s skippy the bush kangaroo: November 2003

skippy the bush kangaroo



Sunday, November 30, 2003

and this one's going out to a certain someone...

we are thrilled that sadly no has dedicated a post to us, mainly because they used all lower case in their list of regimes.

thanks, guys! we are humbled.
posted by skippy at 3:24 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 29, 2003

contagious in blogtopia! (y!wctp!)

oh no! kynn at shock and awe has contracted ted barlow disease!

it happens, folks. one can slave away at the computer linking to depressing examples of how awol is screwing up the world for only so long, and then one needs to take a break.

good job, kynn! happy holidays, and come back when you feel rested!
posted by skippy at 1:36 PM | 0 comments

we couldn't have said it better ourselves

from the atrios comment section, twspoliart brings us a grunt's eye view of the commander in chief.
posted by skippy at 1:06 PM | 0 comments

november is the cruelest month

at least in terms of the iraqi war it is. the sfchron reminds us that the american military death toll this month was the highest since the war began in march.

seventy-seven u.s. servicemen and women have died -- compared with 73 in the previous two months combined.

including six americans killed in afghanistan, november was the most costly month for the military since february 1991, when 162 u.s. troops were killed in the climax of the first gulf war.


and it's pretty bad for other countries, as well. today at least 6 spanish intelligence agents were killed in an ambush on their convoy south of baghdad (various reports differ on the number of fatalities...anywhere from two to seven, depending on the source).

add to that the attack on the italians in nasiriyah on the 12th, and the killing of a polish major on the 6th, and november turns out to be the lousiest month for non-u.s. casualties the war began.*

meanwhile, we like wired news' ironic headline: bush tries morale boost as more troops die in iraq.

good luck, awol!


*statistics courtesy of lunaville's iraq coalition casualties page [ed. note: please make a donation to this page; the lunaville gang assures us that all monies go directly to the maintenance of this specific page, and as far as we can find, it's the only place in the world keeping these statistics].
posted by skippy at 12:50 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to (apparently the entire) democratic party of virginia.
posted by skippy at 9:32 AM | 0 comments

Friday, November 28, 2003

congratulations!

you are the 275,000 visitor to skippy!
posted by skippy at 5:02 PM | 0 comments

news from the left (coast)

we enjoy the gropinator's round up of comments on ah-nold's latest foray into budget land, including letters to the editor of the latimes. the gropinator's fav is also ours:

gov. arnold schwarzenegger has climbed into his hummer and driven california even deeper into debt, reintroducing surplus-year car tax refunds in a year of staggering deficits. it didn't take long to find out who was going to pay for it, either: schoolkids, the elderly and the sick (nov. 25).

what, that's news?
posted by skippy at 2:34 PM | 0 comments

rant on

we haven't visited in a while, and more's the pity for us, but we see that jay and jane have re-designed the daily rant. and it looks good, too.

this is a fine blog, a work of cooperation (apparently the only one now) between the rightists and lefty's. we especially liked jane's brief report on a device that gives women orgasms at the touch of a button (fill in your own punchline here).
posted by skippy at 2:29 PM | 0 comments

shocked and awed

we agree with atrios on this one: awol's trip to baghdad was pretty much a good thing. we ourselves are surprised he found the balls to do it, but anything to pick up morale for our troops is something to applaud.

what we don't get is how the press treated it like some amazing feat of magic or parting of the waters. apparently awol fooled all the press by leaving crawford in an unmarked car. the press was amazed and aghast that he slipped by them.

of course, what they really mean is, they were amazed that nobody fed them advance pr notice.

we remember in the old days, say, the carter administration, when the government tried to conduct a secret raid into iran to get the hostages. actual journalists actually knew that "something" was up. they had feelers to the ground, and could spot activity in the corridors of power. they knew something was happening.

these days, the commander in chief can fly halfway across the world into a hostile war zone, and journalists are none the wiser, unless somebody hands them a press release. we think this says more about the lack of actual investigative reporting than it does about the administration. how hard is it to manipulate today's press, if they can't even spot awol riding out of crawford? not that many people have that deer-in-the-headlights look about them, it couldn't have been hard to guess who it was under that baseball cap.

of course, some journalists did know, but were asked to keep it a secret. because it was like they were in the club. newsday talks about being part of the exlusive group aboard air force one en route to the secret baghdad brunch in this article, appropriately titled "awol on air force one." (we knew the meme of calling bush awol over and over would eventually catch on! score one for skippy!)

some of the press was not so impressed (pun intended). msnbc, while respectful, correctly labled the trip as "thanksgiving theater." the australian broacasting company called it a "pre-election pr stunt." and the ap (via the sfchron) reported that

"it meant little to the iraqi people. some are welcoming it, but most are dismissing its importance," said kamal mehdi, a cashier in baghdad.

and, just to bring it all back to reality, the carlisle, pa sentinel reports u.s. soldier killed day after bush visit.
posted by skippy at 1:04 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 27, 2003

say hello

to gropinator. we like his name for ah-nold: "governor tickle."
posted by skippy at 8:24 PM | 0 comments

happy thanksgiving

now that thanksgiving's over, what do we want for christmas? it's simple.
posted by skippy at 2:41 PM | 0 comments

aarp via atrios

atrios links us to a detroit news article that says 15,000 people have quit aarp because of its endoresment of the repubbb's plan to gut -- er, sorry, we mean, overhaul -- medicare.

the alliance for retired americans (a fine alternative group to aarp) is totally against the repubbb bill.

skippy has an aarp renewal notice sitting in his "to pay" file. we think he will undoubtedly cut up the cards and mail it back to them with a nasty note.

we encourage all old farts like skippy to do the same. or at least send them an email letting them know what idiots they are.
posted by skippy at 12:48 PM | 0 comments

troops in iraq get a turkey for thanksgiving

in a stunning pr move, awol flew to baghdad for two hours on thanksgiving, meeting with the troops and generally raising their morale (we assume).

the trip was kept secret from the press, which must have been easy. all karl rove had to do was say "hey, guys, michael jackson is screwing kobe bryant over laci peterson's body!" and nobody would have been paying attention to washington.

talkleft points out that as awol talks turkey with the troops in baghdad, hillary clinton is visiting our men and women in uniform stationed in afghanistan, with plans to visit iraq later.

we can't help but wonder if awol's trip wasn't a spur of the moment thing to blow hillary's pr out of the water.

but then, we're cynics by nature.

posted by skippy at 12:30 PM | 0 comments

happy thanksgiving from the bush economic team

awol's syncophants are already saying the economy has turned around. one quarter of huge economic growth and suddenly everything is peachy keen.

but nathan newman makes a good case for not breaking out the bubbly just yet, friends. with charts and graphs, nathan points out that last quarter's surge is not sustainable. as atrios said on his blog, last quarter's gdp was great, but his neighbor ran out of unemployment benefits 4 and a half quarters ago.
posted by skippy at 12:07 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

ask not for whom the chimp smirks

the chimp smirks for us! we are so proud that the smirking chimp has reprinted our screed about brian c. anderson's misguided and fact-free musing on conservative thought taking over american culture, or at least late night comedy central programming.

thanks, smirky!

by the way, we always heartily recommend a daily read of the smirking chimp, which today spotlights the reuters report that one of orrin hatch's staff was responsible for hacking into the democratic computer servers in the senate to steal the internal memo about blocking awol's nomination.
posted by skippy at 9:20 PM | 0 comments

happy thanksgiving!

what else is there to say? enjoy your friends and family this holiday!
posted by skippy at 5:41 PM | 0 comments

blogger on tv sighting!

was that the lovely jeralyn merritt of talkleft we saw today on msnbc discussing kobe bryant? none other!

we hope her wrist heals soon!
posted by skippy at 5:39 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

say hello

to reality checker.org and savage cruel bigots.
posted by skippy at 9:16 PM | 0 comments

more clashing

hi friends,

if you're here from the fabulous t-bogg or the erudite-but-down-and-dirty ampoljo, thanks for dropping by! the post you're looking for is down below, entitled culture clashing with the facts.

