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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: You May Experience DeLays

“The grand jury has indicted three of DeLay's political associates in connection with fundraising activities for a political action committee closely linked to DeLay.”
-Washington Post, November 18, 2004

“Well, surely justice will be done. And the Senate has rules that the Republicans pushed through years ago (in response to a corrupt Democrat) that will mean that DeLay will need to step down as Majority Leader if he is indicted, so that there will be no appearance of impropriety in the Senate. All good and above board. No politics here..”

“Emboldened by their election success, House Republicans changed their rules yesterday to allow Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) to keep his post even if a grand jury indicts him, and Senate GOP leaders continued to weigh changing long-standing rules governing filibusters to prevent Democrats from blocking President Bush's most conservative judicial nominees.”
-Washington Post, November 18, 2004

“Oh… Well, I mean, sure he keeps his job for now. Heh, it isn’t like an indictment is the same as being found guilty, so I’m sure that his case will be examined fairly in the House ethics committee to see whether he keeps his position.”

“House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is leaning toward removing the House ethics committee chairman, who admonished House Majority Leader Tom DeLay this fall and has said he will treat DeLay like any other member, several Republican aides said yesterday.
Although Hastert (Ill.) has not made a decision, the expectation among leadership aides is that the chairman, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), long at odds with party leaders because of his independence, will be replaced when Congress convenes next week.”
-Washington Post, December 28, 2004

“Yep.. They want to replace the House ethics committee chairman because he might be too, well, you know, ethical.. The most likely nominee for his job?

“The aides said a likely replacement is Rep. Lamar S. Smith, one of DeLay's fellow Texans, who held the job from 1999 to 2001. Smith wrote a check this year to DeLay's defense fund. An aide said Smith was favored for his knowledge of committee procedure.”
-Washington Post, December 28, 2004

“They don’t even try to hide it anymore. The greatest scandal of all is that they have effectively erased the concept of a scandal. They lie and cheat to your face and dare you to call them on it.”

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making the world believe that he didn’t exist.”
-Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint, The Usual Suspects

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Quotes of the Morning

“The Bush administration yesterday pledged $15 million to Asian nations hit by a tsunami that has killed more than 22,500 people, although the United Nations' humanitarian-aid chief called the donation ‘stingy.’"
-Washington Times, December 28, 2004

“The war on terror will take center stage at next month’s second inauguration for President Bush in Washington, D.C. [...] The estimated budget for the event is $30-40 million, but that will not cover security costs.”
-NSNBC, December 15, 2004


“A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.”
-Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

“A big Happy Birthday goes out to Skippy’s sister. Love ya M.B.”

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Quote of the Morning

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over
If you want it
War is over
-John Lennon, Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Finally.. Comics

Ok, I know I said that this blog was for comics too, so I'd better live up to that.

Observations on Comic Book Reality.

The basic assumption in comics is that the people there are pretty much like the people in the real world. Sure, they may mutate or somehow gain superhuman abilities, but Joe Blow on the street is pretty much like us, right?


See, there is evidence that much of what passes for 'human' in the comic world isn't. For instance:

Physiology: In the comic book world people are just plain tougher. Villians kill people all of the time, but have you ever noticed how few injuries there are? If people are hurt in the comic world they either have a minor scratch or two, are knocked into a temporary coma, or are dead. No one ever seems to end up with a broken finger or a fractured ulna. Nope. The one exception is the 'character' injuries, like losing an eye or getting a large facial scar, that usually become the signature 'look' of the character. This nearly never happens to 'normal' people, just the superhumans.

Part of the reason is probably the tougher skin that people have in the comic world. It doesn't cut or scar as easily as the skin of those of us in the 'real' world. Look at the breasts of women in comics. I'm pretty sure that if they didn't have much stronger skin than us their breasts would be around their knees, especially judging from the average size of them. Wow.

Look at Blue Beetle. He's an agile inventor, but is, in theory, normal. Years ago, during the Doomsday fiasco, Blue Beetle was thrown head first through a brich wall. The wall gave first. Sure he was hospitalized, but HE WENT THROUGH A BRICK WALL. In the real world he would have been tapioca.

