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The Donnybrook
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Read Dubya's Lips

A new twist in the debate over whether or not our glorious leader was asleep at the switch before 9-11.

I really don't care what Condi Rice has to say.

I ignore the yarn the White House national security adviser spins about the level of concern the Bush team had about the terrorist threat from al-Qaida during its first months in office.

Because Rice isn't president of the United States. George W. Bush is. And so we must read his lips.

Here is what those lips said publicly about al-Qaida between Jan. 1, 2001, just before Bush was sworn in as president, and Sept. 10, 2001: Nothing.

There were zero references to al-Qaida during these months.
That's according to Federal News Service, which transcribes every presidential utterance - speeches, news conferences, impromptu musings at photo ops, off-the-cuff remarks made striding toward a helicopter, official comments with foreign dignitaries. The search was conducted including the phrase "al Q" - to capture every possible spelling or translation for al-Qaida. Still nothing.

Read his lips...Just don't expect the truth...

Fact vs. Fox-tion

Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) chronicles some of the brilliant fair and balanced reporting coming out of the journalistic anus known as Fox News Channel.

One of the best:

FOX-TION: "I think we have done it well, despite the complaints. And I've mentioned at this point after World War II, when we had American troops in Germany. They were complaining. They wanted to come home. They were being attacked by young Nazis." [Ann Coulter, Hannity&Colmes, (August 4, 2003)]

FACT: Insurgent attacks on allied troops in post-war Germany were almost non-existent. There were no guerilla campaigns or coordinated efforts at sabotage. There were zero combat casualties in post-war Germany. [Slate.com]

It's a good read. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Brit Hume Is An Asshole

Brit Hume of the Faux News Channel, never one to shy away from suckling at the GOP's collective meat straw, says that anyone offended by President Bush's classless joke about not finding WMD's in Iraq should "just get over it." That includes the families of those who have lost loved ones in Iraq. Here's the transcript:

WALLACE: And one that got a big laugh in the room that day -- and I must say, I still think it's funny -- the day after, some Democrats and the families of some American soldiers in Iraq, some who died in Iraq, said they were offended by this kidding about the missing weapons of mass destruction. Brit?

HUME: Well, we have a society in which one of the greatest things you can do is a platform to see victim status, and one of the qualifications for that is that you have these exquisitely tender feelings about things and sensibilities which are easily offended.

And in America today, if your sensibilities are offended by something that has happened, you get an enormous amount of credibility and are taken very seriously.

My own view of this is, the president's there poking fun at himself over what goes down, I think, as one of his failures. And I thought it was a good-natured performance, and it made him look good only in the sense that it showed he could poke fun at himself. But he certainly doesn't disguise the record on weapons of mass destruction.

And you have to feel like saying to people, "Just get over it."

There's more good info in this article that outlines Hume's proclivity for all things GOP. Enjoy...

I Thought The GOP Was For All Working People!

I guess I was wrong:

Sen. Lindsey Graham warned state Republican convention delegates Saturday that the GOP must soon win over minorities or face potential marginalization in future elections.
"I look out on a crowd of wonderful people and see a smattering of African-Americans," Graham told the 1,100 delegates and several hundred guests in the old Carolina Coliseum.

"Thirty-one percent of our state is African-American. I can assure you, from my travels, that we all have the same hopes and the same dreams. It's time for the Republican Party to become the party of the working people, regardless of race."

Thank you Senator, for confirming what most of us already knew...

"This Isn't America" by Paul Krugman

My favorite part...

This administration's reliance on smear tactics is unprecedented in modern U.S. politics — even compared with Nixon's. Even more disturbing is its readiness to abuse power — to use its control of the government to intimidate potential critics.

To be fair, Senator Bill Frist's suggestion that Mr. Clarke might be charged with perjury may have been his own idea. But his move reminded everyone of the White House's reaction to revelations by the former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill: an immediate investigation into whether he had revealed classified information. The alacrity with which this investigation was opened was, of course, in sharp contrast with the administration's evident lack of interest in finding out who leaked the identity of the C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame to Bob Novak.

