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The Donnybrook
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Uncle Dick Cozies Up To Another "Axis Of Evil" Member
First, he was doing business with Saddam Hussein, a man who our president has said very clearly was evil.  Now, it seems that in 1996, Dick Cheney lobbied Congress to ease sanctions against another evil nation, Iran.

From Counterpunch:

Vice President Dick Cheney is a bad guy. He can toss around the F-word all he wants in response to the criticism directed at him as a result of his close ties to Halliburton, the company he headed from 1995-2000, but he can't hide from the truth.

It was Cheney who urged Congress in 1996 to ease sanctions against Iran, a country that's part of President Bush's axis of evil, so Halliburton could legitimately do business there.
During a trip to the Middle East in March 1996, Cheney told some U.S. businessmen that Congress should ease sanctions in Iran and Libya to foster better relationships with those countries.

"Let me make a generalized statement about a trend I see in the U.S. Congress that I find disturbing, that applies not only with respect to the Iranian situation but a number of others as well," Cheney said at the time. "I think we Americans sometimes make mistakes...There seems to be an assumption that somehow we know what's best for everybody else and that we are going to use our economic clout to get everybody else to live the way we would like."

The times they sure do change, don't they?  Isn't that part in bold basically our justification for invading Iraq???

Lie down with dogs, wake up with...a bad ticker?

My Greatest Moment As A User Of The Internet
Most of you know I'm a regular poster over at Democratic Underground.  I've been a member there for about 2 years now.

DU is like most Internet chat boards.  A lot of smack talk, good opinions, bad opinions, wack jobs, pseudo-intellectuals, and legitimately sharp people.

Most of the posts I've created have never gotten more than 20 or 30 responses.  I think the most I'd ever gotten was about 60...Until yesterday...

While the topic I posted isn't one that will change the world or make people think too much, it got people interested.  By the time I got into work this morning, the thread had a staggering 447 RESPONSES!!!

Without further ado, I give you my baby:

Great Ideas For Porno Movie Titles
(And yes, I am a little proud of this, if you were wondering!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
I Swear This Is Not From "The Onion"
WASHINGTON, July 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Department of Labor (DOL) today launched a Web site to help America's homeless find jobs through mainstream as well as targeted training, education and placement services and to provide a vital link to government- wide resources.

I'll repeat this: The Department of Labor has set up a web site for homeless people...

A simple question is in order: How many homeless people actually own laptops?  And of those folks, how many have access to an Internet port?  Most cardboard boxes aren't Internet-capable, are they???

Bush Flip-Flop # 482761
From Talking Points Memo:
"I'm a war president."

George W. Bush

Meet the Press
February 13th, 2004
"Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president."

George W. Bush

Campaign Speech
July 20th 2004
And for good measure, this from today: "For a while we were marching to war. Now we're marching to peace. ... America is a safer place. Four more years and America will be safe and the world will be more peaceful."

Candidate For Congress Called Up For Duty
It would've been nice to see Greg Philips give a putz like Curt Weldon a run for his money, but he's on to something far nobler.

PHILADELPHIA - Congressional candidate Greg Philips will get a chance to serve his country, but it won't be in Washington. The suburban Philadelphia Democrat ended his long-shot bid to unseat Republican Rep. Curt Weldon on Tuesday after his Naval Reserve unit was called up for duty in Kuwait.

A lieutenant in the Navy's Civil Engineers Corps, Philips is scheduled to report for duty on July 26, then spend at least a year in the Iraq theater working with a logistics battalion that specializes in unloading military cargo ships.

Defense Department regulations generally prohibit members of the armed forces from running for office while on active duty. The Pentagon can waive the restriction, but Philips said he is ready to "put the politics behind me."

"That was a campaign, this is a real-world military operation, and my focus now is giving it all my effort," Philips said.

Best of luck, Greg.  We hope you come home safe and soon...

...And We're Gonna Teach Iraq About Democracy???
Roughly 10% of those eligible voted in yesterday's NC primaries and we're gonna spread democracy throughout the world? 

