s skippy the bush kangaroo: September 2002

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, September 30, 2002

blogging around the right

here's some posts from the right side of blogtopia (yes! i coined that term!)

bill peschel of planet peschel finds that tom cruise, steven spielberg, brian eno and a minor redgrave, among other celebs, have come out in favor of invading iraq (he also does a nice job hoisting bill o'reilly on his own petard).

jane galt at live from the wtc gets really specific about the laws governing torricelli's replacement; to her credit, she also admonishes the repubs not to sue to stop the dems from replacing him on the ballot (plus, we love jane's lively comment section; always good debate going on!)

charles at little green footballs points up the hypocracy of a toronto bookstore which sells "end israeli occupation of palestine" buttons, but refuses to give away "end suicide bombing" buttons.

stephen green of vodka pundit muses on which democrat had the job of convincing torricelli to quit. we like his conclusion.

glenn reynolds of instapundit and a reader of his wonder about "declining" record revenues as the real reason for the industry's "don't steal our music via computers" stand (even though revenues were not down.

dianne e. at letter from gotham contemplates the ridiculousness of "lookism." (she states, "any man who says that a bikini oppresses women as much as a burqa does is full of shit." well put, dianne!)

scott ott of scrapple face is funny. he's really funny. he's really, really funny. no, really, this guy is a hoot.

found at town hall, the american legislative economic council urges a federal court to prevent the recording industry association of america from forcing verizon to divulge the identity of one of its customers, citing consumer privacy. also on townhall, a petition we actually endorse, to keep amazon.com from selling the book "understanding loved boy and boylovers." we are all for sexual congress between consenting adults, the key word being adults.

from calnews.com, geoff metcalf admonishes everyone that it's time out for partisanship...please! we concur.

the watchful babbler of doxagora is only blogging about once a week, much to our dismay.

posted by skippy at 9:57 PM | 1 comments

blogging around

avedon carol brings us a couple of interesting links over at the sideshow, including james g. weighart at the hill asking if bush's poll numbers are for real, and why joan walsh is ready to "re-elect gore in 2004."

tim dunlop at the road to surfdom reveals the reason why the lord of the rings movie worked so well.

lisa english of ruminate this! ruminates (what else would she do?) on the various excuses, er, sorry, we mean reasons the administration comes up with for invading iraq. she also found a blogger who was in desert storm and has some opposing views to mr. bush's oedipal adventure, er, sorry, we mean invading iraq.

and kevin raybould at lean left deconstructs slate's william saletan's argument in favor of attacking iraq. and maxspeak deconstructs the volokh conspiracy's arguement for same.

alterman links us to plenty of respectable middle-of-the-road non-lefties who are also opposed to same.

nathan newman at news and views has an idea how the dems can legally replace torricelli. and the daily kos has another. but we like atrios at eschaton's idea best.

here's a nice, non-political change of pace: kathy kinsley of on the third hand has set up a new blog demonstrating her abilities to design web sites and blogs. go check it out.

posted by skippy at 8:20 PM | 0 comments

ethics in the senate? isn't that an oxymoron?

senator robert torricelli announced that he would not run for re-election, amid dropping poll numbers because of accusations of questionable gifts received from campaign contributors.

"mr. torricelli's conduct, which led to a rebuke by the senate ethics committee in july..." [ed. note: who knew they had one?] "...dominated the campaign, leading democratic party leaders in washington to warn in recent weeks that his election was in danger and that his defeat might cost them control of the senate."

screeching cable tv heads and republicans all over the country were abuzz, hoping that this mess would make it impossible for the democrats to hold onto the majority in the senate. apparently nobody stopped to think that there are more than one senate seats up for re-election this fall.

and now for a skippy musing. let's suppose the senate does go to the republicans. we ask, quite simply, so what? what would be the difference? the democrats are cravenly kow-towing to mr. bush on practically everything. the only thing that spurs daschle to stand up for himself is when bush makes a nasty comment about him personally. the lives of military men or women, or the pocketbooks of american citizens, really don't seem to make a dent in the dem's thick heads, so, really, we ask you all, why does this high school mind-set of "we win, you lose, nyah nyah nyah" make any difference at all when all the people in congress might as well be extras in the stepford wives for all the individuality they're showing these days?

ok, sorry; back to the news: the republicans are threatening a lawsuit (funny how the repubs like lawyers when it's convenient for their agenda) to block the dems from replacing torricelli on the ballot. "new jersey election law allows political parties to change candidates 51 days or more before the election, but the law is unclear about making a switch after that point."

if the dems are able to make a substitution (what is this, baseball?), there is talk putting in bill bradley (what is this, basketball?). former sen. bradley, you remember, is the man who lost the democratic presidential nomination to the man who lost the election which he actually won.

posted by skippy at 8:05 PM | 86 comments

september is the cruelest month

the market ended the quarter with another downer today, marking the end of the third quarter with a 20% loss for nasdaq and a 19% loss for the dow, making it the worst quarter since the 1987 market crash, and the worst september since 1930 (there's that year again).

" 'the mood is pretty bad out there,' said thomas garcia, who helps manage $2.5 billion in equities at thornburg investment management co. 'people are expecting the worst, and there's some uncertainty out there ... on what earnings are going to be in october'."

hey, tom, the mood is pretty bad in here, too!

if it's all too depressing to read about, here's a video from cbs news letting us know that things look pretty bleak for next quarter, too. folks are hoping it should do better, with christmas buying coming up in november/december.

but that's assuming that nobody needs to import any merchandise through any of the 29 ports on the west coast, which are currently closed down due to a lockout of the dockworkers by the pacific maritime association, which represents the major shipping lines and port terminal operators (management). management claims that the international longshoremen (labor) were creating a de facto strike with a deliberate work slow-down as of late, and therefore literally locked the workers out of their jobs.

estimations at dollars loss due to the labor dispute is about a billion a day. and of course, it has the potential to create a domino effect on the economy, as manufacturers are unable to obtain raw materials, and therefore suppiers cannot get goods to the retailers, etc. etc. etc.

merry christmas!

posted by skippy at 7:23 PM | 0 comments

it's time for the fax to come out

this is your weekly reminder to use the phone company link on the right side of this page to send free faxes to your congressjerks in washington using the email system on your browser.

and seeing as how congress will begin on wednesday to debate on the resolution to invade iraq, this week would be a very good week to send a fax. be sure to use the your senators and your representatives links to find the fax numbers for your specific jerk.

warning! not all congressjerks have fax numbers. and we have no guarantee that the hart buidling will be open anyway these days.
posted by skippy at 7:12 PM | 0 comments

buy us some peanuts and crackerjack

let the games begin.

