Bush attempts damage control
Karl Rove finally realized that he screwed up big time in not telling Bush to fake some concern for all those "drownded ferners." The paltry $15 million first offered got doubled to $35 million. On New Year's Eve it got suddenly increased tenfold to $350 million. I'm sure that would have happened without any prompting...
And he also offered up a token visit by his token conscience-boy - the departing Secretary Of We're-In-A-State Colin Powerless - together with the President's own fatboy fratboy brother Jeb - selflessly allowing America's TV crews to shoot footage showing Bush's hand-picked successor on the opening leg of his "Jeb in 2008" tour. "Compassion In Action!"
How lucky those bereaved now are! Forget the token money! Now they get to see relief workers halt the rescue effort to welcome a token black and a token brother making a token visit!
December 31, 2004
Clarence Thomas accepts $42,000 in gifts from recent friends
A few brief extracts from a news story in today's L.A. Times
(Warning - may make you gag)
LOS ANGLES TIMES December 31, 2004
Justice Clarence Thomas Reports Wealth of Gifts In the last six years he has accepted free items valued at $42,200, the most on the high court.
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts since joining the high court, including $1,200 worth of tires, valuable historical items and a $5,000 personal check to help pay a relative's education expenses.
The gifts also included a Bible once owned by the 19th century author and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, which Thomas valued at $19,000, and a bust of President Lincoln valued at $15,000.
He also took a free trip aboard a private jet to the exclusive Bohemian Grove club in Northern California — arranged by a wealthy Texas real estate investor who helped run an advocacy group that filed briefs with the Supreme Court.
Those and other gifts were disclosed by Thomas under a 1978 federal ethics law that requires high-ranking government officials, including the nine Supreme Court justices, to file a report each year that lists gifts, money and other items they have received.
Thomas has reported accepting much more valuable gifts than his Supreme Court colleagues over the last six years, according to their disclosure forms on file at the court.
Despite the open-ended rules, most of the other Supreme Court justices reported accepting only items of lesser value, or token gifts for speaking at formal events, or nothing at all.
Thomas, nominated to the Supreme Court at age 43 by President George H.W. Bush, has won many admirers who see inspiration in his rise from a childhood of poverty in the segregated South. Some of the gifts he has accepted have come from casual acquaintances or, in one case, a stranger. More often, they came from new, conservative friends who voiced admiration for him.
Foremost among those conservative friends is Harlan Crow. The son of well-known Dallas real estate executive Trammell Crow, he runs a family holding company that owns 10% of Trammell Crow Co., one of the nation's biggest commercial real estate firms.
A big Republican donor, Crow last summer gave $25,000 to help launch the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign deriding Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John F. Kerry.
In an interview, Crow said he met Thomas 10 years ago at a conference in Dallas where the justice was a speaker. "I was in the audience and I was impressed," Crow said.
Soon afterward, Crow invited Thomas to a family campground in East Texas. Roger Connor, a businessman who was at the camp-out, remembers the all-male gathering.
"They were all smoking cigars. It was a very manly Texas thing," Connor said. He said the participants slept in sleeping bags and tents, and that the activities included a greased pig race.
Thomas, through a court spokeswoman, declined to comment when asked in writing why he deemed it appropriate to accept some of the larger gifts. But a former clerk to Thomas defended the practice.
"I don't see anything wrong in this. I don't see why it is inappropriate to get gifts from friends," said John C. Yoo, now a law professor at the UC Berkeley. "This reflects a bizarre effort to over-ethicize everyday life. If one of these people were to appear before the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas would recuse himself."
Heaven forbid that a person with a life appointment to the Supreme Court Should be OVER-ETHICIZED!
>THE ACTIVITIES INCLUDED A GREASED PIG RACE
But no word who won it....
GEORGE BUSH'S "ETHICS"
While on the topic of "ethics" - please check out and support this important new organization - Citizens For Ethics. It is a progressive equivalent of the dreadful, self-styled "Judicial Watch" (sic) which cynically tied-up the Clinton administration in non-stop nuisance law suits. This Bush administration may now reap the rewards of that endless conservative legal barrage on a twice, democratically-elected President. Since the mainstream media is virtually as AWOL on Bush's 'ethics' as Bush was from The National Guard - this watchdog & action organization may be the best thing America has going for itself...
The late Moshe Dayan put this philosophy best. Three days into the "Yom Kippur War" in 1973 when the Syrians had made their sneaky attack on Israel - Dayan rallied the nation with these words:
"The Syrians will learn that the road from Damascus to Tel Aviv - is also the road from Tel Aviv to Damascus..."
Those wise and stirring words should become our philosophy for the next four years - and beyond.
Please check out: http:
December 28, 2004
UN-Happy New Year!
My Campaign To Change The Offensive Greeting “Happy New Year”
Society has now recognized that greetings such as “Happy Christmas” and “Merry Christmas” are inappropriate because they cause offense to those who do not believe in Jesus Christ or Christmas. The preferred greeting is now “Happy Holidays.”
However people continue to wish other people “Happy New Year!” – with cavalier disregard for those who do NOT believe in having a “Happy New Year”
This is patently offensive. Just think of the many people who are hurt and wounded by this greeting:
People who don’t like new years in general.
People who like the current year just fine – and don’t want it to end.
People who prefer previous years. (eg 1967 is a popular previous year)
People who don’t mind new years per se – but don’t like them to be happy.
There are just so many people who are offended by this inconsiderate greeting.
Here are some alternative suggestions:
December 24, 2004
Truth In Advertising Singers
I keep hearing Jesus-spouting pop singers described as being "inspirational singers"
Merriam-Webster defines "inspirational" as: "a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation"
Well I don't think that Amy Grant or any of the scores of other self-anointed "inspirational singers" are entitled to claim "divine influence" when they sing songs of devotion to whatever religious claptrap they were indoctrinated in by their brain-washed parents.
But I certainly don't wish to deprive them of the opportunity to describe themselves as something other than brain-dead pop singers.
Bearing in mind the principle of "Truth In Advertising" I think that anyone who sings songs of devotion to a deity whose existence is as yet unproven - should be allowed to describe themselves as:
Superstitional: "relating to a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation"