Thursday, March 31, 2005

Why Do They Hate?

The Rev. Gary Blaine says he respected his son's decision to join the Army National Guard, but he never expected to pay for his son's military equipment. Mr. Blaine is pastor of Toledo's First Unitarian Universalist Church, which is trying to raise money to provide his son with better body armor than that provided by the military before he is deployed to Afghanistan in June.

"It makes me angry that my son or any other person should be sent off to a war zone without the proper body armor," Mr. Blaine said. "It is indefensible."

Mr. Blaine said though transportation units like the one to which his son will be attached are frequently attacked, the Army won't provide Christopher with the body armor he needs to protect him from a bullet. "The Army will only give my son Level 3 body armor, which will only stop shrapnel but not a bullet," the pastor said.

He said his son's military supervisor advised members of the unit to go out and buy their own Level 4 body armor, which is what other military families and personnel have recommended.
Why does Donald Rumsfeld hate the troops so much?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Split Down the Middle

I've been tip-toeing lately around the thought of a split in the Republican Party. Hints here and there seem to paint a picture of a growing unrest and of a sentiment of annoyance and frustration between the far-right faction of the Republican Party and the more moderate, level-headed Republicans.

The most obvious rift occured the moment President Bush opened his trap about the Terri Schiavo case. Polls almost instantaneously measured the fallout from the president forgetting the tenets of the Republican Party and pandering to the far-right.

The Gallup poll found Bush losing support among men, self-described conservatives and churchgoers while the CBS poll found a drop among men and Republicans.
Bloggers are starting to take notice too. Sharp as a Marble writes,
I've been battling with something for a while now. I really, really, really want to remove the R from my voter's registration card. I'm not a Republican, at least not in the sense of how the GOP sees themselves. To me, the only difference between Democrats and Republicans these days are basically defense issues. Neither party stands for smaller government, neither respects your right of liberty.
And Ryan Sager of Tech Central Station ponders,
In coming years, political historians might look back and try to pinpoint the day or week or month that the Republican Party shed the last vestiges of its small-government philosophy. If and when they do, the week just past should make the short list. For it was in this last week that the Republican-controlled Congress made it clear that it sees no area of American life -- none too trivial and none too intimate -- that the federal government should not permeate with its power.
Is this all just over-reacting and coincidences, or is there something approaching far off on the horizon? Even the fine people at dummocrats.com have been "predicting the coming split in the Republican Party for nearly a year now." Has allowing the far-right to assume command of the GOP finally taking its toll on the nerves and patience of rational Republicans? We'll find out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Republican Factions

Two more congressmen from President Bush's Republican Party declared on Tuesday they would not vote for a new free trade agreement with five Central American countries and the Dominican Republic.
Ouch. Is it just an optical illusion, or is there some definite ripping at the seams going on in this party?

Unbelievable

Was this really necessary? I'll take a plunge and answer my own question: no. Not only was it not necessary, but it's the whackos who go and stand idly by in front of some building that lowers the respectability of a movement. They've got some self-questioning to do.

Jennifer Johnson, barefoot and in her pajamas, ran to her grandfather's bedside once a hospice worker said his death was moments away. She got there —- one minute too late. Johnson said the chaos outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo is dying kept her from saying goodbye.

When Johnson arrived, a police officer demanded identification; she had none. And after a hospice employee cleared her, another officer halted her for a search with a metal detector. The delays lasted three to four minutes —- the last of her grandfather's life.
They should be ashamed of themselves. Ashamed, I tell ya! And I think it's really time to go home now. What do they believe they're going to accomplish, really?

Don't get me wrong, protesting has its time and place, but this isn't it. It's like protesting outside of the Supreme Court. Do people think the justices going to reinterpret the law they've studied for decades just because a couple of yahoos show up with billboards and taped-over mouths? It's preposterous. And even more so when you deny a woman the right to see her grandfather before he died.

She Said So

First lady Laura Bush has had a busy day today! Not only has she announced that she's going to Afghanistan later in the week, but today she said that the government was right to have intervened in the case of Terri Schiavo.

"I just feel like the federal government has to be involved," Mrs. Bush said. "It is a life issue that really does require government to be involved."
Well. She just cleared that right up, didn't she? The federal government has to be involved because Laura Bush says so, bitch.

Poor Falwell

The Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, battling his second case of viral pneumonia in just five weeks, hospital and church officials said. A lesser person would take advantage of Falwell's media attention to mock him and his bigotted, homophobic ways. I could bring up the fact that he said this,

If we do not act now, homosexuals will 'own' America!...If you and I do not speak up now, this homosexual steamroller will leterally crush all decent men, women, and children who get in its way...and our nation will pay a terrible price!
or perhaps this little ditty,
I do not believe the homosexual community deserves minority status. One's misbehavior does not qualify him or her for minority status. Blacks, Hispanics, women, etc., are God-ordained minorities who do indeed deserve minority status.
or even this,
I know a few of you here today don't like Jews. And I know why. He can make more money accidentally than you can on purpose.
But I'm bigger than that. And I wouldn't stoop to that level of immaturity.

Instead, I'll just refer you to this website.

Good Theater

My best friend from college has written/directed a play, to which I will be leaving here presently in order to make the two hour trek and be there on time. I'm so proud of him, I just had to spread the love around!

Zachary

No to Gangs

First lady Laura Bush departed on Tuesday on a lightning quick visit to Afghanistan this week to greet U.S. troops and offer support for Afghan women. Her planned agenda was outlined today.

"Mrs. Bush has long been looking forward to visiting Afghanistan. This visit will be an opportunity to highlight the advances made for women in the country and to underscore our long-term commitment to the people of Afghanistan," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
One of our long-term commitments Mrs. Bush will be discussing, I'm guessing, is the issue of gangs. She is, if you remember, America's gang-czar. Remember, Just Say No.

Nuh Uh, She's Your Friend

What do prominent Republicans do when they tire of throwing mud across the political spectrum at Democrats? They drop truckloads of garbage on each other, of course. And in true bigger-is-better Texas style.

The campaigns of Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, widely expected to be opponents in next year's GOP gubernatorial race, are taking political shots at each other over apparently friendly relationships with liberal Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Last week, Perry's campaign circulated a video that showed the conservative senator speaking kindly of Clinton, and now a 1993 letter has emerged in which Perry called Clinton's health care reform efforts "commendable."
Oh for crying out loud. You know, talking about the actual issue of health care would be too difficult for these people, and would include too many big words like "benefits" and "co-pay." It's so much easier to mock each other.

Falling into Oblivion

In yet another slap in the face for the White House, at a time when the president's approval ratings are continuing to bottom out, 59 former American diplomats are urging the Senate to reject John R. Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"He is the wrong man for this position," they said in a letter to Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Indiana Republican has scheduled hearings on Bolton's nomination for April 7.
And I'd assume that they know what they're talking about -- being a motley mix of bipartisan diplomats and all.

Is it soon time to raise to the next terror warning color?

Good Ole David

Today in Washington they had the annual Easter Egg Hunt on the White House lawn. The kids found 800 eggs... and 200 John Kerry ballots from Ohio.

-- David Letterman

Monday, March 28, 2005

When the Right Attacks

Them here are fightin' words.

