Thursday, November 30, 2006

Evening Chuckle: Everyone Likes Their Own Brand

That, plus crap.


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December 1st Is World AIDS Day

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day.

You can go here for more information.

AIDSinfo has a World AIDS Day page up as well.

Tomorrow, I will try to have a special focus on HIV/AIDS, so please check the above sites or stop back tomorrow to learn more about this epidemic and what you can do about it.

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Don't Read If You Are Easily Creeped-Out

I was browsing Damn Interesting (a site that lives up to it's name) just now and I read about Giant Carnivorous Centipedes that can eat small mammals.

Like bats:

Nature is truly a disgusting sort of way.

In Which I Re-establish My Independent Cred

1) George Will's op-ed about the Bush-Webb altercation has taught right-wing bloggers a new word: boor. They are playing with it like a kid with a new toy on Christmas morn. Thanks, Mr. Will!

2) The Iraq Study Group will recommend that we start pulling back our troops from Iraq. Too bad no one with any power to effect such a move will pay any attention to this.

3) The newly empowered Democratic Congressional leadership has decided NOT to reform Congressional intelligence oversight as per the 9/11 Commission recommendations, thus breaking a campaign pledge to fully implement all 9/11 Commission recommendations.

I am never a fan of just doing blanket things like saying "we'll implement them all". Maybe some of the ideas aren't necessary to implement. However, this one is.

So, let me be blunt:

Dear Democrats,

Overhauling Congress (both in ethics and 9/11 reforms) was one of the main reasons I supported you this election cycle, as did many others. We worked hard for you. We own you. Do not %#@$ with us. If you can't make the hard decisions that will be slightly uncomfortable for you in Congress, then what the hell good are you? You will lose again in '08 if you don't come through in the next two years.

Try doing something for the good of the country instead of consolidating your own power. We had enough of that crap over the last 12 years. That is why the Republicans are no longer in charge. Never forget that you won this election, not because you are Democrats, but because you are not Republicans. You have two years to get people to support you because you are Democrats. The best way to do that is NOT to start doing the same crap that got the Republicans booted in the first place.



PS: I was talking to my brother right after the election and we agreed one of the best things about the Democrats winning was that we could now criticize both sides. Just attacking Republicans (though 100% justified) for everything made us feel like nut-balls. It feels good to be equal opportunity again. Enjoy.

Today in Science


South Africa will use Friday's World AIDS Day to launch a new plan to fight HIV/AIDS and answer near universal criticism of their previous "strategy". Reuters

Male circumcision in Africa may hold promise for limiting the spread of the disease. WP

Universal AIDS test needed. Reuters

Review says that scientific journal editors should scrutinize data more before accepting investigators submissions. WP, NYT

Natural anti-inflammatory may be more potent than synthetic drugs, but without side effects. WP

Arby's rules! They are taking the trans-fats out of their fries. WP

Keep drinkin' (red wine that is), you'll live longer (then you can drink more). WP, BBC

NASA sets next shuttle launch for Dec. 7th. WP, Reuters


Personal wind turbines are catching on in Britain. CSM

The world is reacting to climate change even if the politicians are not. WP

Demand for plug-in hybrid cars grows. Reuters

GM is (finally) working on a plug-in hybrid. WP

The EU is fighting over strong CO2 emission cuts. Reuters, BBC

Heat stored in the North Atlantic may exacerbate climate change. Guardian

Price wars: Plasma TV prices keep going down. WP

Face transplant recipient can smile. BBC

Ancient computer examined. BBC, NYT, Reuters,, Nature, NG

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Evening Chuckle: Cough, Cough, Mitochondria

I identify with this guy. Enjoy.

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Reading the Liberal Progressive this evening reminded me of something I've been meaning to do: link to some charities.

The two I recommend the most are:

The American Cancer Society: they are a huge organization and, as such, are capable of a making a large impact on the research and treatment of many different kinds of cancers. Cancer is a nightmare. This is a great place to donate.

Save the Children: Over 90% of donations to StC go directly to program services. They did a lot of work following the 2004 tsunami. They do a lot of good for the most helpless people in the world. You can also sponsor a child.

I'll be putting permanent links to these two in the sidebar. If you are looking for a place to donate some money this holiday season, you would be hard pressed to find more worthy recipients.

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Saudi Intervention in Iraq: American Lifeline or Harbinger of WWIII?

Saudi Arabia is prepared to step into the void left by redeploying American troops.

