Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Explain This to Me ....
Like I'm a 2 y/o

"Mandate" type numbers (55%) think Republicans are too involved in our private lives yet 57% think the religious right has " too little" or the "right amount" of influence in the Bush administration.
There is a disconnect here. Either people don't realize that the religious right is spearheading government interference or they don't realize Bush is a Republican.

CNN/USA Today/ Gallup Poll April 1-2
N=1,040 adults nationwide.

When it comes to moral values, do you think the Republican Party is trying to use the federal government to interfere with the private lives of most Americans, or not?

Is Not--40%

CNN/USA Today /Gallup Poll April 1-2
Adults nationwide.

Do you think the religious right has too much influence,
too little influence, or the right amount
of influence in the Bush Administration?

Too Much--39%
Too little--18%
Right Amt--39%

Bring this Cat Lover to WI

90 y/o Mildred Luce of Wyman Township, Maine saved her 20 y/o cat Smudge from the jaws of a bobcat. She said:

the action began one recent day when she looked outside her window and saw the bobcat lying on its side with the head of her 20-year-old cat, Smudge, in its mouth.

Luce ran out the door, grabbed an aluminum snow shovel and pushed it down on the bobcat's neck. But it held on tight.

"Then I took hold of its head with my hand and pulled on its tail, and Smudge popped out," she said.

Mildred is needed in WI to bop a few PEOPLE over the head with a shovel.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Honda's Racist Lending Practice
Widespread in Wisconsin

When people try to say racism in America does not exist, this is the kind of story I relate to them. Black and Latino car buyers were charged 4-6% more for car loans than whites by American Honda Finance Corp. AND worse there is no WI law to stop them says Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager.

"Lautenschlager said her office had received complaints from black customers that their loans were being unfairly marked up and obtained data from a class action lawsuit against the American Honda Finance Corp. showing the practice was particularly widespread in Wisconsin.

A preliminary check by investigators in her office found dealer markups of as high as 4 to 6 percentage points for minorities, she said, compared to generally much smaller increases for whites.
Lautenschlager said the only recourse for Wisconsin customers now is for them to file federal lawsuits."

Currently the AG cannot bring civil rights discriminationt suits though Governor Doyle has proposed a law change. Further the Dept. of Financial Institutions outlaws discrimination based on marital staus and sex but NOT race. So the state really can't do anything.
So next time someone says there is no racism (institutional or otherwise) in America tell them, to tell that to black and Latino car buyers in WI.


American Honda Finance Corp website states :

Through the efforts of our parent corporation, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., American Honda Finance Corp. takes an active role as a citizen of the communities that we serve. By supporting important community initiatives, we hope to help make a difference

(I'd say about a 4-6% difference but I digress)

They offer a link to a page where one can get more info on this community involvement but you get a "page not found" message. Hold on.... this isn't some smoke and mirrors clip joint. You just have to re-diirect yourself to their homepage to find out how American Honda is involved in communities:

Since 1989, Honda has awarded several million dollars in grants to 64 Historically Black Colleges and Universities through the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. More than 15,000 students have participated in this academic quiz program.

I think the number one question in that Quiz Program should be:

"Is the several million dollars Honda contributes to Black Universities
less than,
equal to,
or greater than,
the 4-6% hike rate imposed on Blacks in Honda's racist lending practices?"

But I digress and I keed, I keed Honda. Because after all Honda is devoted to Diversity. It says so on their Diversity page.

Honda's commitment to diversity has a strong supportive foundation in the Honda's corporate philosophy, established by our Company founders more than 40 years ago. At the core of our philosophy is the principle of Respect for the Individual, which has three basic components: trust, initiative and equality. This fundamental commitment to 'respect' guides Honda in all of our business operations.
The shared spirit between this Honda's corporate philosphy and our diversity efforts is clear. And, Respect for the Individual is not limited to our associates but also defines the company's relationship within the communities where we operate. With these philosophical principles as our foundation, Honda's diversity efforts were formalized to provide the framework for our action. We know that to be successful, action and philosophy must be closely linked.

"Action without philosophy is a lethal weapon; philosophy without action is worthless." - Soichiro Honda, founder

Well here's my Diversity quote:

"Diversity philosophy with discriminatory action is lethal to communities but makes big bucks for Honda and WI car dealers"

Monday, April 18, 2005

Sadly...Marla Ruzicka Killed in Iraq

Sadly the founder of CIVIC--Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict--was killed in a car bombing Saturday along the dangerous Airport Road.

