Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Another Unnecessary Trip-

Not satisfied with his attempt to ruin Charade for a new generation of filmgoers,(The Truth About Charlie,2002), Jonathan Demme is wrapping up production of his version of The Manchurian Candidate. The descriptive tagline certainly isn't encouraging: "In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes." It suggests some kind of lame-brained anti-middle eastern pap of the sort hollywood has been happy to manufacture for some time. In the past, Demme has distinguished himself as a more thoughtful filmmaker, but it's hard to be hopeful that this will turn out to anything but garbage. Come to think of it, with the change of locale shouldn't it be called something like the Levantine Candidate? Unless the filmmakers plan on some screwy axis-of-evil angle by which they work in North Korea. All I can say is, if they're going to carry Bush's water like that and aid and abet in the propagation of his lies about a prior Iraqi link to al-qaeda and any other sources of fear Dubya wants the public to be foggy about, Denzel Washington better find those damn WMDs!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I'm not sure how this person's archives work, but I'm trying to point tobrushstroke.tv's Feb 16th post, which is critical (rightly, I think), of Joe Trippi's tenure as Howard Dean's campaign manager.
It's a pity the mainstream press isn't following the flyboy scandal as meticulously as Dave Neiwert has
and here.

My impresssion is that Kerry's reluctance to pursue it much on the stump has a little to do with this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

BBC NEWS: Burn, burn burn:

The family of late singer Johnny Cash has blocked an attempt by advertisers to use his hit song Ring of Fire to promote haemorrhoid-relief products.
The idea had been backed by Merle Kilgore, who co-wrote the song with Cash's wife, June Carter Cash.

Cash's daughter Rosanne said the family "would never allow the song to be demeaned like that".

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Avedon writes outside of the Sideshow-- this, I didn't know: at
Daily News Online:

"In most cases, the sale of utilities or other projects to private enterprise won't even have the benefits of an actual sale, since the government will continue to pay out taxpayers' money to subsidize the same projects. Extra layers of administration are laid on (at increased costs to you, of course), and the real deal is that the work has in essence been outsourced to a more expensive and less responsible provider. The private company mines profits from the bills you pay directly into their own pockets, while costs are returned to you... "

Friday, February 13, 2004

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Al Gore gave a firey, impassioned speech at a Nashville Democratic rally earlier this week--getting worked up about the crookedest presidential administration in a generation. Andrew Sullivan called it a "deranged rant"; Slate's Chris Suellentrop suggested that Al Gore shouldn't be invited to speak at the Democrats convention because of it. I wish I had something cleverer to say than nuts to both of them-- I'll bet they've both criticized Gore for being plodding and pedantic at other times. All I saw were clips on teevee (I no longer have access to C-Span), but for me it, what little I saw was gratifying-- it was nice to see Al Unbound.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Longshoreman, Torricelli financed anti-Dean ads

Unions, Torricelli financed anti-Dean ads

Feb. 11, 2004 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- Labor unions, former Democratic Sen. Bob Torricelli and one of presidential hopeful Howard Dean's own donors were among big givers to a group that ran ads criticizing Dean in three early voting states.

Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values raised $663,000 last year and spent $626,840 of it, a finance report provided to The Associated Press on Tuesday showed.

It ran at least three ads in December against then-Democratic front-runner Dean.

The group spent $15,000 on an ad aired in South Carolina and New Hampshire that showed a picture of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and said Dean, former Vermont governor, didn't have the experience needed to take on terrorism...

Federal Election Commission spokesman Bob Biersack said it was "fuzzy" whether Torricelli's contribution was permissible under FEC rules. Donations to such groups are not included on an FEC list of permitted uses for campaign funds.

Torricelli and his campaign treasurer, attorney Michael Perrucci, did not immediately respond to messages left at their offices Tuesday evening seeking comment.

Nearly all the group's donors were backers of Gephardt, who staked his candidacy on Iowa and was in a head-to-head battle with Dean there in December.

They include several labor unions: The International Longshoremen's Association, Laborers International Union and International Association of Machinists, which gave $50,000 each; the International Association of Ironworkers, $25,000; and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, $5,000.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Kim Osterwalder of Free Pie says

From the Bush Regime's perspective, it will be better to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fail momentarily, and then swoop in and seize the assets — which can then be salvaged with money from the U.S. Treasury, and re-sold to FOB (Friends of Bush) for pennies on the dollar.

linking this, "Looters in the White House."

"All Eyes On Dixie"

In this month's Prospect , Kevin Phillips of em>Emerging Republican Majority fame says that dems shouldn't write off the south-- at least not all of it, and that a

"backlash against the religious right can be expected in much of the North in coming years if -- and it is a big "if" -- the Democrats can spotlight [their] parochialisms effectively."

