Schwarzenegger Gropes San Fran

Well, not quite, but he's ordering San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome to stop allowing gay couples to marry (about 3,000 in 8 days thanks to a very tired but very busy city hall staff).

What I find particularly ironic is that Arnold opposes this, but last week - with programs closing all over the state - Arnold proposed tearing the roof off the state house so he and his cronies could meet in a cigar-filled room. I mean, what defines a fat cat better than a huge cigar (perhaps to make up for other um... failings of nature), loosening the belt over his fat belly, and screwing as many people as he can while he downs a good single malt Scotch?


About the dumbest thing I've heard all week - and I've heard some corkers, let me tell you - is this administration floating the idea of reclassifying certain jobs such as assembling a fast food burger as a manufacturing job. This is apparently to make it look like manufacturing positions are increasing rather than rapidly decreasing.

And if this idea floats, the Bush Administration will reclassify the following items as manufacturing related jobs, too:
Going #2
Making a mess
Making a mockery of democracy
The Bush twins making drugs disappear
Making out a check to the GOP reelection fund
Making up lies and foisting them on the American people.

Doonesbury: $10K Reward for Proof

Gary Trudeau/Doonesbury is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who can step forward with definitive proof that Mr. Bush fulfilled his military service obligations.


Heads Should Roll

Finally. Something Richard Perle and I can agree on with his statement above related to how we expected to find WMDs and gosh darn it, we didn't.

Only Mr. Perle is referring to CIA honcho George Tenet, while Tenet's head is not the one I'm thinking of. In fact, I'm thinking of many, starting with Bush and Cheney, steam rolling along to Colin and Condi, zooming around to Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Boucher, and then, for good measure, booting Perle and Gingrich from the Defense Policy Council and enforcing a policy that would never allow them to serve again in any capacity, at any time, or to profit from their past connections.

Federal prison is too much to ask, I suppose.

Another Progressive Voice

Atrios reports that a county clerk in New Mexico will issue same-sex marriage license applications, stating that it is not either a political or moral decision:

    Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap says the county plans to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

Now Tom DeLay is having a fit about this, saying the American people are having homosexuality forced down their throats.

However, I would argue the reverse. We've had an extreme right-wing agenda, masked in fundamentalist Christianity, shoved down our throats. Everyone is supposed to live their lives in light of how they deem they should be lived. That's simply not fair. I still cannot fathom how gay marriage harms anyone.

The Passion

To be perfectly - or imperfectly - blunt about it, the only reason anyone is talking about seeing Mel Gibson's "The Passion" is because Mel and his dad have done everything in their power to whip up a controversy where one may never have existed.

One or both of them have threatened, whined, proselytized, conspiracy theoried, acted crazy and made even crazier and more inflammatory comments through almost a year of hype about a film that I suspect won't turn out to be very good.

Sadly, nothing about this film particularly interests me. Mel Gibson said he made this movie because he was intensely suicidal and this was his therapy. A few times since this whole nonsense began, I've wondered if Mel made the right choice (ahem).

This is Mel's "Waterworld", the collossal flop from Kevin Costner. He's done everything within his power to cook up controversy, from primarily only inviting fundamentalists or right wing Catholics to viewings while excluding most of those from a Jewish and/or liberal background - to threatening Frank Rich (and Mr. Rich's non-existent dog) - to going on TV to say it's a shame that his wife who's a very nice person will not go to Heaven while he will because he's one of the chosen - to acting like the whole world is against him.

Mel's always been interesting on screen, but never more than that. I don't think he's one of the great minds of our century and I don't particularly trust a film about Jesus that has to be hyped in the way he's hyped it to get it attention.

The overall image he projects these days is a man who's lost touch with reality while trying to leave the impression he's actually better tuned into the divine word than anyone else. Whether he's fallen victim to the same apparent brand of mental illness that some hint his father suffers from or not, I don't know. But I don't much like seeing someone decompensate in front of my eyes, especially while the lunatic explains he's more special than the rest of us.

Yet - largely because of his hype - many of you will go to the theaters and act to validate Mel's divine madness. It's understandable. People crane their necks around to look at an accident as they drive slowly past. But this is one ride I'm not going along on.



A federal appeals court has agreed to hear a case that involves reconsidering the landmark Roe v Wade decision.