A car bomb attack near Baghdad has killed a well-known activist from Northern California who entered war zones to record civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and secure aid for those caught in the crossfire.
Marla Ruzicka, 28, of Lakeport (Lake County), founder of CIVIC -- Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict -- died with her driver on the Baghdad Airport road Saturday when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy of security contractors that was passing next to her vehicle, according to her family and news reports quoting U.S. Embassy officials in Iraq.
The target of the attack apparently was not Ruzicka's vehicle, said her mother, who received the account from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. More at SF Chronicle.

Santorums Private or Public Grief?

There's some discussion going on about Senator Rick Santorums' way of grieving the loss of their prematurely born son. Santorum gave the details in a WaPo article today.
It includes this:
Karen Santorum, a former nurse, wrote letters to her son during and after her pregnancy. She compiled them into a book, "Letters to Gabriel," a collection of prayers, Bible passages and a chronicle of the prenatal complications that led to Gabriel's premature delivery.

Many people say this is a private issue and opinions on how the Santorum's grieve is out of bounds.
Well then why tell the whole country of your "private grief" in the WaPo.

And why does Karen Santorum not just write a book (which I first took as just something for the family to look back upon) but publish it???
Yes........It's for Sale on Amazon

Sounds like the Santorums have gone out of their way to let us all know about this now though it happened some time ago and the book was published in 1997.
'06 is just around the corner....coincidence?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

LGF'er Aaron's Catwear Page Is Gone

On Wednesday April 13 The General brought attention to an LGFers' website called Aaron's Case. It featured catwear (as in CAT bulldozers) as a way to cellebrate the killing of Rachel Corrie by a CAT made Israeli bulldozer. Like this 'I Love Big Cats' mousepad:

Atrios linked to the Generals post. (Titled "Fashion" on Wed April 13 @ 4:51)
I think a few e-mails went out to CAT as a result of the 2 postings and lo and behold.......

No more 'I Love Big Cats' at Aaron's Case. If you go to that page you won't find any CAT items for sale. Last week he had all kinds of CAT merchandise at that page.

I think the emails must have had the needed effect at CAT. Ya think Aaron got a letter from a CAT attorney???

Friday, April 15, 2005

200 UW Students Stage Walk Out

200 UW-Madison students walked out of classes Thursday to protest the war in Iraq and demand an end to any military presence on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Chancellor John Wiley doesn't want to hear from them:

He said he wouldn't even consider getting rid of military recruiters.

"I would just as soon they not even bother bringing me (the petition)," he said.

You can let him know what you think (or I guess that is "bother" him in Chancellor speak) by e-mailing or calling him at:

Phone(608) 262-9946


From the Capital Times:

Campus police pulled the plug on an electrical generator at a campus anti-war rally that attracted about 200 students late Thursday morning.

The protesters did not have a permit to hold a rally with amplification in front of Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Capt. Brian Bridges. When he began speaking with organizers during the rally, protesters chanted "Free speech! Free speech!" and began to push forward toward the microphone.

But the tensions did not erupt into violence. The protesters held the rest of the rally with megaphones and by shouting.

"Apparently we've got complaints from around campus that we're being too loud," said junior Ben Ratliffe, after a police officer had a word with organizers. "I would say we've got complaints of our own."

And from the WI State Journal:

71 year old Jane Jensen, the leader of Military Families for Peace was speaking when the mike was cut. She said she felt "humiliated and insulted" by being cut off halfway through her message about supporting the troops while fighting for their quick return. She said, "I just thought it was so rude. There was no reason for it. We were all speaking in a normal tone of voice. I think they were trying to incit the kids."

The protest eventually marched to a recruiting office where they were met by 75 protestors organized by College Republicans. The 2 groups engaged in a battle of chants for about 45 minutes.
The spokesman for Chancellor Wiley has said he would meet with protestors next Wednesday.

Email him anyway so maybe he'll be a bit receptive.

Holy Smoking Monkeys

Not much time today to post but this caught my eye:

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African zoo is trying to persuade its star chimpanzee to kick a bad smoking habit.

Charlie, a grown male chimp and the Bloemfontein Zoo, has been picking up cigarettes thrown to him by visitors and smoking them -- a habit he probably picked up by observing humans, zoo officials told the SAPA news agency on Thursday.

Read the rest. Who'd throw a cig to a monkey?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Life as You know It.......

Go to Daily Dissention for the link to an excellent Rolling Stone Article on the coming oil emergency....actually the emergency is upon us now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ford Gives Stinging Testimony

I always find it fascinating when the worker bees of Washington come forward and give testimony on the queen bees so to speak. First it happens so rarely as people are hyper-conscious of protecting themselves in Washington and second because it gives a glimpse of the workings of the government not ususally seen.

