Saturday, December 27, 2003

Desperation vs. determination
There has always been a lot of talk of how "desperate" the Iraqi insurgents are. You know, as much as I find it hard to believe that the 7 month insurgency was just one giant act of desperation, it shouldn't really matter. You see, soldiers are dying. As much as it may make us feel better to say they are desperate, they're still growing, and we still need to do something about it. Apparently our strategy is "wait until they wear out." Why am I not a general?

Jumping ship
Who cares about the Iraqis...we need to get the hell out of here.

The pace of U.S. casualties in Iraq has been accelerating:

The number of U.S. service members killed and wounded in Iraq has more than doubled in the past four months compared with the four months preceding them, according to Pentagon statistics.

From Sept. 1 through Friday, 145 service members were killed in action in Iraq, compared with 65 from May 1 to Aug. 30. The two four-month intervals cover counterinsurgency operations, far costlier than major combat operations, which President Bush declared over on May 1.

Increases in those wounded in action have been equally dramatic this fall. Since Sept. 1, 1,209 soldiers have received battlefield wounds, more than twice the 574 wounded in action from May 1 through Aug. 30.

Why I'm suddenly popular
So here I am trying to figure out why I got more traffic in the last two days than in the previous two months....turns out Buzzflash linked to me. And as a token of my appreciation for making me temporarily popular, I will make Buzzflash headlines part of my sidebar (I was honestly going to do this a while ago, but I figured "those bastards don't link to ME, so why link to THEM?" Now I can't say that).

Mad cow from the north
As usual, it appears Canada was to blame for our mad cow problem.

Radio address snippet
Allow me to quote from the President's radio address: "God's purpose is justice, and His plan is peace."

Hmmm, I never knew. I would have thought that "His plan" would have had some kind of connection to the purpose, but I suppose I was wrong. It's like saying that my purpose is to go get food, and my plan is to go outside. See? Different things.

Will-ingy distorting
Atrios catches some George Will hypocrisy.

Iraq boycotts France
Looks like right-wing morons aren't the only ones boycotting France. Iraqi Shia clerics have been calling to boycott French goods based on France's decision to ban headscarves in schools.

For all of the conservatives talked of the French loving Muslims, this should be a slap in the face.

TTLB Showcase vote
It appears I must recast my vote for the Truth Laid Bear Showcase, and again I vote for fellow Coalition member Chris Brown.

Mad Cow fallout
Through Yahoo:

WASHINGTON - Just days after discovering the nation's first case of mad cow disease, the United States has lost nearly all of its beef exports as more than two dozen countries stopped buying American beef as insurance against potential infection.

Gregg Doud, an economist for the Denver-based National Cattlemen's Beef Association said Friday that the United States, at today's market level, stands to lose at least $6 billion a year in exports and falling domestic prices because of the sick cow.

"We've lost roughly 90 percent of our export market just in the last three days," Doud said.

Keith Collins, the Agriculture Department's chief economist, said the market probably will not see the full economic impact of the mad cow case until trading intensifies after the holidays. He has said that 10 percent of U.S. beef is exported.

90 percent?!? We had ONE case of mad cow. Meanwhile, I'm content knowing that said case was in Washington state, and I'm on the other side of the country.

Jefferson Davis Middle School under attack
There is quite a bit of debate in the South over schools named after Confederate "heroes." You see, some people (conservatives) think that rebelling against the United States of America is admirable, while others (liberals) think that it is not:

"It's not the name on the outside of the building that negatively affects the attitudes of the students inside," Superintendent Lloyd Hamlin said. "If the attitudes outside of the building are acceptable, then the name is immaterial."

Good point! In fact, that's why we should all band together and move to create an Adolf Hitler Elementary wherever possible! Right?

Top Ten things to post when I'm bored
I saw this list for the top ten words of 2003 yesterday, but I didn't get around to reading it until now. First of all, "blog" is number two, which is odd considering only 10% of the population knows what they are. "Embedded" was the big winner...which I guess means they were really digging. But let's look at the ridiculous ones:

SARS is number 3. I may not work for "," but at least I know that SARS is an acronym.

Allision is number 7. What the hell is allision?

Celibacy is number 10. Puh-lease.

And then I found it! "Angry Left" is number nine on the Top Phrases list! We made it! Now that we've been recognized by the geniuses at, we shall catapult into the mainstream.

Rich liberals
CNN writes on the "Soros Factor."

The right-wing machine at work
Watch them tear Dean apart for a rational statement.

