David Reese has given the New York Times a well-deserved body-slam in his latest installment of Get Your War On. As always, humorous and insightful at the same time:
Get Your War On #36 [David Reese]
David Reese has given the New York Times a well-deserved body-slam in his latest installment of Get Your War On. As always, humorous and insightful at the same time:
Get Your War On #36 [David Reese]
This article is a bit dated — December 2002 — but it’s still an interesting read to compare crash tests of the 2002-04 MINI Cooper and the 1997-2003 Ford F-150. I’ve actually seen a 60 Minutes segment comparing the 2004 F-150 to the previous model and showing how much better it handles the same crash test (it did better, but the MINI still wins in my opinion).
Also, check out the great article that’s linked from this: “Big and Bad: How the S.U.V. ran over automotive safety”. It was in the New Yorker a few months ago as a print-only piece, but it’s now online. It examines the “passive safety” of SUVs and compares it to the “active safety” of normal sized cars.
Crash Testing: MINI Cooper vs Ford F150 [Bridger]
Big and Bad: How the S.U.V. ran over automotive safety [Malcolm Gladwell]
MSN Slate has a humorous editorial up on how we can get the hell out of Iraq in only three simple steps (no, step two isn’t ‘???’). The strategy is laid out in all it’s tongue-in-cheek glory in “Exit Strategy: How to leave Iraq in three simple steps”:
1) Kill all the ones who are trying to kill us, in such a way that none of those who presently do not want to kill us suddenly start wanting to kill us.
2) At the moment of the death of the last person who wanted to kill us, race quickly out of the country before some additional person suddenly decides he/she wants to kill us, thus necessitating our continued presence in Iraq, in order to kill him/her.
Step 3, of course, is still “Profit!”. Read on to see why I called it humorous instead of a jaded diatribe exhorting large amounts of killings.
Exit Strategy: How to leave Iraq in three simple steps [MSN Slate] [via Wonkette]
In an unsurprising end to the controversy surrounding John Kerry’s Machiavellian scheme to postpone his acceptance for five weeks after the Democratic National Convention, . The supposed problem stems from the timeframe bewteen the Democratic Convention and the Republican convention — which will take place in New York and end on September 2nd. When the general election begins, which is the point at which each candidate accepts their party’s nomination, they are allotted $75 million dollars to spend in the general election.
I guess this says a lot about the Democrat’s fiscal conservacy if didn’t think they could make $75m last for a few weeks longer than the Republicans.
William Blaze over at American Dynamics has Wonkette. Of course, we also know that all those search engine hits are coming from .gov websites, so we’ll just wink and pass along the pics (click the picture to go to American Dynamics):(AKA Jessica Cutler). I saw a couple of these but most of them are new. He says he posted the images “because people seem to want them, not because we care…”. Yeah, yeah… we know you’re watching your search engine traffic and seeing the same voracious apetite for scantilly clad Washington staffers nuzzling with
Air America Radio—the radio show called the “liberal response to conservative talk radio”—has been floundering in recent weeks. But you probably haven’t heard about the closures of it’s Los Angeles and Chicago offices, nor the scandal embroiling their health care plan—where employees had insurance premiums deducted from their paychecks, but were never covered.
That’s because, according to Media Research Center, news stations hyped Air America’s rise, but didn’t see fit to cover the fall of the liberal outlet. In their analysis, “Hyping Liberal Radio’s Rise, But Not Its Fall”, they expose the coverage gaps:
Newsweek highlighted the debut in a big three-page spread. Newsweek.com also featured an April 12 Al Franken interview with tough questions like Why are Democrats such wimps? Why don’t they fight back? Coverage since then? Zero.
President George W. Bush has another search term to add to his collection: “failure“. Typing the word into Google now turns up Bush’s biography on the White House website, and interestingly enough Jimmy Carter’s bio is number two and Michael Moore’s website trails in third. Previously, it took the complete phrase “miserable failure” to return Bush in the top position, but some people have apparently decided to strip him of his “miserable” status.
In what has become a war of political search-engine manipulation, John Kerry’s presidential campaign site is the number one term for “waffles” and a search for “weapons of mass destruction” lists a faux error page claiming that “These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed”.
A Google-bombing occurs due to Google’s search algorithm which assigns higher scores based on the way people link to items. For example: enough people have linked to Kerry’s campaign with the word “waffles” in order to push that word to the top of the results.
