Molt Be Blog

Friday, September 30, 2005

Good Synopsis

I'm digging Dan Froomkin's column latetly. Here's today's: Miller's Big Secret


Not a Lot of Time

Busy day with not a lot of time for bloggin'.
A few things for me to check out and newsworthy items:
I need to learn more about TCP/IP
Delay is in trouble and loads of Political infighting ensues. I love it!
Judith Miller testified after 3 months in Jail. Don't know if I like the idea of making the media reveal its sources, but I definitely like the idea of Rove and Libby finally being called out on their unethical behavior. What ever happened to that anyway? Why isn't Rove fired? Baffling.
And didn't Cindy Sheehan get arrested the other day? What's she up to?


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Immature Poop Joke

I'm sorry, but Search the Solid Waste Information System is a very amusing web page title.
That's all I've got. Don't ask how I came across this.


WHoa! That's Cheap

Good news for the impoverished little tykes with this $100 laptop developed at MIT.


Roberts Confirmed

Roberts Confirmed
The Good People List:
Akaka (D-HI) Bayh (D-IN) Biden (D-DE) Boxer (D-CA) Cantwell (D-WA) Clinton (D-NY) Corzine (D-NJ) Dayton (D-MN) Durbin (D-IL) Feinstein (D-CA) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry D-MA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Obama (D-IL) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Sarbanes (D-MD) Schumer (D-NY) Stabenow (D-MI)



How many times has Bush claimed to have caught or killed Osam's Third in Command? or Zarqaqi's #3?
I wonder. Probably several. You have to understand, though, that once one #3 is killed #4 becomes #3. So it's entirely possible that they just keep catching dudes when they're in that third slot. Known as the "shit-slot" 'round the q'aeda camp.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I don't know if you've been following the Abramoff case, but something about this is finally starting to seem a bit too insane to ignore.
Just the facts ma'am:
(1) The other day, 3 men are arrested for a murder that took place in 2001.
(2) The man they killed, Boulis, had recently been involved in a business deal with Abramoff in the sale of Boulis' fleet of Casino boats, SunCruz.
(3) According to the Miami Sun-Sentinel, "[one of the suspects] and his daughter, Jennifer, were paid $145,000 by SunCruz -- then controlled by Kidan and Abramoff -- for catering and other work, according to the civil court documents."
So let's see: Abramoff buys casino boat fleet. Abramoff pays mobster for catering services in the amount of $145,000. Guy Abramoff buys boats from is killed by caterer in gangland style murder. If there was a motive, this idiot would be in jail... but wait, "The slaying of Boulis came amid bitter legal fighting over the SunCruz sale, including a physical altercation in which Kidan told police that Boulis had attacked him with a pen, drawing blood."
That should do it for this lobbyist. Now how about the other 5 million of them? (Not the sierra club lobbyists of course, but, rather, the corrupt ones who go around killing people and stealing money from native Americans.)


Giant Squid Caught on Film

Cool! Nerd! Giant Squid Caught on Film


Woo Hoo!

Similarity? Inarguable!
Finally! This asshole gets indicted: DeLay Indicted in Texas Campaign Finance Probe
Here's the more comprehensive article in the washignton post: DeLay Indicted in Campaign Finance Probe.

DeLay has denied committing any crime and accused the Democratic district attorney leading the investigation, Ronnie Earle, of pursuing the case for political motives.

I have to say that I agree with Delay on this one. It's all these horrible Texas liberals that are just trying to take him down. Don't be concerned by his multiple links and ties to all things wrong in Washington. And remember, when they went after Clinton that wasn't political... wait a second... he didn't even do anything illegal. Hrm...
Delay is going down but I could be happier. I wish that this would clean up Washington, but it's only a start and will probably just serve as a distraction from all the other corruption, cronyism and nepotism going on down here (not to mention the just plain criminal behavior). This is just a drop in the bucket.


Krugman's Article from 9/26/2005

Working around the NYTimes Select, I'll post this Krugman OpEd:
Paul Krugman: Find the Brownie


Angry About Times Select?

Go here to learn about ways to not have to pay to read Krugman's OpEd pieces:
Daily Kos: IMPORTANT: A "back door" to the NYT's op-eds exists


Near Miss

Finally, my inability to make a decision on whether or not to buy something pays off as Apple admits problems with iPod Nano.
I suppose I'll wait another month to buy one...


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back from SD

R and I just got back from SD a few hours ago. Pictures to come, but for now, some links that were part of the A Word A Day newsletter.
Almost Before We Spoke, We Swore
Computer Learns Grammar by Crunching Sentences
Fake Words in Dictionaries


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Turning the Pages™, the British Library

Cool!: Turning the Pages™, the British Library


Libraries! Whoa!

Reminder for me to go to the DC MLK Public Library to pick up some books that I considered buying and then thought to myself, "wait a second... I feel like there's a way to read a book without having to pay for it...."


A Next Big Thing

I kept hearing the DJs on 6music talking about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I'm actually connected to this band through a coworker who is friends with them. I later found that their album has a 9.0 rating on Pitchfork. A note to self to check out: this interview on Tiny Mix Tapes


Photoshop Tutorials

Note to self: check out these photshop tutorials to see if they work in the gimp


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Typical District of Calamity Behavior

This town is so stupid: Mayoral Hopefuls Spar Over Rising Gas Prices

As though people really need to worry about buying gas in DC. Is this just to get the taxi-cab vote that they're doing this? Anyone can just drive across the bridge to VA for some cheap gas if they need to. Isn't the school system a wreck? Are we all like flies to a light for low gasoline prices? I don't give a flying whatnot about the price of gas. There. I said it. It's like sacrilege, I know.


