Saturday, May 15, 2004

Grand Ole Hypocrisy

Jerry Springer Named Democratic Delegate
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ohio Democrats have chosen talk-show host Jerry Springer to be an at-large delegate for the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

"He's made 50 appearances at Democratic events this year. He's been an outspoken advocate for the party," said Dan Trevas, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party.

"They ought to be absolutely embarrassed and ashamed of this guy, but obviously standards take a back seat to power in the party of Bill Clinton," Ohio Republican chairman Robert T. Bennett said.
That's right, Bob. Standards are where it's at. So when you accepted at least $150,000 in illegal contributions from Larry Rogers (who got the money by defrauding the insurance company he founded), that was nothing to be ashamed of, right? And when you refused to return all of the money that wasn't at all embarrassing was it, Bob?

War makes Congress stiff...

Congress stiffens on war funds
Washington -- An increasingly restless Congress, shocked by new photos of abuse of Iraqi prisoners and frustrated by a White House request for nearly $25 billion more for the war, is starting to assume a tougher watchdog role over the conflict.

Lawmakers of both parties, for the first time since the war began, are calling on the Bush administration to provide a line-by-line accounting of spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several senators this week asked whether the Pentagon was trying to avoid stiff scrutiny by Congress of war-time costs.
It's a Festivus miracle! Congress is actually considering performing their oversight duties? Doth mine eyes deceive me?

Can we apply this retroactively? It would be nice to see some hearings on the $700 million that were secretly and illegally diverted to the Iraq war planning from the hunt for Al-Queda in Afghanistan. I won't hold my breath.

More empty rhetoric

Bush: Berg's Killers Must Be Hunted Down
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush is focusing on the killers in Iraq who beheaded American civilian Nicholas Berg, insisting they must be hunted down as part of a strategy ultimately designed to bring peace to the U.S.-occupied country.
That's all fine and good, but what about Osama bin Forgotten and the Anthrax mailer. Bush promised to bring them to justice, too. When was the last time we heard anything about them?

Anyone. Anyone?

I looked over Jordan and what did I see?

Billmon is blogging from the World Economic Forum in Jordan. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Good stuff.

Stupidity, unlike genius, knows no bounds.

Bill aims to put God-related mottoes in schools
Columbus - Ohio schoolchildren could take tests, eat lunch and watch assemblies under "God," if a bill up for a House committee vote next week becomes law.

The legislation calls for the state and national mottoes respectively, "With God All Things Are Possible" and "In God We Trust" to hang in every classroom, cafeteria and auditorium of every public and charter school in the state.

State Rep. Keith Faber of Celina, the bill's Republican sponsor, said the mandate would not apply unless the signs were donated.
You can be sure that local churches will be more than happy to get these signs together for schools. I guess there isn't enough important stuff to worry about at the Statehouse. The budget crunch, inequality in school funding, and the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs are merely diversions from real issues like this one.

Et tu, Rehnquist?

Ohio Groups Question Justice's Trip on Utility Jet
Published: May 15, 2004
WASHINGTON, May 14 - A power plant company based in Ohio with a dozen cases in federal courts is flying Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to Columbus so he can deliver a speech on Saturday at the dedication of a judicial center.

The cost of using the corporate jet, which belongs to American Electric Power, one of the nation's largest utilities, is being covered by money raised from a $75-a-plate lunch after the speech at the center, the new home of the Ohio Supreme Court. But environmental groups in Ohio are expressing concern over the propriety of a Supreme Court justice's being accorded favors by a company that has so many active cases, including one that goes to trial next year involving accusations that its plant operations in Ohio violated the Clean Air Act. Environmentalists say the case could reach the Supreme Court.

The trip, first reported by The Toledo Blade, is the second in recent months by a Supreme Court justice that has prompted objections by environmental groups over the appearance of a conflict of interest. Late last year, with a case before the court involving the Sierra Club and Vice President Dick Cheney, Justice Antonin Scalia invited Mr. Cheney on a duck-hunting trip to Louisiana, and Mr. Cheney reciprocated by providing the transportation, a government jet, at no cost to Justice Scalia.
One would think that after Scalia's free vacation with Cheney, Rehnquist might be more careful about putting himself into situations that appear improper. I guess he figures the peasants aren't paying attention. Or it could be that he just doesn't care. After all, it's not like the Republican-controlled Congress would actually investigate anyone with an "R" behind their name, anyway. It would appear that we're all wearing the blue dress now.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Worth a thousand words:


Brilliant image by JP Patches at fark.com.

