Here's a quick primer, authored by a commentor over at Kos called Tripleg. Go into the comments section if you want to read the original. It's one of the earlier ones.
February 2002--> Joseph Wilson compiles report about Uranium at the bequest of the Vice President's Office
September 2002--> British publish a "white paper" claiming an attempt to purchase uranium from an African nation
December 2002--> State Department publishes Iraq "fact" sheet citing Niger
January 2003--> the President use the 16 words in the SOTU
July 6, 2003--> Wilson writes an opinion piece in The New York Times that he had warned the C.I.A. well before the speech that the British reports were unreliable
July 6-13, 2003--> two senior White House officials call at least six reporters and inform them that Valerie Plame is CIA
July 14, 2003--> Novak publishes article revealing Plame; stating she "is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction," and that "two senior administration officials told me his wife suggested sending Wilson to Niger."
July 14-August 20, 2003--> second wave of journalists is informed of free-for-all; number of individuals involved is unknown
July-September 27, 2003--> CIA internal investigation
August 21, 2003--> "Frog-march" comment from Wilson
September 2003--> Senior administration offical informs the WaPo of the two leakers
September 27, 2003--> Tenet sends memo to Justice Department
September 29, 2003--> DoJ starts investigation; informs WH Counsel Gonzalez
September 30, 2003--> White House informs staff to retain materials
Well, this could get to be pretty exciting. I'm not ready to celebrate anything yet, but this doesn't look good for Rove (and, by implication, Bush).
Just go read everything on Atrios today, including this, where RNC Chair Gillespie admits this will probably be worse than Watergate, if it does turn out to be Rove. And, as Joe mentioned below, Rove has already been named in private.
I'm not ready yet to say that Plamegate (as I'm sure it will soon be called) will bring down this administration, or tarnish it irreparably, but it's clear that this story isn't going away over night, and someone--someone high up--is going to have to take a fall.
This is going to get interesting, and probably quickly.
Guardian reporter: Karl Rove named
And Then There Were...Oh, Wait. Still Ten.
I seem to remember a headline in the Onion from back in '96 that went something like this:
Powell Says He Won't Run For President. Pundits Wonder: Will Powell Run?
The same might be said today of Hillary Clinton. Unless I'm very much mistaken (and according to Agence France-Presse I'm not), Hillary has said, more than once, and in no uncertain terms, that she has no plans to run for President in 2004.
Which, obviously, leads to the following question: Is Sen. Clinton going to run for President in 2004?
I suppose there's really no way to know, is there?
They Pull me Back In...
Either Colin Powell has taken a serious dip in intelligence, or he's looking for a way out. From an editorial in the New York Times:
--Yesterday, Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Times editors. Asked whether Americans would have supported this war if weapons of mass destruction had not been at issue, Mr. Powell said the question was too hypothetical to answer. Asked if he, personally, would have supported it, he smiled, thrust his hand out and said, "It was good to meet you."--
As some of the Kool Kids over at Kos have been saying, walking out on the New York Times editorial board means either that Powell didn't think that they'd mention it, or that he thought they would and didn't have a problem with it. He did not have to leave; he could have said yes, he could have said he wasn't prepared to answer that at the time, he could have said any number of things.
I know I'm not the only person who's been disappointed by Colin Powell over the course of the last few years. it quickly became clear that this administration was not the moderate, "Compassionate Conservative," administration that voters were sold. It was clear, after September 11th 2001, that things were going to get out of hand with this administration. Still, Powell was there, and we all felt that he, at least, could be trusted.
He's lost most of the goodwill he had on the left, however, by allowing himself to become complicit in the administrations misdeeds--among other things, he presented what sounded like some very clear evidence to the UN about what Iraq had (WMD wise, of course), how much of it they had, and where it was. All of that has been discredited. In fact, at one point while rehearsing his speech, Powell got upset, tossed several pages in the air, and said, "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit!" He knew something was dreadfully wrong. He knew that this war was being started on false premises. He let it happen.
Could he have stopped it singlehandedly? No, of course not. And he did try to slow the march somewhat, and he was obviously the only one who actually cared about getting the United Nations involved. Still, he sat by and said nothing. Worse, he participated. Some of the Kos Kids think he's trying to redeem himself by intentionally loosing his job, by getting out. I'd like to believe it, but we'll just have to wait and see.
