Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Another Illustration of Partisan Values
In My Left Wing, Malacandra has posted screen grabs from today of the home pages of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Half of the Democrats' home page is devoted to encouraging people to donate to hurricane relief.
The Republicans' home page features merely a link to "American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund", with no explicit reference to helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Y'know, it reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan. The people who were most self-satisfied about their righteousness walked right on by a man desperately in need of help; the person who rescued him was the equivalent, in the eyes of the "moral majority" of Jesus' time, of a Volvo-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, latte-drinking, sin-tolerating Godless Librul.
We are in the middle of a great culture war in this country in which liberals are continually accused of being immoral and indecent by people who profess to hold strong religious beliefs. These morals, however, are almost exclusively confined to personal sexual matters and seem only to apply to the conduct of individuals in their private lives. They seem to have nothing to say about our government conducting itself without regard to morality whenever it is convenient.... After the last election I read many pieces in which religious people advised that Democrats had to begin speaking in religious terms and appeal to voters on a moral basis. It was immediately assumed that this should be done in exactly the same way that the Republicans do, using their definition of morality. But I would suggest that we should make our own case for moral values --- as a government and a nation. It is there that we will find common ground among truly religious people and non-religious people of all stripes. And it is there that politics and morality are appropriately and necessarily linked in a free and democratic society. ...If Democratic politicians want to run on restoring moral values in government they can count me in. I'm a proud member of that moral values crowd and I'll happily hold hands with any religious person who wants to join me.
Day 1758: America held hostage
Grover Got His Wish, Sort Of
"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." - Grover Norquist, May 2001
Grover got his wish a bit sooner than he expected, but not quite the way he described. It's not the government that drowned because of Grover Norquist and his revenue-slashing cronies. A major port city is drowning and an as-yet-unknown number of people are dead because the Busheviks wouldn't provide the funding to strengthen New Orleans' defenses against a natural disaster that experts had repeatedly warned was inevitable. Daily Kos has the details.
What's happening in New Orleans is a tragedy – and it's a crime.
Hold them accountable.
A Message from Howard Dean
I received an email message from the DNC this morning:
This week millions of Americans fled Hurricane Katrina. Across the South families abandoned their homes and businesses, not knowing what would be there when they returned. Many stayed behind and suffered devastating loss and injuries -- nearly a hundred have died that we know of, and hundreds of thousands need our help. America is at its best when we realize that we are one community -- that we're all in this together. That means that each one of us has the responsibility to do what we can to help the relief effort. The Red Cross is a great place to start: http://www.redcross.org They are already moving people and resources into the region to help. Donations will provide clean water, food, and shelter for disaster victims. The Red Cross web site also has important information for victims and their relatives across the country. Many local Red Cross chapters are organizing volunteers to travel to affected areas -- doctors and nurses to provide medical care, workers to build shelters, first responders to assist in rescue operations. You can find your local chapter here to learn what you can do: http://www.redcross.org/where/chapts.asp We are still learning the full story of the devastation, but there is no time to wait. Please do something now. Thank you. Governor Howard Dean, M.D.My informants who are on the RNC mailing list tell me they're still waiting for a comparable message from Ken Mehlman.
The Cluephone Is Ringing...
...how many Democratic politicians will answer it?
This Didn't Have To Happen
Steve Gilliard is right: This is worse than 9/11. New York City was able to function, and function well, after 9/11. But New Orleans, Biloxi, and several other Gulf Coast cities no longer exist in any real sense of the word. The only reason reported death tolls aren't yet in the thousands is simply because the medics and rescue personnel are too busy trying to save the living to count all the bodies that have been floating past them in the floodwaters. With most of the National Guard in Iraq, there's a severe lack of people trained to deal with catastrophes like this. Efforts to sandbag the breached levees in New Orleans were fatally hampered by the lack of manpower -- and by Bush's inexplicable, maddening refusal to send in proper help. Oh, and could someone please tell Michelle Malkin that this is definitely one case where a government that wasn't starved to the point of helplessness could actually do a lot more good on the ground than any of her favorite hate-objects?
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
As Howard Dean says, "We're all in this together."
Give what you can to help the relief efforts in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina.
Episcopal Relief and Development
It's not just people who are left homeless by the hurricane. Noah's Wish and the Emergency Animal Rescue Service rescue pets stranded in disaster areas. They'll need your financial help, too.
<update> This post in Daily Kos has a more extensive list of relief organizations, with links for making donations online.
