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Step off, old man!
Sunday, 25 January 2004
Thoughts ot New Hampshire
Although Kerry is on a clear path to win the NH primary, plenty of drama remains. Right now, second place is a total muddle, with Dean, Clark and Edwards all in the mix. If Dean doesn't finish second, which he probably will, he's toast. Third place is important for both Clark and Edwards heading into the February 3 primaries. They are both doing well in the polls for that series of seven mostly-Southern primaries. Kerry and Dean have spent their political careers as next door neighbors to NH; they should finish one-two.

Think about the following scenario: Kerry wins NH but on February 3, only wins one other state while Dean, Clark and Edwards each win two. It could happen. I think things will thin out after February 3, but there's still a chance that the March 2 primaries will still mean a lot by the time they roll around.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:23 AM EST
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A WMD-program activities related post
I saw this on the internet somewhere:

"If the bill collector calls, I will inform him that I have a checkbook which is evidence of "possible intent to develop bill-paying programs. That should satisfy him."

Posted by brettdavey at 9:17 AM EST
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Friday, 23 January 2004
I guess Michael Savage wasn't available...
Think for a minute about the panelists at last night's Democratic debate. You had Brit Hume, a news anchor for Fox, which is essentially an arm of the Republican National Committee. Then there was the bearded reporter with a facial tic from the Union Ledger, a very conservative NH newspaper. Add to the mix Peter Jennings, who mostly seemed interested in hearing his own voice, and a chubby local anchor. Jennings and the chubby guy were neutral at best, but the other two could be described as very conservative.

Next time there is a Republican presidential primary, imagine if Al Franken and Molly Ivins were given two of the four seats on the panel. That's how silly the panel was.

Jennings tried to make a point of Michael Moore's support of Wes Clark and Moore's comments about President Bush being a deserter. Jennings acted like these comments were incredibly outrageous. The Boston Globe is the only mainstream press operation to do an extensive article on this and there remain serious questions about whether Bush ditched before his service was up. How come noone has the chutzpah to check this out?

Let's not act like it's such a stretch that Bush half-assed his military service. Thr President's public life has essentially been defined by him trading off his family name and running businesses into the ground. I have an idea for Peter Jennings. Get off your ass, investigate the charges yourself, and spare us the false indignity.

Posted by brettdavey at 3:01 PM EST
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Aiieeee!
Ever get a hidden pimple under your eyebrow that makes brain freeze feel like a picnic? I've got one right now and it kills like a ... AIIIEEEEE!

Posted by brettdavey at 2:38 PM EST
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Thursday, 22 January 2004
What'd they do with the tumor?
This is disgusting, but it's worth reading. I highlighted the quote from the doctor because it is so awesome.

BUCHAREST, Romania (Reuters) -- A team of Romanian and U.S. doctors say they have successfully removed a tumor weighing 175 pounds (80 kilograms) from a woman patient in an operation lasting 10 hours.

Lucica Bunghez, 47, had been largely confined to bed because of the tumor, which weighed almost double her body weight and covered her back, waist and hips.

"She is very well, the lack of the tumor really suits her," Ion Lascar, head of the plastic surgery department of Floreasca Hospital in Bucharest.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:23 AM EST
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Dueling quotes
Thought you'd get a kick out of this:

"Any appointment of a federal judge during a recess should be opposed."
--Sen Trent Lott (R) opposing the appointment of an African American judge, December 2000

"Judge Pickering's record deems this recess appointment fully appropriate."
--Sen. Trent Lott (R), 1/17/04



Posted by brettdavey at 8:53 AM EST
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Wednesday, 21 January 2004
Junk food is good for you...
After spitting in the face of the world by refusing to sign the Kyoto Treaty designed to reduce global warming, the Bush administration now has another news flash: fast food and sugar don't contribute to obesity!

