Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No Main Topic

  1. Obviously, losing every early primary early and banking your nominations hopes on Florida was not a good strategy.

  2. On the other hand: investing in Yahoo may be a good idea.

  3. The Wizards will need some help with Tough Juice out for awhile.

  4. With a reporter dressing up as a bride and asking quarterbacks to marry her, the Superbowl has officially become a circus.

  5. Ethnic cleansing is taking place in Kenya, according to a US envoy.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bush's Grand Bribe Is Underway!

But Congress is calling it a "stimulus package" because that sounds more warm and fuzzy:

House leaders and the administration reached agreement today on a roughly $145 billion economic stimulus package that would quickly send payments to poor and middle-class workers while offering businesses one-time incentives to invest in new equipment and write off tax losses.

In formally announcing the deal this afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. hailed it as a bipartisan effort that would help stimulate the economy by spurring consumer demand and creating new jobs.

Under the plan, as many as 117 million people would get rebate checks. Individual income tax filers would receive up to $600, working couples would get up to $1,200, and those with children would get an additional $300 per child.

But wait, there's more!

Under the deal, nearly everyone earning a paycheck would receive at least $300 from the Internal Revenue Service. Workers who earned at least $3,000 last year -- but not enough to pay income taxes -- would be eligible for $300.

Overall, 117 million families will receive a rebate check, including 35 million with incomes too low to have qualified under the earlier Bush proposal. Those 35 million families will receive rebates totaling $28 billion.

Full rebates would be sent to single taxpayers who earned up to $75,000 and couples with incomes of as much as $150,000. The value of the payments would decline after that and phase out entirely at incomes of roughly $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for joint filers.

I'm still skeptical; what's their definition of "families?" Because if I know the classic GOP conservative definition it's "Mom, Dad and a Kid." I wouldn't be surprised to see a story in ten months about a single mother of four who couldn't get her check because she got divorced or (gasp!) never got married in the first place.

Also, how can you guarantee that people are going to use this money to strengthen the American Economy? Does the Average American know the difference between a product made in and by Americans, versus something that's from overseas? Why would people buy anything when they could use the cash to pay off some debts? Or put into a bank account? Or under their mattress?

And another thing: It's a freaking bribe!

UPDATE: It feels good to know I'm not the only one who thinks that this is a poorly conceived and constructed plan.

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Not The Hair!

David Letterman proves that presidential wannabe John Edwards isn't as caught up about his follicles as the media is.

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A Serious Look At The Issues

Around the Internets

  1. C&L: Michael Savage gets ravaged by sponsors.

  2. Oliver Willis: The Anti-Choice crowd is weak.

  3. Glenn Greenwald: Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller is fighting on the wrong side.

  4. Jurassicpork: Fall Back, Bill Clinton.

  5. More nasty rumors about Barack Obama. Unlike the person who posted this, I won't say that Camp Clinton was behind it. But it stinks just the same.

  6. "You're not one of those feminists, are you?" is one of ten things women don't want to hear from men.


No Main Topic

  1. Maria Sharapova is still kicking butt. Remember, she's the attractive tennis star that can win matches.

  2. Iraq's still a violent, bloody mess, BTW.

  3. Meanwhile: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is losing his posse.

  4. Former President Bill Clinton may be crossing the line in campaigning so heavily for his wife, Sen. Clinton.

  5. President Bush's, "stimulus package" is making it's way through Congress today.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Begging Abroad

This is just sad.

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sought to soothe investor fears about the U.S. economy on Wednesday, saying it was resilient and sound and that Washington remained open to trade and investment.

In the keynote address at the World Economic Forum in Davos delivered against a backdrop of financial turmoil, Rice made a rare foray into world economics and urged her audience of business leaders to have confidence in the U.S. economy.

"The U.S. economy is resilient, its structure is sound, and its long-term economic fundamentals are healthy.

The United States continues to welcome foreign investment and free trade," she said.

People in the US can't fill their tank, pay for their medicine or groceries and manage their mortgage and student loans but that doesn't stop Rice from trying to put a pair of rose-colored glasses on a group of people who aren't stupid enough to watch the Fox Business Channel. Seriously, doesn't she know that these rich European investors didn't get rich by listening to people like her and President Bush?

And on that note, what the hell does she know about the economy? I though she was Secretary of State. Then again, looking at her statements, it's evident that she doesn't really believe what she's saying either. I wish a reporter would have asked her to give them an example of a "long-term economic fundamental." I certainly don't remember my professors in college mentioning that one.

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Bid Before It's Too Late

It sounds like eBay's CEO may take a bow.

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No Main Topic

  1. Tom Brady's not that hurt.

  2. The wall came tumbling down at the Gaza Strip.

  3. Paris Hilton vouches for Britney Spears' "mommy skills."

  4. It took the near-destruction of our economy, but President Bush and Congressional Democrats finally seem to be coming together.

  5. A link between weight-loss surgery and Type 2 diabeties has been found.

  6. Just how many falsehoods, misleading statements and lies did the Bush Administration tell to get the United States to support an attack on Iraq? About 935.

  7. You know a robbery is going badly when the crooks are throwing the money they stole away.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

R.I.P.: Heath Ledger

Story here.

I remember when I first saw him in "10 things I Hate About You;" I had a feeling that he wouldn't be a forgotten face in Hollywood. He continued to get roles (some better than others) but he could never be specifically type casted, which was a good thing for an actor.

Of course, most people will remember him from his role in "Brokeback Mountain." For others, it's his upcoming turn as The Joker in "The Dark Knight." Regardless, all I can say is I'm surprised he went away so quickly.

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If You Missed the Democratic Debate Last Night Like I Did...

And you want to get a sense of how it went down, well...I'll let Superman and Wonder Woman demonstrate. The Man of Steel plays the role of Obama, and the Amazon Princess plays Clinton.

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It Only Took Four Months...

Fred Thompson drops out. You can catch him on reruns of "Law and Order."

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No Main Topic

This is a straight "quotes" edition:

  1. "The Federal Reserve today slashed the short-term interest rate it controls by three-quarters of a percentage point, a surprise move meant to keep plummeting stock markets around the world from threatening the underpinnings of the world economy."

  2. "Kuwait's only female politician survived an attempt to oust her Tuesday by conservative lawmakers who accused her of mismanagement and endangering traditional religious values. Hundreds of female supporters applauded and ululated from the galleries as parliament voted 27-19, with two abstentions, against the impeachment of Education Minister Nouria al-Subeih, a pioneer in this small oil-rich Gulf state where women were only allowed to participate in political life in 2005."

  3. "The Bush administration will cut counterterrorism money for police, firefighters and rescue departments next year, but not by as much as it originally proposed."

