Long Live Common Sense!
Long Live Common Sense!
The good news is that starting tomorrow, Common Sense will be at its new home CommonSenseTX.com.
The bad news is that it is still not really ready. But it is go time and things can be added as we go along.
From all of us at Common Sense. I don't know what chocolate bunnies have to do with Jesus dying on the cross (they don't even lay eggs), but I hope you eat plenty of them today.
A man is suing Hooters for retaliation and sexual harrassment after he contacted the corporate offices to complain about a trainer.
The corporate trainer, Cat, said to the waitresses:
that they were "the ones with the pussys and you are in control because of that." Then she reportedly added, "If you need the extra money, go ahead and suck a d--- or f--- a customer if the money is right."
When 31-year-old Jarman Gray, the manager at the store, called corporate to complain, the owner of the Alabama franchise was incensed and fired him. Now Gray will most likely win his lawsuit and gets oodles of money. Possibly spending it all at Hooters.
I'm stuck. Space Monkey is in Austin without me and Common Sense Mom doesn't want to go out to eat. It's going to be another lonely Friday where I eat by myself and watch a really crappy movie like Transporter 2 that I put on my Netflix Queue when I was drunk.
I would really like for it to not come to that, so any of my Waco readers, if you want to get together, feel free to shoot me an email.
I don't know what is so good about it, it's the day Jesus was crucified. It should be called Bad Luck Friday or something.
According to Carole Keeton-Strayhorn the tax plan being offered by Perry and Sharp will end up being $10.6 billion short over the next 5 years.
I know that doesn't sound like a lot... oh wait, it does sound like a lot of money. Details are still sketchy as to how she came up with that number, but I imagine she has the same problem the Center for Public Policy Priorities has with the use of the surplus.
There is a kerfluffle.
I got an email Wednesday from the Chet Edwards campaign .
Van Taylor Draws “Fewer than 100” at Event with VP
brings Cheney to TX-17; gets only 25% of the turnout
2004 GOP nominee had at same event before losing to Edwards
WACO – Van Taylor, the GOP nominee in Texas’ 17th Congressional District, held a fundraiser with Vice President Dick Cheney Monday that was notable for its low attendance and questionable fundraising success. Despite bringing in one of the GOP’s top fundraisers, Taylor attracted “fewer than 100” supporters and refused to say how much money he raised, according to media reports.
Taylor’s campaign fell far
short of the modest standard set by 2004 GOP nominee Arlene Wohlgemuth
when she held an event with Cheney, despite the fact that the ticket
price for the Taylor event was only $150, while the Wohlgemuth campaign
charged $200. In her unsuccessful race against Rep. Chet Edwards,
Wohlgemuth drew 400 supporters for her event with Cheney and raised
$300,000. Wohlgemuth then went on to lose Waco and McLennan County
decisively, garnering just 35% of the vote in the largest county in
the district – a fact that does not bode well for the Taylor campaign.
I decided the journalist thing to do was contact the Van Taylor campaign for their side of the story. Campaign manager Casey Phillips says they didn't even have enough room for the people that showed up. He also pointed out that Arlene's event was a rally and this was an inside-the-ballroom type fundraiser. "Chet's campaign is grasping" at straws, he said.
If I remember correctly, tickets were $150 to $2,100 apiece. With an estimated 150 paid tickets, I would guess the Taylor camp grossed between $22,500 and $315,000. Which would not be bad at all, though I'm guessing closer to the low end of that scale.
It's usually not my place to get into a kerfluffle, and this is no different. I do have to wonder how much was raised and how much was net profit since Dick Cheney has such a long rider.
(Ed. note: I could have linked to this older, but much funnier story. You so owe me for being mature)
Tom DeLay can survive anything. I would venture to say he could actually survive a nuclear war!
Vince is reporting that The Bugman may be on the shortlist to head the OMB (that's Office of Management and Budget for the acronym-challenged). That means he would be in charge of the White House budget and telling us all how big the deficit is and how much everything costs. Hmmmm...
The position is open thanks to some top-level shifts. Andy Card resigned making room for Josh Bolten to replace him was the director of OMB. That's really neat how it all just sort of worked out.
