ROCKET MAN MUST BE HIGH
You’d think that after all the publicity generated by Fatty-Fatty Too-Much-Moore and his crockumentary (which has grossed $88,855,000 in 24 days) that no one could ever question our right to free speech again. Yet, Elton John is making that very claim. The geezer must be high. Free speech, however, does not guarantee freedom from criticism, which is what happened to those dumb clucks, the Dixie Chicks. They got "shot down" not by the president but by regular Americans who took offense and exercised their right to free speech.
Elton attacks 'censorship' in US
Elton John has said stars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of "bullying tactics" used by the US government to hinder free speech.
He voiced concern that it appeared acceptable to speak out if you were pro-Bush, using the example of country singer Toby Keith, but not if you were critical of the President, as in the case of country rock band, the Dixie Chicks.
[T]he Dixie Chicks got shot down in flames last year for criticising the president. They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he's freely elected, and therefore accountable."
There was a president who personally made certain one couple was “bullied” for speaking out.
What has come to light is a shocking revelation about president Clinton's arrogant trampling on the rights of both Mr. & Mrs. Mendoza who were present in the Chicago festival on July 2, 1996.
"You suck, and those boys died!"
After Clinton left the area, Secret Service agents pounced on Mrs. Mendoza and accused her of "threatening" president Clinton. At that point Mr. Mendoza ordered his wife not to say anything until she consulted an attorney.
The Mendozas were initially charged by the Chicago police with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and were interrogated for 12 hours before they were allowed to leave police headquarters.
HOW SAFE ARE WE?
Terror in the Skies -- Again?
By Annie Jacobsen
After seeing 14 Middle Eastern men board separately (six together, eight individually) and then act as a group, watching their unusual glances, observing their bizarre bathroom activities, watching them congregate in small groups, knowing that the flight attendants and the pilots were seriously concerned, and now knowing that federal air marshals were on board, I was officially terrified.
Suddenly, seven of the men stood up -- in unison -- and walked to the front and back lavatories. One by one, they went into the two lavatories, each spending about four minutes inside. Right in front of us, two men stood up against the emergency exit door, waiting for the lavatory to become available. The men spoke in Arabic among themselves and to the man in the yellow shirt sitting nearby. One of the men took his camera into the lavatory. Another took his cell phone. Again, no one approached the men. Not one of the flight attendants asked them to sit down. I watched as the man in the yellow shirt, still in his seat, reached inside his shirt and pulled out a small red book. He read a few pages, then put the book back inside his shirt. He pulled the book out again, read a page or two more, and put it back. He continued to do this several more times.
WORSE THAN A VIRUS
KIDDIE INFOBOT BLASTS BUSH
The bias and Bush hatred out there have even infected an online robot.
Par for the course, the Democrats are all to happy to tinker with young skulls full of mush in devious ways.
Hat tip to both Lucianne and SomethingToCryAbout!
GONE TO THE DOGS
Cindy Adams points out that all presidential families have had pets, especially dogs .
PROS say John Kerry has to parade his hounds. Like Bush, who has photo ops with his beloved black Scotty Barney, Kerry has to do ditto. They're saying that pet-less presidential candidates don't win elections, that they'll end up in the dog house — or litter box — if they don't schlep around a Tabby or Fido.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETTY
Betty was a Texan, with a Texas-sized wit to boot, who loved Texas bluebonnets. She would have been 94 today.
1) For all you divorced people, the dumpers as well as the dumpees:
GRIN & BLOG IT
FRUSTRATED by too many Sundays spent poring over wedding announcements? If you prefer acrimony to matrimony, head over to breakupnews.blogspot.com, a 12-day-old blog where the recently dumped get to share the news of their breakups.
We're looking for a few wronged souls
Announce to the world that you're back, and looking for nub in all the wrong places. For consideration, please submit your break up news to BREAKUPPAGE@HOTMAIL.COM It needn't be witty, as long as it's true, and really, really painful. Thank you, and may all your relationships end badly.
