Fearmongers by Charley Reese:I would note in passing that this is from a source that in no way could be described as "liberal".
"The essence of the RNC's first commercial was that if you don't re-elect Bush, the big, bad boogeyman will get you. You should remember that it was on Mr. Bush's watch that the big, bad boogeyman got us on Sept. 11, 2001. So far as we know, Mr. Bush didn't have a clue.
You should also remember that two years later, the Bush administration has: (1) failed to identify and capture the anthrax killer; (2) failed to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, the actual boogeyman who got us; (3) failed to capture or kill Saddam Hussein; and (4) failed to capture or kill Mullah Omar of Taliban fame.
Worse, rather than going after the terrorists who actually attacked us, Mr. Bush has invited all of the world's terrorists to attack us by declaring war on them and has gotten us bogged down in two guerrilla wars. Whatever happened to the peace dividends? You certainly can't find them in our $400 billion military budget."
There is no need to be $6 trillion in debt, there is no need to maintain a $400 billion defense budget, and there is darn sure no need to give up our liberty in the name of security.Of course, there's no way that the current Administration could be accurately described as "conservative".
Newsday.com - Albany priests seek optional celibacy:
"A group of priests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany signed a letter urging optional celibacy for new priests, the latest in a string of similar letters to Catholic authorities, according to a diocese newspaper."
Salon.com News | Rocker Joan Jett a Howard Dean delegate:
"Does Howard Dean love rock 'n' roll? He'd better or he may hear from one of his potential national convention delegates.
A slate of convention delegate candidates from New York made public by the Dean presidential campaign includes Joan Jett, whose 1981 song with the Blackhearts 'I Love Rock-n-Roll' has become a rock anthem."
Thanks to Steve...
Montgomery Advertiser : : State & Govt.:Just another bit of evidence that the right wing doesn't see Lady Justice as holding a balance, but a whip to drive the heathens.
"Mobile lawyer Jim Zeigler filed the suit on behalf of Christian talk show host Kelly McGinley of Mobile, who alleges that she has been 'disenfranchised' as a voter by the removal of Moore. The Court of the Judiciary expelled Moore for his refusal to obey a federal court order to move his Ten Commandments monument from the state Judicial Building rotunda."
WHAT CAN PRESIDENT BUSH DO IN BAGHDAD THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN CAN'T? Appear in public. If that doesn't send a message to the Ba'athists and their would-be allies, I don't know what does.That would be pretty impressive if Bush had appeared in public. Or stayed more than a few hours. Or hadn't had to fly in under tight secrecy with all the lights out on Air Force One.
Thanks to Wright Machine Tools
Mind you, I still think he's the worst thing that's happened to the country since at least Nixon, but he gets points for doing the right thing this time.
Addendum: And let's not forget that four years ago, Bill Clinton went to Kosovo for Thanksgiving with the troops only five months after "the end of major combat operations" there and not only had dinner with the troops, but met with local people and was heartily cheered.
Once more, it doesn't matter. Yes, this is a smear on Joe Wilson, who served honorably in the foreign service under both Republican and Democratic Presidents. But even if it wasn't, that wouldn't change the fact that somebody in the White House exposed an undercover CIA agent. That is a felony, and one that's now gone unexplained for four months.
Working with a fine coalition, our military went to Afghanistan, destroyed the training camps of al Qaeda, and put the Taliban out of business forever.Sydney Morning Herald, 25 November 2003:
Afghanistan's ousted Taliban say they were behind a blast at the capital's largest hotel and warned that there would be more attacks on foreigners.
Yahoo! News - U.S. Arrests Wife of Saddam Deputy :Look, friends, this isn't even close. It's a clear violation of the Geneva Convention. What we're doing here is basically taking hostages. Can't somebody tell these clowns that just saying "we're the good guys" isn't enough to actually make you the good guys?
"American troops hunting for a top Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) deputy suspected of masterminding anti-U.S. attacks arrested his wife and daughter, the military said Wednesday, in an apparent attempt to pressure his surrender."
New Scientist:Why is this important? Because Diebold is one of the companies making electronic voting systems, and they're being particularly obnoxious about any claims that their systems might have security issues.
"Cash dispensing ATMs belonging to two US financial institutions were shut down when the computer worm Welchia invaded their embedded Windows XP operating systems in August. Diebold, the Ohio-based company that makes the machines, revealed the security breach on Tuesday.
It is the first known case of a worm actually installing itself on individual ATM operating systems, says Peter Lind, a security expert at Spire Security in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Earlier in 2003, the Blaster worm shut down Bank of America ATMs, but only by causing a flood of traffic that clogged the network's bandwidth."
via Boing Boing
via Dave Barry.
On the other hand, if your senator is
Congressional Memo: Spending Discipline Proves Unfashionable This Year: " The Medicare bill about to clear Congress is the latest example of how budget discipline is being given short shrift at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, critics here and on Wall Street say."[T]he actual amount could be much larger." That's kind of like "your mileage may vary", or "professional driver on closed course". Or "the check is in the mail."
By official calculations, the tax cuts and increases in benefits enacted this year alone will increase the national debt by more than $750 billion over the next decade, and the actual amount could be much larger."
This has gone beyond mere questions of whether a balanced budget is the right policy to pursue. The policy of the current Congress and administration is simply paying off their campaign contributors and bribing voters with the taxpayers' money, and devil take the hindmost. I'm starting to think that Bush is already convinced he's going to lose in 2004, because I can't imagine him wanting to be in office when some of these budget chickens come home to roost. Or maybe he thinks he can just do the "aw, shucks"-and-jive bit indefinitely. Or maybe Condi isn't reading him anything but the funnies.
