Quid Pro Quack!

That's the title of Maureen Dowd's Sunday Times column on dear, dear Antonin Scalia.

Friedman's Ass-essment

Many better bloggers and most notably, Kevin Drum over on his new Political Animal bog at The Washington Monthly (Kevin called it revolting), have taken Tom Friedman to task already for his 3-18-04 Times column, "Axis of Appeasement." Thus, I won't say much but...

Why is Spain bad for voting out Aznar and company? I've admired the way the people of Spain have responded to the bombing last week (3-11-04) which I don't believe in anyway represents their desire to appease or buy themselves protection from the terrorists.

I think their subsequent vote meant several different things, among them the fact that the way the War on Terror has been handled has been inappropriate and the specific way the existing government responded (through truth-mangling) to it egregious. They said NO to any more of this "whatever Bush wants, we'll do it" mentality. Remember, 85-90% of Spaniards were against the Iraq War before the war. Did you really expect them to vote in Aznar who sided with Bush against the vast majority of his own people?

Yesterday, I heard the tale end of an independent radio format's afternoon speaker talking about a conspiracy theory that the Spanish bombing was planned to try to ensure that Aznar would be returned to office. I don't buy that, although sometimes, the sheer audacity of the BushCo crowd does worry me in its breadth. They've gotten away with so much that one cannot conceive would be possible.

Today, I heard people say how scary this was for "poor Italy", who might feel forced to do something similar because they would not want to be the next target of violence. Now that, I think, is conspiracy theory, too. First, is anyone but Berlesconi a serious candidate? Second, Berlesconi manages almost every single word the people of Italy see and read. I'll bet what passes for my bank that Berlesconi would be returned to power if not a single vote was even cast.

But I can't do anything about Italy. I just want the current US administration removed in a completely fair election, even if the Supremes need to have all that Tom Ridge-sanctioned needlessly purchased duct tape applied to their mouths to keep them from intervening this time. Perhaps Scalia and Cheney can go duck hunting on election weekend.

Hmmm... sorry, I said much after all.

As the Rot Spreads

The untruths and corruption of Connecticut governor John Rowland (R) just deepen every day, yet he remains in office. An article from the same publication, I believe, a few months back indicated that Rowland is a long-time friend of the Bush family and they've been giving him support (Jeb, Georgie, and Poppy).

Yet, save for The New York Times, this is a topic rarely covered in the mainstream press. Just as when a friend of Rowland's, a GOP Waterbury mayor, was found guilty of soliciting little girls through a prostitute for sex.

Family values indeed.

Lookin' it up...

Atrios, I believe, featured a link to a campaign fund-raising database of those who have given to one of the candidates.

The sad part is that I've now spent hours there trying to find names, patterns, and interesting bits of data. Here's the loony-ness I've come away with:
1. Most people named Reagan donate to Republicans.
2. Bill Gates gave the max ($2K) to Bush but does not appear to have donated to other candidates. The same holds true for long-time Gates' alter ego, Steve Ballmer. He and his wife individually donated the max to Bush.
3. In fact, think of the names of millionaires, and you often find maximum contributions each from a husband and wife, and usually to Bush.

David Frum Gets Gored

I tend not to have a very high opinion of WH functionary and former Bush speechwriter David Frum, from the moment his wife sent out Emails telling everyone he was the "mastermind" behind the "axis of evil" trademark Bush offered up to everything he's done since, up to and including writing a book with the Fat Old Prince of Darkness, Richard Perle (I mean, you could typecast him as the Devil Incarnate believably anywhere).

But last night, on Real Time with Bill Maher, Gore Vidal was wiping up the floor with Frum and doing a bang-up job to boot. Frum is one of the chief apologists for the Bush Administration and he always comes off like, "Please, I'm one of the few Jews these fat white so-called Christian politicians like. Believe what I'm telling you so that I can continue to orbit their planets, please!!!!"

