Saturday, July 24, 2004

Pardon the appearance 

Currently experiencing tech difficulties I'm ill-equipped to handle.  In the meantime, visit my linked friends.  

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Critical Mass, Boon, Synergy, A Brand New World!! 

Governor Blanco boldly considers building a new stadium  (almost literally) on top of the new convention center.  Some love it:

I think the concept of a stadium in the vicinity of a stunning new convention center hall is very intriguing," [president of the N.O. Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau Stephen] Perry said. "If an appropriate mechanism could be found to fund the combined project, the critical mass of new facilities could be a tremendous boon for New Orleans that I think would ensure a minimum of two new Superbowls.

Others worry about little details like whether we can afford it.

(Insert obligatory comment about overlooked priorities such as schools, crime prevention, roads, sewers, drainage, as well as the prudent concern for uptown's historical character).

Ricky has a more sensible, measured take. 

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Friday, July 23, 2004

Remember Spaz from "Meatballs"? 

Did he have a sister?

Atrios links to the story of her in-flight overreaction to casino musicians who didn't return her smile.

The passenger, later identified as Annie Jacobsen, was in danger of panicking other passengers and creating a larger problem on the plane, according to a source close to the secretive federal protective service.

Why does fear spread faster than Rudy the Rabbit?

Spaz: What's cookin' good lookin'?

Girl Camper: Your fly's undone. (laugh)

Tripper: Hey Spaz, I was watchin' you out there. Looked like you had a chance there for a second.
For a second, Spazette, you almost had a chance with us, too. But if you're gonna self-identify as a "Security Mom", then you better come correct!

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During the final year of his wildly successful administration, President Barack Obama awards John Stewart with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


(Daily Show clip from Atrios.)

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Let freedom reign (but less so in urban precincts) 

The co-chair of Michigan Veterans for Bush, state rep John Pappageorge [R-Troy]  slipped up recently when talking about GOP electoral strategy:

"If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election."

After Democrats reacted with disgust to such a patently undemocratic (and implicitly racist) statement, Pappageorge explained himself:

In the context that we were talking about, I said we've got to get the vote up in Oakland (County) and the vote down in Detroit. You get it down with a good message. I don't know how we got them from there to "racist."

So then, a "good message" is one that suppresses urban votes.  Wow.  Ole Pappadoc sure has  an inspiring grasp of democracy, doesn't he?  His formula might be usefully applied to Bush's new message of "peace".  If Bush really connects with urban voters, we'll know it by their disinclination to actively support him (or Kerry) at the polls.  They'll just stay home.  Thus, the better the GOP message is, the fewer (black) votes it will garner...  War is peace.  Up is down.   

I despise bigots of every political stripe.  However, the Republican strategy to limit black turnout is an anathema to all who truly love this country.  Luckily, Republicans would never* attempt such disruptive tactics in predominantly African-American New Orleans.

(story via Electrolite)


* --- Perhaps once, in 2002 when flyers were distributed in black neighborhoods explaining, wrongly, how citizens could vote two days after the special Senate runoff elections.  I'm sure that was the only time, though.  ("Dirty deeds abounded in elections," New Orleans Times-Picayune,12/12/02; Bill Walsh and Bruce Alpert)

Update: Today, at the Urban League, Bush appropriately asked African-Americans for their vote (rather than advising nonparticipation).

While acknowledging that his Republican Party faces a difficult task in appealing for the black community's votes, Bush asked blacks to consider some questions, including "Does the Democrat Party take African American voters for granted?"  (my emphasis)

I presume the president was referring to the DEMOCRATIC Party?  Consider this question: Is Bush taking the intelligence of the American voter for granted?

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Between defending Sandy Berger's stupidity and Joe Wilson's incredible shrinking reputation,  the left has been getting bludgeoned like West Virginian poultry.

It happens, but I think it's time to stop carrying water for Joe "Politics of Truth" Wilson.  For the past year he's spoken to whoever would listen, and he came across (I thought) as sanctimonious but credible.  Now, especially after the SSIC report and this devastating piece from Howler, I think Wilson should be ignored if not disavowed until further facts come to light.  Having to parse words in his defense just doesn't seem worthwhile at this point.

Many like me accepted his assertions without enough skepticism and sober analysis.   Guilty as charged.

Now, how does this affect my expectations for the Plame investigation?  They remain essentially unchanged.  Mark it down: something will come of it.  You let Elliot Ness snoop around the Veep's office, and he's bound to find something.  With sneaky stooges like Scooter Libby running around...  That's a "target rich" environ, as Rumsfeld would say.

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Your waste is expanding 

Please don't disturb those good stewards of tax dollars at the Pentagon.

And Republicans, including Senators Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Christopher S. Bond of Missouri and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, all suggested that structural changes [to intelligence services] might do more harm than good, particularly if they meant drawing power away from the Pentagon, which oversees about 80 percent of the estimated $40 billion the country spends annually on intelligence agencies.

