The Beltway Bandit

An online journal of politics, culture, and sports

Friday, August 08, 2003

DUBYA'S IN BOX -- Arafat is spamming you.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

SPARE ME -- Five hundred dollars for the right to witness this dreck? They must be kidding. Only they're not. They should pay me $500 for listening to these self-congratulatory dopes masturbate each other over their deep thoughts.

On second thought, $500 isn't enough. I'm not that cheap.

ENDLESS TRAGEDY -- Read it and weep.
The hand of war grabs the young woman as she shops for twin-size sheets with pictures of Dalmatians.

She is at a Marysville garage sale. It is 10:30 on Saturday morning. Her cell phone rings.

"Come home!" her boyfriend's brother says on the other end.

"Why?"

"I can't tell you."

"No. You can. Tell me now!"

"Your mom called. There was an accident over in Iraq."
Makes you wanna holler.

GOOD ON YA, CHICKIES! -- Who was the top-grossing country music touring act of the year? These girls. I'm pleased.

READ 'EM AND WEEP... -- ...for our dying soldiers. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has compiled a sort of Bush Regime's Greatest Iraqi Lie Hits and they are well worth a read. A sample:
"There is no doubt that he has chemical weapons stocks… With respect to biological weapons, we are confident that he has some stocks of those weapons and he is probably continuing to try to develop more… With respect to nuclear weapons, we are quite confident that he continues to try to pursue the technology that would allow him to develop a nuclear weapon… So there's no question that he has these weapons, but even more importantly, he is striving to do even more, to get even more."
-- Secretary of State Colin Powell
How do these guys sleep or show their faces in public? What a blissful thing it must be to have no shame.

IRAQ ERUPTS -- Good old Middle East terrorism has finally come to Iraq:
A powerful car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy on Thursday, hurling vehicles in the air and killing at least 11 people, including a woman and two children, morgue officials said. More than 50 people were wounded in the blast.

Later Thursday, a fierce gunbattle broke out in central Baghdad, wounding at least two U.S. soldiers. The violence followed a firefight the night before in which two American soldiers were killed, the military announced.

The deaths Wednesday night ended a four-day period in which no U.S. forces had been killed and brought to 55 the number of U.S. troops killed in combat since May 1, when President Bush (news - web sites) declared major fighting over. The two were killed in a battle in the Al Rashid section of Baghdad, and their translator was wounded, the U.S. Central Command said.

Thursday's gunbattle erupted when a U.S. Humvee was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades, wounding two soldiers and destroying the vehicle, witnesses said.

The Americans responded with an assault on the source of the fire, a nearby two-story building, trading machine gun and automatic rifle fire with those inside. At least at 20 Humvees and eight Bradley fighting vehicles joined the counterattack, while three helicopters hovered overhead.

The military allowed about 20 civilians inside to come out with their hands in the air, some carrying white handkerchiefs. U.S. forces then stormed the building and emerged about five minutes later carrying a soldier, who was evacuated from the firezone. It was not known if the soldier was killed or wounded.

After the soldiers attacked, the building began burning and was gutted.
The spectacular "success" of this bombing at the Jordanian embassy will encourage more such attacks. Prepare yourself for the human bombs on buses, in markets, at checkpoints. Everything we saw before was prelude.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

BLEEDING ON WALL STREET -- The Dow dropped 150 points and it was another tough day for the Nasdaq, down 41 points.

THE ROOTS OF FAILURE -- Why has the American occupation of Iraq been so expensive in lives and treasure? And why is it doomed to failure? A new book entitled "America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq," co-authored by James Dobbins, Mr Bush's special envoy to post-Taliban Afghanistan, answers those questions. It's a damning indictment of the Bush regime's thoughtlessness in preparing for the Iraq occupation. In fact, it makes one wonder if any preparing took place at all.

THERE ARE SOME SICK BASTARDS OUT THERE -- And, apparently, some of them live in Norway.

EBOLA VACCINE WORKS... -- ...in monkeys. U.S. government researchers have developed an Ebola vaccine that works with a single jab and has a 100% success rate with monkeys infected with the ebola virus. Ebola is a deadly retrovirus of African origin [it is named for the Ebola River in Congo] that, without explanation, pops up briefly and ferociously in Africa from time to time.
Dr. Gary Nabel, the top vaccine expert at the U.S. Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and leader of the study, said he was surprised a single shot worked.

