Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Bush is Stingy but We're Not

The Command Post blog has the most complete list of organizations accepting donations for tsunami disaster relief.

A few months ago a friend & I discussed which natural phenomenon is worse -- wind or water. He went with wind. With flooding in mind, I voted for water. I think this tsunami proved my point. You can hide from wind, in a basement or a storm cellar. Where do you go to escape water? I heard an "expert" on cable TV tonight say that if you were in a 6 story building, you would be safe from a tsunami. I've worked in tall buildings, but the tallest I've ever lived in was 3 stories.

It's been horrible watching our pathetic US media cover this story. The first day or so they just about giggled while reporting. I watched a so-called "expert" on CNN demonstrate the movement of ocean waves caused by an earthquake using a Slinky.

Now we get stories about all the white westerners involved. Apparently a model hanging in a tree for 8 hours is more noteworthy than over 100,000 dead brown people.

And Prances in Flightsuit has commited less money from the US than he plans to spend on his coronation.

So give generously, to repair our sinking reputations.

No Comment

Remember the old Ms. Magazine "No Comment" section? Stuff that was so insulting just seeing it would make you furious? This decision would make the cut:

Court backs firing of waitress without makeup

Here are the purported "facts" of the case:

Darlene Jespersen, who had worked for nearly 20 years at a Harrah's Entertainment Inc casino bar in Reno, Nevada, objected to the company's revised policy that required female bartenders, but not men, to wear makeup.

A previously much-praised employee, Jespersen was fired in 2000 after the firm instituted a "Beverage Department Image Transformation" program and she sued, alleging sex discrimination.

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Harrah's.

But here's all you need to know about this decision:

All three judges are males

I'd appeal this sucker to the Supremes. Will Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the woman who invented contemporary sex discrimination law (by such brilliant gambits as bringing & winning a sex discrimination suit in for a man who got less of a pension as a widower than a woman got as a widow) let such nonsense stand? I think not.

Or maybe I'd better go check my foundation. Bat my eyelashes. Check my teeth for lipstick.


Monday, December 20, 2004

Bush White House Delusional - FDA-Approved Drug Use Suspected

FDA doing 'spectacular job,' White House chief says

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration and some of its critics squared off yesterday over whether the Food and Drug Administration is doing an adequate job overseeing drug safety and whether the agency needs major reforms.

In a preview of the debate to come, White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said the agency is doing a "spectacular" job and should "continue to do the job they do."


Card made his comments about the FDA during ABC's "This Week," when he was asked whether he supported last week's call by Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, for an investigation of the federal drug agency similar in scale to the 9/11 commission.

Card responded that "I don't know that we need a commission" and that "I've got great confidence in the FDA." He said news coming out about previously unaddressed safety risks associated with popular drugs on the market is "a testament to the FDA in how they do their job."

Yes, Andy Card actually said this. Do you think the estimated 100,000 people who've had heart attacks while taking Vioxx for their arthritis agree?


I'm heading out to the midwest tomorrow for Christmas in a red state. Yuck! Oh well, my family will be there. Blogging will be light if not non-existent until the new year.



I've been making all kinds of Christmas ornaments this year: some in my ceramics class, and some at home. Right now my house is perfumed with cinnamon from the smell of the stars & trees in the oven.

Cinnamon ornaments

1 cup cinnamon
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup white glue

Mix ingredients well. I found the dough hook on my stand mixer to be the best way; you may find a food processor works as well. Let dough stand for an hour. Roll out on a cinnamon-dusted surface & cut into shapes. Cut a hole near the top of each ornament with a straw for hanging. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours; alternatively, air dry for two days. (You will have to turn the cookies every 5 hours or so as they air dry as the edges curl up.) You can leave them plain or decorate with glue, beads, sequins, feathers, nail polish, etc. They also make great car air fresheners!

Bernie, We Hardly Knew Ye

Bernard Kerik is going to get an indictment in his stocking for Christmas; next Christmas, if not this one.

For all there is to know about Bernie Kerik's shenanigans, you must check out Steve Gilliard's news blog. No More Mister Nice Blog has also been following the story.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Kerik Was Married to the Mob

I knew there was more.

Inquiry of Kerik in '00 Puts Focus on Vetting Issue

In June 2000, two months before Bernard B. Kerik was appointed police commissioner, New York City's top investigative agency learned that he had a social relationship with the owner of a New Jersey construction company suspected of having business ties to organized crime figures, city documents show.

The city's Department of Investigation took two days of testimony from Frank DiTommaso, the owner of the company, Interstate Industrial Corporation. It also formally interviewed Mr. Kerik himself. Though it is not clear what he told the investigators, there is no indication that Mr. Kerik did anything illegal or improper.

A spokesman for the Department of Investigation declined to comment yesterday when asked whether any of the information concerning Mr. Kerik and Interstate Industrial had been shared at the time with any other city officials.

But Rudolph W. Giuliani said in an interview yesterday that none of those facts were brought to his attention in August 2000 when, as mayor, he appointed Mr. Kerik as New York's top police official. And there was no indication that the White House was aware of the findings before it nominated Mr. Kerik to take over the Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 3, a nomination that has now been withdrawn.

Yeah, right, Giuliani knew nothing.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Nanny Problem? Come On.

Last night I heard on the news that Bernard Kerik had abruptly withdrawn as nominee to head the Homeland Security Department and I thought, what's the real deal here? By the late news the media was reporting he had a "nanny problem". I seriously doubt that. Isn't it amazing that having a nanny problem is now a legitimate way to bow out of a government job?

Anyway, there must be more to the story. From his appointment to the board of the company that manufactures Taser stun guns, which lead to his making a $6.8 million dollar profit on stock options he was given for free, just for being a board member, to his personal finances (bankruptcy, etc.), to his thug years in Saudi Arabia, you had to know there was more dirt out there on this guy.

Here's the latest scoop, from Newsweek.

My guess? We've only seen the tip of the Bernard Kerik dirty ice iceberg.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Conservation, anyone?

Yesterday while walking around the Wachusett Reservoir I saw three mink swimming. A first for me -- I've never seen a mink that wasn't being worn as a piece of clothing. They were bobbing in the water, tiny eyes, ears & mouths, diving & having fun. I've had several great wildlife spots in the past year -- the huge red-tailed hawk that almost caused me to drive off the road in Oneonta, New York; the magestic bald eagle perched in the tree along the East Branch of the Delaware River in Margaretville, New York (again, I almost came acropper swerving into the breakdown lane for a good view); a deer standing 10 yards above me on a ridge above a trail along the Wachusett Reservoir.

Given my love of wildlife, I've joined a new organization:, a self-described "New Coalition of Conservationists". We are the true conservatives. Click on the link to join.

Hawk's Nest Destroyed in NYC

Hawks' Nest, a Fixture in New York, Is Destroyed

A nest constructed a decade ago by red-tailed hawks 12 stories above Central Park, creating an unlikely wildlife habitat that has delighted bird lovers from around the world, was removed yesterday, apparently by workers for its host co-op apartment building.

City officials and naturalists reacted with anger, even though there appeared to be little legal recourse for the nest's destruction.

Experts said that the fate of a family of uncommonly large and resilient birds, which have reproduced prolifically from the nest, had been thrown into doubt. So was that of the nest's most famous red-tailed resident, Pale Male, who arrived at the building in 1993 and, according to detailed records kept by several bird-watchers, has sired 23 youngsters.

"I am so outraged that they would do this without so much as a by your leave," said Mary Tyler Moore, who has lived for 15 years in the co-op at 927 Fifth Avenue, at 74th Street, where the nest was built in 1993 above a cornice in clear view of Central Park.

"These birds just kept coming back to the edge of the building, and people kept coming back to see them," said Ms. Moore, who recalled at first craning her neck outside one of her windows to look up at the bottom of the nest. In more recent years, she said, she has strolled frequently across Fifth Avenue to Central Park for a better view.

"This was something we like to talk about: a kinder, gentler world, and now it's gone," Ms. Moore said last night.

Exactly why the nest was destroyed was unclear. A man who answered a call to 927 Fifth Avenue's management office last night said no one was available for comment.

But Ms. Moore said other residents of the building had objected to large bird droppings and, occasionally, the carcasses of pigeons - which hawks prey upon - that landed on the sidewalk in front of their lobby. She said her husband had attended a recent co-op board meeting, and had been informed of its all-but-unanimous decision to remove the nest, even though he had objected to the move.

Boycott Fox News Sponsors

Liberals of the world, don't give up!

Here's a list of Fox News sponsors. Don't give any of these right-wing supporting rats any money!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Replace the asterisk with a tiny hypodermic needle

Barry Bonds is a fraud. Jason Giambi (who by the way hit two home runs in Game 7 of the Yankees-Red Sox series in 2003 -- should the Sox be celebrating their SECOND STRAIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP?) is a fraud. Gary Sheffield is a fraud. Jeff Bagwell is a fraud. Sammy Sosa is a fraud. They and all their steroid friends should be kicked out of the game.