"If Gov. Bush wants to be the man that his brother is, he needs to step up to the plate like President Bush did when the United Nations told him not to go into Iraq," Randall Terry, a protest organizer, said of the governor. "Be a man."

Thank God for Preemptive War

from Reuters, 03|28|05

The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has unveiled a draft of its first constitution that aims to set up a two-party democracy after nearly a century of absolute monarchy, the information ministry said Monday.
The effects of the invasion of Iraq on democracy around the world is far-reaching.
In 2001, [King Jigme Singye Wangchuk] initiated the drafting of a new constitution.
Oh. Never mind then.

Don't Read! It's Evil!

from Associated Press 03|25|05:

If you're not among the millions who have already read "The Da Vinci Code," an Italian cardinal has a plea for you: Don't read it and don't buy it.
Like that's gonna happen. And like some Italian cardinal is going to convince me that I shouldn't read a book. In fact, if I hadn't read it already, statements like that would make me go to the bookstore and pick it up right now.

Genoa Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who previously was a high-ranking official of the Vatican's office on doctrinal orthodoxy, told Vatican Radio last Tuesday that the runaway success of the Dan Brown novel is proof of "anti-Catholic" prejudice. Or it's proof of literate, independent people making decisions for themselves as to what to read and what to pass over. It's a toss-up.

Asked about commentary that the book's success is "only further proof of the fact that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice," the cardinal exclaimed. "It's the truth." Actually, it's not true. There may unfortunately be an anti-Catholic sentiment around the world and I wouldn't know why --
It took the church more than 350 years to reverse its condemnation of Galileo. The Vatican only began an inquisition of the 16th-century Inquisition in 1998. It wasn't until the reign of Pope John Paul II that the Vatican apologized for the crimes of the Crusaders and offered contrition for the silence of Catholics in the Holocaust. The church has still not apologized for shameful dissembling by its hierarchy on the sex abuse scandal. And America's Catholic bishops only last week announced they were finally going to get serious about opposing the death penalty.
-- but there is another rampant and Catholic-endorsed prejudice feeding its way across the globe: homophobia. It's funny how he forgot about that. He assails a fictional book -- the author never claims different -- for its apparent blasphemy, but smooths over the fact that he's part of the very establishment that condemns homosexuals to second-rate citizenry and Hell?

But he didn't stop at literature.
"It is sad that sports fixtures keep being scheduled for the very days of Christian holidays" wrote Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the archbishop of Genoa, on today's issue of sports newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport" referring to the decision to play tonight, Easter's Eve, the World Cup qualifier Italy-Scotland. "Ignoring the importance of the religious event and ignoring Europe's Christian roots themselves, the football association decided to play Italy-Scotland on Easter's Eve."
Blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, and he's definitely too boring and stuck-up to be invited to my next party.

Ounce of Prevention

Can I get a "Well, duh!"?

It's always amazed me that the very same group of people who deride abortion-rights are the same detractors who throw a temper tantrum at any suggestion of passing out birth control as a means of diminishing the need and the frequency of abortion. Hillary Clinton gets it.

She announced her proposal for spending $100 million to curb unwanted pregnancies, especially among teenagers, through improved family planning programs.

"Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and nearly half of those are terminated," Clinton said. "Making contraception more accessible and affordable is critical to reducing the number of unintended pregnancies."

Clinton, went on to call her proposal a place "where people on both sides of the abortion debate can come together to reach common ground." It's perfect, it's simple, and what's $100 million when you're working to prevent abortion on demand?

Triple O

from The State, 03|28|05:

It’s a dead-end street less than a half-mile long that for days has been center stage in a historic right-to-life drama. Near one end of 102nd Avenue is Triple O Auto, where Scotty Jackson, a single father raising two sons, has grown used to being cussed at and ridiculed by people clutching Bibles and waving signs.

Triple O stands for On Our Own, and there are times when Jackson struggles to pay his bills and is forced to work on a Sunday — upsetting one protester, who heckled him about working on the day of rest.
Exactly who the hell does this protester think he/she is anyway? I mean, seriously. A single father is trying the best he can to raise two sons in an age when the dollar doesn't buy much (two dollars doesn't even buy you a gallon of gas, anymore) and sometimes we all have to do bend a few biblical rules to make ends meet. I don't think God would mind.

And exactly what rest is this protester getting if he's out heckling a hard-working man on a Sunday, anyway? Shouldn't he be home -- oh, I don't know, resting? People like this drive me up the wall. They don't see themselves in this mirror of mirrors, they only see the bad in others and they have no qualms letting you know they see it. It's a sad state of affairs.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

In case you didn't notice, there have been some monumental changes here at Zac Attack. I'm still playing around with the template and making it what I have in my mind, but my knowledge of CSS is limited to what I can decipher on some select websites. Not all changes will be permanent, and not all carry-overs are safe from change.

What has not changed, however, is my razor-sharp wit and my knack for being the kindest, cuddliest, most handsome liberal blogger you know!

Please, leave a comment telling me how you like the new look. Tell me what you like, what you don't like and what you just don't care about. I'll consider all, but will mostly just poo on most. Thanks for visiting your local Zac Attack.

Mgmt.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Jazz Hands

Somehow, just somehow, Flamingo Jones beat me to finding the full-size image of this pic and was thus able to be the first to post on it. This being said, I refuse to write any of the funny, witty, intelligent little ditties I had thought of during my search. Instead, I'll give credit where credit is due and ask humbly that you visit her excellent post and congratulate her on being a resourceful bitch. Thank you.

You = Hitler

If you're 80% of the American population, you're just like Hitler.

The roots of Hitler’s euthanasia program began in 1920 with the publishing of an essay by Dr. Alfred Hoche and law professor Karl Binding. The essay, "Releasing Persons from Lives Devoid of Value," recommended a new medical ethic to deal with mental patients and those whose lives were considered worthless.

According to Hoche and Binding, useless individuals were to be killed to save money and to release them from the perceived miseries of living a life devoid of value.

Hoche introduced the concept of "mental death" to describe the retarded or those who suffered from other forms of brain damage (much like Terri Schiavo's condition). He described these people as "human ballast" and said that killing them would be useful and allowable act under the law.
The Traditional Values Coalition: They're looking out for your best interest. Isn't this just another page in the book of dirty tricks written by Republicans? Conservatives can't wait to call liberals, or those who disagree with them even a little bit, Nazis, or compare them to Hitler. Sad. But then again, the GOP has a history of doing it too.

(hat tip, Think Progress)

FOX Blocker

Is it possible that an unneeded, vanity invention that costs customers a full $8.95 plus tax could possibly bring about thousands of emails, some angry, some complimentary, and a few death threats? Well, sure. If you're Sam Kimery and you invented a little piece of metal you hook up to your television to block out FOX News, you're in that situation.

I had heard of this little doohicky a few months ago and laughed it off as being as silly as a bellybutton lint remover. But obviously some people don't have the sense of humor we liberals enjoy. Does he force people to buy his blocker? No. And yet people are threatening him with death? I betcha a cool grand that they ain't Democrats.

