Friday, April 02, 2004

Bush flip-flops on OPEC 

From blah3.com:

That's the trouble with public pronouncements...

They never go away.

George W. Bush, February, 2000:

During the 2000 Presidential election campaign, Gov. George W. Bush promised to take on the OPEC cartel on behalf of American consumers. Bush said:

“I think the president ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say, ‘We expect you to open your spigots.’ … The president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price.” [Financial Times, 2/2/00]

On the campaign trail in 2000, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan cited rising gas prices as an example of “failed leadership.”

George W. Bush, March, 2004:

President Bush expressed disappointment on Wednesday at OPEC's oil output cut and pressed allies inside and outside the cartel to fill any gap in supply to prevent higher prices after Democratic rival John Kerry accused Bush of ignoring record pump prices.

While initially raising no public objections to OPEC's decision, the White House later voiced its displeasure and said Secretary of State Colin Powell, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were reaching out to "our friends" in OPEC and non-OPEC nations to address U.S. concerns.

He's disappointed? That's as tough as he can get with his friends the Saudis? That's 'taking on the OPEC cartel?' Kinda like yelling 'Stop! Or I'll yell stop again!,' if you ask me.

And take note that Condi and Colin are talking. Guess Bush just can't be bothered to jawbone, because he's too busy fundraising or something.


Alberto Gonzalez and Bobby Bonilla 

I read the following story in some funny-strange-but-true sort of column in The Sporting News (no, it wasn't "Caught On The Fly", but he's hilarious, too) The title of the bit was "Hello, how are you?"

At least a decade ago, when Bobby Bo played for the Mets, he was quite cocky and full of himself. (These days, one is hard-pressed to remember the ex-Pirate third baseman's name, who won a huge contract after the salad days in Pittsburgh with the likes of Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke, when they won the division three years in a row under Jim Leyland)

During a night game at Shea, he made an error, but he disagreed with the official scorer's decision and decided to take things into his own hands. He called the scorer FROM THE DUGOUT and tried to talk him into changing it into a hit. He got nowhere, but the story hit the press.

When questioned by reporters after the game, Bonilla said (and I paraphrase here): "Oh, I heard that he [the official scorer] had a cold, and I just called to ask him how he was doing."

In the middle of a game. From the dugout. The official scorer. ha ha

I think the White House lawyer will be using this Bobby Bonilla defense, now that this story has hit the wires. Remember who coined it first, kiddies:

Bush Counsel Called 9/11 Panelist Before Clarke Testified

President Bush's top lawyer placed a telephone call to at least one of the Republican members of the Sept. 11 commission when the panel was gathered in Washington on March 24 to hear the testimony of former White House counterterrorism chief Richard A. Clarke, according to people with direct knowledge of the call.

White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales called commissioner Fred F. Fielding, one of five GOP members of the body, and, according to one observer, also called Republican commission member James R. Thompson. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, wrote to Gonzales yesterday asking him to confirm and describe the conversations.

Waxman said "it would be unusual if such ex parte contacts occurred" during the hearing. Waxman did not allege that there would be anything illegal in such phone calls. But he suggested that such contacts would be improper because "the conduct of the White House is one of the key issues being investigated by the commission."

No, Gonzalez just heard Fielding had a bad head cold. Allergy season is heating up, y'know.


Arnold Schwarzenegger is a God-damned liar 

He lied to get elected last fall. It worked.

He cut the unpopular motor vehicle tax. Got applause.

Now he has to raise taxes. Which he swore he would not do. But he has to. It's called REALITY.

Think of all those idiots who voted for a man who said he would "terminate" those high taxes. Idiots, every single one. Lotta idiots in this world. And they get to vote. sigh

Via Kevin Drum's blog at the Washington Monthly:

WISHFUL THINKING....I forgot to blog this the other day, but here's the latest from Arnold on his pledge to never, ever raise taxes, no matter what:

"I'm going through wishful thinking that I'll never have to go there," Schwarzenegger said. "Because I just don't like it. I try to work around and find ways so we don't have to do that. So that's the stage I'm in right now. Maybe someone else will say it's denial, but I'm at that stage where I say you can't do that."