The Baseball Encyclopedia should adopt a new asterisk for the current generation of law-breaking cheaters: a tiny hypodermic needle next to all of their statistics in the record book.

And if Shoeless Joe Jackson & Pete Rose can be banned from baseball & the Hall of Fame for betting on baseball games (the sin is cheating, right?), all these fakers should be barred from the game & the Hall for cheating to obtain their fraudulent individual stats.

It pains me to say it, but Marian Jones is a fraud. I watched the interview with Kelli White last night. The feds confiscated the same type of calendar for her illegal steroid use as for Marian. So we know that Marian was shooting up for her 2000 Olympics triumph. So sad. I watched her win the Women's Basketball Championship game with North Carolina in 1994 & always loved her. But she's a cheater, & I've lost all respect for her.

I used to be up on all the major professional sports in this country, but now I stick to women's college sports and international soccer.

Here's the best article on the steroid scandal, by the incomparable Tom Boswell in the Washington Post: The Truth Lies in the Numbers

Friday, December 03, 2004

Another Hacktacular Homeland Security Chief

Kerik Nomination is a Ticking Time Bomb

Click the link to read the whole article. Here's its sad beginning:

Campaign bodyguard to Rudy Giuliani.

Errand boy for the Saudi royal family.

Energetic exploiter of Sept. 11th tragedy.

Tough-talking publicity-hound vowing to bring law and order to Iraq - then hightailing it out of there after a disastrous 14 weeks, leaving the place far less safe than he found it.

Oh, the bullet points on Bernie Kerik's real-life resume just go on and on. But is this really the guy we want standing between us and the terrorists?

George W. Bush apparently thinks so.

Here's the story on Kerik covering up for his top aide Picciano after "Pitch" threatened his girlfriend with a gun: Kerik bailed out pal, sources say: Covered up '98 assault, they claim

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I'll Have a Blue Christmas

The holidays are upon us. I've been getting blasted with Christmas music in stores for weeks now. Aisles are dangerously crowded with....stuff. All kinds of stuff.

I must say, I have a Grinch-like reaction to all of it. After 9/11 I didn't buy any gifts for adults, just contributed money to charity. But eventually I've been drawn back into the whole commercial thing.

This year I'm trying to do my Christmas shopping by buying locally. If I must shop at national chains, at least I try not to spend money at businesses that contribute heavily to the Republican party. This year I'm trying to Buy Blue!

I'm not the only person thinking about this issue. Here are some websites with information on national chains and their records of donating vast sums of money to the Republican party:

Choose the Blue

Project Blue Christmas

Boycott Bush

More thinking on this topic from Democratic Underground's Economic Activism and Progressive Living Group

Cranberry Relish

This year my Mom & I made the best Thanksgiving meal ever. We really loved our cranberry relish:

Cranberry relish

1 bag fresh cranberries, washed & picked over
1/2 cup apple cider
3 T. Splenda
4 T. elderberry jam
Zest of one orange; reserve 1 T. for garnish

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until about 2/3 of the cranberries have burst. Refrigerate & serve cold with reserved zest.

You may want more sweetening -- or even to substitute sugar for the Splenda. You could use any seedless jelly or jam, but the elderberry made for a mysterious flavor.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tom Ridge Resigns

Today Tom Ridge resigned as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Am I the only one who hears "Deutschland Uber Alles" in my head when I hear the word homeland?

Who will replace the man who advised Americans to duct tape themselves into a plastic-sheeting-covered room?

I think they should give the job to that old TV guy MacGuyver. He was great with a roll of duct tape.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Why Did Kerry Lose?

Who Lost Ohio?

Here's the take of Matt Bai of the New York Times.

It Still Hurts

Mrs. Henry's Questionnaire

A soliloquy on the election in response to a silly livejournal questionnaire, starting with this:

I still am just stunned that by popular choice, my government is full of thieves and murderers.

via needlenose, via Electrolite....

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Revel in Great Red Sox Writing

by Roger Angell

His ode to Nomar:

Iconic players—the Kid and Johnny Pesky, Yaz, Jim Rice, and Nomar—have allowed the Red Sox to overlook some chronic problems, like speed and defense, down the years, but on July 31st, minutes before the trading deadline, and with the Sox in second in their division, eight and a half games behind the Yankees, the young general manager, Theo Epstein, completed a multi-club trade that sent away the once untouchable shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs, in return for the younger and quicker Orlando Cabrera, from the Expos; a Gold Glove first baseman, Doug Mientkiewicz, from the Twins; and a late-inning base-stealer, Dave Roberts, from the Dodgers. The shocker here was Garciaparra, who had been too easily injured of late, and had become a distant celebrity in the clubhouse (there was a red line on the floor, a figurative little looped maître-d’ rope, in front of his locker, to discourage writers). Talk was that he’d been affronted by the news that the Sox planned to trade him away over the winter, as part of the aborted A-Rod deal, but I prefer to think that it was a damaged wrist, first injured in 1999, that took away his exuberant line-drive-spraying swings at the plate, and dimmed the gleam in his eyes. “Nomah!” no more.

Questions & Answers

Part of our Ithaca weekend was a writing circle with a wonderful writing teacher. Zee gave each of us a copy of Number 2 of her journal "Blue Moon". The topic of Number 2 was Questions and it is 14 pages of questions. Just questions.

Here's a brief sample: "What are the names of Snow White's little friends? Can I be trusted? Can you be trusted? How much longer can it rain? Do you ever wake up laughing? Can you love too much? Who discovered whistling? Is it ever going to be over? Are we there yet? Is there ever enough? Is there always enough? Are you listening? Could it get any hotter? Why does this look so familiar? Would you care to join me?"

I wrote this essay during our writing time:

Why do I have to have quiet when I write? Who's your daddy? (Gratuitous Red Sox reference.) What would my life be like if I turned off my television? How can I break old habits? Can a person really change? Why am I such a saver? Why can't I throw food away the day I know I've finished eating it? Why do I save every letter I've ever gotten? (Actually I know why I do that -- I like to read them years later and be reminded of (or realize I've completely forgotten) past events.) Why do I have 5 boxes of bubble wrap in my basement? Why do I have 3 boxes of used padded envelopes in my office? (Could be that ebay ceramics book tear I went on this year.) Why is the surface of every table in my house covered with paper? Why do I own 6 sets of nesting bowls? Why do I own 17 glass reamers? Why do I own 39 tabletalk pie tins? Why do I own an untold number of teapots?

Some of these things are preparation for the future I don't even know yet is in front of me. The bubblewrap has come in handy for transporting pots. Ditto with the envelopes. All the china and pottery I've collected gives me inspiration as I go into the studio to make my own pieces.

Why didn't I ever take pottery classes until I was 46? Why didn't I realize that a kid who loved to play in the mud would love wet dirty messy sensuous clay?

Questions from the popular culture of my past:

Why is there air?
Who are you?
Why don't you love me like you used to do?
Why do you treat me like a worn out shoe?
What is success?
Where are you going to?
Do you really care?
Why not call Roto-Rooter -- that's the name -- and away go troubles down the drain?
Cream and sugar?
Care to dance?
Dance with me?
Walk much?
Talk much?
Tell me -- tell me -- tell me -- do you love me?
Why not us? (Second gratuitous Red Sox reference.)
Would you?
Could you?
Where's the rest of me?
How many roads must a man walk down before he can see the sky?
Do you know the way to San Jose?
Have you been a good little girl this year?
Did you send Santa a letter?
Do you have to wear that?

Veering back to my own life I think, How did I ever get this old? When did I have to start learning slang from kids instead of my friends? When did the word "versus" replace "against"? When did random become a popular adjective (or adverb, and why don't I know the difference between the two? Why wasn't I taught grammar in grade school?) Why do kids have so much homework these days? How did I survive in school without an hour or two of homework every night? If kids' parents control their play when they're 13, how will kids decide what to do in their own lives when they're 26? Is SpongeBob SquarePants a better or worse cartoon than Heckle & Jeckle? Who was the first person to think, there should be a TV network just for kids? Did that person make a lot of money? Will that person burn in hell? Is there really a hell and do people really burn there? Purgatory: fact or legend? How many years do I have left in my life? Will I be judged in the afterlife? Will I be judged on my beliefs or my actions? Who's the official scorekeeper? Is God dead? Do you get to meet everyone you've ever known in the afterlife? Are departed family and friends looking down on us now? Do they know what happens next to us or is it like live theatre to them? Do they have odds on what we'll do next? What are the odds on me?

Do you have any questions? Post them in comments, below.


I was responsible for a meal at our gathering of 12 in Ithaca. A frittata is a flat omelet. It is drier than an omelet. They're great hot or warm or cold the next day.

Carmelized Onion & Roasted Garlic Frittata

4 medium onions
3 heads garlic
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T butter
18 eggs
pinch nutmeg
salt & pepper
8 oz. monterey jack cheese, shredded
3 T romano cheese

Day before: Cut 1/2 inch from top of whole garlic heads. Arrange heads on foil sheet. Drizzle each head with 1 t. olive oil, add salt & pepper. Fold foil into sealed package. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes at high (450 degrees) heat. Meanwhile, halve onions & slice thinly. Melt 2 T butter in 2 T olive oil. Add onions, salt & pepper & cook over slow heat while the garlic is cooking. Cook until onions are soft & carmelized to a soft brown.

