Posted November 30, 2005
Lips moving at Annapolis
It's been ages since I watched a Tamestream Media® newscast. But I'm glad that last night while making dinner I'd had CBS and Bob Schieffer playing in the background. Schieffer was talking to a CBS correspondent in Baghdad about remarks made by Rumsfeld, referring to "Haifa Road." So when I heard Dubya mention "Haifa Street" this morning in his Annapolis pep rally, it was immediately recognizableas a Talking Point, and at odds with events on the ground. Hey, why should they change this late in the game? I managed to find a transcript of the CBS segment:
Bob Schieffer: "And the Secretary of Defense made a point of what he called Haifa road, which is one of the most dangerous areas, Haifa street. He says that's under Iraqi control now. What can you report on that?"
Ironically, I found the transcript at the wingnut site Newsbusters. But were they wondering about the 3-day journey separating the Administration claim from the facts? Nope, they were whining that the networks led with Murtha last week, but this week ignored Joe Lieberman's statement that "real progress" was happening in Iraq. Sure, as if anyone pays attention to Lieberman anymore.
Posted November 29, 2005
Everybody loves cute animal photos
Today I'm going to take my lense off of the politics, remove the sardonic filter,
and share a few pictures of animals from the Woodland Park Zoo. Enjoy.
As always, thanks to Hayley at the Zoo.
Posted November 28, 2005
Gobble gobble; *burp*
How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Mine was good. We went to Olympia on the Thursday and enjoyed fellowship with two friends, over turkey and wine. Then on Saturday we made our own turkey dinnera tradition we have that ensures that if Thanksgiving is a social disaster, we can look forward to a do-over. Oh, and speaking of turkey, a hater of Personal Rapid Transit smeared me in a P-I online forum. Apparently, you're a closet right-winger if you don't believe in Light Rail as the pinnacle of human technological achievement. Now that's a holiday memory I'll treasure.
Mayor has gas problem. I'm all for Seattle reducing greenhouse gases, but the measure of the results of the mayor's Kyoto policy could be more honest. I can accept the touting of light rail as part of the emissions solution, since it might slow the increase in traffic.
But this morning's KUOW story connecting Nickels's policy to the sale of the City's remaining interest in a Centralia coal-fired plant is disingenuous: the original sale happened in 2000 during the Schell administration, and was part of an objective set 10 years ago under Norm Rice.
So while it's off the City's environmental books, the plant is still pumping out the greenhouse gases. Centralia is part of the warming globe, right?
At the African Savanna, hippos:
Posted November 23, 2005
Alas Schmidt & Bubp
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Scurrilous) has apologized to Rep. John Murtha, and said, separately, that she was just saying what she was told to say, "I was repeating words." But she never said she didn't enjoy doing it (speaking for all Americans and the whole world already)which I'm sure she did, since she and Colonel Bubp already had a history of attacking Democrats who served in the military.
Although, in fairness Schmidt didn't actually attack the Congressman Murtha, she attacked A Congressman Murtha. You can hear it quite clearly. So, really, it's also possible that she was not calling Murtha a coward, but rather likening him to Noel Coward. Or cow-yards, which one supposes could be Ohio idiom. "Cut and run" could be a ranching term...
But seriously. I guess the lesson for Jean Schmidt is that before the next time she takes to the floor of the US Congress to impugn a real patriot, she should take a few moments and go over the script once or twice. You know, so that she doesn't have to pause in order to remember said patriot's name.
And check out the poor guy in the video sitting behind her; you can see the headache developing from the expression on his face. Then he reaches up and rubs his forehead in pain. Or exasperation. Or exhaustion. One of those ex- words. Like "ex-Republican lawmaker."
Time to play the Feud!
Name something you find in Iraq.
Not on the board.
Oh, no. Sorry. But thanks for playing our game, here's your Rice-a-Roni.
Posted November 18, 2005
Just a leetle bit pregnant
(+ Friday roundup)
$1.45 billion, plus a few billion in financing, plus another 12%
Sound Transit's financing change looks tad familiar
When is this town going to stop taking this kind of garbage lying down? Oh wait, we just did. Maybe a second time is not too far off.
