Right Thinking From The Left Coast
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life - Albert Camus

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Barnes Storming
by Lee

Reason 42,617 why cronyism is a bad idea.

A Senate panel may seek testimony from a former Texas lottery official who claimed Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers let a company keep its contract because one of its lobbyists helped President Bush get into the National Guard in the 1960s.

Miers, whose confirmation hearings begin Nov. 7, chaired the three-person Texas Lottery commission from 1995 to 2000.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold hearings on Miers’ nomination, recently asked GTECH Corp., the Texas lottery’s main contractor, whether it would object to testimony from Lawrence Littwin about allegations in his 1998 lawsuit against the company, GTECH spokesman Bob Vincent said Wednesday.

Littwin, the lottery’s second executive director, was fired in 1997 after just four months on the job. He sued GTECH, saying it took “illegal, unethical and coercive steps” to get him fired because he was asking too many questions about the company’s contract with the state.

He claimed the Rhode Island-based company kept its contract in exchange for former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes’ silence about how he had helped Bush get into the National Guard to avoid service in Vietnam. Barnes was a lobbyist for GTECH from 1991 until 1997.

Now, the veracity of Barnes’ claims (which have been all but proven total bunk) is immaterial here, the issue is whether Miers bent the rules over her fawning allegiance to all things Bush.  If so, then this is and should be the final nail in her coffin as far as the SCOTUS goes.  And even if all the claims are bullshit, by nominating someone so close to him he opened the door for exactly this kind of scandalous accusation.  Miers was just a dumb move on his part.  It might have seemed politically expedient at the time, but that’s what you get for playing suck-ass with the Senate Democrats.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/05 at 04:15 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Sheehan Effect?
by Lee

Now this is interesting.  Of course, we can’t trust polling data, right?

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Tuesday showed the public split down the middle over Iraq. Asked in telephone interviews Oct. 21-23 whether it was a mistake to send U.S. troops there, 49 percent said yes, and 49 percent said no. That was a marked shift from a month ago, when 59 percent called the war a mistake. The poll, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points, queried about 1,000 adults nationwide.

I report, you decide.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/05 at 02:00 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Description of the Suspect
by Lee

Remember a couple of years ago, that woman who wrote the story about the Syrians on her airplane flight who were acting suspiciously?  Check out this.

Astonishingly, Jacobsen writes, many of the federal agents who investigated the events of Flight 327 continued to insist that nothing unusual happened. In a sense, this was correct: These dry runs, or probes, apparently happen all the time. In the weeks after she posted her story, Jacobsen received more than 5,000 e-mails — including 250 from commercial pilots, flight attendants, and other airport employees who are forbidden by their employers to talk to the press about similar “incidents.” Gary Boettcher, president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations, told Jacobsen that she’d likely witnessed a “dry run,” and that he’d had many similar experiences himself: “The terrorists are probing us all the time.” Mark Bogosian, an American Airlines pilot, said incidents like the one she described were a “dirty little secret” that airline crew members had known about for some time. Air marshals sent e-mails congratulating Jacobsen for bringing to light “something that had been going on since shortly after 9/11 and was being suppressed.” Many airline employees expressed outrage over security procedures that are lax, politically correct, and likely to lead to another 9/11.

Much blame for these procedures can be assigned to two entities: the Transportation Department and the ACLU. Incredibly, the Transportation Department forbids searches of more than two male Arabs per flight; to search more would be “discriminatory.” This rule is strictly enforced by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, who, just ten days after Arab hijackers used jets to murder 3,000 Americans, reminded all U.S. airlines that it was illegal to discriminate against passengers based on their race, color, national or ethnic origin, or religion. To make sure they got the message, Mineta subsequently directed his department to file discrimination complaints against Continental, United Airlines, and American Airlines. (United and American settled their cases for $1.5 million each; Continental, for $500,000.)

In June 2002, the ACLU got into the act, joining forces with the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee to launch a number of lawsuits over cases of men being removed from jets. The ACLU has also filed a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, claming, among other things, that the “no-fly list” violates passengers’ right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The airlines are now working hard to avoid discriminating against anyone else — apparently by allowing unlimited numbers of Middle Eastern men carrying expired visas and mysterious packages to board jets and engage in conduct that terrifies the passengers and crew. “The airlines’ fear of being accused of racial profiling could very well lead us to stand around and wonder, ‘How did we let 9/11 happen again?’” Jacobsen writes.

