I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

America, A Symbol Of...

Krugman: "One of the more bizarre aspects of the Iraq war has been President Bush's repeated insistence that his generals tell him they have enough troops. Even more bizarrely, it may be true - I mean, that his generals tell him that they have enough troops, not that they actually have enough."

"Let me put that in plainer English: our all-volunteer military is based on an implicit promise that those who serve their country in times of danger will also be able to get on with their lives. Full-time soldiers expect to spend enough time at home base to keep their marriages alive and see their children growing up. Reservists expect to be called up infrequently enough, and for short enough tours of duty, that they can hold on to their civilian jobs." [NYT]

Herbert: "In much of the world, the image of the U.S. under Mr. Bush has morphed from an idealized champion of liberty to a heavily armed thug in camouflage fatigues. America is increasingly being seen as a dangerously arrogant military power that is due for a comeuppance. It will take a lot more than Karen Hughes to turn that around." [NYT]

Deep Throated

Deep Throat has been revealed: W. Mark Felt, number two at the FBI during the Nixon Administration, stepped out of the shadows and was made known to the public today.

"Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein said in a statement posted this afternoon on The Post's Web site: “W. Mark Felt was 'Deep Throat' and helped us immeasurably in our Watergate coverage. However, as the record shows, many other sources and officials assisted us and other reporters for the hundreds of stories that were written in The Washington Post about Watergate.” [NYT]

"The confirmation came from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story, and their former top editor, Benjamin C. Bradlee. The three spoke after Felt's family and Vanity Fair magazine identified the 91-year-old Felt, now a retiree in California, as the long-anonymous source who provided crucial guidance for some of the newspaper's groundbreaking Watergate stories." [WP]

Division III Champs

The UW-Whitewater Men's Baseball team won the 2005 NCAA Division III National Championship today by beating SUNY-Cortland, 11-4. Kevin Tomasiewicz was named the championship series MVP after pitching a complete game in the championship's final game. [UWW] [Box] [Game Pics] [Postgame Pics]

Congrats to my alma mater! Go Warhawks!!!!!!

Friday, May 27, 2005


Krugman: "So what happens if the housing bubble bursts? It will be the same thing all over again, unless the Fed can find something to take its place. And it's hard to imagine what that might be. After all, the Fed's ability to manage the economy mainly comes from its ability to create booms and busts in the housing market. If housing enters a post-bubble slump, what's left? [NYT]

Friedman: "Shut it down. Just shut it down.

I am talking about the war-on-terrorism P.O.W. camp at Guantánamo Bay. Just shut it down and then plow it under. It has become worse than an embarrassment. I am convinced that more Americans are dying and will die if we keep the Gitmo prison open than if we shut it down. So, please, Mr. President, just shut it down." [NYT]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Greatest Thing

Yesterday was my third wedding anniversary. Awesome. We had a wonderful dinner, and we got to spend some time with each other.

But, the best thing that happened to me yesterday, and maybe in my life, was I heard my baby's heartbeat for the first time. I haven't written about this yet because we wanted to tell our families first, but yes, my wife Becky is pregnant with our first child. She is currently 13 weeks along, and doing wonderfully.

Hearing that heartbeat for the first time yesterday...wow...simply amazing. I can't tell you how excited I am.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Media Road Show

Krugman: "Since the election, high-profile right-wing initiatives, at both the federal and state level, have run into a stone wall of public disapproval. President Bush's privatization road show seems increasingly pathetic. In California, the conservative agenda of Arnold Schwarzenegger, including an attempt to partially privatize state pensions, has led to demonstrations by nurses, teachers, police officers and firefighters - and to a crash in his approval ratings." [NYT]

Herbert: "Much of what has happened to the military on his watch has been catastrophic. In Iraq, more than 1,600 American troops have died and many thousands have been maimed in a war that Mr. Rumsfeld mishandled from the beginning and still has no idea how to win. The generals are telling us now that the U.S. is likely to be bogged down in Iraq for years, and there are whispers circulating about the possibility of "defeat." [NYT]

