30 September 2008

Now here's a bloody good question for Thursday...

"Governor Palin, do you believe that mankind and dinosaurs co-existed as recently as 6,000 years ago?"
Not to (intentionally) demean her religious beliefs but someone that divorced from reality should never be one seventy year old man's heartbeat from access to the nuclear codes!

29 September 2008

Proud to be Pennsylvanian*

The state I grew up in, and in which I lived the majority of my life, Pennsylvania is home to nearly 20% of juveniles serving life without paroles. Now that's something to be proud of.

*Note to ordinary Americans: this is what is known as "irony". Look it up.

Truly shocking news

It turns out that Captain Codpiece and his evil minions had no plan to track down and capture (or murder) Osama bin Laden after 11 September 2001.

But then when have they ever had a plan for anything?

If you set the bar low enough...

...even Ramb-ette might be able to clear it. David Brooks tells the Sunday morning talks shows that Ms. Palin is smart enough to "rise to the level of mediocrity."

And he's on her side!

Your attention please

Saturday marked the opening of the first, and hopefully last, Sarah Palin Memorial Banned Books Week. Look here for an event near you!

Living in the 16th century

At least the venerable Bill Donohue of the self-styled American Catholic League seems to be as he defends the Republican Vice Presidential hockey mom candidate from the scorn cast upon her for seeking protection from witches by assuring us that witches are real.

Hate crime alert

Some decent and tolerant Ohioans have getting almost no coverage in the US press. Imagine the furore if the same had happened to a synagogue; possible after the distribution of an anti-Judaic publications in the area.

I hope it's not an omen.


I was shat on by a pigeon on my way to Bromley South this morning; suit fresh from the dry cleaners of course!

The dream lives on!!!!


In the end the Phighting Phils won the division at a canter. Playoffs start on Wednesday.

27 September 2008

R.I.P.


Paul Newman - 1925 - 2008. He shall be sorely missed.

Now here's a job I think that Sarah Palin could do

Yuko Obuchi, daughter of former Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, has been named the country's Minister of the Declining Birthrate.

Meanwhile in Torbay

The residents of the Devon town are looking on the bright side of life now that they are finally allowed to see Monty Python's Life of Brian after a 29 year wait. don't anyone spoil their fun by telling them how it ends, OK?

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 90: he hates America so much he refused to wear a flag pin at last night's debate thereby proving he is an atheistic, Muslim, communist America hater! Unleash the right wing attack dogs!

It must have been all that free checking

Washington Mutual has slipped into bankruptcy after the sale of its banking operations to JP Morgan with the potential loss of thousands of jobs. But at least one ex-employee won't risk financial disaster; the CEO of the failed institution Alan Fishman stands to get $13 million in severance after roughly two months on the job. Heartwarming.

In word "No"

The Independent asks the question we all wish we had thought of first: "Can Palin give a coherent answer?"

Today in Schadenfreude

It turns out that right wingers are just a bunch of scaredy pants; no wonder the fear thing works so well.

Still dreaming!

The Phighting Phils magic number is 1!

24 September 2008

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 89: John McCain suddenly wants to postpone Friday's debate to concentrate on a subject he admits he knows nothing about. Seriously, what the fuck is he going to do? Stump up a bit of Cindy's fortune for the good of the American people. Unlikely I'd say.

Dear Senator Bunning

As a lifelong (and third generation) Phillies fan I have fond memories of Fathers' Day 1964 but before you make any more pronouncements about the alleged socialism of the proposed bailout of America's mismanaged financial sector I suggest that you revisit your Political Science 101 texts; assuming you ever took Political Science.

Socialism is public ownership for the good of the many. This is public ownership for the good of a very few.

Socialism is income redistribution from those with significant resources to those without significant resources. This is income redistribution from those without significant resources to those with considerable resources.

This is not socialism; this is naked theft. It is the formalisation of the kleptocracy that unrestricted capitalism is anyway.

Time to hit the books Jim.

A quiz for Governor Palin

Now that you've met, or are about to meet, the leaders of Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia (hint: not the state), the Ukraine, Iraq, Pakistan and India how many of them can you find on a world map, one without the names on?

I reckon no more than four, which is probably better than Captain Codpiece can do ever now!

Today in Schadenfreude

Herman Taylor Jr. is a Maryland state legislator who put forward a proposal that all Maryland drivers convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol be issued with "DUI" number plates. He must be thanking his lucky stars that his proposal wasn't adopted now that he's been arrested for that very offence!

And for those who think I just pick on Repuli-con; Mr. Taylor is a Demon-crat.

What's $13 billion amongst friends?

