Nothing until late tonight, I think.
(p.s. to whom it may concern: long hair, dark green shirt, black converse)
"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"
A new poll shows that 57 percent of Americans continue to believe that Saddam Hussein gave "substantial support" to al-Qaida terrorists before the war with Iraq, despite a lack of evidence of that relationship.First of all, you'd think that those two WMD numbers would be reversed, since given available evidence, it is slightly more plausible that Saddam had programs capable of churning out WMD (a stretch, given the evidence) than Saddam actually having the WMD themselves.
In addition, 45 percent of Americans have the impression that "clear evidence" was found that Iraq worked closely with Osama bin Laden's network, and a majority believe that before the war Iraq either had weapons of mass destruction (38 percent) or a major program for developing them (22 percent).
There's no known evidence to date that these statements are true.
U.S. weapons inspector David Kay testified before Congress in January that no weapons were found and prewar intelligence on Iraq was "almost all wrong." CIA Director George Tenet last month rejected assertions by Vice President Dick Cheney that Iraq had cooperated with al-Qaida.
California should ban the use of 15,000 touch-screen voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems from the Nov. 2 general election, an advisory panel to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended Thursday.Well, if the timeline to make a decisions was picked to be April 30th, that timeline must have been made with respect to the ability for counties to comply in time to be ready for the November elections, right?
By an 8-0 vote, the state's Voting Systems and Procedures Panel recommended that Shelley cease the use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold has performed poorly in California and its machines malfunctioned in the state's March 2 primary election, turning away many voters in San Diego County.
The recommendation affects 15,000 Diebold touch-screen machines in San Diego, Solano, Kern and San Joaquin counties.
Thousands more machines made by Diebold and other manufacturers in 10 other counties are unaffected, although the panel is to make a recommendation regarding them next Wednesday.
The panel's decision has national implications for the voting machine maker, coming as states plan to spend billions of dollars to upgrade election equipment in the wake of the disputed 2000 presidential election in Florida.
If Shelley follows through with the recommendation, the affected counties would have to revert to paper ballots, specifically those marked by filling in ovals which are read by electronic scanners. The prospects of starting anew just months before a presidential election prompted outcries from more than a dozen voting officials statewide who would have to buy voting booths, ballot boxes, marking supplies, card readers and more scanners while retraining poll workers.
"We sold all of our voting booths to Los Angeles County. We sold our surplus card readers to smaller counties," said Riverside County Registrar of Voters Mischelle Townsend, who estimated costs of reverting to paper at $2.5 million.
Diebold was disappointed and disagreed with the recommendation, said its marketing director, Mark Radke. The company will quickly write a report outlining its objections to Shelley, who has until April 30 to make a final decision.
The White House confirmed Thursday that the administration is moving to change a postwar policy that blocked members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from Iraqi government and military positions.No doubt to trumpet the peaceful coexistence of man and fish.
The sweeping ban was put in place by civilian administrator Paul Bremer, but he now wants to change the policy as part of an effort to convince Sunnis, who dominate the party, that they are welcome members of the postwar political transition in Iraq.
There also have been complaints that the ban has kept teachers, engineers, well-trained technocrats and experienced military officers out of the difficult postwar transition.
Saddam headed the Baath Party in Iraq for decades, and its members were allowed educational opportunities and to hold key posts.
In Baghdad, Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor acknowledged the ban "sometimes excludes innocent, capable people who were Baathists in name only from playing a role in reconstructing Iraq.
"Those are the sorts of people for which there was a process built in to allow exceptions, to allow appeals, but the exceptions and appeals process doesn't do anybody any good if it is not expeditious," Senor said.
"We are reviewing the policy to see if we can better balance the expertise and experience," White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters on Air Force One as President Bush traveled to Maine for an Earth Day event.
Drudge is just trying to piss off the left before the release of Moore’s new film this fall. It won’t work. If they didn’t get pissed off at him after spending twenty bucks on his last crappy book, they won’t get pissed over anything.First of all, "crappy" is a very strong word. Second of all, UCSB liberals like myself were indeed pissed last fall that Moore's appearance in Santa Barbara would cost a minimum of $18 (as opposed to $5 at other universities, though his SB appearance was downtown). But we weren't pissed in a "fuck everything he's ever done" kind of sense. That's the sort of thing we save for Saint Ralph! We'll be there for the movie this summer, and nobody, not the Arlington Theater, not Drudge, will stand in our way.
