<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: September 2004

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Is this why they're police officers?

You can almost hear the gears grinding inside the head of the person who composed this e-mail message:

"Please be advised that the an arrest has been made today of the individual responsible for the assault that occurred...yesterday. Details of the arrest and will be presented at a press conference to be held at 4:30 today..."

We're tempted to go to the press conference and ask if they've also caught the individual responsible for today's assault--on English.

Moore the almighty

No, not Michael Moore...another Moore who apparently has the ability to talk, heal the land, and reap the benefits at the same time.

"'He turned his life toward this healing work,' Moore said, healing the land and reaping the benefits."


Here's a DVD you'll want to buy

"George W. Bush: Faith in the White House," a "documentary" that premiered at a private party for Christian conservatives during the Republican National Convention and is being marketed in "head to head" partisan opposition to "Fahrenheit 9/11," will be on sale beginning OCTOBER 5...mark your calendar!

Here's an excerpt from the film that should send chills up your spine: "Will George W. Bush be allowed to finish the battle against the forces of evil that threaten our very existence?"

Hmmm...he does seem to have a pattern of self-destructive behavior...


Father knew best

This rehash is worth re-reading, if only because it becomes more true by the day. (Today's news: car bombers killed at least 45 more people--most of them children--and wounded scores more in operations aimed at Iraqi government targets.)

In George H.W. Bush's memoirs, "A World Transformed," written five years ago, he wrote the following to explain why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War:

"Trying to eliminate Saddam...would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq.... There was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the  United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

(Thanks and a hug to Colleen Spedale.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

But we thought everything was fine in Iraq...

"When things get this weird," Molly Ivins says, "one metaphor just isn't enough"--thus the title of her most recent editorial, "The twilight zone of wonderland." Here's an excerpt:

"More than a year after 'Mission Accomplished,' we have still not restored water or electricity in Iraq back to Saddam Hussein's pitiful standards. The electricity is out between four and 14 hours a day in Baghdad, there is no potable water because of pipe breaks and contamination, the garbage is uncollected, and sewage runs in the streets. A year after Congress voted to spend $18.4 billion reconstructing Iraq, only $1 billion has been spent, and most of that has gone to overhead, contractors' profits, security service, insurance and property losses. The jobs have gone largely either to Americans or other foreigners in Iraq, with little benefit to the Iraqis."


Only PART of it is unconstitutional?

"A federal judge this week handed the Bush administration a defeat when he ruled part of the Patriot Act unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had sued the Department of Justice, asking that part of the act be thrown out because it authorizes the FBI to compel financial institutions to divulge sensitive information about clients. The ACLU argued that because the provision did not require the FBI to present a compelling need for the information requested and did not require the FBI to inform individuals how they could contest the disclosure, the law did not include adequate safeguards for sensitive information. The judge in the case agreed and said that the part in question 'effectively bars or substantially deters any judicial challenge.'" --Wired News, 29 September 2004

Well, at least it's a start...


Unreported casualties of the war in Iraq

This is for those who say, "A thousand dead and five thousand injured isn't that bad for a war..."

"U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi said Tuesday that the violent guerrilla tactics used by insurgents in Iraq will take a considerable toll on the mental health of troops, resulting in a lifetime of disability payments for many of those who return from war.

"So far 20 percent of returning Iraq veterans who've sought VA care have done so for mental health issues. While the exact cost of compensating those injured in the Iraq war is uncertain, the VA already expects to pay $600 billion over the next three decades in disability payments to veterans of earlier wars."

So, what's another couple hundred billion dollars to help veterans of an unnecessary war get their lives back?


How to debate George Bush

Al Gore (who speaks with some authority on the subject) says John Kerry should prepare for the toughest debates of his career. He says that even though Bush has made "lowering expectations" into a high art form, it would be a mistake to go into the debates with low expectations of an incumbent president.

"The debates aren't a time for rhetorical tricks. It's a time for an honest contest of ideas. Mr. Bush's unwillingness to admit any mistakes may score him style points. But it makes hiring him for four more years too dangerous a risk. Stubbornness is not strength; and Mr. Kerry must show voters that there is a distinction between the two."

