Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ten great Bush lies

I was actually asked today what Bush had lied about, versus just being taken out of context or treated otherwise unfairly about. Here's a quick list of ten of them, with sources.

1. "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Included in the 2003 SOTU address. The previous autumn, George Tenet urged Bush to remove this line from any speeches because it was "highly dubious." In Dec 2002, ElBaradei told the White House that the documents were forgeries. Bush chose to keep the line in his address despite knowing that the Niger docs were forged.

2. "I would like this to end as quickly as possible. If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

"President Bush declassified sensitive intelligence in 2003 and authorized its public disclosure to rebut Iraq war critics...." So Bush himself misused the declassification process to out a covert CIA agent for political gain. OK, technically might not have been a crime, but boy, if Clinton did that....

3. "177 of the opposition party said, 'You know, we don't think we ought to be listening to the conversations of terrorists.'"

This flat-out lie is one of the more transparent. The vote was over whether the administration would need to get readily obtainable secret warrants to continue to wiretap. In no way is this not a lie.

4. "Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to strike America, to attack us. I would have used very resource, every asset, every power of this government to protect the American people."

CNN related this quote, in a piece that also talks about how the airplane attacks were thought about six years earlier in the Pentagon.

CBS reporter David Martin revealed that weeks before the attacks, the CIA had warned Bush personally of Osama Bin Laden’s intent to use hijacked planes as missiles.

5. "We do not torture."

Bush claimed this on a visit to Central America.

Human Rights Watch documented that Bush authorized "unlawful interrogation methods.

6. "These are people picked up off the battlefield in Afghanistan. They weren't wearing uniforms . . . but were there to kill."

This is from a boilerplate Bush sound bite about how all the Guantanamo detainees are all evil and stuff.

Even the conservative Andrew Sullivan has documented otherwise, via Stuart Taylor. For example, "a high percentage, perhaps the majority, of the 500-odd men now held at Guantanamo were not captured on any battlefield, let alone on 'the battlefield in Afghanistan.'" And "the majority were not captured by U.S. forces but rather handed over by reward-seeking Pakistanis and Afghan warlords and by villagers of highly doubtful reliability."

7. "A wiretap requires a court order."

Bush also said that "When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so."

So go back to #3 above and explain the anger as Bush accused Democrats of near-treason for wanting to require a court order before wiretaps.

8. "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories."

Wrong. You can argue that Bush was too stupid to actually have lied about it, but he didn't exactly issue any timely retractions.

9. "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

The Washington Post documented this statement, as well as ripping it apart. "In the 48 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit, the White House received detailed warnings about the storm's likely impact, including eerily prescient predictions of breached levees, massive flooding, and major losses of life and property, documents show."

10. "I remember campaigning in Chicago and one of the reporters said, 'Would you ever deficit spend?' I said, 'Only – only – in times of war, in times of economy insecurity as a result of a recession or in times of national emergency.'"

Bush used this line quite a bit in the earlier days of his presidency. Too bad it was completely made up.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Two problems solved

Story 1:

Dr. Pepper hid the winning coin in a promotional stunt within Boston's 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground, causing officials to lock the park amid fears that the historical site would be overrun.

Story 2:

TV news cameras caught dozens of rats gamboling around a KFC/Taco Bell on West Fourth St. in NYC, causing officials to shut down the restaurant until the health violations were fixed.


Dr. Pepper should hide the winning coin inside one of the rats, and the first contestant who finds it gets the prize. Two problems solved!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Who am I voting for?

Well, since the 2008 election is only two years away, I thought it would be time to make a firm decision on a candidate I could support. Sure, we don't know who'll be running yet, but why let that stop us? Unfortunately, there's not a single standout as of yet. There are candidates I'll be more or less happy to support, but we'll have to see how things shake out. Here's my list:

Definitely not: Brownback, Cox, Giuliani, Hunter, Romney, Gilmore, Huckabee, McCain, Paul, Tancredo, Thompson, Gingrich, Hagel, Pataki. Anyone who willingly self-identifies as a Republican after the past six years has inadequate judgment to run a country.

Biden - Pushed the horrible bankruptcy bill. Forget it.

Clinton - I vowed not to vote for her two years ago because of her support for the Iraq War. It was politically expedient for her, and she thought it made her look tough. Now she's trying to squirm out of it without admitting she was wrong. She started a "listening tour" and when people told her they wanted her to admit she was wrong, she stopped listening. I do like how her mere existence enrages the right, however.

Dodd - Yawn.

Gravel - Who?

Vilsack - Yawn. Also, we've had enough DLC for now.

Richardson - Could be decent, but I'm uncomfortable with how he failed to challenge the 2004 results in New Mexico, when there was a lot of evidence of problems there.

Kucinich - Probably the most closely aligned with my beliefs, but looks like Gollum.

Edwards - Good potential. Did the right thing in not firing the bloggers when that racist bag of crap Donohue demanded it. Dems have to learn not to let people who will never vote for them dictate what they should be doing.

Obama - I like the way he isn't playing the Fox News game, and isn't taking the "apologize for everything" bait. I don't like how he's using GOP talking points like "Lincoln Bedroom," although it might be a signal to the Clinton camp to back off because he'll return fire in kind. And boy, the Fox News crowd is terrified of him. What I don't like is the emphasis on "faith," as if claiming a religious belief magically makes you a more moral, better person. It doesn't. Two words: George Bush.

