Saturday, November 22, 2003

Moon vs. Soros


How Dare the Left Take Money!

Another breathtaking WaPo editorial.

I wonder if next week they'll opine about the billion dollars spent on the The Washington Times since its inception, the $40 million or so lost by the New York Post every year, the huge amounts of money spent, not just by Scaife, but by theocracy-loving billionaire Howard Ahmanson on a myriad of conservative causes and think thanks.

No I don't.

...Just a thought. I'd need to go back and check to be sure, but I think I've noticed a pattern over at the Post. Some of their nuttier and nastier anti-Dem editorials seem to run on Saturdays. My bet is that's when it's old Chuckles Krauthammer's turn to write them.


In the WaPo:

In the recent marathon debate on judicial nominations, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch earnestly expressed the view that the Democrats' filibuster against several of President Bush's nominations was unprecedented and even unconstitutional. This led me to dig up some old Congressional Records from April 1980, when Senate Republicans mounted a filibuster against President Carter's nominee for general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board -- a man who had served as a career attorney at the board for 27 years.

The senator leading the filibuster said it was his "unfortunate duty to challenge the nomination" because, although he "personally liked" the nominee, he was "too pro-labor" and other qualified nominees would be "acceptable to business." After five days of floor debate, the filibuster was broken on the second cloture vote, and the nominee was confirmed for a four-year term.

The reason I remember this episode so well is that the nominee was William A. Lubbers, my father, and the senator leading the filibuster was Orrin G. Hatch.


Fiscal Insanity

This graph from the Economist really lays it out:

The solid line is the baseline projection - it's what happens if all of the tax cuts magically expire on schedule, there's no alternative minimum tax reform, there's no Medicare drug benefit, and discretionary spending growth is limited to 2.7% per year. The most realistic scenario is, frankly, that the tax cuts are made "permanent," there is AMT tax reform, there is a Medicare benefit, and discretionary spending grows much faster than 2.7% to keep up with population growth and to fund the latest war against whoever we're at war with.


Interesting bit from this Newsmax article.

Franks earned three Purple Hearts for combat wounds and three Bronze Stars for valor. Known as a “soldier’s general,” Franks made his mark as a top commander during the U.S.’s successful Operation Desert Storm, which liberated Kuwait in 1991. He was in charge of CentCom when Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda attacked the United States on Sept. 11.

Franks said that within hours of the attacks, he was given orders to prepare to root out the Taliban in Afghanistan and to capture bin Laden.

They must have figured it all out pretty quickly.

Stop the GOP From Privatizing Medicare

That's the email I just got from the DNC. Look, guys, YOU stop the GOP from passing this Medicare bill. Get your members in line and filibuster the damn thing.

Fiscal Sanity

Brad DeLong responds:

Well, I expect a return to fiscal discipline after 2004. There's a good chance Bush will lose--and that his loss will drag down enough other candidates that the Democrats will have at least one house of congress as well. And even if Bush doesn't lose the 2004 election, there's a good chance that the normal vicious infighting of White House politics will throw up a different group of hands to operate the sock puppet.

Not even eternally optimistic me believes that the Democrats have a reasonable chance of taking back the House or obtaining more than a razor-thin majority in the Senate. I think there's a much greater chance of winning the presidency than getting back either the House or Senate. Under that scenario, the legislative branch is still effectively run by Tom DeLay. DeLay would rather kill his own mother and french kiss Michael Jackson on national television than raise taxes, except possibly some hideously regressive stuff. The problem with the kind of fiscal hole that we're getting into is that you a hit a point at which the remedies are too painful to be politically palatable. In better economic times, the required solution is easy. But if we wait too long, the fiscal mess causes an economic mess, and solving the former requires measures which aren't exactly what you want to do in the middle of a recession. The DeLay solution will, of course, be to cut taxes - it's the solution for every problem.

AARP Push Polling

Here's a description of the poll results Novelli was using to claim that 75% of members supported the legislation:

A look at the AARP survey itself (available in a PDF file) reveals that AARP misrepresented the results in its article. Of the 494 members surveyed in what was touted as a “nationally representative sample, with a margin of error plus or minus 4.4 percentage points,” it becomes clear, contrary to AARP’s claims, that those members surveyed did not conclude and could not have concluded that the new Medicare package would in any way help low-income elderly and those with high prescription drug costs.

The survey simply shows that AARP and its pollster worded the question in such a way that it creates the illusion of support. It brings to mind Karl Rove and his Rovian methodology.

First of all, the members polled could not have concluded that the Bill does in fact “help low-income elderly” because 62% of those polled said they were either completely unfamiliar with the Medicare Bill or were not very familiar with the specifics of the Bill. Only 2% felt they were very familiar with the Bill and 35% reported they were merely “somewhat familiar” and 1% refused to answer the question!

In order to ask a question of a group of people who are overwhelmingly ignorant of the subject, the pollsters had to educate the polled members—in other words, the pollster hand fed the answers they wanted to hear.

So the pollsters proceeded to remind those being polled that Medicare does not presently cover prescription drugs. Then the pollster boiled the complex bill down to three sentences. They tossed in another four sentences describing the benefits to the poor and those with high drug costs. Thus the pollsters created the “knowledge-base” for 97% of those who were polled.

Then the pollster asked the following question:

“Even if this plan won’t affect you personally either way, do you think it should be passed so that people with low-incomes or people with high drug costs can be helped?”

