Saturday, February 21, 2004

One More Quick Post This Evening

GOP Hypocrite of the Week: Billy Tauzin - A BuzzFlash Editorial is a nice summary of how the representative won friends and influenced people. It's complete with a recipe for Hypocrisy Gumbo:

Start with a roux of seniors. Use a cup of Medicare drug bill to screw them over a low flame. Add six cups of benefits for drug companies, an assortment of finely chopped campaign contributions, and, when all that comes to a boil, gently ladle in $2 million a year as the head of Washington's most lethal lobbying group, Big PhRMA. Pour a couple of spoonfuls over a serving of rice and you've got yourself a "Cash Cow Tauzin Hypocrisy Gumbo Ya Ya" you can soak your french bread in. That is, if Republicans weren't so afraid of everything French.

Gumbo of almost any variety can be a real treat for me, but this sounds singularly unappetizing.
He had Other Priorities Too

Sorry for the low volume posting, a trend likely to continue for the next few days as Mardi Gras approaches. Last night I made do with a lesser light parade here in Baton Rouge, but then I skipped the "big" parade downtown (big being a highly relative scale--Baton Rouge is a mere sideshow to the main event). Tuesday I'll be in the real city of Louisiana to celebrate the last day before Lent--who knows, I might even run into the esteemed writer at CrawlingWestward if our paths cross. Note: at some point, I'll probably head over to the Kerry Irish Pub on Decatur for liquid refreshments--and that's not an endorsement of the prospective Democratic nominee. I just happen to like the place. Otherwise, I'll be fighting for Zulu beads--those with a medallion--and will at least make an effort to catch something during Rex.

I've been back in the Gret Stet for five years now. Geez. Time doesn't just fly--it goes along at Mach 7.

In the meantime, I've been trying to keep up with the usual readings--here's something from The Island of Balta that caught my eye: G.B. Trudeau is offering to donate $10,000 dollars to the USO in the name of anyone who can offer definitive evidence that Bush showed up for Guard Duty in Alabama. Getting his teeth cleaned doesn't count. If it DID, I could claim military status myself: as the child of a military officer, both my medical and dental care were courtesy of the military, at least until dad retired--and, for dental care, it lasted a bit longer than that (I recall as a young teenager the dreary two hour ride from New Iberia to Alexandria, where there was a military base).

I'll be trying to post on a semi-regular basis through Monday--but Tuesday and Wednesday will likely be a wash. Happy Carnival Season to all...

Friday, February 20, 2004

Laws, Shmaws

Link via Atrios. Bypassing Senate Democrats who have stalled his judicial nominations, President Bush will use a recess appointment to put Alabama Attorney General William Pryor on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at least temporarily, government sources said Friday.

Also over at Atrios, a link to this article by Katherine Yurica regarding something called the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004. Check it out:

Although the claim by its sponsors appears to be that the intention is to prevent the courts from hearing cases involving the Ten Commandments or a Nativity Scene in a public setting from being reviewed, the law is drawn broadly and expressly includes the acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law by an official in his capacity of executing his office. John Giles, Alabama President of Christian Coalition said, "The greatest unbridled abuse by the federal judiciary for over forty years has been in the area of redefining the acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law...We define this as judicial activism, making law from the bench. These unconstitutional rulings have gone unchecked by other branches of government."

The wackos will stop at nothing...
On Judith Miller and Kool-Aid

Derek Seidman over at Left Hook, recounts his experience seeing Judith Miller, New York Times mediawhore, speaking at his college campus. You can also read his article over at Counterpunch. Here's a small excerpt:

Miller began her talk sounding like an enlightened liberal and ended it sounding like a desperate fanatic clinging for anything to justify the actions of United States. She claims Arab anger at the US is simply deflected from the anger at their own leaders, yet she grudgingly admits that we have supported these very regimes-and defends doing so. These regimes could hardly exist without our support, and several have come into existence on our initiative. Surely the Arab people are not aloof to this history. Further, she tells us of the virtues of the Shah as opposed to the Ayatollah. Whatever truth there may or may not be to this, the US was supporting the Shah for decades before the threat of Islamic fundamentalism was even a possibility, let alone embodied in Iran's theocracy.

