Wednesday, December 31, 2003

HAPPY 2004!

Happy new year to all!

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"I think Mr. Jackson has seriously hurt his credibility"

"I think Mr. Jackson has seriously hurt his credibility"


That's an understatement.

Sheriff denies Jackson charge of rough treatment .

What a complete loon. He actually HURT himself for the media cameras.



Above is a post from Jen's Very Big Blog (which is also Very Good), and is worth reposting here.

My very much better-half has a slightly different take on the injuries Mr. Jackson sustained; she believes his father and/or brothers inflected them. Why not? His was an abusive family, he was their gravy train, and he's done more harm to that financial empire than anything they could have done.

All in all, while I'd never let Mr. Jackson alone with kids, I am beginning to wonder whether he did anything CRIMINAL in this case at all. Did he share a bed with the kid? Probably - based on his own admissions. Did he technically break the law? I doubt it. Should he be kept away from all children?? DEFINITELY!!

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Al Qaeda Videos in Iraq Weapons Cache

Hat-tip to The Command Post for this story.
Al Qaeda Videos in Iraq Weapons Cache: "U.S. forces operating in the so-called Sunni Triangle -the region of Iraq most loyal to captured former dictator Saddam Hussein - found a significant weapons cache that included al Qaeda literature and videotapes, the U.S. military said Tuesday. "

All those who still believe there isn't a connection betwixt Al Qaeda and Iraq, please say 'aye'.

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Investing: You want a fortune teller??

You want a fortune teller?? Go to the circus. You want information you can trust? Ask Law & Order

Slate has a piece that show the relationship between the stock market and TD Waterhouse's choice of spokesperson, of late castmembers of the TV series LAW & ORDER.

It's being called a coincident indicator, a reflection of the current state of the economy. I have two such indicators of my own.

Growing up in Queens, NY, there's a strip along Northern Boulevard in Bayside where there's an abundance of Auto Dealers. Scattered between them are what can best be described as empty lots. Empty, that is, in recession, but when the economy begins to perk-up these patches of dirt miraculously become Used Car I mean "Previously Owned" dealerships overnight. A growing economy means more trade-ins for new cars, which means more resales of used cars.

Another indicator I use is what I call the 'Billboard index', which counts the number of empty billboards seen in NE Pennsylvania, in the Pocono region. If people are traveling, if the resorts are full, so then are the billboards.

The article is a good read.


The Law & Order Index - Watching reruns could make you rich! By John Swansburg: "'You want a fortune teller?' he asked, sitting in front of a computer displaying the company's site. 'Go to the circus. You want information you can trust? TD Waterhouse.' "

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Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Valerie Plame

My logs are showing someone expressing an interest in the 'photo of Valerie Plame', to that end, here's the link, since the post has rolled off the first page (but is not techically in the archive yet).

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Help Sgt. Hook

Sgt Hook: "I happened to notice that my sitemeter is reading just over 49k hits and thought how cool it would be to reach 50k by midnight on December 31st. I'll need a little help from my friends in the blogosphere though, as I average around 250 hits per day, so if you are so inclined, link me into the New Year! I'll leave this entry at the top of the page until then. Wish me luck and thanks for stopping by. "

Stop in and post a word of thanks!!

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Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge

CNN.com - How Monty Python changed the world - Dec. 11, 2003: "No matter where you look, even in some of the remotest parts of the planet, you can't avoid Monty Python. "

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Farwell, Neighbor Wilson

News this morning of the passing of Earl Hindman, also known as Wilson. W. Wilson Jr., best known simply as 'Wilson', who was the affable neighbor of "Tim the Toolman" Taylor in the TV series Home Improvement.

Mr. Hindman, whose face was never seen in the Tim Allen series, played in two dozen TV and movie roles, including one of my all-time favorite movies, Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

The AP lists his obituary as follows:


Earl Hindman

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Earl Hindman, best known for playing a neighbor whose face was forever obscured by a fence on the television show "Home Improvement," died of lung cancer Monday in Stamford, Conn. He was 61.

As Wilson, the neighbor of Tim Allen's character on the long-running sitcom, Hindman dispensed folksy advice from behind a white picket fence, with only his eyes and forehead visible to audiences. Before appearing on the show, he played Detective Lt. Bob Reid for 16 years on the daytime drama "Ryan's Hope."

He made his name in New York theater, appearing in "Dark of the Moon" off-Broadway in 1970 and in "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel" at the Public Theater in 1971. He also acted in two short-lived Broadway plays and in several movies, including "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" (1991) and "Final" (2001).

He was born in Bisbee, Ariz., and studied acting at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

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Monday, December 29, 2003

Can a felon be president?

No no... this isn't about President Clinton, so don't get your dander up!

Eye On The Left - Only the Left: "Twenty-two Americans will appear on California primary election ballots March 2 in a bid to become president of the United States. Among them are 10 Democrats, one Republican, one American Independent, four Greens, three Libertarians, and two people in prison.

The two convicted felons, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, are running -- from their cells -- as Peace and Freedom Party candidates. There's a third Peace and Freedom candidate as well. SacBee.com


More on the Peace and Freedom Party:

The Peace and Freedom Party, founded in 1967, is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. We represent working class people: the employed, the unemployed, people on welfare, the undocumented, the homeless, the incarcerated, retired workers, students and youth, and armed forces enlisted people, of all ethnicities, religions, languages, cultures and sexual orientations -- those without capital in a capitalist society."


And you all thought the likes of Mssrs. Dean, Kerry, Clark, et al were scary!!

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NYT: Fair and balanced? I think not....

TODAY'S PAPER by Slate.com: "The NYT goes above the fold with the results of an investigation into the allegations that Halliburton has been overcharging for its oil services in Iraq. The paper says its examination of the massive oil contract 'shows no evidence of profiteering by Halliburton, but it does demonstrate a struggle between price controls and the uncertainties of war, with price controls frequently losing.' The Times found that Halliburton's profits from Iraq have so far been 'minimal.'

The NYT has been tops among the papers in suggesting that Halliburton has been making extra bucks. So, the paper deserves credit for publishing a piece questioning that earlier suggestion. But why doesn't the article's headline clearly reflect the revised conclusion? Instead it's mushy: 'HALLIBURTON CONTRACTS IN IRAQ: THE STRUGGLE TO MANAGE COSTS.' "

So let's review: NYTimes and major media outlets go with banner headlines saying Halliburton was scamming the US Military, and then go to great lengths to point out VP Cheney's connection.

Then the Times prints what amounts to a correction (in the form of an investigation result) during a slow-news, holiday week.

More telling: of the 132 stories on MSNBC's site concerning 'Halliburton', there's only one refer to the NYTimes front page, and that link doesn't mention the lack of profiteering evidence. But a cursory exam of the other stories/links show at least 10 references to 'gouging' since October.

