s skippy the bush kangaroo: September 2003

skippy the bush kangaroo



Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"color" commentator

thanks to a post by the waded into jimmy the greek waters, ('cuz fat people, you know, have the necessities to float...)

appearing on espn's pre-game countdown show, lush windbag made the following remarks about the philadelphia eagles quarterback donovan mcnabb:

"think what we've had here is a little social concern in the nfl,'' limbaugh said. "the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. they're interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well ... mcnabb got a lot of the credit for the performance of the team that he really didn't deserve.''

amazingly, sports illustrated writer peter king thinks these remarks are not racist, just a stupid approach to how a quarterback matures in his career. however, phil sheridan of the philadelphia inquirer thinks we should penalize rush for illegal use of mouth.

bet.com has a specific take on the matter, as you would guess. and superbowl champion quarterback doug williams didn't appreciate rush's unique commentary either.

here's what joe sixpack is saying. and, once again, here is the petition to boycott espn for you to sign.

addendum: looseleft, over on kos' comments section, tells us he's gathering the names and addresses of the espn advertisers, so go over to flush rush and write some angry letters, kids!

posted by skippy at 8:14 PM | 1 comments

americans, but especially anna, for dean

the lovely anna of annatopia has reminded us that howard dean is trying to reach another fund-raising goal as of the end of today (and the end of the 3rd quarter).

if you want inspiration, anna suggests you read this article from the nation (a fine report on today's white house press briefing, showing a rattled scott mcclellan).

anna says if you want to hear howard on line, go here.

but most of all, anna wants you to go here and contribute. and we wouldn't mind if you did.
posted by skippy at 7:46 PM | 0 comments

happy end of september from the bush economic team

consumer confidence fell faster and farther than robert novak's excuses last month, far below analysts' expecations. of course, those analysts actually have jobs. cnnmoney says:

the conference board, a business research group based in new york, said its closely watched index of consumer confidence fell to 76.8 from a revised 81.7 in august. that was much worse than economists' forecasts and the lowest reading since march, when consumers were worried about the u.s.-led campaign to take baghdad.

the lowest point since the "u.s.-led campaign to take baghdad"? how about "the lowest point since the war in iraq, which is still going on"?

we know awol loves to break those records, so here's another his administration can hang on the wall:

but their attitude about the economy has been shaky, as the labor market has been mired in its longest slump since world war ii. recent sentiment surveys by the university of michigan and abc/money have echoed the weakness in thursday's conference board report. [ed. note: emphasis and use of the the bold button, ours].

and, as forbes.com reports, the news did not help today's stock market:

stocks sagged on tuesday after reports on business activity in the midwest and u.s. consumer confidence fell well short of wall street's expectations and boosted fears the economic recovery may be in danger.

growth at chicago-area businesses slowed sharply in september while u.s. consumer confidence plunged to the lowest level since the start of the iraq war, two reports showed on tuesday shortly after the open.


that doesn't help the recovery at all.
posted by skippy at 3:02 PM | 0 comments

but who will get her 2%?

in a move that will elicit a great big "so what" from everybody except her publisher, arianna huffington is rumored to be ready to pull out of the california recall.

the cw says that if arianna supports the "no on the recall" position (in effect, backing gray davis), her big 2% of support would go to bustamante, or perhaps camejo. as it is, if you believe cnn/usatoady's recent poll, it won't matter because the only thing that can stop ah-nold is if somebody comes back from the future and kills him.

whatever happens, be sure to check out arianna's "special interest brothel" cartoon on her website.
posted by skippy at 2:52 PM | 0 comments

Monday, September 29, 2003

is it catching?

yikes! first mydd, and now vodka pundit! oh no! ted barlow disease strikes again!
posted by skippy at 11:39 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

thanks to discrete ravings, it's zombie infection simulation v 2.3, a fun applet.

the horse is all over the plame affair, quoting josh marshall and cbs as well as the washpost.

at tbogg, tom takes on reason's take on clark.

mike at left is right wonders if awol is just a sacrificial lamb for the ultra-right.

the liberal oasis wonders if the plame thing found the gop completely disorganized.

thanks to eric at the hamster we find a petition from the people for the american way calling for an investigation into the plame affair.

talkleft tells us about an assisted suicide to be performed at a rock concert...truth is in indeed, stranger than fiction.
posted by skippy at 10:28 PM | 0 comments

open source plame

mark kleinman over at open source politics has culled together a fine overview of the valerie plame affair (including a fine cartoon of karl rove being frog-marched out of the white house in chains). we'd suggest reading it now, as this story promises to only get bigger in the future.
posted by skippy at 10:07 PM | 0 comments

rip famous song and dance man and famous stool pigeon

donald o'connor, the boyish and energetic dancing singing comic actor of 5 decades of movies, died last weekend at the age of 78.

o'connor will be best remembered for his performance in singin' in the rain, perhaps the best movie about movies every made.

starting in films in 1937, o'connor's last film appearance was in 1997's out to sea, starring walter matthau and jack lemmon. but fans of the tv show mr. ed may be interested to learn that o'connor starred in a series of goofy b movies in the 40's and 50's about frances the talking mule, the prototype for the talking horse on television.

a gagman to the very last, it has been reported that o'connor's last words were "i'd like to thank the academy for my lifetime achievement award i will eventually get."

also passing last weekend at the age of 94 was elia kazan, known both as a great director and the man who named names in front of joe mccarthy's house unamerican activities committee.

kazan directed such historic films as on the waterfront, east of eden and streetcar named desire, and such broadway greats as the original death of a salesman, which in itself would assure him a place in history. but it was his decision to reveal names in the early 1950's of his friends who had earlier joined the communist party that still reverberates today.

many, if not all, of the people kazan named to the committee were blacklisted for years, and could not find work in hollywood. kazan himself was threatened with being blacklisted if he did not cooperate.

we assume there is no blacklist in heaven. but we know there will be at least some singing and dancing.
posted by skippy at 5:40 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part one soldier killed, seven wounded

cnn reports one soldier killed and seven others wounded in two separate attacks near or in fallujah today.

a u.s. soldier was killed and one was wounded monday in an improvised explosive device attack on a convoy near fallujah, west of baghdad, a u.s. military spokesman said…

in other violence, at least six u.s. soldiers were wounded overnight in an improved explosive device attack in fallujah, the u.s-led coalition said. the soldiers were evacuated to a combat hospital.


please refer to lunaville's iraq coalition casualty chart for the exact number of u.s. troops since awol dared the vaguely defined enemy to "bring them on."




posted by skippy at 11:36 AM | 0 comments

plame it on someone

meteor blades, writing on the daily kos has an excellent review of how the media, the administration and president george herbert walker bush (senior) are looking at the valerie plame affair.

and we at skippy urge everybody to write or call their senate and congress jerks and call for an immediate congressional investigation into this felony which could have endangered so many lives of those who serve and protect america (though, it's obvious from the events of the past few months that the administration cares very little for the lives of those who serve and protect america).
posted by skippy at 11:29 AM | 0 comments

a voice made for blogging

that's how atrios describes himself, but he'll be in the michelangelo signorile show anyway today at 3pm eastern, 12 noon real time. and you can hear it on the internet!
posted by skippy at 11:23 AM | 0 comments

good bye and all that

one of our favorite political blogs, political predictions, is calling it quits soon. we can quite understand. it's almost a full-time job to blog about all the ridiculous things the people in charge are doing, and for a full time job, the pay sucks.

too bad, pp! we enjoyed it when you hoisted those pundits on their own petards. good luck in whatever you want to do!
posted by skippy at 11:18 AM | 0 comments

let's open the ol' skippy mailbag

spade hammer sends us a link to his question at hammerdown: why does condi still have a job? (and we'd like to add, and why don't we?)

frank at i protest found a webcast of paul krugman's speech at berkeley.
posted by skippy at 11:14 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, September 28, 2003

blogging around

the kos reminds us the cubs have won the nl central! impossible!

