Just how bad, Politically, is the situation in Iraq? 42% of the people polled by Zogby say Bush should be impeached if he was found to have lied about the reasons we had to go to war with Iraq. 50% say no.
Think they haven't split this country right down the middle? When, post-Civil War was the country more partisanly split?
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Just how bad, Politically, is the situation in Iraq? 42% of the people polled by Zogby say Bush should be impeached if he was found to have lied about the reasons we had to go to war with Iraq. 50% say no.
From the San Jose Mercury News article, Larry Diamond is a former senior adviser to the coalition government in Iraq and a current fellow at the Hoover Institution:
The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion. A much more senior Iraqi interlocutor (a widely experienced Iraqi-American lawyer) became so exasperated with the young man's audacity that he finally challenged him:
"You must have thoroughly studied the history of the British occupation of Iraq."
"Yes, I did," the young American replied proudly. "I thought so," said the Iraqi, "because you seem determined to repeat every one of their mistakes."
Another thing that bothered me about this speech that bothered me was the emphasis on how we can't just abandon Iraq. We must be strong and fight through the difficulties.
Um...NO KIDDING! there is a general acceptance that we HAVE to stay because we'll see civil war if we left now. most people that think the president should be impeached because of his actions still believe that we now cannot leave Iraq. THAT is why it is insulting for bush's speech and his "Plan" is to stay in iraq and 'work hard'.
Really? no kidding?
THAT isn't the problem with the President. the Problem is that the WAY we're going about this has worked poorly and everyone but the President seems to see that. God knows we don't want him to say he's wrong. we'd be stupid to expect that. what we don't want is a description of the war that implies a detachment from reality. that makes us nervous.
We don't need you to tell us we're stuck in Iraq for a while, Mr. President. we watch the news, even if you don't. i know its hard. just quit lying to us...and if you can't do that...well...could you quit lying to yourself?
I saw War of the Worlds last night, and it was terrific! It had all the suspense and fun that i have always enjoyed from Spielberg, but virtually none of the syrupy cutesy-ness I do not enjoy. This isn't to say that it doesn't include smile-inducing emotion, its just that he does His thing well and actually better than he has in the past.
One of the keys to this film is the skill of the actors. most summer event films (Jurassic Park comes to mind) just have their stars doing nothing more than bearing witness to, or screaming at, whatever is happening on the screen. Here that is not the case. the dialogue gives us the backstory which is more about family dynamics than biography (THANK YOU. that's what we want. THAT is character development, not knowing that joe blow is a tire salesman). There is one great scene in the basement of a house with Tim Robbins. It reminds me greatly of the light behind the door scene witht he little boy in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Much has been made of Dakota Fanning's abilities (here and elsewhere) and I can say that she does everything right. she's a child in utter peril (on a level strong even for Spielberg, who makes his living putting kids in danger). Cruise does an outstanding job of putting us THROUGH what the family goes through, as opposed to most disaster films where we just get to see it. that is where this film transcends.
This is Spielberg at the top of his game in doing what has come to be "a Spielberg Movie". I recommend it to anyone.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
All Things Considered, June 28, 2005 · Novelist and historian Shelby Foote died Monday night. He was 88. The native Mississippian gained a sort of celebrity when he lent his gravelly voice to Ken Burns' PBS documentary series The Civil War.Click and listen to the audio if you like. It seems a national treasure, and the owner of the finest Southern Accent I've ever heard has fallen back to the earth. I'm going to have to read The Civil War for sure now. My obligation feels stronger than ever.
Foote spent 20 years working on his three-volume, 3,000-page history of the Civil War. It was little-noticed by the general public before the PBS series featured Foote's genial storytelling style. In 1999, the Modern Library ranked The Civil War: A Narrative as No. 15 on its list of the 100 best English-language works of the 20th century.
Among the writer's other works were Stars in Their Courses, about the Gettysburg campaign, and the novels Shiloh and Follow Me Down. Foote, who moved to Memphis, Tenn., in 1953, is survived by his wife, Gwyn, daughter Margaret, and son, Huger Lee.
Here is a sign I saw while driving out of Downtown New Orleans. This is JUUUST under I-10. My apologies to PATM readers that i couldn't get closer, but sign actually says "Radical Media" ahead. This struck me as funny...so...if you ever wondered where you could find the radical media, i can actually show you.
...if you pay for the gas to get there.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Probably one of the most important articles you'll read this week.
