Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: September 2005

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bob Ingle - Jackoff

You may recall that I liveblogged the NJ gubernatorial debate not too long ago and mentioned something about a gun going off. I also mentioned how stupid Bob Ingle was when asking about bears. Luckily we have Bob Ingle himself setting both records straight
"Debate insider: Being a part of the gubernatorial debate live on NJN TV offered a unique vantage point. Corzine and Doug Forrester were having a heated exchange when a light bulb exploded. It sounded like a rifle shot. Everyone looked to see if they were bleeding, but no one dropped a beat.

The show's producer said usually 12-14 questions are asked in an hour debate so the three journalists prepared six questions each. No one expected to get to question 18. When moderator Kent Manahan called on me, I looked down at my notes to find no question written, just a No. 18 and a note to myself: 'Ask about bears.'

Forrester laughed at the ad libbed intro, then said it was a serious question for 'those who have had breakfast with bears in their kitchens.' All I could think about was a paraphrase of Boss Norcross on the Palmyra tapes: 'I have had breakfast with bears ... not because they like me, but because they have to.

As if... Bob you love bears. You know you do. Why else would you want them all dead.

In any case, nobody watched the damned thing. Only 50,000 people of the 8 million inhabitants of the garden state gave a rats ass and I was one of them. Go figure.

As Bob making some case about Corzine putting Norcross in charge of the the Atlantic City Casino Reinvestment Development Authority that is just patently false. Ingle:
You may recall reading here that the rumor is Sen. Jon Corzine had promised that, if elected governor, Camden County Democratic Boss George Norcross, a foul-mouthed, power-hungry egomaniac, could appoint the next executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

This is something of Bob Ingle's invention and would only be repeated by him. A brief google search turns up only Bob Ingle making this supposition about the position CRDA. In fact the Press of Atlantic City (perhaps the paper of record on this story) has recently written about this story.

Bob Ingle, I dare you, no I double dog dare you to find the word Norcross in that article. You will find Corzine but it will be innnocuous:
Irene Hill-Smith, one of the board members who signed the letter, said she hoped Bashaw would stay until after the next governor is elected. If Bashaw held off his resignation until then, the new governor - who, if current polling holds steady, would be Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine - would have the choice of the successor rather than Codey.

The point is largely mute by now, since Codey already appointed Thomas Carver.

However, rumor mongering is hardly anything that should be taken seriously on any newspaper page. For a guy who constantly writes about the polluted political environment of New Jersey, you would think that Ingle would be a bit more careful as to what he chooses to include in his articles. Ingle, in publishing a rumor about a potential governor, potentially putting someone else in charge of his own appointments is reaching at best, and intellectually dishonest at worse.

So Bob, stop publishing rumors. You aren't in high school anymore.


More of this please

Minnesota becomes first US state to require biodiesel


Kristolization of Iraq's Civil War

Last night on Charlie Rose, Bill Kristol was whoreing his book of recycled Weekly Standard fare. I won't get into the rediculosity surrounding any book that consists entirely of the "My Documents" folder in any columnist's computer.

In between Charlie Rose yucking it up with Billy the Kid, Kristol would let some admonishments towards the Administration slip. The usual Kristol fare, taking full responsibility for pushing the overthrow of Saddam marbled with the "but I wanted lots of troops" qualifier. I paused the DVR and grabbed the vomit receptacle I have designated for such occasions when Charlie Rose chooses to have one of these right wing hacks on his mostly decent and respectable show.

The dicotomizing of Kristol's elaborate viewpoints coupled with carefully crafted arguements for his previously failed arguements intertwined with graciousness towards his dismissals continued on and on. Then finally the question about the civil war in Iraq.

My unofficial transcript is as follows:
KRISTOL: There is not a civil war in Iraq. I think we know what a civil war looks like. There is no ethnic cleansing in Iraq. Iraq has not become the Balkans with an ethnic cleansing. etc..

Trust me, this is what he said. In fact, I think he mentioned ethinc cleansing a few more times hoping it would somehow become a part of the national conversation.

Now I am no expert on civil wars, but I know enough about them to know that while ethnic cleansing can and will occur in some civil wars, it is not a neccessary or required element of civil wars. The terms ethnic cleansing and civil war are not interchangeable nor should they be conflated in some Kristolian way. I recall a certain Civil War where white people in the North were killing white people from the south and vice versa. Most dictionaries will define a civil war as a that between "factions or regions of the same country." In any case, if ethnic cleansing is a defining characteristic of civil war, Kristol later deomonstrated his infinite ignorance by admitting that said ethnic factor actually being present in Iraq.

Sir Kristol went on to say that "Suni's are targeting Shiites." I am wrong to call this an admission for it is the reality (and reality need not be validated by admission). It is what we see on whatever piss poor media coverage we get in the US regarding this war. A war by the way that people like Kristol believe is the only means of achieving some glorious democratic end in the middle east. Does anyone need reminding that this man is one of the fathers of Neoconism? That gastly religion espoused by people in charge of this war (e.g. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle).

This question of Civil War in Iraq and wether Iraq is on the verge of one, or actually engaged in one is a rather silly one to be debating at this time. It is similar to the debate surrounding Evolution as a solid scientific theory. There is ample evidence presented by the reality on the ground, as well as the Pentagon's daily briefings to not only suggest a Civil War but to confirm it. Depending on where you sit on the political specturm these sources should be satisfactory.

If you are moderate to liberal and accept the media's version, you have to say, yep Civil War. If you are a conservative and accept the Pentagon's version of "the attacks are killing less Americans," then again you must define the situation as a Civil War.

Anyone who denies this reality should be gagged. For the debate over the Iraqi Civil War usually accompanies some debate about how to "win in Iraq." A debate typically associated with lots of admissions of mistakes (as with Billy the Kid), along with platitudes of "if only we had realized our mistakes in the beginning." Lots of mistake mongering, when the debate over this civil war is in and of itself a mistake.

Fighting obvious realities like the current Iraqi Civil War is what got us to this point in the first place. And the publications of Sir William Kristol and King Roberto Kagan took the lead in dismissing such realities as they were occuring, spinning their own wet dreams into common wisdom among the willing press. Finally peddling books admitting to the mistakes of the power wielders for whom they were PR consultants.

These voices should be silenced not amplified, and for that Charlie Rose or any other person wielding a camera and microphone who allows this man to advertise his book of deceitful warmongering deserves a lashing.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Delay Indicted

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Ps. the charge is conspiracy. OOO!!

So much for all that witch hunting bullshit.

So it seems that if the Dems don't take this opportunity to lambaste the Republicans and start calling for some ethics reform and some ethics this and ethics that, they would have to be major dipshits.

Dems taking the house back in 2006? This has got to be a great possibility.

Tom Delay posterboy criminoso! Will the Katrina Klean-up Kommittee take their cameras and microphones somewhere else? Preferably Tom Delay's face.


Cognitive Dissonance

Yet another fine example why NOT to believe in Jesus.


September 27, 2005

The Times

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.

It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits of religious belief to a society have been described as its “spiritual capital”. But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute to its ills.

