The Airing of Grievances
Thursday, April 29, 2004
With its recent string of outstanding entries like this one, Whiskey Bar is fast becoming one of AofG's favorite blogs. So much so that it has joined the pantheon of permalinks on the right.
Comments-[ comments.]
More Money Well Spent

I wonder if this moron was socially promoted...
Comments-[ comments.]
Bring The Pain
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb met with the 9/11 commission today. My favorite quote from the post-meeting Q&A with the press: "I answered every question I was asked."

Hey, good for you, Sparky! This comment reminds me of the classic Chris Rock bit on the difference between African-American people and those who he describes with a word that I shall not use here. The gist, according to Rock, is that this other group takes credit for things that any normal person would regularly do:

"They'll brag about stuff a normal man just does. They'll say something like, 'Yeah, well I take care of my kids.' You're supposed to, you dumb m-fer. 'I ain't never been to jail.' Whaddya want? A cookie? You're not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having m-fer!"

George W. Bush: America's low-expectation-having m-fer.
Comments-[ comments.]
"Under Weaknesses, You Put 'Excema'"
While excema might not come up during the presidential debates, it's pretty clear to see what the RNC feels is the soft underbelly of their own campaign, military experience during a time of war. The thing is, they pretty much have none.

Among the administration's hawks, only one served for the US Armed forces (i.e. not a state national gaurd) and that was during peace time. Check it:
GWB - Air National Guard, whether or not he showed up for all his duty is quesitonable. Oh yeah, he was also on alot of yayo at the time.
Dick Cheney - Has publicly stated that he had "other priorities" than to serve his country in the 1960's.
Don Rumsfeld - Naval Aviator between '54 & '57 - one of the most quiet periods of the Cold War.
Paul Wolfowitz - Went to college and graduate school for 11 years (!) during the Vietnam era.
Condi Rice - None, but she was always the brains of the operation anyway...
Karl Rove - Nada, but he was working for GWB's daddy as early as 1973. Seriously though, would you want that fat POS on the front lines anyway? He would have been Private Pile at Parris Island, no doubt.

On the other hand, you have John Kerry, a certifiable war hero, is being attached by the RNC because he threw away his medals. Yeah, so maybe he tossed his medals - so what. He knew the war he fought in was a hypocracy, and he could not stand to remember what those medals represented. My gradfather threw one of his purple hearts out in front of the general that pinned it on his pillow after he got his ass blown up by a land mine because the guy next to him in the hopital got the same medal for cutting his hand on a C-ration can. If tossing his medals away makes Kerry un-American, than I guess my grandfather was un-American too. The point is, when their country needed them, both Kerry and my grandfather (and millions of others), they served honorably. To try to impeach Kerry's credentials with this, especially from those who felt they had better things to do than get trench foot in some Southeast Asian jungle, is the lowest form of zero-sum politics.

Methinks the RNC protests too much.
Comments-[ comments.]
I Will Bring You Down to Chinatown

It appears people might be starting to pay attention. Following on my post below, this would probably be a good time for John Kerry to make his presence felt.

And Ambassador Joseph Wilson's new book hits the shelves soon. In the words of Gaylord Focker, can you deal with THAT?

Comments-[ comments.]
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Drudge links to an article from this week’s Village Voice today, which serves as a personal last straw, prompting me to air a grievance that has been percolating for a good month now. The grievance is towards those on the left who, in the middle of April, are already armchair quarterbacking the election and beating up on their own candidate. The perpetrator in this instance, James Ridgeway, a regular, very liberal, contributor to the Voice and AlterNet, takes Kerry to task for his wealthy standing, the recent medal/ribbon controversy, and his “uninspriing record in the Senate (yes war, no war)”, obviously referring to the perception of Kerry as a flip-flopper. If I didn’t know better, I would think Ridgeway was writing for the Weekly Standard, as he shamelessly regurgitates the myths regularly found in Bush campaign propoganda in both castigating those who abandonded Howard Dean and wishfully thinking about an 11th hour party upheval that pushes Kerry aside. I hate to break it to cry-babies like Ridgeway, but the primary process wasn’t even close. We picked Kerry and we did so in convincing fashion. Accept it, understand what is at stake, and figure out how best to position the man who should be your candidate.

This is not to say that John Kerry is without flaw. If I had my way, he would be a bit more aggressive (though he has improved dramatically on that front this week), he would be more forthcoming and he would worry less about appealing to everyone and give straighter, less politically maneuvering, answers. These are small adjustments. There are plenty of websites and resources out there that effectively neutralize many of the more ludicrous charges made about John Kerry, incudling the flip-flop nonsense, his supposed special interest ties, his love of raising taxes, and the whole medals non-story. Click here, here, here, and here for a taste. Also, surprisingly, this website gives a pretty fair treatment of Kerry, despite its title, which continues to reinforce the self-loathing liberal image that I find so grevious. And check this article out if you actually want to see what a rare pro-Kerry article from a left-wing media source looks like. The real flaws that you are then left with seem inconsequential, particularly when you contrast them against Bush’s in the geopolitical environment in which we find ourselves. That the left continues to gnaw and obsess over them when it is a time to be on the attack, supporting the candidate, makes no sense.

I attribute this self-loathing to two factors: First, the primary process was begun, at the urging of the DNC powers-that-be, at the earliest point in an election year ever and was effectively over within three weeks. No matter who was chosen, they would be campaigning longer than anyone else in history. With more time to think about it, the more likely the “buyer’s remorse” sets in, particularly when you constrast the occasionally shaky performance of Kerry The Candidate with the memories of the sexy, populist, Internet-driven campaigns of Dean and Edwards.

The more important factor is the instant gratification society that is 21st century America and how the campaign process has lost its place in such an environment. We don’t want to get to know John Kerry over time, we won’t allow him to make the mistakes that all candidates make, we want him to fix his flaws, give us a list of his positions, differentiate himself from Bush, talk tough and stand up to the right-wing attack machine, and be a generally kick-ass kind of guy, all right now, all in one campaign speech. If it doesn’t happen, the whinging starts. Sorry, but it doesn’t happen that way, people. Campaigns ebb and flow and there has never been a perfect candidate. Clinton, in 1992, endured obstacles and accusations (some of which actually had merit) far more serious than those being lobbed at Kerry and yet he pulled through.

I have no better way of closing than quoting a post I made last week on a bulletin board on, of all things, a sports blog:

"The pissing and moaning of the anti-Bush camp is what occasionally makes me ashamed to be a part of it, not what the Kerry campaign is or isn't doing. If the campaign sucks so much, quit bitching and do something to be a more active part of it. Donate money to Kerry/DNC, do some volunteer campaign work, take a vacation to sunny Florida in September or October and spend a couple days going door-to-door (think about how things might have been different if 100 people did that in 2000), figure out where the closely contested Senate races are and donate/volunteer there (remember, Dems only need two Senate seats to ensure a majority and a check on the president), anything. Pointing fingers is easy, making the effort to actually change things is not. [/soapbox]"
Comments-[ comments.]
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Hey! Wha Happened?
Our half a dozen regular readers may or may not have been wondering where AofG has been the last couple of days. Not to worry, just a couple days off, taking care of pesky things like social lives and enjoying the absolutely stunning New York spring weather. We'll be back in full force come Monday morning.

