The River

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quarterback karma

Matt Ryan, starting rookie QB for the Atlanta Falcons

After letting one of the all-time great NFL quarterbacks get away in the early 90s, then suffering the Michael Vick meltdown more recently, the Atlanta Falcons may have finally got one right. They may have their hands on the next great signal caller.

By Boo Boo

[comment on a Mark Bradley column: Ryan Playing Like No Rookie Before Him]

November 24, 2008 12:54 AM | Link to this

The Falcons had one of the greats, back in 1991, but he got away. He threw four passes here that year (in regular season play), and completed two. Unfortunately, both were completed to the other team. Otherwise, the record shows 0 for 4 passing that year. That kid loved to drink and party, so the Falcons traded him to Green Bay. Now he plays for the Jets.

Watching SNF tonight and listening to John Madden, I heard him say, “Payton Manning is the best quarterback in pro football right now. You don’t leave him a minute on the clock, or he’ll beat you.” That was after the score was tied 20-20, with 1:30 left on the clock. He was right; but Peyton needed Harrison and Venitari to help out in the beating.

Matt Ryan has all the skills you want in a quarterback. He does the Peyton Manning-like study of his craft; and he is at least low-key about party time, if he parties at all during the season. Reading game reports and seeing how the other guys on the offensive team talk about doing their job right, you can’t help but see how having Matt Ryan in the huddle gives them confidence that if they do their job, something good will result. That is a true sign of a winner, because no one person wins a football game. A winner inspires others to help win.

Bill Maher -- New Rules

November 14, 2008

Maher on the Rachel Maddow show with Arianna Huffington

Bill has his finger on the pulse.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why is this an alternate universe?

New York Times spoof, distributed on the streets of New York, declares "Iraq War Ends; Troops to Return Immediately."

See how it unfolded.

New York Times Special Edition Video News Release - Nov. 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

B-roll of fake New York Times Distribution, November 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

Find the New York Times hoax edition at

Ken Knabb of The Bureau of Public Secrets writes:

Regardless of critiques that might be made of the ideas in some of the imagined stories, the perpetrators of this scandal have pulled off a remarkable coup, a coup that may help to spread some salutary memes regarding social change.

The social changes envisioned in some of the articles could be accomplished even within the current social setup (in which case people will be contrasting these possible changes with the probably very different results of the new Democratic administration). In other cases, notably those involving economic matters, it will be evident that the imagined changes could not be effected under current conditions, but would require a fundamental transformation of the whole socio-economic system (in which case people might start considering what sort of transformation would be sufficient, and how such a transformation could be brought about).

But in both types of cases, an important first step is clearing away the existing clouds of habit and resignation, so that people are able to get some sense that things could be different. This "Special Edition" coup may help to do just that. As limited as the particular "solutions" suggested may be, they are presented with a freshness and good humor that may provoke people to start questioning supposed inevitabilities and encourage them to take the initiative rather than to remain in panic-stricken, passive-defensive positions.

Videos via Doug's Dynamic Drivel

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pelosi: Obama should govern from the middle

(CNN) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called on President-elect Barack Obama to govern from the middle, as her party sat poised to gain its widest House majority in 15 years.

Is there a more despicable Democrat than Nancy Pelosi? Except, perhaps, Harry Reid, her companion in congressional leadership cowardice?

Add this statement to her now-classic "Impeachment is off the table," which threw cold water on the 06 Democratic congressional victories.

Has she not heard the constant calls from Republicans for Obama to govern from the center-right, which they claim is the country's "true" middle? No doubt she has, and no doubt she agrees with it.

Why do we elect these people?

I had to steal this from Jolly Roger. We are blessed in Atlanta to have Mike Lukovich, one of the best liberal editorial cartoonists in the country. But since I don't get the paper everyday, I missed this one. Thanks Jolly!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Patriotic squirrel

Squirrel was heard to say, "You like me, you really like me," while hugging the American flag.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Pits: Georgia's GOP Swipes the Peach State

The evil little &*%$'s are doing it again.

