s skippy the bush kangaroo: October 2002

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, October 31, 2002

free winona! get yer free winona right here!

day 4 of winona gone bad...

shop guard lying, says winona's legal team (uk guardian):

"[defense attorney mark] geragos showed pictures of the dressing room door at the saks fifth Avenue department store in beverly hills and said it was impossible to look through the slats and see someone fiddling with sensor tags on the floor, as the guard, colleen rainey, had described...ms rainey, clearly rattled, said the incident had taken place a long time ago and she no longer remembered what she had reported at the time. the exchange was typical of the increasingly vituperative atmosphere in judge elden fox's courtroom."

when courtrooms become vituperative, only vituperatives will be in courtrooms...

witness denies selling ryder story (msnbc):

"geragos accused rainey of rifling through ryder’s filofax after the petite star was detained in a saks basement security office.
'didn’t you go through her filofax and say "that’s bono’s number, that’s so and so’s number?" he demanded.
'no' rainey replied.
'didn’t you say, "oh my god i love keanu reeves," and take his number?,' geragos said.
'no,' rainey replied...
'did you call her a bitch?' he demanded.
'absolutely not,' the former security agent said."

ryder lawyer suggests frame up (cnn):

"geragos showed the court paperwork detailing large deposits to the couple's bank account. rainey, who no longer works for saks, said she did not know where the money had come from, because her husband took care of all of their finances." and apparently all the fraud and embezzelling, too.

guard saw winona cutting security tags (itv.com):

"rainey also testified that when ryder was detained she said she was preparing for a role in a new movie, called shopgirl...earlier a store detective showed the court a stained calvin klein bag, saying the marks are winona ryder's blood." apparently when she was researching her role in dracula.

judge will release some sealed transcripts in ryder theft case (sf chronicle)

"the judge in winona ryder's shoplifting trial agreed thursday to unseal small portions of transcripts that he ordered to be kept secret but found that other documents considered prejudicial to the actress will remain sealed." such as who convinced her that alien 4 was a good career move.

keanu, bono and the winona trial (e! online news) - containing a comprehensive list of all the articles winona is alleged to have tried to shoplift, ranging from a white gucci dress ($1,595) to a pair of calvin klein purple socks ($16.50).

proof positive, ms. winona, that reality bites!

posted by skippy at 11:40 PM | 6 comments

hearing all sides on the gun issue

we at skippy like to keep open minds on everything short of sean hannity's sanity (yes, that was low and uncalled for, but we love rhyming insults). therefore, when todd laclair of the blog by the same name made a comment on our blog about gun use in america, we were intrigued.

"nor did we hear about the thousands of people who happened to save their lives with a handgun during the same time period," todd said.

now, we remember many years ago when (sorry, we couldn't remember specifics, so sue us) some lone gunman nut was shooting people in some public place. the news reports about it stated that he was "subdued by bystanders." we wondered to ourselves how by-standers could subdue a nut with a gun. then it occurred to us (many years later) that the by-standers probably had guns themselves.

we know many on the right and the left won't believe skippy when he says that we at this blog are not in favor of disarming america...but we are not. we don't think, however, that registration and ballistic fingerprinting is the same thing as disarming.

so, to make a long, rambling, pointless essay short, in sum, we asked todd for links to data, non-partisan if possible, showing the number of people who sucessfully defended themselves and others with legally owned handguns. here is what todd graciously replied:

"i'd recommend this one first and foremost,
more guns, less crime: understanding crime and gun-control laws (studies in law and economics (chicago, ill.).)

john lott has done the most thorough study ever on the positive effects of guns in the right hands. his numbers are 2 million people per year use a gun to defer a bad event in their lives. i use 'defer a bad event' rather than 'save their own lives' as it is impossible to discern what would come of an event if the potential victim didn't have a gun. they might have lived and just been victimized some other way.

2 million per year is 5 thousand per day, give or take.

here's a review of the book.


thanks, todd! now, we haven't read the book or looked at the data ourselves. off-hand, we'd surmise that 5,000 people a day using a gun to defer bad events from happening sounds a little high. that would mean that either there were many times that number of bad events happening, or else 5,000 plus a couple more, since bad events actually do happen to people, with or without guns. either number seems like a high number of bad events happening. we know this country is f*ed-up, but it ain't that f*ed-up! (however, we are open to having our minds changed. we will look into todd's recommendation, and we'd assume that all people with open minds will do the same.)

as usual, we run the risk of losing many of our readers who vehemently disagree with todd's pro-gun stand. that is the risk we take every day for writing what we believe, and having a mind open to all sides of the story. and anyway, it's not like we're getting paid to do this stuff. that's f*ed-up, man.

conversely, on the other side of the gun issue, rest in peace jam master jay. we hope they find jay's killer. run-mc was not a rap group of hate, misogyny, cop-killers or devisiveness. on the contrary, their message was one of hope and life, and their music was enjoyed by all races, including bush kangaroos. from the atlanta journal constitution:

"the trio condemned violence, and in 1986 called for a day of peace between warring los angeles street gangs. 'this is the first town where you feel the gangs from the minute you step into town to the time you leave,' mizell [jam master's real name] said."

this was a tragedy that should not have happened.

posted by skippy at 5:01 PM | 56 comments

shaky news on the economic horizon

when you get past this optimistic headline, consumers push economic growth up, and actually read the story, things don't look that good for the economic fourth quarter this year.

sure, consumer spending, especially for cars, pushed the gross domestic product for the third quarter up at a rate of 3.1%, more than twice the second quarter's 1.3%.

but now, the bad news:

"the third-quarter growth rate came in below wall street economists' forecasts for a 3.6 percent rate of gdp advance and may foreshadow a slower fourth quarter, with many private analysts already predicting growth will slow to the 1 percent to 2 percent range. separately, the labor department said its employment cost index , measuring what employers pay in wages, salaries and benefits, rose at 0.8 percent rate during the third quarter. that was down from 1.0 percent in the second quarter."

and forbes reports that commerce secretary don roberts thinks the impending war with iraq, plus corporate accounting scandals, are two of the many factors weighing heavily on america's consumer confidence, which has fallen to nine-year lows this month.

to sum up, carol stone, an economist with nomura securities international in new york, said, "the economy is just sitting here dead in the water. it is floating; it's not sinking."

dead in the water? how apropos for halloween!

posted by skippy at 12:02 PM | 0 comments

ghost in the machine

our favorite paper named after an insect, the sacramento bee, tells us that ghosts make contact via the computer.
posted by skippy at 11:49 AM | 111 comments

headlines that are begging for it

harrington blames cold putter for slow start

that's what we tell mrs. skippy!
posted by skippy at 11:45 AM | 0 comments

just in time for halloween

got this email from theater cam:

Ttought you might appreciate this... (got the link from fark.com). twisted!!

just goes to prove - you can put anything on stage, but you darn well better
have stephen sondheim writing it!! (sweeney todd, assassins, etc....)

thanks, cam!
posted by skippy at 11:42 AM | 0 comments

it's a scary day for harvey pitt

the sec is ordering an investigation into the appointment of mr. william h. webster to head a new board overseeing the accounting profession, says the new york times. what's the big deal, you say? well, apparently, it's not bad enough that mr. webster was head of the accounting division of u.s. technologies, a now-insolvent company facing accounting fraud charges.

no, the really bad thing is, before getting the new sec appointment, webster apparently told chairman harvey pitt all about it. and harvey pitt told...well, nobody. nobody else at the sec, and nobody else at the white house.

this makes the white house very upset. they want to be the ones to withhold information, not their lackeys.

this new oversight board that mr. webster has been appointed to, was one of the administration's reactions to the deluge of corporate accounting scandals that flooded the television news until iraq and the sniper successfully distracted the american investing public. however, the appointment of a man from a company involved in accounting scandals to oversee accounting scandals veers out of the ironic into the downright ludicrous.