Carl Ford, the former Assisstant Secretary of State: Bureau of Intelligence and Research gave stinging testimony today that Bolton was a "kiss-up, kick down bureaucrat". The not so deft freshman Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) attempted to portray Bolton in a better light only to elicit from Ford an even stronger negative characterization as he repeated that Bolton is a "bully" and further that Bolton is no people person. Ford said if Bolton is left around people then people will only "get hurt". (just the qualities one wants to see in a diplomat) And that is just a brief snip- it of Ford's testimony.

According to Left Coaster it probably will not make a difference in the outcome of Bolton's confirmation but it was some good teevee.

Onion Reporter Fired for Plagiarizing Truth

Editors at "The Onion" newspaper announced today that they had dismissed a reporter for submitting an article that misrepresented truth as fiction. " Editor Mary Pat O'Hara stated that "not only were elements of the article factual but the article as a whole was factual rather than the Onion's standard fabricated fiction." In recent years The Onion has gained the stature of being the pre-eminent source of "fake news" and arguably the paper of record for fabricated or fictional news. O'Hara's statement included an apology to their readers and a promise of an internal investigation including an ongoing audit of all stories written by the reporter.

The reporter it was revealed was, Ted Smith, a 2 year employee of "The Onion" Publishing Corporation. He was fired on Monday. According to O'Hara, Smith started as a contributor to the Horoscope section but in recent months had moved up to feature articles. The editor stated that Smith "showed flashes of comedic brilliance but there were warning signs which went unheeded, unfortunately." While O'Hara refused to elaborate at this time on those warning signs, anonymous sources within the newspaper say Smith had submitted several stories on the torture in Iraq, the 2004 election, and Republican corruption which had raised questions. One source related that Smith would " come in with some great shit you know, we'd be rolling on the floor and then it'd go to the fact checker who would come back all grim faced saying the story was practically verbatim from the New Yorker or the Times or some shit like that."

Another source related they do not think Smith was intentionally palgiarizing stories. The source stated that "I really think he was just thinking up stuff you would never dream would really happen and then whamo you find out it had. I just think the guy was cursed by the times. It's been rough you know lately, but thank God for Google and Lexis/Nexis otherwise it could get really embarrassing you know.....ruin our reputation."

O'Hara refused comment on Smith's intentions as the matter is still under investigation. She did say that the editors are considering the appointment of an ombudsman at the venerable institution. O'Hara stated "you know it's tough in today's political environment. The Bush administration has brought many challenges for us. Also , this is a business after all and we must compete with other "fake news" sources. Jon Stewart's Daily Show has been kicking our ass. People get stoned and just let TDS wash over them. They don't want to read or have to put any effort in to being amused. So it puts pressure on our reporters to keep coming up with bigger and better tales. Unfortunately, in this case the bigger tales were true."

One anonymous source within the paper put it like this. "Everyone thinks Bush is such a gift to comedy. Well all I have to say is be careful what you ask for. It gets harder everyday to make this shit up. These guys may ruin us yet."

Mr. Smith was unavailable for comment. In a statement released through his lawyer however Smith denies any intentional wrongdoing in the matter. Smith's attorney added, "my client will be vindicated once this is all over. What we see here is a problem that all comedians have been struggling with for the last 4 years but has not been brought to light until now. It is very diificult to fictionalize news and make it funny when the real deal is so hillarious and dripping with irony. Ted Smith is no perpetrator of fraud.....he is a victim of our times and deserves your empathy."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Surprise: Rumsfeld in Iraq
Relief: Gives Timetable of US Involvement

Secretary of the Department of Defense Rumsfeld made a surprise visit, to Iraq late today, his 9th since March 2003. He gave a timeline for the war when on the plane to Baghdad he told reporters:
"The presence of (U.S.) security forces is not going to be something that is going to go on forever." -- Reuters Online, April 11, 11:28pm

Bolton Hearing Protest Update

Three activists from Code Pink interrupted the John Bolton nomination hearing today. Allison Yorra, Lori Emmerick and a third unidentified woman were surrounded by Capitol Police and removed from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Milkman Cometh........
Or Maybe Not

I am watching the Bolton (Got Milk??) confirmation hearings on CSPAN right now and attempting to write about the Democrats coming efforts to block Bolton's confirmation. When suddenly I hear the tell tale sign of a protest at the hearing ...voices shouting . Indeed 3 women rose, each holding pink banners. One stated "Diplomat for Hire. No Bully Please." They were lead out peacefully by security. As this just happened I do not know who they were but will update. Anyway...