I’ve said a million times that political correctness will kill us all.  When the next 9/11 happens it will undoubtedly be because dickheads like Mineta are so concerned with race that they can’t see an enemy when he’s standing right in front of us, because their sense of propriety prevents it.  Be sure and read the whole article.

Mineta was a Clinton appointee, as Labor secretary, and Bush kept him on as Transportation secretary.  Chalk this one up in the ever-growing list of terrible Bush decisions.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/05 at 12:37 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Muff Diving Dribblers
by Lee

I just can’t believe it.  I’m shocked, shocked to find out that women’s athletics has lesbians in it.

Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes is opening up about being a lesbian, telling a magazine that she’s “tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about.”

Swoopes, honored last month as the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player, told ESPN The Magazine for a story on newsstands Wednesday that she didn’t always know she was gay and fears that coming out could jeopardize her status as a role model.

“Do I think I was born this way? No,” Swoopes said. “And that’s probably confusing to some, because I know a lot of people believe that you are.”

Swoopes, who was married and has an 8-year-old son, said her 1999 divorce “wasn’t because I’m gay.”

She said her reason for coming out now is merely because she wants to be honest.

“It’s not something that I want to throw in people’s faces. I’m just at a point in my life where I’m tired of having to pretend to be somebody I’m not,” the 34-year-old Swoopes said. “I’m tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love.”

You know, the conventional wisdom would be that adding lesbians to just about anything would make it more interesting.  But in this case the conventional wisdom would be wrong. 

Under normal circumstances I’d expect every church in Houston to order their parishioners to avoid going to WNBA games because of this, but nobody was going to WNBA games to begin with.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/05 at 09:49 AM in Life & Culture  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Head To Toe
by Lee

And here we see Casey Sheehan’s mother wearing her training burqa.

image

“I’m doing all I can to prepare for the arrival of our new Islamic overlords,” Sheehan said in a statement.  “I’d like to remind them that as a trusted anti-war personality, I could be useful in rounding up others to toil in their underground oil caves.”

Posted by Lee on 10/26/05 at 09:32 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

World Series of Choking
by Lee

I just heard that disgraceful inning on the way home.  Un-fucking-believable.  Leave your Series comments here.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/05 at 09:23 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Minimum Rage
by Lee

Christ, did a horse shit in here?  Oh, wait, it’s this.

Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said he’s urging Congress to consider raising the minimum wage so that Wal-Mart customers don’t have to struggle paycheck to paycheck.

Scott told Wal-Mart directors and executives in a speech Monday that he believes “it is time for Congress to take a look at the minimum wage and other legislation that can help working families.”

“The U.S. minimum wage of $5.15 an hour has not been raised in nearly a decade and we believe it is out of date with the times,” Scott said. “We can see first-hand at Wal-Mart how many of our customers are struggling to get by. Our customers simply don’t have the money to buy basic necessities between pay checks.”

Okay, let me explain to you what is going on here.  Wal-Mart has taken quite a bit of criticism over the rock-bottom prices it pays its employees.  However, a large part of Wal-Mart’s success depends on keeping its costs as low as possible.  If they were to unilaterally raise their wages it would open up an avenue for a competitor to come in and undercut them.  So, what do they do?  They push for a raise in the minimum wage.  This makes them look like “good guys” in the eyes of the public, but the benefit is far simpler: a raise in the minimum wage will also affect their competitors.  In other words, it will hurt all employers equally, thus there is no reason to oppose it.  Target, K-Mart, and all other retailers will all also have to raise their employee’s wages, so none of them have an advantage over the other.  “A rising tide raises all boats,” as it were.  This is exactly the same reason that corporations come out in favor of affirmative action policies:  by supporting AA they look like good guys, and they ensure that all employers get saddled with the same number of incompetent minorities.

When there’s a huge shit sandwich in front of you, it makes perfect sense to ensure that all your competitors have to take just as big a bite as you do.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/05 at 05:30 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Shifting Attitudes
by Lee

Here’s some interesting polling data.  If the election were held today Bush would lose to a hypothetical Democrat.  That’s pretty obvious.  Here’s the part that caught my eye.

