Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The Blue Dress

Scarlet Pimpernel sends me this photo that she took on I-5, which runs through California and Washington:

But what does it mean? The message could be that we’re all being screwed by the president, but which president? The current one? Or is the ClenisTM to blame?

On a related note, could “wearing the blue dress” become an official part of the lexicon, joining such great phrases as “screwing the pooch,” “keeping your nose to the grindstone,” and being “wet behind the ears”? The next time I screw something up, or perhaps after landing in a difficult situation, I’ll say “boy, I was really wearing the blue dress on that one” or “damn, you’ve really got me in a blue dress on this one” and try to gauge the reaction.

AB

UPDATE: Another suggested usage: Condi Rice is in the blue dress now.

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Domain Registration

How does one go about registering a parody site with a URL ending in “.gov”? Because this is clearly a parody site, right? Maybe you won’t realize that it’s a parody site just by going to the front page, but what else can explain this ? It leads with this line:

Good afternoon, or, as John Kerry might say: “Bonjour!”

Now, that’s actually funny even though it’s wildly innacurate (Kerry served in Vietnam with distinction; Tom DeLay alleges that he wanted to sign up but minorities–and apparently Democrats as well–took all the spots). What do you think, real or a parody? (Thanks to commenter sreg for the link).

AB

Also, Tom DeLay’s redistricting plan for Texas has failed. See the details here.

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Blogathon

Go Mary Beth! Go Jesse! And Go Drinking Guys!

AB

UPDATE: It’s now 4:45 a.m. Eastern, Not Geniuses are still blogging strong, even if they’ve only reached their sixth beer. Jesse’s still going, and finding really weird stuff. And Mary Beth’s still going strong too; she thinks the site I talk about in the post above is not a parody (though she admits it took her ten minutes to reach that conclusion–with sleep, she could have figured it out sooner).

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Edward Kennedy Wants Money

And I might have given it to him, until I read this in the solicitation: “Recently, Democrats led the successful charge to slash President Bush’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy.”

AB

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On a Roll

Is it just me, or is Dwight Meredith on a roll lately? I can explain the deficit in a clear and perhaps even convincing fashion, if you can stay awake throughout the entire post. Dwight makes it fun to read.

And, while I’m plugging, the non-evil Roger Ailes has a novel idea.

And, via TBogg, see this cartoon.

And, in case you haven’t heard about the blogathon, it starts tomorrow: 24 hours of non-stop posting. Pandagon is blogging for Amnesty International (blogging for Cure Autism Now (reports that “I’ve just been offered a challenge grant from a friend’s business – If I reach the $1000 goal, he’ll add another $500! So pull out your penny jars.” That’s right, by donating even a small amount, you could effectively be donating over $500!

AB

UPDATE: Getting very close now:

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That leaves, as of 11:30 Eastern, “0 days, 9 hours, 3 minutes until Blogathon 2003”.

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DeLay Peace

DeLay is on his way to the Middle East to do what he can to prevent Palestinian statehood–even if the plan is acceptable to the hawkish prime minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon. Why? Apparently God wants him to:

As an evangelical Christian, he [DeLay] is the most prominent member in Washington of the Christian Zionist movement, a formidable bloc of conservative Republicans whose support for Israel is based on biblical interpretations, sometimes putting them to the right of Israeli government. His persistent skepticism about Mr. Bush’s peace initiative indicates that the president may yet have to wrestle with his right flank in pursuing a plan that ultimately calls for a Palestinian state.

DeLay also may have tipped his hand on the real motivation for war in Iraq, parroting the Neo-Con line (though in fairness, the neocons put more emphasis on the shining example of democracy and less on intimidation):

“In the Arab world before 9/11, they thought the United States was a paper tiger,” said Mr. DeLay, who will also make a brief visit to military commanders in Baghdad next week. “We had a president at the time whose retaliation at terrorism was throwing a few bombs in the desert. They laughed at that. And now they see this is real stuff and real power. And they respect power. If the experiment going on in Iraq comes off, it will have a huge, huge impact in the Arab world, showing people who want freedom and self-government and education that they can have it.”

I guess if that doesn’t work, then the next step is slaying the first-born?* I’ve been to DeLay’s district, Sugarland; it’s a nice suburb with nice people on the outskirts of Houston. But seriously, Sugarlanders: what the hell is wrong with you?

AB

*Passover: “Passover thus refers to when the Angel passed over the homes of the Jews during the 10th plague [Slaying of the First Born] so that their first-born children were not killed like those of the Egyptians. After the 10th plague, Ramses II released the Jews again.”

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Bush and Pelosi

As you may recall, the latest expansion of the child tax credit excluded low income families who pay little or no income taxes (although they pay payroll taxes). The Senate tried to extend the credit to all families, but the House blocked it. Bush is giving lip service to the Senate plan, but not pushing House Republicans to do anything. Here’s Bush in the swing-state Pennsylvania trying to explain his deficit:

“We’ve got a deficit, as well, because I’m spending the money necessary to win the war…My attitude is when we put our troops in harm’s way, they deserve the best.”