Seventy-five percent answered “Yes.”

AARP Flooded

A reader spent over 4 hours trying to get through to AARP to cancel her membership yesterday, and never managed to get a person on the phone.

Down the Memory Hole

AARP has deleted an article criticzing "Harry and Louise" style issue ads from its website. Here's the Google cache.

Friday, November 21, 2003


I really don't understand how the three top supermarket chains in CA can get away with this.

More Krugman

As Lambert notes, I bumped into him there. Krugman mostly gave his standard talk which you would have seen on C-Span, and answered questions.

One interesting point he made has to do with why the markets have yet to go into panic mode. He said he gets various letters from hedge funds, etc..., and all of them contain some version of the line "we expect a return to fiscal discipline after the '04 elections." As Krugman rightly noted, this is just crazy. The Bushies claim that the deficit will be cut in half by 2008 - but even this rosy scenario can happen only if none of what they are continuing to propose to do - namely making all of the various expiring tax cuts "permament." The odds of a return to fiscal discipline - either with a 2nd Bush term, or with a President Democrat and House Majority Leader DeLay are pretty close to 0.

I do wonder what these people are thinking. The baby boomers start hitting retirement age at 2011. Nothing's going to stop them from voting for huge transfers from working age folks for SS, Medicare, and all kinds of yummy new programs. They may be playing the "starve the beast" game to cause a government fiscal crisis - but the real result will be a full economic crisis. Grover may be trying to drown the government, but he'll only succeed if he drowns the country.

Sanity Prevails

Good on the Senate for killing, for the moment, the Energy Bill. I'm surprised more Righties aren't praising the Dems for it. No one should like that stupid Bill, except for the recipients of its riches. Big government intervention at its worst - expensive and pointless.

Wolfowitz Flashback

Copyright 1991 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London)

March 28, 1991

LENGTH: 1101 words

HEADLINE: US fights shy of joining in Iraq civil war: Despite the scenes of horror, the appeals from the Kurdish and Shi'ite rebels will still fall on deaf ears

'No one can read about what's going on there without feeling a great sense of sympathy for what's going on. But that doesn't mean it is in our power to straighten it out. It's a mess that, to be a little harsh about it, is to some extent of their creation, and they are going to have to come up with a solution', the Under-secretary of Defence, Paul Wolfowitz, said yesterday.

Gourmet PB&J


George W. Bush has allegedly offended Queen Elizabeth II by bringing no fewer than five of his personal chefs to Buckingham Palace.

"Her Majesty greeted the news that Bush was coming with his own chefs in absolute silence," a snitch tells London's Daily Telegraph.

"That's her general way of expressing disapproval. She's not thought to be [thrilled] about the whole visit anyway, but when you consider that she has excellent cooks herself, you can see why this would be taken as a bit of an insult."

The Face of Evil

I just went to see Paul "Vissarionovich" Krugman outline his plans for the neo-Stalinist economic revolution.

Harry and Louise Novelli

AARP President William Novelli is the founder of Porter Novelli.

Harry and Louise

Threatened with a measure that would severly impact their industry - what seemed like certain passage of President Clinton's health care proposal in 1994, HIAA hired GCPN to so something notoriously difficult: get the attention of elected officials when there was no election in sight.

Positioning "Harry and Louise," an average American couple, to speak "for" not "to" the American people, we created a campaign that highlighted the public's concerns about the Clinton plan.

Managing the key components of the campaign -- paid media, earned media, grassroots outreach and coalition building -- GCPN worked closely with representatives from HIAA staff and member companies to ensure that the campaign's lobbying effort and media execution were coordinated, complementary and in tune with the campaign's overall plan.

"Harry and Louise" prompted 500,000 calls to our 800 number, turned 50,000 of those callers into activists and resulted in one-quarter million contacts with members of Congress. The campaign is widely credited as being a key factor in defeating the Clinton plan.

More Gratitude Please

The latest by Reynolds is just lovely. I think it took a lot longer to get to this point during Vietnam.
(edited to say what I actually meant to say)


The BC comic has been a reliable purveyor of religious bigotry over the years. First was his attack on Judaism. Now there's his not very subtle attack on Islam.

The author claims it was just bathroom humor.


Thursday, November 20, 2003

Not a Chickenhawk


Hail to the Thief

If they hadn't already figured it out from the CD title....

Bush is Now a "Fair Trader"


Without revealing his intentions, Mr Bush nevertheless sought to emphasise his commitment to free trade and - adopting some Clintonian language - fair trade. Mr Bush also said he would make a decision imminently and was reviewing the status of the industry in the light of its need to restructure.

The War on Analogy Continues

Tristero has a bit of fun with Michael Totten, who informs us that, among other things, Iraq is arid and dry.

Tristero sums up the Vietnam-Iraq similarities thusly:

The simple fact is that a guerilla war is being fought in Iraq, that the US was misled via an utterly ridiculous ideology and a lack of hard facts into the conflict; that US ignorance of the situation before, during and after our arrival on the scene was and is boundless; and that the US is bogged down in Iraq for as long as anyone can foresee with a steady number of casualties reminding us everday of the quagmire, the avoidable quagmire, that the US government perpetrated both on Iraq, and on its own people.


The odd thing is, most of the "Vietnam" discussion comes from the hawks, not the doves. Methinks they protest too much.