many on the sec wanted this position to go to john h. biggs, but he was considered by many in the accounting profession to be too aggressive (read, "honest.") we don't think mr. webster will have that trouble.

well, we suppose, it takes one to know one (although to be fair, mr. webster is not named in any of the fraud charges).

update: the guys at the motely fool pull no punches: pitt and webster must go
posted by skippy at 11:34 AM | 0 comments

happy halloween

any misfits fans out there?
posted by skippy at 11:22 AM | 0 comments

now, that's scary, kids!

we are so honored to be asked by max sawicky to be part of his new anti-war-in-iraq blog, stand down. please, go read our first post!
posted by skippy at 11:16 AM | 0 comments

blogging around

leanleft (courtesy of atrios) informs us that harken's lawyers warned mr. bush that his actions could be perceived as insider trading, and therefore, illegal. yeah, like, we didn't see that one coming.

don't give up on mcbride just yet, says mydd, citing a couple of polls, including zogby, which, you'll remember, was the only polling organization to correctly predict gore winning the popular vote.

the rittenhouse review suggests that andrew sullivan needs a microscope to find something (you'll just have to click the link to get the punchline, folks).

two tears in a bucket has some thoughts about the big hoo-hah over sen. wellstone's memorial-cum-rally (and if a memorial isn't a good time for a rally, gee whillikers, when the hell is?). plus, we like ann's new term for the rightists, the "self-righteousists." (ps, nathan newman has some thoughts about this, too).

good cartoon at the daily brew blog.

great links and commentary at madeleine kane

ok, it turns out the stand down anti-war blog was max sawicky's idea, and a good one it was.

and testify has a new look! much easier on the eyes, not all that red color screaming at you. good job, testify!

we think we mentioned this before, but thanks to instapundit for putting us on their permanent blogroll. and we'd also like to thank bear left for doing the same, and for their kind words about our blog.

posted by skippy at 12:32 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 30, 2002


dr. avedon carol of the sideshow fame has joined an esteemed group of right and left bloggers to produce a new anti-let's-attack-iraq blog called stand down. we enjoyed our first brief perusal of it, and we are proud to add it to our blog roll. (only problem is, our blog isn't on their roll! gee, even glenn reynolds was gracious enough to put us on his blogroll!) please go and take a look at stand down, right after you go over and check out the sideshow, which is always good reading
posted by skippy at 11:50 PM | 0 comments

before you start another war, how about taking care of the guys who fought the last one?

as readers of this space know, we at skippy are big supporters of the military and the men and women who serve in our armed forces. we believe that it's the stupid politicians that make the trouble, and leave it to the military to clean up the messes.

that's why we were not surprised to read (thanks to the hamster) a commentary from intervention magazine about mr. bush turning his back on the veterans of this nation:

"president bush recently threatened to veto the defense authorization bill if the house and senate did not eliminate full pension benefits for disabled military retirees. secretary of defense donald rumsfeld said in a letter to congress, 'we simply can not continue to add ever expansive obligations to the defense budget.' then he added, 'this would divert critical resources away from the war on terrorism'."

yeah, right. wouldn't want to take care of the people who actually go out and fight the wars, now would we? why, that would divert too much money away from that billions of dollars tax cut for the rich folks, and we couldn't have that, could we?

this is our favorite part from the editorial, written by a veteran: "george bush is my age, but he chose to hid out in the national guard and then he chose to go awol."

let's not let people forget that part, shall we?
posted by skippy at 8:15 PM | 0 comments

not exactly a correction, but...

the new york times, apparently chastized by the thousands of letter writers who participated in fair's recent action alert, has published a new story about this weekend's washington antiwar protest, and this one was much more favorable, and at least, true.

"the demonstration on saturday in washington drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers', forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the white house. the turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers. they expected 30 buses, and were surprised by about 650, coming from as far as nebraska and florida."

nice to see a mainstream media source at least approach reality.
posted by skippy at 8:05 PM | 0 comments

a message from michael moore

we got this email from michael moore forwarded to us by a friend, and we pass it on to you:

october 25, 2002

dear friends,

yesterday, larry bennett, a 16-year old, was shot in the head after he was involved in a minor traffic accident. you probably didn't hear about it because, well, how could he be dead if he wasn't shot by the sniper?

yesterday, an unidentified woman was shot to death in her car in fenton, mi. tou probably didn't hear about it because she had the misfortune of not being shot by the sniper.

two nights ago, charles d. bennett, 48, an apartment security guard, was shot to death after confronting two teenagers in his parking lot in memphis, tn.

you probably didn't hear about it because the sniper was too busy sleeping in his car that night, and thus, poor charles was not shot by the sniper. yes, the sniper has apparently been caught, so we can go back now to not reporting the dozens of gun deaths that occur every day, the ones that just aren't newsworthy because they happen in all those old boring ways
unlike the ways of the sniper, who was interesting and creative and exciting and scary! he played so much better on the news. of course, had congress not caved in to the nra we would have known after the first hour of the first day of the killings three weeks ago that those bullets were coming out of a rifle that belonged to john williams/mohammad.

how would we know this? it's right there in the state records in new jersey: this gun was purchased this past july, under the name of john mohammad!
many more people died needlessly in the days and weeks after that first hour of the shootings, and every one of their deaths could have probably been prevented had we had a national ballistics fingerprinting data base.

if you'd like to read the rest of mr. moore's letter, please go to our sister site, skippy junior.
posted by skippy at 7:56 PM | 0 comments


hey, kids, carnival of the vanities is up again at silflay hraka, and also over at blogcritics. go check it out for links to some of the best blogging in blogtopia (yes, i coined that phrase!)
posted by skippy at 11:20 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

huge rally on wall street; dow up 9 tenths of a point

there was a late day rally on the stock market today, surging up a huge 170 points. too bad it had fallen 169.1 points earlier in the day.

the market fell initially because of news that consumer confidence is the lowest it has been in 9 years. that's not good. it dropped a whopping 14 points from 93.7 in september, falling past the low of 84.9 last november (after the 9/11 attacks) to a low, low, low spot of 79.4 in october.

the consumer confidence index measures consumer confidence, but don't ask us how. read this instead. if you aren't sure about something, don't hesitate to ask questions.
posted by skippy at 8:15 PM | 0 comments

dickless in st. paul

the wellstone family disinvited dick cheney to the paul wellstone memorial, reports political wire.

we know the family was put off by the fact that mr. bush refused to attend, but also they apparently were disgusted with the republican's quick attempt to smear walter mondale, the apparent designated hitter for wellstone's senatorial campaign. and so the family privately told mr. cheney, thanks but no thanks.

such attempts to smear mondale included newt "don't want no cancer wife" gingrich telling the world on sunday pap shows that mr. mondale supported privitization of social security. unfortunately for the gingrich that stole christmas, both joshua micha marshall and the washington post caught him on his prevarication (that's a ten dollar word for "lie.") (thanks to the horse for those two links).
posted by skippy at 7:48 PM | 0 comments

how many protesters does it take to get screwed in the media?

we got the following emai from fairness & accuracy in reporting, so we thought we'd pass it on to you:

fairness & accuracy in reporting
media analysis, critiques and activism

action alert:
npr, new york times count out anti-war activists

national public radio and the new york times arrived at the same conclusion about the anti-war rally in washington, dc this weekend: the turnout was disappointing. but neither report matched reality.

the times account on october 27 was vague, reporting that "thousands of protesters marched through washington's streets," adding that "fewer people attended than organizers had said they hoped for." the report, which was under 500 words, appeared on page 8 of the paper.

on the october 26 broadcast of weekend edition, npr's nancy marshall went even further to disparage the turnout by offering an estimate on the crowd's size: "it was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. they had said there would be 100,000 people here. i'd say there are fewer than 10,000."

if you want to read the rest of fair's letter, including the email links for action alerts, please go to our sister blog, skippy junior.

and on the same subject, mike of m's daily ramblings, sends us these notes:

"i think you are being a bit harsh on the mainstream media in your post on the dc protest. it's true that one ap story had the number at hundreds, but the washington post, and the new york times, and sfgate, and cnn all put it at "tens of thousands" (or higher: the washpost article said that it was the "largest anti-war protest since vietnam" (thats not an exact quote.).
see the post on my blog about it for exact quotes.

and he further also provided some links:

the washington post story

a sf chronicle story

Commentary on the media coverage (by yours truely, but mostly from democracy now via ruminate this)

also my blog entry where i linked to the two above stories

i have to admit, i was dissappointed with the ny times coverage. it was buried and limited--but the protest didn't seem to me to have been ignored on a wide scale by the media, as some have alleged :-)


thanks for the update, mike!

posted by skippy at 11:08 AM | 48 comments

surfer v. wingnut

dude! scoobie davis calls sean hannity! and dude! scoobie doesn't have permanent links, so look for republican sexual hypocrisy!