Rita Upgraded to 'Monster' Category 5 Hurricane

This can't be good: Rita Upgraded to 'Monster' Category 5 Hurricane


Note to self: Check out


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Projected Path? [UPDATED]

Where You Were Evacuated To, Of Course! Looks like Rita is headed right for the Astrodome. No mercy for those that evacuated NOLA, obviously. Ok, back to the working in the cube.
[update]and this link that I found on Google Groups will let you watch all the current hurricanes and their projected paths through the Google Earth program udpated every ten minutes. It's quite an awesome time waster. You'll need Windows and Google Earth downloaded and a serious internet connection, but it's interesting, nonetheless.[/update]



This is nice.


Crossing The Street

For those that haven't seen them, in DC they have timers on the pedestrian crossing signs that count down how long you have left to make it across the street. Walking with two coworkers to lunch yesterday, we approached a sign that indicated there were 11 seconds left to cross Massachusetts avenue at its intersection with 18th street. As we aren't old ladies we all decided (in our heads, mind you) that this was long enough to cross the street and kept walking. A pickup truck that wanted to make a right turn stopped to wait for us to cross. As we made it across the double-yellow line, the driver of the pickup made his turn, stopped, leaned out the window and said, "I know you have the right of way, but you're still ignorant pieces of shit."
Needless to say, we were all quite surprised at his statement. None of us responded. Later, I wished I'd said something witty but also realized that, had I said anything, it would have contained several curse words and would have involved sinking to his level.
What baffled us all, is that he chose to include the part about knowing that we had the right of way. To me, this indicated his own ignorance. I decided that he had probably made a conscious decision to call us "ignorant pieces of sh*t", but noticed that the sign was still indicating that we could walk just before he opened his mouth and then decided to include his knowledge of this information in his statement. He sped off and probably felt pretty good. We just felt like sitting down with him and picking his brain as to what he was thinking as he leaned out that window.


Monday, September 19, 2005


Went to Thai Tanic and got some food for dinner. Quite spicy. R used milk to wash it down. She is a wuss. I drank tabasco.


Who Makes How Much - New York's Salary Guide 2005

Who Makes How Much - New York's Salary Guide - Interesting


Tyco Fools Sentenced

Finally, white collar criminals are starting to get what they deserve... if you call 4 years and 11 months after good behavior what they deserve.


Talk Like a Pirate

Just heard on the radio that tis Talk Like a Pirate Day, today, September 19th. Arrrr! And t'think I've been missing it all day! Arrrr! I be sorrowful for having wasted so much of me time.
I'm clearly not the first to post about this.


"Insult to Injury" or "A Kick While You're Down"

Tropical Storm Rita to enter Gulf. This can't be good. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this thing dissipates.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

New Clothing Supplier

Saw this ad for a t-shirt while looking around on pitchfork. Those shirts had better be fantastic for $15 a pop. Wee Shall See.


A little late...

Just saw the 9/13 episode of the Daily Show with Kurt Vonnegut. On the daily show website is his tongue-in-cheek list of "Liberal Crap I Never Want to Hear Again".
Lazy sunday. Still trying to organize the 900 albums that have been ripped apart by iTunes (remind me to write them a letter). A beautiful day here in DC, so I might go for a run in a few minutes, but should hydrate first.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

A New Accessory

This little beauty fits right underneath the mac mini. It's a 250 gig hard drive that will help me to permanently elimnate the gigantic old compaq tower that's been sitting around holding all of my mp3s and backing up my pictures. One step closer to eliminating my PC addiction and switching over to the snob-side.
Spent the day riding the scooter up to a mall in MD to buy this thing and coming back down. Who knew that riding aroud could be so tiring? R and I watched Hellboy. What a piece of crap. It had amusing moments. Two, by my count.
R and I are off to a party that a coworker of mine is throwing around 9:30, but in the meantime I'll be trying to patch over the damage that iTunes did to my music library; deleting all of my precisely entered file names and relegating anything without an IDv3 tag to "Unknown" folders.).


Friday, September 16, 2005


Not much time for blogging today. Will say that both the OC and Bush's speech last night [Full Transcript] were disappointing. As far as NOLA is concerned, it sounds like there's going to be a lot of money poured in and that Bush is going to set up one of those controversial tax-free zones around the area so that his corporate buddies can get tax breaks. I don't really think that the poverty-stricken people that are having the hardest time are really helped out by "tax-relief", but I'm sure the trickle-down theory will benefit them like it has been since Reagan....Um... Obviously.
I also liked when he blamed the current situation of poor black people in the area on national policies from 200 years ago, that was sweet. I'm not saying that what happened so long ago hasn't been the cause of untold problems, but I don't think any of his "Tax Cuts For Rich People" programs have been helping with the problem. What did he say again? Oh yeah:

As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.

So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses.

When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared for the jobs being created. Americans want the Gulf Coast not just to survive, but to thrive, not just to cope, but to overcome. We want evacuees to come home, for the best of reasons -- because they have a real chance at a better life in a place they love.

Promises. Promises. I just can't believe that he admitted that "a history of racial discrimination..cut off generations from the opportunity of America". I thought he and the folks that he loves thought that folks were supposed to use their bootstraps and an adequate amount of pulling up on those to get where they need to go. Isn't he trying to cut affirmative action? Since when does he think blaming prior generations for your current situation is ok? Wait... He's from the marriage of two fantastically rich families... He got where he was thanks to prior generations... He's never even had to tug at his bootstraps as he had maids and butlers to do it for him. Maybe he's seen the light.
He also called the storm "cruel and wasteful". That's just ridiculous. Who writes this crap?

Tomorrow is Sabado! Woo-hoo!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

There's that Theatre Argument I was talking about...

David Brooks' OpEd: "Ready? Cue the Sun..." scripts what I was blathering about this morning.


Who's in Charge? Karl Rove!

Who's in Charge? Karl Rove!
Say it Aint' So! Say it Ain't So!


