Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Data Rape

Minnesota politics must be getting really tight for anyone to try this.

By Then, Bush Will Be Gone

Veterans May Face Health Care Cuts in 2008. Let Bill Frist or John McCain worry about it; George Bush will be in Crawford by the time the people really catch wind of it.

Not Much of A Choice

President Bush says Iraqis have to choose between "Chaos or Unity." I'm sure that statement was made based on the extensive history of the country.

Making the Big Step

A nice story from the Washington Post about a growing number of couples who are seeking pre-marriage prep classes to acclimate themselves to serious, long-term relationships.

After reading an article I realized there is a lot to learn about what it take to make a relationship last and stay strong. But what really caught my attention was the factoids listed on the side:

Things Engaged Couples Commonly Argue About
How to spend leisure time
Religion and values
How much time to spend with relatives
Whether to have and how to raise children
Where to live

Factors Associated With Marital Unhappiness That Partners Can Change
The silent treatment
Negative communication styles
Inability to communicate during disagreements
Unrealistic view of marriage
Low levels of commitment to each other and the marriage

With divorce rates hovering 41% (that 50% garbage is a myth) I can how any of these factors can wreck a relationship. And there are many examples of things that can make a marriage go downhill. I've always believed most of these factors revolve around communication (which is mentioned). But any help a couple is willing to accept can at least give them insight.

Softhead on Hardball

On Planet Chris Matthews (where unicorns and fairies exist and Osama bin Laden tries to sound like Michael Moore) President Bush is popular (um, no), wise (survey says: NOPE!) and represents morallity and reason (he's kidding, right?).

Even Stevie Wonder can see that someone like Matthews will suck up to whoever's in power, and right now that's Bush and the Republicans. But this is ridiculous. Is Matthews even looking at the poll numbers? Or the news reports about what's going on in Iraq? It can't be that hard to flip on the TV, pick up a newspaper or surf the web.

Maybe Chris read this story, and decided that he's a part of the "S" factor mentioned. Ignorance is bliss.


Poker Face Politics

Michael Grunwald of the Washington Post has an interesting theory on why President Bush hasn't vetoed anything since he's been in office:

"Bush likes to project an image of strength bordering on omnipotence, where every initiative is a presidential initiative, everyone marches to the presidential beat, and everything happens according to the presidential plan -- even when he's clearly changing that plan, as when he co-opted the Democratic proposal to create a Department of Homeland Security or when he incorporated a popular Democratic idea to send $300 to every American into his own tax-cut plan. A veto does not square with this aura of all-powerful, agenda-setting leadership. It's a defensive, reactive measure, used to block someone else's initiative, suggesting a lack of discipline within the Republican ranks."

What that implies is that (for Bush) the veto is more or a signal than a threat:

"So when the Bush administration has floated veto threats, on issues ranging from stem cells to the Patriot Act, they've usually been signals to GOP leaders about priorities...On philosophical issues, Bush's veto threats have often turned debates over principle into tests of partisan loyalty, helping congressional leaders persuade recalcitrant Republicans to toe the party line."

I agree. The veto has traditionally been a tool of conviction; it's suppose to show the American people that the President feels so strongly about a law that he/she is willing to void Congress for it. Now, Bush simply uses it to scare Congressional Republicans into submission. And because they fear dissent may make them look bad during elections, the Congressional Republicans repeatedly get in line when Bush speaks in this code.

Look Ma, No Hands!

President Bush was too busy waving to control his bike, and that's why he fell last year.

Around the Internets

Discovery Panel

Emails connecting Vice President Dick Cheney to the Valerie Plame CIA Leak Scandal have been "discovered."


"It's Not In His Nature..."

Senator Joe Lieberman has gone from being George Bush's campaign rival to being one of his most reliable supporters (despite Joe being a Democrat and Bush being Republican). Some may see Joe's blinding loyalty as treacherous; I've always saw it as sad and sending out mixed signals.

Recently, Mr. Lieberman said that he's backing the President on the Dubai ports deal. Considering Joe's Jewish background, it says a lot that he's supporting a deal headed by a group owned by a country with a dubious reputation.