we'd also like to point out scott at points west independently arrived at the same conclusions about the same piece (ie, repubbbs don't need no steenkin' facts!), in a very compelling piece on his blog, only a day later, so, tie goes to the runner.

and if you're here from our comment on scott's cross-posting on the daily kos, don't you think blogtopia (y!wctp!) is getting a bit incestuous?

addendum: our reader and good friend francis volpe, whom we've linked to before, ruminates on this same issue in his editorial for the carlisle, pa sentinel.
posted by skippy at 1:04 PM | 0 comments

cgi president

thanks to the kos and atrios, we found this nytimes piece extolling the truth about the latest repubbb ad promoting awol's leadership (see culture clashing with the facts below: "they make a compelling argument as long you don't actually count reality").

apparently the repubbbs fixed another one of awol's speaking gaffes, cleaning it up for this political ad. the thing is, this particular gaffe was in the state of the union address, part of the historical record of this country.

the line read, "it would take one vial, one canister, one crate, slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known." but mr. bush stumbled between the words "one" and "vial." and when at the word vial, he pronounced the "v" as if it were a "w."

yet in a new republican commercial that borrows excerpts from that speech, mr. bush delivers that line as smoothly as any other in the address, without a pause between "one" and "vial," and the v in "vial" sounds strong and sure.

republican officials acknowledged yesterday that the change was a product of technology. the line, they said, was digitally enhanced in editing "to ensure the best clarity."

the difference between the speech and excerpt was noticed by strategists for former gov. howard dean of vermont. they saw it as they put together their own advertisement attacking the spot, which presents the democratic candidates as undermining the fight against terrorism. word trickled back to democratic officials, who retrieved the tape and confirmed that there was, indeed, a difference.

the democrats asked whether the republican national committee had gone to the white house with sound equipment to have mr. bush recite the line anew for what was the first republican commercial of the campaign season here. that might have meant that the party was not being truthful when it said it had not coordinated with mr. bush when it made the advertisement, a possible violation of law.


of course, possible violations of the law is this administration's middle name (no wait, that would be "w." never mind). we doubt, however, that anybody except intelligent patriots are going to make a deal about his, concentrating instead on michael and kobe and scott.
posted by skippy at 1:01 PM | 0 comments

move on to a new t-shirt

moveon.org is offering a t-shirt for a donation of $40 to their voter fund. we imagine george soros gets about a hundred thousand t-shirts for his donation, but every little bit helps. we've given some money, and are looking forward to our shirt, which reads "democracy is not a spectator sport."
posted by skippy at 12:38 PM | 0 comments

Monday, November 24, 2003

culture clashing with the facts

we nearly fell off our sunday morning leisurely sofa when we read brian c. anderson's essay in the latimes yesterday.

according to mr. anderson, "the left's near-monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information is skidding to a halt." now, to accept the first half, or the premise, of his statement, one would have to redefine the moderate position of the media to "left's near monopoly." but, to be fair, we allowed mr. anderson his premise, and decided to examine the proof he used to back up his doctrine.

like all rightists, mr. anderson doesn't let the actual facts get in the way of a good argument. he starts off with the tired old meme of rush "honest i got a prescription for those 6000 pills" limbaugh's supposed domination of talk radio:

the transformation has gone far beyond the rise of conservative talk radio, which, since rush limbaugh's national debut 15 years ago, has chipped away at the power of the elite media...

well, neal gabler as points out, on the same op-ed page on the latimes, points out:

limbaugh's aggregate audience of 20 million — if you assume that most of his die-hard fans listen to him daily — is probably closer to 4 million or 5 million.

yes, clear channel (limbaugh's syndicator) is happy to add up limbaugh's daily listener total for a weekly total, even though it's without a doubt the same 4 million (give or take a few hillbilly heroin addicts) that listen to the show each day. it's not 20 million different ditto heads, it's the same bunch who have the same things to do on friday that they have to do on the previous 4 days -- nothing!

mr. anderson goes on (and on and on):

fox's ratings...blasted into orbit with the second iraq war. and not only conservatives are watching. a june 2002 pew research center study showed that of the 22% of americans who got most of their news from fox, 46% called themselves conservative, slightly higher than the 40% of cnn fans who did so. fox is thus exposing many centrists (32% of its audience) and even liberals (18%) to conservative opinions they would not regularly find elsewhere on tv news.

wow. many people who would not admit to another person that they were conservative watch fox. we've got news for you. we watch fox. we think their media watch program (starring the above stated mr. gabler, among others) outshines cnn's howie kurtz smears on parade program, by a mile, being far more (dare we say it) fair and balanced. more on "conservative cable news" a little later.

mr. anderson then offers a bit of evidence that nobody can deny: comedy programs. "south park" and "tough crowd with colin quinn" are held up as examples of amazing conservative thought. we ourselves would think twice about heralding cartman and kenny as bastions of our philosophy, but if the rightists want to be known as foul-mouthed brats who kill a child every week, more power to them.

but speaking of cable comedy, let's get back to cable news. no, that's not an insult, it's a segue to a fact: what matters is the numbers, kids. and as trish wilson pointed out earlier this month, tv guide, that bastion of liberal elitist media, says that jon stewart's daily show beats fox, msnbc, and cnn in a very important demographic.

comedy centrals' "the daily show" (11 pm/et), stewart's nightly send-up of the news, draws an average 640,000 views among 18-to-49-year olds. that beats fox news channel's 527,000, cnn's 286,000, msncb's 162,000 and cnbc's 72,000."

we're not sure about the ratings for "tough crowd" with cq, but we'd be very surprised if it matched "the daily show." and, even if they do, as colin himself so eloquently says in his nightly debate proffering his conservative philosophy, "shut up, stupid."

but of course, the real reason we write this little essay is mr. anderson's repetition of the meme of the conservative dominiance of blogtopia, incorrectly labled by mr. anderson as the "blogosphere. (no! we didn't coin that phrase!)

…the top explicitly right-leaning sites, updated daily, have generated huge followings. sullivan's blog attracted 400,000 visitors in july. david horowitz's frontpage magazine, vigorously lambasting the antiwar left, draws as many as 1.7 million visitors a month. more than 1.4 million visitors landed on opinionjournal in march, when the iraq war began, most to read editor james taranto's "best of the web today," an incisive commentary on the day's top internet stories.

we'll assume those are best guess-timates. and they would be impressive, too, if nobody named truth laid bear was keeping track of all the site meters in blogtopia. (yes! that's the correct phrase, one which we ourselves coined!).

true, instapundit is still the grandaddy of us all, and granted, he is a rightist. but the second-best (in terms of daily hits) blog, the kos, figures (if we multiply his daily average by 30) a monthly total of 1,385,190. forgive us, but that's not only close to horowitz's "up to as many as 1.7" mill a month (love those qualifying phrases! what would rightists do without them?) it's also hands down beating the heck out of sullivan and the opinion journal, using mr. anderson's own figures.

further: of the top eight blogs on tlb's sitemeter count, only insty (at #1) is a rightist. the rest are lefty's: kos, atrios, blog for america, smirking chimp, calpundit and tom tomorrow. except, we grant you, a technical blog at #5. (full disclosure: the top ten blogs are rounded out with a rightist blog at #9, and a real dirty how-to-have-sex blog at #10. and we are languishing at 116, probably because we've been living a real life lately instead of blogging 24/7).

and the total combined monthly hits of the top 6 lefty blogs is a big 5,308,080! take that, andrew sullivan! 400,000 hits a month! that's nothing! gen. j.c. christian, patriot, outdoes that!

then, mr. anderson insists that the final nail in the coffin of liberal domination over institutions can be seen on the best seller lists:

"we've had a string of bestsellers that is probably unmatched in publishing," regnery president and publisher marji ross points out. "we publish 20 to 25 titles a year, and we've had 16 books on the new york times bestseller list over the last four years — including bernard goldberg's "bias," which spent seven weeks at no 1."

