A few Links for Friday Night

I start with Patriotboy, who has a copy of a letter he recently sent concerning stem-cell research. As usual, Patriotboy is informative, if a wee bit too religious for my taste.

My second recommendation is the Ohio Republican Rogues Gallery, brought to you by www.clevescene.com. Who says there aren’t smart folks in Ohio?

I would like to also tout good reader and a new guy to Blogistan, InsultComicDog, whose latest addition points us to how one picks up girls at the Republican National Convention. Richard, read at your peril!

Saturday, August 28th, 2004 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

From the “What Goes Around, Comes Around” File

Prosecutor who attacked Kerry admits lying to boss

Clackamas County prosecutor Alfred French, who called Sen. John Kerry a liar in a political commercial, acknowledged Thursday that he lied to his boss when confronted about an extramarital affair with a colleague.

Hours later, the Clackamas County district attorney’s office said French had been placed on a 30-day paid leave while it conducts an investigation into his conduct.

French’s former boss, James O’Leary, said he asked French about the rumored affair with a secretary about 10 years ago, but French denied it. O’Leary said he would have fired French if he’d admitted the relationship because it violated office policy.

French, who said he served in the same military unit with Kerry for two months in 1969, has come under intense scrutiny in the past week as the anti-Kerry ad has become a central issue in the presidential campaign. Suddenly, the well-respected Oregon prosecutor found himself the target of questions about his own credibility and the truthfulness of his statements against Kerry.

French’s affidavit supporting the ad accused Kerry of exaggerating his war record, yet French conceded that he was relying on the account of war buddies, not what he witnessed. Since then, he’s faced pickets outside his office and complaints of unethical conduct to the state bar.

This is the last time I’m going to blog about the not-so-swift boat bullshitters, unless one of them happens to get hit by an MTA bus outside of Madison Square Garden. Every single one of these dipshits involved with the liars flotilla has now been exposed for what they are.

I feel very sure that Al French is feeling very stupid for being duped into the smear campaign. Regret is a funny thing. When you have skeletons of your own to hide, you don’t try to go rattling someone else’s bones. And every one of the liars had their own skeletons.

But in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter. Whatever damage that’s been done has been done, and the meme has been established.

Maybe what this whole episode has done is simply reset the clock, and Bush gets a “do-over” after his incredibly sloppy spring and summer. We’re back to even.

The good new is, TeamBush has shown the propensity over the last six months to screw up even a wet dream. They got lucky once, but I see no reason for the overall trend not to continue.

Saturday, August 28th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Start Spreading the News…

(Apologies to Sinatra…)

I’ll be reporting on my day in New York sometime Sunday evening, providing I’m not in jail or at the bottom of the Hudson River. If I can hook up with any other Captains of Left Blogistan while in the city, I’ll try to post “live” by filching computer time from someone, but I’m not dragging my laptop along. I’m traveling light.

If anyone other ASZers intend to be in the city on Sunday, let’s coordinate a meeting place in the comments below.

Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

The Art of Deflection

PO’d Patricia preaches it:

…Also kids, if you go to war and save a fellow soldier’s life don’t think that action will garner you respect, because thirty some years after you perform your heroic deed there may be some who will deny what you did and go so far as to call you a liar. It won’t matter that your records prove you were a good soldier and did indeed save a life. See, the public is eager to question something that happened years ago because it’s easier than questioning what is happening today.

Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Is Your Boss Better Off Than 4 Years Ago?

Poverty rate hits 10-year high

Unemployment Filings Exceed Forecasts

Brown-Forman profit soars 66 percent

WKRN News 2 – Aug 27 4:26 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Brown-Forman Corporation reports profit for its latest quarter surged 67 percent, helped by strong results from its drinks. The company makes Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort whiskey.

A Bush / Cheney campaign spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, snarkily observed: “Well, I guess we now know why those people are poor and unemployed, huh?”

Senator John Iselin could not be reached for comment.

Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Cheney On the Hot Seat

I’m not late to the party with this Dick and Mary Cheney post — I just wanted to think about it for a day or so, because there’s more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye. But it sure looks like ol’ Dick Cheney has really created a shitstorm in the fundie wing of the Republican Party, eh?

“Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it’s an issue our family is very familiar with,” Cheney told an audience that included his daughter. “With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is freedom means freedom for everyone. … People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.

“The question that comes up with the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government? Historically, that’s been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that fundamental decision of what constitutes a marriage,” he said.

This is not only a public movement to the left of his boss’s position, it’s as far removed from the rabid base of the GOP (and truthfully, a chunk of the Democratic Party, too) as can be done without totally eliminating his chances of sharing the ticket with George Bush next week. But like I said, I think there’s something deeper, nay, more nefarious involved. It’s a signal to the rest of the party that maybe there’s a bit of a power struggle going on in the administration.

