Thursday, August 31, 2006

If You're Not a Smoker, Than Stop Smoking...

ThinkProgress points out that the Bush Administration is peeved at critics who accuse them of advocating staying the course.

Unfortunately, their spokeman used those very words at a speech yesterday. Check it out:

Iraq is the central front in this war on terror. If we leave the streets of Baghdad before the job is done, we will have to face the terrorists in our own cities. We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed, and victory in Iraq will be a major ideological triumph in the struggle of the 21st century.

If you're not a smoker, than you need to stop smoking.

Alumni Musings

Leave it to the University of Maryland's student newspaper -The Diamondback- to fan the flames of a match and try to start a forest fire.

Their editorial's complaint (which is redundant, because all their editorial does is complain) is that the a new Meal Plan called "All-Campus" is too confusing.

Basically, the plan works likes this: if you have $100 on it (hypothetically, or course), at some places you'd pay full price and some places you'd pay a markup. Why? Because apparently Dining Services doesn't fully run all of the food location on campus, and has to use the mark-up to insure that those locations are included in the program.

According to the editorial, the problem is: "During the trial, officials uncovered that students didn't understand the complex system of ratios, causing them to run out of points." Sounds like the problem is students cannot do division, which is basic math. With SAT scores going down, is there any surprise?

Possibly, because even though the editorial and the news story took jabs, neither offered a solution nor an alternative. On the other hand, no one ever said journalists were math experts.

I'd think the best solution is to have the students (not just RHA) decide what needs to be sacrificed in order for this thing to work; obviously something has to be if they don't want to have to carry calculators around all day.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Get Your "Edumacation" On

Things are really busy right now, but this is too funny to ignore. Story can be found here.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

"It is something we don't want to do..."

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld tries to answer questions from the families of soldiers whose tour was "abruptly extended just as they prepared to return home this month."

Bad Timing, Iran

"Iran test fired a new submarine-to-surface missile during war games in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, a show of military might amid a standoff with the West over its nuclear activities.

A brief video clip showed the long-range missile, called Thaqeb, or Saturn, exiting the water and hitting a target on the water's surface within less than a mile. The test came as part of large-scale military exercises that began Aug. 19."

Maybe not the best move when you're trying to convince a country eager to attack you that you're not trying to start any conflicts.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

The British Get Kicked Out...

From yesterday:

"British troops abandoned a major base in southern Iraq on Thursday and prepared to wage guerrilla warfare along the Iranian border to combat weapons smuggling, a move that anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called the first expulsion of U.S.-led coalition forces from an Iraqi urban center."


"Armed looters ransacked an abandoned British base in southern Iraq on Friday as Iraqi soldiers guarding the camp stood by and watched, heightening concerns that Iraqi troops are still ill-equipped to take control of security from U.S.-led coalition forces.

A crowd of as many as 5,000 people, including hundreds armed with AK-47 assault rifles, attacked Camp Abu Naji and hauled away window and door frames, corrugated roofing and metal pipes, despite the presence of a 450-member Iraqi army brigade meant to guard the base."

Nevertheless, Gen. John P. Abizaid continues to "think that there's been great progress in the security front here recently in Baghdad."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

No Main Topic

1. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hunts down corporate bad guys...for his benefit, apparently.

2. Sen. Allen finally decides that the best way to clear his racist image is to call the guy he insulted and apologize. And it only tokk him what...two weeks and 50 gazillion excuses?

3. Speaking of Senators, Joe "I Wanna Be President Really, Really Bad" Biden is pushing his plan for Iraq on the Washington Post. Couldn't he have waited for his inevitable Sunday Political Talk Show Appearance?

4. This says that keeping secrets can keep you healthy, but wouldn't knowing that now be harmful?


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Don't Hear No Bell...

When Rockey Vaccarella showed up to praise President Bush for handling Katrina, I was skeptical to comment until I knew more.

Let me introduce you to more.

