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Friday, February 28, update 2

  • Hi. Well, I am back and boy, getting the Dell computer fixed was a pain in the big, fat, Limbaugh. I won't bore you with the mistakes Dell made, but suffice to say if Dell Tech Support is number one I fear for anyone who owns a different brand. I got my computer back and something else is broken! It's minor, but it's an annoyance. Oh well, such is life ... Thank you to those who emailed me, especially the person who wrote me this:
    Go fuck a rock!
    Granted, that's taken out of context; he said a lot more, involving horses and ... well, you know, the usual flame mail. I'm not sure how I would 'fuck a rock' however. He could mean, 'fuck iraq' but Bush is courting that mistress.
  • Political Updates. Lieberman was heckled at a speech for supporting Bush's stance on war ... a bunch of Edwards political advisers are dropping out ... a Bush appointment has called Reagan economics, "fad economics" ... Ted Rall is on Bill Maher tonight, along with GOPers Monica Crowley and Larry Miller.
  • Sad. Mr. Rogers died. =( . Jeanne from Body and Soul has a nice tribute ...
    Fred Rogers had an astonishing gift for knowing exactly what worried kids, and more than that, a gift for brushing away their concerns without at any time making it seem like there was anything wrong with that concern. Just try to strike that perfect tone. You probably can't do it, for the same reason you can't sing like Aretha Franklin. It's a glorious gift that God didn't hand out to everyone.

    But even without the gift, you can learn from, and be inspired by a genius. From Fred Rogers I learned that when you're around kids, you wear comfortable shoes and clothes you don't care much about so you can get down on the ground, because the only way to talk to another human being, including a child, is face-to-face. I learned that if you listen to them, children say amazing things. Not just cute and clever things. They're seeing the world for the first time and are enthralled by its beauty, and if you get down on the ground with them, you've got an opportunity to see it for the first time too, even if you're thirty-something. Surely there must always have been lizards, cocoons, constellations, and hermit crabs – but I swear I never noticed any of them until my son pointed them out to me, and then I couldn't stop being aware of how amazing they were ....

  • Fox News Bias number 128435932593259343422^2. Fox and Friends, Fox's version of the Today Show on crack, had
    JANEANE GAROFALO, ACTRESS: There is a myth that he kicked the inspectors out, UNSCOM inspectors out, who were very successful, by the way. He kicked them out for spying; they were indeed spying. And then they went back in and then Butler pulled them out.

    BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: OK. So you are -- Saddam must love you.

    GAROFALO: Don't even try to do that inflammatory -- I'm not a Saddam Hussein apologist.

    KILMEADE: How do you feel that Saddam Hussein held up the protests last week and said, isn't that great news?

    Our good friend Sean Hannity defends the comment later, saying,
    HANNITY: But you know what's great about what you did and this notion? If a conservative voice is now heard, we have two liberal cable networks, but to allow a conservative voice to even be heard that, that must be right wing. He's (Brian) not a potted plant.
    Two liberal cable networks?! Where?! I want to add them to the link section.

    Later in the show, Alan Colmes got in this great comment:

    COLMES: I don't want to be the liberal spokesperson for the DNC.

    That explains a lot ...
  • Congrats to Bill Maher, who posted strong numbers in his return to TV. "Real Time With Bill Maher" drew a 4.0 household rating/8 share in HBO homes, or 1.8 million viewers. While the show did feature Ann Coulter, if you watched, she got her ass kicked by Maher. In fact, a lot of the regular guests Maher will have on his show are liberals: Ted Rall, Alec Baldwin, Al Franken, Arianna, and a bunch of others. Watch it, Maher's pretty effective bashing Bush's war, though some liberals are turned off by his 'libertarian' tendencies.
  • My intern organization, US PIRG sends this alert. Take a moment to support the environment:
    The majority of Americans stand united behind strong protections for our environment, but the Bush administration and some members of Congress are helping powerful interests like the timber industry undermine forest protections.

    On December 6, 2002, the Bush administration announced a proposed rule that would radically change the way our national forests are managed. This proposed rule could lead to increased logging of our last wild forests.

    At issue are new regulations for the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), the law that requires that each of America's 155 national forests to have a management plan in place. These plans are used to determine which lands are used for logging, mining and other commercial activity and which are preserved for other values like wildlife habitat or recreation. The regulations on which these forest management plans are based were strengthened in 2000 after much public and scientific input to better reflect ecologically sustainable forest management.

    However, in May 2001, the Bush administration suspended the 2000 regulations under pressure from the timber industry. They announced their proposed regulations on December 6th and are now taking public comment on them.

    Current law requires the Forest Service to consider environmental impacts and public input before moving ahead with public land management decisions. Incredibly, the proposed regulations attempt to exempt entire forest plans from these requirements by allowing actions with so-called minimal impact to be excluded from environmental analysis. In addition, they would eliminate the existing requirement to maintain native wildlife species in national forests. The effect of these regulations would be to weaken environmental and wildlife protections and to limit the public's ability to participate in decisions that affect our national forests.

    Please take a moment to let Forest Service Chief Bosworth know that you object to these proposed changes to the National Forest Management Act. Follow the link below to go to a web page where you can e-mail Chief Bosworth.

  • The Democratic Appropriations Commtt sends this along:
    Bush Rhetoric: This is a hospital, but it's also - it's a place full of love. And I was most touched by meeting the parents and the kids and the nurses and the docs, all of whom are working hard to save lives. I want to thank the moms who are here. Thank you very much for you hospitality…There's a lot of talk about budgets right now, and I'm here to talk about the budget. My job as the President is to submit a budget to the Congress and to set priorities, and one of the priorities that we've talked about is making sure the health care systems are funded." – Egleston Children's Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia 3/1/01

    Reality: Bush's first budget proposed cutting grants to children's hospitals like the one he visited by 15% ($34 million). His 2004 budget additionally proposes to cut 30% ($86 million) out of grants to children's hospitals.
    Bush Rhetoric: "Our workers are the most productive, the hardest working, the best craftsmen in the world. And I'm here to thank all those who work hard to make a living here in America." – Bush, 9/2/02

    Reality: Bush's 2003 Budget proposed a 9% ($476 million) cut to job training programs and a 2% ($8 million) cut to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Similarly, his 2004 budget proposes a $60 million cut to adult job training programs and a total elimination of the Youth Opportunities Grants, which provide job training to younger workers.
    Bush Rhetoric: "We've got to do more to protect worker pensions." – Bush, 8/7/02

    Reality: Just four months after touting pension security, Bush's Treasury Department announced plans to propose new rules that "would allow employers to resume converting traditional pension plans to new 'cash balance' plans that can lower benefits to long-serving workers. Such conversions are highly controversial. Critics contend that they discriminate against older workers in violation of federal law" [Washington Post, 12/10/02]
    Bush Rhetoric: "One of the ways we've got to make sure that we keep our economy strong is to be wise about how we spend our money. If you overspend, it creates a fundamental weakness in the foundation of economic growth. And so I'm working with Congress to make sure they hear the message -- the message of fiscal responsibility." Bush, 9/16/02

    Reality: Less than 6 months after this pronouncement, Bush proposed a budget that would put the government more than $300 billion into deficit. As National Journal noted on 2/12/02, Bush's own 2004 budget tables show that without Bush's tax and budgetary proposals, the deficit deficit would decline after 2006, but with Bush's proposals the deficit would grow indefinitely.
    See more ... If only the DNC website could have this kind of criticism ... Dear lord that website is awful.
  • Campaign for America's Future has updated their website, and it looks great. Substantially better than the previous one. Check it out, I'm hoping they'll become a rising force in the future.
    As Atrios and MWO have noted, David Brock's book is out on paperback:

    Order the book the Right tried to smear. Honestly, one of the best books I've read.
  • ACLU, Just for U.
    The American Civil Liberties Union today told lawmakers that federal officials – rather than local law enforcement officers -- should continue to enforce immigration laws, saying that doing so protects civil liberties, public safety in immigrant communities and prevents the drainage of needed resources from state and local law enforcement.

    IImmigration laws are extraordinarily complex and should be enforced by trained federal officials," said Timothy Edgar, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "State and local police should not be burdened with this added responsibility, which would only sap their resources and erode the trust that they've built in their immigrant communities."

  • Oh, and how could I forget ... The "Wit and Wisdom of Rush Limbaugh."
    "The democrats don't really have any issues and that is why they are seizing on this ... the people who are against Lott are being petty". Rush Limbaugh.
    -Eric. Link.

    Friday, February 21, update 1

  • The Dell Inspiron's audio input is broken, so I'm sending it back to the factory to get it fixed, so I won't be blogging until Wednesday, maybe. I'll be back by Friday at the latest. In the meantime, if you like this site, toss me a donation. Remember, I'm a college student so demand exceeds money. You can donate as little as $1 to as much as $50, per's secure server. And if you're bored, send me an email.
  • Will the media still refer to Bush as the 'popular president?' Polling Report:
    The Harris Poll: 52% approval.

    FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll: 57%

    CBS: 54%

  • The Wit and Wisdom of Rush Limbaugh.
    "When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult ; it's an invitation." (FRQ, Summer/94)
    Oh, and Rush is getting all hot and bothered over this story over Chirac's relationship with Saddam Hussein. He says, "The so-called idea that "it's just the French and they're pacifists" or trying to seek power at the EU may be true, but it doesn't explain this irrational behavior and the temper tantrums by Chirac - this news does." I wonder what Rush would say to this:

    Jeremy Scahill:
    Five years before Saddam Hussein's now infamous 1988 gassing of the Kurds, a key meeting took place in Baghdad that would play a significant role in forging close ties between Saddam Hussein and Washington. It happened at a time when Saddam was first alleged to have used chemical weapons. The meeting in late December 1983 paved the way for an official restoration of relations between Iraq and the US, which had been severed since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

    With the Iran-Iraq war escalating, President Ronald Reagan dispatched his Middle East envoy, a former secretary of defense, to Baghdad with a hand-written letter to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and a message that Washington was willing at any moment to resume diplomatic relations.

    That envoy was Donald Rumsfeld.

    Rumsfeld's December 19-20, 1983 visit to Baghdad made him the highest-ranking US official to visit Iraq in 6 years. He met Saddam and the two discussed "topics of mutual interest," according to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. "[Saddam] made it clear that Iraq was not interested in making mischief in the world," Rumsfeld later told The New York Times. "It struck us as useful to have a relationship, given that we were interested in solving the Mideast problems."
    Or how about this from the WashPost
    High on the Bush administration's list of justifications for war against Iraq are President Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, nuclear and biological programs, and his contacts with international terrorists. What U.S. officials rarely acknowledge is that these offenses date back to a period when Hussein was seen in Washington as a valued ally.

    Among the people instrumental in tilting U.S. policy toward Baghdad during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war was Donald H. Rumsfeld, now defense secretary, whose December 1983 meeting with Hussein as a special presidential envoy paved the way for normalization of U.S.-Iraqi relations. Declassified documents show that Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad at a time when Iraq was using chemical weapons on an "almost daily" basis in defiance of international conventions ...

    Throughout the 1980s, Hussein's Iraq was the sworn enemy of Iran, then still in the throes of an Islamic revolution. U.S. officials saw Baghdad as a bulwark against militant Shiite extremism and the fall of pro-American states such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and even Jordan -- a Middle East version of the "domino theory" in Southeast Asia. That was enough to turn Hussein into a strategic partner and for U.S. diplomats in Baghdad to routinely refer to Iraqi forces as "the good guys," in contrast to the Iranians, who were depicted as "the bad guys."
    What about this?
    On November 1 1983, the secretary of state, George Shultz, was passed intelligence reports of "almost daily use of CW [chemical weapons]" by Iraq.

    However, 25 days later, Ronald Reagan signed a secret order instructing the administration to do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq losing the war.

    In December Mr Rumsfeld, hired by President Reagan to serve as a Middle East troubleshooter, met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and passed on the US willingness to help his regime and restore full diplomatic relations.
    Or this?

    I'm not sure what Rush would say ... maybe he'd say this: "We're in bad shape in this country when you can't look at a couple of huge knockers and notice it." TV Show, 2/2/94, via Al Franken, 1996.

    Anyway, Chirac's comments show irrational logic from Rush. If Rush criticizes Chirac for doing stuff in the 1980s with Saddam Hussein, he must also point the finger at Donald Rumsfeld and his involvement with and arming of Iraq. But will he? Of course not. Rush is a big, fat idiot.
  • Freepers to Freep. Free Republic is planning to pee on's parade , also known as 'freep.' ... and they link to this site. I guess that's a compliment, in a weird way.

    To remind you:

  • Pre-emption of Comedy Monday. Guest editorial in The Onion, reprinted in its entirety.
    By Kenneth W. Parton. Americans For Non-Alternative Energy

    I keep hearing the anti-war protesters chant, "No blood for oil! No blood for oil!" But what they never seem to say is exactly how much oil we're talking about. Don't you think that's pertinent information? Are we talking a gallon of oil for every 10 gallons of blood? Or is it more like 30 gallons of oil for every pint of blood? Because if it's the latter, maybe a blood-oil exchange would be a good idea.

    In the first Gulf War, roughly 300 brave Americans lost their lives. Assuming that each of these soldiers shed an average of eight pints of blood, that works out to roughly a pint of American blood shed per 60 million barrels of Kuwaiti crude saved from the clutches of Saddam. If you ask me, that's a pretty darn good deal. If we can manage to swing a similar trade this time around, then I say, "Bombs away."

    We should also know what kind of blood we're giving up. Is it O-positive, the universal donor? I'd be more reluctant to part with that than some useless AB junk. If Bush and Rumsfeld spill, say, 100,000 gallons of B-negative or AB-positive soldier blood for an equivalent amount of primo Mideast oil, that may be well worth considering.

    So, you see, you can't argue in the abstract like those naïve protesters on college campuses are doing. You've got to look at the hard numbers if you're going to make an informed decision about a potential blood-for-oil swap.

    Sending innocent young men and women into battle to die is the most difficult decision a president can make. But it's that much easier when you know what you're getting in return. If I were Bush, I'd definitely do it if we could get the price of a gallon of Amoco Ultra Unleaded down to $1.19. Maybe even $1.21. Anything higher would give me pause. But $1.21 is a great price for a gallon. I would take a lot more weekend roadtrips if gas were that cheap. I might even upgrade to one of those Lincoln Navigators I've been seeing ads for on TV. That's a beautiful car.