2) PardonMyEnglish has posted Cheney vs. Edwards resumes:
Cheney vs Edwards: You’re Kidding, Right????
[A]s we all know, regardless of whether Edwards has better hair, in every other category, it’s laughable to even try to compare him with Cheney:
3) Aaron has posted his 3rd installment:
Waiting for Guffman (Fahrenheit 9/11 Review Part III)
Wading through the first 30 minutes of unadulterated race-baiting by Michael Moore, the movie then takes us into a very emotional montage of peoples reaction to the 9/11 attacks with audio only.
4) Aaron shares his own thoughts on Bush and the NAACP:
President Bush, demonized by the NAACP, made the correct decision to snub them; he accepted an invitation to speak to the Urban League. This will shine a spotlight on a problem my community refuses to face: not all black people think alike! Bush is always well received in black churches and I suspect that he will use the speech at the Urban League to demonstrate a growing division amongst blacks.
5) Tyler on electronic voting:
Paper Trails Lead Nowhere
My point is that the Left is raising this issue not out of the heart-felt desire to help make sure every vote is counted, or to help little people, or anything. It's being raised for partisan gain.
BIG F’N DEAL
Talk, don’t talk. Whothehell cares anymore?
Kerry Asks Sen. Clinton to Introduce Bill
1) MOB SCENE AT CLOONEY SET: POLICE
Mafia-hunting cops in Italy have been secretly watching the set of the new George Clooney-Brad Pitt robbery flick, because they say star-struck mobsters are flocking to the set.
Scenes from "Ocean's Twelve" — the sequel to the smash hit "Ocean's Eleven" — are being shot in and around Sicily.
2) LET'S GET FRANK (documentary review):
COMBATIVE and media-savvy Congressman Barney Frank took to the frenzied circus surrounding Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings like a duck to water.
Having survived his own sex scandal in 1990, America's first openly gay congressman was one of the most indefatigable opponents of the Republicans' attempts to impeach the former president.
Because Frank was witty and blunt, as we see in the documentary "Let's Get Frank," there were plenty of people willing to put a microphone under his nose.
Bart Everly followed Frank around for two years, yet his film seems to consist mostly of regurgitated C-Span and news footage from the period, interspersed with asides from the outspoken liberal.
Frank is a worthy subject, but this treatment amounts to not much more than a somewhat extraneous sidebar to last month's "The Hunting of the President."
3) TRY TO REMEMBER THEIR NAMES
THE reality shows, the survivor things, the apprentice-lites, these amateurs turned instant TV pros, they all — all — repeat, all — have agents. We're talking from the git-go. Before these nobodies-cum-somebodies ever saw the red light of a camera, they had reps signed and sealed. Probably even managers, handlers, p.r. people, bankers, barbers, financial planners, dermatologists, agents, accountants, whatevers.
Scroll down for these tidbits:
1) The makeover of Elizabeth Edwards has begun;
2) Justin Timberlake will host political soiree;
3) Edwards is a pain in HRC’s future (check KerryHaters); and
4) why Oprah may never act again.
4) JENNA TO TEACH IN HARLEM
Presidential daughter Jenna Bush has agreed to take a job as a teaching assistant at the Harlem Day Charter school, sources said yesterday.
"I'm going to teach fourth grade," Jenna told students at an Alabama elementary school, which she visited with First Lady Laura Bush.
You’ll have to read the article to learn the Cheney connection. Excellent read!
CHENEY WAS RIGHT
By John Podhoretz
To sum up: Bush didn't lie. Blair didn't lie.
Look. If Saddam Hussein had presented an immediate and instantaneous threat to the United States, Bush wouldn't have worked carefully to articulate the premises of the "preemption" doctrine. No nation needs a "preemption doctrine" to protect itself against an imminent threat.
