Saturday, September 13, 2003

Identity Politics

Oh this is just hilarious:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) The Maryland Republican Party moved Saturday to sever its ties with the Maryland Hispanic Republican Caucus after the caucus chairman criticized Gov. Robert Ehrlich for not appointing Hispanics to high-level jobs.

The party's executive committee voted 20-1 with two abstentions to recommend that the state central committee rescind a resolution recognizing the caucus as an affiliate of the state party. It also voted to create a new organization to reach out to Hispanic voters.

Two-thirds of the members of the state central committee, which meets in November, will have to approve the executive committee's recommendations for them to become effective. If they are approved, the caucus will not be able to use the elephant as a symbol or use the word ``Republican'' in its title, Kane said.

Haha. Love that sentence. It also voted to create a new organization to reach out to Hispanic voters.
Note to members of the MHRC - maybe you should think about switching affiliations.

Arnis Fails to Pay License Fee


Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has pledged to untangle California's finances, does not have a basic business license as landlord of a $1.2 million commercial building in Venice.
The candidate may also have run afoul of requirements in Santa Monica, where officials are looking into at least two businesses that lack licenses.

In Venice, Schwarzenegger has failed to pay a minimum of $110 a year in license fees since 1995 to the city of Los Angeles for the 8,228-square-foot building he owns at 812 Main St., site of the Broadway Gymnastics School.

Doesn't vote...doesn't pay taxes...

Stupid Liberals

Katrina vanden Heuvel writes about Wesley Clark and focuses in on a major incident during the Bosnian conflict where Clark was at odds with the rest of the alliance. She ends the piece wondering:

Perhaps Clark has learned that building alliances--and not risking showdowns-- is more crucial than ever in these perilous times?

The impressive thing about Clark is that despite the incident in question, he wrote an entire book about the importance of international alliances.

Leave the ignorant potshots to the wingnuts.


I'm pretty shocked by this.

NEW YORK (AFP) - Fifty-one percent of Americans are opposed to President George W. Bush's request for an additional 87 billion dollars to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Newsweek.


Fifty-five percent, however, said that Bush administration officials did a poor job in preparing citizens for the cost increase.

Bush's overall presidential approval rating slipped one point to 52 percent from a Newsweek poll taken August 21-22.

The approval rating for the president's handling of the Iraq situation also slipped to 51 percent from 54 percent in the August poll, and was down from 58 percent in a late July poll.

Who could have imagined that 51% of Americans actually hate America. Shocking.


Just finished watching the Big Dog on CSPAN. It's funny - back in 1992 he really gave a lousy speech (they showed a bit beforehand). But, now he's got the gift.

Not Happy

From the LA Times:

The division's fatigue appeared evident in the response to the president's remarks. Bush's speeches at military bases are commonly interrupted repeatedly by sustained and frequent cheers. On Friday, while Bush got an enthusiastic Army "hoo-ah" shout when he began and a standing ovation at the end, most of the rest of his speech was greeted with polite applause.

Pvt. Kenneth Henry, 21, a radar operator with a field artillery unit, said the response was muted by the pervasive knowledge among the soldiers and their families that they will likely have to return to Iraq soon.

"How could you make these people feel better when you just said you're putting $87 billion into sending them back?" Henry asked.

Henry spent about six months in Iraq, traveling from Kuwait over the border to Nasiriyah and through the Karbala Gap before helping to take the Baghdad airport. He said he lost about 10 members of his unit, the Alpha 1-39 Field Artillery, and he's not eager to go back.

"What I heard him say was, 'You went there. You took names. Came home. Now you're going back,' " Henry said. "He likes war. He should go fight in a war for two days and see how he likes it."

O'Bannon Dies

Indiana's governor has died.

Happy Anniversary

Two years since Bush said getting Bin Laden was our top priority.
Bin Laden who?

Isn't this man held accountable for anything?

Total Cluster-F

I try not to emphasize the screwups of the troops on the ground in Iraq. I can't imagine what it's like to be in their situation, but to the extent that I can I imagine I'd shoot at anything that moved the wrong way or looked at me funny, and then spend the rest of my life haunted by that.

Whatever personal responsibility any individual soldier has for what they're doing, in the end the blame is on those who put them there and the situation they've created.

The slaughter of the Iraqi policemen and the too little too late official apology for it is just an incredibly bad development. Those signing up to be police are already targets from people opposed to the US occupation.

David Brooks Flashback

Brooks tries to rehabilitate Charles Murray, and gets egg on face.

More Identity Politics

I look forward to the denunciations from the Brothers Hack, Glenn and Mickey.

That Liberal Media

Gina Kolata examines some "representative" Medicare recipients.

David Brooks

David Brooks is a guy that liberals often point to as a "conservative that they like." I think he's a bit more honest than many - I don't think he's quite drunk the full "movement conservative" kool aid. Still, he quite frequently puts a happy face on some truly poisonous ideas. But, I think his biggest problem is that he really just doesn't have much to write about.

This column is almost incoherent, but to the extent that it is coherent it's actually profoundly offensive.

Arthur Silber has a few more comments.

A Fact is Born

Pandagon explains how it works.

Joke Journalism

Obviously this should be enough to get your ass fired. But, not in MSGOP land:

Two weeks ago, MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough introduced a guest, attorney Mike Papantonio, to point a finger at the "Rat of the Week."

Papantonio slammed a wood-preserving company called Osmose, saying it makes a dangerous product used in playground equipment and has "figured out how to poison our children and make a profit in the meantime."

What Scarborough didn't say is that Papantonio is his law partner, and that their firm has filed a lawsuit against Osmose. Instead, he urged viewers to demand that the government recall the company's product.

After an inquiry by The Washington Post, the former Republican congressman said last night on his program, "Scarborough Country": "I should have known that Mike Papantonio was involved in that case and should have asked him that question, so you could have had the full story. . . . I'll be the first to admit it: I made a mistake. And for that, I'm this week's Rat of the Week."

Guilty Pleasures

Nominate your favorite crap song/album/movie/TV show/book etc...

Friday, September 12, 2003

Wolfowitz's Flip Flops


WASHINGTON – The Pentagon's No. 2 official retreated Friday from his assertion that key lieutenants of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden are plotting with Saddam Hussein loyalists to kill Americans in Iraq.

In television and newspaper interviews on Thursday's anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said hundreds of fighters from al-Qaeda and other groups are now in Iraq. Wolfowitz also said "a great many" bin Laden operatives were trying to link up with remnants of Saddam's regime to attack Americans.

"We know it (Iraq) had a great deal to do with terrorism in general and with al-Qaeda in particular, and we know a great many of bin Laden's key lieutenants are now trying to organize in cooperation with old loyalists from the Saddam regime to attack in Iraq," Wolfowitz said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"There are some thousands of former Baathists (members of Saddam's Baath Party) and some hundreds of al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists who are ... killing Americans and Iraqis and U.N. officials and moderate Shiite leaders in order to destabilize Iraq," Wolfowitz said in an interview with The Washington Post.