once again, however, mr. anderson fails to actually present any figures or references to back up his incorrect assumption. mr. goldberg's previous tome did indeed spend seven weeks at no. 1. but his current foray into the evils of liberalism choking the media elite, arrogance, has dropped to number 16 on the nytimes list. we are unsure, but we don't think it ever got above 5.

and mr. anderson doesn't bother to mention the best selling lefty books by moore and franken and clinton and ivins and corn and conason, which are many weeks higher on that nytimes list than any other book. that would muck up his premise.

so, as usual, the rightist makes a compelling argument, as long as you don't actually count reality. we doubt that liberals ever dominated institutions and thought in this country, and so we doubt that said dominance is "skidding to a halt." and we can't really agree with his conclusion:

think of the mainstream liberal media as one sphere [ed. note: once again, it's not "sphere," it's "topia"] and the conservative media as another. the liberal sphere, which less than a decade ago was still the media [ed. note: ???!!!!!], is still much bigger than the nonliberal one. but the nonliberal sphere is expanding, encroaching into the liberal sphere, which is both shrinking and breaking up into much smaller sectarian spheres — one for blacks, one for latinos, one for feminists, and so on [ed. note: what the hell --?? where did that come from, and where are those facts to back up that bizarro premise out of left - or should we say, right - field?].

it's hard to imagine that this development won't result in a broader national debate — and a more conservative america.


oh yeah. and colin quinn will be hosting south park on the beltway boys.
posted by skippy at 9:35 PM | 0 comments

good news on the ballot tampering front

we are happy to report that black box voting.com is apparently back up and running, exposing the evils that repubbb software programers are spreading throughout america.
posted by skippy at 8:13 PM | 0 comments

a real triumph for npr

thanks to atrios, we found this interview terri gross conducted with triumph, the insult comic dog. we recommend it to everyone who remembers bill o'reilly getting his hackles up on the same show a few weeks ago.
posted by skippy at 8:09 PM | 0 comments

who medi-cares?

apparently neither aarp or awol, because the medicare reform bill currently passing through the bowels of congress will inflate the deficit to breaking points in the near term (though not near enough to ruin awol's re-election chances...just the chances of the dimwit who runs on the repubbb ticket in 2008). cnnmoney says,

the bill, which looked like it could pass as early as monday, would give those on medicare the ability to buy prescription drugs through medicare for the first time, with a price tag to the federal government of about $400 billion in the next 10 years, according to the congressional budget office.

such a cost will obviously add to a budget deficit that is expected to hit a record in dollars -- though not as a percentage of gross domestic product -- in 2004. gdp is the broadest measure of the nation's economy.

but the impact on the budget, and the economy, will be far more significant later, starting in 2008, when the first wave of baby boomers -- the group of nearly 80 million americans born during and after world war ii -- begin to retire.

there's a massive build-up of future social security and medicare spending that will explode, and this makes the problem much worse," said chris edwards, director of fiscal policy at the cato institute, a fiscally conservative think tank in washington.

"the next generation of young workers will be crushed by gigantic and rising payroll taxes to pay for all of this," edwards added.

what's more, according to some economic theories, the flood of government borrowing needed to fund the mounting deficit could result in ever-higher interest rates, which would cripple the economy.


you know things are bad when skippy and the cato institute agree!



posted by skippy at 6:44 PM | 0 comments

more mosul mayhem

after yesterday's shockingly brutal attack on two u.s. troops in the here-to-fore peaceful iraq city of mosul, even more bloody and deadly incidents occurred today. abcnews elucidates:

once seen as a success story for a u.s. occupation aimed at peaceful rebuilding, this northern city seems more like a battlefield to many people.

mosul has seen a surge of guerrilla attacks in recent weeks and it also has become the scene of the worst single loss of american life since the invasion of iraq the collision of two black hawk helicopters last weekend that killed 17 u.s. soldiers and injured five…

on tuesday, two u.s. soldiers were wounded in mosul when a bomb went off near their foot patrol. on nov. 5, gunmen injured five americans here in a number of attacks that also killed three iraqis. on nov. 1, two u.s. soldiers were killed and two injured in a roadside bombing. a few iraqis believed to be cooperating with the americans have been gunned down.


the kentucky new era online has details:

gunmen ambushed u.s. soldiers on patrol with a roadside bomb then opened fire on them in mosul today, wounding one, as fears grew that the anti-coalition insurgency was spreading north a day after two fort campbell soldiers were killed here and their bodies mauled...

in the mosul attack, gunmen activated a roadside bomb and opened fire on the convoy, wounding a soldier, the military said. the americans responded with a barrage of fire, a witness said.

residents said u.s. troops immediately cordoned the area in hay al-dobat neighborhood. "i heard a strong explosion saw the americans randomly shooting in all directions," said omar hamed.

there are fears that the insurgency has spread northward to the area of iraq controlled by fort campbell's 101st airborne division (air assault) from its original stronghold in the so-called sunni triangle, located in central iraq north and west of baghdad.


to make matters worse, a major pipeline to iraq's biggest oil refinery was sabotaged. australia's special broadcasting service reports:

an explosion on a major gas pipeline near iraq’s northern oil centre, kirkuk, has crippled production at the country’s newest and largest oil refinery.

an explosive device has been confirmed as the cause of the blast that created a massive fire visible from 30 kilometres away.

the blast has left baiji refinery without sufficient power to maintain its normal production of up to 300,000 barrels of oil per day.


not a good day for awol.

posted by skippy at 6:35 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 23, 2003

news from the kos

the kos went to the bosglobe today to check out dean polls, and stayed for the gay marriage (his words, not ours).

dean is now besting kerry in kerry's own home state.

but even better, a solid majority of massachusettians (massachusowitz?) say they favor the state supreme court's ruling on gay marriage:

the poll of 400 people, the first survey of bay state residents since the court's historic ruling, indicated that 50 percent agreed with the justices' decision, and 38 percent opposed it. eleven percent expressed no opinion.

the poll also indicated that a majority opposed efforts by the legislature, governor mitt romney, and attorney general thomas f. reilly to block same-sex marriages and allow civil unions instead.
posted by skippy at 3:39 PM | 0 comments

terrible day for u.s. troops in iraq

it's a terrible day not just because some troops got killed, but because two u.s. soldiers got killed and their bodies mutilated by the crowd. nbc13 reports

a u.s. military official says he won't give the "ghoulish" details of the deaths of two u.s. soldiers in the iraqi city of mosul.

witnesses say the men were shot to death while waiting in traffic. then teenagers dragged the bloody bodies from the vehicle and pummeled them with concrete blocks.

video taken after the attack showed the soldiers' bloodied bodies splayed on the ground as u.s. troops secured the area. one soldier's foot appeared to have been severed.

witnesses say the crowd numbered about a dozen. one says "they lifted a block and hit them with it on the face." they also pelted the vehicle with stones and looted weapons, cds and a backpack.

another teen says the bodies were on the ground for about an hour before the americans knew anything about it.


this is unprecedented, especially in the relatively calm area of mosul.

so, how much safer is the world now that we've ousted saddam?
posted by skippy at 3:36 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to share alike.
posted by skippy at 3:28 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 22, 2003

you can't call the cops in iraq

it's a bad day to be a policeman in iraq (or a dhl pilot). msnbc reports suicide bomb attacks on two police stations in north have killed at least 18, while a civilian cargo plane was hit by a missle as it landed at baghdad airport.

in baghdad, a civilian plane operated by global cargo company dhl made an emergency landing after one of its engines caught fire. airport officials said the plane may have been hit by a missile and the u.s. army said it was investigating.

in the town of khan bani saad, a car sped towards a police station and detonated as iraqi police opened fire on it, u.s. soldiers at the scene said. captain ryan mccormack said six police and three civilians were killed.

