Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The weekend is too short. It like, you wait all week for Friday, and then it comes, and it's great. But then all of a sudden, it's five o'clock on Sunday and you realize that you have to go to work the very next day and your weekend has disappeared. I hate Mondays. and I hate work.

Meanwhile, add this to 9/11 fuck-ups. France knew that al-qaeda had a plot to hijack a US plane. They passed their analysis on to us...and we did...nothing. Also, this bit of information was left out of the 9/11 Commission Report. conspiracy theory away!

And this should come as no surprise - a new Pew study finds that watchers of Fox news are the least well informed of all groups surveyed. Watchers of the Today Show and the Colbert Report tied just as well as readers of major newspapers - who tied for the top spot. Back to Fox - only 30% could answer questions correctly 60% of the time.

We talked about this awhile ago, but the Army is so broken, they are training Airmen to be infantry - and guard conveys (one of the most dangerous positions in Iraq). Let me repeat, Air Force airmen as infantry. Why? Because the Army doesn't have enough troops in field. The airmen are given a 5 week course and then sent off to Iraq. Did I mention that most Air Force personnel don't receive ground combat training as part of their Air Force regimen? So they have to learn ground combat, weaponry, terminology and hierarchy all in 5 weeks. I feel that there is something very very wrong with this picture.

Someone just called to ask about the status of an order placed in November. She had not received it yet, and was wondering where it might be....six months later. who waits six months to find out what happened to an order?!

Presidential Candidate Roundup.
Democratic Hopefuls

Clinton - 44.0 (-4.1)
Clinton has fallen off a little in the polls - and Obama is closing hard. Rasmussen reports that they are dead even as of their 4/23 report. And this week she's going to have to answer tough questions about the gays. She came out swinging this weekend, saying that Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be repealed. But she will have to respond clearly to the gay marriage issue soon - the governor of NY is introducing legislation to legalize gay marriage in NY. Embracing the gays will alienate her from social conservatives...but she wasn't really looking to get their vote anyway. Standing up strongly for gays could earn her a few more progressive votes, but this vote is pretty much wrapped up in Edwards and Obama.

Obama - 32.0 (+2)
Big news this week is that he has pulled dead even with the front runner and presumed (wrongly) nominee Clinton. Still huge support among young people. He drew a crowd of 20k in Georgia. There's no doubt about it, Obama is a superstar. I still look forward to the primary debates. I want to know his stance on specific issues. Generally, he's still on his way up, look for him to surpass Clinton in the next couple of weeks.

Edwards - 8.8 (+.7)
Edwards is biding his time watch the big two duke it out. Without a doubt, he was the most support among the netroots, as well as having substantial infrastructure in place. And I like him on the issues. Out of Iraq, eliminate poverty, affordable health care, and strengthening the middle class. Of the candidates, he has the best message. Obama has pretty words, but I need substance.

Richardson - 2.6 (-.8)
Richardson is still suffering from low name recognition, but his successes in Darfur and North Korea show that he has the best foreign policy credentials. Look for his poll numbers will improve greatly with the primary debates...also, he is very articulate and he doesn't sound like a politician. He also has the cleanest plan for Iraq - get out, all our troops, immediately. If he doesn't get the nomination, he would be a rock-solid VP.

gore - 8.5 (-1)
Even as his poll numbers have remained steady, the Big Dog Bill Clinton insinuates that Gore will run, as does a top Democratic analyst. Reports are out that say that Gore is building his team quietly, the Gore camp calls it fantasy. I still think he'll get involved and he could rival the superstardom of Obama. He also already has staked out positions when it comes to Iraq and global warming.

GOP Hopefuls
Giuliani - 31.6 (-.9)
It's just not Giuliani's year. He can't hold the social conservative section of the Republican base. He's all over the place on abortion and he looks weak on national security because of the continuing Kerik story. Nothing like endorsing a mob-tied, ethically challenged, soon to be indicted friend for a top law enforcement spot to jump start you campaign. I might be wrong, but I don't think Giuliani's going to get the nomination, and if he does, he will lose to the Democratic contender.

McCain - 19.0 (0)
SHortly after officially declaring his candidacy, he let half his staff go. He's hanging out at around 20% support, but he's still toast. He's is inextricably tied to the war in Iraq, the escalation (surge), and the failure in Iraq. The American people are tied of the war, and they're tired of politicians who continue to stay the course of the edge of a cliff. He'll pull out soon...of the race that is, no the war.

Romney - 16.0 (-1.6)
He's hanging in there. He might be tied with Giuliani as the GOP's best bet. And that's not saying much. He has a similar problem as Giuliani, he can't hold a large chunk of the Republican base. For him, it's the evangelicals. Unfortunately for him, even though the Church of Latter Day Saints sees itself as a Christian denomination, most other denominations don't/won't view it that way. And he can't count on the total support of all mormons either. Witness the backlash at BYU over Cheney's upcoming speech at Graduation. A large minority of students are boycotting his speech and are instead taking part in an alternative graduation. The managed to raise a ridiculous amount of money (with the huge support of Dkos) in a very short time to make it possible. Wow. Christians who put their mouth and their money where their beliefs are. Speaking of beliefs, that video of Romney endorsing gays, abortion and affirmative action, that's still shooting around Youtube is going to continue to bite him in the ass.

Thompson - 17.3 (+5.3)
He hasn't declared. He hasn't raised any money. But he's being touted as the savior of 2008. He seems to have one thing that the other candidates don't have. He's definitely conservative. Unfortunately for him, he hasn't yet garnered the favor of the Religious Right, in fact, they already said that he's not Christian, and that's pretty much the end of it. (Like I said, that doesn't bode well for Romney either.) And oddly enough, Intrade gives him a 20% at garnering the VP slot. This makes zero sense to me. It's not like he brings great experience to the ticket, so I'm not sure where this support is coming from. Be that as it may, with the GOP field so very weak, look for anything to happen.

gingrich - 3.2 (+.3)
He's languishing in 3% territory. We'll talk about him more if he breaks into the double digits.

And this has been your Presidential Roundup.

Tillman/Lynch Hearing

Recap Tillman: Pat Tillman was a former NFL player who renounced his million dollar contract to join the Army Rangers. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. The military subsequently covered up the fratricide and ordered soldiers to keep quiet. His memorial service was nationally televised and he became a symbol of American patriotism and heroism, awarded both a purple heart and the silver star. The only problem was, he had been killed by friendly fire - and the military and the Administration knew about it...and fed the American people a line of propaganda. Tillman's mom and brother are still demanding to know the truth, today they had an audience with the Oversight committee.

Tillman's mom and brother are incredibly well spoken, honest and heartbreaking. They cut through the Republican excuse making, and answered the Committee's questions with precision and integrity. Compare their testimony to that of AG Gonzales.

Bottom line: Eye witness accounts were falsified. Soldiers were ordered to stay quiet. Tillman was made a symbol and his memory was used to justify an unjust war. As of yet, no one has been held responsible for the falsification of the circumstances of his death. The Democratic members of the committee had names for the military's crimes, names like obstruction of justice, and conduct unbecoming of an officer.

Recap Lynch: Jessica Lynch's unit was ambushed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, by Iraqi military. She was wounded in the firefight and captured by the Iraqis. US special forces subsequently "rescued" her from an Iraqi hospital. The video of her "rescue" was replayed over and over in the US media, accompanied by the story of Jessica Lynch who had fought off the attackers, until injured. The only problem with that account? It wasn't even remotely true.

Jessica Lynch was poised and succinct in her testimony today. She testified that despite being awarded the bronze star for bravery her gun jammed and that she had not been able to take even one shot. She was not "the little girl 'Rambo' from the hills of West Virginia who went down fighting." She said further that "the truth is always more heroic than the hype."

Bottom line: The military used the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman stories as propaganda and sold it to the American public to promote an unjust war.

