Thursday, November 17, 2005

Source This

According to an unnamed source, Dick Cheney is not the unnamed source who told Bob Woodward about Valerie Plame. According to another unnamed source, I do not believe this crap for one minute. However, I cannot comment on whether this unnamed source is accurately portraying my feelings on the subject, unless said unnamed source gives me written permission to do so.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Define Bipartisan

Ignoring demands from pretty much everyone but themselves for an independent investigation into the deadly bungling of the Hurricane Katrina response, Republican leaders have come up with a decoy:
House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, both Republicans, announced what they said would be a bipartisan investigation at an event on Wednesday to which no Democrats were invited. With their plan, aides said Republicans would have the majority of members. [Reuters]
First of all, how do you guys define bipartisan?

Second, how about you just save us taxpayers the millions you would spend on your Republican-dominated "investigation" and just give us the "findings" you're going to anyway: no Republicans have ever done anything wrong and the whole thing was caused by (a) low-ranking soldiers at Abu Ghraib and/or (b) anyone named Clinton.

It's like Dem Senate leader Harry Reid says:
"An investigation of the Republican administration by a Republican-controlled Congress is like having a pitcher call his own balls and strikes." [NYT]

Playing Political Games

From Marketwatch.com via fxstreet.com:
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., estimated on Tuesday that total government relief efforts could approach $150 billion. House Minority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, slammed the estimate as premature and accused Reid of playing "political games." But Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., later said the tab could reach as high as $200 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.
You might wonder, "Is Judd Gregg also playing political games?" Well of course not -- he's a Republican, and Republicans never play political games, according to the Republicans. But anytime a Democrat speaks, why, he/she is guilty -- guilty, I say! -- of playing political games.

And never you mind what the reality is.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Super Bowl Ring -- Lost in Translation?

The Boston Globe reports:
At a meeting of American business executives and Putin on Saturday in Russia, according to Russian news reports, [New England Patriots owner Robert] Kraft showed his 4.94-carat, diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring to the Russian president, who, after trying it on, put it in his pocket and left.
After much media speculation on whether Putin misunderstood when Kraft showed him the ring, or whether Kraft actually intended for Putin to keep the much-more-than-$15k ring, Kraft today gave the following press release, which is either true or terribly diplomatic:
At the end of a very productive three-hour business meeting with President Putin, organized by my good friend Sandy Weill, I showed the president my most recent Super Bowl ring. Upon seeing the ring, President Putin, a great and knowledgeable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness. At that point, I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin. I have ancestors from Russia, so it added significance for me to know that something so cherished would reside at the Kremlin along with other special gifts given to Russian presidents. It was truly an act of serendipity and one that I am honored to have experienced. It touched me to see President Putin’s reaction to the ring and I felt, emotionally, that it was the right way to conclude an exceptional meeting.
Touchdown! I'm relieved that the New England Patriots will not be the spark that ignites a war with Russia. Good thing it was Bob Kraft involved. Just imagine if it were Bush's nominee for UN diplomat John Bolton: he'd have chased Putin through the halls throwing things, shoving threatening letters under Putin's door, and generally behaving like a madman.

Home Supreme Home

Supreme Court Justice David Souter finds his Weare, New Hampshire farmhouse threatened by an eminent domain action:
Souter, a longtime Weare resident, joined in a court decision last week that allows governments to seize private property from one owner and turn it over to another if doing so would benefit a community. Now, an outraged Californian wants to test the ruling - by asking Weare's selectmen to let him replace Souter's farm with a posh hotel.

Souter's two-story colonial, assessed at just more than $100,000, brought in $2,895 in property taxes last year. A hotel, especially one as unique as Clements's, would likely net the town a much greater tax payment - not to mention a potential tourism boom for local businesses. [Concord Monitor]
Logan Darrow Clements' press release says:
The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.
The Free State Project is a Libertarian group trying to draft 20,000 like-minded people to move to New Hampshire and, well, take over the state government.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Like Conservatives

While sipping a “Fuzzy Exit Strategy” (per Wonkette: “Three oz. Peach Schnapps, 3 oz. Orange juice, and we can't tell you the rest because that would only help the terrorists”) and watching the president’s Fourth of July Recruiting Speech tonight (for those of you who missed it: September 11 = Iraq so call your local military recruiter after you get drunk at a Fourth of July BBQ this weekend and they’ll give you a ride, um, “home”), it occurred to me that Dubya and his Conservative cronies have a lot in common with the religious fundamentalist terrorists who have been increasingly successful under Bush’s watch.

