s skippy the bush kangaroo: December 2003

skippy the bush kangaroo

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

thanks for a great year

we'd like to take a brief moment to thank everyone in blogtopia (yes! you know we coined that phrase!) who have graciously linked to us and supported our efforts this last year.

aside from the usual suspects, as witnessed in our blog roll on the right, we must give special thanks to tom tomorrow, who graciously mentioned our humble blog in his interview with salon magazine. also, a big thanks to atrios for sending us tom's signed book which was accidentally switched (at birth perhaps?) with the copy addressed to atrios.

a big thanks to mad kane for sending us a dead trees copy of new york magazine which mentioned us. we're sure we put it around here somewhere. and thanks to aj of joe conason's publishing house for getting us a copy of joe's great book as well.

thanks to the gang over at american politics journal for linking to us so much this year, and to the smirking chimp for posting one of our rants on that marvelous site. thanks also to tbogg and the hamster for their linkage as of late, and to devra of blue streak for her gracious addition of us to her yaacs comments account.

and as always, thanks to talkleft for her continued support, without which we would be much poorer. if there is anyone who feels left out, please forgive us. we are nothing without the continued support of eveybody in blogtopia (you know the drill), and we are grateful to everybody who has read, linked, mentioned or even just thought about our efforts.

here's hoping the new year will be one of peace and prosperity (oh, who are we kidding, awol's still in the white house!), or at least of more honest discussion amongst the american public and pundits.

and let's hope we as a nation remember that with power comes responsibility, and nothing enhances power more than grace and humility.

and if you're going to drink, don't drive. don't even putt.

happy new year, and see you all in 2004!!
posted by skippy at 6:28 PM | 21 comments

can kerry ketchup? (it's a heinz joke!)

thanks to a reader post on the kos's site, we found this bit of news from the bosglobe: kerry fund-raising to see worst quarter.

after a powerful fund-raising start this year that conferred fleeting front-runner status on his candidacy, senator john f. kerry is due to end 2003 with his worst three months of fund-raising, and the blame inside his campaign is falling on both the candidate and the competition for money among the nine democratic presidential contenders, according to kerry fund-raisers and campaign aides…

i'm dying out there," said this kerry fund-raiser, a veteran democratic moneyman who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "there was so much excitement about john kerry early on, and now there's none."…

"dean's success may have made if difficult for everybody else in the race," said ben barnes, a leading kerry fund-raiser. "and there are so many people running. even [representative] dennis kucinich had 6 percent in one poll. kerry's drawing a lot of interest, but so are others."
posted by skippy at 11:43 AM | 0 comments

not a happy new year in baghdad

a huge explosion tore apart a restaurant in baghdad during a new year's celebration today, says komo news of seatac.

according to witnesses, a car bomb exploded outside the restaurant, and at least 5 people were reported killed.

good thing we found saddam (right after the kurds left him for us to find), right?
posted by skippy at 11:20 AM | 0 comments

tale o' the tape

also found browsing the smirking chimp: these numbers from an article by david hackworth (whose blog we proudly link to under our war links section). in it, col. hackworth tells us

lt. col. scott d. ross of the u.s. military's transportation command told me that as of dec. 23, his outfit had evacuated 3,255 battle-injured casualties and 18,717 non-battle injuries.

of the battle casualties, 473 died and 3,255 were wounded by hostile fire.

following are the major categories of the non-battle evacuations:

orthopedic surgery – 3,907
general surgery – 1,995
internal medicine – 1,291
psychiatric – 1,167
neurology – 1,002
gynecological – 491

sources say that most of the gynecological evacuations are pregnancy-related, although the exact figure can’t be confirmed – pentagon pregnancy counts are kept closer to the vest than the number of nuke warheads in the u.s. arsenal…

the pentagon has never won prizes for the accuracy of its reporting, but i think it’s safe to say that so far somewhere between 14,000 and 22,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have been medically evacuated from iraq to the usa.
posted by skippy at 11:14 AM | 0 comments

weapons of mass delusion

thanks to the smirking chimp (a daily must) we find this report from the christian science monitor...the terror threat at home, often overlooked.

last month, an east texas man pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon of mass destruction. inside the home and storage facilities of william krar, investigators found a sodium-cyanide bomb capable of killing thousands, more than a hundred explosives, half a million rounds of ammunition, dozens of illegal weapons, and a mound of white-supremacist and antigovernment literature…

but outside tyler, texas, the case is almost unknown. in the past nine months, there have been two government press releases and a handful of local stories, but no press conference and no coverage in the national newspapers.

experts say the case highlights the increased cooperation and quicker response by us agencies since sept. 11. but others say it points up just how political the terror war is. "there is no value for the bush administration to highlighting domestic terrorism right now," says robert jensen, a journalism professor at the university of texas in austin. "but there are significant political benefits to highlighting foreign terrorists, especially when trying to whip up support for war."
funny, we've heard all kinds of stuff about how armed air marshals are needed on foreign flights into the us these last few days, but nary a word about this. daniel levitas, author of "the terrorist next door: the militia movement and the radical right," said of the find in tyler:

"the government has a severe case of tunnel vision when it comes to domestic terrorism. i have no doubt whatsoever that had krar and his compatriots been arab-americans or linked to some violent islamic fundamentalist group, we would have heard from john ashcroft himself."
especially if they had almanacs.

addendum: both here and on our daily kos diary where we cross-posted this item, readers mentioned the hard working david neiwert, who writes the fantastic orcinus. david has been keeping track of this story for sometime, and we highly encourage folks to peruse his blog. (he also got mentioned in the usatoady article on blogs. keep up the good work david!)
posted by skippy at 11:03 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to daily connotations.
posted by skippy at 10:20 AM | 0 comments

merry christmas, get in unemployment line

dave johnson, of seeing the forest, finds a discrepancy between the spin from the administration and reality (what? discrepancy between awol and reality? get out!)

the spin: yahoo reports that the seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims for last week dropped to the lowest in three years, yet more proof that prosperity is right around the cor- er, sorry, we mean, more proof that the recovery" is "under way.

but dave doesn't stop at yahoo. (who does?) he actually gets the release from the department of labor employment and training administration, which states that

the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending dec. 20 was 3,315,000, an increase of 81,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,234,000.
[ed. note: use of bold key ours]

nobody seems to know how the dol decides to "seasonally adjust" the unemployment figures, but we've got a hunch it involves fibbing until awol looks good.
posted by skippy at 10:16 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

dead trees celebrate blogtopia (y!wctp!)

believe it or don't, a captured screen shot of the daily kos graces the front page of usatoady.

the kos himself considers this a shark jumping event, but we say, more power to the kos. the toadies at usatoady could have used any number of blogs as examples (prof. reynolds comes to mind, and as a matter of fact, so does our blog) but they decided that the kos was indicative of what blogging is all about.

congrats, kos! may your influence be peddled across cyberspace!
posted by skippy at 10:14 PM | 0 comments

ashcroft rescues self from cia leak probe

oops, sorry! we mean ashcroft recuses self from cia leak probe. abcnews tells us

attorney general john ashcroft on tuesday recused himself from the politically sensitive investigation of who leaked the name of a cia operative. the justice department quickly named a special prosecutor to take over the investigation.

the announcement was made by james comey, the department's new no. 2 official, at the justice department. the u.s. attorney in chicago, patrick j. fitzgerald, will take over the investigation and report to comey.
we're not sure why it took ashcroft so long to take himself out of the loop, but this gives us at least a little bit of encouragement that justice may be at least considered, if not done.

you will recall that bob novak "outed" valerie plame as an undercover cia operative. ms. plame is the wife of joseph wilson, the man who blew the whistle on the phony "saddam bought uranium from africa to blow us all up, lawdy lawdy" meme that awol mentioned under the oath of the constitution during his sotus. (or is that "scrotum"?)