And there are many other cases of apparent abuse of power by the administration and its Congressional allies. A few examples: according to The Hill, Republican lawmakers threatened to cut off funds for the General Accounting Office unless it dropped its lawsuit against Dick Cheney. The Washington Post says Representative Michael Oxley told lobbyists that "a Congressional probe might ease if it replaced its Democratic lobbyist with a Republican." Tom DeLay used the Homeland Security Department to track down Democrats trying to prevent redistricting in Texas. And Medicare is spending millions of dollars on misleading ads for the new drug benefit — ads that look like news reports and also serve as commercials for the Bush campaign.

Read on...

Van Halen Reunites With Sammy Hagar

There are several great rivalries in this world:

Cats vs. Dogs...

Pepsi vs. Coke...

Boxers vs. Briefs...

Duke vs. that school in Chapel Hill

Farrah Fawcett vs. Jaclyn Smith...

...and, of course, Sammy Hagar vs. David Lee Roth.

I'm a Sammy guy personally. The guy has an awesome voice and always gets the job done. David, on the other hand is a washed-up loser with a shitty voice and even shittier hair.

I can't wait for the show in Greensboro that kicks off the tour on June 11th. I just hope Eddie and his ego don't screw things up in the 2+ months between now and then...

Friday, March 26, 2004
Costco Criticized For Taking Care Of Its Employees

We're officially through the looking glass here. Costco takes better care of its employees than Wal-Mart and gets pasted for it:

...Costco's kind-hearted philosophy toward its 100,000 cashiers, shelf-stockers and other workers is drawing criticism from Wall Street. Some analysts and investors contend that the Issaquah, Wash., warehouse-club operator actually is too good to employees, with Costco shareholders suffering as a result.

"From the perspective of investors, Costco's benefits are overly generous," says Bill Dreher, retailing analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. "Public companies need to care for shareholders first. Costco runs its business like it is a private company."

I guess this is the price for doing your business the right way and doing right by your employees. Luckily, Costco's CEO is sticking to his guns:

"The last thing I want people to believe is that I don't care about the shareholder," says Jim Sinegal, Costco's president and chief executive since 1993, who owns about 3.2 million Costco shares valued at $118 million based on yesterday's price of $36.96, up 52 cents, in 4 p.m. Nasdaq Stock Market trading. "But I happen to believe that in order to reward the shareholder in the long term, you have to please your customers and workers."

Sounds kind of refreshing doesn't it?

Thursday, March 25, 2004
Our President, The Comedian

I really thought our president was a hell of a funny guy when he repeatedly told this utterly hilarious joke several times after 9-11:

You know, I was campaigning in Chicago and somebody asked me, is there ever any time where the budget might have to go into deficit? I said only if we were at war or had a national emergency or were in recession. (Laughter.) Little did I realize we'd get the trifecta. (Laughter.) But we're fine.

What a lucky guy! He got his trifecta! Too bad it was Al Gore who actually mentioned the trifecta. In much more tasteful terms, of course...

Needless to say, I wasn't shocked when Bush spewed forth another comic gem last night...

There was Bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," he said.

What a riot! 570+ soldiers dead for a rationale that didn't hold up, but damn, that guy sure is funny!

I can't wait to see the joker laugh his ass back to the pig farm next January...

UPDATE: David Corn puts Bush's stand-up into a historical context:

Even if Bush does not believe he lied to or misled the public, how can he make fun of the rationale for a war that has killed and maimed thousands? Imagine if Lyndon Johnson had joked about the trumped-up Gulf of Tonkin incident that he deceitfully used as a rationale for U.S. military action in Vietnam: "Who knew that fish had torpedoes?" Or if Ronald Reagan appeared at a correspondents event following the truck-bombing at the Marines barracks in Beirut--which killed over 200 American servicemen--and said, "Guess we forgot to put in a stop light." Or if Clinton had come out after the bombing of Serbia--during which U.S. bombs errantly destroyed the Chinese embassy and killed several people there--and said, "The problem is, those embassies--they all look alike."

