I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

You Are What You Know...

One year later, and still standing firm. Congratulations to Air America Radio on it's first birthday. [BBC] [Annatopia]

"On March 31, 2004, Air America launches at noon (ET), with Al Franken proclaiming, "Today is both an ending and a beginning: an end to the right-wing dominance of talk radio, [and] a beginning of a battle for truth, a battle for justice, a battle indeed for America itself ... not to be grandiose."
They have beaten such right-wing heavyweights such as Limbaugh and Hannity in ratings in major areas.
Watch the HBO Documentary: Left of the Dial, tonight at 7 CST on HBO. [Synopsis]
The Road to Air America: Breaking the Right-Wing Stranglehold on Our Nation's Airwaves by Sheldon Drobny. [Amazon]

I absolutely love listening to Air America every day, but I will certainly miss Unfiltered. Today was the last show for the program, and Rachel Maddow signed off by saying: "You are what you know...". It's so VERY true. In this the "information age" no one really knows what's going on. We listen to the corporate-run media because we don't know any better, and they tell us what to do, and we do it. Wake up sheeple!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Party Inverted

A Party Inverted: "If Democrats are serious about preparing for the next election or the next election after that, some influential Democrats will have to resist entrusting their dreams to individual candidates and instead make a commitment to build a stable pyramid from the base up. It will take at least a decade's commitment, and it won't come cheap. But there really is no other choice." [NYT]

What is really wrong w/ the democrats? They have no balls.

In the Name of Politics: "The historic principles of the Republican Party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future. Our current fixation on a religious agenda has turned us in the wrong direction. It is time for Republicans to rediscover our roots." [NYT]

Ok, so this article was partially right; the repugnican party has gone off the deep end. It is now controlled by the religiously insane, and the real republicans need to take their party back. However, Danforth's statement that the "historic principles of the republican party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future" is not just simply erroneous, it's a gross-misstatement of what the republicans stand for.

Kristoff: "Perhaps the White House thinks it has the moral high ground when it preaches, completely irrelevantly, to women like Mrs. Sibanda about the need to be faithful. But it strikes me as hypocritical to pontificate about virtue while pursuing an ideological squeamishness about condoms that risks condemning Mrs. Sibanda and millions like her to die of AIDS." [NYT]

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What's Going On?

Krugman: "Everyone knows about the attempt to circumvent the courts through "Terri's law." But there has been little national exposure for a Miami Herald report that Jeb Bush sent state law enforcement agents to seize Terri Schiavo from the hospice - a plan called off when local police said they would enforce the judge's order that she remain there." [NYT]

This is one of Krugman's best pieces. The religious-right has hijacked America, and extremism reigns supreme. He states: "What we need - and we aren't seeing - is a firm stand by moderates against religious extremism. Some people ask, with justification, Where are the Democrats? But an even better question is, Where are the doctors fiercely defending their professional integrity?" How about some moderates and lefties to stand up for what is really right for America. We need to put down this "biblical worldview" to American politics that is espoused by DeLay and his cronies. Doctors and Pharmacists can refuse care because of personal beliefs? Why did you go to medical/pharmacy school? What did you think you were getting into? Did you think that no one would ever ask for birth-control pills???

Walk in the opposition's shoes. [Opinion]

Ok, so the Dems have filibustered 10 times (out of a possible 200+) on Bush's extremist judicial nominees. And they are called obstructionist? The repugnicans want to take away the right of the filibuster, a rough instrument that needs to be used with caution. 10 out of 200+ isn't cautious enough for you? Bush ran in 2000 as a uniter. He's been anything but. He had the chance to put aside partisan rancor and submit new judges to the Senate. He didn't. He resubmitted 20 of the most controversial judges possible, just to push his extremist conservative agenda. Some people think that an extremist judge that has proved himself to be hard-core anti-environment, and a shill for the mining and cattle industries, should be just rubber-stamped. But sometimes you need to stand up and say, NO, we won't support Bolton for the UN, or Myers for the federal bench. You won't be in the majority forever you extremist freaks!

Monday, March 28, 2005


Friedman: "Imagine if George Bush declared that he was getting rid of his limousine for an armor-plated Ford Escape hybrid, adopting a geo-green strategy and building an alliance of neocons, evangelicals and greens to sustain it. His popularity at home - and abroad - would soar. The country is dying to be led on this. Instead, he prefers to squander his personal energy trying to take apart the New Deal and throwing red meat to right-to-life fanatics. What a waste of a presidency. How will future historians explain it?" [NYT]

Herbert: "Lawlessness should never be an option for the United States. Once the rule of law has been extinguished, you're left with an environment in which moral degeneracy can flourish and a great nation can lose its soul." [NYT]

Censorship of Science [Opinion]

Best. Elite Eight. Ever.