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Refining Capacity

OK free marketeers! Challenge:

Why hasn't the invisible hand aremed with its supply and demand curves built a refinery in over 30 years?

Is it because the government has strangled would be refinerers with so much regulatory paperwork and bureaucratic red tape? Or is it that the oil industry would rather take its record profits and lobby congress to drill in National Wildlife Reserves?

I dunno. But seems to me, if they have money to pay lobbyists for one thing, they could have money to pay lobbyists to lobby for something else, like ease of restrictions on refinery building.

I think this is argument is crappy. Just how would a lack of refining capacity cause a spike in crude oil?

It seems to me there would be all this extra oil sitting around waiting to be refined, causing stockpiles of crude, which would in turn reduce the price of crude. The only price that can possibly be affected by "lack of refining capacity" is that of the end product, gas.

So when a Saudi Oil Minister starts lobbying for more refineries I take it as rather disengenous. Particularly when such remarks come accompanied by these:
Saudi Arabia's oil minister said Tuesday that world oil reserves are more than enough to meet rising future demand but that without new refineries prices will remain high and markets volatile.

"These are turbulent times for oil markets. Prices are under pressure because the petroleum industries infrastructure is stretched thin," Ali Naimi told the 18th World Petroleum Congress in Johannesburg. "Most of the spare capacity of the 1980s and 1990s has disappeared, resulting in a system that has a much smaller margin for error."

He goes on to suggest that the oil refiners are perhaps gaming the system. By not accepting an extra 2 million barrels a day, aren't they loosing out on some extra supply, even if their refining capacity can't handle it. Last I checked Oil doesn't really have an expiration date, and even if it did, seems that we are suckin' so much of it that the demand alone won't keep the stock piles of barrels OPEC was offering on the refinery shelves that long.

I know I am naive about the intricate details of the oil market, but I didn't know it was the only market that "supply and demand" doesn't apply to.

So let's see what our checklist says:

Supply - CHECK
Demand - CHECK

This has been the case for a very long time. Ever since gas became the blood that runs our economic veins. Seems to me, if you ain't expandin refining capacity by now, you are either A) loosing out on a particularly needy market and thus loosing money, or B) You are gaming the system so that you only release so much so you basically keep the price of your product super high.

So oil economists, esplain this one to me. Cuz I don't get it. And if government regulations are the culprit, perhaps all those ANWR lobby dollars could have been directed at said regulations.


Happy Birthday


Supremes take on PBAs

Comming soon to a Supreme Court near you, The Case against Partial Birth Abortions. Just another rung on the ladder towards bannign all abortions.

Go ahead and read the predictions in the article, put a pillow under the general area where your chin is to cushion its drop when you read this:
In the government's appeal, Clement noted the 2000 decision, Stenberg v. Carhart, but said Congress determined that type of late-term abortion is not needed to preserve a woman's health.

The case comes to the Supreme Court from Nebraska, where the federal law was challenged on behalf of physicians. Doctors who perform the procedure contend it is the safest method of abortion when the mother's health is threatened by heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer.

As many of you may or may not know. This is the crux of the abortion issue. It baffles me, to no end how Conservatives can boast about how they don't want government intruding on their lives, or in business, or in health care (when it comes to Medicare). Yet when it comes to abortion, intrude away ye all-knowing power mongers in Warshington.

I specifically remember Bush saying this type of stuff during the campaign:
Bush's attack in the debate echoed a grossly misleading claim made in his earlier TV ad, which said Kerry's health plan would put "Washington bureaucrats in control" of medical decisions.

Vasectomies don't seem to have any health benefits but you don't see Congress trying to ban those! And we all know how many babies a year could have been born if all those goddamned men stopped having vasectomies.

So let me get this straight? It's OK for Washington Bureaucrats to be in control of a woman's medical decision but not everybody else's?

John Lennon was right, Woman is the nigger of the world.


Cognitive Dissonance

The General Explains. Also read his follow up posts here and here.

Makes you wonder how prestigious these highly sought after positions really are, when scum like this share the same title, United States Congressman.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Press the Meet

I figured Arianna would beat me to this. But I felt rather awkward watching Russert attacking Broussard yesterday. Citing right wing blogs as some God's of information gathering. It was obvious that Time was trying to swift boat Broussard, but in the what Tim accomplished was the antithesis to that, Russert in confronting a man at the front lines of Katrina managed to actually put an end to the swift boating of Broussard.

It was one of those magical moments on TV when the media is told to shut the fuck up and stop legitimizing right wing lunatics running blogs.

Anyway read Ariana's piece.


The Cyborg...

lives on!


Jurisprudence - Foreign Precedent

This story is pretty much good news. I won't comment on wether or not Spain is better than the US at incriminating terrorists and their collaborators. I know practically nothing about this case, or Spanish law for that matter to even attempt to bloviate on this one.

However, my crystal ball says that at some point in the near future similar cases involving similar people (Jose Padilla comes to mind) in similar circumstances (Padilla has yet to be charged with anything, but he if he were to be charged with something, it would probably be conspiracy) will appear before the Supreme Court.

You may recall that recently Scalia sympathizers berieved Justice Kennedy's majority dissent regarding the state sponsored murder of minors. You may also recall that Scalia's opinion to the contrary included blasting Kennedy for finding precedent in cases overseas. I also recall that soon to be Cheif Roberts said in his hearing that he opposed seeking precedent in international law.

So, should a case like this one or Padilla's come before the court, I wonder wether Roberts or Scalia or even Thomas (all now on record against citing foreign precedent in opinions) will use the Spanish case as a crutch for incrimination.

I hate using speculation to populate this blog but I really would love to see the assrockets of the world wriggle their way out of such a situation. Should the perfect storm of appeals, ACLU suits, and legal ladder climbing combine to form a case like the Spanish one before the nation's highest court, resulting in a conservative writting for the majority, citing that even in Spain ..., well at least I could point back to this post and say "I told ya so."

Then again, the circumstances surrounding Padilla (the probable case for my imaginary legal scenario) are rather disturbing wether or not he is a terrorist. Holding an American Citizen without charge is beyond unconstitutional and brinks on behavior seen in pre-WW Germany.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Hey Armando,

A respectful FUCK YOU.

David Brooks has been on the Newshour weekly slamming Bush and Republicans ever since Katrina hit. Let me repeat, an arch conservative formerly of the newcon Weekly Standard said even on today's MTP the following
Listen, Bush believes in the tax policy of his administration. I don't. I think in time of war, you don't cut taxes.


And sometimes in my dark moments, I think he's "The Manchurian Candidate" designed to discredit all the ideas I believe in.

So maybe he is in a dark moment, but we on the left should embrace that moment and say, Bush&Co can't even garner support from one of their classicaly staunchest supporters. A representative of at least one of the factions of the base is pissed off and spewing it into microphones, cameras, and printing presses at every chance he gets.

Say what you will, but this guy gets lots of airtime and the more he talks against the administration the better. To the average joe thinks of David Brooks as the Token Conservative at the New York Times.

So he may very well be a wanker daily, but he is taking our side in a seemingly genuine sort of way.

I rather like it and I think it should be broadcast from the highest mountains that David Brooks thinks George Bush is the "Manchurian Candidate designed to discredit all conservatives believe in." (God that is a great line to repeat!)