"Apparently the making of terroristic threats against those who don't share your views is a high art form among a certain core audience," said Kimery, 45.

Formerly a registered Republican, even a precinct captain, Kimery became an independent in the 1990s when he said the state party stopped taking input from everyday members.
Wait! You mean people are discouraged over the new direction the Republican Party is going? You mean a majority of Americans don't approve of the relgious right and of gossip channels masquarading as mainstream news? Ya don't say.

Here It Comes

from Associated Press, 3|26|05 :

President Bush's job approval slipped into the mid 40s in national polls released this week as he lost some support among men and other groups of core supporters.

Public approval for Bush slipped from 52 percent in a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll over the weekend to 45 percent in that same poll released Thursday. A CBS News poll released earlier in the week found Bush's approval slipping six points to 43 percent.

The Gallup poll found Bush losing support among men, self-described conservatives and churchgoers while the CBS poll found a drop among men and Republicans.
What's your excuse this time, Tom? Republicans are masquerading as Democrats? Democrats are vile, immoral creatures? I can't wait!

It's All Fun and Games...

Not only has Pinellas County Circuit Judge George Greer, the one who denied so many legal maneuverings from Terri Schiavo's parents and others wishing to extend the blank life of a brain-dead woman, been kicked out of the Southern Baptist church he's belonged to for years, but he is also a "conservative Christian and longtime Republican."

And get this:

A family tragedy unfolding in a Texas hospital during the fall of 1988 was a private ordeal -- without judges, emergency sessions of Congress or the raging debate outside Terri Schiavo's Florida hospice. The patient then was a 65-year-old drilling contractor, badly injured in a freak accident at his home. Among the family standing vigil at Brooke Army Medical Center was a grieving junior congressman -- U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

More than 16 years ago, far from the political passions that have defined the Schiavo controversy, the DeLay family endured its own wrenching end-of-life crisis. The man in a coma, kept alive by intravenous lines and a ventilator, was DeLay's father, Charles Ray DeLay.

And he is among the strongest advocates of keeping the woman, who doctors say has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, connected to her feeding tube. DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the tube. In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die.


-- Walter F. Roche, Jr., LA Times, March 26, 2005

See: Rat.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Holy Saturday Thought

Does anyone else find it interesting that when the Indian Ocean tsunami rocked the world and brought vacationing leaders (ie, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder) of major countries back to their respective capitals for some serious discussion and planning, and the predominant voice in Britain speaking assurances and consolations to the masses was not President Bush but former President Clinton, and Bush stayed hidden in his Texas ranch for such a time that reporters and the country wondered if he even knew that such a tragedy that killed scores of thousands even happened, only to appear several days letter with a piddly $15 million in relief, that President Bush was more than anxious to leave his beloved ranch in order to be in Washington to sign a piece of legislation that could have easily been shipped to him via airplane and that did nothing more than piss off a majority of Americans and broke several key conservative mantras such as states' rights all with the intention of disallowing a severely brain-damaged woman the right to die with a shred of dignity?

Just wondering. And how's that for a run-on sentence? :)

Smells Like A Rat

That last post was fun. Let's do another like it!

What's a three-letter word meaning any of various long-tailed rodents resembling mice but larger?

Early this week, Tom DeLay assumed an uncharacteristically visible role in the Terri Schiavo case, pressing Congress to intervene, invoking God and attacking Ms. Schiavo's husband before television cameras and on the House floor. Now, with the prospect that she will be kept alive essentially dashed in the courts, he has slipped out of the spotlight.

-- Carl Hulse, New York Times, March 25, 2005

Here's a hint.



Mr. DeLay, the House majority leader, is not alone. Republican responses, including those of President Bush and Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, have become muted in the face of the legal setbacks and of polls that show overwhelming disapproval of Congressional intervention, as well as a perception among the public that lawmakers trying it were motivated by politics. A CBS News poll released Thursday found that 82 percent of respondents believed that the president and Congress should stay out of the case, while 13 percent thought they should intervene.

I Didn't Do It

What's a fourteen-letter word meaning a responsibility for some activity? If you know it, maybe you can let the Pentagon know.

Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army.

Investigators had recommended that all 17 soldiers be charged in the cases, according to the accounting by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. The charges included murder, conspiracy and negligent homicide. While none of the 17 will face any prosecution, one received a letter of reprimand and another was discharged after the investigations.


-- Douglas Jehl, New York Times, March 25, 2005

Here's a hint. It rhymes with waccountability.

Priests for Life

Meet the Priests for Life.

The Terri Schiavo case has demonstrated that we are being governed by un-elected judges, and that the legislative and executive branches of government lack the will to stand up to them when they authorize acts of violence. The matter, therefore, now rests with the people. When government fails to protect life, the people must do so directly. Today must mark the beginning of a new era of civil disobedience and conscientious objection, with simultaneous, determined efforts to curb the authority of the courts and restore government to the people through their elected representatives.

-- Press Release, U.S. Newswire, March 25, 2005

Okay, so they're weird and reminiscent of an askew idealogy of the civil rights movement with their civil disobedience. But are they well-connected?

During his campaign for the Presidency, Bush met with various prominent Catholics such as Deal Hudson and Father Frank Pavone, head of "Priests for Life," which claims a membership of 13% of the U.S. Catholic priests (6,000 priests). The meeting with Pavone was especially significant, as Pavone represents the far right in anti-abortion action. He endorses clinic blockades and has associated with Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry, and Joseph Scheidler, convicted of violating federal racketeering laws. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s son Paul is a Roman Catholic priest and a member of Pavone’s Priests for Life.

-- John M. Swomley, The Threat of Theocracy?

Well, that answers that question. A theocracy in America? It seems to silly and conspiracy-theoryish to think so, but we're moving too close to the religious right end of the spectrum for the comfort of anyone. And several right-wing bloggers, one in particular, should take issue with this as well. There's no room in our government for the behavior and malfeasance seen in that type of rule.

But it's interesting to note that those who don't see the way a minority of Americans
are shifting this country into one run more and more by antiquated biblical rules are the very same who don't see that Iraq isn't as irrelgious as they claim.

"There were dozens of them, armed with guns, and they poured into the park," Ali al-Azawi, 21, the engineering student who had organised the gathering in Basra, said.

"They started shouting at us that we were immoral, that we were meeting boys and girls together and playing music and that this was against Islam. They began shooting in the air and people screamed. Then, with one order, they began beating us with their sticks and rifle butts." Two students were said to have been killed.


-- The Times (UK), March 23, 2005

Good ole secular Iraq. Just last week.

One brought a video camera to record the sinful spectacle of the picnic, footage of which was later released to the public as a warning to others.

It showed images of one girl struggling as a gunman ripped her blouse off, leaving her half-naked. “We will send these pictures to your parents so they can see how you were dancing naked with men,” a gunman told her. Two students who went to her aid were shot — one in the leg, the other twice in the stomach. The latter was said to have died of his injuries. Fellow students say that the girl later committed suicide. Another girl who was severely beaten around the head lost her sight.

Oh Happy Days!

So long sad times
Go long bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times
Cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past

Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let's sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again!

Jennifer Aniston filed for divorce from Brad Pitt on Friday, court papers showed. The petition filed in Superior Court seeks dissolution of the actors' marriage based on irreconcilable differences.