Wow! Best. Elite Eight. Ever. What a weekend of games.

Illinois comes back from 20 down to beat Arizona. Louisville down by 14 beats West Virginia. UNC outmuscles the Badgers. The Spartans outlast the Wildcats. I wanted to write about this last night, but I was basking in the afterglow of a UNC Final Four berth, and of the entire slate of games from Saturday-Sunday. I don't remember such an exciting NCAA Tournament in my lifetime. There have been single games that have really stood out in my mind, but nothing like the slate of games from this past weekend.

More on UNC: Sean May steps out from the shadow of his father. St. Louis bound! [IC] [Box] [Thad] [Quality Poetry] [HeelsBlog]

You know what, Wisconsin played its ass of. Flat-out. They played like they had nothing to lose, and they cracked the 80 point barrier for only the third time this season. I will certainly miss the seniors, like Wilkinson. Quality guys.

Previewing Michigan State. [The Edge]
Four different paths to one goal. [Doyel]

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Narrow Escape

UNC narrowly defeated Villanova last night, 67-66, to advance to the Elite Eight. [CBS] [Seniors] [IC] [Box] [Bottom Line]

The referees were terrible in this game, on both sides. The phantom foul calls on Felton down the stretch were just disgusting, and the questionable travelling call on Ray with 9 seconds left will be debated for years to come. Regardless, it's about survive and advance. Villanova gave UNC everything it could handle on Friday night, but they emerged, not unscathed, but maybe tougher.

The Tarheels move on to face Wisconsin, who beat NC State. [CBS] [Dial Long-Distance] [The Edge]

All year, the ACC was far and away the best conference in basketball. The top three teams (North Carolina, Wake Forest, & Dook) probably could have competed in the NBA. They soundly trounced the Big Ten in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, held in early December. But, the Big Ten has the advantage in the NCAA's, advancing three teams to the Elite Eight. Honestly, the Big Ten has been underrated all year, just like they always are in football. They beat the crap out of each other all year, then wonder why only three teams having outstanding records. Michigan State outplayed dook, plain and simple. Dook was overrated this year, and they got shown the gate. Illinois has been probably the best team in the nation all year. Wisconsin has flown under the radar, but is really putting it together now. Wake got beat by a team that wanted it more. UNC has played their bad game in the tournament, and won't be scared anymore. They could possibly have to play and beat all three Big Ten teams to win it all.

UNC vs. Wisconsin. This is the game that I have been fearing since I saw the brackets announced. As a born and bred Wisconsin guy, I love Wisconsin. I've had family and friends go to school there, and I was there when they won in 2000 to go to the Final Four. The rush to State Street was something that I'll never forget. On the other hand, North Carolina was the team that got me interested in college basketball. I have an authentic Michael Jordan UNC jersey. They represent all that I love about basketball. So, I'm really torn about this game. I cannot root against either team.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Ownership Society

Herbert: "President Bush believes in an "ownership" society, which means that except for the wealthy, you're on your own. The president's budget would cut funding for Medicaid, food stamps, education, transportation, health care for veterans, law enforcement, medical research and safety inspections for food and drugs. And, of course, it contains big new tax cuts for the wealthy." [NYT]

NYT: "It is time for more such second thoughts. Any new money for the ethics panel will be wasted unless Republican members, wary of being yoked to Mr. DeLay, demand that the rules be stiffened to gain some ethical credibility in the House."

More on DeLay. Kos: "But it is clear that the House majority leader is not above using the suffering of a woman he has never met to promote his own, increasingly shaky, political career."

DeLay has gone so far to say that Terry Schiavo's situation is a gift from god. This is all just a distraction from his ethics issues. DeLay is like that magician wearing the funny top hat and cape, and playing the misdirection game. Well, the rabbit in his pocket just took a big dump.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Welcome to Our Theocracy

Welcome to Bush's Amerikka!

Dowd: "Are the Republicans so obsessed with maintaining control over all branches of government, and are the Democrats so emasculated about not having any power, that they are willing to turn the nation into a wholly owned subsidiary of the church?" [NYT]

That's a good question: what is up w/ the democrats??? They should be fighting tooth and nail...instead, they run and hide. Party of the people my ass. Prove to me that you can stand up for what is right!!!

