Saturday, February 28, 2004

Pope Urges End to Gay Marriages

"Pope John Paul II urged authorities Saturday to stop approving gay marriages, saying they 'degrade' the true sense of marriage between a man and a woman."

Wrong; what's degrading is priests molesting little boys. Git yer own house in order, Pontiff...
Sofia Coppola Looks to Make Oscar History

"She even overcame her intense camera shyness to try acting in The Godfather: Part III not that her uneasiness wasn't obvious..."

I guess everyone gets a shot at redemption. Besides, she wasn't the real problem with 3 anyway. No Duvall.

By the way I have eight days to find a friend with HBO. Free Italian food can be yours! Offer only good 8-9 PM Sundays.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Welcome To Gilead Part 2

"Attorney General John Ashcroft is demanding records of abortions performed on hundreds of women at six Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country..."
Dean's Advice: Paint Bush as Radical

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the 2004 Democratic nominee runs as a true progressive, as a champion of working Americans and their hopes for a better future. Because -- I will say it again -- that is the way to win in 2004."

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Nader's run for redemption

Interesting analysis of Why Ralph Runs:

"You want to see Bush beaten, but most of all, you want to erase 2000 -- that is, to prove your enemies wrong. What do you do?

You could urge your supporters to vote for the Democrat. But then all the stories would read: 'Ralph Nader, who in 2000 said there was no meaningful difference between the major party nominees, as much as admitted he was wrong yesterday...'

In the end, with Democrats united and the nation polarized, your candidacy won't attract much support. You'll do worse than Pat Buchanan did in 2000 as the Reform Party champion. And that's exactly what you want. If the Democrats win, you'll be able to say: See, any halfway decent candidate could have beaten Bush. That just shows I wasn't what cost the Democrats the 2000 election. The problem was that Al Gore's campaign defined pathetic.

But if Bush wins, with your vote totals tiny, it should be clear to everyone that you played no role, that even a united Democratic Party couldn't win."

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Brave challenge in Iowa City

"I would like to have the law agree with the constitution and be able to therefore yes to issue those licenses to people who come before me to be married who appreciate the solemn act with the desire to enter into it." - Johnson County Recorder Kim Painter

These nurses deserve thank, not reprimands

Gazette site is pay to play so I'm posting the whole article. Things have sunk pretty low when nurses get fired for helping patients.

CORALVILLE -- Simone Grace wouldn't risk going a day without the anti-rejection medicines she's taken since her pancreas transplant 2 years ago.

But when a snafu between Medicaid and Medicare left her without the expensive drugs, she turned to the nursing staff at University Hospitals in Iowa City, where her surgery was performed.

Grace, 39, of Coralville, said nurses provided what she needed for a couple days until payment for the two drugs -- costing $2,245 and $383 per month -- was rectified.

"These people are a godsend," she said of the staff who oversee operations from pre-transplant, on. "They are a lifeline. Whatever you need . . . they bend over backward for you. They care about us."

Grace said she was heartsick to hear that two nurses in the UI transplant organ program were fired for the longtime practice of "recycling" anti-rejection drugs donated by families after a patient died or changed medications.

Four or five other UI Hospitals employees received written reprimands.

Hospital officials have said there was no evidence any patients were harmed by the "irregularities" in handling prescription medicine.

But Grace wonders how many patients will be harmed if the nurses can't provide them with the crucial anti-rejection drugs in emergencies.

The family of a 17-year-old Missouri girl killed in a car crash donated the pancreas for Grace's transplant, a four to six hour surgery that cost $110,000.

A diabetic since age 5, with life-threatening complications, Grace said the operation changed her life.

No longer did she have to meticulously count every carbohydrate she consumed, which included grilling waiters and waitresses on the ingredients of anything they served her, down to the sauce. Nor did she have to continue to stick needles from an insulin pump into her body or fear passing out from low blood sugar levels.

The pancreas, an elongated gland behind the stomach, is instrumental in producing insulin, a hormone that helps the body use sugar and other carbohydrates.

"There's so much more freedom now," Grace said of life with her donated pancreas. "I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want."

But for the rest of her life, she will need to take anti-rejection drugs. Grace also takes 10 other prescriptions and five over-the-counter supplements daily. The cost per month for the prescriptions is $3,700. Because she only receives $947 in monthly Supplemental Security Income, she relies on Medicare and Medicaid to survive.

Her life is a turnabout from the one she had been living after graduating from the UI with an engineering degree and landing a job with a small local firm.