I wonder what his first clue was?

What's really weird is that, according to the LA Times, Schwarzenegger is currently spending his time on workers' comp proposals and "his attention has not turned in earnest to the 2004-05 state budget." Gee, the state has a multi-billion dollar deficit, Arnold has a huge Democratic majority to negotiate with in the legislature, and the budget is supposed to be passed 12 weeks from now, but he isn't really focused on it yet? What exactly would it take for him to get focused?

California's conservatives, by the way, attuned to reality as always, have promised him the George Bush (Sr.) treatment if he dares to raise taxes even a penny.


The elephant in the living room 

Kos makes the catch. Everybody's thinking this, but Pelosi says it out loud. Into the microphones.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says it's baffling and embarrassing that President Bush is appearing before the Sept. 11 commission with Vice President Dick Cheney at his side instead of by himself.

"I think it speaks to the lack of confidence that the administration has in the president going forth alone, period," Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday. "It's embarrassing to the president of the United States that they won't let him go in without holding the hand of the vice president of the United States."

"I think it reinforces the idea that the president cannot go it alone," she said. "The president should stand tall, walk in the room himself and answer the questions."

No, Nancy, he's not a real cowboy. He just plays one, for TV.


I thought The Economist was a conservative publication 

Guess not. Not anymore.


More Plame news 

From the NY Times:

"Prosecutors...have expanded their inquiry to examine whether White House officials lied to investigators..."

That's how they nailed Martha Stewart. People actually go to jail for this shit.

Uh...I almost forgot. IOKIYAR.


Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Air America debut 

I finally found a link that worked to stream Air America today--too late to hear Al Franken,but I got to hear Janeane Garofolo and Sam Seder's show tonight. It was pretty good. Got to hear my favorite blogger as a guest, the anonymous Atrios. I actually met him at bartcop's Juliefest in 2002, but I was so shy and knew no one there, so I didn't talk to him in either depth or earnest. bartcop produced a video from which Atrios and I were able to recognize each other; now we're good friends...!

Broken Record Time: This show is not nearly as funny or spontaneous or intense as Mike Malloy. But on Malloy, he knew that everybody'd already BEEN to the blogs and the websites and SEEN the latest atrocities; so Mike got to rant to the choir. It seems like Air America thinks it has to educate the masses before they can get to the "inside" jokes.

This is not true. Randi Rhodes already knows this. She's been doing it for twenty years, and I read that tonight she harassed Ralph Nader so much, he hung up on her. It was the real thing--she told him, "We can't AFFORD you this year, Ralph!"

This will be good. The pendulum swingeth.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Nader supporters: The plot thickens 

Nader, Kerry to Discuss Defeating Bush

ATLANTA (AP) - Ralph Nader said Sunday he will meet with John Kerry next month to discuss the effort to defeat President Bush in the November election.

While stressing that he is still a competitor in the race, the independent presidential hopeful said he views his candidacy as a "second front against Bush, however small."

Following a speech on the environment at Georgia State University, Nader stepped up his attacks on Bush, describing the Republican incumbent as "a giant corporation residing in the White House camouflaging as a human being."

"George W. Bush's values are corporate values," Nader told reporters. And he said the administration "should spend more time waging peace ... than waging a military conflict."


What more can you say except... 

...it's about fuckin' time. Looks like Karl missed Sunday School this week.

ha ha

Demonstrators Swarm Around Rove's Home

By Steven Ginsberg--Monday, March 29, 2004

Several hundred people stormed the small yard of President Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, yesterday afternoon, pounding on his windows, shoving signs at others and challenging Rove to talk to them about a bill that deals with educational opportunities for immigrants.