Put garlic heads -- foil package & all -- and onions in plastic storage containers.

45 minutes before serving: Squeeze garlic cloves out of papery head into a large bowl. Break 18 eggs into the same bowl & mix, using a whip, hand blender or beater. Add pinch nutmeg (fresh is great!) and salt & pepper.

In a large non-stick fry pan (preferably one with a metal handle as you will be putting frittata under the broiler) over low to medium heat, spread the cold carmelized onions evenly. (The butter & oil you used to carmelize the onions will be the fat that keeps the frittata from sticking.) Spread the shredded cheese evenly over the onions. Pour the egg/garlic mixture over the onions & cheese. Sprinkle the romano over the top.

Cook (moving the pan if need be to cook the bottom evenly) until the bottom is browned (use a spatula to check). Put pan under broiler & watch carefully until top is browned. Put a knife into the center. If interior eggs are still runny, place pan into a 350 degree oven for 10 or 15 minutes until frittata is cooked through.

Serve immediately, with good bread & fruit or green salad.

Monday, November 15, 2004


From a weekend in lovely Ithaca, New York. Where the most popular lawn ornament was a sign saying "Bush Must Go". Did my heart good.

Back to regular posting on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

War Is Hell

Breaking Ranks

There are brave US soldiers who are speaking out against the war. How many more years, how many more deaths, before we wake up & hear their truth?

Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey may be the most unlikely of the soldiers who have come out against the war. A Marine since 1992, he has been a recruiter, infantry instructor, and combat platoon leader. He went to Iraq primed to fight. “9/11 pissed me off,” he says. “I was ready to go kill a raghead.”

Shortly after Massey arrived in Iraq, his unit was ordered to man roadblocks. To stop cars, the Marines would raise their hands. If the drivers kept going, Massey says, “we would just light ’em up. I didn’t find out until later on, after talking to an Iraqi, that when you put your hand up in the air, it means ‘Hello.’” He estimates that his men killed 30 civilians in one 48-hour period.

One day, he recalls, “there was this red Kia Spectra. We told it to stop, and it didn’t. There were four occupants. We fatally wounded three of them. We started pulling out the bodies, but they were dying pretty fast. The guy that was driving was just frickin’ bawling, sitting on the highway. He looked at me and asked, ‘Why did you kill my brother? He wasn’t a terrorist. He didn’t do anything to you.’”

Massey searched the car. “It was completely clean. Nothing there. Meanwhile the driver just ran around saying, ‘Why? Why?’ That’s when I started to question.”

The doubts led to nightmares, depression, and a talk with his commanding officer. “I feel what we are doing here is wrong. We are committing genocide,” Massey told him. He was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and given a medical discharge.

Back in his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina, Massey got a job as a furniture salesman, then lost it after speaking at an antiwar rally. Two or three times a week, he puts on his Marine uniform and takes a long walk around the nearby town of Asheville carrying a sign that reads: “I killed innocent civilians for our government.” The local police now keep an eye out for him, he says, because people have tried to run him over.

When asked what he would say to someone who thinks the way he did before the war, Massey falls uncharacteristically silent. “How do you wake them up?” he finally responds. “It’s a slow process. All you can do is tell people the horrible things you’ve seen, and let them make up their own minds. It’s kind of the pebble in the water: You throw in a pebble, and it makes ripples through the whole pond.”

Winter has arrived

Two days ago I woke up to find the world covered with a light dusting of snow. It melted quickly, but makes me face reality: It's winter. Last night I put my scraper/brush tool & windshield washer fluid bottle in the car. The porch furniture is all in the basement. Storm windows are down. The heat is on. The last leaves of fall are hanging on -- oaks, mostly, dark orange, yellow & brown -- but the maples are all bare. Dried leaves scuttle on the sidewalk.

On the plus side, I see so many more hawks in the trees -- their cover is gone. Hornet's nests swing high in the trees. The color palette of the world is more muted.

And hey -- the Red Sox won the World Series. Whoo-hoo! Life is good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tom Coburn is now a U.S. Senator

From, here are some quotes, by, and on, the newest U.S. Senator from Oklahoma:

GETTING TO KNOW THEM Let's all give a rousing welcome to Senator-elect Tom Coburn (R-OK):

On abortion:

"I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life." (KOKI-FOX 23)

On the threat posed by gays:

"The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power ... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda." (Salon)

On the network television premiere of SCHINDLER'S LIST:

On Tuesday, Coburn said NBC had taken network television "to an all-time low, with full-frontal nudity, violence and profanity" by airing the movie. He said the broadcast should outrage parents and "decent-minded individuals everywhere." (CNN)

On fixing Social Security:

"I don't apologize for saying; we need to protect the unborn. Do you realize that if all those children had not been aborted, we wouldn't have any trouble with Medicare and Social Security today? That's another 41 million people." (Hugo Daily News)

On gun control:

"If I wanted to buy a bazooka to use in a very restricted way, to do something, I ought to be able to do that." (Mother Jones)

On the challenges facing schools:

You know, Josh Burkeen is our rep down here in the southeast area. He lives in Colgate and travels out of Atoka. He was telling me lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us?" (Daily Kos)

OH AND BY THE WAY: Just in case you had any doubt.

On Coburn:

"It's important for us to have him in the Senate. We need his medical skills, his business skills and his very thoughtful approach to tackling issues important to our nation." --Sen Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)

On Coburn:

[Former President George H. W.] Bush said Tuesday at an Oklahoma City fund-raiser that it is of “great importance to the nation” and the current president to elect Tom Coburn to the U.S. Senate to help Republicans keep control there...“It would be a wonderful thing for this country." (Daily Oklahoman)

On Coburn:

"We need him in Washington...It's absolutely essential that Tom Coburn be the next United States senator from Oklahoma." --Vice President Dick Cheney

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Praise Jesus, Throw Off the Blue Cloak

Attorney General John Witchcroft has resigned.

Why Does the Right Wing Hate Us So?

Declaration of Expulsion: A Modest Proposal
It's Time to Reconfigure the United States

OK, so this was published in "Human Events", which calls itself "The National Conservative Weekly". It's all so Third-Reichian. Creepy.

The truth is, America is not just broken--it is becoming irreparable. If you believe that recent years of uncivil behavior are burdensome, imagine the likelihood of a future in which all bizarre acts are the norm, and a government-booted foot stands permanently on your face.

That is why the unthinkable must become thinkable. If the so-called "Red States" (those that voted for George W. Bush) cannot be respected or at least tolerated by the "Blue States" (those that voted for Al Gore and John Kerry), then the most disparate of them must live apart--not by secession of the former (a majority), but by expulsion of the latter. Here is how to do it.

Having been amended only 17 times since 10 vital amendments (the Bill of Rights) were added at the republic's inception, the U.S. Constitution is not easily changed, primarily because so many states (75%, now 38 of 50) must agree. Yet, there are 38 states today that may be inclined to adopt, let us call it, a "Declaration of Expulsion," that is, a specific constitutional amendment to kick out the systemically troublesome states and those trending rapidly toward anti-American, if not outright subversive, behavior. The 12 states that must go: California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware. Only the remaining 38 states would retain the name, "United States of America." The 12 expelled mobs could call themselves the "Dirty Dozen," or individually keep their identity and go their separate ways, probably straight to Hell.


BUSH USA is predominantly white; devoutly Christian (mostly Protestant); openly, vigorously heterosexual; an open land of single-family homes and ranches; economically sound (except for a few farms), but not drunk with cyberworld business development, and mainly English-speaking, with a predilection for respectfully uttering "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir."

GORE/KERRY USA is ethnically diverse; multi-religious, irreligious or nastily antireligious; more sexually liberated (if not in actual practice, certainly in attitude); awash with condo canyons and other high-end real estate bordered by sprawling, squalid public housing or neglected private homes, decidedly short of middle-class neighborhoods; both high tech and oddly primitive in its commerce; very artsy, and Babelesque, with abnormally loud speakers.

Sex Discrimination Alive & Well in West Virginia/A Red State, Of Course

School Board Backs 'Juicy' Skirt Ban

BECKLEY, W.Va. -- A West Virginia school board is backing a decision to ban an honor student from wearing a skirt with the words "It's all about Juicy" printed on the backside.

The principal of the high school had told the girl the slogan was sexually suggestive and forbidden under school policy.

The sophomore protested, saying the words referred to the clothing manufacturer, Juicy Couture.

Nichoel Hawks said the school has a double standard.

During her appeal, she showed pictures of male students wearing shirts featuring Hooters, "Big Kahunas" and "Big Johnson."

Got that straight? "Juicy" is sexual. "Big Johnson" is not.

