Tuesday, September 30, 2003

has been mastered by The Poor Man. He began my day with Shorter Right-Wing Punditry's Reaction to the Valerie Plame Affair: An Internal Dialogue, an incredibly accurate and hysterically funny assessment of the apologists. And he finishes (for now) with an audio clip of Julian Borger of The Guardian explaining that Karl Rove is the bad actor, then going on to explain why reporters can't say so.

I'm ashamed that I didn't have him on the linklist until now.
Molly Ivins on the California Candidates
Today on CNN ... Grey Davis makes Mr. Rogers look like he is on steroids. And Arnold looks like a condom stuffed with walnuts.

Can't top that.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Who Done It?
I want so badly to weigh in on the 1600 Crew leaking Ms. Plume's identity. Not to mention the totally ridiculous press conference today wherein Mr. Scott kept telling the press if they knew anything they should report it to the Justice Department. The problem is that it keeps breaking so fast that I can't keep up.

C-Span is expected to replay this morning's interview with Mr. Wilson this evening at 8.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Shana Tova
This year Rosh Hashana, the birthday of the world and the beginning of year 5764, is on the sabbath. This is a time of reflection and repentence culminating with Yom Kippur in 10 days. My wish for all of us is for health, peace, and joy.
Edward Said
died yesterday. Many sites have commentary but I'm having trouble deciding which to link to. I think I'll just mention that he was an important thinker and leave it up to you do decide in what way he was important.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Game du Jour
I'm bored with the California election. So why don't we all try to predict the Republican excuses that we will hear if and when one of their own is not Governor of California when it is over;

Monday, September 22, 2003

DNA Testing of Prisoners
In My Local Paper yesterday former FBI Director William S. Sessions wrote a strong call for post-conviction DNA testing. He said
"There are always reasons -- time, money, bureaucratic obstacles -- that something cannot be done. But when it comes to justice and fairness, those reasons are just excuses. Prosecutors not only have a professional duty to seek the truth, they have a moral responsibility to respond to the DNA no-match rate. Just as pretrial DNA testing has illuminated the unexpected frequency with which police and prosecutors have targeted the wrong person, post-conviction testing in cases that were tried 15 or more years ago -- before the availability of forensic DNA -- can exonerate those wrongly convicted, and can possibly identify the true perpetrator and shed light on the causes of the wrongful conviction."
"During my time as a federal judge in Texas and as FBI director, I had contact with prosecutors and law enforcement officials who are among the best anywhere, working together in a criminal justice system that is the model for countries around the world. But we can -- and must -- do better. Given the stakes involved, we cannot deny defendants a right to post-conviction DNA testing."

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Tropical Storm Reading
I read Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right entirely by candle/flashlight. I felt like Abe Lincoln. Am I a dedicated stalwart or what?

Anyway I've decided that I agree with Franken. Our President is mean, just like his mother. It is entirely possible to be dumb and mean at the same time. And we're letting him get away with being mean by blaming Karl Rove, Condi Rice, Dick Cheney and Don Runsfeld for everything. They are responsible for lots of evil, but so is Our President.
No, not the kind you're thinking of. We had a little rain, a little wind. And the electricity of 2/3 of the customers of My Deregulated Electric Utility went out. Mine was out for 67 hours. Many folks still have none. And the Electric Company is suggesting that they may all be back by Friday. Now the co-ops in Virginia and North Carolina got power back on for most of their customers in 12-24, and they had an actual hurricane.

And Feds are afraid of telling our enemies about our vulnerabilities.

So expect me to be on a rant about deregulation for a while. After I refill my refrigerator and write to all of my elected representatives and go to the 'town meeting' which will feature the president of my electric company. We are not amused.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Here in the environs of Your Nation's Capital total panic reigns. There appears to be a hurricane headed in this general direction sometime, later. They are predicting rain and something like 40 mile an hour winds. And hysteria abounds. It is totally weird.

Now, mind you, I haven't seen a drop of rain, and the leaves on my trees are fluttering gently. There is some cloud cover. *yawn*

The Federal Government is closed. Every local school system is closed. All nearby states have declared a state of emergency. The subway system will be closing in five minutes. And NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. Nothing. I kid you not.

Ok, the power will go out. The power always goes out. It is a lot like living in Iraq or Afghanistan. Five days out of seven I have some kind of power failure, so I can be pretty certain of a blogging hiatus. And cable TV will go out because the lousy connectors seem to fail whenever the wind approaches, say, 8 mph.

Our Fearless Leader has retreated from the relative safety of the White House to a wooden 'cabin' in the middle of a forest. Oh, that's bright. Those trees have been ordered not to fall over. But he gets to talk to the press wearing an ugly bright blue open necked shirt with a sports coat. Just one of the guys.

