Saletan expresses my feelings perfectly here when he asks "Where, indeed, is the heroism in anything Bush has done before 9/11 or since?"

It's a wonderful question, especially considering the fact that the Bush administration has now been inextricably linked to the Swift Boat Veterans for Bushit's attack ads on Kerry's service.

But let's take Vietnam out of the equation completely (please!).

The one thing that our fawning press has given Bush over the last three years is this undeserved status as "9/11 hero" who guided the country through tough times after al Qaeda attacked us. He's running largely on that status because, well, he hasn't got anything else. The economy is sputtering for all but the wealthiest Americans; Iraq is an unnecessary disaster; Afghanistan is a disaster when it shouldn't have been one; more people have moved into poverty; fewer people are employed; we're not safer as a nation. All he has left is the attempt to frighten us to the point where we believe that only SuperBush can protect us.

But what has he done that was so heroic?

Saletan answers:

Bush partisans point out that he did do things in the 9/11 aftermath. In his convention address last night, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik recalled Bush's famous visit to New York, "inspiring a nation as he stood on hallowed ground, supporting the first responders."

OK, so Bush stood there. He "supported," in a Clintonesque sense, the people who were doing something. He touched the mayor. As Rudy Giuliani told the New York Times over the weekend, "When he got off the helicopter, he put his arm around the back of my neck and said, 'What can I do for you?' It was a personal thing: 'I know what you've been through, and what I can do to support you?' "

Now, assume for a moment that this support equals a heroic act (forgetting that it demeans the meaning of the word "heroic"). Wouldn't an even more heroic act have been ensuring that New York got the money it needed for first responders and rebuilding? Wouldn't it have been more heroic to make sure that New York's air was actually safe before New Yorkers were allowed to go back into Ground Zero? Wouldn't an even more heroic act include actually securing the weak points that al Qaeda exploited to get into the US and then running them to ground?

It would to me.

Saletan continues:
The only moment of physical bravery any of last night's speakers could find in Bush's life was his secret trip to Iraq. "As I think about his leadership," Kerik recalled, "I think of the courage it took for our commander in chief to land on an airstrip in the dark of night, a world away, to be with our troops on Thanksgiving."

Thanksgiving? You mean, six months after we captured the airport and Bush declared victory?

And isn't "the dark of night" normally a term we use to describe the preferred arrival and departure time of people who aren't exactly overflowing with courage?

Or is Kerik pointing out the difficulty of landing a plane in the dark? Is he unaware, perhaps, that Bush wasn't flying the plane? That once again, as in Vietnam, somebody else was doing the hard part and Bush was along for the ride? That Air Force One has more security systems than any other vehicle on Earth? That Bush went to Baghdad to "be with" the troops in the same way he went to New York to "be with" the firefighters? That waiting for a safe time and place to "be with" people who have braved unsafe places at unsafe times is the difference between heroism and a photo op?

Maybe Bush's courage is moral rather than physical. Maybe it lies in the conviction Giuliani extolled last night: "President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is."

Calling terrorism evil? Answering a deed with a word? This is courage?

Not fair, says the Bush camp. Bush has answered terrorism with far more than words. "He worked effectively to secure the cooperation of Pakistan," McCain pointed out last night. "He encouraged other friends to recognize the peril that terrorism posed for them and won their help in apprehending many of those who would attack us again and in helping to freeze the assets they used to fund their bloody work."

Ah, diplomacy. Now, that's courage.

The ultimate testament to Bush's manhood, supposedly, is the two wars he launched. As McCain put it, "He ordered American forces to Afghanistan" and "made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq." But the salient word in each of those boasts is the verb. Bush gives orders and makes decisions. He doesn't take personal risks. He never has.

And there's the ultimate point to all this--Bush never does anything himself. It's always someone else who has to get bloody, and as long as he has any say whatsoever in the political processes of this country, it always will be. Bush is no hero.


Some days, I absolutely love the Boondocks.

Computer agony

So I'm scanning some pictures from the hop harvest, and all of a sudden, my scanner/printer software decides to have a shitfit. It's happened before, and through much agony and irritation and a bit of the magic that happens in Microsoft software (in other words, I don't know what the hell happened) it started working again. Until yesterday.

Now lately I've been having problems with spyware, so I decided what the hell--I'll back up my major files and reformat my computer and get a fresh start on everything. And thus far, with the exception of the scanner/printer, everything has worked swimmingly. But the scanner software still doesn't want to install. Six hours now I've been reinstalling software, the accumulated electronic detritus of the last year and a half since my last reformatting, and I'm still not done, and for what? My scanner still doesn't work. Ugh.