So what are the odds that a person who ran as a Republican and is also a Bush supporter would end up being the Face of Katrina Recovery? I'd say very high if you're trying to muddle the memory of the American public.


Security Blanket

One ex-CIA agents' take on how safe we are:

In the long run, we're not safer because we're still operating on the assumption that we're hated because of our freedoms, when in fact we're hated because of our actions in the Islamic world. There's our military presence in Islamic countries, the perception that we control the Muslim world’s oil production, our support for Israel and for countries that oppress Muslims such as China, Russia, and India, and our own support for Arab tyrannies. The deal we made with Qadaffi in Libya looks like hypocrisy: we'll make peace with a brutal dictator if it gets us oil. President Bush is right when he says all people aspire to freedom but he doesn't recognize that people have different definitions of democracy. Publicly promoting democracy while supporting tyranny may be the most damaging thing we do. From the standpoint of democracy, Saudi Arabia looks much worse than Iran. We use the term “Islamofascism”—but we're supporting it in Saudi Arabia, withMubarak in Egypt, and even Jordan is a police state. We don't have a strategy because we don't have a clue about what motivates our enemies.

More here.

Forgive and Forget

Apparently, President Bush's mid-term message to the American people is: "Remember 9/11, Forget Katrina '05."

Why do I say this?

Well, first of all, his stance on the 9/11 attacks hasn't really changed since he said "The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of Sept. 11" last year.

His stance on Katrina? "I also want people to remember that a one-year anniversary is just that, because it's going to require a long time to help these people rebuild."

I see a contrast where there shouldn't be one. You can argue that actions taken after the results of 9/11 (specifically, the occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq) will take as much time, if not more, to resolve than the devastation brought on by Katrina. Both events witness an amazing level of footdragging (with 9/11 getting the Commission formed; with Katrina, getting supplies to the right locations and people out of danger). Both have been used as political footballs. Both are examples that the country needs to seriously address national preparedness.

So, the main lesson I got from 9/11 was "be prepared" and "the local, state and federal government should be sharing information more openly." Obviously, others did not learn these lessons, otherwise Katrina would have been handled better. In addition, it appears very few people learned any lessons from Katrina '05.

But...poll numbers supporting the Iraq War (or rather, the War on Terror) are more favorable for Bush than for handling Katrina.

As long as Bush can equate the WOT to Iraq (which would be a record-breaking 2-day flip-flop) and make people forget Katrina happened on his watch, I guess he figures the November mid-term elections will go fine.


Monday, August 21, 2006

How Low Can You Go?

Hearts & Minds: The Recruiting

"A six-month Associated Press investigation found that more than 80 military recruiters were disciplined last year for sexual misconduct with potential enlistees. The cases occurred across all branches of the military and in all regions of the country."

My question: how are we going to keep our military strong if recruits continue to be treated in such a sick, depraved manner? If this type of stuff is happening on a larger scale (think about the number of accounts that went unreported), then apparently a good number of our troops are leaving for (or returning to) Iraq with social/psychological concerns even before they get into combat.

Back-To-School...For Both of Us

"It's the first day of school in Prince George's, and classes will begin over the next few weeks across the region. And in this annual rite, first-year teachers have at least one thing in common with their pupils: the jitters."

Don't Unpack Just Yet, Soldier!

"Spc. Chris Carlson had been out of the U.S. Army for two years and was working at Costco in California when he received notice that he was being called back into service.

The 24-year-old is one of thousands of soldiers and Marines who have been deployed to Iraq under a policy that allows military leaders to recall troops who have left the service but still have time left on their contract. "

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I See Jail Time...

"Teen actor Haley Joel Osment, who suffered a broken rib last month when his car struck a mailbox, faces up to six months in jail on charges that he was driving drunk and possessing marijuana, authorities said."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"I want out right now."

Now I see why the Bush Administration hasn't pushed for a draft...

"The Army has launched an investigation into claims, by the parents of a young soldier from Utah, that recruiters used false promises and forged documents to enlist him."

