Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Portugal's Socialist Party Leader Applauds Calls For New Parliament

I would listen to any guy named Socrates, er, and not just because he's a socialist. (I always suspected Socrates was a pinko.)

Want Tickets to a Kings Game?

Just pretend to be a legislator!

(Doncha love it when the media publishes some crook's private phone number, or the number for some slush-fund hotline?)

But wait, how come I never got anything when my Dad worked for the Governor?

Orange Alert at the Arco Arena Tonight, Folks

David Stern proposes color-coded warning system to be used by fans attending NBA games... did I mention that Tom Ridge is now available in case David Stern wants to really clean shop?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bonnatine, Oh Bonnatine

Want to know who the Istook Amendment was intended for? Look no further...

Red State Rip-Off

We weren't going to mention it, er, until you stole our country...

New MPAA Rating: NC 9/11?

A teacher loses her job after showing "Fahrenheit 9/11" to her class in order to promote discussion of the war in Iraq...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Abbas: "Breath of Fresh Air"?

According to this story, lefty Jews think he's the greatest thing since sliced matzoh.

Rumsfeld Knows Best!

What is this, an Operation Condor for the 21st century?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

US Representative Weds Dictator's Daughter

If only I knew Noam Chomsky's phone number ... I'm sure he would get a kick out of this story.

Hmmm... is this what constitutes Republican 'gloating?'

World's Oldest Man Says, "The Curse is Over -- Now I Can Go."

It's really true, just like Johnny Damon said! Now that Red Sox have vanquished the curse, seniors all across New England are saying, "OK, now I can go."

Friday, November 19, 2004

Want to Scare People? Talk About LASERS!

To trust the exiles or not to trust the exiles...

It seems like we've gone down this road before.

Belgrade's Secret Tunnels

Pretty cool, er, except for the fact that they're harboring war criminals.

Smokin' the Peace Pipe in Neutral Switzerland

Canada's all right, but if you've got to go the expatriate route, you might consider Switzerland...


"We are looking for John Kerry to find what he wants to do."

--New Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Foxnews.com, on the question of who will lead the Democratic party in the 109th Congress.

That sounds like a REALLY bad idea.


Griping About Kerry's Unspent Cash

Misery loves company, er, and griping. It's amazing, and perfectly predictable, how failure divides. Check out John Tierney's piece in the NY Times Week in Review from October about what would happen if Kerry lost -- making some predictions are like shooting ducks in a kiddy-pool.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Can They Really Be This Irrational?

I really can't see how killing this possibly benefits the terrorists. Are they really this irrational?

Hassan is a martyr who could really help transform public opinion in Britain and Europe, and to a lesser extent, in the US. This article suggests the Hassan slaying may also be the beginning of a transformation of public opinion in Iraq. It will certainly have political repercussions different from the repercussions of previous killings of Westerners.

Senate Vicissitudes

Today is the moment of truth for Arlen Specter -- he goes before his colleagues to convince them to keep him in line for the Judiciary Committee Chairmanship. Might he consider changing parties if they sack him? It's possible.

As for Bush's nominees, the initial view was that Bush was consolidating power by appointed people already close to him. From the Sacramento Bee:

"President Bush's appointment of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state, and the mandate he has given Porter Goss to clean house at the Central Intelligence Agency, reflect two facets of one policy direction: the president's determination to tighten the White House's control."

But what about Margaret Spellings? As a Bush aide, she initially seemed to be part of the abovementioned pattern. But now conservatives are now saying that Spellings is too liberal to carry out their ambitious agenda of more testing, more vouchers, and lots more prayer!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Iranians Are Litigious, Too

Shirin Ebadi is, of course, correct that the Treasury Department's Axis of Evil "Assets Control" restrictions are absurd, and is certainly not the first to point that out. But rather than filing a lawsuit, she might try actually publishing a memoir and seeing what happens (I suspect nothing). Besides, how can she claim damages unless something she's tried to publish has actually been squelched?

