<!-- 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 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

Check out this hilarious spoof on Wal Mart's TV ads: http://www.walmartmovie.com/wmtv/2005/09/bettys_diet_plan.php?track=rgemail3

Thursday, September 29, 2005

DeLay exercises his right to incriminate himself

Tom Delay should appear on the TV show "America's Dumbest Criminals." The following quotes were taken verbatim from his interview last night on Fox News. If this is his defense, he's in serious trouble.

"I have had ethics charges filed starting in 1993."
"Again in 1995."
"A racketeering suit right after that."
"Some more ethics charges right after that."
"This has been going on for two years, multiple grand juries, and then they come out with an indictment."
"[The grand jury] asked me to come in. ... Basically what I showed them was, yes, it was my idea to set up this political action committee."
"It was my idea to set up TRMPAC."
"I got it all organized."
"I and four other elected officials were on an advisory board [of TRMPAC]."
"I went to five fundraisers."
"They did use my name to raise money."
"They told me about it later, and then they would tell me things are going well."
"Jim Ellis...also runs my ARMPAC."
"Jim Ellis would let me know how things were going because was interested in how things are going and how much money they were raising."
"The point here is is Texas deserved a Republican House of Representatives. The way you got change that was to take the majority in the Texas House, and that was my goal. It was successful."
"Ronnie Earle let my lawyers know last week that I was going to be indicted."
"I have hired Dick DeGuerin, who is my lawyer, who is the same lawyer that taught Ronnie Earle a lesson."

DeLay should have pleaded the fifth...and then drunk one.


Desperate National Guard offers free iTunes

An ad appearing in college newspapers is offering three free iTunes downloads...in exchange for visiting the Army National Guard's Web site (1-800-GO-GUARD.COM/MUSIC).

What does music have to do with the Army National Guard? Well, Fahrenheit 9/11 showed soldiers in Iraq playing aggressive rock music on their PA systems to get them motivated to kill...

Incidentally, the fine print at the bottom of the ad contains this disclaimer: "Apple is not a participant or sponsor of this promotion." So Mac users can get your free downloads with a clear conscience...

...except that when you actually visit the site, you see this OTHER disclaimer: "Yes, I understand that the Army National Guard will send me information about great new Army National Guard benefits! I also understand that I will be contacted by a recruiter, and that's OK with me!"

Damn! There's STILL no free lunch...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bush accepts a phone call from God...

Phony Bush
Originally uploaded by Editor at Large.
...but listens with his mouth.

Another right-wing legend bites the dust

Remember the story of the Atlanta woman who was held hostage by an escaped killer and supposedly talked him into turning himself in, by talking about God and the "purpose-driven life"? It inspired a lot of pious commentary at the time, such as this nugget:

"So, before the SWAT team surrounded the apartment complex with guns, Smith had defused the situation with love. In fact, when Nichols left her, untied, with ready access to guns, and when Smith followed Nichols in her own car while he ditched his stolen truck, Smith declined to take the opportunity to free herself. Instead she hoped to convince Nichols to turn himself in without hurting anyone else. 'For a country used to getting things done with overwhelming force, it was a humbling lesson in Peacemaking 101,' writes the Monitor."

Well, as it turns out, the story's a little more complicated than that.

Ashley Smith, the woman who says she persuaded suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols to release her by talking about her faith, discloses in her new book, "Unlikely Angel," that she gave Nichols methamphetamine during the hostage ordeal.

Smith did not share that detail with authorities at the time. But investigators said she came clean about the drugs when they interviewed her months later. They said they have no plans to charge her with drug possession.

In her book, Smith says Nichols had her bound on her bed with masking tape and an extension cord. She says he asked for marijuana, but she did not have any, so she dug into her stash of crystal meth instead.

Smith, a 27-year-old widowed mother who gained widespread praise for her level-headedness, says the seven-hour hostage ordeal in March led to the realization that she was a drug addict, and she says she has not used drugs since the night before she was taken captive.

"If I did die, I wasn't going to heaven and say, "Oh, excuse me, God. Let me wipe my nose, because I just did some drugs before I got here,'' Smith told the Augusta Chronicle.