On Bush’s first point, see this post (and here). On the second point, let’s check in with Nancy Pelosi:

“Mr. President: Be honest. Twelve million children, including 250,000 children of active-duty military families, are not getting these checks. They want to know what you are going to do about it besides pose for pretty pictures. They want you to get the House Republicans to expand the child tax credit now.”

Look for House Republicans to fold on this sometime today. Although I think that if they could swing it, the Republicans would only extend the child tax credits in Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states Bush narrowly lost in 2000. I will at least give Bush credit for finally being honest and saying that the economy was “sliding into recession”, rather than “in a recession”, when he took office (not that he was able to stop the slide).

AB

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Uday Qusay Hussein Dead Jokes

Skimming my traffic logs, I see that I’m getting a lot of hits from morbid people searching Google for “Uday Qusay Hussein dead jokes”, even though this site sin’t particularly relevant for that. The problem is that I’ve got jokes about the Green Party (e.g., here), and I have a post about the deaths of Uday and Qusay, so Google thinks that I’m the fifth most relevant hit on the web for such jokes. Nothing’s perfect.

In any event, welcome, accidental visitors. I don’t have any jokes specifically on topic, but to avoid making your visit a complete waste, I offer you these (there are many more here):

  • “No one knows if Saddam is still alive. They keep showing old footage of him on TV saying that it’s live. You know, it’s like the same thing we do with Dick Cheney.” —David Letterman
  • “New rumors that Saddam Hussein is planning to flee to a castle in Libya with 10 billion dollars. Now President Bush doesn’t know whether to nuke him or give him a tax cut.” —Craig Kilborn
  • “Saddam Hussein in his interview with Dan Rather said he would rather die than leave his country in exile. Finally, something we can agree on, he’d rather die and we’d rather kill him.” — Jay Leno

AB

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Rice Watch Day 3

Via Josh Marshall, this from Rice’s top aide Stephen Hadley in a Tuesday, July 22, 2003 White House Q&A:

Question: But as of memo number two, certainly Dr. Rice was aware of the concerns, the CIA —

Hadley: What we know is, again, a copy of the memo comes to the Situation Room, it’s sent to Dr. Rice, it’s sent — and that’s it. You know, I can’t tell you she read it. I can’t even tell you she received it. But in some sense, it doesn’t matter. Memo sent, we’re on notice.

“Memo number two” refers to the second of two memos that the CIA sent to the NSC; each explained that the CIA (and the State Department) didn’t find the Niger allegations credible. This is Dr. Rice back on June 8th, 2003, on Meet the Press:

We did not know at the time–no one knew at the time, in our circles- -maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the Agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.

In last Saturday’s Washington Post, the two Danas (Milbank and Priest) reported that

President Bush and his national security adviser [Condoleezza Rice] did not entirely read the most authoritative prewar assessment of U.S. intelligence on Iraq, including a State Department claim that an allegation Bush would later use in his State of the Union address was “highly dubious,” White House officials said yesterday…

…the document also included a pointed dissent by the State Department, which said the evidence did not “add up to a compelling case” that Iraq was making a comprehensive effort to get nuclear weapons.

…[A senior administration official said,] “They did not read footnotes in a 90-page document,” said the official, referring to the “Annex” that contained the State Department’s dissent.

I’m not quite sure what an annex is, but I’m assuming this means either that the National Intelligence Estimate had endnotes in an “annex”, rather than footnotes. Alternatively, the objections from State (and also the Dept. of Energy) were in an appendix, which does after all start and end with the same letters as “annex”. Now, I can readily accept President Bush taking a briefing on the report rather than reading the entire document–that’s what high level staff are for. But to say that Rice did not read it? Either it’s the height of dereliction of responsibilities, or an outright lie. And neither scenario makes Rice look good. (See also this post).

AB

P.S. Marshall also links me to this great Slate piece by Tim Noah, which has another quote from Hadley: “Condi wants it clearly understood that she feels a personal responsibility for not recognizing the potential problem presented by those 16 words.” Be sure to read all the way to the end.

UPDATE: Skimming Suburban Guerrilla, I found an interesting Clinton quote from his recent appearance with Bob Dole on Larry King:

Well, here’s what happens: every day the president gets a daily brief from the CIA. And then, if it’s some important issue — and believe me, you know, anything having to do with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons became much more important to everybody in the White House after September the 11 — then they probably told the president, certainly Condoleezza Rice.

On balance, Clinton was on Bush’s side on this issue, saying,

But this State of the Union deal, they decided to use the British intelligence. The president said it was British intelligence. Then they said on balance they shouldn’t have done it. You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president.

But the first quote really takes away from the plausibility of Rice’s “bowels” statement (see above).

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