Well.. Work summons. More on this later.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: Its a Wonderful Economy

“This economy of ours is steady and strong. It's steady and strong. It's steady and strong, which means people are going back to work.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Washington, D.C., Jul. 2, 2004

“The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Annandale, Virginia, Aug. 9, 2004

“Investment means you're purchasing something, and somebody has to make that which you purchase and sell that which you purchase. And that's how the economy works.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Aug. 18, 2004

“We had some CEOs that weren't honest with their shareholders and their employees. And we passed tough laws that said, we're not going to tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America. You're now beginning to see on your TV screens what we're talking about. People are being held to account. And that hurt our economy.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Mar. 15, 2004

“The march to war affected the people's confidence. It's hard to make investment. See, if you're a small business owner or a large business owner and you're thinking about investing, you've got to be optimistic when you invest. Except when you're marching to war, it's not a very optimistic thought, is it? In other words, it's the opposite of optimistic when you're thinking you're going to war. War is not conducive to -- for investment.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Missouri, Feb. 9, 2004

“The White House is telling federal agencies to expect lean budgets next year, with congressional aides and lobbyists saying Bush appears ready to propose freezing or even slightly cutting overall domestic spending. Targeted would be all annually approved programs except for defense and domestic security.
Bush's spending plan would be among the toughest for domestic programs since President Reagan's budgets of the 1980s. Overall domestic spending has grown every year but three since 1987.
Even as domestic spending growth has slowed, overall expenditures including defense and domestic security continue to climb, largely because of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress approved $87.5 billion for those wars in fall 2003 and $25 billion more last spring. Bush is expected to request another $75 billion to $100 billion early next year.
Bush also wants Congress make permanent the temporary tax cuts he won in his first term. ‘All the tax relief we passed must be made permanent,’ he said yesterday.”
-Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 17, 2004

“A free and peaceful Iraq will save this country money in the long term. It's important to get it done now.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Sep. 10, 2003

“A national mayors’ organization released its annual report on hunger and homelessness yesterday, documenting a staggering 14 percent increase this year in the number of requests for emergency food assistance and a 6 percent rise in requests for emergency shelter. The survey, which included information from 27 US cities, also found that families with children asked for help at a substantially higher rate this year and that a large portion of those who needed help did not receive it.”
-NewStandard, December 15, 2004

"Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about. They do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book, he died a much richer man than you'll ever be."
-George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life

“God bless you George Bailey.”

Friday, December 17, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

“Michael Leavitt, President Bush's choice to be secretary of Health and Human Services, may have to cut billions of dollars from the government's mammoth health programs for the elderly, poor and disabled to pare the budget deficit.”
-Associated Press, December 14, 2004

“'At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, 'it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

'Are there no prisons?' asked Scrooge.
'Plenty of prisons,' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
'And the Union workhouses?' demanded Scrooge. 'Are they still in operation?'
'They are. Still,' returned the gentleman, 'I wish I could say they were not.'
'The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?' said Scrooge.
'Both very busy, sir.'
'Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,' said Scrooge. 'I'm very glad to hear it.'”
-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“A few to follow-up the story earlier in the week of the man nominated to take the Homeland Security job.. (who took his name out of the running for ‘personal reasons’)”.

“A homeless woman lying on the ramp of an upper East Side parking garage was crushed to death early yesterday when she was run over by a mammoth sport utility vehicle, police said.

The driver, real estate executive Anthony Bergamo, told investigators he did not see the woman from his driver's seat.
Bergamo was driving a 5,770-pound Ford Expedition.
Medics pronounced the unidentified woman dead at the scene.
An autopsy determined that she died of crushing injuries to her chest, said a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner.
The death was ruled accidental and Bergamo, 54, who manages the Milford Plaza hotel in Times Square for its owner, real estate magnate Howard Milstein, was not charged.”
-New York Daily News, September 16, 2000

“Police commissioner at the time? Bernard Kerik.”

“Rescue workers were combing through the World Trade Center rubble around the clock when Mr. Kerik called Anthony Bergamo, a well-connected vice chairman of the Milstein family real estate company and a police buff, and asked for help finding a place for the workers to rest during breaks, the executive said.

