DNC Chairman Howard Dean termed the interest in being the Democrats' host city "unprecedented."A partial list follows:
DNC Chairman Howard Dean termed the interest in being the Democrats' host city "unprecedented."A partial list follows:
"I actually think there's enough votes in play in Florida that it's anybody's guess who actually won the presidential race," Bev Harris, founder of BlackBoxVoting.org added. "But with that said, there's no way to tell who the votes should have gone to."In A Word was able to secure a follow up interview with Bev Harris, so we sent our distinguished field reporter, Common Sense, to Florida for an intimate conversation with the BlackBoxVoting.org founder:
GREECE, N.Y. -- Jason McElwain had done everything he was asked to do for the Greece Athena High School basketball team -- keep the stats, run the clock, hand out water bottles.
That all changed last week for the team manager in the final home game of the season. The 17-year-old senior, who is autistic and usually sits on the bench in a white shirt and black tie, put on a uniform and entered the game with his team way ahead.
McElwain proceeded to hit six 3-point shots, finished with 20 points and was carried off the court on his teammates' shoulders.
"I ended my career on the right note," he told The Associated Press by phone Thursday. "I was really hotter than a pistol!"
In recent days, McElwain's phone has hardly stopped ringing. When his family went out for a meal, he was mobbed by well-wishers. A neighborhood boy came by to get a basketball autographed.
McElwain, 5-foot-6, was considered too small to make the junior varsity, so he signed on as team manager. He took up the same role with the varsity, doing anything to stay near the sport he loves. Coach Jim Johnson was impressed with his dedication, and thought about suiting up McElwain for the home finale.
His performance was jaw-dropping: 20 points in four minutes, making 6-of-10 3-point shots. The crowd went wild.
"It was as touching as any moment I have ever had in sports," Johnson told the Daily Messenger of Canandaigua.
McElwain didn't begin speaking until he was 5. He lacked social skills but things got easier as he got older. He found many friends and made his way through school in this Rochester suburb, although many of his classes were limited to a half-dozen students. And he found basketball.
On the varsity, he never misses practice and is a jack-of-all-trades.
"And he is happy to do it," Johnson said. "He is such a great help and is well-liked by everyone on the team."
Even though McElwain was in uniform for the Feb. 15 game, there was no guarantee he would play -- Athena was battling for a division title.
The fans, however, came prepared. One section of students held up signs bearing his nickname "J-MAC" and cutouts of his face placed on Popsicle sticks.
The Trojans opened a large lead against the team from the nearby Spencerport. With four minutes left, McElwain took the court to deafening cheers.
The ball came to him almost right away. His 3-point shot sailed completely off course, and the coach wondered if he made the wrong move. McElwain then missed a layup. Yet his father, David, was unruffled.
"The thing about Jason is he isn't afraid of anything," he told the newspaper. "He doesn't care what people think about him. He is his own person."
On the next trip down the floor, McElwain got the ball again. This time he stroked a 3, all net.
He was just warming up.
"As soon as the first shot went in that's when I started to get going," he said.
On the next attempt, he got another 3-pointer. Then another, and another. In fact, he would have made one more 3, but his foot was on the line, so he had to settle for 2 points.
Greece Athena won 79-43, and pandemonium reigned. McElwain signed autographs, posed for pictures and was hoisted by his teammates.
The Trojans begin sectional play Saturday and McElwain will be on the bench again, wearing his usual shirt and tie.
It doesn't bother him. More important, he said, is "trying to win a sectional title for the team."
McElwain will soon be done with high school basketball, then enroll in business management this fall at Monroe Community College.
"I'll go on to college and I'll try to hoop there," he said. "I just love it, it's one of the greatest sports in the world."
In A Word has secured an exclusive interview with Timmy Johnson in future on the 20th anniversary of his amazing achievement of participation in youth basketball:
The boys' lacrosse coach at Algonquin Regional High School, Dave Roche, said he supports participation trophies, but with the clear message that the reward is not for winning, but for completing a full season.
''My three kids save theirs on a shelf. I think they can be a positive thing, good for self-esteem. Receiving a participatory medal or small trophy . . . is a nice way to cap off the season. For the younger grades, kindergarten through fourth, it's a really big thing. It's a nice commemoration of a season, and gives an athlete the opportunity to look back on the season, even as they're into their adult years," he said.