how does mr. wilson feel about this latest development? waff.com tells us:

the husband of a c-i-a officer whose identity was leaked earlier this year won't say whether he's satisfied with the latest development in the case.
well, thanks for taking the time to let us know what wilson won't say. that's infotainment!

posted by skippy at 4:15 PM | 0 comments

happy kwanzaa from the bush economic team

everywhere you look nowadays (if by "everywhere," we mean "the media"), the cw ("conventional wisdom," not "country western") is that the economy is not only getting better, but is going gangbusters.

witness the recent rise in the stock market, which makes everybody who still had money to invest happy.

forbes.com, which is written by people whose median annual salary is about a quadrillion dollars, says that recent sales numbers for the christmas season suggest that americans are returning to luxury.

an upturn in the luxury goods market may be one of the reasons why wal-mart didn't have a blockbuster season. "it has really been the christmas of the one special gift," said michael borwn, a principal with retail consulting firm kurt salmon associates. the fim forecasts an overall gain of 3/5% this season. instead of buying a bunch of smaller presents or discount appliances, shoppers seem to have opted for the big-ticet gift that the receiver might never have purchased otherwise.
oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense. mom didn't want to spend her hard-earned money from that second job at nights to buy toys for all her children at wal-mart this year; she opted for a single gilded champagne flute set from nordstroms, that'll make the kiddies happy! nothing says lovin' like decadent luxury items from an upscale store.

too bad nobody told the consumers how much they loved luxury. cnnmoney reports that consumer confidence fell in december, quite the opposite of what all the experts (read, "people with jobs") expected to happen.

the conference board, a business research group based in new york, said its closely watched index of consumer confidence fell to 91.3 from a revised 92.5 in november.

economists, on average, expected the confidence index, based on a survey of 5,000 households, to rise to 91.8 from the originally reported 91.7, according to briefing.com.
and leave it to those damned commie hippies at the sfchron to throw even more cold water on the festivities. sam zuckerman, the chron economics writer, posits that this year

across the nation and across the region, it was a tale of two economies in 2003.

for corporate america, the year brought rising sales, rising profits and rising stock prices. as a result, the u.s. economy finally broke out of the cycle of recession and slow growth that had held it in check for three years.

but for workers, particularly those in the hard-hit bay area, it was a year of struggling to find a job, worrying about keeping one or coping with a workplace shaken by layoffs.
mr. zuckerman points out that things looked really hunky-dory to the guys at the top:

the three months ending in september was one of the strongest growth quarters in decades, as the nation's output of goods and services rocketed ahead at an 8.2 percent annual rate.

labor productivity -- a key measure of the efficiency of american industry -- soared at a phenomenal 9.4 percent rate. corporate profits before taxes jumped 16.4 percent compared with the third quarter of 2002.
but while profits went up, jobs creation (the supposed benefit of awol's tax cuts) lagged far behind.

while output soared, hiring was notably subdued. from august through november, payrolls grew at a pace of about 82,000 per month, about half the growth rate needed to trim the jobless rate in a sustained fashion…

it was rare for the economy to create so few jobs so far into a period of growth. two years have passed since the economy pulled out of recession. during a comparable period following the downturn of the early 1990s, payrolls were increasing by more than 200,000 jobs per month.
so, unfortunately, for those of us who are making the economy work, there are two choices: you either don't have a job, or if you do, you're working harder than ever before to make up for your buddy who got fired two years ago.

businesses have pared their staffs to the bone, forcing remaining employees to work harder. as sales pick up, employers have been slow to hire, which further adds to work loads.

in other words, it's not just that higher productivity means less hiring. it's also that less hiring means more work per person. and more output per person is the definition of higher productivity.
paul krugman puts it succinctly in the nytimes:

so if jobs are scarce and wages are flat, who's benefiting from the economy's expansion? the direct gains are going largely to corporate profits, which rose at an annual rate of more than 40 percent in the third quarter…

the bottom line, then, is that for most americans, current economic growth is a form of reality tv, something interesting that is, however, happening to other people. this may change if serious job creation ever kicks in, but it hasn't so far.

the big question is whether a recovery that does so little for most americans can really be sustained. can an economy thrive on sales of luxury goods alone? we may soon find out.

cross-posted on the daily kos diary, complete with a poll! go take it! it's what we want for kwanzaa!
posted by skippy at 3:17 PM | 0 comments

keep an eye out for any suspicious farmers, and especially poor richard

reader and good friend rose sent us this article from nbc30: fbi warns police about almanacs.

the fbi has warned police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.
hmmm...wooly caterpillars are very numerous, ahmed...now we can destroy america's frost warning system!

the bureau asked officers to keep an eye out during traffic stops and other investigations for almanacs, especially those with suspicious notes in them.

officials say almanacs could be useful for their profiles of cities and states, and their information about waterways, buildings and landmarks.
pardon me ma'am, but you'll have to prove to me you just wanted to know when george m. cohan's birthday was, otherwise you're coming downtown with me.
posted by skippy at 10:25 AM | 34 comments

help wanted

the lovely glovefox is in the midst of transferring her blog from blogger to movable type. in light of that, she asks if any of our faithful readers might have a tip or suggestion as to how to easily move her archives.

if you do, please email her helpers, bloggerrabbit or puppyshine. ok, we didn't make up the names, folks, we're just passing along the request!
posted by skippy at 10:18 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 29, 2003

mad kane disease

congratulations to our buddy, mad kane, who has been nominated for two different categories in the about.com humor awards (for her regular blog and her dubya's daily diary feature)!

be sure to go vote for mad!
posted by skippy at 5:02 PM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

among the christmas ecards, the great deals on valium, and the requests from mr. mgumbwu of nigeria to help transfer a million dollars from his dead aunt's estate, we've gotten quite a few messages while we were on vacation. to wit:

reader and friend cyndy sends us this nytimes piece alphabetizing the buzzwords that came up in 2003.

mark lets his brother marty and us know that in the american family association on line poll, the majority of respondants favor gay marriage. those christians are actually acting christian like! go figure!

nathan newman reminds us that atrios predicts the media will begin to spread a new meme that howard dean is pessimistic, but nathan thinks since dean promises to get rid of bush, that makes him optimistic.

reader and good friend rose, as well as wishing us happy new year, sends us the soundbitten o'reilly page.

our pal eric alterman alerts us to his nation column in which he examines washington's war against howard dean.
posted by skippy at 12:40 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

merry christmas to all

skippy and the mrs. will be going to the bay area for the christmas holiday, to visit some new babies belonging to mrs. skippy's neice (twins, born in august! the skippy's have yet to see the new arrivals!)

so blogging will be non-existant, if at all, for the next few days. hope to see you all next week.

as we anticipate our hit counter reaching 300,000 some time during that period, let us take the time now to say congratulations! you are the 300,000th visitor to skippy the bush kangaroo!

and, above all, merry christmas, happy hanukkah, a blessed kwanza, and most of all, happy boxing day, to one and all!
posted by skippy at 9:44 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the biomes blog.
posted by skippy at 9:34 PM | 0 comments

happy anniversary to the "happy [fill in the current holiday] from the bush economic team" headline

exactly one year ago today, our humble blog featured a piece titled "merry christmas from the bush economic team!" we documented the fact that orders in durable goods dropped unexpectedly, and that the christmas spending by consumers was less than expected.

a couple of days later, reporting on further bad economic news, our headline writer, lazy as usual, came up with merry christmas from the bush economic team (part 2), and the next week, merry christmas from the bush economic team (part 3).

after a terse note from management about originality, our headline writer came up with a new one for the news a couple days after that: happy new year from the bush economic team!

the next year (actually, the next day) during a conference with staff, our headline writer insisted that he wasn't lazy, but had created what is known in comedy as a running gag, or a call back. the irony of the bad economic news juxtaposed with the supposed joy and celebration of a public celebration. and thus, he came up with various holiday headlines for each bit of bad economic news. and there were a lot of them.

