May 29, 2006
Bush wants to honor war dead
Our OIL wants to honor the war dead. That is a joke, right?b (B.C)
President Bush, delivering a Memorial Day message surrounded by the graves of thousands of military dead, said Monday that the United States must continue fighting the war on terror in the name of those have already given their life in the cause.
"The best way to pay respect is to value why a sacrifice was made," Bush said, quoting from a letter that Lt. Mark Dooley wrote to his parents before being killed last September in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.
Here is a guy who refuses to go to the funerals of war dead, or allow the press to publish photos. I get it.
May 23, 2006
Player of the Week - 5/22 - Jean Rohe
This is graduation season in colleges all across the country. Distinguished individuals receive honorary degrees, and graduates sit through sometimes interesting and more oftentimes boring ceremonies and speeches extolling the virtues of hard work, promises of journeys to unknown destinations, the value of friends and family, hopes and dreams, plus all the other usual stuff. Very occasionally however, something unusual happens. Whether a protest, a speech, or some unforeseen occurrence, the commencement transforms into a special event. At The New School, in New York City, that happened. Jean Rohe, one of two student speakers, re-wrote her speech and spoke directly to Sen. John McCain, confronting his record and the appropriateness of his speech at commencement. She contended that his remarks had more to do with a Presidential political campaign than a graduation ceremony. In addition, she felt that his intended remarks were anti-thetical to the values of the school. It was a reasoned speech and remarkable for its audacity and honesty. (HP)
Senator Mc Cain will also tell us about his cocky self-assuredness in his youth, which prevented him from hearing the ideas of others. In so doing, he will imply that those of us who are young are too naive to have valid opinions and open ears. I am young, and although I don't profess to possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that preemptive war is dangerous and wrong, that George Bush's agenda in Iraq is not worth the many lives lost. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction.
The speech created quite a stir. Seldom does a student confront such a celebrated, and invited guest. The reaction was swift on both the left and right. Those on the left congratulated her for her courage and honesty, while those on the right vehemently attacked her as an immature radical. What else would you expect from such a liberal institution in New York City? Perhaps her actions would have been more remarkable at a school outside of New York, especially one which is not considered so radical. However, it was a significant speech, which should make all of us think more about our political actions, or lack thereof. Jean wins this week's Political Sports Player of the Week Award.
May 22, 2006
Fabulous Fumble of the Week - 5/22 - Dennis Hastert
Dennis Hastert wins this week's Fabulous Fumble of the Week Award for his statement on taxes. (TP)
Well, folks, if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two children, you don't pay any taxes. So you probably, if you don't pay any taxes, you are not going to get a very big tax cut.
Yes, Dennis, you sure fumbled there. It is nice to know that we have a Speaker of the House who is so in touch with the American public.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Make Beach Volleyball History
I think women's beach volleyball is one of the greatest inventions in sports. (AVP)
2004 Olympic Gold Medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh made history today with their victory at the Santa Barbara Bud Light Open 21-14, 21-14 over Elaine Youngs and Rachel Wacholder. They become the first team in the history of women's beach volleyball to win 50 career titles as a team. May-Treanor and Walsh captured their third consecutive victory of the 2006 AVP Crocs Tour on FOX Network.
And the Problem Resides Where?
Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer......
Men were 10 times to 11 times more likely than women to be in prison or jail, but the number of women behind bars was growing at a faster rate, said Paige M. Harrison, the report's other author.
The racial makeup of inmates changed little in recent years, Beck said. In the 25-29 age group, an estimated 11.9 percent of black men were in prison or jails, compared with 3.9 percent of Hispanic males and 1.7 percent of white males.
Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, which supports alternatives to prison, said the incarceration rates for blacks were troubling.
"It's not a sign of a healthy community when we've come to use incarceration at such rates," he said.
May 21, 2006
No Colored Patches in Iran
More than a few news organizations report that the initial story indicating that Iran was to force non-Muslims to wear various identifying patches was wrong. Buyer beware. If you want a list I shall post it.
