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Step off, old man!
Tuesday, 18 May 2004
Way to go, Georgie!
This comes from the Center for American Progress. For once, I'll agree with the President. This does seem like a demonstration of the success of his economic policies. Here it is:

On 4/23/03 President Bush visited the Timken Company in Canton, OH, and touted the company as a demonstration of the success of his economic policies. Bush said "the future of employment is bright for the families that work here, that work to put food on the table for their children." Yesterday Timken announced it is slashing 1300 jobs from its work force, a quarter of its employees in Canton. Bush said that Timken would be successful because "high productivity that comes from steady innovation and skilled workers gives our economy a tremendous edge." But, announcing the layoffs Timken revealed that "production at the Canton bearing plants has declined 27 percent over the last five years." Timken employee Shawn Higgins said "How can I afford to get married, afford a house payment, maybe kids, if I don't have a job?" Timken went forward with the massive cut even though the major "job creation" programs the President highlighted in his speech last year - an income tax cut, a dividend tax cut and a small business tax cut - subsequently became law. The Timken announcement was "just the latest in a northeast Ohio area hit hard by the loss of manufacturing and other jobs." Overall, Ohio "has lost about 155,000 manufacturing jobs since Bush took office."

TIMKEN ATTEMPTING TO BUST UNION: Timken said that it is paring back operations in the Canton plant because it believes wages there are too high and health care benefits too generous. The Union president, Stan Jasionowski, said that Timken "never ever gave us any formal proposals" to reduce costs at the plant. Jasionowski said that he believed the layoffs were "a ploy to destroy the union in the bearing factories."

TIMKEN EXPANDS OPERATIONS IN CHINA: As Timken fires workers in Ohio it has expanded operation abroad, especially in China. On 1/31/03 Timken announced it "established a distribution center in Shanghai, China." In 2002, "The Timken Company and NSK Ltd. formed a joint venture to build a plant near Shanghai...production is expected to begin first quarter 2004."

TIMKEN MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO BUSH: W.R. Timken, the company's chairman of the board, is a Ranger - meaning he has raised at least $200,000 for the Bush campaign. Timken's political action committee has donated $10,000 directly to Bush and $235,000 to his political allies. Other executives have chipped in $12,500 since 2000. Timken was a member of the Employers' Coalition on Medicare, a group of heavy Bush contributors who lobbied for the new Medicare law which rewards companies with a tax subsidy even if they reduce retirees' existing drug coverage.

Posted by brettdavey at 1:37 PM EDT
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Monday, 17 May 2004
Newsweek story
This story is in the latest Newsweek. Here's the link:

Here's a key graf from the story:

"Indeed, the single most iconic image to come out of the abuse scandal--that of a hooded man standing naked on a box, arms outspread, with wires dangling from his fingers, toes and penis--may do a lot to undercut the administration's case that this was the work of a few criminal MPs. That's because the practice shown in that photo is an arcane torture method known only to veterans of the interrogation trade. "Was that something that [an MP] dreamed up by herself? Think again," says Darius Rejali, an expert on the use of torture by democracies. "That's a standard torture. It's called 'the Vietnam.' But it's not common knowledge. Ordinary American soldiers did this, but someone taught them."

Who might have taught them? Almost certainly it was their superiors up the line. Some of the images from Abu Ghraib, like those of naked prisoners terrified by attack dogs or humiliated before grinning female guards, actually portray "stress and duress" techniques officially approved at the highest levels of the government for use against terrorist suspects."

Posted by brettdavey at 8:48 AM EDT
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Sunday, 16 May 2004
What about the death penalty?
Why does the Catholic Church forbid Catholic politicians from taking communion for their pro-choice views but doesn't do the same for pols who support the death penalty?

Is it a policy that is aimed specifically at Kerry? I know Bush isn't Catholic, but is it because he mentions God all the time that the death penalty isn't an issue?