But Wolfowitz – an architect of U.S. policy in Iraq – said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press that he had misspoken.

He said U.S. military forces were still trying to identify foreign fighters flowing into Iraq and whether they are collaborating with Saddam loyalists resisting the U.S.-led occupation forces.

UPDATE: Calpundit points out the obvious - that the retraction will be seen by a couple of orders of magnitude fewer people than the original. I knew that - I'm just still puzzled about the fact the he actually had to issue an official retraction at all. That hasn't been SOP for a long time.

Remind you of anything?

I couldn't find any other confirmation of this letter to the editor.

Flight grounded

When Charles Keiser, of Garretson, S.D., got his license, he signed up to be an organ donor. He died a few days ago, and the organ harvest team's flight was grounded because President Bush's Air Force One was scheduled to land.

How in God's name can a fund-raiser be put ahead of a person's life? Bush could have placed that heart on Air Force One, and gotten it to its recipient faster than anyone on earth. Isn't that what America is all about?


Why, it's almost like the time Clinton got a haircut and held up traffic at LAX for hours. Except, well, nobody was denied an organ and it didn't even actually happen anyway.

Extra! Extra! Get Your Extra Weekend Krenis Here!


One More Time

Dan Burton:

I was saying I hated to see the Democrats and especially Gray Davis keep control, and Bustamante may want to give California back to Mexico.

I'm just amazed people can say these things with impunity these days. I declare the Democrats get 5 free (genuine) bigot eruptions (And, yes, they have them too sometimes).

First troll to say "Robert Byrd" wins the idiot of the year award.

Hamas Soldiers

Hey, if Pejman, the National Review, and the LA Times refer to "Hamas Soldiers," why can't Howard Dean?

On a related note, Freepers (heart) Jews.

UPDATE: Look, I understand that the reason that people think they can make noise about this stuff is the issue of whether suicide bombing buses is the same as targetting the Hamas terrorists. And, sure, "soldiers" is sure a much nicer word than "terrorists," but I don't think that when the meaning in context is crystal clear it's legitimate to cry foul because "soldier" is an automatic code word.

As Elton Beard makes clear, Dean's meaning was in fact crystal clear - that since Hamas is engaging in military activities, they're fair game to be targeted similarly. Since Dean was supporting Israel's right to, you know, blow this crap out of them unequivocally it's odd how this can be spun against him. Well, not odd, but dishonest.

If you want to claim that as a president one has to be very careful with one's language, I agree. But, the current occupant has done things like put our "one nation" policy on China and Taiwan in question with his little flubs, and he's been in office for awhile. It's a rather minor criticism, and to spin it into anti-Semitism or a signal of a possible seismic shift in our relationship with Israel is laughable. oh, and dishonest.


I think I've finally figured out why the Bush administration has appeared to be covering up the events of 9/11, and why some of the report was classified. Most people think the unnamed State that Bob Graham keeps referring to as being thought to have been behind 9/11 is Saudi Arabia. It wasn't - it was Iraq.

The Bush administration has known all along that Saddam Hussein, in league with Bin Laden, was behind the attacks. So, why the coverup? Well, we all know that the Clinton administration had decimated the military. There just was no way the US could win a war against Iraq. But, Bush had to act, so he chose to attack the easier target first, while Cheney and Rumsfeld rebuilt the military.

It was the right thing to do. There is no way the Bush administration could admit to the world that we were so weak at that time.

Thank G-d for his wisdom.

(related: From Ann Coulter's pen to Brit Hume's mouth.)

Shocking Comments

Today, presidential candidate Howard Dean stunned a campaign audience by commenting that he needs to make sure to win the primary because "Joe Lieberman wants to give the US to Israel."

Hahaha, of course Howard Dean didn't say that. But, Congressman Dan Burton, on the other hand...

State Sen. Tom McClintock took a call Wednesday from powerful Republican Congressman Dan Burton, asking him to clear the GOP field for Arnold Schwarzenegger by pulling out of the race.


"I was saying I hated to see the Democrats and especially Gray Davis keep control, and Bustamante may want to give California back to Mexico — I said that tongue in cheek," Burton said, referring to the incumbent Davis and to Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante.

The Krenis

One of the more amusing anti-Krugman memes is that he's an expert in economics so he should only write about economics, and since he isn't an expert in politics, or international affairs, or military strategy, or whatever, he shouldn't be writing about those subjects.

What an interesting standard for pundits. I look forward to it being applied across the board.

Here's today's shrillness.

So Sorry So Very Sorry

The beginning of the Bush presidency was marked by an incident which probably would have brought down a president Gore - when Bush got down on his knees and begged for forgiveneess from the Chinese as they stole a bunch of classified information from it.

Ah, those innocent times, when all the wingnuts were arguing that Bush only said "sorry" instead of "really really sorry" so somehow he wasn't actually saying "sorry" at all...

or something.

Two Johns Gone

Cash and Ritter, RIP.

The Joys of Private Government

Homeowners' Association says guy can't fly flag. May take his home if he can't pay the legal fees associated with the case.

A Media Consultant is Born

From Comments:
If Ted Turner still ran CNN, he would take note of The Bill O'Reilly time slot, and then he would run a show called "Bill O'Reilly is a Stupid Jerk-off" in the same slot, hosted by Al Franken.

And I would watch it.

I have no idea if Ted Turner would have done such a thing, but the point is valid -- if you want to fight Fox, fight Fox.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Ann Coulter


On the basis of their recent pronouncements, the position of the Democratic Party seems to be that Saddam Hussein did not hit us on 9-11, but Halliburton did.

Most Democrats I know think it was OSAMA BIN FUCKING LADEN, though I suppose we could be wrong.

Colin Quinn

It's amazing how the poor guy can, night after night, give a monologue without getting a single laugh and still keep his show.

President Bill Bradley, Two Years Later

Jesse wonders what the alternate reality of President Gore would have been like post 9-11. I want to propose a different hypothetical - what if we had a President Bradley? I ask that because if Gore were in office, the "you were in charge for 8 years and did nothing" charge would be too easy to make, fair or not. The Republican hate machine and the lying media were fully geared up to gore Gore, and would have just continued doing so. But, let's imagine that we had a different Democrat in office...

I know one thing. No matter who the Democrat was, I'd be able to turn on my tv to ABC's Nightline in about 90 minutes and see, at the bottom of the screen, "729 days Without Finding Bin laden..."

And While We're on Personality...

When's CNN gonna give a liberal a show? I mean, Wolf Blitzer is basically a neoconservative hawk who has stated that after 9/11 the press should just lay off and support the president. Lou Dobbs is obviously a Republican. Not an insane movement conservative type, but still a Republican. Paula Zahn used to be on Fox and she hasn't changed much. Anderson Cooper seems pretty apolitical. The closest thing to a liberal on there I suppose is Aaron Brown, but the only reason to say that is because of his whole "thoughtful" schtick.