Medicare Drug Plan

Uggabugga has the picture worth a thousand words.

Universal Health Care Cheap

We all knew that as a percentage of GDP (and per capita) we spend more on health care than anyone else in the world, but it's also true that our government spends more (per capita) on health care than many of those other governments which provide universal health care.

I really wish all the UHC opponents would go live in just about any European country for a few years and then tell me how much you hate it. The exception being Britain, where they just don't spend enough money.

Photo-Op in Oz

When flightsuit boy was in Australia, they did a big production number with him doing the honors at a wreath-laying ceremony for a fallen soldier.

They forgot one little detail - to invite the widow.


Check out Worldnutdaily's take on the Daschle/Saddam misattribution.


Yet another failed justification strategy.

Broadway Sucks

According to this article. They write the same thing ever year, and it's probably always true.

However, I *would* like to go see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but the obscene prices may prevent that from happening. If anyone, uh, knows how to score some cheaper seats...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Now This is Shrill!

The UK cover of Krugman's book:

Frog Marching to the Hague

Richard Perle declines to assert his 5th amendment rights:

International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.
In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."

President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq - also the British government's publicly stated view - or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law.

But Mr Perle, a key member of the defence policy board, which advises the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said that "international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable.



Rick Santorum.

Man on Dog.

Senator Santorum.

All Class


Although it was held in the ornate Banqueting House in Whitehall, under ceilings painted by Rubens, the White House produced its own backdrops, including one behind Mr. Bush with the words "United Kingdom" repeated over and over, as if to remind viewers at home that the president was on a world stage.

Blogospheric Astroturf?

What are the odds Eugene Volokh and K. Lo have the same friend in London who sends them identical emails?

(via Pandagon)

...You know, not many people actually live in Trafalgar square.

...but, yes, as the big protests are planned for tomorrow it's no surprise things are quiet. You can watch right here.

Moonbat Conspiracy Theories

Slacktivist notes that the Weekly Standard is pushing the looniest one of all.


By now you've probably all read Nick Confessore on Techcentralstation. That kind of thing bothers me less than the fake citizens groups that regularly spring up. You know, "Sweet Wonderful Mothers For Iraqi Liberation!" or whatever. They're organizations with 3 members and substantial backing. The scrappy seniors over at the Alliance for Retired Americans bring us this wonderful example:

President Bush Addresses Empty Seats—Phoenix, Nov. 13: About 30 Alliance activists showed up and outnumbered supporters at a sparsely attended event sponsored by Senior Voices for Medicare Choices, a group fronted by insurance companies. The event broadcast President Bush's November 13 remarks from Orlando urging Congress to push through a bill that would privatize Medicare.

Click the link for the picture.


TONIGHT'S FOCUS: President Bush is in London, as are tens of thousands of demonstrators. His visit comes on the heels of a major policy change by the White House, and the acceleration of the plan to hand authority in Iraq back to the Iraqis.... And oh yeah, Michael Jackson may be arrested today.


This is a day in which the Nightline staff is pretty evenly divided. We have a meeting each morning when we talk out what we are going to do each night. Usually the plan is pretty well set, but not always. Today's meeting was pretty interesting. Our plan is to look at the President's visit to England, and at the plan his administration is putting forward to try to speed up the political process in Iraq that would allow for the withdrawal of at least some American troops. The approaching presidential election is clearly making this more urgent. This is a broadcast we have been planning for a while, and correspondent Deborah Amos will report on the plan for Iraq, and the Iraqi reaction, and Richard Gizbert will report from London.

But what about Michael Jackson? As I'm sure everyone knows by now, law enforcement in California served a criminal search warrant on his ranch out there. He is in Las Vegas right now. There are reports today that an arrest warrant has been drawn up, raising the possibility that he might be arrested today or in the near future. Apparently this investigation centers on allegations from a young boy that he was molested by Jackson. About ten years ago, there was a similar allegation, but it never went to trial. Instead there was apparently a settlement between Jackson and the family involved. Things this time seem to have gone far beyond that.

So if he is arrested, should we cover that tonight on Nightline? The staff is about evenly split. Some think it's a big story that we would have to do, others don't want any part of it. So what will happen? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Leroy Sievers and the Nightline Staff ABCNEWS Washington bureau

And then...

"TONIGHT'S FOCUS HAS CHANGED: The DA and Sheriff from Santa Barbara have just held a press conference, announcing that there is an arrest warrant for Michael Jackson on multiple counts of child molestation, and they are negotiating his surrender with his attorneys. We are going to switch topics to cover this tonight, we'll report on President Bush's visit to Britain and the situation in Iraq tomorrow."

Bernard Goldberg is a Dishonest Hack

My take on Bernie is this - he wrote a stupid book about how Dan Rather was satan. He shopped it around to publishers, all of whom recognized it as a poorly written "disgruntled ex-employee" book. The book eventually landed on Rengery's desk, who told Bernie to do a quick rewrite blaming it all on "the liberal media," which for some reason Dan Rather is synonymous with. Bernie complied, though he messed up in a few places - notably when he blamed the "liberal media" for doing things like catering to a wealthy white audience.

Now he's back with another full of shit book, which our full of shit media will promote. Daily Howler takes a look.

Poodle Pipes Up In Secret

George's good friend Tony:

TONY Blair has attacked President Bush's Republicans for faking "compassionate" politics like Michael Howard's hardline Tories.