(thanks to atrios, dude!)
posted by skippy at 10:56 AM | 0 comments

say hello to some old friends

thanks to elayne riggs, we found the blogs for firesign theater, and more specifically, phil austin! antelope freeway, 1/64th mile!
posted by skippy at 10:52 AM | 68 comments

it takes crystal balls to predict the future

and this page has them. keep your eye on it next tuesday, kids. (found via madkane!)
posted by skippy at 12:19 AM | 0 comments

Monday, October 28, 2002

more pro's and con's

various yea's and nay's about ballistic fingerprinting:

poll: majority supports ballistic fingerprinting, ktul-tv

fallacies of ballistic fingerprinting dodge globe

sniper may affect maryland gov. race abc news

white house bites the bullet on fingerprinting, cns news

is ballistic fingerprinting an infringement of rights?, cape cod southcoast today

experts defend ballistic fingerprinting boston university's join together

calif. report finds flaws in ballistic fingerprinting join together

the fantasy of gun fingerprints ny post

ballistic fingerprinting not a sure method kcrg tv

firing blanks on ballistic prints cato institute

even heston can't defend nra stand pittsburgh post-gazette

posted by skippy at 9:27 PM | 0 comments

some polls

considering how things are today, would you say this country is headed in the right direction, or on the wrong track?

check out the first poll about ballistic fingerprinting (taken oct 16-20, 2002) on this page.

and here's dr. pollkatz's look at the trends of mr. bush's approval ratings by all the polls (once again, check if your shoes need shining, because you'll be looking down anyway!)
posted by skippy at 9:21 PM | 81 comments

blogging around

calpundit keeps interrupting his european vacation to blog. while we think that's a good waste of vacation, we're actually quite lucky that calpundit is describing his european adventures (including fun with european plumbing), as they are fun and interesting to read.

william burton brings us what the freepers think about sen. wellstone's tragic death (and it's not very pretty, folks).

kim at free pie links us to gore vidal's conspiracy theories about bush and the 9/11 tragedy.

talkleft keeps us up to date with the continuing trials (or lack thereof) of yaser hamdi, which we have talked about here.

thanks to the hamster, we know that there were 100,000 people demonstrating in washington, dc, last saturday (something you didn't find on any mainstream media, surprise, surprise). and thanks to the horse, we get pictures.
posted by skippy at 8:35 PM | 0 comments

not to start this all over again

but here's what we think about ballistic fingerprinting.

however, to be fair, here's what the other side thinks about it (thanks to on the third hand).
posted by skippy at 8:19 PM | 56 comments

be sure to vote

be sure to vote next week (unless you have already done so, via absentee ballot, like skippy has!). and why do we remind you? because as mydd rightfully points out, the pr coming out of washington these days is pretty much a discouragement to anyone who doesn't vote republican. but, mydd says, don't listen to the hype, look at the polls instead.

however taegan goddard at political wire cites reports that give the upper hand to the repubs in the house races, while the senate races grow tighter.
posted by skippy at 12:27 PM | 0 comments

angels in heaven!!!

as everybody knows by now, the anaheim angels won the world series is a great 7 game contest, beating san francisco last night 4-1.

the giants had the momentum in the early part of the game, scoring first in the top of the second inning. but then the angels scored a run in the bottom of the second, and everyone seemed to sense that the momentum was with anaheim.

and that premise was proved mightily in the third inning when garrent anderson hit a double with the bases loaded (thanks to giants pitcher levin rodriguez, who hit tim salmon's hand with a pitch, to walk him and load the bases). eckstein and erstand, both of whom got on base with singles, as well as salmon, were able to score.

black marks go to the angels fan in the seats by right field who wacked giant reggie sanders with a thunder stick as he tried to field that ball. but since a thunder stick is nothing more than a big balloon, no interference was called, the play stood, and the angels pulled ahead for good, 4-1 (the fan was later ejected from the game, good riddance to poor sportsmanship!)

troy glaus was named mvp of the series, surprising everyone who thought barry bonds would have gotten that title.

although last nights game was the culmination of sweet victory for 42 years of angel hard work, the really exciting game was the night before on saturday, when anaheim was able to rally (thanks, monkey!) from a 5-0 deficit, beginning in the 7th inning to win, 6-5, thus forcing the fateful game 7 of last night.

we at skippy are very happy for the angels, but we are not taking anything away from the giants, also a great team. even though the ratings were severely down for this series, those of us in california think it was one of the most exciting world series of all time.
posted by skippy at 12:06 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to pandagon.net and t.c. mitts.
posted by skippy at 11:41 AM | 0 comments

more remembrances of paul wellstone

of course the progessive elements of the left are still reeling from the death of sen. wellstone and his family, while the media vultures are salivating at the prospect of how this will all shake out in the senate.

but for a great look at sen. wellstone's philosophy and career, and highlights of his work in the senate, be sure to check out our buddy talkleft's take on this great man while over on eric alterman's blog where talkleft is subbing for the weekend.
posted by skippy at 11:37 AM | 0 comments

the blogged weekend

we at skippy would like to apologize to our faithful readers. we're sorry, you two guys.

seriously, we took last weekend off and did no blogging whatsoever. skippy took mrs. skippy down to knotts scary farm halloween haunt for her birthday. he even sprung for a hotel room for a nice romantic weekend. the skippy's had great fun, and highly recommend the knotts scary farm haunt to everyone in southern california. tickets are still available for the rest of the week, it's well worth the money.

and, being magnanimous, skippy gave his crack staff the rest of the weekend off. (actually, we'd highly recommend taking a break from blogging to everyone. go out. get a life. really. it's fun).
posted by skippy at 11:32 AM | 62 comments

Friday, October 25, 2002

we need more dog control

maru the crankpot links us to this story about a man shot by his own dog ("when i say kibbles and bits, i means kibbles and bits!")
posted by skippy at 11:57 PM | 100 comments

now, for bill mcbride, here's jeb bush!

thanks to mydd for linking us to this video of the new mcbride commercial featuring everyone's second-favorite bush! (courtesy of the orlando sentinel)
posted by skippy at 11:53 PM | 0 comments

what's next, stairway to purr-adise?

thanks to antidotal for finding this link: viking kittens (to the tune of led zepplin's immigrant song).
posted by skippy at 11:45 PM | 0 comments

those original ideas are just restin...pinin' for the fjords of norway

we like to read paul krugman. trust us, we like his stuff way more than we like to read robert reich. krugman is wittier, easier to read, less pedantic. but fair is fair, metaphors are tracable, and if you don't have an original idea, why not just shut the hell up?

we agree with mr. krugman's point entirely in this ny times op-ed piece concerning mr. bush's veracity about the alleged links between saddam hussein and iraq; to wit, there is none (neither links nor veracity). but we take exception with mr. krugman's metaphor.