Rich: "That's how absurdly over-the-top the assault on Newsweek has been. The administration has been so successful at bullying the news media in order to cover up its own fictions and failings in Iraq that it now believes it can get away with pinning some 17 deaths on an errant single sentence in a 10-sentence Periscope item that few noticed until days after its publication. Coming just as the latest CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll finds that only 41 percent of Americans think the war in Iraq is "worth fighting" and only 42 percent think it's going well, this smells like desperation. In its war on the press, this hubristic administration may finally have crossed a bridge too far." [NYT]

Saturday, May 21, 2005

A Decent Minimum

Krugman: "And there's no sign that anyone in the administration has faced up to an unpleasant reality: the U.S. economy has become dependent on low-interest loans from China and other foreign governments, and it's likely to have major problems when those loans are no longer forthcoming." [NYT]

Friedman: "In part this is because we are so dependent on their oil - and addicts never tell the truth to their pushers. In part this is because the administration got so carried away by the vote in the Iraqi elections that it lost focus. (We don't even have an ambassador in Iraq at this critical juncture, when it is so important that an ethnically balanced Iraqi government be formed. But don't worry - John Bolton is going to reform the U.N.)" [NYT]

Miller: "So the conservative view of the decent minimum comes to this: "You're lucky to be in America; you're lucky to have a job; you're lucky to have the emergency room." A better idea would be "basic health coverage and $9 to $10 an hour, without putting the full burden of this on employers." Turns out we can have such a society for a penny on the national dollar (1% of G.D.P.), and still leave government smaller (21% of G.D.P.) than it was under President Ronald Reagan." [NYT]

We're Falling Behind

Bush threatens to veto a new bi-partisan stem-cell bill that is being pushed through the House.

"Mr. Castle's bill does not permit federal financing for the kind of "therapeutic cloning" studies being done in South Korea, but a Senate measure, introduced by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, would. The stem cell debate is not only splitting Republicans in Washington. With states like California - where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, backs the research - developing ambitious stem cell programs, and other nations moving ahead, some lawmakers warn that Americans are at an economic and scientific disadvantage." [NYT]

A Repugnican speaks: "Those leftover eggs will have no potential ever of becoming a human being unless they are implanted in a woman's body, so I don't believe that experimenting on those fertilized eggs is the equivalent of an abortion at all," he said. "I think that is wrong thinking."

The Castle-DeGette bill is not perfect, but what Congressional bill is? This research would be done on leftover embryos from fertility clinics, not implanted embryos from a woman's body. South Korea is now ahead of us. How much longer until we put aside the crap and try to help some people cure some nasty diseases? I for one, suffer from Type I diabetes, and this could greatly help chances of finding a cure.

Oh but wait! We can't upset the religious right! Heaven forbid! We don't want to upset General Dobson and his band of "merry men."

Keep Your Nose OUT!

Just a good article for anyone that thinks that the National ID Card is a good thing. It's NOT.

"Among other things, this stealth ID law requires states to change their driver’s licenses to include information that wasn’t there before and to make those driver’s licenses compatible with scanning devices. The law also authorizes the Homeland Security Department to require anything else on the license that their heart desires — fingerprints, for instance, or retinal scans."

“So, what’s the matter with it, anyway?” is the usual reaction. “You got something to hide?”

"Actually, I suppose I do. So do you." [O'Malley]

Rivalry Intensifies

"After combining for six McDonald's All-Americans from the high school class of 2005, North Carolina and Duke will probably exceed that total in 2006. This week Duke picked up three commitments in three days, all from likely 2006 McDonald's All-Americans -- and North Carolina's recruiting class could be better. Could be lots better."

"Two teams, two years, perhaps 13 McDonald's All-Americans? Coached by Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, who have four NCAA titles among their 15 Final Four appearances? Only three letters could mess this up: NBA." [Doyel]

This is my favorite rivalry in all of sports. Of course, I bleed on the Carolina Blue side of the issue, but everyone wants to see a good rivalry.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Staying What Course?

