The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, December 31, 2004

US Bolsters Image Abroad

Ha! Fooled ya. From comes this piece about how we've ticked off the world. Again.

"As with the United States' last coalition of the willing, the Bush administration has made it clear that it expects the rest of the world to play an assisting role. U.S. Undersecretary of State Mark Grossman told reporters yesterday,"Our expectation is that the European Union, the United Nations and other countries will also join in this…Although…we make a substantial contribution, more than anyone else in these emergencies, this is certainly not for us to do alone."

That sort of sentiment would be justified if Grossman's assertion that the U.S. gives "more than anyone else in these emergencies" were true of its contributions to the tsunami relief. But it's difficult to understand how the U.S. is leading the relief effort while Spain, a country with only a sixth of the United States' population, has already pledged twice the amount promised by the U.S. to date.

It's telling to note that during much smaller past crises, previous administrations were more ready to open their wallets. As the Post reports, "After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, when about 9,000 people were killed and 3 million were left homeless in Central America, the United States provided $988 million in relief assistance."

For the record, the admin is ponying up $35 million (up from an initial $15 million). Just so you know, that's still less than the amount that will be spent on W's inaugural gala. Just thought you might need another reason to hate these schmucks.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Marching to the Lobbies' Beat

Here's a sobering post from the Washington Monthly's blog. Short and sweet. The top 10 lobbies spent about $90 million in the first half of the year. Their primary concern? Limiting corporate liability to injured parties, aka 'tort reform.' Say.... isn't that one of W's priorities?

Why We Fight

David Sirota, who appears regularly on The Al Franken Show, is responsible for the following. And it perfectly encapsulates the trouble with W's brand of bait-and-switch 'compassion.'

Bush's Holiday Insult

President Bush issued a Christmas-day radio address in which he said he believed America needs to "help heal the sick, comfort those who suffer, and bring hope to those who despair, one heart and one soul at a time."

What he didn't say was that, in recent weeks, he has slashed funding for grants to low-income college students, reduced resources to charities that help feed the hungry, began preparing plans to gut health care programs for the poor, and prepared to re-launch an effort to cut funding for low-income housing.

cute + slightly injured = ratings gold

All right. This isn't really big news, but it's another disturbing example of what the media is doing these days. I caught a few minutes of Today here and there over the break, and I can say that their coverage was very, very similar in terms of highlighting the effects of the tsunami.... on white people.

Now that estimates are approaching 100,000 dead, why are we still getting sanatized images of a few white kids who were bruised while thousands of bodies decompose under the blazing sun? Apparently someone has decided that the ratings come from the former. But the actual news is the latter. Disgraceful.

What, Me Worry?

Yes, I'm back. The holidays were good*. But let's get back to blogging, shall we? This story came to my attention courtesy of Nancy Nurse. Thanks for the heads up.

Here's the breakdown:

You all know the story about W's bulge. Maybe you've even seen the other photos where he seems to be wired. Maybe you've seen some of the comments on the blogosphere about him looking run-down, aged, decrepit, etc. Well, someone has taken the time to assemble a story that ties it all together. In a rather convincing manner. Highly recommended reading.

In case any trolls ever run across this site, I should add that my family home is Missouri. Which doesn't make me an "East coast liberal elitist." It makes me a Missouri farm boy who's also a liberal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Wha... Where am I?

As you might have noticed, I haven't been posting the last few days. Christmas and travel is only one of the reasons. Although there are some big events happening (particularly the vicious attacks in Iraq), it's not easy for me to get to a computer with decent connection speed in my neck of the woods. Except sporadic posts for a while.

Sorry about that, but enjoy the holidays.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Osama to Bush: Thanks again, pal!

This is from another fine blog, The Left Coaster. I would have done my own story and linked to the LA Times article they cite, but I couldn't get registered... The link is in the article.

What it comes down to is that Osama is all but sending the Bushies a solid-gold ham for the holidays. Bush talked about the wonders of Pakistan, even as they admitted that they had halted the search. Crummy's war-on-a-shoestring in Aghanistan was responsible for his escape in the first place. Now we're bogged down in Iraq, which went from secular (though brutal) government to haven for radical (and brutal) Islamists. And it's only costing us about $200,000,000,000. Unless you add the cost of missile defense, which has never had a successful test. Although it's being deployed. Then the total is more along the lines of $350,000,000,000. And only 1,300 Americans have been killed since 9/11! There. Don't we all feel better now?

Single Moms for Privatization

Isn't it great to see a major paper do its homework for once? There was the December 10th piece on CBS that featured Tad DeHaven-- you know, that concerned father and all-around average Joe-- as an advocate for privatization. Except that he's spent about five years working for right-wing groups that have been leading the anti-Social Security charge. Oops.