I try to avoid using the Internet lingo that has become popular over the last several years. It's a rare occasion when you'll see me write IMHO instead of "in my humble opinion," or IIRC instead of "if I recall correctly." I don't like it. It's lazy. it's ugly (in my humble opinion). However, I do not mind when other people do it--it's a perfectly legitimate form of communication. It lessenes the typing load on the author, and it can (arguably) lessen the load on the reader as well.
There's a limit to it, though. I'm starting to see people using this at work. When I write an e-mail, I frequently get responses that consist of the word "thnx." How hard is itt o add an "a" and an "s" (and to replace the x with a k...)? You at freaking work, people! You're supposed to be professionals!
I'm complaining about minutia here, and I know it. But I get a little annoyed when people can't even be bothered to take the time to actually write out a thought, whether or not it's intended for me. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right, so to speak.
(note: I am not saying that netspeak is wrong, per se, but it obviously came about because of laziness and a desire to boil down something as complex as language into something as simple as possible. I like complicated languages because they can express complicated thoughts. I feel that netspeak is a step backwards here. Disagree if you will--that's just my opinion)
You know you're in trouble when you have to resort to comparing yourself to Osama bin Laden to try to win support from the American people.
Okay. Here's the thing. it seems that a lot of people think that one of George W. Bush's big strengths is that he's just an ordinary joe. Just like you and me, right? I'm guessing that this is mostly because those damned New Englanders sure think they're better than the rest of us, what, with their Boston education, and their comprehensible accents. Damned Yankees with their War of Norther Aggression...
Why is averageness suddenly the new black? Am I the only one who wants a president that's smarter than I am?
I don't want a president that seems like a guy who might live next door to me, or like one who would split a bottle of Jack with me. I want a president who makes the people from MENSA feel like Homer Simpson. I want someone who makes Patton seem bland, yet still makes Jesus look like a jerk. I want someone who can upstage the Mystery Man from Lost Highway. I want someone who can make Batman piss himself, and console Vicki Vale at the same damned time.
I want David Palmer, not George who runs the ranch down the road.
The President is supposed to represent the best we have to offer. The best. So, at what point did we decide that our best was someone who can't properly pronounce the word "nuclear," or even the word "America?"
When was the last time you heard Tony Blair refer to the UK as the United Kingdam?
I want a President who's better than me, damn it. I can do what Bush does. The guy who runs the Ghetto Mart down the street can do what Bush does. I want someone who can do better. Bush quite obviously cannot, and that is not an admirable thing
Why is this even a debatable issue?
Crap On A Stick
Okay, I just accidentally closed the window on a rather lengthy post about the most recent Democratic presidential Debate. I'm angry, and don't have the patience to try to retype it all. Short version:
Needs to stop stuttering. He stumbles over certain words, and it's going to cost him.
Looks and sounds the most presidential, but he, Lieberman, and Kerry need to stop focusing their attention on Dean. Especially with Clark on the rise.
Look good, sounds good. Right now, he may be the smart bet for the title.
You're down in every poll and your attacks on Dean are doing you harm and helping him. Nobody wants you in the race. Please leave now.
You can stick around, but only because you've got soldier credibility. Your policies aren't bad, but they're too easy to top, and you don't come off well enough to run on charm.
He's going to start rising soon, mark my words.
Every Other Candidate:
I'm sorry, but they don't matter. They just don't. They may push the other candidates a little further to the left, which really is great, but, realistically, that's all they can possibly hope to accomplish.
Perghaps I'll add mroe later, but I'm a little ticked at myself right now.
Here's an amusing little analysis of the Martix: Revolutions trailer. Which I haven't seen. I tried downloading it a few times, but it never seems to work.
A perhaps too optimistic look at the 2004 election
What follows is simplistic but it's fun to consider nonetheless.
There are 20 states (plus D.C.) that the Democrats have taken in all of the last 3 presidential elections:
These will comprise 260 electoral votes in 2004. Only 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House. That means that if the Democratic candidate holds onto these states, he/she only needs to grab an additional 10 electoral votes from the some combination of the following 'swing' states (those which Clinton won in either 1992 or 1996):
Arizona - 10
Arkansas - 6
Colorado - 9
Florida - 27
Georgia - 15
Kentucky - 8
Louisiana - 9
Missouri - 11
Montana - 3
Nevada - 5
New Hampshire - 4
Ohio - 20
Tennessee - 11
West Virginia - 5
The bold ones Clinton won in both 1992 and 1996. Now clearly some of the 'Democrat' states were only narrowly won in some cases. And Arkansas and Tennessee were the candidates' home states. But, c'mon. Ohio? West Virginia? New Hampshire? In Arizona, just 1/3 want to re-elect Bush according to a recent poll. Six of these states have 10+ votes by themselves and almost any two taken together have 10+. And all 14 are winnable.