New Hampshire's Concord Monitor reported that Dean said he would not state his preference on a punishment for bin Laden before the al Qaeda leader was captured and put before a jury.

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said in the interview. "I will have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."

Dean added he is certain most Americans agree with that sentiment.

Later, Dean released a statement clarifying, "I share the outrage of all Americans. Osama bin Laden has admitted that he is responsible for killing 3,000 Americans as well as scores of men, women and children around the world. This is the exactly the kind of case that the death penalty is meant for.

The media is covering this as if Dean wants to shower bin Laden with chocolate once he is captured (AHEM!). A trial for bin Laden isn't exactly far-fetched. If you think he should be punished without due process, you're a moron. Timothy McVeigh had a that because he didn't hit the magic number of murders that exempts one from a trial (I assume that'd be 1000)? I guess so.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Busting up terror
It appears as though a hijacking may just have been thwarted:

"But U.S. officials said they are suspicious about some of the passengers who did not show up at the airport to claim their seats on the ultimately aborted Flight 68 from Paris to Los Angeles. One of those who did not appear for the Christmas Eve flight apparently is a trained pilot, one U.S. official said." [italics mine]

As much as I don't like to profile, I'm curious as to this person's nation of origin...if it's Middle Eastern I'd definitely consider it a thwarted attack. (And no, this doesn't make me a racist, my dad is Iranian. In fact, I'm going to use that to my advantage from now on, proving that I can never hate Arabs. OK?)

Joey hangs himself
Dead man walking, thy name is Joseph Lieberman.

More hypocrisy in the war on drugs
If the justice system wants to say that hard drugs affect your mind to the point where you are a danger to yourself and others, and hence they are illegal, they can't also enforce maximum sentences in drug-induced murders. While I don't claim to think that killing someone while on drugs is less of a travesty, this is like the court saying that while a 2 year old wasn't old enough to realize that he was doing wrong, he still needs to be put away for as long as a 21 year old.

Dean counters religion criticism
Recent articles have shown that Dean plans to start touting his Christianity.

''Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised, people who were left behind,'' Dean said. ''He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything . . . He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2000 years, which is pretty inspiring when you think about it.''

He acknowledged that he was raised in the ''Northeast'' tradition of not discussing religious beliefs in public, and said he held back in New Hampshire, where that is the practice. But in other areas, such as the South, he said, he would discuss his beliefs more openly.

The New Republic's cover story this week is about how Dean may be too secular to win the presidency.

"No, the real reason Dean will not be able to escape a liberal caricature has little to do with policy and everything to do with a warning flag that will mark him as culturally alien to much of the country: Howard Dean is one of the most secular candidates to run for president in modern history.

Dean himself is frank on this point, perhaps too frank. "[I] don't go to church very often," the Episcopalian-turned-Congregationalist remarked in a debate last month. "My religion doesn't inform my public policy." When Dean talks about organized religion, it is often in a negative context. "I don't want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore," he shouted at the California Democratic Convention in March. And, when he discusses spirituality, it is generally divorced from any mention of God or church. "We are not cogs in a corporate machine," he preached last month in Iowa. "We are human, spiritual beings who deserve better consideration as human beings than we're getting from this administration."

One day, a truly secular candidate might be able to run for president without suffering at the polls. But that day won't be soon. This is, for better or worse, an openly religious country that prefers its politicians to be openly religious, too--a trend that has only become more pronounced in recent national elections."

Hmm. It seems as though Dean has pre-empted this criticism quite well. I must applaud, as now TNR will look just a bit behind the curve in its story.

With developments like these, I think it's clear that Dean is going to shift to the center in his speeches and actions quite a bit come the general election. He has a knack for positioning himself in such a way that he can shift one way or the other in the future. At first I thought Bush would easily take a race with Dean, but with admittedly few people even knowing who Dean is at this point, his past positions may fade into the darkness; we'll see a whole new Howard Dean.

KtL grows rapidly in 12 hours
I'm getting a LOT of traffic today. At least for me. What's going on? Someone inform me.

Pessimism watch
Atrios gets it right on Dean's alleged "pessimism."

Quake hits Iran
I don't often cover stories with no political undertones, but the earthquake in Iran is huge news, especially to me (my father was born there before coming to America before I was born):

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) An earthquake devastated the southeastern Iranian city of Bam on Friday, leveling more than half the city's houses and its historic mud-brick fortress. At least 5,000 people were killed and 30,000 injured, the region's governor said.

