Shady's Back...Tell a Friend!

Monday, July 30, 2007

They're Livin' in a Powder Keg and We're Sellin' Them Sparks

In a brilliant strategic move towards the lofty goal of peace in the Middle East, the Bush Administration unveiled its plans to sell $20 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. The drive behind the move to arm the countries that are considered U.S. allies in the Middle East is the growing military capabilities of Iran. Secretary of State Condi Rice even went so far as to say that "There isn't a doubt that Iran constitutes the single most important single-country strategic challenge to the United States and to the kind of the Middle East that we want to see".

Wow! It sounds like Iran is a real problem. I guess it is too bad that we blew our wad in Iraq and are now pretty much powerless to do anything to stop them. Oh wait! I know what we could do...get Iran's enemies to PAY us for weapons! We could actually make money off of the Middle East's descent into complete chaos! Brilliant idea since we have such an awesome history of being able to keep track of weapons after we sell them to other countries. I hope that Condi gets somebody to pinky swear that they won't use those weapons on us!

Oh...And isn't Saudi Arabia funding the Sunni insurgents and refusing to cooperate with the new Iraqi government? I guess it doesn't matter since we have also started arming the Sunni insurgents ... oh and since the Iraqi government is on vacation it doesn't really matter if Saudi Arabia won't cooperate with them.

DOUBLE BONUS ROUND: How many 9/11 Hijackers were from Saudi Arabia? How many names on the current FBI most wanted Terrorist List are from one of these 6 countries?

TRIPLE BONUS: Anyone know what awesome ballad I stole the title of this post from?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 26, 2007

GTB PSA #4: Grape Stomping Idiot

While investigating the latest NASAster (that's a NASA happens so often that I thought we should give it a name! This week's is the discovery that NASA let some drunk astronauts onto shuttle flights), I came across the clip of Beyonce falling down the stairs at her concert. I immediately called my sister out to watch it with me because it is AMAZING (click here soon...Beyonce is out to have every copy taken down). As we finished watching the Beyonce video, we both realized that there is only one video funnier than Beyonce going ass over tea kettle down a set of stairs, it is our favorite internet fall video of all time, GRAPE STOMPING IDIOT. That isn't the actual name, but if you google that, this video comes up. I highly recommend that you bookmark it because it maintains a full saturation of 100% hilarity every single time you watch it. Enjoy!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sorry! Wrong Number!

Sometimes people make typos. If you read this blog, you know that sometimes even we make typos and we are totally awesome. Mistakes happen, right? Well, one typo is causing terrible distress to victims of sexual assault in the great state of Florida.

It was discovered this week that the phone number listed in both the phone book and on the Florida Attorney General's website for the North Central Florida Sexual Assault Center was actually the number for phone sex line. Callers in search of help to deal with their sexual assaults were instead greeted by pornographic recordings.

The Attorney General's office could not explain how the error had occurred and has promised to have the error corrected immediately.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sorry Katrina Destroyed your House...Can We Offer you a Carcinogenic Trailer?

In a borderline unbelievable turn of events, Democrats and Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee actually agree on something! (I'll give you a minute to sit down). What is it that they are mutually infuriated about? Dangerous levels of potentially carcinogenic formaldehyde in FEMA trailers occupied by victims of Hurricane Katrina.

In hearings today before the HOGRC it came to light that FEMA had received hundreds of complaints from trailer residents who had either smelled formaldehyde in their homes or had experienced mysterious medical symptoms that they thought might be the result of their interim living situation.

FEMA told the residents to simply "air out" their trailers (hard to do in Louisiana in the summer) and even went so far as to test the formaldehyde levels in one home. The test of the one home they said, showed there was "no ongoing risk."

In today's hearing however, lawmakers were able to get to the root of FEMA's decision to brush aside the problem...their lawyers told them to. In one document, a FEMA lawyer directed the agency to "not initiate any testing until we give the OK. ... Once you get results ... the clock is running on our duty to respond to them." (I'll help you read between the lines "put off testing these people's homes for a potentially dangerous chemical, that may or may not cause cancer, because once the tests show you have a problem, you'll have to clean it up. So buy us some time! Just ignore it.") And so they did. They let people who had already lost everything live in trailers that they knew might be making them sick.