"My family's already made a reservation on a plot of land to bury me," said Yusuf, 29, breaking into a grin as the men traded barbs tinged with gallows humor. "As soon as [the Americans] leave, I'm taking off my hat," he said, tipping his red baseball cap emblazoned with the corps' emblem, "and putting on a yashmak," the head scarf sometimes worn by resistance fighters.The sad reality is that the Bushies may think they can hand over the governance of Iraq by next summer -- and they may be able to hand over the symbols of government by then -- but the power behind the throne will be wearing US Army uniforms for quite a while.
Breast IntentionsAnd well they should be! The column is actually very pro-breastfeeding, describing it as "the first-ever healthy meal actually being consumed in the fast food chain" as well as pointing out that the manager who told her to feed her baby in the bathroom was violating Utah state law. New York, I'm proud to say, had the first law protecting the right of mothers to nurse their babies in public. If you're going to have a baby, please make breastfeeding your first choice. It's best for mom, best for baby, best for the world. And a lot cheaper than buying formula.
Earlier this month, Kate Geary took her infant daughter to a Utah Burger King. When she started breastfeeding the tot, a customer complained. A manager was summoned, and Geary was told to stop committing public nourishment or have the decency to repair to the bathroom. This whole incident might have remained a piece of small town gossip, except that women who breastfeed are extremely protective of their right to feed their kids mother’s milk whenever their tykes are hungry.
Contact La Leche League for information or help with breastfeeding.
Iraqi Council Closes Arab TV Bureau (washingtonpost.com):al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera are the two most popular Arab television networks, and they're considerably more "free" than any of the state-run media in the countries surrounding Iraq.
"The U.S.-appointed Governing Council banned a popular Arab satellite news channel from broadcasting from Iraq and seized equipment from its bureau in Baghdad on Monday after it aired a taped message purportedly from former president Saddam Hussein calling for attacks on Iraqis cooperating with the U.S. occupation.
L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator, approved and authorized the move against al-Arabiya, which competes with al-Jazeera as the most influential news channel in both Iraq and the rest of the Arab world, an official with the U.S.-led administration said. Jalal Talabani, the council's current president, announced the order and said legal action against the station may follow."
Limbaugh Signs On Again, Sharing Life's Tough Lessons:I'll skip the obvious shot about how many liberals were smiling with they saw his story in the National Enquirer, and suggest this. Here's a smile I hope Rush has a nice, long time to get used to:
"Rather, he said, he tried to incorporate what he had learned about himself and use it to psychoanalyze his opponents. Among the problems with liberals, Mr. Limbaugh said he had discovered, is that 'they don't like themselves.'
'You ever see liberals smile about anything?' he asked."
Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.There were no quotes about "precious bodily fluids".
“It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.”
Already, critics of the U.S. Patriot Act, rushed through Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, have argued that the law aims to curtail civil liberties and sets a dangerous precedent.
But Franks’ scenario goes much further. He is the first high-ranking official to openly speculate that the Constitution could be scrapped in favor of a military form of government.
And why in God's name give Tom Scully space to tell out-and-out lies like "[Bush] clearly understood all the angles,'' Mr. Scully said. "He could definitely pick every issue in this bill and mix it up with the most intense policy wonk"?Obviously a misquote, IMO. He meant "...could definitely pick every issue in this bill and mix up the most intense policy wonk."
You can get it (and similar kits) at Subversive Cross Stitch.
Texan on the Thames: President Bush Treated Royally (washingtonpost.com) :
"But here he was, seated next to the Queen of England, amid Corinthian columns and gold-enriched pilasters, before a red velvet throne used for the coronation of King Edward VII. The Yeomen of the Guard, with their red robes and long spears, stood at attention. The Puligny-Montrachet '96 was flowing. And the president was having trouble with the toasts.
The queen gave her toast, noting that, unlike presidents, she was not term-limited. The president smiled, Prince Charles did not. When the queen finished, the president raised his glass, but Her Majesty did not return the gesture, instead waiting for the American national anthem to begin. Hearing the music, Bush put down his glass and placed his hand on his heart, then took it off, then put it on again. 'The Star-Spangled Banner' over, he clinked glasses with the queen, then turned to clink glasses with Princess Anne, who was already sipping from hers.
The awkwardness continued after Bush's toast, when he again picked up his glass to clink with the queen, who stood motionless, waiting for her own national anthem. Bush put his glass back down and, as the orchestra played 'God Save the Queen,' winked at somebody in the audience. Finally, the anthem finished, president and queen consummated their clinks."
Remember, for all the "good old boy" image, George Bush is from an "old money" family. He grew up with Congressmen and Ambassadors. His father, whatever other failings he might have had, would never have "winked at somebody in the audience" while listening to God Save the Queen in the presence of Her Majesty.
I've alluded before to Nicholas von Hoffman's description of Richard Nixon, and how apt it sometimes seems for Bush, but never given the entire quote. von Hoffman was on the original "Point/Counterpoint" segment of 60 minutes, and on one episode said, "Mr. Nixon is the dead mouse on the kitchen floor, and the American family, in slippers and bathrobe, is gathered around him arguing over who will pick him up by his tail and drop him in the trash." Mr. Bush is perhaps not quite dead, but more and more of us think he's pinin' for the fjords.
To get the deal done Republicans in the House had to agree to two things. First, they had to waive more than $900,000 in election fines - nearly all of them levied against Democrat Secretary of State Jesse White. Second, they had to agree that in next year's elections, any paper ballots containing "dimpled" or "hanging" chads are counted as yes votes for a candidate. Sound familiar?
The really fun part comes when you learn that the bill is going to be considered in the state Senate along with an ethics bill, and some Republicans are considering scuttling it. Illinois is probably a safe Democratic state in the general election, but wouldn't it be a kick if Bush wasn't even on the ballot?
Rockets Hit 2 Baghdad Hotels, Oil Ministry (washingtonpost.com):
" Insurgents deploying rocket-launcher-equipped donkey carts [emphasis mine] attacked symbolically important and well-fortified buildings in Baghdad Friday, just hours after a top U.S. commander proclaimed progress in the military's newly aggressive high-tech counter-insurgency operation.