    Nobody wants to see brave young Americans sent off to die. Nobody wants to see blood spilled for oil. But if it comes to that, wouldn't we all feel better knowing that their blood was spilled for a great deal of oil? I know I sure would.

    -Eric. Link.

    Thursday, February 20, update 1

  • Several people have alerted me to this, which I will now alert you to ... from
    On February 26th, every Senate office will receive a call every minute from a constituent, as they receive a simultaneous flood of faxes and e-mail. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the country will send the collective message: Don't Attack Iraq. Every Senate switchboard will be lit up throughout the day with our message -- a powerful reminder of the breadth and depth of opposition to a war in Iraq. And on that day, "antiwar rooms" in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles will highlight the day's progress for the national media, while local media can visit the "antiwar room" online to monitor this constituent march throughout the day.

    We need your help NOW to make the Virtual March a reality. You can (1) prepare a free fax for transmission on the day of the march, and (2) register to make phone calls to Congress on the day of the march below. We're lining people up for every minute of the day in every state. Faxes are very easy and phone calls are the most effective. Do both or do whatever you can.

  • Bush administration contiues its assault against women's rights. NOW reports in an action alert:
    On December 3, the NOT so family-friendly Bush Administration announced that it intends to rescind the regulations that allow states to provide unemployment insurance (partial wage replacement) to parents who take time off of work to care for a new child. These regulations, known as "Baby UI," were authorized by the Department of Labor under the Clinton Administration. Despite efforts to paint itself as friendly to families, the Bush Administration consistently puts the desires of business above the needs of families. (Business and industry groups have been quite vocal in opposing use of the Unemployment Insurance system to provide paid family leave.) Rescinding these regulations is particularly damaging for women as it jeopardizes women's financial security and limits options in the struggle to balance work and family.

  • Kos continues his wonderful horse race primary coverage ... gives the number one slot to, no surprise, John Kerry:
    So the big question still is: is he still a "man"? Cancer thing was handled well, and even if it wasn't, who cares? Nation is obsessed with war. And the Jewish/Irish thing is much ado about absolutely nothing. If this is the best the Right can throw up against him right now, then he's in good shape.

  • What is a leader? Lean left writes:
    Bush seems to think his stubborn drive to war is leadership.
    "Size of protest — it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group," Mr. Bush said in response to a reporter's question at the White House. "The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security, in this case, the security of the people."
    It is not. Leaders inspire people to follow them. Leaders convince people that they are taking the right course. Leaders convince others to work towards a common goal, willingly, enthusiastically. Bush simply goes where he wishes, and expects the rest of us to follow, or be labeled anti-American. Bush thinks leadership is an entitlement, as if it was handed to him on Dec 12th, 2000 along with the Presidency. Bush thinks we should go when ordered, not when convinced. Americans are not dogs. We do not come when our "master" calls Real leaders recognize that. Bush does not.

  • Gods and Presidents. See the Forest sees the forest:
    In the panel discussion and subsequent article Scalia explains his reasons for his belief that the death penalty is moral. His argument is that government - the State - is allowed to do things that regular people cannot do because government has a higher authority granted to it by God. He writes, "The death penalty is undoubtedly wrong unless one accords to the state a scope of moral action that goes beyond what is permitted to the individual." He believes God chooses humanity's leaders, and democracy obstructs God's wishes by imposing ordinary people as the decision-makers. He condemns the "tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government".

    If one believes this, then one has the problem of how to identify the leaders that God chooses. Scalia appears to think that the way to identify legitimate God-chosen leaders is when they seize power in conflict, demonstrating that God chose them over others. He writes,
    "These passages from Romans represent the consensus of Western thought until very recent times. Not just of Christian or religious thought, but of secular thought regarding the powers of the state. That consensus has been upset, I think, by the emergence of democracy. It is easy to see the hand of the Almighty behind rulers whose forebears, in the dim mists of history, were supposedly anointed by God, or who at least obtained their thrones in awful and unpredictable battles whose outcome was determined by the Lord of Hosts, that is, the Lord of Armies. It is much more difficult to see the hand of God—or any higher moral authority—behind the fools and rogues (as the losers would have it) whom we ourselves elect to do our own will. How can their power to avenge—to vindicate the "public order"—be any greater than our own?"
    THIS is the thinking of the guy who, in an electoral conflict, put Bush into the White House, blocking the democratic recount because a vote count showing Gore winning would harm Bush's legitimate position as president-elect. Does Scalia see the Bush v Gore case as a "battle" that demonstrated that god chose Bush over Gore? Did Scalia think that he was acting as the people's - the Constitution's - agent in this, or instead as God's agent?
    That snippet doesn't due justice to the whole piece...
  • Terminus is pretty good today as well ...
    I imagine that most people, not being as wonky as I am, won't get very fired up about this matter, but it truly is important. The executive branch of government was already pretty powerful even before Bush came in and started knocking down venerable Constitutional walls. By failing to challenge the lower court ruling against the GAO, we lose the chance for a higher court to step in and re-establish one the vital checks-and-balances that works to restrain the worst excesses of the executive branch. Whether this actually would have happened or not is anyone's guess, but either way, it would have been useful to get a more definitive ruling on the issue. Of greater concern is the willingness of Republicans in Congress to use their budgetary powers to intimidate a non-political Congressional organization into dropping a suit against a Republican White House. This is the most cynical manipulation of the system I've seen in years, and I'm very upset that it was allowed to succeed.

  • With everything happening in the country today - an unjust war, a failing economy, environmental rollbacks, subpar health care - it's nice to know conservatives care about something important ... making fun of gays.
    "Sodom and Gomorrah University" by Michelle Malkin

    Thank goodness for conservative college student journalists. They bravely blow the whistle on the cultural rot plaguing the nation's institutions of higher learning. And they alert the public to the ugly truth about campus hedonism, which is downplayed by clueless administrators, admissions flacks and faculty enablers.

    Just how dangerously out of control has the campus social environment become? A recent report by student journalists Seth R. Norman and Ashley Rudmann of the California Patriot (, the conservative journal at the University of California-Berkeley, provides some hair-raising answers.

    According to Norman and Rudmann, anonymous gay sex seekers are using a university-sponsored Web site to locate partners for high-risk trysts in Berkeley campus bathrooms. Partitions between the stalls have been vandalized with so-called "glory holes" that are used "to peer into the stall next door to see if it is occupied by a man interested in sex. If it is, the student will cross into the stall and engage with him sexually, usually without any mutual acquaintance."
    The Battalion

    Some community members started protesting, so to get rid of the Boyd GSA, Capehart banned every other club meeting at the school. The ACLU sued to reinstate the GSA. According to the lawsuit, he has continued to allow other clubs, including the drama club, student council, the Beta Club, and cheerleading and sports teams, to continue to meet.

    The Rev. Tim York of the Heritage Temple Free Will Baptist Church was the club's most ardent critic, and organized protests against the club. York fears the GSAs are recruiting high school students to become homosexuals, according to The New York Times. This paranoia is so pronounced in some members of the community that the club's sponsor is even prohibited from saying hello to one student whose parents feel he could be turned gay.
    Family Research Council

    Yet there is much more to what is sometimes called "the homosexual agenda" than simply demands for anti-discrimination laws and health insurance benefits. The Family Research Council believes that the pro-homosexual movement does have a significant impact on children -- and that the impact is clearly harmful.

    At the very least, children are being subjected to pro-homosexual brainwashing designed to mold the attitudes of the next generation -- in defiance of the moral and religious values of society and of their own parents, if necessary. Furthermore, by placing children under the influence of homosexual teachers, mentors, and even adoptive parents, society not only undermines the traditional family values that promote healthy child development, but it also increases the chances that children will end up adopting the destructive homosexual lifestyle themselves. And finally, by encouraging confused children to identify themselves as "gay" at an early age, at the same time that homosexuals are allowed to serve in positions of authority over them, society increases the danger that some will become the victims of child sexual abuse.
    -Eric. Link.

    Wed, February 19, update 3

  • Journalism major, anyone? Hello? Poynter links us to this:
    Vilsack was trying to make a point about the value of an education by throwing out the average wage made by college graduates here - roughly $32,000 a year - and the average wage made by high school graduates - roughly $17,000.

    Gasps and guffaws erupted through the crowd of assembled journalists, and the rumbling wouldn't quit even as Vilsack rambled on. Why? Was it the shockingly low salaries Vilsack brought to light for high school graduates, the embarrassment of such a meager place in the world, or the sense of desperation such a statistic engenders in an economically embattled state?

    Nope. It was envy. Vilsack apparently had no clue the average wage among the audience was far below that of the average college graduate, and most likely below even many high school graduates.

    Want some really shocking news? Journalism doesn't pay very well. The starting wage for reporters at The Tribune is about $22,000 a year. That's about what many newspapers in the state will pay. Not surprisingly, turnover is high and longevity is rare. People tend to move around a lot in search of better digs. And word is getting out. Shrinking numbers in university print journalism programs are understandable.

  • The Wit and Wisdom of Bill O'Reilly. Oh, can't every day be wit and wisdom of Bill O'Reilly day?
    Saddam Hussein is a very happy man after this weekend. That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

    Millions of people worldwide demonstrated against any war over Iraq and if their wish comes true Saddam Hussein will keep his power.

    That means thousands of Iraqis will be tortured and murdered this year and perhaps in the future lethal weapons will be used against Americans courtesy of Saddam.

    The question is do the peace demonstrators consider the ramifications of their actions?
    You, that's right you, have helped kill and torture thousands of Iraqis. Shame on you, liberals. Shame. On. You. Email Bill O'Reilly and thank him for showing us the consequences of exercising free speech.
  • I Get Mail.
    your fucking website sucking you fucking chink, go back tho wherever you cam from you and you and your liberal crap is fucking dumbshit and you should fucking suck cock becase you andn your fucking clinton cock sucking fags can fucking rot in hell!
    I would reply, but I don't want to disturb this guy from his job at Hallmark.
  • Speaking of 'Chinks' ... David Neiwert on anti-Asian bigotry.
    Moreover, many Americans simply accept this bigotry for similar reasons. And there's a real pernicious quality to this thinking, because it implicates their thinking about all minorities.

    Ignoring bigotry about Asians in fact underscores white Americans' unspoken attitudes about blacks as well. That is, they know that there is now a great social stigma attached to expressing commonly held views about blacks -- that they are stupid and lazy and inclined to criminality, especially. So of course they don't dare to express it, even if they may privately believe it. And even if they don't believe it, they're perfectly aware that this is the baseline view of African-Americans.

    But when it comes to Asians, they don't hold those particular views. Thus, by this logic, their attitudes about Asians can't be bigoted -- even though these views are that they are inscrutable and untrustworthy and, ultimately, insect-like.
    I think I'm the only liberal Asian blogger (100% Japanese), so I guess I'll say a little something about this even though I don't like unnecessarily person entries. I've had the unique experience to live as a member of both a minority and a majority in the United States. For 18.5/19 years of my life I lived in a place (Hawaii) where Asians are the majority, not the minority. Here, racism doesn't exist against Asians. In Hawaii, racial sensitivity is different from the mainland. In Hawaii, racial jokes and stereotypes are often used, most of the time for comical and inoffensive purposes. The most popular entertainer in Hawaii is a man who uses racial epithets and slurs all the time (no, not Bill O'Reilly). He does it in a Don Rickles, good humor sort of way, but if taken out of context, it would be extremely offensive to someone who doesn't live in Hawaii. Racism doesn't exist in Hawaii, at least not against Asians (there is racism against white people, but let's not get into that).

    Now I live in Washington DC. I've lived here for half a year and the contrast in race relations is fascinating. It never occurred to me that there could be racism against Asians. How would I know, I never experienced it living in the bubble and mixed racial paradise called Hawaii. But now, living here, I see racism and negative stereotypes against Asians all the time. I don't want to get into my personal experiences, but I'll ask you this question: what does it mean to be 'Asian.' Do you know? Many people know what it means to be, 'black' or 'native-American' or even 'hispanic.' Do people know, or even care, about the experiences and history of Asian Americans? Most don't, and this goes to the heart of the lack of outrage over Coble. Ask yourself:

    --Do small businesses, mom and pop storess, represent good American values? Of course they do. Now put a picture of a mom and pop small business in your head. Would you ever consider one owned by Korean or Chinese people? Most likely that image would not pop into your head.

    --To you, are Asians anything other than the hard-working, studyaholics in the library?

    --Can you name an Asian entertainer who iis not in martial arts or porn? Very few, unless you count news figures as entertainers. If an Asian is neither a hunky, Bruce Lee-type martial arts male nor a busty, submissive Asian female, where does that leave the rest of us?

    Asians have massive stereotypes, and why not? They're only 2% of the population, right? Heck, how many people even know or care that Asians were interned during WW2? I don't think most people have even heard of Korematsu v. US.

    Most of what I've experienced in terms of racism is very subtle and that's why Americans haven't reacted strongly against Coble's statements. The racism underlying his statement was subtle, blended in the guise of historical retrospect. Most Americans can't see racism, or understand it, because they're MOST AMERICANS. They're in the majority.

    Well enough making you feel awkward about not being Asian. Go read Talk Left for more.
  • CNN Crossfire:
    EPSTEIN: Well, speaking of snow, Washington has endured quite a snowstorm. Meteorologists are saying it is one of the biggest snow jobs to hit D.C. in recent years.

    Actually, they're wrong. The biggest was when the new U.S. Treasury secretary claimed that the economy is headed in the right direction after continuing its abysmal performance for the second year in a row. Tell that to the 2.4 million people who lost their jobs in the Bush economy.

    Oh, and appropriately the treasury secretary's name was, you guessed it, Mr. Snow.

    CARLSON: So the headline here is the treasury secretary has a funny name. That's quite an argument. That's sort of like the argument that before liberals were telling us that Harvey Pitt was fat and therefore he was not a good steward of the SEC.

    I hope you run on this.

    EPSTEIN: The headline here is that there is poetic justice between the name of the treasury secretary and the terrible job that this economy is seeing under this Bush Administration.

    Twenty-two million new jobs under the Clinton Administration, 2.4 million lost under the Bush Administration, face the facts.

    CARLSON: There's a bumper sticker for you. I'm going to put that on my SUV.
    Tucker, of course, attacks the setup of the argument, not the argument itself. After all, what's there to debate? We've lost jobs in the bushes. Stay out of the Bushes!
  • NY Press's Norman Kelly says Al Sharpton is killing Black politics ... worth reading, if not at least to look at the main graphic.
  • If you like pictures. Visit indyMedia center for a whole lotta protest pictures.
  • Hawaii FOX NEWS station anchor to air, 'Dirty Laundry.'
    Most people who write critically about what goes on in their profession wait until they've retired -- or have been fired -- to go public with their opinions. Joe Moore calls that "cowardly" and says the time to speak out is when you're still in a position to do something.