[Saddam] wanted a nuclear weapon. He had tens of billions of dollars at his disposal, courtesy of the corrupt Oil-for-Food program, to make his wishes come true — with more and more to come as the U.N. sanctions against him continued to erode.
We can never know what the world was spared by the ouster of Saddam Hussein. This fact will always allow skeptics to stand in opposition.
But the findings of both committees really do require skeptics to examine some of their premises. They can say the war was unnecessary, and wrong. They can even say, because of the intelligence failures, that it was fought under false pretenses. I do not think they would be right to say or argue such things, but I can understand how they would do so.
It is now, however, officially and unmistakably beyond the pale to argue that Tony Blair and George W. Bush deceitfully led their countries to war.
I mentioned yesterday that we were having a monster storm blow through, complete with pyrotechnics. Thought you’d like to see it. The basement has a nice puddle of rainwater under the freezer, and the redbud tree out back lost a limb. I didn’t lose power, as some people did, but I turned off everything and finally had a chance to finish my book. The storms seemed more like the ones you get after the typical August heat wave when a refreshing Canadian clipper comes barreling through clearing the atmosphere, making way for the beginning of autumn.
Storms rail S. Tier
Severe weather caused power outages, bulged creek beds and felled trees Wednesday.
In the Corning area, torrential rains started at approximately 10 a.m. and lingered until almost noon. Thunder, lightning and heavy rain resumed again shortly after 2 p.m.
Scattered thunderstorms are expected through today, with a total rain accumulation of 4 to 5 inches.
Terry Lagonegro, spokeswoman for New York State Electric & Gas in Horseheads, said 1,016 residents in Watkins Glen, Beaver Dams and Montour Falls lost power during the morning lightning storms. Power was restored to most homes by 1 p.m., just in time for the second wave of lightning.
Approximately 3,089 Steuben County residents lost power in the Addison, Lindley and Presho areas after 2 p.m. Power was expected to be restored by 6 p.m., Lagonegro said.
Lightning also zapped an electrical transformer at Toys R Us in Horseheads, shorting out computer systems and filling the toy store with smoke.
THE HEART & SOUL OF PROFITS
The Slim-Fast company honchos may be Democrats, but their bottom line is still profits. So, when Republicans took to the internet with their rage, the company dumped Whoopi pronto.
"We are disappointed by the manner in which Ms. Goldberg chose to express herself and sincerely regret that her recent remarks offended some of our consumers," Slim-Fast said in a statement.
"Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer be on the air," added the statement, issued six days after Goldberg led the Bush-bashing fest.
The statement was issued by Slim-Fast vice president Terry Olson rather than the major Democratic donor who is the company's president, F. Daniel Abraham.
Abraham and his wife — who are big supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) — have given at least $1.2 million to Democratic-leaning groups working to defeat Bush.
Campaign records show no donations by Olson.
Irate Republican activists began burning up the Internet with calls to boycott Slim-Fast and Internet links to send protest emails to the company and its parent, Unilever.
The anti-Slim-Fast activists also traded proposed language for protest letters and phone calls as well as information on which alternate diet shake was the best substitute.
Slim-Fast Sheds Whoopi Goldberg After Bush Riff
Comedian Whoopi Goldberg will no longer appear in ads for diet aid maker Slim-Fast following her lewd riff on President Bush's name at a fund-raiser last week, the company said on Wednesday.
Florida-based Slim-Fast said it was "disappointed" in Goldberg's remarks at last Thursday's $7.5 million star-studded fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
"Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer be on the air," Slim-Fast General Manager Terry Olson said in a statement, adding that the company regrets that Goldberg's remarks offended some customers.
Republicans have expressed outrage over the fund-raiser for presumptive Democratic nominee John F. Kerry and his vice presidential running mate, John Edwards, in which entertainers lined up to skewer the president.