Be Nice To Me...
I gave blood today!
Well, kind of. I clotted up halfway through, so they only got half a unit out of me. That hasn't happened before. Also, I got pretty lightheaded, and turned white, I guess, and haven't really felt good since. That's never happened either. All in all, it wasn't a good experience. Which, again, has never happened before. I think it may have had something to do with the cold temperature on the floor my department just moved into--the air is set higher on ten than it was on eleven. My fingers, at least, are perpetually cold. The circulation in them was so bad that they had to prick them twice to get enough blood to run the blood test they always give you at the beginning. Maybe that should have been a sign.
Remember Darrell Issa? You know, the guy who spent all that money trying to make certain the vote to force the vote to recall Gov. Davis?
Well, now he's not so sure.
It's not because he realizes that he's made California the laughing stock of the country, or because he's suddenly decided that elected officials should actually get to finish their terms barring some kind of criminal activity like, say, lying to the senate. It's certainly not because he knows that most of California's budgetary problems weren't actually caused by Gov. Davis. It's for the good of the Republican party. If Schwarzenegger and McClintock both stay in the race, and Davis is recalled, Bustamante will win. Maybe he'll fly or maybe he'll fail, but he'll deliver California to [insert Democratic nominee of choice here] with ease. Bush is still trying to court the Latino vote in California, and Bustamante will not make that easy for him. Of course, Bush won't be successful in wining the minority vote much of anywhere, but if he can capture a significant portion of it, it may prove helpful in other California elections (house, senate, the next actual gubernatorial election, etc.). Really, as has been said by many others, there are two outcomes to the recall that will help the Republicans on this note:
1. A Republican wins, and is popular.
2. Davis remains in office, and remains unpopular.
Bustamante will enter office with more support than Davis from day one, so the Republicans really don't want that. However, McClintock and Schwarzenegger are drawing too much support away from each other. Schwarzenegger's moderate stance appeals to some, but his lack of any significant stance on anything turns some people off to him for some reason. That, plus the whole womanizing thing. And the group sex. And being a Republican who's both pro-choice and pro-gay rights. Oh, and did I mention the group sex? Oh, I did?
Well, it doesn't bother me, but a few years ago, a few Republicans did seem to think that a certain person's sex life was pretty important.
But the point is that Arnold (I'm just sick of typing that name. I said I wouldn't use his first name, but I'm caving. So sue me. At least I tried, which is more than I can say for most legitimate news organizations--which I certainly am not) and McClintock will defeat each other, and Issa knows it. So, he is now saying that the best thing to do would be to leave Davis in power. The guy who was so horribly bad for the state that he had to be recalled--not defeated in a normal election, oh no, no time for that! It has to be now!--should now get to hang around, presumably fucking things up even more, because it doesn't look like a Republican can win.
I can see Issa's got the welfare of the state in mind.
Hack The Vote!
Kos says it best. This is scary shit.
Rock the Vote
I'm not much of an MTV fan, and haven't been since it was the only place I could hear "Nothin' but a G Thang" by Dr. Dre, which was back in '92, or thereabouts (nine-deuce!). However, I am a big fan of their Rock the Vote effort, and heartily encourage each of you to go check it out to see what you need to do to register in your home state.
Also, how odd is it that the WWE and Russell Simmons of Def Comedy Jam are teaming up to get out the vote as well?
Maybe not that odd, I guess.
I Think I Know A Little Something About Advertising...
...and I don't mean that in the smarmy, false modesty way that a proctologist might when saying something like, "Well, I think I know a little soemthing about assholes." (insert fake rich white guy laugh at any point you think appropriate in the preceeding phrase).
I mean I think I've picked up a little from Mass Communication classes in college, and from dealing with advertising invoices at work. Everything that follows is based upon what I know, and what I think I know, and a few assumptions that make pretty decent sense to me. Take it with a grain of salt, if you wish.
So. Advertising is generally purchased in bulk, so to speak, as opposed to one commercial at a time. Not to say it's always done that way, but it's the general rule. And the airtime you purchase is generally for a specific block of time (on TV, during, say, Friends, although I'm talking about radio here), because different times cost different amounts because of the difference in number of listeners and their demographic. Indeed, radio commercials often broadcast at very specific times of the day--down to the minute, in fact. And, of course, commercials are often pulled due to viewer/listener complaint.
