The Airing of Grievances
Monday, May 31, 2004
More Drudge Watch
If you go to the Drudge Report right now, you'll see a link with the headline "STANDING OVATION FOR RUMSFELD IN DC". If you read the linked article, nowhere does it mention Rumsfeld receiving a standing ovation at today's Memorial Day commemorations. If you do a Google News search for Rumsfeld+standing+ovation, it returns 0 articles about today, but several that detail standing ovations he received in addressing West Point graduates last Saturday, the Baghdad Town Hall two and a half weeks ago, and a Pentagon Employees Town Hall Meeting three weeks ago. Not exactly hostile audiences though, were they?
Remember, Drudge and his site are part of the annoying voice that is this country's extreme Wrong Wing. It is where millions of people a day go as part of their news collection process. Sad that he treats his audience with such contempt as to brazenly make shit up to support his skewed views.
RETRACTION: The not-biased-at-all New York Post is the (sole) source that apparently proves me wrong.
The Latest Fad Diet: Sell Your Car!
More point-missing from CNN. What the story fails to mention is that, except for the 5-10% of our population that lives in or very close to New York, Chicago, and DC, pretty much everyone else in this country has no choice but to drive everywhere for just about everything. That's the way it is. What can you possibly expect anyone to do to solve this problem? (Besides, of course, suggesting that Americans stop eating crappy food and exercising more?)
And yes, this worthless story was one of the top headlines on their front page.
Campaign Jibba Jabba
This morning's WaPo makes an assertion that anyone who has been paying attention and has half a brain already knows: the Bush campaign is setting new standards for negativity and playing fast and loose with that pesky thing called the truth. Intellectual Oracle Josh Marshall breaks it down further with an interesting observation about the two campaign websites. Tom Schaller from Daily Kos resurrects my favorite part of the ridiculous campaign to portray John Kerry as the Worst Human Being Alive: the claims that Kerry's staunch liberalism puts him on a par with Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, coupled with the notion that he is a flip-flopper who takes both sides of every issue. Which one is it gonna be?
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Much has been written about the partisan times in which we live and how bitter the vitriol coming from both sides has become. I agree, it's gotten to be too much and I'd like to tone my own rhetoric down. Unfortunately, Mr. T, Hulk Hogan, Fat He-Man, Rosie O'Donnell, Howard Stern, and Howard Dean have other plans.
Yeah, you heard me. (WARNING: Not for kids.....aww, who am I kidding, maybe 5 people look at this site and you're probably all adults)
Thursday, May 27, 2004
I Have To Laugh Once In A While
Despite its right wing-favoring selective presentation of articles and links, I check out the Drudge Report probably more often than I should. Let's face it, if it's scandalous bordering on ridiculous, Drudge usually is among the first to have a beat on it. Recently, he's put a strange amount of effort in to painting those who believe the upcoming enviro-horror movie "The Day After Tomorrow" has lessons for us on the perils of global warming in as bad a light as possible. That's cool, he has his perspective and I'm not going to get on a stump about the environment (even though global warming is the one environmental hazard we've been warned about that has some pretty compelling evidence behind it). But one of Drudge's headlines in this recent campaign just cracks me up: "National Geographic: DAY AFTER TOMORROW Ice Age 'Impossible,' Expert Says". Wow, an expert believes that what happens in a work of fiction is impossible. Quite a scoop, Matt...
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
It Ain't Me Babe
On the reemergence of terrorist threats in the headlines, in the words of Tom Ridge, "there's no specific information telling us the form of the attack, when it will occur, where it will occur." There are also no plans to raise the terror alert level. "There is absolutely nothing specific enough that rises to the level where we would presently today, as we speak, make the recommendation to the president to raise the threat level. Today.", according to Ridge. Intelligence suggests that Al Qaeda members may already be in the United States, plotting attacks to occur on our soil. Events and/or targets described as potentially attractive to terrorists include the World War II memorial dedication, the Memorial Day weekend in general, the party conventions later this summer, and the Olympics.
So, to recap, we don't know any details, the potential perpetrators, which are part of a loose terrorist organization that we already know has or had cells in the US (see Lackawanna Five), might be in the US, and they might be targeting events that have already been long discussed as targets for terrorists, the very occurence of which will probably see us raise our national alert level anyway. This warrants a news conference in the middle of the day, when the financial markets are watching and American Idol isn't on?
