Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The best Homeland Security initiative would be mandatory retirement for Rick Santorum
Pennsylvania's resident homophobe, after the GOP's pitiful election-year gay marriage stunt went down to a resounding 50-48 defeat in the Senate:

I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance. Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?

I hate to dignify that with a response, but no, you blazing ignoramus, the ultimate homeland security would be, you know, protecting the homeland from physical threats. Say what you will about Will Truman and his friends, but they certainly aren't aiming to take out any major cities with dirty bombs. What's the matter with people like this?

It's been a nice day it's been so far. Not only have the Republicans been thoroughly humiliated, but the disgusting anti-gay-marriage crusade has been dealt a crushing blow.

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A must read interview
The American Prospect has published its interview with former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. Carter's right-hand man has a way of cutting through the cheap moralizing of the Bush administration and exposing it for the empty and farcical nonsense that it is. Brzezinski argues that the neocons have violated the "moderate inner core" of humane realism that characterized fifty years of American foreign policy. He also has some unpopular things to say about the so-called "War on Terror":

America cannot simultaneously wage a war against those who threaten us and become a protagonist in every other part of the world. It is also senseless to claim, as Vice President [Dick] Cheney has, that terrorists hate all nations and all peoples. In fact, the terrorists in [Northern Ireland] are waging war against the British. And, obviously, we are on the side of the British. But the terrorists in Ulster are not waging a war on the Argentines. And the terrorists in Kashmir are waging a war against Indians, but not against Finns.

The words of a wise man, indeed. It would be nice to see someone like this in power again.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Da Senate!
After Jack Ryan (not the Tom Clancy hero, the Senate candidate) was forced to step aside for allegedly propositioning his wife, aka 7 of 9, in a sex club, the GOP slot in the Illinois senate race was made very available. It looks like it could be filled by Mike Ditka, the former Chicago Bears head coach, Levitra pusher, and sports analyst.

Has it really come to this?

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Look Ma, No Substance!
I wandered over to the Kerry-Edwards web site today, and couldn't help but guffaw at their new TV spot. It begins with a whitewash of their careers ("One is the son of a millworker..." and so forth) and then heads straight for fuzzy and oblique references to unnamed "plans."

"Today they're a new team for America," a voice intones, "with a plan to make us stronger at home and respected abroad."

No mention of what that plan might be, or how it differs from George W. Bush's plan. After all, no one could possibly be for a weaker America at home and less respect abroad, could they? [Editor's note: review Rumsfeld transcripts before publishing that statement.] I've tried to put myself in the shoes of a swing voter to imagine how such an ad might possibly sway me one way or the other, but I've come up empty. Bush's ads -- the ones that focus on his own crummy administration, anyway -- are no different. Strong leadership, optimism, blah, blah, blah.

30 seconds is not, I'll admit, a very long time. But would a little substance kill these guys?

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So much for democratizing the Middle East
The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi talks of the despair of Syrian reformists. Also, ominously, al-Qaeda may be turning its attention to Damascus.

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Another 7 dead over the weekend
Via the indispensable Juan Cole, we learn that another 7 Americans were killed and at least twice that number wounded in a bloody weekend in Iraq. Go ahead and try to find news of those deaths on CNN. Has the mainstream media become too bored with the killing to report the daily drip-drip-drip of dead and wounded?

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Check that CD for a scratch
Really, this is starting to border on self-parody. From today's Inquirer, Ed Wade is quoted by the local press as saying "I think if the guys here play up to their capabilities we can win a championship." He said this on Thursday but was interviewed yesterday, immediately after his championship team had limply dropped two crucial games against the surging Atlanta Braves.

Just for comparison's sake here are career numbers versus 2004 numbers for the Phillies.

Eric Milton: 4.72 ERA, 4.75 career
Brett Myers: 5.68 ERA, 4.71 career
Kevin Millwood: 5.15 ERA, 3.89 career
Randy Wolf: 3.56 ERA, 4.06 career
Paul Abbott: 4.45 ERA (with the Phillies), 4.81 career

The relievers, with the exception of Roberto Hernandez, are pitching well. Burrell, Thome, Abreu, Rollins, Bell, Ledee, and Lieberthal are either matching or exceeding career norms. Only Polanco, Byrd (currently in AAA), Millwood, and Myers are truly struggling compared to backs of their baseball cards. Earth to Ed Wade -- Sometimes guys have off years, and they don't get any better.

Pull the trigger, please.

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Call the political fashion police...The new Kerry-Edwards t-shirt is out. If this is indicative of the ticket's creative energy, we should start preparing for Bush's inauguration now. The logo looks like it was stapled on by fifth-graders before a campaign rally. Yeech.

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