Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Since when did our founders envision the pursuit of happiness?

"This is the mantra of the left, which is 'I have the right to do what I want to do,' and that is not the kind of freedom that our founders envisioned. . .it's an entire culture that is focused on immediate gratification and the pursuit of happiness."

-- Third-ranking Republican Senator Rick Santorum

"Of course we're trying to be tax-efficient. Who doesn't want to be tax-efficient?"

-- David "the Edge" Evans of U2, the sanctimonious rock band that lobbies Western governments to give more money to the 3rd world. He was referring to the group's efforts to avoid paying taxes in Ireland. Writing in the Observer, Nick Cohen noted that Evans "sounded as edgy as a plump accountant in the 19th hole."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Creeping dictatorship

The U.S. has fallen in press-freedom rankings from 17th in 2002 to 56th this year, falling behind Ghana, El Salvador, Namibia, Chile, Israel, and virtually every European country. But we still beat #57. Eat our dust, Uraguay!

Paper shredders arrive at Dick Cheney's house

Friday, October 27, 2006

Stranger than fiction

From Florida

A young rising star in the Republican Party has boasted to witnesses of his sexual relationship with Charlie Crist, the frontrunner in the Florida governor's race who has repeatedly denied that he is gay.

The GOP staffer, 21-year-old Jason Wetherington, told friends at separate social functions in August that he had sex with Crist, according to two credible and independent sources who heard Wetherington make the claim first-hand.

Wetherington, who recently worked as a field director for U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris and currently works for state representative Ellyn Bodganoff's reelection campaign, also named a man whom he said is Crist's long-term partner, a convicted thief named Bruce Carlton Jordan who also recently worked for Harris in her long-shot Senate bid

Thursday, October 26, 2006


"I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so. I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others."

-- Bush on Good Morning America


"We will not presume that a separate statutory scheme, which uses a title other than marriage, contravenes equal protection principles, so long as the rights and benefits of civil marriage are made equally available to same-sex couples. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same-sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process."

-- The New Jersey Supreme Court


"Yesterday in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage. I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman"

-- Bush at campaign appearance in Des Moines

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Book notes

“Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers” by Brooke Allen

George Will calls it is a wonderfully high-spirited and informative polemic that, as polemics often do, occasionally goes too far. Her thesis is that the six most important founders — Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton — subscribed, in different ways, to the watery and undemanding Enlightenment faith called deism. That doctrine appealed to rationalists by being explanatory but not inciting: it made the universe intelligible without arousing dangerous zeal.

While Nero fiddles

From Maureen Dowd

The Bushes don’t connect words with action. Action is something that’s secretly plotted with the inner circle behind closed doors. The public should stay out of it. The Bushes just connect words with salesmanship.

Poppy Bush never meant it when he said “Read my lips: no new taxes” at the 1988 convention. It was just a Clint Eastwood-sounding line in a Peggy Noonan speech, meant to pump up his flighty image.

Just so, his son never paid any mind to his campaign promise not to nation-build, and he didn’t come through on his bullhorn pledge to catch the perpetrators of 9/11 or his tough-guy vow to bring in Osama dead or alive.

From Thomas Friedman

When Europeans tell you that they fear a new “cold war,” this time they really are talking about the temperature — and the fear that Russia, if it wanted to turn off the gas, could make Europeans very cold. About 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas imports come from Russia, and that is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2030.

With prices high, Russia has gone from the sick man of Europe to the boss man. Russia is a having a much bigger impact on Western Europe “with gas pipelines than it ever had with SS-20” long-range nuclear missiles, remarked the German foreign-policy expert Josef Joffe, author of the smart book “Überpower: The Imperial Temptation of America.”

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pornography and rape

Interesting study that suggests that increased access to pornography lowers the incidence of rape.

Bush's book reading

From Slate

This weekend Bush revealed his latest read: The History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, by British historian Andrew Roberts. Any title with the word "Peoples" is a Bushism waiting to happen, and sure enough, the president stumbled over the title, calling it The History of the English-Speaking Peoples From 1990 (Cliff Notes synopsis: up and down.). Asked on ABC's This Week he had learned from the book, all the president said was, "Sometimes, history gets distorted."

