Monday, November 17, 2008

Ultimate woman bosses

A few days ago, Anne Dunwoody became America's first woman four-star U.S. Army general. Today, we met Maria Falca-Dodson, the first woman commander of the New Jersey National Air Guard:

Falca-Dodson, who had served as Deputy Adjutant General of New Jersey since March 2002, ... replaces Brig. Gen. Lawrence Thomas III. ...

For Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth, there was little doubt that Falca-Dodson was qualified for her new position.

“I had the opportunity to work with her the last six years directly,” Rieth said. “Make no mistake; she's a soldier and an airman first. During her time as a deputy, she didn't always get the glorious jobs. But every issue she took and every project that was handed to her was carried out. And there were a lot of things that needed to be carried out during that time.”

Thomas said he is fully confident in Falca-Dodson.

“Changing command is like dropping kids off at school for the first time and you want to make sure they succeed,” he said. “I know she is ready to assume this command. She has my full support.”
I'm not following Rieth's little analogy, but still, the glass -- and brass -- ceilings have a couple more cracks.

The Beatles were bad boys

Curvature plays the 5 most anti-feminist Beatles songs:

1. Run For Your Life
2. You Can't Do That
3. You Like Me Too Much
4. Martha, My Dear
5. You Won't See Me

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Aaack!

I'm still not convinced this wasn't PhotoShopped, but every source I see says this is the real McCain after he and Barack Obama finished up the last debate:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nailing Gov. Palin, er, or something like that

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did it again this week on Saturday Night Live!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Introducing Caribou Barbie

It's a sad day when the Republicans create more relevant ads for the Democrats than do the Democrats.



And is this Sarah Palin or the real Tina Fey? It's hard to tell the difference, but if it's Fey, she has nailed Palin to a T. Bravo!:



Best lines:

Gov. Palin: "And to think, just two years ago I was just a former small-town mayor of the crystal meth capital of Alaska."

Sen. Clinton: "I invite the media to grow a pair, and if they can't, I'll lend them mine."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who wouldn't want to pay their fair share?

Former N.J. Rep. Jim Courter (right), it seems.

Lucy Komisar reports that the Federal Communications Commission has fined Courter's New Jersey telecom company, IDT, $1.3 million for failing to file a contract for telephone service to Haiti in 2004.

Seems the man who's John McCain's biggest presidential campaign fundraiser in New Jersey found a novel way to conspire with a dictator and avoid paying due taxes at the same time.

Its work with Haiti has been put under scrutiny since a former employee, Michael Jewett, then IDT’s manager for the Caribbean, sued the company. His suit claims he was fired when he balked at negotiating a scheme that routed a portion of the company’s long distance revenue from Haiti calls to a shell company owned by then-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Jewett’s suit alleges that the deal cut IDT’s long-distance payments to Haiti to 8.75 cents a minute, from 23 cents, the legal tariff, which mainline U.S. carriers such as AT&T were paying.

Payments went to an offshore shell company, Mount Salem in the Turks & Caicos, which sent 3 cents to Aristide and the rest to the Haiti telecommunications company.

Courter, a former New Jersey Republican congressman, is one of 20 McCain national finance co-chairs, and joined the campaign in February 2007. He’s a “Trailblazer” for McCain, meaning he raised at least $100,000. The IDT PAC has contributed $84,850 in 2008.
So, this is the kind of economy a McCain administration would endorse? He who can better outsmart the tax system is rewarded, while a bigger portion of the burden falls on the shoulders of us common wage earners?

Read Komisar's full report here.

(Getty picture cropped from Komisar's blog.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Welcome to the Jersey Shore



This is funny, but seriously, most of us here do welcome any visitors to come enjoy our beaches and restaurants, while the rest of us jealous suckers work our butts off.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Indie Day

Flash back to 1982 (thanks, Crooks and Liars blog)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Memory failing or a flip-flopper?

Could be either, but it's not presidential material.



And here, with hat tip to John Aravosis at Americablog, is one of his flip-flops on one of the most critical aspects of this election: court appointments.

McCain in a Town Hall today "I will not impose a litmus test on any nominee."

