Saturday, November 20, 2004

Bush proposals undercut by evil Congress
The Republican tactic: have the President propose semi-liberal measures, but make sure Congress doesn't pass them. Case in point:

Among the victims were Bush priorities like education, which would grow by less than 2 percent to nearly $57 billion. The National Endowment for Democracy, which buttresses democratic institutions abroad, got $60 million of the $80 million he wanted, while his Futuregen program to promote clean-burning power plants got $18 million -- one-thirteenth of what the White House proposed.

Way to go, Congress! Now we know who to blame when children are being left behind.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Bush raises credit cap
You know, otherwise he'd end up being held responsible for the deficit, and we can't have that.

Check out The New Republic's comprehensive look at possible presidential candidates for 2008, all of which are outside the conventional wisdom of the day.

Meanwhile, today I am leaving for San Francisco until the 28th, so please excuse my lack of posting. The hotel cannot guarantee me internet access at this time for some reason, but if I happen to witness Mayor Gavin Newsom getting married to a man, I will be sure to find my way to the nearest internet café.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Trivial Pursuits
Olasky has some BS to feed you over at Town Hall:

November is National Adoption Month, but you'd never know it from reading the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune or USA Today. Total number of stories noting National Adoption Month in those five newspapers during the first 15 days of November: zero, according to Lexis-Nexis.

Well first, the Chicago Tribune isn't covered by Lexis-Nexis, and if you go into late October National Adoption Month pops up a few times in the Post, but not in major stories. But why is adoption so important? Martin explains:

That's too bad, because Americans should be aware of four troublesome trends in adoption that have emerged. First, while Americans are adopting increasing numbers of children from Russia, China and Guatemala, it is "exporting" black children for adoption in other countries." The Christian Science Monitor noted last month that "African-American babies have lagged behind in adoption rates because many Americans don't realize they're available."

Olasky sidesteps the obvious: people don't want black babies. It's unfortunate, but it's true. It also has an important role in one of his later points:

Fourth, the role of Christian and pro-life groups in adoption has received little coverage. Historically, American Christians have been highly involved in adoption, particularly of hard-to-place kids. I know, for example, Christian parents in Maryland who adopted seven children of different races with severe physical or mental difficulties, parents in California who adopted three Down syndrome babies and parents in North Carolina whose adopted children include one born so prematurely that he could fit in the palm of your hand.

I'll ignore the fact that Olasky apparently thinks Christian adopting parents should get significant media coverage. Olasky mentions pro-life groups. It's ironic to bring up abortion at all in the adoption debate when one is pro-life, as it seems apparently to most people that, upon banning abortion, the adoption market would flood. Now, moving back to the race issue. With so many poor American blacks unable to sustain a healthy environment for a child, African-American babies would surely get put up for adoption in significant numbers if abortion were outlawed. And the number of people who want to adopt black children would not change at all. Doesn't seem like an ideal situation at all, now, does it?

If you want to read Olasky's section on why gays shouldn't adopt, go ahead. The carelessness exhibited in the rest of his column speaks for itself.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Turkeys Receive Annual Pardon
Compared to his jokes at the press dinner earlier this year, it seems that Bush's joke-writing staff is getting better. In today's annual traditional photo op, Bush joked about how he chose which turkeys to pardon this year.

"It was a close race. You might say it was neck and neck," Bush said. He spoke in the Rose Garden during a rare joint appearance with Vice President Dick Cheney

"It came down to a few battleground states. It was a tough contest, and it turned out some 527 organizations got involved, including Barnyard Animals for Truth," Bush said.

"There was a scurrilous film that came out, 'Fahrenheit 375 Degrees At 10 Minutes Per Pound,'" he said.

Paige replacement
With an education secretary with the name Spellings, how can you go wrong? As Jon pointed out below, Bush knew what he was doing when he made that choice. Although it may be the first Cabinet choice made solely because it was clever.

New Education Secretary
Bush will soon name domestic policy adviser Margaret Spellings as the new Secretary of Education.

As Bush’s domestic policy adviser, Spellings has helped shape the news while staying out of it herself. Karl Rove, the president’s political strategist, was quoted this fall as saying Spellings is “the most influential woman in Washington that you’ve never heard of.”

“She understands what he thinks. They’re very, very close,” said Sandy Kress, a lawyer who worked at the White House for Spellings when he was Bush’s senior education adviser.

