Friday, December 31, 2004

Justice in America

Our esteemed Supreme Court justices are free to accept gifts from anyone for any amount, it seems. Read more here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sorry Everybody

I am so sorry that I have to report the "Sorry Everybody" site --
Sorry Everybody

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

FCC Dominated by Lone Activist Group

It is becoming clearer that small minorities are seeking to reduce American freedoms, like in this story --
Activists Dominate Content Complaints

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Interesting Look Backwards

I don't know when this piece was written, exactly, but it appears to have been written before our most recent invasion of Iraq. It is an illuminating view into what happened by looking at what might have been. This guy predicted it all. And he's a regular on Fox News! Yikes!

Apparently there are critical thinkers from Fox News. This guy is proof. Or is he the exception that proves the rule? You decide.

Untitled

Monday, November 29, 2004

Is This What the World Has Come To?

The hilarity never ends! This one is a hoot! The "Optimists" have closed their doors due to lack of interest...!!
Yahoo! News - Optimists Club Calls It Quits

Friday, November 19, 2004

And Now, A Word About Your Health

As usual Matt Miller brings us the salient priorities in the midst of a forest full of diversions -- your healthcare, OUR healthcare --
Health Care: Can IT Help It?

Republicans Are a Pathetic Group

Read the low-down from Molly Ivins -- I especially like her last paragraph where she says the Repubs rip us off and then tell us to pray. Hyperbole aside (is it?), it is very funny --
WorkingForChange-Republican ethics

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Is He Crying Wolf or Is It For Real This Time?

This is what happens with lost credibility -- you wonder if a guy who has always been the voice of reason and being methodical who has led you astray is telling you the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He's most likely right, but who will listen?
Of course, the Bushies will listen because they want to take down Iran. But what if they didn't? Would they believe it then? Methinks not --
Yahoo! News - Powell Says Iran Is Pursuing Bomb

Interesting Article on Cyber Security

Former NSC adviser Clark speaks out on cyber security, 9/11, and counterterrorism --
Straight talking on terrorism | Newsmakers | CNET News.com

NYTs Dowd Blasts President and his Appointees for Cronyism

She lays it on thick, but it may be warranted --
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: A Plague of Toadies

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Huge Debt Ceiling Increase Is Being Sought

The debt ceiling, necessarily being raised due to perennial deficit spending over the past 4 years, will be 37 percent higher than it was when Bush became president.

Even I cannot spend money that fast!

Bush is not a real Republican, nor is he a real conservative. More likely, he is just another typical politician who can't bear to veto a spending bill, as doing so might make him look like a bad guy.
DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2004�

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Bush Wins, Thousands Move to Canada, or Ohio

I am terribly disappointed in what looks like a Bush win in the presidential election. But I do take solace in voting for the last 4 losers (including Bush in 2000, where he really did lose, but I voted for him).

My mind wanders (and wonders) to Canada, where those frisky Canadiens never seem to have any scandals or problems. They never, NEVER, engage in wars with anybody. It seems to me to be a more hospitable place.

Does anybody out there have any experience or insight into what it is like to live in Canada? I have been to the western side of Canada, and it is quite beautiful. It reminds one of Seattle or San Francisco. Any truth to this notion?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Florida Continues its Anti-democracy Antics

Check this out. The dufus state is at it again. Apparently there is a new law on the books in this location in Florida, the sunshine state, that allows police to beat you up if you try to photograph or interview people at the polling place.

Oh, and apparently nobody but the police knows about this law. They do, however, neglect to remember another, more enduring law, that says that the police cannot monitor polling places, unless a) they are voting or b) they are called in to stop violence or law-breaking.

Methinks "somebody" called the police and when they saw a pencil-necked photographer doing his job, they quite literally pounced. Isn't this a wonderful state?


Friday, October 29, 2004

Kerry Criticizes Delay in Hunger Report

It's hard to believe that anybody goes hungry in America (just look at us!), but it seems as though hunger is a looming issue that nobody ever really talks about.

This article is important, not because Kerry claims that Bush is holding back the report (though, if true, it's very bad, though not unexpected), but because millions of people are going hungry in this land of plenty.