    "One of the things that always irked me is all these books and articles people in the business write after they're out of the business. If you're going to make some criticism, the time to do it is while you're still in the business -- maybe you can affect some positive change," the popular KHON-TV FOX 2 television news anchorman said Thursday.

    Moore, who has been increasingly outspoken in recent years on the quality and content of television news, hopes to do that -- or at least get people thinking about it -- with his latest play.

    The subject is television news. The title is "Dirty Laundry."

    Moore describes it as "a no-holds-barred, uncensored look at what I think goes on behind the cameras and behind the scenes of the TV news business."

    ... "Basically, it all started happening when the decision was made back in the '70s; the consultants convinced the station owners that TV news should be a cash cow presented as entertainment. Since that time, many stations have made their news more and more entertaining at the expense of journalism, and what they're doing is lowering the quality."
    -Eric. Link.

    Tuesday, February 18, update 3

  • In Politics, It's Called Aid. Nate Newman on the "$26 billion Bribe for Turkey's Support."
    Along with selling out the Kurds, Bush is offering Turkey $6 billion in direct grants and $20 billion in loan guarantees to get that country's backing for war.

    Let's be clear what this means-- almost all international support for Bush is probably based on either threats of economic retaliation or promises of help in the future, one reason Bush's support is so concentrated in former East Bloc countries like Bulgaria desperate for foreign aid.

    What's so telling is that despite Bush's corruption of foreign aid programs in support of his war aims, he still can't assemble any serious support for his argument beyond Britain's Tony Blair.

  • Jimmy Carter Picks Peace.
    FORMER US President Jimmy Carter is backing the Daily Mirror's Not in My Name campaign.

    The Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the only US president since 1945 never to order American soldiers into war, endorsed our stance on war with Iraq, saying: "You're doing a good job. I am glad about that. War is evil."

    Carter, who will be 79 this year, is a pariah among hawkish Republicans and a hero for doveish Democrats, frequently denouncing wars and conflict whenever they flare. He said: "There has been a virtual declaration of war but a case for pre-emptive action against Iraq has not been made. We want Saddam Hussein to disarm but we want to achieve this through peaceful means.

  • EJ Dionne, "Listen to the Doubters"
    My own doubts are rooted in the Bush administration's failure to prepare our country for the long commitment that will be required if this war is to achieve the results its supporters promise. We still don't know how the administration intends to handle the aftermath of what one hopes would be an American military victory. And it is not as obvious to me as it is to the war's supporters that this battle is the clear next step in our response to 9/11. It's hard to escape the feeling that those who always wanted to "finish" the last Gulf war by getting rid of Hussein are using the events of Sept. 11, 2001, as a rationale for doing what they wanted to do on Sept. 10.

    Some of my doubts are, purely and simply, doubts about this administration. I find it astonishing that Bush and his lieutenants are not willing to offer a sober calculation of the long-term costs of this war, factor those costs into the nation's budget and ask Americans to pay the price. Instead, they would shuck off the costs to the next generation.

  • Atrios links us to this:
    During coverage of the space shuttle Columbia's disintegration, the folks in CNN's control room thought the picture they saw on rival Fox News Channel looked familiar. So they tried a little experiment.

    The producers superimposed a tiny "CNN" logo on the upper left corner of the network's screen as it showed the shuttle breaking into pieces. Blip! The same logo appeared on Fox News Channel.

    Then they decided to abruptly switch cameras so a picture of correspondent Miles O'Brien appeared. For two seconds — until it was hurriedly replaced with a view of NASA (news - web sites)'s mission control — it looked like O'Brien was working for Fox, too.

    The shuttle disaster provided a vivid example of the lengths to which television networks sometimes go to get the most compelling pictures for a big story — and an even more vivid example of the consequences if they don't. A Fox News Channel spokesman did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

    Tim Russert (10:00 PM ET) - CNBC, February 15, 2003
    RUSSERT: And we're back. Mary Matalin, let me pick up on one point that James raised, and that is the US standing in the world. When I was a little boy and John Kennedy went to Berlin, 'Ich bin ein Berliner,' and hundreds of thousands of Germans screaming, 'Kennedy, Kennedy!' Wherever he went, it seemed like, God, this is great. The American president just idolized, loved all across the world. It--it has changed a lot. Europe, while there are a lot of countries and a lot of leaders supporting the president on the war--16 members of NATO as opposed to three opposed--amongst the people of those coun--of European countries, they're overwhelmingly against the war on Iraq, negative towards the president, a third of the people in Great Britain say the United States is a greater risk to world peace than Saddam Hussein; the president ridiculed in the daily papers. What happened--what ...

    ... Mr. CARVILLE: Well, first of all, part of being a leader is the ability to--to bring people along to your point of view. The--the--I would point out that Sartre never got a vote for anything in France. And the--the current president of France, who, by the way, was the first person to come to the United States after September 11th, is a--formed a center right government. It--he happens to be one thing. He's elected. Same thing with the--with the chancellor of--of--of--of Germany. These people didn't just appear out of somewhere. They live in a democracy. Right now, the latest poll in--in--in Great Britain shows that the Tories, for the first time--it--it was always Labor was 20 points ahead of the Tories. So, ye--yes, Tony Blair is hanging in there. Course, he says we should have--I--I might add tha--that China is against this thing, which is a minor country in the world; it's only, you know, a gazillion people there. The Russians, who--who Bush peered into--to Putin's eyes and happened to see a soul wi--amazingly, is against this thing.

    And I just wonder if we are prepared for the consequences of dealing in a world where America is unpopular. And I think if we spent some time in--in--in--in--in trying to--to tell people about the good things that we do and the good things that we propose to do, we would be a lot better off. And I--and--and--and--and I understand it's--it's almost like, you know--and--and--and Rumsfeld gets up and he attacks France and Germany as being part of--of old Europe.

  • Wit and Wisdom of Freepers. Tragic fire in Chicago ... 21 dead. To whom should the blame be placed? Ohhh, of course, the Democrats. Free Republic:
    Bet the owner was a heavily contributing member of the local Democratic party, and "knew" "all the right people" when it came to getting the heat taken off of him for fire and building code violations? I'll also bet that if he was, it will never, never show up any where close to the "main-stream media.

    Hey, this is Shy-town we're talkin' 'bout....
    2 posted on 02/17/2003 3:34 PM PST by cavtrooper21
    Notice how many disastrous fires Chicago has? Another fringe benefit of machine one-party rule.
    4 posted on 02/17/2003 3:43 PM PST by Man of the Right
    Bet the owner was a heavily contributing member of the local Democratic party, and "knew" "all the right people" when it came to getting the heat taken off of him for fire and building code violations?

    I dunno.... let's see what the story says:

    Joyce said fire department inspectors visited the first-floor restaurant, known as Epitome, in October, but did not visit the second-floor nightclub, known as E2, because they had no reason to suspect it was operating

    LOFL, yep!
    8 posted on 02/17/2003 3:56 PM PST by Lancey Howard
    "inspectors visited the first-floor restaurant, known as Epitome, in October, but did not visit the second-floor nightclub"
    The French consulate in Chicago had vetoed closing the restaurant, insisting the inspectors be given more time to do their work...
    9 posted on 02/17/2003 3:57 PM PST by mrsmith

  • Talk Left brings attention to the Innocent Protection Act:
    The Innocence Protection Act (H.R. H.R.912 / S. 486) is a carefully crafted package of criminal justice reforms aimed at reducing the risk that innocent persons may be executed. Among its most important provisions are affording greater access to DNA testing by convicted offenders and helping States improve the quality of legal representation in capital cases.

    The IPA is a bipartisan bill, with 250 co-sponsors in the House in the Senate. It has received widespread support from newspapers across the country, faith-based organizations and criminal justice professionals.

    In the last Congress, hearings were held in both houses and the bill was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it remained, due to opposition from a very few ultra-conservatives, like Orrin Hatch.

    In the safest of all possible bunkers -- behind closed doors at last week's Republican congressional retreat at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia -- Vice President Cheney launched a bitter and mendacious diatribe against President Bill Clinton.

    Cheney's cowardly assault concerned Clinton's record in fighting terrorism. According to Bob "No Facts" Novak, that venerable pipeline to the Republican right, Cheney "delivered an extraordinary attack on Bill Clinton's preparation for the terrorist threat," and "contended the former president failed to address terrorism, deepening the current crisis."

    On the face of it, Cheney's attack was full of lies and distortions. It is a well-established matter of record that the Clinton Administration was almost obsessed with stopping Osama bin Laden and other terror threats to American interests. Sandy Berger, Clinton's national security adviser, was spending his time on almost nothing else by the end of Clinton's term. On Clinton's watch, among other things, Al Qaeda's Millennium plot bombing plans were foiled.
    more at the horse.
    -Eric. Link.

    Monday, February 17, update 5

  • Al Franken to Save Radio from Conservative Demons? NY Times reports:
    A group of wealthy Democratic donors is planning to start a liberal radio network to counterbalance the conservative tenor of radio programs like "The Rush Limbaugh Show."

    The group, led by Sheldon and Anita Drobny, venture capitalists from Chicago who have been major campaign donors for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, is in talks with Al Franken, the comedian and author of "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot." It hopes to enlist other well-known entertainers with a liberal point of view for a 14-hour, daily slate of commercial programs that would heavily rely on comedy and political satire ....

    Talent, of course, will be key, Mr. Sinton acknowledged. A deal with Mr. Franken, the comedian, would help greatly in luring other big names, as well as in gaining distribution. He said he envisioned a daily program featuring Mr. Franken perhaps in the early afternoons (around the same time as "The Rush Limbaugh Show").

    A representative for Mr. Franken, Henry Reisch of the William Morris Agency, said Mr. Franken was seriously considering the offer, and was mostly focusing on whether he could handle the commitment of a daily radio program. Judging from his comments as a guest last month on Phil Donahue's program on MSNBC, Mr. Franken would probably take a far different approach from that of Mr. Limbaugh. "I think the audience isn't there for a liberal Rush," he said. "Because I think liberals don't want to hear that kind of demagoguery."
    The prospect of an Al Franken radio show excites me greatly ... More as this pans out.
  • PFAW reminds us that February is Black History Month.

    The civil rights victories we celebrate this month are in large measure the product of the sacrifice, commitment and leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Justice Marshall and other pioneers like Charles Hamilton Houston, Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, Dorothy Height and Bayard Rustin. The survival of the laws extending the protection of the Constitution to include African Americans also depended on federal judges who were bold enough to adopt Marshall's vision of the Constitution as a living document, changing as American changed.

    It is particularly disturbing, then, that the greatest threat to these civil rights advances is the powerful surge in right-wing activity overtaking America's courts. In the shadow of a relentless campaign to install judges whose activism and ideology takes them far from the mainstream of American legal thought, all civil rights are menaced.

  • Donald Rumsfeld Lies. The New Republic:
    It would be nice, then, if prominent Bush officials acknowledged their past moral culpability and vowed not to betray the Iraqi people again. Rumsfeld should have trouble sleeping at night given his role in abetting Saddam's crimes. Instead, last fall on CNN, he insisted that in 1983 he "cautioned" Saddam about chemical weapons. But State Department notes from the meeting show no such thing. (Rumsfeld did mention chemical weapons to then-Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, but only in passing--as one of various issues that concerned the United States.) In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee last September, Rumsfeld said, "It would be a shame to leave this committee and the people listening with the impression that the United States assisted Iraq with chemical or biological weapons in the 1980s. I just do not believe that's the case." But, according to recently declassified State Department documents reviewed by Newsweek, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press, it is the case ...

    Records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a 1994 Senate Banking Committee investigation show that during Reagan's presidency, the United States sold Iraq anthrax, bubonic plague, and botulinum toxin, all supposedly for medical research. In 1988, the Commerce Department approved Dow Chemical's sale of $1.5 million worth of pesticides to Baghdad, even though many in the administration suspected Saddam would use them for chemical warfare. Over congressional opposition, the Reagan administration sold Iraq twin-engine Bell "Huey" helicopters, which appear to have been used in Saddam's chemical attacks on the Kurds
    But is the so-called liberal media covering this story? Suppose, just suppose, Bill Clinton sold anthrax to Saddam Hussein. How many books, articles, and cover stories would we get?
  • CNN leaves 750 words out of Blix transcript ... guess which part?
    How in the world do you trust a 'news' organiztion like CNN, when they offer what purports to be a full transcript of Hans Blix' address to the UN Security Council but they leave out nearly 800 words - and those words just happen to be the ones where Blix refutes Colin Powell's 'smoking gun' presentation from earlier this week?

  • Blood for Oil? Fox News and News Corp Owner Rupert Murdoch Agrees. Pontifactor links us to this: "Murdoch: Cheap oil the prize" :
    "Mr [Rupert] Murdoch was unequivocal about war with Iraq. 'We can't back down now. I think Bush is acting very morally, very correctly, and I think he is going to go on with it.'

    He said the price of oil would be one of the war's main benefits. 'The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country.'

    Mr Murdoch's comments come just a week after he told Fortune magazine in the US that war could fuel an economic boom.

  • MSNBC has hired a winner. Reports FAIR:
    Savage routinely refers to non-white countries as "turd world nations" and charges that the U.S. "is being taken over by the freaks, the cripples, the perverts and the mental defectives" (San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9/20/00). In a recent broadcast he justified ethnic slurs as a national security tool: "We need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our warriors to kill the enemy," he explained (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6/03). "Turd world" immigrants are a frequent target of Savage's anger: "You open the door to them, and the next thing you know, they are defecating on your country and breeding out of control" (Oregonian, 4/24/02).

    At times Savage's arguments echo the conspiratorial scapegoating of the white supremacist movement: "With the [Latino] population that has emerged, since they breed like rabbits, in many cases the whites will become a minority in their own nation... The white people don't breed as often for whatever reason. I guess many homosexuals are involved. That is also part of the grand plan, to push homosexuality to cut down on the white race" (San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9/20/00).

