Monday, February 28, 2005

Since

I am not 100 percent, healthwise, not even 50 percent healthwise, I decided to work out indoors while watching a video of one of my all-time favorite movies, Beyond the Forest (1949).

It was the film best remembered as Bette Davis' worst, and she always talked about how bad it was. It is also remembered for the immortal line, "what a dump," which should have been her epitaph.

Sure it's bad, but it's one of the those bad movies that's so enjoyable. In fact, I regard it as Davis' most entertaining film.

From the prologue:

This is the story of evil. Evil is headstrong - is puffed up. For our soul's sake, it is salutory for us to view it in all its ugly nakedness once in a while. Thus may we know how those who deliver themselves over to it end up like the Scorpion, in a mad frenzy stinging themselves to eternal death.


... to the ending of the film, which rivals the end of Duel in the Sun as one of the most ridiculous, it's a hoot.

One thing you can say about director King Vidor: In the late 1940s he was a triple crown winner and never had to go near a racetrack to do it. He scored with three of the worst movies ever made: Duel in the Sun (1946), The Fountainhead (1949), and Beyond the Forest (1949). The first two films were deliriously awful, but they didn't have Bette Davis to chew up the scenery.

If you are so deprived you haven't seen the film, the plot can be read here and here. With the last link, though, the two paragraphs before the final paragraph are wrong. There's no abortion involved, although Davis' character does get rid of the baby.
There's

just no limit to how low some people will go to scam people:

Andre Gould used the Internet to find the heartbroken owners of lost pets as part of a lucrative scam, Atlanta police said Monday.

Gould, 37, allegedly persuaded as many as 17 people in six states to wire him $85 for a pet carrier to fly their dogs home, plus any extra money victims wanted to send. He got the idea from a news story of a similar scheme in New York almost 20 years ago, police said. But the owners never got their pets, and Gould has been charged with fraud and racketeering and jailed on $65,000 bond.
Wichita Police

weren't happy with the media regarding the BTK case.

For some reason, I always want to call the case "BLT."
So Much

for the dictator's alleged outreach of moderate Democrats on the Social Security issue.

Well, the Democrats should just forget making a pact with the devil.

Meanwhile, Rove tries to bludgeon lobbyists to support the dictator's plan.

These bastards just won't give up.
It's

time Democrats take ownership of the "ownership society."
Masherama 2.

Can you believe this shit?

He's pulling the same crap as the Bush administration in these fake ads, and it's on an outrageous proposal to alter meal breaks.

At least somebody notices:

Sen. Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) said the cost of the video is beside the point: "Whether they spent $1 or $100,000 on propaganda, they may have crossed the legal line."
With the Likes

of Lawrence Summers running them, it's no wonder there's not a lot of progress in the Ivy Leagues of hiring both minorities and women.

Along the same lines, is Harvard really what it's cracked up to be?

It makes me glad I went to a land grant college.
Senator Grassley,

doubtless taking a break from ramming HIS attempt to destroy the social safety net by proposing a fake "bankruptcy reform" act, is worried that if the public doesn't change damned quickly on the dictator's Social Security privatization scam, they may never do it.

Never mind people don't want it, and they have good reason not to want it.
Paul Krugman

makes very clear why compromise cannot be entertained when it comes to any Republican plan regarding Social Security.

Once one recognizes the simple fact the radical right, including the likes of Lindsay Graham, despises Social Security, then it follows NOTHING they propose can be trusted.

It's that plain and simple.
The Terri Schiavo Case

has certainly taken on a bizarre twist.
Susan Estrich

has more to say about the "tiff" between her and Michael Kinsley.
Gee.

The hits just keep coming in for Tom DeLay.

When is this guy finally going to go to jail where he belongs?
One-Third

of those polled support the dictator's handling of Social Security, and let's hope it continues to drop.
This

piece, written a few months ago, gives a good overview of those who wish to destroy public education.
Susan Ohanian

says what I have said about those great 21st century jobs:

The Standardisto-screaming headlines about the high skills needed for jobs for the 21st century are a scam. In reality, jobs of the 21st century are not different from those of the 20th century. All one has to do is check the projections of U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010:

22% of jobs will require four years of college

9% of jobs will rquire an AA degree—some technical training.

That leaves a whole lot of jobs for high school graduates. The crime is, not that there are no jobs, but that these jobs don’t come with a living wage.


The answer, of course, is more unionization of those low-paid occupations.
The Dictator

wants to make it even harder for the poor to qualify for food stamps, which is already restrictive.

It'll be back to dumpsters for the poor to find food.
Masherama.

Forgetting we live in a democracy, or perhaps reminding us we do not, Arnold threatens the California legislature.
As the World Turns 2.

DeLay's PAC goes to trial.

Michael Jackson's trial begins.
Debate

on so-called bankruptcy "reform" will begin shortly, at 2 p.m. Eastern.

The debate will be broadcast on C-SPAN2.

It's on right now.

The credit card industry has only itself to blame for the situation. Deregulation guaranteed people who shouldn't have credit cards would get them, and now, the industry is worried their profits are going down the tubes.

What's funny is they want their UNSECURED debt to be on the same level as child support and student loans.

This thing's a total disaster if it passes. Naturally the ones who "abuse" the system, the wealthy, will find ways around it.

Some courtroom sketches of famous trials, including this one of the Manson Family, are on display at UC Berkeley's main library. There are about 50 sketches in all from many of the big trials of the past thirty or so years.
As the World Turns.

An argument erupted over the weekend between the mothers of Scott and Laci Peterson.
Once Again,

Howard Kurtz displays a Clinton obsession.

Only this time it's the buzz about Hillary, not Bill.

If Hillary is at the top of polls right now when it comes to Democratic candidates for president, it has to do with her name recognition more than anything else.

Remember, for a long time Joe Lieberman was the frontrunner for the 2004 Democratic nomination, and we know how that panned out.

The Republicans would love nothing better than to have Hillary as the presidential nominee for the Democrats, for that would give them an excuse to have Condi on the top of THEIRS.

Rice will likely be on the ticket in 2008, but if it's Hillary on the other side, she'll be on the top of the GOP ticket.

I do, however, like the last couple of paragraphs in this column, where he reveals he's not some Ivy League graduate.

Kurtz Kount: Kurtz 27, C&P 19.
WSWS

responds to readers' letters about its column on Ward Churchill.

Churchill is an extreme example, but, face it, if the nutjobs succeed in costing him his job, they will come after others.

And then you can kiss the idea of "academic freedom" goodbye.
No Doubt

listening to business interests, which are still peddling the fiction high schools are failing at preparing graduates for the jobs of the 21st century such as waiting on tables, cleaning bedpans, digging ditches, customer service, sales clerk, clerical worker, day care worker, and janitors,several governors want to RAISE the standards for graduation, which will create MORE pressure on teachers, MORE dropouts, and MORE of an underclass in this country.

Which is probably the point.

And this old speech says basically what I am saying.

The jobs aren't there for a decent life thanks to corporations eliminating better paying jobs or moving them overseas, and people should not know how to better themselves by either going to college for a profession or unionize those low-paying jobs.

It will never matter how well students do in high school, for it will never be good enough for these businesses.

And with that, it will undermine people's confidence in public education, which creates less money for the schools because people will be less likely to vote for school bond measures, and will create more pressure for junk private and charter schools.
Since

the Republicans know they are cooked on their little scam to destroy Social Security, they are trying the chickenshit route of compromise on the matter.