The family owned Liberty View, a 28-story yellow brick tower two blocks southwest of the trade center at the corner of West Street and Third Place.
According to the executive, who knows Mr. Bergamo, the vice chairman arranged for Mr. Kerik to have the use of an apartment there. Several apartments in the buildings had been used by rescue workers on breaks, and by Red Cross staff who were treating them, in the months after 9/11, according to a real estate executive.
-New York Times, December 15, 2004

“After the cleanup had settled into a routine that fall, the executive said, Mr. Kerik, who was still police commissioner, asked to rent the two-bedroom apartment for his own use. During his use of the apartment, Mr. Kerik and Judith Regan engaged in an extramarital affair there, according to someone who spoke to Mr. Kerik about the relationship. Ms. Regan published his best-selling autobiography in 2001.”
-New York Times, December 15, 2004

“See, 9/11 changed everything.. He turned down the job though because of the nanny. A nanny whose name we do not know, and whose country of origin we are unaware of since the earlier reports of her has been stated to be incorrect. Surely, this would be the issue that Kerik would want to push people towards, right? It’s the least incriminating thing he did.”

“The White House has been unwilling to discuss any specifics of the nanny herself, including whether anyone in the administration had asked Mr. Kerik for details about her identity, status or nationality. Answers were not forthcoming from Mr. Kerik's camp, either. ‘We are not going to discuss the nanny any further,’ said Christopher Rising, general counsel at Giuliani-Kerik L.L.C., who is acting as a spokesman for Mr. Kerik.
Among the unanswered questions are where she came from, and even whether she was actually working in the country illegally when Mr. Kerik said she served as a housekeeper and nanny for his two small daughters. In a statement last Friday announcing his withdrawal, Mr. Kerik said he had ‘uncovered information that now leads me to question the immigration status’ of someone who worked for him.”
-New York Times, December 16, 2004

“So there is actually no proof that the nanny existed. Charming. While vetting the guy they managed to find out that his maid, of whom there is no record and who theoretically left the country a month or two back, was an illegal immigrant and that he had forgotten to pay any taxes for her, but they couldn’t find the news articles dating back a few years about Kerik’s involvement with mob figures and his widely reported financial issues. And the same people that vetted him are the people we’ll have looking into the Abu Ghraib scandal. I am filled with confidence.”

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: Gimme Shelter

“Our missile-defense program since 2001 has demonstrated that missile technology, in particular hit-to-kill technology, actually works. We actually can hit a bullet with a bullet.”
-Paul Wolfowitz, October 2002

“Today I am pleased to announce we will take another important step in countering these threats by beginning to field missile defense capabilities to protect the United States as well as our friends and allies.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 17, 2002

“President Bush in 2002 announced a goal to field a rudimentary ground-based missile shield by the end of 2004, but the timetable may slip somewhat, Pentagon chief weapons buyer Michael Wynne said last week.
The Pentagon is spending $10 billion a year on the project.”
-Reuters, December 13, 2004

“According to a new estimate by the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, the Bush Administration's missile defense plans - both national and theater - could cost as much as $273 billion. Given that these programs have a bad history of cost overruns, the final tally could be even higher.”
-Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, August 14, 2004

“Chicago-based Boeing Co. has won a $928 million contract to field the ground-based midcourse defense part of a planned U.S. missile defense shield, the Pentagon announced on Monday.
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said the cost-plus-award fee would cover construction and non-construction efforts at a missile defense site in Huntsville, Alabama in fiscal year 2005 through fiscal 2007.”
-Reuters, December 13, 2004

“Over a quarter of a trillion (with a ‘T’) dollars huh? Sounds like a lot. I hope that we can afford it with all of the costs of Iraq and our fears about defecit spending right now. But at least we’ll be safe”

“I wouldn't call it a failed test, because the intercept was not the primary objective. It’s still considered a success in that we gained great engineering data. We just don't know why it didn't hit."
-Chris Taylor, U.S. Missile Defense Agency, on a test of the Missile Defense System, June 18, 2003

“The Pentagon's last hope of flight-testing critical new elements of an antimissile system, before activating the system this autumn, appeared to vanish yesterday with the disclosure that the next flight test has been postponed until late this year, well past the November election.
The Air Force general in charge of the program said the setback will not affect plans to begin operating the system in the next month or two. But the delay leaves the Pentagon pressing ahead with a system that will not have been flight-tested in nearly two years -- and never with the actual interceptor that will be deployed. “
-Washington Post, September 13, 2004