I'm not sure if this is a threat or an offer but I say we take them up on it.

The Saudis want to defend Iraqi Sunnis from genocide at the hands of Iranian supported Iraqi Shiite militias. They are prepared to send in troops (including exiled Baathist Iraqi military) AND flood the worldwide oil market with supply sufficient to cut the price per barrel in half!

The biggest problem with us leaving Iraq is the power vacuum we will leave behind. If the Saudis step in they will significantly mitigate that problem. (Of course, the Saudis aren't exactly a freedom loving Iran/Syria alternative but this mess doesn't have a Disney ending.) Additionally, the House of Saud is no friend of al-Qaeda, so their small presence amongst the Iraqi Sunnis would be quickly eliminated in deference to the new Saudi patrons.

Overall, this is the best news I have heard out of the region in a while...which is very sad considering that Saudi intervention would possibly result in a regional war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

So, yes, the potential opening rhetorical salvo of WWIII is the best news from the Middle East in a while.


UPDATE: Journalist Fired for Reporting Truth

Just to put a bow on the story I wrote about the other day, Paul Thacker has landed on his feet (no surprise) following his ridiculous dismissal from the journal Environmental Science & Technology for a series of investigative reports (one of which he won second prize for Outstanding Online Journalism from the Society of Environmental Journalists but most especially because of this one on the Bush administration misleading the public about climate change).

Paul has a new job with Inside Higher Ed. I look forward to reading his work there in the future.

Also, I found online video of the episode of America's Investigative Reports about Paul, check it out here (scroll down to the bottom, Nov. 10, 2006 Science Fiction).

It is sad and terrifying, just like everything else I read/watch. Enjoy.

Breaking: Unelectable Candidate Bows Out of '08 Race

Bill Frist will spare himself the indignity of being an afterthought/laughingstock of the 2008 presidential race.

The guy has zero charisma. Most people don't even know who he is.

The shocker here is the common sense he is showing by dropping out before he even got into the race.

New Direction

Well, first I need to apologize for the lack of posting lately. I've been doing a pretty weak job since the election. However, Tokatakiya passed the 5000 visitor mark just the other day. I'm pretty proud of that since my other blog (ROBBLOG), which is 6 months older, only recently passed 3300 hits. The election gave this blog purpose and direction.

But the election is over, so now what?

As some of you will recall, I quit my job as a freelance science writer to volunteer full-time for the Webb campaign. Some people thought I was wasting my time. Given the result (and the margin of victory), I think my decision was justified. (Especially in light of the boat-rocking Webb looks poised to do in the Senate. The President is going to have to get used to a Senator who doesn't roll over and wet himself every time Bush says 'Boo'. What a shame.) However, since the election is over, it is time to go back to work. I recently accepted a full-time, go-to-an-office position that will require me to quickly become well-versed in all things HIV/AIDS. This job will be in support of an HIV information dissemination website (among other things), so I'm excited to work on expanding the reach of the site to help educate the public on prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. (I want to use as much "New-media" capabilities as possible so, if you have any ideas in this regard, please leave them in the comments. Thanks.)

As such, this blog will probably contain significantly more on HIV/AIDS than I have covered in the past. This is at least as important an issue as any I have previously dealt with here, especially in light of the fact that AIDS is poised to become the third leading killer worldwide in the next 25 years. This is a great opportunity for me career-wise and, more importantly, it will allow me to have an impact on one of the biggest health threats the world now faces. This is not where I envisioned myself (believe me) but it is an exciting new path.

I haven't started yet so I will be staying mum until I get more details.

In other Tokatakiya related news, I am going to try to get back on a nightly "Evening Chuckle" schedule, put up a new "Trivia Quiz for Manhood" (the current edition of which is still open for competition - step right up!), and try to revive my "Today in Science" feature. I will also put up substantive posts on a variety of issues more regularly. (Although not as regular as during the campaign, of course.)

Thanks for your support and please continue reading. I'm not going anywhere.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

OK, Idiots, Can We Do Something About Climate Change NOW?

Oil company executives are admitting that global climate change is real and is caused by human activity.

This is my favorite quote (from the President of Shell Oil):
"From Shell's point of view, the debate is over. When 98 percent of scientists agree, who is Shell to say, 'Let's debate the science'?"
Who indeed. However, that hasn't stopped oil companies, Senators, or other random idiots from saying that for years.

Let's hope we can finally start to accomplish something that will make a significant difference before it is too late.

