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December 05, 2003
And the experts agree

One good month does not a recovery make.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)
News to me

Remember that shopper who got trampled in a DVD rush at Wal-Mart? Looks like the story may be a little more complicated than it looked at first.

Is this interesting or just weird?

Is this a disgraceful abuse of judicial power or just the weirdest corruption, or not, case you've ever seen?

I suppose this is good news. I really can't tell any more.

Looks like the Bush Administration is trying yet another end run around Congress.

Unable to get Congress to endorse its plan to cut air pollution, the Bush administration is crafting a string of regulations that would accomplish the same ends.

Forgive me if I express extreme skepticism about anyone in the Bush Administration really having offered a plan that would effectively cut air pollution overall. I do wish the media would get a grip on itself.

And once again I find myself completely at sea when faced with Conservative abasement before the shrine of Reagan. (Okay, if I were a ruder kind of person, I might say that a dime is about what his so-called "legacy" is worth, but I'm not so I won't and no, I just didn't.)

Wherever Saddam Hussein is today, you know he's gotta be laughing. He fooled everyone, didn't he?

Remember welfare reform?

Manservant explains the nature of Bush's politics. (Shorter version: Follow the money.)

I don't actually know who this guy is, but I enjoy his columns and I love that picture. He looks so much like Spike.

Next: Chinese blogs.

Bengt sent me a link to Sinosplice but I haven't had time to check them all out yet. I've found three worth mentioning so far:

Hemlock's Diary isn't all that well-designed and it can be tough to find the "blog" portion of the site (the current entry is here) but he's reaching for political satire and offers a good view of Chinese politics from that perspective.

Glutter is a good mix of culture and politics and personal journal from someone living in Hong Kong.

Joseph Wang China Blog is political and interesting.

I've glanced at the titles of the other blogs but haven't read any of the others except Prince Roy, described as, "musings of an ex-law school inmate; now a diplomat-in-training". Looks like it could be interesting reading.

A Fistful of Euros (great title) was also recommended as a good source for English-language European blogs. Again, haven't had a chance to check out all of them yet, but I think I might add a few to my own blogroll.

Bonobo Land seems to be a group blog, or maybe Edward Hugh just has some other people contribute from time to time, but you should take a look.

Davos Newbies is a good site and add me to the list of people interested in reading a translation of the Abtahi blog, if it's real.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:51 PM | Comments (2)
Mutter, whine, complain

Despicable DeLay

Via Chris Nelson, here's why Republicans on campus get no respect. (Basically, because they don't deserve any.)

Under the heading of, "this annoys me," let me say that George Bush does not have a blog. Neither does Howard Dean or most of the other candidates. They have people who blog about them, or for them, but they won't "have" a blog until they sit down and offer us their own words in their own words.

Also, I hate stupid typos and these blogs don't "bare" the candidates' names. They "bear" them. That's the kind of humorous typo I could forgive in, say, a blog, but not so much in a newspaper like The Guardian but I'll forgive them this time for all of the cool links they gave us in the article.

What I don't get is why the possibility that another airplane was in the air at the same time as Air Force One is of such consuming interest to some people.

It may only be the appearance of impropriety and unimportant on that front, but as further evidence of USofA arrogance and our determination to hold power in Iraq, I think it's significant.

Spoofs on The Night Before Christmas aren't new, but Chris has a good one up today. Most of it even scans properly.

(I'm a bit cranky today, yes. Peevish, even.)

Emma asks, "... does a democracy seem out of whack when the government has to cancel elections because it's broke, but the candidates are raising record sums?"

Tom Paine is right. Read the Soros column.

And over at TomDispatch, there's a great list of book suggestions.

Will the press challenge Rove's decision to try and position Bush as both the Macho-Commander-In-Chief and as the Plucky Outsider Fighting Against The Machine? Don't be stupid, Katrina.

Check out Notebook Africa if you haven't already.

In the incestuous world of blogdom, it looks like there was a war going on and I didn't know anything about it. Oh well, that doesn't bother me. I'm not much of a "joiner" and those kinds of cliques always leave me puzzled and wondering what the point is.

