Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fake news

For all you fans of nostalgia, this should really take you back to all those fake terror alerts in the summer/fall of 2004:
We hate to say we told you so, but....we told you so: Those terrorist "dry runs" at airports that bumped a slew of bad news for President Bush off the front page and scared a lot of summer vacationers in the process, were, as CNN itself confessed in a different report, "bogus."
It's hard to believe that the administration would politicize an agency responsible for public safety and issue bogus "terror threat" stories to get real news that make the administration look bad (read: "everything") off the front page.

Oh, wait. No it isn't.

And it's hard to believe that the mainstream media would fall for it over and over, or perhaps go along either because it's too lazy to check out the story or because it really enjoys being invited to the correspondent's dinner (this year's was a hoot. They had some white guys [read: "not Wayne Brady"] from "Whose Line Is it, Anyway?" Much better than that stupid Colbert! He was soooo unfunny, and I'm pretty sure he was making fun of us).

Oh, wait. No it isn't.

And Jon Stewart is the one who does the fake news, right?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Governing, GOP style

This is what passes for leadership in Bushworld: Catering to Big Tobacco and opponents of universal healthcare by threatening to veto a bill that would ensure healthcare coverage for millions of uninsured American children.
George W. Bush is readying to veto a bipartisan bill expanding health insurance for children. Here's the state of play: The Senate Finance Committee has drafted, on a bipartisan basis, a reauthorization and expansion of SCHIP that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would extend coverage to 4.1 million currently uninsured children. The expansion of SCHIP would cost $35 billion over the next five years, to be paid for by an increase in the tobacco tax.

Bush's reasons for vetoing the plan are purely and explicitly ideological. "The proposal would dramatically expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, adding nonpoor children to the program, and more than doubling the level of spending,” complains White House spokesman Tony Fratto. "This will have the effect of encouraging many to drop private coverage, to go on the government-subsidized program."

So the literal argument here is that the SCHIP change will encourage children to move onto SCHIP, and as a matter of principle, the president wants as few individuals on government-based insurance as possible. Charming. And remember, this all happens in the context of an insurance market that has left over 9 million children without coverage. This is the market Bush sees it as his duty to protect.
This is what they mean by "compassionate conservatism": Denying healthcare to millions of children. It might make more sense to call the Bush administration's style of governing "fuck you conservatism." But that would be redundant, wouldn't it?

If you think that it's only the universally detested Bush that's craven enough to oppose providing healthcare to children, it's not.
Six Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee voted for the SCHIP expansion, which is being heavily opposed by the tobacco industry. But “in an unexpected turn of events,” the conservative leadership announced that it is caving to President Bush’s demands and is objecting to the legislation.
You mean they were for it before they were against it? Well, yes. But what do you expect? Unprincipled people do unprincipled things.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Still whores

Before you let this editorial make you believe the editorial board at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has turned over a new leaf, notice that the edit doesn't mention that Murtha is a Democrat or explain why the Trib is so late to the party.

Don't worry, the Trib's editorial writers are still ignorant, unprincipled whores who do exactly what they're told. But it tells you pretty much everything you need to know about how things are going in Iraq when even Dick Scaife can read the writing on the wall.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's getting warmer

I'm already starting to sweat.
People in Philadelphia would swelter through as many as 30 days with temperatures higher than 100 degrees each summer. The Northeastern ski industry, except for western Maine, would probably go out of business. And spruce and hemlock forests -- as well as songbirds such as the Baltimore oriole -- would all but disappear from New Jersey to the Canadian border.

These are among the conclusions of a two-year study by the public interest group Union of Concerned Scientists on the effects of global warming in the Northeast if current greenhouse gas emission patterns worldwide continue unabated. Winters would be on average 8 to 12 degrees higher by the end of the century, and summers 6 to 14 degrees higher. [It appears they mean "warmer," not "higher." But WashPo copy editors need sleep, too. — Dr. S]

If global warming maintains its current pace, the Northeast will be transformed, a new report says. The ski industry, such as that in Vermont, could disappear.

Given those conditions, the group said in a report released yesterday, the environment of the Northeast would be transformed, and cities such as Boston, Atlantic City and New York would be regularly subject to disastrous flooding.
It's way past time for our policymakers to start listening to real scientists and stop taking the opinions of people like professor Bush and Dr. Inhofe seriously on this matter.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ash shame

More fake effects of that hoax tree huggers call "global warming."
Careers at stake with each swing, baseball players leave little to sport when it comes to their bats. They weigh them. They count their grains. They talk to them.

But in towns like this one, in the heart of the mountain forests that supply the nation’s finest baseball bats, the future of the ash tree is in doubt because of a killer beetle and a warming climate, and with it, the complicated relationship of the baseball player to his bat.