Then there was the farcical 'economic conference' this week where the POTUS was in full Potemkin Village mode. It was just like his campaign rallies-- handpicked allies asked pre-screened questions that were full of praise and encouragement. Including an average Jane. This time, it was Iowan mom Sandra Jaques. But-- surprise!-- it turns out that this avatar of middle-America is "the Iowa state director of a conservative advocacy group, FreedomWorks. . . . Ms. Jaques also spent much of the past two years as a spokeswoman in Iowa for a group called For Our Grandchildren, which is mounting a nationwide campaign for private savings accounts."

Click on the link to get the full story at the NYT.

Federal Budget: The Home Game

Not only does this site lay out a comprehensive rundown of the federal budget and the deficits we're running, but it allows YOU, gentle reader, to fiddle with the numbers yourself and help get us out of this mess. If you dare....

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Flush Rush

Warm up your Iron-O-Meters, folks. Spend five minutes writing a letter to the FCC. Here's the text of mine:

"Here in Boston, Rush Limbaugh's syndicated radio show is carried on affiliate WRKO. 680 AM, on weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. On Monday, December 13 of this year, Mr. Limbaugh made an on-air reference to the likelihood that a woman getting cosmetic surgery would "move to San Francisco" and "add a dick" to herself. I am displeased that the FCC would allow such a bizarre and lewd comment to reach the American public without any censure or punitive action. Although the comment only hints at such controversial issues as homosexual and transsexual sex, it unquestionably employs vulgar slang, and reached millions of listeners across the nation and abroad. It is my hope that the FCC will take appropriate action against Mr. Limbaugh in this matter."

Now here's the original post, courtesy of Eschaton:

1. Go to and find your Limbaugh station.
2. Send an email to with your own version of the following:

On Monday, December 13 in the 2nd hour of his program (1pm EST) broadcast on [CALL SIGN HERE], Rush Limbaugh used the vulgar, sexual term "dick" when referring to a Miss Plastic Surgery pageant. Specifically, Limbaugh said:

"LIMBAUGH: Miss Plastic Surgery. (chuckle) And – I’d – I’d – I – I don’t – I don’t know what the winner – I – and, oh, I didn’t print out both pages, so I don’t know what the – I don’t know what the winner gets. Probably a certificate to go to San Francisco to have an add-a-dick-to-me operation. "

According to the FCC:

Information regarding the details of what was actually said (or depicted) during the allegedly indecent, profane or obscene broadcast. There is flexibility on how a complainant may provide this information. The complainant may submit a significant excerpt of the program describing what was actually said (or depicted) or a full or partial recording (e.g., tape) or transcript of the material.

In whatever form the complainant decides to provide the information, it must be sufficiently detailed so the FCC can determine the words and language actually used during the broadcast and the context of those words or language. Subject matter alone is not a determining factor of whether material is obscene, profane, or indecent. For example, stating only that the broadcast station “discussed sex” or had a “disgusting discussion of sex” during a program is not sufficient. Moreover, the FCC must know the context when analyzing whether specific, isolated words are indecent or profane. The FCC does not require complainants to provide recordings or transcripts in support of their complaints. Consequently, failure to provide a recording or transcript of a broadcast, in and of itself, will not lead to automatic dismissal or denial of a complaint.

The date and time of the broadcast. Under federal law, if the FCC assesses a monetary forfeiture against a broadcast station for violation of a rule, it must specify the date the violation occurred. Accordingly, it is important that complainants provide the date the material in question was broadcast. A broadcaster’s right to air indecent or profane speech is protected between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Consequently, the FCC must know the time of day that the material was broadcast.

And remember, everyone-- we'll fight, and we'll win.

Lieberman: Misguided, but not stupid

Well, I have to hand it to Lieberman for this:

"The Cabinet vacancy at the Department of Homeland Security was the subject of the latest overture, according to congressional and other government sources. Those sources said the earlier overture was to see whether Lieberman might be interested in becoming the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations."

He might still be talking bipartisanship, but at least he wasn't dumb enough to fall for this. One of the GOP's biggest base-support moves is to oppose the UN. You know, black helicopters, New World Order, rapture, etc. Just think how electrified they would have been if the US ambassador was Jewish. Orthodox, no less. It would have been open season on the UN for the kooky right. Props to Lieberman for not taking the bait.

Missile Defense Rides Again... sort of

Well, the administration has been behind Reagan's folly 110% . More than $100,000,000,000 later, the system (now deployed in Alaska) has failed again. There's science, and then there's schmience. The POTUS supports the latter. Matt Sandwich misses the former.