U.S. Mismanages Iraqi Police Training
In another NY Times piece, the paper reports that the U.S. badly mismanaged the training of Iraqi police. This is news? We didn't know this? Or is it the specifics that is new and interesting? It is widely known that the U.S. had far too few troops and support personnel in Iraq to deal with the aftermath of the fall of Saddam. Cobra II, the excellent book by Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor describe in some detail how the Administration thought they could invade, conquer and leave without dealing with the aftermath. Granted they did not go into explicit detail about the police force, but they did explain the administration's tactics and strategy, which has been a disaster. Others have reiterated the same conclusion. (NYT)
Arrogance is such an "interesting" state of mind.
Mr. Steroid Ties Ruth's 714 Homers
Barry Bonds tied Babe Ruth's 714 Home Run Total yesterday. Oh hum. (NYT). Why are we supposed to pay any attention to this when it is clear the guy cheated by taking steroids for years?
May 19, 2006
Iran to Force Non-Muslims to Wear Colored Patches
Here we go again. (CNP). It seems quite clear that these are not nice people.
Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments."
The law, which must still be approved by Iran's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.
Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.
Byrd Slams Bush On Immigration Dough
Sen. Robert Byrd hit the President hard yesterday in response to the President's funding requests for border control. (AP)
Bush asked Congress for $1.9 billion Thursday to pay for 1,000 Border Patrol agents and the temporary deployment of up to 6,000 National Guard troops to states along the Mexican border.
His request was not warmly welcomed by some key senators.
Sen. Judd Gregg (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, delayed a vote on Bush's promotion of U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman (news, bio, voting record) to White House budget director to show his displeasure. He said Bush's request calls for using money for proposed for border security equipment to pay for operational exercises.
Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record), the Senate Appropriations Committee's top Democrat, complained that he had offered amendments providing for border security nine times since 2002, only to have the Bush administration reject them as extraneous spending or expanding the size of government.
"If we had spent that money beginning in 2002, we would not be calling on the National Guard today," Byrd said.
I wonder why this is such a big deal now, as opposed to a few months ago, of last year, or a couple of years ago? All of a sudden immigration becomes a huge deal.
May 18, 2006
McIntyre Apologizes for Supporting Bush
Doug McIntyre, conservative radio talk show host from KABC, apologizes for supporting and voting for G.W. Bush. (KABC) He says, among many things about Iraq, WMD, etc.:
Katrina, Harriet Myers, The Dubai Port Deal, skyrocketing gas prices, shrinking wages for working people, staggering debt, astronomical foreign debt, outsourcing, open borders, contempt for the opinion of the American people, the war on science, media manipulation, faith based initives, a cavalier attitude toward fundamental freedoms-- this President has run the most arrogant and out-of-touch administration in my lifetime, perhaps, in any American's lifetime.
Read it and let me know your thoughts.
May 17, 2006
Cavs Go Up 3-2 on Pistons
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Unbelievable. Go LeBron (CNNSI)
So much for my fortune telling ability.
NSA, Phone Records and Fox Press Secretaries
Crooks and Liars has a hilarious clip of Jon Stewart commenting on the NSA phone mining controversy. It is worth a listen. (C&L)
I read that the NSA is actually tapping only land lines, no cell phones. That means that they are missing almost all calls of folks under 60, except for businesses. Gee, I wonder how smart that is? Al Qaeda never would use cell phones, would they?
Catching Tom Friedman
F.A.I.R. has a rather amusing timeline on Tom Friedman and his continually slipping 6 month timelines for Iraq. (FAIR)
Friedman's appeal seems to rest on his ability to discuss complex issues in the simplest possible terms. On a recent episode of MSNBC's Hardball (5/11/06), for example, Friedman boiled down the intricacies of the Iraq situation into a make-or-break deadline: "Well, I think that we're going to find out, Chris, in the next year to six months - probably sooner - whether a decent outcome is possible there, and I think we're going to have to just let this play out."
That confident prediction would seem a lot more insightful, however, if Friedman hadn't been making essentially the same forecast almost since the beginning of the Iraq War. A review of Friedman's punditry reveals a long series of similar do-or-die dates that never seem to get any closer.
The citations are numerous and funny in context, check them out.
