Friday, January 24, 2003

Rummy Hates Everybody!

We all know what Defense Secretary Rumsfeld thinks of 'old Europe' and American men drafted into the Armed Forces. Now we know that ol' Rummy doesn't think much of his generals.

So, let's get this straight. In the past few days, Rummy has insulted millions of American men who served in uniform, our closest political and military allies, and now the generals who serve under him---generals the country must rely on to defeat Saddam Hussein's army and pacify Iraq in the months that follow. (To say nothing of what they might be called on to do on the Korean peninsula.)

Can Rumsfeld really be this obtuse? Well, we cannot blame inexperience, since Rummy has previously served in government and presumably knows a thing or two about how to get things done in government. (I guess we cannot assume that.) The leaking of this document from his own office demonstrates just what Mr. Rumsfeld's own civilian underlings think of him. Just imagine what the uniformed officers are saying right now.

Is this any way to run a country? Or wage a war?

New Axis of Evil?

At least somebody is getting along with 'old Europe' these days.

War Fears Hurt Wall Street

If we are going to war, maybe we should just get it over with before any more damage is done to our economy. On the other hand, we could just try not to go to war at all.

There's a thought.

A Step Too Far

As noted below, the White House planned to appoint a right-wing and anti-gay nutball from Bob Jones University to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS. Thanks to an uproar from HIV activists about the presence of this cretin on such an advisory panel, the cretin-in-question, Mr Jerry Thacker, has withdrawn his name from consideration. This is good news. Putting an unqualified bigot like Mr Thacker on the panel was another sop to the cultural reactionaries the Bush admin courts so meticulously. This time, Karl Rove didn't get away with it.

Is His Heart Really In It?

For once we can believe a politician when he delays an important decision for health reasons.

No Kidding Headline of the Week

Kids of Single-parent Homes Often Less Stable

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Do You Admit to Looking at Porn? You Might Be a Democrat!

The Atlantic, that venerable old newspaper of culture and politics, has terrific piece on the inter-relationship between politics and culture. How you view things like homosexuality, pornography, extra-marital sex, and church attendance have become the key determinants in how you vote. Those who have a tolerant view of such issues almost always vote Democratic and those who do not almost always vote Republican. In fact, cultural issues are quickly becoming more important than economic issues in determining how people vote. The only issue that seems to be more important than culture is race, with African-Americans overwhelmingly voting Democratic regardless of their views on hot-button cultural issues.

Anti-Gay Psycho to AIDS Panel

Surprise, surprise: Mr Bush plans to appoint a right-wing and anti-gay nutball from Bob Jones University to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS. This cretin, Jerry Thacker, a Pennsylvania marketing professional, is infected with HIV himself--purportedly through a blood transfusion his wife received during the 1980s. The 35-member commission makes recommendations to the White House on AIDS prevention and clearly the administration is betting that sympathy for Mr Thacker's unfortunate condition will soften the criticism he is already receiving from AIDS and gay activists.

According to The Washington Post, Mr Thacker:

has described homosexuality as a "deathstyle" rather than a lifestyle and asserted that "Christ can rescue the homosexual." After word of his selection spread among gays in recent days, some material disappeared from the Web site. Earlier versions located by The Washington Post that referred to the "gay plague," for instance, were changed as of yesterday to "plague."

Meanwhile, mainstream AIDS activists have found much to criticize about Mr Thacker's appointment:

"This individual is an extremist ideologue who persecutes and demeans an entire class of people impacted by this disease," said David Smith, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign. "That type of person has no business advising the president of the United States on how the government should address the epidemic."

Carl Schmid, a Republican gay activist who worked on President Bush's 2000 campaign, said he is disappointed and frustrated that HHS disregarded warnings that Thacker's selection would overshadow the commission's valuable work.

"We need to have a scientific-based approach to the problems of HIV-AIDS and not this radical agenda he's pushing," Schmid said. Aside from the harshly anti-gay tone of Thacker's rhetoric, Schmid said, his major objection to Thacker is his aggressive lobbying for abstinence-until-marriage education.

"Abstinence-until-marriage does not help anyone in the gay community, because we can't get married," he said. "If you are a gay youth, who is addressing your concerns?"

Okay, so the admin wants to appoint an HIV-positive person to the AIDS panel. That sounds fine to me. But isn't it possible to appoint an HIV-positive person who doesn't view the disease that gays bring upon themselves through an 'immoral' life.

Rummy Gives 'Old Europe' the Finger

The French are responding with understandable anger at Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's remark that France and Germany represent 'old Europe'. First of all, France and Germany might be 'old Europe,' but they are no older than the cultures to the east. Secondly, France and Germany are the two largest and most important nations in Europe. Germany has the largest economy and France the largest military in Europe. Mr Rumsfeld seems to think he can make France and Germany into non-entities if he insults them sufficiently. Well, he has certainly insulted them sufficiently--and then some--but that doesn't mean France and Germany have ceased to matter. Quite the contrary.