From the story:

The Missile Defense Agency said the ground-based interceptor automatically shutdown [sic] "due to an unknown anomaly" shortly before it was to be launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean.

A target missile carrying a mock warhead successfully launched from Kodiak, Alaska, at 12:45 a.m. ET.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Media Matters, I Love You!

Man, this is great. In a response to Bill Moyers' recent column (read it here:, in which he argues that "the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee. We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans."

"Falafel" O'Reilly isn't having any of that of course. His claim? The "consensus is about 80 percent of the press favored John Kerry in the election." Media Matters traced the source of this claim to an 8 year-old survey that received 139 responses. The surveys were sent not to right-wing outlets, or even to such "liberal" bastions as the NYT or WaPo. Nope, the majority went to regional dailies or small-circulation papers with only one reporter in Washington.

Read the details via the link at the top, and while you're there, give 'em a Christmas donation. They're doing great work.

McCain Tries Again

McCain just keeps disappointing. He's finally come out against Rumsfeld's Iraq policies (well... sort of). A month after the election-- remember him stumping for the guy who smeared him in 2000?

It would have been honorable for him to take Crummy to task six months ago. At this opportune moment, it's just another risk-free way to prepare for a presidential run. Pretty pathetic, Senator. I never thought I'd consider him a wuss, but...

Putting the hurt on Sinclair! Again!

Check this out. After the triumph of the anti-Kerry documentary, some top-tier groups have decided to keep the squeeze on Sinclair Broadcasting. Time to start writing letters, folks.

This is from the LA Times. The link above will take you to the new site.

"A coalition of liberal political groups is launching a nationwide protest against Sinclair Broadcast Group, charging that the 62-station TV broadcaster, which was also the target of intense criticism during the presidential campaign, is misusing public airwaves with partisan news programming.

The groups, led by Media Matters for America, today will announce a campaign to pressure Sinclair's advertisers with letters. The groups, however, are stopping short of demanding an advertiser boycott.

The campaign is one of the first broad attempts to reenergize liberal political activists in the wake of the Democrats' electoral defeat in November. Others involved include, Free Press, Campaign for America's Future, Working Assets, Alternet, MediaChannel, and filmmaker Robert Greenwald, who made "Outfoxed," a film released in the summer that alleged Republican bias at Fox News Channel.

The anti-Sinclair campaign will be run through a new website,"

UPDATE: Somehow the blog is managing to misprint my link, in spite of my attempts to correct it. Here's the site:

Ask Dr. Schmience

As Gregg Easterbrook writes in this subscriber-only article for The New Republic:

"Sometime soon a federal court will rule on a disclaimer that the Board of Education of Cobb County, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, has ordered placed on high-school biology textbooks. Stickers bearing the disclaimer say, "Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."

Far be it from me to give those knuckleknobs any help, but Mr. Easterbrook points out something very obvious that should sink their campaign. Darwin's theory has nothing whatsoever to do with "the origin of living things." Only religion deals in that trade. Thanks for showing your true colors and making it that much easier to blow your fundamentalist agenda out of the water. Pop quiz-- how do you spell "yokel"?

Monday, December 13, 2004

A thing of hypocrisy is a joy forever....

Here's a little holiday cheer for you. As most of you have heard, Kerik is a washout for being a Hollywood-style 'dirty cop.' Now howsabout some hypocrisy courtesy of his ex?

Publisher Judith Regan was Kerik's nookietoy for a while. While he was married. And while she was married. And while he had another mistress to boot. Lovely. But she has a record of her own-- as being a moral crusader in the mold of drug addict Rush Limbaugh and phone sex enthusiast Bill O'Reilly. Here are some of her choice quotes, courtesy of Eschaton and good ol' Fox News:

Ms. REGAN: Well, I think that the social fabric of this country has become completely unraveled. I think the sexual revolution had a lot to do with that. I think that we are in terrible shape. I think we have a country where half the kids are being raised by single mothers. A lot of that has to do with male behavior. We look at the men in this country who do not want to be accountable to their wives, do not want to be accountable to their children and we have as a president a man who could be a symbol of everything that is good; he could be a wonderful husband, he could be a wonderful father. He is in a position of great authority to show this country and to lead this country in a way that is much more important than economically.

Ms. REGAN: We can conquer others with force but to conquer ourselves we need strength.' And this is really what we need in America today. We need to conquer our own impulses. We need to understand that we can't act on them all the time because it feels good for us. We have to care about the other.


Crummy's smaller, more efficient army....

