Thursday, September 08, 2005

Other Items

Hurricane Katrina is about to blow a hole in the federal budget, and it is already jeopardizing President Bush's agenda for cutting taxes and reducing the deficit.
The Congressional Budget Office reported today that it had told congressional leaders that Hurricane Katrina could reduce employment this year by 400,000 jobs and could slow the economy's expansion by as much as a full percentage point. As a nonpartisan advisor to Congress, the office had previously predicted that the economy would grow by 3.7 percent in 2005 and by 3.4 percent in 2004. The budget office's report came in a nine-page memo delivered Tuesday to Sen. Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee and the majority leader.
Also on Tuesday, administration officials told Republican lawmakers that relief efforts were running close to $700 million a day, and that the total federal cost could reach as high as $100 billion.

The above is from Edmund L. Andrews and Jennifer Bayot's "Budget Office Says Storm Could Cost Economy 400,000 Jobs" in this morning's New York Times.

With Karl Rove being so busy (and under so much pressure) due to Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation, let's help out the Bully Boy and Karl by writing the speech we know is coming. And just like Karl does, we'll break up the hard words so Bully Boy can almost say them correctly.

Bully Boy: As I said in Chi-ca-go durin' the 2000 cam-paign, when asked about should the gov'rnment ever def-i-cit spend, I said only under these cir-cum-stance-s should gov'rnment def-i-cit spend: if there is a national e-mer-gen-cy, if there is a re-ces-sion, if there's a war, or if there's another gov'rnment e-mer-genc-cy. Lucky me, I hit the quadratic. [Laughter. BULLY BOY, this is audience laughter, not your weak inhale and snort.] So the answer, A-mer-i-ca, is more of the same. We got to cut taxes to make money. My base understands me. The only thing I hate more than black people is poor people. [Laughter. BULLY BOY, the audience laughter.] Cut & debt, cut & debt! I'm a cut & debt Republican! Cut & debt, cut & debt, cut & debt, cut & debt! [Repeat cheer until hand picked audience picks up the chant. And no, you may not use your pom-poms for this cheer.]

No, the term "quadric" is not used correctly. Why were you expecting it to be used correctly by the Bully Boy?

Marcia e-mails to note Adam Liptak's "Custody After Civil Union Pits States and Judges:"

Judges in Vermont and Virginia have different ideas about what is best for Isabella Miller-Jenkins, 3, born to a woman who had a civil union with another woman in Vermont. The relationship ended two years ago. Now each woman says Isabella is her daughter, with one asserting exclusive motherhood.
The judge in Vermont ruled that the women should "be treated no differently than a husband and wife." He established a visiting schedule and held the biological mother, Lisa Miller, in contempt of court when she failed to comply with it.
The judge in Virginia ruled that Ms. Miller had the sole right to decide who could see the child. He ruled that the former partner, Janet Miller-Jenkins, had no "parentage or visitation rights."
Legal experts say the decisions, which reached State Supreme Court here on Wednesday, are the first to present a direct conflict between two state courts on a substantial legal question arising from a same-sex couple's union. The decisions offer a preview, the experts added, of what are quite likely to be many similar conflicts around the nation.

Troy e-mails to note Celia W. Dugger's "U.N. Report Cites U.S. and Japan as the 'Least Generous Donors':"

A week before world leaders gather here to set a course for combating global poverty, a United Nations report released on Wednesday names the United States and Japan as among "the least generous donors" and says American and European trade policies are hypocritical and contribute to impoverishing African farmers.
The report also highlights shortcomings in developing countries. It notes that India's and China's progress in reducing the easily preventable deaths of children has slowed even as their economic growth has surged. India has 2.5 million deaths of children a year, while China is second, with 730,000.

The new document, the annual Human Development Report, calls on India and China to tackle health inequalities aggressively. It also maintains that rich countries must significantly increase aid if the goals they agreed to five years ago - to halve extreme poverty and reduce deaths of children by two-thirds by 2015, among others - are to be met.

Cindy e-mails to note Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Richard W. Stevenson's "Senate Democrats Pushing for Roberts's Legal Memos:"

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee renewed their push on Wednesday for access to legal memorandums written by Judge John G. Roberts Jr., sending a pointed letter of complaint to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who controls the records and who is himself a potential Supreme Court candidate.
The letter on Judge Roberts, who has been nominated to be chief justice, came as conservatives stepped up their campaign against a possible Gonzales nomination to fill the seat being vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Signed by Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the senior Democrat on the judiciary panel, and the seven other committee Democrats, the letter said, "We are increasingly concerned about the inference raised by your continued refusal even to speak with us about accommodating our reasonable request for documents which are entirely within your control."

And the fumes from his cup runneth over so I'm avoiding it, but Todd S. Purdum has an article entitled "Eulogies for Rehnquist Recall a Man of Many Interests" for anyone who wants to wade through it (hold your nose).

Nathan e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "Let Them Eat MREs" (The Progressive):

Bush's PR strategy on Katrina is backfiring on him.
First he wheeled out his momma to show how compassionate he was to Katrina's victims.
But Barbara Marie Antoinette Bush didn't help him out any.
Transgressing the boundaries of noblesse oblige, the matriarch of the Bush family put her necklace of condescension on full display.
She said the refugees from New Orleans were better off in Houston since they "were underprivileged anyway."
To top that off, she said it was "sort of scary" that "they all want to stay in Texas."
Forget about let them eat cake.
Now it’s let them eat MREs and then skedaddle.
As they say here in Wisconsin, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Her son's ineptitude is but the flipside of her imperious detachment.

Rod e-mails heads up to today's Democracy Now!:

We look at the politicization of disaster relief and the response by the Bush administration and FEMA to past hurricanes.
We examine the incompetence and inexperience of FEMA chief Michael Brown and his top deputies.

Rod also asks that we note these upcoming Un-Embed the Media appearences by Amy Goodman:

* Amy Goodman in Baraboo, WI:
Sat, Sept 10
*TIME: 2:45 PM
Fighting Bob Fest
Sauk County Fairgrounds
Baraboo, WI
"Free admission", $10 donation will be requested.
Pre-register at
For more information, visit

* Amy Goodman in South Hadley, MA:
Sun, Sept 11
New York Stories: Before and After September 11
Mount Holyoke College
Check back for more details

*Amy Goodman in Philadelphia, PA:
Mon, Sept 12
Bread and Roses 'Tribute to Change' Awards
Zellerbach Theater
Annenberg Center
3680 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
Tickets: $50, $25 fixed income, $5 students
For more information, visit

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Wed, Sept 14
A debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchenson Iraq and U.S. and British foreign policy.
Moderated by Amy Goodman
Mason Hall at the Baruch College Performing Arts Center
17 Lexington Ave., enter on 23rd St.
New York, NY
Tickets $12 in advance through Ticket Central
Phone: 212-279-4200
and at the door.
For more details on this debate and Galloway's U.S. tour September 13-24,visit:
email: Galloway2005@comcast.netor call 415-607-1924.
Presented by: The New Press, International Socialist Review, and the Centerfor Economic Research and Social Change

Also BuzzFlash has No Logo: Brands Globalization & Resistance (DVD), A Conversation with Naomi Klein. You can read a review of the DVD here.

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