another suicide bomber targeted the main police headquarters in the nearby town of baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of baghdad.
posted by skippy at 5:36 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 21, 2003

so much for justification

it occured to us the other day, that since no wmd's were ever found, the justification for the war in iraq has shifted simply to a "but now the world's a safer place without saddam" kind of mode.

we wonder if the turks would agree.

we know the journalists in the palestine hotel and the sheraton baghdad would probably not agree.
posted by skippy at 6:33 PM | 0 comments

more bobble than head

got to give a big shout out to ampoljo, who has graciously linked to our reports on marine girl's plight, as well as a nod to our nod to letterman.

be sure to check out ampoljo today, where you can find mopaul's latest action figure, the awol bobble-head.
posted by skippy at 12:35 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 20, 2003

top ten reasons for finding lefty television

lately the best lefty tv (this side of the daily show with jon stewart) has been the late show with david letterman. aside from the recurring snide remarks about ah-nold, and the running gag "george w. bush joke that's not really a joke," david has no problem skewing awol, as in last night's top 10 list: top ten george w. bush complaints about england.

some of our favorites:

10. clocks are five hours fast

8. harry potter won't return phone calls

5. queen elizabeth not half as funny as 'king of queens'

and our favorite, the number one george w. bush complaint about england:

1. "driving on the left reminds me of my drinking days"



posted by skippy at 6:57 PM | 0 comments

so you're here for an argument

thanks to davidw in sf, a poster on the kos's comment board, we find this delightful bit of fluff, with a wink wink and nudge nudge know what i mean to monty python:

monkey primate and the oily grail
posted by skippy at 6:42 PM | 0 comments

spector charged with murder

readers of this space will know that we regularly disdain any celeb gossip or high profile trial news. but we are breaking with our self-imposed tradition to report that phil spector has been charged with murder in the death of actress lana clarkson. from rolling stone:

ten months after actress lana clarkson was fatally shot at his los angeles home, record producer phil spector has been charged with her murder. spector, who has been free on $1 million bail since shortly after the february 3rd shooting, was scheduled to be arraigned on the charge late thursday afternoon in los angeles.

you may remember that skippy knew lana personally, and had worked with her on a number of projects. her death was a shock to all of us here at skippy international, and a senseless, pointless bit of violence. lana worked hard at her career, was a bundle of energy and a delight to be around.

we hope that spector, after a fair trial, gets life in prison.
posted by skippy at 6:27 PM | 0 comments

a marine's girl's update

we received a missive from a marine's girl, with not-so-surprising news about her luskin, sorry, we mean cyber-stalker.

it turns out "gunney," the guy that wanted to turn a marine's girl in to the marine high command, is a "33 year old man, which would have made him 3 when the vietnam war ended. a 1988 graduate of plattsmouth high school, plattsmouth, nebraska."

the thing about wingnuts, is, they should try to go out and get laid. not only would they not have so much free time on their hands to get into mischief, they'd be happier all around.

posted by skippy at 6:16 PM | 0 comments

the day the second statue died

some smart-aleck protesters in london decided to erect a statue of awol and pull it down, emulating the "fall of baghdad" moment when saddam's statue was pulled down to the cheers of tv news reporters everywhere. ananova says

thousands of anti-war protesters have cheered as an effigy of george bush was toppled as part of a huge demonstration against his controversial visit to the uk.

as mr bush was entertained in buckingham palace, a few hundred yards away in london's trafalgar square a papier-mache statue was dragged to the ground by anti-bush protesters.

the bronze-colour statue was meant to recreate the moment saddam hussein's bronze statue was toppled over in baghdad earlier this year.


the bbc says

tens of thousands of people have protested in london against president bush and the war on iraq.

organisers claim more than 150,000 joined the demonstration but police said the numbers were about 100,000.


and the bbc provides pictures.

here's some yahoo photos of the protests in london.

check out the chasing bush website for the up-to-the-minute news from the ground.
posted by skippy at 12:45 PM | 0 comments

aarp!

moveon.org is organizing against the current medicare bill slogging through congress. moveon lets us know the two things the bill will do to the current medicare program that is not in our interests:

first, it would force people to make a stark choice: either pay sharply increased premiums to stay in traditional medicare, where they can choose their doctor; or be forced out, into an hmo...

second, it offers a prescription drug benefit, but requires people who want this coverage to buy it from private insurance plans.

this part of the bill also bars the government from doing the one thing it could do to actually reduce the cost of these drugs -- negotiate for lower prices, using the size of the medicare program as leverage. drug prices are soaring now, and unless they're brought under control, they will eventually bankrupt medicare.


if you are a member of aarp, who is inexplicably endorsing this plan, moveon urges you to rescind your membership...and let the press know about it! moveon will forward your comments to the national press on this page.
posted by skippy at 12:37 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

protest signs that can't be printed in a family-friendly blog

thanks to the chasing bush website...

also, here's some photos from yahoo covering the protests over in london.
posted by skippy at 5:20 PM | 0 comments

there is a tomorrow

we're a little late with this, as we don't have the bucks to waste on a salon premium subscription, but here's tom tomorrow's great take on warbloggers.
posted by skippy at 5:10 PM | 0 comments

the bully backs down

thanks to cursor.org (and through calpundit), we found a transcript of gen. clark being interviewed on faux news network, during which he rips faux a new one for twisting his words, thusly proving that bullies are cowards and back away the second somebody actually stands up to them (hear that, dnc?)

also we were happy to find this transcript on the clark sphere, a blog dedicated to the general and his adventures in presidential politics.

we have not endorsed any one candidate yet, and would not be unhappy if the general got the nomination. (we'd really like to see a dean-clark ticket). but we are happy to direct you to the clark sphere.
posted by skippy at 4:59 PM | 0 comments

backlash, or is that whiplash?

liberal oasis makes a great point that we ourselves have been musing, about the so-called "anti-gay backlash" that allegedly is brewing in light of the massachusettes supreme court acting like decent human beings.

in sum, a close look at the polling does not indicate a mass antipathy to gay unions, but a “squishy” segment of the population that gives contradictory responses depending on the wording of the question.

the squishy segment was quite evident in this gallup poll from sept.:

do you think gay or lesbian couples should or should not be allowed all the same legal rights as married couples in every state, or does it not matter to you?

should – 32%
should not – 35%
doesn’t matter – 32% ...

chances are, swing voters will want to hear about their own issues, like jobs and the economy, not somebody else’s issues, especially polarizing ones.

so if bush supporters try to make marriage by gays the big issue in ’04, perhaps the best response should be: “my opponents want to talk about gays. apparently they don’t have much to say about jobs.”


we agree. with a death rate of almost two u.s. troops a day in iraq, and no jobs manifesting themselves after three years of awol's economic policies, we can't imagine gay unions being on the mind of anyone except those constipated stick-in-the-muds who think "bad santa" is the sign of the coming apocalypse.


posted by skippy at 4:28 PM | 0 comments

build a house or just contribute to one

habitat for humanity is making an offer to induce us all to help them in their goal of building 2,270 houses by the end of the year!

visit here to donate $25 or more to them, and you'll get a cookbook. you can't beat that. helping people and eating are two of the big activities during the holidays, this way you can do both!
posted by skippy at 4:05 PM | 0 comments

a marine's girl story

hi folks, if you're here from a marine's girl blog, the post you are looking for is down below, titled this guy's not nothing on luskin.

if you're here from the unablogger, we've got no naked girls. you want dr. menlo.
posted by skippy at 11:36 AM | 0 comments

money limbaughing

we had read on atrios's site yesterday that rush limbaugh may have violated money laundering laws in his efforts to go undetected buying hundreds of thousands of hillbilly heroin hits.

imagine our surprise to see abcnews report on it during their nightly newscast last night!

radio talk show host rush limbaugh may have violated state money-laundering laws in the way he handled the money he used to buy the prescription drugs to which he was addicted, law enforcement officials in florida and new york told abcnews.

a conviction on such charges in florida would be a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison…

his lawyer denied today there was any foundation for a money-laundering prosecution.