Dang It!

*forgot to enter this last week!

I dropped my Blackberry in the bowl while I was changing clothes in the bathroom at work the other day (I swear).
I didn't even think twice before my hand was grabbing it out. It appeared to be working perfectly, but five minutes later started making a buzzing noise and five minutes after that started vibrating and continued to do so until I removed the battery.
I left the batter out overnight and shook it a bunch to get the toilet-water out and now it works just fine. I've even gotten over the fact that I'm now talking into a petri-dish.


Why, George. What remarkably crappy handwriting you have...

I'm trying to figure out what he's writing down. To me it looks like "I think I may need a bathroom break", but I can't be too sure. Does it say something that he bothered with the unnecessary "I think" part of this sentence? Is he wasting time? Yes. Yes he is. What's to think about? You either do, or you don't. I really hope Condi's reply note said, "alert me when you're sure."
Of course, this all disproves my illiteracy theory, unless this is one of the sentences for which George memorized the order of "these weird symbols everyone is always using".


I figured it out!

I've been listening to some of the confirmation hearing on wnyc and have finally figured out what a ridiculous theatrical performance this all is. There's almost no reason to have these things. Unless someone really screws up and gets borked, there's little chance that they won't end up being nominated. They can choose not to answer any question. It really IS a litmus test, but the test is just seeing what questions someone is dumb enough to answer. It's all such a farce. And it looks like Roberts is smart enough to not answer the right questions.
Q: "Are you an idiot?"
A: "I don't need to answer that."
Q: "Well, he's smart enough to know not to answer... Congratultions! You're in. Now go ban abortion and help out some corporations!"


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Find the connection

Sea Lions attack, the Second Deadliest day in Baghdad, and Britney gives birth (or not)


Interesting Links

Robotic Operational Being Engineered for Rational Troubleshooting and Sabotage
Some interesting links found from the BBC's clickonline:
"Eric Feng is a Taiwanese artist who has achieved some notoriety in recent years for his hugely individual work." and here's a site where you can get your own cyborg name. (here's mine)

And this is just to remind me to check out .htaccess.


For those keeping tabs...

SCOTUSblog keeps you updated on all the Supreme Court questioning and manages to boil down 300 minute questions and answers into nice, concise little paragraphs. Thank goodness.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Sad that we've reached a point where Bush Takes Responsibility is actually a headline.


Bless You, Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter's OpEd today in the Washington Post is a sweet call to the man and America to think the hell up and a realize that drilling in Alaska is going to do only a few things:
(1) Possibly make us less reliant on foreign countries for oil by a factor of about .00000001*
(2) Make a bunch of money for Exxon and other such corporations who have just been benefited by tremedous tax reliefe and probably pay lower taxes than the average McDonald's employee.
(3) Give a bunch of jobs to people in Alaska.
(4) Pave a soon to be former national wildlife refuge with asphault.

I vote no. Granted, I live in DC and have no representation. You should encourage your representative to vote no. If one thinks about who will actually benefit from drilling in the Wildlife Refuge (isn't it amazing that we're even discussing this? It's a refuge for chrissakes), there's no logic reason to do it.

*calculations made on napkin and not "factual".


It just occurred to me...

I'm listening to the Roberts hearing live on npr in New York,wnyc, and it just occurred to me that Bush and Co may not have put Roberts in for his conservative values, but rather for his position on privatization and corporate entitlement. My guess can only be that Roberts is big into helping rich people get richer, otherwise Rove never would have told Bush to nominate him. I'm starting to gather from his testimony that he's not morally evil, but might be a strong supporter of greed. As far as I can tell, it looks like he's going to get nominated. Only time will tell if he's being honest with his half-answers today.
And YC pointed me to this articel in the Guardian (who just changed their print format to an awesome new little version at a cost of $62 million, by the way). The article states the obvious fact that corporations dodging taxes is what causes poverty to continue in our times.


War Child Album

Good music for a good cause. Go here and download this album. All of the artists are fantastic and it's for helping kids affected by war. You can't go wrong.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Brownie Resigns

Brownie Resigns! Let this be a lesson as to what the media can can accomplish. Let's not stop here. Let's start looking into the credentials of all of his stupid crony buddies and see why they don't belong in their positions.


Interesting Video/Horrible Recruitment Practices

A friend sent me an email pointing to this interesting video (8 mins), that I need to watch later.
Another friend sent this link, which is another video ([UPDATE] turns out to be a very amusing Andy Dick skit featuring some great clips of Bush demonstrating his inability to speak). I'll have to check later.
And this blog talks about recruiters working the crowd in the Astrodome to try to take advantage of the now homeless NOLA residents and convince them that going to die in the desert is a good idea. Sick, sick sick.
There was a very interesting article in Vanity Fair this past month about the insane/illegal recruitment practices that are going on for the Armed Forces right now.
I also happened upon the Daily Dose at Vanity Fair, which has lots of links to lots of time wasters. Must remember to follow some of them at home.


