Can you design this bomb?

Cartledge @ Talk About Corruption has found an interesting item. Seems the US is funding a design competition for the next generation of nuclear warheads. Now I'm not sure who's allowed to enter this competition, but I'll bet the Blogsphere can do a better job than a bunch of eggheads.

For instance, here at Blognonymous we think that all the hip nukes will be wearing tie-dye next year.

Kvatch Kvestions - The Specific Reason For Invading Iraq

Perhaps I'm naive. Perhaps I just didn't think it about it too much. Though, many Americans (and most liberals) suspect that the reason we invaded Iraq was to install a friendly regime that would help to ensure a reliable supply of crude, the specifics were hazy. Well this article from the San Francisco Chronicle seems to clarify at least one aspect of the picture. Mexico's oil fields are in serious decline, and the dropoff in production is not decades away. In fact, at current extraction rates Mexico's proven reserves will be gone in 10 years.

So how much crude do we get from Mexico? Well...61% of our oil comes in the form of imports and the top 5 sources break down as follows:
  • Canada - 18%
  • Mexico - 15%
  • Saudi Arabia - 12%
  • Nigeria - 12%
  • Venezuela - 10%
So 15% of 61%, or about 9% total of our petroleum requirements are about to go into serious decline...for all practical purposes, right now!

Puts a finer point on the real reason we're in Iraq, I think.

The Stressful Life of a Judge

Pity the poor judge--presiding for days...weeks...years over the tribulations, ills, and injustices of society. Admire her/him for leading jurors, witnesses, lawyers, plaintiffs, and defendants through the legal jungle, hacking out the path to justice from the thicket of the law. Grant that anything that can bring joy to the life of the jurist is probably a good thing. Well...almost anything.

Sure the judge who'd use...ummm...an "erectile enhancement device" in the courtroom is probably a taco short of a combo plate, but Blognonymous feels that there are still some unanswered questions here: First, what possessed the main prosecution witness, the court reporter, to allow this to happen...what...15 times before she came forward? Second, "indecent exposure"? From behind the bench? Really frickin' bad judgment, but how exactly is it indecent exposure? Third (and here we quote from the article) -
Prosecutor Richard Smothermon said he would pursue a misdemeanor charge of misuse of state property against Thompson that was separated from the trial before opening statements.
"State property"? Is he kidding?! I can't even comment on this I'm laughing so hard.


Sports Desecration Amendment

Washington (f-A-ke. P.) -

Reeling from the defeats of the Flag Desecration and Federal Marriage amendments, Senate Republicans announced today that they would introduce the Sports Desecration Amendment. Speaking for the GOP, Senator Mitch McConnell said, "With assaults on basic American values coming from all sides, we need to act quickly to protect the national pastimes. Baseball, football, and car racing are as American as apple pie and marriage between one man and one woman."

The following is the text of the proposed amendment -

Congress shall have the authority to prevent desecration of the national pastime(s) through legislation designed to:

   (i) Prevent Americans from developing an enthusiasm for soccer ("the lesser football")

   (ii) Outlaw any sport that involves unmanly kinds of contact (See "Rugby")

  (iii) Prevent recent immigrants from playing the only sport in the world slower than baseball (see "Cricket")

   (iv) Protect NASCAR by confining race car drivers with Italian sounding names to the CART and Indy racing circuits

Hat tip to Mr_Blog for the inspiration.

Hamden v. Rumsfeld Decided - Looming Constitutional Crisis?

By now the news that the Supreme Court has delivered a stinging rebuke to Bu$hCo in Hamden v. Rumsfeld is spreading around the Blogsphere. I'll leave it to others to give the ruling the praise it deserves. I just want to note two interesting facts:

First, the court split 5 - 3 right down the so-called ideological divide. Presumably Chief Justice Roberts would have voted with the Scalia/Alito/Thomas minority, since it was his own circuit court ruling in the same case that was overturned. But interestingly, as the Scalitoson axis moves to the right, the remainder of the court seems to be moving to the left under justice John Paul Stevens, the "other" chief justice. The problem for liberals here is that Justice Stevens is in his 80's, three decades Roberts senior.

Second, a lesser know fact about Hamden v. Rumsfeld is that Congress, at Bu$hCo's urging, tried to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction with last December's Detainee Treatment Act. Now setting aside the fact that Congress does not have that power (which the Supreme Court noted, BTW), if Bush really believes that the Supreme Court has been stripped of its authority in the case, will he now provoke a constitutional crisis by ignoring the ruling?

What would constitute "extreme action" for Israel?

Israel's response to the capture of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli Army corporal, plays out like a temper tantrum...backed up by tanks:
  • A sustained artillery barrage of towns in Northern Gaza
  • Tanks occupying southern Gaza
  • Missiles fired at Gaza City
  • Electricity knocked out after Gaza's main power station is bombed
  • 8 of 24 cabinet ministers and 20 government officials captured and detained
I guess Israel considers this a "measured" response since they've warned that if Cpl. Shalit is not released immediately and unconditionally they will escalate the conflict. The question is: Escalate to what? The economy in the territories has already collapsed. So what's left? A pogrom on all 1.3 million residents of Gaza?