Krugman: "Why did the administration want to invade Iraq, when, as the memo noted, "the case was thin" and Saddam's "W.M.D. capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, or Iran"? Iraq was perceived as a soft target; a quick victory there, its domestic political advantages aside, could serve as a demonstration of American military might, one that would shock and awe the world.
But the Iraq war has, instead, demonstrated the limits of American power, and emboldened our potential enemies. Why should Kim Jong Il fear us, when we can't even secure the road from Baghdad to the airport?" [NYT] [DowningStreetMemo]

Rich: "But surely the most arresting recent case is James E. West, the powerful Republican mayor of Spokane, Wash., whose double life has just been exposed by the local paper, The Spokesman-Review. Mr. West's long, successful political career has been distinguished by his attempts to ban gay men and lesbians from schools and day care centers, to fire gay state employees, to deny City Hall benefits to domestic partners and to stifle AIDS-prevention education. The Spokesman-Review caught him trolling gay Web sites for young men and trying to lure them with gifts and favors. (He has denied accusations of abusing boys when he was a Boy Scout leader some 25 years ago.) Not unlike the Roy Cohn of "Angels in America" - who describes himself as "a heterosexual man" who has sex "with guys" - Mr. West has said he had "relations with adult men" but doesn't "characterize" himself as gay. This is more than hypocrisy - it's pathology." [NYT]

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday Night Lights

The Cubs won their third straight, and fourth out of five tonight in Washington, 6-3. Aramis Ramirez had a HR to lead off a 4-run 8th inning for the victory. Will Ohman picked up his 1st win, and Todd Wellemeyer got his first save after Mike Remlinger loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th with two outs. [CBS] [Box] [Cubs]

Looks like it's back to "closer by situation" again. The Cubs also recalled IF Mike Fontenot from AAA-Iowa, and sent back RHP Sergio Mitre. [Notes]

Saturday: 6:05 PM. Zambrano vs. Hernandez.

The Brewers squeaked out a tight one in Pittsburgh tonight, winning 4-3. Geoff Jenkins doubled in the winning run in the top of the 9th, off of Pirates closer Jose Mesa. Great start for Capuano: 8 IP, 3 ER, 6 K. [CBS] [Box] [Brewers]

Saturday: 6:05 PM. Santos vs. Redman.

Always Low Wages. Always.

Krugman: "Today, Wal-Mart is America's largest corporation. Like G.M. in its prime, it has become a widely emulated business icon. But there the resemblance ends.
The average full-time Wal-Mart employee is paid only about $17,000 a year. The company's health care plan covers fewer than half of its workers.
True, not everyone is badly paid. In 1968, the head of General Motors received about $4 million in today's dollars - and that was considered extravagant. But last year Scott Lee Jr., Wal-Mart's chief executive, was paid $17.5 million. That is, every two weeks Mr. Lee was paid about as much as his average employee will earn in a lifetime.
Not that many of them will actually spend a lifetime at Wal-Mart: more than 40 percent of the company's workers leave every year." [NYT]

Friedman: "In recent years, though, with the flattening of the global playing field, it should be apparent that we are not just competing against ourselves. The opening of China, India and Russia means that young people in these countries can increasingly plug and play - connect, collaborate and compete - more easily and cheaply than ever before. And they are. We, alas, are still coasting along as if we have all the time in the world." [NYT]

Herbert: "The employment bar has been set so low for the Bush administration that even a modest gain is cause for celebration. But we shouldn't be blinded by the flash of last Saturday's headlines. American workers, especially younger workers, remain stuck in a gloomy employment landscape.
Workers have been so cowed by an environment in which they are so obviously dispensable that they have been afraid to ask for the raises they deserve, or for their share of the money derived from the remarkable increases in worker productivity over the past few years. And from one coast to the other, workers have swallowed draconian cuts in benefits with scarcely a whimper." [NYT]

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Troglodyte Troika

What do Anchorage, Albany, OR and Asheville, NC have in common?

Air America. Milwaukee, however, is not part of that group that’s in all parts of the country – including the South.