"Come on everyone, it's awesome!  You don't have to fucking do anything!!!"

Congratulations to the winners of yesterday's races, and best of luck to Richard Vinroot and Patrick Ballantine.  Have fun beating up on each other!  It was sad to see Fern Shubert go down in flames, that guy seemed to have some interesting ideas...

Here's one interesting tidbit I saw on News 14 last night:
Of the total (Democratic and Republican combined) votes in the gubernatorial primaries, 58% were D's and 42% were R's.  Considering that the Republicans actually had a race to decide and they still didn't represent as well as the Democrats, bodes very well for Gov. Easley in November.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
It's Right-Wing Squares!!!
What is this, internet cartoon day?
Media Matters put up this gem.  They're a great source for exposing the radical right for all the lies they peddle...

Hilarious Kerry-Bush Cartoon
I saw this on the Today show this morning.  Very funny stuff...
"This Land"

Oops!...Halliburton Did It Again!
To review, Uncle Dick did business with the embodiment of evil, Saddam Hussein in 1998.  Now, it appears that Halliburton (wholly-owned subsidiary of the United States Government) has been doing business with another bunch of evil-doers, Iran.
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Oil field services company Halliburton Co. said on Monday its Cayman Islands unit with operations in Iran had received a subpoena from a grand jury earlier this month.

"In July 2004, Halliburton received from an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas a grand jury subpoena requesting the production of documents. We intend to cooperate with the government's investigation," Halliburton said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has been cooperating since 2001 with the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control in an inquiry into its operations in Iran.

Monday, July 19, 2004
A Quick Synopsis of the GOP...
At one time, the Republicans were the party of idealists and independent thinkers, the party of Lincoln and Mark Twain, but that party has been bought out by a gang of radio preachers and aluminum-siding salesmen who have demagogued us to death on taxes and school prayer and flag burning and homosexuality, and they have beaten us and given us Reaganomics and run the country into hock up to the hubcaps and thereby succeeded in practically immobilizing government....
We Democrats believe in government as a necessary force for good. Republicans did too, at one time, but now they have become nihilists in plaid pants, the party of the embittered rich who believe that they can trash this country for the rest of us and build themselves a comfortable walled compound somewhere upwind of the paper mill and send their kids to ivy-covered schools and buy the best medical care and dump their sewage in the river and to hell with everybody downstream.
Garrison Keillor, Washington Post, June 1996

Read As: "The Bombs Start Dropping In October"
Could the "October Surprise" be another war for our popular war president?
Q: Thank you. We're hearing now that eight of the September 11th hijackers passed through Iran before attacking the United States. Do you think there's a September 11th link to Iran?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, listen, we want -- of course, we want to know all the facts. Acting Director McLaughlin said there was no direct connection between Iran and the attacks of September the 11th. We will continue to look and see if the Iranians were involved. I have long expressed my concerns about Iran. After all, it's a totalitarian society where free people are not allowed to exercise their rights as human beings. I have made it clear that if the Iranians would like to have better relations with the United States there are some things they must do. For example, they're harboring al Qaeda leadership there. And we've asked that they be turned over to their respective countries. Secondly, they've got a nuclear weapons program that they need to dismantle. We're working with other countries to encourage them to do so. Thirdly, they've got to stop funding terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah that create great dangers in parts of the world.No, this has been an issue that I have been concerned about ever since I've been the President. As to direct connections with September the 11th, we're digging into the facts to determine if there was one.

Talking Points: "They're True Because They're Said A Lot"
Jon Stewart of The Daily Show deconstructs the simultaneous GOP pants-pissing that took place when John Kerry selected John Edwards as his running mate and how the Republican zombies spent the next week repeating the same old lines... 
Talking Points: Keeping up with current events

Jon Stewart: "It’s not easy keeping up with current events. As soon as you catch up, more happens. That’s where conventional wisdom fits in. Conventional wisdom is the agreed upon understanding of an event or person. John Kerry is a flip flopper. George Bush has sincere heartland values and is stupid. What matters is not that the designation be true just that it be agreed upon by the media so that no further thought has to be put into it. So how is conventional wisdom arrived at? For instance, let’s take the example of the addition of John Edwards to the Democratic ticket. I don’t know how to feel about that. I don’t know what it means. Here’s how I will."
CNN: "This is 28 pages from the Republican National Committee. It says, ‘Who is Edwards? It starts off by saying a disingenuous, unaccomplished liberal.’ We also saw from the Bush-Cheney camp they released talking points to their supporters."