Meanwhile, a search for “viable alternative” is as of yet, still not google-bombed.
Matthew Mcglynn of debris.com has reiterated that the three major spikes in Bush’s popularity have come from the following:
He even went so far as to mark them on a timeline graph (which I had failed to do):
Now, allow me to extrapolate and disagree with Matthew on a few points. First of all, there’s no way Bush could get enough support for another war in a mere four months, considering the damage that has been done by the promises of tons and tons of WMDs that have yet to surface. Granted, there have been one or two cases of small-arms with banned weapons, but it’s hardly anything that could have justified this invasion.
Secondly, it’s highly implausible that there will be another high-level capture prior to the election. That’s not to say that Osama bin-Laden may be paraded before the press in November, but the focus has been shifted away from him and the attitude of “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, has transformed into “Wanted: Valid information to tie Iraq to Al-Qaida”. It’s pitiful that the world’s most powerful military has let a single man evade it for so long, and it’s telling that they no longer seem to care.
And finally, we have the one other option that could boost Bush’s ratings: a terrorist attack on American soil. Already the rhetoric isand say “we won’t be like Spain”.
Interestingly enough, there’s a favorite qoute on the subject of terrorism that is actually repurposed from the IRA (Irish Republican Army): “The hard thing about terrorism is that they only have to be right once, and we have to be right 100 percent of the time.” The original qoute reads: “Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no war.”
It’s interesting because it seems like a concerted effort to set the stage for a failure to stop an impending terrorist attack, and then push Bush back into the forefront as the man in charge of recovering. It would also herald a forewarning that we should not be like Spain and capitulate, thus the rhetoric that if we allow anyone but Bush to be elected, the terrorists will have won.
Bush approval ratings graph shows huge decline [Debris.com]
Iraq sarin shell is not part of a secret cache [CSMonitor]
Transcript: Rice on ‘Fox News Sunday’ [FoxNews]
1984: Tory Cabinet in Brighton bomb blast [BBC]
In the still unravelling scandal into mistreatment of POWs and detainees, U.S. Army documents have surfaced which shed light on a systemic undermining of Geneva Conventions in a culture over-run by military intelligence. The Duluth News Tribune reports in :
Among previously unknown incidents are the abuse of prisoners by Army interrogators from a National Guard unit attached to the 3rd Infantry Division, who are described in a document obtained by the New York Times to have “forced into asphyxiation numerous detainees in an attempt to obtain information” over a 10-week period last spring.
According to the Army summary obtained by the Times, the deaths that are being investigated most vigorously by Army officials may be those from Afghanistan in December 2002, where two prisoners died in one week at what was known as the Bagram Collection Point, where interrogations were overseen by a platoon from Company A, 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, from Fort Bragg.
[Duluth News Tribune]
I get a lot of funny things via email, but nothing made me laugh as good as this lauding of Cathy Weigel by the Kerry campaign for being their one millionth person to sign up for the campaign online.
First, a quote to demonstrate just how clued in she is: “She had read that we were trying to catch up to the Bush-Cheney fundraising machine and thought, ‘they should put up a web site.’” She managed to find the website after deducing that the .com at the end didn’t mean communist.
Now, of all the pictures they could have taken of her to show just how techno-savvy the Democrat crowd is, they pick the one where she’s chatting on the phone. Way to be on the cutting edge Kerry, she looks like one of my grandmother’s friends yakking it up about the latest episode of Young and the Restless.
Later in the email, to show that Kerry is a person of the people, he called her up and had this conversation:
John Kerry: Well, don’t be nervous at all, congratulations to you.
Cathy Weigel: Well, thank you very much!
John Kerry: It’s a huge thing, number one million. [ed note: Wonkette would probably agree on the huge part]
Cathy Weigel: I didn’t have any idea! They called me last night and told me. Somebody here asked me if one of those things had popped up on my computer screen that said “You’re the millionth customer,” but I didn’t have that so I had no idea.
Customer? Good to see that the Kerry campaign is learning from the Bush campaign, even if it’s only stealing their terminology.
One Millionth Online Supporter! [John Kerry Blog]
Samuel Provence was one of the first to step forward and tell all about the abuses at Abu Ghraib, now he and others are being stripped of their security clearances and “flagged” — he cannot receive honours, awards or seek promotion until the status is removed — by the military. He says he is being made an example of by those who would rather continue to cover-up the scandal than correct the matter. The Daily Telegraph reports, in:
“My soldiers who were at Abu Ghraib are so scared now they’re not even talking to me any more – I’m like a villain, but would I do it again? Of course I would, because I stand behind what I said,” Provance said in a telephone interview from Heidelberg, Germany, where his military intelligence unit is based.
