Critiques of Editorials
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  Friday, August 29, 2003

Dubya's Faith
I am listening in the car to "Maestro" by Woodward, which is about Alan Greenspan.  At one part, it talks about Alan's experience at his first private council with Nixon.  Greenspan was shocked at Nixon's swearing, given Nixon's pious image.  My guess is that Dubya swears as much as Nixon does.  To me, Dubya's faith is just a cover to hide how really rotten his actions are.  Dubya's Christian faith doesn't appear to contrain his actions in any way.  Remember when Dubya was asked in the press conference before the Iraq invasion about how his faith affected his decision?  It didn't have any impact on what he decided, but Dubya was going to pray to God to make things all better once we invaded.
6:18:41 AM    comment []

General Myers tells whoppers on Meet The Press
From Sunday's Meet The Press:
GEN. MYERS: Clearly, Iraq before March 19, before we went across the border, was a terrorist state, supported terrorism, and had a weapons of mass destruction program. And what...
MR. RUSSERT: What’s the evidence of that, General?
GEN. MYERS: Well, the evidence was before we went over, the many U.N. Security Council resolutions that stated that they had a program and that they had weapons of mass destruction they had not accounted for. They were supporting Hamas and other terrorist organizations. If you remember, Saddam Hussein was paying I think it was $25,000 to families of terrorists who would conduct suicide attacks, to the families of those who would conduct suicide attacks against Israel and, of course, there was this group of Ansar al-Islam up in northeast Iraq that was working on poisons that had actually, in fact, infiltrated into Europe and some of those plots thwarted by the British and the French and others.
Where to start with this pile of lies? The American public was told that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction - not some stupid program. The UN inspectors in the months that they were there could find no evidence of WMD's or even a WMD program. Northeast Iraq was under control of the Kurds, not Hussein. When the BBC visited the Ansar al-Islam, there was no evidence of a poison factory. And no poison from NE Iraq was smuggled into Europe - the British found a group that was making poison similar to the poison what was supposedly being made in NE Iraq. Lastly, Hamas and other Palestinian groups are viewed by the Arab world much as the Contras were viewed by the Reagan administration.

Myers tells all these whoppers and Russert accepts it all without comment. How pathetic.

6:17:06 AM    comment []

  Thursday, August 28, 2003

What conservative pundits are talking about is a website where many conservative pundits have their columns posted.  I like to check it out to see what conservative pundits are talking about.  Maggie Gallagher has this piece on "Three overriding issues will dominate 2004 campaign".  They are:
1. Terrorism
2. The energy crisis
3. Gay marriage

This may be what conservatives dream the 2004 campaign will be decided by, but I find this list to be ridiciulous.  From the polls I have seen, here is my understanding of the top issues:
1. The economy
2. Terrorism
3. Health care
4. Education

What I really find interesting is that when I look at all of the opinion pieces on, none are about the economy.  None mention the federal deficit (though California's deficit gets several mentions).  Can the conservative movement be out of ideas on the country's #1 issue?

6:43:44 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, August 27, 2003

The RNC's list of Dubya's accomplishments
A friend at work gave me a fund raising letter from the Republican party.  In it, the following were listed as accomplishments by Dubya:

  1. Passed the largest tax cut ever
  2. Signed the No Child Left Behind bill
  3. Courageously lead the war on terror

I agree #1 was a big accomplishment.  #2 could have been a big accomplishment, except Dubya is underfunding the program.  #3 started well when we kicked Al Quada out of Afghanistan.  Since then, it has all gone down hill.  We never captured Bin Laden, we captured hardly any senior leaders of Al Quada, we never captured any senior leaders of the Taliban, the Taliban have regrouped and battling for control of sections of Afghanistan, and Al Quada has regrouped and still is a major threat.

So, the RNC can find only one real accomplishment by Dubya.

6:08:18 AM    comment []

  Monday, August 25, 2003

Oh, those silly conspiracy theorists
I had a great vacation out in California.  There, gas prices jumped up 30 cents a gallon to the 2+ dollar level on news that a gas pipeline in Arizona broke.  I am sure that there are some people who believe that the oil companies are just gouging California consumers.  They are the same silly people who think that the California electricity crisis was caused by power companies wanting to gouge California consumers.  Or that the EPA lied to the public about air quality in Manhattan after 9/11.  Or that the Dubya misled the public about the amount of WMD's Iraq had.  Silly, silly people.
6:22:04 AM    comment []

  Friday, August 15, 2003

Off on vacation!
I will post again on the 25th.
6:04:05 AM    comment []

Supporting our troops - not!
The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.

