March 10, 2008 archive

Obama Fact Check rebuts NYT’s skewed article about Obama’s record

Crossposted from Daily Kos


Obama campaign responds to this hit piece in NYT: Obama in Senate: Star Power, Minor Role, by Kate Zernike and Jeff Zeleny.

The fact check rebuttal can be found here:

Fact Check on New York Times Story that Minimizes Obama’s Senate Accomplishments

March 08, 2008

Note To Media: Ask John McCain About David Vitter

New York governor Eliot Spitzer has blown it in a big way. Anti-corruption crusaders ought not to be dallying with call girls. Ordinarily I don’t like to assign much importance to personal and/or family matters. But when a personal act is both illegal and hypocritical, it becomes a hurdle that is very difficult to get over.

That said, the media is demonstrating its customary tunnel-blindness in reporting this story. The news is less than two hours old and I have already heard reporters on CNN, Fox and MSNBC asking about the impact on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Lawsuit exposes Microsoft executives’ complaints about Vista

Anyone who has had to endure the incompatibility issues, bugs, and gaping holes in software should get a kick out of this New York Times article.

Here’s one story of a Vista upgrade early last year that did not go well. Jon, let’s call him, (bear with me – I’ll reveal his full identity later) upgrades two XP machines to Vista. Then he discovers that his printer, regular scanner and film scanner lack Vista drivers. He has to stick with XP on one machine just so he can continue to use the peripherals.

Did Jon simply have bad luck? Apparently not. When another person, Steven, hears about Jon’s woes, he says drivers are missing in every category – “this is the same across the whole ecosystem.”

Then there’s Mike, who buys a laptop that has a reassuring “Windows Vista Capable” logo affixed. He thinks that he will be able to run Vista in all of its glory, as well as favorite Microsoft programs like Movie Maker. His report: “I personally got burned.” His new laptop – logo or no logo – lacks the necessary graphics chip and can run neither his favorite video-editing software nor anything but a hobbled version of Vista. “I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine,” he says.

It turns out that Mike is clearly not a naïf. He’s Mike Nash, a Microsoft vice president who oversees Windows product management. And Jon, who is dismayed to learn that the drivers he needs don’t exist? That’s Jon A. Shirley, a Microsoft board member and former president and chief operating officer. And Steven, who reports that missing drivers are anything but exceptional, is in a good position to know: he’s Steven Sinofsky, the company’s senior vice president responsible for Windows.

Their remarks come from a stream of internal communications at Microsoft in February 2007, after Vista had been released as a supposedly finished product and customers were paying full retail price. Between the nonexistent drivers and PCs mislabeled as being ready for Vista when they really were not, Vista instantly acquired a reputation at birth: Does Not Play Well With Others.

So Microsoft execs have been caught acknowledging that they shoved a piece of shit operating system on the public, knowing full well that it was actually inferior to their last piece of shit operating system.  But it never would have happened, had somebody not been brave enough to sue Microsoft.  According to the article:

We usually do not have the opportunity to overhear Microsoft’s most senior executives vent their personal frustrations with Windows. But a lawsuit filed against Microsoft in March 2007 in United States District Court in Seattle has pried loose a packet of internal company documents. The plaintiffs, Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen, bought PCs in late 2006, before Vista’s release, and contend that Microsoft’s “Windows Vista Capable” stickers were misleading when affixed to machines that turned out to be incapable of running the versions of Vista that offered the features Microsoft was marketing as distinctive Vista benefits.

Last month, Judge Marsha A. Pechman granted class-action status to the suit, which is scheduled to go to trial in October. (Microsoft last week appealed the certification decision.)

Given that one of the first actions as dictator by George W. Bush was to drop the anti-trust against Microsoft, I doubt this suit shall go anywhere this year.  But it has served at least one purpose: to expose the true thoughts of those who push inferior, and often-times, lethal products on consumers.

Carter Camp’s Indian Mascot Essay, “Mass Racial Taunting; America’s Weekend Sport”

Carter Camp gave me his permission to repost his essay entitled “Mass Racial Taunting; America’s Weekend Sport” in the comments of “Stereotypical Elements (that) appear… in Athletic Contests” posted at Native American Netroots. I had mentioned that I wanted to cite the Shadow Report as an introduction, so here’s what the Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report says about Indian Mascots on page 72.

Although the United States would probably respond that racist mascots and logos are an exercise of free speech that it has reserved under the Convention, they reveal the depth and pervasiveness of the racism against Indigenous Peoples so deeply engrained in the history and psyche of the United States and the dominant culture.

And over the break is Carter Camp’s essay entitled “Mass Racial Taunting; America’s Weekend Sport,” which he wrote “several years ago when people in Tulsa were protesting the Union High redskins.”