CNN doesn't have "movement conservatives" like Fox, but their anchors are either sort of apolitical or lean strongly Republican. The truth is - if they want personality they should let them take the gloves off. This whole faux-objective "straight news" stuff basically means that all people can do is recite one version or another of the "conventional wisdom" with some sort of irrelevant personal spin or cute delivery on top of it.

WTF is CNN Doing?

It's fine that, as this article says, they want to make the network "personality driven." But, if they think the way to do it is to have 24 different "personalities," one for each hour, then they've totally misunderstood what Fox is doing. Fox succeeds because the network itself has a personalitiy. The specifics don't matter much. Fox is like AM talk radio - same bullshit, different blowhward every few hours. Sure it helps if you anchor it around a strong ratings grabber like O'Reilly, but it isn't about O'Reilly.

CNN itself needs a consistent personality. It can go back to doing hard news with more pre-produced segments like it used to, or it can have a point of view like Fox... but then it has to have a different point of view than Fox.

And, frankly, Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn just aren't very good.

From the article:

CNN's hopes of reclaiming No. 1 from Fox News Channel were dealt a major setback this week with the disappointing premieres of “Anderson Cooper 360” and “Paula Zahn Now.”

The audience for “Cooper” on Monday was down 47 percent in the 7 p.m. time slot occupied last year by “Crossfire,” to 319,000 people, while “Zahn's” audience of 508,000 people was down 45 percent in the 8 p.m. time slot briefly occupied by the canceled “Connie Chung.” All figures are based on preliminary Nielsen Media Research data.

CNN's new programs pulled in roughly one-third the viewers of competing shows on Fox News. Most notably, “Zahn” faced “The O'Reilly Factor,” which was watched by more than 1.4 million people despite having a guest host on Monday.


They are trying to make [the network] personality driven, which is what Fox News has been able to do with people like Bill O'Reilly. It seems Fox News has been able to create appointment viewing, but it's a little harder to be the second person in on that.”

If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting...

Joe Gets Something Right

There was something hideously wrong with Bush's speech Sunday night, and I don't mean in an "I'm a partisan so it was bad and he's a big liar" (all true) kind of way, but simply in a bad politics kind of way. Joe Lieberman actually hits on precisely why:

What President Bush gave the American people on Sunday night was a price tag, not a plan.

The speech went: terra terra terra terra $87 BILLION DOLLARS terra terra terra terra.

They didn't trot him out to give the speech because he really needed to convince Amurkans to support his excellent adventure, they trotted him out to reassure them that everything was wonderful. With a price tag of $87 billion, things can't be wonderful.

Funny Comparisons

So, CNN's John King was giving the White House spin on his declining numbers. The White House is putting out the word that the Clenis and Reagan had lower poll numbers than Bush at a similar time before their successful re-election campaigns.

True enough, but they missed a president...

One would have thought King could have pointed that out.

A Lott of Hackery

Wow, John Lott just gets worse and worse. I bet he wishes he could use the little time machine he tried to invent to go back in time and prevent tenacious Tim Lambert from ever being born somehow.

Still, his sins for his gun work pale in comparison to his sins on the Florida election. There he did things like deliberately introduce multi-collinearity as well reporting the "best" coefficients, by picking and choosing from a variety of different models. Anyone who deliberately cooks the books to try and justify the disenfranchisement of minority voters is a truly bad man.

9-12-01 Papers

Angry Bear has the NYT. I always preferred the Examiner:

Support the Troops

I cannot imagine the anger this kind of thing must cause:

WASHINGTON - After a grenade exploded inside his Humvee in Iraq, Marine Staff Sgt. Bill Murwin was treated at a military hospital in Germany and spent four weeks at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Part of his left foot was amputated.

His medical care was free, but the government billed him $243 for the food.

Then, just three days after he received his first bill for the hospital food in Germany, he got a stern letter saying the bill was overdue. It warned that his account would be referred to a collection agency.

Murwin, like thousands of other military personnel hospitalized every year, is expected to reimburse the government $8.10 per day for food. That's standard procedure because of a law Congress passed in 1981. But it has angered many military families over the years.

This law dates from 1981, so (listen up trolls!) I'm not blaming this one on Bush.

UPDATE: reader r writes in:

All officers and those enlisted soldiers authorized to mess seperately are paid an allowance called "seperate rations." If you draw seperate rations and eat in the mess hall, you must pay for that meal. If you're in the hospital, the cost of each meal you consume while hospitalized is deducted from your monthly paycheck. Officers pay an additional surcharge in addition to the cost of the meal.

In April 1997 my Humvee went over a mine in Bosnia. My driver broke her jaw and lost most of her front teeth when she impacted the steering wheel. I broke my neck. The policy in effect at the time waived meal costs for soldiers hospitalized as a result of injuries sustained while deployed.

Of course the Clinton administration probably had to be much more careful about negative news stories than this administration so they may have modified the policy just to avoid bad press. I didn't pay much attention to politics at the time.

But they still made me pay the surcharge.

What the Media Didn't Show Us Much Of

I remember being somewhat saddened at the relatively scant coverage of the worldwide outpouring of sympathy two years ago, and of course now it's down the memory hole underneath the freedom fries. Here's a site which reminds us.

(via Tbogg)

No Ideas, No Policies

Matthew Y. rightly points out that there's little point in having wonky policy debates which are reported to fill the air at his new place of employment. Often the conservatarians, on one of their usual moral high horses, chastize us left-leaning bloggers for doing nothing but criticizing Bush, blah blah blah. But, as Paul Krugman pointed out in his Buzzflash interview, there is no policy to debate. As he said, at least back in the Reagan/Bush I years, or hell even during the reign of King Newt I, there was some pretense that there was a genuine debate about how to solve very real problems and very real unfair inequities. Conservatives and liberals might disagree somewhat about the nature of the problems, but it was more the solutions that were being argued about. Of course, it was mostly bullshit but at least they bothered to come up with it. Now, they just do what they want to do, proclaim it "compassionate," and don't even try to justifiy it.

So, as Matthew points out, why bother messing up the lovely partisan rancor with any high-minded policy debates. They're just a distraction, frankly, and will be until we have some grownups in charge again.

20 Questions

This is a good article in the PDN.

Two years later, I'm really fed up with the idea that asking questions about 9/11 is being a 'conspiracy theorist.' There is a conspiracy out there - a conspiracy to not let people find out just what the hell happened and why. The degree to which the conservatarians get uncomfortable when things are brought up makes it clear they know there's something stinky going on.

It's clear the administration has covered up a lot about the events of that day and what led up to it. Now, I'm not claiming that Dick Cheney piloted the planes by remote control to give him an excuse to get that sweet sweet crude. But, the stonewalling and silence - with which the media are extraordinarily complicit - shows they have something to hide.

What? Who knows. Maybe nothing more than colossal failures of the FBI. I don't know. But, two years later it's time to get some answers to things which we may have been able to answer 23 months ago if the media didn't go into "ask no questions" mode.

Brain Melting

They really are delusional. And this, from an editor of the liberal New Republic. I don't even know where to begin with this.