Anyone still think the media isn't slanted??



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To Gift Card Or Not To Gift Card, That Is The Question

~Unsettled~ : To Gift Card Or Not To Gift Card, That Is The Question: "I hate gift cards. I hate giving them, and I hate getting them even more.
As a matter of fact, I go out of my way (read: I go crazy) making sure that I don't get anyone a gift card. To me, gift cards say, 'Hey, I couldn't possibly be bothered wasting any time thinking of a gift you might actually enjoy so here. Go get yourself something.' Wonderful sentiment, eh?

I know there are other folks out there that think: 'I love gift cards, then I can get exactly what I want and not have to worry about returning the crap people gave me.' I'm not one of those people."


I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment. Despite that, I am guilty of hypocrisy, in that I ended up giving a few of these myself. As a suitable punishment, the sibling who received the gift card from me also gift-carded me, from the same vendor, for the same amount.

Talk about just deserts, eh?

But to add to the overall annoyance, I, too, got the 'what do you want' calls, and call me an anti-Scrooge, but I don't enjoy getting gifts. Not just Christmas gifts, but birthday's too. I know others do enjoy them, and as such I am more than willing to participate in the giving, but the receiving of them just doesn't excite me anymore.


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Subway Changes

Gothamist: B, D, M, N, Q, R, W: Subway Changes: "'If you take the Q line, which used to be the D line, and call it the B line, which is now the W in Brooklyn, that could confuse a lot of people hopping on the wrong train. Q becomes B. That's like calling the F train the A train. It doesn't make any sense.' "

Believe it or not, it's the metropolis logic such as this that makes me long for NYC.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Didya Ever Notice...

It almost seems fitting that greed would screw over production of Seinfeld DVDs. The NY Times reports that Jason Alexander, Julia Louis–Dreyfus, and Michael Richards have refused to participate in "Making of" featurettes for the upcoming Seinfeld DVD because they've been unhappy with their profit particpation from syndication; Alexander, Louis–Dreyfus and Richards have only been receiving $100,000 year since the show ended. The "Making of" and any other interviews would have made a Seinfeld DVD package, the first of which is expected in December 2004, more compelling to buyers, considering Seinfeld runs a few times each day in syndication, which makes the $100,000 seem very small, especially considering the many millions Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, co creators, make. But greed and self–preservation was a signature of the Seinfeld gang; we just don't if we should expect to see Alexander or Louis–Dreyfus on Curb Your Enthusiasm this upcoming season (starting on January 5, 2004).

To keep things in the holiday spirit, Gothamist would like everyone to remember the Seinfeld episodes, The Pick, where Elaine's Christmas card is a bit nippy and The Strike, where Festivus is unveiled.


A great drawing of the Seinfeld crowd, by reknowned Al Hirchfield, can be seen at Jen Chung's Blog.

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Politically Correct Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?

His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!?

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.

And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."

And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows:
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
And had gone on Ophra, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.

So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...

"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

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Monday, December 22, 2003

The Fat Lady is singing for Sen. Kerry, but will he listen??

The latest American Research Group poll shows Howard Dean taking a lead and John Edwards sinking to fourth.

Dean 16%
Sharpton 12%
Clark 12%
Edwards 11%
Gephardt 7%
Lieberman 7%
Braun 3%
Kerry 2%
Kucinich 1%

Someone has got to let Kerry know the gig is up.

A sitting Senator is losing to Rev. Sharpton?? With all due respect to Rev. Al, is anyone else shocked by this??? (Not to mention 3 other members of Congress)

Thanks to The Hedgehog Report for the link.

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Friday, December 19, 2003

$14.6 billion later, Boston's Big Dig wraps up

$14.6 billion later, Boston's Big Dig wraps up | csmonitor.com: "'It rivals anything in the history of the world built by men,' says Matthew Amorello, chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which oversaw the project. 'This is the opening of the Panama Canal. This is an incredible achievement.'"

Next time someone complains about wasted tax dollarts, consdier this:

After spending $14.6 billion (up from an initial forecast of about $4 billion in today's dollars), leaders and taxpayers weren't in the mood to shell out an several hundred thousand dollars for {The Boston Pops concert that was scheduled to celebrate its completion}.

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Christmas Message


OLD CITY BAR


In an old city bar
That is never too far
From the places that gather
The dreams that have been

In the safety of night
With its old neon light
It beckons to strangers
And they always come in

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The music was low
And the night
Christmas Eve

And here was the danger
That even with strangers
Inside of this night
It's easier to believe
Then the door opened wide
And a child came inside
That no one in the bar
Had seen there before

And he asked did we know
That outside in the snow
That someone was lost
Standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed
Through the smoke and the haze
Through the window and ice
To a corner streetlight

Where standing alone
By a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said
Could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The bartender turned
And said, not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I've noticed
If one could be home
They'd be all ready there

Then the bartender came out from behind the bar
And in all of his life he was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw
When he took all the cash from the register draw

Then he followed the child to the girl cross the street
And we watched from the bar as they started to speak
Then he called for a cab and he said J.F.K.
Put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away
And we saw in his hand
That the cash was all gone
From the light that she had
wished upon

If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last

By helping a neighbor
Or even a stranger

And to know who needs help
You need only just ask

Then he looked for the child
But the child wasn't there
Just the wind and the snow
Waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside
Somehow different I think
For the rest of the night
No one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say
That some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums
In the world where they hid

But they weren't there
So they couldn't see
By an old neon star
On that, night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
And in case you should wonder
In case you should care

Why we're on our own
Never went home
On that night of all nights
We were already there

Then all at once inside that night
He saw it all so clear
The answer that he sought so long
Had always been so near

It's every gift that someone gives
Expecting nothing back
It's every kindness that we do
Each simple little act





http://www.trans-siberian.com/

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Corrupting the News

Corrupting the News

>>NY Daily News: He makes a killing in toy shilling. Every holiday season, the Toy Guy, aka Christopher Byrne, appears on scores of local and national television and radio shows with his selections of the best and hottest toys. But what the parents and children don't know, and are not told by anchors and reporters, is that Byrne is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars annually by those toy manufacturers to hawk their products.<<

This corrupt practice shames everyone involved. At least it should, though if you'll read the story you'll note apparently willful blindness to basic ethical questions on the part of several of the participants in this sorry sham.

Some of the news outlets contacted for the story say they didn't know that the "Toy Guy" was a paid shill. Maybe they should have done a little homework. But if any journalism organization ever puts this guy on the air or in print again, it deserves pure contempt from all other journalists.


