The Beltway Bandit

An online journal of politics, culture, and sports

Friday, July 02, 2004

KRUGMAN GETS IT RIGHT -- Of all the ink spilled about Michael Moore's new hit movie, "Fahrenheit 911," Paul Krugman's words are, as usual, the most insightful and the worth reading.
There has been much tut-tutting by pundits who complain that the movie, though it has yet to be caught in any major factual errors, uses association and innuendo to create false impressions. Many of these same pundits consider it bad form to make a big fuss about the Bush administration's use of association and innuendo to link the Iraq war to 9/11. Why hold a self-proclaimed polemicist to a higher standard than you hold the president of the United States?

And for all its flaws, "Fahrenheit 9/11" performs an essential service. It would be a better movie if it didn't promote a few unproven conspiracy theories, but those theories aren't the reason why millions of people who aren't die-hard Bush-haters are flocking to see it. These people see the film to learn true stories they should have heard elsewhere, but didn't. Mr. Moore may not be considered respectable, but his film is a hit because the respectable media haven't been doing their job.

For example, audiences are shocked by the now-famous seven minutes, when George Bush knew the nation was under attack but continued reading "My Pet Goat" with a group of children. Nobody had told them that the tales of Mr. Bush's decisiveness and bravery on that day were pure fiction.
Quite so. Hand-wringing "liberals" like Richard Cohen [among many others] are terrified of telling the whole ugly truth about the Bush administration, but Michael Moore, to his credit, is not. Not all his shots hit their mark, I'm sure, but an essential and untold truth about the Bush administration has to be told and if no one else does it, Michael Moore deserves our gratitude for having the guts to do it.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

JOBLESS CLAIMS UP -- For the second week in a row.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

MORE COLOR IN YOUR MONEY -- The government is going to debut a new and colorized $50 bill this fall. Ostensibly, the government is introducing new colors into the bill to foil counterfeiters, but I think we all know this is just part of the increasingly gay-friendly tilt our country has taken.
The subtle colors, which appear in parts of what was once the cream-colored background on the note, are the most noticeable changes on the new $50, which still uses the traditional black ink on the front and green ink on the back.

The new bills also will still feature Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War general and 18th president, on the front and the U.S. Capitol on the back.

The $20 bill, the most counterfeited note in the United States, was the first to get the color treatment. Featuring splashes of peach, blue and yellow, the new $20 went into circulation last fall.
The color seems like a nice addition to me; they should probably do that with all the bills. Now, if they can just keep Reagan off all the bills I'll be very happy.

WELL, WHO CAN I TORTURE?

The Boston Globe

ALL HAIL OUR NEW GOD OF THUNDER -- More tasty fun from The Onion:
REAGAN PYRAMID NEARS COMPLETION

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Slave manpower was doubled this week in an effort to ensure that erection of the gigantic Reagan Pyramid remains on schedule to be completed in time for the 40th president's mummification and ascension into the Afterworld.

Swift completion of the towering structure is "of paramount priority," according to Republican Party insiders.

"Only the most gigantic tomb ever created will be worthy of the Great Communicator," former Reagan Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said. "As his mortal subjects, it is our holy duty to provide Reagan with a burial commensurate with his stature, in order that he may enter the Realm of Death bedecked with raiments and honors so that he may take his rightful place beside the mighty Sun God, Ra."

According to project overseer and Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese, the 118,000-ton pyramid, which is visible from a distance of more than 40 miles and has already cost the lives of some 50,000 slaves, will serve not only as Reagan's conduit to the Empire of the Gods, but also as an earthly repository of the deified Republican's vast wealth.

"Buried with Reagan will be his finest treasures," Meese said, "including 2,500 MX intercontinental ballistic missiles, 15 stealth bombers, a golden chalice of jelly beans, and his most prized servant, former president George Bush Sr."

Bush told reporters, "It is my honor and duty to have my sinus passages ceremonially packed with sand before my still-living, pain-racked body is forever locked with my leader's within the Great Reagan's final resting place. Let us all praise Osiris."
Go read it all. It's brilliant.

THE FOLLOWING THINGS MUST NOT BE SAID -- The Onion gets it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

BLEEDING IRAQ -- Three more U.S. servicemen killed and two wounded in a bloody attack in Iraq.
Footage from Associated Press Television News showed blood inside a slightly damaged Humvee and a flak vest laying in the road in the residential neighborhood.
Drip drip drip.

STILL CLOSE IN FLORIDA -- Another poll of Florida voters elicits the unsurprising information that John Kerry and George W. Bush are locked in a close battle for that state's 27 electoral votes.
Bush and Kerry had the backing of 43 percent apiece in a three-way matchup with independent Ralph Nader, who had the support of 5 percent in the telephone poll conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute of Connecticut.

Without Nader, Kerry had 46 percent and Bush 44 percent, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Voters were evenly split on having a favorable or unfavorable view of both Bush and Kerry, the poll found.
This is pretty good news for Kerry since he never had the advantage of a primary to introduce himself to Florida voters. Nevertheless, considering all the shenanigans Governor Jeb Bush and his team have planned for Democrats in Florida, Kerry will need a bigger lead than he has if he is to win Florida in November.