Read Gore's entire op-ed: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/29/opinion/29gore.html?th

Who was lying by the president?

Check out this example of awful writing by the venerable William Safire, author of "Watching My Language":

"Somebody blew the whistle on the persuasion by Valerie Plame, a C.I.A. employee in Washington, to get her husband, Joseph Wilson IV, assigned to check out reports of Saddam's attempt to buy uranium ore from Niger. (His later book-promoting charges of lying by the president have since been doubly discredited.)"

These two incoherent sentences have so many things wrong with them (grammatically and factually) that we don't have the space to address them all. Can you figure out what in hell Safire is trying to say?


Um, vice versa maybe?

In an e-mail announcement from the Avalon Cinema (Corvallis, Oregon):

"We are finishing up the final days of THE CONTROL ROOM and THE LIFE OF BRIAN. THE LIFE OF BRIAN: 'Puts a tormented human face on the demon that has been such a thorn in the side of the Bush administration.'

"THE CONTROL ROOM: 'If you love comedy and haven't yet experienced a Monty Python movie, you're missing out.'"

The owner of the Avalon Cinema, Paul Turner, has an outrageous sense of humor, so it's possible that the switcheroonie was intentional. If so, however, why?


Thinking problem = voting problem

The author of this sentence should do his patriotic duty and neither write nor vote:

"What I ask now is if, when it comes time to fill out your ballot, you haven't studied the issues or candidates, that you do your patriotic duty and don't vote." --Nathanael Blake ("Don't know the facts? Don't hit the polls," The Daily Barometer, September 29, 2004)


But didn't we liberate them?

From today's Washington Post: "While President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others have delivered optimistic public appraisals, officials who fight the Iraqi insurgency and study it at the CIA and the State Department and within the Army officer corps believe the rebellion is deeper and more widespread than is being publicly acknowledged, officials say."

Read the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58183-2004Sep28.html

Just a reminder

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and then expose your country to greater danger." --Herman Goering, at the Nuremberg trials

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What went wrong with bloggers?

In the October 4 issue of Newsweek (funny how they postdate their magazine, as if they want us to believe they're predicting the future), Steven Levy writes:

"Name calling and intolerance of opposing points of view have reached epidemic levels on Web logs.... What went wrong? In part, it's the same reason that traditional media sometimes fall short on their civic duty: the low road is a well-trodden path to big readership.... We were promised a society of philosophers. But the Blogosphere is looking more and more like a nation of ankle-biters." ("Memo to Bloggers: Heal Thyselves," Newsweek, October 4, 2004)

Blog to Mr. Levy: We never promised you a society of philosophers, and even if we had, who said philosophers shouldn't bite ankles?

"The Unfeeling President," by E.L. Doctorow

Novelist E.L. Doctorow is a winner of the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the National Humanities Medal. He is the author of nine novels that have explored the drama of American life from the late 19th century to the 21st. Following are excerpts from Doctorow's essay of September 9 ("The Unfeeling President") in the East Hampton Star:

"I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

"But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

"He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

"But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be."

Read the whole thing: http://www.easthamptonstar.com/20040909/col5.htm

"Yusuf" or "Yusef" Islam?

Newsweek (October 4, 2004) has it both ways.

Yusuf Islam, by the way, is the adopted Islamic name of singer/songwriter Cat Stevens--which also is an adopted name. (No wonder Newsweek's proofreaders--and the Department of Homeland Security--are confused.)

At least they have jobs!

From today's "The Onion" (a satirical newsletter):

Report: Iraq War Keeping Thousands Out Of Unemployment Line
WASHINGTON, DC—A Department of Labor report praised the positive effect the Iraq War has had on the strained U.S. job market, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said Monday. "A whopping 140,000 U.S. citizens are gainfully employed as military personnel in Iraq," Chao said. "The war is not just keeping these young men and women out of the unemployment lines, but it's also teaching them such valuable skills as operating radar equipment, driving an M1A1 Abrams battle tank, or bagging and tagging bodies." Chao said that most troops won't need to look for new work for another four to seven years.


From the pen of George Will (incredibly)

"How do the administration's nation-builders think elections are going to be held [in Iraq] in this maelstrom?"