The donkey-cart offensive hit the Sheraton and Palestine hotels here, which house reporters and American contractors, including employees of a subsidiary of Halliburton, Inc., as well as the Iraqi oil ministry, where bureaucrats displaced from a number of government departments do their work.
The damage to buildings and the injuries to people were relatively contained. Few people were at work early Friday, a holy day here.
The damage to the military's reputation here could not be measured.
The rockets came 'one after another,' complained Abu Mustaffa Abbas, whose home faces the oil ministry, one of the rocketed facilities. 'There is no security. They cannot even protect themselves. So why are they here?'"
Do you need that coconut bra?
That roll of dinosaur stickers?
Set of small traffic cones?
Can't live without that rubber chicken or set of wind-up chattering teeth?
Is your home really complete without the glow in the dark fuzzy dice, disco ball, and light up pink flamingos? I didn't think so.
I mean, don't you need this stuff? It's worth getting on their mailing list just to see what's in the new catalogs.
Need that Coconut bra?
That roll of dinosaur stickers?
Set of small traffic cones?
Can't live without that rubber chicken or set of wind-up chattering teeth?
I mean, don't you need this stuff? It's worth getting on their mailing list just to see what's in the new catalogs.
Economic Scene: Which Party in the White House Means Good Times for Investors?:I guess it's possible that Republicans always manage to get voted out of office just as their brilliant economic policies are taking effect, or that they're really, really unluckly.
"Professors Santa-Clara and Valkanov look at the excess market return - the difference between a broad index of stock prices (similar to the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index) and the three-month Treasury bill rate - between 1927 and 1998. The excess return measures how attractive stock investments are compared with completely safe investments like short-term T-bills.
Using this measure, they find that during those 72 years the stock market returned about 11 percent more a year under Democratic presidents and 2 percent more under Republicans - a striking difference."
But I wouldn't bet on it.
Ann Coulter: The party of ideasBut remember, it's the liberals who are dragging down the political discussion in this country, because we hate Bush so much.
Howard Dean talks about his brother Charlie's murder at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. Bizarrely, after working on the failed George McGovern campaign, Charlie Dean went to Indochina in 1974 to witness the ravages of the war he had opposed. Not long after he arrived, the apparently ungrateful communists captured and killed him. Hey fellas! I'm on your s-- CLUNK!
Howard Dean wears his brother's battered 1960s belt every day. (By contrast, Ted Kennedy honors the memory of his deceased family members with several belts every day.) Dean told Dan Rather about his brother's death at some length on CBS News: "It gave me a sense that you ought to live for the moment with people; that you really – you really need to tell people you love them if you love them. It was certainly the most awful thing that ever happened to our family. It was terrible for my parents; it was even worse for them than it was for us."
USATODAY.com - Daschle says he will vote for energy bill:What doth it benefit a man if he should gain ethanol subsidies and lose his soul?
"Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle is ready to support the broad energy bill and will oppose attempts to scuttle it by a filibuster, one of the senator's aides said Wednesday."
USATODAY.com - Daschle says he will vote for energy bill:What doth it benefit a man if he should gain ethanol subsidies and lose his soul?
"Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle is ready to support the broad energy bill and will oppose attempts to scuttle it by a filibuster, one of the senator's aides said Wednesday."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal:Again I quote Michael Kinsley: "A gaffe is when a politician unintentionally tells the truth." Here's a classic.
"In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: 'I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing.'"
THEY say there's a president in this town. Having spent a day looking for the man, I can't be sure. Presumably he was the grey figure one could almost make out in the morning, being greeted by an old lady at the front of Buckingham Palace. And after that? Who knows? Convoys came in, convoys went out. He must have been in one of them. Mustn't he?Will he ever appear in public again? Who knows, maybe they're playing an elaborate Weekend at Bernie's joke on us all with stunt doubles and computer graphics?
Outside the palace, Constable YE 369 wasn't so sure. "No telling where he is. Got to watch his back though, eh? Book depository? Grassy knoll? That'd be a lark, wouldn't it?" Perhaps. But it seemed unlikely. By my calculations, there were roughly 13 million policeman milling around the capital.
When Bush (or at least his car) entered Banqueting House at lunchtime, a sniper could be seen, resting his rifle on the parapet and eyeballing the meagre crowd across the road. To be part of this lucky few you had to be frisked, a process from which the lunch in my pocket ("Half a chicken salad sandwich, officer. No, please. Don't squeeze …") never quite recovered. But it was worth it. This was the closest to our guest any "civilian" would get all day. As night fell outside the palace, the mood changed. Numbers swelled and the smell of burning filled the air. A US flag was torched. Minor scuffles broke out between protesters and police. It was all rather grubby.
Perhaps that old lady was up there, at one of the darkened windows, sadly regarding the angry mob that her house guest had brought to her gates. Assuming, that is, that she actually had one.
Naah. Nobody in this administration has that much imagination.
The Corner on National Review Online:Ok, he actually said "gay 'marriage'", not "emancipation," and "gay activist", not "abolitionist", but what's 135 years between friends?
"Here's the political reality, and let's see if the media ignore it. Judges favor what proponents call 'emancipation,' but energized democratic majorities tend to reject it. It's Unelected Judges vs. Democratic Majorities. If the first AP reports are any indication, all the emphasis could be on abolitionist celebrating, and not on the majority."
And David Kay found evidence of weapons programs. He found some biological weapons -- evidence of biological weapons. It doesn't take much time --
Friday’s CBS Evening News didn’t utter a syllable about Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry opting out of the federal campaign finance matching fund system for the primaries, but devoted a full story to how Republicans Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, as Dan Rather put it, were “looking for loopholes to rake in donations” by subverting “the new campaign finance law designed to limit the power of special interests.” (It didn't matter much to Rather if these lobbyists ended up helping DeLay's work with abused and neglected kids or Frist's fight on global AIDS.) Reporter Bob Orr concluded by lecturing the conservatives even as the network ignored Kerry: “Even if the charity fund-raising activities don't violate the letter of the law, there's no doubt about what's being offered. For big contributions, high rollers can still buy access to the powerful. It's the same old political game with a slightly new wrinkle.”Righto, Tim. Nice job of describing DeLay and Frist's new scams as though they weren't new organizations that have just been set up (or in Frist's case, haven't even been set up yet). And the comparing them to Kerry's entirely legal campaign decision! A stroke of brilliance!