Happy days are here again!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Poor Poor Presidency

President Bush's approval rating has fallen to 45%, the lowest point of his presidency, according to a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll.

Oh Yes

Dear Americans: I kid you not.

(via Bad Christian)

Rewards!

But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported, according to two officials with detailed knowledge of the transaction. North Korea, according to the intelligence, had supplied uranium hexafluoride -- which can be enriched to weapons-grade uranium -- to Pakistan. It was Pakistan, a key U.S. ally with its own nuclear arsenal, that sold the material to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence, the officials said, that North Korea knew of the second transaction.

-- Dafna Linzer, Washington Post, March 20, 2005

President Bush has agreed to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan in a major policy shift rewarding a key ally in the war on terrorism, administration officials said on Friday.

-- Reuters, March 25, 2005

Almost makes you all warm and bubbly inside, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Worser and Worser

CBS reported that 82 percent of those surveyed want President Bush and Congress to stay out of the situation and that 74 percent said Congress was motivated by political considerations, not concern for Schiavo. At the same time, congressional job approval has dropped to its lowest level since 1997, according to the poll.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Slap Slap Slap

Bitch Slap of the Week

"I've been called worse things than a liberal," Dean told a packed house at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. "The reason the Republicans call names is because they have nothing to say about balancing the budget, creating jobs or doing anything about health care or education."

Worse and Worse

"My party is demonstrating that they are for states' rights unless they don't like what states are doing," said Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut, one of five House Republicans who voted against the bill.

-- Adam Nagourney, New York Times, March 23, 2005

"When a case like this has been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the Supreme Court three times, the process has worked - even if it hasn't given the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in really is a violation of federalism," said David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a conservative research organization.

More than two-thirds of people who describe themselves as evangelicals and conservatives disapprove of the intervention by Congress and President Bush in the case of the Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman at the center of a national debate. A CBS News poll found that four of five people polled opposed federal intervention, with levels of disapproval among key groups supporting the GOP almost that high. And Bush's overall approval is at 43 percent, down from 49 percent last month. What a crying shame that is.

Where's this mandate?

Even as he travels the country selling his Social Security overhaul, President Bush is beginning to acknowledge some of the constraints of his plan for individual accounts. He warns audiences they will not be able to just cash in their accounts when they retire. He says that the accounts may enhance retirement income for younger workers, but he admits they will not fix the ailing Social Security system over all.

And at an event here on Tuesday, as he often does, Mr. Bush modestly described individual accounts as just one idea "people ought to seriously consider," rather than a nonnegotiable proposal. His comments, taken together, offer further evidence that the argument for individual accounts remains difficult, and that Mr. Bush may wind up accepting a plan different from the one he first outlined.


-- Anne Kornblut, New York Times, March 23, 2005

Can they do anything this year without tripping up over themselves? But not only that, but in a bizarre turn of events, Gov. Jeb Bush sought court permission to take custody of Schiavo. Who the fuck knows.

Books for Fun!

Because the world ought to send R a little love this tax season, I'll answer his questions and open up my world a little bit.

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

Most definitely Letters to Penthouse XXI : When Wild Meets Raunchy. That way I'll be hot hot hot before I'm thrown on the fire fire fire.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I've always had a thing for the mummy from The Mummy (1999). Or Cal Hockley.

The last book you bought is:

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The last book you read was:

1984. -- The book, not the year.

What are you currently reading?

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (again)

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, and the Chamber of Secrets, and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the Goblet of Fire, and the Order of the Phoenix.

And now, I have to designate three bloggers who must answer the previous questions on their blog or else they'll be L7 (I'm guessing that means 'square'):

Flamingo Jones, Ian McGibboney, and Tom Alday.

Changing Santorum

The same senator who voted in 1996 to limit the ability of those on death row to seek an appeal, and who voted in 1994 to prevent the replacement of the death penalty with life imprisonment is now contemplating his formerly hard-nosed stance toward killing human beings who may or may not have committed a crime in favor of a more middle-of-the-road stance. Of course, this is the same incumbent far-right senator with name recognition who is in a dead heat race a full year before the election with the moderate state treasurer who didn't even start his campaign.

What's that about the Republians changing what they believe just to win votes?

You Can't Make This Up

The federal law that President Bush signed early Monday in an effort to prolong Terri Schiavo's life appears to contradict a right-to-die law that he signed as Texas governor, prompting cries of hypocrisy from congressional Democrats and some bioethicists.

In 1999, then-Gov. Bush signed the Advance Directives Act, which lets a patient's surrogate make life-ending decisions on his or her behalf. The measure also allows Texas hospitals to disconnect patients from life-sustaining systems if a physician, in consultation with a hospital bioethics committee, concludes that the patient's condition is hopeless.


-- William Douglas, Knight Ridder, March 21, 2005

Contradictory? Hypocrisy? Bullshit? Yeah.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Sacrificing Too Much

Not only have polls shown that sixty-five percent (65%) of Americans believe that Terri Schiavo's husband is in the right in allowing Terri to die with what dignity she has left and eighty-seven percent (87%) of Americans would want to die if they were in Terry Schiavo's exact same position, but now about seven in 10 Americans say Congress inappropriately intervened in the case and about six in 10 said they agreed with the decision by a Florida judge to remove the feeding tube.

To add insult to injury, about two-thirds in an ABC News poll said the political leaders who are trying to keep Schiavo alive are more concerned with using her case for political advantage than with her or the principles involved in keeping her alive.

And now not all conservatives are happy with the decision by Congress and President Bush to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Some leaders said Tuesday the new law allowing a federal court review of the case is an example of the big government they have always opposed. And they're right.

"To simply say that the 'culture of life,' or whatever you call it means that we don't have to pay attention to the principles of federalism or separation of powers is certainly not a conservative viewpoint," said former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga.

The PennConservative points out in his recent post a classic case of looking at a mirror without realizing that it's also looking back at you. He writes,

...it is ludicrous that the Democrats are now trying to pretend that they’re supporters of federalism and limiting the ability of the federal government to intervene in what are traditionally state matters in conjunction with the Terri Schiavo right-to-murder case.
But it's also even more ludicrous that the Republicans are now pretending that they're not only when it's convenient.

Today a 71-year-old woman Democrat explained to me that John Kerry lost the election because he didn't come out against abortion and he didn't come out against gay-marriage. I wanted to scream -- both because she's wrong and because she could barely hear me -- and say that this isn't why John Kerry lost the election. Sure, it might have been, but that's beside the point. It's far worse to sacrifice your canon to win than it is to lose. I'm sure she's not a Democrat because of a single issue, but because of a multitude of reasons -- one I'm sure is the fact that her husband was a union president. But to strip the party's stance on a woman's right to choose and the rights of every human to secure personal happiness without hurting others is non-negotiable.

The Republicans are sacrificing their long-held stance of limited federal government involvement in state affairs in order to score points with the pro-life crowd. An overwhelmingly large portion of the American public see them on the wrong side of this issue, which they are most definitely wrong. I have explained why here. Sooner or later the pendulum of political affairs is going to start its swing in the other direction and Americans are going to realize that the Republican Party has shown time and time again that it is below nothing to win elections. There is nothing moralistic or saintly about the party. It's all about the power. And it's all about contradictory smokescreens to maintain that power.