Yet there was Bush--apparently having a laugh at his own expense, but actually doing so on the graves of thousands. This was a callous and arrogant display. For Bush, the misinformation--or disinformation--he peddled before the war was no more than material for yucks. As the audience laughed along, he smiled. The false statements (or lies) that had launched a war had become merely another punchline in the nation's capital.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Zell Miller Is A Pandering Opportunist

After seeing the news about Zell-out Miller holding a Democrats For Bush rally, I simply had to post this juicy little nugget pulled directly from his own website:

Introduction of Senator John Kerry

Democratic Party of Georgia's
Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

March 1, 2001

It is good to be back in Georgia and to be with you. I have been coming to these dinners since the 1950s, and have missed very few.

I'm proud to be Georgia's junior senator and I'm honored to serve with Max Cleland, who is as loved and respected as anyone in that body. One of our very highest priorities must be to make sure this man is re-elected in 2002 so he can continue to serve this state and nation.

I continue to be impressed with all that Governor Barnes and Lieutenant Governor Taylor and the Speaker and the General Assembly are getting done over at the Gold Dome. Georgia is fortunate to have this kind of leadership.

My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders – and a good friend.

He was once a lieutenant governor – but he didn't stay in that office 16 years, like someone else I know. It just took two years before the people of Massachusetts moved him into the United States Senate in 1984.

In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington.

Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so.

John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment. Business Week magazine named him one of the top pro-technology legislators and made him a member of its "Digital Dozen."

John was re-elected in 1990 and again in 1996 – when he defeated popular Republican Governor William Weld in the most closely watched Senate race in the country.

John is a graduate of Yale University and was a gunboat officer in the Navy. He received a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three awards of the Purple Heart for combat duty in Vietnam. He later co-founded the Vietnam Veterans of America.

He is married to Teresa Heinz and they have two daughters.

As many of you know, I have great affection – some might say an obsession – for my two Labrador retrievers, Gus and Woodrow. It turns out John is a fellow dog lover, too, and he better be. His German Shepherd, Kim, is about to have puppies. And I just want him to know … Gus and Woodrow had nothing to do with that.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Senator John Kerry.

Ladies and gentleman, please witness a whore grabbing his ankles for the Bush Administration...Have fun being in bed with the Sean Hannitys of the world, be sure to bring some Enzyte!

On The Topic Of Zell Miller...

Ever since Richard Clarke had the audacity to dare speak negatively about the Boy King's failure to address the threat Al-Qaeda presented pre-9/11, the GOP talking heads have been in a tizzy claiming that Clarke is merely trying to play election-year politics and sell books...

Well, Clarke's book was supposed to come out several months ago, but was delayed by (guess who?) the White House. As far as Clarke's desire to sell books, I have trouble believing that a Republican that served under four presidents (3 of them Republicans), would speak out so vehemently without a good reason.

What this whole fiasco leaves me wondering is why this line of reasoning has never been applied to Georgia's "Democratic" Senator Zell Miller...

Miller came out last year and endorsed President Bush for re-election in 2004. Correct me if I'm wrong but that qualifies as playing election-year politics since Miller has said he would campaign for Bush this year.

Miller also came out with a book last year, stating that the Democratic party was a national party no longer, in spite of the fact that the South has several Democratic governors and Senators. He bases this assumption on the outcome of the 2000 election in which Al Gore didn't win a single Southern state (unless you count Florida!). Too bad Miller left out the fact that Bush barely won only a single Northern state (New Hampshire) and he did so by the thinnest of margins thanks to Ralph Nader.

Ever since his book came out, Miller has made the rounds of the genetic frappe that is right-wing radio, bashing "his" party for evolving on him and tearing apart Democratic candidate John Kerry for too liberal and soft on national security.

A great blog called DownsTown opened my eyes to some striking comments that Zell Miller made back in 2001 about John Kerry:

At the Georgia Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in 2001, he introduced Kerry as “one of this nation’s authentic heroes, one of this party’s best-known and greatest leaders — and a good friend.”

In remarks reported in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miller continued, “In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington.” Miller said Kerry “fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so.”

Who's trying to sell books now? Or would we call that jockeying for a spot on the conservative talking circuit after his well overdue retirement?

Why don't conservatives apply their own stringent literary litmus test to people they agree with?