McCain in 2000: "Somewhat surprisingly, McCain had the support of Gary Bauer, the social conservative, who had dropped out of the race by that time. 'I wanted a commitment from either George Bush or John McCain that if elected he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court,' Bauer told me. 'Bush said he had no litmus test, and his judges would be strict constructionists. But McCain, in private, assured me he would appoint pro-life judges.'" [New Yorker, 5/30/05]

McCain 2007. McCain said, "I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned." [New York Times, 2/24/07]

Thursday, May 8, 2008

RIP Eight Belles but ...

... is there a karma going on here? CubbyChaser at Comedy Central posts what I think a lot of us, heads cocked, were musing after presidential candidate Hillary Clinton asked supporters to put money on Eight Belles for her, then ...

On Saturday, the Kentucky Derby -- which is essentially the Kentucky Derby of horse races -- was held in, I think, Tennessee, and Hillary Clinton put her money on Eight Belles, the one female horse, running against a bunch of male chauvinist horses to win. ...

Unfortunately, Eight Belles came in second place to (I'm not making this up) a horse named Big Brown, suffered a fatal injury and had to be euthanized immediately following the race.
Girl, feel the cosmic karma ...

Tuesday was the latest in a string of Super Duper Tuesdays that should decide the Democratic primary. Sen. Barack Obama creamed Sen. Clinton in North Carolina and lost by a dubious 51-49%, far better than the double-digit loss expected, in red state Indiana.

I say dubious because 1 in 10 voters in exit polls reported they are Republicans who crossed over to sabatoge the race for the candidate they think McCreepy can beat, in compliance with radio god Rush Hussein Limbaugh's Operation Chaos instructing them to vote for Clinton. The voting poll games already have begun.

Then there's the untimeliness of a massive voter registration purge and nuns who were prevented from having a voice in the Indiana elction. A dubious win, but along with an infusion of another $6.5 million from the Clinton's personal bank account, will keep her going.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Women as second-class citizens

For the first time since 1918, life expectancy is falling for a significant number of American women, according to this Washington Post report.

In nearly 1,000 counties that together are home to about 12 percent of the nation's women, life expectancy is now shorter than it was in the early 1980s, according to a study published today.

The downward trend is evident in places in the Deep South, Appalachia, the lower Midwest and in one county in Maine. It is not limited to one race or ethnicity but it is more common in rural and low-income areas. ...

The phenomenon appears to be not only new but distinctly American.

"If you look in Western Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, we don't see this," Murray said.
I think all those countries have government-guaranteed health care.

(Flickr photo by plagueoftruth)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Accurate vote counts shouldn't be so hard

People have voted on slips of paper -- or rocks or some other tangible, countable resource -- since the beginning of civilization.

So, in 2008, why is it so daunting for public officials who can't get their acts together on electronic machines to print up some ballots and have us all vote by putting our hand to pen to paper? Have you ever seen anyone other than for-profit newspapers and broadcast stations say they care whether the results are announced an hour after the polls close or a day afterward?

Today's Asbury Park Press has this must-read editorial: "Will the winner be the winner?"

Who is this Nina Mitchell Wells and how did she become the all-powerful N.J. secretary of state that gets to pull the levers behind the curtain in Oz?

Down the rabbit hole

If you thought American "elections" couldn't get more surreal than that absurd flag-pin interrogation last week that ABC called a Democratic "debate," get a load of this Hillary Clinton ad running today in Pennsy.

Earth Day is tomorrow

Plant a tree. Pick up some litter. Carpool, if just for one day.

But do something, please.

Enjoy Jay Leno's Earth Day clips. I like the kids' letters about global warming:

Friday, April 18, 2008

My kind of guy

Father Mike Pfleger makes me want to turn Catholic, were they all so straight talking:



"It doesn't make it right just because that's what you (Bill O'Reilly's Fox Snooze ambush "reporter")say about him." Exactly.

Why doesn't the media ask whether candidates and clergy think it's moral that more children in the U.S. live in poverty than children in any other country in the industrialized world.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Now we're talking

Superior Court of New Jersey issued subpoenas a few hours ago for Sequoia's voting machine testing records, including in our own Ocean County.