Yahoo! News - Kerry Criticizes Delay in Hunger Report

My Predictions

Now seems like an appropriate time to make some predictions. I will try to name them in the order in which they will occur (as a pat on my back -- "Don't hit the receiver!" -- no other prognosticator does this) --

  1. The popular vote in the Presidential election will be close, but not as close as the polls indicate. Chalk this up as "right."
  2. The Presidential election will not be as close as the poles indicate. This is due in large part to the Electoral College and how in most states winner takes all. Once one candidate gets ahead, many people in the Pacific time zone will not vote. This could skew the popular vote too. Chalk this up as "right."
  3. Nope, not going to tell you who will win. Reason: I don't know who will win. It could go either way. It all depends on who shows up to vote. We still don't know, but it leans toward Bush. Interesting to see what happens when one concedes or the other declares victory.
  4. Whether the election is close or not, there will be widespread allegations of voter fraud, voter disenfranchisement, incorrect counting, incorrect/disputed determinations on whether a ballot is valid or not. The list could go on and on. I admit that this one is a softball. We are still hearing about this, mostly about the 2000 election rather than this one, but we keep hearing about Ohio.
  5. Between November 2, 2004 and January 20, 2005, major offensives will be ordered in Iraq. Depending on whether Bush is re-elected, the offensives may occur soon after November 2 (if he wins) or close to January 20 (if he loses). I have lost track of what we have done. Anybody?
  6. The economy will sputter along until the price of oil declines. And there is no end in sight with this one. Our President is an oilman.
  7. The Red Sox will not win next year's World Series. They may win it again in 2090. If we're still alive (see number 5). Still on the edge of our seats. Not.
  8. Jeb Bush will run for president this decade or next. He will lose. Unless he somehow repeals hurricanes in Florida. Then he will take over for Clapton as God.
  9. Jenna Bush will be following in her father's footsteps, making all the same blunders as her dad (read between the lines). It may take 30 years to see this one through. After all, her dad didn't do anything until he passed the half century mark.
  10. If Bush wins, the United States will invade Iran, Syria, or North Korea (don't discount attacking all three, or more!). Appended prediction: Bush will invade at least two countries before he's done. It's just a matter of which one comes first, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Jordan, etc.

As I think of more, I will append to this post.

U.S. Growth Under Forecast in 3rd Quarter

In the last bit of economic news before the November 2 election, growth is good, inflation is low, but jobs probably won't increase. Unfortunately, those without jobs really don't care about growth. They do care about inflation, and, of course, jobs.

Interestingly, it seems to me that the inflation numbers are a) understated (not on purpose, but always) and b) a lagging indicator.

Yahoo! News - U.S. Growth Under Forecast in 3rd Quarter

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Student Get-Out-The-Vote Drive Halted

Is this a great country or what? Teaching kids about democracy is tantamount to "exploiting schoolchildren on the taxpayers' dime to conduct what is clearly a Democratic, partisan get-out-the-vote effort."
Yahoo! News - Student Get-Out-The-Vote Drive Halted

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bush Blames Poorly Made Shirt for Bulge

Yeah, and that bulge in my crotch is a poorly manufactured cod piece! This guy lies about everything. I say, prove it, Mr President. Go put on that shirt and we'll see about that bulge. I bet the shirt no longer exists. "I threw it away because it didn't fit right."

Yeah, sure. And I have some oil stock I want to sell you.

Yahoo! News - Bush Blames Poorly Made Shirt for Bulge

Friday, October 22, 2004

Leave it to the Republicans to think up this swindle

This one is good. A RNC-funded "voter registration" company promises to pay its prospective employees for registering voters. But only Republicans. And then doesn't pay them.

This is typical Republican practice: Overpromise, corrupt the system to get its way, then under fund the venture (ie, don't pay a penny for it) --

Yahoo! News - Republican Group Accused of Voter Fraud

Bush Ad Uses Wolf Image to Attack Kerry

"The vice president said last month the country was likely to be "hit again" if voters made the "wrong choice" in November." Ain't that the truth?!

Yahoo! News - Bush Ad Uses Wolf Image to Attack Kerry: "The vice president said last month the country was likely to be 'hit again' if voters made the 'wrong choice' in November. "

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Yahoo! News - Retired U.S. General Attacks Kerry Over Bin Laden

Retired General Tommy Franks combats Kerry. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who has the facts right?
--
Yahoo! News - Retired U.S. General Attacks Kerry Over Bin Laden

Yahoo! News - Retired U.S. General Attacks Kerry Over Bin Laden

Retired General Tommy Franks combats Kerry. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who has the facts right?
--
Yahoo! News - Retired U.S. General Attacks Kerry Over Bin Laden

Monday, October 18, 2004

Why is Bush Tougher on Terrorism than Kerry?

My fellow Americans,

Today, we are 15 days away from casting our very important individual votes. Many have fought to allow us this sancrosanct privilege. In fact, many have been maimed, lost limbs, or have died defending our right to cast our votes for the people we deem most fit for public service. The most important, or at least most visible, vote any of us can cast is that for President of the United States.