Never mind there isn't really anything to compromise on. And Democrats are in no mood to compromise because they've won this issue.

AARP has a lot more clout than just about anybody around.

Santorum, Shaw, etc., must have gotten an EARFUL from voters when they tried to gauge public opinion on the issue.

Shaw's idea of creating accounts on top of Social Security, sort of along the lines Clinton proposed, won't fly because of the massive borrowing involved. Fiscal conservatives of either party will shoot it down.

Meanwhile, there is scheduled debate today on the bankruptcy "reform" issue, though I don't see anything on C-SPAN as of yet. I hope Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer can try to kill the bill or at least water it down significantly.
It Seems

Blogger is acting quirky again. Which is just as well. I am not feeling like doing much of anything today.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Knowing

the dictator's plan is deader than a doornail, a few Republicans seek to "compromise."

No, they're dead meat, and regardless of reports of some Democrats looking into "possible" "deals," no compromise deal is going to happen.

Do you think for one minute Democrats are going to allow Republicans ANY kind of victory on this?

Get real.

With regard to the Clinton-style idea of having private accounts on top of Social Security, there's a big problem: How can the government afford it?

Clinton, you'll recall, presided over a surplus. No such situation exists now or in the near future.
When I

read this report, I am reminded of a joke reported in The Nation a few years back, which attributed it to a Republican:

What do you call a thousand penises?

The answer is here.

He lives up to his name.
Matt Bai

explains why it is very possible the Mouth is the best choice to head the Democratic Party.

He means different things to different people. Nobody really cares about how he really ruled as governor of Vermont, as basically a Rockefeller Republican. No, some people regard him as liberal, some regard him as centrist rather than conservative, some regard him as pragmatic, others regard him as a loudmouth.

The Mouth really is the party's Rorschach test.

Which means he's perfect, considering the party is kind of all over the place in terms of beliefs.
Those of Us

who remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade don't have to "imagine" what it would be like if it were reversed.

There were plenty of fights in the state legislatures in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and yes, there was a nascent "right-to-life" movement, although it didn't explode full force until after the USSC decision.

Those fights will return, trust me, with plenty of litigation. Meanwhile, women, especially poor women, will be screwed over once again, and have resort to backalley abortions or self abortions if they can't afford to travel in states that have legalized it.
Clint Eastwood

cleaned up a bit tonight.
AP

is saying Dennis Rader has confessed to the BTK murders, but the Wichita Eagle hasn't yet independently verified it.
I

misplaced my plug for my little television, so I can't watch the Academy Awards tonight.

This is from the official website, and it has the results from the different categories.
Medicaid

is a far more important issue with state governors than whether or not they support the dictator's nonexistent Social Security "plan."

The Social Security privatization nonsense, however, is the perfect diversion away from the bankruptcy "reform" legislation which could become law, if Democrats don't put a poison pill in to kill it as in the past.
I Frankly Don't Think

USA Next is any match for AARP.

A handful of right-wing operatives up against millions of people in a well-known organization is hardly an even match.
Frankly,

I'm not buying the anorexia excuse for Terri Schiavo's original problem.
For the Morbid,

I present an article which gives us a tour of the house where Ernest Hemingway committed suicide back in 1961.
Four

people are vying for a Dover, Pennsylvania, school board position.
Gerald and Betty Ford

have long since adopted the California desert as their home, and they have been involved in many charities since Gerald was defeated in 1976.
Two Articles

about life in the Family, both pro and con.
This

is a local piece about the movie The Misfits.

No wonder I had trouble recognizing some of the scenes in the film. The horse roundup scenes were filmed around Dayton, which is some distance from Reno.
Progressive Talk Radio

comes to redreck Reno, Nevada.
Patti Davis

has a LOT of questions about the killing of a tiger last week near her father's library.

It was TOTALLY unnecessary.
Halle Berry

graciously accepted her Razzie Award.
More About

the BTK case here, here, and here.

The last is a pdf file of a map of where the killings took place.
I Am Sure

a lot of people were upset with the Daily Howler's take on Gannongate.

It IS a sideshow and isn't really news.

WRT Rather, well, we know the answer to that. The right went on the attack because they wanted to discredit the AWOL story altogether by focusing on photocopies of a purported memo. Not that the memos were ever proven to forgeries, mind you, but it was a way to take the AWOL issue off the table for good and smear Dan Rather in the process.

Gannongate is just a freakshow. It's entertaining to be sure, but you know something? Guckert is going to do better than ever now that he's been outed.

Meanwhile, the dictatorship and Congress are trying to gut bankruptcy laws in this country.

Think of all of the time bloggers and the like could have spent talking about important issues like bankruptcy but were focused instead on something minor.
With All Due

respect, Bill Gates, you are full of shit.

A MINORITY OF JOBS in this economy, only around a quarter if that, require a college degree. MOST jobs do not. Most require only basic math and writing skills.

Take a look around you. The skilled trades don't require a degree, only an apprenticeship. Sales jobs don't require a degree, janitorial jobs don't require a degree, clerical jobs do not require a degree, waiting on tables doesn't require a degree.

And our dictatorship wants to cut money for vocational schools, and some jobs do require a two-year degree.

(As an aside, NCLB is requiring two-year degrees for people in at-risk and other schools who work with students, i.e., teacher aides. However, for all of the money and time invested getting an associate's degree, the pay is absolute shit for those jobs. Many teacher aide/assistant jobs are only part time.)

But it figures Gates would be this way (although he was himself a college dropout). It's a lot better to push people into going to college and take on tremendous debt than it is to unionize the jobs considered "unskilled."

The LAST thing we should be doing is tracking ALL high school students for college.
Masherama.

Arnold shrugs off any idea of a presidential bid.

Of course there's a move to amend the Constitution for him, but, as Maria Shriver noted, it would take a long time for any such amendment to pass and be ratified, and certainly it wouldn't be before 2008.

Besides, she's put her foot down on any such run (too bad she didn't put her foot down on the governorship).

Furthermore, the neocons want Condi or Jeb, and that's where the Republican nomination is heading.
What

I might do today in honor of the Oscars is play a video of my favorite bad movie, The Oscar (1966). It was one of those films which had an all-star cast and was one of the most notorious bombs of the decade.

It was based on a book about a man, Frankie Fane (Stephen Boyd), who worked the nightclub circuit with his best friend Hymie Kelly (Tony Bennett--in his debut film and I believe about his only film), and Fane's stripper girlfriend Laurel Scott (Jill St. John), and through a series of events ended up in Hollywood. He ditched his girlfriend along the way (who had been Hymie's girlfriend and ended up being Hymie's wife and died in childbirth with Frankie's baby), picking up another one, Kay Bergdahl (Elke Sommer), and picking up yet another one on the side who was also his original manager (Eleanor Parker).

Anyway, to make a very long story short, Fane, who is a no-good son of a bitch, makes it big in Hollywood. He marries Kay, but he's out screwing around on her, or, as Hymie says so memorably, he "used them up like Kleenex, once and threw 'em away."

Fane's career took off, but eventually he became box office poison. The head of the fictional studio, Joseph Cotten, decides not to renew his contract, and Fane was very close to ending up in the ghetto of series television (remember, this was 1966, at the height of the "gimmick" era on TV, so television was a fate worse than death for a movie actor). However, Fane receives a call he's been nominated for an Oscar, along with other prominent nominees, and he decides against going into television.