"reading all these euphemisms," mr. krugman says, "i was reminded of monty python's parrot: he's pushing up the daisies, his metabolic processes are history, he's joined the choir invisible. that is, he's dead. and the bush administration lies a lot."

cute? clever? funny? hip, with-it, great pop culture reference? sure. and it was just as cute, clever, funny, hip, with-it pop-culture referential when robert reich used it (to better comic effect) to describe the democratic party a year and a half ago in the washington post (linked here to the american prospect):

"if i were a political consumer," mr. reich says, "i would -- with apologies to the late monty python parrot -- be going back to the store right about now and registering a complaint: 'this political party -- the democratic party. it's dead.' 'no, no, no no,' he replies. 'it's just resting.' but i know a dead party when i see one, and i'm looking at a dead party right now."

ok, ok, you say, but after a year and a half hasn't the op-ed metaphor-stealing statute of limitations run out? perhaps. but gee whiz, it's not like mr. krugman would have had to go very far to find another, even better surreal british sketch comedy group metaphor to make his point:

hello, the united states says, we'd like peace and prosperity from our president please.

no, you wouldn't.

yes, we would.

no, you wouldn't.

yes, we would.

no, you wouldn't...oh, sorry, will this be a regular disinformation pr campaign, or the supreme deluxe?

oh, we'd like the deluxe, please.

very good. saddam hussein is working with the al qaeda!

no, he isn't!

yes, he is!

no, he isn't!

yes, he is!

etc. etc.

what's next? mark shields channeling benny hill?

posted by skippy at 7:23 PM | 0 comments

and we'll never have that recipe again

thanks to a link from pen-elayne, we just found out that richard harris has died.

children will remember him as professor dumbledore. adults will remember him as a man called horse. theater fans will remember him as a great drunk who had no peer doing shakespeare since richard burton passed.

they say the great always die in three's. keep your fingers crossed that it's not true. we will miss both paul wellstone and richard harris, two men who brought passion, commitment and truth to their respective professions.
posted by skippy at 6:44 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to t.c. mitts and duckboy on line and john quiggin and the bittershack of resentment and elayne riggs and politics in the zeros. whew!
posted by skippy at 6:30 PM | 0 comments

love that google!

we are so pleased whenever anybody manages to find their way to our humble blog, no matter what vessel or method or link was used to get here. but we gotta wonder about the person looking for this.
posted by skippy at 6:22 PM | 0 comments

all your government link needs in one place

another great reason to check out the fine blog m's daily ramblings is his list of links, even more complete than ours, to various necessary sites for the government, including senate roll call votes, as well as house roll call votes, and even ari's press briefings! yikes! that's a little too complete if you ask us!
posted by skippy at 2:53 PM | 0 comments

we didn't mean to start an altercation

our good friend talkleft is subbing for eric alterman on his column today, and she makes some fine points, as is her usual modus operandi.

she wonders aloud why more people aren't up in arms over mr. bush using taxpayer dollars and the administrative branch of the u.s. government to campaign for the republicans. she also puts in a plug for tom strickland for colorado senator, has high hopes for new lapd chief william bratton, deals with the supreme court dealing with the death penalty, wonders about using such penalty in the dc sniper case, and reports on why ted nugent isn't helping jeb bush these days (it's hunting season. yeah, that's as lame an excuse as when skippy says "gee, i'd love to help out, but mrs. skippy has this thing i've got to go to. sorry, jeb!)

check out her great work for eric today (plus, we must say, she did a fine job picking and choosing the letters for slacker friday...hey, who wrote that estute observation about martha stewart vs. harken energy?)
posted by skippy at 12:16 PM | 0 comments

allow us to demonstrate

be sure to attend one of the many rallies and anti-war demonstrations tomorrow. find out details here or here or here.
posted by skippy at 12:04 PM | 0 comments

san francisco takes a giant lead

the sf giants blew away the anaheim angels last night with a surprising pitching staff, some seat-of-your-pants heroics, and about a million home runs (it seemed), winning the game 16-4, giving the giants a 3 game to 2 lead in the world series.

jeff kent slugged out two different 2-run homers, while rich aurila knocked out a 3-run homer in the eighth inning. and of course it was willie mays' godson, barry bonds, who hit the rbi double that shot the giants into the lead early in the game, and they never looked back.

one highlight: j.t. snow, having just run across home plate to score for the giants, had to grab darren baker (3 year old son of giants manager dusty baker) to get him out of the way of david bell, coming home right behind. darren is the official bat boy of the giants, and was only doing his job, retrieving the bat of kenny lofton, whose 2-run triple started the whole fiasco.

the giants can taste the world championship. but don't count the angels out yet (remember, they beat the yankees!)

game six will be back in anaheim on saturday, beginning at 8 pm eastern, 5 pm real time.
posted by skippy at 11:42 AM | 0 comments

paul wellstone r.i.p.

it is with great sadness that we report that senator paul wellstone died in a plane crash in minnesota while campaigning.

senator wellstone was a champion of progressive causes, more than any other active senator. he was well-respected by his colleagues and well-loved by his consituents. and he was one of the few who stood up to mr. bush and voted against the iraq war resolution.

rest in peace senator wellstone.

addendum on the very good suggestion of our friend the hamster, we are providing this link to the amazon.com page for sen. wellstone's book conscience of a liberal. it's very worth checking out, and a great way to honor the memory of this fine man.
posted by skippy at 11:34 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, October 24, 2002

just shoot me

well, thank goodness they caught the dc sniper. now maybe tim dunlop and max sawicky and the others can go fill up their cars. and best of all, this weekend's rally and march against the war (what war? heck, any war you got, mister) in dc can be attended without fear of becoming a statistic (or worse, fodder for a mark fuhrman analysis on fox news).

but of course, there is a downside. we no longer get to make macabre, tasteless jokes about random, hateful deaths in our nation's capital. here's one we never got around to printing: "you know, in washington, dc, they've got some nut with a meglomaniac god complex and access to high-tech weapons, who's making everyone fear for their security. oh yeah, and a sniper's on the loose, too."

but we suppose, as comedians, we simply must press on. after all, irony is not dead, no matter what vanity fair says. case in point: when we heard that the sniper was caught with a bushmaster, we wondered what dick cheney was doing in the chevy caprice.
posted by skippy at 5:36 PM | 0 comments

we're all over the place

take a look at the top of our endorsement column on the right side of this page, you'll find a link to the skippy theme song.

and if that's not enough, we're even in the comic pages.
posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 40 comments

we don't plan on going to the polls nov. 5

that's right, we're going all sorts of different places, other than out to vote. why? not because we live in california, and the difference between gray davis and bill simon is like the difference between califlower and broccoli - slightly different color, same bland taste - but because we are absentee voters.

thanks to thinking it through, we found this washpost story about the new democratic strategy in iowa...sign folks up to be absentee voters! it is probably too late for anyone who hasn't registered as an absentee voter to do so this year, but you might want to consider it for future elections. it's highly endorsed by skippy!
posted by skippy at 5:05 PM | 0 comments

beating the bushes

mydd reports that the insideradvantage tracking poll now has bill mcbride pulling ahead of jeb bush in florida, 49-46%.

and political wire says that terry "don't mind my millions" mcauliffe is labeling jeb as the "democrats top target." (good thing the top target isn't sleazy back-room profits from shady union and global crossing deals, or mr. mcauliffe would be in trouble).
posted by skippy at 10:50 AM | 0 comments

spinning of poll finds most americans approve of bush

according to the associated press, "about two-thirds approve of [bush's] overall handling of the presidency." in reality, the figures are 63% favorable response in the cnn-usa today-gallup and the nbc news-wsj polls.