Reminds of several years ago when 8th grader Erin Rollenhagen, protested boys being allowed to wear "Hooters" t-shirts in her school. (Hooters t-shirts also say "More Than a Mouthful" on the back.) When they turned down her protest, she had a shirt made up that said "Cocks: Nothing to Crow About". Predictably, SHE was suspended from school.

Did W Hack the Vote?

Surprising Pattern of Florida's Election Results

I just can't believe that Jacksonville, a city with 46% registered Democrats and 37% registered Republicans, went for Bush 58% to 42%.

We Need Spokesmen, Not Statesmen

This guy is exactly right. We need to be running candidates who can talk the talk.

Will Towle: 'We have to evolve or perish'

This one really smarts. At least in 2000 we understood what happened. Ultimately, that was an election decided by good old electoral fraud. We could get our head around that. Maybe Al Gore hadn't put together the best campaign, but millions more voted for Al and Ralph than "W." We may had lost courtesy of a crooked Supreme Court, but it was the type of loss that left you enraged and energized. Just like the Olde Towne Team, you thought "just wait 'til next time."

No such excuses this time. And assuming the whispers about Diebold rigging the election to not come to fruition, this one has left us demoralized and in despair.

Why is this one so hard? As leftists and specifically as Democrats, we believe the country shares our values. More people are registered as Democrats than Republicans. Poll after poll show that people share our values and issues far more than with the Republicans.

Here's his key argument:

We Must Start Running Spokesmen Not Statesmen.

What do Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger all have in common? They are all successful Republican candidates who came to power despite having no discernable legislative or executive accomplishments. Each had a resume that was either thin (Reagan, Bush) or non-existent (Schwarzenegger). However, each one of them successfully portrayed an image of the values that he hoped to promote. Significantly, two of the three are professional actors. All were personally well received by your "average American" (the important which candidate would you like to have a beer with quotient). Each used this resonance with the voters to portray simplistic themes. Each dodged difficult answers to complex problems. Each became an executive controlled in large part by his handlers. But all achieved electoral success.

To call this a victory of style over substance is to under-estimate what the Republicans are doing. The foray into Iraq is part of a well thought out plan to annex the oil fields of the Middle East and to use the might of the US military to influence the world. Although all of this is explained in detail in the position papers of right wing think tanks, not a word of that analysis is expressed by their candidate to the press. Instead we got "this is the guy who tried to kill my dad" and "he has connections with terrorists." Again, vague statements by a popular spokesman that displayed the essence of the agenda without any of the details.

As Democrats, we adopt the polar opposite approach. We run candidates with long resumes. We explain our reasoning with detailed bullet points. We think facts demonstrate the policies we promote. John Kerry had a twenty year in the US Senate and a decorated combat career. These facts were supposed to project the image of well reasoned domestic and international policy tempered by the personal experience of combat.

It didn't. Instead, W pranced around in a military flight suit and projected the image of someone who supported the military during this time of war. The fact that W went AWOL and then deserted from his military unit during the Vietnam war went largely ignored. The fact of John Kerry's lifetime support of the military got lost in the shuffle of his statements on the Iraq war and the Swift Boat for Truth attacks. Arguably, Kerry blew the best visual of his campaign when he appeared with his Swift Boat comrades at the DNC convention looking out of place in his Senatorial blue suit. He should have donned combat fatigues and his old naval hat.

John Kerry's nuanced and thoughtful comments (which we Democrats loved so much) became so much background white noise to the important parts of the electorate that we needed to support us.

As Democrats we need to recognize the Presidency is a position that is more symbolic than substantive. The electorate does not want substantive candidates. They want candidates who demonstrate the imagery and symbolism that gives them comfort. In 2004, Kerry failed to demonstrate a strong image of being strong on defense. Bush, who factually does not support the troops, convinced most Americans that he symbolically embraced the troops. He therefore won this important part of the vote.

Republicans rely on the candidate's handlers to deliver on the substance of the image that candidate has promoted. In large part, even Reagan and Bush supporters admit to this. Did Reagan or does Bush understand the details of the policies he promotes? No, he doesn't. But he can recite the "talking points" and get the sound bite on the nightly news. Karl Rove then does the rest.

Does this mean we need to run Martin Sheen? Maybe it does. The fact that this seems crazy to you means that you, as a Democrat, have not absorbed what Reagan and Schwarzenegger have done. There are many image friendly Democrats who have the intelligence and fortitude to be good candidates. Many are already in politics but some will not be. I will leave that to the media savvy to tell me who projects the image we need. How about the Springsteen/Sheen ticket? Or the Obama/Oprah ticket? Let you imagination run wild here! To everyone who says I am crazy, I say one thing: AHN-ALD! AHN-ALD! A dopey Austrian born body builder turned action hero is governor of California. And you said it would never happen.

When Bush Gets Tort Reform, Only the Rich Will Have Lawyers

From a friend. Here are some of the reasons we call it "tort deform":

Limit your right to Justice: Support Tort Reform

Limit your right to trial: Support Tort Reform

Vote Yes to Tort Reform: Make Insurance Companies Richer

Your Life isn't worth more than $250K: Support Tort Reform

Your dead child isn't worth $250K: Support Tort Reform

Let's limit Accountability: Support Tort Reform

Give Big Business a break: Support Tort Reform

Killed by a Drunk Driver? $250k is all your family needs. Vote yes for Tort Reform.

Defective Product take your life? You're not worth $250K. Vote yes for Tort Reform

Know anyone killed, crippled of injured by negligence? It will never happen to you: Support Tort Reform

Know anyone who ever served on a jury? They are stupid. Support Tort Reform.

Ever served on a jury? You can't be trusted to do what's right. Support Tort Reform.

Don't let a jury decide how to spend the insurance company's money, let the lobbyists and legislators decide. Support Tort Reform.

Let the government decide what your life is worth, not the people. Vote yes for Tort Reform.

Our Founding Fathers were idiots. Vote yes for Tort Reform.

Did someone accidentally kill your family? Don't file a lawsuit, just turn the other cheek. Vote yes for Tort Reform.

Maimed by a defective product? Turn to prayer for relief, not to a jury. Support Tort Reform.

Lose your ability to provide for your family in an accident? Don't worry, the government will take care of them. Support Tort Reform.

Your neighbors are too stupid to decide what your amputated leg is worth. Vote yes for Tort Reform.

Call your local State Representative and tell them you support Tort Reform. Your dead baby isn't worth $250,000 anyway.

Defective product take your eye? You still have another one. Support Tort Reform.

Every life is precious, but no life is worth more than $250K. Support Tort Reform.

If you believe that life begins at conception, then you know that life is only worth $250,000 when it ends. Support Tort Reform.

It doesn't matter how dangerous a product is because everyone will get the same amount of money no matter how bad they are hurt. Support Tort Reform.

It's wrong to sue somebody for making a mistake. We'll tell everyone at your funeral that you felt that way. Support Tort Reform.

I don't want to pay a few more dollars for a safe product. My health isn't worth that much anyway. Support Tort Reform.

Trade your leg for $250,000? Support Tort reform.

Were your parents killed by the nursing home? Thank them. They actually saved you money because they were going to die anyway. Support Tort Reform.

Just because a product I buy blows up takes both my legs doesn't mean that I should get more than $250,000 from those stupid people serving on a jury. Support Tort Reform.

Money doesn't mean anything to me or my family, especially if you hurt me so bad that I can't work anymore. Support Tort Reform.

A jury doesn't know how much my life is worth, but the government does. Support Tort Reform.

Ask anybody killed by negligence what their life is worth. If they could they would tell you it's not more than $250,000. Vote for Tort Reform.

Don't actually know anyone personally who has won a jackpot jury verdict? Support Tort Reform anyway.

It's okay for doctors and hospitals to kill people. We all make mistakes. Support Tort Reform.

Its okay to forgive the drunk driver that killed you instead of suing him. Your family would rather give forgive than receive money to live on anyway. Support Tort Reform.

Did you lose the person you love to negligence? You'd rather have the loved one back instead of the money anyway. Let the insurance company keep it. They know how to spend it better than you do. Support Tort Reform.

Trade your neighbor's arm for lower insurance premiums. It won't cost you anything will it? Support Tort Reform.

If you are stupid enough to pick a doctor that is negligent, then you don't deserve more than $250,000 if he kills you. Vote yes for Tort Reform.

Just because you burned alive doesn't mean that your landlord should pay you more than $250,000 for violating the building code. Support Tort Reform.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Resistance is not futile, but acquiescence is

My new motto

Reflections on the Election

I am beginning to recuperate from my post-election malaise. Here are some of the things that have been rolling around in my head:

-- John Kerry has been my senator for years. Including his candidacy for lieutenant governor, I have voted for him 5 times. I've always liked his stands on the issues. But I never felt passionate about him. That's why I supported Howard Dean. He spoke clearly and persuasively about the issues I care about, including his clear stand against the war in Iraq. Once Kerry was the candidate, of course I supported him. But he wasn't my first choice, & I've voted for him 5 times in the past.

-- Why do we let Iowa & New Hampshire pick our Democratic candidates? Both of them are 50/50 states. Why aren't our first primaries in California, New York & Illinois? States filled with Democratic voters.