Her three-year stint with the company, where she earned more than $40,000 annually, ended when she was injured and went on disability.

But Grace doesn't have time for self-pity.

Instead, she is concerned for the nurses who were fired for helping people like herself and for patients who will no longer have a safety net to obtain their needed anti-rejection drugs.

Grace hopes to mobilize transplant patients and their families in a letter-writing and call-in campaign to UI administrators, in the hopes the nurses will be re-hired.

Hospital administrators made no comment on the situation Monday. Public safety director Chuck Green said UI police began an investigation Monday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Political Wire: Bush Rushes To Engage Democrats

Hm. I thought it said "enrage" Democrats...
Welcome To Gilead

The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.

- the fake president

A pleasant surprise

"Payments will be mailed to Music Purchasers who filed valid claims beginning on February 20, 2004 and two weeks should be allowed for delivery..."

I got a check for $13.86 today. I'd completely forgotten about it - this was that thing where they decided the music industry was price-fixing CDs.

Just enough money to buy a spindle of blank CDs... to back up my data, of course ;)
Run, Ralph, run. Just don't expect me to follow

"The reason Nader managed to get 3 percent of the national vote in the first place is that Gore was such an abysmal candidate. He not only failed to sharply define the difference between himself and Bush, he also failed to find a way to embrace what was wonderful about the Clinton presidency. It was this inner-Goreness that cost him the election in 2000. Nader just added insult to (self-inflicted) injury..."

Monday, February 23, 2004

Liberal Vows To Not Vote Conscience

"Weisen, who voted for Nader in the 2000 election, has become the asshole co-worker that warned him not to vote for Nader last time..."

Weekly World News: Politicians are sucking up to Britney Spears

Forget Britney - what about the all-important Bat Boy vote, and the coveted Space Alien endorsement?
Ed Sec calls NEA 'terrorist organization'

"These were the words, 'The NEA is a terrorist organization,'" said Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin...

I'm sure my Mom and Dad, both retired NEA members, will be surprised...

Backlash Envelops Nader Before He's in Race

We're gonna get it wrong AGAIN.

I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 and I'mproud of it. Given the 2000 Democratic ticket I have no regrets, even knowing how it went down. I needed to hear some things from Al Gore that I never heard. So I voted for the candidate who best represented the values of the Democratic Party, who unfortunately was not the Democratic nominee.

I don't expect to vote for Nader in 2004.

I expect John Kerry to be the Democratic nominee. The powers that be will squash Edwards just like they squashed us.

The more I learn about Kerry the less I like him. I've heard way too many "do you know who I am" stories.

But, in the spirit of minimal high regard, I don't hate him as much as I hate Gore.

Back to Kerry later. Let's talk about Nader.

The establishment of the Democratic Party insists on believing that left-progressive votes belong to THEM and not to the individual VOTERS. Somehow Nader's three million votes in 2000 "belonged" to Gore-Lieberman and Nader "stole" them.

I'm biased because I live in a college town. But I don't give a crap about winning over the middle of the road. Let the middle of the road watch Survivor and decide in the last week which candidate is cuter.

I care about the future. I care about bringing young people into the process and giving them something to believe in.

The real race in my town is not Kerry vs. Bush. Bush will get about 30 percent no matter what the local GOP does and no matter what we do. There's just 30 percent of folks in this town who are Republicans.

The REAL race is Kerry vs. Nader.

It's October. I'm on campus, facing a 19 year old first time voter who tells me John Kerry voted for the war and the Patriot Act and there's no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

What do I tell him?

  • "We have to beat Bush" ?

  • "You're throwing your vote away" ?

  • "It's people like you who elected Bush" ?

    I heard all of those myself in 2000 and since. Sorry, Dems. That won't win anyone over. It'll just piss them off.

    You have to come up with positive, affirmative, progressive things a Kerry presidency would accomplish. (Hint: a troop withdrawal date would help...)

    And you have to respect and take seriously the right of people to choose another alternative.

    Put simply: you have to EARN the vote. And frankly, nominating Kerry instead of Dean made the job harder. Hey, it ain't a coincidence that Nader did this the weekend after Dean dropped out. (Hint to Dennis Kucinich: even Nader knows you're going nowhere)

    But what happened happened and we have to work with what we have.

    I have to say this: I'm 40 years old and I barely remember Vietnam. Someone who's 20 definitely doesn't care about Vietnam, the Smoot-Hawley tariff, free silver, or 54-40 or fight.

    And don't create a "shut up" climate in the Democratic Party where we can't talk about THIS war.

