Monday, June 30, 2003

Heaven Help Us All

According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush
said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I
struck them, and then he instructed me to
strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am
determined to solve the problem in the Middle
East. If you help me I will act, and if not,
the elections will come and I will have to
focus on them."

Apparently Dubya thinks God is instructing him to kill, but he's going to ignore any such instructions during the campaign unless they are directly election related.

If you've been directed to this link, please click here.

Is GOP Congress a Threat to Children?

According to The Herald Dubya once call Eminem "the most dangerous threat to American children since polio."

A recent Washington Post article states that :

Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) fielded a request from President Bush regarding yesterday's item about her performance in a rap video. "I saw the president this morning and the first thing he did was ask me for a copy of my CD," Bono told interviewer Tammy Haddad on Radio America's "Newsbeat." Haddad helped produce the video -- which features Bono and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) rapping along with an Eminem tune -- for retiring record industry lobbyist Hilary Rosen's goodbye party.

Does these mean the commander-in-chief thinks Republican congressmen (and congresswomen) are the worst thing for American children than, say, juvenile diabetes? Not necessarily. According to Urban Legends Reference Pages these citations only appear in British newspapers. And we all know British newspapers have long been almost as unreliable as American newspapers have become. Therefore, pending additional, more reliable information, this blog maintains the position that Bush still is clueless regarding his party’s threat to America’s children.

Can anyone confirm this quote?
Mental Wards at New Jersey Hospitals Are Made to Double as Foster Homes

At Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, N.J., roughly three dozen patients are in the children's psychiatric ward, and more than half of them are foster children stuck there simply because the state has nowhere else to put them.

“A kinder, gentler,” -- wait, they’re calling it “compassionate conservatism” this time around. Or is it “no child left behind?”

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Democracy Begins at Home

Before we try to create democratic governments abroad, perhaps we should first preserve it in Texas. Don’t see much Republican support for that, however. Tom Delay wants the state’s congressional delegation to reflect that Republicans hold all statewide positions. This assumes the people of Texas are not bright enough to pull more than one lever on a ballot.

With a planned district that looks like Elbridge Gerry’s salamander after having been sentenced to the rack, one goal is to deny the more Democratic Austin meaningful representation.

"I don't care if Austin is divided eight ways as long as Doggett is gone," says Alan Sager, chairman of the Travis County Republican Party.

For those Conservatives that decry the liberalism run amok in our nation’s college faculty, Mr. Sager has taught constitutional law at the University of Texas in Austin.

Rick Perry, the Aggie with the perfect hair that replaced Dubya, has called a special session to do his master Delay’s bidding. With the Texas Rangers (and perhaps the Department of Homeland Security and any remaining divisions of the U.S. Army) staging a likely lock-down at the Texas, if not the Austin, border, expect a different kind of fireworks this time. It may be up to the state Senate to save the day (Although a populist rally led by supporter Willie Nelson would work wonders.)

Josh Marshall has the best collection of coverage on the involvement of the Department of Homeland Security in the tracking of the runaway legislators.

Which Grownup can't find the WMDs?

From May of 2002:

Mr. Rumsfeld has tackled some of those problems since taking office last year. A Washington veteran who served as defense chief under Gerald Ford, his acerbic manner at first chafed at underlings when he reentered the job. But after 9/11, Mr. Rumsfeld's no-nonsense rhetorical style and utter disdain for political hokum came across as just what the country needed. (His candor so charmed the press that the liberal magazine Vanity Fair recently featured the conservative defense secretary on its cover. The photo, which also pictured Gulf War masterminds Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, imparted the distinct impression that, well, grownups were now in charge of matters of state.)


Sunday, Jun. 29, 2003
Meeting last month at a sweltering U.S. base outside Doha, Qatar, with his top Iraq commanders, President Bush skipped quickly past the niceties and went straight to his chief political obsession: Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Turning to his Baghdad proconsul, Paul Bremer, Bush asked, "Are you in charge of finding WMD?" Bremer said no, he was not. Bush then put the same question to his military commander, General Tommy Franks. But Franks said it wasn't his job either. A little exasperated, Bush asked, So who is in charge of finding WMD? After aides conferred for a moment, someone volunteered the name of Stephen Cambone, a little-known deputy to Donald Rumsfeld, back in Washington. Pause. "Who?" Bush asked.

I’m just glad the grownups are in charge now. Aren’t you?

