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Step off, old man!
Friday, 16 July 2004
Tucker Carlson's compassionate conservatism
This was posted by Charles Pierce on Eric Alterman's website.

"In 1994, an eight-year old girl named Valerie Lakey was playing in a wading pool. She got caught in a defective drain. Her intestines were ripped from her body by the suction. She is now 17. She will have to be fed through a tube, 12 hours a day, for the rest of her life. In 1997, John Edwards won her family a $25 million judgment, of which he took a portion. The judgment helped jump-start his political career.

On the first day of last year, as part of his opening comments on Crossfire, this is how the incident was described by Tucker Carlson, whom public and private broadcasting networks tumble all over themselves to hire: "Four years ago, he (Edwards) was a personal-injury lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases."

Jacuzzi cases.

An eight-year old who got disemboweled.

Jacuzzi cases.

A child who'll have to be fed through a tube for as long as she lives.

Jacuzzi cases.

Now, I know it's a terrible thing when Whoopi Goldberg makes salacious fun of C-Plus Augustus's last name. I know that society may simply collapse. But here is a professional communicator at the top of his profession who, because he couldn't come up with anything else to say at the moment, smugly dispatches the tragedy of a child whose guts were ripped out. (Later in the same show, he told co-host James Carville to "Lighten up," about his comments.) It was an interesting evening -- not only should Tucker Carlson have lost every job in the professional media that he has, and not only did he lose forever any right to criticize anyone for intemperate speech, he at that moment should have been shunned by decent people for the rest of his sorry life.

Jacuzzi cases.


This comment was added by, "I guess if that happened to Tucker Carlson's daughter, he'd say, "That's OK, I don't want to sue over something this trivial."

Posted by brettdavey at 4:12 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 16 July 2004 4:13 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 July 2004
How liberal are Kerry & Edwards?
All the right wing nuts keep harping on the National Journal's rankings of John Kerry and John Edwards. And they all use the same talking points, helpfully provided by the RNC.

Keep in mind that both Senators missed a lot of votes because of the presidential campaign. A more accurate rating would be their rating over the past five years. Here it is:

2003: Kerry - 1st (96.5) Edwards - 4th (94.5)
2002: Kerry - 9th (87.3) Edwards - 31st (63.0)
2001: Kerry - 11th (87.7) Edwards - 35th (68.2)
2000: Kerry - 20th (77) Edwards - 19th (80.8)
1999: Kerry - 16th (80.8) Edwards - 31st (72.2)

Average: Kerry - 12th (85.9) Edwards - 24th (75.7)

Just thought you'd like to know.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:52 PM EDT
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Read this funny story about one of those e-mails from an African prince who wants to share his millions with you. I'm too much of a knucklehead to make a live link so just copy this and paste it into your address line:

Here's the beginning of the story:

"Mike is a "scambaiter," dedicated to fighting back against those who send out the notorious 419 e-mails, promising untold wealth to anyone gullible or naive enough to disclose their bank details.
Mike asked us not to use his full name because he's dealing with some heavy cross-border criminals.

Those who fall for the 419 cons are hoping for millions. His group of volunteers at use their computer skills to fool the scammers, to disrupt their crimes, and to have some fun at the scammer's expense."

Read the rest of it. There are some funny pictures in there too.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:48 PM EDT
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Welcome to Bush's America
Is this really the America people want?

"A husband and wife who wore anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's Fourth of July appearance aren't going down without a fight: They will be represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union as they contest the trespassing charges against them Thursday morning in Charleston Municipal Court.

Police took Nicole and Jeff Rank away in handcuffs from the event, which was billed as a presidential appearance, not a campaign rally. They were wearing T-shirts that read, "Love America, Hate Bush."

Spectators who wore pro-Bush T-shirts and Bush-Cheney campaign buttons were allowed to stay.

"We weren't doing anything wrong," said Jeff Rank. The couple, who said they had tickets just like everybody else, said they simply stood around the Capitol steps with the rest of the spectators.

"We sang the national anthem," Rank said.

The Ranks hardly fit the image of rabble-rousers. Jeff Rank, 29, has a master's degree in oceanography. Nicole Rank, 30, has degrees in biological science and marine biology. They have been married for seven years.

Nicole Rank arrived in Charleston soon after the Memorial Day floods. She was working as deputy environmental liaison officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, making sure cities and counties obeyed federal environmental laws as they repaired roads and bridges.