  • Mosley-Braun has some work to do ... Des Moines Register:
    Hanson was the only soul - besides a dozen members of the local news media and half as many event coordinators - to brave a foot of fresh snow to hear the former U.S. senator from Illinois speak in Des Moines on Saturday afternoon. Hanson's lack of company in the Hotel Fort Des Moines ballroom was offset by his enthusiasm for Moseley-Braun, a friend from law school at the University of Chicago. The Des Moines lawyer pledged to support her candidacy for Iowa's 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, and even offered his guest room for her return visits.
    Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio is running for president. I met him at a party once, and one problem he's going to face is that he comes off differently when he's on television. He seems sort of goofy, nerdy and awkward on television. In person, he's all of that, but he's a lot more charming, honest and down-to-earth. Well, I think he'll be a good candidate regardless. I don't think he has a good chance of winning the primary, but he'll bring a lot of anti-war, progressive liberals into the Democratic fray.
  • Pro-War Demonstrators Gone Wild.

    Puts NYC demonstrations to shame, eh.
  • How Not to Have Sex. From San Antonio Current.
    The abstinence-only Web site,, advocates 99 ways to "enjoy intimacy without becoming sexually involved." Here is a selection of activities to take your mind off your aching loins:

    Wash a car together
    Bake a cake together
    Go to a political rally together
    Meet each other's family
    Meet each other's friends and really like them
    Let the other person see your diary
    Laugh at something funny
    Share one soda with two straws
    Play "footsie"
    Give each other pet names
    The intimacy of cake baking. Someone tell Nora Roberts.
  • YellowTimes is back online ...
  • Comedy Monday.
    "And, most importantly, Alma Powell, secretary of Colin Powell, is with us." —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 30, 2003

    "The public education system in America is one of the most important foundations of our democracy. After all, it is where children from all over America learn to be responsible citizens, and learn to have the skills necessary to take advantage of our fantastic opportunistic society." —George W. Bush, May 1, 2002

    "The United States is ready to go to war with Iraq and has the full support of her allies, unless you count Germany, France, Russia, China, and 7 out of 10 Americans surveyed." Jon Stewart, Daily Show.

    -Eric. Link.

    Friday / Weekend, February 14, update 4

  • Got Protests? Wash Post / AP.

    Poor Freepers.
    Posted on 02/15/2003 3:09 PM PST by pickemuphere
    ARG. I can't stand to watch the television anymore. While the actual numbers will be disputed ad infinitum, there's obviously big, high-profile turn out in NYC. Why don't we conservatives organize something along these lines? Freepers do a great job of representing the cause, but we need large numbers of people, across the country, world etc. Why is it that the libs/socialists can pull this off, but we can't? I'm ready to break my TV at this point!
    And I like this response:
    To: pickemuphere
    Welcome to FR. There are MANY more of us than there are of them....don't forget that. Take heart....they have nothing better to do with their time.
    2 posted on 02/15/2003 3:10 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
    Because, you know, participating in democracy is just a waste of time.
  • Decline of the semi-liberal media. AP Wire:
    Online magazine publisher Salon Media Group Inc. on Friday warned that it may not survive beyond this month if it can't raise more money to pay its rent and other bills. The San Francisco-based company painted a grim financial picture in a quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Things are so bad, Salon said, it stopped paying rent for its San Francisco headquarters in December, prompting the landlord to issue a Jan. 29 demand for a $200,000 payment.

    ... Friday's was the latest in a series of dire projections made by Salon. The company warned late last year it might go out of business, but then raised enough money to stay alive temporarily. Salon's troubles caused its stock to be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market in November. Although its news coverage and commentary have attracted a loyal audience, Salon hasn't been able to make money. The company said it lost another $1.3 million during the final three months of 2002, bringing its cumulative deficit to $81 million. Unable to drum up enough advertising to pay the bills, Salon started charging subscriptions to read some of its stories in 2001. The company began charging fees for all its once-free content late last month as part of its last-ditch survival effort. At of Dec. 31, Salon's site had 47,300 subscribers.

  • Bill Press:
    As school kids, back in the days of the Cold War, we were taught to "duck and cover." In case of nuclear attack, the way to protect yourself was to duck under your desk. We even practiced it in school. Of course, we look back and laugh about it now, realizing it provided no protection at all.

    Here we go again. Except now, thanks to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, we're operating under a new rubric. "Duck and cover" has been changed to "Duct tape and cover."

    Nothing against duct tape - our home is always well-supplied - but I think we'd be safer crawling under our desks. Why should anybody take Ridge's new "Big Orange" alert seriously? First, he told us to do nothing. Then, he told us to make fools of ourselves.

  • Happy Valentines Day. Wink, wiiiiink. Smooch smooch.
  • Comics 4 Peace. David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, and Sarah Silverman ... a benefit show for Not In Our Name.
  • If It's Friday ... It must be time for "The Wit and Wisdom of Rush Limbaugh"
    "I don't consider myself an offensive guy. I am just a harmless lovable little fuzzball."
    "Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream." --Rush Limbaugh

    "The Way Things Ought to Be." 1994 edition
    Don't tell feminist singer Michelle Branch.
  • Moon over DC. Christopher C. has the goods on the power of the DC circuit court system, where Estrada could be headed ... meanwhile, Political Strategy has this:
    First, CBS finds that 54% of Americans give Bush their overall approval while 38% disapprove. The American Research Group (ARG) agrees, but with one important caveat. Although ARG shows a 56% approval and a 38% disapprove among all voters, among registered voters, only 45% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president while 47% disapprove. If you didn't believe it before, then believe it now. Bush is no longer untouchable. In fact, I will make a bold prediction and claim a Democratic Presidential Victory in 2004. You heard it here first.
    Gee, reading the liberal media, I would have never guessed Bush was so unpopular. Maybe, just maybe, it's because the media is composed of rich, economic conservative elites who would like nothing better than to have their top bracket taxes cut. Oh, but now I'm just talking crazy ...
    Nothing Says, "I Love You" like Eric Alterman.

  • Talk Left talks to Gary Hart, and notes this on Guantanamo:
    The Government has been offering "rewards" to the prisoners. If the prisoners want to "eventually" return to their native countries, they are told they should be good and earn the rewards. The rewards range from a soccer ball to an extra blanket to "an extra serving of rice and lentils for the feast of Eid-al-Adha, a Muslim holiday."

    The Government says there are 650 detainees from 41 countries at Guantanamo Bay in single-man cells. Over 58% have received one of the 23 available rewards. Only 6% have cooperated with the Government. Yet a Government spokesman says, "We believe the rewards and penalties program has helped us increase the amount and quality of the information."

    The Government refuses to answer questions about the rash of suicide attempts by the detainees. Five of them tried to hang themselves in the last month. One is still hospitalized in serious condition. (He was probably one of the two of the 650 who have been allowed to phone home.)
    Rewards? What, is Guantanamo located at my pre-school? And if so, do the teachers still have the marble jar? And is the pet turtle, Ralphie, still alive? And ...
  • Duct Tape? There are a lot of uses for duct tape. Just ask these guys.
    Duct tape sticky-side-up around the perimeter of your house will stop evil microscopic bugs in their paths.

    Fill a cardboard tube (like those inside rolls of toilet paper) with hundreds of duct tape baffles and duct tape this to your face covering your mouth and nose. Make sure the sticky sides of the duct tape baffles are facing away from your mouth. When you inhale, the sticky baffles will filter the air you are breathing. (Use paper towel tubes - if you want to take deeper breaths.)

    Cover the whole country with a large sheet of plastic and duct tape it securely to the east and west coasts and along the Canadian and Mexican borders.

    We recommend that you start stockpiling duct tape just in case the terrorists get smart and destroy our duct tape manufacturing plants. Therefore, we are issuing a GRAY ALERT! Increase your duct tape from 2.5 rolls in every house to 1.5 rolls in every room of your house.

    Your SUV can make a great airtight family escape pod. Get the family in the vehicle and then hire a neighbor kid to wrap your SUV in 150 rolls worth of overlapping duct tape strips. Make sure he gets into the wheel wells and under the chassis. This will not only make sure that the SUV is airtight, it will also assure that you aren't driving the vehicle and blowing through our precious oil supplies (you'll kill two birds with one stone).

    Speaking of saving gas; You can become less dependent on foreign oil using duct tape. Just make a big wad of sticky-side-out duct tape on the front bumper of your vehicle. Drive up behind another car going your direction, smack into their back bumper (give them a friendly wave and mouth "sorry") attaching your car to theirs. Put your vehicle in neutral and turn off your engine. You'll enjoy fuel economy in the 100s of miles per gallon.

    And, possibly their best suggestion for using duct tape to secure our homeland: A strip of duct tape over some key mouths in Washington.

    From Instapundit.
  • JMM:
    Earlier this week we reported that Allen Raymond and his telemarketing firm GOP Marketplace were being investigated by state and federal authorities for sabotaging Democratic phone-banks last election morning in New Hampshire.

    We further pointed out that Raymond is the Executive Director of the Republican Leadership Council (RLC) and that organization has, on its Board, eight United States senators: Senator Robert Bennett, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Senator Susan Collins, Senator Pete V. Domenici, Senator Jon L. Kyl, Senator Frank H. Murkowski, Senator Olympia Snowe, and Senator Arlen Specter.

    Well, now it turns out that at exactly the same time GOP Marketplace was shutting down the Dems' phone operation, the RLC was paying GOP Marketplace to do work for them too ...

  • From CNN:
    MCGOVERN: You know, I think most people would agree that had it not been for that 9/11 attack, we wouldn't even be here talking about Saddam Hussein. The irony of that is that he had nothing to do that with that attack. Iraq had nothing to do with it. This was Osama bin Laden's. He was the mastermind. He planned it, and his al Qaeda network, that little band of desert radical young men that he's assembled. So I don't see the connect between that and this march to war in Iraq. And I disagree with the president. I don't think Iraq is a threat to the most mighty military power in the history of the world ...

    If we're going to go after every irrational person around the world, we're not going to have enough soldiers left to feed the wars that will erupt. I want to make one thing clear. I don't enjoy criticizing the policies of my government. I love this country more than life itself. And that's why I came here today, as I have other places, to try to plead with our leaders, do not drop an American army into that Middle East tinderbox. The consequences of that are almost beyond imagination.
    -Eric. Link.

    Thursday, February 13, update 1

  • For those who are into that sort of misery:
    The Christian Coalition of America announced today they would be holding a symposium on Islam entitled: "Christian Coalition Symposium on Islam: Muslims & The Judeo-Christian World - Where to From Here?" The event will be held in the Columbia Ballroom of The Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, located at 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW in Washington, DC on Saturday, February 15th, 2003 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    I'm sure they'll be very, very fair to Islam.
  • Now O'Reilly's Done It. O'Reilly had George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley on his program and said this:
    TURLEY: I trust -- I trust our system. I trust our system. It's taken 200 years. It requires a leap of faith. And that's what Moussaoui is. It's a crisis of faith. The administration had lost faith in the system that is the greatest on earth.

    O'REILLY: You're going to hurt. Let me put this to you -- it's great for you to theorize, all right. And it's nice for you to go in a classroom at Georgetown and say all of this stuff, all right.

    TURLEY: I practice -- look, I practice this.
    Yeah, Georgetown ...
  • Free Trade, Anyone? In case you thought the GOP was the party of free trade:
    Some members of Congress are suggesting the United States impose trade sanctions on France and withdraw U.S. troops from Germany to retaliate for opposition to U.S. policies on Iraq, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

    House Speaker Dennis Hastert has told associates he would like to target bottled French mineral water and wine, the paper said.

    "France and Germany are losing credibility by the day and they are, I think, losing status in the world," the Post quoted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as saying. "They are walking a fine line that is very dangerous." Hastert has instructed Republican colleagues to determine whether Congress should pass laws that would new impose health standards on bottles of Evian and other French waters, the paper said.

  • Rumsfeld Wer? Lloyd Grove:
    Old Europe" Strikes Back! Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's German relatives -- the Rumsfelds of Weyhe-Sudweyhe outside Bremen -- have disowned their distant cousin over his saber-rattling at Iraq. "We are embarrassed to be related to him," 59-year-old Karin Cecere (nee Rumsfeld) told Britain's Telegraph newspaper. Cecere's 85-year-old mother, Margarete Rumsfeld, said: "We don't have much to do with him anymore . . . but for God's sake, he'd better not start a war." Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke responded: "It's too bad that they feel that way. These are tough issues and difficult times. . . . Hopefully, over time, as the issues develop and become clearer, differences will recede."

  • If Roger Ailes Says It, You Know It Must Be Right. NY Daily News on Brit Hume:
    "Brit is the ultimate newsman," Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes said in a statement. "He is the personification of fair and balanced, and everyone in news knows it."
    The liberal media, of course, did not mention Hume's notorious conservative inuendo and GOP propoganda in his telecasts ... See Daily Howler here, and here.
  • Yeah, because you know how much the Iraqis love American generals ... "Plan: US general to run Iraq"
    The senators were told that even under good circumstances, it would take two years before the military could fully transfer control to an Iraqi government. As presented, the plan recalls postwar Germany and Japan, where American military occupations paved the way for transfers of power to democratic and constitutionally backed governments.

    Some Iraqi opposition leaders are already attacking the plan, saying it amounts to a US military rule of Iraq that will favor the existing power structure in the country. Instead of turning Iraq into a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, an ambition articulated by some US policymakers, the opposition leaders say the US plan seems designed to ease the fears of Arabs and Turks unhappy with the prospect of a democratic, federal Iraq.

  • If you think all 'conservatives' are pro-Bush and pro-war, check out the libertarian Cato Institute:
    For months the Bush administration has been preparing the country for war with Iraq. The administration has argued that only a forcible regime change can neutralize the threat that Saddam Hussein is said to pose. But the assumptions that underlie the administration's policy range from cautiously pessimistic to outright fallacious. First, there is a prevalent belief that if Iraq is able to obtain nuclear weapons it will inevitably use them. Second, there is a notion that Hussein is totally irrational and cannot be trusted to act in a predictable manner; and, because of that, his leadership creates a substantial risk of instability in the Middle East. Finally, many people in the United States have come to believe that war in Iraq may be the only means of nullifying the threat posed by Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs.

    There are less costly strategies for dealing with Hussein than conducting a war. Hussein, while he may not act morally, is rational in the sense that economists and political scientists use the term. An examination of his past actions indicates that his principal need is to maintain his own physical and political survival. Using that knowledge, Washington can develop a strategy that would allow the United States to deter Hussein from taking actions detrimental to U.S. national security, without engaging him in warfare.