Kerry on the Daily Show

Okay--I don't have cable (as I have mentioned before) and so I must rely on the good graces of the people at the Comedy Central website to see clips of the Daily Show. What this generally means is that when something happens, like Stewart interviews the former President of the US, or the current Democratic nominee, I am at the mercy of their web people.

What it also means is that I get to hear the reviews from the people who inhabit various websites, both pundits and news junkies alike, and one thing I kept hearing over and over again was how badly Kerry tanked the Daily Show appearance. I heard it over and over--Kerry was dull, Kerry needed to tell better jokes, Kerry looked French, blah blah blah.

I don't get it. What were these people expecting? That Kerry would suddenly be transformed into a white Chris Rock? That there was something in the water at the Comedy Central studios that imbued you with a jolt of funny? Personally, considering Kerry's general stiffness in front of an audience from what I've seen on tv--and I've seen a lot of him on tv over the last year--I thought Kerry was relaxed and reasonably amusing.

And what's more important, he seemed in control. He had an air of competence about him. He wasn't putting on some bullshit, macho, tough guy pose like Bush was in his press conference this past week, appearing with his national security team dressed in jeans and a big belt buckle.

Idiots in the media helped sell George W. Bush as "the guy you'd rather have a beer with," as though he were just a regular guy. I don't want a regular guy. I want someone extraordinary. I know regular guys who line dance to Clarence Carter's "I Be Strokin'", for fuck's sake. Most regular guys are morons when it comes to the wider world. We've had four years of an intellectually "regular guy" in the White House, and look where it's gotten us. No thanks.

So I'm glad that Kerry was what he was on the Daily Show. He was John Kerry--stiff, stable, and competent. If he'd suddenly been the funniest guy on the show, I'd have been very, very worried.

The movie so bad it deserved a sequel.

Sorry, but the only thing I can think whenever I see the previews for the movie "Anacondas" is Wallace Shawn leaning over the side of a boat and saying to a flailing Robin Wright "Do you know what that sound is, Highness? Those are the shrieking eels."

Well, duh.

According to Reuters, British students spend about 3 times as much on booze as they do on books.

At $1.81 billion, the collective bar tab of Britain's students is close to what they spend on books and food combined -- $600 million and $1.2 billion respectively. Rent costs them another $4.5 billion.

Speaking of booze, I'm going on a work-related field trip on Thursday--to the hops harvest. I've never seen hops in the field (in the wild?), and outside of beer and some homeopathic remedies, I've no idea what they're used for, but I'm bringing my camera, and I'll post some pics when I get back.

Google bomb update

Swift Vets for Bush isn't yet on the first page for lying sacks of shit, but my last comment on it is, so that's something I guess. Just give it a click, won't you? A little clicky? A click-clickety-clicky?

Self inflicted politics

That's the title of Keith Olbermann's hardblogger entry for tonight, and damn is it worth reading. (Just what I need--another source for news analysis.)

He handles up on the latest from the lying sacks of shit (help me with the google-bomb, would you?) with his usual style and verbal dexterity and notes that the latest way being used to smear Kerry is by using a third party--namely, using O'Neill's book (although I find it insulting to the world of publishing to refer to it as such) as a "source" that raises "interesting questions." Then, the actual talking head doesn't have to actually make the bullshit accusation--they just note that the book makes it and isn't it interesting?

But that tactic doesn't work if the moderator in charge calls bullshit on them, the way Chris Matthews did on Michelle Malkin on Hardball tonight. (Go to Oliver Willis's site for the actual footage.)

Now Malkin got hammered for suggesting that Kerry's wounds were self-inflicted--which Matthews took as "Kerry wounded himself deliberately in order to get out of Vietnam" and which is reasonable to assume Malkin was hinting at, considering that earlier today, Larry Thurlow said of Kerry, "I’m saying that he had a plan that included not only being a war hero, but getting an 'early out.'" How else should Matthews take Malkin's suggestion that the book said Kerry's wounds might have been self-inflicted? Matthews hung her out to dry, and rightly so.

It doesn't matter that the term "self-inflicted" doesn't have a negative denotation--it's possible to, for instance, throw a grenade at an enemy, have a piece of shrapnel hit you in the blowback, and recieve not only a self-inflicted wound, but a Purple Heart, and if the situation warrants it, a commendation as well. It's the connotation that's important here, and the connotation is that Kerry wounded himself so he could get out of Vietnam and also be a hero.