  4. "Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama accused each other of repeatedly and deliberately distorting the truth for political gain Monday night in a highly personal, finger-wagging debate that ranged from the war in Iraq to Bill Clinton's role in the campaign."


Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's Always Been the Economy, Stupid

Jon Markman on the upcoming Recession and the government's response to it:

That rumbling sound you hear coming from Washington, D.C.? It's Treasury Department helicopters packed with bags full of cash about to be dropped on voters, as the federal government prepares to launch a brazen, desperate election-year effort to rescue the economy.

If you thought the government's delayed response to Hurricane Katrina was a study in out-of-control largesse -- replete with no-strings-attached debit cards handed to anyone with a Cajun accent and a damp shirt -- wait until you see what the government has in mind for the rest of us this year.

More here.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

The Democrat's Big Three: Rachel Maddow Nails It (and Eugene Robinson Too!)

I heard Air America radio personality Rachel Maddow say this on her on show a few days ago, but I couldn't remember the whole text and didn't want to reprint it or talk about it until I could find it. Lucky for me, she repeated it on MSNBC's Countdown w/Keith Olbermann (thanks to C&L for their video as well).

The topic? The meaning beside all this "change" rhetoric:

And I think that Obama and Clinton and Edwards are actually identifying what needs to be changed in three really different ways. I think Hillary Clinton is saying the Republicans and Bush need to be out and Democrats need to be in. I think John Edwards is saying the special interests and the lobbyists need to be out and the people need to be in, in the populist way. And I think that Barack Obama is saying that he needs to be in because he can transcend the differences across the political divide right now. There’s three very different visions of what you would do to the country if you had the reins.

I think that sums up the top three Democratic candidates views on change very nicely, and it tell us alot about the candidates themselves.

For Clinton, it's about the party, and as far as recent history is concerned, the fondest memories of Democrats in power equate to the Bill Clinton Administration. His approval rating during his last year is but one small testament to the good feelings his term invokes. So if the your is "we just need Democrats in charge" and Bill Clinton has been the most successful Democrat, then why not another Clinton Democrat for the White House?

For Edwards, it's about the working class, or rather, what's left of it. People still consider it the backbone of the US economy, and between an increase in lobbyists, corporate mergers and pork-laden legislation, it's been taking a beating. The result has been a union that's been weakened and vilified, CEOs making crazy money and a government that would rather bail out an airline company for making bad financial decisions than a person. So if your issue is "Lobbyists and Corporations have bought your politicians," and you're not a fan of this, then why not an Edwards Administration?

For Obama, it's about turning politics as we know it on it's head. Your average American (let alone your average voter) tries to stay away from politics as much as possible because the process has become more disgusting with each year. As a consequence, people as less informed when they do decide to vote, and often rely on TV ads, sound bites and shoddy (not to mention partisan) debates. There are voters who cross party lines every presidential election, and this one will be no different. So if you believe the problem is that people need to more a part of the political process, and that this political process needs to be more about addressing America's concerns than building/solidifying a party majority, then President Obama may be the way to go.

Now, I could be wrong here, but this is how I feel about Maddow's interpretation. The type of "change" you want will depend on what you think the key issues are. I'm just thankful that there are people like her who can filter things out for those (like me) who can't always put the pieces together.

UPDATE: Here's a YouTube video!

UPDATE PART DEUX: It seems like Eugene Robinson has seen Maddow's assessment, or at least is seeing the three Democrats in a similar light:

The really agonizing choices are the ones being made now in both parties.

Is the Republican coalition assembled by Ronald Reagan and reunited by Bush still viable now that so many independents have drifted away? If not, then where lies the party's true soul? In the hawkishness of McCain, or perhaps Rudy Giuliani? In Romney's big-business boosterism? In Mike Huckabee's new admixture of social conservatism and economic populism?

Three primary contests have given three different answers. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, knows exactly what it stands for. Obama, Clinton and Edwards are hardly fire-breathing radicals. Their positions on domestic issues are all comfortably within the Democratic mainstream. Internationally, all would seek to repair the damage to America's standing that Bush has done; none is likely to look for wars to start, but none is going to take Dennis Kucinich's recommendation to renounce war-making for all time.

What Democratic primary voters have to decide, as they cast their ballots, is not just how they view the candidates but how they view the moment. After suffering through the infuriating Bush years, are Democrats ready to fight, as Edwards believes? Are they nostalgic for the Clinton era, which had its pluses and minuses but at least holds no mystery? Or are they ready to follow Obama on a promising new path, trusting that he knows the way?

Not easy.

Amen to that.

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No Main Topic

  1. Somehow, Jay Leno (who isn't using writers) is still beating David Letterman (who owns his show and made a WGA-approved deal with his writing team).

  2. R.I.P., Bobby Fischer. Hopefully people will learn from your chess-playing prowess, and not your anti-Semitic views.

  3. Presidential wannabes may find that the Latino vote could be key in Nevada.

  4. The United States experiences a baby boomlet.

  5. "Suite Life" and "High School Musical" star Ashley Tisdale talks about her nose job.

  6. The Cleveland Cavs get revenge on the San Antonio Spurs.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Around the Internets

  1. From Huffington Post: Katie Couric mocks her "Today Show" replacement Meredith Vieira.

  2. Oliver Willis relishes the irony of the "Al Qaeda Republicans." (Sadly, the revelation came to late for people like Max Cleland and John Kerry)

  3. Gilbert Arenas talks about...well, a whole lot of stuff.

  4. Over at Daily Kos: Senator Russ Feingold makes his case regarding the FISA bill.

  5. TPMudracker catches Mike Huckabee pollsters telling South Carolina voters that John McCain "voted to allow scientific experiments to be done on unborn children."

  6. Perrspective on what Mitt Romney's win in the Michigan primaries means for the GOP race.


Single Web-Slinger

Spider-Man and Mary Jane are no longer a couple. I haven't picked up a Spider-Man comic in years, but I don't think this will drastically alter fans perception of the character. Even though they were "married" in 1987, that's like three, maybe four years in Marvel Time. Besides, the generation who reads the comic now was so used to Peter Parker being married and is probably barely aware of Gwen Stacey (unless they saw the movie, which didn't really due justice to Spidey's relationship with her).

Nevertheless, something tells me it will go over better than that stupid Clone Saga.

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No Main Topic

  1. R.I.P., Richard Knerr.

  2. Even though he got his butt kicked by Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris is an asset to presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee, and vice versa.

  3. Female celebrities without makeup.

  4. The Miami Dolphins get a new coach.

  5. Bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb bomb Iraq.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


In order to resuscitate the ailing economy, President Bush proposed a stimulus package. But here's the thing.