“The test would be the first since a December 2002 failure in which the ‘kill vehicle’ -- a Raytheon Co. -built 120-pound package of sensors, chips and thrusters -- failed to separate from its booster rocket. Of eight intercepts attempted so far, five hit their targets, but under highly scripted conditions. “
-Reuters, December 10, 2004

“By ‘scripted conditions’ they mean little things like (and I’m not making this up), putting a GPS system in the nose of the missile to be intercepted in order to make it easier for the system to find. Once again, in completely ‘scripted conditions’ like that it was going with a 63% success rate. This is like claiming that you have fantastic skill at baseball and then only hitting 5 of 8 playing tee-ball. Now if only we can make the rogue nations put GPS systems in their missiles…”

“The first test of a national missile defense system in two years failed Wednesday, making it nearly impossible for President Bush to achieve his goal of having a basic anti-missile system in place before the end of this year.
In the test of what the administration envisions as a shield over U.S. soil, the so-called kill vehicle was shut down by an automatic safety system at the last minute and could not be launched toward the target missile it was supposed to intercept.”
-LA Times, December 15, 2004

“That was after the delay caused by unfavorable conditions like rain. See, the system doesn’t work in the rain or on really cloudy days. God I wish I was making this up.”

"Did we have perfection with our first airplane, our first rifle, our first ship? I mean, they'd still be testing at Kitty Hawk, for God's sake, if you wanted perfection."
-Donald Rumsfeld, on the Missile Defense System, August 2004

“[The new missile defense system being installed will likely stop] a relatively small number of incoming ballistic missiles, which is better than nothing.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, December 17, 2002

“Not if you’re trying to stop nukes Rummy. 63% success really won’t make me feel better then..”

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Quotes of the Morning

“Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy”
-Simon & Garfunkel, Feelin’ Groovy

“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.”
-Bonnie Friedman, in New York Times

“There is no old age. There is, as there always was, just you.”
-Carol Matthau, O Magazine, October 2003

“The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it. “
-Plutarch (46 AD - 120 AD)

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.”
-Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)

“To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.”
-Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: Another Fine Mess

“Sometimes they just write themselves.. Here’s a little something about Bush’s appointee to head the Department of Homeland Security. I apologize for the length..”

“Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons, the New York Daily News has learned.
The first relationship, spanning nearly a decade, was with city Correction Officer Jeannette Pinero; the second was with famed publishing titan Judith Regan.”
-New York Daily News, December 13, 2004

“Well, I think that the social fabric of this country has become completely unraveled. I think the sexual revolution had a lot to do with that. I think that we are in terrible shape. I think we have a country where half the kids are being raised by single mothers. A lot of that has to do with male behavior. We look at the men in this country who do not want to be accountable to their wives, do not want to be accountable to their children and we have as a president a man who could be a symbol of everything that is good; he could be a wonderful husband, he could be a wonderful father. He is in a position of great authority to show this country and to lead this country in a way that is much more important than economically.”
-Judith Regan, during the Lewinski scandal

“Many close to Kerik in the mid-1990s assumed that someday he would marry Pinero, a career correction officer described as spirited and attractive by friends, a close friend and a former high-ranking Correction Department source said.
The relationship continued after Kerik married Hala Matli, a hygienist in his dentist's office whom he met in mid-1996 and wed in November 1998, according to multiple sources close to Pinero and Kerik.
Kerik's affair with Pinero is at the center of two lawsuits against the city, both brought by correction employees who claimed Kerik retaliated after they crossed her.
The city settled one last year for $250,000, The News reported at the time.”
-New York Daily News, December 13, 2004

“Ok.. So he was a philanderer. Nothing new there, and honestly shouldn’t disqualify him for a job (well, except for the abuse of power aspect). But, as they say in advertisements, wait, there’s more!”

“Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik accepted thousands of dollars in cash and gifts without making proper public disclosures, a Daily News investigation has revealed.

... for many years, one of Kerik's main benefactors was Lawrence Ray, the best man at Kerik's 1998 wedding, according to Ray, other sources and checks shown by Ray to The News. Ray and another Kerik pal, restaurant owner Carmen Cabell, helped bankroll Kerik's 1998 wedding reception, contributing nearly $10,000.
Ray also gave Kerik nearly $2,000 to buy a bejeweled Tiffany badge that Kerik coveted when he was Correction commissioner.
And Ray said he gave Kerik $4,300 more to buy high-end Bellini furniture when Kerik allegedly griped that he couldn't afford to furnish a bedroom for a soon-to-be born daughter....”
-New York Daily News, December 12, 2004

“Hey, just a friend. Nothing wrong with a really, really generous friend.”