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Think Tony might be missing Bill about now?

LONDON (Reuters) Most Britons no longer find Prime Minister Tony Blair trustworthy and nearly half think he should quit, according to a newspaper poll Sunday.

Ever watch the British Parliament on C-Span? Get this—in Great Britain the nation’s leader is actually asked difficult questions that he or she is expected to answer. This makes it more difficult for morons to get chosen. It also makes it harder to pull the wool over people’s eyes, at least indefinitely. The press there actually asks difficult questions, too, and not just of members of the loyal opposition on Meet Fleet Street. That’s right, the Prime Minister is actually expected to explain his actions. If this catches on in other English-speaking countries I know one simple fella from Midland, Texas (by way of Connecticut) who is in trouble, too.
Man killed for singing Sinatra off-key
Sydney Morning Herald June 25, 2003

A 25-year-old Filipino man has been stabbed dead for singing a Frank Sinatra classic out of tune during a birthday party.

Police officer Noel Albis said the victim, Casimiro Lagugad, was asked to sing Sinatra's popular song My Way during the party in the Manila suburban city of Caloocan on Sunday.

"Witnesses said the suspect, Julio Tugas, 48, one of the guests and a neighbour of the victim, got irked because Lagugad was singing out of tune," Officer Albis said.

"Tugas suddenly attacked the victim and stabbed him in the neck," he added.

Guests rushed Mr Lagugad to the hospital, but he died while being treated.

The Chairman of the Board may be gone, but his henchmen still won’t tolerate anyone besmirching his reputation.

Moveon to Something Meaningful

Well this was helpful. Now we know we’re probably looking at a Dean/Kucinich ticket, that Carole Mosely-Braun has a better shot than Lieberman and is nipping at the heels of Graham and Gephardt.

Anybody else think its strange that Kucinich got exactly 76,000 votes?


First Known Critique

Been blogging for almost six days now and have recently received my first critique. Allen Brill at The Right Christians renders the following verdict:

Politics from a progressive with a sharp wit and tongue. It's informative, fun to read and some stories you don't see on your regular run through lefty blogs.

Brill has an interestting background. He is a progressive minister with a BA from Harvard and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He states the following regarding the mission of his site: was founded to serve people of faith who object to the agenda of the Christian Right.

Get 'em, Allen!

Friday, June 27, 2003

Sounds like Patrick has been sneaking into Teddy’s liquor cabinet

Seems like the Kennedy clan has another poster boy for bad behavior. As reported in The Reliable Source:

As sometimes happens with Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), he let his mouth race ahead of his brain Wednesday night at a gathering of Young Democrats at the Washington nightspot Acropolis. After presidential candidate Howard Dean spoke, Kennedy delivered an impassioned peroration against President Bush's tax cut. We hear that Kennedy told the crowd: "I don't need Bush's tax cut. I have never worked a [bleeping] day in my life." With that he got the audience's attention -- the dropping-jaws kind. "He droned on and on, frequently mentioning how much better the candidates would sound the more we drank," a witness told us. "Finally, he had to be stopped by a DNC volunteer."

Hey, Patrick-- I’m angry too about how Dubya has set us on the long-term path to economic ruin. Unlike you, however, I’ve had to work most [bleeping] days of my life. That’s okay. It builds character. It’s not too late to give it shot. Even though you don’t have to.

Republican readers: Here's exhibit A for an estate tax on the obscenely rich.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

The RNC Makes it Simple

Those ever helpful Republicans at the RNC have taken it upon themselves to sort out the Democratic field for voters in way that keeps it simple:

Who is Howard Dean?
An Ultra-Liberal On Social Issues Who Is Out Of The Mainstream And Wrong For America.

Who is John Edwards?
An Unaccomplished Liberal In Moderate Clothing And A Friend To His Fellow Personal Injury Trial Lawyers.

Who Is Dick Gephardt?
An Ineffective Leader And Traditional Liberal Democrat Who Is The "Keeper Of The Liberal Flame For Organized Labor And Party Activists."

Who Is Bob Graham?
A Tax-And-Spend Liberal In Moderate's Clothing

Who Is John Kerry?
A Massachusetts Liberal Out Of Touch With America

Who is Dennis Kucinich?
A Flip-Flopping Liberal Extremist

Who Is Joe Lieberman?
"The Lieberman persona is so inventive, has been so creative, has been so gymnastic in its many shapes and forms, that only he can even begin to explain it. . . . Many politicians look a bit oily, a bit uncomfortable moving across and around the political spectrum, but our Joe looks as comfortable as if he's merely changing clothes."