In the mean time, here are a few things to chew on:

- Chicks dig fatwas
- It took almost a year, but the CPA may finally be making its first wise decision. The other day, AofG linked to a Juan Cole piece describing just a portion of the wacky world of Ahmed Chalabi. Good to see that this world-class PoS might be getting the long-overdue boot.
- But unfortunately, we're not looking to put together any kind of a winning streak in Iraq. [UPDATE: This used to link to an article on a possible offensive in Najaf. Not anymore]
- Isn't selling out fun?
- Quick NFL draft analysis on AofG's two favorite teams: The Jets do a nice job filling in gaping holes at LB and CB with quality players from quality programs. Cozmo, any additional thoughts on the J-E-T-S? The Browns have decided that Jeff Garcia can fend for his own damn self. They also give up a 2nd round pick to move up 1 spot in the 1st round to draft an awesome player who addresses the 5th biggest hole on their list. Oh yeah, Jamal Lewis is still no less excited about running up the middle on them. Don Banks tries to put the best face on the somehow increasingly idiotic Butch Davis getting his pants pulled down yet again, this time by the Lions front office. Terry Pluto, on the other hand, resides a bit closer to the magical land of reality. All I want to know is, does Butch play poker? Do other teams have a tough time keeping a straight face when they deal with the Browns? In the 5 years of Cleveland Browns v2.0, have they even had a mediocre draft? Maybe 2002, when they picked the talented but completely batshit William Green, as well as the Andre/Andra Davis duo. 6-10, here we come!!!
- This just in, Browns waste a 4th round draft pick on yet another backup QB. Only 3 more increasingly meaningless picks to F up!
Comments-[ comments.]
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Warning: Intellectuals In The Area
Whiskey Bar with a 2 day-old must-read. Do it.

UPDATE: Juan Cole with another.
Comments-[ comments.]
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Happy Now?

Ah, thought I was going off on another rant, did ya? Not this time. Thanks to the Sports Frog for linking to this article from the Guardian on happiness. I read this immediately after watching the Season 2 DVD of The Office, the final episode of which has much to do with how to best pursue happiness, even when the inevitable conflicts with practicality arise. Good timing...
Comments-[ comments.]
Happy Now, Douchebags?
Whoa! It seems John Kerry was a pretty good soldier after all. Anybody care to compare these records to the keg receipts from the Texas Air National Guard, circa the early 1970s? Didn't think so.

And I talked about this in a rant a few days ago, but I'll bring it up again: any PoS talking head or politician who, in the war environment we're in, still has the stones to try and diminish the length of service or the seriousness of combat wounds sufferered by a soldier who volunteered to go to Vietnam, be assured that there is a special circle of hell waiting for your hypocritical ass. Try saying the same things about someone serving in Iraq right now, and you won't last a day. But I guess when politics are involved, all's fair, huh?
Comments-[ comments.]
Reason #5137 I Love My iPod
"Dreams...Can...Come True
Look at me babe, I'm witha you
You know you gotta have them.
You know they gotta be strong."

Second greatest Jug Club Song evah! (Behind "The Hurricane")

If you are from where I'm from, holla back!
Comments-[ comments.]
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
It's Like Rain On Your Wedding Day. No Wait, That's Just Bad Luck.
No, the irony that a couple weeks' worth of beating up on the right has resulted in Google-generated ads for the RNC at the top of our fair blog is not lost on the AofG. In response, I have just five simple words: Boobs Boobs Boobs Boobs Boobs.
Comments-[ comments.]
The Dairy King vs. The Donald

Dallas Mavericks owner, founder of broadcast.com, billionaire and general psycho Mark Cuban is fueding with New Jersey Generals owner, father of Ivanka Trump,, billionaire and general psycho Donald Trump about his new TV show, the Benefactor. For the uninitiated, The Benefactor will be Cuban's new reality show where 16 people will just hang around with Cuban, and the one he thinks is the coolest will win $1 million dollars. There are no rules, no job, no immunity, just the ego maniacal Cuban and some good looking dopes playing "What would you do for a million Klondike bars." Says Cuban of Trump:

"After leaving your office, I promised myself that if I ever got liquid and had an obscene amount of money in the bank, I would make a point not to remind myself and everyone else around me of it every minute of every day - unlike you."


I wonder if Cuban will include AofG nemesis Omarosa to pump up ratings?
Comments-[ comments.]
I Have Nothing to Add About This
Comments-[ comments.]
Links Masquerading As A Rant
- This week, we got the new Woodward book and its damaging, but not that surprising, allegations
- April, as measured by US casualties, is now the bloodiest month of the war
- We have this article, published today, about a memo detailing the shitshow that is post-war Iraq, written by a hawkish US government official working with the Coalition Provisional Authority.
- Last Tuesday, President Bush gives a press conference, my reaction to which can best be described by this.

Yesterday, two polls were released, both showing improvements in Bush's head-to-head numbers with Kerry.

What gives? Outside of a great March jobs report, the past two months have yielded very little in the way of positive news for this administration. But, in thinking about the election and John Kerry's chances, the iPod in my mind keeps repeating a classic 1988 Saturday Night Live skit, with Jon Lovitz, in his dead-on Dukakis impersonation, saying, "I can't believe I'm losin' to this guy!"

Maybe the less-wacky-by-the-day idea of sending a few thousand 18 to 25 year-old sons and daughters to Iraq will wake people up.
Comments-[ comments.]
Stupidest. Law. Ever.
New York State Assemblyman Peter Rivera suggests that you keep up to date insurance...


Beware of Attack Puppy!

Amazing. I hope that the insurance company lobbists in Albany left more than just a few hundreds on this guy's bedstand. Flowers would be nice. Maybe a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

(Cozmo would like to thank last night's cabbie for this stupid information.)
Comments-[ comments.]
Monday, April 19, 2004
Feats Of Strength
Despite the disdain that those of us who celebrate Festivus have for over-commercialization, I'd be remiss if I didn't do a plug for my son's friend Jerry and his new AmEx ads.