"Who believes there are now fewer terrorists in the world than there were three years ago? The administration should be judged as it wants to be judged, by its performance regarding the issue it says should decide the election--national security."

"This grotesque presidential campaign, which every day subtracts from the nation's understanding of its deepening dilemmas, cannot end soon enough, or well."

Hear! Hear!

(All quotes are from George Will's column, "The Last Word," in Newsweek, September 27, 2004.)

Leak to save the country

Daniel Ellsberg, the former Johnson administration official who leaked the Pentagon Papers and helped end the Vietnam war, wrote in today's NY Times:

"Surely there are officials in the present administration who recognize that the United States has been misled into a war in Iraq, but who have so far kept their silence - as I long did about the war in Vietnam. To them I have a personal message: don't repeat my mistakes. Don't wait until more troops are sent, and thousands more have died, before telling truths that could end a war and save lives. Do what I wish I had done in 1964: go to the press, to Congress, and document your claims.

"Technology may make it easier to tell your story, but the decision to do so will be no less difficult. The personal risks of making disclosures embarrassing to your superiors are real. If you are identified as the source, your career will be over; friendships will be lost; you may even be prosecuted. But some 140,000 Americans are risking their lives every day in Iraq. Our nation is in urgent need of comparable moral courage from its public officials."


Decisively wrong

George Bush, speaking to a "roaring crowd" in Ohio yesterday: "You cannot lead if you don't know where you stand. I'm going to continue to speak as clearly as I can and tell the people what I believe. And I'm not going to change positions when times get tough."

Nor when he's wrong.


Quote of the day

"The role of the media and some educational institutions is to numb us, to show us this replica of war and have us call it war."--Norman Solomon, speaking at Oregon State University last night


Monday, September 27, 2004

The definition of insanity

In an interview with George Bush scheduled to air tonight on O'Reilly Factor (Fox "News"), O'Reilly asks Bush whether he would still do the carrier landing beneath the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

"Absolutely," Bush replies.

O'Reilly: "You would?"

Bush: "Of course. I'm saying to the troops, on this carrier and elsewhere, 'Thanks for serving America.' Absolutely. And by the way, those sailors and airmen loved seeing the commander in chief...You bet I'd do it again."


Risky sentence construction

For an entire sentence to be true, every piece of it should be true. John Kerry blew it yesterday when told he a crowd in Madison, Wisconsin: "I will never be a president who just says, 'Mission Accomplished.' I will get the mission accomplished." Kerry could easily be quoted out of context as saying "I will never be a president..."


Saturday, September 25, 2004

Will it cover therapy for sexually abused boys?

The dividing line between church and state is becoming increasingly blurred. From today's NY Times:

"The Bush administration has broken new ground in its 'faith-based' initiative, this time by offering federal employees a Catholic health plan that specifically excludes payment for contraceptives, abortion, sterilization and artificial insemination.

"The new plan, announced last week, combines two White House priorities. It is part of a $1 billion project seeking to involve religious organizations in all types of federal social programs. At the same time, the plan is a new form of coverage - a health savings account combined with high-deductible coverage - that is being promoted as a centerpiece of President Bush's health care policy.

"The plan, which will begin enrolling federal workers in 31 Illinois counties in November, is sponsored by OSF Health, a unit of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, which runs the St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria and five Roman Catholic hospitals in Illinois and Michigan."


Elderly and flatulent? You're in luck...

Headline in today's Washington Post: "Old and Gas Hold the Reins in the Wild West."

We'd provide a link to the page, but on Monday morning (9/27) the Post fixed the on-line version ("Oil and Gas Hold the Reins...").

Friday, September 24, 2004

Kerry hasn't flip-flopped on Iraq

The San Francisco Chronicle looked at John Kerry's words in more than 200 speeches and statements, comments during candidate forums, and answers to reporters' questions, and found that he has held one consistent position on Iraq for the past two years.

"As foreign policy emerged as a dominant issue in the Democratic primaries and later in the general election, Kerry clung to a nuanced, middle-of-the road — yet largely consistent — approach to Iraq. Over and over, Kerry enthusiastically supported a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even as he aggressively criticized Bush for the manner in which he did so.