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Claim vs. Fact Thanks To Atrios

From the Center for American Progress:

CLAIM #1: “Richard Clarke had plenty of opportunities to tell us in the administration that he thought the war on terrorism was moving in the wrong direction and he chose not to.” - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

FACT: Clarke sent a memo to Rice principals on 1/24/01 marked “urgent” asking for a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with an impending Al Qaeda attack. The White House acknowledges this, but says “principals did not need to have a formal meeting to discuss the threat.” No meeting occurred until one week before 9/11. - White House Press Release, 3/21/04

CLAIM #2: “The president returned to the White House and called me in and said, I've learned from George Tenet that there is no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.” - National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

FACT: If this is true, then why did the President and Vice President repeatedly claim Saddam Hussein was directly connected to 9/11? President Bush sent a letter to Congress on 3/19/03 saying that the Iraq war was permitted specifically under legislation that authorized force against “nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11.” Similarly, Vice President Cheney said on 9/14/03 that “It is not surprising that people make that connection” between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks, and said “we don’t know” if there is a connection.

CLAIM #3: "[Clarke] was moved out of the counterterrorism business over to the cybersecurity side of things." - Vice President Dick Cheney on Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04

FACT: "Dick Clarke continued, in the Bush Administration, to be the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and the President's principle counterterrorism expert. He was expected to organize and attend all meetings of Principals and Deputies on terrorism. And he did." - White House Press Release, 3/21/04

CLAIM #4: “In June and July when the threat spikes were so high…we were at battle stations…The fact of the matter is [that] the administration focused on this before 9/11.” – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

FACT: “Documents indicate that before Sept. 11, Ashcroft did not give terrorism top billing in his strategic plans for the Justice Department, which includes the FBI. A draft of Ashcroft's ‘Strategic Plan’ from Aug. 9, 2001, does not put fighting terrorism as one of the department's seven goals, ranking it as a sub-goal beneath gun violence and drugs. By contrast, in April 2000, Ashcroft's predecessor, Janet Reno, called terrorism ‘the most challenging threat in the criminal justice area.’” - Washington Post, 3/22/04

CLAIM #5: “The president launched an aggressive response after 9/11.” – National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 3/22/04

FACT: “In the early days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush White House cut by nearly two-thirds an emergency request for counterterrorism funds by the FBI, an internal administration budget document shows. The papers show that Ashcroft ranked counterterrorism efforts as a lower priority than his predecessor did, and that he resisted FBI requests for more counterterrorism funding before and immediately after the attacks.” – Washington Post, 3/22/04

CLAIM #6: "Well, [Clarke] wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff…” - Vice President Dick Cheney, 3/22/04

FACT: "The Government's interagency counterterrorism crisis management forum (the Counterterrorism Security Group, or "CSG") chaired by Dick Clarke met regularly, often daily, during the high threat period." - White House Press Release, 3/21/04

CLAIM #7: "[Bush] wanted a far more effective policy for trying to deal with [terrorism], and that process was in motion throughout the spring." - Vice President Dick Cheney on Rush Limbaugh, 3/22/04

FACT: “Bush said [in May of 2001] that Cheney would direct a government-wide review on managing the consequences of a domestic attack, and 'I will periodically chair a meeting of the National Security Council to review these efforts.' Neither Cheney's review nor Bush's took place.” - Washington Post, 1/20/02

Please pass this on to everyone you know...

Monday, March 22, 2004
Veterans Stadium, RIP

This has been a tough topic for me to articulate.

On one hand, I loved the Vet. I went to my first NFL games there, saw a ton of Phillies games, and even went to an NWA wrestling event in 1987 with my Dad and brother.

On the other hand, put bluntly, it was a shithole. No guess work there, and not one person on the planet would disagree with me.

The strange feeling in me is that it was OUR shithole. Broken down, infested with rats, and home to the NFL's only on-site prison, in many ways it suited the city perfectly. (I'm not calling Philly a shithole, so get that out of your head!) It was a tough place, but Philadelphians are tough people...

For this reason, I really wonder if Citizens Bank Park or Lincoln Financial Field will ever fully capture the essence of a unique and often misunderstood city.

What if the boos don't resonate as well?

John Smallwood delivers a fantastic account of the implosion of the Vet.

A Quick Musical Interlude

I'd like to take this opportunity to recommend a fantastic CD I got a while ago.

