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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Simple Yet Troubling Thought

Why is it that when Insurgent's kill innocent civilian Iraqi's, it gets documented in the press. However, when the same innocent civilian Iraqi's die at the hands of US soldiers, nothing. You have to wait until a report from the Lancet journal.

This is some crazy twisted media world we are living in. Before I get shipped to Gitmo for potentially sounding anti-troop let me just say, I feel sorry for the troops. I don't support them I pity them. They get sent away to these frickin godforsaken money pit wars while all the while being brainwashed during training that they are going over to serve their country and keep us all free.

There are few who wake up from this twisted world the drill seargants inject into their pshyches, but a majority continue to live in that world. Mostly out of necessity I supposed, otherwise how else would you be able to kill another human being if you aren't already wired to do that.

But the rest of us don't need this brainwashing. As a matter of fact, we need to be immunized from it. The vehicle of said immunization should be the goddamned free fucking press. One of the major reasons this war is completely been removed from the true hearts and minds of most every American (save those unfortunate 1,600 families) is because it has been laundered by the Maytag Media so that the attrocities that occur as a result of any war become palatable for the uncritical consumer of news.

We only get the figures that count. How many American's die. How many insurgents die (cuz they are the bad guys). However, until the violence in Iraq turned sectarian (a word that needs disection for comprehension, kind of like redeployed) we never heard of innocent Iraqi deaths. Then Lancet popped out their study midway through the campaign and folks here completely dismissed it or missed it completely.

Now the bad guys are killing their own, and finally the media somehow gets the numbers of how many die.

Perhaps if this countries media from Katie Curic to Rush Limbaugh were all shipped over there to be imbedded with the troops and get some bullets whizzing by their heads they would be able to give this country a truly honest viewpoint of war and its accompanying attrocities. How can future generations think that war is anything but a costly, "good for the economy", process of forcing changes where you would like things changed. This notion that Iraqi's only matter when insurgent's kill them is frankly bullshit.

So big Media folks, if any of you happen to pass by this crazy shitbag of a blog I call MIT, here is a suggestion:

Just like when you print the news of an American and follow it with the total thus far of Americans killed, do the same to the news of Iraqi deaths. You would be doing the country a much better service if after sentences like these:
In two of the worst incidents reported Saturday, three suicide bombers tried to blast into a base shared by American and Iraqi troops at Sinjar, 40 miles from the northwestern border with Syria, killing at least one Iraqi border policeman and wounding at least 18 others, including 15 civilians.

You would print sentences like these:

The total death toll in Iraq thus far exceeds 100,000, with insurgents claiming roughly 2,000 lives, and US Forces missiles and bombs killing the rest. Start being the scorekeepers of the war dammit, isn't that what you get paid for?

If anything, the future generations who may possibly be watching and listening will save themselves the same horrible possibility of being led to war on false pretenses. At the very least they will learn that war is bad, ugly, and lots of people die including innocent civilians who have nothing to do with any of the political ramifications of wars.

Because currently, the media is doing such a fine job of keeping score, that depending on what you read, you get completely different numbers of innocent civilians killed in Iraq.


Friday, May 27, 2005

Release the hounds

Griffin and McKeague are now free to get voted on in the Senate.

Here is what has to say about Griffin and McKeague.

Shine on Compromisers! Shine on!


The Power of the Purse

Captain's Quarters is sooo pissed at the Repugnicans that he is starting a wee campaign to use "the power of the purse" to try and protest them.

I still think the infamous compromise was a bad deal for dems. But if it equally pisses off the right I guess it isn't so damned bad!


Picture book...

Oh the jokes that would ensue had this RNC convention have been held in Cleveland.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. I AM THE GREAT ALL POWERFUL ALL KNOWING WIZARD OF OZ!

Yet another testament to the independent Judiciary! So happy together!

How could the liberal media have missed this important development. Condi gets adventurous with her hair!

Dammit, I just can't bring myself to do it. The guy has cancer. He gets enough shit from the rightjust for being a rational member of the Republican party. I will just have to scrap the Kojak joke.

UPDATE: Vilkomen Crapheads!


Democats and Republidogs

Friday is typically cat blogging day on the liberal blogosphere. The other day I had a major breakthrough in getting Sg.t Pepper (my dog) and Seatie (pronounced C-A-T) to be in the same room with each other. This after the now 3 week battle of acheiving a cease barking/hissing/scratching.

Thus I thought, since I can barely keep up with a blog about national politics, blogging about New Jersey politics, and getting anyone to read any of what I write. I decided to just go nuts and start another blog. Say hello to Democats and Republidogs a.k.a.

Enjoy, blogroll it tell your friends and families about it! Just beware that it is still being updated and don't expect super duper amounts of posts. It will be musings that I will probably cross post here on MIT!

Enjoy folks.


The 6 dollar Burger

The latest Paris Hilton internet porn movie is out! One thing I regret about living in New Jersey is that we don't have Carl's Jr. franchises. It's not the food I care about, matter of fact even when I was travelling the nation on the company dollar for 4 years I don't think I laid teeth into a $6 burger at all. However, in my lonely hotel rooms while watching local (and not so local) TV I would get these gems from Carl's Jr. The adverts were fenominally hillarious. Now it seems they turn to the realm of good old down home sexiness.

I wish I would get these shooting across my tube here on the east coast. However, I don't think that will happen. Why?

Well went Brent Bozell's Family Television Internet Crusaders are on the case, they are sure to put a stop to the brilliance that is Carl's Jr. marketing department.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Acts of God...

I planned a camping trip for this glorious Memorial Day weekend. I planned on going with a bunch of friends and since I wanted to bring Sgt. Pepper along and the State Parks don't allow beagles (more from me on that here) we decided to camp at this place (whose name isn't even worth mentioning).

Now the campground charged me ahead of time for all 7 people who were supposed to go. At first I thought this was ok, but then people started cancelling and now the weather this week has been kinda poopy and perhaps will be poopier this weekend. Making mudd the primary substrate for all our activities. So the party has been reduced to 3 (Sgt. Pepper not included). I tried to cancel and was denied because I didn't give them 72 hours notice. I didn't ask for a refund I just wanted credit for future camping use.

The campground is explicit about its cancellation policy, so I won't argue the policy on its legal basis. Nay! My objective in this piece is to argue the ideology behind such legal protection of businesses from acts of god.

Owning a business is risky. It is inherant that anyone who goes into business for themselves assumes a certain ammount of risk. If you are in the camping business, you have to assume the risk of people not camping when it rains. As a business owner you have complete control over pricing, so you could assume a certain percentage of cancellation risk in your pricing. Hotels do this all the time. Hotels will allow you to cancel up to the day you are supposed to arrive in most cases.

Also this charging ahead of time is baloney as well. America is the only country in the world where you pay up front. Its bullshit. In the case of the campsite, I only asked for one campsite, apparently this campsite was big enough to accomodate my 7 person party and it is still going to be big enough to accomodate my 3 person party. So why charge me for extra people if there won't be any extra people? Why not charge me for however many people I show up with and however many people stay at the campsite after I check out of the campground?

SO MIT readers. Am I just insane? Should the person who cancels due to an act of god (as termed in legalese)? Or should a business which knows it is prone to divine interventions such as rainstorms etc. assume these costs as part of its cost of doing business? I think these costs should be absorbed by pricing of the services.

Think of the oil market and how it affects inflation. Somehow onions this month will be more expensive, not because onions are in short supply but because god (aka the free market, aka OPEC) has made the price of oil go up so that onions cost more to get a ride on a truck.


Newsweek got it right

The proof as they say is in the puddin'.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Just to clear the air a bit

I realize I haven't been very active on this blog for some time and I suppose I should appologize. I have been working a bit harder than usual. However, as a result I still find that there is lots of baloney running around out there. Particularly about these judges there was this compromise over. Independent Judiciary has profiles and the reasons why Democrats oppose the judges they are opposing. So go over there and read up about the judges. This is so your Fox watching friends don't send you emails like, I can't belive the Dems are knocking a judge for one little thing they said or did. These people have long careers of shit they said and did to fuck with basic Democratic values. Prescilla Owen, congratulations. you are now one of 12 republican appointed judges on the 5th circuit court. Not a major loss for our judiciary beacause that court is already sullied with shit judges that are pro-business. Just a cursory glance at the recent appeals brought before the Supreme Court allows one to see that the 5th circuit gets knocked over most of the time.