After police arrested the Ranks, fingerprinted them and took their mug shots, FEMA told Nicole Rank she was no longer needed in West Virginia.

"I have not been fired per se," she said. "But I was released from this job. And when they release you from a job, you no longer get paid."

Posted by brettdavey at 2:39 PM EDT
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Let's ban divorce.. for the children's sake
I'm going to puke if I hear Rick Santorum or some other holider-than-thou Senator invoke "the children" in the gay marriage debate. "Let's protect the children..." is a phrase I've heard a number of people use. What the hell does that mean?

Others are invoking the sanctity of marriage. What does that say about the 50 percent of married folks who end up getting divorced? Are they bad people? Are they going to hell? What about their children?

Does Rick Santorum think divorce is good for children? If not, then let's have a constitutional amendment banning divorce.

After all, it's bad for the children.

Posted by brettdavey at 10:30 AM EDT
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Kerry's campaign manager writes to her counterpart
This comes from the Kerry campaign website. It's kind of funny, or at least as funny as things get in politics.

"Washington, DC ?C Kerry-Edwards campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill today sent the following letter to Bush Cheney !?04 Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman in response to a letter Mehlman sent yesterday:

July 13, 2004
Ken Mehlman
Campaign Manager

Dear Ken:

Over the past several months, allies of the President have questioned John Kerry!?s patriotism while your staff has criticized his service in Vietnam. Republicans and their allies have gone so far as to launch attacks against his wife and your campaign has run $80 million in negative ads that have been called baseless, misleading and unfair by several independent observers.

Considering that the President has failed to even come close to keeping his promise to change the tone in Washington, we find your outrage over and paparazzi-like obsession with a fund-raising event to be misplaced. The fact is that the nation has a greater interest in seeing several documents made public relating to the President!?s performance in office and personal veracity that the White House has steadfastly refused to release. As such, we will not consider your request until the Bush campaign and White House make public the documents/materials listed below:

!? Military records: Any copies of the President!?s military records that would actually prove he fulfilled the terms of his military service. For that matter, it would be comforting to the American people if the campaign or the White House could produce more than just a single person to verify that the President was in Alabama when said he was there. Many Americans find it odd that only one person out of an entire squadron can recall seeing Mr. Bush.

!? Halliburton: All correspondence between the Defense Department and the White House regarding the no-bid contracts that have gone to the Vice-President!?s former company. Some material has already been made public. Why not take a campaign issue off the table by making all of these materials public so the voters can see how Halliburton has benefited from Mr. Cheney serving as Vice-President?

!? The Cheney Energy Task Force: For an Administration that claims to hate lawsuits, it!?s ironic that the Bush White House is taking up the Courts!? time to keep the fact that Ken Lay and Enron wrote its energy policy in secret behind closed doors. Please release the documents so that the country can learn what lobbyists and special interests wrote the White House energy policy.

!? Medicare Bill: Please release all White House correspondence between the pharmaceutical industry and the Administration regarding the Medicare Bill, which gave billions to some of the President!?s biggest donors. In addition, please provide all written materials that directed the Medicare actuary to withhold information from Congress about the actual cost of the bill.

!? Prison Abuse Documents: A few weeks ago, the White House released a selected number of documents regarding the White House!?s involvement in laying the legal foundation for the interrogation methods that were used in Iraq. Please release the remaining documents.

We also wanted to wish you a happy anniversary. As we are sure you and the attorneys representing the President, Vice-President and other White House officials are aware, today marks one year since Administration sources leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent to Bob Novak in an effort to retaliate against a critic of the Administration.

In light of the fact that the Administration began gutting the laws protecting the nation!?s forests yesterday, we hope you will accept the paper on which this letter is written as an anniversary gift. (The one year anniversary is known as the !?paper anniversary.!?)


Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager

Posted by brettdavey at 10:25 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 13 July 2004
Who's more optimistic than Cheney?
I've seen a number of Bush operatives interviewed who keep saying the Kerry-Edwards ticket has a pessimistic view of the future, while Bush and Cheney have an optimistic one.

I was watching C-Span over the weekend and they ran a bunch of campaign commercials for both tickets. The only Bush spot that wasn't a negative one was the ad where McCain endorses Bush and that was done just to tweak Kerry. Like I said, not one positive ad about the President's accomplishments.

Must be because he doesn't have much to crow about.

In a way, Bush reminds me of Jimmy Carter before the election against Reagan. I don't mean in the negative advertising, but in the rationale as to why he should be re-elected. I supported Carter at the time (even though I was only 14!), but had a hard time coming up with a rationale for that support. If you're a Bush supporter, my question is: why?