Jon Stewart: "Talking points. That’s how we learn things. But how will I absorb a talking point like ‘Edwards and Kerry are out of the mainstream’ unless I get it jack hammered into my skull? That’s where television lends a hand."

Fox News: "He stands way out of the main stream."
CNN – Terry Holt, Spokesman for Bush Camp: "…way out of the main stream."
CNN – Communication Director, Bush-Cheney: "He stands so far out of the main stream."
CNN – Lynn Cheney: "He’s so out of the main stream."
CNN - Terry Holt: "They’re out of the main stream."
CNN – Frank Donatelli, GOP Strategist: "…well out of the main stream.

Jon Stewart: I’m getting a feeling. I think, I think they’re out of the main stream. But, what if I wonder why?

CNN – Frank Donatelli: "…two of the foremost liberal senators of the US Senate."
CNN – Crossfire: "…two of the foremost liberal senators of the US Senate."
MSNBC – Ed Gillespie: "…the most liberal rated senator in the US Senate."
Hardball – Lynn Cheney: "…the most liberal senator of the Senate."
Fox News: "…who was rated as the number 1 liberal in the US Senate."
Fox News – Elizabeth Dole: "…the number 1 most liberal senator in the US Senate."

Jon Stewart: Wow! Those guys are liberals!! In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d say they’re the first and fourth most liberal in the whole Senate. Wow! And while we don’t have any idea what that means and where those rankings come from and how they were arrived at or whether it’s even true, I don’t like the sounds of it. And it’s certainly not something for the media to question. As a matter of fact, I would imagine people like that, liberal and out of the main stream, hang out in some pretty extreme places.

ABC – This Week – Lindsey Graham: "…talking about the hatefest."
CNN: "…Hollywood hatefest."
Fox News: "…last Thursday night’s hatefest."
Pat Boone: "…Radio City Music Hall hatefest…"

Jon Stewart: "Yeah. See, out of the main stream, liberals, and hatefest. Keeping up with current events is easier than you think. Talking points – they’re true because they’re said a lot."

Random Thoughts On An Early Monday Morning...
It's good to see the handover of power in Iraq has cut down the number of US casualties.  Oh wait, it hasn't...
The adults are clearly in charge out in Gullifornia...
The GOP has been quick to jump all over Saint Ronnie's son for daring to speak at the DNC...

Tom Tomorrow is my hero...
The movie S.W.A.T. was fucking terrible...
Bison meat is friggin' amazing...If you haven't tried it, get off your ass...
And finally, a sports prediction: In roughly 2 1/2 months, the Phillies will have me cowering in a corner begging for mercy......or death.  Then the Eagles will have at me...

Friday, July 16, 2004
Wanna Keep An Eye On The "Journalists" Over At Faux News Channel?
Better yet, would you like to actually not have to crud up your TV screen with actual Foxymorons?
Look no further than the News Hounds!
Their motto? "We watch FOX so you don't have to."
That's the kind of public service you simply can't put a price on...

Another Example Of Shit I Can't Believe Happens In 2004...
There's no indication whether these mental juggernauts planned on playing with snakes and drinking strychnine after the fire was over...
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- A church's plan for an old-fashioned book-burning has been thwarted by city and county fire codes.

Preachers and congregations throughout American history have built bonfires and tossed in books and other materials they believed offended God.
The Rev. Scott Breedlove, pastor of The Jesus Church, wanted to rekindle that tradition in a July 28 ceremony where books, CDs, videos and clothing would have been thrown into the flames.