mary at pacific views compares dean and clark's approach to their grass roots.

kevin at calpundit has a good analysis of why the plame affair is important.

and atrios logically narrows down the suspects.

mithras at fables of reconstruction echoes something we have been noticing...that when the going gets tough (ie, when the lefty's are standing up to them), the repubbbs start to whine.

congratulations to talkleft who got her one millionth visitor on saturday (not friday, as we previously thought). jeralyn merrit is a tireless advocate of civil liberties and justice, not only here in blogtopia (y!wctp!) and on cable news, but in the real world too! she fights for justice for a living, which is much more than any of the rest of us bloggers can say. she has been a good friend to this blog since our beginnings and an enthusiastic reporter of all things legal as they pertain to your and our rights. may you get a million times a million more, jeralyn!
posted by skippy at 1:00 PM | 0 comments

open toed scandals

where the democrats couldn't get anything to stick, the cia might have just a little more tenacity...

the justice department is starting an investigation into whether awol's administration leaked the name of an undercover cia operative to get back at her husband, who had the temerity to disagree with them.

cbsnews says the white house has already started damage control, with one unidentified senior administration official telling the washington post the leak was "wrong."

the washpost goes into detail:

yesterday, a senior administration official said that before [robert] novak's column ran, two top white house officials called at least six washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of [ambassador joseph] wilson's wife. wilson had just revealed that the cia had sent him to niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. wilson's account touched off a political fracas over bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking iraq.

condeleeza rice is already doing a fast tap dance around the facts. cnn says:

rice, speaking on "fox news sunday," said she "knew nothing of any such white house effort to reveal any of this."

"certainly it would not be the way the president expected his white house to operate," she said.


most egregious of all, the bosglobe reminds us:

the intentional disclosure of a covert operative's identity can violate federal law.

tucker carlson better bone up his bone head repubbb rants to cover on crossfire...looks like novak might be spending some time upstate, if you know what we mean!
posted by skippy at 12:47 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, September 27, 2003

any day now

how's that economic recovery going?
posted by skippy at 5:44 PM | 0 comments

ah-nold, it's a fair question!

canada.com is reporting that even though larry "toledo, you're on the air" king has offered to host a gray davis-arnold schwarzenegger debate on his gabfest show, the terminator has rebuffed him.

the governor and the actor had some help saturday from cnn's larry king, who invited them on his show to debate one-on-one. but while davis's campaign quickly accepted, the republican front-runner's campaign insisted he has no intention of debating the democrat.

"gray davis is taking a page from the desperate candidates' handbook. he knows he's behind," said todd harris, a spokesman for the schwarzenegger campaign.

"he knows he needs to do something to shake up the dynamics of this campaign."


yeah? like what, answering questions about his positions?
posted by skippy at 5:31 PM | 0 comments

who's got a new series? that's right

via dr. carol of the side show...fans of british humor, sci fi that refuses to take itself seriously, and all things non-sequitarian will rejoice to hear the news: doctor who is returning to tv. hopefully in a ninth reincarnation, as the fox tv movie (except for eric roberts peeling off his own fingernail) was not that swift.

we know we pretend mostly to be a political/social blog. but we have often thought the good doctor was far more important to pop culture than all of star trek and star wars combined. so our question to you is this: who was your favorite who? and who was your favorite companion? (bonus points for naming the best writer of the series...here's a hint: don't panic!)
posted by skippy at 5:27 PM | 0 comments

freep the 'sweek!

atrios tells us about a great poll from newsweek...scroll down about a quarter of the page, it's on the right hand sidebar..."should rumsfeld resign?"

atrios also tells us that the cia has asked the justice department to investigate the wilson/plame affair (joseph wilson, former ambassador to african countries without uranium, blew the whistle on awol's story that saddam was trying to purchase same from same...so robert novak "outed" wilson's wife valerie plame [who was an undercover cia operative] by publicly naming her as such).
posted by skippy at 5:13 PM | 0 comments

rip texas democratic progressive caucus

bill howell of the stout dem blog sends us a link to his illegal memorial for the progressive populist caucus of the democratic party of texas.
posted by skippy at 4:58 PM | 0 comments

Friday, September 26, 2003

happy rosh hashanah from the bush economic team

trying to sneak in under the radar (or at least at the end of the weekly news cycle), the census bureau reports today that poverty increased in america for the second year in a row. the nytimes says:

the census bureau reported today that the number of americans living in poverty jumped by 1.7 million people last year, the second year in a row the number has increased, and that median household income declined.

it was the first time since the early 1990's that there have been negative changes in poverty and incomes in two consecutive years.


many democrats charge that not only is awol ruining the economy with his tax cuts for the sky box class, he's trying to hide the results of it. usatoady reports

for the first time in 15 years, the poverty report was released on a friday. that had prompted charges by democrats such as reps. carolyn maloney of new york and william lacy clay of missouri that the white house hoped to see the bad news buried in little-seen friday night and saturday news coverage.

awol trying hide something? nah, couldn't be!

posted by skippy at 7:04 PM | 0 comments

sorry we missed it

not only did we miss "talk like bill o'reilly day" (something we don't regret missing), we also failed to notice that atrios recorded his 5 millionth visitor on thursday. congratulations on the traffic, atrios!

we did notice, however, that he's still using our "congratulations, you are the xxx visitor" gag, without crediting us. we will take the high road, and assume it's not stealing a joke, it's paying a tribute.

in the same vein (of traffic highs, not joke stealing), a big congrats to our bud talkleft for making a million hits today!
posted by skippy at 6:58 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part two u.s. soldiers and one british soldier killed in iraq

the ap reports one u.s. soldier was killed and two others wounded in a rocket propelled grenade attack in northern iraq on thursday night, while another soldier died in a warehouse fire in tikrit.

an american soldier has been killed and two others wounded in an ambush in northern iraq. the us military says it happened late thursday night when someone fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the soldiers' vehicle in the oil-producing city of kirkuk…

the military says an american soldier died and another was injured in a fire in northern iraq.


and the bbc reports british soldier died in a "tragic incident" involving small firearms on thursday.

a 32-year-old british soldier has died in a firearms incident in iraq.

sergeant john nightingale, from leeds, died in a "tragic incident", the ministry of defence said on thursday.

it happened on 23 september at shaibah, near the southern city of basra.

sgt nightingale's death did not involve enemy fire, the mod said, and the royal military police are investigating exactly what happened.


worse still, 8 iraqi's died and 18 were injured in a rocket attack on a market place, says the australian sbs:

a mortar blast at a market north of baghdad killed eight and injured another 18 civilians late on thursday.

the blast, which targeted a us military position, occurred in baqouba, about 50 kilometres north of baghdad. it came after the united nations announced plans to scale back its international staff because of the ongoing violence.


and , nbc's headquarters was bombed in baghdad. so guess which one of these incidents you heard about on tv?
posted by skippy at 12:20 PM | 0 comments

two weeks off for good behavior

in an effort to boost morale among the troops stationed in iraq, the u.s. military is granting two week leaves of absence to soldiers stationed there. the bosglobe says:

american troops will get a vacation from the campaign in iraq under an r & r program being revived for the first time since the war in vietnam.

a planeload of troops is scheduled to arrive today in baltimore, the first of thousands to be flown out of deployments that have turned out to be longer and tougher than some expected.


we are happy our troops get some time off and get to actually be among their loved ones for a few days.

now, we are not subversive by nature, nor are we calling for anyone to do anything illegal, but it seems to us that once the troops get back here to america, the temptation and the rationalization to go awol would be incredibly great.

after all, if it's good enough for the commander in chief, it's good enough for everyone!
posted by skippy at 11:50 AM | 0 comments

more rip

robert palmer, the man who reinvented himself by putting sexy women in tight black dresses behind him in mtv videos, has passed on. reuters says he died in paris:

british rock singer robert palmer, whose smart suits and laconic style set the tone for much of the 1980s pop scene, died in paris of a heart attack early on friday, his record company said. he was 54.

palmer was best known for his 1985 no.1 hit "addicted to love" and its accompanying video, which featured leggy models in short black dresses with slicked-back hair and electric guitars.


and author/actor george plimpton, the man who pretended to play with the detroit lions while researching a best-selling book about it, passed away at age 74, says the ap:

just days before his death, "paper lion" author george plimpton shared memories with members of the 1963 detroit lions team with whom he briefly played as research for the best-selling book...