The CD in question is Maroon 5's Songs About Jane. It's becoming more and more infrequent that an entire CD, front to back, is worth the ridicuolus amount of money you pay for it, but EVERY song on this album is worth it. Harder To Breathe was the first single released last year. This Love is their current release. You've probably heard it about a zillion times on the radio by now. Thank you, Top 40 playlist programming!

Their sound is unique in that it ain't no teeny-bopping bullshit. Check it out. It's mellow and edgy all at once...Think of Stevie Wonder, except a little younger and hipper (if that's possible).

Friday, March 19, 2004
Bush Campaign Gear Made In Burma

Nothing like banning the products of a military dictatorship only to sell them on your re-election website!!!

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.

The merchandise sold on www.georgewbushstore.com includes a $49.95 fleece pullover, embroidered with the Bush-Cheney '04 logo and bearing a label stating it was made in Burma, now Myanmar. The jacket was sent to Newsday as part of an order that included a shirt made in Mexico and a hat not bearing a country-of-origin label.

The Bush merchandise is handled by Spalding Group, a 20-year-old supplier of campaign products and services in Louisville, Ky., that says it worked for the last five Republican presidential nominees.

Read on, I implore you...

All you can do is call people names. Grow up.

A poster by the name of Murali said this about me after I jokingly referred to him as a "lunatic" when he suggested the Eagles should trade Pro Bowl QB Donovan McNabb. I was just teasing, but the above headline is what I got in return.

As a retort, I'd like to post a few of Murali's Greatest Hits from my blog and Federal Review:

Hmmmm....I wonder if Benedict Kerry is betraying the U.S. YET AGAIN....
03.16.04 - 1:46 pm

I think most of the world is just going to sit on their lazy, selfish, idiotic fat-asses until it's too late. I've lost all hope in humankind.
03.15.04 - 12:04 pm

Yet another nut-case running a European country.
03.15.04 - 5:24 pm

When I have a little more time, I'm sure I'll find more...

An "Act of Betrayal" Against Our Troops

I saw President Bush on TV this morning crowing about giving pay increases to military personnel...

It's funny he didn't mention his attempts to cut combat pay while soldiers were in the field in Afghanistan.

It's funny that he didn't mention his attempts to cut veteran's benefits by roughly $10 billion.

What's funniest is that he didn't mention this article from the Army Times entitled "An Act of Betrayal" from November of last year:

Commissaries and the Defense Department’s stateside schools are in the crosshairs of Pentagon budget cutters, and military advocates, families and even base commanders are up in arms.
Defense officials notified the services in mid-October that they intend to close 19 commissaries and may close 19 more, mostly in remote areas.

At the same time, the Pentagon is finishing a study to determine whether to close or transfer control of the 58 schools it operates on 14 military installations in the continental United States.

The two initiatives are the latest in a string of actions by the Bush administration to cut or hold down growth in pay and benefits, including basic pay, combat pay, health-care benefits and the death gratuity paid to survivors of troops who die on active duty.

It's a safe bet that when Bush says one thing, he's has been or will be in the process of doing the complete opposite.

Great wartime president, indeed...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Rumsfeld Twisting In The Wind

Watch this ad from Moveon.org. Nothing else need be said....except...

86*43...Oh, and contribute if you can!

The Truth About W's Dishonest Campaign Ads

My hectic schedule is forcing me to rest my arm today. Fortunately, in situations like this, I can cut and paste the work of someone far better at this than I am.

Here's Josh Marshall's column about President Bush's misleading advertisements chiding John Kerry for voting against the Administration's $87 dollar Iraq request last year:

This one uses last year's $87 billion Iraq supplemental, and the fact that Kerry voted against it, to accuse him of voting against each of the various line items for troop funding included in the bill.

Now, this is inherently misleading since I believe Kerry, like many other Dems, voted for an alternative bill which would have funded these needs by rescinding part of Bush tax cuts. So to say he voted against these particulars is really a distortion of the legislative process.

Enjoy the rest, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

UPDATE: A quick follow-up on W's shady ads...

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Woo hoo!!!!!

