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:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

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:: 7.30.2004 ::  

"Pennies on the gallon" added up

I have now read 3 stories in as many weeks about the 2- and 3-fold increases in profits by oil companies, compared to last year. Sunoco, for one, and I just read a story in Yahoo about Chevron-Texaco raking it in, too. From that second piece:
The industry's soaring profits are being driven by oil prices that have climbed above $40 per barrel. Even if the prices decline slightly, the oil industry is likely to remain flush through at least the remainder of this year, predicted industry analyst Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer & Co.

"As long as the price of crude oil remains above $30 per barrel, these companies will be printing money," he said.
The higher the price the better they do. But no worries, they're not gouging consumers - and the fact that spending is now weaker than it's been in three years has nothing to do with it. Really. Just watch your TV and shut up. And don't even think about calculating how much you spend on gas per week.

:: Deb 6:23 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

New White House budget projection shows biggest shortfall ever

White House: "But it's good! Because it's so much less of a shortfall than we predicted in February!"
Everyone else: "Fuck you!"

More on YahooNews.

:: Deb 6:10 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

News Flash: Zarqawi captured (possibly)

From an uncorroborated report in the Al Bawaba.

:: Deb 5:04 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.28.2004 ::  

Oops - another case of "bad intelligence"
Speaking to Florida law enforcement officials on July 16, Bush claimed the Cuban leader shamelessly promotes sex tourism.

“The dictator welcomes sex tourism. Here’s how he bragged about the industry,” said Bush. “This is his quote — ‘Cuba has the cleanest and most educated prostitutes in the world’ and ‘sex tourism is a vital source of hard currency.’”

The president made his accusations amid the release of the State Department yearly report on global human trafficking, which lists Cuba among the top ten violators.

Three days after Bush’s remarks, the Los Angeles Times reported that the White House found the comments in a Dartmouth undergraduate paper posted on the Internet and lifted them out of context. “It shows they didn’t read much of the article,” commented Charlie Trumbull, the author.
What idiots.

:: Deb 4:34 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.26.2004 ::  

News items c/o Fark

I stopped getting my news from TV a long time ago. Mostly I now listen to NPR in the morning, check Fark during the day and watch The Daily Show at night. Thank God John Stewart signed on for 4 more years!!!

First of all, fuck Nader. He seems to have lost all perspective. I am all for bringing more voices into the debate, and I hate that we're stuck in a two-party system, but this is not the way to fix it. He was recently added to the presidential ballot in Michigan , thanks to over 43 thousand signatures submitted by Republicans; Nader's campaign only managed to scare up 5,400, way short of the 30,000 signature requirement. Yet he refuses to admit that this is a GOP ploy to screw with the Democrats - instead he continues to accuse the Dems of "dirty tricks" (those of you who read the Salon telephone interview with will recognise his new favorite phrase). Those involved with the scheme make no bones about their motives, either: "We saw it as an obvious opportunity to split the liberal base in a swing state," said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of the conservative Citizens for a Sound Economy, which enlisted at least 400 of its local volunteers to help Nader get on the ballot in Oregon. Read it for yourself.

I had no idea that Wal-Mart and Costco had such different politics - and policies.
Wal-Mart has benefited from the president's opposition to raising the minimum wage, since some employees make less than $7 an hour, and from the Republican-controlled Congress's reluctance to make it easier for workers to unionize. Wal-Mart has no unions; about one-sixth of Costco's workers are represented by labor groups.
Read more about it on Boston.com.

Now, this is just so cool. It's also a great argument for the preservation of species; what if shrimp had been "fished out" before we discovered the hemorrhage-controlling properties of chitosan, a substance derived from their shells?

McSweeney's has 82 reasons (and counting) to kick Dubya out of office in November.

:: Deb 3:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.23.2004 ::  

House passes gay marriage jurisdiction bill
Some Republican opponents of the legislation also said they wanted to avoid setting a precedent that could used by a Congress controlled by Democrats to satisfy their allies or by lawmakers who wanted to shield future unconstitutional legislation from federal court review.
But a parade of conservative Republican speakers lamented the unbridled power of federal judges to thwart majority will, although no federal court has yet ruled on the 1996 law. [emphasis added]
Farking ridiculous. Nothing better to do, guys? Full story on YahooNews

:: Deb 3:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.19.2004 ::  

Is Iran next on the list?

Bush stated today that the US will be probing whether Iran aided the 9/11 terrorists, in spite of the CIA's recent assertion that they have found no direct links. Like Iraq, Iran is an oil-rich nation, unlike Iraq, we know for sure that they have nuclear capability (though Tehran insists they only use the plants for power generation). Doesn't sound like much of a stretch for a Dubya-style pre-emptive strike...

:: Deb 2:03 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.16.2004 ::  

If you still think "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was a good idea...

...you need very much to read "The Wrong War," an article in the latest issue of Mother Jones. Not only are we not better off than we were a year ago, but Bush's ill-conceived and badly executed crusade against Saddam may have cost us the so-called "War on Terror" as well. I'm happy to lend you my copy of the magazine if you don't have access to one.

:: Deb 3:16 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

CAPPS II Scrapped
A controversial government plan to collect personal information from airline passengers and rank travelers according to terrorist risk level is being dismantled because of concerns over privacy and effectiveness, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Wednesday.

Ridge said security leaders have all but scrapped plans for the Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, known as CAPPS II. The program was never officially begun, even though the government has spent more than $100 million on its planning.

Thank goodness. Story in USA Today, link c/o Fark.