Activist Supremes Subvert Texan's Will

What's that you say? 7 of 9 justices were appointed by Republican's? Oh...OK -

Cautious, Conservative Court Refuses to Tinker

Onward Kiddie-porn Warriors

Alberto says: Oh no you don't!
In this meat and potatoes election season, nothing gets the GOP base more riled up than SMUT! And when it comes to smut, nothing is more disgusting than kiddie-porn! But don't worry, Republicans have got yer smut solution right here, and the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is just brimming with nifty ideas. Here are some examples:
Forcibly blocking off-color Web sites: Internet providers should block, "American predators from using U.S.-based platforms to access child pornography at any site worldwide."
Cool! But...uh...who decides what sites to block and how many thousands are you gonna have to hire to vet all of those sites?
Eavesdropping on what Americans are doing online: Rep. Diana DeGette (D CO), "I don't think that people who are raping 2-year-old children on the Internet have any right to privacy."
Nor anybody else for that matter. Oh sorry--keep forgetting--nobody but pornographers worry about their privacy on the Internet.
Making certain hyperlinks illegal: The way we do with off-shore gambling sites.
How do you make a hyperlink illegal? Illegal to click it? Illegal to receive it? What about email?
Dispatching "search and destroy" bots: Rep. Greg Walden (R OR) proposes that search and destroy bots be launched to scour the Internet for illicit content.
This is the best! Get one naughty email from pornographer, and the Feds blow up your computer. BOOM! I can't wait.


66 to 34 - Flag Desecration Defeated Once Again

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States...except for burning it in the following circumstances:
  • To provide light so that your children can still read their bibles when the electricity goes out
  • To heat your double-wide when propane becomes too expensive to purchase
  • To provide kindling for the bonfires that will be needed for former President Clinton's biography

Updated - 2006/06/28, 10:15a

Mr_Blog with an exclusive: Old Glory Responds

Supreme Court To Hear Massachusetts v. EPA

After losing in the US 2nd Circuit, the plaintiffs in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (12 states and 13 environmental advocacy groups) are going to have their appeal heard by the Supreme Court. But...this is a complex case and a win for either side may not prove to be all that was hoped for.

The administration defends their refusal to issue regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, required by the Clean Air Act, by claiming that the EPA lacks jurisdiction. However, if the states do win, then Bu$hCo's EPA will probably turn right around and issue laughably weak standards--standards that will preempt more stringent regulations already in place in California and the Northeast.

On the other hand, if Bu$hCo wins they will be able to continue to use the jurisdiction argument, but the ruling will unshackle the states. The states can then enforce any standards they see fit and can defend them by claiming that the Federal government has explicitly recused itself. In addition, a ruling for Bu$hCo will shoot any industry lawsuits against the states, usually based on the argument that only the Feds can regulate emissions, right through the heart.


Well there's a couple of days of my life that I'll never get back.
Still... I kinda like the result.


Kvatch Kvestions - Bush's Credibility On Anti-terror Measures

Unaccustomed as I am to tackling a topic until I've come up with something pithy to say, I have to raise one issue regarding President Bush's outrage over the NYT article exposing US government subpoenas of information from the Swift banking database.

Bush has so poisoned the public's perception of his willingness to protect civil liberties--so damaged his credibility with secrecy and illegal activities--that the necessity and/or legality of this latest operation is no longer relevant to most Americans. With the exception of the Kitten Biting Republicans, nobody expects Bush to do the right thing, the prudent thing, or the legal thing. So 7 in 10 Americans, as well as a majority of the press, are probably sitting out there thinking, Screw Bush! Man deserves anything the NYT can dish out.

Retroactive Legality, Better Than A Pardon

After months of bluster, threats to subpoena administration officials, threats to curtail or eliminate NSAs funding, it turns out that all we can expect from the Senate Judiciary Committee and it's blowhard chairman, Arlen Specter is a bill that will make all of Bu$hCo's excesses legal.

In fact, the revised "National Security Surveillance Act" (S.2453) won't just bestow retroactive legality on FISA breaches, it will also exempt from criminal liability anyone who illegally spied on Americans as long as they did it at the President's request--the very embodiment of, "...it's legal if the President says so".

Maybe it's time that Senator Specter shut his pie-hole, as he's proven what a worthless administration tool he really is. Who needs presidential pardons when we've got Congress.


For Homeland Security Ideas, Look to "24"?

While the Department of Homeland Security behaves like a revolving door for government officials wanting to make a splash in the Paranoia Industrial Complex, the conservative Heritage Foundation is busy sponsoring meetings on how the Fox drama 24 impacts America's image in the so called War on Terror. And get this...not only were DHS officials like Michael Chertoff present, but so was Rush Limbaugh and members of the show's cast.

Perhaps the foundation is worried that the American public is too stupid to tell fiction from fact? Or perhaps they just want to appear as if they're doing something useful. Regardless, I suspect we'll soon see a forum exploring the similarities between ABC's recently concluded series Alias and the CIA.

"DCI Hayden: So Mr. Sloan where can CIA get it's hands on a Rambaldi Device?"

Frankly, anything that keeps the Heritage Foundation occupied with trivia makes me happy.

Democratic Talking Points - The Coulter Factor

Ann Coulter - Republican
Is this the party you want representing you?

Thanks to KnightErrant @ A Little Reality for the inspiration.


CSS Is Eating My Brain...

Sorry for the light (read: "non-existent") posting today. I've been working on a new template for Blognonynmous, and screwing around with cascading style sheets is eating my brain.