This comes from a Catholic publication, concerning the church's stance on the death penalty:

"In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: 'If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.'"

Posted by brettdavey at 9:09 AM EDT
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Friday, 14 May 2004
Disney's non-political stance
So Disney doesn't want to distribute Michael Moore's film because of its political nature? OK.

Then why does Disney distribute Sean Hannity and a bunch of other right-wing nuts to hundreds of radio stations around the country?

Maybe it's just a certain kind of politics Disney doesn't like.

Posted by brettdavey at 11:33 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 14 May 2004 11:34 AM EDT
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McCain doesn't support the troops! Or breast cancer research!
This was from the Pretty good stuff and another indication that McCain is supporting Bush while holding his nose with one hand.

Does anyone play his viewers for fools quite the way Sean Hannity does? Last night, the knuckle-dragging nightly host repeated a Fake Standard Claim:

HANNITY: [Kerry] has voted against just about every major weapons system we now have.

How can Hannity make such a claim? Because in 3 of his 19 years in the Senate, Kerry voted against the annual defense appropriations bill... But if you vote against the omnibus bill, then technically you've voted against every weapon system it includes. And knuckle-draggers have been very "technical" when they make this claim against Kerry. Why, you might even say that they've been "Clintonesque." Except that is unfair to Bill Clinton.

But last night, a humorous element was involved in Hannity's fake, phony charge. John McCain was the cave man's guest. First, he said Kerry isn't "soft on defense." A bit later, he noted the obvious:

MCCAIN: I would be accused of voting against numerous weapon systems, because I voted against defense appropriations bills, because they're loaded down with pork. And they're obscene today with all of the pork-barrel spending and multi-trillion dollar deficits. I'll probably vote against the defense appropriations bill this year.

Oops! Just like Kerry, McCain "has voted against just about every major weapons system we now have."

Note to self! Sean will have to avoid this fake, phony charge when people like McCain are around.
Meanwhile, how fake, how phony is the Fox host? Drink in the amusing exchange which followed McCain's rejoinder:

MCCAIN: I would be accused of voting against numerous weapon systems, because I voted against defense appropriations bills because they're loaded down with pork. And they're obscene today with all of the pork-barrel spending and multi-trillion dollar deficits. I'll probably vote against the defense appropriations bill this year. I was accused of voting against breast cancer research because that was on a defense appropriations bill that I voted against, so--

HANNITY: But on defense issues, the most important issue of our time, that--your guy is George W. Bush, right?

MCCAIN: He is my guy. I'm campaigning for him. I'm supporting his re-election. I want him to be re-elected. I believe he has led this nation with moral clarity. But I was also subjected to allegations of being against things like breast cancer research, which was on a defense appropriations bill.

HANNITY: I remember. I understand.

Why did McCain keep bringing up that fake, phony claim--the claim that he voted against breast research? Perhaps because his beetle-browed host was one of the people who made the fake charge! The charge was first made--where else?--in a Bush 2000 campaign ad. And you know Sean! He pimped the fake charge on the March 6, 2000 Hannity & Colmes, just to cite one sad example.

He made the fake claim against McCain then. He makes the fake claim against Kerry now. Why does the press corps sit on its hands while fake charges are widely peddled?

Posted by brettdavey at 11:30 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 12 May 2004
Good idea
Word is getting out about the International Red Cross' estimates that 70-80 percent of the prisoners in the Iraqi prisoners were innocents who were picked up in widespread neighborhood swweps. Whoops! The following comes from

"As others condemned the Iraqi abuse, James Inhofe (R-OK) expressed outrage at the outcry over the scandal and took aim at "humanitarian do-gooders" investigating American troops.

"I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are
by the treatment," said Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican and a vulgar Pigboy soundalike.

"These prisoners, you know they're not there for traffic violations," said Inhofe.