Here's how Maureen Dowd in the NY Times addressed the "optimistic" Republican team.

"It's hilarious that the Republicans are trying to paint their ticket as the more optimistic one.

Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush radiate negativity, even as Mr. Edwards and his photogenic blond kids glow for the cameras. Dick Cheney glowers for the camera, a Dr. No with a dark vision that has resulted in a gigantic global mess. (When he was stopped by applause at a campaign stop in Altoona, Pa., on Sunday, he asked, "You guys want to hear this speech or not?")

Unfortunately for this White House, it is Mr. Edwards's great talent to talk about the class warfare of "two Americas" in a sunny way. The Breck Girl is already getting under the Boy King's thin skin."

If you read the whole article, she also takes numerous swipes at Kerry. But that's Maureen Dowd. As the joke goes on, she hates everybody.

By the way, is a must read every day. If you get frustrated when the dittoheads and right-wing monkeys keep parroting the lines they hear from O'Reilly, et al, is your ammo to fight back. Check it out.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:13 AM EDT
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Monday, 12 July 2004
Weekend wrapup
* If you're left-leaning, the name Tom Delay has the effect that the name Hillary Clinton does on right-leaners. So, Delay is now being investigated for shady money dealing in regards to campaign contributions.

But here's the rub, from the Houston Chronicle: "Four of the five Republicans investigating an ethics complaint against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay have received campaign contributions from DeLay's political action committee, records show. The contributions -- $28,504 split among the four during the past seven years -- were all delivered before the ethics committee received the DeLay complaint June 15. But it is an example of awkward situations spawned by the U.S. House's decision to police itself on ethics."

Awkward, indeed.

* I saw Bill Maher, who hosts an HBO show and was the host of "Politically Incorrect", at Foxwoods on Friday. I thought the show started at 7 p.m., so my wife and I went early enough to eat, then go to the show since neither of us gambles much. Instead, the show started at 9 p.m. We went to one of those all-you-can-eat buffets. They talk about obesity becoming the number one health problem in America and I say, "No shit." I usually eat like a slob and I actually got a little sick looking at all the food. The other thing you notice when you walk around the casino is the great number of children. Are people taking their kids to Foxwoods on vacation? Uuuh, must be for the Indian culture.

If you live in New England, you've seen those "Wonder of it all.." commercials for Foxwoods. Here's the skinny: noone at Foxwoods dresses or looks like those people. The typical dress code is more like that of the flea market. Before I went, I called my mother, who goes to the casino once in a while, if jeans were acceptable at the casino. She kind of chortled at that one. With a nice pair of jeans on, I looked lik Frank Sinatra compared to most of the people there.

* I saw "Dodgeball" this weekend. There were a few funny spots, mostly involving people getting pegged with dodgeballs. There were, however, an inordinate number of hairpieces in the movie. Ben Stiller had one on for his character and Vince Vaughn had one because he's losing his hair, but there were two of the alltime great rug wearers in the movie as well. I'm talking William Shatner and Chuck Norris, baby. Yes!

Posted by brettdavey at 8:46 AM EDT
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Friday, 9 July 2004
Convenient destruction
So, the records that supported Bush's contention about his service were OK, but ones that may have challenged his assertion just happened to be destroyed?

Ha! Ha!

"Military records that could help establish President Bush's whereabouts during his disputed service in the Texas Air National Guard more than 30 years ago have been inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon.

It said the payroll records of "numerous service members," including former First Lt. Bush, had been ruined in 1996 and 1997 by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service during a project to salvage deteriorating microfilm. No back-up paper copies could be found, it added in notices dated June 25.

The destroyed records cover three months of a period in 1972 and 1973 when Mr. Bush's claims of service in Alabama are in question."

Posted by brettdavey at 9:05 AM EDT
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Thursday, 8 July 2004
Wish I saw it...
This was on Yahoo news, with a picture of Bush walking away from the podium. I wonder which member of the press (Helen Thomas, maybe?) actually had the balls to ask the President a tough question.

"US President George W. Bush walks away from a briefing with the media, refusing to answer questions after he was asked about Enron and the reported indictment of former CEO Kenneth Lay, who was a close adviser and fund-raiser for Bush and his father, earning him the presidential nickname of 'Kenny Boy.'"

Posted by brettdavey at 1:22 PM EDT
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