-- Will Rogers once said, famously, I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat. Boy, it felt that way a lot this summer. Waiting for Kerry to respond to the Swift Boat Liars. K/E trotted out all Kerry's boatmates at the convention & weren't prepared to put 'em on TV to counteract all the BS from guys who didn't even know Kerry in Vietnam? Even when they did respond, it wasn't very effective.

-- What was with the duck hunting expedition? First off, one of the late-to-the-party Clintonistas, Lockhart or McCurry, said flat-out to the press, This is a photo-op. Gee, thanks for all the expert help, guys.
Then, there's the ridiculousness of it. I don't own a gun & never have. But I grew up in the mountains where we got the first day of hunting season off every year. A girl in my class shot a deer when she was 12. I watched my neighbor up the street butcher his deer every year. It never bothered me, because in the mountains people hunt for food. That deer fed a family for the winter. I don't mind hunting for food. Hey, I'm a carnivore, I buy my meat in the grocery store, I'm no different from that deer hunter. But was Kerry really going to eat that Canada goose? Was anyone? Hunting for sport, I just don't get. When those pictures of Kerry were on TV my friend's 13-year old asked me, Why is Kerry killing a duck? What did that duck ever do to him? What's that have to do with being President? Good questions.

-- Where was the famous Kerry close? Where were the tough last-minute ads? Remember, Kerry went "dark" in August to save money for his all-out blitz before Election Day. Where was it? Just those boring "Stronger at Home, Respected in the World" ads.

-- And couldn't they come up with a better tag line than that? Where's the power in those words?

-- Why did Kerry concede so quickly? After telling us he would fight for every vote, why didn't he? He couldn't just wait until all the votes were counted? Both campaigns encouraged all their voters to vote early or to vote by absentee ballot. As this becomes more common, folks are going to have to get used to the fact that WE WON'T KNOW WHO WON ON ELECTION NIGHT. It's important. It's worth getting it right. Kerry should have hung in there until all the votes were counted.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


US strikes raze Falluja hospital

The hospital was run by an Islamic charity

A hospital has been razed to the ground in one of the heaviest US air raids in the Iraqi city of Falluja.

Witnesses said only the facade remained of the small Nazzal Emergency Hospital in the centre of the city. There are no reports on casualties.

A nearby medical supplies storeroom and dozens of houses were damaged as US forces continued preparing the ground for an expected major assault.

What more can I say?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Fallujah Redux

Looks like we are getting ready to liberate/kill many more residents of Fallujah.

Freedom, it's a beautiful thing. I bet those 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians are really enjoying their liberation. Do you think they heard something dissonant when Georgie Porgie said to his base, "I believe in a culture of life"?

You just have to know the hierarchy of life.

1. Most important life: Life at conception.

2. Second most important life: American (preferably white)

3. Not so important life: Iraqi

When you understand the equation, you understand why 3,000 American lives lost on 9/11 is properly revenged by the deaths of 100,000 Iraqi civilians.

Looks like we are getting ready to lose even more of categories 2 & 3 in Fallujah, especially since a company commander of our crack Iraqi militia seems to have deserted, taking his copy of the battle plans with him.

Iraqi briefed on Falluja plans missing
Marines concerned captain could pass along information

Iraqi briefed on Falluja plans missing
Marines concerned captain could pass along information
From Karl Penhaul, embedded with the Marines
Saturday, November 6, 2004 Posted: 4:42 PM EST (2142 GMT)

NEAR FALLUJA, Iraq (CNN) -- A company commander of the Iraqi security forces who received a full briefing on the expected Falluja assault is missing from a military base where U.S. and Iraqi troops are preparing for the possible operation.

The captain, a Kurd with no known ties to the Sunni city of Falluja, is thought to have taken notes from the battle briefing late Thursday. U.S. Marines and his fellow Iraqi officers found no sign of him Friday morning, except for his uniform and a weapon on his cot.

Marines are concerned that the information he knows could be passed along to insurgents. U.S. military sources believe insurgents have friends in the military and government.

The captain commands a company of about 160 men. He is among 10,000 U.S. and Iraqi forces expected to take part in the operation.

The incompetent boobs are still in charge, and Iraq is still FUBAR. Thanks, red states!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!

Like Frazier, I am on the mat and can't get up. After spending a 14-hour day advising voters of their legal right to vote at a precinct in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida yesterday, I fell into bed exhausted at 10:00 p.m. last night. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to learn that it was probably all over but the shouting, that the worst president in the history of the United States of America has been elected to a second term.

Listening to TV today I have learned that as a Democrat I am "not part of mainstream America" (Tony Blankley, ENGLISH FUCK from Washington Times, former press secretary to Newt Gingrich, on CNN this afternoon); that I am part of a "fringe" group (David Gregory, incompetent Washington correspondent, on Hardball/MSNBC tonight) and that the Red states defreated the Blue states last night.

My response to all this: I am not going to spend ONE PENNY in a red state for the next four years. They don't need me anyway; I'm a fringe, out-of-the-mainstream loser.

My money will ONLY go to blue states where I am accepted.

Put that in your pipe & smoke it, SCLM!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Prediction Time

Another long-hair from Massachusetts leaves the field victorious on Tuesday. (Gratituous Red Sox reference.)

You heard it here first: 311 Electoral votes for Kerry to 227 for Bush. I'm sticking with my "Kerry in a Landslide" prediction.

Atrios says Kerry wins 284 (Gore states + New Hampshire & Ohio) to 254.

The Dick (Tucker Carlson), according to DailyKos, even has it for Kerry, 278-260.

Go Johnny go!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Zogby: It's Kerry

John Zogby, the only pollster who called Election 2000 correctly for Gore, guest on the Daily Show tonight, says Kerry will win.


That village in Texas is getting its idiot back............

Florida 2.0

Posting will be sporadic for the next week as I head to Florida to volunteer with the Election Protection coalition. Just another warrior for democracy.

Steal an election once, shame on you; steal it twice, shame on me!

Polls can't measure this kind of determination

Passion and Election Disputes On Rise in Florida as Vote Nears (last page)

Herman Post, who said he divided his time between Connecticut and Boca Raton, said he called the Palm Beach County elections office 10 days ago to inquire about a ballot he requested in September, and was told it had been mailed on Oct. 12.

When Mr. Post still had not received the ballot by Wednesday, he said, he called back.

"They say they never mailed me one, that there's no record from me having applied for it," he said. "I think there's obviously some phony baloney going on down there."

Mr. Post, 82, said he would drive to Florida to vote, leaving Connecticut at dawn on Sunday.

Headline of the Day

Massachusetts Liberals Deal Busch Devastating Blow in the Heartland

Hopefully that will also be the case next Tuesday!

Note to Skippy: Leave out the last "e" in Massachusettes!

The Red Sox Are World Champions

I didn't get to post yesterday as I could not get on to blogger :::aargh::: but I KNEW the Red Sox would win the World Series last night. I couldn't even get very excited about the prospect after Game 2 because it was clear the Red Sox were confident and the Cardinals were reeling.

I gotta say, winning the World Series was somewhat anticlimactic after the Sturm und drang of the epic series win over the Yankees. Playing the Cardinals allowed me to breathe. No visions of Aaron Fucking Boone dancing in my head. I'm too young to remember 1946, and in 1967 I wasn't a Red Sox fan. My mom was rooting for the Cardinals. All I remember about that series was Bob Gibson, probably the most dominating performance in a World Series by a pitcher, ever. 1975 was just a great series, but the Red Sox lost to a great Reds team.

I do remember 1986, very well. I had red candles burning on the top of my TV when Dave Henderson hit that home run against the Angels in the ALCS. And, I'm embarrassed to admit, I had already opened the champagne when that ball went through Bill Buckner's legs against the Mutts. That was a real heartbreaker. I never blamed Buckner. He never should have been on the field that late in the game. Much like this year's Doug M (runs to google to get spelling of name right) Mientkiewicz, Dave Stapleton had been Buckner's late game defensive substitution all year. Inexplicably, John McNamara left Buckner and his immobile ankles on the field and we all know the result.

Finally, last year's game seven defeat by the Yankees in the playoffs was just devastating. I watched the game from Madison Square Garden where I was attending the New York Rangers home opener. My brother's friend got us into the Green Room where I was transfixed by the game. By the 7th inning it was down the the diehards -- me, my family, and many New Yorkers including Mike Richter, Brian Leetch & Rod Gilbert. I was the lone Red Sox fan in the room. Much fun was poked at my expense. As you will recall the Red Sox led throughout the game until Grady Little (Forrest Gump) was perhaps the only person on the planet not to realize that Pedro Martinez was gassed. (My other brother called me from St. Louis screaming, "Pedro's gassed! Pedro's gassed! What is Grady Little doing?")

When Boone hit that home run off Wakefield I just began moaning. Wake had been heroic in the series. He had won games 1 and 4 and the Sox wouldn't even have been in that position if it weren't for him. And Aaron Bleeping Boone of all people. I went home, put my "Cowboy Up" shirt in a drawer and never took it out again.