I know, you are thinking "But they tested that one and everything was fine!" Nope, they tested that one and TOLD everyone everything was fine. In reality, the one home they tested (out of hundreds of complaints) had a formaldehyde level of 1.2 parts per million.

Now, FEMA argues that it didn't do anything about the formaldehyde complaints because there is no "concrete agreement" on what level of formaldehyde exposure should be considered dangerous. This is true, different groups have different standards for "dangerous", but unfortunately for FEMA, ALL of those numbers are below 1.2 parts per million. In fact, according to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a mere .016 parts per million is the point where they suggest workers with 8 hour-a-day exposure should start wearing a respirator. Bucket can check my math, but I'm pretty sure that the formaldehyde level in the one home they bothered to test is 75 times higher than the point where they tell workers with 8 hour-a-day exposure to stop breathing the air.

This story reminds me of that Julia Roberts movie where she finds out that the evil corporation has been poisoning the water and giving everyone cancer. Well, that's what it would remind me of if at the end of the movie the evil corporation took over the world. Even more fun to think about is the fact that you paid for those trailers folks! I think I hear Canada calling.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Squirrel Spies Arrested in Iran

Iranian police have allegedly captured 14 squirrels that they say were involved in a plot to illegally spy on Iran. The squirrels, said to have been captured close to the Iranian border, were equipped with "eavesdropping" devices. The squirrels were taken into custody and at this time, their fate is unknown.

We have been able to find little evidence to support the accuracy of this story, but it does make you wonder...

How paranoid has Iran gotten that they would actually think their enemies would use SQUIRRELS to spy on them? I mean, come on, where would they even get a ridiculous idea like that?

Besides, if the U.S. had sent them, Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney would have already leaked the squirrel spy's identity in an attempt to punish the squirrel spy's husband for telling the world that Iraq wasn't trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

*Thanks to Bucket for the tip!

Labels: ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Virginia is good for two things!*

Number one: The Trader Joe's in Virginia sell beer and wine (Get on board Maryland).

Number two: Senator Jim Webb

In case anyone missed it, Senator Webb took Senator Lindsey Graham to the toolshed on Sunday during meet the press. And If you are like me you did miss it because....well.....I don't watch meet the press.

This all started because Webb has this INSANE idea that when military men and women return from fighting in Iraq they should get a break before being shipped back out. In other words, if you serve for a year you get a year off. Graham responded to Webb's amendment saying, "This would be the greatest politicization of military action in the history of the country."
Excuse me? The GREATEST? I seriously doubt that.

I think this video highlights the current state of debate. Webb relies on facts, citing a recent New York times poll that shows opposition to the war among military members and families is at a similar level to the American public.

Then you've got Graham who simply repeats over and over that the troops want to win. Nice rebuttal Lindsey, except for one problem: Webb never argued that the troops want to lose!

*of course the GTB is not crapping on all things VA, some of our best friends are Virginians!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scooter & Lulu Forget Own Birthday

We have been so busy telling you about secondhand celebrity gossip, Bush Administration Snafus, and strange news from around the world, so engrossed in our pursuit of a career in unpaid investigatory journalism, so dedicated to passing on the hard-hitting and heartwarming stories that keep our fans coming back day after day, that we forgot a very special 1st birthday. What kind of a mother are we?!?

On June 6th, the Good Times Blog turned 1 Year Old! With 238 posts, countless* comments, numerous fights, endless enlightenments, and thousands of laughs, what started out as another one of our bad ideas, has turned into a mission. A mission to educate you on all the things we think you should care about.

Thanks for stickin’ with us for the last 370 days. We hope this year is the first of many!

If you have a favorite memory from our first year, please post it in the comments section.

With love, Lulu & Scooter

*They aren't countless. We're just too lazy to count.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Bush Administration Cares About Your Health

Saying that the Bush Administration hates science is like saying, Lindsay Lohan is a drinker or Alberto Gonzales is a liar (well, either a liar or just never reads anything that comes across his desk...even the memos labeled "Huge Violations of Individual American's Civil Liberties as Executed by the FBI Under the Patriot Act"), but this story made me chuckle...then cry.