Immigration Game Update
We have many laws and rules in life. The country has laws, people follow rules, each sport has a set of rules. They are important. I don't have to tell you also that many of them are stupid, like driving down a road at 25 MPH. Who in their right mind drives 25 MPH, and why should they? Cars are built better, roads are safer. Those same speed limits have been there probably for 50 years without change. Even the police ignore them, letting people travel a good 10 to 12 MPH above the posted speed. Stupid. The signs should be changed. Stupid laws should be changed. When rules don't work in sports, they are changed. The same should happen with laws. If we have a law, enforce or change it. To not enforce our laws and regulations diminishes the authority of all of them and breeds a contempt for our government.
Regarding immigration, the same attitude applies. The laws should be enforced. It is illegal to sneak across the border. Catch them, send them back, period, or change the law. Strictly enforce employment requirements. Investigate companies hiring illegal immigrants and punish them, or change the law.
May 16, 2006
Chavez Sitting at the Poker Table
Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, is pulling out all the stops in countering U.S. pressure. (CNN)
In response to a U.S. ban on arms sales to President Hugo Chavez's government, Gen. Alberto Muller, a senior adviser to Chavez, told The Associated Press he had recommended to the defense minister that Venezuela consider selling the 21 jets to another country.
Muller said he thought it was worthwhile to consider "the feasibility of a negotiation with Iran for the sale of those planes."
Chavez is not content to play second string to the U.S. in anything. His actions indicate he is more than willing to set up a working, viable counterweight to U.S. influence in the region. I am sure that he also views Cuba as a paper tiger, no longer effective in confronting American power. He is more than willing to take up the cause.
Player of the Week - 5/15 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins this week's Political Sports Player of the Week Award for his 18 page letter to President Bush, telling him why he and the U.S. are on the way down and out. I have stated before that Mahmoud is playing to the Arab street and cares little about the West. His letter challenges perceptions of Western dominance and strengthens Iran's position as a major player in world affairs. (CNN)
Ahmadinejad's letter proposes "new ways for exiting from the current critical situation," Iranian spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said.
Elham, quoted by the state-run television and radio network IRIB, said Ahmadinejad had "analyzed the current international condition and has pointed out the way to find the root causes."
This is a complex subject, one that requires more than a few sentences to explain, but it does seem clear that Mahmoud is doing a masterful job of standing up to the West and building his stature in the Arab world. He is exploiting U.S. problems in Iraq, playing with the U.N. and the inspection program, using economic muscle to manipulate the Russians and Chinese to work for him, and making tons of money from high oil prices. Angry, frustrated and jealous young people from throughout the Middle East view him as a strong leader, a little crazy perhaps, but someone who is willing to stand up to the historical powers in the world and win, at least up to this point. He is doing a masterful job. His letter and the attention it garnered win him this week's Award.
Fabulous Fumble of the Week - 5/15 - John Negroponte
My entry below explains why John Negroponte is this weeks Fabulous Fumble of the Week winner. On Monday last week, John insisted that the NSA was not tracking or tapping domestic phone calls. On Thursday, USA Today reported that the NSA had been monitoring the phone records of millions of Americans. Given past statements and actions by the administration this is not unsurprising, however it still wins him this week's award.
A Great Man Resigns
I love Doug Flutie. I bought Flutie Flakes when they used to sell them in a local supermarket. I sent away for a red t-shirt with Flutie Flakes written on the front. I still have it. Mike Ditka thought he was too small to play in the NFL and never gave him a chance to play. I guess Doug proved him wrong. He went to the Canadian Football League and became a huge star. He came back to the NFL and had a good career. He was an inspiration, playing a game he loved and excelling not only because he was good, but because his enthusiasm infected his teammates and fans. He was a joy to watch and someone who created magic on the field, whether it be his famous pass as the BC quarterback who beat Miami with his Hail Mary, to his last play, a drop kick, which had not been completed since 1941.
In an era when major sports focus on money, he was a throwback to school yards and backyards, where kids gather, pick teams and spend an afternoon playing games, pretending they are big stars, scoring Super Bowl winning touchdowns, scrambling around having fun. We salute you Doug Flutie. You will be missed.
May 15, 2006
There is No Sports Metaphor that Fits This Disaster
I want to give these guys the benefit of the doubt once in a while. I want to believe in the Government, the President, Congress, and everyone else for that matter, but I am reaching the point of no return. The wiretaps, the lies, the incompetence continue to become bigger and bigger parts of our world. It is very disturbing. Last week John Negroponte insisted that the NSA was not tapping domestic calls. (WaPo)
When he was asked about the National Security Agency's controversial domestic surveillance program last Monday, U.S. intelligence chief John D. Negroponte objected to the question and said the government was "absolutely not" monitoring domestic calls without warrants.