What, you didn't think the 2006 election season had started yet? Silly people. Here's the scoop: Minnesota Public Radio announced this morning that former state education czar (and creationist/IDer) Cheri Pierson Yecke, who had been laughed out of her czardom when the DFL Senate let Governor "Thirty-Two-Percent" Tim Pawlenty know that there were limits to what they could stomach, was moving on to become the new education czar in Florida under Jeb Bush. (Sorry, that's actually Katherine Harris' role. But I digress.) Anyway, the most important part of the story was right at the very end of the broadcast (the website text version actually goes into more detail):
She has been running for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District, but will now abandon those plans. "It came down to being one of five people who might get the nomination or taking the for sure thing as being the only person that Jeb Bush wanted to see in this position and I'm not a gambling person so I went with the sure bet," she said. Yecke said her new position begins in October.Translation: She wasn't the person the local Republicans want as their candidate to replace Mark Kennedy as he goes off to get slaughtered by either Patty Wetterling or Amy Klobuchar in the fight for Mark Dayton's Senate seat. My only question is if Jeb Bush had been planning to offer her the education-czar gig all along, or if this was the state GOP's bigwigs going to great lengths to buy her off.
"Bushes let other Americans do the dying for them."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported on the difficulties military recruiters are having meeting their quotas. The report began with a vignette that clearly illustrated the reason:
It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt. "I want you to know we support you," she gushed. [The recruiter] soon reached the limits of her support. "Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.This BuzzFlash editorial makes the point that the extended family of George Walker Bush shares that attitude. While military recruiters are using any means necessary to provide cannon fodder for Bush's War, no member of the Bush family since George Herbert Walker Bush has volunteered for active duty. (You should all know by now that when Dubya was draft age, his daddy got him into the National Guard to keep him out of Vietnam, and even a champagne unit was too much responsibility for him.) BuzzFlash has a petition demanding that Bush's own family support Bush's "noble cause" by committing themselves to warfare instead of leaving it to the lower classes. You know what to do.
Monday, August 29, 2005
The Conservatives' Eliminationist War On The Brain
Earlier today, Atrios wondered why so many right-wingers are so eager to defend ridiculously indefensible pseudoscientific works such as The Bell Curve:
Finally, I'm often curious about what Bell Curve supporters, many of whom are clearly mostly unaware of what's actually in the book, think the book has "proven." Why do they get so upset when people point out it's full of crap? Which empirical results, logical conclusions, or policy recommendations found within do they support? It's weird, because they rarely discuss it in those terms. They seem to mostly believe the book supports some particular view they have, whether or not it actually does.Steve Gilliard goes for the most obvious answer: It's because they're racists. But while that is indeed part of it, it's not all of it. They have the same weird-ass reactions with regard to that other great pseudoscientific scam, Creationism/"Intelligent Design". Seriously: Look at the language used to defend both of these scams. People who attack them are called intolerant and chided for not being fair and having an open mind. I keep thinking back as well to how the conservatives hate a truly fair and independent media, and how vicious attacks similar to those used against science and scientists were used to bludgeon the US media into submission:
The Gannon scalping is different from the Jordan and Rather controversies in two very important ways. First, whereas the conservative bloggers were out to destroy journalists with distinguished careers who'd made serious missteps, the liberal bloggers on Gannon's trail were seeking to expose an out-and-out fraud. Second, while some of the conservative bloggers going after Jordan and Rather were mistaken for regular citizens by the mainstream media, the liberal bloggers were very much out in the open. (...) But there's another a key difference between the effort against Gannon and conservative blog firestorms: The targets of the liberal blogosphere are conservative activists; the target of the conservative blogosphere is the free and independent press itself, just as it has been for conservative activists since the '60s. For the Republican Party, pseudo-journalism Internet sites and the blogosphere are just another way to get around "the filter," as Bush has dubbed the mainstream media.(...) But unlike traditional news outlets, right-wing blogs openly shill, fund raise, plot, and organize massive activist campaigns on behalf of partisan institutions and constituencies; they also increasingly provide cover for professional operatives to conduct traditional politics by other means -- including campaigning against the established media. And instead of taking these bloggers for the political activists they are, all too often the established press has accepted their claims of being a new form of journalism.I think that the conservatives are pissed off because they keep trying the same well-financed shrieking and bullying tactics on the academic and scientific worlds that they used to cow into submission the media and political worlds -- and they're not working. (Or at least, not as well as they'd hoped.) Furthermore, as the practitioners of legitimate science are building ever-more evidence that shows the ill effects of the conservatives' way of being (global warming, pollution, the utter lack of justification for race prejudice, the helpfulness of communitarianism in aiding humanity and the planet, etc.) -- and even as Bush's contempt for immutable facts that don't say things he likes is well-known throughout the scientific world -- the disconnect between the conservatives and the scientific community grows larger, as does the disdain the conservatives feel for actual science and scientists. The link between creationism and eliminationism -- and between anti-science thought and eliminationism -- is pretty darned strong, methinks.
