HEY YA! CHARLIE BROWN
It's damn near impossible to watch this adorable video of OutKast/Peanuts by Ryan King and Dan Hess and be in a bad mood afterward, unless perhaps you're Lucy or the Grinch.
HEY YA! CHARLIE BROWN
CAN LIEBERMAN COUNT?
The question isn't a rhetorical one about whether Sen. Joe Lieberman's campaign can influence the race for the Democratic nomination, unless it's about the sorry state of math education in the U.S.
Riding on his "Joe-mentum" to nowhere, Lieberman seems a pathological glass-is-a-quarter-full kind of guy following his fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary. An Associated Press story contains this gem of a fact: "Lieberman called his finish a 'three-way split' for third place with Wesley Clark and John Edwards, though they each had 12 percent of the vote to his 9 percent. "
Sounds like fuzzy math to me.
SCORECARD OF EVIL
Having trouble keeping track of the environmental, social and financial disasters wrought by the Bush administration?
If so, the Wage Slave Journal's George W. Bush Scorecard of Evil will come in handy!
FAST FOOD INFLATION
Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald's for 30 days and documented the resulting detrimental effects on his body for his latest work, "Super Size Me: A Filim of Epic Proportions."
"Within days, he was vomiting up his burgers and battling headaches and depression. And his sex drive vanished. When Spurlock had finished, his liver, overwhelmed by saturated fats, had virtually turned to pate," writes the New Zeland Herald.
Warmly received at the Sundance Film Festival, the film now needs a distributor.
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Lieberman, the runaway favorite for cheeseball of the year known for such goofy lines as "Viva Chutzpah!" added a new cornball line to his repertoire.
An Agence France-Presse story quotes him saying:
"My staff says that in New Hampshire today there is an outbreak of 'Joe-mentum.'"
Hopefully, it'll be less severe than that new bird flu that's going around.
MARGARET CHO'S HATE MAIL
Quotes from Margaret Cho's performance at a recent MoveOn.org event taken out of context ended up on Matt Drudge's site, sparking a flood of hate mail to the popular comedian.
American Politics Journal has printed several of the mesages, complete with senders' e-mail addresses, in a feature titled "Cro-Magnon Mail!"
One reader named "Kevin" later wrote back to apologize, saying he had been misled by the selective quotes on the Drudge site, saying, in part, "My remarks were a knee-jerk response to comments that appeared on Matt Drudge's website. I have since apologized to Karen but did not keep that email. I believe my follow up was posted on her website. If Ms. Cho's satirical stand up act was really 20 minutes long and only a couple of minutes of the most inflamatory remarks were published, then it appears that there was an attempt to elicit hatred and anger towards Margaret Cho."
Hope springs eternal.
THE AD CBS WON'T AIR
CBS rejected a bid by MoveOn.org to buy air time during the Super Bowl that takes a creative swipe at the Bush administration. Shockingly, the ad is NOT a wild, grossly unfair, foaming-at-the-mouth attack, nor was there a presidential candidate's caterwauling.
See for yourself.
I'm not even going to discuss the Howard Dean shriek, but if someone has a URL for the remix of "Crazy Train" with the blood-curdling sounds of the leading Democratic candidate, I'd appreciate a note!
In the meantime, see the cool game that inspired the White Stripes red-and-white-stripe craze. You'll need Shockwave.
Moore for Clark
Surprising though it may be, rabblerouser and filmmaker Michael Moore has decided to endorse the candidacy of retired Gen. Wesley Clark for the Democratic nomination. Pragmaticism led him to this choice.
He writes: "This is not about voting for who is more anti-war or who was anti-war first or who the media has already anointed. It is about backing a candidate that shares our values AND can communicate them to Middle America. I am convinced that the surest slam dunk to remove Bush is with a four-star-general-top-of-his-class-at-West-Point-Rhodes-Scholar-Medal-of-Freedom-winning
-gun-owner-from-the-South -- who also, by chance, happens to be pro-choice, pro environment, and anti-war. You don't get handed a gift like this very often."
BUSH 'SOUGHT WAY' TO INVADE IRAQ
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says in a new book that the Bush administration considered the ouster of Saddam Hussein and the occupation of Iraq a foregone conclusion.
In Ron Suskin's book, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill, the former Cabinet member says the administration's goals were evident 10 days after the inauguration -- eight months before Sept. 11.
O'Neill says in the book he was surprised that at National Security Council meetings questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.
"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’" says O’Neill.
Maybe that's what the Bush adminstration meant by that "Mission Accomplished" banner on the flight deck of that aircraft carrier on which he posed May 1, declaring an end to combat operations in Iraq.
BUSH = LIEBERMAN?
Lloyd Grove of the New York Daily News informs that Bush allegedly told Australian Prime Minister John Howard that Democratic presidential hopeful and de facto has-been Sen. Joe Lieberman "would be the toughest Democrat for him to run against."
Lieberman's campaign took this as a show of strength, running radio ads touting this putative assessment from Dubya.
What he likely doesn't realize is that the former Texas governor finds it difficult to distinguish himself from the Connecticut senator.
DRAWINGS OF WMD FOUND!
A Washington Post story examines documents from Iraq's plans to develop weapons of mass destruction.