:: Deb 2:47 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Was failure the object?
Failure on the cultural front serves to magnify the outrage felt by conservative true believers; it mobilizes the base. Failure sharpens the distinctions between conservatives and liberals. Failure allows for endless grandstanding without any real-world consequences that might upset more moderate Republicans or the party's all-important corporate wing. You might even say that grand and garish defeat — especially if accompanied by the ridicule of the sophisticated — is the culture warrior's very object.
The above is from an insightful New York Times op-ed piece on why the GOP insisted on supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment so rabidly when everyone knew it was doomed to fail. Thanks to Lucas for the link!

:: Deb 12:21 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.15.2004 ::  

Ahhh Paul Krugman
The larger picture is this: Mr. DeLay and his fellow hard-liners, whose values are far from the American mainstream, have forged an immensely effective alliance with corporate interests. And they may be just one election away from achieving a long-term lock on power.
Scared yet? That's a quote from Tuesday's column in the New York Times. Thanks to Kristina for the link!

:: Deb 12:45 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.14.2004 ::  

GOP splitting at the seams

A lot of Republicans are pissed that Bush may "use images of and speeches by Reagan in new television ads aimed at jump-starting a faltering campaign." Story here.

And the effort to add a gay marriage ban to the Constitution seems to have backfired, too. They couldn't even get a simple majority, let alone the two-thirds required to send the amendment to the States.

:: Deb 5:19 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Cool new stuff

Scientists develop invisible coating that can waterproof anything! "We’ve developed a process that is simple to set up, has low power consumption and operating costs, uses very small amounts of chemicals and produces very little waste." Sounds good to me. Linked from Fark.

:: Deb 11:06 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.13.2004 ::  

"We weren't necessarily, as it was told to us, a newsgathering organization so much as we were a proponent of a point of view," says Jon Du Pre, a former Fox News correspondent, in the new documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.
You can watch a preview of the film here - thanks to Andy T. for the link! You can also read more about it in the San Jose Mercury News. Moveon.org is hosting house parties this Sunday for those who want to see the first to see the film; you can locate the one nearest you by going here.

:: Deb 5:25 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Bush administration pressuring Pakistan to produce Bin Laden before the election

I've heard several people talk about how they half-expect the Bushies to produce Bin Laden right before the election. Well, folks, you may be right on the money. Link c/o Bob Harris on Tom Tomorrow's blog.

:: Deb 11:12 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.12.2004 ::  

Remembering redistricting

For the backstory on Texas redisctricting, there's this Washington Post article. Here is the new stuff:
The [e-mail to Kenneth L. Lay from lobbyists Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson], which surfaced in a subsequent federal probe of Houston-based Enron, is one of at least a dozen documents obtained by The Washington Post that show DeLay and his associates directed money from corporations and Washington lobbyists to Republican campaign coffers in Texas in 2001 and 2002 as part of a plan to redraw the state's congressional districts.
Unfotunately for those involved,
Texas law bars corporate financing of state legislature campaigns, and a Texas criminal prosecutor is in the 20th month of digging through records of the fundraising, looking at possible violations of at least three statutes. A parallel lawsuit, also in the midst of discovery, is seeking $1.5 million in damages from DeLay's aides and one of his political action committees -- Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) -- on behalf of four defeated Democratic lawmakers.
What kind of effect did the corporate moolah have on the makeup of the Texas legislature, you ask?
By investing as much as $2.5 million in corporate money in the 2002 election, TRMPAC and another group, the Texas Association of Business, were able to help elect 26 new Republican candidates to the Texas House. The new Republican majority then redrew the congressional district boundaries and, as a result, five Democrats are likely to lose in the Nov. 2 election, according to political experts. [emphasis added]
Full story on MSNBC, c/o Fark.

:: Deb 6:23 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 7.07.2004 ::  

Here's a lovely image of a stormcloud, found on Fark:

:: Deb 6:34 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Tracking Bush approval ratings

Thanks to Ty for this link to a page that maps out the averages of public opinion polls over time.

:: Deb 6:31 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Hello again!

We're back from two glorious weeks off in beautiful western Mass. It really was lovely - so green, so quiet... there was an incredible thunderstorm last Thursday evening that lasted thru 2am (I was amazed that the weather services predicted that so accurately). I do miss them out here... but not the mosquitoes. I've got bites in some odd and uncomfortable places!

We saw Fahrenheit 9/11 on opening night in Great Barrington - it sold out, predictably. Things I'd never heard/seen before that evening: Bush's inagural motorcade was egged on its way to the Capitol, and he was the first President-elect to forgo the pre-ceremony walk to the White House (because there were so many protestors lining the streets, it wouldn't have been much of a photo-op for him; more on that later); a bunch of Representatives formally protested the Florida election results but were not backed up (as required by the laws of Congress for recognition of their complaint) by ONE SINGLE SENATOR; the Saudi ambassador to the US has 6 or 7 Secret Service agents guarding him at all times - a uniquie priveledge among diplomats; that look of "oh shit" confusion on Bush's face as he sat in that Florida classroom for 7 minutes after being told the US was under attack. There's prolly more but that's all I can think of offhand.

Things I wish Mr. Moore had included in his movie: the Bush administration's largely successful efforts to silence anti-Bush protestors - most recently at campaign stops (Dearborn, MI; Santa Clara, CA), most memorably in London; the fact that the US gave the Taliban $4 billion dollars the year before the attacks; the fact that the CIA trained Bin Laden; the way that the Patriot Act has been abused since it was passed, i.e. the illegal detentions of both American citizens and foreign nationals. Again, I think I missed a few but that's a start. Any you can think of?

:: Deb 5:01 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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