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck at about 5:30 a.m., collapsing buildings, severing power lines and shutting down water service.

''The quake hit the city when most of the people were in bed, raising fears that the death toll may go higher,'' said legislator Hasan Khoshrou.

UPDATE: 20,000 dead.

CIA bulding terror case for anthrax
The Washington Times tried to be useful today with this story. It appears that the CIA has been working behind the scenes to make the case that the anthrax attacks that killed several:

"Investigators were hoping the Iraq Survey Group would come up with documents or evidence indicating that Iraq might have acquired the Ames strain. But U.S. officials said so far there are no signs of Ames-type anthrax in Iraq, either from samples or documents recovered from the Iraqi intelligence service. The service was in charge of weapons of mass destruction development.
A report last month to the U.N. Security Council by its Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission concluded that traces of anthrax recovered from a bomb in early 2003 were of the same strain Iraq declared in 1991 it had weaponized. Those were not the Ames strain, U.S. officials said."

The evidence seems to be piling up.

Empty threats from Osama
I'm getting a little bored with al Qaeda's threats...

"DUBAI (Reuters) - A London-based Arab magazine said on Friday that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has vowed to launch a "back-breaking attack" on the United States by February, confirming an earlier message by the militant network."

Stop the presses! Obviously al Qaeda hasn't been crippled, based on their work in other nations. However, they don't seem capable of bringing it to the U.S. quite yet. If they did, they wouldn't tell us about it; I don't recall any videotapes threatening attack coming out right before 9/11.

5 more dead
This must be the latest sign of an insurgency falling apart:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Striking several times in a 24-hour period in Iraq's restive "Sunni Triangle" region, insurgents killed five U.S. soldiers, including three Friday north of Baghdad and two Thursday in a mortar attack.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

A small mistake
You won't believe this:

Charles Wyckoff and his wife had returned home after a funeral for their son when the phone rang.

"Hey, Dad," Kevin Wyckoff said.

"Huh. Well, damn boy. We just had your funeral today," his father said Monday, according to a transcript of the call provided Wednesday by the Oklahoma Corrections Department.

"Yeah, I know. I heard," Kevin Wyckoff said.

"Well, what the hell is going on?" his father asked.

Prison officials had misidentified an inmate who had hanged himself behind bars as Wyckoff. The inmate, who was buried Monday in Wyckoff's place, is believed to be Steven L. Howe, the Corrections Department said.

Wyckoff, 23, is serving a five-year sentence for offenses including kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Corrections Department had a transcript of Wyckoff's conversation with his parents because it routinely monitors inmate calls.

The younger Wyckoff said prison officials had put Howe's name on a cell where he had been moved, and left his name on the cell where Howe committed suicide.

Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie said investigators were trying to determine whether the two inmates switched cells without permission or if staff made the switch without filing a report.

Both had entered the prison, the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, on December 5 and are similar in appearance, officials said.

Sequoyah County District Attorney Richard Gray said that if Howe's family agrees, his body could be exhumed next week.

During the phone call, Wyckoff also spoke to his mother.

"Kevin, I can not believe this," said his mother, whose name was not released. Calls to the Wyckoff home in Sallisaw on Wednesday were not answered.

"We buried you today, boy," she said.

"I understand that. It's not my fault, though," he responded.

"OK. Somebody's in deep trouble," his mother said.

Just think about the parents who missed their son's funeral because they weren't told that it was his.

Merry Christmas
If I post at all today it will be much later, after visiting with relatives and perhaps buying what I asked for but didn't receive. Have a great holiday, everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Orange Alert
I'll never understand why FOX News feels that it is necessary to inform me via the bottom left corner of my television screen that the terror alert level is high. First of all, I already know. Second, if there is one place in the world in which being aware of this will not help me, it is in my living room. Merry Christmas, everybody.

Ventura off MSNBC
Things don't look good for Jesse Ventura's TV show on MSNBC. Even though he's more of a libertarian, he was the best straight shooter on television for a while there (yes, that includes Bill O'Reilly, my friends). MSNBC really does have a problem filling that Saturday evening time slot...remember the Savage Nation?

Oh joy
Via Atrios:
Chris Hitchens gets torn a new one.

From the WH
CNN says:

"President Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board has concluded that his 2003 State of the Union address included information about Iraq's weapons program that wasn't checked carefully, a source involved in the investigation and findings said Wednesday.

CIA Director George Tenet took responsibility this summer for allowing the information to make it into the presidential address, but the new report suggests the White House bears responsibility too."