Speaking of soldiers being rescued. Why haven't we recovered the American soldier that was captured in Sadr City nearly six months ago? We don't even hear about him/her anymore - and we haven't since Bush called off the search at the request of the Iraqi Prime Minister. Let me be clear, the US Commander-in-Chief abandoned one of our own soldiers in enemy territory. And we still don't know what happened to him/her.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I hate getting on the elevator with three people going up to the fourth floor and one asshole that can't take the stairs up one flight. If you are old, or injured, that's fine. But if you're pretty fit looking, or you should try and get fit. Just take the stairs. The stairs are closer to the front door that the elevator. So if you really are that lazy, consider that you could save your precious energy, by taking the stairs, right inside the door. AND it has the added benefit of people not hating on you, to start your day.

We wear headsets here, so that we can answer the phone with speed, and type while talking. However, there is an incessant high pitched whine in the ear piece when there is no one on the phone. Sometimes I wonder how much brain damage that whine is causing me.

Ring Ring
Me: Customer support, this is Jalynn, how can I help you?
caller: Can you fax me the form
me: which form?
caller: the one to order product a
me: are you a company employee? (only company employees can order product A via faxed form)
caller: no my account number is XXX-XXXX-X
me: ok, that's a product B account - you need to place your order online
caller: can't you just send me the form?
me: unfortunately, no. you have to place your order online.
caller: well my PC is being worked on.
me: well is there another computer that can access the internet?
caller: can' you just send me the form?
me. no, orders have to be placed online.
caller: nevermind
Hangs up.

Here's some song lyrics for you. The band is Metric. The song is "Succexy."

Lonesome for no one when
The room was empty and
War as we knew it was obsolete
Nothing could beat complete denial

All we do is talk, sit, switch screens
As the homeland plans enemies

All we do is talk, static split screens
As the homeland plans enemies

Invasion's so succexxy

Let's drink to the military
The glass is empty
Faces to fill and cars to feed
Nothing could beat complete denial

All we do is talk, sit, switch screens
As the homeland plans enemies

All we do is talk, static split screens
As the homeland plans enemies

Invasion's so succexxy

Passive attraction, programmed reaction
Passive attraction, programmed reaction
Action distraction, more information
Flesh saturation, lips on a napkin
Ass ass ass

Where does the time go?
We're waking up so slowly
Days are horizontal lately
Out of body, watched from above
Out of body, watched from above

Passive attraction, programmed reaction
More information, cash masturbation
Follow the pattern- the hemlines, the headlines
Action distraction,faster than fashion
Faster than fashion,faster than fashion

Lonesome for no one when
The room was empty and
War as we knew it was obsolete
Nothing could beat denial

Speaking of invasion - Gates announces tours extended to 15 months for all active duty troops in Iraq. nice.

Presidential Candidate Roundup.

Democratic Hopefuls

Clinton - 48.1 (+.5)
Still the favorite, but Obama is in striking distance. More money, best staff, highest unfavorables. Clinton has zero problem with name recognition, and there are very few people who haven't already made up their mind about her. This is could be trouble when trying to pick up new supporters, she's not going to be able to change many people's minds. Trouble too for future fundraising...a majority of her Q1 funds came from big donors - these donors have maxed out their donations and are by law, not allowed to donate any more. She won't raise as much in Q2.

Obama - 30 (-1.0)
Did well at his appearance on Letterman. Witty, charismatic - the only downside is that he doesn't have much Washington experience. His campaign has easily countered this with "GOOD!". He has huge support among young people...attracted a crowd of 15,000 in Austin, and routinely attracts crowds of thousands. His facebook group has 323,000 members. If he can turn even half of those members into donors, he'll exceed the number of donors in Q1. He's also not afraid of a fight - he recently slammed John McCain's Baghdad stroll: " The idea that the situation in Iraq is improving because it takes a security detail of 100 soldiers, three Black Hawk helicopters and a couple of Apache gunships to walk through a market in the middle of Baghdad is simply not credible and not reflective of the facts on the ground" Obama's stock can only go up.

Edwards - 8.1
Despite the lame mis characterization of the Edwards' as political opportunists, not doing the right thing with Elizabeth Edward's cancer diagnosis, Edwards remains the darling of the netroots, consistently winning straw polls. He put up very respectable numbers in Q1 and continuing to be a strong advocate for the poor and disadvantaged. Look for his stock to keep rising too.

Richardson - 3.4
Richardson doesn't poll strongly, he struggles with name recognition. If he can overcome this he will be a strong contender. He's led high profile delegations, and negotiated a cease-fire in Darfur and negotiated with North Korea to keep their nuclear disarmament on track. He is quite possibly the most respected and accomplished person in politics today, on the issue of foreign policy. And he'd bring ALL the troops home. He hasn't raised a lot of money - but look for him as a possible VP.

Gore - 9.5 (+.4)
Who knows? He tops Richardson and Edwards in polling but hasn't declared. He could raise gobs of money if he announced, even if he came in late. And he's not the soft-spoken, robotlike VP you might remember, he's found his Voice. With an Oscar, maybe a Nobel Peace Prize and coming off the Live Earth tour he could be the bona fide superstar candidate, instead of just being a superstar. If Gore enters the race, I'll whip out my checkbook, and volunteer as fast as possible. If he's going to run, look for him to drop 15 lbs.

GOP Hopefuls

Giuliani - 30.5
His Q1 numbers weren't so great. He has ties to organized crime. NYPD hates him. Three marriages. Liberal stances on abortion and gay rights. And recently, he seems out of touch- when asked to guess the price of milk, he was off by more than 226%. He may be America's mayor, but he seems out of touch with everyday Americans, and religious conservatives especially. I don't see his candidacy going anywhere but down. He certainly can't carry the Religious Right vote.

McCain - 19.0 (+1.3)
Despite several high profile endorsements from GOP heavyweights, including Kissinger, McCain's fortunes are still tied to Bush's sinking boat. Despite being the presumptive nominee, he failed to raise the amount of money expected of him in Q1. He insists that things are improving in Iraq, despite the ever increasing body count. And he insists along with Bush that the US can stay the course and things will magically get better. Oh yeah, and that stroll through a Baghdad market, he says he didn't need the 100 or so US troops and four US helicopters that provided protection. In technical terms, he's toast.

Romney - 17.6 (+.3)
Despite raising the most money in Q1 for a GOP candidate, his campaign is in trouble. From claiming that he's been a lifelong hunter (which has been soundly debunked) to his flip flopping on hot issues like abortion and gay rights, Romney comes off as a LIAR. This combined with his inability to carry the Religious Right (they don't accept Mormon as a valid Christian denomination) tells me his campaign is going nowhere.

Thompson - 12.0 (-7.0)
The former senator turned TV actor hasn't even declared his candidacy yet, and we learn today that he has also been diagnosed with cancer. (Note: I don't see anyone calling for him to stay at home with his family, a la Edwards) He's definitely conservative, but failed to get the approval of James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. And how conservative is he? His most recent activity as a senator was to see that chief justice Roberts was confirmed, and he also raised money for Scooter Libby's defense. In the absence of a qualified conservative candidate, look for Thompson's star to rise....assuming he declares.

Gingrich - 3.5 (-.2)
He has the same name recognition problem as Clinton. Everyone already knows who he is and already has an opinion about him. He also has marital problems, stemming from his cheating during the Lewinsky affair, when he was railing about the morality of the Presidency. I don't see him as a serious candidate.

And this has been your Presidential Roundup.

Make no mistake, I like all the Dem candidates. I look forward to the primary debates - of which there will be six-none hosted by FOX (much to their chagrin). I haven't decided on which candidate to support yet. I will support whichever candidate wins the nomination. More important than any intra-party bickering, is getting a Democrat elected to the White House and getting enough Democrats elected to Congress so that we can set this nation right. Frankly, I think that any candidate that we have, can beat any candidate that they put up. But we all have to work hard to make sure that no more elections are stolen from us. If you don't have the money or time to spare, just make sure that all your friends get out to vote. That is invaluable.