Comments-[ comments.]
The Sins of the Father
Bob Woodward's new book, Plan of Attack, about the Bush White House's path to war certainly sounds fascinating. The Grey Lady lifts up the skirt to show us some of the salacious claims that Woodward makes here (free reg.). Among the teasers they drop for us:

- "President George W. Bush asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Nov. 21, 2001, to start a (secret) war plan for Iraq."
- "The book also reveals that the director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, told President Bush in December 2002 that intelligence about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction was "a slam dunk," but later told associates that he and the C.I.A. should have stated up front in that fall's National Intelligence Estimate and other reports that the evidence was not ironclad, that there was no smoking gun."
- "General Franks said in September 2002 that his people had been "looking for Scud missiles and other weapons of mass destruction for 10 years and haven't found any yet,"

And most damning of all - Woodward claims that Bush and his inner circle were terrified of appearing "wimpy" like his father did in the wake of the first Gulf War
- "As Mr. Bush himself says of the weeks leading up to the war: "I began to be concerned at the blowback coming out of America: `Bush won't act. The leader that we thought was strong and straightforward and clear-headed has now got himself in a position where he can't act.' And it wasn't on the left. It was on the right.""

These revelations are truly amazing, and absolutely terrifying.

But no, the story does not just end there? In a Cozmo "I told you so..." almost on par with Kwame not firing Omarosa, peep this:
- "Later Mr. Woodward observes that Secretary of State Colin Powell warned the president in January 2003 that military action against Iraq would leave the United States responsible for rebuilding the country and dealing with whatever global fallout the invasion might cause, but adds that the president never asked his top diplomat for advice, and that Mr. Powell never volunteered any."
- "During the buildup to war, this book contends, tensions between Mr. Powell and Mr. Cheney grew so toxic that the two men "could not, and did not, have a sit-down lunch or any discussion about their differences." Mr. Powell is described as thinking that the vice president had an unhealthy fixation on Saddam Hussein and was constantly straining to draw (unproven) connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq. As Mr. Woodward puts it: "Powell thought that Cheney took intelligence and converted uncertainty and ambiguity into fact." As for Mr. Cheney, he reportedly complains to hawkish friends — at a dinner party he and his wife gave on April 13, 2003, to celebrate the Marines' arrival in Baghdad — that Mr. Powell "always had major reservations about what we were trying to do." He and his friends are described as chuckling about the secretary of state, whom Mr. Cheney characterizes as someone interested in his own poll ratings and popularity."

For his part in all this, Powell claims he was not out of the loop. I am not buying it. He made a fool of himself in front of the UN by showing off trailers he claimed were WMD factories. I don't believe that Powell got up there and lied to the entire planet with the conviction that he did. I just don't think Powell has that in him. It is remarkable, however, that the most important member of the cabinet when it comes to foreign policy, the Secretary of State, was pushed aside by the Cheney-Rove-Rumsefeld triumverate. That they set Powell up for the fall like he was their house boy makes me dislike and distrust those three even more.

This story reminds me of John Cornwell, whose shocking biography of Pius XII, Hitler's Pope, was only allowed to be researched written because the Vatican was convinced the conservative Catholic Cornwell would write a sympathetic book on the much maligned WWII era ponitff, whom they were hoping to cannonize. Instead, Cornwell was horrified by what he had read in the Vatican's files, and wrote a scathing book detailing how Pius was not only unsympathetic to the plight of the Jews during WWII, but effectively sold Germany to the Nazi party for the Catholic Church's right to retain its school system in Germany. Not unlike Cornwell, Bob Woodward was given unprecidented access - this time to a sitting cabinet - because of his flattering portyal of Bush in Bush at War, his 2002 book. He interviewed 75 staffers, all speaking at Bush's behest. What he found was clearly not what the President was hoping for, as it was certainly less than flattering to the President or to any senior members of his administration. As for me, I can't wait to see how the White House spins this. Bob Woodward is just the latest Bush "insider" to give an account that portays the Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld wing of the White House as overbearing, war mongering bullies who conviently ignored facts pushed our "adolescent" president around, and forced the country into war.
Comments-[ comments.]
Are These People Making You Sick Yet?
Comments-[ comments.]
Friday, April 16, 2004
Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat, Clinton-Obsessed Slanderer
Kudos to Atrios for linking to a blog that brought to light this utterly incredible allegation from Rush Limbaugh.

I am not a huge Hillary Clinton fan. While I agree with her stances on most issues, her political opportunism is a bit too much for me to stomach, to the point that I felt I had to vote for Long Island Guy, Rick Lazio, in the Senate election a few years back. I mean, she became a bandwagon Yankee fan to score points, for God's sake. But I'm going to defend her to the death on one point: back when Bill Clinton first got in to trouble with the Monica Lewinsky mess, Hillary was interviewed on, I believe, NBC's Today show and expressed her view that a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" had it in for Bill and was trying to railroad him on whatever trumped up charge it could muster. This newest witchhunt was the latest in 7 years of right-wing attempts to come up with anything they could on Clinton, including the Vince Foster hoopla, crazy stories of drug dealing out of the Arkansas governors mansion, millions of our tax dollars wasted on investigating Whitewater and her futures trading gains, I could go on.

The reaction from the right, predictably, was apoplectic. She's a paranoid kook, they said, in so many words. See what kind of nutcases we have running the show? was the implication. The right-wing talking heads, of course, loved the allegation because, as true a statement as it was, they could turn it around and use it to hammer home to their base just how awful the Clintons were. And windbags like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity owe their careers to moments like this, when they can use a soundbite to preach to their converted automatons about how horrible it was during those eight years of peace and prosperity, when most of the world respected the United States.

It is interesting now, though, to see the reaction when the shoe is on the other foot. We find ourselves in a war brought upon us in a deceitful manner, costing us tens of billions of dollars and most of our international alliances, extracation from which will be extraordinarily difficult in the rosiest of scenarios. The Bush Administration finds itself the subject of more ethics investigations in the past three years than the Clinton Administration faced in eight. The President, under extreme political pressure, gives a rare press conference and is unable or unwilling to explain why all of the claims made before the Iraq War haven't come anywhere close to being true and completely fails to offer a realistic plan for how we should proceed in the next few months.

How then, does an idealogue like Limbaugh spin such incompetence in action? Yesterday, I linked to a transcript detailing his view that Bush did a fantastic job on Tuesday night, parrying the slings and arrows of what is so obviously, to him, a liberal bias in the media. He asserted on his show that the media, in all of its evil liberal glory, is acting as a surrogate for the Kerry campaign in hammering Bush with questions on mistakes made, responsibility not taken, or failures in communicating his aims to the American people. (Of course, Rush sidesteps Bush's complete failure to directly answer any of the other 10 questions with any degree of clarity - talking about that might give comfort to the evil doers, or something like that). When Hillary Clinton makes an appearance with John Kerry, it is, in Limbaugh's estimation, not a highly regarded Democrat supporting her party's candidate, but more Clintonian machinations that, if not fulfilled to their liking, will possibly end in John Kerry's murder. That, dear reader, is paranoia at its most extreme. OK, maybe not its most extreme - the most extreme, I think, involves the Illuminati and tin-foil hats. But the fear, apparently, is of ...(drum roll) ... a vast, left-wing conspiracy.

