Friday, September 30, 2005

Cheer up, Paul!

I know things look bleak while the Bushies try to run the country into the ground, but Paul Krugman's column today might make you want to slit your wrists. Hang in there...the only way to go is up!

The New York Times
September 30, 2005
The Way It Is

Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He sold all his stock in HCA, which his father helped found, just days before the stock plunged. Two years ago, Mr. Frist claimed that he did not even know if he owned HCA stock.

According to a new U.S. government index, the effect of greenhouse gases is up 20 percent since 1990.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a 33-year-old Wall Street insider with little experience in regulation but close ties to drug firms, was made a deputy commissioner at the F.D.A. in July. (This story, picked up by Time magazine, was originally reported by Alicia Mundy of The Seattle Times.)

The Artic ice cap is shrinking at an alarming rate.

Two of the three senior positions at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are vacant. The third is held by Jonathan Snare, a former lobbyist. Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog group, reports that he worked on efforts to keep ephedra, a dietary supplement that was banned by the F.D.A., legal.

According to France's finance minister, Alan Greenspan told him that the United States had "lost control" of its budget deficit.

David Safavian is a former associate of Jack Abramoff, the recently indicted lobbyist. Mr. Safavian oversaw U.S. government procurement policy at the White House Office of Management and Budget until his recent arrest.

When Senator James Inhofe, who has called scientific research on global warming "a gigantic hoax," called a hearing to attack that research, his star witness was Michael Crichton, the novelist.

Mr. Safavian is charged with misrepresenting his connections with lobbyists - specifically, Mr. Abramoff - while working at the General Services Administration. A key event was a lavish golfing trip to Scotland in 2002, mostly paid for by a charity Mr. Abramoff controlled. Among those who went on the trip was Representative Bob Ney of Ohio.

It's not possible to attribute any one weather event to global warming. But climate models show that global warming will lead to increased hurricane intensity, and some research indicates that this is already occurring.

Tyco paid $2 million, most going to firms controlled by Mr. Abramoff, as part of its successful effort to preserve tax advantages it got from shifting its legal home to Bermuda. Timothy Flanigan, a general counsel at Tyco, has been nominated for the second-ranking Justice Department post.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is awash in soldiers and police. Nonetheless, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has hired Blackwater USA, a private security firm with strong political connections, to provide armed guards.

Mr. Abramoff was indicted last month on charges of fraud relating to his purchase of SunCruz, a casino boat operation. Mr. Ney inserted comments in the Congressional Record attacking SunCruz's original owner, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, placing pressure on him to sell to Mr. Abramoff and his partner, Adam Kidan, and praised Mr. Kidan's character.

James Schmitz, who resigned as the Pentagon's inspector general amid questions about his performance, has been hired as Blackwater's chief operating officer.

Last week three men were arrested in connection with the gangland-style murder of Mr. Boulis. SunCruz, after it was controlled by Mr. Kidan and Mr. Abramoff, paid a company controlled by one of the men arrested, Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, and his daughter $145,000 for catering and other work. In court documents, questions are raised about whether food and drink were ever provided. SunCruz paid $95,000 to a company in which one of the other men arrested, Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, is a principal.

Iraq's oil production remains below prewar levels. The Los Angeles Times reports that mistakes by U.S. officials and a Halliburton subsidiary, which was given large no-bid reconstruction contracts, may have permanently damaged Iraq's oilfields.

Tom DeLay, who stepped down as House majority leader after his indictment, once called Mr. Abramoff "one of my closest and dearest friends." Mr. Abramoff funneled funds from clients to conservative institutions and causes. The Washington Post reported that associates of Mr. DeLay claim that he severed the relationship after Mr. Boulis's murder.

Public health experts warn that the U.S. would be dangerously unprepared for an avian flu pandemic.

As Walter Cronkite used to say, That's the way it is.

Hurricane Hughes Spreads Wreckage Overseas

The Queen of Bullshit, Karen Hughes -- or as President Bush has nicknamed her, Hurricane Karen -- is wreaking havoc overseas like a bull in the international china shop. The New York Times describes her strategy and the resulting hostility from the locals and Slate pleads for Karen to JUST STAY HOME! Instead of telling everyone else what to do, when are the Bushies going to actually DO the right thing? Actions speak much louder than all the Hurricane's words.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Judy Miller's Comin' Home!

The worst part is, she was covering up for Cheney's aide. Twelve weeks in the can for him? ICK! Read about her deal in the NYT.

Political Junkie Heaven at Slate

John Dickerson is so good.

Here's his take on DeLay's demise. Do we really want to lose our best whipping boy?

And his estimate of GOP damage is excellent.

The (Crooked) King is Dead. Long Live the (Crooked) King!

Could there be a MORE sleazy member of congress than Tom DeLay? Yeah...his replacement as majority leader, Roy Blunt! Check out his vitals from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

[Via Daily Kos]

In the meantime, DeLay -- who NEVER does public interviews -- is busy with his own spin control. Check out this smarmy exchange with Britt Hume (aka biggest disappointment in journalism) at Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

No Free NYT Today

Sorry, but David Brooks is an idiot and here's proof:

The DeLay Era would be marked by one word: partisanship. Far from being a conservative ideologue, DeLay was a traditional Tammany Hall politician who would do whatever it took to put more Republican fannies in House seats. DeLay was never the ruthless tyrant news media reports made him out to be. He's actually a modest, decent and considerate man. But he is willing to sacrifice all else for the team.

September 29, NYT, "The Designated Hitter"

Ronnie Earle For President!

I can't help myself.
I'm in LOVE with this man.
Texas Prosecutor Ronnie Earle.
What's not to love?
He's a tenacious crusader who took on Tom DeLay and appears to be winning. As far as I'm concerned, he should be in charge of the whole world. Find out more about him at as they ask, "Who The Hell is Ronnie Earle?" And Think Progress does rumor control about Ronnie -- you knew the character assassination was coming. Listen for those RNC faxxed talking points! But he told The New York Times he is more interested in getting something to eat than worrying about what people are saying about him.

Ding! Dong! Is DeLay Finally Dead?