It's time for The Slam Book.® Here from the Mr_Blog bureau in Waconia, Minnesota, is anchor Tim Snide:
Good morning Blogosphere.
The Department of Labor has struck a blow against high unemployment, successfully persuading NBC to cancel Martha Stewart's "Apprentice" spin-off. "Too many hard-working Americans were getting fired," said Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. Chao is also demanding sanctions and international inspections against Donald Trump's original program.
A spokesman for Tony Blair said the British Prime Minister did not plan to intervene in the BBC's version of "Apprentice," because the Queen never misses it.
Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet says he didn't kill 3,000 peopleGod did. Pinochet's lawyers said they intend to call Rev. Pat Robertson as a character witness.
It looks like the water fluoridation measure in Bellingham, Washington has lost, 52% to 48%. FINALLY, a community stands up to the insidious evil of involuntary mass medication. Everyone knows fluoridation is a plot by The Man, designed to make us vote Republican, oppose the Monorail and watch "Surface," Mondays at 8/7C on NBC.
Seems that when oil company chiefs testified to Congress that they hadn't met with Dick Cheney's energy policy task force, well, it turns out they were confused. Said one CEO, "energy task force? We thought we were testifying about steroids. Wow, good thing we weren't under oath."
The National Enquirer today raised its Lindsay Lohan Threat Level to Orange: High Risk that Lindsay Lohan is Fat. Meanwhile, The Star raised their Lindsay Lohan Warning System to YellowSignificant chance that Lindsay Lohan is Too Thin. President Bush revealed himself as a Star reader, when in impromptu remarks to reporters in Pusan, South Korea, Dubya said he was directing the Centers For Disease Control to develop regulations to prevent Lindsay Lohan from catching Avian Flu.
The President also commented about U.S. use of torture, and the revelation that 14,500 people are being detained in U.S. custody, mostly in Iraq. "We're working as fast as we can, it's our intention to eventually interrogate every person in Iraq," said Bush. "It's the only way we can be sure to catch all the insurgents."
But the President was also careful to say that human rights would be respected, saying, "we do not torture, much." He said he had directed that a billboard be erected in the Baghdad Green Zone, which will read "__ Days Since Our Last Prisoner Abuse Outrage."
Finally, the geniuses in charge of the Seattle Mariners are apparently doing nothing to assuage the dissatisfaction of superstar outfielder Ichiro. The Japanese import who makes summer in Seattle worth living was quoted this week, questioning the team's on-field attitude in last season's galactic embarassment of a second half. Later, insiders put out the word that the Mariners would never, never, ever trade Ichiro, nope, no way. Which of course meansIchiro Suzuki, COME ON DOWN! You're the next contestant on "Who Wants To Be a New York Yankee!"
That's all for The Slam Book® for now, have a happy andabove allsalmonella-free Thanksgiving.
Blarchives: The Slam Book®
Posted November 16, 2005
All the President's Shill
The only thing that yesterday's Bob Woodward revelation did was confirm that senior administration officials didn't tell Patrick Fitzgerald everything about who they talked to and when. We've been saying Libby lied to protect the real Leaker Zero, and here's confirmation. So expect more obstruction charges, if not a bombshell indictment. And who was Woodward's contact? Look at his bookshe gets virtually unlimited access to the highest officials. Can you say... Dick? And preserving that access could explain why Woodward pooh-poohs the Plame investigation.
Fitzgerald: Libby "the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller"
So Judge Alito is trying to say that when he wrote that he didn't think Roe was Constitutional, he was just trying to get the Reagan Administration to give him a job. What else would he say to get a job? Hmmm... Jan. 5, 2006: Senate calls surprise character witness: Mary Elizabeth Falconetti to describe what Alito told her in 1967 so she would give him "a job."
Cleopatras. To those Monorail supporters who are claiming the project was actually cheap (under $130 million per mile, some say): What is financing, chopped liver? If you're buying a house on a mortgage, you don't include mortgage interest in your annual budget? Of course you do.
