Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm Spartacus

Once again, the rabid wombats of the mouth-breathin', Bible-thumpin', hooker-humpin', rifle-rack-in-the-pickmup neocon wingnuts idjit crowd have tried to silence any voice raised against them.

Once again, they have succeeded... but only temporarily. And in this temporary success, they may have lost the greater battle.

As Marcotte (I think) pointed out, she no longer has to abide by the civil discourse rules of a campaign organization.

This whole thing was apparently started by Driftglass - sort of a "one for all, all for one" deal to show the fascists of the right that if they screw with ONE blogger, they screw with ALL bloggers.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Judge Gilman v. Reality

Judge Ronald Lee Gilman, of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, is a man in the mold of george w. bush: completely disconnected from those of us in the "reality-based community."

Earlier today, I was reading a decision from the Court, regarding a sexual harassment case. It seems that an assistant manager for a Flying J travel plaza was hit on by his manager. He rebuffed her approach, and was fired/rehired/suspended for two weeks/suspended for one week/suspended until he could move to another Flying J 120 miles away. He sued, claiming that the transfer to a location 120 miles from his home was an "adverse employment action."

The guy could not simply pack up and move to the new town, as his wife had a debilitating back injury, according to the Court, so I'm guessing she needed to stay relatively close to the Cincinati, OH, medical centers.

The Court ruled for the plaintiff (the assistant manager), but in his dissent, Judge Gilman posed an interesting question:

If a 20-minute increase in daily commute time, an extra 100 miles of driving on 12 additional days per month, and a 60-mile increase in a daily commute are not “objectively intolerable” changes in the terms and conditions of employment, what makes the 120-mile transfer in the present case an adverse employment action?

Let's see if we can help the judge out, shall we?

120 miles is roughly the distance from the Court's location in Covington, Kentucky, to Muncie, Indiana.

120 miles to and from is an extra 240 miles per day, roughly from Covington to Ypsilanti, Michigan.

240 miles per day times five days is an extra 1,200 miles per week (Covington to Millinocket, Maine). I'm assuming the guy works five days a week.

1,200 miles per week times 50 weeks (assuming a two-week vacation) is an extra 60,000 miles... twenty times the distance from Boston, MA to San Diego, CA.

Bear in mind this is ADDITIONAL driving for the guy. If his car gets 20 miles per gallon (and a lot of convenience store assistant managers cannot afford a car that gets that kind of mileage), that's an additional 3,000 gallons of gasoline per year. At $2.25 per gallon (which is what we're paying in the Detroit metro area), that's an additional $6750.00 per year -- you heard me, SIX THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS PER YEAR -- just for gas (never mind the wear and tear on his car).

At a speed of 60 MPH, 120 miles is an extra 2 hours on his daily commute. Each way. At 70 MPH, it's an extra one hour forty minutes. Each way.

If the guy works 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, he has to leave his house at 5:00 AM, get to work at 7:00, leave work at 3:00, and get home at 5:00. If he's like me, he has to get up an hour before he leaves for work (shower, shave, dress, make coffee, find keys, etc.), so he gets up at 4:00 AM. To get the recommended eight hours sleep (getting up at 4:00), he has to be in bed by 8:00 PM... leaving him a munificent three hours with his wife (the one with the bad back, remember?).

Each week, he gets to spend an extra 16 hours, forty minutes in the car... when he could be taking care of his wife's bad back.

Each year, he spends an extra 833 hours in the car... an extra five full weeks (at 168 hours per week)... when he could be taking care of his wife.

Yeah, I would say costing this poor guy $6750 per year (just in gas, mind you), and 833 hours of commuting time, would constitute an "adverse employment action."

Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Notable Quotes

The other night, I decided against being a productive member of society, so I parked it and watch a few re-runs of "Law and Order."

As a born and bred New Yorker, I can understand and appreciate the quaint phrases New Yorkers use to show respect and admiration for each other. In the first episode, Detectives Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and Green (Jesse L. Martin) are dealing with a pompous wannabe novelist with a bad attitude. At one point, Green refers to the "novelist" as "F. Scott Fitz-stupid."

I almost fell off the sofa.

In the second episode, D.A. Branch (former US Senator Fred D. Thompson [far right-wing R, TN]) is complaining about "five Supreme Court justices subverting the will of the populace," by doing something relatively liberal. I, of course, was screaming at the set, "What about when five justices subverted the will of the populace by annointing george bush preznit, you stupid, frickin' MO-ron?!?"

The lovely yet talented Mrs 618 has blocked "Law and Order."

This morning, WOMC radio host (and Radio Hall of Famer) Dick Purtan -- who was the Detroit DJ in "Beverly Hills Cop II" -- was discussing "pimply-faced" 'N Sync perpetrator, alleged actor/singer and definite oxygen thief Justin Timberlake. Purtin said, "He looks like Chris Hansen* should walk into his kitchen."

Unfortunately, I was driving at the time. I almost parked in the ditch.