"Kerry repeatedly described Hussein as a dangerous menace who must be disarmed or eliminated, demanded that the U.S. build broad international support for any action in Iraq and insisted that the nation had better plan for the post-war peace.

"Yet taken as a whole, Kerry has offered the same message ever since talk of attacking Iraq became a national conversation more than two years ago. 'Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm (Hussein) by force, if we ever exhaust … other options,' Kerry said 23 months ago on the Senate floor before voting to authorize the force, imploring Bush to take the matter to the United Nations."


Who is Ayad Allawi?

You know, Iraq's new Prime Minister, who said yesterday in the Rose Garden that January's elections will be on, come hell or hell?

"Allawi, a secular Shiite from a wealthy merchant family, was a spy and -- maybe! -- assassin for Saddam Hussein. As a high-ranking officer in the dreaded Mukharabat, the Ba'athist secret police, he was Saddam's friend, colleague and eventual rival. His Baghdad medical degree is said to be phony; the Ba'ath Party gave it to him so he could travel Europe on a World Health Organization grant and infiltrate Arab student groups."

There's more...a lot more. And none of it is good. Read all about it: http://kenlayne.com/2004/09/meet-ayad-allawi.html

Quote of the day

"Let's say you tried to have an election, and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country, but some places you couldn't because the violence was too great. Well...so be it. Nothing's perfect in life."--Donald Rumsfeld, speaking about the IRAQI elections (not ours), scheduled to take place in January


Devices from such sources as spinach?

This otherwise interesting bit of news from today's NewsScan Daily e-newsletter is compromised by cumbersome and confusing wording in the second sentence.

A team of researchers from MIT, the University of Tennessee, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory has found a way using photosynthesis -- the process by which plants get energy from light beams -- to convert sunlight into energy. The new development may eventually lead to the development of new ways to power laptops, mobile phones and devices from such sources as spinach. Popeye would approve. (AP/San Jose Mercury News 23 Sep 2004, http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/

Suggested rewording: "The new development may eventually lead to using such plants as spinach to power laptops, mobile phones, and other devices."


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Some guy with a Web site responds (and fixes the boo boo)

"Wow, I never even noticed that typo until now... changing it now."

And he did. Check out the new, improved cartoon at http://www.xoverboard.com/cartoons/2004_09_13.html

Etch-A-Sketch president

"How did the Party of Lincoln and Liberty transmogrify into the party of Newt Gingrich’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk?"--Garrison Keillor

Read the whole essay: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/index.php?id=163

Borowitz responds

"I think I've made typos before, you've just missed them. But thanks for blogging me. And check out my new book (below) -- lots of typos in there."

ON SALE NOW! The Borowitz Report: The Big Book of Shockers

History of Bush's flip-flops on Iraq

Go read it:

Why fine CBS?

The FCC apparently has decided to fine 20 CBS-affiliate TV stations a total of $550,000 in indecency fines for accidentally airing a glimpse of Janet Jackson's right breast during the 2004 Super Bowl. Why just those 20 stations? Because they are a part of Viacom, which also employs radio shock jock Howard Stern, a Bush detractor. And why fine the TV stations, not Justin Timberlake or Janet Jackson? Because, says the FCC, Timberlake fondled the buttocks of British singer Kylie Minogue on a nationally televised awards show in that country last year--an event that, coupled with the racy content of his and Jackson's recordings, "should have given CBS cause for caution."

By that logic, we should fine everyone who votes for George Bush...



In Peter Bergen's column in today's NY Times about how great things are going in Afghanistan, he provided a good example of something we call an "aprotypo"--an apropos typo (often caused by a Freudian slip):

"Undeniably, the drug trade is a serious concern (it now compromises about a third of the country's gross domestic product) and the slow pace of disarming the warlords is worrisome."

We're pretty sure Bergen meant "comprises," not "compromises," but one never knows...


Quote of the day

"Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher." --Flannery O'Connor

Some guy with a Web site...but no proofreader

August J. Pollack's cartoon of 9/13 is brilliant but compromised. In one panel, a character says "How can we complete..." when he means to say "How can we compete..."