Creationists Using Touchy-Feely Language They Once Spurned In Order To Trick People Into Accepting "ID"
Rosa Brooks, writing in the Los Angeles Times, has the scoop. The money passages:
It's the new relativism: when scientific truth can't be squared with your religion or ideology, wax eloquent about the value of pluralism and intellectual diversity. The new relativism marks quite a shift from the arguments normally employed by the right. Remember the "culture wars" of the late '80s and early '90s, when conservatives in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, such as William Bennett and Lynne Cheney, inveighed against the "relativism" that allegedly dominated the thinking of American intellectuals?... So it's a tad ironic that conservatives and the religious right are now arguing that intelligent design should be taught on the grounds of intellectual pluralism. Needless to say, from the perspective of virtually all reputable scientists, evolution isn't just one theory among many, it's the only scientifically proven account of the origin and development of life on Earth. Denying evolution isn't merely "another perspective." It's like insisting that the sun revolves around the Earth, or that the moon is inhabited by little green guys. Whatever happened to truth?... If the right is sincerely dedicated to supporting pluralism and openness, surely they'd have no further objection to sex education classes that urge condom use, for instance, as long as abstinence-only arguments get equal time. And presumably they wouldn't mind if teachers tell kids that homosexuality is a legitimate form of human behavior, as long as teachers also explain that some people consider it a sin. Nor would conservatives have any basis to object to education about abortion rights, as long as their perspective is also represented…
"Balance" -- Or Appeasement?
Charles Dodgson (via Atrios) discusses the New York Times' handling of certain issues, particularly those pleasing to Bush, such as creationism (oops, I meant "intelligent design") and the invasion of Iraq.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
PSA: Katrina Approaches
I've been, once, to New Orleans. I've been in Jackson Square and the French Quarter. It's lovely and fragile, and at this moment, poised to bear the brunt of a hurricane that has already caused tremendous havoc in Florida. Over at DailyKos, there's a thread for folk in the area who can offer to put up NO residents. Another thing you can do: Donate blood. You can do it through the Red Cross or America's Blood, a network of independent non-profit blood banks. Or even through your local hospital. (Even if the blood doesn't reach New Orleans, you're still doing a good deed.) My thoughts and prayers to those hundreds of thousands trapped there without cars or any other way to leave, save on foot.
Freeper Meltdown In Crawford!
Let's see: Peaceful, well-behaved Gold Star Mothers, war veterans and their friends camp out for a month to try to get Bush to talk to them. The only violence comes from Bush backers who oppose their presence, and consists of a few shotgun blasts and an idiot with a pickup truck who desecrates a memorial to the fallen in Iraq. Then raucous Bush supporters -- most of whom were brought in by the GOP front group Move America Forward -- show up, and all hell breaks loose in a hilarious sort of way: Note to Protest Warriors: Your ideological allies are too stupid to understand irony and too mean to care. Note to Kristinn Taylor: Your ideological allies are too stupid to understand public relations techniques and too bigoted to care. (Oh, and by the way: Yes, Kristinn is a guy.)
Stand With Cindy
The Bring The Troops Home Tour is taking Cindy Sheehan's vigil from Crawford to Washington DC. Check the web site to find out whether one of the buses is stopping in your city (the westernmost stop is in Kansas).
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Bushco legal advisor Rotunda absolves Roberts for wrong Rotunda participated in. Rotunda lies by omission to Senator.
Charles Murray, Crossburner
In all the recent hullaballoo over the not-so-subtle efforts by Andrew Sullivan and other right-wingers to rehabilitate him, let's not forget that Charles "Bell Curve" Murray is also a known cross-burner. As City Pages editor Steve Perry wrote back in the last century:
...Near the end of his high school days in Newton, Iowa, Murray and some of his pals went out one night and burned a cross next door to the police station. To my knowledge, the reams of coverage accorded Murray for his pseudo-scientific apologia on behalf of racism have produced only two mentions of this incident. One was in a 1994 New York Times Magazine profile, the other a bit later on the Donahue show. In both instances Murray protested that he had no idea as to the racial significance of cross-burning. There were only two black families in Newton in those days, an old school chum of his added in the Times piece. Well. As it happens, I grew up just 30 miles away from Murray's central Iowa hometown, in an even smaller farming town with no black families at all. But somehow I managed to learn what cross-burning meant by the time I finished high school, and I expect Murray did too.Please keep this in mind whenever you see any attempts to pretend that Murray isn't a racist pig.
Friday, August 26, 2005
From MoveOn.Org: Save The Estate Tax!
Bush keeps saying that we're at war. Well, last time I checked, wartime meant that everyone had to make sacrifices and do their fair share. But Bush and the GOP want to make sure that the rich, who already avoid sending their sons and daughters to fight for our country, never have to make any financial sacrifices, ever again. As soon as the Congressional recess ends next week, they're going to try it. Let's head this off at the pass. We can do it if we start now.