Unless Congress and President Bush take quick action when Congress returns after Labor Day, the uniformed Americans in Iraq and the 9,000 in Afghanistan will lose a pay increase approved last April of $75 a month in "imminent danger pay" and $150 a month in "family separation allowances."

The Defense Department supports the cuts, saying its budget can't sustain the higher payments amid a host of other priorities. But the proposed cuts have stirred anger among military families and veterans' groups and even prompted an editorial attack in the Army Times, a weekly newspaper for military personnel and their families that is seldom so outspoken.

Congress made the April pay increases retroactive to Oct. 1, 2002, but they are set to expire when the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30 unless Congress votes to keep them as part of its annual defense appropriations legislation.

Imminent danger pay, given to Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force members in combat zones, was raised to $225 from $150 a month. The family separation allowance, which goes to help military families pay rent, child care or other expenses while soldiers are away, was raised from $100 a month to $250.

Last month, the Pentagon sent Congress an interim budget report saying the extra $225 monthly for the two pay categories was costing about $25 million more a month, or $300 million for a full year [Out of the $4 billion a month we are spending on Iraq]. In its "appeals package" laying out its requests for cuts in pending congressional spending legislation, Pentagon officials recommended returning to the old, lower rates of special pay and said military experts would study the question of combat pay in coming months.

A White House spokesman referred questions about the administration's view on the pay cut to the Pentagon report.


I guess that because Dubya can't do a photo op with them while they are in Iraq, it is time for this administration to shaft them.

6:02:47 AM    comment []

Dubya does like lawsuits!
Attorneys general in two New England states suggested Monday that the White House is behind a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate a federal report on global warming.

Maine Attorney General G. Steven Rowe and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats, also asked U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft for an investigation.

Rowe and Blumenthal said they want to know whether White House officials working at the Council on Environmental Quality solicited a lawsuit filed by a conservative Washington think tank to discredit a 2000 report that documents the dangers of global warming.

The lawsuit was filed last week by the Competitive Enterprise Institute against the White House Office on Science and Technology.

Blumenthal said a June 2002 e-mail between a CEI executive and White House staffers "indicates a secret initiative by the administration to invite and orchestrate a lawsuit against itself to discredit an official United States government report on global warming dangers."

Such action, Blumenthal said, could constitute improper and possibly illegal conduct.

Rowe said the idea the administration is inviting a lawsuit from a special interest group in order to undermine the federal government’s own work under an international treaty "is very troubling."

Dana Perino, spokesperson for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, dismissed assertions that the lawsuit was contrived as "100 percent false and absurd."

Perino added that the White House, which released copies of the e-mail in response to a Freedon of Information Act request, has been "perfectly forthcoming" about its communications with CEI.

A message left with the Justice Department was not immediately returned Monday afternoon.

The CEI’s lawsuit argues that the National Assessment of Climate Variability and Change and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Action Report of 2002 should be invalidated.

The latter report includes references to the National Assessment and documents similar likely impacts, Rowe and Blumenthal say in a letter to Ashcroft.


"Improper and possibly illegal conduct"?  I am sure all those right-wing pundits who thundered about no one is above the law will be all over this one.

5:58:14 AM    comment []

The California deficit
What's greater, this year's projected California deficit or California's share, according to its share of national population, of the projected Federal deficit this year?

Latest Projected Federal Budget Deficit:
401 Billion

California's Budget Deficit:
38.2 Billion

US Population (2001 estimate, US Census):

California Population (2001 Estimate):

Happy Fun Calculation Time:
34,501,130/284,796,887 = 12.1% of US population

401,000,000,000 x 0.121 = 48 Billion = California's share of the Federal Deficit.

Bonus answer:
According to the Tax Foundation (, California paid $255.8 billion in Federal taxes last year -- more than any other state -- but got back only $195.6 billion in Federal spending. The difference -- a whopping $60.2 billion -- left the state never to be seen again.