Democrats don't want the Bush tax cuts to be extended as part of the deal:

The growing consensus among Democrats, according to Schumer, is a package that includes targeted tax cuts for the middle class and certain spending programs. In the hearing, he cited "broad-based tax rebates, extending unemployment insurance and food stamps, targeted business tax cuts to stimulate job creation, and federal assistance to states."

Democrats also appear unified that "the number one obstacle" to quick action would be Republican efforts to extend the president's income tax cuts which expire in 2011. Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, said renewing those cuts "should be off the table, because they will thwart any chance of passing a stimulus package."

Republicans don't want tax increases to be part of the deal:

“We sincerely believe that Members on both sides of the aisle and the President can work together to craft a responsible package that reduces the tax burden on families and employers so they can more effectively deal with the rising costs of living that too many Americans know all too well,” House Republican Leader John Boehner and Republican Whip Roy Blount wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.

“At the same time, it is incumbent upon Congress not to make matters worse by raising taxes on anyone, in any way, while ensuring the measure does not become a vehicle for unrelated spending that has no place in an economic stimulus package,” they wrote.

Someone's gonna have to give. Until then: TAX WAR!

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How Out Of Touch Is Bill O'Reilly?

The man who thinks there aren't that many homeless vets in America? It turns out the answer is: "very. "

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Want Gas? Cut Out the Middle Man!

When I first saw this, I was kinda shocked:

Washington [D.C.] officials were worried about terrorism on Tuesday night when someone stole a tanker truck and drove it toward D.C.

The truck was stolen from Pennsylvania and ended up in Northeast Washington. However, police said it appeared that the crook wasn't interested in terrorism.

The fuel truck that was the subject of a nationwide terrorism alert was found on a residential street in Northeast Washington a few miles from the White House on Tuesday night...

...Investigators called for officers from the bomb squad to make sure that the vehicle was not rigged with any explosives or booby traps.

They said they think whoever stole the truck did so not for terrorism, but for profit.

"We don't see any nexus to terrorism," said D.C. police Sgt. James Manning. "We believe it was probably stolen for financial gain of some sort."

By the time the truck was tracked down via a GPS system, some 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel had been pumped out and presumably stolen.

Then I caught this story, about a similar incident that occurred only a week ago:

Suffolk [in New York] police said Friday that three - not just two - fuel tanker trucks were taken recently over a two-day period.

Det. Sgt. Bryan McMenemy of the Fifth Squad said the third tanker went missing sometime between Monday and Wednesday from All Island Fuel on Wading River Road in Center Moriches.

McMenemy said he did not know how much fuel was in the tanker.

Thursday morning the owner of Hirsch Fuels on Wheeler Road in Hauppauge reported that a 1999 International Oil tanker truck containing 2,131 gallons of home heating oil had been stolen, Suffolk police said.

The same morning, the owner of Consumer Comfort Group on Central Avenue in Bohemia reported the theft of a 1995 oil tanker.

Police did not know how much oil was in the second truck.

The thefts took place between midnight and 8 a.m., police said. Police found the Bohemia truck about 1 p.m. Thursday on Wurz Street in Brentwood, while the vehicle from Hauppauge was discovered in Mastic at about 6:15 p.m. that day.

You would think the fuel companies would be all over this, but:

None of the fuel companies returned calls for comment.

Now here's what's really freaky. In the first story, the police had this to say:

Police said there has been an increase in thefts like this as fuel prices continue to rise.

Got that? Gas prices are such an issue that people are stealing oil tankers...and for the time being, the oil companies don't seem to care.

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Art Imitates Life

All I can say is: the similarities are striking. But I really doubt Hillary Clinton acted like this when she was a teenager. Nevertheless; striking.

And I think that says more about how Clinton has been presented through both her campaign and the media as much how she presents herself to the public.

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No Main Topic

  1. Mitt Romney wins in Michigan, partially by using John McCain's "Straight Talk" gimmick against him.

  2. LeBron James scores half of his mph, beats Memphis.

  3. Cool: Christian Bale and Johnny Depp to star in a crime drama.

  4. President Bush begs Saudi Arabia to lower oil prices.

  5. Eva Longoria (Parker) doesn't think it's Jessica Simpson's fault the Dallas Cowboys caved.

  6. House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers thinks that a special prosecutor should be looking over that whole "destroyed CIA water boarding tapes" thing.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Around the Internets

  1. Arianna Huffington wonders when (or if) Iraq will become an major issue again in the 2008 presidential election.

  2. Eugene Robinson on Clinton and Obama, and who currently has the upper hand.

  3. Fred Kaplan thinks that President Bush's dismissal of the recent NIE report of Iran hurts America's credibility overseas...and could also set a bad precedent.

  4. (Via C&L) MSNBC wants you to know that John Edwards is the "white guy."


The Best Laid Predictions of Mice and Media...

Eric Boehlert: The media's bias and desire for a story contributed to the massive misread in New Hamsphire.

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An Ex-President Speaks!

And boy, does he starts off firing!

Sometimes I'm a little stupid, maybe, a little slow in the head, so I'm wondering if you can help me get something straight. Maybe you can help me understand one fucking thing right now, America, and explain to me what in the Christ is going on here. 'Cause, unless I'm missing something, this country is in the middle of a motherfucking shitstorm, and I have no fucking idea what you're gonna do to get out of it. I mean, are you seriously considering voting for one of these shitbags you got here in '08? Fat fucking chance.

And before you freak out, it's not the real Jimmy Carter. This is from the Onion after all.

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One Good Turn Deserves Another...

For the Iowa Caucus, Dennis Kucinich told his supporters that they can choose Barack Obama as their #2 choice. It may have contributed to Obama's win.

Considering that Obama (and John Edwards) aren't on the Michigan ballot (the Democrats there were being naughty and lost their delegates) but Hillary Clinton Mike Gravel and Kucinich are, wouldn't it be cool for Obama to return the favor and say, "I'm not there, but if you want to vote for someone, give it to Dennis?"

Kucinich and Edwards both need wins, or the media's (up til now) unjustified non-coverage will become...justified. Kucinich winning in Michigan and Edwards winning in South Carolina will force the media to at least acknowledge them, and lead more voters to look at these guys.

As for Gravel: when he can get an endorsement or muster at least 1%, we'll talk.

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A Question For John McCain

If we're really "succeeding politically" than why does the Iraqi defense minister think that "his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018?" I thought you need a stable government to properly protect your borders.

UPDATE: In McCain's defense, things would be easier if the Iraqi government could make up it's mind.

