Saturday, August 20, 2005

I was wondering when somebody would remember that

Barbara Bush, on Good Morning America in March 2003:

Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it’s gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?

Now that, my friends, is comedy. Tragedy tomorrow...

Pandagon found a blog with the ridiculously trendy title of Not A Desperate Housewife. Where, taking off from the well-known show "The Vagina Monologues," someone has posted a letter from her own genitalia.

The message of which seems to be, in the words of a little ditty made famous by Three Dog Night, "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)." It basically says (in so many words), that a girl's vagina is for her future husband, not for any other fortunate souls along the way, and certainly not for herself.

Well. Amanda's vagina took exception to this, and Ms. Marcotte decided the only thing for it was a head-to-head ( challenge: Party gal vs. the Pope of Girlstown.

Place, as they say, your bets.

My vagina sounds like less of a drag than NADH's, but hers sounds like it would drive you to the airport in the middle of the vagina, while well-liked by those who know her, just isn't popular enough to be the talk of the town to the point where people are spreading lies about her or trying to snatch her from me or anything like that.

When you're finished with that, on a more serious tip, Ms. Marcotte responds to the latest piece of clunky justification for being anti-choice and anti-contraception here. Once again, what gets me about the esteemed opposition isn't so much their muddy thinking, which I've only come to expect. It's their tortured prose.

The feminist establishment is in an uproar over the appointment of Judge John Roberts to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. In their minds, the abortion license established by Roe v. Wade is sacrosanct. But I believe the very concept of reproductive freedom is dangerous illusion that has brought misery to millions of people. The series of Court cases which created this illusion increased access to both contraception and abortion. These cases did indeed, allow people to change the probability of a live baby resulting from any sexual act. It would be a defensible intellectual position to claim that people are entitled to use new technologies to change these probabilities. But under feminist tutelage, the social norms and constitutional interpretation around sex and conception have morphed into a much stronger demand: We now believe that we are entitled to have sex without having a live baby result.

Gah! Anyone who writes like that isn't going to have to worry about me trying to have sex with them, I'll tell you that...

We're the kids in America, everybody live for the music-go-round

Via Digby, a blogger named

Rose Aguillar is interviewing people in states that overwhelmingly voted for George W. Bush.

Here's an Oklahoma woman. Ms. Aguillar's questions in italics.

I feel like the president is doing everything he can to help.

Like what?

For one thing, he is protecting our country by being in Iraq.

No, he's not.

We can't pull out too soon because they'll think we're chicken and they'll try to attack us again.

They didn't attack us the first time.

We can't pull out until they're able to fend for themselves. Those who are strong are supposed to help those who are weak.

We attacked those who were weak.

We are strong and we're that way for a reason. We've always been peacemakers.

But we made war. And we made it badly. And we made it because of a lie. So, even though I know we all know the answer, I wonder, how can she think this?

Where do you get your information about the war?

The Bible and the 700 Club. I also listen to preachers who know what's going on. Pat Robertson.

There is, sad to say, more.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I know, I know: If I love Roger Ebert so much, why don't I marry him?

What can I say, I'm a sucker for good writing--and the man didn't win a Pulitzer for nothing. Ebert has posted a thought-provoking commentary on the film "Chaos" on his website, in response to an open letter the producer and the director of the movie sent him after his review.

I don't quite know what to say about it here, except that I identify with his response to the film (which I haven't seen). It reminds me of some of the reactions I've either experienced myself or seen in others when a piece of drama seems to have no other purpose but to sadistically abuse its audience and/or characters.

Here's Roger:

your film creates a closed system in which any alternative outcome is excluded; it is like a movie of a man falling to his death, which can have no developments except that he continues to fall, and no ending except that he dies. Pre-destination may be useful in theology, but as a narrative strategy, it is self-defeating.

