Saturday, February 16, 2008

Good Post Alert: How Google Got Its Colorful Logo

The Garlic has gotten a lot of mileage with Google (one such post - our first Google riff - is in today's This Date ... On The Garlic), including a good one, on their infamous "I'm Feeling Lucky" bar.

Earlier this week, The Garlic stumbled onto a post (H/T to Good Morning Silicon Valley), on the development, and numerous iterations of the infamous logo

From Wired Magazine's Sonia Zjawinski "How Google Got Its Colorful Logo";

"In just a few short years, Google's logo has become as recognizable as Nike's swoosh and NBC's peacock. Ruth Kedar, the graphic designer who developed the now-famous logo, shows the iterations that led to the instantly recognizable primary colors and Catull typeface that define the Google brand. Kedar met Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page through a mutual friend nine years ago at Stanford University, where she was an assistant professor. Page and Brin, who were having trouble coming up with a logo for their soon-to-launch search engine, asked Kedar to come up with some prototypes. "I had no idea at the time that Google would become as ubiquitous as it is today, or that their success would be of such magnitude," Kedar says.

It's an eight-page image display, with descriptions of each iteration, what was right or wrong about it, some of the changes so infinitesimal, it's like a head-scratching WTF!.

In all, it's an entertaining look at something that has become so engrained in our daily lives, our every minute on the World Wide Web, the logo encompassing the company name, that, much to Larry and Sergey's consternation, has become a verb all over the globe.

Check out "How Google Got Its Colorful Logo"

Bonus Google Riffs

ThinkProgress: Bush says he uses “the Google.”

Google Fires Executive Chef; Caught Searching Recipes On Yahoo, MSN

Stymied By Publishers, Google To Digitize Bazooka Joe Comics

Google Launches Lobbyist; As Usual, In Beta-Mode and By-Invite Only

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons Google Needs A Lobbyist

Google May Come To Terms With Publishers; Will Digitize Cliff Notes Only

Google Begins Talks With White House To Digitize Wiretaps

Obama, The Heart-Breaker

A little something for your Saturday morning coffee

Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate, has penned, under the banner "low concept: Dubious and far-fetched ideas", a rather amusing post;

It's Not You, It's Me Letter from a young, hip, cynical former Obamamaniac

A few snippets;

"Last week, my hip friends were all thronging stadiums and manning phone banks for you. Now they're all blogging against you and downing water and Tylenol like they've just done 12 Obama shooters in 20 minutes and then barfed in the cloakroom.

So I've been thinking a lot about our time together, Barack. Supporting you wholeheartedly was the best damn 14 days of my life. I liked you before liking you was cool. But now it is, so it's not. Know what I mean? At least now I can go back to being flip and cynical and edgy again. I bet you wish you could, too."

Check it out - It's Not You, It's Me Letter from a young, hip, cynical former Obamamaniac

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

16 February, 2007... On The Garlic

Apple Settles With Cisco!; Rolling Dice With New iBeckham Phone; Jobs Promises Aging Soccer Star Can Store "Billions of Photos" of Himself; New "Posh" Command Added

Top Ten Cloves: Things Tim Hardaway Will Do This Weekend Instead of Going To NBA All-Star Game

16 February 2006... On The Garlic

Breaking News - Bush Going After Eulogizers!

16 Cheney Shooting Round-Up; Shooting Incident By VP Is Far From Being In It's "Final Throes"

Top Ten Cloves: Difficulties DC Comics' Batman May Have Fighting Osama bin Laden

16 February 2005... On The Garlic

Google Launches Search for Famed Woman Aviator

NBA, Reebok To Launch New Reality Show: Box & Shoot

Straight Eye for the Queer Guy To Roll Out This Spring

Stockholm Opera Conductor Dies at 86

Top Ten Candidates to Replace Carly Fiorina at Hewlett Packard

Friday, February 15, 2008

Minced Garlic - New Keith Olbermann Special Comment: To Bush - "You're A Fascist! ... You're A Liar"

Another strong - even very animated - Special Comment last evening from MSNBC Countdown host, Keith Olbermann, which had him leaning into the camera to call The Commander Guy a "Fascist" and "A Liar".

Olbermann also presented this Special Comment in a slightly different format.

Rather than his customary last segment of the program, Olbermann segued from the #3 story on 'Countdown', "On FISA and telecom immunity", introducing the recent Bush Grindhouse's efforts to play the Fear Card, and of, perhaps the most startling event of the day - The House Democrats showing a stiff spine and the House Republicans showing they care more about politics than the their own chamber, not to mention the rule-of-law, the Constitution, et all.

