Saturday, January 24, 2004

Oh Kathy
What's the definition of "smug grin"? Kathleen Parker.

Powell tells truth on WMD
If you're a liberal, you have to have at least some respect for Colin Powell. Look at this:

TBILISI (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Saturday it was an "open question" whether stocks of weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq and conceded it was possible Saddam Hussein had none.

Powell made the comments one day after David Kay, the leader of the U.S. hunt for banned weapons in Iraq, stepped down and said he did not believe there were any large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons in the country.

Oh dear, George. Who would have thought that a lie would backfire for once?

Bush falling
The latest Newsweek poll is pretty interesting.

Bush's approval rating is at 50%, but 52% would not like to see him serve a second term. The best new fact? A Kerry-Bush match-up would have Kerry up by 49 percent to Bush's 46 percent. That's news, people. Also, 47% "strongly" do not want to see him re-elected while 37% "strongly" do want to see him re-elected. Things are getting better....

David Duke pondering Congressional run
While in some states convicted felons are barred from voting (for example....I don't know....Florida), they can run for Congress in others. I know what you're thinking. "Even when they led the Ku Klux Klan? Yes.

Drudge's definition of news
Here's what Drudge is saying right now:

FLASHBACK: Kerry in 2000 claimed it is a matter of character that Bush avoided duty oversees by joining the Texas Air National Guard. No documents have been found to show he reported for duty as ordered in Alabama in 1972... 'Those of us who were in the military wonder how it is that someone who is supposedly serving on active duty, having taken that oath, can miss a whole year of service without even explaining where it went,' said Kerry... Developing...

This is considered news? When was this a secret? When exactly did it become controversial for someone to state facts about the president?

Video games do a body good
Now video game geeks have another reason not to stop playing:

Behold: It teaches rhythm and timing. It gets kids exercising and encourages them to hang out and jaw with their pals. Do not be afraid. It is a video game.

Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix, the fifth in the DDR line from Konami and first for the Xbox, is a video game so unlike any other it deserves to be called something entirely different.

"Ultramix" works like this: You choose a song to dance to, then follow a scrolling series of arrows which tell you whether to press left, right, forward or back on the included dance pad, a psychotic, devious and beguilingly simple version of the "Twister" game mat. Get used to the thing. In the hours and days ahead, it will cause you furious rage and the most satisfying ecstasy.

Ultramix's trick is that, as a song gets going, the best way to dance won't necessarily be to put your left foot left or your right foot right. Depending on what's coming first, you may have to turn 90 degrees while spinning or stepping back. Standing there and trying to jab out at the touch pads, feels like a game of bop the gopher -- but the gopher is on steroids.

The rewards -- and the depth -- come after hours and hours of practice, when you've got a song's dance moves memorized, and magically the dancing becomes instinct. It's an almost spiritual moment, when you look down and realize your feet are doing something you are only mildly aware of telling them to do.

Who's watching the polls?
Considering the debacle in Iowa, it's surprising that so much attention is being paid to the NH polls. Especially Zogby's polls, which couldn't have been more off in Iowa (although many traces of that have been erased from Mr. Zogby's site).

5 more Americans dead in Iraq.

Friday, January 23, 2004

CNN on Dean's warts
Here's something CNN deemed newsworthy:

Three days after the scream "heard 'round the world," Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean was still trying to explain his frenzied speech following his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

"I was having a great time," he told ABC's Diane Sawyer on Primetime Thursday. "I am not a perfect person, believe me, I have all kinds of warts. I wear cheap suits sometimes, I say things that I probably ought not to say, but I lead with my heart, and that's what I was doing right there, leading with my heart."

Title of the article? Dean: 'I have all kinds of warts'

Liberal media? My ass.

Red planet dispatch
There are two things of interest on Mars: a former rover that is now about as useful as an RC car, and water.

AFA poll backfires
Well well. The tables have turned on the American Family Association, who, planning to present a poll on Capitol Hill about public support for gay marriage, have backed down. Why? Because the poll showed that a majority of people support gay marriage:

The conservative American Family Association (AFA) said it will not take the results of its marriage poll to Capitol Hill after a majority of respondents favored same-sex marriage, according to a Thursday report in Wired News.

The AFA posted the poll online in December with a stated intention to forward the results to Congress as evidence of U.S. opposition to same-sex marriage. Respondents could select one of these three choices:

"I favor legalization of homosexual marriage."

"I favor a 'civil union' with the full benefits of marriage except for the name."

"I oppose legalization of homosexual marriage and 'civil unions.'"

