s skippy the bush kangaroo: April 2004

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, April 30, 2004

cbs not awol with truth about chickenhawks

we never thought we'd see it in our lifetime, but a major news organ is actually reporting the truth.

dick meyer, on cbsnews, cuts right to the chase, asking what we've been asking for the last two weeks:

what kind of absurd political twilight zone is it where george bush and dick cheney can make john kerry look like an unpatriotic chicken by focusing attention on his combat duty in vietnam?
mr. meyer goes on to use the word that accurately describes these people who cry for war when they themselves have never seen any of it firsthand:

what is the word that has more gall than gall? nerve? cheek, chutzpah conceit, arrogance, condescension? you name it -- the squadron of chickenhawks that steers both the campaign and government of president bush's have pots of it. where do these people come off impugning john kerry's vietnam era guts and patriotism? john mccain, colin powell, tom ridge or chuck hagel might have some moral standing, but not these chickenhawks.

this whole chickenhawk issue has become sort of politically incorrect, in a republican sort of way. it's considered a rude charge. i don't buy that…

the list of bush supporter's in government, in the campaign and in the ideas industry who also had no military service at all, not just no combat, is also relevant: karen hughes, karl rove, condoleezza rice, richard perle, douglas feith, lewis libby, william kristol, paul wolfowitz, and tom delay. oh yeah, and dick cheney.
and, being fans of historic arcania, we admire his use of a quote from the 19th century:

allow me to add a stray point: these chickenhawks had a great influence in the decision to wage war on iraq. after the civil war, william tecumseh sherman noted, "it is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry for blood, more vengeance. more desolation."

the most forceful advocates for war in the administration had seen the least of it.
nicely done, mr. meyer.
posted by skippy at 6:56 PM | 0 comments

ohio news network not awol with nightline tonight

luckily for parts of ohio, the ohio news network has agreed to air tonight's controversial nightline segment, in spite of the sinclair broadcasting group's decision to not show the program on its affiliates:

viewers in central ohio and across the state will get to see friday night's nightline program on onn…

the sinclair broadcast group, the owner of 8 abc affiliates nationwide, decided not run the program. that includes one station here in ohio…

friday, abc contacted the ohio news network and asked onn to air the program. onn decided to air the program and give viewers the choice.

viewers across ohio can watch nightline here on the ohio news network live friday night at 11:35 p.m. the show will last 40 minutes rather than the usual half hour.
on a more satirical note, the village voice has the draft of a memo that was found in the janitor's closet at sinclair broadcasting:

no organization holds our media industry and the executives who use it to line their pockets in higher regard than sinclair broadcast group. while sinclair would support a mendacious effort to cover up the alarming number of americans who have died in iraq, mr. koppel is using simple, indisputable facts—names and photos of the dead, no less—to dramatize the war and give viewers a chance to judge its consequences. however, an informed citizenry is anathema to the corporate state, and we suspect that many of those currently working toward this goal have financial connections to al qaeda. dick cheney informs us that we are not alone in this viewpoint. as a result, we have decided to preempt the broadcast of nightline this friday on each of our abc affiliates.

sinclair owns 62 stations in 39 markets, including eight abc affiliates. if that sounds like a monopoly, it is, and we got it the old-fashioned way—we shilled for it. in 2004, we gave 98 percent of our political donations, or $65,434, to gop causes. we applaud the gop's support for deregulation, and we intend to return the favor by cheerleading for the war. unlike the bad news bears at abc, we think of ourselves as the good news network. in case you haven't heard, 98 percent of iraqis are thrilled by the u.s. occupation. we have hundreds of hours of footage of people who were paid to say so.
on a related note, we at skippy international have decided not to run any reviews of books by upton sinclair unless he presents both sides of the meat packing industry.

addendum: freep this wear-tv online poll asking if you agree with the sinclair decision. (hint: it's a tricky question, worded for manipulation of results, so your answer would be i disagree with the decision.")
posted by skippy at 6:35 PM | 0 comments

proof positive that dumb people vote repubbblican

this piece on the american assembler has taken the ravens advanced progressive matrices of average iq by state and compared it to the 2000 election results by state.

see a pattern here?

(thanks to our bud jj at the daily cookie for this one).
posted by skippy at 5:07 PM | 0 comments

who wrote this stuff?

mrs. skippy likes the current aarp commercial which shows everyday ordinary americans trying to make sense of the new medicare rules.

skippy personally thinks it's a spot which unintentionally backfires on the aarp...after all, they're the organization which, against the protestations of several thousands of its members, sponsored the bill which made the program more complicated, and less beneficial to all but the insurance companies (which help sponsor aarp).

nonetheless, our bud jj at the daily cookie sends us a link which points out that in the ruckus to get the bill passed, awol may have violated federal law by withholding the exact amount the program would cost from congress. the nytimes:

the congressional research service says the bush administration apparently violated federal law by ordering the chief medicare actuary to withhold information from congress indicating that the new medicare law could cost far more than white house officials had said.

in a report on monday, the research service said that congress's "right to receive truthful information from federal agencies to assist in its legislative functions is clear and unassailable." since 1912, it said, federal laws have protected the rights of federal employees to communicate with congress, and recent laws have "reaffirmed and strengthened" those protections.

the actuary, richard s. foster, has testified that he was ordered to withhold the cost estimates last year, when congress was considering legislation to add a drug benefit to medicare. the order, he said, came from thomas a. scully, who was then the administrator of medicare.

mr. foster said mr. scully threatened to discipline him for insubordination if he gave congress the data.
only in this administration do people get punished for giving out information.
posted by skippy at 5:01 PM | 0 comments

gambling with the country's future

a daily kos diary directs us to casino fortune online presidential poll.

casino online promises to contribute $100,000 to the campaign of the the winner of the poll. so go vote for kerry.

as somebody who already beat us to the punchline said, are we sure it isn't just bill bennett playing with the virtual slots?
posted by skippy at 4:29 PM | 0 comments

happy anniversary, mission accomplished!

tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary since awol's impression of tom cruise, when he declared "mission accomplished" and an end to major combat operations in iraq.

awol is happy with the results of the coalition's efforts, as can be seen in his remarks at the 2004 victory celebration last week in coral gables. he said, in part:

we acted. we acted and there are no longer mass graves and torture rooms and rape rooms in iraq.
no mass graves? no torture rooms?

now, that doesn't mean that if you look up 'irony' in the dictionary, you see his picture. for that, you have to look up 'clueless.'

addendum: for the latest on mass graves statistics, keep watching the iraq body count database.
posted by skippy at 4:23 PM | 0 comments

don't listen to the left, give me a hummer instead

atrios is reporting that david d. smith, the ceo of sinclair broadcasting (which is refusing to run tonight's nightline episode of the names of all the u.s. troops who have died in iraq) was arrested in 1996 for "committing a perverted sex act in a company-owned mercedes" which we did not know was illegal (would a lincoln mercury have been all right?):

broadcasting official charged in sex stakeout
sinclair president, woman arrested in company car

published on: august 15, 1996
edition: final
section: news
page: 2b
byline: sun staffpeter hermann


the president of baltimore-based sinclair broadcast group inc., which owns the local fox television affiliate, was arrested tuesday night and charged with committing a perverted sex act in a company-owned mercedes, city police said.

david deniston smith, 45, of the 800 block of hillstead drive in timonium, who also is sinclair's chief executive, was arrested in an undercover sting at read and st. paul streets, a downtown corner frequented by prostitutes, baltimore police said yesterday.
atrios, unfortunately, does not provide a link.
posted by skippy at 4:06 PM | 0 comments

matthews hit on the head with his own hardball

thanks to the good doctor carol at the sideshow, we get the video clip of bill mahrer tearing chris matthews a new one.
posted by skippy at 11:39 AM | 0 comments

sinclair broadcasting still awol with nightline

some more info on the sinclair fiasco:

the progress report has the lowdown on sinclair's right-wing agenda, detailing all the other partisan manipulations of their affiliates as well as their refusal to air the nightline episode tonight.