Perhaps other conservative hacks will get on the Brooks bandwagon. I would rather they come to that conclusion as a result of intense introspection. Instead diaries like Armando's will just generate the standard "the left is never happy" vitriol from the right. With the most certain effect of the Left having to come to Armando's rescue.

It is an irresponsible message to portray since the narrative can only bite the left in the ass.

Horse's have always been judged by the apparent health of their teeth. You wouldn't buy a horse that had rotten teeth. But this is a free horse David Brooks is offering up for free. I for one, could give a rats ass if there are a couple of molars missing.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Hampton Inn Racist?

Form American Morning Miles O' Brien:
Among the many stories out here this morning -- there are thousands of them and they are often tales of woe -- are people who are Katrina evacuees.

Ron Breaux is among them.

He's from New Orleans originally, began his day in Houston.


M. O'BRIEN: Well, a couple of days ago, wherever it was.

Where are you headed and what is your plan, Ron?

BREAUX: Well, actually, we decided that we was going to stay here, you know? Because I have two small kids and my oldest son with me, along with my wife. The thing is, is that we paid up for a hotel room, right? And now they're telling us that we have to leave the hotel because they had already made plans for someone else to have the room. And I didn't figure that would be right because I thought it may be first come first served. And also considering that I'm from New Orleans and I've been through so much, you know?

We really don't know where we're going, where we're headed. We don't -- we really don't know where we are right now.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, so what hotel is kicking you and your kids out?

BREAUX: The Hampton Inn.

M. O'BRIEN: The Hampton Inn has told you, you have to leave?

BREAUX: We have to leave. We have the money to pay them and everything, you know, thanks to the American Red Cross. We saved that, you know, donations that people had given us while we was in Houston. You know, we saved that in case something like this was to happen. And now we're prepared to pay them but they won't take our money and we'll have to move on.

But me and my wife, we've been traveling up and down the road all day, you know, trying to find some help. And apparently now we're low on gas, so even if we do have to get cut out, we don't have any gas to go anywhere now.

M. O'BRIEN: I suggest you drive back and get your kids right now.

BREAUX: Yes, that's what I'm going to do.

M. O'BRIEN: Because there's not -- there's not gas to be had. That's probably the safest place for you, Ron. You tell them you're not moving.

BREAUX: I'm not moving.

M. O'BRIEN: All right.

BREAUX: All right, thank you.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, Ron Breaux, good luck.

BREAUX: Thank you.

M. O'BRIEN: I wish you well.

Ron Breaux, who had to -- excuse me, I'll shake your hand there. I wish you well.

Ron Breaux, who had to evacuate New Orleans from Katrina is now in the middle of this mess in Houston. I think the best advice was that, go back to the hotel and be with your kids -- Soledad.

Ron Breaux is an African American. The Hampton Inn is kicking out a black man and his family that is willing to pay just as much as someone else for a room they already inhabit. Mind you this is a Katrina evacuee who has scraped up the money that he has gotten from the American Red Cross which gives him just enough to hang tight through Rita in a Hotel Room. Ron Breaux, yet another example of how Houston is "working out well" for him and his family.


Thursday, September 22, 2005


Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Wolcott.


1 year

Happy Blogiversary to me.

1 year ago I wrote this.

Yep. At that point I was pissed at the TV. I realize there are lots of others like me out there in bloglandia.

But I have made the acquaintance of Matt Stoller, and Oliver Willis, along with lots of other folks from the indy blogs list on the right.

A year ago I wouldn't think I would have gotten an average of over 1,000 people reading my blatherings a month.

I wouldn't think I would have 30 faithfuls a day. I didn't think I was anywhere near as good a writer as most other folks in this great electronic universe.

But I was satisfied with my mediocrity because I thought I saw things that others didn't. I still hold fast. And hey if anything I have educated some of my friends to the not so newsworthy news.

As well as the newsworthy un-news. And all things in between.

I have even started a dead blog. The main reason I haven't started my homebrew blog.

Anyway after Katrina, I really thought about packing it in. I really thought, fuck it, nobody's reading, and even if they are, it doesn't make a difference.

I don't know if I will turn the chips in, but this place is nto a friendly one. And the left does not like boosting its little people though they constantly preach that the government should do things for poor people that they can't do for themselves.

I agree, but the big guys ain't really willin'. I guess that's ok.

The bright side is that I haven't lost my job over this, and the job hasn't gotten too demanding that I have had to choose it over the blog.

So I guess I will keep on keepin' on until it does. Either that or until I become totally apathetic. After all, politics is just another religion. Having faith that other men with a louder voice, or a pen that signs laws will make change. This blogging stuff basically is a venue for yelling at those guys. In the end you have to wonder.

Is there anybody OUT THERE. Is this really making a difference.

Ah fuck it. I make my own beer dammit. And I know more shit about politics than I ever did.

It's my blogiversary and I'll be damned happy on it.

Let's see how many comments I get on this one.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Boston Globe You forgot a question!

Thanks to Capitol Buzz pointing out that Chafee is planning on voting for Roberts. Which is contradictory to what he has said in the past. And since NARAL supported him in his primary solely because he is pro-choice, Capitol Buzz is perhaps right to call for their about-face.

His source was the Boston Globe (or Providence Journal), for those of you like me searched all over the entire blog for a link to the story.

Now the thing that should bother everyone most is why a blogger and not the press. This is a legitimate question to watch a slimy republican like Chafee squirm in front of a microphone.

All the reporters would have to ask is the following:

But Senator Chafee, on two occasions you save said that your litmus test for a judge is wether or not they uphold Roe v. Wade. Does this mean you are satisfied with Judge Robert's answers on the topic?

OK OK. Perhaps they just weren't really aware of his stance being Krazy-glued to abortion.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2nd, 3rd, and 8th graphs (ironically, the 4 places the word abortion turns up):
Chafee told the Providence Journal that he will vote for Roberts even though he has been concerned that Roberts would try to restrict, or get rid of, legal abortion.

The senator explained his decision by noting that Roberts would replace another opponent of abortion, the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Given that, Roberts' addition to the court should not disturb the narrow majority that favors legal abortion, Chafee said.


Chafee said his decision would have been tougher if Roberts was replacing retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. O'Connor has been a swing vote in abortion and other privacy-related cases.

So OK perhaps he sort of answered the question above. But these graphs beg yet another question:

Senator Chafee. Say Elmer Fudd and Wile E. Coyote sat on the Supreme Court and recently left their seats vacant. Given the conventional wisdom that Wile E. is the real gun nut, whose seat should Yosemite Sam replace, Justice Fudd or Justice Coyote?

What kind of answer is this? What kind of answer is it's a good thing the Chief will be anti-abortion since he chooses the cases on the docket of the court isn't it a bit MORE important that he be the swing vote on abortion? Either way even that point is mute. He said, any judge. He didn't make distinctions back then that he would only vote for a pro-Roe judge depending on whose seat that judge was filling?

