Saturday, February 21, 2004

Oh Saxby...
The senator who is notorious for criticizing actual war heroes (like Max Cleland) is at it again.

The most important news story of the day
Resigned to the latter pages of the NYT:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 — The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged that it did not provide the United Nations with information about 21 of the 105 sites in Iraq singled out by American intelligence before the war as the most highly suspected of housing illicit weapons.

The acknowledgment, in a Jan. 20 letter to Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, contradicts public statements before the war by top Bush administration officials.

Both George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, and Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, said the United States had briefed United Nations inspectors on all of the sites identified as "high value and moderate value" in the weapons hunt.

The contradiction is significant because Congressional opponents of the war were arguing a year ago that the United Nations inspectors should be given more time to complete their search before the United States and its allies began the invasion. The White House, bolstered by Mr. Tenet, insisted that it was fully cooperating with the inspectors, and at daily briefings the White House issued assurances that the administration was providing the inspectors with the best information possible.

In a telephone interview on Friday, Senator Levin said he now believed that Mr. Tenet had misled Congress, which he described as "totally unacceptable."

Teacher caught with student
This happens too often, but this one has a twist:

A 30-year-old San Francisco schoolteacher faces lewd conduct charges after being caught naked in a car after school with a 14-year-old Luther Burbank Middle School student, authorities said Friday.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, patrol officers driving in an area of McLaren Park known for drugs and prostitution spotted a car with steamed windows, suggesting either drug or sexual activity, according to Capt. Frank O'Malley of the Police Department's Juvenile Division.

Upon checking the car, which was parked at John F. Shelley Drive and Cambridge Street, officers found Nieka Arreola and the unidentified student, who worked as an aide in a classroom at Luther Burbank, undressed in the car. Arreola reportedly told police she was giving the boy a ride home. She was booked on three counts with lewd and lascivious acts on a minor.

Nieka Arreola? Is this some kind of sick joke? Whether or not it is, I still appreciate it.

Pressure on Iran
Powell says that Iran isn't moving quickly enough in proving it has no nuclear program. Now here's an interesting turn of events: if bin Laden is pulled out of the woodwork, and WMDs are "found" in Iraq, pushing Bush to an election victory in November and surging approval ratings, could he convince the public to take the war to Iran? Time will tell...

bin Laden found?
2 and a half years later, it may be so.

Wow, just in time to push Bush back ahead of Kerry, huh? The coincidences sure are astounding!

UPDATE: U.S. denying it.

Friday, February 20, 2004

For the love of God, Ralph
Do not run.

Greenspan echoing WH
How unsurprising.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Gay marriage in Chicago?
Could San Fran's mini-revolution on gay marriage happen elsewhere? It's possible:

CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Richard Daley said he would have "no problem" with Cook County issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in Chicago, the nation's third largest city.
Entering a national debate over gay marriage, Daley urged sympathy for same-sex couples because "they love each other just as much as anyone else."

Daley also dismissed a suggestion Wednesday that marriage between gay couples would undermine the institution.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage," he said. "Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community."

Bush's next move
Rove: "I like the way those Iranians think."

Chicken in every pot, breathalyzer in ever car
Good safety idea, or a little too much big brother?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

FReepers get busted
Poll-skewing: the pasttime of champions.

Red-ink Republicans at it again
It appears as if the upcoming quarter will shatter borrowing records.

The poor GOP
They're gonna need every penny they have to get out of this one.

Rumor mill or something else?
Will this story fall by the wayside, or is Larry Flynt about to nail Bush to a wall?

It's the battle of the Johns
Howie is out.

The WH took back their job growth prediction:

WASHINGTON - The White House backed away Wednesday from its own prediction that the economy will add 2.6 million new jobs before the end of this year, saying the forecast was the work of number-crunchers and that President Bush was not a statistician.

Bush, himself, stopped short of echoing the prediction.

"I think the economy's growing, and I think it's going to get stronger," said Bush, the nation's first MBA president. He said he was pleased that 366,000 new jobs have been added since August. "But I'm mindful there are still people looking for work, and we've got to continue building on the progress we've made so far."

Bush isn't a statistician? Are they saying that Bush came up with those numbers himself?

JJ: gay rights aren't civil rights
Jesse Jackson, Mr. Equality, doesn't seem to feel gays are quite equal to everyone else:

In Massachusetts, the state that's served as one of the main battlegrounds over same-sex marriage, the Rev. Jesse Jackson declared Monday that the fight of gays and lesbians wanting to marry should not be compared to the fight African Americans faced for civil rights.

"The comparison with slavery is a stretch in that some slave masters were gay, in that gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution and in that they did not require the Voting Rights Act to have the right to vote," Jackson remarked in an address at Harvard Law School.

Later, in an appearance at Holy Cross Church in Worcester, Jackson made sure others knew that he did support some rights for same-sex couples, noting "Gays deserve the right of choice to choose their own partners."

"If you don't agree, don't participate and don't perform the service," he said, according to the Associated Press.

But Jackson reiterated his support for the heterosexual definition of marriage, saying, "In my culture, marriage is a man-woman relationship."

Apparently the fact that gay people are getting married has a negative effect on Bush, personally. Who would've known that other peoples' business could affect someone?

Baptists turning on each other
More divisions among the faithful.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Could Edwards pull out Wisconsin?
It's possible.

UPDATE: Just kidding, Kerry takes it again.

Good new for women in Portugal

The doctor who allegedly carried out the abortions, and nine "accomplices" including the husbands and boyfriends of the women, were also cleared.

The case reignited a familiar debate in the Roman Catholic country, where abortion is outlawed except in cases of rape or serious foetal disability.