(also, these games and these games and espeically these games).

we'd like to see a western us semi-final, with the angels battling oakland, and san francisco fighting arizona, but we are realists, and would be happy if any of those four teams make it to the world series. personally, as exciting as it is to see anaheim get into the playoffs, we wonder if they can get past the yankees (actually, "doubt" is a more precise word that "wonder.")

and not only are we die-hard giants fans (dating back to when we lived in the city by the bay, the willie mccovey years), we also hate the atlanta braves. we hate them, mainly because they bill themselves as "america's team." who says? did they even take a poll? nobody asked us. the only sports team we probably hate more than the braves would be the dallas cowboys, for much the same reasons.

and we also love the oakland a's for the same reasons we love the giants; that is to say, the many sunny afternoons we'd take bart under the bay to enjoy a game at oakland stadium. and we are fans of the current world champs, the arizona diamondbacks, mainly because skippy and mrs. skippy were in arizona last year for one of the world series games.

whoever wins, we are looking forward to baseball to take our minds off of things. we'll be happy no matter what the outcome is (unless it's atlanta).

posted by skippy at 7:00 PM | 48 comments

forget the war, let's kill those foxes!

here's another action alert from fair.

fairness & accuracy In reporting
media analysis, critiques and activism

action alert:
fox hunting trumps peace activism at washington post & new york times

last saturday, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of london to protest military action against iraq, rallying in what the london independent called "one of the biggest peace demonstrations seen in a generation" (9/29/02). yet neither the washington post nor the new york times saw fit to run a full article about the protests, instead burying passing mentions of the story in articles about other subjects.

in contrast, both papers showed real interest in another recent london march of comparable size-- last week's protest against a proposed ban on fox-hunting. the washington post ran a 1,331-word story about the fox-hunting protest on the front page of its style section (9/23/02), while the new york times ran a short reuters piece on page A4 (9/23/02), which it followed up with an op-ed exploring the class politics of the hunt (9/24/02). a times story on prince charles' involvement in politics (9/26/02) also made reference to the pro-fox-hunting protest.

please read the rest of this action alert, including email links to both the times and the post, on our sister blog skippy junior.

posted by skippy at 6:00 PM | 0 comments

it can't be this easy

we received this email, and thought we'd pass it on:

stop the war, spread the word as far wide and fast as you can to join us in washington dc and san francisco on saturday, oct. 26th.

details at international answer

please read the rest of this email on our sister site skippy junior.
posted by skippy at 5:44 PM | 0 comments

a brief history of terrorism

we'd like to direct you to dwight meredith's thoughtful blog pla for an extensive history of terrorism and us responses in the last two decades (plus, dwight kindly gives us credit for coining the term "blogtopia" (yes! i did coin that term! believe dwight!)

[ed. note: because dwight correctly attributes the word's invention to this blog, and also because we find ourselves linking to his posts over and over again, we are happy to provide a permanent link to his blog on our blogroll.]
posted by skippy at 12:42 PM | 64 comments

the constitutional right to get arrested

for a nice wrap up of the protests in dc over the weekend, take a look at these videos from reuters.

and for a firsthand account, read the posts on the indy media dc site.

and here's maxspeak's analysis of the weekend demonstrations in his hometown of dc, and how the folks in blogtopia (yes! i coined that phrase!) are analyzing them.
posted by skippy at 12:31 PM | 0 comments

we need more posters to win this war

big thanks to janet at beyond corporate for the link to this wonderful site full of faux-wwii-type posters for today's political scene.

and what we also need to win this war might be a secretary of defense who knows how to wage one (thanks to atrios at eschaton for this one!
posted by skippy at 12:06 PM | 0 comments

everyone's a critic...

...including yours truly. having joined the ranks of blogcritics, skippy is proud to present his first post on that estimable blog, dick dale in concert, a review of the king of surf guitars' performance last weekend at the redondo beach lobster festival. please patronize that blog, and enjoy our first foray into critique-dom!
posted by skippy at 11:42 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, September 29, 2002

watch for a blogburst in a week, with scattered letters and faxes to follow

ampersand of alas, a blog is organizing a "blogburst" for monday, oct. 7. he'd like for as many blog writers and readers as possible to use that day to write and read about, and then contact, their congressjerks, and also their mediajerks, and let them know their opinion of the upcoming invasion of iraq. for more information, go here to ampersand's open letters page. he's also encoruaging blog readers to take a stab at writing, which is what the open letters page is for. and it's easy to make the transition from blog reader to blog writer. all you need is no life at all and a perverse need for other people to think your words are more special than they really are.
posted by skippy at 3:17 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, September 28, 2002

buzzin' around the flash

we have been so busy here in the offices of skippy the bush kangaroo, what with real life intruding into our schedule so much, we have not been able to cruise around blogtopia (yes! i coined that phrase!) as much as we would like to.

we are especially remiss in our daily visits to buzzflash, one of the better blogs that culls from news sources all over the planet to bring you the best that you'll never see on cable news. here's a bit of the best from the buzz, as far as invading iraq goes (also a few extra's not from the flash that skippy's crack staff managed to find themselves):

poll: public support for invading iraq drops; 64% favor action, but only 33% approve if the us must act alone. (associated press via yahoo)

international atomic energy agency states the report proving saddam's nuclear capabilites that bush cites does not exist (washington times)

2500 protestors clog streets to greet mr. bush in denver (rocky mountain news) and here's the denver post story about the protest and here's a slide show of protest pictures

more than 150,000 protesters stage anti-war demonstration in london (bbc news)

grass roots protests challenging iraq attack are growing (sacramento bee)

14 anti-war protesters arrested in maine (portland press herald)

hundreds demonstrate, 6 arrested (including aclu chief) at phoenix and flagstaff protests of bush appearance (arizona republic)

anti-war activists' names on national no-fly terrorist blacklist (sf chronicle)

upcoming demonstrations & rallies schedule (citizens for legitimate government website)

editorial: the courage to question (des moines register) an excerpt: "even some republicans are skeptical. congressman ron paul of texas has set forth a list of questions he was afraid others might not ask. one particularly provocative assertion is that the united states might be willing to strike iraq because 'we know it cannot retaliate.' and, paul asked, doesn't that confirm iraq is not a 'real threat'?"

editorial: where is the debate? (intervention magazine)

alternatives to war; editorial by rep. barbara lee (sf chronicle)

from the 9/11 investigations: fbi warned secret service in advance dc might be target of terrorist hijacked plane attack (ny post)

bay area congresspeople working to stop 'rush to war' (sf chronicle)

congressional black caucus questions rush to war (usa today). and excerpt: " 'bombing baghdad may make us forget about our nation's poor schools, but it will not educate our children,' said [georgia representative john] lewis...who was a civil rights leader during the 1960s."

congress overwhelmed with anti-war calls from constituents (democracy now website)

al qaeda no friend of iraq, experts say (cleveland plain dealer). an excerpt: " 'there's not a scintilla of any evidence of any iraqi involvement with al-qaida or with sept. 11,' said history professor juan cole of the university of michigan. rather, saddam hussein's baath political party 'is the deadliest enemy to religious fundamentalism you can find,' cole told a policy forum at case western reserve university. the iraqi dictator has 'persecuted and killed both sunni and shiite fundamentalists in great number,' he said."

bush's dubious military service record (abs-cbn news)

posted by skippy at 1:57 PM | 0 comments

Friday, September 27, 2002

gotta love those punchlines

here's an editorial by terry sawyer in the online journal about the upcoming invasion of iraq. we bring it to your attention because of some choice lines therein:

"believe it or not, there are drawbacks to running the presidency like a bottom-tier public relations firm staffed by carnies."


"the next few weeks will bring out all the badly stitched excuses on why no amount of cooperation from saddam hussein can forestall the momentum of war. we've already made the t-shirts, the pentagon will say."
posted by skippy at 11:41 PM | 0 comments

dumb or dumber

personally, we think if we had a name that sounded like a batallion of cocks, we'd keep quiet. but a certain congressman, as you all know by now, made untoward remarks about some jewish people and all liberals being not very bright, and/or "shallow."

now dwight meredith, on his incredibly thoughtful blog, pla, gives us his take on the subject. and then, taking off from there, jeanne d'arc of body and soul, shares the thoughts and emails of her readers about the basic premise of the congressman's screed: ie, who is "deeper," the techies or the artsy-fartsies? there is a wide variety of responses, all them much deeper than the original remark by the congressman.

