Someone Take The Wheel

Martha's found guilty on four counts. I'm stunned. 
  I Prefer "Anti-Choice" Myself

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - This might not end 'til the plus-sized lady sings.

A Los Angeles Times music critic who wrote that a Richard Strauss opera was "pro-life" -- meaning a celebration of life -- was stunned to pick up the paper and find his review changed by a literal-minded copy editor to read "anti-abortion."

Music critic Mark Swed said the copy editor was adhering to a strict Times policy banning the phrase "pro-life" as offensive to people who support abortion, and didn't seem to realize that the epic Strauss opera "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" had nothing to do with that politically charged issue.
  Um, Dead Is Dead.

1,188 Americans Killed in Iraq

"If a soldier is completely dismembered by a bomb, then he is dead. Likewise, if a soldier is hit by a full burst of machine-gun fire, then he also is dead. The problems start when the medic [on the ground] is not quite sure whether the injured soldier is dead or not. We all like to save life if possible, so if the medic believes there is the faintest glimmer of hope, the injured soldier is sent immediately to the nearest [medical] aid station."

"The split-second that soldier is removed from contact [wherever the incident took place], he is officially listed as 'wounded', regardless of whether he then dies 3 seconds or minutes or hours or days or months later, as a direct result of injuries sustained in the contact. Deaths in transit to the U.S., or after soldiers return home are also excluded completely, or become 'accidental deaths'. This is how Wolfowitz and his people massage the figures, and how the American public is misled."  
  Safer? Stronger?

Take Back The Media offers this rapid response to the bush ads. 
  What, Didn't They See The Ads?

Many prospective (Rep) surrogates left campaign headquarters profoundly depressed by the mediocre briefing and the material given them....deepening malaise among Republicans in the capital...The lack of a ready response to Greenspan, while Democrats quickly turned his comments into an indictment of President Bush's tax cuts, was not an isolated failing....Disagreement between congressional Republicans and Bush over the size of the highway bill...Hastert and his allies are bitter that they received no backing from the president and administration in their efforts to keep the independent 9/11 investigation from extending into the campaign season....disaffection ...normally loyal Republicans -- actually including more than a few members of Congress -- are privately talking about political merits in the election of Sen. Kerry....The president is in political trouble, and his disaffected supporters who should be backing him aggressively provide the evidence.  
  Just In Case We Need Reminding

Atrios (via tells us exactly what kind of guy George was (is) below. This is a quote from one of his professors. Wonder why they're not putting this stuff on the TV ads? Hmm?

"At Harvard Business School, thirty years ago, George Bush was a student of mine. I still vividly remember him. In my class, he declared that "people are poor because they are lazy." He was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare, and public schools. To him, the antitrust watch dog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities Exchange Commission were unnecessary hindrances to "free market competition." To him, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was "socialism." Recently, President Bush's Federal Appeals Court Nominee, California's Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown, repeated the same broadside at her Senate hearing. She knew that her pronouncement would please President Bush and Karl Rove and their Senators. President Bush and his brain, Karl Rove, are leading a radical revolution of destroying all the democratic political, social, judiciary, and economic institutions that both Democrats and moderate Republicans had built together since Roosevelt's New Deal."
  Tell It Terry

I'm not a huge fan of Terry McAuliffe, but this is a pretty good zinger:

"These ads are expected to reference Bush's 'steady leadership' as president, but they would be remiss to leave out some 'steady' facts when it comes to his leadership: a steady loss of jobs, a steady increase in uninsured Americans, a steady decline in education funding, a steady erosion of veterans' benefits, a steady attack against the Social Security Fund, and a steady rise of the deficit," he said.
  Kerry Hits Head Of Nail

"The only thing steady about this President is his steadily leading our country in the wrong direction. It’s time for a change in America, and time to get things back on track.”
  Steady On

Samela brings us this hopefully not prescient bit of commentary:

"But let's not laugh long at this: we know every teevee pundit will soon be saying the American people think George W. Bush is a steady leader in changing times. That people want steady leadership. That the times they are a changing. That steady is as steady does. And doesn't President Bush look steady today. My, if there's one thing you can say about President Bush, it's that he's steady, like it or not. And what's that: John Kerry looked somewhat unsteady today."
  Mr. Resident, Your Clue Is Waiting

Fire Fighters President Says Use of Fire Fighter Images in New Bush Ads Smack of Political Opportunism

WASHINGTON, March 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO (IAFF), Harold Schaitberger, issued the following statement today after President Bush unveiled new political ads that use images of fire fighters in September 11, 2001 attacks for political gain:

"As Bush Trades on Heroism of Fire Fighters, His Homeland Security Funding Cuts Hurt Fire Fighters and Communities..."
  I Loooove It!

Apparently the responses to question "Is it appropriate to use images of 9/11 in political ads?" on CNN were 80% negative. Despite the best attempts of the media to push these ads as being a work of art, the public wretches and rightly so. One email read on the air:

"I've never voted in my life because I thought it wouldn't matter. Bush's use of 9/11 is so vile that I am going out to register just so I can vote against him." 
  Oh, You Mean He Meant To Do This?

And all this time I just thought it was because he was a miserable failure.

Greenspan unintentionally tells us Bush wants to bankrupt the country just so he can force privatization down our throats. Now there's a good idea (not).