(most of us still think the headline writer is a lazy unoriginal slob; a few of us think he deals crack). and, while the current meme is that the economy is getting better, we are sorry, but not surprised, one year later to say to you all:

merry christmas from the bush economic team!

quicken tells us tech stocks closed lower on news of disappointing economic data:

in economic news, the commerce department said durable-goods orders dropped 3.1% to $180.1 billion, the first unexpected fall in three months. separately, the labor department reported that jobless claims edged down by 1,000 to 353,000 in the week ended saturday. economists had expected claims to fall by 3,000.

cbs marketwatch informs us home sales in november slowest since last may.

sales of new homes sank about 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.08 million, the commerce department estimated wednesday.

the atjoconstitution points out that the university of michigan consumer confidence index, while gaining more than the earlier mid-month report, was still down more than expected, mainly because everyone (ie, "experts," "pundits" and other people who don't live in the real world) thought the index would rise:

those who have seen the university's full-month report on consumer sentiment for december said tuesday that its overall sentiment gauge moved to 92.6, from 89.6 in the middle of the month and 93.7 in november...

the university also reported that its current conditions index fell to 97.0 in december from 102.5 in november. the december decline had been presaged in the preliminary report, where the index had already ebbed sharply to 93.6…

the soft performance of the overall index throughout the month has been puzzling to many economists. that's because the period in which the survey was conducted was dominated by a wide range of improving economic statistics, along with positive equity markets. analysts believe these factors should have caused consumer sentiment to have risen versus november, when good news on the economy was a less frequent occurrence.

and finally, to cap off our christmas greetings from the bush economic team, cnnmoney tells us durable good orders unexpectedly plunge and wowt-tv reports holiday retail finale sluggish.

durable goods dropped unexpectedly? christmas spending by consumers was less than expected? sounds like our opening paragraph.

sigh. the more things change, the more things stay the same.

posted by skippy at 7:22 PM | 0 comments

christmas in iraq

not a merry one. electronic iraq talks about "explosions abound" in baghdad.

also, insurgents (or else grinches) fired rpg at the baghdad sheraton, hitting the top floor. the indiana gazette says

a guerrilla-fired mortar shell detonated on an upper floor of baghdad's ishtar sheraton hotel on wednesday, with a boom that rattled windows for blocks, the u.s. military said.

no one was reported hurt in the strike, which followed a string of separate bombings that killed six civilians, three american soldiers and a suicide bomber.

three soldiers were killed by an exploding roadside device outside of samarra, says centcom.

a member of the iraqi security force was killed in action in mosul, and a car bomb exploded in abril in northern iraq, killing four iraqi's.

good thing we captured saddam, right after the kurds did!

posted by skippy at 6:17 PM | 0 comments

they got their wish

it occured to us recently, that the extreme religious right has managed to turn this country into a nation of fundamentalists, in practice if not in faith.

with tom ridge's cavalcade of crayons, especially with the holiday gift of an orange alert, we are now a country full of people who feel blessed, but are constantly on the look out for some vague, ill-defined force greater than ourselves that could smite us at any moment lest we take one wrong misstep.

if that's not fundamenalism behavior, well, then, paint us green and call us a christmas tree.
posted by skippy at 6:05 PM | 1 comments

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

as long as irony is still ok...

we don't know who, but somebody sent us a link to the political satire site humor is dead.

so, what's the state of sarcasm these days?
posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 0 comments

and ziggy stardust too?

eric alterman, the one guy you can count on to actually provide cites and sources to back up his statements, takes on chris hitches in today's altercation. as eric points out, chris says "it might even be true to say that the supposed failure to find wmds in iraq is a factor in this welcome surrender. i know i am having it both ways here because i actually believe that saddam hussein was concealing illegal weapons.”

to which eric replies, among other things:

and i believe we may be about to be attacked by spiders from mars. but i wouldn’t send the country to war over my belief because we have um, the cia and other professionals to determine whether there is any reason to act on those beliefs and once again there’s this pesky question of evidence.

also, when chris dismisses howard dean's challenging of what the administration did after 9/11 by insisting dr. dean should tell what he would have done differently, eric points out that dean already has. (and he provides a link to a top national security official whose statement basically agrees with dean. whoops! alterman 2, hitchens, zero).

posted by skippy at 5:10 PM | 0 comments

the old skippy mailbag

kevin, who is busy writing us emails to remind us he's too busy to blog, alerts us to letters the troops have sent to michael moore. it's very worth the read.

and the lovely rose sends skippy and mrs. skippy her good holiday wishes, and this bit of fun from beetlecow. happy holidays to you, rose.
posted by skippy at 5:02 PM | 0 comments

another blogroll addition

we're happy to add (and not just because he asked us to) damn foreigner to our permanent blogroll!
posted by skippy at 4:49 PM | 0 comments

Monday, December 22, 2003

say hello

to the link crusader.

we may have introduced him before, but pay special attention to the accompanying great list of links, neo's 300weblogs.
posted by skippy at 10:18 PM | 0 comments

mommy, make it stop...it's scaring me...

we're not ones to denigrate any of the democratic candidates, but what's with that turtle on the gephardt web site?

couldn't they afford someone who designs these things for a living? what, is he eating some other reptiles' eggs? that's just spooky!

thanks to a daily kos diary for the link!

[ed. note to science nerds: yes, we know, a turtle is an amphibian, but we're professional comics, trust us, the world "reptile" is funnier in this context. besides, it's got the "puh" plosive sound, always a laugh-getter.]
posted by skippy at 10:11 PM | 73 comments

do we get some sort of plaque with our transfer tubes?

time magazine has announced its person of the year (a big deal among media pundits; of little or no consequence to real people).

it's "the" american soldier.

we hope it is of some comfort to the families.
posted by skippy at 9:33 PM | 0 comments

new blog roll addition

we have no idea what took us so long on this one, as he has linked to us many times in the past, including a spot on his own blogroll, but please welcome the erudite tbogg to our list.
posted by skippy at 6:10 PM | 0 comments

you've met our new chief of police, sig heil?

tom tomorrow shows what eric alterman might have endured last week (found thanks to atrios...think we can link to anymore big time bloggers to help raise our site meter count?)
posted by skippy at 6:08 PM | 0 comments

have an orange holiday

tom ridge has raised the national terror threat level to orange. this means...

you should watch for people trying to kill you while you fly to your holiday destination...

you should be alert for suicide bombers and mad gunmen while you shop the crowded malls...

you should be suspicious of packages while you receive your gifts in the mail.

but most of all, you should be prepared for a terrorist event "equal to or greater than those of 9/11" and have a merry christmas.

is it any wonder america is so neurotic under this administration? (ps: let's see what the orange terror alert level does to the already-disappointing holiday sales which have not met expectations.)

cross posted (with a neat little poll) on the daily kos diary page. go and vote!!
posted by skippy at 5:26 PM | 0 comments

earthquake hit california, faux news doesn't care

well, that's not entirely true. faux news did run several spots concerning the killer 6.5 magnitude earthquake that rocked the california central coast today (don't worry, skippy international headquarters escaped unscathed; we are too far south in los angeles to have been affected).

however, at the 12 o'clock (real time, 3 pm eastern) hour, one of our interns flipped the tv dial, surfing the news channels to see who was saying what about it. all of the local stations were telling us things about the hearst castle and san simeon (near the epicenter). cnn was showing a shopping center in nearby paso robles. however, faux news was blathering on about al quaeda upping their recruiting activities. (even worse, msnbc was talking about rush limbaugh's medical files privacy. even worse, that's the channel we watched for a couple of minutes. go, palm beach county d.a.!)