I continue to be amazed that Bill Buckley lets this crap be published in a magazine he founded. There's a lot I don't agree with about Buckley, but he at least had some moral scruples. At this point, National Review is a house organ for the Republican Party, nothing more.
CIA Seeks Probe of Iraq-Al Qaeda Memo Leak (washingtonpost.com):I haven't written anything about the Feith memo, as published by the Weekly Standard, because if there's much to it, it's A Big Deal and I wanted to wait until the dust settles a bit. Even if there's a fair bit of truth in it, though, I think it raises as many questions as it answers. But beyond that, here's an interesting question: Who's more likely to have leaked to the Weekly Standard, a Democrat on the Intelligence Committee or a neocon in Feith's Office of Special Plans?
"The CIA will ask the Justice Department to investigate the leak of a 16-page classified Pentagon memo that listed and briefly described raw agency intelligence on any relationship between Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, according to congressional and administration sources.
In addition, the leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Vice Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), are considering making their own request for a Justice investigation."
Colin Powell in an interview with a Saudi newspaper:
A Memorial to Politics (washingtonpost.com):How would you call it? Here's how the manufacturer calls it: Ambien is the #1 prescribed sleep aid in America. They also say
"'So do you use sleeping tablets to organize yourself?' Al-Rashed asked.
'Yes. Well, I wouldn't call them that,' Powell said. 'They're a wonderful medication -- not medication. How would you call it? They're called Ambien, which is very good. You don't use Ambien? Everybody here uses Ambien. [emphasis mine]'"
AMBIEN is classified as a Schedule IV substance by government regulation. Please ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about this. People who abuse prescription sleep aids may become dependent. When you first start taking AMBIEN, use extreme care while doing anything that requires complete alertness until you know how you will react to this medication.And
Some special concerns that may arise while taking sleep medicines include memory problems, tolerance, dependence, withdrawal, and changes in behavior and thinking.
I really, really wonder who he means when he says "Everybody here uses Ambien".
That "click" you hear is brains all over the country switching off.
This is a drawing of a Howard Dean rally by AJ, who's nearly 5. There's a flagpole at left with a US flag above a "Dean" flag. Just to the right of the flag, there's a person on a platform with "sound waves" over his head as he speaks. The stars in the center are fireworks, and the purple squiggle on the right is a snake. AJ appears to have confused Dr. Dean with St. Patrick, as the rally is driving the snake away.
Nick, who's 8, was a bit more ambitious. His stapled-together book, Right Wing: What do you think you're doing? is already a New York Times best-seller. Opening the book, we find this:
Chapter 1: The Lies Bush Said
What this book is about:This book is about politics and right wing propiganda and the war in Iraq. And how-to-select candidate running for presedent. [spelling and punctuation faithfully reproduced. -ed]
I didn't put them up to any of it, or help out at all. Hmm. Must be all that NPR, and the fact that their Mom and I actually discuss political issues around them. I'm tremendously proud of them.
Cheering crowds greeted President Clinton this morning as he strolled through Sarajevo’s streets. His visit was one more sign that a semblance of peace as returned to Bosnia’s once war-torn capital. Mr. Clinton’s friendly welcome included a handmade sweater, the gift of a street vendor who expressed thanks to the President for America’s continuing military presence. Peace came to Bosnia two years ago after the signing of the Dayton Accords in Ohio. That agreement brought an end to three and a half years of civil conflict.
Home Secretary David Blunkett has refused to grant diplomatic immunity to armed American special agents and snipers travelling to Britain as part of President Bush's entourage this week.
In the case of the accidental shooting of a protester, the Americans in Bush's protection squad will face justice in a British court as would any other visitor, the Home Office has confirmed.
The issue of immunity is one of a series of extraordinary US demands turned down by Ministers and Downing Street during preparations for the Bush visit.
These included the closure of the Tube network, the use of US air force planes and helicopters and the shipping in of battlefield weaponry to use against rioters.
In return, the British authorities agreed numerous concessions, including the creation of a 'sterile zone' around the President with a series of road closures in central London and a security cordon keeping the public away from his cavalcade.
In the Middle Class, More Are Deprived Of Health Insurance:There's a good model for managing health care costs more sanely, and all we have to do is look north to find it. Yes, medical care is rationed in Canada. The dirty little secret is, it's rationed in the US, too. Read that NYT article about how "Mr. Thornton" couldn't afford some of the tests his doctor thought he needed. The medical industry in the US isn't a free market, it's heavily regulated. The problem is that the regulation is all for the benefit of the medical industry, especially the large HMO's, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies.
"Mr. Thornton is one of more than 43 million people in the United States who lack health insurance, and their numbers are rapidly increasing because of ever soaring cost and job losses. Many states, including Texas, are also cutting back on subsidies for health care, further increasing the number of people with no coverage.
The majority of the uninsured are neither poor by official standards nor unemployed. They are accountants like Mr. Thornton, employees of small businesses, civil servants, single working mothers and those working part time or on contract.
'Now it's hitting people who look like you and me, dress like you and me, drive nice cars and live in nice houses but can't afford $1,000 a month for health insurance for their families,' said R. King Hillier, director of legislative relations for Harris County, which includes Houston.
Paying for health insurance is becoming a middle-class problem, and not just here. 'After paying for health insurance, you take home less than minimum wage,' says a poster in New York City subways sponsored by Working Today, a nonprofit agency that offers health insurance to independent contractors in New York. 'Welcome to middle-class poverty.' In Southern California, 70,000 supermarket workers have been on strike for five weeks over plans to cut their health benefits."