My major gripe with this sign is not the subject matter, but the language used in it. We all agreed on a language, and if you're not going to use it correctly, don't say anything at all.
How can you be pre-born? It's a lot like George Carlin's famous joke about preboarding an airplane: How can you get on an airplane before you get on the airplane? There's getting on or there isn't. There's being born and there is not being born. Two very distinctive states of being. You can be unborn or you can be born. There's no being born before you're born.
Photo credit to Space Monkey.
There is a lot of speculation about whether America is ready for a movie about 9/11 with the impending release of Universal's United 93. Audiences in New York demanded that the trailer be pulled over the weekend.
People forget, though, that there is already a movie about 9/11. It's called DC 9/11: Time of Crisis, and it is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It's actually a lot like watching the Left Behind movies; nothing is particularly accurate to reality and the acting is so over the top emotional, you would think Jerry Bruckheimer had a hand in directing it... except for the crappy production values.
The scene that irks me the most is the one where COS Andy Card informs the president that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center and that America is under attack. In real life, President George W. Bush sat in his chair looking very scared for 7 minutes. Seven f-ing minutes! In the movie, Bush is up and ready to kick some al Qaida ass himself.
This movie was literally made for one reason and one reason only, to counteract the impact of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. From what I understand, the script was written after interviewing White House staff, which in any other administration would give us great insight. Instead, the movie ends up being biased and slightly megalomaniacal with how great a job they did that day.
The only redeeming quality of the movie is who plays George W. Bush: Timothy Bottoms. You may remember him from a very nice TV show call That's My Bush! Yes, they got him to play the president in an over-the-top drama about 9/11 to help the president's re-election efforts. This movie was only tolerable because I kept slipping into fantasyworld where he just looks at Laura on the plane and says "One of these days Laura, I'm gonna punch you in the face!"
Then I snap back to reality and realize this is a God-awful movie.
How audiences will react when United93 is released is still up in the air. Most industry experts say that people will be too curious to resist seeing it and I think they are probably right. But how they feel about it later will probably be a mixed bag. Something so devoted to historical accuracy and portraying the events on-board Flight 93 cannot be something so easy to watch. Even in Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore used a black screen and just audio to portray the planes crashing into the WTC. Showing those images and recreating the images through the eyes and actions of passengers will hit even harder. America is tough, though, and it is time we really did face up to what happened.
We can't not discuss it, and we can't put it off forever. Maybe, without any political bias, we can look back and assess how we really feel about how well we were protected and the emotions that day represents, finally.
With nuclear holocaust nigh imminent, I thought it would be good to watch a movie about that other time we almost bombed another country.
Thirteen Days is a movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's a lot like the crisis we have no wwith Iran, only it didn't take so long and we had a president who wanted to do everything possible to avoid going to war. So, it's actually nothing like the current crisis.
My only problem with the movie is that Kevin Costner is in it. I don't know what it is about him, but his movies tend to not make me entirely satisfied with his perfomance. I guess the major exceptions would be Tin Cup (it's not Caddyshack, but what other golf movie is? At least it is better than that one with Shia Lebouf) and Thirteen Days.
The movie centers around the thirteen days of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the inside the Oval Office discussions between John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood), Bobby Kennedy (Steven Culp) and JFK's political director Kenny O'Donnell (Costner). Days shows the intra-office politics of people just itching to go to war with the Soviets and how JFK was able to stave off annihilation with his leadership abilities and his amazing intellect. Though the movie was released in 2000, it is hard not to view it through the lens of the last six years and offer political commentary.
I really wish we had a president like JFK now. When you watch this movie, you realize that our current leaders in Washington pale in comparison. Kennedy was very much hands-on and able to reign in his advisors to take the proper course and keep America from getting into something it could not get itself out of. The Bush White House, however, obviously lacks real leadership. The now well-known fights between Colin Powell's State Department and Rumsfeld's DoD show just how little control George W. Bush exerts. Kennedy was able to make decisions himself and tell his advisors what to do (with a little help from close friends and confidantes) to see us through safely.