Protesters poured out of one school bus after another, piercing an otherwise quiet, peaceful Sunday in Rove's Palisades neighborhood in Northwest, chanting, "Karl, Karl, come on out! See what the DREAM Act is all about!"

Rove obliged their first request and opened his door long enough to say, "Get off my property."

"Seems like he doesn't want to invite us in for tea," Emira Palacios quipped to the crowd.

Others chanted, "Karl Rove ain't got no soul."

The crowd then grew more aggressive, fanning around the three accessible sides of Rove's house, tracking him through the many windows, waving signs that read "Say Yes to DREAM" and pounding on the glass. At one point, Rove rushed to a window, pointed a finger and yelled something inaudible.

Shortly thereafter, sirens shot through the neighborhood and Secret Service agents and D.C. police joined the crowd on the lawn. Rove opened his door long enough to talk to an officer, and the crowd serenaded them with a stanza of "America the Beautiful."

The protest was organized by National People's Action, a coalition of neighborhood advocacy groups based in Chicago.


Let's play Bible-verse Smackdown! 

I saw these proverbs in the comments of a blah3.com thread. Beautiful, baby, beautiful.

Proverbs 17:4
A wicked man listens to evil lips;
A liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.

(Like the staff in the current administration?)

Proverbs 17:5
He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
Whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

(Like 9-11? Like the trifecta and WMD jokes?)

Proverbs 22:16
He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
And he who gives gifts to the rich--both come to poverty.

(Tax cuts, anyone?)

Proverbs 16:4
The LORD works out everything for his own ends--
Even the wicked for a day of disaster.


Monday, March 29, 2004

More good quotes 

From Political Strikes, via bartcop. The 'toon is a lot more effective, but here goes:

"I was advised by my counsel not to testify under oath."

-- Timothy McVeigh

"I was advised by my counsel not to testify under oath."

-- O.J. Simpson

"I was advised by my counsel not to testify under oath."

-- Michael Jackson

"I was advised by my counsel not to testify under oath."

-- Martha Stewart

"I was advised by my counsel not to testify under oath."

-- Condi Rice


Good quotes 

"I believe human life is a sacred gift from our Creator."

-- Dubya, who has killed more people in the last 12 months than any other man on Earth

"My challenge to the Bush administration would be, if Clarke is not believable and they have reason to show it, then prosecute him for perjury because he is under oath. They have a perfect right to do that."

-- John Kerry, calling Bush's bluff that Clarke committed perjury

"We knew that Bush is the enemy of God, the enemy of Islam and Muslims. America declared war against God. Sharon declared war against God and God declared war against America, Bush and Sharon. The war of God continues against them and I can see the victory coming up from the land of Palestine by the hand of Hamas."

-- Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the man Sharon put in charge of Hamas

"Why are you saying that to a third-party independent candidate when you don't say it to anyone else? Why don't you say to Bush: 'You may cost Kerry the White House?' Because somehow third-party candidates are second-class citizens. And that is not acceptable."

-- Ralph Nader, pretending he doesn't understand that he's helping Bush again

"After 9/11, Republicans could have become the majority party for the next 50 years. But for whatever reason, Bush kept up the same polarizing approach. Everyone wanted to rally behind Bush. This is the biggest act of political stupidity in my lifetime."

-- Alan Wolfe, director of Religion and American Public Life at Boston College

"The White House finds itself in the awkward position of trying to explain why Rice can talk at length to reporters but not at the commission's televised hearings because of the constitutional principle of separation of powers."

-- Terence Hunt


Vote for your favourite tits! 

As far as I'm concerned, this is NOT a family site.

That said, go look at some nice tits.

ha ha


Sheer poetry 

I was reading my weekly issue of The New Yorker today. There's an article about a Hispanic woman living in a slum of Brownsville, Texas, recently out of work by an outsourced job--her Fruit of the Loom job moved to Honduras. She's been in a job-training program, graduated with honors, and now she's having a difficult time finding a job.