Shawshank Redemption: The Afghanistan Version

"A former CIA contractor accused of severely beating an Afghan detainee with a flashlight during questioning was found guilty Thursday of assault."

Remember: Hearts and Minds; It's America's mission to bring democracy to the Middle East.

Try Hatching Another One, Orrin

"Sen. Orrin Hatch, who continuously decries the bitter partisanship in Washington, implied this week that Democratic success in November's election could result in terrorist attacks on America."

What did he say back in 2004? "[Terrorists ] are going to throw everything they can between now and the election to try and elect Kerry."

And now? [Middle East terrorists are] "waiting for the Democrats here to take control, let things cool off and then strike again."

"Strike Again?" Give me a break. I could debunk this stupid premise with 50 examples or two points. I'll use the two points.

Point Number One: 9/11 happened on President Bush's watch. Bush is a Republican.

Points Number Two: July wins the dubious prize of being the most violent month in Iraq. So if you are one who believes that terrorists are now in Iraq, they are "striking" us and have been all last month.

Now Hatch believes it could get worse if Democrats are in charge? Whatever.

Until Hatch and others who spew this nonsensical garbage provide some true evidence that having Democrats in charge of government actually lead to more terrorist attacks than having Republicans in charge (don't forget to include the George W. Bush Administration in the comparison) they should just shut the hell up. They are not going to win any new votes with this tactic.

Family Tree

As Senator Allen tries to dig himself out of a hole he dug, Media Matters reminds us that there's a strong possiblity that he did know what he was talking about.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This Is The War That Never Ends...

Bush sees no end to the War on Terror, but he's confident that he's made America safer.

Bullet-Proof Breast?

"An Israeli woman's breast implants saved her life when she was wounded in a Hizbollah rocket attack during Israel's war with the Lebanese group, a hospital spokesman said on Tuesday."

The Unraveling

Now that conservative WashPost columnist George Will has criticized the Bush administration's foreign policy, will there be a backlash?

Va. Flip-Flop

Sen. George Allen tries to cover his racist tracks...after being caught, of course.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Big Chill

Police in Bountiful, Utah are talking to an 18-yr-old (they caught him in Montana) after finding his mom in the freezer.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Tom DeLay attacks conservative Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia for rejecting his appeal.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Count Dooku Won't Go Down Easily

Any wonder I compared Joe Lieberman to the rebellious ex-Jedi? Well, take a peak in his concession speech:

I am disappointed not just because I lost, but because the old politics of partisan polarization won today. For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand.

I expect that my opponent will continue to do in the general election what he has done in the primary … partisan polarizing instead of talking about how we can solve people's problems, insults instead of ideas. In other words, more of the same old partisan politics that has assailed Washington today.

I will continue to offer Connecticut a different path forward. I went into public service to find solutions, not to point fingers. To unite, not to divide. To lift up, not to tear down. To make my community and country a better place to live and work.

People …and not just the Democrats are angry at the direction of this country - so am I. People are fed up with the petty partisanship and angry vitriol in Washington.

Let me tell you, I have been there, and I am fed up too. … Every disagreement is considered disloyal. And every opponent it is not just an opponent but is seen as evil. It is time for our elected leaders to stop playing political games, so we can get things done for the people who are good enough to send us to Washington to serve them. That's exactly what I am trying to do.

See? Lieberman blames partisan politics. Not his relationship with Bush, or the fact that his campiagn pinched pennies, or the fact that Lamont is a genuine guy who wants to make a difference.

Hey Joe, if things were so bad...and D.C. is so partisan..then why the hell haven't you been fighting this in your 18 years? Why did you decide that the best thing to do was to join the team that had control of the governement, instead of representing your state and your party?

Now you want to run as an independent so you can "continue this campaign for a new politics of unity and purpose." Then why didn't you do this from the begining? Why waste the time, energy and resources of the Democratic Party? Hedging your bets again I see; just like when you and Gore were running for the big one.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Now We're Cooking...