For Cheney to outwardly challenge the administration’s official position on gay marriage is nothing short of flabbergasting. George Bush has his supporters in congress; I’m willing to bet that Cheney has just as many (or possibly even more). What Cheney has said is: “I’m the gatekeeper of the gay marriage amendment issue. As long as I’m Vice President, the issue is going nowhere in congress. So, let’s move along to something more important.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m the last person in the world who’d toss rose petals in Dick Cheney’s direction. But at least on this issue, perhaps reason has prevailed – or Lynne and Mary got to him. Wives / mothers / daughters can do that. And that’s the only reason his public position is now clear (albeit, that might have been his private position all along).

How’s this playing with the fundie wing? You know the answer to that question. Predictably. In Cincinnati, for example:

Kenton County Commissioner Adam Koenig said a federal amendment was needed to prevent judges from declaring state laws banning gay marriage unconstitutional.

“In a perfect world it could be a state issue, if you don’t have activist judges making laws from the bench. That’s why the president is doing it, and that’s the best way of going about it,” he said.

There’s those damn activist judges again. Yeah, the ‘constitutionalists’. Damn them. Damn the forefathers who had the divine inspiration to create a document that would protect the rights and liberties of everyone (even if we’ve had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward the concept, through emancipation, suffrage, and voters rights).

And in GOP platform caucuses around the country

NEW YORK — A Republican convention means a Republican platform — and a Republican platform means arguments about abortion, same-sex marriage and other social issues.

Sure enough, supporters of abortion rights and gay rights protested yesterday after a platform committee made up largely of conservative delegates approved language that calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and opposes legal recognition of any sort for gay civil unions.

The panel also supported the call for a constitutional ban on abortion. Another group of delegates endorsed President Bush’s restrictions on stem-cell research.

“It’s certainly not going to help bring moderates into the party,” said Jennifer Blei Stockman, national co-chairwoman of Republican Majority for Choice.

Republicans said their party is committed to protecting marriage and the unborn, but they added that all views are welcome.

Listen, I can’t even come up with a good snarky response to that last sentence.

At the risk of getting severely redundant with previous posts of Doc and myself, the issue of gay marriage isn’t about two people of the same sex hooking up in a committed relationship. It’s clearly an issue of exclusion: do we modify a core document in the governance of the United States to exclude people we don’t like or people who simply aren’t like us? Perhaps that’s the long and short of Dick Cheney’s view. But again, I’m sure familial pressure has something to do with his empathetic statement.

In any case, Cheney certainly rattled some cages in the fascist wing of the GOP, because I think they thought he was truly one of their own on this issue, and would forsake his daughter for the good of the party. I’m really glad to see the wingers take a good thump on the nose from Cheney. It doesn’t make me feel any better about Dick Cheney, the man / CEO / bizzaro-Robin Hood, but it does make me pleased to see that he’s human.

So, what’s the catch? What darkness is at work here? There’s been a lot of speculation over the past month or two that, because Cheney is such a drag on George Bush in the polls, there was a backhouse movement within the GOP to move him off of the ticket at the convention. Cheney’s pronouncement the other day could work two ways – ensures keeping him on the ticket to mollify the more progressive elements of the GOP (perhaps the word “progressive” is an oxymoron when used in this context), or ensures he has an escape pod ready to launch from the Bush mothership if he’s so inclined (rather than be shoved out of the airlock). The timing of his pronouncement in Pennsylvania, less than a week before the RNC Convention opens, is more than just a curiosity.

Let me finish by putting in a plug for a wonderful little movie that anyone who is conflicted by the gay / lesbian marriage issue needs to see. Latter Days is an art film that played to great reviews in limited release around the country, and it’s getting ready to come out (no pun intended) on DVD. I promise you, if you’re hetero like me, Latter Days will initially make you uncomfortable, but by the end of the movie, you’ll be going, “yeah, that’s what this whole issue is all about”. When you’re finished with it, lend it to the homophobe or Republican friend of your choice.

Hell, order an additional copy for Dick and Lynne Cheney as a “thank you” for bringing a little uncommon humanity to this volatile topic.

Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Wise Women

Once upon a future time Arundhati Roy will sit around the fire ring of the council of wise women midwifing a new way for humankind, nurturing the many “somethings better” that await us. I know this as I know the sound of my childrens’ voices, as I know the hum of blood moving in my head, as I know what the wind feels as it blows through my hair and on my skin. Read her words, not ten days old, spoken in San Francisco on August 16th, and rebroadcast by “Democracy Now” radio: TIDE? OR IVORY SNOW? Public Power in the Age of Empire.

