternet and Rolling Stone. I was searching for his latest and I happened to come across his review of Friedman's book from back in April. Now, I know I am posting this seven months after the fact, but I found it to be the funniest book review I have ever read.
Read the whole thing if you can because Taibbi is just brilliant. Here's a sample:

On an ideological level, Friedman's new book is the worst, most boring kind of middlebrow horseshit. If its literary peculiarities could somehow be removed from the equation, "The World Is Flat" would appear as no more than an unusually long pamphlet replete with the kind of plug-filled, free-trader leg-humping that passes for thought in this country. It is a tale of a man who walks 10 feet in front of his house armed with a late-model Blackberry and comes back home five minutes later to gush to his wife that hospitals now use the internet to outsource the reading of CAT scans. Man flies on planes, observes the wonders of capitalism, says we're not in Kansas anymore. (He actually says we're not in Kansas anymore.) That's the whole plot right there. If the underlying message is all that interests you, read no further, because that's all there is.


[Two major steps towards globilization were] the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the spread of the Windows operating system.

In a Friedman book, the reader naturally seizes up in dread the instant a suggestive word like "Windows" is introduced; you wince, knowing what's coming, the same way you do when Leslie Nielsen orders a Black Russian. And Friedman doesn't disappoint. His description of the early 90s:

The walls had fallen down and the Windows had opened, making the world much flatter than it had ever been--but the age of seamless global communication had not yet dawned.

How the fuck do you open a window in a fallen wall? More to the point, why would you open a window in a fallen wall? Or did the walls somehow fall in such a way that they left the windows floating in place to be opened?

Four hundred and 73 pages of this, folks. Is there no God?

BTW, Taibbi's RS article which I was originally looking for, is here and also well worth your time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bad Layout

Push Is On To Keep Sex Criminals Locked Up.
(Jon Saltzman, Globe Staff) Attempts by prosecutors to keep convicted sex offenders locked up indefinitely even after they serve their prison sentences have reached an all-time high, as district attorneys use recent changes in Massachusetts law that expanded the pool of criminals considered potentially too dangerous to walk the streets..
So I went to the Boston Globe's website today and this was how the front page looked, with a headline for Rosa Parks under the picture. I just thought it looked kinda funny considering the guy in the photo could be seen as a shady sex criminal type. Plus, he's not 'walking the streets' if he's on a bus. If you didn't know this was Rosa Parks, it almost looks as if she knows he's sketchy and she is turning away from him.
Also, was this the honky Rosa woulnd't get up for? If so, and there were that many empty seats that close to Mrs. Parks, than this guy was way more of a douchebag than I already thought he was.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mad MoDo

I love this woman.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wow, this is loony.

I'm a fan too, but this is just nuts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fox News Airs Gay Sex Tape!

(The Scallion) New York, NY Oct. 16 – Viewers of the popular Fox News Channel show Hannity and Colmes saw Tuesday something increasingly familiar to the show’s usual format: an uncensored gay sex tape. The tape features a hunky Sean Hannity and a hearing impaired man partaking in lewd sex acts including mutual masturbation, talking dirty, and something called "soft balls." Ironically, the tape was welcomed with Fox’s usually conservative base and scored record ratings in the Bible belt according to Nielson Media Research.

“I was as shocked as anyone to see that this type of thing resonated throughout the conservative community,” said Evan Yobnonam a spokesman for FNC. “But apparently, our audience loves to have their beliefs challenged in the form of man-on-man lovemaking.” Hannity’s “liberal” counterpart Alan Colmes added “It shows we really are 'fair and balanced,' and not afraid to be a little 'rough.' I am just sorry I wasn’t able to take part.”

It marks the third time in the last year that Hannity has gone to such extremes for ratings, previously “taking a knee” as the staunch conservative calls it, with the President and the Vice President of the United States during last years hotly contested election. “We got a couple of calls for the Dick and Bush tapes, mostly from religious groups,” Yobnonam says. “But, you know, we just tell people ‘Listen, we apologize if the Bible speaks ill of this type of behavior, but our policy is, if Fox News has an exclusive, it gets on the air. Period.’" Taking a shot at the network's rivals, he added, "You are not going to find the President willing to let loose like that on any other network. I mean, do you think CNN would let Larry King do this type of thing with the Commander-in-Chief?’ I think not.”

