December 30, 2006

A vicious dictator meets his end at a gallows

If you've been under a rock for the last 18 hours and this is the first you're reading, which is unlikely, please be aware: we no longer live in a world in which we can blame our ills on Saddam Hussein. The perennial bogeyman was hanged at around 10:00PM US East Coast, just before sunrise in Iraq.

That's one bogeyman down and countless intangible terrorists to go.

And that Bin Laden guy with his dialysis machine.

Cicero at Donklephant has this to say:

On the way to his execution, Saddam Hussein said, “Iraq without me is nothing.”

I am glad the Saddam era is over. But I wouldn’t say I am relieved. I wonder if his last words are prescient. The nation called Iraq is slipping into civil war. Indeed, is Iraq a nation? Is its national continuity impossible without the bindings of a brutal autocrat? Much relies on the answer to this question.

Link to the page.

That is a deep question to ask at this juncture and it's a question that should have been asked at the outset of this wild goose chase called the "Iraq War" and not nearly four years into the mess. It certainly something that I have literally spend hours considering: can the amalgamation of Iraq be a viable political entity without a strongman? I hope so, in addition to being a big-D Democrat, I am also a little-D democrat: I believe people as a whole group can come to rational decisions. People should pick up Rousseau and reread The Social Contract. Maybe it's my sadly optimistic view of human nature that people can come to their common senses if they are educated objectively and resolve their differences without having to come to blows. We must bear in mind that most of Iraq isn't fighting, but it is rather active members of sects and factions.

I heard some jackass on FNC (Fox News Channel) yesterday declare that compromise was a "uniquely American principle". What?

That's just not true, now is it? Treaties are compromises, deals that are brokered to end fighting instead of aiming for full capitulation. Treaties have been made throughout the ages, well before the establishment of the United States.

Well, there you have it. One bogeyman is gone.


2006: The Year That Was

January: Sherrod Brown not running for Senate.
January: Paul Hackett running for Senate. BlogginRyan is torn.
January: Sherrod Brown running for Senate.
January: Ryan loves Paul Hackett and Sherrod Brown, but thinks Sherrod's attitude is a little too cavalier when it's 70 degrees in January.
January-February: Paul Hackett's arm twisted enough to drop out of Senate race. I wonder what's going to happen to that nice bus of his.
January-April: Ken Blackwell and Jim Petro get their anti-gay machines ready and roaring, accuse each other of "loving dem."
February: Strickland-Fisher
February: Ryan goes to Boston and, incredibly, hates Harvard MUN more than he did last year.
March: Love for Dennis.
May: Votes for Ferris.
May: Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown win primaries against wet paper bags by handsome margins. Bigger homophobic bigot Ken Blackwell ekes out a win against Jim Petro. Ohio Democrats titter at the thought of regaining the governor's mansion house. Subodh Chandra gets thumped by Marc Dann.
May-November: Marijuana-laced bananas help bring down Mike DeWine; Ken Blackwell kills the (R) ticket; and what the what - Marc Dann is attorney general?
July: Learn and Earn was poo for more than one reason.
August: Another nail in Learn and Earn's coffin as Ted Strickland and George Voinovich annouce opposition to Learn and Suck.
August: Joementum crashes - but who is the bigger schmuck, kajillionaire Ned Lamont or Joe Schmo?
August: Tim Ryan roxx.
August: Bob Taft - 50th of 50.
September-November: Sherrod opens a widening lead on Mike DeWine.
September: Coup-coup in Thailand. Military calls for you to "eat mor chikin."
September: George Voinovich is not a statesman.
September: Tim Ryan's belly is aflame!
October: Mark Foley... well, what more needs to be said?
October: Revisiting fuddle duddle.
November: Hey now. Wait... is thar Demmycrats in them thar hills?
November: Rummy, it ain't no lie, baby, bye bye bye.
November: Learn and Earn was still poo (redux).
November: Baldwin-Wallace - hiding racism since 1845.
December: Steny Hoyer to Jack Kingston: DROP DEAD
December: 90% divided by 3 (or "The Ineffable Putzery of GWB").
December: DJK in 08.
December: Seriously Dennis, I don't like you.
It's been quite a year.