Meanwhile, this is more of the sort of 'diplomacy' we've come to expect from the Bush administration: Insult your allies and then demand they do just as they are told. It's bad enough that virtually the entire Arab world loathes the United States. Now we're going to make the Europeans despise us, too?

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Bush Tells Behavior Regulators: I'm With You!

I hope all those pro-choice suburban women who want to vote for Mr Bush in 2004 because "he's such a nice man" think about this on Election Day.

Culture of life? You gotta be kidding me! This, from the Lord High Executioner of Texas?

John Snow--Another Great Choice

Bush Treasury Secretary nominee John Snow, former CEO of CSX Corp, was arrested for DUI in Utah in 1982 and went through a long child support dispute with an ex-wife in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to White House sources, who leaked the information to the media before it became public during Mr Snow's confirmation hearing later this month.

This is another example of the awful judgment shown by Dick Cheney. Mr Snow ran a company which underperformed during his tenure, though Mr Snow was lavishly compensated for his 'management' of the old economy firm. Now these new revelations. The White House claims Senate Democrats won't be able to use the issue against Mr Snow during the confirmation hearing, but that is only so because the Democrats might be too busy firing at Mr Bush's idiotic $674 billion budget plan.

What has gone relatively unnoticed in all this is that in 1981 Mr Snow joined the Commonwealth Club, which was not only all-male, but barred blacks, as well. The 'blackballing' policy of the Commonwealth Club was only changed in 1988--seven years after Mr Snow became a member.

Mr Bush: Geography Major

From The Chicago Sun-Times via Atrios comes this priceless nugget:

AmBush 'em . . .
The Erin Isle: Irish singer Josie Walker says President Bush asked if she was from Ireland when he met her shortly after she sang at his inauguration.
*Say whaaa? When she told him she was from Belfast, Dubya asked, "So are you British or Irish?"
*Quoth Walker in hindsight: "Oh, dear, bring back Bill"--as in Clinton.

What is this Dope Talking About?

Moments ago in a speech delivered to a friendly and partisan crowd in St. Louis, Mr Bush referred to United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq as 'so-called inspectors.' That's insulting enough (and what exactly is it supposed to mean?), but he followed it up by an assurance that an Iraqi general or soldier who uses a weapon of mass destruction would be 'persecuted.'

Just how dumb is this guy?

(More on this topic as Mr Bush finishes his speech and the full text is available.)

Arrogant Jerk Apologizes

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has apologized for saying that draftees have 'no military value'. It's about time.

Mayor McCheese is Off the Hook

A lawsuit filed on behalf of several grossly overweight New York City children against the McDonald's restaurant chain has been dismissed by a federal judge today. The lawsuit alleged that the children were obese and suffered a variety of obesity-related maladies as a result of the fatty foods they consumed at McDonalds. The judge noted, rightly in my opinion, that McDonalds products are not an 'unknown' danger to consumers since it is widely understood that food like Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets contain enormous amounts of fat and are almost useless nutritionally. In addition, the judge wisely pointed out that almost any restaurant could be sued for selling unhealthy food to consumers if McDonalds were held responsible for the plaintiffs' lack of self-control and their parents' lack of supervision.

It's a shame these children are obese, but the responsibility for their weight and health problems lies with them and their parents. Nobody forces these children to eat at McDonalds and the restaurant chain does not--to my knowledge--claim that Big Macs or chocolate milk shakes are healthy foods. These are the kind of frivolous lawsuits that give tort law a bad name. The fact is, tort law is often the only recourse for people who have been gravely abused and deceived by corporations, but this case obviously does not apply.

Freep this Poll!

CNN is running a poll asking whether you think the views of Senator Edward Kennedy or Mr Bush best represent your view on Iraq. Go there and vote. So far, the good guys are winning. The poll is located here in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Many thanks to The Rittenhouse Review for bringing this to my attention.

Note About The New Look

After receiving advice from several people, especially The Mighty K over at Daily Kos, I decided to radically alter the look of The Daily Review. There is a new font, a new template, new colors--even one or two new looks. However, the politics are the still the same. Get used to that.

My thanks to those who told me what I needed to know.

Al Sharpton: Huckster & Fraud

All good liberals owe a hearty 'thank you' to the folks at The American Prospect for a profile of the man and an article exposing the rhetorical tricks of Reverand Al. Mr Sharpton is a fraud and a racial hustler who claims to speak for people he does not and consistently refuses to honestly answer questions and be held accountable for his often indefensible and outrageous behavior.