I had actually given up hope on T.O. and was looking at the Darrell Jackson's and Justin McCareins's of the world to fill the Eagles WR woes. I'll take a chance on a certified headcase like Owens any day if it gets the Eagles closer to the Super Bowl...

Is T.O. a jackass? Yup...

Am I glad to have him? Yup...He's our jackass now, and playing w/ a guy like Donovan McNabb instead of the guy who played Boggs in The Shawshank Redemption could do a world of wonders to one's jackassitude...

Now, the biggest question of all: Is he the missing piece of the puzzle? Maybe...

My biggest fear is that after the signings of T.O. and Jevon Kearse, the Eagles go on to lose their 4th straight NFC Championship game...


That sound you just heard was my head hitting my desk...Time to get pumped up again...


Now the buzzkill: The season is an interminable 6 months away. It seems like a long time, but lucky for me, the Flyers are kicking ass, the Phillies look solid as hell, and they're blowing up The Vet this Sunday!

Bush Uses Fake Reporters

TV news reports in America that showed President George Bush getting a standing ovation from potential voters have been exposed as fake, it has emerged.
The US government admitted it paid actors to pose as journalists in video news releases sent to TV stations intending to convey support for new laws about health benefits.

Investigators are examining the film segments, in which actors pretending to be journalists praise the benefits of the new law passed last year by President Bush, to see if they could be construed as propaganda.

Two of the films are signed off by "Karen Ryan", who was an actor hired to read a script prepared by the government, according to production company Home Front Communications.

Another video, intended for Hispanic viewers, shows a government official being interviewed in Spanish by a actor posing as a reporter with the name "Alberto Garcia".

And the bullshit train just keeps on rolling...

Friday, March 12, 2004
Feeding Republicans' Words Back To Them

Thanks to ScotchZombie at Stinging Nettle for bringing this terrific collection to my attention.

Will Pitt is an author whose takes are frequently dead solid. This is no exception...

Here are a few of my absolute favorites:

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for."
- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

"When you strip it all away, Jerry Garcia destroyed his life on drugs. And yet he's being honored, like some godlike figure. Our priorities are out of whack, folks."
- Rush (currently under investigation for drug use) Limbaugh, on the death of Jerry Garcia, 08-20-95.

"Environmentalists are a socialist group of individuals that are the tool of the Democrat Party. I'm proud to say that they are my enemy. They are not Americans, never have been Americans, never will be Americans."
- Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Alaska Public Radio, 08-19-96

"Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him."
- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton, as reported by journalist Steve Miner of KSUB radio who overheard his conversation, 11-01-98

"I don't understand how poor people think."
- George W. Bush, confiding in the Rev. Jim Wallis, New York Times, 08-26-03

"We're going to keep building the party until we're hunting Democrats with dogs."
- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95

"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
- George W. Bush, Washington Post, 11-19-02

It doesn't end there folks, please read on and remember this the next time Democrats are accused of being angry and hateful...

Thursday, March 11, 2004
John Kerry Demonstrates Spinal Fortitude

This will be one hell of an election season...

After making a truthful comment about the GOP attack machine that shattered the fragile cocoon in which many prominent Republicans live their lives, John Kerry has stood strong and refused to apologize to the Tom Delays and Marc Racicots of the world.

So how did the holier-than thou GOP respond?

As Republican congressional leaders criticized Kerry's proposals and called for him to stop name-calling and negative campaigning, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said they see Kerry as "Ted Kennedy on a South Beach diet."

Way to take that moral high ground, genius!

Leave it to the party that paints Democrats as rapists, murderers, and terrorist sympathizers to get bent out of shape when said Democrats refuse to grab their ankles for the GOP.

Bravo, Senator Kerry. To paraphrase President Truman: Don't give them hell, give them the truth, and they'll think it's hell...

Keep crying, GOP!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Bush Is A Hypocrite Yet Again...Don't Act Surprised

I'd like to tell you I was surprised when I saw this, but I wasn't:

WASHINGTON - President Bush played host to dozens of overnight guests at the White House and Camp David last year, from world leaders to some of his most loyal supporters, including friends who double as campaign fund-raisers.

Bush and first lady Laura Bush have invited at least 270 people to stay at the White House and at least the same number to overnight at the Camp David retreat since coming to Washington in January 2001, according to lists the White House provided The Associated Press.