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No Main Topic

  1. D.C. Mayor Fenty gives six welfare workers the axe for indirectly allowing this to happen.

  2. Some online dating myths are debunked.

  3. Lakers beat the Sonics, but barely.

  4. In Wheaton, MD: the teller may have been behind a bank robbery.

  5. Democrats in traditionally Republican states tend to gravitate more towards Obama than Clinton.


The Wizards Halt The Bostocalypse...

Two outta three ain't bad. D.C.'s feeling it, and so is Boston. One thing is certain from this win: Antwan Jamison and Caron Butler are legit and deserve an All-Star appearance.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Dallas Cowboys 2007: 8-Second Run-Down

Wonderful. I can think of at least one blogger who would like this.

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George Bush Gets No Love in the Middle East has the goods, but this editorial from (which Rachel Maddow mentioned) takes the cake:

Dear Mr. President;
Lest you forget. Invasion of Iraq. Thousands of dead. Looting the National Museum. Disbanding the Iraqi army. Donald Rumsfeld. Shock and Awe. Jay Garner. Paul Bremer. Inciting sectarianism. Abu Ghraib. Thousands of detainees without charges. Torture. Oil. Ghost WMDs. The Niger connection. Halliburton. Blackwater. Deadly security contractors. Mercenaries. Fallujah. Haditha massacre. Blind support of Israel. Instigating the suffering of Gaza. Ignoring the expansion of illegal colonies. Defying United Nations resolutions. Securing "a Jewish State". Allowing Israelis to extend the destruction of Lebanon in the 2oo6 war. Providing Israel with new Bunker Buster bombs to attack Lebanese towns. The War on Terror. "TheCrusade". Clash of civilisations. Where is Osama Bin Laden? Afghanistan. Bagram massacre. Bombing media offices. Guantanamo Bay. Kangaroo courts. Indefinite detention. Presidential orders to ignore Geneva Conventions. "Unlawful enemy combatants". Illegal National Security Agency wiretapping. Fingerprinting visitors. Black prisons. Kidnapping foreign citizens on foreign lands. Khalid Al Masri. Abu Omar. Maher Arar. Central Intelligence Agency. "Aggressive interrogation techniques". Destroying the torture tapes. Iran tension. Isolating Syria. Embracing Syrian opposition Iraq style. The Chavez coup. Denial of global warming. Rejecting Kyoto Protocol. Marginalisation of the United Nations. John Bolton. Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank. Carl Rove. Alberto Gonzales. Firing attorneys. Nepotism. False democracy promises. Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney and Dick Cheney....

...Mr President;
In a famous speech in 2003 you announced an "historic" shift in US foreign policy. You pledged to support democracy and liberty while declaring "victory" in Iraq. More than four years later, Iraq is in chaos. It has virtually disintegrated and "the surge" did little to stop the killing or ease the sectarian tension. At the same time, you gave up on your freedom-for-all prophecy. We are all back to the old ways of doing business - arms and oil. The agenda of your current tour is evident...

...Mr President;
It has been reported that you are here to "lecture" us on democracy and human rights. But with a record like yours, you will not be very convincing. The people you are addressing have greater respect for human rights and dignity.

You also said that your current tour aims to realise the long neglected peace in the Middle East. Regional peace, Mr President, will not be achieved by escalating tension and threatening to change regimes. And most importantly, it will not be achieved by supporting Israel, which continues to defy international law, occupy Arab lands, oppress the Palestinians and rebuff peace initiatives...

Outrageous. It's a shame that Bush could care less at this point.

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In Case You Forgot: Iraq Adventure Is Destroying the American Military


If the U.S. were to face a new conventional threat, its military could not respond effectively without turning to air power, officials and analysts say.

That is the ultimate upshot of the war in Iraq: a response elsewhere would consist largely of U.S. fighters and bombers — even, perhaps, some degree of nuclear strike — because so many ground troops are tied up in Operation Iraqi Freedom...

...The Congressional Budget Office reported in 2006 that Army readiness rates had declined to the lowest levels since the end of the Vietnam War, with roughly half of all Army units, active and reserve, at the lowest readiness ratings for currently available units. Casey told the Senate committee that training and readiness levels for nondeployed units have “actually stayed about the same since last summer — and it’s not good.”

The Marine Corps isn’t as heavily committed in Iraq in terms of raw numbers, but leathernecks’ shorter deployments come more frequently. And as the heavy requirements of Iraq shorten the time back home to train for missions other than counterinsurgency, most nondeployed forces simply are not ready for other types of combat, be it amphibious assault or combined-arms warfare.

“While the readiness of deployed units remains high, we have experienced a decrease in the readiness of some nondeployed units,” Gen. Robert Magnus, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, told Ortiz’s subcommittee March
13. The Corps has “a limited ability to provide trained forces to project power in support of other contingencies,” Magnus said.

So that puts the neo-conservative obsession with "bombing Iran" (as opposed to "going in" and "bringing democracy" to it) into perspective. As war-crazy as they are, even they realize that there's not enough manpower for (another) full-scale invasion.

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LeBron James Goes Fast...In His Car

Gives new meaning to the phrase "driving through the lane."

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How Sad is the Bush Administration?

So sad that George W. Bush said that if he was running for president now, he'd run on "change."

I've always held the belief that despite the (as Al Franken put it) "Fear, Smear and Queers" campaign Bush ran on in 2004, what made that an interesting election was that he was running against 2000 Bush as much as he was running against 2004 John Kerry. In 2004, he barely mentioned his accomplishments (stop laughing) as president. He ended his "Kerry can't be president because he's flip-floppy" speeches with the comment (directed at Kerry) "He can run, but he can't hide!" Does that sound like something an incumbent would say?

And remember, even though 9/11 happened on his watch, he managed to campaign as the person best suited to protect us...from another terrorist attack.

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Around the Internets

  1. Mind your history.

  2. Watching the Giants beat the Cowboys is bittersweet, but hell, no Redskin fan wants to see Dallas in the Superbowl. I'd rather endure the Bostocalypse. Seriously. Speaking of the Bostocalypse, how cool was Saturday?

  3. Crooks & Liars catches Karl Rove's "This is How You Attack Barack Obama" message.

  4. Yes, the writers are still on strike.

  5. Maybe Shaq should retire.


Friday, January 11, 2008

One Pissed-Off Sports Guy!

You can feel the anger in Bill Simmons' latest NFL Playoff predictions:

According to Rule No. 10 of the manifesto, you can't pick an underdog if you don't think they can win the game. So let's look at the numbers here.