Yo Globe, or perhaps constituents of Lincoln Chafee, find out:

His contact info is here:

United States Senate
141A Russell
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-2921

170 Westminster Street
Suite 1100
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 453-5294

320 Thames Street
Room 272
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 845-0700

Also webform here.

Those who have read before realize that I am a fan of NARAL and as such I think attacking them solely is misguided. If they are principled enough to back a republican for their cause, I am sure they are principled enough to remove their backing should he vote against their interests.

I assure you the reasons for doing both are the same.


Say No to John Roberts

Culture ktichen has a bunch of reasons to sign their petition. So go sign it.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

LIVE BLOGGING: Corzine v. Forrester Debate

keep Refreshing:

Early on I thought I heard a cap gun like sound go off. Someone should confirm this.

8:17PM Ok so far, Forrester has his usual used car salesman appearance. Sen. Corzine, the great man that he is, he is being a bit long winded. But his wonkishness almost warrants his constant licking of his upper lip.

8:18 Corzine is looking dare I say it stage Frightened? Plus he is resisting the "Read My Lips" shit. Shit! Red Alert Red Alert!!!

He said raise taxes.

8:19 Bob Ingle is moderating?@LEKJFLSK WTF?!?!

8:20 Forrester busts out the "Corzine's pals in Trenton" How does a DC Democrat have links to State Level Democrats.

8:20 Corzine is recovering by facing his voting record straight on! Go Corzine! Democrats take heed.

UPDATE: 8:22 Forrester is denying wanting not answering on the Lease the TP and PKWY questions. HA! He has already denied the possibility.

8:27 Corzine does decently regarding his faux Democratic Connections.

8:30 Caitlin Gurney looks like a teenager.

8:31 Corzine is not doin' so hot! Is he chemically compromised? They are poisoning him!

8:32 Corzine is pro AC wants to compete with Vegas. I don't know how I feel about that.

8:35 Forrester fails once again to outline how and what exactly 30 in 3 is.

8:41 Advertizing is over. Must pay attention now. Looks like Corzine is discussing a loop around the Nuke Plant. Homeland Emergency Czar? Trippin up Senator. Someone make sure the Senator gets some Vallum next time.

8:43 Corzine says he is for the nuke plant as long as it is safe from a homeland security standpoint and from an environmental standpoint. SMART ANSWER!

8:44 Forrester is blaming McGreevey for everything. I don't think this stuff can stick to Corzine. It hasn't so far this night even when asked about it directly.

Corzine may recover. But he has to stay sharp!

8:45 Forrester on Stem Cells. For it. In a big way. UPDATE: For only Adult Stem Cells.

8:46 Corzine reminds us that Frist and Hatch of all people are for Stem Cells.
He is for it in a big way as well but didn't explain it as well as Forrester.

8:47 Reminder I am a liberal crazy lunatic Democrat. I am just calling them like I'm seeing them.

8:49 Matt is way better at this. Go there!

8:50 Talking about waste fraud and abuse. Forrester. Uhm Lots of Uhms. HE is against a hockey arena in Newark. SO is Corzine.

I agree.

8:53 Smoking Ban. Corzine for. Except in AC.

Forrester is Against? Sort of.

If I didn't know any better I would say Forrester is saying the right things tonight.
It ain't affecting me. But it may affect some.

8:55 Bob Ingle is angainst bears. He is for arming bears Bearing Arms. But against saving the Bears. Forrester is against bears as well. Corzine is for Protecting Bears!

8:56 Some breakfast joke by Forrester. Hey weren't there supposed to be a third party guy on tonight?


8:57 Corzine goes first. He's an optimist, still nervous. Home ownership, Health care for every child in the state. Tough ethics reform. Vision,plan, competency.

8:58 Forrester, Time now. Good, Efficient, and Honest. Three things Forrester is not. Best of all states. Take a whiff of the air Forrester.
Bright future asking for Bartles and James support.

And its a rap.


News Hour Hearts Pat Toomey

Hands down winner of any wanker of the day contest, any golden winger awarding, and any upside down inverted coital grasp. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you....

Pat Toomey!

With a Co-Wankership award to The News Hour.

For enabling this mans oral launches of fecal matter or as I call them OLO FM (any potential radio station investors out there?) to be viewed and heard by millions of unsuspecting people.

So, who does one of the most serious name in Peabody award winning free TV news programs like The News Hour have on to discuss "How the Government Can Pay for Katrina?"

You guessed it Pat Toomey... The guy whose Clubmate has just been removed from the "Executive Office of The President."

The News Hour had this gentleman on to discuss what the federal government should do about the cost of New Orleans 2.0. This is the guy who has beers with the man whose greatest wish has just come true. Mr. Grover "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to
get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub
" Norquist.

Yes News Hour, let's inform the American public in a fair and balanced way about the intricacies of, and the governmental involvement in, this most Herculaen of economic situations, with a guy who would rather just do away with ANY and ALL economic function for government. PBS chooses a lobbyist who pushed a tax policy that is partly responsible for size of the federal deficit.

If having this pukeface Lobbyist on television to discuss government waste isn't so gastrointestinally terrible for you. When he opened what I confused to be a mouth for what was certainly an anus (judging by the contents), the vitriolic vomit that was the output should bring your nearest porcelain god come company.

Simply put, he doesn't think the richest folks should pay a cent.

Pat Toomey also thinks that Medicare or Medicaid are "entire[ly]... ill concieved" and "entirely on the table." That's newspeak for "the poor people (most of which are black) can kiss whatever piss poor medical care they were getting goodbye." He basically went on to desribe his willingness to cut just about any and all government spending except for the war on terra. Other things on the chop block according to Toomey, Prescription Drug Benefit (well if it goes back to what it was before they passed the law that isn't so bad but Toomey wasn't thinking this). Also on the list, FEMA (due to incompetence). I thought I heard him mumble something like "Fuck Rita."

Off the chop block is of course, Tax cuts for the richest few. Citing the typical conservative wet dream involving the invisible hand giving the economy the invisible hand-job.

Pat Toomey. The guy who just saw one of his buddies go to jail. The first thing I read this week was about a President's Ex-Aide being Arrested... Despite the Kornblut byline, the headline instantly prompted me to read this before filling my head with the typical breakfast of leftist propaganda from the filthiest of propagandists and the slimiest of slanderers. You know who you are...

I realized then that CNN had slightly mentioned the issue in passing. Something I would have missed had I not been on my third sip of coffee by the time I could actually comprehend sensory input. Thank you flying spaghetti monster for making it so.

Anyway, I digress, I read up on Pat Toomey's Co-Member of Club-For-Growth. Mr. David Salsafraz. The next thing I read was something TPM pointed out an old Wapo story. El Presidente Pat Toomey's fellow Club for Growther, Grover Norquist. All of three of them bosom buddies. Criminals hanging with criminals. It's like the frekin Soprano's.

So let's square this off one more time, with a cute metaphor.

Imagine the Newshour discussing "problems" and how to "get rid of 'em" with Tony Soprano. Sometimes the person's name pretty much says it all.

UPDATED: For Clarity and Perhaps readability as well as general editing stuff.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Orgy Pie

It is official, finally, the wingers have decided to stand up to President Bush and the GOP for spending too much money.