Four at Four

  1. The Guardian reports that the U.S. warned any economic ray of hope unlikely to brighten sluggish trend. “America’s economic downturn is likely to be “W-shaped” with the occasional ray of hope failing to shift a sluggish trend lasting throughout 2009, according to a gloomy forecast by HSBC. The bank’s economists say that a loss of confidence in the financial system is diminishing the impact of rate cuts by the Federal Reserve – and that US interest rates may fall as low as 1%… As the credit crunch bites into the banking system and consumer spending weakens, HSBC predicts that US growth will slow from last year’s 2.2% to 1.5% in 2008 and to 1.2% in 2009.”

    The Boston Globe adds Surging costs of groceries hit home. “American families, already pinched by soaring energy costs, are taking another big hit to household budgets as food prices increase at the fastest rate since 1990… Wholesale food prices, an indicator of where supermarket prices are headed, rose last month at the fastest rate since 2003, with egg prices jumping 60 percent from a year ago, pasta products 30 percent, and fruits and vegetables 20 percent, according to the Labor Department… Several factors contribute to higher food prices, analysts say, but none more than record prices for oil, which last week closed above $105 a barrel. Oil is not only driving up production and transportation costs, but also adding to demand for corn and soybeans, used to make alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel… Meanwhile, with poor harvests in major wheat-producing regions, wheat prices have more than tripled.”

  2. The Los Angeles Times reports Senate panel critiques prewar claims by White House. “The Senate Intelligence Committee is preparing to release a detailed critique of the Bush administration’s claims in the buildup to war with Iraq… The findings are likely to be a source of political discomfort for the White House by reviving the controversy over the Bush administration’s case for war… The report could also become political fodder for the presidential race, which has focused on the differing positions of the remaining candidates on the decision to invade Iraq… Dissatisfied with the scope of the report, Republicans on the panel are expected to attach a section outlining their objections and calling attention to prewar claims by prominent Democrats, including [Sen. Hillary] Clinton.”

    And while Congress squabbles, The New York Times reports that Five American soldiers were killed in Baghdad and three others wounded by a bomb on Monday at about 3 p.m. in the Mansour neighnorhood. “The soldiers were on a dismounted patrol when they were attacked… Earlier Monday, one of the most important leaders of local Sunni Arab forces in Diyala Province, just north of Baghdad, who are working with the Americans against insurgents in Iraq, was killed by a female suicide bomber who blew herself up at his home. The leader of the neighborhood forces, Sheik Thaer al-Ghadhban al-Karkhy , was killed in the province, along with a child and a police guard, according to a police official.”

News about U.S. troops deployed to South Korea, polar bears, and CO2 is beneath the fold.

The Government vs The People

Government is an umbrella word, of course. The government is made up of branches, departments and agencies etc. Each little part adding up to the edifice we know as  The Government. And each of these separate entities is made up of its own departments etc. And each of those are made up of …human beings. One of the great myths of American politics is that the government is some sort of impartial monolith. It’s not, it is in essence a bunch of yahoos just like me and you who go to work every day and play office politics and career politics and plot and scheme and make alliances and enemies for one real purpose behind it all….keeping that paycheck coming in every two weeks. Keeping the lights on, so to speak.


US Economy could fall casualty to Wars

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book that in 2008, its sixth year, the Iraq war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the “burn” rate of its earliest years.

YIKES!  I can see where that might have an effect on our economy beyond the already trillions-of-dollars deficit we currently are dealing with.

From AP:

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show.

Actually, with the current amount of violence in Iraq beginning to climb once again, that statement might be incorrect in itself.  Anyway, back to the wars and the economy.

Beyond 2008, working with “best-case” and “realistic-moderate” scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion — or more — by 2017.

Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add $816 billion to that bottom line, they say.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has done its own projections and comes in lower, forecasting a cumulative cost by 2017 of $1.2 trillion to $1.7 trillion for the two wars, with Iraq generally accounting for three-quarters of the costs.


Tina Brown needs to get a grip on reality.

So I just knew the whole “men hate hill” bullshit would come to a festering whitehead conclusion. Who knew it would be with the once-important Tina Brown. You might remember her from the 80s, maybe even the 90s. She use to run the elite of magazines, including Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. Now she goes where writing careers go to die, Newsweek.

Let’s see who was once one the most important talking heads has to say:

It’s a revolt that has been overdue for a while and has now found its focus in Clinton’s candidacy. In 1952, Ralph Ellison’s revelatory novel, “Invisible Man,” nailed the experience of being black in America. In the relentless youth culture of the early 21st century, if you are 50 and female, the novel that’s being written on your forehead every day is “Invisible Woman.” All over the country there are vigorous, independent, self-liberated boomer women-women who possess all the management skills that come from raising families while holding down demanding jobs, women who have experience, enterprise and, among the empty nesters, a little financial independence, yet still find themselves steadfastly dissed and ignored. Advertisers don’t want them. TV networks dump their older anchorwomen off the air. Hollywood studios refuse to write parts for them. Employers make it clear they’d prefer a “fresh (cheaper) face.”