(full disclosure: skippy started out as a math major in college, having whizzed through all math & science in high school. however, at higher calculus, he changed his major to theatre. he has never looked back).
posted by skippy at 11:29 PM | 207 comments

still blogging around

avedon carol at the sideshow asks some questions we've been wondering about that nut musharraf in pakistan, and his dictatorship (complete with wmd) that mr. bush seems fine with.

tim dunlop at the road to surfdom has a great line about our secretary of defense's shaky "proof" of saddam's ties to al-qaeda: "if rumsfeld ever starts a blog, i hope his links are more reliable than the ones he's provided so far on this topic."

mad kane directs us to perform this search. interesting results.

thanks to sassafrass log we found something to admire robert novak for. an excerpt from his column: "bush the elder, who said recently that he 'hates' saddam, saw no reason then to oust the iraqi dictator. on the contrary, the government's approval of exporting microorganisms to iraq coincided with the bush administration's decision to save saddam from defeat by the Iranian mullahs."

lisa english of ruminate this offers some musings on staying silent when one should be speaking up (especially in the context of everything that's going on now).

hey, congrats to ann salisbury of two tears in a bucket for closing on a condo today!

posted by skippy at 8:48 PM | 0 comments

happy birthday

to the delightful theatre cam of i'd like to thank the academy. cam is a year older, beyond that, we won't get into specifics, but we wish him the best! and, as he lives inside the beltway, we also wish him godspeed away from any and all police arrests and naked gap protesters this weekend (unless he's into that sort of thing!)
posted by skippy at 8:05 PM | 0 comments

bloggin around

talkleft brings us up to date on the pleadings jose "dirty bomber" padilla's lawyers have filed, which argue that "the government's continued detention of padilla in the absence of criminal charges is an 'unprecedented expansion of executive authority'."

political wire alerts us to the fact that the widely-circulated photo of bush holding a school book upside-down is a fake, in case you didn't already suspect that.

mydd points out mcbride is within spitting distance of jeb in florida polls (by the by, check out mydd's great new look, designed by daily kos!)

speaking of the kos, they talk about a georgia school's approval of the teaching of creationism (via eschaton). and the kos includes a link to scientific american's 15 answers to creationism nonsense.

speaking of eschaton, atrios links us to conason's explanation of how moussoui got those "sensitive documents": apparently the prosecutor for the us is not so much a dyed-in-the-wool experience prosecutor, but a political appointee. what, there wasn't an ambassadorship for this guy, he had to get a job with justice?

instapundit links us to a couple of blogs talking about jesse jackson's over-reaction to the film "barbershop."

free pie investigates scott ritter's investigation of iraq's capabilities (or lack thereof). and apparently blog re-design is as contagious as the west nile virus; kim has made her site very pleasing to the eye, and easier to read. nice job, free pie!

posted by skippy at 5:08 PM | 65 comments

what's so wrong with the capitalistic system anyway?

we wonder if the real reason folks are protesting in dc this weekend is because their stock portfolio looks like ours.

the dow tumbled almost 300 points today, for a fifth straight week of decline. today's loss destroyed almost all of what little gains were made in the last two days, capping off a week of zig-zag closings.

news not making wall street happy: consumer confidence plunges.

nasdaq hits 6-year low.

phillip morris warned profits will be less than expected. (what, people have stopped smoking all of a sudden?)

sbc communications fell following the company's announcement that it will cut another 11,000 jobs and slash capital spending (nobody's making phone calls while they stop smoking?)

u.s. poverty rate rose for the first time in eight years (there's that 'first time in 8 years' number again.)

two brokerage houses downgraded general electric's stock, apparently not impressed that jack welch is giving back his chef and wait staff.

gee, that all makes it sound like things are going really badly. but apparently it's going better than you might imagine, if you believe this headline: u.s. economy stuck in neutral. admit it, neutral is better than really bad!

and this headline makes us wish we were an ex-ceo of alcoa aluminum or something, because things might be rosier at the top than down here with the rest of us: paul o'neill expects solid economic growth.

sigh. well, at least we know mr. bush is on top of things.
posted by skippy at 4:35 PM | 74 comments

the imf doesn't mean impossible mission force

several hundred protesters were arrested in washington dc today during demonstrations against the international monetary fund and world bank specifically, and injustice and capitalism in general, which are holding meetings this weekend in the nation's capital.

(the imf and world bank are holding meetings, not injustice and captalism...well, maybe capitalism is, but we're pretty sure injustice rarely holds meetings announced ahead of time, with the exception of florida elections).

cnn: "some protesters threw rocks and smoke bombs in clashes with police on the rainy streets of the nation's capital, and others tried to block intersections and sidewalks."

yahoo news: "in the afternoon, a dozen protesters stripped to their underwear while standing on the cut stump of a redwood tree they had placed across from a gap store in washington's georgetown neighborhood. the self-described 'gaptivists' chanted 'we'd rather wear nothing than wear gap' and accused the company's owners of being involved in logging and running sweatshops."

cbs: "the executive director of greenpeace is among the more than six-hundred people arrested today during protests against the international monetary fund and world bank. john passacantando says he was just riding his bicycle to work when police made more than two-hundred arrests near a park just outside of the extended white house security zone."

usa today: "about 65 people were charged with rioting after they clashed with police, broke some windows at a citibank office and tossed smoke bombs in washington's business district."

washington post: "joseph mayer, 69, a retired army lieutenant colonel who lives in alexandria and works in the district, approached the police line at the corner of 15th and pennsylvania and was among those caught inside the line of officers. 'they closed freedom plaza and turned it into a non-freedom plaza,' he said. 'they have turned the constitution off'."

bets are going around blogtopia that dc resident maxspeak might be languishing in a jail cell somewhere after getting swept up in the brou-ha-ha. we sincerely hope not. but if skippy's staff were on that coast instead of this one, they might be, also.

here is a series of photos from yahoo news of the demonstrators interacting with the dc police.

for news from the grass roots level, go to the dc independent media page, with live streaming audio and video from the middle of the action.

kudos to abcnews for a news story that gives the the home page urls of some of the groups who organized some of the demonstrations, as well as that of the dc police.
posted by skippy at 3:53 PM | 89 comments

he's picking on my daddy

the rittenhouse review points out that mr. bush's vendetta against saddam hussein might be drifting from the political into the personal.
posted by skippy at 3:18 PM | 0 comments

more on walking to dick cheney's house

we have received a reply from mr. scott lynch of peace action in response to our query below (let's take a walk to dick cheney's house this weekend, what do you say?), asking where he got the numbers of callers to congress against the upcoming war vs. those in favor (roughly 200 to one). here is his reply:

hi skippy,

The two hundred to three hundred came from our colleagues at fcnl, however this quote came from the washington post:

"aides to sen. dianne reinstein (d-calif.) counted 5,614 phone calls over the past six weeks, only 136 of which indicated support for unilateral military action, with letters reflecting about the same division."

[ed. note: we did hear sen. feinstein make much the same claim on the charlie roads show last night. also, here is more of that pertinent paragraph from the post: "phone calls to the office of sen. bill frist (r-tenn.) were running 8 to 1 against war, a frist aide said. rep. charles w. stenholm (d-tex.), who represents a hawkish district, said calls and letters were running overwhelmingly against a unilateral strike until bush's speech to the u.n. earlier this month. now, he said, they are about 50-50. only a couple of the offices reported a majority in favor of military action, although some questioned whether the communications accurately reflect their constituents' views."]

you may have also heard the piece that amy did today about the democracy now staffer calling all the senate offices.

[ed. note: no, we didn't. but you can listen to it on the democracy now archives .]

oh, you have our organization listed as peace now instead of peace action on your website.