Election officials in Bergen, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Ocean and Union counties were instructed to turn over the machines by April 15. Activists trying to persuade Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg that electronic voting machines should be discarded succeeded in convincing her that examining these counties' machines is critical to their case.


"In order to succeed in our case and show Sequoia machines are insecure and can be hacked into, we need to look at these machines," Venetis argued. Clerks in the six counties uncovered discrepancies in 60 machines when they doubled check the vote tallies after the Feb. 5 presidential primary.
The Star-Ledger is planning a full story in the morning, so we'll keep you posted.

Ed Felton on Friday posted on his blog that the discrepancies were worse than originally thought.
This week we obtained six new summary tapes, from machines in Bergen and Gloucester counties. Two of these new tapes contradict Sequoia’s explanation and show more serious discrepancies that we saw before.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Can't make this stuff up

Last week we learned Princeton experts aren't good enough to look at the software Sequoia uses to count my vote in Ocean County. Sequoia threatened to sue Princeton if they touch it.

Bradblog now is reporting Sequoia has the solution.

This guy Mike Gibbons of Kwaidan Consulting, whose quest in life is to find a "well endowed blonde nymphomaniac ... that likes to be under the influence of Jim Beam whiskey in a dimly lit room at least 3 times a week" and shares his curiosity about the fundamental differences between Kierkegaard and Right Guard (or maybe InfraGard?), is the one and only trustworthy "expert" the voting machine company will trust to look at its product -- independently, of course. Here he shows himself in an undated grip-and-grin with Poppy Bush.

He and his friend Starbuck (his only Myspace friend, so sad) are surely more trustworthy than those clowns at Princeton University. Geez! That's Starbuck in the photo. Hotter than Gibbons, no?

Because, after all, Gibbons hails from Sugar Land, Texas, the same Houston suburban where disgraced former Rep. "Hot Tub" Tom Delay made a name for himself as a pest exterminator, literally.

Kwaidan Consulting's address, 2510 Stephens Grant Drive in Sugar Land, is the address Raymond Michael Gibbons signed on a Securities Exchange Commission filing for Suntron Corp. in 2001 as an employee of K*TEC Electronics Corp. of Sugar Land and Kent Electronics Corp. of Houston. Gibbons is listed as Suntron's executive vice president for new business development.

Gibbons created Kwaidan in March 2005 and listed Sanjuro Corp. of Dallas as its general partner. Texas Secretary of State records show Sanjuro ceased to exist as part of a tax forfeiture in February 2007. Now, what enterprise seems more stable for the public to expect accountability for its report on our county voting machines: Princeton University or Kwaidan Consulting, LLC, LLP? (cough cough)

I have to say, his interest in Schroedinger’s cat, referring to the quantum physics genius who won the Nobel, seemed kind of creepy because of 1) the analogy between him inspecting these black boxes and the Schroedinger’s cat paradox and 2) the woman who filed a lawsuit claiming George W. Bush raped her was Margie Schoedinger (all but one ‘r’) of (cue the “Twighlight Zone” music) of Sugar Land, Texas.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The peace symbol is 50 years old

Sadly, the peace sign hasn't yet brought us 50 years of peace.

Fifty years ago on a cold, grim Easter holiday, a protest was meant to be a watershed: a global call to ban the bomb.

... Gerald Holtom was the artist and textile designer who created it.

A conscientious objector during World War II, he was driven to the nuclear disarmament campaign, he said, by a feeling of despair.

Holtom's daughter Anna Scott, also an artist, remembers the image of her father's despair, in the paintings of Goya.

"He used the Goya painting of the despairing image of the person who was being shot, in Spain - I don't know whether the despair was to do with his personal situation or whether it was to do with the world situation, and sometimes these can be muddled up, can't they?"

Working in his West London studio, Holtom sought to transform that muddled despair into something tidy and neat: a symbol for the campaign for nuclear disarmament, based on the Naval sign language of semaphore.

Michael Randle was there in 1958 when Holtom explained his idea: matching the 'N' for nuclear & a straight up-and-down 'D' for 'Disarmament,' with a circle around it. "That's the symbol, very simple and straightforward," Randle recalled. "It was that explanation coupled with his vision of what the march would be like, his sketch of what the march would be like, that really sold it to us and we said, 'Right, we will adopt that.'"