The addendum I'll make to Mr. Gillmor's piece: Much of the morning blab shows are anything but news; that doesn't excuse the kind of shilling he describes, however.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003

It does make you wonder...

"Early reports are that Michael Jackson has joined the Nation of Islam. One of the beliefs of the Nation of Islam is that the white man is the result of a science experiment gone wrong.

I say, ridiculous!"



Thanks to The Smoking Gun for this pic




Thanks to Jessica's Well for this thought provoking comment.

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"The Day George W. Bush Stole the White House"

"The Day George W. Bush Stole the White House"

The following is an excerpt from a mail by Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) intended to get-out-the-vote of Democrats.


Dear Member,

Today is the third anniversary of the day George W. Bush stole the White House, and this date - December 12, 2003 - marks a real day of tragedy for our country.

Whether we judge by hanging or dimpled chads - whether we count the 15,000-25,000 Gore votes that USA Today estimated were lost due to illegally designed 'butterfly ballots,' or whether we count the hundreds of predominantly African-American voters who were falsely identified by the state as felons and turned away from the polls... . Gore WON the 2000 presidential election.






Popular VoteElectoral Vote
George W. Bush50,459,624 - 47.87%271 - 50.4%
Albert Gore, Jr.51,003,238 - 48.38%266 - 49.4%


Statistics from http://www.uselectionatlas.org/USPRESIDENT/frametextj.html

So, today we will mark the day that George W. Bush, Katherine Harris and his right-wing enemies of democracy circumvented the political process and led the way to three long years of harm. Katherine Harris thinks we've forgotten. She thinks she can run and win in the 2004 Florida Senate Race. On this anniversary, help us show Katherine Harris and her GOP friends that they cannot steal another election!"

Now quite often I am accused of saying all the incorrect things I think a certain Party states, but here I will point out where Sen. Corzine indeed got things correct!

George W. Bush did, in fact get the majority of electoral college votes. This is not indispute, and it does matter, since our Constitution dictates THAT IS HOW A PRESIDENT IS ELECTED.

Sen. Corzine may be 100% correct that those butterfly ballots were illegally designed, but I'll ask him for some facts first: who designed them? How many elections prior to Nov. '00 were they in use? Which State Party in Florida were responsible for those ballots in the counties in question??

There's a website called MoveOn.org that was born during the Impeachment hearings of President Clinton (and is supported by the Socialist Workers Party). This site, along with Sen. Corzine, would do well to perform as their name implies; Mr. Bush won the election, fair and square, and to continue whining about it serves no ones interest.

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PhotoShop Phun

Thanks to PoliBlogger for the mention...

Here's a contest for the best Saddam photo.

My favorite? A tribute to Frank Zappa's Sheik Yerbouti:


Saddam Zappa?




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As if I need another reason to despise PeTA

: " ``And the sooner she stops wearing fur, the sooner the animals will be safe. Until then, keep your doggie or kitty friends away from mommy - she's an animal killer.'' "

How can anyone support such a bent organization as this??

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

"It is as it was."

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan: "Here's some happy news this Christmas season, an unexpected gift for those who have seen and admired Mel Gibson's controversial movie, "The Passion," and wish to support it. The film has a new admirer, and he is a person of some influence. He is in fact the head of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.

...

'It is as it was.'

I don't know if those words will settle the matter. But for me they do, and for many they will."


I may have a few disagreements with the Pontiff, but I am inclined to think all the noise about Mel Gibson's movie is because, as his Holiness has pointed out, it is an accurate depiction. Definite must see for me.

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Former Secy of State Madeleine Albright: UBL already captured

FOXNews.com - Politics - Albright: Bin Laden Comments Were 'Tongue-in-Cheek': "Albright was in the Fox News studio's green room waiting to appear on an evening program when she made the remark.

'She said, 'Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Usama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?'' said Fox News analyst and Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke. 'She was not smiling.'

Two makeup artists who prep the guests before their appearances also reported that Albright did not ask her question in a joking manner. "

Another reason why people doubt the integrity of the passed Administration; the fact that a person who held such a high position could imagine any Administration playing such games demonstrates the kind of character the principle players of President Clinton's Administration exhibited.

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True Love? $16,885

That's the price tag for 'True Love' thsi year... $16,885. And that's up from last year, too!

PNC Bank does it again: they cost out the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas. Be sure to read the analysis of outsourcing with cheap, overseas labor, changes in swan pricing, and you cannot pass up the flash presentation of the PNC Advisors 12 Days of Christmas Price Index.

Enjoy!!

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Dennis Miller Quotes

PoliBlogger lists some of the best quotes taken from a TIME Magazine interview with Dennis Miller:

5. On George W. Bush: "Bush had the balls to start something that's not gonna be finished in his lifetime. The liquidation of terrorism is not gonna happen for a long time. But to take the first step? Ballsy."

4. On entering electoral politics: "At some point that involves moving to Washington, D.C., sitting in a room all day with a moron like Barbara Boxer. I'm just not interested."

3. "anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss—I can't buy that anymore."

2. "I had the best job in sports broadcasting for two years. And I had never been to a football game. I felt like the guy in Catch Me If You Can."

1. "(Sept. 11) was a big thing for me. I was saying to liberal America, "Well, what are you offering?" And they said, "Well, we're not going to protect you, and we want some more money." That didn't interest me."




PoliBlog: Today's List: Dennis Miller Quotes

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

What is Howard Dean telling us?

Gov. Howard Dean has laid out his Foreign Policy, and not surprisingly, I have a few points to make to the Governor.


What are the people telling us? That a domestic policy centered on increasing the wealth of the wealthiest Americans,

Categorically false; all taxpayers received a cut.

September 11 was neither the beginning of our showdown with violent extremists, nor its climax. It was a monumental wake-up call to the urgent challenges we face.

Incorrect. At the very least, Sept 11 was yet another finger in our collective eye. Refer to the US Cole, the embassy bombings, the first WTC bombing, and all of the other Al Quaida attacks that went unanswered.

The capture of Saddam Hussein is good news for the Iraqi people and the world. Saddam was a brutal dictator who should be brought swiftly to justice for his crimes. His capture is a testament to the skill and courage of U.S. forces and intelligence personnel. They have risked their lives. Some of their comrades have given their lives.

If it is good news for the world, then what is the problem with the action in the first place? Also, why not any thanks to the courage of President Bush to risk the slings and arrows of critics to deliver this good news to the world? As Sen. Lieberman so correctly asked, where would Saddam Hussain be today, if President Dean were in office?

Let me be clear: My position on the war has not changed.

Obviously.

An administration prepared to work with others in true partnership might have been able, if it found no alternative to Saddam's ouster, to then rebuild Iraq with far less cost and risk

The president made his case repeatedly to the UN and the world; many allies joined the cause, a select few did not. Your criticism ought to go to those supposed allies who did not help us.