What I miss in your film is any sense of hope. Sometimes it is all that keeps us going. The message of futility and despair in "Chaos" is unrelieved, and while I do not require a "happy ending," I do appreciate some kind of catharsis. As the Greeks understood tragedy, it exists not to bury us in death and dismay, but to help us to deal with it, to accept it as a part of life, to learn about our own humanity from it. That is why the Greek tragedies were poems: The language ennobled the material.

What I object to most of all in "Chaos" is not the sadism, the brutality, the torture, the nihilism, but the absence of any alternative to them. If the world has indeed become as evil as you think, then we need the redemptive power of artists, poets, philosophers and theologians more than ever.

Oh, yeah

Yellow Dog Blog reminds us that there was a time, really not all that long ago, when Bush didn't hesitate to come back from vacation...


"Look, this is a symbolic move, for sure," said Richard Cizik, the vice president for government affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, on Bush's disrupting his vacation to intervene in the Schiavo affair. "It's his willingness to interrupt his vacation to make a statement. And not just to make a statement, because we're not playing games here, but to make a difference, too."

Meanwhile, mothers of Iraq war dead – because there are more parents who have lost children than just Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey – can't leapfrog over Bush's bike riding, fishing and nap-taking for even a quick meeting.

YDG also has:

a sampling of comments from right-wingers posting at the Huffington Post comments section on the story about Cindy Sheehan leaving Camp Casey to be with her sick mother:

"We need reporters to verify this story. I want to know from the doctors what caused this stroke. Was it shame brought about from her daughter trashing her grandson's memory?"

"Cindy....did it ever occur to you that YOU may be the cause of your mothers stroke?????? Give it up; you are shaming your family."

"This woman is a looser. Last time I checked this was a volunteer army. I don't care about Bush, its apparent to everyone the guy has made a lot of mistakes (except for Limbaugh). GET OVER IT."

"I hope Cindy realizes that she probably caused her mother’s stroke. No of course not, being the self-centered poor pitiful me person she is, she will find a way to blame Bush."

Compassionate conservatives. Gotta love 'em.

No, you don't.

I don't know whether to say "Oh, Crap" or "ha ha ha..."

The LA Times recently ran a story about the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit, which contained a mind-boggling statistic: of the more than 100 offenders the unit has arrested over the last four years, "all but one" has been "a hard-core Trekkie."...the Toronto detectives claim that the connection is undeniable.

In fact, Star Trek paraphernalia has so routinely been found at the homes of the pedophiles they've arrested that it has become a gruesome joke in the squad room. (On the wall, there is a Star Trek poster with the detectives' faces replacing those of the crew members). This does not mean that watching Star Trek makes you a pedophile. It does mean that if you're a pedophile, odds are you've watched a lot of Star Trek.

Well gals, I've got some good news and some bad news

The bad news is, if you're unfortunate enough to live in North Carolina (or Alabama,apparently) and your husband or boyfriend beats you, we're not going to let you get a restraining order. The good news is, we are going to make it easier for you to get a gun!

As they write down at TGW...

Empowerment? Guns will empower women?

Presumably there is little that can be done about the problem of violent men, so legislators have turned their attention to the problem of 'disempowered' women.

(Is it just me, or does anyone else think of "Goodbye Earl," by the Dixie Chicks when they read this?)

(I haven't mentioned it in about 10 months, but I still have a major crush on Natalie Maines)

Good lord. My senator has a lower approval rating than one from TN

Survey USA released approval ratings for all 100 U.S. Senators. My Senator, Patty Murray, ranks below Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. Don't ask me how it happened, she's seemed pretty solid to me. Granted, her office was less than helpful to my mother recently...

She also ranks below Dianne Feinstein of California. You know, I remember hearing an exchange about non-biodegradable tea bags when I lived in California that went something like this:

"That bag'll be here long after we're gone."

"Didn't we used to say that about Dianne Feinstein?"

And above Barbara Boxer, which is more surprising to me. Ah, but there's good news today. The absolutely least-popular senator facing re-election in 2006 is...Rick "man on dog, Democrats=Hitler" Santorum.