Bush later added, "Get it? Spellings... Education... Oh man, this job is awesome." As of press time, however, it is uncertain if Bush will appoint Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) as Secretary of Agriculture.

End of the World
And you thought "The Day After Tomorrow" was unrealistic!

A top New Zealand researcher is using a prestigious award ceremony in Christchurch to warn that humans face extinction by the end of the century.

"After 40 years, I'm part of a huge community of scientists who have become alarmed with our discovery, that we know from our knowledge of the ancient past, that if we continue our present growth path, we are facing extinction," Barrett said. "Not in millions of years, or even millennia, but by the end of this century." Barrett won the award – designed to mark lifetime achievement in the sciences – for his research into Antarctica, which began with helping prove New Zealand was once part of the Gondwanaland supercontinent."

Well, there's one way to end the Republican dominance...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Flip Flop
Not two weeks after the election, John McCain is back to his old self.

Wasting no time distancing himself from President Bush on an issue that has long divided them, Senator John McCain yesterday called the White House stance on climate change "terribly disappointing" and said inaction in the face of mounting scientific data was unjustified.

Of course, McCain would have make this comment a month ago, but he just forgot about it. Just a coincidence. Certainly nothing to do with a 2008 run for president.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Rice to replace Powell
God help us, she's gaining power.

Milli Vanilli Redux
So you saw the Ashlee Simpson SNL performance and now you wish you never bought her CD to begin with? Worry no more, my friend. This is what charitable organizations are for!

HOPE, or Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment, is giving people who bought Simpson's album the chance to turn it in for what it calls "one of a higher entertainment quality."

Fans who bring the disc to New York's Knitting Factory can trade it in for one by Elvis Costello, The Ramones, X, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, The Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell or Brian Wilson.

Yet Another
One more resignation today, and perhaps the best one of all...

Man On Fire
Today, a man set himself on fire outside the White House.

Senator Kerry, I realize that your recent election loss must have been a difficult one for you, but just accept that you lost and move on. What's setting yourself on fire going to prove, really?

Round Two
Check it!
Say goodbye to Rod Paige, Spencer Abraham, Ann Veneman, and -no surprise- Colin Powell.
To Mr. Rumsfeld, I say "Congratulations, you are the winner of a surprise hit reality television series called "I'm A Rich Guy Working For An Idiot President, Get Me Out Of Here!"

Welcome to a new era of Internet accountability. Good thing no one reads this blog. I can say things like "Condi Rice has twice been convicted on prostitution charges." Who is going to stop me? No one.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Santorum on the defense
Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's five children attend the Penn Hills Cyber Charter School in Penn Hills, PA. This costs the school district $38,000. The problem is, it seems that Santorum doesn't actually live there.
Santorum claims that he and his family reside in the house pictured alongside that article, which is a two-bedroom home. So the question is: seven people sleeping in two rooms?
Well, you know Rick Santorum. He likes to keep it close in the bedroom.

The Rumor Mill
"Hmm," thought the Palestinian extremist. "I really thought that when Arafat died, there would suddenly be several attacks on Israel. How can we get that to happen? Oh, I have an idea..."

Problem with this theory: Arafat was in Paris for over a week before he died. How could the Israelis have poisoned him there? Why would it be more likely for it to be them than a French person? And further, poison usually leads to a very quick death. When was the last time you heard of someone being poisoned and then lying in a hospital bed comatose for days on end?

Change course on gay marriage
Though it's been fairly well debunked that values were the driving force behind Bush's re-election, there are cries from all over the left saying the same thing: we need to take away the Republican advantage on moral issues. No, we don't. In case you weren't watching, that's exactly what the Democrats tried to do this year. John Kerry didn't support gay marriage - does that mean that the election didn't rely on that issue? Well, yes, in part. But it also means that the vast majority of the social right will generally align themselves with the GOP. And it means that we need to abandon the issue. I'm not referring to values in general - Democrats aren't "faking" moral values just for votes. I'm referring specifically to gay marriage. We shouldn't change the position because it's politically expedient - currently, it isn't. We should do it because it's morally correct - liberalism has a history of standing for social justice. One day the GOP will be apologizing. And that day won't be too long from now. Newer generations are increasingly tolerant of homosexuality (and in my opinion, more libertarian in general).

John Kerry was punished this election because many people thought he changed his positions when it was politically safe to do so. This wasn't any more true for him than it was for Bush. But the Democratic Party has turned their collective back on a community that it used to embrace, merely because fishing for votes has become worth the price of throwing one's convictions out the window.