She attributes part of the problem not with her English--which is accented, but more than adequate--but a more subtle inability to communicate, which the author writes was ingrained in her in the migrant field work she did as a child. She learned to be shy, and not stick out, because as a young girl in the fields it was simply safer that way.

But now she wishes she could be more direct. Here's what she says about that:

"But the stillness of a thirty-three-year-old woman being interviewed at a downtown Brownsville chiropractor could easily be mistaken for stupidity. Lupita longed to have at her command, in any language, 'those big round words that explain better what goes on in your mind, and which help people know who you are. I mean, those proper words that come from the deeps of a person, and that burn a little when they're spoken.'"

Longing for those words...don't we all?

This woman is more than a chiropractor's receptionist. She's a POETESS. Stopped ME in my tracks...



Kerry points out (correctly) that Christ was a liberal; Bush pouts 

Kerry visited my home town this weekend. And stirred up a ruckus with Bush and his henchmen.

Seems Kerry is stealing a card from the Bush playbook--using the Bible to prove a point. Never mind that Bush & CO is farther from grace than any crooked Republican administration that has come before them...never mind that.

Kerry is a THIEF.

Bush Campaign Blasts Kerry's Bible Quote


"The Scriptures say, what does it profit, my brother, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?" Kerry said. "When we look at what is happening in America today, where are the works of compassion?"

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said Kerry's comment "was beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse and a sad exploitation of Scripture for a political attack."

First: You can tell it's Nedra Pickler, Professional Hack, hard at work on this particular copy. The headline is about Bush's reaction, but except for the ONE PARAGRAPH copied here, the entire article refers only to Kerry.

Second: Kerry is right. If you're going to rely on "Scripture" to make a political point, you'd better not forget Christ's REAL message--humility, charity, service and loving your enemies, let alone your neighbor.

Third: Since when is quoting Scripture "beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse"? Where's the memo? Didn't Georgie get a copy before he was photographed for the cover of NewsWeek with his hands pressed together, eyes shut tight?

Hypocrites with a capital "H".

Fourth: Remember YABL--Yet Another Bush Lie? Kerry did NOT attack Bush with this statement. He never mentioned Bush by name during his remarks.

The guilty consciences of all those scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites are workin' overtime, people.


A magic TEN  

I've been wondering exactly how many different official investigations have been ongoing--of REPUBLICANS. Too damn many to figure out off the top of my head.

Turns out it's TEN.

Kos has listed them for us. Go count them all.


Sunday, March 28, 2004

Where do I start? 

Log on.

Engage browser.

Check email.

Log on to Yahoo.com news page. Check headlines.

Decide which one to use. Can't. Use all three.

Rice Rejects Calls for Public Testimony

By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer

CRAWFORD, Texas - White House allies and Republicans investigating the Sept. 11 attacks pressed Sunday to hear open testimony from national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, with one commissioner calling her refusal a "political blunder of the first order."

Rice said in a TV interview that she wants to meet with the families of the Sept. 11 victims because she knows they are disappointed she cannot testify publicly.

"Nothing would be better, from my point of view, than to be able to testify," Rice told CBS's "60 Minutes." "I would really like to do that. But there is an important principle involved here: It is a long-standing principle that sitting national security advisers do not testify before the Congress."

EEEEEEEHHHHH! Wrong answer, Condi. Zbigniew Brzinski testified before Congress; so did Sandy Berger. Guess what party their Presidents belonged to? The Party of open, honest government.

NOT the Republicans.

And guess how many National Security advisors and their aides have REFUSED to testify before Congress, even when subpoenaed? Five. Which President appointed FOUR of those five? Richard M. Nixon.

Try again, Condi.

U.S. Gas Prices Hit New Record High

By TIM MOLLOY, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES - Gasoline prices across the country climbed another 3 cents in the past two weeks to a record-high average of $1.80 per gallon for all grades, according to a study released Sunday.

