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Saturday, February 7, 2004

"Salaries at the campaign vary widely, although most of the top officials get from $3,800 to more than $4,600 in after-tax checks every two weeks. Manager Ken Mehlman gets $3,929; top finance officer Jack Oliver gets $4,213; political director Terry Nelson receives $4,684; and communications director Nicolle Devenish gets $3,800. Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Cheney, gets $2,776."
$31 Million Spent on Bush's Campaign. President Outspent Democrats, Raised Record $131 Million, by Thomas B. Edsall and Sarah Cohen, Washington Post, January 30, 2004 (as seen on skimble)

Gee, that doesn't seem like very much for having to be the Cheney's lesbian daughter. I would have thought that would pay much more.

I wonder how many after-school sports programs $131M would pay for?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:16 AM PST [Link]

"RITTER: This is where David Kay and I part ways. You know, I know what the intelligence community of the United States, Great Britain and indeed Israel felt about Iraq in late 1998. While there was concern about the unfinished business of disarmament, nobody maintains that Iraq had massive stockpiles of chemical, biological agents.

"Nobody maintained that Iraq represented a clear and present risk of growing danger that needed to be confronted. Indeed this assessment was upheld until 2001. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice both maintained in 2001 that Iraq was a containable threat, that it didn't pose a threat. Something occurred between 2001 and 2003 that changed the way...

"BLITZER: Let me interrupt you, Scott. What happened was 9/11.

"RITTER: 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq and now we come down to the crux of the matter here. This isn't an intelligence failure, this is a policy failure. This is policymakers like Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice and others who used 9/11 to pursue their own agenda on Iraq when they knew there was neither substantive factually based information to sustain Iraq's weapons of mass destruction threat or links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

"We have to go back to Harry Truman's old adage. The buck stops at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I agree, there has to be a full investigation but not just of the intelligence community but of the policymakers who made the decision to go to war based upon faulty (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

"BLITZER: Having said all that, you lived in Iraq, you were a U.N. inspect. You saw what life was like under Saddam Hussein's regime, when all is said and done, despite some apparently faulty intelligence, are the people are Iraq better off today?

"RITTER: That's a question that has to be asked of the people of Iraq.

"BLITZER: But what do you believe?

"RITTER: I believe that the people of Iraq are going to -- they're suffering now, and they're going to suffer for years to come because of our unilateral actions, that there were ways to deal with Saddam Hussein that didn't involve unilateral invasion with the United States stepping away from international law, et cetera.

"More importantly, though than the Iraqi people, I care about the American people. I care about the damage that's been done to democratic processes. The president of the United States misleading Congress, misleading the American people, the Congress abrogating the constitutional responsibilities regarding the declaration of war.

"I think this country has been hurt tremendously by this war in Iraq, and we're going to continue to suffer. And that's why I think it's imperative that we complete the phase of democratic processes which is accountability. We hold those whom we elect to higher office accountable for what they do in our name. The president of the United States either lied or misled the American people and I think everybody in the United States has to look themselves in the mirror and say what are we going to do about it?"
CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports. Weapons Fallout; Interview With Scott Ritter, January 30, 2004, scroll down, this quote is near the end (as seen on WTF is it Now?)

Thank God for a little reality on CNN.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:15 AM PST [Link]

"On January 8, Mr. Koch stated in an editorial entitled, 'Why I, Koch, Am Bolting For Bush' (World Tribune): 'I am a lifelong Democrat. I was elected to New York’s City Council, Congress and three terms as mayor of New York City on the Democratic Party line. . .Nevertheless, I intend to vote in 2004 to reelect President Bush. . .President Bush has earned my vote because he has shown the resolve and courage necessary to wage the war against terrorism.'"
Democratic Party Lacks Inspiration: Edward Koch, by J. Grant Swank, Jr., MichNews.com, January 13, 2004

Does anyone know which parallel universe Mr. Koch is living in so I don't accidentally stumble in there?