  • Belichick's playoff record in New England: 14-2
  • Brady's playoff record at home: 6-0
  • Belichick's record against Jack Del Rio: 3-0
  • New England's lifetime record against Jacksonville: 7-1
  • New England's 2007 regular-season record: 16-0
  • Number of '07 Patriots wins by 14-plus points: 11
  • Record of '07 Jags after falling behind by more than seven points: 0-4
For anyone playing the "Jacksonville can control the clock and pressure Brady" card, didn't we see the Steelers drop 19 points on the Jags in about five seconds last weekend once they started chucking the ball every down? What about the fact Jacksonville relies on its defensive line for pressure and isn't one of those Philly-type teams that blitzes from all angles -- if anything, the Jags are pretty predictable -- which makes them exactly the type of defense Brady chewed up and wore down this season. (Remember the Redskins game?) Also, who's covering Wes Welker on the Jags? Have we figured this out yet? Do you really think Randy Moss -- someone who always shows up for big games -- isn't coming out of Round 2 with one huge play? Hasn't Belichick always been able to shut down one-dimensional offenses? Do you feel even remotely confident in Garrard trying to match points with Brady if he's down by double digits in the fourth quarter?

Maybe the Pats can be beaten, but not by these guys. In fact, I'm insulted that you even think this might be close.

Ouchie! Methinks someone read Jeremy Green's prediction, and got hot.

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M.C. Obama?

Or maybe "A4C," as for "Agent for Change." Either way, the politician-getting-a-rap-name quips are about to fly now that Barack Obama plans to meet with Hip Hop stars:

Senator Barack Obama plans to use Hip Hop artists to educate the American public if he wins the Democratic candidacy and becomes President.

Obama, who lost to Hillary Clinton in yesterday's New Hampshire primary, says he has been a Hip Hop fan for years. Although neither Jay-Z nor Kanye West have come out to publicly support Obama's candidacy, Obama has already talked with the two regarding ways in which they can use their music in a positive way, and also how to branch out and fill the gap between older generations who dismiss Hip Hop as a negative, inferior art form.

"I've met with Jay-Z; I've met with Kanye. And I've talked to other artists about how potentially to bridge that gap. I think the potential for them to deliver a message of extraordinary power that gets people thinking (is massive)," Obama told Jeff Johnson during BET's political special What's In It For Us?.

Though he supports using Hip Hop as a catalyst for good, Obama is also aware of Hip Hop's negative side too, acknowledging that messages of crime and misogyny overshadow the many positive aspects of rap music.

"There are times, even on the artists I've named, the artists that I love, that there is a message that's sometimes degrading to women, uses the N-word a little too frequently. But also something that I'm really concerned about is (they're) always talking about material things about how I can get something; more money, more cars."

With the primaries in full swing, the voice of young Black America and the Hip Hop vote will continue to be a focal point in the media. So far, rappers including Common, Rhymefest and Talib Kweli have voiced their support for Obama.

In Hip Hop, Common, Kweli and (to an extent) West represent Black Consciousness as well as anyone; Jay-Z is obviously a big name in the culture. How Obama's camp manages to parlay this will be very interesting.

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Are the Wizards *Really* Better Without Arenas?

Must be a slow news day in the NBA world, with the Bostocalypse rolling along and all. I mean, you do have the intriguing stories of the Heat's utter collapse, the Laker's resurgence and the Piston's "killin' 'em softly" but those stories must be boring.

Nah, it's all about the eternal question: is a team without it's best player any better?

We go through it every year. This time it's Randy Hill over at Fox Sports:

A much larger sample can be found in Washington, where the Wizards have been without Agent Zero (left knee) for their last 23 games. The Wizards (17-16 overall) have won 14 games without Arenas, but only five on the road.

"Gil is pretty notorious for dribbling away the shot clock while looking to score," the Eastern Conference advance scout said. "It's not surprising that they've had some success without that because (Wiz coach) Eddie Jordan runs some of that Princeton stuff and it seems to work better when dribbling is kept to a minimum."

Without Arenas, the Wizards still have two top-flight scorers in forwards Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler. Butler, who averages 16 points per game for his career, has increased that by six points this season. He's knocked in 25 or more points in 11 of Washington's games since Arenas sat down.

Butler and his buddies soon will be put to the test, with two games against Boston and one with Dallas coming up in their next six.

"Losing a star player over part of an 82-game season can be a motivating factor for teammates in the short term," the scout said. "Plus, it changes the way a team plays and how teams are forced to play against them. That can provide a temporary advantage."

And having the opportunity to knock off a few weaker teams can't hurt.

"Trust me, while having ball and player movement can be a coach's dream," the scout said, "losing a star player for a long period of time usually turns out to be a coach's nightmare."

Intriguing argument. But let's see what Michael Lee, who follows the Wizards for a living, has to say:

The Wizards' 14-11 record since Arenas had surgery to repair a torn left meniscus is discussed daily in these parts, and now that the Rockets are winning without their leading scorer, some pundits are wondering if the respective teams of Arenas and McGrady are better without them.

The answer is no.


It's easy to say trade a superstar, but the last few mega deals (McGrady to Houston, O'Neal to Miami, Iverson to Denver and Garnett to Boston) have left the teams that traded their stars 50 cents away from having a quarter. The Garnett deal is the latest glaring example, given how the Celtics are the most improved team in the league while the Timberwolves have made the steepest decline from last season.

Plus, Arenas is one of the toughest players in the league to defend. He's a game-changer. You need those kind of players, especially in the playoffs. I just think it would be better to see a healthy Gilbert playing alongside the vastly improved Butler and the steady Jamison. I know the Wizards went 3-5 with that trio this season, but it was obvious that Arenas wasn't himself, the knee was still wobbly.

People tend to forget that when those guys were in the starting lineup together - and healthy - the Wizards went 33-21 in 2005-06, and 33-21 last season. Maybe I'm wrong, but 66-42 looks like a pretty decent record to me. A .611 winning percentage plays out to a 50-win team over 82 games.

There is a difference between being good enough to beat bad teams and good enough to beat good to great teams consistently. For the Wizards and Rockets, that difference is Arenas and McGrady, respectively. Reason being, the perception of those teams changes with their best players on the floor. With a healthy Arenas or a healthy McGrady on the floor, the Wizards and Rockets are scarier. Those guys have the potential to go off at any minute and demoralize the opposing team.

Yes, they do. All the more reason to keep Arenas right here.

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No Main Topic

  1. Republican presidential wannabes are banking on South Carolina to propel them to the nomination.

  2. Bank of America goes Countrywide; and by "goes" I mean "takes over."

  3. Marion Jones "runs" to New York for sentencing.

  4. In Maryland: Montgomery County vs. the National Naval Medical Center.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pentagon: Um, Maybe it *Wasn't* Iran

Think Progress has a post on how the Pentagon is "revising" the story on that speedboat incident. Looks like jurassicpork (and others) were right to be suspicious.