In an attpempt to put his finger in the dyke of crumbling poll numbers (including the bush sacred cow: war on terrorism), bush spoke to the nation tonite. Unfortunately, he went back to 9/11 again, trying as best as he can to link it with Iraq in the minds of Americans. How often can he mine this? at some point, it just sad. He threw a war and lots of folks came. now the party's thinning out and its early. He doesn't know why. The thing is, you can't just put House of Pain's "Jump Around" on the CD player over and over and think that's good enough to keep things going. He keeps going to the same sad song over but that won't quite get it. see, there's two types of people at this party. the kids that are so happy to be around Bush (let's call them the kool-aid drinkers) that they don't care what he does. he's just dreamy! Everyone else is starting to wonder why we came to this shin dig in the first place.
In an odd stroke, i'm going to give bush some advice. this is for the current situation and posterity:
JESUS, it IS as bad as it looks on the news. quit telling us it isn't. its our families and friends dying (daily) and its our money being spent for your damn war. This country will support what you're doing. really, it will--for years to come, even. Just QUIT saying it isn't so bad. it makes things seem like you don't have a grip on reality when you and your cabinet are the ONLY ones seeing it this way. Hell, your GENERALS don't even agree with you. for gods sake, do what needs to be done but quit saying "I DUNNO how long we'll be there...I DUNNO how much it will cost" No one's gonna hold you two it (got knows that), but narrow it down between $50 and $5 Trillion. 6 months and 12 years. the point is, we're rarely impressed when our leader seems to be fighting a war that is different than the war we're fighting. you want your poll numbers to stop dipping? try fighting the war we're in, not the war you want it to be.
Facing the truth:
GENEVA (AFX) - Washington has, for the first time, acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.
The acknowledgement was made in a report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, said a member of the ten-person panel, speaking on on condition of anonymity.
'They are no longer trying to duck this and have respected their obligation to inform the UN,' the Committee member said.
Washington - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il attempted to engage President Bush directly on the nuclear weapons issue three years ago but the administration spurned the overture, two American experts on Asia said on Wednesday.OK, that's fine...so what was Bush's BETTER idea to keep Nukes out of the hands North Korea (a country led by someone who obviously puts a premium on others recognizing his own political power)?
...that's right! there WASN'T one! Now they have Nukes. they know what Iran is discovering. Bush only wants to pick fights where the threat of WMDs is make-believe.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Multi-media queen Oprah Winfrey isn't likely to return to any of Hermes' stores in the near future after being humiliated by store bosses in Paris, France. The luxury goods company was forced to issue an apology to Winfrey earlier this week, after the talk show host was turned away at the door of the Paris store last week, while she was shopping for a gift for pal Tina Turner. Security staff informed Winfrey that the store was closed for a public relations meeting, but the TV star's best pal and traveling companion Gayle King insists Oprah was treated badly. King says, 'People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store... It was one of the most humiliating moments of her life.' Winfrey's pal also states that Oprah is upset by the Hermes' apology because 'it implies that nothing offensive happened'. Winfrey has called the president of Hermes in America, Robert Chavez, to inform him she will no longer be shopping in his stores. Oprah has also cancelled a bag she had on order from the store.
This story bugs the hell out of me. So, let's get this straight: Oprah didn't get to go shopping in a store that was already closed. On top of that, there were OTHER millionaires whom had already arrived, and they were in there getting at the goods SHE'd have wait until the next day to buy!
THIS is what she called "one of the most humiliating moments of her life"? god, Oprah, i really really hope that's true. you've lived a fortunate life for a black woman of your age from Mississippi. I think Oprah can be disappointed, but my god. how spoiled can you get?
On a similar note, i have to wonder what will happen here:
MILAN, Italy - An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 CIA agents for allegedly kidnapping an Egyptian terrorism suspect in Milan two years ago and flying him to Egypt for questioning, judicial sources said on Friday.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
This probably bothers me more than anything I've seen out of the High Court in years. The Supreme Court has basically ruled that if Wal-Mart wants your land and can't buy you out, they can get the city/state to TAKE your land from you and sell it to Wal-Mart for their own use. That is OUTRAGEOUS!
A divided Supreme Court rules that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for economic development. The 5-4 decision was a defeat for Connecticut residents whose homes were due to be demolished to make way for an office complex.
A constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to ban flag burning passed the House yesterday, and congressional leaders said it has a strong chance to clear the Senate for the first time, sending it to the states for ratification.I'll go out on a limb and say that I think we are going to see this constitutional amendment pass. I don't think the atmosphere has ever been so favorable for such a measure to be successful.