So, have you guessed where I'm going with this?
The 93X morning show doesn't have a whole lot of advertisers at any given time. I don't know if it's because they fill most of it with talk, or because no one wants to pay for the time, or what. So, it's not uncommon to hear the same commercials at around the same time pretty often. The Quizno's commercial wich I found so annoying aired for two days, and disappeared. A week later, a sort of watered down version of it reappeared--one that didn't pick on people from Minneapolis specifically--and disappeared the next day. I haven't heard either since.
It could just be that I've been on the phone or soemthing when they aired, but I only spend maybe five minutes a day on the phone at work, and it's almost never before 9:00 a.m. So, I don't think that's it.
Maybe Quizno's just bought a few commercials, or they're spacing out their air time. But that wouldn't make sense--if you only air your commercials once a week in a given time slot (by which I mean during the morning show, not at 8:15), you run the risk of your commercial being forgotten.
I can't help but think that I'm not the only one who was annoyed.
However, I also have a very hard time imagining that many 93X listeners were actually offended by it. I wouldn't say I was offended, even. Just, as I said, annoyed.
I don't know. I don't care. I don't have to listen to it anymore. That's the important thing.
The editorial section of the Star Tribune just isn't letting up on Junior & Co.
Wow. I cannot wait to see this sort of editorial in every paper in America.
Someone from within the Republican party needs to challenge George W. Bush. It's becoming clearer and clearer that he's going down. It's obvious that if he does, he will bring the party down with him. Republicans should be afraid.
Don't get me wrong, Democrats should be afraid as well; the idea of Junior as a popular leader is still strong, and there are still plenty of people who think he is a good leader. So, Democrats need to earn their supper, so to speak. Republicans, however, need to start evaluating their candidate.
Joe's fixed all the little things about thie site, so it should be up to par. More than that, really.
So, again, if there are any problems, please let me know.
Not Much Point In This
Can You Hear Me Now?
Okay, I think I've got this up and running. I've still got a few minor things I want to tweak (there aren't any entry titles! How'd that happen?--the one above is within the body of the text) but let me know what you think.
Joe, I didn't have room for all of your links (the windows only get so big, and I'm not HTML savvy enough to change them), so I had to guess at which ones were most important. Let me know if I'm in error or something. Or, just change it yourself, I suppose.
Also, I saved the old template before making any changes, so I can go back if I decide this one sucks or something.
I'm trying to make some changes here, so things might not work perfectly for a little while. Especially archives and comments. Bear with me.
As of right now, I'm number four on the top ten list at Odd Todd's Cook-ay Slots, with 9,000 cookies and change. On my first try, no less.
Go out and beat it, if you can.
Well, Then, It's Just Fine!
So, Ashcroft is still touting the merits of the USA PARTIOT act. His most recent defense is in response to criticism about the possibility of subpoenas for library records, and such. Ashcroft assured America that this provision has not been used even once.
Fair enough, I suppose.
But let's imagine for a minute an analogous situation.
Let's say I have a habit of beating people within an inch of their life on a somewhat regular basis. The only thing that ever stops me is the intervention of other people, sometimes the cops. So, yeah, I've got a record, spent some time in jail.
Now, I just got out of jail pretty recently. I decide that I'd like to buy a gun, maybe apply for a permit to carry it around concealed. You're the guy or gal who makes the decision about whether I get the gun or not. It's all up to you. So, you and I are having a conversation, and you've obviously skeptical about my background, and about what I'll do with a gun in the future.
So, here's my defense:
"Look, I've carried around guns before, and I haven't shot anyone yet!"
Okay. That should make you feel better, right? I mean, if it hasn't happened yet, there's no way it could possibly happen in the future, right?
And I'd certainly come right out and admit it if I had shot someone, wouldn't I?
It's only partially relevant whether or not the Government actually is out subpoenaing people's library records and such. The point is that they could. As long as the law is on the books, it's just a matter of whether or not they feel like doing it.
So, somehow, the fact that they haven't yet gives me little comfort.
(please, people, let's try to focus here and not makes cracks about whether or not you think the real Chris should have access to guns. rest assured he has none, nor does he have any programs in place to obtain them)
From a letter to the Star Tribune (the second one down), regarding yesterday's editorial denouncing Cheney:
"Your editorial on Vice President Dick Cheney is reprehensible. You folks who sit in the editorial ivory palace at the Star Tribune have gone on the record as being anti-American.