Where's the Coverage of the Protests?

I've been around looking for a few hours - having had a real dumb but unmanageable backache keep me from marching in a local protest in Montpelier - for any coverage whatsoever of the day of protests planned around the world to mark the anniversary of the Iraq War. Nothing.

The closest I came was CNN's Jack Cafferty yelling that Martha Stewart has never said she was "sorry" related to the government case against her. Strangely, however, I believe the same complaint was tendered by the bicyclist Jack Cafferty hit with his Cadillac and dragged several feet in New York a year or two ago. Cafferty, as I recall, got off with a rather small fine and no major impact on his ability to drive.


Howard's Speech

Via the mighty Skippy, here's a Boston Globe piece on whether we're over or underestimating what it means that Howard Stern is now rabidly anti-Bush on his program.

Personally, I think the most indecent thing about all of this is the way the FCC operates. They get a few thousand complaints about nipplegate - apparently allowing kids to watch violence on the football field and Viagra commercials is good while female anatomy is evil - and Michael Powell says he's speaking for ALL the American people. Hey, Michael Powell's pretty indecent in my book by taking the airwaves considered owned by the public and selling them to corporations. He's a shill and the worst thing Colin Powell ever did to us until Colin himself started selling the BushCo propaganda.

Do As Bush Says, Not as Bush Does

From a Newsday link I saw at Atrios:

    The official merchandise Web site for President George W. Bush's re-election campaign has sold clothing made in Burma, whose goods were banned by Bush from the U.S. last year to punish its military dictatorship.

Cheney and the Draft

From Eric Alterman's column yesterday (I'll spare you the hilarious description of Alterman appearing on Dennis Miller's CNBC show):

    And speaking of Cheney, did you know that he received four 2-S draft deferments -- granted to students -- from 1963 through 1965 while he was a student at the University of Wyoming. He married Lynne in 1964, and was thus banned from the draft.
    But in October 1965, the Selective Service announced that married men without children could then be drafted. Exactly nine months and two days later -- on July 28, 1966 -- his first child was born. Cheney hadn't waited until her birth before he sought a 3-A deferment classification -- given to those with dependents. He did so when Lynne was only 10 weeks pregnant.

Trump the Terrible

Gosh. This morning, I'm assaulted by news both that Donald Trump is trying to trademark the term, "You're fired!" and that people are complaining in Manhattan because he's put this huge "You're fired" banner over one of his downtown properties with his picture on it.

Can't we just fire The Donald instead?

I've literally found few people in my life as deeply repugnant as Donald Trump. He's like a bad late 70s movie that just keeps coming back to bite you. The hair, the attitude, and above all else, The Ego, is just too, too much.


No one... repeat NO ONE... stepped forward to corroborate the fact that George W. Bush served in Alabama when he said he did, so the $10,000 Doonesbury artist Gary Trudeau offered as a reward has been donated to the USO. Notice how this has been completely ignored by the media. This I found on Wonkette's site.

Sanders to Face GOP Challenge

Long-time Vermont Rep Bernie Sanders (I) learned the day after announcing his intention to seek an eighth term that he'll be challenged by a Republican from Stowe.

Now, Bernie has been one of the sanest voices since 9/11, siding with librarians over some of the more ridiculous aspects of the Patriot Act, and against the widespread corruption going on throughout the government. Let's try to return Bernie to another term.

Hostile Takeover of Sierra Club?

That's what MoveOn.org says is trying to be done. Read here for more.

As you'll recall, the Sierra Club has gone up against this administration several times and they're the plaintiff in the case against VP Dick Cheney regarding the energy task force. You know, the one Scalia won't recuse himself from regardless of the numerous calls for him to do just that.

Taiwan's President Shot

Contrast this story about what happened when Taiwan's president was shot on the campaign trail (he was treated and released), with what GW would do. My God, that man would be in a bullet-proof fortress so fast and his handlers would be insinuating that anyone who votes against him is voting for the person who shot him.