I wonder, however, how Joe Lieberman will react when he discovers that Dubai Ports World boycotts Israel. Will he still support the deal? Will he still have Bush's back?

Setting Suns

ESPN reports that Bryan Colangelo will leave as GM of the Phoenix Suns and take over the (newly) vacant GM position at Toronto Raptors.

Bryan and his father (Jerry) were mainstays at the Suns franchise, and collectively responsible for always keeping Phoenix in the NBA picture. While most franchises fall hard after during a re-building period, the Suns always managed to make the right moves and get back into the playoffs with little more than a three-season drought.

They've had the Charles Barkley Era, the Kevin Johnson Era, the Jason Kidd Era, the Stephon Marbury Era, and now the Steve Nash Era. It's really remarkable, considering the Clippers and Warriors of the NBA world.

Unfortunately, I don't see Phoenix continuing their incredible streak of remarkable turnovers without a Colangelo looking over things. But if any franchise needed help, it's the Raptors.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Around the Internets

Interesting Stuff:

A guy named Bill Tierney says that "God is his intel" with regards to weapons inspection. Well, with all do respect, I don't think God is the problem; it's people trying to interpret God to fit their own selfish agenda.

Women are more likely than men to inherit depression, according to this article.

President Bush heads to Pakistan, where reports say Osama bin Laden has be hiding.

Media Matters broke down the conservative slant on Sunday talk shows and then gets slammed by who? You guessed it: conservatives. (Arianna Huffington seems to agree with MM).

I missed Charley Rosen's mailbag earlier, but he's got some interesting answers to all questions NBA.

No soldier should ever have to send a message like this.


One in a Million

Those were the odds of this happening: the birth of twin girls, one black and one white.

Winning the Record

Even though Wizards' guard Gilbert Arenas didn't go for Earl Monroe's (or even Kobe's) record in their dismantling of the Knicks the other night, he still set an impressive record last held by Larry Bird.

But most importantly, they got the win.


Friday, February 24, 2006

State Of Emergency

That's what been declared in the Philippines after an attempted coup and revolt.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

An Island of Their Own

About 120,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo head for floating islands to escape rape and murder from their government (and militia).

Stories Within the Story

One issue with the port deal is what it says about how the federal government views border security. The President has said that the issue of security was taken into account, even though he only knew about the deal after it was finalized. And he's threatening to veto any legislation aimed at undercutting the deal.

Well, three points:

The outrage is all his fault. Bush has gone five years filling Americans with fear of all thing Middle Eastern. "Don't trust Iran, don't trust Iraq, don't trust Afghanistan (at least until we can invade them). Anyone who helps or aids terrorists in any way is the enemy." That's been his mantra all along. Why in the world is he surprised by the public reaction?

Port security and job security are the real issues here. This story by ABC news proves that port security is a joke. And a friend of mine heard this radio show where a dock worker said that the angle everyone is missing is that this deal is going to help screw the union workers. First dock workers, than a deal to hurt the autoworkers, then the airlines...and so on.

Lastly, let Bush try and veto. I think he's bluffing. His political capital is all but spent. Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to disagree with him. His closest aide and allies have no credibility (as far as the "trust me" angle goes). If Bush vetoes a anti-port bill, I bet Congress overrides it and that would automatically make Bush a lame duck. If he doesn't veto, he'll be labeled a (*gasp*) flip-flopper. And if for some reason Congress didn't override the veto, Bush still stands alone as "the guy who sold our ports to a terrorist-affiliated country." Between that moniker and the debacle known as Iraqi reconstruction, Bush's image as a national security guru will be shattered.

So as Karl Rove and Scooter Libby work on their legal defenses, as people begin to analyze the self-congratulatory Katrina report the White House issued out (which will only make people connected to those areas more upset), and as Congress finally begins to ask "why did we go to Iraq," I'll be waiting for the true stories to reveal themselves. Because with this crowd, there's always a story within a story.


No Spine Zone

Add Bill O'Reilly to the list of people looking for a quick exit. And it only took one of the most devastating attacks (and it's inevitable retaliation) in recent memory for him to come aboard.