Your hatred toward the Bush administration has prequalified every one of you for charter membership in the Department of Homeland Hatred.
I have but one question for you. Which one of the 10 Democratic dwarfs paid you to shill for their anti-American presidential campaign? Frankly, Joe Lieberman is just about the only one who wouldn't have paid you off, because the rest of that sleazy lot are just as anti-American as you.
You folks are a disgrace to journalism. I just wish there were some way to recall all of you from any position of authority at the Star Tribune. You have no credibility."
I'm surprised that they printed this at all. Not because it's an opposition piece--the Star Tribune routinely publishes letters that disagree with their editorial department. I'm surprised because it's utterly pointless (in the sense that it makes no valid points, like what specifically makes the editorial anti-American or how Cheney's not lying or something. Instead, the author just spews childish insults), and serves no purpose save making the author seem like a loud-mouthed idiot.
I suppose that could be why--print the letter to make the author look foolish in the eyes of anyone even vaguely moderate--but I doubt it.
I cannot imagine that someone would write such a vitriolic letter to someone who merely pointed out that someone in the administration has been less than honest. It's been said time and time again that the President is not the same thing as America. You can not like George W. Bush, and still think America is great. The same goes for Dick Cheney.
It's perfectly clear, however, that the author of the letter does not make the distinction between America and the President/VP. At least, not this president, though I suspect he'd have a different opinion about, say, Bill Clinton. If one does not draw this distinction, it's easy to see how this article would be seen as anti-American: Truth is so foreign to this administration that, indeed, the two do seem antithetical.
On A Lighter Note
Which is worse...
Flat pop, or warm pop?
I think flat. But, that's just me.
Holy Rusted Metal, Batman!
It seems the DNC has started its own blog, called Kicking Ass (is that a delightful pun, or what?).
Could be better, could be worse. But, it's starting, more and more, to look like the Democrats (as a party, not as induvuduals) aren't going to just sit there and take it anymore.
Of course, anytime they object to Junior & Co., citing nothing but those pesky facts, they'll be called traitors, or Saddam/Osama supporters.
(I'm starting to get confused...Hussein and bin Laden are two different people, right? Oh, wait. Here's freaking PROOF that the administration knows that the one has nothing to do with the other, and that Junior lied to congress about it--via Kos, Atrios, and Tom Tomorrow.)
I Order You To Read The Following:
First, an editorial from out own Star Tribune that's been quoted by both Atrios and This Modern World today.
Second, an editorial from the Washington Post (reprinted in the Star Tribune) with implications that are just damned scary.
Is it common to call the Star Tribune the Strib? It seems that's what the cool kids are Atrios are doing.
Junior's status as the Great Hope for the predicted landslide in '04 is growing more tenuous.
I'm really starting to anticipate some competition from within the party for Bush. I don't doubt he'll get the nomination, but I'm not certain it'll be quite as easy as everyone thinks it will be.
More Insanity in California
With any luck, the degree of ridicule that California has subjected itself to will dissuade other states from trying to dump their elected officials.
Anyhow, regarding yesterday's announcement that the election would be postponed is already being heralded as the Democrats revenge for 2000.
I don't care if it's the Left saying it triumphantly, or the Right saying it to point out that Democrats don't seem to mind judicial intervention when it's going their way, it's complete nonsense. This has nothing to do with 2000; it's not even similar. The 2000 election was decided, in essence, by the Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit, in this case, has not only not decided the recall election, they're doing their damnedest to make certain everyone's vote counts, and Republicans are somehow up in arms about this?
Okay, okay, I'll admit that a delay of the election probably will favor Davis, but that's only because people will realize that this whole damned thing is just a silly circus anyway, and that Schwarzenegger doesn't actually have any idea what he's talking about. But, the election will still happen. Everyone will still get the opportunity to have their voice heard. If Davis is really such a bad guy, he'll still be a bad guy in March, and a reasonably competent advertising campaign should be able to keep voters attention for a few months (if you don't believe me, just look at how much attention we're still paying to Afghanistan!). The only reason Republicans have to be worried here is if all the votes of minorities and disabled persons are actually counted.
But, why should that worry Republicans?
Of course, now the court is reviewing whether or not to review its own decision, so it might not matter anyhow.