The Prime Minister branded George Bush's portrayal of Republicans as caring conservatives as a hollow "illusion".

The revelation is highly embarrassing as it comes at the start of Mr Bush's state visit to Britain. It was in a a meeting with Labour's ruling National Executive Committee that the PM launched a savage attack on the Republican's style of politics.

He compared it to the Tories' attempt to re-fashion themselves as "compassionate conservatives" to shrug off their hardline right-wing image.

A secret record of the last NEC meeting showed Mr Blair saying: "Michael Howard's soft centrist language was an illusion, like the US Republicans' compassionate conservatism."

At the meeting Mr Blair faced criticism from within Labour ranks about the visit and was accused of "endorsing" Mr Bush's re-election.

One NEC member said: "Blair is privately attacking Bush for being a nasty right-winger. But in public he's his best mate. He can't have it both ways and it is creating real divisions in the party."

Okay, it's the Mirror, but it's no less credible than that tabloid with the breasts that Bush gave his exclusive interview to...

Americans Continue to Hate America

Why are so many Americans so unserious about the war on terrorism?

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Support for Washington's handling of Iraq (news - web sites) since President George W. Bush (news - web sites) declared an end to major combat there on May 1 has plummeted, falling to 42 percent from 80 percent in an April 23 poll, according to a new survey.

Fifty-five percent of those polled disapproved of how the United States has handled post-war Iraq, marking the highest negative response to the question since US tanks entered Baghdad in April, USA Today reported.

A majority of Americans still believe the war in Iraq was worth waging, but fewer believe it made the United States safer from terrorist attack, according to the USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll of 1,004 adults, conducted November 14-16.

The survey showed that 56 percent of respondents believed the war was worth it, while only 48 percent believed it made the United States safer, down from 58 percent in the April 23 poll.

Forty-three percent felt the war had actually made the United States less safe from terrorists, up from 33 percent in the April poll.

Don't they understand that September 11th changed everything, particularly for people sitting at their computers thousands of miles away from the attacks?


Man, this one is just hard to believe. My God.

"Howard Dean, speaking with reporters Tuesday afternoon following a campaign appearance in Bedford, N.H., expressed relief that the 30-year wait for answers about what happened to his brother might finally be over. As he has since the disappearance of his brother, Dean was wearing a belt buckle that belonged to Charles Dean as he spoke. "'This has been a long and emotional journey for my mother, Jim, Bill and me,' Dean said. 'We greet this news with mixed emotions but are gratified that we may now be approaching closure to this painful episode in our lives.' "Dean, in a soon-to-be released autobiography, called the capture and death of his brother 'the most traumatic events of my life.'"

I wonder if the remains would have been found if Dean wasn't running for president.

What the fuck is Howie implying?

(from Washing the Blog)
At least Howie, elsewhere in the article, gives some props to Big Media Matt

Kill Bill

Collins and Snowe would support a filibuster of the energy bill. Aside from some farmers and energy executives there isn't a single person in this country who cares of this piece of crap passes. Stand up for something. Be an opposition party.

...And, Senator Ethanol Subsidy - if you're smart you can make it win for you. There are plenty of Big Square State Republican senators who would be happy to co-sponsor a Nice Giant Juicy ethanol subsidy bill, separate from the energy monstrosity, which you can then use to beat back criticisms on those grounds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Dear Media,

Hey, how you guys doing? Yah, I know, I'm a bit hard on you sometimes. But, you know what? You have some pretty special constitutional protections which, at least in my opinion, imply some equally special obligations. Besides, this whole Democracy nonsense kinda depends on you, at least a little bit. And, you have to admit, you have been slipping somewhat lately. I mean, what's up with equating the head of state with the country? Whose idea was that? Not even those silly Old European countries with their Silly Hereditary Monarchies do that kind of thing. Bush is not America. America is not Bush. But, I digress.

Anyway, here's why I'm writing you. Apparently there's an arrest warrant for Michael Jackson, at least according to someone on the Larry King Live show. Yeah, that Michael, always good for a bit of fun, and Lord knows you guys love the 24 hour story. Condit, Lacey, OJ... it's just so easy. Point the camera and babble. Point the camera at other people and let them babble.

But, hey, you know what? We've got a couple soldiers dying every day in Iraq. I almost never even see their names or faces flash across the screen. Italy had a full day of national mourning over some of their guys - don't ours merit at least a bit of a tribute? And, hey, where are all those reporters you sent to Iraq? You didn't really fall for that "end of major operations" nonsense did you? Hey, even if you did - it's not too late to send them back! Who knows? Maybe they'll find Michael Jackson there!

In any case, there are a hell of a lot more important things going on right now than a possible Michael Jackson molestation trial. You all got solemn and promised after 9/11 to focus on the important things. Haven't seen too much of that lately, I have to say. I'm glad life goes on - I'm not one who thinks "everything changed," or that everything should have changed, after 9/11. But, let's face it - you pretty much blew it before 9/11 and then you pretty much blew it for the prelude to the Iraq war and you're pretty much blowing it now.

I'm sure covering M.J. 24/7 will be loads of fun - what could be more fun than a freak of a celebrity molesting a 12 year old boy?!? But, I don't think Sgt. Timothy L. Hayslett would appreciate it receiving more coverage than what he's doing in Iraq. What he was doing, that is, before he died. What, you didn't hear his name before? Yah, me neither. Maybe Lou Dobbs slipped it in there after ranting about the horrible evil of the new "Bad Santa" movie. Maybe I just missed it.



