Saturday, July 10, 2004

Dean takes out Nader
A great Salon article about the Dean/Nader debate.

Edwards brings enthusiasm
This article will inject a little confidence into our ticket for ya.

PBS: right wing shill?
That appears to be becoming the case:

Simmering criticism of the network boiled over Thursday as North American TV critics gathered for an annual press conference in Los Angeles to preview the fall television season.

What was supposed to be an hourlong press conference on PBS' fall lineup turned into a sharp and sometimes gloomy encounter as critics alternately peppered network President Pat Mitchell with questions about PBS' grim economic prospects and, with the hiring of conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson, its supposed cave-in to right-wing forces in Washington.

"I suppose that we're being accused on the one side of being too liberal and on the other of being too conservative probably means we're getting it mostly right," Mitchell said.

FAIR has more on their decline.

Churches mobilize against gay marriage

In an effort to energize conservative Christians, groups like the Focus on the Family, the Alliance for Marriage and the Family Research Council are proceeding full thrust with radio and television programs, rallies, preaching tips and bulletin inserts.

The FRC and the Southern Baptists' Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, which also favors the amendment, have declared Sunday (July 11) to be "Protect Marriage Sunday'and are encouraging pastors to preach against same-sex marriage.

They are also urging churches and Christian television and radio stations to simulcast "The Battle for Marriage: Imminent Vote,' live from Memphis, Tenn. Perkins estimated that 1,500 to 2,000 radio and television stations and 500 to 700 churches will broadcast the program.

Monday has been deemed "Call Your Senators Day' by the American Family Association, which has listed each senator's phone number on its Web site.

It must be easy to play politics in a country you don't pay taxes for...

Florida felon list disposed of]
While I wouldn't let them off the hook yet, the election people in Florida may just have caved to pressure from Dems.

Red meat to his base

President Bush said Friday that he has a "basically nonexistent" relationship with the NAACP's leadership and he refused for the consecutive fourth year to speak to the group's national convention.

Bush's assessment of his relationship with the nation's largest civil rights organization was a sharp reversal from his rhetoric during his last campaign. Then he spoke to the group's convention as part of an effort to show he was a different kind of Republican and said that "there is much we can do together to advance racial harmony and economic opportunity."

Bush will not be speaking before the 2004 convention, which will open Saturday in Philadelphia. Bush, during a day-long bus tour through Pennsylvania, said in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer and two other state newspapers that he "admired some" NAACP leaders and said he would seek members' support "in other ways."

Earlier this week, the White House said the invitation had been declined because of scheduling commitments, and officials said that was the reason cited in the letter to the group. But when asked about the matter by reporters on Air Force One on Friday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan made it clear that a lot more was involved. "The current leadership of the NAACP has certainly made some rather hostile political comments about the president over the past few years," he said.

So much for bridging the gap...

Friday, July 09, 2004

Gordon Smith cries over son

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For a few moments on Thursday, the only sounds in the U.S. Senate chamber were the sobs of a grieving father.

Oregon Republican Gordon Smith took the floor to introduce a youth suicide prevention bill named after his own dead son.

"He saw only despair ahead and felt only pain in his present. Pain and despair so potent that he sought suicide as a release. As a release," Smith said, recalling his son Garrett, who killed himself in his college apartment last September, one day before his 22nd birthday.

Smith recalled a "beautiful child, a handsome baby boy" that he and his wife Sharon adopted a few days after birth. He had vast intellectual gifts but struggled with learning disabilities, dyslexia, and bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, Smith said.

I know I'm a little late, but I had to comment. Gordon Smith is less despicable than most Republicans, and I support this bill. However, this always reminds me of one consistency with the GOP: they ignore tragedy until it hits them. Would stem-cell research have had Ronald Reagan's support before he was informed of his ailment? George Nethercutt - who is running for state senate in Washington - has ads about his diabetes activism (his daughter has diabetes). Gordon Smith voted for the Iraq war - he is not exactly the only grieving father. Under no circumstances would I downplay or marginalize his loss. But this hypocrisy is so typical of Republicans that I can't help but shake my head.