“No more ash?” said Juan Uribe, a Chicago White Sox shortstop, whose batting coach says he speaks to his ash bats every day. Uribe is so finicky about his bats, teammates say, that he stores them separately in the team’s dugout and complains bitterly if anyone else touches them.

At a baseball bat factory tucked into the lush tree country here in northwestern Pennsylvania, the operators have drawn up a three-to-five-year emergency plan if the white ash tree, which has been used for decades to make the bat of choice, is compromised.

In Michigan, the authorities have begun collecting the seeds of ash trees for storage in case the species is wiped out, a possibility some experts now consider inevitable.

As early as this summer, federal officials hope to set loose Asian wasps never seen in this country with the purpose of attacking the emerald ash borer, an Asian beetle accused of killing 25 million ash trees in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Maryland since it was spotted in the United States five years ago.
If ash bats become unavailale or too soft to be used in baseball bats, most players probably will turn to maple for their bats.

This is one more problem I blame on the Bush administration for its loyalty to the oil and coal industries, refusal to acknowledge the climate problem and it's whitewashing of government environmental reports (link, link, link, link, you get the idea) to downplay the impact of human activity on the climate.

We're all aware of the Bush administration's impact on Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, the military, the rule of law, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court, voting rights and the environment. And now the Bush administration's refusal to admit that global warming exists even threatens a species of tree and could mean the end of a lengthy baseball tradition. Is there anything, anything that hasn't been damaged by the Bush administration?

Could it be that George Bush is the biggest fuck-up in human history?


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fuzzy memories

What is it about Republicans that they can't seem to remember anything? Oh yeah, it's that they're completely full of shit.

Fred Thompson, who is weighing a Republican presidential bid as a social conservative, "has no recollection" of performing lobbying work in 1991 for a family planning group that was seeking to relax an abortion counseling rule, a spokesman said Friday.

The Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site that Thompson was retained by National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association to lobby the administration of President George H.W. Bush to ease a regulation that prevented clinics that received federal money from offering any abortion counseling.

At the time, Thompson, a lawyer, worked as a lobbyist at Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, a Washington firm.
Does Thompson's claimed memory lapse pass the smell test, or could it be that he's distancing himself from part of his professional history that's not currently politically expedient? Do you think that if the 26 percenters suddenly shifted their view on abortion these memories would suddenly come rushing back, and Thompson would wear them like a medal?

Of course he would. Because Thompson is a typical Republican in that he's running for president to BE something, not to DO something (a trait that's not exclusive to Republicans, right Hillary?). And that means he will do or say anything, including pretending to forget jobs that The Base wouldn't approve of, to win the job. And that means he's the wrong person for the job.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

No more dead bloggers

Susie raises an interesting idea.

She's mourning the loss of her friend, Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review, whose death was hastened by his lack of health insurance. And it occured to her that, with so many progressive bloggers living hand to mouth, and some luckier ones living check to check, a nonprofit organization to assist bloggers in need would be a good idea. Perhaps liberal groups and the Democratic party could offer financial support to such a cause. After all, they benefit from all those hours that progressive bloggers spend bent over their keyboards.

For many progressive bloggers, health insurance is a dream, or a memory. But for everyone, it's absolutely essential. And until Congress grows a spine and says no to healthcare corporations' money, people with few or no pennies to spare have to be creative if they want to be able to see a doctor when they get sick.

Stop by Susie's site and offer your thoughts, ideas and whatever help you can provide. Thanks.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Commuter

The Bush administration's policy had been not to comment on ongoing criminal cases, especially those involving former White House staffers. Not anymore.

President Bush commuted the sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby on Monday, sparing him from a 2½-year prison term that Bush said was excessive.

Bush’s move came hours after a federal appeals panel ruled Libby could not delay his prison term in the CIA leak case. That meant Libby was likely to have to report to prison soon and put new pressure on the president, who had been sidestepping calls by Libby’s allies to pardon the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Bush said in a statement. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.”
And why not? What's going to happen, is Bush's approval rating going to drop to 25 percent?

Well, yeah, of course it will. But that was going to happen anyway. Look at it this way: If there's a puddle of vomit in the street and a dog comes along and shits in it, does that really affect anyone's opinion of the puddle? The puddle was already disgusting.

The only difference is now a couple of more people are disgusted.

I wonder who in the White House thinks that this "pardon light" commuting bullshit is going to save any face for Bush. Hardcore conservatives will be disappointed that Libby didn't get a full pardon, and everyone else will react as though he did. In the end, it's just another example of Bush saying he will do one thing and doing the other, just another example of hypocritical conservative-style governing. Justice? Accountability? Those are just words for the rubes on the campaign trail.

This goes to show who is running the White House. After all, Libby wasn't Bush's chief of staff.