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More Like a "Belated Change of Heart"

They're calling John Kerry's endorsement of Barack Obama a "snub"; but that's not necessarily true (if you believe Robert Shrum, that is).

But this does invite an interesting question: why hasn't Edwards garnered the big-name endorsements? I mean, his donors are more well-known. Is it that none of the congressional Democrats think he can beat the star power of Clinton and Obama? Is it that they don't support his populism message? Or did Shrum's story make it's way through the Senate and House, thereby poisoning Edwards' chance of getting too much party support?

While having the people support you is admirable, you need at least three things to make a presidential run work: money, primary wins, and major endorsements. Edwards has yet to hit this trifecta.

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Around the Internets

  1. Oliver Willis says that Republicans are running low on wedge issues.

  2. Glenn Greenwald: The media should put their egos aside when covering the presidential candidates (but they won't).

  3. jurassicpork goes "CSI" over the "Iran tried to provoke us" incident.

  4. PERRspectives: some lessons from the New Hampshire results.

  5. Crooks and Liars: what happened to Bill Richardson?

  6. From Think Progress: John McCain is one angry dude.


A Case For The Jaguars?

Jeremy Green is sticking to his guns, predicting that the Jags will stop the NFL Bostocalypse:

First of all, it all starts with a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin sang about it and the Jaguars are looking for some of it. The Jaguars went 11-5 in the toughest division in the NFL -- the AFC South -- and would have gone 12-4 had they played their starters in Week 17. The Patriots played in the dismal AFC East. After going 16-0, I will call them the best regular-season team of all time, but six of those wins came against the Bills, Dolphins and Jets, who were a combined 12-36. Still, despite that, the Patriots have eight Pro Bowlers while the Jaguars had zero. OK, Fred Taylor got in this week due to an injury to Willie Parker, but that's not exactly a rousing show of respect. I know Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio will be reminding his players all week that they had no Pro Bowl players voted in by their peers, opposing coaches or fans. He will be telling his team the Patriots' coaches, players and fans don't respect them since those are the people who make up the voting process. The Jaguars will be motivated.

Secondly, I don't really care what the Patriots' defense is ranked -- it is overrated. Yes, they were fourth overall, 10th against the run and fourth in scoring defense. Those are great stats, but they are misleading. The Patriots' run defense was not very good against Dallas, which averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Or Indianapolis, as Joseph Addai ran for 112 yards. Or Baltimore (Willis McGahee had 138 yards) or the New York Giants, who averaged over four yards a carry. The common denominator is those last three games were close. The Patriots' run defense ranking looks good, but it's a mirage. It's that high because the Patriots blow people out and force them to throw. You know what I love about the Jags? They don't get blown out. Teams that don't commit penalties don't get blown out. Teams that take care of the ball don't get blown out. Teams that can run the ball don't get blown out.

Speaking of that run game, the Jaguars have big-time running backs in Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. They also have a ticked-off offensive line that gets overlooked despite its success. Taylor and Jones-Drew don't make miracles happen every week on their own. Vince Manuwai, one of the most physical guards in the NFL, should have been a Pro Bowler. He is an excellent athlete who can get to the second level, and his ability to reach veteran ILBs Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau will open up the Jacksonville run game. The Patriots have an excellent defensive line and it gets much more hype than the Jaguars' offensive line. But the Jaguars won't back down from anyone. They look at this Patriots defensive line and believe it's just another opportunity to prove they are tougher and more physical.

And in a twist, what the Jaguars do best on offense is also their best defense against the amazing Patriots offense. There really is not a defensive scheme yet devised to stop the Patriots' offense. It is the most explosive attack we have seen in a long time, but know this: New England won't be able to run on Jacksonville. Pittsburgh ran it 26 times for a 1.7 average Saturday night, so the Patriots will throw the ball. The Jaguars' weak link is the back end of the defense. How do you protect your pass defense if you are the Jags? You run the ball. Then you run the ball again. Then you run the ball some more. The best way to beat the Patriots' offense is to leave it standing on the sideline. Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Co. can't beat you if they are not on the field.

A nice argument...we'll see if he's right this weekend.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Where the GOP Meets Buffy

Why Did Hillary Clinton Win Last Night?

Chris Matthews has a theory, and it's as sexist as you think it is.

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When the Going Gets Tough, I'll Slash Your Paycheck.

A peak into how things would go should he become president, perhaps?

Near the bottom in New Hampshire's primary results and strapped for cash, Republican Fred Thompson's campaign is cutting staff salaries to free up resources for a last-ditch effort to revitalize his White House bid in South Carolina. The decision means Thompson will mostly forgo the next primary, scheduled in Michigan, on which rivals John McCain and Mitt Romney are already setting their sights.

"This campaign is going to be a South Carolina campaign," Thompson campaign manager Bill Lacy said in a statement released as New Hampshire primary results showing a McCain victory were being tallied.

"Revitalize his White House bid?" The guy only got 1%! Granted he did better in Iowa, but this time he fell behind "Write-Ins." That can't be too inspiring.

As for his "South Carolina Strategy," it doesn't look like he's making any significant headway right now.

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No Main Topic

  1. When I was gushing about the Wizards I completely forgot the Rockets...and apparently, so did the Wizards.

  2. Ecstasy is on the rise.

  3. The new G.I. Joe movie signs another actor.

  4. President Bush signs a bi-partisan bill that prevents "the severely mentally ill from buying guns."

  5. Like Tupac back in the day, Lindsay Lohan gets around.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mom Uses Baby for Presidential Wannabe Photops

Really. Story's here. She got a picture with everyone but Mike Gravel and Fred Thompson, which is actually impressive in this day and age.

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An ESPN Endorsement (of sorts)

John Hollinger picks Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison for All-Star Reserves (membership required).

On Butler:

Butler made the team a year ago, but this is easily the best he's ever played. Averaging career highs of 22.2 points, 4.6 assists, 50.4-percent shooting, and 41.4 percent on 3-pointers, he's kept the Wizards north of .500 despite the absence of high-scoring guard Gilbert Arenas.

While he might be over his head at the moment, it's not like it's a close call between him and the next guy on the list. Butler ranks sixth among Eastern Conference players in PER, and is doing it while averaging over 40 minutes a game. He'd have to cool off considerably just to make the comparison between he and the other forwards interesting.

