Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bad News Comes in Threes

A newly-released poll for National Public Radio gives Democratic congressional candidates an early lead in the 2006 congressional campaign.

If the 2006 elections for the United States Congress were being held today, for whom would you vote...

30% REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
06% LEAN REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
08% LEAN DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
33% DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE

A full 41% of respondents would vote for a Democrat over 36% who would vote for the Republican. Not very good news for the permanent majority of Republicans.

But the bad news for Republicans doesn't end there.

Now, generally speaking, would you that things in the COUNTRY are going in the right direction, or have they pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?

42% RIGHT DIRECTION
51% WRONG TRACK

Do you favor or oppose President Bush's proposed changes to Social Security?

13% STRONGLY FAVOR
18% SOMEWHAT FAVOR
15% SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
38% STRONGLY OPPOSE

A full 53% of Americans oppose changes to Social Security, while only 31% of the people favor it.

And I think Republicans in Congress are starting to take the hint. Today in the Washington Post, we find this.

President Bush is still in the opening phase of a campaign to sell the public and Congress on his ambitious plans for Social Security, but some Republicans on Capitol Hill have decided it is not too early to begin pondering an exit strategy.

With polls showing widespread skepticism of Bush's proposed individual investment accounts and Democratic lawmakers expressing nearly uniform opposition, some allies of the president are focused on possible split-the-difference deals.
And yesterday's Longview News-Journal may point to the reason why more than half of Americans oppose Republican manipulation of Social Security.
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey said Friday that Social Security should be phased out rather than saved.
There are too many Dick Armeys in the world who are out of touch with the majority of average Americans. And sensible people see through the facade of this "reform" and see it for what it really is.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Is the World Better Off?

No good news ever comes out of Iraq.

A major oil fire raged Saturday after insurgents blew up a pipeline in the north of the country. The family of an anchorwoman for a U.S.-funded state television station — a mother of four who was repeatedly shot in the head — found her body dumped on a street in the northern city of Mosul.

Insurgents, meanwhile, killed two civilians in a roadside bombing west of Baghdad, a suicide car bomber killed an Iraqi national guardsman and injured 7 people southwest of the capital and the U.S. military announced the death Friday an American soldier killed in a massive security sweep in the Sunni Triangle.

As part of the offensive, residents in Ramadi, the Sunni-dominated city 70 miles west of Baghdad, reported clashes between insurgents and American forces, but the military provided no details. U.S. troops have been conducting an offensive in the region for nearly a week.


-- Associated Press, February 26, 2005

Bad times abroad and at home.

Homelessness exploded as a politically potent issue during the Reagan era of the 1980s, and according to some estimates, the number of those without a permanent place to live has doubled in the last 20 years.

-- Associated Press, February 26, 2005

Lesbians, Oh My!

County school officials are backing a principal's decision to bar a picture of a lesbian student dressed in a tuxedo from the high school yearbook. Sam Ward, principal of Fleming Island High School, said he pulled the senior class picture because Kelli Davis was wearing boy's clothes.

-- Associated Press, February 25, 2005

As well he should've. It's very clear in Deuteronomy 22:5 that this lesbian is going to burn in Hell for all eternity. "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man," the Bible says. That bitch.

But perhaps the scariest part of this whole ordeal is this.

Others applauded Ward's decision, including Karen Gordon, who said, "When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds."
Screw people who are different. Don't they know by now that we only tolerate those who are exactly like us? God, when will people learn?

Bad Beef

The Bush administration cites public safety in trying to block admission of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, but has agreed to expand imports of Canadian beef and cattle despite cases of mad cow disease, Montana's Democratic governor complained Saturday.

"President Bush was recently here in Montana and we had just one question for him," Gov. Brian Schweitzer said in his party's weekly radio address. "Why allow bad beef to enter the U.S. from Canada and not allow safe medicine?"


-- Associated Press, February 26, 2005

Yeah! Huh? Huh, huh?!

Boo Hoo Texan

A Texas-based Web site whose conservative connections touched off a White House media controversy has shut down "to reevaluate operations," according to a message posted on the site. A spokeswoman for Talon News said the site closed because its founder, Bobby Eberle of Pearland, Texas, "can only take so much beating" over the page's political slant, the Houston Chronicle reported on Friday.

-- Reuters, February 25, 2005

Wuss. Rupert Murdoch and FOX News have been taking a beating for its political slant for years and they're still ticking. Texans. What wimps.

He's the Man!

[A proposed $140 billion privately financed fund to pay asbestos claims] is part of a broad Republican agenda to revamp the civil justice system. President Bush favors ending what he calls "frivolous asbestos claims" and says many who file suits were not actually sick from asbestos exposure.

-- Reuters, February 24, 2005

Hey! President Bush has now assumed the roles of judge and jury. Lucky us he's in charge.

What a Crock

Speaking before an adoring audience of Utah Republicans last night, Governor Mitt Romney drew a link between America's prestige around the world and the legalization of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts. "America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home," Romney said.

-- Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, February 26, 2005

When the fuck did Republicans start giving a rat's-ass about international public opinion?