And now, it begins anew with John Kerry. Already, the lies and mispresentations of his record are being bandied about, with the most damning indictment apparently being that he looks French. That's really been the only thing that can't easily be proven false with a simple Google search. This week we've seen the right's attempt to diminish his war record, something so hypocritical and offensive, it makes me sick. I mean, can you imagine the blowback if any public figure, Republican or Democrat, tried to criticize a soldier in the current conflict over the length of their time served or for not having a grisly enough wound to warrant one Purple Heart, much less three? My guess is that goldbricking chicken-hawks like Rush Limbaugh would be out for blood.

But you know why this doesn't really anger me all that much? Want to know how I can laugh this grand hypocrisy off? Because the extreme right never wins, it always loses. The 1994 Republican "Revolution" and the Contract On America failed. In 1998, the unncessary witchhunt that a majority of the American people didn't want failed. Whitewater? Failed. Travelgate? Failed. Vince Foster? Failed. The Boston Red Sox of presidential politics, the upper echelons of the right wing tried, for eight years, to bring Clinton down and they failed every single time. We know it still pisses them off, because they still can't stop talking about the Clintons. They have to get them on something before they die, and now have to resort to making shit up to get there.

Comments-[ comments.]
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Hitting The Links...
Not much original material the past couple of days, but I have to throw a post on, if only to get the disconcerting image of The Gimp off the top of the page:

- William Saletan from Slate with the only true must-read (not must-call) on Bush's press conference
- Looks like Rush Limbaugh is hitting the Oxycontin pretty hard again
- I'll be renting for a couple more years
- I am obsessed with "The Apprentice"

Here's a picture that should put a spring in your step...

Comments-[ comments.]
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Bring Out The Gimp
Referring to Frank's "Bushisms below", I think the "Secretary of State Rumsfeld" comment says it all. The most capable and well-respected (outside of the administration) man in the Executive Branch, Colin Powell, must be kept locked up in the basement of the White House like the Gimp. They just bring him out when they want to impress the international community, which, I can only assume, the Chaney-Rumsfeld arm of the government feels are into Gimps...

Cozmo voted Bush three years ago, mainly because I felt that intelligent, responsilbe people like Powell and Rice would keep him in line on foreign policy. Instead, they have just been marginalized and hung out to dry by wrinkled milquetoast midwesterners who never stopped playing cowboys and indians. Very disappointing, and kind of sad really.

Comments-[ comments.]
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Almost forgot, here were some gems:
"Secretary of State Rumsfeld"
"Indeminate" (Intimidate)
"Insticated" (Instigated)
Comments-[ comments.]
I'd like to thank President Bush, whose performance tonight makes the job of critics such as myself, so much easier than it really needs to be. The next few days will likely be filled with analysis of his remarks and I can't imagine too many people thinking he did a good job, save a few key points. I have pages of notes, but it really came down to a few themes:
- Never admit you're wrong
- Never admit a mistake
- Stick to the talking points and use them even when they don't relate to the question asked
- When an uncomfortable question is asked, avoid it or talk around it until everyone is comatose and then excuse yourself for not answering the question

Bush's opening remarks were actually quite coherent and stressed the importance of staying the course and sticking to the June 30 deadline, two themes that he would reiterate again and again in questioning. He acknowledged that April had seen some "tough weeks" and that he will provide additional soldiers and resources if asked. Initiatives highlighted would be working towards elections for a national assembly by Jan 2005 and a permanent government by December 2005. Also, we'll be sending Richard Armitage to meet with Middle East leaders (Diplomacy!!! What a novel concept!!) to curry support. In short, Bush stated that our success was vital and that the "consequences of failure would be unthinkable". He's laid it all on the line now and can't back down on anything - whether that's a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.

The Q&A was, quite obviously, a disaster for Bush. Of the 15 questions I counted, only a couple were actually answered directly and effectively. A perfect example of his evasive technique was the question on intelligence reform and what his thoughts were on that matter given the recent testimony before the 9/11 commission. His answer? He's open to suggestions. This was followed by a 5 minute soliliqy on the importance of free societies and how we can win the war on terror by creating a free society in Iraq. Not exactly deep thoughts on intelligence reform. Another came when Bush was asked how he could explain the prewar claims (being greeted as liberators, certainty of WMDs, etc.) that turned out to be patently false. His answer had virtually nothing in the way of an explanation, just more on how he perceived Iraq to be a threat after 9/11 and more blameing the UN for not acting sooner.

The main point that will be discussed is why Bush can not admit a mistake and why he does not take responsibility or feel culpability for decisions or inaction that may have turned out to be wrongheaded. 5 of the 15 questions had to do with mistakes made, personal failures, or the matter of responsibility. He avoided answering every single one. Bush was visibly shaken when asked what mistake was his biggest after 9/11. With the clicks of dozens of press cameras clearly audible, he stammered for several seconds, admitted that he wished he could have planned for the question, remained silent for an uncomfortable period of time, and then went on to defend his decisions to go into Afghanistan and Iraq. He even said we still might find WMDs. Bush then excused himself for not having a good answer and took another question as soon as he possibly could. This in response to a question about his biggest mistake post-9/11. Incredible.

Another topic that will be talked to death is his refusal to give a good answer when asked why he and Vice President Cheney will be appearing together before the 9/11 Commission. Bush stated that they were testifying because they were asked to and they looked forward to meeting with the Commission. When the exact same question was asked, stressing that the question was more why did they have to testify together, the answer was the same. As a dozen voices were raised in objection, he then made sure to quickly call on whoever had their hand raised, insisting that there were "must-calls" in the press that he had to get to.

There's more, but I think I made the points I wanted to make and I think President Bush did enough damage to himself tonight that I don't need to stay up any later writing about it.
Comments-[ comments.]

Some New Yorkers may be saddened to learn that muralist/lo-fi graffitiist James De La Vega could be facing prison time (free subscription required) following a July 2003 arrest for criminal mischief, making graffiti and possessing graffiti intstruments. Unless you're a staunch believer in the broken windows theory, it's hard to say that the potential punishment fits the crime, especially in light of the many books that have been written about the importance of graffiti culture and its contributions to the vibrancy of New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

I'd rather he be brought up on charges of unimaginative sloganeering. While De La Vega is responsible for a few interesting, and rather beautiful, street murals, most of his work is essentially early Jean-Michel Basquiat without the whimsy, cultural relevance or coke-fueled art scene. The bulk of De La Vega's "portfolio" consists of saccharine missives, straight out of fortune cookie inserts or the script of the next Star Wars movie, chalked on the sidewalks of the Upper East Side. De La Vega, in a rather broad stroke, says his aim is to "make a difference". With aphorisms such as "In the theater of life, you too will have your moment", "You are your best investment", "Live each day as if it were your last", and my personal favorite, "I have just bought a piece of real estate in your mind", he appears better suited for writing Senior picture yearbook quotes.
Comments-[ comments.]
Bush Press Conference Tonight at 8:30
I've put a lot of anti-Bush material on this site in the past few days, such that it often feels like, to me, more of the same left-wing echo chamber that is much of the blogosphere. In the interest of having a more well-rounded site, and with huge thanks to Cozmo, we're going to post on a wide variety of topics. But, given this is only the 3rd time in his presidency that Bush has held a nationally televised, prime-time press conference, I can't resist.