The imagined/proposed $200 billion for relief of Katrina is the straw that finally broke the camel's back. The Congressional boondoggles over the last 5 years including vast galas of innaugural celebrations during wartime, not one but 2 wars, $300 billion highway bill, Federally bailing out the airline industries pensions, the over $500 billion defense budget, the $290 billion that stopped comming in thanks to repeal of the Estate Tax, and the countless trillions lost to the miracle of compound interest had Bush not cut taxes for the richest.

All these things did not bother great minds such as the one residing in Stephen Moore's Cerebral Frontal Lobe. For they do not equate a lack of revenue with increase spending as one-in-the-same,resulting in a lack-of-money-for-shit-America-needs. To them its always OK to choke the government's intake valve. As for the pressing gas pedal, only in the dire circumstance of benefitting those who need it least.

Sparing aweful automotive metaphors like the one I just used, I am sure the internets are ripe with information along these lines. Where a Cato or Herritage Foundation flunky will publish a policy pushing a tax break in the amount of X which equals an increase in free-market-enterprise Y, resulting in a society of golfers, soccer moms, and suburbanites drinking Mimosas as they compare their privatized retirement account statements.

Let me point to one such example that Stephen Moore has given us.

For example this from only 3 years ago discussing the generalities revolving around deregulation of broadband (which, I am in favor of to some extent):

By some estimates, it will cost telecom companies some $200 billion of added broadband investment to lay down the cables to bring this technology into most homes and businesses. How can this investment be accelerated? One answer is for Congress to let businesses write off their mega-investments the year they're made.

And then today's WSJ OpinionJournal piece access to which can be found here. Stephen is elloquently saying that thanks to the bad spenders in Congress, we can no longer afford to help Katrina victims.
Politicians from seemingly every congressional district appear to be elbowing their way to the orgy table for a slice of this $200-billion pie.

I will ignore the orgy table, an obvious reference to a torture device used to punish Evangelical Christians who decide to pollute their bodies with pre-marital sex.

To his credit, Stephen does point out some of the shameful spending mentioned above. To his discredit, Stephen of course omits the lack of revenues which could offset such spending ventures.

Using the examples I pointed out. To at least Stephen Moore, it seems OK to spend $200 billion to give a tax break for telecom companies, yet not ok to spend it on the victims of Katrina. All that is missing for the hypocritic right wing trifecta would be for these words to come from a "Pat Robertson Republican" accompanied by some anti-christian, judicial activist, abortion riddled vitriol. In which case the detractions from Jesus' poverty preaches would be obvious.

It is examples such as this that make me proud to poetically piss on conservatives.


The Liberal Media

It's a Goddamned Conspiracy I tell ya!


War on Drugs


Even in a state completely under martial law, the War on Drugs deomonstrates its futility.

Warning! Washington Times article containing Republican grand standing and questionable claims that drugs fund terrorists.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Dems supporting Reps

THE NEWS BLOG has a great post about why Democrats are supporting A republican Mayor who may have been a RINO when he started but has demonstrated he is a true Republican lacking in governing skills since his election.

So Kos! A rose by any other name is still a rose. You say NARAL, I say Democrats! Tomato Tom-ah-to, let's call the whole thing off!

Asking why is a start but election day is right around the corner. Dems are flocking towards Bloomberg! Ferrer is not a bad candidate, he talks tough, he talks left, and he talks about really good things. So why not support him?

The answer is simple, NY is a crazy place and corruption is rampant, so you always want to be on the side of the winner, even if the winner is a perceived looser. When that winner is white, rich, and can buy his way into office, well you gotta get behind him. Cuz if he wins, he's gonna fuck you over if you don't support him. Your issue project will be dead in the water if you backed the other guy.

I dunno why Democrats aren't supporting Ferrer, but it must be time to kill these Republican supporting single-interest-groups Democrats right?!

UPDATE: For the record, NARAL backed Bloomberg. Why? See above re: corruption, but it doesn't mean that they suck and should die.


Single Issue Groups RULE!

Kos and co. continue to piss me off with this single-issue-group crusade. It's fucking bullshit batshit, insanity, and propagates the political suicide of the Democrats. Kos, you may not realize this but there is a forrest beyond those trees. Its bullshit to try and merge or kill any group that doesn't automatically walk in lockstep with a single party or your own views for tha tmatter. This country is diverse in its thinking and its viewpoints and yes not many folks are single issue voters but many are. Until the death of single issue voters comes about, you cannot kill single-issue groups like NARAL.

NARAL scored a major victory in New York recently with the Plan B passing. Of course the Republican in Charge killed the bill, but that bill wouldn't even get there had it not been for NARAL. That is the plain and simple truth. MoveON didn't help that billl, nor did they espouse it support it or help lobby for it in any way!

Any movement works like this. If you are a multi-issue group, you may accomplish more simply because of the math, technology or whatever. The reason that Moveon is so goddamned successful is money. Plain and simple. Soros drops tons of money in and they garner the technology of the internets to make some more.

The reason Kos or anyone who thinks single issue politics should go to sleep is screwed in the head is because they only see the last 10 years. They are also so into kissing Democratic ass that they cannot possibly agree with anyone unwilling to pucker up. Way before 10 years ago, Democrats lost their nerve and lost their nutsacks. Had Democrats stood up for what they believed and actually had done some decent shit with the power they had, they wouldn't loose power. But they (like the current Republicans) squandered any high ground they had with corruption and the Republicans gained by pointing it out and making a mountain out of a mole hill. All the while the citizenry suffered. If it wasn't for single issue groups many issues would be politically dead as would their votes. This is a simple matter of history and it baffles me that Kos will point this history out when criticizing republicans, then ignore it when a fellow single-issue-group-cursader rears their head.

Blind support only gets you so far. Look at the Bankruptcy bill. Decmorats voted for it too! The reason politics makes strange bedfellows is because that is the game. If Democrats aren't doing what you want them to do the best thing to do is vote them out, or support the other guy! That is the definition of democracy and unfortunately a 2 party democracy cannot possibly espouse every viewpoint out there. Neither can politicians or interest groups for that matter. If Democrats want to try to be the opposition group they are supposed to be, they should back it up with their voting records. For when in the minority, it is the best way to document your views. Voting with Republicans, on Republican based bills, makes you more Republican. Also, just because a bill is written by a Democrat doesn't mean it contains Democratic ideals therein! That's where Democrats lost their groove.

I see the current political landscape in this country as a gamesh of groups. You have single issue groups like NARAL keeping Democrats honest by not showing blind support. If Democrats want to win back NARAL's support they just have to talk NARAL's game. Then you have multi-issue groups which support single issues but are less fervent about it. This is understandable because they choose to have more on their plate. The multi-issuers are great but they are not better than single issue groups. And no matter what the group, if politicians aren't supporting them with their vortes/bills/ Sunday Talk appearances, then they are on the political treadmill and getting nowhere.

NARAL is a great group, it is one of few (or many) that are fighting for women's rights.