We keep hearing what a hero GW is. I just don't see it. He takes no personal risks because he accepts no responsibility for anything. On 9/11, he literally hid from us (BS from that movie aside where he supposedly wrestled the Secret Service to make them turn around that plane).

The Call of the Moose

This morning started off with the sad sounds of both my mate lying in bed next to me having a sinus attack and that of a mournful moose outside.

For those of you who've never heard a moose (I assume you have heard a sinus attack which my significant other has evolved into making it sound like a boardroom of angry ducks arguing), imagine a lone boat on the horizon in the fog, its crew tired, dirty, and aching for home. Think of the mournful noise it would emit. That's a moose.

Parenthetically, let me add that the hornier the moose gets, the more mournful it sounds. It can produce a range to make you weep.

"If You're Against Bush, You're Against America"

I agree with Ezra at Pandagon on this one: Will Saletan's article on the Bush campaign is a must-read.


Gloating Over Madrid's Horror

Via Cursor, Brendan O'Neill takes a look at something I'd only begun to notice: where pro-war people, mostly American, seem to be gloating over Europe's shock at the Madrid bombings, like some giant, "We told you Al Qaeda was baaad."

He's This, He's That, and He's Distinctly the Other, Too

As I've listened on and off today of the breathless reporting that Osama's #2, the former acclaimed pediatrician turned Islamic revolutionary Al-Zawahiri, may be cornered, I've heard again and again this administration demonstrating their flip-floppability.

At times, Osama is the world's most wanted. At other times, he's "so diminished as to really not be too terribly important anymore". Then he's Global Villain #1 again before he's back being "minimalized". All uttered by this administration at different times over 2 1/2 years.

The same is true with Al Zawahiri and with Al Qaeda itself. Several times, the president and various members of this administration have said we've almost wiped out Al Qaeda and the Taliban is no more. Today, we're hearing how Al Qaeda will be crippled if Al Zawahiri is captured and that we're launching new offensives on the Taliban. But if both - as we were told before - practically no longer exist, why would we need to kill them again?

Geez. Pick a lie and stick with it for five consecutive minutes, OK?

Dean's Advocacy Group

For those of you not on the Dean mailing list, CNN talks about Howard's plan to continue some of the "want a change" momentum grown by his candidacy.

On a Lighter, Ditzier Note

Did anyone catch Letterman last night?

If you saw it, it will come as little surprise that she was arrested a few hours later. That lady was flying particularly high.

Man, I've had to take tiny doses of oxicodone (one of the drugs she's been charged with having illegally) for nerve damage yet it's never had that effect on me. All I ever do when I take it is sit down and write the tech work that I can't when I'm in pain. I've never wanted to flash my breasts on TV or tell Letterman how much I love him.

Blasts Heard in Baghdad

Besides the suicide car bombing this morning, the AP wire is reporting several blasts have been heard tonight in Baghdad.

Wasn't Bush just taking credit for how well things are going? BTW, that's a rhetorical question. He was.

Calpundit's New Digs

If you haven't done so already, go welcome Kevin Drum of Calpundit in his new digs as the Political Animal blogger over at The Washington Monthly.

Atrios Posts

a link to an article stating that Poland now is up in arms about that whole lack of WMD thing, too. Imagine that.

Listening to "Democracy Now" today and the author talking about how the Saud Royal Family and bin Laden family members were allowed to fly about after 9-11 when the rest of the country could not, the special ways in which the Bush family reverently treats the Sauds and bin Ladens, et al, just have left me fuming.

Of course, I see a huge difference between Osama and other Arabs. No question. But why would Sauds and the bin Laden family be treated far better than any American by the American president? I'm tired of paying for the Bushies' high crimes, misdemeanors, and outright philandering to support their bank balances.

