Saturday, May 22, 2004

More signs the end is near

I laughed my ass off after this one;

Bush campaign ran from Noida call centre - KA Badarinath and Prerna K Mishra, New Delhi, May 16

The political split in the US over outsourcing notwithstanding, till very recently the fund-raising and vote-seeking campaign for the Republican Party was done partly out of India. And this was handled by two call centres located in our own friendly neighbourhood in Noida and Gurgaon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

More signs the W ship is sinking...

You know things are not good when the very conservative (and libertarian leaning) Cato Institute is pissed at you. I got this letter thru my email the other day;

Repeal This Unprincipled Medicare Drug Entitlement

by Michael F. Cannon

By stonewalling a legitimate investigation by House Democrats, the Bush administration is showcasing how principle was abandoned to create the new Medicare drug entitlement, and why the program should be repealed.

After President Bush announced last year he would spend "up to $400 billion" over 10 years to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare, senior officials in his administration suppressed estimates by chief Medicare actuary Richard Foster that projected the leading bills before Congress would exceed that amount by as much as $200 billion. Tom Scully, then Bush's Medicare administrator, expressly forbade Foster to share his estimates with Congress and allegedly threatened to fire Foster if he disobeyed. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service opined this week it is possible Scully's actions violated the law.

Meanwhile, Scully and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson campaigned for the bills, citing a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate that met the president's target. As a result, Congress and the public debated and approved the largest entitlement expansion since the creation of Medicare, unaware of the existence of a higher (and highly credible) cost estimate that could have changed the outcome.

Only after the president signed the program into law did the administration release its higher estimate, which came in at $534 billion. When asked about the higher estimate, Bush's response was Clintonian. Without actually saying so, he hinted he learned of the higher estimate only after he signed the bill. An April 16 letter from HHS to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) musters all the obfuscation it can to obstruct Waxman's investigation.

Bush made trust the theme of his last campaign. Yet he and his administration clearly did not trust the people with all the relevant information.

And this scandal compounds another. When brought to a final vote in the House at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, a clear majority voted against the program. Yet GOP leaders held the vote open for nearly three hours-rather than the usual 15 minutes-until they twisted enough arms to change the outcome.

The Republican leadership did exactly what Republicans criticized Al Gore for attempting in Florida: keep counting until you get the result you want, then stop. Congressional scholar Norm Ornstein calls the vote "the ugliest and most outrageous breach of standards in the modern history of the House."

These are officials who once signed a Contract with America that promised "to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives," to give legislation "a clear and fair vote," and to end "government that is . . . too easy with the people's money." These principles were set aside, and in the unwitting service of the administration's deception. Yet not one Republican has joined House Democrats in calling for greater openness from the administration. We're a long way from 1994.

The greatest scandal is the program itself. No one putting their own money on the line would invest in a product like this.

Foster testified before Congress that rather than provide catastrophic-only coverage, the program violates "standard classical insurance principles" by providing coverage that begins at a low deductible then disappears and reappears as one's expenses rise. The point of this bizarre structure, he explained, is political: broad subsidies for non-catastrophic expenses attract more votes. The problem is, they also will lead to over- consumption, inflated drug prices and, if history is any guide, will cost well over $534 billion.

The subsidies were made so broad they will force taxpayers to pick up costs the private sector is now paying voluntarily. The CBO estimates every fourth participant would have had private drug coverage anyway. Employers and unions will receive $71 billion just to keep them from dropping their retirees into the program.

It's hard to remember when more people violated more stated principles to enact such an unprincipled law. Fortunately, the drug program does not take effect until 2006. That gives enough time to repeal it and hold an honest, principled debate about reforming Medicare.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute (

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Support our troops, dont lie to them

Saturday, May 15, 2004

it's all downhill from here....

The most recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal complains about the do-gooders at the Red Cross for saying something about the prison torture. They seem to be upset about the Red Cross violating their "scrupolous adherence to confidentiality agreements"...