[ed. note: picky, picky, picky! we got the link right! and we got it right under the permanent links "organizations" category. oh well, we did go back and correct it, and we thank mr. lynch not only for responding, but for visiting our site. we wish everyone in dc luck this weekend walking to dick cheney's house!]
posted by skippy at 11:30 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, September 26, 2002

factor this!

our good friends at the hamster turn the tables on bill o'reilly, imagining an interview with him using the same techiniques he uses on his guests. an example:

o'reilly, on supreme court's virtual porn ruling, august 28: so i think the supreme court was wrongheaded here, because i think protecting children is a responsibility of the federal government.
hamster: ok, look, this is america. and i believe in america. i believe in the supreme court. and if you don't like it, mr. o'reilly, go take a bus to mexico.

works for us. we'd loan him the busfare.
posted by skippy at 11:45 PM | 0 comments

now it's a ball game

skippy and his staff live in southern california, so today's angel victory over the rangers gave them all great joy (plus, skippy is fan of angels' manager mike scioscia from mike's playing days as a catcher for anaheim).

now the angels have clinched a spot in the playoffs. they will play against the yankees next week. (mrs. skippy is from new york, but, contrary to what you might think, they will not be at odds over that series; rather, they will be happy whoever wins it and moves up the playoff ladder).

skippy also spent some years living in oakland (don't laugh), so he is just as pleased to see the a's clinch a playoff spot as well. now, if san francisco can get a wild card spot, this will be a great playoff at the skippy household.

and, in other baseball news, mounting legal bills may keep ted williams from thawing out.

posted by skippy at 6:44 PM | 0 comments

next we'll show you how to make a lovely shank from stool pigeon feathers

it's looking more and more like orange jumpsuits will be martha stewart's fashion statement for the upcoming months, as her stockbroker's assistant has cut a deal in the probe of ms. stewart's imclone insider trading fiasco.

douglas faneuil has plead down from making false statement to investigators, which is a felony, to making false statements to investigators, which is a misdemeanor. in exchange for that confusing bit of ass-out-of-the-fire-pulling, mr. faneuil will testify against martha and others to the feds in the imclone stock sale investigation.

the stock for martha's own company, martha stewart living omnimedia, dropped 60 cents a share upon news of mr. faneuil's plea bargain.

martha has continued to deny any wrongdoing, especially when she dices carrots.
posted by skippy at 5:51 PM | 0 comments

let's take a walk to dick cheney's house this weekend, what do you say?

one of skippy's hard-working staff was goofing off today listening to amy goodman of democracy now! on the radio. one of her guests was scott lynch, the communications director of peace action, an organization that is helping with the rally in washington dc this weekend.

aside from the usual stuff about media inattention, and discussion about the specific route the march will take this weekend, mr. lynch made an interesting comment about concerned citizens calling their representatives in washington.

"congressional offices are hearing two to three hundred to one that people are against this war, and yet all the indications are that by the end of the week of oct. 6, they're going to vote on a resolution for war and it will pass by a wide margin."

we are unsure how mr. lynch came across this information, but, looking at the polls doesn't seem to answer the question at first glance.

we have sent an email to mr. lynch asking him to be specific about how he arrived at this number. we anxiously await his response.

meantime, keep an eye out for news about this weekend's rally.

update since writing the above post, one of skippy's crack staff saw senator dianne feinstein on the charlie roads show. sen. feinstein said that out of the approximately 10,000 calls about attack iraq that her office had received, only about 200 were in favor of unilateral action by the u.s. the rest were opposed. granted, that's anecdotal, but it does reflect what mr. lynch was saying on amy goodman's show.
posted by skippy at 5:10 PM | 0 comments

hot links

some new blogs have joined our blogrolls, let's welcome them:

we don't know how we've missed adding stephen green of vodka pundit to our list for so long. we are happy to correct that oversight today.

also, the actively loquacious bob somerby of the daily howler.

lazarus of ungodly politics (nice template, lazarus!)

two great spin blogs, counterspin central and spinsanity.

and we're very happy to include scott ott at scrappleface who is as funny on the right as we are on the left. remember, laughs come from the center.

an interesting collection of the personal, the political, the peculiarly particular: a small victory

get donkey! we just like the title.

the impossibly-named eat the state!

sour bob over at sour mash with a twist is a grumpy dude. but a funny one.

and we were looking for utopianism yesterday, or free and open societies tomorrow, but we were happy to wind up with totalitarianism today

read. think. feel. enjoy.

posted by skippy at 4:11 PM | 0 comments

sen. boxer, isn't your arm getting tired

patting yourself on the back so much? here's another email report we got from the senator:

senator barbara boxer's update on evnironmental issues

the need for an effective national forest fire prevention plan

the senate is continuing debate on fire prevention and firefighting in our national forests. i recently addressed my senate colleagues about this matter. if you would like to receive a full transcript of my thoughts on fire management and forest ecology, please send a message to senator boxer.

for the rest of what senator boxer had to say, please visit our sister blog skippy junior.
posted by skippy at 11:38 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

let's hope they never disappear skippy

we were sailing along with the uss clueless reading his post that refutes a discussion on metafilter about the upcoming war with iraq.

the value of metafilter or the points made therein aside, mr. de beste did say something that we felt obligated to respond to:

" i'm afraid our metafilterian friends wouldn't know a police state if it fell on their heads, or repression if it was shoved up their asses." [ed. note: we have no knowledge if this is a true statement or not, nor do we ever wish to personally find out, especially in regards to the later half of the sentence.] "but they might try looking across the pacific, at one of those marvelous socialist people's paradises where there aren't any corporate devils running things, to get some idea what real repression is like. here's a clue: it doesn't mean that people call you names or are contemptuous because of your silly opinions. it doesn't mean that they disagree with you vehemently. it even doesn't mean that you can lose your job because you're a writer who is moonlighting.

it means that you get arrested. it means you get charged with subversion. it means that you get given a brief trial, in secret, with the outcome predetermined. it means that you can go away and never come back."

he then goes on to detail an example of a man in china being arresting for posting subversive text on the internet; which a terrible, truly terrible reprehensible event that no right thinking person would ever condone.

now, for the moment, let's not even bother to point out to mr. de beste that for most rational people on the left (you there, over on the right, stop laughing, there are such people), that for most of us, communism has long since been in disfavor; we all know totalitarianism is not good.

we hate to break this to you, but that's exactly why we are arguing so loudly about mr. bush's current tinkering with the constitution now. and we wonder why mr. de beste has to look all the way across the pacific for an example of someone getting "arrested," "charged with subversion," a trial in "secret," and going "away without ever coming back."

for instance, take mr. bush and mr. ashcroft's liberal (sorry, didn't mean to touch a nerve, there) application of the term "enemy combatant" to various individuals that they have stuck away in little tiny cells somewhere without access to lawyers or charges being levied. we wonder if those people can be called "repressed."

and we aren't the only ones wondering. sens. levin and feingold have written a letter to the justice department asking for specific definitions as to the term "enemy combatant" (among the questions: time limits of detention, recourse available to challenge such designations, what process is involved for designating someone as such, etc etc). to our knowledge, mr. ashcroft has not responded (please, anyone with facts confirming or denying this, let us know).

now, in case mr. de beste doesn't feel that carl levin or russell feingold's questioning of mr. bush and mr. ashcroft's actions holds any water in this discussion, how about the cato institute?