Revisionist Historians

Bush's pal:

The comment reportedly came during a discussion of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, which brought up Italy's experience with a tyrannical leader. Mussolini ruled Italy from 1922 until his ouster in 1943.

"Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini used to send people on vacation in internal exile," Berlusconi was quoted as saying.


"The Fascist regime did not make extermination camps for the Jews, but certainly it contributed to creating them," he told the AGI news agency. "If killing someone only means hitting an adversary and killing him, then not even Hitler killed anyone. But in that way, we can say that there are no murderers in the world."

Widespread persecution of Italian Jews began in 1938 when Mussolini's regime issued racial laws. In 1943, German troops occupied northern and central Italy, and almost 7,000 Jews were deported, 5,910 of whom were killed.

UPDATE: Just want to add that this fondness for fascism of old is a disturbing feature of the right wing governments in Spain and in Italy. The state run Spanish television station (odd how the conservatarian bloggers never complain about that example of state-controlled media, despite its definite like of BBC-style independence) had a historical series recently which is a very sympathetic view of the Franco era.

Franco and Mussolini weren't Hitler, and Franco's Spain became decreasingly authoritarian over time, but this wave of nostalgia for them is creepy as hell.

Orwellian Wacko Site

That's what Lunaville is calling the centcom site. There's nothing wrong with trumpeting good news if there's good news to trumpet, but they've suddenly removed all the front page links to casualty and death reports.

oh, wait, I've found them...they've given them their own special page which you have to click through from the bottom of the page.

While you're there check out Lunaville's new stats page on the deaths. Check out the age distribution. Unsurprising number of young guys, but a surprising number of "old" guys.

September 11 Sentiments

I'm not gonna get all weepy, because I'm just angry. As Neal Pollack says:

Details can be found here, but to summarize, if you book a ticket through Galileo, the company will send your information to the federal government, which will then open up a file on you, run a criminal background check, and determine, based on whatever information you've accumulated, if you're a "threat." They will then assign you a threat color for when you get to the airport. If you're "Green," then you'll pass through security as normal. "Yellows" will undergo additional background checks. "Reds" will never be allowed to fly again.

The government isn't legally obligated to tell you how you've been classified or why. The Transportation Security Administration doesn't even require that any of the private databases they use to "screen" people contain accurate information, just as the Justice Department has exempted their warrant database from being accurate.

I'm going to quote from this excellent website, Don't Spy On Us: "CAPPS II is nothing less than a Soviet-style system of internal border controls. An incredible invasion of privacy, the system is un-American and un-Constitutional." Amen to that. If you're as angry about this as I am, go here to take constructive action.

I don't even have the energy to make a joke about what color code the bin Laden and the Saudi royal families would have been assigned if this system had been in place two years ago. The hypocrisy of the War On Terror never ceases to astound me. The mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing roams free and disseminates his hate propaganda at will, while regular Americans are left to wonder if they're going to be arrested for the crime of purchasing a ticket to San Diego.

Happy September 11, everyone.

This fucking government. I swear.

The conservatarians will say this is fine and dandy until they get barred from a flight. Then they'll whine that the problem with the system is that it obviously isn't doing enough racial profiling because good pasty people like them shouldn't be inconvenienced by such things.

Hoping for Anti-Semitism

This is a new low. Andrew Sullivan sees the word "Israel" in a song written in a language he doesn't understand and gets excited at the possibility there's something anti-Semitic in it. There isn't.

Jamaica, Haiti, Creole, Sambo-bonics, it's all the same to Andy...

Thursday is new jobless day!

Congratulations to the 422K new jobless! Lucky Duckies!

...WampumBlog notes that continued claims are rising substantially.
Anyway, my crystal ball says small unemployment uptick in September (6.2 or 6.3) and then things get bad in October-November-December..

Distinguished Elder Statesmen

"Fuck the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway." - James Baker.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Indefinite Detention Without Trial

On September 11, 2001, the Bush cabal began destroying everything this country was supposed to stand for.

Jim Crow II

Orcinus has more.

Reynolds, as I said, has some explaining to do. This kind of minimizing the historical realities of the racist South is precisely what Trent Lott was doing when he landed in the national doghouse. Of course, Reynolds likes to compare Bustamante to Lott -- as though MEChA was comparable in either rhetoric or agenda to the Council of Conservative Citizens, or the "Aztlan" myth to the reality of segregation. Reynolds, of all people, should know better.

Well, I disagree with the last sentence, but... Go read the rest.

Rummy Rum Rum Then and Now


I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that.


JIM LEHRER: Rightly or wrongly, Mr. Secretary, I went back and checked the record today, the impression that was given in public statements and all that sort of thing was that when this war ended, this war was going to end, that when Saddam Hussein and his regime, you know, fell, then the rest of it was going to be kind of a mop-up. And I'm just --


JIM LEHRER: Okay. All right.

DONALD RUMSFELD: You don't have quotes from...

JIM LEHRER: I don't have mop-up quotes and that sort of thing from you. But there was a general impression, as I say, rightly or wrongly…

DONALD RUMSFELD: There were some people who were quite optimistic that there would be a surrender of their army in a formal way.


DONALD RUMSFELD: In fact, what happened was they didn't surrender. The intelligence was not perfect on that. They bled into the countryside. We had maybe ten, twelve thousand surrendered out of a much bigger universe.

JIM LEHRER: But you do understand why people ask questions that are like I just asked you, do you not?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Sure, we've got 24 hour news. People are impatient.

JIM LEHRER: No, no I'm not talking about news. I'm talking about, you know, the impression that was left....

DONALD RUMSFELD: Some people, as I say, did leave the impression that their view was that. My view was I didn't know. And I didn't ever give optimistic suggestions because I knew I didn't know.

Buzzflash Interviews Krugman


KRUGMAN: Again, I think it comes back to press coverage. Just this weekend, I was looking at something: There's an enormous scandal right now involving Boeing and a federal contract, which appears to have been overpaid by $4 billion. The Pentagon official who was responsible for the contract has now left and has become a top executive at Boeing. And it's been barely covered in the press –- a couple of stories on inside pages. You compare that with the White House travel office in 1993. There were accusations, later found to be false, that the Clintons had intervened improperly to dismiss a couple of employees in the White House travel office.

That was the subject, in the course of one month, of three front-page stories in the Washington Post. So if people don't understand how badly things are being managed now, and have an unduly negative sense of how things were managed in the Clinton years, well, there in a nutshell is your explanation.

You can buy the book here.

You can also listen to him on Fresh Air today here.

I can just hear Gollum Luskin mumbling "my precious..."

Jim Crow

Instapundit equates MEChA with Jim Crow.

A little history lesson:

All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive...are forever prohibited, and shall be void. Maryland

All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine...shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room at any time. Georgia

The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons. Georgia

No persons, firms, or corporations, who or which furnish meals to passengers at station restaurants... shall furnish said meals to white and colored passengers in the same room, or at the same table, or at the same counter. South Carolina

[The County Board of Education] shall provide schools of two kinds; those for white children and those for colored children. Texas

Let's compare that to Berkeley MEChA's constitution:

Homophobia: We will not tolerate the exclusion of Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/Transgender (LGBT) Chicanas/os. Homophobic remarks, comments, gestures, and/or doctrines will not be tolerated during any Berkeley MEChA meeting or event.