When challenged that the filming of Hannity domineering over a hearing impaired man might have been over the top for a ratings grab, Yobnonam concedes “That was in poor taste, but to be fair, the dirty talk was scripted before the scene was taped so there was no confusion. And, I may add, ‘Rush’ liked it so much he’s promised to come back." The session was so successful in fact that it went way over time and had to be edited into three parts. However, Hannity promises no scenes were edited out, “You won’t miss a second of homo-eroticism, it’s there in all its glory, I guarantee it.” Part two of the tape can be seen on tonight’s Hannity and Colmes, with the much-anticipated climax tomorrow evening.

Monday, October 17, 2005

When God Speaks

We should all listen.


In New York and Boston, there is a sense that the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry is baseball's first division, and everyone else is Emporia State. But the reality is that the White Sox wiped out the Red Sox -- with ease -- and the Angels outed the Yankees, and the game's two richest teams looked like Karl Rove.

"They both looked very tired," said one advance scout who covered both teams. "They have a lot of stars, but they have a lot of old stars, they didn't have much defense and they didn't have much pitching."

And close to $270M in combined payroll commitments for 2006.


Every one of the 30 teams is flawed, but the Yankees and Red Sox were more flawed than their fans realized, in some cases caused by their reactions to the public's gottagottagottagottagottagetthisguy mentality.

In a sense, they are like the final days of the Soviet Union, prisoners of their own doctrine. David Halberstam recounted a night near the end of that government when he went into a hotel restaurant, asked for a table for two and was told he couldn't be seated because the tables for two were taken, although there were dozens of tables for four that were empty.

The Cold War notion is passé. There are 28 other teams, four of whom are still playing.

A New Secretary

This would be great:

Among the new secretary's duties are preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution of the United States, commanding the U.S. armed forces, appointing judges and ambassadors, and vetoing congressional legislation. The secretary will also be tasked with overseeing all foreign and domestic affairs, including those relating to the economy, natural disasters, national infrastructure, homeland security, poverty, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

More from the Deli

I'll take my propaganda sandwich with no mayo please.

These people are just sick. Who thinks Rove's legal battle is interfering with the White House's daily operations? How could anyone attach "political genius" to describing how poor this little stunt went today?

I want to see some GOP brownshirt stick up for this pathetic display. Could Bush have been more nervous? I thought that with August and September gone the GOP would finally get back to the methodical Goebbels inspired pageantry show, but with Karl distracted, maybe October is going to be a free fall as well.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Good Journalism

Go see this now. I saw it today and then just walked around in a daze at how little the GOP, and we the idiot public have changed.

Today, in an age where the fear mongering from our government rivals that of the red scare and is not only unchecked but actually aided by a ratings-thirsty corporate media, we need movies like Good Night and Good Luck. We need to be reminded of how easy it was for the government to frighten the public and literally take our rights and liberties away. The way that complete abuse of power and abandonment of the constitution was ultimately checked was by a journalist, Edward R. Murrow, who was unafraid to ask tough questions. Unfortunately the press has changed, as Murrow ominously warned, and there are very few today in the so-called-liberal-media still brave enough to do anything close to what Murrow did.

Today we are lucky if the media stops for a second to check the lies they themselves are intentionally or unintentionally telling. They are busy arguing and promoting cconflict which makes for better ratings. Ignored in today's media are facts, and real stories that need to be told but may be a wash in the ratings. But every once in a while in the mainstream media there is a shining example of asking questions that need to be asked. Today Keith Olberman did something that until now was the stuff of bloggers and comedians (Jon Stewart, David Cross, Air America). He asked a serious, debatable question that if true, is right up there with McCarthyism/Red Scare legend, and endangers the Republic we live in. (Complete abuse of power/Boy who cried wolf, anyone?) If not true, then at least questions are being asked and debate is returning to national discussion.

Anyway, have you ever noticed that the "terror alerts" our government issues almost always follow bad news for the administration?

Well, many people have including the people at Countdown. Watch this for some good journalism that has been largely absent from the same media that brought us years of blue dress stains. (The three other examples are here.)

Update (10/13/05) : I have just read that Rhode Island journalism legend Jack White has died. You can read about him here. White won a Pulitzer prize for writing about President Nixon's tax fraud. When asked about White's story, Nixon offered famously "People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook." Well, we all know how that one ended. White also broke the news of Buddy Cianci's indictment, an announcement Cianci himself learned about from White's report. White also won an Emmy for his coverage of Joe Mollicone and the credit union scandals- something I vividly remember watching when I was younger. All in all he was a true journalist who had a fantastic career. He will surely be missed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Two hits

OK, so my visiting-cousin-induced coma is over. sorry for the lack of posts (outside of baseball, I really couldn't do much else). I have been reading a lot around the web and I feel like for today, the best thing I could do would be to post two of the links that struck me (outside of horrible pictures from the earthquake) the most interesting.