Press Conference

Mr. Governor, your brother just won reelection. How'd he do it?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Friday Mystery Theater

At 1:30:13pm today, my blog was visited by someone using the osd.mil server. What picqued my interest initially was the fact that it is a .mil address, which means it's from the military. Cool, I thought. I have soldier friends, maybe they're checking up on my posts. But the OSD got my curious. What could that stand for. I tried to go to www.osd.mil, but there is no such thing. So it's not a website. It's just a server.

So I googled it and The Case of the .Mil Address got interestinger. OSD stands for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Uh-oh.

There is no referring URL, but whoever visited my site entered one post in particular and then left. That post can be found here. It's nothing bad, and it's nothing crazy, but why that post? And where'd they find out about it? I was actually kinda nice about the whole thing instead of utilizing my typical scathing wit.

So, if I mysteriously disappear in the next few days, you can pretty much be rest assured that it was the military who whisked me away to Guantanamo. Maybe I'll get a tan.

Making Some Whoopee

I've had a lot of time to think today, and I believe I've come up with a great way to make some extra dough. I'm going to take a cue from the GOP-friendly "reporter" Jeff Gannon and I'm going to create my very own escort service. Anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome. Men, women, it doesn't matter. I even came up with a nifty jingle for our radio commercials.

Everybody's doin' a brand-new dance, now
(Come on baby, do the Jeffrey Gannon)
I know you'll get to like it if you give it a chance now
(Come on baby, do the Jeffrey Gannon)
Do it nice and easy, now, don't lose control:
A little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul.
So come on, come on, do the Jeffrey Gannon with me.

Move around the floor in a locamotion.
(Come on baby, do the Jeffrey Gannon)
Do it holding hands if you get the notion.
(Come on baby, do the Jeffrey Gannon)
There's never been a dance that's so easy to do.
It even makes you happy when you're feeling blue,
So come on, come on, do the Jeffrey Gannon with me.


We'll be gazillionaires!

Moving On Up

Tom Ridge: he's the former governor of Pennsylvania and the former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. After all those prestigious jobs, what's he going to do now?! He's on the Board of Directors of Home Depot! Yay! Last year the Home Depot gave $716,270 in political donations, 94% going to the GOP. I didn't see that one coming!

AK-47s for All

A man with an AK-47 assault rifle opened fire in a historic town square Thursday, killing his ex-wife and a bystander in a rampage prompted by a child support dispute. The gunman was later killed. Four people were wounded, including the gunman's son and three law officers.

-- Guardian, February 25, 2005

Thank God he can't be charged with having an illegal assault rifle because the ban was lifted by the GOP earlier this year. It's a wonderful thing to own semi-automatic weaponry.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Do We Hate Gays?

The heretofore-unknown Jeff Gannon of the heretofore-unknown "Talon News" service was caught red-handed asking friendly questions at a White House press briefing. Now the media is hot on the trail of a gay escort service that Gannon may have run some years ago. Are we supposed to like gay people now, or hate them? Is there a website where I can go to and find out how the Democrats want me to feel about gay people on a moment-to-moment basis?

-- Ann Coulter, February 24, 2005

This funny little play on nothing-much is typical Ann. She takes an otherwise embarrassing moment for conservatives and places the blame squarely on Democrats. Her assertion is, of course, that Democrats like gays unless they're conservative and run a gay escort service. Well, yeah. And I suppose the flip-side of that coin is that Republicans hate gays unless they're conservative and run a gay escort service.

Her inability to understand when it's all right to disapprove of someone's behavior is puzzling since she has had no problem in the past deriding homosexuals and their immoral and ungodly behavior. This proves that, once again, conservative commentators don't do much for public discourse unless they're paid by the White House.

Town Hall No-Go

During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week?

The much-touted American-style "town hall" meeting the White House has been planning with "normal Germans" of everyday walks of life will be missing during his visit to the Rhine River hamlet of Mainz this afternoon. A few weeks ago, the Bush administration had declared that the chat -- which could have brought together tradesmen, butchers, bank employees, students and all other types to discuss trans-Atlantic relations -- would be the cornerstone of President George W. Bush's brief trip to Germany.


-- Der Spiegel, February 23, 2005

He doesn't hold such "town hall" meetings with the regular American public unless they sign a contract selling their souls to the GOP, why would the Germans believe he'd do it with them?

Worse than Chris Rock?

Showing the good-side of humanity when they're in power, Republican State Rep. Bill Cadman of Colorado warned a Democrat colleague Tuesday on the floor of the House, "If you try that again, I'll ram my fist up your ass." They're so morally upstanding.

Back to the Stone Age

A teenage girl and two young men in Iran have been sentenced to lashes for having sex. The court dismissed the girl's claim that she was raped. It said she had sex of her own free will, the official Iran Daily newspaper reported. The girl was sentenced to 100 lashes because her accusations of rape and kidnap could have landed her partners a death penalty, the Tehran judge said. Sex outside marriage is illegal in Iran and capital punishment can be imposed. The young men in the case were sentenced to 30 and 40 lashes each.