If I were a cynic, I would say this is a story of convenience to shore up President Bush's free-falling poll numbers by returning the focus to the one area in which likely voters still give him a slight edge over John Kerry, his performance in fighting terrorism. I would say that because things in Iraq are going further in the shitter by the day and that Bush can't seem to gain much traction in making the case that the economy is improving (even though, by almost all indications, it is), that this is an attempt to inject a nice dose of fear in the population in efforts to paint Bush as a strong, tough leader. I would say that we'll probably start hearing alot about how we can't let Al Qaeda influence our country's course in an election year - after all, we don't want to be like those pussies in Spain, do we? I would expect a nice 3-5 point improvement in Bush's poll numbers and a few extra points tacked on to his approval ratings, pushing the race back to a dead heat and getting rid of those pesky mid-40 ratings.
But then, I'm not a cynic.
Update: So the 2pm briefing will include lookout alerts for seven people with connections to terrorism. OK, at least we're getting some details, but it's not like this is new information:
"All seven have been named previously by government officials, and their pictures have been on the FBI's website.
"The alerts name people being sought for questioning - not necessarily suspected of plotting attacks"
"Federal law enforcement sources said there is no hard evidence indicating they are in the United States."
So, what are we supposed to do?
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
So, my favorite band during high school, college, post-college, and grad school is breaking up.
This, coming after a weekend in which my nephew graduated from high school. All of the sudden, I feel very, very old.
Hey, at least the title of this wasn't "This Has All Been Wonderful, But Now I'm On My Way"...
Despite all the flawed intelligence, the misleading rush to war, the miscalulations of the postwar environment, and horrific prisoner abuse stories, at least our endeavours in "the central front in the war on terror" are helping to strengthen the security of the United States and its interests abroad.
Monday, May 24, 2004
In case you missed the President's speech tonight, well, you didn't miss much. More of the "Killers Bad. Freedom. Liberty. We Will Not Fail" talk, no details. This was plain and simple a PR appearance done only to respond to falling poll numbers. It was a patchwork of bits and pieces from every speech he's given over the past two months with almost no new details. Who are we transferring power to on June 30? Lakhdar Brahimi's gonna tell us next week, just as soon as he figures it out. At least he did give a time frame on that, but at this point, does it matter if it's next week, the week after, or June 29 when we find out who gets power?
And, after all we've been through, it would be nice if he could actually pronounce "Abu Ghraib".
UPDATE: Slate's William Saletan with more.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Despite the abundance of topics to write about, it's been pretty light on content here at AofG recently. Vandelay Industries has been breaking my ass and I know Cozmo is putting in alot of OT at H&H Bagels, hence the abundance of links and the lack of snide, yet incisive, commentary. Unless a bolt of inspiration hits me tonight, I'm calling it a weekend and heading to Atluri Country (aka Fort Wayne, Indiana) until Monday. Hopefully, next week will be a bit more fruitful.
I leave you with this fantastic Times Op-Ed piece by Nick Hornby.
More Fraternity Hijinks
Oh, those silly prison guards, is life just one big "emotional release" to them?
The apologists for this type of behavior are right, though - at least we aren't beheading prisoners. We may have killed a few of 'em, but at least we didn't behead them, tape it all, and release the proceedings to the media.
Electablog hints that, as huge and horrible a story as this has been, it could get bigger and seamier.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Pomp and Circumstance
Quotes have been used frequently in other stories this week, but here's the full text of Jon Stewart's William & Mary commencement address.
I Am Too F'ing Tired To Think Of A Title, But I Wanted To Post This
Remember a few years back when the Democratic party was a divided, wishy-washy mess and the GOP an invigorated, united machine with little in its way? How quickly things change. Robert Novak has more on the fractures that are starting to show in Bush's base.
A Tough Night at the 'Joint
Manhattan insurance executive, Mitch Blaser, charged $28,021 at Scores, and decided to sue. He claims he was swindled. Scores claims he purchased:
5 $3,200 Magnums of Champagne
$500 in shots
$7,000 in Lap Dances
American Express agrees with Scores. I'm guessing that somebody didn't get their money's worth, and woke up feeling like a chump.
Caveat Emptor, Mr. Blazer. Caveat Emptor.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
AofG: Making Your Life Better, One Website At A Time
I'm probably about a year late for the party on this one, but here's another favorite New York mailing list/website: Manhattan User's Guide. It's similar to Daily Candy, the key difference being that it's actually useful.