"If we can do this for Ebola virus, I am hopeful we can apply it to other infectious outbreaks," Nabel said in a telephone interview.

Ebola, first identified in 1976, can cause internal bleeding and shock and kills anywhere between 50 percent and 90 percent of victims. It has resisted vaccine efforts so far.
...
In April, an outbreak of Ebola killed more than 120 people in the Congo Republic and also killed many gorillas living in a nearby wildlife preserve. A vaccine would be used to control such outbreaks in both people and animals, Nabel said.

"Ring vaccination might be used to stop the spread of the Ebola virus during acute outbreaks, just as this strategy was used to contain smallpox in the past," Nabel said.

With ring vaccination, everyone who has been in contact with a patient, as well as all members of the patient's household, are vaccinated. It is also safer than the smallpox vaccine, which uses a live virus related to smallpox.

"This research has enormous public health implications not only because it might be used to limit the spread of Ebola virus, which continues to emerge in central Africa, but also because this vaccine strategy may be applied to other highly lethal viruses, such as the Marburg and Lassa fever viruses and the SARS coronavirus, that cause acute disease outbreaks and require a rapid response," NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a statement.

Nabel said the approach may be used in the development of vaccine against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which sickened more than 8,000 people around the world and killed more than 800.
I'm fascinated by Ebola, which appears to be among the most savagely lethal viruses in the world today. Victims die a particularly gruesome death and if the virus--which is transmitted through bodily fluids--ever became airborne it would threaten hundreds of millions [or even billions] of lives. This is a hopeful development.

CUOMO TO GORE: GET IN -- Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo has a message for Vice President Al Gore: Run for president.
In a subsequent interview with The Associated Press, Cuomo said that the Democrats are lacking a "positive agenda, one that the whole party can come around, and a guy like Gore -- who has done it, who has it and who can point to it -- I think he would be an advantage to the campaign."

Cuomo's comments came one day before Gore was to deliver a speech at New York University on the Bush administration's handling of the U.S.-led war against Iraq and other national security issues.

Cuomo, who contended that "my voice isn't that important," said he had not personally shared his thoughts about the race with Gore.
I am not as down on the Democratic field as Mr Cuomo is, but I wouldn't mind seeing Al Gore in the primaries. In fact, he should be there. More to the point, he should be president right now.

RIGHT WING PAPERS ARE MORE SHRILL -- According to a Harvard University study, right-wing editorial pages are far more partisan than the editorial pages of allegedly liberal newspapers. As described in The Washington Post:
New York magazine columnist Michael Tomasky, who did the study for the Joan Shorenstein press center, is a certified liberal, so some may be inclined to discount his findings. But the nature of his research makes it harder to dismiss.

Tomasky examined the editorial commentary on 10 Bush and Clinton episodes that were roughly comparable. He did not include extraordinary events, such as the Lewinsky scandal or 9/11. Everyone knows that virtually all papers, of every political stripe, whacked Clinton over his Monica dissembling. No surprise there, and there's no similar Bush scandal. More interesting is how the papers handled run-of-the-mill political controversies.

The liberal papers criticized the Clinton administration 30 percent of the time, while the conservative papers slapped around the Bush administration just 7 percent of the time.

The liberal papers praised the Clintonites 36 percent of the time, while the conservative papers praised the Bushies 77 percent of the time.

One more set of numbers: The liberal papers criticized Bush 67 percent of the time; the conservative papers criticized Clinton 89 percent of the time.

As for intensity, Tomasky cites a Journal editorial soon after the Clintonites arrived in Washington, describing administration figures as "pod people from a 'Star Trek' episode . . . genetically bred to inhabit the public sector."

Let's go to the numbers:

When Hillary's health care task force was sued in 1993 to open its records, the NYT wrote four editorials, all negative toward the Clintons. The WP had one mixed. The WSJ wrote eight, all negative. The WT had seven, all negative.