On today's Al Franken Show, Colonel David Hackworth, described as "America's most decorated living soldier" talked numbers when it came to Pentagon bureaucracy vs. army size. According to him, when FDR was running the show, there were 4,000 people in the Pentagon watching over a 13-million man army. Now there are 25, 000 Pentagon staffers overseeing an army of 500,000.

It was true under Reagan, and it's true again. At the same time that advocates of 'smaller government' go forth with their plans to cut costs, they continue to expand government. Why are so-called conservatives voting for these frauds again? Expansion of government combined with reduced federal income doesn't quite seem to add up to smart spending, you morons.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Yet another reason to go blue

There have been some reports here and there about companies offering loans to GIs at usurious rates. Free market and all, right?

Take a look at I was warned eons ago that going to rent-to-own companies was a really, really bad idea. Predatory pricing aimed at the poor. Well, guess who spends 100% of political donations on Republicans?

Colortyme and Rent-A-Center. Your movement conservatives, getting more profitable all the time.


Here's another example of how rightie Patriots are taking on the issue of underequipped troops. You know, twenty months and $200 billion after we went to war.

"The duped soldier should be put at the very front of the action, no armor. The cooperating sergeant's career should be over and maybe become MIA. Pitts and all his cronies should be executed as traitors. We are fighting a war, the debate is over, you’re either for us or against us, there is no middle ground. I say start executing the leftists in our country, soon."

Now that's what I call supporting the troops... I'm going to guess that Joe M. Richardson hasn't ever been in combat. Other commentators argued that the troops ought to have a right (gasp!) to complain about a lack of equipment.

Spinning Armor

Barbara Starr on CNN Saturday:

"What is very interesting is several days later now nobody is criticizing the soldier. He made a valid point but there's no real evidence yet that anyone has demonstrated soldiers are going through landfills finding scrap metal and bits of glass to bolt onto their vehicles. So, you know, truth always lies, as we know as reporters, always lies somewhere in between what everybody is out there saying."

The right is going nuts trying to spin Rumsfeld's cavalier response to Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team last week. Starr has earned an honorable mention with this steaming sack of dog poopie. No videotapes of soldiers going dumpster diving, so no story. Stories of troops lacking adequate equipment have been out there since the war began, folks.

I'm going to restate my new focus after the election. MoveOn's incendiary e-mail was well-intended, but a misfire. We came oh-so-close to winning, but we've seen two presidential elections where the Democratic candidate is treated with contempt by the media. THAT'S the battle that has to be won. Fair representation by the media is crucial, and by writing letters to voice your opinions, it CAN be won.

GOP abandons Kerik

This is from Slate's column "Today's Papers."

"The WP says the Bush administration isn't offering Kerik any sympathy: During the pre-appointment vetting process, he was asked "repeatedly" whether he had ever employed an illegal alien and denied it, administration officials tell the paper. Even Kerik's political patron, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, sounds less than supportive in the NYT, calling the revelations "an embarrassment" and adding: "I never had a conversation [with the White House] in which I vouched for him."

Both Kerik and the White House maintain that it was the nanny that sank the nomination. But the NYT quotes an anonymous Democratic Senate staff member saying that "multiple media organizations were pursuing multiple stories," about Kerik's checkered past. What was else was there? For one thing, Sunday's New York Daily News reports that, during his job as a police official, Kerik allegedly accepted thousands of dollars in cash and gifts—including "a bejeweled Tiffany badge"—from a friend who worked for a city contractor with possible mob ties."

Kerik obviously had a hell of a lot of dirty laundry, and didn't come clean with booster Giuliani. Now it's a race to see who can get furthest away from him in the shortest amount of time. Yet another example of the political games the administration plays. The actual record of nominees is irrelevant-- they just want someone with a background that'll play well on the media. Black, Hispanic, bastard son of a prostitute-- anything to look inclusive. Any of these things trumps experience, ability, or even criminal behavior.

Kerik, however, has already made his millions cashing in on 9/11, so you don't need to feel too sorry for him.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Some decent news, for a change

The above link to a USA Today story, shows that maybe, just maybe, the press isn't going to let Rummy's lies slide by this time: "A day earlier, he had called it "a matter of physics, not a matter of money ... It's a matter of production and the capability of doing it." But spokesmen for two companies making armor for vehicles said Thursday they had offered to step up the pace of production."

Item Two: Kerik has apparently asked that he not be considered for the Dept. of Homeland Security. Maybe they'll find someone who isn't a crook.