Democrats on the committee are trying to block Bolton's confirmation. It is rumored they are attempting to gain one Republican (presumably Sen. Lincoln Chaffee) on the Foreign Relations Committee to vote against Bolton and thus force a tie and effectively block the nomination. There are many reasons by which one could object to Bolton. The Dems:

"have zeroed in on accusations Bolton pressed for two intelligence analysts to be fired after they appeared soft on Cuba with assessments that contradicted his position.
"There's very credible information that Mr. Bolton tried to have analysts -- intelligence analysts, in at least two cases -- removed from their jobs because he was going to state a position which was in contradiction to the information that the intelligence community believed was correct," Sen. Christopher Dodd (news, bio, voting record), a Democrat from Connecticut, told ABC."-- Yahoo

At this moment Senator Dodd is pushing the point. He states Bolton's own staff have made statements supporting the above allegation. He asked Bolton directly if he had done so and of course did not receive a direct answer. The Committee chair then cut in saving Bolton from Dodd and moved on to the more Bolton friendly Sen Allen(R-VA).

Sen. Kerry then did a great job of summing up the numerous statements Bolton has made which Kerry characterized as showing nothing but disdain for the UN. Bolton amazingly stated he was "mis-qouted" to which Kerry said these statements are on tape. Then Kerry ran out of time.

Bring on the Tapes!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ding Ding Ding: Answer to Who's Next

Who: David Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture
Where: Butler University
Pie-ee's Street Cred: A conservative who says college campuses dominated by leftits
Pie-ers Street Cred: They Got Away
Kettle Calling the Pot Black: "There's a wave of violence on college campuses, committed by what I'd call fascists opposing conservatives," Horowitz said.

Martinez Nightstand Reading: "Dirty Tricks for Dummies"

The WaPo reveals that the legal counsel to Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) was the author of the Schiavo memo.

Brian H. Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said. Martinez, the GOP's Senate point man on the issue, said he earlier had been assured by aides that his office had nothing to do with producing the memo. "I never did an investigation, as such," he said. "I just took it for granted that we wouldn't be that stupid.

But not only was his staff that stupid, Martinez did them one better. The freshman Senator gave the memo to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on the floor of the Senate.

Freshman Martinez' explanation seems a bit shoddy too. He said:

"Unbeknownst to me, instead of my one page on the bill, I had given him a copy of the now infamous memo that at some point along the way came into my possession," the statement said.
"It was intended to be a working draft," Martinez said. "He (Martinez's chief of staff) doesn't really know how I got it."

I really have a hard time swallowing the " I have NO idea how a memo my staffer wrote ended up in my possession" Excuse. This is one lame defense. And the sad thing is it will fly.

Of course the right wing bloggers will be disappointed as they were hyping this memo as the next "Rathergate Memo" which they could use to slam the Democrats.

Probably the only thing to come of this will be the need for the Frosh Senator to read the "Dirty Tricks for Dummies" preamble: (*cough* didn't think this had to be spelled out to anyone but...) Don't give a memo on how to smear the opposition, to the opposition.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Bush and his Filing Cabinets

Tuesday Bush visited the Bureau of the Public Debt filing cabinet that holds the Social Security trust fund. He raised a bit of an international stir when he said, "There is no trust fund — just IOUs that I saw firsthand."

What was not divulged however is the new Bush Social Security Plan that had been placed in another filing cabinet in 2001. See below.........

Out with the Old Plan.

In with the new Bush Plan.

So You Want to Nail "The Hammer"? Get in Line

There's a saying that goes "the worm has turned". It comes from an old proverb: "Tread on a worm and it will turn". The meaning was that "even the most humble creature tries to counteract rough treatment". Washington has truly been Tom Delay's worm so to speak. He isn't called "The Hammer" and "one of the most powerful Republicans to come down the pike in a long time " for nothing after all. He has humbled and squashed a great number in Washington in a way reminiscient of his pre-politics employment as an exterminator.

But now Washington is turning on a wounded Delay. Delay of course says it is a liberal media plot against him. He made a similar claim in 1994 when he was sued by a business partner to pay off old debts, though that time he "blamed a Democratic cabal" for his problems. He came out of that one alright and focused on revenge. (which of course he denies). The lawyer of the plaintiff in the case and several others were audited by the IRS the next year. Then the plaintiff's wife who had been active in the GOP was stripped of her party posts. But Delay wanted her out of the party and when a Republican elected official (a sheriff no less) wouldn't do his bidding, Delay tried to unseat him.