PS: Try starting here, or here.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Chuckle: Adam Sandler

Here is the original classic Thanksgiving song from 1993. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Asia Rising

Fareed Zakaria says that the economic ascendance of Asia will determine the future of the 21st century and that the US's Middle East misadventure is distracting us from playing the kind of role we should be in the process.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Double Murderer Will NOT Be Allowed to Brag About Being a Double Murderer

Suck it Simpson.

I watched most of this trial with my Dad over the summer between High School graduation and starting college. I remember hearing people in my dorm cheer when he was found not guilty. One of my friend's professor's put it best: "I think the LAPD framed a guilty man."

OJ Simpson was found responsible for the two deaths in a civil trial and should be living in a gutter but for the fact that he has hidden his financial assets so that they can't be claimed to pay the civil damages. It is entirely appropriate that he should not be allowed to benefit from his crime.

The OJ Simpson trial was a sad example of American justice. It illustrated that if you have money you can buy injustice. Simpson's lawyers convinced an intellectually weak jury that an obviously guilty man was innocent. The incompetent LA district attorney's office could not convict a guilty man with a mountain of evidence. As Chris Rock said, "If OJ was poor he'd be Orenthal the Bus-driving murderer." Sad, sad, sad.

He'll get his.

Where Else Will the Soldiers Come From?

Everyone is going ape$#!# about Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) saying he will introduce legislation to reinstate the draft.

First of all, in case you are reality impaired, this has no chance of passing.

Secondly, if we stay in Iraq with no plan to significantly reduce troop levels, we will eventually need to institute a draft. Its simple math. We get out relatively soon or we get more soldiers.

Finally, the response to this blows my mind. It reminds me of what I think was the single greatest failing of the Bush Administration (which is saying something) immediately after 9/11: they refused to ask the American people to sacrifice for the war on terror. We were told to be good little consumers, to take our tax cuts and go shopping, leave the war to someone else. We missed the opportunity to become a stronger, more unified nation by fostering a more urgent sense of public service. Now, the most difficult decision most people face is what color "Support the Troops" ribbon to put on the back of their SUV.

My bottom line is this: if the war on terror really is a struggle for the future of civilization (as has been suggested by the Bush Administration) then shouldn't we use every resource at our disposal to fight it?

If the former is true we must exercise the latter.

Friday, November 17, 2006

YSK: You Can Do Something to Help Save Science in America!

Resolution HR6164 (you can look up the text here) passed the House of Representatives on September 26th and has now been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee.

HR 6164 aims to continue the Republican War on Science by crippling the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The President of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) detailed many of the insidious provisions of HR6164 in an open letter (pdf) to the HELP committee's ranking member, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass).
"After careful review and modeling of future NIH budget scenarios, AASLD has concluded that the NIH Reform Act of 2006 will deal a sever and crushing blow to the future of biomedical research in this country. Damage to the research enterprise will result in the permanent loss of investigators and technical support staff from our academic centers with an inevitable negative impact on America's position as the world's leader in basic, translational and clinical research and as the creator of much-needed high paying, technology jobs in our country.

Several provisions of HR6164 will negatively impact our ability to develop the new diagnostics, treatments and, ultimately, cures:
    For the first time ever, this legislation places a cap on the amount of funding Congress can appropriate to NIH by replacing the existing "such sums" language with hard limits. Had this bill been in effect from 1998 to 2003, the will of Congress to double the NIH budget would have been thwarted, and our current funding levels would never have been achieved.

    The legislation creates a "Common Fund" by siphoning off money from the institutes and centers. Under provisions of the bill, 50 percent of any increase in NIH funding would go to the Common Fund; but 100 percent of any reduction would be borne by the institutes and centers - and thus by peer-reviewed research.

    The budget of the Director's Office at NIH would be authorized at a level in excess of $1.0 billion (it is currently appropriated at $527 million). Again,this funding would come at the expense of the institutes and centers.

    The authorization caps,when combined with the Common Fund and the Director's Office authorization level - and when controlled for biomedical research inflation - assures that NIH will not experience more than a 1 percent increase for the life of this bill, even if Congress appropriates the fully authorized amount - something it rarely does." [Emphasis mine.]
Make no mistake, crippling the NIH like this will have unimaginably damaging effects on the biomedical sciences for years, possible decades, to come.