She writes that she asked Nichols if he wanted to see the danger of drugs, and then she lifted up her tank top to reveal a five-inch scar down the center of her torso - the aftermath of a car wreck caused by drug-induced psychosis. She says she let go of the steering wheel when she heard a voice saying, "Let go and let God."


Tom DeLay has finally been indicted

Today a Texas grand jury charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme. DeLay was accused of criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.

DeLay's response: "I have notified the speaker that I will temporarily step aside from my position as majority leader pursuant to rules of the House Republican Conference and the actions of the Travis County district attorney today."

The charge carries a potential two-year sentence, which forces DeLay to step down under House Republican rules.

The indictment accused DeLay of a conspiracy to "knowingly make a political contribution" in violation of Texas law outlawing corporate contributions. It alleged that DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee accepted $155,000 from companies, including Sears Roebuck, and placed the money in an account.

The PAC then wrote a $190,000 check to an arm of the Republican National Committee and provided the committee a document with the names of Texas State House candidates and the amounts they were supposed to received in donations.

The indictment included a copy of the check.

Despite this evidence, DeLay's spokesman, Kevin Madden, dismissed the charge as politically motivated. "This indictment is nothing more than prosecutorial retribution by a partisan Democrat," Madden said, citing prosecutor Ronnie Earle, a Democrat.

All-righty then. Let's hear it for prosecutorial retribution.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Army of None

Army of None
Originally uploaded by Editor at Large.
A protestor at an Army recruiting center in California holds a sign that says "Army of None." That has a nice ring to it. Graffiti on the windows reads "Shut down by people power," "Recruiters lie," "US soldiers lie," "Live in Peace," "Books not Bombs," "Healthy communities," and "RIP health care."

The real reason why Bill Frist sold his stock

Bill Frist is innocent of any wrongdoing, of course, in the incredibly timely and fortuitous dumping of his HCA stock. The reason he sold the stock was not to avoid a huge financial loss - don't be silly! - but rather, to avoid the appearance of a political conflict of interest. You know, in case of "what might come next." Read between the lines:

"Because of these continuing questions, and looking ahead at my final years in the Senate and what might come next, I have for some time wanted to eliminate even the possibility of an appearance of a conflict by totally divesting of any HCA stock in my family's trust."

Well, Mr. Frist, you're too late; the "possibility of an appearance of a conflict" is upon you. Better divest of your plans to run for president.


"Conservative" Bush calls for conservation, blames "storms"

The temperature in hell must be dropping again...our self-described "conservative" president - the same one who squandered a trillion-dollar surplus, plunged the country into unprecedented debt by cutting taxes for the rich, and misled us into a $200 billion war that has cost thousands of lives - is actually asking Americans to conserve gas.

"We can all pitch in," Bush said. "People just need to recognize that the storms have caused disruption."

The storms have caused disruption? We would have been in much better condition to handle the storms if your corporate cronyism and your unnecessary, illegal, futile war hadn't caused such a disruption to our economy and national security, Mr. Bush. Thanks to you, Americans are now more vulnerable and insecure than at any time in history. But it isn't because of the storms. We can handle storms just fine - or at least we could if you would get out of our way. What we can't handle is your heartless, thoughtless "conservatism," which conserves nothing but your own financial wealth and that of your pals.

That's right, Mr. Bush: The real disruption is your own corruption. Act like a true conservative for a change and save your putrid breath.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Another incompetent hack resigns

This time, it's the head of the FDA, Dr. Lester M. Crawford. That's Dr. as in VETERINARIAN.

Why was a VETERINARIAN put in charge of an agency designed to protect human health? And why is Bush so fond of appointing animal afficionados (e.g., Brownie) to positions that require human expertise? Maybe Laura Bush wasn't kidding when she told that joke about George trying to milk a male horse...

Rumors of an extramarital affair and inappropriate financial dealings aside, Dr. Crawford has also been accused of politicizing and degrading the FDA and of being a "tepid and passive" leader. The New England Journal of Medicine said that "recent actions of the F.D.A. leadership have made a mockery of the process of evaluating scientific evidence," disillusioned many scientists, "squandered the public trust and tarnished the agency's image."