However, the compromise of compromises (already being deemed as the rebirth of moderatism) has done an enormous injustice to the DC Circuit. The second highest court in the land will now recieve Justice Brown. One who thinks the New Deal was a socialist revolution.

This should help those privatizers of social security push forward their myopic economic packages.

However, and more importantly, if these two (and let's not forget Justice Pryor) get appointed to the bench, then what defines an extraordinary judge? For if a filibuster can now only be counted on for extraordinary circumstances, with these folks setting the bar, I fear we will need someone of the caliber of that deffacating judge from Pink Floyd's The Wall to evoke a filibuster.

Whatever the Institution of the Senate won by saving the filibuster, the Democrats lost by allowing such benchmark judges to come to pass.

I am sure the Republicans who signed this agreement will not consider an appointment to the Supreme Court as an extraordinary circumstance.

Centrists.... I Hearby Sentence you to be Exposed before your PIERS!!!



Tuesday, May 24, 2005


And silent sighs. That is what my History professor said life was full of back when i was in college.

So we have a deal that a couple of Senators, should they stick to it, agree to let three bad judges go on to their appointed courts. Whereas 2 others get a "no commitment" non-nod. The centrists have stepped in and ruled the day!! Yippee skippy! YEAY FOR MODERATISM!

Whatever. Now its all about spin and I have already gotten like 35 emails and read another 6789 blog posts saying the compromise was good for Democrats.

I don't know I am not really keeping score of what courts are liberal and what courts aren't etc. O dub put it ok in his comments (just not on his main post). Overall, supposedly the Dems maintain the right to filibuster a Supreme Court judge. The filibuster is preserved, which would allow them to oppose more judges.

However, the losses include that Janice Brown will be on the DC Circuit court. The second highest court in the land. The last filter to the Supreme Court. NOW profiled her this past week. She doesn't seem to have a non-extremist world view. If she was a lefty I wouldn't want her on that court either. Trust I. The Judiciary should be independent. They should not have ultra-anything viewpoints. They need to look at the law and interpret it as it applies to a case. There should be no nuts be them on the right or left on these high courts. However, we now have a nut.

The republicans get 3 out of 5 which means they get more judges than we hoped for.

In either case perhaps the compromise was a good thing. Only time will tell. For if you thought the margins of the political spectrum fought this one out pretty crazily, just wait until the big CJ steps down.

I am sure the nukyalar option will be much more of an option then. Cuz they didn't mention any of that stuff in the compromise. For when they said that nominees should only be filibustered in extreme cirumstances they failed to define what extreme was. Even though this is a short and sweet document, since it has come out of the United States Senate, it is not without loopholes.

Loopholes I am sure the Republicans will wind up exploiting for a coveted Supreme Court seat.


Monday, May 23, 2005

MTP redux

If I were Howard Dean on Sunday's Meet the Press, here is how I would have responded to some of Tim Russert's Questions:

MR. RUSSERT: In your home state of Vermont, there's a vacancy for the United States Senate about to occur. Bernie Sanders, the congressman from Vermont, wants to run for that seat. He is a self- described avowed socialist.

DR. DEAN: Well, that's what he says. He's really a populist.

MR. RUSSERT: But is there room in the Democratic Party for a socialist?

I would have said, if the Republican Party had room for Strom Thurmond all those years, the Democratic party has room for Bernie Sanders. Next question:
MR. RUSSERT: The Republicans say the filibuster rules being changed would apply to judicial nominations not to legislation like Social Security.

DR. DEAN: That's what they say now. What possible indication is there they won't change their mind later. We could not have predicted when the Republicans were killing 25 of President Clinton's judges when President Clinton was in office, we couldn't have predicted that they were going to resort to this when they got into office. The problem with this, frankly, for the Republicans, is, first of all, Congress is at its lowest popularity rating since--actually since 1993 when we were in power. And secondly, this is an advertisement to the American people, who suspect it--suspect something may go wrong when only one party is in charge. And one party is pretty well in charge in Washington. This is the last opportunity the Democrats have to say anything about public policy. It is a very big mistake, I think, for America. But it's a huge mistake for the Republican Party to do this.

Me: Promises Promises. They always promise things like WMD, "we will be greeted as liberators", fiscal responsibility.

Next question:
MR. RUSSERT: Republicans will say that the Democrats are speaking a different tune now than they did when they were in control. Robert Byrd, when he was a majority leader in '79, said, "Now, we are at the beginning of Congress. This Congress is not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past."

And the filibuster used to need 67 votes. They changed it to 60.

DR. DEAN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: Pat Leahy, your colleague from Vermont, said, "I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty. If we don't like somebody the president nominates, vote him or her down. But don't hold them in this anonymous unconscionable limbo, because in doing that, the minority of Senators really shame all Senators."

Me: Well Sen. Cornyn said Violence towards judicary is understandable, and just Friday Rick Santorum compared Democrats to nazis. Why don't you ask them those questions when they come on your show. Don't ask me to answer for something a Democrat said in the 60's Tim. I am chairman of the Democratic party as of 2005. Let's live in the now.

DR. DEAN: Well, here's the problem. Look, I have nothing against up or down votes on people. I think that's a good thing. The problem is that--I'll give you an example. When I was governor, I felt like everybody was my boss, whether they voted for me or against me, they paid my salary, and they wold participate in the hiring process. So when I went out to town meetings and so forth and so on, I heard from everybody, all takers, whatever they wanted to lay on me. President Bush, for example, goes to these town meetings and doesn't allow Democrats or Independents who disagree with him into the town meeting. He has a crew of people who keep them out. This is a little bit like that. Don't those of us who didn't vote for the president, the 48 percent of Americans, don't we have some say? When the Republicans were in power, they kept a much larger percentage of President Clinton's nominees to the bench. They didn't do it with the filibuster, they did it by bottling them up in committee and not allowing them to move forward.

MR. RUSSERT: The numbers are pretty similar actually.

DR. DEAN: OK. They're similar. Now, the Democrats are doing the same thing. I think of course the party in power is going to argue against it. But if you look at what's good for America not what's good for the Republican Party, what the Republicans want to do is not good for America. I would argue that it's not very good in the long run for the Republican Party either. You can't cut the minority, especially if the minority is a very large one like 48 percent, totally out of everything.

Me: No the numbers are not similar. 95% of Bush's nominees got passed compared to 71% of Clinton's (during Republican dominated Congress).

Next attack:
MR. RUSSERT: But, Governor, you did on May 14 say something about Tom DeLay that raised a lot of eyebrows. Let's watch Howard Dean on Tom DeLay.

(Videotape, May 14):

DR. DEAN: I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence down there courtesy of the Texas taxpayers.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: "Serve his jail sentence"? He--what's he been convicted of?

DR. DEAN: He hasn't been convicted yet, but he is also, in addition to the things that I just mentioned, under investigation in Texas by a district attorney down there for violating the campaign finance laws of Texas by funneling corporate donations, which is illegal, into certain campaign activities. This gentleman is not an ethical person, and he ought not to be leading Congress, period. And it is endemic of what happens in Congress when one party controls everything.

MR. RUSSERT: You said in December of 2003 that we shouldn't prejudge Osama bin Laden. How can you sit here and have a different standard for Tom DeLay and prejudge him?

DR. DEAN: To be honest with you, Tim, I don't think I'm prejudging him. The things that I just read off--offering the congressman's son campaign money, providing Westar, the energy company, with a seat at the table in exchange for contributions, using the Department of Homeland Security to track down the private plane of political enemies--those are things that he has already been adjudicated for. Now, the question is: Where is this going to end up? I think there's a reasonable chance that this may end up in jail. And I don't think people ought to do these kinds of things in public service. I do not think they ought to do these kinds of things in public service. And I don't think Democrats should, either.

MR. RUSSERT: But shouldn't that be for a jury to decide and not you?

Me: Tom Delay said:
"I tell you what-to be the keynote speaker for the NRA’s annual meeting in my hometown, Houston- Houston, Texas (a concealed carry state, by the way, that we’re very proud of) is truly an honor." During the same speech he said: "As I was walking up here to the dais, Chris Cox, who’s a very dear friend, and so’s Wayne LaPierre, who was telling me to hang in there, said that Sarah Brady said that when a man’s in trouble or a good fight, you want all your friends around you, preferably armed."