Newsflash: Republican Party Breaks Campaign Laws
An investigation by the professional, nonpartisan staff of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) into a complaint filed by the MDP concerning the Michigan Republican Party's efforts to place Ralph Nader on the 2004 Michigan ballot has found reason to believe that the GOP made an excessive contribution to the Nader for President campaign and failed to report and misreported its expenditures for that effort. "The investigation by the FEC's staff completely vindicates our complaint that the Michigan GOP broke the law in its desperate effort to help Bush win Michigan in 2004 by placing Ralph Nader on the ballot," said MDP Chair Mark Brewer. "Not only did their election ploy fail, but they have now been found to have acted illegally as well." "We are satisfied with [the] investigation and have no objection to the FEC's decision [to] not pursue the matter any further, given that the election was over nearly ten months ago and that the GOP's illegal conduct was irrelevant to the election's outcome, and proved to be a waste of their time and resources," continued Brewer. "It should be noted that the architect of this illegal scheme was then GOP-Executive Director Greg McNeilly, who is now Dick DeVos' campaign manager." This finding is the latest in a series of FEC audits and investigations of the MIGOP during the last 10 years, revealing millions of dollars in illegal and/or unreported expenditures.
Today is Women's Equality Day
It's a good day to remember the last words Susan B. Anthony spoke in public:
Failure is impossible.
The Martyrs of Martissant, Haiti
Does Department of "Justice" get terror leads from commercial databases?
Friday Cat Blogging
Radical Cleric Robertson: As Usual, Jon Stewart Nails It
Crooks and Liars has the video.
TreasonGate: Bleep Me, Mr. Rove? No, Bleep You!
After being forced out of the BushCo empire for not being totally corrupt and amoral, Colin Powell gets a little of his own back.
Why Chavez Scares Bush (And Conservatives Everywhere)
This excellent Guardian piece lays it all out. Short version: Chavez frightens the élite precisely because, friendship with Castro aside, he can't be dismissed as a wild-eyed ultralefty. Capitalism flourishes side-by-side with his "Bolivarian" efforts at aiding the poor.
Next On BBC One: David Irving Says The Holocaust Never Happened
Atrios found this horrifyingly bad BBC article on known racist pseudoscientist pig Richard Lynn. Atrios then provided the appropriate cite with information on Lynn that the Beeb saw fit to ignore. Contact the Beeb here.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Cartoonists Take On Radical Cleric Robertson
Why Close Walter Reed?
Atrios poses that question. Other folks in the comments thread have tried to answer it. But really, folks, when asking questions like that, you can't ever assume that the Bushies make decisions like this for purely practical reasons, either for keeping or closing it. This is BushCo we're talking about -- EVERYTHING has a political calculation behind it. So, to return to the question, "Why are they closing Walter Reed?" Simple. It's so Ellsworth Air Force Base can stay open, and Thune doesn't look like a total ass -- only a partial one. (Remember, he eked out a win over Daschle last year by promising to protect Ellsworth from harm.) There you go.
The Malignant Narcissism of the US press
Pollkatz Does It Again
One of the lines on this graph represents Bush's approval ratings. The other line represents the price of oil, inverted. Notice how nicely they track each other?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
In Which I Beat Charles To The Punch With An M. Scott Peck Reference
...and I'll even mix in a Monty Python reference, too.
See, even though we have film footage of
Dinsdale Piranha nailing Stig's wife's head to a coffee table Pat Robertson calling for Hugo Chavez' assassination, Robertson actually has the Bush-like gall to deny he did it!
The M. Scott Peck reference is, of course, to his famous tome The People of the Lie.
This Would Have Been Even Better If It Was On The Editorial Page...
Hold Them Accountable
From an AP article about antiwar protests in Idaho:
At least three Boise broadcasters have agreed to air a controversial advertisement from the group Gold Star Families for Peace in which Sheehan accuses Bush of lying to the American people about the war in Iraq.... Jeff Anderson, general manager for CBS affiliate KBCI-TV, said his station believes the advertisement to be factually inaccurate and so refused to run the spot. He declined to elaborate.The station web site doesn't list an email address for Mr. Anderson. You might, however, send an email to email@example.com with "Attention: Jeff Anderson" in the subject line and ask, politely, whether it aired the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" ads.