Monday, February 09, 2004

Another Diebold story:

Salon.com's Farhad Manjoo asks: Will the election be hacked?

or, how to change your county vote totals with just a few clicks! (But don't do it, ok? There, crisis averted. Whew.)
NEWS.com.au | US sorry for picnic boy death (February 4, 2004)

this isn't getting covered by our domestic media:

From correspondents in Kirkuk
February 4, 2004

US army Colonel William Mayville apologised today for the killing of an Iraqi child by mortar rounds fired by his forces as the boy's family picnicked in the northern oil region of Kirkuk.

thanks to Cursor and "lefti"

Friday, February 06, 2004

AP poll notes sharp decline in support for Bush:

"I think he's run the country into the ground economically, and he comes out with these crazy ideas like going to Mars and going to the moon,' said Richard Bidlack, a 78-year-old retiree from Boonton, N.J., who says he voted for Bush in 2000. 'I'm so upset at Bush, I'll vote for a chimpanzee before I vote for him.' "

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Skimble says we've probably already got Bin Laden, or at least a charred corpse with ostensible "positive" DNA identification performed by vague, unverifiable means:

Bin Laden "obviously" warehoused for political effect. The words "convinced" and "confident" reveal startling changes in Republican rhetoric, as seen in The Hill:
He doesn’t bother to attend secret CIA briefings of his fellow senators because he seldom learns anything he hasn’t read in the newspapers, but Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is convinced the U.S. will track down the elusive mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks before November.

Obviously, he’ll be caught between now and the election,” Grassley said Monday when asked if he’s disappointed that Osama bin Laden hasn’t been killed or captured.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Kerry widens delegate lead;

the delegate count thus far:

Kerry 260
Dean 121
Edwards 107
Clark 81
Lieberman 25
Sharpton 6
Gephardt 5
Kucinich 2

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Pa. police dog suspended for potential racism:

Feb. 3, 2004 | MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. (AP) -- A police dog has been suspended while investigators try to determine whether the animal has something against black children.

The dog, a German shepherd named Dolpho, was cleared two years ago of attacking a child because he was black. But Dolpho was removed from duty on Monday after biting another black child.

Dolpho attacked a 14-year-old black girl on Jan. 28 during a crime-prevention demonstration at a school but did not break the youngster's skin. The girl's parents said a white student petted the dog without incident before he attacked their daughter.

I don't understand why this dog isn't retired from police service regardless of the investigation's findings, just as a precaution. Are the McKees Rocks PD weighing the cost of another trained police dog versus the cost of possible litigation? I mean, it's not as if they'd have to fund the dog's pension.

I can't help but be reminded of Sam Fuller's legendary (and legendarily difficult to find) film White Dog, about a dog that was trained to hate blacks. It starred Kristy McNichol, of all people, and was based on a Romain Gary article in Life magazine. No, I've never seen it-- If you've seen it, let me know.
Larry Kestenbaum at Polygon writes about a very disturbing development:

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved and sent to the House floor a bill which is claimed to "curb database copying".

The Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act of 2003 would make it possible for facts to be "owned". Disclose owned facts, and face a federal lawsuit from the "fact owner".

Previously, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1991 decision Feist v. Rural Telephone, had declared that facts are not copyrightable. This new legislation is an attempt to overturn the Feist decision.

Do you think Kerry will sweep today? I think Kerry will have it locked up by the time Texas(3/9) rolls around-- but I also remember Dean's erstwhile unstoppable status, and realize that as more dems drop out that leaves bigger pieces of pie for those left in. Clark is said to have a chance in OK and Edwards in SC.
(Kos of dailykos.com calls Edwards the breck boy.)
Who Gets Punished for Janet's Strip? : Clear Channel, Hearst, and Gannett, as well as CBS's parent Viacom, according to Slate's Brendan I.Koerner, possibly to the tune of as much as 27,500 bucks per station, and that's besides potential licence revocation. So that's a lot of right-wing mouth-pieces that get reminded to hold the line. Yeah, now I get it.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Feb. 2, 2004 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- The early-to-bed president missed the Super Bowl's risque halftime show.

But George W. Bush's spokesman said Monday the administration was concerned that the display wasn't family-friendly.

"I don't want to admit it, but because this White House starts early, I missed it -- again," Bush told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. "Saw the first half, did not see the half time -- I was preparing for the day and fell asleep."

"But you all can tell me about it," he joked to reporters.

Ha ha, giggle giggle. But now these prurient sons of bitches want a full blown FCC investigation of the event. This is from the same White House that did everything it could to stonewall and circumvent the 9/11 investigation, but managed to get the Department of Homeland Security involved in the search for the missing Texas Senators last year who tried to refuse to allow a quorum for the Texas redistricting vote.

(I'll bet he did so see it.)