Rather than bring up the FISA Bill and give The Bush Grindhouse their most cherished Telcom Immunity (about the only reason they're - once again - beefing up the FISA Bill ... The Protect America Act really should be retitled to Protect The Telecommunication Companies Act ... Read Glenn Greenwald's FISA 101 for an excellent overview of it).

Instead, the House Leadership decided to remind its' members that two of the Bush Henchmen and Henchwoman have thumbed their noses at Congress, so the matter of declaring Harriet Meirs and Josh Bolten in Contempt of Congress was on the agenda, so John "Cry Baby" Boehner led a walkout of the Republicans (this after they busted the Dem's balls, by playing procedural games, interrupting a memorial service for Rep. Tom Lantos, who passed away earlier this week).

The Contempt measures were passed and, as of midnight tomorrow evening, the FISA Bill extension will expire, which has lead the Bush Grindhouse to go to great lengths this past week, to browbeat the Congress into giving the Telcom Immunity, otherwise, the intelligence-gathering program comes to a halt (it doesn’t) and that the dreaded terrorist will soon be invading our country to kill us all.

So, in essence, other than the new component of the Telcom Immunity, it has been business-as-usual for the Bush Grindhouse and the Republicans.

Play the Fear Card, overstate and outright lie about the threats and then turn around and label anyone that questions them as traitors, terrorist appeasers and people who would rather see the terrorists win.

Much like many of us, we had enough of this, and Olbermann teed off on it in his Special Comment.

"You have subjected us, your citizens, to that greater danger! This, Mr. Bush, is simple enough for even you to understand.

For the moment, at least, thanks to some true patriots in the House, and your own stubbornness, you have tabled telecom immunity, and the FISA act.

You. By your own terms and your definitions, you have just sided with the terrorists. You’ve got to have this law, or we’re all going to die. But, practically speaking, you vetoed this law.

It is bad enough, sir, that you were demanding an ex post facto law that could still clear the AT&Ts and the Verizons from responsibility for their systematic, aggressive and blatant collaboration with your illegal and unjustified spying on Americans under this flimsy guise of looking for any terrorists who are stupid enough to make a collect call or send a mass e-mail.

But when you demanded it again during the State of the Union address, you wouldn’t even confirm that they actually did anything for which they deserved to be cleared.

“The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America.”

Believed? Don’t you know? Don’t you even have the guts Dick Cheney showed in admitting they did collaborate with you? Does this endless presidency of loopholes and fine print extend even here? If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend.

You’re a fascist — get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it! What else is this but fascism? ..."
And before a strong, flourishing finish, Olbermann laid these down;
"And if there’s one thing we know about Big Brother, Mr. Bush, it is that he is — you are — a liar."

"This is crap. And you sling it with an audacity and a speed unrivaled by even the greatest political felons of our history."

"You are a liar, Mr. Bush. And after showing some skill at it, you have ceased to even be a very good liar."

Check out and read Keith Olbermann's Special Comment "A veto of the FISA bill endangers Americans"

Watch The Video of it Here

Bonus Links

dday at Hullabaloo: Wahhhh, Wahhhh, Wahhhh

Atrios: They Write Letters - Congressman Reyes writes to President Bush

Scarecrow at Firedoglake: We Need a Constitutional Democratic Party

FISA Update #4 - Don't Let the Fat Lady - Or The Fat Corporate Cats - Sing!

And, Today, Representing the "Clueless-They-Don't-Get-It" Team ... Senator Joe Lieberman!

It, kind of, makes you long for the old GE College Bowl, or some other game show, just to hear that introduction.

"And. Today. Representing the "Clueless-They-Don't-Get-It" Team ... Senator Joe Lieberman! ..."

Senator Joe Lieberman (R-I/CT) continued his relentless march towards total idiocy, commenting, as one of the 45 Senators that wanted to authorize torture, after the Senate defeated the bill, and hold our government to a standard for interrogations, sans the torture.

"We are at war," Lieberman said. "I know enough from public statements made by Osama bin Laden and others as well as classified information I see to know the terrorists are actively planning, plotting to attack us again. I want our government to be able to gather information again within both the law and Geneva Convention."

In the worst case scenario — when there is an imminent threat of a nuclear attack on American soil — Lieberman said that the president should be able to certify the use of waterboarding on a detainee suspected of knowing vital details of the plot.

"You want to be able to use emergency tech to try to get the information out of that person," Lieberman said. Of course, Lieberman believes such authority has limits. He does not believe the president could authorize having hot coals pressed on someone's flesh to obtain that information."