This issue affects all Americans, every single one of us. The NIH provides the funding that fosters new treatments and cures, not to mention the many new biomedical start-ups that are built on discoveries made using NIH grant money. These start-ups create jobs. Not only is biomedical science THE growth industry of the 21st century but biomedical jobs will likely play a large part in replacing the manufacturing jobs that are being shipped overseas.

This bill is short sighted. It will reduce the quality and quantity of science performed in this country. It will reduce the number of new treatments, cures, and drugs discovered in this country. It will damage the short and long-term growth of biomedical industry in this country at a time when job growth is (and will be) sorely needed.

The good news is that this bill has not yet been passed.

Here is a list of the Senators who sit on the HELP committee and whose votes are crucial to killing this bill. If you live in a state represented by one of the Senators on the HELP committee, I urge you to use the link above to write them and request that they vote against HR6164. If you don't live in one of these states, please contact your Senator and request that they vote against HR6164 (and urge their colleagues to vote against it) if it makes it to a floor vote.

This isn't just legislation that will hurt scientists in their ivory towers, this will affect every man, woman, and child in the United States. (Very likely much of the rest of the world as well.) Please take this seriously and please take the time to write a note to your Senator to kill this bill.

It will be the most important thing you do today.

YSK Outrage: Investigative Journalist Fired for Reporting the Truth!

A couple of months ago I wrote about a story on that was written by a friend of mine from my grad school days. It detailed the Bush Administration's attempts to dictate what government scientists told the public about global warming.

Now, I read this morning that Paul was fired by his employer the journal Environmental Science & Technology (which is run by the American Chemical Society) for pursuing the story.

Shame on the ACS. These are big issues with which Paul is dealing. Dishonesty from our government should not be tolerated. This is especially so when government withholds information from it's citizens that they need to make informed decisions on important policy issues. In this case, the issue of global climate change.

People will never accept some of the steps that need to be taken to combat climate change unless our government tells them the truth.

Thank God people like Paul are out there exposing this type of incredibly damaging deception.

Thanks Paul.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Evening Chuckle: I Need A Young Priest and An Old Priest

All I asked for was a frickin' rotating chair.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Today in Science

[I'm going to start crossposting my regular ROBBLOG "Today in Science" feature here as well. Please let me know what you think.]

Science issues like stem cells and climate change are going to be high priority in new Democratic Congress. CSM

Democratic Congress unlikely to allow expanded offshore drilling. NYT

Humorous names for genes discovered in fruit flies do not translate well to the clinic. NYT

Panda porn: what an age we live in. Reuters

Manipulating immune cells can help fight melanoma. BBC, Guardian

Firefighters have a higher risk of developing certain cancers. BBC


Life expectancy with HIV has increased. NYT

Doctors can use Google to help with diagnoses. BBC, CBC

Children may have hardening arteries. Reuters


Kyoto countries are looking to extend the pact. Reuters

Storm surge barriers may be needed to protect New York City. CSM

Stem cells used to treat diabetes in mice. BBC

And to restore sight in mice. WP

Accurate scientific facts are finding their way into TV shows. LAT

Artificial stomach created. BBC

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tick Tock

Will Castro see 2007?

I sincerely hope not.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Senator-elect Webb's Nebraska Days

My Dad pointed me towards a brief article in today's Omaha World Herald about Jim Webb. (Registration required.)

As I have mentioned before, he went to High School in Omaha and started boxing there.
"Jim Webb first made news in The World-Herald in January 1963 as a 16-year-old Bellevue High School student about to fight in his first Golden Gloves boxing match.

Thursday, he was back in the paper: on the front page, after being declared the winner of the Virginia Senate race - which gave the Democrats control of Congress.

Webb's family lived in the Omaha area from 1960 to 1963 when his father, military officer James H. Webb Sr., was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base.

While here, the younger Webb attended Bellevue High School - now Bellevue East. He graduated from the school in 1963.

After leaving Nebraska, Webb served in the U.S. Marines and has worked as a lawyer, an author and a screenwriter. He served under President Reagan as assistant defense secretary and secretary of the Navy.

Webb's senior yearbook lists him as having been involved in a number of school activities: honor roll, student council, football, basketball, track, speech, Spanish club, Latin club and baseball.

On top of all that, Webb took up boxing while in the area.

His coach was retired Air Force Sgt. Harley Cooper of Omaha, who won Golden Gloves national championships in 1963 and '64.

Webb didn't share in that success in his first boxing match, on Jan. 25, 1963, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

Fighting at 135 pounds, he lost on a split decision, World-Herald archives say.