Garret Keizer writes in his article "Left, Right & Wrong," for Mother Jones,
The solution of the right, which now masquerades in the costume of "values," is to locate a domain of bogus moral absolutes at the gray zones of moral decision -- e.g., those having to do with prenatal life, terminal illness, matrimonial law, and Oval Office blow jobs -- while pursuing a foreign policy based on preemptive violence and a domestic policy based on theft (or whatever is the preferred value-neutral term for the disinheritance of an entire country unto the third and fourth generations).
There is no political platform to stand on. It's all about preaching to the biggest bloc of voters in an attempt to get people to like you.

They may be better at expressing their empty messages of hope and prosperity, but there's nothing there. It's the real Wizard of Oz meets the American Bible Belt. One's frightenly believable, and the other is easily duped. The one's in power right now and sacrificing its tenets (fiscal responsibility, limited government, etc.) while the other eats it up.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Lying Liars

In an effort to increase pressure on North Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies in briefings earlier this year that Pyongyang had exported nuclear material to Libya. That was a significant new charge, the first allegation that North Korea was helping to create a new nuclear weapons state.

But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported, according to two officials with detailed knowledge of the transaction. North Korea, according to the intelligence, had supplied uranium hexafluoride -- which can be enriched to weapons-grade uranium -- to Pakistan. It was Pakistan, a key U.S. ally with its own nuclear arsenal, that sold the material to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence, the officials said, that North Korea knew of the second transaction.


-- Dafna Linzer, Washington Post, March 20, 2005

The Bush administration is misleading people? Say it ain't so.

And that's Pakistan: our ally in defending the world from terror.

Smell Me

As the United States trails its international brethren in math and science scores of its high school students, and we now have in place strict education standards that often times leave out the variable known as the human in its formulas, one would be led to believe that school should be filled with lessons that actually matter in the educational background and future of its children.

Sadly, one would be sorely mistaken. Abstinence-Only Education, and the myriad other fallible and unneeded programs being forced upon the school system, forgets to account for human nature and human biology, and places an undue burden on teachers to teach material best left to parents or the Church. With a small percentage of high school students still graduating without being able to read, and an illiteracy rate too great for a civilized, industrialized nation like the United States, this area is where a teacher's attention should be focused. Learning to add, multiply, subtract, divide, read, write, analyze -- these are the major components of a well-rounded education.

If a parent sees fit that their child learn about God and "about a kind of odor only Christians have," then it should be, frankly speaking, up to the parent to teach it. No classroom setting has time in its already packed and busy schedule of fulfilling the No Child Left Behind requirements to ask "Could someone find Christ by the scent trail you are leaving behind you?"

There's a time and a place to contemplate the specific odor trail you leave behind when you travel, but it isn't school. There are priorities and then there's fluff. Learning the basic components of education and knowledge is a priority. Using "a Christian text that preached creationism and encouraged children to proselytize for Jesus" is fluff.

They Hanged You

Bill O'Reilly on the March 15 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: You know, the Founding Fathers didn't write anything into the Constitution about gay marriage. Because back then, if you were gay, they hung you.

So -- you couldn't get married 'cause they put you in the rack. You know, if you were runnin' around wearing a chartreuse hat, you were in lots of trouble. So, we didn't even have to worry about these people gettin' married because if they come out of their closet in the log cabin -- somebody'll shoot them in the head. So, there really wasn't an issue back in the Founding Fathers.


-- Media Matters, March 17, 2005

Blacks voting, owning land, being free or running for public office wasn't an issue back in the time of the Founding Fathers either. Is this the sort of point O'Reilly was trying to make?

No Marriage Game

Gays can't have kids -- other than going to the abandoned kids store and getting one or two, or borrowing sperm from someone with more sperm than brains -- so by definition they're out of the marriage game.

-- John Gibson, Faux News, March 16, 2005

So by definition, sterile men and barren women would also be "out of the marriage game" due to their genetically-controlled, unchangeable condition. It's an illogical, round-about way to deny rights to a group of Americans asking for nothing more than equal protection under the law.

And I thought that they just reported, and they allowed me -- the potential, theoretical viewer -- the chance to decide. What happened to fair and balanced? Since when do they get the right to interject their own beliefs into the news? And where do right-wing nutties get off saying that CNN is biased?

Such passion. Such logic. Such bullshit.

Americans Don't Agree

As with most things, it seems, the Republican majority does not and is not representing the opinions and convictions of a majority of Americans. In a poll asking questions specifically related to the Terri Sciavo case, a plurality of Americans agreed with the federal judge that this decision should rest in the hands of the husband and not the parents or the federal government.

Sixty-five percent of Americans agree that it's the spouse's call on life or death when the other spouse is in a debilitating, perpetual vegetative state. Eighty-seven percent wish that they'd be allowed to die if they were in the same state.

But you can't tell this to the conservative Republicans who are using this as starter fluid to get the religious right worked up in a soapy lather. They can't just stay out of anything! Someone wants to die, for crying out loud. And yet they'll stretch their reach into your hospital bedroom to impose their warped sense of morality. When will the country finally say stop?

In semi-funnier news, it would seem that the president believes that a plane travelling from Washington to Crawford, Texas would take more time than a plane from Crawford to Washington.

[White House Press Secretary Scott] McClellan said that a bill could be flown to Crawford for the president's signature, but that a woman's life was at stake and Mr. Bush did not want to waste a moment.

Well, I'm glad something will get him to come and stay in Washington for a few hours. And I'm also glad that no one bothered to tell the president that his thought processes were screwy.

No Armed Militias!

The en fuego Ian McGibboney, fresh from having lunch with my psedo-girlfriend and giving her a ride in his truck, has this little ditty posted on his website. I think it's a great catch.

"There is no place for an armed militia in a democratic society," says a Senior White House official, according to CNN.

Lest we forget the Second Amendment -- A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. -- I believe this is either a radical new interpretation of the amendment, or someone in the Bush administration is playing the hypocritic fool. It's quite all right to have a rather un-regulated militia in the United States, but don't you dare try to mimic our laws and ways of life in your part of the world? What gives?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Right to Die

In politicizing a rather non-political issue, Senate Republicans are circulating a memo with talking points as to why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. One of the points that the author believes should convince the senators is the fact that "pro-life base will be excited."

It's disgusting to think that one of the reasons a senator would save a life would be to excite the pro-life base, who would surely vote for you in the next election. But what's one action by Senate Republicans that hasn't been disgusting in the past five years?

While I do believe that the husband of Terri Schiavo is right in allowing his wife to die, as he says she wanted to do if ever she were to fall into her current vegetative state, I'm troubled by the ramifications of such a procedure. There has been too much political hype that any action now taken is going to set back either side for years.

If she continues down her path of death, the courts will be maligned as killing an innocent life, without ever giving credence to the fact that she wanted to die. If the court order is overturned and she is allowed to live, the basic human "right to die" will be set back to the stone age by allowing people I've never met the ability to tell me that I cannot make a decision, with no ramifications for anyone but myself, without government interference.