Yet another $13 billion dollars of American taxpayer money poured down the shit hole in Iraq on projects that "were not needed [or] were never built". I'm glad we have a Harvard MBA for President; aren't you?

23 September 2008

A musical interlude

I thought this might be appropriate in light of the US Treasury's "here take some money please" socialism for the rich bail out of the dumb fucks who got us in this mess in the first place.

If this is true is it not treason?

In an interview with al-Iraqiya television Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki claimed that the Bush mis-administration is delaying the final date for US withdrawal from its illegal occupation of Iraq due to "political circumstances related to the domestic situation"; i.e. helping John "The Aged One" McCain and his sidekick Ramb-ette get elected. I pity the parents and family of any soldier (or any innocent Iraqi) who dies in the meantime. Somehow I don't believe that they will see a McCain victory as adequate trade off for a human life; any human life.

Today in infamy


On this day, 56 years ago, Vice President Richard Nixon gave his infamous Checkers speech and got to keep his job; and his wife's respectable Republican cloth coat; and the dog. When I was at university one of my mates had a copy of the speech on Super 8; we used to watch it whilst smoking bongs of Afghani hash - endless hours of entertainment.





After eight years of Captain Codpiece I am suddenly nostalgic for the good old Nixon years.

Shorter Henry Paulson

"I plan on being a CEO when I leave this job!"

So just how big is our overdraft?

Today marks the day for 2008 that we humans have exhausted the resources the planet can provide for the year and starts eating into the reserves. Ecological Debt Day comes 17 days earlier than last year. And remember this is a debt that China can't finance for us.

Today in Schadenfreude

Perhaps they should stop calling it an "approval rating" as Captain Codpiece's rating hit 19%. Of course this still means he's about ten points ahead of both "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney and Congress.

Just who the fuck are these people and why are they allowed to vote?

Still dreaming!


The Phighting Phils magic number is 4!

22 September 2008

A message for Shelley Maggitti

I understand your pain. I am a 1973 graduate of Unionville High School and it's lonely out there, isn't it? I did the dishonourable thing and ran away.

I'd recommend you put the signs up anyway and let the sons of bitches sue you (but that's just me).

Reassuring words

I have just finished reading Philippe Sands's excellent and disturbing book Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law Philippe Sands. In it the eminent human rights attorney, who used to share chambers with St. Tony's wife Cherie Booth (whatever did they talk about), tracks the involvement of the lawyers in the American path to torture and violations of international law. In one of the later chapters Mr. Sands discusses with an unnamed Judge and prosecutor from a NATO country the possible expose of these seven or eight people to international prosecution. In the words of the Judge:

"It's a matter of time, these things take time. And then something unexpected happens, when one of these lawyers travels to the wrong place."

So we have something to look forward to then.

By the way if you have read Mr. Sands's other equally disturbing book Lawless World it is well worth a read as well.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 88: not so deep down he's really a socialist! Someone has best tell Ms. Palin - I'm sure she wouldn't want to go on seeking the Vice-Presidency with such a seditious running mate.

Why does the Pope hate Jesus?

It appears that the Roman Catholic Church, with the full approval of Il Papa, is coming down firmly on the side of science and evolution and not on the side of "useless" creationism. Whatever with the wing nuts say about this?

Time to just say no (or when $700,000,000 just isn't enough)!

The ink isn't even dry on US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's income redistribution plan for the rich and already the greedy fuckers are begging for more.

This deal cannot be allowed to go through as is. The have to been a number of quid pro quo including:
  • serious new regulation of the banking and investment industries, especially derivatives and short selling;
  • limits on executive salaries and bonuses, including the cancellation of bonuses and golden parachutes for any and all executives and board members of firms who receive these taxpayer subsidies for, say, the next five years;
  • and a means for the return of some portion of the taxpayer investment from future profits;
  • additional protections from foreclosure for primary residences of middle class, working class and poor households.
If this goes through as is it will be amongst the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class, working class and the poor to the extremely wealthy in history.

A very Alaskan coup

It would seem that (ex)-Governor Palin is no longer running the state of Alaska, if she ever did, as enquiries about state business are now being handled by McCain campaign headquarters. Maybe she should resign.

A man can dream!


Only six games left, all at home, and the Phighting Phils have a game and half lead!

20 September 2008

The coming war with Pakistan

The government of Pakistan has made it perfectly clear that it will not tolerate violations of international law in the form of unwelcome American incursions into Pakistani territory.

How can you tell Sarah Palin is lying?

Here lips are moving.

Today's (extremely unlikely) hero!

Britain's Prince Phillip who told the control and spin freaks from 10 Downing Street to, and I quote, "fuck off" over their plans for the funeral of Princess Diana.