Remember the woman that wanted the form from earlier? yeah, she called back. and had the same story, wanted the same form. and I'm thinking, does she think someone is going to tell her something different? Did she think that I was lying to her earlier?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm not going to lie, I love Xena. And really, how can you not love the campy-ness, the pseudo greek mythology, the swords and armor, the delicious Xena/Gabrielle subtext made maintext? Xena was the touchstone that made "gay" very real to a scared 15 year-old, and made it ok. I credit Xena with my coming out. Thanks, Warrior Princess.

Upon arrival at work today, I noticed four, count them four, turkeys. Full grown, live, wild turkeys. Big ones. Three females and a male. A giant male. That's all, I thought I was crazy, but other people were pointing and gawking at them too. I'm used to ducks and geese at the company pond, but never have I seen turkeys.

Well, next week is a big week for politics. Q1 detailed numbers are released on the 16th, the Gonzales hearing is on the 17th and the Rice hearing is on the 18th. Fun fun and a bottle of rum.

A little birdie told me that Gonzales can't keep his story straight in mock hearing testimony. Apparently he repeatedly contradicted himself and got the time line confused. Must be hard to keep all the lies straight, eh Gonzales? I'm very excited about this hearing and will diligently be watching and taking notes that day.

Man, I just got talked to by my boss about a client who complained about me. That was a first. Stupid fucker. We told you that it was delivered. We checked with UPS that it was delivered. It was delivered to the correct address and was signed for - what else, exactly, do you want me to do?

Turns out what I always said about there not being straight girls, might be true. From the NYT:

"In experiments in which subjects are shown photographs of desirable men or women, straight men are aroused by women, gay men by men.

Such experiments do not show the same clear divide with women. Whether women describe themselves as straight or lesbian, "Their sexual arousal seems to be relatively indiscriminate — they get aroused by both male and female images," Dr. Bailey said. "I'm not even sure females have a sexual orientation. But they have sexual preferences. Women are very picky, and most choose to have sex with men."" (emphasis mine)

Hopefully, there will be more news and such tomorrow.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Iranians have said that they will free the 15 sailors as a "gift" to the UK. So, stand down with the nukes, George.

The AP is reporting that Obama raised $25 million in Q1.

Just to review:(in millions)

Clinton - $26 (50k donors)
Obama - $25 (100k donors- 50% were online donors)
Edwards - $14 (40k donors)
Richardson - $6
Giuliani - $15
McCain - $12.5 (45k donors)
Romney - $23 (32k donors)

The previous record for fundraising was $8.7 for the GOP and $8.9 for the Dems. Indiviudal donors are allowed to give $2300 each to their candidate's primary and general election fund. ie, if the candidate does not win the nomination, they do not get to use the money for the general election, and they cannot touch that money for the primary. Big thing to note is how many of the candidates donors "maxed out" their donation in this quarter. Those individuals will not be able to donate again in Q2. What will be important for the duration of fundraising are those small donors who can give and give again, because there total donations don't go over $2300. We'll have more info when it is all released on April 15. I've set up a (two)calendar(s) showing political events here (one for GOP events, and one for Dem events). I'll accept events to go on the calendar.

Newsweeks's Jonathon Alterman predicts that Rove will be out of the White House by the end of the year. He might finally have caught himself up in too many scandals. I look forward to hearings...and his testimony.

Score 1+ for the gays! New Hampshire House passes civil unions.Monica Goodling - the DoJs liason to the White House has said she is invoking the 5th Amendment before being called to testify in front of the Judiciary committee. Yesterday Democrats shapapped her, right in the face. They sent her a letter stating, quite accurately, that you cannot invoke the 5th before being questioned - and you cannot wholesale take the 5th and not testify at all. She has to appear, and invoke the 5th on each question. HAHAHA. I can't wait for that hearing. The one about how two staffers with barely any lawyering experience fired a bunch of US attorney - arguably lawyers at the top of their game. HAHAHA. I can't wait.

Just a reminder - tax day is in a little less than 2 weeks. I strongly recommend, if you have simple taxes to do them online with Turbo Tax - it's free and will let you do federal and state returns. Jen and I got our refunds in about a week. And make sure to claim the federal excise tax credit - if you've every paid for long distance, even on you cellie, you can claim this. hey! free money. so do those taxes and feel free to bitch about how much the feds owe you, how much they've stolen from you, etc.

Here's a game. You are an office worker. You have five minutes to use objects found in an office to kill yourself. It took my almost all of my time, but I was finally able to escape cubeland.

Oh, and from our press conference yesterday, Bush kept throwing around april 15th as the day that the army would run out of funds for our troops in Iraq. Only problem? They won't actually run out of funds until July. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service analyzed funding for US military operations in Iraq, and found that lo and behold, they won't run out of money until July. So, Bush lied....again. He can bitch and moan about how soldiers are going to be without things they need etc. but in reality, they'll be fine - oh except for when he sent them off without the equipment and training they needed in the first place - they still don't have that. But point is, this supplemental bill is not needed before July. Hopefully, by the grace of God, we'll be bringing the troops home by then.

Meanwhile, more kids were caught having sex in school in front of their classmates. 5th graders. 2 pairs. what the fuck?

I heart Roxette.

Remember how we were talking about how for some reason the US gets to keep bases and troops everywhere in the world, and yet, other countries are not allowed to have troops stationed on US territory. Funny that. At any rate, the US now wants to deploy the "missile shield" (i don't know why it's called the missile shield, it has failed to provide reliable protection from long, short and medium range missiles. it should be called the missile sieve.) to Eastern protect against, you guessed it, IRAN. Meanwhile, Russia is pissed, they don't really want to have a whole bunch of missiles deployed to their former states. Seems they don't really want missiles on their doorstep. Can't say i blame them. I seem to recall the Soviet Union doing something like this....hmm... what was that event....oh yes, the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviets were going to station missiles in Cuba - we were a little pissed about it. Awesome. But now, instead of having JFK at the button, who against the advice of his generals, refused to launch, we have Bush. Fantastic. I think we should move the hands on the Doomsday clock forward another minute.

From a posting at Dkos:

"The facts are stark and the facts are real...Our men and women in uniform love their country more than their comfort. They have never failed us, and wemust not fail them. But the best intentions and the highest morale are undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, and rapidly declining readiness"

"...these are signs of a military in decine and we must do something about it. The reasons are clear. Lack of equipment and material. Undermaning of units. Overdeployment. Not enough time for family. Soldiers who are on food stamps, and soldiers who are poorly housed. ...[we] have a simple message today for our mend and women in uniform, their parents, their loved ones, their supporters: Help is on the way!"

Hmmmmm...who could have said that? It sounds remarkably like what Democrats are saying now. "Back-to-back deployments," "shortages of spare parts and equipment," "declining readiness," "undermaning of units," "overdeployment," "not enough time for family." Sounds very, very familiar. So who said this? Bush. At a VFW speech. August 21, 2000. Mother fucker.

Remember that Chiquita banana story from a couple of weeks ago? Chiquita international gave nearly $2M to terrorists groups in Columbia. Those groups were responsible 62 massacres in the area, during the time of the payments. So Chiquita International DIRECTLY financed terrorism. Columbia is now seeking the extradition for prosecution in country of senior executives that approved the payments. It remains to be seen if the US will cooperate.

I think that great innovation can be achieved by the private sector if they are motivated by lots of money, and their opportunity for corruption and cheating is limited. For example the X prize foundation sponsored the competition for the first privately built spacecraft, SpaceShipOne collected the $10M prize. They've now released guidelines for Automotive X. The winner would build a vehicle that got 100 mpg, was easy to mass produce and was appealing to consumers. The vehicles will face real-world tests in 2009. Current mpg, on average, is 20. I know. absurd. Hopefully this competition will be able to do what all the big automotive makes have failed to do - produce a vehicle with excellent gas mileage that is commercially viable.

This is a major bummer.

And here's a bummer for the GOP and Karl Rove. Rep Waxman instructed the RNC to preseve all emails on their servers last week, that had been used by White House personnel. Today he requested all emails from that server "that relate to the use of federal agencies and federal resources for partisan political purposes." What fish are next for the frying?