    The key to neutralizing the Iraqi threat is to deter Hussein from aggressive action by sending a clear and credible message of commitment to protecting the United States against any challenge to its security; it is essential to communicate a willingness to massively retaliate in response to attacks against our homeland. This is crucially different from President Bush's message that overthrowing Hussein must be a top priority, regardless of his actual behavior. If Hussein believes that his political survival is being threatened, and there is nothing he can do about it, he may respond in a dangerous and unpredictable manner—with weapons of mass destruction.

    -Eric. Link.

    Wed, February 12, update 4

  • New Tape, No Words. A new tape from Osama has apparently surfaced. Does Bush care? Let's do a quick search of "Osama" on ... Results:
    White House Press Briefing. Listen to today's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer." 11 Feb 03. Not from Bush ...

    Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer Listen to Friday's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. " 17 Jan 03. Not from Bush ...

    Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer Listen to Friday's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer." 10 Jan 03. Not from Bush ...

    President Discusses Iraq and North Korea with Reporters: President Bush Tuesday met with reporters in Texas and discussed the situations in North Korea and Iraq and said the ... 31 Dec 02. Reporter asks about Osama, Bush does not address or say Osama.

    Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer November 26, 2002 Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer James S. Brady Press Briefing Room ... Not from Bush ...

    Press Gaggle by Ari Fleischer For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary November 23, 2002. Not from Bush ...

    President Bush, President Putin Discuss NATO, Iraq, 22 Nov 02. Putin, not Bush, mentions Osama.

    Interview of the President by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Interview of the President by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 18 Nov 02. Bush doesn't say Osama's name. Instead, dodges question and gets irritated:
    Q Osama bin Laden still seems to be alive. Are you --

    THE PRESIDENT: Could be.

    Q -- worried that he's plotting another major attack on the United States?

    THE PRESIDENT: Whether it's him or somebody else, they're plotting an attack, no question about it. That's why we've got to get them. But this issue is bigger than one person. If -- the war on terror is a group of fanatics. They hate America because of what we stand for. They hate us because we love freedom. And that's why we're on the hunt. And slowly but surely, we're dismantling them.
    Dismantling them?

    In fact, in the search, Bush doesn't mention Osama until ... 18 Nov 02, and just barely:
    "Bush: Thirdly, I believe Chechnya can -- I hope that Chechnya can be solved peacefully, that there's ways to discuss the political dialogue in such a way that this issue can be solved peacefully. Thirdly, to the extent that there are al Qaeda members infiltrating Russia, they need to be dealt with -- they need to be brought to justice. And I -- you know, when Osama praising these -- the Muslim attacks in Chechnya, it's clear that there is an al Qaeda interest."
    The White House thinks you're stupid. It thinks if it doesn't say Osama, you'll forget. Don't forget. Remeber we have a war against real terrorists to fight ... Al Qaeda, not Iraq.
  • Lie that Al Gore 'invented' the Internet Continues. As Bob  Lewis notes, Al Gore never said he invented the internet:
    Gore's skewering came from the Republican National Committee's public relations arm, which planted the distortion among friendly political commentators. The RNC deserves credit for highly effective public relations. The political press, on the other hand, bought the story hook, line, and sinker, probably because many reporters found Gore personally unlikable. Shame on them for lazy reporting. (Check the Daily Howler — — for a detailed account of these events in all their glory.)
    Still, that hasn't stopped many journalists and pundits from jumping on the bash-Gore bandwagon. Consider:
    Associated Press, Dec 27, 2002

    Gore in 2000 had to retract a claim that his mother-in-law paid more for arthritis medicine than it cost to treat his dog with the same drug. That was the case, too, with suggestions he helped invent the Internet and served with wife, Tipper, as the model for the book and movie "Love Story."
    JC Watts, The Sporting News, February 10, 2003

    "Now, after eight years in office, I proudly wear the title of former congressman, and I have more freedom to do novel things such as go to my kids' athletic events, read a good book and browse on the Internet. The Internet. A great innovation, and I know we all thank Al Gore for inventing it."
    JAN GLIDEWELL, St. Petersburg Times, December 30, 2002

    "Until Al Gore took time off from being a role model for romance writers and invented the Internet, computers remained pretty much the purview of journalists and other geeks, and the first several that I used could only be used for writing, but, as we all know, that changed. When we finally got the real deal at work, we were encouraged to play with it and use it as a means of developing sufficient skills to use it for research so we would stop bugging our librarians."
    Robert St. John, Hattiesburg American, MS - 09 Feb 2003

    "That was a true statement ... at the time. Now, thanks to Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone and Al Gore, inventor of the Internet, I know people who have eaten possum. A lot of people. A whole lot of people. I know them intimately. I have talked to them at length; I know their family histories, and children's birthdates."
    Of course, when the lazy liberal press feeds off of a 500 million dollar spin machine known as the RNC, who's counting?
  • Chris Matthews and Dennis Miller Join the Bush Smooching, Dem-Bashing Party :
    MATTHEWS: I don't think I have to slow the pitch down for you one bit, Dennis Miller. You are one sharp, smart guy who's in touch with America. You are with George Bush, why, completely with the president, no matter how he decides, you said to me, before we went on the air
    MATTHEWS: Are you a lifelong Republican or a lifelong Democrat?
    MILLER: I was a lifelong Democrat for a long time...
    MATTHEWS: Did you switch for Bush?
    MILLER: Well I switched for other reasons. I began to find the dialogue on the left side of it to be getting a little strident and I'll tell you what, school vouchers were a thing for me that didn't -- I just remember thinking, I look at the public school system and it seems so broken, and I thought well, why don't we try that and when I heard...
    MATTHEWS: Yes.
    MILLER: ... the Democrats saying no, no we shouldn't try that, I thought...
    MATTHEWS: Because they're in favor of the union.
    MILLER: Yes, well, that seemed, you know that seemed...
    MILLER: ... pretty self-serving to me, and I...
    MATTHEWS: Yes.
    MILLER: ... thought for God's sakes we've got to do something to solve this, and I began to, you know, look into other...
    MATTHEWS: Did you switch after Clinton or before Clinton? Did you vote for Clinton?
    MILLER: No, I was not a Bill Clinton fan. You know I just...
    MATTHEWS: Yes.
    MILLER: ... I -- you know, to me, Clinton is the sort of guy who will always volunteer to help you move, then when you've got four, you're picking up the sofa, he's the one who'll fake lifting.
    MATTHEWS: Yes...
    MILLER: You know I never...
    MATTHEWS: That's pretty good.
    MILLER: ... got a good -- I never got a good take on...
    MATTHEWS: He never follows through on his promises.
    MILLER: Well listen, I would have forgiven him any of his peccadilloes, it was just the smoking mirrors, the dog and pony show that he did to convince us that he was all -- you know perfect guy that really bothered me. You know his indiscretions are his business, you know...
    MATTHEWS: But trying to blame Monica Lewinsky as a stalker wasn't too highbrow.

  • Happy 30th birthday to Public Interest Research Group.
  • O'Reilly dodges the 'wetbacks' issue. Here's O'Reilly's indirect response to the 'wetbacks' statement (Monday, Feb 10):
    Robert Hutchins, Temple, Texas, "O'Reilly, your position about putting the military on the border is fascist at best, racist at worst."

    O'Reilly: So, if you can't win the debate, Mr. Hutchins, you start throwing around the R word. This is a tired and vile trick designed to limit debate on issues where minorities are involved. Well, we don't play the game. You are misguided and wrong, and most American know it.
    You want to know how to limit debate? Throw around racial epithets when talking about a serious problem. O'Reilly, I don't play that game, and you are misguided, and wrong, and most Americans know it.

    "O'Reilly: We'd save lives because Mexican wetbacks, whatever you want to call them, the coyotes -- they're not going to do what they're doing now, all right, so people aren't going to die in the desert."

    Email Bill O'Reilly and ask him if using racial epithets like 'wetbacks' also limits debate on issues where minorities are involved.
    -Eric. Link.

    Tuesday, February 11, update 3

  • O'Reilly dodges the 'wetbacks' issue. Here's O'Reilly's indirect address to the 'wetbacks' statement:
    Robert Hutchins, Temple, Texas, "O'Reilly, your position about putting the military on the border is fascist at best, racist at worst."

    So, if you can't win the debate, Mr. Hutchins, you start throwing around the R word. This is a tired and vile trick designed to limit debate on issues where minorities are involved. Well, we don't play the game. You are misguided and wrong, and most American know it.
    You want to know how to limit debate? Throw around racial epithets when talking about a serious problem. O'Reilly, I don't play that game, and you are misguided, and wrong, and most Americans know it.

    "O'Reilly: We'd save lives because Mexican wetbacks, whatever you want to call them, the coyotes -- they're not going to do what they're doing now, all right, so people aren't going to die in the desert."

    Email Bill O'Reilly and ask him if using racial epithets like 'wetbacks' also limits debate on issues where minorities are involved.
  • Michael Moore was nominated for an Oscar for his film, Bowling for Columbine, in the Documentary Feature section. Good choice, though I'm still mad at the Oscars for not nominating Al Franken for Best Actor in 'Stuart Saves His Family' ...
  • Paul Begala:
    Well, our president, speaking of him, on domestic issues flew to Nashville today, where he talked up his so-called compassion agenda.

    It's become a common scene, like on June 17 of last year when President Bush held a photo-op at The Villages at Carver, an Atlanta housing project founded by HUD's Hopes Six program. President Bush lavished praise on the program. The White House featured a photograph of it on their web site.

    But as the "Atlanta Journal Constitution" reports, President Bush is eliminating funding for the very program that funds The Villages at Carver. Part of a pattern.

    Just last week Mr. Bush visited the Boys and Girls Clubs, whose budget he's cutting by $10 million.

    He also cut funding for the Even Start literacy program, which he praised in New Mexico. He cut funding for an ethanol program he praised in Iowa. He cut funding for a University of Pittsburgh bioterrorism center he had praised in Pennsylvania. He even cut funding for a program that helps kids with cancer at Evanson (ph) Hospital in Atlanta, which moved him to tears when he visited that hospital.

    When asked how he could speak straight faced about compassion for the poor, while crippling their programs in his budget, Mr. Bush replied, read my lip service.

    One bright spot, of course, all across America underprivileged children are learning the meaning of a very big word, hypocrisy.

  • Bob Somersby howls over at the Daily Howler (yeah, I'm punny, I should be a People Magazine copy editor).
    KERRY'S CRIMES: Is the press corps driven by "liberal bias?" It's hard to maintain this treasured claim when you look at the John Kerry coverage.

    Last summer, the New Republic said that Kerry "has a distinctly self-indulgent streak" because he likes to play show tunes on his guitar (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/10/02). The liberal mag was also troubled by the fact that the slick solon wind-surfs.

    Then, the NYT's Bill Keller wrote a column trashing Kerry as "the ersatz J.F.K., who fancies himself a global strategist because 30 years ago he faced down a Vietcong ambush" (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/13/02). Kerry's a plenty strange dude, Keller said. "[W]ith all due respect for his exploit," the scribe asked, "how utterly weird is it that he then took out his handy 8-millimeter camera and re-enacted his heroism on film?" But oops! In a later column, Keller acknowledged that he had misstated the content of Kerry's "home movies" from Vietnam (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/9/02). "[T]he senator's movies are not self-aggrandizing. Mr. Kerry is hardly in the film," Keller said. Where had Keller obtained his bogus info? Where else? He had relied on the "usually dependable" Boston Globe, the misinformed Times pundit said.

    Ah yes, the "usually dependable" Globe! Last week, that same Boston Globe unveiled a report about Kerry's real, hidden self. The paper had hired teams of genealogists to examine the senator's troubling ancestry. The Globe always thought there was something odd about Kerry, and now the paper knew what it was—John Kerry was partly Jewish, it reported. And of course, there was one more piece to the Globe's performance. Like Al Gore, Kerry "doesn't know who he is," one leading Globe halfwit now judged (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/7/03).

    Readers, can you spot the "liberal bias" behind these reports? Frankly, we have a hard time sniffing it out; in a rational world, it's hard to claim that the press is driven by liberal bias when stories this stupid are aimed at Big Dems. And just for the record, the halfwit Globe—Kerry's home paper—has been writing odd stories about the solon for years. Did you think last week's bizarre report was a departure for the Globe? Not at all. The paper has published piles of pap about the slick solon for years.
    More at Daily Howler

  • NYTimes finally reports what many in the blog world has reported:
  • Then, on Thursday night, the Fox News talk host Bill O'Reilly, used the word "wetback" as he fumbled for the word "coyote" to describe smugglers who transport illegal immigrants over the border.

    Mr. O'Reilly returned a call to say: "I was groping for a term to describe the industry that brings people in here. It was not meant to disparage people in any way."

    Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas, whom Mr. O'Reilly was interviewing when the word slipped out, said in a statement: "Of course, he didn't intend to say it. But the fact that `wetback' is a part of his vocabulary and slipped out is a clear sign of where his views fall."

    A Fox spokeswoman said on Friday, "The network doesn't condone the use of any racial epithet, nor does Bill."
  • So ... he wasn't disparaging people in any way, yet the entire segment he was doing was a rant disparaging Mexicans from entering this country illegally? The logic of Bill O'Reilly.
  • Shutting Down, a site that posted one of my opinion pieces, has been shut down by its server. See:
    The campaign to stifle dissent and censor any questioning of current U.S. policies vis-a-vis the Middle East in general, and Iraq in particular, has reached new levels.

    Websites which host alternative views, and/or views that contradict U.S. foreign policy are no longer tolerated on the Internet and are systematically coming under hacker attack and political pressures to "relocate." ( has for the past six months withstood intense hacker attacks as it publishes views that directly question, criticize, and berate the U.S. official line regarding the impending invasion of Iraq.

    "In addition to e-mail spoof attacks, I think they are attempting to overload our servers through denial of service attacks, forcing our website to go offline. Similar incidents happened last time we released an article from Imad Khadduri," says Erich Marquardt, publisher.

    Imad Khadduri, an Iraqi former nuclear scientist who was instrumental in Iraq's nuclear weapons program in the 1980s and early 1990s, has charged that recent allegations concerning the competence and progress of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program are baseless and untrue.

    In an article published on before it was taken off-line by its hosting company, Khadduri painted a dismal picture of Iraq's scientific community with many out of jobs and scrounging for work after the Gulf War and subsequent allied bombing reduced any nuclear hopes to rubble. (the article can be read here on Scoop)

    Khadduri has also charged Khidhir Hamza, a former Iraqi scientist with whom Khadduri worked, with fabricating and exaggerating his importance in Iraq's nuclear program outlined in Hamza's book "Saddam's Bombmaker."