Rich: "Like many Americans, I suspect, I tried to picture how I would have reacted if a bunch of smarmy, camera-seeking politicians came anywhere near a hospital room where my own relative was hooked up to life support. I imagined summoning the Clint Eastwood of "Dirty Harry," not "Million Dollar Baby." But before my fantasy could get very far, star politicians with the most to gain from playing the God card started hatching stunts whose extravagant shamelessness could upstage any humble reverie of my own." [NYT]

Friedman: "But killing prisoners of war, presumably in the act of torture, is an inexcusable outrage. The fact that Congress has just shrugged this off, and no senior official or officer has been fired, is a travesty. This administration is for "ownership" of everything except responsibility." [NYT]

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I Hate to Keep Harping...

The ongoing Terry Schiavo case: "Terri Schiavo's parents saw their options vanish one by one Wednesday as a federal appeals court refused to reinsert her feeding tube and the Florida Legislature decided not to intervene in the epic struggle. Refusing to give up, Gov. Jeb Bush sought court permission to take custody of Schiavo." [Yahoo] [Poll] [Kos] [Case Splinters GOP]

Jeb tried to take custody of her??? What sane judge would grant that request!???! Look, how many times do judges have to tell the family, NO, we aren't going to let her "live" like this anymore. Is this really life? This is the absence of life. Honestly, when it's my time to go, or if this ever happens to me. Just end it. You heard it hear first. Most people are really squeamish about this subject. No. I want to be clear on this. No.

I think Elizabeth Cohen says it very well.
Annatopia lays it down. [Annatopia] [Guardian Ad Litem Report]

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I almost feel compelled to write about the Terry Schiavo issue. Everyone is talking about it, pretty much everyone has an opinion on it, and the republicans are full of hypocrisy. What else is new?

This is not a rare issue. This happens to families all over the world, every day. [Tribune]
And with this kind of case, suffering from withdrawl of fluids and feeding tubes is very uncommon. In fact, the patients suffer more when you take it off, then reconnect it. [SufferingUncommon]

Schiavo's parents have appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA, but they ruled the same as 19 other judicial proceedings found: she cannot be saved, and we should all let her go in peace. [NYT]

Since when does precedence matter: "The Bush administration and the current Congressional leadership like to wax eloquent about states' rights. But they dropped those principles in their rush to stampede over the Florida courts and Legislature. The new law doesn't miss a chance to trample on the state's autonomy and dignity. There are a variety of technical legal doctrines the federal courts use to show deference to state courts, like "abstention" and "exhaustion of remedies." The new law decrees that in Ms. Schiavo's case, these well-established doctrines simply will not apply." [NYT]

I urge you to check out Isolated Incident's take on the issue. I write more gently than he does, but damn, he's dead on. [21st] [22nd]
Also check out Thomas's take on it. [GoodMorningHouston]

Monday, March 21, 2005

Roundup and Preview

I've been meaning to write about the NCAA Tournament that is going on, but well, I can't blog and watch the games at the same time (not at my house at least!). So, here goes!

UNC crushed Oakland on Friday. Freshman Marvin "Let's Get It On" Williams had 20 and 8, and May had 19 and 8 in the 96-68 win. UNC then cruised past Iowa State 92-65 on Sunday to move to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000. Super-Frosh Marvin Williams followed up his game 1 performance w/ 20 and 15, and Sean May had 24 and 17. Supremely dominating perfomance by the Heels...and they continue to roll. Next up: Villanova on Friday.

Wisconsin had a fairly easy road, but played down to it's competition, narrowly defeating Northern Iowa on Friday, and beating upstart 14th seed Bucknell on Sunday. Nice to see them in the Sweet 16 though. Mike Wilkinson is a horse, averaging 15 and 10 in his two Tournament games. Next up: NC State on Friday.

Surprise! 12th UW-Milwaukee defeated 5th seed Alabama to move to the 2nd round. Then they followed that up by beating 4th seed Boston College on Saturday! These Panthers know no quit. Next up: Illinois on Thursday.

Right to Die

No, I'm not being callous. And yes, I do value life. But, I value life when there is a quality there, not a vegetative state. In the case of Terry Schiavo, a severly brain-damaged woman, who has been in a vegetative state for over 15 years, republicans are trampling on states rights (in this case, Florida), and going on a "moral" crusade to save this woman's life.