Giuliani takes a another hit today. CNN is reporting that Giuliani has affirmed that he still supports public funding for abortions. The position is the same as his position when he was the mayor of New York City. The religious right may have been able to overlook his three marriages, but I doubt they will be able to ignore his stated position on one of their signature issues.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bush held a press conference today to bash Democrats for not funding the troops. Only problem is that the Democrats in the House and Senate passed legislation that WOULD fully fund the troops. See Bush is just going to veto it, and he's said so. So really, dear Mr. President, it is you who is not funding the troops. I'll have detailed comments on the presser when the transcript becomes available. I would have listened to the whole thing, but can't be late for work, can we?

It's supposed to storm severely later today. (though, from the looks of the radar, it's going to miss us.) I can only hope and pray that we get the hail that they said we would get. The last time there was a hail storm, we got good sized hail that caused about $3600 in damage to my car. The thing is, you wouldn't notice it. So I didn't bother getting it fixed, and I took the check that the insurance company gave me and used it to pay for the car, and my insurance for several months. I suspect that hail damage on the G6 would not show, so pray for hail.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Clean Air Act does regulate CO2 emissions and directed the EPA that they would need to start regulating. Which is good, because as a country, we suck at it. and it's hurting the world.

Related: As Former Pres-Vice President Gore might say -Your baby has a fever - you don't question the doctor. you do everything you can to break the fever. I agree!

Aaaaaannnnnnnd, I just bought Lollapalooza tickets. August 3-5, Grant Park, Chicago. It should be a helluva time.

Still looking for some serious storms to roll in. It's definitely gotten darker outside.

Still no word on Obama's fundraising numbers. CNN floated $25 million. Obama's campaign says they'll release the goods tomorrow. Look for HUGE numbers.

New Mexico joins the ranks of those enlightened states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Tell me again why you can get years and years in prison for having a little weed, when rapists, child molesters and murderers get off with just a couple years? I think we should revamp the entire criminal code. Just re-do the whole damn thing - because right now, it's just a patchwork quilt. Let's make a scale.
Possession of pot - no crime
Possession of other drugs - no crime
Selling to Kids (under 18) - fine, or couple years (what's the time for selling any other kind of drug to kids?)
Crimes against property - some jail time/fine/reparations
White collar crime - some jail, if you are enron, and you fucked a lot of people, serious jail time.
Crimes against people - serious jail time
Crimes against kids - serious jail time

Thompson jumps to 22.5% on Intrade. Beats McCain and Romney. Giuliani falls to 30.2%.

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT (if you can bear to read it all, my comments in bold
The Rose Garden
10:09 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I've just had a good meeting with Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, and General Pete Pace (who says that? Who says Sec. Defense BOB Gates and General PETE Pace? Who does that?), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Secretary Gates and General Pace updated me on the deployment of American reinforcements to Iraq. (since when are we calling it reinforcements?)

At this moment, two of the five additional U.S. Army brigades we are sending for this mission are operating in Baghdad. A third brigade is now moving from Kuwait, and will be fully operational in Baghdad in the coming weeks. And the remaining two brigades will deploy in April and May. It will be early June before all U.S. forces dedicated to the operation are in place. So this operation is still in its beginning stages. (so, not really a SURGE, huh, really more of an ESCALATION)

The reinforcements we've sent to Baghdad are having a impact. (even Word flagged this grammar mistake, it should be "having an impact"- who talks like this? He went to Ivy League school and no one else in his family seems to have this inability to use basic grammar) They're making a difference. (really? Did they make a difference to the 500+ Iraqis that were killed last week?) And as more of those reinforcements arrive in the months ahead, their impact will continue to grow.(yeah, by putting more soldiers into harms way and helping terrorists hone their skills and attracting every anti-US militant to Baghdad to have their own go at our troops) But to succeed in their mission, our troops need Congress to provide the resources, funds, and equipment they need to fight our enemies. (and they did, both the House and the Senate passed bills.)

It has now been 57 days since I requested that Congress pass emergency funds for our troops. (thinkprogress has thoroughly debunked this 57 days business. The last two times that bush has requested supplemental budgets, it took the do-nothing GOP congress 86 days and 119 days to get something signed.) Instead of passing clean bills that fund our troops on the front lines, the House and Senate have spent this time debating bills that undercut the troops, by substituting the judgment of politicians in Washington for the judgment of our commanders on the ground, setting an arbitrary deadline for withdrawal from Iraq, and spending billions of dollars on pork barrel projects completely unrelated to the war.

(OK, 1. funding the troops does not undercut the troops. 2. wanting them to come home does not undercut the troops. 3. you've already substituted the judgement of "politicians in Washington" – YOU! For the commanders on the ground. Like when the commanders told you the surge was a bad idea, and you fired them, and then found someone to rubberstamp your harebrained surge scheme. Like when you went against all of your Joint Chiefs. Like when you ignored everything the Iraq Study Group suggested. 4. it's not an arbitrary deadline, it's time for an orderly and safe redeployment of our troops. 5. a) every spending bill has pork b) this pork includes funding for New Orleans reconstruction and veterans relief, yeah, that pork)

I made it clear for weeks that if either the House or Senate version of this bill comes to my desk, I will veto it. And it is also clear from the strong support for this position in both Houses that the veto would be sustained. The only way the Democrats were able to pass their bill in the first place was to load the bill with pork and other spending that has nothing to do with the war. (speaking of which, since you knew the war was going on, why didn't you ask for the funding in your real budget? And not in this emergency, supplemental bill?)

There was -- one leading Democrat in the House said, "A lot of things had to go into that bill that certainly those of us who respect great legislation did not want there." That's an honest appraisal of the process that we just witnessed. Still, the Democrats in Congress continue to pursue their bills, and now they have left Washington for spring recess without finishing the work. (Says the man who broke all the records when it comes to vacationing presidents. More than 335 days of vacations in four years. That's 80 days a year. 22%. I think the average US citizen gets at most 21 days of vacation a year. So don't talk about vacation, like you don't take any, because you take a lot, ALOT)

Democrat (SLUR) leaders in Congress seem more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than in providing our troops what they need to fight the battles in Iraq. (are you really the one to talk about politicizing agencies and agendas? Re: DoJ and GSA) If Democrat (SLUR) leaders in Congress are bent on making a political statement, then they need to send me this unacceptable bill as quickly as possible when they come back. I'll veto it, and then Congress can get down to the business of funding our troops without strings and without delay. (really, to prevent delay, why don't you just sign it. Or, ask yourself why didn't Republicans in Congress block the passage of the bill?)

If Congress fails to act in the next few weeks, it will have significant consequences for our men and women in the Armed Forces. As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace, recently stated during his testimony before a House subcommittee, if Congress fails to pass a bill I can sign by mid-April, the Army will be forced to consider cutting back on equipment, equipment repair, and quality of life initiatives for our Guard and reserve forces. These cuts would be necessary because the money will have to be shifted to support the troops on the front lines. (1. Congress acted. YOU are holding up funding, so this is all on your head. 2. why didn't you plan these expenses in your initial budget?)

The Army also would be forced to consider curtailing some training for Guard and reserve units here at home. This would reduce their readiness and could delay their availability to mobilize for missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. If Congress fails to pass a bill I can sign by mid-May, the problems grow even more acute. The Army would be forced to consider slowing or even freezing funding for its depots, where the equipment our troops depend on is repaired. They will also have to consider delaying or curtailing the training of some active duty forces, reducing the availability of these forces to deploy overseas. If this happens, some of the forces now deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq may need to be extended because other units are not ready to take their places. (1. congress already passed a bill. 2. maybe you should have thought about all of this before announcing your "surge")

If Congress does not act (they did), the Army may also have to delay the formation of new brigade combat teams, preventing us from getting those troops into the pool of forces that are available to deploy. If these new teams are unavailable, we would have to ask other units to extend into the theater. (which you're doing anyway.)

In a letter to Congress, Army Chief of Staff General Pete Schoomaker put it this way: "Without approval of the supplemental funds in April, we will be forced to take increasingly draconian measures, which will impact Army readiness and impose hardships on our soldiers and their families." (SO BRING THEM HOME!)

In a time of war, it's irresponsible for the Democrat (SLUR, you know, he apologized for doing this at the State of the Union, but here he is, doing it again. It's DemocratIC - you dumb shit. We don't say "Republic leadership") leadership -- Democratic leadership in Congress to delay for months on end while our troops in combat are waiting for the funds. (they didn't delay, you did) The bottom line is this: Congress's failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines. (actually, it's your morally bankrupt war and you ill-advised surge that's keeping soldiers from their families) And others could see their loved ones headed back to the war sooner than they need to. (you mean like sending them out after only 7 months rest, the earliest soldiers have ever been sent out between tours? You mean like that? Someone should get you're the memo – you're already doing that.) That is unacceptable to me, and I believe it is unacceptable to the American people. (which is why a majority of Americans want to bring the troops home.)

Members of Congress say they support the troops (they do). Now they need to show that support in deed (they did), as well as in word. Members of Congress are entitled to their views and should express them. Yet debating these differences should not come at the expense of funding our troops. (it didn't – your differences are preventing our troops from being funded) Congress's most basic responsibility is to give our troops the equipment and training they need to fight our enemies and protect our nation. (are you fucking kidding me? The democrats want to mandate that you not send soldiers to war without adequate equipment and training, and the GOP voted against it. The dems want you to certify that you will not send them without training and equipment. You're saying no. The dems want to send more body armor and up armor kits. You should have sent them in the first place!) They're now failing in that responsibility, and if they do not change course in the coming weeks, the price of that failure will be paid by our troops and their loved ones.

I'll now answer some questions, starting with Jennifer Loven.

Q Thank you, sir. You agreed to talk to Syria in the context of --


Q You've agreed to talk to Syria in the context of the international conferences on Iraq. What's so different or wrong about Speaker Pelosi having her own meetings there? And are you worried that she might be preempting your own efforts?

THE PRESIDENT: We have made it clear to high-ranking officials, whether they be Republicans or Democrats, that going to Syria sends mixed signals -- signals in the region and, of course, mixed signals to President Assad. And by that, I mean, photo opportunities and/or meetings with President Assad lead the Assad government to believe they're part of the mainstream of the international community, when, in fact, they're a state sponsor of terror; when, in fact, they're helping expedite -- or at least not stopping the movement of foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq; when, in fact, they have done little to nothing to rein in militant Hamas and Hezbollah; and when, in fact, they destabilize the Lebanese democracy.

There have been a lot of people who have gone to see President Assad -- some Americans, but a lot of European leaders and high-ranking officials. And yet we haven't seen action. In other words, he hasn't responded. It's one thing to send a message; it's another thing to have the person receiving the message actually do something. So the position of this administration is that the best way to meet with a leader like Assad or people from Syria is in the larger context of trying to get the global community to help change his behavior. But sending delegations hasn't worked. It's just simply been counterproductive. (speaking of people visiting Syria, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had this to say, "It's interesting because three of our colleagues, who are all Republicans, were in Syria yesterday and I didn't hear the White House speaking out about that" And that is why I love the Speaker) (speaking of delegations - Richardson went to Darfur and negotiated a cease fire, and now he's being sent to North Korea to negotiate the release of missing servicemen. so that's what i have to say about politicians going on delegations)


Q Thank you, sir. Would the U.S. be willing to give up five Iranians held in Iraq if it would help persuade Iran to give up the 15 British sailors?

THE PRESIDENT: Steven, I said the other day that -- first of all, the seizure of the sailors is indefensible by the Iranians (You're not helping!), and that I support the Blair government's attempts to solve this issue peacefully. (because if it were up to me, I'd nuke those son of a bitches) So we're in close consultation with the British government. I also strongly support the Prime Minister's declaration that there should be no quid pro quo's when it comes to the hostages. (I don't believe that quid pro quo can be made plural) (and lets talk about how the US kidnapped five Iranian DIPLOMATS, and yet all we're talking about is the 15 SAILORS who were captured, in what may or may not be Iranian waters, there's really no way to know.)

Let's see here -- Baker, Baker. Are you here? Yes, there you are.

Q Sir, your administration evaluated all 93 U.S. attorneys, in part on the basis of loyalty. That was one of the criteria that was used. What role should loyalty to you play in the evaluation of those charged with administering justice and enforcing the law?

THE PRESIDENT: Peter, obviously, when you name a U.S. attorney you want somebody who can do the job. That's the most important criterion, somebody who is qualified, somebody who can get a job done. The President names the U.S. attorneys, and the President has the right to remove U.S. attorneys. And on this particular issue, the one you're referring to, I believe it's the current issue of the eight U.S. attorneys, they serve at my pleasure, they have served four-year terms, and we have every right to replace them. And – (so what you're really saying, is, I'm not going to answer this question. He didn't ask if you had the right to remove the attorneys, he asked what role should loyalty play. Also, you may have the right to remove the USAs but not if it's because you don't want them to complete their investigations into GOP corruption. Did I mention that it is looking more and more like the folks that ordered their firings, had only tried a couple of legal cases between the two of them? Yeah.)

Q And what --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me finish, please. I am genuinely concerned about their reputations, now that this has become a Washington, D.C. focus. I'm sorry it's come to this. On the other hand, there had been no credible evidence of any wrongdoing. And that's what the American people have got to understand. We had a right to remove them; we did remove them. And there will be more hearings to determine what I've just said, no credible evidence of wrongdoing. (maybe, you shouldn't have fired them without telling them why? All any future employer knows is that the President of the United States of America fired these USAs for personnel reasons. Yeah, that doesn't hurt their reputations at all. Also there already were some hearings, we found out that Karl Rove was involved, and that Pat Fitzgerald was considered to be fired….while he was investigating Scooter Libby. Nope, no wrongdoing here, move along….)


Q Mr. President, a lot of the disagreement over --
Q Which one, him?
THE PRESIDENT: No, you. The cute-looking one. (Laughter.)

Q Thanks so much. A lot of the disagreement, sir, over the way you're handling Iraq, disagreements from the public and Congress, stems from the belief that things are not working, despite the surge. The Iraqis have met few, if any, of the benchmarks that were laid down for them so far. Senator McCain walked in the Baghdad marketplace with air cover and a company of troops. But people don't believe that this can work, and they question the continued sacrifice of U.S. troops to help make it work.

THE PRESIDENT: Bill, I'm very aware that there are a group of people that don't think we should be there in the first place (yeah, a pretty big fucking group of people, it's not a group anymore, it's like 40%). There are some who don't believe that this strategy will work. (including the Iraq Study Group) I've listened carefully to their complaints. Obviously, I listened to these concerns prior to deciding to reinforce (you mean surge? What is it really? Reinforcements, escalation, or surge?). This is precisely the debate we had inside the White House: Can we succeed? I know there are some who have basically said it is impossible to succeed (like Kissinger, a dove by no means). I strongly disagree with those people. I believe not only can we succeed, I know we must succeed.

And so I decided to, at the recommendation of military commanders (LIE), decided to send reinforcements. As opposed to leaving Baghdad and watching the country go up in flames, I chose a different route, which was to send more troops into Baghdad. And General Petraeus, who is a reasoned, sober man, says there is some progress being made. And he cites murders and -- in other words, there's some calm coming to the capital (there's calm coming because there's murders?). But he also fully recognizes, as do I, it's still dangerous (uh, yeah, you could say that). In other words, suiciders (not even a word) are willing to kill innocent life in order to send the projection that this is an impossible mission. (this whole sentence is terrible)

The whole strategy is to give the Iraqi government time to reconcile, time to unify the country, time to respond to the demands of the 12 million people that voted. (clearly that isn't working)
You've said the Iraqis haven't met any obligations; I would disagree with your characterization. They have said that they will send Iraqi forces into Baghdad to take the lead, along with U.S. troops, to bring security to Baghdad, and they've done that. They said they'd name a commander for Baghdad; they have done that. They said they'd send up -- they'd send troops out into the neighborhoods to clear and hold and then build; they're doing that. They send they would send a budget up that would spend a considerable amount of their money on reconstruction; they have done that. They're working on an oil law that is in progress. (ahhhh, here it is, OIL)

As a matter of fact, I spoke to the Prime Minister yesterday about progress on the oil law. He reminded me that sometimes the legislature doesn't do what the executive branch wants them to do. I reminded him, I understand what he's talking about. But, nevertheless, I strongly agree that we've got to continue to make it clear to the Iraqi government that this is -- the solution to Iraq, an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself, is more than a military mission -- precisely the reason why I sent more troops into Baghdad, to be able to provide some breathing space for this democratically-elected government to succeed. And it's hard work, and I understand it's hard work. (It's hard work. God he sounds so stupid when he says that.)