The organization of 1,500 Iowa businesses promotes the state as a place to do business. Yet its members will be meeting, dining and sleeping at the Marina Inn Conference Center in South Sioux City, Neb. They'll be playing golf at Dakota Dunes in South Dakota.Apparently, the committee chairs have a tough time with geography:
The convention has been held in Okoboji since 1978, but the group's new chairwo- man, Sioux City businesswoman Charese Yanney, asked the group to meet this year in her hometown.It seems Charese Yanney must have misunderstood "it might be a good idea to meet in other parts of the state" to be mean "it might be a good idea to meet in another state."
Members enjoy Okoboji, Yanney said, but some have also said it might be a good idea to meet in other parts of the state to see what's going on in those areas. The convention will return to Okoboji next year.
"No Boundaries, No Borders, No Limits."Huh, I wonder if the taxes generated by tourism, new businesses and new citizens have boundaries, borders or limits? Or maybe, just maybe Omaha will share some of their tax revenues with Iowa.
On CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES, WASHINGTON POST reporter Dana Milbank fretted that the White House is exploiting the public's growing disdain for the mainstream media.Then Candy Crowley threw a temper tantrum and stomped out of the room, Dana Milbank threatened to hold her breath until America saw things her way, and Bill Plante called everyone a "big poo-poo head " and stuck out his tongue.
"Of course they succeed,"” Milbank said of Bush aides. "“The press always looks awful. They will once again make us look awful."
CNN's Candy Crowley added: "The perception is that we're whining."
White House correspondent Bill Plante of CBS agreed. "The vice president and the White House have both used the constant press coverage of this story as a wedge,"” he told RELIABLE SOURCES host Howard Kurtz. "It plays to the prejudices of the people who are predisposed not to like us, and it's one way to distract attention from what happened."
[H/T NBC's newest hit comedy...Meet The Press]
The press corps is outraged that the White House waited 20 hours or so to disclose that Vice President Dick Cheney had shot a hunting companion, and we can see why. Don't these Bush people understand that the coverup is worse than the crime?
In the name of media solidarity, and in the interest of restraining the Imperial Presidency, we have put together the following coverup timeline with crucial questions that deserve to be answered:
5:30 p.m., Saturday (all times Central Standard Time). Mr. Cheney sprays Harry Whittington with birdshot, and the Secret Service immediately informs local police. Who is Harry Whittington and whom does he lobby for? Does he know Scooter Libby?
6:30 p.m. White House Chief of Staff Andy Card informs President Bush that there's been a hunting accident involving the Vice President's party. Did Mr. Bush ask follow-up questions? Was he intellectually curious?
7 p.m. Karl Rove tells Mr. Bush that it is Mr. Cheney who did the shooting. Why was this detail withheld for a full 30 minutes from the President? Who else did Mr. Rove talk to about this in the interim? Was Valerie Plame ever mentioned?
5 a.m., Sunday. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan learns that Mr. Cheney is the shooter. He also fails to alert the media. Did he rush to write talking points or fall back to sleep?
11 a.m. Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch where the shooting took place, blows the story sky-high by giving the news to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. According to Ms. Armstrong, Mr. Cheney told her to do what she thought made sense. Has Ms. Armstrong ever worked for Halliburton?
1:30 p.m. The Texas paper posts the story on its Web site, after calling the Veep's office for confirmation. Everyone involved confirms more or less everything, or so the official line goes. Their agreement is very suspicious.
11:27 a.m., Monday. Mr. McClellan finally holds a press conference and gets grilled. One reporter actually asks (and we're not making this one up), "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"For the record, Mr. McClellan replied, "Of course it would." We hope the 78-year-old Mr. Whittington recovers promptly after his heart attack yesterday. As for the Beltway press corps, it has once again earned the esteem in which it is held by the American public.
"A tendency of this administration -- from the top all the way to the bottom -- is to withhold information ... to refuse to be forthcoming about information that is of significance and relevance to the jobs that all of you do, and the interests of the American people," Hillary Clinton said.Are you kidding me? Is the failed presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, talking about the Bush administration or her husband's? I can tell you right now, I am sick and tired of the "vast left wing conspiracy" being leveled at President Bush.
The former first lady continued: "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing, because it goes counter to the way our constitutional democracy ... is supposed to work."