It took more than bug spray, but The King of Sleaze may finally have to step down and join the coackroaches he used to kill for a living.

Sorry, I can't post a photo of him on my's bad karma and I don't want to have to look at him.

Witless at the White House

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've about had it with this Times Select bullshit. I am a subscriber and it took me 20 minutes to finally get access to the editorials. So, as a mini-protest, I'm offering you some stuff for free.'s Maureen Dowd's editorial about the cluelessness of the Bushes -- especially Karen Hughes, the newly crowned Queen of American Bullshit. Not only is she clueless, she refuses to talk to anyone who might disagree with her.

Dancing in the Dark
September 28, 2005
The New York Times


I can't wait to see what's next.

Dick Cheney carpooling downtown with Brownie? Rummy Rollerblading down the bike path to the Pentagon? Condi huddling by a Watergate fireplace in a gray cardigan?

Maybe now that our hydrocarbon president is the conservation president, he'll downgrade from Air Force One to a solar-powered Piper Cub as he continues to stalk the Gulf Coast towns and oil rigs like Banquo's ghost.

The once disciplined and swaggering Bush administration has descended into slapstick, more comical even than having Clarence Thomas et al. sit in judgment as Anna Nicole Smith attempts to get more of the moolah of her late oil tycoon husband.

We've got the clownish Brownie still on FEMA's payroll, giving advice on cleaning up the mess he made. ( Let's hope the White House is paying him only long enough to buy his good will, not to take any of his bad advice.)

We've got two oilmen in the White House whose administration was built on urging us to consume and buy as much oil and energy as possible. Now they're suddenly urging us to conserve. (Since Mr. Cheney considers conservation a "personal virtue," at least he'll get some virtue.)

The president called on Americans to drive less, and told his staff members to turn off their computers at night, turn down the air-conditioning, form carpools and take the bus.

At the same time, he set a fine example by wasting gazillions of gallons of fuel with all the planes and Secret Service vans and press motorcades and police escorts that follow him around every time he goes on one of his inane photo-ops from the Colorado bunker to what's left of the Mississippi Delta and the Bayou. He did his part by knocking off a few cars from his motorcade on his seventh trip to the gulf yesterday - but if residents had hoped he'd bring them some water, they went thirsty.

"Even so," as The Times's Elisabeth Bumiller wrote, "security dictated that Mr. Bush's still-impressive caravan pick him up at the base of Air Force One in Lake Charles, La. - and drop him off just yards away for a meeting with local officials at an airport terminal."

Noting that the Bush administration has proposed new fuel economy standards that critics say could make huge S.U.V.'s and pickups even more popular, Reuters published some arithmetic about the president's notorious fuel inefficiency.

Air Force One costs $83,200 to fill up and more than $6,000 per hour to fly. Then there's the cost of helicopters and a 2006 Cadillac DTS limo that gets less than 22 miles per gallon.

Karen Hughes, the Bush nanny who knows nothing about the Muslim world and yet is charged with selling the U.S. to it, wasted even more fuel this week flying to Saudi Arabia to tell women covered from head to toe in black how much she likes driving even though they can't.

She knows so little about the Middle East that she looked taken aback when some Saudi women told her that just because they could not vote or drive did not mean that they felt they were treated unfairly.

One thing Saudi women like even less than not having certain rights is to have hypocritical Americans patronize them.

The moment when America should have used its influence to help Saudi women came on Nov. 6, 1990, as U.S. forces gathered in the kingdom to go to war in Iraq the first time. Inspired by the U.S. troops, including female soldiers, 47 women from the Saudi intelligentsia took the wheels from their brothers and husbands and drove until the police stopped them.

They were branded "whores" and "harlots" by Saudi clerics, had their passports revoked, and were ostracized from society for a dozen years. Even their husbands suffered.

The experience made them more angry at the U.S. than at their own rulers. They feel that the Bushes play up the repression of women in the Middle East when it suits their desire to bang the war drums, but do not care what happens to women once the ideological agenda has been achieved.

They feel the administration and the American media have emphasized the repression of Saudi women post-9/11 as a way to demonize Saudi Arabia and paint Saudi men as bullies and terrorists.

When Ms. Hughes goes to Saudi Arabia to introduce herself as "a mom" and to talk about Americans as people of faith, guzzling fuel all the way in a country getting flush selling us oil, I think we can consider it taxpayer money well spent.

W. doesn't really need to worry about turning down the lights in the White House. The place is already totally in the dark.

What Was She Thinking?

What made Ashley Smith think it was a good idea to give a murderer crystal meth while he hid out in her apartment? Surely, there had to be a toilet for a convenient flush ala "Goodfellas"? ANYTHING to keep him from getting amped up any more than he already was. He no doubt came WAAAAY down when she started reading from A Purpose Driven Life. ZZZ-ZZZ-ZZZ

Ashley is the latest to join the Rogue's Gallery of Sinners Who Get Famous By Acting Moral and/or Religious. Previous inductees include William Bennett (notorious gambler), Rev. Jim Bakker (fornicater), Rev. Pat Robertson (called for a hit on a world leader), and that guy who wrote the natural remedies book who swears the pharmaceutical world is out to destroy him.

All this faux religiosity might actually be doing our society harm. Read this from the London Times

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Celebrate Freedom: Read a Banned Book

This week is National Banned Books Week and the American Library Association has a rich source of materials at their website.

You can celebrate by flipping the bird at the thought police and reading one of the TEN MOST BANNED BOOKS OF 2004. By the way, the ALA says the biggest objection these days are "homosexual themes." Doesn't anyone watch "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" any more? And watch out for Captain Underpants -- he models bad behavior!

These are listed in order, with the most frequently challenged first.

The Chocolate War for sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint, being unsuited to age group and violence.
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, offensive language and violence

Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint

Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, for offensive language and modeling bad behavior

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, for homosexuality, sexual content and offensive language

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones, for sexual content and offensive language

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, for nudity and offensive language

King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, for homosexuality

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou, for racism, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive language and unsuited to age group

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, for racism, offensive language and violence

Off the list this year, but on the list for several years past, are the Alice series of books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Go Ask Alice by Anonymous, It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

...And LOVING It!