so faux news is more concerned with hypothetical american deaths than real american deaths. of course, death by earthquake does nothing for awol's re-election chances, so it does not surprise us at all.

wow. fair and balanced. you decide.
posted by skippy at 5:11 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 21, 2003

capturing saddam? maybe it was the kurds...

a report from the australian paper the age claims that the us picked up saddam only after he was captured, drugged, and left for the americans on an iraqi farm by a kurdish rebel force.

saddam came into the hands of the patriotic union of kurdistan (puk) after being betrayed by a member of the al-jabour tribe, whose daughter had been raped by saddam's son uday, leading to a blood feud, reported the sunday express, quoting an unnamed senior british military intelligence officer.

washington's claims that brilliant us intelligence work led to the capture of saddam are also being challenged by reports sourced in iraq's kurdish language media that say its militia set up the circumstances in which the us merely had to go to a farm identified by the kurds to bag the fugitive former president.
posted by skippy at 1:36 PM | 0 comments

beware of tangerines

justifying his job, tom ridge has raised the terror alert level to orange. so. have a merry christmas.
posted by skippy at 1:28 PM | 0 comments

we are just honored to be nominated

skippy's blog has been nominated by the liberal forum for the coveted proud liberal award. we're not sure, but we think that means we win the admiration of our peers, and that's about it.

but that's plenty for us. we are indeed proud to call ourselves liberal.
posted by skippy at 1:18 PM | 0 comments

Friday, December 19, 2003

lord of the right wing

susan of easy bake coven has the ultimate graphic.
posted by skippy at 6:13 PM | 0 comments

what's the difference between gray davis and arnold schwarzenegger? gray davis can pronounce "california"

though he had a colorful career as an actor, governor ah-nold is looking more and more gray these days. contradicting his campaign stance of not taking money from special intersest, the gropinator held a fundraiser for political insiders, collecting money like it was free feels of a movie extra's chest.

the latimes says:

in the political equivalent of a premiere, gov. arnold schwarzenegger, who campaigned on a promise that he would not solicit special interest money, turned to capitol insiders for donations wednesday in his first sacramento fundraiser since taking office.

to attend the event at the sheraton hotel two blocks from the golden-domed capitol, donors paid up to $21,200 — the maximum that individuals can give to schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign committee. that sum entitled them to two tickets, a photo with the governor and dinner with him and about 100 other contributors. for $500, individuals could attend a reception.

there was no red carpet, but several television cameras were on hand to record the arrival of roughly 600 lobbyists, clients and others who came to the event…

"anyone who believed candidate schwarzenegger's claims that he would be different has got to very disappointed," said jim knox, director of california common cause.

disappointed, maybe, but not surprised.
posted by skippy at 5:08 PM | 70 comments

you be the judge

moveon.org has received all the submissions for their "bush in 30 seconds" contest (throw together an ad discussing awol, and the winner will get, we believe, a laurel and hearty handshake (plus, their ad will run during awol's week of the state of the union address)!

moveon wants you to go rate the ads (you'll have to log in, which means registering with moveon.org, but we highly recommend doing that anyway).
posted by skippy at 5:00 PM | 0 comments

the nadir of politics

trish wilson (who redesigned her blog very nicely) directs us to a ralph nader survey on line asking how much everybody wants him to run for president.

trish is convinced a nader run will ensure another 4 years of awol, and thus wants everyone to go and tell ralph just what they think of him.

we're happy to pass on the sentiments, trish, though personally we think jeb bush, international data base technologies, a complacent sheep-like media, gore's refusal to demand an entire state-wide recount and daddy bush's buds on the supreme court had as much to do with the 2000 election results as ralphie boy.

plus, we are of the mind that if howard dean gets the dem nod, his policies and stands on the issues will bring back a large amount of the disaffected voters that went green 3 years ago.

but it's always fun to freep somebody!
posted by skippy at 4:53 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 18, 2003

black armbands for this bush kangaroo

our reader and friend, david, sends us, from the australian broadcast corporation, this bit of sad news for all skippy fans: skippy star dies in london.

australian actor ed devereaux, who starred in the 1960s television show skippy, has died in london, aged 78.

after an acting career spanning almost four decades, devereaux will always be best remembered for his role in skippy.

devereaux played the part of head ranger matt hammond, whose son brefriended the orphan kangaroo.

rip, ed devereaux, skippy's adopted dad. the flag in front of skippy international headquarters will fly at half-mast all weekend long.
posted by skippy at 5:36 PM | 0 comments

awol's in trouble, call 911!

the daily kos muses that a report (by tom kean, head of the commission investigating 9/11) points the finger at the government, stating as a fact that the events of that fateful day "was not something that had to happen."
posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 0 comments

long time coming

our buddy from across the political aisle, chuck simmons, discusses the fact that awol finally has visited the wounded soldiers at walter reed hospital. better late than never, we suppose.
posted by skippy at 5:15 PM | 0 comments

jurassic park yer carcass

our arch enemy, ayn clouter, discusses "the most terrible mosters ever known"...the demosaurs.
posted by skippy at 5:13 PM | 0 comments

that's gotta hurt

thanks to reader kevin, we came upon this piece from quality content reporting that the number of american troops wounded in iraq is close to 11,000:

the total number of wounded u.s. soldiers and medical evacuations from the war in iraq is nearing 11,000, according to new pentagon data.

in response to a request from upi, the military said it has made 8,581 medical evacuations from operation iraqi freedom for non-hostile causes in addition to the 2,273 wounded -- a total of 10,854, according to the new data. the pentagon says that 457 troops have died.

and, in spite of the "captured dictator bounce" that awol is getting from showing pictures of an unshaven saddam getting his throat looked at, dr. dean is still leading the pack of dems, way out in front, in wisconsin. kevin sent us this from the milwaukee journal sentinel online:

dean captured the support of 33% of those polled, well ahead of connecticut sen. joe lieberman (12%), retired gen. wesley clark (11%), missouri rep. dick gephardt (9%) and massachusetts sen. john kerry (6%). another 22% were undecided…

the poll was done in the aftermath of dean's attention-getting endorsement by former vice president al gore. it also comes right on the heels of saddam hussein's capture, a landmark event that boosted president bush and led several of dean's democratic rivals to question dean's staunch anti-war views. those candidates have argued the capture undermines dean's case against the war and makes it harder for an anti-war democrat to beat bush.

that debate still is unfolding. the survey, which underscores dean's present strength, was done in its entirety after the announcement of hussein's capture.

posted by skippy at 5:12 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

freep msnbc!

from another daily kos diary, we found an msnbc poll asking if awol can be beat. go vote!
posted by skippy at 4:37 PM | 0 comments

freep the afa!

found on a daily kos diary: go freep the american family association on line poll concerning gay marriage!

in theory, they're going to show the results to congress.
posted by skippy at 4:28 PM | 0 comments

saddam captured, we win, war over, let's go home

er, not yet, kids. sure, the mission's accomplished, but it looks like we'll be in iraq for at least "a couple more years," according to the in country commander, lt. gen. richard sanchez. the nytimes sez:

united states and allied troops will have to remain in iraq for at least "a couple more years" to secure the country's stability and protect its borders against attack, the american commander of those forces said in an interview in baghdad on saturday.

speaking hours before the capture later that day of saddam hussein, the commander, lt. gen. ricardo sanchez, said the united states was "moving very aggressively to try to hand over responsibility to iraqi security forces and build their capacity in some key areas." but this transfer would take "awhile," and not be completed by the time iraq is scheduled to regain its sovereignty, on june 30, 2004.

well, at least the iraqi's are happy to have us, right?