“A week after Kerik's daughter was born, Ray and 18 other men were indicted in a $40 million, mob-run, pump-and-dump stock swindle. Kerik repeatedly spoke to Ray's criminal defense attorney before the indictment, but he dropped his longtime benefactor when the case became public.”
-New York Daily News, December 12, 2004

“The Federal investigation of the DiTommaso brothers concerned their purchase of a Staten Island waste station controlled by Edward Garafola. who is married to the sister of former Gambino Family Underboss Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano. Garafola was indicted in March 2000 along with Lawrence Ray, an executive of the DiTommaso brothers’ Interstate Industrial Corporation, and Daniel Persico, nephew of Colombo Family Godfather Carmine ‘The Snake’ Persico..”
-New York Daily News, December 12, 2004

“You know you’re in trouble when people who have animals as middle names become involved. Oh, there’s more, but for the sake of brevity (too late), I’ll just add a few quick items. First, he says he’s turning down the offer of heading Homeland Security because of.. wait for it.. personal reasons (mainly involving a few little mistakes in not filing his illegal immigrant maid’s taxes). Second, and my personal favorite, is that you would have expected a nominee for a cabinet post to be fully vetted to keep.. well, this, from happening. And he was..”

“In the vetting process, which was conducted by the office of White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, Kerik also never mentioned that a New Jersey judge had issued a warrant for his arrest in 1998 over a civil dispute over unpaid bills, the sources said.”
-MSNBC, December 12, 2004

“Oops, forgot to mention that Kerik was wanted in New Jersey. See, too much to cover.. Isn’t it beautiful though that the person who couldn’t apparently do the most rudimentary investigation of Kerik is the nominee for the highest law enforcement job in the country? My irony meter just exploded from overuse.”

Monday, December 13, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: I Like to Call it a 'Laser'

“Federal officials are concerned that terrorists could try to down aircraft by blinding pilots with laser beams during landing approaches.
A memo sent to law enforcement agencies recently by the FBI and the Homeland Security Department says there is evidence that terrorists have explored using lasers as weapons.
‘Although lasers are not proven methods of attack like improvised explosive devices and hijackings, terrorist groups overseas have expressed interest in using these devices against human sight,’ the memo said.
‘In certain circumstances, if laser weapons adversely affect the eyesight of both pilot and co-pilot during a non-instrument approach, there is a risk of airliner crash,’ the agencies said.”
-Associated Press, December 10, 2004

“Ah yes.. Terrorists with ‘lasers’. This is something that we have worried about for years. All it would take is a couple of terrorists with really big laser pointers, the ability to target both the pilot and the co-pilot while the vehicle in question is moving at several hundred miles per hour, and all of the instrumentation out, and there is a chance that it could take out a plane. Of course, so could a bomb, a missile or a couple of guys with box-cutters, but isn’t it more fun to worry about the sci-fi terror option?”

“Back in the 60's, I developed a weather changing machine which was in essence a sophisticated heat beam which we called a ‘laser’. Using these 'lasers' we'd punch a hole in the protective layer around the world which we called the 'ozone' layer. Slowly but surely ultraviolet rays would pour in, increasing the risk for skin cancer, that is...unless the world pays us a hefty ransom?”
-Dr. Evil

“You know, I have one simple request, and that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now, evidently, my cycloptic colleague informs me that that can't be done. Can you remind me what I pay you people for? Honestly, throw me a bone here!”
-Dr. Evil

“Mini-Me, stop humping the laser. God, why don't you and the great big laser get a frickin' room.”
-Dr. Evil

Quotes of the Morning: Last Friday

“Remember all of.. well.. last week, when Rummy told the troops that we were getting them armor as fast as we can, but that it really didn’t matter much, since they could still get blown up? Guess what.. He lied. Not about the getting blown up part. That much is unfortunately true. No, the bit about getting them the armor was the bovine-waste material involved.”