Explain This

Leaders of the global Anglican Communion declared Thursday that they want the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to withdraw from the communion's councils temporarily, and to explain their attitudes toward gays which have split the church.

The statement was issued by primates a day earlier than planned, following their meetings this week at a Roman Catholic retreat in Northern Ireland.

The U.S. church precipitated the most serious rift in the communion's history when it affirmed the election of V. Gene Robinson, who openly lives with a male partner, as bishop of New Hampshire. Both churches have been criticized by conservatives for sanctioning blessings of gay unions.


-- Associated Press, February 24, 2005

As a somewhat relapsed Episcopalian, my initial response is "Fuck you." But the more I think about it, and the more my conscience tells me I am right, I find myself with simply this to say:

Unless I am convinced by the testimony from scripture or by evident reason –- for I confide neither in the Pope nor in a Council alone, since it is certain they have often erred and contradicted themselves -– I am held fast by the scriptures adduced by me, and my conscience is held captive by God's Word, and I neither can nor will revoke anything, seeing it is not safe or right to act against conscience. God help me. Amen.

Old Fogies for Truth

Aww, here's something to look forward to. The very same people who brought us the Swift Boat Captains for Truth are now revving up for some anti-AARP barnstomping to get President Bush's Social Security bill passed. Ratchet-jobs are fun now, see? I can see the ads now.

Their latest ugly enterprise? Sliming the AARP, which had the nerve to come out against President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.

Now, they're turning their trash talk on the nation's largest and most effective senior citizens lobbying group, which they'll try to tar as an extreme left-wing cabal.

Any reason not to name names?

Ex-Marine Chris LaCivita, who wrote the incendiary Swift Boat commercials ripping Kerry's war record, is coordinating the anti-AARP media campaign.

Rick Reed, whose Virginia-based ad agency Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm handled production on the Swifties' print and broadcast ads, will be standing over the editing console again.

Creative Response Concepts of Arlington, Va., the Swifties' public relations firm, is handling PR this time, too.
When Republicans aren't paying journalists to spread their message, they cut people in half who stand in their way. And this is the party that represents half of America? That's laughable because so many are fooled.

It's a Democracy

The separatist Republic of Texas group, which largely dissolved after an abortive uprising in the Davis Mountains left several of its leaders dead or in prison in 1997, has reformed, and is again pushing its message that Texas should be a free and independent nation, 1200 WOAI news reported today.

From a newly established 'capitol' in the east Texas town of Overton, Daniel Miller, President of the Republic of Texas Interim Government, says a desire to be free, combined with ballooning concerns over rising taxes and property rights, will convince more Texans to support a 'referendum' on whether Texas should become an independent nation.

"We're seeking a referendum to allow the people of Texas to vote on independence," Miller said. "We're looking forward to the benefits of Texas independence, where Texas stands as a nation among other nations."


-- WOAI San Antonio, February 24, 2005

Please, oh please! I'd love to see them fight for their independence.

Drudge's Brat

Drudge's Chris Rock scandal turned out to be nothing, so he's brewing up another pseudo-scandal to get the right-wing into a lather. During President Bush's trip to Slovakia, he addressed citizens on the merits of freedom during an open air public address in Bratislava on Thursday. The USA Today has a picture of him with the letters B-R-A-T in the background. Drudge is now trying to show the liberal-leanings of the newspaper for subliminally calling the President a brat.

Whatever.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Women Power!

More than six in 10 voters say they believe the United States is ready for a female president, a poll found. The poll, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute and sponsored by Hearst Newspapers, also found that 81 percent of people surveyed would vote for a woman for president and 53 percent think New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton should try for the job.

-- Associated Press, February 22, 2005

To hell with Hillary, I'm saying Flamingo Jones!

Keeping It in the Family

President Bush's uncle made more than $450,000 last month by selling stock in a defense contractor whose profits are growing because of the Iraq war, records show.

William H.T. Bush made the money by exercising stock options in St. Louis-based Engineered Support Systems, Inc. Bush is a member of ESSI's board of directors and therefore had to report the sale to the Securities and Exchange Commission.


-- Associated Press, February 23, 2005

I Feel the Love

How much does the world love President Bush? Let us see...

Police turned the small Rhine River town of Mainz into a fortress in preparation for President Bush's visit Wednesday. In one of Germany's biggest postwar security operations, frogmen searched the Rhine for explosives, 1,300 manhole covers were welded shut and thousands of local residents were displaced.
-- Reuters, February 23, 2005
About 12,000 protesters, many carrying banners reading "Bush go home," "No. 1 Terrorist" and "Warmonger," marched through the German city of Mainz on Wednesday, but were mostly kept away from the visiting U.S. president.

The official rally, which was twice as big as expected, never got within earshot of President Bush, but a small group of protestors rushed toward his car as he left to visit a U.S. base in nearby Wiesbaden. Police wrestled several demonstrators to the ground and led them away in handcuffs, a Reuters witness said.
-- Reuters, February 23, 2005

Almost as much as half of America.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Moral Politics

Take the Moral Politics Test and let me know what your coordinates are. I'm interested in seeing where everyone stands.