"i'm against the americans," said alaa abdul-nabie, 25, as he drove some visitors along a palm-lined dirt road to one of the mass graves. "i'm a muslim and iraq is an islamic country. the americans should get out of iraq and let the iraqi people build their own country and do what they should do. the americans don't have a pretext to be here now that saddam hussein has been captured."

(a big tip of the bush kangaroo hat to antiwar.com for the links!)
posted by skippy at 4:09 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

thank god we captured saddam

the long nightmare of violence in iraq is finally over.

well, except for the truck bomb that killed at least 22 people in baghdad today.

update: there are reports that it was an accident, although that's one hell of an accident, in our opinion. there are also reports maintaining that it was a truck bomb. can anyone say, "the fog of war"?
posted by skippy at 11:33 PM | 0 comments

good night and have a pleasant tomorrow

cowboy kahill guest blogged on joe six pack , where he reports on snl news anchor tina fey as she presented al "lying liars and the lying lies with pants on fire" franken with a "comedy trophy" (we wouldn't even dare hazard a guess as to what that is).

joe also reminds us tomorrow is nurse rachet's birthday. happy birthday, rachet!
posted by skippy at 11:29 PM | 0 comments

somebody bet on delay

madkane sends us a notice about the latest entry in dubya's daily diary, including the bushtown races song (doo dah! doo dah!)
posted by skippy at 11:24 PM | 0 comments

er, if you're the commander in chief, shouldn't you know?

liberal oasis has a transcript and commentary of awol on the diane sawyer show, responding to her question about saddam actually having wmd's versus maybe he might could someday maybe get some, when he said, simply: "what's the difference?"

it scares us that he doesn't know.
posted by skippy at 11:22 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to reading and writing.
posted by skippy at 5:03 PM | 0 comments

irony may not be not dead, but more people in iraq are

we were all set to write a stinging sarcastic post about how the violence in iraq has "dissipated" after saddam's capture (quoting from the lunaville iraq coalition casualty page), but the kos beat us to it.

so rather than reinventing the wheel of snide, we'll just link to his work.
posted by skippy at 4:41 PM | 11 comments

dead trees recognizes blogtopia (y!wctp!)

a big congrats to atrios who is mentioned (as a "blog celebrity" [ed. note: !!! yes! they coined that phrase!]) in the philidelphia inquirer:

philadelphia's anonymous blogger atrios, writing on atrios.blogspot.com, agreed, saying, "capturing saddam isn't going to end the resistance to the u.s. occupation in iraq. it may improve things slightly, or it could even make it worse, but the net effect will probably be negligible."
posted by skippy at 4:38 PM | 0 comments

blogging of note

kevin mentions that since he's not blogging much these days, he's happy to direct our attention to particularly good stuff from other people; namely kieran healy at crooked timber: books i did not read this year.
posted by skippy at 4:35 PM | 0 comments

there goes the pension plan

nathan newman warns us that the gop is making an assault on union pension plans, and the outlook isn't good.
posted by skippy at 4:29 PM | 0 comments

question of the day

unembedded wants to know, if saddam was stuck in a little hidey hole with no communications equipment for the past 8 months, how the hell was he directing an insurgency?
posted by skippy at 4:26 PM | 0 comments

Monday, December 15, 2003

why let facts stand in the way of a perfectly good meme?

once again, the repubbbs are happy to spin reality to make someone look less than he his. we found (thanks to vodka pundit) david brooks in the nytimes op-ed page trying to paint howard dean into a "liberal elite" corner by misreading a map of los angeles:

howard dean is the only guy who goes to the beverly hills area for a gravitas implant. he went to the st. regis hotel, a mile from rodeo drive, to deliver a major foreign policy speech, and suddenly dr. angry turned into the rev. dull and worthy.

technically, what brooks says (about the geography) is true, give or take a tenth of a mile or so. but the st. regis is not in the beverly hills "area." it's in century city, which is within the city limits of los angeles. it's beverly hills "adjacent."

he was as much in the beverly hills "area" as he was in the ucla "area" and the pico-rancho park "area," home of kosher deli's and 20th century fox studios.

dean made his speech at the st. regis hotel, across the street and half a block down from the century plaza hotel where ronald reagan has his offices.

so whatever "beverly hills" patina is painted onto dean has been coating reagan for the past 10 years.

but we suppose we're not allowed to talk about beloved american icons who have alzheimers, even if they are filthy rich.
posted by skippy at 11:37 PM | 0 comments

we'd like to thank the little people

specifically, the 48 little people that voted our blog as best liberal blog over on wizbang's blog awards. we think this will be the only time in the world that we beat out talkleft, and only because we hawked ourselves more shamelessly than she did (talkleft is nothing if not a lady, whereas we are nothing if not self-indulgent).

thanks to everyone who voted for us. but we are not done. no, our domination of blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase, and so we get to dominate it!) has just begun. now, go on over to wampum and nominate us for best humorous blog in the 2003 koulfax awards. (sandy was a lefty...get it?)

we already nominated ourselves, but it looks bad if we're the only ones nominating us, so we need a neutral opinion.
posted by skippy at 7:40 PM | 0 comments

saddam shame

we are as happy as anybody outside of the sunni triangle that they found saddam, alive and in need of a good shave.

we'd be much happier if they had spent the time, trouble, money, effort and american lives to find osama bin laden. but we take what we can get.

what we are a bit put off by, is suddenly the screeching heads have decided (a) howard dean is no longer relevant and (b) neither are the democrats.

as if dean and the dems only were defined as anti-war nutcases (well, maybe that's how they were defined, by the rightists, but it's not how they defined themselves).

and as if finding saddam in a hut will stop the violence in iraq. or shut down al qaeda. or bring back the 3.5 million jobs awol lost in the last three years.

but as long as the dems let themselves be defined as such, they will be forevre relegated to the "unimportant" column.

more than one pundit (and even more than one dem candidate) has said, "if dean were president, saddam would still be in charge of iraq."

what we'd like to hear dr. dean say is this:

"if i were president, 9/11 would not have happened. i would have heeded the clinton admintration's warnings to focus on al qaeda activities. i would have paid attention to the august memo stating that bin laden was planning something using airplanes. i would have passed that warning on to the public and the airlines. and if our security defenses still failed, and planes were hijacked, norad would have been contacted within the first few minutes of communications black out with the planes, unlike what really happened.

if i were president, yes, saddam would still be in iraq. but over 3,000 americans, including those lives lost in the iraqi war, would still be alive."

oh well. it's good to know saddam is bigger than jesus.