Messianism: Catch The Fever!
Bored At Work?
Choose Your Own New York is here. The best goofy, New York-centric site I've seen since PacManhattan.
Monday, May 17, 2004
"Am I Buggin' You? I Don't Mean To Bug You."
What are odds that "Beautiful Day" or "Walk On" was played at this ceremony? That's as close to a mortal lock as you can get. Here's a link to the completely superfluous article.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
First Rule of AofG: Do Not Talk About AofG. Second Rule of AofG: Do Not Believe Frank
OK, I lied. At this point, even the "Boca Breeze" has more credibility than this rag. But then, it's not every day that Sy Hersh gets Donald Rumsfeld fired.
Don't you wish you could actually witness the moment when Rummy gets the chop later this week? I'm picturing it going down like when Sam got fired from "The Apprentice":
"Isn't it over, Donald? Isn't it really over?", followed by Rummy giving Bush a menacing glare.
Then, in my version of events, The Bizarro Donald just starts going berzerk and throwing shit around the Oval Office, spewing Doctor Evil-esque threats of retribution.
Now back to your regularly scheduled moratorium, already in progress.
Our First Ad
Make your own...
Friday, May 14, 2004
"And If Y'all Got Love For Me, I Got Love For Y'all"
So it's Friday night, by all rights I should be four Belvederes in and on my way to being Surly Drunk Guy, particularly given the crappy week I've had. So what am I doing? Listening to the Jigga Man and making this the best blog I can, that's what!
The Airing of Grievances is now RSS syndication compatible. What does this mean? Simply, websites like Yahoo! syndicate our fair blog and make it available to a much wider readership. Furthermore, if you have a personal homepage on My Yahoo! or another service that utilizes RSS, you can view the headlines of the five most recent posts that have been made here and on thousands of other blogs, all on one page. It's great if, like me, you visit a bunch of blogs and want to know which ones have been updated recently without having to visit each one.
Here's how it works for My Yahoo! users (other portal users are pretty much SOL for now - if anyone else knows how to set these up, please post in the Comments):
- First, you have to be able to see RSS Headlines. To set this up, click on the Choose Content link that should appear on the top of your personal My Yahoo page. Under the My Yahoo! Essentials column, check "RSS Headlines (BETA)". Then, click the "Finished" button to save your choice.
- Now, on the front page, you should see a section for RSS Headlines in the wide column, below where your news headlines probably are. To add AofG, and any of the other blogs you see in our links section, to your RSS headlines, click on the "Edit" button. Under "Add New Sources", type our site name or URL into the field and click "Search". Check the box next to the site name or just click on the link, a new screen should pop up, asking you to add the site or cancel. Obviously, click "Add It" and then "Back" to finish.
- Or, if you already have RSS Headlines set up, just click here and that should do the trick.
Can't knock the hustle...
Slate poses an interesting dilemma - how do you cast a movie whose female lead is a character that possesses such beauty and grace as to be an impetus for war? Wolfgang Petersen went with unknown German actress Diane Kruger.
Who would you cast? Talk back in the Comments section...
AofG Update: Inspired by Nordy, I'm holding myself to posting five fun Airings of Grievances before I go back to the war/politics well. The news is just too much and I'm getting tired of hearing myself vent. One down, four to go...
From CNN.com (scroll to the bottom)
"One of the best pieces of recent news for the Kerry presidential campaign may have been lost in the news of the last two weeks. John Kerry has enlisted Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs as an informal campaign adviser. Why the big deal, you say? He's just another tech titan.
Actually, Jobs is more than that. Indeed, Steve Jobs is one of the most talented marketers of the last 50 years.
From personal computers to music over the Internet, he's always known how to make necessities (even commodities) seem cool. Now his marketing expertise may help Kerry seem not only necessary to voters, who may be increasingly weary (and wary) of the president, but he may also help Kerry seem distinctive and appealing.
In short, Steve Jobs may help the Kerry campaign "think different" and build a clear and compelling political brand.
A strong and appealing brand could help voters put all of Kerry's policy proposals and personal story, his pluses and his minuses, into a positive, catchy package.
George W. Bush did this in 2000 when he labeled himself "a compassionate conservative." Steve Jobs can help John Kerry find a similar short-and-sweet moniker."