“I knew what was being reported was not true.”
The Washington Post covers the Republicans’ growing ire with the Bush administration policies in the article “For Republicans, a House (And Senate) Divided”:
“In other words, everyone exhibited classic Republican behavior. They showed a spirit of decorum that was once embodied by Ronald Reagan’s ’11th Commandment,’ which stated, ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.’”
“Recent days, however, have brought a free-for-all of GOP violations to their commandment. It got to a point where Bush visited Capitol Hill on Thursday for an intervention. But the president isn’t immune. His poll numbers are dipping, as is support for his increasingly dicey foray into Iraq. Conservative pundits George Will and Robert Novak, among others, have sharply criticized Bush’s spending, growing deficit and the mounting casualties abroad. Novak, in a column this week, cited a poll in which 20 percent of Republicans said they are not committed to voting for Bush.”
It looks like the air is quickly deflating out of the Bush political balloon. I’m also beginning to see that Colin Powell is the only one in this administration who had the foresight to see that this whole thing would eventually fall apart when he announced in early 2002 that he would not stay with Bush if there was a second term. Hmmm, wasn’t that around the same time that memos were flying around warning the president of possible legal liabilities in bypassing Geneva Conventions?
For Republicans, a House (And Senate) Divided [Washington Post]
The Memory Hole has a hilarious fresh catch with this HUD (Housing and Urban Development) brochure that was being distributed in nine languages, including a bastardized English-Creole, intended for Haitian immigrants:
Complaints from Haitians to government soon followed. Some said they didn’t understand the brochure, others asked if the translation was a racial joke.
The problem with the brochure stemmed from a lack of HUD communication, who “never specified to the government printer that a French-Creole translation, common to Haiti, is what the department needed. Instead the brochure was translated by Cosmos into English-Creole, a patois common to Jamaica.”
pulped document: “Rezedents Rights & Rispansabilities” [The Memory Hole]
Who’s taking wagers on a terrorist attack in October? I’ll give 3-to-1 odds that something in America goes boom in the run-up to the election.
I wanted to do a complete rundown on the speech given tonight, but I’m going to be snobby like the networks and snub it. You may have seen it, but chances are, you probably missed it because the network media (CBS, NBC, ABC) snubbed the speech in favor of sweeps week. I don’t blame them; Why play a broken record that everyone knows is spinning the Republican rah-rah tune when network advertisers are trying to hawk their wares during breaks of Fear Factor?
First, Bush was wearing enough make-up on his chin and nose to make Zha-Zha cringe, yet they totally left a large spot untouched above his eyebrow. Is someone trying to tell us something? Like maybe he injured himself between make-up and walking on the stage? Couple this with the strange hypno-tie from Bush’s previous press conference, and you have to wonder if there’s not a concerted effort to make people focus on him instead of the speech.
Second item on the strange sightings list was that the press release with the text of the speech originally said “Arm You War College”, instead of “Army War College”. I’m sure it’s just a freudian typo, the kind you slip in when you’re talking about places like Iraq. Hey first we “arm you” then we “disarm you” (and then arm you again in the name of democracy), but you have to go to the “Arm You War College” to know these things.
By the way, did you notice that former Secretary of State James Baker (currently with Carlyle Group) is working the loan deals and getting old loans forgiven while working the new ones? Anyone wanna guess who holds the deed to future Iraq revenues? (hint: it’s not the American people or the Iraqi people).
President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom [White House]
The Big 3 Silence Bush [AngryFinger]
Normally, I’m not one to pick on Drudge for spicing up his headlines, but when one is as completely wrong as this one, I have to take notice and bring people’s attention to it. The headline (and link) in question is: “HUNTER S. THOMPSON: Not even the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler ever shocked me so badly as these [Abu Ghraib] photographs…”
Now, go search the page that’s linked… you’ll find that there’s no mention of Hitler at all! Now, my initial thought was that it could be in reference to an article he wrote for the June 2004 issue of Vanity Fair, but a quick search revealed that the focus of that article is Lisl Auman’s ongoing tribulations with the Denver police.