[ed. note: cross-posted at the daily kos, with one of those great little polls. go vote!]
posted by skippy at 5:56 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 13, 2003

happy holidays from the bush economic team (continued)

our bud oliver willis sends us this note:

i came upon this analysis by morgan stanley's stephen roach, and i think you'd do well to take a look at it:

"it turns out that fully 84% of the total increase in nonfarm payrolls over the august to november period is traceable to hiring in four segments of the labor market -- the temporary staffing industry, health, education, and government -- where combined jobs have increased by 68,000 per month.

in other words, the bulk of the so-called hiring turnaround since august has been concentrated in either the contingent workforce (temps) or in those industry groupings that are least exposed to global competition.

this hardly speaks of a us business sector that has consciously made an important transition from downsizing to expansion. it merely reflects the fact that scale is increasing in the most sheltered and least productive segments of the economy."

oliver, you don' t have to tell skippy about the perils of temp employment. poor mrs. skippy, who was let go from her job in march, has been working temp at a salary reduction of about $24,000 annually, not to mention lack of health and retirement benefits.

we wonder when america will realize there is no economic turnaround.
posted by skippy at 6:17 PM | 0 comments

Friday, December 12, 2003

dear cnn: please fire bob novak so we can send him to jail

thanks to cursor.org we found a letter you can send to bob novak's bosses, urging them to fire him for "outing" valerie plame, which seems to be a felony from where we're standing.
posted by skippy at 8:42 PM | 0 comments

google's da bomb

don't know why but several blogs are linking awol's bio to the word unelectable.

ok, we do know why, they're trying to make a google bomb again.

it seems like a silly waste of time to us.
posted by skippy at 7:04 PM | 0 comments

it's the most wonderful time of the year

yes, we mean it's time for the koufax awards again. this year it's being held at wampum, though dwight meredith is still the man with the plan.

nominations are being taken, and remember, there are two "p's" in the name of our blog.
posted by skippy at 6:57 PM | 0 comments

"more americans get their opinions manipulated by abc news than any other source"

by now we all know the talk of tuesday night's debate was actually none of the candidates' performance...it was ted "how's my toup?" koppel, and the idiotic questions he insisted on injecting into the proceedings.

ted got roundly rebuked by several of the candidates as the farce wore on...most notably (and most well-received) dennis kucinich. the portsmouth herald reports:

kucinich’s response was even more pointed, and it drew the longest round of applause from the theater audience.

"well, i want the american people to see where the media takes politics in this country," he said. "we start talking about endorsements, now we’re talking about polls, and then we’re talking about money. well, you know, when you do that, you don’t have to talk about what’s important to the american people."

but you can't mouth off to an important person like ted "anyone got a cigarette" koppel on his own network and expect to get away with it. as the bosglobe reports, the very next day abc pulled its off-air producers from the campaigns of kucinich, as well as carol moseley braun and the rev. al "snl" sharpton:

a day after abc "nightline" anchor ted koppel generated criticism for over-emphasizing strategic issues as moderator of the democratic presidential debate in new hampshire, abc news confirmed yesterday that it has pulled three "off-air producers" from the campaigns of representative dennis kucinich of ohio, former senator carol moseley braun of illinois, and the rev. al sharpton of new york…

kucinich responded to abc's decision by saying, "obviously, abc is retaliating for my challenge to ted koppel in last night's debate. they have proven my point, which is the media, and now specifically abc, is now trying to set the agenda for this election."

the sfchron says the decision angers both kucinich and braun:

"i don't think abc should be the first primary," kucinich said while campaigning thursday at new england college. "the first primary should not be on a television network."

"if they don't want to help me get my message out, then i'll have to find alternative ways to do it," [ambassador braun] said. "i think it is a terrible commentary, however, on the state of the media, frankly, if their idea of a democracy is only relating to those candidates who have the most money."

kucinich replied [to koppel during the debate] that he "may be inconvenient for some of those in the media but, you know, i'm sorry about that."

on thursday, he noted abc's coverage decision and his criticisms during the debate, saying "it appears abc may have taken it personally."

jules witcover of the maryland sunspot put it succinctly:

once again, but more emphatically this time, the case was made for letting the candidates in such debates exchange views in a freewheeling way, with a moderator functioning strictly as a timekeeper and referee, not as a self-important provocateur.

there was a time when news folk were supposed to keep themselves out of the story.

as an embarrassed member of the news fraternity, all i can say is: thanks again, ted. we needed that - like a hole in the head.

if you'd like to let abc know where they can put their polls (thanks, sen. kerry!) fair.org urges you to phone abc world news tonight at (212) 456-4040, or email them. or phone nightlite at 202-222-7000, or email them.

be nice.
posted by skippy at 4:22 PM | 0 comments

the newest blog critic

congrats to dawn and eric olsen, who had a baby, alexander kirk olsen, this morning! (with all due respect to eric, good work, dawn!)

blogtopia needs more lefty's!
posted by skippy at 3:25 PM | 0 comments

but, aren't they looking at the reports?

amidst all the experts trumpeting the economic recovery, leave it to the actual consumers to point out that things still suck.

a u of m report shows that consumer confidence dropped sharply in early december, says cbs news:

consumers have turned more cautious after deciding that all the talk of an improving u.s. economy may still be just so much hot air, according to researchers at the university of michigan.

the consumer sentiment index fell friday to a reading of 89.6 in early december from 93.7 in november. the decline was unexpected. the consensus forecast of wall street economists was for sentiment to improve to 95.6.

but what about the stock market hitting 10,000 again? what about the fantastic growth rate in the third quarter? what about the slightly over 300,000 new jobs in the last three months? what's wrong with these people anyway?

however, consumers cited fewer gains in wages as the primary reason for concern about their personal financial situation in early december.

growing impatience by consumers for their personal financial situation is typical after an initial surge in confidence tied to a recovering economy, researchers said.

consumers soon begin to wonder when the improving economy will translate into higher wages or a better job.

"the data make it clear that consumers are counting on more rapid job growth in the months ahead, and without that growth in employment, confidence will quickly wane," the university of michigan research team said.

damn those consumers! if they'd just shut up and buy and then go to church, this country would be the greatest country in the world!

spend that money! support halliburton! pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

posted by skippy at 10:39 AM | 0 comments

the only good thing about this administration

the barney cam! this year, it's barney ii: barney reloaded!*

*credit where credit is due: we are political animals second, and comedians first, and we in good conscience must admit the white house wrote that joke, not us. it's a damn good one, albeit not the biggest one to come out of the white house this year.

addendum: upon viewing of barney reloaded, we must say it's very well put together, with plenty of jokes, and good natured guest appearances by the top people in the administration, including george and laura bush. we especially liked the poker scene with ari fleischer ("what are you doing here, you don't even work here anymore!").

we have a soft spot in our hearts for christmas, good jokes, and scottish terriers, so skippy gives barney reloaded a big thumbs up!
posted by skippy at 10:33 AM | 42 comments

Thursday, December 11, 2003

tell us something we don't know

lisa rein found this on her radar: the submission of the sfsu students for moveon's bush in 30 seconds contest.
posted by skippy at 3:28 PM | 0 comments

the philip k. dick film festival

being paranoid outsiders ourselves, we are big fans of the late philip k. dick's work in speculative fiction (formerly "sci-fi").

for the uninitiated, dick focused on questions of self vs. the other, identity, huge conspiracies involving shadow governments and cool ways to get killed, all with generous dollops of humor and fear.

several movies have been made from dick's works, (and you don't know how much we love to be able to write the word "dick" so much with an innocent face). aside from the upcoming ben affleck film paycheck, here's a list of the ones we know:

blade runner (based on do androids dream of electric sheep?)

screamers (based on second variety)

total recall (based on i can remember it for you wholesale)

imposter (based on imposter).

minority report (based on minority report)

this web site tells us of another film, confessions d'un barjo, based on confessions of a crap artist. it seems to be a foreign film and this is the first we have heard of it.

discussion: which is the best dick film? which is closest to the dick vision? which dick book has not been made into a dick film that you would like to see up on the big dick screen? (our nomination is ubik, some real good dick).

addendum: this piece is cross-posted on the daily kos's diary page, where we have added a poll for your pleasure. please go visit and vote!
posted by skippy at 10:56 AM | 36 comments

lucky duckies

atrios points out that 378,000 new unemployment claims were filed last week, and if you check, it's about 20k more than folks expected.
posted by skippy at 10:33 AM | 0 comments

new blog, new url, new look, same old fun stuff

we apologize for not being up to date with this, but jay caruso and jane finch, the james carville and marlee maitlin of blogtopia, (only if marlee was a guy and james was a girl, sort of, and by the way yes! we coined that phrase!) have a new blog.

please bookmark classless warfare, and get rid of your links to the daily rant.

