Friday, April 09, 2004

Fun Facts

According to USATODAY, Police accused Lithuanian prostitutes of discrimination for charging NATO troops $125 and hour and Lithuanian citizens only $35 an hour. Meanwhile, prostitution is "illegal."

Thursday, April 08, 2004

More reasons why Bush and his associates can't be trusted

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Another Hard hitting Interview

    Wlw AM interviewed VP Dick Cheney during the Reds-Cubs game at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park 4/5. It was the Reds opener. Some excerpts from the transript. Action questions to Cheney are in italics:

    Q: "I'd love to see a club go back to Washington. I really would." Cheney: "Me, too. It's a great baseball town." Q: "A ball and a strike to Grudzielanek, and the stretch and the pitch: breaking ball drops in for a called strike, and a 1-2 count to Mark Grudzielanek. He is one for two this afternoon, has scored a run. Busy year for you folks, huh?" Cheney: "Looks that way."

    Q asked: "Are you pleased with the way things look as far as the economy is concerned?" Cheney: "I am. I think all the signs are headed in the right direction." Q: "One-two pitch, swung on and missed. And Lidle picks up his second strike-out."

    More Q: "Well, I got to tell you, I enjoy you when you're on with Tim Russert." Cheney: "Yes." Q: "You might be -- you might be his favorite guest." Cheney: "We've done that a number of times over the years, and Tim does a great job." Q: "He really does." Cheney: "Good moderator." Q: "He sure does. Patterson to the plate. He takes, low and inside, a ball. Corey, a home run and was hit by a pitch. And he's scored two of the five Chicago runs. Lidle works, and Patterson a swing and a miss on a breaking ball -- way out in front. Now it evens, 1-1. So now you're in New Orleans tonight?"

    Later, Q says: "I'll tell you, [MO Sen] Jim Bunning when -- I played against him." Cheney: "Sure." Q: "And you talk about a competitor." Cheney: "He was. I served with him in the House of Representatives before he ran for the Senate." Q: "Pitch inside, and the full count to Patterson." Cheney: "I see a lot of him now because my only real job is as President of the Senate, under the Constitution, so I have lunch up there every Tuesday. And I usually see Jim at those lunches."

Talk about your softball questions...OK enough puns for now.

  • Celebs, including ex-Gov. Gray Davis (D-CA) and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, "join regular people to talk about how they use Yahoo services" in a $100M ad campaignlaunching 4/8. The ads "use a split screen to show two Yahoo users simultaneously." Davis is "paired with a junior high school student who's using Yahoo Mail to persuade classmates to vote for her as treasurer of the eighth grade." He "is using Yahoo's search engine to find an agent" because if an ex-actor can be gov., "he says, maybe a 'former governor can be an actor'"

  • Coors CEO Pete Coors (R) "will enter" the CO Senate race today, according to CO Gov. Bill Owens (R). Owens: "I think Pete Coors would make an oustanding senator" More Owens: "I'll need to talk to ex-Rep. Bob Schaffer and make sure he's going to stay in the race, and I'll make a judgment between these two candidates shortly" Right, like you would chose that loser over a millioniare with instant name recognition...and a great slogan. "Free beer if you vote for me!" Wow, that just might work.

And the Bush Picture of the Day is...(drum roll please)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Just 741 people came to a theater in the famously liberal city of Portland to sign a petition last night for Ralph Nader -- fewer than the 1K signatures Nader needed to make the OR ballot. So Nader's camp said he could collect 15K signatures over a three-month period instead. Good luck. But Ralph, ever the optimist, told the LA Times "Even the best basketball player doesn't get a slam dunk every time." Ralph, you couldn't even hit a layup from six inches away.