"We implore the students of the Kennel Club to show the nation this weekend what makes Gonzaga different," Kennel Club advisers David Lindsay and Aaron Hill wrote in a letter in the student newspaper, the Bulletin. "We challenge the students of the Kennel Club to exhibit the class, the creativeness and the competitive drive that has become a foundation of this great university.Exhibit the creativeness? Hell, yelling something like "Brokeback Mountain" at opposing players is very creative. I am guessing student sections across the nation's other university are wishing they had come up with the chant first. It is offensive? Maybe. However, what is the intended message? Are the students of Gonzaga making a stand against homosexuality in America, or are they simply taking gamesmanship too far? I am guessing they are just being regular, old college kids pushing the envelop of clean humor. Their actions certainly didn't warrant this response from the gay club on campus:
Ryan Olson, the president of Helping Educate Regarding Orientation, a gay-straight alliance on campus, said the chants are just the latest incident that shows GU is struggling to make gays and lesbians welcome on campus. In a letter to the Bulletin [the student newspaper], the HERO membership wrote, "This is not even remotely the first time that Kennel Club chanters have chanted homophobic phrases at basketball games." "A lot of people in the Kennel Club say it wasn't them" that chanted "Brokeback Mountain," Olson said. "But there's something to be said about apathy as well. Students didn't stop people from saying it."Apathy? How about growing a spine? I guess gay humor only O.K. when it is in a show like "Will & Grace" Are we to pass every homosexual joke past some gay humor review board? The more the gay community pushes America toward greater acceptance of their sexual lifestyle, the more push back they are going to get from society. How they handle the push back will greatly determine whether America decides to have greater acceptance.
"Imagine yourself as a homosexual individual in the midst of your peers, classmates and friends during this 'Brokeback Mountain' cheer," senior Callie Monroe wrote. "I simply do not understand how a student body claiming to live by Jesuit principles of acceptance and respect for all can allow an incident like this to happen and remain silent."Jesuit principles also don't call for men to bend each other over and do unnatural things, but apparently remaining silent on that issue is a principle that can be overlooked out of respect for political correctness.
"Under the Bush administration, there's been a disgraceful and illegal decision -- we're not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we're spying on the American people," Mr. Carter said Monday in Nevada when his son Jack announced his Senate campaign.And During his speech for the late Mrs. King:
"And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act," he said. [notice he didn't squabble with insignificant details as to why his son would make a good senator. Just bash the Bush administration baby.]
Mr. Carter evoked a comparison to the Bush policy when referring to the "secret government wiretapping" of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.However, Mr. Carter approved a wiretap used in the conviction of two men, Truong Dinh Hung and Ronald Louis Humphre, on espionage charges stemming from their involvement with Vietnam. Of course, this was about a year before the FSA program was created by congress in 1979.
"I call it misplaced priorities. How do you justify doing something like this, while at the same time giving people like Herb Kohl huge tax cuts?" said Kohl, a multimillionaire.Apparently people like Herb Kohl missed the memo on the tax cuts. Just because people like Herb Kohl "received" huge tax cuts doesn't mean they are required to squirrel the money away. If people like Herb Kohl really believe in the nutrition-in-a-box program, then maybe people like Herb Kohl should fund the darned thing. They did after all "receive HUGE tax cuts."
University of Iowa medical students have accused the Carver College of Medicine of discriminating against conservative and religious students.I wish I could rip the Hawkeyes for being whining liberal snobs and say the Cyclones are so much more centered in the political spectrum. However, it is actually quite possible Iowa city is more conservative than Ames. Owww, the sharp pains of actually saying that out loud are starting to really hurt. Oh, liberal hometown...why have you forsaken me?
This is totally like one of those situations when you're walking down the street and all of the sudden you see a Starbucks across the street from another Starbucks - then you suddenly realize how pervasive the problem is.
To remedy the problem, the school is now planning a student led "discussion" between students, faculty and school officials. Reality check here, people. We're bombarded by weeks of front page headlines and chapters of editorials about pink locker rooms in Kinnick, but get a "discussion" for a serious charge of ideological discrimination?
The New York Times ran a editorial about the Danish cartoons that has the Arab world in an uproar on Tuesday claiming "the New York Times and much of the rest of the nation's news media have reported on the cartoons but refrained from showing them. That seems a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols, especially since the cartoons are so easy to describe in words."I also suggest reading the "sexy" Irish man's other rants from this past week as they are also very good.
Apparently their Arts section didn't get the inter-office memo (or doesn't read the Times, who can blame em?) because the next day (Wednesday) they ran a photo of artist Chris Ofili's "Dung Clotted Virgin Mary" in a story which called the Danish cartoons "callous and feeble".