If you'd like a little preview, click this link, take a gander, and let me know what you think.

...And In The Meantime

Click over to Last Left Turn Before Hooterville for a peek
and The Worst Album Covers Ever!



In California Massive Incompetence Is Worth...18%

California's Citizens Compensation Commission has determined that our Governor and other high state officials deserve an 18% pay increase. But Blognonymous would like to know...for what? Maybe the huge budget shortfalls in 3 of the last 4 years? The 2004/05 budget standoff? Skyrocketing utility bills? Rolling blackouts? The f*cking recall election? The f*cking special election that nobody wanted? The measures that had to be pulled from the f*cking special election that nobody wanted? The Bay Bridge retrofit, now 13 f*cking years overdue? In short, MASSIVE F*CKING INCOMPETENCE!?

If I had f*cked up as royally as CA's state officials, I wouldn't be getting a raise. I'd be getting fired.

Customer Retention, AOL Style

I know that each of us has had at least one experience where some corporate phone drone wouldn't let us leave, unsubscribe, withdraw, or whatever, but this recording of a guy trying to cancel his AOL account takes the cake. Listen to this and see if you agree.

Pride In An American Dynasty

In honor of Rex Kramer's "Convert A Hippie Week," Kvatch has once again donned the mantle of unabashed freedom-loving for a post at Spurious George.

The Bush Dynasty


An Inspirational Five

The AFI has released its list of the top 100 Inspirational Films of all time, and you know what? For the most part it sucks! You see, I don't believe that such a list can be created by committee or by voting. The notion of inspiration is so tied up with who we are, that each person's list would be unique--probably wouldn't even overlap.

So, with that in mind I'm going to list my top 5 inspirational films:

5. Life Is Beautiful
4. The Color Purple
3. The Mission
2. Hotel Rwanda
1. Fargo

And what do these films say about me? Well, setting aside Fargo for the moment, probably that I'm inspired by terrible adversity and by people who continue to struggle despite knowing that their cause is lost, that their efforts will amount to nothing. This is typified by Gabriel (The Mission) who, when he's told that the Portuguese/Spanish division of the new world means that they will have to abandon their work with the natives replies, "But are we to let that stand in our way, your Eminence?"

Now let's deal with Fargo. Because it's really the black sheep in this list.

Fargo, in my opinion demonstrates the best and the worst in people, and the best is embodied in Francis McDormand's character Marge Gunderson. Marge doesn't let kidnappings and murders get to her. She goes about her job with dedication and efficiency. She knows how to let people down easy (Lou, about his police work); She doesn't condescend (questioning the prostitutes); She knows how to brighten someone's day with the simplest observation (her remark to her husband about the "little stamps"); And she knows how to look on the bright side even when it sounds corny ("You know we're doing pretty well..."). Marge is inspiring for who she is, not what she goes through, but perhaps that is the case with the other films as well.

So...what inspires you?

Thanks to The Station Agent for taking it upon himself to create his own list. I didn't agree with his either, but that's what got me thinking.

Episcopalians - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

With Monday's election of Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Nevada Diocese as leader of the US Episcopal Church, Americans once again demonstrated their independence from the worldwide Anglican Communion. But before this new development could even be absorbed, the American church backtracked and adopted a resolution calling for "restraint" in considering openly gay individuals as bishops. Though not as extreme as the "moratorium and apology" called for by the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the communion, the new resolution satisfies practically no one.

Conservative Bishops are still pushing censure and schism. Bishop Jack Iker of the Ft. Worth diocese, for example, called for the Rowan Williams to disregard the vote of general convention and to place the Episcopal Church under the oversight of another Anglican leader, and disgruntled English bishops have accused the Americans of setting up their own church within a church. While on the other side of the Anglican Communion, the liberal Bishop of the Washington D.C. diocese has already signaled his intent to disregard the resolution on gay bishops and will continue to bless same sex unions.

All of which leads to one inescapable conclusion: There is not one single Anglican church here, and attempts at reconciliation will not succeed. The conservative bishops are becoming increasingly entrenched in their belief that women and gays should not have influence in the church, and the liberal Episcopal dioceses are clamoring to be set free. Tradition, unfortunately, is no a reason for Anglicans and Episcopalian to stay together. They need to separate once and for all.


AT&T Says: "Privacy? What's That?"

In the wake of the EFF lawsuit challenging AT&T's big giveaway of customer information to NSA, the telco has decided to protect their ass at the expense of their customers, with a new privacy policy.

Now I know that all of my readers scrutinize every detail of those policies. So you don't really some paranoid frog to translate for you, but just in case your that one reader who doesn't, here's the famous Blognonymous Plain Language Interpretation -
  • "While your account information may be personal to you, these records constitute business records that are owned by AT&T... As such, AT&T may disclose such records to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

    Read: We'll give up your data whenever feel like for whatever reason we feel like. (I should note that this section used to end, ...to the extent permitted by law.)
  • "[AT&T] ...may also use your information in order to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud (or) situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person"

    Read: In cases where the government wants us to bend over and do their work for them, we will. And if you don't like it? Tough! (Ah a merging of telco and the police. Convenient, huh?)
And just to make sure that you agree, this policy is now a condition of service. In other words, if you don't agree, your only recourse is to not do business with AT&T.

F*ck me! I really like my DSL.


Windspike responds...in verse!