However, Fane isn't secure with an Oscar nomination, so he attempts to pull a stunt to rig the emotions of the academy, which is releasing his arrest record years before. However, he hired a sleazebag (Ernest Borgnine) to release the information, but Fane discovers the sleazebag is out to extort money from him. Eventually, Fane takes care of the sleazebag, but he loses his wife Kay and his best friend Hymie (who noted in response to the extortion attempt, "You lie down with pigs, you come up smellin' like garbage") along the way.

The whole movie is done in flashback, so the movie ends where it began, at the Academy Awards. But if you think I am going to tell you how the movie ends, in the event you haven't seen it, you're crazy. I will say, however, it is based on a real episode involving Frank Capra.

For ALL of the gory details about the movie's plot, go here. However, the reviewer also gives away the ending.

What's notable is the actor playing Frankie Fane, Stephen Boyd, actually WAS nominated for an Oscar. It was for his supporting actor performance in Ben Hur (1959). Looking at his performancein The Oscar, you'd never know it. Boyd turned in what must be the worst performance ever by an actor (although John Wayne's performance in The Conqueror certainly ranks right down there).

Boyd unfortunately died at young age, at 48 or 49, of a heart attack in 1977. He was playing golf at the time, which was similar to how Bing Crosby died later that year.
Since

tonight is the Oscars, I decided to put the official Oscar website on my first links list.

It has everything you ever wanted to know about the awards.

What gets me though is it seems the Oscars are being held earlier and earlier and earlier.

Pretty soon they will be on the same day as the Super Bowl, which is later and later and later.
I Stopped

blogging early last night. I just couldn't go on feeling the way I do.

I still feel rotten this morning, and I don't think I will be up very late today blogging more.

I decided, although I have to work, I am going to stay home tomorrow.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Michael Dobbs

has wanted to be helpful in Sri Lanka, but he's found not everybody appreciated his help.
Even Though

the dictator's attempt to destroy Social Security is roadkill, at least for now, these reporters feel they have to be "fair" in claiming there are "distortions" on both sides.

No. Only the privatizers are guilty of it, for they care not one whit about whether people are better off under "private accounts"; what they want is to destroy the program because they have an irrational hatred of government and of anybody who isn't rich or doesn't get rich off the backs of everybody else.

They've pretty much been exposed for what they are, and they change their arguments every single time one of them turns out to be fallacious.
Anita Thompson

talks about her husband's last moments.

It's really weird.

There's this other detail:

"He hated people who talked too much, he hated cellphones and he couldn't stand a drunk — he actually never seemed drunk himself," she said. "The difference between Hunter and other writers is he never used drugs as an excuse not to work. He used them as an excuse to work. He wrote the first half of 'Hells Angels' in six months. He wrote the second half in four days on whisky and Dexedrine — and that was the best part."
I Would Say

to Calum Best that if you're doing something in public you aren't supposed to be doing, especially in a nightclub, you're going to be caught.

Apparently booze and hormones were to blame for the embarrassing stunt.

I have to include this:

But Calum has told pals he DIDN'T take explicit pictures of Elizabeth.

The friend told us: "He's adamant that he wouldn't do that. That would be rude.

"At the end of the day it was all just a bit of fun.

"They knew they were near the door but it was a closed door and they didn't have any clothes off.

"OK, Calum might have taken his manhood out, but only briefly.

"He was so drunk he didn't give a s***." Now Calum's mates say that far from bragging about the incident, he is mortified the whole world has found out.
An Article

noting the dictator wanted to privatize Social Security for more than 25 years.

And it looks as if he's headed for a bitter disappointment.
Republican Congresscritters

found last week there wasn't ANY clamoring for the destruction of Social Security by the voting public.

A third ex-employee has filed suit against the Gorilla Foundation, in this case alleging she had to bare her breasts in front of Koko, seen here cuddling a kitten.

God forbid if this is true:

One of Koko's handlers told Rivera that the loquacious primate -- best- known for her purported 1,000-word American Sign Language vocabulary -- indicated that she wanted to be alone with Rivera.

"My client was getting some rudimentary signing from Koko," he said by phone from his Redwood City office. " 'Let down your hair. Lie down on the floor. Show your breasts again. Close your eyes.' My client peeped out and saw Koko slowly kneel down and start squatting and breathing heavily. My client got spooked and ran out of the trailer."

Although Koko was confined to a wire cage, her behavior was suggestive to the point that Rivera didn't want to wait around and find out what might come next, Adams said.
This

is child abuse.
There is NO

similarity between the Schiavo case and the Quinlan and Cruzan cases.

This is not "right-to-die." This is "right-to-kill."
Texas

of all places is rebelling against NCLB.
BTK Suspect

Dennis Rader seems to have a very ordinary background, with a stable work history and a wife and grown children.

Looking at the picture of him, he doesn't "look" the type.

But Gary Ridgway and Ted Bundy didn't "look" the type, either.
A Suspect

in the infamous BTK case has been caught and arrested.

The suspect's name is Dennis Rader, and he's 59 years old. He is suspected in the killings of 10 people between the years 1974 to 1991.

"BTK" means "bind, torture, and kill."

Could this pair of sneakers actually be among the first basketball sneakers ever made? A man happened to come across this 113-year-old footwear at an estate sale and paid just 2 bucks for it. He now has the shoes in a bank vault. (Sandy Huffaker, AP)
Peter Benenson,

founder of Amnesty International, has died at the age of 83.
Meanwhile,

some 90 law professors and other experts on bankruptcy have written Senators Specter and Leahy a letter criticizing the "reform" legislation.

People need to keep their eyes open for schemes like this while trying not to be distracted by sideshow stories.
While

people are distracted by the dictator's plan to abolish Social Security, the class war continues, with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist scheduling for Monday a debate on the proposed bankruptcy "reform" legislation, which is nothing more than a bailout for credit card companies that gave out credit too easily.

It's expected to easily pass, since both sides of the aisle are bought and paid for by the financial services industry, unless, of course, some Democrats can put in a poison pill to kill the legislation, just as Schumer did the last time the bill was proposed.

Chuck Schumer plans to add another poison pill amendment.

Ted Kennedy, according to Bankruptcy Reform Legislation News, plans to attach an amendment which would exempt bankrupts with medical bills from the "means test."
At First

I thought San Francisco talk show host Ray Taliaferro was not being serious when he suggested the reason Condi Rice was promoted to Secretary of State was because she was being groomed for the White House, either to replace President Cheney as the actual president if Cheney steps down or for a run in 2008.

Well, I don't think that anymore, as I think the neocons would put forth her name if Democrats are so stupid as to talk Hillary Clinton into running for president.

Hillary would have NO chance at all against Rice, no matter how competent Hillary is as opposed to the brazenly incompetent Condi.

And now there's a "draft Condi" movement of fanatics who want to see the neocon vision come true.

I used to think Jeb would be the choice in 2008, and he could still run for the job; however, the neocons would love nothing better than to put somebody who is both black and female on the ticket and who has the appearance of being moderate. (Condi, as you recall, once worked for Gary Hart way back when Hart was running for president. She was a Democrat then.)

She's the perfect puppet for the neocons, who have absolutely NO intention of giving up power.

Here is the Condi fanatic site.
Kansas and Missouri Politicians

are getting an earful on Social Security:

Emanuel Cleaver was walking to his table at the Hometown Buffet in Kansas City this week when he beheld the angry face of Social Security politics.