Now, I'm growing quite tired of the original Roe (real name: Norma McCorvey), now that she's joined the side of anti-abortionists, insisting that she has a right to - all by herself - undo the ruling that she started. I suspect the woman has been forever changed both by the horror of her predicament and the subsequent hounding she must have taken from the far right. Listening to her speak, I wonder if the toll is not irreversible. She's being used and abused and seems oblivious to it.

But she has no more right to try to change the law and undo Roe v Wade as anyone. This stopped being about her a very long time ago. It was never just about her to start with.

I'm tired of people deciding that they have more claim over a woman's body than the woman herself.

No Great Wall of Tom Ridge

California is so far rejecting the Department of Homeland Security's request to install a huge wall across the border between Mexico and California. Thank God!

I'm not sure if the wall was supposed to change colors depending on our terror alert level.

Go San Francisco

I think it's marvelous that more than 2,300 couples have been married in about a week in San Francisco, even with the right and the Gropinator ("Ve have no money for schools but I'd like to tear the roof off the state capitol building so I can be tough guy and smoke cigars with my fat cat friends") trying to get them to stop.

And while I'm at it, I thought it was cool that Mayor Daley of Chicago says he'd like to see Chicago do it, too.

Strangely enough, only the same number of heterosexual marriages ended this week as the week before. Perhaps gay marriage won't end marriage after all! I know I haven't felt any threat to my heterosexuality this week.

The president keeps saying "let the people decide." But a) he only wants certain people to decide and b) if he were so concerned with what the majority of Americans would vote for, he wouldn't have taken the recount vote to the Supreme Court in 2000. Oh, and c) there's a rumor going about that the First Lady of Texas is mad at the governor because he has dalliances with the same sex. So apparently a potentially gay man was good enough to become Bush's hand picked successor in Texas... so surely he'd be good enough to date one of Mr. Bush's nephews.

Anybody Else Think

that the currently suspended-with-pay UColorado coach Barnett - in responding to charges that a girl on his team said she was raped by a fellow team member by saying "not only was she a girl [ed.note: oh my, how terrible] but she was a really terrible kicker" - is so extreme he could get offered a job in the Bush Administration.

    "Not only is Valerie Plame a girl CIA agent, but she's married to this Democrat-supporting former ambassador who had the nerve to blow the whistle that Cheney knew about the Niger yellow cake. She deserved what she got."


I've hesitated posting here about Dean's decision to no longer actively seek the nomination for President because it frankly makes me quite sad. On one hand, it's just phenomenal that a virtually unknown man from a tiny state managed to do so very well; on the other, I can't believe how badly the media treated him.

Sure, some of Dean's failures here are ones he owns. But the "I have a scream" debacle was taken wildly out of context, and probably because Karl Rove and company kept telling the media that they would "love" to have Dean made the nominee, the media kept after Dean in a way that had little to do with the full breadth of his message of change.

I don't agree with Dr. Dean on everything. But I think he's a fine man who would have been a remarkable, practical, and refreshingly intelligent voice and presence to replace Mr. Bush. Unfortunately, I feel far less strongly for Mr. Kerry. While I respect a great deal about John Kerry, there have been more than a few issues recently where I felt he hedged on what he felt was best in favor or what he considered more palatable. When you start making those trade-offs consistently, you pass from being a person with a good mission to a true politician... and that's no compliment.

Bush is a good politician, I suppose.. as long as the deck is always stacked in his favor so he can walk in, do nothing, and win everything.

But I don't think politicians make decent presidents. Howard Dean, in my view, is less of a politician than someone who has worked in politics. To me, that's a subtle but sizeable difference. To varying degrees, I'd say the rest of the elected US officials from VT (Jeffords, Leahy, and Sanders) also fall into that category. We're lucky to have them represent us.

As for Edwards, I don't know. He seems likeable and intelligent and I disagree with his record on issues no more than I do with Kerry's. Yet I resent this idea that top dog has to come from the south every freaking time.

I still would have liked a Dean-Clark ticket. There has been at least one big rumor of a "secret" Edwards and Dean pairing, but I don't see it. I think Dean has more meat than Edwards even if Edwards did slightly better in some of the caucuses. But I also don't see a Kerry-Dean ticket and even think a Kerry-Edwards ticket is a long-shot, although it's the most likely of the 3 scenarios.