I'll throw in more later on today (that is to say, the best of the blogosphere '06, not being blogginryan - I'm not that smug and self-centered). It's time to study some Latin and DECLINE SOME NOUNS! w00t w00t.


December 26, 2006

Happy Holidays

Happy holiday season to all of my readers, so many you are numbered. Things have been quiet at the BlogHouse of late owing to a lengthy visit back home and to my wonderful girlfriend's parents' place in Ridgeley, West Virginia. (For those of you who don't know, "back home" is Rouses Point, New York, not to be confused with "home" in Munroe Falls.) Christmas was wonderful, per usual... lots of celebrating, not much in the form of religionating. I am finally an iPod owner - something I had been avoiding like the plague for the last three years. You may be asking "Ryan, what gives with the menorah? I thought you were Catholic..." Well, I was Catholic until getting confirmed, but it all came apart after that. I will be converting to Reform Judaism at some point once all things have settled down.

Having said "once all things have settled down," I must disclose the following. By settling down, I mean leaving the NE Ohio area to live in Athens, Georgia with my girlfriend. Much of life has been comprised of moving around and never staying in one place for too long, typically something that is not done through my own volition. This time, however, the move is completely voluntary. I am still without employment once I move down there, but I do still have Applebee's to fall back on. I cannot dent that I enjoy the job, but I would much rather do something where a steady check comes at 40-45 hours/week and I'd be doing something constructive with my academic degree.

What will become of BlogginRyan? BlogginRyan will likely remain BlogginRyan... just with a touch of southern hospitality and geared towards the politics of Georgia and rebuilding a Democratic party base in the south. Georgia is one of the fastest growing states in the country and to not see an opportunity there is to be blind.

So that's it for now. I've been out of the news loop for the last week, much of today before work(?) will be spent catching up on the local and state dirt.


December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle, 1935-2006

Actor Peter Boyle, television's Frank Barone of the show Everybody Loves Raymond, has died in New York City.

I always enjoyed his role as Frank Barone on the show.

Rest his soul.

More on the Kucinich drama

The warfare going on at BSB has taken a turn. Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks that this is an awful idea.

Openers has the coverage of the announcement and subsequent firefight between Dennis and reporters. For those of you who don't recall, it was only in October that Dennis had stated while running for re-election that he had no plans to make another quixotic run at the windmill.

How one goes from having "no plans" on doing to making the decision and jumping into the icy waters of presidential politics (again) in only two months time, I cannot explain. It certainly appears that Dennis enjoys being the butt of all jokes; I mean, c'mon, Al Sharpton hasn't even gotten into the pool of candidates yet.

AND we're still more than one year out from caucuses and primaries.

I propose a solution: if Dennis wants to crisscross the country, running for this or that, vying for that lofty position in the Department of Peace, he should promise that he will not run for Congress again. His continual absence from the district he is supposed to represent makes him more isolated from his constituents and makes him less efficient in Congress. To this I say: NO MORE! I was your constituent for four years, Mr. Kucinich, and had enough of your spectacles to have the common sense to vote for the OTHER candidate, Barbara Anne Ferris, in the May primary. If I were your constituent now, I'd be mad as hell.

So I say no more of it. The reins must be passed.

Good luck to you, Mr. Kucinich.

May your department be peaceful.

(co-signed by the corpse of George Orwell)

December 12, 2006

DJK in 08? According to the PD, yes.

Openers leads off today with an announcement of an announcement: Dennis Kucinich plans to run for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President.

The announcement appears to be geared for 9AM today, based on his non-Congressional website being down and showing this message:

Best of luck to you, Mr. Kucinich. Don't count on my support this time around, though.

Schmuckery and et al...

Jack Kingston was on The Colbert Report last night, with Mr. Colbert interviewing him about the Democratic expansion of the Congressional workweek to 5 days.

When I find video for this, I would like you to share in the revelry of the stiff-as-a-board man who represents the Savannah, Georgia, area in Congress. To provide a degree of perspective: Colbert is dynamic, very dynamic; Jack Kingston is about as inert and humorless as they come.