Samsung Develops 16GB (yes GB) flash chip

And I thought the 1GB chip in my digital camera was uneccessary. This article in Digital Chosunilbo points to the upcoming Nerdolution. Another claim to "replace paper" that will likely create more paper and less trees. How do they always manage to do that?
And later today, Bush 's advance team will go ahead of him cleaning up streets before he inspects them. "This looks fine! Someone's doing a heck of a job!"
Let me guess, Bush will likely survey damage to the downtown business district and not the body-floating district.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

New Orleans II (brought to you by Halliburton)

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was very adamant in his interview on Meet the Press this morning that the only people who should rebuild New Orleans are New Orleanians and I'd definitely have to agree with him.
Halliburton and others with inarguable ties to Bush/Cheney have already secured contracts to help in the rebuilding effort. I've said it before and I'll say it again, projects like this are what the federal government is for. Why pay someone else to do a crappy job for which they can't be held responsible? I don't want my tax dollars making some asshole rich while he rebuilds New Orleans. I'd much rather have them spent on rebuilding New Orleans to be better than it was before while still allowing all of the former residents to move back in (not stuck in a tent city in the middle of Louisiana). Halliburton, The Shaw Group and Bechtel all have ties to Bush and are all involved in the cleanup. Granted, these are the companies that have the ability to do this, but so does the federal government. Also, it's just so insane that all of these companies have ties to Bush in one way or another. Cronyism, anyone?
Nagin is right. The people of New Orleans should rebuild it. I'm not saying they should "play a role." I'm saying they should do everything. Kick out these idiot companies that will just steal their money and produce crap. There are plenty of qualified people in Louisiana that could do this and they've definitely got the funds.

And this left wing article on the class inequality in the United States is quite a nice read.

On a more big picture note, I think this whole disaster is easily chalk-upable to the fact that planning doesn't equal action. NOLA had a great evacuation plan as pointed out by David Brooks in his NYT OpEd piece today. The Dept. Of Homeland Security probably had a pretty good plan on file somewhere ("Call FEMA") and FEMA probably also had another plan somewhere. The government even had a memo somewhere that said Al Qaida was planning on attacking the US with planes. None of this necessarily creates actions. I get things at work all the time where after reading them I think, "That's interesting. I wonder if it's my job to do something about that." Then I put whatever it was to the side and wait to see if someone asks me what I'm doing about it.
I think that last part is the key to all of this. Unless someone at the top is asking the difficult questions about the details and who is taking care of them, people won't do things. We're lazy. We're not here to work unless we have to. This is where I fault the different idiots at the top. And the fact that they're idiots leads me to fault the idiots that put them there. Bush is an idiot, but my guess is that he wasn't necessarily the one who really decided to put "Brownie" at the head of FEMA. It was probably the departing FEMA head, Allbaugh, that suggested his old college roommate for the job. Bush doesn't know these people. A team of researchers and PR fools sits around and figures out who owes who a position and who will be more willing to bow to corporate pressure and then tells Bush to nominate him. You know it's true. Not just because it would be logistically difficult for Bush to actually know who to nominate (he's not that smart, people), but because it's the only way it makes sense that such underqualified and inexperienced to be in such positions of power who also all happen to be related to Bush in some campaign/corporate fashion.
It's all right there.

Russert is doing a bit on Meet the Press now to say how necessary first responders are while we remember 9/11. Lame that more people probably died in NOLA in the past two weeks and our first responders got there after the media by 2 days because FEMA had them sitting in seminars and handing out flyers. PR people!



Sunday! My favorite day to laze around and forget that I have to go back to work tomorrow. That four day week last week was sweet and will likely make this one suck.
I'm up early enough to watch Meet the Press this week, which I'll try to do after I get caught up on all the hurricane news.
Today is also our first Condo Board Meeting, which R is going to come home from work for. It should be... lame. I'm sure. Some of the riveting items up for discussion include how much we're willing to pay to put a lock on the back door and how much we're willing to pay to stain the deck. Excitement by definition, no?
Watched I Heart Huckabees last night. I like it. I don't care what anybody thinks.
Perhaps some more blog after the show...


Friday, September 09, 2005


Krauthammer sticks it to the blamers in his OpEd today. I'd like to think that Bush is completely at fault (only because it would put the blame squarely on the person I already couldn't stand), but Krauthammer makes good arguments for blaming NOLA Mayor, Ray Nagin and the governor first before working up to FEMA and Bush.



A remind to myself to read this later as well:


Republican Quotes in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

A friend forwarded this list to me... fun! - Greg

Republican Quotes in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

"A large part of the response to the hurricane's impact is to jump-start the region's economy, which requires a vibrant national economy," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Trent Duffy.Duffy asserted that the vast spending that would be required to address the hurricane's impact adds to the need to change Social Security, which threatens to strain the budget in coming years.
Congress Daily, September 7, 2005

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." -- Barbara Bush, in Houston
(AP). September 6, 2005

Secretary Snow: "Making the tax cuts permanent would be a real plus in a situation like this because people would know they had, going forward, the advantage of lower tax rates," Snow said. "And when people know they have lower tax rates locked in going forward, it affects their behaviors. It makes them more confident of the future." Press Statement September 6, 2005

President Bush: “Brownie, you’re doin’ a heck of a job.” September 2, 2005

While Chertoff said the levee breach that flooded New Orleans "exceeded the foresight of planners," Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, said Brown and other top federal officials were briefed as much as 32 hours in advance of landfall that Hurricane Katrina's storm surge was likely to overtop levees and cause catastrophic flooding.

Washington Post, September ?, 2005

Asked in an interview with the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago paper, whether it makes sense to spend billions rebuilding a city that lies below sea level, a reference to New Orleans, Hastert
replied, "I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me." He added it was a question "that certainly we should ask. And, you know, it looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed."
Hastert expressed sympathy for victims of the hurricane and said "we are going to rebuild this city. We can help replace, we can relieve disaster." At the same time, he said "we ought to take a second look at it. But you know, we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of
earthquake fissures and they rebuild, too. Stubbornness," he said.
Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, as reported by AP, 9.1.05

“I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”
President George W. Bush Interview,ABC-TV Good Morning America, September 1, 2005

"It's truly been a catastrophic event," said FEMA Deputy Director Patrick Rhode. – as quoted August 30, 2005 by AP

"There's money available for the urgent needs right now, resources available," McClellan said. "But this is a major catastrophe and we're certainly going to do everything from the standpoint of the federal government to make sure that the needs are met as best we can.”
As quoted by Reuters, August 31, 2005

"The leader is committed at this point to a vote on full repeal [of the estate tax] regardless of what anyone does," a spokeswoman for Frist told Tax Analysts.
Quoted in Tax Notes, September 1, 2005

"Flood control has been a priority of this administration from Day One," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan, adding that the administration in recent years has dedicated a total of $300 million for flood control in the New Orleans area. Beyond that, he dismissed questions about specific projects as mere partisan sniping. "This is not a time for finger pointing or playing politics," McClellan said.

