Thoughts on entertainment, politics, technology, and of course, The Dallas Cowboys



re: Iraq, what else?

It would seem that things are going much better in Iraq, in spite of what you, the media, and the intelligencia may say. Witness the report from SecDef Rumsfeld (via Hugh Hewitt):

• U.S. forces have turned over control of about 29 military bases to the Iraqis.

• Baghdad's once-violent Haifa Street is now more peaceful and under the control of an Iraqi army battalion.

• The Iraqi army has seven division and 31 brigade headquarters in operation, compared with none in July 2004.

• The number of Iraq army battalions "in the fight" has grown to 95, compared to five in August 2004.

On Monday, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said the number was 100, plus 30 battalions of Iraqi Special Police. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Todd Vician said the 100 total includes five Iraqi special forces battalions.

The boys in the fight are confident. They believe in the mission. And a plurality of Americans agree with them.

And on top of that, the NYTimes is running a page one story that say the economy is just ducky. In fact, it's outstanding. Running on all cylinders:

Gasoline is cheaper than it was before Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans. Consumer confidence jumped last month and new home sales hit a record. The stock market has been rising. Even the nation's beleaguered factories appear to be headed for a happy holiday season.

By most measures, the economy appears to be doing just fine. No, scratch that, it appears to be booming.

Then later:

After adding an average of 202,000 jobs a month for the first seven months of the year, companies hit a slow patch late this summer. In August, businesses created just 148,000 jobs followed by a decline of 8,000 in September after Katrina. And just when economists expected a big bounce back in October, the Labor Department reported a net increase of just 56,000 jobs.

Analysts are eagerly awaiting the Labor Department's next jobs report, out Friday, ... Economists expect 220,000 new jobs will be created, according to a survey by Bloomberg News.

Then there's that inconvenient fact that Bob "if it's a presidential scandal I'm in the thick of it" Woodward who completely blows a hole in the indictment of Scooter Libby.

Don't you just hate that? I guesss 06/08 is starting to look less and less like a slam dunk ...



re: Your lawsuit against Focus on the Family and Dr. James Dobson

You may have missed it, so allow me to point you to the official Focus on the Family position on electioneering:

"We aren't going to actively endorse or oppose candidates," he said, "and we're actually going to take certain steps to make sure that nothing crosses the line into electioneering. That's not what we are about. But under the law we can talk clearly about where certain candidates stand, so we'll be praising certain candidates and criticizing other candidates for their positions, as well as encouraging people to speak up to those candidates.

Dr. Dobson, as a private citizen, has endorsed candidates, sure. So have I. That's the beauty of the Bill of Rights. And last time I checked, a private citizen can endorse anyone they want for political office.

Take your antiChristian jihad somewhere else, please.



re: Taking on the big boys

Al. When employing a cheap PR move to gain headlines by engaging in driveby debates, it helps if your target is someone you can outwit, and not one of the most prolific Supreme Court justices of our age.

It really looks bad when he corrects your grammar in public and then stomps you to death with a velvet command of the law.

If you decide to run for Senate
, you better hope your political rival doesn't run for reelection and the party nominates a toddler. Because sadly, that's about all you can handle in a battle of wits.

Norm Coleman doesn't do Saturday Night Live. And you're not good enough, smart enough, and if your ratings are any indication, doggonnit nobody likes you.



re: Your book signing in Texas

If you're going to make a media circus by stalking Texas' favorite son, you can't expect those same Texans to line up in droves to buy your book.

That's called bad marketing.



Re: XBox 360

Your banned XBox Commercial is a scream, Bill.

Perhaps you should consider putting the game division in charge of the OS!



re: "immoral tax cuts"

Dear Mr. President,

I read this morning that you consider the tax cuts of the present administration both "immoral," "unethical," and bad economics. Uh, in case you forgot, Mr. President, you told the Japanese that tax cuts were a good thing for their sluggish economy.

So why is it okay for Tokyo, but not Kansas City, Mr. President?

In addition, I wonder if you thought your hero, JOHN F. KENNEDY, was "unethical" or "immoral" when he proposed the largest tax cut in US History? I mean, I know you and JFK shared similar points of view some consider "immoral," but tax cuts aren't one of them.



re: Dick Cheney's black helicopter ties to Halliburton

Dear John,

Frankly, John, I am aghast that you would resort to flagrant misrepresentation to fuel your negative attitude towards Vice President Dick Cheney.

In your attempts to mislead your readers about the Iraq War, you imply by the picture above that Dick Cheney owns $40 million dollars in Halliburton Stock. You wish to convey the illusion that Cheney is using his office as Vice President to enrich his Hallburton portfolio.

Only trouble is, the facts don't support your assertion. If you had bothered to do any research on the subject before engaging in flagrant slander, you would have discovered the following facts:

1. Dick Cheney sold much of his Halliburton stock in 2000. BEFORE HE BECAME VICE PRESIDENT. What options he does continue to hold have been unexercised and will expire beginning in 2007 while he is still in office. In addition, at the time of assuming office, Cheney he was ready to "forfeit any options that have not vested by the time he assumes office."

2. According to WikiPedia:

Cheney's deferred compensation from Halliburton, which appeared on his 2001 financial disclosure statement, generated an income between $50,000 to $100,000. Cheney also retains 433,000 share-equivalent unexercised stock options at Halliburton.