Bad Shrek! Bad!

Shrek 2 is the latest animated film title to be "outed" by Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. On its website the Traditional Values Coalition is warning parents about the cross-dressing and transgender themes contained in the hit DreamWorks feature, now on DVD.

"Shrek 2 is billed as harmless entertainment but contains subtle sexual messages," says the coalition, which describes itself as a grassroots inter-denominational lobby with more than 43,000 member churches.


-- Canadian Press, February 21, 2005

The whole breakdown of society's morals can be traced back to the very first television show to show "mom" and "dad" in bed together: The Flintstones. Children have been fucked up ever since.

Evil Evil Evil

Homosexual marriages are part of "a new ideology of evil" that is insidiously threatening society, Pope John Paul says in a new book published Tuesday.

-- Reuters, February 22, 2005

It's like the Axis of Evil, only religified.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Talon News

Evil, Evil Smut

Did you know that pornography

contributes to anti-social behavior and crime, especially sex crimes; it contaminates public health, destroys marriages and families, defiles religious communities, hinders education and depletes educational resources, increases abortions and taxes, [and] weakens the economy.
Who knew? The Concerned Women for America knew!

Canseco's Bathroom Stall

Let the imagery wash over you like a bath of sunlight.

For those who have marveled at baseball's homoerotic rituals—the butt-slapping, the excessive man-hugs—let Jose Canseco, author of Juiced, add a more intimate encounter. Canseco claims that while he was playing for the Oakland A's in the late 1980s, he and teammate Mark McGwire would lock themselves in a bathroom stall and inject each other with steroids. Pause on that image for a moment. Canseco was 6 feet 4 inches and weighed in the neighborhood of 250 pounds; McGwire was 6 feet 5 inches and adding beef like an Arby's franchise—for the two of them to squeeze into a men's room stall must have presented something of a geometric challenge. Now imagine McGwire gently lowering his uniform pants while Canseco ("I'm a good injector") hovers over his derriere with a syringe, and add the fact that these men are enjoying this ritual immensely, even laughing about it, and there you have an enduring image of the Bash Brothers. Back, back, back, back, back—side!
[Emphasis the author's and not mine.]

-- Brian Curtis, Slate, February 18, 2005

Down with Vulgarity!

A US Christian group has criticised the choice of comedian Chris Rock as host of this year's Oscars ceremony because they say he is "lewd" and "vulgar". Concerned Women for America (CWA) said the choice proved Hollywood was "out of touch" with the rest of the country. CWA said: "Hollywood seems intent on spreading vulgarity far and wide."

-- BBCNews, February 20, 2005

Yeah, down with vulgarity.

Mrs. [Beverly] LaHaye [founder of CWA] warned her members that homosexuals "want their depraved 'values' to become our children's values. Homosexuals expect society to embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet, they are looking for new recruits!" (CWA direct mail, 5/92)
Nothing quite like unsubstantiated patter to perpetuate homophobia and bigotry. At least Chris Rock is funny.

Shove Down My Throat

According to World Daily Net, the off-the-wall crazies website for news and entertainment, students at a California high school conducted mock same-sex "wedding" ceremonies at lunchtime on campus, prompting protests from angry parents. Six female couples and three male couples took part in the ceremonies at the school's outdoor central gathering area. About 40 parents, community members and students showed up in chilly, rainy weather to protest the event, the Los Angeles Times reported.

One protester, Therese Shore, said her son didn't deserve to see such actions. "I don't want them shoving homosexuality down my child's throat."

That has to be about the scariest, silliest mental image I've had in a long time.

World Daily Net is also home of other news articles including a report that Condolleezza Rice is set to take over Vice-President Dick Cheney's position next year, and a story about Saddam Hussein making a deal with the Devil. Right-wing news agencies are funny.

Sit-Down Talks

Time Magazine reported on Sunday that the United States is in super double-secret talks with Sunni insurgents in Iraq in order to end the fighting there. According to Pentagon and other sources, the magazine cited a secret meeting between two members of the U.S. military and an Iraqi negotiator, a middle-aged former member of Saddam Hussein's regime and the senior representative of what he called the nationalist insurgency.

If it's a success, it will truly be a wonderful success. The sooner the insurgency ends -- if ever -- the better for all parties involved and the world.

But, I'm a little worried. What could Mr. Alday think about this little scene of appeasapalooza? Back on January 6, 2005, Tom Alday of Aldaynet quoted this passage from the San Fransisco Gate

"No insurgency is defeated by conventional military power alone," he said. "Look at the IRA," the Irish Republican Army, which fought a decadeslong guerrilla war against the British in Northern Ireland before a Catholic- Protestant power-sharing government was put in place. "It was defeated by a combination of time and political negotiation."
He mocked it thoroughly. But now his illustrious heroes in the Bush administration are partaking in the very thing John Kerry suggested -- talking. If you see him today, give him a hug. I'm sure he'll be needing it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Playing the Field

Okay, so we have President Bush saying that he's not ruling out raising taxes on people who earn more than $90,000 as a way to help fix Social Security's finances. This will go over well with moderates who will see this as the President being in a negotiating mood and allowing more than just his point of view from being discussed. He's not saying that's the solution he'll use, he's just being open and looking at other possibilities. Great. Wonderful.