"we had just spent a wonderful weekend with him, celebrating the 40th anniversary of `paper lion,'" detroit lions president matt millen said friday in a statement. "he and `paper lion' will forever be an important part of the history of the detroit lions."


and last but not least, gordon jump, the rotund character actor most of us remember as befuddled mr. carlson on wkrp in cincinnati, passed away earlier this week. hollywood.com reminds of his work:

jump, a native of dayton, ohio, began his career working at radio and tv stations in the midwest. in 1963, he moved to los angeles and launched his acting career, appearing in the television series daniel boone, get smart and the partridge family.

his most popular role, however, was that of arthur carlson on the cbs sitcom wkrp in cincinnati. the series, which ran from 1978 through 1982, focused on the antics of the staff and management of wkrp, a rock 'n' roll format am radio station in cincinnati, ohio.
posted by skippy at 11:45 AM | 0 comments

dixie chick update

jenny at the little red cookbook has an interview by dixie chick martie maguire from spiegel magazine. unfortunately, it's der spiegel, the german publication (not the catalogue chicago illinois 60608), so unless you sprechen sie deutche, you'll have to read the provided translation, which jenny is wary of.

and speaking (in english) of little red cookbook, here's another post wherein jenny is aghast at awol's turn of the phrase "going badly."
posted by skippy at 11:35 AM | 0 comments

no spin blog

guess we missed the memo. but atrios and blah3 are pretending to be bill o'reilly today. we're not sure why, but both blogs are worth chekcing out. (probably more are in on the joke, let us know if there's any we missed; we've got to start reading our mail).
posted by skippy at 11:21 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, September 25, 2003

coroner rules spector shooting a homicide

the la coroner has ruled out accident or suicide, calling the recent shooting at phil spector's home a homicide, says abcnews.

the february shooting death of an actress at the home of record producer phil spector was ruled a homicide monday by the coroner's office.

lana clarkson was shot by another person and died of a single gunshot wound to the head and neck, said lt. cheryl macwillie of the los angeles county coroner's office.


usatoady goes further and reports that the la sherriff's department says spector shot her.

"it's not an accident. it's not a suicide," capt. frank merriman told the los angeles times in a story for friday editions. "phil spector shot her."

we are happy that this was the finding, as we have suspected it all along. skippy actually knew the victim, lana clarkson, and had worked on a more than one project with her in the past.

we knew lana to be energetic, ambitious, vibrant and a happy and beautiful woman. it was a great shock and sudden loss to hear of the events which unfolded at spector's house.

we can only pray for justice for lana.
posted by skippy at 5:05 PM | 0 comments

the big loser? comedy writers

last night's debate for the california recall gave comedy writers a bad name. instead of quips and clever bon-mots, the candidates, arianna and ah-nold specifically, degenerated into a series of school yard "i know you are but what am i" put-downs.

arianna tried to slap some "anti-woman" dregs on ah-nold, and he just came back with a very lame joke about having a part for arianna in "terminator four." we especially liked ah-nold's clever response to the democrats' spending habits. "you guys have an addiction problem. you should go to an addiction place."

ah-nold, you should go to comedy writing place.

who won? who lost? the sacbee's blog says nobody (and you know they're right, because they're named after an insect!)

we personally were impressed tom mcclintock and peter camejo, who managed to stay on point and above the fray throughout most of the evening. they both actually offered real proposals, as opposed to pale imitations of tough crowd with colin quinn. at any moment we expected ah-nold to tell arianna, "shut up, stupid."
posted by skippy at 12:44 PM | 0 comments

thanks

we must give a big shout out to orcinus, who, in quoting tom tomorrow's interview in salon magazine, included the link to our humble blog.

and another big thanks to tom for mentioning us in the first place. go buy his book! it's funny! and if orcinus writes one, buy that one, too!

addendum: reader steve, who blogs edgewise, informs us that orcinus has written in god's country: the patriot movement and the pacific northwest. go buy it!

double addendum: sorry, we misspelled orcinus' name at first. thanks to apostropher for pointing it out!
posted by skippy at 12:18 PM | 0 comments

the fourth sign of the apocalypse

we at skippy international could not believe our ears earlier this week. while flipping around the screeching heads on tv, we actually heard joe "that's no intern that's a dead body" scarborough agree with tim robbins! from the transcript:

scarborough: and one person the war hasn’t been good for, business-wise at least, is actor and activist tim robbins. but to prove we at scarborough country are uniters, not dividers, we want to embrace tim robbins by saying he was dead right over the weekend. watching bill maher’s new show i almost fell out of my crimson tide la-z-boy when i heard robbins voice support for our military troops. take a listen.

(begin video clip)
tim robbins, actor: they’ve been over there a long time. they’ve done a great job in what they’ve done, and have served their country, and they’re being asked to stay longer than they were originally told. some of their families are having a hard time paying their rent.

i read about families that have lost apartments because the reservists have been over there so long. i would suggest that this administration start dealing more on a human level with these troops that they so call support instead of cutting $10 billion in aid from veterans.
(end video clip)

scarborough: i agree with tim robbins 100 percent. support our troops. and if one of our soldiers is killed in action, the government must provide families with enough money to bury their sons or daughters. and if an american hero is injured or loses a foot in combat, as we told you last week, congressmen and women should stop waving the flag long enough to take care of our soldiers’ hospital bills. say what you want about tim robbins, but he’s right on this issue, and a lot of republicans are wrong.


for the record, tim robbins has always supported the troops in this iraqi debacle. and lest the repubbbs try to paint him with the "partisan war supporter" brush, tim robbins was on record opposing clinton's war in kosovo, too.

robbins is not an opportunist like some people who received campaign contributions from the supervisor of the medical examiner which pronounced the staffer dead of natural causes. he doesn't dissemble or manipulate facts ("honestly, officer, lori had a history of medical problems.") tim robbins is a man of integrity. right, joe?
posted by skippy at 12:05 PM | 0 comments

let's open the ol' skippy mailbag

larry schles has a new blog up and running, politically inco-wrecked, we'd recommend you check it out.

sean-paul, the agonist, has an important piece on the diebold voting machines controversy.

oliver of the liquid list has a new contest going...whoever can correctly guess which bad news story karl rove will bury on the friday afternoon close of the news cycle, wins a liquid list t shirt!

and dr. mugwabwe ngindo needs our bank account number to facilitate an inheritance from a dead family in nigeria, and we'll get 25%! wow!

posted by skippy at 11:51 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

riddle me this batman

a: how are awol's numbers like skippy was over a year ago?

q: they are both under 50!

george w. bush is in the worst political trouble of his presidency, according to a new nbc news/wall street journal poll released wednesday night. bush’s approval rating now stands at 49 percent, the lowest point of his tenure.

even worse for awol, a cnn/usatoady poll says that both gen. wesley clark and john kerry would beat him if the election was held on oct. 7 (sorry, we meant, "was held today." we were thinking about the california recall!) and most of the other top tier democrats are just a footstep behind him, breathing hard down his oily little neck.