Quoted in the Washington Post, September 2, 2005

"I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday," he said on ABC. "I mean I understand the anxiety of people on the ground. . . . But I want people to know that there is a lot of help coming."
Bush, as quoted in Washington Post, September 2, 2005

Asked later whether that included those stealing food or water to survive, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yes. "There are ways for them to get that help," he said. "Looting is not the way for them to do it."
As quoted in the Washington Post, September 2, 2005

Michael Brown, director of FEMA, conceded in a CNN interview that the relief effort was struggling. "What you're seeing is unacceptable," Mr. Brown said. "We're going to help those people."
As quoted in the WSJ, September 1, 2005

"Our citizens must understand this storm has disrupted the capacity to make gasoline and to distribute gasoline."
Bush, as quoted in WSJ, September 1, 2005

"This spending is essential and I don't think it will fundamentally undermine our ability to hit the deficit targets that the president has set for the country," White House budget director Joshua Bolten told reporters. Bolten announced that President Bush was asking Congress for an initial $10.5 billion in emergency disaster relief for the victims of the storm. A second, larger funding request is expected later this month. Bush has set a goal of halving the federal budget deficit by 2009. "Right now we see ourselves on a continuing declining path in the deficit out over the next several years toward the 2009 goal that the president talked about," Bolten said. "This kind of spending adds a challenge to us in meeting those goals but I don't think it's a long term challenge. I think the kind of spending we're talking about here is something that will be a concern in the next year or two and not long run for the economy," he added.
As quoted by AP, September 1, 2005

“People are still stranded, they’re reaching their breaking point and they need our help now,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R Tenn., said. “That’s why at 10 o clock tonight we are acting.”
As quoted in CQ, September 1, 2005

"I suspect that means some kind of stimulus package out there to be sure that we see the economy move forward as it needs to rather than it might in response to this disaster," Blunt concluded.
As quoted in BNA, September 6, 2005

"We're going to take a hard, hard look at our disaster response," Frist said.
As quoted in Washington Post, September 6, 2005

Lawmakers also will weigh allowing exploration for oil and gas along the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and letting states lease federal offshore land to companies exploring for natural gas along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. "We can put that on the table very quickly," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton of Texas, citing support for the offshore leasing proposal from Resources Chairman Rep. Richard Pombo of California. Coastal states with big tourism industries, such as Florida, are likely to resist on environmental grounds.
As quoted in the WSJ, September 6, 2005

"We do not foresee this rising to a level that takes us off track for achieving the president's budget objectives," Treasury Secretary John Snow said.
As quoted by Knight-Ridder, September 6, 2005

Their language says this, now is not time to cut services to the most vulnerable, cut taxes for the most fortunate and add to the deficit. That's the basic theme of the [Reid-Conrad-Pelosi-Spratt] letter. If allowed to go forward, this bill, and they are talking about the reconciliation bill would cut programs that would likely cut programs that many victims of hurricane katrina will be relying on including medicaid, food stamps and student loans. Those two statements are, as I said, boldly Inaccurate....We've Had some of the best job creation in the history of this country over the last few years and as a result people are paying taxes and revenues are going up. Totally Ignored and misrepresented in this letter. More specifically and the thing I find most unreasonable about the terms of this letter or as a say most boldly inaccurate is this representation of the can – this will somehow effect programs that benefit people relative to the problems that we have in the south today as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Nothing Could be further from the truth, be more inaccurate or be more of an attempt to use the trauma and tragedy of katrina to assert a political agenda here in the Congress of the United States Which they have been trying to assert, as I said, since they voted against this budget six months ago. The two have no substantive relationship but there's an attempt to use the political arena to link them up.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Gregg, floor statement, September 7, 2005

In a WTAE-TV interview airing 9/4, Sen. Rick Santorum (R) addressed those who did not evacuate ahead of Katrina: "I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."
As quoted in The Hotline, September 7, 2005

Meanwhile, House Ways and Means Chairman Thomas said he envisions three separate bills moving one per week over the next three weeks, beginning with a vote Thursday on freeing up funds under programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and also encouraging charitable donations. "We're not putting a lot of new money out there; it's freeing up money that's there already," Thomas said.
As quoted in CongressDaily, September 7, 2005

That is a distortion of absurd proportions,” Kevin Madden, spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said of Pelosi’s charges that Congress has underfunded FEMA and first responders.“Congress has and will continue to fund first responders and ensure that we have the resources that are needed to respond to disasters and emergencies,” Madden said. “In light of the federal response to Katrina, Congress is focused on reviewing where the emergency plan faltered, how to fix it and taking action to ensure any mistakes are remedied and not repeated in the future.”
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“I certainly think it’s important to keep it completely focused on the disaster at home,” Vitter said.
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“How are we going to pay for this?” asked Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. “What are we going to cut?”
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“We will not leave this week until we complete action on that bill,” Frist said.