The New York Post said of Goldberg's appearance at the event: "Waving a bottle of wine, she fired off a stream of vulgar sexual wordplays on Bush's name in a riff about female genitalia."
A spokesperson for Goldberg declined immediate comment.
Slim-Fast is a unit of Anglo-Dutch food-to-detergent group Unilever Plc .
Boy, we’ve been hit by a monster thunder/electrical storm this afternoon. Buckets of rain and pyrotechnics galore. I can wait to check the basement for run-off. And, we’re about to be hit with another round. Not to mention that BLOGGER IS DRIVING ME NUTZ AGAIN!
1) ACE has some good news:
Iraqis finally standing up to al Qaeda
Al Qaeda operations in Iraq have encountered some unexpected problems. Iraqis have become increasingly hostile to al Qaeda's suicide bombing campaign.
2) Aaron, at SomethingToCryAbout, is in the process of reviewing “Fahrenheit 9/11” after watching a pirated copy. He’s not finished his review, but here are the first two installments:
Pt. I I Saw It! 9/11
Pt. II No Niggers Needed (9/11 Review Part II)
3) Tyler, at RedLineRants, has posted (in 3 parts) a transcript of F9/11:
FAHRENHEIT 9/11 PART II
Fahrenheit 9/11, Part III
4) According to Box Office Mojo:
FAHRENHEIT 9/11 brought in $83,471,000 in 21 days.
5) PardonMyEnglish reports on crass behavior from Kerry (tres shocked!):
John Kerry Exploits 9/11 Families
Sen. John F. Kerry upset some families of 9/11 victims yesterday when he arrived - late - to a private memorial dedication in a sirened motorcade and glad-handed as though he were on the campaign trail.
The senator, in Boston for the day, hopped in his motorcade at the Four Seasons, drove around the Boston Public Garden and arrived at the memorial with his sizable entourage in tow.
6) And last, but never least, Pat, at KerryHaters, reports on yet another flip-flop:
Kerry's Israel Flip-Flopping
This isn't going to go over well with Kerry's anti-semitic left-wing fans.
Rich Galen, on his blog Mullings, points out what should be elementary to all Americans. Check out the photo link of the CIA Wall of Honor.
CIA not CYA
By Rich Galen
The notion of whether Saddam had weapons of mass destruction was not an idea held only by the American CIA - it was a notion believed by every intelligence service on the planet. Including the French.
The problem with a report like the one which was released by the US Senate last week - and another report which will be released in Britain today - is not that it is inaccurate; the problem is that it is - and must be - incomplete. The failures of organizations like the CIA and MI-6 become public knowledge.
The successes remain hidden from view.
Hat tip to Rush!
BUSH BASHES BOTOX BOY
Notice all the young people.
And Bush uses Kerry’s own words to bash him!
Bush: Kerry Brags About Abandoning Troops
MARQUETTE, Mich. - Courting conservative voters in Michigan's rural Upper Peninsula, President Bush said Tuesday that rival John Kerry abandoned support for U.S. troops in Iraq and then bragged about it.
"Leaders need to stand up with our military," Bush told a cheering crowd, kicking off a two-day tour of three crucial states that he lost in 2000 to Democratic Vice President Al Gore.
Kerry said Monday that he and running mate John Edwards were proud of the fact that they opposed the $87 billion aid package for Afghanistan and Iraq "when we knew the policy had to be changed." Kerry said the Bush administration should have gotten other allies to help with the war in Iraq.
"He is entitled to his view," Bush said, adding that Kerry should not have gone on to "brag about it."
Monica Crowley: What I Saw at the Kerry-Edwards Hatefest
[A]ccording to Crowley, [Meryl] Streep's attack on Bush was nearly as offensive as Goldberg's, with the Hollywood actress skewering the president on the basis of his religion.
"Jesus said, 'Blessed be the peacemakers.' What happened [with Bush]?" The aging star recalled that as the Iraq war began, "I wondered to myself, through the shock and awe, which of the megaton bombs our president's personal savior would have personally dropped on the sleeping families of Baghdad."