Posted November 14, 2005
1. The only thing I hate more than montages in my movies is the superfluous Balanced Viewpoint in my news. Today's perpetrator: KUOW-FM. The story: snowfall in the Cascades, and ski resorts investing in snowmaking machines to counter global warming. The Balanced Viewpoint? Some schmoe who had stopped by the highway to let his kids get in a few minutes wintry frolicking: "I don't believe in the global warming Doomsday thing." Well, Elmer, it's a good thing you're not making the decisions at NOAA and the National Science Foundation. So strap the offspring into your 17MPG Xterra and get back on the road to environmental oblivion.
2. Saturday night we had a social engagement in Kirkland, so to avoid SR520
we pointed the Prius toward Kenmore, and the Bothell Way alternate. It sure
is great to see the new sidewalks and boulevard median that the Mayor is
building for the car dealerships on Lake City Way. Reminds me that he's planning
something similar to benefit the fast food franchises, mark down outlets, Pho
joints and car dealerships along Aurora Avenue. Meanwhile, funding is still
woefully inadequate for sidewalks and effective traffic calming in the
residential areas adjacent to Aurora and Lake City.
3. There's a great Monty Python sketch where the Vercotti brothers attempt
to extort protection money from an army officer. "You've got a nice
army base here, colonel, I wouldn't want anything to happen to it," and
they offer to not set fire to his armored divisions if he pays up. Well
basically, that's what that loon Pat Robertson is doing whenever he
threatens communities with the wrath of God if they do something he doesn't
like. Earlier Saturday, I listened to a podcast about Robertson's raving threats
against Dover, PA, and I immediately pictured him in a Nathan Detroit
mobster get-up. Lovely School District you've got here, I wouldn't want anything
to happen to it. Stop this Pat, it's too silly.
Simba! NO!!! Overheard at Greenwood Market:
Mom: Do you want pork chops?
Posted November 11, 2005
G.W. Bush: President Chimp
The other night I went to bed expecting visions of a Democratic House majority. But instead I had a horrible fever dream. I was standing in a clear cut amid acres of stumps. An elephant wearing a Cub Scout uniform and a respectable cloth coat hiked past. It was singing:
The mid-terms are approaching, I've
When I woke up my bed was full of* peanut shells.
* Joke setup © Marc Maron
"...it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said. Source
Posted November 9, 2005 | 0700GMT
It was a bad Tuesday night for the Liar/Leaker/Warmonger party, a black cat across the Prezdint's path. John Corzine handily beat Republican Doug Forrester for the 'Jersey governor race. Lt. Gov. Tom Kaine edged wingnut Jerry Kilgore for the top job in Virginia, and it appears Kaine has a last second campaign swing by Bush to thank for the narrow win. U of Virginia's Larry Sabato:
"There's no way to spin this than anything other than a major defeat for Republicans and for President Bush," ...Bush appeared at a Monday night rally with Kilgore -- the first public campaign appearance with the president in a state that twice voted for Bush.
In California, Ah-nold's people recently declined to bring in Dubya to campaign, but it may not have helped. At the moment the Governator is 1-for-8 on his strange mix of ballot measures on subjects ranging from an attacks on unions and teachers, to parental notification, a grab for budgetmaking power, and redistricting. Everything a reichchancellor needs to solidify power.
Locally, a mid-October poll had shown challenger David Irons with a slight lead over Ron Sims in the County Executive race. But then came a home-stretch ad buy on behalf of Sims, a radio commercial linking Irons to Dubya by political philosophy as well as contributions. As this is being written, it is Sims holding a 53-41 lead.
Yesterday was the first sign that Dubya has lost his coattails. We seem now to be at the delicious point where the Rs have to start thinking about when to cut their losses, and cut Bush loose. But how to do it? Health problems? No, he's in great shape, what with all the mountain biking. How about "spending more time with his family"? No, that'd be like an admission of guilt. During the next 3-4 months look for reporters to hear "impeachment" mentioned more and more during background conversations in the halls of the Capitol.
Is it possible to have LESS than no coattails? You'd have to call that a wedgie.