“A guy actually steps in front of me,” recounted Cleaver, Missouri's new 5th District Democratic congressman. “He said, ‘What are you going to do about them trying to take our money? They're trying to get their hands on the Social Security trust fund, trying to take our money, and I hope you'll stop them from doing it.'?”

To ensure Cleaver got the message, after the man sat down, he and the seven other senior citizens at the table next to Cleaver's talked loudly and at length about their opposition to structural changes to Social Security.


People need to put more focus on the REPUBLICAN legislators, because, after all, they are the majority party in Congress.

This is something that's been largely neglected by liberal bloggers, who wring their hands all over the likes of Joe Lieberman (who I seriously doubt is going to back any kind of Republican "reform" package given his good record on senior issues) but neglect world-class assholes like Lindsay Graham.

They seem to just assume Republicans are naturally "for" this crap and don't bother putting pressure on them, but THEY are the ones who need to be held accountable.

I hope something hits the floors of Congress before the 2006 elections, so that we know where the hell they stand.

What many liberal bloggers are doing is engaging in a holding pattern instead of trying to work to get this crap off the table for good.
Bankruptcy

is a symptom, not a disease; however, Congress is acting like it is, thanks to the credit card industry lobbyists pushing for moronic "means tests" for hard-pressed debtors.
There's

nothing like sensationalistic autobiography to make the bestseller list.
Masherama.

This is about the exploitation of University of California employees.

You can download the original report here.

The nurses' union doesn't care much for Schwarzenegger.

Arnold sets a great example for the youth in California and the country when he says he has "no regrets" of using steroids.

Inventor Robert Kearns, 77, died on February 9. For decades he waged a lonely battle against the auto industry in hopes he would get the recognition he deserved in having invented intermittent windshield wipers. (Washington Post)
Representative Sander Levin

encountered a lot of hostility when he held a town-hall meeting on Social Security.

Snip:

Many of those who asked questions or made comments voiced a desire to find some way to fight against the attacks, not only on Social Security, but all the policies of the Bush administration. One older woman worker declared, “Maybe what we need to do is converge en masse on Washington” to demand that Social Security be preserved. The Republicans, she said, were determined to destroy social programs in the US. “They have a plan in place.... If we lose Social Security, we’ll return to what it was like during the depression, with people jumping off bridges because they have nothing to live on. People like the wealthy Republicans, the Bushes, they don’t care” about us.

Friday, February 25, 2005

This Is It, I Swear.

When I read the passage in Bill Clinton's memoirs (pages 96-97) of the makeup of the United States Senate in 1967, it made me think how goddamned disgusting it is we have the kind of crap we've got now, especially on the Republican side.

He mentions Dirksen, Fulbright, and RFK, but there were others:

The Senate looked a lot different then from how it looks today. In January 1967, after the Democrats had lost four seats in the midterm elections, they still had a margin of sixty-four to thirty-six--a far more lopsided group than what we usually find today. But the differences were deep, too, and the lines were not only drawn on party affiliation. A few things have not changed: Robert Byrd of West Virginia still serves in the Senate. In 1966, he was already the authoritative voice on the rules and history of the Senate.

Eight states from the Old South still had two Democratic senators each, down from ten before the 1966 elections, but most of them were conservative segregationists...Indiana, a conservative state, had two liberal Democratic senators, one of whom, Birch Bayh, is the father current Senator Evan Bayh, a gifted leader who might be President someday, but who's not as liberal as his dad was. Minnesota was represented by the brilliant but diffident intellectual Gene McCarthy and future vice president Walter Mondale, who succeeded Hubert Humphrey when he became President Johnson's vice president. Johnson picked Humphrey over Connecticut senator Tom Dodd, one of the chief prosecutors of Nazis at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Dodd's son, Chris, now represents Connecticut in the Senate. Al Gore's father was in his last term and was a hero to young southerners like me because he and his Tennessee colleague, Estes Kefauver, were the only two southern senators who refused to sign the so-called Southern Manifesto in 1956, which called for resistance to court-ordered school integration. The fiery populist Ralph Yarborough represented Texas, although the rightward future of the state was emerging with the election in 1961 of a Republican senator, John Tower, and a young Republican congressman from Houston, George Herbert Walker Bush. One of the most interesting senators was Oregon's Wayne Morse, who started out as a Republican, then became an independent, and was by 1966 a Democrat. Morse, who was long-winded but smart and tough, and Democrat Ernest Gruening of Alaska were the only two senators to oppose the Tonkin Gulf resolution in 1964, which LBJ claimed gave him authority to wage the war in Vietnam. The only woman in the Senate was a Republican who smoked a pipe, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine. By 2004, there were fourteen women senators, nine Democrats and five Republicans. Back then there were also a number of influential liberal Republicans, alas, a virtually extinct group today, inluding Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, the Senate's only African-American; Mark Hatfield of Oregon; Jacob Javits of New York; and George Aiken of Vermont, a crusty old New Englander who thought our Vietnam policy was nuts and tersely suggested we should simply "declare victory and get out."


It makes me even sicker than I am right now to think how today's Senate is just a shadow of its former self.
One More Post.

John Dean has read Christine Todd Whitman's book and found it fascinating.

He says the book should be seen as a warning the Republican Party has gone too far to the right; however, he doesn't think she makes her point forcefully enough.

I was around when all of this inner turmoil with the party happened in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first time there was a clash between Birchite extremists and everybody else in the Republican Party was in 1964, when the radicals got their man, Barry Goldwater, as a sacrificial lamb for LBJ. Although Goldwater was defeated and the radical right was marginalized where it belonged, it began the long road back to infecting the republic with its poisonous cultlike "philosophy." There was some turmoil in 1968, but Nixon kind of squelched it, and the moderates were in for a last hurrah or two.

The conflict, though, played out most dramatically in 1976, when the old-line conservative President Gerald Ford (considered a "moderate" by today's standards) faced a challenge from the right by Ronald Reagan. It was quite a bitter contest, and while Ford prevailed in the end, it (plus his pardon of Richard Nixon) weakened him in the general election.

The radicals, hijacking the term "conservative" when they were nothing of the kind, simply bided their time, and when 1980 rolled around, there was no turning back. From there on out, the party has traveled on the road to almost certain ruin. They were destructive in the 1980s, but Democrats controlled at least one of the two houses of Congress, so the worst excesses were either turned back or blunted. Then came Clinton, and then we began to see the extremist wing of the Republican Party take hold with a passion, beginning with the 1994 elections, and they began exercising their power, no matter demented and destructive, with the sham impeachment of Clinton (designed to destablize his administration and pave the way for the Republicans in 2000), the election thefts of 2000, 2002, and 2004 to the point where they think they are invincible, with the likes of Rove and Norquist bragging they are going to control the government for at least a generation.

But where were the moderates during all of this time? They were asleep at the switch, or thrown out at the state and local level, as the extremists were taking over the small leagues beginning with school boards, taking over state Republican Party organizations, and the like. But they often joined forces with these fascistic thugs as a matter of convenience, and never mind they had made a pact with the devil. Ultimately, most of them were doublecrossed, and most of them are gone. Now we have nothing but a bunch of fascists or fascist wannabes running the whole thing, with no coherent belief system except an irrational hatred for government and a cultlike belief that "free enterprise" (which translated means social Darwinism) is the answer to every problem. Never mind reality.

So if Whitman and her ilk are going to complain why the Republican Party is hellbent on destruction and self-destruction, they have nobody to blame but themselves.
I Think

I am going to call it quits for tonight. I am just too sick to continue.