Streep's heavy-handed attack failed to put a damper on Sen. Kerry, who reportedly was dancing in the aisles once the music began.
"The most cringe-worthy moment came when he actually got up out of his seat and grooved to the Dave Matthews band," Crowley said. "I could have lived without that image in my head."
All this righteous indignation from Streep reminded me of an interesting earlier post:
Meryl Streep's Hillary Problem:
Paramount Pictures has made a remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” which “is not technically a remake of the classic but instead goes back to Dick Condon's original source novel. The nefarious senator's wife, played brilliantly by Angela Lansbury in the older film version, is now an evil lady senator who orchestrates her son's ascendancy to Vice President of the United States.”
"Meryl is brilliantly scary and evil," my Paramount buddy says, who's seen the film through several rough assemblages and later cuts. "But she clearly seems like she's playing Senator Hillary, not just any woman senator. It's also something test audiences have commented about."
MOORE CAN'T FOOL THE WHO
MICHAEL Moore messed with the wrong rocker when he charged that The Who's Pete Townshend refused to allow his classic hit "Won't Get Fooled Again" to be used in "Fahrenheit 9/11." Biting back on his Web site, Townshend said the reason the song wasn't used was not because he was for the war in Iraq (which he admits he was), but because he doesn't trust Moore's accuracy in reporting and regards Moore as a bully.
JUST TRYIN' TO HELP
Teresa Heinz Kerry surprised and worried some of the 1,000 guests at Friday morning's Women for Kerry breakfast when she looked out at the crowd and said, "We had better get you women some birth control, there are so many of you here!" Yikes.
Senator Edwards talks about the need to provide health care for all, but that didn't stop him from using a clever tax dodge to avoid paying $591,000 into the Medicare system. While making his fortune as a trial lawyer in 1995, he formed what is known as a "subchapter S" corporation, with himself as the sole shareholder.
Instead of taking his $26.9 million in earnings directly in the following four years, he paid himself a salary of $360,000 a year and took the rest as corporate dividends. Since salary is subject to 2.9% Medicare tax but dividends aren't, that meant he shielded more than 90% of his income. That's not necessarily illegal, but dodging such a large chunk of employment tax skates perilously close to the line.
Mrs. Heinz Kerry's finances remain largely a closed book, since she has so far refused to release her tax returns. What we do know so far is that she has prepaid $750,000 in federal taxes on $5.1 million in income for 2003--an effective tax rate of 15%. That is because a significant portion of the income came from tax-free municipal bonds, which is perfectly legal.
Mr. Edwards is right that there really are two Americas. The people who work for their money and want to keep more of their own paychecks. And wealthy politicians who want to raise taxes on the middle class secure in the knowledge that they won't have to pay.
Scott needs YOUR help to be chosen to blog at the Republican Convention.
Hat tip to Tyler at RedLineRants.
SOME MEN WERE BORN TO LIE
This time he lied about more black being in prison than in colleges. Maybe L’Fraude’s strategy is a perverted version of rope-a-dope, to keep us constantly fact-checking his inane utterances, that is when we’re not dozing off.
CrushKerry notes more lies by L’Fraude:
And we were, shocked, shocked I say, to discover that depending on his audience there are quite a few “first things” John Kerry has promised to do on his "first day in office", none of which are the same. Most importantly, however, none of them mention the only acceptable answer, which is “Ensuring the Military is hunting down and killing Terrorists and Making America Safer."
Tyler, at RedLineRants, did his own man-on-the-street interview of lies:
"Excuse me, sir. What did Bush lie about?"