Mockery...disillusioned...squandered...tarnished...those words seem to be showing up a lot lately in reports about the Bush administration...


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Actual quotes from corporate America

We're in a heap of trouble if these are the people who are running the country...

• From a Microsoft executive: "As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks."

• From Lykes Lines Shipping: "What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter."

• From the accounting manager at Electric Boat Company: "E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business."

• From the advertising/marketing manager at United Parcel Service: "This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it."

• From the plant manager at Delco Corporation: "Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule."

• From the research and development supervisor at 3M Corporation: "No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them."

• From a marketing executive at Citrix Corporation: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."

• From a shipping executive at FTD Florists: "My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me."

• From the switching supervisor at AT&T's Long Lines Division: "We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees."

• From a Hallmark Cards executive: "One day my boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, 'If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!'"

(Marc Reinertson, Editor, Siebert Creek Village News)

No more homosexual priests? What about pedophiles?

An official of the Catholic Church said yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI soon will sign a document barring homosexuals - even celibate ones - from becoming Roman Catholic priests.

The church official said the ban would pertain only to candidates for the priesthood, not to those already ordained. He also said the document didn't represent a theological shift for the church, which already considers homosexuals "objectively disordered."

Investigators from the Catholic Church will be paying a visit to all 229 seminaries in the U.S., looking for homosexual priests-in-training so they can toss them out on their "objectively disordered" butts.

Whoa there, Pope B, won't this severely curtail the number of candidates for priesthood? Like down to three? And what about the heterosexual priests who are pedophiles? Will they still be allowed to "indoctrinate" church youth?


Joke of the day

Donald Rumsfeld is giving Bush his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, three Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" Bush exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff is stunned at this unusual display of emotion. They watch nervously as Bush sits, head in hands.

Finally, Bush looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

(Don't know who wrote this one, but thanks to Scott Caul for forwarding.)

Quote of the day

"I have a list of highly qualified women, but the president has
not consulted me."
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman left on the Supreme Court after Sandra Day O'Connor retires


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

John Roberts refuses to answer, on the grounds that...

...it may reveal who he really is?

Check out this telling video revealing how much Roberts isn't telling us:


Oops! The FDA does it again

But this time, they tried to correct the boo boo before they thought anyone would notice. Unfortunately for them, thousands of people noticed.

Two weeks ago, amidst the storm of media coverage about Katrina, Susan Wood, director of the FDA's Office of Women's Health, resigned in protest over the agency's indecision concerning the "morning after pill."

One week ago, the office announced the appointment of Norris Alderson, a veterinarian, as its new acting director.

Three days later, the FDA announced that 20-year FDA veteran Theresa A. Toigo would be the new acting director of the women's health office, and that she would be a "champion for women's health inside and outside the agency."

When a reporter from the Washington Post called the FDA yesterday to ask who exactly was running the office, spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said that Alderson had never been appointed acting director, and that Toigo would take over for the departed Wood.

But several women's groups said that not only did they receive e-mails announcing Alderson's appointment, but that he was listed on a Health and Human Services directory last week as the acting director of the office. In addition, people on the women's health office staff said that Alderson was introduced to them last week as the new acting director, and that he had one-on-one discussions with staff members about future plans.

So in its desperate attempt to avoid replicating Bush's Michael Brown fiasco, the FDA is instead channeling Keystone Kops - while continuing to screw women.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bush to Hurricane Rita: Bring it on!

According to one headline, Bush is "Concerned Rita May Hit Damaged Gulf."

Well, "concern" is the politically correct stance, since another devastating hurricane could plunge Bush's approval ratings even lower.

But it could also give Bush a second chance to appear to do the right thing, which is precisely what he's praying for.

The problem is, it's impossible to actually DO the right thing when you're so busy creating the illusion that you're doing the right thing.