But the Vice President, Speaker of the House and House Majority Leader have all come out against this, and said so in the last few days.

Bush says one thing to show his compromising abilities, and three of the top Republican players say another to calm the base. It's not a case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing. The orchestrated perfection of this is apparent.

Show Down

Howard Dean, the newly minted leader of the Democratic Party, and former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle made clear their opposing views on the war in Iraq during a debate marred by a protester who tossed a shoe at Perle.

Perle had just started his comments Thursday when a protester threw a shoe at him before being dragged away, screaming, "Liar! Liar!"


-- Associated Press, February 18, 2005

Thank you random protester for the throw-back to Austin Powers. Honestly, who throws a shoe?

But perhaps the most interesting portion of the night came from a comment by Richard Perle. And he didn't even mean it to mean what I'm going to skew it to mean, but I believe that it fits very well with his rationale.

He said, "Sometimes the things we have to do are objectionable to others."

Allowing blacks into all-white schools, allowing women into all-male schools, blacks into white-only establishments, workers to form unions, these all have had their objections by Americans but they were the things "we have to do."

Allowing homosexuals the right to marry and enjoy the same rights -- not special rights -- as their heterosexual counterparts is something "we have to do," even if they are "objectionable to others."

Support the Troops

Hundreds of Army Reserve and National Guard troops returning home after being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone months without pay or medical benefits they were entitled to receive, military officials and government auditors said Thursday.

-- John Hendren, LA Times, February 18, 2005

Why do they hate the troops so much?

And by hate, I'm only poking fun at the popular notion among right-wing pundits that liberals hate the military, and it is in fact the right, the Republicans, who are not taking proper care of returning soldiers. By hate, I mean ignore, scuttle-off, pass-by. If we send our troops into harm's way, let's take care of them, aight? The Pentagon wants half of a billion dollars budget this year alone. I think they can pass some off to the soldiers.

Negroponte Lives

Yesterday on ABC World News, a reporter gave a quick rundown of the career of John Negroponte, who was tapped by President Bush yesterday to head National Intelligence. Briefly, and I mean ever-so-briefly, they touched upon the fact that Negroponte was the ambassador to Hondorus, among other countries in his time.

What they didn't touch upon, and I'm sure they didn't realize because the mainstream media is a liberal powerhouse, is the fact that Negroponte by all accounts knew about the abuses by the US-backed Hondorus army while in the country, and did nothing.

Time and again during his tour of duty in Honduras from 1981 to 1985, Negroponte was confronted with evidence that a Honduran army intelligence unit, trained by the CIA, was stalking, kidnapping, torturing and killing suspected subversives.

Rick Chidester, then a junior political officer in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, told The Sun that he compiled substantial evidence of abuses by the Honduran military in 1982, but was ordered to delete most of it from the annual human rights report prepared for the State Department to deliver to Congress.

Those reports consistently misled Congress and the public.

"There are no political prisoners in Honduras," the State Department asserted falsely in its 1983 human rights report.
This is the guy we trust to head what could be the most important job in the United States?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Rummy Off the Rocker

Two dozen members of the House Armed Services Committee had not yet had their turn to question Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at yesterday's hearings when he decided he had had enough.

At 12:54, he announced that at 1 p.m. he would be taking a break and then going to another hearing in the Senate. "We're going to have to get out and get lunch and get over there," he said. When the questioning continued for four more minutes, Rumsfeld picked up his briefcase and began to pack up his papers.


-- Dana Milbank, Washington Post, February 17, 2005

Bastard. The worst possible scenario for the American people is a defense secretary who answers questions succinctly and when asked. He didn't just rebuff Democrats, the committee chairman, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), had to apologize to his colleagues for Rumsfeld's "unusual" behavior.

Asked about the number of insurgents in Iraq, Rumsfeld replied: "I am not going to give you a number." Did he care to voice an opinion on efforts by U.S. pilots to seek damages from their imprisonment in Iraq? "I don't." Could he comment on what basing agreements he might seek in Iraq? "I can't." How about the widely publicized cuts to programs for veterans? "I'm not familiar with the cuts you're referring to."

This is a man in touch with the American people, quite like his colleagues in the White House.

Lying Liar!

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge met privately with Republican pollsters twice in a 10-day span last spring as he embarked on more than a dozen trips to presidential battleground states.

Ridge's get-togethers with Republican strategists Frank Luntz and Bill McInturff during a period the secretary was saying his agency was playing no role in Bush's re-election campaign were revealed in daily appointment calendars obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security," Ridge told reporters during the election season.


-- Associated Press, February 17, 2005

Obviously, the Department of Homeland Security does do politics, and it does it on a number of fronts. How is there a human being left on the planet who believes a single word that comes out of the mouths of conservatives? Lie, lie, lie. Or spread fear and hatred. These are the three things Republicans love most.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Doggie Style

[President Bush is] like a pit bull and he's got a pair of trousers in his mouth and he's not going to let go.