Item Three: The media is beginning to report on the many, many stories of voter fraud in Ohio. And it only took them a month! Thanks to Daily Kos for this:

Doubts Persist About Election Results
By RACHEL KONRAD, Associated Press Writer

As the Electoral College prepares to certify President Bush's re-election on Monday, concerns persist about the integrity of the nation's voting system -- particularly in Ohio, where details continue to emerge of technology failures, voter confusion and overcrowded polling stations in minority and poor neighborhoods.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Lost In Space

Bush, determined as he is to go down in history, is still having wet dreams about a manned Mars mission-- from a scientific standpoint a colossal waste of money, even if it were feasible.

Once again, I turn to physicist Robert Park's newsletter, which today pointed out a very basic problem with the Mars mission vis a vis the very worthwhile Hubble project.

"HUBBLE: NRC CALLS FOR SENDING A SHUTTLE MISSION TO REPAIR IT. The problem was never with the space telescope. The problem from the start has been the Shuttle. Mankind's greatest scientific instrument was built under a NASA decree that anything that goes into space must go there by way of the shuttle. That meant Hubble had to be put in low-Earth orbit, which is far from ideal for observations. Moreover, Hubble was designed for routine
shuttle maintenance visits. NASA said shuttle launches would be weekly, but five or six times a year was the best they could do. After Columbia, O'Keefe decided it's too dangerous for astronauts to service Hubble, we'll have to use robots. But if astronauts can't go to Hubble, how they gonna go to Mars? This week, the National Research Council said it's not likely that NASA could complete development of a robotic mission before Hubble breaks down, and called for a mission of the rebuilt shuttle to repair Hubble. . ."

The Reactionary Media

I'm swiping this from Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly. He says it better than I could. Read on:

"Tonight [CBS] ran a segment on the evening news called "Social Security Changes" that featured an interview with a young man who could be "the poster child for Social Security reform." And indeed he could: 28 years old, 6 years of employment, planning to retire in 2042, and about to get married. "I don't expect to get anything from Social Security," said Tad DeHaven. "I don't consider it in terms of my long term planning. It's not going to be there." Needless to say, young Tad is all for private accounts.

Unfortunately, there's one crucial thing the segment doesn't mention: who Tad DeHaven is. A brief supertitle IDs him as a "National Taxpayers Union Employee," but that's it. Just an ordinary white collar working stiff like you and me, apparently.

Not quite. His website is here. It seems that DeHaven worked for the Heritage Foundation in 1998 and for Cato from 2001-2004 — both big supporters of Social Security privatization. For Cato he was a fiscal policy research assistant and was the author of "War Between the Generations: Federal Spending on the Elderly Set to Explode."

At NTU — also a supporter of Social Security privatization — DeHaven is an economic policy analyst who "uses his extensive experience to amplify our pro-taxpayer message to lawmakers and the public." Indeed he does!

So — just some random guy off the street? Not quite. More like a lobbyist for the very program the CBS segment was about. Don't they think their viewers might have appreciated that teensy weensy piece of information?

NOTE: The CBS News segment might be available here (under "Top Stories") if you click through before it scrolls away."

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Media Matters!

I know that a lot of you who don't normally make contributions decided to loosen the pursestrings this year for the Democrats. Now that we're facing four more years of fascistic (up until about six months ago, I wouldn't have used that word-- it's pretty loaded, but it's exactly what I mean. Just look for the latest pix of Bush in his paramilitary uniform, folks...) rule, it's even more important to keep it up.

Here's my pitch. Give some dough to Media Matters. Follow the above link and give them something. Anything. Would it kill ya to give these guys twenty-five smackeroos? No, it wouldn't. We're constantly seeing hackery on the media, but the election results demonstrate that Democrats at the local level-- even in very red districts-- were winning their battles. I'm becoming more and more convinced the media's lack of accountability is at the heart of our failures in national elections over the last four years.

Here's a list of some of the good stuff they've accomplished since their inception, written by founder David Brock:

On Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:
"Long before newspapers and television networks began dissecting the claims of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Media Matters for America, a new Website headed by conservative-turned-progressive David Brock was in hot pursuit of the anti-Kerry group." -- Scott Shepard, Cox News Service, August 26, 2004
On MSNBC canceling plans to have Republican pollster Frank Luntz conduct presidential debate night focus groups:
"Looks like the [Media Matters] letter had an impact ... the network [MSNBC] has decided 'not to go with Frank for the debate.'" -- Mary Ann Akers, Roll Call, September 30, 2004
On Sinclair Broadcast Group:
"[T]his [Sinclair pulling the anti-Kerry film Stolen Honor from its program schedule] was largely engineered by a terrific group, an independent group called Media Matters for America, a progressive group that monitors the media. ... Good for Media Matters for America." -- Paul Begala, CNN's Crossfire, October 20, 2004
FOX News Channel's Bill O'Reilly on Media Matters:
"That's just Joseph Goebbels Nazi stuff." -- The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, September 14, 2004

More on Moving Right

After the last post, I was thinking about the news media. They've been moving to the right following the (eventual) success of Fox News, which is demonstrably in favor of the GOP. And they aren't a political group, but a corporate interest concerned with profit. Just concerned with increasing viewership. Has it meant that the right stopped calling them the 'liberal media'? Nope. Instead, Fox is managing to have it's cake and eat it, too. They still call every other media outlet a tool of pinkos, even though those outlets are doing everything they can to play by the rules of the right. In the world of pre-1960's cartoons, the rest of the press wouldd be represented by people with big lollipop heads that read "sucker."