aahhhh, the smell of it!
posted by skippy at 5:24 PM | 0 comments

suing to restore all of america to a "first amendment zone"

from cursor, we find that the aclu has brought suit against the secret service for herding various dissenting groups into the so-called "first amendment zones," while leaving pro-idiot (sorry, we mean pro-administration) supporters to remain in close vicinity of awol during his various teleprompter readings. from the aclu press release:

at events attended by president bush and other senior federal officials around the country, the secret service has been discriminating against protesters in violation of their free speech rights, the american civil liberties union charged today in the first nationwide lawsuit of its kind...

according to aclu legal papers, local police, acting at the direction of the secret service, violated the rights of protesters in two ways: people expressing views critical of the government were moved further away from public officials while those with pro-government views were allowed to remain closer; or everyone expressing a view was herded into what is commonly known as a “protest zone,” leaving those who merely observe, but express no view, to remain closer.

security is not at issue, the aclu noted, because anyone intent on harming officials would simply carry a sign with a supportive message or no sign at all. “the individuals we are talking about didn’t pose a security threat; they posed a political threat,” [aclu pittsburg legal director witold] walczak said.

w says

the civil liberties group filed the lawsuit in federal court in pennsylvania on behalf of four advocacy organizations that claimed that the secret service forced them into protest zones or other areas where they could not be seen by president bush or vice president dick cheney or be noticed by the media covering their visits.

and the grand junction sentinel states that the lawsuit specifically mentions our hero, ex-hippie brett bursey, whose arrest in the columbia s.c. airport for holding a "no war for oil" sign was one example of the deprivation of first amendment rights by the secret service.

good luck, everyone!
posted by skippy at 1:07 PM | 0 comments

new unemployment figure: one homicide

now this is just depressing: newsday reports unemployment drives man to commit murder.

bryan randall was a high school hero, then an ivy league basketball star. later he was the guy who converted his love of sports into a promising business. but somewhere along the line, his life went out of bounds.

in the end, police say, the 37-year-old was a desperate, unemployed father whose pending divorce drove him down a suicidal path that also took the lives of two of his children.

sometime after picking up his four children sept. 12 for a weekend visit, randall threw two of them into a lake. then, on sept. 15, he swerved his sport-utility vehicle with the other two youngsters as passengers into the path of an oncoming truck. one child drowned; randall and another one of the youngsters were killed in the crash.


things are pretty bleak out there, mr. awol. got any plans to do something about it, besides giving another tax cut to your sky box buddies?
posted by skippy at 12:57 PM | 0 comments

apparently the first amendment doesn't apply to blogs

yikes! found via the kos, the diebold corporation, claiming copyright infringement, has sued bev harris and blackbox voting.org, to shut it down. bev has left us this message:

due to a dispute with diebold, incorporated, and its wholly owned subsidiary diebold election systems, inc. (collectively "diebold"), which is claiming links to certain materials that do not reside on the blackboxvoting.org website constitute copyright infringement, blackboxvoting.org has been temporarily disabled.

we regret any inconvenience this may cause visitors and journalists to the blackboxvoting.org site and hope to have this matter resolved shortly.

in the interim, send questions or information requests to bev_blackboxvoting@yahoo.com.


anybody know any good first amendment lawyers? email bev, who is doing the world a big service by trying to expose the corruption innate in computer touch voting machines.

update: thanks to monkey, a reader at the kos, we learn how to find a google cache of blackbox voting:

google "black box voting" then hit the cache button, then navigate around the site, just avoid the front page, which holds the warning about being shut down.

hahahah they can't stop the monkey!

eek eek eek


thanks, monkey!

posted by skippy at 10:56 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

crybaby changes his mind

for those of you living in a cave all day today, the california recall is back on. the 11 member panel of the 9th circuit court of appeals reversed the 3 member panel of the 9th circuit court of appeals which reversed a lower court, so now, it's back on for oct. 7.

but the real news is that the big crybaby that started the whole thing, darryl "cry me a river" issa, is urging repubbblicans to vote no on the recall.

what the--?? am waking up in bizarro world! superman am not running for governor! me am governor! me vote no on recall!

the kos says it makes perfect sense...issa is afraid that mcclintock will split the repubbb vote from ah-nold, and if the recall goes through, cruz "busta move" bustamante has a very real chance of getting to be governor. so issa is endorsing a "no" on the recall vote.

apparently a latino democrat in charge is much worse than a causcasian democrat in charge. gotta love them repubbbs!
posted by skippy at 12:55 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to nitpicker.
posted by skippy at 12:43 PM | 0 comments

from the skippy mailbag

reader sbmail2000 sends us a link to the salon article about bev harris (the heroine of black box voting.com) and her research into the fraud-wrought voting systems of diebold.

and reader and contributor rose sends us a link to a nytimes op/ed that opines the more troops in iraq are not necessarily better (which, when you think about it, makes sense).
posted by skippy at 12:42 PM | 0 comments

Monday, September 22, 2003

oh really? no, o'reilly!

speedkill points out how bill o'riley dissembles when it comes to criticism of himself. this time he's especially disingenuous in his labeling as "dishonest" the seattle post intelligencer for accurately reporting on the time when bill told the son of a 9/11 victim to, quote, "shut up! shut up!" unquote, on his faux news program.

speedkill ably deconstructs o'riley's manipulation of the facts:

[o'reilly] claims "glick was saying without a shred of evidence that president bush and bush the elder were directly responsible for 9/11. now that kind of stuff is not only loony, it's defamation." but he's not. he's saying dubya is continuing the legacy, by bombing afghanistan, of his father, who armed the precursor to al qaeda in afghanistan in the 80s. he's not mentioning 9/11! o'reilly twists it, because he knows he can't deny the fact that we armed the muhjadeen through the pakistanis during the cold war. It's undeniable.
posted by skippy at 8:26 PM | 0 comments

happy atumnal equinox from the bush economic team

the daily kos points out that awol's people are trying to "hide bad news" by releasing the census bureau's poverty and income report on a friday, at the end of the news cycles, according to yahoo news:

for at least 15 years, the census bureau has released its annual reports on the nation's income and poverty statistics on a tuesday or a thursday. this year, when indicators suggest that the reports will document downward trends, they will be released friday.

how bad will it be? well, last year's report was pretty darn bad in itself:

last year's reports showed that median household income in 2001 registered the first significant decline since 1991 and the percentage of americans living in poverty rose from 11.3% to 11.7%, the first increase in five years.

so we can guess that it will be even worse than that.

[ed. note: if it's being released this upcoming friday, shouldn't the headline be "happy rosh hashana from the bush economic team"?]
posted by skippy at 12:45 PM | 0 comments

mad at the french

mad kane has another song parody up, this one about all the french basher called "bush wants to wash the french right out of his hair" (sung to the old rogers and hammerstein favorite from 'south pacific.' anyone under 40 who think brittny spears can sing should google this to find out about music).
posted by skippy at 12:36 PM | 0 comments

forget those other presidents, all hail great leader...

while posting a reminder to bookmark the new url for jon's mind, we were aghast to read something jon found at the washpost.

apparently someone in the administration has removed several historic photographs from a diplomatic exhibit that lined one of the lesser travelled halls of the state department.

the two dozen mostly grainy black and white shots were a historic progression of great diplomatic moments, sources recalled.

there was an original political cartoon from the jefferson era showing britain and france pick-pocketing the americans; there were pictures of negotiations with indian tribes over land; president woodrow wilson at versailles; former secretary of state elihu root somewhere; roosevelt and churchill signing the atlantic charter; former secretary of state james a. baker iii and former soviet foreign minister eduard shevardnadze in cowboy boots at jackson hole; a splendid shot of the old state department building; and a photo of president ronald reagan at a meeting with a very young colin l. powell seated behind him.

then they were gone. and what was put up in their place? what else? a george w. bush family album montage of 21 large photos of the president as diplomat. he's speaking at the united nations and meeting with foreign leaders.


that's right. the administration took down wilson, roosevelt churchill and reagan, and put up awol, awol, awol and awol.