It's not that...

it surprised me that the White House would try to distance themselves from the pronouncement that just maybe we wouldn't actually see the creation of 2.6 million new jobs this year as they promised. I think perhaps three whole people (and only one of them isn't in a mental hospital) thought this was even within the realm of far-out possibility.

Nor should have it surprised me that the first thing they did upon announcing it was to say that it was not Mr. Bush's fault because he is not, after all, a statistician. However, it floors me that this president can take responsibility for nothing.

He's at the point where if a member of the press corps asked him if it was true he impregnated his wife with twins some 22 years ago, he'd hedge and say something about bad intelligence. A man who can call Vietnam a political war while insisting his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not passes the line from liar to something either pathological or criminal.

I used to think Reagan was the king of no accountability (his favorite phrase was "I don't remember" and he was allowed to get away with it again and again) but Bush aced this at a much younger age.

But consider for a moment what it means when the government makes such a broadly optimistic pronouncement only to withdraw it in a matter of days. I was amazed to see that the blue chips were rallying and that the NASDAQ was still in the five digits following that. However, I don't think this bodes well... and I rarely hear anyone in this administration discuss the truly dismal standing of the American dollar in the world. We're in quite terrible shape.


Case Closed

All the pundits tonight seem to agree that the case over the president's military records is closed.

Really? All he had to do was appear with Guard personnel who actually served today and it's all done? I mean, nothing else changed. The only personnel who can say conclusively Bush was in Alabama, besides his dental record from a single visit, was even noted on CNN yesterday or today to have a great many holes in his facts.

Again, I'm not sure it was ever a huge deal. After all, Bush not being what he seems or perhaps should be is not a new phenomenon. Does he seem like he was Yale and Harvard Business School educated? Does he even seem like the son of a former president? Does he seem either compassionate or conservative?

But I'll be sorry to see this swept under the rug without due investigation. On Friday, there seemed to be some sentiment that all the records released did not answer some of the substantial questions. Today, it's over. I'm not sure what was supposed to have occurred in the interim.


Better Economy by Dale Carnegie

Please, please, please tell me the president didn't suggest yesterday that positive thinking is what is direly needed to change the economy around? I've known dozens of people who have "positively thought" their way into losing their homes, bankruptcy, and total screwup of their lives.

Wait... I have an idea.

Mr. President? You take back all those tax cuts you aimed at the wealthiest Americans - thus drastically reducing our current debt - and we'll think more positively that maybe America won't turn into the largest debtor's prison in the world. We even promise - and our word may mean more to us than yours appears to mean to you (or certainly to most of us).

Bush also suggested that if Democrats were elected in November, we'd have nothing but fiscal chaos. I won't delve into that one too deeply because my ribs are still is spasm from the first time I read this yesterday. Let's face it - regardless of your desired candidate - the only way the economy can get worse is if Mr. Bush's tush is in 1600 Pennsylvania after Election 2004. And wait'll you see who he pardons.

A Political T-Shirt as Terrorist

I was reading on CounterSpin Central today, among other places, that the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have both logged a fair amount of Web time recently looking at sites that offer politically-oriented pins and t-shirts. Specifically, these sites offer material that is critical of this government in general or this administration in particular.

Do we really have the time, money, and other resources necessary to spend $12 million prosecuting Tommy Chong and then spend more money investigating people who make t-shirts that state Bush+Ashcroft+Rumsfelt=Axis of Evil? Is this really why we're going horribly into debt?

Proving an Absence

No, this isn't about Mr. Bush's military records.

Nor is it about Mr. D. Doofus Drudge's claims about John Kerry and an "intern" (who wasn't) that were disclaimed by the woman herself today.

Instead, it's listening to GOPers tow the line, like David Dreiser on one of the talking head shows tonight saying basically, "No, what this WH will focus on is how we have not had a terrorist attack here since 9-11-01 and that proves how many times we've foiled them." [Ed. note: I'm paraphrasing.]

I almost wish this were not a flagrant lie. No, he's not lying about what the WH will tell us; they already have on this score. But you can't say we've stopped tens or dozens or hundreds of terrorist attacks because there haven't been any.

In some respect, there has been one long government-sponsored terrorist attack since 9-11: an attack on our intelligence, our financial stability and economy, our individual religious or non-religious values, our sense of decency, our system of law, and certainly, our civil rights. This is in addition to ALL the lives lost - ours and others - since 9/11 in "terror" related activities like the Iraq War, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

But considering how many ways we know the system is still broken, and considering how many ways we know a full investigation into what went wrong with safeguards on 9-11 has been strangled, you simply cannot state that we have stopped dozens or hundreds of terror attacks since 9-11.