    While several writers have been lauded for bringing previously unpublished news to its readers and informing the public of news that has been virtually "blacked out" from mainstream North American media (CNN, New York Times, etc.), a marginal number of readers have found the website to be "sick and diseased," and "unpatriotic."

    .... For its part, is committed to continuing its ethos in providing its hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors with alternative news and views, and is not taking the recent shutdown lightly. "This setback is not going to stop us from speaking out against leaders and governments who commit gross injustices against humankind," said Marquardt.

    "Believe me, will be back."
    I'm told by the editor that YellowTimes should be back up next week on a different server. Here's hoping ...
  • WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE, by Bob Dylan
    Oh my name it is nothin' My age it means less
    The country I come from Is called the Midwest
    I's taught and brought up there The laws to abide
    And that land that I live in Has God on its side.
    Oh the history books tell it They tell it so well
    The cavalries charged The Indians fell
    The cavalries charged The Indians died
    Oh the country was young With God on its side.

    Oh the Spanish-American War had its day
    And the Civil War too Was soon laid away
    And the names of the heroes I's made to memorize
    With guns in their hands And God on their side.
    Oh the First World War, boys It closed out its fate
    The reason for fighting I never got straight
    But I learned to accept it Accept it with pride
    For you don't count the dead When God's on your side.

    When the Second World War Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans And we were friends
    Though they murdered six million In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now too Have God on their side.
    I've learned to hate Russians All through my whole life
    If another war starts It's them we must fight
    To hate them and fear them To run and to hide
    And accept it all bravely With God on my side.

    But now we got weapons Of the chemical dust
    If fire them we're forced to Then fire them we must
    One push of the button And a shot the world wide
    And you never ask questions When God's on your side.

    In a many dark hour I've been thinkin' about this
    That Jesus Christ Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can't think for you You'll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot Had God on his side.
    So now as I'm leavin' I'm weary as Hell
    The confusion I'm feelin' Ain't no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head And fall to the floor
    If God's on our side He'll stop the next war.

  • MyDD has the latest on Estrada, and war matters. MyDD ... Talk Left is going on Hannity and Colmes, my favorite show, and has some updates on the North Carolina Congressman's comments on Japanese internment, death penalty and drug war items ...
    -Eric. Link.

    Monday, February 10, update 1

  • Yep, it's comedy monday.
    North Dakota Found To Be Harboring Nuclear Missiles, The Onion.

    The stage was set for another international showdown Monday, when chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix confirmed that the remote, isolationist state of North Dakota is in possession of a large stockpile of nuclear missiles.

    "Satellite photos confirm that the North Dakotans have been quietly harboring an extensive nuclear-weapons program," said Blix, presenting his findings in a speech to the U.N. Security Council. "Alarmingly, this barely developed hinterland possesses the world's most technologically advanced weapons of mass destruction, capable of reaching targets all over the world."

    After initially offering no comment on the report, North Dakota officials admitted to having a stockpile of 1,710 warheads at two military sites and confirmed that the state has been home to an active nuclear-weapons-development program for decades.

    Blix called the revelation a "terrifying prospect for the world at large."

    Within hours of the announcement, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged North Dakota to abandon its program.

    "This is clearly an excessive number of weapons for a place like North Dakota to possess," Annan said. "In this post-Cold War environment, we should be moving away from nuclear proliferation among developing states." The rogue state was also found to possess enormous stockpiles of fissile material.

    "North Dakota could have as much as 75 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium and 8 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium," Blix said. "Just 55 pounds of uranium are needed to construct a simple nuclear weapon. Do the math—the prospects are terrifying."

    The man at the center of the controversy is North Dakota's leader, Gov. John Hoeven. Having risen to power in 2000 after amassing tremendous wealth in the private sector, Hoeven lives a life of comfort and excess inside the heavily patrolled North Dakota governor's mansion, a lavish dwelling paid for entirely by the state, while many of his people engage in subsistence farming.

    Some suspect that Hoeven is using the nuclear program as a bargaining chip to gain badly needed economic benefits for his state. Hardly at the forefront of technology in other aspects, North Dakota has a largely rural population and a child-poverty rate of 14 percent—a fact critics have been quick to point out.

    "North Dakotans live a horrible life of isolation and deprivation, struggling to grow crops in a hostile, sub-zero climate while their indifferent government routinely prioritizes bolstering the state's military might," BBC World correspondent Caroline Eagan said. "There are people starving there, and yet high-tech weapons laboratories and military bases abound. It's deplorable."

    Added Eagan: "And, no big surprise, the U.S. played a major role in arming this place. I hear most of the missiles are American-made."

    Many U.S. citizens have expressed fear, some realizing for the first time that North Dakota has thousands of weapons capable of reaching any major American city within minutes.

    "It is absolutely frightening that there are all these weapons of mass destruction practically in my backyard," said Karen Stiles of Moorhead, MN. "Do we really know enough about these people who have their finger on the button that could kill millions?"

    Added Stiles: "How did our elected officials let this happen?"

  • Speaking of comedy, Atrios notes this about SNL:
    What Liberal Media

    Anyone been enjoying the scathing satire aimed at George Bush on Saturday Night Live? Me neither. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that one of the producers just married John Podhoretz.
    I missed Saturday's show, but one major reason SNL doesn't criticize Bush enough is Chris Parnell simply fails as George Bush. Ferrell understood W, Parnell does not. SNL desperately needs to find someone who can play George W. Bush ... I think Seth Meyers on the show could do a better job. Regardless, here's something from the former GW on SNL now:
    That plum role has passed to Chris Parnell, but Mr. Ferrell, who is slightly more grown-up at 35, still keeps an eye on the show. He was concerned on this late December evening that it had lost its trademark political bite this year. "I don't know if it's a fear of seeming unpatriotic," he said, "but there are times when you're thinking back to the week's events, and you can't wait to see how they'll cover them, and you get a skit about how Saddam Hussein combs his mustache."

  • Nate Newman on Did 911 Affect NYC's Economy?
    Okay, the question seems ridiculous. Of course the attacks on the World Trade Center affected the city's economy.

    But the Bush White House, which is trying to waive away its creation of $300 billion deficits based on Al Qaida's acts (nothing to do with its trillion dollar tax giveaways to the wealthy), is reluctant to acknowledge that maybe the public deficits in New York might be related to that terrorist attack.

    So the Bushies have resisted up to now giving any disaster relief aid to help out on the city and state budgets reeling from economic losses in the last year or so.

    Apparently, the Bushies feared creating a "precendent" that massive damage to an area's infrastructure might call for more direct bailing out of local government than FEMA has done in the past. Well, it's a bad precedent if it exists, since it seems to argue that the Feds will bail out private individuals if they suffer, but health care systems and other local government functions (often even more needed after a disaster) can just go to hell as far as the Feds are concerned in case of disaster .

    Well, they apparently relented with a $980 million package to assist the state and local governments. A relative pittance given the need, but welcome for the city.

    Hopefully, other cities and states around the country, reeling from the economic disaster perpetuated by the White House itself, will demand their own "Bush economic policy disaster relief" packages. That was no doubt what the White House has feared all along.

    But other states and cities shouldn't get their hopes up. This $1 billion isn't new money-- the White House is just taking the money from aid already promised and decreasing aid for other recovery efforts in the city.

  • Poor Bill O'Reilly, literally. Looks like there won't be any Thanksgiving turkey for Bill O'Reilly this year.
    Finally, that old giveaway guy Ted Kennedy would have you believe that the rich should bear more of the tax burden. Well, I am one of the rich guys Kennedy is talking about. But unlike him, I wasn't born into money. I worked my butt off for it and took risks he could never understand. Right now my tax "burden" is more than 50 percent. Kennedy and others want that to rise. I say let's hold the line at half. Just like the Kennedy clan, I'd like the O'Reilly family to have some security in the future. I'm not real keen on handing over any more dough to a system that will not even drug test Americans receiving entitlement checks in the mail.
    The guy makes $20 million a year, but he complains that he won't have 'security in the future' under proposed tax laws. How frivolously does O'Reilly spend that he'll lose financial security? That's even more ridiculous than this page. And if O'Reilly doesn't have financial security under future tax plans, imagine the middle-class working people who actually do legitimate things for a living.

    Here's the thing about O'Reilly: no matter what he says, how stupid he acts, or how many racial slurs he throws out, he'll never go the way of the dinosaurs. Bill O'Reilly, despite what he believes, is an entertainer, not a newsman. He is not Ted Koppel, and his show is not 'Nightline.' "The Factor" is trash and pure infotainment. When people tune in to the Factor, they do so not to be informed but entertained. Anyone who listens to O'Reilly for information is grossly naive or a conservative partisan.

    This is why all my rants and posts about O'Reilly saying wetbacks, showing hypocrisy or yelling at the son of a 9-11 victim is much ado about nothing. I get the impression that the more O'Reilly rants against Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Arabs, the more popular he'll get. Don't think for a second when O'Reilly bashes Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton he's doing it for an altruistic notion of helping Blacks. Remember who is audience is: the same people who bought xenophobe Pat Buchanan's book and cheered him at the '92 convention; who still love Trent Lott; who are as mad as hell that they're forced by the 'liberal media' to feel guilty about the poor state of some minorities in this country.

    All of this is not necessarily racism, it's the ignorant nature of conservatism. Conservatism isn't about compassion, it's about self-interest. Self-interested people do not care about other races, other cultures or problems outside of their circle of being. That's why O'Reilly beating up on Mexicans or Arabs is only going to feed his conservative popularity: he's telling self-interested people it's okay to not be 'politically correct,' and that appeals to narrow-minded people.
  • Alterman debates gay-basher Brent Bozell about 'What Liberal Media.'

  • Speaking of what liberal media, writes the conservative Media Research Center:
    Brit Hume: Speaking of the charge that the U.S. just wants to control Iraq's oil, Tuesday's Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC recounted how, as Hume summarized, "that view is not shared by some in the region who have seen the U.S. come and go from Arab oil fields before." Reporter William La Jeunesse related: "If the Iraqi conflict really was about oil, Arab leaders say America would have never left in 1991."

    MRC analyst Patrick Gregory caught the February 4 story, which Hume set up: "They said it about the Vietnam War, they said it about the Gulf War, they even said it about Afghanistan. Now anti-war critics are saying the U.S. wants to topple Saddam Hussein to get control of his oil. But as Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse reports, that view is not shared by some in the region who have seen the U.S. come and go from Arab oil fields before."
    Two sides to a story? What's that, says Fox N. Channel.
    -Eric. Link.

    Friday, February 7, update 2

  • O'Reilly Losing It: Sad Decline of Conservative Superstar.
    Not In Our Name (NION)
    NION Media Office


    Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Threatens Physical Assault On and Ejects a 9/11 Family Member From His Show

    On February 4th, during a live interview on the Fox News program "The O'Reilly Factor," media personality Bill O'Reilly verbally attacked Jeremy M. Glick, a signer of the Not In Our Name "Statement of Conscience" whose father was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Bill O'Reilly has referred to the signers of the Statement as "anti-American" and has said they should be "held accountable" for the expression of their dissenting opinion. After cutting short the interview Bill O'Reilly threatened Mr. Glick, a professor at Rutgers University and teacher in the state prisons system, with physical violence.

    The following day, Bill O'Reilly continued his attacks on Mr. Glick by falsely claiming that Mr. Glick "was out of control and spewing hatred." The transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor" itself shows that these statements are wrong. What Mr. Glick said was "Why would I want to further brutalize and punish the people of Afghanistan…" "The people of Afghanistan … didn't kill my father," and the CIA "…that trained a hundred thousand Mujahedeen" bore some responsibility. Mr. Glick remained calm, focused and dignified throughout the entire show. The video shows it was Bill O'Reilly that lost his composure. After the interview he told Mr. Glick to "Get out, get out of my studio before I tear you to f**king pieces!"

    Hamster Alert! Bill O'Reilly Even More Un-American, Calls Mexicans 'Wetbacks'. In an unusual turn of events on Thursday, Bill O'Reilly, in a fit of haughty anger over Mexicans immigrating into the United States, used a racial epithet to describe Mexicans. Here's the transcript:

    February 6, 2003 Thursday
    Transcript # 020605cb.256

    SECTION: News; International

    LENGTH: 1286 words

    HEADLINE: Unresolved Problem
    Interview With Congressman Silvestre Reyes

    O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Unresolved Problem" Segment tonight, a new Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll says 79 percent of Americans favor putting U.S. military on the borders to stop illegal immigration. Yet the president will not order that. Joining us now from Washington is Congressman Silvestre Reyes from El Paso -- the El Paso area.
    O'REILLY: Oh, I am with you there. You've got to get the high-tech stuff there.

    But I'll tell you what. I've talked to the commanders, and they tell me, look, you deploy us down there, we stop the drug traffic dead, we stop it dead, all right. They're not even going to try.

    We'd save lives because Mexican wetbacks, whatever you want to call them, the coyotes -- they're not going to do what they're doing now, all right, so people aren't going to die in the desert.
    Some may say that the use of the word "wetbacks" isn't a racial slur. Some would even say that protecting our nation's borders from Mexicans is patriotic. The Supreme Court, however, would say you're wrong:
    The U.S. Supreme Court left intact yesterday an unprecedented California ruling allowing a judge to ban racial slurs in the workplace, despite protests that it violates free speech rights. The justices refused to hear an appeal brought by Avis Rent-a-Car of a California Supreme Court ruling preventing an Avis employee from subjecting Latino workers to repeated racial epithets ...

    In the Avis case, 17 Latino workers charged that they were subjected for years to a barrage of racial epithets from John Lawrence, an agent at Avis' rental office at San Francisco International Airport. The employees said Lawrence routinely called them "crooks,'' "wetbacks'' and "motherf--s.'' Lawrence, who was still working for the rental giant as of last summer, denied the charges. But a San Francisco jury found that Lawrence had repeatedly harassed at least some of the Latino workers and awarded eight of the plaintiffs $150,000 in damages. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carlos Bea also issued an injunction ordering Lawrence not to use the racial slurs. In 1996, a state appeals court upheld Bea's order, but required the judge to come up with a list of prohibited words so the ban would not be overly broad. In its appeal to the California Supreme Court, Avis did not challenge the jury verdict. Instead, its main argument was that the order violated its free speech rights. Constitutional law experts were not surprised by the high court's refusal to get involved.
    Email Bill O'Reilly and ask him why it's okay to use racial epithets to make a political point, and why he's being unAmerican by going against the SUPREME COURT and its interpretation of the CONSTITUTION. Why can't he use normal language, not racial slurs, to describe our friends from the south?
  • Uh-Oh, It's Friday. I guess I have to do this segment once again ... "The Wit and Wisdom of Rush Limbaugh." Dr. Rush Limbaugh, friend of Fox News, NBC and Howie Kurtz, said:
    "If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people--I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs, let the kinds of jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do--let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work." Radio show, re: NAFT, Fall 93.