"there's no basis for these charges. he has not committed any acts of money laundering and he absolutely denies it," lawyer roy black told abcnews. "i can assure you — and rush assures the listeners to his radio station — when we can, we will tell the story, and he will tell it himself. everybody will see what has really gone on here."


too bad he didn't get the money on loan from god!
posted by skippy at 11:36 AM | 0 comments

hey hey...ho ho...w is too stupid to even get the rhythm right in this anti-war chant...hey hey..ho ho...

ananova reports there's a low turn out for london protests against awol, but that was posted three hours ago.

good thing awol didn't go to scotland. the scotsman.com says there's thousands of people marching in that country in protest. too bad they didn't travel down the island to london.

however, watching msnbc today, we heard the news repeater insist there were about a thousand protesters in trafalgar square where she was broadcasting from.

and, the big demostration promises to be tomorrow, marching right past 10 downing street as awol and his bitch blair discuss how many other citizens will be needed for cannon fodder...er, sorry, we mean, discuss the successful liberation of iraq.

meanwhile, a reporter for the daily mirror successfully got a job as a footman at the palace for the past two months, highlighting the tenuous security around the event.

the reporter had great access throughout the palace, and was actually inside the bedroom that awol and mrs. awol are currently occupying.

and, for the latest on the demonstration from the ground, check out the postings made by protesters at the scene on the bush chasing chart.
posted by skippy at 11:16 AM | 0 comments

finally, some repubbbs with a conscience

kevin at calpundit reports that a few repubbbs are starting to work against the foolish energy bill now clogging up congress:

maine's two republican senators have joined john mccain in saying they will vote against the odious new energy bill negotiated behind closed doors and hurriedly passed by the house yesterday.

kevin goes on to analyze what the nytimes has to say, and why this whole boondoggle is nothing but giveaways at the taxpayer expense.

posted by skippy at 10:56 AM | 0 comments

pointing west

thanks to scott and the gang at points west for the nice email today. and while we were checking out that fine blog, we found this cartoon. as homer says, "it's funny because it's true."
posted by skippy at 10:41 AM | 0 comments

the dean of words

the lovely katherine carlson of st. martin's press (at the behest of her boss, sean desmond, with whom we corresponded) sends us a reminder that dr. howard dean's new book howard dean in his own words is now available for sale.

we like some of his words, to wit:

howard dean on the democratic party:
"when i say that a lot of democrats are more mad at the democrats than at the republicans, i get a lot of nods."


you could do worse with your $7.95.
posted by skippy at 10:28 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

say hello

to air beagle and society's memory bank and american narcolepsy and masstone effect.
posted by skippy at 6:44 PM | 0 comments

selling good, selling better, selling best

how's the culture wars (according to laura "i didn't write little house on the prairie" ingraham) going on the nytimes best seller list these days?

michael moore at #1, al franken at #3, both beating zev miller at #4 and bill o'reilly at #5 (ps. zev has one of those pesky bulk sale symbols by his notation. he must have bought 49 books for his senate mates).

molly ivins at #7 beating barbara bush at #10 and bernard goldberg at #14 (special note, bernard debuts at #14, not an auspicious beginning).

paul krugman at #27 beats laura ingraham at #31.

meanwhile, over at amazon, moore (#4) and franken (#8) beat the tar out of the closest conservative competition, zev "don't call me a democrat no more" miller at #25. and then, molly ivins (#28) is way ahead of the next closest conservative tome which is bill "shut up, just shut up" o'reilly chiming in at #38, and bernie goldberg at #47 (unless you count the very hungry catepillar board book, awol's favorite, at #26).

posted by skippy at 6:37 PM | 0 comments

why people don't want gay marriage made legal

here's the answer, according to grand moff texan over on atrios' comment section.
posted by skippy at 6:04 PM | 0 comments

awol vs. the world

for the latest on up-to-the-minute reports on the massive (some estimates are over 100,000) protests in london greeting awol this week, be sure to keep in touch with indymedia uk (especially with important news events like police intimidate samba band member in london).

extra bonus: thanks to popdex, here's a handy chasing bush chart.
posted by skippy at 5:56 PM | 0 comments

freep the dobbs!

left hand side bar (courtesy of atrios).
posted by skippy at 5:50 PM | 0 comments

blogtopia (y!wctp!) invades screeching heads news network

we couldn't believe our ears when we heard paula zahn's faux-newsy melifluous voice begin to describe our favorite baghdad blogger, salam pax, and his work on his blog where is raed.

but sure enough, there on cnn, was paula "don't call me steve" zahn interviewing salam, however shallow and briefly, and talking with him about his new book, his experiences during the war, the reconstruciton, and with the new medium of blogging.

first, atrios in the new yorker, then where is raed on cnn...what's next, the movies?

skippy reloaded?
posted by skippy at 5:46 PM | 0 comments

under reported by about 8,778

lunaville links us to upi, who lets us know that u.s. casualties -- "killed, wounded or evacuated due to injury or illness" -- in iraq has passed 9,000.

in addition to the 397 service members who have died and the 1,967 wounded, 6,861 troops were medically evacuated for non-combat conditions between march 19 and oct. 30, the army surgeon general's office said.

that brings total casualties among all services to more than 9,200, and represents an increase of nearly 3,000 non-combat medical evacuations reported since the first week of october. the army offered no immediate explanation for the increase.

a leading veterans' advocate expressed concern.

"we are shocked at the dramatic increase in casualties," said steve robinson, executive director of the national gulf war resource center.
posted by skippy at 5:22 PM | 0 comments

this guy's got nothing on luskin

poor marine's girl! some cyber-psycho has gotten it into his head to make her life in blogtopia (y!wctp!) a living hell.

one "kendale conover," a supposed master gunnery sergeant retired from the marine corps, has decided that a marine's girl is divulging classified information on her blog.

for those of you familiar with her fine work, you will certainly agree the information she reveals is that she is the girlfriend of a marine currently in country in the iraqi war, and that it sucks, our words, not hers. but our point is, nothing she says is classified.

mr. conover (we don't use his rank, for reasons we will divulge shortly) posted on another forum that he sent copies of a marine's girl blog to marine central command in san diego. this, naturally, caused a marine's girl quite a bit of consternation, and she decided over the weekend to stop blogging entirely.

but luckily, blogtopia, a phrase which we proudly coined (yes!) rallied to a marine girl's side. first, atrios spread the word about her plight.

a reader of atrios' found links to certain forums with mr. conover's moniker, discussing such items as felching and recruiting "black hat" hackers.

and our friend, the democratic veteran had some choice words for mr. conover.

and one of the demvet's readers pointed out that if mr. conover was actually a gunnery sergeant, he'd know that shortened term is spelled "gunny" and not "gunney," and that the standard abbreviation for that rank is not "mstr. gunnery/sgt." but "msgysgt" (thus our refusal to refer to mr. conover by rank).

and another poster on the dixie chicks forum actually researched mr. conover's claims of military affiliation and other "facts." however, they could not find any verification that mr. conover was who he said he was.

the final, good news is, a captain in the marine corps has notified a marine's girl that he is suspicious about mr. conover's claims and actions, and is conducting an investigation into the whole mess. and he recommends that a marine's girl keep blogging, because her blog is comforting to several marine's wives he has referred to the site (and he also recommends the turning tables blog, cleared by intel, for more on-the-ground views of life among our troops in iraq).

keep going, a marine's girl! you are doing an important job for the morale of the families of our troops, and for all of america, even the ones that despise you for it! it makes no sense to fight for freedom if we lose our freedom in the fight!
posted by skippy at 11:14 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to from the inside looking out and damage.
posted by skippy at 10:56 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 17, 2003

the war that keeps on giving has become too much for us

readers of this space know we have tried to keep current with all the military deaths from hostile fire in iraq. but unfortunately, the incidents of such have tragically outpaced our own ability to blog on a regular basis.

so it is with heavy heart that we admit we are unable to keep up with the bad news. we will attempt to hit the high (low?) lights, such as the two more blackhawk helicopters which were involved in a fatal crash this last weekend.

we sincerely urge everyone to keep a daily watch on lunaville's iraq coalitoin casualty page...and we also urge everyone to make a donation to michael, pat and lynn, to help them keep on keeping on. their work is important.