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Freedom Of The Press?
It seems a Wisconsin paper is having a little trouble with the reality of our times. (thanks to Pak-Man for the link)
The Tide Is Turning
Tom Friedman, long-standing, wishy-washy apologist, is out. So, it would appear, is just about everyone else.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
The Silver Lining
"Bush is clearly vulnerable -- he would lose a referendum on his presidency today,'' Thomas Mann, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution, said last week. ``I would rather play Kerry's hand at this stage than Bush's."
Kos has some analysis and a link to a piece written for The Hill by a Democrat pollster.
Cozmo and I have been harping on it for two days in a row, but the ideal time for Kerry to make his presence felt would seem to be riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight ..... NOW!
UPDATE: Forgot to talk about this quote from RNC Chairman Marc Racicot:
"We've always believed from the very beginning that this is going to be a close race," Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot said in a conference call with reporters before release of the Pew Poll. "Polls are not going to drive this president."
Oh, but they do, Marc. Just another example of the "Up is down" way in which this administration works.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Some Good Ole' Kerry Bashing
I just looked at the Yahoo News website and here are the 5 top headlines:
- Killers say beheading avenges prison abuse
- Officials clash on blame for Iraq abuse
- Controversial General tied to POW Case
- Kerry: Health care system needs reforming
- Netherlands considers withdawing from Iraq
Ok, the world is coming down around the Bush administration. This prison abuse business gets worse for the administration as well as the current troops and civilians in Iraq on a daily basis. It turns out that the psycho evangelical Christian Will Boykin is a mastermind of interrogation. The feeble "coalition of the willing" is willing itself our of Iraq faster than Ray Lewis jetting from a strip club parking lot...and all the Kerry campaign can come up with is Medicare reform. Are you kidding me? Nothing on international policy? Nothing on the security of our troops? Nothing sexier than health care? You are killing me, Kerry! Say something, damnit, or I am gonna vote Libertarian!
I've never seen a more brain-dead campaign. I'm pretty sure that Lloyd Christmas is running the ship at Kerry HQ these days.
PS What does William Boykin have to do to get fired? Start grabbin' asses in a Senate hearing? The guy is on record saying that he basically believes he is Richard Cour Leon reincarnate and that he is crusading to rid the world of infidels. This is the guy you officially consult about interrogation in Iraq? THIS IS THE GUY? More savvy staffing by Rummy's Pentagon.
PSS - Speaking of asses, I wanted to make sure you all had the perma-link to Kylie!!!
Yeesh. I have no smarmy, know-it-all comment in response to this story, I only fear what the resulting reaction will be. I will say this: I don't buy for a second the assertion made by these wastes of DNA that Nic Berg was offered in exchange for prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Stricly propoganda to further inflame Arab sentiment and toy with American opinion.
You know what? Just scroll down and look at Kylie some more...
Auzzie Auzzie Auzzie
Let's hear it for popluation control we can all get behind!
What do you have to say about it Kylie?
Monday, May 10, 2004
Dance With Them What Brung You
I tried writing this a little earlier today, but like many potential AofG entries, it wound up getting scrapped before it really got started. I'm going to try again but, unfortunately, I'm piecing my thoughts together from memory. As everyone has seen by now, President Bush today commended Donald Rumsfeld for his leadership, effectively squashing any chance of Rumsfeld being fired. A practical move on Bush's part - outgoing administration officials, whether they are fired or resign, have tended not to be shrinking violets (Paul O'Neill, Rand Beers, Dick Clarke, etc.) after they leave their posts. Probably not the best scenario to fire a loose cannon like Rumsfeld, with only six months until the election.
Where I think Bush really did himself in was the following quote: "You are doing a superb job. You are a strong secretary of defense." Huh? In whose eyes? Let's grade Rummy, shall we? Rumsfeld's failure to enforce Geneva Convention standards in setting precedents for treatment of prisoners of war has culminated in Abu Ghraib, which alone is enough to warrant a failing grade. Taking a step back, Rumsfeld, with the elfin help of Paul Wolfowitz, did concoct a brilliant strategy of charging into Iraq, bombing the hell out of key Saddam installations, and racing to Baghdad before any of the Republican Guard could fire up what little sand-blasted, '80s-era materiel they could muster. Unfortunately, the post-war planning (which seemed to consist primarily of collecting laurel wreaths and having big V-I Day parties) sort of fell apart once Saddam loyalists realized there actually was no post-war plan and started fighting back. Now, with most important cities in Iraq engulfed in chaos, Rumsfeld's vision of a nimble force of 135,000 policing and pacifying an increasingly hostile population of 25 million doesn't seem so smart. Even before Abu Ghraib, I'd give him a 'D'. Afterwords, a big fat 'F'. Your grade may vary, but I'm willing to bet you haven't read a newspaper in a few months.