Emergency Tech?

Boy, the Rightwing Freakshow has certainly been busy, melting down the torture of prisoners into another Orwellian turn-of-phrase, sounding so noble, like you were moving heaven-and-earth to save someone!


Hot Coals?

Perhaps he's still feeling grouchy, openly fantasizing what he could do to those in the DNC that that stripped away his Superdelegate status (you know, for abandoning the Democratic Party - Did you, Torturin' Joe, really expect to sit in Denver and vote for Obama or Clinton, after you come out and endorse Here's Johnny Boy McCain?)

Bonus Lieberman Lunacy

Attaturk, from Firedoglake: Thanks Connecticut

ThinkProgress: Lieberman Defends Waterboarding: It’s ‘Not Like Putting Burning Coals On People’s Bodies’

Marty Lederman from Balkinization: Lowering the Bar: Well, At Least We're Not as Barbaric as the Spanish Inquisition

Breaking News! Lieberman Pledges To Support “Whichever Party Elects Me”; Post-Debate Bombshell - Lieberman Announces Plan C – Will Run In All 50 States; Hires Nader For ‘Underdog” Experience; Pledges To Support “Whichever Party Elects Me”

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

15 February, 2007... On The Garlic

MSNBC Readying 24-Hour Anna Nicole Smith Channel; Cosby To Be Sole Anchor; New Packaged "Anna-Blocs" To Debut On Flagship Channel

15 February 2006... On The Garlic

White House At Odds With Groundhog Hire, Handlers Over Cheney Shooting

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons Dick Cheney Chose Fox News To Give First Accounting Of Shooting

15 February 2005... On The Garlic

Zeta-Jones Takes Over Harvard

Survey Shows Flat Panel Screens Not Gaining Male Usage

Ex-Beatle McCartney Signs Up With NFL For Half-Time Tour in 2005

Jazz Classic Declared Official Time Mark

Top Ten Ways Donald Rumsfeld Celebrated Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Top Ten Cloves: Things About U.S. Plans to Shoot Down Broken Spy Satellite

News Item: U.S. Plans to Shoot Down Broken Spy Satellite

10. Only reason Bush gave authorization? ... Another opportunity to throw on the flightsuit!

9. Arlen Specter is making waves; Wants investigation of satellite, to be sure it isn't part of Bill Belichick and New England Patriots spying operation

8. Grounding all astronauts around the time of the shooting ... Don't what them drunk and flying into the line-of-fire

7. Plans call for shooting it at the angle so the debris will fall to earth, directly over Iran

6. Mark McKinnon changing his mind - Now leaving McCain Campaign, not over Obama, but for the shooting down of the satellite

5. Thinking about outsourcing this to Blackwater, but fearful Blackwater will shoot down 17 innocent satellites

4. After its' shot down, White House will suddenly claim that's where all their emails were stored

3. Mike Huckabee has offered to loan the Navy Chuck Norris - If that happens, satellite will shoot itself down, just so it doesn't have to deal with Chuck Norris

2. Navy competing with Dick Cheney, who is going to be with his hunting buddies, at the Armstrong Ranch, taking shots at it

1. How do we know this isn't just another Filipino Monkey scam?

UPDATE - Bonus Riffs

Noah Shachtman, at Wired Blog Network: Experts Scoff at Sat Shoot-Down Rationale (Updated)

Weekend At Rogers'; Or The Dead Guy For The Mitchell Report

Poor Roger Clemens.

Fidgeting and fuming much of yesterday, at the Congressional hearing into Steroids in Baseball, or, the government-produced reality show based on The Mitchell Report, Roger Rocket still doesn't get it.

Oh, he's into his Lenny Bruce defense all the way.

Deny it ... They catch you in the act, deny it ... They catch you with a chicken, deny it.

But that's just a sideshow, a little theatrics for the home audience.

They've already voted him off the island.

Roger Rocket is the dead body for The Mitchell Report.

When you document, and pull in the former Senator from Maine to really put a glossy, embossed stamp on it, your dog-and-pony show, you gotta throw a body on it, you gotta have someone take the fall, so all the other dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds can feel good, feel like something was done, feel clean.

This doesn't infer sympathy for Roger Rocket.

Sure, he's one of the greatest ever, however, during his tenure in Boston, his arrogance went beyond the typical sports stars confidence trash talking ... Roger Rocket was packing, along with that fastball of his, a whole extra bullpen of arrogance.

