Friday, June 02, 2006

  • So the newly chosen Karl Rove (Zinsmeister) is caught doctoring up his own quotes in prior-written articles and interviews. It's just classic. He's already showing signs of fitting in with this bunch. Once again, the BushCo vetting process comes up way short -- or is the willing "talent" pool that shallow? (Who would want to work for these lame-duck proven idiots?)

  • Gregg Easterbrook claims Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is boring and of all things too detailed (heaven forbid). Hey Gregg, it's a documentary, not another Die Hard installment. But at least he concedes that he was wrong regarding global warming ("As someone who has come to the view that greenhouse-effect science is now persuasive...."). Gregg should spend less time as Roger Ebert and more time retracting or clarifying many of his previously written babble on the subject.

  • With the recent deaths and serious injuries of CBS reporters in Iraq, in Maureen Dowd's most recent column, she writes about the obvious dangers faced by those trying to report the "good" news in Iraq, and the reprehensible criticism coming from the right:
    The administration and some right-wing commentators have blamed the press for not reporting positive news in Iraq. The radio host Laura Ingraham has suggested that the press is "invested in America's defeat" and has mocked TV journalists for "reporting from hotel balconies about the latest I.E.D.'s going off."

    Conservative chatterers have parroted President Bush's complaint that "people resuming their normal lives will never be as dramatic as the footage of an I.E.D. explosion."

    But now two network personalities — Ms. Dozier and Bob Woodruff — have been severely injured by roadside bombs while embedded with the military, trying to do the sort of stories the administration wants.

    "One thing I don't want to hear anymore," Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, told The Times's Bill Carter, "is people like Laura Ingraham spewing about us not leaving our balconies in the Green Zone to cover what's really happening in Iraq."

    Even with constricted coverage, the tally of journalists killed in Iraq is now 71, more than the number killed in Vietnam or World War II.
    There is a tragic anonymity about this war. Kids die but we don't know who they are, other than their names, which turn up in small print. They do not touch everyone's lives because, without a draft, they are not drawn from every part of American society. The administration tries to play down any sense of individual loss; the president has not attended a single funeral, and the government banned pictures of their returning coffins.
  • Kevin Drum writes that BushCo and the entire Republican leadership just don't care (and therefore it's no wonder we see one policy distaster after another):
    I could go on, but I'll spare you. The obvious conclusion is that they didn't think Iraq was the central front on the war on terror back in 2002. They don't think nuclear terrorism is really that big a deal. They aren't worried about long term finances. And they don't really care very much about democracy promotion. They just say these things because they're convenient.

    It's this simple: these guys say a lot of stuff they don't believe. Their words are largely meaningless.
    Exactly. But given this fairly obvious observation, I often wonder: why bother blogging on such meaningless tripe? To comment on their peddled, half-wit garbage only dignifies the garbage.

  • NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg (technically a Republican but has always leaned towards Democratic views) had some choice (and correct) words to say about this sudden immigration calamity and the proposed congressional bills to resolve it:
    [Bloomberg] declared a House proposal to deport 11 million illegal immigrants "pure fantasy" and called parts of a Senate plan "no less ridiculous."

    "You have to wonder what world Congress is living in," the New York City mayor said in an interview on CNN. "Talk to any mayor who has to enforce the law and you'll find that none of these things are remotely possible."

    ...."I'm a mayor, I have to deal with the real world," Mr. Bloomberg said. "I'm a businessman, I have to deal with the real world. I don't have the luxury of talking about the ideological wordsmithing of how you call it. The truth of the matter is we have people, they are here because we have wink-winked and let them come in. They are part of our economy. We need them. We need more."

    ....Mr. Bloomberg said that the American economy would be "devastated" by the deportation of large numbers of illegal immigrants...."Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders or overstaying their visas, our economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported. The same holds true for the nation."

    Mr. Bloomberg said that the current situation was the result of two decades in which the federal government was "pressured to look the other way while workers were exploited."

    "As a business owner, I know the absurdity of our existing immigration regulations all too well," he wrote. He said that the "crucial step" in reducing illegal immigration was holding businesses accountable for hiring legal workers only."
    The GOP could do far worse than have this guy run for prez in '08.

  • USA Today had a story about drug studies and guess what? Studies funded by pharma companies had positive results 80% of the time, vs. 50% for studies not funded by the industry itself. What a shocker! You mean the studies appear to be rigged, with the pharma companies basically stacking the deck in their favor when it comes to getting the results they desire regarding hopeful drugs? No, couldn't be....

  • By the way, for the 4-week period ending May 19th, U.S. oil demand grew by approx. 3.3% from the prior year period. Glad to see those high prices at the pump are curbing our addiction! The fact is prices have not hit a high enough level to significantly alter demand / consumption. In fact, inflation-adjusted oil prices have remained ridiculously low for 20+ years.
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