The Corner on National Review Online:One would have thought that a Dartmouth education would have enabled Petey to see that the misrepresentation was that whoever created the posters claimed they were created by Generation Dean.
"'Misrepresentation?' What was the meaning of that remark? Didn't the doctor tell us he wanted to become the candidate of Confederate flag-wavers?"
The Corner on National Review Online:Classic up-is-down-ism. Let's hope the news doesn't pick up what our guy actually said, while wishing there was a soundbite of what we wish the other guys said. But it's the other side that's partisan.
"Rick Santorum a few minutes ago pleaded with his Dem colleagues to 'Stop now.' He warned that if they don't stop the filibustering, when there is a Democratic president, the GOP will never allow another liberal top pass through the Senate. No more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs. Etc. I know what he was aiming for, but I'm just hoping the evening newscasts don't pick that up as their soundbite. The message will be: BOTH parties are all about partisan politics. Pols being pols. Yada. If only there were a soundbite of Charlie Schumer or one of the California Babses admitting that women and minorities who are conservative are simply unacceptable."
Of course, he hasn't met with any of the families of US soldiers killed in Iraq. Or gone to any of their funerals. Or even sent Dick. Guess they're too busy fundraising.
CBS News | GOP's DeLay Using Kids To Get $$$? | November 14, 2003 12:33:27Bill Frist is apparently considering a similar deal with a charity to "benefit" AIDS victims. This has the benefit of making contributions tax-deductible. It's also viewed as a way for campaigns to play fast and loose with the regulations covering "soft money" donations.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has organized a charity that benefits abused and neglected children – and the Republican Party, the New York Times reports.
The newspaper said potential donors were being asked to give up to $500,000 to spend time with DeLay at the GOP convention in New York City next year. DeLay's office said most of the funds collected will go to children, but money from the charity will also be used to pay for GOP yacht cruises, convention parties and a luxury suite.
Personally, I think you have to be a moral imbecile not to think there's something wrong with soliciting funds for abused children and using that as a tool for access to a Congressman.
Color me....not surprised.
BBC NEWS | Americas | US babies get global brand names :Someone at the Beeb went through Social Security records and found, among other things,
"Americans are increasingly turning to the world of popular culture to name their children, a study has found."
...and all we got was this lousy t-shirt.
Hey, thanks for keeping the rest of us from getting the lousy judges, guys.
The only thing that really worries me about this is that I don't know to what extent the "clamor" for early elections is being orchestrated by the puppets on the IGC, who seem to be absent from Iraq as often as not. If they manage to have real elections of some sort -- with the non-trivial question of "elections for what?" still hanging out there -- that will be A Good Thing. If it turns out to be another attempt to coronate Ahmad Chalabi, well, then, it won't.
The other disturbing thought that comes to mind about this is that if we don't have the "insurgency" settled by time for the election, it will make a great opportunity for disruption. And what will the effect on the Iraqis be if we announce a date for elections then have to delay it for security reasons?
Mike02's Xanga Site:Who knew that relaxing the media ownership rules would let Fox own the GOP?
"'It is important to double efforts to get your boss to S-230 on time ... Fox News Channel is really excited about this marathon and Brit Hume at 6 would love to open with all our 51 senators walking onto the floor -- the producer wants to know will we walk in exactly at 6:02 when the show starts so they get it live to open Brit Hume's show? Or if not, can we give them an exact time for the walk-in start?'"
CNN.com - Suspected abortion clinic bomb plotter arrested - Nov. 12, 2003:Well, well, well. Good news indeed, and kudos to Ashcroft and the Department of Justice for actually preventing a terrorist act. But read on....
"A man arrested on suspicion of plotting to bomb abortion clinics came 'perilously close to carrying out his plans' after casing clinics, studying bomb-making and buying material that could be used in an attack, according to the FBI and court documents.
Stephen John Jordi, 35, was arrested Tuesday after agents arranged a meeting aboard a boat, FBI spokeswoman Beverly Esselbach said. He jumped overboard and was pulled from the ocean by the Coast Guard a half-hour later.
Jordi was in the final stages of planning imminent attacks, U.S. Attorney Marcos Jimenez said. A criminal complaint said Jordi cased several South Florida clinics and discussed bombing one in Macon, Ga.
On Tuesday, Jordi and an FBI source bought gasoline cans, flares, starter fluid and propane tanks -- including a large one filled with propane gas, the affidavit said. The source also provided Jordi a .45-caliber pistol, silencer and empty magazines in exchange for $200, the affidavit says. Jordi was arrested later that day.
The affidavit said Jordi had discussed with an FBI source possibly using C-4 plastic explosives, propane tank bombs or pipe bombs and had studied bombing methods throughout the fall. "
Jordi was charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence; distribution of information relating to making and using explosives for arson; and possession of an unregistered firearm or destructive device.They didn't need the Patriot Act to catch this guy. And even though the Joint Terrorism Task Force was apparently heading up the investigation, there are no terrorism charges there. It really makes you wonder about double standards.
Jordi's brother, Michael Jordi, said by telephone Wednesday that he told the FBI of the plot after learning about it in July. He said he and his brother have a poor relationship, and called him mentally unstable. He said the allegations didn't surprise him.
thanks to The People's Republic of Seabrook
The proper term for this would seem to be somewhere on a line between "baldfaced lie" and "bullshit".
ESPN.com - Gammons: Just the facts:
"Pedro Martinez leads all active pitchers in career ERA, winning percentage, lowest opponents' batting average, fewest baserunners per nine innings, lowest opponents' on-base, slugging and OPS. He has held opponents in his career to a .583 OPS -- which means every batter he has faced is slightly less dangerous than Cesar Izturis, whose career OPS is .589."
Nice catalog of lots of past predictions, too.