And the press ... well that's another rant.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The DNC Responds
with an email from an actual human being who had obviously visited my blog and said this:

"if you have a specific list of bloggers you think should be included on our blogroll, by all means send them to me. we are looking to grow our list of weblogs."

I sent him (of course) a quick list of a dozen or so women bloggers. I intend to be hopeful and follow up.

The DNC's New Blog
is cleverly entitled "Kicking Ass." I'd link to it but I'm totally pissed off at them. (This happens every time I'm ready to give them some real money.) Over at Wampum there's a boycott untill they get more women on their blogroll. There is exactly one. I'm onboard. And glad that somebody noticed.

I just sent this email to their "contact" form (which requires a lot of personal information and which forcefully created an account for me whether I wanted it or not.)

"I would love to link to you from my lefty blog, but the severe, _severe_ shortage of women bloggers prevents me from doing so. You should really be ashamed of yourself. Why shouldn't your blogroll look like the party?

"If you want an example of tons of high quality women bloggers to choose from, go here: http://reachm.blog-city.com/

"You certainly don't have any trouble asking us for money."

A little harsh? I'm sick to death of being nice. Yeah, yeah, better the dems than the bad guys, but really -- it should occur to somebody.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Wesley Clark (2)
I'm glad to see he is reading my blog, understands my feelings, and has decided to decide. His announcement is rumored to occur tomorrow. Good. Maybe he will veer from the Arnold path and have positions.

The October issue of "Harper's" appeared in my mailbox yesterday. The lead story is entitled "We're in the Army Now: The G.O.P.'s Plan to Militarize Our Culture." I have no interest in supporting General Clark because he symbolizes the GOP's goal for our future or even to counter that notion. I would be most pleased, however, to support him because he turns out to be a strong leader with right-thinking opinions. (I refuse to let Them co-opt the perfectly good word "right" to mean correct.)

I guess we'll see soon enough if he is The One.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Sasha, Unfair to Readers!!
I have to acknowledge that I have just been nattering on about Our President and the 1600 Crew, being totally self-indulgent. I have totally neglected to bring you the most important news of the day. Do you realize that "amid the frantic speculation surrounding the pair last week, People magazine reported that Affleck had dumped Lopez due to 'second thoughts' about their impending wedding."

I'm sorry people. I'll try to keep you better informed in the future.
Misgovernment is of Four Kinds,
often in combination. They are: 1) tyranny or oppression, of which history provides so many well-known examples that they do not need citing; 2) excessive ambition, such as Athens' attempted conquest of Sicily in the Peloponnesian War, Philip II's of England via the Armada, Germany's twice-attempted rule of Europe by a self-conceived master race, Japan's bid for an empire of Asia; 3) incompetence or decadence, as in the case of the late Roman empire, the last Romanovs and the last imperial dynasty of China; and finally 4) folly or perversity.

Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly (via Lewis Lapham)

The Ninth Circuit
has put the California recall on hold. It is that pesky punch card business again.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Wesley Clark
I am, frankly, sick of his dithering. He has something of an Arnold quality in that we really don't know all that much about what he stands for, he isn't out putting his neck on the line like the other nine, but he is getting lots of press anyway. If it takes him this long to make decisions he isn't my kind of presidential candidate. It's time for him to make up his mind or get off of the stage.
I was swamped at work after a week off. And then there was 9/11 which was an unusually tough day for many that I know. I spent time otherwise occupied. And then I was busy with the fiction side of my life.

Maybe busy people shouldn't blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Patriot II Tough Anti-Terrorism Legislation
No, it isn't Patriot II. It is just an effort to strengthen our present legislation. Yes siree bob.

Today at the FBI cademy Our President "discussed" homeland (or is that Homeland) security.

" The Patriot Act imposed tough new penalties on terrorists and those who support them. But as the fight against terrorists progressed, we have found areas where more help is required. Under current federal law, there are unreasonable obstacles to investigating and prosecuting terrorism, obstacles that don't exist when law enforcement officials are going after embezzlers or drug traffickers. For the sake of the American people, Congress should change the law, and give law enforcement officials the same tools they have to fight terror that they have to fight other crime. (Applause.)

Here's some examples. Administrative subpoenas, which enable law enforcement officials to obtain certain records quickly, are critical to many investigations. They're used in a wide range of criminal and civil matters, including health care fraud and child abuse cases. Yet, incredibly enough, in terrorism cases, where speed is often of the essence, officials lack the authority to use administrative subpoenas. If we can use these subpoenas to catch crooked doctors, the Congress should allow law enforcement officials to use them in catching terrorists. (Applause.)