Political talk as you know in Milwaukee is dominated by the Troglodyte Troika – Charlie, Mark and Jeff.
Do you want our city defined by these guys?
Here’s your chance to do something about it. Go to www.grassrootsnorthshore.org and sign the petition to bring Air America to Milwaukee.
As you know, this network is rolling across the country bringing new ideas and progressives together in over 50 cities, beating Rush and Hannity in many of these places.
It can happen here.
We are looking to collect 5,000 signatures by the end of May. Your signature and those of your friends to will prove to the media companies we approach that there is an audience for Air America along with a segment of local progressive talk. Check them out at www.airamericaradio.com .
If you’ve signed already – GREAT.
But we need more. You’ve got ten friends at least in the Milwaukee metro area. Send them the link and urge them to sign up, and then urge them to sign up ten of their friends.

Tired of Milwaukee talk radio? Time to bring in some fresh air!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Marquette To Start Over On Nickname

Someone finally woke up.

After a week plus of protests, anger, and discontent, Marquette Board President, Fr. Robert Wild re-opened the nickname search. Marquette, who selected "Gold" for a nickname one week ago, will choose a new nickname soon. They will however not entertain the "Warriors" nickname of old. [JS Online]

"The turn of events was a stunning about-face from last week when 30 of the 38 members of the board voted against going back to Warriors, junk Golden Eagles and adopt Gold, a nickname they felt embraced the traditions of the school's sports team.

The decision to go back to the drawing board also was a big victory for the legions of alumni, students and faculty who vigorously protested through e-mails, letters and angry phone calls - and on Internet blogs, online forums and chat rooms.

We were not winning hearts and minds," Father Robert A. Wild, Marquette's president, said of Gold nickname choice."

Good call. "Gold" was HORRIBLE. As I am not an alumni, I don't have a very strong opinion, but "Gold???" WTF!?! Terrible. Here are some readers opinions.

Suspended Over a Dress???

How many MEN can say that they were suspended for 3 days over wearing a dress to their Senior Prom? Well...one can anyways. [JS Online]

"Lofy said he thought it would be funny to show up at his senior prom Saturday wearing a dress. Lofy went to the prom with Victor Anderson, a friend. Lofy says the school did not have any problem letting two males attend prom together, but school officials who had heard of Lofy's plan to wear a black dress warned him that he would not be allowed in the dance if he showed up dressed as a woman."

C'mon people! Have a sense of humor!!!!!! A poll online (with 2,773 votes, currently) gives 85.1% saying that the punishment was too harsh. Agreed.

Late-Inning Heroics

Derrek Lee hit a walkoff HR in the bottom of the 10th inning to cap a 4-3 win, and a series victory for the Cubs today against the Mets. Ryan Dempster blew his first save chance in the 9th inning, but got the victory in the 10th. Mark Prior went 7 strong IP, gave up only 2 hits, 1 ER, and had 7 K. The Cubs won last night, 7-0. Cubs are now 15-18.
[CBS] [Box] [Cubs]

Chicago recalled RHP Sergio Mitre from AAA-Iowa in exchange for RHP Jon Leicester, who made his first MLB start on Monday. [Cubs]
Jason Dubois got his 2nd start in a row; Aramis Ramirez missed Wednesday's game with back-spasms [Notes]

Friday @ Washington DC: Rusch vs. Loiaza, 6:05 PM.

The Brewers win again today over Philly, 5-2, on the strength of a base-clearing double by Junior Spivey in the bottom of the 8th off of Corey Lidle. Doug Davis went 8 IP, had 2 ER, and 4 K. The Brewers won last night, 8-5. Brewers are now 17-16.
[CBS] [Box] [Brewers]

Notes: Sheets working his way back [Notes]

Friday @ Pittsburgh: Capuano vs. Wells, 6:05 PM.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Stranger Than Fiction