So, if you are asking me to rescind my inflamatory comments about a man who believes a right to bear arms means you should be able to conseal them inconspicuously so that you and your friends can be ready for a good fight, then I am sorry but I shall not bow to your command. I will admit to being inflamatory, but I will remind you also that concealing weapons is how some terrorists blew up the World Trade Center.

MR. RUSSERT: Let me talk about some of the things you have said about the Republicans. Here's Howard Dean in January: "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for..."

Howard Dean in February: "This is a struggle between good and evil and we're the good?"

Do you really hate Republicans? Do you consider them evil?

Me: Like I said, Rick Santorum just called us a bunch of Nazi's perhaps you can ask him about that.

MR. RUSSERT: Let me stay on your rhetoric. January, I mentioned that "I hate the Republicans, what they stand for, good and evil, we are the good." In March, you said, "Republicans are brain dead." You mentioned you're a physician--and this is April. "[Dean] did draw howls of laughter by mimicking a drug-snorting Rush Limbaugh. `I'm not very dignified,' Dean said."

DR. DEAN: Well, that's true. A lot of people have accused me of not being dignified.

MR. RUSSERT: But is it appropriate for a physician to mock somebody who has gone into therapy and the abuse for drug addiction?

DR. DEAN: Here's the point I was trying--as most of these things are taken by the Republicans, spun around Washington saying this in a one sentence, which I generally had said. But then they're sort of manipulated around, saying this is the kind of thing he said. The Rush Limbaugh comment was one that I made about Rush Limbaugh, and I also said something about Bill O'Reilly. The problem is not that these folks have problems. They do, and they have problems in the case of a drug addiction. That's a medical problem. And I respect those who clearly, in my profession, who are trying to overcome their problems.

The problem is it is galling to Democrats, 48 percent of us who did not support the president, it is galling to be lectured to about moral values by folks who have their own problems. Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings. I don't think we ought to give a whole lot of lectures to people--I think the Bible says something to the effect that be careful when you talk about the shortcomings of somebody else when you haven't removed the moat from your own eye. And I don't think we ought to be lectured to by Republicans who have got all these problems themselves.

Rush Limbaugh has made a career of belittling other people and making jokes about President Clinton, about Mrs. Clinton and others. I don't think he's in any position to do that, nor do I think Bill O'Reilly is in a position to abuse families of survivors of 9/11, given his own ethical shortcomings. Everybody has ethical shortcomings. We ought not to lecture each other about our ethical shortcomings.

MR. RUSSERT: But should you jump in the fray and be mocking those kind of people?

DR. DEAN: I will use whatever position I have in order to root out hypocrisy. I'm not going to be lectured as a Democrat--we've got some pretty strong moral values in my party, and maybe we ought to do a better job standing up and fighting for them. Our moral values, in contradiction to the Republicans', is we don't think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night. Our moral values say that people who work hard all their lives ought to be able to retire with dignity. Our moral values say that we ought to have a strong, free public education system so that we can level the playing field. Our moral values say that what's going on in Indian country in this country right now in terms of health care and education is a disgrace, and for the president of the United States to cut back on health-care services all over America is wrong.

Democrats have strong moral values. Frankly, my moral values are offended by some of the things I hear on programs like "Rush Limbaugh," and we don't have to put up with that. Our problem in this party is we didn't stand up early enough and fight back against folks like that who thought they were going to push us around and bully us, and we're not going to do it anymore.

Actually, on this one, I wouldn't have changed a goddamned word. Atta boy Govna!

MR. RUSSERT: The USA Today on Friday had a big piece. "A Dam Sure Based GOP Goes Rating." They compare your schedule to that of Republican chairman Ken Mehlman. He's going the Hispanic route, Catholics groups, reaching out. Your schedule is primarily with Democratic activists, labor unions, gays, the core, the base of the Democratic party

Me: Um, gays are people too while they are a part of our party they are not the core. Also, I can think of many gays in the Republican party. Last I checked there was a whole faction of them called the Log Cabin Republicans.


Congitive Dissonance

As many of you have heard, both in the run up to the election and now last Friday, the President will use his veto power (FINALLY!) to veto a bill that eases restrictions on Federal grants for Stem Cell Research. The bill will ear mark more federal money for research on embryo's that will be thrown into the garbage unless used for scientific purposes (because nobody wants to have these embryo's implated in there wombs).

Worth mentioning is Da Prenident's reasoning behind his stance on Stem Cell Research:
"I made [it] very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers' money, to promote science which destroys life in order to save life, I'm against that," Bush told reporters. "Therefore if the bill does that, I will veto it."

Well, that is a pretty general thought process. He didn't specify what kind of life so I guess all that animal research that helps us get drugs like aspirin, tylenol, claritin, viagra, zocor, lipitor, chemotherapy, open heart bypass surgery, CPR, First Aid, angioplasty (that thing that saved Dick Cheney's ass time and time again), and perhaps the entire compendium of medicines, procedures, and that which encompasses the entire medical field would never come to be if President Bush had his way?

Or perhaps he is just talking about human life. Research which results in the destruction of human life. Hmm, that doesn't work because most clinical trials have people dying in them, some of those deaths are related to the trials themselves and may or may not actually keep a drug or procedure from being approved for use.

However, all this is really out of the scope of the President. He really doesn't have anything to do with how clinical research is conducted, be it on animals or on people. There is ONE situation where this president DID have control over wether or not he would save some lives by destroying others.

Where was this thinking way back in say March 20, 2003.

Of course the alternative to having these embryo's destroyed is to have them implated in some wombs, so those of you ont eh religious right, I hear there are thousands of embryos in a freezer somewhere waiting to be implanted. Anyone want to volunteer?


Friday, May 20, 2005

USA Next - Building a Legacy of HypocrysyFreedom for America's Families

I knew it wouldn't be long before a gem would wind up in my email box. Today:
Lady Margaret Thatcher once said:

“To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.”

It’s about time twelve members of the United States Senate were reminded of that quote.

I’m sorry to inform you today that the following twelve members of the United Senate are working behind the scenes as I type this email to literally forge a compromise of the Constitution:

Senator John McCain (AZ)
Senator Chuck Hagel (NE)
Senator Ben Nelson (NE)
Senator Bill Nelson (FL)
Senator Arlen Specter (PA)
Senator Susan Collins (ME)
Senator Olympia Snowe (ME)
Senator George Voinovich (OH)
Senator Mike DeWine (OH)
Senator Gordon Smith (OR)
Senator John Warner (VA)
Senator Lindsey Graham (SC)
These men and women all took an oath to “uphold the Constitution of the United States.” Now they are violating that oath as they work to compromise the Constitution of the United States by supporting the unconstitutional “right” Senators Reid and Clinton claim they have to filibuster President Bush’s judicial nominees.

Let’s put this in context by paraphrasing Lady Thatcher’s quote:

“Senators McCain, Hagel, Nelson, Nelson, Specter, Collins, Snowe, Voinovich, Graham, Smith, Warner, and DeWine are abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in favor of something in which no one believes.”

There’s no other way to look at it. And it’s simply unacceptable.

It’s time to send this “Coalition of Compromise” a clear message. Will you join me and thousands of other Americans and tell these twelve compromisers to stop playing games with the Constitution?

I must have missed the memo from the right that said "It is now OK to use foreigners as authorities on the US Constitution."



i am really starting to appreciate the long drives into New York to meet up with the lady and her law school friends. Particularly because after becomming completely disgusted from engorging in Sean Hannity and Bob Grant and their insane callers, I switch to a radio station that is playing music. Yesterday I heard this song:

Breathe 2am
2 AM and she calls me 'cause I'm still awake,
can you help me unravel my latest mistake,
I don't love him, winter just wasn't my season
Yeah we walk through the doors, so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
hypocrites, you're all here for the very same reason

'Cause you can't jump the track,we're like cars on a cable
and life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button girl,
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe,
Woah breathe, just breathe

May he turn 21 on the base at Fort Bliss
Just a day, he sat down to the flask in his fist,
Ain't been sober, since maybe October of last year.
Here in town you can tell he's been down for a while,
But my God it's so beautiful when the boy smiles,
Wanna hold him, maybe I'll just sing about it.

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe, just breathe,
Woah breathe, just breathe

There's a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout
'Cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
These mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around.

