August 22, 2008

IOC launches investigation over allegations against Chinese gymnast

As we've seen in recent days, there have not only been verbal accusations, bust some sources that give legitimacy to the accusations.  The IOC has now launched an investigation.  This could be hugely embarrassing to China if they see medals stripped away.  The question is, will this be a thing where they do the investigation quickly while everyone is watching, or later and quietly so not to embarrass China?

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August 21, 2008

McCain-Romney? Now with an Update!

That's the rumor.  I should have known, whether it's President or VP, the GOP always goes for the person whose turn it is.

Anyway, scroll down to the other posts, because I'm sure they're a lot better than more VP speculation. 

Update: FWIW, I have a source (yeah, you heard me) who says that Rudy Giuliani's people have been on the ground in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but I have no way to corroborate that.  Just sayin'.

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I can almost hear the heads exploding at the Family Research Council now

Hallmark has begun to make same-sex wedding cards (emphasis mine):

Hallmark added the cards after California joined Massachusetts as the only U.S. states with legal gay marriage. A handful of other states have recognized same-sex civil unions.

The language inside the cards is neutral, with no mention of wedding or marriage, making them also suitable for a commitment ceremony. Hallmark says the move is a response to consumer demand, not any political pressure.

Can another cage match Huckabee's social conservatives and free market conservatives be far behind?  A blogger can dream, can't he?

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August 20, 2008

Nuclear War

Does this make anyone else uncomfortable?

After Warsaw and Washington announced the agreement on the deal last week, top Russian Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn warned that Poland is risking attack, and possibly a nuclear one, by deploying the American missile defense system, Russia's Interfax news agency reported.

Did a 'top Russian general' just threaten nuclear war? Just now? Holy fucking shit.

Somebody had better fucking blink really soon.  Post-apocalyptic shit is awesome for movies and video games but I think I'd rather my daughter grow up in a world without savage zombie-mutants.

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The RNC Convention Speaking Schedule

They've got the full list of themes and speakers over at RedState.  Here are my thoughts on the speakers...

Highlights
Monday - Dick Cheney
Tuesday - Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson
Wednesday - Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman
Thursday - John McCain, Tim Pawlenty

Lowlights
Monday - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tuesday - Mike Huckabee, Tom Ridge, Michael Steele  (depending on what he talks about)
Wednesday - I'm guessing the VP nominee will go here
Thursday - Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Charlie Crist

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August 19, 2008

No, really?

Science. Are there any wonders that it can't reveal to us?

Small women with long legs are the most sexually attractive to men, scientists claim.

Females such as Scarlett Johansson, Raquel Welch and Marilyn Monroe with short slender bodies, large busts and slim limbs have the ideal body shape, according to research.

Dr William Brown, of Brunel University, which carried out the study, said: 'We found that shorter, slimmer females with long slender limbs and larger breasts are more attractive.'
And here I thought seven foot tall fat chicks with small breasts and thick, muscular arms and legs were the ideal standard of beauty. God bless you, Dr. Brown!

(h/t)

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Well, this would *yawn* bring excitement to the GOP ticket

Former Representative and OMB Director Rob Portman will be attending the big McCain event in Ohio (Portman's home state) where McCain is supposedly announcing his vice presidential pick. 

Someone who's never won any office outside of Cincinnati and has ties to Bush?  Perfect.

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It won't be Ridge or Lieberman?

At this point, the veepstakes are still very much a guessing game, but here's some talk that goes against the idea of putting Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman at the bottom of the ticket:

Was just talking to a GOP strategist. His read is: Ridge isn't happening. Has at least one RNC official who has been told by the McCain campaign that Ridge is out — will not be the VP, not being considered.

[...]

GOP strategist adds that a Lieberman pick would require the waiving of a  RNC rule that currently says VP nominee must be a registered Republican for at least 60 days.
I hadn't heard that about the RNC party affiliation rules.  If Lieberman had switched his party affiliation, I'm pretty certain we would have heard about it by now. 

For what it's worth, the same source says that Gov. Tim Pawlenty is high on the list. 

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August 18, 2008

It's official...

McCain is announcing his veep on August 29 in Ohio.

But check out this excellent reporting (emphasis mine):

Sources close to McCain say he has wrestled with the choice, torn between a high-stakes, high-reward pick like [Tom] Ridge or Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman — the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004 — or a safer and more conventional selection such as Romney or Pawlenty.

I'd point out that he was the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, but I don't have a J-school degree, so what do I know? 

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Today's Installment Of why The Olympics Are Awesome

Today, it's those awkward names that sound amusing to us morons.
http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn209/doubleplusundeadnu/cockburndong1.jpg

Thanks to this site.


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Bad Russia, no Olympics

As Vinty noted earlier today, Russia was awarded the privilege of hosting the 2012 Winter Olympics.  Well, I was listening to Hugh Hewitt a few minutes ago, and he's flogging this site, which has a petition you can sign to get the IOC to revoke that privilege.  Given the location, that seems very, very appropriate:

http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn209/doubleplusundeadnu/Sochi.jpg

Yeah, that's about 20 miles from the Georgian Border.

http://i305.photobucket.com/albums/nn209/doubleplusundeadnu/sochi2014f250.png

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GOP Vice President's press secretary hired; Update: Dark Horse?

But what does it mean?