and ralph's daily kos diary took us to senator john mccain's scathing letter to sinclair broadcasting, denouncing their decision:

there is no valid reason for sinclair to shirk its responsibility in what i assume is a very misguided attempt to prevent your viewers from completely appreciating the extraordinary sacrifices made on their behalf by americans serving in iraq. war is an awful, but sometimes necessary business. your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war’s terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the united states armed forces. it is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. i hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves.
and some more email addresses to sinclair:

  • ceo david smith: dsmith@sbgnet.com
  • vp mark hyman: mhyman@sbgnet.com
posted by skippy at 11:37 AM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

most of today's mail concerns the recent discovery that a few american soldiers were abusing iraqi prisoners.

ned, at digestible news, sends us links to the ukguard's story, and billmon's analysis.

jj at the daily cookie reminds us that the memory hole also has the pics.

on a somewhat lighter note, chuck currie sends us his latest interview with church leaders in the country who are not afraid to speak out against the madness that has overtaken the world: this time with the rev. william sloane coffin.
posted by skippy at 9:54 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, April 29, 2004

freedom of speech limits: you can't yell "dead american soldiers" in a crowded repubbb theater

in case you haven't heard, night line will be doing an amazing show tomorrow night. their program will consist entirely of the reading of names of the u.s. soldiers who have died in the iraq war.

in an email interview with al tompkins at poynter online, nightline exec. producer leroy sievers said:

i hope that viewers will remember that behind the numbers of casualties, that each of the men and women who have been killed was an individual, with a name, a face, a family, and a life. it is too easy to not go beyond the numbers. ted and i were embedded with the 3rd i.d. and we got to know many of the soldiers as individuals. it is too easy to see the helmet, the flak vest, and the uniform, and forget that these are all individuals?

there is no political statement intended. this broadcast is intended to honor those who have been killed, period. ted addressed the casket issue last friday on "nightline." i think that is a separate issue. at his recent press conference, president bush talked about how important it is to honor the sacrifice that these men and women have made. that's all we're trying to do.
too bad over a quarter of the country will not be allowed to see it. the sinclair broadcast group, which owns affiliates in 39 markets, is ordering its stations not to run friday's episode of nightline. bloomberg:

despite the denials by a spokeswoman for the show, the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the united states in iraq,'' the company said in a faxed statement. sinclair, which owns 62 u.s. television stations, said abc is disguising political statements as news content.
apparently, according to the blogging of the president, the execs at sinclair broadcasting are big donors to awol and the rnc. what a surprise.

here's a listing of sinclair's stations, with website links to them all. and atrios has phone numbers for the individual stations, in case you want to call them and let them know your outrage.

addendum: this daily kos diary has email addresses of the execs of sinclair broadcasting. be polite.

double addendeum: here's the email address of mark hyman, the vp of corporate and government relations at sinclair, who is the person that made the decision to drop the nightline episode. or you can call sinclair at 410-568-1500.

posted by skippy at 11:52 AM | 0 comments

fanmail from some flounders

madkane presents her latest, alpha politics.

jj at the daily cookie links us to this article which explains that minority groups are demanding an apology from pete coors for one of his spokespeople saying it would be worse to be compared to john kerry than to a kkk murderer.

(jj also sent us a link to a post by wonkette, but not only does wonkette refuse to link to us, blaming the policy on her boss, but we've already blogged about the grass roots political freeway signssimply ages ago).

motherlode of no more apples directs us to the veterans' alliance for security and democracy. motherlode actually spoke with the founder, col. klass, who was the head of veterans for dean.
posted by skippy at 10:26 AM | 0 comments

let's hear it for the 'roo

you may remember last year when we blogged about a real-life skippy: the kangaroo named lulu.

when her keeper was rendered unconscious while working on his farm, lulu hopped up to the farm house and alerted the farmer's wife by banging on the door. in essence, the kangaroo saved the man's life.

we are happy to report that lulu (who has her own website, so we are not the only bush kangaroo on the net) will receive the australian rspca national animal valor award. the bbc tell us:

leonard richards, 52, was hit by a falling branch, as he checked for storm damage on his property last september.

lulu, who was reared by the richards family, made a huge commotion to alert others, in a scene similar to the 1960s australian children's series skippy.

"it's the first time a native animal has ever received the award," said rspca executive officer jenny hodges.
as her website points out, lulu is the first and only kangaroo to win this award. and, not that many individuals of other species have won it, either, the bbc goes on to say:

lulu is only the ninth animal to receive the rspca's award honouring animals that display exceptional courage in the face of danger.

"what she did was really exceptional," said jenny hodges.

the story is reminiscent of the long-running skippy series, about a kangaroo that rescues people in distress in the australian bush.
we're always happy when we can google news the name of our blog, and actually get some hits!

good on ya, lulu!

(thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to reader bryan for the heads up to this story!)
posted by skippy at 12:17 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

will they be tapping tap?

talkleft brings us the news that the government is considering monitoring blogs:

as a result, some analysts say u.s. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. this interest is a sign of how far web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others, even with the knowledge that the accuracy of what's reported in some blogs is questionable.

still, a panel of folks who work in the u.s. intelligence field - some of them spies or former spies - discussed this month at a conference in washington the idea of tracking blogs.
and in case the government is already watching our blog: go f*k yourself, awol!

posted by skippy at 11:57 PM | 0 comments

going down for america

we're not sure if this is parody or not, which, we suppose, is either the mark of a good parody or a sign of the apocalypse.

but thanks to a daily kos diary, we found operation take one for the country.com. and "taking one" means, quite bluntly, taking one between the legs (or some other orafice, if you want to let your imagination run wild).

we kid you not. the mission statement of otoftc:

about us: 'operation take one for the country' (abbreviated otoftc) is a movement of like-minded women (women predominantly as of right now) who have covertly organized into groups to frequent eating and drinking establishments near armed service bases where troops are preparing to ship out overseas, and take one for the country, so to speak. we are a virtual organization and have no official headquarters or charter. we believe us service men and women deserve our support and we are willing to make caring choices about making them happy.
brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

we are actually quite envious...when we were young and women hung out near bars where servicemen fratinized, they were called sluts, and not patriots. ah well, we are quite happy to see the younger generation prepared to give their all (or at least the best part of it) for their country.

kelly mcdonough, founder of otoftc, expounds her philosophy in this article:

"the men go off into harms way gratified, and because the organization is covert, they get the boost in ego thinking that they scored on their own attributes, they ship out relaxed and confident, with a distinct impression of a grateful nation behind them".
hey, skippy is grateful, too, but not that grateful! luckily, while the women are enthusiastic, they are not stupid:

mcdonough is adamant about safety "the principle is simple, don't do anyone you don't want to do, be safe, be protected" and reiterates this when meeting with toftc groups.

apparently there is no lack of volunteers for toftc outings. mcdonough relates her findings, "there is some much societal pressure on getting a job, getting married, you know, getting ahead. i think there are a lot of gals out there that want to do something for the country, they may or may not support some aspects of foreign policy, but they want to feel like they contribute or make a difference. and this is a fun way to do it, . . . so to speak".
so to speak. we appreciate her philosophy, that one can be against the war but still support our troops, if you know what we mean, wink wink, nudge nudge.

