Monthly Archives: August 2004

You Rarely See Media Bias this Blatant

Via Atrios, the unbelievable bias of the “question of the day” on the MSNBC TV Front Page. Incredible.

Update: They edited it. But you can see the original reproduced here.

Posted in Politics: US | 5 Comments

Comments, We Get Comments

Discourse.net gets interesting comments. This morning, someone purporting to be Sgt. Lee Buttrill from the great Moveon.org advert, posted this comment:

I just wanted to say that I am the same Marine who was on ABC and if I had the ability to travel back in time knowing what I know now, I would not have sounded so positive on ABC. I saw the happy people of Iraq that day and I shared their joy, but I was misguided as they were. There was no plan for their future and no justification for us to be there other than the lies I uncovered in the following monthes. I hope everyone can understand that my statements at the time were based only on the information I had and not he bigger picture I have come to grasp.
Seargent Buttrill, USMC.

I'd like to believe it's really him…Discourse.net is the second Google listing for “Sgt. Lee Buttrill”…but if it were him, would he spell as badly as I do?

Incidentally, whether or not this comment is really by the real Buttrill, isn't the genuine Buttrill doing something as courageous as what Lt. Kerry did when he came home and spoke out against Vietnam?

Posted in Discourse.net | 2 Comments

Geekiest Protest Sign of the Year

Geekiest protest sign (via the great BoingBoing)

Posted in Politics: US: 2004 Election | 9 Comments

Like Watching a Monster Movie From the Inside

Watching a hurricane advance in your general direction is a bit like having a bit part in a real-life monster movie. There was panic buying at the local grocery store yesterday. Water, paper plates, plasticware, canned staples were gone or flying off the shelves.

The latest bulletin from UM says,

The University continues to carefully monitor the progress of Hurricane Frances. UM's Crisis Decision Team met at 10:30 a.m. today and determined that the University expects to be open for the remainder of the week. We will conduct business as usual, and all classes, events, and clinical activities remain on a regular schedule. The Crisis Decision Team expects to meet daily this week, and you will be advised immediately if there are any changes to schedules.

Some precautionary measures are being undertaken today and tomorrow, including installing hurricane shutters on certain buildings on the Coral Gables campus. This is standard procedure and is no cause for alarm.

Well, actually, there might be cause for mild alarm, as this looks like a nasty one. On the other hand, it's still far away, has plenty of time to turn north, and indeed, the lastest forecast track is no longer aiming dead at us, although landfall remains a very very inexact science and we here in Miami are still within the cone of probability.

If it hits, though, it's unlikely to do so before early Saturday. Now if we could just find some plastic forks….

Posted in Miami | 2 Comments

The First Robin of (Political) Spring

This editorial, McCollum for GOP, in which the St. Petersburg Times withdraws its endorsement of somewhat moderate former U.S. Housing Secretary Mel Martinez in the Republican Senatorial primary and instead endorses right-wing almost-loon former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum has the potential to be a watershed moment.

Yes, it's the first blowback from the Swift Boat affair:

The Times is not willing to be associated with bigotry. As a result, we are taking the almost unprecedented step of rescinding our recommendation of Martinez.

We take our political recommendations seriously. Taking back a recommendation is an even more serious action, and we do so with regret, and some embarrassment. However, failing to act in response to Martinez's cynical attacks would risk damaging the trust we have worked to build with readers over the course of hundreds of election campaigns.

No matter what else Martinez may accomplish in public life, his reputation will be forever tainted by his campaign's nasty and ludicrous slurs of McCollum in the final days of this race. The slurs culminated with Martinez campaign advertisements that label McCollum – one of the most conservative moralists in Washington during his 20 years as a U.S. representative – “the new darling of the homosexual extremists” because he once favored a hate crime law that had bipartisan support. A few days earlier, the Martinez campaign arranged a conference call with reporters in which a group of right-wing Martinez supporters labeled McCollum “antifamily.” Why? Because McCollum supports expanded stem cell research to find cures for deadly diseases – a position that is identical to those of Nancy Reagan, Connie Mack and many other prominent Republicans.

That's right: slurs are now out of fashion!

We don't think Martinez really believes the slurs his campaign has directed at McCollum. Instead, he is an ambitious politician who has resorted to unprincipled tactics to get elected. Unfortunately, dirty campaigns often succeed, and Martinez is betting this one will, too.

If Martinez does win Tuesday's primary, he will begin trying to move back toward the center to appeal to all Florida voters, and not just to Republican activists. But the slime from these attacks on McCollum will keep trailing Martinez like something stuck to the bottom of his shoe. The Times now recommends McCollum to Republican voters in Tuesday's primary. At this point, McCollum is a better choice for Republicans who care about producing their strongest ticket for November. He also is a better choice for Republicans who care about the soul of their party.

Brad would probably call this “When Growups Attack”…

Posted in Politics: US: 2004 Election | 2 Comments

Sanchez’s Memo Let Loose the Dogs of Torture

Today's dumb headline (but interesting story) is, Documents Helped Sow Abuse, Army Report Finds. The headline writer seems to think that documents write themselves, and also buys into the spin of the Army report that an order from a two-star General to “Exploit Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations” somehow “was not clear”.

Seems pretty clear to me.

What I want to know is whose idea it was to try to cover up the torture by sending Sanchez to do the first investigation of himself.

Posted in Iraq Atrocities | 1 Comment

Lyn Nofziger on Bush’s Attack on 527′s

The don't get much more Reagan Republican than Lyn Nofziger, who was sorta Reagan's Rove, only more substantive, slightly less tricksy, and far more principled. They were, to my eye, somewhat peculiar principles, but he held to them (subject, it must be said, to the 'our sonofabitch' principle of real-life party politics, where sometimes you hold your nose and work for the party's guy). So Nofziger supports Bush — if only because Nofziger hates Democrats (and immigrants, and gays, and taxes) — but he has some issues with the guy. Here's one:

George W. Bush and John McCain are turning out to be the Laurel and Hardy of the Republican party. There‘s no way they can be serious when they propose that the federal government sue to prevent their fellow Americans from exercising their constitutional right of free speech.

I‘ve forgotten who it was who said it, but these comedians need to be reminded of what the guy whose name I’ve forgotten said: “I may disagree with what you say but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”

McCain’s attitude perhaps is understandable; he spent a good share of his life in the military where free speech is spoken at one’s peril. John Kerry’s attitude, which is much the same, is also understandable. He’s a Democrat and Democrats think that government, not the people, knows best.

But George Bush claims to be a conservative, compassionate maybe, but still a conservative, somewhat in the mold of Ronald Reagan. Can anyone here imagine for a minute that Reagan would advocate putting limits on political speech?

Someone also needs to remind these clowns that the purpose of the first amendment was to insure the right of free political speech. These guys need to pick up and read, probably for the first time, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It might help them to put things into perspective.

What these guys are finding out, and are unhappy about, is that no matter how many laws you pass with the intent of limiting free speech, as long as the first amendment exists, smart people will find a way to get around those laws. Unfortunately, now that they are discovering this truth, they are taking the next step and trying to twist the first amendment for the purpose of limiting of free speech.

Gentlemen, it will not work. Not in the long run. Comes first the revolution.

Posted in Politics: US | Leave a comment