Don Adams really DID love his job as Maxwell Smart in the TV show, "Get Smart." What's not to love?
  • Written by Buck Henry and Mel Brooks
  • A character modelled on William Powell (as "The Thin Man")
  • Seven Emmys with three for Don
  • Acting with the lovely Barbara Feldon
  • Hilarious Bernie Koppell
  • Gadgets galore
  • The Cone of Silence

What a great show...and a great ride. R.I.P. Max!

Can the Dems Run on Hurricanes?

Are hurricanes getting stronger and more frequent because of global warming? Unfortunately, scientists can't hand the Democrats the perfect plank for victory right now -- we have to wait for more of the ozone to dissolve first.

If You Love Filmstrips...

As a teacher, I used to tell my students there was a fortune to be made in creating better audio-visuals than the !@#$%^&* filmstrips I had to use sometimes. But you gotta admit, they bring back fond memories. And when they diss the Bushies, it's even better. Here's a great link sent my my friend Logan.

"Asshole" filmstrip

While Rome Burned...

As the Depression closed in, Herbert Hoover decided the best strategy was for him and his cabinet to keep fit, so each morning, they would go out on the White House lawn and throw a medicine ball in a game of "Hoover-ball." Lucky for all of us, his enthusiastic, idealistic, and intelligent replacement -- FDR -- was soon to arrive. By the way, Hoover's associates called FDR "only half a man" who would never live long enough to take office.

The Bush administration's strategy is nearly as effective as Hoover's. Hoover didn't create jobs for Americans and the Bushies just keep hiring each other. While Hoover believed more hard work and exercise on everyone's part would pull us through the Depression, Bush just believes more work (of any kind) for his friends is the solution.

Frank Rich would like to see a return of a different President -- one who was notorious for doing to women what the Bush administration is doing to us. Since the New York Times Select is a serious mess (I really AM a subscriber, I promise!), here's a link to a friendly blogger who has the text:

NY Times: Frank Rich, "Bring Back Warren Harding"

Do You Have a Job For My Brother?

For an administration that hates government as much as the Bushies, it sure makes a great cash cow for his friends -- even the stupid ones. As I listen to doofus Michael Brown defend how he "gets it" when it comes to emergency response and how he should have known that Louisiana was "dysfunctional," I realize how great it is to have friends in high places. He has definitely been coached for career rehabilitation possible re-hiring (as a consultant).

Cronyism and the spoils system are alive and kicking in the Bush administration -- just check out what the NY Times said this morning about how taxpayers should ask tough questions about who is getting the contracts in the Gulf Coast. We need to pay attention. Henry Waxman can't do it all by himself!

Funnier Than David Sedaris?

David Rakoff did a reading in Seattle tonight and, oh my god, he is FUNNY! Here's a link to his bio, but you gotta read his books, "Fraud" and "Don't Get Too Comfortable" (his latest). He also did a HILARIOUS interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. That's when I first heard about Fudgie and Jewie (gotta listen to the interview or read "Fraud").

I'm not sure why, but I like him better than David Sedaris. Maybe a bit edgier? Not so much family stuff? Hey, they're like peanut butter and chocolate...they're BOTH great. Just different.

Try him...he's wonderful and smart!

Another Shameless Plug

My beloved (and his buddy Hart Seeley) has a piece at the National Lampoon website about Geraldo Rivera. VERY FUNNY!

Go there!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Couldn't Have Done It Better Myself

I was going to post something pithy about this weekend's anti-war demonstrations, but At Close Range did it already... AND with GREAT photos.

She also posted today's Paul Krugman NYT editorial, which is HILARIOUS! It's a wonderful analysis of Bush cronyism which you can trace by playing "Find the Brownie" and "Two Degrees of Jack Abrahamoff."

Also, check out Crooks and Liars for a rumor that Michael Brown has actually been RE-HIRED by FEMA as a consultant! You can also see footage of Cindy Sheehan being arrested. God Bless Her! And the Washington Post has an account of the pro-Iraq demonstration in Washington with all 400 in attendance. It's interesting reading.

A LIttle TLC Goes A Long Way

To be honest, I'm not sure WHO wrote this piece in the NY Times. The byline says Brian Williams, but it's better than anything I've EVER heard him say on TV, so I'm thinking "ghost writer." Anyway, it's a great historical view of what a little love and care can do when people are suffering.

One thing LBJ and Russell Long knew how to do: show compassion when it meant voter support.

I Miss Katrina...

...Not the death and destruction, but the independent thinking of the media. They were SO GREAT when they had to think for themselves during all the chaos on the Gulf Coast, but it didn't take long for them to go back to the status quo. I just about retched this morning when I heard a chirpy redhead tell me how positive the prognosis for Dick Cheney is. OH BOY!

We all know their bosses don't like to feature poor people on the news, so the poverty (and race) conversation will probably go to the back pages and you KNOW television news won't cover it at all.

See? I miss Katrina.

If Not Now, When?

During the 2000 election challenge in Florida:
Roberts traveled from his Washington office at Hogan & Hartson to Tallahassee to lend advice and help polish legal briefs. Later, Roberts participated in a dress rehearsal to prepare the Bush legal team for the U.S. Supreme Court.
More: Miami Herald

A small miracle may be happening on Capitol Hill. The senate is getting so many calls to block the John Roberts SCOTUS nomination, they have already had to disconnect one hotline number. It's part of a Million Phone March, championed by radio host Thom Hartmann (and others) and since Friday, THOUSANDS of calls have been made.

If you think there is nothing you can do to change things, here's an easy, practical, and fast way to stop the man who helped George Bush illegally claim office in 2000 in Florida (see above).

Make 4 phone calls NOW:

Russell Feingold (D-WI) (202) 224-5323 e-mail:
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (202) 224-4242 e-mail:
Don't forget Your Own Senators

There are lots of folks out there who favor appeasement. You know the argumen: if we accept Roberts now, we'll avoid an even WORSE candidate for the next vacancy. Yeah, try telling that to the Sudetenland. Here's a great response from Mark Crispin Miller.