Not so fast, city officials said.
"We don't want a situation where people are burning rubbish as a recreational fire," said Brad Brenneman, the fire department's district chief.

UPDATE: I'm planning on taking a roadie to The Jesus Church.  I'm gonna set up shop across the street while reading "Catcher In The Rye", listening to a Marilyn Manson CD, and wearing a pair of leopard-print assless chaps.  All I need is the CD...

Thursday, July 15, 2004
Racist Asshole In Arizona Tries His Hand At Real Estate

Can you believe it's 2004 and shit like this still goes on???

An official with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said her department hadn’t encountered such a sight in 50 years.

The director of the federal Housing and Urban Development’s Phoenix field office said, “We’ve never seen anything like it. I’m amazed, just amazed.”

Both were reacting to a pair of signs placed in front of an upscale Waddell home.

The first reads: “For sale by owner.”

The second reads: “4 whites only.”

The owner of the home did not return repeated telephone calls. But his sign is getting him plenty of attention.

Florida Firefighters Endorse Kerry After Backing Dubya In 2000

Damn, they even backed Jeb! This is great news for Kerry in a state he can (and probably should) win as long as there's no funny stuff this time around.

The Florida Professional Firefighters has announced its endorsement of John Kerry for President. The FPF endorsed George W. Bush in 2000, and supported Jeb Bush in both of his campaigns for Governor of Florida.

The FPF represents 19,000 paid professional firefighters and EMS personnel working in over 150 cities, counties and fire districts throughout the State of Florida. Their endorsement is the latest in an outpouring of support from firefighters across the country for the Kerry/Edwards ticket, and is vital to Kerry/Edwards' get-out-the-vote efforts in the state that gave George W. Bush the victory in 2000.

"The FPF proudly endorses John Kerry for President because he shares our vision of a safe and strong America," said Bob Carver, President of the FPF. "There is no stronger voice on firefighter and Homeland Security issues than John Kerry, and we will work hard to help him win the state of Florida.

"Kerry has consistently championed legislation to provide our members with the right to collective bargaining and to improve funding and increase the number of America's firefighters, our training and to provide us with the equipment first responders need to serve the people of America in defense of our homeland in an emergency, natural disaster, or, God forbid, in the event of another terrorist attack."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Separated At Birth? Arizona Coach Lute Olsen and Zell Miller...

Lute Olsen

Zell Miller

One's the coach of a basketball program with a 0% graduation rate, The other's a piece of shit sell-out with no dignity and a "Dubya Was Here" tattoo on his ass...

(Sorry you failed in your attempt to have discrimination written into the Constitution, Zell-out!)

"Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives"

This uber-patriotic statement was taken from a memo circulated throughout Fox News instructing it's talking heads how to handle U.S. casualties in Iraq.

I have nothing else of my own to add, so I'll let it sink in...

"Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives"

"Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives"

"Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives"

"Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives"


Want Jobs? Vote Democratic!

So says a non-partisan study researching which industries would benefit from a Kerry win...

A victory by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in November would benefit industries that employ more people and stand to generate more jobs than a Bush re-election, according to an analysis by outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas.

For example, Kerry policies aimed at boosting home ownership, improving public schools and easing the shortage of nurses would create jobs for home builders, teachers and hospital workers.

Health care, education, government, home building and insurance are the sectors likely to get the biggest boost from Kerry initiatives, the study found. Those fields already employ more people and have added double the number of new jobs in the past six months than industries that would benefit more from Bush policies.

On a not-wholly-unrelated note, here's a graph that puts into perspective the successes of Democratic and Republican presidents at creating jobs for Americans.

Democrats vs. Republicans

Bush And Kenny Boy Sharing The Same Lawyer???

Thanks to BeatBushBlog for digging up this golden nugget.

First, from Kenny Boy's interview on Larry King Live:

KING: Who's your -- who's the main lawyer?

LAY: Mike Ramsey, as far as the activities...

KING: He's criminal...