Things I'll be looking for:

- How the reporters in attendance present their questions and if they are persistent on any answers that are incomplete or evasive. The Administration has taken alot of heat in recent weeks, it will be interesting to see if the press shows the same tenacity in person that they do from afar.

- An explanation of how and to whom we turn over power in Iraq by June 30th. So far, planning and execution in the post-conflct period have been horrendous, they've got to start getting things right

- Any clues on increased troop commitments or (shock horror!) a draft

- Political posturing of any kind. Bush's poll numbers and support for his handling of Iraq are in free-fall and damage control was no doubt the motivation for this press conference. My interest will be in if he gets off the topics at issue in order to score political points (see also: gay marriage, steroids in baseball, Mars missions).

My TiVo fingers are streched and ready, I'll be back with a recap of my thoughts.
Comments-[ comments.]
Rocca's Paradox

What becomes of the person who becomes a C-List celebrity solely by commenting on the activity of A-List celebrities?

Slate's Dennis Cass doesn't have the answer, but he brings up some great points.

In case you have had your TV in storage for the past two months, but the programming geniuses at VH1 couldn't figure out how to reap the benefits of the popularity of their nostalgic zeigteist hit, I Love the 80's (other than making a second installment of all 10 shows and playing them daily until you know every line). So, they tried to do one better...create a nostalgia show for last week!

VH1's website trumpets, "If I Love The 80s had a baby, Best Week Ever would be the child!" They should have left this one on the toilet seat. Stocked with the usual cast of insufferable wanna-be's, Best Week Ever rings hollow from prow to stern. The problem is, nostalgia is popular because it reminds people of the fun, or embarrassing memories of their past. Those memories usually turn into humor after about 20 years (Oh my God! Look at my hair!), but can simply be oozing scars a week later. (How many Bennifer joke can one human being handle?) Such an unwarranted taste of history is almost always sour.

Couple that with the brutal stylings of such formidable comedic talents and Chapelle Show cast offs as Rachel Harris, Christian Finnegan, some weaseley little chic who calls herself "Miss Info" and Greg Fitzsimmons, (yeah, you remember Greg from the wildly successful MTV game show, Idiot Savants, although he conveniently leaves that off his bio). When the overrated Patton Oswalt is the best of the bunch, you've got a huge credibility problem. I guess the thing is, the funny guy in the back of the class is funny because he says something once every two days. When he's got something to say every 45 seconds, he quickly becomes the "whiny bitch".

Oh, what did the Rachel Quaintance's of the world do for gainful employment before the cable TV clip show? Oh yeah, they waited tables.
Comments-[ comments.]
Monday, April 12, 2004
You want a Grievance?
Here's a damn grievance...

It's 11PM. I've been at the office since 8AM. The lights just turned out around me. But Cozmo soldiers on.

Comments-[ comments.]
My New Hero

Bubba Crosby
Went to yesterday's game, the guy absolutely played his heart out in front of a sparse, quiet, freezing Easter holiday crowd. Sprinting out a short popup, first one out on the field, first one back in the dugout, hustling all day long. Mussina, whose stuff still doesn't look all that great, should be thanking him for singlehandedly saving his 200th career win with two great catches and a 3 run dong. He sure ain't a looker, though...
Comments-[ comments.]

If you ever feel like getting a sense of how sheeplike many people in our fair land are, might I suggest participating in one of the daily Fox News polls. Once you see the usually stupefying results, you can actually feel yourself being dumbed down by the sheer inanity of the numbers that tend to fall out. Today's poll is no exception. Here are the question and results

"Did National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice accurately portray the August 6, 2001 PDB when she testified before the 9/11 commission?
a. Absolutely! This PDB is only historical 81%
b. She "fudged" the description 4%
c. She may have been mistaken - but did not deliberately mischaracterize 4%
d. She is covering up 8%
e. None of the above 3%"

OK, first of all, answers b) and d) are essentially the same thing - if she were "fudging" things, it would be because she was covering up. Response c) doesn't really strike me as being realistic, given that she not only had over a week to prepare for her testimony and must have known the PDB would be discussed, she probably delivered the damn thing to the president herself back in 2001. Answer e) is, to me, the most valid, since, knowing full well that anyone watching would soon push to have the PDB declassified, she was probably just trying to put the best face on a pretty damning piece of information without having to tell a bold-faced lie on national TV.

But what is most troubling, obviously, is the percentage of people who answered a). Now, I understand which political demographic Fox appeals to. I also understand that there are plenty of people out there who support what Dr. Rice said and feel that she is unfairly being brought to task by the 9/11 Commission and the tangential allegations that have been made. Many of these people make valid and cogent arguments in the Administration's defense. But apparently, 81% of Fox News' audience is unable to read, not to mention comprehend, a very simple, 1.5 page plain-English memorandum. The last, and most important, two paragraphs of the PDB detail not what has already happened, not what threats existed in the late 1990s, but threats that were, at the time, ongoing. That, my friends, is not historical. A better option for the poll would have been "Kinda! While it did contain current threat information, much of the memo was historical, with not much in the way of actionable intelligence". Again, answer e) if anything. But, in our black/white, good guys vs. evil doers world, the gray area realities aren't part of the debate.

Now, I admit, this is waaaay too much to write about some meaningless website poll, but it was the easiest way to make my points, namely that a huge number of people in this country are ovine in nature and that media with an agenda can easily reinforce this behavior. Why would an astronomical 81% answer the way they have? Because, as incorrect as it is, it was the only option presented that comes anywhere near how many people feel. Dr. Rice incorrectly asserted that the PDB contained only historical information, President Bush reasserted as such. (By the way, how shameless was his press conference yesterday? If we always require such specific information to prevent a terrorist attack, I hate to break it to you buddy, we ain't gonna be stopping much of anything. Josh Marshall breaks it down better than I can) That's good enough for Fox News and, therefore, in their eyes, it is so. The network reinforces it all with polls like this, where the ugly anwers are diluted and lessened and the most likely scenarios omitted, with the results then broadcast as what "real Americans" think . Views are then crystallized based upon incorrect or incomplete information and the cycle perpetuates itself. Dangerous.
Comments-[ comments.]
Coming as a surprise to no one, it appears that Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth got herself on to "The Apprentice" due to her massive success at ... nothing. Somehow, getting fired four times, from government jobs no less, in two years is a great springboard to getting a crack at working for Donald Trump and the television stardom and notoriety the process now entails. I'm sure all of the clowns on that show padded their resume in some way or another to be chosen, but how she got through the vetting process must border on the absurd.
Comments-[ comments.]
Sunday, April 11, 2004
Spring Break Crawford!
- August 6, 2001 PDB:

"Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

"The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full-field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group or bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives."

