a left leaning political blog -- it's not really about pie
a political blog, mostly, with a few cat pictures

Friday, January 31, 2003

White House Links Saddam, Al Qaeda

"A recent assassination of our diplomat in Amman, Mr. Foley, that was apparently orchestrated by an al Qaeda member who is resident in Baghdad."
Yeah, that justifies murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

Bush Wants Drug Addicts to Pray

"Under then- (Texas) Gov. Bush, Victory Fellowship and other religious drug programs won permission to skirt all state health and safety laws, including rules requiring licensed counselors. . .

The program rehabilitates drug addicts and alcoholics through Christian teachings. Its leader, Pastor Freddie Garcia, has been quoted as saying, "Sin is the problem. Jesus Christ is the solution." And he's said traditional treatments don't work. "If you treat an addict with a drug rehab program, all you have is a reformed junkie. If he meets Christ, he is transformed. He's a whole new person," he said."

What's next, a state religion?

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Peter Bergen knows an awful lot about Osama, having spent time with him and all. Here he tells us why he thinks that the president's claim that Osama and Saddam are linked is rubbish.


Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Um. . .Yay . . .I guess.

On one hand I have to admit that I was zoning out during Bush's speech last night, and I didn't even make it to the part about Iraq. There was, however, one part that I had to check the transcript for.

"Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment."

"I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote energy efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner technology, and to produce more energy at home.

I have sent you clear skies legislation that mandates a 70 percent cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years."

Not exactly. His plan does not cut CO2 emissions at all. Also -- "environmental and public health groups warn that the Clear Skies plan will cripple current efforts to reduce air pollution, providing far fewer benefits that existing legislation."

"I have sent you a healthy forest initiative to help prevent the catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife and burn away millions of acres of treasured forests."
Okay, he means operation "No trees/No fires." Allan Fitzsimmons, the man chosen to head the Bush administration's wildfire prevention program "doubts the existence of ecosystems" and says "it would not be a crisis if the nation's threatened and endangered species became extinct."


"Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles.

A simple chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car, producing only water, not exhaust fumes.

With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free."

1.2 billion for developing fuel cells? I don't know if this is 1.2 billion over the next 10 years, or 1.2 billion now, which would almost seem adequate.

He wants to be seen as an environmentalist, which is an obvious misrepresentation. There is also little doubt that this is, in part, an effort to dispel the notion that the invasion of Iraq is for oil. Whenever children are mentioned you can bet that it is an effort to appeal to the "soccer mom" segment of voters. But I don't think that this will go over well with his core voters, or with many of his campaign contributors.

Oh well, yay, I guess. For now.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Bush to show direct link of Iraq, al Qaeda

Apparently the "new" information tying Iraq to Al Qaeda that is to be revealed next week is taken from the confessions of prisoners being held at Camp X Ray.

"Mr. Fleischer said yesterday that the president's speech would draw on "developing information" from the interrogation of captured al Qaeda operatives to spotlight ties between Saddam and Osama bin Laden, including chemical-weapons training, that pose "a very grave threat."

Is it just me, or does this information not seem terribly credible? If they are interrogating prisoners and telling them that they can get better treatment in exchange for information, are the prisoners really going to admit that they don't know anything?

At Guantanamo Bay there is a newer, more permanent prison facility called "Radar Range." It has air conditioning and normal toilets (no more being led to the latrines in manacles.) Don't you think that prisoners will make up whatever stories they are prompted to make up in order to be in a nice air conditioned indoor facility?

Monday, January 27, 2003

Atrios says to go take this poll now.

There's porn on the oprah channel!

Text: Blix Delivers Report to U.N.

Go read Skippy's letter to Red Lobster.

TPM links to a disturbing Bush administration proposal regarding prescription drug benefits.

"Want a prescription drug benefit? No problem. Just give up your Medicare coverage in exchange for entering an HMO!"

Tomorrow is a big day. The Israeli elections and the President's state of the union speech. I am preparing myself to be completely disgusted by both.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Nukes now considered "conventional"

"Military officials have been focusing their planning on the use of tactical nuclear arms in retaliation for a strike by the Iraqis with chemical or biological weapons, or to preempt one, Arkin says. . . Arkin also says that the Pentagon has changed the bureaucratic oversight of nuclear weapons so that they are no longer treated as a special category of arms but are grouped with conventional military options."
Preemptive nuclear weapons? I'm speechless.

Friday, January 24, 2003

New Get Your War On

This may be old news. I haven't been around much lately.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

My Prediction

First, let me just say that I don't in any way believe in psychic phenomenon.

I lived in San Francisco for about 16 years. Having grown up in LA, there was no possibility that I would ever become a Giants fan. So I started going to games in Oakland, and learned to love the As. They were my team.

An odd thing happened. Someone would say to me, "do you want to go to the As game tonight?" I would think about it. "No, I don't really feel like going tonight." And the As would lose. Consistently. If I didn't feel like going, they lost. If I felt like going, they won. I had a perfect record of only going to games that they won. How do I explain that? I have no idea.

I have an impression that there won't be a US invasion of Iraq. It feels just like when I used to have an impression that the As would win. I know that our troops are in place. I know how much it costs to deploy that number of troops to the middle east. I know that the Bush administration have their minds made up about it.

The invasion is inevitable, and yet I can't explain this feeling that I have. I am not optimistic. I hope I am not wrong.

And no, I don't know who will win the superbowl.

Russell Mokhiber does it again

Mokhiber: You and the President have said that Saddam has repeatedly gassed his own people. Why do you leave out the part that the United States in effect gave Saddam the green light?

Thursday, January 02, 2003

How do we sleep at night?

How can we send even one cent in aid to a county that does this? Or a country that routinely guns down small children who are only throwing rocks, or 95 year old women? Go to xymphora for more details, if you aren't depressed enough already.