The capture of Saddam is a good thing which I hope very much will help keep our soldiers safer. But the capture of Saddam has not made America safer.

Right; so Saddam Hussain was not a threat to our allies or us; prey tell, why are you in the minority on this view?

During the past dozen years, I have supported U.S. military action to roll back Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, to halt ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, to stop Milosevic's campaign of terror in Kosovo, to oust the Taliban and al Qaeda from control in Afghanistan. As President, I will never hesitate to deploy our armed forces to defend our country and its allies, and to protect our national interests.

To your credit, you are not completely off the deep end in your views. Please, though: do provide evidence of your support for these past efforts of our military.

It means putting our troops in harm's way only when the stakes warrant, when we plan soundly to cope with possible dangers, and when we level with the American people about the relevant facts.

Another baseless accusation??

It means exercising global leadership effectively to secure maximum support and cooperation from other nations, so that our troops do not bear unfair burdens in defeating the dangers to global peace.

You still assume the US is alone in Iraq. Incorrect, yet again.


Leadership also is critically needed to strengthen America's intelligence capabilities. The failure of warning on 9-11 and the debacle regarding intelligence on Iraq show that we need the best information possible about efforts to organize, finance and operate terrorist groups; about plans to buy, steal, develop, or use weapons of mass destruction; about unrest overseas that could lead to violence and instability.

You assume that the lack of what you'd consider credible WMD findings indicates a breakdown of intel; we had the intel, but members of Congress and the UN put up blockade after blockade slowing our action. Do you think Saddam was going to keep the stuff out in the open in that time??

As President, I will make it a critical priority to improve our ability to gather and analyze intelligence. I will see to it that we have the expertise and resources to do the job.

And our intel agencies thank you for that slight.

Because some terrorist networks know no borders in their efforts to attack Americans, I will demand the effective coordination and integration of intelligence about such groups from domestic and international sources and across federal agencies. Such coordination is lacking today. It is a critical problem that the current administration has not addressed adequately. I will do so -- and I will meet all our security challenges -- in a way that fully protects our civil liberties. We will not undermine freedom in the
name of freedom.

OK... point the Dept of Homeland Security is addressing that need. Point two: another baseless accusation on trampled liberties?? Please explain (and do so without pointing to the man who tried to blow up his sneaker while in a plane, please!)

Second, we must rebuild our global alliances and partnerships, so critical to our nation and so badly damaged by the present administration.

Damaged? Damaged? Because the French are insulted, you call that Damage??

Every President in that line, including Republicans Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and the first President Bush demonstrated that effective American leadership includes working with allies and partners, inspiring their support, advancing common interests.

Again, baseless.

America should never be afraid to act alone when necessary. But we must not choose unilateral action as our weapon of first resort.

Again I agree with Gov. Dean. A pity this point he's making is useless at this time.

Almost two years passed between September 11 and NATO assuming the leadership of a peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. More than six months have gone by between the fall of Baghdad and any serious consideration of a NATO role in Iraq.

Ummmm... Afghanistan was our fight, and NATO allies assisted with intel and other support areas before the official NATO moniker was applied. That's not to mention the NATO air support we had flying over the US in the weeks following Sept 11.

Those same member nations helped in Iraq (except, of course France and Germany); do you really think France would vote for NATO help in our current mission??


It can, at times, be challenging, even frustrating, to obtain the cooperation of allies. But, as history shows, America is most successful in achieving our national aims when our allies are by our side.

Now, some say we shouldn't worry about eroding alliances because, whenever a crisis comes up, we can always assemble a coalition of the willing. It's nice when people are willing, because it means they will show up and do their best. It does not, however, guarantee that they will be able to accomplish all that needs to be done.

And I am sure Australia, Poland, Italy and the UK appreciate the insult you've given them.

Our country will be safer with established alliances, adapted to confront 21st century dangers, than with makeshift coalitions that have to start from scratch every time the alarm bell sounds.

You sound as if the US *NEVER* trains with our allies, which is clearly a false proposition.

The Guard is an integral part of American life, and its main mission should be here at home, preparing, planning, and acting to keep our citizens safe.

The Guard is deployed to KEEP the battle away from our homes.

I will recruit every nation that can contribute and mobilize cooperation in every arena -- from compiling inventories to safeguarding transportation; from creating units specially-trained to handle terrorist situations involving lethal substances to ensuring global public health cooperation against biological terror.

Admirable goal. And if an ally doesn't join up, what then? Scrap the plan or go without them??

Working more effectively with the UN, other institutions, and our friends and allies would have been a far better approach to the situation in Iraq.

Again, baseless; what of the Coalition? What of the President and Secy Powell's pleading with the UN??

Our alliance with Israel is and must remain unshakeable, and so will be my commitment every day of our administration to work with the parties for a solution that ends decades of blood and tears.

Since it was common knowledge Saddam funded Palestinian terrorists, how does your proposed policy balance against your stated policy against going into Iraq in the first place?

They must choose between a go-it-alone approach to every problem, and a truly global alliance to defeat terror and build peace.

Repeat the lie often enough and it becomes truth, eh Governor??

It is the voice of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton bringing long-time foes to the table in pursuit of peace.

Excuse me?? Pardon me while I fall on the floor and laugh!

That is how America can best lead in the world. That is where I want to lead America. Thank you very much.

We already lead in the world, Governor. That is a key point you've missed altogether!


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Holiday Chestnuts, III

All About (Christmas) Eve -- Bill Ervolino


I thought it would be a nice idea to bring a date to my parents' house on Christmas Eve. I thought it would be interesting for a non-Italian girl to see the way an Italian family spends the holidays. I thought my mother and my date would hit it off like a partridge in a pear tree.

So I was wrong. So sue me.

I had only known Karen for three weeks when I extended the invitation. "I know these family things can be a little weird," I told her, "but my folks are great, and we always have a lot of fun on Christmas Eve."

"Sounds fine to me," Karen said.

I had only known my mother for 31 years when I told her I'd be brining Karen with me. "She's a very nice girl and she's really looking forward to meeting all of you."

"Sounds fine to me," my mother said.

And that was that. Two telephone calls. Two sounds-fine-to-me's. What more could I want?

I should point out, I suppose, that in Italian households, Christmas Eve is the social event of the season- an Italian women's raison d'ĂȘtre. She cleans. She cooks. She bakes. She orchestrates every minute of the entire evening. Christmas Eve is what Italian women live for.

I should also point out, I suppose, that when it comes to the kind of women that make Italian men go nuts, Karen is it. She doesn't clean. She doesn't cook. She doesn't bake. And she has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being.

I brought her anyway.