this goes beyond pathetic into the napoleonic.
posted by skippy at 12:34 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to dogfight at bankstown and the leftleaner.

and while we're at it, be sure to change your book mark for jon's mind, which will be switching to an ftp site this week.
posted by skippy at 12:23 PM | 0 comments

skippy to the rescue!

we at skippy international were quite pleased to read about a cousin of ours, thanks to separate emails sent by our gentle readers, sara and darryl.

the bbc reports:

a female kangaroo has saved an australian farmer's life by alerting his family that he was lying unconscious in a field.

the pet kangaroo, lulu, made noises outside the family home in the state of victoria, until the farmer's wife paid attention.

in a scene reminiscent of the 1960s australian children's television series skippy about a resourceful kangaroo, the animal then led the woman to her husband.

leonard richards, 52, had been checking his property for storm damage, when he was knocked unconscious by a falling branch on sunday.
he could have died had he not been found so quickly, an ambulance paramedic told melbourne radio.


we at skippy international salute lulu! you go, girl! good on ya!
posted by skippy at 12:17 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, September 21, 2003

there's a reason they call it awol

the uk independent takes a look at the growing resentment towards the current administration among the u.s. military community:

from vietnam veterans to fresh young recruits, from seasoned officers to anxious mothers worried about their sons' safety on the streets of baghdad and fallujah, the military community is growing ever more vocal in its opposition to the white house.

"i once believed that i served for a cause: 'to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states'. now i no longer believe that," tim predmore, a member of the 101st airborne division serving near mosul, wrote in a blistering opinion piece this week for his home newspaper, the peoria journal star in illinois. "i can no longer justify my service for what i believe to be half-truths and bold lies."


and how's that privatization program turning out, anyway?

and they have given politically embarrassing prominence to such issues as the inefficiency of civilian contractors hired to provide shelter, water and food - many of them contributors to the bush campaign coffers - and a mystery outbreak of respiratory illnesses that many soldiers, despite official denials, believe is related to the use of depleted uranium munitions.

"it is time to speak out because our troops are still dying and our government is still lying," candace robison, a 27-year-old mother of two from krum, texas, and a politically active serviceman's wife, told a recent protest outside president bush's texas ranch. "morale is at an all-time low and our heroes feel like they've been forgotten."


see, if awol had stayed in the military, he might have learned a few things: honor, integrity and discipline.

addendum: reader jim graciously provides us the link to the letter by airman predmore in the peoria journal star.
posted by skippy at 1:12 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part three more u.s. soldiers killed

the nytimes is reporting that 3 soldiers were killed and several more wounded in various attacks yesterday in iraq.

two american soldiers were killed and 13 others wounded in a mortar attack late saturday night on a sprawling prison complex here, about 20 miles west of baghdad, united states military authorities said.

another soldier died on saturday night in a roadside attack in ramadi, a town about 60 miles west of baghdad that has been a center of opposition to the occupation.

the deaths brought to 304 the number of american troops killed since the iraq war began, including 165 since president bush declared on may 1 that major american combat operations had ended, according to pentagon records. in the last three days, six soldiers have been in killed in attacks.

posted by skippy at 1:07 PM | 0 comments

let's open the skippy mailbag!

today we get a note from larry shles, who has started a new blog called the weakly link. larry suggests we scroll down and check out his post titled "virulence."

and reader kelly sends us a link to a salon article stating that a study shows that monkeys may resent unfairness.

although kelly thinks that "the conclusion should have been that some monkeys are republicans (or at least wingers). i'm sure those monkeys think they earned the grape."
posted by skippy at 12:52 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, September 20, 2003

say hello

to naked furniture.
posted by skippy at 8:46 PM | 1 comments

the war that keeps on giving part 5 soldiers wounded, one tiger killed

a "spate" of attacks in iraq have left five u.s. soldiers wounded, says yahoo news:

five us soldiers were reportedly wounded in a spate of attacks at trouble spots in north and central iraq with an explosion and an exchange of gunfire hitting the flashpoint town of fallujah.

witnesses and the us military said rockets and bombs were used against the occupying forces, extending a series of hits from forces loyal to the ousted baath party since a new audiotape attributed to ousted dictator saddam hussein was released last wednesday.


and, in one of the more bizarre events of the occupation - sorry, we mean, liberation - of iraq, a rare bengal tiger was killed by an american soldier in the baghdad zoo:

a u.s. soldier shot dead a rare bengal tiger at baghdad zoo after the animal injured another soldier who was trying to feed it through the cage bars, the zoo's manager said on saturday.

adil salman mousa told reuters a group of u.s. soldiers were having a party in the zoo on thursday night after it had closed…

the night watchman said the soldiers had arrived in military vehicles but were casually dressed and were drinking beer…

at the tiger's cage, now empty, pools of blood showed that the soldier passed through a first cage intended only for keepers and stood next to the inner cage's narrow bars.
posted by skippy at 6:16 PM | 0 comments

brett bursey update

brett bursey, the old hippie who was arrested for not taking his "no war for oil" sign to the "free speech zone" when awol came to the columbia, south carolina airport, will be allowed to view some of the government's secret security documents, says wis channel 10 news:

us district judge bristow marchant filed an order thursday that gives the federal government five days to show him a reason the documents should not be disclosed. marchant ordered us attorney john barton and the secret service last month to deliver all documents relating to bush's visit in october so he could review them and determine if activist brett bursey could use them in his defense.

this may be good news for everyone that believes all of america is a "free speech zone."
posted by skippy at 6:08 PM | 0 comments

google gets scary

we were trying to find some updates on the "mystery illness" that spread among the troops in iraq last summer. so, of course, we typed "mystery illness" into google. yikes! we found 3 other mystery illnesses! how many can there be?

8 people are dead of a mysterious fever of unknown origin in india...

3 people died within an hour of collapsing, diagnosed with hemmoragging in their lungs, in new zealand...

a school in kildare county was closed when 20 kids came down with sore throats in ireland (not to make light of it, but that last one sounds more like kids didn't want to go to school more than anything else!)

refining our search a bit (adding the word "iraq" to the google), we find this update: united press international says that the mystery illness toll among the u.s. troops in iraq may be much higher than we were lead to believe:

mysterious pneumonia-like illnesses and breathing problems appear to be striking u.s. troops in greater numbers than the military has identified in an investigation -- including more deaths, according to soldiers and their families.

some of the soldiers were deployed to iraq and died but are not part of the pentagon's investigation. others who got ill told united press international they suffered a pneumonia-like illness after being given vaccines, particularly the anthrax shot.


no, the administration lying about iraq? who woulda thunk?
posted by skippy at 6:03 PM | 0 comments

reserve reservations

thanks to atrios, we find this washpost article about the family of reservists getting angrier at the new one-year tour of duty the national guard and army reservists now find themselves saddled with in rummy's "new army."

in kansas, family members of soldiers in the 129th transportation company, an army reserve unit, set up a web site and almost immediately gathered 8,000 signatures on the internet demanding that the army scrap 12-month tours.

in michigan, the wife of a soldier in the 1438th engineer detachment, an army national guard unit, said three-quarters of her husband's fellow soldiers are planning to quit as soon as they return from tours in iraq that could be extended by four months under the new policy.

and in florida, sen. bill nelson (d) said after meeting with angry national guard families in orlando and tampa that he would put a hold on the nomination of james g. roche to become army secretary if the policy is not modified.


it's not good for morale, and certainly not good for repeat business (re-enlistment, for those of you who find business metaphors, when applied to human lives, disgusting).

retention may be another matter. reservists and their family members predict that the new policy is likely to have a devastating impact as individuals drop out of the reserves after they return. it has been impossible to gauge the effect on retention thus far, they say, because there is a wartime "stop-loss" provision in effect on mobilized units that bars reservists from leaving the force even after their service requirements have been met.

if you want to sign the petition to "bring them home," be our guest.
posted by skippy at 5:45 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to citizen lehew.