It is important that you vote this time around. I am not going to say what others have said: That this election is the most important election of our lives. Others have proclaimed it so; I will not. Suffice it to say that voting in this election is critical to your well-being. But it may turn out that the next election is actually more important. I don't know.

What brings me to write today is the idea that President Bush is tougher on terrorism than Kerry. First of all, I don't think any of us know how tough John Kerry is or might be, especially with respect to terrorists. I do know that he shut down financial institutions that harbored terrorist capital, long before doing so was in vogue. But I haven't the faintest idea on whether he would make us "safer" than somebody else. I do wish to present some obvious facts, however, with regard to Bush's record on fighting terrorism. First, the easy ones:

  1. Terrorism has been around for a long, long time. It didn't surface on 9/11/2001. It has been used as a tool by many different countries, entities, individuals, etc. for decades, if not centuries. It didn't even surface on our home turf for the first time on September 11. Back in the early nineties, homegrown terrorists bombed a federal building in Oklahoma, killing dozens of people, including babies and children. And what would you call bombing hospitals and clinics on the grounds of personal opinion?
  2. President Bush was our leader on 9/11/2001. In fact, he had been our leader most of 2001. The attacks happened during his first term. This is an undisputable fact.
  3. President Bush was given a Daily Briefing on August 8, 2001, fully one month prior to 9/11, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." This is another undisputable fact.

Why, then, would one come to the conclusion that Bush is tough on terrorism? He knew it was being planned, it wasn't a new phenomenon, and he chose to do nothing about it.

How does one come to the conclusion that the president under which this calamity happened is somehow more qualified to deal with it than somebody else? There has only been one president during which the Twin Towers and Pentagon were simultaneously attacked with jetliners: President Bush.

I am not suggesting that none of this would have / could have happened under a different president. However, I ask: how do these facts direct the public to the belief that Bush is tougher on terrorism than...anybody else?

By definition, Bush has the worst record of any president against terrorism, by any measure: number of dead, capital destroyed, targets hit, people affected, economic losses, etc.

So, in the final analysis, what have I said? Bush cannot possibly be construed as having anything but a terrible record fighting terrorism. If 9/11 had never occurred, I daresay that Bush wouldn't have done anything to fight terrorism. He was only coerced into doing something once a lot of damage had been done. Now, for him to take credit for launching this "war on terrorism" is the most disingenuous thing I have heard in a very long time.

He didn't want a Department of Homeland Defense. He didn't want any investigative commissions dealing with the intelligence failures of either 9/11 or the Iraq war. He wants to spend our money building a missile defense system better suited to George Lucas than Donald Rumsfeld.

Our ports are still sieves. Our airport security is terrible. Our public utilities are extremely vulnerable. We don't know where all the Soviet nuclear weapons are. We still don't have adequate ingress/egresse coverage (border patrol, immigration, security in air, sea, or land). It's crazy how much time we have wasted -- and we still aren't measurably safer than we were 4 years ago.

I urge you to ask yourselves: Are you safer than you were 4 years ago? Are you any better off now than in 2000?

If you can answer in the affirmative, vote for Bush. If you cannot, you owe it to yourself, your family, friends, community, city or town, county, state, and America to vote Bush out.

Cure Bushism
Nov 2

Yahoo! News - Job Cuts in Tech Sector Soar, Report Finds

Tech jobs are down with no end in sight --
Yahoo! News - Job Cuts in Tech Sector Soar, Report Finds

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Yahoo! News - Nev. Move to Block Some Dem Voters Fails

These guys will stop at nothing to get their guy back in again. I guess the loser always feels the need to complain after he loses (like in 2000), but this time there is yet to be a winner or loser. It's amazing that this was alleged prior to the election.

But it sounds very possible that it did happen.
Yahoo! News - Nev. Move to Block Some Dem Voters Fails

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

They Lie about Everything

Dick Cheney claimed that he met Senator John Edwards for the first time at tonight's debate. The implication was that Edwards is a newbie senator and/or he doesn't show up much in Washington (further implying that he has missed lots of votes).

Of course, even this rather innocuous claim is false. Cheney personally thanked Edwards at a Senate prayer a few years ago. They also were in the same location when Cheney swore in Elizabeth Dole a couple years ago.

Here's the question of the day: If the Vice President cannot tell the truth about something trivial like when he and Edwards met, how can you believe him about serious issues with potentially disastrous and damning effects?