Heck, I don't understand most of what happens online and I'm not ashamed to admit it. People talk about "RSS feed" and I get so distracted wondering what rssss is supposed to mean and if people actually pronounce it that way or if they just recite the letters that I never get around to figuring out who it's feeding or why. I understand that this blog, for instance, can be read on a PDA. I'm sure that's very cool although I don't understand how it gets there or why anyone would bother. There's also a link for something called "RDF" and I have no idea what that's for. (For all I know it's the reason I seem to get occasional hits from the International Atomic Energy Agency.)

Okay, by now it's probably pretty obvious why I paid someone to design the site and get it up and running, but the point is, or at least sort of is, that some of us seem to be a lot more meta than others of us.

Some of us are interested in the blog as blog and want to define how it happens

Others of us are just thrilled that someone created an easy interface we could use to pontificate and air our opinions (or ignorance) to the world at large.

Feel better, Elayne.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:05 AM | Comments (2)

Coming soon, to a video camera near you?

Maybe not.

George Sybil Bush does have a ring to it, though. It's true that whatever foreign policy beliefs he holds privately (I'm charitably assuming he has actual opinions), the public exoression of them remains a stew of weird and unlikely ingredients.

And if you're not an oil lobbyist, it pays to be a long-time friend.

Krugman thinks all of this is just Bush demonstrating what a comedian he is.

I can't be the only person who finds the creation of "free speech zones" all a bit too Orwellian and I know I'm not the only one who thinks it's about time we challenged the arrests of peaceful protesters who refuse to stay "in the zone." (I'd say the violence at the Philadelphia convention was as likely to have been created by the frustration of people forced into "the zone" as anything else.)

I really do think that anyone waiting for a "groundswell of support" for reinstating the draft is in for a disappointment. For one thing, those 'disaffected white males' that everyone discusses as Bush's voter base, well, a lot of them are draftable, you know. It's one thing to support the pre-emptive invasion of non-aggressive countries in theory and to make noble speeches about "sacrifice" (as our so-called 'leader' knows) and it's quite another to put your own fat butt on the firing line.

We can only hope that a different "groundswell" appears, one of opposition to the mistaken form of "discipline" DeLay and others are trying to impose on Congress. This is one of the least savory tactics I've seen out of them yet.

On the other hand, Klurfeld repeats the notion that Dick's the one really in charge and it's all his fault

Did the NYTimes actually find and interview an Iraqi resistance fighter?

I continue to be astounded, and a bit disgusted, by the way the media is treating the very recent, and very, very moderate improvements in a couple of areas of the economy. I haven't personally seen any sign that we're riding high and neither has anyone else I know. I'm not saying things might not be improving, I'm no economist, I'm just saying that some holiday production spikes and seasonal, temporary jobs don't, in my book add up to signs of soaring economic gains. Not with all of the other things happening.

How many of us think Limbaugh is going to get away with his history of illegal drug purchases because he's playing the political persecution card? Does anyone actually believe he's being persecuted for being a foul-mouthed hatemonger? (I don't think of him as a "political" figure in spite of how the media treats him.)

And let me applaud Colin Powell, if I haven't done so already, for his willingness to meet with the framers of the Geneva Accord.

(By the way, if gorgeous men are going to start skiing naked, I might take the sport back up myself.)

Posted by AnneZook at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)
December 04, 2003
It's not ALL good news

Okay, practically none of it is.

Sure, the Bush Administration's Big Brother Homeland Security mob is cutting back on requiring immigrant men from Middle Eastern countries to register and explain themselves, but there's still plenty of racial and religious persecution allowed under their regulations.

David talks about the scary WMD that have been found.

Yes, they have. They've been found. (No, not in Iraq, don't be silly. In Texas.)

Read the whole post. Read the last couple of posts, in fact, and contemplate the contribution that USofA weapons technology has made to the world, allowing any lunatic with a grudge to become a significant threat to the world's security.

Okay, not just any lunatic. I mean, it doesn't look like Saddam Hussein was able to get his hands on any.