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, its no longer
inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe
woah breathe, just breathe,
oh breathe, just breathe.

Then I thought how much American Idols are really drowning out people with real talent like Anna Nalick.


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

AKA what the Base thinks.

Yet we on the left are the only ones with "Tin Foil Hat Theories."


Thursday, May 19, 2005

ATTA BOY In IraqScandal

Whilst Oil for Food is getting some attention at the sub-commitee level in some undisclosed location in Washington this week, it seems people have completely forgotten about the ATTA BOY in Iraq scandal. The ATTA BOY In Iraq Or American Taxes To American Businesses Over Yonder in Iraq Scandal hasn't gotten much play at all. Al Franken over at the Huffington post lets us know why. It seems the $8.8 billion dollar magic trick just isn't as important to American Tax Payers as a $10 billion UN scandal. While 8.8 billion is completely and totally 100% American tax dollars, the $10 billion is collective, around the world tax dollars which probablty ammount to less than the $8.8 billion the US can loose all on its own.

So while we are just nuttily funneling American Tax payer dollars into Iraq, how about a little jursidiction over where that money goes? After all, shouldn't the tax payers money be treated equally if not more judiciously than United Nations' money?



Newsweek Sucks

Newsweek Was Right so why did they pull the story? What is wrong with them? They took the fall for reporting a completely true story? They are going around news media channels and putting out a fire that doesn't exist nor shouldn't it exist. The righties have been all over this calling them nothig short of Pravda. So you know what. Let's let newsweek go under. I am sure the reporters and staff will find work somewhere else. A place that doesn't help the righ tmake its point that the media is somehow liberal.

By retracting and telling people they did something wrong is just as bad as not retracting and actually getting a story wrong. They deserve whatever they have comming to them.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

All Politics IS Local

How about that: Rebuffing Bush, 132 Mayors Embrace Kyoto Rules.

I like this because many of the mayors preside over the cities responsible for the delicate economy Bush cites as his reason to not partake in Kyoto.


Shifting Blame

This was bound to happen. Blame the messenger for the policies of the Pentagon. Newsweek retracts the part of the story that says:
Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

OK so there was no proof of a military investigation that said there was Quran abuse at Gitmo. However, the original source just basically went back on his word. Two things I think should be done with this debacle. First CLEAR FUCKING REPORTING FROM OTHER NEWS SOURCES. This has become some type of pissing contest for who can claim the coveted "most trusted name in news" label for themselves just like Rathergate. After Rathergate, ABC kept running ads on CNN and the like with Peter Jennings being this trustworthy guy to deliver the news. This is no different, instead of reporting "Newsweek pulls story" they should add that they pulled the story after the source backed down on them, and that this story has been reported before and delivered in courts of law. This wasn't an editor/reporter maverick thing. This was a senior US government official (whom in so long as he/she is not CIA undercover should be outed) who went back on his word of "I am pretty sure I saw some documents that said we flushed Qurans down toilets somewhere." Now the administration has been so good at plugging leaks it seems obvious the problem here was the leak and not the reporting.

Right from the appology:
At NEWSWEEK, veteran investigative reporter Michael Isikoff's interest had been sparked by the release late last year of some internal FBI e-mails that painted a stark picture of prisoner abuse at Guantánamo. Isikoff knew that military investigators at Southern Command (which runs the Guantánamo prison) were looking into the allegations. So he called a longtime reliable source, a senior U.S. government official who was knowledgeable about the matter. The source told Isikoff that the report would include new details that were not in the FBI e-mails, including mention of flushing the Qur'an down a toilet. A SouthCom spokesman contacted by Isikoff declined to comment on an ongoing investigation, but NEWSWEEK National Security Correspondent John Barry, realizing the sensitivity of the story, provided a draft of the NEWSWEEK PERISCOPE item to a senior Defense official, asking, "Is this accurate or not?" The official challenged one aspect of the story: the suggestion that Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, sent to Gitmo by the Pentagon in 2001 to oversee prisoner interrogation, might be held accountable for the abuses. Not true, said the official (the PERISCOPE draft was corrected to reflect that). But he was silent about the rest of the item. The official had not meant to mislead, but lacked detailed knowledge of the SouthCom report.

There IS an enormous body of evidence that abuses of similar kind (and by similar I mean Inflamatory to Muslims) occured at both Gitmo and Abu Grahib. Examples that come to mind include, naked muslim ass piles, simulated "south park republican" sex, bloody tampon facials, and nutsack shocking. Given these examples flushing the Quran sounds mild and not out of reach. Also is mentioned in the AP article:
The Newsweek report was not the first public airing of allegations about U.S. personnel at Guantanamo Bay desecrating a Quran. In August and October 2004 there were news reports based on a lawsuit and a written report by British citizens who had been released from the prison in Cuba. They claimed abuse by U.S. guards, including throwing their Qurans into the toilet.

In January, Kristine Huskey, a lawyer representing Kuwaitis detained at Guantanamo, said they claimed to have been abused and in one case a detainee watched a guard throw a Quran into a toilet.
(free link to the Kristine Huskey piece from me)

SO why should we address the real issue here. Afghanistan went nuts for one of two reasons: 1) It is still not "under control" with our occupying forces still there. 2) This was the final nail in the coffin, after hearing about Abu Grahib, extraordinary rednitions, and Muslims being held at Gitmo for seemingly no apparent reason. So either way, Newsweek is not responsible for any riots, they may have just sparked the flame, but the gas was there already.

And lets not forget that Afghanistan and Muslims everywhere hear all kinds of "anti-american" news from many more channels (particularly those which speak their language, like Al Jazeera) and believe them. Just because a once credible news source from America printed this story doesn't mean that the photos of the ass pile at Abu Grahib, and the 60 minutes and NOW expose's of didn't have an effect as well.

But lets not look at the policies (or the policy makers) which allowed the American treatment of prisoners to be shrowded in suspicion. For this suspicion has finally come back to haunt them. The haunting came in the form of Arab riots not about the article, but about the policies which allow the rioters to believe this could potentially happen under American controlled prisons. The article was based on what a Pentagon official told them, and was dually checked with another source at the Pentagon by savy reporters; not on some shady documents that could have been typed by just about anybody in MS Word. Journalists would be wise to focus not on the Newsweek faux pas (of retracting the story, not getting it wrong) but on the fac that these facts have been brought up before.


More of this please!

I missed Arlen Specter's column on Sunday. Why can't more Republican's be like Mr. Specter. He basically just called out Dick Armey for trying to defeat what appears to be a decent asbestos bill in this editorial. Now I am all for holding firms accountable. However, asbestos is not like tobacco. At least for most of these claims, the asbestos corporations had no idea about the dangers of asbestos. If ccompanies and local governments are going broke trying to pay off victims of cancer which may or may not have been caused by asbestos, then that is not good. I am all for the government getting involved in capping legal fees and judging who gets what for the right reasons which are clearly laid out, instead of courts having to trudge through this.

Besides that, anytime a Republican outs another Republican its always a good sign. This may be the first time this has happened at the national level in like 10 years.

This bill will allow the courts to attend to other business, like legislating from the bench, judging who gets to kill babies, and who gets to marry their own gender.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek's Nea Culpa

I guess a blog called Media in Trouble should have written about this type of thing a lot sooner but the latest Newsweekgate has reminded me of something the "liberal media" conspiracy theorists constantly do.

First Juan Cole has a great redux on the Newsweek "American's flushed the Qu'ran" story that somehow the rest of the media (like CNN who have enlisted David Gergen former advisor for lots of presidents) has focused on the error in the story that isnt an error, even though the editors say there are errors.

So those who claim this is yet more proof of the liberal media. The problem is the source of the story is a senior U.S. Government official.

There goes that claim of liberal media bias. Perhaps it is these senior officials who are biased. However, what irks me more are these liberal media bias people. How can you claim the media in biased in one statement but go and use that same media source as a citation of proof from some other piont you are trying to make? Right wingers do this constantly, they will claim CNN is the liberal media giant who pipes in Marxist subliminal messages, then they will turn around and link to a CNN report about some attrocious anti-left wing story.