Since the WSJ charges for content, I'm just going to retype by hand a segment of their most recent editorial, entitled Red Double Cross (Page A12, 05.14.2004);

"...confidentiality has gotten the ICRC remarkable access and- as countless prisoners over the years have testified- has improved conditions for detainees of regimes not known for brooking public criticism. The ICRC held it's tongue even as it worked in nazi Germany and during the 23-year mission in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

"So it's a more than a little disconcerting and politically suspicious, that a report now leaks, criticizing the United States, of all countries. We'd take ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger's protest that he was 'profoundly distrubed' by the leak a bit more seriously if his organization had not rushed to confirm the authenticity of the document and then hold a press conference about it."

I'm no expert, but I'd like the think the reason the Red Cross has kept mum while doing their work under murderous dictatorship regimes like the Hitler's Nazi Germany and Hussein Baathist Iraq is because these were maybe, um I dunno.... Murderous Dictatorships? Leaking info would mean those that the Red Cross were treating and helping out would ultimately suffer. Anyone suspected of giving out information might be jailed, tortured or executed. Since the population in those nations has no say in how their government acted, there is no disincentive for the respective leaders to show restraint and therefore it would be counterpoductive for the very people the Red Cross would hope to help.

On the other hand, here in the US, we live in a Democratic Republic (in theory anyway), where the elected officials are supposed to be held accountable by the people. While leaked information from within the beuracracy regarding embarresing atrocities that were human rights violations (like say for example RAPE or TORTURE!) might anger the powers that be, it would ultimately be far more difficult for those very same leaders to get away with such violations of law. It would also be more difficult for a deomcratically elected leader to punish those who helped leak the damaging info, being that the info was regarding people breaking the law, and it is after all the executive branch that is supposed to enforce the laws.

At the end of the day the Red Cross leaked the info because, and I'm guessing here, it would do good for those who were suffering, stop current abuses, and prevent future ones as well. The leaked info is a good thing for a nation still interested in preserving it's democracy, decency, human rights and so on. It would also stop some of the problems being created, problems and issues that the Red Cross tries to solve to begin with.

All I can say is this - It's a very sad day in the US when the leaders of the nation that defeated both Nazi Germany and Saddam Hussein are responsible for heinous acts that emulate the cruelty of these bastards. However it is truly pathetic when the supporters of those very same leaders, in an attempt to shake the scandal, can only respond that in judgement they should be held to the same standard as the regimes of Nazi Germany and Baathist Iraq. Truly fucking sad indeed....

sidenote - in attept to boost viewership BMA is adding a host of links in an attempt to be a linkslut. BMA hasn't been that prolific as other blogs, and I hope this might add a few more views with this strategy. I've seen just about all of them, but I never got around to updating the template to add them. BMA gets about 25-30 views a day, but some of them are just google searches on things like "sexy saudi arabia sluts", and clearlty this will not get the right audience.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

In the latest episode of Attack of the Flat Earth Conservatives...

Back in September Willima Kristol and Robert Kagan were saying that Rummy had not allotted enough troops for this war. A few weeks ago these same bozos were suggesting Bush dump Rummy in the April 26 issue of The Weekly Standard;

The shortage of troops in Iraq is the product of a string of bad calculations and a hefty dose of wishful thinking.... If his current secretary of defense cannot make the adjustments that are necessary, the president should find one who will.

Now literally less than 2 weeks later, after the torture scandal that could be very much the result of not enough troops, and the very same guys do a 180 to defend Rummy. I say flat earth because, for these guys, and the math equation they are using, the answer is always the same no matter what the variables are (liberals are always wrong). Just like the Flat Earth Society no matter what the facts are when they stare you in the face the belief they hold remains unchanged. Granted the Flat Earthers are more consistent, but still...

And then the response is "well, were better than Saddam..." You complete and myopic fools. Yes, we are better, but the goal is not to be a little better than the other guy. We are the good guys! We don't stoop to their level, or if we do we don't make excuses for it.