There's a pox on baseball ... From Bud Selig & Co., to the team owners, managers, coaches, players and ballboys, they sold out the integrity of the game to see a few more homeruns, put a few more fat fannies in the seats, to sell a bit more official merchandise.

And yes, there are scores more names in The Mitchell Report, and likely hundreds more that didn't make the final draft, but Roger Rocket has been - and, at least the American League fans will appreciate this - the designated dead body for it.

Decades from now, Roger Rocket will be winning a chosen few a round of drinks, when the subject of old time baseball comes up, and the crowd struggles with their memories of The Mitchell Report, and wasn't that a big deal and didn't someone get thrown under the bus with it ... The roto-stat-geek in that crowd will be the one to remember the dead body ... The roto-stat-geek will be the one to come up with Rocket Roger's name

Bonus Roger Rocket Riffs

Dana Milbank: Bottom Feeders

NYT: Sports of The Times - Politicians Turn Steroid Hearing Into a Partisan Squabble

Boston Globe: Clemens is hit hard on the Hill; Pitcher leaves self vulnerable as he denies steroid use to skeptical lawmakers

Boston Globe: Steroid hearing play-by-play

NYT: Sports Business - Quite a Show, Offering Something New

And if you don't know anything about baseball ...

Special Essay - Play Ball! ... Batter Up! Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

14 February 2006... On The Garlic

New White House Press Strategy On VP Shooting Deemed "Smashing Success"

Coulter Cites Lost Opportunity; Says Sorry Cheney "Didn't Shoot A Raghead"

Top Ten Cloves: Ways U.S. and Israel Plan On Destabilizing Hamas-Led Palestinian Government

14 February 2005... On The Garlic

Nader Runs Strong in Iraq Election; Misses Seat

Apple To Split Stock; Follow Google With Unique Auction For New Shares

Bloomberg Announces Central Park 'Gate' Toll

For Rock, Exit, Stage Left after Grammy Faux Paux

Top Ten Ways Howard Dean Will Revitalize The Democratic Party

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hillary's Smelling Burning Rubber!

Or: The Garlic Was Right - Hillary Has Built Her "Field of Voices"

We had a running inside joke, a former girlfriend and I, that whenever someone said something impossibly outlandish, way off the charts, something totally crazy, we would ask them if they could smell burning rubber, the acrid odor being the tell-tale signal of their complete dementia.

Well, don't look now, but Hillary Clinton must have a mountain of burning Firestones waifing up her snouze!

Clinton Hears Voices from Beyond: 'Keep Going'

"Speaking about her work in South Texas as an organizer for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign, Clinton said two strong Texas women inspired her -- Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and Texas Governor Ann Richards.

Clinton said they taught her about courage and determination. Then she suggested that she is hearing from them even as her campaign struggles to compete after a string of losses.

"I can hear their voices saying, 'You keep going! You give the people a real choice about the future!'" she said at a campaign event.

Jordan was the first black woman elected to the Texas state legislature and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973-79. She died in 1996. Richards, a larger-than-life Governor, passed away in 2006."

Holy Cow! ... We don't need more political pundits babbling on television, swing open the doors and shepard in the ghost whispers!

We knew Rick Santorum was doing it, but Hillary?

This now has to have us revisit New Hampshire, where Hillary claimed to "find her own voice".

Was it her voice she found? Was it Jordan's or Richard's?

Actually, The Garlic had the scoop on this last month ... Or, your could say we had a "vision"

From our "Oh... people will come Hillary ... People will most definitely come ... The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll"

"Not finding her own voice until January 2008, after all those years as First Lady, in the White House ... Running her campaigns for U.S. Senator ... It, kind of, makes you think about what she could have accomplished, earlier in her career, if only she had her own voice back then.

Hmmm ... Was it the crisp, cold New Hampshire air that brought it out? ... Could be a boon to the state, a, sort of "Field of Voices" kind-of-thing ... "If you build it, they will talk" ... People will come from all over, driving for miles and miles, just for the opportunity to breath in that Granite State air and find their own voices ... "
"Hillary, people will come Hillary. They'll come to New Hampshire for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for their own voices. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and their own voices they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in winter coats on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the voting lines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the election and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Hillary. The one constant through all the years, Hillary, has been elections. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But elections has marked the time. This field, this election: it's a part of our past, Hillary. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Hillary. People will most definitely come.

Screw the campaign Hillary, and get your ass back up to New Hampshire!

The opportunity of your lifetime is waiting for you ... Your Field of Voices!

Think of the movie deal you could get ... You have a lot of big shot Hollywood pals ... Just have them front the money, pull out the old script of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (the movie, not the abominable television show) , you rewrite it to contemporary times and release it as "The Voices and Mrs. Clinton".