There are plenty of examples of the Bush administration's attempts to push privatization, such as their effort to change federal funding rules for public water utilities, making such federal funding contingent upon proof that the utilities each have a privatization plan in place. Amtrak, Social Security and public schools are explicitly in their sights. Education factories such as Edison Schools are the preferred Republican solution to education.

The public, so far, is resistant to an explicit agenda of mass privatization. But if Bush and his corporate backers were to be given a second term, pursuit of this privatization agenda would be unfettered, with the bulging Social Security trust fund at the top of the list among prospective candidate programs. That is what Mr. Greenspan is really signaling with his Congressional testimony in favor of permanent tax cuts today.

The pursuit of federal insolvency increases the financial pressure on all elements of the public sector, making the argument for privatization theoretically more compelling. Indeed, Bush and company would read their election to a second term as a tacit mandate for their privatization agenda, and the consequences for the commonweal would be devastating.
  Lowering The Bar

Have you noticed how all the pundits today are saying how gracious it was of Bush to call and congratulate Kerry? It's just so gracious. He didn't really have to do that. Wasn't that just so very very gracious of him.

Here's something: If he wasn't such a rude smug bastard every other day of the year, giving what is considered to be a good form, good sportsmanship-like courtesy call to an opponent wouldn't seem like news. But since we all know the miserable failure has no manners, not to mention any basic sense of human decency, I guess it is. Sigh. 
  No More Letters From America

Alistair Cooke, the distinguished presenter of BBC Radio 4's Letter from America, is retiring from the world's longest running speech radio programme after more than half a century.

The veteran Cooke, who celebrated his 95th birthday last November, is ending a 70-year career with the BBC in which he became famous for his uniquely well informed weekly dispatches on US current affairs.


But he remains best known for his Letter from America, which pioneered the informal conversational style that now dominates speech radio

Republican speculation that Bush may use ground zero as a convention backdrop has some 9/11 victims' families appalled.


"We read that and we were just sick to our stomachs," says David Pototari, co-director of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

"It's totally inappropriate," says Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband, Ronald, was killed at the World Trade Center. "The president won't testify before the entire 9/11 commission, he won't testify under oath, and he fought the creation of the commission for one year. So for him to have the audacity to even think of going to ground zero is absolutely deplorable. That's sacred ground. That's solemn, holy ground where my husband and 3,000 others were murdered. It doesn't belong to politics."  

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is overseeing White House and campaign operations fused by staffs that coordinate closely on political tactics, logistics and communications strategy.

Ground zero at the White House is a second-floor office in the West Wing. Here, Karl Rove, Bush's chief strategist, keeps a sharp watch on politics, taking the nation's pulse in telephone calls with operatives across the country.

Rove is just upstairs from the Oval Office, so Bush does not have to directly steer the political ship. "Karl exists so Bush doesn't have to," one former White House official said.
  If You Have Nothing To Hide

Then you hide nothing:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal panel reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks has scheduled interviews with former President Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore this month but is struggling to get similar cooperation from President Bush and administration officials. 
  Not A Good Idea

Ok, I realize Kobe's lawyers need to do what they can for their client...but the impact of overturning this law would be a huge step backwards for our entire judicial system. Here's to hoping they lose this argument:

EAGLE, Colo. (AP) - Lawyers for Kobe Bryant are ready to target the state's 30-year-old rape-shield law in their hope to bolster the NBA star's defense.


One of the issues was to be Colorado's rape law, which is similar to laws in all 49 other states. It makes defense lawyers prove why an alleged victim's sexual history is relevant evidence.

Defense attorneys Pamela Mackey and Hal Haddon have argued the law - which generally prevents defense attorneys from using the sexual history of alleged sexual assault victims against them in court - is unconstitutional.
  No Smartass Title For This One

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Egyptian authorities have entrapped, arrested and tortured hundreds of men thought to be gay, a New York-based human rights group said in a report Monday.

Human Rights Watch urged Egypt to repeal legislation allowing the prosecution of consensual homosexual relations - covered under the country's debauchery laws.
  Most Ridiculous Headline Of The Day

Bush Proposes Steroid Summit 

Multiple sources that just spoke with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide told Democracy Now! that Aristide says he was "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. She said he had been threatened by what he called US diplomats. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. According to Waters, Aristide was told by the US that they were withdrawing Aristide's US security.

TransAfrica founder and close Aristide family friend Randall Robinson also received a call from the Haitian president early this morning and confirmed Waters account. Robinson said that Aristide "emphatically" denied that he had resigned. "He did not resign," he said. "He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup." Robinson says he spoke to Aristide on a cell phone that was smuggled to the Haitian president.

Read the transcript of the Waters interview here.
  Telling It Like It Is

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush an "asshole" on Sunday for meddling, and vowed never to quit office like his Haitian counterpart as troops battled with opposition protesters demanding a recall referendum against him.

Chavez, who often says the U.S. is backing opposition efforts to topple his leftist government, accused Bush of heeding advice from "imperialist" aides to support a brief 2002 coup against him.

"He was an asshole to believe them," Chavez roared at a huge rally of supporters in Caracas.


Rip out the table
we need room to move
in a life unstable
you're so easily amused
anywhere you hang
yourself is home
throw in a tape, fix the tone

The windows are dirty let's hope it rains
add another newspaper
something to do with my change
I see we're fighting again
In some fucking land
throw in another tape man

Someone take the wheel
and I don't know where we're going
anybody say what you feel
everybody's sad, but nobody's showing

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