The wages of fear are still death, Ed, and you're backing the wrong horse for the wrong reasons.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:13 AM PST [Link]

Friday, February 6, 2004

"In an age of media consolidation, anonymous sources, and sensationalism, readers represent the last bulwark against the journalistic fakery, sloppy editing and media bias which have emerged as the biggest threats to the integrity of the fourth estate. The Internet offers the average reader the tools needed to identify misquotes, distortions and lies - and the newest corner of the Internet, the blogosphere, provides an outlet to raise the alarm."
The Blog Revolution: Holding Journalists’ Feet To The Fire, by Robert Cox, JewishPress.com, January 29, 2004

"Newest corner"? Compared to what? Otherwise, this is what I think about blogging. Blogs are also a good place to find laughs, recipes and confirmation that you're not going crazy, the bush junta is.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:31 PM PST [Link]

"The release of the three brought to 91 the number of detainees removed from the prison since the expanded facility was built there after the attacks. Four of those were returned to Saudi Arabia for continued detention, and the others were sent to their home countries to be set free. (Reuters, AP)"
3 juveniles released from Guantánamo, International Herald Tribune, January 29, 2004

So, four from ninety-one is eighty-seven men (incl 3 juveniles) who have been held in a US Military installation with no rights for two years because they have no rights?

Disgraceful. Unconscionable. Unforgivable.

We haven't just had our freedom ripped from us by the bush junta for this purported post-911 security; they've taken whatever claim we might have had to justice, if not humanity, as well.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:30 PM PST [Link]

Via TCJ Journalista Via Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin, here's a well-stocked online archive of Tijuana bibles, those little porn comics that used to titillate your great-grandfather.

Yeah, well, someday our current crop of little whippersnappers will laugh at those sexy shows on HBO. Oh, you mean they're laughing already? Good for them. Bless their little hearts. Yeah.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:28 PM PST [Link]

Thursday, February 5, 2004

The Elements of Blogging, Chandrasutra, January 27,
2004

Better living through blogging, jogging and dancing the Lambada.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:02 AM PST [Link]

US beefs up security, unveils new safeguards against mad cow disease

God, finally.

Edit: Well, turns out these new safeguards are as useless as the old one. Not all downer cows have BSE and not all cows with BSE are downers. Anybody got some vegetarian cookbooks to recommend?

Disclaimer: I really like red meat and am willing to pay more for it, as in orgainic products, to feel sure it's safe. I wish the cattle industry would realize that, but it might interfere with profits or something, the bastards.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:59 AM PST [Link]

"Meanwhile, a bunch of women and blue collar workers are pulling the guy down and getting him cleaned up and burying him, and three days later the staff doesn't even recognize him at the next meeting."
Sisyphus Shrugged, January 28, 2004

It if wasn't for the women and the blue collar workers in the world ABSOLUTELY NOTHING would ever get done. Thanks, folks.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:55 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Too busy for Cliff's Notes? Welcome to The PowerPoint Anthology of Literature: Great books distilled to their essence and presented in the most efficient form of communication ever devised.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:55 PM PST [Link]

Hey there, LJistas! Now you can archive your LJ for posterity or something in pdf!
LJ Book

Well, Miktar was excited about it and he's never given me a bum steer. I mean, because I'm such a huge pdf freak in the first place, if I had an LJ, I'd probably do this.

But I don't LJ, so, neeeeext!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:51 PM PST [Link]

"Shadow Cabinet, Take I.

"I’ve been giving the idea of a shadow cabinet some thought and I think it’s a neat idea. Of course, it would create problems; not everyone could be fully vetted and some changes might be necessary over time. The Clinton people had a hellova lot of trouble picking their cabinet and pretty much screwed up the early part of the presidency in doing so. (If only Powell had accepted Secretary of State, then Christopher would have had to take AG. No Zoey Baird. No Kimba Wood. Damn fewer problems with gays in the military.) Anyway, the idea would be to announce a shadow cabinet that would function as a cabinet, but be subject to revision later, depending on availability, changes, stuff. But it would take the focus off the “personality” and give the media something to write about other than who was the inspiration for 'Love Story.'

"Speaking of a hypothetical Kerry/Edwards or even Edwards/Kerry ticket, here are a few shadow suggestions. I am excluding all senators from the list because I think it would be silly for the Democrats to give up any seats when they are already outnumbered.

"Secretary of State: Wesley Clark or Anthony Zinni, if Clark is on the ticket.
Adviser for National Security: Anthony Zinni if he’s not Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense: Max Cleland
Chairman of the Federal Reserve: Joseph Stiglitz
Director of the CIA: Joseph Wilson
Secretary of the Treasury: Laura Tyson
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers: Paul Krugman
Attorney General: Elliot Spitzer
Secretary of the Interior: Gary Hart
UN Representative: John Lewis
Ambassador to Niger: Paul Wolfowitz
Ambassador to Mars, George W. Bush
Ambassador to Venus, Ralph Nader.
Chairman of the Democratic Party: Howard Dean"
Altercation, February 4, 2004

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Eric! The man's utterly burillyiyant!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:37 PM PST [Link]

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

So I guess Spalding Gray is officially dead now. He went missing on January 13, 2004, and he hasn't been heard from or seen since. His family thinks he jumped off the Staten Island Ferry. It makes me sad to think that he finally came up against something that he couldn't overcome with his intelligence and wit. He was a great performer and writer; I saw him do "Monster in a Box" several times and each time was different in a wonderful way.