be sure to read his report on voting machine fraud.
posted by skippy at 5:27 PM | 0 comments

big lies, big book

we have just finished joe conason's big lies, and what can we tell you, except that it's a great respite from the spin, manipulation, and down right (dare we say it?) "lies" that are being propigated on a daily basis by the media.

what joe has done is take 12 different particularly nasty repubbb memes, and methodically, and with tons of cites, sources, footnotes and references, simply refute them, one per chapter.

memes like "conservatives love america and lefty's hate it," and "conservatives are tough on terrorism while liberals are not." and joe names names in his quest to thoroughly investigate and deflate the misstatements and untruths that are permeating the airwaves.

here's amy goodman interviewing joe on democracy now!

we highly recommend big lies. it's a fascinating read, and it will certainly encourage everyone to keep fighting the good fight!

thanks, joe!
posted by skippy at 11:11 AM | 0 comments

nathan v. eugene

nathan newman takes on eugene volokh's take on wesley clark's take on regressive taxation. what's your take on it?
posted by skippy at 10:59 AM | 0 comments

blogroll addition

we are pleased as punch to add the erudite jon's mind to our permanent blogroll. it's the least we can do, as he has linked to us almost from the beginning of his blogging career. welcome, jon!
posted by skippy at 10:52 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, September 18, 2003

the war that keeps on giving part at least 3 soldiers killed in an ambush

the bbc is reporting that "at least three" american troops were killed in an ambush on a convoy in a town west of baghdad:

at least three american soldiers have been killed in an attack on a convoy in the town of khaldiyah, west of baghdad, according to witnesses.

a truck transporting troops was blown up by an explosive device on a road in the town, and soldiers were fired on as they tried to evacuate casualties, iraqi sources said.

the us military said two soldiers were wounded when their convoy was attacked east of the town of ramadi, but they have not commented on the reported attack in khaldiyah.


the number of fatalities is unconfirmed at this time, but the nytimes is reporting that al-arabiya television is putting the number at 8.

stay tuned.
posted by skippy at 11:43 AM | 0 comments

back from vacation

folks, lazarus wants everyone to know he's back from vacation, and ungodly politics is back in business!
posted by skippy at 11:29 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

the great ones die in three's

first johnny cash, then john ritter.

now, rest in peace sheb wooley.

sheb wooley, for those of you too young to remember when songs on the radio actually had lyrics, was the man who wrote perhaps the king of all novelty hits, the one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater.

sheb was not only a singer and songwriter, but an actor who was featured in high noon, and several tv westerns.

the tennessean says,

purple people eater was a six-week no. 1 hit in 1958, and its humorous tale of a monster who wanted to play rock 'n' roll is the work for which mr. wooley is best known. but mr. wooley was also an accomplished actor who starred on the tv western rawhide, acted in feature films (including the classics high noon and hoosiers) and served as a father figure to country star roger miller.

''he was a real hero to roger,'' said country music hall of famer bill anderson. ''i got the feeling that it was sheb the man that roger looked up to, even more than sheb the artist or the entertainer.''


in a strange twist of fate, sheb was friends with both johnny cash and john ritter (whose father tex sang "do not forsake me oh my darling," the theme to high noon).

apparently god needed a novelty song.
posted by skippy at 6:29 PM | 0 comments

well, if you're going to insist on the truth, i guess i'll tell it...

presumably reeling over dick cheney's nose growing three feet on meet the press last sunday, awol has admitted in public that there was no evidence of any link of saddam hussein to 9/11, says the ap.

president bush said wednesday there was no evidence that saddam hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks of sept. 11, 2001 – disputing an idea held by many americans.

"there's no question that saddam hussein had al-qaeda ties," the president said. but he also said, "we have no evidence that saddam hussein was involved with the sept. 11" attacks.


we wonder why all of a sudden awol has decided to tell the truth?

posted by skippy at 4:12 PM | 0 comments

pour rummy down the drain

the folks at movon.org want you to urge congress to urge awol to fire rumsfeld. personally, we think you should urge congress to fire awol, but we'll take things one step at a time.

go here to sign move on's petition to fire rumsfeld, and to find an action alert to call your congressjerk and complain about rummy's lack of planning to keep our troops safe.
posted by skippy at 3:52 PM | 0 comments

sometimes even the readers make mistakes

our good friend and long-time reader rose tells us she sent us the wrong url for that smoking gun story a couple of days ago...(we wondered why we were supposed to care about some grandma suing eminem...but we like to post almost everything we get).

rose tells us she meant to send us this smoking gun piece...about a man who passed a phony "$200 bill" with bush's face on the front.

we hope they arrest him and send him to prison for the rest of his life. oh yeah, and the guy who passed the phony bill, too.
posted by skippy at 3:49 PM | 0 comments

a cite for sore eyes

our reader kilroi thoughtfully points out in our musing over the 9th circuit's decision in the california recall:

not so fast skippy. the bush v. gore decision stated that florida couldn't keep recounting until gore somehow obtained enough votes to win. the 9th is trying to stop a state constitutionally mandated election on the premise that the very same machines used to elect grey(out) davis 11 months ago are now all of a sudden aren't adequate to un-elect him prior to there even being a problem. it will be overturned and rightly so. and if anti bush crybabies want to keep shedding tears over gores attempted highjacking of the 2000 election, so be it.

be that as it may, this crybaby wants to point out that the legal precedent set to prove whatever point bush v. gore was trying to prove (in your stated case, that gore couldn't keep counting), the logic used and conclusion arrived at is grist for the legal mill; to wit, the application of the equal protection clause in vote tablulation.

the washpost posits:

now the 9th circuiters have called bill rehnquist's bluff. did he really mean all that stuff about extending the equal protection clause to voters who stood a greater chance to be disenfranchised by the absence of a uniform standard of counting votes? was he really concerned about the tabulation disparities between one county and the next? or was bush v. gore just a one-time-only decision crafted to elect a republican president?

"plaintiffs' claim presents almost precisely the same issue as the court considered in bush, that is, whether unequal methods of counting votes among counties constitutes a violation of the equal protection clause," the three judges wrote. "in bush, the supreme court held that using different standards for counting votes in different counties across florida violated the equal protection clause."


and the tallahassee democrat weighs in:

when the supreme court released the opinion in bush v. gore, many lawyers here in tallahassee were scratching their heads wondering how the federal government could possibly order a state to stop its recount, especially under the guise of securing the equal-protection clause of the constitution. many cynical observers assumed that the majority opinion in bush v. gore used specious logic to justify a republican victory, a ruling that was highly specific to election 2000. even justice ginsburg, who dissented from that opinion, said as recently as february that bush v. gore was a "one of a kind case," adding: "i doubt it will ever be cited as precedent by the court on anything."

but here it is again rearing its ugly head. bush v. gore held for the first time that the constitution's equal-protection clause, which protects citizens from arbitrarily disparate treatment by state authorities, can be applied to the methods states use to tally votes. previously, election methods had been the province of state officials. but now, with election 2000 as a precedent, previous election methods have been called into question and opponents of the recall effort have been able to magically transform bush v. gore from a reviled coup into a legitimate weapon. it's like when the democrats picked up seats in 1998 because newt gingrich and the impeachment chorus had become so crazed.


so, kilroi, however your rightist mind desperately wants to see the two cases as different, precedents can be cited, and what is good for suing the goose is good for suing the gander.

the 9th circuit may indeed reverse itself, as the full court is reviewing the three-member panel decision today, or the case may go back up to awol's daddy's friends, the supremes, and they may reverse the decision, thus opening themselves up to accusations of blatant partisanship.

but once a decision is handed down, it can be used in further arguments. don't complain to us. call judge judy.
posted by skippy at 9:12 AM | 0 comments

a mighty wind

the east coast prepares itself for a possible landfall by hurricane isabel sometime today or tomorrow.