The New York Times, for example, called the Clinton secrecy "unseemly, possibly illegal and wrong." The Washington Times said that "if ever there was a situation that demanded that all ethics regulations be followed down to the last dot on the last 'i' and the last cross on the last 't' it is the doings of the health care task force."

Cut to Dick Cheney's energy task force keeping its records secret. The NYT, as it had with Hillary, wrote five editorials, all negative. The WP wrote one, mixed. The WSJ wrote one positive, and the WT wrote one positive, one mixed and one negative.

Said the Journal: "This purely political lawsuit was [John Dingell and Henry Waxman's] attempted end-run around the Constitution's tedious separation of powers."

The Washington Times compared the Hillary and Cheney situations, saying: "Perhaps the most important difference between the two task forces is that no one on the Bush team is channeling policy from Eleanor Roosevelt."

During Janet Reno's first year as attorney general, the NYT wrote five positive editorials, 11 mixed and 17 negative. The WP wrote seven positive, three mixed and four negative. By contrast, the WSJ wrote one positive, four mixed and 11 negative. The WT carried two mixed and 16 negative.

As for John Ashcroft's first year, the NYT had four positive, seven mixed and 13 negative. The WP had four positive, six mixed and 13 negative. The WSJ: nine positive and one mixed. The WT: 10 positive, two mixed and three negative.
Personally, I think it is rather amusing The Washington Post is being listed as a liberal newspaper. Since when? The Washington Post is a moderately conservative newspaper; it only looks liberal next to The Washington Times, which is so right-wing its political views can scarcely be described.

JERRY SPRINGER WILL NOT RUN -- Schlock show host Jerry Springer will not seek the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate in Ohio. I'm watching him live on CNN right now and he's taking a long time to say he cannot run a real campaign while his TV show continues. And he'd rather continue doing the show, apparently. Step forward, someone else.

ANATOMY OF A SMEAR -- Reverend Gene Robinson was elevated to Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire yesterday, despite a last-second smear campaign waged against him by anti-gay bigots on the right-wing. As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has noted:
Robinson was ambushed, hours before the House of Bishops was to take the final vote on his nomination, by the most scurrilous smear: He was accused of linkage to a porn Web site and of inappropriately touching another man. The church investigated both charges and cleared Robinson. The House of Bishops then voted to accept his elevation to Bishop of New Hampshire. End of story? Not quite.

The Every Voice Network Web site, a liberal Anglican site, reported Tuesday that the alleged inappropriate behavior "occurred when Robinson touched a married man in his 40s on his bicep, shoulder and upper back in the process of a public conversation at a province meeting around two years ago." Oh, please.

The phony accusation that Robinson was linked somehow to porn on the Web was easy to track down. It was a deliberate, calculated lie, apparently held in reserve until the last minute in case the first vote, in the House of Deputies, went against those opposed to Robinson's elevation to bishop -- which it did on Sunday.
...
Years ago, Robinson helped organize the Concord, N.H., chapter of Outright, a group that, essentially, ministers to young gay and lesbian people. He has had little contact with the group in recent years, and had nothing to do with its Web site, as the group has confirmed.

At Outright Web site that Robinson had nothing to do with, you find links to nine Outright groups in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. One or more of them once had a link to bisexual.org, a support site for bisexual people. At bisexual.org, in the bottom left corner, is a link to "3 pillows."

If you click that link, you get a bisexual.org splash screen telling you that "Three Pillows is the net's premiere site for bisexual erotica." If you click the link in this window, you get a Three Pillows warning page: "Warning -- Adult Content Ahead! You must be over 18 to proceed. Three Pillows contains adult erotica of a bisexual nature."

If you click the "Enter" link, you get a fairly explicit page with the naughtiest bits blanked out. To actually see the explicit stuff, you must become a member and pay for the privilege.

That's, what, seven clicks and a Visa card from the Outright page that Robinson had nothing to do with? As one online wag said, you can get from the conservative Weekly Standard to porn in just two clicks: to Salon, then to porn. Frankly, porn is much closer than seven clicks to Startribune.com as well. Everything on the Web is a few clicks away from porn; that's the Web.