What are you doing, guys? The public had almost forgotten...

Hannity's latest
The Farkers have an alternate cover for Sean:

Exporting America
Yesterday's addition to Lous Dobbs' "Exporting America" list of companies shipping U.S. jobs overseas: Alliance Semiconductor, Lexmark International, which makes computer printers and related products, Office Depot, palmOne, formerly Palm Incorporated, and Pericom Semiconductor.

Here's a Reuters story on how companies are shifting jobs to cheaper markets quietly:

US corporations are picking up the pace in shifting well-paid technology jobs to India, China and other low-cost centres, but they are keeping quiet for fear of a backlash, industry professionals said.

Morgan Stanley estimates the number of US jobs outsourced to India will double to about 150,000 in the next three years. Analysts predict as many as two million US white-collar jobs such as programmers, software engineers and applications designers will shift to low cost centers by 2014.

But the biggest companies looking to "offshoring" to cut costs, such as Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and AT&T Wireless, are reluctant to attract attention for political reasons, observers said this week.

"The problem is that companies aren't sure if it's politically correct to talk about it," said Jack Trout, a principal of Trout & Partners, a marketing and strategy firm. "Nobody has come up with a way to spin it in a positive way."

That's because you can't spin it in a positive way when there are no positive sides for anyone but CEOs.

Reynolds on the loose
Instapundit claims that the NYT was pro-Saddam in the 80's, but no longer speaks of that era. Well, I'd have to say that many papers followed in Reagan's footsteps in supporting Saddam, but a newspaper is only made up of whoever works there, Glenn. It's not an entity in and of itself.

Looming threat of terror
France has apparently canceled flights to the U.S. after a security alert.

Shying away from U.S. beef
They found one mad cow case in Washington state, and already 10 countries have banned our beef.

Bush gets knocked on Clear Skies

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked new Bush administration changes to the Clean Air Act from going into effect the next day, in a challenge from state attorneys general and cities that argued they would harm the environment and public health.

The Environmental Protection Agency rule would have made it easier for utilities, refineries and other industrial facilities to make repairs in the name of "routine maintenance" without installing additional pollution controls.

Good riddance. Here's a little bit on Bush's Clear Skies idea.

Artificial trees reign supreme
Is the Christmas tree industry doomed? It appears that 72% of households now use artificial trees, up from 51% in 1991. It appears that growers are planning to launch a "real tree" campaign next year:

"The National Christmas Tree Assn., which represents farmers from every corner of the country, just picked up a $55,000 federal grant to study "ways to improve the product and make consumers feel good about real trees," said Pam Helmsing, the group's associate director.

Not willing to wait for the study's results, however, growers hope to raise $1 million for a promotional effort next fall, possibly including radio or TV ads, said Irwin Loiterstein, who heads the association's market expansion committee."

I'm not sure how well that could work, but it should be interesting.

Wither Saddam?
Strange - even though Saddam was captured, apparently making us safer, things seem to be progressing just as they were before in Iraq.

One point for the pillhead
It appears the Democrats have taken in a hit in their effort to dismantle Limbaugh because they can't beat him in the field of ideas (or maybe it's non-Democrats who just want justice...who knows?). A judge ordered that Limbaugh's medical records will remain sealed for now:

"Palm Beach Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Winikoff ordered the records remain sealed for 15 days while Limbaugh's attorneys pursue their appeal. Winikoff had ruled Tuesday that prosecutors could examine the records, but could not make them public.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office declined to comment Wednesday on the ruling and would not say if prosecutors had begun looking at the records."

Rush spends a lot of time talking about this on his show, which probably isn't the best idea when he should be diverting attention from his pill habits. Either way, it makes for good radio.

9 too many?
It appears that having nine candidates is a little too much for the public to handle:

"In a nation with a famously short attention span, nine candidates appear to be about nine too many for most Americans to remember at this point. A CBS News poll released last month found that half of all registered voters couldn't name even one of the Democratic candidates--nor could 45 percent of those planning to vote in the Democratic primaries. "

How does the the fact that half of the country can't identify ONE candidate attest to the concept that nine is too many? This means that even if there was a lone candidate, these people don't read newspapers/magazines/watch television, so they wouldn't know anyway.

"Another problem posed by the unwieldy host of hopefuls became glaringly evident at the more than two dozen forums and debates held this year.

Ninety minutes don't go too far when spread among nine candidates and their questioners.With most candidates winding up with 10 minutes or less to state their cases, how they look and how they sound threaten to upstage whatever they manage to say."