7pm -- We Arrive
Karen and I walk in and putter around for half an hour waiting for other guests to show up. During the half hour, my mother grills Karen like cheeseburger and cannily determines that Karen does not clean, cook or bake. My father is equally observant. He pulls me into the living room and notes, "She has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being."

7:30 pm -- Other Guests Arrive

Uncle Ziti walks in with my Aunt Mafalde, assorted kids, assorted gifts. We sit around the dining room table for antipasto, a symmetrically composed platter of lettuce, roasted peppers, black olives, salami, provolone and anchovies. When I offer to make Karen's plate she says, "Thank you. But none of those things, okay?" She points to the anchovies.

"You don't like anchovies?" I ask.

"I don't like fish," Karen announces to one and all as 67 other varieties of food-that-swim bake, broil and simmer in the next room.

My mother makes the sign of the cross. Things are getting uncomfortable. Aunt Mafalde asks Karen what her family eats on Christmas Eve. Karen says "Knockwurst." My father, who is still staring, in a daze, at Karen's chest, temporarily snaps out of it to murmur, "Knockers?" My mother kicks him so hard he gets a blood clot. None of this is turning out the way I hoped.

8pm -- Second Course

The spaghetti and crab sauce is on the way to the table. Karen declines the crab sauce and says she'll make her own with butter and ketchup. My mother asks me to join her in the kitchen. I take my "Merry Christmas" napkin and place it on the "Merry Christmas" tablecloth and walk into the kitchen.

"I don't want to start any trouble," my merry mother says calmly, clutching a bottle of ketchup in her hands. "But if she pours this on my pasta, I'm going to throw acid in her face."

"Come on," I tell her. "It's Christmas. Let her eat what she wants."

My mother considers the situation, then nods. As I turn to walk back into the dining room, she grabs my shoulder. "Tell me the truth", she says, "are you serious with this tramp?"

"She's not a tramp," I reply. "And I've only known her for three weeks."

"Well, it's your life," she tells me, "but if you marry her, she'll poison you."

8:30 pm -- More Fish

My stomach is knotted like one of those macramé' plant hangers that are always three times larger than the plants they hold. All the women get up to clear the spaghetti dishes, except for Karen, who, instead, lights a cigarette. "Why don't you give them a little hand?" I politely suggest.

Karen makes a face and walks into the kitchen carrying three forks. "Dear, you don't have to do that," my mother tells her, smiling painfully.

"Oh, okay," Karen says, putting the forks in the sink. As she reenters the dining room, a wine glass flies over her head and smashes against the wall. From the kitchen, my mother says, "Whoops."

I vaguely remember that line from Torch Song Trilogy: "'Whoops?' No. 'Whoops' is when you fall down an elevator shaft."

More fish comes out. After some goading, Karen tries a piece of scungilli, which she describes as "slimy, like worms." My mother winces, bites her hand and pounds her chest like one of those old women you always see in the sixth row of a funeral home. Aunt Mafalde does the same. Karen, believing that this something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, bites her hand and pounds her chest. My Uncle Ziti doesn't know what to make of it. My father's dentures fall out and chew a six-inch gash in the table cloth.

10pm -- Coffee, desert

Espresso all around. A little anisette. A curl of lemon peel. When Karen asks for milk, my mother finally slaps her in the face with a cannoli. I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, picks up a cannoli and slaps my mother with it.

"This is fun," Karen says.

Fun? No. Fun is when you fall down and elevator shaft.

But, amazingly, everyone is laughing and smiling and filled with good cheer -- even my mother, who grabs me by the shoulder, laughs, and says, "Get this bitch out of my house."

Sounds fine to me.

Bill Ervolino
Nightlife Magazine
1992
Find more by Mr. Ervolino at www.northjersey.com

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Friday, December 12, 2003

Ways Geeks Can Hide Their Geekiness

BBspot - Ways Geeks Can Hide Their Geekiness: "Ways Geeks Can Hide Their Geekiness"

thanks to Meryl.

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MMMMM ... toasty!

PoliBlog: Toast-O-Meter (12/12 Edition): "The Toast-o-meter: A Weekly News Round-Up and
Handicapping of the Race for the Democratic Nomination.
-Toast: It's not Just for Breakfast Anymore!-
This week's Toast-O-Meter comes to you Fortified with more linkage and Enhanced with increased bloggage!"

MMMM I love toast!

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Say what you mean...

...mean what you say!: "It all surrounds a patrol car, which carried a message some found offensive. The car decal said, 'We'll Kick Your Ass'.

It is the kind of stunt that could have quickly been put to rest.

Instead it has prompted a flood of editorial letters to the Bakersfield Californian with mixed reviews on what the sticker said.
There is still plenty of controversy over how the sheriff handled it.

It is not the act that gets you in trouble, but whether or not it is a cover-up.

There may or may not be a cover-up in this case, but there are a lot of different versions of what really went down, who gave the order, and why it happened in the first place. "


A photo of the offending vehicle, seen here:


We'll Kick Your Ass



Sounds to me that someone had an idea he/she thought was too good to pass up. Seems to me that if it's on ONE patrol car (even in a one-cop-car town) people ought to get over it and move on to something more important.

Overall, if that's the WORST thing they can say about their local government, be happy.

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White House verifies immigration review - INASNE!!!!

White House verifies immigration review - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics

The White House yesterday said a new immigration review is under way that could lead to amnesty for millions of illegal aliens living and working in the United States.
Confirmation of the review came during a White House briefing, just two days after Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said during a town hall meeting in Miami that the government had to "afford some kind of legal status" to the 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens in the country.
"We've taken steps to improve border security — significant steps, I might add; have made great progress there. We've taken steps to improve the immigration infrastructure," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "Those are some foundations for moving forward on a more orderly, safe and humane migration policy.


We've done SOOO much improving of border security that we've decided to relax the standards??? What the hell is going on??? Tell me we have troops on the borders and effective INS staffing at airports and ports, and maybe I'll believe we've reached proper security.

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Thursday, December 11, 2003

Why Iraq is better off without the UN

Crime, terror flourish in 'liberated' Kosovo: "Four years after it was 'liberated' by a NATO bombing campaign, Kosovo has deteriorated into a hotbed of organized crime, anti-Serb violence and al-Qaeda sympathizers, say security officials and Balkan experts.

Though nominally still under UN control, the southern province of Serbia is today dominated by a triumvirate of Albanian paramilitaries, mafiosi and terrorists. They control a host of smuggling operations and are implementing what many observers call their own brutal ethnic cleansing of minority groups, such as Serbs, Roma and Jews.

In recent weeks, UN officials ordered the construction of a fortified concrete barrier around the UN compound on the outskirts of the provincial capital Pristina. This is to protect against terrorist strikes by Muslim extremists who have set up bases of operation in what has become a largely outlaw province.