John Perry Barlow wrote a very touching tribute to him here.

Hope you found the Perfect Moment, Spalding.

Posted by Laurel Sutton @ 12:07 PM PST [Link]

The 50 Best Guy Movies Of All Time. Man cannot live by Cameron Diaz alone. Sometimes we need big guns, fast cars, dumb jokes, and huge explosions. You got a problem with that?, by David Chute & Mark Horowitz, Men's Journal, December 2003 (via Franklin's Findings)

So, okay, I have seen 34 of these films more than once because not only did I grow up on guy films, I actually like them better than any other kind of films. (For one reason or another [usually torture and/or rape and/or violence toward women and/or children, but just inertia in some cases] I missed #3, 8, 11, 13, 14, 18-21, 27, 38, 41, 43, 45, 47, and 50.) However, I do have two small issues: First, all the films listed, there is tremendous slash potential, which makes them even more attractive to a woman with an eye for nuance, and Second, William Holden does not blow the bridge at the end of the "Bridge on the River Kwai" because he's already dead. Alec Guiness falls on the detonator thingy as he is dying himself and that blows up the bridge. Geeze, guys, fucking pay attention here.

I'm a little surprised "Guns of Navarone" is not on this list, but the Gregory Peck/David Niven cigarette lighting scene at the end might have disqualified it. (Bobby Darrin? Was he in it? I love him!) Don't look at me like that, I'm just paying attention with my eye for nuance. You got a problem with that?

Oh, and I hate the Three Stooges. The Marx Brothers kick their asses. You got a. . . oh never mind.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:40 AM PST [Link]

"The other day I found myself reading a leftist rag that made outrageous claims about America. It said that we are becoming a society in which the poor tend to stay poor, no matter how hard they work; in which sons are much more likely to inherit the socioeconomic status of their father than they were a generation ago.

"The name of the leftist rag? Business Week, which published an article titled 'Waking Up From the American Dream' (Click LINK below if the yahell page no longer works. GM). The article summarizes recent research showing that social mobility in the United States (which was never as high as legend had it) has declined considerably over the past few decades. If you put that research together with other research that shows a drastic increase in income and wealth inequality, you reach an uncomfortable conclusion: America looks more and more like a class-ridden society."
The Death of Horatio Alger, by Paul Krugman, The Nation, January 5, 2004 issue

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:38 AM PST [Link]

Monday, February 2, 2004

Did you know John Kerry was part of the Doonesbury strip in 1971? Well, he was:

Doonesbury@Slate

"Gorgeous preppie." Heh heh heh. But just remember: ANYONE BUT THE REPUBLICANS!

Posted by Laurel Sutton @ 03:20 PM PST [Link]

Sunday, February 1, 2004

Happy blogiversery to us!

Yes, I know, it seemed like a looong year for us, too.

Thanks for reading and commenting over this past year. And thank you to all the sites that have linked to us. Hopefully the coming year will be just as, um, interesting.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:03 AM PST [Link]

"LONDON (Reuters) - It's a great party trick and useful for circus performers but scientists said Wednesday that learning to juggle can cause changes in areas of the adult brain.

"Mastering the skill increases the amount of gray matter in areas of the brain that process and store visual information, proving what was not thought possible -- that new stimuli can alter the brain's structure."
Study: Learning to Juggle Causes Changes in Brain, Reuters, January 21, 2004

And you people laughed, LAUGHED!, at WC Fields. . . okay, not the best example, but you know what I mean.

Juggling. Who knew? And just where are the Flying Karamazov Brothers when you need them? Why aren't they President?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:59 AM PST [Link]

"Retired four-star Army Gen. Wesley Clark did something truly historic recently — and it has nothing to do with his run for the White House. Clark testified against the former president of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, who is being tried for genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague.

"For the first time in history, a former military commander faced down a former head of state in an international court of law. To stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, Clark led the 19-nation NATO war against Milosevic, which saved 1.5 million Kosovar Albanians."
Gen. Wesley Clark, character and courage, by Adm. Chuck Larson, Seattle Times, January 21, 2004

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:58 AM PST [Link]

Non Sequitur. Heh heh heh.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:57 AM PST [Link]



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