Now check out this post by Atrios, who runs the blog Eschaton:

Dear CBS & David Paul Kuhn

I'm writing to you regarding your recent story titled "Blogs: New Medium, Old Politics." Your article, which was concerned with, among other things, whether "bloggers are credible," contained some errors.

First, the title of this blog is "Eschaton" and not "Atrios." This is apparent from the big black letters at the top of the page.

Second, you state that I had been working with Media Matters for America "all along" while I was doing this weblog. I began writing this weblog in April, 2002. MMFA only came into existence in May, 2004. I began working with them in June, 2004.

Third, you suggest I had an "ethical" problem. Could you be more specific about what that was? Having one's character impugned by a major media outlet is a serious matter.

Finally, a quote is positioned in your article such that it suggests my assocation with Media Matters for America makes me somehow "partisan" and that beforehand I therefore was perceived as non-partisan. I have never worked for a candidate or campaign, though I have never made my political views secret, any more than has the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. This blog is produced entirely using my own time and resources, and Media Matters for America is a non-partisan "501(c)(3) not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."



UPDATE: Here's the article that Atrios was talking about--

It's a real jaw-dropper. And just so you know, I've never received a cent from a Democratic candidate. Seriously, the story is Fox News-caliber propaganda.

Dean Speaks

As most of you probably know, Dean is making a play for head of the DNC. There's a split among the party, but I think I'm going to have to put my support behind him. The link above will take you to a speech that he gave today. And I like it.

Meanwhile, this week's New Republic editorial is down on Dean. When I started in, I was skeptical of their idea. Midway through, they almost had me convinced. By the end, I thought they had it all wrong. After all, they endorsed Lieberman in the primaries. He tanked, and now he's kissing Republican butt trying to get a new post from them. Hasn't Lieberman learned a thing from the last four years? This administration isn't going to play ball with anyone who's a Dem. Oops, sorry Zell, you freak. Personally, I think the lesson of the election is that 49% of the election has had it with Democrats who are right-of-center. If we're left with no choice but a reactionary right-winger or a moderate Republican, it's no choice at all. Terry McAuliffe had his chance, and although he turned out to be a skilled fundraiser, his tenure also featured a takeover by the extreme right. The strategy became masquerade as Republicans. And this election showed how misguided that was. We ran as Republicans and lost. Twice. We need to run as Democrats. Everyone loves to say that most people agree with our policies. But we lose elections anyway. Except at the state level, where the west is starting to turn. The Democrat moneymen are for the status quo, even though we're seeing a groundswell of movement toward Democrats who don't try to deny who they are. I love TNR, but I think they need to rethink their position on this front. We can't win by becoming the enemy. We can win by being reformists, and standing up for justice and truth. Like Superman. Playing possum isn't working, and I like what Dean has to say.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


From Daily Kos comes this look at a report from the Pentagon's Defense Science Fund. Required reading!

"Furthermore, in the eyes of Muslims, American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering. U.S. actions appear in contrast to be motivated by ulterior motives, and deliberately controlled in order to best serve American national interests at the expense of truly Muslim self-determination."

I've kept it to myself that I think toppling Saddam was a mistake in part because he headed the only secular government in the Middle East. Sounds calculating and cruel, I know, but it's just an invitation for another theocratic takeover. And that'll be a clean sweep (not to mention putting the entire region under the control of repressive, religious extremists). Stupid, stupid idea.


This is the sort of story that warms my heart. An Assembly of God minister, and married father of four, was introduced on the campaign trail as a living, breathing example of the sort of swell fellow who benefits from Bush's tax policies.

The lucky minister is now facing criminal charges for having sex with a minor. In his church. Way to go, you douchebag.

From Atrios:


Bush introduced Mike and Sharla Hintz, a couple from Clive, whom he said benefited from his tax plan.

Last year, because of the enhanced the child tax credit, they received an extra $1,600 in their tax refund, Bush said. With other tax cuts in the bill, they saved $2,800 on their income taxes.