the nytimes says north carolina seems to be the probable target of the now category 3 storm:

the storm's winds were holding steady at about 110 miles per hour, which forecasters had expected, as it moved north-northwest at 9 m.p.h. though the national hurricane center said the storm's momentum was likely to pick up, its strength was not expected to diminish before it made landfall sometime in the next day or so.

rumor has it isabel is endorsing john edwards for president.
posted by skippy at 8:54 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

recall waiting

the 9th circuit court of appeals is considering whether it will revisit the decision made yesterday by the three member panel putting the california recall on hold.

the san jose mercury news reports:

the associated press reported that the 9th u.s. circuit court of appeals asked california election officials and recall proponents to file briefs by this afternoon on whether they want an 11-judge appellate panel to rehear the case.

for now, the election remains on hold, under monday's decision by the three-judge panel.


the brilliance of the aclu's lawsuit to postpone the recall until punchcard ballots are replaced is now coming to light.

if this decision gets appealed to the supreme court, awol's daddy's friends will have to revisit and reconsider their own 2000 decision bush v. gore, which stopped the florida recount (and the rest, as they say, is history. dirty, manipulated, sickening history).

if the supremes rule in favor of the recall going forward on oct. 7, it will just show how partisan they really are. if they chicken out of their partisan ways and act like judges and uphold the 9th circuit court's decision (or even better, refuse to hear it), davis and the dems will have adequate time to force ah-nold to talk about the issues.

on the other hand, the 9th circuit court could revisit the three member panel decision, and, who knows, reverse it themselves. it's possible.
posted by skippy at 12:52 PM | 0 comments

it's official! edwards is one of us poor working stiffs

john edwards officially launched his candidacy today, making his announcement in front of the mill his father worked in. cbsnews says:

the moderate senator, who made millions as a trial attorney before entering politics five years ago, highlighted his blue-collar roots by making his announcement at the robbins, n.c., textile mill where his father worked for 36 years. a young john edwards once had a job there, mopping beneath looms in the weave room.

edwards used the speech to assail president bush's record, offer his own biography and address some of the criticism he has faced as a first-term senator.

"i haven't spent most of my life in politics, but i've spent enough time in washington to know how much we need to change it," edwards told the crowd.


meanwhile the daily kos reports that the latest poll shows edwards way ahead of anyone else in north carolina, a must win state for him, and probably couldn't hurt the other guys if they won.

and on the clark watch, it looks like the general will announce his candidacy tomorrow.

good luck to both gentlemen!
posted by skippy at 12:39 PM | 0 comments

stick this on your hummer, ah-nold!

democrats.com sends us this link to a page of great bumper stickers for sale.

(we like the one that says "re-defeat bush!")
posted by skippy at 12:26 PM | 0 comments

some good media news for a change

moveon.org gives us the great news that the senate voted this morning to roll back all the draconian fcc rule changes, thanks in no small part to all of us writing to the various congressjerks, demanding that michael "he doesn't like it hey mikey" powell not destroy the "cross-ownership" rules that have been in place.

the washpost reports thusly:

the senate voted 55 to 40 today to wipe out all of the federal communication commission's controversial new media rules, employing a little used legislative tool for overturning agency regulations.

the resolution of disapproval, sponsored by sen. byron l. dorgan (d-n.d.), is now put on the house calendar, where a tougher vote is expected. even if passed by the house, the white house has promised a veto.

dorgan's resolution is the most sweeping of several challenges to the fcc's rules, which make it easier for media corporations to buy more newspapers and television stations but tighten radio ownership rules.


the fight's not over yet, but a significant battle has been won.
posted by skippy at 12:25 PM | 0 comments

grandma sues eminem

our friend rose sends us this bit from the smoking gun, which tells of the widow of a veteran movie composer suing rapper eminem for unauthorized use of one of her husband's tunes:

a 70-year-old california grandmother is suing eminem over the rapper's unauthorized sampling of a musical piece authored by the woman's late husband, a veteran movie composer. in a federal court lawsuit filed last month, harlene stein alleges that the rap star (real name: marshall mathers) used a piece of one of her husband ronald's compositions on "guilty conscience," a cut from the rapper's acclaimed 1999 debut "the slim shady lp." the stein instrumental composition at the lawsuit's center is titled "pigs go home" and is part of his score for getting straight, a 1970 film starring elliott gould and candice bergen (what's next, 50 cent sampling "papa, can you hear me?" from yentl?).

posted by skippy at 12:15 PM | 0 comments

Monday, September 15, 2003

the war that keeps on giving part one soldier killed in rpg attack, police chief of khaldiya assassinated

centcom reports a u.s. soldier died in a rocket propelled attack today.

one 1st armored division soldier was killed sept. 15 when the soldier’s patrol was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade round in central baghdad.

the soldier was evacuated to the 28th combat support hospital and subsequently died of the wounds received from the grenade attack.


and the uk guardian reports that the police chief of the tiny sunni triangle town of khaldiya was assissinated by gunmen:

three gunmen, their faces covered with red and white arab headdresses, assassinated the police chief of this sunni triangle town monday in an ambush at a traffic circle.

col. khedeir mekhalef ali, 48, the khaldiya police chief, was shot at least 25 times, according to his driver, who was wounded in the attack along with ali's bodyguard…

the three attackers opened fire with a machine gun, shot one of the tires of the chief's car and then approached the vehicle and shot him, said his driver, 47-year-old rabia'a kamash. he spoke to the associated press at the fallujah general hospital were he was being treated for wounds to his head and shoulder.


posted by skippy at 12:58 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

the horse links us to a usatoady column wherein christian amanpour admits cnn censored itself in iraq war coverage, due to initimidation by awol and faux news.

the hamster reports that kerry's communication director chris lehane has resigned.

atrios has an interesting take on how one can be a "free-trader" and still be against wealthy-leaning organizations like the wto.

calpundit wonders if the tide is turning.
posted by skippy at 12:53 PM | 0 comments

pr for powell

the daily kos has asked his readers for a catchy slogan that colin powell could use in asking the u.n. for help in iraq. his readers came through with plenty of good ideas.

some we liked:

all the playa's in house! put yer hands in the air! c-man, the secretary of funk, here to give you the 4-1-1 about the 9-1-1 yeah boy!" from bob

"join the bush league of nations" from deminva

"resistance is futile...you will be assimilated...from thumb

and our favorite: "all right, who do i have to blow for 15,000 troops?" by tripleg.

we suggest you read them all, and then add your own!

posted by skippy at 12:43 PM | 0 comments

we don't recall

frustrating ah-nold even more than when the make up girl refused to put out on the set of true lies, the ninth circuit court of appeals has ruled today california recall cannot go forward on oct. 7.

the court decided that the punch card ballots used in 6 counties (including los angeles, a pretty darn big county) would be likely to disenfranchise approximately 44% of the state's voters (because, in theory, punch card voting is more likely to be discounted than other kinds of voting). so the recall election cannot go through until those 6 counties replace their voting machines.

watch for angry repubbbs to take this to awol's daddy's friends...er, sorry, we mean the supreme court. and, for a better, more indepth look at how this ruling works and what it means, go to the blogs written by real lawyers, how appealing and talkleft.
posted by skippy at 12:29 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, September 14, 2003

the war that keeps on giving part one soldier killed, three injured near fallujah

an explosion on the road near fallujah killed one u.s. soldier and wounded three others, reports the nytimes:

a roadside bomb attack on a convoy in the troubled city of fallujah killed one u.s. soldier and injured three others, the military said.

it gave no further details of the attack, which brings to 155 the number of soldiers to die in iraq since president bush declared an end to major combat on may 1. during the heavy fighting before that date, 138 soldiers died.


posted by skippy at 8:51 PM | 0 comments

a quick meme the dems can use (free of charge)

we watched a bit of faux news today (because cnn was doing their people magazine special) and we watched bob beckel debate with some rightist repubbblican consultant, about the big dog's appearance in california to stump for gray davis.