But it wasn't necessarily Webb's boxing ability that impressed Wally Provost, then the World-Herald's sports editor.

Provost wrote in a Jan. 23, 1963, column that Webb was "handsome, intelligent and very much aware of the excitement of his life."

"People such as young Jim Webb pleasantly amaze me," Provost wrote.
So, I am officially declaring Senator-elect Webb a Husker. I am not sure which is the greater honor, being elected Senator or being from Nebraska.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Evening Chuckle: My Favorite Ad

Here is the only thing I will miss about election season:

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Congratulations, Senator-Elect Webb!

Well, its all over but the horribly protracted recount.

However, 7000 8000 7347 9326 votes is just too many to overcome.

In 2004, everybody thought Bush was going to lose (thanks a lot, exit polls). When he won, I was not happy. However, once it was called, I sucked it up and got my mind around the fact that he was going to be President for 4 more years. A lot of people whined and complained but I just accepted the reality.

That is what I suggest the Republicans do now.

Congress has changed hands. Both chambers. Accept it and move on.

Everybody in Washington needs to realize that Americans have spoken and they want change.


Republicans: Don't be sore losers.

Democrats: Don't get cocky.

Can we try rational governance for a change?

I sincerely hope so.

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Jim Webb v. George Allen Archive:





Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Timpani Roll: Last Call!

I made 207 calls from home for Jim Webb today.

...and I'm spent.

Now we play the waiting game.

There will be no doubt.

God Bless all of you who worked your butts off for Jim Webb.

God Bless the United States of America.

To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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Today's the Day

Go Vote.

For Jim Webb.

Its the right thing to do.

To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Oh, By the Way...

I feel like I have been remiss about one thing.

I am against the Marriage amendment.

I don't think people should be able to discriminate against gay people just because they think they are "icky".

And you can dress it up any way you want...but that's what it really is about.

I talked to a guy while calling for Jim Webb today who told me, "No, thanks. We don't need no f*gg*ts marrying in Virginia, man."

So, tell me again how this amendment is about "protecting marriage".

Grow the %#%@ up.

Timpani Roll: Election Eve

I made 232 calls from home for Jim Webb today!

Today's top 5 phone from home callers are over 1000 calls as of 7:30 pm!

Just let me say that I want to stop. I hate talking on the anyone...for any reason. However, something keeps me on the phone. It is the fact that I know Jim Webb must win this race. It is right. It is good for Virginia, America, the world, and the future.

That is my conviction. It is what I know to be true.

The dirty voter suppression tactics that are going on in Northern Virginia only steel my resolve.

I'm tired.

I'm sick of calling.

But, I'll be on the phone again tomorrow and, after tomorrow, it'll all be over.

Remember that if you get tired, or sick of calling, or God forbid, overconfident.

Only one more day.

This is too important to hope someone else will do it.



To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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Webb v. Allen Clip Show: Iraq and National Security

(This is the big one so its appropriate that this is my 250th post.)

The Iraq War and the War on Terror are the defining issues of our time and "Senator" Allen has neither a plan nor a clue about what to do.

Actually, Allen and Al-Qaeda have the same plan for Iraq. Both want to keep it going indefinitely.

But then, Allen thinks Iraqi Kurdistan is doing so well because you don't have to wear body-armor there (most of the time).

Bush has been going around rallying Republican crowds and telling them to ask Democratic candidates "What's your plan?" for Iraq. Here's Jim Webb's plan. He's been saying it for 2 years. What's your plan, Mr. President? What's your plan, Mr. Allen? I think we'd all love to hear one.

Oh and let's not forget, Jim Webb was right about Iran and right about North Korea. Wouldn't it be nice if the people making foreign policy in this country got something right once in a while? George Allen is on the foreign relations committee and all he knows about foreign policy is what the White House tells him (and their foreign policy track record stinks). He blindly follows along...and the world is worse off for it.

The reality is that we need to follow Jim Webb's plan to redeploy our troops outside of Iraq and contain the Iraqi civil war so that it doesn't spill over into Iran, Syria, (or our allies) Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. This will mean negotiating with Iran and Syria about the future security of Iraq. This needs to happen so we must get past the irresponsible "Axis of Evil" rhetoric.

We already don't control Iraq or it's politicians. The Shiite leadership is using the US troops as a means of not including the Sunnis in the government in a meaningful way. As long as our troops are there to protect them, they will never be forced to reconcile.