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.
The activities _ detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press _ are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.
Reid's office acknowledged Thursday having "routine contacts" with Abramoff's lobbying partners and intervening on some government matters _ such as blocking some tribal casinos _ in ways Abramoff's clients might have deemed helpful. But it said none of his actions were affected by donations or done for Abramoff.Reid, D-Nev., has led the Democratic Party's attacks portraying Abramoff's lobbying and fundraising as a Republican scandal.
But Abramoff's records show his lobbying partners billed for nearly two dozen phone contacts or meetings with Reid's office in 2001 alone.
Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff's tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action
Checking the latest headlines at Yahoo! News a few minutes ago, I was shocked to read that "Reid Aided Abramoff Clients, Records Show." Immediately, I clicked on it to get the story. My first impression was that, unless I wanted to be a complete and total hypocrite, I'd better post a criticism of Harry Reid, and fast. After all, if the leader of the Senate Democrats was indeed caught red-handed doing Jack Abramoff's bidding, we'd need to immediately marginalize him so as to not lose the upper hand in a debate about lobbying, ethics, and bribery. But as I started to read the article, I smelled a smear.Of course, the "though Reid of his staffers may have taken meeting on the on subject, it never amounted to anything," completely ignores the AP story's quote of:
The story totally lost credibility for me when it got to mentioning the Marianas Islands. By now, you're probably aware of the fact that one of Abramoff's pet projects was maintaining a low minimum wage in U.S. territories not subject to the federal minimum wage. This was of interest to the Republicans because manufacturers could exploit the territories' low wages to essentially create a sweatshop environment without completely having to leave America.
The kicker, of course, is that for all of their effort, Reid never supported the Abramoff position. The very definition of "quid pro quo" is "this for that." In politics, this means something valuable like money or gifts for a politician's votes or some other form of official support. In this case, though Reid or his staffers may have taken meetings on the subject, it never amounted to anything
And while it my be true Reid did not support Abramoff's position on the Marianas Islands, we can't be too sure now can we? Especially in light of the obvious "quid pro quo" for the tribal issues Reid supported in kind for the generous donations made by Abramoff.
Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff's tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.
"She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," Lowery said.Well, to say I am surprised would be a lie. I come to expect this type of response from the left. A funeral is no venue for a debate on the reasons for war or whether or not the citizens of New Orleans were forsaken. For decades now Democrats have created a notion of trust and cooperation with the African-American community and their leadership. They play the race card whenever it is convenient and claim to represent the needs of minorities in America. However, can anyone give me tangible reasons why liberals get a free pass on race issues, but for the most part have been completely passive when it comes to the needs of the African-American communities? I mean real examples that separates them from the Republicans? No, I thought not...
"It was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps," former President Jimmy Carter added.
"This commemorate ceremony this morning, this afternoon, is not only to acknowledge the great contributions of Coretta and Martin, but to remind us that the struggle for equal rights is not over. We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi," Carter said, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud applause. "Those who were most devastated by [Hurricane] Katrina know that there are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans. It is our responsibility to continue their crusade."
"I mean, we've got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money," Rumsfeld added. "He's a person who was elected legally - just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally - and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others."Former President Bill Clinton defending his wife's stupid "the GOP is running the House of Representatives like a plantation" remark:
"I wouldn't say we were slaves, we're more like sharecroppers."O.K. here is the deal, some analogies just don't work. Now, while it could be argued that Hugo Chavez is a little Hitler in the making, the whole Nazi references just need to stop. One would think Rumsfeld, as a Bush administration official, would be keen on steering talks away from the Nazis and not continue to bring them up. Instead he just keeps the war of words going.
"The imperialist, genocidal, fascist attitude of the U.S. president has no limits. I think Hitler would be like a suckling baby next to George W. Bush."The freakshow that is Chavez couldn't be more right. I know for a fact here in Iowa we have set up our own little Auschwitz nuzzled discreetly among the cornfields. I mean, for crying out loud, just look at the levels of Jews and minorities in Iowa; we are obviously doing something in Iowa to keep those percentages low.
"I ask for permission ... to buy another cargo of arms because the gringos want us unarmed. We have to defend our fatherland."