Secondly, as I mentioned in my opening remarks, Bill, there's only 40 percent of our troops that are there on the ground. And so I find it somewhat astounding that people in Congress would start calling for withdrawal even before all the troops have made it to Baghdad. (Yeah, because you sent them without talking to Congress, and some in Congress never wanted any troops to go, and a majority of Congress wants them all home.)

Let's see here -- Rutenberg. Jim Rutenberg.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Matthew Dowd, your chief campaign strategist in 2004, kind of issued a strong critique of you and your administration this weekend. I'm wondering if you were personally stunned, and if you worry about losing support of people -- of him and people like him?

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I respect Matthew. I've known him for a while; as you mentioned, he was an integral part of my 2004 campaign. I have not talked to Matthew about his concerns. Nevertheless, I understand his anguish over war. I understand that this is an emotional issue for Matthew, as it is a lot of other people in our country (yeah, a majority of people). Matthew's case, as I understand it, is obviously intensified because his son is deployable. In other words, he's got a son in the U.S. Armed Forces, and I can understand Matthew's concerns. (can you? Because I don't see the Bush twins in uniform, I see them smoking and drinking, but no uniforms, funny that)

I would hope that people who share Matthew's point of view would understand my concern about what failure would mean to the security of the United States. What I'm worried about is that we leave before the mission is done -- and that is a country that is able to govern, sustain and defend itself -- and that Iraq becomes a cauldron of chaos (who's doing his speech writing? "caldreon of chaos," really?) which will embolden extremists (because they are not emboldened already, when they can kill Americans pretty much at will, because we just keep sending more over? I heard that sectarian violence is down, a little, but attacks against US troops are still chugging along at the same rate.), whether they be Shia or Sunni extremists; which would enable extremists to have safe haven from which to plot attacks on America; which could provide new resources for an enemy that wants to harm us. (And there were no terrorists aiming attacks at the US from Iraq until we broke their country apart. Now sunnis and shias are tearing themselves apart. If we left, they would continue to tear themselves apart. But there would also, not be an occupation for them to rail against.)

And so, on the one hand, I do fully understand the anguish people go through about this war. And it's not just Matthew, there's a lot of our citizens who are concerned about this war. But I also hope that people will take a sober look at the consequences of failure in Iraq. My main job is to protect the people, and I firmly believe that if we were to leave before the job is done, the enemy would follow us here. And what makes Iraq different from previous struggles is that September the 11th showed that chaos in another part of the world, and/or safe haven for killers, for radicals, affects the security of the United States. (I wondered when he would get to 9/11, keep hitting us over the head with it George.)


Q Back to Iran, sir. ABC has been reporting that Iran will be capable of building a nuclear bomb within two years. Have you seen evidence that Iran is accelerating its nuclear program?

THE PRESIDENT: I haven't seen the report that you just referred to. I do share concerns about Iranian intention to have a nuclear weapon. I firmly believe that if Iran were to have a nuclear weapon, it would be a seriously destablizing influence in the Middle East. And therefore, we have worked to build a (an) international coalition to try to convince the Iranians to give up their weapon, to make it clear that they have choices to make -- whether the choice be isolation, or missed opportunity to grow their economies. And so we take your -- we take the
-- we take seriously the attempts of the Iranians to gain a nuclear weapon.

Q Have you seen an acceleration, though?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm not going to talk about any intelligence that I've seen one way or the other. But I do want you to know how seriously we take the Iranian nuclear issue. As a matter of fact, it is the cornerstone of our Iranian policy. It is -- and that's why we spend a lot of time in working with friends, allies, concerned people to rally international support, to make it clear to the Iranian people that there is a better option for them.

Now, we have no problem, no beef with the Iranian people. We value their history; we value their traditions (except 300 doesn't.). But their government is making some choices that will continue to isolate them and deprive them of a better economic future. So we take the issue very seriously. (What's that sound in the distance, are those war drums I'm hearing?)

Ken Herman.

Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, are you aware of the current price of a gallon of gas? Can you explain why it's gone up so sharply in recent weeks? And is there anything in the near future indicating that prices might start coming down again before the heavy summer driving season?

THE PRESIDENT: About $2.60 plus.

Q Where are you shopping, sir? (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Nationwide average. The price of gasoline, obviously, varies from region to region for a variety of reasons. Some has to do with the amount of taxation at the pump; some of it has to do with the boutique fuels that have been mandated on a state-by-state basis. But a lot of the price of gasoline depends on the price of crude oil. (and your cabal of oil company friends, who gouge and gouge and gouge)

And the price of crude oil is on the rise, and the price of crude oil is on the rise because people get spooked, for example, when it looks like there may be a crisis with a crude oil-producing nation, like Iran. But the whole point about rising crude oil prices and rising gasoline prices is that this country ought to work hard to get off our addiction to oil -- all the more reason why Congress ought to pass the mandatory fuel standards that I set forth, which will reduce our use of gasoline by 20 percent over the next 10 years. And there's two reasons why. One is for national security reasons, and two is for environmental concerns (since when has he ever, ever cared about the environment?) And I hope that we can get this done with the Congress, get it out of the Congress to my desk as quickly as possible. (why are oil companies seeing record profits, why not take a little bit of a hit, do the right thing and lower the price of gasoline?)

Dancer. Dancing man. That would be David Gregory. For those of you not aware, Gregory put on a show the --
Q Everybody's aware, Mr. President, thank you. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, maybe the listeners aren't.
Q Yes, that's all right.
THE PRESIDENT: That was a beautiful performance, seriously.

Q Thank you. Thank you very much. (Laughter.) Mr. President, you say the Democrats are undercutting troops, they way they have voted. They're obviously trying to assert more control over foreign policy. Isn't that what the voters elected them to do in November?

THE PRESIDENT: I think the voters in America want Congress to support our troops who are in harm's way. (and they did) They want money to the troops. (and they did) And they don't want politicians in Washington telling our generals how to fight a war (like you? Fundamentally you are a Washington politician). It's one thing to object to the policy, but it's another thing when you have troops in harm's way not to give them the funds they need. (um, except they did)

And no question there's been a political dance going on here in Washington. You've followed this closely, you know what I'm talking about. Not only was there a political dance going on -- in other words, people were trying to appeal to one side of their party or another -- but they then had to bring out new funding streams in order to attract votes to a emergency war supplemental.

And my concern, David, is several. One, Congress shouldn't tell generals how to run the war (and a President shouldn't fire generals he doesn't agree with); Congress should not short-change our military (that's right, we should make sure that the troops have the equipment and the training they need before they go to Iraq, oh yes, the Dems required that, and you're blocking it); Congress should not use a emergency war spending measure as a vehicle to put pet spending projects on that have nothing to do with the war. (1. why do we need emergency war spending, shouldn't we have built that in? 2. there has never been a "clean" spending bill, not ever.)

Secondly, as I mentioned in these remarks, delays beyond mid-April and then into May will affect the readiness of the U.S. military (your continued command will affect the readiness of the US military). So my attitude is, enough politics (exactly, sign the bill!). They need to come back, pass a bill -- if they want to play politics, fine; they continue to do that, I will veto it. But they ought to do it quickly. They ought to get the bill to my desk as quickly as possible, and I'll veto it. And then we can get down to the business of funding our troops without strings and without withdrawal dates. (but the people want a withdrawal date, you ass!)