The establishment media never lets the facts get in the way of their reporting...
Too Much Fun?

The local paper's Entertainment Section is the topic of the day here at work. I can't find it on the web site, but the paper copy's cover is mildly obscene: The person pictured enjoying Mardi Gras is wearing a hat featuring a flamingo that is definitely male...

I was going to say "anatomically correct," but it's not...for a bird.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Billmon Writes Again

Whiskey Bar: Patriot Games is an excellent post over at The Whiskey Bar. Can't really add much here except to say that I read it twice, and it's worth the price of admission and more.

Congratulations on the Koufax award, Billmon.
Belated Thanks

To Tlachtga, or The Sound and the Fury, Signifying Nothing, for including me on her blogroll. I keep my eyes open for her Celtic News Updates, which always manage to link to something that amazes me (the link above made for an interesting article about the comet of 536 CE, and the subsequent crop failure in Europe--along with possible plague--which further made for more google searches about the same).

Today, this got my attention: the Jesus Puppet. Checking out the link, I came across something even better, in my mind (alas, though the thumbnail picture doesn't expand to regular size on my computer): the Devil Puppet:

This devil hand puppet is flame retardant and hand washable. He is all red with a black goatie and black cape. The head, arms, and hands are foam filled with a strap in the mouth to insure grip and just right for the beginning puppeteer though large enough for the adult hand. Made of sponge backed fabric (velour tricot) this puppet meets U.S. child safety standards. Standing 16 tall it is perfect for those classroom programs.
(emphasis mine)

Flame retardent, eh? Must come in handy in hell, no pun intended...emailed the link to the website over to my sister who replied back that, while Satan may wear velour tricot, his minions are probably decked out in 100% polyester...
Whiny White Bastards

Saw this a couple of days ago on C-Span:

Mankiw Defends Rationale Of His 'Outsourcing' Comments

Embattled administration economist N. Gregory Mankiw today defended comments he made last week praising the movement of jobs overseas as ultimately beneficial to the U.S. economy. "Economists and non-economists speak two different languages," Mankiw, chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, told the National Economists Club. Republicans, including House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., joined Democrats in blasting Mankiw last week for calling outsourcing of jobs a "new way of doing international trade." Mankiw subsequently apologized, but repeated his rationale for the comments today. He said the economic gains realized by trade that has sent some jobs overseas "can cause painful dislocations for some workers and their families." But erecting trade barriers or otherwise moving toward economic isolation is a step in the wrong direction, Mankiw said. "It's important to harness the forces of change for the betterment of all Americans," he said. And he insisted, "Creating an environment for robust job creation is a paramount goal of the president and his economic team."

"...painful dislocations for some workers and their families." Sounds like compassionate conservatism in a nutshell. Why is it that the only people who 'accept' this shit are folks who've NEVER had to face a week or so of living off the change in the jar, buying a bag of lentils, a clove of garlic, and a small bag of rice to subsist on till payday?

Yeah, I can think of a few painful dislocations I'd like to see happen to Gregory Mankiw--starting with the the nose he balances his little punk eyeglasses on...
Reason 4,231,971...

Why I'm sure I'll end up in hell. As I waited in line at the China House Buffet, I simultaneously was thankful I don't have Tourette's Syndrome while this song by Joe Tex was stuck in my head for what was an obvious reason: the person right in front of me.
Test Your Southern

With this quiz. Note: there's a question regarding a certain type of sandwich that we in Louisiana call a po-boy (not a poor boy), but po-boy isn't listed as an answer. Damn. Also, a drive thru liquor store is called a drive-up daiquiri stand, but that isn't listed either. Otherwise, have fun.

My score was 81% Southern. Wisconsin didn't leave much of a verbal impression on me...
He Haiti Me

I haven't been following the news in Haiti to the extent that I should. It's the ex-Catholic in me that won't go away no matter how hard I try: how we treat the poorest of the poor says a lot about us.

And I don't think there's any denying that Haiti takes the grand prize in the poverty game, at least here in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti makes Mississippi look like a science fiction version of the future.

The recent history of the country is a microchasm of the issues affecting it since independence: a small minority of elites, called blans (I assume that's Kreyol for blanche, or white, although these elites are mixed race) attempt to maintain their power and privilege, while a large majority of African-Haitians live in squalor. From there it gets complicated--more that I'm able to explain in a short post, although Stan Goff, who participated in the US occupation of Haiti in 1994-96, goes into more detail here.

The Goff article is somewhat long, but if you have the time, it's worth reading, especially considering how the US media, aka, a gaggle of sniveling syncophants, has painted the latest events in Haiti as being virtually the entire fault of Jean Bertrand Aristide, who STILL hasn't managed to serve an entire term as president without being harrassed, threatened, or overthrown. His "crime" is that of not caving in immediately to the wishes of the Haitian elite--not that it would help him to do so. Compared to how the blans treat Aristide, Clinton and the Republicans was a veritable love-fest or orgy.

After checking out the Goff article, take a look at this shameful piece of "journalism" over at ABC news. Then, if you haven't yet hurled, try this Miami Herald article: while the US remains officially "neutral," (and up to our eyeballs in the Middle East debacle) there are definitely elements that see no problem with overthrowing an elected government in this hemisphere.

And, for anyone thinks the "opposition" has democratic tendencies, here's an op-ed from The Jamaica Observer. Given Jamaica's proximity to Hispanola, it might be worthwile to consider their point of view...

Here's more to speak to the character of the "opposition." They have no more right to call themselves an alternative to Aristide than murders for hire have the right to call themselves an alternative to the system of justice.

In Spanish, the line was, "pobre Mexico--tan lejos del Dios, tan cerca de los Estados Unidos." Poor Mexico--so far from God, so close to the United States. Substitute Haiti for Mexico, and change it from Spanish to Kreyol, and it isn't much different. According to Goff, here's an old saying in Haiti:

If you don't say 'Good morning' to the devil, he will eat you. If you do say 'Good morning' to the devil... he will eat you."


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Sometimes I Actually Have to Work at this Place

I'll be catching up a little later tonight, all four of y'all who stop by to see what the hell I'm ranting about this time. Just had to image a couple of servers, and create two more. Normally this isn't an all-day task, but I had to troubleshoot some hardware and network issues as well. C'est la vie.

I think we've got to have about the hightest ratio of servers to workstations ever on a genuine (i.e., non-test) network. With the four new machines up and running, we are at 99 servers, and roughly 1100 workstations.

At least a third of the server farm consists of development or test machines. And a few of those are pre-test machines.


Back in a bit.
What's in it for Pakistan?

The New York Times reports that American military units have adopted a different approach in seeking to aprehend Taliban and Al Qaeda sympathizers:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 — The commander of American-led forces in Afghanistan said Tuesday that the military had adopted new tactics to combat Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in the country.

The officer, Lt. Gen. David W. Barno of the Army, said that in the past three months, American units down to the level of 40-soldier platoons had been dispatched to live in villages where they can forge ties with tribal elders and glean better information about the location and activities of guerrillas.

In the past, he said, American forces typically gathered intelligence about hostile forces, carried out focused raids for several days against those targets, then returned to base to plan and prepare for their next mission.

"What we're doing is moving to a more classic counterinsurgency strategy here in Afghanistan," General Barno told reporters at the Pentagon in a videoconference from his headquarters in Kabul, the capital. "That's a fairly significant change in terms of our tactical approach out there on the ground."

The approach, he said, will give soldiers "great depth of knowledge, understanding, and much better intelligence access to the local people in those areas by owning, as it were, those chunks of territory."

General Barno and other American officials have boasted that Osama bin Laden, the elusive leader of Al Qaeda, will be captured this year. He refused to repeat this assertion, though he said, "We have a very, very high priority in bringing to justice here the leadership of each of the terrorist organizations that we face."