"I wouldn't call it domestic spying," he told reporters. "This is about international terrorism and telephone calls between people thought to be working for international terrorism and people here in the United States."
Three days later USA Today reported that the NSA was tracking domestic phone calls.
Three days later, USA Today divulged details of the NSA's effort to log a majority of the telephone calls made within the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- amassing the domestic call records of tens of millions of U.S. households and businesses in an attempt to sift them for clues about terrorist threats.
To many lawmakers and civil liberties advocates, the revelation seemed to fly in the face of months of public statements and assurances from President Bush and his aides, who repeatedly sought to characterize the NSA's effort as a narrowly tailored "terrorist surveillance program" that had little impact on regular Americans.
So much for believing anything he says.
Now ABC News reports that the government is tracking reporter's calls to find government leakers. (ABC)
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.....
Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
Tracking phone numbers might not be illegal, I don't know, but it surely is part of an increasingly disturbing pattern of secrey and paranoia permeating the White House..
May 12, 2006
So, the Justice Department attempts to investigate the NSA. The NSA says you don't have the proper security clearance to investigate us. The Justice Department says, okay, oh well, and walks away. Wow! Does something smell fishy about this? The NSA could be doing something very illegal, very dictatorial or something. They tell the Justice Dept., who is supposed to have the authority to investigate anything and everything like this, to take a hike and the Justice Dept. gives up. I hope that bothers you as much as me.
Congress, more specifically Republicans, passed a Bush backed bill to extend his tax cuts another two years. Most all of those cuts help the wealthy and hurt the middle class. Nothing new here, it is just more of the same play they have been running for the past 5 years. Perhaps this is one of the reasons his poll numbers are so anemic. Maybe one day he will start doing something that actually helps most people in the country instead of his major campaign contributors and friends.
NSA phone taps and Gen. Hayden to lead the CIA - the path to dictatorship by a thousand tiny steps......
Karl Rove & Bush's poll numbers - A Harris survey reports that OIL's poll numbers are currently tracking at 29%. If Rove is indicted OIL's poll numbers could drop to 26%. From a strategic standpoint, I have no clue how he can reverse this. Attacking Iran would seriously inflame the country. The economy, despite government numbers is not raising all boats. And then there is the ever expanding corruption disease. Every day brings new charges and new investigations throughout the Republican arena. The team has some serious problems. It actually reminds me of what is happening to the NY Knicks. Dolan, the owner, and Isaah Thomas insist that they are doing the right thing while the team self-destructs.
May 11, 2006
Truth, Trust and The American Way Strike Out
How could this possibly be a surprise? USA Today reports that the NSA has been monitoring tens of millions of Americans phone calls. Bush defended the program (USAT)
President Bush today said everthing the National Security Agency has done is legal, protects the privacy of Americans and helps guard the nation against terrorist attacks.
"We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans," he said. Instead, the NSA's efforts "strictly target al-Qaeda and their known affiliates."
Bush - without expressly confirming or denying the USA TODAY report - indirectly addressed the potential impact of the story. "Every time sensitive intelligence is leaked," he said, "it hurts our ability to defeat this enemy."
USA TODAY reported in today's editions that AT&T Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., and BellSouth Corp. telephone companies have turned over records of tens of millions of their customers' phone calls to the NSA since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The newspaper cited anonymous sources it said had direct knowledge of the arrangement.
Given the actions of the White House over the past few years it should certainly surprise no one that this is happening. Why should one trust the White House to do the right thing and be honest with the American people? Or if they felt that something like this was necessary to fight Islamic fundmentalism, why didn't they go to Congress to get authorization?
May 10, 2006
Pistons Crushing Cavs
The Detroit Pistons are destroying the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA playoffs. LeBron James and team does not have anywhere near enough firepower to defeat Ben Wallace and crew. Despite the fact I grew up just outside of Cleveland and am a big Cavs fan, I am afraid this will be a very short series. (CNNSI)
May 9, 2006
The G. W. Bush Presidential Library
G. W. is already thinking about his Presidential Library. (NYT)
President Bush had dinner last month on the Stanford University campus at the home of George P. Shultz, who was President Ronald Reagan's secretary of state, and the topic of conversation was not, as might be expected, the war in Iraq. Instead, guests said, Mr. Bush spent the evening focused on how he could create a public policy center with his presidential library after he leaves office in 2009.