You heard it here first.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
My pal working at Mt. Vernon passed this little nugget on to me:
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
There's just no accountability:
The most recent evidence of this sad state of affairs came this week in an article in The Times by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, who reported that the Pentagon believes the Abu Ghraib scandal has receded enough in the public's mind that Mr. Rumsfeld is considering a promotion for Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who was commander of American forces in Iraq at the time of the disaster.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Baylor wins on throwing error and eliminates Tulane. Oh well, i'm awfully proud of the Green Wave and its nice to have a team to follow and cheer for (that's worth a damn).
I think I'm gonna buy a Tulane Baseball Jersey in honor of their awesomeness!
More from Harper's Weekly:
A journalist Terry Moran asked Scott McClellan whether the insurgency in Iraq was in its 'last throes,' as had been claimed by Vice President Dick Cheney, or was not. McClellan gave a vague answer, so Moran repeated his question five more times. 'Is there any idea,' he finally asked, 'how long a last throe lasts for?'"
A man in Shreveport, Louisiana, attempted to rob a beauty school at gunpoint only to be severely beaten by nearly thirty women with sticks, table legs, and curling irons. "They kept pulling him back in and beating him," said a policewoman. "I wore him out with that stick," one woman said.From Fox:
"I thought it was someone just playing, but then I saw that big old gun," manager Dianne Mitchell told The Times of Shreveport. "He said, 'Get down, big mama.'"
The masked robber ordered the people in the room — 18 to 20 students and teachers — to lie on the floor, leading some to think they were going to be killed.
"You'll be the first to go," he allegedly growled to one crying woman.
After collecting everyone's money, the gunman pushed the school's sole male employee, Abram Bishop, toward the back of the room — but then turned and began to run out the door.
That's when Mitchell stuck out her leg. The robber tripped over it, dropped the gun and slammed into a wall.
Bishop immediately jumped on his back, forcing the stick-up man down to the floor.
"Get that sucker!" yelled Mitchell, and the dozen and a half women present grabbed whatever they could get their hands on — curling irons, chairs, a table leg — and piled on.
"They just whooped the hell out of him," said school owner Sharon Blalock.
Crying in pain, bleeding and having soiled his pants, the gunman tried to crawl away, but the angry women held on to his legs and kept hitting him until police arrived.
Gipson was charged with armed robbery and taken to LSU Hospital (search) in a neck brace, having suffered multiple lacerations. No one else was seriously hurt.
"He got what he deserved," said student Renae Collier.
Gipson's gun turned out to be unloaded.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Anyone who's spent any time discussing Presidential Politics with me knows I hate Democratic Nominees from New England. I think they have a poor track record and i believe their background makes them uniquely unable to connect with the general public as needed to win the Presidency. This isn't to say i WANT it to be that way, it's just my observation. I'll spare you my rant (again) in this space. Despite all this, there IS one guy from New England that I actually like. It's Joe Biden from Delaware. By FAR, he is my favorite (or the only one i could stomach) nominee i can see coming out of New England. Seems his hat is in the ring.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said yesterday he plans to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 unless he decides later this year that he has little chance of winning.**NOTE--Did you see in the article that John McCain would be the oldest elected President of all time at 72 (if he ran in 2008)! he certainly doesn't show his age!
'My intention is to seek the nomination,' Biden said on CBS's 'Face the Nation.' 'I know I'm supposed to be more coy with you. I know I'm supposed to tell you, you know, that I'm not sure. But if, in fact, I think that I have a clear shot at winning the nomination by this November or December, then I'm going to seek the nomination.'
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Friday, June 17, 2005
I've been really, really holding off on calling bush a lame duck president because there is too much power up there in GOP hands to underestimate the situation. that being said, the world sure is a-changing. Bush has been seeing the right wing US House of Representatives overrule him on a lot of issues lately, even at the threat of a Veto! The question is: will he ACTUALLY veto something from a GOP congress? if he does and they override it, he'll be 'done' as far as the press and the politics are concerned.
One of those jackasses that lead the charge to change french fries into "Freedom Fries" (Robert Ney -R, OH) is NOW saying we had no business going into Iraq and wishes he'd never done the freedom fries thing.
yeah. me too, jackass.
Bush's Support on Major Issues Tumbles in Poll - New York Times
"Forty-two percent of the people responding to the poll said they approved of the way Mr. Bush was handling his job, a marked decline from his 51 percent rating after of the November election, when he embarked on an ambitious second term agenda led by the overhaul of Social Security. Sixteen months before the midterm elections, Congress fared even worse in the survey, with the approval of just 33 percent of the respondents, and 19 percent saying Congress shared their priorities."
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Pigs are flying and there's a snowball fight in hell right now!
The House handed President Bush the first defeat in his effort to preserve the broad powers of the USA Patriot Act, voting yesterday to curtail the FBI's ability to seize library and bookstore records for terrorism investigations.