General Barno, a West Point graduate who assumed command last October, said cooperation with Pakistani forces on the Afghan border had increased, especially in the past six to eight weeks. American officials say they believe that Mr. Bin Laden is hiding in the mountainous border region.

Using a harsh, century-old British method, Pakistani forces have handed local tribal leaders a list of villages suspected of sheltering members of Al Qaeda. If the tribe refuses to hand over the suspects, the Pakistani Army threatens to punish the group as a whole, withdrawing funds or demolishing houses.

"That they're confronting the tribal elders and they're holding them accountable for activities in their areas of influence is a major step forward," General Barno said.

He said he meets in Pakistan with his counterparts at least once a month (his next visit is planned for Wednesday), and every four to six weeks he invites Pakistani and Afghan officials to meet at his headquarters to discuss security issues.

The general said the group had set up a committee to deal with border issues and another to address military information and coordination.

General Barno said American and Pakistani forces were cooperating to create a "hammer and anvil" strategy, in which forces on one side of the border drive Al Qaeda members across the border to troops waiting on the other side, a tactic that will "crush the Al Qaeda elements between the Pakistani and the coalition forces."

This sort of stuff doesn't happen without some sort of understanding between the two parties, namely, Pakistan and the United States. My guess is that the payoff for Pakistan will be twofold: first, the allegations that they are the local nuke pushers in the region will quickly fade away--with help from the lapdog media here in the West, and second, the money Musharraf (known as Busharraf in Pakistan) made as the retailer of nuclear technology will somehow magically be provided by increased US "aid." An alliance of convenience is the best way to describe the Pakistan/US relationship--and Bush needs all the allies he can get at this point.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

On Wisconsin

I'm taking it easy this evening, watching a little C-Span, which is covering the Wisconsin primary. Dean just spoke, and I'd swear he was at the Inn on The Park, which is really the Inn on the Square, but perhaps I'm wrong--he might have been at the Concourse. Good speech--he offered congrats to Edwards and Kerry, and vowed to press on--but his focus is philosophical. Once again, he invoked the ghost of Harry Truman.

Kerry is speaking now. Unlike Dean, he took his road show to the 'burbs, speaking at what I think might have been the Holiday Inn West when I was there, but is now the Mariott Middleton. It's not too far from the Capitol Brewery, maker of my favorite dark lager, and it's also not too far from my last place of employment in MadCity, Sitel, or, as my friend Steven Davison called it, Satan Corp.

Looks like Kerry eked out a victory, although he's being careful to not actually make the claim. Edwards hasn't made an appearance yet, but I expect he'll be on the air shortly.

Once again, the reports are saying that turnout was large.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought I saw Sue Bauman standing behind Dean. If you read this, Matt, let me know.

Update: My bad--it was the State Attorney General who was standing behind Dean.

Man, I've been thinking about Madison a bit lately. Saw that Kerry showed up at the Great Dane Monday, and it brought back memories: the basement bar, growlers of nut brown ale, etc. etc. For a couple of years, I rented "studio" space at the Union Transfer and Storage building on Wilson St., just down the road from the brewpub. Damn, it's just over five years since I crossed the southern border of the Badger State and began the 15 hour drive back below the snow line.

Not that I miss winter...if I ever make it back up there, it's gonna have to be in July or August--and hopefully during a heat wave.

Edwards is speaking now. He's sounding like he won, instead of finishing second--but the closeness of the race makes his showing almost like a victory. Man, he sounds good--the focus is all economic, but it's spoken from the heart. Damn. Whoever wins the nomination, I hope Edwards will be out on the stump this summer and fall.

Hmmn. Short speech. But he said everything he needed to say.

I'm kind of hoping that C-Span will go to local news coverage at ten--it's been a while since I've seen the dorky Beth Zurbachen and John Karcher over on Channel 3, or the dorky--uh, other anchors for Channels 15 and 27.

