Thursday, April 14, 2005

Scooter Blue, Where Are You?

Well well well, it's been a while. I bet my three (Okay, two) loyal readers are wondering what the hell I've been up to.

Here goes:

I've been dealing with some heavy personal stuff lately, for one. I don't like to discuss personal matters on my blog; I'd rather stay anonymous. Let's just say I've had neither the time nor the desire to do regular blogging lately. I hope that changes in the near future.

Also, I've had a crisis of confidence in my blogging. I noticed that I started to lose the "edge" I had been developing earlier - around the time of Bush's Inaugural, I felt like I was on fire! (Or was it just the Mexican food?) But soon after, I began to run out of inspiration. It's not that I wasn't outraged at what I saw in the news every single fucking day, it's just that I couldn't come up with much of any original commentary. I was merely posting links, and I don't want to become a liberal version of Instawanker.

Really, there is a plethora of excellent blogs that provides the kind of insight I wish I had - check out my blogroll, for starters. I really don't feel like I'm adding anything to the discourse, and I don't want to only be part of the liberal "echo machine." I respect too many bloggers to do that.

So I took a voluntary hiatus. And I'm still not really ready to come back just yet. And if and when I do, I've decided I won't be just a political blogger. I have deep passion for other topics, like music and pop culture, for instance. I think that if I commented on those areas, along with politics, I could maybe find that fire I once had.

Until then, I bid you adieu.

P.S. to Froth - I miss Drinking Liberally. Perhaps this summer I will return. Thanks for everything!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Today's Big Tool

John McCain!

Link #1:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - President Bush and Sen. John McCain put on another showing Tuesday of their good-cop, bad-cop routine on Social Security, trying to prod Democrats into cooperating with rather than opposing the president's drive to create private accounts within the system.

I guess this writer hasn't heard...they're personal accounts, not private accounts! (-snicker-)

McCain, after speaking glowingly of ``the pride I feel in this president,'' had a less conciliatory message for Democrats in Congress, whom he accused of being obstructionist and shortsighted. (emphasis mine)

"Some of our friends who are opposing this idea say, `Oh, you don't have to worry until 2042.' We wait until 2042 when we stop paying people Social Security? That's not what this is all about,'' he said. ``Please urge our Democrat friends to come to the table and sit with us and do this for the greater good of the United States of America. ... This issue isn't shouldn't have anything to do with partisan politics.''

He also aimed some of his "straight talk'' at AARP, the powerful lobby for older citizens that opposes Bush's plan to allow younger workers to divert a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into personal accounts that could be invested in the stock market in trade for reduced guaranteed benefits.


Does this guy's fawning not make you want to vomit? Especially after all the nasty stuff Bush did to him back in 2000?

Link #2:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Sen. John McCain said Tuesday the conclusions of a commission investigating intelligence failures on weapons of mass destruction should not lead to new questions about whether the Iraq war was justified.

"America, the world and Iraq is better off for what we did in bringing democracy," McCain said.

The Arizona Republican is a member of a commission formed by President Bush over a year ago after the chief weapons inspector in Iraq, David Kay, resigned saying "we were almost all wrong" about the pre-war estimates that Saddam Hussein possessed banned weapons.

The nine-member panel is to release a final report at the end of the month that is expected to take a critical look at the assessments of weapons programs, particularly in Iraq, Iran and North Korea, by the 15 agencies that comprise the U.S. intelligence community.

McCain, in appearances with Bush at Social Security events in the West the past two days, has been offering a glowing endorsement of the president's second-term push for democracy around the globe. In two states Monday and here on Tuesday, he ticked off changes in Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Middle East and Iraq as proof that Bush "is on the right side of history" and deserves credit for advancing freedom throughout the world.
(emphasis mine)

Ugh. Never forget - McCain may not be a fundie, but ever the good soldier, he tows the party line every time.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Shameful

I haven't covered the Schiavo case at all, on the account that many others are doing a great job already of exposing the Repug hypocrisy. But I came across this at Raw Story - the infamous GOP talking points that so many have been talking about:

This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.

This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida - has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats.


Meanwhile, have any of you talked to anyone who would want to be kept alive in the same sad state as Terry Schiavo? I know I haven't, even from the most diehard wingnuts. I know if if were me, I'd want my loved ones to do the right thing - and pull the plug. But we all know this is about much more than that...at least, those of us who read liberal blogs...

Again, the GOP is out of touch.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Waaaah! Waaaah!

Great article by Russell Jacoby at The Nation, about whiny-ass conservatives and their ironic preoccupation with "academic freedom."

Jack Kelly: Racist and sexist?

Either that, or just plain stupid. Read his latest pile of excrement, and pay special attention to his conclusion about shifts in Armed Forces enlistment:

Money for college was the principal reason young people gave for a willingness to enlist, followed by "duty."

Proportionately more blacks and women enlist for the economic benefits, while a higher proportion of white males give duty as a reason for joining up.

So blacks and women who enlisted primarily for the benefits are being replaced by white males who enlist primarily to serve their country. That's not such a bad thing.
(emphasis mine)

Hooray for the dutiful white men! It's about time they took the place of those shiftless, money-grubbing blacks and women! (Sarcasm, anyone?)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Myopia

I normally don't slag other bloggers, but this was just too much. Powerball, a fundie conservative, writes:

Amid the backdrop of soaring oil and gasoline prices, a sharply divided Senate on Wednesday voted to open the ecologically rich Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling, delivering a major energy policy win for President Bush.
The Senate, by a 51-49 vote, rejected an attempt by Democrats and GOP moderates to remove a refuge drilling provision from next year's budget, preventing opponents from using a filibuster — a tactic that has blocked repeated past attempts to open the Alaska refuge to oil companies.