Afghanistan? The Taliban is out of power, but we shouldn't exactly start slapping each other on the back just yet. Incidents like this are still all too common and grim assessments like these from a Pakistani newspaper and from the Center For American Progress paint a bit more gloomy picture. Still, the training camps are gone, Osama is on the run, and they are likely having elections later this year. I'll be generous and give Rummy a 'B' for his efforts. After all, the Brits and the Russians couldn't pin down that friggin' country, we did as well as anyone could.
"Superb"? Hardly. Average? No. Bush's explicit and complete endorsement of Rumsfeld in this troubled time in our history is utterly baffling in three respects. First, you have the obvious dissonance between Bush stating that he finds the "freedom tickling" (thank you, Jon Stewart) at Abu Ghraib "abhorrent" yet he later verbally fellates the man ultimately responsible. Second is the steadfast refusal to hold accountable in any way someone who has so clearly screwed the pooch that even the Army Times is calling for their resignation. Finally, it's hardly original for me to say that Abu Ghraib is the straw that seems to be breaking the camel's back, as far as foreign support is concerned. Effusively commending the person responsible has shocked and mystified the Arab world and won't be doing us any favors. But then, for an avowed C student like Bush, maybe this is superb performance. After all, he is America's Low-Expectations-Having M*therf***er.
Time, once again, to give you what we've been reading the past couple of days:
- Seymour Hersh: The Upton Sinclair of prison torture.
- Uh oh
- Paging John Kerry. Seriously, where is this guy? I've cut him alot of slack but it's time for a little less rope-a-dope, and a little more "Kerry, Bomaye!"
- Bill Safire: Masseusse To The Modern-Day Warmonger. Last week, Sharon. This week, Rumsfeld. Next week, Bill gives Robert McNamara a big hug.
- "Tha Beastie Boys, They Are They're Coming Home!"
Friday, May 07, 2004
Quick Thoughts on Rumsfeld
It was a pretty busy day, so I only listened for about 30 minutes. I tuned in just as John McCain was finishing up the process of making Rumsfeld his woman.
- On that note, could I possibly like McCain any more? I realize ideologically that we see the world differently on a wide variety of issues, but being honest, straightforward, and acting like you actually give a damn goes a long way with me. That he hates Bush and Rove is icing on the cake.
- Conversations between Robert Byrd and the late Strom Thurmond must have sounded like episodes of "Hee Haw".
- TPM has a transcript and talks about Lieberman, I have only this to add: Lieberman's statement served no purpose other than to feed his own ego. He wasn't really sticking up for Rumsfeld, he obviously wasn't going the partisan route and castigating Rumsfeld, he clearly didn't care enough about what happened at Abu Ghraib to spend more time asking questions and less time pontificating. He was making a quasi-campaign speech in the middle of a Congressional hearing. It benifitted no one except Joe Lieberman. Despicable. He can take his Joementum and Joeblow me.
"You Can't Triple Stamp A Double Stamp!"
When you run a blog and spend a couple hours a day looking for content, every once in a while, you come across an article that hits the nail on the head and leaves you stunned by its accuracy and its insight. You have to link to it and you wish you could have written the damn thing yourself. Jacob Weisberg of Slate, take a bow. AofG can be pretty harsh on our President and his Administration, but I, for one, don't think he is completely unintelligent. Neither does Weisberg. Well, not really. Weisberg posits that Bush has chosen and actively embraces his stupidity and thickheadedness.
Just read it.
I Can't Believe I Missed It!
Yesterday was Gordon Gekko's birthday.
In years past, I would have waited outside his office with a big box of Cubans, but I was too busy here working for my butt off for Lew Manheim to make it this year...
I propose that from here on in, May 6th is AofG day. As a wise man once said, "Christmas is over, and business is business."