And like all optimistic Red Sox fans, in March I said "This is the Year" and went out & bought a brand new Red Sox cap & shirt so I could say "I bought these the year the Red Sox won the World Series." Mission accomplished.

Great moments from last night's win:

Johnny Damon's lead-off home run. WWWJDD? What Would Johnny Damon Do? Drive a stake in the heart of the Cardinals and their fans at the earliest possible opportunity.

Derek Lowe tagging out Scott Rolen along the first base line in the bottom of the first. Did anyone else visualize A-Fraud's big white Mickey Mouse glove hacking the spindly arm of Bronson Arroyo at that moment?

The dirty boy Trot Nixon's clutch double in the 3rd, scoring Varitek & Ortiz.

Albert Pujols off-balance throw to the plate.

Pedro hugging Derek Lowe in the dugout after the 7th inning.

The final out -- Foulke almost juggling the ball he was so nervous.

Curtis Leskanic making snow angels on the infield grass.

Jason Varitek kneeling to kiss the infield.

Theo Epstein shaking the champagne bottle as he watched his bosses interviewed by the Fox nitwit in her ill-fitting suit.

The local sports guys interviewing everyone on the Busch Stadium infield for hours. They even interviewed Theo's parents.

Ah, it was a magic night.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

A sign at Fenway Park: WWJDD? (What Would Johnny Damon Do?)

Q: What's the difference between Iraq and Vietnam?
A: George W. Bush had a plan for getting out of Vietnam.

(Alternate answer: Both Bush & Cheney had a plan for getting out of Vietnam)


Let's hope this song helps GOTV for young voters!


by Eminem

Imagine it pouring, it's raining down on us,
Mosh pits outside the oval office
Someone's trying to tell us something, maybe this is God just saying
we're responsible for this monster, this coward, that we have empowered
This is Bin Laden, look at his head nodding,
How could we allow something like this, Without pumping our fist
Now this is our, final hour
Let me be the voice, and your strength, and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme, just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify the times it, and multiply it by six
Teen million people are equal of this high pitch
Maybe we can reach Al Quaida through my speech
Let the President answer on high anarchy
Strap him with AK-47, let him go
Fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our soil
No more psychological warfare to trick us to think that we ain't loyal
If we don't serve our own country we're patronizing a hero
Look in his eyes, it's all lies, the stars and stripes
They've been swiped, washed out and wiped,
And Replaced with his own face, mosh now or die
If I get sniped tonight you'll know why, because I told you to fight.

Leopards Never Change Their Spots

Police commander is said to fire at crowd
Among four officers with pepper pellets

The police commander in charge of the Kenmore Square area, including Fenway Park, when a 21-year-old college student was shot and killed was one of four officers who fired pepper pellets into the raucous crowds celebrating the Red Sox American League pennant victory, according to two people familiar with the investigation of the shootings.

Deputy Superintendent Robert E. O'Toole commands the Boston Police Department's Special Operations Unit, which includes the tactical team that used new high-force pepper-pellet guns early Thursday for the first time outside training. In addition, on this night, he was in charge of the massive deployment of all officers surrounding the ballpark, according to deployment records.

Shots from the pepper-pellet guns killed Victoria E. Snelgrove and tore a hole in the cheek of 24-year-old Cambridge resident Paul Gately. Pepper pellets fired by officers that night also pierced the skull of 19-year-old Boston University student Kapila Bhamidipati.


Robert O'Toole was also commander of special operations during the 1986 World Series and was overseeing security at Fenway Park when a television news crew filmed him as he slapped a handcuffed prisoner. O'Toole was demoted by Commissioner Francis M. Roache the following year and spent the next 17 years on different assignments until Kathleen O'Toole named him deputy superintendent of special operations in April.

Why oh why was this jamoke reinstated?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Who You Gonna Believe, Me Or Your Lying Eyes?

Nickel and Diming Homeland Security

Read this article to see statistics like this:

Amount needed to help local firefighters prepare for terrorist attacks: $36.8 BILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 122 days)

Bush budget allocation for firefighter grants: $500 MILLION
(Iraq equivalent: 40 hours)

Friggin' Prayin'

The Red Sox are up 2-0 in the World Series.

The Red Sox are up 2-0 in the World Series.

Can this be real? Can I let myself believe it's real? I can't get excited yet. I can't let myself get excited yet. I was one of those fools who had opened the champagne during Game 6 in 1986, because it was all over, in the bag, just a few easy outs away. And then it all slipped away, the agony, the howling, poor Billy Buckner driven out of town by the wrath of Red Sox Nation.

Curt Schilling was amazing last night. I keep thinking about that poor cadaver they practiced on with the tendon sheath stitches. Was the dead guy a Red Sox fan? Is he up there in heaven lording it over the other Red Sox fans about how he's helping break the 86-year-old curse? Or was he a Yankee fan & God is involved here -- a Yankee fan had to be sacrificed to break the Curse of the Bambino?

Speaking of religion, we enjoy Curt's frequent references to God. He's an avowed Christian and for example in last night's post-game press conference, he said "I'll never use the words unbelievable and the Lord in the same sentence again." Very Christian.

Righty-oh, there, Curt. I watched Letterman last week the day after the Sox vanquished the hated Yankees and saw our God-Squadder Curt read the Number One reason the Sox beat the Yankees: "We got Babe Ruth's ghost a hooker and now everything's cool." OK, if Curt's a Christian, I guess that's a very Christian statement.

My friend heard him interviewed on WEEI (our local sportstalk radio station) a few days back. In a short interview he said the word "frigging" at least a dozen times. Now, when I was a kid & I used that word, my parents treated me as though I had said "f**king". Because that's really what you're saying when you're saying frigging. So I guess using "frigging" is very Christian, too.

Last night I finally realized what Curt is doing when he sits in the dugout between pitches with his head in his hands. He's praying. They did a close-up from the side, and he has a chain around his neck (cross? saint?) in his fingers, his eyes are squeezed shut, and his lips are moving. Curt Schilling, praying between innings.

Frigging praying. Frigging praying. That's what all of Red Sox Nation is doing today.

Go Sox.

For further reading, try Schilling Gives Boston a Leg to Stand On by Tom Boswell in the Washington Post; Schilling again prevails on blood and guts alone by Sean McAdam in the Providence Journal; Fans get Curt-ain call: Ace's morning pain gives way to night of life by Stephen Harris in the Boston Herald; and Painful day, then win sewn up by Jackie MacMullan in the Boston Globe.

UPDATE: How could I forget George (not hack Peter) Vecsey? Schilling May Become Another Gimpy Legend

Saturday, October 23, 2004

George W. Bush: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Have you seen the new Bush/Cheney '04 commercial? A pack of wolves leaping ferociously in a field?

The message: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Be afraid of The Boy Who Cries Wolf.

Friday, October 22, 2004

1546 Reasons to Vote Against Bush

One Thousand Reasons

This the numbered list to end all numbered lists. It is still being updated, so the number may be higher than 1546 when you check in.

What Hunter S. Thompson Says

Some people say that George Bush should be run down and sacrificed to the Rat gods. But not me. No. I say it would be a lot easier to just vote the bastard out of office on November 2nd.

'Fear and loathing, Campaign 2004'

A 9/11 Mother's Grief & Anger

Donna Marsh O'Connor: 'An open letter to George W. Bush'

On the Thirty-third Anniversary of My Daughter's Birth

I can't even imagine this woman's pain.

Sometimes, Mr. Bush, it's the smallest of details that makes everything click. The smallest of details. Right now, Mr. Bush, I am looking at your watch. It's an item of clothing accessory and, unlike your other costumes, it is one that is particularly revealing.

On Halloween my daughter would be thirty-three years old. Her child would be almost three. Seven weeks before her twenty-ninth birthday, Vanessa, four months pregnant, ran from the falling towers of the World Trade Center. She did not make it. Her body, and in it the small body of her unborn child, was pulled from the rubble of the fallen towers on September 24th, just ten feet from an alley between towers IV and V. It is important for me to tell you that she was on the phone to her uptown office five minutes after the first plane hit tower I, explaining how she and others in tower II were "safe."

Here is what you did regarding specifically the events of that morning: You vacationed before, during and after August 6th, the day you were handed the presidential daily briefing that said very clearly Vanessa Lang Langer and many other Americans were not safe. After the first plane hit tower I, the fact of the PDB did not click in your mind, did not cause you to act, to turn on a television, to contact the Pentagon. You sat so that you did not frighten a group of children. You did not worry about Vanessa's brothers, or the young children who would certainly be directly affected by that event. You did not, like her fourteen year-old brother, rush from your seat and head for a phone, desperately trying to reach out, to fix, to save. You sat.