"in the year since the september 11 attacks, civil liberties for some people have fallen into a surreal legal limbo," wrote robert a. levy last august 30. "yaser esam hamdi is an example." hamdi, a u.s. citizen, is "being detained indefinitely, without seeing an attorney, even though he hasn't been charged with any crime. jose padilla, who allegedly plotted to build a radiological 'dirty bomb,' is also a u.s. citizen. he, too, is being detained by the military - indefinitely, without seeing an attorney, even though he hasn't been charged with any crime. meanwhile, zacarias moussaoui, purportedly the 20th hijacker, is not a u.s. citizen. neither is richard reid, the accused shoe bomber. both have attorneys. both are being tried before federal civilian courts."

how about the case of mohammed azmath, who was arrested on a train in texas on 9/12 right after the attacks. he was luckier than the two men mentioned above, because he was eventually charged after three months. the crime the government accused this man of? credit card fraud.

"azmath was in solitary confinement from september 14, 2001, when he arrived at the metropolitan detention center in brooklyn, until he was transferred to the jail's general population sometime this august. he was assigned a lawyer only after he was charged with the credit-card crime, in december."

at least the buffalo six are getting bond hearings. slow as it may be, they are getting their constitutional rights.

there are many many other instances of people "disappearing" in the post 9/11 atmosphere, and many attempts by the judicial system to do what it can to correct this situation.

"secret arrests are 'a concept odious to a democratic society,' and profoundly antithetical to the bedrock values that characterize a free and open one such as ours," wrote us district judge gladys kessler, in a ruling ordering that the government release all names of all detainees being held in post 9/11 investigations (she later stayed that order pending appeal). judge damon j. keith, in a sixth district court of appeals hearing on the case of muslim clergyman rabih haddad, who had overstayed his tourist visa, wrote "democracies die behind closed doors."

so, is there a point to our ranting? maybe, we're not sure, we never are. we do not under any circumstance contend that living in communist china is better than living in mr. bush's america. we also do not maintain that america is anywhere near as repressed as china, or several hundred other governments in the world.

but we do think that the constitution is being slowly, and, we must admit, artfully, dissassembled before our very eyes. and we don't have to go too far afield to find repression. at least, more repression than there was just one administration ago.

(many thanks to talkleft for providing many links to stories to bolster our case.)

posted by skippy at 10:43 PM | 0 comments

who says the right has no sense of humor?

this guy is obviously on the other side of the aisle from us politically, but he's in the same living room sitting in a barker lounger right next to us watching the cartoon network when it comes to being funny.
posted by skippy at 7:31 PM | 0 comments

what have we been saying all along?

thanks to our buddies at the hamster, we were linked to this editorial from the wall street journal, which wonders if the dropping dow has anything to do with war-time jitters:

"as america marches toward renewed war against iraq, the stock market marches toward new lows. it's an added reason to wonder if all those polls showing a majority in favor of kicking saddam hussein's butt are really as solid as they appear to be."

to be fair, we should note that the dow jones rallied today, almost making up what it lost yesterday. but still, the editorial makes some points:

"but the renewed decline in stock prices also appears to correlate closely to the rise in the bush administration's apparent determination to use armed force against iraq...but the uncertainties associated with such a venture must hang heavy over the markets, even if one assumes the shooting war goes well for america."
posted by skippy at 7:21 PM | 0 comments

not that we don't appreciate the traffic

we love our extreme tracking software that keeps tabs on the number of hits and referrals our site gets. but a few of the folks visiting have some strange ideas about what our blog is about.

we can understand this google search. but we're a little worried about the person who used this one to find us.

and we have no idea how someone got linked to us from the official shonen knife home page. we like girl pop bands from japan, but really, now...
posted by skippy at 7:01 PM | 0 comments

one more thing about jeanne...

while making our post about pop culture gadabout winning our silly little joke-explaining contest, we made a link to body and soul. then, after posting it and a few others, and doing some template housework, we finally got around to reading jeanne's posts for today.

wow. we were floored.

they are brilliant. go. read. stop reading ours. go read hers. seriously. do it now.

what are you still doing here?
posted by skippy at 6:29 PM | 0 comments

now that's what we call a field trip!

french troops escorted american students and teachers from an american missionary school through extreme civil unrest to safety in the african country of the ivory coast today.

"the first group to leave the rebel-held city traveled in a convoy from an american missionary school, where scores of children were among those sheltering from ivory coast's worst crisis since it won independence from france in 1960.

airport sources said planes carrying american troops landed at the capital yamoussoukro, 60 miles south of bouake, flying in from neighboring ghana. the americans left the school in bouake in a french-escorted convoy draped with u.s. flags. they headed for yamoussoukro down a jungle road where the french had cleared with some difficulty trees felled by combatants as roadblocks."

we are wondering what american school children were doing in an african country plagued by rebels and civil unrest.

their homework, we hope .

posted by skippy at 5:55 PM | 0 comments

don't hold your breath waiting

now we know how to get the democrats in the senate to show some backbone. personally insult them.

"daschle, d-south dakota, read through a litany of comments from administration and gop figures about iraq, including one from bush who was quoted by the washington post wednesday as saying the senate was 'not interested in the security of the american people.' the senate is controlled by democrats."

here is part of what senator daschle said:

'not interested in the security of the American people?' daschle said. 'you tell sen. inouye he's not interested in the security of the american people. [ed. note: sen. inouye lost an arm defending his country in world war ii] you tell those who fought in vietnam and in world war II they're not interested in the security of the american people. that is outrageous. outrageous. the president ought to apologize to sen. inouye and every veteran who has fought in every war who is a democrat in the senate. he ought to apologize to the american people. that is wrong. we ought not politicize this war. we ought not politicize the rhetoric about war and life and death'."

maybe if we called all the dems doody heads they might get off their butts and do something.
posted by skippy at 5:49 PM | 0 comments

wasn't that a thomas wolfe novel?

today marks the first entry in the silflay hraka experiment known as the carnival of vanities.

bigwig has decided to post on his site (as well as a compliment post on blogcritics), a series of links to various blogs' best post of the week. it is, of course, high subjective (but the way we see it, it's all subjective). but there is a lot of great writing included.

in fact, our staff at skippy read through most of the posts offered by bigwig, thinking to re-link to the really great ones here on this site. but they were all damned good posts (even the right wing posts, the ones about government bureaucrats not letting you smoke where you want to, were all well-thought out and reasonably crafted. the kind of writing we get excited about!)

it would just be doubled effort for us to re-link them all here. just go to silflay hraka or blogcritics and click away.

this is an electrifying project in blogtopia. more power to you, bigwig!
posted by skippy at 5:36 PM | 0 comments

i spy

another action alert from fairness & accuracy in media:

Spying in Iraq: From Fact to Allegation

back in 1999, major papers ran front-page investigative stories revealing that the cia had covertly used u.n. weapons inspectors to spy on iraq for the u.s.'s own intelligence purposes. "united states officials said today that american spies had worked undercover on teams of united nations arms inspectors," the new york times reported (1/7/99). according to the washington post (3/2/99), the u.s. "infiltrated agents and espionage equipment for three years into united nations arms control teams in iraq to eavesdrop on the iraqi military without the knowledge of the u.n. agency." undercover u.s. agents "carried out an ambitious spying
operation designed to penetrate Iraq's intelligence apparatus and track the movement of Iraqi leader saddam hussein, according to u.s. and u.n. sources," wrote the boston globe (1/6/99).

but now that the bush administration has placed the inspectors at the center of its rationale for going to war, these same papers have become noticeably queasy about recalling unscom's past spying. The spy scandal badly damaged the credibility of the inspections process, especially after reports that data collected through unscom were later used to pick targets in the december 1998 bombing of iraq: "national security insiders, blessed with their unprecedented intelligence bonanza from unscom, convinced themselves that bombing saddam hussein's internal apparatus would drive the Iraqi leader around the bend," wrote washington post analyst william arkin (1/17/99).