Like Kerry, ABC Gets Drubbing From Red States

What ever happened to focus-grouping a segment BEFORE it's aired nationally?

Arafat Implicated in Oil-for-Food Scandal?

It seems so, according to this Chicago Tribune story.

Beginning in the 1960s, the main source of PLO funding was a 5 percent levy on the incomes of Palestinian exiles working mainly in the Arab gulf states. The money was collected by those states and transferred directly to Arafat. At its peak, it amounted to about $200 million a year. But the flow of money dried up after Arafat sided with Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

"The Arab governments stopped collecting those taxes and never started again," Abington said. "After that, Arafat was constantly hard-pressed for money."

Arafat received some help from Hussein, who gave him special export licenses to sell Iraqi oil. Those reportedly were worth $150 million.

Wright Home Demolished

Fuckin' philistines.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Secretary of Conservative Op-Ed Writing Steps Down

It's official -- William Safire is stepping down (is that the right terminology? We've just been hearing that so much today from the Bush Administration.) Yet "On Language" soldiers on -- thank God for that. (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Yes, I kinda see that.)

Don't quite know why this story is in the Business section.

Golf in Kabul?

No kidding.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Slugfest in Manhattan

This event -- taking place next week at the New York Society for Ethical Culture -- sounds like a gem... that is, some good blue-state fun not to be taken too seriously... (just think, a chance to talk about issues again, rather than listening to all the whining and wailing and Monday-morning quarterbacking about November 2)...

THE NATION vs. THE ECONOMIST - "A Debate on the Future
of Outsourcing"
A battle of ideas between two of the world's most
respected weekly magazines.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM (doors open 6:00 pm)

* Clive Crook, Deputy Editor, - The Economist
* Ben Edwards, US Business Editor, - The Economist
* William Greider, National Affairs Correspondent, -
The Nation
* Lori Wallach, Director, - Public Citizen's Global
Trade Watch
Free Admission, seating is limited; no reservations.
Moderated by WNYC's Brian Lehrer, of The Brian Lehrer
Sponsored by The Economist, The Nation, and The New
York Society for Ethical Culture.

Statistical Blip or Beginning of Rejection of State Killing?

Gay marriage played the same role in this year's election as the death penalty played in 1988. But the issue of capital punishment is as alive as ever.

Could the death penalty ever just quietly fade away?

The Nuclear Option

McCain gets it, the others don't. How many times have I said that before?

Frist... said he was determined to prevent Democrats from using the filibuster to block judicial nominations, as they did 10 times in the current Congress.

One possibility, he said, is what many call the "nuclear option," where a filibuster, which needs 60 votes to be broken, no longer will be allowed for judicial confirmations.

Democrats, who lost four seats in the election and will have 44 seats with one independent ally in 2005, say that would be an intolerable infringement on minority rights.

"That would end any hope of comity" in the coming Senate, said one Judiciary Committee member, Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., said he was also worried about undercutting minority rights. "If I believed Republicans would be in the majority forever, I'd be more favorably disposed," McCain said.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Dennis Ross Sizes Up the Post-Arafat World

Dennis Ross wants elections in the West Bank and Gaza, ASAP. And, like a good Clintonian, he also wants to do a little triangulation...

The Newsom Effect

Did Gavin Newsom cost John Kerry the election? Peter Schrag knows better...

"Maybe we'd be better off as part of Canada." Forget that. California could easily function as its OWN country -- possibly unlike any other state in the union.

Global Warming Doesn't Only Hurt the Third World

From the Sacramento Bee, which has witnessed an alarming increase in the rate of disappearance of the Sacramento River Delta.

The most comprehensive report to date on the arctic and global warming rings another alarm for a challenge beyond the nation's political comfort zone. In their four-year project, hundreds of scientists concluded climate change is happening faster than previously thought. Within our children and grandchildren's lifetimes (somewhere between 2070 and 2090), the icy arctic will be a seasonal phenomenon...