Hugo Chavez Cracks Me Up Sometimes
Chavez' response to Mullah Robertson's fatwa? Why, to offer to sell Venezuelan gas at affordable prices to America's poorer classes. This is a brilliant slap in the face to Bush and his anti-Chavez plots. Which is why I doubt we'll see this on network TV. Hugo Chavez, I salute you.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Smoking Gun on Iran Vanishes in a Puff of Purple Smoke
The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee
Her district is not so very far from Crawford. She has signed onto the demand that the president address the Downing Street Memo, even mentioning Cindy Sheehan and using Sheehan's picture at the hearings that John Conyers held. Most tellingly, she occupies the district and claims the mantle of the legendary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. She knows that her presence could help to prevent the president's bullyboys from pushing the protestors around. The one Democrat who absolutely, positively ought to be in Crawford with Cindy Sheehan, willing to go to jail with Sheehan if necessary, is The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee.Charles, you'll be happy to know that Ms. Lee heard the call.
Monday 22 August 2005 11:07 PM Camp Casey had a surprise guest tonight. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee gave a powerful speech from the stage. She announced that she is having a town meeting in Houston on Thursday. I spoke with her after the speech and she ended by saying she would see me in Washington on September 24th. I asked her if she was in support of Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and her response was "Absolutely, It was wrong to go in and it is wrong to stay."
Has Bush Lost Utah?
After reading this eyewitness Kos diary (complete with pics) showing how Bush was received in the Beehive State today, one has to wonder.
Well, no, Mr. Milbank. But you win an Ugly American Award.
Riverbend Gone Missing?
I was going to see what Riverbend over at Baghdad Burning thought of having her rights stripped away by Iraq's new "democratic" constitution. But she hasn't been posting since July 15. In addition to the content of her blog, the posting frequency is a good indication of how things are going in her chunk of Baghdad. When she started her blog two years ago, she often did a post every day. Now, for various reasons (chief among them being the growing inability to get reliable electricity), she goes for weeks without posting.
The G-8 Debt Relief Scam
Monday, August 22, 2005
Venezuela horning in on US turf
The Eliminationist Rhetoric Of The Conservatives
Dear Reader: 1) Go read this post by The Poor Man. 2) Try to imagine any of these people being allowed to exist in polite society if their targets were Bush and his family and friends. The right wing loves to fling around eliminationist rhetoric and has got away for years flinging it, so much so that they've long since stopped worrying about being called to account for it by our national corporate media.
What Was That Again About Freeing Iraqi Women?
So far, nearly four dozen US women soldiers have died so that their Iraqi sisters can have the freedoms of the past eighty years taken away from them. Gee, it makes wanna break out in song. And, thanks to B1 Bummer, I can: At the time that I was born, Iraqi women could wear short skirts. They could graduate from school. Now they're cast down to the dirt. And back home it's getting worse, Mullah Dobson is on the march. It's The Handmaid's Tale made true: No blows to women are too harsh. We all live in an Islamist regime, an Islamist regime, an Islamist regime . . .
American Research Group has just released a new poll.
Bush job approval Approve Disapprove Undecided July 2005 42% 52% 6% Aug 2005 36% 58% 6%Bush's approval rating has been dropping all this year, but only a point or two per month. Now we see a six-percent drop since right about the time Bush started his five-week vacation and made it clear that his own resting heart rate is more important to him than soldiers' lives. Coincidence? <on edit> It is a coincidence that Phoenix Woman and I posted the same info at almost the same time. I found out about the poll from a post in Salon's Table Talk discussion forum.
Red Alert, Indeed
Atrios has the goods on Bush's plummeting approval ratings -- ratings that now sit at 38% for registered voters and 36% for all Americans, and ratings that are dropping in spite of the perception that the economy is doing better. No wonder why people like Limbaugh -- whose own numbers are dropping along with Bush's -- are doing the most asinine things lately. Which makes the DLC's spinelessness all the more irritating. They keep abasing themselves before Moloch's Mortal Deputy, spend more time and passion attacking other Democrats than they do Republicans, and then they wonder why we call them DINOs?
The Discreet Spinelessness Of the DLC
Even as people such as Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, Republican Senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel and Democratic Senator from Wisconsin Russ Feingold are all saying that we need to get the hell out of Iraq ASAP, and even as a previously-unknown Democratic congressional candidate running on a "get the hell out of Iraq ASAP" message damn near beat his Republican "stay the course" opponent in Ohio's reddest district, the chickenshit chickenhawks over at the Democratic Leadership Council -- which still is deeply in bed with the media and the Beltway power structure -- are trying to (and worse yet, succeeding in) convincing most leading Democrats that they mustn't dare speak up about Iraq. Armando over at Kos dissects this attitude much better than I can.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Able Danger in danger
Vietnam on Steroids
Let's see if we can exercise our "reading between the lines" skills here: Army Planning for Four More Years in Iraq English Translation: Army Praying for a Democrat to Enter the Oval Office in 2009. This comes right on the heels of a NYT article wherein several Republican officeholders and political operatives 'fess up to worrying about the Iraq debacle's dragging down the GOP in 2006 and 2008. The announcement of Four More Years In Iraq isn't going to calm these folks' nerves any.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
The Decline Of Hate Radio
Earlier today, I made a post on how conservative radio talkers are losing market share in the Twin Cities. Guess what? It's a nationwide trend -- and especially strong in Rush's own home base of Florida, where progressive radio is getting stronger as Rush's ratings tank. Maybe there is hope for this country after all.