Who is Carol Mosely Braun?
A Controversial Liberal Who Was Rejected By Her Own State

Who is Al Sharpton?
A Liberal Democrat Out Of Touch With America

There it is, all nice and neat. Not real creative, but you’ve got to admire their ability to stay on message. To recap: we have an ultra, an unaccomplished, a traditional, a tax-and-spend, a Massachusetts, a flip-flopping, and a controversial. They apparently ran out of modifiers before getting to Sharpton. In fact, they recycled Kerry’s “out of touch with America.” Lieberman was the only Dem not to be called a liberal. Come to think of it, if you read his description the short-hand version could be that he is creative, athletic and comfortable in his own skin. Who’d Joe pay off to get such a good review?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Get a Baby Bib Just Like Dubya Wears!

Slate captured a sneak peek at Dubya’s 2004 Re-, I mean Election, website. It has a nifty picture of Dubya with a ten gallon hat, cocking his head like James Dean in Giant and asking you to “Be a Bush Team Leader.” That means raise obscene amounts of money for the cause. The site is not without substance, however. Tough questions are posed, such as:

“Do you support a jobs and growth plan that gives taxpayers an average of $1,126 or more a year?”

I don’t know, Dubya. Jobs AND Growth? And free money to boot?! Hot Damn! Why are we even having an election?!

That’s right, folks. Bill Gates gets about six million bucks and 95% of the state of Kansas gets to divvy up a $1.50. Trust me, it averages out about right. Dubya wouldn’t mislead you with numbers, unless they came from a reliable Nigerian source or a 12 year old’s term paper.

The site also includes some really nice American landscapes that Dubya can’t possibly get around to polluting without four more years. He’s tried, but things take time.

The best part is that even though the site has now been pulled, the Cyber Dubya Five and Dime is fully operational. Click here to get a genuine "white terry cloth bib with navy binding and two snap closure at the back of the neck," just like the one Laura straps onto to the Commander-and-Chief right before dinner every night. (You have wondered about the paucity of state dinners, haven’t you? Press conferences are bountiful by comparison.) Only $9.95! (Taxes may vary, depending upon the depth of your particular state’s fiscal crisis.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

How to get a Meet the Press Mug(ging)

Teamwork is generally a good thing, although a supposed free press probably shouldn’t work too closely with any one candidate’s election efforts. Seems like Timmy Russert’s Deanfest may have a little more background to it.

From The Washington Post

The Bush administration yesterday released a highly selective analysis of the cost to families of rolling back scheduled tax cuts, an early sign of the White House's plan to brand Democrats as tax raisers throughout their race for the presidential nomination.

In addition to using the issue to inject himself into the Democratic campaign, President Bush plans to make the extension and preservation of tax cuts a centerpiece of his general election campaign, senior Republican officials said….

Howard Dean, a Democratic presidential candidate and former Vermont governor, was confronted with the Treasury Department figures on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday. He said they do not account for increases in property taxes because of cuts in federal services and shortfalls in federal aid to education….

The research was prepared at the request of "Meet the Press," NBC and Bush officials said. The analysis does not include single people or lower-income couples, two groups that benefit little from Bush's cuts. Four of the examples involve married couples with one or two children making $40,000 to $75,000 a year, and the other two concern spouses who are both age 65.

My email to Russert:

From Moynihan to a hatchet man for Karl Rove. How about a disclaimer from now on about who you actually work for?

MTP’s response:

Thank you for your E-Mail to MEET THE PRESS with Tim Russert.

We appreciate the time you took to send us your thoughts and comments. It is very important that we receive feedback from our viewers.

We read the e-mail. We discuss the e-mail. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to each writer individually. We hope you will continue to share your opinions with us.

Below please find answers to some "Frequently Asked Questions."…

QUESTION: How do I purchase a "Meet the Press" mug or other items?

ANSWER: You can order "Meet the Press" mugs, hats and t-shirts through the NBC Store online at:

Not exactly on point, but nice to know.