Now, those of you who know me (pretty much everyone who ever has or will read this, that is) are aware that I was at one point a proud Subway employee--a night manager at what I still feel is one of the best Subway's into which I've ever wandered. So, I've tended to avoid other sub joints, out of loyalty. I've been to a few here and there, but not many, and never to Quiznos or Blimpie's. Recently, however, some of the commercials for Quiznos made me think twice--some of their sandwiches looked quite appealing, and I'll admit that toasting a sub is better than just tossing it in the microwave (though many of Subway's sandwiches do come warm from non-microwave heat sources).
I heard a commercial today on the radio for Quiznos that made me change my mind, however.
I can't recite the whole thing to you, sadly, but here's the gist: It was a commercial for many of the people in Minneapolis, who, as the commercial says, "Just don't know very much." It then goes on to make a series of statements that, presumably, are supposed to be funny, to enlighten us stupid Minneapoliseans (I have no idea of that's the right word).
"Lake Superior doesn't make fun of the other lakes for being inferior."
"When you go ice fishing, you're not actually fishing for ice. "
And so on, leading up to, "Quizno's toasted subs are superior to other subs."
"Superior means 'better than.'"
Okay, Quizno's. Thanks for the lesson. I appreciate being called an idiot, and it really, truly, makes me hungry for one of your subs.
So, anyhow, this misguided and, if I may say so, rude advertising campaign has given me an idea. I'm proposing the first official Most Powerful Blog Currently On Your Screen Boycott, of all Quizno's restaurants.
Which, of course, really just means that I'm going to continue not eating there. But I was thinking about going in, really I was. No longer, however. Fuck 'em.
It looks like Kos thinks my questions about whether Junior'll get the nomination might not be so crazy after all.
Not that either of us are predicting that he doesn't get them, mind you. While there does seem to be some dissatisfaction within the ranks, I know I'd be pretty surprised if someone else got the nomination. I imagine Kos would as well.
But, as Kos said, Reality is starting to sink in. His poll numbers are headed south. Junior's strength is in his so-called popularity; in the way he's supposed to make Joe and Jane America think he's just one of them, not another evil politician. But the bottom line is he's not competent, and he and his Neocon friends break with the Republicans too much on spending and size of Government. It's not entirely crazy to wonder if the party will continue to tolerate his mismanagement when his popularity starts to wane, and he no longer looks like Superman.
Here's a quick link--just putting it up before I lose track of it.
No hidden message here or anything.
Can't Be Done.
I've seen people try and I've seen them fail. I'm watching someone else attempt it right now.
You cannot drink a gallon of milk in an hour, and keep it down, without Lactaid or something.
Can't be done.
When asked what he thought of the imbedded reporter program at a National Press Club speech, Donald Rumsfeld responded thusly:
"I think she was terrific."
I just about burst at the seams laughing. Everyone around me at work wondered what was wrong with me.
Of course, it wasn't nearly as satisfying as the shouts of protest that, fifteen minutes earlier, had come from within the room, directed at Rummy. I was a little surprised at that--I didn't think National Press Club speeches were open to just anyone. Though no one said just what happened to the angry protesters, I'm assuming that they were ejected, as their shouting went on for more than a minute, and was abruptly silenced.
queer eye for THE straight guy
What The Hell Is Wrong With Ethan Hawke?
Immediately after calling Audrey Hepburn my favorite woman of the last seventy years, I'm going to go back to my old standard. Let's just call Uma my favorite contemporary (or, if you prefer, living) woman.
Apparently, her husband would rather get it on with some damned Canadian model.
Esquire (the magazine) just turned 70. So, they've put out a substantial anniversary issue that has an admittedly unscientific poll, which rates it's reader's favorite this or that of the last seventy years. I was kind of surprised at a few. Coke wins for soft drink, of course, but I was shocked at just how much it had on Pepsi (42% to 9%, which ties Pepsi with Dr. Pepper for second).
Anyhow, one that I felt was noteworthy was favorite woman,. Of course, everyone knows who it's going to be. Marilyn Monroe.
I didn't live through her era, but looking back, I've always felt that she was a bit overrated. If you're going for a blonde, I'd much prefer Kim Novak, myself. Of course, this isn't taking into account either of their impact on film or Americana in general. Like I said, I wasn't alive for their prime years. Vertigo should be on every film critics top ten list, however.