the commentator (or "common baiter," because she was only there apparently to bait mr. beckel) opened with a question to bob: something along the lines of how bill clinton, who "lied to the american people" and "dragged the nation through the impeachment process" can now be such hot property in the democratic party.

to give bob credit, he did call the faux anchor on part of her disingenuous intro. "it was the republicans in the house who dragged the nation through the impeachment process." nice job, bob!

however, bob let the "lied to american people" just, well, lie there. come on, bob, this one is sooooo easy!

any democratic pundit on tv that ever gets confronted with this repubbblican meme again, only has to say this:

"lied to the american people? sean, i've got four words for you: 'weapons of mass destruction'. at least clinton's lies didn't kill more than 300 americans and untold thousands of iraqi's. so bite me you sanctimonious piece of excretion."

ok, leave off that last sentence, but you get the idea.
posted by skippy at 8:49 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, September 13, 2003

tin foil hat wearers, unite!

spadehammer at hammerdown has his tin foil hat on, along with ours!
posted by skippy at 7:05 PM | 0 comments

the definition of irony

we used to like what steve buscemi said about irony in "con air": a bunch of idiots dancing around on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.

however, we have to agree that talkleft may have inadvertantly created a new definition of irony (absolutely not of her doing, let us be clear about that!):

she blogs about freeing tommy chong from prison on charges of selling drug paraphanelia, right before she goes to speak at the california public defenders association conference in the wine country.

no, the irony is not talkleft's fault. indeed, if we may recommend yet another book that makes sense, take a look at "saying yes: in defense of drug use" which posits the idea that responsible use of illegal drugs is no different morally and ethically than responsible use of alcohol.

here's an admittedly biased review from the drug reform coordination network:

but, as [author jacob] sullum shows in several entertaining chapters, voodoo pharmacology -- the basis of our current prohibitionist drug policies -- has little to do with the reality of drug use patterns and more to do with enduring cultural fears encapsulated above by the paranoid mr. forbes. in passage after passage that will be uplifting to those drug users who never lost their jobs, their families, their health or their minds because they smoke pot today or snorted coke in the '80s or tripped on acid in the '60s or rolled on ecstasy in the '90s, sullum explores not only the unharmful but sometimes downright positive effects of drug use for many drug users.

and he finds that just as the wino drunk in the gutter does not represent most alcohol drinkers, neither does the thieving junky represent all heroin users, the twitching tweaker all amphetamine users, nor cheech and chong all pot smokers. quite the opposite. "the silent majority of users," he writes, are "decent, respectable people who, despite their politically incorrect choice of intoxicants, earn a living and meet their responsibilities."


we are pretty darn sure that talkleft would agree with us: it's ludicrous that tommy chong is languishing in prison for selling pipes on the internet while budweiser sponsors the superbowl.

adults who are responsible for their behavior don't abuse drugs...be they smoked or drunk. and they don't drive or operate heavy machinery or baby sit or throw knives or anything else, while they imbibe, if they are responsible.

so why is one drug sold on tv with jiggly models and the others are basis for life terms in prison?
posted by skippy at 7:03 PM | 0 comments

why we love search engines

in the latest attempt to not actually cover stories, but make them up, the media elite are jumping on howard dean's use of a joke that was apparently given to him during the taping of k street, the hbo series starring james carville as george clooney. the nytimes observes:

there is one moment when mr. soderbergh's experiment in symbiosis seems to pay off. for the show, mr. carville's character, aided by paul begala, like mr. carville a clinton-aide-turned-consultant, feeds howard dean, who appears as himself, a snappy retort during a fictionalized debate rehearsal.

in the real-life democratic debate in baltimore last tuesday, dr. dean delivered mr. carville's punch line when asked about the small number of blacks in his home state, vermont. (if the ability to attract black voters were linked to their share of the state's population, he said, "trent lott would be martin luther king.")


in lieu of talking about issues, the media are now trying to "gore" dean by presenting him as a prevaricator. fox news has already started questioning dean's veracity, claiming on a broadcast today that dean's campaign "insisted" that dean himself came up with the line.

howard kurtz, who pretends that blogging and using search engines is journalism, has jumped all over this story.

well, that's what dr. dean gets for being the front runner. trouble ahead, trouble behind, casey jones da da de da de dada crossed my mind.

but what do we like about search engines? look at what google brought up (the very last entry) when we searched for "howard dean martin luther king k street."
posted by skippy at 6:43 PM | 0 comments

dcombobulated

our bud and regular contributor tekflower sends us this link to a website that that promises to fix ms windows' problems with the dcom patches, thus keeping worms and viruses out of your computer.

disclaimer: we don't know nothing bout fixin' no computers. use this at your own risk!
posted by skippy at 6:26 PM | 0 comments

hey hey ho ho let us into the wto

hundreds, if not thousands of demonstrators are clogging the streets of cancun as they square off against mexican riot police defending the world trade orgination's annual meeting. the nytimes reports:

chanting "down down w.t.o.," some 2,000 protesters tore down fortified barricades today that had been erected by the police to keep demonstrators away from the talks. some protesters, their faces covered with bandanas and pads strapped to their forearms, rolled a battering ram cobbled from garbage cans and a tree trunk, vowing to "tear down the barriers of imperialism."..

police officers made minimal effort to stop the protest. and after accomplishing their goal, w.t.o. opponents from at least 20 countries, many of them students, sat in the street and applauded their solidarity. there were no clashes between the protesters and the police.


canada.com is saying the protesters flung feces at the police...that's subtle!

hundreds of protesters staged an hours-long standoff with mexican police saturday, cutting through metal barricades, throwing feces and threatening to storm a world trade organization meeting.

the demonstrations this time around began on a rather ugly note, as one man killed himself in protest of the wto's policies earlier this week.

as always, the best place to find up to the minute report on gigantic protests across the world is indymedia.
posted by skippy at 6:24 PM | 0 comments

do you recall, or remember at all, that wonderful, wonderful year?

[ed. note: could we get our headline writer to make references to something more recent than the gary moore show?]

nathan newman reminds us that the cal legislature passed a number of progressive bills, the kind that might get vetoed should a "non-democrat" (in his words) get into the governor's office.

as of now, that seems to be only a 50/50 chance, according to the latest latimes poll, which has the recall itself approved by only about half the voters polled, according to the desert sun:

the separate vote on the oct. 7 ballot on whether or not to recall democratic gov. gray davis was split, with 50 percent saying yes and 47 percent saying no. the poll's sampling error margin was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

(don't ask us why we can't find the poll results in the latimes and had to go to the palm desert desert sun...sometimes net search engines make no sense whatsoever...but then, neither do politics!)

davis' chances are moving up slightly. but it's tom mcclintock who is surprising everybody. the supposedly "moderate" vote that peter ueberrothh gave up when he pulled a "simon" (dropping out, as opposed to pulling an "issa," where you drop out and cry about it on tv) has not drifted over to ah-nold, but apparently over to mcclintock, instead.

the same latimes poll we couldn't find on the latimes website has tom mcclintock gaining on ah-nold, 17% to 25%, a mere 8% behind the immigrant who is against illegal immigrants.

(even though the san jose mercury news suggests that ah-nold himself may have been guilty of stretching the visa rules back when he was just a poor austrian body builder trying to make money in this country...something his visa did not allow him to do!)

ah-nold refuses to debate mcclintock for bragging rights of who's the real repubbblican. the contra costa times reports that when surprised by mcclintock on a conservative radio talk show, ah-noldamiabley said he'd debate tom. but when tom pressed him for an actual debate, ah-nold rebuffed the state senator.

meanwhile, arianna needs money.

(thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to california rough and tumble politics for links to several of these stories!)
posted by skippy at 1:21 PM | 0 comments