Today, people charged with certain crimes, including some drug offenses, are not eligible for bail. But terrorist-related crimes are not on that list. Suspected terrorists could be released, free to leave the country, or worse, before the trial. This disparity in the law makes no sense. If dangerous drug dealers can be held without bail in this way, Congress should allow for the same treatment for accused terrorists. (Applause.)

Let me give you another example. Under existing law, the death penalty applies to many serious crimes that result in death, including sexual abuse and certain drug-related offenses. Some terrorist crimes that result in death do not qualify for capital punishment. Sabotaging a defense installation or a nuclear facility in a way that takes innocent life does not carry the federal death penalty. This kind of technicality should never protect terrorists from the ultimate justice.

These and other measures have long been on the books for other crimes. They have been tested by time, affirmed by the court, and what we are proposing, they are fully consistent with the United States Constitution. (Applause.) "

Jeralyn at TalkLeft begins a discussion of some of these provisions with particular attention to the death penalty. Follow this one. It is clear that the 1600 Crew is trying to downplay this as just a tiny enhancement here and there when nothing could be further from the truth. He said " Members of the Congress agree that we need to close the loopholes -- not every member, but a lot of them agree with that. People in law enforcement are counting on Congress to follow through." as if passing these provisions is just a tiny administrative matter that needs to be handled.

Phone your congress critters at 1-800-839-5276. Phone early. Phone often. Don't let this one slide by.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Tom Tomorrow
brilliant as always, gives us a sneak preview of an upcoming Bush campaign ad.
The Debate
I'm watching. But I had a tough time finding it, even though I knew when it was on television. Turns out it is on Faux ... who would have guessed that the Congressional Black Caucus would sponsor a debate at Morgan State University (part of the University of Maryland system outside of Baltimore) on Faux. Weird.

But everybody from the candidates to Terry McAuliffe has to do a better job of letting folks know that this stuff is happening. Weren't we just whining about the fact that most folks don't know who is running for the Democratic nomination?

Now on topic .. Joe Lieberman is obviously trying to show how tough he is. But he just comes across as obnoxious. There was a shouting interruption by a LaRouche supporter and Al Sharpton said something sensible to the audience ... he was the only one. Sheesh.

Monday, September 08, 2003

This is Totally Cool
Real Video of campaign commercials since 1952 from The American Museum of the Moving Image. What fun seeing how they have been portrayed and the extent to which they have gone from being our elders in the early years to being faces that love the camera. I wonder what we have lost and whether or not we are better off now that everybody at least gets to see the candidates. Perhaps we are just more likely to elect good actors.

(via Judith Weiss)
is flypaper for morons.

I didn't say it. Not my fault. I'm just snickering while reading TBogg on being compelled to recite a loyalty oath.

If I remember correctly, that is why the Mennonites left Russia.

"In giving allegiance to God alone, many Mennonites have a problem pledging allegiance to the US flag. Mennonites are to respect government authorities but we do not pledge allegiance to anyone but God. "

Won't we ever learn?

(When I wrote that I didn't mean to recall a Pete Seeger song, but I guess lots of things are reminding me of the House Unamerican Activities Committee these days, and none of them are Ann Coulter.)

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Sunday Night Funnies
I thought surely Our President was going to say something memorable besides finally giving us the number of dollars that will be in his supplemental request to the Congress. 87 billion in case you had something better to do than watch. Oh, and he said that Colin Powell will talk to other countries and insist that they cough up some help, of our choosing of course.

Maybe I'm too jaded but I found him boring, partly as a result of his falsely precise speech that seems to result from an excessively rehearsed effort to pronounce words correctly. He comes across as a trained chimp. Oh! Wait!

Saturday, September 06, 2003

New Guys
I have added two new blogs well worth visiting to the sidebar. Open Source Politics is a group blog composed of about 35 bloggers, many of whom are already known to the sidebar. Their instigator is Kevin Hayden otherwise known to you as Cowboy Kahlil. It is wonderful to look at, well organized, and chock full of content. Go.

While we are on the subject, the four miscreants, the Farmer, Lambert, Leah, and Tresy, who filled in for Atrios during the summer have gone and started their own place called Corrente. According to The Farmer, "corrente meaning stream or current (Italian). In this case, as in a stream or current of information...ideas and so forth. Like a blog...which is a constant moving current/stream of information." One of their first acts was to create a lexicon including terms such as "pretzel boy." You'll like.

I'm Baaaaaack
Rested and mellow. Massaged. Ready to let all of the assininity in politics slide. NOT!
The political season is upon us. Miguel Estrada bit the dust.

Woo hoo ... good to see you.

Good News!!
Folks are on to him! The Zobgy Poll released today shows that Our President is failing to convince folks of his wonderfulness. Scroll down ... the css is messing me up and I'm not in the mood to fix it.
(via Kos)

Bush Job Performance Positive % Negative %

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January 2001