To test out this theory, I will quote from the president’s speech and insert the words “like Conservatives” at appropriate points, much like that old game of adding "in bed" to make any sentence sound dirty.
The terrorists who attacked us -- and the terrorists we face -- murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent… like Conservatives.

Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression -- by toppling governments… like Conservatives.

The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent… like Conservatives.

These are savage acts of violence, but they have not brought the terrorists any closer to achieving their strategic objectives… like Conservatives.

The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th… like Conservatives.

We're fighting against men with blind hatred -- and armed with lethal weapons -- who are capable of any atrocity… like Conservatives.

They respect no laws of warfare or morality… like Conservatives.

We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again… like Conservatives.
I think it works...in bed.

Tom Cruise is Out of Control

Click here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Extraordinary Cowardice

Joseph Wilson's statement upon today's Supreme Court decision to not hear the case of two journalists who won't reveal the source of information they didn't publish:
"That two reporters may now have to go to jail is a direct consequence of President Bush's refusal to hold his administration accountable for the compromise of the identity of a CIA officer, Valerie (Plame) Wilson.

"Had he enforced his edict that all members of his administration cooperate fully with the Justice Department investigation, we would not be where we are today.

"Equally, some senior administration officials who spoke to Matt Cooper and Judy Miller today cravenly stand by while the two journalists face jail time because of a conversation they had with them. It is an act of extraordinary cowardice that those officials not step forward to accept responsibility for their actions." [via E&P]
Meanwhile, Robert Novak -- the writer who did publish the Bush administration source's treasonous information -- is not under threat of jail time and continues to spew government propaganda. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I Hope My Senators Aren't Against Emergency Contraception...

From the NYT op-ed page, June 20, a sensible position:
Of the 300,000 women who are sexually assaulted each year in this country, some 25,000 suffer the added trauma of finding they are pregnant as a result of the attack. Prompt administration of emergency contraceptives could prevent most of these unwanted pregnancies. Yet, a 2002 study found that most hospital emergency rooms do not routinely offer rape victims this safe and effective option.

The Justice Department could have helped ameliorate this problem last year when it issued voluntary medical and forensic guidelines for hospitals to follow in the treatment of rape victims. But emergency contraception got no mention as a possible option in the 141-page protocol. That is a cruel omission, and yet another instance of the Bush administration allowing right-wing religious groups to set national policy on issues that relate to women's reproductive health and rights.

Looking to cut through the inertia and ideology, a bipartisan group of lawmakers last week introduced legislation that would mandate that all hospitals receiving federal funds offer rape victims emergency contraception as a matter of basic care. The measure, sponsored by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jon Corzine, both Democrats, and Olympia Snowe, a Republican, also includes provisions to ensure that women receive the necessary treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

The Food and Drug Administration continues to dawdle over easing women's access to time-sensitive emergency contraception. We sincerely hope that Congress does not follow the F.D.A.'s lead. Rape victims deserve to be presented with all of the medical options available.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Rev. John Danforth Speaks Up for Moderate Christians

The former Republican Senator from Missouri and current Episcopal minister writes on the Op-Ed pages of the June 17 New York Times:
In the decade since I left the Senate, American politics has been characterized by two phenomena: the increased activism of the Christian right, especially in the Republican Party, and the collapse of bipartisan collegiality. I do not think it is a stretch to suggest a relationship between the two. To assert that I am on God's side and you are not, that I know God's will and you do not, and that I will use the power of government to advance my understanding of God's kingdom is certain to produce hostility.

By contrast, moderate Christians see ourselves, literally, as moderators. Far from claiming to possess God's truth, we claim only to be imperfect seekers of the truth. We reject the notion that religion should present a series of wedge issues useful at election time for energizing a political base. We believe it is God's work to practice humility, to wear tolerance on our sleeves, to reach out to those with whom we disagree, and to overcome the meanness we see in today's politics.