Quote of the day

John Kerry, in a speech yesterday at Brown University:

"Brownie [Bush's pet name for Michael D. Brown, former head of FEMA] is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq, what George Tenet is to slam-dunk intelligence, what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad, what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy, what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning, what Tom DeLay is to ethics and what George Bush is to 'Mission Accomplished' and 'Wanted Dead or Alive.'"


Monday, September 19, 2005

Republicans: "This administration is done for"

The conservative publication The American Spectator says, in an article titled "Dead Agenda," that Republicans on Capitol Hill and even some longtime Bush team members are saying "this administration is done for."

The article quotes one Bush administration member as saying, "You run down the list of things we thought we could accomplish and you have to wonder what we thought we were thinking. You get the impression that we're more than listless. We're sunk."

The article also says that rumors are flying about senior Bush loyalists wanting to jump ship but staying put for now, because there are too few opportunities in the private sector "to make the jump look like anything more than desperation."

"Almost daily," the article says, "complaints from Cabinet level Departments come in to the White House about lack of communication coordination on even basic policy matters."

Remember, this is a CONSERVATIVE publication saying these things.

Has anyone taken a temperature reading of hell lately?


Talk like a pirate on "Constitution Day"

Yes, today is "Talk Like a Pirate Day" (arrrr!), but did you know that September 17 was "National Constitution Day"? Well, even if you didn't, you're still in luck: because the 17th was a Saturday, you're allowed to celebrate it today.

However, before you don your festive party hat, you might want to read the following excerpts from a piece by American historian Seth Cotlar of Willamette University (WU). Cotlar wrote the piece in response to an official WU announcement that the university would be observing National Constitution Day today, ostensibly because WU wants to do its civic duty and discourage ignorance of the Constitution. However, according to Cotlar, National Constitution Day isn't the innocent history lesson it purports to be; in fact, it's a right-wing sham. (Arrrr!) We wish we were surprised.

"As the resident early American historian, I feel compelled to contextualize this Constitution Day event a bit. Many observers across the political spectrum have questioned the legality and effectiveness of a federally mandated public celebration of the constitution. As one official of the Cato Institute pointed out, 'there's irony in using an unconstitutional measure to promote Constitution Day' [LA Times, 8/25/05]. Similarly, when the law was made public last January, Yale University officials argued that the law threatened 'academic freedom' [NCH Washington Update 11.2, January 14, 2005].

"What is perhaps more troubling is this: the lobbying group behind the effort to make National Constitutional Day official is called "Constitution Day, Inc.--a non partisan, non profit organization." Its website (www.constitutionday.com) reveals a great deal more. The promotional video they include on the website (and which they encourage every school in the nation to show) has General Tommy Franks reading the preamble to the Constitution over a Sousa march, followed by a roll call of every state in the union displayed over the sound of church bells playing 'God Bless America,' the tune that has become the unofficial national anthem for the evangelical right. This combination of martial music and religious symbolism should come as no surprise since Constitutionday.org is far from non-partisan. It is a radical right-wing organization whose directors include a number of the most conservative Republican governors and whose board of directors includes the presidential libraries of Reagan, Nixon, and Eisenhower (but no Democrats). A few years ago, the group gave Judge Roy Moore (the Alabama Chief Justice of 10 Commandments fame) the honor of leading its annual celebration of the constitution. The 'educational materials' on the website offer a chilling version of American history that bears little resemblance to how contemporary historians (even many politically conservative ones) see it. Overall, the site leaves little question of the politics behind 'National Constitution Day.' By the way, the group's founder is a 91 year old 'long-time Republican Party activist' [LA Times, 8/26/05] named Louise Leigh. Also interesting is that as several states (New Mexico and North Dakota, for example) have made efforts to comply with new law, they have simply downloaded the 'Constitution Day, Inc.' press release and will use state funds to expose students to this group's fairly skewed observance of the day. See http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/news/081605.shtm or http://www.sde.state.nm.us/press/2005/august/08.26.05.html.

"Surely there is value in people knowing more about the U.S. Constitution, but rather than doing so in the spirit of filio-pietistic reverence that constitutionday.org has encouraged across the nation, perhaps we should follow Thomas Jefferson's injunction that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

"Constitutionally yours, Seth Cotlar."