Government Outgrows Cap Set by President (washingtonpost.com):I wonder how they're going to blame this one on Bill Clinton.
"Confounding President Bush's pledges to rein in government growth, federal discretionary spending expanded by 12.5 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, capping a two-year bulge that saw the government grow by more than 27 percent, according to preliminary spending figures from congressional budget panels.
The sudden rise in spending subject to Congress's annual discretion stands in marked contrast to the 1990s, when such discretionary spending rose an average of 2.4 percent a year. Not since 1980 and 1981 has federal spending risen at a similar clip. Before those two years, spending increases of this magnitude occurred at the height of the Vietnam War, 1966 to 1968."
First, let me say that I don't really have a problem with Roy Halladay winning the Cy Young. I think you can make a rational case for him, for Tim Hudson, and for Pedro Martinez. Personally, I'd put them Hudson-Martinez-Halladay, but they're realy all pretty close. So what's Esteban Loiaza doing in second place in the voting? Who are the 14 idiots who don't think Pedro Martinez was one of the top 3 pitchers in the league last year? And the 21 who don't think Hudson was? What are these people smoking?
It's OK, just let me catch my breath.
All right, AL Rookie of the Year. Let's get the idiots out of the way first: The two guys who left Matsui off their ballots, and the two guys who left Berroa off their ballots. I think Berroa was the right choice, but MLB really needs to fix two things:
SunHerald.com - Your Biloxi Everything Guide :One could plausibly assume that, like Larry Lindsey, Anthony Zinni, and Erik Shinseki before him, Bremer is being "taken to the woodshed" for daring to dissent from the Approved Party Line that, well, everything is wonderful and the things that aren't are so much better than they were before and we've got the terrorists on the run and hey, what about that tax cut?
"A new, top-secret CIA report from Iraq warns that growing numbers of Iraqis are concluding that the U.S.-led coalition can be defeated and are supporting the resistance.
The report paints a bleak picture of the political and security situation in Iraq and cautions that the U.S.-led drive to rebuild the country as a democracy could collapse unless corrective actions are taken immediately.
L. Paul Bremer, head of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, who arrived unexpectedly in Washington for strategy sessions on Tuesday, essentially endorsed the CIA's findings, said a senior administration official."
Great Whomping Jeebus, what do you do with 150 national security advisers and 200 "representatives from other US departments"? And a personal chef? Are you kidding me? Is this the president of the United States or the Holy Roman Emperor?
ThisisLondon:Ah, for the days when an American president was welcomed with open arms almost everywhere in the world.
"American officials want a virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protestors. They are demanding that police ban all marches and seal off the city centre."
Making the troops pay twice:Hey, what did you expect from a President who couldn't even finish his Air National Guard duty?
"If you notice there are more veterans to honor this Veterans Day than there were last year, thank the Bush administration and the Republican Congress.
If you want more help for those veterans, better ask the Democrats.
They're fighting President Bush, the Defense Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the GOP congressional leadership just to keep a shamefully inadequate veterans support system from getting worse.
When Democrats tried to insert health insurance and other personnel benefits into the $87 billion appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan, the White House shot them down.
When Democrats tried to replace $1.3 billion of the $1.8 billion shortfall in the pending VA health care budget bill, the White House threatened a veto.
On and on it goes. Waits of six months to two years for some seekers of health care, even as the VA moves to close down facilities. Multiple hikes in drug co-pays. Exclusion of more than 160,000 'low-priority' vets from the health care system because the money's not there to cover them. Non-mandatory funding, meaning the budget must be fought for anew every year by those who care."
Sure wish we had this guy in office instead.
Huzzah for the Google cache.
New York City - GOP Eyes Ship For '04 Delegates:Mayor Bloomberg, who touted the increased revenue to NYC hotels and restaurants as one of the benefits of having the convention there, is reportedly "not amused".
"Republicans, including Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Rep. Vito Fossella, are considering docking a luxury cruise ship in New York Harbor where members of Congress and lobbyists could stay and play during the GOP convention next summer."
When I think about the Republican congresscritters having a hidey-hole to go with their lobbyist buddies, safe from the prying eyes of the public and the press, I'm "not amused" either.
via Bad Culture
Aljazeera.Net - Iraqi bound and gagged for protest :
"Asked on Tuesday why the man had been arrested and put into the back of a Humvee vehicle on Tahrir Square, the commanding officer told Reuters at the scene: 'This man has been detained for making anti-coalition statements.'"
Somehow, I don't think this is in the "winning hearts and minds" manual.
The Johns Hopkins News-Letter - Ann Coulter raises cheers, boos at MSE:Um...Ann...ever hear of Timothy McVeigh?
"Coulter also spoke at length in support of racial profiling. 'In the past twenty years, one-hundred percent of terrorist attacks against this country have been by Muslim extremists,' she said. 'Naturally, the democrats won't let us look for Muslim extremists. When there is a one-hundred percent chance that the next terrorist attack will be made by a Muslim extremist, it's no longer a profile, it's a description of the suspect.'"
Adrants Steve Hall's Advertising Weblog including, internet marketing and online advertising with news, commentary, and opinion. :It's really a shame that we can't accept something as natural as breastfeeding as the normal state of things and treat it like adults.
"Following several prank calls and a query as to whether she offered it in chocalate, a Salt Lake City woman pulled a classified ad offering for sale, her excess breast milk. The 23-year-old woman said she was just trying to help those in need by selling her milk for one dollar per ounce or $350 for 400 onces.
The Salt Lake City Tribune has said it will not accept anymore ads for breast milk."
via Dohiyi Mir
Boston.com / News / Politics / To Dean, a Bush image is fodder:
" Presidential contender Howard Dean plans to air television commercials showing footage of President Bush's landing on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln -- images Bush deployed as a triumphant visual coda to the Iraq conflict but which Dean says are now powerful reminders of a war gone wrong."