WASHINGTON - Military payroll records that could more fully document President Bush’s whereabouts during his service in the Texas Air National Guard were inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon.

In a letter responding to a freedom of information request by The Associated Press, the Defense Department said that microfilm containing the pertinent National Guard payroll records was damaged and could not be salvaged. The damaged material included payroll records for the first quarter of 1969 and the third quarter of 1972.

I cannot conjure up the words...

The hiatus is over
I'm back (unfortunately I was away when the New Republic article on bin Laden was released, but I did read much on it).

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Jeb bush stumped by student with math question

ORLANDO, Fla. - Gov. Jeb Bush had come to pitch the virtues of reading, but instead got stumped on a math question Tuesday.

During a speech to high school students who mentor younger children in reading, a teenager asked the governor a basic geometry question taken from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which Bush has championed.

The luncheon crowd at an Orlando hotel, gathered to honor 200 students who take part in the Teen Trendsetters Reading Mentor program, laughed and Marques posed the question: "What are the angles on a three-four-five-triangle?"

teely grin and then stalled a bit. "The angles would be ... If I was going to guess ... Three-four-five. Three-four-five. I don't know, 125, 90 and whatever remains on 180?"

The correct answer was 90 degrees, 53.1 degrees and 36.9 degrees, said Michelle Taylor, a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Florida, when told about the governor's pop quiz.

The governor gave a steely grin and then stalled a bit. "The angles would be ... If I was going to guess ... Three-four-five. Three-four-five. I don't know, 125, 90 and whatever remains on 180?"

The correct answer was 90 degrees, 53.1 degrees and 36.9 degrees, said Michelle Taylor, a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Florida, when told about the governor's pop quiz.

When I read the beginning of this article I thought "this will be good." Then when I read the question I thought "I don't know that" followed by "who the hell would know that?" This proves nothing, other than Jeb Bush thinks 90 plus 125 is below 180 somehow. Why'd I post this? Why not? I'm bored.

Bush holds onto WMD claims
Oh, George:

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a threat and sought to possess weapons of mass destruction, United States President George W Bush reaffirmed when asked why no such weapons had been discovered in Iraq.

Mr Bush spoke at the White House after British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a significant change of stance, said he now accepted that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) might never be found in Iraq.

"I know that Saddam Hussein was a threat. He was a threat to the neighbourhood, he was a threat to the people of Iraq, he harboured terrorists," Mr Bush told reporters during an appearance with Iceland Prime Minister David Oddsson.

"Saddam Hussein had the intent, he had the capability" to produce WMDs, Mr Bush asserted, adding "the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power".

I'd shake my head and laugh if it wasn't for my fear of BushCo planting WMD and busting them out mid-October.

iPods to be illegal?
Congress has a small problem with knowing how to please constiuents.

Didn't I call it? Ah yes, Kick the Leftist, the master of political prediction.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Bush spins the polls
The cronies are working hard:

Washington, DC, Jul. 5 (UPI) -- The Bush campaign's chief strategist warned supporters to expect the Democrats to get a bounce in the polls as the post-primary season winds down.

Gallup presidential election polls since 1976 show the out-of-power party's "vice presidential selection and nominating convention can have a dramatic (if often short-lived) effect on the head-to-head poll numbers," Bush chief strategist Matthew Dowd said in a memo released Monday.

An analysis of historical trends, Dowd said, predicts Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., the Democrat's likely presidential nominee, "should have a lead of more than 15 points coming out of his convention."

According to most recent public polls the presidential race remains a dead heat.

15 points? Not likely. If Kerry got that far ahead Bush would likely never recover. Rather, it seems like Dowd/Bush is trying to make it seem as if Kerry is not doing well when he doesn't exit July with a 15 point lead - which he certainly won't. However, they'll need better spin that than to get out of Iraq.

KtL makes a prediction
It's Edwards. Don't ask me how I know, because I'll just say "I'm guessing." But if Kerry's advisors know what's good for him, it's Edwards.

Sleepless nights ahead for farmers
An excellent example of abuse of the PATRIOT Act:

HAMPTON — A Hampton man was charged with terrorism Sunday after he reportedly fired a shotgun in the vicinity of people on his property.