They wield such sharp pencils there.
So far, the Pentagon has discovered that it is operating with more than 4,000 separate accounting systems. Many are incompatible, so that some purchase orders cannot be tracked with payments or deliveries.As a result, none of the military services can pass an independent financial audit, David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, told Congress earlier this year. Overall, the Pentagon's accounting systems are "fundamentally flawed," the GAO said.The agency said a key problem is "a lack of sustained leadership." 

Reform might be too costly.
They've been trying for more than a decade. They've built more than 2,000 databases to do the job. They're spending nearly $19 billion a year. But, despite all that effort, Defense Department officials still haven't come up with a way to track the Pentagon's supplies, finances or people, according to a new congressional report.

So whatever you do, don't meddle with that crack unit. It would be like inflicting burdensome oversight on Halliburton's serial "overcharging" of American taxpayers during wartime. See, if you force Halliburton to provide services with one hand tied behind its back, that will hurt the troops, and totally disrupt the beneficent supply-side forces that power our economy.

[Halliburton] has repeatedly found itself at the center of government investigations. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department are looking into allegations that top officials in a consortium that included a Halliburton subsidiary paid millions of dollars in bribes to win contracts in Nigeria. The Justice Department is also looking into reports that Halliburton officials took $6.3 million in kickbacks in Iraq. The Pentagon is examining whether the company overcharged U.S. taxpayers by more than $186 million for meals never served to U.S. troops abroad.

I wonder what percentage of the Pentagon's wasted billions have filtered into Halliburton's oily coffers?  Also: is the President for or against war profiteers who squander precious tax dollars needed for the "fight against terror"?  Is he for or against greedheads that deal with "evil ones" who assisted the 9/11 killers?

"Yes, the not-rich.  That's all of us." -- W

Cheney Pentagon waste. Cheney Halliburton greed.  And especially: Skull Cheney Cheney, and Hate Cheney Bush.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

That's two hours you won't get back 

Should we feel more thankful for avoiding the bad films, rather than seeing the good ones ?

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Monday, July 19, 2004

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello 

You say Yes:
Mr Liberal  has the breaking news on Kos about Rep. Greenwood's retirement in Pennsylvania's 8th District.  Friend Brian Welsh is the manager of (now frontrunner!) Ginny Schrader's  campaign, and he must be overjoyed by the good news.  Hearty congratulations once again , Brian, press your advantage for all it's worth!
I say No:
50 Minute Hour shows why there is no "justice" in Utah.  But at least they have pretty rocks.
You say Stop:
Very professional movie at the Talent Show-- it can take a while to download. 
I say Go, Go, Go:
Vodka inspires a nude snackbar ransacking in Tennessee (via Yer mom an' dem). 

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

"I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job."  

  -- quote from President Bush to an assembly of Old-Order Amish in Lancaster, PA. 
Peer into that terrifying assertion for a moment.  
Now read Matt Gunn's magnificent two-sentence takedown.  Then ponder this: if God speaks through Bush, why did God choose someone who is fluent only in a confounding family dialect?  Is Bushese a divine tongue now? 
My ancestors were Mennonites (like the Amish) who suffered persecution in what is now Switzerland, and fled to William Penn's religious haven in America. My family also happens to trace from Lancaster County, so it was with particular interest that I read this story.  Apparently, when not discussing their hats or quilts, Bush got teary after he asked the Amish for their vote.  They would only commit to praying for him.  Understandably so. 
Remember: having suffered under both Protestant and Catholic regimes in Europe, the Amish strongly oppose any union of church and state.   They don't use electricity or gasoline.  And they take to heart the Nazarene's specific instructions: "Do not resist an evil person.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matt 5:39)
I'm quite sure the Amish trust that God spoke through Jesus.  But I wonder if anyone at the assembly asked Bush how he reconciles his own "divine words" with the ones from the Gospel in which he purports to believe.    

Update: Matt Gunn elaborates.
Update #2: Norbizness does it funny.

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In a New York minute 

                   Kane is on the far left Posted by Hello
Arthur Kane, the bassist for the New York Dolls, died last week from leukemia at age 55.  While I'm saddened by the recent passing of so many punk pioneers, it is heartening to see them getting long overdue respect.  From the NYT obit:     

With trashy, cross-dressing pomp and a sound that amplified the rudiments of early rock 'n' roll, the New York Dolls established the style that would dominate punk and glam-rock through much of the 70's. The band played ragged, powerful riffs while its singer, David Johansen, threw himself around the stage with theatrical abandon.

Mr. Kane, one of the group's original members, dressed as wildly as any of his band mates but by comparison appeared quiet and reserved. The band made only two albums and did not have any major hits, but its influence on rock 'n' roll was enormous.
Apparently he became a fervent Mormon in recent years, an unexpected twist.  Kane is the fourth Doll to die. 


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