So, what are you waiting for? Get off the internet and pick up that phone!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

If It Walks Like a Duck...

How many times were anti Iraq war protesters dismissed because the Bushies told us "Iraq is not another Vietnam"? Well, this article by Douglass K. Daniel reveals some eerie similarities between the two. Let's pray that we don't see helicopters lifting off the American embassy roof, but maybe it will mean the end of pro-war presidents for awhile.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Martha's Selling The "Prison Poncho"

You gotta give Martha Stewart credit, she sure can make lemonade out of lemons (no doubt with a sprig of mint!). Remember that poncho she wore home from prison? Well, she's selling them on her website and the proceeds go to a bunch of charities. I'm still hoping Xiomaro Hernandez, who made the original poncho, gets a chunk of change from this. After all, it was a great marketing tactic to pass on her creation to Miss Martha. Unfortunately, with 5 years left on her sentence, she won't be making an appearance on "The Apprentice" any time soon.

Oh...and it's also available in red.

The Bus Myth De-Bunked

Finally, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco explained why New Orleans' school buses weren't deployed during the Hurricane Katrina evacuation. This has got to be one of the righties' longest-running "arguments of mass distraction" and it needed to be cleared up.

Turns out Blanco was told not to use them because they weren't air conditioned and the feds promised to send buses with a/c right away. Four days later, while residents were sick and dying, they finally arrived.

Here are her comments.

Post Posts

The Washington Post has featured two great editorials lately that are not only well written but smart as hell.

First, EJ Dionne, Jr. wrote about "The End of the Bush Era" back on September 13 which explains why we should stick a fork in the Bushies, they're done. Even if it's not altogether true, it's lovely to think about.

And today, Anne Applebaum explains in "Back to Trent Lott's House" how even Republicans rely on the government. How else would they get their building permits approved, their homes rebuilt, and their taxes subsidized?

It's so fun to read good writing (and thinking).

Fuck, This Looks Good!

In my sweetest food fantasies, I dream of cookies, cake, and ice cream. Usually in that order, but sometimes cake comes first. My grandmother made something called a "prune cake" which may sound like something akin to bran muffins but was unbelievably sweet and rich. Her cherry sheet cake was heaven and I could never figure out how she weaved the beautiful lattice crust. YUUUUM!

So, when I saw Martha Stewart featuring another Martha Stewart and her recipe for Red Velvet Cake on her new show, my mouth started to water. I think I'll be making this as cupcakes for my next party. Check it out! It's the best RV cake recipe I've seen.

You're Gonna Have To Get Your Hands Dirty

This is from Frederick Douglass, who knew a struggle when he saw one:

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are people who want crops without plowing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.
This is what I think of when I hear subtle insults of those who take action. Women like to call other women who are outspoken "mouthy," as if it is unattractive and inappropriate to speak up for yourself. Or activists might be insulted for their "tone" or for being confrontational. Comments like those are the invisible hands of the status quo that want to grab you by the shoulders and press downward.

It's like your mother said, "anything worth having is worth fighting for."

Thank a Union!

Great quote from Miss Molly Ivins:

Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.

Next time you see someone on a picket line, honk and give them a thumbs up. You might owe them more than you think.

More Ways to Make Big Money

Don't know why I'm on this career kick, but here are a few more ways to make a few bucks:

Win a MacArthur Genius Grant and get $500,000. The main problem is that you have to be nominated and you never find out who fingered you. Oh, and you have to be a genius. an oil company. Exxon-Mobil earned record profits last quarter of $8 billion, but they had to spent $60 million to lobby congress.

That's all for now. More ideas to follow...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Last night, my beloved and I went to see Barbara Ehrenreich talk about her latest book, "Bait and Switch", which does for the exploitation of white collar workers what "Nickle and Dimed" did for those working for minimum wage. Bottom line: the lure of the corporation as a means toward affluence and security is fool's gold and will result in layoff, downsizing, restucturing or exhaustion.

So, it appears that the best way to make a lot of money is to go to work for the government! It's been a really successful career path for the Bush family and their friends. And the best part? No competition...just name your price. The only person to report to is Karl Rove and he'll be looking for a fat lobbying career in 3 years, so if he smells a job offer, he'll roll over for you.

Here are some examples of those who have recently cashed in:

Ted Stevens has learned how to make a buck after 36 years in the U.S. Senate and he can turn a tidy profit for those around him. He was instrumental in getting $233 million dollars in pork to build a bridge that will link Ketchikan Alaska to an island with 50 residents. No doubt there is a developer buddy nearby. And Stevens' son (another Alaska politician) is set to make a million thanks to the new fisheries bill.

Billions of dollars in contracts have been awarded to Bush friends to rebuild the Gulf Coast, including the all-star cast of Halliburton, Bechtel, Shaw, Fluor, and Kenyon. The Project on Government Oversight has a detailed list of those who have been awarded contracts so far. It is interesting reading. Thank God SOMEONE is watching over them.

Another perk: as a federal employee with a government credit card, your credit limit just went up fom $2500 to $250,000. Not bad!

But beware...if you are hired by a Gulf Coast contractor, the President has suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which guarantees that when a federal contractor comes into an area, they will pay the "prevailing wage" (around $9 an hour). Hopefully there will be enough demand for workers to push up wages, with no thanks to the White House, which seems to hate the working person and adore the corporation.

Related Articles:
CBC article: "First Katrina Recovery Contracts Go to Bush Friends"
CNN article:"Bush Allies Getting Katrina Work"

Monday, September 19, 2005

Job Hunting?

Let's see...I have my:

Suntan panty hose (and a backup pair)
White slouch socks
100% white tennis shoes
White or tan bra

I've styled my hair, I've signed my release, I've got a smile on my face, and I've covered my midriff. Nope, can't see my buttocks under the shorts...

Now I can go to work as a Hooters Girl!

Check out the employee manuals at The Smoking Gun for Hooters, Victoria's Secret, and even a strip club! You never know when you might need a new career. Just ask Barbara Ehrenreich.