Any chance the White House will start comparing O'Reilly to Cindy Sheehan now?

"The President Will Be Overturned"

Those words were spoken by no other than Tom DeLay, the scandal-stricken ex-Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. It was in regards to President Bush's endorsement of the port sale, which many see as a conflict to his past rabble-rousing.

Or maybe DeLay caught wind of the secret deal Bush was making.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And the Blondes Shall Lead Us...

The Slate's all over "the blonde takeover" by the media. I'm assuming the plan is to hypnotize the audience while reporting half-facts and barely-researched information. Money quotes from writer/editor Jack Shafer:

" Joanna Pitman estimates in On Blondes that only one in 20 white adult Americans is a genuine blond, yet one in three adult American females has the look. If you do the math, it's clear that many female newscasters lie about their true hair color every time they appear on television. "

"We associate blond with youth, she [Pitman] writes, because the hair of babies and that of young children tends to become wan and darken with age."

"Allow me to pause from all of this hurtful talk objectifying accomplished female journalists to say a few cruel things about TV's Aryan Brotherhood, led by the 60-year-old glimmer twins Lou Dobbs (CNN) and Chris Matthews (MSNBC). If they're both true blonds at 60, they should be put on display at a medical museum..."

"Blond hair may have already passed as a sexual signifier on news networks. The new blond is lips, specifically what people inside the industry call "Fox lips," and they are worn by Fox's Laurie Dhue, Fox's Gretchen Carlson, and MSNBC's Rita Cosby, three top blondes."

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So Happy Together (The NBA Version)

Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury will be teammates in New York, according to ESPN.

Now far be it for me to determine how two undersized shooting guards who are constantly forced to play point will work with a coach who has a history of preferring pure point guards. I'll let Isiah Thomas and Larry Brown figure that out.

A Theory, Wrapped in a Lie, Inside Pure Crap

(Via ThinkProgress) The story being told at Fox News is that Saddam had the Russians move the WMD out of Iraq.


Let me know when Fox discovers Saddam's connection to the JFK assasination.

You've Got...To Be Kidding

AOL is raising the price of their dial-up service to match the cost of broadband.

I wonder wht companies like Comcast have to say about that?


With more and more Republicans joining the call for President Bush to explain his defense of the port sale, the White House acknowledges that Bush did not know about the deal until after it was finalized.

In other words, they're so desperate for a way out of this mess they've resorted to using Bill Keene characters as a political tactic.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Until someone of greater rank or importance than myself can muster up the courage, let me say:

I'm sorry that this War on Terror led my country to invade a country that was not directly tied to 9/11.

I'm sorry that relations between the Christian and Muslim worlds have gotten so soured that a cartoon is enough to inspire riots and violence.

I'm sorry that the victims of Hurricane Katrina did not get the help and supplies when they needed them...and that in many cases, they still aren't.

I'm sorry that our government cannot debate issues anymore and that dissent is considered treason or defeatism.

I'm sorry that the only popular news for the media to report seems to be bad news, and that good news never seems to have any substance or lesson connected to it.

I'm sorry that someone saw fit to make a "Weekend at Bernie's 2."

I'm sorry that racism still exists.

I'm sorry that people in power feel that while everyone has a right to be born, they could care less about the environment they are born into, the life they have to live and the socio-economical hurdles they have to face.

I'm sorry wise people have to die before we can acknowledge their wisdom.

Most of all, I'm sorry that everything seems to be placed in one of two categories: right and wrong. And that having power and being in charge determines what issues/beliefs get put in which category.

That's Odd

Some stories from the weird side:

Toilet paper fight leads to a man's death.

A former stripper uses lap dances to preach to ex-coworkers.

A 62-yr-old woman gives birth.

Colorado has brown snow.

Strange Bedfellows

Both MD Gov. Ehrlich and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley have concerns with the federal government outsourcing operational control of ports to a company run by the United Arab Emirates.

One of the ports in question is in Baltimore (just sayin').

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist chimes in.

"Steal" Cashing In

Although Scooter Libby isn't technically working for the Vice President anymore, it doesn't mean he can't use Dick Cheney's past testimonies to pick up cash for his legal bills.