The Second Battle of Fallujah
Twin Cities Limbaugh, Hannity Radio Ratings Halved, Even As Al Franken's Rises
The Strib has the scoop:
Twin Cities listeners have been tuning out political talk radio. Locally, conservative-talk icon Rush Limbaugh's show has lost 43 percent of its audience among 25- to 54-year-olds in the past year. Sean Hannity's show is down a whopping 63 percent. The shift is serious enough that "we're weighing where these shows fit for us in the future," according to Todd Fisher, general manager at KSTP (1500 AM), which carries both syndicated programs. [...] Locally, listeners tuned into sports in greater numbers this spring. Weekday ratings at sports-talk station KFAN (1130 AM) are up 37 percent among listeners ages 25 to 54 compared with a year ago, while KSTP-AM is down 33 percent. A look at individual shows reflects much sharper contrasts. Limbaugh's show, which airs Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. on KSTP, dropped from a 7.6 percent share of listeners ages 25 to 54 in spring 2004 to 4.3 this spring. Sean Hannity's 6-8 p.m. show dropped from 6.3 to 2.3 percent. In contrast, KFAN has seen its afternoon lineup of Dan (Common Man) Cole, Chad Hartman and Dan Barreiro post audience gains of 24 to 32 percent. Both WCCO (830 AM) and KFAN have made gains in the 26 to 29 percent range during the 6-8 p.m. time period.By the way: Dan Cole is a liberal and is not afraid to say so. His show has been KFAN's best-rated show for years.
What may be of particular concern to KSTP executives is the impact on shows such as Joe Soucheray's popular "Garage Logic," which airs after Limbaugh's show and has dropped in the ratings as well. Local partisan talker Chris Krok, whose show follows Hannity's, has less than 1 percent of the age-25-to-54 audience, too low to even register a rating point. "We are giving a lot of consideration to the nationally syndicated shows like Rush and Hannity," said KSTP's Fisher. "We have really become concerned with what I would call their tight play list of topics revolving around politics. We respect them and they've done well for us, but we're really in a quandary here."Note well: KSTP is as right-wing as they come. One of the Hubbards is notorious locally for his Nazi memorabilia collection. For them to consider dumping Limbaugh and Hannity is like you or I considering sawing off our left legs. Joe Soucheray is the Lead Local Lord of Loud. He's got a column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he uses, along with his radio show, to beat up on anyone to the left of Attila the Hun. Now, some of the radio persons quoted in the article are trying to say that people aren't interested in listening to nationally-produced political shows, and want to listen to local shows. But the big shift is not from centrist shows (such as Don Shelby's and Dave Lee's on WCCO) or liberal shows (such as Dan Cole's on KFAI, which is as much about politics as it is about sports) -- those have all GAINED listeners. No, the big shift, whether talking about local or national talent, is away from the conservative talkers.[...]The ratings shift hasn't affected partisan radio stations such as WWTC (1280 AM), known as the Patriot, or KTNF (950 AM), home to Air America programming, including Al Franken's weekday show. Both have maintained relatively stable, if small, audience shares of about 1 to 1.5 percent. Franken is an exception, however. Locally, the Minnesota native has increased his audience share to 2.4 percent of listeners ages 25 to 54, compared with 1.3 last year.
Musical Political Correctness, WSJ Style
It's long been held -- or at least used to be held -- in the news world that while The Wall Street Journal's editorial staff is worthless, their newsroom and feature writing is pretty good. Which is why it's interesting to see that the WSJ sent notorious right-wing political culture enforcer Dave Shiflett to cover the nation's premier old-time music festival in Clifftop, Virginia -- and that he was so busy looking for ways to mock and chastise the Clifftoppers (including one who died at the event) for their failure to be sufficiently right-wing that he didn't bother to make sure he got his facts right. Other examples of Shiflett's politically-correct conservative blovatings can be found here, here, and here. His NRO bio is here.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Friday Cat Blogging
Latin American crisis deepens as troops occupy Ecuadoran oil provinces
Myers Warns Against Release Of New Abu Ghraib Pics
Yes, indeed. This is a tacit admission that the photos are every bit as bad as Sy Hersh says they must be. (Oh, and Myers should know full well that this will truly be seen by the world, including the Dar al-Islam, as an admission that this is so.)
