Prodigy much?

My son turned me on to this young artist, who took off through Europe at age 16 to study music in the field and produced his first concept album before he was 21. A very creative and innovative musician. His “band” is called Beirut; the song is “Elephant Gun”.

By Grabthar’s hammer…

“Never give up, never surrender” – Must be Bush’s motto when it comes to getting his way..
(You would of course have to have seen the film “Galaxy Quest” with Tim Allen to ‘get’ these quotes.)

via: Truthout (Reuters)

Aboard Air Force One – U.S. President George W. Bush said on Thursday he would not compromise with the Democratic-led Congress on his demand that phone companies that took part in his warrantless domestic spying program be shielded from lawsuits.

Bush has demanded Congress protect companies like AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications from civil lawsuits that accuse them of violating Americans’ privacy rights in the administration’s anti-terrorism program.

The Senate approved a measure that would grant the companies retroactive immunity but the House of Representatives has opposed it. The surveillance program began in 2001 after the September 11 attacks and some 40 lawsuits are pending.

House and Senate Democrats said they would try to find a compromise even as they said their Republican counterparts refused to permit staff to meet with them on Thursday.

“I would just tell you there’s no compromise on whether these phone companies get liability protection,” Bush told reporters as he traveled back from a trip to Africa.

Read on…

May I remind folks once again – the illegal wiretapping program, utilizing the telecoms, started BEFORE 9/11!

Glenn Greenwald (of Salon) wrote a piece yesterday called “GOP politics in a nutshell” where he illustrates the unbelievable lengths the GOP will go to get this legislation on domestic surveillance (with immunity for the telecoms) passed:

The House Republicans have produced a new dramatic ad (below) complaining about expiration of The Protect America Act and demanding immediate passage of the Cheney/Rockefeller Senate bill — thus vesting in the government the power to spy on us with no warrants and vesting in the telecom industry license to break the law with no consequences — as the only way for us to avoid imminent, violent death (h/t Kathryn Jean Lopez). The ad — entitled “America at Risk” — should immediately be mounted on a museum wall under a plaque that reads: “The Republican Party in the U.S., 2001-2008 (and counting).”

Continue reading

February 22, 1980 – “Miracle on Ice”

From Wikipedia:

The “Miracle on Ice” is the nickname given to a February 22 medal-round men’s ice hockey game during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, in which a team of amateur and collegiate players from the United States, led by coach Herb Brooks, defeated the Soviet Union 4-3.


In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the finest in the world, fell to the youthful American team 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 spectators. Two days later, the Americans defeated Finland 4-2 to clinch the hockey gold.

McCain: Lobbyist Did Not Force Me into Positions

via: The Borowitz Report

Would Not Try Out New Positions at His Age, Mac Says

One day after The New York Times published an article raising ethical questions about Sen. John McCain’s dealings with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, the Arizona senator pushed back today at a press conference in Cleveland, telling reporters, “Vicki Iseman did not force me into any positions.”

Calling suggestions that Ms. Iseman could make him assume a different position “ridiculous,” Sen. McCain said, “At my age, I’m not about to try out new positions that I’m uncomfortable with.”

While Mr. McCain was vague about his official dealings with Ms. Iseman, he told reporters, “I would not allow a lobbyist to perform any favor for me unless it felt really, really good.”

The Republican frontrunner said that neither he nor Ms. Iseman had been aware that The New York Times was conducting an investigation into their relationship, adding, “Vicki and I have been in the dark together for a long time.”

But he vehemently defended the lobbyist’s professionalism, telling reporters, “Vicki Iseman is an energetic and passionate woman who has bent over backwards to please me.”

Early reaction to Sen. McCain’s comments was mixed, with some Republicans wondering whether he had done himself more harm than good.

But Mr. McCain did receive high marks from at least one Senate colleague, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Id.).

“I called John today to offer him my encouragement,” Sen. Craig said. “I said, ‘It’s hard, and it’s going to get harder, but stick it out.’”

Friday News, Views, and Blues

Morning folks!

Bob Geiger’s back! He is writing for The Agonist. His first piece “ To Those Who Question Obama’s “Legislative Accomplishments”” addresses the incident with Chris Matthews on MSNBC a couple nights ago when he went after Kirk Watson to name one accomplishment that could be attributed to Barack Obama:

When MSNBC’s Chris Matthews lit into Barack Obama supporter (and Texas State Senator) Kirk Watson during Tuesday night’s election coverage for not being able to list Obama’s “legislative accomplishments,” you would have inferred from his ferocity that Matthews was on the verge of cracking a major story.

While Matthews stopped short of waterboarding Watson to get a response, he kept at him no less than eight to ten times over the next few minutes, sneering “You have to give me his accomplishments. You’ve supported him for president, you’re on national television — name his legislative accomplishments.” More…

Welcome back Bob! I missed you.

Robert Parry over at ConsortiumNews wrote an excellent piece called When the Terrorists Were ‘Our Guys‘”.

Republican Rep. Rick Renzi has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in Arizona.

60 Minutes will be running a segment on the story of Don Siegelman Sunday evening. (Unfortunately, it will be running at the same time as the Academy Awards..). We have already posted a couple of things on the Siegelman story on TheZoo. Check out HERE and HERE. This story demands some answers, and close scrutiny. Truthout has a piece (from the AP) connecting Karl Rove to this story.

And over on BradBlog, Brad Friedman made the cover of Hustler Magazine..? Its a story on Ann Coulter..

There is a lot more on HuffPo in the wake of the story in the NY Times on John McCain and the lobbyist. The Washington Post followed the NY Times with a story of their own.

RJ Eskow over at The Huffington Post had some pretty good insight into the debate last night between Clinton and Obama. I agree with his take. John Nichols’ piece at CommonDreams with his reflections was also nice.

No surprise here.. John McCain wins BuzzFlash’s “Hypocrite of the Week” award.

There is a really good piece at Truthout telling the story of an Iraq Vet who came home to find himself hopeless and homeless.

Turkey army launches land offensive into Northern Iraq.. More from the BBC.

Now for the blues..

Eric Clapton and “Before You Accuse Me” from his “Unplugged” album.