Gee, it was only last November he was thought a likely candidate for 2008. I wonder what changed? (If you really need that question answered, you haven't been reading this blog)

They deserve each other

Digby responds to a Kevin Drum post about the old "So what if we do get out of Iraq...what then?" question. It's long(ish) but well worth reading, herewith, a little something to get you started:

Kevin's question about "looking weak" is more than an academic one to both the neocons and Osama bin Laden. The neocons are convinced that everything from the rise of terrorism to male pattern baldness is the result of looking weak....The neocons worry incessantly about this. It's almost as if they share the Japanese obsession with "face" and they will do almost anything to save it. They will fight withdrawal with every breath in their bodies.

"No doubt some folks enjoy doin' battle, like presidents, prime ministers and kings, so let's all build them shelves so they can fight among themselves. And leave the people be who love to sing. / Come and sing a simple song of freedom, sing it like you've never sung before, let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere: We the people here don't want a war"

--Bobby Darin, "Simple Song of Freedom"

Well, how did you rate?

Mary-Jane at A New England points to a list purporting to be of "The most over-rated films of all time." She also adds her own candiates to the list, which is featured in a new issue of Premiere.

What would I add? Well, certainly the last "Star Wars" movie..."Almost Famous"..."Keeping The Faith." And, (sigh) "The Princess Bride." Which has a great script and nearly flawless casting, but Rob Reiner somehow manages to shoot locations so they look like sets.

"The Goonies." For a certain age bracket, this seems to be a treasured gem of childhood. I am not in that age bracket. "Bad Santa." And if there were a special listing for directors, I'd be talking about Mike Nichols, David Lynch, and of course, Tim Burton.

Mary-Jane offers:

(I still cannot believe that 'Titanic' and 'Braveheart' won Oscars for anything, much less Best Picture.) Naturally, in the IMDb poll on this list, I voted for 'Forrest Gump', which is not only overrated, but one of the worst films of all time.

I can't speak to "Bravehart" or "Forrest Gump" because I never saw them. "Titantic" I think could have been a much better movie if they had just started with Kate Winslet's nude scene and gone on from there.

Here's Premiere's list, with comments where applicable.

* 'Chicago'

Absolutely. This movie made me want to keep the director out of the editing bay at gunpoint. What is the point, pray, of hyping the notion that your cast did all their own dancing--and then cutting the dance numbers so quickly it wouldn't matter if the star was Gwen Verdon or Jessica Simpson?

* 'A Beautiful Mind'
* '2001: A Space Odyssey'
* 'Monster's Ball'

Here I have to disagree--I thought "Monster's Ball" was a great movie. It's also my number one go-to flick for an example of a sex scene that actually is integral to the plot and all those other things directors tell young actresses.

There's simply no way to tell that story without that scene.

* 'Forrest Gump'
* 'American Beauty'

Here, again, I agree. "American Beauty" was good...but not that good. It wasn't that funny and it's insight seemed limited to me.

* 'Gone with the Wind'

Maybe, but I respect its place in history. And I remember actually kind of liking it when I saw it in high school.

* 'Clerks'

I don't know if I'd say this is an overrated movie as much as I'd say Kevin Smith has failed to live up to his potential.

* 'Mystic River'

Strongly disagree. Fucking great movie with a really strong script.

* 'Good Will Hunting'

Now we're talking. My take on "Good Will Hunting" remains what it has been since I saw it: Some good performances, especially Williams, but it's not a story, it's a collection of acting showcase scenes.

As a side note, this is what Bob Strauss of the Los Angeles Daily News wrote when predicting that Williams would win over Burt Reynolds, nominated the same year for "Boogie Nights:"

"In Boogie Nights, Burt plays a guy who can't distinguish vulgariry from art. In Good Will Hunting, Robin tells a self-proclaimed genius that nothing's his fault. Which role do you think Hollywood types find more reassuring?"

--as quoted in "Inside Oscar 2"

* 'Field of Dreams'

Overrated? It's a baseball movie and I liked it. It must have done something right.