Go read Josh Marshall today, on the rabid reaction to the Geneva Accord. What, precisely, do you suppose people find so terrifying in the thought of an acceptable, negotiated compromise?

Surely this one will be struck down in the courts? Illegal search-and-seizure, invasion of privacy, whatever.

Over at The Nation, Engelhardt is still all over the Samarra story and that changing and unsubstantiated body count.

I kept seeing links to this but I just now got around to reading it. You go read it, then check out the site's front page where a younger reader asks how to address these issues in conversation with the "older" generation. (But before that, be sure and scroll down on the front page to take a look at the latest electronic voting machine problem.) I'm not sure that I agree with everything the author has to say, but it was interesting reading.

Over at the American Enterprise Idiocy Institute, they're apparently planning to hold a seminar about a "progressive consumption tax" to replace the "progressive income tax." There's such a wealth of stupidity in that idea that even I, one of the economically uneducated, can feel my brain about to explode just considering them.

And while you're there, if you're bored, you can check out Newt writing about Christmas during the Civil War and pretending it has something to do with our illegal and unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Could someone explain to him how we don't, we really don't send soldiers out to die to defend Christianity?

Also, if you go read Daniel Drezner you'll see that my skepticism about the 'skyrocketing' productivity numbers is probably justified.

Eric Alterman's column is good today. I assume y'all read him every day, but if you don't, today is a good day to start.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)
Let me ask you

This counts as "rude but funny." The actual resignation letters of Bush Administration officials are, in some cases, blunt enough. Is creating fictitious "first drafts" a little over the line? Maybe, but it's a nice review of some of the less savory policies of the Administration.

Did you read Molly Ivins on Congress? It pays to remember these things.

Oh, please. How cheesy can these photo-ops get?

Those durned libruls are plotting against Bush again, over two hundred of the unpatriotic ("objectively pro-facist") traitors, all talking about the issues and raising money for a Democratic candidate. The Right is screaming, "foul!" because it's just so wrong and un-American and unpatriotric to get together in groups and raise money and talk about a different way of doing things.

Have they considered that the fairly recent revelation that a prominent Republican moneygrubber fund-raiser was actually Chinese spy might put their own party under a bit of a cloud vis-a-vis "where the money comes from"?

Did the delicate timing of Bush postponing the announcement of the end of protective steel tariffs until after he had a chance to hit Michigan up for a chunk of re-election cash strike not them as underhanded political shenanigans? If not, would that be because regardless of whatever else Bush does, he rarely discusses actual political issues, so even though it was a fund-raiser, it was hardly a political event?

Cheney is raising a lot of money, too, but the press never reports it. Why not? Because he doesn't invite them to the party, give them stupid nicknames, and pander to their egos? . Do we really need a media that just ignores the behavior of a major public figure because he's mean to them or something?

Here's a story about the Bush Administration defending their no-legal-rights policy of open-ended detainment of, well, anyone they darned well please, in Guantanamo.

In a completely unrelated story, really, here's a story about the Bush Administration approving exports of items suitable for torturing prisoners to, well, countries that are strongly suspected of indulging in torture.

Is the Administration all about Democracy as long as it doesn't get out of hand here at home?

""At what point is national security so important that a person can't get a fair trial?"

Does it matter if they're USofA citizens or should we, as I've said repeatedly, treat all human beings as people with rights?

Posted by AnneZook at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)
December 03, 2003
It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.

Via Cursor, here's something that could ruin your day although I do want to make it clear that I'm not really buying into this theory. I just thought I'd share the idea.

On a more personal note....

Well, on the work front, the stress of the last few months is coming, or has come, to a head. My boss has had to confess that now that a big contract we were hoping for isn't coming through, he's having to retrench. I'm not exactly out of a job.

Not exactly.

The idea is that I'll swap over and work for the parent company we're trying to spin off from for six or eight months until the new company gets some business going.

I keep trying to tell myself it's a good thing.

That it means not only that my current boss wants to keep me around until he can afford to pay me again but that what the parent company has seen of my work over the last year has made them want to employ me. That a job, with health benefits and vacation and the (outsized) salary I'm drawing is good in these chancy economic times.