classless warfare has the same fine bi-partisan debate, with humor and insight, so please visit is often!
posted by skippy at 10:23 AM | 0 comments

who's got the funk? colin powell got the funk!

reader and contributor rose sends us this bit from poe-news.com, telling us that colin powell has appointed james brown "foreign minister of funk."

rose is not sure if this is a real news story or not, and we can't confirm or deny that ourselves. but we do know the story below it is. it concerns neil bush. (neil is awol's brother, he of the silverado savings and loan scandal that was on the front pages of america's newspapers the day before daddy bush declared gulf war one, effectively changing the focus of the news, what a coup!) the story in part, says:

neil bush, younger brother of president bush, detailed lucrative business deals and admitted to engaging in sex romps with women in asia in a deposition taken in march as part of his divorce from now ex-wife sharon bush.

according to legal documents disclosed on tuesday, sharon bush's lawyers questioned neil bush closely about the deals, especially a contract with grace semiconductor manufacturing corp., a firm backed by jiang mianheng, the son of former chinese president jiang zemin, that would pay him $2 million in stock over five years.

woah! he needs some funk!
posted by skippy at 10:19 AM | 0 comments

bloggus temporarius

poor glovefox, who has been having trevails moving her blog from the cursed blogger to movable type, is getting her blog jones off by guest blogging at blog sisters. please go say hello.
posted by skippy at 10:11 AM | 0 comments

how about an avalanche?

taegan goddard of political wire tells us not to expect a landslide in the '04 race. even though some republicans are chomping at the bit to take on howard dean, taegan reminds us that awol won't take the largest three states, and the rest of the country is even more polarized than in 2000. he might be right.
posted by skippy at 10:07 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

vote early and often

remember to vote for skippy in the wizbang best blogs poll (you can vote every 12 hours, we know we do!)
posted by skippy at 4:41 PM | 0 comments

rip paul simon

a fine democrat, former senator paul simon, died yesterday after heart surgery. he was 75.

posted by skippy at 12:17 PM | 44 comments

say hello to the ayatollah for us

we at skippy international headquarters were thrilled to find out we are considered one of the iranian topsites. granted, we don't rate as high as kinky bits, but you take what you can get.
posted by skippy at 12:09 PM | 29 comments

what's the difference between a mistress and a promise? schwarzenegger can only keep one of them

the sfchron reports that governor gropinator is renegging on his campaign promise to leave the schools alone in the current budget battle.

gov. arnold schwarzenegger said for the first time tuesday that he would consider suspending the state's guaranteed level of public school funding, seemingly reversing a campaign promise to protect schools from severe budget cuts without raising taxes.

throughout the recall campaign and his young administration, schwarzenegger has said repeatedly that he did not want to cut education. but confronted with the seriousness of california's budget crisis, schwarzenegger declined to repeat that pledge tuesday when asked about education funding. he suggested that the guarantees under the state's proposition 98 should be examined.

but that's not all. the latimes also says he won't replenish local governments with the money lost from car tax revenues he repealed, quite the opposite of what he pledged as a recall candidate.

in a wide-ranging interview with cnn, schwarzenegger offered no commitment that his administration would restore to local governments the money they lost when he repealed a vehicle registration fee increase on his first day in office. rather, he said that mayors and county supervisors who are worried that some $4 billion in lost revenue won't be replaced should look to the legislature, which is considering a bill to make that happen.

and he suggested that if local government coffers are not replenished, it is not his fault.

and, to add civil insult to political injury, first lady maria shriver indicated during a "welcome to sacramento" luncheon that, well, they ain't coming to sacramento. the san jose mercury news says,

in this political town, supermarket checkers and high-paid lobbyists alike have gossiped about whether shriver and husband, gov. arnold schwarzenegger, will relocate from los angeles. a chatty shriver (``call me maria'') told a ``welcome to sacramento'' luncheon that she faces a dilemma like other working women whose husbands get a job in a new city.

the nbc correspondent doesn't see herself ``moving here in january, taking my kids out of school. . . . what i do plan on doing is coming here hopefully like once or twice a week. . . . and one day, if i find somewhere to live, i hope maybe i can live here.''

but of course, we save the best for the last. gloria allred, who filed suit against the gropinator for libel on behalf of a woman who accuses him of groping her, intends to have him testify in court. our favorite newspaper named after an insect, the sacbee, reports:

attorney gloria allred said she will seek to bring the governor into court in connection with the suit she filed monday on behalf of client rhonda miller, who claims schwarzenegger groped her on two movie sets.

she added that her questioning would not be limited to the claims by miller but would include inquiries about claims made by more than a dozen other women who say they have been groped or accosted by schwarzenegger over the past two decades…

the governor's behavior toward women is relevant in explaining his motivation to deliberately tarnish miller's reputation, allred told the bee. miller was one of 16 women who claimed before california's oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election that they had been fondled or otherwise touched inappropriately by schwarzenegger.

too bad ah-nold can't go back in time and stick gloria's head in a toilet bowl. he does that sort of thing so well.
posted by skippy at 12:05 PM | 0 comments

master debaters

scott over at points west has some musings on last night's dem debate. he also has the new ann coulter action figure.

and speaking of ann coulter, her even eviler twin, ayn clouter, has moved her blog to a new address.
posted by skippy at 11:44 AM | 0 comments

union busting, literally

nathan newman tells us about the u.s. occupation forces destroying the headquarters of the iraqi federation of trade workers union. and according to tim dunlop, "while the bush administration is rewriting iraqi law governing business and criminal justice, it has retained saddam's brutal anti-labor laws."
posted by skippy at 11:41 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

the old skippy mailbag

nathan newman tells us why china's unemployment problem is our unemployment problem.

reader and contributor rose sends us this excite.com story about the new bush action figure doll - the top gun model (sadly, this is no joke!)

and kevin of the reachm high cowboy network noose has some suggestions for new campaign slogans for awol.
posted by skippy at 12:50 PM | 0 comments

Monday, December 08, 2003

blogging around

the hamster tells us gore endorses dean.

oliver willis weighs in on that story, with some ideas about the ramifications.

atrios tells us janklow was found guilty on all charges.

talkleft reports on ozzy osborne's atv accident.

the kos brings us news that the gropinator is finally getting sued.

tbogg links us to a new website for people who hate hummers (no, the driving kind!)
posted by skippy at 6:30 PM | 0 comments

there is nothing like a dime

we are a little taken aback, but not at all surprised, that repubbb leaders (if that in itself is not an oxymoron) in congress are proposing to replace fdr with ronald reagan on the dime.

as ellis henican, writing on newsday.com says,

they could be pushing for a ronald reagan penny, knocking off abraham lincoln. they could be calling for a reagan nickel instead, elbowing thomas jefferson aside. heck, they could be clamoring for a reagan $1,000 bill - a denomination, you'd have to suppose, that would be a whole lot more familiar to some of these fat-cat reaganites. in that case, they'd only have to evict grover cleveland, and honestly, how many people would really miss him?

but the logic, of course, is to get rid of the symbol of america's greatest democrat, and replace him with america's greatest actor-turned politican (if you don't count fred grandy).

nancy reagan herself opposes the idea:

in a statement, mrs. reagan says: "while i can understand the intentions of those seeking to place my husband's face on the dime, i do not support this proposal and i am certain ronnie would not."

the former first lady goes on to say: "when our country chooses to honor a great president such as franklin roosevelt by placing his likeness on our currency, it would be wrong to remove him and replace him with another. it is my hope that the proposed legislation will be withdrawn."

the sfchron reports that rep. mark souder (repubbb, ind.) who introduced the "ronald reagan dime act" in response to the showtime tv biopic which supposedly portrayed the reagans in a not-altogether-flattering light, has 89 co-sponsors for his bill. however dems, led by rep. james mcgovern of mass, has 80 co-sponsors on a bill to keep roosevelt's pic where it is.