- August 7, 2001 Washington Post article detailing the President's month-long vacation after only 7 months in office.

- Yesterday, after only 10 days, April became the 2nd bloodiest month in Iraq following the Mission supposedly being Accomplished. It's well on its way to being the bloodiest month of the entire conflict.

- This tragic milestone comes in the middle of another presidential vacation

AofG will be back in full tomorrow. Happy Easter, y'all...
Comments-[ comments.]
Friday, April 09, 2004
ESPN's Bill Simmons reaches deep to throw a mid 90's fastball straight at my melon.

Vegas...March Madness...Swingers references?!?

This is scratching me right where I itch!

PS - Don't try to do a Google Image Search on the movie Swingers by just typing in "Swingers". You may be surprised by what you find...Lesson learned.
Comments-[ comments.]
Electablog with a great post (and a line that made me laugh out loud for a good minute solid). I reckon it's a good time to post a picture of a Hooters girl, no?

Comments-[ comments.]
Are You A Member of P.E.T.A.?
Well then G.F.Y!

File this under the Saudi Royal family caveat to donating money. If you are giving money to a large charity, you had better know how that charity is using your hard earned money.

Not that AofG is into getting its information from such reliable sources as Seigfriend & Roy, but I was watching Penn & Teller's Bullshit! program on Showtime last night, and I was absolutely horrified by this week's topic...P.E.T.A. For those of you not familiar with PETA, it is People for the "Ethical" Treatment of Animals, which is an animal "rights" group that spends millions earned by on our compassion for cute and fuzzy pets and advertsing to teenagers and supporting violent, radical causes.

Now, lets leave aside debating Rousseau's argument that rights are only conveyed by and upon rational beings and therefore animals can never actually have "rights" per se, for a second and agree that treating animals ethically is something that most people can get behind: You own pets and treat them as your family. You don't kick dogs. You catch & release. You don't want to support unnecessary harm to animals that are being tested upon. As much as the pigions in the park are annoying, you don't fire off a baseball at one. You would like to minimize suffering of animals in the slaughterhouse. So, you support the ethical treatment of animals, right? Well not how PETA views it. To PETA, the "ethical" treatment of animals ends in the compete liberation of all animals. What does this mean? Their end goal is that no animal is used by humans for anything. That means no meat for food, no animal testing for medicines, no pets, no GUIDE DOGS for blind people. More offensice than that, PETA is remarkably hypocritcal. Here's a good example. PETA will constantly use horrific images of slaughterhouse activity as fodder for its campaigns, but many of the attrocities harped on by PETA; limbs severed before an animal dies and the like, are ALREADY ILLEGAL. Instead of campaigning that the government enforce laws already on the book, they use these illegal attrocities to lobby for more radical laws.

But these misreprentations of the truth and their organization's true goals are the least of PETA's hypocracy and ugliness.

PETA compares itself to such human rights heros as Martin Luther King & Mahatma Gandhi, and enlists grass roots support through cute websites like this. They don't tell you on "Helping Animals 101" that PETA will not condemn the use of violence among radical animal activists such as the Animal Liberation Front. The ALF is a radical group that sponsors the firebombing of medical labs and physically threatens the lives medical research doctors and their families. They also feel that humans have no right to take "property" from our animal bretheren.. Also, there is evidence from PETA's 1994 tax return that they supported convicted arsonist and "environmental terrorist" Rod Coranado, to the tune of $75,000. If you've given money to PETA, it goes to support psychos like Coranado and the ALF every year. So if you are a member of PETA, physical violence and property destruction is ok, but cooking a lobster is not. Money well spent.

In another grandhypocracy, a Vice President of PETA, Mary Beth Sweetland, is a diabetic. She demands that all animal testing and animal products be put to an end, but she takes daily insulin doses. Insulin was developed by medical research on dogs, and uses bovine hormones in its production.. In a misleadingly structured diatribe on the Sweetland claims here that you can reduce your insulin by changing your diet. WOW! You are a freakin' hero. I would love to see this hypocrite go without insulin for a week.

And here is the most disgusting thing I have learned about PETA in the past 24 hours. Now, this happend over a year ago, and how it slipped under my radar screen I don't know, but PETA produced a commercial series and website PLACING THE ANIMAL FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY ON THE SAME MORAL PLANE AS THE NAZI SS. Think about that for a second. Particiapting in the most evil, mechanized, calculated attempt to destroy a nation of people in the history of the planet is essentially the same thing as buying meat at your grocery store.

This campaign is so offensive that I refuse to link the site and can only find one example to link to.

Every time I think of this, I throw up in my mouth. These bastards have the unmitigated gaul to suggest something like this. To equate the lives of chickens with that of people. That the exposed ribs of a starved Jew are the same as the exposed ribs of a milking cow. Their defense? Several wacky Jews, inlcuding some of Isaac Beshevitz Singer's family, who share the same f'ed up views as PETA say its ok. That's it. That's the defense. In a victory crusade, PETA had decided to now take this filth to Germany. Good move.

You would think that PETA could sink no lower than that, right? Well, they probably can't. But in one final hypocracy, Penn & Teller pointed out something facinating in PETA's 2002 tax return. They bought a $10k freezer. Why? To hold cadavers of animals that PETA killed. Let me say that again. To hold cadavers of animals that PETA killed. Did you get that? To hold cadavers of animals that PETA killed. In fact, in that year, of over 2,000 animals PETA saved in 2002, 1,300 were killed by PETA. That makes for a 35% PETA survival rate.

The problem is, PETA seems to love animals and hate people. If you give money to PETA, you are directly supporting all of these hypocracies. Maybe your money should be better spent supporting the ethical treatment of people? May I suggest the Human Fund?
Comments-[ comments.]
"Condoleezza, Condoleezza, Men Have Named You..."

And awaaaaay we go...actually, I don't have too much add, beyond my own personal impressions of Dr. Rice's testimony, I'll leave links that disect it far better than I could have below. For starters, I was continually being interrupted while listening to the questioning, so I don't have a good sense of the flow of the proceedings. She generally seemed composed, but occasionally unsure of what she was saying. To her credit, she handled Bob Kerrey's unnecessary, but still immensely entertaining, beratement pretty well.