Bush has threatened to veto any measure that weakens those powers. The surprise 238 to 187 rebuke to the White House was produced when a handful of conservative Republicans, worried about government intrusion, joined with Democrats who are concerned about personal privacy.
The US Senate voted this week to officially apologize for sabotaging anti-lynching legislation for nearly 100 years. Mississippi was home to some of the worst incidents. unfortunately our senators couldn't even bother to show up, let alone vote the right way. Out of 100 Senators only 15 decided not to actually sign on as co-authors of the resolution. If you were wondering, they were all Republican. In case it doesn't get printed, what follows is my open letter to the Clarion Ledger:
The US Senate passed a resolution this week that would officially apologize for their refusing to pass anti-lynching legislation to protect our citizens from mob violence. It is with great shame that I see our US Senators avoid even showing up for the vote. Thad Cochran's claim (in this paper) that HE wasn't personally responsible for the votes and thus shouldn't be part of the apology rings both sour and hollow note. Our senators would do well to remember that this state's Senators worked hard to derail such legislation. We always lead the nation in lynching deaths and always worked to strip away any protection against mob violence. This fact is not on the rest of the nation. This refusal to act brings us BACK into that same, ill light. Senators, you reprent present day Mississippi in Washington--not yourself or the racists of the past. Sometime the children must take responsibility for the acts of their fathers. The two of you could not be bothered, it seems.
Monday, June 13, 2005
The King Edward was a nice hotel in downtown Jackson. it has been vacant for nearly 40 years, but it may soon be made into something nice again. Here is the hotel from the corner stoplight looking straight up from the front seat of my car (with the top down, obviously).
Southern star Virginia Gov. Mark Warner has crossover appeal -- he can talk NASCAR without getting laughed out of town. Can he help Democrats win the White House?If he can he can just keep his name in the news, he'll have the appeal to win the cross section of voters a democrat needs to win the white house. we also need to quit nominating New Englanders (esp. those by way of Chicago).
Sunday, June 12, 2005
I've seen this many times and never up it on the blog. re-reading it again on Slacktavist made me decide i just HAD to put it up there. behold the master of debate on MSNBC's Hardball w/ Chris Mathews:
MATTHEWS: How did they get to be gay, though?
FALWELL: Well, we probably differ there.
MATTHEWS: I'm asking.
FALWELL: But I think all behavior is chosen.
MATTHEWS: I'm open. I don't know.
FALWELL: I think that --
MATTHEWS: Did you choose to be heterosexual?
FALWELL: I did.
MATTHEWS: You chose it? You thought about it and you came up with that solution? That lifestyle?
FALWELL: Put it this way. I was taught as a child that's the right way to --
MATTHEWS: But did you feel an attraction toward women?
FALWELL: Oh, of course.
MATTHEWS: When people are born and they find themselves having an attraction to somebody from the same sex, do you think that's a choice?
FALWELL: I think you can experiment with any kind of perversity and develop an appetite for it, just like you can food.
MATTHEWS: You don't think it's nature? You think it's nurture.
FALWELL: I don't think any -- I don't think anybody is born a bank robber or born a hostile left-winger or a hostile right-winger or gay or a promiscuous heterosexual. I think there comes a time in childhood where environment may be a part of it, whatever, teaching, instruction, one chooses, I will do this or that. And that's why good, godly parenting --
MATTHEWS: How old were you when you chose to be heterosexual?
FALWELL: Oh, I don't remember that.
MATTHEWS: Well, you must, because you say it's a big decision.
FALWELL: Well, I started dating when I was about 13.
MATTHEWS: And you had to decide between boys and girls. And you chose girls.
FALWELL: I never had to decide. I never thought about it.
MATTHEWS: I think it's a ridiculous proposition that you actually sit down and decide. Let me see, boy or girl this week. Anyway --
FALWELL: I don't think anybody does that.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
So the White House's Justice department just cut the fine sought to 8% of what they were seeking before. can you guess who got more donations from cigarette companies: Bush or Kerry? I guess it pays to have the president in your pocket.
After eight months of courtroom argument, Justice Department lawyers abruptly upset a landmark civil racketeering case against the tobacco industry yesterday by asking for less than 8 percent of the expected penalty.
As he concluded closing arguments in the six-year-old lawsuit, Justice Department lawyer Stephen D. Brody shocked tobacco company representatives and anti-tobacco activists by announcing that the government will not seek the $130 billion that a government expert had testified was necessary to fund smoking-cessation programs. Instead, Brody said, the Justice Department will ask tobacco companies to pay $10 billion over five years to help millions of Americans quit smoking.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Monday, June 06, 2005
If you ever wanted an XM radio, my pal Gorj. leaves his in his car for you to nab...