From Eschaton

5:50:35 AM    comment []

  Thursday, August 14, 2003

Dubya knows the cause for the recent job losses
THE PRESIDENT: Let me remind the listeners here about what our country has gone through. The stock market started to change in March of 2000. And there was a precipitous decline in March of 2000. And that began to affect savings and money and attitude. And then the country went into a recession. The first three quarters of 2001 was a recession. And we dealt with that by passing tax relief, which made the recession one of the shallowest in history.

Now, people said, well, maybe you shouldn't have done that, maybe you shouldn't have had tax relief, maybe you should have let the recession run its course. But my attitude about that is, is that a deep recession would have caused more people to lose work. And I'm more worried about families finding a job and putting food on the table than I am about economic theory and economic numbers. And so the recession was shallow.

And as the economy was beginning to recover, the enemy hit us on September the 11th, and that affected our economy in a big way. And then we had corporate scandals which we've dealt with. And then, of course, you remember the "march to war." I've reminded people -- I think this isn't the first time I've said this -- that some would put on their TV screens that we were "marching to war." As a matter of fact, it was a year ago that we began the "march to war." During the August vacation, as I recall, there was the march to war. It's hard to have an upbeat view of the world when you're "marching to war." War is not exactly a positive thought, particularly when it comes to people willing to take risks, and consumer confidence.

But, nevertheless, we dealt with that issue. And so now the economy is -- having overcome those obstacles, is beginning to recover. And, yes, I think people are going to go back to work. And I firmly believe that what we have done was the absolute right course of action in order to help people find a job.

Who’s idea was it to invade and occupy Iraq?

I am so glad that Dubya has dealt with that war issue.  I am sure all of our troops in Iraq will be glad to hear it too.

8:45:56 PM    comment []

We've found Iraq's WMD's!

The saddest thing about it is that the story is as accurate as Dubya's administration on Iraq's WMD's, and both WWN and Dubya used obviously fake documents to bolster their case.
6:21:06 AM    comment []

Dubya's "darn good intelligence" on the Middle East
Is the Bush administration turning to a televangelist doomsayer for political predictions? Apocalyptic preacher Jack Van Impe is claiming that he was contacted by Condoleezza Rice’s office and the White House Office of Public Liaison for an “outline” of his take on world events.
       VAN IMPE is the author of such books as “Israel’s Final Holocaust” and “The Great Escape: Preparing for the Rapture, the Next Event on God’s Prophetic Clock.”
       He has predicted that the end of the world will strike somewhere between 2003 and 2012 and one reviewer has called his TV preaching show with wife Rexella “a fantastically loopy apocalyptic take on the week’s news.”
       The issue of the alleged involvement with the Bush administration came up on his Web site when someone asked Van Impe, “Do you think that President Bush, apparently a Christian man, believes and knows he is involved in prophetic events concerning the Middle East and final battle between good and evil?”
       “I believe he is a wonderful man,” Van Impe responded, and goes on to say, “I was contacted a few weeks ago by the Office of Public Liaison for the White House and by the National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to make an outline. And I’ve spent hours preparing it. I will release this information to the public in September, but it’s in his hands. He will know exactly what is going to happen in the Middle East and what part he will have under the leading of the Holy Spirit of God. So, it’s a tremendous time to be alive.”
And the administration's non-denial:
“My investigation into it is that there’s no truth to it,” National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack told The Scoop, “but I’m continuing to look into it.”
Via Eschaton
6:15:47 AM    comment []

There's a lot of faith in Dubya

6:08:37 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Check this out!
A musical tribute to Dubya! It is hilarious!
10:19:23 PM    comment []

Fox is nuts!
Daily Kos has reported that Fox has sued Al Franken over the title of his new book. This has got to go down as one of the worst lawsuits ever.  First of all, Fox gave a huge boost to the sales of the book.  Secondly, I think it would be rather easy to dispute Fox's claim that they are fair and balanced.  How about how many liveral guests are invited to talk versus the number of conservative guests?  How about the amount of time spent discussing Republican talking points versus Democratic?  How about contrasting the treatment of errors made by the Clinton administration to the treatment of errors made by Dubya's administration?

But the absolute nuts thing about this suit is the threat of discovery.  Al Franken should rightly require every document about editorial decisions and every evaluation of guest and hosts of Fox's news and talk shows.  If that gets out to the public, what a public relations nightmare!  What a nightmare for the Fox staff and guests!

6:16:42 AM    comment []

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