Oh, and BTW, while we are screwing around in Iraq, Afghanistan is slipping away.

Also, if we continue the Bush/Cheney/Allen plan of "stay the course" and "full speed ahead", we will continue to decimate our armed forces. This will inevitably necessitate a draft.

The only honest conclusion to any debate about Iraq or National Security between George Allen and Jim Webb is obvious: Jim Webb wins hands down. He is a decorated combat veteran and he has real world experience regarding foreign policy. Allen can not hold a candle to Jim Webb in this area.

So, if you believe that the Iraq War and the War on Terror are the defining issues of our day, Jim Webb should be your choice for US Senate. It's not even close. We've had enough (faux) cowboy diplomacy. It is time we had leaders who study the problems, consider the consequences of actions, and make rational decisions.

There is only one candidate in this race who will do that:

James H. Webb.

Vote Webb and GOTV!

To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Timpani Roll: Final Weekend !

I made 223 calls from home for Jim Webb this weekend!

My goal for tomorrow is to get my total above 2500 calls. That will be a big number. That would be 25% above my original goal!

This is literally it. The polls open in less than 36 hours. Don't leave anything in the tank. We can all rest on Wednesday. Find something, anything you can do in support of Jim Webb!



To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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Webb v. Allen Clip Show: Allen Has No Energy Plan

George Allen wanted to make his "Energy independence" "plan" the cornerstone of his (soon-to-be-failed) re-election bid and, presumably, for his (soon-to-never-happen) Presidential run.

However, "his" "plan" was cobbled together from already submitted legislation. Basically, he stole it, just like he stole Illinois Dick Durbin's amendment back in September.

The cornerstone of his plan was, of course, drilling in ANWR. Regardless of whether we should drill there or not, this is not a strategy for energy independence. This is putting a band-aid on a broken leg.

He also (yet again) flip-flopped on supporting ethanol when he decided he needed to be for it to win Presidential primary votes in Iowa. On wonders if, now that his Presidential ambitions are all-but-dead, "Senator" Allen would now support ethanol? (Fortunately, when we vote him out on November 7th, we won't have to find out.)

Allen also repeatedly voted against controls for speculation in energy markets. This means he was OK with speculators pushing up the price of oil and, consequently, the price of gasoline. (BTW, if you think the free market alone controls the price of oil, read this and think again.)

Finally, Allen supported giving huge tax breaks to the oil industry while they were making record profits! He blindly rubber-stamped the Bush/Cheney energy plan which was written by the oil industry behind closed doors!

Jim Webb will make sure that large corporations (like the oil companies) pay their fair share. He understands the volatility of the Middle East and the importance of making the US less beholden to that region.

We need a serious change in US energy policy.

Vote Jim Webb.

To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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What President Bush Will Say About the Saddam Verdict

My prediction?
"Don't Mess with Texas.

Heh, heh, heh.

PS: Vote Republican."

Webb v. Allen Clip Show: George Allen Pretends to be Pro-Vet and Pro-Troops

George Allen likes to wrap himself in the flag and hide behind the troops to disguise his poor record (which includes a D+ rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America).

VoteVets details Allen's "support" for our troops in an ad that is accurate, by the way.

Bottom line: Our military is not being supported by the Republicans.

Jim Webb will support the troops.

He will fight to get them the equipment they need, like body armor and armored vehicles. Most importantly, he will fight to get them out of Iraq.

Vote for Jim Webb, vote to actually support the troops.

To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saddam Verdict Will Backfire

I just wanted to go on record as saying that, after Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death tomorrow, Iraq will explode in an orgy of violence.

Seriously, it will be so bad that you will actually be able to tell that the violence has increased above the normal (really, really high) level.

Enjoy your "bounce", GOP. (Can something bounce down?)

Webb v. Allen Clip Show: Jim Webb Will Be a Great Senator

Here are some reasons why people can be for Jim Webb, not just against George Allen.

Also, let's not forget the advantages of having an independent Senator who is not a politician.

Here is a post I wrote debunking the first Allen attack ad on Jim Webb (it includes the glowing letter President Reagan wrote when Secretary Webb resigned).

These are my two favorite Webb ads:

Leadership we can trust and "America needs a new direction, not left or right, but forward."

I think the best point I can make to show how strongly I believe in Jim Webb is to remind you that I quit my job for this.

We're almost there. Do what you must, do all you can.


To contribute to Jim Webb for Senate, click
Bloggers for Webb or
Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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Webb v. Allen Clip Show: Is Allen A Hypocrite, A Flip-Flopper, or Ignorant About Embryonc Stem Cells?