What's that? everyone leaves theirs in the car?
Yeah, well, that's true, but...you see, Gorj leaves his pluged in and LIT so that if it is a dark moonless night, you could just drive right by the thing and see it's ready for the taking. ALSO, if you get like a stomach ache in the middle of steeling this 'lit for thieving' radio...well, he'll leave his car door open for you so you can come back anytime you like.
maybe, you know, if you get to feeling better.
Just wanted to give you guys a heads up!
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Thursday, June 02, 2005
I'm sick of the stickers. so many cars, etc. have these yellow ribbon stickers on them today. now, my problem with this has nothing to do with the troops or war, but the laziness of the people using these stickers. Now what do you do to show your solidarity/reverence/rememberance for our troops? you put up a yellow ribbon. ok, so what's made people so lazy that they can't be bothered with using actual RIBBONS but instead must use a STICKER made to look like a ribbon! i mean its like displaying a sticker of a flower for your lapel. how about just using a flower!?
Moreover, these things were designed expecting this nation to be full of morons evidently. i mean they actually put the words "support our troops" on these things, as if you would be simply confounded by this bizzare (generations old symbol). Like your too dumb to know what a ribbon on your car's antenna means.
so what are we really saying here?
"i put this sticker on my car, and by sticker I mean this ribbon (that's really not a ribbon) and by this ribbon, I mean a yellow one, and by yellow I mean that I support our troops, and by troops I mean the ones from the united states, and by the US troops I particularly mean the ones that aren't in america but are infact elswhere, and by elsewhere I mean like dangerous places where people shoot at them...(head explodes)"
anyway, suport our troops, but...awe, you get the point. come on!
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
For Memorial Day, ONE of the big newspaper says what NO major paper has said so far: Bush Lied. From the Star Tribune:
too bad this isn't news. remind me again...Clinton was impeached over WHAT? When people ask me why i'm a democrat, i tell them that bush lied to this country and sent one of my childhood friends to fight for that lie. not because he was needed, but because Bush just wanted to do something and he had our kids to do it with. Utterly shameful.
It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.
The "smoking gun," as some call it, surfaced on May 1 in the London Times. It is a highly classified document containing the minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting at 10 Downing Street in which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair on talks he'd just held in Washington. His mission was to determine the Bush administration's intentions toward Iraq.
At a time when the White House was saying it had "no plans" for an invasion, the British document says Dearlove reported that there had been "a perceptible shift in attitude" in Washington. " The (NationalMilitary action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."
It turns out that former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were right. Both have been pilloried for writing that by summer 2002 Bush had already decided to invade.
Don't let them give you any business about cutting welfare or education as some sort of pie in the sky fix-it. Seven programs make up 75 percent of federal spending:
Social Security,Ask 'em which one they want to cut, because nipping the Park Service or NASA won't do a damn thing to 'fix the budget'. Ask 'em where do they see the best place to cut? Sick or Elderly? Defense or Retired Soldiers? Problems are a little tougher when you don't have a "welfare queen" to blame.
Civil Service Pensions
Interest on the Debt (note i said interest, not the debt itself)
On a day where "Deep Throat" (the inside source helping to reveal Nixon's wrong doing and eventually topple the President) was revealed, we stand before a startling contrast with our current press and President. From Salon:
Yesterday morning in the White House Rose Garden, George W. Bush held his first full press conference since the Sunday Times of London revealed that Tony Blair was told in July of 2002 that the Bush administration had decided to use military force to overthrow Saddam Hussein and that 'the intelligence and facts were being fixed' to support that decision.So, why the free ride? I believe they see this nation as being in Iraq over a fiction. It is a fiction that you either believe (and you're happy to tell yourself the lie--the pro war crowd) or it is a fiction you are furious to hear (the anti-war movement). I believe that the press treat this as a non-story because its not news that this President took us to war over a pack of lies. Sadly, i believe they don't find it newsworthy because there's enough kool-aid drinkers out there that are just FINE being told lies.
What did Bush say about the now infamous Downing Street memo at yesterday's news conference? Not a word. Nobody bothered to ask him about it.
I mean, HELL! its been DECADES since we've been in a war, and i think some Americans think a war of their own is a birthright. their fathers had one and their grandfathers and his father at that. Only this time the conservatives can re-live the war movement of the 60's and rewrite the story. the Hawks get to rule the day this time around, and those protesting doves get to be beaten back into the past. I think that is what this war is about as much as anything else.