    "An immigration agent chased him for the last 10 miles." Why a Mexican won the New York Marathon, USA Weekend, 1/26/92.
    I just can't imagine why the GOP has such strained race relations when this is the GOP's superstar.
  • EPI:
    Economic growth decelerated from an annualized 4% in the third quarter to 0.7% in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported today in its advance release of gross domestic product (GDP) data. The decline in economic growth was accompanied by a marked slowdown in consumption growth, and a rise by the trade deficit to a record high. However, government spending continued to increase and investment finally grew again, thereby keeping economic growth from falling further Consumer spending grew a mere 1% in the fourth quarter-its lowest rate in almost ten years.

  • May I Speak? These numbers always astound me whenever I see them. This is how much these individuals get paid for an individual speaking engagement. One!
    Michael Moore - $20,000
    Bill O'Reilly - $60,000
    Noam Chomsky - $12,000
    Bill Cosby - $100,000
    Neil Cavuto - $25,000
    Dick Armey - $25,000
    Sean Hannity - $35,000
    Geraldine Ferraro - $25,000
    Peggy Noonan - $25,000
    Ben Stein - $37,500
    Al Franken - $30,000
    And not to mention Bill Clinton's speaking fees ...
  • Don't you hate being fair? Alterman:
    Unlike most of the publications named above, liberals, for some reason, feel compelled to include the views of the other guy on a regular basis in just the fashion that conservatives abhor. Take a tour from a native: New York magazine, in the heart of liberal country, chose as its sole national correspondent the right-wing talk-show host Tucker Carlson. During the 1990s, The New Yorker--the bible of sophisticated urban liberalism--chose as its Washington correspondents the belligerent right-winger Michael Kelly and the soft, DLC neoconservative Joe Klein. At least half of the "liberal New Republic" is actually a rabidly neoconservative magazine and has been edited in recent years by the very same Michael Kelly, as well as by the conservative liberal-hater Andrew Sullivan. The Nation has often opened its pages to liberal-haters, even among its columnists. The Atlantic Monthly--a mainstay of Boston liberalism--even chose the apoplectic Kelly as its editor, who then proceeded to add a bunch of Weekly Standard writers to its antiliberal stable. What is "liberal" Vanity Fair doing publishing a special hagiographic Annie Leibovitz portfolio of Bush Administration officials that appears, at first glance, to be designed (with the help of a Republican political consultant) to invoke notions of Greek and Roman gods? Why does the liberal New York Observer alternate National Review's Richard Brookhiser with the Joe McCarthy-admiring columnist Nicholas von Hoffman--both of whom appear alongside editorials that occasionally mimic the same positions taken downtown by the editors of the Wall Street Journal? On the web, the tabloid-style liberal website Salon gives free rein to the McCarthyite impulses of both Sullivan and David Horowitz. The neoliberal Slate also regularly publishes both Sullivan and Christopher Caldwell of The Weekly Standard, and has even opened its "pages" to such conservative evildoers as Charles Murray and Elliott Abrams.

  • Wolf Blitzer Poll. Which president do you most admire? :
    Ronald Reagan - 22% 2479 votes
    George Herbert Walker Bush - 1% 166 votes
    Bill Clinton - 56% 6255 votes
    George W. Bush - 20% 2232 votes Total: 11,132 votes

  • The Wit and Wisdom of Christopher Hitchens:
    And now Gore and wife say that Bush is picking a fight with Iraq? Fuck them. I really mean it. I have nothing but contempt for them. We are risking people's lives, and all they can be is flippant. There are people who are against the war, who are very serious and have offered some very good criticisms. But not Gore, and not the senator from New York, either. The thought of these people in power frightens me.

    Q: Well, Gore won't run, but Hillary is still a wild card. She may well pounce if she sees any weakness in the field.

    Well, her life is meaningless, as in a way his is.

  • Oliver Willis has a new war correspondent.
    The biggest problem with Iraq, is that I have to wear so many clothes. Yes, I'm aware that it gets cold from time to time back in the UK - but I'm provided with ample opportunities to shake my money maker for any camera that may be nearby. In Iraq, I am given a guide named Faisal with a wandering eye and a fondness for chewing tobacco - which is at a premium here.
    Dear Lord.
    -Eric. Link.

    Thursday, February 6, update 2

  • A lot of people ask, 'Hamster, why are we going to war?' And to this, I reply, 'Ask our commander-in-chief, he knows best.'
    "The war on terror involves Saddam Hussein because of the nature of Saddam Hussein, the history of Saddam Hussein, and his willingness to terrorize himself."—Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 29, 2003
  • Ye Conservative Jokey Corner. Here ye, here ye. It is Thursday and today is the day that we present hilarious arguments from the Right. Today, Accuracy in the Media, a conservative watchdog group:
    "After all, if Fox News was the conservative and pro-Republican vehicle that liberals claim, they wouldn't have hired Alan Colmes, Greta Van Susteren, John Gibson or Geraldo Rivera."
    Hahahahahahahaha ... ha ... Here ye, John Gibson items:
  • The American Prospect: Baldwin is a celebrity activist -- a type of liberal that gives conservative media hounds apoplectic fits. So it should surprise no one that these comments unleashed a wave of Baldwin-bashing. John Gibson of Fox News encouraged Baldwin to leave the country on a recent episode of "The Big Story" (this was apparently a rejoinder to Baldwin's empty threat to emigrate should George W. Bush get elected).

  • "If it's not going to be war, what's it going to be? Saddam Hussein gets his way same as Kim Jong Il got his way in North Korea? Negotiations worked great with North Korea, didn't they? And since Saddam has been every bit as duplicitous as the North Korea guy, I ask again, when it comes to Iraq, if not war then what?" January 7, 2003

  • "Trent Lott is gone and the Democrats still can't stop beating him up. A number of statements were issued from the offices of Democratic senators and Congress people saying that dumping Lott isn't enough, that it is the Republican Party that is racist, not just one senator ... They are going to push this as if it's an issue, as if it's a substitute for their failed issue on the economy. They are going to spend the next few months, even years, putting sheets on Republicans and sending out fund raising mailers with burning crosses." December 20, 2002

  • "I think Al Gore looked at 2004 and said to himself, "Let somebody else lose to George W. Bush. Let somebody else be the sacrificial lamb. I'll spend the next six years lining up ways to cut off Hillary Clinton at the knees. I'll go for it in 2008 when the Republican nominee will not be an incumbent." " December 16, 2002
  • Dear Lord, if John Gibson is a liberal Democrat then I'm a Communist.
  • Compassionate Conservatism. More of the whacky world of the conservative media, this time from Brent Bozell, who countered Eric Alterman on 'Crossfire' and is upset with the liberal coverage given to the late-Sarah Pettit:
    There's a powerful truth here. The liberal media will toss out the window, on a moment's notice, any semblance of objectivity or balance when it interferes with the gay left's agenda. The press openly does the bidding of this lobby. In fact, they openly hire gay activists to decide what is "news" to ensure their worldview succeeds.

    Take Sarah Pettit, cut down at age 36 by lymphoma. Newsweek devoted a page in its Feb. 3 edition to an appreciation, headlined "Editor, gay activist and happy warrior." Newsweek hired her as their arts and entertainment editor in 1999 after she spent a decade in the gay-left press, including founding and editing Out magazine. Pettit was lauded for bringing "sophistication" to Newsweek with her gay activism. But that hasn't meant nuance or balance on news stories on homosexuality. It meant the opposite. It meant toeing a rigidly pro-gay line.
    Dear lord times two. Pettit has barely been buried and Bozell can't keep himself from attacking her obituary for liberal bias.
  • Speaking of liberal bias:
    What Liberal Media?

    Eric Alterman was interviewed on "Crossfire," splitting time with gay-basher Brent Bozell. To quote ...
    ALTERMAN: Tucker, two things. First of all, this is the problem with the conservative onslaught. A, I didn't right the "Sound and the Fury," William Faulkner did. I wrote a book called "Sound & Fury," which actually is an accurate rendering of the Shakespeare (UNINTELLIGIBLE), not Faulkner's.


    ALTERMAN: Second, you left out the introduction to what I said. That's not a direct quote. It is a direct quote, but it has an ellipsis in it. I said I'm not one to believe in single anecdotes as evidence of anything. I said if you take my example -- and then I took myself out of it and I made the larger case about a media that takes people like Anne Coulter and Bernard Goldberg seriously, is evidence that the most ridiculous conservative arguments can be...

    CARLSON: But the flip side here is...


    ALTERMAN: Tucker, my point...

    CARLSON: You're saying, I'm being discriminated against.

    ALTERMAN: No, I'm not. What I'm saying is that the media is somehow more receptive to someone like Anne Coulter -- who I admit is very good looking; I used to work with her -- but whose book is a travesty and a shame.

    CARLSON: Maybe she had better arguments than you do.

    ALTERMAN: Well, no, Tucker, I have evidence. I have 30 or 40 pages of footnotes which you can check. She's got nothing but nonsense. Bernard Goldberg doesn't even have evidence. He doesn't believe in it. And yet these books are embraced by the media because they attack the media, and I think it's evidence of self-flagellation.
    I will, of course, forgive Alterman for making the comment about Ann's looks. Meanwhile, Begala socks Bozell:
    BEGALA: How do you explain the disparity (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Brent?

    BOZELL: I can give you thousands...

    BEGALA: Give me one.

    BOZELL: I can give you thousands of examples of anything we've ever put out, where no one has ever refuted the evidence we've put out. I don't believe -- Paul, I'm sorry, I don't believe what you and your researcher put on the table. I don't believe it. I don't believe what you and the political operative put out.

    BEGALA: Does anybody here think there are more stories about Dick Cheney selling oilfield equipment to Iran than Al Gore in earth tones? Does anybody think? Apparently not.

    The Alterman Anti-Blackout Project. The "get Eric Alterman on the air" project continues. Keep sending in those emails, politely asking the following to put Eric on television:
    Hannity and Colmes, Fox News. Email Alan Colmes and tell him to be a liberal and stand up for Eric. He's had Goldberg, Coulter and Noonan on more than 2x each, but no Eric?
    Your World, Fox News. Email Neil Cavuto because having Eric just makes sense.
    Special Report, Fox News. Email GOP-whore Brit Hume .
    Studio B, Fox News. Email Shepard Smith .
    Fox and Friends, Fox News. Email Fox and Friends .
    Moneyline, CNN. Email Lou .
    Newsnight. Email Aaron Brown.
    Connie Chung, CNN. Email Connie Chung.
    Wolf Blitzer Reports, CNN. Email Wolf .
    Inside Politics, CNN. Inside Politics .
    TalkBackLive, CNN. Neville .
    American Mornings, CNN. Zahn and Bill Hemmer.
    Buchanan and Press, MSNBC. Press .
    Abrams Report, MSNBC. Dan Abrams .

  • Chris C. Mooney, in his blog, notes:
    One the one hand, Republicans want the Supreme Court to do away with affirmative action as currently practiced by the University of Michigan. And on the other? They're doing everything they can to hire black staffers to jobs on Capitol Hill, so that they can "repair image and attract votes." The hypocrisy here is palpable. As Peter Beinart has put it, "If affirmative action is justified when it helps the political fortunes of the GOP, why isn't it justified when it helps create a racially diverse college campus?"
    Good luck finding a Black Republican, though I hear JC Watts is available ...
    -Eric. Link.

    Wednesday, February 5, update 1

    What Liberal Media?
  • The Hypocrisy and Lies of Bill O'Reilly.

    In an interview with Take Back The Media about the merits of its Rush Limbaugh boycott campaign, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly took a whopper of a position:
    O'Reilly: Look, here's the deal. I mean, it's after Christmas, and Bose is going to cut back its advertising. I do -- I do "The Radio Factor." I know what the game is. Look, what I'm saying to you is I don't -- I don't think your boycott has led to his losing sponsorship. Be that as it may, isn't -- isn't trying to silence somebody like Rush Limbaugh unAmerican in itself? Doesn't he have the right to say what he wants to say? …

    STINSON: No one's taking money away from him. That's freedom of speech. He's got plenty.

    O'REILLY: But you don't want him to speak.

    STINSON: Six hundred stations...

    O'REILLY: You're against his freedom of speech.

    STINSON: I'm sorry?

    O'REILLY: You're against his freedom of speech.
    Yes, that's Bill O'Reilly calling Michael Stinson's boycott of hate radio's Rush Limbaugh 'unAmerican.' All of this is quite unusual, considering it is Bill O'Reilly who has used boycotts of sponsors as a method of action:
  • "On Tuesday, on both his radio show and on FNC's ''The O'Reilly Factor,'' O'Reilly called Pepsi ''immoral'' for giving exposure to the top-selling rapper, calling him a bad influence on impressionable children and citing as an example his lyrical boast that he has ''hoes in different area codes.'' A Pepsi spokesman pointed out that Ludacris doesn't rap such lyrics in Pepsi commercials, where he merely appears as a funny, popular, and G-rated guy. But O'Reilly pointed out that Pepsi had a precedent for canning a pop spokesperson for behavior unrelated to its ads; in 1989, it dropped Madonna as a spokeswoman after her ''Like a Prayer'' video struck some viewers as sacrilegious. He called for a boycott and said he was switching to Dr. Pepper. (Asked on the show if there was any R&B or hip-hop figure he could support as a Pepsi pitchman, O'Reilly said, ''Chubby Checker.'')," Entertainment Weekly, August, 2002.

  • "The top brass at the Red Cross make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, so they don't need my donations. I'm officially boycotting the Red Cross until they change their national leadership and their attitude." O'Reilly March 13, 2002

  • "Ali claims that it was his group's threat of an NBC boycott (regarding a Snoop Dogg appearance on a Muppets TV special – Eric) — which the organization made public via the syndicated Larry Elder Show four days before the Muppet folks' announcement — that prompted the show's producers to make the cut. He also credits conservative television host Bill O'Reilly, who railed against the planned cameo last week. A spokesperson for the Jim Henson Company, however, countered that the Henson press release went out prior to any of the public criticism of Snoop, and added it went to Bill O'Reilly before his story ran.