Even as they drown in the anger of platoons of pissed-off voters, Republican operatives are swiping ballots with both hands.

Ground zero is Georgia. It's here where the sick little vulture named Saxby Chambliss won the US Senate seat six years ago by calling his Democratic opponent, a guy who'd lost three limbs in Vietnam, a friend of Osama bin Laden.

There's no way in hell that Chambliss can slime his way back into the Senate in the face of over half a million newly registered voters (Black and young - 69% for Obama) without jacking them out of their votes. That's what the Republicans are up to. Right now. As we speak.

Over 50,000 the new voters in Georgia have been blocked from voting by using a nasty little new law, the Help America Vote Act signed by George Bush. (Bush is helping us vote - look out!)


I'm sure many new voters only voted for Obama and split, but Georgia has long been targeted as a state to shore up for the GOP via vote theft, in various ways, most prominently Diebold.

For example, Democratic Senator Max Cleland and Democratic Governor Roy Barnes were both Diebolded in 2002.

GOP cyber-security expert suggests Diebold tampered with 2002 election
Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday July 18, 2008

A leading cyber-security expert and former adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says he has fresh evidence regarding election fraud on Diebold electronic voting machines during the 2002 Georgia gubernatorial and senatorial elections.

Stephen Spoonamore is the founder and until recently the CEO of Cybrinth LLC, an information technology policy and security firm that serves Fortune 100 companies. At a little noticed press conference in Columbus, Ohio Thursday, he discussed his investigation of a computer patch that was applied to Diebold Election Systems voting machines in Georgia right before that state's November 2002 election.

Spoonamore is one of the most prominent cyber-security experts in the country. He has appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs and ABC's World News Tonight, and has security clearances from his work with the intelligence community and other government agencies, as well as the Department of Defense, and is one of the world’s leading authorities on hacking and cyber-espionage.

In 1995, Spoonamore received a civilian citation for his work with the Department of Defense. He was again recognized for his contributions in 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security. Spoonamore is also a registered Republican and until recently was advising the McCain campaign.

Spoonamore received the Diebold patch from a whistleblower close to the office of Cathy Cox, Georgia’s then-Secretary of State. In discussions with RAW STORY, the whistleblower -- who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation -- said that he became suspicious of Diebold's actions in Georgia for two reasons. The first red flag went up when the computer patch was installed in person by Diebold CEO Bob Urosevich, who flew in from Texas and applied it in just two counties, DeKalb and Fulton, both Democratic strongholds. The source states that Cox was not privy to these changes until after the election and that she became particularly concerned over the patch being installed in just those two counties.

The whistleblower said another flag went up when it became apparent that the patch installed by Urosevich had failed to fix a problem with the computer clock, which employees from Diebold and the Georgia Secretary of State’s office had been told the patch was designed specifically to address.

Some critics of electronic voting raised questions about the 2002 Georgia race even at the time. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, who was five percentage points ahead of Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss in polls taken a week before the vote, lost 53% to 46%. Incumbent Democratic Governor Roy Barnes, who led challenger Sonny Perdue in the polls by eleven points, lost 51% to 46%. However, because the Diebold machines used throughout the state provided no paper trail, it was impossible to ask for a recount in either case.

Concerned by the electoral outcome, the whistleblower approached Spoonamore because of his qualifications and asked him to examine the Diebold patch.

McCain adviser reported patch to Justice Department
The Ohio press conference was organized by Cliff Arnebeck and three other attorneys, who had filed a challenge to the results of that the 2004 presidential election in Ohio in December, 2004. That challenge was withdrawn, but in August 2006 Arnebeck filed a new case, King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell, alleging civil rights violations in the 2004 voting. The case was stayed in 2007. On Thursday, Arnebeck filed a motion to remove the stay and allow fresh investigation.