Whatever. I'm not excited about working in this field, but I'm not precisely swamped with alternative offers at the moment.

It's a job, right? I need to focus on that. I'm not excited by the recent "leap" in productivity and employment. We get a "leap" every year in the fourth quarter as people are hired for temporary, seasonal jobs. I have no faith that it means there are any decent, permanent positions out there. (Nor, quite frankly, am I impressed by an "annual 9.4% economic growth rate" that has lasted, so far, 30 days. )

I've been in the habit of wasting company time blogging for a couple of hours a day, as you've no doubt noticed. I rather suspect that will have to change once I'm employed by someone with rather more actual work for me to do each day. It may come down to carving out an hour or so in the evenings to write blog entries or I may have to give it up, but that's an issue I'll have to resolve in the next few days.

I'm not disappearing over the horizon immediately. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone whose writing and opinions I've read and enjoyed (or even been infuriated by) over the last year.

In the ocean of human idiocy that, in my humble opinion, covers most of this planet, I've found intelligent, insightful people from all over the political spectrum.

I've had my mind changed, my prejudices overset, and my cynicism, unfortunately, sharpened.

I've learned that the slogan of my youth ("mistrust authority") is good advice for any age, that a few insistent voices really can be catalysts for change and that no one, right, left, or center, has all the right answers.

It's been an education.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:09 PM | Comments (6)
Whine, whine, whine

There are days, you know, when I think that my life was made a lot more peaceful by not keeping close track on what was going on in the world.

This was fast. I knew it would come up but not quite so soon. Aside from the man's penchant for multiple wives, a subject which leaves me indifferent because I really don't feel compelled to regulate the private lives of consenting adults, I think he should be in jail. Seems pretty clear to me he uses his "marriage" gig as a way to get sex with very young women and girls, which is another thing altogether. Add fathering but declining to properly support 30 kids and he's a pretty unsavory sort of character in my eyes.

And the media really needs to get its act together, okay? It's bad enough that half the country is squabbling with the other half over whether we're doing the right things or the wrong things and whether or not Bush is the worst thing that's happened to this country in a hundred years or more without the uncertainty and misjudgments caused by disgracefully sloppy "reporting."

Of course, when it comes down to the media having to correct itself because of a too-heavy reliance on "military reports" or "Pentagon briefings" that prove, time and again, to have been wildly inaccurate, it sort of makes you wonder if someone isn't deliberately fostering mistrust of the media in this country. Doesn't it?

It looks to me like the "official" governments in Israel and of the Palestinians are pretty nervous about the Geneva Accord. That's good. It's time for peace in the Middle East and if those two groups don't find their own peace, they're going to get George Bush's version - and they won't like it. Also, as the article points out, Bush's much-vaunted "road map" is nothing but rules for how to negotiate solutions to problems. The Geneva Accord offers actual, you know, solutions.

Hate radio "jocks" should take note. In Rwanda, two hate radio jocks are going to jail for their hatemongering. (No, I'm not really saying that the ones we have are quite that bad . . . but spewing hate is a slippery slope.)

By now I suppose you've all read Sullivan's response to the "Bush should attend some soldiers' funerals argument. He says that no one is forbidding the coverage of returning bodies but the military doesn't have to let anyone cover such returns - an exercise in illogic I would rather not have encountered before my second cup of coffee. Anyhow, he argues that seeing dead bodies depresses people and if we get depressed, the terrorists have won. Or, you know, something like that.

The article gets obnoxious after that, sneering at the idea that the president should be "therapist-in-chief" to someone who has lost a loved one in battle. It's a pity Sullivan couldn't control his spite and bad temper. He was almost making a decent case for his position before that.

My opinion is that if I'd lost a loved one in a battle, the last thing I'd want is for their funeral to be turned into a media circus because of Bush's presence. Nor would I want the mourners to have to pass Secret Service background checks, so I've decided Bush can just stay home. (Well, I wouldn't have invited him anyhow, but that's just me.)

On the other hand, pretending the dead soldiers don't exist by trying to hide the returning bodies is just . . . disrespectful to the sacrifices the soldiers have made. Ditto for prohibiting coverage of the returning wounded.