That last sentence is correct - they've been convicted of nothing - not even a traffic violations. They were designated guilty of occupying the towns in which they were born. Inhofe is the most embarrassing thing from Oklahoma. He's worse than Jesse Helms ever was for Carolina and get this - he's on the Intelligence Committee, ...swear to Koresh..

Hey Pissquik, I have an idea.
Let me come to your house, kick and slap the crap out of you, then I'll rip your clothes off and shove a broom handle up your ass, then let two German Shepherd dogs bite your legs and then I'll attach a dog collar and lead your naked, bleeding ass around the neighborhood for all your friends to see.

Would you have the same opinion after that?

Posted by brettdavey at 4:14 PM EDT
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Monday, 10 May 2004
When good countries go bad
I think most people are upset with the Iraqi prison photos because they reflect so poorly on the United States. For the most part, it's human nature to disregard news that makes us look bad.

For instance, we never hear anything about the tens of thousands of civilians dead in Iraq. Word is that a soccer field was bulldozed to bury all the bodies of Iraqi civilians killed by the United States.

So the latest mass graves in Iraq are ours. What people focus on is the intention. We didn't mean to kill all those people. And for most people, that's a good enough explanation.

Posted by brettdavey at 1:56 PM EDT
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Sunday, 9 May 2004
Reap what you sow
One thing being overlooked in the Iraqi prison scandal is the atmosphere set by this administration towards prisoners of war. I rarely hear anyone mention Guantanamo Bay, where "enemy combatants" are held, maybe forever, with no regard for the Geneva Convention. There is little doubt that prisoners there have been tortured or moved to countries like Egypt where they have been tortured on our behalf.

So this is the tone that has been set. I'm curious if other countries are also allowed to declare Americans as enemy combatants if they so choose and then treat them as horribly as they want. Given the publicity given to the photos from the Iraqi prisons, the next Americans soldiers who are captured may face torture or even death. That must be of great comfort to them.

A point was made on one of the Sunday morning shows that in almost every major post-war Iraq decision, the civilian leadership --Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc. -- have been wrong. Think about it. Troop levels required after the invasion. The manner in which we would be greeted by the Iraquis post-liberation. The difficulties in setting up a true democracy. The way we would be viewed around the Middle East after we toppled Hussein. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

In many cases, the civilian leadership overruled the military leadership who were serving this country while Cheney was using his influence as a former Secretary of Defense to rake in billions for Halliburton. But of course, he knew better than the military professionals who had been in the trenches all those years.

And Bush, as always, has remained gleefully ignorant to everything.

This group promised to run America like a business when they came in. They didn't tell us the business was Enron. The results for the country are nothing short of catastrophic. The way longtime employees of Enron lost their stock when the company crashed, so too have the American people lost the stock that we had held around the world. Except in this case, our stock was the moral high ground.

Posted by brettdavey at 11:45 AM EDT
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Thursday, 6 May 2004
Winning hearts and minds
The Bush Administration's campaign to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis and the Arab world in general is really taking flight, huh? I hoped the first wave of pictures from the Iraqi prisons was going to be it, but in a conflict this insane, I doubted that would be the case.

Like most decent people, I felt queasy looking at pictures of Iraqi prisoners being humiliated. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have taken another tact, saying that the soldiers were "just blowing off steam" or that what was transpiring was no worse than a fraternity prank.

Let's put a bunch of conservative commentators in a pile together and see how Sean Hannity likes Rush's ass in his face.

As usual, Jon Stewart had the best take on this. He said the torture camps were "really not shut down so much as under new management."

Posted by brettdavey at 9:55 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 5 May 2004
Sounds congenial to me...
This quote comes from the current GQ article about Colin Powell. It's National War College's Harlan Ullman commenting on Powell's relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney:

"I can tell you firsthand that there is a tremendous barrier between Cheney and Powell, and there has been for a long time...It's like McCain saying that his relations with the president are `congenial,' meaning McCain doesn't tell the president to go fuck himself every time."

Posted by brettdavey at 4:44 PM EDT
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