Krugman: "The point is that the privatizers consider four years of policies that relentlessly favored the wealthy a fait accompli, not subject to reconsideration. Now that tax cuts have busted the budget, they want us to accept large cuts in Social Security benefits as inevitable. But they demand that we praise Mr. Bush's sense of social justice, because he proposes bigger benefit cuts for the middle class than for the poor.
Sorry, but no. Mr. Bush likes to play dress-up, but his Robin Hood costume just doesn't fit." [NYT]

Herbert: "It might have been better if Mr. Bush had stayed in closer touch with his earthly father. From the very beginning the war in Iraq has been an exercise in extreme madness, an absurd venture that would have been rich in comic possibilities except for the fact that many thousands of men, women and children have died, and tens of thousands have been crippled, burned or otherwise maimed." [NYT]

Rich: "Much as we all delight in the latest horse-milking joke, the happiest news in comedy last week was the announcement that "The Daily Show" will be spinning off a new half-hour on Comedy Central starring its "senior White House correspondent," Stephen Colbert. Make no mistake about it: the ratings rise of Jon Stewart's fake news has been in direct relation to the show's prowess at blowing the whistle on propaganda when the legitimate press fails to do so. The correspondents' dinner, itself a "Daily Show" target last week, could not have been a more graphic illustration of why, at a time when trust in real news is plummeting, there's a bull market for fake news that can really be trusted to know what is fake." [NYT]

Nature at Bay: "President Bush's policies suggest that he not only has failed to learn from past mistakes, but is determined to repeat them on a more destructive scale. The obvious example is his fixation on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. This bespeaks an intellectually bankrupt energy policy and would certainly cause trouble for wildlife. Yet the Arctic is hardly the only illustration of the administration's insensitivity to wilderness values." [NYT]

Friday, May 06, 2005

A Serious Drug Problem

Krugman: "If all this sounds like a story of a corrupt deal created by a corrupt system, it is. And it was a very expensive deal indeed. According to the Medicare trustees, the fiscal gap over the next 75 years created by the 2003 law - not the financing gap for Medicare as a whole, just the additional gap created by legislation passed 18 months ago - will be $8.7 trillion."

"That's about three times the amount President Bush proposes to save by cutting middle-class Social Security benefits."

"In fact, I have a suggestion for Mr. Bush. One way to prove that he's really sincere about addressing long-run fiscal problems, that his calls for benefit cuts aren't just part of an ideological agenda, would be to put Social Security aside for a while and fix his own Medicare program. Oh, never mind." [NYT]

Friedman: "But what was new for me on this tour was the number of people who also mentioned getting their news from Jon Stewart's truly funny news satire, "The Daily Show." And I am not just talking about college kids. I am talking about grandmas. Just how many people are now getting their only TV news from Comedy Central is not clear to me - but it is a lot, lot more than you think.
Second, and this may be related to the first, there's a huge undertow of worry out in the country about how our kids are being educated and whether they'll be able to find jobs in an increasingly flat world, where more Chinese, Indians and Russians than ever can connect, collaborate and compete with us. In three different cities I had parents ask me some version of: "My daughter [or son] is studying Chinese in high school. That's the right thing to do, isn't it?" [NYT]

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

A day after getting swept out of Milwaukee, the Cubs blew it again, this time against Philadelphia in Wrigley. The Cubs led 2-1 going into the ninth on the strength of a Derrek Lee 2-run HR in the 8th. Mark Prior went 8 strong IP, giving up only 1 ER, and striking out 10. Chicago has dropped six straight, to fall to 12-16 on the season.
[CBS] [Box] [Cubs]

Flat out, can we just demote LaTroy Hawkins to AAA-Iowa? Or maybe A-Daytona would be more appropriate. He currently has a 1-3 record, and has blown 3 saves this season. I've just about run out of patience with this guy. Here's what happened in the top of the 9th with the bases loaded: "Pinch-hitter Placido Polanco then hit a comebacker to Hawkins, who fielded the ball and turned to throw to Lee. The throw hit Offerman in the helmet and ricocheted into the stands. Two runs scored on the error, and the Phillies took a 3-2 lead." And they won...blown save. I don't care if Hawkins thinks that the "baseball gods" are testing the Cubs right now, they just need to play better. They got a great effort from Prior, Lee was clutch again, and they still couldn't win the damn game. What more is it going to take???