I need the bed rest instead.
This

Ted Rall column got the right-wing bloggers all in a snit.

This column is true, of course:

Death threats against liberal pundits are commonplace among, and essentially unique to, the right-wing blogs. And the GOP thinks that's OK. Nowhere can one find a responsible mainstream Republican to speak out against this hate speech.

Borg-like, the various right-wing blogs simultaneously discuss the same stories, applying identical rhetoric. They create blacklists and urge their readers and fellow bloggers to threaten and harass their targets. Surfing this cheesy world of flag-draped neo-McCarthyite HTML makes it impossible to deny Columbia Journalism Review writer Steve Lovelady's conclusion that most are "salivating morons" who form an ideological "lynch mob." Worse, many of the right-wing bloggers are flat-out liars.


And naturally the RW bloggers tried to smack him down.

Dissent cannot be tolerated in the new dictatorship, after all.
As the World Turns.

Is George Will on the take?

Probably a better question is which right-wing columnists AREN'T on the take?

Smarty Jones has gotten his first mare in foal. He stands at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky (where Seattle Slew lived for many years), and is a popular tourist attraction. Some 5,000 people visited the farm between August 2004 and the end of the year. (Anne M. Eberhall)
Robert Parry

asks a rude question:

If one accepts George W. Bush’s lecture to the Russians that democracy requires a free press unafraid to criticize national leaders, then what kind of political system exists in the United States where the news media seems so scared of Bush that it shies away from mentioning the president’s autocratic tendencies?
Booming Economy Casualty List 2/19-2/25.

Erie County--800 jobs

The economy allegedly grew.

Of course, there aren't many jobs available, pay is stagnating, and employer-provided health insurance is being eliminated, but the economy is still roaring ahead.
And

everybody's seen this, but I'll put it in anyway.

That's the thing about the right: They are so interconnected with all of the different organizations with all of the same funding sources and people, it's downright incestuous.
Wal-Mart

wins one in Loveland, Colorado.
Some Questions

for Senator Reid:

RGJ: The Future Farmer’s advisor of Smith Valley is concerned that the governor doesn’t have enough appropriations for vocational and career education. Is there anything you can do at the federal level to help these people in Smith Valley?

Reid: One of the things the President’s budget, he eliminates all funding for vocational education. A tragedy. Not every kid that goes to high school should goes to college or wants to go to college. Vocational education is the means to advance in life. The governor should have something in his budget regarding vocational education and we are going to keep things regarding vocational education in the federal budget, I guarantee that.


That's really cute. Cut all kinds of aid for higher education, screw over vocational education, and all of the rest.
This

is about good old Lockhart.

The hits just keep coming.

Instead of allowing the Republicans to blather about Social Security, the debate should be focused on Medicare and Medicaid.

Instead of hiring some Joe Schmo to head the right-wing USA Next (I love that name, by the way, for it's irony), the outfit picks one-foot-in-the-grave-the-other-on-a-banana-peel Art Linkletter to head it.

It's a bad choice, since he's never had to rely on Social Security to get by in his old age.

In case you have a strong stomach for it, here is the site.

It's full of the typical disinformation and right-wing propaganda we've all come to expect from the privatizers.
It's

three more weeks in the Schiavo case.

That's the problem with this case. The jerk is legally her husband, and the law says what the law says. He's not morally her husband, he's not ethically her husband, but that doesn't matter.

The right thing to do would be to remove him as guardian, let the parents be her guardians, and get it over with. Allowing somebody to STARVE TO DEATH a disabled person (as opposed to removing a brain dead person from life support) is a horrible precedent to set.
When I Returned

to the school, the teachers were talking about facelifts, both pro and con.

Well, it beats talking about diarrhea.

I suspect I am suffering from a respiratory infection or bronchitis.

I feel like crap.
By

the time I return home, no doubt we will find out whether Michael Schiavo gets his way about removing Terri's feeding tube.

The judge will probably side with him, because the law is the law and he's married to her and therefore he can do whatever the hell he wants.
I Am

on "lunch break," and somehow I am going to survive to work this afternoon until three, but I have to say I don't feel much better, especially after listening to the ESL staff (of veteran teachers over fifty for the most part) talk about their bowel movements and what to take for diarrhea.

Here I am suffering from a virus, and listening to people ask what is the Spanish equivalent of diarrhea (mucho caca) didn't make me feel much better.

However, since they are older, I can understand. When you get a certain age, obsession over body functions takes over.

Hell, I am doing it with my writing about this viral crap.

If you are a teacher, or if you are even a parent, or both, or neither, I highly recommend Time magazine's cover story this week about "What Teachers HATE About Parents." It's hysterical because it's so true.

The best thing about teaching is the kids, even kids who are behavior problems. The worst part is dealing with parents who either are indifferent to their kids, or MUCH worse, those who are overly obsessive with them.

It's bad enough in public schools, but it's nothing like teaching in private schools, where the parents often think they OWN you because they are paying your salary through tuition (of course, they pay your salary in public schools through taxes, but the tuition is more direct). The worst of them think they run your lives, it seems, because they can always pull their kids out of the school. So it's kind of a touchy situation.

However, the vast majority of parents are very good to work with, and, if you have them on your side, it makes teaching so much better.

I wish Time had the article online because it is very good.
WSWS

on the Bank of Korea and the financial markets.

We're just so much on the edge, the rocks are falling right beneath our feet.
Masherama.

Civilization really has gone to fucking hell:

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is still the strong first choice of state voters in the next election for governor, but a surprising front-runner has emerged among his potential Democratic challengers -- movie director and producer Rob Reiner, a Field Poll released today shows.


That's all we need: another showbiz type with NO damned political experience running one of the largest economies in the world.

The poll also shows Arnold would win re-election virtually walking away.

Now do people think I am full of crap when I say the celebrity angle guarantees he won't get the scrutiny that a person with far more of a conventional political background would get?

How the hell do you explain otherwise the support he has?
Howard Kurtz

has a bit on Putin, Russia, Bush, and Bush's notion he wants to spread his version of "freedom" (read freedom to plunder other countries for corporate profits)around the world.

Yes, Kurtz has still more commentary and links about Gannon.

I did, however, like this quote of his from the Kennedy article linked just a couple of posts down:

"I’m a big fan of bloggers, but the blogosphere has also become a repository of a lot of mean-spirited rumors that seem unaccompanied by a shred of evidence," says Kurtz. "I am not going to publish any such unsubstantiated crap without being able to pin down the facts. That’s one of the things that distinguishes the much-maligned mainstream media from the freewheeling world of the blogosphere."


How then, does he explain the fake Clinton scandals, the fake stories about Gore's "lies," etc., which received credence in the mainstream media?

Kurtz Kount: Kurtz 23, C&P 32.

For the week: Kurtz 99, C&P 117.
Sen. Ron Wyden

got an earful yesterday about Social Security, with most people in this "conservative" part of Oregon being totally against the dictator's plan.
The Lines

in the sand are being drawn over Social Security.

The funny thing is, if the Republicans persist in this extremist idea, they're signing their political death warrant.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dan Kennedy

puts his two cents' on Gannongate.
It's

because Utah voted for the dictator, that's why.

Though she looked as if she was dressing for a funeral, Condi Rice was actually power dressing. We shouldn't laugh at her get-up, for she could very possibly be the Republican (read neocon) nominee for president in 2008, especially if Democrats are so stupid as to nominate Hillary, if Hillary is silly enough to run for a job she can't possibly win.
A Daughter

of a prominent Mormon scholar has created a shitstorm with her new book.