"Goin' into Eye-rack he sold us all a buncha nonsense." I use the word "nonsense" a lot -- that made me smile. I furled my brow pensively and continued to listen. "He said Sad-dum had them WMDs. He didn't. He said he was going to invade the US. He couldn't." Hadn't heard that one. But hey, I'm a Republican operative -- biased as the day is long. I need to take my blinders off. "He said he had body doubles; we don't know that the man they say we caught is really him. He said Sad-dum was buying Uranium from Africa -- how is Africa producing uranium? They can't feed their people and they got uranium?"
“Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.” Groucho Marx
RNC TERRORISM ALERT
As if militant Islamists’ threats of terrorism weren’t enough, now we have to contend with the homegrown variety. “Troublemakers” makes these vile creeps sound like first grade pranksters, when in fact they attend seminars and camps to learn how to commit terrorism. Forget the good ol’ days of “civil disobedience.” Now it’s terrorism. This doesn’t scare me; it pisses me off! I sympathize with the authorities.
Fringe elements are hoping to spark major disruptions at the Republican National Convention with a series of sneaky tricks - including fooling bomb-sniffing dogs on trains bound for Penn Station, the Daily News has learned.
Internet-using anarchists are telling would-be troublemakers to decoy specially trained Labrador retrievers with gunpowder or ammonium nitrate-laced tablets in a bid to halt trains or even spur the evacuation of Madison Square Garden.
The dog decoy ploy is the among most insidious in the fringe groups' bag of tricks - which includes throwing marbles under the hooves of police horses and using slingshots to pelt the animals.
"They're trying to use up our resources with false alarms. ... The sensitive dogs would become burned out with too many alerts," said a police source.
The message instructs to "Play dumb for as long as possible" before telling the police you unwittingly got the gunpowder on your clothes at a shooting range. "It is important that the police call in all possible resources to investigate the situation. ... With any luck, Madison Square Garden will be evacuated."
The NYPD also is preparing for possible "Black Bloc" tactics by small groups of anarchists, in which demonstrators wear black clothing and bandannas over their faces - and wield pipes, bottles and commit acts of vandalism against corporate "enemies" such as the Gap, Starbucks and McDonald's.
Notice how thick this report is.
Doing the dirty work for you, Dan Darling persevered through the entire 521 pages. I say he’s Darling Dan.
The Senate Intelligence Committee Report
I spent the better part of Friday slogging through all 521 pages of the report and identifying the relevant sections of it for Michael Ledeen, which is something that I would seriously recommend that anybody who is genuinely interested in what went wrong on the subject of Iraq do as well. Even the partisan hacks. Especially the partisan hacks.
Hat tip to Lucianne!
BAD GIRL, BAD GIRL, WHATCHA GONNA DO?
Jessica Cutler was fired from her Senate job, after being "outed" by the Wonkette blogger, Anna Marie Cox. (Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post)
Write a book for $300,000, that’s what. Washingtonienne based her book on her confessional blog, in which she detailed her whoring with DC types. She referred to them by their initials while she became known as the Harlot on the Hill.
Publishing deal rescues Capitol Hill sex diarist
It was not just her musings about sexual dalliances that so titillated Washington, but the revelation that some of them paid her for it, which she saw as a means to top up a lamentable $25,000 (less than £14,000) pay cheque.
The cast of characters included "AJ", an intern who worked in the same office; "MK", a "serious long-term boyfriend" who she was seeing again after a break-up; and "R", also known as Threesome Dude.
"W" was a sugar-daddy whose sexual tastes she disapproved of but tolerated because "the money is too good" and "F" was described as a "married man who pays me for sex. Chief of Staff at one of the government agencies, appointed by Bush".
"MD" was later identified on other internet sites that picked up the story as Matt Doyle, a staffer working for Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. … "RS", turned out to be Robert Steinbuch, a lawyer who works for Senator DeWine and is also a part-time ethics instructor. Thanks to Ms Cutler, all of Washington now knows that "he likes spanking".
ET TU, McCAIN?
Still bitter, over what I don’t know, McCain continues to be the skunk at the GOP's lawn party. The other three are RINOs (Republican In Name Only).