I'll be keeping my eyes open for any stuff that I come across on the internet or TV, but otherwise might pack it in for the night.
Now Onto Afghanistan, and Let's Win There

Uberdude has an interesting post and link regarding the other war. It's worth checking out:

The first hand account I have from a friend in Afghanistan at the moment is that the missions that the US forces are carrying out are extremely shoddy and ill prepared (he's an officer so I am just guessing he knows what he is talking about).

His link, to an MSNBC article, paints a rosier picture, including the claim that the capture of bin Forgotten is only a matter of time (I'd bet good money that it's also a matter of TIMING--mid-October, please, asked RoveBush).

For the record, I wasn't real happy with the invasion of Afghanistan, but I knew there wasn't much anyone could do--this country wanted REVENGE, and given that Osama was hiding out there--well, let's just say that was like buying the LOSING lottery ticket. Not that Afghanistan hadn't lost the lottery before: since 1978, the country has been torn asunder for little more than cold-war, and now, post cold-war bragging rights.

The number of people I heard in the days following 9/11 begging for Bush to "turn it into a parking lot" was more than a little disgusting. First, after some twenty years of non-stop war, there really wasn't much to bomb. I guess we managed to turn rubble into gravel, but that was about it. Second, as I've noted before, blasting away at the entire country because of bin Laden and his minions is kind of like blasting away St. Francisville because it was unlucky enough to be the hometown of Derrick Todd Lee.

But revenge is a powerful emotion, and it must be assuaged. So Bush went blasting away--but then, like a kid who discovers a new toy, and immediately leaves the old toy outside to rust away, he found it in Iraq. The result: Afghanistan is in a shambles, Iraq is a mess, the US is in fiscal deep water, and lord knows how--or who--is going to clean up the mess. If we'd stayed the course in Afghanistan, there was no guarantee that it would turn out ok--hell, the country has traditionally been the graveyard for imperialist armies--but it's damn certain that we'd be able to focus A LOT more on finally rebuilding the place to the extent that it could actually be called a country.

The overall lack of news coming from Afghanistan is a clear indication that nothing good is happening there. If there WAS, you can bet Rove would be crowing a storm.
Did He Earn Retirement Points?

Timshel notes the visit by Resident Bush to the Gret Stet today. Check out his link to the T-P article, which mentions Bush's cavalier attitude when it came to his own military record.

My own theory is that Bush needed the service points.

Note the quote Timshel cites: "we must always make sure America's soldiers are well equipped and well trained to fight this war on terror."

Then take a look at this.
On Being Stupid and Proud of It

Naked Furniture links to this essay at Seeing The Forest. Take a look, and get depressed. Summary: there are a lot of ill-informed, stupid people out there. Marketers take advantage of this.

Take that into consideration this political season, because Karl Rove is, if nothing else, a marketer of some skill. Bush is simply another product to be sold, using a $250 million dollar publicity budget. Deficits, unnecessary wars, job losses, lies--this and more is swept under the rug.

The general public really isn't keeping up, as Dave Johnson eloquently points out. Read the essay if you feel like it, and see if you don't feel depressed too. Mary's comment really captures it well.
Bitch n. bĭch
1. Ann Coulter

The Island of Balta explains why.
Begging Pardon

From Atrios, a link to TalkLeft:

Bush Grants Pardon to Man Convicted in $25 Million Fraud Scheme
President Bush has granted a pardon to a Texan who pleaded guilty to fraud in one of the 1980's Savings and Loan scandals. He is David B. McCall, Jr., former lawyer and mayor of Plano, Texas.

Compare and contrast McCall and Marc Rich--and then try to recall the self-righteous wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Rich pardon three years ago.

And, if you feel so inclined, check out TalkLeft's main page, which has more information regarding McCall, and other stories of interest.

Straight Talk

Checking out Google News, this headline caught my eye:


Niagara Falls Reporter Bill Gallagher goes on--

"Many of these politicians have put exclamation marks where we put question marks." -- Former Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix.