OK then here's the deal

We need a quid pro quo for this $1,000,000,000,000 bail out of America's shockingly poorly run banks. And the quid pro quo I suggest if this: the board members, the CEO, the COO, the CFO and all and sundry executive Vice Presidents of any institution that sticks the American taxpayer, or perhaps more accurately the grandchildren of the American taxpayer, with the dross of their business are prohibited forever from ever serving as a board member, a CEO, a COO, a CFO or an executive Vice President of any financial institution AND they must accept the same severance package as any ordinary employee of their business has access to (including pension and stock rights). I think it's only fair, don't you?

I don't know what is more shocking

That Sean Hannity is such an offensive and unprofessional fuck or that he is so wrong about the American economy; he seems to think it's great. But I reckon when you're on $20 million a year the economy is pretty good; at least for you.

hannity offensive fuck – economy is great

Shorter Rush Limbaugh

"Obama started it. He had a black father!"

Welcome to the 12th century

Not in Iran; not in Saudi Arabia; in America as a chain of Christian bookshops takes Gospel Today off the shelves for daring to show five fully dressed female pastors on the cover; after all passing on the word of God is only a man's job!

Either it's a miracle....

...or there's a water leak upstairs as Jesus "appears" on a ceiling tile.

19 September 2008

Just in case anyone is worried...


...it is a lovely autumn afternoon here in Old Blighty; the sun is shining, there's a gentle breeze and it's about 17C. It is also Friday so I shall shortly be heading off to the pub garden to enjoy a pint of London Pride or ten.

A reminder of the good bad old days

Does this remind anyone else of the glory days of the Great Depression?

Can someone explain to me...

... why this ban on short selling is only to be temporary? I will gladly concede that perhaps it should be if someone could point to any legitimate purpose to it other than speculation and gambling.

Come the revoluition...

...these three must surely be on the short list for first against the wall; especially if they ever have the temerity to suggest that they've "earned" this obscene amount of money for virtually no work.

18 September 2008

Today in maths

If x = 7 months what does 1/x equal?

Imagine that Iraqi confessed to standing guard whilst four Americans were bound, hooded and executed. In the unlikely event that he would ever be given a trial and found guilty do you think that the sentence would be seven months? I think not.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 87: the pain of Spain falls mainly on McCain. What a complete and utter dolt. In his defense, however, we should remember that Spanish Prime Minister (Presidente)Jose Luis Zapatero is a socialist which rhymes with communist....

Dear Captain Codpiece,


How prescient of you to recognise that Manchester United shirt sponsor, the great American insurance company AIG, could not be allowed to fail. Clearly the knock on effect on that most important of world institutions, the English Premier League, would have been disastrous and the impact on world football* would have been immeasurable.

I would like to point out to you that, as important as the Premiership is, it is built on the foundation of the lower divisions, notably the English Championship. Ergo I am sure that you understand that should Crystal Palace's shirt sponsor, the renowned GAC Logistics, should ever find themselves in financial difficulty you will certainly do the right thing and step in to prevent the dominoes from toppling and possibly destroying the world economy.

Yours in football,

Yank in London

17 September 2008

Yet another terrorist attack on US soil

At least sixteen people have died in an attack on the US embassy in Sannaa, Yemen. As embassies are the sovereign territory of the US this represents yet another terrorist attack on US soil since 11 September 2001; as opposed to the "none" that American right wingers like to throw about.

As a Crystal Palace supporter I object

Once again corporate socialism is all the rage in the US as the US government takes over Manchester United's shirt sponsor the insurance group AIG. So, when do we bail out Palace and get us some new players, eh?




With American owners and a nationalised shirt sponsor will they be playing the "Star Spangled Banner" before home matches?

The surge is working!!!!

The Phillies surge that is!

16 September 2008

15 September 2008

Lehman we hardly knew ye!

Or how to go from boom (2006) to bust (2008) in two easy years. But don't worry I'm sure that CEO Richard Ruld will give back most of the $22.1 million he "earned" last year to make up the losses.

Now that Governor Palin has...

....declared victory in Iraq one can only assume that we need a new war to keep us occupied and, by Jove, it seems we might have one. Perhaps this trouble is on the Iraq - Pakistan border. Maybe we should ask Senator McCain.

13 September 2008

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 86: it is reported that under the skillful administration of his running mate the town of Wasilla AK charged rape victims for the rape kits used to collect evidence. If this story proves to be true any woman that votes for her and her running mate is a traitor to her sex.

No sex for oil!

Bush administration officials tasked with collecting billions of dollars from oil giants in royalty fees found that sex and drugs made their job more enjoyable; no word on rock and roll.

I am certain that the oil companies involved will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law; or not as the case may be.