* 'The Wizard of Oz'
* 'Moonstruck'
* 'Chariots of Fire'
* 'Fantasia'

Depends how you're judging it, really. But to an animation fan, it's certainly better than "Fantasia 2000."

* 'Easy Rider'
* 'An American in Paris'

No, I won't have that. This movie is amazing, with one of the most romantic movie scores ever. And arguably the best on-screen dancer, though obviously if you wanted to mention that Fred Astaire fellow I wouldn't call you a blapsphemer. I'd almost rather see "Singin' in the Rain," on this list, and I rate that pretty highly too.

* 'Jules et Jim'
* 'Nashville'
* 'The Red Shoes'

Thursday, August 18, 2005


From the August 16 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club:

[PAT]ROBERTSON: I had interviewed a lady who was a sociologist who says "I am a lesbian," but she described homosexuality in this term, she said, "They are self-absorbed narcissists." I want you to put that down -- self-absorbed narcissists who are willing to destroy any institution so long as they can have affirmation of their lifestyle. You go back to the various laws that took away the difficulty of getting a divorce, and the people leading the charge were homosexuals, way back in the '70s. So we have no-fault divorce. Who are leading the charge for abortions? So often, you'll find people who are lesbians leading the fight for the destruction of human life. Now they want to destroy marriage.

Courtesy of Media Matters, who adds:

The first no-fault divorce law in the nation was signed in California in 1969 by Gov. Ronald Reagan.

Once again, the G.O.P. shows their remarkable political courage

For which they're so renowned.

Republicans said a convergence of events - including the protests inspired by the mother of a slain American soldier outside Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas, the missed deadline to draft an Iraqi Constitution and the spike in casualties among reservists - was creating what they said could be a significant and lasting shift in public attitude against the war.

The Republicans described that shift as particularly worrisome, occurring 14 months before the midterm elections. As further evidence, they pointed to a special election in Ohio two weeks ago, where a Democratic marine veteran from Iraq who criticized the invasion decision came close to winning in a district that should have easily produced a Republican victory.

"There is just no enthusiasm for this war," said Representative John J. Duncan Jr., a Tennessee Republican who opposes the war. "Nobody is happy about it. It certainly is not going to help Republican candidates, I can tell you that much."-NY Times

Oh! What a shame. Your nasty little president's incompetence is going to make it harder for you lot to keep lining up at the trough. Boo hoo. Let's throw a little pity party for you.

Tens of thousands of people, American and Iraqi, are dead, you assholes.
That's more important than your goddamn re-election. Don't think I've forgotten that 99% of our "Democratic" representatives laid down on this one...but let's have some respect for that.

I swear to you, there are times when I think I would vote for the first politician who gets on televison and says "I was wrong, Howard Dean and the protesters were right."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Well I'll be damned

A possible sign of life from the Democrats. Political Wire reports:

Though a story yesterday suggested Democrats had thrown in the towel, the New York Times reports Senate Democrats "on Tuesday night sharply escalated their resistance to the president's Supreme Court nominee, Judge John Roberts."

"The statements were a stark contrast to the Democrats' previously noncommittal comments and suggested a possible turning point."

Maybe hold off on quitting those jobs, ladies, it may not be all over bar the shouting after all.

Some pictures are worth...

ETA: Thanks to Egalia at TGW for the shout-out, and for adding me to her blog-roll. I suppose I should do one of those one of these days...

There is a brilliant and hilarious blog post here. It's by a young gay man who reprints a composite of several letters he's gotten from people who want to save him from his homosexuality. The horror, the horror.

He replies by posting photographs of himself and his husband and their life together. It's really eloquent.

Oh wow, here's a thought

Hoffmania writes:

Even if, fate forbid, we were hit with another terrorist attack, no one on the planet would rush to our aid - and Bush's inability to handle such a situation has already been proven.

The Bush who cried Weapons of Mass Destruction.

I can't add anything to that

"There is no way our children died in vain, not if we pay attention, not if we learn. I'm proud of my son. I love the Marines. And I'm very much against this war and always have been.

"I guess our children went and were sacrificed for us to take a look at what we let happen. We let this war happen. If nothing else, this is a huge lesson. Watch who you vote for. Watch what they're telling you. Don't be so afraid."

- Lynn Bradach of Portland, OR who joins Cindy Sheehan in Crawford today

Bright and early for their daily races

I don't link to a lot of columns by Maureen Dowd; I don't like her as much as some of my Democratic brethern do. I especially don't like the way she's attempted, in the past, to equate Clinton's lie with Bush's, as though the two were in any way comparable.

As Eric Alterman said in April of last year:

"Let’s do a tally, shall we?

People dead from Clinton’s lie: 0
People dead from Bush’s: tens of thousands.

Endless quagmires caused by Clinton’s lie: 0
Endless quagmires caused by Bush’s lie: 1"

That said, this is good stuff:

How could President Bush be cavorting around on a long vacation with American troops struggling with a spiraling crisis in Iraq?

Wasn't he worried that his vacation activities might send a frivolous signal at a time when he had put so many young Americans in harm's way?
"I'm determined that life goes on," Mr. Bush said stubbornly.

That wasn't the son, believe it or not. It was the father - 15 years ago. I was in Kennebunkport then to cover the first President Bush's frenetic attempts to relax while reporters were pressing him about how he could be taking a month to play around when he had started sending American troops to the Persian Gulf only three days before.


"I just don't like taking questions on serious matters on my vacation," the usually good-natured Bush senior barked at reporters on the golf course. "So I hope you'll understand if I, when I'm recreating, will recreate." His hot-tempered oldest son, who was golfing with his father that day, was even more irritated. "Hey! Hey!" W. snapped at reporters asking questions on the first tee. "Can't you wait until we finish hitting, at least?"

Junior always had his priorities straight.

ETA: Meanwhile, Junior asks the nation, "How you like me now?"

President Bush’s job approval has dropped to 41% nationwide, according to the results of 50 separate but concurrent, statewide public opinion polls conducted by SurveyUSA.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Our next Supreme Court justice, ladies

The following is cobbled-together (Frankenstein style) from pieces published by The Washington Post (via Feministing) and USA Today:

The memo about the Los Angeles service for aborted fetuses is part of a pattern in the documents issued yesterday by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: During his tenure from 1982 to 1986 in the Reagan White House, Roberts staked out conservative positions on a broader array of issues than has previously been known.

He [wrote of] a federal court decision that sought to guarantee women equal pay to men "I honestly find it troubling that three Republican representatives are so quick to embrace such a radical redistributive concept. Their slogan may as well be, 'From each according to his ability, to each according to her gender.' "He wrote that a Supreme Court case prohibiting silent prayer in public school "seems indefensible."

But don't worry, the democrats will fight him. Oh. Except that they won't, really. Time to stock up on morning-after pills, quit those jobs and resign your unconventional religious affiliations, gals.

Call out the instigator
Because there's something in the air
We got to get it together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here and you know it's right

--Thunderclap Newman, "Something In The Air"

I guess reading really is fundemental after all

At Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte found a bizarre column by someone named Rebecca Hagelin. It's basically a shriek-and-clutch-your-pearls piece about how the American Library Association, in conspiracy with teachers, is assigning books that contain "highly sexualized, vulgar garbage, filled with four-letter words and enough verbal porn to embarrass even an ole’ salt."

Well! Obviously things have changed since I was a lad. I mean, there was that sequel to "Harriet The Spy" that described a girl getting her period for the first time, and the Judy Blume books, god knows, are peverted hotbeds of middle-grade sexuality. But I can't believe that even the tightest-wound holy roller from Texas or Tennessee would say they were "vulgar garbage, filled with four-letter words and verbal porn."

So naturally, I'm curious. What books is Miss Hagelin talking about? Oh. She won't tell us:

In the interest of decency, there’s no way I can give you word-for-word examples. And I refuse to give the trashy book and its loser author free publicity in a column that often gets forwarded around the World Wide Web.