[Via: Seattle Times]

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sunday Morning News

Behind all the political rhetoric and ideological posturing about abortion is the real-life drama of those who must have the procedure. This morning's New York Times has a wonderful feature article about one of the two abortion clinics in the state of Arkansas and the women who must go there. It's beautifully done and does what good journalism does -- makes the debate real and personal.

In an odd juxtaposition, the NYT front page also featured an article about efforts to increase interest in hunting among young people. In the words of one hunter:
"Hunters should be included as an extinct species because we're falling away so fast, we need to be protected."

The NYTimes reports that Former President Clinton gave W hell on ABC's "This Week". And the best advice of the day came from Illinois Senator Barak Obama appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" who suggested we need "adult supervision" over the federal budget. You can see his comments and video at Crooks and Liars

Saturday, September 17, 2005

On The Line: A Heartbreaking Experience

As I walked an informational picket line yesterday, my heart was breaking. I never would have imagined myself carrying a sign in front of the building housing the organization that has meant more to me than anything in my professional life. It's where I learned the most, gained confidence, received support and training, and became the best educator and leader I could.

So, as the state board met inside, we picketed and they ignored us. They have been "instructed" not to talk to us about our current contract negotiations.

My job is to serve them and I fight every day to make sure they are treated with dignity and respect in their work. If they need skills, I find a way to provide them. If their organizations need strengthening, I help them do that. If someone wants to fire them, I protect their rights. I sit with them at their bargaining tables and negotiate contracts, file grievances, and go up against the bad guys.

But the current management refuses to sit down and bargain with us. For three years in a row, they have called for a mediator. They've come to the table asking for "take backs". They want to deny us the same raises we get for our members. They have failed to replace 7 staff members in the past year and half, and they still to want to expand their layoff rights.

Basically, for the first time in my memory, the organization I work for is treating their own staff like expensive bums who cost too much and do too little.

When I chose education as a vocation, I thought I avoided the dehumanization of working in the corporate world. Yes, I learned how to stand up for myself and my students and I was willing to take the backlash from principals and administrators. But I was so proud that I never felt like a cog in a big wheel or a profit unit that could be easily disposed of to increase the bottom line.

Ultimately, the organization meant so much to me I chose to give back and serve on its staff. I wanted to support public schools and strengthen the teaching profession. Instead, I'm fighting for some respect from the same folks who won't even sit down and work this out.

We talk a lot about "public" and "private" relationships in my work. We advise our members not to let their principals tell them their building is like a "family" because it's not. Families are disfunctional and messy organisms where its members can lie, betray, and misbehave and still find love and support. Work is "public" and we expect more professional behavior in our business relationships. Contracts must be honored. Commitments must be kept. Colleagues must be treated with respect. We demand it for our members. This isn't personal, it's professional.

But it can still break your heart.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bring Out Your Dead -- And Make a Hundred Grand!

The State of Louisiana has agreed to pay Kenyon International Emergency Services nearly $120,000 per day for two months to recover, document, and handle the bodies of Hurricane Katrina victims. God bless them, right? Well, it seems that, according to Citizens for Reponsibility and Ethics in Washington:

Kenyon's parent company is Service Corporation International, a scandal-ridden, Texas-based company accused in a number of lawsuits for illegally discarding and desecrating corpses.

SCI is owned by W supporter Robert Waltrip and, a few years back, the two of them joined together to stop an investigation into SCI's misbehavior. That's right, W took part in interfering with a "whistleblower" lawsuit. The whistleblower later won damages from the state of Texas and from Waltrip.

I'm sure we are all relieved to hear that W has found yet another way to throw more business to his buddies. Who knew that even disposing of the dead could be smarmy? You need to read the details about this at Undernews.

Let's hope Kenyon does better than its parent company since Louisiana Governor Blanco only hired Kenron because FEMA couldn't handle the responsibility!

And if you are in the mood for more gruesome news, Slate has a piece explaining why dead bodies float face down.


Via Al Franken Show on Air America

Who'da Thunk It?

I never in my LIFE thought I would feature two items from FOX News. But, when you're right, you're right.

First, FOX's latest polls show the lowest numbers they've ever gotten for W.

And damned if Bill O'Reilly didn't try to get some truth out of the most famous shoe-shopper since Carrie Bradshaw, Condoleeza Rice.

It's Gonna Cost a Bundle

I can see it now: W's greatest presidential legacy won't be his cluelessness, but how he left this nation destitute while he retired back to his Crawford ranch and summered in Kennebunkport. It's gonna make a great book. If any of us can afford to buy it.

Our days as the richest nation in the world may be numbered -- starting today when W announces his plan to spend around 200 BILLION dollars to re-build the Gulf Coast. That's as much as we have spent (to date) on the war in Iraq.

W is not the first Republican to try to buy his way out of trouble. Nixon broadly expanded the welfare program after the riots in Watts and Newark in an effort to stop urban unrest. Josh Marshall explains how W's plan to pass out more free money is calculated to satisfy the populace.

In the meantime, Slate warns the Democrats to be careful in handling the Katrina flap. Unfortunately, suburbanites don't want to hear about race and class -- they've got that covered with their McMansions and gated communities. They want to feel safe when they visit their local shopping mall. So, if the Dems want to win...

So much for focusing on the greater good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

At Last...

You can finally toss out all of those paper bags and boxes and clear out all those cupboards and bookshelves full of New Yorker magazines that you JUST KNOW you will get to read any time now.

For one hundred bucks, the whole shebang can be yours in one lightweight, compact set of 8 CDs.

I, for one, am going back to find an awesome piece of journalism entitled "The Man Who Couldn't Stop Eating." I will NEVER forget that story. Oh! and the profile of Mel Torme. And the review of that big Broadway flop "Moose Murders." Oh! and the cartoons...

[Via rtimmel at MetaFilter]

Bush Announces Latest SCOTUS Nominee

To ensure the overturning of Roe v. Wade, W has named a Supreme Court nominee that will surprise everyone. See the news at The Onion.

You can also how Halliburton is getting rich in New Orleans.