The last word

About all this furore about the lipstick on a pig remark by Senator Obama last week. Seriously no one really believes this was about Ms. Palin do they....



...it was clearly directed at Ruby Giuliani!

Come the revoluition...

...I think that these blokes from the Dorchester should be amongst the first lined up against the wall.

12 September 2008

Why does General Petraeus hate America?

He has told the BBC that he may never use the word "victory" to describe the cluster fuck situation in Iraq. I eagerly await the righteous attacks on his patriotism and honour from our friends on the far, far, far right.

A message for Il Papa

If there is a God, and there almost certainly isn't, She doesn't give a flying fuck about the fate of Alitalia. If She does She isn't God.

That is all.

11 September 2008

Never forget...

..the first 9/11, arguably a greater act of terror and certainly a bigger disaster for Chile then the later, and more famous, 9/11 was to America.

(Not quite) live from (the anti-) Zagreb

At first blush it may have appeared that yesterday's start up of the Large Hadron Collider didn't destroy the universe but after watching the footie last night I have a different theory. The experiments did in fact destroy the universe we used to exist in and we got transferred to an anti-universe where the England football team isn't shite. It's just a theory but how else can one explain it?

10 September 2008

First came the surge...

...now comes the (Sssh)urge as Captain Codpiece slips an additional handful of troops into Afghanistan.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 86: with all due respect to Senator McCain's daughter Meghan she was guilty of incredible hubris when she told the country that

"No one knows what war is like other than my family. Period."

One can only suspect that she is simply parroting what her father drilled into her and, whilst he may know what war is like (and he is certainly and unfortunately not the only human being alive) who can make the claim, the rest of the family including Meghan and certainly her mother, do not.



Meghan - I think you will find that each of the children pictured above know more about war than any members of your family than your father and they may, in fact, understand war even better than him.

Today in (not) knife news

The Swiss Army has decided to give the contract to produce knives for the Army to the company who has always made them, Victorinox. No word if there are any new gadgets planned.

Shameless

I just caught up with this absolutely shameful incident from the Republi-con convention. I can only imagine the right wing outrage if the Democrats had had the incredible bad taste and hubris to try something similar.

I was particularly charmed by the chants of "USA USA" as if 11 September was a bloody under-21 football match we lost but we plan on getting our own back in the away fixture.

Not with a bang but a whimper

The good (and incredibly bright) folks at CERN have already managed to get a beam of protons all the way around the Large Hadron Collider and the world has not ended. The end of the world is now scheduled for sometime shortly after Captain Codpiece bombs Iran in early January.

09 September 2008

The news from the Keystone State

The head of Pennsylvania's Federation of College Republicans, one Adam LaDuca, has been forced to resign after he made "insensitive" comments about Barack Obama on his Facebook page. The recalcitrant Mr. LaDuca had written that the junior Senator from Illinois had "a pair of lips so large he could float half of Cuba to the shores of Miami (and probably would.)" In his defense the young man said that he is not a racist and that "it was just a dumb move on my part to make a statement like that public". (Emphasis mine.)

The 21 year old Kutztown State student, undoubtedly majoring in media studies is expected to graduate from the University sometime in 2025 and immediately move to Alaska and run for governor.

Here we go again

Fraser Nelson, of the right wing magazine The Spectator has used the term "uppity" to refer to Senator Obama. Given that Mr. Nelson is British, but not stupid, he might make the argument that he doesn't understand the repugnant and racist undertones, but I don't believe. Rep. Westmoreland has has tried to plead ignorance for the same remark but, given that he's from Georgia, there is no chance that any intelligent American would believe him.

Today in Schadenfreude

The mindless cult of "Church" of Scientology is facing fraud charges in France. Now if this would only happen in the UK so that I wouldn't have to run the gauntlet of "free stress tests" every Saturday on Bromley High Street!

08 September 2008

Oh the hypocrisy

Captain Codpiece has challenged America to go off and volunteer just about the time he plans to ride off into the sunset and maybe make some money by sucking at the corporate teat. Thanks for the advice matey! (And, by the way, I was volunteering, albeit in another country, long before you suggested it.)

For fuck's sake, I moved here to get away from this shit

Apparently 27 October is going to be take your bloody Bible to work day here in Britain; a glorious event when as many as 100 Bibles will get dragged off of lonely cupboard shelves and be given the opportunity to suffer through a commute on BR and the Tube. Trust me; even God can't sort that out!

Is there still hope?

Can the Phillies still win the National League East? As a third generation Phillies fan, whose family has suffered through every last one of the Phillies 10,000+ losses I still live and dream.



Note: 1964 is still my favourite bad year!