If she said that she wished to die, then I believe she has a right to die. No one should be kept alive for the sheer purpose of creating a false environment of accompanyment and companionship. Her parents -- who are fighting to rebuke her wishes and keep her alive -- are holding on to the image of their daughter that is no more. Instead of accepting what has happened and accepting what she wants, they have become selfish and have made clear that they wish to keep her locked inside her body for many, many years. If they are as devout Catholics as they claim to be, wouldn't they realize that by allowing their daughter to die is the best possible thing for her. She will be with her Creator, she will be with those she loves, she will be freed from the body that now holds her captive. What kind of life is being in a shell that doesn't move, that doesn't allow her to do anything but stare blankly to the world she has no interaction with.

Being pro-life isn't always the best answer. Sometimes the true pro-lifers realize that a life is better spent in Heaven than trapped in Hell on earth.

Think of the Kids

In its last-minute flurry of votes before approving a budget Thursday night, the Senate added $5.4 billion in education spending for 2006...

-- New York Times, March 19, 2005

Who's the man to thank for adding $5.4 billion in education spending instead of the cut that Bush was asking for? None other than Sen. Edward Kennedy. Hats off to you, Senator. Hopefully this will show the White House that protecting Americans doesn't stop at the steps to the school. (And I don't mean abstinence-only education.)

Echo Chamber of Love

For a prime example of the inability of conservatives to defend even their simplest philosophies on life and law, just take a quick peek at this post on Aldaynet. Not only was I the topic of the post, but the blogger -- known here as Hegemon, or whatever personality creeps into dominance today -- asked to name one great thing that Clinton did in his eight years in office. I named off eleven.

Completely unable to deviate from his preprogrammed function of pure Clinton-hating and liberal-bashing, Tom started to fall apart in splendid fanfare style and closed comments on that post, post haste. I have never seen commenting closed on an Aldaynet post before, but there it was in all its "I am taking my football and going home!" glory.

First he goes weirdo and claims to have rules governing the comments on his blog -- all of which he breaks freely and often when commenting here -- and now he's silencing dissidents when they're telling him things he already knows but refuses to believe. I would never silence someone who chooses to comment on my blog, and have never. I never even deleted a comment by someone for fear that they were too offensive. I suppose this is how liberals and conservatives differ. I can handle being called names, Tom can't handle being wrong.

Please, feel pity for this man. He's only trying to be the best Republican he knows how. It's not his fault.

Friday, March 18, 2005

My Man is Sat-is-fied

Teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are more likely to take chances with other kinds of sex that increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, a study of 12,000 adolescents suggests.

The report by Yale and Columbia University researchers could help explain their earlier findings that teens who pledged abstinence are just as likely to have STDs as their peers.

Shaking Their Behinds

The Friday night lights in Texas could soon be without bumpin' and grindin' cheerleaders. Legislation filed by Rep. Al Edwards would put an end to "sexually suggestive" performances at athletic events and other extracurricular competitions.

"It's just too sexually oriented, you know, the way they're shaking their behinds and going on, breaking it down," said Edwards, a 26-year veteran of the Texas House.


-- Associated Press, March 18, 2005

Indeed. There's no reason to see half-naked girls "breaking it down," anyway. Well, I don't see a reason! ;)

He's My Hero!

In true Republican fashion.

Former Gov. John G. Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison and four months under house arrest Friday for selling his office in a corruption scandal that destroyed his career as one of the Republican Party's brightest and fastest-rising stars.

What's the allure of the party again?

Let's Talk

Taking a cue from the president, Congressional Democrats will be spending their two-week recess traveling their districts and talking about Social Security.

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are being dispatched to the districts of Republicans who have signaled concerns about Bush's plan to let younger workers divert some of the Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., for example has been asked to visit Colorado, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Although I'm sure it will be great to get a dialogue working, I don't know what they expect to accomplish. I mean, Bush has been doing this for weeks now and it hasn't helped him one itty bitty bit. And it hasn't done any other Republican any bit of good, either. In fact, they're being corralled back to the stable due to the inhospitable reception they've been getting.

Republicans have urged their members to avoid the town hall meetings that largely turned into senior citizen gripe sessions during the last recess in February.

But that does not mean that Bush is going to tuck his tail between his legs and pack up shop. In fact, it's quite the opposite. When the going gets tough, the Bushes call in Big Momma. That's right. President Bush called in the big guns (a.k.a. Barbara Bush) to start talking tough about Social Security reform.

This is perfect! Who knows more about senior citizen poverty and who can converse with the Everyday Man about what it's like to be hungry and poor more than Mrs. Barbara Bush, wife of the former President Bush who still receives a hefty annual paycheck from the United States tax payers?!

Constitutional Relationships

Gov. Mike Rounds [of South Dakota] signed a series of anti-abortion bills, including one that requires doctors to tell women the procedure ends the lives of humans, his office announced Thursday.

The bill-signings further tighten state abortion restrictions that some characterize as among the toughest in the nation.

One of the four new laws requires doctors to inform pregnant women, in writing and in person, no later than two hours before an abortion that the procedure ends the lives of humans and terminates the constitutional relationship women have with their fetuses.


-- Associated Press, March 17, 2005

What exactly is the "constitutional relationship women have with their fetuses"?

Vice-Regents of God

At a recent gathering of 900 evangelical Christians at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, we learn from a Christian Science Monitor article that everything we fear fundamentalist Christians believe is true.

In material given to conference attendees, the Rev. D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge pastor wrote: "As the vice-regents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government ... our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors - in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."

They are the voices of God on Earth, don't ya know! They then planned for world domination and afterward quietly sipped their poisoned kool-aid and died in order to meet up with the mothership masquerading as a comet.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Snow and Rock

Syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh lampooned criticism of the Bush administration's plans to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, claiming that the ANWR region is "nothing but snow and rock" and asserting that the wildlife living there "wishes it didn't, but it's too stupid to figure out how to move anywhere."

-- Media Matters, March 17, 2005

I see he's back from the Middle East. Shame. But I guess he does have a point if you follow the parallel that his listeners wish they weren't, and they're too stupid to figure out how to turn the dial.

I meant that as a joke, but the more I think about it, the more I think it's true.

Hats Off To Ye

This is the creepiest thing I've heard all month. I don't know whether to jump up and down and be happy, or be very, very frightened.

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers Wednesday reported the rise in obesity will result in a drop in life expectancy. Professor S. Jay Olshansky's team, writing in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, said obesity currently reduces life expectancy by four to nine months.

The researchers said the life-span effects of obesity could rise two to five years in the next 50 years, possibly exceeding the current life-shortening effects of cancer or heart disease.

They noted obesity actually could help keep Social Security solvent because people will die younger. "One of the consequences of our prediction is that Social Security does not appear to be in nearly as bad a shape as we think," Olshansky said.
There ya have it. McDonalds will inadvertently save America. So get out there and eat a Big Mac -- papa needs a new pair of dentures!

Only 50!

Adm. Lowell Jacoby, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said he is seeing fewer attacks in Iraq since the Jan. 30 elections. He said attacks had averaged about 60 per day, but had dropped in the last two weeks to approximately 50 per day and may decline further.