The answer, of course, is all of the above.

I wrote this post after President Bush vetoed the Stem Cell bill which would have had allowed Federal funds to be used for embryonic stem cell research. It applies particularly well to Allen's hypocrisy vis-a-vis embryonic stem cells and in vitro fertilization which he demonstrated in the FCCC debate.

It's also important to note that Allen was for embryonic stem cell research before he was against it.

Finally, I just want to, once again, present the facts about embryonic stem cell research.

These are facts that Jim Webb knows and George Allen ignores because (today) it is politically expedient for him to ignore them.

So, is Allen a hypocrite? A Flip-flopper? Ignorant?


However, there is one more important thing he is with regards to embryonic stem cells...

Wrong. Dead Wrong.

He is wrong on this issue and wrong for Virginia.

Vote Webb.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Military Times Media Will Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation on Monday

This is bad news for Allen.

Which by definition is good news for the rest of the country.

These are the hometown papers of the military (of which there is a lot in Virginia).

This could swing A LOT of voters to Webb.

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Timpani Roll: I Broke 2K!!!

I made 255 calls from home for Jim Webb today!

And boy is my throat tired. But seriously, this was a good day. I broke my goal of 2000 calls and now I'm going to try and obliterate it. A lot of people are very excited about Jim Webb. People believe he will win...and they are right.

However, only if we keep working.

We are getting close (thank God) and it'll all be over soon. So, there is no reason not to totally burn yourself out on GOTV. We can all rest on Wednesday.

We have the advantage and we need to press it.



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Webb v. Allen Clip Show: George Allen has a History of Racial Problems

This one is obvious but important nonetheless.

Here are two compilations dealing with "Senator" Allen's long history of racial problems, including hanging a Confederate flag in his living room and a noose in his law office.

Here is a picture of George Allen with the modern day successor of the Ku Klux Klan.

And, yet again, Allen singled out the only dark-skinned person in a crowd and told him "Welcome to America" and repeatedly called him the M-word, a French-Tunisian racial slur that, despite his protestations, he more than likely learned from his French-Tunisian mother.

Speaking of his mother, once it was revealed that Allen has Jewish heritage (which is such a non-issue as to be utterly ridiculous) Allen felt it necessary to prove his "Gentile street cred" by telling reporters that he had a "ham sandwich for lunch".

Let's not forget the accusations from multiple sources that, to paraphrase Chris Rock in the movie "CB4", Allen used the N-word like it was his last name.

Then there are the charges that Allen stuffed a severed deer head into a black families mail box.

Are all of these stories true? I don't know. But there is an unquestionable pattern. It this wasn't an issue with Allen the allegations wouldn't stick or even seem so plausible.

This is a United States Senator?

I reiterate from this morning: Allen has no credibility. He is a punchline.

And those are written words...the kind I thought about.

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Webb v. Allen Clip Show: George Allen is a Travesty of a Joke of a Senator

Why is he a Travesty?

Six years of Bush/Allen policies have led to an increase in poverty.

George Allen is supported by the "Club for Growth" which wants to take Federal subsidies away from Virginia farmers. (I don't think this has been talked about enough in the rural areas of the state.)

(Many more specific examples of this to come.)

Why is he a Joke?

Geraldo Rivera takes shots at him. (On FOX for God's sake!)

His campaign's "shut your pie hole" strategy of keeping Allen away from reporters for fear of him, well, saying something. Anything. Because as John Stewart said, "Senator George Allen says a lot of stupid $#!#."

Allen stole an amendment written by another Senator and changed one word to make it his own.

He scheduled fundraiser with President Bush was on the same day as the President campaigned with an alleged mistress strangler. This resulted in an entire day of Allen's problems being equated with someone accused of (I'll say it again) strangling his mistress.

Thugs who support Allen assaulted a man who asked Allen a question.

Allen said, "Written words are words you think about." Unlike every word that comes out of his mouth.

Last but not least, "Welcome to America, M*****."

Let me be clear, George Allen is not a "Senator", he is a punchline. He is no longer taken seriously by anyone.

Does that sound Jeffersonian?

Virginia deserves better.

Vote for Jim Webb.

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Let's Go!

I spent yesterday in a sinus flu induced coma. As such I was unable to make any calls for Jim Webb.

Today, I am fueled by a mix of DayQuil, Vitamin C, and some sort of fish paralyzer. So, basically, good to go.