Monday, June 23, 2003

So Dean's a Damn Lefty

Okay, clearly I’m not a Dean fanatic. That said, I’m a little disgusted with the way the corporate media continues to serve as the mouthpiece for the Psycho Fanatical Right (PFR). Or in this case, maybe just for the DLC. The Washington Post's website's front page introduced Dean’s announcement thusly: “The left-leaning Vermont Democrat says his goal is to ‘empower people.’" “Left-leaning?” Do they mean to convey a balance problem or his political stands?

Just what makes Dean a “lefty”? And even if you do conclude he may “lean left,” the first question is: “Left of what?” The current fascist regime he seeks to replace? The next question is why is that the intro? How about “The former governor from Vermont who balanced 11 consecutive budgets announced his candidacy for the White House today.”

If the Post insists on introducing him with a label instead of facts, how about the label he chooses for himself on his own website?

A common-sense moderate who firmly believes that social justice can only be accomplished through strong financial management, Governor Dean has cut the income tax twice, removed the sales tax on most clothing, and reduced the state's long-term debt. Not only did the governor pay off an inherited $70 million deficit, he worked with lawmakers to build "rainy day" reserves to help the state through any future economic downturn.

Next headline, “Liberal Dean Lies about Political Leanings on Web Site”

But back to the original question, what makes Dean a damn lefty?

Is it this statement?

If you say "gun control" in Vermont, Tennessee or Colorado, people think it means taking away their hunting rifle. If you say "gun control" in New York City or Los Angeles, people are relieved at the prospect of having Uzis or illegal handguns taken off the streets. I think Vermont ought to be able to have a different set of laws than California.

Radical bastard. Maybe this is the reason:

I believe the death penalty should be available for extreme and heinous crimes, such as terrorism or the killing of police officers or young children. But it must be carried out with scrupulous fairness.

So he thinks the death penalty should only be applied fairly. Coddler. I bet he hangs out with Willie Horton, too. I’m glad those razor sharp journalists at the Post tipped us off early enough.


MYDD posts on some of the confusion out there regarding how to label Dean.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Howard Dean

Sorry Howard Dean lovers. It’s not that I don’t understand the attraction. I kinda do. But he has a long way to go to be viewed as presidential by a majority of voters. Granted, I’m often amazed that anyone with more than a 5th grade education views Dubya as presidential so I’m not necessarily an expert. I know he is going after that John McCain magic, and is closer to it than most. But while John McCain had more candor in 2000 than most candidates, he also had far more political savvy than Dean has displayed. McCain showed unusual restraint for a man with a supposedly legendary temper.

I get the feeling Dean just wants to get back in the ring and wrestle somebody, anybody. And to beat the VRWC a candidate has to have a lot of fight. But he or she also needs sufficient restraint. Dean routinely chooses his words poorly. If he were a football coach other coaches would love the bulletin board material he provides. Russert may have had him in his sights, but he just hit him with the ammo Bush & Co. already had in their quiver. Perhaps now he can get better prepared, but I doubt he’ll come far enough, fast enough. Dean’s relative honeymoon with the media is coming to an end. From here on out it just gets tougher.

Progressive TV

The Poorman offers suggestions for Gore’s supposed TV project. I agree, if done correctly, this will work. I also agree that except as occasional guests, no Bill Moyers, no Donahue, no Eleanor Clift.

Faux News is Entertainment for angry conservatives. A progressive channel needs to be entertainment for progressives. I also agree with The Poorman that Jon Stewart would be an excellent anchor—hip, funny, and sufficiently informed. He interviews serious people in a manner that allows them to make their points, but keeps it moving.

The Poorman says be negative. Yes, but creatively so. Pure unbridled anger won’t sell most progressives or independents. Satire, sarcasm and irony will. Humorous negativity, if you will.

I’ll add to his list of who to have on and who to avoid:

Chris Rock (ever hear his defense of Clinton?)
Janeane Garofalo (with the anger dialed back just a notch)
James Carville (The Ragin’ Cajun still provokes with wit and insight)
Mario Cuomo (risk of sanctimony, but communicates too well to leave out)
Jim Hightower (down home, but biting)
Molly Ivins (can ramble a bit, but very good when on)
Al Franken (But he needs to learn to focus his message on larger points. As much as I enjoyed his sparring with O’Reilly, he gets distracted too easily.)

Who not to have:

Paul Begala (Sorry, Paul. The Chris Kattan parody hits a little to close to home.)
Alan Colmes (Probably a nice guy, but what a patsy.)
Most politicians as show hosts

Update: Eric Alterman needs and deserves a show.