It is amazing to me that, one, the United States Senate passed a -- confirmed General Petraeus overwhelmingly, after he testified as to what he thinks is necessary to succeed in Iraq, and then won't fund him. Secondly, we have put 40 percent of the reinforcements in place, and yet people already want to start withdrawing before the mission has had a chance to succeed. (we covered this)

They need to come off their vacation (how many days was it George? What percent? Oh yeah, 22% vacation for you), get a bill to my desk, and if it's got strings and mandates and withdrawals and pork I'll veto it. And then we can get down to the business of getting this thing done. And we can do it quickly. It doesn't have to take a lot of time. And we can get the bill -- get the troops funded, and we go about our business of winning this war. (define winning for me?)


Q Thank you, Mr. President. On climate change and the decision that was issued yesterday by the U.S. Supreme Court, what's your reaction to that decision? And don't you think that this makes some kind of broad caps on greenhouse gas emissions more or less inevitable?

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, the decision of the Supreme Court we take very seriously. It's the new law of the land. And secondly, we're taking some time to fully understand the details of the decision. As you know, this decision was focused on emissions that come from automobiles. My attitude is, is that we have laid out a plan that will affect greenhouse gases that come from automobiles by having a mandatory fuel standard that insists upon using 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017, which will reduce our gasoline usage by 20 percent and halt the growth in greenhouse gases that emanate from automobiles. In other words, there is a remedy available for Congress. And I strongly hope that they pass this remedy quickly.

In terms of the broader issue, first of all, I've taken this issue very seriously. I have said that it is a serious problem. I recognize that man is contributing greenhouse gases, that -- but here are the principles by which I think we can get a good deal. One, anything that happens cannot hurt economic growth. And I say that because, one, I care about the working people of the country, but also because, in order to solve the greenhouse gas issue over a longer period of time, it's going to require new technologies, which tend to be expensive. And it's easier to afford expensive technologies if you're prosperous.

Secondly, whatever we do must be in concert with what happens internationally, because we could pass any number of measures that are now being discussed in the Congress, but unless there is an accord with China, China will produce greenhouse gases that will offset anything we do in a brief period of time. (yeah, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it anyway. Because if we don't, it will be china + whatever we're putting out. You dumbass)

And so those are the principles that will guide our decision-making: How do you encourage new technology? How do you grow the economy? And how do you make sure that China is -- and India are a part of a rational solution?

Let's see here -- how about Bret Bair?

Q Mr. President, thank you. Since General Pace made his comments that got a lot of attention about homosexuality, we haven't heard from you on that issue. Do you, sir, believe that homosexuality is immoral?

THE PRESIDENT: I will not be rendering judgment about individual orientation. I do believe the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is good policy. (interesting, he didn't say yes.)

Sammon, yes.

Q Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: You're standing out there, I can see you.

Q When Congress has linked war funding with a timetable you have argued micromanagement. When they've linked it to unrelated spending, you've argued pork barrel. But now there's talk from Harry Reid and others that if you veto this bill, they may come back and just simply cut off funding. Wouldn't that be a legitimate exercise of a congressional authority, which is the power of the purse?

THE PRESIDENT: The Congress is exercising its legitimate authority as it sees fit right now. I just disagree with their decisions. I think setting an artificial timetable (you mean benchmarks?) for withdrawal is a significant mistake. It is a -- it sends mixed signals and bad signals to the region, and to the Iraqi citizens.

Listen, the Iraqis are wondering whether or not we're going to stay to help. People in America wonder whether or not they've got the political will to do the hard work -- that's what Plante was asking about. My conversations with President [sic] Maliki, he seems dedicated to doing that. And we will continue to work with him to achieve those objectives. But they're wondering whether or not America is going to keep commitments. And so when they hear withdrawal, and timetables, it, rightly so, sends different kinds of signals. (repeat after me, the Iraqi people want us to leave, they have asked us to leave on a number of occasions. Lather, rinse, repeat.)

It's interesting that Harry Reid, Leader Reid spoke out with a different option. Whatever option they choose, I would hope they get home (80 days! 80 fucking days a year!), get a bill, and get it to my desk. And if it has artificial timetables of withdrawal, or if it cuts off funding for troops, or if it tells our generals how to run a war, I'll veto it. And then we can get about the business of giving our troops what they need -- what our generals want them to have, and give our generals the flexibility necessary to achieve the objectives that we set out by reinforcing troops in Iraq.

You know, what's interesting is you don't hear a lot of debate about Washington as to what will happen if there is failure. Again, Plante mentioned that people don't think we can succeed -- in other words, there's no chance of succeeding. That's a part of the debate. But what people also have got to understand, what will happen if we fail. And the way you fail is to leave before the job is done; in other words, just abandon this young democracy -- say we're tired; we'll withdraw from Baghdad and hope there's not chaos.

I believe that if this capital city were to fall into chaos, which is where it was headed prior to reinforcing, that there would be no chance for this young democracy to survive (a Jeffersonian democracy that we forced on them). That's why I made the decision I made. And the reason why I believe it's important to help this young democracy survive is so that the country has a chance to become a stabilizing influence in a dangerous part of the world.
I also understand that if the country -- if the experience were to fail, radicals would be emboldened. People that had been -- that can't stand America would find new ways to recruit (recruiting and training against US troops, no less). There would be potentially additional resources for them to use at their disposal. (like when we didn't secure ammo dumps and they were able to commandeer them? Like that?)

The failure in Iraq would endanger American security. I have told the American people often it is best to defeat them there so we don't have to face them here, fully recognizing that what happens over there can affect the security here. That's one of the major lessons of September the 11th. In that case, there was safe haven found in a failed state, where killers plotted and planned and trained, and came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. And I vowed we weren't going to let that happen again. (uh huh, and where were you when those planes hit? Oh right, vacation.)

Secondly, the way to defeat the ideology that these people believe is through a competing ideology, one based upon liberty (like the liberty to smoke pot, oh wait, no) and human rights (and we have such a great record on human rights, cough abu ghraib cough) and human dignity (yeah, we're good at this one too). And there are some who, I guess, say that's impossible to happen in the Middle East. I strongly disagree. I know it is hard work. I believe it is necessary work to secure this country in the long run. (is this why we're building massive bases in Iraq)


Q Mr. President, the conservative newspaper columnist, Robert Novak, recently wrote that in 50 years of covering Washington, he's never seen a President more isolated than you are right now. What do you say to critics like Novak who say that you are more isolated now than Richard Nixon was during Watergate?

THE PRESIDENT: How did he define "isolated"?

Q He said you're isolated primarily from your own party, that Republican leaders on the Hill were privately telling him that, on the Gonzales matter in particular, you're very isolated.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you're going to find that the White House and the Hill are going to work in close collaboration, starting with this supplemental. When I announced that I will veto a bill with -- that withdrew our troops, that set artificial timetables for withdrawal, or micro-managed the war, the Republicans strongly supported that message (and let they're trying to distance themselves from you by letting you and only you take the fall on the supplemental). I think you'll find us working together on energy. They know what I know, that dependence on oil will affect the long-term national security of the country (I think the Dems have been saying this for years.). We'll work together on No Child Left Behind (ah, the initiative that you didn't fund). We'll work together on immigration reform (yeah, that didn't so much happen- mostly because your own party was severely divided - and the debate may have helped cost the GOP the November election). We'll work together, most importantly, on budget, to make sure this budget gets balanced without raising taxes. (ooooh taxes, scary…)

The other day, the Democrats submitted budgets that raised taxes on the working people, in order to increase the amount of money they have available for spending. That is a place where the Republicans and this President are going to work very closely together (right they're going to cut taxes for the very rich). I adamantly oppose tax increases, and so do the majority of members in the United States Congress. (but I like giving huge tax breaks to corporations and the very very rich)


Q Mr. President, good morning. You've talked --
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Good morning, that's a good way to start.

Q You've talked about the consequences of failure in Iraq, and you've said that enemies would follow us home. I wonder, given that, it seems like that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of people who are charged with the responsibility of keeping America safe. So what --

THE PRESIDENT: What was that again, Ed?