    Finally, y'all need some grace in victory.

    I was a Bradley person in 2000 and I felt very ignored after the nomination was clinched. The Gore camp's attitude was "we won, fuck you." And we NEVER thought Bradley was gonna win.

    We more than "thought" Howard Dean was gonna win: we KNEW. The Dean thing was a lot more important than "my guy lost and your guy won." It was about changing the whole system, and we were beaten by some of the worst aspects of the old system. We still hurt, we need some time to heal.

    Then you need to reach out to us. You need to listen to us, you need to let us vent, and you can't shut us out. And don't don't DON'T try to silence us on the war.

    We are the future of the Democratic Party. We built something powerful and wonderful. We also proved you don't need fat cats to fund a campaign, and that scared the establishment. We were paid back in full - THIS time. (I loved the way Dick Gephardt took one for the team - one of them had to do the dirty work of ripping us apart.)

    The party decided to play it safe, which was counter-productive. We gave up on expanding the electorate in exchange for the ever-shrinking middle of the road.

    Maybe the best I'll be able to say is "I'm voting against Bush even though Kerry voted for the war." You'll just have to accept that as the best I can do. Don't ask me to fall in love with the guy.

    Voting against. Voting against.

    Someday I'll be voting FOR. I thought this was the year.
  • Saturday, February 21, 2004

    Questions for Joe Trippi: Primary Recollections

    "...The second Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean, alarms went off in newsrooms and at every other campaign headquarters. At the campaign headquarters, they all had meetings and said, ''We've got to stop Howard Dean right this second.'' That's what the Al Gore endorsement meant. It meant, We've got to kill this guy or he's going to be the nominee."
    Next year is here

    "Forget about being lovable losers, the Billy Goat Curse and the Bartman jinx. Cubs fans view the return of Maddux as an omen that will end a nearly century-long World Series victory drought... Still, after decades of futility, Cubs fans can't help but be paranoid.

    MSNBC will carry live coverage Thursday of the destruction of the Bartman ball at Harry Caray's Restaurant... The baseball spent the winter in a high-security display case at the restaurant beneath Caray's trademark black glasses. When the ball it is no more, Cubs fans hope to finally reach the Promised Land."

    Thursday, February 19, 2004

    Hide Your Cats!

    "The speculation about 2008 is partly fueled by Frist's statement that he won't run for re-election in 2006. He hasn't said what he'll do, but political observers say that would be the time to launch a presidential bid..."
    Family Won't Let Johnny Cash Song Be Used in Ad

    "We would never allow the song to be demeaned like that" - Rosanne Cash

    This is extremely tasteless but nevertheless funny:

    "Advertising writers in Florida were planning to pitch hemorrhoid-relief products with a commercial featuring Johnny Cash's classic song Ring of Fire..."
    Bad Astronomy Alert

    "Edwards continues to defy skeptics
    His political rise is nothing short of meteoric"

    For the 100th time: Meteors. don't. rise. They. FALL.
    Insiders Who Are On the Outs

    Payback time is coming:

    "Publicly, the party was one step closer to closing ranks. But for those who had defected to the outsider, there were still some wrinkles: party leaders who had to explain themselves, consultants who have to grovel to the winning team, lobbyists who might see their business drop off, think-tankers who might not be invited to participate in the next Democratic Party roundtable..."

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    My track record remains perfect

    1984: Gary Hart.
    1988: Jesse Jackson.
    1992: Tom Harkin.
    2000: Bill Bradley.
    2004: Howard Dean.

    It seems my support in a primary is the kiss of death. I was aware of this trend and considered backing Lieberman just in case.
    Israel Barrier Violates Humanitarian Law, Red Cross Says

    "The measures taken by the Israeli authorities linked to the construction of the Barrier in occupied territory go far beyond what is permissible for an occupying power under international humanitarian law," it declared.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    Chandler Wins

    Could it BE any more of a pickup?

    Former state attorney general Ben Chandler on Tuesday easily won the U.S. House seat vacated by GOP Gov. Ernie Fletcher, ending a long Democratic losing streak in congressional special elections.

    98 percent reporting
    Chandler (D): 54.6
    Kerr (R): 43.6

    Monday, February 16, 2004

    Novoselic Won't Run for Wash. Office

    Novoselic said he would keep working with Music for America to boost voter participation among young people and continue his efforts for election reform but concluded, "the whole thing about running a campaign and being a public servant isn't the way to do it."

    War A Major Issue?