“Armor Holdings Inc., the sole supplier of protective plates for the Humvee military vehicles used in Iraq, said it could increase output by as much as 22 percent per month with no investment and is awaiting an order from the Army.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday the Army was working as fast as it can and supply is dictated by ‘a matter of physics, not a matter of money.’
Jacksonville, Florida-based Armor Holdings last month told the Army it could add armor to as many as 550 of the trucks a month, up from 450 vehicles now, Robert Mecredy, president of the company's aerospace and defense group said in a telephone interview today.
‘We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month,’ Mecredy said in the interview. ‘I've told the customer that and I stand ready to do that.’''
-Bloomberg News Service, December 9, 2004

“Production of the armor needs to be coordinated with output of the actual trucks by AM General LLC of South Bend, Indiana, Mecredy said. AM General spokesman Lee Woodward also said that truck output could also be increased.
‘If they ordered more trucks, we'd build more trucks,’ Woodward said. ‘We're not close to capacity. It might take some time to ramp up but we can do it.’''
-Bloomberg News Service, December 9, 2004

“Rummy probably just made a little mistake. It wouldn’t be like this administration to deliberately lie to people, especially not about anything as important as the war.”

“A senior CIA operative who handled sensitive informants in Iraq asserts that CIA managers asked him to falsify his reporting on weapons of mass destruction and retaliated against him after he refused.
The operative, who remains under cover, asserts in a lawsuit made public yesterday that a co-worker warned him in 2001 ‘that CIA management planned to 'get him' for his role in reporting intelligence contrary to official CIA dogma.’"
-Washington Post, December 9, 2004

“I’m sure that this will be all over the news.”

“Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio station operator, has picked Fox News Radio to be the primary source of national news for most of its news and talk stations, officials announced Monday. The five-year agreement initially covers more than 100 radio stations.”
-Associated Press, December 6, 2004

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: Shock and Awe

“Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, ‘Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?’ Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.
‘We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north,’ Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., concluded after asking again.
Wilson, an airplane mechanic whose unit, the 278th Regimental Combat Team of the Tennessee Army National Guard, is about to drive north into Iraq for a one-year tour of duty, put his finger on a problem that has bedeviled the Pentagon for more than a year. Rarely, though, is it put so bluntly in a public forum.
Rumsfeld said the Army was sparing no expense or effort to acquire as many Humvees and other vehicles with extra armor as it can. What is more, he said, armor is not the savior some think it is.
‘You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can (still) be blown up,’ he said.”
-Associated Press, December 8, 2004

“In related news, the Army will no longer be giving soldiers helmets. After all, you can be wearing a helmet and still be blown up, and they will no longer be selling toothpaste in the commissaries, since you can brush every day and still get cavities.”

"You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have."
-Donald Rumsfeld, December 8, 2004

“Or the administration that you might want. We have one that places too few troops to control the objective in the theatre of operations, and then shorts them on the items that might save their lives. Well, it isn’t like they lie to us about this stuff though. They’re honest about their situation, bad though it is.”

“U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Matthew Beevers said Saturday that Tillman was killed Thursday night in a firefight at about 7 p.m. on a road near Sperah, about 25 miles southwest of a U.S. base at Khost.
After coming under fire, Tillman’s patrol got out of their vehicles and gave chase, moving toward the spot of the ambush. Beevers said the fighting was “sustained” and lasted 15-20 minutes.
Beevers said Tillman was killed by enemy fire, but he had no information about what type of weapons were involved in the assault, or whether he died instantly.
An Afghan militiaman fighting alongside Tillman also was killed, and two other U.S. soldiers were wounded.
A local Afghan commander, Gen. Khial Bas, told The Associated Press that nine enemy fighters were killed in the confrontation.
Bas said six other enemy fighters were believed to have escaped. Beevers said he had no information about any enemy fighters killed.”
-MSNBC, April 26, 2004