Kvatch Kvetches - I Feel So Much Safer Now

When you're trying desperately to create something interesting for the East Coast readers before you hit the sack...

EEK! The Taepodong-2 Is Being Prepared For Launch
It's being fueled as we speak. With certain payloads it has the range to hit the continental US, and the people who own it are madder than hatters...with nukes! But never fear, Bu$hCo's here. From Fred @ MCCS1977 we hear that the US is activating a missile defense system that is...uh...still under development. I feel so much safer now.

Bu$hCo's new domestic policy advisor...
...is a guy named Karl Zinsmeister, and he's got some pretty funky ideas about the American people. He once referred to the "underclass" (whomever they are) as "morally repugnant". More recently Mr. Zinmeister was caught doctoring and then posting without attribution, the text of numerous articles about himself.

Bu$hCo Wastes Money Even While Violating Your Civil Liberties

Can someone please explain to me why my government is spending $30M on phone records that they purchased from data brokers when they already have the biggest, fattest f*cking data shunt straight from AT&T to NSA? WTF?! Haven't they heard of sharing the goddamned information? I mean if I'm going to have my civil liberties violated, then the so-called party of fiscal restraint could at least have the intelligence not to bill me twice for it.

Louisiana's Legislation in Waiting

In honor of Kathleen Blanco caving to the right like the good little Republicrat that she is.

Yes I'm sort of a law
Gonna stick in your craw
But oddly with one really big flaw
Well now the Louisiana governor
Had to cave to the right
She didn't have it in her to stand up and fight
Cause she doesn't know her head from her assssss...
But pretty soon I'll be made
When the court overturns Roe v. Wade

Thanks to Helen at Just Ain't Right for keeping this on the front burner.


Roller Skating and The Devil's Business

Boise (f-A-ke. P.) -

After enduring a weekend of harsh criticism for their policy of firing employees who commit any number of forbidden sins, Skate Plaza owners Marvin and Pat Miller came out swinging by announcing a new policy. From now on married employees of Skate Plaza will have to record each act of sexual congress so that the owners can verify whether or not the couple did in fact conceive a child. Said Pat Miller -
The Bible says that sex is only for procreation, and we just want to make sure that our employees are living in a godly way.
The Millers chose not comment on the possibility of infertile couples in their employ.

Tip 'o the Hat to CV Rick at the Unspunblog for the inspriration that led to this little bit of hyperbole.

New car or toxic waste dump?

You that "new car smell" that we all wonder about? Well turns out that it's gases released from the plastics. Not so surprising really when you think about it, but what may be more surprising is the composition: Xylenes, Ethylhexanol, Toulene, TXIB (2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3 pentanediol di-isobutyrate--makes polyvinyl chlorides more flexible), a veritable witch's brew of chemicals, and due to the closed environment the concentrations are 5 to 10 times what you'd find in your home.

So you want to find a less toxic alternative? Think European, not Japanese and not American. The best alternative you've got is...da-du-du-DA...a Volvo! Trust the Swedes to make a less toxic, greener car. And it looks like Volvo's parent Ford may be following their example.

Activist Judges Are Fine, When They're Ours

With last week's ruling relaxing restrictions on police searches, it becomes clear that Republican outrage over so-called "activist judges" is little more than base hypocrisy--a tactic to used to minimize the influence of the judicial, the one branch of government that tends to stick to the center.

Did the Veep squeak about new police power to barge into private homes without an announcement? Nope. Did AG Gonzales level an iota of his usual criticism on the activist supremes? Nope. In short...did anyone at Bu$hCo so much as open their pie-holes when the Scalitsoson Court threw out 100 years of precedent? Again no. Not like this should come as a surprise. The plain fact is that the right loves activist judges, as long as they're making conservatives happy.


Back In Fine Form, Rove Confuses Left and Right

Karl Rove on the effectiveness of liberal bloggers (from The Raw Story) -
Instead of "focusing on good ideas," Rove opined that the "Internet for the Left of the Democratic Party" only "mobilize hate and anger."
And so in the interest of being 'fair and balanced', I note some examples of uplifting rhetoric from my favorite right-wing blogs:

From Crush Liberalism (Johnathan Leffingwell, the author, typically bans anybody who argues with him) -
Like I said, piss off. Get "Hooked on Phonics" and see what that means. You're as tiresome as your old lady was last night.

From the Right Wing Howler (Vilmar is one of the most offensive bloggers in the nutsphere) -
Given that liberal women also tend to live in urban environments, are not well educated, rely on the government for their welfare, generally are not married, etc. it's a good thing they don't bring potential criminals into our society.

A comment at The Museum of Left Wing Lunacy (what goes on here borders on incitement) -
I don't want to refute you, you liberal retard, I would like to see you beheaded by your beloved islamofascist friends though. You liberal scum aren't worth wasting words on, but I'd be glad to spend a dime for a bullet.

And finally a choice bit from Atlas Shrugs whose author Pamela would give Ann Coulter a run for her money -
The attempted coup has begun. I don't know if fear is the right word, but I do believe Democrats are traitors.

Apparently Karl Rove can't tell his left from his right.


So Much For Protecting Your Credit History

As it stands now, you're able to make identity theft more difficult by putting a "freeze" on your credit history from the major agencies. But, if the financial services industry and their cronies in Congress have their way, you won't be able to put a lock on the door until you've already been burglarized.