Q Well, you say that the enemies would follow us home --

THE PRESIDENT: I will -- that's what they'll do, just like September the 11th. They plotted, planned, and attacked.

Q So I wonder, in your own mind, how does that vision play out? How do they follow us home? Because we've spent so much money and put so much resources into making this country safer.

THE PRESIDENT: Ed, I'm not going to predict to you the methodology they'll use. Just you need to know they want to hit us again. We do everything we can here at the homeland to protect us. That's why I've got a Homeland Security Department. That's why we are inconveniencing air traffickers, to make sure nobody is carrying weapons on airplanes (yeah, except screeners missed 90% of explosives in a recent test). That's why we need border enforcement, with a comprehensive immigration bill, by the way, to make sure it's easier to enforce the border. I mean, we're doing a lot. That's why we need to make sure our intelligence services coordinate information better.

So we spend a lot of time trying to protect this country. But if they were ever to have safe haven, it would make the efforts much harder. That's my point. We cannot let them have safe haven again (ok, how about Saudi Arabia, that's where most of the attackers came from. How about Pakistan? Any terrorists there? How's Afghanistan looking these days? Sudan? Mmkay.). The lesson of September the 11th is, if these killers are able to find safe haven from which to plot, plan and attack, they will do so.

So, Ed, I don't know what methodology they'll use. We're planning for the worst. We cover all fronts (except we didn't enact the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission until the Dems passed that legislation this fall. So no, you're not doing everything you can, you're not covering all fronts). And it's hard to protect a big country like this, and I applaud those who have done a fantastic job of protecting us since September the 11th. But make no mistake about it, there's still an enemy that would like to do us harm. And I believe, whether it be in Afghanistan, or in Iraq, or anywhere else, if these enemy are able to find safe haven, it will endanger the lives of our fellow citizens.

I also understand that the best way to defeat them in the long run is to show people in the Middle East, for example, that there is a better alternative to tyrannical societies (again, abu ghraib, the battle at fallujua, the homemade videos that hit the internet daily of US troops committing horrible atrocities), to societies that don't meet the hopes and aspirations of the average people (speaking of average people, how about the average people here at home? How about a minimum living wage? How about universal healthcare?); and that is through a society that is based upon the universal concept of liberty.
Iraq is a very important part of securing the homeland, and it's a very important part of helping change the Middle East into a part of the world that will not serve as a threat to the civilized world, to people like -- or to the developed world, to people like -- in the United States.

So thank you all very much for your interest. I hope you have a nice holiday. Appreciate it. (?!)

Note: This presser was held in the Rose Garden with no chairs for the reporters and no microphones. weird.

I hate these new department meetings. They talk like I care. I don't. I am not an employee here. I am a temp. I don't have benefits. I don't get vacation. I don't care.

More bad news for McCain today. Theres another report that he sought leaving the GOP as recently as 2004. His staff approached Kerry about the VP position. Like I said a couple of days ago. McCain is toast.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


So today is the last day of the fiscal year here at the office. Instead of rewarding me with a permanent position, they have rewarded the department with a food day and some movie tickets. Hopefully the permanent position will be forthcoming. Until then, I will enjoy cookies, bacon, bagels, sausage links, gooey butter cake, donuts, the obligatory fruit, and various drinks. oh and the movie tickets, $20 fandango bucks, I'll take it.

So this headline (from NYT) does not bode well for Giuliani: "Giuliani testified he was briefed on Kerik in '00" Ok, so the headline really doesn't tell you what this is all I will. Giuliani nominated Kerik to be the top-law enforcement guy in New York City. The only problem, Kerik has significant ties to organized crime. Ooops.

McCain took another hit today. It's being reported that early on, at the start of the Bush Administration, McCain considered leaving the GOP - probably because the party stood by while Bush and Rove manhandled him right out of the race. So what does this do to his presidential aspirations? Well, he might be hoping that it makes him appeal more liberal/progressive/independent voters ( by running away from Bush. But in reality, it sure doesn't help in getting the conservative voters out to vote. Who wants to vote for someone who was going to desert his party, Lieber-I mean McCain? So whether it was planned to get him new voters, or is just some news that has come out, it looks BAD for John McCain.

Lunch was also provided today. I love Imo's.

I hate when we get special projects to do. Especially on a Friday, when normally I would just sit and do nothing, because call volume is very light on Fridays. But no. Today we had to make a bunch of calls to recipients of cards. The cards should have been bulk shipped to the client. But the client made an error and since they're a big account, we had to clean up the mess. Fun for us. and by us, I mean me and carl.

I like Carlos. He's a semi-new guy in a different department, but he's over in the bullpen alot. Hey's ex-military and can do the best gay man impression I've ever seen. Today he was saying something about Blackwater. He said I should look up Blackwater, and I said, you mean this Blackwater? and I held up my heavily noted copy of Blackwater: The rise of the worlds most powerful mercenary army. He laughed and high fived. This is one of the many reasons, I love carlos.

I'm off to edit my delicious tags. This should not be fun.


Why is it that mondays are so very very bad? Why are the weekends so short?GAH! I do not know what the problem is today. People are fucking crazy. Rhonda thinks it's the full moon. I don't have any explanation to the bitchy, assholish, nasty people we've been getting on the phones today. And I have to do more call-outs, grrrrrr.....

It's not that I'm tired per se, it's that I'm sleepy. I got enough sleep. I think, my funk is just due to the weekend being too short. The weather being nice (80 degrees today!), and me being at work. BOOOOO on work. The weekend was good though. Mexican on friday night - fantastic margaritas. The also have sour cream enchiladas - eh eh - good, I know. I had a chicken empanada (fantastic) and a chicken enchilada (and I couldn't have been happier).

We actually went out quite a bit last week. Dinner at Il Vicino on Tuesday and Chocolate Bar on Thursday - god I love their Bailey's Brownie....if you can get it with mint ice cream....get it with mint ice cream. Saturday was good beer (Cherry Wheat) and basketball. Sunday we saw 300 in the morning (i liked it, Jen thought it was lame) for free, then some minor cleaning, ice cream and snacks, sex and the city. and then there was monday. and monday sucked.

Somehow Romney managed to raise $23 million in the first quarter - god only knows how he did it.More trouble for Giuliani - turns out his (third) wife is a ghoul. Seems she used to be a saleswoman for a surgical instruments distributor and demonstrated how they were used on live dogs IN ORDER TO SELL MORE OF THEM. The dogs were later put down because of inability to recover, or they died during the demonstration. Yeah, he has problems. Mrs Giuliani is NO Elizabeth Edwards. (Speaking of which, Edwards put up a respectable $14 million)

Clinton raised $26 million. and broke records.

how the hell did romney raise $23 million....

Obama has not yet announced his numbers, but Kos thinks it's because he's waiting for the news to die down over eveyone else's numbers. Then he'll announce HUGE numbers. let's not forget, this is the man that drew 20,000 to a speech - this early in the game. His website registers donations from 83,000 unique donors. HUGE numbers.

Meanwhile, McCain still sucks. I don't have his fundraising numbers, but I don't need them. Not after the story that he strolled the safe streets of Baghdad this weekend....Made safe by the US Army that swept the area before he came through and provided him with body armor, 100 soldier-bodyguards, 2 gunships, and 3helicopters. Baghdad? safe? Remember this is the guy that said that General Patreaus walks around Baghdad without protection all the time. So, either McCain was lying and General Patreaus doesn't walk around without protection (we already talked to the good general, and he doesn't walk around without protection) or McCain is a big weeny and needs a hundred soldiers to protect his sorry ass. McCain is toast. (he's only 20% to take the nomination over at intrade, incidentally, Giuliani is only 33% to take it. I'm still looking for a dark horse... speaking of Fred thompson, he garners almost 18% and he hasn't announced yet.)

UPDATE - I have his fund raising numbers. he's the darling of the establishment, what with all of his zany maverick-ness (not). At any rate, he didn't raise much. $12.5 million. Romney raised more than him....Romney.

Speaking of Romney - something I hadn't yet heard. His only public service before elected governor was running the 2002 Winter Olympics. Inexperienced much?