(Thanks to Colleen Spedale.)

Quote of the day

"If the billions of dollars that have been spent on chemical, nuclear and biological response, if some of that had come over here, we would have done better. But after 9/11, the public priority was terrorism."
- William Lokey, FEMA's coordinating officer for Gulf Coast cleanup efforts

He should have said "Bush's priority," not "the public priority," but he probably wants to keep his job...


Friday, September 16, 2005

Chavez to UN: Bush sucks

Addressing the United Nations yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took President Bush to task for waging war in Iraq without U.N. consent. "There were never weapons of mass destruction but Iraq was bombed," Chavez said, "and over U.N. objections, (it was) occupied and continues being occupied.''

Chavez then recommended that U.N. headquarters be moved out of New York City and to a country that has more regard for the organization. "...we propose to this assembly that the United Nations leave this country, which is not respectful of the very resolutions of this assembly,'' Chavez said.

Bush was not in the audience when Chavez spoke, but he did address the summit's opening session the day before. He had spoken for 20 minutes, even though speakers had been asked to limit their speeches to 5 minutes. When Chavez's speech ran long and a note from the presiding diplomat informed him his time was up, he threw the note on the floor. He said if Bush could speak for 20 minutes, so could he.

When Chavez's speech finally ended, he received the loudest applause of the summit.


Prepare for another Bush disaster

In his address to the nation last night, President Bush promised a massive rebuilding effort that will make New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast even better than it was before Katrina. Sounds expensive but wonderful, doesn't it?

Well, it will be expensive, but it won't be wonderful. In his column in today's NY Times, Paul Krugman says, "There's every reason to believe the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, like the failed reconstruction of Iraq, will be deeply marred by cronyism and corruption."

Considering that Krugman's previous predictions have proven nearly 100% accurate, there's every reason to believe that Bush's "New Deal" for the Gulf Coast will be every bit as disastrous as Operation Iraqi "Freedom."

We hate to sound like the pessimists we are, but in the interest of realism, we think it's best to prepare for the worst. Either that, or impeach Bush before he can get his hands on this one.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Funniest reply yet

In response to our entry of earlier today, "Leave my typos alone," Andrew Boyd wrote,

"ok, ya bum, i fixed it : "The story of Rachel Normandy, whose solider-son Ryan was severely injured in Iraq last year..."

"just so you know, i deliberately put those typos in there knowing that i needed to trip-wire the 37% typo-density threshold in order for you to alert your readers to the existence of our "otherwise very worthy" blog

"so, thanks for playing along with stage one in my master plan for total blogosphere domination bwah-ha-ha-hah...

"now let's step outside and settle this like real geeks..."

Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, one of the typos remains intact - and one nontypo was "fixed." But the unnecessary fix works, too.

Thanks, Mr. Boyd, for having a sense of humor - and sharing it. Now, if you were serious about stepping outside, can you wait while we sharpen our red pencil?

Leave my typos alone!

See if you can spot the 3 typos in the first 11 words (a 37 percent error rate) of this blog entry, from the otherwise very worthy Web site Leave My Child Alone (http://www.workingforchange.com/lmcablog):

"The story of Rachel Normandy, who's solider son Ryan was severly injured in Iraq last year..."

We bloggers are often in a hurry or are distracted by the latest Bushit when blogging, but if our blogs are worth writing we should make them worth reading. And if readers have to trip over too many typos, they might give up and move on. Or, worse yet, they might try to embarrass you by calling attention to your typos on some anal-retentive blog like this...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pledge of Allegiance ruled unconstitutional - again

Maybe this time, the Supreme Court will take the case seriously and rule rationally. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled today that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God'' violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.''

Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento
atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when
recited in public schools.

Newdow, the same attorney and doctor who argued the case before the Supreme Court last year (only to have it dismissed because he didn't have custody of his daughter, on whose behalf he had filed the suit), filed a new suit on behalf of three unnamed parents and their children. Karlton said those families have the right to sue.

The Becket Fund, a "religious rights" group that is a party to the
case, said it would immediately appeal the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the court does not change its precedent, the group will go to the Supreme Court.