Hollinger: The Fraud Goes Beyond Conrad Black
The news that a Chicago Sun-Times functionary and buddy of Connie Black's stands accused of siphoning tens of millions from the company should surprise absolutely no one who's been following the slow, elegant collapse of Lord Black of Crossharbour's house of cards. And it couldn't happen to a more deserving right-wing butthead. (Well, it could, but it's nice to see it happening to Black.) For more on David Radler's ties to, and importance to, Lord Black, click here. For more on Black himself, click here.
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes... "
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Greetings from the Culture of Life
Uglier and Uglier:
Serfin' USA: The Right's Phony Rhetoric on the Takings Clause
Reviving The Plot To Destroy Social Security: FOX's Role
Cutting back on caffeine has consequences. For instance, when I first saw (via Atrios) this Media Matters takedown of FOX's efforts to attack Social Security, I laughed because it was so ridiculous. Then I remembered that as soon as Congress comes back from its August recess, Jim McCrery (R-LA) is pushing a Trojan Horse bill designed to destroy Social Security under the pretense of "saving" it. And that I myself had blogged about it last week! In other words, the Bushistas and the RNC sent out the word to FOX via Roger Ailes: "Do some work on softening up Social Security before we make our move next month." Time to rev up our engines to counter this, boys and girls.
$100.00 A Gallon For Gas?! In Iraq?! (Yes, Children, Halliburton Is Involved.)
My friend Charles got me reading Business Week online awhile back, as it's often in the better bizmags where the real news is lurking. But I've been lax in my bizmag reading of late, and thus missed this little fact (hat tip to The Liquid List for finding it and putting it into its proper context):
With the U.S. Army spending $100 a gallon to buy gasoline and lug it to Iraq and Afghanistan for Humvees, the brass wants to cut its fuel costs. One possible solution: the Army National Automotive Center's push to boost the market for hybrid engine technology. In April, Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. (QTWW ) in Irvine, Calif., gave the Army the first of two jeep-like electric hybrids.And of course, who's charging the Army $100 a gallon for gas being used in Iraq -- even as gas at the pump in Iraqi gas stations costs only six cents (that's right, cents) per gallon? Why, Halliburton, of course. They're the ones who sell gas to the US Army. They used to charge "only" $1.59 per gallon, back in October of 2003, and that was sufficiently outrageous to get a lot of people accusing Halliburton of price-gouging. Now, they charge over sixty times as much. Ai-yi-yi. Is it noon somewhere? I could really use a drink right now.
What's The Difference Between A "Grief Pimp" And A "Noble Mother Whose Child Made The Ultimate Sacrifice"?
Answer: The "grief pimp" doesn't support Bush's policies in Iraq, while the other mother does. It's sad that both mothers lost their sons in the meat grinder known as post-Saddam Iraq. But isn't it interesting that the Bush-questioning mother's motives are called into doubt, whereas the Bush-supporting mother's motives are automatically taken at face value? (UPDATE: Steve Gilliard has a good post on the very different reactions of two Bush supporters to the field of memorial crosses set up at Crawford.)
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Attack on Sheehan originates from lying, racist Israeli spy. (but only if you use his standards)
The WaPo's agenda-driven journalism: the miracle of the missing Roberts papers . And ethics.
Yet Another Thing That Won't Be On The Evening News, 08/17/05 Edition
This NY Times story, State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996 ends with this:Oh, yes: Wanna know where the whole "wag the dog" thing came from? It came from a movie called "Wag The Dog", which was made during the Clinton Era. But the story is from a book by Larry Beinhart called American Hero, which is all about how the FIRST Bush staged an overseas war (paging April Glaspie!) solely to boost his approval ratings. The GOP/Media Axis, of course, decided to spin the story 180 degrees, so it could be used to falsely attack Clinton."The thinking was that he was in Afghanistan, and he was dangerous, but because he was there, we had a better chance to kill him," Mr. Scheuer said. "But at the end of the day, we settled for the worst possibility - he was there and we didn't do anything."It accidently forgot to include this:Clinton strikes terrorist basesMore here,
THE United States launched cruise missile strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan yesterday against centres allegedly linked with the terrorist bombings of two American embassies.With about 75 missiles timed to explode simultaneously in unsuspecting countries on two continents, the operation was the most formidable U.S. military assault ever against a private sponsor of terrorism.Oops, the Times accidentally left that part out...
... Clinton and his national security team linked both sites to Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi millionaire tied by U.S. intelligence to the twin bombings on Aug. 7 in Kenya and Tanzania. The bombings killed 12 Americans and nearly 300 Africans.
... The president made no apologies for ordering the strikes without permission from Afghanistan or the Sudan, saying, "Countries that persistently host terrorists have no right to be safe havens."
... Clinton presented several reasons for the decision to act swiftly and forcefully, rather than to punish bin Laden through the means of diplomacy and law. Repeatedly he said bin Laden presented an imminent threat, quoting his pledge this week to wage a war in which Americans were "all targets."