Darrell Slagle was being held in the Hampton City Jail Sunday night in connection with an incident that occurred at 2109 Raven Avenue in Hampton at about 3:30 p.m., police said.

The Franklin County sheriff’s department received a call of a man with a gun. When they arrived, they determined that Slagle had apparently fired the shotgun in the air to scare two men who were on his property, a report from the sheriff’s department said.

Officers charged him with terrorism, which is a felony.

And to think, all those kids scared off by farmers' gunshots in 80s movies could have just gone running to Ashcroft.

Ah, the Saudis...
Who's your daddy, Dubya?

Six Britons convicted on terrorism charges in Saudi Arabia were released last year as part of a secret three-way deal in which the US set free a number of Saudi prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. The deal was brokered to obtain Saudi support for the invasion of Iraq.

Diplomatic and intelligence sources have confirmed to The Independent that the Britons, convicted of a fatal car-bombing, were released last August after the US returned five Saudi prisoners, at least two of whom were believed to have trained in al-Qa'ida camps.

At the time, the release of the Saudis was opposed by the Pentagon and the CIA. But the joint releases were subsequently presented as diplomatic triumphs by both the British and Saudi governments.

A senior British source said yesterday: "Of course there were government-to-government talks. We were all anxious to solve the problem. But one must bear in mind that it was the Americans who held the aces with the Saudi detainees, the British government did not have that kind of leverage. So the term 'negotiations' should really be applied to the American-Saudi dialogue. But it was a particularly difficult time with Iraq, and a solution was in everyone's interest."

We're releasing terrorists so Bush can wage wars that allegedly are part of the war on terror? What? Next time instead of bending over for the House of Saud, why don't we threaten to start using our own reserves instead of buying their oil?

F9/11 grosses $17 mln more
Good news for Michael Moore...but it probably doesn't mean much else.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Contradictions galore
On the same day Bush is talking about American values, Rumsfeld is shown to have given the thumbs up to the Abu Ghraib mess. Way for your administration to uphold those values, Dubya.

Bush has choice words for Saddam
And in return I will have some for him:

"Our immediate task in battle fronts like Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere is to capture or kill the terrorists ... so we do not have to face them here at home," Bush told a cheering crowd outside the West Virginia Capitol. An enthusiastic audience of 5,000 people waving American flags chanted, "Four more years."

Capturing the terrorists? Goddamn, how does he get away with stuff like this? I thought Osama had been deprioritized, but maybe I was just paying too little attention. Or too much.

From KtL
Just in case I head out for the night before posting again, may everyone have an excellent 4th. It's the best country in the world, bar none!

A "conservative Cannes"
A conservative film festival? Do they plan on tapping into the artsy, intellectual Republican crowd? ::snicker::

Censorship 9/11
Oh, the Midwest. What will they do next?

DECORAH, Iowa - The president of a company that owns movie theaters in Iowa and Nebraska is refusing to show director Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11."

R.L. Fridley, owner of Des Moines-based Fridley Theatres, says the controversial documentary incites terrorism.

Fridley said in an e-mail message to company managers that the company does not "play political propaganda films from either the right or the left."

"Our country is in a war against an enemy who would destroy our way of life, our culture and kill our people," Fridley wrote. "These barbarians have shown through (the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001) and the recent beheadings that they will stop at nothing. I believe this film emboldens them and divides our country even more."

Well you may believe that, sir, but that doesn't mean you can ban a movie for those political reasons. Unless, of course, you're just an asshole.

Right wing terror
An abortion clinic is possibly set on fire in Lake Worth. Pro-choice groups should gather funding for armed guards at clinics. The next arsonist or bomber would get a nice little surprise.

UN observing the vote?
Some lawmakers are pushing for UN observation of our elections, as to avoid a 2000-esque debacle. While I would like our process to be watched by an outside group, is the UN really a good choice? First of all, the Republicans would never, ever let this pass, and second, I'm not sure if even I trust the UN to be entirely impartial. And at the least, no matter who we want to win, can't we just have fair elections?

More on Florida purge lists
Heh. Looks like Jeb has his work cut out for him.