P.S. Could you please tell Lou Dobbs that Billy Bob Thornton isn't playing the actual Santa in the movie - he's playing a con-artist who becomes a department store Santa. I'm not quite sure he understood the difference. Maybe his mommy forgot to tell him something.

P.P.S. Could you please tell Lou Dobbs that there isn't, actually, an actual Santa. Again, he wasn't too clear on this point.

Notable Quotables

Jowett: The Modern university exists by consent of the world outside. We must send out men fitted for that world. What better example can we show them than classical antiquity? Nowhere was the ideal of morality, art, and social order realized more harmoniously than in Greece in the age of the great philosophers.

Ruskin: Buggery apart.

Jowett: Buggery apart.

Pater: Actually, Italy in the late-fifteenth century... Nowhere was the ideal of art, morality, and social order realized more harmoniously, morality and social order apart.
-Tom Stoppard, The Invention of Love

I always think of the lovable Derbyshire when I think of that exchange.

Money Laundering Limbo?


Nov. 18 — Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh may have violated state money-laundering laws in the way he handled the money he used to buy the prescription drugs to which he was addicted, law enforcement officials in Florida and New York told ABCNEWS.

A conviction on such charges in Florida would be a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Limbaugh returned to the airwaves this week after five weeks of rehabilitation for his admitted addiction to prescription painkillers.

His lawyer denied today there was any foundation for a money-laundering prosecution.

"There's no basis for these charges. He has not committed any acts of money laundering and he absolutely denies it," lawyer Roy Black told ABCNEWS. "I can assure you — and Rush assures the listeners to his radio station — when we can, we will tell the story, and he will tell it himself. Everybody will see what has really gone on here."


Authorities say they became aware two years ago, during an investigation of New York bank US Trust, that Limbaugh had taken between 30 and 40 cash withdrawals from his account in amounts just under $10,000.

Banks must file a report to the government if someone withdraws more than $10,000 at once.

Limbaugh's lawyers confirm that as part of US Trust's service, a bank employee personally delivered cash to Limbaugh at his New York studio in amounts of $9,900 or so.

"That in itself is a suspicious activity: They are structuring their transaction to avoid reporting to the government, and the bank is required to file with the federal government something called a suspicious activity report," said Jack Blum, an expert on financial crimes.


"Now the problem will be: Did he then assist his drug supplier in hiding the proceeds from the government?" said Blum.

Limbaugh's lawyers say he did not do that and that he is being falsely accused by those who want to force him off the air.

Officials say a decision on whether to prosecute on money-laundering charges will be made in the next few weeks.

Torture Lou!



Man they're obsessed over at the Corner. I wonder what it would be like to be a closeted gay man and work at NRO. I'm not saying there is someone like that, but, you know, the odds of it aren't that low.

More Free Trade

Or not.

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration, in a further escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China, announced Tuesday it had decided to impose quotas on three types of textile products in an effort to give the U.S. textile industry temporary breathing room from a flood of Chinese imports.

The decision will affect Chinese imports of knit fabric, dressing gowns and robes and bras.


U.S. textile makers hailed the announcement as a major victory to protect their beleaguered industry while critics warned that the decision would hurt American consumers by raising prices.

Cass Johnson, interim president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, praised the administration for granting import relief for all three products categories the industry had asked to be covered.

This is likely to be much less damaging to the economy than the steel tariffs, but what a crock. Even if you're anti-trade, the hypocrisy of this administration and its supporters is astounding.

Don't Tell Sully

Oh, what the hell, go ahead and tell him.

November 18, 2003


Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. Today's decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court violates this important principle. I will work with congressional leaders and others to do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage.

Medicare Bill Rally

For you DC residents - especially, but not limited to - those who are at or are nearing retirement age, attend a rally tomorrow:

Alliance to Hold November 19 Rally Against "Lemon" Medicare Bill—Join the Alliance, Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Tom Daschle, Representative Nancy Pelosi and hundreds of activists in a rally against the "lemon" Medicare bill on Wednesday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. in the Russell Caucus Room, Russell Senate Bldg-3rd floor after gathering at Upper Senate Park, located at Delaware and Constitution Avenues. For more information, contact Ed Braman at (202) 974-8235 or Keith Wallington at (202) 974-8233.

Here's a flyer.

So Much for Senior Prom

Colorado is considering ending 12th grade and replacing it with a year of preschool. To be honest, in purely educational/cost terms this makes some degree of sense. However, our society just isn't set up that way. That final year of socialization and maturation, particularly given the lack of basic freedom (due to lack of cars, if nothing else) that many adolescents have prior to that, is pretty crucial for a group which is about to go from almost complete parental dependence to complete independence - for those who go away to college, anyway.