But how many guys have the stones to blame their boss for their "forced retirement" and then go back to them and ask for a donation?

UPDATE: If this story is true, then Libby may want to ask for more cash. Or a plea bargain.


Best. Idea. Ever.

Why didn't ESPN think of this sooner? Maybe because they figured people like me would waste hours trying to do the ridiculous or impossible. Regardless, their trade machine is the best online sports toy I've seen in awhile.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Power of the Press

What makes a story newsworthy? Colbert I. King of the WashPost doesn't mince words and gets to the point: it's the editors. He also makes it clear that he'd prefer it if someone else (say, the readers) had more input.

Truthfully, the media isn't much different than law enforcement in that manner. The newpaper editor, like a beat cop, is making a decision that could have a big impact on society.

For a cop, it's the person they pulled over or stopped. If they feel like the person is suspicious, they can arrest them; if not, they can let them go. But if a cop is in a rotten mood or doesn't feel like dealing with mind-numbing paperwork, a person could be arrested or released based on nothing more than another human being's current emotional state. The person facing the cop- their life actually- is in the hands of the police officer.

For an editor, the story lives or dies based on their instinct and desire to pursue it. If a competing newspaper is already covering it, the editor may either feel like letting it go, or he/she may want to outd0 their counterpart. And even though King doesn't delve into it that much, things like race, class standing and celebrity status do play a part.

Of course, with law enforcement the immediate situation is usually a life-or-death one; and consulting a suspect is the last things I'd expect a polcie officer to do. But in the case of news editors, they may find out that it's more beneficial to them and the business to find out what their readers want instead of assuming that they already know.

UPDATE: Bloggers chat sue, newncpolitics, and soo doh nim give their take.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Borders For Sale

You would think that a country that hasn't exactly been helpful in the "War on Terror" wouldn't be the first choice to outsource some of our most important ports to. You would think.

Now let me get this straight: During his hearings soon-to-be-Justice Sam Alito said we shouldn't let foreign law influence our (American) laws. OK. President Bush has said that the formation of Homeland Security has made us safer and (because of the reorganization) has helped prevent terrorist attacks. Fine. The doctrine on fighting the "War on Terror" has pretty much been "join us or we'll attack/invade you." Gotcha.

So how does giving a country that is, at best, uncooperative in helping the U.S. find/fight Osama bin Laden and other terrorists access to American ports a safe idea? How is it even a good one?

This is going to end badly. And quite frankly, the White House ran out of lame excuses for their bad ideas and actions a long time ago.

Facing the Press

Cheney shooting victim Harry Whittington appeared before the press today. He thanked the media (and mentioned that the incident happened on Friday) and apologized to the Vice President for putting him through such a public ordeal.

I'm not sure about that last part; I mean, I can't recall the last time I heard of a person getting shot in the face and then acting like it's their fault.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Cost Of a Proper Image

Anyone in the business world knows that good advertising and public relations is hard to get, and once you have it, you don't give it up. A good public image can overshadow all but the worst of situations.

So imagine my surprise to learn that the Bush Administration has spent over $1.6 billion on their image. Not so much the amount (although yes, it is a lot) as the fact that if the President had done things like a quicker response to Katrina, an honest assessment of what's going on in Iraq, and being upfront in denouncing Republicans in Congress who are connected to scandal, all this super-duper PR would be unnecessary.

Begging the Question

Michael Moore's website does just that by asking, "How long does it take alcohol to leave the system?" I suppose they are referring to this little incident.

Well, most people know that it takes "approximately one hour to eliminate the alcohol (depending on the type , of course)." And that's for average, able-bodied people. If you're overweight with a heart condition, two back-to-back drinks could result in excitement or confusion.

Then there's this gem:

"Finally, alcohol abuse and dependence cause emotional and social problems. Because alcohol affects emotional centers in the limbic system, alcoholics can become anxious, depressed and even suicidal. The emotional and physical effects of alcohol can contribute to marital and family problems, including domestic violence, as well as work-related problems, such as excessive absences and poor performance. "

Bush Gets Tapped

Talk about irony. Or Poetic Justice. Or whatever. President Bush left his mic on, and reporters began doing some eavesdropping of their own.