The other thing I really enjoyed was seeing shades of the man RFK would become. He was really two men; the one before Nov. 22, 1963 and the one after. The one after that day was someone that was truly empathetic to other people's losses and a true statesman. He was just the man we needed to be elected in 1968. Tragically, that wasn't allowed to happen. It was nice to see an actor that could show you that man in the room with the Soviet ambassador making the deal that stopped all out nuclear war.
A fine film for anyone seeking a historical drama done right. And for anyone who dares to find out just how close we came to the end of the world all those years ago. Common Sense gives it 5 out of 5 American flag lapel pins.
Still a lot of unanswered questions since last week's revelations regarding Scooter Libby's testimony to the grand jury in the Plamegate investigation.
Libby says that the president and vice president did not order him to leak Valerie Plame's name to reporters. I guess that is him falling on his sword and being loyal since Fitzgerald wouldn't have filed his brief saying that's what happened without that being the case.
It is still intersting to note that what Libby discussed with Judy Miller had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Iraq sought "significant quantities of uranium from Africa," just that Plame was Wilson's wife.
There is still a debate about whether that information was classified when Libby and Rove talked to reporters about it. The NIE was on track to be declassified and several people, including John Dean, believe that the president cannot unilaterally declassify documents on a whim when that process is in place. And is it really declassified if the only people that know that the president declassified a document are the three people in the room? I mean, shouldn't the director of intelligence be told?
Probably the biggest dent in the president's credibility is that he won't deny or confirm what happened. He gets into semantic arguments about his "inherant powers" to declassify documents and how important it is to tell the public the truth. I would agree, but what he's revealed doesn't tell us anything about when the NIE was officially declassified.
Parsing his words as best I can, I think he may have been involved in this. Someone doing that many rhetorical backflips has something to hide. My guess is that he's claiming inherant executive power so that a later date, when it cannot be proven otherwise, and he gets caught having done something incredibly stupid, like tell the VP COS to tell reporters who Plame was, he can go back and say he had the power to declassify what he saw fit. The rest of us will get caught in an argument about whether he actually can do that and the issue and the criticism gets muddied.
The only way we could every get to the bottom of this is through Fitzgerald's independent investigation or through Congressional hearings. I don't know if we're ready for those hearings, talk would inevitably lead back to censure and/or impeachment.
I want to say something about that for a moment. I've long been ambivalent about impeachment. For political reasons, I thought impeachment sounded nice but I was unable to really get behind something like that. After the Clinton impeachment, America just didn't need to lose faith in its leader like that again. Two in a row could seriously tear this country apart.
But then you have to remember Richard Nixon. He resigned after the House drew up Articles of Impeachment after their hearings into Watergate. If Congress was to investigate, there are so many things that go so far beyond the Nixon White House that I don't think anyone could avoid impeachment talk. From cronyism in important jobs, possible intelligence manipulation to get us into war, domestic spying, Plamegate. The list seems endless and cannot go without some sort of official rebuttal from Congress should they get involved.
I'm more worried now at the loss of faith in all our leaders if we don't have Congress investigate these things. The American people have a right to know and politically expediency should take a back seat to what is best for our democracy. I fear, though, that Congress will not step in because of partisan loyalty. This goes way beyond partisanship and gets right to the heart of our republic. Congress should be investigating this White House.
Last night had to be one of the most stressful nights I've ever had at work.
I walk in the door and the first thing I hear is that my boss was calling me a "blankety-blank" and wanted my first priority to be the Little League Plus page. So I spent two hours typing up all of the little league stuff that had already been typed and lost to put on the page.
The kicker is, because of that I didn't realize that the agate wire was down until fairly late at night. And tech services didn't exactly fix the problem and my page suffered because of it. I could find a lot of the stuff on yourap.org, but the other kicker is that everything on my page goes through a translator and looks totally different than how it is originally put on the wire. Trying to do all of that by hand is such a pain in the neck.
Work has become so stressful that I can't go home at the end of the week without suffering a major computer/technical failure of some kind and without a major stress headache blurring my vision on the drive home. It's so stressful that I'm clenching my jaw right now just thinking about last night.
The only thing keeping me from a complete nervous breakdown is the fact that you are all here reading and commenting on this blog, and my delusions that I'm funny and deserve to be on TV.