we especially like one idea found near the bottom of the webpage:

a great idea from shellie a., wife of lt. a of ft. rucker. she is calling on wives of servicemen to have 'felatio friday' at least once a month. awesome awesome idea.
gee, maybe bringing back the draft isn't such a bad idea. (and luckily for everyone you don't have to know how to spell it to do it.)
posted by skippy at 11:30 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to byron crawford.com: the mindset of a champion.

posted by skippy at 11:24 PM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

letters, we get letters, we get stacks and stacks of letters...

judd legum, who writes cap's blog the progress report, lets us know that the center for american progress is compiling a data base of all the repubbb and rightists falsehoods, inconsistencies and downright lies compared to the actual facts of the matter (whatever matter is in question). and you can help! submit an entry here.

reader bayard brewin links us to redefeatbush.com, where they have a dynamite parody of the awol/cheney testimony at the 911 hearings today, as well as an analysis of cheney's "secret u.s. oil diplomacy."

and finally, our bud jj at the daily cookie directs us to bagnews notes, one of the more grahic (in the best sense of the word) blogs we've seen.
posted by skippy at 11:22 PM | 0 comments

polled down into the quagmire

a new cbs/nytimes poll has john kerry ahead of awol by 2%, unfortunately within the margin of error. however, even when ol' ralphie boy is factored into the equation, kerry still comes out ahead:

but voters view each candidate more negatively than positively, and when asked whom they?d support if the november election were held today (though it is still six months in the future) they divide almost evenly: kerry 46 percent, bush 44 percent. should ralph nader join the race, it becomes bush 43 percent, kerry 41 percent, and nader 5 percent.
more importantly, the percentage of voters who think the invasion of iraq was a good idea has dropped sharply:

for the first time, fewer than half of americans -- 47 percent -- now say that taking military action in iraq was the right thing to do. when the war began last spring, two-thirds believed it was the right thing to do, and 58 pecent still thought so as recently as last month.

was u.s. action right thing, or should u.s. have stayed out?

right thing:
  • now 47%
  • last month 58%
  • 3/2003 69%
stayed out:
  • now 46%
  • last month 37%
  • 3/2003 25%
the situation has moved iraq near the top of the list of issues that voters want the candidates to discuss: 21 percent now say it is the issue they most want to hear about from kerry and bush, up from 11 percent last month, and just behind the economy and jobs at 25 percent.

the belief that pre-war iraq required quick military action has also reached its lowest levels in this poll. just 32 percent now say that iraq had posed a threat requiring immediate action -- down from 58 percent who said this in april 2003. today, though only 17 percent believe iraq was never any threat at all, this sentiment has risen in recent weeks and is up from 8 percent one year ago.
posted by skippy at 5:20 PM | 51 comments

but didn't you say you were 'pro-life'? - a skippy rant

the washpost (via the bosglobe) asks a pertinent question (or more precisely, profiles an activist that asks that question):

if certain groups want the catholic church to refuse communion to a certain pro-choice senator/presidential candidate, shouldn't those same groups demand that the church to refuse it to pro-death penalty governors?

a question has been gnawing at frank mcneirney since he read that some roman catholic bishops want to deny communion to catholic politicians, such as the presumptive democratic presidential nominee john f. kerry, whose public positions are at odds with church doctrine.

"does this only apply to abortion?" asked mcneirney, 67, of bethesda, md. "what about the death penalty?"

after retiring as a trade magazine editor a dozen years ago, mcneirney founded a nonprofit organization, catholics against the death penalty, which has 1,200 members across the country. it's a mom-and-pop operation, run by mcneirney and his wife, ellen, out of their home. they are the first to acknowledge that it has nowhere near the political clout or public visibility of the nation's antiabortion groups.

but mcneirney is not alone in questioning whether the church's political vision has become myopic, focusing too narrowly on abortion.

some catholic publications, educators, and elected officials are also warning that church leaders may appear hypocritical or partisan if they condemn kerry because he favors abortion rights, but they say nothing about catholic governors who allow executions, catholic members of congress who support the iraq war, or catholic officials at all levels who ignore the church's teachings on social justice.
we at skippy international have often thought how inappropriate, and yet insidiously clever, the term "pro-life" was to define those of the self-righteous wing of politics who are against a woman's right to choose.

we have no quibble with someone if they choose to be pro-life. we think jesus was a real cool guy. and, though we think he dresses a bit flamboyantly for our tastes, we highly respect the pope.

but beyond those guys, we are hard pressed to think of someone who is actually pro-life.

because the majority of people who claim to be "pro-life," are actually labeling themselves with a much wider term than their beliefs warrant. and they do so knowingly, hoping to wrap themselves in a cloak of holiness that they don't actually live, let alone deserve.

we have no figures, but we'd bet anybody a dollar that the majority of pro-lifers actually are in favor of the death penalty, or war (specifically the one currently playing at a theater near fallujah) or the broad interpretation of the 2nd ammendment to include individual gun ownership rights. or a combination of the three.

(we won't even get into killing animals for food. we will grant them that "life" in the term "pro-life" refers exclusively to human life. get over it, porky.)

if you favor war, you are not pro-life. if you favor the individual use of guns, which are built specifically for killing, you are not pro-life. and by the very definition of this sentence, if you favor the use of the death penalty you are not pro-life.

now, before you call your senator and demand they stop advertising on our blog, please listen. we are not saying there is anything inherentaly wrong with holding these positions. most of skippy's staff are not true pacifists. and most of us see war as a necessary evil, when countries are invaded or threatened (which does not apply to the current fiasco, but that's another rant).

and you'd be surprise, skippy himself is not anti-death penalty.

but he does not call himself "pro-life" since he believes there are times when it's moral and right to take another human's life (especially if that human is a scum sucking low life who kills other people, a la ted bundy, hitler, etc. etc.). he will be so hypocritical to purport to be in favor of the sanctity of life, when there are indeed circumstances that death is the remedy.

and, as for the anti-choice proponents, that too, is a valid point of view to hold, even if we disagree with it. however, those who are against a woman's right to choose should correctly call themselves "pro-fetal life," unless they are the pope or jesus, because that more appropriately describes their values. and there's nothing wrong with those values.

case in point: here's a piece by john jakubczyk, esq. (sic), in the intellectual conservative which decries john kerry's stand as a catholic who favors a woman's right to choose as pure hypocrisy. however, for the purposes of this exercise, we have replaced the word "abortion" with the words "death penalty," and the word "babies" with "death row inmates."

in a recent column, kerry – the great pretender, i explained why as a catholic, john f. kerry, should not receive holy communion if he was going to continue to espouse a pro-death penalty position in his run for the presidency. it seemed that kerry was attempting to appeal to catholics by claiming the he was a “believing and practicing catholic” – his words, not mine…

does john kerry think that we are so ignorant not to understand that the key component of belief is agreement with the central tenets of the faith? john, check it out – respect for the dignity of every human being made in the image and likeness of god is a central tenet of catholicism, not to mention christianity and judaism. it goes back to the ten commandments. you remember those, john. you know the one that states “thou shalt not kill.” what part of that do you not understand? confused? well, the church is there to help you understand. it means you do not kill innocent people. people include death row inmates. death row inmates include unborn death row inmates. after all, john you are not going to tell me that these unborn death row inmates are not human beings. you aren’t that ignorant to say they are not human beings…
ok, our little experiment kind of breaks down with the "innocent death row inmates" and the "unborn death row inmates," but let's wrap it up with our denoument, and you'll get the point:

the point is that the church is ultimately concerned about our souls, including john kerry’s soul, whether he cares to know or not. in fact, as a member of the mystical body of christ, it is also my duty to be concerned about john kerry’s soul. but as much as i would like him to renounce his support of death penalty, i am not blind. he has embraced the death penalty culture and all that it means. from his early days to the present, he and his fellow senator from massachusetts, edward kennedy, have been the epitome of all that is wrong in the expression of catholic virtue in public life. as bad as his pro-death penalty, pro-homosexual politics have been, it is the scandal of bad example that calls for condemnation. how many people have justified their sins because of john kerry and ted kennedy? how many people have turned their backs on the “least of their brothers and sisters” because john kerry, ted kennedy, tom daschele, chris dodd, and others all said no to life? how many death row inmates have died and women scarred because of their very public support for the killing of these death row inmates?
we especially like the part about how it's mr. jakubczyk's duty to worry about someone else's soul. if there were an spiritual equivalent of busy body, he would be it (a "busy-soul"?)