The Weekly Standard is important in this. Executive Editor Fred Barnes gave the Robinson story a major boost -- after it was shopped to other news outlets that refused to bite -- when he posted information about the controversy on the magazine's Web site Monday. Barnes asserted that, "Episcopalian bishop-elect Gene Robinson has some curious affiliations," meaning the porn Web site.

No he doesn't, but Barnes does. He's not simply a journalist in this; he's a conservative Episcopalian of outspoken views who sits on the board of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. It's a conservative group which believes that mainline Protestant churches "have thrown themselves into multiple, often leftist crusades -- radical forms of feminism, environmentalism, pacifism, multi-culturalism, revolutionary socialism, sexual liberation and so forth." The group vigorously opposes gay rights within the church.

Also fascinating is who funds the institute. The most prominent names on the list of contributors are Olin, Scaife and Bradley, the same folks who bankrolled the Clinton wars.

So we come full circle. Gene Robinson, meet Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky.
Yes, I think that about sums it up.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

LATE SMEAR FAILS -- A last-second smear operation against the Reverend Gene Robinson, who seeks to become the first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop has failed. The unproven smears were orchestrated by a small group of right-wing Episcopalians [yes, apparently there are right-wing Episcopalians] led by Murdoch hack Fred Barnes. An investigation into these baseless accusations, which didn't surface until it became clear Reverend Robinson was going to win the day, has demonstrated them to be false. Expect Reverend Robinson to be confirmed by the House of Bishops as Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire very soon.

WHY DO GAYS SMOKE MORE? -- Slate analyzes that burning question. It's actually pretty interesting.

YOUR DAILY DOONESBURY -- The Age of Irresponsibility.

BUSH IS "MOTHER OF ALL BIG SPENDERS" -- Who says so? Some librulcommiepinkotraitor like me? Nope, the right wing Cato Institute, that's who. Cato has a new report out that indicts Mr Bush as a big spender who has run up the federal deficit not because of the recession he didn't inherit or the war on terror he isn't fighting, but because of huge increases in discretionary, non-defense-related federal spending.
The Bush administration's newly released budget projections reveal an anticipated budget deficit of $450 billion for the current fiscal year, up another $151 billion since February. Supporters and critics of the administration are tripping over themselves to blame the deficit on tax cuts, the war, and a slow economy. But the fact is we have mounting deficits because George W. Bush is the most gratuitous big spender to occupy the White House since Jimmy Carter. One could say that he has become the "Mother of All Big Spenders."
...
[T]he real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. Government agencies that Republicans were calling to be abolished less than 10 years ago, such as education and labor, have enjoyed jaw-dropping spending increases under Bush of 70 percent and 65 percent respectively.

Now, most rational people would cut back on their spending if they knew their income was going to be reduced in the near future. Any smart company would look to cut costs should the business climate take a turn for the worse. But the administration has been free spending into the face of a recessionary economy from day one without making any serious attempt to reduce costs.
...
[P]erhaps we are being unfair to former President Clinton. After all, in inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.

Sadly, the Bush administration has consistently sacrificed sound policy to the god of political expediency. From farm subsidies to Medicare expansion, purchasing reelection votes has consistently trumped principle.
Once again, folks, that comes from the right-wing boys and girls at the Cato Institute. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

ANOTHER DEAD AMERICAN -- Yet another American has died in Iraq, though this time it was a civilian killed by a remote-controlled bomb which exploded beneath his vehicle.
The contractor was employed by Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, a Houston-based oilfield-services and construction company. Halliburton, the former company of Vice President Dick Cheney, has major contracts for reconstruction in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr Cheney won't be happy about this! Think of the stock price.

SUICIDE BOMBING IN JAKARTA -- A suicide bomber or bombers has detonated an explosive device outside a Marriott hotel in downtown Jakarta, Indonesia, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens more. It's too early to say exactly who is responsible for this atrocity, but I don't think anyone would be surprised if the culprit is a group called Jemaah Islamiah [JI], a southeast Asian Islamic fundamentalist group allied with Al Qaeda. JI was responsible for the monstrous Bali bombing in October 2002 that killed over 200 people, most of them Australian tourists.

MOTHER OF THE YEAR -- Her husband is in prison and her daughter in the trunk of her car.