to read the full action alert, complete with email links to the papers involved (and an announcement about a lecture series in new york city), please go to our sister blog, skippy junior.
posted by skippy at 4:52 PM | 0 comments

we have a winner!

a bit earlier in this post we dared someone to get the rather convoluted joke in our head line eye of the tiger, the post under which talked about jeanne d'arc of body and soul taking us (and others) with her on a desert island (not sure why; but it wasn't our idea...not that we wouldn't go along with it).

well, kids, we have a winner. we want to thank all one of you who wrote in, but the honors go to bill sherman, the pop culture gadabout. bill wrote:

" 'eye of the tiger,' theme song for a rocky movie - as performed by survivor (vis-a-vis, the desert isle ref.)"

exactly, bill! and who else but the pop culture gadabout would understand our twisted logic? for the rest of you who tried to guess (that is to say, nobody at all) we have a lovely consolation prize, which is this link.
posted by skippy at 4:32 PM | 34 comments

the empire strikes out

tired of all those recent unoriginal comparisons people are making of mr. bush to herbert hoover? well, then how about mr. bush as the new william mckinley?

paul krugman, in the new york times, opines that karl rove is using mckinley as a role model for the current empire-building:

"until sept. 11, we thought that mr. rove admired mckinley's domestic political strategy. but mckinley was also the president who acquired an overseas empire. and there's a definite whiff of imperial ambition in the air once again."

mr. krugman makes three salient points about mr. mckinley's empire in relation to war-drum beating today: a quick military victory does not ensure lasting or simple peace afterwards; the strategy of war to end terrorism makes as much sense as the strategy of imperialism to guarantee security; and economic doctrines as justifications for war had better be based on economic realities, not guess-work:

"these days, pundits tell us that a war with iraq will drive down oil prices, and maybe even yield a financial windfall. but the effect on oil prices is anything but certain, while the heavy costs of war, occupation and rebuilding...are not in doubt."

so there's a lot to be gleaned from the policies of the twenty-fifth president.

wait a minute...wasn't mckinley shot by a deranged anarchist?
posted by skippy at 12:04 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

some economic news, none of it good

consumer confidence fell in september, for the 4th straight month.

the dow dropped to a four-year low today. and here's the dow jones average closings for the last month. (hint: the direction it is going rhymes with "clown.")

steelcase, inc. will cut 800 jobs by february. steelcase is an office furniture manufacturer, and this latest cut represents 4.4% of its worldwide work force. since 2000, more than 6,500 employees have been laid off by the company.

here's an up to the minute accounting of the latest corporate scandals and the key players therein, including the total 2001 compensation for the miscreants. sam waskal, pleading not guilty, "earned" over $73 million last year.

where can we get that job?
posted by skippy at 11:49 PM | 0 comments

eye of the tiger

we were so pleased to read brian lense's lefty directory interview with jeanne d'arc of body and soul. not because jeanne is a smart, funny and hard-blogging lady (well, yes, because of that, sure...everything she writes or has to say is of some interest. we were especially fascinated with her early life story and how it impacted on her social conscience and political bent).

but mainly because, when brian asked which bloggers she would take to a desert island, she picked our staff, along with the poor man and madeleine kane. what a nice compliment! especially seeing as how our survival skills are limited to a working knowledge of microwaves and vcrs.

we'd entreat everyone to read the interview, and to visit jeanne's blog regularly.

(special bonus to anyone who can figure out the joke involved in the headline for this post. we are not even sure we get it.)
posted by skippy at 11:32 PM | 0 comments

the appearance of appearances

the san jose mercury news reports that gray davis cancelled another fund raiser amidst swirling allegations of "pay-for-play" contributions that have dogged his campaign.

it was the second fund-raiser in three days the governor cancelled on short notice.

"davis had been slated to take part in a town hall forum in palo alto [tuesday] evening before heading off to attend a small, $10,000-a-person fundraiser organized by his high-tech allies at an upscale restaurant. late monday afternoon, davis delayed both events, with the campaign citing the governor's appearance today at a women's conference in long beach and his need to weigh the fate of hundreds of bills he must sign or veto by midnight monday."

however, the tech fundraiser "was organized at the same time that the industry has been aggressively lobbying davis to veto so-called e-waste legislation." such legislation, passed in late august, would require companies to help pay for recycling of old computer parts and such.

is gov. davis afraid that such fund-raising seems like quid pro quo, much like the previous money-gathering with high-speed rail businessmen which he cancelled, as reported about by ushere?

reed hastings, ceo of netflix, and co-sponsor of the event davis cancelled, insists not: "hastings said he asked davis if his decision was at all related to the latest controversy and the governor said no. hastings also dismissed suggestions that davis makes policy decisions based on who gives him money. 'the governor has been unafraid to take on core constituencies that typically contribute a lot of money if he felt like that wasn't the right policy,' said hastings, whom davis appointed to the state school board."

who says that's quid pro quo?

posted by skippy at 6:15 PM | 0 comments

the blog to end all blogs

max sawicky at maxspeak makes a good, detailed analysis of al gore's speech yesterday, and it isn't a fawning synchophantic lovey-dovey he's-the-real-president sort of drivel most lefties are spouting. max makes the point that al is, first and foremost, one of the more hard-lined interventionist dems around (the words are ours, the feeling is max's):

"but gore leaves open the possibility of open-ended interventionism if certain conditions are satisfied: that there is international unanimity, and the terrorist threat is much reduced...gore points out that saddam is a destabilizing turd in the regional punchbowl. In this vein, his critique extends to the administration being insufficiently interventionist. military victory is not enough. we need a full commitment to 'nation-building.' he is criticial from this standpoint of the u.s./un failure to put more troops into afghanistan. it sounds like woodrow wilson to me, and that ain't good."

nice punchbowl metaphor, max! and anyone who references the 28th president gets extra points with us. we suggest everyone take a read.
posted by skippy at 5:41 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

nathan newman has an interesting link to a steve balmer interview discussing the real reason microsoft hates linux...not people getting free software, but people talking to each other. most corporations hate when you do that.

guy cabot at my daddy's blog makes some interesting parallels between the current poltical/war climate today and that preceding a certain archduke getting assassinated in 1914.

kevin reybould at lean left is studying "original intent" and "fundamentalism" in regards to the constitution...and making us glad we graduated years ago, and the worse thing we ever had to do was compare and contrast "the maids" with "who's afraid of virginia woolf?"

kathy kinsley at on the third hand, plogs through some blogs, but mentions the great idea carnival of vanities by silflay hraka, which all bloggers should check out starting tomorrow...sort of a one-stop shopping blog roll.

atrios at eschaton has an interesting poll from gallup. notice how support for invading iraq, when posited against the circumstance of the u.s. going it alone, goes down faster than dow jones when bush gives a speech.

avedon carol over at the sideshow points out that our country supplied saddam with the original cultures of germs needed for biological wmd*.

the daily kos reiterates what we've been saying for a while now...the economy stinks! only they actually prove it with numbers and sources and stuff (show offs!) and they analyze how it keeps creeping into the election debate in spite of all the sabre-rattling and war-mongering.

tom tomorrow links us to the story about federal air marshalls gone berzerk...and the dark-skinned american doctor who was detained for no reason after his rather annoying flight.

lisa english at ruminate this jus always has great stuff...go read all of her blog.