We weren't invaded by aliens from the Planet Dzendron either. Does this also prove we successfully thwarted an attack from Dzendron? No. It only proves we didn't have an attack.

Let's get real.



Just 261 days until we vote for president. It's a vote you can't afford to miss, and you need to vote like your life depends upon it (it does).

If you're not registered, get registered (it's that important. Then be there that first Tuesday in November. Don't let anything keep you from casting what may be the most important ballot of your lifetime.

Voice of Trade Rebellion

Read EJ Dionne's excellent column in The Washington Post. It's a topic that is giving Edwards some attention and one that is important to the entire nation (and to workers elsewhere, as well).

Bush's Inner Autocrat

Marie Cocco writes in Newsday:

    He is a man who does not accept the slightest suggestion that things aren't necessarily as he sees them. A man who does not believe there's any explanation for disagreement or disenchantment with him or his policies, other than a culture of political opportunism in Washington. A man who came to office pledging to be a "uniter, not a divider" and instead has become a polarizing figure at home and abroad.

Operation Orange Alert

In reading over the weekend, I've been amazed at the number of different blogs and political sites hinting that we're about to be launched into another orange alert and for no other reason than that the alerts seem to occur whenever Mr. Bush is encountering a credible gap (which seems to have to reach massive, bottomless pit status before it's recognized by the press and even more to have it register for much of the public).

At the same time, we keep hearing how wonderful it is that Mr. Bush is the honored guest at the Daytona 500 today. This means taxpayers are footing a huge bill for security while the GOP operates a voter registration drive at the event to bring in more potential voters who are naturally GOP (reasonably affluent, dumb, and inclined to vote like all their neighbors so they fit in proper like).

Personally, with two wars going on, an economy in the dumpster, a rising by the second deficit, and a record number of people without health care, I'd be inclined to think Mr. Bush should have other priorities than NASCAR. But that's just me.

Pot Calling the Kettle Corrupt

Check out this Washington Post editorial blasting a negative campaign against John Kerry by the WH:

    Mr. Bush's acceptance of special-interest money and his subsequent rewards to the industries doing the giving dwarf anything in Mr. Kerry's record."

Gag Me with a Wal-Mart Spot

While I've hardly watched TV for any prolonged period today, I've been overcome by dumb NASCAR people and those Wal-Mart commercials where people tell you how wonderful it is to work for the company, how all your dreams can be realized there.

I mean, the commercials are understandable. Where else can you go to work for almost minimum wage when your Ph.D. in science means nothing in the Bush economy?

I'd feel great pride in working for a company that is single handedly helping reduce American manufacturing jobs and flood the market with child and political prisoner workers because of their demand for lower and lower prices to keep the Walton family on the world's richest people list.

Wal-Mart seems to be a driving force behind making certain that health care is less available to store clerks in general and when it is, with the employees paying more and more of the cost.

One or two of the people featured seem to be living in homes that don't look like they were paid for by the kind of salaries Wal-Mart offers. Sure, not everyone is a minimum wage slave but I'd guess the largest number of employees are indeed clerks. Know many Wal-mart store clerks trading in the BMW for a Lexus or putting their kids through Yale or Harvard?

The few folks I've known who've worked at a Wal-Mart certainly did not feel the way these employees in the ad feel. They've described a company where it's hard to make enough to even begin to meet basic cost of living expenses.

The Fear President

That's the message the AJC's eloquent Cynthia Tucker got from Mr. Bush's presidency and from his appearance on "Meet the Press" last Sunday. She notes:

    Bush -- announcing himself a "war president" -- used variations of the words "war," "terror," "kill" and "danger" more than 70 times in an interview that lasted less than an hour. It prompted memories of Cold War school drills and hiding beneath the desk.
    President Bush wants you emotionally stuck in the horrible aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington... With his ratings now down to about 50 percent, he'd love to flytrap American voters in a 9/11 mindset until November -- which, he thinks, would ensure his re-election.

Non-Christians to the Back of the Bus

Attorney Alan Dershowitz notices what many - including those like me raised in Christianity - have noticed with Mr. Bush: non-Christians are "tolerated" guests in Bush's America.