Conservative rightly question just how screwed up thing are over in the White House, until a liberal says something and then the response is "you're being political!" or "troops are in the field you traitor", although usually it is far nastier sounding than that. Felber said it best. Face it, Rummy put together a poorly planned pre-emptive war. No one at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue was prepared to do truly do and really commit to what it would take to engage in a conflict like this. Everyone in the war college knew it. The Chiefs of Staff knew it. However everyone in the White House was optimistic.

There is that word again. Optimism. I am afraid the dictionary that Shrub has been using has a typo. Odds are that word has been switched with something else. I'm betting that word is delusional.

Maybe if Liberals start telling Conservatives that they think everything that Bush and appointed staff does is fantastic, maybe then some of them will wake up to the mess that has been made.

Can we just outsourced the whole damn war out to India? I'm just asking...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I hate to stereotype, but....

Do yourself a favor and look at the chart at the bottom of this website. I know there are very intelligent conservatives, and I have met my fair share of dumb or pie in the sky liberals, but it is hard not to feel validated when you see the stats in such stark terms.

Seeing this I can't help but think of that episode of The Simpsons where all the MENSA members, incluing Lisa, try to govern the town and run it into the ground. Remember, the one where after a speech by Stephen Hawkings, Homer cries "Larry Flynt is right!"

But then again, that episode was the intelligence level of the leadership, not the voting populace. And we already know what happens when you put an frat boy idiot in charge of the most powerful nation in the world.

Those Damn Humanitarian Do-Gooders

With the slick new template, and seeing my name in lights, I figured now was a good time to post my first entry on Palmer's blog. And, holy synchronicity Batman, we get this juicy little tidbit today:

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe Outraged at the Outrage Over Iraqi Prison Abuses.

In it, we get some lovely quotes about how much those damn "do-gooders" are fouling up our plans in Iraq. Like:

"I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons looking for human rights violations, while our troops, our heroes are fighting and dying," he said.

Because what we really need over there is more do-evilers. More people willing to humiliate and demean Iraqi prisoners, because no one who is in prison is ever there for the wrong reason. Right? So they deserve whatever they get. Right?

Seriously, though, I thought that we were the good guys over there. We're bringing democracy (requires registration), to them, so we say. We should be on the lookout for more "do-gooders" so that we don't give the Iraqis the wrong impression of what we're about over there.

Because things will get worse if we don't. Plus, something a lot of people seem to forget, the folks who live over there are humans, just like us. For them, everything is on the line -- life, liberty, hearth, and home. For us it's -- what? I don't even know anymore.

The blog has a new template and new capabilities, including posting photos. I'm still figuring this thing out, but while I'm at it I thought I'd post a digital photo of the dog.... Posted by Hello

Monday, May 10, 2004

Right about this time last year conservative talk show hosts like Limbaugh and Hannity were complaining about the Supreme Court's activist judges stiking down the Texas sodomy law. Now the same blowhards are making excuses for people who sodomized Iraqi prisoners. Sodomy is now a "fratentity prank" for those accused of torture, while those who want to engage in it should be considered felons?

AM I THE ONLY ONE TO SEE THE IRONY AND HYPOCRISY IN THIS? US citizens who want to commit "sodomy" should go to jail, but unwilling foreigners who have chemical light sticks up their ass should understand the culture of the US collegial Greek system better?

Suggested new Bush slogans;

No sodomy for real Americans, sodomy for the enemies of America!

You are either with us or we'll sodomize you!

Bush/Cheney 2004 - Sodomy is Bad For U(SA)!

One more note on this subject - Michigan Preparing To Let Doctors Refuse To Treat Gays. You have to be kidding me....