Monday, August 04, 2003

THIS IS PRETTY FUNNY -- Don't send me any letters that take this seriously. I'm not a fan of Mr Flynt's brand of "entertainment," but the fellow can be rather amusing when he wants to be. And here he wants to be.

POWELL, ARMITAGE OUT? NOT SO FAST -- I've been told off the record by a source very much in a position to know at the State Department that The Washington Post story about Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage resigning at the end of Mr Bush's first [and hopefully last] term is, as this source put it: "Horseshit."

So there you have it.

ARE MODELS PAID ENOUGH? -- Most people would laugh at that question. Maybe they shouldn't. The U.S. government is looking into charges that modelling agencies routinely cheat their clients of "hard-earned" money. Well, hard-earned or not, cheating is wrong.

GORE BACK IN? -- Speculation is growing among those close to Al Gore that the former Vice President might enter the Democratic primaries in the fall, reflecting a lack of passion for the current crop of presidential aspirants.
Gore’s spokesperson denied that there was any change of plans, but a former Democratic National Committee official close to Gore told The Hill he believes the former vice president may enter the Democratic primary this fall.

A second Gore confidant, Steve Armistead, a local Tennessee government official, said: “I think he’d like to grit his teeth and jump back in, but I can’t speak for him. I don’t think he liked the medicine he got from the Supreme Court.”

Armistead, a good friend of Gore’s for more than 40 years, said Gore has not indicated to him whether he would run. But he added: “I’ve had a lot of people that know him real well tell me that he ought to get back in. I hear it daily. ‘He got out too soon.’ ‘I wish Al never got out of the race.’”
I'm not sure what to think of this. I've been a Gore fan since the 1980s, when I was just a kid and Mr Gore was...well...not much older than a kid. I supported him in the 1988 Democratic primaries and was thrilled when then-Governor Clinton picked Mr Gore as his running mate four years later. I would have supported Mr Gore for the 2004 primaries, but understood when he bowed out. If he gets back in, he'd be the instant front-runner and it would surely put Senator Joe Lieberman [D-CT], who vowed never to run against Mr Gore, in a difficult spot. The former Vice President got more votes than Mr Bush in 2000 and I think he would probably have a good chance of beating Mr Bush again in 2004. [Hopefully, this time it would count.]

I can't help but wonder what an Al Gore/Wesley Clark ticket could do to Mr Bush and Mr Cheney.

AWWWWWWW -- Famous adulterer, moral hypocrite, and disgraced politico Newt Gingrich has renewed his wedding vows with third wife Callista, in the House chapel last Friday. Does that indicate he really means it this time?

YOUR DAILY DOONESBURY -- How does he lie to me? Let me count the ways.

TOM TOMORROW -- Bushes forever!

GONE FISHIN' -- While our soldiers die in the smoldering heat of Iraq, Mr Bush is smirking and fishing during his month-long Summer vacation.

REPORT: HOLLINGS TO RETIRE -- A report that Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings [D-SC] will retire is bad news for Democrats. Senator Hollings was not a liberal, but he was usually a safe Democratic vote and his replacement, in ultra-conservative South Carolina, likely to be a right-wing Republican. Oh, boy. Winning the Senate back to the good side just got more difficult.

DOG OWNERS UNITE! -- As a dog owner, I'm blessed by the proximity of the National Institutes of Health park to my home, a walk of about 60 seconds or so. Finding green space to let dogs caper off leash is one of the most difficult battles for most dog owners, though I have been very lucky in that regard. Dog owners in Boston have not been so lucky and they are starting to fight back.
Every neighborhood has its war story. In the North End, residents turned in their neighbors for letting dogs run free on a baseball field. In the Back Bay, they badgered city officials until an experimental dog park was removed from the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Controversy erupted in the South End after city officials agreed to let owners unleash their dogs at an outdoor basketball court. But now, after years of skirmishes over canine rights, groups of dog owners across Boston are uniting in a campaign to rewrite what they say are antiquated restrictions and create a network of 22 off-leash dog parks.

''The city really needs to recognize that the days of dogs tied up in the backyard are over,'' said Penny Cherubino, a Back Bay resident and dog owner. ''They are members of the family now.''