(yes, we know, we have heretofor ragged any other blogger who dares to ask for money from their audience, but we give lunaville a special dispensation to our cranky rule...since it's impossible to find this data in any other news outlet we know of, lunaville must persevere).
posted by skippy at 8:01 PM | 0 comments

more security than posh spice

when awol visits his only friend, sorry, we mean, this country's ally great britain tomorrow, the security arrangements in london be unprecedented (which is only fair, since he himself is unpresidented). the voa says:

police in london are undertaking unprecedented security measures as u.s. president george bush prepares to travel to britain, while protesters promise widespread demonstrations.

british officials estimate security surrounding president bush's four-day trip, which begins tuesday, will cost about $9 million. at least 5,000 police will be deployed.


the uk telegraph says the protests have already begun:

protests about the state visit to britain of us president george w bush have begun after a woman climbed the front gates of buckingham palace.

mrs lindis percy, a 61-year-old grandmother, is thought to have reached the top of the metal gate at around 4pm, unfurling a banner and the american flag, which she hung upside down.


the telegraph estimates that tens of thousands of protesters will march past parliment on thursday to protest awol for his policies, for his duplicity, and mostly just for being a stuck up little snot.

the south african sunday times reports on awol's plans:

bush will stay with queen elizabeth ii as her guest at buckingham palace.

he'd better hope he's not sleeping with prince charles!
posted by skippy at 7:52 PM | 0 comments

as oscar said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about

we reference a nineteenth century english writer because our blog has been reveiwed by someone who references anthony trollope, so we'll see your trollope and raise you a wilde!

significant trifles has given us the honor of being the very first blog that jon of sigtrif happened to review. in general, he gave us a very good review, and we thank him for that. we think, however, since he only read a handful of our posts from one day, he may have misread our basic political philosophy,* which is probably closer to his own than he thinks.

be that as it may, we welcome jon and significant trifles to blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase!)


*bpp: subvert the dominant paradigm, but clean up afterwards!

posted by skippy at 7:39 PM | 0 comments

boy that was easy

rush limbaugh is back on the radio today...someone get him off before he breaks it! (thank you, we're here all week, try the veal!)

seriously, while we carefully avoided all cable news stories about him (between that and der gropenator getting sworn in, our fingers were exhausted with flipping the remote control today), we were curious to see what the aol users had to say about his return.

although we can't post the url of the aol message board to outsiders (thus making you want to pay almost $25 a month to get that great aol service...gee, who's britney wearing this week? aol news gives you the scoop!), here are a few of the sentiments expressed:

hyp•o•crite (h¹p“…-kr¹t”) n. a person given to hypocrisy ie. rush limbaugh. hy•poc•ri•sy (h¹-p¼k“r¹-s) n., pl. hy•poc•ri•sies. 1. the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness. 2. an act or instance of such falseness.

i agree totally !! he's the biggest hypocrite on earth

when is everyone going to see what he really is..... a spoiled, pompous, know it all hypocrite. his fans are so brainwashed by him - they are so weakminded themselves they need to have a drug crazed hypocrite speak for and to them.


but don't worry, there were plenty of rush defenders as well:

i guess we all forgot when ted kennedy drowned that girl off of cape cod, or when bill clinton was having sex with an intern. but when a. republican makes a mistake, you bastards jump him like white on rice. liberals are nothing but self righteous s.o.b's rush made a mistake, and took care of it. he admitted he was addicted to oxy and got help. no thats not good enough for you bastards!!! you want to hang him to the highest tree. now if one of those bleeding hearts had a drug problem you clowns would kiss his ass for getting the help. like i said i hate liberals!!!!!! take a good hard look in the mirror, before you pick up that rock you were about to throw!

we'd show you more of the 3,475 messages, but we've got to go take a pill.
posted by skippy at 7:28 PM | 0 comments

dick cheney (before he dicks you)

our friend from across the aisle, chuck simmons, has some news and pictures about dick cheney's visit to his hometown.
posted by skippy at 7:13 PM | 0 comments

the kids are (not) all right

nathan newman blogs extensively about the u.s. violating international child labor convention, by allowing kids to work in hazardous conditions:

it's worth understanding that this is not an oversight. the us government is deliberately violating international law in the field of agriculture, something acknowledged when the child labor convention was approved in the senate:

the u.s. senate saw the problem coming from the outset and qualified its 1999 ratification with an "understanding" that, in its view, convention 182 was not intended "to lead to a change in the agricultural employment provisions or any other provision of the fair labor standards act in the united states."


posted by skippy at 7:11 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 16, 2003

say hello

to daily connotations and points west and benniferus.
posted by skippy at 8:14 PM | 0 comments

the dean of the anti-establisment

the kos has a great link to a new republic article concerning the current split in the dem party (the new republic is subscription only, but they have graciously let the kos community have access to this important piece of journalism).

the important sentence: "the division in the party over dean is less about ideology than about power."

we recommend a good sturdy reading of both kos' post and the new republic piece.

and speaking of dr. dean, he indeed proved his medical skills this weekend, when he tended to one of his staffers who was suddenly gripped by a seizure, while campaigning in iowa. here's the des moines register article reporting on the event.
posted by skippy at 8:07 PM | 0 comments

little brother is watching you

jimm over at the project for a new century of freedom talks about an interesting (and scary) essay from the ecologist concerning how nanotechonology might be used in the future to undermine personal privacy.
posted by skippy at 7:57 PM | 0 comments

good news from the cajuns

reader and contributor tekflower lets us know that the dems have scored a significant victory this weekend. she writes:

the voting machines in louisiana must not be rigged (or at least not very well). just like last year, louisiana has elected a democrat to a major position for which republicans fought tooth and nail:

new orleans -- democratic lt. gov. kathleen blanco became the first woman ever elected governor of louisiana on saturday, defeating a conservative indian-american and scoring a rare gain for democrats in an election season that has seen a string of republican victories.

blanco's victory puts the louisiana governorship back in the democratic column for the first time in eight years.


the rest can be found here at wgno-tv, the abc affiliate in n'awrlins.
posted by skippy at 7:53 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 14, 2003

paging rush limbaugh

thanks to talkleft (who thanks the sideshow for the story) we find out that colin powell loves to pop pills as much as the next guy...if the next guy is a big fat idiot (don't sue us, al franken!)
posted by skippy at 8:30 PM | 0 comments

do as we say, not as we do

kevin over at calpundit makes a point we have been wondering about, re: "bush hating."

now, i happen to agree that white hot anger can eventually become counterproductive, but i want to know why these guys all think that it's liberals who should back down, rather than the conservatives who are the original rage-meisters and continue to shout from the rooftops to this day. shouldn't they be the ones to hold out an olive branch first?

we'd have to agree. why is it that the democrats are supposed to be "above it all" and not roll up their sleeves and engage in the same passionate discourse that the repubbbs have been getting away with since newt "who needs a wife with cancer" gingrich started ten years ago?

posted by skippy at 8:22 PM | 0 comments

fox in the henhouse

oliver willis writes an amusing fantasy: fox news admits bias.
posted by skippy at 8:16 PM | 0 comments

why we fear for our country

because people like this hold positions of authority in shaping our children's minds (scroll down to "hate mail--parental advisor"...found via atrios).
posted by skippy at 5:05 PM | 0 comments

didn't he direct 'ablogolypse now'?

our sworn enemy ayn clouter has a review of the newest best seller, the blogfather, the story about instypoobah, the leader of all the blogs in "blogadise," (yes! our doppelganger in this thinly-veiled parody of real bloggers coined that phrase!).