we also got a hoot out the "pro-death penalty pro-homosexual politics" which our little experiment created.

but you get the idea. it's so easy to turn the so-called "pro-lifer" logic around simply by pointing out the hypocrisy of their premise.

don't claim to be pro-life if you aren't. and don't expect everyone else to follow your selective thinking either.

now, don't bother us. we are going to eat some chicken.

bonus action alert! email mr. jakubczyc and ask him why being pro-death penalty doesn't disqualify one in the eyes of god from being "pro-life."
posted by skippy at 4:18 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to no more apples and like sunday, where we found rate the comedy central's 100 greatest stand ups according to annoyance factor on am i annoying.com.
posted by skippy at 3:50 PM | 0 comments

by the book, buy the book

always ready to plug the literary attempts of our blogging buddies, we are proud to announce the publication of the first daily kos book ever.

it's actually more of a pamphlet made up of bumper sticker/post cards with goofy yet strangely appropos sayings about you-know-who.

go buy a copy.
posted by skippy at 9:36 AM | 0 comments

a stern warning for awol

reader and contributor rose sends us this commentary from the latimes talking about howard stern's new anti-bush slant by judy rosen:

these days, stern's broadcasts are divided between his usual schtick — interviews with strippers, off-color song parodies, jokes about celebrities — and rants against the president. stern will never be mistaken for a policy wonk, but tune in to his show and you'll hear him cogently attacking administration positions on an impressive range of issues: stem-cell research, abortion rights, gay marriage, media consolidation, the handling of iraq.

meanwhile, stern's revamped website looks more like mother jones magazine than maxim: it features articles about the administration's trade violations in myanmar and includes a link to the contributions page of the john kerry for president site. indeed, stern has become an ardent kerry advocate. "i call on all fans of the show to vote against bush," he said on a recent broadcast. "we're going to deliver the white house to john kerry."

some might dismiss this as bluster, but stern's words should send a shiver up karl rove's spine. stern has a record of successful election-year activism; political observers in new york and new jersey remember how his on-air endorsements delivered key votes to george pataki and christine todd whitman in past gubernatorial races.

what's more, although stern's approximately 8.5 million listeners are often dismissed as overgrown frat boys, they might more accurately be called swing voters. they are overwhelmingly white and male, many are well educated and well off, and they vote. and millions of them listen to stern's show in battleground states — pennsylvania, michigan, ohio, missouri, tennessee, florida — where the election will be decided.
and how's the new anti-awol stand doing for howard? ms. rosen informs us,

by all indications, stern's message is getting through. since the fcc crackdown, his ratings have been going up. for example, arbitron says he's now no. 1 in los angeles in the 25-to-54 age group, a spot he last occupied in 1995. and among entertainer websites, his was rated second (behind oprah's) in mid-april.
and if anyone knows about politics and media, it's ms. rosen, who is currently working on a book about benjamin franklin's glass harmonica.

cross-posted at the daily kos, and the american street.
posted by skippy at 9:29 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

we read the lumberjack, and we're ok; we sleep all night and we work all day

we went to the lumberjack online, to see their take on the pictures of coffins of war dead, and found this sad statistic:

to date 122 u.s. soldiers have died in april, out of a total 723 u.s. casualties since the war began in march 2003.
and, the jack ends their piece with another, perhaps even sadder, fact:

president bush has yet to attend the funerals or ceremonies for any of u.s. soldiers killed during his presidential term.
posted by skippy at 10:09 PM | 0 comments

mission not quite accomplished

considering it's less than a week to the one year anniversary of awol's imitation of tom cruise when he announced "mission accomplished" in the invasion of iraq, the irony would be funny, were hundreds of people not being killed at this very moment.

the coalition forces have begun an offensive on the two different fronts that hold the bulk of the insurgent problems in that country. the bosglobe tells us how the fighting has increased:

u.s. warplanes and artillery attacked sunni insurgents holed up in a slum in a thunderous show of force that rocked fallujah tuesday, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the night sky. the assault came after american troops killed 64 gunmen near the southern city of najaf.

an american soldier was killed tuesday in baghdad, raising the u.s. death toll for april to 115 the same number lost during the invasion of iraq that toppled saddam hussein last year. up to 1,200 iraqis also have been killed this month.

the second straight night of battles in fallujah came as the extension of a fragile cease-fire ended in the turbulent city west of baghdad. marines have been preparing to begin patrols in the city later this week.
good thing it looks like the coalition is getting the upper hand, because it looks like we won't be getting any more troops from britain. the ukguard says

tony blair today appeared to rule out the immediate deployment of more british troops in iraq, despite recent reports suggesting that as many as 2,000 extra soldiers could be sent to fill gaps left by the withdrawal of spanish forces.

"the advice that we have now is that we have sufficient troops to do the job," mr blair, speaking at a joint news conference with the italian prime minister, silvio berlusconi, said.
and, in case you were thinking about changing your vacation to iraq plans to a nice stay in syria, think again: a fierce gun battle has erutped in downtown syria after assailants fired rpg's into the former un headquarters there.

good thing we brought stability to the area by removing saddam.
posted by skippy at 3:51 PM | 0 comments

more bloggers than you can shake a stick at

the lovely folkbum has put together a list of bloggers who contribute regularly to the dkos community. we have put that list on our sister blog skippy junior. please visit them all!
posted by skippy at 12:50 PM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

kelley kramer points out how the current fighting in iraq is playing havoc with the rebuilding of that country.

and the daily cookie sends us a nytimes op-ed that talks about awol's reefer madness in the war against drugs.

greenboy at needlenose tells us why iraq isn't vietnam.

and the drunk report shows us awol's secret playbook.
posted by skippy at 8:55 AM | 51 comments

some of congress not awol on the merc problem

the asspress is reporting that a handful of dems in congress are beginning to worry about the mercenaries in iraq. it's good to know that blogtopai (y!wctp!) isn't the only place with some foresight:

thirteen democrats wrote defense secretary donald h. rumsfeld this month to argue that providing security in a hostile area is a classic mission for the military.

''it would be a dangerous precedent if the united states allowed the presence of private armies operating outside the control of a governmental authority and beholden only to those that pay them,'' wrote the democrats, including senate minority leader tom daschle of south dakota.

in iraq, they said, the private armies need proper screening and supervision, or they could increase iraqi resentment.
and, worse, nobody really knows to whom they answer:

many of the contracts were thrown together quickly as the u.s.-led coalition tried to establish its presence in iraq, leaving vague lines of authority, unclear responsibilities and muddled channels of communications with the u.s.-led coalition. as a result, experts say, rules governing the private personnel can vary depending on how their contracts are written.

it's unclear, for example, what would happen if a private contractor killed an iraqi child, said loren thompson, a defense analyst at the lexington institute in arlington, va.

according to a coalition provisional authority directive, non-iraqi private security contractors, working for the coalition or its partner countries, are not subject to iraqi law but that of their home states...

further complicating the situation, the coalition, contractors and iraqi leaders are still negotiating what authorities these armed civilians will operate under when the coalition turns over political control to the iraqis on june 30. a defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the rules are expected to be worked out next month.
well, that's a relief!
posted by skippy at 12:24 AM | 0 comments

Monday, April 26, 2004

if he only had a heart, or brain

we were browsing through political animal, by the blogger formerly known as calpundit (yes! we coined that phrase, too!) when we came upon an interesting theory proferred in the comments section on the post analyzing eric alterman's take on woodward's take on the administration.

everyone pretty much agrees that cheney is the real man in charge. but how many people are aware of a condition that affects up to 42% of bypass surgery patients, known as pumphead:

a study from duke university, published in the new england journal of medicine in february, 2001, confirms what many doctors have suspected, but have been reluctant to discuss with their patients: a substantial proportion of patients after coronary artery bypass surgery experience measurable impairment in their mental capabilities.
the article, on about.com, goes on:

in the duke study, 261 patients having bypass surgery were tested for their cognitive capacity (i.e. mental ability) at four different times: before surgery, six weeks, six months, and five years after bypass surgery. patients were deemed to have significant impairment if they had a 20% decrease in test scores.
this study had three major findings

* cognitive impairment does indeed occur after bypass surgery. this study should move the existence of this phenomenon from the realm of locker room speculation to the realm of fact.