So I decided to go check the Drudge Archives to see just what was going on (since I get my feed via RSS which is about an hour late sometimes). I was browsed the Drudge Archives trying to find a direct link to point out the quote and I found this timeline to be interesting (all times are GST) from this page:
22:44:02 – link and all mention is GONE!
22:52:02 – ESPN SCRUBS HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S BUSH BASH… DEVELOPING…
23:02:02 – ESPN SCRUBS HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S BUSH BASH… DEVELOPING…
So he now claims that the editors are changing Thompson’s article because “‘Hunter can go too far sometimes,’ the Bristol-based ESPN employee told the DRUDGE REPORT.”. Notice the lack of names of sources, it’s usually a sign of dubious authenticity (especially with Drudge), on a matter that would draw the ire of someone like Hunter S. Thompson, this looks like a slam-dunk. Now, being a bit unobjective on Hunter S. Thompson (I have him linked on the sidebar and read his column every week), I can honestly say that I do not remember any mention of Hitler last week because I would have linked to it and quoted it myself (HA!). But I think this is going to morph into a very interesting story, because if the allegation of editors changing Thompson’s writing is true, he’s going to go apeshit and make sure it’s changed back. I also don’t see how it could be construed as a Bush bash, but since Drudge has a way of spicing up his headlines, (as Hunter would say:) Selah!
I’ll be keeping my eye on this one.
UPDATE: It’s true, he did say/write it! Okay, now let’s see how fast he bitchslaps the people at ESPN for changing his article. For the record: I agree with Thompson, lambast me if you like, but the man knows his politics.
Let’s go to the Olympics! [ESPN - Hey Rube!]
Drudge Report Archives (May 24, 2004)
ESPN SCRUBS HUNTER S. THOMPSON BUSH BASH [Drudge Report News Flash]
Hunter T. Seeks Justice for Lisl Auman [TalkLeft]
Well, yesterday was May 23rd — a Sunday — which meant that the Doonesbury cartoon featuring a beheading was run. It’s completely out of context with the Nick Berg beheading, which is not surprising when you read the :
Question) Isn’t this week’s Sunday section out of sequence — not to mention inappropriate?
– C. Pulver, Hartford, CT
Answer) Yes. Due to boneheaded creator scheduling, this week’s Sunday section appears before B.D.’s arrival at Walter Reed Hospital (the facility referred to in the strip), and while he’s still at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
As to the unfortunate coincidence of the last panel’s artwork (drawn in April) with the recent grisly tragedy in Iraq, Trudeau shares your chagrin: “Most Sunday sections are prepared five to six weeks in advance, and today’s strip was unfortunately overtaken by events. To ‘hand someone his head’ is a common expression, not normally associated with actual violence. I regret the poor timing, and apologize to anyone who was offended by an image that is now clearly inappropriate.”
Those newspapers around the country who print their Sunday sections late were offered a substitute strip.
Still, there will probably be some pundits who will pounce on the cartoon. Well, lo’ and behold,.
Newsweek has obtained a memo — this time from the Justice Department — which explicity outlines that international doesn’t apply to the U.S. because it’s not applicable under federal law. A rather circuitous way of avoiding the rule international law is exposed in the article :
Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, who has examined the memo, described it as a “maliciously ideological or deceptive” document that simply ignored U.S. obligations under multiple international agreements. “You can’t pick or choose what laws you’re going to follow,” said Roth. “These political lawyers set the nation on a course that permitted the abusive interrogation techniques” that have been recently disclosed.
This is the kind of stuff that led to Abu Ghraib, they set one standard for the U.S. based on federal laws, and expect the rest of the world to follow international law; Namely, the Geneva Conventions. Remember when the soldiers at the beginning of the war were taken prisoner and put on TV? No one cited U.S. federal law at that time as a basis for humane treatment, it was all about Geneva Conventions being violated.
Fred Barnes has written an article to directly confront Michael Moore on an interview that Barnes said never took place:
“Fred,” he quoted himself as saying, “tell me what The Iliad and The Odyssey are.” I started “hemming and hawing,” Moore wrote. And then I said, according to Moore: “Well, they’re . . . uh . . . you know . . . uh . . . okay, fine, you got me–I don’t know what they’re about. Happy now?” He’d smoked me out as a fraud, or maybe worse.
One, I’ve never met Moore or even talked to him on the phone. And, two, I read both The Iliad and The Odyssey in my first year at the University of Virginia. Just for the record, I’d learned what they were about even before college.