Today in irony

The world's "free" markets celebrate a socialist takeover in America. Isn't that just grand?

06 September 2008

Then they're not worth saving

According to a poll conducted for The Independent only the return of St. Tony Blair as leader could save the Labour Party from defeat at the next election.

In that case "so long it's been good to know you" as far as I am concerned.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 85: he wants us to believe that Sarah Palin is ready to immediately step into the most powerful position in the world whilst simultaneously being far from ready to be able to speak to the press; and you can bet when she is "ready" it will be Faux News!

A challenge for John McCain and the lovely Ramb-ette

It is patently obvious that the team of mavericks and outsiders that are trying to make you President are doing everything in their power to ensure that the ethics investigation into the behaviour of Ms. Palin cannot be completed before the election. I promise not to whinge about this unseemly behaviour if you promise that, should the completion of the investigation be delayed beyond the election date and you win, both you and Ms. Palin will resign immediately, even if you have not yet taken office, if she is found to have abused the office of Governor of (the great state of) Alaska. Deal?

When can we expect your resignation Representative Westmoreland?

Because I don't believe that there is an American alive who believes a white Republican from Georgia who claims that he doesn't know that using the term "uppity" to describe an African American is offensive.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 84: the team surrounding him are so completely inept and incompetent that they managed to use a photo of Walter Reed Middle School instead of Walter Reed Hospital as a backdrop for McCain's horrendous acceptance speech. One would think that if they really, really cared for the troops at least one of the team might actually have been to Walter Reed and have been able to tell that the photo wasn't correct; apparently not.

Hey, isn't this socialism?

The US Federal Reserve looks poised to takeover the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage lenders under government control. This time why don't be just keep them in the public sector, OK?

Hero of the day

U.S. District Judge James Robertson who has told the US Treasury Department to get off its arse and stop fucking over blind people. The Treasury has been stalling this issue for ages; once suggesting that might introduce colours in order to address the problem.

What's in a word?

Samantha Bee scours the RNC looking for a word, and finally finds it. (I feel particularly sorry for the youngish woman.)

I'm sure that the punishment will be severe (right?)

Boeing Corporation is once again facing charges of defrauding America's taxpayers in it's ever so friendly dealings with the Pentagon. Of course this tiny and insignificant matter cannot be allowed to stand in the way of their having another shot at that refueling plane contract.

A word of advice in a warming world

If you don't already live on a hill (I do!) you might want to think about moving as scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison think that sea level rises might more than twice what the IPCC predicts. Good thing it's all in own minds, eh?

04 September 2008

They never met an international law they couldn't break

Yesterday American forces, without the approval of the Pakistani government, violated Pakistani sovereignty and launched an attack in the North West Frontier province that killed between 10 and 20 people; many of them civilians according to local sources. Now it is impossible to argue that there are not significant problems in the lawless frontier area but this is no way to address them nor is it likely to convince the Pakistani government, now no longer lead by Captain Codpiece's beloved ex-General, to increase cooperation.

And the Eternal Global War on Terra runs on and on and on and on. Am I the only one who thinks that this lot would prefer this war to never end?

Note to "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney: this could be considered bullying. I thought you should know.

Say it ain't so!

I've cut out cod. I've cut out monk fish. But I'm not bloody cutting out anchovies so they just better go and find so more!

The irony never, ever stops!

"I'm a Big" Dick Cheney is visiting Georgia (not the one with the Waffle Museum) where he has accused Russia of being a bully. I guess, as a member in good standing of the undead, he can't actually see his reflection in a mirror, can he?

I hope you didn't miss this

Albert Stanley, appointed to run KBR by none other than current US Vice President (and non-hockey mom) "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney whilst Cheney was running Halliburton, has pleaded guilty to paying millions in bribes to win contracts for KBR. Fortunately, with influential friends in the White House the bribes are no longer necessary and the contracts just keep pouring in!

Be careful what you say, someone might be taping

A most amusing clip from the Daily Show where Jon Stewart notes the somewhat contradictory statements from Karl Rove, Bill-o O'Reilly, Dick Morris and some woman named Nancy in support of Governor Palin. Watch & enjoy.

Yum...

...good, old-fashioned homemade Alaskan pork. Not bad; $26 million for a town of around six or seven thousand people.

R.I.P.

The animator of Peanuts, Bill Melendez, has died at the age of 91.

I think this just leaves the PTA

It seems that, despite insistence by the McCain campaign that she had commanded the Alaska National Guard and the cancellation of an interview Larry King because a CNN newsreader questioned this, Sarah Palin has never ordered the Alaska National Guard to do anything; ever!