A Dime's Worth of Difference?
Four Republican senators are determined to raise your taxes.
With the help of three liberal Republicans (Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island), and one who should know better (John McCain of Arizona), the Senate, with 51 votes, adopted a rule that if passed in the House will end all the Bush tax cuts and ensure that no new ones are enacted.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BRAT
Buckley vs. Reagan (Jr.)
By Robert Novak
Amid the spontaneous outpouring of respect and affection for Ronald Reagan following his death, a discordant note was sounded by his son. In a succession of television and newspaper interviews, Ron Reagan Jr. used the occasion to trash George W. Bush by drawing invidious comparisons between his father and the current president. Nobody knew how to respond in a time of national mourning. Nobody, that is, except William F. Buckley Jr
With publication in The New York Times Magazine of Ron Jr.'s interview with Deborah Solomon, Buckley wrote the son with a point-by-point response.
This is more than a wayward son, at age 46 with a career seemingly going nowhere, seeking 15 minutes of fame. He has signed with MSNBC as a "contributor" for the 2004 campaign. It is a windfall for Democratic operatives to quote the son of Ronald Reagan saying of Republicans: "I couldn't join a party that, frankly, tolerates members who are bigots for one thing, homophobes, racists."
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH H
Centennial Park, Corning, NY.
Yesterday afternoon, Nurse G and I took Little H to Centennial Park in Corning. It’s a modest ribbon of green, along the Chemung River, with a vine-covered pavilion, trees and benches. It also has a fountain, which is nothing more than water surging about twenty feet straight up from a pipe in the middle of a bricked circular area. Kids love to run through the waterfall while their parents watch from the benches. In his olive cargo shorts and a diaper, Little H dawdled on the sidelines as he watched the older kids’ technique of dashing in and out of the water. Soon he was mimicking them. He watched two little girls bend over and put their heads into the shallow puddles, so he copied them, too, sticking his head into water and laughing uproariously.
He’s at that age when he picks up everything. I was watching him one afternoon while his parents were working. He was riding his toddler’s version of an ATV, which was going nowhere fast.
“The batteries need recharging,” I told him.
Like a traffic cop commanding me to stop, he held up the palm of his hand and informed me, “I’ll fix it.” Then he tipped the vehicle on its end and stood there examining it, hands on hips, shaking his head slowly and saying, “Oh, fock. Yup, fock. Okay, fock.” No doubt he was attempting to enunciate the Queen Mother of Dirty Words. However, with all the linguistic mastery of a two and a half-year-old, it sounded more like f*o*c*k. And trust me: teaching him to say fudge instead produced a worse faux pas.
Yesterday was one of those idyllic summer days of cobalt blue skies and primo sun rays. Living in the Northeast, we are allotted but a precious few of such days. All too soon the season will deteriorate into a sweltering stink when we'll pray for the relief of autumn. What better way to make the most of such a perfect day than to watch Little H giddily dart through the waterfall. My Sunday in the park with H.
9 SLAIN IN 22 HOURS: Iraq? No; Brooklyn and the Bronx. Violence claimed the lives of nine crime victims in Brooklyn and The Bronx over a 22-hour span ending yesterday afternoon, police officials said. … The nine slayings were remarkable because the city has been averaging about 1.5 homicides per day in 2004.
For a little perspective, 4 U.S. Marines were killed in Iraq.
GAYS & DOLLS: BARBIE FOR SAPPHIC SET
The DYKEdoll figures, which will sell for $49.95 apiece, are aimed at adults. Only buyers over 21 can get the $65 package, which includes "accessories": tiny leather harnesses and miniature vibrators.
No pictures needed ... or wanted. Eeeuuuuww!