of course, we remember when bush was in the high 70's, no wait, make that the 70's, no, the low 70's, sorry, that's the high 60's...oops. 63%. might as well call that 2/3.

and, if you take a look at the past nbc-usa today-gallup poll numbers on this page, you'll see that mr. bush's favorability last month was 70%! so he dropped 7 points in a month! still, the headlines scream that 2/3 approve of him.

and, of course, the real reality is that the polls were taken with about 1,020 people, so 63% of that is 642.6 people. but you never see the headlines "642.6 people approve of bush's presidency!" (probably because it's too hard to explain how .6 of a person approves of him, but the other two-fifths of that same person does not).

and of course, the real real reality is that people hate his handling of the economy, which has slipped from 63% in midsummer (or two-thirds, if you're a pollster) to a scant 49%. and the gallup poll reports that "voters are angrier than they were in january 2001, with 54 percent saying they are 'angry about something' now, compared with 46 percent who felt that way then. six in 10, 61 percent, said president bush has not spent enough time dealing with domestic issues, compared with 68 percent who felt that way about his father in january 1992. more than half, 58 percent, said they think economic conditions in this country are poor, the most who have said that in years."

and, if you like polls, take a look at these polls about consumer confidence in the economy. you might also look to see if your shoes need shining, since you'll be looking down alot.

posted by skippy at 10:33 AM | 0 comments

giants saved by the bell

the giants were able to tie the series with 2 games apiece by by rallying back to win last night's contest 4-3, thanks to an eighth inning single slugged by david bell.

home runs were still cheap, as troy glaus hit a two-run shot in the third inning, tying barry bonds' post season homer record. angels' slugger tim salmon was limited by the giants improved pitching to a single in the third, setting up glaus' two-run homer.

the world series is doing san francisco tourist business a world of good. tourism, like everywhere else, has been drastically down in the city by the bay since 9/11 (and the dot-com collapse hasn't helped).

jenny price, director of human resources for the angels, has loved touring san francisco, and only encountered rudeness from the giants fans in the stadium, according to the sf chronicle:

" 'they were so rude, but i'm sure they weren't the regular season-ticket holders,' price said. 'they yelled at us for holding up signs. they were chanting, 'beat l.a.!' so we were chanting, 'beat oakland!' ' "

game 5 is tonight in san francisco, with jarrod washburn starting for the angels vs. jason schmidt for the giants. the fun starts at 8 pm eastern, 5 pm real time.
posted by skippy at 10:16 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

more from atrios on election fraud

our bud atrios at eschaton sends us these links to help us learn more about election fraud:

e-voting experts put regs first

right wing billionaires and republican operatives make the machines that count the votes

common dreams: the nightmare scenario is here - computer voting with no paper trail

testimony by rebecca mercuri, ph.d. presented to the u.s. house of representatives committee on science subcommittee on environment, technology, & standards

rebecca mercuri's statement on electronic voting

bbc news: fears raised over e-voting
posted by skippy at 7:47 PM | 0 comments

and now a word from our sponsor, the anti-dick

we got this email from zack over at gwbush.com:

it's taken a very long time, but we finally got the cheney-saddam radio ad on the commercial airwaves in washington dc! it's playing during political talk shows such as bill o'reilly, ollie north (really!), and dateline washington.

several months ago, gwbush.com readers collaborated to write, produce and raise money for a radio ad that told the truth about dick cheney's profitable deals with Iraq as ceo of halliburton. you can listen to the ad and read articles describing the deals here: http://gwbush.com/spots

and if you want to read the rest of zack's letter, please go to our sister blog, skippy junior
posted by skippy at 6:02 PM | 31 comments

more blogging around

talkleft expounds on an excellent point by tim robbins...fundamentalism of any religion is usually nasty and counter-productive. but talkleft goes on to point out that the term "religious right" is also counter-productive...and offers the meme "radical right" in its place. we second that emotion!

(also, thanks to talkleft, who found out from thinking it through, we found out that jeb bush visited noelle in jail. finally!)

and janet at beyond corporate is also commenting on the death penalty...
posted by skippy at 5:53 PM | 0 comments

sniper jokes aren't funny to some people

some folks jes' ain't laffin', as was so rightfully pointed out on our comments section by the very talented theatercam who lives in the dc area.

we also see that the latest shooting was a mere ten minutes from where max sawicky lives, causing an interesting pro/con debate about capital punishment on his blog.

and don't forget daily sniper updates from tim dunlop, also a dc resident (we can't ever get tim's permanent links to work, so just go to his site and look for posts labeled with numbered days...he's up to day 19 by now.
posted by skippy at 5:47 PM | 47 comments

separated at birth?

south knox bubba wonders why you never see the cast of "fox and friends" and the cast of "drew carey" in the same room together...
posted by skippy at 5:28 PM | 0 comments

an answer about florida

yikes! atrios of eschaton sends us an answer to kathie's question (below) and it's scary, kids!

"but, let me tell you what I know -- yes it is incredibly easy to rig these machines one way or another. they're proprietary and not inspectable so whoever made them could rig them. but, it's even easier than that - the machines could simply be 'reset' at mid day in certain precincts and no one would be the wiser. this is a rather brute force approach, but even if it's uncovered they can just plead goofup. i assume that voters still have to sign in? (don't know) -- the only way around this is to compare vote totals in precincts/voting locations with the number of voters signed up.

keep an eye on the poll workers...about all you can do..."

thanks atrios!

posted by skippy at 4:51 PM | 0 comments

a question from florida

our florida correspondent, kathie k., is planning to help keep florida's upcoming vote honest. but she has a question, and hopes that one of our readers can help her with an answer:

here's my biggest fear: we know the bushes will cheat to win an election. we have new electronic voting machines, which leave no paper trail. where does this information go? couldn't a few thousand votes be easily cleansed from the computer count by the company who supports the hardware and software? i have not gotten a satisfactory answer to this question yet. do any of your readers know?

if anybody has any idea where we can find out, please email us.

and if you'd like to read all of kathie's letter, including proof that jeb bush is trolling for dates on a dating service web site, go to our sister site, skippy junior.

posted by skippy at 12:01 PM | 0 comments

carnival for everyone!

carnival of the vanities #5 is up and running! this week it's being graciously hosted by laurence of amish tech support, and, as usual, it's also available at blogcritics. so go on over to one or both sites and enjoy lots of find blogging by lots of fine bloggers.

one of the great perks of carnival is the opportunity for us to meet some new points of view. this week, we took meryl yourish to task for misconstruing what the word "chickenhawk" means (we said that it doesn't mean somebody who hasn't done something but calls upon others to do it instead, ie, go to war; but rather somebody who calls for war when they themselves avoided enlisting and serving. she said, no, chickenhawk is street slang for a homosexual who cruises underage boys, and besides, it was humor anyway. stop, you're both right!)

meryl may not agree with us all the time, but she is a fine writer, so please, go check out her blog!
posted by skippy at 11:46 AM | 0 comments

angels pull ahead in all-california series

the anaheim angels beat the san francisco giants 10-4 last night to pull ahead in the world series, 2 games to 1.

the highlight of the game for us was to see some old friends (if you are a giants fan, and remember, skippy lived in sf for three years) come back for the first pitch ceremony. after tony bennett sang "god bless america," the "say hey kid" himself, willie mays, threw out the first ball of the game, backed by fellow giants hall-of-famers juan marishal, orlando cepeda and number 44, willie mccovey (who was the hero of the giants when we were tolerating the wind-swept canyons of candlestick park back in the late 70's)

even barry bonds' 2-run homer in the fifth couldn't help stave off the angels' onslaught. that was bonds' third home run in the first three world series games, tying hank bauer's record for the yankees in 1958.

but the giants don't have a very deep pitching staff, and while none of the angels, save tim salmon, are known to be sluggers, they get the job done with a single here, a double there, a walk here, a stolen base there.