Too violent for Saddam

From Tom Friedman

[Iraq] has descended into such a Hobbesian state that even Saddam called on Iraqis from his prison cell to stop killing each other.

He told insurgents, “Remember you are God’s soldiers and, therefore, you must show genuine forgiveness and put aside revenge over the spilled blood of your sons and brothers.” When Saddam is urging calm, you know things have hit a new low.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

OJ's "hypothetical" double murder

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"The List" of gay Republicans and other closet cases

"The List" that gay leftists sent to religious rightists (Dobson, Perkins, etc.) to set the stage for a anti-gay purge in the GOP:

US Representatives
Rep. Ed Schrock (VA)
Rep. David Drier (CA)
Rep. James McCrery (LA)
Rep. Mark Foley (FL)

US Senators
Sen Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Senior GOP Staff
Jay Timmons, NRSC
Dan Gurley, RNC
Jay Banning, RNC

Senior Senate Staffers
Robert Traynham, Santorum
Jonathan Tolman, Inhofe
Kirk Fordham, Martinez
Dirk Smith, Lott
John Reid, Allen
Paul Unger, Allen
Linus Catignani, Frist

Senior House Staffers
Jim Conzelman, Oxley
Lee Cohen, Hart
Robert O'Conner, King
Pete Meachum, Brown-Waite

Bush Staff
Israel Hernandez
Jeff Berkowitz

Local Officials
Vincent Gentile, NYC

The rest...
Ed Koch, NYC Mayor
Jennifer Helms-Knox, Judge
Armstrong Williams, Radio host
Matt Drudge, Headline writer
Steve Kreseski, MD Gov.
Chip DiPaula, MD Gov.
Lee LaHaye, CWA
John Schlafley, Eagle Forum

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fighting democracy at home

The Federal government is FUNDING political groups to oppose a citizen-sponsored ballot initiative in Nevada. Since the initiative is to legalize the possesion of small amounts of marijajuna, the Bush Administration doesn't see the problem in interfering in the democractic process of a state with Federal dollars.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Book notes

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright

  • The founder of Islamism, Sayyid Qutb, believed that Capitalism/Christianity would fall to Communism/Atheism and that Islam would succeed as the only integrated system of state and religion. Perhaps this is partly why Islamicist hostility to the West intensified after the fall of Communism. The game plan wasn't working out.
  • Wright suggests that Qutb was not scandalized by 1949 Greeley, Colorado, as a den of sexual debauchery (as Qutb himself claims in his own writings). Rather, he was scandalized by Greeley's heavily female influence as a Western agrarian town founded by Victorian teetotalers.
  • When Mohammed bin Laden divorced Osama's mother, he married her off to one of his employees, Mohammed al-Attas. Osama and his mother left the bin Laden family compound and "moved to a modest two story villa." Despite Osama's worship of his father, Mohammed routinely "married" and "divorced" a teenage girl on the same day, while Osama was chaste.
  • Islam's retreat against the West started in 1638 on Sept. 11 when the King of Poland began the counter attack in Vienna.
  • Bin Laden claimed that his men crashed the Black Hawks in Somolia in October 1993. Although the claim is probably false, Clinton's bugging out of Somolia on account of 2 helicopter crashes and televised brutality to the remains of the pilots very much emboldened Al Qaeda.
  • To most of the world the embassy bombings seemed pointless, a showy act of mass murder with no effect on American policy except to provoke a massive response. But that, as it turned out, was exactly the point.
  • Several of the Tomahawk missiles [that Clinton fired at bin Laden] failed to detonate. According to Russian intelligence, bin Laden sold the unexploded missiles to China for $10 million. Pakistan may have used some of the ones on their territory to design their own cruise missile.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

GOP to gays: don't marry, molest

From Andrew Sullivan:

Every time I hear some Republican flack claiming that any previous attempt to discipline Mark Foley would have been viewed as homophobic by the media and Democrats and gays, my jaw drops to the floor. Memo to Gingrich: It is not homophobic in any way to stop a grown man preying on teens in his care, whether that guy is gay or straight. No gay person would object to stopping that; we'd all insist on it; and I have found no gay people excusing Foley since. The premise behind this excuse is itself homophobic, and shows what little clue these Republicans have about gay people in general.