Sometimes they will do this in the same day. You will never see anyone on the left using Fox news as their news source for any story unless by some miracle Fox decided to pre-emptively report a story about George Bush taking it in the ass from a Horse back in 1977. Those of us who really believe that Fox news is nothing but a right wing network, know better than to trust anything it reports. So why shouldn't the right hold such liberal news media to the same standard? Why not stop using the "New York Slimes" as a source if it is so liberal? Why link to the "Washington Compost"? Instapundit is one that repeatedly goes all out on pissing on the liberal media then (often in the same day) goes on to use the same media source as proof and illustration of his point. Take today for example! Glenn is going Instanutz on his Instacoverage of this Instabullshit.

So, shouldn't MSNBC (owner of Newsweek), also be held accountable for force feeding the public a magazine whose communist pages have finally been exposed for what they truly are? Shouldn't Glenn and Austin on principle alone refrain from appearing on such a bastion of liberal publicity?

Perhaps that is why the Instabutt brothers Glenn and Austin are going to do when they appear on MSNBC today. GIVE'EM HELL G&A, they are only a cog in that machine that is keeping the rest of us down here from telling the truth!

So, a hint to those who scream liberal media! Stop citing them as a reliable source for news, otherwise your argument becomes as they (apparently) say in Texas CIRCYALUR.


Friday, May 13, 2005

2 Columns

Krugman and Rubin.

Not that we need to get all chicken little on the economy, but Rubin's points are exactly what should be pointed out to every single Republican trying to take entitlements and privatize them. Not only that but Rubin is calling for fiscal responsibility, something that used to belong to Republicans. it is worthy of a full read but here is just something I would like to highlight:
Most pressing is the 10-year federal deficit, which most independent analysts project at $4.5 trillion to $5 trillion, assuming that the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 are made permanent and that the alternative minimum tax is adjusted to avoid unintended effects on middle-income taxpayers. And while 10-year numbers can be highly unreliable, deficits are as likely to be higher as to be lower. Over the longer term, Social Security has a 75-year estimated deficit of $4 trillion, while the different components of Medicare, including its new prescription drug benefit, represent a fiscal problem of roughly $20 trillion.


But, as BusinessWeek, not an advocate of activist government, said in a recent editorial, "the deficit morass is due as much to a revenue shortfall as to excessive spending." (The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, for example, are estimated to have a 75-year cost of $11 trillion, almost three times the entire Social Security deficit.) And that shortfall is especially pressing given the rapid increases in entitlement costs and the need to finance national security, investments in education and infrastructure and other critical programs. At the same time, revenue-increasing measures must reverse the recent trend of disproportionately favoring upper-income taxpayers.


For example, if the tax cuts for those earning above $200,000 were repealed and the inheritance tax as reformed were continued rather than eliminated, the 10-year projected deficit would be reduced by roughly $1.1 trillion, or almost 25 percent, and the 75-year fiscal reduction would be roughly $3.9 trillion, or approximately equal to the Social Security shortfall. This course of action would be similar to the income tax increases that were combined with spending cuts in the 1993 deficit reduction program, which some predicted would lead to recession but which, instead, was followed by the longest economic expansion in our nation's history.

Krugman's column of course does much of his usual economic gloominess but it did strike me how the middle class has changed:
In 1968, when General Motors was a widely emulated icon of American business, many of its workers were lifetime employees. On average, they earned about $29,000 a year in today's dollars, a solidly middle-class income at the time. They also had generous health and retirement benefits.


The average full-time Wal-Mart employee is paid only about $17,000 a year. The company's health care plan covers fewer than half of its workers.

So, today's middle class is definitely not making $29,000, and Walmart is basically keeping people in poverty.

If only Democrats could link all of this to gay people or guns. Like if we don't take the fiscal ball into our own hands, then we will have to take away your guns, or if we don't do this, your kids will be ass raped by gays.

Something like that might just show up in the polls.


Cognitive Dissonance

Oddly, Hillary and, Yes, Newt Agree to Agree.

This article writes about things I thought about the other day. Whilst driving the Mini past the industrial skeleton of the construction laden route home, I was listening to Sean Hannity interview Newt. It was great to see Sean twist himself in knots over Gingrich turning centrist on his ass. As if this isn't a re-branding of himself from conservative nutbag to moderate bipartisan centrist, (all words that if he was a Democrat would mean flip flopper) just as Hillary is re-branding herself. Granted Hillary does not need re-branding except for the caricature that the Right Wing nutbag presscorps has painted of her as some hammer and sickle wielding communist baby killer.

However, listening to Sean Hannity twist himself into saying things like "I support you in everything you do (*bleating*), but why are you supporting Hillary at all?" Then keep repeating this sentence about a hundred times and later labeling it an exclusive interview. It was not the interview technique that shocked me (I am very familiar with Sean's lack of prowess in this avenue), but rather the fact that here is the Conservative Jeesus basically agreeing with the Liberal Satan he created amongst his own followers.

Hillary is by no means to the left what Newt is to the Right. The reason liberals may love Hillary is because she tried to get everyone healthcare and that no matter what you think or believe should not be a partisan issue. The point is Gingrich rewrote the conservative mission statement, he wrote the contract with america crap, he is the posterchild for conservativism (perhaps not of the social kind), but this guy is a conservative GOD to them. Whereas Hillary is just a woman in power who liberals all like, but by no means is she our FDR, or our LBJ, or anybody like that. Liberals all know that Clinton was not just "our guy." Clinton was a centrist who was all around a good president who restored fiscal sanity to this country, something Democrats were never able to do.

So when Sean goes on the radio with his flock of sheep telling them to support Newt even though he is cavorting with their sworn enemy Hillary, its cognitive dissonance in its purest form. Except of course if you go back about a month when you heard Sean Hannity asking the federal government (the same federal government he would rather keep out of your personal lives) to save Terri Schiavo.


System of a Down

I was hearing this song on the radio yesterday:

Why do they always send the poor?
My God is of Bible blood with pointed ears
Victorious, victorious steel
Can your spending kneel?
Marching forward hypocritic
And hypnotic computers
You depend on our protection

Yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth
La la la la la la la la la la
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine

Kneeling roses
Disappearing into Moses' dry mouth
Breaking into Fort Knox
Stealing our intentions
Every city, gripped in oil
Crying freedom!

Handed to obsoletion
Still you feed us lies from the tablecloth
la la la la la la la la la la
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine

Blast off, it's party time
And we all live in a fascist nation
Blast off, it's party time
And where the fuck are you?
Where the fuck are you?
Where the fuck are you?

Why don't presidents fight the war?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why don't presidents fight the war?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?

Kneeling roses
Disappearing into Moses' dry mouth
Breaking into Fort Knox
Stealing our intentions
Every city, gripped in oil
Crying freedom!

Handed to a absolution
Still you feed us lies from the tablecloth
la la la la la la la la la la
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine
Everybody is going to the party
Have a real good time
Dancing in the desert
Blowing up the sunshine

Where the fuck are you?
Where the fuck are you?

Why don't presidents fight the war?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why don't presidents fight the war?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
Why do they always send the poor?
They always send the poor!
They always send the poor!

Then I thought, System of a Down is worth spending some money on.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

John Bolton - International Man of Mystery

Lots of those appologist folk are going about telling people that John Bolton is the right man for the job and start listing lots of things besides his abbrasive personallity to make him look like he may very well be the right man for the job. Just this weekend on Meet the Press, Marry Matlin was squick to put this whopper out:
What John Bolton has done has been the president's point person on the only effective collective global security initiation since 9/11 which is the PSI, the Proliferation Security Initiation, which was instrumental in getting Libya to disarm, was instrumental in breaking up A.Q. Khan. He's elevated to the top of the G8 global agenda of non-proliferation issues. That's what the collective global security strategy in the 21st century needs to be and John Bolton's been the point person on that.

Furthermore, he's a highly skilled and accomplished public servant. He's been in four Senate-confirmed positions with three presidents, and finally he is a wonderful man with a generous heart, a great sense of humor. He's quiet and he's a man of humbleness and humility and the John Bolton that's being portrayed in this attack in another instance of nothing, no agenda, just obstructionism by the Democrats, is everything to do with politics on their side and in our side everything to do with getting the best people in the best place in the best policy to assure just not America's security but global peace.

Let us ignore his abrassive personality shall we? Let us focus on this compentency issue because last I checked Iran and North Korea are a hair away from being nuclear (if they aren't already). This happened on John Bolton's and George Bush's watch then didn't it? I mean Libya may have been cookin somefin up in whatever part of that country Reagan left standing after his "surgical strikes" but Libya? Come on, a couple of F16 strikes by the gipper and Quadafi was sent into shit cleaning heaven for decades. I think he shat himself so hard that day that he is still cleaning up the mess.