Ooops

Someone left a mike on and Repuli-con shills Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan say some very unkind things about the divinely inspired choice of Gov. Sarah Palin to be John McCain's fellow loser. Undoubtedly they are guilty of pernicious sexism.

03 September 2008

The sound you now hear...

...is the sound of my head banging against a brick wall (and - yes - it fucking hurts). The Iraq government has plans to reopen Abu Ghraib prison including a museum of the "crimes committed by the previous regime". There is no word as yet if the years 2003 - 2007 will be included as part of this magnificent exhibit.

And I leave you with...

...the misleading headline of the day: "Dutch Dykes in Need of Massive Overhaul" from Radion Netherlands. The story doesn't even discuss lesbians!

The end of the world

There's only seven days left before the Large Hadron Collider at CERN destroys the world as we know but the good folks at Reason Magazine say that we have nothing to worry about.

I'm still worried....

Scottish churches become useful

With congregations dwindling to the point that "congregation" probably isn't the right word some of Scotland's churches are seeking planning permission to demolish themselves and put up social housing! I can see Jesus smiling.

Do I smell an Oscar?

Apparently my former junior Senator, the ever entertaining and highly un-intelligent "Little" Ricky "Man-on-Dog" Santorum has made a film. Clearly this will be a bundle of laughs; none of them where he thinks they are. Unfortunately I'm unwilling to shuffle any funds his way so I reckon I'll never get the chance to piss myself laughing!

Today in Schadenfreude

Former US Attorney General Alberto "Gone-zo" Gonzales really is an idiot. His excuse for leaving top secret papers in his briefcase at home? He couldn't remember the combination to his "safe".

The Ramb-ette Roundup

Now that we've covered the issue of Governor Palin's daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy it's time to have a look at the other issues bubbling up around her. What's a valid issue and what's not? So in no particular order:

  • Her husband's job with BP. He is an oil worker of some sort and that, in and of itself, is not an issue.

    However he took a leave of absence from his job after his wife was elected to office to help with the family but went back because the family "needs the income". This strikes me as a bit elitist. AFter all Ms. Palin's wages as Governor of Alaska are around $86K per annum which puts the family right on the cusp of the top 10% of earners in America. Did they really need the money? One thinks not.

    So the fact he works for BP isn't relevant but their idea of how much money is not enough is.

    VERDICT: VALID ISSUE!

  • Reports are surfacing that she was either a member of the Alaska Independence Party or, at the least, a fellow traveller. The AIP has as it's basis a belief that "the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote [was] illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law". This hardly sounds like the "America first" rhetoric we are hearing from the campaign and some, but not me, might call it treason.

    The defense that she was a registered Republican all along is absolutely meaningless. Voter registration in the states is not the same as membership in a party. It is often a matter of convenience. One can register for any party one wants and, living in Chester County, I often registered as a Republican in order to vote in local Republican primaries; the only meaningful votes there were in local elections.

    VERDICT: VALID ISSUE!

  • The "baby Daddy" of the younger Ms. Palin describes himself on his now private MySpace page as a "fucking redneck" who doesn't want kids.

    VERDICT: Amusing, and possibly trouble for the longer term prospects of his upcoming marriage but NOT A VALID ISSUE!


  • She seems to think that the American Pledge of Allegiance was written by the founding fathers, including the "under God" bit.

    She couldn't be more wrong. It was written by a, (Shock! Horror!), socialist in the late nineteenth century and the "under God" bit was added during the dark days of the McCarthy era after a campaign by the not-very-secular Knights of Columbus.

    VERDICT: goes to knowledge and character - VALID ISSUE!

  • She seems to think that it is appropriate to pray for pipelines!

    VERDICT: demeaning of (a non-existent) God - VALID ISSUE!

  • She has been accused of, and is currently being investigated for abuse of her powers as governor and there is evidence that the McCain campaign is bearing pressure to bear to delay the completion of this investigation, due at the end of October, until after the election.

    VERDICT: (silly question really) - EXTREMELY VALID ISSUE!

  • She used her line item veto as governor to slash funding for housing for teenage mothers.

    VERDICT: Irrespective of her daughter's current condition - goes to her anti-feminist, anti-human credential - VALID ISSUE! (I guess if she and McCain win in November the daughter, the "baby Daddy" and the baby will be able to share a spare room at Number One Observatory Circle and avail themselves of fine, taxpayer funded health care so no need for Alaskan money for them at least!)

  • There are those that are questioning her experience given that she has only been in charge of Alaska, a state with roughly three times the population of Bromley, for less than two years and before that it was the undoubtedly lovely town of Wasilla AK. I think this picture of the Wasilla town hall says it all.


    VERDICT: VALID ISSUE! (And no it doesn't count that Alaska is "close" to Russia.)