That must had been one hell of a disagreement: "A woman accused of dumping hot cooking oil on her sleeping husband has been charged with murder, and the FBI has joined the search for her."

Maybe He's Camera Shy

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s buddy, the Prince of Darkness, is "fighting efforts by state lawmakers to force him to testify in Annapolis tomorrow morning, according to court papers made public yesterday."


The Real Steele


Mr. Cruise is getting a paycut.

No Main Topic

1. Jared Jeffries will be going to New York, because the Wizards will not match his offer. Finding a player with both his size and defensive attributes will be difficult.

2. In politics, apparently everything's related. Yikes.

3. Remember my raving about Rachel McAdams' versatility? Compare that to Maggie Grace. Let's just say her characters from "The Fog" and "LOST" were...similar. But she's still better than Whatshername.

4. Texas politician DeLay has to run afterall. Ha! To bad he transferred all of his campaign money to his defense fund.

5. And BTW: shopping carts aren't safe for kids. Well, I'm glad that debate has been settled.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Iraq: The Rebel Teen Phase?

Does this count as "standing up?"

"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack Monday on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad, breaking with his American partners on security tactics as the U.S. launches a major operation to secure the capital."

Sounds like al-Maliki is ready to run Iraq without the training wheels (read US). Or at the very least he suspects something may go wrong with the attack. If that's the case, he needs to come right out and say it.

His money quote about the offensive? "This won't happen again."

Let's Skip Red Lobster Tonight, Honey...

G-Dubya, Y'all

Fresh...for '06, you suckas!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Minimum Wage Bait&Switch has a post called "Playing Politics with the Minimum Wage" that's worth checking out...

Republicans may be moving towards a vote on minimum wage, after blocking Democrats from bringing the issue to the floor time and again. With the November elections looming, Republicans appear to be hedging their bets with this vote. Unfortunately, Republicans appear unlikely to vote for a minimum wage increase without getting something in return.

Birds of a Feather...

Katherine Harris, who hasn't really gotten support from the male side of her party, seems to have one friend left: Sen. Mel Martinez.

"Katherine has always been there for the Republican Party, and now it's high time the Republican Party be there for her," the letter on Martinez's personal Senate stationery states.

FYI: Mel Martinez was the guy behind the infamous Terry Schiavo memo.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's Hard Out There for a, Coach

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Files: Coach Accused of Being a Pimp.

From the story:

According to a charging document, the girl told police that Burroughs -- who is also a Metrobus driver -- repeatedly took her to the District to engage in prostitution beginning in September. She said Burroughs, 35, also had sex with her, starting when she was 14, the document says.

The girl was a student at the high school, according to a law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity because that information has not been revealed in public documents...

...The girl told the officer that Burroughs had driven her from Maryland to the District on Sunday and that the two had sex early Monday in his Range Rover in the Metrobus yard on Bladensburg Road NE.

She said that he rented a room for her at the Budget Inn on New York Avenue NE for the purposes of prostitution and that a customer -- the man she was later found with -- drove her to Takoma Park and paid her $150 for sex, according to the document.

Hearing stories like this make me grateful that I've long since graduated from high school.


In the Hot Seat

There's a reason Donald Rumsfeld didn't want to testify before the Senate in public: he didn't want to get caught up in all of his lies.

Hot For Fox?

Apparently, thinks the only "hot" women are from FOX and their affiliates. Like liberal women aren't attractive or something.

Or maybe...FOX figured out that the best way to get people to watch their news shows is to model-type women in front of the camera.

Not So Eagle-Eye

Eagle's owner Jeffrey Lurie says that signing Terrell Owens was a mistake. Way to guarantee a draw for that Dallas-Philly game, Jeff.

The Heat Must Be Getting To Him

You know something's off when Tucker is calling out Bill O'Reilly. On the other hand, while they may both be conservatives, they are also cable news rivals. Maybe it's cause Tucker lost that bow tie.

Tucker also laments on CNN's Rapture Addiction. What's with this guy?