AARP and Big Insurance

From the Center for American Progress:

"Critics say AARP, which formally unveiled its new headquarters building in downtown Washington last month, has softened its earlier militancy because it is preoccupied with its profit-making enterprises, including $100 million in earnings from the sale of insurance, mostly Medicare supplemental policies."
- Newsday, 10/21/2000

"AARP's receives more than $100 million in revenue from health insurers."
- Denver Post, 5/21/96

"Critics suggest that AARP's substantial profits from the sales of Medigap and other insurance policies, drug company advertising in its magazines, and investment schemes conflict with its interests on behalf of seniors...AARP President William Novelli acknowledged complaints from members that AARP has been too timid in the political battles to defend Medicare and Social Security. He conceded that AARP has pulled its punches since right-wing groups and members of Congress criticized it as too liberal."
- Newsday, 2/19/02

"AARP's pharmacy service is part of its insurance sales operation which generated $ 101 million in revenue last year - 17 percent of the organization's total budget."
- Capitol News Service, 8/15/02

"AARP receives millions of dollars from UnitedHealthcare, a national health insurance firm based in Minnesota."
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/24/01

Anti-Semite Tuesday

I guess it's theme day. Check out the letter Eric Alterman got (scroll to bottom of today's post).

That Liberal Media

This was probably just a booboo, but what a booboo:

Democrats piled on with criticism of the administration for failing to make Iraq's reconstruction more of an international collaboration. "I think it's fair to say that the situation continues to worsen," Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said on "Fox News Sunday."

The voice in the recording resembled Saddam's, but was huskier and the speaker seemed tired. "The evil ones now find themselves in crisis, and this is God's will for them," said Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat.

They did run the correction at the top:

CORRECTION: Because of an editing error, this story misattributed a quote from the speaker on an audiotape purportedly of Saddam Hussein as coming from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. It was the speaker on the tape, not Daschle, who said, "The evil ones now find themselves in crisis, and this is God's will for them." The only solution for Iraq was for "the zealous Iraqi sons, who ran its affairs and brought it out of backwardness . . . to return . . . to run its affairs anew," the speaker on the tape said, referring to the Baath leadership. END

Never fear, I'm sure this quote will pop up on every wingnut site from now until the end of time.

(thanks to johnqdoe)


Check out this stuff from GOPUSA's website.

The fiction which is interdependency has a prolocutor in the congregation of Moloch. His name is George Soros. No other single person represents the symbol and the substance of Globalism more than this Hungarian-born descendant of Shylock. He is the embodiment of the Merchant from Venice. His public reputation as an astute currency speculator is generous, while his skills as a manipulator and procurer of pain and suffering is shrouded in the footnotes of the financial journals. Claiming to be a philanthropist, his record is literally one of being a patron for indentured enslavement.


Here is the list of people who spoke at their conference:

* Gary Aldrich, Former FBI Agent and Author of "Unlimited Access" and "Thunder on the Left"
* The Honorable Bob Barr, Former U.S. Congressman
* James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Defense and Homeland Security, Davis Institute, The Heritage Foundation
* Kellyanne Conway, President, The Polling Company
* Horace Cooper, Senior Fellow, Centre for New Black Leadership
* The Honorable John Cornyn*, U.S. Senate, TX
* Chuck DeFeo, eCampaign Manager, Bush-Cheney '04, Inc.
* Rick Erickson, Director, Americans for Military Readiness
* Tim Goeglein, Deputy Director, White House Office of Public Liaison
* Kerri Houston, Vice President of Policy, Frontiers of Freedom
* Pete Jeffries, Communications Director, House Speaker Dennis Hastert
* The Honorable Steve King, U.S. Congress, IA-5
* Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach
* Mark Montini, President and CEO,
* Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
* Peter Roff, National Political Analyst, UPI
* Jack Spencer, Senior Policy Analyst, Defense and National Security, Davis Institute, The Heritage Foundation
* The Honorable Tom Tancredo*, U.S. Congress, CO-6
* Paul Teller, Ph.D., Legislative Director, House Republican Study Committee
* Genevieve Wood, Vice President of Communications, Family Research Council
* Michael Zak, Author, "Back to Basics for the Republican Party"

9/10th Victory

First, Trish Wilson has commentary. She was at the hearings.

Slybog has more.

Here's the key paragraph:

The question before us is whether, consistent with the Massachusetts Constitution, the Commonwealth may deny the protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry. We conclude that it may not. The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. In reaching our conclusion we have given full deference to the arguments made by the Commonwealth. But it has failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples.

It appears to me there's a slight bit of weasel wording here. One sentence refers to the "benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage" while one refers to civil marriage itself.

It isn't clear how important this distinction is. Perhaps the lawyers can chime in. But, aside from Massachusetts, the issue is whether other states would be constitutionally required to honor marriage - and whether having it be marriage by another name provides a legal 'out' for this.

But, anyway, the legislature has 180 days to do something about it. Lord knows if they'll even have the guts to touch it, or whether they'll punt it back up to the courts.'s an appropriate moment to remember the words of gay civil rights advocate, Dick Cheney:

The fact of the matter is we live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody. We don’t get to choose, and shouldn’t be able to choose and say, 'You get to live free, but you don’t.' And I think that means that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It’s really no one else’s business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.

The next step, then, of course, is the question you ask of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship, or if these relationships should be treated the same way a conventional marriage is. That’s a tougher problem. That’s not a slam dunk.

I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that’s appropriate. I don’t think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.

I try to be open-minded about it as much as I can, and tolerant of those relationships... I also wrestle with the extent to which there ought to be legal sanction of those relationships. I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.

Vote in the poll.

Nuclear Bomb in the Culture War

Mass. Supreme Court 'gay marriage' ruling may come this morning...

Rush and Stuart

It's inevitable for anyone coming out of a 12-step program, but it's sort of amusing that Rush has morphed into Stuart Smalley.