News comes in today that Maria Comella, formerly of the Giuliani campaign, has been hired by the McCain campaign to be press secretary to the eventual vice-presidential nominee. Is it a sign? For Rudy? For someone like Pawlenty, who presumably doesn't have a press secretary with national experience? Is it a sign that it definitely won't be someone established? Lieberman, Romney ... these people all have their own people. Or does mean nothing much more than that the McCain campaign wants to have the structure together before the name is announced?
Unlike the Democrats, we (well, at least everyone besides K-LO) know that this doesn't mean that Rudy will be the veep.

I'm agreeing with K-Lo's theory.  This move leads one to think it's not someone with either much national experience or a national team. 

Update: Somewhat related.  If John McCain is going to pick a Democrat, how about former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux?  Besides the one glaring problem of being a Democrat, Breaux would hurt McCain's (ridiculous) anti-lobbyist message. 

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British Intelligence Seeks To Expand Their Recruiting Base

It appears as though the British are open to adding openly gay folks to their ranks.

Stonewall, the gay lobby group, has been hired to advise MI5, the domestic arm of the intelligence services, on how to encourage its spies to be more open about their sexuality and how to attract more gay applicants for posts.

The contract marks a significant change in stance by MI5. Gay men and women were barred from working in sensitive posts in the diplomatic or security services until the early 1990s, a quarter of a century after sexual acts between men were decriminalised in 1967. The ostensible rationale was concern that gay spies could be vulnerable to blackmail, while gay ambassadors could exacerbate tensions between the UK and countries that still criminalise homosexuality.

MI5 would have been highly unlikely to want to work closely with Stonewall in the decade to 2002, when the group was headed by Angela Mason. Ms Mason was tried and acquitted in the 1970s of planting bombs on the doorsteps of Conservative ministers.

Jonathan Evans, who became MI5 director-general last year, has now sanctioned a policy of targeting the gay community as potential recruits. Stonewall will include the security service in its guide of gay-friendly employers this year. The lobby group is also advising MI5 on how to create a supportive environment for its existing gay employees.

The decision is part of a broader cultural shift by the service, away from the traditional "tap on the shoulder by a don" method of attracting Oxbridge graduates to a more open recruitment of people from across society. The change is driven partly by necessity - MI5 has been rapidly recruiting hundreds more staff since the July 7 2005 bombings.


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August 17, 2008

Gun News - Bad and Good

In Florida, where there was a recent legislative victory for gun owners, there seems to be a theme park-sized loophole.

Walt Disney World's claim that its theme parks and resort are exempt from Florida's new Guns to Work law has the backing of the State Attorney General.

Disney issued a new policy Friday after discussions with Tallahassee.

The new policy allows guns at about a half dozen more off-site Disney properties, which are under the guidelines of the law.

The person must have a concealed weapons permit, and the weapon must remain out of site, in the vehicle, and locked up.

However, the Disney policy said the Walt Disney World Resort is exempt from the law, which means employees and guests cannot bring guns on property under any circumstances because Disney qualifies for the exemption as a company with a fireworks permit.

Guess that means that Cruella De Vil is off limits for target practice.

Meanwhile, on a more positive note, a small school district in Texas has said teachers may carry guns on the campus.
Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.

In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.

Since the school is at least 30 miles from the sheriff's office, it makes sense.

Now for some gun pr0n!! On the bright side...

more...

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August 16, 2008

Busty Woman+Tennis+Japanese Something Or Other=Pure Awesome

I just found a reason to care about tennis again.

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Quote of the Day

Rick Warren seems more interested in being pals with whomever winds up president than getting real answers.

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August 15, 2008

Almost awesome VP news

From Roll Call (subscription required):

Gov. Sarah Palin (R), whose name has been floated as a potential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), said she has submitted some paperwork to national Republicans, but added she thinks it is unlikely she will be tapped to be McCain's vice presidential pick.
I think the fact that she hasn't been talked about recently by the McCain campaign means that she's not in the running anymore, but it's nice to know she's on the radar. 

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TalkStraight.org

Over the past week or so, I've been involved with a project called TalkStraight.org.  It's basically the John McCain version of Obama's "Fight the Smears" site only, ya know, accurate

The site launched today, so go check it out.  Especially the post that talks about Obama's nuanced position on the DC gun ban.  I hear some really smart cat wrote that one

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August 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Two of them are straight out their ever-loving minds. [...] They answer to no one. They harm their own people and think nothing of harming others. And yet it's the third, America in case you were wondering, that gets the bulk of the world's criticism and complaint."

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Sad news from Bob Novak

The long-time Washington reporter doesn't think he's going to survive his bout with cancer:

I spoke to Bob Novak this morning for about 10 minutes. He's leaving Thursday for Duke University Hospital where he will have tumor reduction surgery performed by the same surgeon who operated on Ted Kennedy. After a two week stay in Durham, he will return to his home in Washington to receive chemo and radiation treatment.

Bob said he hoped that the treatment would improve his quality of life as well as extend it. When I asked him whether he thought he could beat the cancer, he said he didn't think so. He also said that some of his doctors have counseled against the surgery, but he thinks they were being too conservative.

He doesn't think he will beat the cancer, but the rest of the post makes it sound like he's doing everything in his power to live as long as he can. 

Sad.

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