Clergy Taking a Stand

To fill the void, in part, left by the brave New Paltz mayor who was stopped in his performance of marriages between same sex partners and to stand in solidarity with the upstate NY clergy arrested for doing same, a minister and a rabbi will marry same sex couples on the steps of NY City Hall today.


What Bush Said One Year Ago

A reader at Atrios' site offers us George W. Bush's words on the eve of war last year. Made an interesting read.

And while you're there, Atrios is trying to raise lots of turkee money for the Democrats. If you've somehow managed to keep working and your bills paid during the Bush years, go contribute so you might still have a job after November.

This is Perverse But....

Last night - probably prompted both by watching some of the WH daily press conference and a friend referring to the movie yesterday - I dreamed that the movie Deliverance was being reshot, but this time, WH spokesman Scott McClellan was playing the Ned Beatty role.

Everytime I see him today, I feel very uncomfortable. Urm.

Al Qaeda: "We want Bush to win"

    The statement said it supported President Bush (news - web sites) in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry (news - web sites), as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."

Let's disappoint al Qaeda. Let's vote out Mr. Bush.

St. Mel

I wonder if the right wing will be so glowing in their praise for Mel (The Visionary) Gibson now that Mel has come out with remarks questioning Bush and his credibility (that whole WMD matter concerns Mel, I read).

Questioning Bush would seem like a decent reality check, in fact, and perhaps Mel isn't as disconnected from the mothership as some have thought. But wait... the right wing said before that to question Mel's vision was anti-Christian. So if they come out and attack Mel now, won't the right wing be anti-Christian?

This is all so confusing. Smirk.

The Spin on Osama

Now, granted, I consider Joe Scarbrough a buffoon, a sham, and I'm still trying to figure out why the bleep MSNBC would let him have a show. But even Joe surprised me last night with the depth of his stupidity.

He was going after Clinton full bore because Clinton didn't off Osama when they spotted him on that drone camera. No reality permeated Joe's veneer, however, like that Osama would have had to wait in the same place they spotted him for 18 hours before a mission could have gotten there. And God forbid Joe notice that Bush did nothing (and he was about to move into the White House and it would have been considered his call on how to proceed).

Joe reminds me of what a proctologist sees after he tells a man to bend over and pull his buttocks apart, especially if the patient has weeping hemorrhoids.

28th Victim Pulled

from rubble in the suicide car bomb in Baghdad, according to CNN and MSNBC. They do not expect any survivors.

On a Personal Note

This is mostly addressed toward the women who may be reading, although breast cancer strikes men, too (and for them, it's often far more serious because it's much less likely to be detected early).

After years of putting it off, I'm scheduled to go have a mammogram tomorrow. I'm discussing it here because a) I feel women should get them (even if I procrastinated again and again) and b) because it represents a terror for some of us.

I, for example, have been through breast cancer scares before. Thankfully, I always came out fine but the fear is always palpable. I've worked with advanced breast cancer patients and I know something of what they go through. Of course, cancer is always a great intrusion and life changer. But I think some cancer sites and types can be more destructive to the spirit. But then, I think we women often feel somewhat at the mercy of our hormones, and breast cancer is tied to those lovely hormones.

The next few days will be pretty tense for me. I have some suspicions they may find something (but I've been wrong before). I'm also kicking myself for not having the mammogram earlier.

If you're a woman who's 40 or over (or younger but with major concerns), even if you don't have health insurance, find a hospital or women's program that can help you connect with a screening center. Many cities, states, and private programs can seriously help defray the costs. When I signed up for mine, I got this lovely paperwork from the hospital telling me how I could pay for it if I didn't have coverage to handle it (I do, but the paperwork was still appreciated).

Blasts in Baghdad

The last I heard of the big bombings today, I heard that you can see the bodies of children laying out on the street.

Is this really what we went into Iraq to bestow on the Iraqi people? Weren't all those years of Saddam Hussein enough punishment? Are we really going to just bail on them on June 30th just so Mr. Bush can get elected? No, I refuse to say re-elected. I think there's still too much doubt on that subject.