The fact that there is still a large movement (which includes Democrats) pushing against women's right to choose what her and her doctor should do about their uterus, NARAL needs to fight and fight as hard as they damned well please. Moveon cannot possibly match NARAL's passion about women's rights. WHen was the last time Eli Pariser sent an email pushing for the Equal Rights Ammendment? More importantly, when was the last time someone with power or with ambitions for power brought up the ERA?

This is so far gone that I had to learn about it form a PBS Independent Lens movie that came up during women's month or something.

I had never heard about it yet, it happened during my younger years. Women everywhere were pushing organizing, voting, screaming, convening, writting, lobbying, for an equal rights ammendment. Hardly any Democrat spoke up for it, or made a good push for it.
It shouldn't be a surprise that women as a group are a political football up for grabs. But Democrats can easily gain ground by pushing the ERA. Yet they don't. ANd they don't all stand up for Plan B, and they wont. And they don't all stand up for Roe, and they wont.

Until they do, NARAL and others will do all these things and will push for reforms on the local level.

This is not what is loosing elections for Democrats. Democrats are loosing elections for Democrats. Until they and Kos and co. see that they will continue to loose.

You want a Democrat majority? Easy, go back in time dig up FDR's nutsack and surgically attach it to the party. While you are at it get a spine transplant too. Then put a guy who can talk this way up for election and see how he does.

You want to get rid of NARAL? Get their issue on the Democratic agenda, cuz it belongs there right at the top with the poor people.


Book Worming

This contribution makes excellent points.

If you are 30 years old like me, and you plan on having children by the time you are 35 (like me) by the time your kids go to college today's $100 text book will cost your kid (or you or hopefully the government will be paying for such things in the future):


NO KIDDING. You can do the math yourself.

I assumed having a kid today (18 years compounding), and a steady inflation rate of 4%. If the price of books has gone up and continues to go up at twice the rate of inflation well. Imagine what your kids entire book bill will be. Given that many books are closer to the $200 mark.

So perhaps someone should do something about this, given that in the future it seems education will be rather costly just in terms of books, and all this talk about how stupid our children are in comparison to other competing economic nations.

I don't like the idea of a "TMO" as the author of the piece suggests. I feel HMOs may have slowed the rise in healthcare costs, but I feel they have also contributed to the increase in the costs. So a similar system for books probably would do the same.

I think the best way is to use (as the author suggests) the same system in use in American Public Schools. However, I think all state schools should make a collective bargaining agreement on basic texts such as Biology, Chemistry, History etc. that are required classes even in College. Accompanying this policy for books may be a standardization of the requirements within curriculi at state schools.

I went to Rutgers and it amazed me that only 1 science class was required. I think everyone needs to take Biology, Chemistry, and Geology. Perhaps even Physics should be required.

That way you would have a smarter educated class and perhaps silly "debates" about things like Intelligent Design would be harder to gain traction.

All the while saving on books, graduating smarter kids, and inceasing the value of our college educations!

Somebody call a congressman!

Or you could start saving up for that freshman year book bill!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Rebuilding... Bush Style

Let us just review what the President recently said:
My attitude is this: The storm didn't discriminate and neither will the recovery effort.

So what has been done since then?

First of all it is important to note that Halliburton inked a deal (September 1st) before "the Cavalry" arrived (September 2nd).

So there shall be no discrimination except amongst bidding contractors with ties to Vice Presidents.

But wait... there's more.

Yesterday, President War Criminal (notice the promotion) signed an executive order removing the control the federal government has over wages paid to workers employed under federal contracts:
President Bush yesterday suspended application of the federal law governing workers' pay on federal contracts in the Hurricane Katrina-damaged areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The action infuriated labor leaders and their Democratic supporters in Congress, who said it will lower wages and make it harder for union contractors to win bids.

The Davis-Bacon Act, passed in 1931 during the Great Depression, sets a minimum pay scale for workers on federal contracts by requiring contractors to pay the prevailing or average pay in the region. Suspension of the act will allow contractors to pay lower wages. Many Republicans have opposed Davis-Bacon, charging that it amounts to a taxpayer subsidy to unions.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, accused Bush of "using the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to cut the wages of people desperately trying to rebuild their lives and their communities."

Miller said: "In New Orleans, where a quarter of the city was poor, the prevailing wage for construction labor is about $9 per hour, according to the Department of Labor. In effect, President Bush is saying that people should be paid less than $9 an hour to rebuild their communities."


Wanna earn a livin' while rebuildin'?


More at TPM!


I am emoting...

I don't think that David Brooks knows today's column is probably the last to be scrutinized by the blogosphere unwilling to pay for subscriptions to the NYT. But I do know that lately David has been showing a rather "realist" streak to his typical Bobo streak.]

Today may be the last time I say this about David Brooks:



"2000 buses"

Taking a page from O dub, I noticed yet another Right wing talking point that has already been proven false and how excellently it can take off in the blogosphere.

As O dub said in Real Time.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

John Cornyn The Wankenator!

So the Hearings continue on John Roberts. It is a fantastic game of philosophical chess being played. Honestly, I didn't know politicians to be this smart! The Democrats are suprised by his words claiming he is in favor of a right to privacy established in Roe, and he agrees with Griswald's extension of that right marital contraception. Yet he deplores Dred Scott which is code for being anti-abortion.

The chess game is decent to watch, and John Roberts is a scary guy. He is extremely intelligent, well spoken, fast on his feet, and has been playing the game almost perfectly, where the uber left and right's sails become deflated with almost every contradiction. He is at the very least brilliant. It is especially this brilliance which I fear the most. He spits cases out like nothing. Trust me this is the key to being a good lawyer. Knowing cases, knowing the precedent's they set or struck down, Robert's mind is a sponge and he is just wringing it out slowly throughout these days.

However, after watching only a part of the chess game with brilliant questions from Russ Feingold, and Chuck Schumer, up tot he bat came John Cornyn.

John Roberts must breath a sigh of relief and must owe many thanks to whomever appointed John Cornyn to his seat on the SJC. The following is from the transcript graciously provided by the NYT:
CORNYN: Well, as a good lawyer, you also know the danger of an analogy is that people will take it and run away with it, perhaps use it against you. And I heard today that yesterday we were talking about baseball, but today we're talking about dodge ball. Some have suggested that you have been less than forthcoming about your answers to the questions, and I just couldn't disagree with that more. And I want to go over this just a minute, because I think it bears some repetition. First of all, you were confirmed by the United States Senate by unanimous consent just a little over two years ago to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, what some have call the second most important or powerful court in the nation . So you've been before the committee before. You've been thoroughly investigated, examined and scrutinized, perhaps more than anyone else in history. The reason I say that is because, since your nomination -- first as associate justice and now as chief justice -- there have been more than 100,000 documents produced about your background and record, Some in the government sector and some in the private sector.

Let's stop it there. Wha?! Yes, Senator you are right, Judge Roberts, I have heard enough. You seem like a good guy, and besides, you have already been confirmed so why even have this silly hearing. Hey the President picked ya back then and he picked ya again! Is that a Waltz I hear? I just want to get back to my crossword puzzle so I'll throw you a softball, instead of a dodgeball. I hear your a bit of a wordsmith... What is a 7 letter word for food?

