May 31, 2003 News | Bush to Head Start backers: Shut up!

Streak is not terribly fond of this move. After all, it is one thing to oppose government programs where private enterprise might legitimately do a better job. But Head Start is a legitimate government program that actually makes a difference. Why would you want to essentially scuttle it by giving it to the States who are the most strapped right now in this economic climate? My conservative friends keep mocking the idea that Repubs hate the poor, the old and the environment, but how does a move like this help their case? It doesn't. Not only that, but they are using their government position to threaten people. That sounds Nixonian and Nixon liked Head Start. This administration plays politics hardball style with no concern what ever for those who need government assistance the most. How Repubs support an administration that continually helps people who don't need their help--befuddles me. Streak understands. He says that too many conservatives actually don't support this administration at a policy level, but support Bush out of anger about Clinton. That if they admit this administration is all bad, then all the ranting and raving about sex and dresses and interns will look silly.

May 30, 2003

NY Times - Save our Spooks

More and Streak noticed that this is the kind of thing that can ruin careers. If this administration was so willing to forge information to create a war, then that is a serious, serious problem.

Streak keeps coming back to wondering if this administration is lying about things more important than sex.
Yahoo! News - US Intel 'Simply Wrong' on Chemical Attack-General

Interesting. Streak wonders if this is more of the misinformation.

May 29, 2003

Tax-cut total: $330 billion
Amount needed to provide health insurance for all 9.2 million currently uninsured children for one year: $13 billion
Amount needed to provide health insurance for all 41.2 million uninsured Americans, including children, for one year: $98 billion
Amount needed to close state budget gaps across the country: $78 billion
Amount needed to hire an additional 100,000 teachers to reduce class size, provide grants to repair 6,000 schools and assist with new-school construction, and provide additional math and reading help for over 9 million eligible low-income students: $300 billion
Amount needed to end homelessness for chronically homeless people within 10 years: $1.3 billion per year to create and sustain 150,000 units of permanent supportive housing
Amount needed by the Environmental Protection Agency to complete cleanups at high-priority toxic waste sites through the Superfund program: $92 million
Cost of Head Start for all 1.8 million children, up to 5 years old, who currently need but don't receive it: $25 billion
Streak wanted this added to the blog after our friend J-Dawg pointed it out--noting the conflict in morality between an administration that acts in the best interest of the powerful, while giving lip-service to "leaving no child behind" and "compassionate conservatism." The list is actually much longer on the site, noting the cost of doing things like Federal funding requested in 2004 for the national Abandoned Infants Assistance program: $45 million, and the cost of assisting states in covering the excess costs of providing special education services to children with disabilities: $8.9 billion.

May 25, 2003

Yahoo! News - Boondocks

Streak is starting to really like the Boondocks. Should also check out the most recent week.
Yahoo! News - Rice Quoted Saying U.S. to Ignore Schroeder

Yeah, that's adult. Why does everything this administration do remind us of junior high?

May 24, 2003

Golf story. Streak and I played golf with our good friend, James L. the other day at a small course in Midwest City. Great fun was had by all, that is, until the 7th hole, when James hit a freaking hole in one! As he retold it later, he hit a low 9 iron aiming at the middle of the green, hoping to take advantage of the soft greens. The ball bounced twice and disappeared. As I recall, there was a grimace, eyes closed, and a floundering swing, but maybe that is just the sour grapes speaking. :)

Seriously, it was a fabulous shot and it was great fun to be a witness.

May 23, 2003 Life | Warren G. Harding is my solace

Streak likes Anne Lamott and suspects that she likes dogs. I think he is correct here. Great essay, though not for those who really, I mean, really like George Bush. Arts & Entertainment | The Fix Neil Young's hot under the collar and the reason is George Bush. The rocker has had it with Georgie playing around with the country, saying, "This big deal about Bush landing on an aircraft carrier? Talk about a 6-year-old kid with a Tonka toy -- we got it here." And Young was also frank about the culture wars he sees waging: "Bush has polarized the country and is creating this breeding ground for an opposition. In the next couple of months, they'll probably make it unpatriotic to be Democrat." Neil's in England right now, so he probably didn't hear that that's already happened. (Guardian)"

Streak is a big Neil Young fan, so he called this to my attention immediately. I am sure that some GOP defenders will scoff at this, but you don't exactly see Republicans encouraging dissent or embracing it. That isn't as silly as it sounds: it would be certainly reasonable to see dissent as proof of our democracy. Instead, we have gotten the Karl Rove/Ari "I Quit" Fleischer approach--to warn people for speaking out against Bush.