But as of press time, the numbers support same-sex unions: Sixty percent favored same-sex marriage and 8 percent favored civil unions, leaving just 32 percent opposed.

And they spent all that time making the PowerPoint to show it to Congress with.

How's Iraq going? I mean, aside from the soldiers steadily coming home in boxes? The Shi'ite leader in Iraq rejected the United States' plan for the country.

Kerry gets his endorsement
After all the big Dems tossed their weight behind Dean, CNBC says Walter Mondale is poised to endorse Kerry. That may be a death wish, but we'll wait to find out.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Fat tax
Obesity cost taxpayers $40 billion last year.

Trouble on the red planet
While they aren't sure of the details, the Mars rover has experienced a serious defect.

Ohio to ban gay marriage
Ohio is set to wipe out gay marriage:

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Senate has approved one of the most far-reaching gay marriage bans in the nation despite charges from some lawmakers that the legislation was mean-spirited and discriminatory.

A divided Senate approved the bill 18-15 Wednesday and sent it back to the House, which is expected to approve minor changes next week. Gov. Bob Taft has said he will sign the bill.

The measure says same-sex marriages are "against the strong public policy of the state," and would prohibit state employees from getting benefits for domestic partners, whether they were gay or unmarried heterosexual couples.

The bill permits exceptions to the benefits ban, including cities, villages, townships, schools and private companies. However, universities are included in the ban.

Senate Minority Leader Gregory DiDonato, a Democrat, said the bill was mean-spirited and "just plain wrong." Sen. C.J. Prentiss, also a Democrat, quoted from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech as she called the bill "good, old-fashioned discrimination."

But Republican Sen. Jay Hottinger, a longtime supporter of the same-sex marriage ban, said that opponents were misstating the bill's intentions. He said the bill was not an attack on gays, but was meant to protect a traditional definition of marriage.

At least we can bank on the fact that sticking with tradition never harmed anyone, right?

West Point goes private
It looks as if West Point is trading in its federal guards for private ones....another step towards the privatization of the military (one in ten soldiers is now said to have some training done by private organizations):

When it comes to standing guard at the gates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the hallowed military ground where the careers of George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur and Dwight D. Eisenhower were forged, it's out with military-issued camouflage and in with mall-cop blue.

Beginning in May, private security guards will replace National Guardsmen as part of a Defense Department initiative to have civilian contractors take over tasks like base security with the hope of lightening the load for military personnel so they can focus on more important tasks, like Iraq.

"The contracts will free up soldiers to do jobs that only soldiers can do," said Maj. Kent Cassella, a spokesman for West Point, which plays host to surges of 40,000 visitors on football game days.

Before Sept. 11, gate duties at West Point were handled by a company of military police, but security was cursory, said Major Cassella, and though there were spot checks, pretty much anyone who wanted to could get onto the grounds. The terrorist attacks created a need for round-the-clock protection of a higher order at the academy's three opened gates, too large a commitment for the military police, who are also responsible for basic police functions like traffic and crowd control.

National Guard troops in two units, about 100 at a time, were then rotated in to protect the gates, and there were no incidents, said Major Cassella.

On May 1, however, the private guards will begin to arrive, with some overlap to ensure a smooth transition before they take over from the National Guard at the end of the month.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

When your significant other and you are in a fight, and your dog dies, and Bush wins the thankful that you don't have a 175-pound tumor.

BushCo at it again
The ACLU notifies us of more civil liberties violations.

Bush plans on getting reelected, asking for cash
Would it surprise you if Bush requested billions for Iraq if he wins this November? Yeah, me neither.

The RIAA is at it again. Over 500 filesharers are being sued - the RIAA doesn't know who they are, just their IP addresses. But hey, I'm sure that doesn't matter, right?

Environment AWOL in SOTU
Frank O'Donnell writes for about Bush's clear omission of any reference to the environment in ths SOTU.

Cardinal says 95% of gays "perverts"
Belgian Cardinal Gustaaf Joos said the following in an interview:

"I am willing to write in my own blood that of all those who call themselves lesbian or gay, a maximum of five to 10 percent are effectively lesbian or gay," Joos said. "All the rest are just sexual perverts," he added.

What a jackass.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Pro-lifers on the attack
After winning on partial-birth, the hordes of anti-choice activists are at it again, this time attacking RU-486. We need to bury them, before they gain momentum and do what they've been waiting to for 30 years.

Fun with SOTU addresses
Tonight, when Bush is talking, gather with your friends, put the TV on mute, have a friend close his/her eyes and flip between the Discovery Channel and Bush's speech. When he opens his eyes have him/her guess which channel you're on. It's endless entertainment!