With two vacancies that will surely be filled by fundamentalists, the Supreme Court is likely to find another lame excuse to dismiss the case. But we're praying for a rational outcome anyway...


John Roberts: world's worst umpire

On Monday, John Roberts, Bush's nominee for chief justice of the Supreme Court, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that if confirmed he would serve more as an umpire than a batter or pitcher. Yesterday he couldn't make up his mind whether to call a ball or a strike.

• About Roe v. Wade: "I think I should stay away from discussions of particular issues that are likely to come before the court again."

• About war powers: "I don't want to answer a particular hypothetical."

• About voting rights: "Those cases come up all the time, and I do need to avoid expressing an opinion."

• "I don't think I should express a determinative view...I should not respond...I can't answer that...I do not feel it appropriate for me to comment..."

If this guy were an umpire at a major-league baseball game, either the players or the fans would kill him on the spot.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bush finally accepts responsibility

Well, sort of. Read between the lines:

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at a White House news conference today. "To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility."

But what does that mean? He accepts blame for responding too slowly, too inadequately, and too flippantly? Or he just accepts the possibility that, yeah, maybe the feds screwed up a bit, and, yeah (sigh), because I'm the head of the feds, the buck stops with me?


Stop everything you're doing

Go to Google. Type in "failure." Click on "I'm feeling lucky." Prepare to smile.

March of the bird brains

This is as unbelievable as it is inevitable. Conservatives are hailing the documentary film "March of the Penguins" as a shining example of how humans should think and act. It would be hilarious if they weren't so serious:

• On the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com, an opponent of abortion wrote that the movie "verified the beauty of life and the rightness of protecting it."

• At a conference for young Republicans, the editor of National Review urged participants to see the movie because it promoted monogamy.

• The Christian publication World Magazine said the movie makes "a strong case for intelligent design."

• Conservative film critic and radio host Michael Medved said the movie "passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child rearing."

• Ben Hunt, a minister at the 153 House Churches Network in Ohio, said of the movie, "Some of the circumstances they experienced seemed to parallel those of Christians. The penguin is falling behind, is like some Christians falling behind. The path changes every year, yet they find their way, is like the Holy Spirit."

Not all conservatives, however, consider the movie a rejection of Darwin. "If an Intelligent Designer designed nature," George F. Will wrote, "why did it decide to make breeding so tedious for those penguins?"

Indeed. And why did it make conservatives so tedious for the rest of us?


John Roberts: chief umpire?

Bush's nominee for chief umpire - er, chief justice of the Supreme Court said this at yesterday's confirmation hearing:

"I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat."

So every issue that comes before him will be either a ball or a strike...right or wrong...black or white...with us or against us.

Pitchers and batters, at least, have more than a binary relationship with the ball. But then, this is Bush's nominee, isn't it?


Monday, September 12, 2005

Mike Brown becomes Bush's latest fall guy

Mike Brown (better known to his pals as "Brownie") has resigned as director of FEMA. He turned in the usual cover-the-president's-ass resignation, saying, "I think it's in the best interest of the agency and the best interest of the president to do that and get the media focused on the good things that are going on, instead of me."

Well, at least Brown recognizes that he isn't one of the good things that are going on. But why didn't Bush recognize that before he appointed him? And why didn't Bush fire him once it became clear that he was incompetent? Is it because that would be tantamount to admitting his own incompetence at appointing competent people?


Bush connects Katrina with 9/11

For some inexplicable reason, President Bush chose yesterday, 9/11, to return to New Orleans for an inspection tour.

From the NY Times: "In sharp contrast to his previous trip, in which Mr. Bush seemed intent on reassuring the public about the government's role and the commitment to rebuild New Orleans and other coastal communities, the White House portrayed this trip as more akin to a general's heading to the front lines for inspection."

A general? The front lines? Why is everything a war to this simian?


Thursday, September 08, 2005

What was Bush thinking?