Mo Money Mo Money

Slacktivist helps explain why giving to the Equal Justice Initiative is a good thing to do. He points us to this interview with EJI founder and executive director Bryan Stephenson. Some facts:

Stevenson's outstanding legal work has garnered him countless honors--among them the American Bar Association's Wisdom Award for public service, the ACLU's National Medal of Liberty, and the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award. Bryan has kept none of the more than $300,000 in prize money. Instead he pours it back into EJI's work, while continuing to live in a rented apartment on an annual salary of $25,000.
For the men on Alabama's death row, Stevenson is not only attorney and advocate, but pastor, friend, and brother. He's always anxious to tell stories of how he has found hope amid the ugliness and pain of prison: "When you see redemption in a place where people only want revenge, healing where people only want hate, mercy and forgiveness where people only want retribution and destruction, you encounter God's love in a way that's very energizing and heartening."
Some may wonder why a Harvard-educated lawyer would spend his days on death row. "I feel blessed-- to spend each day engaged in something that gives my life meaning, that keeps me spiritually alive and aware, and that is soaked with the grace of God." Whether he's arguing a case before the Supreme Court, counseling a prisoner facing execution, or speaking with me about how race and class shape the death penalty in the United States, that same grace flows freely through Bryan, touching many lives.

You can add to a bundled donation by clicking on this link, or you can send directly to this address (probably a wise idea if you're concerned about deducting it):
Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama
122 Commerce Street
Montgomery, AL 36104

If you contribute directly, please send me an email so I can add it to the tally.

Monday, November 17, 2003


Just kidding. I for one don't think that the leaking of most classified information is that big of a deal. Too much is classified by default, with little oversight. But, the CIA is wondering who leaked the latest classified document.

As the sage of the blogosphere, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, said recently when a non-classified memo was leaked:

As with the Plame affair, the reporter should be subpoenaed, and the leaker should be canned, or jailed. This sort of thing shouldn't be leaking.

We should forgive Glenn for being dazzled by the continuing employment of the Chewbacca defense. But, the outing of a deep CIA op is different than releasing noncritical information with a big "classified" stamp on it, which is itself different from leaking non-classified material.

Anyone Feel Like We're Doing Something Wrong?


ROME, Nov. 17 — The sight was extraordinary, but less so than the sound, or rather the lack of it. Although thousands upon thousands of people filled one of this city's most chaotic squares during the evening rush hour on Monday, the decibel level seldom rose above a whisper's.

Silence was just one way in which those people sought to show their respect for 19 Italians killed in a suicide bombing in Iraq last week. Another was to wait two to three hours, in the drizzle and dark, for a chance to walk past the victims' coffins, arrayed inside a palace that towers over the square, Piazza Venezia.

The line went on and on, just like Italy's mourning.

This country's reaction to the casualties it suffered in the attack has been more than a modest, fleeting sob.

For days on end, Italy's leaders have delivered public statements as sweeping as soliloquies. Newspapers have been jammed with essays about slain heroes, and television reports have been filled with crying.

Like Watching Your Daughter Being Raped

Demaogogue finds some choice words from former CIA agent Ray McGovern.

AARP Member Revolt

I'm not a member, but if you are you should go let your views be known here.

You can also call: 1-800-424-3410 or e-mail

I assume members have an ID# of some sort, make sure to use it.

Opposition Party

It's time to stand up and torpedo the Energy and Medicare bills. The first one is a nobrainer (Except for you, Senator Ethanol Subsidy), and the second one should be opposed as well.


This is pretty incredible.

GEORGE Bush's administration has called on US companies in Britain to relocate jobs to America in an astonishing move that could trigger a major trade war.

US-based multinationals have been told they will receive compensation from American trade authorities if they cancel contracts in Britain and take jobs home, according to CBI director-general Digby Jones.

Speaking at the CBI's annual conference in Birmingham, Jones said: 'Three chief executives of American companies investing in Britain have told me to my face that they have been told to close down, bring their stuff home and make it in the US.'

He said the companies were major employers in defence or manufacturing.

Jones continued: 'Whether flouting international law with their steel tariffs or telling their companies to come home, this bullying affects Britain and British jobs.

Over to you, Brad...

(via the Sideshow)


What a stupendous review of Peggy Noonan's latest.

(via the newly expanded Pandagon, which is now selling ads at bargain prices.)

Fred Barnes Discovers Racism


BOBBY JINDAL'S DEFEAT in the Louisiana governor's race Saturday is a bigger loss for Republicans than just an office they've held for eight years. For now, it denies the party an impressive new national figure, a 32-year-old Indian-American who's destined to be a political star sometime--but not yet.

Why did Jindal lose after leading his Democratic opponent, Kathleen Blanco, in statewide polls in the weeks before the election? In a word, race. What occurred was the "Wilder effect," named after the black Virginia governor elected in 1989. Wilder, a Democrat, polled well, then won narrowly. Many white voters, it turned out, said they intended to vote for a black candidate when they really didn't. Questioned by pollsters, they were leery of being seen as racially prejudiced.

Jindal's advisers worried that he might lose the "Bubba vote," rural whites unwilling to vote for a black candidate or even a dark-skinned Indian-American. The Jindal camp's fears were realized. A Republican normally needs two-thirds of the white vote to win in Louisiana to compensate for losing nearly all of the black vote. But Jindal got only 60 percent of whites, according to an analysis by GCR & Associates Inc., a political consulting firm. Its findings were reported in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

And, yes, as Big Media Matt points out, imagine the howls of 'liberal elitism' if some liberal had written a similar article.


