Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Other items

President Bush said Tuesday that his list of candidates to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was "wide open," and he jokingly but pointedly singled out Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

The above is from Richard W. Stevenson and Sheryl Gay Stolberg's "Gonzales Is Mentioned in Supreme Court Remarks" in this morning's New York Times.

What a silly Bully Boy he is. The nation's in shock over the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina but Bully Boy can still crack not-so-wise. It's this ability to divorce from reality that's allowed him to get where he is. The ability on the part of the Bully Boy and the press.

"Wide open," huh?

"You want her broken with her mouth wide open 'cause she's this year's girl."

From "Brand New Me" to "This Year's Girl" -- quite a heady year it's been for Alberto. ("This Year's Girl" written by Elvis Costello and off his album This Year's Model.) Well if he wasn't divorced from reality he'd hardly be the perfect foil for the Bully Boy (and the Times), now would he?

And note this:

"The list is wide open, which should create some good speculation here in Washington," Mr. Bush said to laughter in the Cabinet Room, with the attorney general sitting directly across from him. "And make sure you notice when I said that, I looked right at Al Gonzales, who can really create speculation."

"To laughter." That's from reporters. It sure is nice they can chuckle at his bad attempts at humor. They're the little kiss asses who got beat up after school. Then they wonder why the public holds them in so little regard today? ("They" being the White House press corps.)

They're the same ones who yucked it over Bully Boy's "high-larious" "Those WMDs have to be around here somewhere" nonsense. Yeah, I guess it is funny. If you don't think. If you don't stop and ask yourself if the body count is "high-larious." They disgrace themselves every day so it's not all that shocking that during a period where they've supposedly come "back to life" that they're still brown nosing.

Now note this and remember it because while the press has returned to frolicking, the people haven't and Bully Boy loves to use war to shore up his image, Alan Cowell's "Nuclear Weapon Is Years Off for Iran, Research Panel Says:"

A leading British research institute said Tuesday that Iran was at least five years away from producing sufficient material for "a single nuclear weapon," and that it could make one only if it chose to ignore international reaction and "throw caution to the wind."
The researchers, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the conclusions were based on public sources of information, including visits to nuclear sites arranged by Iranian authorities. "Nevertheless," the institute's director, John Chipman, told reporters, "there remains a good deal that cannot be known for certain from the outside."

No doubt, even as you read, John Bolton's scouring various international relations term papers from 1982 to attempt to make a strong case for war. So remember Cowell's article because, chances are, the Times won't.

Lynda e-mailed to note Cowell's story. Bernardo e-mails to note Katrin Bennhold and Elisabeth Rosenthal's "Chirac's Illness Remains a Mystery, Despite Official Details:"

After a series of minimalist medical bulletins describing President Jacques Chirac's stay in a Paris hospital, it is still a public mystery what kind of neurological malady has befallen him, although French military doctors at this point certainly know the diagnosis, independent experts said.
Because of the French tradition of secrecy regarding the health of its leaders, it is unclear if Mr. Chirac is suffering from a minor condition or a potentially life-threatening illness. He has not been seen on television since his admission.
The terse phrases officially released have sought to play down the illness, but they have often sounded like a contradiction in terms, talking of a "little vascular accident," and a "slight vision problem," which nonetheless merited a week's hospital stay.
A vascular accident means a problem with a blood vessel, which is almost always serious - or a signal of something serious to come. It includes strokes, torn blood vessels and clots that block vessels, causing damage to the eye or brain.

Corey e-mails to note this from "World Briefings:"

KYRGYZSTAN: FORMER PRIME MINISTER ARRESTED Kyrgyzstan's former prime minister, under investigation for corruption, was arrested after trying to leave the country, prosecutors said. Nikolai Tanayev was ousted from power along with President Askar Akayev in a March coup when thousands of opposition supporters stormed the government headquarters. Mr. Tanayev was stopped trying to cross into Kazakhstan, breaching a deal that he would not be jailed if he stayed in the country during the investigation. (Reuters)

In an embarrasing little piece in today's paper (so embarrassing no one wanted to sign their name to it apparently -- the five brief paragraphs are credited as being written by "THE NEW YORK TIMES"), the Times acknowledges (they aren't addressing) Big Babs Bush's remarks on the refugees being better off now and closes by noting that there was no comment from the White House. So basically, they saw the same footage clip everyone else did, made one call to the White House, pulled the whole thing together and called it an article.

Here's John Nichols (a favorite of Ruth's) making sense of something the Times doesn't really want to touch (but files the report so they can later state, "Hey, we reported it!") with "Barbara Bush: It's Good Enough for the Poor" (Online Beat, The Nation):

Finally, we have discovered the roots of George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism."
On the heels of the president's "What, me worry?" response to the death, destruction and dislocation that followed upon Hurricane Katrina comes the news of his mother's Labor Day visit with hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston.
Commenting on the facilities that have been set up for the evacuees -- cots crammed side-by-side in a huge stadium where the lights never go out and the sound of sobbing children never completely ceases -- former First Lady Barbara Bush concluded that the poor people of New Orleans had lucked out.
"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home.
On the tape of the interview, Mrs. Bush chuckles audibly as she observes just how great things are going for families that are separated from loved ones, people who have been forced to abandon their homes and the only community where they have ever lived, and parents who are explaining to children that their pets, their toys and in some cases their friends may be lost forever. Perhaps the former first lady was amusing herself with the notion that evacuees without bread could eat cake.

We'll wind down by noting David S. Cloud's "Navy Pilots Who Rescued Victims Are Reprimanded" in the Times:

Two Navy helicopter pilots and their crews returned from New Orleans on Aug. 30 expecting to be greeted as lifesavers after ferrying more than 100 hurricane victims to safety.
Instead, their superiors chided the pilots, Lt. David Shand and Lt. Matt Udkow, at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their assignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military installations along the Gulf Coast.
"I felt it was a great day because we resupplied the people we needed to and we rescued people, too," Lieutenant Udkow said. But the air operations commander at Pensacola Naval Air Station "reminded us that the logistical mission needed to be our area of focus."

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