On separate issues, a majority of those questioned felt the Democrats could do a better job than Republicans at handling health care (59 percent to 30 percent), Social Security (56 percent to 33 percent), gasoline prices (51 percent to 31 percent) and the economy (50 percent to 38 percent).

Wow.  Okay, health care I can see, the Democrats are promising to make it “free” for everyone.  Social Security was nothing more than a total fumble by Bush due to the sheer incompetence of the administration at getting its message out.  But gasoline prices and the economy are biggies: the public trusts the fucking Democrats more on economic issues?  Man, how far we’ve come since the Reagan revolution, huh?  You can plant this firmly at Bush’s feet, not because the economy is bad (it really isn’t) but because his administration has been hamfisted at preventing the Democrats from portraying it as if it is.

Forty-six percent also believed Democrats could do better at handling Iraq, while 40 percent said the GOP would do better.

Again, this is Bush’s fault.  Apart from “we gotta stay the course,” what type of coherent long-term strategy has Bush offered the people?  They’ve got nothing they could rally behind.  Reagan had defeating the Soviets, and Bush 41 had the defeat of Saddam Hussein.  Bush 43 has, what exactly?  You have to remember that we in the blogosphere care a lot more about these types of issues than the average Joe, so you have to give them a thumbnail message that Joe can believe in.  Bush hasn’t been able to do so.

In 2003, 53 percent said Republicans would better handle Iraq and only 29 percent believed the Democrats would do better.

That’s a hell of a drop.  The remarkable thing is that the Democrats have been able to achieve the perception of being the better alternative, all without actually proposing anything different.  What did Kerry propose?  Nothing.  What have the Democrats proposed since the election?  Nothing.  And yet now, here they are less than a year later being seen as more capable.  Again, this is more attributable to Bush incompetence than Democratic brilliance.

The only issue on which Republicans came out on top was in fighting terrorism: 49 percent said the GOP is better at it, while 38 percent said the Democrats are.

Well, they’ve got that going for them.  For now, at least.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/05 at 03:19 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Pigs for Allah II
by Lee

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how certain employees in the UK were told that they weren’t allowed to have any representation of pigs at their desks, lest the offend the delicate sensibilities of Muslim coworkers.  As if that wasn’t stupid enough, now there’s this.

British banks are banning piggy banks because they may offend some Muslims.

Halifax and NatWest banks have led the move to scrap the time-honoured symbol of saving from being given to children or used in their advertising, the Daily Express/Daily Star group reports here.

Muslims do not eat pork, as Islamic culture deems the pig to be an impure animal.

Salim Mulla, secretary of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, backed the bank move.

“This is a sensitive issue and I think the banks are simply being courteous to their customers,” he said.

A sensitive issue?  What kind of a fucking shitbag religion do you subscribe to when a fucking piggy bank is enough of an issue to send you into a tizzy?  But wait, there’s more!

A West Yorkshire head teacher has banned books containing stories about pigs from the classroom in case they offend Muslim children.

The literature has been removed from classes for under-sevens at Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley.

Head Barbara Harris said the books would remain in the school library for children to read.

Sixty per cent of the school’s pupils are of Pakistani or Indian origin and 99% of these pupils are Muslims.

Mrs Harris said in a statement: “Recently I have been aware of an occasion where young Muslim children in class were read stories about pigs.

“We try to be sensitive to the fact that for Muslims talk of pigs is offensive.”

You know, folks, there’s a very simple way for Muslims to avoid being offended, and that’s for them to stay in the repressive Islamic shitholes they were born in.  Amazing though, isn’t it, that all of this newfound “sensitivity” to Muslim issues has come in the wake of 9/11 and the London bombings.  I mean, there have been Muslims living in the UK for centuries, surrounded by piggy banks and children’s stories.  Amazingly they somehow managed to survive.  Yet now, after this fascist ideology goes on a tear killing Westerners, all of a sudden we’re willing to bend over backwards to kowtow to our new Islamic overlords.

Terrorism doesn’t pay?  You bet your ass it does.  All you need to do is kill a few people, and liberal simps will fall all over themselves to demonstrate how “enlightened” they are by bending to Islam’s rigid rules.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/05 at 12:15 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Lights! Camera! Taxes!
by Lee

And now, children, it’s time for the latest installment in our series How High Taxation Kills Jobs.