If you're reading this and you are not registered to vote or usually don't vote, please... reconsider. Your future and the future of the world depend on your vote. I'm not asking you to vote for one particular candidate. That's up to you. I'm just asking you to vote.

Sick and Tired

I'm just sick, tired, and angry over how we get lied to. Colin Powell now has to end his remarks by saying, "That's the truth" because he has to know his credibility is somewhere deep in the sewer system and he's the best in this particular bunch.

Cheney's continual lies in speeches, Rumsfeld on TV on Sunday, Bush and McClellan this week talking about John Kerry - it's like being caught in this web where nothing but terrible lies are told and you feel threatened unless you're willing to say, "I believe!"

I won't even raise the issue of Condi Rice, whose extremely careful and halting manner of speech and the sheer look on her face tell you that nothing remotely like the truth ever passes her lips.

And not a single one of these folks has ever even considered that they have any accountability to anyone on anything.

Yes, I suppose you could say I'm incensed. Insert tired grin here.

Much Ado About Little

This whole "whether Kerry said more or foreign leaders with regard to those who wouldn't like to see Bush re-elected" is just patently stupid. Even the most devoted of the Republicans have to know the many, many times since late 2000 (long before 9-11) that those in other countries as well as our own have voiced the opinion that Bush is not received well.

But leave it to WH spinmaster (and he's not too masterful at it) Scott McClellan along with Bush and Cheney to pretend that Kerry simply mustname names. Frankly, it would be far faster to list those relative few places that would like to see Bush re-elected. And I'm not even sure Tony Blair would shoot to the top of that list anymore. The poodle's hind fur has been clipped too short too many times now.

Back With a Whimper, Not a Bang

Sorry for the dry spell in posts. I've been racing to finish up two projects (one book, one training CD) and float others. However, I've come up for air again.


If the Ads are Bad Now....

Just what are the campaign ads going to be like over the summer, let alone next fall?

I'm not worried at this point that a Democratic can't beat an incumbent Republican. What I am worried about (besides the economy, the future of our civilization, our soldiers abroad, health care, that DoD report that says the planet will be practically uninhabitable in 50 years, and why I have such dryer lint buildup, of course) is how "fair" the election will be given the electronic voting machines (the history of 2000 lingers still) and what Rove and Company may engineer between now and then to try to get people united behind Bush again.


I was bowled over today when I saw that more than 70% of respondents to a preposterous CNN poll asking (I'm paraphrased), "Is the election result in Spain a vote for terrorism?" said, "yes." I can only assume they're tainting the water supply with mind control drugs.

Such a decree is idiotic at best. First, Spain (as in the people of, and not the ruling leader) did not support the way their government aligned themselves with Mr. Bush in the way the US has crafted the War On Terror. That horrible bombing didn't just magically change everyone's opinion, not when sentiment against Spain's involvement ran 85-90% in opposition before the bombing.

I don't think most of the world supports terrorism. Certainly, the people of Spain do not. But there are some legitimate questions to be asked - and answered - about whether we (and we means the US parties responsibility for such planning and execution) are doing the right thing in the War on Terror. There's good reason to think, for example, that we're just increasing the number of people who may turn to terrorism in the wake of our actions.

Spain doesn't deserve our skepticism or silly remarks like "their votes amounted to a huge vote for Osama bin Laden." Unlike many Americans who hid in their homes after 9-11, the people of Spain (millions of them) turned out the day after to mourn the dead and stand against those who had committed this heinous act. They didn't "buy" their present prime minister's cooperation with Bush and they used their votes to state that loudly and clearly.

Spain is hardly the only country to have serious questions about our War on Terror. Many Americans have questions, too. Everyone should, considering how many times we've caught the White House misrepresenting information to us.

Maybe the whole rest of the world isn't wrong. Maybe we are.