Her father died earlier today.
Oh,

this is so nice to know.

There's certainly no conflict-of-interest there.
Paul Krugman

takes a look at the latest propaganda campaign to destroy Social Security, which is probably an inkling of things to come.

In their insane quest to destroy a venerable program based solely on a cultlike ideology, the radical right persists in their disinformation campaign.

The only question is whether people will actually buy the latest lies which paint groups like AARP as anti-American or whatever.

It should spell the end of the far right, but people are so apathetic they just don't see what these Republican radicals are really about.
This

is false:

Although most Democrats agree that the system is in trouble, they dispute the degree and timing of the problems.


Few Democrats believe the system is "in trouble," dear, and certainly they don't believe any kind of radical crap is needed for any alleged shortfall, which would likely not happen if the fascists don't wreck the system first.
More Good News.

Wages will likely not keep pace with the cost of health care.

The dictator, though, wants to help:

The number of uninsured Americans jumped by 5 million to 45 million during Bush's first term, mainly because of a sour economy and cuts in the Medicaid program.

Bush hopes to offset growth in the uninsured population by expanding Medicaid coverage, said Health and Human Services Department spokesman Bill Pierce. That can be done at no extra cost if states are given the flexibility to change or offer less generous Medicaid benefits without federal approval, Pierce said. Congress has yet to give Bush that authority.

Bush also would provide poor families with annual tax credits of $1,000 to help purchase private health care. That falls so far short of the actual cost of family coverage -- about $10,000 a year -- that few poor families are likely to take Bush up on it, said Ginsburg.
Bill Berkowitz

a few days ago had a piece about the controversy over a new book about the late Earth First activist, Judi Bari, an article about the controversy I posted on this blog a few weeks ago.

What is interesting is less the author than her publisher, who is a right-wing shill and co-author of several books with David Horowitz, Peter Collier, who is in turn connected with the Bradley Foundation.

This is the Coleman Hoax website, which is worth a browse. Especially check out the Lie Master List, which contains some real howlers by Coleman.
Why

am I not surprised by this?

It seems nobody can be an "expert" in favor of Social Security privatization without sucking on the teat of the usual right-wing think tank suspects.
Prominent

racehorse owner and philanthropist Dorothy Turner Scharbauer (pronounced "Scarborough"), has died at the age of 73 of pancreatic cancer.

She is best known to racing buffs like myself for having owned 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner and 1988 Horse of the Year Alysheba.

A local report is here.
So Much

for the right to choose and the right to privacy:

In an investigation conducted secretly for months, the Kansas attorney general is demanding that clinics turn over the complete medical records of nearly 90 women and girls who had abortions.

Two abortion clinics are fighting the request in Kansas Supreme Court, saying the state has no right to such personal information. But Attorney General Phill Kline said Thursday he is simply enforcing state law.

"I have the duty to investigate and prosecute child rape and other crimes in order to protect Kansas children," Kline, an abortion opponent, said at a news conference.
The Blake Case

is finally winding down.

Although I have long been convinced Blake shot and killed his wife, I am going to make a bold prediction and say Blake will get off.

After all, the jury will take pity on him because he's got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel anyway.
This

report is about reform of defined benefit pension plans.

What few there are left. As mentioned in the below link, the number of U.S. companies in this country offering defined benefit plans has declined from 114,396 in 1985 to only 32,321 in 2002 and falling.

What amazes me is how little people protested when companies ditched their old pension plans starting in the 1980s for these defined contribution scams, which saved companies untold millions and billions of dollars in pension costs (the only reason companies offered them in the first place). It's because they were marketed in a way that made people think they were being "self-reliant" rather than actually holding the bag if they lost their collective shirts, and in the promise they could retire "rich" if they invested in stocks and the like.

We are going to end up with the exact situation that happened with Studebaker in 1963, where people who spent all of their lives working for a company and hoping to get a pension were screwed when the company went belly-up. Or, as in the case of 401(k)s, if you lose all your money in these do-it-yourself scams, you're SOL because they aren't federally insured.

And defined benefit plans are the only retirement plans that are any good at all, as employees are guaranteed a fixed monthly benefit for life. It'll get to the point where only public employees will have them, while private employees will have garbage plans like 401(k)s, if that.

No wonder, then, there's a move to scrap public employee pensions.
The Real Reason

Bush and company want to destroy Social Security.

It has to do with politics and the growing political power of the senior lobby.

Personally, I think it's secondary. What this is really about is ideology and little else.

After all, the gutting of Social Security goes right along with the dismantling of every other social program and institution in this country.
Man Bites Dog

with a twist.

While many critics hailed Salvador Dali as an original during his "surrealist period," he would also be dimissed as a shameless promoter, like Thomas Kinkade is similarly dismissed. The Philadelphia Museum of Art currently has a display of some of Dali's best work which shows him as somebody who was way ahead of his time.
Even

though I am sick as hell, I worked a half day at one of the schools on the south end of town.

What I like about this school is that it is much more kid centered than other schools. What I mean is when you walk into the building, there is nothing but children's artwork EVERYWHERE in the hallways and in the classrooms. The classrooms not only have kids' artwork, but their other projects and work are displayed.

That's the way I always had it when I had my classes. I never wanted the classroom to be "my" classroom; I wanted it to be the kids' classroom. Unfortunately, most teachers put up nice, neat little bulletin boards, but it's not of the kids' work.

Not only does having student work give the kids ownership of their classroom, but having the bulletin boards and walls full of student work saves a lot of time in bulletin board preparation.

This little girl, Tilly Merrell, gets to eat a Snickers bar, and real food on top of the junk food, for the first time in 7 1/2 years.
Masherama.

Most initiatives proposed by Arnold have slim leads.

Which is bad news I believe, for anything Arnold proposes can almost always be termed bad for the state of California.
Here

is a piece about creationists and their case for their "theory" for explaining the origin of life.

Duane Gish is one of the leading proponents of the "creationist science" sham.
Here's

what Thompson's family has to say about the suicide:

The couple chose to speak out for the first time since Thompson's suicide because they believe the act has been misunderstood.

"Some people said, 'How could he do this?' And we tell them, and they say, 'Huh?' " Juan Thompson said.

Dating back at least 10 years, Thompson had told his son and daughter-in-law that he planned to commit suicide. Even then, when Thompson would have been 57, the rollicking writer had outlived his own expectations.

"He thought he'd be lucky to make it to 21," Juan Thompson said.

"Then 30 was a big deal," Winkel Thompson added. "Forty was a big shocker."

...

"I've known for many, many years that this is how Hunter would go," Juan Thompson said. "There was just no question that when the time came he would choose to do it himself. The idea of Hunter lying in a hospital bed with tubes, gasping for breath, is so contrary to his whole life and purpose and drive.

"It was just a question of when. This was a big surprise and I didn't expect it to be now, but the means was exactly as we expected."
Donald Trump

has an edifice complex.

Sigmund Freud would have a field day with Trump's latest project.
Another Thing

that bothers the hell out of me on the Schiavo case is the case is ALWAYS termed a "right to die" case.

Since Terri Schiavo left no written instructions, and we are supposed to "trust" her husband's claim she "wished" to be starved to death if she became incapacitated, there is NO "right to die" here.