However, both of these fall far short of my favorite woman of the last seventy years, Audrey Hepburn., who was still looking good just a few years before her death, and who certainly had a comparable impact (and, to be fair, she did come in second in Esquire's poll).
This Is A Test.
Okay, I believe I've got a comments section set up on this thing now, thanks to the people over at Enetation. I'm still kind of testing it out, but hopfully, I'll now be able to talk to myself in style!
Debate Number One
Damn it, I really with I had a comments section for this one, because I'm curious what other people have to say, and I'd like any readers I may have (yes, both of you) to be able to interact. But, I'm poor, and Haloscan isn't accepting new sign-ups just now.
Also: I just saw retired General Clark on Real Time with Bill Maher, and let me say this: If he enters the race this month, he's got some immediate support from me (two colons in one sentence? Can that possibly be proper? Probably not, but who cares?)
I don't mean I'll abandon my current (conditional) Dean endorsement. I can offer some level of support to practically all of the Democratic contenders just now. The main exception is, of course, Lieberman. If it comes to it, I'll vote for Joe over Junior, but I won't do it with a smile on my face. Clark, however, is at least as viable (and qualified) a candidate as half of the current contenders, and I would be pleased as punch to cast a vote for him (as opposed to Junior).
Okay, now let me comment some on last night's debate.
First thing: Apparently, everyone but me thought Gephardt was the obvious winner. Granted, he did quite well, but I expected him to, which is why I thought he didn't do as well as some others. In other debates, I've thought Dean and Kerry were just so-so, so I really didn't expect all that much from them here (I'm not saying I don't like them or their policies, just that they don't do as well in debates as they might). Kerry and Dean met, and slightly exceeded, my expectations. Edwards far exceeded my expectations, coming off with Clinton-like charisma without any of the I-got-a-blow-job-in-the-White-House baggage. That's why I thought he was the big winner; he surpassed my expectations in a way that no other candidate did. Gephardt's got experience in this sort of thing, so I expected him to do well, and he did. Better than others, probably, but it still only warranted a "Meets Expectations" grade from me.
The more I think on it, however, the more I think Lieberman really was the big loser. He commented on (a gross misrepresentation of) Dean's economic policy regarding NAFTA, and said that it would lead to the Bush Recession being followed by the Dean Depression. Now, leaving aside Joe's horrid skewing of what Dean's policy on NAFTA actually is, this is still just a piss-poor thing to say, and Lieberman was booed for it. You do not argue that members of your own party are going to perform worse than the guy you're trying to displace; that's just common sense, no?
I'd really prefer it if certain candidates were given more time to answer. I hate to say it, but Moseley Braun, Kucinich, Sharpton, and Graham simply do not have a shot, and they're wasting time and money continuing. Perhaps, by their concentrated efforts prior to dropping out, they can bring various issues to the forefront, but I don't see that happening. So, I'd rather listen to the other five--the ones that might win the nomination.
This is not to say that the bottom four aren't qualified, or that I don't like their positions--Mosley Braun and Kucinich, unless I'm grossly mistaken, are the only two who will not leave our current, profit-driven health care system in place to some degree. You all know how much this system pisses me off.
(I do have to say, however, that Kucinich does seem somewhat irresponsible to me. He's pledged to immediately eliminate NAFTA and the WTO if elected. I'm no fan of either, but simply killing them, right off the bat, is going to have far-reaching consequences. Reform it, or phase it out. You don't quit an economic policy cold turkey--it's just not going to work)
I don't know if anyone cares if I get in to specifics, but here are a few noteworthy points from the debate, and some of the conversation I've heard about it (this is a whole lot of opinion--both mine and other people's):
Dean's still probably the frontrunner--He didn't vote for the Iraqi resolution, so he's got the most credibility in attacking the President there. Just listening to him, he doesn't come off as weak on defense, but the perception is that any Democrat will be, and he may not be a strong enough speaker on this point to counteract that assumption (Kerry and Clark will obviously be best on this topic). Everyone thought other Democrats would attack Dean at this event, but only Lieberman did, and Dean wound up looking better for it. Every time Lieberman attacked, Dean responded well, and his website got hit with large numbers of contributors. His policies weren't the best, but they were sound, and as broadly appealing as any. Dean is not the liberal that he's made out to be--he's actually quite a centrist on many issues. He's also not a great debater, but he is improving. His attempt at speaking Spanish was pretty bad (the debate was in New Mexico, which has something like a 42% Hispanic population), but so was every one else's, so I've heard (Kos is short for Markos Moulitsas ZÃºniga, who was raised in El Salvador, so I've got to believe he knows a little bit about the language. Oddly enough, he turned 30 the day of the terrorist attacks).