The dozen or so guests at the dinner included directors and fellows of the Hoover Institution, the Stanford-affiliated policy center with close ties to the Bush White House. Mr. Bush spent most of his time, guests said, grilling the center's director, John Raisian, about the pros and cons of having an organization like Hoover within the confines of an institution like Stanford
So, do you think they will have the book the children were reading to OIL (Our Illustrious Leader) when he was sitting in the classroom as the planes hit the World Trade Center? I would love to see that book.
Our Great Country
Time magazine reports in their current print edition the following statistics:
63% - The portion of Americans ages 18-24 who could not locate Iraq on a world map, according to a survey.
50% - The portion of Americans ages 18-24 who could not find New York State.
And one wonders why we have the problems we do in this country.
Player of the Week - 5/8 - Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern, former CIA agent and questioner of Donald Rumsfeld wins our Political Sports Player of the Week Award. Ray, worked at the CIA for 27 years, and at one time wrote the Daily Presidential brief, pointedly asked the Sec. of Defense why he lied to get us into the Iraq War. (bio)
Ray's duties at CIA included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President' Daily Brief (PDB). These, the most authoritative genres of intelligence reporting, have been the focus of press reporting on "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq and on what the president was told before 9/11. During the mid-eighties, Ray was one of the senior analysts conducting early morning briefings of the PDB one-on-one with the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
Runsfeld denied the charge. However the exchange resulted in a virtual firestorm in the media. Some, like Paula Zahn, asked McGovern whether he had an agenda. Others attacked him as a liberal, out for the administration's blood. Though others have questioned the veracity of Rumsfeld's statements, McGovern's seem to have struck a rare nerve, probably because of his CIA background. For asking the perfect question at the perfect time, Ray wins our Player of the Week Award.
May 8, 2006
Fabulous Fumble of the Week - 3/6 - OIL
Our Illustrious Leader (OIL), G. W. Bush, wins this week's Fabulous Fumble Award. I was going to give it to Paula Zahn for her interview with former CIA agent Ray McGovern. (CNN)
Zahn: Did you go to this speech today with the intent of challenging Secretary Rumsfeld?
MCGOVERN: I had no predetermined objectives. I just wanted to see what he had to say. But I did get very motivated when the first lady was ejected from -- from the -- from the crowd.
Zahn: How much of an ax do you have to grind with Secretary Rumsfeld?
MCGOVERN: It's not a matter of axes to grind. It's a matter of telling the truth. And we pledged, in my day at the CIA, to tell it without fear or favor, to tell it like it is. And, when I see that corrupted, that is the real tragedy of this whole business.
Zahn: There was a point where it appeared as though you were going to get kicked out ... Donald Rumsfeld encouraged whoever I think had their hands on you at the time to let you stay there. Does he get any credit for that today?
MCGOVERN: At first, I thought, well, that was rather gracious. But, then I got to thinking, I was not abusing the privilege. I was simply asking pointed questions. And for the national TV audience to see me carted away for asking Rumsfeld to explain what any objective observer would call a lie, that wouldn't have been good P.R. So, yes, I'm glad he let me stay. But I think it was for self- interested reasons.
Paula should have read Rumsfeld's original statement, which was very specific about WMD, but she didn't, she basically attacked McGovern for raising the question and confronting the Secretary of Defense. Bad job Paula.
Despite that wonderful fumble, President Bush wins hands down for his statement to a German newspaper. (Reuters)
U.S. President George W. Bush told a German newspaper his best moment in more than five years in office was catching a big perch in his own lake.
"You know, I've experienced many great moments and it's hard to name the best," Bush told weekly Bild am Sonntag when asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001.
"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound (3.402 kilos) perch in my lake," he told the newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.
The most powerful man on the planet, every day has the ability to do so much good and he thinks that his best moment is catching a fish. Okay.
