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Wait a minute…

March 31, 2004 2 comments

Schwarzenegger: Tax Hike May Be Necessary

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news – web sites) hinted that raising taxes may be unavoidable, acknowledging he is under extreme pressure to offset a $14 billion budget shortfall.

“I’m going through wishful thinking that I’ll never have to go there,” the Republican governor told reporters Tuesday in a series of interviews. “Because I just don’t like it. I try to work around and find ways so we don’t have to do that.”

Weren’t people saying this beforehand? That Schwarzenegger’s plan was wishful thinking, a free lunch, so to speak? This is what happens when you elect an actor (using that term loosely).

Categories: Silliness

Me vs. 9/11 conspiracy theorist

March 31, 2004 4 comments

It ends with a bang. Also, there is some question as to whether the notification times NORAD lists are correct and that my “took longer to get off it’s flight path” statement is kind of silly. And maybe the claims about Andrews. Eh, I’m not looking good. This seems to be a good essay on it.

Jeff says:
Hi

Bush is the Anti-Christ says:
hi

Jeff says:
I read your post on Metalforums.

Bush is the Anti-Christ says:
nice

Jeff says:
Got something for you to read: http://mckinneysucks.blogspot.com/2002_06_01_mckinneysucks_archive.html#77997492

Jeff says:
I’ll be on a while if you have questions about it or anything (I didn’t write, just to be clear)

Bush is the Anti-Christ says:
you’re trying to tell me the government didn’t know that plane was gonna hit the pentagon and it was 10 miles away from it?

Jeff says:
I’m saying the base 10 miles away is a National Guard base. Not a plain military base. The National Guard is not up and ready 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year.
Read more…

Categories: 9/11

Another Bush flip flop

March 30, 2004 3 comments

Bush Agrees to Let Rice Testify Publicly

WASHINGTON – President Bush agreed Tuesday to do what he had insisted for weeks he would not: allow National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify publicly and under oath before an independent panel investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

ANOTHER flip flop! Jesus, the guy has no moral principles. Why can’t he pick a stand on an issue and stick with it? What an opportunistic jackass!

Categories: 9/11, Bush

All together now:

March 29, 2004 2 comments

FUCK THE RIAA

Study: File-Sharing No Threat to Music Sales

Internet music piracy has no negative effect on legitimate music sales, according to a study released today by two university researchers that contradicts the music industry’s assertion that the illegal downloading of music online is taking a big bite out of its bottom line.

Songs that were heavily downloaded showed no measurable drop in sales, the researchers found after tracking sales of 680 albums over the course of 17 weeks in the second half of 2002. Matching that data with activity on the OpenNap file-sharing network, they concluded that file-sharing actually increases CD sales for hot albums that sell more than 600,000 copies. For every 150 downloads of a song from those albums, sales increase by a copy, the researchers found.

Oberholzer-Gee and his colleague, University of North Carolina’s Koleman Strumpf, also said that their “most pessimistic” statistical model showed that illegal file-sharing would have accounted for only 2 million fewer compact discs sales in 2002, whereas CD sales declined by 139 million units between 2000 and 2002.

Via Heliologue. Well, not from his blog. Just go and look at the pretty flower.

Categories: Music

Bush flip flops on drinking, Bible

March 29, 2004 3 comments

I was bored, so I was scanning through the GOP list of Kerry “flip flops” and this one stuck out:

Round 17: Flip-Flopped On Leaving Abortion Up To States

Kerry Used To Say Abortion Should Be Left Up To States. �I think the question of abortion is one that should be left for the states to decide,� Kerry said during his failed 1972 Congressional bid. (�John Kerry On The Issues,� The [Lowell, MA] Sun, 10/11/72)

Now Kerry Says Abortion Is Law Of Entire Nation. �The right to choose is the law of the United States. No person has the right to infringe on that freedom. Those of us who are in government have a special responsibility to see to it that the United States continues to protect this right, as it must protect all rights secured by the constitution.� (Sen. John Kerry [D-MA], Congressional Record, 1/22/85)

Kerry, in 1972, a kid at the time, more or less, had a slightly different view on abortion. Well, is it a flip flop, actually? Can’t he believe that it ideally should be left up to states, but it is the law of the land with Roe vs. Wade (which was not ruled on for a few months) and it should be protected from attacks to repeal it completely?

Anyway, I thought, what was Bush doing in 1972. Well, he apparently was something of a heavy drinker and non-religious. Around the same John Kerry supposedly flopped (1985 vs. 1986) he became a sober born-again Christian. What a flip flopper. He just can’t stick to his beliefs.

Categories: 2004 election cycle, Bush

Separate but equal?

March 29, 2004 Leave a comment

Mass. Lawmakers Agree on Gay Marriage Ban

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Legislature adopted a new version of a state constitutional amendment Monday that would ban gay marriage and legalize civil unions, eliminating consideration of any other proposed changes.

Lawmakers had voted earlier this month in favor of a similar amendment. The revised version adopted Monday would ask voters to simultaneously ban gay marriage and legalize civil unions � rather than taking those steps separately. It clarifies that civil unions would not grant federal benefits to gay couples.

By adopting the new language, lawmakers blocked consideration of several other amendments � including ones that would have weakened the civil union provision and one that would have split the question in two, allowing voters to weigh in separately on gay marriage and civil unions.

I’m still kind of torn about this. Having two separate union forms (civil union and marriage) leaves a wide opening for the kind of “separate but equal*winkwink*” policy we’ve seen before, though not on the same scale. But what if we can get to perfect equality of civil unions and marriage? Then is it ok? I don’t like it, but I think it’s tolerable, but I’m also not gay. In any case, I still believe the solution I’ve outlined here a couple times is best.