    "A cartoon last week in the Green Bay Press-Gazette captured the curious retro mood that hovers over Tuesday's Wisconsin Democratic primary and George W. Bush's re-election campaign..."

    Looks like the war is going to be a major issue in this election.
    Iraq or Afghanistan?

    The Rich Get Richer

    "Alex Rodriguez is a Yankee. Commissioner Bud Selig approved the record-setting swap Monday, allowing the reigning AL MVP to be traded to New York by the Texas Rangers...

    Texas will pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's $252 million, 10-year contract, the most cash included in a trade in major league history. The Rangers get All-Star second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named - but they also will pay Rodriguez through 2025...

    The Yankees, baseball's biggest spenders, will raise their payroll to about $190 million..."

    WISCONSIN: Kerry 47, AntiKerry 46

    "Dean is polling very well among young people around Madison. He is polling well enough to get delegates and it's interesting to see that Edwards and Dean together suggest a substantial non-Kerry vote. What would happen if Kerry were to face just one opponent?"

    Saturday, February 14, 2004


    "Dean was also surrounded by suggestions of denouement, a radio host who referred to the 'final days' of his campaign and reporters asking him to sign their foam cheeseheads for posterity..."

    Earth & Sky : Tonight's Sky for 2/14/04

    See four planets tonight!

    Skies look clear over Iowa City tonight, I may have to get the telescope out...


    I did get the scope out (Spot the cat did not go outside to help observe). This scope is designed for wide-field viewing so fine planet detail is not gonna happen. It's still nice. I got really good views of the Pleiades and the nebula in Orion's belt.

    Checked out Venus, Mars (much faded from last summer), and Saturn. I could just barely make out the rings. While I was looking for Saturn I stumbled onto a satellite! Near as I can tell it was a Japanese satellite called ADEOS. The timing of the pass was just right.

    Saw Jupiter rising and I may check it out later. For now I'm back to my caucus data entry and my black bean soup.
    Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead

    Peter Pumpkinhead came to town
    Spreading wisdom and cash around
    Fed the starving and housed the poor
    Showed the Vatican what gold's for

    Peter Pumpkinhead pulled them all
    Emptied churches and shopping malls
    Where he spoke, it would raise the roof
    Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth

    But he made too many enemies
    Of the people who would keep us on our knees
    Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
    Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

    Peter Pumpkinhead put to shame
    Governments who would slur his name
    Plots and sex scandals failed outright
    Peter merely said
    Any kind of love is alright

    But he made too many enemies
    Of the people who would keep us on our knees
    Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
    Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

    Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
    Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
    He died grinning on live TV
    Hanging there he looked a lot like you
    And an awful lot like me!

    But he made too many enemies
    Of the people who would keep us on our knees
    Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
    Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

    Oh my oh my oh!
    Doesn't it make you want to cry oh?

    Cubs Ready to Play More Night Games

    I remember I was on the air the sad sad night in 1988 when the first night game was scheduled at Wrigley. They played an old Statler Brothers song. The boys were declaring their undying devotion to their sweetie with a list of impossible things, and the ultimate, the granddaddy of All Things That Could Never Happen was:

    "When the lights come on at Wrigley Field..."

    It rained that night.

    Friday, February 13, 2004 | Owl Ready To Prowl

    A great horned owl named Minerva, believed to be the world's first owl to receive eye lens implants for cataracts, grudgingly endured a follow-up exam Wednesday...
    Dean has yet to win, but he's not at a loss

    "Squinting at his questioner through the glare of the TV lights, Dean said bluntly, 'I haven't promised to go to Washington and unify everybody. And there's a reason for my not making that promise. I think it's important to stand up for what you believe in.'

    Then Dean uttered a few combative lines that encapsulated the strengths and weaknesses of his boom-or-bust campaign: 'I'm not going to Washington to be a nice guy. I'm going to Washington to kick the right wing out.' "

    Thursday, February 12, 2004

    Clark Set to Endorse Kerry

    That sure didn't take long either...

    But Kos writes:

    "Given that Clark was talking about Kerry's "intern problem", it would lend credence to this theory. And like I said, I have independent confirmation that Clark did, indeed, make those comments. And given that these allegations have been circulating for several weeks, it's possible Lehane leaked this hoping it would break sooner. But knowing it was going to explode, why would Clark drop out? It doesn't seem to make sense."