“The Army's public release made no mention of friendly fire, even though at the time it was issued, investigators in Afghanistan had already taken at least 14 sworn statements from Tillman's platoon members that made clear the true causes of his death. The statements included a searing account from the Ranger nearest Tillman during the firefight, who quoted him as shouting ‘Cease fire! Friendlies!’ with his last breaths.
Army records show Tillman fought bravely during his final battle. He followed orders, never wavered and at one stage proposed discarding his heavy body armor, apparently because he wanted to charge a distant ridge occupied by the enemy, an idea his immediate superior rejected, witness statements show.
But the Army's published account not only withheld all evidence of fratricide, but it exaggerated Tillman's role and stripped his actions of their context. Tillman was not one of the senior commanders on the scene — he directed only himself, one other Ranger and an Afghan militiaman, under supervision from others. And witness statements in the Army's files at the time of the press release describe Tillman's voice ringing out on the battlefield mainly in a desperate effort, joined by other Rangers on his ridge, to warn comrades to stop shooting at their own men.”
-Washington Post, December 6, 2004

“Now I believe that every soldier fighting in the Army right now is brave. Goddess knows that I haven’t got the guts to do it. And dying for your country is one of the most noble and honorable things that you can do, but for the military to lie about it and sugar-coat the situation to make it sound more ‘heroic’ is inexcusable. I hope that Rumsfeld has trouble sleeping.”

“Out, out damned spot.”
-Lady MacBeth

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Armies of Darkness

“Right now we are faced with the armies of darkness who are - who have no objective but to undermine the political process and incite civil war in Iraq. But I want to assure the whole world that this will never, ever happen; that we in Iraq are committed to move along.”
-Iraqi Interim President Al-Yawer, December 6, 2004

“Alright you primitive screw-heads, listen up. See this? This is my boomstick!”
-Ash, Army of Darkness

“We talked about a variety of issues. We talked about how the United States can continue to stand with those who believe in democracy. We talked about the security situation. We talked about the election process.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, on his conversation with Iraqi Interim President Al-Yawer, December 6, 2004

“Good? Bad? I'm the one with the gun.”
-Ash, Army of Darkness

“And I assured the President that my comments about the need to have elections was real and genuine. I believe it's necessary for the Iraqi people to vote on January the 30th because it provides an opportunity for people to participate in democracy. It'll send the clear message to the few people in Iraq that are trying to stop the march toward democracy that they cannot stop elections. It will give the Iraqi people a chance to become invested in the future of that vital country.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, on his conversation with Iraqi Interim President Al-Yawer, December 6, 2004

“I got news for you, pal. You ain't leading but two things right now: Jack and Sh**, and Jack left town.”
-Ash, Army of Darkness

Quotes of the Morning

“Bush introduced Mike and Sharla Hintz, a couple from Clive, whom he said benefited from his tax plan.
Last year, because of the enhanced the child tax credit, they received an extra $1,600 in their tax refund, Bush said. With other tax cuts in the bill, they saved $2,800 on their income taxes.
They used the money to buy a wood-burning stove to more efficiently heat their home, made some home improvements and went on a vacation to Minnesota, the president said.
‘Next year, maybe they'll want to come to Texas,’ Bush quipped.
Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth pastor, said the tax cuts also gave him additional money to use for health care.
He said he supports Bush's values.
‘The American people are starting to see what kind of leader President Bush is. People know where he stands,’ he said.
‘Where we are in this world, with not just the war on terror, but with the war with our culture that's going on, I think we need a man that is going to be in the White House like President Bush, that's going to stand by what he believes.’”
-Associated Press, October 6, 2004

“A Des Moines youth pastor is charged with the sexual exploitation of a child. KCCI learned that the married father of four recently turned himself in to Johnston police. Rev. Mike Hintz was fired from the First Assembly of God Church, located at 2725 Merle Hay Road, on Oct. 30. Hintz was the youth pastor there for three years. Police said he started an affair with a 17-year-old in the church youth group this spring.”
-The Iowa Channel (KCCI Channel 8), December 7, 2004

“No doubt he was one of those ‘Values Voters’. And where do you learn morals like this?..

"But you've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I'm for the president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord."
-Rev. Jerry Falwell, October 24, 2004

“MATTHEWS: How did they get to be gay, though?

FALWELL: Well, we probably differ there.
MATTHEWS: I’m asking.
FALWELL: But I think all behavior is chosen.
MATTHEWS: I’m open. I don’t know.
FALWELL: I think that...
MATTHEWS: Did you choose to be heterosexual?
MATTHEWS: You chose it? You thought about it and you came up with that solution? That lifestyle?

