Friday, July 23, 2004

Halliburton stealing our $$$$

I read the NYTimes and the WashPost this morning but it was not until I went on the Knight-Ridder site that I saw this little gem about Halliburton:  Knight-Ridder story

"Three whistleblowers Thursday charged - and top executives strongly denied - that spending by Defense contractor Halliburton in Iraq was reckless and wasteful. They said the company's KBR unit charged the government $45 for cases of soda, submitted $100 bills for laundry, put up personnel in five-star hotels and abandoned $85,000 trucks on roadsides because of flat tires.......

Truckers Warren and David Wilson of Venus, Fla., said KBR did almost no routine maintenance on its vehicles, which at times meant trucks had to be abandoned when they broke down.
KBR transportation chief Keith Richard denied those charges, saying regular maintenance was performed every two weeks.
Ten other current and former KBR truckers who spoke with Knight Ridder sided with Wilson and Warren, however.
"I never got a truck maintenanced the whole time I was there," former driver Shane Ratliff of Ruby, S.C., told Knight Ridder in April. "

But of course, the Republican-controlled House refuses to do anything.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Slower than sludge

I wrote three posts this morning and posted them, according to blogspot "successfully".  Now, 11:30 p.m. at night, more than 12 hours later, they're still not showing up.  What gives? 

Small Shrub

Harpur's has an excellent list of all the things Commander Codpiece does not know -- from his own mouth.

Freep Family Circle

Vote in the great cookie-off:  Family Circle 2004 Election Cookie Cook-Off

Why doesn't George Bush care/call?

Last night I read an article in Yankee magazine about a boy from Deerfield, Mass. who was killed in Iraq.  The article isn't online, but here's a LINK to an interview with the author.   When Greg Belanger died, Senators Kerry and Kennedy called his parents the next week with their condolences, as did Senator Chafee of Rhode Island (where Greg lived).  But no call from George Bush.  Just a form letter, over a month later.
As you can imagine, the family is bitter. 
Kerry in a landslide.

Did everything really change, or was it all a dream?

Some days the "news" just gets to me.  This morning I was flipping through the morning shows.  There was Katie Couric, sitting on a high chair, interviewing three people about Martha Stewart.  (Am I the only person who can't look at Katie any more without thinking, "Navy Seals ROCK!")  Robin Roberts on ABC is directing a man through making and demonstrating homemade cleaners.
Remember after September 11th, when people were saying everything had changed forever?  When the media had a hiccup of regret over spending the summer covering Gary Condit and Chandra Levy?  That's when we got constant tickers crawling beneath the announcers on every news station.  Those tickers told us how many people were thought to be dead, the rumors of life in the pile, stories that made us feel and care.  But now our tickers are telling us about the Scott Peterson trial, and Martha Stewart's sentencing, and Kobe Bryant.  And they never tell us anything about the Americans or the Iraqis who died in Iraq today, other than counting them like the score of a sick baseball game.  What are their names?  How old were they?  How did they die?  Tell us.  Their deaths matter. 
Frank Rich says it is the fault of happy talk news.  I don't know why journalism has sunk this low, but it makes me sad.
Why hasn't one of the networks shown the video of Bush sitting in that Florida classroom for 7 minutes after learning the 2nd World Trade Center Tower had been hit?  Why don't I have that video burned into my brain, instead of poor Howard Dean shouting over the crowd in Iowa?
Show me the My Pet Goat video.  The country will not fall apart if we see Prances in Flightsuit as he really is.  Give him his seven minutes of fame.  Show some courage.  Show some guts.   Be journalists, not parrots.  Do your job.