The criminally misnamed Financial Data Protection Act of 2006 preempts 17 state's laws designed to protect consumers credit reports. Not only does it do away with those laws, but it substitutes a laughable weak standard where the victim must not only have had their identity stolen, they must prove it before they can request a freeze.

In other words, the financial industry intends to shift an enormous amount of risk onto consumers in order to make it easier for them to send you pre-approved credit offers.


No More Nukes

Following the annoucement of Michael Gerson's resignation, liberal commentator Kvatch Kopf asked the former Bush administration speech writer about the real reason for his departure -
Well Kvatch, there were many reasons, but if I had to point to just one thing, it would probably be the fact that I didn't want to have to write the word nukuler into a speech ever again.

You've Resigned, Congratulations!

Yesterday was Kvatch's last day at his most recent employer, and he's now what you might call "a frog of leisure". And of course, he sent out the obligatory message to his friends and colleagues saying that he was leaving. Of the many responses only one expressed regret. All of the others were notes of congratulations.

So the frog wonders: When did we get to the point where leaving a job was more of an event to celebrate than starting one? Are we so frustrated with our work that our time off is more precious than having something satisfying to do? Are we so overworked that we can't view our careers as anything more than drudgery--a way to pay the bills?


7 Days? Bah! One All Nighter After A Raging Drunk

It's come to light that the beloved and recently departed Pope, John Paul II felt that physicists should avoid studying the beginnings of the universe, "...because that was the moment of creation and the work of God." Stephen Hawking, perhaps the most famous theoretical physicist of his generation, let this little nugget drop at a lecture at Hong Kong University on Thursday.

But here at Blognonynmous we don't think that this is the whole story. What the Pope was really afraid of was that physicists might discover that rather than taking 7 day to create the universe, God screwed around for the first 6 at a kegger thrown by Lucifer, and then pulled an all-nighter.

Explains a lot doesn't it?

Kvatch Kvetches - Mr. Platitudes Moves On

Busy day ahead, no time for a full-on post, maybe later...

The Favorite Speech Writer, Michael Gerson Resigns
He is the best and most influential presidential speechwriter since Ted Sorenson... and ...one of the key intellectual architects of the Bush presidency, whether we're talking about compassionate conservatism at home or the freedom agenda abroad. Translation: Mr. Platitudes moves on.

Still All Is Well At Bu$hCo
President Bush reaffirms his support for Karl Rove in the wake of Turd-blossom's escape from Fitzgerald's clutches. But the question remains: If your so freakin' confident in him, why did you demote him, Mr. President?

Say Goodbye To Flicker
Web content labeling has resurfaced in the Senate at the urging of the DoJ, and this time the penalties are truly draconian. Fail to find and report pornography on your network and get socked to the tune of $300,000. That'll put a chill on your business model.


Or Maybe We Could Just Slow The F*ck Down!

From the San Francisco Chronicle -
Automakers could eliminate most rollover accidents and dramatically cut the number of car-crash deaths if they expanded their use of a computerized stability system to all models, an insurance industry-funded group says.
I'll bet they did, but here's simpler notion: If you're doing the kind of driving that puts you at serious risk for a rollover, maybe you should just stop! What? Do you really think you need to hit that clover-leaf at 50 MPH? I DON'T F*CKING THINK SO! Slow down for christ's sake!

I once had an Audi dealer (you know the people who are so big on Quattro All-wheel Drive), tell me "Well most of our customers want the Quattro and the stability control. It's piece of mind." And my dumbfounded response, "Why? Are they doing things with your cars that they shouldn't? Or perhaps you're telling me that you cars are fundamentally unstable?" Dipsh*t!

SLOW DOWN! Your insurance costs will drop. Industry windbags like these will have no reason to increase the cost of your car by thousands, and we'll all breathe a little easier.

Reduce the Juice, Get An Award

File this under supremely ironic.

Art Rosenfeld, a veteran researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, will receive the prestigious Fermi Award for lifetime contributions to the energy field. Rosenfeld is best known for his comprehensive findings on energy efficiency in the 70s and 80s. Autos, appliances, buildings, and delivery systems all fell under Rosenfeld's scrutiny, and to this day Rosenfeld still champions the cause of energy efficiency -
Rosenfeld also supports placing a tax on SUVs, based on the carbon these vehicles put into the atmosphere. The tax can be coupled with incentive payments to owners of energy efficient cars. Per person, the U.S. still emits more carbon dioxide than other industrialized nations.
We here at Blognonymous couldn't agree more.

The award is ironic in many ways. First Rosenfeld is one of the few remaining graduate students of Enrico Fermi, the award's namesake. Also, the award is issued by the Federal government--this Federal government--by an administration that pays only the slightest lip serv-[ZAP "Ow!" POLITICS, KVATCH, POLITICS]. Ok...ok...I get it.

Good Health News From All Over

Are you as tired as I am of all this politics, politics, politics?! I knew it, and Dr. Kvatch has the cure. Today at Blognonymous we say "politics gets the boot".

On the health front, a new study suggests that an ingredient in beer may prevent prostate cancer and enlargement. And as if good news about your prostate weren't enough, a Kaiser Permanente study of 125,000 people concludes that coffee consumption helps lower your risk of cirrhosis of the liver.

Outstanding! Beer for the prostate. Coffee for the liver. Wine for the arteries, and vodka to keep me from tearing my hair out on a daily basis. I'm set! :-)


Karl Be Careful What You Pray For

Rove escapes indictment...
...Cheney announces celebratory hunting trip.