    "They're embarrassed that they had to cave in to public pressure," Ali reasoned. "No corporation wants to be perceived as weak, they want to be perceived as strong ... and not giving in to threats from protesters. Our actions, as well as Mr. O'Reilly's ... we were the catalyst." MTV News,
  • So if we accept O'Reilly's statements that calling for a boycott of an entertainment personality like Limbaugh is 'unAmerican' and 'against his freedom of speech,' when O'Reilly himself did the same, where does that leave him? It means Bill O'Reilly is unAmerican, against freedom of speech, and a hypocrite.

    Also mystifying is why O'Reilly, if he considers boycotting 'unpatriotic,' doesn't attack Sean Hannity (and not to mention Conservative Christians who boycott Disney):
    HANNITY: It was paid for by the organization True Majority, whose president is also the co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Ben Cohen. He joins us from Burlington, Vermont. Now, Ben, you sold the company, right?

    BEN COHEN, FOUNDER, TRUE MAJORITY: Yes, the company was public, it got sold. I tried to keep it independent, but I lost.

    HANNITY: Because I was about to boycott you. My last bite of Cherry Garcia that I've ever had in my whole life because you're such a super. But...

    HANNITY: I'm boycotting it. That's it, Ben. (January 29, 2003)
    In the unusual world of Bill O'Reilly, double standards exist. Boycotts are only valid if they're started by the 'humble correspondent' himself, and if done in the name of liberal values, they're anti-American.

    PS – O'Reilly also gets off this lie:
    STINSON: I don't want to take him off the air. Are you kidding? He's told people to take the bone out of their nose and call him back. Black people. Is that not racist?

    O'REILLY: He's never said that, and, Mr. Stinson...

    STINSON: He has said that.

    O'REILLY: No, he has not.
    I know Bill O'Reilly has no life, but it's hard to believe he's listened to every single sentence Rush Limbaugh has uttered. How can Bill O'Reilly say, with a straight face, that Rush Limbaugh has never said that statement? How does he know?
    FAIR reports:

    As a young broadcaster in the 1970s, Limbaugh once told a black caller: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back." A decade ago, after becoming nationally syndicated, he mused on the air: "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"
    So not only is Bill against America, a hypocrite, and against civil liberties, he's also a liar. And it's caught on transcript.

    Read more about Bill O'Reilly 'anti-Americanism' ... UPDATE: O'Reilly Practices Censorship Again.

    Open-minded O'Reilly doesn't care what you think. At least, unless you are part of his conservative movement. Take a look at his interview with Jeremy Glick (Hear Bill O'Reilly tell Jeremy Glick, son of a 9-11 victim, to 'shut up.') :
    O'REILLY: I don't want to debate world politics with you.

    GLICK: Well, why not? This is about world politics.

    O'REILLY: Because, No. 1, I don't really care what you think.

    GLICK: Well, OK
    GLICK: Let me finish. You evoke 9/11 to rationalize everything from domestic plunder to imperialistic aggression worldwide.

    O'REILLY: OK. That's a bunch...

    GLICK: You evoke sympathy with the 9/11 families.

    O'REILLY: That's a bunch of crap. I've done more for the 9/11 families by their own admission -- I've done more for them than you will ever hope to do.

    GLICK: OK.

    O'REILLY: So you keep your mouth shut when you sit here exploiting those people ...
    O'REILLY: Man, I hope your mom isn't watching this.

    GLICK: Well, I hope she is.

    O'REILLY: I hope your mother is not watching this because you -- that's it. I'm not going to say anymore.

    GLICK: OK.

    O'REILLY: In respect for your father...

    GLICK: On September 14, do you want to know what I'm doing?

    O'REILLY: Shut up. Shut up.

    GLICK: Oh, please don't tell me to shut up.

    The Alterman Anti-Blackout Project
    It is ironic in about a million ways that the so-called liberal media are much more sympathetic to the author of an irredeemable piece of trash, by an author who terms journalists to be "retards" and "traitors" deserving of being blown up by terrorists, than they do a serious, fully-documented refutation of those idiotic accusations. Again, just based on my personal experience, the problem of journalistic self-flagellation in the face of an ignorant and dishonest conservative offensive has grown much worse in the past decade.

    When I originally published "Sound & Fury" as a relative unknown in 1992, I was invited on "The Today Show," "The Tonight Show" (back when it had no competition from Letterman), "Nightline," "All Things Considered," "Fresh Air," C-Span's "Book Notes." etc. The book was even excerpted in the woman's fashion magazine, Mirabella. OK, this is a bad week for books in the media, granted, and for good reasons. But I also wonder if something larger is not at work here: something having to do with the fact that the media prefer to give time to those who treat their work with contempt.
    Alterman is appearing on:

    The O'Reilly Factor on Fox at 7 on 2/4 (O'Reilly backs out). See MWO for more details.
    Crossfire, CNN at 7 on 2/5
    John Gibson, Fox at 5 on 2/6
    Nachman MSNBC at 5, on 2/7

    Let's get him on:

    Hannity and Colmes, Fox News. Email Alan Colmes and tell him to be a liberal and stand up for Eric. He's had Goldberg, Coulter and Noonan on more than 2x each, but no Eric?
    Your World, Fox News. Email Neil Cavuto because having Eric just makes sense.
    Special Report, Fox News. Email GOP-whore Brit Hume .
    Studio B, Fox News. Email Shepard Smith .
    Fox and Friends, Fox News. Email Fox and Friends .
    Moneyline, CNN. Email Lou .
    Newsnight. Email Aaron Brown.
    Connie Chung, CNN. Email Connie Chung.
    Wolf Blitzer Reports, CNN. Email Wolf .
    Inside Politics, CNN. Inside Politics .
    TalkBackLive, CNN. Neville .
    American Mornings, CNN. Zahn and Bill Hemmer.
    Buchanan and Press, MSNBC. Press .
    Abrams Report, MSNBC. Dan Abrams .

    -Eric. Link.

    Tuesday, February 4, update 3

  • Everday should be 'wit and wisdom of Hitchens' day. Atrios links from the WashPost:
    "I think he was a double," Hitchens says. "Somebody was giving information to [the CIA] about the anti-war draft resisters, and I think it was probably him. We had a girlfriend in common -- I didn't know then -- who's since become a very famous radical lesbian."

  • JMM :
    Washington is all abuzz over the nomination of Miguel Estrada to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The intensity of interest stems, in part, from the fact that many believe he is on the fast track to a Supreme Court nomination. The DC Circuit would be a stepping stone, as it often is, to a such a later appointment. In any case, there's a lot being said about Estrada's appointment both pro and con. On Crossfire Estrada's friend Ann Coulter told Paul Begala that, "the second [Estrada] gets in there, he'll overrule everything you love." But I'm not sure he's designated her an official spokesperson. In any case, what surprises me is that no one has raised the fact that Estrada was one of the lead lawyers on President Bush's legal team arguing the Florida recount cases. According to this article in The American Lawyer (helpfully reproduced on the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher website), Estrada was one of four other "lead partners" on the team Ted Olson put together to make now-President Bush's arguments about why to shut down the vote-counting in Florida. That's certainly something I'd want to know more about.

  • Take Back the Media was on O'Reilly and gets in the 'last word':
    Bill O'Reilly is famous for giving his guests, "The Last Word" and touts his show as "The No Spin Zone." Micheal Stinson from Take Back The Media was denied his Last Word and TBTM called "propoganda" by O'Reilly.

    Thankfully, we CAN have our own Final Word in response to the segment that aired February 3, 2003. Mr. O'Reilly asked for documentation on our claims, and as Micheal said on the program, "all of that information is on our web site."
    More at Take Back the Media
    Today: cover
    What Liberal Media?

    Alterman notes this: "Because the regular media is a bit preoccupied this week, I'd like to encourage bloggers who are not on typical media mailing lists to write to Basic Books, my publisher, and request a review copy." Darn, I ordered mine with money. Oh well, more money for Eric (Alterman. Less for me, of course). -Eric. Link.

    Monday, February 3, update 1

  • Is it Monday Already? Uh-oh, time for Comedy Monday.
    Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley

    Stuart Smalley.....Al Franken
    .....Al Gore
    .....Tipper Gore

    Stuart Smalley V/O: I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am attractive person. I am fun to be with.

    Announcer: "Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley".

    [ open on Stuart giving himself a pep talk in his full-length mirror ]

    Stuart Smalley: I'm going to do a terrific show today! And I'm gonna help people! Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me!

    [ turns to camera ]

    Hello, I'm Stuart Smalley, and it's great to be back! As some of you probably know, I was hit, uh.. by a bus. And, um.. I'm grateful for all the cards.. and letters. Um.. I'd like to start the show.. by making an amends, uh.. to the bus driver, uh.. Luis Calogne, uh.. who felt terrible about the whole thing. Luis, uh.. it was not your fault. I was, uh.. having a horrible week.. I was in a horrendous chain spiral, and.. I essentially let.. the bus.. hit me. I, uh.. I guess I just wanted some drama, which.. I got in spades. And, so, uh.. Luis, I'm.. I'm sorry.

    Well! We've got a great show today. Because my guests are Al and Tipper G., who have two books out - two books! Good for you! Good for you!

    Tipper Gore: Thank you, Stuart.
    Al Gore: We're delighted to be here.
    Stuart Smalley: I hear the book is about family?
    Tipper Gore: The book is about..
    Together: family!
    Stuart Smalley: Which is terrific, because family is huge! A huge, huge issue.
    Al Gore: Absolutely. And, in the books, we-
    Stuart Smalley: [ interrupting ] My family's extremely dusyfinctional. Mt father is an active alcholic.. big, stinking drunk.
    Al Gore: Well.. in the book, we do profile families dealing with stress.
    Stuart Smalley: Oh, yes.. and the stories are very inspiring.. wonderful.
    Tipper Gore: Thank you.
    Stuart Smalley: Well, I think you might have left out one family trauma that I think you two could have written very.. eloquently about.
    Al Gore: Uh.. I'm not sure I follow you.
    Stuart Smalley: Well, it's something that happened to.. your family. [ a beat ] Tipper?
    Tipper Gore: Honey? I think it's about the.. election?
    Al Gore: Well, sure.. that was a disappointment. But I wouldn't describe it as.. "traumatic".
    Stuart Smalley: [ glances at Tipper again ] Tipper?
    Tipper Gore: Well.. it was difficult.
    Stuart Smalley: Al? do you hear what Tipper is saying?
    Al Gore: Yes. That the outcome of the election was very hard for.. her.. and the children.
    Stuart Smalley: [ glances at Tipper again ] Tipper.
    Tipper Gore: Um.. well, honey..
    Stuart Smalley: Go ahead, you can say the "E" word.
    Tipper Gore: The eating.
    Al Gore: Okay! I was a bit down, and I took some solace in.. food.
    Stuart Smalley: Al? Tipper gave me this picture that she took about three months after the election. Now.. I think it's pretty clear that you were in a humongous chain spiral.
    Al Gore: Well, as you can see, I lost the weight, and I'm over it!
    Stuart Smalley: [ glances at Tipper again ] Tipper? Is he over it?
    Tipper Gore: [ faux crying, grabs a Kleenex from Stuart ] Oh, thank you.
    Stuart Smalley: Tipper?
    Tipper Gore: It's been difficult..
    Stuart Smalley: Yes. Do you think that Al has feelings.. about not being President.
    Tipper Gore: Yes.
    Al Gore: Well, of course I have! I-
    Stuart Smalley: Al, I'm talking to Tipper. [ turns to Tipper ] And, do you think that Al is maybe in denial about his feelings?
    Al Gore: Oh, for goodness sakes!
    Tipper Gore: Maybe a little.
    Stuart Smalley: Do you think it might be good for the whole Gore Family if Al dealt with his.. his feelings?
    Tipper Gore: Well.. sure, I do.
    Stuart Smalley: You're doing good work! Good work. Al?
    Al Gore: [ fuming ] What?
    Stuart Smalley: You are in.. denial. But we are going to trace it, face it, and erase it. I want you to look at the mirror - come on, don't look at me, only you can help you. [ Al looks into the mirror ] Look at the mirror. Come on. That's it. Okay. I want you to say.. "Hi, Me!"
    Al Gore: [ relunctant ] Hi, Me.
    Stuart Smalley: "I am sad.. about not being President." Come on.
    Al Gore: I am.. sad.. about not being.. President.
    Stuart Smalley: "And that's.. okay."
    Al Gore: And that's okay.
    Stuart Smalley: "I don't have to be the most powerful man in the world."
    Al Gore: I don't have to be the most powerful.. man in the world.
    Stuart Smalley: "I don't have to be able to.. [ thinking ] ..bomb a country any time I want."
    Al Gore: Look, I would never arbitrarily bomb..
    Stuart Smalley: Okay, okay.. I-I-I'm sorry. Uh.. "All I have to do is be the best Al I can be."
    Al Gore: All I have to do is.. be the best Al I can be.
    Stuart Smalley: "Because I'm good enough.." Come on! "I'm good enough.. I'm smart enough.. and, doggonit, people like me!"
    Al Gore: Because I'm good enough.. I'm smart enough.. and, doggonit, people like me!
    Stuart Smalley: Feel better? You feel better?
    Al Gore: Actually, I.. I do feel better!
    Stuart Smalley: You do? You do feel better?
    Al Gore: Yes. Actually, I do.
    Stuart Smalley: Hug? [ holds arms out ]
    Al Gore: No.
    Stuart Smalley: Well! It's been a great show, I want to thank the G.'s. You've been terrific. Goodbye! See you tomorrow.. I guess.
    Transcript courtesy of

    "Everyone is still talking about the State of The Union Address. This is a true story. Only one out of the nine Supreme Court Justices showed up to the president's speech the other night. When the Justices were asked why only one of them showed up they said, "Look we made that guy president, what more does he want?" " Conan O'Brien

    "Well folks, the ratings are in, it seems a record number of Americans watched the president's speech the other night. Well sure they watched it, it's not like they had anything else to do. It's not like they have jobs to get up early for the next day." Jay Leno.

    "Every major network aired the speech last night. But NBC had the highest ratings. The NBC viewers said that the speech was good but Martin Sheen looks horrible." Conan O'Brien

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