John Hinderaker, Professional Homophobe And Gynophobe
Despite the public evidence of his Bolton-esque neo-psychotic meltdowns (such as this one and this one), Hindrocket likes to present himself as Mr. Oh-So-Sweet-And-Calm-And-Nice-And-Sensible-Compassionate-Conservative. But, as his Wikipedia bio shows, he's hooked into the most virulently anti-gay, anti-female, anti-sanity-in-general groups around:
John H. Hinderaker is a lawyer and a blogger at the Power Line weblog, as well as a fellow at the Claremont Institute... Hinderaker is an advisory board member of the North Star Legal Center, the legal arm of the Minnesota Family Council/Institute; the NSLC also is "instrumental in giving definition and professional credibility to the conservative pro-family legal position in Minnesota." Hinderaker is a 1971 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and completed Harvard Law School in 1974.My, my. How Taliban-like of him in his kindness. Kinda makes you think of Commander Fred of The Handmaid's Tale, eh? Fred thought he was being kind to his sex slave because he let her read.
The Next Time Somebody Mentions "The Oil-for-Food Scandal"...
...we should make it a point to bring up this:
WASHINGTON — It weighed 28 tons and took up as much room as 74 washing machines. It was $2.4 billion in $100 bills, and Baghdad needed it ASAP. The initial request from U.S. officials in charge of Iraq required the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to decide whether it could open its vault on a Sunday, a day banks aren't usually open. "Just when you think you've seen it all," read one e-mail from an exasperated Fed official. "Pocket change," said another e-mail. Then, when the shipment date changed, officials had to scramble to line up U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo planes to hold the money. They did, and the $2,401,600,000 was delivered to Baghdad on June 22, 2004. It was the largest one-time cash transfer in the history of the New York Fed. Disclosure of the frantic transfer in the final days of U.S. control over Iraq came during a daylong hearing Tuesday that indicated growing worry from Congress over U.S. oversight of spending in Iraq. Both Republicans and Democrats appeared taken aback by the volume of cash sent to Iraq: nearly $12 billion over the course of the U.S. occupation from March 2003 to June 2004, said a report by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), who had reviewed e-mails and documents subpoenaed from the bank. The cash — a total of 363 tons, generated mostly from oil revenues — was Iraqi funds that had been held in trust by the Federal Reserve under the terms of a United Nations resolution. The June 2004 money transfer was needed to run the country as the interim Iraqi government took over from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, officials said. Rep. Christopher Shays ( R-Conn.), chairman of the House national security subcommittee, criticized the Pentagon's handling of the money known as the Development Fund for Iraq. "It's very clear that … we didn't have systems in place to account" for the funds, he said. "It doesn't mean they weren't spent well, but, given my sense of human temptation, I suspect some of it was, frankly, taken," Shays said. "I can't believe that all this cash just floating around all went perfectly to the right place."And of course, it didn't. But as immense as that shipment was, it pales in comparison to the $9 BILLION that remains "unaccounted for" from Bremer's one-year reign. Meanwhile, Hussein probably got $1.7 billion -- barely one-fifth the $9 billion that Bremer's crew just couldn't account for -- during the eight years from the time that the Oil-for-Food Program was in existence, which turns out to be a lot less than what he got from oil smuggling that the US didn't lift a finger to stop. And it turns out that Saddam's biggest accomplice in ripping off the UN is David Bay Chalmers, the Houston, Texas oil man who runs BayOil.
Theofascists deny Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of government
The New York Times reports:
Mr. DeLay, the highest ranking of six Republican congressmen who participated, questioned the Supreme Court's power to strike down federal laws it deemed unconstitutional. The Constitution assigned Congress the power to make laws and limited the federal courts to applying and interpreting those laws, Mr. DeLay said, but "this fact, understood by every high school civics student, has been forgotten in recent decades by too many members of the American judiciary, including, most notably, the United States Supreme Court itself."DeLay wasn't the only one to deny the existence of Marbury v. Madison:
Speaking at the Justice Sunday telecast, Phyllis Schlafly, the veteran Christian conservative organizer, asked: "How do the judges get away with such outrageous decisions? By asserting that Supreme Court decisions are the supreme law of the land. But you know that is not true. That is a terrible heresy.""Heresy" is dissent from or denial of religious doctrine. Mrs. Schlafly just dropped a big fat clue that the "Justice Sunday" view of government is that of the Taliban, not of the people who wrote our Constitution.
Oh, Goody! Another Gold Star Mother For The Wingnuts To Trash!
The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine urged President Bush to either send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw U.S. troops altogether. "We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.Counting down to the first wingnut to call the Palmers "grief pimps"... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Chris "Baghdad Bob" Matthews
You read Fisk here first
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