A report commissioned by the U.K. Film Council this month found that industry jobs dropped 20 percent last year and predicted that investment would fall to $570 million in 2005, down 70 percent from last year.

More movies shot elsewhere would have a devastating effect on a sector that contributes about $5.5 billion annually to British gross domestic product, the report added.

Tourism officials are also worried. They estimate that around one-fifth of the 28 million people who come to Britain each year do so after seeing the country depicted on screen. The report suggests that up to $2.8 billion of tourism spending is linked to films shot here.

“A good film in a great location not only brings in money during actual filming here, but people are inspired to visit when they see it in cinemas and for years afterward as it is distributed on DVD and video,” said Elliott Frisby, spokesman for the VisitBritain group.

The film industry’s troubles began in 2004 when the government cracked down on programs that allowed tax losses claimed by film backers to exceed the initial capital invested. Closing a loophole that allowed some producers to claim tax relief twice for the same film — for production costs and then for its sale and leaseback — caused chaos for several films already being shot.

The government is consulting with the industry about a new tax credit system due to start in April, but many are concerned about a likely decline in the tax relief available. Analysts predict that Hollywood films shot in Britain would qualify for a tax break of as little as 2 percent of their budgets, compared with around 9 percent now.

The old Laffer Curve, you gotta love it.  Increase taxes, end up with less money.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/05 at 10:34 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, October 24, 2005

Be A Grizzly
by Lee

Only in America.

An 8-year-old girl killed the first black bear of Maryland’s 2005 hunting season, downing the 211-pound adult male with two shots from a .243-caliber rifle about an hour after dawn Monday, the Department of Natural Resources said.

Sierra Stiles was hunting on her family’s farm in southern Garrett County, said Paul Peditto, director of the agency’s Wildlife and Heritage Division.

Maryland law sets no minimum age limit for hunters, but first-timers must pass a course and show that they can safely handle and shoot a firearm. Sierra scored 98 percent on her safety test, Peditto said.

Upon hearing the news millions of grown European men simultaneously wet themselves in fear at the thought of using a firearm, especially against a dangerous animal enemy.  “This is so typical of the simplemindedness of Americans,” remarked French Foreign Minister Dominic de Villepin.  “They always resort to violence and weapons.  Surely a better course of action would have been to use negotiators to reason with the bear, establish trust and a sense of stewardship, then release the bear into a wildlife sanctuary where it could live out its days frolicking in pastoral bliss.  Of course, if the bear decided to maul and kill a few Israelis, well, that’s not much of a concern.”

Posted by Lee on 10/24/05 at 08:00 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Liars and Hypocrites
by Lee

Now this is going to be interesting.

Based on the performance of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, on NBC’s Meet the Press , here are the GOP talking points should any indictments come down this week: (1) “An indictment of any kind is not a guilty verdict” and 2) Any indictment anything other than the actual crime is somehow not real, like with Martha Stewart “where they couldn’t find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn’t a crime.”

Hutchison hopes that if there is an indictment, “it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn’t indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.”

When President Clinton was going through his little adventure, Sen. Hutchison said that perjury and obstruction of justice were pretty serious charges. Each, she said, “is calculated to prevent a court and the public from discovering the truth and achieving justice in our judicial system.” This comes from her remarks in the Senate’s closed deliberations on the articles of impeachment against President Clinton. She submitted them for the record on February 12, 1999.

Sen. Hutchison pointed out that the “Senate on numerous occasions has convicted impeached Federal Judges on allegations of perjury.” She went on to say that “the standards are set by the Constitution for all officers of the Federal government. They are precisely the same, and we are obligated to apply them evenly.”

“Lying is a moral wrong,” Hutchison said. “Perjury is a lie told under oath that is legally wrong. To be illegal, the lie must be willfully told, must be believed to be untrue, and must relate to a material matter.”

1) Perjury was a big deal when Clinton did it.
2) Perjury will still be a big deal if anyone in the Bush administration is charged with doing it.
3) Whether or not there was any basis to the charge being investigated is immaterial.

Now, if Repubnlicans try and hide behind the “it’s just perjury” argument they’re going to get creamed, and rightly so.  The left can and should point out their rank hypocrisy.  But if this is the case, then the flip side will also be true.  The lefties and Democrats who spent years telling us that perjury by Clinton was “no big deal” are going to be forced to defend themselves when asked why, all of a sudden, it’s such a heinous crime.