Sick or not, there is no more time to waste. I'm back on the phones today (hopefully, I will sound somewhat coherent).

However, I just wanted to let you know what I have planned between now and election day.

I'll be pulling up groupings of posts that I have written about certain issues and putting them up again. They were relevant in August and September, they are relevant now. (This doesn't mean I won't write anything new but I want to spend most of my time now on Get Out the Vote.)

So, stay tuned for that.

One piece of good news: Allen is broke. His attack dogs are freaked and the National Republicans are not happy about having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to try (in vain) to save Allen's seat.



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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Iraq was the GOP's Mistake. So Why Do They Punish Our Troops?

Bush/Allen support the war in Iraq:

But not our warriors in Iraq:
"Senator George Allen (R-VA)
1st-term Republican from Virginia.
IAVA Congressional Rating


The IAVA Rating is based on this legislator's voting history on issues that affect US troops, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and military families."
Jim Webb will really support our troops, not just use them for political gain.

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Another Day, Another Pile of Reasons to Vote Webb

"Senator" Allen will be questioned for the Mike Stark assault case. Incredibly, Allen is blaming Webb for the incident where Allen supporters manhandled a jerk asking a question. Not as incredible? Allen offers no evidence of Webb's involvement (because there is none). [Emphasis mine.]
"'It was typical of the Webb campaign, wanting to provoke an incident,' Allen said Wednesday. He did not say why he believes the Webb campaign provoked the stunt."
Not only is Allen not going to retain his Senate seat (or run for President) he's actually driving people out of the Republican Party.

Oh, and just for good measure, the Bush Administration is being investigated for suppressing government research on global warming. I mention this because, if you want more of this crap (this crap = being lied to by your government about issues that affect your life and the lives of your children) then by all means vote for the blind-eye turning, rubberstamping, derelict of duty George Allen.

George Allen = no oversight.

Its ironic that they are OK with climate change but change in Iraq? NEVER!

Vote Jim Webb.


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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Evening Chuckle: Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke it

There's really no intro for this one. Enjoy.

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Big Fat Stinkin' Timpani Roll!

I made 73 calls yesterday and 205 calls today from home for Jim Webb!

I hit it hard today and it paid off!

As of 6:30 PM, there had been 836 call made by the top 5 callers alone! The last person on the list had over 150 calls! Imagine how many were made overall today from home and from the Webb offices.

These numbers go up everyday. Webb's supporters are getting excited and getting down to business. We know we have the momentum and the polls are bearing that out.

Let's all keep working hard and LEAVE NO DOUBT!


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What are the Senate Candidates Positions on Cuba Policy?

My wife (who is half Cuban) has wanted me to write this post for a while, so here goes.

Fidel Castro is apparently still alive. However, this time, he's on his way out. As such, some people are preparing for the argument that will ensue when he is finally gone: what should the US's Cuba policy be Post-Fidel? (I have written about this a couple of times over the last few months.)

By way of Sisyphus, the Guardian has a piece today about changing the US policy toward Cuba.

I will reiterate that I think the time to end the embargo is now while things are in some turmoil with the Cuban government. Why is it OK to trade with China and Vietnam but not Cuba? Does a policy have to fail for a full 50 years before it can be re-thought?

I would like to know what the candidate's positions are on this issue. If anyone can enlighten me I would appreciate it. (I believe that Allen supports the President's continued failed embargo policy. Surprise, surprise.) Anyhoo, let me know.

This is a valid question for Senate candidates as it will be an issue that they will definitely have to deal with during the next 6 year term.

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Who's Dumber? John Kerry or the Media?

Its pretty clear that John Kerry mispoke the other day. Here is my advice:
Dear John Kerry,

Apologize and go away.


I've had MSNBC and CNN on today while I've been calling for Webb GOTV. They won't shut up about this crap.

Meanwhile, the military says that Iraq is moving toward chaos and 2816 US service personnel have been killed in Iraq.

God forbid they talk about that. As bad as this Republican administration and Congress have been for America, the media has done us a larger disservice. 24 hour tabloids, that is what they have devolved into.

Next, Joe Scarborough is going to ask if negative ads work by showing a bunch of negative ads...on national television...for free. How much free play do positive ads get on "news" networks?


Here's a novel idea, try presenting the public with facts about issues that will affect their lives and their votes.

The media in this country should be ashamed.

(And stop calling it "Missour-uh", dammit!)

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