I like the way Olbermann puts it, so I'll just quote him here:

It was all a plan. And if the wounds weren’t deliberately self-inflicted (again, kudos Chris— he immediately told Malkin that such an act constituted a criminal offense), they must have occurred thanks to the timely cooperation of the Viet Cong, who were good enough to shoot Kerry on cue so he could go back home with all those medals and ribbons. You know, the ribbons he threw away in protest.

If we weren't dealing with such serious issues, it would be amusing to watch the right-wing tie itself in such rhetorical knots and resort to such pathetic gambits to try to win their arguments. But these are serious times, and while Kerry's Vietnam service shouldn't be a serious issue, it has been made one by a group of people who are vested in having 4 more years of George W. Bush. They know they can't win on Bush's record as president, so they have to try to destroy his opponent. We can't let it happen--not without a fight.

Preaching to the choir

If you're looking for a sign of weakness inherent in the Bush campaign, don't look at poll numbers, don't look at events in Iraq or Afghanistan (do we even have reporters in Afghanistan any more?), don't look at the dismal job numbers or the other shaky economic news. Just look at the way Bush and Rove are campaigning. I'm not talking about the numbers at the gatherings that Bush attends, although by all accounts, Kerry is waxing his ass in that sense as well. I'm talking about who's allowed to attend the various events. From CNN:

This was no town hall appearance before a cross-section of citizens. Bush-Cheney re-election headquarters had instructed Oregon campaign officials to distribute tickets, so the school gymnasium was filled last Friday with 2,000 passionate Bush backers.

Bush's team exerts close control over admission to his events. Dissenters and would-be hecklers are turned away, campaign officials say. On several occasions in recent weeks, Democrats who have gotten in have been ejected because they wore pro-Kerry T-shirts.
And then there was that couple who were arrested in North Carolina, but that's another story.

By contrast, Kerry's events are pretty much open to the public,
though there have been some town hall events that are invitation-only. For certain appearances, the Kerry campaign has distributed tickets to the local party, unions and other supporters.

But Kerry spokesman David Wade said that any member of the public can get a ticket from a local campaign office or from the affiliated groups on a first-come, first-served basis. Many people are admitted without any ticket.

Kerry's events are open, which means he runs the risk of hecklers--and they do come out. CNN reports that a current favorite tactic is for the protestors to hold cheap sandals over their heads, clap them together and yell "Four more years." How original of them. But apparently Kerry and his campaign people feel it's more important to allow anyone who wants to come and listen to have the chance, without having to sign a loyalty oath, even if it means that hecklers get to show off their lack of wit.

Which is why the Bush campaign, I believe, will ultimately fail to win swing voters and independents (and by extension, the election). He's still preaching to the choir after 3+ years, and his choir isn't big enough to elect him on its own.

What's more, it seems he's afraid of preaching to anyone but the choir. Bush's campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel admits that they're not targeting swing voters at their events.
The president's events are not designed to convert Kerry backers, but rather energize Bush's base, aides say.

"The thousands of people at these events are the messengers for the campaign," Stanzel said. "They go out and spread the message, whether it's at their place of business or their VFW or sportsman's club or just in their neighborhood."
I guess Bush is so inept in the face of dissent that he has to have others face the opposition for him instead of manning up and doing it himself. Seems like not much has changed since Vietnam, huh?

On Jon Stewart

If he keeps this up, I'm going to have to seriously rethink my no-cable or dish stance. I wonder if Comedy Central would be interested in doing an online stream of the Daily Show show on a subscription basis? I'd buy that in a heartbeat.

Tom Harken tells it like it is

Via Atrios who got it from the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier:

Harkin also shot back at Cheney, who said in a visit to Iowa on Tuesday that presidential candidate John Kerry lacks a basic understanding of the war on terrorism and cannot make America safer.

He noted that Cheney had several student deferments that allowed him to skip serving in Vietnam.

"When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil," Harkin said. "Those of us who served and those of us who went in the military don't like it when someone like a Dick Cheney comes out and he wants to be tough. Yeah, he'll be tough. He'll be tough with somebody else's blood, somebody else's kids. But not when it was his turn to go."