So if Iran and North Korea getting nukes on John Bolton's watch isn't enough proof of failure, then perhaps skipping out on Non-proliferation Treaty Hearings (that are playing a particularly important role in denuking said countries) because he was too busy kissin Bush's anal pylorus for the job he is comming under intense scrutiny for has got to be right?

Thanks Newsweek:
But if the NPT needed so much fixing under U.S. leadership, why was the United States so shockingly unprepared when the treaty came up for its five-year review at a major conference in New York this month, in the view of many delegates? And why has the United States been losing control of the conference’s agenda this week to Iran and other countries—a potentially serious setback to U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran?
Part of the answer, several sources close to the negotiations tell NEWSWEEK, lies with Bolton, the undersecretary of State for arms control. Since last fall Bolton, Bush’s embattled nominee to be America’s ambassador to the United Nations, has aggressively lobbied for a senior job in the second Bush administration. During that time, Bolton did almost no diplomatic groundwork for the NPT conference, these officials say.

“John was absent without leave” when it came to implementing the agenda that the president laid out in his February 2004 speech, a former senior Bush official declares flatly. Another former government official with experience in nonproliferation agrees. “Everyone knew the conference was coming and that it would be contentious. But Bolton stopped all diplomacy on this six months ago,” this official said. “The White House and the National Security Council started worrying, wondering what was going on. So a few months ago the NSC had to step in and get things going themselves. The NPT regime is full of holes—it's very hard for the U.S. to meet our objectives—it takes diplomacy.”

However, we have seen this before. Condi Rice was supposed to be doing what John Negroponte is doing now in his newly created expansion of government Director of National Intelligence job and she was promoted to Secretary of State. So what is it besides incompetence that can be used to try and unseat a person who is potentially slated for a Bush appointment. Hmm... There has been one recent example of an embattled Bush appointee, his name was Bernie Kerik.

If I recall correctly. Bernie Kerik got hit so hard with sex scandals that he thought stepping down was the easy part.

EUREKA! Larry Flint has got the goods! Bolton emulates Austin Powers almost to a T. He is incompetent even when he has lots of help (like from mary Matlin, and the president), and now we find out... He's a SWINGER BABY YEAH!!!!

Court records concerning the divorce of John R. Bolton, the Bush administration's nominee to become the next ambassador to the United Nations, show his first wife fled the couple's marital home when he was traveling abroad in mid-August 1982. The records further show that she took most of the couple's furniture.

Corroborated allegations that Mr. Bolton's first wife, Christina Bolton, was forced to engage in group sex have not been refuted by the State Department despite inquires posed by Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt concerning the allegations. Mr. Flynt has obtained information from numerous sources that Mr. Bolton participated in paid visits to Plato's Retreat, the popular swingers club that operated in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

So Georgey Bush, the EYES AND EARS OF THE RELIGIOUS PURITAN CHRISTIAN DO NO EVIL rank and file are a watching. Do you still want a SWINGIN' International Man of Mystery? Do I make you Horny baby?! Do I?!

I for one say go for it! He can start his first day at the UN by saying, anyone who wants anything from the US has to let me have sex with their wife first. Otherwise no deal!


United's Bankruptcy

I just wanted to point out this Ezra Klein post. And this is the reason I am so pissed at any Democrats (or Republicans for that matter) who voted FOR this Fucking Bankruptcy Bill.
The Bankruptcy Bill made it harder for individuals to declare and survive bankruptcy. Durbin offered an amendment that would've forced corporations, when they were declaring bankruptcy, to fulfill their stated financial obligations to their employees. These financial obligations are retirement plans, matching funds, and so forth. They are, in other words, the exact same long-term assets that are supposed to keep hard-working Americans out of bankruptcy court!


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Pew says I am a Liberal

I say you go on over to PEW and take this test. Besides confirming whatever you thought of yourself as, and labeling you amongst some generalized group of people it may have a decent effect on how pollsters look at demographic data. In any case I got labeled a Liberal which was a huge surprise. I thought for sure my stances on the environment, protecting the poor, and against Bush would hardly be enough to just go and plainly label me a liberal. I was hoping for a dissenfranchised Democrat to tell you the truth. However, I thought it disingenuous of PEW to not precede the word with a qualifier like "flaming" or "godless", the least they could have done was put quotations around the word. But the best part was learning about the Liberal goup:
"This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999, Liberals now comprise the largest share of Democrats and is the single largest of the nine Typology groups. They are the most opposed to an assertive foreign policy, the most secular, and take the most liberal views on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and censorship. They differ from other Democratic groups in that they are strongly pro-environment and pro-immigration, issues which are more controversial among Conservative and Disadvantaged Democrats."

Yeay liberulz. We are the biggest group of 9! Thats freking great. If only the Washington nutbags running the show would learn this bit of info perhaps they would start listening a tad.


It's Miller Time!

I typically enjoy a new columnist over at the Times. It usually brings refreshing insight, viewpoints and a certain "je ne sai quoi." Particularly when we are fortunate enough to have said substitute be a liberal and in the case of today's Matt Miller subbing for MoDo, a member of CAP. I love MoDo but she has recently begun writting more about the issues revolving around Mary Poppins movies and not so much things of substance. So, imagine the shock when he opens his 4 week stint over at the glorious NYT OpEd pages with a piece so full of bafoonery and Bush Cheerleadership that it allowed me to drop an a turd so fresh it contained bits of this morning's bagel. If you think that is disgusting go read the whole thing.

I will take the quotes apart one bite at a time first up:

Under today's system of "wage indexed" benefits, every new cohort of retirees is guaranteed a higher level of real benefits than the previous generation. Workers retiring in 2025, for example, are scheduled to receive payments 20 percent higher in real terms than today's retirees. Today's teenagers are slated to get a 60 percent increase. When Democrats cry about "cuts," they mean trims from these higher levels.

This quote paints the stupid picture that wage indexing is a silly idea and that it will allow the lot of us to retire on a yacht on the French Riviera sipping martini's with the Prince of Monaco whilst eating foie gras served with a truffle oil reduction demi glasse paying for it all with our Social Security checks. Luckily, I got my Social Security statement not too long ago and I didn't see my wages blossoming to this point by the time I retire. In fact I think I will have to substantially curb my current superfluous lifestyle of doing things like feeding my dog and cat while leaving enough in the wallet for some chicken bones I can boil for sustenance.

So Matt tries to convince us all that he is a liberal in good standing by talking about the poor and other progressive ideas that we will have to sacrifice Social Security for in order to achieve:
A Democrat might ask: Why would we ever change this way of calculating benefits, other than from some Scroogelike desire to slow the rise in future benefits? Well, we probably wouldn't think about it if we weren't on the cusp of the biggest financial crunch in American history. But we are. And with the baby boomers' retirement looming, Democrats need to think beyond Social Security alone to think intelligently about achieving progressive goals.

Indeed, if you care about social justice and economic growth, the big policy question for the next generation is this: How do we square the needs of seniors with the needs of the rest of America, at levels of taxation that don't strangle the economy?

Those who say today's Social Security structure is sacred are arguing that our top priority - before we even consider anything else - must be to guarantee that every senior will enjoy real benefit increases in perpetuity.

Social Security isn't just a top priority ass wipe it is the single most important government program that we have, and judging by the way corporations like United Airlines generosity with pensions and their propensity to pay CEO's millions of bonus dollars, perhaps Social Security will be the only thing saving the rest of us from being a part of that poor demographic.

Why should we sacrifice one "liberal government program" to allow another to potentially flourish? At this point the article is begging an explative?! Who the fuck is this guy representing here? I mean, remember Hillary care and how the Republican's fucked that shit up for those so called 45 million people you are so keen on saving by pulling our retirement rug from under our feet? Oh yeah, he does:
I know this is asking a lot. Republicans didn't demagogue responsibly when they caricatured Hillarycare as "socialist" back in the 1990's. But being a Democrat may mean being a little better even when you're bad.

Luckily almost towards the end Matt writes something that could potentially be considered:
We know Democrats aren't making sense here because their chief argument is that "progressive indexing" (to prices, not wages) would cut retirement incomes too deeply by 2075. This may be true. But it's a little like worrying that Captain Kirk's phaser may malfunction in that year as well.