Tomorrow: 1:20 PM. Lieber vs. Rusch.

Milwaukee is behind 3-6 to the Mets at home, with a SEVEN game WIN streak on the line. Currently: 7th inning. Brew Crew Brew!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Brewers 4, Cubs 1

Game 1 in Milwaukee ended in the Brewers favor, 4-1. Bill Hall went 3-4 and Chris Capuano went 7 IP with 6 K's to lead the Brewers. Carlos Zambrano went 7 IP with 10 K's .
[CBS] [Box] [Cubs] [Tribune] [Brewers]

Kerry Wood will be out for 5-6 weeks following shoulder problems this past Saturday in Houston. The MRI on Monday diagnosed the problem as a supraspinatus muscle strain in the right shoulder. Todd Wellemeyer was recalled from AAA-Iowa to take his place on the roster. [Cubs] [Tribune] [Morrisey] [CBS]

Tonight, Game 2 of the series: 7:05 PM. Dempster vs. Santos.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Gut Punch to the Middle Class

Krugman: "You can see this happening right now to Medicaid, the nation's most important means-tested program. Last week Congress agreed on a budget that cuts funds for Medicaid (and food stamps), even while extending tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. States are cutting back, denying health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people with low incomes. Missouri is poised to eliminate Medicaid completely by 2008."

"If the Bush scheme goes through, the same thing will eventually happen to Social Security. As Mr. Furman points out, the Bush plan wouldn't just cut benefits. Workers would be encouraged to divert a large fraction of their payroll taxes into private accounts - but this would in effect amount to borrowing against their future benefits, which would be reduced accordingly."

"No, this is about ideology: Mr. Bush comes to bury Social Security, not to save it. His goal is to turn F.D.R.'s most durable achievement into an unpopular welfare program, so some future president will be able to attack it with tall tales about Social Security queens driving Cadillacs." [NYT]

Herbert: "Mr. Delgado said he had witnessed incidents in which an Army sergeant lashed a group of children with a steel Humvee antenna, and a Marine corporal planted a vicious kick in the chest of a kid about 6 years old. There were many occasions, he said, when soldiers or marines would yell and curse and point their guns at Iraqis who had done nothing wrong. He said he believes that the absence of any real understanding of Arab or Muslim culture by most G.I.'s, combined with a lack of proper training and the unrelieved tension of life in a war zone, contributes to levels of fear and rage that lead to frequent instances of unnecessary violence." [NYT]

Rich: "Oops. But what's given the Schiavo case resonance beyond the Schiavo story itself is that it crystallized the bigger picture of Olympian arrogance and illiberalism on the right. The impulse that led conservatives to intervene in a family's bitter debate over a feeding tube is the same one that makes them turn a debate over a Senate rule on filibusters into a litmus test of spiritual correctness. Surely no holier-than-thou Hollywood pontificator could be harder to take than the sanctimonious Bill Frist, who, unlike Barbra Streisand, can't even sing." [NYT]

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Some Good, Some Bad

The Cubs won on Friday night, 3-2, in a matchup between 300-game winners Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens. Maddux got the win. Saturday spelled more shoulder trouble for Kerry Wood. He went just 3 IP, 54 pitches, before his shoulder tightened up on him again. An MRI is Monday, and a DL stint probable. The Cubs lost 5-7. Today, Mark Prior was cruising along until the 5th inning, when Mike Lamb hit a grand slam. The Cubs lost, 3-9. The Cubs finished April with a winning record, 12-11, but evened it up today at 12-12.

The Brewers have now won 4 straight to improve to 11-13 overall. Brewers ace Ben Sheets was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to April 21st. He is expected to be back next Saturday in Cincinnati. The Brewers beat Cincinnati 4-3 on Friday, 6-5 on Saturday, and 13-3 on Sunday.

Tuesday: Cubs @ Brewers, 7:05 P.M. Zambrano vs. Capuano.