* the incidence of cognitive impairment was greater than most doctors would have predicted. in this study, 42% of patients had at least a 20% drop in test scores after surgery.

* the impairment was not temporary, as many doctors have claimed (or at least hoped).

the decrease in cognitive capacity persisted for 5 years.
sound like any vice-president we know?
posted by skippy at 6:17 PM | 0 comments

the million pictures of the million woman march

thanks to talkleft, we are sent to infoshop which has lots of pics of yesterday's rally in dc, with current estimates of 1,150,000 in attendance.
posted by skippy at 5:52 PM | 0 comments

say hello to

the rational liberal (on syracuse.com, also home to movie boy, where we found the lord of the rings, slightly condensed).
posted by skippy at 5:43 PM | 0 comments

technorati for jesus?

seen on the sign in front of the brentwood presbyterian church:

this sunday's sermon: googling for god.
posted by skippy at 5:41 PM | 0 comments

roll back those union gains!

nathan newman talks about the walmrtization of america:

no, what makes wal-mart pernicious is that, where henry ford saw that paying his workers well meant that they could afford to buy the cars he made (and as importantly, buy other goods that drove growth and higher wages at other companies), wal-mart pays wages that leaves their own workers so poor that many of them can't afford even wal-mart's low prices or enough to take care of their families, period.
posted by skippy at 11:22 AM | 0 comments

rise in violence not awol in iraq

things are bad on all fronts in iraq. intense fighting has broken out in fallujah, and a supposed chemical factory has exploded in baghdad. casualties are reported in both instances. the asspress:

an explosion leveled part of a building as u.s. troops searched it for suspected ''chemical munitions'' on monday, an american general said. two soldiers were killed and five wounded, and a cheering mob of iraqis looted their wrecked humvees, taking away weapons, a helmet and a bandolier...

in fallujah, u.s. troops and insurgents battled around a mosque in fighting that killed one marine and eight militants. the area shook with heavy explosions a day after u.s. officials announced a fragile cease-fire in the besieged city was being extended.

the deaths of the two soldiers in baghdad and the marine in fallujah brought to 114 the number of u.s. troops killed in combat this month. during the two-month invasion that toppled saddam hussein a year ago, 115 americans were killed.
the fighting in fallujah comes just as the cease-fire truce had been extended for two days, apparently for naught.

and skippy reports that bloomberg reports that cnn reports that 10 marines have been wounded in the fallujah fire fight.

and things are getting bad in najaraf, where the militia is stockpiling weapons in mosques and other holy sites, a development the coalition "won't tolerate." bloomberg again:

a “dangerous situation'' is developing in the south-central iraqi city of najaf, where shiite muslim insurgents are allegedly stockpiling weapons in schools and mosques, u.s. spokesman dan senor said, citing a statement by l. paul bremer, top administrator in iraq.

the u.s.-led coalition “won't tolerate'' that action, senor, a spokesman for the u.s.-led coalition provisional authority in iraq, read from bremer's statement. bremer called the standoff in najaf, where anti-u.s. shiite cleric moqtada al- sadr is hiding in a mosque, “explosive.''

u.s. soldiers remain massed outside the city and say al-sadr must be held to account after an iraqi judge issued an arrest warrant for him because of allegations he was involved in the murder of a rival cleric last april. “i will not speculate on next steps,'' said senor at a briefing in iraqi baghdad.
in a sad milestone, the first u.s. coast guardsman to die in battle since viet name was killed in the sea attack on the oil terminals on the persian gulf last weekend.
posted by skippy at 10:55 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, April 25, 2004

and you wonder why we call it "usa toady"

a white guy wrote fabricated news stories at a major u.s. paper, but nobody every blamed affirmative action.

jack kelley, (not the other guy in maverick) was allowed to flourish as a liar at usa today because of "lax editing and newsroom leadership, lack of staff communication, a star system, a workplace climate of fear and inconsistent rules on using anonymous sources," according to the findings of an independent panel of editors at that paper.

the scandal has lead to two editors resigning, and most of america afraid to trust pie charts.
posted by skippy at 6:02 PM | 0 comments

un documento interesante de las noticias sobre la tela

thanks to a comment on a daily kos diary, we found the tiempo de guerras, or war times, a billingual website concentrating on iraqi conflict vis a vie the latino community in america. a sampling:

relatives of u.s. soldiers in iraq, families of people killed on sept. 11, middle east experts and u.s. senators are all saying that president bush's policies--and his credibility--are now in shambles.

the president's overall job approval rate has plummeted to 43 percent. and polls show that for the first time a majority in the u.s. disapprove of his policies in iraq.

the white house has been shaken first and foremost by an explosion of iraqi resistance. the new york times reports that washington is facing a massive insurgency that is "sweeping up thousands of people, shiite and sunni, in a loose coalition united by overwhelming anti-americanism."

posted by skippy at 5:44 PM | 0 comments

the hole truth

dedicated readers of blogtopia (y!wctp!) are following the travails of russ kick, editor of the memory hole, which recently has come under fire by some for mixing in pictures of the coffins of dead astronauts from the columbia space shuttle disaster with pictures of coffins of war dead from iraq.

the memory hole had earlier posted pictures of coffins received under the freedom of information act, and labeled them as coming from the conflict in iraq. a few days later, nasa announced that 71 of those pictures were really of the columbia astronauts' coffins.

drudge made a big deal of this, as if was some sort of scandal. and the same cabal bunch of news elites that failed to even realize these pictures existed, dismissed the memory hole's efforts because of their so-called "mistake."

as it turns out, the only mistake the hole made was to trust the government. (and we've all made that mistake before, haven't we?)

in a clarification, russ kick explains that he specificially asked for photos of the coffins of the military dead, excluding the astronauts, when we made his original foia request:

among the 361 dover casket photos are a minority of images showing coffins of the columbia astronauts. [read more.] i didn't realize this at the time that i posted them, mainly because when the air force asked for clarification during the process, i specifically told them that i wasn't requesting photos of the columbia astronauts, only military personnel killed overseas.