It's the "right" of the husband (who hasn't been any kind of "husband" to her for YEARS) to have the courts order his disabled (NOT brain dead, by the way) wife starved to death.

She's too inconvenient to him, yet he won't divorce her and marry his shack-up and save everybody a lot of grief.
Thanks

to tons of brainwashing of millions of working people by Republicans that their vicious class war is somehow beneficial to working people's best interests, Democrats have a battle on their hands to win them back.

What is missing is ALL of us, except for the tiny percentage of those on the top of the economic ladder, are in the same boat.

That's why I don't focus all that much on issues which seem to be specific to a certain group, such as women's issues or even racial issues. That's because those issues are smaller parts of a larger issue of what's REALLY going on, and that's the attempt by the radical right which controls the Republican Party to turn this nation into a Third World country.

It's deliberate, and it's based solely on ideology, which I term a cult.

Why ANY sane person would want to destroy the middle class, the source of national stability, and destroy everything helping people in this country, who isn't on the payroll of some zillionaire-backed think tank, is a mystery, except in light of the fact any person believing such an idea is frankly enthralled with a cult.

It's based on denial of any kind of historical or practical reality, for if we have massive numbers of poor, a tiny number of hereditary rich, and little or no middle class, we will have civil war and violent revolution. There's no way around it.

People who subscribe to "conservatism," which is anything but, sign on to their political if not literal death warrant.
If You're a Rooster,

you still need to stay the hell away from New Mexico.
It's Bad News

for Bill Janklow.

Not only that, but the court unanimously ruled against him.
Howard Kurtz

actually compares Doug Wead to Linda Tripp in today's column.

Gee, I wonder where he got that idea?

By the way, he does mention a "Random Thoughts" blog in his column, but it's the "Random Thoughts on Politics" blog, not this one. After all, if he dared to quote this blog, he'd have to put asterisks in place of the expletives.

Besides, I don't give much of a shit about the tiff between Michael Kinsley and Susan Estrich. Estrich, as far as I'm concerned, shouldn't be anywhere near any political organization after her total incompetence in running the 1988 Dukakis campaign.

Very little of what she writes in her syndicated column is worth reading.

And what's funny is Paul Campos, in his book The Obesity Myth, has an entire chapter about her and mentions her stellar credentials as a feminist activist and pioneer. Unfortunately for her, he also notes she was and is totally obsessed with her looks, in particular her "battle" against "obesity," which is completely inconsistent with her feminist credentials.

Which is another reason I don't take her seriously.

Kurtz Kount: Kurtz 26, C&P 29.
While People

thinks the dictator's plan to destroy Social Security is the only one out there, there are other ideas for "fixing" the program.

Of course, the most sane one proposal out there is the one that says keep the system as it is.
WSWS

comments on the dictator's Brussels spouts.
Well,

I am sicker than hell, but I am going to go in for a half day today.

I knew when I started feeling awful yesterday afternoon I was going to come down with this shit.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More

about the Killian Memos flap.

If Burkett refused to say where he got them, then what business does he have thinking CBS should look into it?

I still maintain they are genuine and typical of the style of typewriting back then.

Moreover, none of this excuses the lying bastard right-wing bloggers who pulled their "debunking" right out of the ignorant asses in order to discredit the entire Bush AWOL story, which HASN'T been debunked.

Not that the writer of this article cares about that detail.

Here is another shot from the ill-fated couple's camera. Note the size of the wave in relation to the person directly in front of it.

This terrifying picture of the December tsunami was the last one taken by a Canadian couple who were killed in the wave. The digital camera was destroyed, but the memory card was recovered.
This

also makes me sick:

Lafayette County prosecutors allege that Skrezelewski killed her mother, Longina, by letting her lie in fecal matter and other filth for so long that she developed gangrenous sores. Those sores caused the mother's death, prosecutors alleged.

Longina Skrzelewski, 85, died in late January on a soiled carpet soiled near the front door of a Lexington home she shared with her daughter. She had lain on that patch of floor for three weeks.

More Masherama. Arnold's approval ratings are sinking like a rock; unfortunately, his celebrity almost guarantees he will get another term since he is insulated from criticism over his extremist policies and proposals.

This story absolutely pisses me off. A tiger was murdered today near the Reagan Library. Since it was probably old, there was no good reason at all to kill it and could have been tranquilized instead. (AP)
NCLB

gets failing grades from this panel.

If NCLB doesn't succeed in destroying public education, it could succeed in destroying the Department of Education, a bugaboo of the radical right. After all, states could simply opt of the federal money and do whatever they want in education in order to retain "local control."
Look

to Utah if you want to see where the dictator's Medicaid plan is headed.

Instead of "spreading benefits" for more people but reducing benefits, let's repeal all of the dictator's ridiculous tax breaks for zillionaires and corporations and get in national health insurance.

It's absolutely an outrage we don't have it, and won't, at the rate this country is going.

Wildlife photographer Bill Marchel took some remarkable pictures of a great gray owl trying (and failing) to capture a vole.
It's Been 25 Years

since Rubik's Cube first debuted on the scene. Now it is back, meaner than ever.

I have one, but I have never been able to solve the puzzle. My brother's been able to, however.
The Explorer

who found the Titanic 19 years ago is seriously talking about preservation of the sunken vessel.

It is rapidly deteriorating.
Germany

is still not that crazy about our dictator.
Whether Because They

have to or because they want to, more people over 75 are still working.

It won't be long and they won't have a real choice at all if the dictator has his way, and if the idiots in Congress buy the nonsense William Saletan spewed the other day and jack up the retirement age, the Social Security retirement age for full benefits could go up so much higher MANY people won't live long enough to collect, especially men.
Ruth Conniff

discusses the book Perfect Madness.
Some Legislators

want to continue making Ward Churchill's life hell.
Sales

of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas have shot up since Thompson's death.

Kind of like what happened when Elvis died, when the record pressing plants couldn't keep up with the demand.

He left a lot of work unpublished.

Thompson likely planned to take his life.

The family is also checking into whether the late writer can go out with a bang:

The family is looking into whether Thompson's cremated remains can be blasted out of a cannon, a wish the gun-loving writer often expressed, Brinkley said.

"The optimal, best-case scenario is the ashes will be shot out of a cannon," he said.


John Nichols remembers Thompson.
Quote of the Day 2.

"He is not some wild-eyed, left-wing nut."--Senator Harry Reid, in Carson City, Nevada, today speaking of the Mouth.

And speaking of the Mouth, he is supposed to be in Nevada on Monday. I am assuming he will be in Vegas, not Reno.
Those Online

dating outfits aren't what they are cracked up to be.

As for me, I am probably not going to do much blogging tonight. I started feeling awfully sick late this afternoon after returning home from work, and I will likely call it a night pretty soon, depending on how I feel.
The Upcoming Wedding

will be legal after all.
Neil Goldschmidt's

records are now online.

I doubt any are scandal related.

Jim Wallis is out and about plugging his new book about religion and politics. Frankly, the God card is totally bogus and merely a way for the fascistic right to manipulate the masses into supporting policies which are against their economic self-interest. I distrust ANY inserting of religion into political discourse. It doesn't belong there.
Masherama.

This absolutely makes my blood boil.

People who think killing animals is fun would think nothing of killing people.

I despise people who do this. Hanging isn't good enough for these creeps.
Some in Congress

are taking Gannongate seriously.

Of course nothing is going to happen.
Michael Schiavo

plays the waiting game again.