* wmd = weapons of mass destruction, for those of you who haven't been reading the news in the past 20 weeks.
posted by skippy at 3:57 PM | 0 comments

is that a yellow alert running down your back?

mr. bush's administration has lowered the nation's color-coded terror alert status from orange to yellow, apparently in response to rising poll numbers from the pew and newsweek polls.

"the lowering of the threat level is not a signal to government, law enforcement or citizens that the danger of a terrorist attack is passed," said attorney general john ashcroft and homeland security director tom ridge.

the administration has cited progress in the war against terror, including the arrest of 6 men who were not charged with planning any terrorist activities in lackawanna, new york, and also including tony blair's toadying up to the administration's plan to kick saddam's ass no matter what anyone else in the whole world thinks.

so now we're all at yellow. it's sort of a nationwide amber alert system. logic and reason are missing, please be on the lookout for them.
posted by skippy at 1:05 PM | 0 comments

Monday, September 23, 2002

please, do we look like we care what you had for breakfast?

thanks to devra at blue streak, we found these excellent rules for blogging. (warning! not for those who take themselves too seriously!)
posted by skippy at 9:06 PM | 0 comments

a hero is sometimes more than just a sandwich

janet over at beyond corporate has posted 4 musings on the topic, "what is a hero?" she had earlier requested emails describing thoughts on that subject, and has posted the results. we found them inspiring (and not just because one of them was a comment by ourselves left on her blog).

we'd suggest all of you heros who are participating in keeping free speech alive in blogtopia tool on over there and read her posts. (plus, check out her first-person account of how today's economy compares with that of 10 years ago.
posted by skippy at 8:59 PM | 0 comments

when the germans don't want to go to war, it should tell you something

the elections in germany took on a decidedly christmas color scheme, as reds and greens dominated the results.

chancellor gerhard schroeder, a socialist democrat, and foreign minister joschka fischer of the greens party, narrowly squeaked by with 47.1% of the vote. the conservative free democrats party, led by edmund stoiber, came in with a close second of 45.9%.

herr schroeder ran on a strong anti-war platform, which was credited with giving him a late-campaign push over the top to victory. "he has insisted he wouldn't commit troops for a war even if the united nations backs military action," making this the first time in over 4,000 years that the germans have not jumped at the chance of putting on jack boots and go marching in unison through somebody else's country.

meanwhile, sec. of defense donald rumsfeld threw a hissy fit (or is that a "hessian" fit?) because of the strong anti-war talk eminated from the huns. he "said on monday he would not meet his german counterpart peter struck at a two-day nato meeting."

"i would have to say that the way it (the election) was conducted was definitely unhelpful and, as the white house indicated, has had the effect of poisoning the relationship," mr. rumsfeld said at a press conference.

it's always a shame when world peace comes between friends.

posted by skippy at 7:45 PM | 0 comments

al gore challenges bush (two years too late)

showing all the timing skills of an untuned '48 packard engine, al gore finally decided to get tough with george w. bush's policies, when he questioned the wisdom of a first strike attack on iraq, in a speech today at the commonwealth club in san francisco.

"in his first major speech on the situation in iraq since february, gore said he's 'deeply concerned' that bush's stated willingness to proceed without backing from an international coalition 'has the potential to seriously damage our ability to win the war against terrorism and to weaken our ability to lead the world in this new century'."

mr. gore indicated that it would serve everyone well if mr. bush concentrated on finding and punishing osama bin laden...though nothing was said of ken lay.

posted by skippy at 7:32 PM | 0 comments

the news in pictures in the news

america stands behind george w. bush

al gore delivers anti-war speech to enthusiastic supporters

jeb bush vows to spend more time with daughter noelle

posted by skippy at 7:08 PM | 0 comments

now we're stating to feel down

did mr. bush make another speech today?

the ap reports "the nasdaq composite index slid to a six-year low monday and the rest of wall street fell equally hard amid a worsening outlook for the u.s. economy. the dow jones industrials dropped more than 100 points."

good thing we're going to war. that'll, uh...that'll...well...it'll take our minds off of our lack of jobs, retirement funds, prospects or income. we hope.
posted by skippy at 6:56 PM | 0 comments

i'd like some extra-crispy panama red, please

proof that smoking mariuana makes you stupid: in northern california, a kfc employee accidentally gave out two bags of pot with a customer's order of chicken.

"this customer received two bags of marijuana friday, instead of the extra biscuits he had requested. the customer gave the marijuana back to the employee, got his extra biscuits and called police."

the police then arrested the offending kfc server, and who was found with "a small amount of marijuana, a handgun and about $500 in his possession." but apparently no biscuits.

calls to burger king could not confirm that company's rumored plans to begin serving crack with the whopper.

posted by skippy at 4:54 PM | 0 comments

some new links

well, folks, mucho thanks to instapundit and tom tomorrow for their recent links to our humble site, because they brought some new readers our way, who happen to have some fine blogs of their own that we'd like to introduce to you.

say hello to mr. helpful of the daily stone. he has a lot going on at his site, but his blog, mr. helpful, has a wry sense of approach to it. and then there's the gweilo diaries, written by an ex-patriate in asia, so he has an interesting point of view. both of these sites skew farther to the right than we do, but we always like to see everybody's ideas about the world.

over on the left side of blogtopia (yes! i coined that phrase!) we find the noosphere blues, and the very ecclectic debitage. we have installed links to all these sites under our "political blog" list.

and while we're at it, we'd like to express our sympathies to theater cam over at i'd like to thank the academy. at first he thought that we specifically were being cynical in our assesment of oil being the motivating force behind mr. bush's current lust for iraq attacks. but he has since come around to our way of thinking, and it's never any fun when an optimist becomes a realist. sorry, theater cam!

posted by skippy at 11:52 AM | 0 comments

does pbs stands for pretty benign suckers?

we got another action alert from fairness & accuracy in reporting, this time concerning the softball questions jim lehrer asked sec. of defense donald rumsfeld. we ourselves did not see the program in question, so we pass this on to you without endorsement, other than to said fair is usually pretty correct in their observations.

here is a sample from the action alert:

"for instance, rumsfeld repeatedly referred to the united nations special commission (unscom) weapons inspectors being expelled from iraq, saying, 'we have seen the situation with iraq where they have violated some 16 u.n. resolutions and finally threw the inspectors out.' rumsfeld went on to say that 'we have gone through... four years where they threw the inspectors out and there's been no one there'.

in december 1998, the u.n. inspectors were not thrown out; they were pulled out by unscom chief richard butler prior to a u.s. bombing campaign in iraq. as madeleine albright told lehrer at the time (12/17/98), butler 'made an independent decision that unscom could no longer work'."

if you'd like to read the whole thing, and also use the contact link to send jim lehrer an email, please go to our sister site skippy junior.
posted by skippy at 11:25 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, September 22, 2002

and the loser is...

tonight is the emmy awards, a show rapidly attaining the relevancy of the blockbuster awards.

but of course, the real losers are the tv audiences themselves. with such uninspiring fare coming in the new season as hidden hills, dinotopia, or grubbs, and such original innovations as family affair and twilight zone, or the ally mcbeal knock-off girls club, not to mention the two separate shows with the exact same peggy-sue-got-married premise (the wb's do over and abc's that was then), this fall's new television season looks like a real good reason to stay on line and blog.
posted by skippy at 7:35 PM | 0 comments

rocky mountain high

can you tell we're from denver?
posted by skippy at 7:01 PM | 0 comments

fun with maps

check out ampersand's comparative geography.
posted by skippy at 6:59 PM | 0 comments

when office supplies attack

the lovely inkgrrl, apparently inspired by our rant against mickey kaus, sends us this frightening sight.