I will not miss this day again.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
I Hate CNN
On CNN's front page right now, next to the non-earthshaking main headline "Bush: Prison abuse 'abhorrent'" (only sadists would not find prison abuse abhorrent), are eight secondary headlines. Here are five of them:
• News chopper crashes in Brooklyn
• Dixie Chick gives birth to twins
• SI.com: Spider-Man 2 ads going on Major League bases
• Woman buys 10,000 Mars bars, drives off in limo
• Musketeers' skeletons said to lie under Dutch garden
Umm, aren't you supposed to be a real news source? Aren't there a few more important things to be covering right now? Isn't this about the time that real journalists would be devoting their headlines to articles that try to get to the bottom of Abu Ghraib or cover today's assault on Karbala or discuss the repurcussions of yesterday's Fed meeting? No one died in the chopper crash, the Dixie Chicks suck, baseball is filled with whores, the Pommies lurve the sweets, and nobody cares about Dutch skeletons. None of this crap is news!!!
Anyone who still thinks that CNN is a biased member of the So-Called Liberal Media should really watch them sometime. The liberal media is currently nailing the collective ass of the Bush administration to the wall, CNN is all over trampy country singers and helicopters that crashed almost 24 hours ago. And I'm starting to think Wolf Blitzer is on the RNC payroll.
- The WaPo with a must-read on the Abu Ghraib disaster. Daily Kos cuts through some of the spin. With more than 30 investigations in the last 16 months, this would appear to be a bit more widespread than those in our gub'ment are willing to admit. AofG wonders, Is the Rove Administration so politically cynical and election-conscious as to hold no senior official truly accountable in the face of such incompetence? And I don't mean for just this most recent atrocity, but at any time during this whole 3 year failed science experiment? (Potential science fair title: Can A Sub-Simian Species Run The World?). Why has no one except the completely innocuous Paul O'Neill been fired?
- Safire gives Ariel Sharon a nice backrub. "It'll all be OK, big fella..."
- Apparently, some rodents are born with no balls.
- I'll say this once, and then I'll shut up until late August: Did you really think they were in trouble?
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Pop Star Porno Odds - Update
It has been brought to AofG's (Thank you, Easy Rider) attention that Kelly Osbourne could be considered a "pop star", would totally do something like this, and does have a freaky ass brother who is into filming stuff. She must be accounted for in the AofG Pop Star Porno Poll.
Young WIlling and Eager, eh...Ugh.
Regardless of how we all feel about this, odds must be updated to reflect this new information...The new AofG Pop Star Porno odds are:
Britney: Pays 6 Teen Beats to 5 (Holding steady)
Kelly Osbourne: Pays 3 Teen Beats to 1
Christina Aguilera: 5-1 (Slipping as people think that Chistina is too sane to do something like this)
Hillary Duff: 12-1
Mandy Moore: 20-1
Lindsay Lohan: 50-1
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (2 Sister Parlay) 100-1 (Seeing alot of action at 100-1, Vegas is giving us guidance to 75-1)
Called to Task
Franks's pointer to TPM's link from earlier today is worth a read...
Conservative commenators, incluing Goerge Will, are starting to take Our Fearless Leader (OFL) to task for hiding his head in the sand as to the realities in Iraw. Will quotes OFL saying that "skin colors other than ours" can have democratic governments. By "ours", hecertainly means "American". By "skin color", we can only presume he means white...
Leaving blythely racist comments wrapped in a racism defense as you will, George Will takes the adminsitration to the woodshed with the following doozy...
"This administration cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and, having thought, to have second thoughts. Thinking is not the reiteration of bromides about how "all people yearn to live in freedom""
Pretty much says it all. And this from a guy who has always supported OFL.
In case you hadn't noticed, Josh Marshall is throwing his fastball and hitting all the corners this week. I suggest scrolling to the bottom and reading up - this is easily the best political blog out there right now.
Monday, May 03, 2004
"Ain't No Time To Wonder Why, Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die."
A couple of weeks back, I linked to this article detailing what seemed, at the time, a kooky notion of Ralph Nader's that a military draft was imminent. A little over a week later, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) gave that longshot possibility a bit more legitimacy, in suggesting that military service be compulsory for young men and women, in the face of an increasingly dire situation in Iraq. Still, most people dismissed this as more talk that would not amount to action. After all, bringing back the draft had been discussed, mostly by the left, in the run-up to our invasion of Iraq. Then, it was an attempt to put a human face on what seemed to be the inevitable result of the continued lies and deception of the Bush administration.