DETROIT -- That astute remark came in an interview in which Dr. Blix also offered his belief that President Bush's re-election campaign would contort and distort his reports on Saddam Hussein's arsenal of weapons to justify the brutal and unnecessary war in Iraq. Asked if the Bush crowd would attempt to alter the meaning of his findings, Dr. Blix said flat-out, "I'm sure they will."

People in the Bush administration belittled and vilified Blix and his work in Iraq. Time has shown the value of his efforts, and his assessments of Iraq's capabilities were honest and forthright and far more accurate than anything that the Bush administration claimed with dramatic exclamation marks.

The simplicity of Blix's political punctuation insight is intriguing and most instructive when applied to just about anything that comes out of the Bush administration. Whatever the president and his minions declare with a great exclamation mark, just apply a question mark and you'll be much closer to the truth.


On NBC's "Meet the Press," Bush told Tim Russert, "I got an honorable discharge and I did show up in Alabama!" Is that so? Bush also claimed his military records had been released and scrutinized during the 2000 campaign. Six days later, the White House released the records the president said had already been reviewed four years ago.

The more than 300 pages of records provide no more documentation about why Bush skipped months of required drills in Alabama and Houston between May 1972 and May 1973 and how he got away with it. Bush's superior in Alabama says he never saw him. The White House claims payroll records and evidence that he might have had his teeth cleaned once in Alabama prove he fulfilled his military duties.


George W. Bush was eager to send young men and women to die in Iraq for a war of choice. When he had a chance to fight, he chose to serve in the National Guard. He was lax, at best, in fulfilling his obligations there. His entire life reflects a pattern of privilege and protection from responsibility.


"We continue to build prosperity and economic security for our people!" We often hear that glowing exclamation from the president. What about the millions of jobs we've lost during his term? How's it feel to be the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over a net loss of jobs during your term of office?

What about the record $500 billion deficit and fiscal trainwreck conductor Bush has us on? What about his reckless spending and refusal to include the cost of war in his budget?

When he spoke about "economic security," Bush must have missed the fact that the U.S. trade deficit reached a record $490 billion, and that translates directly into the loss of more jobs.

Robert Scott, a trade scholar at the Economic Policy Institute, tells The New York Times, "As a consequence of the trade deficit people are being pushed out of well-paying jobs with benefits in manufacturing and into poor-paying service jobs often with no benefits."

But that's a good thing, according to Bush's top economic adviser. Sending U.S. jobs to Mexico, China and India is positive for our economy, according to Gregory Mankiw, who chairs George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.

Mankiw trumpeted the value of the exodus of U.S. jobs, saying, "Outsourcing is a growing phenomenon, but it's something that we should realize is probably a plus for the economy in the long run."

Tell that to the 2.8 million people who've lost manufacturing jobs since Bush took office. Mankiw quickly back-peddled, whining that his comments were "misinterpreted." That pitiful, lie-spewing automaton, White House spokesman Scott McClellan, defended Mankiw and blew off calls for his resignation. "That's kind of laughable," McClellan said. "Our economic team is doing a great job helping the president work to strengthen the economy even more. The president is committed to creating jobs here at home!" The only thing laughable in all this is the Bush administration's disgraceful record in creating jobs.

George W. Bush has made the world a far more dangerous place, we are stuck in a bloody mess in Iraq and our nation is less secure! George W. Bush's tax cuts benefit the richest Americans at the expense of the middle class and corporations are paying the lowest taxes since the 1930s! George W. Bush should be run out of office on a rail!

Will the American people wake up and send him packing?

Sorry to lift so much of the op-ed, but this guy really makes his points. And one other thing: Bill Gallagher has actually WON a Peabody Award.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Why? I'll Tell You Why...

Dave Neiwert nicely sums up exactly why AWOL REMAINS an issue to deal with.

About the only thing I'll add to this is my previous contention that it matters BECAUSE Bush referred to his clean service record in his book--and, while I'm sorry that I'm not plowing through the myriad comments at an Atrios post, I promise that if you look through one of the recent AWOL pieces (the one about how tampering with Bush's record is IN ITSELF a crime--and it WAS tampered with), you'll discover that Bush in 1978 REALLY padded his resume by claiming he was a veteran of THE AIR FORCE--not the TANG.