also, we'd like to recommend reading inkgrrl's sight on at least a semi-regular basis. she comes up with some estute observations about the policital circus at large, and an awful lot of links and resources we're not seeing anywhere else, like this and this and this.
posted by skippy at 6:58 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, September 21, 2002

the measure of a good opponent

bill mcbride demonstrates how big a candidate janet reno really was.
posted by skippy at 4:26 PM | 0 comments

not to embarrass her or anything...

we know talk left doesn't want to appear to be tooting her own horn, but she'll be discussing terror cells in the us with joe digenova on cnn tomorrow at 2 pm eastern. don't tell her we told you.
posted by skippy at 4:20 PM | 0 comments

i'll be back (to school)...but without gray davis

arnold schwarzenegger is promoting a bi-partisan initiative to increase state funding for after-school programs. and the contra costa times is reporting that he's getting endorsements from all sides of the political spectrum...except from gray davis.

davis spokesman roger salazar says that the govenor has not been asked for an endoresement. and the times speculates that he may never be: "after all, when schwarzenegger last year was considering a gubernatorial bid, davis strategist garry south sent political reporters copies of articles from national enquirer and the movie magazine premiere detailing accusations of schwarzenegger groping and womanizing."

mr. schwarzenegger seems to be sniping back at the gov; he insists his initiative is essential to provide after-school programs for the children of california, because "they don't have a representative in sacramento that drops on the governor's desk $100,000 and then he votes for it."

woah! what could possibly prompt the bulked-up movie star to accuse gray of pay-for-play activities? could it be the governor's recent plans for a fundraiser seeking bucks specifically from folks who would benefit from a high-speed rail line? the same fundraiser which gray cancelled because of the appearance of impropriety (or was it because bill simon was "promising to show up on the doorstep"?)

ron diridon, chairman of the state high speed rail authority, had stood at davis' side as the governor signed legislation placing a $10 million bond issue for the train system before the voters. then mr. diridon sent out invitations stating that davis "will be at my home this friday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. specifically to visit with you who will build, operate and maintain the system throughout the nation and especially here in california."

if that's not play-for-pay, we don't know what is. and bill simon thought the same thing, because he and a group of noisy protestors (and a bunch of media) wound up in front of mr. diridon's home at 4 pm on friday, making a fuss.

davis, who got wind of simon's plans, cancelled his appearance. "press secretary roger salazar said the governor canceled the event because of the content of diridon's e-mail, which too closely linked government action and fund raising."

and we suppose gov. davis didn't want anyone to actually say it out loud.

the contest is getting interesting.

posted by skippy at 3:58 PM | 0 comments

we're just asking, too

eric alterman, in the nation magazine, has about 24 questions for mr. bush, including:

"why did the Bush national security team ignore the al aaeda briefing it received from president clinton's national security adviser, sandy berger, in the fall of 2000?

why did the president ignore the august 2001 intelligence briefing warning him of the likelihood of an al qaeda hijacking?

why, in august 2000, was the fbi unable to locate al qaeda operatives khalid al-midhar and nawaq al-hazmi, both of whom had been placed at a terrorist planning meeting by malaysian intelligence in december 1999? hazmi was listed in the san diego telephone directory and Midhar was using a credit card with his name on it. both were active at the san diego islamic center.

why didn't the national security agency have foreign language expertise to translate the words 'tomorrow is zero hour,' spoken by al qaeda operatives and picked up in real time on september 10, 2001?"

and our personal favorite:

"why can't the fbi afford a decent computer system and people who know how to run it? can't they hire microsoft?"

plenty more legitimate questions. we recommend a read.
posted by skippy at 3:21 PM | 0 comments

Friday, September 20, 2002

quid amateur pro

in an abrupt reversal, mr. bush showed good sense today (we were tempted to end the sentense there, but no, we'll go on), by stating he now publically supports an independent commission to investigate the intelligence failures of 9/11.

"in a letter to capitol hill, the white house says the president would welcome a 'focused inquiry' that goes beyond the probe by the congressional intelligence committees." mr. bush had heretofor opposed such a commission, on the premise it would tie up resources needed to wage the war on terror (like, maybe, a congressional declaration of war?)

however, steven push, who lost his wife on american airlines flight 77 when it crashed into the pentagon, puts little stock in mr. bush's sudden about-face. "it's carefully crafted to make it look like a general endorsement but it actually says that the commission would look at everything except the intelligence failures" mr. push opined.

we wonder what could have changed mr. bush's mind.
posted by skippy at 9:54 PM | 0 comments

david lynch, call your lawyer

we watched two episodes of the new show push, nevada on abc last night. we had high expectations (well, high for tv, at least), because two of the show's producers are ben affleck and matt damon.

we like quirky, unusual stuff, we like murder mysteries, we like matt damon and ben affleck (we love his commericials with the duck); plus, this show had the added bonus of being a mystery that viewers at home can solve for a prize (the sum of one million dollars. now, that's a prize!)

however, push, nevada certainly left us wanting (mainly, wanting two hours of our life back). if we had wanted to see bad twins peaks, we would have just rented the second season of that show.

the show started with a good sign, literally; on the desk of the main character, well-played by newcomer derek cecil, sat a placard naming him as one "james a. prufrock." we smiled, assuming the "a" stood for "alfred." but that's as clever as it got. and it didn't even attempt to reach that level of hipness thereafter.

quirky? if you count weird camera angles and unnecessary film speed changes as quirky, yes. not much "heat." not much "suspense." we are big fans of x-files, prey, the night stalker, the first 3 hours of 24, things with real edge-of-your seat squeamy oddness. push, nevada's idea of quirky was killing off a man who suffered from hypothermia by dumping shaved ice on him while he was handcuffed naked to a bed (trust us, it reads a lot quirkier than it was).

very little plot movement, no surprises, nothing to maintain our interest. perhaps our problem was that we did not sit with a lap top at our fingertips connected to the web at the same time we were watching, so we had no way to "interact" with the show on its website. geez, we spend hours at the computer doing this blog, we can't expected to be on line during our tv time! cut us some slack, abc!

also seen on abc this week, john ritter's new show, 8 simple rules for dating my teeenage daughter. rule number one: make sure your new sitcom is funnier than three's company.
posted by skippy at 7:08 PM | 0 comments

a revoltin' l.a.p.d.-velopment

the los angeles police commission has narrowed the search for a new top cop down to three outsiders; two from way back east (philly and new york), and one from slightly west (oxnard).

los angeles mayor jimmy "my daddy was famous" hahn applauded the choice of the three finalists, narrowed down from 13 finalists, but the police union saw it rather as a slight to the current top brass in the department who could have been considered for the job.

to be fair, art lopez, the chief of the oxnard police who is being considered for the job, was once a deputy chief of the lapd. william bratton, former commissioiner of the new york and boston pd's, and john timoney, former philadelphia police commissioner and nypd official, round out the list of three candidates.

there were some current lapd top officers in the original 13 finalists, but none made this recent cut. " 'to me, this is a major slap in the face of lapd command staff that none of them made the final cut,' [councilman dennis] zine said." councilman zine is a former lapd officer.

"the head of the police officers union was shocked at...the fact that current lapd brass didn't make it. 'we were stunned,' said mitzi grasso, president of the los angeles police protective league, the union that represents the rank and file. 'we're surprised that there is not one insider on the list of finalists, an insider who is already familiar with the problems that plague the lapd,' she said."

uh, maybe that's the point. maybe the insiders were a bit too familiar with the problems.

posted by skippy at 6:45 PM | 0 comments