Excerpt: “In the United States, on the other hand, the blurring of the distinction between sarkar [government] and public has penetrated far deeper into society. This could be a sign of a robust democracy, but unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated and less pretty than that. Among other things, it has to do with the elaborate web of paranoia generated by the U.S. sarkar and spun out by the corporate media and Hollywood. Ordinary Americans have been manipulated into imagining they are a people under siege whose sole refuge and protector is their government. If it isn’t the Communists, it’s al-Qaeda. If it isn’t Cuba. it’s Nicaragua. As a result, this, the most powerful nation in the world – with its unmatchable arsenal of weapons, its history of having waged and sponsored endless wars, and the only nation in history to have actually used nuclear bombs – is peopled by a terrified citizenry, jumping at shadows. A people bonded to the state not by social services, or public health care, or employment guarantees, but by fear.”

I read her book The God of Small Things shortly after it was published (1997), just before it received the UK’s Booker McConnell prize. To call Roy a writer of note is high praise, but it doesn’t begin to encompass the life works of this amazing being, born in 1961. You can find more bio here.

Controversy follows her around like a hungry puppy in her native India. She is an outspoken activist and critic of how all governments work (most of them poorly), and has been regularly skewering the US rulers since the invasion of Afghanistan. Her message of August 16th is not a positive one. So don’t read it for happy talk. Happiness is the pervue of the Maiden. The Mother and Crone often are the keepers of the bad news.

“The mandarins of the corporate world, the CEOs, the bankers, the politicians, the judges and generals look down on us from on high and shake their heads sternly. “There’s no Alternative,” they say. And let slip the dogs of war … Terrorism is vicious, ugly, and dehumanizing for its perpetrators, as well as its victims. But so is war. You could say that terrorism is the privatization of war. Terrorists are the free marketers of war. They are people who don’t believe that the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence … Human society is journeying to a terrible place … Of course, there is an alternative to terrorism. It’s called justice.”

Articulate, smart, creative and wise. Strong. The Cassandra in me (who sits between me and Hulkette) has seen a viable and creative future, and it has many women like Arundhati giving it life.

Friday, August 27th, 2004 by Kate Storm |
Category: Uncategorized

George Bush is a Coward

And he isn’t the only coward in this whole icky mess.

Thursday, August 26th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Boost in “Jobs” During GOP Convention?

Blowjobs? Will the Republican Convention be a boon for jobs in New York, at least in the sex industry? It appears there are a couple schools of thought on the issue.

The New York Daily News reports that sex workers are expecting a boon from these conservative guys hitting the big city.

Charging from $300 to upwards of $1,000 for an hour of companionship and a whole lot more, escorts said they can always count on conventioneers for big business.

“It doesn’t matter what party you come from,” said Robyn Few, a $500-an-hour California call girl who now runs Sex Workers Outreach Project, an advocacy group. “When you want to buy sex, you will.”

Newsday, on the other hand, is predicting a slower time for the sex workers in Manhattan, though not because Republican men don’t want some illicit nookie.

Juhu Thukral of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in Manhattan, agreed.

“I’m not saying high-priced call girls, who are more discreet, may not want to risk getting arrested, but the risks are going to be quite elevated,” Thukral said. “I’ve actually heard from people working in hotels that they are afraid of getting arrested, while those who are most marginalized, who are on the streets, expect to be arrested more.”

A woman who gave her name only as Julie, of Prostitutes of New York, a Manhattan group that fights for better conditions for sex workers, said, “The few studies that have been done on clients of sex workers show that most tend to be middle-aged, white, relatively conservative men and anecdotally, from what I’ve heard, frequently Republicans, I’m sure.”

But sex and the convention?

“It’s a myth,” Thukral said. “If anything, I think most sex workers are going to be laying low if not leaving town altogether.”

Perhaps it would be better if the GOP big Daddies just go down for a class at Miss Vera’s Finishing School For Boys Who Want to be Girls. It is my understanding she will be giving special classes in Chelsea during the RNC.

Thursday, August 26th, 2004 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

George Bush is a One Termer

Distraught Dad Torches Marine Van

(AP) A distraught father who had just been told his Marine son was killed in combat in Iraq set fire to a Marine Corps van and suffered severe burns Wednesday, police said.

Three Marines went to a house in Hollywood to tell the father and stepmother of Pfc. Alexander Arredondo that their 20-year-old son had died Tuesday in Najaf, family members said.

The father, Carlos Arredondo, 44, then walked into the garage, picked up a can of gasoline, a propane tank and a lighting device, police Capt. Tony Rode said. He smashed the van’s window, doused the van with gasoline and set it ablaze, despite attempts by the Marines to stop him, Rode said.

…”We have not seen this type of reaction. Every reaction is negative, it’s the loss of a loved one,” U.S. Marines spokesman Major Scott Mack said.

Thursday, August 26th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized
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