However, I came away more confused than I was beforehand and I think that was entirely her aim. Keep in mind that all week, she was being mock interviewed at the White House harder than a 1st year business school student in January. Like a job interview, the questions that were to be asked could pretty easily be discerned and their answers practiced beforehand. This gave us such pearls of wisdom as the notion that there was no silver bullet than could have prevented 9/11 (something that not even Richard Clarke would dispute), or that she would have moved heaven and earth to stop 9/11 had she known it was coming. Great, thanks.

She continually fell back on talking points, including a cameo appearance of my all-time favorite, "At Camp David, it was a map of Afghanistan that was rolled out on to the table." She would often attempt to give follow-on explanations to her answers to yes/no questions. At one point I think she even said, "That depends on what your definition of 'Is' is". OK, I made that up. And finally, if all the talking points had been exhausted and hard details were needed, she would inevitably fall back on that Reagan-era chestnut, "I don't recall."

My favorite part of Dr. Rice's testimony is transcribed in full below. This tells you everything you need to know about how Dr. Rice and other Administration officials talk around the truth:

RICE: I remember very well that the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States. He talked to people about this. But I don't remember the al-Qaida cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6th PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was, Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.

An evasive semantic discussion ensued from there. Now to the links:

Testimony Transcript
NY Times analysis
Fox News
CNN's Clarke/Rice comparison
Center for American Progress (I highly recommend the "Claim vs. Fact" links)
Comments-[ comments.]
Another Woman Lying
While I am sure that Frank will soon be all over Condi Rice, another strong Nubian woman was lying through her teeth on national TV yesterday. Who was it?

Two Words:
"Oma Rosa"

Donald Trump's Bootlickerstock is quickly coming to a head, and it has been facinating TV. Love birds Nick and (a frisky looking) Amy were canned in show's first few minutes, leaving cigar shop ownin' Bill and HBS grad Kwame were left to duke it out. Kwame and Bill's last task is running a special event each - Bill was sent to run a golf tourney at Briarcliff Manor, and Kwame had the misfortune of running a Jessica Simpson show at the Taj Mahal. Top top it all off, they had to hire the last 6 people who had been fired. Well, you knew that Omarosa had to F this thing up somehow, so when she was interupted at dinner, and blew off the problem, it was like a ton of bricks coming down on the Kwame team. Well, not shockingly, Omarosa's obstinence lead to the "disappearance" of the star of the show, and she compounded the problem by lying to Kwame to his face about it.

Kwame, my man, you blew it. If you had fired Omarosa on the spot for lying to you, you would have won no matter what else happened. I feel for you man, but you should have sounded off like you had a pair.

Check out Omarosa's website for a good laugh. Like its eponymous founder, the website is tough to deal with, and takes its sweet time providing you with information. Don't say you weren't warned.
Comments-[ comments.]
Thursday, April 08, 2004
That Was Quick
Holy crap! The A of G has been linked to for the first time, check out Miblog Weighs A Ton, another great new blog.
Comments-[ comments.]
Thurston Moore, guitarist from Sonic Youth has an editorial in, unbelievably enough, today's New York Times (free subscription required) to mark the 10th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide. A good read, if only for the juxtapositon of a downtown noise rocker writing an article for the Gray Lady. Sonic Youth not only influenced Nirvana, they themselves would probably attribute much of the moderate commercial success that they enjoyed in the mid 90s to Nirvana's not-so-subtle endorsement.

As much as I loved Nirvana, the hoopla around Cobain's suicide rang hollow with me, particularly the casting of him as some kind of spokesperson for his, and my, generation. I'm no prude, but I still like my spokespeople to be a little less gaunt and heroin-addled. Still, I miss the music that he would have made.
Comments-[ comments.]
Al Franken: Dreamboat

Al Franken makes Sean Hannity his woman.

By the way, Franken's piece includes a link to FactCheck.org, a non-partisan group dedicated to cutting through the spin and outrageous claims made on both sides of the political aisle. They aren't pulling any punches when it comes to the ads currently being put out by both campaigns and I can't recommend the site highly enough. For a partisan look at the "fuzzy math" underlying the claim of Kerry's supposed 350 tax increases, check out what Michael Kinsley has to say on Slate.
Comments-[ comments.]
Festivus YES! Bagels NO!!

Frank: "At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year."
Cozmo: "And is there a tree?"
Frank: "No. Instead, there's a pole. Requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting."
Cozmo: "Frank, this new holiday of yours is scratching me right where I itch."

When Frank asked me to join him in his online Festivus, the offer was too good to refuse. Of course, I would be free-loading off a buddy, but that is nothing new. I see this blog as a variety show of Merv Griffin-like proportions.

So, the only thing left to do is:
Comments-[ comments.]
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
I Am Really Getting Used To This Picture

Comments-[ comments.]
Crooked numbers

Tragic numbers

Encouraging numbers
Comments-[ comments.]
The First Thing I Read Today...
Not exactly the most uplifting thing to read when you're digging in to a Western omelette and a cup of coffee.
Comments-[ comments.]
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
AofG Update: Two-Way Communication
Comments are here! Sound off like ya gotta pair!
Comments-[ comments.]
Keep Your Eyes On The Road, Your Hands Upon The Wheel

Just to show that I'm not completely made of stone when it comes to the right-wing media, here's a great story from WorldNetDaily that takes a look deep inside a hot-button issue currently being debated in Tennessee's state legislature: drive-by porn

I'm going to skip the easy auto-erotic jokes and just say that if watching porno in the car is a common occurence in your life, a $50 fine is probably not stiff enough to make you think twice.
Comments-[ comments.]
I'm not even going to begin to comment on what's been going on in Iraq. It's anything but productive to engage in a discussion (as one-way as it still is on this blog) that includes even a hint of an "I told you so" sentiment. I have friends in Iraq and my personal views on the situation do nothing to reduce the anxiety that the occasional perusal of a casualty list entails. It goes without saying that our nation's conduct over the next two months will likely shape history, hopefully we can finally get it right and stem the tide of what seems to be increasingly bleak news.