This I agree with (did they write "ninety minutes don't go too far" on purpose?). As much as people claim that all of the voices within the Democratic party need to be heard, the time has long passed for the smaller candidates (Kucinich, Sharpton, Moseley-Braun, even Edwards) to drop out and let the real players play.

"Who has time to figure out what nine different candidates are about?" asked William Mayer, a political scientist at Northeastern University in Boston

I don't know, I guess watching the news once every couple nights is a little too much for people to bear these days.

America goes Mad
The first case of mad cow in the U.S. has been confirmed. It was apparently necessary to tell us that terrorists did not ship the cow to Washington state:

Veneman also assured Americans the screening system worked, and no foul play was suspected. "This incident is not terrorist-related," she said. "I cannot stress this point strongly enough."

Actually, I'd say that mentioning it at all is borderline idiotic, sir.

2004 outlook
CNN Money has an article on the "ifs ands or buts" of the economy next year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Misleading Headlines
The link for this story over at had a misleading title: Mass. Death Sentence Is First in 30 Years. Before I looked closer I was quite startled.

Nader no longer Green
It appears as though Nader may run as an independent, not a Green, lessening his chances of being on the ballot in some states.

"I think if he does choose to run as an independent -- and that's a big 'if' -- he will be a weaker candidate than if he had worked with the Greens," said Ben Manski, a party co-chairman and spokesman


Malvo sentenced to life
I awoke from my nap to discover that Lee Boyd Malvo was spared the death penalty. While the only time I would theoretically support the death penalty is cases in which there is next to no chance of innocence and multiple murders, I applaud the decision. Malvo was 17 at the time of the shootings, and I wholeheartedly believe that there should be no question when it comes to executing minors. Prosecutors can argue for the death penalty for a minor based on the circumstances; so why can't someone argue that statuatory rape deserves no penalty sometimes or that underage drinking is acceptable sometimes? How about that minors, if a jury thinks they are mature, can buy handguns? The system shouldn't work like that.

A new way to crash cars
Kudos to British police for coming up with the worst idea thus far this holiday season:

After speed cameras, road humps and mobile phone bans, there could be more bad news for Britain's motorists. Police are urging Ministers to give them the power to stop vehicles by remote control.

In what will be seen as yet another example of the in-creasing power of Big Brother, drivers face the prospect of their cars being halted by somebody pushing a button.


'Providing an effective means to remotely stop a vehicle is fast becoming a priority,' Hammond told a European conference. 'The development of a safe and controlled system to enable remote stopping has the potential to directly save lives.'

However, Bert Morris, deputy director of the AA Motoring Trust said: 'People don't like the idea of Big Brother taking over their driving. In years to come that might be acceptable, but it's very, very important that there's a step-by-step approach.'

The Big Brother concern isn't shared by me as much as the fact that the cops are going to be stopping cars in the middle of the road. What are they going to do, automatically pull over slowly to the side of the road, weaving through traffic?

Slackers writing stories now at AP
Look at this AP headline: Dow Down 30 After Economic Reports. Now let's look at the first paragraph:

"Wall Street drifted mostly higher Tuesday as a trio of economic reports - one on gross domestic product, the others on consumer sentiment and spending - provided investors additional evidence of an improving economy."

What? I agree that the economy is on the upturn for the time being - there's no way around that - but that's just a sloppy story.

Let the fun begin!
How's your favorite pillhead's case working out? Like this:

"A Florida judge Tuesday ordered radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh's medical records released to prosecutors in connection with an investigation into his prescription drug purchases.

But Judge Jeffrey Winikoff ordered prosecutors to keep the conservative commentator's records under wraps while they conduct their investigation.

The ruling came a day after an attorney for Limbaugh charged that the conservative talk show host was being blackmailed by the Florida couple whose allegations triggered an ongoing investigation into his purchases of painkillers.

Limbaugh in October admitted being addicted to prescription painkillers and spent five weeks in a drug-rehabilitation clinic after his former housekeeper disclosed his habit to a supermarket tabloid."

Monday, December 22, 2003

Battle of the Quotes
Tom DeLay
"What we have gotten is we've destroyed his network. The president took the war to them in Afghanistan. We can do both and we did both. We've upset the al-Qaida networks to the point that they can't do anything right now."
- From "Meet the Press", 12/21/03

Tom Ridge
"The strategic indicators, including al-Qaida's continued desire to carry out attacks against our homeland, are perhaps greater now than at any point since September 11th, 2001. The information we have indicates that extremists abroad are anticipating near-term attacks that they believe will either rival, or exceed, the attacks that occurred in New York and the Pentagon and the fields of Pennsylvania nearly two years ago."
- From Remarks to Press, 12/21/03

Dean recognizes lack of foreign policy experience
Dean says, without mentioning who his choice will be, that his VP choice will compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience. Oh, who ever could it be?

