Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Anti gay doesn't mean a little airport men's room sex is wrong, does it?

According to CNN:

Republican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was apprehended June 11 by a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd behavior in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota. In recent years, Craig's voting record has earned him top ratings from social conservative groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council.
On August 8, he plead guilty and paid a $500 fine. He now regrets that guilty plea.

I bet he does, he is up for re-election next year and I'm willing to bet this won't help in conservative Idaho.

Again, according to CNN:

In recent years, Craig's voting record has earned him top ratings from social conservative groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council.

He has supported a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, telling his colleagues that it was "important for us to stand up now and protect traditional marriage, which is under attack by a few unelected judges and litigious activists."

In 1996, Craig also voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages and prevents states from being forced to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples legally performed in other states.

Craig also has opposed expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias and, in 1996, voted against a bill that would have outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, which failed by a single vote in the Senate.
If this is the kind of voting record that gets you elected in Idaho, getting arrested and pleading guilty to trolling for gay sex in an airport men's room is probably a deal breaker with the voters.

Don't you just love the hypocrisy that the Republicans consider "family values."

UPDATE: Wanna see the arrest report? (PDF)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Update: Clear Skies

It hasn't rained for 24 hours and the pond behind my house is pulling back like a chastised child. The rivers around here continue to rise though as the water from all the rains works it's way south. I'm glad I don't live near one of them.

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Rain, rain, go away..."

Holy Crap!

I never understood people who choose to live in areas known for being ravaged by hurricanes. Today, I REALLY don't understand people who choose to live in areas known for being ravaged by hurricanes.

Yesterday, the tornado sirens went off at about 3:15 in the afternoon. Everyone at work was sent to the basement to huddle around the lone television to try and figure out if they were going home to a house or an empty lot.

Okay, that isn't unheard of in the Midwest. It's our cross to bear for not living in a hurricane or earthquake zone. But on the way home after the warning ended, I got a little taste of hurricane.

At first, the sky was nearly clear, lots of trees damaged and power outages, but it wasn't too bad for a big storm. Then, just as I was about three miles from picking up my daughter at a friend's house, the skies opened up again.

The rain, powered by 80 mile an hour winds, was coming down so hard that I couldn't see to drive. I creeped along at five miles an hour through a residential neighborhood looking for the house when I realized the road ahead was covered in water.

I'm not an idiot, I know a road covered in water is a recipe for a flooded out car and thousands of dollars in damage. But I had to get my daughter and this is a residential area -- how deep could it be?

Up to the freakin' running boards, that's how deep. The car was literally alternating between driving and floating. The tires kept popping off the pavement. Luckily, I got through it at just the right speed, not so fast as to flood the engine, but not so slowly that I got washed into someone's muddy and undrivable front yard.

I got my daughter, drove through a couple more areas like that one and got home. I was relieved to see that the sump pump I had fixed a few days before was working (a lot!) but distressed to discover that the picturesque pond usually 20 to 30 yards behind my house was suddenly lapping at my back fence.

This is only the second time since we have lived in this house that the water has gotten that high. Luckily, an hour or so later, the rains slowed to a sprinkle and as of this morning, the water has pulled back a good three yards.

There is more rain forecast for today and tonight. I'm sure glad my kids have had swimming lessons, they might need those skills if this keeps up.

(These are pictures of the commuter train station parking lot one stop up the line from my town. Photo Credit - Chicago Tribune)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sumptin's Wrong

I woke up on Sunday with the rain falling hard. It was after the second cup of coffee as I stared at the rising pond behind my house when I realized that I hadn't heard the sump pump go off. Normally, after that much rain, I hear it go off now and then.

With trepidation I open the crawlspace below my split level home. There I found two inches of standing water. Luckily, most of our stored stuff in there is in plastic bins, but man, what a drag.

The tethered float on the pump was floating on the surface of the water so the switch wouldn't work. Needless to say, I spent most of the day in and out of the crawl space getting it fixed.

Ain't home ownership fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hastert to Retire

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know I had little time for the hypocrisy of the Republican leadership during the Foley scandal. For those you who are new or from overseas and don't follow American politics, here is a quick recap.

1) Congressman Mark Foley (R - Florida) had a habit of chasing teenage boys in the Congressional Page program with the intent of having sex with them.

2) The Republican leadership, including members of then Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's (R - Illinois) office knew and didn't do anything.

Okay, I'm missing a few details but if you want more you can check out my prior stories.

Well, poor Denny Hastert lost his job as Speaker when the Democrats took control of the House and now the Chicago Tribune is reporting that he's ready to go home. Yep, retire.

Good riddance.

