Saturday, October 16, 2004

the preznit and civil rights

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has just released "The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004" report in pdf format. From the executive summary:

Civil rights problems remain entrenched in American society, the stubborn result of unequal treatment over time. Discrimination in housing, employment, and the voting booth, unequaleducational opportunity, and other problems still stand between some Americans and true equality. Presidential leadership is necessary to break down obstacles and realize the promise of civil rights.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) examined the George W. Bush administration’s commitment to that end. What follows are the results of the Commission’s examination, expressed in terms of:
(1) whether civil rights enforcement is a presidential priority;
(2) federal efforts to eradicate entrenched discrimination;
(3) expanding and protecting rights for disadvantaged groups; and
(4) promoting access to federal programs and services for traditionally underserved populations.
This report finds that President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words. The report reaches this conclusion after analyzing and summarizing numerous documents, including historical literature, reports, scholarly articles, presidential and administration statements, executive orders, policy briefs,documents of Cabinetlevel
agencies, federal budgets and other data.

Read the report while it is still available.

A big thanks to Echidne of the Snakes for the heads-up.

dirty tricks

What does a Karl Rove dirty trick look like? Something like this.

(via Atrios)

Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America

Jon Stewart on Crossfire.

STEWART: It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it.

CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?

STEWART: Absolutely.

CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...

STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.


STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.

Transcript here.
Watch it here.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Misteaks Happen

Here is a new site that compiles news and editorial corrections from around the world: Regret the Error.

(via Richard Cranium at The All Spin Zone.)

friday elfgirl blogging

photo by Buffy Posted by Hello

happy fun time

 Posted by Hello
The General wrestles with Roger Ailes.

You Forgot Poland.
(via Pinko Feminist Hellcat)

The Fighting Perverts: Japanese Power Ranger porn.
(via Boing Boing)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Meet the Attack Dogs

From the Texas Observer's award winning The GOP's Money Machine series of articles covering the Republicans' corporate money scheme for Texas' 2002 campaign. The Tom DeLay-inspired effort is the subject of a wide-ranging Travis County grand jury investigation. "Meet the Attack Dogs" was the feature story in the March 12, 2004 issue and is now available online.

For some it might be considered a badge of honor, but for state Rep. Tommy Merritt (R-Longview), it probably feels more like tire tracks. The affable East Texas Republican was run over this year by one of the nation’s most vicious campaign hit teams, a secret outfit whose reach spreads all over the American political system. It specializes in attempted assassination of political careers under the guise of issue education. Apparently, one sure way to escape the torrent of negative attacks it can bankroll is to avoid crossing George W. Bush and a select group of Texas Republicans.

Merritt, who refused to comment for this story, is guilty of many sins in the house that Rove wrought. He wears a scarlet M for Moderate. His freethinking independence is a frowned-upon trait in a party leadership that demands a lockstep response. In 2001, Merritt voted with Democrats on legislative redistricting—rejecting the first step in what appears to have been a long-term GOP plan to stack the Texas Legislature. During the 2002 race for speaker of the Texas House—currently under investigation by a Travis County grand jury—Merritt was frequently mentioned as an ABC (Anybody But Craddick). Then in 2003, in the heat of a third special session on redistricting, Tommy Merritt had the temerity to vote with his district instead of following the dictates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land) and Co.

Read Meet the Attack Dogs.

Yeti Detector

 Posted by Hello

John and Linda hadn't seen each other since the Tupperware Debacle of '98. Sipping their little umbrella drinks and fishing nervously for conversation, they prayed for death to come swiftly.

Death came swiftly enough in the form of an impish little Chinese waiter and, although it wasn't the corporal sense of morality, the optimistic tone of the evening was about to go squish.

While Chinese restaurants are allowed to serve octopus, there are no statutes mandating that somebody take the time to kill the poor beast, often with newsworthy results.

Passersby incorrectly advised authorities that a man with "bagpipes" left Fighting Chang's Dragon Palace in pursuit of what investigators have come to refer to as "Linda".

The couple dining next to John and Linda recalled the two discussing movie times and making labored chit chat. Suddenly, an employee of the restaurant exhibited the heroics of yore by fleeing the immediate area and never being seen again.

Linda and John weren't so lucky. The ink sorta transformed them into one of those cute couples who pick out matching outfits, but the Tupperware lid sound of the creatures’ suckers repeatedly slapping them out the restaurant's exit was hardly cute. Like a bouncer in Neptune's court, the beast escorted them out of the restaurant and into a cab. The threesome was last heard arguing about where to cap off the evening.

story by Troy England Evitt
illustration by Ashley Holt

bout photos

Photos from the Texas Rollergirls September 27th bout are now up. See them here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Weekly Planner

The Minnesota RollerGirls are having a benefit show Thursday, October 14th at the Triple Rock Social Club. Featuring: A-bomb nation, The Shockers and Sofa Kingdom. Doors at 8pm. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, MN.