Or, put another way, if you do believe Dick Cheney about matters of national import, you must have a lot of blind faith, for your eyes aren't open and probably never will be.
The "W" in George W. Bush not only stands for "Walker" but also for "White House" --
See, he was born to be leader of the free world!
Yahoo! News Full Coverage - U.S. - White House Silent on Bremer's Troop Request

Thursday, September 23, 2004

US Supreme Court Usurped by Congress

In the spirit of all things constitutional, Congress has excluded the US Supreme Court from ruling on a controversial, though unimportant, issue -- words in the Pledge of Allegiance. The more disturbing piece of this is the manuevering that Congress has done in order to keep the Supreme Court from ruling on laws enacted by Congress and signed by the president.

Two ironies about this issue are provided in this quote from the article linked below:

Rep. Todd Akin (news, bio, voting record), R-Mo., the author of the amendment on legislation before the House Thursday, said the high court is likely to rule differently if it considers the substance of the case and "if we allow activist judges to start creating law and say that it is wrong to somehow allow schoolchildren to say 'under God' in the pledge."

First of all, if the high court is likely to rule differently than Congress on this matter, it is important to note that the Supreme Court is the final governmental body that in fact rules on laws. How strange? What Akin seems to be saying is that if the Court thinks differently than us, let's prohibit the Court from adjudicating the case.

Second, when did the Supreme Court become a bunch of "activist judges?" I have heard a federal court in California described as such, but never the Supreme Court. After all, 7 of the 9 judges were appointed by Republican presidents, one by Nixon, one by Ford, none by Carter, three by Reagan, two by Bush 41, and two by Clinton.

So, what activist judges is he talking about? What a doorknob.

Read it all here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"The Unfeeling President" from the East Hampton Star

If you read this article, you will understand why we can do better --
East Hampton Star - In the News

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

WMD -- Weapons of Mass Deception

It's unfortunate that CBS apparently chose to use suspect documents in its story on Bush's National Guard (dis)service. I think this has turned out to be a case similar to the OJ Simpson story (no, I am NOT comparing OJ to Bush -- just the juxtaposition of it all) -- guilty as charged but framed nevertheless.

Let me explain. There's plenty of evidence that Bush didn't serve out his term with the National Guard (actually, there isn't much evidence, and that's why it's easy to prove he never showed up in the last year of his agreement). Nobody needed to make up anything. Dan Rather, I believe, is correct in his assessment of the situation -- the gist of the story stands under any and all scrutiny.

CBS showed very poor judgement in its piece on Bush. But they should stand by the story because, as they say, "Truth is stranger than fiction." The truth is that Bush was honorably discharged (so was the dude who sniped all those people in the DC area, John Mohammed), there aren't many paper artifacts that demonstrate that he reported for duty (I thought being in the military was a full-time job -- apparently, Bush's "work ethic" began at least in the TANG, where he showed up whenever it was convenient, like he has during this presidency), and he failed to show for a required physical.

If he weren't the son of a government official, he may have been dishonorably discharged. But, as the Republicans say, "that's old news." So let's talk about now.

The chain of events that has led us to now are as follows (I am sure you remember):

Bush steals presidency by 5-4 margin in US Supreme Court and acts like he won a mandate. Several campaign promises actually come to pass, like a tax cut and the passing of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Bush took lots of time off at his ranch in Texas, ignored daily briefings from the CIA, one especially memorable one called, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US," and pretty much took it easy, looking like he was going to be an unmemorable one-term president.

Then September 11 came to pass, (let's forget his inaction during the attacks for a moment) and he "sprang" to action. "Dead or Alive" was the battlecry for capturing Osama bin Laden. The country rallied, the world was behind us, and we had the moral and popular authority to strike back at al Qaeda. Then we waited. Two months.

Okay, a sick man with kidney failure, living in caves, meandering the Afghanistan countryside, is probably not a fast mover. We had some time to catch him before he escaped. But even a legless man without a wheelchair could cross the border, catch a plane, and leave the region in two months. So, Bush blew it. He may have meant, "Dead or alive, or not" -- who knows? The man is mostly unintelligible, even when somebody writes it out for him.

Then we bombed the hell out of Afghanistan. We took out the taliban. We installed a new government. We couldn't find bin Laden. Once it was obvious he was gone, Bush openly turned to the American public and began his crusade against Iraq and Saddam. Now, forget for a moment that Bush I had a happy relationship with Iraq before the Gulf War. Forget that Haliburton, under Dick Cheney, made millions off re-building the Iraq and Kuwait oil fields.

Forget all that. WMDs became the word of the day. Imminent threat. Images of mushroom clouds filled our senses. We had to take out Saddam because he possessed chemical, biological, and perhaps nu-ku-ler weapons. We know it, because we most likely sold them to him.

So we went to the UN. We appealed to the international community and they backed us. Until we determined that our "last resort" didn't line up with the rest of the world's. Our last resort was a line drawn in the sand that said by this date you must do such and such -- or ELSE.