This is the biggest point that our so-called media conveniently overlooks when talking about Bush/Cheney's military service and gung-ho attitude for war as complared to the attacks on Kerry's service in Vietnam. Even if Kerry had never won an award, had never saved a man's life, had never been wounded at all as opposed to his three wounds--Kerry would still be on higher moral ground because he went to Vietnam when he could have gotten out of it. He has faced gunfire. He has seen men die. Bush/Cheney have not. There is absolutely no comparison on this front.

I am not the kind of person who believes military service is absolutely necessary in order to be a political leader. At times, in fact, I think it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Bill Clinton spent absolutely no time in the military and he he did better than okay as President. But when you received seven draft deferments as Cheney did, or when you got your daddy to get you into the Air Guard ahead of hundreds of others and then failed to show up for all of your duty as Bush did, you don't get to be the tough guy. Not when there's a decorated combat veteran on the opposing side. Not even if you have a bunch of lying sacks of shit who are trying to denigrate your opponent's military record.

Committing an Act of Journalism

Some media critics have bemoaned the recent polls that show an ever-growing percentage of people, especially the younger demographic, are getting their news from comedy shows, especially The Daily Show. But as long as Stewart is doing a better job of journalism than the pros, I don't think we have to worry about it.

The clip is the best skewering of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Bush" ad that I've seen on video or in print. Journalists and editors everywhere ought to be ashamed for every giving the Swift Boat Vets a second's worth of airtime when their agenda--and more importantly, their deceit--is so easily proven.

Kenneth Baer at the New Republic thinks Kerry ought to sue the Swift Boat Vets for libel, since they have knowingly spread falsehoods and seem to be doing so with malice--the two prongs of any libel case. Baer notes that there are risks in doing so, political and otherwise, but thinks Kerry ought to take the risk, because to ignore the attacks now could very well lead to further, more crippling attacks during a Kerry presidency.

I'm tempted to agree that Kerry ought to fight back on this and file the suit, but not for Baer's reason. We already know from our experience with the Clintons that the right-wing will literally stoop to anything with utterly no shame, so a libel suit won't slow them down any. The attacks will come, no matter how many libel suits are filed. No, I think Kerry ought to file it because in the event this did get into the courts, discovery would open up the books for the Swift Boat Vets and we'd get to see just who their donors are and how far the vast right-wing conspiracy reaches.

And for one other reason. I just want to see someone hit them back. The right-wing is a bunch of bullies who shrink from actual battles of intellect and principle. It's time they were confronted and someone put a boot in their collective ass.

Who is J. Patrick Rooney?

And why is he funding People of Color United, a group that has started running attack ads against John Kerry, describing him as "rich, white and wishy-washy" and mocking his wife for boasting of her African roots?

First things first. This is J. Patrick Rooney.

So he's not what you might first expect to see when you hear of a major bankroller of a group named "People of Color United"--a group, I might add, that seems to have no web presence at all and seems to have popped up out of nowhere just recently.

But it is what you would expect to see if you're looking for a guy who bankrolls Republican smear campaigns and gets favors from the Bush administration.

So who is J. Patrick Rooney? I'll let the Detroit Federation of Teachers answer that one for you:

Medicare's Hidden Bonanza for J. Patrick Rooney

There is little doubt about the biggest short-term winner in the new Medicare law. He is J. Patrick Rooney, a major Republican campaign donor and huge supporter of privatization of both health insurance and public schools. In 1991, he founded the first privately-funded school voucher program, the Educational CHOICE Charitable Trust, in Indianapolis. Rooney later created CEO America, a national private school voucher program funded by the Walton Family Foundation, which operates Wal-Mart, the largest and one of the most aggressive anti-union employers in the country.


Just days before the new Medicare bill passed, UnitedHealth Group, the largest insurer in America, paid $500 million in cash for Rooney's family-owned company, a move that analysts say was directly tied to the Medicare bill's provisions broadening the market for HSAs. In their 10-year campaign to promote HSAs, Rooney's family, companies, and employees have given $3.6 million to political candidates and committees, with 90 percent going to Republicans. Rooney and his companies gave another $2.2 million to Republican organizations, including $121,000 to help pay for President Bush's Florida recount battle, and nearly $1.9 million for a group called the Republican Leadership Coalition, which ran attack ads against Al Gore during the 2000 campaign. In the meantime, the Golden Rule division of UnitedHealth has gotten a jump on the competition, having rolled out new health savings accounts within weeks of the bill's passage. By then, UnitedHealth's stock had already jumped 9 percent. "We know this market exceptionally well," Golden Rule's top lobbyist, Brian McManus, boasted. "We pioneered it."