Of course, the story is really "what did he say when he though no one was listening?" Sadly, we're not given much of an answer besides "nothing new."

But it's strange that a person who doesn't want the public reading his email or seeing pictures of him with shady lobbyists wants to, in turn, learn everything there is to know about us.

Snowball Effect

Nothing confirmed yet, but it seems that Valerie Plame was not only covert at the time of her outing, she was working on Iran as well.

Wizard's Report Card, Mid-Season: The Lesser-Knowns

Let it be said here that the flu is an unrelenting foe. Nevertheless, with the Wizards most recent win of the disjointed 76ers, now's the best time for me to get back in the groove and talk about the Lesser-Knowns: Andray Blatche, Calvin Booth, Peter Ramos, Awvee Storey and Donell Taylor.

The Lesser-Knowns

Andray Blatche is basically "The High School Experiment: Take Two." This time the Wizards want to get things right and not have another Kwame Brown on their hands. If he becomes a reliable post defender and nothing else, it'll be a wash (with the exception of his personality). It he develops any offensive moves, Eddie and Ernie will be heralded and Kwame bashed even more than when he was here. Grade: Incomplete

Calvin Booth was with the Wizards before the first (Michael) Jordan Era, and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks (along with Juwan Howard and others) for Etan Thomas (and others). He's a decent shot-blocker and semi-talented offensively, but wasn't worth the crazy contract he had with Dallas (and then Seattle). Still has the chance to be a poor man's Marcus Camby (sans the injuries) and that's actually a good thing. Grade: C-

Peter Ramos is the odd-big-man-out on a team that obviously likes its smaller players. At 7'3" he could easily turn a game around-once he's polished off, that is. Once he's ready, it could spell doom for Brendan Haywood, Thomas and (probably) Michael Ruffin. For the time being he'll continue to be labeled "a project." Grade: Incomplete

Avwee Story got a start recently, and that is always good for a player's ego. He's got the versatility that Eddie Jordan & Co. like in their swingmen. Still has to learn the NBA, though. Grade: Incomplete

Donell Taylor saw his minutes go up with the departure of Chucky Atkins, and has been compared to Larry Hughes (albeit a younger, less polished version). But he's still a rookie. Grade: Incomplete

Hopefully, over the next few weeks I can flesh these guys out more. If not by then, there's always the summer.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Impeachment Insurance

Looks like Karl Rove is doing his best to make sure Republican Senators in the Judiciary Committee see things the President's way. I'm hoping that integrity trumps blind, amoral loyalty just this once.

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Wizard's Report Card, Mid-Season: Pinching the Bench

Yesterday, I gave a mini-assessment of the Wizards' starters. Now on to the key bench players. Going by the minutes per game, that would be Antonio Daniels, Etan Thomas, Jarvis Hayes and Michael Ruffin.

Key Bench Players

Antonio Daniels: Started off just terrible. He couldn't get an offensive rhythm going, and instead of trying to compensate defensively he just got himself into an even worse funk. He's doing better now, but his play hasn't replaced the perimeter scoring the team had with either Larry Hughes or Jarvis Hayes. A decent defender based more on his experience in the NBA than actual skill and effort. Grade: C-

Jarvis Hayes: Started off..OK. I remember when he was billed as "Mitch Richmond with defense." So far, I haven't seen anything consistent to back up that claim. Before he was sidelined with injury, I can remember three distinct cases where his bad passes either turned the tide of game or cost the game. The upside is he's still young enough to learn how to pass and play good D. But he can shoot! Grade: C

Michael Ruffin: He's not expected to score, so if you ever see him with more than five points then (A) the entire staring lineup has gone cold, or (B) the opposing team has a front court no taller than 6'7". But he plays hard and with a lot of heart. Grade: C+

Etan Thomas: If his writing prowess matched his balling skills, he could be the next Charles Barkley or Alonzo Mourning. What he has in hustle and defensive tenacity he lacks in scoring and ball handling. Thomas is one of those guys you know would average a double-double if he was traded somewhere else, just because the trade put a chip on his shoulder and made him a little meaner. But Washington kept him, so they have to make sure that at least two good scorers on on the court with him. Grade: C+

So the Wizards have a slightly better-than-average bench, which is reflected in their record. Good benches, playoff-contention team benches, they have the task of either shutting an opponent down defensively or running the score up offensively. The Wizards' key bench players (collectively) are too undersized, injured and "unathletic" to do either.