Speaking of Kos, here's a quote from a commenter on his page yesterday:
"If Kucinich becomes President, who'll make the cookies in the little trees?"
Mocking criticism, to be sure, and nothing serious. However, there is the fact that he's just plain funny looking, and that's going to cost him more votes than Lieberman's faith (and I think this will cost Lieberman quite a bit). It's a fickle criticism, but that doesn't make it invalid. Also, as I mentioned earlier, his policies on NAFTA and the WTO may be things I agree with, but the way he seems to want to do it is just irresponsible, and will have repercussions he doesn't seem to understand. I'd love the kind of health care he proposes, but I don't think he can do it. In other words, I like a lot of his ideas, but I don't think he'll be able to do much to get them into play without serious damage.
Gephardt's a solid contender. His being from the South offers him an immediate advantage over Dean, Lieberman, and Kerry (since everyone knows Northeasterners can't govern...). He certainly came off strong and competent in the debate. I think he's probably number two in the running right now, though I'm sure many (including most polls) would disagree with me.
Debate aside, Kerry just started crying on national TV a few days ago. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but a lot of other people will (actual quote from a tee-shirt I saw at Valley Fair: "Silly faggot, dicks are for chicks!"). I hate to say it, but that may have diminished his attractiveness irrevocably.
To Lieberman: Fuck you, Joe. Stop trying to campaign as if you were actually a Democrat. If it comes to it, I'll vote for Lieberman, because he's better than Junior, but he's better in the same way that herpes is better than HIV. They're both obnoxious, embarrassing, potentially painful, and they hurt your relationships with other people. One, however, is still very much worse than the other, because that one can kill you. Plus (and I really really hate to say this), he's a Jew, and that' alone would cost him the election. America's not nearly the repository of Enlightenment that many Americans seem to think it is. I'd be shocked if we managed to elect a Catholic in this election. So, a Jew? Won't happen.
Edwards was more coherent and charming than I expected, but I'm having a difficult time remembering why. So, maybe he wasn't as effective as I thought. Well, I did feel he came across well, anyhow. Quite well, really.
Okay, I'm way too tired to continue, So, if you want more, you'll just have to go out and find it yourself. Dig?
Just watched the Democratic Presidential Debate, featuring eight of the nine contenders (Sharpton was held up by weather). I took some notes, and I plan to comment on this at some length in the next few days, but I want to try to get some real writing done now. The short version is this: The big winners tonight were, in my opinion, Dean, Kerry, and Edwards (and maybe Gephardt). I don't know if anyone was a big loser, but I don't think Mosley-Braun or Graham really did themselves much good. Not that they performed poorly, mind you, just not well enough to have any effect on their lagging poll numbers.
I'm not in favor of the death penalty for all the obvious reasons (it's inhumane, it's irreversible, etc.).
That being said, you couldn't pay me enough to protest at this particular execution.
Hill boasts about the murders he committed, expects a reward in Heaven for committing them, is happy that he'll become a martyr, and wants others to follow in his footsteps by killing innocent people in the name of an extreme religious view disavowed by all but the most fringe elements of his religion.
As Tom Tomorrow says: "Sound familiar?"
He also goes on to note that, at least in some venues, Hill is being referred to as an activist. Now, I'm not asking for him to be called a terrorist. But an activist? That's just too much for me. He's a murderer. Plain and simple. And of course it's odd for someone who, by his actions, claims absolute and certain knowledge of the Bible, to feel he can also casually disregard the ones he doesn't like--even if it's the exact violation of which he's convicted someone else.
I am loathe to endorse this execution, but I'm certainly not going to miss the guy.
This Is Really Getting Old.
Okay, anyone want to explain this to me? I mean, other than Junior just plain being an evil SOB, what other explanation is there?
Now, I'm no health care expert, certainly. I'm a lay person who's just starting to take a serious interest in this area, mostly because of my parents, I suppose. The administration experts may say that this won't have an impact on actual health care, and that it's really just to clear up some confusing policies, but...well...if you believe that, Junior's got some wonderful environmental policies to sell you. He'll even throw in a tax cut for free.
I am so fucking sick of the for-profit health care system in this country I just want to scream.
If only there were a better way...
One For Joe.
So, how often does this happen, anyhow?