So in other words, he's a crony--a crony who's using inflammatory, racially charged rhetoric to spread misinformation about John Kerry and his wife. Kerry comes in for criticism over a rigged vote that the Senate Republicans were never going to allow to pass--the one on unemployment benefits--while the Washington Post article linked above states:
Another ad attacks Teresa Heinz Kerry, who, at the Democratic convention last month cited her birth and upbringing in Mozambique and who has described herself as African American. In the radio commercial, the announcer says: "His wife says she's an African American. While technically true, I don't believe a white woman, raised in Africa, surrounded by servants, qualifies."
It's disgusting.

And lest you think that any of this is motivated by genuine feeling instead of profit margin, I'll refer you to the end of the WaPo article.
Rooney sold Golden Rule to UnitedHealth Group Inc. for a reported $893 million in September 2003, just as Congress moved toward passage of a tax break for health savings accounts that will cost the Treasury $16.5 billion in lost revenue over the first five years.


After the 2003 passage of the Medicare bill, the Democratic National Committee released a report headlined "Bush's Medicare Bill Provided Major Payoff to Golden Rule." It charged that "in their 10 year campaign to promote the accounts, Rooney's family, companies and employees have given $3.6 million to political candidates and committees, with 90 percent going to Republicans."

How long before the commercials make CNN while the background stays, well, in the background?

Most Liberal Senator

Scoobie Davis has asked for some google-bombing help and here's my meager contribution. Do me a favor and click through on the title--it's a website Scoobie set up that debunks the laughable most liberal senator tag that the right has been trying to pin on Kerry (Oh how I wish it were actually true). Let's see if we can get it to the top of the google search engine.

Alan Keyes

I've got no joke here--just wondering if the Illinois Republicans might have been better off with Ryan.


CHICAGO - A day after jumping into the Illinois Senate race, two-time presidential hopeful Alan Keyes ripped into Democratic rival Barack Obama, saying his views on abortion are “the slaveholder’s position.”

Wow. I remember Keyes from the 2000 primaries and I knew he was a loon, but somehow I'd forgotten just how much of a loon.

Arrest warrants for the Chalabis

It's the top story on, so I won't link to it. Ahmad is wanted for counterfeiting (what a shock, considering his Jordanian conviction for mail fraud) and Salem for being part of a murder plot. But before the pictures disappear into the past, I thought it would be nice to remind everyone just how much this administration liked having Ahmad around. Here's a little trip down memory lane.

At the State of the Union:

Having a cuddle with Colin Powell:

Haggling with Paul Wolfowitz:

Giving Rick Santorum a mean woodie:

Going for a drink with Rummy after discussing plans for world domination:

And last but not least, hanging with the Gee-Dub

Dahlia Lithwick at the NY Times

I have what some consider strange interests, not the least of which is my fascination with the esoteric legalese of Supreme Court decisions. I have no legal training outside what any American kid with a love for court shows on tv receives, so when I found Dahlia Lithwick's Jurisprudence column over at Slate, I was in heaven.

And now, she's subbing in for Friedman at the NY Times. Her first piece is on rape shield laws in high profile cases that involve acquaintance rather than what she calls "stranger in the bushes" rape, and she shows the problem with well-intentioned but too broadly drawn laws.

Rape shield laws are well-intentioned--there are few things more despicable to me than the argument that a rape victim deserved what he or she got because they happen to be sexually promiscuous. It's the most fundamental human right that a person has absolute control over his or her body--no rape victim ever asks to be raped.

But as Lithwick points out, when you get into acquaintance rape cases,

centered as they are on nuanced questions about the accuser's consent and the defendant's understanding of that consent - is that the legal inquiry does come down to whether she asked for it. Almost literally. And all the evidence of her sexual behavior - in this case the physical evidence implicating the accuser's other encounters that week - thus becomes highly relevant.

Honestly, I don't blame anyone accused of rape from pulling out all the stops to prove their innocence--the mere accusation is enough to destroy one's reputation, and a false accusation is as morally reprehensible in my opinion as the actual rape is concerned. And a conviction now means not only jail time, but permanent ostracization from society, thanks to requirements that force sex offenders to identify themselves to their neighbors. It's nearly impossible to repair your reputation after a conviction.

So where do we draw the line? Lithwick doesn't really address that question, because she deals more with the problem of the media in high-profile cases, specifically the Kobe Bryant case (a case I have assiduously avoided reading anything about, just as I have avoided the Peterson case, not an easy thing to do in California). She notes that the media have essentially turned into Kobe's secondary defense team, splashing details of the accuser's private life all over the national stage. They've made it largely impossible for there to be a fair trial--for either Kobe or his accuser.