My opinion: let her go. What quality of life does she have? Her husband has decided that it's time for her to be at peace, to let the suffering end. There is zero quality of life there...From the testimony given by her husband and her friends, she did not wish to live in a persistent state such as this. Why don't we respect her wishes, respect her husband, make her comfortable, and let her go in peace.
This is a really tough decision. But it's a decision for the family, not Congress. They have made it clear that the bill signed today was for Terry Schiavo only, not broad policy. [CAP]

Here are the GOP talking points, rumored to come directly from Rick "man on dog" Santorum. [GOP]
Do you right-to-lifers know what your precious Bush did while Governor of Texas?? Yes, he chose to end life. Then LIED about it:
"In a statement released early this morning, President Bush said he will "continue to stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans." But the facts make it hard to believe that Bush is standing on principle. In 1999, then Gov. Bush signed a law that "allows hospitals [to] discontinue life sustaining care, even if patient family members disagree." Just days ago the law permitted Texas Children's Hospital to remove the breathing tube from a 6-month-old boy named Sun Hudson. The law may soon be used to remove life support from Spiro Nikolouzos, a 68-year-old man. Bush has not commented on either case." [Think Progress]

Everyone: get a living-will. [Tribune] [Wills]

Friday, March 18, 2005

Signs of the Times

Krugman: "Where does Mr. Wolfowitz fit into all this? The advice that the World Bank gives is as important as the money it lends - but only if governments take that advice. And given the ideological rigidity the Pentagon showed in Iraq, they probably won't. If Mr. Wolfowitz says that some free-market policy will help economic growth, he'll be greeted with as much skepticism as if he declared that some country has weapons of mass destruction." [NYT]

Rich: "The Bush propagandists have been successful at many tasks, from fomenting the canard that Iraqis attacked on 9/11 to deflecting moral outrage from Abu Ghraib and toward indecency as defined by its Federal Communications Commission. But Social Security may be a bridge too far even for propaganda machinery of this heft. Polls find that an ever-increasing majority of the country rejects the idea of letting Wall Street get its hands on its retirement savings." [NYT]

Dowd: "The White House isn't backing off its plan to replace real news with faux news. The Bushies created their own reality to convince the country that Iraq was a threat to U.S. security. So even though the war has given birth to some of the very evils it was supposed to fix - like more recruits for Osama, and Saddam's formerly sealed weapons' falling into terrorists' hands - Bushies like the results of their war." [NYT]

Friedman: "Moreover, focusing exclusively on squeezing out a little more supply will only discourage conservation, Mr. Verleger added, setting the stage for higher prices again in three or four years - "when exhausting oil reserves and burgeoning demand from China and India will drive the price of oil to well above $100 a barrel." That will put even more money in the pockets of some of the world's worst governments." [NYT]

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! Erin Go Bragh!!!

Today is my favorite holiday...St. Patrick's Day. The fact that the NCAA Tournament started today: added bonus.

Congrats to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers on winning their 1st round Tournament game. Another 12 over 5.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Bring AAR to Milwaukee!!!

I received an e-mail this afternoon from Scott Stearns, proprietor of the blog "Brewtown Politico" regarding the possibility of an Air America Radio affiliate right here in Milwaukee. I e-mailed AAR about a month ago regarding this possibility, but due to the volume of messages they are receiving, they haven't gotten back to me.

AAR now has 50 stations, and is growing by leaps and bounds. I haven't found a single program that I haven't identified with, and liked a lot. Al Franken is side-splitting, Randi Rhodes is irreverent hilarity at its best, and hosts like Sam Seder, Mike Malloy, Marc Maron...etc, make this network something worth keeping, and bringing to Milwaukee.

Please sign this petition to bring liberal talk radio to Milwaukee!
[Brewtown Politico] [Petition]

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Nuclear Option

More on DeLay [Think Progress] [Brewtown Politico] [TomPaine] [Yahoo]

On the "Nuclear Option": "Republican party officials and Radical Right leaders are ramping up their grassroots operations to support Majority Leader Bill Frist's big plan to trigger the "nuclear option" and clear the path for extreme Supreme Court nominees." [PFAW] [Sign This Petition] [Sign2!] [WSJ]

This would take away the ability to filibuster Senate Judicial nominees. Hey, repugnicans: We won't be in the minority for much longer!!! What goes around, comes around!!!

At least one Democratic Senator is standing up. [Reid] [Boston]

Drilling in ANWR: "Mr. Bush mentioned some of these ideas in a speech last week, but only in passing. His main emphasis was not on reducing demand (of oil), but on increasing supply by opening the refuge. That is where this administration has been ever since Dick Cheney's energy report of 2001. It was the wrong place to be then, and it is the wrong place now." [Drilling] [Take Action!] [CAP]

Trouble on the Home Front

Krugman: "The argument over Social Security privatization isn't about rival views on how to secure the program's future - even the administration admits that private accounts would do nothing to help the system's finances. It's a debate about what kind of society America should be."
"It isn't always bad politics to say things that aren't true and claim to support things you actually oppose: just look at who's running the country. But Democrats who engage in these tactics right now create big problems for a party that has been given a special chance - maybe its last chance - to remind the country of what Democrats stand for, and why." [NYT]

We need to frame this debate over Social Security, and over the budget. We may be the minority party, but we also have to get our message out, and actually tell people what we stand for, not just republican-lite (this means you Joementum!).
See also: [Kos] [Nelson Amendment]

(Lack of) Ethics in the House: "Mr. DeLay was reprimanded for excessive power plays three times last year by the torpid ethics committee - an unusual initiative for that body, which led directly to the panel's being purged and manacled by new rules to block future inquiries. Speaker Hastert should scrap those rules for a truly honest and unhindered ethical process, or risk paying the price next year before the voters. Opportunistic Democrats are already vowing to boycott the hamstrung ethics panel. The longer House members remain investigation-proof, the more their ethical dead zone will redound to Speaker Hastert's discredit, as much as to Mr. DeLay's." [NYT]
More on dumping DeLay: "But without changing the party divisions on the Committee -- a move that would almost certainly trigger more outrage than the Republican Conference would care to entertain -- the even split between Republicans and Democrats has been enough to block the adoption of the rules changes that the GOP House majority attempted to force. In its place, however, there are no rules. Which means there's no ethics process. Which means that the emerging details of DeLay's continuing battle with his ethics demons will go uninvestigated by the House. What luck, eh?" [Kos] [IsoIncident] [The Stakeholder] [WP] [DeLay Rule]

Monday, March 14, 2005

Covert Media

Welcome to Orwell's 1984.

NYT: "To a viewer, each report looked like any other 90-second segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government produced all three. The report from Kansas City was made by the State Department. The "reporter" covering airport safety was actually a public relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration. The farming segment was done by the Agriculture Department's office of communications." [NYT] [Kos] [Tribune] [CAP] [Orwell] [Tribune2]

Media Matters has a great section on this, from Gannon, to Payola, to excellence in punditry. [MediaMatters]

Oh, and apparently the left is now reaching out to the mainstream media through blogs: "The bloggers, who describe themselves as liberal or progressive, say the conference calls are intended to counter what they regard as the much stronger influence of conservative pundits online. Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com, the host of the two calls so far, views them as a step toward getting their reports out to mainstream news organizations." [NYT]

Let the Madness Begin!!!

With all due respect to ESPN's Capital One Bowl Week, THIS is the most wonderful time of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's time to dance!!! Time to break out your brackets and the writing utencil (or keyboard) of you choice, and make your picks.

Here's a breakdown by region: [Chicago] [Syracuse] [Albuquerque] [Austin]

More on the 'Heels. [Doyel] [Devilishly Good] [What Next?] [IC] [ESPN]

Lots of websites offer brackets for downloading, printing, or picking. I always enter on ESPN's Tournament Challenge, and CBS Sportsline. [Bracket]

Friday, March 11, 2005


Krugman: "The trustees' report has always been a very useful document, providing a wealth of information. But this year, more than ever before, it will have to be read with an eye to the ways it will try to mislead." [NYT]

Hey, don't put anything past Bush. He's already proved that he can lie, and lie well. He's proved that he can get any part of the government to lie and alter documents and reports for him. Why stop now.

This is FUNNY: "MS. WEBSTER: And I chose the safe plan, government bonds. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: That's all right. Well, not so safe, unless we fix the deficit. But other than that -- (laughter). We're fixing the deficit. (Applause.)" I LOVE these scripted town-hall meetings!!! [Kos] [Atrios] [ThinkProgress]

The best was Obama though: ""It is puzzling to me that we are even having this debate about whether Social Security is good or not for African-Americans," said Obama, an Illinois Democrat. "I frankly found the statement that the president made somewhat offensive." [Tribune]

Unworthy nominees: "Mr. Myers, Mr. Boyle, and Mr. Griffith were chosen for their archconservative political views, not their qualifications for the bench. No impartial person interested in choosing only the best possible judges would have put them at the top of the list. The federal judiciary is one of the cornerstones of American government - one of the three branches the nation's founders created, and set against one another, to guide the nation and keep it free. Surely this vital institution deserves better." [NYT] [Kos]

Thursday, March 10, 2005

TABOR, and Why it is WRONG

The Terror of TABOR: "Around the country, right-wing radicals are working feverishly to undermine public services in health, education, public safety and every other area. Their weapon of choice is something called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (or TABOR), which severely and artificially limits revenue and spending for all services, no matter how great the need."
This document describes how TABOR works. [TABOR] And this document shows how disastrous it has been for Colorado, who implemented it in 1993. [Disaster] "No existing measure of inflation correctly captures the growth in the cost of the kind of services purchased in the public sector." That means "the inflation adjustment generally is not sufficient to allow the continuation of existing services." [CAP]
Undermining Healthcare [Children Suffer]
Undermining Education [CO Ranks 48th in School Funding per $1000 of Income]
Undermining the Economy [hemorrhaging Jobs] [Heritage Dishonesty]
The Bipartisan backlash [Gov Owens (R) is publicly critical of TABOR] [Sacrificing the Future of Children] [Bob Novak is a HACK]
Here's what Grassroots NorthShore, a local grassroots organization, has to say about the possibility of TABOR in Wisconsin. [GRNS]

Putting Last Things First

The Priorities of this Administration never cease to amaze me. [Opinion]

Instead of worring about helping the poor & sick get out of debt, they push the bankruptcy bill. Instead of worrying about polluters, or the health of Americans, they pass the tort reform bill. Instead of worrying about actually providing for retirement, they push the social security reform bill. WTF!?!?!?! LIARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rich: "Even as we're constantly told we're in a war for "freedom" abroad, freedom in our culture at home has been under attack ever since." [NYT]

Dowd: "While the president and the neocons try to remake the Middle East to help future generations, can't they find a little time to remake our security to protect this generation?" [NYT]

You mean, there are some people that actually care we're running HUGE deficits???
"Uneasy about the potential impact on the ballooning federal deficit, the Senate Republicans called for $70.2 billion in tax cuts over the next five years, as opposed to the estimated $100 billion the White House is seeking. " [NYT]

Killing Alaska-for a few barrels of oil. "A long-cherished Republican goal to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling advanced in a Senate committee on Thursday, and Democrats are not sure they can muster enough votes to kill the plan in the full Senate next week."
[Reuters] [Yahoo]

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Dan Rather signs off from CBS News. [CBS News] [A Reporter Remembers] [NYT] [Yahoo] [Video] [Photos]

Rather is leaving w/ the specter of the Bush Reports from just before the election, regarding Bush's "guard service," or rather the lack-thereof. He will be missed...by me at least. I don't watch the Evening News much anymore on the "big 3" networks. Hell, no one will EVER touch Walter Cronkite. I cried when he left.

Kristof on home-grown Osamas: "So we don't have to go to Saudi Arabia to find violent religious extremists steeped in hatred for all America stands for. Wake up - they're here." [NYT] [Right to Bear Arms]

The new cover of the highly anticipated book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was unveiled today. See it here...here...and here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Real Maestro

Krugman: "The bankruptcy bill was written by and for credit card companies, and the industry's political muscle is the reason it seems unstoppable. But the bill also fits into the broader context of what Jacob Hacker, a political scientist at Yale, calls "risk privatization": a steady erosion of the protection the government provides against personal misfortune, even as ordinary families face ever-growing economic insecurity."

"Other amendments were aimed at protecting families and individuals who have clearly been forced into bankruptcy by events, or who would face extreme hardship in repaying debts. Ted Kennedy introduced an exemption for cases of medical bankruptcy. Russ Feingold introduced an amendment protecting the homes of the elderly. Dick Durbin asked for protection for armed services members and veterans. All were rejected. " [NYT]

I want to give a BIG thank you to 14 "Democratic" Senators, but most especially, Senator Herb Kohl. Thank YOU Senator for selling out your state and voting to invoke cloture on the Bankruptcy Bill.

GOP Voters, you have NO right to complain about anything...you get what YOU voted for!!! "The president's decision to take on the farm lobby has caught many by surprise. He gave no hint of it during his reelection campaign, which was based on winning the South and most of the upper Midwest farm states." [WP] [Kos]

More on the Bankruptcy Bill, expected to pass this week. [NYT] [NYTO] [Kos] [CAP] [RudePundit] [Annatopia] [Atrios]

More on PA-Repug Rick Santorum and his fight against the working-class. [Santorum] [Ricky2]

Monday, March 07, 2005

Let's Roll!

More on yesterday's post: [TarheelBlue] [TarheelDaily]

Choking back tears. [2005 Seniors]
One of the best pictures ever. [75-73]

May and Felton are first-team all-ACC. [TarheelBlue] [IC] [CBS]
ACC Tourney starts Thursday in D.C. [Bracket]
UNC plays the winner of Thursday's Maryland/Clemson match.

Bankruptcy Hypocrisy

Check out this special edition of the Talking Points Memo Blog by Joshua Micah Marshall. It's all about the Bankruptcy Bill that is being pushed through Congress by the right-wingers: "At the Judiciary Committee hearings a few weeks ago, GOP senators and their witnesses alleged that the purpose of S.256 is to eliminate "the abuses of the bankruptcy law that we have witnessed in recent years." Their underlying assumption, of course, is that bankruptcy filings are on the rise because more Americans are gaming the system. No doubt there is a small number of bad apples, but nobody, including Volokh blogger Todd Zywicki, has pointed to any empirical evidence suggesting that the barrel is rotten. There is, however, one class of bankruptcy abuse that's both highly visible and well-documented: that perpetrated by the wealthiest filers. [TalkingPointsMemo] [Fainthearted Faction] [Consumer Champs] [WP]

The Center for American Progress has some GREAT resources on the Bankruptcy Bill. The credit card industry alone took in over $30 BILLION last year. [LAT] Haven't we had enough!?!?!?
Here's what the right-wingers have rejected so far:
-Closing loopholes for millionaires-Rejected [NYT]
-Protections for the Elderly-Rejected [Elderly]
-Protections for the Sick-Rejected [Medical Bills]
-Protections for Veterans-Rejected [Veterans]

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Return of the King

Pure Bliss.
"North Carolina (26-3, 14-2), playing without the ill Rashad McCants for the fourth straight game, won its first (outright) ACC regular season championship since 1993, the same year of its most recent national title."
Without star Rashad McCants for the fourth straight game, the Heels came back from 9 down in the last 3 minutes. Sean May had his eighth straight double-double, with 26 points, and 24 rebounds.

Coach Williams even let them cut down the nets: "Roy Williams said he first asked permission from Dean Smith, before declaring, “We’re going to have a party. We’re going to cut down the nets.” Under the instruction of Williams, first went Melvin Scott, then Jackie Manuel and, to the loudest applause of all, Jawad Willliams took a snippet, with flash bulbs going off in the Smith Center like an ‘American Anthem’ movie. Only this time the crowd was real. Next, Felton went up the ladder, so did McCants, and Damion Grant kissed a piece of nylon history. “I’m big on letting kids celebrate,” Roy Williams said. “Somebody’s not going to like it and that’s just a part of it, but I’m big on kids enjoying themselves and thanking the fans."
[IC] [CBS] [ACC Standings] [Box] [Roy w/ Audio] [PhotosI] [PhotosII] [ESPN]

Conscience Clause

The "Conscience Clause" is designed to let medical professionals not help patients in need. And that, is truly sad. Pharmacists have no place in the doctor-patient relationship. [JS]

Senate on the brink of the "Nuclear Option". Don't end the filibuster!!! [NYTO]

Kane: "But both men were engulfed in a now-typical hysteria about the boundaries of free speech, which means we may be edging dangerously closer to the age of more censorship of ideas than ever before. And make no doubt about it, that would be a very bad thing indeed." [JS]

And Bush authorized this: "The process, known as rendition, has been central in the government's efforts to disrupt terrorism, but has been bitterly criticized by human rights groups on grounds that the practice has violated the Bush administration's public pledge to provide safeguards against torture." [Torture] [DIreland] [Yahoo]

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Starve the Beast

Krugman: "And the consequence of the failure of the starve-the-beast theory is a looming fiscal crisis - Mr. Greenspan isn't wrong about that. The middle class won't give up programs that are essential to its financial security; the right won't give up tax cuts that it sold on false pretenses. The only question now is when foreign investors, who have financed our deficits so far, will decide to pull the plug." [NYT]

Greenspan is a NO-TALENT HACK!!! [Reid] [Wolcott] [Kos]

Rich: ""Reporting America's Story," NBC's slogan, is what Hunter Thompson actually did before the phrase was downsized into a vacuous marketing strategy. As for Mr. Rather, he gave a valedictory interview to Ken Auletta of The New Yorker in which he said, "The one thing I hope, and I believe, is that even my enemies think that I am authentic." The bar is so low these days that authenticity may well constitute a major journalistic accomplishment in itself." [NYT]

What the hell is wrong w/ the media? You hear about all "liberal media" crap, but not about real stories. I guess our society cares more about Martha Stewart getting out of jail, than it does about a GOP press plant that lies about his identity, throws softball questions to the president and his press secretary, and sits 20 feet away from the president. And they talk about security???