They used the money to buy a wood-burning stove to more efficiently heat their home, made some home improvements and went on a vacation to Minnesota, the president said.

"Next year, maybe they'll want to come to Texas," Bush quipped.

Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth pastor, said the tax cuts also gave him additional money to use for health care.

He said he supports Bush's values.

"The American people are starting to see what kind of leader President Bush is. People know where he stands," he said.

"Where we are in this world, with not just the war on terror, but with the war with our culture that's going on, I think we need a man that is going to be in the White House like President Bush, that's going to stand by what he believes.

and today...

A Des Moines youth pastor is charged with the sexual exploitation of a child.

KCCI learned that the married father of four recently turned himself in to Johnston police.

Rev. Mike Hintz was fired from the First Assembly of God Church, located at 2725 Merle Hay Road, on Oct. 30. Hintz was the youth pastor there for three years.

Police said he started an affair with a 17-year-old in the church youth group this spring.

The Right Thing to Do

This is a great site. I just wish I'd heard about it a little earlier than now. By following the above link, you can get the addresses and stories of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. And best of all, you can send them a care package. It's Christmas folks, and since liberals are the ones who actually care about our friends and neighbors, I think we should take the time to contribute. Help make life a little bit easier for those who are putting their lives on the line this holiday season. They've got the toughest jobs out there, and even if you're as broke as I am, it wouldn't be much of a sacrifice to send off some goodies for them during the season. I'm planning on sending something out before the end of the week.

I spent a fair amount of time on the site, and the most common requests seem to break down on the following lines:

Food: Not candy or gum, but sensible stuff like granola bars, jerky, and protein bars. Instant coffee/cocoa and tea. And some snack foods that travel well-- Cheez-Its, anyone? I saw a lot of requests for microwaveable goods, too, a la soups.

Clothes: Warm socks are a biggie, especially now that winter is here.

Hygiene: Apparently the army is doing all right in terms of feminine hygiene, but razors are welcome, as are girlie soaps/body washes, conditioners, and lotions. Also foot powder and lip balm.

Time-killers: Magazines, especially on news/current events. Books. Board games (I assume the lighter and smaller the better-- like Uno, maybe, or travel games). Fashion mags.

Finally, everyone seemed to be thrilled with cards and letters, so you should be sure to include whatever personal messages of support that you can. To my way of thinking, even though these citizens are there for what we consider to be the wrong reasons-- and maybe they do, too-- we should be sure to ease the time they have to spend there. And I certainly don't suggest sending them any overt political statements. Our negative energy should be directed against the administration-- not the soldiers in harm's way.

Monday, December 06, 2004

More Red/Blue Madness

Thanks to Daily Kos for posting this graphic.

It's kinda like the tax rates and the divorce rates. The Reds are suckling at the government teat in yet another way-- teen pregnancy.

Of the ten states with the highest rate of teen mothers aged 15-19, the top FIFTEEN are Reds.

Of the fifteen states with the lowest rate, THIRTEEN are blue (yes, New York is one of 'em).

Ahhh, values. It looks like the Reds want others to foot the bill for their (ahem) moral indiscretions, even as they try to force the nation to start following their moral lead. Sounds like a recipe for success to me....

The Liberal Media: now smaller than ever!

Here's some thrilling news. I'll print the article in its entirety...

Fox to Provide News to Clear Channel Stations

The Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio station operator, has picked Fox News Radio to be the primary source of national news for most of its news and talk stations, officials announced Monday.

The five-year agreement initially covers more than 100 radio stations.

Fox will provide a five-minute top-of-the-hour newscast, a nightly news broadcast, and around-the-clock dedicated national news coverage. In return, Fox News Radio will have access to news produced by San Antonio-based Clear Channel's news network.

No terms of the deal were disclosed. But Fox, a unit of News Corp., says if all options in the agreement are exercised, its radio service could have more than 500 affiliates by the middle of next year.

"Working this closely with a premiere national news provider for the majority of our news/talk stations makes overwhelming sense," said John Hogan, chief executive officer of Clear Channel Radio. "Because of the breadth of this relationship, our local news directors will get a more customized and higher quality national news product - and that's great for listeners."

Attempts to reach Fox for comment were unsuccessful.

Clear Channel, which operates 1,200 stations, has been getting its national news feeds from a variety of providers.

Shares in Clear Channel, were down 7 cents to $33.08 in midmorning trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange -toward the low end of their 52-week trading range of $29.96 to $47.76.