Alternatives to Iraqi Council Eyed (washingtonpost.com):Amazing. They hand-picked these guys and put them in power, and now less than six months later they're preparing to throw them under the bus. And how stupid do you have to be to pick a bunch of guys who represent their own political and economic interests and then complain when they continue to do so? I mean, isn't that the Republican way?
"Increasingly alarmed by the failure of Iraq's Governing Council to take decisive action, the Bush administration is developing possible alternatives to the council to ensure that the United States can turn over political power at the same time and pace that troops are withdrawn, according to senior U.S. officials here and in Baghdad.
The United States is deeply frustrated with its hand-picked council members because they have spent more time on their own political or economic interests than in planning for Iraq's political future, especially selecting a committee to write a new constitution, the officials added."
Ocala Star Banner:What I really don't understand is this: why do these people seem to feel the need to lie about practically everything, and why aren't more people upset about it?
"In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. forces would be welcomed by the Iraqi citizenry and that Saddam Hussein had large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
Now, after both statements have been shown to be either incorrect or vastly exaggerated, Rumsfeld - with the same trademark confidence that he exuded before the war - is denying that he ever made such assertions.
In recent testy exchanges with reporters, Rumsfeld interrupted the questioners and attacked the premise of the questions if they dealt with his pre-war comments about weapons of mass destruction and Americans-as-liberators."
Yahoo! News - N.C. Woman Explains Anthrax Hoax : "And people ask me how the Democrats can run against Bush if the economy improves?
A woman charged with addressing a letter marked 'anthrax' to the White House told federal investigators she did it because she thought she could get better medical care in prison.
Rhonda Kay Smith told a Secret Service agent that she 'decided to make a plan to commit crimes until she was arrested in September in order to receive better medical treatment,' according to documents filed in federal court.
Smith was indicted last month on charges of using the mail to threaten the president and of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction against the U.S. Postal Service.
Smith's letter, which tested negative for anthrax, read: 'I'm going to kill you! Mr. President Enjoy the Anthrax.'
Smith suffers from diabetes and lung problems. Her lawyer, Stephen Lindsay, said his client requires oxygen and takes various medications.
'I think it's fair to conclude that if you put all that together, you have another person like so many people in the country who, by the time they pay for their serious health problems, have nothing left to live on,' Lindsay said."
In an interview at Broughton [mental hospital], Smith told another Secret Service agent that she had seen a news report in which a doctor said "there are people who fall through the cracks in medical treatment and that prisoners receive better treatment than many people on the streets."
Yahoo! News - McDonald's Decries Webster Over 'McJob' :I see. This is a "slap in the face", but actually giving these people low paying, dead-end jobs with no benefits isn't. Oh, and the trademark issue is complete nonsense.
"McDonald's says it deserves a break from the unflattering way the latest Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary depicts its job opportunities. Among some 10,000 new additions to an updated version released in June was the term 'McJob,' defined as 'low paying and dead-end work.'
In an open letter to Merriam-Webster, McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo said the term is 'an inaccurate description of restaurant employment' and 'a slap in the face to the 12 million men and women' who work in the restaurant industry.
Walt Riker, a spokesman for McDonald's, said the Oak Brook, Ill.-based fast-food giant also is concerned that 'McJob' closely resembles McJOBS, the company's training program for mentally and physically challenged people.
'McJOBS is trademarked and we've notified them that legally that's an issue for us as well,' Riker said."
Support the troops. Get the Republicans out of office.
Not only are the allegations untrue but:a) the goat was not, in fact, Spanish, but Portuguese, and is currently living safely in a wildlife preserve in East Molesey.
b) The Tango is a dance made famous in Argentina. "Erotic licking" plays no part in the Tango. Neither, of course, do balloons.
c) only a lunatic would apply shoe-polish to a weasel.
d) if the alleged incidents had in fact occurred in broad daylight during a car-boot sale in Harrow then there would be photographs, and quite possibly a plaster cast.
e) by now the "Use by" stamps on the yoghurt would have expired, indicating it as unfit for human consumption.
Welcome to AJC!: "An Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed Friday _ apparently shot down by insurgents--killing all six U.S. soldiers aboard and capping the bloodiest seven days in Iraq for Americans since the fall of Baghdad.Somehow, I'm dubious that "blasting houses suspected of being insurgent hideouts with machine guns and heavy weapons fire" is in the instruction manual for "how to win the hearts and minds of an occupied population" nor, I suspect, is it highly recommended in the Geneva Conventions. What's next, knocking down the houses of "suspected insurgents" and dumping their families in the streets? That's worked so well for the Israelis, after all....
In retaliation, American troops backed by Bradley fighting vehicles swept through Iraqi neighborhoods before dawn Saturday, blasting houses suspected of being insurgent hideouts with machine guns and heavy weapons fire.
``This is to remind the town that we have teeth and claws and we will use them,'' said Lt. Col. Steven Russell, commander of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment."
Dispatches: Sending the Guard: "No doubt the Defense Department projects that the occupation force in 2005 will be a fraction of the current troop presence. But that is what the Defense Department initially projected for September 2003."Other good things in the article:
For months, soldiers at Camp Doha, Kuwait, have been wearing T-shirts that say, "Operation Iraqi Freedom: Mission Accomplished." But recently a new T-shirt has appeared suggesting that the mission may be more open-ended.
It reads, "Operation Iraqi Freedom: Established 2003."
I'm really baffled by some of the sentiments expressed in the Nov. 2 letter saying liberals should get off Bush's back.
Most Americans -- including liberals -- didn't oppose going to war in Afghanistan, because there was a clear link between the Taliban and the attack on the World Trade Center. Many of us opposed going to war in Iraq for a number of reasons, but the most important ones were that it took resources from the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the remnants of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and that there was no clear case for going to war there.
There was never a realistic fear of an attack that "would cause millions of casualties in the U.S.A."; such an attack would have to be nuclear, and many people in the government knew that Saddam had no viable nuclear program, even if they were ignored by the people at the top.
