Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Bits and Pieces From Around the World...

Like "THEY" Know ANYTHING About Intelligence...

A lot of the far-right-wing, mouth-breathin, Bible-thumpin’, sister-humpin, gun-rack-in-the-pick-em-up-window neocon wingnut MO-rons talk about “intelligent design” (and those twits talking about intelligent ANYTHING is like Michael Jackson talking about preventing child molestation). I ran across the following at – of all places – National Review.

First, a general remark. I like a good knock-down argument as much as the next person, but I must say, ID-ers are low-grade opponents, at least if a bulk of my e-mails are any indication. They are still banging away with the arguments I first heard when the whole thing first surfaced 10-15 yrs ago. "What use is half an eye?" "The odds against this are a trillion to one!" etc. etc. There is nothing new here. I understand why biologists get angry and frustrated with ID-ers. All the ID arguments have been patiently refuted many times over. The ID-ers response is to come back with... the same arguments.

Deficit Reduction, Moose-style

The Moose suggests a third way for the donkey. Democrats should move to the right of the Bushies on deficit reduction. Embrace the spirit of the betrayed Republican Revolution of 1994 and call for the closing of Federal departments. The Moose suggests two Federal behemoths to put on the chopping block - the Departments of Commerce and Energy.

Commerce and Energy are the targets because they are primarily conduits for corporate welfare. Along with these two agencies, the donkey should launch an "end corporate welfare as we know it" campaign. Then, Democrats can hold news conferences at the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute and urge Republicans to join them in this great cause to cut welfare for the comfortable.


BlunderBoy makes the eschews obfuscation of the inexplicable….

Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised.

Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

Okay, better? I'll keep working on it. (Laughter.)

Moral Values, Mouth-Breathers, and Bush’s Corporate-Yet-Hypocritical Supporters

While its previous owners considered adult entertainment "immoral," Adelphia Communications Corp., the country's fifth-largest cable television provider, last week became the first to offer hard-core adult films on pay-per-view to its subscribers [...]

Viewers can watch such sexually explicit movies in the Hilton and Marriott hotel chains on video services like LodgeNet or on "On Command," which is owned by Liberty Media, formerly a part of AT&T; at home via DirecTV, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp; or via virtually every cable company, including Cox, Time Warner and Comcast [...]

While the corporations generate millions in profits from providing adult content, their political contributions are often given to those elected, in no small part, because of their stance on "moral values."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Comcast Cable has given millions in political donations since 1998. The national Republican Party committees are its biggest organizational recipient, with donations totaling $851,000. President Bush is its biggest individual recipient with $109,000 in donations.

Adelphia has given $166,000 to Republican committees, $17,000 to conservative Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., and $12,000 to Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., one of the most conservative members of the Senate.


More on the Moral Values of Mouth-Breathers:

Typical of the comments was this one from Arizona: "I do think the Democrat Party is identified -- justifiably -- with much of the vulgarization so prominently displayed by many celebrities, particularly those in the entertainment industry. Hey, we pick our friends."

"The people who run the Republican Party are elites just like any other elite, and they don't share the same cultural concerns as the center of the country," said Carlson. "They don't -- they're all pro-choice on abortion, they're all pro-gay rights, they're all thrice married, you know what I mean? And they summer in the Hamptons, too. And so they don't have anything in common, that's true, with evangelicals who make up the bulk of their party."

In this world of irony, corporate leaders at companies as diverse as News Corp., Marriott International and Time Warner can profit by selling red state consumers the very material that red state culture is supposed to despise. Those elites then funnel the proceeds to the GOP, which in turn has used the money to successfully convince red state voters that the other political party is solely responsible for the decline of the civilization.


From the New York Daily News:

...Dubya didn't let the Sabbath inhibit him Sunday when he and Laura Bush attended services at St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House. The frisky moment came shortly after the Rev. Luis Leon encouraged his flock to greet one another. Most congregants settled for a handshake and the salutation "Peace be with you."

But the Chicago Tribune's White House correspondent wrote in his pool report: "[President Bush] leans toward [the First Lady], gives her a quick kiss on the lips and then pats her behind - I am not making this up - before turning to shake hands with other worshipers around him." ...
Didn't Poppy Bush once give Bar a little love-tap on the butt in the middle of anationally televised interview a few years ago?
Dignity -- always dignity.
(From the fine folks at No More Mister Nice Blog)

Michigan’s own Juan Cole opening the giant economy-size can of whup-ass all over Jonah Goldberg:

[. . .] Let's see, Goldberg's remarks were about the relative virtues of the elections in Iran and Iraq. He declined my challenge, saying he would only debate me on US politics or US foreign policy. In other words, he thinks it is all right to sit up on a perch and snipe at me through his privileged access to the media (given to him why?) on Middle East issues. But he is afraid to debate me publicly on those same issues. I don't understand. If he thinks he knows what he is talking about in print, why wouldn't he risk talking about the same things verbally and in person? I'll tell you why. It is because when writing an op-ed, he can get away with only seeming to grasp the facts, whereas in person he can be busted and shown to be only a poseur. I'm not interested in a debate on why Steve Hadley overruled George Tenet to authorize the passage in Bush's 2003 State of the Union address falsely alleging that Iraq had attempted to buy Niger uranium.

I should be clear that I am not interested in wasting any more time on Goldberg's illogicality in print. If he will not agree to a debate this spring without any conditions or restrictions on subject matter, then I wash my hands of him.

(MUCH more at http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/goldberg-v.html)

Bush’s “Enemy List”

(*I* wanna be on this list. If I’m not already)

The whodunit mystery surrounding the do-not-admit list for President Bush's Fargo visit still hasn't been solved, but clues uncovered Friday indicate a worker with the White House advance team may have been the culprit.

This comes just one day after spokesmen for the White House and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven said the list was the result of "an overzealous volunteer."

The list contained the names of 42 people who were not supposed to be given tickets to Bush's speech Thursday. Thirty-three of them belong to the local progressive group Democracy for America.

The White House advance team was comprised of several people -- some state and local volunteers; others White House staff people -- who came to Fargo ahead of time to prepare for the event.

White House spokesman Jim Morrell said Friday the overzealous volunteer could "very well be" someone from the advance team, but he doesn't know who it was.

The White House wasn't aware the list was being created or distributed and regrets that it happened, Morrell said.

The White House also is taking steps to ensure nothing like this happens again, by reiterating to volunteers that "this is not acceptable," he said.
Of course, given some of the things I've posted here (already), and some of the email rants I've subjected my friends to, I'm probably fairly near the top. I sorta expect the Ministry of Homeland Security to come a-callin'...*

*-This is NOT to imply in any way, shape, or form, that I am advocating personal harm to Bush. I want to see him serve his time, go back to Crawdad, and be fondly remembered as the WORST President. Ever.

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