(not that i have anything against astronauts. one of the tricks for writing successful freedom of information act requests is to make your request as narrow as possible. i was afraid that including the astronauts in the request would give the air force another excuse not to release the photos.
we are waiting to see the numerous corrections in various papers which implied that mr. kick was guilty of shoddy journalism.
posted by skippy at 5:32 PM | 0 comments

a whole bunch of thousands of protesters gather in dc

a huge number of women rallied against several of awol's policies in our nation's capitol today. the exact number differs, depending on which news outlet you read.

knight-ridder says "hundreds" of thousands:

in what may have been one of the largest rallies in the history of the women's movement, hundreds of thousands of marchers streamed down washington's pennsylvania avenue sunday, chanting and waving signs supporting abortion rights.

there were no official estimates of the size of the crowd, but the rally was huge, with people filling the grassy lawn of the national mall from the washington monument to the capitol. organizers put attendance at one million people. washington and u.s. park police declined to estimate the size of the crowd.
but the asspress says only "tens" of thousands:

tens of thousands of women gathered for an abortion-rights rally sunday as sen. hillary rodham clinton told several hundred of them the issue is about women gaining full equality.

at a pre-rally breakfast, clinton said the bush administration is "filled with people" who view the landmark 1973 roe v. wade abortion ruling by the supreme court "the worst abomination of constitutional law??

by midmorning, tens of thousands of marches had already come to the mall, many carrying brightly colored signs. "it's your choice, not theirs," said one placard.
the nytimes goes biblical, saying a vast multitude:

a vast multitude of protesters marched here today in support of abortion rights and to highlight what organizers contend is the bush administration's erosion of reproductive liberties.

the march followed several legislative defeats for abortion rights advocates, who have been battling a congress and white house that are led by allies of the anti-abortion movement. organizers say that by filling the washington mall with a wide cross-section of demonstrators from across america and the world, they hope to send a powerful message to the administration and return the issue of abortion rights to the forefront of american politics as the presidential campaign heats up.
posted by skippy at 5:03 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, April 24, 2004

violence awol from imf protests

the washpost reports that today's protests against the international monetary fund were mostly peaceful in dc:

peaceful and festive, a crowd of about 1,000 marched past the offices of multinational corporations they hold responsible for exploiting the poor, chanting "shame, shame" along the way.

the demonstrations are a spring ritual tied to the meetings of the world bank and international monetary fund and, as always, the causes were varied. protesters came to shout against the u.s. occupation of iraq, sweatshop labor abroad, the policies of president bush and much else.
there were very few arrests:

police arrested one protester for allegedly shooting tacks at an officer with a slingshot and another for scratching cars with a key.

"there are always a few people in the crowd who cause a problem or two, but the majority of people who come to protest are not about that sort of thing," said police chief charles ramsey. "they just want to have their voices heard."

scores of police behind 5-foot-high steel barricades kept the crowd well away from the world bank and imf, where finance ministers were meeting, when the parade reached that area.
and, fun for all, including the kiddies:

greg pason of rochelle park, n.j., brought his 10-year-old son trevor to show him a good time and because he couldn't get a baby sitter. "we want to oppose the world bank and their loaning policies, speak up for immigrants' rights and indigenous peoples' rights -- all the things that are avoided in the international trade agreements," he said.
something every 10 year old loves.

interestingly enough, bloomberg puts the number of protesters much higher:

bechtel group inc., the world's largest construction and engineering company, was among the targets of thousands of protesters demonstrating during world bank and international monetary fund meetings in washington.
and the australian advertiser backs up bloomberg in terms of numbers, if not spelling: "thousands protest globilisation."

organisers estimated between 3000 and 3500 people marched, and the event was more peaceful than past anti-globalisation protests in washington.
they know who "organised" the "globalisation," but who did the spell check?
posted by skippy at 8:54 PM | 0 comments

women not awol in dc sunday

via talkleft, here's an itinerary for the million woman march planned in our nation's capitol tomorrow, including the rally round the white house and the stand up for choice concert (starring, among others, our friend caroline rhea, with whom we have worked. she is a gracious and funny lady, and we are proud she is donating her time, along with the hilarious wanda sykes and a host(ess) of others, to this worthy cause).
posted by skippy at 8:48 PM | 0 comments

violence not awol today in iraq

violence flared across iraq on saturday. among the news highlights:

2 us sailors killed in iraq boat attack says the asspress

suicide attackers detonated explosive-laden boats near oil facilities in the persian gulf on saturday, killing two u.s. navy sailors in a new tactic against iraq's vital oil industry. elsewhere, violence across iraq killed at least 33 iraqis and four american soldiers. it was the first such maritime attack against oil facilities since u.s. troops invaded iraqi more than a year ago.
actually, the number of american soldiers killed elsewhere was five, as the asspress reports in a later article:

volleys of rockets struck the capital's crowded shiite muslim neighborhood of sadr city on saturday, hitting a busy market, smashing into a home and killing at least seven iraqis. outside baghdad, insurgents rocketed a u.s. military base, killing five soldiers.

besides the deaths in the sadr city rocket strikes, at least 13 iraqis were reported killed in a bombing at tikrit, clashes between polish troops and shiite militiamen in karbala and u.s. raids overnight in sadr city.
reuters talks about a roadside bomb killing 14 on a bus going to baghdad:

a roadside bomb killed 14 iraqis traveling by bus to baghdad on saturday and 12 others were wounded, a doctor at a nearby hospital said.

witnesses said the bus was driving just ahead of a convoy of six u.s. military vehicles when the roadside bomb, a favorite guerrilla weapon against the occupying forces, exploded.
and nine iraqis were killed in rocket attacks on a shi'ite market in the capital city, says the bulgarian news network.

witnesses said at least two projectiles hit the chicken market in the ourfalli neighbourhood of sadr city. abdul-jabbar al-zubeidi, director of a nearby hospital, said several of the wounded were in critical condition. it was not immediately clear who had fired the weapons
and, no surprise to anyone, the number of u.s. troops wounded has increased sharply in the last two weeks, according to military.com.

thanks to lunaville's iraq coalition casualty page for the links.

posted by skippy at 8:41 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to tholos of athena.
posted by skippy at 7:11 PM | 0 comments

never mind

no mind directs us to his latest cartoon over at comics sherpa.
posted by skippy at 7:10 PM | 0 comments

the good news is, several editorials agree with you. the bad news is, you're fired

not everyone agrees with the pentagon's anger over tami silico's photos of flag-draped coffins.

the nytimes op/ed:

since 1991, the defense department has prohibited taking photographs of the coffins of members of the armed services while they are being transported back to the united states. the reverent portrait ms. silicio produced demonstrates how irrational that policy is. the theory seems to be that the pictures are intrusive, or possibly hurtful, to bereaved families. but it seems far more likely that the pentagon is concerned about the impact that photos of large numbers of flag-draped coffins may have on the american public's attitude toward the war.
joe soucheray in the pioneer press:

there certainly was nothing disrespectful about the photograph, and i can't for the life of me see how it might have breached any security concerns. dead is dead. these soldiers were going home, and silicio, who told a friend in seattle about the photos, said she wanted parents to know that "their children weren't being thrown around like a piece of cargo”…

as a result of silicio's photo getting published, and as a result of other similar photographs released under the freedom of information act, the bigwigs in the defense department went ballistic. they have now ordered that no more photographs like those be released. the bush administration insists that a ban on such photos reflects the wishes of families. sometimes the bush administration makes it difficult to remember the just cause here. that just cause takes lives. i'm not buying the idea that we are protecting the wishes of families.
the northern star on line:

the seattle times decided to run the photo, not silicio. she just took a picture that she thought would show relatives of soldiers killed that their loved ones are being returned with “care and devotion,” according to cnn.com. firing her was not the solution...

whether to run the coffin photo — or any photo — is the decision of the newspaper’s editors. the pentagon should not be involved. it is an ethical decision, not a government one…

if anything, this photo is more of a tribute to the soldiers and their families, not an insensitive action.

insensitive would describe the fallujah photos that displayed iraqis cheering as two burned and mutilated american bodies hung from a bridge. some may say that running these photos in a newspaper was not only insensitive but inhumane. silicio’s photo is neither of these.
the virginia pilot on line:

silicio’s photos and those from dover showed extraordinarily reverent scenes of the tender care given to america’s war dead. they illustrate the respect with which contractors, comrades and dover personnel treat our fallen soldiers.