I could also vote for Clark, Gore, Dean, and Feingold. Feingold was my first choice. I think that Dean's 50 state strategy was GREAT, and was the biggest reason we took the House in 2006. Carville was crazy to go after Dean last year, and it demonstrated Snakehead's waning influence.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The greatest Web site in the universe

For my birthday last weekend, my daughter (age 10) put together a tribute site. Start with the volume down, then turn it up slowly to suit.

Interesting question from last weekend

"Who is that guy Peter who always leaves comments on your blog? Do you know him, or is he just one of those anonymous Internet kooks?"

The answer is not as simple as it may, at first, seem. There are many Peter Taylors in the world. One has an award named after him. Another Peter Taylor won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1987.

Now that I look at their bios, these two seem to be the same Peter Taylor. The real Peter Taylor is manager at Crystal Palace right now. He also works in Australia, taking sea slugs out of dogs. And of course, he wrote about three entries for his blog before forgetting the password.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Escape to Jamaica

It's been snowing/sleeting/icing/freezing raining all day, so I thought it would be wise to leave work a bit early. I took off at 3 PM and caught the 3:21 train.

As we approached Jamaica, I noticed that there were several trains just sitting on one side of the station. We pulled into Track 7, and the announcement came on: "Due to the weather, this train is being taken out of service." Done. Everyone off.

After we got off, they announced that there was no eastbound service past Seaford because of downed power lines, but that they were sending a diesel to get us. OK, no problem. It's 3:45 now, and the replacement will surely be by soon.

Then they announced that not only is the Babylon line down, the Ronkonkoma line is down too because of a jacknifed tractor trailer on Wellwood Ave. No trains past Hicksville.

There are plenty of Far Rockaway and Oyster Bay trains, thank god. Nothing for us. After standing on the platform for a while, we started heading up to the walkway over the tracks. I found a single set of benches with the same kind of heat lamps they use to warm up stale curly fries at the Roy Rogers on the NJ Turnpike. The snow and ice was coming down, the wind was howling, and the temperature was dropping. Fortunately, all the announcments about our plight also stopped.

Aha, I figured, the 4:04 would be by soon. Nope. Cancelled. As was the 4:21. We just kept waiting and waiting. I went over to the information booth and asked where the Patchogue train would be. The clerk said Track 6. We went over to Track 6. No train. Then a Port Jeff train. No Patchogue train.

Finally at 5:20, something told us to run over to Track 8, where the Patchogue train was pulling in. This would end up combining four other trains in an orgy of shared anger. I couldn't feel my extremeties by that point, and I actually lost three toes. Fortunately, they weren't my toes. But my doctor says they will be if I eat one more amaretto cheesecake.

A disheveled gent sat next to me, and started ranting about the day. "This railroad has no (bleep) idea how to run a (bleep) (bleeeeep). One inch of snow. This is (bleep) ridiculous. They should not be allowed to run a railroad. This is absolutely incompetent."

I meekly agreed with his rant. He turned to me and said "I hope you don't blame me for this. I work for the railroad."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Endtimes are coming...eventually

If you firmly believe, as I do, that the Endtimes are coming, why not check out Endtime magazine? Of course, the Endtimes aren't that close--which is why they offer a 2, 4, or 6 year subscription. And don't forget to ask for the refund if you can't use the last three years of the subscription for some unforeseen reason.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Down weather's memory lane

They actually keep track. The Weather Channel lists all the music that they play behind the Local Forecast every month. And you can browse their archives back to 1998! Just in case you heard a catchy ditty during a local forecast six years ago just couldn't remember its name.

Strange hands

Seen on the T in Boston last Friday. It looks like the guy had options for getting into college, and also for slaughtering the admissions office.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Michelle Malkin, champion of concentration camps

There was this "big" "controversy" last week when Jon Edwards hired Amanda Turcotte to run his blogging efforts. Some rightards accused Turcotte of deleting some of her older messages. (It was a server problem.) Then Michelle Malkin, who writes about how concentration camps are a good thing, decided to make a "funny" video on YouTube. She read some of Turcotte's old posts with her schoolyard mocking face, designed to show that they were crazy. Some people posted comments.

I posted a comment. I got a note that there was a reply. I went to YouTube this afternoon, and there were 9 pages of comments. I found the reply to mine (the reply was basically a claim that all Democrats were sexual deviants). I replied to it, listing a few dozen deviant Republicans.

Then I got a second YouTube note that I had a reply to a comment I made. I went up to the site and...suddenly there were 3 pages of comments. Down to 28 total. Replies were now floating in space without context. One of my replies was gone.

Proving what? That either a) people whining about Marcotte are actually revising comment on a public site, or b) servers really do lose posts from time to time.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Chow mein warning

I had a package of Nissin Chow Mein for lunch. Thai Peanut flavor, thanks for asking.

This isn't real chow mein. It's nothing but a tray of ramen noodles with three packets. One has peanut-crumb-flavored floor sweepings. One has "flavoring." One has a VO-5 hot oil treatment.

The directions on the shrink wrap are different from the directions on the peel-back lid.

The package says "plenty of vegetables" and shows a steaming noodle heap with sliced green onions and cilantro. None of those made an appearance in today's lunch. No sliced green onions. No cilantro. No plenty of vegetables.

I dutifully ate my "chow" "mein", then disposed the tray of properly. And now my office stinks of peanut-crumb-flavored floor sweepings. It's that typical indeterminate aroma that food manufacturers often call "Oriental flavoring," and it's wafting all over my 8x8 space. NISSIN CHOW MEIN REEKS.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Jilly's page

I don't know, I just keep thinking that Cordelia could've put in just a bit of effort to make it a bit, well, flashier.