Mutual Respect: Disruptions, threats, rumors, slanders, and the pitting of Mechistas against one another will not be tolerated since it breeds disharmony and division amongst the membership.


Racism: Racist remarks, comments, gestures, and/or doctrines will not be tolerated during any Berkeley MEChA meeting or event.

Sexism: Sexist remarks, comments, gestures, and/or doctrines will not be tolerated during any Berkeley MEChA meeting or event. We need the contributions of women and men working together for the betterment of nuestra Raza.


Gender Issues: To address issues of sexism and homophobia within our community by providing Chicana/o and Combined Caucuses throughout the school year which will establish an open forum and creates lines of communication


Berkeley MEChA will not restrict membership based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical and mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or status as a covered veteran; we will not haze according to California State Law.

I suppose they're almost the same.

Meanwhile, Arnold, cousin of convicted killer Michael Skakel, is still associated with US English.

As a wise man once said, "Sure, you can criticize ____ without being anti-_____. But when you criticize _____ for things you ignore in others, it raises certain doubts."



NEW YORK (Reuters) - The burning ruins of the World Trade Center spewed toxic gases "like a chemical factory" for at least six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks despite government assurances the air was safe, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The gases of toxic metals, acids and organics could penetrate deeply into the lungs of workers at Ground Zero, said the study by scientists at the University of California at Davis and released at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in New York.

Lead study author Thomas Cahill, a professor of physics and engineering, said conditions would have been "brutal" for workers at Ground Zero without respirators and slightly less so for those working or living in adjacent buildings.

"The debris pile acted like a chemical factory," Cahill said. "It cooked together the components and the buildings and their contents, including enormous numbers of computers, and gave off gases of toxic metals, acids and organics for at least six weeks."

The report comes amid questions about air quality at Ground Zero and what the public was told by the government.

Last month, an internal report by Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) Inspector General Nikki Tinsley said the White House pressured the agency to make premature statements that the air was safe to breathe.

The EPA issued an air quality statement on Sept. 18, 2001, even though it "did not have sufficient data and analyzes to make the statement," the report said.

Condi the Untouchable

The Howler notices that Condi Rice says the most unbelievable things and no bothers to notice.



You know, these guys long ago stopped even pretending. Who's gonna stop us? is their motto and they're right.

Wolf's Back.

So go get him!

Mighty Mighty Funny

The Mighty Reason Man takes a look at the right wing blogosphere.

Thanks, Rudy

Missing from all the discussion about the extreme compensation given to the NYSE head are the almost $1 billion in subsidies that free market champions Pataki and Guiliani dished out to the NYSE to keep it from following through on its laughable threat to move to New Jersey.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Credit Where Credit is Due

The proprietor of the Paul Krugman Archive was responsible for sending in an item earlier, and I neglected to give a link. So, here it is!

Barbara "I am Hillary!" Comstock Resigns


Strange Bedfellows

Tapped and Pejman agree.

No More CDs

I think I'm done buying for awhile.

I'm actually not sure who is or isn't a member of the RIAA, but if anyone wants to suggest some fine music by people not involved with them I'd be happy to spend my dollars elsewhere.

(via Newman)

... Brian Linse says that the late Warren Zevon's label is not associated with the RIAA. So, go buy his latest!

No Charitable Interpretation

Andrew Sullivan is glad our soldiers are getting killed because he believes that "it creates a target for Islamist terrorists that is not Israel."

Shorter David Brooks

From BusyBusyBusy.

The Horse is Right

What the horse says here is dead on:

Kerry's "Liability"

The media should stop pretending they don't understand Senator Kerry's nuanced position on the Iraq resolution and subsequent invasion. They do. What's more, so do the vast majority if Americans, including the more "impressionable" segment Kerry detractors hope to convince he's a "waffler."

The voting public will understand Senator Kerry's explanation because their view has evolved in precisely the same way. There was a surge of public support for the invasion when the invasion became an inevitability, followed by increasingly expressed doubts and criticisms. When Senator Kerry says he believed the resolution was necessary for the US to negotiate from a position of strength, people will get it. Despite the willful obtuseness of his critics, context matters, and any voter can easily discern the difference between actions such as voting for a resolution out of "statesmanship" and strategy (or voicing support to pollsters during the invasion) - and "flip flopping."

What's more, Kerry is on record as voicing conditions for an invasion similar to those voiced by the public.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Kerry's vote in favor of the Iraq resolution would not a liability in a Kerry-Bush matchup, except for tiny minorities who opposed any invasion under any circumstance and will not vote for either as a result, or who believe affording a liar a degree of trust for defensible reasons is worse than being a liar.

In fact, each time Senator Kerry is asked about it he is granted another opportunity to relay to the vast majority of the American people that he, not the unelected fraud, better represents their favored approach to international relations - the one they have repeatedly told pollsters is their preference.

I do think it is an actual liability, but only because the media will, as the horse describes, pretend they just can't comprehend it.

I do hold that vote against Kerry, but I don't think his position has been inconsistent.

2-4 million people will be banned from flying?

That's what the spokesman for the lovely CAPPS II program says.

Racism and Identity Politics

TAPPED asks about the virtues of and limits to organizing around racial and ethnic identity, and snipply writes "If Atrios would rather complain about how the evil media never, ever cover examples of white racism, that's fine by Tapped."

Look, identity politics and racism are not the same thing. Even "white" identity politics is not necessarily racist in nature, purpose, or impact. I wasn't complaining that the mainstream media fails to cover racism (though we could discuss that), I was complaining about the selective labeling of identity politics.

It's rather odd, actually. We've "defined racism upwards" in this country so much so that the it's a charge the media is never prepared to make. However, they do regularly throw around "identity politics" which is effectively a code-phrase for racism-against-whites. So, minorities who cry "racism" (often legitimately) are chastised for practicing "divisive racial politics" while bowtied blowhards babble on about "divisive identity politics" with impunity.

Racism can be the basis of identity politics, but it need not be. Simply because racial/ethnic groups have commonalities does not necessitate or imply racial exclusion. Despite the use of the word "Raza," anyone with a lick of understanding about contemporary Latino identity understands that it, and therefore groups like MEChA, encompass every race, color, and creed.

One would hope for a day when any notions of ethnicity and culture are distinct from race. But, given continued immigration by people of color, the historic treatment of African-Americans, Asians, and others, as well as the continuation of racial segregation in this country, and of course the current practice of racial exclusion-based identity politics by whites, means that day isn't coming anytime soon.