Minority Serbs, who were supposed to have been guaranteed protection by the international community after the 78-day NATO bombing campaign ended in the spring of 1999, have abandoned the province en masse. The last straw for many was the recent round of attacks by ethnic Albanian paramilitaries bent on gaining independence through violence.

Attacks on Serbs in Kosovo, a province of two million people, have risen sharply.

According to statistics collected by the UN criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague, 1,192 Serbs have been killed, 1,303 kidnapped and 1,305 wounded in Kosovo this year."


You can read the rest of the article here, but a couple of questions must be asked:

  • I heard about this story on the Mark Levin Show on WABC/77AM: why hasn't the US media picked up on it yet? (Paging Mssrs. Brokaw, Jennings, & Rather)

  • Clearly, the UN hasn't a clue how to do what is necessary in Kosovo; while it is undeniable there is a hot-bed of trouble in a small area of Iraq, it is obviously much better after 6 months than Kosovo is after 4 years. Why?

  • Why hasn't any Senator demanded answers from former President Clinton about how he cut and run out of Kosovo, leaving it to the wolves? (Paging Sen. Clinton.... )

  • How can any critic of President Bush read this and still insist the UN ought to be running the show in Iraq?
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    Attack on Free Speech

    OpinionJournal - John Fund on the Trail: "We have witnessed merely the second scene of Act I of what promises to be a lengthy tragedy.'"


    In a stinging dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia noted the dangers inherent in the court's decision: "The first instinct of power is the retention of power, and, under a Constitution that requires periodic elections, that is best achieved by the suppression of election-time speech. We have witnessed merely the second scene of Act I of what promises to be a lengthy tragedy."


    More to come.... stay tuned....

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    Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    Anti-Terroirsm Protests

    Let's see if this story reaches the national media in the US....


    InstaPundit.Com: "ZEYAD covered the Baghdad antiterrorism marches and reports that they were a major success. I didn't expect anything even close to this. It was probably the largest demonstration in Baghdad for months. It wasn't just against terrorism. It was against Arab media, against the interference of neighbouring countries, against dictatorships, against Wahhabism, against oppression, and of course against the Ba'ath and Saddam."

    Thanks to InstaPundit

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    What is Howard Dean Hiding?

    7. The right to leadership which does not operate in secrecy - Howard Dean's Bill of Rights for a New Generation of Americans

    CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS SUNDAY: I want to take you through this because -- and I know that you're somewhat frustrated that people keep asking about it. But just as you talked about President Bush, people are concerned when public officials decide not to make records public.

    In January, you gave Vermont Public Radio a very different reason. Here is what you said: "There are future political considerations. We didn't want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a critical time in any future endeavors."

    Governor, was it politics?

    GOV. DEAN: If you actually listen to the tape, which CNN played this week, you will find that I was laughing about that and teasing the press about it.

    No, it's not politics. Every governor has done this. Some governors have sealed their records for their lifetime. Some governors take the records with them, they're not the property of the...

    WALLACE: But, in fact, the previous governors of Vermont had only sealed them for six years. You wanted to do it for 24, and they finally made an agreement on 10.

    DEAN: That really is more of a reflection of the negotiating ferocity of my legal counsel.





    What is Howard Dean Hiding?




    Can you spell hypocrite??

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    SHOCK AND AWE!!!

    SHOCK AND AWE!!!

    Supreme Court Upholds Key Parts of Campaign Finance Law

    A sharply divided Supreme Court upheld key features of the nation's new law intended to lessen the influence of money in politics, ruling Wednesday that the government may ban unlimited donations to political parties.

    Those donations, called ``soft money,'' had become a mainstay of modern political campaigns, used to rally voters to the polls and to pay for sharply worded television ads.

    Supporters of the new law said the donations from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals capitalized on a loophole in the existing, Watergate-era campaign money system.

    The court also upheld restrictions on political ads in the weeks before an election. The television and radio ads often feature harsh attacks by one politician against another or by groups running commercials against candidates.


    So much for free speech. I said it when President Bush signed it into law: it was a bad idea then, it is a bad idea now.

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    Top Ten Reasons Al Gore Has Endorsed Howard Dean

    From the December 9 Late Show with David Letterman,

    The “Top Ten Reasons Al Gore Has Endorsed Howard Dean.”
    Late Show Web site: www.cbs.com

    10. Thought Dean would give the most dynamic concession speech

    9. Howard Dean reminds him of Jimmy Dean who makes them breakfast sausages

    8. Only way to counteract freight-train success of Kucinich campaign

    7. His support could get Dean popular vote, for what that’s worth

    6. Judgment clouded by Melana not selecting Adam on “Average Joe”

    5. Dean promised to totally be his best friend forever

    4. Wants Howard Dean to do for America what he did for Vermont...whatever the hell that was

    3. Maybe it was the eleven vodka gimlets

    2. The dart hit Dean’s name

    1. As a doctor, Dean has a legitimate excuse for fondling interns

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    Holiday Chestnuts, II

    The Legal Night Before Christmas

    Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

    A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter.

    The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

    Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as "I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g. kerchief and cap.)

    Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and apparent to said House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

    At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus. Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted an additional co-conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.)

    The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

    Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

    Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

    Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

    However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim:
    "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

    Or words to that effect.


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    Quagmire...

    Instapundit.com:: "ANOTHER SUICIDE BOMBING: It's obviously a quagmire-- in Moscow.
    Maybe it's because the Russians decided not to ratify Kyoto. . . ."

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    All Iwant for Christmas....

    The Catapult Watch!: "The Amazing Catapult Watch!"

    (kudos to Dave Barry's Blog)<

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    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    Last Democratic Primary Debate tonight

    Tonight is the last Democratic Primary debate

    Is it now a forgone conclusion? What of Gen Clark, the fav of President & Sen Clinton?

    What of John 'F' Kerry?

    Can Sen. Liberman reach the knife handle sticking in his back?

    Will Rep. Kucinich get a date?

    Will Rev. Sharpton dance like he did Saturday night?

    Did John Edwards ever matter at all?

    Will Rep Gephardt reminds us all that his dad was a milkman -- again??

    Does Bob Graham regret dropping out?

    And who does Amb Moseley Braun think she's kidding???

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    LIEBERMAN: (MILQUE)TOAST

    LIEBERMAN: (MILQUE)TOAST
    Stephen Bainbridge has several posts on the failed campaign of Joe Lieberman. First, he called him a "dead ender" staying in the race for no apparent reason, an opinion that was reinforced by Gore's endorsement of Dean. And he posts a reader e-mail comparing him to Eyor of Winnie the Pooh fame. Yikes.