Categories: Social issues

Damn those liberals and their Bush bashing books

March 28, 2004 Leave a comment

Spinsanity’s coming out with a book: All the President’s Spin. Spinsanity’s always been a great source and I expect the book will be based upon on their online material, so it should be good. Though I thought David Corn’s book did a decent job on critiquing only Bush’s rhetoric, not his policies. In any case, I hope it becomes popular, and conservatives can twist themselves in knots trying to discredit them.

Categories: Bush

Calvin and Hobbes Sunday

March 28, 2004 Leave a comment

This becoming a bad habit of mine – stealing the bandwidth of free accounts.

Categories: Culture

Now THERE'S a contradiction

March 27, 2004 Leave a comment

Via TPM:

�Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath,� Frist said in a speech from the Senate floor, alleging that Clarke said in 2002 that the Bush administration actively sought to address the threat posed by al-Qaida before the attacks.

Frist later retreated from directly accusing Clarke of perjury, telling reporters that he personally had no knowledge that there were any discrepancies between Clarke�s two appearances. But he said, �Until you have him under oath both times, you don�t know.�

Oopsy. On the Bill Frist standard for making accusations, I now believe that Bill Frist has sex with goats, and has lied about it under oath.

Also, it’s too long to quote, but read the end of Marshall’s post here. He’s dead on.

Categories: 9/11, Foreign Policy

The campaign against Richard Clarke

March 26, 2004 15 comments

As we all know, no one seems to be able to disprove any of Clarke’s accusations. They’ve gone at his credibility. So what are these accusations, and are any of them actually substantive? We’ll see. (note: all these accusations (not that they originated there) are from RNS)

First, there’s this:

Richard Clarke is deeply wired into the Kerry campaign, and not just through Rand Beers. His main contact is his good friend Jonathan Winer, who�s been Kerry�s chief political operative and investigator through Iran-Contra, BCCI, and all the way back to his days as Lt. Gov of Massachusetts. Jonathan�s been identified publically as one of a handful of people running Kerry�s �shadow state department� along with Beers. The LA Times yesterday had a story quoting Winer as saying he was talking regularly with Clarke while Clarke was still in the White House, and that Clarke was expressing his disgust with the Bushies.

This is the same thing as the Rand Beers silliness. Really, he has two friends who are in the Kerry campaign? Who cares? He’s been around Washington for 30 years, isn’t this expected? The charge is paranoia, plain and simple.

Next up, this:

The media are fascinated with the parts of former White House terrorism czar Richard Clarke�s book that trash President Bush as being out to lunch on the al-Qaida threat before 9/11.

But reporters aren�t talking about the chapter of �Against All Enemies� that describes how Osama bin Laden cooperated with Iraqi scientists to make weapons of mass destruction – a development that, if true, would more than justify President Bush�s decision to go to war in Iraq.

In his book, Clarke describes how the Clinton CIA determined in 1996 that Sudan�s Shifa chemical plant, which was allegedly bankrolled by bin Laden, was producing the chemical EMPTA.

A question for anyone who is against the war in Iraq who happens to slide through RNS:

Was he lying then, or is he lying now?

First off, there’s no “lying then or now” in this, seeing as both charges (no links and the Sudan plant) are in the book. Elsewhere in the book he says something to the effect of “any ‘links’ in the two are a minor footnote in comparison to other regimes.” What appears to me to be the case, is that he considers this a minor and sketchy point. Sudan, using bin Laden’s money (no guarantees bin Laden knew who the scientists were), hired some Iraqi scientists. What did Saddam know about it? Much? That’s assuming it’s true, Clarke relegates it to “possible.” It’s not something you could count as a connection, so there’s no contradiction. That said, I’d like to see him asked about it.

Finally, there’s this laundry list of charges:

Was he lying in his praising the Bush terrorism policy in his letter of resignation?

“It has been an enormous privilege to serve you these last 24 months,” said the Jan. 20, 2003, letter from Clarke to Bush. “I will always remember the courage, determination, calm, and leadership you demonstrated on September 11th.”

There’s nothing about policy there. Besides, what are you going to say?

Or was he lying about Bush�s policy to Jim Angle of Fox News (Aug 2002)?

Clarke answers basically every “contradiction” in his testimony.

Or was he lying about Dr. Rice�s reaction to his mentioning al Qiada for the first time?

I don’t see this as a lie. He gave his impression of her reaction. He didn’t say “she’s never heard of al Qaeda” he said “she appeared as though she’d never heard of al Qaeda.” There’s a difference. Whether she knew or not is irrelevent. He’s describing his impression. She looked surprised, confused, annoyed as to the mention of al Qaeda. Maybe she was surprised that he thought they in particular were a threat (after probably dismissing the Clintonite’s warnings). It’s speculation, but there’s nothing to show that he lied.

Or was he lying in his testimony to the committee yesterday (where he admitted that even if the Bush team had followed everyone of his suggestions to the letter, September 11th would have still happened)?

This one I may concede. Here’s his statement to CBS:

He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We’ll never know.

Though, I wonder if he means in the testimony, we would have needed to know what the FBI knew about the hijackers farther down to have had a chance of preventing it. Still, it’s a contradiction, but one that I don’t think is a big deal. It’s not a fact or event, it’s his opinion. I think you need more than this to say he’s not credible.

Here’s the bottom line: The White House has had the book for 3 months. It can’t rebut any of the charges, with meeting tapes or minutes or what have you.

Categories: 9/11, Bush
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