Right. Nor does she provide the list of ALA-recommended books from which these collections of verbal porn by "perverted author[s] most folks have never heard of" are alleged to have been drawn.

We're just supposed to take her word for it, although we have no way of knowing what she considers pornographic (all kidding aside, some people do think that about Judy Blume). Or what "perversion" is to her (I'm gonna go way out on a limb and suggest that homosexuality may fall into that category).

It's a neat trick: Fire shrill volleys at people who are actually trying to give children the gift of reading, which has to be one of the nobler tasks given to mankind. Accuse them of being trash peddlers, but hide behind "decency" when it comes to actually substantiating any of your claims.

I haven't seen that kind of nimble thinking since my last Usenet flamewar.

People fill the world with narrow confidence

David Neiwert (the second-greatest liberal blogger out of Seattle) reminds us of something about Cindy Sheehan that should not be forgotten. Responding to local columnist Robert Jamieson:

He regurgitates the now well-trodden (and largely debunked) GOP/Drudge talking points claiming that Sheehan "changed her story."

He misses a key point regarding Sheehan's earlier meeting with Bush: It occurred in June 2004. The Duelfer Report -- which made clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction -- was released in September 2004. Note now, if you will, that Sheehan's main line of criticism of Bush is that "he lied to us."

Meanwhile, our pal James "the" Mann writes about the conservative who hit on a newly unique way to "support the troops."

There are good people in the world...
And then there are "people" such as the human piece of waste that drug a chain and a pipe behind his pickup truck and mowed down the crosses bearing the names of servicemen killed in Iraq located at Camp Casey.

Bob Geiger has a little more context and asks the question: Just how low can conservatives go?



White House aides say they worry about the precedent, should Bush see Sheehan again. "If the President meets with her, does he have to meet with every protester who camps out in Crawford or in Lafayette Park [in Washington]?" asks a Bush aide. "Does he have a second meeting with every mother or wife who asks for one?"

--Time Magazine, via Hoffmania


Toby, if we start pulling strings like this, you don’t think every homeless veteran would come out of the woodworks?

I can only hope, sir.

--The West Wing, "In Excelsis Deo" Aaron Sorkin & Rick Cleveland

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mystery right-wing Christian theocracy theatre 3000

A conservative blogger named Bill Hobbs live-blogged the protesters outside "Justice Sunday II" in my favorite state. He asked some questions that deserve answering. For example, under a photo of a woman holding a sign with the words "American Medial Technology?" and a picture of a coat hanger, and then the words, "never again," Hobbs writes:

I agree with this woman's sign. We should never ever have another back-alley abortion performed with a coat-hanger. But if that's wrong, how does replacing the coat hangar with a doctor's tools and the alley with an operating room make it morally acceptable?

Um...because the one is dangerous, unsanitary and risks the mother's life, and the other is a medical procedure performed by a trained professional with every precaution taken? I mean I'm just spitballing here, but that's what I think the difference is.

Egalia comments:

One young woman held an ‘Outlaw Viagra, Not Abortion’ (a.k.a. slice men’s reproductive rights for a change) sign. Conservative blogger Bill Hobbs didn't get it. He posted a picture of her and commented: "There's always a man-hating poster at a left wing protest."

Another blogger calling himself "The Captain" (make of that what you will) shows a similar degree of not-getting-it, no play on words intended.

Apparently, women can have a choice to have a baby or not, but men can't choose to have an erection

Proving once again that men may or may not have a sense of humor, but there's nothing funny about our penises. There's nothing funny about penises at all. Really. Ask any woman.

And besides, they're both missing the most important point, which is that the chick in the jeans with the red top is fucking hot.

Getting back to Mr. Hobbs, he then goes on to show that the Tennesseeans' gift of being able to read someone's mind by looking at their picture is not limited to Bill Frist, who could not only do that, he could diagnose someone's medical condition.