Shares of News Corp. slipped down 2 cents on the NYSE to $18.15. The stock has traded between $17.16 and $39.74 in the past 52 weeks.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Steroids + Arnie = Real American Hero

Actually, it just adds up to more hypocrisy. From the government that brought you the DeLay Rule (thereby repealing the rule they had passed eleven years ago when the shoe was on the other foot) comes this mathematical equation:

Opposition to steroid use by athletes
+ Steroid-using athlete who wants to run for office as a Republican
The Arnie Amendment

That's right, folks. In the same week that GOP Congressmen are up in arms about the demonic influence of drugs in baseball, they put their support behind a Constitutional amendment to allow citizens who were naturalized more than twenty years ago to run for president. I can't wait to hear-- ahem-- principled Republicans talk about how much they care for the rights of immigrants.

I'm willing to bet any taker a year's supply of Strontiamax500 that we'll hear GOP luminaries talking about liberal hatred of immigrants before this ends.

McCain the Pitiful

The worst thing about this story is that it echoes Bush's state of the union address in which he excoriated the ultimate evil that plagues America today..... steroids. McCain, you just earned yourself ten demerits, you maggot!

From the story:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. John McCain is demanding immediate action by representatives of major league baseball's players and owners to tighten the sport's drug-testing policy ``to restore the integrity of baseball.''

Expressing dismay over recurring reports of steroid abuse by some of the game's top stars, the Arizona senator repeated a threat he made before the last season to legislate a [sic] stricter rules if the sport fails to police itself.

Presidential race 2008, anyone?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Another Sane Republican Bails Out...

Fellow Missourian and respected politician John Danforth has stepped down as ambassador to the UN. This is the type of Republican that Democrats are praying for these days, and that the now-unabashedly-reactionary GOP wants to be rid of. He'd made it clear that he's not in line with the administration on some matters, which makes him the sort of underling they consider dangerous. Bush apparently felt that Danforth was too "inflexible" to, say, take over Powell's position. Of course, Powell was seen as too inflexible for daring to offer an alternate approach to the disastrous Iraq policy.

Considering how many resignations we've seen by those considered credible to both parties, I think it's safe to say we're seeing rational individuals trying to get unhitched from the Bush wagon train before the whole administration winds up in Donner Pass. Whether it happens in the next four years or not, there's no way this admin. is going down in history as anything but the most corrupt and incompetent bunch of thieves to helm the state. Ever. The Teapot Dome Affair was nothing compared to the antics of this rotten bunch.

Which reminds me-- I should post on the Indian casino scandal, which will hopefully be the downfall of some of the most sanctimonious Republicans in the business.

Your new Homeland Security Chief

Let's take a look:

History of corruption? Check.
Bootlicking toadie? Ribbit.
Shady business dealings? Check.
Any relevant experience? Naaah, but he can give protestors what for.

Look's like we've got our man!

(I'm borrowing the following from Air America's homepage)

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who became a millionaire by helping Rudolph Giuliani's company sell post-9/11 "anti-terrorism" services, has been nominated by George W. Bush to replace Tom Ridge as head of Homeland Security. Giuliani highlighted Kerik at the Republican National Convention by referring to him in this bizarre anecdote about what Giuliani did in the midst of the 9/11 attacks: "I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and I said to him 'Bernie, thank God, George Bush is our President." Kerik's lucrative record in the "fear of terrorism" makes him an ideal choice for the Bush administration.

Kerik, who recently sold "$5.8 million of stock in a company that makes stun guns used by many police forces" once declared bankruptcy when he was a young police officer. As police commissioner, he was fined $2,500 by the City's Conflict of Interest Board, after using police officers to conduct research into his mother's death for content in his 2001 autobiography.

He is also accused of using homicide detectives "to question and fingerprint several Fox News employees whom his publisher, Judith Regan, apparently suspected of stealing her cellphone and necklace." This is the man who will run "the largest federal department created since the Defense Department in 1949... oversee security of the nation's borders, ports and airports and will be in charge of the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, customs and much of the immigration service," as the New York Times reports.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Spending for Democrats

This is a great site. A few days ago, I posted a list of companies that donate lots of their dough to Republicans. This site will tell you which companies support Democrats. Choose them whenever you can-- especially at this time of year.

There's no doubt in my mind that if Chess King was listed, it would be solidly red.

Surprise! Abstinence-only education is a crock.

From the Washington Post, an alarming tale of just how big a crock it is ($170 million next year alone). Some samples:

• A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person."

• HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

• Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.

My personal favorite is the description of a 250-cell blastocyst as a "tiny baby."

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Hearts and Minds. Or, If You Can't Beat 'Em, Fry 'Em

It looks as though American forces could be using napalm in Iraq. On citizens. You know what this does to people.

It also looks like we're using depleted uranium in Iraq. This causes cancer and birth defects.

Why do I have to go to foreign news services to hear about this?