Friday, November 04, 2005

It's the weekend and Brownie thinks he's "a fashion god"

Good evening. We start with Democracy Now!

Italy Warned US On Iraq-Niger Documents
Meanwhile, the Italian government says it warned the Bush administration documents purporting to show an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger were fakes. Italian Senator Massimo Brutti said the warning was issued around the same time President Bush made the claim in his State of the Union speech of January 2003. Brutti later called the Associated Press to retract the statement. The claim played a key part in the Bush administration’s attempts to justify the war on Iraq. CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity was leaked after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, questioned the Iraq-Niger connection.

Brown Complained, Discussed Wardrobe as Katrina Hit
And newly-released e-mails continue to call into question the job performance of former FEMA head Michael Brown. On the morning Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Brown wrote to a colleague: “Can I quit now? Can I come home?" A few days later, he wrote to an acquaintance: "I'm trapped now, please rescue me." In other e-mails written during the days leading up to and during the storm, Brown discussed searching for a dog-sitter and mused on his wardrobe. Three days before Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, Brown wrote to his press secretary Sharon Worthy: "Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?" Days later, Worthy advised Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working." On August 29, the day the storm hit New Orleans, Brown received an e-mail from deputy director of FEMA public affairs Cindy Taylor. Taylor wrote: "You look fabulous – And I’m not talking about the makeup!" Brown replied: "I got it at Nordstroms... Are you proud of me?" Brown wrote in another e-mail one hour later: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god." Two days later, Brown received an e-mail from Marty Bahamonde, one of the only FEMA employees on the ground in New Orleans. Bahamonde told Brown “the situation is past critical” at the Louisiana Superdome. Brown responded: "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?" Brown resigned as FEMA director September 12th. He continues to collect a $148,000 dollar annual salary.

Fashion god, huh? Wonder what the religious fundies make of that? :D

I don't know who listens, watches or reads. I know C.I. prefers to listen and Rebecca prefers to watch. I'm just glad to get it. And I want to pass on something that Rebecca and I did Labor Day and ask you to consider doing the same. We both were with family and made a point to make sure the TV was on during Democracy Now! It's a way to expose people you know to it. Thanksgiving is coming up and if you're able to, try to talk up the show and try to have it on the TV or the radio. If that's not a possibility and there's a computer you can pull up transcripts. (Or you can watch it or listen to it online, I always forget about that. They provide audio and video streams online.)

We really do need to make sure that the people who matter to us know about Democracy Now! Leah e-mailed and was talking about how she heard about the show and all but only got into it because it's all over the community websites and now she listens on the radio and can't think of a time when she didn't.

It's weird because the more you listen, the more valuable you realize the show is. But it's easy to forget that before someone turned you onto it, you might not have known about Democracy Now! or you might have thought, "Oh another news show."

It's not another news show, it's the news show. Democracy Now! is the most important show you can watch and I may not know all the radio shows but I'd bet it's the most important you can listen to also.

I celebrate Christmas cause I'm Catholic. If you do or if you give gifts for another reason during that period, think what an amazing gift Democracy Now! is to someone who's never really gotten to know it. And think about how great the conversations can be when you're not having to stop every few seconds and fill someone in on the facts. If they watch Democracy Now! there's no need to explain, you can just discuss the events that matter.

I had two e-mails I want to respond to so let's go into that.

Rafe e-mails wondering if I wasn't too hard on Hillary Clinton? Could be. But I don't know that I'm going to lose any sleep over someone who's not too concerned that we're in an illegal war and that Iraqis and troops are dying. As for the thing that could hurt her, I didn't know C.I. was going to mention it last night. We talked about it on the phone because my professor had brought it up and I wanted to get C.I.'s take on it. C.I. agreed with my prof.

Universal health care really took root as an idea in my area. And Hillary and Bill pushed it during the 1992 campaign. But then we got "single payer" which was not about providing universal health care but was about making sure the insurance companies and others kept making the big bucks. My prof is real left (and real cool) and I was surprised when he started talking about this. I also thought about how I'd heard all the dopey "Hillary wanted to bring communism to the United States" nonsense from the right. I think, the class thinks, that a critique about how she sold out the idea trumpted by many doctors and nurses in my area to get in good with big business would hurt her. Now maybe you older readers know all about that but people my age and younger weren't old enough to follow that. I was like 8 or 9 when all that was going down.

So Rafe, I think, my personal opinion, that Hillary sold out a real concept that could have helped people. She pushed something that would benefit big business and that didn't succeed and that some think wasn't intended to succeed.

Now for Lysa who e-mailed to ask a sex question and wondered if I'd stop talking about? I haven't. If I get 1 of those questions, I do put it up here. Lysa wonders why some guy's penis go straight up and some stick out at an angle and some are bent.

I think it's just genetics but I'm guessing. Lysa wonders if it sticks straight up does that mean a guy's a virgin or has only had sex a few times?

Lysa, I can tell you absolutely that it has nothing to do with that. :D I've had sex lots of times and mine sticks straight up when fully erect. I don't know that Seth will want to answer this, but we can toss it over to Seth (Seth in the City) and see if he wants to weigh in.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I plan on putting up something here Saturday.
Elaine's blogging tonight so be sure to check her out at Like Maria Said Paz though she'll probably be just doing a "general entry" from what she said on the phone. And, though I bet everyone already saw it, check out Kat's "A Time To Dance" review of Stevie Wonder's latest album. Rebecca gave a heads up last night and Kat will probably write something about it at her site tonight. And be sure to check out C.I.'s indyround up on various reports of The World Can't Wait events.