Cherubino is on a task force created by City Councilor Michael P. Ross charged with forging compromises with neighborhood critics and drafting proposals for more liberal dog laws. Members want to relax the current leash law, which forbids unleashed dogs from public property, to allow for the creation of designated off-leash areas. And while they're at it, they want to strike an ordinance banning disposal of dog feces in public trash cans.

Creating public spaces for dogs in one of the densest cities in America has incited furious resistance in Boston for years, and this time is no different. Most everyone, even critics, appear willing to support the concept of spaces set aside for dogs. But when it comes to talk of putting one in a particular neighborhood, opponents bristle.
Traditionally, those opposed to open spaces for dogs in Boston have won their fights, but this time may be different. This time, an organized lobby of dog owners may carry the day.
Groups from Roslindale, Brighton, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the North End, the South End, and other neighborhoods are using the Internet to unite and organize. Cherubino runs Bostondogs, an Internet group dedicated to advancing canine interests. Janice Zazinski, president of Southwest Boston Dog Owners, mounted an online dog park petition to be sent to the office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the City Council.

''This is the first time that there is a citywide effort to look at this,'' said Kara Holmquist of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. ''This is the first organized attempt. Dog owners are a constituency, and dog owners have as much right to enjoy their interests as people who enjoy tennis or softball or other activities at city parks.''
Cities need to realize that dog owners are an important constituency. If dog owners are made to feel unwelcome in urban areas they will increasingly flee to the suburbs, robbing cities of an important part of their educated and high-income tax base. And when those people leave cities, the entire city loses. Those who oppose the rights of dog owners should bear that in mind.

MORE BLOODSHED IN IRAQ -- Another U.S. serviceman was killed and three more wounded in a grenade attack by Iraq opponents of the U.S. occupation. In addition, an Iraqi woman was killed in what the U.S. military called "self-defense" when our soldiers fired upon Iraqi guerrillas. The woman was standing near the area of battle.

BUSH TO NIGER: SHUT UP -- It seems the Bush regime does not appreciate Niger's challenge to Tony Blair to provide evidence of a link between Niger uranium and Iraq, especially since such evidence is non-existent. The Bush regime's response: Shut up, Niger. The White House must be hoping this technique will work equally well with Hill Democrats.

AL QAEDA SPEAKS -- The following is an English translation of a a tape allegedly made by Ayman al-Zawahri, a top Al Qaeda official.
Muslim brothers everywhere...America has announced it will start putting Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo on trial before military courts that could sentence them to death. I swear by the almighty God... that Crusader America will pay dearly for any harm done to any of the Muslim prisoners it is holding...Let it be clear to those who conspire with America that America cannot protect itself, let alone protect others.

Let every prisoner held by the infidels be sure that his release is a debt hanging from the neck of every mujahedeen [fighter], and that the end of the ordeal is close, God willing. [And let every prisoner] know that his brothers, the mujahedeen, have not forgotten that they will avenge him from the new Crusaders. When America shackles the Muslim prisoners and tortures them, it is torturing itself. When it puts them on trial, it is putting its children on trial, and when it convicts them it is convicting its people.

We don't expect any justice, fairness, or commitment to morals or beliefs from America... But we tell America one thing: what you have seen until now is nothing but the first skirmishes. The real battle has not started yet.

The American people whose armies have killed our women and children, if it is keen on its future and the future of its generations, has to take initiative and follow reason and logic before it is too late. They have been forewarned...
Damn, I wish we'd finished off these bastards when we had the chance at Tora Bora in 2002.

REPORT: NO 2nd TERM FOR POWELL -- According to a report Secretary of State Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage have told the White House that they will not return to the Bush regime if Mr Bush wins a second term in 2004.
Citing "sources familiar with the conversation," the paper said in a story for Monday's editions that Powell deputy Richard L. Armitage recently told national security adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) that he and Powell will leave on Jan. 21, 2005, the day after the next presidential inauguration.
State Department and White House officials are denying the story.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

MY CHURCH DOING THE RIGHT THING -- The Episcopal Church is on the verge of approving the ordination of its first openly gay bishop. A vote of the church's House of Deputies went strongly for the bishop. A minority of conservative are threatening some sort of protest. I'm proud my church is doing the right thing.