So, now, six months after "mission accomplished," we have the Taliban regrouping in Afghanistan, no bin Laden, no Saddam, no evidence of cooperation between Saddam and al-Qaida, no weapons of mass destruction, not even any "WMD programs" and U.S. troops dying at a rate of better than one every day. And that's before looking at the deficit or the 2.6 million jobs lost since Bush has been in office.
Yes, I'm a liberal. And, yes, I'm politically opposed to George W. Bush. But I'm even more opposed to U.S. soldiers dying in the service of lies, which is exactly what's going on now in Iraq.
ScienceDaily News Release: Thunderstorm Research Shocks Conventional Theories; Florida Tech Physicist Throws Open Debate On Lightning's Cause:The theory for years has been that "large" electrical fields existed in storm clouds, but no one has ever found them.
"'What we've discovered is a new limit in nature. Just as a bucket can only hold so much water, the atmosphere can only hold a certain sized electric field. Beyond that, the electric field is stunted by the rapid creation of gamma-rays and a form of anti-matter called positrons,' he said."
TAPPED:Umm, yeah. More midevalism ("the President believes" is clearly more significant than any stubborn facts), and a complete misreading or misuse of the phrase "the culture of life", which comes directly from the Evangelium Vitae encyclical. Say, how many encyclicals do you think Bush has read, anyway?
"Q: Okay. If the administration is taking steps to build a culture of life, could you explain why the President supports the death penalty?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, because the President believes that it ultimately saves innocent lives. And that's why he supports it."
White House Puts Limits on Queries From Democrats (washingtonpost.com):Basically, rather than answering embarassing questions from the Democrats, they've decided to give the committee chairmen (all Republicans, of course) the power to decide what questions get asked. Jeebus, this is looking more and more like the way the Communist Party ran Russia every day.
"The Bush White House, irritated by pesky questions from congressional Democrats about how the administration is using taxpayer money, has developed an efficient solution: It will not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers.
The decision -- one that Democrats and scholars said is highly unusual -- was announced in an e-mail sent Wednesday to the staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. House committee Democrats had just asked for information about how much the White House spent making and installing the 'Mission Accomplished' banner for President Bush's May 1 speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln."
"Radio dramatisations of creator Douglas Adams' last three Hitch-hikers novels are now in production, with the first of the trio, Life, the Universe and Everything, due to be broadcast next Spring."
Diverse Union Decides Dean Is Its Candidate: "One day after Howard Dean scrambled to stanch a controversy over his remarks about the Confederate flag, he secured a critical endorsement from the most diverse labor group in the country, the 1.6-million-member Service Employees International Union.
Dr. Dean, the Democratic former governor of Vermont, also learned on Thursday that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was likely to endorse him next week."
CNN.com - Texas textbook vote ruffles religious activists - Nov. 6, 2003 : "The State Board of Education voted Thursday to approve biology textbooks, despite criticism from religious activists who say the books as written fail to present the anti-evolution point of view."
Economist.com | America's deficitsvia Atrios
This time the turnaround will be much tougher. There will be no “peace dividend” from the end of the cold war (indeed, the pressure on military spending may continue to increase). America is unlikely to see another stockmarket bubble, with its surge in tax revenues. As baby-boomers retire, the pressure from entitlement spending will be more acute. Set against this background, the path back to a sustainable fiscal policy will be extremely painful, even without any dramatic fiscal crisis. Long after Dubya is back on his ranch, Americans will be trying to recover from the mess he created.
Let's see if I can reproduce the effect....
The non-moving earth
& anti-evolution web page...
Read all about the Copernican and Darwinian Myths
(and their many ramifications all the way to Big Bangism!)
Jonah Goldberg's Goldberg File on National Review Online
If Dean had studied the Republican line more closely, he'd know that Republicans don't embrace the flag because it is racist — or at least they never, ever, say that — but explicitly because it represents things other than race: heritage, pride, honor, etc.
I haven't said much about the Dean flap over the Confederate flag, largely because it's been well covered in a lot of other places. But since I am a Dean supporter and grew up in the South (North Carolina), I suppose I should say something.
Not everybody in the South is racist, but a lot of people still are. Not in a virulent, lynch mob sort of way, but in a more genteel sort of racism that guarantees that (for example) Al Sharpton couldn't get elected governor of a Southern state if the guy running against him was convicted of molesting young girls. During the campaign.
Not everybody who displays a Confederate flag is a racist. When I left to go to college in upstate New York, my parents gave me a Confederate flag to hang up in my dorm room. It was mostly a joke. Mostly. The problem is that the people who really are the racists, who have used that Confederate battle flag as an emblem of many truly evil things, were also for a long time the people who ran things across a lot of the South. Remember, George Wallace and Lester Maddox were governors of their states. Jesse Helms was a long-time Senator. Some of them (Wallace, Strom Thurmond) I believe made an honest effort to change their stripes, with more or less success. Some (Helms) just learned to hide it. But the problem is that these people are the ones who established the Stars and Bars as the symbol of "Southern-ness". It's as though there was no symbol of Germany for people to display other than the Swastika, to use an imperfect analogy. So what we have is people who, in looking for a symbol of cultural identity, have no real alternative other than to promulgate the symbol of the racists.
Should a Democratic candidate want the votes of these people? What a stupid question. Of course we should want the votes of these people. We should want the votes of everybody. What we shouldn't do is pander to them in order to get their votes, same as anybody else. In fact, by effectively attacking these people, by talking like there's something inherently wrong with displaying the Confederate flag, we're only going to drive them more deeply into the shell of ignorance (of its true meaning) and defiance. If we want to change these people - and I'd certainly argue that we should do that - we need to make common ground with them. As Dean said, point out to them that their kids are without health insurance just like the African-American kids in their town. Then we can talk to them about change.
As Doc Searls says, "Draw your own conclusions."