May 5, 2006
A Clever Graphic on Iraq War Dead
Follow the link for a very powerful graphic depicting Iraq war dead. (Link)
Fox Cuts Back Across the Field
Earlier this week, the Mexican Congress passed a law that would have made Mexico one of the most permissive drug countries in the world. Yesterday Vincente Fox reversed direction, said he would not sign the bill and sent it back for revision. (AP)
Mexican President Vicente Fox backed off signing a drug decriminalization bill that the United States warned could result in "drug tourism" and increased availability of narcotics in American border communities.
Fox reversed course Wednesday and said he was sending the bill back to Congress for changes, just one day after his office had said he would sign it into law. The measure would have dropped criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs.
I wish I could get the phone logs of White House calls over the past couple of days. I would be content to see the ones to Mexico and specifically to Fox and his administration. I am sure George put incredible pressure on the Mexicans to reverse their decisions. The administration would hate to see Mexico change its policies. I think they are terrified that another approach to solving drug problems might work. One can only speculate why.
May 4, 2006
Contractors Overbill Govt. Billions of Dollars - Surprised?
At this point, no one should be the slightest bit surprised by this development. (AP). It is only $63 Billion.
MSM Suffers Big Loss in "Lapdogs"
Eric Boehlert's new book "Lapdogs" annihilates the Main Stream Media for completely rolling over for Bush in the Swift Boat affair preceding the 2004 election. (Huff).
for instance, the Washington Post published 13 page-one Swift Boat stories in 12 days, most of which failed to address the key fact that the Swift boat allegations -- that Kerry lied about his Vietnam War record -- were riddled with errors and compounded by the veterans' fanciful, ever-changing stories. Despite the lack of evidence to substantiate their claims, which were floated 35 years after the fact and bankrolled by partisan Republicans, the press refused, in real time, to call out the Swift Boat allegations as a dirty trick.
"Lapdogs," in bookstores next week, charges that the press, spooked by allegations of liberal bias, has been "afraid of the facts and the consequences of reporting them" during the Bush years.....
As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting suggested in 2004, what if the situation had been reversed and the shoddy Vietnam-ear attacks targeted Bush's war service? What if all the available documents showed that George Bush had fully completed his obligation in the Air National Guard with flying colors? What if virtually every member of his unit said he had been there the whole time, and had done a great job? And then suppose a group of fiercely partisan Democrats who never actually served in Bush's Guard unit came forward to claim for the first time--and 35 years after the fact--that Guard documents and the first-hand accounts were wrong, and that Bush really hadn't been present for his Guard service. Would the MSM really have had a hard time figuring out who was telling the truth, and would the MSM really have showered the accusers with weeks worth of free media coverage?
The press was mored concerned about access to power than actually reporting the truth.
Are you off the Couch?
Okay, have you been exercising this week? My workouts:
Saturday - run 4.5 miles
Sunday - roller blade 12 miles
Monday - swim 2200 yards
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - yoga
Thursday - roller blade 12 miles
Make it fun!
Read this article then think about the priorities established by the White House. Why are we going to have our largest embassy in the world in Iraq? And 104 acres?
THE question puzzles and enrages a city: how is it that the Americans cannot keep the electricity running in Baghdad for more than a couple of hours a day, yet still manage to build themselves the biggest embassy on Earth?
Irritation grows as residents deprived of air-conditioning and running water three years after the US-led invasion watch the massive US Embassy they call “George W’s palace” rising from the banks of the Tigris.
In the pavement cafés, people moan that the structure is bigger than anything Saddam Hussein built. They are not impressed by the architects’ claims that the diplomatic outpost will be visible from space and cover an area that is larger than the Vatican city and big enough to accommodate four Millennium Domes. They are more interested in knowing whether the US State Department paid for the prime real estate or simply took it.
Bigger than the Vatican? Wow! I would guess that implies something about our long term plans for the country, doesn't it? And what about the big military bases we are building there?
May 3, 2006
Health Insurance tries for Big Score
The health insurance industry has their sights set on another big score from Congress. If passed, the bill will be a huge windfall for insurers and a disaster for most Americans. Does that sound familiar? It should. You can read more about it here.