Ann Coulter and The Second Printing

Ann Coulter - GoddessAfter enduring a week of harsh criticism, Ann Coulter announced last evening that, after a visitation from the Holy Spirit, she would be giving birth to a political messiah--a savior able to lead the neocons through the darkness of the midterms and into the light of redemption.

When asked for a response, a liberal commentator speaking on condition of anonymity replied, "It would have to be an immaculate conception. No man would sleep with that harpy."


Bush Is Listening, Use Big Words

You know they're listening. You don't have encryption. So what do you do? USE BIG WORDS!

I pledge allegiance to the multi-hued standard of the United States of America and to the democratic, bicameral, representative form of government for which it stands–-one nation under a supreme, monotheistic, Judeo-Christian deity, having quanta-like properties--with self-determining autonomy and legal due-process for all.

How will you confuse them?

Thanks to The Unspunblog for the inspiration.

Time To Revoke That War Powers Resolution

This morning the first arguments in ACLU vs. NSA, the recent suit attempting to stop illegal domestic surveillance authorized by Bu$hCo after 9/11, will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor. The importance of this case cannot be understated, as the ACLU is arguing for an immediate halt to the program on constitutional grounds.

Predictably, the administration is making it's defense using two, possibly shaky, arguments. First, they argue that the case cannot go forward because it might reveal state secrets. Second, regardless of how Judge Taylor rules on the secrets issue, the DoJ argues that Congress authorized the President to use force against al Qaeda with it's war powers resolution of Sept. 12th, 2001.

So...setting aside whether or not domestic surveillance in violation of FISA 78 constitutes "use of force against al Qaeda," there seems to be a simple way to fix Bu$hCo's little red wagon: Congress should revoke their authorization and in doing so deprive the administration of the argument that they've used to defend everything from illegal surveillance to indefinite detention and torture of detainees. In addition, once revoked, the issue of revealing state secrets will no longer be relevant as the administration will be in explicit violation of the will of Congress and the law.

Sounds to me like the first task for a newly elected Democratic Congress.

Suicides - An End To The War on Terror

In the finest tradition of the f-A-ke. P., Karena's got the final word.


Specter Blusters...Again

Once again Arlen Specter is making a big noise about getting telco executives to testify on the issue of Bu$hCo's illegal surveillance. Unfortunately we see this from the senior Senator from Pennsylvania all too often, like when he threatened to yank NSA's funding as a way to reign in the agency's excesses. And it's too bad Senator Specter can't seem to find his cojones. As Julie O. points out in this excellent article, the telcos are acting like a co-equal branch of government and are in need of some serious correction, subpoena-style.

Kvatch Kvestions - Harvesting MySpace

So the Pentagon wants to increase the accuracy of their intelligence gathering by harvesting massive amounts of information from the social networking sites like Friendster and MySpace. Seems to me that we can apply a simple principle here: GIGO, "garbage in, garbage out". I shudder to think of the conclusions our intelligence community will make from the data they get out of the web's equivalent of Silly Putty.

Thanks for The Xsociate for digging this out of the noise.

Good Cop, Bad Cop

After six years of emasculating Congress with bullying, lies, propaganda, and outright disdain, the administration has realized that the President might actually need the legislative in order to forward his agenda. After all, signing statements are great for circumventing laws, but they're pretty useless when it comes to making law.

So as Bush's poll numbers dive like one of Cheney's hunting partners, the President is trying a new tactic, being nice. Senators are being asked into the Oval Office to discuss what's on their minds. Intimate cocktail parties for lawmakers and their spouses are being held on the Truman Balcony, complete with tours of the Lincoln Bedroom.

However, despite this Republican glastnost, it's hard for Bu$hCo to leave old habits behind. While the President plays kissy-face with Dennis Hastert (there's a visual I bet you didn't need over your morning coffee), the Veep has been unleashed to do Bush's dirty work, pressuring the Senate Armed Services Committee to bend the law to the administration's will--going behind Arlen Specter's back to keep the Judiciary Committee from investigating Bu$hCo's illegal domestic surveillance program.

Not that it will matter come December. Can you imagine Laura Bush inviting Nancy Pelosi on a tour of the Lincoln Bedroom:

Mrs. Bush: So Nancy...what do you think?
Rep. Pelosi: I think your husband's an idiot! Get me another G&T.


Future Headlines - The Execujudeative Branch

Washington (f-A-ke. P.) -

Today the Bush administration formally dissolved the Judicial and Legislative branches of government in favor of a new super branch to be known as the Execujudeative. When asked why he was taking this extraordinary step, the President replied, "Well David Addington's right hand is gettin' mighty tired from all those signing statements, and so I just decided that this would be easier."

Reactions from congressional leaders were mixed. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D CA), when asked for her opinion replied, "The f*ck he say!?" But Senator Majority Leader Frist immediately introduced legislation mandating that all contributions to Republican candidates immediately be returned to their donors and that all contributions to Democratic candidates will be used to fund another round of tax cuts. Speaker of the House Hastert praised the new legislation as a "bounty" for the American taxpayer.

At the Supreme Court the response was likewise varied. Chief Justice Roberts was quoted as saying, "But...but...but, I just got here!" Whereas Associate Justice Antonin Scalia responded, "Should'a done that about 6 years ago! Little prick could'a saved me a lot of trouble."

