....LMB: "Gall and Shame"....

March 29, 2003

As soon as I flipped the TV on and saw President W about to give a speech while surrounded by veterans, I knew there was gonna be trouble.

He was praising them and thanking them, and the veterans seemed proud and pleased.

I couldn't believe Bush was doing this, since he cut veterans' benefits as part of his last budget. Instead of beating his ass for this disrespect, the veterans were helping the man look impressive, allowing the president to wrap himself in their pain and glory.

What balls.

The speech pretty much played out like you'd expect.

Our veterans are good.
Our soldiers are good.
America is good.
The war on Iraq is good.
Congress should pass my $75 billion wartime supplemental appropriations bill
Our veterans are really, really good.

Wait a minute.

Why exactly is the president simultaneously asking for a $726 billion tax cut and a $75 billion handout? Acting with some fiscal wisdom, Congress decided to lower the tax cut by $100 billion to pay for the war.

Looking at how this $75 billion will be spent is interesting.

- "$63 billion for fighting the war, including replenishing used munitions and other matériel to prewar levels"
- "$8 billion for relief efforts and immediate reconstruction"
- "$4 billion to better protect the United States against what the administration says is the increased likelihood of terrorist attacks."

That first figure is very shady. Restocking our ammunition should be covered under regular military spending, unless this new ammo is going to be sent right out again to shoot at Iraqis. Sounds like a way to further enrich military contractors while hiding it from the balance sheet.

The second figure is also shady, as $5 billion of the "relief effort" is actually "aid for what the administration official said were 'supportive' countries in the region affected by the war, like Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Turkey." In other words, our bribe money for their support in the war.

And that last number could mean just about anything.

I have no good way to end this entry. Good night.

Posted by Jake at 12:31 AM | TrackBack (0)

I was gonna say that it sounds like one of those visa commercials, you know, "Trip to Iraq: $3,000; New Hummer for transportation while there: $70,000; Price for front-row seat at the war theatre: Priceless"
but instead, I think I'll say:
crunching govt. numbers: good
trying to make sense of any of it: impossible

Posted by: Kate S. at March 30, 2003 04:04 PM

It's interesting that he likes to visit the troops, to surround himself with the people who have the balls to do what he didn't - stay the course and finish their commitment to the nation.

I guess it makes him feel.....


Like a soldier.



Posted by: Lurch at March 31, 2003 06:39 AM

didn't Bush avoid going to vietnam with the help from his dad's call to few "influential" friends at the Pentagon?

Posted by: Canoe Driver at April 1, 2003 01:59 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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