Even before the report's formal release, the Bush administration offered an appalling response. If addressing global warming means reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a way that costs America jobs (a "single" job, one official said), the administration simply won't respond. That position is breathtaking. Global warming will cost this country many more jobs in the long run than a careful transition.

Ah, Truth In Advertising!

It's a beautiful thing...

Gonzales To Head Justice

This leak sounds pretty solid to me. Gonzales, who went to Boalt, has been pilloried by Berkeley campus activists ever since his infamous "Geneva doesn't apply" memo to the AG. Time to rev up your Berkeley webcams, everyone.

What's Up With New Mexico?

It's not just Florida anymore that's got it's head in its ass. From NPR's Q&A column with Ken Rudin...

Q: What's the deal with the presidential vote count in New Mexico? -- Joe Arnold, Louisville, Ky.

A: Depends on who you ask. The networks and the Associated Press all called the state for Bush the day after the election. The AP polled the state's county clerks and arrived at these figures: 372,215 for Bush, 363,627 for Kerry, a difference of 8,588 votes. But if you call the secretary of state's office, all you'll get is that there are still absentee and provisional votes outstanding, that the state won't count the votes until Nov. 12 (when county clerks are required to submit their totals), and the results won't be certified until the 23rd. Nothing more. A check of the secretary of state's web site at 1 p.m. on Nov. 9 has it Bush 348,122 and Kerry 341,168.
In the meantime, there has been a war of words between the parties. Sen. Pete Domenici, the state's leading Republican, has publicly expressed his lack of confidence in Rebecca Vigil-Giron, the Democratic secretary of state, during the post-election counting of votes, and the state GOP's executive director said he thought Vigil-Giron and Gov. Bill Richardson (D) were trying to steal the election.
Assuming New Mexico is certified for Bush, it will be one of only three states that went the opposite way from 2000. (Gore carried N.M. by 366 votes.) Bush also won Iowa this year, unlike four years ago, and Kerry took New Hampshire.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Making Music Under the Worst of Circumstances

Very inspirational... who says poverty and refugee camps foster terrorism?

Make music, not war!

Why Would I Listen To Losers?

Some words of advice from Schwarzenegger to President Bush? (Courtesy of Dan Weintraub.)

At his press conference today, Schwarzenegger was asked if he would listen to new Senate Leader Don Perata's advice to raise taxes. His reply was not diplomatic. But it was clear:

"Why would I listen to losers? I mean let’s be honest…They have lost every single ballot in the Bay Area. Everything. The big spenders wanted to go increase taxes. Many different taxes and fees. They lost all of that. In Los Angeles it lost. People don’t want to be taxed. They feel like it’s the government’s responsibility to live within the means of what they get. Rather than every single time to go out and say let’s spend more. We ran out of money. We spent too much. Let’s go and spend more. The Democratic candidates, all of those things that have been proposed in tax increases have lost. Therefore why would we go and follow a losing formula? It doesn’t make any sense.”

What? No Special Interests Here!

The LA Times debunks the Governator's "you can't buy me!" shibboleths -- again.

Incidentally, I just got my cat a Governator catnip toy -- what a pleasure to watch Arnold scratched and batted and tossed around like a maple leaf in New England in October!

Mr. Dean Goes to Washington?

Well, he couldn't possibly be much worse than Terry McAuliffe...

What to Do With All This Political Capital?

To the President's vow to use the political capital he gained in his Tuesday re-election victory, the New York Post says, "Spend, George, Spend."

Living and Dying By the Happy Medium

When are "civil union" advocates -- misguided slaves to the happy medium -- going to realize you simply CAN'T provide all the protections of marriage with civil unions (without rewriting literally thousands of laws that refer specifically to rights for married couples)? It's not just about hospital visitation, inheritance and property rights, folks!

Florida, Back To Its Old Ways

Just when you thought Florida had escaped massive embarrassment a la Election 2000...

So Suha Me

Who says women can't carry a "big stick" in Muslim societies?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Dead-Set Against Bush

Perhaps the first election-related suicide -- surely not the last.