    I feel sorry for Lieberman and think he's probably the Democrat currently in the race who is both most suited to govern and who would be the most appealing in the general election.* But he sold his soul to be Al Gore's running mate, sacrificing much of his main selling point--integrity--in doing so. And he got nothing in return. The Democrat faithful still don't like him all that much and even Gore isn't grateful. Indeed, for a man who got elected to the Senate in part because of the active endorsement of National Review and the support of conservatives tired of Lowell Wiecker, it is somewhat ironic that he's come full circle: the only people who support him now are Republicans.

    *Certainly a debatable point. While Lieberman won't generate the same enthusiasm among the Democratic base as a Dean or even a Clark, my feeling is they hate Bush enough that they'll turn out for any Democrat. Unless the situation in Iraq gets radically worse, Dean can't carry a single state in the South, making the electoral college math very, very difficult to do. Lieberman would once again put Florida in play.

    The only other Democrat in the race that I could see winning is Clark--althought that may merely be a function of the consensus that he's a charismatic moderate, which is largely a theory at this point. But I don't see how he gets the nomination.


    Outside The Beltway

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    In case anyone has forgotten...

    With the announcement of former Vice President Al Gore's planned endorsement of Gov. Howard Dean's campaign for Presidency, there have been a lot of folk trying to change history.

    Fact: George W. Bush won enough Electoral College votes to be declared President.

    Fact: Using the applicable laws in place at the time of the election, George Bush won the election.

    Fact: The official tallies show VP Al Gore won more of the popular vote than Mr. Bush.

    Fact: Further review of the votes indicate that margin of popular vote victory may have been, in fact, smaller than reported. Indeed, there is evidence Mr. Bush may have actually won the popular vote as well.

    Fact: A candidate need not win the popular vote to win the presidency. For recent examples, consult the 1992 election of then-Governor Bill Clinton, and again his re-election in 1996; in both cases, he failed to win the popular vote, yet no one contends he did not 'win' the election.


    Finally, the much ballyhooed Florida election can be summarized as thus: the election was held, the laws dictated the automatic recount, the laws were followed for such recount, the laws were challenged, but upheld under appeal.

    You and I can disagree on whether the laws are proper, but the good people and Legislature of Florida are the ones to decided if their laws are proper, and if they were being followed. Following that decision, the US Supreme Court decided whether the Florida State Supreme Court played fairly; indeed, the State Court did not. The State Court decided it was necessary to legislate from the bench and provide a limited recount to a limited number of percincts. This, clearly, exceeded their jurisdiction and was demonstrably unfair. The SCOTUS called them on it, and the election was certified.

    Still doubt the Mr. Bush won Florida? Read on:


    Bush Still Had Votes to Win in a Recount, Study Finds

    If the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed Florida's courts to finish their abortive recount of last year's deadlocked presidential election, President Bush probably still would have won by several hundred votes, a comprehensive study of the uncounted ballots has found.

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    Friday, December 05, 2003

    If I didn't see it...


    If I didn't see it, I wouldn't have belived it!



    A tip of the hat to the Karpet Kitten for this one.

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    Thursday, December 04, 2003

    Politics of hate won't beat Bush

    Politics of hate won't beat Bush: "Anyone up for a 'Hate Bush' meeting in Hollywood? Doesn't it sound like just the sort of thing conservatives would invent to make liberals look stupid and open the conservative spigots?

    But this was no right-wing conspiracy. Matt Drudge may be the one selling the idea that Hollywood held a 'Hate Bush' meeting, but he didn't come up with the title. This is a self-inflicted wound by another silly Hollywood liberal giving honest politics a bad name."

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    There are those who believe that life here began out there...

    Wired News: Alien Sex! Bombs! Robots! Pathos!: "'We realized the only way we could improve on the original is if the Cylons could have sex,' quipped co-executive producer David Eick at Tuesday night's Los Angeles premiere. The chrome-domed 'walking toasters' from the original TV series are succeeded by -- well, really hot blond chicks, who infiltrate human society to engineer its doom.

    One of the newly humanized enemy androids, Number Six, is played by former Victoria's Secret model Tricia Helfer (so that's Victoria's big secret! -- we always knew there was a sinister purpose behind those ubiquitous catalogs). While in the throes of sex, her spine glows a luminescent, otherworldly, X-ray crimson.





    Episode No. 1 of the two-part miniseries, which debuts Dec. 8, explodes with a jaw dropper of a scene that blends Cylon eroticism with equal parts pants-wetting apocalyptic terror and blast-tacular deep-space warfare. None of this should work, but under the nuanced direction of Michael Rymer, it does, spectacularly, and the rest of the episode never disappoints. "

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    Plamegate ... draws to a close?

    Here then is the photo of Valerie Plame:



    Slate.com


    So, when will she cut-off her right arm??

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    Statement By Roy Black, Rush Limbaugh's Attorney

    "Statement By Roy Black, Rush Limbaugh's Attorney -12.04.03:
    Palm Beach, Florida - December 4, 2003


    Roy Black, attorney for Rush Limbaugh, released the following statement today:

    'We have been informed that this afternoon the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office will announce that it has seized the medical records of four doctors who treated Rush Limbaugh for serious medical conditions and the pain resulting from them.

    'In fact, what these records show is that Mr. Limbaugh suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication. Unfortunately, because of Mr. Limbaugh's prominence and well-known political opinions, he is being subjected to an invasion of privacy no citizen of this republic should endure.

    'Let us make our position clear: Rush Limbaugh is not part of a drug ring. He was never a target of a drug investigation. He became addicted to a prescription drug during legitimate medical treatment. He has publicly admitted this problem and has successfully sought treatment which continues today.

    'We won't speculate on why the State Attorney's Office is handling Mr. Limbaugh's case the way it is. But what should be a responsible investigation is looking more and more like a fishing expedition.'"


    I am so looking forward to posting the Palm Beach State Attorney's office announcement, later today.

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    Babes Against Bush

    WorldNetDaily: Bush faces new enemy: Sexy American babes: "If there's any truth to the belief 'Sex sells,' then President Bush could have an additional political enemy to deal with in the upcoming election year: American babes. "

    World Net Daily reports a 13 month calendar inspiring people (Men, obviously) to vote against President Bush in the 2004 election. The calendar features scantily clad women (as if you needed me to be so specific).

    Sound to me there ought to be a competitive market out there...

    Of course, you have to laugh at one of their listed reasons why they are against President Bush: "Didn't win the popular vote". What makes me laugh is the fact that President Clinton also shares this distinction, in both of his runs for the White House.

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    Wednesday, December 03, 2003

    Whatever happened to the Valerie Plame scandal??

