Saturday, June 19, 2004

The best news I've heard all day
Ken Lay to be indicted.

Kerry up in WV
Very good news. Outside of an October surprise, nothing can save Bush now, in my opinion.

CBS to run anti-Clinton ad
How ridiculous:

CBS is apparently set to run a new TV advertisement attacking former President Bill Clinton that appears to violate the network's stated prohibition on "advocacy" ads that deal with "controversial issues of public importance." Under the headline "Citizens United Launches New Anti-Clinton Ad Campaign to Air during '60 Minutes' Interview," Citizens United (led by David N. Bossie) announced on its website the new ad is to air during Clinton's June 20 appearance on CBS's news program 60 Minutes. The self-described "advocacy" group explained, "Amidst the hype surrounding the release of former President Clinton's new book, 'My Life', Citizens United sets the record straight by exposing the real legacy President Bill Clinton left for America."

The Citizens United ad claims that Clinton is "responsible" for "leaving us vulnerable to terrorists."

Anti-piracy hits new highs

The proposal, called the Induce Act, says "whoever intentionally induces any violation" of copyright law would be legally liable for those violations, a prohibition that would effectively ban file-swapping networks like Kazaa and Morpheus. In the draft bill seen by CNET, inducement is defined as "aids, abets, induces, counsels, or procures" and can be punished with civil fines and, in some circumstances, lengthy prison terms.

The bill represents the latest legislative attempt by influential copyright holders to address what they view as the growing threat of peer-to-peer networks rife with pirated music, movies and software. As file-swapping networks grow in popularity, copyright lobbyists are becoming increasingly creative in their legal responses, which include proposals for Justice Department lawsuits against infringers and action at the state level.

Originally, the Induce Act was scheduled to be introduced Thursday by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, but the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed at the end of the day that the bill had been delayed. A representative of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a probable co-sponsor of the legislation, said the Induce Act would be introduced "sometime next week," a delay that one technology lobbyist attributed to opposition to the measure.

Didn't Orrin Hatch want to remotely blow up the computers of people who download music? I guess he settled on charging them with felonies.

The 9/11 Connection
Caught in another lie? What are the chances?

This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda.
—President Bush, in an exchange with reporters, June 17, 2004

[A]cting pursuant to the Constitution and [the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002] is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. [Italics Chatterbox's.*]
—President Bush, in a letter to Congress outlining the legal justification for commencing war against Iraq, March 18, 2003

Friday, June 18, 2004

Why can't our politicians be this funny?
Oh dear:

TIJUANA, Mexico - An eccentric multimillionaire running for mayor of this rough border city has apologized for saying his favorite animal is "woman."

Jorge Hank Rhon, who has a private zoo with more than 20,000 animals, made the comment during an interview last week with the Mexico City newspaper El Universal.

Asked what his favorite animal was, he reportedly replied: "Woman." He later said, "I'm joking. Woman is creation's greatest creature," according to an article published in the newspaper last week.

The comment sparked a wave of criticism from members of Mexico's three major political parties, including his own, the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

"Women should be respected by everyone, and especially by those in politics," PRI Congresswoman Maria Scherman said Wednesday on the floor of Congress, where she and other lawmakers criticized Hank Rhon's comments.

He apologized Wednesday during a debate with the National Action Party candidate in the Tijuana mayoral race.

What will those eccentric millionaires do next?

Gephardt for VP?
It looks like a pretty convincing case is arising saying that Gephardt will be the VP choice. Well, this may disappoint people who wanted to, er, win the election, as Gephardt and Kerry could quite possibly put voters to sleep for the entire month of November. Instead of a "person of heft" Kerry should be looking for someone who can connect with the people and win important states. A personable man from the Carolinas would seem like the obvious choice...but apparently not.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Teleportation advances made
As someone who knows next to nothing about science, all I have to say is "wow."

Bush dispute 9/11 commission conclusion
How uninteresting:

There was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida," Bush insisted following a meeting with his Cabinet at the White House.

Will you get back to us with the evidence? Good, good.

Saddam and al Qaeda
This is the best link they can provide? That Saddam "let al Qaeda operate"? Well what, exactly, is his motivation to stop an organization that opposes the country that goes to war with him every ten years? He isn't exactly the kind of guy who we would expect to feel morally obligated to fight al Qaeda now, is he?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

KtL update
Sorry for the recent lack of posting, but Friday will likely be the last day before I go on a week long hiatus. You see, tomorrow is the most important day of my life thus far, as I am graduation high school. Yes, I'm in high school, and I'm going to school in D.C. next year to study political science and economics. I realize I've never given a run down of myself, so there it is. Feel free to E-mail me congratulating me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Gas prices to keep falling
Good news. I'm assuming that today's attacks in Iraq on pipelines won't have any serious effect - at the least nothing but a temporary effect. To compensate I may have to release my own personal reserves - the gas from my lawn mower.