many folks like the idea. many others don't. the gainesville times editorial page points out the reasons fdr is so honored, and suggests that honoring reagan is a fine idea, but not in this way.

but we mention the gainesville editorial because we like this qualifying sentence describing both men's attributes to be president:

roosevelt and reagan both were great men and leaders. few rise to the office of the president without the extraordinary qualities that both possessed.

notice the paper didn't say "every" president has extraordinary qualities.

hm. anyone specific in mind?

addendum: here's the same post which we've put on the daily kos diary, only this page has an on line poll you can vote in, asking what we should do about the dime. please visit and vote!
posted by skippy at 11:50 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 07, 2003

happy holidays, get ready to duck

attacks on coalition forces by iraqi insurgents are likely to increase, according to the commanding general in country. as if to prove his point, a roadside device later exploded in mosul, killing an american soldier. wired news says:

the top u.s. general in iraq warned sunday of an upsurge in attacks in the months before washington hands over sovereignty in june, as insurgents killed an american soldier in a roadside bomb attack in the north…

"we expect to see an increase in violence as we move forward toward sovereignty at the end of june. we're going to have some periods where there will be an increase in violence in the coming months," sanchez told a news conference.

in the latest fatal attack on u.s. forces, guerrillas blew apart a humvee with a roadside bomb in the northern iraq city of mosul, killing one american soldier and wounding two.

posted by skippy at 2:08 PM | 0 comments

meanwhile, in the other war

remember afghanistan? things are hopping over there, and unfortunately, they're taking a bad hop while they're at it.

an air strike by american forces killed at least 9 children in an afghan village, reports msnbc:

hats and shoes littered a blood-stained field in this desolate afghan village sunday, a day after u.s. warplanes — targeting a terror suspect — mistakenly killed nine children…

first they fire their rockets. then they say it was a mistake,'' haji amir mohammed told the associated press, as dozens of american soldiers sent to investigate the incident offered condolences or lay in the warming winter sun. ''how can we forgive them?''

villagers said the young victims had been playing with marbles in a dusty field beside mud homes in this impoverished valley, some 150 miles southwest of kabul, when the a-10 ground attack aircraft homed in.

military officials said sunday they had no idea children were in the area when they decided to attack. u.s. ambassador zalmay khalilzad said the suspect targeted and killed was a former taliban commander named mullah wazir, adding that he was ''deeply saddened'' by the ''tragic loss of innocent life.''
posted by skippy at 2:02 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 06, 2003

thanks for dropping by

and if you're here from ampoljo, the posts you are looking for are down below, titled even happier holidays from the bush economic team and happy holidays from etc etc.

and please, be sure to vote for skippy in the wizbang poll.
posted by skippy at 4:51 PM | 45 comments

calling the exterminator over at the dnc

we are shocked - shocked! - to find out the dnc has dropped the hamster from their blogroll.

that's ok, eric, you're in good company...we never even made it to their roll in the first place.

blogroll? we don't need no steenkin' blogroll!
posted by skippy at 4:46 PM | 0 comments

you know things are bad for awol if a faux news poll is against him

we couldn't believe our ears when listening to faux news today. apparently a poll by that organization has results that are slightly less than encouraging to awol:

this week’s fox news poll finds that when asked which present they would like to give bush, 43 percent of voters say "another four years in the white house" and 47 percent say they would give him retirement to the crawford ranch.

of course, faux being faux, they consider the fact that more people would vote awol out of office is the same as "the country is evenly divided"

voters today are split about evenly on what holiday gift they would give president george w. bush — four more years in the white house or retirement at the ranch in texas.

we don't know about tony snow, but in our grade school arithmetic class, we learned that 47 and 43 are not equal numbers.

even worse for awol's brilliant pr handlers, his trip to cater thanksgiving to a roomful of soldiers at the baghdad airport did absolutely nothing for his job approval numbers.

percentage of people who approved of awol's job performance before thanksgiving: 52

percentage of people who approved of awol's job performance after thanksgiving: 52 (per faux news poll)

what a turkey!
posted by skippy at 4:27 PM | 0 comments

miserable failure a rousing success

atrios tells us that old fashioned patriot's recent miserable failure project (to get google to link awol's bio to the words "miserable failure") has suddenly caught the attention of the dead trees media.

so much so that editor of blah3 has been fielding call after call from reporters who can't think of new questions about the prank.
posted by skippy at 4:13 PM | 0 comments

Friday, December 05, 2003

guest blogging

dave johnson lets us know that dr. tom of thinking it through will be guest blogger over at seeing the forest.
posted by skippy at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

vote for skippy!

we are waaaaay behind everyone else. go vote!
posted by skippy at 4:12 PM | 0 comments

even happier holidays from the bush economic team

we mentioned yesterday, in spite of the unexpected rise in new unemployment claims last week, experts were looking forward to a great jobs report today, which would prove that indeed, the economic recovery is well underway.

but, alas, much like hoover's prosperity, (or, more recently, saddam's weapons of mass destruction), jobs returning to the american worker always seem to be "just around the corner." cnnmoney sez:

payrolls outside the farm sector grew by 57,000 jobs, the labor department said, compared with a revised gain of 137,000 in october. the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest level since march. economists had forecast 150,000 new jobs and unemployment steady at 6 percent, on average, according to briefing.com.

unemployment did dip to 5.9%, less than the steady 6% predicted, but that meager 57,000 new payroll jobs seriously undercut the "recovery" pr that has been bombarding everybody these past few weeks.

even worse, the news skeered off the investors, the market dropped and the dow refused to break 10,000. again.

even worser, the jobs data pushed the dollar to a record low vs. the euro, says forbes:

the euro rose steadily versus the dollar after the jobs data, reaching a new high of $1.2177 , according to reuters data, before dipping to $1.2160, still up 0.60 percent on the day.

even worstest, the european stock markets also fell on the news.

nobody's happy. informationweek reports that bill cheney, chief economist at john hancock financial services inc., told the associated press that friday's report was "like getting just the christmas present you wanted, but two sizes too small."

ho ho ho.

addendum: atrios reminds us that our buddy max sawicky explains the importance of the feebleness of these job numbers pretty well.

double addendum: thanks to calpundit, we find out the great start of the shopping season last month wasn't so great after all. (ps, don't vote for kevin, vote for us!)
posted by skippy at 3:52 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 04, 2003

the ol' skippy mailbag

longtime reader sbmail2000 sends us this bit of animated irony about the action in iraq: remind us, courtesy of our bud les dabney at testify!
posted by skippy at 9:37 PM | 0 comments

happy holidays from the bush economic team

much to the experts' surprise (but not actual working folk), initial claims for unemployment rose last week. the bosglobe says:

the number of americans lining up to claim state unemployment insurance pay rose to 365,000 in the nov. 29 week from a revised 354,000 the prior week, the labor department said.

the uptick reined in stock market gains while the u.s. dollar fell to new record lows against the euro. treasury bond prices profited from the higher jobless claims number.

analysts polled by reuters had expected the claims number, a rough guide to the pace of u.s. layoffs, to dip to 350,000 last week from the 351,000 originally reported for the prior week.

of course, the analysts are saying it's nothing, it's just a fluke, holidays are volatile, anything to keep plugging the pr that the economy is getting better.

we'll watch for tomorrow's november employment report. remember, after the huge uptick of 126,000 new jobs in october, if november produces the expected 150,000 jobs, that only leaves awol -3,22,4000 jobs in the hole altogether.

yup, that economy is sure picking up steam!

too bad it's not picking up the jobs lost in the last 3 years.

posted by skippy at 12:22 PM | 0 comments