As you try to recover from the mortal shock I've just inflicted upon you, ponder the following:

Some Bush guests stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom, a historic room that gained fame in the Clinton administration amid allegations that Democrats were rewarding big donors such as Hollywood celebrities Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand with accommodations there. In all, the Clinton family invited at least 938 overnight guests to the White House in their first four years.

Bush's criticism of the Clinton fund-raising scandal is one of the reasons the White House identifies guests. In a debate with Vice President Al Gore in October 2000, Bush said: "I believe they've moved that sign, 'The buck stops here,' from the Oval Office desk to 'The buck stops here' on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that's not good for the country."

Please try to keep your shit together as this sinks in...Oh, and thank the Asshole-in-chief for making his opposition's job so easy...

Bush's Other Flip-Flops

Daily Kos has a terrific on-going list of Bush administration flip-flops. Here are a few to get you started:

Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it.

Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.

Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.

Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it.

Bush is against nation building; then he's for it.

Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.

Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.

Bush is against the U.S. taking a role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict; then he pushes for a "road map" and a Palestinian State.

Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the constitution.

Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't.

Get involved! Send Kos some of your own Bush flip-flops!

Tuesday, March 9, 2004
Thanks To Sheriff John Baker

Anyone remember this picture?

Most football fans have seen it. The 1964 photo shows former New York Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle kneeling in the end zone after receiving a crushing blow in a 27-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

What you may not know about the photo is what player delivered the blow that essentially ended Tittle's career. The player was former Wake County Sheriff John Baker. You can see the corner of his #78 jersey in the photo.

After his playing days were over, Baker came back to Raleigh with the hope of making the capitol county of North Carolina safer and more secure. He won 4 terms as sheriff of Wake County and committed 24 years of his life to providing professional law enforcement to the many citizens of our county.

I had my first opportunity to meet Sheriff Baker last night at the Wake Democratic Men's Club, a club in which I'm currently the treasurer. He was truly remarkable in both stature and substance. I'm 6'1", 200 pounds (ugh!), but when I shook Sheriff Baker's hand I felt like I was about 6 years old. He talked of making the county safer, keeping children educated and out of trouble, and preventing tragedies like the one that recently claimed the life of Deputy Mark Tucker.

One of the most impressive things I took from last night's presentation was that during one of Sheriff Baker's campaigns, Y.A. Tittle joined him on the campaign trail. It says an awful lot that the two of them became friends after their experience on the football field.

Sheriff Baker hinted that he may once again run for his old job. The people of Wake County would be truly fortunate to have him back...

Bush's Coffin Flip-Flop

This cartoon puts into pretty glaring relief the Bush administration's hypocrisy regarding the remains of the dead from the war in Iraq and from 9/11.

These ads have really blown up in Bush's face, haven't they? I came across this tidbit at Atrios:

Another less-publicized aspect of the ad flap: the use of paid actors including two playing firefighters with fire hats and uniforms in what looks like a fire station. "Where the hell did they get those guys?" cracked Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which has endorsed John Kerry, when he first saw the ads. (A union spokesman said the shots prompted jokes that the fire hats looked like the plastic hats "from a birthday party.") "There's many reasons not to use real firemen," retorted one Bush media adviser. "Mainly, its cheaper and quicker."

I figured the record budget deficit we're now enjoying was proof enough that Republicans don't know how to handle money, but this stroke of money-saving brilliance by a president sitting on a war chest of $100 million-plus sent me right over the edge...

Monday, March 8, 2004
Pollster John Zogby Sees Electoral Map Favoring Kerry

Those with a Wall Street Journal or Barron's subscription can get more out of this, but the message is clear: If John Kerry can hold on to the "blue states" and pick up one or two more states like Ohio, Missouri, Florida, or Arizona, he can take down Bush in November.

Quick note: Zogby was one of only a few pollsters that had Al Gore winning the popular vote in 2000, so he has a decent track record in nationwide races.

Here's a great tool for you amateur election strategists out there who would like to see how John Kerry can win it all...

Friday, March 5, 2004
US Economy Adds a Whopping 21,000 Jobs

130,000 jobs were expected to be created, we managed 21,000. I wish I still had access to CNBC so I could see Elaine Chao spinning like a dreidel after this report...