Posted by Lee on 10/24/05 at 07:53 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Ta Ta Tookie
by Lee

I’m not going to shed a tear when this piece of shit exits the Earth.

A judge signed a death warrant Monday for Stanley “Tookie” Williams, a co-founder of the notorious Crips gang who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his children’s books.

Williams is scheduled to die Dec. 13 at San Quentin prison. The judge rejected requests by his attorneys to delay the execution until Dec. 22 to give them more time to seek clemency from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Can you imagine being on death row and having to appeal to THE TERMINATOR to spare your life?

Williams, 51, and a high school friend started the Crips street gang in Los Angeles in 1971.

Williams was sentenced to death in 1981 for fatally shooting Albert Owens, a convenience store worker, in 1979. He also was convicted of killing two motel owners and their daughter during a robbery that same year.

Williams maintains he is innocent, and supporters cite his renunciation of his past and his efforts to curtail gang violence, including a series of children’s books he co-wrote in prison.

Even if he is innocent, which is horseshit, I guarantee that there are 50 other things he did and got away with.  And as far as his “renunciation” from his former life, he’s in the joint for God’s sake.  This is like locking up a child molester for 30 years, then claiming that he’s renounced his previous life because he hasn’t molested a child in three decades.

Supporters have nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel in literature, and a cable TV movie of his life last year starred Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx.

Dozens of death penalty opponents demonstrated outside the courtroom. Among them was actor Mike Farrell, who said the proceedings failed to consider “his value, his change, his transformation.”

Fuck his transformation.  Soon he’ll be transforming from living organism into mushroom-sprouting decaying organic matter, and the world will be a better place for it.

Posted by Lee on 10/24/05 at 06:44 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Red Line
by Lee

Perhaps this was the plan all along.

President Bush said Monday that he will not release any records of his conversations with Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers that could threaten the confidentiality of the advice that presidents get from their lawyers.

“It’s a red line I’m not willing to cross,” Bush said.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are demanding more documents on Miers, including from her work at Bush’s counsel.

“People can learn about Harriet Miers through hearings, but we are not going to destroy this business about people being able to walk into the Oval Office to say, Mr. President, this is my advice,” Bush said after a meeting with his Cabinet.

Bush did not directly answer the question that was posed to him by a reporter at the end of the meeting—whether the White House is working on contingency plans to withdraw Miers nomination in the face of opposition to her from liberals and conservatives. Instead, he said that she is an “extraordinary woman” and that he understands people want to learn more about her.

“Recently, requests, however, have been made by Democrats and Republicans about paperwork out of this White House that would make it impossible for me and other presidents to be able to make sound decisions,” Bush said. “In other words, they’ve asked for paperwork about the decision- making process, what her recommendations were. And that would breach very important confidentially.”

What Bush has said here is absolutely correct, and I agree with him entirely.  You cannot violate the right of presidents to receive confidential legal advice, and caving in now would set a dangerous precedent.  That being said, none of this would be an issue if President Bush hadn’t NOMINATED HIS FUCKING LAWYER.

Posted by Lee on 10/24/05 at 05:10 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Gay Gay Gay
by Lee

This is not your father’s Ku Klux Klan.

The city has given permission of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a rally on Saturday, November 5. The group says they want to have a pro-family values rally in front of City Hall that afternoon to get voters to vote against gay marriage.

The city has reserved the Austin City Hall’s south plaza on Lavaca and Cesar Chavez from 1-3 pm on Saturday, November 5.

In an e-mail to the city for permission, a representative for the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan wrote: “Our speech will not be inflammatory, but we all know the reputation of the name of the KKK, so we expect anti-Klan demonstrators to be there who may become violent. We certainly don’t want any of our people hurt nor any city officials. We just want to come and encourage people to vote for Christian Family Values and against legalized homosexual marriage in the state of Texas.”

I guess they got tired of protesting against mongrel races, mud people, and Jews.  Now they’re going after the queers.  But it’s all in the name of “family values,” of course.

Interesting pattern.  Whenever the left wants to curtail your freedom they claim they’re doing it in the name of “the people.” When the right does it, they claim they’re doing it for “family values.” I have a word for both of them:  “douchebags.”

Posted by Lee on 10/24/05 at 04:30 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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