* For those who may not be as glued to the tube as Mrs 618 and I, Hansen hosts MSNBC Dateline's "To Catch A Predator," confronting and apprehending on-line pedophiles. If you have children at home, you owe it to yourself to watch this series.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"The Decider" Rides Again... Sort Of...

I heard a radio commercial the other day for Equal (the sweetener). It features some woman putting Equal into only the coffees that are "worthy" of such extravagant treatment. The guy says something to the effect of, "You make that determination?"

She says, sweetly*, "I'm the decider."

*No, the pun was not intended. As someone else (maybe Drum) said the other day, I groaned as I typed it.

Broder LIES

And this is new... exactly how?

Via Atrios, Oliver Willis on David Broder: [original emphasis]

David Broder Libels Democrats

David Broder, the most insider of Washington insiders, perpetuates a lie and smears the Democratic party in "reporting" on this past weekend's meeting of the DNC.

One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of "Duty, Honor, Country," forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.

That's just a boldfaced lie by Broder, no two ways about it. I happened to be in attendance at the speech in question, just a stone's throw away from General Clark when he gave it. What David Broder is saying here is an absolute lie. The crowd in attendance stood on their feet, clapped their hands loudly and strongly time and time again when speakers - including Gen. Clark - invoked the service and sacrifice of America's fighting men and women.

In fact, in the very speech Broder cites as his reasoning for Democrats not supporting the military, Gen. Clark asked for a moment of silence (see the video here) to reflect on the sacrifices being made by the troops currently serving. The auditorium was silent, and many bowed their heads in prayer.

David Broder is a filthy liar, and the Washington Post ought to correct the slander he's published in their pages. For too long the Republican party and the conservative movement has smeared Democrats and liberals as not supportive of the troops, when time and time again it is the right who does not look out for their interests as Democrats and liberals time and time again fight for good foreign policy, veterans benefits, and the basics of body armor for our troops.

Again I say, David Broder is lying.

MORE: David Broder is, like much of the media establishment, no stranger to deception.

I don’t know why Willis is surprised that Broder is lying about this. After all, the Republicans, their sycophantic media lapdos, and the mouth-breathin’, Bible-thumpin’, hooker-humpin’, sister-marryin’, rifle-rack-in-the-pickmup neocon wingnut idjits have brought lying into mainstream political discourse.

Can anyone think of anything the Rethuglicans have claimed in six years that wasn’t a lie? Iraq? The economy? Global warming? Evolution? “Culture of Life”?

Of course, the Republicans have served honorably in the armed forces.

Haven’t they?



  • Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
  • David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
  • Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
  • Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
  • Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g . Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
  • Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
  • John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts.
  • Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
  • Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam. Paraplegic from war injuries. Served in Congress.
  • Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
  • Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
  • Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
  • Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
  • Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars,and Soldier's Medal.
  • Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
  • Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
  • Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
  • Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
  • Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
  • Chuck Robb: Vietnam
  • Howell Heflin: Silver Star
  • George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
  • Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received #311.
  • Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
  • Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
  • John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and AirMedal with 18 Clusters.
  • Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.

REPUBLICANS (and these are the guys sending people to war):

  • Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
  • Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
  • Tom Delay: did not serve.
  • Roy Blunt: did not serve.
  • Bill Frist: did not serve.
  • Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
  • Rick Santorum: did not serve.
  • Trent Lott: did not serve.
  • John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
  • Jeb Bush: did not serve.
  • Karl Rove: did not serve.
  • Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
  • Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
  • Vin Weber: did not serve.
  • Richard Perle: did not serve.
  • Douglas Feith: did not serve.
  • Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
  • Richard Shelby: did not serve.
  • Jon Kyl: did not serve.
  • Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
  • Christopher Cox: did not serve.
  • Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
  • Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
  • george w. bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate.
  • Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non- combat role making movies.
  • Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.
  • Phil Gramm: did not serve.
  • John McCain: Vietnam POW, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
  • Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
  • John M. McHugh: did not serve.
  • JC Watts: did not serve.
  • Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem, " although continued in NFL for 8 years as quarterback.
  • Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
  • Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
  • George Pataki: did not serve.
  • Spencer Abraham: did not serve.
  • John Engler: did not serve.
  • Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.


  • Sean Hannity: did not serve.
  • Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')*
  • Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
  • Michael Savage: did not serve.
  • George Will: did not serve.
  • Chris Matthews: did not serve.
  • Paul Gigot: did not serve.
  • Bill Bennett: did not serve.
  • Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
  • John Wayne: did not serve.
  • Bill Kristol: did not serve.
  • Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
  • Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
  • Clarence Thomas: did not serve.
  • Ralph Reed: did not serve.
  • Michael Medved: did not serve.
  • Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
  • Ted Nugent: did not serve. (He only shoots at things that don't shoot back.)

* Although, to be fair to Lush Bimbo -- not that he knows squat about fairness -- I too have a pilonidal cyst, and I can tell you it isn't fun. It's a great big painful cyst at the base of the spine (which sounds less disgusting than 'at the top of your ass') that gets inflamed on a regular basis, ruptures, bleeds and oozes pus, and makes it almost excrutiatingly painful to put any pressure on the butt... say, in sitting, lying down, or even bending over.