And today Broder cites as a "theory" that same idea I mentioned yesterday - that Bush's re-election handlers are hoping they can use clips of him handing out turkey to sell him for re-election. (Okay, Broder didn't put it quite like that.) After all, it's the closest our AWOL-in-charge has ever gotten to actual combat.

He (Broder) gets a bit silly in the third-to-last graph. His claim that an incumbent has a grip on the hearts and minds of USofA voters that no other candidate can challenge is laughable. (Someone go ask Bush I how he feels about that one. Heck Bush II can't even count on the hearts and minds, or votes, of his own party, much less the general population.) The last graph is just wishful thinking, but it's a good column anyhow.

I didn't mention this yesterday because I thought everyone would be talking about it, but I don't remember reading any blog coverage. Where's the reaction to a kid being told that "gay" is a dirty word? I would have expected the blogosphere to be all over that one.

On a related subject, I'd imagine that Kristoff is really going to come under fire for today's column.

And don't let anyone kid you. The Bush Administration does believe in the separation of Church and State when it's not the "right kind" of church. I'm determined not to go off on another anti-religion rant, so I won't get into the hypocrisy of Christianity, with its history of Crusades and Inquisitions, being described as the church of "loving hearts."

Apparently the rumor that we'd nabbed a "big fish" in Iraq was just that. A rumor.

It does, however, seem to be more than a rumor that lawyers recruited to defend Guantanamo detainees were summarily fired by the military for complaining about the unfair rules for upcoming 'trials.'

It's not all bad news, of course. One suspect got to have a lawyer. Probably not coincidentally, he's a USofA citizen.

Political shenanigans are nothing new but it's always good to see them being held up to the light of day. In these fraud-riddled, economically challenging times, it's doubly good that shenanigans involving handing plum contracts to favored contractors are publicly challenged.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)
December 02, 2003
Page Two

This one's tricky. " Smithsonian Accused of Skewing History to Please Anheuser-Busch"

The Smithsonian Institutionís National Air and Space Museum (NASM) should restore a historic plane to how it appeared when it won the aerobatic titles that earned it a place in the museumís collection, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). But Smithsonian officials claim--incredibly, says CSPI--that it should retain the controversial Bud Light advertisements it began sporting after the Loudenslager Stephens Akro Laser 200 ended competitive flying. CSPI says that the Smithsonian is sacrificing historical accuracy in order to please Bud Lightís corporate parent Anheuser-Busch, which has donated at least $1.5 million to the museum.

I say, take off the beer ads. It's not the plane as it looked when taken out of service the Smithsonian is supposedly commemorating. It's the earlier, no-advertising version of the plane.

When you have a few minutes to spare, reading In Defense of State Building
States, Rights, and Justice
would be a good way to spend them. An excellent way, in fact.

Critical Collaboration: Empire versus Sovereignty in Iraq is another good article. (Not as good as the previous one, but good.)

"All politics and no policy" sounds to me like a good epitaph for the Bush Administration, although Presidential Stunt Man has a humorous ring to it.

Reagan's Liberal Legacy is a headline that boggles the mind, but the article did remind me of something I've never quite understood. Just why are conservatives so determined to canonize Reagan?

His Administration was fraught with controversy and criminality, there were constant reports of his disinterest in the minutia of policy, and he nearly spent the USofA into bankruptcy following the (now habitual) Republican path of starving the government of revenue while giving what little money it does collect to the Department of Defense.

Multiple members of his Administration were charged with various kinds of criminal behavior, the economy sucked as a result of ill-considered tax cuts, we were involved in a unwinnable "war" based on a lot of lies told to the public and . . . wait . . . this is starting to sound familiar, isn't it?

Hee. Hee.


Seriously. What is it that the man did, exactly, that conservatives find so laudable? Other than the economic collapse of the Soviet Union (which his spending policies no doubt hastened, but hardly caused and let me point out that we're still dealing with the fallout of excess military spending in our own society) what did his Administration accomplish that was so worthy?