Or else meant we bombed the hell out of another country in the Middle East, this time unprovoked. Somebody PLEASE tell me how Iraq provoked us into a pissing contest with the ultimate consequences -- death of truly evil people, innocent bystanders, American and a small (albeit not insignificant) coalition of soldiers -- all for what? Because Saddam was "evil."

People, people, people -- Saddam was evil 20 years ago, yet we had diplomatic relations with him. We did bidness with him. We gave him stuff. We helped him when his country was in war with Iran. We gave him weapons, supplies, and support during that war. What the hell has happened to our collective memory?

I have a stinking suspicion that he embarrassed Cheney during the Gulf War (a just war -- big bully of a country with a huge military establishment takes on a small, yet very important OIL, country -- the world's largest coalition ever established) in some way and Cheney's suspect manhood was challenged. Old Tricky Dick was pissed and when he had the chance to recommend himself as Bush's VP, he jumped at the chance, offering up himself as the only suitable choice when in fact he was supposed to be picking somebody to run on the Bush ticket and had proclaimed that he wasn't interested in the job.

But I digress.

So now that the war in Iraq was stupendously successful, we had to plan for the peace. Wha? Peace? That doesn't win elections! We gotta keep this thing going until at least November 2004. So, that's what they did. Never thought about how to rebuild the country (except for giving no-bid contracts to Haliburton to rebuild the infrastructure). Don't even think about letting the Iraqi people participate. Wouldn't want their economy to outpace our own pathetic example of a sloth economy.

So here we sit, broken hearted, tried to...well you get the picture. We had the world on our side September 11, 2001 and we blew it. We failed to capture the guy guilty of masterminding the attacks. That's really the end of the story. Except for all the lies, deception, and false claims about all the stuff that ensued shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

GOP Platform

Interesting tidbit: The GOP Agenda doesn't contain the term "Economy" as one of its seven topics.

Why is that? Is it NOT the economy, stupid?

Instead, it lists

• Homeland Security (opposed by the Bush Administration initially)
• National Security (what's the difference?)
• Education (No Child Left Behind misnomer)
• Social Security (or is it Social Insecurity?)
• Health Care (Does the administration Care about Health?)
• Environment ("Clear Skies" where polluters self-regulate)
• Energy (emphasis on oil, with Bush, Cheney, Rice, and others? manning the post? You gotta be kiddin' me!)

If this weren't true, it would be the funniest damn thing on the planet. Instead, it's really scary sad.


Friday, September 10, 2004

First ketchup, now eBay

The Reagan administration determined that ketchup would be considered a vegetable in school lunches.

Now, the Bush administration is claiming that the economy is much better than the statistics show, based on the fact that "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay" (Cheney's own words).

John Edwards has a good comeback: "If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking."

Read the article here.



Thursday, September 09, 2004

Identity Crisis

I am having an identity crisis, like many Americans, I suppose. You see, I believe in many conservative values, like:
  • A smaller federal government
  • A less intrusive federal government, one that merely presides without ruling
  • A balanced budget
  • State's rights
  • Family
  • Education
  • A strong economy
  • Lower taxes
  • A strong military

However, the conservative party (Republicans) doesn't embrace these same qualities anymore. Oh, they say they do. But for most folks, the tables have turned. On each point above, I could argue that the current administration has made things worse, not better. For example, the federal government is bigger now than 4 years ago. Spending is drastically higher, while at the same time tax revenues have declined (last year's record deficit was surpassed by this year's even bigger shortfall) -- but I sure haven't seen any reduction in my taxes (and neither have most Americans).

The economy is weaker today than it was 4 years ago. The military is concentrated in two countries, in fairly close proximity. Our military is left spread very thin every where else in the world. We have pulled troops from the border between North and South Korea, a very scary thing if you ask me.

The marriage issue has become a hotbed, if diversionary, topic. The president wants to amend the constitution, taking away another right of the states to make its own rules. Look, if Massachusetts wants to allow gays to marry one another, and you don't like it, move. Or get over it. Or fight it out. But don't let the federal government tell you and your state what to do.

These are but a few examples of how things have turned for the worse the past 4 years. I won't even talk about the nasty legislation that some artful pols passed that challenges your love of country if you don't agree with it.

Finally, on a slightly different note, when did the attacks on America happen? Who was president? Who neglected to heed all the warnings?

Do you feel safer now?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Ownership Society

What a great idea!

Introduction

This log will be used to chronicle my meandering thoughts on just about anything. I will comment on our government, the presidency, and other news fit enough to type.