A first for Borowitz

We've been receiving The Borowitz Report, Andy Borowitz's hilarious daily e-newsletter, for several months, and today's post ("cat stevens shocker") contained the first typo we've seen him commit:

"Elsewhere, NASA announced that the Mars rover will continue its mission for six more months, at which point it will be being replaced by Sen. Zell Miller."

Sign up for Borowitz's otherwise perfect e-newsletter at:

$18 million what?

From today's "OSU today" e-newsletter: "Researchers at Oregon State University will participate in a three-year, $18 million on ocean ecosystems and their effect on human health."


The irrationality of politics

A House-Senate conference committee agreed yesterday to extend $145 billion worth of Bush tax cuts without coming up with a way to pay for them. What in hell were they thinking? Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, offered this explanation: "I wish we could pay for them, but this is a political problem and we have people up for re-election. If you have to explain that you voted for these tax cuts because they benefit the middle class and against them because of the deficit, you've got a problem.''

We've got a problem, all right. It's called politicians.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

More irony from Bush

Speaking today in Pennsylvania, Bush said: "It's hard to help a country go from tyranny to elections to peace when there are [sic] a handful of people who are willing to kill in order to stop the process."

The question is, was he talking about Iraq...or America?


Memories...and the lack thereof

In an article on ESPN.com, Ted Miller misquotes a line from Barbra Streisand's song, "The Way We Were": "Memories...like the corners of our minds..."

Uh, that should be LIGHT the corners of our minds, dude. I mean, how are memories LIKE the corners of your mind? Perhaps your mind is shaped like a football field?


More flatulence from Safire

Boy, when William Safire emits gas, it really stinks. Check out what he said today in his column in the NY Times:

"...nobody gets away with trying to corrupt American elections."

Maybe we're missing the point and the operative words are "trying to." One can get away with corrupting an American election if one SUCCEEDS at it...


Ironic stupidity

In his speech to the U.N. yesterday, Bush said about democracy (which is suspiciously similar to the word "Democrat"), "No other system of government has done more to protect minorities, to secure the rights of labor, to raise the status of women, or to channel human energy to the pursuits of peace." Of course, everyone but Bush knows that it's always been Democrats, not Republicans, who have championed the protection of minorities, the rights of labor, the status of women, and the pursuit of peace.

My point is, is that...

Sounds silly, doesn't it? Don't say it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Hey, it's only the environment!

From today's NY Times:
"A new study shows that genes from genetically engineered grass can spread much farther than previously known, a finding that raises questions about the straying of other plants altered through biotechnology and that could hurt the efforts of two companies to win approval for the first bioengineered grass.

"The two companies, Monsanto [of course] and Scotts, have developed a strain of creeping bentgrass for use on golf courses that is resistant to the widely used herbicide Roundup. The altered plants would allow groundskeepers to spray the herbicide on their greens and fairways to kill weeds while leaving the grass unscathed.

"But the companies' plans have been opposed by some environmental groups as well as by the federal Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Critics worry that the grass could spread to areas where it is not wanted or transfer its herbicide resistance to weedy relatives, creating superweeds that would be immune to the most widely used weed killer. The Forest Service said earlier this year that the grass 'has the potential to adversely impact all 175 national forests and grasslands.'"

We've already created antibiotic-resistant diseases; what's the big deal about creating Roundup-resistant weeds?


Preying on those who pray?

From today's NY Times:
"The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson filed for bankruptcy on Monday, becoming the second United States diocese to seek court protection because of the cost of clerical sexual abuse cases. The diocese settled 11 abuse lawsuits filed by 16 plaintiffs for more than $10 million two years ago. By the latest count, 22 additional molesting claims with 34 plaintiffs have been brought against the diocese. [And this is just one diocese, in one city, in one state, in one country.] The Portland Archdiocese in Oregon became the first American diocese to file for bankruptcy, on July 6. Plaintiffs' advocates saw the filing as an effort to deflect responsibility. The church 'is using this bankruptcy as a public relations tool to make the victims appear to be the predators of the diocese,' a plaintiffs' lawyer, Lynne Cadigan, said."

If that's the case, then the prey doesn't have a prayer.