Kvatch Kvetches - Go To Jail Free Cards

Sound bites of doom...

Not just double-dipping. Big Content Wants "Infini-dipping"
Section 115 Reform Act of 2006 (SIRA) is the worst bill you've never heard of--a way for Big Content to extract their pound of flesh for every instance of a copyrighted work. You see it changes copyright law to add licensing rights on "incidental copies". Rip an MP3 from a CD you own...pay the toll. Move that MP3 to another computer...pay again. Transfer it to your iPod...yes sir. Pay up! So much for fair use.

All Budgetary Restraint Is Meaningless
The GOP wants to knock another $115M out CPB's budget in order to "rein in government spending". But you know what? I've got a better idea. Let's stay in Iraq just one month less ($10B) and use that money to fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the next 20 years!

Go To Jail Free Cards
Did you know that it is a crime to tell a lie to the federal government? Even if your lie is oral and not under oath? Even if you have received no warnings of any kind? Even if you are not trying to cheat the government out of money? Even if the government is not actually misled by your falsehood? Well it is.


Three Cautionary Couplets on al Zarqawi

Blogger being out all day really puts me off my game.

OK...so here's a thought on al Zarqawi's death, and before any of my Nutsphere trolls accuse me of giving aid and comfort to the enemy, keep in mind that this is a cautionary observation. al Zarqawi was a monster and deserved to die, but without Bush's war there would have been no al Zarqawi; no followers to step into his shoes; and no need for two 500 lb bombs to dispatch him with.

Not by my own hand like those I lead
Dispatched I am with pushbutton ease

My enemy thinks the tide will ebb
My brothers folding...fleeing...dead

But in a land by Bush fresh tilled
Martyrs grow where blood's been spilled

Thanks to The Poetry Man for the inspiration.

Kvatch Konsiders - The GOP's Hatred of the American Dream

What is the 'Amercian Dream'? The notion that you can improve your economic status through hard work and that your children will have better, more prosperous life than you, right? But...from attacking the people pursuing it to clamping down on socio-economic mobility, the GOP demonstrates their hatred of the American Dream.

Look at the GOP's "hot issues": Gay marriage and immigration. Now I submit to you that no one is pursuing the American Dream with more gusto than homosexuals and immigrants. The latter is obvious and has always been the case. Immigrants from Mexico, India, the Middle-east, and Oceania are getting jobs, buying houses, and raising up "a mess 'o kids" with a zeal that crusty mainline anglos can't touch. And when it comes to socio-economic mobility, nobody is more mobile than your average gay couple. They practically keep Home Depot, Pottery Barn, and a half-a-dozen other retailers in business...single handedly!

But where are the economic clamps on mobility applied? Smack against middle and lower-middle class immigrants. Where is discrimination in marriage, employment, inheritence, etc... applied? Smack against homosexuals.

I think the evidence of where the GOP stands, speaks for itself.


What Rendition May Mean For Europe

The verdict from Dick Marty, EU Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee chairman, is in, and it is damning. The Committee has found -
...that authorities in several European countries actively participated with the CIA in these unlawful activities. Other countries ignored them knowingly, or did not want to know.
The UK is singled out for special condemnation and stands accused of, "...not only allowing the use of British airspace and airports, but of providing information that was used during the torture of one suspect." Spain, Turkey, Germany and Cyprus are accused of providing staging posts for rendition operations. Sweden, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Italy allowed abductions to occur from their own countries.

And just in case the implications of collaborating with the US on prisoner rendition aren't sufficiently clear, Mr. Marty concludes with the following -
This legal approach is utterly alien to the European tradition and sensibility, and is clearly contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
So now the question is whether or not Franco Frattini, EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner, will follow through on his threat to suspend the voting rights of member states accused of violating the European Convention on Human Rights.

Wouldn't that be something?


The Administration Takes 6.6.06 In Stride

Washington (f-A-ke. P.) -

Q: Tony does the administration have any comment on reports that the Anti-Christ was seen shopping for burgundy pillow shams at a Pottery Barn in San Francisco's Castro district?

MR. SNOW: Well the President feels--and I'm sure we all agree--that this isn't surprising. What have you got here? A California city [wink, wink] that bans military recruitment in public schools, calls protecting Americans against terrorists 'impeachable', considers banning JROTC?! I think these actions speak for themselves.

Dispatches From the Battle for a Discriminatory Constitution

Bush is too embarrassed to flog the Federal Marriage Amendment in public...
Moves the press conference to the Old Executive Office building and then refuses to take questions.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough calls Bush's support "pandering".

The FMA is a non-issue for the under 40 crowd.
And they'll be in charge soon enough making this kind of discrimination a thing of the past.

Senator Rick Santorum thinks that every attempt to attack gay marriage is a winning posture.
Or perhaps it's another chance to show the electorate what a bunch of stupid bigots their leaders really are.


Is the Pentagon violating the law?

Back in January the hotly debated "McCain Amendment" wrote humane treatment of military detainees into the Defense Appropriations bill, and despite attempting to embarrass the Senator, Bush signed this bill in December 05. But now we learn that the Pentagon is planning to, ...omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that bans "humiliating and degrading treatment,".

So Blognonymous asks... First: Is this a violation of the McCain Amendment's requirements. Second: Does Bush think he's going to get away with it, again, because he issued a signing statement? And third: Is this the test case that we've been waiting for?