"The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side,"Shoot Mr. Bond [if that is your real name] isn't a racist. Hell no, he is speaking the truth and if what you say is the truth than it can't be racist [huge doses of sarcasm implied]. Of course, it goes without saying he had to attack Rice and Powell because they represent the first significant White House appoints of African Americans, and if left un-smeared would reflect badly on the "first black President" Clinton. Spare me.
He referred to former Attorney General John Ashcroft as J. Edgar Ashcroft. He compared Bush's judicial nominees to the Taliban.
Characterizing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell, as "tokens."
This White House's lies are more serious than the lies of his predecessor's because Clinton's lies didn't kill people.
"He was clearly agitated and ready to get back inside his cage," a DNC junior staff member said speaking of FauxPastomic Scream, the nickname given to Dean.In what has become a yearly tradition, Democrats religiously gather in the nation's capitol to see if their leader sees his shadow (generally about the same time as the State Of The Union Address).
"With the way we have been adrift lately with no course of action, I suppose this shouldn't came as any surprise; but I was kinda hoping Fauxpastomic would see his spine...er...shadow," a disappointed Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said. "Oh well, lets just hope he doesn't start seeing his shadow the year I run for the Presidency."The February folklore holiday has also attracted the attention of liberal celebrities and media types.
"Secretly, I always hope he sees his shadow, because frankly I am only a Democrat because they color coordinate better with my cocktail dresses," an excited Barbara Streisand added. "Besides, once we set an agenda and really decide what we believe in, we will actually have to follow our rules. And at least for me, that would create a lot of ideological and sociological catch-22s I am not ready to confront about myself yet. I find just talking about making the world better is a hell of a lot easier than actually working to make it better."FauxPastomic Scream has a stellar, unblemished record on predicting whether or not Democrats will from an agenda or even simply have an idea. In the last 15 years FauxPastomic has seen his shadow 15 times and never once in the last 15 years have the Democrats had an original thought. Although it should be noted Scream has only been predicting for two years now, before that were other FauxPastomic name's of little note...in fact a Google search refused to remember any of their names. However, their records on seeing their shadows are well documented.
"The Republicans like to make a big deal out of our indecision, but we have started to accept our role as the brainless, clueless party," explained Harry Reid (D-NV). "For people who don't like to think for themselves, it is a lot easier this way."
As most of you have probably heard, I was arrested before the State of the Union Address tonight.
I am speechless with fury at what happened and with grief over what we have lost in our country. Namely my freedom.
There have been lies from the police and distortions by the press (Shocker), and simply not enough Cindy. So this is what really happened:After being briefed by the nice people at the Washington D.C. branch of Moveon.org, I accompanied congresswomen Barbara Lee, who was the one who invited me to the State of the Union address, to the Capitol building. Just before we left a very friendly young man at Moveon.org came over and "reminded" me it would be "cold" in the Capitol chambers and I should cover up my 2,245 Dead T-shirt with a "warmer" plain T-shirt.
After taking the underground tunnel to the Capitol building we had to go through security. I let him take his time searching me. In fact, I went through the security line a second time to allow them to double check me just to make sure I wasn't hiding any dangerous weapons, because that is just the kind of American I am.
When we arrived at our seats, I excused myself to go to the "little protesters" room to finish what the security guard had started and take a dump. While in the bathroom I removed the plain T-shirt the nice Moveon.org staffer had given me and returned to my seat.
Upon reaching my seat again I was confronted by security and taken away to Guantanamo Bay. They said my T-shirt was in violation of an unwritten rule stating no "wacko, bi-polar puppets of wingnut organizations shall not be permitted in the Capitol chambers during the President's address." I claimed I was just a guest of Barbara Lee, to which the security guard said "close enough."
I doesn't need to be said, but my arrest was a direct censorship of my Constitutional right as granted to me by the 18th amendment.
It was at the time of my arrest that the emotions all hit me at once. I had lost my son, my husband, my country, my 18th amendment, and my lucky Darth Vader Pez dispenser. Oh, America where have you gone? I started to cry in pain.
After putting on one of my best crying performances of my career, I was released. With the help of great Americans like Michael Moore we have been able to secure a bunch of talk show interviews. Michael even said he might been able to extend my 15 minutes of fame to about 16 or 17, but in doing so I would have to sell him my soul. Of course, I agreed out of a desire to honor my fallen son, Casper.
I just wanted to write a letter to all my friend(s) and supporter(s), just to let you know you can't always believe what you read in the press. I wanted to let you know my side of the story as presented by MichaelMoore.com with limited commercial interruptions.
Peace, and praise Allah,