-- Associated Press, March 17, 2005

Does this mean we're winning? Only 50 attacks on American soldiers a day, as opposed to 60 per day! By gum, that's a drop of 10 attacks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Truth Hurts

President Bush said on Wednesday he would not send Congress a specific plan to change Social Security because it would be "dead on arrival" and admitted his idea of personal accounts would not fix the retirement system.

-- Reuters, March 16, 2005

It's like a breath of fresh air. Undoubtedly, Bush will continue to push his failed domestic agenda, but at least he's accepting some parts of reality. Why doesn't he just give up, already?

Blogger

The post that follows this little diatribe was written by me yesterday during Blogger's blackout period. For a full 24 hours, I was unable to get even the Blogger homepage to load, let alone access to my account or to post any of my writing.

Due to the fact that this seems to be becoming a trend with the service, I'm contemplating moving my blog to Blogsome. No decision has been made quite yet, and I may forgive Blogger all together. But, for the time being, I have an alternate blog set up at http://attackzacattack.blogsome.com/ where I will begin double posting everything I write. I hope Blogger gets its act together. But if not, I have an exit strategy -- unlike some planners we know.

If you have experience with Blogsome, let me know its advantages and disadvantages. I have an open mind to the situation.

Obstructionists

Democrats threatened Tuesday to slow or stop most Senate business if Republicans unilaterally change the rules to assure confirmation of President Bush's controversial court appointments.

-- Associated Press, March 15, 2005

Of course the right-wing fanatics were out in full spring today denouncing the threat as partisan and a waste of time. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist even had the gall to say, "To shut down the Senate would be irresponsible and partisan." Of course, I can't imagine it would be a time more wasteful, more irresponsible or more partisan than the All-Night Republican Sleep-Over of '03. But that's neither here nor there. Or is it? That little stunt was nothing short of a publicity stunt concocted to get the voting public on their side. It didn't work. Still, as with Social Security reform, a near super-majority of Americans oppose judicial nominees who would outlaw all forms of abortion. Plain and simple.

If Bush would rethink his choices and nominated someone a little less extreme than the bunch of crackpots currently up for federal spots. For instance, Priscilla Owen, who repeatedly tried to rewrite Texas law from the bench in order to deny young women their right to choose. No bother that the Supreme Court of the United States confirmed that right to women of all ages, but it's interesting that Republicans like those who legislate -- or attempt to legislate -- from the bench when they're on their side.

Or Janice Rogers Brown, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, who as a justice on the California Supreme Court, demonstrated her opposition to a woman’s right to privacy when she wrote a caustic dissent to a decision that declared a California abortion restriction unconstitutional. In contrast to the majority of justices, Brown would have given a very narrow reading to the privacy provision of the California Constitution.

Democrats are using the only defense known to them presently to keep these idealogues -- biblical mullahs? -- from forcing their minority views on the rest of us. I defied anyone to explain in logical, intelligent terms the reasons why Republicans systematically stripped the safeguards of democracy from the Democrats. No one ever even attempted to become the apologist for such undemocratic maneuvers.

And yet, here we are. The Democrats are holding on to democracy for dear life while Republicans demolish what was once a wonderful Constitution. First Amendment and all.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Blank Check Spending

Leading U.S. defense contractor Halliburton may have overcharged the U.S. government by more than $100 million under a no-bid oil deal in Iraq, said a military audit released by a Democratic lawmaker on Monday.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audit, parts of which were released by California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman on his Web site www.democrats.reform.house.gov, questioned $108 million in costs by Texas-based Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown and Root for delivery of fuel to civilians in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.


-- Reuters, March 14, 2005

Huh. Ya don't say.

It's the Mehlman

Congress will pass a Social Security bill, and Democrats who stand in the way will be considered obstructionists by voters, the head of the Republican Party said Monday in an Associated Press interview.

-- Associated Press, March 14, 2005

Of course, anyone with a logical brain can tell that this bill is not very popular with normal, everyday Americans. Only about a third of them approve of President Bush's plan to reform social security and to partially privatize portions of the program. What was Ken Mehlman's reaction when he found out that the approval rating of the plan that Congress "will pass" is a pitiful 37%?



On a lighter note, what was the reaction of the head of the Republican Party Ken Mehlman when he found out that a San Fransisco judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriages in California is unconstitutional?



That's right. In my own funny way, I insinuated that the leader of the Republican Party does not know how to dance. I mean, look at him. I haven't seen movement that hideous since Prom.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

All Speed Ahead

Israel has drawn up plans for a combined air and ground attack on Iranian nuclear installations if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran's atomic program, London's Sunday Times said.

The newspaper said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his inner cabinet had given "initial authorization" for a unilateral attack on Iran at a private meeting last month.


-- Reuters, March 13, 2005

If this is where it starts, I'd hate to see where it's going to end. Something tells me, it won't end well.

Pro-Choice Republican?

Guess what top Republican said that abortion should be "as rare a circumstance as possible," although without excessive government intervention. "We should not have the federal government in a position where it is forcing its views on one side or the other."

Why, it's Ms. Condolleezza Rice, of course -- a possible Republican contender for the White House in 2008. WWFD? What Will the Fundies Do?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Gambling Gambling

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay traveled to Britain with his wife, several aides and lobbyists on a $70,000 junket mostly paid for with money from an Indian tribe and a gambling services company, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Not long after the outing, Rep. DeLay, the second most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives, played a key role in killing gaming-related legislation opposed by the company and tribe.


-- Associated Press, March 12, 2005

What's really funny is the fact that they pretend to talk about famliy values and morals and all things godly. But then we have the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives not only being immoral and unethical, but we have him doing these things with money achieved through immoral and unethical means. The Christian Right should be having a field day with the idea that DeLay used money from gambling casinos to pay for this little trek to England. But they won't say a word. How much more steeped in hypocritical can you get?

I think it's no longer an issue of whether or not Republicans take kickbacks, or even outright paychecks, for their support. Now it's just a matter of finding how much money they want.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Reality is Different

In state after state along President Bush's Social Security road campaign, hand-picked audiences cheer him, leaving the impression that the nation wholeheartedly backs his ideas for reform.

The reality is different.

While a majority of Americans approve of Bush's handling of terrorism and foreign policy, just 37 percent like his approach to Social Security, an Associated Press poll found.


-- Associated Press, March 11, 2005

This makes me giggle. But even better than that, this part of the same piece is so appropriate. Bush said at one of his state-by-state tour of dupification,

I'm going to continue traveling our country until it becomes abundantly clear to the American people we have a problem.
No, I'm pretty sure a now-majority of the American people see clearly that you in office is the problem. And they'll never get their vote back. Shame.

Thirty-seven percent. *snicker snicker*

Left Way Behind

Why does No Child Left Behind -- President Bush's way of increasing educational standards in America -- suck? Let us look at No Child Left Behind: the Basketball Version.

All teams must advance to the Sweet 16, and all must win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable.

All kids will be expected to have the same basketball skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for differing interests in basketball, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. All kids will play basketball at a proficient level.