I don't know the answers, but I have one request: don't follow the lead of wingnuts like Joseph Farah (link to article), from the cartoonishly right-wing "news" site, WorldNetDaily. Mr. Farah suggests the need to possibly "flatten Fallujah. We may need to destroy it. We may need to grind it, pulverize it and salt the soil, as the Romans did with troublesome enemies." If you're scoring at home, Fallujah has a population of around 250,000, comparable to that of Hiroshima in 1945. What happened last week was horrific, but to even suggest the annihilation of as many as 250,000 mostly innocent people as retaliation for the gruesome killings of 4 highly-paid mercenaries (who, unlike our real soldiers, didn't have to worry about attempts to cut combat pay or benefits) is more than reactionary, it's barbarism. Not to mention that such a solution would take this from being a war "for Iraqis" to a war "on Iraqis", irreparably harming the support we already have there and making it impossible for us to accomplish anything. Mr. Farah invokes the name and proposes the methodologies of the Roman Empire as a solution to our problems. But Joe, I thought we weren't supposed to behave like imperialists!?!
Comments-[ comments.]
This is being widely reported today, but I thought I'd include here anyway:

In case you don't feel like reading, it contains this 1986 gem from Dick Cheney, upon his introduction of a House bill that would have significantly increased import taxes on oil: "Let us rid ourselves of the fiction that low oil prices are somehow good for the United States". Incredible. Still crazier are the BC04 campaign ads that actually criticize John Kerry for supporting, 10 years ago, a $0.50 gas tax increase which he never introduced to Congress or had to vote on.

And the flips just keep on coming...
Comments-[ comments.]
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Living In The Bizarro World
"This will be a long, hard struggle. There will be setbacks along the way. But just as no enemy could drive us from the fight to meet our challenges and protect our values in World War II and the Cold War, we will not be driven from the tough fight against terrorism today. Terrorism is the enemy of our generation, and we must prevail .... But I want to make it clear to the American people that while we can defeat terrorists, it will be a long time before we defeat terrorism. America will remain a target because we are uniquely present in the world, because we act to advance peace and democracy, because we have taken a tougher stand against terrorism, and because we are the most open society on earth. But to change any of that, to pull our troops back from the world's trouble spots, to turn our backs on those taking risks for peace, to weaken our opposition against terrorism, to curtail the freedom that is our birthright would be to give terrorism the victory it must not and will not have."
- Bill Clinton, George Washington University, April 1996

"And yes these new threats also require us to pay attention to other means of delivery besides missiles. We need to worry about the suitcase bomb, the car bomb and the vial of sarin released in the subway. That is why last year the federal government spent about $11 billion on counter-terrorism efforts, about twice as much as we did on missile defense. That is why we're working closely with friends, allies, and the broader international community on counterterrorism initiatives.

"And that is why in May the president appointed Vice President Cheney to oversee a coordinated national effort to better protect the U.S. homeland against a terror attack using WMD. But why not missile defenses as well?

"Why put deadbolt locks on your doors and stock up on cans of mace and then decide to leave your windows open? At the end of the day, do we really want to choose a course of action that gambles with America's security by choosing not to explore the additional measure of security that limited missile defenses could provide?"
- Condoleezza Rice, excerpts from a speech that was to be given September 11, 2001

That $11 billion that Dr. Rice mentioned? Guess whose administration increased the counter-terrorism budget to that amount, from $5.7 billion. And, I'd be willing to bet that we don't have as much in the way of "friends, allies, and the broader international community" to back us up today.

Comments-[ comments.]
Bush Flip Flop #32
Hey! We actually *are* going to see the remaining 75% of Clinton-era counterterrorism documents that had, up to now, been suppressed. Nice reversal, Mr. Ker- er, Mr. Bush. Do you think they might show that Clinton had actually been doing something to combat terrorism, instead of coming up with stupid defense contractor-driven proposals like missile defense systems? Things like, oh maybe doubling the federal outlay for counterterrorism efforts between 1995 and 2000 or the tripling of the FBI's counterterrorism budget in that same time period? Things like that? Hmm?

In times like these, I often think "WWCD?" or "What Would Clinton Do?". While Clinton certainly had his problems when it came to telling the truth, I would like to think that, if it came to a 9/11 during his presidency, he'd be acting with a bit more urgency in showing his hand. But apparently, 9/11 just doesn't inspire the same zeal for full disclosure and truth that investigations into blowjobs and failed land deals did but a few short years ago. Ah, the good old days, when your government only lied to you about stupid stuff...
Comments-[ comments.]
Takes One To Know One
Nixon whistleblower John Dean: Master of the Obvious.
Comments-[ comments.]
Thursday, April 01, 2004
Today, John Kerry called for six debates between himself and President Bush. Frankly, I couldn't look more forward to this - first of all, it gets him back on the offensive and in the public eye, something that I think he can be rightly criticized for not doing, particularly while you have seemingly every member of the Rove administration racing to see who can be the first to get on TV to contradict themselves. Second, a debate puts Kerry on a playing field where everyone, even the right, knows Bush can't win. In 2000, W lucked out with Gore's smarmy elm-like presence serving as a perfect foil to his shit-kicker buffoonery. Things were good and all we really wanted to see in a debate was who would screw up 8 years of peace and prosperity the least. Not this year. Finally, six debates would have to bring issues back to the forefront, an aspect of this campaign that has been sorely lacking on both sides and a discussion of which, again, the Democrats can't lose.

Predictably, BC04 demured. From a glass house somewhere near Bethesda, Bush campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin had this to say:

"The Bush-Cheney campaign looks for a vigorous debate at the appropriate time. But John Kerry should finish the debate with himself first -- being on both sides of each issue."

Ahh, that's talent when someone can puss out of a challenge and throw a distracting smear, all in two sentences. I don't suppose Taylor would much want to see this. Or this. Or this. But then, this isn't an administration that seems all that interested in facts or reality.
Comments-[ comments.]
Great episode of "The Apprentice" tonight, after a few weeks of boring tasks and predictable endings, we got Omorosa-level tension in the board room. Speaking of everyone's favorite emotionally unintelligent, self-absorbed misanthrope, if the teaser is any indication, she's inexplicably due back on the show next week to give us more of that skin-crawlingly evil voodoo that she do so well. I only hope I too get a second chance to curdle the blood of the world when my company fires me. Anyway, in a battle of who could do the best job of stabbing the other in the back while still maintaining a nice-guy veneer, the eminently likeable Kwame bests best bud and Idaho rube Troy. Since every reality show has to play up, or at least make up, an on-camera romance, shouldn't they have been honing in on these two, rather than the far more platonic Nick and Amy?
Comments-[ comments.]
Welcome to my blog. Work's been pretty slow lately and while trying to look busy, I've managed to become hopelessly hooked on several of these things, most of which deal with news, politics or sports, subjects that are all currently frustrating me to no end. Since work, television, a stack of unread books, 4 magazine subscriptions, Playstation, and a reasonably active social life don't seem to take up quite enough of my time and since therapy is expensive, I don't see why I can't have one too. I think I can find an hour a day to rant and rave to my friends and family online. It'll be slow going as I get started, I need to figure out how to do a few things that will hopefully make this a place you'll want to check out every couple of days. For one, I'm going to try and have a message board or some other means for you to leave comments, such that the crap doesn't flow just one way. I'm also going to eventually invite some other folks to post as we get up and running, again, so you don't have to read just my lunacy. Enjoy...
Comments-[ comments.]

Powered by Blogger