I remember during Campaign 2000 when gas prices spiked. Clinton decided to release emergency reserves of oil, in order to ease the prices. Republicans and conservatives of every stripe decried the action, saying it was helping Gore and basely political. Truck drivers threatened to strike, claiming they would be put out of business by prices that climbed to about $1.40 a gallon. THOSE were the days!

Now Bush has a different problem. The truth of the matter is, prices are over a DOLLAR a gallon higher than they were about seven years ago. That's a more than 100% increase. I have the receipt to prove it; I paid $.69 a gallon for one fillup during the Clinton Boom, and could hardly believe that prices were so low.

So SOMEBODY'S cleaning up. Could it be the oil companies and the energy business in general? Because these prices sure aren't the results of HIGHER TAXES ON GASOLINE, that's for sure.

For my money? I'd rather we DID pay fifty cents a gallon in extra taxes than see it go to either OPEC or Exxon. At least we'd get SOMETHING for our money--maybe a little relief for the states in deficit right now?

Makes too much sense. They'll never do it.

Rumsfeld Clears Musharraf of Nuclear Trafficking

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Sunday he had no reason to suspect President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan of past involvement in an international nuclear black market but declined to rule out other possible high-level military complicity.

"I do not believe that there's any evidence or any suggestion that President Musharraf was involved," Rumsfeld said in an interview on the ABC program "This Week."

Abdul Qader Khan, the so-called father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, admitted in February to having given nuclear weapons know-how and equipment to Iran, Libya and North Korea, saying he had done so without Pakistani government authorization.

"I'm not going to say that," Rumsfeld replied when asked whether he was confident there had been no other "high-level military" involvement in Pakistan.

"You can't prove a negative," he added. "You can't say that I know that every person connected with the Pakistani military over some sustained period of time had no knowledge or participation whatsoever. That's silly. I couldn't do that."

At this point, there's only one real way to respond to this story:

ha ha

We're going to die in a nuclear conflagration, thanks to Musharraf, Bush, Rumsfeld, Condi and Wolfowitz--directly. They might as well be setting off the devices themselves. It's better to laugh than to cry. Won't you join me?

ha ha

You can't prove a negative? Then why did they demand that Saddam disarm? He couldn't prove THAT negative, either! If they ever used it--this administration has abandoned all logic. If their lips are moving...


So we don't forget what REALLY happened in 2001 

From CNN, via Salon, via atrios--the usual suspects.

The State Department officially released its annual terrorism report just a little more than an hour ago, but unlike last year, there's no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. A senior State Department official tells CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden and 'personalizing terrorism.'

-- CNN, 4/30/2001.


Politics, journalism and the Bible 

I've seen a lot of talk about religio-crazies on atrios' blog lately. Seems there's this guy Marvin Olasky, who teaches for the World Journalism Institute (the link provided takes you to the first chapter of his textbook "Telling The Truth"). He's a Christian with a capital "C", and he's a practicing journalist who teaches and writes with a God-first agenda.

I'm not sure I trust anyone who claims to be objective with a God-first agenda. Openly. Admittedly. Who teaches it in his own CLASSES.

I'm a Christian, too. But I remember the old saying from MY copy of the Bible, from one of the Old Testament passages, something that I remember should have been a biggie...like bearing false witness...that wasn't one of those Commandments, was it? I get them all confused...

Upon deeper reading, Mr. Olasky says it is the DUTY of a Christian journalist to skew the facts purposely to fit the God-first agenda. I call that bearing false witness, but my divinity degree is only valid in the state of Rhode Island.

Seriously, my favorite parts of the Bible are the quotes. Have you ever seen one of those Bibles with all the red ink in it? More than likely, those red letters were the words of Jesus. It's an interesting theory (mine, who else?) that today's fundemented Christian might surely be suffering from color-blindness, what with the lack of consideration for Jesus' words, and the ugly twisting of them.

I don't like religio-crazies. They bother me. When you're absolutely convinced you are right, you'll never see it coming when you turn out to be absolutely wrong.


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