by banning photos of flag-draped coffins and only allowing press coverage of individual graveside services, the bush administration seems to be stage-managing the consequences of its war of choice. but in a conflict that has called for almost no sacrifice from average citizens, the american people need to see that the war in iraq has human, as well as monetary, costs.

in 1999, army gen. hugh h. shelton, then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said in a speech that the united states should not commit troops to a foreign conflict if the war flunked "the dover test." "we have to ask the question, 'is the american public prepared for the sight of our most precious resources coming home in flag-draped caskets, into dover air force base?'"

rather than risk subjecting the war to the dover test, president george w. bush has enforced an out-of-sight, out-of-mind standard. in doing so, the administration manipulates americans' perceptions of the war, diminishes the gravity of the sacrifices of the dead and their families and denies our young men and women a last reverential salute from the country for which they died.
now, let's talk about letting the wounded back into our national consciousness.

cross-posted at mydd, and the daily kos, and the american street.
posted by skippy at 12:18 AM | 0 comments

turn about is fair play

sometimes it just takes an average american to speak the truth. from the letters section of the washpost:

the pentagon is upset because photos appeared of workers respectfully treating flag-draped coffins on their way from iraq and afghanistan back to their families in the united states ["photos of soldiers' coffins revive controversy," news story, april 23].

deputy undersecretary of defense john molino has said that such photos focus attention in ways that are "unwarranted and undignified." as a result of the pentagon outcry, tami silicio, the civilian contractor who took the photos, has lost her job, as has her husband, david landry.

i hope that mr. molino's job and others at the pentagon are not in jeopardy for their publicly opposing the president's policy on the use of photos of flag-draped coffins. president bush recently and proudly ran a television commercial for his reelection campaign using images of firefighters respectfully removing a flag-draped coffin from the wreckage of the world trade center, despite the outcry from some new york firefighters.

mr. bush reasoned that the sept. 11 attacks were part of our history and belong to the american people.
on the other hand, if some pentagon folks lose their jobs, perhaps ms. silicio and mr. landry will get theirs back.

peter w. rehwaldt
alameda, calif.
posted by skippy at 12:16 AM | 0 comments

tree huggers are generally non-bigots

thanks to dave neiwert at orcinus, we find out that the anti-immigration plank that tried to take over the board of the sierra club failed miserably. the asspress:

sierra club leaders beat back an effort by anti-immigration forces to gain control of the nation's largest and most influential environmental group.

in elections for the sierra club's 15-member board of directors, candidates picked by the leadership won all five open seats in a landslide, according to vote tallies released wednesday…

an increasingly vocal faction of the san francisco-based sierra club that advocates a tougher stance on immigration ran its own slate of candidates, calling u.s. population growth the greatest danger to the environment.
posted by skippy at 12:15 AM | 0 comments

Friday, April 23, 2004

we'd hate to see our annual review

yikes! skippy the bush kangaroo only got a "b" rating for content and appeal on the lefty review!

we're feeling worse than when mother skippy got the note from the teacher "does not play well with others."
posted by skippy at 10:06 PM | 0 comments

drudging up a stern look at ratings

thanks to atrios, we found out that drudge is reporting a huge upturn in howard stern's ratings since stern went "all-anti-awol all the time":

howard stern triumphs in new york city: back to #1 after indecency fight: arbitron ratings released this hour show badboy howard stern rocketing back to the top in new york city with a 7.2 share in 12+ listeners and a stunning 10.0 share in ages 25-54 [up from a 5.9 12+ in the fall]... stern, once again at the center of an indecency fight with the feds, takes nyc morning drive for the first three months of the year, over all-news wins [6.4 share], wabc's curtis & kuby [3.4 share] and wfan's don imus [2.6]...
slightly off topic addendum: also found, thanks to readers on atrios' comment section:

republicans for kerry yahoo group

republicans for kerry blog

republicans for kerry home page

republicans against bush

national republicans against bush meetup day

a list of awol staff who have resigned

and our personal favorite...

fun with hate radio
posted by skippy at 2:49 PM | 0 comments

the threat to awol: democracy

we got an email from moveon.org with some good news: the repubbbs are scared! it said, in part:

here's what bush/cheney '04 campaign director ken mehlman had to say about us on tuesday: "moveon.org is a huge threat and has hurt the president."

just a few years ago, no one would have believed that millions of real americans, working together, could have such an effect on the political landscape. but events like our bake sales last saturday have proved them wrong. in one sunny spring afternoon, over 1,000 bake sales from seattle to syracuse pulled in $750,000 -- mostly in $2 or $3 cookie-sized chunks. [ed. note: full report here.] moveon members are re-writing the political rule book, and, together, we're evening the playing field against the wealthiest presidential campaign in our country's history.
as always, the moveon email ends with a request for a donation...though we've had our issues with some of their tactics, the staff at skippy international heartily endorses a contribution to the moveon folks.
posted by skippy at 2:30 PM | 0 comments

things go better with cokie

we're as surprised as you are, but we agree with cokie roberts today, who, writing with husband steven, bemoans the loss of civility in congress:

if you want to know why the legislative process in washington is practically paralyzed, just look at what rep. pat toomey is trying to do in pennsylvania. the three-term republican lawmaker is challenging sen. arlen specter in a primary next week on grounds that the incumbent lacks pure conservative credentials.

"i represent the republican wing of the republican party," says toomey, stealing a line from howard dean, who boasted that he represented the "democratic wing" of his party. specter, adds the challenger, represents the "ted kennedy wing" of the gop.

we've known arlen specter since he came to the senate 24 years ago. he can be irascible, but he also represents a rare and valuable breed in washington. he believes that people in the opposing party sometimes have worthwhile things to say.
the roberts parse no words and call the mood in washington as they see it: jihad.

too often in today's washington, compromise is equated with betrayal. when political rivalry turns into a jihad, the system breaks down…

tom delay of texas, the majority leader and a devout jihadist, now runs the house of representatives. as a result, the mood on capitol hill is more hostile than we've seen during 40 years of covering politics.
and they point fingers:

the club for growth, a well-financed and rigidly conservative group, has spent about $1 million backing toomey, and its president, stephen moore, says other moderates should learn a lesson from specter's "near death" experience: if you're not pure, we'll come after you, too.

this is dangerous business. congress is coming to resemble a european parliament, with liberal and conservative parties divided along ideological lines and separated by a gulf of bad blood.
in the end, we have to sadly agree with the roberts' conclusion:

this is dangerous business. congress is coming to resemble a european parliament, with liberal and conservative parties divided along ideological lines and separated by a gulf of bad blood.

cross-posted at mydd, and the daily kos, and the american street.
posted by skippy at 10:51 AM | 0 comments

coming home

the release of those photos of the flag-draped coffins of the dead soldiers killed in iraq (by the seattle post intelligencer, and to a greater extent, by the memory hole) has stirred up a controversy and a half. the asspress reports that the pentagon is none too pleased.

photographs of flag-draped cases bearing american casualties from iraq should not have been made public under a pentagon policy prohibiting media coverage of human remains, officials said.

"quite frankly, we don't want the remains of our service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice to be the subject of any kind of attention that is unwarranted or undignified," said john molino, a deputy undersecretary of defense….

brig. gen. mark kimmitt in baghdad told abc's "good morning america" that u.s. military policy clearly states that the first persons who should be entitled to see their deceased loved ones should be family.