We live in a country where the white-dominated major media trumpeted the racist propaganda (to call it pseudo-science gives pseudo-science a bad name) of The Bell Curve, where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was a polling place thug, where the Attorney General praises the explicitly racist neo-Confederate Southern Partisan magazine, where a "respectable" (by Republicans, anyway) newspaper is run and staffed by confederate bigots who advocate southern secession, where the president can mark Martin Luther King's birthday by explicitly lying about the Michigan affirmative action program, when a star journalist on a major news network can joke that the Democrats should rap at the CBC debate without public notice or sanction, etc... etc... For some racial groups, there is no choice but to use racial identity as an organizing principle. After all, racial identity has been used as an organizing principle for years - organizing *against* them.

At heart, I suppose, TAPPED is asking a practical question - does scary divisive "identity politics" keep white voters away from voting for Democrats? Probably. Every time some media person, as someone on CNN did yesterday (Bob Franken?), says something like "African-Americans are by far the most important demographic group for Democrats," which is either completely meaningless or completely incorrect, white voters get scared away from Democrats. Every time someone like Bill Schneider engages in a bit of racial demagoguery by stating that without the black vote the Democrats would "a hopeless minority," white voters get scared away from voting for Democrats.

But, on the other hand, every time a bunch of white Democrats start telling Black and Latino voters not to get too uppity, and definitely don't get too uppity as a group, they get scared away from voting for Democrats too. If blacks and Latinos are to have political power, they have little choice but too organize and little option but to organize as the groups they've been placed in by our society. As I said, one would hope that ethnic and cultural identity, and interest group politics, would eventually have nothing to do with race. But, hey, it does. more thing. As PG points out in comments, minorities are not monolithic Democratic voting blocks. Oddly, though, the issue of identity politics is only raised in the context of liberal and Democratic politics. If Bush is "courting the Hispanic vote" or "courting the Black vote" or Grover Norquist is "courting the Muslim and Arab American vote," it isn't viewed that way.

Did We Win?

Has Blitzer stopped doing online polls?

If so, you're NEXT LOU DOBBS!

Will to Win

"It's a battle of wills." General Myers, just now.

Fighting Terrorists in Iraq

I know this the standard line these days, as getting the Amurkan people behind spending $87 billion to help those poor Ay-rabs out for humanitarian reasons is damn near impossible, but do people really believe it? I know the conservative Borg will keep spouting it, but can they honestly believe that we are now in Iraq to fight terrorists?


He's testifying right now (guarantee CNN cuts away before questioning begins). He looks like he's about to lose it totally.

Popular Wartime President

New Time poll puts him at 52%.

Only the Best

One of the chief architects of Russia's disastrous transition is headed to Iraq...

He's an expert in giving away the farm to well-connected insiders.

Getting their Hair Mussed

Via uggabugga, we find this quote by Ann Coulter.

These are the same arguments, the precise same arguments that were being made before the war. It’s going to be a quagmire. What is the plan? When do we get out? How much is it going to cost? Someone in the military might get his hair mussed. We heard all these arguments.

I'd like to introduce Ann to this little website, which apparently is a tribute to all of those in the military who are having bad hair days.

No More Combat in Iraq!

Er, no more combat pay that is...

UPDATE: That's slightly old news. Damn messed up google search. What I was looking for was confirmation of a report that they are cutting combat pay in Afghanistan, the Philipinnes, and elsewhere...

One More Time

Fred Barnes, on the Beltway Boys, 9/6/03:

BARNES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I hope they tell, try to do rap singing when they're at this debate next week before the Congressional Black Caucus. OK.


Worth a Thousand Words

That Liberal Media

Well, duhh. Anyone who has watched these networks knows that this is how it works:

September 8, 2003 -- CNN is being accused of racial, sexual and age discrimination in a pair of lawsuits filed by former employees.
An ex-vice president, Bonnie Anderson, whose job was to recruite on-air talent for CNN, claims she was fired because she refused to take part in an alleged discrimination.

Anderson claims that CNN was looking for a particular ethnic mix: foreign-born journalists for CNN International and mostly white on-air personalities for Headline News, where CNN routinely relegates minorities to secondary anchor roles, according to the suit.

Former CNN International anchor who is a white Canadian-American, Marina Kolbe, alleges in a second suit that she was fired as a result of a policy "to segregate the CNN news networks and concentrate ethnic and racial minority anchors on CNN International."

Mo Money Mo Money

That was quick! They're already admitting that $87 billion isn't even close to what they need.

the sad thing is, this money is gonna get pissed away on rent-a-mercs, new hum-vees, and pork for Halliburton. Give me $87 billion to spend and I'll pave the goddamn highways with gold.

$87 Billion

Perhaps a small price to pay for the resignations of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.

No one in this administration has truly fallen on their sword for a major screwup. The only people who have been booted have been those who showed insufficient loyalty. If Rummy and Wolfowitz of Arabia want their grand plan to succeed, they should step aside and let competent individuals handle things.

...Oliver says Rumsfeld needs to go.

Monday, September 08, 2003

The Beltway Bigot

Fred Barnes, 9/6/03:

BARNES: ... they were -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE), rebuild America, what are they talking about, rebuild America then?

But I was amused, potentially, to see since, since this debate was sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, to hear these Democratic candidates try to speak Spanish. Listen to this.


REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ahora es el tiempo de bover nuestros soldados de Iraq (ph).

DEAN: Deron pro llamos se seguro Americo para tos, los ninos, ninos de dias y ocho agnose dilladan (ph).

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Muchos palabres pocas obras (ph).


BARNES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I hope they tell, try to do rap singing when they're at this debate next week before the Congressional Black Caucus. OK.

Next up on the Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes discusses the evils of Identity Politics...

When last we saw Fred, he was being a very naughty boy as well.


It's all fine and dandy that they use a military jet to buzz the new stadium, but did they have to buzz my apartment too?

Bookman Speaks

Jay Bookman, who told the world about PNAC back when it was still a crazy conspiracy theory, and not Conventional Foreign Policy Wisdom, has a must read op-ed about the whole situation.

Peace Through Strength

Jerry Doolittle examines some recent history.

Luskin Recommending Readers Attack Krugman

God this guy needs help:

His personal website lists 14 speaking engagements around the country, with more to come (a helpful reader suggested that coconut cream pie works the best for such occasions).

Back in the early blogging days...

Back when the poor ADD-suffering warbloggers still had their eyes fixed on the shiny bauble that was the Afganistan conflict, whenever some Americanhating liberal like myself would suggest that maybe, just maybe, things weren't going so well in that country, howls of of outrage would come my way. I eventually (mostly) stopped bothering, as, well, what was the point. Then the War Fairy came along with a NEW nice and shiny bauble, called Iraq, and they were distracted from their original toy.

Well, now, Iraq is a mess and once again the people in charge are blaming their critics. These people live in a bizarre world where if only a bunch of dorks chained to their computers have enough "steely resolve," you know, to watch other people's kids go and die (clap louder!), then the Bush administration, which has managed to fuck up everything in its path, will triumph over the forces of evil.

Learned my lessson I guess. Afghanistan is a mess. Iraq is a mess.

...Tom Spencer gives us Deja Vu.

Clap Louder!

Donald Rumsfeld as Peter Pan.