Estimated 36-42% of Americans on Crack...

According to this Financial Times story, the latest Zogby poll shows that:
Public support for President George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq has plunged to only 36 per cent and his approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency, according to a Zogby poll due out on Sunday.

The poll will show 42 per cent of people approve of Mr Bush's overall performance.
Incidentally, the story also mentions this ARG poll, which shows Kerry leading Bush 50% to 43% here in Ohio. Perhaps sanity is slowly returning to enough people to make a difference in November. Knock on wood (or Bush).

"The Fuzz"-y Math

Police Union Rejects Bush, Backs Kerry
WASHINGTON - Presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry on Friday collected the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, a police union that backed President Bush in the 2000 election.

"After three and a half years of disappointing leadership under George Bush, we need to change course in November and elect a president with a real record of supporting police officers and a lifetime of standing with law enforcement," IBPO President David Holway said in a statement provided by the Kerry campaign.
When added to the endorsement of the International Association of Firefighters, it would appear that America's first responders don't appreciate the crappy treatment they've received from the Bush administration.

Can you hear me now?

Man Hurls Phones, Causes $2K Store Damage
FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A man who said he was fed up with his cellular phone service went to a Fargo mall and started hurling phones across a store, striking an employee and causing more than $2,000 in damage, authorities said.

Jason Perala, 22, of Fargo, told The Forum newspaper that he planned only to yell at employees at Verizon Wireless.

"Then I just lost it," he said. "I just started grabbing computers and phones and throwing them. I just destroyed the place. ... I kind of regret that I did it, but I hope my message got across."
What makes this seem like a good idea? "In a world gone mad it's hard to think right..."

The Non-thinking Man's Man

Bush worries news coverage might cloud his judgment: report
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush mostly shuns news coverage because he worries it might cloud his "clear outlook" with what he perceives as a left-leaning bias, he said in a book excerpt.

Bush, who is known for devouring the sports section of newspapers, said he scans the front pages of a few major dailies and, if he finds a particularly interesting story, "I'll skim it."

White House aides, including chief of staff Andy Card, cull the newspapers for information that they present to Bush, who also relies on First Lady Laura Bush's recommendations in deciding which news stories to read.
Yeah, we wouldn't want pesky little things like facts interfere with Bush's assumptions and foredrawn conclusions. He'll "skim" a story if he absolutely has to, but the baseball box scores are so much more interesting. This guy has got to be the most intellectually incurious individual ever to inhabit the White House. Sadly enough, his anti-intellectualism and refusal to entertain debate and nuanced thought is what endears him to many of his supporters.

The Job-Loss Recovery continues in Ohio...

From AP:
TIMKEN WILL BEGIN CLOSING CANTON BEARINGS PLANTS
CANTON — The Timken Co. said Friday that it will begin closing three Canton bearings plants that employ 1,300 workers.
Once again, Bush demonstrates that he is the anti-Midas. If Bush visits your workplace to give a policy speech (i.e. photo op), you'd better get your resume polished and start looking for a new job.

From last year's "Jobs and Growth" speech:
I appreciate the Timken family for their leadership, their concern about their fellow associates. They're working hard to make sure the future of this company is bright, and therefore, the future of employment is bright for the families that work here, that work to put food on the table for their children.
This administration and its enablers make me sick.

Tips for Letters to the Editor

JB over at the dailykos had an excellent piece on writing effective letters to the editor. Definitely worth reading. Let your local papers have it! If they think you don't care about a particular subject, then they won't either.

Woohoo!

We've got template! And links, too. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself (or re-educate yourself, whichever is applicable) by clicking on some of the provided links. Wake up, America! Come out of your television-induced coma and see what's really happening.

However, I must caution you: That first step is a doozy!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

We're up and running!

Sort of. There's much to do. An overhaul of the template is coming forthwith and we'll be adding a whole mess of links. Stay tuned.