American Untouchables - The Federal "No-work" List

Usually I'm loathe to blog on a topic twice, but this issue is too important to ignore. As part of imigration reform, the Feds are about to put in place an employment verification system that, if abused, could turn any American into an untouchable unable to find gainful employment in the United States.

An integral part of both immigration reform bills is a national employment eligibility database against which all applicants would be checked. Most likely this will be an extension of Basic Pilot program already in limited use. In addition, the draft House legislation contains increased penalties for violations, a deterrent to employers failing to use whatever system The Feds put in place.

Privacy advocates are calling this an unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of Americans and rightly point out that such a system could be used to perpetrate identity theft since it will coordinate existing databases with social-security numbers. Unfortunately this is not the biggest problem with such a system. Much more serious, and more lightly reported in the MSM, is the following:

Such a system would give the government sole discretion over one's employability

Stated more simply, you'll have to have the government's permission in order to make a living, and if that doesn't scare you consider the following: No standards of accountability or accuracy have been defined for this system. So, like the TSA's "No-fly list," once you're on it there is no defined procedure for getting yourself removed. And to make matters worse, with increased penalties for hiring illegals, employers won't question the answers they get from the Feds. They'll simply deny you employment and forget about you.

As for abuse, the situation's a no-brainer. Imagine some partisan functionary deciding to take out everyone on their "enemies" list. Get these poor schmucks into the Federal "no-work" database, and suddenly they're outcasts with no way to feed themselves, much less their families. At that point the only option open to these American Untouchables is emigration--the perfect solution for the politically connected hatchet-man.

Sadly, "You'll never work again in this town..." is about to take on a sinister new meaning.


Ban Gay Marriage? How About Banning Gay Uniforms

While Senate Majority Frist whips up the Republican base with the old gay marriage warhorse, a far more pernicious scourge lurks within our borders. Our military, the very defenders of our nation, are afflicted by the disease of gay uniforms.

Just look at these pictures and tell me you don't agree. These uniforms that could grace the cover of International Male fer Christ's sake!

When President Bush speaks to the nation on Monday night, he shouldn't push for a ban on gay marriage, he should push for a ban on gay uniforms! Or at the very least a "don't ask, don't tell policy" on the fruity duds our troops are wearing this season.

Thanks to The Station Agent for the inspiration.


The Snowjob Really Warms To His Task

Washington (f-A-ke. P.) -

In today's White House press briefing, Secretary Snow addressed the plagues of locusts invading the traditionally liberal state of New York -
Q: Tony, does the President intend to declare New York a disaster area so that they can apply for Federal assistance?

MR. SNOW: The President feels he has a responsibility to the whole nation on this issue--wants to make sure that his message is that of a compassionate conservative who'll help the state without offending parts of the nation that think that New York may have deserved this.

Q: Are you saying that the President believes that New York deserves a plague of biblical proportions?

MR. SNOW: Not at all. Let's just say that the President feels that maybe there wouldn't be a problem if liberal states like New York weren't so opposed to the use of pesticides.

Customer Retention, Apple Style

Is Apple's new flagship store in NYC cool or what? The only problem is that, like Wonka's Great Glass Elevator, Apple's is also bit...uh...wonky.

Uplifting Quote of the Week

Sometimes all the crap coming from Washington these days just feels overwhelming. Well Blognonymous feels your pain, and so for 24 hours we're going to focus solely on uplifting news that demonstrates how much worse it could be.

Tonight the Frogette, who is infinitely more plugged in to the world of entertainment, turns us on to the reason why, as strange as it might sound, you really should pity Britney Spears -
Additionally, Spears thinks K-Fed is responsible for leaking their private info to the tabloids by telling his friends stuff he knows they'll sell to papers. I'd feign surprise, but this is Kevin Federline we're talking about. She should just be glad he hasn't sold their house for some magic beans or something.
Yes indeed. He's a catch.


Kvatch Konsiders - Challenging the "Statement at Signing"

OK, I know that I've blogged on this topic before, but this is getting ridiculous...750 signing statements! 750! With David Addington, an unelected partisan hack, adding more each day. Bush doesn't need the veto. He's got the ability to "addendize" laws away!

These things are unconstitutional and exercising them may even be illegal. So why the f*ck with 750 to choose from we can't get just one into the Supreme Court. I want these things to be declared unconstitutional once and for all. In other words, where's my fracking test case?!

Luddites Endanger Cell Phone Market

I'm not a luddite--well ok maybe with respect cell phones I am--but it looks like a lot of people feel the way I do. I mean really...do you need your cell phone for anything other than making calls? Maybe it should store some contact information, and sure...syncing with your computer is nice, but other than that? Come on... And so, in that spirit we present:

Blognonymous' Top 5 Stupid Things Cell Phones Do -

5 - Play Games
Who's the dorkiest person the bus? The one playing Tetris on his cell phone.

4 - Send Text Messages
For people who are allergic to punctuation

3 - Play Music
And now the latest from Radiohead...as heard through a 1 foot steel tube welded to one ear (Oh wait, Radiohead always sounds like that.)

2 - Take Pictures
Yes indeed, I sure do love to see a blurry, postage-stamp sized image of your recent trip to see the Giants lose.

1 - Surf the Internet
Can you say "adventures in scrolling"?