You could always go into voice-over work, but I don't know if they will mess up your vibe .. You know, the other voices you hear. You could get into some arguments with them, you know, what voice to use, or listen to, etc, etc.

Either that Hillary, or you better start hearing a boatload more voices ... Or better, how to throw those voices ... Hundreds-of-thousands of voices ... Voices that can follow voters into the voting booth, and whisper to those voters "Hillary Clinton ... Hillary Clinton ... Hillary Clinton".

Maybe, just maybe, you'll have a shot ...

(H/T - and Thanks - To Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice)

Bonus Hillary (or her voices) Riffs

Barry Crimmins: Cringe along with Clinton

Ron Fournier: ON DEADLINE: Chickens Come Home to Roost

Clinton Camp, Burnishing Her Experience Resume, Claims David Bowie Song "Changes" All About Hillary

FISA Update #4 - Don't Let the Fat Lady - Or The Fat Corporate Cats - Sing!


We did two posts yesterday (that you can see here and here) on the collapse of our democracy, with the U.S. Senate caving in to give the Bush Grindhouse their Stay Out of Jail Card, passing the Protect American Act, which included immunity for the telecommunication companies that bought the "It's legal" bullshit.

Scarecrow, from Firedoglake, gets our spotlight today;

"The Fourth Amendment has been handed down to us unchanged for over two centuries:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Almost none of that is left if today's bill stands. In an age in which "bipartisan" has come to mean weak Democrats joining unanimous Republicans to vote against the Constitution, the Fourth Amendment would be eviscerated by a bill that provides a virtual blank check for the executive to invade the privacy of Americans ..."

In the post, Scarecrow offers a link to a petition that Firedoglake has started, to urge the House of Representatives to reverse this action by their cowardly brothers, when the two houses meet in conference to bang it out.

Tell House Members to Stand Firm Behind the RESTORE Act!
The FISA bill passed by the Senate is a disgrace. By legalizing warrantless spying on Americans and granting retroactive amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, the Senate seeks to ensure that the Bush administration's illegal spying programs are never investigated or subjected to the rule of law. The Senate bill is a profound betrayal of the votes of millions of Americans who voted in 2006 to put Democrats in control of Congress in order to increase, not eliminate, checks and oversight on this administration, and to restore the rule of law to our country.

The House's RESTORE Act is an infinitely superior bill. It provides real safeguards on the President's spying powers while providing him with the surveillance powers he needs to protect the country. It enables the issue of the legality of the President's spying programs to be decided where it belongs -- in a court of law. And it preserves the crucial balance that has existed for decades between enabling necessary surveillance on Americans and ensuring that our political leaders do not abuse that power.

In the wake of the discovery of the Watergate crimes and decades of surveillance abuses, the Congress of the mid-1970s acted on a bipartisan basis to put into place safeguards to ensure that even our highest political officials must adhere to the law and can only exercise eavesdropping powers with real safeguards. The RESTORE Act continues that tradition, while the Senate bill eviscerates it. We urge Democratic House members to stand firm behind the bill they passed and not capitulate once again to the bullying, manipulative demands of the Bush administration for ever-greater unchecked power, as embodied by the warrantless eavesdropping and telecom immunity provisions of the Senate bill.

Go here, to Firedoglake, and sign the petition and take part in, hopefully, getting this thing straight.


Retro Garlic ... Maybe The Next President Needs To Pull Out The Contractors First

It's truly appalling that this situation has occurred, and continues to exist.

Jamie Leigh Jones, the former Halliburton/KBR employee who was gang-raped in Iraq - by her fellow coworkers and contractors - testified yesterday in Congress, as she pursues justice in the case.

Jones told the committee "that she was not aware that when she signed her employment contract, she was effectively signing away her right to bring a lawsuit."

The New York Times has noticed the story today, offering;

"KBR and other companies, meanwhile, have required Iraq-bound employees to agree to take personnel disputes to private arbitration rather than sue the companies in American courts. The companies have repeatedly challenged arbitration claims of sexual assault or harassment brought by women who served in Iraq, raising fears among some women about going public with their claims."

And dday, over on Hullabaloo has Raped And In Legal Limbo, telling the story of Mary Beth Kineston and her sexual harassment and assault, as well as Jones' case;
"Mary Beth Kineston is not the only woman. According to former Halliburton employee and gang-rape victim Jennifer Leigh Jones, 38 women have told their stories of rape and assault to her, but none can come forward due to arbitration agreements"

The Retro Part

Last December, The Garlic took note of the story, in "Along With Shooting Innocent Civilians, We've, Apparently, Outsourced Rape, As Well";
As reported by ABC's Brian Ross (along with Maddy Sauer and Justin Rood), Jamie Leigh Jones, of Houston, was a KBR employee, at the time KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton, working in Iraq - in the Green Zone - when she was gang-raped by her own co-workers.