Hey as long as I don't have to pay two bucks a gallon you can drill on top of Mount Rushmare for all I care. Move over caribou, here comes Exxon.
(emphasis mine)

I could snipe about spelling and grammar, but the main point is that, despite what your Dear Leader says, drilling in ANWR won't make a great difference, and I'd be willing to bet that we won't see considerably cheaper gas prices because of it. And is cheaper gas worth damaging the environment? I don't like expensive gas either, but there are many other, better ways to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. This whole brouhaha is more about politics than helping the "common man":

Others who advised Bush on his energy plan said including the refuge was seen as a political maneuver to open the door to more geologically promising prospects off the coasts of California and Florida. Those areas, where tests have found oil, have been blocked for years by federal moratoriums because of political and environmental concerns.

``If you can't do ANWR,'' said Matthew R. Simmons, a Houston investment banker for the energy industry, ``you'll never be able to drill in the promising areas.''

Freaking unbelievable

I'm sure you've already heard about this, but the neocon takeover continues:

President George Bush risked the ire of the international community for the second time in as many weeks yesterday as he nominated his administration's leading neo-conservative hawk, Paul Wolfowitz, to be the head of the World Bank.

Barely eight days after he nominated John Bolton, a hotly anti-United Nations State Department official as US ambassador to the UN, the President's choice of World Bank president seemed virtually guaranteed to raise hackles in diplomatic circles, and among development professionals who believe Mr Wolfowitz ­ currently Deputy Secretary of Defence ­ is unqualified for the job...

Mr Wolfowitz is not only an international lightning rod because of his central role in mounting the Iraq war. The appointment of a conservative ideologue with no direct experience of the financial world is also likely to be unsettling to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as they seek G8 backing to cancel debts in the world's poorest nations.


Wow. Look here for a list of Wolfie's delusions about Iraq. A few choice excerpts:

Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: "They've worked at hiding things very, very deliberately. There's no question in my mind that there was something there. There are just too many pieces of evidence, and we'll get to the bottom of it." May 31, 2003.

Rebuilding Iraq: "There's a lot of money to pay for this. It doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." March 27, 2003.


Look on the right side of this blog for the ever-rising cost of the Iraq war, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

Wofie's plan to eradicate poverty: Look for food in Somalia ("It's gotta be in there somewhere!") and kill thousands of poor people ("Well, there's less poverty now, right?").

Spin cycle

Via Raw Story:

When things don't go your way, spin, spin, spin:

President George W. Bush said Tuesday that Italy and other nations will start pulling out of Iraq as Iraqis are able to defend themselves.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has announced that Italy's troops will start withdrawing from Iraq in September, but Bush said the Italian leader had assured him during telephone talks on Tuesday that there was no change of policy.

"He wanted me to know that there was no change in his policy, that in fact, any withdrawals would be done in consultation with allies and would be done, depending upon the ability of the iraqis to defend themselves," Bush told a press conference.

"I think you will find that countries will be anxious to get out when Iraqis have the capacity to defend themselves, and that is the position of the United States."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the ol' homestead

Tim at Chuck Pennacchio's site has some clever coverage of Santorum's residency issues. Check it out - anything to give Ricky a headache...

Monday, March 14, 2005

This is just plain stupid

Believe it or not, I'm not criticizing the Bush Administration this time, just a bunch of morons in Wyoming:

CHEYENNE - As if the hair in your salad wasn't bad enough, a city health inspector here said there had been "several cases" of tongue rings and other facial jewelry found in the food in the city's restaurants.

It was enough to persuade the Governor's Food Safety Council to recommend banning facial jewelry for restaurant workers who prepare food -- perhaps becoming the first state in the country to do so. Katherine Kim of the National Restaurant Association said her organization isn't aware of any other state that banned facial piercings.

But despite his testimony, when contacted by The Associated Press, Jon Cecil of Cheyenne Health Department couldn't cite a single documented case of facial jewelry falling into a restaurant dish.

That's not what he said in a Jan. 25 hearing before the Food Safety Council.

"We've had several cases of old ladies finding tongue rings and rings and whatnot in their food," Cecil testified. "We actually had a lady at one of our finer restaurants in town and ... she found a tongue ring."
(emphasis mine)

Okay, I think I've solved the mystery, Shaggy. Some cranky old lady (sorry if that sounds age-ist) got freaked out over the Subway Sandwich Artist's lip ring and complained. And now a stupid law could be passed that would discriminate against (by and large) young people.

One question: Would the law pertain to ear piercings? I'm sure they're much more common than nose or eyebrow piercings, and just as likely (read: not likely at all) to "fall" into someone's Extreme Fajitas.

At least some people in the area have some common sense:

...Troy Meeks, general manager of the Snake River Bar and Grill in Cheyenne and a 23-year veteran of the restaurant business, said he had never heard of piercings making their way into a customer's food.

"It sounds kind of silly to me," he said.

Cindy Weindling, vice president of the Colorado Restaurant Association, saw little reason to ban facial jewelry.

"I don't see a health hazard," she said. "If it's not a health hazard, why do we need a regulation?"

Global warming? What global warming?

The Guardian features some disturbing photos. I wonder why we haven't seen more of this sort of thing in the American media? Probably too busy running Bush Administration propaganda.

Surprising?

Hardly:

WASHINGTON -- The Homeland Security Department's former independent watchdog says he was twice summoned to then-Secretary Tom Ridge's office last year and asked why his reports criticizing the agency were being sent to Congress and whether they could be presented more favorably to the department.

Ridge "was trying to get me not to give things to Congress and also to try to spin reports in a way most favorable to the department, and I resisted both of those," former Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin said in an interview.


Of course, Ridge denies it. But this administration has a habit of suppressing dissenting points of view in favor of more "friendly" ones.