You said, two weeks to the day before the general election of 2004, that you would protect Americans; that is, according to you, your primary responsibility as Commander-in Chief; no terrorists would get us, no terrorists would attack us (you said this with your arm extended), and I you said and I quote, on your watch. You said this with no sense of irony, no sense, no indication of how that text would sound to those you failed miserably to protect. You never notified officially the airlines, flight schools, persons who lived or worked in our tallest structures. You failed in your watch and on it.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

They're Feeling a Draft, Talking About It On Their Cell Phones

Jimmy Breslin: 'Election rides on the cell phone vote'

Not one cell phone has been called during the presidential campaign. This is because there is no method for polling cell phones. Nobody has their numbers. Nor do they know who the users are, where they live and what they do. You have 170 million phones and you talk to none of them and then try to say you know what the public is thinking.

A month ago, pollster John Zogby said he had discontinued telephone polls because cell phones had made any and all results meaningless. Now if you pay attention to polls, you are insane.

Yesterday, the polls showed a Bush surge. It never happened because they were basing it on thin air. There also were figures showing Kerry winning states like Ohio in the Midwest. They came up with the percentages without calling one cell phone of the millions and millions of them in the area. I believe nothing.


They talk on cell phones, and when they talk they say, "Where are you? Did you hear George Bush saying the jobs are improving? Where? And for how much? He is making this a $9-an-hour country. Did you hear his idea on Social Security? We can give it to a stock broker to steal. Did you hear him saying a word about the guys getting killed in Iraq? No. He wants to make like it never happens. So long. I'm going into the building, and I'm going to lose you."

I'm with Jimmy. Kerry in a landslide.

The Ex-Cubs Factor

A Wise Decision Brings Boston Home

Murray Chass says Francona out-managed Torre. Personally, I think he just had better pitching, but who am I to say.

The really interesting part of his article is this:

Lowe certainly worked to the Red Sox' advantage. So might have the ex-Cubs factor.

A Cornell professor named Ronald Seeber raised the ex-Cubs factor in an e-mail message to friends yesterday, and one of them forwarded it here.

The ex-Cubs factor was brought to light years ago to explain why some teams won and some lost in the World Series. If a team had at least five players who had previously played for the Cubs and had more former Cubs than its opponent, that team would lose the World Series.

The barometer has since been expanded to other postseason series. Applying the factor to this series, the Yankees were in trouble. They had five ex-Cubs, the Red Sox only two.

On the Yankees' roster were the ex-Cubs Tom Gordon, Jon Lieber, Miguel Cairo, Kenny Lofton and Felix Heredia. On the Red Sox' roster were Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn, whose three-run homer was the decisive blow in Boston's 4-2 victory that tied the series.

I wonder how many ex-Cubs the Cardinals & Expos have? That will determine who I root for in their Game 7 tonight.

Why Not Us?

Still exulting over the Red Sox win over the MFY this morning. Yee-hah!

I especially enjoyed those obnoxious commercials with George Steinbrenner's arm in a cast because he has to write all those checks. I was screaming at the TV, "You're gonna be writing a lot of checks in this off-season, a**hole!!!" Gee, I guess the Yankees could have used Clemens, Pettite, or even David Wells. Kevin Brown lasted, what, two innings? hahahaha

The New York Times agrees with me.

More Changes Certain After Yankees' Defeat

The Yankees almost certainly will spend wildly to win; Steinbrenner has shown no tendency to do otherwise. The obvious target is the Houston free agent Carlos Beltran, whose agent, Scott Boras, is widely expected to ask for more than $100 million. Such a demand would lead Beltran straight to Yankee Stadium, where another Boras client, Bernie Williams, would have to cede center field.

happy, happy, happy


Sox win! Sox win! Sox win!

Time to sleep the sleep of the just.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Colorado Republican caught stealing campaign signs after he trips over a chain & hits concrete, knocking himself unconscious.

Truly poetic, n'est pas?

A Doctor Weighs in on "Frivilous" Lawsuits

Political malpractice

By Dr. W. Dudley Johnson, M.D.

His subtitle: All the talk about “frivolous lawsuits” is itself quite frivolous in the face of the real medical crises in the United States.

Read the article. He's right.

They're Feeling a Draft

MTV has published the results of their Choose or Lose poll, the PRElection, and as expected, Kerry won in a landslide with votes from (mostly) young voters.

Overall Votes
John Kerry 59,660 (61.1 percent)
George W. Bush 38,025 (38.9 percent)

A-Rod - Bush League Play from a Bush-Leaguer

You gotta believe. The Sawx are gonna win tonight in the Bronx, completing the greatest series comeback in baseball history.

The high & lowlight of last night's game for me was watching A-Rod get caught swatting the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 8th inning. A-Rod is a big Bush man (see previous post) & this was definitely a bush-league play. He's a paper MVP, after all, never really won anything, and this is the kind of play that lets you see why. Kevin Millar called it "unprofessional," and other commentators have weighed in their disapproval. Ugly moment almost sullies a classic series

The other interesting thing about the game to me was hearing Schilling's post-game comments saying that he had become a Christian 7 years ago & dedicating this win to God. I didn't know Curt played on the God Squad though it doesn't surprise me.

And like so many other members of the God Squad, he believes that Bush is the messiah. On an appearance on ESPN radio today, he corrected the host who called A-Rod's play "bush-league" to say it was a Kerry-league play.

I forget sometimes that every one of these ballplayers is a millionaire. They're all part of Bush's base. The haves.

Stick to baseball, Curt.

Go Sox!

He's a 19th Century Bush

Not a 20th Century Fox, our Bush.

Via uggabugga:

He's against anti-trust laws, progressive taxation, the direct election of senators, the estate tax, the regulation of energy, the regulation of the public airwaves, regulating the securities market, social security, bipartisan foreign policy, the separation of church & state, the right to policy, and abortion rights.

Defend America. Defeat Bush.

Only a Bubble Boy Could Believe He Could Wage a War WIthout Casualities

'One Guy in a Bubble'

An excerpt:

"I have no outside advice" in the war on terrorism, President Bush told Bob Woodward in December of 2001. In an interview that Woodward revealed to Nicholas Lemann in last week's issue of the New Yorker, Bush insisted that, "Anybody who says they're an outside adviser of this Administration on this particular matter is not telling the truth. First of all, in the initial phase of the war, I never left the compound. Nor did anybody come in the compound. I was, you talk about one guy in a bubble."

Indeed. By every available indication, George W. Bush's is the most inside-the-bubble presidency in modern American history. It's not just that his campaign operatives exclude all but the true believers from his rallies, or that Bush, by the evidence of his debate performances, has grown utterly unaccustomed to criticism.

With each passing day, we learn that once Bush has decided on a course of action, he will not be swayed by mere intelligence estimates, military appraisals or facts on the ground. We already knew that when Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress during the run-up to the war that occupying Iraq would require hundreds of thousands of troops, he sealed his ticket to an early retirement. We've recently learned that Paul Bremer had told the president we needed more troops to secure postwar Iraq and the safety of our troops already there, and that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez had pleaded for more armored vehicles to better shield our soldiers.

But these and other such assessments and pleas ran counter to the idea of the war that Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had lodged in their heads. This would be our lightning war, and after Saddam Hussein was deposed, resistance would cease and U.S. forces could pack up and go home. A report in Tuesday's New York Times documents a Defense Department plan to shrink the number of U.S. forces in Iraq by 50,000 within 90 days of the taking of Baghdad. There were estimates aplenty from the State Department, the CIA and the Army suggesting that we'd need more forces for the occupation than for the war, but they were all blithely ignored.

Let's pop that bubble on November 2nd. Let America rejoin the Reality-Based Community of planet earth.

Kerry in a landslide.

Welcome to Bush-Mart

Fred Cederholm: 'Getting beyond the spin, the hype, the Bushing'

A good summary of Bush's tenure, from a reporter who admits he voted for Bush/Cheney in 2000. I guess this time his brain is in gear.

Here's the beginning; click the link to read the rest:

I've been thinking about packaging-about spinning, hyping, and "Bushing" in the context of what the public is being told/sold during the 2004 Presidential Election. You see, "spinning" takes a negative-twists, turns, blends, and gyrates it -- morphing it into a positive. "Hyping" takes a minor positive-whips, froths, magnifies, and fluffs it -- morphing it into some big deal; unless the target-topic involves your opponent, then hyping takes his minor negative and morphs that into an epic catastrophe. "Bushing"? well, read on.

Cherry-picking favorable facts/figures, redefining words/terms, and ignoring all harmful data/information did not begin with the Bush administration; they just elevated it to an art form. The past four years and the current campaign have gone far beyond Slick's "that depends on what the meaning of the word 'is,' is." The "W team" now deserves their own gerund--"Bushing"--to describe what they're doing to win re-election. This bothers me, since four years ago, I voted for Bush-Cheney because I bought their package--hook, line, and sinker; but the boxes proved empty--at least their contents were lacking, misrepresented, unreal, and/or non-useable.

Shortly after the 9-11 attack the administration identified the 19 culprits. Since then, at least six of them have been found alive and kicking in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan--the victims of identity theft. If not them, who were on those planes?

We got the Patriot Act(s) and the Homeland Security Act to protect us. Read the full text of them (our Congressmen and Senators didn't) and you will learn that never in history has there been such a blatant assault on the heart /soul of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Have these made our freedoms more secure, or did they take them from us by default?