Tomorrow: The lesser-knowns get their time in the spotlight.


Obi-Wan Kenobi Had It Right

Didn't he say something about "many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our own point of view?"

Well, that couldn't be more true. For example, here and here are two different takes on the same article (which talks about "what the Democrats aren't doing").

Personally, I think there's a huge difference in someone being misquoted, someone having their quote taken out of context and someone just ramming their foot up their mouth. And until I see this type of story in a more liberal setting (like The Nation or Democratic Underground), to me it's like reading a story from a Texas newspaper about the Washington Redskins.

Grasping At Straws

While some express outrage at the "outrage" revolving around Coretta Scott King's Funeral Ceremony, I'd just like to point out some things.

1. It's a sad day when someone can't talk about civil liberties and peace during the funeral of someone who worked to advance civil liberties and peace.

2. It's a sad state of affairs when the best the critics can do is bash a person who has long since left elected office. I mean, what does trashing Jimmy Carter do? Is this how conservatives plan on rallying their base for the November elections? If so: yikes.

3. It's sad that it took Ms. King's death to get President Bush away from his traditional, pre-screened environment. It must have been so awkward for him to be around so many black people that he didn't personally appoint to a Cabinet position. And for Bill Clinton to get an almost eternal ovation from the crowd? See, Mr. Bush: that's what real admiration sounds like.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Wizard's Report Card: Mid-year 2006 Part One

As the Wizards closes in on the mid-point of the season (and quite recently the .500 mark), let's take the time to break everybody down. As always, you can go here for the current roster and here for the stats.

The Starters

Gilbert Arenas: A 2-guard being asked to play point, even moreso with the loss of Larry Hughes. He's scoring at a crazy clip, and may have just realized that if he gives an effort on defense, the Wizards may be able to zoom by most teams. A gym rat who still has an eccentric style, I'm still waiting for him to develop into an overall leader. Also, there's going to be a point where he's going to have to transition from "guy who takes over the game to save his teammates' asses" to "guy who make his teammates better." But it's coming along. Grade: A-

Jared Jeffries: Another guy who plays more than one position. It's gotta be murder to go from a power-forward mindset to a 2-guard mindset. Needs to crash the boards more, and develop a reliable go-to offensive move. Easily the most versitile of the starters, but you always feel that he could do more. I believe he's more Scottie Pippen than Darius Miles, but the clock is ticking. Grade: C

Brendan Haywood: Fans at the WashingtonPost boards used to say that there's three different versions of this guy: Brendan, the happy-go-lucky center; Brad, the 7-foot force of nature; and Brenda, the player who gets out-rebounded by 6-3 guards. None of these incarnations intimidate other teams (who on the roster does?) but two of them prove to be very productive to the team. I just wish the guy could average 10 pts and 8 rebounds; is that to much to ask? Grade: C-

Caron Butler: The best defender on the team (and better overall than Hughes, IMHO). His arrival instantly gave the squad some post options. Has proven that he can run (which he did in Miami) and work a set (he did a little of that in LA). Might have to push his scoring average up if Washington is to be the triple-threat they were last season. Grade: B+

Antawn Jamison: He's taken it upon himself to lead the team out of it's December slump, and has been averaging a double-double since then. By the Grace of God he's rediscovered that he's a scorer, not just a shooter, and the Wizards offense is better for it. Last night proved he too can play defense, but he needs to convince the Basketball World that he can do it consistently. Irony is, had he played defensively and offensively like last night every game, Washington would have a better record and by extension Jamison would have been a starter in the All-Star Game; Jermaine O'Neal got the nod mostly off of name recognition. Grade: A-

Tomorrow: We pinch the bench.