Not without controversy. It was inevitable that Holtom's simple three lines and a circle would bewilder at least one of the anti-nuclear campaigners.

"He looked at it and he said, 'What on earth were you three thinking about when you adopted that symbol? It doesn't mean a thing and it will never catch on.' Of course, he was thinking of the traditional things of a broken rifle, or a dove or something that would be immediately associated in people's minds with peace, and if you're looking at it now it's impossible to separate it from all the history that has gone on since."
(Flickr pict'r by Jeff Wignall)

Feministing's Friday Feminist Fuck You

And the F this week goes to -- who else? -- Fox and other race-ignorant media outlets.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where was McCain's anti-bigotry speech?

Ladies and gents, here's the fab choir that sang at the Values Voters Debate in Ohio last September for all the Republican candidates, including the now presidential nominee John McCain. Where's the outrage like that on TV this week against Democratic candidate Barack Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright?



Here's the hit hymn, to the tune of "God Bless America":

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is.

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land

The courts ruled prayer out of our schools
In June of ‘62
Told the children “you are your own God now
So you can make the rules”
O say can you see what that choice
Has cost us to this day
America, one nation under God, has gone astray

Why should god bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land

In ‘73 the Courts said we
Could take the unborn lives
The choice is yours don’t worry now
It’s not a wrong, it’s your right

But just because they made it law
Does not change God’s command
The most that we can hope for is
God’s mercy on our land

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land
Was the Rev. Fred Phelps and his God Hates Fags congregation in the audience? Not unlikely. The homophobic perennial Republican black candidate Alan Keyes (bigotry is a value, right?) and this choir got equally rave reviews from RenewAmerica:
The proceedings began with a church choir singing of one of our national songs, and included was the addition of a couple of lines of their own, with lyrics about a straying nation that needs to be brought back to God and healed. I was truly touched by the choir's presentation.
It's not obscure. A Google search of "Why Should God Bless America" comes up with 3,310 online posts about it.

How could all those 24-hour cable TV "news" networks have not expressed their best punditry outrage about that un-American prostitution of a national patriotic song?

We get Rupert Murdoch's Faux News by now, but CNN, c'mon!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Now that's harsh

The sophistication of this Rudy Giuliani attack video from Heada'State leaves me wondering about the money trail: Ed Rollins for the Mike Huckabee camp or Mitt Romney and his Encyclopedia Mittanica dirt farmers? Animators need to eat, right?

It hits just about every vulnerability of the ex-mayor of New York City running for the GOP presidential nod.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Now that's funny

Remember old Ed Rollins, the Republican campaign manager that swung ex-Gov. Christine Todd Whitman's surprise election in 1993 by using $500,000 of campaign money to bribe Democratic GOTV workers and black pastors to persuade their congregations to say home from the polls?

Now off the bus -- again -- from managing the 2006 Senate bid of wackjob Katherine Harris of stop-counting-Florida-votes fame, Rollins is managing presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the great theology pretender.

Old Ed is one leopard who doesn't change his spots. He has been plotting dirty tricks to KO fellow GOP contender Mitt Romney, the magic pants Morman. It just doesn't get much funnier than this. Rollins told the Washington Post that he relishes the underbelly of politics.

"To me, hitting somebody, knocking somebody down, is a great feeling," he said. "Firing out a negative ad just feels amazing."

Speaking on Fox Thursday night, just after networks declared Huckabee had won Iowa, Rollins said he was "happy to confirm" another piece of his overheard conversation -- that Rudy Giuliani's campaign was "done" and that the former New York mayor was "hurt terribly by those police cruises with his girlfriends," referring to reports that Giuliani's third wife received NYPD security details before their affair even became public.
So that's how the word probably got out to media about how generous New York City taxpayers were in entertaining Giuliani's then-mistress, even before he surprised his wife and kids by bringing the secret lover home for Christmas. After all, Encyclopedia Mittanica hangs out a different basket of Giuliani's dirty laundry.

Update:Ewastud rightly points out I buried the original link that's the basis for this post. It's this post Thursday by Town Hall's Amanda Carpenter. Then, Fox News interviewed Rollins about it, and, boy, is Rollins steamed!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008