the giants will try to even up the series tonight in pac bell park, with kirk rueter starting against anaheim's john lackey, who will be pitching his first world series game on his birthday. festivities start at 8 pm eastern, 5 pm real time.

and remember, we were all worried about another earthquake happening, like back in the giants-a's series in 1989? well, we can stop worrying.
posted by skippy at 11:04 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

blogging around

dr. limerick teaches us about the science of polling (we still think it's less scientific than divining rods and scientology, but who are we to argue...we switched college majors from math to theatre arts when we got to calculus).

here's a couple of blogs pointing out the inequality of going after martha stewart for stock fraud in light of all the rich white guys walking around free. mydd puts it into context of jeb's run for his political life in florida (note to mydd: we love ya, bud, but martha spells her last name like jimmy stewart, not stuart little).

and eric boehlert, subbing for that frenchie lover, eric alterman, talks about the irrelevance of wall street journal's focus on ms. stewart's trevails when real news is so plentiful these days (he wanders around a bit through the blog on many other subjects, many of them fine and worthy; but if we wanted reviews of magazines fawning over musicians, we'd write one for blogcritics ourselves).

eric rightly points out that ms. stewart's alleged profit of $42,000 from her sale of imclone stock pales in comparison to the $10 million the waksal family made from sale of the same stock. and another fine blog we know of has already mentioned that ms. stewart's money is nothing compared to the $850,000 that a certain director of harken oil made selling his stock just weeks before the price tanked back in 1990 (and he got off scott free, thanks to his daddy's friends at the sec!)

ok, eric boehlert and the daily kos have both pointed out that doonesbury takes on blogging, so we will, too. start with this strip, and hit next strip to continue, either until trudeau runs out of things to say about blogging, or zipper gets posted on the carnival of the vanities (this week on amish tech support, watch for it!)
posted by skippy at 5:28 PM | 0 comments

letters, we get letters

nothing is sadder than genius that goes unrecognized except by itself. at least, that's what unrecognized genius thinks. we share this fan mail with you all:

skippy old boy, for some reason, no one is biting on 'survivor -- sniper!!!" -- my latest get-rich-quick idea. what's our country coming to when people call good old-fashioned merchandising genius like this "tasteless?" the idea's golden, i'm telling you. you can print this if you want ... looks like no one is going to pay me for it. best, claire."

sorry, claire, if we were in any position to pay you money for that idea, we would. and we are sure that everybody who doesn't live in the washington metro area would find it hilarious, except if they were related to one of the ten dead people. and, considering the news leaking out that the killer wants money to stop, we could follow your show up with "who wants to be a millionaire sniper?"

posted by skippy at 4:11 PM | 0 comments

your choice tonight: black or white. sorry, gray is not on the menu

first, the good news: media horse on line is back from its vacation on the ranch in crawford, texas (oops! sorry! the horse is on vacation so much we get it mixed up with someone else!)

now, the bad news: democratic underground, another fine publication that we highly recommend, has begun a new policy on their message boards:

"for the next three weeks: it is forbidden to use the du message board in an effort to make our members withhold their precious votes from the democratic party, which is the only organization capable of stopping the republican onslaught. it is forbidden to use the du message board to organize protests or other actions against members of the democratic party."

we are sorry to hear about this, only because, it doesn't seem all that...well, democratic.

granted, flamers, trollers and freepers are as annoying as all get out (and if you don't like it, you can all get out!) and sure, democratic underground has never claimed to be anything other than highly partisan in favor of the democratic party, and that's ok with us. but with this new policy, we ask if they might want to change the name of their blog from "democratic underground" to "democratic party underground." truth in advertising and all, you know.

there is a difference between partisan and fascist. not letting somebody else say something that you don't agree with just doesn't seem very fair to us. especially if somebody wants to discuss the options of third parties in america (a verboten subject now on the du message boards). which actually brings us to the main point we are trying, albeit in a clumsy fashion, to make.

the democratic underground states the reason for its new policy is that the democratic party is "only organization capable of stopping the republican onslaught." we wonder aloud, which democrats are they talking about?

john breax, max clelland, zell miller, max baucus and ben nelson? how about tim johnson and jean carnahan? these folks all voted for mr. bush's trillion dollar tax cut. are those the democrats that will "stop" the republican onslaught?

how about hillary clinton, henry waxman, tom daschle, dick gephardt, joe lieberman, john kerry, john edwards, howard berman, jane harman, adam schiff, brad sherman, dianne feinstein, to name but a few of the 29 senators and 82 representatives
who voted for mr. bush's war resolution to attack iraq? this is the way to "stop" the republican onslaught?

our point is, if the democrats had shown one-tenth of the spine of jim jeffords in the past year and 3/4, we wouldn't be so botherd by the du's new message board policy. if it looked like the democrats actually even wanted to stop the republican onslaught, we wouldn't make such a fuss. but as it is, the democratic party, and by extension, the cheerleading the democratic underground, is not looking so much like the republicans' enemy, but rather their enabler.
posted by skippy at 9:45 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to m's daily ramblings.
posted by skippy at 9:20 AM | 0 comments

Monday, October 21, 2002

all sniper all the time

our hearts, of course, go out to the many families of the victims of the dc sniper. and, we can't imagine what it would be like to be living in that area, knowing that any time you go out for a quick errand or to gas up your car, you may never come home (for a better idea of what that would be like, visit the blogs of tim dunlop or max sawicky, both dc residents).

any murder is a terrible, horrible thing. any crime spree which takes human lives is a senseless, pointless horror. but, having said that, we'd like to say something that some would consider tasteless sacrilege:

shut up with 24 hour sniper coverage already. but we doubt that will happen. and why?

"on tuesday, fox news channel averaged 1.12 million viewers, cnn had 1.06 million and cnn headline news had 294,000," says usa today. "for each network, it was the most-watched single day of the year, according to nielsen media research. that was the day after the sniper claimed its latest victim, 47-year-old fbi analyst linda franklin, outside a home depot in falls church, va. the story dominated the news networks."

ratings. big, cheap, fast, ratings. no wonder they're playing it all the time. saddam who? what election? recession? never heard of it! this story has legs!!

we heard a cnn reporter yesterday say that the nation is obsessed with the sniper story. au contraire, mon ami, it is you, the cable news networks, who are obsessed with this story. and why not? like the gary condit story, it's right there in your own backyard. you networks don't even have to uplink to a satellite, just drive across town (and hope the sniper isn't waiting for you at the press conference).

and that brings us to our second point. it's a news story that directly affects the people who run the news media. they pump gas into their cars. they go to home depot. they eat at the ponderosa. we bet wolf blitzer is a closet arts and crafter, and makes weekend runs to michael's. this sniper guy is killing people in their own neighborhoods. they are aghast and amazed, and incensed that the police haven't done a better job. why, both hannity and colmes might be next on the hit list! no wonder all the news networks have non-stop monday morning quarterbacking second-guessing the police.

and, like every other political story, it's so cheap to produce. just round up two or three ex-cops or private investigators (for gods sake, we saw mark fuhrman on tv this weekend!) and maybe throw in a gun-control freak to appear "fair and balanced," and you have a whole segment. and hey, maybe get a constitutional lawyer to talk, anne coulter's not busy.

and the websites for the news networks are no better. here's a real piece found on foxnews.com: son of sam tells sniper to stop. we're not making this up. and here's an interactive map of the shootings from cnn, or you can go to cbs, where you can "hunt for clues" or "avoid becoming a target." god, it's become a video game on the net!!