if you blog, and you don't find yourself and your site spoofed in this review, fear not; chances are good you will get a good laugh out of it anyway.
posted by skippy at 4:49 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 13, 2003

happy veterans day from the bush economic team

awol's boys are touting the good poll numbers reflecting an approval of his handling of the economy (up to a whopping 50%...in today's world, merely half is considered something to celebrate).

but for those of us actually living in the economy, it's a bit of a different story.

take wal-mart...please! good night, folks, drive safely!

seriously, wal-mart's earnings missed its projected goal by a penny, lowering the price of a wal-mart share by $2.40. the resulting domino effect took the market down today, after yesterday's 3-digit gain.

but that's not the worst of wal-mart. the company's ceo, lee scott, said that wal-mart's shoppers aren't spending like crazy, but rather being very timid about opening their wallets:

"i don't think consumer spending is slowing, but i don't see the strength many of you in the investment community appear to see," scott said in a conference call. "we're seeing cautious customers ... timing their expenditures around the receipt of their paycheck, indicating liquidity issues."

forbes.com says that scott noted,

customers continue to buy the cheapest items in any given category -- a sign that household budgets remain tight.

even worse, today's unemployment numbers were higher than anybody expected...anybody who doesn't live in the real world, that is. cbsnews says:

last week the government reported the economy had generated 126,000 new jobs. but on thursday the labor department said weekly claims for jobless benefits rose by 13,000, higher than expected.

and even on a macro-level, things aren't looking so rosy...yahoo says the trade deficit rose in september:

the u.s. trade deficit widened to $41.3 billion in september as imports climbed to an all-time monthly high, a fresh sign of americans' hearty appetite for foreign-made goods. exports, however, also posted a solid gain.

the latest snapshot of the country's trade activity showed that the trade gap grew by 4.4 percent in september from august's $39.5 billion imbalance, the commerce department reported thursday. september's trade deficit was slightly larger than the $40.2 billion shortfall that economists were forecasting.
posted by skippy at 1:03 PM | 0 comments

en guarde! for free, apparently...

our friend and reader rose sends us this msnbc article which reports that, due to red tape snafu's, many in the national guard are not getting paid...

soldiers with the national guard are already under the gun in iraq and afghanistan. but now a new government report claims that while the troops are fighting far from home, red tape is preventing many of them from being paid…

in six guard units examined by the general accounting office, a stunning 94 percent of soldiers had pay problems, including:

- under- and over-payments.
- three-month delays in active duty checks.
- pay and benefits cut off for wounded soldiers in the hospital.

“they were being told they weren’t entitled to certain health care benefits, in spite of their injuries,” explained shays. “i mean, there’s no one in the military who justifies that, but it’s shocking that it could happen”...

in one colorado unit, soldiers had their checks docked, to pay off $48,000 each in debt they did not owe.
posted by skippy at 12:29 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

a difficult labor

kos has an interesting musing into the afscme and seiu unions endorsements of howard dean. the sfchron tells us how important this is:

the endorsements give dean 3 million highly trained, extremely motivated campaign workers. they also provide new access to campaign cash. afscme, for instance, spends more on politics than any other union. in the 2000 cycle, the union spent $40 million, said political director larry scanlon.

the washpost tells us why dean won the coveted prize: he actually worked for it.

the seiu offered all the candidates the same resources: a list of their local leadership and a warning that the route to the endorsement began not in stern's fifth-floor office on l street nw but through the rank and file. "everybody got the same advice," an seiu official said. "howard dean took it to heart." no other candidate came close to dean's outreach. "shockingly" not close, stern said.

hmmm....actually going out and contacting your constituency...what a revolutionary idea!
posted by skippy at 4:57 PM | 0 comments

movin' on up to the gore side

moveon.org has a link to a webcast of al gore's speech on freedom and security he gave last weekend.
posted by skippy at 4:50 PM | 0 comments

as safe and gentle as a repubbblican administration

hammerdown has another in the prestigious "laxative" series, with a replay of the entire series at the bottom of the blog.
posted by skippy at 4:42 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

we salute our veterans

readers of this space know that skippy's dad was in the navy, specifically serving on a submarine in the pacific during wwii. we at skippy international join in america on this veterans day saluting our men and women who are or were in the military, and we thank them all, for sacrificing to keep this country strong and proud.

thanks to everyone who ever wore a uniform.

well, almost everyone.
posted by skippy at 11:18 AM | 0 comments

things you don't find in the western news

we found this report on aljazeera.net: al-aqaida threat in iraq 'tiny':

a top us military official has admitted the number of foreign fighters resisting occupation in iraq is minuscule.

lieutenant general ricardo sanchez said in baghdad on tuesday the number of foreign resistance troops was "probably a couple of hundred".


well, pardon our natural distrust, but we assumed al jazeera might have an agenda of sorts. so we googled iraq ricardo sanchez "couple of hundred".

and, not to our surprise, most of the stories that popped up were from the arabic world...islam online, or middle east online, etc.

but yes, we did find a washpost article, that buries this figure at the bottom:

attacks on u.s.-led forces and iraqis who cooperate with them appear to be "regionally" coordinated, "synchronized" and largely the work of iraqi insurgents assisted by "a couple of hundred" fighters from yemen, sudan, egypt and syria, the top american commander in baghdad said tuesday.

notice the washpost left ouf the word "probably. but that's not the worst. after searching even harder, (ok, by clicking another link on google, so sue us for being lazy), we found a faux news report that kind of says the same thing...sort of:

asked about numbers of foreign fighters, sanchez said "hundreds" of foreigners cross the border area to carry out attacks in iraq.

well, that's kind of technically true. probably a couple of hundred is indeed the plural of hundred.

just as faux itself is technically journalism.
posted by skippy at 11:13 AM | 0 comments

the most trusted name in rigging the news

thanks to atrios, we find this bosglobe report that says cnn planted the "pc or mac" question on the "dick clark's rockin' the vote" teen dance party debate last week:

cnn planted a question about computer preferences at last week's debate of the democratic presidential candidates at faneuil hall in boston, according to the student who posed the query and wrote about it yesterday in an online forum of the brown (university) daily herald. during the debate, cosponsored by the nonprofit rock the vote organization, alexandra trustman asked the candidates whether they preferred the pc or mac format for their computers

trustman wrote yesterday that she was called the morning of the debate and given the topic of the question the cnn producers wanted her to ask. she wrote that she was "confused by the question's relevance" and constructed what she thought was a "much more relevant" question.

but when she arrived in boston for the debate, she wrote, she was "handed a note card" with the question and told she couldn't ask her alternative "because it wasn't lighthearted enough and they wanted to modulate the event with various types of questions."

cnn did not respond to repeated requests for comment.



posted by skippy at 11:01 AM | 0 comments

sharing private lynch

newday reports hustler publisher larry flynt purports he has purchased nude photos of jessica lynch to publish in his skin mag, but changed his mind because she is "good kid ... and a victim of the bush administration."

we wonder what that makes the thousands of women who actually did appear in his magazine.

the photos, which purportedly show the undressed army supply clerk posing with male soldiers, were sold to flynt last month, according to a statement from flynt that was read to the associated press tuesday by his publicist.

the publicist, who would not give her name, said flynt "has no plans to use the photos."