LAY: ... here in Houston. He's criminal. He's here in Houston. But we have a whole team -- Earl Silbert in Washington, D.C...

KING: You have Earl?

LAY: We have him. And...

KING: Former prosecutor.

LAY: Former U.S. prosecutor for over 20 years. Jim Sharp, former assistant U.S. prosecutor for a long time. We have Carrington, Coleman in Dallas, which has some excellent lawyers on the civil side. So, we have a number of really key advisers here that are involved. [Emphasis added.]

Which Jim Sharp are we talking about?

A nationwide search in "Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory" gives only five James Sharps or Jim Sharps. It appears that the one Lay hired is James E. Sharp of "Sharp and Associates" in Washington, D.C. A March 6, 2004 article by Kéllia Ramares in Online Journal noted that the "James Sharp" in Washington, D.C. had previously worked for Lay.

Dubya also hired the same James Sharp as his personal attorney after the investigation into who "outed" Valerie Plame as a CIA operative heated up. As John Dean of Watergate fame noted, it was necessary for Bush to hire an outside attorney to ensure that their conversations were protected by attorney-client privilege. If Bush had talked to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales instead, the prosecutor might have been able to subpoena Gonzales and compel him to testify about his conversations with Bush. At the time, Josh Marshall noted that Sharp is:
a Washington attorney who also represented Iran-Contra luminary Richard V. Secord.

That may prove convenient since the case will quite possibly involve some of the players from the old days.

Too friggin' perfect...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Senator John Cornyn Thinks Homosexuality is the Same As Man-Turtle Love...

"It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right. . . . Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife."

-- Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), advocating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in a speech Thursday to the Heritage Foundation.

Maybe he and Rick Santorum can open up a zoo together. They could paint eyes on the backs of the animals' heads...

Monday, July 12, 2004
Awesome Picture From The Kerry-Edwards Rally in Raleigh

In fairness, here's a pic of the massive pro-Bush contingent on hand Saturday...

25,000 vs. 6...Not even up, exactly...

A Bush-Hoover Comparison That The Radical Right Can't Dispute

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- President Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP's annual convention, the group said.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People expects more than 8,000 people to attend the convention, which opens on Saturday.

Democratic challenger John Kerry accepted an invitation to speak next Thursday on the final day of the convention, the NAACP said.

Bush spoke at the 2000 NAACP convention in Baltimore when he was running for president.

NAACP spokesman John White said Wednesday that Bush has declined invitations in each year of his presidency -- becoming the first president since Herbert Hoover not to attend an NAACP convention.

Who Do Americans Hate More Than Trial Lawyers? Dick Cheney!!!

Well, maybe not exactly, but you'll get the idea once you see the numbers:

Most Americans think John Edwards would make a better President than Vice President Cheney, according to a new poll that appears to show Sen. John Kerry picked a winner for his running mate.

And what the Bush campaign has long considered Edwards' greatest vulnerability - his career as a big shot trial lawyer - is actually an asset, at least for now.

In the new Time magazine poll, 55% of respondents said they thought Edwards fought for the average person against big companies, while only 26% said he contributed to the frivolous lawsuit problem.

On the other hand, Cheney's previous career definitely hurts him in the eyes of voters.

Cheney's stint as the head of Halliburton, the huge energy company that has reaped billions in defense contracts from the war Cheney championed, makes 51% think less of him versus 16% who favor his Halliburton experience.

When asked which of the two vice presidential candidates would make a better President, 47% picked Edwards and 38% said Cheney.

Election Postponement: Not Just For Conspiracy Theorists, Anymore!

If it's possible that we could see an attack that would actually postpone a national election for the first time in our 228-year history, then how can Bush, Ridge, etc. actually claim that we're winning the war on terror???

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. officials have discussed the idea of postponing Election Day in the event of a terrorist attack on or about that day, a Homeland Security Department spokesman said Sunday.

The department has referred questions about the matter to the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, said spokesman Brian Roehrkasse, confirming a report in this week's editions of Newsweek magazine.