And while you're at it, see what Donald Rumsfeld has been up to.

These will make your day better, I promise.

Everyone Is Stealing My Idea!

Maureen Dowd used the "bubble" term today in her op-ed piece in the NY Times, which I used a few weeks ago. And now TIME is kicking his W's booty using the same terminology. I guess all of us great writers think alike. (I couldn't FIND an issue of TIME on the newsstands yesterday -- is a hot commodity or is their circulation system bad?)

I also heard a powerful interview with Christopher Drew of the New York Times on Fresh Air last night. He had some scary stories about what was really going on in the SuperDome and the Convention Center. You need to listen to it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

WAKE UP! It's the Roberts Hearings!

John Roberts actually claims to respect the right to privacy! No lie!

Here's something from Daily Kos (veeeerrrryyyy ssssllloooowwww today):

In particular, in answering whether he believed the Constitution recognized a right to privacy, Roberts stated expressly and unequivocally that he accepted and agreed, without reservation, that the Constitution does recognize a right to privacy. He mentioned specifically privacy rights emanating from the 1st, 3rd and 4th Amendments and the liberty interests recognized and protected by the due process clause of the 5th and 14th Amendments.
Via: Crooks and Liars

And if for some God awful reason, you are FORCED to watch the hearings, Wonkette has some terrific suggestions to kill time.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Well, Duh!

I hate to say, "I told you so," but, well, I did! Anderson Cooper is way cool. And I've got the link to today's NY Times article to prove it.

They say his "heart-on-his-sleeve demeanor has been anything but slick and packaged." And the president of CNN/U.S. says, "He is the anchorperson of the anti-anchorperson. He's all human. He's not putting it on."

A real human as a reporter? Go figure...

Bonus Link: NY Magazine profile [Via Fried Rice Thoughts]

Salon's "Reporters Gone Wild"

If you missed the many instances of suprisingly ballsy outbursts from reporters covering Hurricane Katrina, you can view them all in one large video clip from entitled "Reporters Gone Wild."

If Salon makes you register, just sign up for a day pass and sit through the brief commercial. It's worth it to see that the American Press Corps actually has a backbone after all.

Newsweek Treats Us Like Grownups

Do yourself a favor and buy this week's Newsweek. Their writers have been busy with some outstanding reporting (and I am NOT the biggest Newsweek fan -- they tend to be a little watered down for me). They pull no punches in this issue about race, Katrina, and W's administration. I know it's tempting to read the whole thing online, but spend the three bucks and support good reporting, will ya'?

"This is the best story I've ever read," said my beloved as he read "How Bush Blew It." I'm telling you, between NPR and now Newsweek, we don't need congressional hearings. The facts speak for themselves.

  • W's aides regularly draw straws to see who gets his wrath when they have to give him bad news.
  • W doesn't watch TV because he doesn't want to hear criticism, so his aides give him the news via DVD recordings.
  • Rather than send the aid requested by Louisiana's governor, W went to bed.
I think the recurring theme for me is, is that I'm capable of making decisions and following through on the decisions I make.
---W in a 2004 interview with Newsweek staffers

And lest you think his management skills are getting better, go to Daily Kos and read his comments to the press this morning. All of his talents are on display: crankiness, cluelessness, and he even plays the "blame game" with the media! Its the airwaves' fault!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Now If I Could Just Give Him A Medal

The man who told Dick Cheney to "go fuck himself" is Dr. Ben Marble, an emergency room doctor who had to drive 20 miles out of his way (due to Cheney's appearance) to get to his destroyed home in the Biloxi area. He is the father of a newborn, a member of a band and a fund raiser for breast cancer causes. He tried to sell his video of the Cheney incident (which would have brought in much needed cash) but E-Bay took it off-line twice. But not before someone on monkeyfilter found Marble's description of the video:

I had/have no intention of harming anyone but merely wanted to echo Mr. Cheney's infamous words back at him. At that moment I noticed the secret service guys with a panic stricken look on their faces like they were about to tackle me so I calmly began walking back to my house waved to one of them and said "Have a nice day".

Officials waited until Marble reached his home before they cuffed and detained him.

Read more at OpEdNews

Famous Last Words

State and local governments are looking to us for leadership. They are looking to FEMA to tell them where are the holes in response plans? Where are the holes in our mutual aid agreements? What incentives can you provide us to fill those holes?

-- Mike Brown during his 42-minute-long confirmation hearing in 2002 with the Committee on Governmental Affairs chaired by Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

Read more: 42 Minutes of Shame

Save Us From FEMA Cronies

God save the Northwest if we ever have another local emergency, like say, oh...the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens or the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. Because if something happens, we have to rely on John Pennington, a Michael Brown-type crony appointee who got his diploma via correspondance courses and whose work experience is limited to running a coffee shop. He makes $138,00 a year. How do I get THAT job?

Via Talking Points Memo and Seattle Times

Friday, September 09, 2005

What Went Wrong?

I have been an absolute TV news junkie during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, grasping for every new detail like it's a hot Krispy Kreme with chocolate icing and sprinkles.

But sometimes you gotta step back in order to completely understand and that's why tonight's feature on NPR's "All Things Considered" entitled "What Went Wrong?" is so valuable.

This is NPR reporting at its best: a straightforward hour-by-hour look at the events leading up to Katrina and its aftermath. With clear, concise coverage like this, we don't need congressional hearings or bipartisan investigations. Here are the facts. Read them and weep.

Now Who's Playing the "Blame Game"?

Senator Rick Santorum says the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina should be blamed on the National Weather Service! Of course! Why didn't we think of that?
[Via Huffington Post]

And, while you are screwing around at work, check out what Nancy Pelosi said to a CNN reporter. MEEEEOW! I am LOVIN' these newly aggressive Democrats!
[Via Crooks and Liars]

Ain't Nobody Gettin' Fired

Finally, after Time Magazine reported he lied on his resume, the Bush administration has reassigned Michael Brown back to Washington. Joining the disgraced FEMA head is Karen Hughes, newly appointed to the State Department as the Under Secretary of Bullshit or something. I am being ironic when I say this is a great job for Hughes, considering the fact that last week she addressed a group that praises suicide bombers.