Page 11: Bush as glutton: At a Pentagon briefing, staffers lay out peppermint candy for each attendee. Bush scarfs down his peppermint, and then begins to eye Bill Cohen's treat, which the former secretary gladly relinquishes. Gen. Hugh Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, "noticed Bush eyeing his mint, so he passed it over."Bush as a candy-loving, small-vocabularly warmonger? Yeah, that's about right! And *ouch* for Lynne Cheney. Good thing she didn't ask "Do you have Arabs too?"
Page 112: On a Mideast trip, Lynne Cheney lunches with an emir's wife. When do the children here in Bahrain begin school? she asks. The emir's wife reminds Cheney that she's in Qatar.
Page 184: The TelePrompTer text of Bush's climactic speech to the United Nations somehow omits his call for resolutions against the Iraqi regime. Bush remembers and ad-libs the line.
Page 186: Bush aide Nick Calio declares his intention to vitiate a congressional filibuster. Bush says, "Nicky, what the fuck are you talking about, vitiate?"
Page 244: Woodward meets Bush at a White House Christmas party in 2002. Though it's months before the prez would declare war on Iraq, Bush suggests that a sequel to Woodward's previous best seller, Bush at War, should be in the works. "Maybe it will be called More Bush at War," Bush says. Laura Bush responds, "Let's hope not."
The ads will air in the following 17 states: Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Washington and Ohio.That's quite a veritable who's-who of battleground states, ain't it?
Aides to Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign said on Tuesday that they would release all of his military records, including evaluations by his Navy commanders, a day after the campaign had refused to make the documents public.That's shrapnel, not pretzels, fyi. But in all seriousness, looks like this worked out in Kerry's distinct favor. He made a couple of ambiguous statements about the status of his military service record, everyone buzzes, people like Drudge and Insty crow about his "hypocrisy", etc. Half a news-cycle later, he releases everything. Now, like a venus flytrap luring unsuspecting insects into its deadly leafish structure (I need some remedial botany), he's got everyone asking about his military record, and those purple hearts and silver stars* are going to give off quite a lot of glare. * - Of course, Kerry's service record is not a breakfast cereal, but you get the point.
Mr. Kerry won a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts in Vietnam.
The Boston Globe raised questions last week about the circumstances of his first Purple Heart. Mr. Kerry said on "Meet the Press" on NBC on Sunday that his military records were available for reporters to review at his campaign headquarters here. But when a reporter for The Globe showed up on Monday morning, the campaign withheld several documents, including evaluations by Mr. Kerry's commanders and some medical records.
A senior adviser to Mr. Kerry, Michael Meehan, said the campaign was releasing all the documents because Mr. Kerry was "running on his military record, not from his military record."
Mr. Meehan gave The New York Times documents that certify Mr. Kerry's three Purple Hearts for combat injuries. The documents included details of the wounds that led to his second and third Purple Hearts. Mr. Meehan said no after-action report had been found for the first Purple Heart, awarded, according to the certificate, "for wounds received in action on Dec. 2, 1968." In lieu of that report, Mr. Meehan offered a "Sick Call Treatment Record" from Mr. Kerry's personal medical files with these handwritten notes from someone who treated to him on Dec. 3, 1968, at the naval support center at Cam Ranh Bay:
"Shrapnel in left arm above elbow. Shrapnel removed and appl bacitracin dressing. Ret to Duty."
Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire DepartmentHehehe. The picture-headline in the upper-right corner is also quite good.
CHEYENNE, WY—After attempting to contain a living-room blaze started by a cigarette, card-carrying Libertarian Trent Jacobs reluctantly called the Cheyenne Fire Department Monday. "Although the community would do better to rely on an efficient, free-market fire-fighting service, the fact is that expensive, unnecessary public fire departments do exist," Jacobs said. "Also, my house was burning down." Jacobs did not offer to pay firefighters for their service.
"GOP PRESSES FOR FULL RELEASE...I didn't want to know.
Q: Overall do you think George W. Bush has done more to unite the country, or has done more to divide the country?Uh... huh.