This clip (a video from crooks and liars) describes the Plame affair better than anything I have seen. Since indictments are likely (I still doubt Rove will take an actual fall, probably just Libby) I figured a little explanation was in order since a lot of the people I have spoken with only have a vague idea of the what happened in the case.

And this link (from rocketboom) that describes a way to shortcut your way to HUMANS, rather than computer prompts, while calling customer sevice numbers at places such as Bank of America, Apple, and hundreds more. Definetly an "add to favorites" link if I have ever seen one.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Angels in the Outfield

It had to be an act from God. Or maybe hell's angels, because schadenfreude shouldn't be this much joy.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

October's Back.

I was feeling despair, loss, aggrivation, fury, and then hope for next year. Ahhh, October, I truly missed you.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Phish New Orleans Benefit (Do letters work?)

I thought this was interesting. On Sept. 1st I wrote this to Betty of Phish Inc.:

Hello People of Phish,
I was just wondering if you would be willing to tie in sales of the Superjam, Duo + Gordon, and/or any other archived Phish shows in New Orleans to benefit those hit by Katrina.
Just a thought,

Well, apparantly they had the same line of thought (and/or thousands of fans suggested the same thing- I am in no way trying to claim anything here, I just think it is interesting) because Phish released today their 1996 New Orleans Jazz Festival performance. As a bonus, they released the complete set II from their show at Tipitina's in November of 1991 as filler when you purchase the jazzfest show (that's a spicy meatball!). They also released a benefit Tee Shirt and a limited edition Jim Pollock poster (above)- all proceeds going to the Tipitina's Foundation and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

The setlist for the show is below and you can get for 9.95 (Mp3) and 12.95 (FLAC).

Get some great tunes and goods and help a very worthy cause!

Ya Mar
Cars Trucks Buses
You Enjoy Myself
Wolfman's Brother
Scent of a Mule

Harry Hood
Sample in a Jar
A Day in the Life
David Bowie

Hello My Baby

Bouncing Around the Room
My Sweet One

David Bowie
Take The A-Train
Love You

Rocky Top

Lawn Boy

Great Speech

Lots of good points here. This guy should be president.

Al Gore:

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?


The present executive branch has made it a practice to try and control and intimidate news organizations: from PBS to CBS to Newsweek. They placed a former male escort in the White House press pool to pose as a reporter - and then called upon him to give the president a hand at crucial moments. They paid actors to make make phony video press releases and paid cash to some reporters who were willing to take it in return for positive stories. And every day they unleash squadrons of digital brownshirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President.

For these and other reasons, The US Press was recently found in a comprehensive international study to be only the 27th freest press in the world. And that too seems strange to me.


The coverage of political campaigns focuses on the "horse race" and little else. And the well-known axiom that guides most local television news is "if it bleeds, it leads." (To which some disheartened journalists add, "If it thinks, it stinks.")

In fact, one of the few things that Red state and Blue state America agree on is that they don't trust the news media anymore.

Clearly, the purpose of television news is no longer to inform the American people or serve the public interest. It is to "glue eyeballs to the screen" in order to build ratings and sell advertising. If you have any doubt, just look at what's on: The Robert Blake trial. The Laci Peterson tragedy. The Michael Jackson trial. The Runaway Bride. The search in Aruba. The latest twist in various celebrity couplings, and on and on and on.

And more importantly, notice what is not on: the global climate crisis, the nation's fiscal catastrophe, the hollowing out of America's industrial base, and a long list of other serious public questions that need to be addressed by the American people.

One morning not long ago, I flipped on one of the news programs in hopes of seeing information about an important world event that had happened earlier that day. But the lead story was about a young man who had been hiccupping for three years. And I must say, it was interesting; he had trouble getting dates. But what I didn't see was news.

This was the point made by Jon Stewart, the brilliant host of "The Daily Show," when he visited CNN's "Crossfire": there should be a distinction between news and entertainment.
And it really matters because the subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: it leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. And when the people are not informed, they cannot hold government accountable when it is incompetent, corrupt, or both.