It's All About the Numbers, Baby

Democrats register more new voters, analysis finds

The Democrats appear to be gaining the upper hand in the battle to sign up new voters in the all-important swing states, an Associated Press analysis suggests.

The AP analysis of the most up-to-date figures from across the country found that in every state where complete data are available, the Democrats have registered more new voters than Republicans. They have the edge in Arizona, Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire.


Living in La-La Land

Robertson: I warned Bush on Iraq casualties
President's response: 'We're not going to have any'

OK, so we here on the left know Bush is a nut job. Now even his supporters are saying he's nuts. Pat Robertson (yes, THAT Pat Robertson, the one who blamed 9/11 on the ACLU, gays & lesbians, feminists, secular humanists, and People For the American Way, among others) says he warned George W. Bush against the war in Iraq:

Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."

"You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the world,' " Robertson said on the CNN show, "Paula Zahn Now."

"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "

Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

GOTV people. We got to get this crazy guy a one-way ticket to Palookaville where he belongs.

It's In The Numbers

"Top 35 Trends that say Kerry will Take the White House in November"

As my readers know, I love a numbered list! This one's from

Here are my top 4 from the list:

4)Kerry Has Large Lead in Swing States: ....

10) Democrats Won the Registration Wars: Voter Registrations have heavily favored the Democratic party this cycle.

28) The 50% Rule: If an incumbent is experiencing approval ratings below 50%, he or she usually loses. The latest CBS News/NY Times poll gave Bush only a 44% approval rating. The average of the last 5 polls shows Bush's job approval even further below 50%:...

35) The left is fired up!: This is the key ingredient to ensure maximum turnout by the left on election day. This is one thing we can all thank Bush for. The left is so outraged and disgusted with the policies, lies and crimes of this administration, that we wouldn't stay home on election day if it was raining darts (which is something I'm sure the GOP is working on.)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Only a Fool Goes to War Without a Post War Plan

Post-war planning non-existent

Here are the first four paragraphs; you must read the entire article.

WASHINGTON - In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."

A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.

A village in Texas is missing its idiot. Let's send him back to Crawford on November 2nd.

You Say Loofah, I Say Falafel, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off has some great covers for Bill O'Reilly's book.

Gallup's Record of Screwing up Presidential Polls

On October 27, 2000 the Gallup Poll showed George W. Bush with a 13% lead over Al Gore. A 13 percent lead!

And days later Al Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 and lost the presidency by one vote in the Supreme Court 6 weeks later.

Don't believe the polls. They're all for shit, & they don't have any validity.

I watched Sean "Puffy" Combs "Choose or Lose" half-hour special on MTV this morning. It was great. Do you think Gallup is calling the hip hop voters? I don't think so.

I voted for John Kerry today, via absentee ballot. On election day I'll be in Jacksonville, Florida with my brother, monitoring the polls for fairness with the Election Protection Coalition.

John Kerry in a landslide.

Another Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community

Read Matthew Yglesias and join the Reality-Based Community voting for John Kerry.

The phrase is from yesterday's New York Times article by Ron Suskind, Without A Doubt, about Bush's policies being informed by faith, not substance.

Here's the fantasy-land section of the article (it's on page 7 of the online version):

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

Who besides guys like me are part of the reality-based community? Many of the other elected officials in Washington, it would seem. A group of Democratic and Republican members of Congress were called in to discuss Iraq sometime before the October 2002 vote authorizing Bush to move forward. A Republican senator recently told Time Magazine that the president walked in and said: ''Look, I want your vote. I'm not going to debate it with you.'' When one of the senators began to ask a question, Bush snapped, ''Look, I'm not going to debate it with you.''

Let's get the messianic nut-jobs out of the White House.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Hypocrisy Part II

Did you know that Lynne Cheney denied her daughter was openly gay 4 years ago?


On Sunday, when ABC's Cokie Roberts started to ask the GOP vice presidential nominee's wife about having a daughter who has "declared she's openly gay," an irate Lynne Cheney shot back: "Mary has never declared such a thing." Cheney then blasted the media for its interest in the story, and chided Roberts: "I'm surprised, Cokie, that even you would want to bring it up on this program."

"I have two wonderful daughters. I love them very much. They are bright; they are hard-working; they are decent. And I simply am not going to talk about their personal lives," Cheney told Roberts.

Don't Believe the Polls

We're bringing in the crowds.

LINK October 14th, Des Moines

Indeed, on Thursday night in Des Moines, Mr. Kerry and his running mate, Senator John Edwards, were greeted by a huge and roaring crowd which endured traffic jams and a four-hour wait in 35-degree temperature to see them at an outdoor, nighttime rally on the State Fairgrounds.


Still, Mr. Bush's own post-debate rally at the US Cellular Center here on Friday drew a notably smaller and less enthusiastic crowd than Mr. Kerry drew the night before in Des Moines. Swatches of seats and patches of the arena floor were empty, even though the event took place inside a heated building, during the day, and downtown.

LINK October 15th, Milwaukee

In a speech before a lively, partisan audience at Milwaukee Area Technical College, the Democratic presidential candidate pressed his case that the Bush administration has ignored the rising costs of healthcare, child care and college education that he said are squeezing middle class families.


The Bush campaign, speaking to several thousand supporters in a half-empty sports stadium in Cedar Rapids for which aides had no ready explanation, countered by arguing that Kerry's policies would hurt the economy, citing his past support for tax increases. Bush tried to play off many of the comments that Kerry had made during their three debates.

Maybe that's why Bush stayed home from the campaign trail today -- half-empty venues? Or perhaps it was to get that all-important photo-op of him going to church, something he almost never does. I wonder if he had ever met that minister in the photo before today?

Plus, Gore was behind Bush in the polls before 2000, and we know who WON the popular vote.

Kerry in a landslide.

Apropros of Nothing

Do you think Bill O'Reilly handled his falafel before he interviewed George W. Bush?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Who Is That Man Behind The Curtain?

George Bush Bulges

Who is speaking into the transmitter, and what is he telling Georgie Porgie?

Look at these pictures of George's transmitter, then tell me, who you gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes?

Friday, October 15, 2004

Dick & Lynn Cheney: Hypocrites

The Cheneys = Hypocrisy personified

Posted by beaconess on Democratic Underground:

Pat Robertson: Blames Mary Cheney, by extension, of responsibility for 9/11 terrorist attacks. "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America--I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen."(September 2001)

Lynn and Dick Cheney's response: Silence

Rick Santorum: Accuses Mary Cheney, by definition, of immorality comparable to polygamy, adultery and incest. "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything." (April 2003)

Lynn and Dick Cheney's response: Silence

Alan Keyes: Specifically accuses Mary Cheney, by name, of being a "selfish hedonist." (August 2004)

Lynn and Dick Cheney's response: Silence

John Kerry: Sympathetically and eloquently explains that the Cheney's gay daughter is "she's being who she was. She's being who she was born as."


See also this post from blogactive, reminding us that before Mary Cheney signed on as campaign director for her father, she was an out lesbian activist for Coors. TAKE ACTION: There's Something About Mary. She was the paid lesbian diplomat for Coors Beer!

GWB: Another Debate Lie

Wednesday night George W. Bush alleged that lawyers and the potential for lawsuits hurt the production of vaccines. However, as a trade off over the polio vaccine, in 1986 Congress gave vaccine manufacturers partial immunity from lawsuits. The program has been in effect since 1988.

Any action against a vaccine manufacturer is pre-empted by the claims procedure set forth in the National Vaccine Compensation Act. Claimants have only three years to submit a claim for vaccination injury, and only two years to file a claim if death results.

The Department of Justice defends the claims for the government, & here's what they say about the program:

Another positive result of the program is that costly litigation against drug manufacturers and health care professionals who administer vaccines has virtually ceased. Although an individual who is dissatisfied with the Court’s final judgment can reject it and file a lawsuit in state or federal court, very few lawsuits have been filed since the program began. The supply of vaccines in the U.S. has been stabilized, and the development of new vaccines has markedly increased.
About the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

Here's how Kerry should have responded to this one of Bush's many lies:

1. The health of the American people is too precious to be left to the resources of only two suppliers. Common business practice is always to have a back-up plan. It was rank negligence, therefore, for there not to have been at least two companies contracted to produce the vaccine.

A top flu researcher, W. Paul Glezen of Baylor Medical Center, said the administration should be faulted for allowing just two companies to supply the nation's flu vaccine.
Candidates inject politics into flu vaccine debate

2. With all of the fine companies in the United States, the American public must ask why we had to go to an American company that outsourced jobs overseas to get a vaccine so crucial to the health and wellbeing of American people.

3. Moreover, outsourcing of this service is a matter of national security. Why is a decision so important to the health of the American people being made by Britain?

4. Finally, there are scientists and other highly skilled professionals who are unemployed and under-employed in this country. The revenues to this economy from production of such a vital product here on this soil could have stimulated our economy, certainly in the places where the vaccine might have been produced.

The administration's negligence and poor judgment cost the American people economically and now will hurt the country's health as well.