-- Senator Rick Santorum, NYT, February 16, 2005

What is with Santorum and metaphors/similes concerning canines? First he compared homosexual sex to "man on dog" sex and now he's calling the President of the United States a pit bull with "a pair of trousers" in his mouth.

If I didn't know better -- and I don't -- I'd start to wonder if Ricky-baby doesn't have a little "man on dog" fantasy with a certain Commander-in-Chief.

Be Vigilant!

Speaking with one voice, President Bush's top intelligence and military officials said terrorists are regrouping for possible new strikes against the United States.

-- Associated Press, February 16, 2005

Oh no! Is there anything, absolutely anything, that we can do to protect ourselves from this imminent threat?

The best course, the Cabinet officials said, was for Congress to approve the president's military and anti-terror budget.
Oh. You kinda had to see that coming, didn't ya?

In Cahoots

Iran and Syria, who both are facing pressure from the United States, said Wednesday they will form a "united front" to confront possible threats against them, state-run television reported.

-- Associated Press, February 16, 2005

Just when the situation in the Middle East seems that it can't be fucked up any more...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Scratch My Back

Evangelist Pat Robertson indicated Tuesday that if Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist expects backing of religious conservatives for a possible 2008 presidential bid, he had better get President Bush's judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate, or at least voted on.

-- Associated Press, February 15, 2005

It's tit for tat. These people most definitely won the election for Bush in '04, and without them Republicans are up the creek without a paddle. Religious conservatives will never vote for a Democrat, they just won't vote at all. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is what happens when you lie with the dirty dogs of fundamental Christianity.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Sucking on Company Time

Say what?!

In two consecutive polls by the same polling company, President Bush suffered a 8-point plunge in his approval ratings! Last week, 57% of America approved of the job President Bush was doing. This week, he's at 49%.

Poor guy.

Such Money

On the Drudge Report, one of the lead stories is an article on the spending habits of Google employees to political organizations. According to the UPI, employees of U.S.-based search engine Google gave $207,650 to federal candidates for the 2004 elections -- virtually all of it to Democrats. I'm glad that this is getting such top billing because it allows me some breathing room to identify other big spenders to political parties.

Pfizer, for example, made $1,465,317 in contributions in 2004. Sixty-seven percent went to the GOP. GlaxoSmithKline donated $922,210 with 68% going to the GOP. Bristol-Myers Squibb gave $273,175, 72% going to the GOP.

Merrill Lynch donated $1,900,326, with 72% of the contributions going to the GOP. Wal-Mart gave $2,005,516, 80% going to the GOP. Home Depot gave $716,270, 94% going to the GOP. Target contributed $314,588 with 73% going to the GOP. Coca-Cola donated $510,164, 71% going to the GOP. Pepsco, Inc. gave $392,949 with 68% going to the GOP.

So tell me. What is the point of advertising the fact that Google donated $207,000? How is this news and how is this any worse than the other companies? Why single out Google? Damn liberal media outlets!

Poor Maya

Alan Keyes has a 19 year old lesbian daughter? And he called Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter a "selfish hedonist"? What an asshole. Seriously. I don't think you can get any worse than that.

Now Maya Keyes -- liberal, lesbian and a little lost -- finds herself out on her own. She says her parents -- conservative commentator and perennial candidate Alan Keyes and his wife, Jocelyn -- threw her out of their house, refused to pay her college tuition and stopped speaking to her.
I stand corrected. Now I hate Alan Keyes with a fire hotter than I did just twenty-four hours prior. You can rail against homosexuals and you can be a hypocrite, but you don't disown your children.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Bend Over Time

The president challenged Congress yesterday to eliminate or reduce spending for 154 federal programs. He's asking legislators to reduce funds totalling something like $4.3 billion from education, $1 billion from health and $1.5 billion from law enforcement.

Children, adults and the police force who protect them. Fucked, all. But we'll increase spending for abstinence-only education, which has been shown to either be ineffective or actually increase the rate of sex in teenagers. And we're throwing money at that big joke. Priorities.

Sweet Valentines

Chocolates and flowers still abound, but Valentine's Day is acquiring a new, politically tinged layer of symbolism: For many activists, it's now the date of choice to mobilize on matters of the heart -- advocating abstinence, decrying divorce, rallying nationwide to demand gay marriage.

Across the country, teens from hundreds of schools and youth groups will make chastity pledges Monday on the "Day of Purity" -- organized by the Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based conservative legal group
.

-- Associated Press, February 12, 2005

Do you remember when Valentine's Day was just another run of the mill, corporate sponsered event?

The Dems Have Spoken

And it's Howard Dean.

Sensical Talk

Finally, some sense comes from the White House... well, kinda.

"I don’t support an amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriage," Mrs. Cheney [Dick's wife] told National Public Radio’s Fresh Air Feb. 9. "I think it’s a matter that should be left to the states."