As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

“What can we do to make this a different kind of recovery, a bolder, better recovery than we’ve ever seen before?” Lott asked the chairmen.
As reported in CQ Today, September 7, 2005

"Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds . . . to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans."
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Letter to Speaker Hastert, September 7, 2005

“Americans deserve answers. We must do all we can to learn from this tragedy, improve the system and protect all of our citizens."
Senate Majority Leader Frist, as quoted in the Washington Post, September 8, 2005

"We don't need to sit here with our mouths taped shut, and not defend the president, when the governor of Louisiana did not ask for the National Guard and the mayor didn't order a mandatory evacuation" early enough, said Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia. Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin are both Democrats.
As quoted in the Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

After Mr. Reid predicted that the federal response would cost as much as $150 billion, Mr. DeLay told reporters the Nevada Democrat was playing "political games" by making a prediction that high. "It implies that you know what's going on," Mr. DeLay said. "There's no way that anyone knows."A few hours later, Sen. Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said federal spending on the disaster could reach $200 billion.
Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

After officials asked for help evacuating New Orleans, the department dispatched an Amtrak train, he said. "We had a train ready in Avondale for 600 passengers, and all FEMA delivered to us were 96 people," Mr. Mineta said, adding that if FEMA "couldn't muster the folks from the convention center," the Transportation Department figured it wasn't a good use of its resources.
Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

“All of these bills have one goal," Mr. Hastert said, "to get help to the people of the Gulf Coast and to get it to them now."

As quoted in the New York Times, September 8, 2005

Texas expects FEMA "to reimburse us 100 percent for everything," said Robert Black, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry.
Washington Times, September 8, 2005

President Bush: "The private sector needs to do its part."
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

This deplorable performance has deep roots. Joe M. Allbaugh, a Bush campaign hack without any crisis management experience who was named director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, disparaged federal disaster assistance as "an oversized entitlement program" before Congress in 2001. The public's expectations of government in a disaster situation, he said, "may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level." He advised stricken communities to rely for help on "faith-based organizations ... like the Salvation Army and the Mennonite Disaster Service."
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

Thursday evening on NPR, I heard Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who oversees FEMA, dismiss reports of thousands of refugees trapped at the New Orleans convention center for days without sustenance. He called the reports, in so many words, "rumors and anecdotes. Informed that an NPR reporter had been on the scene, he sniffed, "I can't argue with you about what your reporter tells you." Later, his staff called back to say that he had "received a report confirming the situation" and that he was now "working tirelessly" to get food to the location. As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

At a news conference that day, FEMA Director Michael Brown, Allbaugh's successor and college chum, attributed the death toll in New Orleans "to people who did not heed evacuation warnings." Insensitive to the truth that many of the stranded had no way of responding to the warnings - no money, no transport out of the city and nowhere to go - he blamed them for having failed to prepare any better than, well, the federal government. He also described security in the city, where snipers were firing on rescue boats and a mob beat back police trying to impose order at the convention center, as "pretty darn good." The image of lawlessness, he said, was fomented by those willing to "stick a camera" in front of "bad people."
As quoted by Michael Hiltzik in Golden State/LA Times, September 5, 2005

“It would have been interesting if she had shown some level of restraint.”
RNC spokesman Brian Jones responding to Senator Clinton’s criticisms of FEMA

|As quoted in the Washington Post, September 8, 2005

“The project manager of the Great Pyramids probably put in a request for 100 million shekels and only got 50 million. Flood protections is always a work in progress; on any given day, if you ask whether any community has all the protections it needs, the answer is almost always: Maybe, but maybe not.”
John Paul Woodley Jr., Bush administration official overseeing the Army Corps
As quoted in the Washington Post, September 8, 2005

“I’ve got this down,” Michael Chertoff boasted to aides last weekend as he staveds off questions on television about handling the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
As quoted by Robert D. Novak, Washington Post, September 8, 2005

Definition: adoxography, the art of eruditely praising worthless things.

During a discussion on hurricane relief efforts, an off camera protester shouts, "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself." The camera remains on Cheney while we hear scuffling in the background. Cheney continues speaking. CNN's reporter asks Cheney, "Are you getting a lot of that Mr. Vice President?" Cheney replies, "First time I've heard it., Must be a friend of John..., er, ah never mind." Laughter ensues from the VP and reporters.
Incident carried live by CNN and MSNBC, as reported on

“I spoke to Mike Chertoff today -- he's the head of the Department of Homeland Security. I knew people would want me to discuss this issue, so we got us an airplane on -- a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him.”
President Bush
Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club, Arizona, August 29, 2005
two hours after receiving word that New Orleans’ levees had broken

“Ten days after Katrina, the private economy is holding up nicely.”
First sentence of the lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005

"There are ongoing problems on the ground, and that's why we're working to address those issues."
Scott McLellan, as quoted by AP, September 8, 2005

"We're just beginning the process we've got to rebuild people's homes, we've got to rebuild people's businesses, we've got to rebuild the infrastructure," said Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican.
As quoted in the Baltimore Sun, September 8, 2005

Rep. Randy Cunningham, a California Republican who also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, told Reuters after the meeting that conservatives fretted about the huge relief costs with "more storms (gathering off the southern coast), the Iraq war and health care" costs that are rapidly escalating for the federal government. Cunningham said that none of those Republicans suggested scaling back costly tax-cut proposals they have advanced for the past few years. Instead, he said they urged the Bush administration to look at ways to save on Gulf Coast reconstruction by waiving rules requiring union laborers for upcoming federal contracts.
As quoted in the Baltimore Sun, September 8, 2005

“And the last thing we need to do, as a result of the Katrina disaster, is to add any additional burden to the economy. And raising taxes adds a burden to the economy. What we need is to have the economy continue to do well. That provides the fuel, that provides the resources to pay for the Katrina disaster and to pay to get these communities back on their feet.”
National Economic Council Director Al Hubbard on CNBC, September 7, 2005

“If we ever had an excuse, a reason to cut the budget, this is it,” Flake said of the Katrina spending.
Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) as reported in CQ Today, September 8, 2005

According to Gregg, "the one thing we have proved beyond a reasonable doubt" is that tax cuts stimulate the economy, create jobs, and ultimately raise revenue. "They must be ignoring history," he said.
As quoted in Tax Notes Today, September 8, 2005

House Ways and Means Committee Chair William M. Thomas, R Calif., was equally critical of the letter. "Let's deal with what we should do," he told reporters. "To issue letters on what we should not do now isn't all that much help."
As quoted in Tax Notes Today, September 8, 2005


Slate - Dispatch from NOLA

Slate's article is interesting. Just a sample:

He says the bar did pretty good business even through last Wednesday—the cops kept them in shotgun shells as long as they kept pouring drinks. Gee says the police taught everyone around here how to loot. They were the first to bust into the grocery store down the street and the Wal-Mart a mile or so up the road. He also says they took to breaking into car lots in the days after the storm and driving off with brand-new Escalades. I'm not sure whether to believe him, until a cop car drives buy towing what looks like a mint-condition Corvette Stingray. "And these are the people telling us to evacuate," says one of the porch dwellers.