Newsweek said the discussions about whether the November 2 election could be postponed started with a recent letter to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from DeForest Soaries Jr., chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

I even heard the comment from a radio commentator that "every polling place could be a target." What better way to prevent high voter turnout (which incidentally, favors Democrats) than to let people believe they could actually be KILLED while going out to vote!

We had an election in 1864, I'm sure won't need to delay one in 2004...That is unless Kerry snags a bigger lead in the polls. Then, who knows?

"The election is a necessity," Lincoln said. "We cannot have a free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered us."

Friday, July 9, 2004
Reason #483762 to Fire Bush...

End the seemingly never-ending string of crackpot judicial appointees coming from the White House.

Case in point: Leon Holmes, former president of the Arkansas Right to Life Committee and brilliant orator that has said the following:

“[C]oncern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

“[T]he wife is to subordinate herself to her husband and the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man."

Nice guy. I wish I could have him over to my house for Thanksgiving...

Former Faux News Employees Will Expose Channel's Bias...

I can already hear the radical right screaming about "sour grapes" and "disgruntled ex-employees"...

"At a New York press conference this coming Monday, four former Fox News employees will go on the record to expose Fox's persistent Republican partisan bias, while releasing internal memorandums from Fox News Channel showing executive level instructions to Fox on how to bias the news,"

CNN and MSNBC should be all over this...

Then there's the revelation that Faux News owner and all-around right-wing freak, Rupert Murdoch, may have been the journalistic juggernaut that told his New York Post to run it's "Kerry picks Gephardt" front-page goatfuck...

Thursday, July 8, 2004
Timing Is Everything...

On Tuesday, John Kerry chose John Edwards as his running mate. GOP bigwigs douse their drawers...

On Wednesday, Ken Lay is indicted after a 3-year delay in which Martha Stewart was already indicted, tried, and convicted.

On Thursday, for good measure, Tom Ridge announces that it's time to get scared again and maybe purchase some more duct tape...

Nothing to see here...The saddest news barely earns a mention...

Fortunately, change can begin right here in Raleigh this Saturday at my alma mater, NC State University...

What: Kerry-Edwards Rally

When: Saturday, July 10th Gates Open at 1:00 p.m.

Where: NC State University Campus
Near the Bell Tower
on Hillsborough St

Bush Orders Pakistanis to Kill Or Capture bin Laden During Democratic Convention

What a shocker!

A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs [i.e., high-value al Qaida targets] before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Republicans Hate Lawyers...Until They Need Them

Tom "I AM the federal government." DeLay is lawyering up for an ethics probe.

Hard to believe such a stand-up Christian would need a team of bloodsucking lawyers to defend him, isn't it?

Facing legal challenges in Washington and Austin, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has retained lawyers to defend him in both a Congressional ethics probe and an ongoing investigation into Texas’ 2002 legislative races.

Shouldn't a guy with such a high level of moral clarity take a stand against the stranglehold that lawyers have on this country by defending himself? I mean, unless he's really afraid of being busted...

I only hope our glorious leader, President Bush, will resist the wily charms of evil trial lawyers in defending himself in the CIA leak case...

...Bush's chief spokesman, Scott McClellan, confirmed that Bush had contacted Washington attorney Jim Sharp, a trial lawyer and former assistant U.S. attorney. There is no indication Bush has been questioned yet.

Oh, what the Cheney!?!

PS: Check out this great photo taken here in Raleigh of an overpass welcoming President Bush to the Triangle.

White House 4th of July Recipes...

3 days late. So sue me...

My favorite has to be Tommy Thompson's "Bratwurst of Liberty" which he urges you to eat with...

Cool Wisconsin products, such as .... milk.

Nothing more refreshing than milk on a hot July day! I'll ask a serious question here: Do people from Wisconsin actually drink anything other than beer? Let me know.

I'd also consider Treasury Secretary John Snow's "Land of the Free" cole slaw, Don Evans' "Enchiladas Verde de 1776", or Greg "Outsourcing Rules" Mankiw's "Fourth of July Coq Au Vin".