Quote of the Day: "I apologize for any embarrassment caused to my supporters by my opponent's disclosure of a small part of my personal past" -- state House candidate Sam Walls (R), who had "an apparent fondness for women's apparel"

Runner up: "Jennifer Lopez is no longer the only one in her family with a million-dollar booty" -- New York Post, on Lopez matriarch Guadalupe winning a $2.4M jackpot playing $1 slots in Atlantic City.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Around the Horn

  • According to the Globe, AZ Sen. John McCain "unleashed an attack on his own party" 4/1. McCain, "criticizing GOP stands" on environmental and minority issues: "I believe my party has gone astray." More McCain: "I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy. But I also feel the Republican Party can be brought back to the principles I articulated before."

    McCain made the comments at a seminar hosted by MA Dem US Rep./Kerry backer Marty Meehan "as he again ruled out" a VP bid. He also "took on" Pres. Bush, saying: "You can't fly in on an aircraft carrier and declare victory and have the deaths continue. You can't do that." And he said: "Many people in this room question, legitimately, whether we should have gone in or not," adding that the debate "will be part of this presidential campaign"

  • The WH announced that Pres. Bush "has accepted an invitation to speak" at LSU's 5/21 commencement. Bush's visit to Baton Rouge, his third LA visit this year, is another sign" that Louisiana's Electoral Votes are in play. Bush is also doing the same thing at the Air Force Academy (in the possible swing state CO). Both are signs that Bush is worried that once "Red" states may turn "Blue" (and right now might be "Purple").

  • Two-Thirds of Bush's campaign ads are negative. Yet another sign that even his own people know he is in trouble.

  • Just who are those "independent contractors" that died in Fallujah anyway? DailyKos got a lot of flack when he called them "mercenaries" and didn't feel so bad about them dying. Blackwater Security Consulting, the company that employed the 4 fallen contractors, is one of several independent contractors working for the U.S. government that have come to the "forefront of the thriving business of going to places that most people--even the U.S. military--would rather not go." The 3/31 violence has depicted this "large, expensive and shadowy presence of private security companies" working in Iraq in an "unwelcome spotlight." Some of the "highly trained civilian commandos" who work in war zones are paid up to $2K/day and "as long as nothing goes wrong, their presence there goes largely unnoticed to the outside world." Most of the companies, many using ex-military personnel, take on responsibilities such as protecting coalition contractors and defending oil fields and important buildings. Blackwater handles security for Bremer.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, the presence of security companies in Iraq is expected to "linger" as the U.S. approaches the 6/30 power transition deadline and intends to put a private security contractor in charge of protecting the Green Zone, the area of Baghdad where coalition officials live and work. TX-based security contractor company Meyer & Meyer pres. Tim Meyer says that "private security is going to be the stopgap. It's really cheaper for the U.S. government to have private security than to keep rotating forces in and out." He adds that they are also more "politically palatable" because they have a lower media profile; if something goes awry, private companies are "a little less scrutinized than if something happens with the military."

    The Globe says, because there is no "official" estimate of how many security specialists are active in Iraq and reconstruction contracts are not made public, the costs of the "growing security burden" in Iraq to American taxpayers is "hard to gauge." However, security costs, as indicated in proposals submitted to the government by contractors, appear to constitute a "larger share" of the $18B that the U.S. government has set aside for rebuilding Iraq. Analysts estimate that companies have roughly 30K to 40K workers in Iraq and they set aside "about" 10% of their costs for security. Bigger question: Why do we have to hire people to go into these areas?

  • According to the US Treasury, 24,987 Americans (including a whopping 996 Ohioians and 111 New Mexicans) benefit from the top tax rate reductions that John Kerry would reverse if elected president. Here's a great gimmick: the Kerry camp should offer to write a letter of apology to those 25K people ask them to give back more (Clinton Levels) to help our country fight terrorism, improve schools, care for the elderly, disabled and destitute. Then they can say, "I would rather be one of the 25K having to pay a bit more to help my society than the millions of Americans without work or health insurance. I challenge any of my fellow top rate payers-- especially president Bush-- to explain why he can't give a bit more to help move our country in the right direction."