Reminding my self to read this article later:
Sent via blackBerry wireless handheld.


Cheney, Takes Own Medicine, Fails to Call in Morning

This is a link to a video clip of Cheney at a press conference yesterday(?). In the background about 3/4 of the way through you can hear someone say, quite distinctly, "Go F*ck yourself, Mr. Cheney." He doesn't appear to be too miffed, but I'm glad someone said what we were all thinking. Feels good.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

I'm sure this is already everywhere by now, but...

Thought I'd post the picture just in case. The media is definitely to blame here too. It should be noted that while the black/white - loot/find difference is glaring, there are two other facts that make this situation possibly less racist: (1) The second picture says that the couple "found...from", which leads me to believe that it might have formerly said "loot...from", since we usually use the word "at" with "find", not "from"; (2) The second picture is from France and the first is from the US, so it's not the exact same publication that's referring to folks of different colors doing the exact same actions in different ways. In any case, it's interesting to see it.


The iPod Problem

To get or not to get... Apple is really good at getting people to buy things based solely on design. Seriously, this thing is amazingly good looking. But it costs $249 and is "only" 4GB. The 60GB iPod is $399. That's still steep, but it holds so many more songs for the price. The only reason to get the mini one is if you don't carry a bag when you walk or would acutally want/need 3 days of music when you go running. I would say to just get a 60GB iPod and get it over with.
I have yet to jump on the iPod train. I'm usually pretty hip with the kids. I even own the Mac Mini now and like it, but I'm just not sure if I trust the iPod. Everyone I know seems to have one that has broken. Battery replacement is apparently impossible without sending it in. Why not just pick up a Zen from Creative? Because it looks like crap compared to an iPod.
Why doesn't the iPod have an FM tuner? Because Apple has yet to figure out a way to somehow force you to synch said FM tuner with iTunes.
That's another thing. iTunes has already started to automatically shorten the filenames of my mp3s to 56 characters. This has cut off all of the song titles that I had for several different albums. Why would it cut off the end rather than the beginning?!? Do I want iTunes to start trying to synch up to my iPod and screwing up everyone of the 60GB of mp3s that I own? I think not. Rock and a hard place, I tell you.
Enough nerd talk. Must do work.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

So let me get this straight...

Firefighters are handing out fliers in Dallas, there's a navy hospital ship sitting empty off the coast of Louisiana and meanwhile 3 kids from Duke have to sneak into New Orleans in a Hynundai and convince authorities that they're reporters twice so that they can go in and evacuate eleven people.
FEMA is really screwing this up. Check out all the different news stories about the firefighters "heading to the Gulf to help" and ending up receiving sexual harassment training in Atlanta while people dying.
I wonder how many people could have been saved by the firefighters Bush was using for his photo-op... or could have been saved by the unused Navy Hospital, or could have been saved by the firefighters handing out FEMA propaganda in Dallas. They've launched an investigation into how this went so badly... and yet they're still screwing it up as I write this. Baffling


Experience: None, Donations: Several

YC pointed me to this article too (does he do anything?): Top FEMA leaders short on experience, which only makes me more angry. I thought experience was what one needed to get a job, but apparently it's just having the money to make "friends" with the administration. Also interesting when the article explains that spokeswoman for FEMA Natalie Rule "said the absence of direct experience managing emergencies is irrelevant because top managers need 'the ability to keep the organization running.'" Well someone obviously screwed up, right? Maybe they need to rethink whether these emergency-situation-experience-lacking fools also happen to be really bad at managing in general. They're basically saying "we didn't screw up because of lack of experience, but we're not going to give any reasons why people are dying a week and a half later. Peace Out."


Public Relations in a Time of Crisis

The Bush Admin. has really taken all of this to a new level.
This article in the Salt Lake Tribune, (pointed out to my by YC) really helps to put W's focus on appearance into perspective.

 Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?"...
Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.
 Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.
"There are all of these guys with all of this training and we're sending them out to hand out a phone number," an Oregon firefighter said. "They [the hurricane victims] are screaming for help and this day [of FEMA training] was a waste."...
 Firefighters say they want to brave the heat, the debris-littered roads, the poisonous cottonmouth snakes and fire ants and travel into pockets of Louisiana where many people have yet to receive emergency aid.
 But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.

I really wish the people voting for this idiot would realize the level to which he's manipulating them. Photo-ops and public relations are a part of politics, but there are times when they should not be playing a role and this is definitely one of them. My only hope is that these firefighters protest by denying Bush their presence and going off to save some people instead.


Let's see what the Governator does with this one.


Wait a second...

This was the second headline and the little blurb for the story on Google news this morning. You tell me where the irony is:

Iraqi president calls for Saddam’s execution
Financial Times -49 minutes ago
By FT reporters.
Saddam Hussein has confessed to ordering executions and should be hanged “20 times”, Jalal Talabani, Iraq’s president, has said. In an interview on Iraqi television on Tuesday night...