Monday, September 20, 2004

Michael Moore on Republicans and Democrats

In a message intended to rally Democrats around Kerry and exorcise their fears about losing to Bush, Michael Moore had this to say about Republicans:

"Only 30% of the country calls itself 'Republican,' yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet."

And this about Democrats:

"If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win!"

Errant grammar, spelling, and punctuation aside, Moore's message hits its target: If Democrats want to win, they have to quit acting like losers.


Knocking on Gates' Windows

Symantec's "Internet Security Threat Report" says that in the first six months of 2004 there were almost 5,000 new Windows viruses and worms capable of compromising computer security. The numbers represent a dramatic increase over the same period in 2003.

Disclaimer about those "Ads by Goooooogle"

When we signed up for Google Adsense to allow advertising on our blog (and maybe make a couple of Adcents), we were ignorant as to the sort of ads that might appear. From what we've seen so far (about a week into this experiment), the ads seem to be largely pro-Bush...which is almost funny, because most of our editorial content is anything but pro-Bush. Apparently, Google's metacrawling robots decide which ads to place where based on simple mathematics; i.e., because the word "Bush" appears frequently on this site, this site must be pro-Bush. Wonder what would happen if we started using the word "Shrub" instead...

Better yet, we'll try another experiment: Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry Kerry...

That ought to confuse Google's robots.

Blame Florida

In honor of Florida's decision to put Ralph Nader on its ballot for November's election, we are resurrecting and updating our song from the 2000 election, "Blame Florida" (with apologies to South Park's "Blame Canada"):

Blame Florida
(sung to the tune of “Blame Canada,” from the movie "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut")

Times have changed
Elections are getting worse
They won’t obey the voters
They just want to fill their purse!
Should we blame the government?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the news on TV?
No, blame Florida
Blame Florida
With their misleading little ballots
And flappin’ mouths so full of lies
Blame Florida
Blame Florida
We need to form a full assault
It’s Florida’s fault!
Don’t blame Ralph or Diebold
For reducing John’s votes
They didn’t design the ballots
And they didn’t write his quotes!
But George’s brother Jeb
Is governor of the state
And he thinks the ballot counts are first rate!
Well, blame Florida
Blame Florida
It seems that everything’s gone wrong
Since Florida came along
Blame Florida
Blame Florida
They’re not even a real state anyway
George and John could’ve been drunks or bums it’s true
Instead they want to be President of this zoo
Should we blame their fathers?
Should we blame their mothers?
Or their sisters or their brothers?
Heck no!
Blame Florida
Blame Florida
With all their Disney World hullabaloo
And Glenda Hood too
Blame Florida
Shame on Florida
The recounts we must stop
The ballots we must trash
The election must all be redone
We must blame Florida and cause a fuss
Before someone thinks of blaming us...

Misprint or mis-think?

If William Safire thinks he doesn't need a proofreader, he's (w)rong. From his column in today's NY Times, addressing John Kerry: "Get a slogan that fits on a bumper sticker..."W stand for Wrong" isn't working because too many hear 'wrong' as beginning with an R."

"W stand for wrong"? Maybe Safire is also the author of the slogan "Love see no color"....

Batting .500 at the NY Times

From today's NY Times: "Committee leaders claim to be still fact-gathering, but it has becoming clear that their mission is to dismiss this hot potato yet not seem cowardly about it." Kudos on avoiding the split infinitive ("to be still"); better luck next time on avoiding the mixed tense ("has becoming").

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Quote of the day

From Maureen Dowd, in her NY Times column today about how the Bushies have spun truth right off its axis: "These guys are about turning the world upside down, and saying it's right side up."

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Al Qaeda is voting for Kerry!

House Speaker Dennis Hastert said today that al Qaeda leaders want Sen. John Kerry to beat President Bush in November. At a campaign rally in Illinois with Vice President Dick Cheney, Hastert said al Qaeda "would like to influence this election" with an attack similar to the train bombings in Madrid days before the Spanish national election in March.

So is that what the terrorists were trying to do on 9/11...influence the election?