On the question of Cheney's deferred compensation from Halliburton, officials of the Bush-Cheney campaign said that before entering office in 2001, Cheney bought an insurance policy that guaranteed a fixed amount of deferred payments from Halliburton each year for five years so that the payments would not depend on the company's fortunes. The officials also said he had promised to donate to charity any after-tax profits he made from exercising his stock options. These steps are not unusual for corporate executives who enter government.

That means that no matter how much Halliburton's profits rise as a result of their activities in Iraq, Cheney only gets a fixed amount as indicated by the policy. So to use his office to help his former company nets him NOTHING.

If you have an issue with Halliburton's profiteering of the war, you are well within your journalist mandate to INVESTIGATE and report on it. But to end up encouraging unfounded allegations to support your own partisan agenda?

Honestly, John, you're a much better journalist than this.

Better to stick with what you're good at ...

ps - we'll see if you have the nuggas to post my critique in the comments section of your blog.



re: This week's podcast.

You sir, are a podcast genius.

Get that RSS up so we can use ipodder to download it!



re: What is the virtue of being Republican?

I used to think it was about cutting spending and lowering the size of government. But this Republican leadership has spent more money since LBJ.

I used to think it was about lower taxes. But this Republican leadership has dropped provisions about the tax cut in the last spending bill.

I used to think it was about National Security. Republican leadership has punted to the Democrats out of fear of loosing the love of the media and their approval ratings.

I used to think it was about judges. And on that issue, this Republican leadership has yet to be tried to see if they will go the distance. But in light of the above, somehow, I doubt it.

If we have learned anything, it's that Republicans lose elections when they stop being republicans. Not because, as voters, we vote for the other guys, but because out of disgust WE STAY HOME.

So, the question to the Republican leadership in this pivotal point in history is, what is the virtue of being Republican these days?



re: Joe Lieberman's speech on the war in Iraq yesterday

The Democratic Party Nominee for Vice President in 2000 gave a stirring speech yesterday about the war in Iraq. Why am I not surprised that you fail to notice?

In your constant drumbeat to attack the President for partisan advantage, you completely miss the importance of why we must not only stay in Iraq, but why politics over the matter should end at the water's edge.

Witness what your nominee said yesterday on the floor of the Senate:

I do not want to go off on that issue. I want to say that the debate about the war has become much too partisan in our time.

The danger is that by spending so much attention on the past here, we contribute to a drop in public support among the American people for the war, and that is consequential. Terrorists know they cannot defeat us in Iraq, but they also know they can defeat us in America by breaking the will and steadfast support of the American people for this cause.

And then he quotes the bible as a warning: “If the sound of the trumpet be uncertain, who will follow into battle?”

And in this fight against Islamofacism, this is a battle we must win.

Joe Gets it, why can't the rest of you?




Dear Senate Majority Leader Frist,

Not one dime until the Senate majority grows a spine.

Dear Majority Whip Mitch McConnell,

Not one dime until the leadership scuttles doubt about our policy in Iraq.

Dear Armed Services Chairman John Warner,

Not one dime until the Senate rises up and goes back to supporting our troops.

As columnist Hugh Hewitt said of today's vote for explaination of the Iraq policy,
"the president is now on notice that his "allies" in the Senate are about as reliable as France."

You have played right into the democrats hands. And worse, into the hands of our enemies in Iraq.


With regret,


re: Is it a baby or a fetus?

Yeah, I can see your point. How could we possibly believe it's a baby?



re: Have you lost your corporate mind?

It wasn't enough that you got in trouble for installing "root kits" on computers that play your musical CDs. Alienating your musical listeners wasn't enough. Now you've decided to patent technology that would prevent gamers from trading or selling games to play on their PS3.

Did your marketing department fail to remind you that computer gaming is a 6.2 billion a year industry? Do you really want to kill the PS3 by making sure your gamers keep their PS2s? Have you forgotten that a nearly ">13% increase in game rentals has helped keep console games sexy while you advance the chipsets and graphics engines?


Music fans may be forgiving for this sort of foolishness - though I doubt it - but gamers? No way. They'll never forget this and they'll take their money elsewhere.

Congratulations, you've just became Bill Gates' best friend.

What's next? Are you going to scuttle your video business as well? Course, from what I hear, you're well on your way with the release of Zorro 2.



Subject: ANWR

Dear Mr. President,

I hope you were watching the West Wing Live Debate episode tonight. Because the 60 minute campaign commercial for the DNC gave you a precious gift. A well reasoned and passionately delivered declaration on why we should drill in the Artic National Wildlife Reserve.

Alan Alda, who played liberal Republican Senator Arnold Vinnick, talked about how we see oil wells off the coast of the beaches of Santa Barbara and Texas, all over Los Angeles for all to see, and even in the parking lot of a McDonalds. He then asked anyone if they had been to ANWR. Nobody answered yes. And he then asked if anyone had been to the Grand Canyon? When everyone applauded he stated that if oil were found in the Grand Canyon, that would be a reason to say no, because of the majesty of the monument. ANWR is desolate and Vinnick wished he could put every oil well in ANWR where no one would see them.

Mr. President, Alan Alda and writer Lawrence O'Donnell were your best friend on that, IMHO. Sold it to me (and I was already sold).

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