Yes, character matters. And Bush's character is evident: he's a liar, he's a cheat, and he's someone who refuses to acknowledge responsibility for his failures--which, if you read the SouthKnoxBubba post linked to below--are many.
I Guess Success is a Relative Term

South Knox Bubba has a list of Bush's "accomplishments" that's worth taking a look at. The link is courtesy of Tom Tomorrow's This Modern World.
In His Own Little World

For three years, I've been seeing reports that Bush might be dyslexic. After seeing this, though, I wonder if he might actually be autistic:

CNN reports that Bush, in Florida for the 19th time in his term,

[argued that] his tax cuts are helping the economy and suggesting Democrats would endanger America's fiscal health by raising taxes...

Bush said the country is recovering from its economic downturn. He blamed the recession, corporate scandals, and the 2001 terrorist attacks for the problem, but said his policies turned the economy around.

Is Bush from Planet Clair? Seriously, we've got someone pretty far removed from reality for his "policies" turning the economy around--hell, if I suddenly got myself multiple platinum credit cards and started to charge away, I'D certainly see a temporary bump in my own economic outlook--at least until the bills came due.

Bush apparently hasn't the slightest idea of what he's doing with his massive deficits. Sure, they'll give a bump to the economy in the same way that..let's see, what a reference Dubya will understand? Oh yeah--they'll give the economy a bump in the same way that a quarter ounce of mostly rock white powder will help a Texas Souffle party all night long...provided he doesn't get to "work" until noon...pull out your razor blade, Dubya!

My own guess is that, owing to a lifetime of privilege, Dubya Bush must barely know how to sign a check, much less actually pay a bill. THAT'S why he thinks credit card finance is "good for the economy:" because SOMEONE ELSE, namely, the next generation, will have to pay for his party...

However, There's No Doubt That Tom Delay is a Cockroach of a Person

Inquiry Focuses on Group DeLay Created

AUSTIN, Tex. — A political action committee created by Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, enjoyed tremendous success here in 2002: all but 3 of 21 Republican candidates the committee backed for state representative won their races, helping the party take control of the Texas House.


But local prosecutors and a grand jury here have been investigating the committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, including its use of corporate donations in the election, lawyers close to the case said.

Investigators are also examining whether there were violations of a law intended to curb the ability of outside groups to influence the race for House speaker, the lawyers said. The investigation follows a complaint filed with prosecutors last year by Texans for Public Justice, a campaign watchdog group.


But [Jim] Ellis [Mr. DeLay's political aide] said the committee's main goals were to "elect Republicans and further the Republican agenda." He added that the investigation "seems to be getting to the point of being ridiculous" and that any mistakes by the committee "certainly weren't intentional."

I'll be the first to admit that in Texas, law tends to work on a sliding scale, depending on just how high up the ladder one has managed to crawl. In DeLay's case, he's not only way up said ladder, he's probably also managed to kick a few folks down a notch or two in the process--hence, the possibility that this is simply a case of quo pro quid. Still, it's nice to know that Tom will have to spend some effort covering his rear flank.
Riverbend's New Posts

I'd been missing Riverbend's posts for the last few weeks, figuring that she'd merely been busy with stuff--and she certainly has been busy. Check out the last two posts, at the main link above, and here.

Iraq is a sick joke these days. Is there ANY doubt that there will be civil war once the American troops pull out, and chaos until they do? And the idea that we're somehow safer these days...well, let's just say that must be some powerful Kool-Aid they're distributing. That, or the faith-based nature of the Bush Administration really has moved into the realm of foreign policy.

All that remains for Bush to say at this point regarding Iraq is, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" Same with Afghanistan. Ever wonder what it's like to spend $150 billion dollars on nothing? Riverbend's posts only serve to remind us that belief in our own propaganda is no way to establish a foreign policy.