Pentagon skips around suicide issue
The Pentagon is apparently not reporting soldier suicides if they happen after the soldier leaves Iraq...even if there is a clear link:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A soldier who served in Iraq apparently hung himself with a bedsheet last week at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but the Pentagon did not count that death two days later when it announced "a very small increase" in the suicide rate from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It also did not count an Operation Iraqi Freedom soldier who apparently committed suicide at the same military hospital last July. The Pentagon said it is not counting suicides among troops who killed themselves after they left Iraq.

A veterans' advocate questioned that decision.

"I want to know why stateside suicides are not counted in the total number of suicides reported by the Department of Defense," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center and a former Army Ranger.

Robinson said he fears an epidemic of mental problems among troops who have served in the war. "There appears to be a significant increase in both suicides and post-traumatic stress disorder," Robinson said.

Robinson is set to testify Wednesday before a House Armed Services Committee panel on that issue and other health problems facing U.S. troops. Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. James B. Peake is also scheduled to testify.

Cheney and Scalia go out to lunch
So Cheney is about to have the Supreme Court trial over his handling of an energy task force. The problem? Antonin Scalia, a Supreme Court Justice, just went hunting with him.

Gep out of the public eye
Dick Gephardt has said that he will not run for re-election in Congress. As much as I thought that he was often a lackey for Bush, it saddens me to see a vet go.

3 y/o shoots self
"Guns don't kill people..."

Murdoch on the loose
Here's some objective NY Post journalism:

But it was Dean who came into Iowa as the clear front-runner - he's campaigned in the state for nearly two years - but by the time last night's vote at 1,993 neighborhood caucuses was over, he was just another middle-of-the-pack wannabe.

Dean gets loud
Drudge cuts out the decent parts of the speech, but here's a little snippet of Dean's angry reaction to Iowa. This won't help him...

Monday, January 19, 2004

Iowa updates
Real-time caucus results here.

UPDATE: It looks like Kerry first, Edwards second, Dean third, Gep fourth. Interesting. If I didn't dislike Kerry's persona so much I would be enthused.

Gephardt has dropped.

Religious nutjobs strike again
A couple in Atlanta may have killed a 6 year-old girl while trying to exorcise her.

Who will they run in '08
Roger Ailes asks who the Republicans could possibly bring to the table in 2008.

I'm going to say that their main man will be Tom DeLay, who I'm almost positive will run. Also, if the Dems lose this year, I'd expect to win big in 2008.

Back to big government
The new Republican line? The Dems will worsen the deficit.

DK for JE?
Kucinich is on MSNBC saying that if he doesn't garner 15% of the caucus vote he'll ask his supporters to throw their weight behind the campaign of.....John Edwards.

No papal comment on Passion
Remember when the Pope allegedly said "It is as it was" of Mel Gibson's new film on Christ's life? Didn't happen.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Minorities, whites separate in American schools
Segregation in U.S. schools is at the same level as it was in 1969:

Half a century after the Supreme Court ordered the desegregation of American education, schools are almost as segregated as they were when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, according to a report released today by Harvard University researchers.

The study by the Harvard Civil Rights Project, shows that progress toward school desegregation peaked in the late 1980s as courts concluded that the goals of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education had largely been achieved. Over the past 15 years, the trend has been in the opposite direction, and most white students now have "little contact" with minority students in many areas of the country, according to the report.

"We are celebrating a victory over segregation at a time when schools across the nation are becoming increasingly segregated," noted the report, which was issued on the eve of the holiday celebrating King's birthday.

My Showcase vote
My TTLB Showcase vote goes to American Amnesia.

CBS to run WH ads during big game
After cutting ads, the Super Bowl will be playing White House ads. I'd suggest a boycott, but who am I kidding (also, I get under 100 hits a day, so my impact might be less than significant)? Didn't Bernie Goldberg write a whole book on CBS' liberal tilt? Yes, he did. Bernie Goldberg, however, is an ass.

Cavuto on temper
Strangely, Neil Cavuto managed to talk about Howard Dean without making it into a bash-fest. He says that there's nothing wrong with having a temper. I have to agree. The only bad thing about having a temper is that it doesn't look good to the public. But if you take out that political aspect of it, it merely shows passion, and that's never a bad thing.

What Neil avoids is the fact that most of the people bashing Dean for his temper aren't his fellow Dems, but conservatives.

Where sports and politics collide
Should I watch the Eagles game highlights tomorrow or the results of the Iowa caucuses?