Friday, September 23, 2005

One more time....  Media Matters points out yet again why the right-wing punditocracy is full of crap. For example, they write:
  • O'Reilly was wrong about Pew Poll: On the September 16 broadcast of his radio show, O'Reilly falsely claimed that a new Pew Research Center poll found that 46 percent of Americans plan to vote for a Democratic candidate in next year's congressional elections, while 43 percent plan to vote for a Republican candidate. The poll actually found that 52 percent of Americans would vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, while only 40 percent would vote for the Republican. O'Reilly also claimed that the "new" Pew poll found that only 9 percent of Americans think that "[a] year from now the economy will be worse." In fact, that result is more than a year old; the most recent Pew poll found that 37 percent of Americans think the economy will be worse in a year.
  • O'Reilly was wrong about Bush and Clinton economic records: Following his grossly misleading comparison of poverty statistics under presidents Clinton and Bush, O'Reilly made a series of false claims about the two presidents' broader economic records. O'Reilly claimed, "Under President Clinton, the tax rate climbed higher than at any time in history except in World War II." It didn't. O'Reilly asserted that, as a result of Bush's tax cuts, "Federal tax revenues will be more this year than at any time during the Clinton administration." That isn't true, if revenues are adjusted for inflation. O'Reilly claimed that Clinton "raised taxes every year." Also not true.
  • O'Reilly was wrong about the judiciary: O'Reilly claimed on his radio show that "Republicans don't have control of the judicial branch. All right? They don't have control of that." But, as Media Matters noted, "Republican presidents have appointed a majority of the currently active federal judges, including six of the eight current Supreme Court justices and majorities on 10 of the 13 federal courts of appeals."
    O'Reilly was wrong about his own television show: O'Reilly claimed that Jeremy Glick, a 2003 guest on O'Reilly's television program whose father was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, "accused the president of the United States of orchestrating 9-11" during his O'Reilly Factor appearance. Glick did nothing of the kind.
  • O'Reilly was wrong -- again -- about how independents voted in 2004: O'Reilly claimed that Bush won the 2004 election because of support from independent voters: "Bush won by three million votes. And they were independent voters." That's false: Bush lost among independents.
  • O'Reilly was wrong about Media Matters: In response to Media Matters' item about O'Reilly's statement that he wished Hurricane Katrina had hit the United Nations, O'Reilly claimed "this ridiculous incident just points out how desperate and dishonest the far left is." In fact, Media Matters simply quoted O'Reilly verbatim.
I love the last one&emdash;O'Reilly simply lies to his followers, they'll believe him, even though the transcript is readily available.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Enough  So I've not blogged for awhile. Becky asks, "What? No screed against Bush's speech?" Well, I'll let smart folks comment here and here for good stuff on the disaster. Suffice it to say that I'm so utterly amazed at how fast Karl Rove has been rehabilitated.
So I'm hoping to shift my blogging to the user experience world, starting soon with stuff about Lou's seminar Stay tuned, kids.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Who Did What When  As the selective amnesia mounts, let's remember what happened when:

Friday, Aug. 26: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declares a state of emergency in Louisiana and requests troop assistance.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Gov. Blanco asks for federal state of emergency. A federal emergency is declared giving federal officials the authority to get involved.

Sunday, Aug. 28: Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. President Bush warned of Levee failure by National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service predicts area will be "uninhabitable" after Hurricane arrives. First reports of water toppling over the levee appear in local paper.

Monday, Aug. 29: Levee breaches and New Orleans begins to fill with water, Bush travels to Arizona and California to discuss Medicare. FEMA chief finally responds to federal emergency, dispatching employees but giving them two days to arrive on site.

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Mass looting reported, security shortage cited in New Orleans. Pentagon says that local authorities have adequate National Guard units to handle hurricane needs despite governor's earlier request. Bush returns to Crawford for final day of vacation. TV coverage is around-the-clock Hurricane news.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans including at Convention Center and Superdome in "medieval" conditions. President Bush finally returns to Washington to establish a task force to coordinate federal response. Local authorities run out of food and water supplies.

Thursday, Sept. 1: New Orleans descends into anarchy. New Orleans Mayor issues a "Desperate SOS" to federal government. Bush claims nobody predicted the breach of the levees despite multiple warnings and his earlier briefing.

Friday, Sept. 2: Karl Rove begins Bush administration campaign to blame state and local officials—despite their repeated requests for help. Bush stages a photo-op—diverting Coast Guard helicopters and crew to act as backdrop for cameras. Levee repair work orchestrated for president's visit and White House press corps.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Bush blames state and local officials. Senior administration official (possibly Rove) caught in a lie claiming Gov. Blanco had not declared a state of emergency or asked for help.

Monday, Sept. 5: New Orleans officials begin to collect their dead.

(Adapted from: Katrina Timeline

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Unanswered Questions  Eric Alterman has a great post's a snippet:

Will Bush’s deep unpopularity—and media hostility—turn Roveworld into an armed camp? In other words, will they go for a “keep the base happy under all circumstances because that’s all we have” strategy? That means finding a replacement for Rehnquist who is more Bork-like than Roberts-like and risking a filibuster; inviting one, actually. (The Roberts-as-Chief-Justice gambit is genius, I’m afraid, and the timing as infuriating as it is impressive. The Note will no doubt have an orgasm…)

Will they, finally, do what Tim Russert and Joe Klein promised us they would do five years ago which is play to the middle to re-assure the Washington Establishment? (Not bloody likely…)

Will Bush’s new found image as a bumbling incompetent ideologue hurt the legislation that the Republicans want to pass anyway, like doing away with the estate tax? (Again, NBL…)

Will the Democrats find their voice as an opposition party or will they continue to fear their own shadows, based on the fact that they are guilty in smaller ways, of virtually everything upon which the Republicans are vulnerable? (Um, need I say it?)

In the unlikely event they do, who will be its voice? My nominee: Russ Feingold

Now that people have been reminded of why we need competent government, have we got a new paradigm in which extremist Republicans are discredited; cultural issues cease to crowd out the “reality” agenda? And as a subset of this question, will the media demonstrate anything like the energy and anger they they’ve shown on this issue to the rest of the Bush agenda? I think those two go hand-in-hand, but the order in which they take place need not be a given. (It’s not, after all, as if we need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.)

Does all this augur well for the return of divided government in 2006? (I think the structural disadvantages the Democrats face in terms of state population and DeLay-style redistricting, make this one extremely unlikely, unless they do the new paradigm thing.)

What does this do to the Democratic race for 2008? I’d say it strengthens the appeal of good-government governors, like Mark Warner and Bill Richardson—unless Hillary pulls one out of her hat and makes a brilliant speech that pundits credit with helping to fill the national void and pull the country together. John Edwards could also benefit if he turns his “Two Americas” into the basis of a national conversation of why this country—the world’s wealthiest—sucks so much for poor people. Personally, I would like to see Al Gore jump in here with a combination “I told you so about this guy and here is an agenda for the future” but he really does seem to care more about that nutty television station of his and so I won’t hold any proverbial breath…. Which leads me to Russ Feingold, for now.

(A contest perhaps:) Predict the next disaster. Predict the Bush excuse.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My City Was Gone  Waveland's gone.
My grandmother lived there in the late '50s and early '60s with her second husband, my stepgrandfather (duh!). We would go down right after Christmas some years when I was a kid. A few times we rode the train (man, that was the way to travel!). Other times we'd drive from Lookout Mountain, stopping in Meridian or so at a Holiday Inn (six of us in one hotel room, doncha know). I remember pulling up to NeNe's house on Nicholson Avenue, and being so excited.
Now it's all just so many memories...