On Friday, October 15, the Mad Rollin' Dolls will host a Pirate Party at Club Inferno. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Domestic Abuse Intervention Center.

This weekend the KC Roller Warriors pay a vist to the West 39th Street Art Walk and Music Festival.

Drink margaritas with your favorite Renegade at San Felipe's Cantina. Sunday October 19, 11am. 20825 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, AZ.

Things are heating up in Minnesota. The Minnesota RollerGirls are throwing a recruiting party at Psycho Suzi's. Tuesday, October 19. 7-10pm. 2519 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, MN.

Support your local Rollergirl.

Operation: Enduring Clusterfuck

Norbizness has a new poll: "How should the Operation in Iraq be re-named?" Take the poll here.

Today is Freeway Free Speech Day

"Freeway Free Speech Day: Driving America to Think”
October 13, 2004

On October 13th, hundreds of activists nationwide will post signs critical of the Bush Administration on area freeways, reaching millions of voters in states from Maine to California. The Freeway Blogger has posted more than 2000 such signs over the last year.

In addition to coordinating activists, we will launch a nationwide media campaign to promote the fact that hundreds (if not thousands) of these signs are going up across America on the same day, and to highlight this newest, and oldest, form of civic dialog. We anticipate wide-spread news coverage about this powerful grassroots effort.

The ultimate goal is to increase voter turnout and defeat Bush.

We also hope to stimulate the democratic process in the way it was originally intended--with each citizen being able to express their political views directly to their fellow citizen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

when i grow up, i want to be a texas rollergirl

This past Sunday, the Texas Rollergirls held tryouts at Playland:

Each year, as players move, retire or get pregnant, a few precious Roller Girl spots open up, said Lacy Attuso, known to the roller derby faithful as the inimitable announcer Whiskey L'Amour. The league's four teams were scouring the tryout pool for aggressive, lively skaters who would make good jammers, blockers or pivots.

In the dim, purplish light of Playland, unglamorous except for the large, glittery skate hanging from the ceiling like a disco ball, the women glided — or wobbled — their way through a series of drills. They slalomed around cones, jumped over obstacles and showed off their braking capabilities.

One, a spunky, slight woman with pigtails named — for real — Michelle Kwan, earned the impromptu nickname Bloody Lip after she sprawled onto the part of the track known as Bodybag Boulevard.

"I like it when girls take chances, fall down and get right up," said Laurie Rourke, aka the Wrench. ("My persona is a mechanic," she explained.) By day she's a personal trainer; by night she captains the Hell Marys, a team of plaid-skirted women who pay homage to the wayward Catholic school girl.


Some of the roller girl wannabes had already picked out names for themselves. Nannette Walker, who calls herself a roller derby groupie, opted for Kitty Scratch. A former freestyle ice skater, Jen Loving, said she's called Stompy by her family.

Halfway through the night about half those trying out were cut. But there didn't seem to be any tears.

"If you're tough enough to come out here, then you're not going to be a crybaby," Attuso said.

More of the story here. (free registration required)

if it's tuesday, it must be movie night

I am going to watch The Bush Family Fortunes by Greg Palast tonight at the Paramont. You can watch it here.

"moral clarity"

The intelligence was clear—a small country in a highly strategic part of the world was arming with weapons of mass destruction. The threat was undeniable. An unstable leader with ties to a homicidal ideology was working overtime to build nuclear and other offensive weapons, despite repeated assurances that no such activity was underway. The American President had to act—he couldn’t allow this imminent mortal threat to go unchallenged.

Iraq in 2002? No, Cuba in 1962. Forty-two years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy faced a crisis that, in retrospect, has many characteristics in common with the run-up to the Iraq War of 2002...

A great read from World on Fire.

Sadly, yes

"The O'Reilly Factor for Kids: A Survival Guide for America's Families"

The newest World O'Crap Book Club Selection

Monday, October 11, 2004

Rose City Rollers

Yeah!!! Another Rollergirl League in the making. Story in The Oregonian.