I can honestly say I’ve never seen a Moore film or bought one of his books, but I have read some of his articles. My personal belief is that he’s an extremely left-wing polemic who is interested more in making a name for himself and verbally flaying his opponents than actually doing anything about the issues he sputs on. To be fair though, he represents the antithesis of those on the right-wing (Fred Barnes is relevant example) who act in the same manner, not that either is worth embracing.
Both of these guys spew venom, and I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that the polarization of this country is due to the personal vendettas of men like these two. They have these ideologies which they hijack in order to slander and libel anyone who disagrees with them, and then they say that the other guy hates America because he’s wrong. How about they get a clue and realize that we don’t need them, and the only people taking them serious anymore are in dire need of psychiatric help to de-program them.
Frankly, I think Barnes and Moore should have a televised grudge match to the death. Then, when one of them rises victorious (covered in blood and badly wounded, perhaps an eyeball protruting from it’s socket), the floor should open up and drop them into a room where the Declaration of Independence is read at 10,000 decibels, forcing their head to explode. Voila, problem solved!
Michael Moore and Me [Weekly Standard]
CBS is running the article “Bush’s Third-Party Threat”. It contends that the Libertarian party — whose forefront candidates include Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo — are poised to take a large base of votes from Bush in November:
Libertarians will be on at least 49 state ballots, several more than the most optimistic expectations of Nader. While Democrats rally around their nominee, the base of the Republican Party is showing some signs of fragmentation.
“I think [the Bush campaign] should be concerned. I don’t know how concerned,” said Don Devine, vice chairman of the American Conservative Union and a longtime GOP insider. “They need to work on it and I think they know they need to work on it.”
The funny thing about the article is that both Russo and Nolan are linking to this. Since so little press is geared towards Libertarian candidates, they form loose alliances before the primaries (this weekend in Atlanta).
Kos’s Libertarian Acknowledgement
Bush took a while riding the 16th of a 17-mile trek around his Crawford ranch (there’s an obvious “last mile” joke here, but I’ll pass). He was reported to be okay, but had some cuts on his hands, knees, chin and nose (quite a battle with the ground I’d say). I wanted to point out to everyone that in the political game of humor, no one gets a free pass and Kerry also fell off his bike a month or so ago.
Here’s a sampling of a thread from Free Republic that had observations on Kerry’s spill while riding in Boston, you may notice that some of the jokes are interchangeable:
“If this Kerry the Klutz gets elected in November, it may finally get Gerald Ford off the hook.”
“No sooner had the bike fallen over than it stood back up again only to fall over on its other side. This move was repeated several times after which the senator denied any of it had actually happened.”
“AP is reporting that Kerry has just put himself up for an unprecedented fourth purple heart from injuries related to the fall.”
“He’s O.K. He landed on his head.”
It’s funny because Bush also landed on his head.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to give props to AngryFinger for the heads up and all that, he has a great pictorial of all of Bush’s falls (the idea he attributed to me, but whatever… I mean thanks) and asks: “In the last ten years, let alone two, can you remember having a fall that resulted in a face plant? Not once but twice?”
Kerry Falls from his $5K Euro-Bike During Photo-Op [Free Republic]
George W. Bush: A Brief Pictorial [AngryFinger]
I’m considering turning comments back on for all future items… what do you folks think? Good thing? Bad thing? Don’t really care?
This is also the last entry of the day, so have a good weekend (I don’t do any politics on the weekend if you haven’t noticed).
UPDATE: Upgraded the software to WordPress 1.2 over the weekend.
The Bush administration must be getting pretty jittery about the photos and video that just keeps on streaming out of the press, because it went out and sought an exemption on the 1-year exclusion from the war-crime tribunal. The Desert Sun reports “U.S. seeks new exemption from war-crimes tribunal”:
Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said that the U.S. concern about the court “in no way reflects any lack of determination to ensure that perpetrators of crimes are fully prosecuted.”
“We feel that this court lacks sufficient democratic safeguards that would prevent politicized investigations and prosecutions,” he said.
Which is kinda funny when you consider that they have no problemfor torturing and killing Iraqis in um… Abu Ghraib (oops, I mean… Camp Redemption). I mean, it’s different right? Here is a bad guy who was torturing his people and needs to be punished, and we’re America (`nuff said, right?).
So, when the rest of the world calls us a hypocrite, now you realize why they are justified.
U.S. seeks new exemption from war-crimes tribunal [Desert Sun]
2002 White House Memo Outlined “War Crime” Fears