Friday, February 11, 2005

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Working in special education, especially early intervention, I am inundated with hundreds of children's books. Many I hate, being a literary snob and all. But there are a few that I absolutely love. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of those stories. Written by the brilliant Eric Carle, the book tells the tale of a, well, very hungry caterpillar who eats through leaves, salami and lollipops until he fills up and snoozes in a cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly.

I found an article in the Independent on the book and Mr. Carle this evening. I learned many interesting things. For instance in the 35 years since its publication, a copy of the book has been sold every 57 seconds -- on average. Not only that, but Mr. Carle grew up in Nazi Germany. And perhaps the most interesting fact of all, President Bush nominated The Very Hungry Caterpillar as his favorite story when he was a child -- even though George W was 24 when the book first came out.

That's right. The Very Hungry Caterpillar and My Pet Goat. Keeping the President amused for 35 years.

Gay Clothing

There are rumblings about a legislative bill in the near future that will force homosexuals to wear a certain outfit in public so that others can identify them as sexual deviants. My sources tell me that it looks like this:

Rice's Misspeaks

Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles, though some analysts speculated that terrorists might hijack airplanes to try to free U.S.-held terrorists.

-- Condolleezza Rice, Washington Post, March 22, 2004

I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.

-- Condolleezza Rice, CBS News, May 17, 2002

*************************

The Federal Aviation Administration received repeated warnings in the months prior to September 11, 2001, about al Qaeda and its desire to attack airlines, according to a previously undisclosed report by the commission that investigated the terror attacks. The report by the 9/11 commission detailed 52 such warnings given to FAA leaders from April to September 10, 2001, about the radical Islamic terrorist group and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

-- Associated Press, February 11, 2005

She's either lying, or she's negligent. Either way, she got a promotion and is now the top diplomat of the country. Yay Incompetence!

Ethics and Republicans

House Democratic leaders yesterday sought the removal of two recently appointed Republicans from the House ethics committee, questioning whether their contributions to Majority Leader Tom DeLay's legal defense fund would color their judgment on issues involving him.

The committee deferred action last year on investigating any role played by DeLay (R-Tex.) in a corporate campaign-donation controversy in Texas that led to indictments of three of his political associates
.

-- Associated Press, February 11, 2005

Okay, so several Republicans on the House ethics committee were thrown off the board because they refused to play possum when it came to admonishing DeLay for unethical practices. And now those positions are being filled by people who actively donated money to the DeLay defense fund. Where are the morals? And morally superior Americans call this their party of choice? Bloody hell.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Gay Animals

A German zoo has imported four female penguins from Sweden in an effort to tempt its gay penguins to go straight.

The four Swedish females were dispatched to the Bremerhaven Zoo in Bremen after it was found that three of the zoo's five penguin pairs were homosexual.


-- Ananova, February 09, 2005

Isn't there a law against homosexual penguins or something? There ought to be, anyway. Don't these penguins know about God's one-male-penguin / one-female-penguin plan for the world?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

In a Bit

I didn't forget about posting, I'm just sick. I woke up with a really bad chest cold Friday morning and I've been afflicted by it ever since. Sleep is my new best friend. Because I called off work tomorrow, it is what I will be doing a lot of.

I will post when I can sit up without throwing up, and all will be good again!

Screw the Poor

[Vice-President Dick] Cheney said the budget proposal President Bush was submitted Monday increases spending on the military and homeland security, but overall keeps spending below next year's expected 2.3 percent increase in inflation.

The budget seeks savings from about 150 programs, including Amtrak, environmental protection, American Indian schools, farmers' subsidies and Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor and disabled.


-- Associated Press, February 6, 2005

Fucking the people who put them in power since 2001.

Illegal Schlimegal

Immigration -- more specifically, granting legal status to the millions of illegal aliens living and working in this country. Everything I thought I knew about conservative Republicanism goes against this with every fiber of its being. Those isolationist, xenophobic few should be going gaga over this policy. And in fact many are. But Bush's reasoning is to match willing workers with willing employers. This is shit, if I ever heard it. It just is.

Thirty-four percent of Americans, according to a USA Today/CNN/Gallop poll, approve of the president's plan to allow these aliens to stay. And there a lot of them. Three million illegal immigrants entered this country last year, and an estimated 6 million work without paying taxes or even holding citizenship. And neither do the companies that hire these immigrants.

So what could the real reason be behind this policy? I can think of only one. With this policy, no matter how mad conservatives get, they'll come back. They always do. So he's not risking his long-term agenda or the agenda of the Party with this initiative. However, if he does indeed grant legal status to these some-6 million aliens, that's almost 6-million more votes come election time. If they're citizens, they're going to give back to the man and the party who gave it to them. And who's complaining when you got a few more million votes in California coming your way? Not to forget the Hispanics who see this as a policy in good-faith and adore you for it.

The Will of the People

Fifty-six percent of Americans think the stock market is too risky for Social Security funds, according to a Newsweek poll released on Saturday.

The poll signaled a tough sell for President Bush as he promotes his plans to change Social Security and allow workers to shift part of their payroll taxes into private stock and bond accounts
.