Don't Know: 2%
"...has already imposed much stricter antipollution standards for diesel fuel and diesel engines...and the media simply pretend these advances don't exist, in order to sustain the preferred script of Bush "undoing" clean-air policy."4/15/04, afternoon: After reading this Kevin Drum is quick to note that
But as Easterbrook must well know, these "stricter antipollution standards for diesel fuel and diesel engines" were implemented by the Clinton administration. Bush's only contribution was that he didn't overturn them.A few days pass.
The administration's biggest success has been its regulation of diesel fuels. In the face of fierce industry hostility, the Bush crowd decided that the benefits of diesel regulation far outweighed the costs. The Bush initiatives were applauded by even its most ardent critics. An official from the Natural Resources Defense Council called the diesel emissions regulations "the most significant public health proposal in decades."Not that Brooks hasn't used Easterbrook before: Last fall Brooks devoted an entire column to Easterbrook's book The Progress Paradox. Anyway, hackery all around on Easterbrook and Brooks' parts.
And there's only one path to safety and that's the path of action. Congress must act with the Patriot Act. We must continue to stay on the offense when it comes to chasing these killers down and bringing them to justice -- and we will. We've got to be strong and resolute and determined. We will never show weakness in the face of these people who have no soul, who have no conscience, who care less about the life of a man or a woman or a child. We've got to do everything we can here at home. And there's no doubt in my mind that, with the Almighty's blessings and hard work, that we will succeed in our mission. (emphasis TFM's)Look, I'm not cool with Al Qaeda. (I'm not cool with the Patriot Act, but that's another matter) I think what they've done in NY, DC, Bali, Madrid, etc, is reprehensible.
TAX CUTS -- Those in the top tax brackets get large sums of money, the theory being that their money will either go directly into the economy, thus "raising all boats", or go towards hiring more people, thus helping people in lower tax brackets. People in middle and low tax brackets are screwed by tax cuts because A) they don't get much money, and B) their state and local taxes go up, but because of the just-mentioned boat raising, it all works out and they ride off into the sunset with Cinderella and Jesus and all is well.See how much fun that was? The only problem is that in terms of job creation, the tax cuts are lagging far behind projections. Natrually, there are many other issues involved, but what is pretty evident is that there is a lot of overlap between those who support tax cuts and those who are just peachy about outsourcing. Bush's tax cuts have not helped create jobs in any significant way (unless you argue that the tax cuts ended the UFCW strike or something), so why exactly should we listen to the same people who advocated tax cuts say that outsourcing will create jobs in America?
OUTSOURCING -- Corporate honchos from the top tax brackets send their receptionist, tech-support, etc jobs overseas, thus greatly increasing their profits. That money, in theory, will either go directly into the economy, thus "raising all boats", potentially enabling other business owners to hire more people, thus helping people in lower tax brackets. People in the middle-class, who were employed as tech support geeks and receptionists, get screwed by outsourcing because A) their job goes elsewhere, and B) the overall job pool in their field in the short-run shrinks, but because of the just-mentioned boat raising, yadda yadda Cinderella and Jesus.
By the time Rock started slamming President Bush, about 100 people wearing grimaces started exiting the arena. About 4,400 people stayed and laughed, and Rock said black people still don't have equal opportunity in America.Mon dieu! They couldn't have been going to the bathroom could they? Of course, if this story is true, then those 100 people are, well, morons, because Rock made the same joke about Bush that he made about Clinton in 1999's Bigger and Blacker, the joke being that the President likes all these mini-stories that happen (from Columbine to Laci Peterson) because it takes attention off of him. The "C student" joke is more a racial joke than a Bush joke, and besides, Bush himself makes light of his past academic follies. Iraq was mentioned, but only in the context of Tupac. Don't ask.
"America is a nation of `B' and `C' students," he said. "A black `C' student can't even be a manager at Burger King. But a white `C' student happens to be president of the United States of America."
But, it turns out, two days before the president told Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld had already briefed Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador.Kyle's mom, do you have any comment?
"Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, 'Top secret. No foreign.' No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this," says Woodward.
"They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, 'So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?'" And Cheney who has said nothing says the following: "Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast."
After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, "I wanted him to know that this is for real. We're really doing it."
But this wasn't enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. "Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, 'Their message is my message'" says Woodward.
Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election -- to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.
The darkly insinuated (and stated) reason for offense at Kerry's "foreign leaders" remark was that Kerry was going to somehow sell out our national security for their support, that he'd promised them things if they'd just do things to support his presidential run.
Bush has done exactly that.