AMERICA, BY EDWARDS
Edwards loves to pontificate on his idea of “Two Americas”; it’s a gaseous rich vs. poor theme. There is another America emerging, one which has been helped along by Edwards, Esq. and his ilk. It’s an America where healthcare is hurting due to the soaring cost of malpractice insurance. It’s happening in Wyoming. Some say that “whenever profits drop [the insurance] industry declares a crisis.” It seems plausible to me that ridiculously high malpractice settlements, most of which ends up in the lawyer’s pocket, must play a part in this problem. Trial lawyers are Edwards’ biggest donors, and Edwards hates tort reform. Edwards’ America; sweet, isn’t it?
Obstetrics is failing to draw new doctors
With only a year left in her training as an obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Shahrzade Tabibi has no regrets about entering a field that some veterans say is being ravaged by the cost of malpractice insurance.
Although they insist it hasn't happened yet, many veterans worry about an ultimate decline in the quality of doctors competing for training slots in obstetrics.
At Hopkins, three students in a graduating class of 115 chose OB/GYN residencies last spring, and only one did so a year earlier. At Maryland, one student out of a class of 150 entered an obstetrics-gynecology program this year. None did last year.
"People don't want to be in the delivery room - that's where the malpractice is," said Dr. Jack Gladstein, associate dean of students at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Any time a baby comes out bad, the gynecologist gets sued."
The Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland, which insures 80 percent of the state's doctors, plans to increase premiums for obstetrician-gynecologists to $160,130 next year, up from $115,919 this year.
In this regard, the specialty leads all others. Neurosurgeons pay the next highest premiums - $87,860 this year and $121,464 next year.
[R]ising premiums are driving away talented students. They know that fees from the first 25 to 30 babies they deliver every year could go toward insurance. "It's a huge overhead if you're doing 100 deliveries a year," he said.
"FEARLESS" THEN & NOW
George W. Bush, with then-Gov. Bill Clements of Texas, celebrates casting the state’s vote at the 1988 GOP convention to clinch his father’s nomination for president.
With L’Fraude dominating the media these days, in advance of his Boston cotillion, I haven’t posted much on Bush. Then, again, President Bush is busy with other matters. He’s biding his time, allowing the GI Gigolo and his Breck Girl to fully introduce themselves to the public (check KerryHaters). Regardless of what the Michael Moore set believe, Bush is a master of politics, timing being one of his strengths. Allow the others to misunderestimate him at their peril; the contrast should prove to be outstanding when he begins his media campaigning in earnest. In the meantime, here is an excellent Bush primer, who he is and why.
A Future President's Rebirth
Bush, who was just over 40 when his father ran for president after two terms as vice president, served as the campaign's liaison to the GOP's conservative wing, especially the evangelicals who were emerging as a powerful force in Republican politics. And he worked closely with campaign chief Lee Atwater, who was honing a new brand of polarizing politics that did not come naturally to Bush's father.
Having seen the political potential of a growing evangelical movement, Bush is working hard to mobilize that constituency for his 2004 reelection. Having seen disloyal aides weaken his father's political position, Bush's administration has been harsh in its treatment of internal dissenters. Having seen the price his father paid for breaking his pledge not to raise taxes, Bush has kept cutting taxes when even some fellow Republicans would call it quits.
Before he turned 40, Bush was professionally rootless, wandering from work in the oil industry to an unsuccessful run for Congress and back to oil. By his own admission, he was drinking too much, and that was creating tension in his family.
But all that changed around the time he turned 40, in 1986. Bush quit drinking, renewed his Christian faith and returned to politics by plunging into his father's presidential bid.
After his father won the 1988 election, "the most terrifying words in the White House were 'W is looking for you,' "
"He was a fearless guy," said Mary Matalin. … Matalin was struck by the blunt way the young Bush shot down persistent and potentially damaging rumors during the 1988 campaign that his father had once had an affair with an aide. After the campaign tried for some time to dodge the issue, the son confronted it brashly. He called a reporter and pronounced, "The answer to the Big A question is n-o."