Friday, January 28, 2005
I know I've relied a bit too much on other blogs out there lately and will attempt to nip that problem in the bud. Yet there has been an update on the wacko post, Billie's letter outraged many a reader, and she has since apologized for her offensive drivel.
You can read the letters and her response here. (You may have to scroll down a few posts. It should be at the top of Atrios' Thursday, January 27 entries.)
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Well, Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh has been named as President Chen Shui-bian's pick for the premier post. Though the rumors have been flying about for over a week, a number of people have tilted their heads and said, "I thought Chen didn't even like Hsieh, that they didn't get along. They are from different party factions." (Or something to that effect.)
So, I mentioned this today to a government official, and he just laughed and waved his hand at my naivite. "You know in politics, yesterday is just that, yesterday. Old enemies can become friends overnight."
If you want to check out Bloomberg's account on the Hsieh appointment, here it is.
When Republicans party, they let it all hang out. A piece in the Washington Post on inauguration balls covers this morsel:
Though there was no official poem for the occasion, impressionist Rich Little, emceeing the Constitution Ball at the Hilton Washington, did provide a bit of inaugural doggerel.
The gist of it was: "Let's get together, let bitterness pass, I'll hug your elephant, you kiss my ass!" And the crowd went crazy.
Little said he missed and adored the late President Ronald Reagan and "I wish he was here tonight, but as a matter of fact he is," and he proceeded to impersonate Reagan, saying, "You know, somebody asked me, 'Do you think the war on poverty is over?' I said, 'Yes, the poor lost.' " The crowd went wild.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Friday, January 21, 2005
Atrios posted this up at Eschaton, but I have yet to figure out how to link individual posts on his site unless they are already in the archives, so I am posting the link here. A letter to the editor in Ridgecrest, California.
This is stunning in its ignorance and underlying theme. Free speech for only god-fearing Christians.
Well, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot on this yet, but I'm sure we'll have more details tomorrow. The president says that if China passes its "anti-secession" law in March, then China would have unilaterally upset the status quo, thus giving Taiwan the right to hold a referendum on an "anti-annexation" law. What that law would entail is anyone's guess, but it's nice to know that the president will stand up to China after such a provocation. Then again, it's difficult to say if this is substance or bluster. More here ...
Thursday, January 20, 2005
The bad news first: Taiwan has lost yet another diplomatic ally as Grenada switches its allegiance to China. Officials in Grenada said that Taiwan didn't take the realtionship very seriously. More here.
And the good news? The good news is that Taiwan has been taken off the "Special 301" list, meaning that the US is, for the nonce, convinced that Taiwan takes Intellectual Property Rights seriously. Here is the Taipei Times story.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
I'd heard about this several months ago, but had yet to see it. Cohen as Borat, a TV host from Kazakhstan, sings a song to a group of regulars at a country-western bar. Cohen, a brilliant satirist, wants to see how the crowd reacts to a blatantly anti-semitic song. Seems like they warmed up to the idea. To see "Throw the Jew Down the Well" click on this link.
Cohen, despite the fact that he's Jewish, earned an admonishment from the anti-Defamation League for this stunt.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
I haven't written a thing about this, and there are many who understand it far better than I. But one thing seems certain, the Bush administration, as a hallmark of his second term, fully intends to try to convince the American people that Social Security is approaching full-blown crisis stage and that if we don't do something fast (as in privatize so money managers can skim huge percentages off the accounts), then the whole thing will fall apart. This assertion avoids the uncomfortable fact that Social Security will be able to pay out full benefits without any adjustments until 2042.
Just as he sold the American people on the Iraq war, Bush is content to distort, lie, obfuscate and play the shell game in order to get the public on his side. Luckily, not as many of the fish are biting. The AARP has come out against Bush's plan, and now there are a number of Republicans who are lining up to say "Hell No."
Here, in the New York Times, Paul Krugman tells us what happens when such a system is privatized.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Oh, fer fuck's sake, this is the third time I've written this entry. Hope this time it's a go.
Yikes! You too could soon be fired for slagging off your boss or colleagues in your blog. Well, not yet exactly, but if Waterstone's Bookstores has their way, you may end up looking down the barrel of a gun for having written less than flattering comments about the people who sign your checks. So put that ladle of scorn back in the cupboard and get ready to do some righteous PR! More in this Guardian article.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
I've been laid up in bed for the better part of the week with a bout of bronchitis, a sort of New Year's welcome for lack of sleep and chilly weather. During that time though, I've had the opportunity to get through a few books. One I would heartily recommend is Janet Malcolm's "The Journalist and the Murderer." Anyone interested in the ethical dilemmma that journalism presents would find this book a provoking read.
I've also been reading, but have yet to finish, Robert Caro's book "The Power Broker" about what Robert Moses did to make New York City what it is today. And I also raced through "Where the Money Is," a true crime memoir by a former bank robbery expert with the FBI. This kind of stuff isn't usually my cup of tea, but I have enjoyed watching how the book was crafted by the crime journalist who coauthored the book.
That's it for now.