On Jamison (after explaining why Jason Kidd and Ray Allen shouldn't get it):

So that leaves Jamison, Redd, Carter and Jefferson -- the four remaining Eastern players with a PER in the top 50 who average at least 30 minutes per game. Of the four, Jefferson can't quite hang with this crowd -- even with a PER that's just a whisker short of his career best, he's more than a point shy of the others.

Thus, we're down to Jamison, Redd and Carter. Redd has the best statistical track record and the best PER, but his defense is deficient even by the standards of this list. Jamison has played the most minutes and been the most stabilizing influence, while Carter has a strong track record and has played very well after a slow start.

Really, you can't go wrong with either player (or, should I say, you can't go right -- we're talking about spot No. 12 on the East roster, and I'm not sure any of these guys could nab spot No. 20 out West). But I'll go with Jamison, because he's been so durable and consistent and ranks essentially right with the others in PER. Also, if we're giving brownie points for intangibles, I think his locker room influence has meant more in Washington than Redd's or, certainly, Carter's.

And this is an important spot, even if you allow that Kidd or Allen will win the fan voting, because inevitably one of the 12 players above is likely to be injured and miss the game. At that point, Jamison would be the replacement.

I just hope the NBA coaches feel this way.

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When Having Spokespeople Becomes a Bad Thing...

I think John Edwards has a message that many voters want to hear, but when it comes to comparing himself to his fellow Democratic candidates, he needs better talking points

Thom Hartmann had a Congressman who's supporting Edwards on his show today and asked him the difference between Edwards and Dennis Kucinich (who also has a progressive-populist message).

The Congressman said (and I'm paraphrasing because this just happened), "You need to look at "presentability," you need to look at the voting record and you need to look at electability. Dennis Kucinich can't get elected. John Edwards can."

Now, if the "I'm more electable" argument is the strongest thing Edwards has, I feel sorry for him. It's almost like saying "I'm more photogenic" or "I'm more well-known." I'm sure there are other differences, and if Edwards is smart he'll rehearse some of them the next time someone asks this question.

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"The Dog That Didn't Bark" and Other Things

With Hillary's campaign not going as expected, two things are apparent with pundits and the media: (1) they don't really feel like covering John Edwards, and (2) they don't know how to handle Barack Obama.

Edwards came in second in Iowa, but you wouldn't know it with the lack of coverage. It's hard to say what the root cause of this is. Maybe it's Edwards' populist message, which essentially paints big business (who owns a majority of the news networks) as the bad guy. Maybe it's because he's a rich, white southern lawyer and the press feels that we've "been there done that." Maybe it's because the media feels that the "two-person race" between Hillary Clinton and Obama is more interesting. Maybe they think Edwards slighted them sometime during the campaign and they want revenge.

Whatever. I personally think having a three-person race is better because one of them is bound to bring up a topic or issue that the others either would ignore or not hold to a high priority. In other words: having all three going at it keeps them on their toes, and makes them more prepared for the general election.

But at least the media is handling Edwards' success (when they mention it) in a somewhat competent manner. With Obama, it's like they've never encountered a black person in politics before. There are stories about how he can't bring the parties together (at least that's what the GOP thinks). There's the story on how Republican candidates are so freaked even John McCain is framing his campaign around beating Obama. Glenn Greenwald went over some neo-Conservative theories of what Obama's race may mean for society, and the best I can tell, they're relating it to the reaction over the Rodney King verdict.

Then there's the outright absurd: a (non)story on who isn't giving Obama money. But as Media Matters member Tex says:

This is not a story about NEWS. It's a Sherlock Holmes-style investigative expose' using the famous "dog that didn't bark" technique.

Think about the mental calculus the reporter must have gone through to arrive at this "reporting".

FIRST: Must find a NEGATIVE Obama Story.

SECOND: It would be great if this story involved Obama being REJECTED by black folks.

THIRD: Oprah supports Obama, with appearances and money, and his rallies reflect a broad spectrum of support from average citizens; It HELPS Obama to report this support ... we need a story about REJECTION.

FOURTH: Has any prominent, celebrity black person publicly dissed Obama, criticized or rejected him? looking ... looking ... looking ... DRAT! No OVERT rejection to report.

FIFTH: How about the "dog that didn't bark" approach? We know who IS contributing ... let's list those who have NOT contributed!

SIXTH: So, what CELEBRITY Blacks have NOT contributed to Obama's campaign? This is the story we want: one of REJECTION of Obama by the black population, by famous black folks. BY HIS OWN KIND!

SEVENTH: Not contributing means rejection, in the minds of our audience, right? THIS IS A STORY! This is THE story that fits our criteria!

EIGHTH: Best of all, there's Oprah's support on the one side, and a LONG LIST of black folks REJECTING Obama on the other! By sheer numbers, we can show Obama OUT OF FAVOR with his own people! Brilliant!

That's the calculus, and we must note several things. (A) it starts with the specific AGENDA to smear/diminish Obama. (B) it focuses on black folks, attributing to them a REJECTION by virtue of the single criteria, NOT contributing means rejection (a criteria so flawed on so many levels it is ludicrous on its face), and it is overtly racist (where's the list of rich, famous white guys who have not contributed to Romney? Hmmm?)

This is the MSM, folks. Biased, bigoted, and without any ethical underpinnings. This is GOP propaganda, and it's very ugly indeed.

Amen, Tex. And if people think Clinton's done, remember: she'll always have Chris Matthews to obsess over her.

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No Main Topic

  1. Joe Gibbs resigns. Sigh. He plans on staying on as "an advisor," but it won't be the same. Let the housecleaning begin.

  2. Comcast plans to magnify its on-demand options.

  3. Meet a man who's literally blue.

  4. Roger Clemens is playing hardball with his detractors.

  5. In light of the Writer's Strike, the Golden Globes undergoes a change.

  6. Should old sexy pics matter if the person in question is now a mayor? I don't think so.

  7. Someone call Michael Moore: the US ranks dead last in preventable deaths.

  8. Better late than never: how to handle a hangover.


Monday, January 07, 2008

"President Considers A Boost to Economy"

I almost forgot about this...when I first saw the title, I thought it was a joke. How can a guy who's given trillions to Iraq (and the "reconstruction efforts"), refuses to make corporations pay for outsourcing American jobs (among other things) and didn't veto a single spending bill until the Democrats took Congress ever come up with a way to "boost the economy?" Promise an Playstation 3 to every shopper?

Well, here's what he had to say:

"In terms of any stimulus package, we're considering all options, and I probably won't make up my mind as to whether or not I lay one out until the State of the Union," Bush told the Reuters news agency in an interview. He added: "We are listening to a lot of good ideas from different people. We've got our people out there carefully, not only monitoring this situation but listening to . . . possible remedies."

