Tuesday, July 06, 2004

astonishment of buddy don: thangs that make ye wunder

ye wunder how folks kin git to thankin sum of the thangs they do, witch heres a few that make me scratch my hed:

  1. If you want a single number that tells the story, it's the percentage of adults who have jobs. When Mr. Bush took office, that number stood at 64.4. By last August it had fallen to 62.2 percent. In June, the number was 62.3. (Krugman)

  2. Compare the following: Republicans in the House took more than 140 hours of testimony to investigate whether the Clinton White House misused its holiday card database but less than five hours of testimony regarding how the Bush administration treated Iraqi detainees. (Waxman)

  3. Until now the record for mathematical lunacy by a legislative body has been held by the Indiana House of Representatives, which in 1897 decreed by a vote of 67 to 0 that pi -- the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter -- would no longer be 3.14159 but instead be 3.2. Indiana schoolchildren momentarily rejoiced over this simplification of their lives. But the Indiana Senate, composed of cooler heads, referred the bill to the Committee for Temperance, and it eventually died.

    What brings this episode to mind is that the U.S. House of Representatives is about to consider a bill that, if passed, could cause the mathematical lunacy record to move east from Indiana. First, the bill decrees that a coveted form of corporate pay -- stock options -- be counted as an expense when these go to the chief executive and the other four highest-paid officers in a company, but be disregarded as an expense when they are issued to other employees in the company. Second, the bill says that when a company is calculating the expense of the options issued to the mighty five, it shall assume that stock prices never fluctuate.

  4. Increasingly, states across the country are making correctional facilities a higher spending priority than public and secondary education, according to the Justice Policy Institute . . .

    . . . Virginia, which is 12th among the states in per capita income, ranks third among all the states in spending on corrections, and 43rd in state spending on public education. While the state government in Virginia spends upward of $70,000 per year to incarcerate each child in a juvenile prison, it contributes only about $3,400 to provide for the education of that same child . . .
    (Andrew Block and Virginia Weisz)

should we ask 'is our children is learning'? (Bush)

but we kin remain optimistick since thays folks that still keers bout whuts rite n whuts rong, so we kin all have fun a'scratchin our heds n wundering bout who tiz thats supplyin us with these leaks (William Greider):

  • Who gave the Justice Department's "torture" memorandum to the Washington Post?

  • Who provided the International Red Cross's letter of complaints on prisoner abuses to the Wall Street Journal?

  • Who confirmed for the New York Times that Iyad Allawi, the newly appointed Prime Minister of Iraq, had supervised the CIA's terrorist bombing campaign in Baghdad a decade ago?

  • Who informed U.S. News & World Report that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had authorized the holding of a "ghost prisoner" in violation of international law?

  • Who--someone close to the President?--leaked the "torture" memo written by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales?

corse, thays that movie everbidys talking bout, witch ye kin tell witch side yer own by whuther ye lack it:

  1. 'In wake of the president idling in "Fahrenheit 9/11," the White House image-makers have guarded against a recurrence.'When word of the second terror-jet smashing into the World Trade Center was whispered into the ear of the U.S. President of the targeted superpower, the Commander-in-Chief maintained his seat and schedule for seven blissfully uninterrupted minutes - seven minutes!

    The matter commanding the president's slavish attention? Listening to third graders while awaiting his turn to read at an elementary school in Sarasota, Fla.
    (Les Payne, NY Newsday)

  2. The white-hot success of "Fahrenheit," plus cheap digital equipment, Internet-based communities and increasingly mean-spirited political advertising, means we can expect more quick-response films on hot issues, and ever cleverer strategies to make us watch. Independent documentaries, with their ring of honesty, have now been flagged a potential political tool for strategists of all kinds. Some will have more resources than others.

    Just as Matt Drudge personalized the shift in journalism with digital technology, Michael Moore and the flurry of political documentaries that his success has brought into the light draw attention to longer-term changes in film and video. We'll have much more to see, and more places to see it, but we'll still only have two eyes and 24 hours to see with. As for attitude, we ain't seen nothin' yet.
    (Pat Auferheide, NY Newsday)

  3. Fahrenheit 9/11 made me angrier than any movie I've ever seen. It was a good anger, hard, clean and righteous, and I enjoyed it so much that I went back three days later to experience it again. Took two of my sons and two of their friends so they could become angry, too . . .

    . . . After all, if smugness was one of liberalism's most glaring flaws from the 1960s to the doorstep of the Reagan revolution, one of the least attractive characteristics of conservatism from that era forward has been its perpetual anger. Meaning its capacity to feel put upon, to work itself into a froth of righteous indignation, demonizing the opposition such that "liberal" becomes not a competing political philosophy but a curse word.
    (Leonard Pitts, Jr., Philadelphia Inquirer)

  4. The most effective segments, at least for their emotional impact, involve mothers. First we see a mother in Iraq who lost family members in a U.S. bombing attack. Then we meet a mother in Michigan whose soldier son was killed in Iraq.

    Moore intercuts interviews with wounded soldiers - some with no hands, others with no legs, all of them in pain - with shots of Bush joking at a formal dinner, calling the well-to-do crowd "the haves and have-mores."

    He juxtaposes interviews with soldiers questioning their presence in Iraq with clips from a seminar helping defense contractors get a share of the Iraqi pie. "There are billions and billions of dollars to be made," they are reminded.

    And he returns to his home in Flint, Mich., a manufacturing ghost town where 50 percent are unemployed, to show how Marine recruiters target poor neighborhoods to entice youths simply looking for a paycheck. Then he stands outside the U.S. Capitol with brochures and a clipboard, asking members of Congress to enlist their sons and daughters; only one of the nation's 535 senators and representatives has a child serving in Iraq, according to Moore.
    (Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

me n miz bd gut to see the movie tuther day down at the lowes on 19th n broadway whar it gut a standin ovayshun. i couldnt git up on a counta havin the popcorn n dranks in my lap, but everbidy else did. corse, tiz in chelsea in man hattan, jes north of greenwich village, witch them folks votes lack crazy.

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