And of course, we've heard today how perhaps a line or a word or a choice of phrase can be used, perhaps out of context, to try to create an impression that may or may not be borne out by looking at the entire context of your record or even the document.

Really, Things are always taken out of context these days take this statement:
"I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that’s been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in — engage in violence."
How that got taken to mean anything but the fact that activist judges are asking for violence is beyond me!

But I do believe you have been forthcoming. I know before we had the last two rounds of questions, you'd answered 35 questions on civil rights, 10 on following precedents.

CORNYN: You answered 40 questions about the role of a judge, 25 on abortion and privacy rights, and 11 on presidential powers.
So I would just disagree with the characterization that someone might make -- I don't think it's fair or accurate -- that you've been anything less than completely forthcoming, and that we frankly know an awful lot about you, and that's not been a bad thing. I think from my point of view, the more that we have learned about you, the more confidence many of us have in the judgment of the president in your selection. But, of course, you're not there yet. We still have a lot of questions to task before voting.

I want to also talk to you a little bit about one area of questioning. I believe it was Senator Biden who was asking you about Justice Ginsburg and the fact that she answered some questions, but declined others. And we've talked about the Ginsburg standard. I think Senator Schumer referred to that as well.

Yep good enough for me! How many possible nuances can potentially cross your bench while you spend the next 30 or 40 years on the Supreme Court? I mean really, isn't 35 questions on civil rights, 10 on following precedents, 40 questions about the role of a judge, 25 on abortion and privacy rights, and 11 on presidential powers enough? And hey if the questions were asked and you said something other than Mary Had a Little Lamb or "I plead the 5th" then you must have answered them. I would know if I were too busy trying to figure out how to spell the 6 letter word for Galapagos lizard!

There is only so much blood you can squeeze from a stone! I mean hey the President's staff full o' cronies picked ya, so that's good enough for me.

So Mr. Chairman, let's vote, this guy seems alright by me.

Advise and Consent, Senator Cornyn, not the other way around.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Democracy... Afghan Style

Can you smell it!

In Afghanistan, we removed the cruel and oppressive regime that had turned that country into a training camp for al Qaeda, and now we are helping the Afghan people to restore their nation and regain self-government.

So, how and is the mission our Democracy Freedom Fighters died for being played out:
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission has disqualified 28 more candidates from elections next Sunday, but high-profile figures accused of major rights abuses were not amongst them.

The disqualifications announced on Monday brought to 45 the number of candidates barred from the U.N.-backed vote for a national assembly and provincial councils.

Of the total, 21 were disqualified for links to illegal armed groups and the rest for accepting or failing to resign from government positions, commission chairman Grant Kippen told a news conference.

The group included Mohammad Yousof, a former pro-Taliban commander in the northern province of Baghlan, but well-known figures accused of rights violations were not on the list.

Kippen said the commission had received nearly 2,000 complaints against candidates among the 5,800 running, but the vast majority had to be dismissed as they were not supported with sufficient evidence.

"Our mandate is to look at violations or offences under the electoral law; we are not a criminal court or a transitional justice body," he said.

"Ultimately it is the right of voters in this country to choose in a few days' time who will represent them."

The ECC is an independent body of three international members nominated by the United Nations and two Afghans, one named by the Supreme Court and one by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Rights groups have expressed concern that figures implicated in major rights abuses are being allowed to stand in the elections, reinforcing a culture of impunity.

U.N. Special Representative Jean Arnault told Reuters in an interview last week that such candidates were able to stand because they had not been convicted of offences.

He called the situation "unfortunate" and said judicial reform needed to be prioritised after the elections to meet popular demands for justice.

Those standing in the elections include several defectors from the fundamentalist Taliban regime overthrown by U.S.-led forces in 2001, among them a former vice minister responsible for the notorious religious police.

Taliban RULE ON!


Monday, September 12, 2005

Accountability - Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dear Leader

Sorry fans, I realize I have been letting all 30 of you down in recent days with the lack of posts. Partly because I have been busy at work. Partly because it is near impossible to keep up with all the news from Katrina. However, mostly because I feel disgusted with government at various levels. I know I just sounded like the folks I am about to rag on but hey, making excuses lands some people in very powerful positions, so please forgive mine.

It is hard to say what disgusts me more these days. But at the very top has to be how this president is slicker than teflon and how nothing ever seems to stick to him.

Yglesias had a similar version of my rant recently, and one of his points was how Bush's approval dissaproval ratings are about the same. They may have slipped a few notches but they are in the low 40's to upper 30's. Meanwhile approval of Katrina handling is at about 20%

The former has been the case for the last few months. With all the bad crap in iraq, and now the Katrina monumental disaster, I would think Bush would have lost like 5 points on this latest poll alone.

Thus, the lack of understanding by me of the political landscape in this country.

Clinton got (and still gets) blamed for almost anything that occured under his watch or even under bush's watch (ie. 9/11 clinton had the chance to get OBL but blew it as the wingers say). Simlarly, Democrats get blamed for slashing defense budgets and starving the military beast. Bush however, gets credit. Credited, not blamed, for only the good things that are realy bad things spun into goodness by his apparatchiks in various facets of the corporate media.

Yet evidence has been mounting to the contrary. Bush appointed a Secretary of Defense that screwed up the war, and despite Kagan and Kristol's most valiant efforts, he still keeps his job and President Teflon isn't connected in any way to any of this persons malfeasance.

On national television Condi Rice was confronted with the infamous memo addressed to her that was entitled "Osama Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the United States" dated August 6th 2001. For her excellence and service to the fine American's who died on 9/11, a promotion to Secretary of State! The filter of intelligence either filtered or didn't, either way the intelligence landed on her desk, she either ignored it or passed it on.

Bush appoints most of FEMA's current top rung, most of which not only lacked emergency management experience but were also political cronies. I remember a certain governor who got into some major shit for putting a crony (albeit of the personal nature) into disaster control of a certain state that I live in. A crony is a crony is a crony right? While McGreevy was obviously bashed and forced to retire for putting his crony in charge of our security why doesnt this same level of accountability apply to the White House?

I do think the local politicos in nawlins (Missisippi and Alabama too) should all be pushed to resign or retire or whatever the glorious way of signing off is these days. But the federal government should be no different.

I know this sounds like a slogan/bumper sticker but when Clinton got a BJ nobody died over it. Yet he was impeached!

Today we have various failed policies, and people administrating such policies which have been directly correlated to american (and other) deaths. Human life. Lives. You know. Living, breathing, feeling organisms.

It is beyond belief that bush's accountability seems inversly proportional to the ammount of shit that actually occurs under his watch, under those whom he has appointed (and erroneously not fired), or worse, actually signed off on personally.

Michael Brown was exposed for being a resume padder and a political crony, yet while he may no longer be in charge of this crisis, he will be in charge of the next one. I am sure he will find his way into the Bush Presidential Library forever immortalized by "Brownie you're doing an excellent job" caption.

If there werent human lives at stake I would say "who cares how many times you screw up." Shit I work in an environment where people are known fuck-ups and get to keep their job. However, Rummy, Brown, Chertoff, and most others in charge of "vital missions" have been criminally negligent but they still get a piece of my (and your) tax payer dollars every week. So to those who think this is a poor time for finger pointing and blame gaming, sorry.