(we like this tip: "shop or buy gas in dark, out of the way places." oh, that's good! we bet all the muggers who read cbs.com will be especially grateful for that bit of advice being given to everyone!)

and not to make light of this terrible tragedy, but, with chief moose and spotsylvania county, we wonder if sometimes if we haven't fallen into an old rocky and bullwinkle cartoon.

our point is, if this crime spree was happening anywhere else but right in the hometown of the cable news media, it wouldn't be getting the 24 hour coverage. this detroit news piece from 2001 speaks of 1,100 unsolved murders in that city in the past five years. why isn't connie chung in motown every night, decrying that police force?

because, like with any other story, political or not, the electronic media make the mistake in thinking that if it's important to them, it's important to everyone. they only repeat the stuff they hear in their own hall ways. that's why, up to this sniper story, all we heard was "count down to iraq" and "showdown: iraq." because the planned iraq invasion was topic of choice all through washington.

actual reporting, as we have lamented in this space before, has long gone up to the clouds with huntley to watch brinkley down below hawk for archer daniels midland. if its cheap, fast, sexy and important to their bosses, the electronic news media will spout it 24/7. if it takes real reporting, real investigating, actual talking to actual americans, and especially if it costs money, you can forget it.

posted by skippy at 10:14 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

issue guy over at seeing the forest tells us that alcoa is revising its pension liability from $7 mill to $1 billion...wow! this shortfall will force the company to revise its expected return on the pension downward from 9.5% to...well, they don't say exactly where the interest will be. hmmm. we forget, exactly who was the chairman and ceo of alcoa until just recently?

jane galt (kind of) agrees with paul krugman.

gail davis has redesigned her blog a bit, and we like the new set-up, with links set right up front in a headline bar over the relevant post. the whole thing kind of reminds us of the dot dot dot style of the late herb caen, if he ever had a blog.

the gang over at amcgltd tells us that someone found a box purported to hold the bones of jesus's brother. we should have paid more attention in sunday school, we didn't even know jesus had a brother! if he was anything like our brother...(hey, jesus, can i borrow some pieces of silver? what? ask judas?)

michele, at a small victory, takes issue with msnbc weblog central describing (albeit with a question mark) charles johnson's little green footballs as "is this news or hate?" we concur with michele: we may not agree with charles all (or even most) of the time, but he is not a disseminator of hate or a bigot or racist; he asks questions that anyone interested in the middle east conflicts has a right to ask. and we will defend to the death (of our blog) his right to ask those questions.

tim dunlop has more on the dc sniper (note: his archives and permanent links don't seem to work, at least not for us, so just go to his blog, the road to surfdom, and look for the headlines shootings update)

posted by skippy at 6:52 PM | 0 comments

memo to gray davis: don't count your contributions before you win

taegan goddard tells us on political wire that bill simon very well could win the california governer's race. we would be surprised, if we ourselves didn't find gray davis to be the least attractive political candidate since harold stassen.
posted by skippy at 6:43 PM | 0 comments

angels on cloud 9 after beating the giants

in spite of the fact that the first game of the all-california world series had the lowest ratings ever, the angels rallied back in game two to beat the giants, 11-10, in a wild ride of a contest.

thanks in part to tim salmon's 2 run homer in the eighth inning, and some pitching from francisco rodriguez, the angels tied the series at 1 game apiece as the two teams take the long 1 hour and 5 minute flight up to san francisco for game 3 tomorrow night.

the game was a wild and a long one, with the lead going back and forth between the two teams. often times it looked like either club was gaining substantially on the other, only to have the score tied in an inning or two. and finally, even a last ditch 2 out home run by barry bonds in the ninth couldn't inch the giants' 10 runs up to tie with the angel's 11 run score. luckily the ratings were up for game two, which was a much more exciting one than the first game.

game three will be tuesday night at 8 pm easter, 5 pm real time.
posted by skippy at 6:33 PM | 0 comments

more from boxer

got another email from the email bot in sen. barbara boxer's office. this one concerns her record on the clean water act of here is part of it:

october 18 marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of the clean water act. i thought you might be interested in reading my statement. i would, of course, be interested in your thoughts on this or any other federal matter. [ed. note: at least, her email bot would be interested]

statement on the 30th anniversary of the clean water act

thank you mr. chairman. i am pleased to be here today on the 30th anniversary of the clean water act.

in 1972, our nation's water resources were under siege from raw sewage, chemical toxins, and industrial waste. fish kills were at record highs and our rivers were literally on fire. 90% of america's waterways were polluted in some form or other. in march 1969, 400 square miles of water were blanketed with oil six inches deep after a blowout at an oil company off of santa barbara's coastline. it was this water quality crisis that compelled congress to act in a bipartisan manner to pass the clean water act in 1972.

for the rest of what sen. boxer had to say about water, please go to our sister blog, skippy junior.
posted by skippy at 5:52 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, October 20, 2002

blogging around

avedon carol at the sideshow takes us through the week in the washpost including some views on asa hutchinson's incorrect facts for his indictment of the british newly lax marijuana laws.

since tim dunlop lives in the dc area, his blog the road to surfdom is a great source for up to the minute news about the sniper.

ann salisbury at two tears in a bucket is wondering about the new fangled military aircraft she sees flying in the skies over orange county.

this guy must be a comedian!

amcgltd links to raccoon infestations.

posted by skippy at 2:17 PM | 0 comments

temporary new home

we are unsure of the reasons why, but you can find atrios at eschaton at http://atrios2002.blogspot.com. we hope it's jus temporary.
posted by skippy at 1:52 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, October 19, 2002

angels not in the bonds market

the san francisco giants beat the angels in anaheim tonight, thanks to, among other things, a barry bonds homerun in the second inning.

the score for the first game of the world series was 4-3. troy glaus hit two home runs for the angels, but that was not enough to catch up to the giants, who were never behind in the game.

it was a sweet victory for the giants, who haven't won a game in world series since 1962, having been swept by the oakland a's and huge mother of an earthquake in 1989.

game 2 will be in anaheim tomorrow, starting at 8:00 pm eastern, 5:00 pm real time.

posted by skippy at 10:48 PM | 0 comments

don't break out the bubbly just yet

yes, we know the market has made some incredible gains last week. but as pierre belec warns, don't expect a fairy tale ending to this market.

"what's wrong with this picture? the stock market soars. but the headlines scream: -- 'lucent to cut 10,000 jobs' -- 'consumer confidence sinks to a nine-year low' -- 'retail sales post steepest drop since November 2001' -- 'gm's loss widens'."

kent engelke, capital market strategist for anderson & strudwick inc., says, "we think the recent rally was excessive. sharp rallies of this fashion are the hallmarks of bear markets."

mr. belec goes on: "the numbers are in. they show american consumers appear to be exhausted after single-handedly keeping the economy afloat for more than two years." [ed. note: i know i am!] "their spending may have reached a saturation point and a slowdown would be only a natural response to heady spending increases. wWhat typically happens is demand gets exhausted, like in a stock market bubble, and people stop buying stuff to catch up to themselves. "

and then, as if we weren't depressed enough, mr. belec lists all the nasty things coming up on the horizon: war jitters, weak consumer demand, manufacturing slump, lines of credit completely tapped out, car sales falling, retailers downwardly revising end-of-the-year forecasts, consumer sentiment index tumbling, record highs in second mortgages, prolonged unemployment...oh, we can't go on. read it yourselves. we've got to go weep quietly in the corner somewhere.

posted by skippy at 8:01 PM | 71 comments

sniper update

bad news, kids, it looks like the dc sniper may have struck again.