Between Hughes, Condoleeza Rice, and John Bolton, we've got a regular Lollipop Guild on the federal payroll.

Links: "Hughes Addresses American Muslims"
"Five Facts About Michael Brown" -- Reuters

Thursday, September 08, 2005

"Being Poor"

Hey, we've all been there, whether we want to admit it or not. And if we don't, shame on us.

Here's the link: Being Poor

Is Bush Finally Slipping?

"Uncharacteristically, the president's ratings have slipped most among his core constituents -- Republicans and conservatives."
-- Pew Research Center for the People and the Press director Andy Kohut wrote in an e-mail.

Two new polls show Americans may finally be looking to see who that man is behind the curtain:

Link: Bloomberg

Somebody's Gotta Get Rich

When W delivered what could arguably be the worst speech ever during his first announcements about Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, he made sure to cause a panic with the following words:

"Only buy gas if you absolutely need it."

His oil company cronies must have creamed their pants immediately as the two-mile long lines of cars in the the Gulf areas formed. has PDFs of internal memos from oil companies who sought to limit refinery production to deliberately keep oil prices high LONG BEFORE Katrina hit. This is just the icing and sprinkles on the cake.

And now the insurance companies are bending Katrina victims over by refusing to pay out claims because the hurricane caused the damage, not the floods. We have to ask, would there have been a flood without a hurricane? Maybe they should ask Al Roker.

Other Links: Bella Ciao World Net Daily The New Standard

Find That Man And Give Him a Medal

An anonymous heckler finally said what we've all wanted to say to Dick Cheney in public for so long... You can see the video at Crooks and Liars.

Maybe, as a gesture, Cheney can invite him to stay at his new waterfront home (the one he was looking for last week while Katrina raged).

Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World"

Admittedly, my beloved and I have been a bit addicted to news coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but this piece made us throw things at the TV.

But, first, time for COUNTDOWN‘s list of today‘s three nominees for another special Katrina version of the title for worst person in the world.

At the bronze level, Commander Michael Holdener, air operations chief at the Navy base at Pensacola. He chastised two of his helicopter pilots. They had come upon 100 residents trapped in the floodwaters near the University of New Orleans. They rescued them, but they were not supposed to do, said Commander Holdener. They were supposed to just deliver water and spare parts to Mississippi and then come right back. They had a lot of nerve rescuing civilians during the return trip. There might have been more spare parts to ship.

Also nominated, speaking of FEMA, the guy there in charge of maps. Twice yesterday, medical teams were scrambled at the airport in Charleston, South Carolina, to meet a plane full of injured evacuees from Houston. Both time, FEMA had sent the planes to Charleston, West Virginia, not Charleston, South Carolina.

But your winner, FEMA spokesperson Mary Hudak. She has defended what the agency did with 1,400 firefighters from across the country who had volunteered to help throughout the Gulf Coast. FEMA told the firefighters that they would be handing out fliers with FEMA‘s toll-free phone number to residents in the area, most of whom don‘t have working phones yet. Some of the firemen went home. Ms. Hudak said that they needed to—quote—

“revisit their commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country.”

Hey, lady, I think we need to revisit your commitment.

Fifty of the firefighters were sent to Louisiana to stand next to the president during his tour of the afflicted areas.

Oprah for FEMA Director

Unlike Mike Brown, the current FEMA Director, Oprah was able to make some serious rescue aid happen over Labor Day Weekend in Louisiana and Mississippi through her Angel Network. Millions of dollars worth of food and supplies were delivered by the likes of Julia Roberts, Chris Rock, John Travolta & Kellie Preston, Lisa Marie Presley, and Matthew McConaghey.

Oprah kept them all busy, which is more than we can say about Mr. Brown. Since Tuesday, 600 firemen from Illinois have been sitting on their thumbs waiting for orders. Very few of the offers of aid from foreign countries have even been RESPONDED to, let alone accepted. And FEMA is making visiting aid workers sit through a PR briefing rather than get out in the field and DO something.

And after all that, when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked W if he would fire Brown, W seemed bewildered and wasn't aware of any glitches in the rescue efforts.

Keith Olbermann is keeping up his sharp criticism and tonight on his show, Countdown on MSNBC, he did a scathing timeline of how things DIDN'T happen in the rescue effort. You can get the video at Crooks & Liars. He just keeps getting better and better. It's very smart and way too accurate.

Olbermann also did an unbelievable attack on FEMA villians ("The worst of the worst"), but I can't seem to find the video. I'll post a link tomorrow if I can locate it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

God Bless the Child

I am speechless at the irony of this photograph. Were the shelters handing leftover t-shirts out to the evacuees? Or did his parents actually dress him this way?

The public schools have always been the most democratic of institutions and a valuable safety net for America's children where they can find a warm, safe, clean place to have a meal, make friends, learn, and be guided by adults. All over the country, schools are opening their doors to displaced children. You can read about it in the New York Times.

And by spring, thanks to George Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, they will have been tested into oblivion.

Choice -- But Only for Judges

The New York Times reports that judges are starting to "opt out" of ruling on petitions from young women required (by law!) to ask a judge for an abortion.

Let's see...if pharmacists only have to fill certain prescriptions and judges don't have to uphold ALL of the laws, I guess that means as a teacher, I could have only taught the kids I wanted to teach, right?

It's bad enough that these young women have to place themselves at the mercy of a judge in the first place, now they are at the mercy of their petty political priorities.

[Via Crooks and Liars]

Hitchens Hops The Fence

In an interview with Tony Jones, host of "Lateline" on Australian TV, Christopher Hitchens had some strong criticism for President Bush and the Republicans and their handling of Hurricane Katrina. It's surprising to hear Hitchens be so harsh toward Bush and his cronies, but even more revealing to hear a foreign journalist's (Jones) take on this.