Any failure of government on any scale deserves finger pointing. Be it to whom it may, from whichever party. Let the chips fall as they may, but i fear that a lack of finger pointing has led us to the sad state of affairs I find this country in. Where many folks become appathetic and supported their political leaders regardless of the ruin their policies have caused their constituents. We are at war and I remember when the case was being made for that war, many many folks were just saying oh well.... let it happen.... its ok.... go ahead....

Forget asking the tough questions. Noone was asking ANY questions. period. I think fingerpointing is the best thing that CAN come out of this whole thing. If anything the hope that any politician in future situations such as this can conjure the image of how their previous compatriots in government were treated can perhaps alter their behavior whenever a crisis confronts them. Perhaps thinking of how the political gallows were populated with the Katrina Krisis Krew during this crisis, will lead the thought process of the politician dealing with the next.

So I say, point away. Roll the dice in the Blame Game. The way politicians are polluted by money and pampered by the press, it seems that only a sign saying "I'm a fuck up and people died because of my negligence" hanging from the necks of these guys/girls (from local on up to the President) is the only way future disasters/cotastrophies/wars/death can be potentially avoided.

Of course I say all this as I am currently contemplating fully removing myself from the political system (ie. not voting anymore).


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mississippi vs. Louisiana

It is obvious that the attention has fallen heavily on New Orleans. The disaster perhaps warrants the disproportionate attention in New Orleans in comparison to other Katrina hit areas. However, on Sunday's Meet the Press their were two rather different viewpoints expressed. One by New Orlean's Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard who was moved to tears begging for federal help. Another by GOP Governor Haley Barbour whom has had a long history including a stint as RNC chair in the 90's. Transcript:
But my experience is very different from Louisiana, apparently.  I don't know anything about Louisiana.  Over here, we had the Coast Guard in Monday night. They took 1,700 people off the roofs of houses with guys hanging off of helicopters to get them.  They sent us a million meals last night because we'd eaten everything through.  Everything hasn't been perfect here, by any stretch of the imagination, Tim.  But the federal government has been good partners to us.  They've tried hard.  Our people have tried hard.  Firemen and policemen and emergency medical people, National Guard, highway patrolmen working virtually around the clock, sleeping in their cars when they could sleep.  And we've made progress every day.

Tim must have sensed there was too much information being disseminated already, he quickly changed to topic to rebuilding the Casinos.

Now it is odd, that By Monday night August 29th (only one day after the storm) Mississippi had the benefit of the Coast Guard rescuing up to 1,700 people, when Louisiana only saw coast guard activity on Wednesday August 31 (two days after Mississippi).  This is rather disturbing given the fact that Louisiana declared a state of Emergency a full day before Mississippi did.

Starting to smell rotten?  So far we have a super Republican power player whose state recieves pretty good federal attention in the aftermath, and another state run by democrats that seems to get less than lackluster federal response.

Rather alarming.  

Strange that (presumeably) the Coast Guard did this for Mississippi (on August 29th):

Emergency officials on the Gulf Coast said rescue teams braved strong winds and high water to reach people stranded on roofs and in attics -- people who apparently ignored repeated orders to evacuate on Sunday.

But didn't do anything for New Orleans that same day where the winds were less "strong."

Funny how Mayor Ray Nagin has been getting slammed by the right for being not so swift at issueing a mandatory evacuation while Mississippi was disseminating the following information as late (August 28th) as Mayor Nagin was issuing his mandatory evacuation:

"In Pearl River County, Carolyn Nelson, coordinator of Emergency Management said at 9:30 a.m. that there were no mandatory evacuations and none were expected. The first shelter was to open in Picayune at 2 p.m., with others to be opened as needed.

'We're telling callers that if they have good sturdy homes and they're not in a flood zone to stay,' said Nelson, 'Leaving is their call.'"

So why aren't those folks falling under such scrutiny by the right as the Louisiana folks?  After all anyone who stayed behind  and died in Mississippi were just following orders right?  


UPDATE: Coast Guard was on the Scene in New Orleans on August 29th as well. Here is a good site for Coast Guard pics and news.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005


It seems yet another CO2 neutral way of making the lights go on when you flick the switch has been found. Thanks to the scientists at University of Illinois.
Field trials of the grass called Miscanthus in Illinois showed it could be very effective as an economically and environmentally sustainable energy crop.

Professor Steve Long and his colleagues at the University of Illinois obtained a yield of about 60 tonnes per hectare of the tall willowy grass last year.

"If about 8 percent of the land area (of the state) was given over to this grass, and assuming only half of those yields were obtained, we would obtain enough dry matter to generate the total electricity used by of the state if Illinois, which includes the city of Chicago," he told a science conference.

Just for the metrically challenged 1 hectare = 2.471 acres, and 1 tonne = 2,204.6 pounds.

Get on it farmers!


In a Funk

I got back from my weekend in Acadia National Park in Maine where people were scarce and Nature was pretty. However, on Saturday while touring the reception hall for the future wedding, the Asticou Inn had some papers out for viewing.

On the front page of the New York Times was one of those pictures that basically takes the wind out of your sails even in a beautiful place like Maine.

The tragedy in New Orleans has left me in such a state that I don't know what to do. I fear that my faith in government and politics in general is fading proportionately with every floating body. It would be nice to just simply state that the lacsidaisical response was due simply to the incompetents the president and republicans have put in charge. However, the Democrats in charge haven't done much better.

The right will blame the local governments to take the heat off the feds. The left will defend the local governments to some extent while placing most of the blame on the President's shoulders. All the while, every level of government failed in some way. And yes, the federal government bears the burden for the bodies yet to be discovered after the storm.

The main thing that I think local and the state government should have done was provide more public transport for those who could not leave the city, and more information for everyone who was obviously going to get stuck. A rumor mill is no way to get vital information to people. As Brian Williams put it, a single engine plane with a banner would have worked much better. If it works for the Jersey Shore I am sure would have worked for the Big Easy.

That is about all the local governments did wrong. However, there is a difference between this situation and 9/11 where Rudy G rose to the top of list of guys who could lead in crisis situations. That difference is that an entire city was leveled by water from whatever the source. In New York, it was just a small section of the city, albeit an important section. But a whole city?! Not even Rudy G and wacky Pataki would have been able to do much better than Nizen or Blanco.

But these points are mute in terms of what culpability falls on the shoulder's of the Federal Government. The facts are the states of emergency were called way in advance of the storm. The levees were known to be breechable by such a storm. Chief Chertoff and his sidekick Brown Horse were briefed to these scenarios before Katrina made landfall. (All this can be found here and many other timelines of the disaster).

The point is mute not simply because of all the warnings and declarations of emergencies. It is mute because the Federal Government's purpose is to enter a crisis when the local governments become overwhelmed or are unable to deal with a situtation. The federal response to Katrina in our very own Gulf Coast took almost as long as the federal response to the Tsunami which happened half-way around the world.

So at this juncture where government has failed us time and time again. I am troubled. Who knows what the comming political storm will leave. I hope for all of us, that at the very least, change, in a major massive way will occur.