That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. The guy's the friggin president and he's acting like the prospect of a recession just revealed itself. And of course he wants to wait until the State of the Union; that's the only time this year when he'll have command of the audience (and hopefully, the last time). After Janaury, Bush will have to attack Iran in order to draw attention away from the elections.

Anyway, this sounds like Bush will employ one of his tried-and-true tactics: apply the exact same solution his applied to a problem of similar origin. Remember Iraq? Every time there was an issue, his solution was more troops: escalation, surge, New Way Forward, whatever. A corrupt or incompetent cabinet member? Stand by them until the very last minute.

Now the issue is the economy; so my guess is that the solution is either tax cuts or privatization of some sort. And the article gives us a hint:

Aides have previously said Bush was considering stimulus proposals, mainly in the form of targeted tax cuts, and the president's comments indicated he may unveil them in coming weeks. He is scheduled to meet today with a working group on financial markets led by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and is to give an economic speech in Chicago on Monday. Aides said no decision will be made until he returns from a trip to the Middle East on Jan. 16. His State of the Union address is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Sigh. What a broken record.

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Never Fear, Washington Sports Fans!

Don't cry, guys...the 'Skins are gone (and in a most brutal fashion, BTW) but the Wizards are still going strong. Keep in mind that their star player is still out (and may not be back anytime soon).

Nevertheless: Jamison is becoming synonymous with the term "double-double;" Caron Butler is slowly turning into the undisputed leader on this team; Haywood may just be one of the best ten centers in the East right now; the bench is as solid and energetic as a Wizard's bench has been in years.

They're protecting the ball and barely foul. They're cleaning the boards, getting steals and, of course, putting the ball in the bucket.

Looking at this month's schedule, there's only three teams that can beat these guy the way they're playing: Cleveland, Dallas and Boston. And when you consider that Cleveland may lose their coach, Dallas is 7-8 on the road and Boston still has a shaky PG and a coach who (up til this season) would be on the short list of "Coaches I Wouldn't Call Up for Basketball Advice."

Now I know alot of 'Skins fans who just hibernate after football is done; I know even more who would rather wear a Cowboy jersey than watch an NBA game. But please, can you give these guys a chance? You won't be disappointed. Besides, what else (sports wise) do you have to do?

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Power Moves: John Edwards

One might look at John Edwards and ask, "Why bother taking a swipe at Hillary Clinton? Her star's not on the rise right now."

Well, the first thing is is wasn't necessarily Hillary Clinton who started this, it was one of her spokespeople (who she really needs to get a handle on). Second, the spokesperson made a comment directed at Edwards and his populist message.

But most importantly: Edwards probably understands that if he attacks Obama, Clinton's the person most likely to pick up the pieces. Obama's message of change is resonating with voters more than Clinton's message of experience, and Edwards' platform matches Obama's more than Clinton's. So attacking Obama is almost like attacking himself.

People are going to back Edwards and his message, and others will take his calling Clinton "the status quo" seriously. There are enough facts to back up such an assertion, whether it's her work during her husband's administration, her voting record, or her own claim that only she can beat the "Republican Machine" (only someone familiar with the status quo would be familiar with all of the GOP's tricks, right?).

Edwards is probably banking that between Obama and himself, they can make Clinton irrelevant; and then he can elaborate on how he's different than Obama.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Lesson (or Rather Warning) for the Democratic Candidates for President

Michael Moore reminds us what the Iowa results mean in regards to foreign policy:

If you're a candidate for President, and you voted for the war, you lose. And if you voted and voted and voted for the war -- and never once showed any remorse -- you really lose.

In short, if you had something to do with keeping us in this war for four-plus years, you are not allowed to be the next president of the United States.

Over 70% of Iowan Democrats voted for candidates who either never voted for the invasion of Iraq (Obama, Richardson, Kucinich) or who have since admitted their mistake (Edwards, Biden, Dodd). I can't tell you how bad I feel for Senator Clinton tonight. I don't believe she was ever really for this war. But she did -- and continued to do -- what she thought was the politically expedient thing to eventually get elected. And she was wrong. And tonight she must go to sleep wondering what would have happened if she had voted her conscience instead of her calculator.

He has more, in which he talks about Edwards, Obama and the state of the GOP. Edwards made the point in last night's debate about being the most "passionate" Democrat because the issues he's addressing are personal. I think that attitude also attributed to his 2nd-place finish.

The Democratic candidates will be better of tapping not only into their own passions, but that of their base. As Moore suggested, the Era of the Calculating Democrat may have ended last Tuesday in Iowa.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

No Main Topic

  1. Date the Cheerleader, Save the World: They're uncle and niece on the show, but in reality they may be a couple. Eww Factor: a solid "7."
  2. Mitt Romney Wyoming.
  3. If I told you Amy Fisher was back and peddling a sex tape, how surprised would you be? Thought so.
  4. President Bush plans to go to the Middle East and beg the people their to help him attack Iran.
  5. Not exactly an "all-you-can-eat" buffet, is it?
  6. Current Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf blames the assassination of former leader Benazir Bhutto on...Benazir Bhutto.


Friday, January 04, 2008


What better way to re-enter after my hiatus then with comments on the Iowa presidential wannabe results?

First things first: Biden and Dodd are out; even though they have their own share of pluses and minuses, they ran good campaigns. Sadly, it wasn't enough.

Over at Crooks and Liars, they have a pretty good breakdown of each candidate, and whether the fans or critics were right.

Unfortunately, the spin has already started, because Mitt Romney is implying that Americans want change in "Washington" (read: Congress) more so than in the White House. Which is just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Congress changed in the fall of 2006, when the Republican-lead Congress that couldn't care less about preforming their checks and balances gave way to the Democrats. Of course, the Democrats haven't addressed the biggest concerns of their base, but I don't see how Iowa choosing Obama (or Huckabee, for that matter) translates into frustration with Congress (Dodd was vowing to filibuster the FISA bill, and Kucinich is the one moving to impeach Cheney). If anything, the outcome speaks to the exact opposite of what Romney said: it's the White House (ie, the Bush Administration) that people want changed.

Also, only the media would call Hillary Clinton's third-place finish a virtual failure but see John "Negative Ads" McCain's fourth-place finish as an overwhelming victory. Anything for a story, I guess.

As for Obama and Huckabee? Well as long as Obama doesn't act black, and Huckabee doesn't have to debate the likes of Ron Paul, the political bobbleheads think all will be well.

My take? This is all just the beginning; so let's sit back, chill and see how the winners handle the win and the losers deal with the loss. New Hampshire is four days away.

Meanwhile: there's at least one good theory as to what the next wedge issue may be.

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