A Real Live Minority Speaks

Steve Gilliard has some more on identity politics.

Torture Wolf!

Remember, the point of these polls isn't to necessarily give the answer you think is correct, but rather the one which will make Wolf the most unhappy. The ultimate goal, if we can skew them all 99% every time, is to get them to stop doing goddamn online polls.

Aiding and Abetting

I suppose I should be honored that Donald Rumsfeld thinks my Mighty Blog has the power to change the course of world events, but frankly I'm getting a little tired of being told I'm a traitor and that I'm responsible for getting our troops killed by the guys who created this whole mess in the first place.

This is the sickest kind of political discourse imaginable, and the fact that it's standard stuff these days and not being met with universal outrage by our liberal media shows how low we've gone.

Arthur Silber and CalPundit also comment.

Even More Identity Politics

TAPPED says:

We note that Atrios -- by pointing out that plenty of white people (such as "the Texas Republicans who are currently panicking over the impending Hispanic takeover of their state") embrace "identity politics" -- implicitly equates those paranoid Texans who fear a Hispanic takeover of the southwest U.S. with the fringe activists who would welcome such an eventuality. Arguably, both phenomena are illiberal. So we would put the question back to Atrios: If he dislikes "identity politics" when practiced by white people, does he also dislike it when practiced by nonwhite people?

In their example, Tapped hits at the central issue. Paranoid Texan politicians, from the House Majority Leader on down to the governor and the Texas Legislature are indeed engaged in "identity politics," while a bunch of fringe activists are with no political power are... a bunch of fringe activists with no political power. When the dominant group, and in this case the dominant political group, abuses its power to marginalize the political power and discourse of other racial/ethnic groups, it's puzzling that all of the attention is then put on the attempts of the powerless to organize against it. They've already been identified by the dominant group. The socio-political-economic structure has already grouped them together, and told them to go to the back of the bus. When you're marked and labeled by your race or ethnicity, it's very odd to expect those individuals not to organize around it. In fact, arguably they have little choice.

It's irrelevant whether I "like" or "don't like" identity politics. It has always been with us and it always will. People group together based on similar characteristics and political desires, and in states like Texas and California where Fear of the Brown Horde is a steady theme of right wing politicians, it's odd to criticize the Brown Horde itself for uniting and standing up for itself. "Identity politics" is largely meaningless phrase which is only ever applied to minority interests, even when it is being practiced to a greater effect and degree by the majority or otherwise politically powerful. For this reason, one rarely hears of Cuban-American "identity politics" in Miami, because they're they dominant political group. Therefore, they get to graduate from "identity politics" to "interest group," or simply "in charge." No one refers to the Christian Coaliation as practitioners of "identity politics" either, even though they choose to practice it while externally identifiable minorities are almost forced to engage in it.

My beef with Tapped over this issue more generally is a tendency to make snide comments about "identity politics" every time a Real Live Minority stands up for other Real Live Minorities. Now, Tapped and The American Prospect in general are of course on the right side of the civil rights issue policy-wise, but the tendency to try and marginalize minority discourse is occasionally upsetting. The lack of minority voices on both minority and other issues in the media should be of some concern for the liberal media. Of course, minorities in journalism know that if they speak too much about minority issues they'll be quickly marginalized by those who dominate the discourse. Unless, of course, they're Bold and Brave and Contrarian enough to stand up to all the evil racial demagoguery emanating from those horrible civil rights leaders.

Sure, demagoguery exists on all sides and inappropriate racial demagoguery is particularly poisonous in a country with our history. But when it comes from people with little or no political power and few chances to participate in the national political discourse, it's an entirely different issue. Some things happening under the banner of "identity politics" I won't like, as with everything, but to marginalize united minority voices trying to scream above the crowd while ignoring what is forcing that issue - the identity politics of white men - is a sad trend in both in the so -called and actual liberal media.

Salon is the only media outlet I've seen which has dared to address the racial politics of the Texas redistrcting shenanigans head on, while MEChA is now a household word. There's something wrong here.

Thank God for 9/11

Fred Phelps visits Manhattan.

Davis Comments Horrible

Anti-immigrant rhetoric is both wrong and wrong-headed, politically.

UPDATE: Kynn over at Shock and Awe notes that the McClintock campaign has been picking on Arnold's English too. But, actually, Davis still comes out looking worse. There's a difference between slamming someone's English and slamming their accent. If you want to argue that Arnold's grasp of the English language isn't sufficiently developed for him to be the governor of California, that's a fair line of argument (even though I don't agree with it). My lack of French would disqualify me from becoming President of France.

However, Arnold's accent is something that most adult immigrants are unable to change. After a certain age, most (but not all) people are incapable of adopting the proper cadence and pronunciation of new languages even if they devote themselves to it for decades. Knocking accents is a kind of anti-immigrant rhetoric.

It isn't the biggest deal in the world, and far less of a big deal than Arnold's N-word fetish, but it's poorly chosen and shouldn't continue.

What Color is the Sky... Safire's world?

While global attention is fixed on the Franco-German attempt to wrest control of the resurrection of Iraq from its U.S.-led liberators, ...

Warren Zevon



Howard Dean:

In 15 minutes, he attempted to make up for 15 months of misleading the American people and 15 weeks of mismanaging the reconstruction," he said.

More Gibson

Cute stuff:

Part of the brouhaha stems from Gibson's interest in Anne Catherine Emmerich, a 19th-century Augustinian nun in Germany who recounted visions of Christ's Crucifixion that some regard as anti-Semitic. Gibson, who carries a piece of her habit as a relic, asks:

"Why are they calling her a Nazi? Because modern secular Judaism wants to blame the Holocaust on the Catholic Church. And it's revisionism. And they've been working on that one for a while."

"To me, this [comment] is classic anti-Semitism," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman told us.

Foxman, who survived the Holocaust because Catholic clergy baptized him to shield him from the Nazis, added, "I think [Gibson] is on the fringes of anti-Semitism."

Gibson also lays his lash on New York Times columnist Frank Rich. Responding to remarks about the Holocaust made in The Times by Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, Rich accused the actor's camp of using "PR spin to defend a Holocaust denier."

Mel Gibson says of Rich, "I want to kill him. I want his intestines on a stick. ... I want to kill his dog." (Rich told us, through a Times spokeswoman, "I don't have a dog.")

The article says Gibson reluctantly took out a scene in which Caiaphas, a Jewish high priest, says of Christ, "His blood be on us, and on our children." The passage, from the Gospel of Matthew, has been interpreted by some as implicating the Jewish people in Jesus' Crucifixion.

"I wanted it in," Gibson tells Boyer. "But, man, if I included that in there, they'd be coming after me at my house, they'd come kill me."

I think we've answered the "is Mel Gibson an anti-Semite?" question.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Federalist Society Pimping John Lott

How embarrassing for them.


The local news broadcast seems to rate Bush's speech below the cruise ship that stopped in town to avoid bad weather at sea, the usual blood stories, the fact that some banks are now open on Sundays...

I think people are getting sick of this shit.