Talented players will be asked to practive on their own, without instruction, due to the fact that coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in basketball or have limited athletic ability.

Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th and 11th games.

This will create a New Age of sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left behind.

Even Armstrong Williams, the formerly-respected conservative columnist, wrote against it before he was paid to write for it. That's how awfully awful it is. People have to be paid to endorse it.

Slip-Sliding Away

President Bush loses backing from independents, women and older Americans when he changes the topic from terrorism and foreign policy to overhauling Social Security, an Associated Press poll found. ... Just over a third, 37 percent, [of Americans] like his approach to Social Security.

-- Associated Press, March 11, 2005

It gets worse and worse and worse and worse. Can we call this dead in the water yet?

Guilty As Charged

The former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party was sentenced Thursday to seven months in prison for jamming Democratic telephone lines during the 2002 election. Chuck McGee pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to make anonymous calls with the intent to annoy or harass. He was also fined $2,000 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

-- Associated Press, March 10, 2005

Cheating bastard. Of course, that's what the New Hampshire Republican Party gets for being led by a guy named "Chuck McGee." It sounds like a name you'd hear on the game-show network.

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was treated for a heart condition Thursday at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center, his office said.

-- Associated Press, March 10, 2005

The condition, sources say, is that DeLay does not, in fact, have a heart. I'm checking up on that.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Grating Gangs

In a role reversal, President Bush introduced his wife Laura on Monday and then listened as the first lady announced a White House summit to help stamp out gangs and drugs among America's youth.

"She and I share a passion," Bush said. "We're worried. We're worried about gangs. We're worried about drugs. We're worried about bad choices."


-- Reuters, March 07, 2005

Laura Bush, she knows a thing or two about gangs.



That's all nice and dandy, but what Bush would know something about bad choices? Hmm. Let me think.



Jenna! What was she thinking wearing that skirt after dusk? Ugh.

We Mean Well

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Monday the United States would never send terrorism suspects to countries where they would be tortured but admitted once they have been dispatched to nations like Saudi Arabia or Egypt the U.S. government has little control.

-- Reuters, March 07, 2005

What. the. fuck. ever.

Democrats Are Kind

In a classic case of Democrat hospitality, former President Bill Clinton allowed his predecessor, former President George H.W. Bush, to sleep on the plane from southeast Asia's only bed while he stretched out on the floor. The government plane in which the presidents toured the disaster area had one large bedroom and another room with tables and seats, according to an interview with Bush in this week's Newsweek.

"We could have switched places, each getting half a night on the bed, but he deferred to me. That was a very courteous thing, very thoughtful, and that meant a great deal to me," Bush Sr. said.

That Clinton, he's a class act. Bush's dad even said so.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Poor Sean

I haven't really listened to him all that much lately, as I have the most awesome CD playing in my player right now in the car, but I am more than happy that I tuned in this afternoon at 4:25pm EST in order to hear Sean Hannity getting bitch-slapped by a guest he thought was on his side.

Right before Hannity's interview with Jackie Mason, he had a weekly (?) segment in which a man who impersonates voices comes on the air and Hannity pretends to have a table-talk discussion with them. Today the "guests" were Al Gore, some teacher who screamed at his students, Jackie Mason (faux Jackie Mason) and Michael Jackson. Hannity proceeded to absolutely destroy each and every one of these impersonated voices, in which I'm sure somewhere (somewhere!) someone found it humorous. He railed into Michael Jackson with no other evidence of Jackson's guilt than the normal "He said this.. He said that.."

After the commercial break, the real Jackie Mason came on the air. The exchanged pleasentries and Hannity told Mason how much he loved him and how funny he was and blah blah blah. Then Mason, subtly but undeniably, railed into the media and the American public for making fun of people for just being famous. Mason said that the only reason mock celebrities is because they're rich and the people are jealous of their success and money, to which Hannity said, "I whole-heartedly agree."

I'm sure he does. Tune in next week when he mocks some more celebrities.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sharansky's Writings

At a round table with carefully screened would-be entrepreneurs in Mainz, [President Bush] noted that former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky's writings "confirmed how I was raised and what I believe -- deep in everybody's soul is the desire to be free."

-- US News, Thawing Out, March 7, 2005

We're supposed to believe that the same president who claimed his favorite childhood book was a piece of literature that was published when he was 24 years old, and the same president who told Oprah that his favorite song is "Wake Up Little Susie" by Buddy Holly* is also the same president who read and took to heart the writings of former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky? Please. You can only sell so much bull.

* "Wake Up Little Susie" was definitely sung by the Everly Brothers.

Yay Wars!

House Republicans will propose tacking about $1.8 billion in extra defense spending onto the $81.9 billion package President Bush wants for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to data obtained by The Associated Press. At the same time, GOP lawmakers will propose cutting about $2 billion from the State Department.

-- Associated Press, March 3, 2005

Isn't this a little too stupid to be true? Republicans are transferring $2 billion dollars away from the department that works on negotiating and diplomacy and giving it toward the department that works on war. It's almost as if the Republicans are trying to give in to stereotypes.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Doggie Style, II

I'm not and I will never be an apologist for Senator Byrd's disgusting recent comments. But let's spotlight the pot calling the kettle black for a moment.

But Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the Senate's No. 3 Republican, called for Byrd to retract his statement. "Senator Byrd's inappropriate remarks comparing his Republican colleagues with Nazis are inexcusable," Santorum said in a statement. "These comments lessen the credibility of the senator and the decorum of the Senate. He should retract his statement and ask for pardon."

-- Associated Press, March 2, 2005

Come on, Rickie. Do you think anyone's buying it? Your inappropriate comments comparing homosexuals to man-dog love are inexcusable. These comments lessen your credibility and the decorum of the Senate. You should retract your statement and ask for pardon. Bitch.

No Cry

There is no conflict between the theory of evolution and the Christian faith (or any faith, for that matter). Science and religion simply ask different questions about the same phenomena; whereas science asks "how," religion asks "why." The sooner people understand that difference answers are resultant of the different questions, the better.

-- Rev. Scott Alan Nesbitt

Slot Machines Unite!

Did you know that slot machines and homosexuals have something in common? (Wait, I didn't mean for the insinuation from that joke to be so dirty. Dammit.) Anyway, they are both the scissors to our moral fabric.

"Florida stands at the cusp," Floridia Gov. Jeb Bush wrote in a recent letter to the Christian Coalition. "As a state we have limited gambling in our communities. The true costs are significant and real: long-term decay of our traditional industries and the social fabric of our communities."

You Must Be Proud

U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond and his staff tried to get the FBI to build a case against civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 on the grounds that King was "controlled by communists," according to a recently released FBI memo on the late senator from South Carolina.

The memo shows Thurmond's attempt to marry two causes dear to him -- fighting communism and defeating civil rights.


-- Knight Ridder, March 01, 2005

The history of conservatism is steeped in proud, proud moments like this. How I'm not one of them is really beyond me.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Social Security No Go

A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll conducted Friday-Sunday found that 35% approved of Bush's Social Security record, 56% disapproved and 9% had no opinion. That was down from three weeks ago, when 43% approved. In March 2001, just after he took office, 49% approved.

It gets worse and worse.