Friday, September 17, 2004

Update on that mandatory draft legislation

According to Glen Anderson, the mandatory draft House legislation we mentioned in a previous post ("Want to see something really scary?") is sponsored by Charles Rangel, an African-American Democratic congressman who is considered generally peaceful and progressive. Says Anderson: "Rangel’s concern is that the military is too black and too poor. He wants middle-class and wealthy whites to share the burden. For these political reasons, we can’t vote our way out of this problem. Our best way to avoid a draft is to demand a peaceful foreign policy so we’ll need fewer troops." So does that mean we should vote for Nader?

Ya think?

From today's NY Times: "A new study showing that American multinational companies booked a record $149 billion of profits in tax-haven countries in 2002 is further evidence, if any were needed, that the corporate tax structure is much in need of repair."

"Name the October Surprise" contest

Mark Green invites submissions to a "Name the October Surprise" contest, describing what rabbit you think Bush will pull out of his hat to trick us into voting for him. Your surprise must be described in 100 words or less and there is only one entry per person. On Wednesday, September 30th, Greeen will announce preliminary results (several of the most interesting submissions as well as the volume of similar submissions per surprise) and then on Sunday, October 30, he'll announce the "winners" based on the submission(s) that predicted what actually happened. Winners will appear live on Air America radio and will receive a signed copy of "The Book on Bush" and cool Air America gear. To enter, go to http://www.nametheoctobersurprise.com/

Here's our entry:

The one event that would virtually assure Bush of stealing--er, we mean winning--the election is for Bush to claim that bin Laden has been captured or killed. Since capturing bin Laden would require video footage to be shown publicly as proof, it would be safer to claim that bin Laden had been killed--preferably by a bomb, so that his "remains" were unrecognizable except through faked forensic analysis (e.g., dental records, DNA testing).

It far from grammatical, too...

From today's Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times: "Monday was a day of rest, but it far from peaceful."

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Practice your English

George W. Bush, addressing an audience about the effects of malpractice suits on health care: "Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."
(Newsweek, Sept. 20, 2004)

Want to see something really scary?

We'd heard rumors, but seeing the actual bill to reinstate the draft was a bit of a shock. An excerpt: "To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." See the full text of the bill (two pages) by doing a search on "H.R. 163" at http://thomas.loc.gov.

Did Karl Rove create the documents?

The secretary for Bush's squadron commander in the Texas Guard told The NY Times that the information in the disputed memos is correct - it's just the memos that seem fake. "It looks like someone may have read the originals and put that together,'' said Marian Carr Knox. She told Dan Rather that her boss, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, kept a "cover-your-back file" about Bush because of Bush's political connections. She said the contents of that file mirrored the CBS documents, but that those documents were on the wrong forms and contained Army terms rather than Air National Guard language. She confirmed that young Bush had disobeyed a direct order from Colonel Killian to take a physical, which was "a big no-no,'' and that Bush's above-the-rules attitude caused resentment among fellow officers.

Karl Rove, incidentally, was accused of bugging his own office to distract from a debate when he was Bill Clements' campaign strategist in a 1986 governor's race in Texas, according to the authors of "Bush's Brain.'' They said the incident turned the election because after that, the Democratic candidate couldn't get any attention.


The Senate has begun the process of anointing Representative Porter Goss as Bush's choice for director of the CIA. If the Sentate has any intelligence, it will defy Bush and deny Goss the appointment. Besides confessing to Michael Moore's film crew that he would be unsuited for work with today's CIA (much less directing it), Mr. Goss: 1) is a Florida Republican who has already played election-year politics by mischaracterizing the intelligence record of Senator John Kerry, 2) has a record in Congress that is more protective of than probing about the CIA's performance, 3) warned this week that the CIA would need more than five years to repair its flaws (raising the question of why, as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he hasn't championed such reform in the three years since 9/11), and 4) originally was an opponent of the 9/11 commission and now is a key player in the dysfunctional Congressional oversight that the panel found to be a critical factor in the nation's intelligence failures.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Forged statements?

From Nicholas Kristof's column in today's NY Times:

One fall day in 1973, when Mr. Bush was a new student at Harvard Business School, he was wearing a Guard jacket when he ran into one of his professors. The professor, Yoshi Tsurumi, says he asked Mr. Bush how he wangled a spot in the Guard.