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bankrupt Congress

Bankrupt Bankruptcy Bill: "Mostly along party lines, the Senate voted 59-40 Wednesday to reject a Democratic amendment that would have allowed older people to get special homestead exemptions to keep their homes when they file for bankruptcy. Currently, such exemptions are determined by the states."
Those voting with the Republicans against the elderly: Carper, Biden, Johnson of SD and Nelson of NE. [Senate]

Also voted down (59-40), a Democratic proposal to force credit card companies to disclose how long it would take to pay off debt by only paying the minimum payment. It would also show the amount of interest accrued as a result of only paying the minimum (which is all most people can afford nowadays). [Kos] [NYT] [NYTO]

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

14th Century America

Kristof: "As Martin Luther King Jr. put it: "Man's inhumanity to man is not only perpetrated by the vitriolic actions of those who are bad. It is also perpetrated by the vitiating inaction of those who are good." [NYT]

Bricks in the wall: "Adding the national anthem to the Kentucky displays or pointing to other statues in the distance in Texas cannot undo the displays' clear motivation: tying the legal system to Protestantism. The wall between church and state dates proudly to the earliest days of the republic. The founders may not have anticipated a country with many Hindu and Buddhist Americans, but they were wise enough to write a document that protects their rights. Our increasingly diverse nation must not appear to prefer some religions, and some citizens, over others." [Opinion] [TheNation]

Justice for Juveniles: "It is disappointing that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who supported the court's 2002 decision ending the execution of mentally retarded people on similar grounds, declined to join yesterday's majority. Nevertheless, it seems inevitable that one day Americans will look back on this latest narrowing of the categories of people eligible for execution as another intermediate step toward the court's entire rejection of the death penalty. At least that remains our fervent hope." [NYTO] [CNN] [TalkLeft] [Yahoo]
Wow...now at least we are better than Saudi Arabia and Syria, and that's not saying much.

Updates from yesterday: [GOP Playbook] [AmericaBlog]

Screwed Again

I am writing this post, talking to the simple FACT that Ron Santo got screwed by the Hall of Fame voters, again. First, he was screwed by the veteran's committee back in 2003. Then he lost the Frick award this year, and now, the veteran's committee has decided not to elect anyone again. The next election is 2007.
The Hall of Famers that are voting on this are on crack. Santo hit .277, with 342 HR's, 1,331 RBI's, had 5 Gold Gloves, and was a nine-time all-star. I pull for Ronnie not just because he was a great player, but because of what he had to overcome. He was diagnosed with type I diabetes in high school, but it didn't stop him. He made it to the majors, and was one of the top 3B's of his era. I too am a type I diabetic, and I struggled and suffered to run cross-country and track at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater...but I did it. Ron Santo inspired me then, and he continues to inspire me to this day.
[Cubs] [Tribune] [MLB] [TalkBack] [Archive] [HoF] [BaseballReference]

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Just Say NO

Krugman: "The important thing to remember is why the right wants privatization. The drive to create private accounts isn't about finding a way to strengthen Social Security; it's about finding a way to phase out a system that conservatives have always regarded as illegitimate. And as long as that is what's at stake, there is no room for any genuine compromise. When it comes to privatization, just say no." [NYT] [Poll]
This means you Joementum!!! The Dems have to put together a united front against this attack from the right.

Buried in the Republican "How To Manual" (all of 10 pounds), is the instructions on how to manipulate language, conservative style. For example, a conservative politician is never to say "Globalization, or out-sourcing," they are to say "Free Market Economy." [AAR] [Kos] [Luntz File]

Rx for Disaster

A pharmacist at a Menomonie, WI Kmart in July 2002 denied a birth-control prescription for a UW-Stout student. The pharmacist refused to fill the prescription on "moral grounds", and also refused to refer the student to another pharmacy to get the prescription filled. He went so far as to deny to transfer the prescription when another pharmacy called. [JS] [NARAL]

I just don't understand. This guy's only concern was his own "moral code", not the welfare and well-being of the patient. I don't care if you're opposed to giving out birth-control, she handed you a prescription from a doctor to fill it, so you FILL IT. End of story. All that is going to happen to this guy is a reprimand, and they'll make him list out what he will and will not dispense to a patient to a future employer.

The teachers of the Berkeley school district in California aren't giving homework these days. But it's not because they are kind souls, it's because they haven't been given a pay increase in two years. The teachers are only putting in the time required by the district, and have stopped giving up their personal time to grade papers, help students, or call parents back. [Yahoo] [KSBW] [CNN]

It's terrible that this has to escalate like this, but bravo to these teachers. I can attest that teachers are NOT paid anywhere near what they are worth, or are adequately compensated for their time and efforts. The worst part is that the students end up suffering the consequences. This is happening far too often now days, due to the fact that revenue to schools is cut, and they can't provide health coverage and pay to the teachers, forcing them to choose.