I listened a bit. Man is the dude incoherent. Though, I did learn from one of his callers that all 9 Dem candidates are guilty of treason.

Already Cut

Slyblog brings to our attention a WSJ article which points to the fact that our troops have essentially retreated behind the barricades.

Viceroy Jerry Smackdown

All is not well:

ROME (AP) - An Italian official resigned from the U.S.-led administration running Iraq and sharply criticised it, saying the authority "simply doesn't work," the Foreign Ministry and news reports said Monday.

Marco Calamai, a special counselor of the Coalition Provisional Authority in the province of Dhi Qar, told reporters in the province's main town of Nasiriyah on Sunday that he had become completely disillusioned with the U.S.-led authority headed by L. Paul Bremer.

He said only an interim authority headed by the United Nations could turn things around.

"The provisional authority simply doesn't work," the Italian daily Corriere della Sera quoted Calamai as saying. "It's neither fish nor fowl. Reconstruction projects that were promised and financed have had practically no results."

Junkie Radio

Rush is back! You can listen in at one of these links.

For those who object to me being such a mean liberal, well, as I always say I tend to treat people as they treat me, or people like me.

I'm glad that Limbaugh didn't become, as he said of Jerry Garcia, "just another dead doper."

The Sun

Page 1.

Page 3.

(people have requested I point out that the second link may not be work safe. There's no nudity, but some scantily clad women. The actual nudity is one more link away)

Bye Bye Conrad


Beleaguered Hollinger International chief Conrad Black, owner of the Daily Telegraph, dramatically agreed to resign today after admitting he and other executives had received unauthorised secret payments totalling £19m.

And in a move that has sent rivals scurrying to size up a Telegraph takeover, Lord Black also indicated he may be willing to sell the newspaper group.

He has appointed investment bank Lazards to look into the future options for the group, including the sale of some or all of its titles including the flagship Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, the Spectator, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.

The Daily Mail and General Trust, Express owner Richard Desmond, the Barclay brothers and the Washington Post Group are all being touted as possible suitors for the Telegraph titles or the group as a whole.

The dramatic turn of events comes after months of bluster from Lord Black, who contemptuously dismissed the "corporate governance zealots" and critics who demanded answers over the £120m in management payments that were uncovered earlier this year.


I know these things shouldn't be funny, but the idea of the Bush administration groveling to old Europe to get NATO on board is pretty amusing. I agree with others that this article should be viewed with a bit of skepticism, but apparently something is up.

The United States accepts that to avoid humiliating failure in Iraq it needs to bring its forces quickly under international control and speed the handover of power, Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, has said. Decisions along these lines will be made in the "coming days", Mr Solana told The Independent.

I think Tacitus, in Calpundit's comments, sums up the Warblogger response:

I think I'm going to have an aneurysm.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Young, Dead, Black, and Ignored

Jim C. reminds us of this tragic case and what we can do about it.

Max Speak

You listen.

From the standpoint of the neo-cons, the Wilsonian internationalists, and non-ideological backers of the soldiers' mission, the incipient Bush posture ought to stand as the deepest and blackest of betrayals. It's a Republican Bay of Pigs. From the standpoint of an invasion supporter, which I would say entails a belief that the basic project is feasible (one which I don't share), the logical step is to put in more resources and more troops. What would seem to be exceptionally craven, in this light, is that the Administration refuses to use more troops because it doesn't want to admit it has miscalculated. Expanding the overall size of the military or instituting a draft would be a huge political embarrassment. Second, the Administration would rather use budget resources for other things like tax cuts, energy boondoggles, and the like. For what are hundreds of Americans dying? And what of the hundreds to come?

Everybody should hate George Bush. Even the people who got big tax cuts, 'cause those babies are coming back.

Thug Watch

Some asshole has intimidated a Marine's Girl into shutting down her site. Always have their eyes on the prize, these people.

Legal Nonsense

Blogger Justene Adamec is being threatened with a lawsuit over things which people have written in her comments section. Legally something which is, as they say, wholly without merit.

This is the company that is making the threat.

No Evidence

From the WaPo:

The CIA's search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found no evidence that former president Saddam Hussein tried to transfer chemical or biological technology or weapons to terrorists, according to a military and intelligence expert.

Anthony Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, provided new details about the weapons search and Iraqi insurgency in a report released Friday. It was based on briefings over the past two weeks in Iraq from David Kay, the CIA representative who is directing the search for unconventional weapons in Iraq; L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civil administrator there; and military officials.

"No evidence of any Iraqi effort to transfer weapons of mass destruction or weapons to terrorists," Cordesman wrote of Kay's briefing. "Only possibility was Saddam's Fedayeen [his son's irregular terrorist force] and talk only."

Look, I don't even care if there is some evidence. The fact is, if you take Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq and rank them according to "countries with involvement with international terrorism (in a very broad sense)" it's pretty clear where Iraq stands - right where I put it, dead last.

Chickenblogger Inspiration

If a 56 year old granny can go to Iraq, so can you!

As the Boot Turns

Even Max Boot (no, you can't make up names like that) is a bit unhappy. Not that I think he makes much sense, but it's still surprising that he's turned on Dear Leader.