Sunday, May 09, 2004

I tried to figure out how to backtrack to the link connected to this soundclip, but since I don't know how to do that... click here and then click the link named Bad American Presidents.mp3

Trust me when I say you'll laugh your ass off. As annoyed as I've been at Stern before for backing certain candidates (as in NJ Govenor and former EPA director Christine Whitman, and current Govenor of NY George Pataki) as well as calling for more Rodney King Beatings and saying all kinds of highly offenseive shit over the years I have to admit he has made me laugh many a time. Its nice to hear him rail as hard as he can against this idiotic leader we have as a Commander in Chief.

found on Howard Stern's site.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Recycled but very Relevant information - I heard Author P.W. Singer on Fresh Air while I was on vacation in Seattle last summer. The host and author discussed his most recent book The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. I didn't hear the whole segment, but it is very apropo (sp?) right about now. It practically sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel.

Singer wrote the new book, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. Over the last decade, private companies have provided tactical support, advice, training, security and even intelligence to the military. In the recent war against Iraq, private military employees handled everything from feeding and housing U.S. troops to maintaining sophisticated weapons like the B-2 stealth bomber. The practice raises troubling ethical questions. Singer is an Olin Fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution and coordinator of the Brookings Project on U.S. Policy towards the Islamic World.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I can only listen online to Air America Radio since we lost our affiliate in Chicago. I've been listening to Al's show pretty faithfully at my desk, and I would have to say that the segment where he has his friend the dittohead Mark come on has been the most eye opening and enlighting, as well as infuriating.

You know what pissed me off more than anything regarding the prisoner abuse? The excuses from somebody by a Limbaugh (and Mancow, and....), about it was merely a "skull and bone prank", a fraternity initiation . This is regarding the photo of the prisoners stacked in a pyramid. It doesn't even address the deaths, the sodomy, and what not.

Conservatives always talk about absolute truth and difference between good and evil. And yet something like happens and we got moral relativism that only the GOP can serve up.

And the amazing thing is the people who served (including those on the right) are angry, while the bastards that found a way out of their military service responsibility are laughing about it and making excuses. McCain was an actual Prisoner of War and understandably he was pissed. He should be - if we treat these people this way then what right do we have to be angry when they mistreat our POWs?

What incentive does a blowhard like Rush have to want to see POWs treated fairly when this asshole will never see military service because of a "cyst". Fucking bastards, all of them.

Is pride the same as self righteousness, at least regarding the seven deadly sins? Because there is nothing worse than self righteousness, for it enables all the other sins without a single episode of self questioning or self probing....

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Does anybody remember when Howard Dean was asked how many people were in Iraq back in maybe it was April? Howard Dean answered I believe Approximately 135,000. He was off by a few thousand, and those who were taking potshots at Dean over his answer being not right on the money.

At that time, the assumed Democratic Presidential Nominee answer to Tim Russert regarding the number of troops in Iraq was off by a few thousand, and the criticism from the blowhards like Hannity and such was merciless. The all exclaimed "A guy that was seeking the highest office in the land didn't know how many troops we had in the field?". It seemed to me like high expectations of one guy over an issue like this, but I guess those right wingers demand a lot from their leaders.. well not really. Not from their own. (The president had enough difficulty pronouncing his own name, much less making a fool of himself when he asked if they had black people in Brazil, but hey who's counting, right?)

Dean said the number of troops was “in the neighborhood of 135,000;” according to Seelye, the actual number was 146,000.

So if a person running for President like Howard Dean couldn't nail the number of troops in Kuwait pre war, then one would think that the very same individuals that got on his case would demand the same accuracy from someone who actually works at the Pentagon, or more specifically someone who is second in command there, right?

Pentagon's No. 2 Flubs Iraq Casualties

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was asked about the toll at a hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee. "It's approximately 500, of which -- I can get the exact numbers -- approximately 350 are combat deaths," he responded

"He misspoke," spokesman Charley Cooper said later. "That's all."

American deaths Thursday were at 722 -- 521 of them from combat -- since the start of military operations in Iraq last year, according to the Department of Defense.

Shall we compare them?

Person of Interest Answer Given Actual Number Percentage off
Dean 135000 146000 8%
Wolfowitz 521 722 39%

So is anybody on the right concerned that the guy that actually works at the Pentagon can't get this number right?