You have got to be fucking kidding. I knew Hillary and her supporters love to get up on the cross and be the martyr, but the “Invisible Woman”? I am sure the moms of the ghettos feel the pain of “vigorous, independent, self-liberated boomer women”. I am sure all those civil rights activists from 50s and 60s love having their struggle co-opted by yet another wave of self-righteous boomers.

And what is with “Advertisers don’t want them”? Are you serious? Every bit of programming from 9 am to 5 pm is tailor-made for the demographic of boomers. And “TV networks dump their older anchorwomen off the air?” You mean like Tucker?

And to take Ralph Ellison incredible book, and bend and contort it to fit the victimhood boomer women need to feel, to feel validated, is beyond incredulous. It is borderline criminal, devaluating an entire people’s culture to score some cheap talking points.

But it’s so true, boomer women are constantly being told to sit on the back of the bus.

Boomer women are denied space at lunch counters.

Boomer women have crosses burned on their lawns.

Boomer women are forced to take service entrances to their jobs.

Boomer women are treated like second class citizens under Jim Crow.

Boomer women face off with the KKK and Dixiecrats who try to use threat of death and violence to keep them from the polls.

Boomer women are constantly feed into a self-fulfilling cycle of broken promises and apartheid.

Poor, poor boomer women, when will the world truly understand your pain, and how it trumps that of the African-American experience over the last 300 years?

Like Oprah’s people!

Even Oprah abandoned them when she opted for Obama. Am I alone in suspecting that TV’s most powerful 54-year-old woman just might have endorsed him so fast for reasons of desirable viewer demographics as much as personal inspiration? Certainly, no TV diva in her 50s who values her ratings wants to be defined by the hot-flash cohort.

This is what happens to other women, especially those of a certain skin persuasion, who do not follow around white boomer women like a good mammy following Ms. Scarlett around the house helping her get ready for the big plantation dance.

I guess for Brown and Hill, good work is so hard to find these days. Why you could say the help are “invisible women”, just the way boomers like it. Except of course, when there is a dance on.


Word of advice to Clinton: use original footage from now on.

You’ve just got to feel sorry for Hillary Clinton.  She just can’t seem to do anything right in this campaign.  It’s not just her underestimation of the Clinton Rules, under which anything she says or does — no matter how innocent or mundane — is transformed into some conniving attack formed from evil intentions (just look at the false hype over the “dark” ad).  It’s that things like this happen.

One of the actors in the Hillary Clinton ad was shocked to see herself, especially because she’s a fierce supporter of Barack Obama.

The so-called “red-phone ad” was played all over the country and helped turn the tide for Hillary Clinton leading up to her big win in Ohio. The ad shows a sleeping child and asks voters who they would want to see answering a 3 a.m. emergency phone call to the White House.

But the young girl starring in the ad will actually be voting age next month and says she’s no fan of Hillary Clinton.

One of the unintended consequences of using recycled video footage, obviously.  Which is why it’s probably better to use original material.  Time to fire the poor schmuck who failed to consider something like this happening, eh?

I originally saw this posted on the Rude Pundit‘s blog.

Pony Party: Windows Haiku

Hi all. I hope your weekend was better than mine. My computer is completely on the fritz. It blue-screened about ten times on Saturday, despite Check Disk saying all was fine. So, I don’t know if I can host this afternoon’s Pony Party. I’ll try, though!

So, in light of my computer disaster, might I offer up some Windows haiku. This is a modification of a Windows haiku I saw in the 90s, which referred to NT.

Windows XP crashed

I saw the blue screen of death

No one hears my screams


Boston Meet Up

I will be coming to Boston on April 11-14 to attend a conference. Is anybody interested in getting together for dinner? P said she and masslass might be interested.

I will be staying at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel so I am interested in advice on sights I could see, and what is within walking distance. I hope to be able to take a few pictures, as well. I have been told there is a pretty nice aquarium that is worth a visit but I don’t know the area at all.

I will post closer to the date but thought some advance notice might be in order. I want to eat seafood. So restaurant advice will also be appreciated. Thanks.

Boston Meet Up

I am going to be coming to Boston for a conference in a month, April 11-14. Anybody interested in getting together for dinner? P said she and masslass might be interested.

I would also like advice on any sights I could see. Hoping to take a few pictures, as well.

Never been to Boston and will be staying at the Renaissance Boston Waterfont Hotel, so anything cool within walking distance that I can see? I know there is supposed to be a cool aquarium that one of my colleagues hopes to get to. And I will post again closer to the date.

Load more