"A review of available evidence, including some not known to coalition investigators and some they have not made public, portrays a nonconventional arms establishment that was far less capable than U.S. analysts judged before the war," the article states.
Documents included in the Post's online story include loose-leaf drawings of rockets pulled from a spiral notebook.
For this, apparently, we have incurred a cost to taxpayers of an estimated $1 billion a week in military expenditures (now approximately $30 billion and counting), an initial $87 billion to "rebuild" Iraq at the hands of Cheney cronies at Halliburton and former Reagan-Bush lackeys at Bechtel (with its own $1 billion contract in Iraq); a demoralized, underpaid army undertrained for guerrilla warfare who faces a rising death toll that stood at 478 on Jan. 1 (two-thirds of whom were in their 20s).
But at least we have those dangerous drawings.
LAME DEAN GAME
From the masterminds of the Howard Dean campaign for president comes this mind-numbingly useless interactive Flash game that could spark a groundswell for swift, severe punishment for people who unleash on the world such ill-conceived and harebrained ideas: Play the Dean for Iowa Game.
The object of the game?
"Make a virtual trip to Iowa and help campaign for a Dean win in the important Iowa Caucus. Recruit your real friends to join you in Iowa, where you'll canvas neighborhoods, pass out pamphlets, and wave Dean signs to encourage Iowans to attend the caucus and stand in support of Howard Dean."
In other words, use your mouse to control your cartoon Dean supporter and wave your "Dean for America" sign for maximum visibility.
If this sounds like an abominable waste of time, that's because it is.
One would hope this doesn't foreshadow the astuteness of a Dean administration, although at least American soldiers aren't getting killed.
A CHICKEN-OR-EGG PROPOSITION?
A New York Times op-ed piece by David Brooks titled "The Era of Distortion" made a puzzling reference, as well as what I believe to be an erroneous conclusion.
In dismissing as irrelevant the influence of ultraconservative and borderline fascist Project for the New American Century, Brooks writes:
"... To hear these people describe it, PNAC is sort of a Yiddish Trilateral Commission, the nexus of the sprawling neocon tentacles. ...
"In truth, the people labeled neocons (con is short for "conservative" and neo is short for "Jewish") travel in widely different circles and don't actually have much contact with one another. The ones outside government have almost no contact with President Bush. There have been hundreds of references, for example, to Richard Perle's insidious power over administration policy, but I've been told by senior administration officials that he has had no significant meetings with Bush or Cheney since they assumed office. If he's shaping their decisions, he must be microwaving his ideas into their fillings."
In my letter to Brooks, I mention my puzzlement about "neo" as shorthand for "Jewish." (What, then, would the term "neo-Nazi" mean?) Included in the letter was the following definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Main Entry: ne-
Variant(s): or neo-
Function: combining form
Etymology: Greek, from neos new -- more at NEW
1 a : new : recent
2 : new chemical compound isomeric with or otherwise related to (such) a compound
Semantics aside, there's another point.
Brooks argues that PNAC was irrelevant in the Bush administration's argument for war against Iraq, yet members of the group ARE part of the Bush administration, namely Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary L. Paul Wolfowitz and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
A PNAC letter to President Clinton dated Jan. 26, 1998, makes their views well known. In it, they and others write:
"... The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy."
With PNAC members Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Armitage writing the rules, that has become American foreign policy.
There's no prize other than recognition on this blog, but take a look at this photo of a confrontation between an American woman and an Israeli peace activist and write your own caption.
My entry: "I told you I wanted EXTRA MAYO with my cheese fries!"
BRING ON THE FRUITCAKE
A 36-year-old Long Island woman earned the Fruitcake Champion title by eating almost five pounds of the holiday treat, beating out a challenger nearly four times her weight.
The article notes the woman, Sonya Thomas, weighs 105 pounds but doesn't mention whether she's ever heard the phrase, "You are what you eat."
IS JUSTICE BLIND?
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert begins a series of articles on the erroneous conviction of a 19-year-old black man for rape and murder.
North Carolina prosecuted Darryl Hunt despite no physical evidence linking him to the scene and a mentally disturbed Klansman [oxymoron] as its main witness.
But it gets better.
DNA evidence showed that neither Hunt, nor his two alleged accomplices (who were never tried), could have committed the crime.
"Incredibly, that didn't matter. The judge refused to order a new trial," Herbert writes. "There was obviously a fourth man, the judge said, and he may have been an accomplice of Mr. Hunt's as well. The state liked that idea, and adopted it as its own."
OIL AS CAUSUS BELLI?
The U.S. considered using airborne troops to seize oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi in response to the 1973 oil embargo, according to a Washington Post story.
Based on a recently declassified British intelligence memo, the story quotes Defense Secretary James Schlesinger sayding the U.S. wouldn't tolerate threats from "under-developed, under-populated" nations" and that "it was no longer obvious to him that the United States could not use force."
In another memo, Prime Minister Edward Heath characterized Nixon as "an American president in the Watergate position apparently prepared to go to such lengths at a moment's notice without consultation with his allies ... without any justification in the military situation at the time."
Does it seem feasible that oil had at least something to do with U.S. occupation of Iraq, which has the world's second-largest proven oil reserves? Especially in the absence of any weapons of mass destructions despite the most intensive manhunt in history?