You Start in the Little League Before Moving Up
Practice, practice, practice. You can never start playing early enough. (Ynet)
Three teenagers from the Arab town of Qalansawe were arrested after 150,000 detonators were found in the house of one of them. The teenagers, age 15 and 16 were taken to a police station for questioning where they claimed that the detonators meant for their personal use. (Raanan Ben-Zur)
May 2, 2006
Harvard Sophomore Suffers Knockout Blow
This babe is down for the count. It appears that not only did she copy from one book, but she copied from two. What a scumbag. And she goes to Harvard....how does that happen? (CNN)
A reader alerted The New York Times to at least three portions of "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life," by Kaavya Viswanathan, that are similar to passages in the novel "Can You Keep a Secret?," by Sophie Kinsella.
While the plots of the two books are distinct, the phrasing and structure of some passages is nearly identical, the Times reported Tuesday.
Big Hits and Strike-outs
Iraqi recruits won't leave home. (WaPo)
Did the immigrant rally get a hit, or did they strike out? I can't tell. (CNA)
Afghan President Karzai swore in 20 new cabinet ministers (CNA)
Brand new New Orleans disaster plan ---- Get out of town! (CNN)
Some good clean fun trys to raise its average. (CNN)
Bolivia Rocks Major Corporations with a Body Slam Tackle
Bolivia nationalized the natural gas industry in their country, throwing capitalism and multi-national corporations for a big loss. The recently elected President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, indicated that this step was just the start of nationalizing various industries. CNN reports:
Bolivian President Evo Morales ordered the military to occupy nation's natural gas fields Monday after nationalizing the industry and threatening to expel foreign companies that do not recognize state control.
Bolivia has the second-largest natural gas reserves in South America after Venezuela, and disputes over how the impoverished country should manage those riches have sparked several popular revolts since 2003.....
YPFB will pay foreign companies for their services, offering about 50 percent of the value of production, although the decree indicated that companies at the country's two largest gas fields would get just 18 percent.
Top investors in Bolivia's gas industry include Petrobras -- which controls more than 45 percent of Bolivia's gas fields -- Spain's Repsol YPF, France's Total and British gas and oil producer BG Group. YPFB alone has no way of financing the development of gas fields.
Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. It is understandable that they would seek ways to increase income. Seeing multi-nationals get rich off their natural resources obviously creates anger and resentment. However, the country is going to have a difficult time attracting investments from outside the country if it will not recognize previous obligations, contracts, and laws. If I had a company I would be exceedingly wary of investingn in Bolivia. I would certainly not put money into a country that would take all my work, materials and time without proper payment.
The devil is in the details. What, if anything, will Bolivia pay to the companies? That is still unclear. Perhaps they will pack up and pull everything out of the country, leaving the government on its own. Maybe the President will get Chinese or Russian companies to replace them. It is too soon to tell how this will play out.
The move is similar to what is happening in other South American countries, like Venezuala. The lower classes are revolting against large corporations and western interests, including the U.S. government, to gain greater control of their economy, and thereby reap some financial rewards. It will certainly be interesting to watch how far the revolution spreads.
May 1, 2006
Fabulous Fumble of the Week - 5/1 - Condi Rice
We, here at Political Sports, had a very rough time determining this week's winner of our Fabulous Fumble Award. John Bolton almost won for his statement on the Sunday pundit shows that the high gas prices were the result of conditions created over the past few decades. That was funny. That is certainly true, but it doesn't hint at the almost criminal neglect of the administration on not addressing the problem.
There was Dennis Hastert leaving a meeting on energy policy in a hydrogen car then switching to an SUV when he thought he escaped reporters. That was a good drop.
Of course, we have the erupting Republican sex scandal.
And our continuing Washington soap opera star, Cynthia McKinney, Congresswoman from Georgia, known for her recent altercation in the Capitol, was caught on an open mike referring to one of her aides as a "fool". When she discovered her error she demanded that the press not use the remark.
Despite all those great flubs, we felt that Condi Rice won the award for her remarksat a NATO meeting:
"The Security Council is the primary and most important institution for the maintenance of peace and stability and security, and it cannot have its word and its will simply ignored by a member state," Condi said after a NATO meeting on Thursday.
Considering the attitude and actions of the U.S. toward the U.N. prior to the Iraq invasion, you can only laugh at such audacity. She was actually trying to be seriuos too. Condi, congratulations on winning this week's award!