But for me, the problem really lies in the attempt to legislate a catch-all for the situation. Clearly there are cases where the victim's sexual past is utterly irrelevant, and there are cases where it might be, and no legislation is going to make a hard and fast rule that will cover every possible iteration. That's why we have judges--they're put in those positions because they're supposed to make those tough calls. There's no easy fix here.

An open suggestion to pollsters

Would you please stop including Nader in your horserace polls? Unless he's on the ballot in a particular state, why include him at all? His inclusion skews the perception of where the two main candidates stand in relation to each other and also demeans other minority party candidates, some of who actually have a mathematical chance of winning the presidency.

How's this for a compromise--if you're going to poll the presidential race, only ask about candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to potentially win. Include everyone who's on that list, or just give us the big two, I don't care, but stop giving Nader the legitimacy he doesn't deserve at this point in the game.

The New Job

It's day three at the brewery. The back still aches a bit and is stiff; I'm dog ass tired because I'm having to get used to a new sleep schedule (I've never held a job where I had to be at work at 7 a.m. before for a reason); and I really like what I'm doing.

I've been training in the part of the brewery that some refer to as the medieval torture room--the rack room. It's the place where we clean and fill beer kegs, and we average 90-100 kegs per hour. It's basically a two-person job, unless you're dealing with small or pony kegs, and we rotate jobs so one person isn't having to do all the heavy work.

One person takes the old kegs--and they often have some nasty, filthy shit on them--gives them a cursory wash, eyeballs the gaskets to see if there's any obvious leaks, and upends them onto the washer. Usually, they're mostly or completely empty, so they're about 35 pounds apiece. If they're more than half full, then we have to drain them before sending them through the system.

Once they're filled with beer, the other guy gets to have his fun. They come down a series of rollers, cross a scale that we check to make sure the keg is full, and then we spray the tap with alcohol, cover it with a plastic cap and a sleeve that identifies the beer type and the date it was made, and we roll it onto a pallet. Rolling is important since full kegs weigh anywhere from 134-140 pounds apiece--thus the aching and stiff back.

Still, I've apparently been handling it better than other new people have in the past. I've been told that most new people have to take a day or two off after their first couple of days in either the rack room or the bottle shop, to get over the soreness. In my case, I think it's more because at age 35, I know my body and what it can and can't do, and so I take shortcuts more willingly. I have no ego to bruise as far as my physical prowess is concerned.

It feels good to get back into the world of physical labor again. I like feeling that I've earned my sleep at the end of the day, and boy do I feel tired.

Deja Vu

Remember late last year when Howard Dean was asked if the capture of Saddam Hussein made America safer? He answered quickly, bluntly, logically, and correctly that the answer was no. He was decried by many in the media, and most especially by his fellow "Democratic party" presidential candidate, Holy Joe Lieberman, who said the US was "profoundly safer" with Hussein's capture. Lieberman was, of course, wrong, like he is a lot of the time.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Howard Dean is on CNN and notes the strange coincidental harmony between poor Bush ratings and terror alerts. He was, of course, derided for that statement, only to be proved aright again, most notably by today's NY Times article that showed most of the information that hyped the terror alert was old news, to put it nicely.
But what was Holy Joe saying? From Atrios:

DEAN: Every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays his trump card, which is terrorism.

WOODRUFF: Republicans took umbrage, and so did some Democrats.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: I don't think anybody who has any fairness or is in their right mind would think that the president or the secretary of Homeland Security would raise an alert level and scare people for political reasons.

Maybe you wouldn't Joe, but then again, you still believe President Bush is an honorable man and that the tooth fairy leaves you a shiny new dime under your pillow in exchange for a bicuspid.

Light blogging

I'll be a little light for the next few days, I imagine. I just started a new job today, and it's kicking my ass a bit. I'm back to grunt work and loving it.

I'm working in the bottle shop and the rack room at Anchor Brewing, and it's not nearly as glorious as it sounds. But it's good work, it makes my back ache, it pays well, and it should help me drop a few pounds without the stress of an actual exercise program. I like to steal Dennis Miller's line that the only exercise I like is jogging my memory to remind myself how much I hate to exercise.

So as my body adjusts and I don't feel the need to collapse in pain as soon as I get home from work, I'll pick up the blogging pace again. See you soon.

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