And before you think that was the only horrible incident that occurred;

"...The company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

"Don't plan on working back in Iraq. There won't be a position here, and there won't be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told.

With this situation languishing, and woman being abused and assaulted, where is the outrage from our government, and in particular Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice?

And I do not frame this in a gender box.

Rice, and her State Department saw to it, and pretty quickly, that other contractors - Blackwater - got legal immunity, after their employees shot and killed 17 innocent Iraqi civilians.

If Rice can protect the hired guns, why isn't she moving heaven-and-earth to see to it that the female contractors are not abused and assaulted?

Maybe some enterprising journalist can ask the Secretary this in her next press conference.

And, perhaps, the first thing Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, if and when they are elected President, should make pulling all the contractors out of Iraq first - or, at minimum, see to it that the female contractors can perform their jobs and earn their livings without being subjected to horrifying abuse.

No Madam Secretary, it's thumbs down for you, until you begin protecting the female contractors working in Iraq!

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

13 February, 2007... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Mitt Romney's Announcement To Run For President

13 February 2006... On The Garlic

Mehlman Apologizes (Sort Of ) For Saying Hillary Clinton Angry

Top Ten Cloves: Reasons White House Delayed News Of VP Cheney's Shooting Of Fellow Hunter

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama Romps ... And, Gloria Borger, with The Best Political Team on Television, Sticks Her Neck Out

I have no intention of waiting until tomorrow, when a transcript may, or may not appear.

In our channel-hopping this evening, catching up on the talking heads of CNN and MSNBC, on yet another Barack Obama Evening, the Senator from Illinois running his winning streak to 8, sweeping Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Obama just didn't sweep the evening, he thumped, trashed, drubbed and routed Hillary this evening, particularly in Virginia.

From Chris Cillizza, of The Washington Post;

"Virginia was the state in which Clinton had hoped to perform beyond modest expectations. With nearly 90 percent of all precincts reporting in Virgina, Obama led Clinton, 63 percent to 36 percent."

So, and it was somewhere between 8:00-8:30PM that I switched from MSNBC to CNN - The Best Political Team on Television.

How do we know this?

Wolf Blitzer, himself, told us so.

And it's on their websites - Best Political Podcast and more from The Best Political Team.

So, there was the ubiquitous Blizter, prowling around the set that had more big screen monitors than the Consumer Electronics Show, orchestrating the news, standing, with his back to the camera, as John King worked his Colorforms screen of the State of Virginia, virtually marking individual voters in each and every county.

Time to throw it over to "the panel" which consisted of Jeffrey Toobin and Gloria Borger.

Yes, that Gloria Borger, the one Glenn Greenwald noted;

"Gloria Borger of U.S. News and World Report is perfectly representative of the establishment media pundit. She possesses in great abundance the most common attribute which defines them -- namely, there is never an original thought that comes out of her mouth."

And that Gloria Borger, as Crooks and Liars caught on a good one;
"Gloria thinks that because “nobody wants to see the President accused of lying” over a leak that was really just a “technicality” anyway that we ought to just wait until Bush writes his memoir to find out the truth (I’m so not kidding. I wish I were) about whatever happened because really “nobody cares anymore.”

So, how did Gloria Borger distinguish herself this evening, on the field of The Best Political Team on television?

With the toss from Wolf, after noting Barack Obama's huge victory in Virginia, and the continued winning streak from the weekend, Gloria, like the good talking head pundit she is, courageously went out on a limb;

"I think we have the beginning of real momentum", she said of Obama

Beginning of real momentum?

Good thing Borger wasn't a sport reporter in 1941, she might have waited to laud Joe DiMaggio, on his way to the still-standing record of a 56-Game hitting streak, until hit 44 or 45, perhaps offering that "I think he might be hitting the ball pretty good".

Or that she wasn't a race track announcer in 1973, calling the Belmont Stakes, or she may have noted that Secretariat was "running pretty good" on his way to the Triple Crown, and an astounding, unbelievable 31-length victory

Boy, if this is "The Best Political Team on Television", I better lock my television on CNN, lest I go through the rest of the campaign benighted, adrift and totally out-of-touch on what's going on.

