Thursday, May 22, 2003

'Why the President Had to Show His Balls'
This manly exhibition was no accident. The media team that timed Bush's appearance... clearly they thought long and hard about the crotch shot.... Bush's handlers want to leave the impression that he's not just courageous and competent but hung.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Choreographing the News
The camera angle also was arranged by the White House to ensure it did not show the nearby coastline, and--opinions are mixed--the ship was slowed so Bush could spend the night on board before it docked on Friday, officials said.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Sept 11 Information Censored
Investigatory groups try to find out what we knew about Sept. 11th. The Bush Administrator classifies it all. The report names names, gives dates and provides a body of new information about the handling of many other crucial intelligence briefings—including one in early August 2001 given to national-security adviser Rice that discussed Al Qaeda operations within the United States and the possibility that the group’s members might seek to hijack airplanes.
1.4 Million Jobs
That's what the tax cuts will bring us. Is that unusual?
Peacekeeping and the World
The Bush administration has moved to drastically scale down a French-backed U.N. proposal to send more than 250 U.N. peacekeepers to the former French colony of Ivory Coast, according to U.S. and U.N. officials.
A Changing Legal Landscape
The Patriot Act: "We are at war, we are at war and this is for your safety," she exclaimed... If our freedoms crumble exactly when they are needed most, then they were really never freedoms at all.
The INS: "Congress, justifiably concerned that deportable criminal aliens who are not detained continue to engage in crime and fail to appear for their removal hearings in large numbers, may require that persons such as (Kim) be detained for the brief period necessary for their removal proceedings."

Monday, April 28, 2003

Republican leaders defend Santorum's anti-gay statements
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frish (R-Tenn) defends Santorum as a "voice for inclusion and compassion," while the White House refuses to comment. Santorum's comments from an AP interview published on Monday compared gay sex to incest, bigamy and polygamy. This isn't the first time the Republicans have circled the wagons around prejudiced remarks by one of its leaders. Remember Senator Trent Lott's (R-Mississippi) remarks earlier this year? "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." Thurmond ran his 1948 campaign on a pro-segregation, anti-civil rights platform. One of the slogans for his campaign was Segregation Forever.
Looting in Iraq may have included nukes
While looters in Iraq were robbing museums, they may have looted the country's nuclear stores, too. Defense officials acknowledge that the U.S. government has no idea whether any of Tuwaitha's potentially deadly contents have been stolen, because it has not dispatched investigators to appraise the site. What it does know... is that the sprawling campus, 11 miles south of Baghdad, lay unguarded for days and that looters made their way inside."

Sunday, April 27, 2003

It is the geopolitical destiny of the Middle East to be the suppliers of last resort for oil
Experts predict that oil production will peak - that is, that world oil production will no longer be able to keep up with demand - within 10-30 years. Lacking a viable alternative energy source, dwindling supplies are highly likely to cause a global economic crisis more serious than that suffered during the 1970's oil embargo. A Middle East perspective of the oil situation sheds light on why some governments are so willing to trade blood for oil. But one might question why we aren't seriously pursuing alternative energy sources given oil shortfalls ahead. Some point to hydrogen power as a panacea, but there are serious questions about how the hydrogen fuel would be generated.
Who are the neocons, where did the come from, and just how much influence do they have?
Is a tiny group of ideologues using undue power to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries, create an empire, trash international law—and damn the consequences? Not really. To argue that an intellectual clique has usurped American foreign policy is to give them both too much credit, and too little. But where did this clique come from? 'Liberals mugged by reality'Somewhere between Mr. [William] Kristol's ideas and Mr. [Rupert] Murdoch's muscle, the modern neocon economy was built, complete with speakers' bureaus, think tanks, magazines, newspapers, a television news network and, not to be coy, an official state residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Why we went to war
The only possible explanation, the only possible use [Saddam] could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack. (Bush, State of the Union)
"We were not lying," said one official. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Republican's choose late date for convention to tie into 9/11 commemorations
The convention, to be held in New York City, will be the latest since the Republican Party was founded in 1856, and Mr. Bush's advisers said they chose the date so the event would flow into the commemorations of the third anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The Republican party's choice of dates will require Alabama to change its election laws to accomodate their schedule. The GOP's choice of September 2 falls two days after Alabama's Aug. 31 deadline to certify presidential candidates. Republicans are asking the Democrat-controlled Legislature to change the law and extend the deadline until Sept. 5.
Two perspectives on the consequences of U.S. diplomatic failures
"I'm saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war. Saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country."
Tom Daschle, 3/18/2003

"The last seven months have involved six months of diplomatic failure and one month of military success. The first days after military victory indicate the pattern of diplomatic failure is beginning once again and threatens to undo the effects of military victory."
Newt Gingrich, 4/22/2003

Republican leader attacks homosexuals, Constitutional right to privacy
Speaking on the current Supreme Court case involving the Texas sodomy laws, Sen. Santorum, R-Penn says: "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything... All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family," Santorum said. "And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution." Santorum's concern with the issue is not new. From 2002: I know it may sound like a huge exaggeration, particularly in light of the attack on America, but this may truly be the most important letter I ever write you.... to draft an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect the holy sacrament of marriage from those who would legalize same-sex "marriage". Santorum's position on same-sex relationships is an extention of his beliefs about the extent of the authority of the state: The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that.

Sen. Santorum is the GOPs conference chairman. Should Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, retire in 2006, Santorum will seek the post.

Dean responds, as does Sullivan: In the same year that Texas passed its current anti-sodomy law for gays, it repealed the law against bestiality
Bush: "The president believes the senator is an inclusive man."
Long Term Commitment to Iraq
These officials are leaning toward a quick exit from a country that U.S.-led forces conquered in less than a month.. "I don't think it has to be expensive, and I don't think it has to be lengthy," a senior administration official said of the postwar plan. "Americans do everything fairly quickly." But not everyone agrees: "We've done these things quickly, and we've done them well," Dobbins said, "but we've never done them quickly and well."
Maybe we should let the UN take over
The search continues for WMD
With little to show after 30 days, the Bush administration is losing confidence in its prewar belief that it had strong clues pointing to the whereabouts of weapons of mass destruction concealed in Iraq, according to planners and participants in the hunt. ... Bush launched and justified the war with a flat declaration of knowledge "that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction."
Were they destroyed during the invasion?
Is it easier to get good biotoxins off of the former South African governement?
1.4 Million Jobs
President Bush used the backdrop of tax day Tuesday to press Congress to approve $550 billion or more in tax cuts he says will spur a sagging economy. The tax cuts he has proposed would create 1.4 million new jobs by the end of 2004, he said.
Doing the math, that's $357,000 per job. It doesn't add up, says Krugman. (This makes anyone who disagrees with the tax cuts French.)
This, at a time when the governor of Missouri has ordered every third light bulb unscrewed to save money
Mr. Bush's willingness to take big gambles, to push for what he wants no matter the consequences, are likely to leave an imprint on America far beyond his tenure in office. We hope that he's successful in the fight against terrorism, and that he brings about a more stable Mideast and a democratic Iraq. But on the domestic front, almost every success cripples the nation's ability to move toward a happy, prosperous future. This is one war we hope he loses. (Opinion)