Freepers no likey spending $87 billion on a bunch of towelheads.

Remember when they told us the oil revenues would be more than enough to pay for it all..

The Big Speech

I'll be out doing the local culture thing so I'll miss whistle ass's little show. Discuss here...

Oh, and if anyone has Showtime and can stomach That's My Bush - The Motion Picture, discuss that too..

Steno Steno Sue...

So, I quick clicked the link after reading this post by Josh Marshall telling us about a must read story at the Post. I stopped reading as soon as I saw the name "Susan Schmidt." I guess my bullshit detector works a bit better than his. Anyway he's come to his senses and has some comments on the master spin plan.

Digby comments too.

Believing Their Own Lies

Apparently they do.


Indian Gaming Interests

I'm really getting tired of the phrase "Indian Gaming Interests" being thrown around by the media as if it is some sort of insidious thing. They're just another business interest, like the numerous "old white man business interests" that spend a lot of money financing campaigns.

Either Bustamante is or isn't breaking campaign finance laws by accepting their money, and if he isn't then it's time to stop referring to the money as "controversial."

Bozo and the Ozone Man

I can't be the only one who remembers those cute terms were a part of George Bush I's stump speech during the '92 campaign.

White People Dominate the Discourse

Some wonder why I'm posting up pictures of white people. Recently I took a look at CNN. The point I'm trying to make is that white people dominate the political discourse in the country. There are plenty of non-white journalists out there, but especially when it comes to opinion journalism which increasingly shapes the political discourse in this country, white people dominate. And, it isn't simply true in the "mainstream" media, it's also true in the actual liberal media like the American Prospect.

Recently there have been a lot of Kausian snide comments about "identity politics" emanating from all corners of the media - left, center, and right. That media should take a look in the mirror and ask exactly who is practicing identity politics.

It's an embarrassment, or it should be, that CNN's premier opinion show, "Capital Gang," has had 5 white people on it for as long as I can remember. It's embarrassing that none of the Sunday political chat shows has a minority anchor. It's even more embarrassing when such shows start talking about racial issues. I don't mean because white people can't talk about them - I do of course - but because they are willfully blind about their own business.

The single biggest beneficiary of affirmative action that I can think of is Margaret Carlson.


A few more comments. It is true that ABC has a fairly diverse roundtable panel, though why they need to provide affirmative action for the over-represented bow-tie sporting nincompoop crowd I'm not sure.

Second, this problem in general goes deeper than simply the anchors. It's more than obvious that minorities tend to get more media play when they're being "contrarian." So, not only are, say, African-Americans underrepresented, the viewpoint of the African-American community at large is even more underrepresented. I'm not arguing that any racial/ethnic group is monolithic in its opinions, but clearly conservative African-Americans are greatly overrepresented, relatively speaking. Ditto for gay/lesbians, who have the misfortune of having Andrew Sullivan, Camille Paglia, and Norah Vincent be their national spokespeople. Part of the problem is that conservatives in general are overrepresented in the media, as they have an unlimited supply of people being paid by Richard Mellon Scaife to sit around and wait for the networks to call them. How often are the unfiltered viewpoints of liberal African-Americans, Latinos, gays/lesbians, etc... allowed on the air?

There seems to be this notion that only non-whites have embraced what Daniel Weintraub calls "the belief that you define people first by their ethnic group rather than as individuals." One has to look no farther than the Texas Republicans who are currently panicking over the impending Hispanic takeover of their state to see how silly this is. You can be damn sure white people tend to define themselves as white, it's just that for many of them they're rarely confronted with minority status so they're not conscious of it. And, more importantly, white people are quite good at defining other people by their ethnic group first. When others are defining you by your ethnic group, it's odd to ask you to pretend to ignore it. The notion of racial/ethnic identity was out there long before Latino student groups appeared on the scene. It wasn't invented by Jesse Jackson. And all that didn't magically disappear after 1964. Even if some of the laws and practices improved, the attitude behind those laws and practices didn't just go away. None other than Tony Snow seems to define people by their racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Smart Politics

Bustamante is pouring money to oppose the horrible "racial privacy" initiative. This links this to his campaign and also will presumably improve turnout among likely supporters.

Identity Politics

The American Prospect may have some contributors-of-color, but I couldn't find any of them.

Vanity Fair

James Wolcott apparently has a delightfully nasty article about MSNBC in this month's magazine.

Warm Fuzzies From Scalia

Bush's favorite justice:

The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said after a speech at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires.

A Secret Plan to End the War

Looks like Bush is going to run with Nixon's election strategy:

George Bush will attempt tonight to convince the American people that he has a workable 'exit strategy' to free his forces from the rapidly souring conflict in Iraq, as Britain prepares to send in thousands more troops to reinforce the faltering coalition effort.

30 years

So, it's been 30 years since the CIA sponsored assasination (two attempts) of Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile (the first attempt happening before he even took office.) His crimes against humanity? Mostly threatening to nationalize the phone system which was owned by ITT. And, nationalize didn't necessarily mean seize without compensation, either.

And Henry Kissinger is still a "respected elder statesman."


That Liberal Media

So, here are Wolf Blitzer's comments on the role of the media post-9/11.

Kristol: think George Bush gets an easy time from the media?
Maher: I do, I think he gets a, and they said so in that movie Journeys for [sic] George, the guy said, "hey, you know what, he charmed us so we didn't ask him any tough questions."
Blitzer: Well, there's one difference between President Bush and the previous presidents, and we're about to commemorate the second anniversary of 9/11. After 9/11, attitudes have changed towards the President, the President's responsibility, and what this country needs. And I think people are willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt, knowing what happened on 9/11.

From Bill Maher's show.
(thanks to Charles Eicher for the transcript.)

Racism Had Nothing to Do With This

I'm sure:

When Natercia Dias picked up her 5-year-old son at his school bus stop in Dorchester late Tuesday afternoon, she noticed a second young boy standing alone on the sidewalk.

The boy was quiet and calm, said Dias. He did not appear frightened and he did not resist when she started rifling through his backpack in search of any information that could identify him, she said. As it turned out, the kindergartner was miles from his Wellesley home.

Thanks to Dias and other parents at the bus stop, the black kindergartner -- who had been mistaken for a student in the Metco desegregation program, put on a Metco bus at the end of his after-school program in Wellesley, and dropped off in Dorchester -- found his way back to his family.

"Everybody else was gone and he was just standing there," Dias said yesterday, recalling the scene at the bus stop. "He was completely confused. I asked him, `Is this where you get off?' and he said, `Yes.' Everything I asked him, he said, `Yes.' "

Officials of the after-school program, run by the Wellesley Community Children's Center, launched an investigation this week into whether racial bias clouded the judgment of the white teacher who directed the child to the Metco bus on the first day of school.

Metco is the busing program. Dorchester is a poorer area, Wellesely is a not poorer area.

Krugman on CNBC

A reader just informed me that Krugman puts on a good performance on Russert's CNBC show. Looks like it's repeated at 7pm ET today.