If you're interested in joining the Rose City Rollers, contact Kim Stegeman at 503-784-1444.

the Mad Rollin' Dolls

will hold their first exhibition bout on November 7th. Read more about the Dolls in the Wisconsin State Journal.

say hello

to Wayne's Derby World. This is the place for Roller Derby information. How do you start a new league? Ask Wayne. How do I market the league? Ask Wayne. How do I....? Well, you get the idea. He covers the sport from a business perspective. Wayne is also the brains behind Blog Business World. I am slowly working my way through the archives. Great advice on marketing your blog.

title shamelessly stolen from skippy the bush kangaroo

Christopher Reeve 1952 - 2004

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation

We love you Superman
photo by Beth Been  Posted by Hello

I am crushing your head

Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.
--Simone Weil

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Identity Kit

Moyra Peralta photographs the homeless:

The recording of the homeless scene and of homeless people is regarded as “victim” photography by contemporary photography theorists. For the documentary photographer such a criticism, if taken as gospel, prevents the bearing of witness to social conditions, and assists in the elimination of particular pieces of visual social history. A vacuum is thus created into which a new interpretation is possible, based on whatever brand of political ideology is being proposed.

How then is the antipathy to the descriptive photograph to be overcome, in relation to the depiction of street-homelessness? With the Identity Kit series shown here, I have attempted to portray the gross poverty of the dispossessed by inviting some of the homeless men on London's streets to display their belongings - those carried in their pockets, or in a bag. The individuals' participation in the arrangement of their possessions, and their willingness to lay them open for external scrutiny, is a statement from the heart of their perilous and impecunious position. (As one young man, Darren, stated: These are all my worldly goods.)

Within contemporary theory these photographs are an acceptable portrayal of poverty, with no direct visible indicator to the disadvantaged human subject. The photographs' contents become the vehicle through which the viewer can attempt to understand the bleakness of a human existence deprived of material objects and possessions.

Identity Kit

(via Boing Boing.)


From the General:

Our Furious Leader's hometown newspaper, The Lone Star Iconoclast, is paying a price for its treacherous endorsement of The Enemy, Kerry. Consumed with an anger befitting followers of the One True and Furious Leader, patriots from across Texas and the nation are bombarding the weekly with letters. My bosom swells with pride as I consider the authors of these articulate and well-reasoned missives to be my philosophical brethren.

What are you waiting for? Read the letters here.

Funny, DeLay never returns my calls either

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was downplaying the role he played with a group he created, Texans for a Republican Majority, even before last week's reprimands by House colleagues and last month's indictments of three associates.

"For some reason, particularly in the Texas media, it is like TRMPAC has a last name and it is called Tom DeLay," the Sugar Land Republican told The Wall Street Journal in June, referring to the group's political action committee.

Yet the committee's documents, now court records, boast of DeLay's involvement in the organization during the 2002 election and raise questions about his role with the committee and how much he knew about the activities of his three indicted associates, Jim Ellis, John Colyandro and Warren Robold.

A Travis County grand jury last month indicted Ellis and Colyandro on charges of laundering illegal corporate donations. Colyandro and Robold also were indicted on charges of accepting illegal contributions from corporations. The criminal investigation continues.


Though DeLay has maintained that he did nothing but raise money and serve as chairman of the committee's advisory board, Republican state Rep. Dianne Delisi of Temple, a fellow board member, gave DeLay more credit for his efforts.

In a memo to Dallas businessman Boone Pickens making a pitch for support, Delisi wrote that DeLay "has been an ardent advocate for us by raising money, making phone calls, serving as a special guest at events and providing assistance with leading strategists."

DeLay and Delisi did not return phone calls requesting comment.

Read more on the PAC investigation in this mornings Austin American Statesman.

Craddick feeling the heat

In June 2003, when a government watchdog group asked for copies of his official appointment calendar, Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick willingly obliged, providing the information with nothing held back.

But less than a year later, with Travis County prosecutors zeroing in on allegations of wrongdoing by political operatives with ties to Craddick, the Midland Republican provided the calendars under another request -- but with much of the information blacked out.

Though the political climate had changed, the state law had not.

So how was Craddick able to keep secret many of the details about his schedule?

"They're now in a political hot seat, that's the difference," said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, which requested and received Craddick's complete calendar.

"Citizens now can't even see who their top officials are meeting with."

On Thursday, Austin lawyer Cris Feldman filed a lawsuit against Craddick seeking to overturn Craddick's decision to keep secret many details about who he meets with and why. The speaker also is being sued by the Austin American-Statesman for refusing to make public his official phone records, as speakers in the past have done.


Tom Smith, Texas director of the watchdog group Public Citizen, said the recent change in practice is troubling.

"The schedules of public officials have generally been public record for years, under the concept that what public officials are doing involving policy, with public money in public buildings, should be public business," he said.

"Now, Craddick is attempting to keep this information from being made public -- and you have to ask why."

From this mornings Austin American Statesman (subscription required - free)