"i certainly know for myself that i would not want one of my loved ones to be a public spectacle before i'd had that first opportunity to grieve in person," he said.
amy goodman of democracy now discusses this issue with woody powell, exec. director of veterans for peace.

over at the moderate voice, joe gandelman has an extensive examination of both sides of the story.

and in sadder news about soldiers coming home, one young man apparently drowned his wife in the bath tub after returning from iraq (thanks to reader and contributor rose for sending us the link to that story).
posted by skippy at 9:12 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, April 22, 2004

happy earth day from the bush economic team

unemployment fell slightly last week, but still was higher than experts (read: guys with jobs) expected. cnnmoney:

initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 353,000 in the week ended april 17, down from a revised 362,000 the previous week, the u.s. labor department reported. economists expected 340,000 people to file for unemployment insurance, according to briefing.com.

the four-week average of initial claims, which irons out weekly fluctuations, rose to 347,000 last week from a revised 344,750 the prior week.

the labor department said the overall number of people on the benefit rolls who had already received an initial week of aid climbed to 3,019,000 from a revised 2,967,000 the previous week.
of course, there is good news, but only if you're making $250k or more.

rosy stock earnings news drove the dow jones all the way up to where it was 3 days ago.

and, as usual, repubbbs are claiming that climbing out of a hole is the same thing as traveling several miles.
posted by skippy at 9:38 PM | 0 comments

notes from all over

jillian at the daily cookie (rapidly becoming our biggest contributor, both in stories and extra calories) leads us to thetip.org which tells us that the awolcheney2000 campaign will pay $90,000 in civil fines for a failure to report " receipts and disbursements associated with its recount activities."

joe trippi, who obviously hasn't read our blog lately, or at least not last monday when we ragged on him for his bizarre law-firm conspiracy, sent us a nice email ("dear friend,") plugging both his website change for america and arianna huffington's new book fanatics and fools: the game plan for winning back america.

and finally, a shout out to scott at isebrand.com, who heard prof. nunberg mention our blog on the radio (click here to listen to him mention us!), and one to dean, who doesn't want to be seen maturbating (comment #5).
posted by skippy at 5:13 PM | 0 comments

down the memory hole

thanks to c2shiningc's daily kos diary, we find the much-hidden pictures of the coffins of our brave soldiers returning from iraq (the pictures awol doesn't want you to see!) over on the memory hole.
posted by skippy at 11:31 AM | 0 comments

happy earth day

here's our favorite blogs for all matters earth.

addendum: jj at cookies in heaven links us to the house democrats' earth day 2004 fact sheet.
posted by skippy at 9:11 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to loaded mouth.
posted by skippy at 9:07 AM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

kelley kramer is reporting that the woman who took the recent picture of the soldiers' coffins arriving on the airplane has been fired from her job, as has her husband.

jj at cookies from heaven follows up on the paperless election machines with the oakland tribune article telling us diebold apologizes for failure.

talkleft compares the presidential candidates...from the bottom up.
posted by skippy at 9:06 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

it's just an honor to be nominated

what a week! first, our humble blog gets mentioned alongside of the biggies (some of whom actually link to us) on dr. geoff nunberg's commentary during fresh air on npr, and now, we have been named blog of the day over at the moderate voice:

zippy skippy is judicious -- and delicious -- with words. many posts are short, consisting of quotes from various news stories. but when skippy jumps in with a comment every word counts -- and there's often a big idea expressed quickly. skippy is fun: at a quick glance you can read through some key story highlights, and also get a between-the-eyes liberal perspective on the news. it all may be in lower case but it's a big success. and for that we are proud to name skippy the bush kangaroo as our blog of the day......
[ed. note: our style sheet prevents us from capitalizing the words "its a big success" as in the original piece; but we did bold them, and added the apostrophe in the correct place, with all due respect].

and so the entire staff of skippy international says, thanks so much, joe gandelman, the veteran journalist who is now a full time ventriloquist. did you see our lips move?
posted by skippy at 5:04 PM | 0 comments

why the ketchup blog shouldn't have delinked kos

thanks to the smirking chimp, we find a major news outlet who finally describes (independently) the reasons kos didn't cry a patriotically-correct river over the deaths of those "contractors" in fallujah.

nicholas van hoffman in the new york observer: "privatization in iraq: contractors with guns"

the patriotic crap aside, if these men?s primary motives for being in iraq were flag and country, they?d still be in the armed services. at a pay grade of $350,000 a year, we know why they were there.

does that justify killing them? no, nothing can justify taking human life?but if you take one-third of a million dollars a year to walk around in somebody else?s country with a machine gun, and you get wasted by the locals, i don?t think you deserve a very big or elaborate funeral. they were there for the money, and these men?elite ex-soldiers that they were?knew the risks, and they took them. so be it...

what will be the reaction of the middle-aged reservists and national guard people serving for a few hundred dollars a month, at the risk of job and mortgage, when they find out about the thousands of mercenaries being paid a king?s ransom to do for money what they do for country? if there is a morale problem now, as these stories about suicides among our service people suggest, what, pray tell, will be the state of morale then?

what will be the morale of the members of congress who worry about where the money is coming from when it gets through to them that the united states is fighting this war with $1,000-a-day soldiers? ?

not only does privatization not save money waging war, it creates problem after problem, only some of which are visible at this juncture. if captured, are these mercenaries prisoners of war and subject to the geneva convention, or can they licitly be shot as spies and saboteurs? ?

apparently, there are a number of companies who hire these people, so the question arises about how much control the american authorities have over the irregulars running about the country. dyncorp mercenaries in the former yugoslavia were accused of rape and robbery. the point is that they are not subject to military discipline...

cross-posted at mydd, and the american street, and the daily kos.
posted by skippy at 4:51 PM | 0 comments


we know, we are committing lefty hari-kari by saying it outloud, but we were thinking last night how sorry we were that john edwards didn't get to be the dem nominee (assuming really weird crap doesn't happen and kerry gets it this summer).

sorry, deaniacs, and we do acknowledge people-powered howard's effect on the dem message. but golly, no sooner had the vermont governor pulled the party back to its roots, then mr. ketchup goes completely out of his way to sound like bush lite.

left is right sums up our feelings on the matter:

i think another reason for kerry's soft appeal is that he is so much like bush. why bother stopping and getting out of your lincoln navigator and making the effort to get into your cadillac escalade, when either will get you to your destination? …

the more kerry tries to appeal to bush's base, the more he appears like bush. this risky strategy is probably going to backfire big time for kerry. it's already alienated true democratic progressives like me.
granted, mr. ketchup has to appeal to the middle of america. but we don't believe the middle of america is to the right of alan colmes, who is already to the right of any lefty.

we believe there is a huge amount of people out there who think the war in iraq is a disaster, and our boys and girls should not be over there. and we believe they think this administration lied to us about the reasons to go to war. why isn't mr. ketchup pounding this over and over?

well, we have our own bones to pick with the ketchup campaign. aside from the illogical snubbing of the daily kos by the john kerry blog, we now find out that the blog ran a "whoever gets the most contributions wins a ticket to the convention" rally, and completely failed to take into account eschaton's results.

ok, ok, we know we're being so petty, that if you call us tom and smash our hand against a wall, we could lead the heartbreakers. and we know that sen. ketchup himself had little or nothing to do with the terrible snubs of our favorites in blogtopia (y!wctp!). but he did hire the guy that hired the guy that hired the guy to run the blog. if he's not going to take responsibility now for the folks under him, he's looking more like awol everyday.

so he is supposedly "electable." we are of the opinion that john edwards was just as electable. and he was more exciting. in fact, if we may steal, sorry, we mean, paraphrase, a line from jon stewart, kerry makes al gore look like roberto benigni.

yes, we know, this is traitorous talk. so delink from us (the blogtopia version of "so sue us!"). we can't get excited about a man who parrots the guy he's trying to defeat, while at the same time dumping badly on the grass roots that are working hard to get him elected.
posted by skippy at 3:31 PM | 0 comments