Did you know Congressional members already work 50-60 hours per week? Wow. I shrink back to think what Jack Kingston would have done had he worked the job I had this summer.

He probably would have imploded.

And the world would be a safer place.


PS: The Dems are out to destroy Christmas.

December 10, 2006

Bunderschaft, you going daft?

Well, the Bunderschaft isn't going daft, but the voters of Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District apparently are. Representative William Jefferson was re-elected to Congress in a runoff election in which he defeated his opponent, Louisiana State Representative from the 93rd District, Karen Carter, by a 57-43 margin.

For those of you who don't remember, William Jefferson was caught by FBI agents with $90,000 in his apartment freezer. So what? FBI agents go in and raid Bill Jefferson's office and apartment. Big deal? Not so fast...

Members of both parties raised a fuss when the wall between the legislature and executive was breached, and for good reason. The Constitution calls for 3 co-equal (though some Republicans and Conservatives - I'm looking at you, Mike Dovilla - would like to disagree) branches of government, as we do with the executive, legislature, and judicial. Should any one branch begin infringing upon another's independence through force, it will further knock the balance out of the tripartite center. With the country already being led by a strong executive, one has to wonder what the asserting power over the Congress will do in the long term.

That said, I could be totally offbase... I don't claim to be a Constitutional scholar, much as I aspire to be one.

Meh. All the same, they've lost it in LA-2.


December 9, 2006

30% - That's like 90% given amongst three people?

Zogby's numbers on President Bush's approval rating are out... and I gotta say it, 90% isn't bad. But I cannot lie! That's only what it could be if the US were run by a triumvirate of Bushes and we combined approval ratings.

President Bush has lost support all across the board:
Support for the President waned in key demographic groups, the Zogby poll shows. Among all Republicans, just 60% gave him a positive job rating, while 39% gave him negative marks. Just 9% of Democrats and 22% of political independents gave him good marks for his work. Among married respondents – typically a group who favors Republicans – just 35% said Bush was doing a positive job. Among men, another favorable GOP demographic, just 31% gave him positive marks, while 69% gave him a negative rating. Even among stalwart Born Again respondents, just 43% had positive ratings for the President on his overall job performance.

I remember hearing an expression at one point that went to the effect of "you know you're doing a good job when you're pissing people off." Somehow I don't think this is what the expression's originator(s) had in mind.

I find that it's mind-blowing that at one point in this guy's presidency he actually did have a 90% approval rating. The foolish decisions that have been made in the interim have not only hurt us, George, it looks like they've also hurt you.

And maybe you'll have learned, but I doubt it. And maybe we'll have learned...


December 7, 2006 Blog of the Week... apparently.

Ahem. Thank you.

I guess.

I received an IM from James earlier today that I was selected as's political blog of the week.


See here. (It's towards the bottom of the page.)

I'm not sure whether to be flattered, shocked or amused. Quite frankly, all three emotions pervade me. Given the recent lack of posting anything of meaning, I'm not sure what to make of it.

By the way: apparently Harry Frankfurt has a new book out, On Truth, to accompany On Bullshit. It's news to me! Thus, I will be holding off on the Truth v. Lie v. Fudging v. Bullshitting entry until I read On Truth.

Maybe more later. I dunno. Depends if I crash after work tonight.


December 6, 2006


This from Political Wire:

"Keeping us up here eats away at families…The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."

-- Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), quoted by the Washington Post, in response to incoming-Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) plan to increase the House’s work schedule from three days a week to five.

Obviously this guy doesn't know Jack about work. But what can I say about that, he is a Republican in Washington. God forbid that legislators actually spend more time doing their jobs in discrete blocks of time, potentially freeing up longer blocks of time for legislators to be chatting up their pages via IM. Oops... sorry... that is... "spending time with their family."

For all the pissing and moaning that Congressional Republicans have done over the last six years on Democrats not being willing to do anything, this entire notion of Democrats proposing a longer Congressional workweek may seem... directly against the Republican "principles" of smaller and lazier government.

What the hell, y'know.