Our democracy has been hallowed out. The opinions of the voters are, in effect, purchased, just as demand for new products is artificially created. Decades ago Walter Lippman wrote, "the manufacture of consent...was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy...but it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in technique...under the impact of propaganda, it is no longer plausible to believe in the original dogma of democracy."

Like you, I recoil at Lippman's cynical dismissal of America's gift to human history. But in order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum and create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future. Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the Rule of Reason. We must, for example, stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth.


This reminds me, shouldn't illegally purchasing and producing favorable news reports with taxpayer dollars should be an impeachable offense? Where's the outrage from Republicans that the principals of communism are being used by Dear Leader and paid for by us?

Also, see here for how it used to work.

And here for Al's new network, which he talks about at the end of the speech. On that note, the news there is done well, some very interesting mini-docs dealing seriously in subjects not touched by the so-called liberal mainstream media. The pullout in gaza, attacks on demostrators in miami, etc. But the network is almost counter productive in how it delivers news and programming. For instance, the network theme reminds me of the board room creation of Poochie The Dog. (See Max Lugavere on a couch for instance...) It's too "hip and new as brought to you be the unhip and old" to be taken seriously and therefore, probably won't be. That's unfortunate, especially because it appears to be so self inflicting... countdown clocks at the bottom of each segment (called "pods"... for Christ's sake!) and hard news as brought to you by surfing co-eds and of course an overt coolness that actually makes it bland. I have to say, I hope it succeeds for a number of reasons because some of the programming is truly interesting, but they have to have an identity that they, and their audience can be comfortable with. I may have an important story to tell, but if I decide the best way to do it is to scream in a park, who's going to really listen? Right now, they are just juggling too many hats. Again, think Poochie.
My advice, first get rid of headtilters like Max Lugavere and the new age studios and MTVish crazy camera angles. Then stop repeating everything to the point where I think someone in production is just fucking with me by using the same loop. And then, please, please, identify who you want as an audience and have those people make more decisions on marketing, programming, and presentation. If you want the PBS intellect, stop presenting it with TRL.

Support Our Troops

Six Iraq Vets are running for office as (gasp) Democrats.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Reason number 293,071 why I love San Francisco

This city is so progressive we are actually arguing whether the internet should be a public utility and is a "fundamental right" for the citizens here.

Free wireless everywhere.

That is just so cool.


Who needs a house seat when you can win in the Senate?

David Shuster on 'make believe'

Former Faux Newsman has "serious issues."

Monday, October 03, 2005

The party of no ideas strikes again!!!

We could give tax breaks to big oil, and money and power to Saudis or we could listen to Montana governor Brian Schweitzer's great idea. Get familiar with this man. I have been impressed with him for a while now and he, like New Mexico's Bill Richardson, are straight talking midwesterners that could be the key figures in the future Democratic Party.

Here's a little but read the whole thing...

...America is addicted to foreign oil, and like any addict we are at the mercy of the pushers and require an intervention. Montana, among other states, is trying to help America get clean by promoting a range of modern domestic energy strategies. Yet our biggest idea is actually a very old recipe: gasoline made from coal instead of oil.

Most people are surprised to learn that we can produce gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products out of coal. Indeed, the process was used in America as early as 1928. In World War II, 92 percent of Germany's aviation fuel and half its total petroleum came from synthetic-fuel plants. South Africa has used a similar technology for 50 years, and now makes 200,000 barrels per day of synthetic gasoline and diesel.


Like all Americans, Montanans are tired of this nonsense. We are tired of paying $3 a gallon for gas, tired of watching third-world nations overtake us in energy innovation, and tired of supporting the kind of tyrants that young Americans have spent two centuries fighting and dying to defeat.

Synfuel, ethanol, biodiesel, wind power, solar power, hydrogen - these are no longer dreamy ideas. They are now real and ready solutions, and with a national committment behind them, America can kick the foreign oil habit for good.

Rudy Wheresacameraianni Is Full of Shit

"I will be considering it next year."


Who sets a year-off deadline for when their mind will process thoughts? Thoughts like will you, Americas second most favorite Republican run for President? And are we to believe that Rudy Guilianni has NOT considered running for President? Gimme a break. I've given it hours of thought, and I was never mayor during the worst attack on our country. My nickname isn't America's Mayor. Hours of thought, and my best quality is self deprecation. I mean, maybe if the question was, "Will you ever fully endorse Fantasy Baseball" and he said, "I will be considering it next year," it would be believable. But, President? Hasn't he been considering it his whole life?

Just have the balls to say it America's Yankee Fan!