But I digress. The point is Delay's blaming of liberal media just doesn't wash. (in reality of course does it ever?). It was conservatives who have opened this barn door:

  • March 28: Conservative Wall Street Journal has an editorial that strikes a direct blow at Delay and his faulty principles that brought him to office and will take him out too. A good analysis is at Eschaton.
  • March 30: Conservative Howard Fineman of Newsweek and MSNBC contributor pens The Disassembly of Tom Delay in which he looks not only at Democratic" K Streeters" who'd love to see Delay go down, but the Republicans waiting in the wings to take his job or at least steer clear of the coming fall out.
And now that the horse is out of the barn everyone is jumping on for the ride.
Today we have the NYT article disclosing "the wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees.

And also today the Washington Post did a story on an expense-paid trip by DeLay and four of his staff members (which) cost $57,238. Further from WaPo:

"DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay's trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign.
It is unclear precisely how the money was transferred from the Bahamian-registered company to the nonprofit."
Delay stories were repeated regularly today on CNN and MSNBC also.

Two questions:
1) Who let those early conservatives columnist out of the barn anyway?
It sure looks as though someone (a Republican) gave the green light to columnists that otherwise are usually loathe to criticize conservatives.
2) Can the Ex-exterminator turn around
a worm that has turned?

Monday, April 04, 2005

After Conservatism

John Edwards toured the Harambee Center on Madison’s south side Saturday morning. This family center (just across the street from my apartment) is located in what is arguably the poorest area of Madison. And that is why Edwards promote the fight against poverty.

I can think of no one of the stature of Edwards waging a serious fight against poverty who speaks the following:
“In a country of our prosperity, to have 36 million people live in poverty everyday is wrong, and we have a moral responsibility to do something about it,” Edwards said. “That’s exactly what I intend to do with all my heart and soul.” --The Badger Herald

And he is not only saying it, but doing it. He is now the director for a poverty center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In a post election interview with Charlie Rose which I saw, I was struck by Edwards discussion of poverty. I have not heard anyone of prominence addressing the issue, in such a genuine manner, in a very long time.

As someone who, in all honesty, is now poor and lives in a seriously impoverished neighborhood, I see daily the ravaging effects of poverty. I cycle between feelings of rage, despair and sorrow at what I see and experience. Rage that our leaders do not care. Despair that they ever will. Sorrow for my friends and neighbors who are doomed to this ugliness. We have abandoned whole groups of people, whole areas of cites, to a marginal existence.

And what is the opposite of marginal.....vast, boundless, expansive, limitless. In short, the very definition of America. Yes, America is big. We are big in every manner. We have an immense economy, a massive military, the most square footage, even the largest waistlines and... an enormous hubris. We are large in arrogance, conceit and disdainfulness. With Ronald Reagan it became possible to ignore poverty. Conservatism since has advanced an ever growing contemptuousness toward the poor that matured and has now metastasized to the body America. The evolution is complete. What comes after such evolution? The dissolution. As from the vista of the zenith one sees the nadir; the bankrupting of conservatism itself. With that dissolution is the hope for exposing the underside of America in every shocking respect for its' own good. The question now is how many more Americans will the conservatives take down with them. Poverty may well be a major issue again very soon, as many more Americans are bankrupted, as a result of the policies of conservatism.

I can not claim with certainty that Edwards is a visionary but I suspect he sees this transpiring. And this is why he talks of poverty at this time. He says he was inspired by the struggle of the less fortunate Americans he met while on the campaign trail. Edwards believes the poor are the ones we need to embrace, as much for them, as for the integrity of the American character as a whole. Perhaps you will think I place too much faith in John Edwards. But if his beliefs take hold, as the resolution to the dissolving of conservatism, then we may become a great nation, rather than a big one. Edwards will have been a visionary. And I will despair no more.--scout

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Pieing of America....well conservative america that is.

Take the poll in sidebar

UPDATE: Poll results:

Who will be pied next?
  1. Sean Hannity - 36%
  2. Bill O'Reilly - 28%
  3. Michelle Malkin -16%
  4. J. Guckert -12%
  5. Richard Perle -8%

Are We Seeing A Pattern Now?

Who will be next? Take the poll, to the right, in the sidebar. My money is on Michelle.

See results above
Coulter, Kristol, Buchanan
Pie.....Pie.....Salad Dressing

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Bushwacked in Pistol Toting Bobo's World

Saturday 100 supporters of the Minuteman Project, the civilian border patrol, protested at a border patrol station near the border. Check out the Bushwacked sign. I wonder who they voted for?


Posted by: scoutprime.