Take Jeb and some of the right-to-life people out of the equation, and how anybody can possibly support his attempt to have the courts commit what amounts to murder is beyond me.

But some people are so blinded to the politicization of the case and are not thinking clearly as to the facts of it. Some just want to see Jeb "get his" or the right-to-life people, and not look at what this really is.

All the jerk Schiavo has to do is divorce Terri and let the family take care of her. What the hell is the problem unless he stands to make money from having her knocked off?
And On

that pleasant note, I am outta here for quite some time.
Quote of the Day.

This is funny:

"Don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of secretly recording conversations with a friend and then releasing them to the world, muttering about the importance of history, while using the tapes to hype your forthcoming book. The word betrayal is the mildest one I can think of. And trying to justify it, rather than admit the self-serving nature of your little scam, only makes it worse."--Howard Kurtz

Somehow it didn't seem to bother him Linda Tripp was secretly recording Monica Lewinsky in order to release the information to show the world what a sleaze Bill Clinton was (the historic angle, of course) and to help with a possible book deal.

If anything, the revelations HELPED Kurtz's career.

That was then, and this is now.

Oh, and by the way, Bill Burkett didn't "lie" to CBS about the authenticity of the Killian Memos (which hasn't been established one way or the other), but he admitted he lied about where he got them.

Oh, well.

Kurtz Kount: Kurtz 28, C&P 30.
Here

is another depressing article about the devastation of the monarch butterfly population in Mexico.

Man just keeps fucking up big time (far more than nature), and pretty soon we won't have anything left.
Why

the media aren't covering Gannongate.

Gene Lyons also comments:

As if to demonstrate that people on the cultural left often don’t think any better than their putative opponents on the right, online publications like Salon. com ran letters from gay readers denouncing his forced outing as "homophobic." Excuse me, but when you pose for explicit photos and advertise your services on the Internet, it’s not private, it’s public. More typical was Kurtz’s complaint that "I didn’t go into journalism, frankly, to be looking at Web sites like hotmilitarystud. com." Well, frankly, I never expected to read anything like the Starr Report. Try to imagine the uproar if the Bill Clinton White House had pulled something similar. Every committee in Congress would run televised hearings 24/7. On "Hardball," GOP attack blondes would be speaking in tongues. Tim Russert might simply explode. The bitterest irony, of course, is that Bush, the most theatrically "manly" president since Ronald Reagan—he often dresses as if auditioning for the Village People—might never have been elected but for his 2004 campaign’s calculated appeal to homophobia.
This

is Gene Scott's webpage.

He was one of the few televangelists who had an earned doctorate.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Gene Scott,

one of the more colorful televangelists, has died at the age of 75. He died after suffering a stroke.

I used to watch his program in the 1980s.
If

you aren't sick to death of the book, here is an interview with the author of Perfect Madness, which is just the same old stuff we've read time and time again since The Feminine Mystique in 1963.

This is typical:

What advice do you have for women who read your book and see themselves reflected in it? How do mothers get to a place where they are more relaxed? What are your public prescriptions for change?

In terms of what society can do, we need to think creatively to find more support for families. We need to lessen the financial burden on middle-class families, change our tax policies so that the middle-class isn't underwriting the wealthy as it is now. We need to have public education that people can believe in. We need better support for parents such as part-time daycare for part-time working and at-home mothers. We need universal government standards for daycare and preschool.


This is Sylvia Hewlett-style horse manure and does little to stop the vicious class war waged by the radical right in this country.

It's not only pie-in-the-sky thinking, it's completely worthless given what's going on today.

Do she honestly think anybody is going to do anything to make families have less stress? As I've said before, families will be lucky if they can keep their KIDS out of the labor force, once they learn to walk, given the road on which the fascists are taking this country.
The Dictator

is trying to tell Europe what to do with regard to China.
Eric Boehlert

seems to think Gannongate is worse than we think.
In an Attempt

to cover his ass, Lawrence H. Summers promised today to treat people with more respect and try to not make a fool out of himself.

After all, it's still the dead of winter, the unemployment lines are long, and the dumpsters are close to empty.
I Especially

liked this part of "Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004":

Bush signed his own death warrant in the opening round, when he finally had to speak without his TelePrompTer. It was a Cinderella story brought up to date in Florida that night -- except this time the false prince turned back into a frog.

Immediately after the first debate ended I called Muhammad Ali at his home in Michigan, but whoever answered said the champ was laughing so hard that he couldn't come to the phone. "The debate really cracked him up," he chuckled. "The champ loves a good ass-whuppin'. He says Bush looked so scared to fight, he finally just quit and laid down."

He lived and died on his own terms. The bad part was his son and his six-year-old grandson were in the house when Thompson took his life.
More Thompson.

Fear and Loathing at 25

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathling, Campaign 2004

Death Came Instantly

A Promise Unfulfilled

The doctor dissected the illness of a country going out of control.

Thompson was true to the caricature he created.
His Life

was about guns, gonzo, and whiskey, and perhaps not in that order.

His life was more than a party, though.
William Saletan

is a fucking moron.

Yeah, why not raise the retirement age to 80 or 90, you stupid shit?

Have you ever done any physical labor in your whole goddamned life?

A lot of people are NOT at desk jobs, sitting on their asses all day typing inane articles about how so many jobs are not that taxing physically.

Ever taught in a classroom, where you're on your feet all day long, in addition to the mental labor involved? Ever worked in a hospital when you're on your feet all day long? Ever worked in a warehouse or in a store where you're on your feet all day long?

No, because people like him are stupid shits who have never done an honest day's work in their stupid lives.

Retire at age 73? Are you out of your goddamned mind?

No only that, bozo, but having people retire at a young enough age enables the younger generation to have jobs, which are becoming more and more scarce thanks to "downsizing" and "outsourcing."

But yeah. Let's raise the age to 90, and NOBODY WILL COLLECT Social Security. Think of all of the money you save then, you stupid shit.

Obviously Saletan isn't very old. By the time a person hits FIFTY, things start to fall apart BIG TIME.

If he talked about getting rid of the stupid tax cuts benefiting the rich and corporations instead of making everybody else foot the goddamned bill and penalizing workers, then perhaps he would start making sense.

He's worse than Suellentrop, who has left Slate, thank God.

***

Probably an idiot like Saletan thinks what I did for several years, teach in a private school full time PLUS work in a law library for over 20 hours a week, working seven days a week (NOT including at least 10 hours a week prep time for teaching) is not "taxing" or "hard work." Or that I worked multiple part-time jobs PLUS went to graduate school full time is hard work, or worked full-time in an office PLUS went for an undergraduate degree full time, is hard work. (I did this over a period of about 20 years, beginning at about age 30.) I don't even know how the hell I did it for so many years, but I know I can't work like that now.

Not all taxing labor is digging ditches, farming, building houses, building roads, or working in assembly lines. But it's physically and mentally draining, nonetheless.
For Some Bloggers,

they'd die if they couldn't blog.

I post quite a bit and spend a lot of time on it, to say the least, but if there's something else I'd rather be doing, I do that instead.

The one thing that's good is I am a fast typist.
This

is a first-person account of what it was like to work for the Washington Post.
If You

think pre-movie trailer ads in the theaters are bad now, just you wait.

They are going to get even worse.

According to this group, more and more children are being killed by cars, especially SUVs and pickups, because drivers are so high up they can't see around them. In the pictured driveway, a man ran over his 22-month-old son because he didn't see him. (Bob Kostow, Daytona Beach News Journal)