Election Day

Haiti elections are today, two years after the last President was kicked out. At the candidates are a real piece of work.

Move 'Em Out

Today is the day FEMA kicks out Katrina victims from their various hotels. Well, they won't actually kick them out (that's too cruel)...they just won't pay the bill anymore.

I couldn't find anything too close to Louisianna, but those in Texas (and elswhere) may have a problem. Just staying in a Dallas Ramada for the rest of the month for a family of four (two adults and two children) is at least $3108.00.

UPDATE: Maybe Canada can help.


Back To The Future

According to Alberto Gonzales, past Presidents from Washington to FDR were timetravelers, or at the very least waaaay ahead of their time.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Don't Forget Libby

Well, one question Scooter Libby won't have to worry about is, "Was Valerie Plame a covert agent at the time her identity was leaked?" We now know the answer.


We Were Given Two Choices Back Then

It's a shame that there are those so desperate to defend the President's warrantless wiretapping program that they want to redefine one of our country's most prized quotes: "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death."

Gonzales: "Bush is Dumb"

Mark down the date. Today on 2/6/06, an active and loyal member of President Bush's Administration called Bush an idiot. As ThinkProgress notes, Gonzales did it in the niciest way possible, but not really any other way you can interpret it. Bush being a lawyer does not exempt him from making false statements regarding the law. The Justice Department is supposed to make sure he doesn't make such goof-ups; and Gonzales heads that department.

So either (a) Gonzales is grasping for straws, (b) Gonzales just threw the President under the bus, or (c) Gonzales thinks Bush is dumb, and like certain cabinet members Gonzales doesn't think he should be taken literally or seriously.

Double Standard?

(Update from the Gonzales "testimony") According to Orrin Hatch:

Democrats using specific cases to point out Sam Alito's biases: WRONG

Republicans using specific cases during the Clinton Administration (that have been debunked) to support the Bush Administration's illegal wiretapping: OH SO RIGHT


It's lunchtime for the Senators who are questioning Mr. Gonzales and why I'd love to do a recap I have to admit that others have done such a good job it's just stupid for me to try. I can give my interpretation of Gonzales' "testimony:"

"This program is legal because of the terrorist attacks of 9/11."

That's it. That pretty much sums up his argument. But if the program is legal:

1. Why did they have to hide it?

2. Why are they referencing Presidents who made such executive decisions as validation, when a majority of them made their decisions before the FISA law?

3. Why don't they change FISA so they can do "surveillance" with no fuss?

4. Why are so many past politicians and legal scholars disagreeing with Gonzales' analysis?

5. And finally: why can't they show some kind of proof that this is working? That this program is catching terrorists, not enemies of the President or people who have dissenting views? Proof would quiet this whole ordeal rather quickly.

Getting Off On Wrong Foot

So Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is speaking on the "unlegal" wiretapping, which the president is calling a "terrorist surveillance program" (which hasn't caught many terrorists, BTW).

But for some reason, Republicans running the hearing don't want Gonzales to be sworn in (and they won that battle). Which means that the Attorney General can lie his ass off during these entire hearings, but he will be trusted solely based on his title in rank in our government, and not on his past actions.

The "Trust Me, I'm the Government" mantra is losing it's once mind-boggling popularity. People want honest answers and they should get them without political trickery. Swearing in Mr. Gonzales would have been a good first step toward getting honest answers.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Whoa; SHE Got Game

Not only did this high school senior score 113 points, but her team won 137-32.

Back to School

After getting pretty much a failing grade in post-9/11 preparation, the Bush Administration also gets scolded for their horrid response to Hurricane Katrina.

So how exactly are things like the Patriot Act and the warrantless wiretapping keeping us safe when all evidence says we are no safer then before the terrorist attacks? Who benefits from programs that revolves around gathering personal information from a multitude of American citizens?


Groundhog Day

Apparently, the Bush Administration have also seen their shadow because officials are already backtracking on Bush's SOTU comments (where he asked for an initiative to make America less dependent on foreign oil).

But hey; if breaking addictions were easy there wouldn't be any need for support groups. Or maybe we should just start taking what the President says with a grain of salt.