UPDATE: OK....It could be Graham.

Qaddafi backs down
If you're ever a dictator (and after reading my blog you WILL have the ability to be a dictator), never show fear. Because it comes out like this:

A spokesman for Mr Berlusconi said the prime minister had been telephoned recently by Col Gaddafi of Libya, who said: "I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid."

For someone who has been in politics for so long, you'd think he'd have more tact.

Something to hide
It looks like Condi doesn't want to testify about foreknowledge of 9/11. Surprise.

CBO says tax hikes needed
The CBO, who is usually terribly incorrect when it comes to the budget (often making assumptions such as "I'm sure these tax cuts will expire without being extended!"), is saying that trying to balance the budget over the next 50 years will take large tax hikes:

In a look at the government's long-term budget outlook, Congress' nonpartisan fiscal analyst offered possible combinations of tax and spending changes, all of which would leave lawmakers choosing among politically unpalatable options.

Even so, some still would leave the government in fiscal peril. Yet, failing to act would drive the accumulated federal debt to unsustainable levels, said the study, released Friday.

"Taken to the extreme, such a path could result in an economic crisis," including the possibilities that foreign investors would pull out, the dollar's value plunge, interest rates and prices soar and stock markets collapse.

Luckily for Dubya, that crisis will likely begin just as his term ends.

War on the poor
Harley Sorenson has an editorial on the connection between large wealth gaps and deteriorating health.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Bush: help needy before I have to
Gotham City 13 picked up this gem:

WASHINGTON - President Bush urged Americans to seek out ways to help the needy during the holiday season, and he took credit for a rise in volunteerism nationwide.

"This holiday season, I ask every American to look for a challenge in your own community, and step forward to lend a hand," Bush said in his weekly radio address Saturday.

"Particularly in this time of giving, our thoughts turn to fellow citizens who face hardship, or illness, or loneliness," he said. "Their burden often seems even greater at Christmastime, yet the hope of this season was meant for them, as well."

I don't even need a sarcastic comment for this one.

Dean gets it right on Saddam
So we're at orange alert and the government is saying indicators are stronger than they've ever been since 9/11 (apparently admitting there were strong indicators). So was Howard Dean right when he said Saddam's capture made us no safer? Yes. He certainly was.

Financial rot
Corrente has some more on mutual fund scams.

Terrorism now officially more likely
The terror alert level has been raised to orange. Hopefully, in the name of Christmas spirit, Thursday we'll be on both a red and green alert.

A Clark gaffe
Wes had some strong statements about anyone who questioned his record:

"Moments after praising his opponents in the Democratic presidential race as worthy running mates, Wesley Clark said, in no uncertain terms, how he would respond if they or anyone else criticized his patriotism or military record.

"I'll beat the . . . out of them," Clark told a questioner as he walked through the crowd after a town hall meeting yesterday. "I hope that's not on television," he added.

It was, live, on C-Span."

I'm gonna take a stab at what he actually said....and I think those three dots replace the word "shit." And in all seriousness, even though I think this is Dean's game, I have to hand it to Clark for leaving the bullshit out of it. In fact, I have to hand it to him for leaving the bullshit out of it especially because I think it's Dean's game.

Kerry swings at Bush
Here's a headline: Kerry attacks someone, and it isn't Dean. It isn't even a Democrat!

Dean/Clark '04
Wes Clark is saying that Dean sought him as a running mate just before he announced his candidacy. That shouldn't surprise anyone who paid attention to the relationship between the two men before Clark announced. In fact, the WaPo heard about this one before Clark announced. What I'm wondering is whether Dean felt snubbed when Clark decided to join the field and would not be willing to take him as a vice president now.

UPDATE: The Dean campaigned has denied this. Perhaps they don't want to make it seem like their man was ever scared of Clark...but I'd venture to say that he was.

A TIME to whore yourself
As much as I respect and admire what American soldiers are capable of doing across the globe, I believe that TIME magazine made it's "Person of the Year" choice solely in an effort to have the public wash praise over them. And they will, even though giving "the American soldier" Person of the Year is like giving "Good Movies" the Oscar for best film.