Ummmm... Saddam ordered executions so I'm ordering his execution?
Wait no. I guess he's not actually ordering it. He's just the President. And he's just calling for it. Nevermind. That makes everything just fine. Perhaps executions are part of what helped to make the pre-privatized/pre-corporate Iraq suck as hard as it did? Eh, what do I know.
Sent via blackBerry wireless handheld.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I wish I could take credit for this comment re: the picture on the right, but someone else said it and I'm just quoting:
"Roberts obviously needs a laxative in the worst way... and Sandra totally gets it. She's been there."
I suppose Roberts isn't the worst possible choice for a future Chief Justice, but this really doesn't make it ok. I grabbed this picture from this newsweek article, which I haven't had time to finish reading yet as I've got this job thing that I'm supposed to be doing during the day.
Either way, it sounds like the person being interviewed in the article thinks that the Supreme Court wields a lot of power and should be regarded as more of an authority/threat. Oddly, I haven't read enough of the article to figure out if the interviewee thinks that the Court has been wielding too many decisions towards the right or the left... This quote summarizes the side that the author is obivously on.
Some of the most admired justices—in fact most of them—have not been chief justices. [Justice John] Harlan, [Justice Felix] Frankfurter, [Justice Benjamin] Cardozo, [Justice Louis] Brandeis and so forth. And for me I would include—from my own ideological perspective—[Justice Antonin] Scalia and [Justice Clarence] Thomas. None of them were chiefs. I think many agree that they were among the brightest of the justices, whether one concurs with their positions or not.

I'll finish reading the article, but anyone who admires Scalia and Thomas doesn't usually get much of my respect.


Polling Report Gallery


interesting: Pre-schoolers mimIc parents smoking
Also interesting in a REALLY nerdy way: greasmonkey for Firefox.


Monday, September 05, 2005

New Look/Not so New Content

That's right. The orange is gone and now things have that nice aqua-blue Citibank feel.
The old site, , was nice, but I've been meaning to make the blogger template my own for some time.
R and I had a great Labor Day weekend doing next to nothing. We watched at least four DVDs, went to dinner at a friend's on Friday night and a party on JC and SV's roof deck Saturday night. On Sunday we went up to Bethesda to visit R's mom and went out to Target to buy plastic crap. I got a new tupperware thingamagig to help organize the other gigantic tupperware thingamagig full of tools and such. Also got a new water purifier for the faucet in the kitchen.
It was the first weekend that R and I had both been off of work in a while so
we spent most of the time just hanging around the house annoying each other.
Today we had coffee, sat on the deck, came in and sat on the couch, went and got ice cream and then sat around some more. I wish I could do this every day. I think I might be a 50 year old.
Movies that we watched were:
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 1 Disc 3
Six Feet Under, Season 1 Disc 3
Before Night Falls

Sideways was good, but definitely was built-up a bit too much by all the Oscar buzz. Before Night Falls is a semi-biography of Renaldo Areinnas, that I'd highly recommend.

Some news items:
(1) Bush is a disgrace, but at least the media seems to be catching on.
(2) What's Condi doing buying shoes during a national crisis?
(3) What amazing hubris we have to ignore the help of Cuba who has volunteered supplies and doctors. They have NOTHING down there and are offering to help. By refusing them, we're essentially saying that we would rather have people die than accept the help of communists. The least we could do would be to acknowledge their offer and tell them that we have it under control.

This administration's ignorance never ceases to amaze me.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rehnquist Dies

Heard it on the TV and can't find the link.
Sent via blackBerry wireless handheld.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Hooray for Kanye West

Props to Kanye West for this obvious adlib during tonight's nbc telethon: George Bush does not care about black people.

UPDATE: Here's the link to the story about his comments.
New York Times article here also links to the interview with NOLA mayor Ray Nagin as it outlines Bush's crappy-ass response to this disaster.
Sent via blackBerry wireless handheld.


Thursday, September 01, 2005


Wow. This Hurricane fallout is a lot worse than I think anyone expected.
The blog is still being updated once in a while for those interested in a first hand account of what's happening at (it's very worth it) and is also staying frequently updated.
Anarchy really appears to be taking hold, and as another blog pointed out (I forget which one, otherwise I'd give credit), this hurricane struck on the 29th of the month. Welfare and unemployment checks being issued at the beginning or middle of the month, this is the worst possible time to tell people that they suddenly need to leave.
Some other news immediately available that's actually less depressing or even great:

  • Really Good: California senate passes gay marriage
  • Quasi-Good: A sweet-ass anti-war protest is scheduled for DC on Septemeber 24th. Now I'm not too into the "bring 'em home now" argument, as that would probably just lead to the downfall of Iraq, but I'm definitely a pacifist at heart (unless you don't Lego my Eggo).
  • Good: Massachusetts takes its first steps to switching over to open source, who knows, in a few years we could be like Brazil with their awesome open source-ness.
  • And finally, the FDA breaks it's promise on an "up or down vote" on the Plan B/Morning-after pill. Boooo FDA! What the hell's the matter with them? If it's available by prescription to 12 year olds, why do they say they're not sure if it should be OTC because of the effects on girls 16 and above?

    On another note, our kickball team won tonight 7 to 3.


  • I Love America

    This hurricane stuff is absolutely horrible. Worse than anything is the looting etc, but the consumer culture brainwash of this country is truly apparent after reading this quote from this article: "In New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin on Wednesday night ordered the city's 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission and focus on stopping the looting."

    Save the stuff!

    And Bush calls it politicis, but I'm glad somebody suggested that his response was late and that the National Guard shouldn't be in Iraq, but should be in NO and Miss. instead. Of course, the British newspapers had to say it, but that's to be expected at this point. I also don't think it's playing politics. It's being critical and pointing out facts.

    And here's the blog where the New Orleans news is coming from.