Fox News lauds Moore film
This is astounding:

As much as some might try to marginalize this film as a screed against President George Bush, "F9/11" — as we saw last night — is a tribute to patriotism, to the American sense of duty, and at the same time a indictment of stupidity and avarice. Readers of this column may recall that I had a lot of problems with Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," particularly where I thought he took gratuitous shots at helpless targets like Charlton Heston. "Columbine" too easily succeeded by shooting fish in a barrel, as they used to say. Not so with "F9/11," which instead relies on lots of film footage and actual interviews to make its case against the war in Iraq and tell the story of the intertwining histories of the Bush and Bin Laden families.

And Satan just's cold as hell down there.

Iraqi gov't negotiating Saddam handover
They have government members being knocked off daily and they want us to believe that they could successfully hold someone like Saddam Hussein? Why don't we just put them in charge of the hunt for bin Laden?

Monday, June 14, 2004

Suit against Clinton dropped
What's with the right and ridiculous lawsuits?

Bush rejects stem cell research
Brilliant move, Dubya. Instead of taking the chance to make an about-face and appease the public without political consequences, George has decided to hold firm on stem cell research. This is our chance to take the issue and ride it for all it's worth. Enough politicking could get Nancy Reagan and John Kerry at the same podium - and that would be wonderous.

SCOTUS upholds Pledge
They're upholding "One nation, under God" on a technicality. Basically, they weren't willing to confront it, and they punted.

NASA told to become increasingly privatized

WASHINGTON - A White House commission will recommend that NASA overhaul its Apollo-era relationships with private industries, giving corporations a broader role in upcoming space launches to ensure President Bush's goal of ultimately flying to Mars, according to documents obtained Monday.

The role of NASA "must be limited to only those areas where there is irrefutable demonstration that only government can perform the proposed activity," according to a summary obtained by The Associated Press that was prepared by the president's commission. Its final report is expected later this week.

The commission determined that NASA should recognize "a far larger presence of private industry in space operations with the specific goal of allowing private industry to assume the primary role of providing services to NASA, and most immediately in accessing low-earth orbit."

Experts said that conclusion clearly signals intentions to hand over nearly all space launches — except manned missions — to private corporations.

While some libs may be inclined to jump all over this (it was my first reaction), there are some upsides we need to look at. NASA needs a shake-up - I've said this before. This could help re-energize it. Corporations can bring a new vision to space, and take risks that NASA hasn't been willing to take. If anything, I don't think this goes far enough. NASA could use the assistance in designing and building a new shuttle - if coporations are only involved in unmanned missions this won't be possible. Obviously there should be restraints - I don't think saying that NASA should be present where absolutely necessary is smart - that's too broad of a statement. I want our horizons in space broadened, but I don't want Lockheed pointing lasers at me from Mars.

Are Republicans fat?
Fat cats, yes, but do Republicans tend to be heavier than Dems? According to this chart, and these statistics, it may appear to be true. Does this mean anything? Well....they can't call us lazy anymore.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Red Cross gives ultimatum on Saddam
Release him or charge him. Will we be forced to charge him with war crimes during the war we backed him in? Ouch.

Why is this news?
Bush I's skydive delayed? That makes headlines? And how are his bowel movements?

More chaos in Iraq
With the situation deteriorating just before the handoff, one has to wonder about a few things. If the administration gets its wish, June 30th will mark the day when the insurgents are defeated, as they were unable to stop a new, pro-U.S. government from getting put into place. More reasonably, however, we'll have to keep the same exact military presence to protect the government we stacked into Baghdad, or watch it get ripped to shreds by a rabid anti-U.S. Iraqi population. So does the exchange of power mean anything? No, other than us having someone new to blame things on.

The nail in the Abu Ghraib coffin
This one's gonna hurt.

With these levels of denial and coverup, someone besides Tenet is going to have to be the lamb.

al Qaeda has video of latest execution
Savage assholes. This news makes me furious that we didn't spend more time and money in countries besides Iraq where we could have focused more on these jackasses.

Slipping through the net
There are too many stories like this one. We have too many soldiers in Iraq and not enough field agents out hunting these guys down.

Ralph Nader: big time fraud
It appears that Ralph may be walking into a bit of trouble:

Since October, Ralph Nader has run his campaign for president out of the same downtown Washington offices that through April housed a public charity he created -- an overlap that campaign finance specialists said could run afoul of federal laws.

Tax law explicitly forbids public charities from aiding political campaigns. Violations can result in a charity losing its tax-exempt status. In addition, campaign law requires candidates to account for all contributions -- including shared office space and resources, down to the use of copying machines, receptionists and telephones.

Records show many links between Nader's campaign and the charity Citizen Works. For example, the charity's listed president, Theresa Amato, is also Nader's campaign manager. The campaign said in an e-mail to The Washington Post that Amato resigned from the charity in 2003. But in the charity's most recent corporate filing with the District, in January, Amato listed herself as the charity's president and registered agent.

The office suite housing the campaign, the charity and other sub-tenants had a common receptionist for greeting visitors.

New excuses for Abu Ghraib
Why did they torture people? Because they were wasted.

Democratic unity
Edwards seems to be thinking VP.