    Valerie Plame, living in fear???: "Former ambassador Joseph Wilson has been quite protective of his wife, Valerie Plame, in the weeks since her cover as a CIA operative was blown.

    'My wife has made it very clear that -- she has authorized me to say this -- she would rather chop off her right arm than say anything to the press and she will not allow herself to be photographed,' he declared in October on 'Meet the Press.'

    But that was before Vanity Fair came calling.

    The January issue features a two-page photo of Wilson and the woman the magazine calls 'the most famous female spy in America,' a 'slim 40-year-old with white-blond hair and a big, bright smile.' They are sitting in their Jaguar."


    Guess the alleged leak was not what it was touted. If so, and if Ambassador Wilson was honest in his assesment in October, Ms. Plame should be called 'Lefty', shouldn't she?

    Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit alerted readers to this Washington Post story.

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    Shifts in States May Give Bush Electoral Edge

    Shifts in States May Give Bush Electoral Edge: "Shifts in States May Give Bush Electoral Edge "

    Today's NY Times reports that due to shifting populations, President Bush could actually lose one of the states he carried in the 2000 election and still win the electoral college vote!


    That means as of right now, 335 days out of the 2004 election, Mr. Bush enjoys a comfortable lead -- regardless of the Democratic Party candidate!

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    Holiday Chestnuts, I

    IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS?

    As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from that renowned scientific journal SPY magazine (January 1990) - I am pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.

    1. No known species of reindeer can fly. However, there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer that only Santa has ever seen.

    2. There are 2 billion children (defined as persons under 18) in the world. BUT, since Santa doesn't (appear to) handle the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim children; that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau (1990). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each!

    3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.58 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/100th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney (or whatever else necessary to enter the home), fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household. A total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding, etc. That means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, or a mere 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second -- and a conventional unfettered reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

    4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a single Barbie doll or a medium-sized Lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload -- not even counting the weight of the sleigh -- to 353,430 tons. Again for comparison, this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (that is the ship, not Her Majesty).

    Note from CI: despite repeated annual requests, this journal shall not theorize
    the effects of 214,200 flying reindeer and their inevitable poop.

    5. Now then: 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft's re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy per second. Each. In short, assuming they ever reach cruising speed, they will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousands of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.



    In conclusion -

    If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.



    I originally found the above on USENET in 1996, ironically in a discussion that had absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or Santa Claus (see alt.fan.mash); a Yahoo! search for 'SPY Magazine' revealed this site:

    Hey, I give credit where it's due!



    The following was sent to me last year....

    REBUTTAL: Several key points are overlooked by this callous, amateurish "study." This is new for 1998.

    1) Flying reindeer: As is widely known (due to the excellent historical documentary "Santa Claus is Coming to Town,") the flying reindeer are not a previously unknown species of reindeer, but were in fact given the power of flight due to eating magic feed cord. As is conclusively proven in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (a no-punches-pulled look at life in Santa's village), this ability has bred true in subsequent generations of reindeer--obviously the magic feed corn imprinted their power on a dominant gene sequence within the reindeer DNA strand.

    2) Number of households: This figure overlooks two key facts. First of all, the first major schism in the Church split the Eastern Churches, centered in Byzantium, from the Western, which remained centered in Rome. This occurred prior to the Gregorian correction to the Julian calendar. The Eastern churches (currently called Orthodox Churches) do not recognize the Gregorian correction for liturgical events, and their Christmas is, as a result, several days after that of the Western Churches'. Thus, Santa gets two shots at delivering toys.

    Secondly, the figure of 3.5 children per household is based on the gross demographic average, which includes households with no children at all. The number of children per household, when figured as an average for households with children, would therefore have to be adjusted upward. Also, the largest single Christian denomination is Roman Catholic, who, as we all know, breed like rabbits (If you don't believe me, ask my four brothers and two sisters--they'll back me up). Due to the predominance of Catholics within Christian households, the total number of households containing Christian children would have to be adjusted downward to reflect the overloading of Catholics beyond a standard deviation from the median. Also, the assertion that each home would contain at least one good child would be reasonable enough if there were in fact an even 3.5 children per household. However, since the number of children per household is distributed integrally, there is a significant number (on the order of several million) of one-child Christian households. Even though only children are notoriously spoiled--and therefore disproportionately inclined toward being naughty--since it's the holidays we'll be generous and give them a fifty-fifty chance of being nice.

    This removes one half of the single-child households from Santa's delivery schedule, which has already been reduced by the removal of the Orthodox households from the first delivery run.

    3) Santa's delivery run (speed, payload, etc.): These all suffer from the dubious supposition that there is only one Santa Claus. The name "Santa" is obviously either Spanish or Italian, two ethnic groups which are both overwhelmingly Catholic. The last name Claus suggests a joint German/Italian background. His beginnings, battling the Burgermeister Meisterburger, suggest he grew up in Bavaria (also predominantly Catholic). The Kaiser style helmets of the Burgermeister's guards, coupled with the relative isolation of the village, suggest that his youth was at the very beginning of Prussian influence in Germany.

    Thus, Santa and Mrs. Claus have been together for well over one hundred years. If you think that after a hundred years of living at the North Pole with nights six months long that they remain childless, you either don't know Catholics or are unaware of the failure rate of the rhythm method. There have therefore been over five generations of Clauses, breeding like Catholics for over one hundred years.

    Since they are Catholic, their exponential population increase would obviously have a gain higher than the world population as a whole. There have therefore been more than enough new Santa's to overcome the population increase of the world. So in fact, Santa has an easier time of it now than he did when he first started out.

    Santa dead, indeed--some people will twist any statistic to prove "their cynical theory".

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    Holiday Chestnuts



    What would the holidays be without my collection of chestnuts? Check back each week for a new one!

    Chas. Addams

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    The President was right: the Kyoto Treaty is dead

    - Bush was right: the Kyoto Treaty is dead: "Bush was right (and so was the unanimous U.S. Senate - duh): The Kyoto Treaty is dead.
    That's right, I said...

    It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This protocol is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet it's maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it'd be pushing up the daisies! It's metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off the twig! It's kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off it's mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PROTOCOL!!

    Thanks to The Command Post who got the BBC story from samizdata.net.

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    A Charitable Idea

    Kermit the Blog: A Charitable Idea: "Every holiday season, Toys for Tots does a fabulous job of collecting donated toys for needy kids across the country. It's a great organization that allows kids to have a happy Christmas morning. Sounds nice, right? It is, but I can do better. I bet I could raise 2x, no, 10x the toys they do with my new charity:"

    This idea does sound interesting....

    Toys for Tits. I hire a bunch of strippers for the day, we set up a booth at the mall parking lot. You bring us a donated toy and you get to look at the holiday boobs! ....more...

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