Nothing says "God Bless America" like German Brats, Mexican enchiladas, and (hold your breath) FRENCH duck!!!

On an unrelated side note, for lunch today I had Wendy's "Classic Single of Freedom" (hold the mayo of evil) and a "Medium Coke of Liberty". For dinner, my wife and I might have some "Quesadillas de Rojo, Blanco, y Azul" at Salsa Fresh...

John Edwards: Yeah, He's A Trial Lawyer

It's amusing that the GOP constantly harps about people "picking themselves up by their bootstraps", "working hard", yadda, yadda, yadda. But, when John Edwards, a man who did exactly that, becomes a massive thorn in their side, they seek to discredit his accomplishments as a (gasp!) trial lawyer.

Now, I'll agree that trial lawyers deserve a big part of the bad rap they get. (O.J. anyone?) But at their best, trial lawyers can be one of the few advocates that regular schmoes like me and you will have when the shit hits the fan.

Read the following and tell me if Ed Gillespie is right in saying that John Edwards undeservingly "pocketed" a bunch of money as a trial lawyer:

The defining case in Edwards' legal career wrapped up that same year. In 1993, a five-year-old girl named Valerie Lakey had been playing in a Wake County, N.C., wading pool when she became caught in an uncovered drain so forcefully that the suction pulled out most of her intestines. She survived but for the rest of her life will need to be hooked up to feeding tubes for 12 hours each night. Edwards filed suit on the Lakeys' behalf against Sta-Rite Industries, the Wisconsin corporation that manufactured the drain. Attorneys describe his handling of the case as a virtuoso example of a trial layer bringing a negligent corporation to heel. Sta-Rite offered the Lakeys $100,000 to settle the case. Edwards passed. Before trial, he discovered that 12 other children had suffered similar injuries from Sta-Rite drains. The company raised its offer to $1.25 million. Two weeks into the trial, they upped the figure to $8.5 million. Edwards declined the offer and asked for their insurance policy limit of $22.5 million. The day before the trial resumed from Christmas break, Sta-Rite countered with $17.5 million. Again, Edwards said no. On January 10, 1997, lawyers from across the state packed the courtroom to hear Edwards' closing argument, "the most impressive legal performance I have ever seen," recalls Dayton. Three days later, the jury found Sta-Rite guilty and liable for $25 million in economic damages (by state law, punitive damages could have tripled that amount). The company immediately settled for $25 million, the largest verdict in state history. For their part, Edwards and Kirby earned the Association of Trial Lawyers of America's national award for public service.

Lawyers are, at worst, leeches that seek to capitalize off of others' misery. However, in situations like this when someone has been wronged to the point that their life was almost taken, it's comforting to know that good lawyers do still exist.

As for whether or not Edwards should benefit financially from this work, sure he should. I wonder how many people in this world could have brought that case to a similar end. Like professional athletes that often get paid way too much for what they do, they get paid the big bucks for a reason. It's because they can do what 99.99% of us CAN'T do. Right or wrong, if you work to become the best, you should be able to enjoy the rewards.

Now as for profiting from a business deal with Saddam Hussein (a guy that our President and Vice President have told me many times is pure evil) in 1998 as the CEO of Halliburton, well that might be a somewhat less noble way to earn a buck...

Legal? Sure. Noble? Not quite...

UPDATE: For a more detailed description of why Edwards is the right guy for the job, E.J. Dionne has a great piece in the Washington Post. I love how he shuts down the speculation that Edwards "isn't experienced enough.":

When you hear Republicans disparage Sen. John Edwards's lack of experience, remember the words of Sen. Orrin Hatch, spoken to George W. Bush at a debate on Dec. 6, 1999.

"You've been a great governor," Hatch declared of his rival for the Republican presidential nomination. "My only problem with you, governor, is that you've only had four and going into your fifth year of governorship. . . . Frankly, I really believe that you need more experience before you become president of the United States. That's why I'm thinking of you as a vice presidential candidate."

Which is exactly what Edwards was chosen for yesterday.