What was Bush thinking?
Originally uploaded by Editor at Large.
This is a map of the parishes (counties) in Louisiana. The ones in red are those for which Bush declared a state of emergency on August 26. Note that they are all inland - not along the gulf coast - and that they exclude New Orleans, as well as all the other cities in Louisiana that were hardest hit by Katrina, for obvious reasons. What was Bush thinking?

(Map by Bob Harris, www.bobharris.com)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Readers write

A couple of different viewpoints, presented without comment because they speak for themselves.

1. In response to our blog entry, "Bush's response to Katrina" (8-31-05):

"A friend of mine speaks of Bush's 'stunned monkey look.' I don't know if it originated with him, but it sure is apt. I wonder why GW trots out his dad and Bill Clinton when these things come up, to raise money. I guess his motto is 'no new taxes,' although that sure doesn't also mean no new spending. Even at $50 billion, Katrina is cheap compared to Iraq. But Iraq is just funny money--added to what we all owe. Imagine how popular that war would be if Bush increased taxes specifically to cover its cost!"

2. In response to "The Bush family's sensitivity: like mother, like son" (9-6-05):

"If she really said that and you didn't take it out of context she probably is right. Even if you you [sic] made it up it would be true. Many of these people were dependent on the liberal handouts, making them dependent on government and not encouraging them to better themselves. What we are seeing is the flow of government-depended [sic] people that have no idea how to care for themselves. They can thank their liberal Democratic mayor and Gov."

Friedman gets something right

It's nice to see a former Bush apologist come to his senses. In Thomas Friedman's NY Times column today, he says that the Bush administration is "so much better at inflicting pain than feeling it, so much better at taking things apart than putting them together, so much better at defending 'intelligent design' as a theology than practicing it as a policy."


California legislature approves gay marriage

...by a vote of 41 to 35.

Among the 35 naysayers was Monrovia Republican Dennis Mountjoy (sic), who said, "Marriage should be between a man and a woman, end of story. It's not about civil rights or personal rights, it's about acceptance. They want to be accepted as normal. They are not normal."

Mountjoy is, of course, normal. He puts his penis in a woman's vagina and never thinks about putting it anywhere else. Except when having to debate the issue with the legislature - and then he's so grossed out he has trouble thinking about anything.

Schwarzenegger will most likely veto the bill, which will most likely result in an even lower approval rating (it's at 36 percent now)...which might be a good thing come November, when California has special elections.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Bush family's sensitivity: like mother, like son

While touring hurricane relief centers in Houston, G.W. Bush's mother Barbara said, referring to the poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated, "So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this - this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."


Friday, September 02, 2005

"When the Levee Breaks"

Lyrics by Led Zeppelin (1971).

If it keeps on rainin' levee's goin' to break
If it keeps on rainin' levee's goin' to break
When the levee breaks I'll have no place to stay
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
Lord mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home
Oh well oh well oh well
Don't it make you feel bad
When you're tryin' to find your way home
You don't know which way to go?
If you're goin' down South
They got no work to do
If you don't know about Chicago
Cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good
Now, cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move
All last night sat on the levee and moaned
All last night sat on the levee and moaned
Thinkin' 'bout me baby and my happy home
Going, go'n' to Chicago
Go'n' to Chicago
Sorry but I can't take you
Going down, going down now, going down

The biggest post-Katrina looter yet: Halliburton

The Houston Chronicle reports that the US Navy has asked Halliburton subsidiary KBR to repair naval facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Could this contract be the result of lobbying for KBR by former FEMA director and ex-Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh?

Interestingly, KBR has not been asked to repair the failed levees that caused most of the damage to New Orleans.


Oh, the irony

The Department of Homeland Security would like to remind everyone that September is National Preparedness Month.

Their slogan: "Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed and Get Involved."

And their 9/2 Tip of the Day (subtitled - without a hint of irony - "Oh, the places you'll go"): "Pick a place to meet after a disaster. Designate two meeting places. Choose one right outside your home, in case of a sudden household emergency, such as a fire. The second place you choose needs to be outside your neighborhood, in the event that it is not safe to stay near or return to your home."

We're sure the victims of Katrina are grateful for the advice. Maybe the DHS could airlift them some of those kits they mentioned?