Here's some of the news article:

"The U.S. is challenging a draft plan by the World Health Organization to combat the growing worldwide epidemic of obesity, provoking strong international criticism and charges that the food industry is influencing the policy.

The Bush administration alleges that the WHO plan, under development for three years, relies too heavily on questionable science to recommend that people limit their intake of sugar and other refined foods, among other measures.

The draft plan suggests nations consider advising people to limit sugar and refined foods, restricting junk food marketing, improving food labeling and raising prices on unhealthy foods.

Rigby and others suggest that U.S. criticism of the plan is being driven by the sugar industry, grocers and other U.S. multinational food companies that want to forestall emerging international efforts to regulate food marketing, pricing, production and trade.

The U.S. position came to light in a Jan. 5 letter by William Steiger, special assistant for international affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, to Dr. J.W. Lee, director general of the WHO.

In the 28-page letter, the U.S. repeatedly suggested that the quality of the science used by the WHO to support its policy recommendations was questionable.

Among the concerns articulated in the letter, the U.S. said rigorous scientific studies do not clearly show that marketing fast foods or high calorie foods to consumers increases their risk of becoming obese. Nor do scientific studies definitively link particular foods, such as soft drinks or juices, or foods high in fat or sugar, to a higher risk of obesity.

Evidence does not support the conclusion that TV advertising for food can be tied to rising rates of childhood obesity, the letter asserted."

Uuuh, I guess McDonalds and Burger King spend billions of dollars advertising worldwide because it's been proven that advertising does not encourage people to eat fast food.

Here's an easy test to see if fast food is bad for you: give Dick Cheney a triple chesseburger from Burger King and see if he goes an hour without having a heart attack.

Posted by brettdavey at 12:42 PM EST
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Dial 9-11
This is from Joe Conason's column in the New York Observer:

"The President is fortunate that until now, the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States has received far less attention than controversies over the design for a World Trade Center memorial. At every step, from his opposition to its creation, to his abortive appointment of Henry Kissinger as its chair, to his refusal to provide it with adequate funding and cooperation, Mr. Bush has treated the commission and its essential work with contempt.

In the latest development, the President's aides refused additional time for the 9/11 commission to complete its report. Although the original deadline in the enabling legislation is May 27, the commissioners recently asked for a few more months to ensure that their product will be "thorough and credible."

Earlier this month, Thomas Kean--the former New Jersey governor who has chaired the commission since Mr. Kissinger recused himself--explained why the commission needs more time. As the genial Republican told The New York Times, he is only permitted to read the most important classified documents concerning 9/11 in a little closet known as a "sensitive compartmented information facility" (or SCIF). He cannot photocopy the documents, and if he takes notes about them, he must leave the notes in the SCIF when he leaves.

Other recent statements by Mr. Kean, which he subsequently modified, suggest that the White House has ample reason to worry about what the commission's report will say. In December, he told CBS News that he believes the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented--and that incompetent officials were at fault for the failure to uncover and frustrate the plot.

Following the creation and staffing of the commission, many months passed before the administration agreed to let Mr. Kean look at any of those crucial documents. The commission still has hundreds of interviews to conduct, and millions of pages to examine, before its members begin to draft their conclusions.

But the President's political advisers, concerned about the political impact of the commission's report, are unsympathetic to its requests for additional time--and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who would have to approve an extension, is perfectly obedient to his masters in the White House. According to Newsweek, the administration offered Mr. Kean a choice: Either keep to the May deadline, or postpone release of the report until December, when its findings cannot affect the election.

Mr. Bush doesn't want his re-election subject to any informed judgment about the disaster that reshaped the nation and his Presidency. But why should such crucial facts be withheld from the voters? What does the President fear?