Monofail. With Prop. 1 at 64-35 for the No side, and critics Nobles and Goldberg leading in their races for the Monorail Board, Falkenbury's Folly is now so unpopular that one would think Bush had campaigned for it.
Flip, pick and riff: an exercise
"Math," she said, "I was never good at math."
"Math," she said, "I was never good at math."
Posted November 8, 2005
What's funny isn't that Dubya is sending his Executive Office staff for a refresher course in ethics (AP, 11/8). Nor is it funny that the course is only an hour long. It's not even funny that 3,000 people will be participating.
The sheer cost of training 3,000 people certainly isn't funny.
I don't even think it's funny that the trainees include people with security clearances, who presumably read the nondisclosure agreements they've already signed, and lawyers who are supposed to know about such things already (even Alberto Gonzales). Is it funny that the sessions will be conducted by the White House Counsel, former SCOTUS nominee Harriet "Like, Omigawd" Miers? No, that's not funny either.
How about that White House staff must take the course, but not Congressional leaders like Bill "Blind Trust" Frist?
Or how about if we view the new sensitivity about ethics in the context of Dubya moving the goalposts with regard to what constitutes a firing offense in the Plame investigation? What if we dub Scott McClellan the Undersecretary of Lying Affairs, and wonder if he is taking the class too? Mmmmm... Still not funny.
I guess there's nothing funny about this at all.
Posted November 4, 2005
Smells like team spirit (Friday roundup)
The mayor's pledge to improve public safety around nightclubs in Pioneer Square and elsewhere, following on the heels of that high-profile fight involving Seahawks player Ken Hamlin, comes just in time for the Nov. 8 election. And it suggests an exciting new governing philosophy for Hizzoner: sports-based public policy.
:: Ichiro-friendly neighborhoods. Send the Mariners' speedy superstar on foot through the Greenwood, Northgate and Bitter Lake neighborhoods. If he gets hit by a car on your block, you get a new sidewalk!
:: Storm-y streets. Storm guard Sue Bird, donning her protective mask from last season, will walk through Al Runte's neighborhood. If she does a face plant on utility work or a pothole, teammate Lauren Jackson will step in with a trowel and bag of Quikrete.
:: We've got spirit, yes we do! The mayor will give gloomy-Gus community councils something to cheer about, when the Husky cheerleaders, Seagals and Sonics dance team take to the stages of Deja Vu and Rick's for wholesome, fully-clothed bumping and grinding.
Scooter pleads not guilty. Can they add a contempt charge for that?
Under new management. The Trogwatch blog has a new editor and is active once again, give 'em your support.
Shrinkage. Interesting, isn't it how today's fanfare over the FTA's high rating for Link light rail between Downtown and Montlake requires the public to forget about the rest of the northern line? I have a somewhat longer memory than the Sound Transit boardway waaaaay back, the northern rail link was originally supposed to get to Lynnwood. Then Northgate. Now merely Husky Stadium by 2015. Oh, and the funding plan involves a redefinition of "built with existing resources:"
[Joni] Earl said the finance plan probably would call for liberalizing some Sound Transit borrowing policies and would assume continued collection through 2028 of the agency's motor-vehicle excise tax Source
Gee, that sounds like a most elevated approach...
Mr_Blog is brought to you by Sound Transit:
I'm a busy UW sophomore. Everyday I drive down I-5 from Everett, park in the Portage Bay neighborhoodyou know, on Harvard under the Ship Canal Bridgethen take a Metro bus to campus. What a drag! But starting in 2015, I'll be able to drive all the way downtown, go up to Broadway, and catch Sound Transit's Link light rail: the train with the big blue wave! Much better! I'll sit back, relax, and gaze out the window at miles of scenic tunnel interior. Then I'll arrive at Husky Stadium for a 1/2 mile walk to class! My commute as an eighth-year returning senior might be as much as one whole minute faster!
Sound Transit: ride the wave!
Nickels evokes... statesmen? In Jim Brunner's article in yesterday's Times, the mayor comes off like two big-time politicians of the past and present.
:: Like Dubya: "Nickels explains his evolution by pointing out that he took office shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks"
:: Positively Nixonian: "Nickels said he has support of "neighborhood people all over the city" they're just not as loud as the naysayers." The Silent Majority is alive and well, and living in Seattle!