(Okay, sure, it provided the funding and, through the CIA, guided the creation of the Taliban, but I'm thinking the number of USofA citizens prepared to publicly celebrate that at this moment is probably vanishingly small.)

Okay, for anyone interested in healthcare, here's a three-part series that's non-technical enough for the layperson and full of really interesting information about where the treatment of disease is going in the near future.

Defeating Major Diseases--Part 1

Defeating Major Diseases--Part 2

Defeating Major Diseases--Part 3

Posted by AnneZook at 01:41 PM | Comments (3)
Blogging Around

Everything Ampersand says today is interesting, especially the part about how we shouldn't get sidetracked fighting non-racist issues under the guise of fighting racism.

Avedon Carol is always good and today's entry on the dangers of the Administration's approach to "fighting terrorism" is a good one. The ideas aren't new but we need to keep repeating them until people listen.

Avedon Carol also links to Pandagon and a good discussion about getting out the vote.

Over at Calpundit, Kevin discusses the Saudis and the disappearance of their much-promised aid to a post-Hussein Iraq.

Every time I check Chris Nelson's blog and see that lead entry, I get hives.

Over at Hellblazer, John doesn't believe those numbers about the Roshomon Ambush. Juan Cole has more. So does Andrew Olmsted.

And then, Tom Burka is giving the Pentagon a hand by writing the made-for-tv-movie press release for them.

John also pointed me to Obsidian Wings who has a very interesting entry on how the Dems can win in '04.

Jane Galt's entry on "Political cybercrime" is interesting and probably largely accurate. Except for the place where she assumes that hacking access via an easy-to-guess password (her assumption) is somehow different from actually hacking someone's computer.

It isn't a blog but if you're feeling strong, go take a look at the OpinionJournal's attempt to manufacture outrage over those stolen Democratic memos. That poor innocent Republican staffer ought not to be fired, he didn't do nothing wrong, and why doesn't anyone care about the real story of those perfidious Democrats doing strategic, political thinking? (Also, they say Jane Galt is wrong, there wasn't any password at all, the memos were on an open server.)

I'm not going to get into the Democratic comparison of some Bush nominees with nazis. I refuse to be dragged into that debate at this point. I'm just going to point out that the illustrious OpinionJournal (not) might find some cause for blushes and apologies in the wording of some Republican memos.

And, in the meantime, over at Right Wing News, someone thinks it's Big News that McClain apologized to the Navy for that "drunken sailors" remark in reference to the upcoming Federal budget.

It's not a blog, but over at Mother Jones there's a good Molly Ivins column. (Don't forget to click the Rhetoric vs. Reality link to see a comparison of Bush's promises versus his actual behavior.

And via Emma we get to two stories worth comparing. One is Mike Allen's published account of Bush's fly-by-night scamper to Iraq. The other is his pool report (i.e., a sort of blog of the trip itself). Emma thinks giving the (few) reporters on the trip the "first-class" treatment probably affected their coverage of the event. Knowing, as we do, that reporters can be easily bribed by preferential treatment, I don't doubt it.

Over at the Online Journal's blog, Bev doesn't think Bush served turkey dinner at all. She thinks it was an early-morning stunt with soldiers dragged from their beds to serve as photo-props.

Read Unganisha.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:39 AM | Comments (2)

Who do you suppose soldiers reportedly captured or killed in Iraq?

How many people do you think USofA soldiers killed? And were they guerrillas* or civilians?

Is this legitimate?

(* This blog will no longer conform to the Administration's preference for referring to Iraqi guerrilla fighters as "insurgents.")

And this may be the dumbest thing you read today. Apparently the USofA is fighting with British Airways about whether or not a BA pilot...no, forget it. There's so little to the story that it isn't worth repeating.

Who's our only ally at the moment? No...not in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's that other war...the one being waged against the environment. Well, it's Russia, who has joined us in refusing to ratify the Kyoto protocol.

Okay, so some of us hope soldiers and veterans take Bush's PR stunts with a grain of salt and notice that no matter what he says, he keeps trying to slash their benefits.