By 2075, for all we know, genetically engineered seniors may be living in retirement utopias on Jupiter. Or people may be fit and routinely working at age 90. A million things will have changed, just as Social Security's benefit design has changed in the past. If, instead, you look out 20 to 30 years, the benefit trims consistent with Bush's idea are modest (and for low earners, unchanged). If there's a problem, 76 million stampeding boomers will make sure politicians fix it.

Right Matt, perhaps by 2075 there will be Space Tourism and we can take up a collection of our silly Social Security dollars that you are helping Bush & Co to squander to send you to fucking Jupiter with the rest of the millionaire "Republicans in Democrat clothing" who could afford it, whilst the rest of us stay behind in the polluted, trash and garbage infested, resourceless, wasteland you and your friends in Washington are helping to create.

How many times must one say it! THERE IS NO PROBLEM, CRISIS, ISSUE WITH SOCIAL SECURITY. There IS Problem, Crisis, Issue, with the way Republicans are running this economy. Spending tax dollars and distributing wealth UP the socio-economic latter, whilst the poor get the good old Dutch Door treatment on things that should be the basis of what Democrats like Matt Miller should be standing up for. Things that this countries leadership and, at the very least, this countries "Liberal Spokespeople" should be fighting for, particularly on the battlefields like the New York Times OpEd page.


Monday, May 09, 2005

The Grey Lady Cheers for Refineries!

The headline: No New Refineries in 29 Years? There Might Well Be a Reason should tip you off that this article is about to side with the President on his build new refineries initiative. Right off the bat let me say that if there was a real free market then regardless of regulations, there wouldn't be a shortage of refineries, (and their isn't a shortage of refineries anyway). In case you folks haven't been paying attention, refining isnt the problem, its the actual supply of crude oil that is the problem. No matter how you slice it, oil is a limited natural non-renewable resource, which the earth will someday cease to provide us with. This push for refineries is rediculous. If you were to embark on dergulating the refinery business. An industry that while kept shackled by the government regulations has somehow miraculously succeeded in turning a profit whilst achieving multitued of achievements on impacting our environment, taking over enourmous plots of land, polluting rivers, streams, lakes, fish, wildlife, birds, beasts, nature, air, oxygen, carbon dioxide, mercury, etc. Then go ahead and deregulate refineries. I can't wait!

Just think of the massive quantities of mercury that have yet to find their way into the fish we eat, the multitudes of Carbon Dioxide that have yet to be released into the air we filter via our cancer polluted lungs. Ahh! I can't wait to pay less at the pump for it!

Just think about the famous invisible hand and how deregulation of other industries like energy did to corporations like Enron!

This article is full of pity for the poor bastard who is trying to build a $2.5 billion, 1,400 acre refinery near the Mexican border (because why not share our pollution with our neighbors, they should get some of that fine quality air and water too no?). A refinery that somehow has cost this poor bastard 6 years of his life and a whopping $30 million already. I don't know about you but I don't know too many poor bastards who have $30 million and six years of life idly lying around. Either way if it takes 6 years and $30 million and ain't gonna generate a profit as the article states:
The business of turning crude oil into gasoline, jet fuel or heating oil has rarely been a lucrative proposition. It has dismal profit margins compared with its more glamorous cousin, exploration. It is highly cyclical and fairly unpredictable, because demand for gasoline swings sharply by season. And because of low oil prices over the past decades, refiners have been forced into cutthroat competition that has driven many of the smaller refiners out of business.

Then why are you still at it Mr. Mule?

The article goes on to portray statistics like mad about how our demand for oil will increase, how one day we will need to use half the oil we import as gasoline:
Over the last quarter-century, the number of refineries in the United States dropped to 149, less than half the number in 1981. Because companies have upgraded and expanded their aging operations, refining capacity during that time period shrank only 10 percent from its peak of 18.6 million barrels a day. At the same time, gasoline consumption has risen by 45 percent.


More refining capacity will almost certainly be needed. Gasoline demand is forecast to rise 39 percent by 2025, to 12.9 million barrels a day, up from today's 9.3 million barrels, according to a long-term outlook by the Energy Information Administration. By then, gasoline alone will account for nearly half the crude oil consumed in the United States.

By contrast, domestic refining capacity is expected to grow only by 0.8 percent from 2005 to 2007, slightly less than the 0.9 percent increase registered between 1998 and 2004, according to Jacques Rousseau, an oil analyst with the investment banker Friedman, Billings, Ramsey.

You will find great prospects for employment if refineries are built:
The prospect of a new employer, 3,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent posts has done a lot to outweigh concerns over the project, said John Nussbaumer, the mayor of Wellton, a city of 1,900 people about 20 miles from the refinery site.

You will even find a bullshit remark the $30 million poor bastard himself states that his purpose is the ever noble Rumsfeldian reasoning for his wasted dollars and time:
"Of course I am concerned about the effects on the environment," he said. "Would I rather see it somewhere else? Yes. Would I oppose it at this time? No. It's been too long since a new refinery was built in the United States. Anything we can do to reduce our dependency on the Middle East is a good thing."

Which of course taken on its merits, is a poor argument for building a refinery. First your refinery would refine oil that is imported mostly from the middle east. Second, if your refinery is going to increase the supply of gas, that would cheapen the price, leading to higher consumption which would require more importing of that Middle East oil! Asshat!

What you and I will not find in this puff piece for refinery builders is THE ACTUAL CAPACITY OF OUR CURRENT REFINERIES. You would think that an article making the case for the poor refineries and why there aren't going to be enough of them in the future planet of doom situation it portrays, would at the very least give you the current statistic of refinery capacity.

So Jad Mouawad (the reporter who wrote this poor excuse for journalism) here is the current capacity of the refinerying the heroin dealers Big Oil has 16.9 million bbl/d. In researching this little bit of information I came across this block of info from the US Energy Analysis Brief:
The United States experienced a steep decline in refining capacity between 1981 and the mid-1990s. Between 1981 and 1989, the number of U.S. refineries fell from 324 to 204, representing a loss of 3 million bbl/d in operable capacity (from 18.6 million bbl/d to 15.7 million bbl/d), while refining capacity utilization increased from 69% to 87%. Much of the decline in U.S. refining capacity resulted from the 1981 deregulation (elimination of price controls and allocations), which effectively removed the major prop from underneath many marginally profitable, often smaller, refineries.

Refinery closures have continued since 1989, bringing the total number of operable U.S. refineries to 149 in 2003. In general, refineries that have closed have been relatively small and have had less favorable economics than other refineries in their market area. Also, in recent years, some smaller, less-economic refineries that had faced additional investments for environmental reasons in order to stay in business found closing preferable because they predicted that they could not stay competitive in the long term.

While some refineries have closed, and no new refineries have been built in nearly 30 years, many existing refineries have expanded their capacities. As a result of capacity creep," whereby existing refineries create additional refining capacity from the same physical structure, capacity per operating refinery increased by 28% over the 1990 to 1998 period, for example. Overall, since the mid-1990s, U.S. refinery capacity has increased from 15.0 million bbl/d in 1994 to 16.9 million bbl/d in September 2004. Also in September 2004, utilization of operating capacity at U.S. refineries was averaging around 90%, down from 97% in July and August. Although financial, environmental, and legal considerations make it unlikely that new refineries will be built in the United States, expansion at existing refineries likely will increase total U.S. refining capacity in the long-run.

OOOPS! This industry is already deregulated (thanks to DA Gipper).

So in summary, the invisible hand is already ruling the refinerying business. If there are some permits this $30 million poor bastard with 6 years of his life he is having a hard time finding a use for, then file the fucking paperwork! It is more likely the invisible hand of Big Oil that is keeping you from refining all that Middle East Oil you want to make us independent from.

Not only that but the fact that we are currently at 16.9 of the supposedly 20 million bpd we need, and refineries have dropped their production capacity by 7 percentage points since July and August (all this is based on September data) perhaps if they reversed that little trend we could get a little more gas into our SUVs. Or if we delve a little deeper and actually use the figures reported by Jad here, and say that 9.3 million bpd, is our current gas need, and we be refining 16.9 million bpd, then we aint in such rough shape anyway!

If anything it will allow Mr. Mouawad (and the rest of the editors over there at the NYT) to get enough electrons running through his laptop into his favorite search engine and do some real research on this topic!


Friday, May 06, 2005

Daouin it up AGAIN! 5Gs!

Happy friday to me!
Happy Friday to me!
Happy friday to ME!
Happy Friday to ME!!

Made THE DAOU REPORT Once again! Vilkomin Daouians!


CONGRATULATIONS MIT READERS! A conglomerate of 5,000 is no simple task in only 8 months worth of readership. That means that an average of 625 people read my dribbling, blithering, blatherings per month.

I can only hope this number will go up!


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Soldiers of the War on Drugs Caught Smuggling Drugs, Guns!

This is not an Onion piece. Although if it ran with that headline and this article and this article, perhaps it would make almost a perfectly sutied onion story.

First a month ago the 800 US troops in the completely sovereign nation of Columbia get caught smuggling drugs, then they get caught smuggling arms:
Colombia has arrested two US soldiers on suspicion of trafficking weapons to right-wing paramilitary groups.
Paramilitaries are accused of drug trafficking and mass killings during Colombia's 40-year civil conflict.

Officials said the US soldiers were arrested on Tuesday along with several Colombians in an operation south-west of the capital, Bogota.

Hundreds of American soldiers are in Colombia to help the Bogota government in their operation against drugs.

In March five US troops were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine to America in a military aircraft.

They are now back on US soil, and it is thought that several are still under investigation.

The US embassy in Bogota said it was trying to establish exactly what had happened in the latest incident.

One unconfirmed report said more than 30,000 missiles had been seized in Tuesday's raid.

Since 2000, the US has been funding an aid package known as Plan Colombia, under which Colombian forces receive training, equipment and intelligence to root out drug traffickers and eliminate coca crops.

Colombia is the third biggest recipient of US military aid, after Israel and Egypt.

This wasn't just like an 8 ball these soldiers were carrying around while on leave. This was 16 kilos of pure cocaine that they were smuggling IN A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT. The arms? They were 30,000 missiles they were transporting!

So the British media first find actual documentation that Bush and Blair lied about Iraq, then they uncover this story involving US troops, drugs, guns along with the words smuggling, scandal, and arrested. I remember a time when the words like those and these Columbia, cocaine, and anything that involved US soldiers raised a bunch of eyebrows in the press corps of our fair country. But I guess the Liberal Media has its hands full with runaway brides, so it cannot possibly report on things like drug smuggling, arms dealing, playing Mailbox baseball with Iraqi heads, or any other attrocity our troops are up to. Uh Oh! I think I have just made myself an official treasonist! Goin' to the Gitmo, gonna get me lots a' whippins!


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

It's Evolution Baby!!

The anti-Darwinists are making headway into their mission to make people stupid. This is just a small taste of what a summary of "the evolution controversy" can be like.

First and foremost, there is no controversy. Darwin was mostly right. Just like Einstein was mostly right. If they had it all wrong they wouldn't be accepted in the scientific community and they wouldn't be famous to the point that everyone knew who they were. This wasn't some crazy conspiracy the scientific community corroborated with the press back in the early 1900's to put Darwin's findings on front pages of newspapers. Remember, Newspaper real estate was much more valueable back then because there was no TV and the newspaper was the only way people could get to the facts. That doesn't mean there weren't revisionists back then but science is one thing a reporter can't muddle.

Take the science surrounding the green house effect a.k.a. global warming. Besides the weather patterns we have recorded recently, there are ice cores that serve as ecological records of weather patterns in the arctic, going back millions of years. There is no controversy here folks. That is why we call it Science.

Science is science because it is not debateable within the public mind. It IS debateable amongst people who know what the hell they are talking about. Can you imagine walking into a conference on Quantum Physiscs (better yet String Theory) and actually partaking in the discussion? Think of it, it would be like you debating pasteurization with Luis Pasteur. Whatever knowledge you think you obtained by watching NOVA while taking bong hits, I guarantee you, it pails in comparison to the ammount of scientific knowledge residing in the brains of people who read Scientific journals daily. If you think the headlines in the New York Times can be daunting at times, try this headline from Mollecular Cell:

"Structural Basis of Rho GTPase-Mediated Activation of the Formin mDia1"

or this one:

"Interaction of Era with the 30S Ribosomal Subunit: Implications for 30S Subunit Assembly"

I challenge any creationist or intelligent designers (as they like to call themselves these days) to know off the tops of their heads how to begin to dispute any of the headlines above. No help from Google either. I have a Masters degree in Biology and without any refreshing all I can tell you is that the 30S ribosomal subunit is one of the structures in charge of translating mRNA into proteins. I can also tell you that a GTPase is an enzyme that degrades GTP. As for the actual substance I couldn't dream of making an ass from an elbow out of these without either reading the article and many of its refferences, or without going to google and spending a couple of hours researching.

Whatever these articles are positing, I can assure you they are nowhere near being regarded as the "theory" of anything. No matter what the Implications that Era has on 30S subunit Assembly, these guys have a long way to go before reaching the coveted title of "Theory of 30S Ribosomal Subunit Assembly."

Before something becomes a theory that at the very least is regarded as a reflection of reality, it must be proven time and time again, be well documented, be superbly evidenced, backed by research on many different types of species, be they proteins, chemicals, etc. The coveted title of Theory is not easily attained. Whole conferences are dedicated to determining which Science is desrving of being termed "Theory".

Darwin didn't get to "man who has theory named after him" overnight. He put out his hypothesis, along with lots of evidence he himself gathered. Then the scietific community, using somethig called the Scientific Method, tested and tested and found out that he was more right than wrong. This took decades. It is still going on, however, the more they dig, the more they find that Darwin was more right than wrong. The basic premace is correct, and there is many many many tons of evidence to support it. I will venture to say that Darwin was 95% right with the knowledge we have at this time.

The problem with most creationists and ID believers, is that they refute science with questions. Questions that Darwin and many scientists after Darwin have failed to answer in one way or another. NO SHIT! What they forget is that dubiousness is what keeps something like Evolution at Theory (and not Law) status. Otherwise it would be Natural Law. Like Gravity. But demonstrating Law is extremely difficult. You have to be right in 100% of the instances your hypothesis is tested. Like Newton is right on the Moon, he is right on Jupiter, he is right on every planet and star in the Universe, even though we haven't gotten to actually sending men and testing the rest of the Universe. We can definitely say that there is gravity and it works the same way everywhere from the ultra big to the ultra small, gravity has an effect.

However, scientists still dont know what gravity is made of, they just know it is a force.

So the shrowd of doubt that hovers behind Darwin's theory pales in comparison to the body of science it can be used to explain. It works even at the molecular level. There is proof that molecules comming from the past to the present undergo changes in structure and function.

Let us take a cute example of bacteria. You expose a petri dish full of bacteria to penecillin. While it kills most of them maybe 1 little bastard makes it out of that dish alive. If you look under a microscope you can see a bunch of dead bacteria (well the messy goo that results anyway) and then you will see a lone ranger. He will multiply before your eyes, you can put more penecillin but neither he nor his kin will be affected.

This is survival of the fittest. The bacteria either has a gene or is missing the gene that reacts to penecillin by killing the bacteria. This is a result of a mutation, a freak accident in the DNA molecule of the bacteria. It is completely explained by quantum theory or just plain old chance. Its like rolling a dice. Whenever you make a copy of the DNA there is a chance of error. The intelligent designer should he exist would surely elliminate this chance, right? If I were designing bacteria and I were an intelligent designer, I would make them immune to this anti-biotic stuff right from the get go. I would not leave it up to chance, otherwise my work as a designer coudl be wiped out by a pesky bread fungus?!

So take that bacterial observation and apply it almost any environment. You will find the environment rules the life that lives inside of it.

As for the teachers having a hard time teaching evolution. Make a huge poster of the Scientific Method and put it right there in front of the classroom. Right next to the periodic table of elements. Whenever a student challenges you, point their explanation to the scientific method and find out if it holds up. If so encourage the student to start a research project and report on his findings.

However, if you are not yet convinced that evolution is indeed something that could explain most of our natural world and the origin of most of our species, then perhaps you should not take an antibiotic next time your sick. Just leave it up to the intelligent designer to cure you. After all if a design which allows a species to dominate the entireity of its liveable environment cannot withstand a measly bacteria, perhaps intelligent is not the qualifier that should describe its origin.