-- Reuters, February 5, 2005

I'm telling you -- dead in the water. At least, I hope so. For further reference why we do not need these private savings accounts as they are unneeded and the wrong choice in "reforming" the system, please go here. For further reference why these private savings accounts -- based on the Chile-model -- is going to be bad for this country, please go here.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Nuclear Option

Senate Republican leaders have decided to begin their use of the "nuclear option" -- forcing confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominations with a majority Senate vote -- on an African-American woman blocked by Democrats from a federal judgeship.

Associate Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court was one of 16 Bush nominees for U.S. appellate courts whose confirmation was prevented by Democratic filibusters in the last Congress
.

-- Robert Novak, February 5, 2005

So this Janice Rogers Brown is going to be shoved down America's throat in an attempt to circumvent her scary qualifications. According the AFL-CIO fact sheet on Ms. Brown, we find out that she said,

In one speech, Brown described the Supreme Court's decisions upholding New Deal legislation such as minimum wage laws as "the triumph of our own socialist revolution." She goes so far as to say that "[t]oday's senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much 'free' stuff as the political system will permit them to extract."
If she got her way, workers at McDonalds could be making $1.00 an hour and grandparents wouldn't even get Social Security. If the Democrats were smart, they'd run with this. They'd show America exactly the kind of judges Bush is trying to nominate AND it shows that Bush really doesn't care about reforming Social Security -- he wants to destroy it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

No Marriage for You!

Opponents [of a proposal to ban same-sex marriages in Idaho] say the state should not discriminate against an entire class of people based on their sexual preference, and they also argue that the legislation is unnecessary and mean-spirited because gay marriage is already prohibited by law.

-- Associated Press, February 2, 2005

Idaho gets it, and blocked the amendment for the second consecutive year. Why doesn't the rest of the country?

Oh, and same-sex marriage isn't evil. It's actually kinda cool.

Memo Lost

Iraqi insurgents staged a major ambush on a road near Baghdad Thursday, killing two policemen, wounding 14 and leaving at least 16 missing on the worst day of violence since last Sunday's election.

-- Reuters, February 3, 2005

Didn't the insurgents get the memo? The Iraqis have voted, the war is over. Isn't that how it was supposed to happen, anyway?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Freaky Frist

"I can play hardball as well as anybody," [Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist] said, unprompted, at the end of a recent interview. "That's what I did, cut people's hearts out."

-- Robin Toner, New York Times, February 2, 2005

Indeed.

Heil

Tell me that when you saw the members of Congress lift their inked fingers at the president that your mind didn't immediately go to images of the Third Reich. No insinuations on political agendas intended. Just a visual reference -- a freaky one at that.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sean Sucks

I caught a full ten minutes of the Sean Hannity radio-show this afternoon, just enough to hear a listener call him on his misleading comments on what Sen. Kennedy said about the American military and the situation in Iraq.

I could tell that the caller was no match to Hannity in the ways of interrupting and being petty, but he held his own. At no point did Hannity justify his comments calling Sen. Kennedy a traitor. He did, however, burp a few times in highly inappropriate places. I suppose that when you have nothing better to say, you go after someone's drinking problem as the solution to all your problems. But, near the end of the exchange, when the caller had Hannity in a corner, Sean stopped and said, "Why are you spinning for John Kerry?"

John Kerry! John Kerry! Why are you spinning for John Kerry? He cannot enforce his assertions with any hard evidence, and instead asks the caller why he's spinning for John Kerry? I must ask Sean the same thing. Why are you spinning for Bush? And with the advantage of a studio, a staff, and the Internet, one would think that he'd have proper evidence to back up any of the myriad of claims he makes each day.

But tonight he was shown to be a fraud. If you ever needed any evidence to back up that claim.

No Liberals in the UN!

In a fund-raising a letter for his senatorial library, [former Sen. Jesse] Helms invokes the specter of the former president leading the United Nations after Kofi Annan retires next year.

"I'm sure you might agree that putting a left-wing, undisciplined and ethically challenged former President of the United States into a position of such power would be a tragic mistake," wrote the 83-year-old Republican, who left office in 2003 after five terms.


-- Associated Press, February 1, 2005

His objection is as uniquely qualified as the Jesse Helms Center's "non-partisan" status.

It's Broken

Abstinence-only sex education programs, a major plank in President Bush's education plan, have had no impact on teenagers' behavior in his home state of Texas, according to a new study.

Despite taking courses emphasizing abstinence-only themes, teenagers in 29 high schools became increasingly sexually active, mirroring the overall state trends, according to the study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University.

"We didn't see any strong indications that these programs were having an impact in the direction desired," said Dr. Buzz Pruitt, who directed the study.


-- Reuters, January 31, 2005

Abstinence-only education provided absolutely no impact on the choices of teenagers. If something fails time after time after time, isn't it time to give up and try something else? But, alas, it will remain a major platform of Bush's education plan for the sheer reason of bowing to the people who got him elected: the Religious Right.

Abstinence-only education is failing America.