Of course, bankers and securities brokers don't have to worry. They don't get the PR stunts, but they're getting Bush's support in other ways.

Krugman is critical of Diebold, but most sensible people are.

There's probably more I should be mentioning, but I'm too busy reading this and wondering if we really could end terrorism if we went about it right.

Anyhow, I feel like I'm still playing catch-up, so I'm going to go read blogs for a while.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:20 AM | Comments (1)
December 01, 2003
Playing catch-up

There's no conceivable way I can get caught up on what I missed in six days on every one of the approximately 30 news sites I check a day, so I'm not even going to try.

At moments like this, I give thanks for the blogosphere. I can check the past week's entries on my favorite blogs and see what others have been finding important while I was completely out of touch.

(Completely. Out of touch. The town I was in didn't even have a daily newspaper of its own, much less was I able to lay my hands on the NYTimes. We're talking here about people who think of watching The Weather Channel for the five-day forecast as "checking the news.")

Anyhow. A quick whirl through blogs and headlines shows me that y'all haven't done much of a job keeping a lid on things while my back was turned. Dead bodies everywhere I look.

Mostly, of course, in Iraq, in spite of Bush's condescension in actually stopping by to dish up some turkey to a handful of soldiers who, I don't doubt, would rather have been offered a ride home.

I'm wondering if Bush was actually welcome anywhere he went last week?

There are those who are of the opinion that the Bush visit to the U.K. was a re-election stunt.

File that one under the "Duh Is For Dubya category.

When this was planned, 18 months ago, the rose-colored-glasses crowd in the White House fantasized they'd be riding a wave of euphoria from a short and highly successful victory over Hussein as a part of the "war on terror."

Reality, as we've seen, isn't the Bush Administration's strong suit.

And, of course,, that turkey of a turkey day visit was all too-obviously a cheap stunt. Anyone who thinks that serving a slice of turkey to a handful of soldiers conveys the impression that the president whose administration is slashing veteran benefits really, really cares about the people dying for Halliburton's his war, is delusional.

Here's more coverage although, to be fair, I don't fault the secrecy that surrounded the visit. One thing we've learned is that the guerrillas in Iraq are well-equipped with the kind of weapons that could make the landing of an unwelcome jet a tricky proposition.

Clearly the stupid flight suit stunt on the carrier was too much mocked to make good campaign footage, so they substituted this bit of idiocy. Let's hope it backfires on them the same way.

Meanwhile, of course, the bodies of dead soldiers continue to be ferried back to the USofA in secrecy and to be interred with no public acknowledgement from the White House.

Having a list of 6 million names isn't the same as having a list of 6 million Bush supporters, okay? (Let's just say I know someone who knows someone who, for reasons outside her control, was at a function where Bush wound up appearing and speaking. Since this person subsequently found herself on the receiving end of a succession of money-begging calls from the Republican party, I'd imagine her name is on that list of 6 million. I promise you that there are few things less likely than her going door to door to drum up votes for Dubya.)

I'm just saying. Take a good, hard look at this Administration's track record when it comes to quoting reliable numbers and then make sure you have a large grain of salt handy whenever you read reports about the overwhelming grass-roots support Bush has.

And this is just not true. I mean, when you stop and think of the abuse the Clinton Administration took every time it tried to take action against terrorism . . . or against Saddam Hussein . . . reports like this one are almost laughable.

Also? As far as I'm concerned, the Bush Administration had 500% more to do with turning us into this place than al Qaeda or the Taliban or anyone else did. And for the sins against the democratic principles of this country committed in Miami alone they should be voted out of office. By, let us hope, a 2-to-1 margin. At least.

I wish I could say it's nice to be back, but the headlines almost make me wish otherwise.

I'm glad the Colorado redistricting was struck down but I'm also very surprised. I didn't actually think there were any constitutional grounds for opposition. I should pay more attention to the state constitution, I guess.

Told you so. Even aside from the author's indignation at the portrayal of the "Great Communicator" as a babbling fool, you can tell that The Reagans "miniseries" was garbage.

Anyhow. Considering that I've been out of the office for the last week, I think it behooves me at this time to go do some actual work.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)