Individuals close to Arnebeck's office said Spoonamore confirmed that the patch included nothing to repair a clock problem. Instead, he identified two parallel programs, both having the full software code and even the same audio instructions for the deaf. Spoonamore said he could not understand the need for a second copy of the exact same program -- and without access to the machine for which the patch was designed, he could not learn more. Instead, he said he took the evidence to the Cyber-Security Division of the Department of Justice and reported the series of events to authorities. The Justice Department has not yet acted on his report.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


About a week ago, I heard on an NPR report a conversation with some African Americans about the upcoming election. One said he got a text from a friend that said:

Rosa sat so Martin could walk

Martin walked, so Obama could run

Obama's running so our children can fly

And Frank Paynter sums it up nicely:

"Historic? This beats the effing moon landing."

Georgia called prematurely

Advance Votes Not Tallied In Fulton, Gwinnett Counties

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 – updated: 11:29 pm EST November 4, 2008

ATLANTA -- Fulton and Gwinnett Counties failed to include any advance votes in their election totals by 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

Officials at the Secretary of States office confirmed to WSB-TV Channel 2 that the votes were not being included in early returns.

Up to two million votes may be going uncounted.

"Something's really wrong out there," said WSB-TV political analyst Matt Towery.

The unreported votes could have a major effect on the race for the U.S. Senate between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin. The early results show Martin trailing Chambliss by 14 percentage points.

Martin supporters said they believe a large percentage of the unreported votes will be for their candidate.

And that's a large percentage not counted yet for Barack Obama, whose on-the-ground campaign was largely responsible for the incredible early vote turnout.

Martin may have defeated Chambliss, and Obama may have 15 more EVs.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Signs point to Obama landslide

Long lines and determined voters in Georgia

I talked to a neighbor the other day. Saw him on Halloween night when I rang his doorbell with my kids, a 9-year-old vampire and a six-year-old bat. I had noticed that his Obama yard sign was missing. I asked him about it and he confirmed that it had been stolen. Then he told me that he had already voted, earlier in the week. He said he stood in line for eight hours, and that he felt really good about casting his vote. He guessed that 90 percent of those waiting in line were Obama supporters.

A friend of ours brought us our yard sign. She had been getting them from the campaign headquarters in the neighboring county (Dekalb). I asked my neighbor if he wanted another yard sign. He said definitely. So I told him I was going to get some and I would bring one by. I had already decided to do this. I was also going to get one for his next-door neighbor, whose sign had also gone missing.

So Saturday I went to the office, picked up 10 signs, eight for a friend who was also distributing them and who wanted extras in case hers was stolen, again.

When I knocked on my neighbor's door on Saturday, he was home. I gave him the sign and we talked a bit about the election. After a few minutes, he brought up the same thing I had been thinking: Obama will win the general election, unless they steal it again. He even said Pennsylvania is the new Ohio, and Ohio was the new Florida. Guess you could say we're on the same wavelength on that one.

He said if the election is again stolen, he didn't know what he would do, maybe go out and lay down in the street. Then we both said we'd find out where the demonstration was and contribute.

He was a bit worried that his sign would again be absconded. As I left, he was wondering what he could do to prevent that. I told him that I hoped he did put it out, and that it would still make a statement, even if it did disappear.

I continued on to the house next door to deliver their sign. They weren't home, so I just planted it where the old one was. That way, they'd return home to a nice surprise.

A bit later, my younger daughter and I were out for a walk in the gorgeous 60-something-degree weather, and we saw our neighbor and his wife. She thanked us, and he said he had figured out where to put his sign. He said he needed to get his ladder out, because it was going on the top of his basketball goal.

So far it's still up there, out of reach of all but the most determined and deranged wingnut. His neighbor's yard sign remains where I put it as well.

Obama '08: American solidarity and ingenuity you can believe in.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

From ----- Massive Lines ----- (w/ Massive Halloween Eye Candy) on Daily Kos. Lots of great pics.