Under another photograph, Hobbs writes:

The guy on the left seems to want religious people to stay out of politics, though I bet if you asked him he wouldn't mind Left-wing religious people staying involved in politics. The lady on the right holding the "Pro-Child/Pro-Choice" sign probably never looked at her own kids and said, "I love you, buddyboo, but I'm so glad I had the right to kill you if I wanted to!"

"I bet." "Probably." Not being in Tennessee, my powers are stronger (on so many levels). So I can tell you with the same level of accuracy or better, and without even looking at any pictures of them, that "the Captain" hasn't gotten any in a decade and Bill Hobbs beats his kids.

I bet. Probably.

He's such a man. He's such a big, strong man.

Bush's approval ratings are plunging, oil prices are soaring, and belief that the US is winning the War On Terror is currently about on par with a belief in The Great Pumpkin.'s the latest from the media on how massively huge President Bigman Notstupid's jock is. He can crush liberals into tiny powder between his mighty fingers!

USA Today reports:

the truth about the Biker-in-Chief is that the man can really ride. Over the course of a two-hour Tour de Crawford, Bush humbled every rider in Peloton One with a strong and steady pace over scorching hot paved roads, muddy creek crossings, energy-sapping tall grass and steep climbs on loose and crumbling rock.

And The Economist concludes:

enthusiasm for sport can be a ticket to Mr Bush's inner circle...Condoleeza Rice "works out with the president and spends time at Camp David watching baseball and football on television...a poor physique can test the president's patience. When Mr Bush sacked Larry Lindsey, his portly economic adviser during his first term, he apparently complained in private about his failure to exercise.

Well, it's not like Mr. Bush needed to sweat his economic adviser--his policies are doing great with the public! And, once again: FDR was in a wheelchair and won WWII.

Because it worked so well for John Kerry

Democrats are recruiting "newly-minted veterans from Iraq and the war on terrorism" to face Republican incumbents in next year’s congressional elections

--Political Wire

I knew I regretted not having gone to college

According to the Washington Times, via Feministe, college life today is a "sex carnival." (Of course, if I had gone, it would have been in the early '90s at or near the height of AIDS paranoia...)

Atrios remembers a little something

In response to a New York Times editorial suggesting Judith Miller be let go:

Number of days Susan McDougal spent in prison for contempt? About 540.

Number of New York times editorial board pieces suggesting she be let go? According to a variety of Nexis searches I've done, approximately 0.

This may be the thing I like best about blogs and blogging: Unlike the seeming vast majority of the mainstream press, they have memories. Incidentally, I read and liked McDougal's book a couple of years ago. Mark Evanier's got a little note about meeting her here (you'll need to scroll down).

Lucky Fin

Since Peter Jennings died from complications of lung cancer, and it was revealed that Dana Reeve, widow of Christopher, has it, there's been a bit of wishful thinking in the press. The hope is that this will inspire people, perhaps especially young people, to stop smoking.

I see a handful of reports that says more smokers are looking to quit and calling the ALA and I hope it's true. But color me skeptical, I don't think addiction works that way.

I don't want to nag my one or two friends who do smoke--they know I wish they wouldn't, and I know they'd like to quit. Besides, I'm sure there are one or two things they wish I wouldn't do that are bad for my health. And I don't think the death of a reporter or "Superman's widow" being sick is going to help us make those choices.

But if anything could, I wish that this would: Dan Lee, a character designer at Pixar studios, is dead.
He designed Nemo in Finding Nemo and Boo in Monsters, Inc. It was lung cancer. He was 35.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

In the interests of truth, justice and the American way...

From Yellow Dog Blog...

I've heard from both and from another blogger who is also in Crawford that Cindy happened to not be at Camp Casey when the conservative throng showed up to chant "we don't care" at her.

Not that it makes it a lot better, but I'm so glad she wasn't there to hear it in person.

Mission Accomplished

The Bush administration "is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months," the Washington Post reports.

"The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say."

--Via Political Wire