Perhaps inadvertently, Mr. Kean provided a clue to the answers in his Times interview. Asked whether he thinks the disaster "did not have to happen," he replied, "Yes, there is a good chance that 9/11 could have been prevented by any number of people along the way. Everybody pretty well agrees our intelligence agencies were not set up to deal with domestic terrorism .... They were not ready for an internal attack." Then, asked whether "anyone in the Bush administration [had] any idea that an attack was being planned," he replied: "That is why we are looking at the internal papers. I can't talk about what's classified. [The] President's daily briefings are classified. If I told you what was in them, I would go to jail."

But the commission's final report may well indicate what the President was told in his daily briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, when he was sunning himself in Crawford, Tex.--as well as the many warnings he and his associates were given by the previous administration. That kind of information could send him back to Crawford for a permanent vacation."

Does this make anyone else sick to their stomach?

Posted by brettdavey at 12:22 PM EST
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Bush under oath
I'm not going to comment on the State of the Union speech because the bar has been set so low for Bush. One television commentator last night said, "He has really mastered..." and then paused. I was waiting for him to say "...the English language." Bush's debate performances against Gore were terrible but the media had the script that Gore was a smarty-pants and if Bush didn't wet himself, then goshdarn it, he surpassed expectations.

I'd like to return to Whitewater for a minute. Remember that? The Clintons invested $40,000, which they lost, and the Republicans spent $40 million investigating him. They found nothing, but they got to put the President under oath and ask him about his sex life, which had a lot to do with a land deal in Arkansas.

Let's imagine for a minute that the Democrats could put President Bush under oath, maybe for selling his stock in Harken Energy right before it tanked. Bush, of course, was cleared by the SEC chairman, who just happened to be a Bush I appointee and had done legal work for Junior in the past. (I'm not making this up!)

So here are my 10 questions for an under-oath President GW Bush:

1. Have you ever been arrested?
2. Have you ever used cocaine?
3. Where were you when you were supposed to be finishing your National Guard service?
4. In the summer of 2001, were you briefed by Condi Rice about the possibility of terrorists using planes as weapons against American targets?
5. If so, why did you proceed to take the month of August off?
6. Why did you need a month-long vacation anyway, seeing as you had only been on the job for seven months?
7. Do you know anyone else who gets a month-long vacation? Just kidding, Mr. President.
8. On September 12, 2001, when all air travel was suspended, why did your Administration allow members of the Bin Laden family who were in America to be picked up by a private jet and flown out of the country? (The only explanation the Administration has given to this point is that they were concerned for their safety. Huh?)
9. In the 2003 State of the Union speech, you decried the international sex trade. Does the fact that your brother Neil has admitted to cavorting with prostitutes in Thailand and Hong Kong bother you?
10. Where's Osama?

That's it. I can guarantee you as I sit here today that if he placed his hand on the Bible and swore to tell the whole truth, that President Bush would lie in response to every one of these questions.

But since they don't have to do with his sex life, who cares?


Posted by brettdavey at 9:13 AM EST
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Tuesday, 20 January 2004
Peaking too soon
I'm not that surprised by the results from Iowa. The last couple weeks have not been kind to Dean. He has seemed off message and people completely blew up that episode where he yelled at that old dude. At its core, I think here is the problem: a lot of people are angry about Pres. Bush and Dean channeled into that anger. During the summer, he was riding high as more and more people got on board with his message.

When the primaries got closer, voters took a second look at him and saw that he is missing some of the qualities they are looking for in a President: optimism, control, and the undefinable presence that a President possesses. Of course, he could come back and win NH and steamroll everyone, but I don't think so. In some ways, I see him as a much more successful McCain or Nader who tapped into a palpable disgust and was better financed.

I'm still not quite sure what Kerry's win in Iowa means. It's not good news in NH for Clark, who I support. Clark and Kerry are fighting for the same voters in NH and Kerry will probably edge past Clark for second place in this week's polls. In the end, he may overtake Dean, who could conceivably drop to third.

In Clark's favor: next stop after NH is the South, where he should do well. Edwards should also do well in the South. After all the infighting, it appears his sunny message is wearing well on the voters.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:33 AM EST
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