Denny, you and your party supported a war we should never had started, you've driven our healthcare system to the brink of collapse, you supported the erosion of our civil liberties and you protected the predatory practices of a pederast for political purposes.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

But why now? Likely because they want to let a Republican run as an incumbent. If Denny leaves, they appoint a replacement and the replacement gets the power of the office to run for reelection.

A political hack to the end, eh Denny? Afraid the Dem's might actually make a run at your seat in a fair fight? I guess you are what you are -- and Denny, you're a hack. A stooge for the Republican machine and I'm glad you're leaving. I'm sure plenty in your district are too.

Goodbye to the friend of pederasts?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Goodbye Herr Rove

Karl Rove is leaving the White House at the end of the month. I can just see him dusting off his hands and muttering to himself, "Well, my work is done here. Now it's time to cash in!"

When the biographies/histories are written by the White House players, I wonder who will have the choicest words for Karl? I hope everyone dishes hard on this guy, I hope they hang everything from the attorney firings and the Plame outing to the voter fraud in Ohio and Florida on this guy, he has certainly earned it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

They all cheated, so it's okay, right? Wrong.

(Editor's Note, I know this is a sports story and a significant number of my readers don't really care. But the sports commentary following his breaking the record pissed me off so I felt the need to post.)

The baseball world can finally take a breath. Barry Bonds hit a 3-2 pitch over the center field wall last night to pass Hank Aaron as the All Time Career Leader in homeruns.

And he cheated to do it.

For a significant portion of his career he was on the junk, juiced, hopped up on 'roids. He took performance enhancing drugs to make himself into something that he wasn't. He turned himself into a home run hitting machine.

Let's look at the numbers. From 1986 to 1999, Barry Bonds hit 40 or more homeruns only three times (1993 - 46 HRs, 1996 - 42 HRs, 1997 - 40HRs).

Then suddenly, for a five year stretch from 2000 to 2004 Bonds hit between 45 and 49 homers every year with only one exception - 2001. In 2001, Bonds hit 73 homeruns.

Since 2004 and the Balco scandal and the increased drug testing, Bonds is yet to hit more than 26 homeruns in a season. True, he has battled injuries, but all you have to do is look at the picture below to know why everyone believes that Bonds is a cheater. Body types don't change that much and heads don't grow that much without the help of steroids and Human Growth Hormones.

As I listened to the news coverage this morning on sports radio, I heard commentator after commentator say that because we don't know how many pitchers he faced were also on the juice, Bonds probably was playing on a more even playing field than we think and therefore the record is probably more legitimate than we are giving him credit for. (Damn prepositions!)


By saying that, you are assuming other players had the same access to drugs, the same access to chemists and sports voodoo doctors that Bonds did and that is a false assumption. By making that argument, you are saying the competition wasn't about performance on the field but instead was about performance in the lab. Who had the best juice and who took bigger risks with their future health to achieve success today? Those are the only questions answered by claiming everyone was on the junk. And under that argument, the career homerun record was achieved in a competition of human chemisty manipulation, not baseball.

Barry Bonds cheated, if not by the strict letter of the rules of baseball then by the measure of fair competition. As a baseball fan, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth knowing that the most hallowed record in sports is owned by a cheater. And it is a shame that a talented player like Bonds felt the need to piss on the game he loved to play for his own selfish ambitions.

Shame on you Barry Bonds, shame on you.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Does anyone else remember these?

When I was a kid, I remember hearing a whole series of rhyming jokes about a character named Little Willy. The only one I remember today is this:

Little Willy had a ball,
lined one down the schoolhouse hall.
Out his door came Mr. Hill,
several teeth are missing still.

Does anyone else remember these and have any of them stuck in the dark places in your memory where only bad jokes and regretful encounters reside? If so, please share.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Failing to Fund the Future

The link in this post goes to a must read editorial on the current state of this country's infrastructure. It states very clearly that the infrastructure our generation inherited is falling apart due to neglect.

Just like our failing schools and the faltering health care system, the physical infrastructure of America is suffering from a lack of attention, a lack of adequate funding. At a time when the Bush administration can somehow find the funds to finance a war that no one wants, that is unjustified in the eyes of the world, our roads and bridges are literally crumbing down around us.

We need a new priority in this country, we need to build our strength from within, not flex it in an ill-conceived, unneeded war abroad. We need to educate our children and care for the sick and injured. We must recognize the lessons taught by the generations before us, that economic might and intellectual progress is paid for through infrastructural improvement, by investing in the future, not by throwing good money after bad in a failed venture like the invasion of Iraq.

I have relatives in the Twin Cities, it could have been them on that bridge. And it makes me mad to think of the families in mourning today for loved ones lost in an accident that likely could have been avoided had the money just been spent to care for the legacy we inherited. To all those families, my heart goes out to you in this most difficult time.

Popular Mechanics: Minn. Bridge Collapse Reveals Brittle America: Expert Op-Ed