Thanks SO much. Thanks SO much, Capitol Hill Trader Joe's, for locking your bike cage. I much prefer parking my bike on the street, in the rain, where anyone can just come along and steal stuff off it. Again, thanks.
Posted November 2, 2005
I've already made up my mind on Prop. 1 and 2, so any last-second mailings to sway my vote are too late. But I couldn't resist opening a mass-email that arrived this afternoon.
It's pro-monorail and deceptive.
It appeared in my mailbox with the sender address "email@example.com" (domain parked but not set up) and the subject "You call this Monorail affordable?"
Maybe you would do what I did. Huh. Never heard of them--a new anti-monorail group? This might be interesting, and click to open.
Surprise, you've been hoodwinked! It's a pro-monorail message, and it reads as if it were written by - I was going to say a 7th grade nerd, but that would be unfair to 7th grade nerds. No, this smacks of adult fanboy:
Get the facts about the monorail.
Depends on what you mean by "original cost."
Let's talk revenue. You may not like the MVET tax, but it makes sure that the wealthiest among us pay the greatest share and the vast majority of drivers pay only $110 a year.
No, it makes sure that people who buy cars pay, and that those who buy new cars pay the greatest share. Apparently, only the wealthy buy cars (and if so, who is the monorail supposed to be for?).
Some say revenue growth may be low. That wrongheaded view assumes that the population of those between 20-64 years old in Seattle will drop, and that folks over 65 basically will stop driving.
Excuse me? Revenues ARE low, and only the SMP thinks its growth assumptions are realistic. And the monorail depends on people over 65 continuing to drive and pay the MVET??? Start saving now, grandma.
The Monorail is ...the only rail system on anyone's drawing board for the western side of the city and will be the only real option when the Viaduct comes down.
But only as far as Interbay. And by all means, try and use the Viaduct to scare us into buying you fanboys your toy train.
Forty years ago we could have had a 60 mile system for $300 million.
Woulda coulda shoulda: welcome to Today's Prices. If the 10 mile, $1.7 billion proposal gets built, we'll still have congestion and millions of car-trips per day in the region. Its financing requires it.
A major public investment should not be for the sole benefit of a narrow sub-group of monorail enthusiasts, but rather should benefit everyone doing the paying. Something new. Something designed to address the problem (mobility and congestion). Something like...
Need gives rise to innovation. In the most recent P-I Saturday Spin, David Horsey wrote:
"Dr. James Bowen, a neurology professor at the University of Washington, offered what I think is the best Big Idea. He noted that, with people working in such scattered places at varying hours over a wide region, a transportation system aimed at getting a lot of people together on the same conveyance going to the same place is bound to be inadequate.
The idea Horsey is crediting to Prof. Bowen is basically Personal Rapid Transit. (And it's coming soon to London, and hopefully elsewhere). It's so obviously a good idea that smart people who are fed up with traffic keep inventing and reinventing PRT all on their own.
Posted November 1, 2005
by Kim Jong Il
Blarchives: Dear Leader
There are 6 comments
November 14, 2005 - 12:24
> escape velocity
Well, Dubya does want to go to Mars...
November 13, 2005 - 01:34
Subject: Today's Chuckle
"...it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began..."
If this keeps up, Orwell's not just going to spin in his grave, he'll achieve escape velocity.
November 10, 2005 - 08:36
Subject: Flip, pick and riff
Hey, you did pretty good on that one! Thank you for playing! To claim your prize (which you will receive this via email) email me (subject line: flip, pick & riff) to firstname.lastname@example.org
November 12, 2005 - 22:54
Subject: Flip, pick and riff
that's great! love the image! love the story! too funny!
November 11, 2005 - 10:28
Subject: Flip, pick and riff
Very good! And, foreboding. Or, foretelling might be more correct.
Also, thanks for the elections updates, good news!
November 11, 2005 - 09:45
Subject: Flip, pick and riff
Awesome job! I laughed out loud at the line about having pins up the ass. I love it!
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