Pro-abortion activists are lobbying for a referendum on abortion. A referendum in 1998 was narrowly defeated.

Unexpected consequences
Will economic growth lead to a higher jobless rate? With more people looking for jobs, it just might.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Comcast will have to stick with the empire it has now.

Bremer plays it right
Paul Bremer hinted that he might bar the Iraqis from issuing Islamic law in the country. This is unequivocally a good thing for the Iraqis in the long run...but announcing it now may be bad news for our soldiers.

Sheer, unadulterated

About-face for parents

A statement by Terry and Donna Polier, the parents of Alexandra Polier:

"We have spoken to our daughter and the allegations that have been made regarding her are completely false and unsubstantiated. We love and support her 100 percent and these unfounded rumors are hurtful to our entire family. We appreciate the way Senator Kerry has handled the situation, and intend on voting for him for president of the United States."

Why would you vote for someone who you thought was a "sleazeball"?

Bye bye rumor
From the horse's mouth:

NAIROBI, Kenya - A woman who has been the subject of rumors linking her to Sen. John Kerry denied Monday that she ever had an affair with the Democratic presidential candidate.

Breaking her silence four days after the allegations surfaced on the Internet, Alexandra Polier issued a statement to The Associated Press, saying, "I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."

Kerry already has denied reports that he had an extramarital affair. On Monday, his campaign said he would have no further comment.

The Washington Times reports
With U.S. papers unwilling to talk about the unconfirmed marital affair Kerry supposedly had, the Washington Times didn't want to be an outsider. But they just HAD to talk about it. So they wrote a story about how no one is writing stories about it.

Bush and Kerry: cousins?
Apparently so.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

This will go over well
Because whites have it so hard.

Yahoo's gaffe
So at 3:30 pm the headline on Yahoo read "Top Aides: Dean Prepared to Abandon Race." Then it read "Aides Want Dean to Quit if He Loses Wis." Now it reads "Dean to advisors: We are not bowing out." Interesting.

Bush courts NASCAR
So the President went to win the vote of the fans of what is apparently the best sport in the world...or something. So I understand that NASCAR dads are a big vote to get out. But that is not the point of this post. The point is "Why?" Why would anyone enjoy watching cars go around a track for hours? I can see that it would be fun if it were a sprint of some sort. And perhaps actually being there is exciting, with rowdy drunken men hitting on your sister/wife/girlfriend/mother. But watching it on TV seems somewhat akin to watching someone paint a fence (and occasionally part of the fence explodes). Fun? No, it's not. If you think so, that's your opinion (but I repeat - your opinion is incorrect).

Cannon fodder
Oh please, PLEASE tell me that the conservatives make special interest money an issue. Sure, Kerry has taken more than any Senator now serving. But Bush has taken more than anyone. Ever.


So we're still giving the country up in June to a bunch of people who can't guard a prison chock full of guerilla fighters. Sounds brilliant.

Bush's special interesting record
I'm a little late on this, but here goes, via the WaPo:

IT'S HARD TO RECALL a more brazen display of political chutzpah than the Bush campaign's assault on Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) as a captive of special interests. A video e-mailed Thursday night to 6 million supporters attacks the Democratic front-runner as an "unprincipled" collector of special-interest cash. The video cites a report in this newspaper that Mr. Kerry led the senatorial pack in collecting money from the very Washington lobbyists that he is busy decrying on the campaign trail. As the dollar amount -- $640,000 -- shows on the screen, a female announcer emits a sound of pained surprise. "Oooh," she says, "For what? Nominations and donations coincided." The video concludes: "Fact. Kerry -- Brought to you by the special interests. Millions from executives at HMOs, telecoms, drug companies. Ka-ching!"

Mr. Kerry's fundraising and his relationships with Washington lobbyists are a legitimate topic, even more so now that he has positioned himself, or tried to, as the scourge of Washington business as usual. But -- how can we say this politely? -- let's consider the source.

Mr. Bush's acceptance of special-interest money and his subsequent rewards to the industries doing the giving dwarf anything in Mr. Kerry's record. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, whose figures are cited in the Bush campaign video, Mr. Bush has raised more than four times as much from lobbyists during the 2004 race as Mr. Kerry has -- $960,000 for Mr. Bush to $235,000 for Mr. Kerry. During the 2000 contest, the Bush campaign assigned an industry code to givers so it would know precisely how much it was beholden and to whom. As electric utility lobbyist Thomas Kuhn explained in a 1999 letter to fundraisers, putting the code on the check "does ensure that our industry is credited, and that your progress is listed among the other business/industry sectors." Mr. Kuhn's progress may well have been noted; he met at least 14 times with Vice President Cheney's energy task force.

"Nominations and donations coincided"? You wonder what possessed the Bush people to bring that up. Of Mr. Bush's Pioneers -- those who raised at least $100,000 in the 2000 campaign -- 21 snagged ambassadorships, and these weren't hardship postings. Checks from "HMOs, telecoms, drug companies"? Mr. Bush has swamped Mr. Kerry in all three sectors during this campaign, raking in 10 times as much from donors connected to the pharmaceutical industry ($585,000 to $58,000) and telecommunications ($578,000 to $58,000). The liberal group Public Citizen counted 53 registered lobbyists among the current Pioneers and Rangers (the $200,000-and-up crowd.) Total amount bundled by lobbyists? At least $6.5 million this time around. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

The right-wing machine awakens
Didn't Stalin enjoy doctoring photos?

Whoring myself out a little
I just submitted KtL for the etalkinghead directory. I'll be throwing them a sidebar link shortly.