I can now go out tomorrow, with the valuable insight of Gloria Borger, and boast to people that Obama is at "the beginning of real momentum".

I don't know if I can sleep tonight, I feel so excited with all this knowledge, from Gloria Borger, and "The Best Political Team on television".

FISA Update #2 - Who Are These Men That Sold Out Our Democracy Today!

Rather than add a rather long "Update #2", to Today's Must Read - Glenn Greenwald's "Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms" posted earlier today, a separate post is warranted.

As you can imagine, an avalanche of reaction, to this dark, dark day our elected U.S. Senate has put upon this country.

Who Are These Men That Sold Out Our Democracy Today!

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 2nd Session; Question: On the Amendment (Dodd Amdt. No. 3907 ); Statement of Purpose: To strike the provisions providing immunity from civil liability to electronic communication service providers for certain assistance provided to the Government.

Paul Kiel, from TPMmuckraker

"Let there be no doubt: a majority of senators, and a large number of Democrats, think the telecoms should not suffer the hazard of accountability for cooperating with the administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) took to the floor last night to give a speech asking, "This is our defining question, the question that confronts every generation: The rule of law, or the rule of men?" The resounding answer: the rule of men."

Steve Benen, from The Carpetbagger Report
"For the 18 Dems who went along with this nonsense, I’d love to hear an explanation. For the Republicans, not even one GOP senator was willing to take a stand for the rule of law. Not one ...

And what arguments were presented by the other side? Not much — a few lies about the cooperation coming in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and a basic understanding that Republicans had to go along with the wishes of Mr. 28% at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue."

Presidential candidates Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) were present for the vote – voting nay and yea, respectively ... Hillary Clinton and Lindsey Graham did not vote."

Taylor Marsh
"What a shell Congress is from its former greatness ... Bush gets away with illegal wiretapping and so do the companies that helped him do it ... Bush gets away with the Iraq war, all without any consequences whatsoever ... No wonder more and more people are registering as Independents"

Kagro X, on Daily Kos - "US Senate commits suicide on national television"

Update #3

"The Senate had "just sanctioned" the "single largest invasion of privacy in the history of the country,"

Paul Kiel from TPMmuckraker - Dodd: It's up to The House
"The Senate had "just sanctioned" the "single largest invasion of privacy in the history of the country," he said. When asked why he thought so many Dem senators had crossed over, he replied: "Unfortunately, those who are advocating this notion that you have to give up liberties in order to be more secure are apparently prevailing. They seem to be convincing people that you're at risk politically or we're at risk as a nation if we don't give up rights."

Today's Must Read - Glenn Greenwald's "Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms"

What if Spartacus was voting in the Senate today, on the Protect America Act, the FISA bill update?

We suspect that Spartacus wouldn't bend over the American people, and violently sodomize them, the way our elected U.S. Senate is about to do today.

We believe Spartacus would rise to the occasion (no pun intended) to protect, not persecute, to do what is right, to follow and protect the Constitution and, lastly, he would buck and revolt against the Emperor, for attempting this hijacking of the laws of the country.

When the sun sets today, it may well install a permanent darkness on the U.S. Senate, marking it, for decades to come, as the august chamber's saddest day.

Glenn Greenwald, of Salon, has a most sobering, depressing account of the whole sordid affair, in "Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms";

"All sorts of "controversy" erupted from that story. Democrats everywhere expressed dramatic, unbridled outrage, vowing that this would not stand. James Risen and Eric Lichtblau were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for exposing this serious lawbreaking. All sorts of Committees were formed, papers written, speeches given, conferences convened, and editorials published to denounce this extreme abuse of presidential power. This was illegality and corruption at the highest level of government, on the grandest scale, and of the most transparent strain."
And Greenwald than asks, rhetorically, "What was the outcome of all of that sturm und drang? What were the consequences for the President for having broken the law so deliberately and transparently?"
"Absolutely nothing. To the contrary, the Senate is about to enact a bill which has two simple purposes: (1) to render retroactively legal the President's illegal spying program by legalizing its crux: warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, and (2) to stifle forever the sole remaining avenue for finding out what the Government did and obtaining a judicial ruling as to its legality: namely, the lawsuits brought against the co-conspiring telecoms. In other words, the only steps taken by our political class upon exposure by the NYT of this profound lawbreaking is to endorse it all and then suppress any and all efforts to investigate it and subject it to the rule of law."
And this, as Greenwald notes, is happening in a Democrat-led, Democrat-majority Senate!