Rude Pundit has a little more historical ammo as well...

Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Kerry Does The Right Thing and Picks Edwards...oh, and the New York Post is a Joke

I breathed a sigh of relief this morning when my wife informed me that John Kerry had chosen John Edwards as his running mate. I'd been having Gephardt nightmares for a few days...

This is only made better by the fact that the New York Post proved once again that they don't know what the fuck they're doing by going "Dewey Defeats Truman" with Dick Gephardt. Wishful thinking, I guess...

Kerry Chooses Gephardt (They changed it on the website, but it was too late!)

Then there's the issue of Matt Drudge being a hack...

On an unrelated note, it's unfortunate that great news always seems to be undercut with bad news during the Bush presidency...

3 Marines killed in Iraq while the justification for war continues to fizzle...

Oh, and then there's the "revelation" that while Bush talks about spreading democracy throughout the world, he spends most of our money propping up autocratic regimes.

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration, while stating that democracy is the cornerstone of its Mideast policy, has directed more than half of the funds in its key democracy-promotion initiative to assist autocratic regimes in promoting free trade and education.

Only about $3 million of roughly $95 million went for direct funding for local groups promoting democracy or ''civil society," according to 2002 and 2003 data from the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative, which describes itself as ''the primary diplomatic policy and development programmatic tool" of President Bush's ''strategy of freedom in the Middle East."

Friday, July 2, 2004
Krugman Explains Fahrenheit 9/11 More Eloquently Than Me...

There has been much tut-tutting by pundits who complain that the movie, though it has yet to be caught in any major factual errors, uses association and innuendo to create false impressions. Many of these same pundits consider it bad form to make a big fuss about the Bush administration's use of association and innuendo to link the Iraq war to 9/11. Why hold a self-proclaimed polemicist to a higher standard than you hold the president of the United States?

And for all its flaws, "Fahrenheit 9/11" performs an essential service. It would be a better movie if it didn't promote a few unproven conspiracy theories, but those theories aren't the reason why millions of people who aren't die-hard Bush-haters are flocking to see it. These people see the film to learn true stories they should have heard elsewhere, but didn't. Mr. Moore may not be considered respectable, but his film is a hit because the respectable media haven't been doing their job.

Please read the rest...

Thursday, July 1, 2004
From 2000 to 2004, The Media Turns On John Kerry...

An interesting piece from The Campaign Desk, raises an intriguing point. The press was enamored of Senator Kerry in 2000, when he was on Al Gore's short list for the VP slot, eventually given to Senator Palpatine of Connecticut. (Huge mistake. Thanks, Al.) Now, in 2004, the press is far less enamored. To say the least...


The campaign press in the summer of 2000 was entranced with John. It tumbled all over itself to describe John as the perfect match for what it saw as the somewhat wooden, robot-like Gore. One newspaper described John as a man with "an easy manner and good looks," a politician whose "charisma [might] rub off on [Gore]," a person who could "bring some charm to the ticket." John's selection, it opined, would signal that Gore "thinks the election will be decided on personality." A television reporter also regarded this John as "charismatic." Another newspaper saw him as "younger and more telegenic than Dick Cheney." Yet a third newspaper called him "handsome," with "a record tailor-made to undermine the standard Republican attack on liberal Democrats."


No longer handsome, Kerry has been compared this election season to "The Addams Family"'s heavy-browed Lurch (by both former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines and by CNBC's talk show host/comic Dennis Miller). The Weekly Standard's Matt Labash sees in Kerry's mug a "long-faced Easter Island mask," while The New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch observes "a long, angular face [that] has something of the abstraction of a tribal mask." Kerry reminds Knight Ridder's Dick Polman of "those long-faced walking trees in 'Lord of the Rings,'" while the Chicago Tribune sees a "droopy, hound-dog look." Kerry, it seems, was repeatedly whacked by an Ugly Stick sometime between 2000 and 2004. (Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Botox, if you -- like the Tribune and other news outlets -- entertain that sort of scuttlebutt).


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