  • If she's on the cover of US Weekly she must be a celebrity which is, apparently, an evil thing.

    VERDICT: like the "fucking redneck" amusing but NOT A VALID ISSUE!

  • There are suggestions that she wanted to ban books from the local library in Wasilla.

    VERDICT: silly question - VALID AS HELL!


I haven't missed any have I? I certainly hope not; I'm all Palin-ed out.

"Running for the shelter of a mother's little helpful"

Despite record opium crops in Afghanistan, thanks to the Eternal Global War on Terra, there seems to be a shortage of heroin on Britain's streets and junkies are increasingly turning to diazepam (aka Valium) to get by. The question I want to know the answer to is "where the hell is all the opium going?". Have they found a way to turn into to Oxycontin to feedc to Rush Limbaugh or something?

Why Bristol Palin's pregnancy is a legitimate campaign issue

The mother of the fecund young woman in question is soon to be nominated as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate. The elder Ms. Palin is a strong advocate of "abstinence only" sex education and one assumes that "abstinence only" sex education is what the younger Ms. Palin received. Clearly the message failed in this case. Governor Palin's spokespeople say that the family is delighted at the news that the young woman plans to have the baby and ultimately marry the father.

Fine. Let us hope that neither the birth of the child nor the wedding will come about as a result of undue duress on the part of the parents involved. Let us also hope that, against the odds, the extremely young couple's partnership is successful and their child healthy and happy.

But not all families or young couples will wish to take the same path as these two. They may realise that the failure of their education and the mistake that they made by practicing unsafe sex, in an age when unsafe sex can kill, both have the potential to ruin their lives and affect those around them. Well to those families Governor Palin, and her erstwhile running mate The Aged One, stick up two fingers and roundly say "fuck you". They both believe, she most vehemently of the two, that a woman should have no right to control her body or her reproductive processes. In her own words Ramb-ette, as I like to call her, has said that she would oppose abortion even if her "own daughter was raped".

So she wants to ensure that America's children are not provided with education about sex, reproduction or options other than "don't do what we're not telling you about" and should this "education" fail, as it clearly did in the case of her very young daughter, she also wants to ensure that there are no legal options available even in the worst of circumstances (i.e. rape and incest).

So I'm sorry to those who might disagree but the issue is valid, it is not an intrusion of privacy (she made it public) and it must and will be discussed.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 83: he's had a hissy fit after a reporter on CNN had the temerity to actually ask one of his spokesmodel's questions and to point out that he wasn't answering them. Therefore he has cancelled his appearance on the Larry King Show. The questions were about Ms. Palin's qualifications to be the second in command, the spokesmen continually refused to respond and the bully in question is a woman! Video below.



These are not even tough questions, except for the fact that any honest answer will reflect unfavourably on The Aged One's choice for Veep.

"Issues? We don't need no stinking issues!"

Now this is straight talk you can believe in! In an interview with the Washington Post McCain campaign manager said, and I quote, "this campaign is not about issues".

Of course they don't want it to be about issues because on the issue McCain has been wrong, is wrong and will continue to be wrong.

It is refreshing to stumble across honesty, however infrequently, in American politics.

Republi-con family values

Ignoring the advice of the Aged One to tone down the parties at their convention whilst Hurricane Gustav was hitting the Gulf Coast many Republi-cons and their good friends the lobbying community spent Sunday night sucking up the booze at a party sponsored by National Rifle Association, Lockheed Martin and the American Trucking Association and enjoyed the dulcet tones of a band called "Hookers and Blow". According to the ABC News story there "was no evidence of any actual prostitutes or cocaine" but there is also no evidence that the reporter visited either the toilets or the suites upstairs!

But what about 119*??

The Republi-cons, shaken by the failure of Hurricane Gustav to destroy the remaining public housing in New Orleans, had to alter their programme for day 2 of the lobbyist love-fest in the Twin Cities and dropped Rudy Giuliani from the speaker's platform last night.

In case you've forgotten below is Joe Biden rather aptly describing the ex-New York Mayor and long time transvestite.



*Note for Americans: 11/9 is European for 9/11

100 places not to visit before you die!

Number 1: Richland County, South Carolina where the local constabulary have recently purchased an Armored Personnel Carrier complete with .50 caliber machine gun just in case the Islamofacists bring the front lines in the Eternal Global War on Terra to the Palmetto State. One should note that the machine gun on the lovingly but euphemistically named "Peacemaker" is generally reserved by the US Armed Forces for use against armour only and not against humans.

La plus plus ça change...