Dr. Richard Carmona, the Nation's most recent Surgeon General, testified today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The story he told of his tenure as "America's Doctor" painted a picture of an Administration that actively strives to put politics before the health of the nation.

Carmona reported that he was "discouraged" from making a speech at the Special Olympics because of the organization's longtime ties to the Kennedy Family. He said that he was "specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’” (the Kennedy family or the Special Olympics Athletes?)

Carmona was also silenced when he raised the suggestion that he could take on the task of educating the public about the use of stem cells in scientific research. He was told that he should "stand down" on the issue and upon review, Bush advisors removed all references to stem cell research from his prepared speeches.

Carmona also noted that while he is a firm believer in comprehensive sex education, he was told to "preach abstinence".

To wrap it up, Carmona summarized:

"The reality is that the 'nation's doctor' has been marginalized and relegated to a position with no independent budget and with supervisors who are political appointees with partisan agendas. Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried. The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds. The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation — not the doctor of a political party."

Dr. Richard Carmona was appointed by President Bush in 2002 and served until 2006.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 09, 2007

What's the German word for Nasty?

In the German town of Kaiserslautern, something really stinks. Residents of an apartment complex called police after the stench of what they assumed was a dead body wafted into their building’s communal hallway. They feared that their neighbor, whose blinds had been closed and mail had been left unclaimed for over a week, was dead in his apartment. When police arrived on the seen and broke into the man’s home, they found him alive and well. The smell coming from his apartment was that of his feet and a pile of laundry.

I’m really not sure how this supports my blind appreciation of German efficiency. On one hand, the good Samaritans who called the police were efficient in recognizing the malodorous-ness of their hallway and contacting authorities to help their neighbor. On the other hand, I would think that in Germany, people wouldn't avoid washing for so long that their neighbors think they are dead. That seems more like something that would happen in New Jersey. Maybe I'm wrong about Germany. I'll keep you posted as I begin my hunt for evidence.

*Thanks to Bucket for the tip.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Machete Sales Decline Following Nigerian Election

The Nigerian General Election ended in April and since its conclusion, Nigeria has seen a 50% drop in the price of machetes, triggered by the strong decline in post-election machete sales. Machetes are most often used in farming, but in Nigeria, they are also the weapon of choice for politician-sponsored thugs and goons. Now that the election is over, machetes just aren’t selling like they used to and the price has dropped from around $6.00 to only $3.00 (US) in just a matter of 3 months. Nigerian merchant, Usman Masi said "Before the conduct of the general elections, I was selling a minimum of seven machetes daily but can hardly sell one a day now”. The drop in machete prices has accompanied a drop in politically motivated killings which topped out at over 200 prior to this year's election.

You know, in Nigeria, around the time of an election, goons buys more machetes so they can slaughter the political competition. Yeah, I’m still kind of thinking that Nigeria might have a better democracy than they U.S. at this point. At least Nigerian politicians stab you in the front.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pardon Me?

In a shocking turn of events today, President Bush commuted the 30-Month prison sentence handed down to ex-Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. As you may remember he was found guilty of lying to federal investigators during the investigation into of the leaking of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

In a statement released after a federal appeals court decided that Libby would have to begin serving his sentence while awaiting the outcome of further appeals, President Bush noted that while he "respected" the original verdict in the Libby case, he thought it was too harsh, so he changed it (to be read, "didn't respect the jury's decision at all").

I am actually kind of shocked. I really did think that the Administration was going to hang "the other Scooter" out to dry on this one. After all, what good is a fall guy if he doesn't actually take the fall? I guess I was wrong for having faith in the system and for actually believing that someone in this Administration might actually be held accountable for their actions (granted, I don't really think Scooter is to blame for Plame-gate, and he is sort of a Cheney's pawn, but he did LIE in a federal investigation, which is, uh, pretty bad, and he should in fact be held accountable for that). It is like my old friend Dubya used to say "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me can't get fooled again".