    This doesn't seem to be taking off. We are talking Drudge stuff here. But it gave me a brief moment of hope.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004

    Memo To John Kerry: Heed Not The Call Of The Mild

    Arianna sure has metamorphosed over the years, huh:

    Despite Dean’s sensational crash-and-burn, the grassroots movement that sprung up around him remains intact and still desperate to move toward its stated goal: removing Bush, remaking the Democratic Party and, indeed, remaking America.

    Assuming the current campaign trajectory continues, Kerry should have a Brahmin death grip on the Democratic nomination long before the Ides of March is upon us. At which point, he’s going to hear an iPod’s worth of siren songs all warning him that he needs to rein in his newly fiery populist rhetoric for fear of scaring off Wall Street or soccer moms or NASCAR dads or those elusive DLC Dems.

    But the real kiss of death would be to heed this call of the mild.

    Instead of dusting off the Democratic Party’s tried-and-untrue swing-voter strategy — remember 2002? — Kerry needs to become the pied piper of the discontented, the disillusioned, the disenfranchised and the millions who have stopped believing that politics is the way to make a difference in the world.

    The country cannot afford another four years of George Bush’s destructive policies while the movement regroups and grows stronger. Which is why the Democrats cannot afford to squander the passion of the Deaniacs.

    Herseth has wide lead

    "Significant support from Republicans, women and Sioux Falls residents, combined with the low name recognition of her opponent, gives Stephanie Herseth a 58-29% lead in the U.S. House special-election race, according to a poll of likely South Dakota voters..."

    And here's ANOTHER chance to pick one up. He's not nearly as good-looking as Stephanie, but Ben Chandler is ahead in Tuesday's special in Kentucky...

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    Political Wire: Exit Polls

    Tennessee: Kerry 46, Edwards 28, Clark 15, Dean 7
    Virginia: Kerry 48, Edwards 25, Clark 11, Dean 8


    If this holds: buh-bye Clark...
    Game over for Dean's Web dreams?

    Well, maybe not, and I'm not in agreement with the general anti-Dean tone, but there are some gems here:

    Game over, webheads. John Kerry is cruising to the Democratic nomination the old-fashioned way. He squeezes fat cats and the traditional Democratic special interests for big donations. He runs slick television ads that voters respond to. He uses the mainstream media -- the TV networks and the major newspapers -- as his megaphones, because they reach the widest audiences...

    Friday, February 06, 2004

    Political Wire: Quote of the Day

    "Sen. Kerry is a war hero, but if campaigns were about war records, I would have won easily in 1996."

    -- Bob Dole

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004


    Glad to see you go go go go goodbye
    Glad to see you go go go go goodbye
    Glad to see you go go go go goodbye
    Go go go go goodbye
    -The Ramones

    Boy it's gonna be nice to say "I will support the Democratic nominee" without that stinkin' qualifier.
    Lieberman said conceding if winless Tuesday

    "While campaign staff continued to insist that Lieberman was moving on to campaign in Virginia this week, others close to the senator confirmed they have been told about a tentative 3 p.m. event in Hartford on Wednesday..."

    I'm gettin' ready to dance...

    Exit Poll Mania

    South Carolina: Edwards 44, Kerry 30, Sharpton 10
    Oklahoma: Edwards 31, Kerry 29, Clark 28
    Missouri: Kerry 52, Edwards 23, Dean 10
    Delaware: Kerry 47, Dean 14, Lieberman 11, Edwards 11
    Arizona: Kerry 46, Clark 24, Dean 13

    Of course, at this time last week, Dean was only down five in New Hampshire. But Edwards winning two would be interesting.

    If these numbers hold, watch the Iowa Boycotters both make a hasty exit. That sound you will hear will be my happy feet dancing on Joe Lieberman's political grave. More significantly, Clark's departure will make Dean the only plausible (sorry Dennis and Al) peace candidate...

    Monday, February 02, 2004

    Bush to pick panel for WMD inquiry

    "It turns out we were all wrong, and that is most disturbing," Kay said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing during which he called for an independent probe of the apparent intelligence failure.

    Hey, did anyone notice this today while everyone was going defcon 4 over Janet Jackson's boob?
    Herseth holds 10-1 advantage in money

    "Herseth released her first fund-raising report for the campaign, showing she had raised $352,358 in the fourth quarter of 2003. She also reported $354,023 on hand."

    Hey, that's countin' my 25 bucks.

    Sunday, February 01, 2004

    Techie Names Son Version 2.0

    "Version 2.0 was born Tuesday at Holland Community Hospital (search), and the proud parents took him home Friday..."

    Hm. Maybe they're just really big Garbage fans?