FALWELL: Put it this way. I was taught as a child that’s the right way to...
MATTHEWS: But did you feel an attraction toward women?
FALWELL: Oh, of course.
MATTHEWS: When people are born and they find themselves having an attraction to somebody from the same sex, do you think that’s a choice?
FALWELL: I think you can experiment with any kind of perversity and develop an appetite for it, just like you can food.
MATTHEWS: You don’t think it’s nature? You think it’s nurture.
FALWELL: I don’t think any -- I don’t think anybody is born a bank robber or born a hostile left-winger or a hostile right-winger or gay or a promiscuous heterosexual. I think there comes a time in childhood where environment may be a part of it, whatever, teaching, instruction, one chooses, I will do this or that. And that’s why good, godly parenting...”
-Hardball, Conversation between Chris Matthews and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, December 2, 2004

“See… Being gay is like being a bank robber. Jerry Falwell says so, and he wouldn’t lie to us.”

“MATTHEWS: How old were you when you chose to be heterosexual?

FALWELL: Oh, I don't remember that.
MATTHEWS: Well, you must, because you say it's a big decision.
FALWELL: Well, I started dating when I was about 13.
MATTHEWS: And you had to decide between boys and girls. And you chose girls.
FALWELL: I never had to decide. I never thought about it.”
-Hardball, Conversation between Chris Matthews and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, December 2, 2004

“Um.. Jerry? I thought you said that it was a decision just a minute ago.. Are you saying now that you had no choice in being heterosexual? Why the hell do people listen to you? Once again, from the quote above..””

"MATTHEWS: Did you choose to be heterosexual?

FALWELL: I did."
-Hardball, Conversation between Chris Matthews and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, December 2, 2004

“And then..”

"MATTHEWS: And you had to decide between boys and girls. And you chose girls.

FALWELL: I never had to decide. I never thought about it.”
-Hardball, Conversation between Chris Matthews and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, December 2, 2004

“From the same fricking conversation. Game. Set, and match.”

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.”
-Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)

“No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. “
-Lily Tomlin

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Quotes of the Morning

“I asked them the other day, would it be okay if I cut a 30-minute tape, a piece of propaganda, no questions, just here -- here it is, here's 30 minutes of me talking. Please run it, not only across your airwaves but run it internationally, if you don't mind. I've got something to say about the conflict and our fight against evil. They said, no, they're not going to do that. If I'm going to get on the news, they've got to ask me questions.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nov. 13, 2001

“I brought him [President Putin] to my ranch because, as the good people in this part of the world know, that you only usually invite your friends into your house.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush July 23, 2001

“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country ... I wouldn't have invited him to my ranch if I didn't trust him.” -George ‘Dubya’ Bush, on Vladamir Putin, June 16, 2001

“Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a blistering attack on the United States, accusing it of running a ‘dictatorship’ over global affairs and able only to worsen humanity's problems. ‘Dictatorship, the more so dictatorship in international affairs, has never solved and could not have solved such problems in the history of mankind,’ Putin said. ‘Only a balanced democratic system of international law,’ could help ease those problems, he said. ‘Even when dictatorship is beautifully gift-wrapped in pseudo-democratic phraseology it has never been capable of resolving such systemic problems. On the contrary, it can only make them worse,’ Putin said.”
-AFP, December 4, 2004

“This is from Putin, a man who has done nearly everything possible to roll back democratic reform in Russia. Pot, meet kettle.”

“It would be a heck of a lot easier to be a dictator than work in a democracy.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, 1996

“If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier... just so long as I'm the dictator.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 18, 2000

“It's not a dictatorship in Washington, but I tried to make it one in that instance. We are beginning to see some success in opening up federal coffers for faith-based programs.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 15, 2004

“One of the interesting lessons that the world can look at is Pakistan. You see, there are some in the world who do not believe that a Muslim society can self-govern. Some believe that the only solution for government in parts of the world is for there to be tyranny or despotism. I don't believe that. The Pakistan people have proven that those cynics are wrong. And where President Musharraf can help in world peace is to help remind people what is possible.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 4, 2004

“As you may remember, ‘President’ Musharraf took power in a military coup in Pakistan back in 1999. I think we know now which brand of democracy we’ll be bringing to Iraq..”

Welcome to the Brave New World

And away we go... My first post. And there was much rejoicing. Yeah.....

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