...plus c'est la même chose. Word has leaked out from Tory Central that, in true blue form, they plan to double the inheritance tax threshold from £1 million to £2 million. I wonder who, in this time of collapsing falling property values, is the intended constituency here? Surely not Tory party donors...

Given that I can't see how Labour can possibly win the next election this must be a shoe in.

Lucky Gone-zo!

The legal team for currently under-employed former US Attorney General Alberto "Gone-zo" Gonzales admit that their client violated the law in his mis-handling of extremely sensitive national security documents, including taking them home for the weekend. Fortunately for "Gone-zo" the Justice Department has decided not to prosecute this "technical violation of the rules".

I can only assume that this falls under the "not every violation of the law is a crime" guidelines of "Gone-zo's" successor, Robert Mukasey.

"Why, Jesus is that a banana in your robe...

...or are you just glad to see me?"

Funded by the deep pockets of the right wing Christian Legal Centre, most famous for its failed prosecution of Jerry Springer - The Opera for obscenity, a London woman is pursuing a private prosecution against the Baltic Centre in Gateshead for its display of a statue of Jesus with a rather prominent erection. The statue by Canadian Terence Koh was part of an exhibition that included many other popular characters including Mickey Mouse and ET; each of them with prominent erections.

The case is certain to go nowhere and perhaps we should be happy that the CLC is wasting its money.

02 September 2008

Eight days to oblivion!

On 10 September the Large Hadron Collider at le Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire is due to fire up and send beams of particles smashing into each other at nearly the speed of light in the hope of recreating conditions in the universe just after the Big Bang and also of finding the Higgs Boson. If Stephen Hawking is right these collisions will create miniature black holes and if he is only half right these mini-holes will not decay immediately and the universe as we know will be over. Fortunately there are some brave people out there who are will to do almost anything, include going to the courts, to see that this doesn't happen. The bad news is that if they will I'm going to have to pay back that overdraft.

Yet another sad day

Did any of us ever imagine that the United States would be severely criticised by international human rights organisations for the arrest of journalists, on clearly trumped up charges, on American soil? (I could imagine, even though I did not need to, that there would be similar charges on foreign soil.)



Video of Amy Goodman's arrest.

No pole is an island

In any case the North Pole didn't use to be; but it is now. Even if you don't believe that humans are having a major impact on global climate change (they are!) I assume that you find this a worrying trend. Right?

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 82: one of his policy advisers, John Goodman of the right wing National Center for Policy Analysis, believes that no one in America is really uninsured because if they are dying they can go to a hospital casualty department and therefore all Americans are, in point of fact, insured. To use the good man's words (bad pun intended): "So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

If only we knew it was so easy we could have done this long ago.

Now this is a bloody good idea!

The LA City Council may require lobbyists to wear badges anytime they are on city property. Displaying the good taste that their profession is well known for some are comparing this idea to the treatment meted out to the Jews by the Nazis; "I refuse to wear the equivalent of a yellow arm band," said lobbyist Harvey Englander.

I think that this idea should be passed along to the nation's capital where, in addition to the badges, all lobbyists, especially ex-Senators, ex-Generals and ex-White House staffers, should be made to wear funny hats!

The Stepford Wife speaks...

Cindy McCain, who earned her money the old-fashioned way by inheriting it, shows that she has a firm grasp of international politics by suggesting that her husband's choice for Veep Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, hereafter to be known as Rambette, is qualified to be the second in command because Alaska is real close to Russia. If she'd done her homework she might have known that Ms. Palin's hometown, Wasilla, is not particularly close to Russia; it's as close to Russia as Omaha is to Denver.

What do the Dutch know...

...and how long have they known it? The largest of the Low Countries has recalled its spy from Iran in the belief that the US is about to illegally attack Iran. Well, October is coming....

01 September 2008

Did God send Gustav...

...to save the Repuli-cons from themselves? That pre-eminent mainstream publication the Weekly Standard certainly seems to think so and one has to admit that they have a point. If it makes America forget about the horror of eight years of Captain Codpiece and "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney and allows the nomination process to be got over with without The Aged One having to speak they might just have a chance!

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 81: first he was, rightly, opposed to the torture of any human being, then he decided it wasn't such a bad idea and now it looks as if he's he's against it again. This isn't flip flopping; it's windscreen washing!

Now he fucking tells us!

The New York Times carries a story that Captain Codpiece recently told a closed meeting with right wing writers that resplendently mustached John Bolton is not "credible". Well 20-20 hindsight is better than no vision at all, right?

Catching up

Sick as a dog at the weekend (and still a bit dodgy) so much to catch up on.

Not least of which is this clip of Pat Buchanan discovering the true joys of Barack Osama's Obama's rhetoric. Who spiked his Kool-Aid?