Secondly, since when is the GOP skittish about appearing homophobic anyway? The only gay people they have any time for are those prepared to give them cover to pursue gay-baiting as an electoral strategy, like Mary Cheney. The Republican party, in state after state, has demonized gay couples for years now, focusing especially on our desire to create families and stable relationships. They don't seem too worried about appearing homophobic when it comes to winning elections, do they?

Best times to buy stuff

From WSJ:

Airplane Tickets: On a Wednesday, around 21 days before your desired departure date. Airlines make major pricing changes (and run fare sales) typically on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings.

Appliances: President's Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Columbus Day are the best bets.

Cars: Weekday mornings in September.

Champagne: December.

Clothing: Thursday evenings, six to eight weeks after an item arrives in stores. Season-end clearances tend to be in the same months that designers host fashion weeks (February and September).

Computers and Electronics: Just after a new model is launched.

Televisions: Six to 12 months after a particular model is launched. A new TV drops in price after a few months on the market.

Wine: Early fall. For best selection, you can't beat the fall harvest season.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Congressional Repubicans

From Rich Lowry, National Review:
Again and again, when given the choice to reform their practices or do little or nothing, they always picked the latter. On travel, on Abramoff, on earmarking — you name it. The impression they always gave was that the integrity of the institution and the public interest had to take a back-seat to their own convenience.

Foley Republicans

From Andrew Sullivan

There is something deeply sick about a Republican elite that is comfortable around gay people, dependent on gay people, staffed by gay people--and yet also rests on brutal exploitation of homophobia to win elections at the base. These public homophobes, just like the ones in the Vatican, may even tolerate gay misbehavior more readily than adjusted gay people do. If you treat gay sex in any form as a shameful secret to keep concealed, the line between adult, consensual contact and the sexual exploitation of the young may not seem so stark. That's how someone like Speaker Dennis Hastert could have chosen not to know: He was already choosing not to know Foley was gay. In this way, Hastert is a milquetoast, secular version of Cardinal Bernard Law.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

We distort, you decide

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Victimhood on steroids

Damn, so far Mark Foley is the alcoholic, gay survior of childhood sexual molestation by a priest! What's next? Dyslexia and an African American grandmother?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Republican talk radio spin

Matt Drudge is blaming the teenagers for "egging the Congressman on"

"They were talking about how many times they'd masturbated, how many times they'd done it with their girlfriends this weekend -- all these things and these innocent children. And this poor congressman sitting there typing, "oh am I going to get any," you know?"

With friends like these. . .

"We have a Republican man in Congress who sent e-mails to teenage boys asking them what they were wearing, and an entire party, the Democrats, whose primary constituency, besides the teachers' unions, is homosexual men and lesbian women. I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys. Don't get me wrong. My very best friend is gay. I have many gay friends and they are great people."

-- Ben Stein, Republican partisan

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Book notes: Odd Girl Out

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons
  • Girls perceive danger in their lives as isolation, especially the fear that by standing out they will be abandoned. Boys fear entrapment or smothering.
  • Painful attacks are usually fashioned from deep inside a close friendship and are fualed by secrets and once-shared weaknesses.
  • Many girls are unprepared to negotiate conflict. As a result, a minor disagreement can call an entire relationship into question.
  • Because these girls lack the tools to deal with everyday feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal, and jealousy, their feeling stew and fester before boiling to the surface and leashing torrent of rage. [In regard to closeted or ghettoized gays, they cannot deal with everyday feelings for fear of being suspected or discovered]
  • There are rules and the girl who thinks she's all that breaks them. They are the rules of feminimity: girls must be modest, self-abnegating, and demore; girls must be nice and put others before themselves; girls get power by who likes them, who approves, who they know, but not by their won hand. Break these rules and "all that" looms on the horizon.
  • The girl who thinks she is "all that" is the girl who expresses or projects an aura of assertiveness or self-confidence. . .Her speech and body, even her clothes, suggest others are not foremost on her mind.
  • Women have long relied upon their affiliations with others to increase social status, and popularity is a mean and merciless competition for relationships.