"He said his daddy had good friends who got him in despite the long waiting list," recalls Professor Tsurumi, who is now at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York. Professor Tsurumi says he next asked Mr. Bush how he could have already finished his National Guard commitment. "He said he'd gotten an early honorable discharge," Professor Tsurumi recalls. "I said, 'How did you manage that?' "

"He said, oh, his daddy had a good friend," Mr. Tsurumi said. "Then we started talking about the Vietnam War. He was all for fighting it."

Professor Tsurumi says he remembers Mr. Bush so vividly because he was always making outrageous statements: denouncing the New Deal as socialist, calling the S.E.C. an impediment to business, referring to the civil rights movement as "socialist/communist" and declaring that "people are poor because they're lazy."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Good news from Iraq?

U.S. news organizations have been under increasing pressure lately to report good news from Iraq. But according to Newsweek, "It's worse than you think." Attacks on coalition forces are intensifying and becoming more effective, and "insurgent enclaves" are spreading. But everyone knows the "liberal press" just makes up stuff like that to hurt Bush...

What? You mean the Bushes are hypocrites?

In her new book, "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty," Kitty Kelley writes that Senator Prescott Bush (the first President Bush's father) went on "alcoholic binges"; that George H. W. Bush had an affair with his longtime aide, Jennifer Fitzgerald; that Laura Bush, as a student at Southern Methodist University in the '60s, "had been known in her college days as a go-to girl for dime bags of marijuana"; and that Sharon Bush, the former wife of the president's brother Neil, "alleged that W. had snorted cocaine with one of his brothers at Camp David during the time their father was president of the United States." Now those are some fine family values.

Depressing news

From today's New York Times: "Top officials acknowledged for the first time that antidepressants appeared to lead some children to become suicidal." It's bad enough when a drug doesn't do what it's supposed to, but when it does the OPPOSITE of what it's supposed to, that's depressing.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Wicked Witch of the Northwest?

Unretouched photo of a fireworks display in Portland, Oregon, during the annual Rose Festival in June 2004.

William Safire's wobbly legs

From Safire's column in today's New York Times: "The A.P. ...consulted the document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and reported 'she could testify in court that, beyond a reasonable doubt, her opinion was that the memos were written on a computer.'" "Beyond a reasonable doubt, her opinion was..." Wow! That's compelling evidence!

Safire also reports that Newsweek has "apparently" (are you certain of nothing, Mr. Safire?) begun its own investigation into the questionable National Guard documents: "it names 'a disgruntled former Guard officer' as a principal source for CBS, noting 'he suffered two nervous breakdowns' and 'unsuccessfully sued for medical expenses.' Oh, of course--the "disgruntled former employee with a history of mental problems" argument. Zero points for originality, Safire.

Sean Hannity, journalist extraordinaire

Recently heard from Sean Hannity on Fox "News": "Ben Barnes testified under oath in 1999 that no member of the Bush family ever contacted him about getting into the Air National Guard." Well, yeah--but Barnes also never claimed it was a member of George's family who asked for help getting George into the National Guard. The person who asked that favor was Sid Adger--a good friend of little George's dad. See Molly Ivins' story at http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=17657


From today's Corvallis Gazette-Times: "The redshirt freshman made some bad decisions as to when to field the ball, and coming out of the end zone in both games." We'd say the writer made a bad decision, too...

Supply the missing word

From Ted Rall's column of September 10: "His healthcare proposal--which, with a probably Republican Congress, wouldn't pass anyway--isn't designed help most of the voters whose support he needs." Mr. Rall, you're a terrific writer, but wethinks you should hire a proofreader...

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Even Bush's hometown newspaper hates him

Here are excerpts from an editorial that appeared in a Crawford, Texas, newspaper, "The Lone Star Iconoclast":

"Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq."

"When examined based on all the facts, Kerry’s voting record is enviable and echoes that of many Bush allies who are aghast at how the Bush administration has destroyed the American economy. Compared to Bush on economic issues, Kerry would be an arch-conservative, providing for Americans first. He has what it takes to right our wronged economy."