I've tackled this subject in this space before, as this seems to happen on almost a monthly basis. And like the many other times this has happened, not only did the economy fall short of hitting the mark where jobs are concerned, last month's number was once again revised down.

The latest snapshot of the employment climate released by the Labor Department Friday depicted the painfully slow job growth the country has been enduring. The net gain in payrolls in February fell well short of the 125,000 jobs that economists had been forecasting.

Moreover, the job gains in January were revised to show a pickup of just 97,000 positions, down from the 112,000 first estimated a month ago.

P.S. Don't forget what Vice President Cheney said this week:

"If Democratic policies had been pursued over the last two-to-three years, the kind of tax increases both Kerry and Edwards are talking about, we would not have had the kind of job growth that we've had."

He may be right. If Kerry or Edwards were president, the economy may have had stronger job growth!

Emphasis: Mine. Don't like it? Tough noogies!

Thursday, March 4, 2004
GOP Hypocrisy: Example #0.08

Bill Bennett gambling? No...

Arnold groping? Guess again....

Rush popping pills? Wrong again!

State Representative Joe Thompson, a major backer of tough new anti-DWI legislation in the recent session of the legislature, was arrested early this morning for drunk driving.
Thompson was arrested at around 2 a.m. this morning in downtown Albuquerque and is charged with careless driving, and DWI.

Ironically, the Albuquerque Republican stood side-by-side with Governor Richardson on Tuesday as new, tough penalties against drunk driving were signed into law.

An already good day becomes even better...

Bush Will Run On 9-11....You Expected Something Else?

Big shocker here...The first major ads of Bush's re-election campaign feature footage of, you guessed it, 9-11. This understandably has several families of 9-11 victims upset:

"It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people," Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin towers, told the New York Daily News for its Thursday editions. "It is unconscionable."

"It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place," said Firefighter Tommy Fee of Queens Rescue Squad 270. "The image of firefighters at ground zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics."

"I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty," said Tom Roger, whose daughter perished on American Airlines Flight 11. "But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat."

Way to continue to raise the bar, President Bush...

Here's a good synopsis of Bush's "It's Not My Fault" campaign.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004
The Freak Flies His Flag In Philly

It seems early to talk about the Eagles again (especially since my nervous twitch from the NFC Championship game just subsided last week), but a signing this big can't go by unnoticed.

Jevon Kearse is an awesome addition to a defense that had its share of issues last year. They were still a great unit, but they were missing that on piece that could literally set an entire offensive line back on its heels.

Enter The Freak...

Next order of business for the Eagles? PLEASE GET A #1 WIDE RECEIVER THAT IS WORTH A SHIT!!!

It doesn't have to be Terrell Owens! How about Justin McCareins?!? He's solid!!!

(both eyes twitching wildly)


Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Everything Old Is New Again....

...Baby Doc Duvalier is coming home to Haiti!!!

You know, with all the talk about the US possibly forcing Aristide out of Haiti, it would be a real kick in the slats if Duvalier came to power again.

Dubya says he wants to make the world safe for democracy when it comes to Iraq, but the very real possibility of a right-wing dictator is on the horizon a few hundred miles from our own shores. If you think I'm crazy, just read up on some of the evil fuckers that led the revolt...

Monday, March 1, 2004
GOP Convention Live From Ground Zero???

Sound a little too crazy to be possible? Wrong. A source involved with several previous GOP conventions says this is a very real possiblity:

"The source, a veteran official of past GOP conventions, said the 50,000 delegates, dignitaries and guests would watch off-site events on giant TV screens. “Now, we’ll go to the deck of the USS Intrepid as the U.S. Marine Corps Band plays the National Anthem,” he said, pretending that he was playing the part of the convention chairman.

“Or, and this is a real possibility, we could see President Bush giving his acceptance speech at Ground Zero,” he added. “It’s clearly a venue they’re considering.”

Classy stuff...If Democrats breathe a word about 9-11 or the fact that the White House has done nothing but stonewall the 9-11 investigation (which is true), they're "playing politics", but President Bush can use Ground Zero as a setting for his acceptance speech and that would be a-okay...


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