"jessica lynch is a good kid, she's not a hypocrite or out to fool anyone," flynt's statement said. "she's just a victim of the bush administration, who is using her to justify the war in iraq and force-feed us a joan of arc."


that's one way to light a bonfire, joan!
posted by skippy at 10:53 AM | 0 comments

cyber-reagan

our good friend and reader rose sends us a link to the blurb on international movie data base news page which tells us that the script for the controversial reagan bio-pic has been posted on line:

the online magazine salon has obtained a copy of the 213-page screenplay for cbs's controversial miniseries the reagans and has posted it on its website (www.salon.com). in a statement, salon said that it was publishing the screenplay to allow its readers "to review the primary evidence in this controversy and reach their own conclusions."

posted by skippy at 10:49 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 10, 2003

congratulations

a rising tide floods all shore-side basements, as they say. blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase) is proud of atrios, whose recent blog-feud with luskin was mentioned in the new yorker! way to go! blogging finally gets to the big time, if sardonic witty writing about psuedo-sophisticated matters east of the hudson and west of the east river is the big time. (but any magazine which featured james thurber is all right in our book, plus they have the best cartoons).
posted by skippy at 9:50 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to samantix and all things nba.
posted by skippy at 9:34 PM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

a couple of letters today...

madkane has written a song parody about the cbs-reagan-bio-pic fiasco, called "st. reagan's song."

and left is right posits that altruism is out of focus.
posted by skippy at 9:33 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 09, 2003

cue foreign circus music: and now, the amazing newsweek, spinning on a poll!

pardon our thoughts of don ameche and international showtime [ed. note: why don't you reference the goldbergs if you want to show how frickin' old you are?], but we see newsweek is spinning its own poll findings.

newsweek's own headline on its poll says economic gains bolster bush:

with news that the economy grew at a surprisingly robust 7.2 percent annual rate and that some 300,000 new jobs were added during the third quarter, an increasing number of voters say they approve of the way the president george w. bush is handling the economy, according to the latest newsweek poll.

then they go on and admit "more registered voters say they disapprove rather than approve of the way bush is handling the economy (48 percent vs. 44 percent)," but the funny thing about newsweek's story about its own poll is, they fail to mention what cnn is not afraid to:

a majority of voters would not re-elect bush:

in the newsweek poll, 50 percent of registered voters who were queried said they do not want to see bush re-elected, while 44 percent said they do.

gee, you'd think newsweek would mention that fact, wouldn't you?
posted by skippy at 8:08 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to treason on line.
posted by skippy at 7:54 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

soundbitten links to a story about the media repeating ah-nold's campaign's smear against one of his "groping" accusers.

atrios talks more about the folks in charge refusing to show up to comfort any of the wounded from iraq.

over at the kos, dhinmi says it looks like dean will get the seiu and the afscme labor union endorsements.

calpundit takes a look at newsweek taking a look at cheney.

whoops! shows you how much we pay attention! our good friend on the right stephen green is back blogging as acerbically as ever over at vodka pundit. welcome back, steve!
posted by skippy at 1:02 PM | 0 comments

this weekend in the war that keeps on giving

as usual, thanks to lunaville's iraq coalition count for most of these links:

yahoo: 2 soliders killed, red cross closes office in baghdad.

bbc: u.s. soldier killed in baghdad.

australian broadcasting company: loud explosions heard in baghdad saturday.

washpost: british soldier wounded in explosion in basra.

reuters: loud explosions heard in baghdad sunday.

cnn: apparently it was a surface to air missle that downed the helicopter in tikrit on friday.
posted by skippy at 12:48 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 08, 2003

jobs increase, economy grows enough to buy huge amounts of wool to pull over public's eyes

as every repubbblican who doesn't have alzheimers* has been saying this weekend, the jobs report yesterday indicates that indeed, the economy may be turning around. yahoo news says:

the economy has created nearly 300,000 new jobs in the past three months after a half-year drought, pushing unemployment down to 6 percent in october and leaving little doubt that the jobs market is bouncing back.

the labor department reported friday that payrolls grew by 126,000 last month, many more than economists had predicted. that followed a revised 125,000 new jobs in september, more than double what initially was reported. u.s. companies added 35,000 to their payrolls in august.

october's job gains were in a range of service industries, including temporary employment, health care, social work, education, retail, leisure and hospitality, law and accounting.


but take another look at that list of sectors adding jobs...with the exception of law and perhaps accounting, most of those industries are notoriously low-paying. and for those of you who don't realize the irony of the situation, touting an increase in temporary jobs is rather like saying we finally fixed the roof with that construction paper that came in the mail.

from the seattle times:

but most of the new jobs were part time or in low-paying sectors, such as education, health care and services…

"we can finally put the nail in the coffin of the jobless recovery," said ken mayland, president of clearview economics, a cleveland firm specializing in research and forecasting.


yes, and we can apparently start building the coffin of the crappy job recovery. still from the seatimes:

...democratic critics were quick to point out that even with the gains of the past three months, the number of payroll jobs is still about 2.4 million lower than when the slump began in march 2001, while the jobless rate, at 6 percent, is nearly two percentage points higher.

and our favorite newspaper named after an insect, the sacbee, points out the dismal:

the improvement in unemployment was led by the service sector -- everything from doctor's offices to restaurants -- which added 143,000 jobs. [ed. note: the bryman's institute must have had a graduation] but the manufacturing sector lost 24,000 jobs in october, the 37th straight month of job losses. the layoffs did slow down, but some believe the sector won't fully recover -- ever -- because of low-cost foreign competition.

but that's ok, because, according to the contra costa times, awol (as usual) has the answer: retrain!

president bush on friday visited a region distressed by huge losses of manufacturing and textile jobs, encouraging displaced workers to train for new work in growing sectors such as biotechnology.

or food service.

jon talton, in the arizrepublic, points out there are still a number of problems with the economy: the deficit, environmental issues getting shortchanged, trade, jobs without benefits, and our favorite:

crony capitalism. from vice president dick cheney's secret energy deals to the sluggish federal response to corporate crime, there's still a sense that the business casino is rigged. no wonder the u.s. economy seemed to lack some of its usual resilience.

and brad de long points out the obvious:

today's employment level is 2.3 million lower than at the start of 2001, 2.6 million lower than the president's council of economic advisers projected back in february would be employed today if the congress passed the administration's "jobs and growth" program, and even 75 thousand lower than the treasury secretary projected last month would be employed today.

so while, indeed, coupled with the third quarter's amazing growth of 7.2%, these numbers are good news...in the same way that hearing a patient in intesive care has stopped hemorrhaging into his brain is good news.



*damn! there goes our chance to be on cbs tv this month!
posted by skippy at 7:22 PM | 0 comments

look to the skies!

tonight at about 8 pm eastern, 5 pm real time, the earth will pass between the moon and the sun, creating a total lunar eclipse!

newsday says

when saturday night's moon hits your eye, the big pizza pie may take on the hue of tomato paste during a total lunar eclipse visible throughout the americas, europe, africa and western asia.

"it's a rare event, typically happening two times a year, on average, and not always a total eclipse," said dave bush, a technical and production coordinator at the vanderbilt museum and planetarium in centerport.

total eclipses, in fact, represent only a third of all lunar eclipse events, with the next one visible in the northeast slated to arrive late in the evening on oct. 27, 2004.


hopefully the skies will be clear in your part of the world to see this event.
posted by skippy at 4:58 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 07, 2003

selling private lynch

pfc. jessica lynch lashed out at the military's use of her rescue for propaganda purposes. the nydailynews says

the 20-year-old private, portrayed as a female rambo after she was captured by iraqis during a blazing gun battle, then freed by american troops, told abc there was no reason for her rescue from an iraqi hospital to be filmed.

"they used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff," lynch said in an interview with diane sawyer that airs tuesday, veterans day.

"yeah, it's wrong," lynch said. "i don't know why they filmed it, or why they say the things" they said.


lynch is apparently livid that the u.s. military would capitalize on her capture and subsequent rescue. and she says as much during the diane sawyer interview where lynch hawks her book, "i am a soldier, too," which capitalizes on her capture and subsequent rescue. the nytimes:

asked how she felt about the reports of her heroism, ms. lynch told ms. sawyer, "it hurt in a way that people would make up stories that they had no truth about. only i would have been able to know that, because the other four people on my vehicle aren't here to tell the story. so i would have been the only one able to say, yeah, i went down shooting. but i didn't."

hopefully the $1.7 mill for the book deal will salve some of that hurt.
posted by skippy at 10:40 PM | 0 comments