TONY JONES: If it [Katrina relief] is a hinge event, is there any way he can use it to his advantage, as he ultimately did after a very shaky start immediately after September 11?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, no, I think people forgave him for blundering around on that day, and not quite knowing what to do and making what must have been one of the worst speeches ever given by any politician. That could, as it were, be forgiven because everyone felt I'm sure, my God, how would I have held up on a day like that? This is worse because, a) it could be seen coming and b), I might just add, by the way, I mean, these States that have been devastated, Louisiana and Mississippi and Somerset and Alabama, they're all in the Republican column. The President is supposed to care about and nurturing the South, so is Karl Rove. What were they thinking? What were they thinking? I have no answer to that question that doesn't come up with a revelation of the most, really, catastrophic incompetence and insouciance.

Read more at Crooks and Liars

Speaking Ill of the Dead

Before you get too teary about the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist, you might want to consider some details about his splotchy past:

From a New Yorker article by Jeffrey Toobin:
During the Senate hearings on William Rehnquist’s nomination as Chief Justice, in 1986, a number of witnesses testified that in the early nineteen-sixties Rehnquist, then a lawyer in private practice and a Republican political activist, had harassed black and Latino voters at Arizona polling places, demanding to know if they were “qualified to vote.” (Rehnquist denied doing so.)

Residents of Arizona recall "Bill's" involvement in Project Eagle Eye in Arizona's Indymedia:

Back in 1962, when William Rehnquist was a young attorney in Arizona, he led a group of Republican lawyers who systematically challenged the right of minority voters to cast their ballots in that state. Called Operation Eagle Eye, Rehnquist successfully disenfranchised hundreds of black and brown voters in Phoenix's poor and working class precincts.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist's refusal to acknowledge evidence of blatant voter fraud against African Americans in 2000 was no surprise. Back in 1962, when Rehnquist was a young attorney in Arizona, he led a group of Republican lawyers who systematically challenged the right of minority voters to cast their ballots in that state. Called Operation Eagle Eye, Rehnquist successfully disenfranchised hundreds of black and brown voters in Phoenix's poor and working class precincts. In 2000, Rehnquist supervised the disenfranchisement, in effect, of the majority of American voters.

And, in this week's Newsweek:
As a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson in the early 1950s, he wrote a memo that the Supreme Court should affirm the “separate but equal” Southern school systems and that it was “about time the Court faced the fact that the white people in the South don’t like colored people.” Rehnquist later distanced himself from this memo, saying that Justice Jackson had asked him to make the best case for segregation (even though Jackson voted against it).

And the goofy gold braid on his robe? He had it sewn on after seeing a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's musical Iolanthe.


To Save Their Asses...

Here are the latest Republican Talking Points about Katrina. Watch for them.

It's too early to be pointing fingers. There will be plenty of time for that later. Right now we need to focus on.... (Listen for the term "blame game" -- you'll hear it ia lot).

To explain the delay in sending help...

The emergency response process is supposed to evolve from the bottom up, so the first to respond should be at the local level, then the state, then the federal government. (This is a continuation of the "blame the victim" strategy which has been especially popular with idiots like Rush Limbaugh).

And in turning down offers of assistance from Britain, Cuba, Venezuela, and Bangladesh...

We want to wait and assess where assistance is most needed.

And according to Liz Smith in the New York Post (I'm not going to link here because you have to register and blah, blah, blah) Bill O'Reilly advises the poor not to depend on their country for ANYTHING:

FOX NEWS emperor Bill O'Reilly tells us in Katrina's wake that if we — Americans — depend on the United States government for any reason, we are certain to be disappointed. Always. The government of the United States cannot help you. Bill's advice to America (to the poor of New Orleans, especially) is educate yourself and get a well-paying job. Only then can you avoid standing on a "metaphorical rooftop" when the next disaster rolls around. Bill did not give the poor any advice on how one finds a proper education or a job. Remember, the government can't help.

Oh, Newt Gingrich told Bill — in the nicest possible way, because they are friends — that his government theory was, well . . . "un-American."

Hiding Behind Katrina's Skirts

While we waited for help to arrive for Katrina victims, the government was actually DOING something: continuing to fuck with the reproductive freedom of American women. FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford is YET AGAIN delaying the decision to make the "Plan B" pill available without a prescription.

The right-wing nutcases who equate "Plan B" with abortion got busy and started making phone calls -- NOT to the FDA, but to the White House Comment Line. Curiously, even though W was on vacation, the messages got through to SOMEONE and after promising to have a final decision by August, Lester is again dragging his white male feet. Please note: Lester never has had and never will have a uteris, so the fact that he is involved in this discussion is nonsensical.

I want to salute Dr. Susan Wood who seems to have had it up to HERE with Right wing nonsense and she has stepped down from her staff job with the FDA. She probably felt she was living in Bizarro World. All the science and research supports making the pill available, but politics is holding the issue hostage indefinitely. The Fort Wayne (IN) Gazette (not exactly centered in a hotbed of liberalism) is calling for the FDA to step back from politics and thirteen senators want an audit of the FDA's approval process regarding Plan B.

I have an idea. If you support the approval of Plan B, call the White House Comment Line and then have all your friends do the same. It would be good for the White House to hear from the MAJORITY of Americans who support a woman's right to choose how she plans her family.

HERE IT IS: 202-456-6213

Link: Boston Globe -- "Woe to the Whistleblowers"

Maynard Was 70?

I know he played Gilligan, but he was even better as Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. We all knew and loved him. You can read more about him at his fan site.

Like, hey man. Catch ya later, Daddy-O.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Let 'Em Eat MREs

If George Sr. was born with a "silver foot in his mouth," it sounds like Barbara Bush and her son could use a silver boot to their behinds.

If you haven't heard Mrs. Bush's insensitive comments, about the evacuees, you can read them in The Chicago Tribune. And there's a great analysis in The Nation by John Nichols.

Seems like W learned his elitist lessons well. See this 2000 article from the Texas Observer.

Via: Ed's Daily Rant

Another Media Hero

I have found another media hero. In fact, he's a frigging poet. Keith Olbermann on his show last night said:

No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn’t even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans — even though the government had heard all the “chatter” from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn’t quite discern… a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water

Via: In the Basement

You can read more at Olbermann's blog