This weekend, in a story that is still not getting much press coverage, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reveals that, not only has the possibility of a draft been considered in the upper echelons of the Pentagon recently, future plans would include raising the maximum eligible age for required registration from 25 to 34 and would include women in the determining the future ranks. As background, the Seattle P-I obtained these plans via the Freedom of Information Act, otherwise it would probably still be unavailable for public consumption. Most telling is the date of the proposal in question: February 11, 2003. Six weeks before we began what, in my eyes, was an illegal, immoral, and, in almost all ways, wrongheaded invasion and occupation of Iraq.
AofG does not pretend to think that it knows best on the issues, particularly those pertaining to the Iraq War. I won't speak for Cozmo, but even I, a staunch opposer of this war from Day One, am conflicted about many of its aspects. However, unless the ever-dwindling ranks of the Coalition get cracking on a winning streak to rival that of the '72 Miami Dolphins (not likely, unless sexual abuse is all of the sudden cool-de-la in the Muslim world) or George W. Bush is defeated this fall, I think this is a very real possibility. We now know that Rumsfeld's recent assertions to the contrary are totally bogus. Rumsfeld was quoted as saying "I know of nobody who is studying reinstituting the draft at the present time. And I would think I would know." The release of the February 2003 proposal this weekend shows this to be complete and utter bullshit - the draft proposal in question was made to senior officials at the Pentagon. Unless our Secretary of Defense is so completely out to lunch and not aware of proposals made to his most senior charges (a realistic possibility, believe me), he is, quite simply, lying through his teeth. Either way, do you really trust what this man says, given how easy it is to prove his willingness to deal in falsehoods?
We here at AofG have never asked that you agree with our views and, frankly, don't care all that much if you do or don't. But since our readership, as small as it is, tends to be the 18-34 year old demographic, with maybe even a few parents of future 18-34 year olds thrown in for good measure, I just ask that you think about this scenario when you weigh your alternatives in the next six months. A month ago, it was considered a far-fetched notion. Today, not so much.
Release the Hounds!
General Wesley Clark seems to agree with AofG on heroism.
Too bad Dubya didn't have this list a few weeks ago, he could have saved a little face.
The Phormer Phillie Phanatic
In case he didn't quite solidify the impression during his playing days, John Kruk is still nucking futs. His Page 2 column reads as though it was written in the Mad Libs-style so essential to the useless pontification of ex-athlete columnists.
"How many of you thought the _____________ (surprise April team) would be in first place in the __________ (league) __________ (division)?"
You can only imagine where it goes from there. Anecdotes on teammate camraderie, the impact of the new guy, high praise for the GM who put these rag-tag misfits together, you get the idea. What passes for sports journalism these days borders on the absurd. But, at least we have the piss-and-vinegar musings of Phil Mushnick to soothe our souls.
Career Killer or Killer Career?
Or, the Rob Lowe Corallary to the Paris Hilton Theorem...is it wise to make a sex tape in order to increase your fame, if you are already famous?
In the interest of full disclosure, can I just say how excited I am for this story to break? It is like the movie Clue, where you have to figure out the most plausible ending, but you never know where it is going to end up. I think that Access Hollywood should have a special hosted by Tim Curry to review the following questions:
Which Female Pop Star:
Has a brother?
Can be described as "Newly Single"?
Dabbles in bisexuality?
Would even think of smoking Crystal Meth? (Not your everyday party drug)
Would be stupid enough to do something like this?
I'm sure the answers will be forthcoming. Check this space for updates. In the mean time, loyal AofG'ers can put their money where their mouth is.
Vegas money is on Britney Spears, who has a ne'er do well brother in his late 20's, and seems to be coming apart at the g-string ala Mariah Carey in 2001.
AofG is taking wagers in the form of Tean Beat magazine subscriptions as follows:
Britney: Pays 6 Teen Beats to 5
Christina Aguilera: Pays 4 Teen Beats to 1
Hillary Duff: 10-1
Mandy Moore: 15-1
Lindsay Lohan: 25-1
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (2 Sister Parlay) 100-1
Sunday, May 02, 2004
Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose
See how far you can make it through this article from the New Yorker before you have to stop in disgust. Nine paragraphs for me.