Maybe I missed the MoveOn.Org memo, that the 2006 elections, of having the Democrats take back the Congress, was all about greenlighting, aiding and abetting the Bush Grindhouse, and their executive power-grab.

And we have Harry "Give'em What They Want" Reid, the Senate Majority Leader (now there's a deafening oxymoron) to thank for this.

Greenwald closes with this;
"From Frank Church and the bipartisan oversight protections of the post-Watergate abuses in the mid-1970s to Jay Rockefeller, Dick Cheney, legalized warrantless eavesdropping and retroactive telecom amnesty in 2008 -- that vivid collapse into the sewer illustrates as potently as anything could what has happened to this country over the last eight years."

Update! Update!

Just as I am posting this, news is breaking on the voting

From Jane Hamsher, over on Firedoglake;
"Update: Woo hoo! You lose. Dodd's amendment to strip retroactive immunity fails spectacularly, 31-67. I have to say that what constantly amazes me is just how damn little it costs corporate America to buy our elected officials. Pennies on the dollar, really, for what they get."

From KBusch on BlueMassGroup

The following Democratic Senators just voted for telecom immunity.

Jay Rockefeller WV
Evan Bayh IA
Daniel Inouye HI
Tim Johnson SD
Herb Kohl WI
Mary Landrieu LA
Claire McCaskill MO
Mark Pryor AR
Blanche Lincoln AR
Dianne Feinstein CA
Ken Salazar CO
Tom Carper DE
Barbara Mikulski MD
Jim Webb VA

Read the Greenwald piece anyway, it's very good ... And, it's playing out, pretty much, as he foresaw

As we stated above, a very, very dark day!

And, just late last month, The Garlic gave the Senate all the advise they would need in this fight

This Date ... On The Garlic

Garlic History - On This Day

12 February, 2007

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Dixie Chicks Can Begin To Win Back Country Music Fans

February 12, 2006

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Monday, February 11, 2008

Does McCain Approve of The Washington State Voting Withdrawal?

Boy, this is some pretty weird stuff ... And we're not even talking about the Democrats.

With only 87% of the vote counted, in Saturday's caucus, Washington State Election Officials stopped counting the votes, declaring Here's Johnny Boy McCain the winner, when at the time, there was only a 1.8% advantage.


What, did the Washington election officials purchase the State of Florida's "Vote Counting for Dummies" book?

Gosh darn it, why couldn't these guys have been officiating the Super Bowl?

That way, the Patriots would have won, and completed the perfect season.

From Steve Benen, at the Carpetbagger Report;

"Asked for an explanation, state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said he just felt confident that the other 13% of the votes didn’t need to be counted. He told reporters, “Maybe it would have been safer if I hadn’t said anything. But it was an exciting and historic day for the state and I thought if I was confident about what the outcome would be I should share that with the people who had gone out to their caucuses.”


"Maybe it would have been safer if I hadn't said anything"

Who's coaching this guy, David Addington?

The exciting history just may be that they called an election with only 87% of the vote counted. I'd say that stands out pretty good ... That should be one for the record books.

From Josh Marshall, at TPM;
"Late Update: It seems that Washington State GOP chair Luke Esser spent most of the day avoiding calls from the Huckabee campaign. And when he finally got back to them he told a lawyer for Huckabee's campaign that they'd probably count the rest of the votes some time next week. When the lawyer, Lauren Huckabee, the candidate's daughter-in-law, requested that a Huckabee lawyer be present when the remaining votes were counted, Esser hung up on her. Before the hang up, Huckabee also asked Esser about the DIY statistical analysis he did to conclude that he should call the race (Esser's expertise in statistics apparently stems from previous work as a state prosecutor and a sports writer). Was there an analysis of what precincts the remaining votes came from? According to Huck campaign manager Ed Rollins, Esser admitted that he didn't know which precincts the remaining votes came from."

Team Huckabee, naturally, is raising hell over this.

The Seattle Times is reporting that "In the face of the Huckabee protest, the state Republican Party quickly resumed its count today, a bit sooner than it had planned."

"Sooner than it had planned"?

Gee, sorry to put you guys out ... Then again, if you did your fucking jobs on Saturday, you wouldn't be looking like monkey asses today.

Included in the Puget Sound-sized number of questions that need to be address here, one should be, if it was Huckabee enjoying a 1.8% advantage, after only 87% of the vote counted, would they still have packed it in and gone home?

With what's gone down, since The Bush Grindhouse stole the 2000 election, is there any reason to have any confidence in our voting system any longer?

Jeesh! ...

It's that time again ... Cue up Que Sera Sera...

One Man - One Vote ... Unless you live in Washington State!