"a shooting at a ponderosa restaurant saturday night was being investigated for connection to the string of sniper shootings in the washington, d.c. area. the victim, a 37-year-old man, was rushed to a hospital and undergoing surgery, authorities said."

if this does turn out to be connected to the sniper, it will be the first time he/she has claimed a victim on a weekend.
posted by skippy at 7:40 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

talkleft is encouraging everyone to get involved with tom strickland's campaign in our home state of colorado. and she also supplies facts to show that strickland's opponent, sen. wayne allard, has a record on the welfare of children that is just dismal. and, talkleft also has the latest, along with an ny times op-ed piece, on the case of the buffalo six. (by the way, talkleft, if don henley is one of your three all time favorites, who are the other two? glenn frey and joe walsh?)

the boys at antidotal have found a paramilitary group who are also environmentalists: "at least one private donor in wyoming backed off, citing her attorney's advice that 'the use of deadly force is not a charitable activity'."

south knox bubba informs us that mr. ashcroft has promised election watchers to help out in florida. and skbubba says jeb "will need all the help he can get."

james capozzola (did we spell it right this time, james?) of the rittenhouse review takes on charles murtaugh's (vague) accusation of "left-wing homophobia," simply because most of us think andrew sullivan is an idiot (we're exaggerating. not most, just a lot). also, since atrios was inadvertantly lumped into this mess, here is his response.

lean left deconstructs spin on msnbc's kenneth allard's defense of why korea isn't the threat that iraq is.

sciatica and how posters help win wars.

madeleine kane found a great advertising parody site.
posted by skippy at 7:33 PM | 0 comments

does al qaeda have a workable business model?

thanks to also not found in nature, we came across this musing by jerre skog in counterpunch:

"but al qaeda is not general motors or the cia, with bin laden sitting in a cave in pakistan surrounded by ceos planning terrorist acts around the globe and supervising operations with logistics, funding, training and recruiting being handled by diverse departments...we have to stop allowing ourselves from being deceived into believing one organization is behind all attacks on 'western interests'. comforting it may be but the truth is another. the truth is that millions, if not billions, of people, from papua new guinea to colombia, have well-founded reasons to hate the greedy western imperialism. some of them will finally get desperate enough to turn that hate into action...some to kill anyone they connect to the oppressors. some prepared to die themselves in the process. they may be moslems, christians, hindus or something else, but they are human beings who finally had enough. don't call them al qaeda, call them desperate!"

granted, counterpunch's politics are a little to the left of karl marx, but this point cannot be denied: to lump all "terrorism" into one catch-all tub being stirred by bin laden is to over-simplify the matter to our detriment. it's a complex world out there, with complex problems, and in need of complex solutions.

posted by skippy at 7:00 PM | 0 comments

allow us to demonstrate

15,000 people in glasgow, scotland, protested the usa's plans to attack iraq, according to the edinburgh sunday herald.

"thousands of anti-war demonstrators brought the centre of glasgow to a standstill yesterday in what is believed to be the biggest peace demonstration scotland has yet seen. an estimated 15,000 people protested against a usa and uk-led attack on iraq. "

and our favorite newspaper named after an insect, the sacramento bee, says that a new anti-war effort is taking shape.

"a week ago sunday, an estimated 10,000 anti-war demonstrators turned out in new york city. another 8,000 gathered in san francisco while thousands more gathered in los angeles, portland and other cities."

just out of curiosity, did anyone see these numbers reported in the mainstream electronic media? nope? didn't think so.

and this is just a reminder to everyone to get ready for the big march in washington and san francisco on oct. 26. details are here.

posted by skippy at 6:40 PM | 0 comments

let's not all retire at once, now

according to barron's magazine, 2/3 of the fortune 500 companies with pension plans, have underfunded plans as of the end of last year. it's the highest number of underfunded plans in ten years.

" 'we have over $300 billion of pension-fund deficits in 2002 for s&p 500 companies,' said trevor harris, head of morgan stanley's valuation and accounting research group...'that's $300 billion of cash these companies have to come up with over the next few years, and $300 billion that comes out of corporate cash flow'."

and, as all politics are local, so seem to be all economic problems. mr. & mrs. skippy's best friends, a lovely couple who worked hard and and decided to retire at the at the end of the nineties, have just decided they both need to go back to work.

unretiring, what a concept.
posted by skippy at 6:10 PM | 0 comments

how the democrats could win big this election, and why they probably won't

we think this mid-term election is the democrats' to lose. and, if history is any sort of indication, they probably will.

well, they won't lose everything. they'll win some seats in the senate, they might even gain an advantage of one or two more. and they'll probably gain some seats in the house.

but it's the mid-term, for goodness sakes. the opposing party has always made big gains in the mid-term elections since james k. polk, or some obscure administration from two centuries ago. and let's face it, the economy is on the minds of everyone who lives outside the beltway. but it may not help the democrats this year, according to david lightman, in the hartford courant.

"fear of terrorism generally helps republicans; worries about the economy helps democrats, and views about the war on iraq tend to be split. democrats have the bigger problem...democrats have relentlessly tried to get attention by stressing the economy. they've staged a rally on the capitol steps. they've held a news conference attended by 100 reporters and dozens of cameras to decry republican reluctance to act on a higher minimum wage or extra unemployment benefits. to cap the week, house minority leader richard a. gephardt, d-mo., joined others in congress thursday to unveil a 'prosperity index,' a new way of saying the economy has reeled since bush took office. republicans shrugged. the media barely noticed."

how could the dems actually turn things to their advantage? well, the problem for the dems is, it would take organization, and elbow grease, and a fire in their belly...things the dems haven't believed in since lyndon johnson left town.

here's what skippy would do if he were terry mcauliff (no, wait, scratch that. if he were terry mcauliff, he'd have millions of dollars from a questionable global crossing investment and some other shady deals, so he'd be holed up in his mansion laughing at how ineffectual the democratic party is...oh, wait, maybe that's what terry is doing these days).

first of all, organize. get the grass roots believers in the party together to volunteer. fire them up, and get them to go house to house, to talk to voters face to face (you remember face to face, don't you? before tv, and polls, and the internet? people interacting with each other). load the volunteers up with facts and figures: unemployment, poverty, bankruptcies, foreclosures, deficits, all increasing; uninsured americans, health and drug costs, all increasing; crime, pollution, and drug use, all increasing. these facts and figures are available to anyone (including democrats) who wants to log onto the bureau of labor statistics, or the census bureau, or the fbi, or just go to rep. henry waxman's report on tompaine.com.

the volunteers could make inroads into people's hearts and minds, but it would take work, dedication, time and commitment, and remember, we're talking about democrats here.

but there's something else the dems can do. they could reach out to minority voters. remember minority voters?

they can get those volunteers to go knockin' on the doors of hispanic households, with copies of the denver post article in hand. you remember that article, the one about the the white house intern who accidentally forwarded the email decrying the democratic latino congress (and sen. byrd) for their vote on the iraq resolution? the email that said of the latino democrats in congress, "if they have a defense for their actions, they should deliver it to the kids in uniform that could one day have their --- shot off to protect these ninnies!" let the volunteers remind american hispanics just how the bush white house feels about them.

and don't forget the black voters (although, in our opinion, that's just what al gore's campaign did in the brou-ha-ha that followed the florida chad fiasco). the dems should get on their knees in front of bill clinton (and let's face it, that's where he likes people to be) and beg the big dog to make another bet appearance; let bill remind african-americans how important their votes are.

and get those volunteers (and bill, too) to tell every minority voter that even if your name isn't on the rolls when you show up to the polls, you can request a form to fill out and still vote anyway; something that nobody bothered to tell people in the 2000 election.

and then, the democrats should make sure they are at the polls on voting day, not to campaign (we know that is illegal), but to make sure that everybody is able to vote without incident. make it a bi-partisan effort if that's what it takes (if the repubs will agree to it. who knows, they might!) (and monkeys might fly out of james carville's and mary matalin's butts at the same time in a bi-partisan miracle!)

but, again, we're sorry to say, all of that minority outreach would take something more than just making speeches from the campaign trail, or going on the maclaughin group. that would take organization, commitment to ideals, hard work, goals and persistence. in other words, that would take an actual political party. something the democrats don't have.
posted by skippy at 4:49 PM | 0 comments