May 21, 2003 Arts & Entertainment | The Fix Gone: Six cast members from "The Practice" -- Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Marla Sokoloff and Chyler Leigh -- in response to what show creator David E. Kelley calls the "economic and creative realities" of our time. And you thought layoffs were bad at your job. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Salon and others are reporting that US troops are still not guarding all the nuclear sites in Iraq. Nor are they providing the law and order that was promised well before the war. Now the New Republic is suggesting (have only seen the blurb as it requires subscription) that the Bush admin wants to pull out the military as soon as possible. Streak reminded me of one of the precepts noted during the Afghanistan war (remember that?): you break it, you fix it. Unfortunately, we didn't do that there (reports are now that warlords are back running the country and the Taliban is making inroads), and our efforts in Iraq look anemic as well. It doesn't make Streak happy and when he isn't happy, he growls.

May 20, 2003 Life | SUVs fare poorly in gov't rollover tests Two General Motors Corp. SUVs - the Cadillac Escalade EXT and the Chevy Avalanche -- and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport received two-star ratings.
SUV rollover ratings became a big issue earlier this year when NHTSA chief Dr. Jeffrey Runge said at an auto conference that he "wouldn't buy my kid a two-star rollover vehicle if it was the last one on Earth."

Streak found this a bit confirming of his earlier rants against SUVs. Of course, this won't stop Republicans from taking actions to protect the most protected species in America: gas guzzlers and polluters.
The Say-Anything School (

Streak finds this part of the media's kid gloves surrounding the Bush administration particularly galling. If lies were bad under the Clintons, then they are bad now. What has changed?
Spinsanity - Countering rhetoric with reason Glib Iraq comparisons continue (5/14)
By Bryan Keefer
While President Bush has stated that major combat operations in Iraq are over, the jockeying to leverage the negative associations of Saddam Hussein's regime has just begun."

Another blog Streak is reading--just hadn't considered it a blog before. This is an interesting piece criticizing both sides of the aisle for painting their political enemies as Saddam-like thugs. Makes a good point.
Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights

If Clinton did this, it would be considered "style over substance" and much would be made in the media about it. For some reason, Bush is treated much better in the so-called "liberal media."
Yahoo! News - Bush, GOP Now Seeking $400B Tax-Cut Bill

Streak wonders if the Tax Cut bill is intended to boost the economy or just break the government to preclude further progressive programs.

May 16, 2003

Lynch job not what it seemed - War on Iraq -

Has anyone heard about this? Streak also noted that there is an article in the NY Times (he promises to add this to the blog later) that discusses how TV savy this administration is. They evidently take great care to make sure that every appearance is scripted and framed for maximum emotional exposure. So much, Streak notes, for an administration that made fun of the "spin control" of the Clinton admin.
Bush Peace Prize?

Streak thought this was incredibly funny. After all, when you have gone to war despite any honest effort for peace, how in the hell do you qualify for a Nobel Peace Prize? Good question, Streak.
Rummy's New War - The secretary of defense invades the Army. By Fred Kaplan

A relative of the family (retired Colonel and tank commander) told Streak about this a few weeks ago--that Rumsfeld wanted a light army and light tanks and that he would take the successes of the last two "wars" to justify his point of view. Streak wonders if Iraq or Afganistan really qualify? Should we frame our entire military approach on those "wars?" Arts & Entertainment | The Fix "As usual, Jon Stewart has the most pithy take on the most surreal news items. When asked recently about the rampant plagiarism practiced by Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass the comic said, "As a fake newsman myself, it's always encouraging to see the profession catching on. If I can inspire one guy to make up all his sources, well then I've done my job." (N.Y. Observer)"

Hah. Arts & Entertainment | The Fix "We wonder what it feels like to have an ego as big as all outdoors. Geraldo Rivera is marrying for the fourth time. He's 59 and she's 28 but that's just a cliché. The intriguing part is that Rivera, who is half Jewish and half Puerto Rican, now says he's going to have a Reform Jewish ceremony. Says Geraldo, "I'm making a conscious decision to take this whole Judaism thing seriously. I think the Jews need me right now." (Washington Post)"

A bit of humor for a friday. Streak thinks that Geraldo is funny. | Joe Conason's Journal "House Speaker Tom Craddick can halt the work stoppage in Austin. All he has to do is play by the rules on redistricting ... Mr. Craddick should resist pressure from Congress to contaminate a generations-old census-based exercise by converting it into an ill-considered purely partisan power grab. He should commit to leave Texas' political boundaries alone, and protesting Democrats should promptly return to the hive."

This is response to the taunting of the Texas Democrats running to Oklahoma (Streak suggests this was a good move as he has only heard bad stuff about Texas). Joe Conason's Journal in Salon reports the kind of no-holds barred approach that Tom Delay has taken to redistricting. Again, as Streak has noted numerous times, Delay's Christian faith seems completely distanced from his penchant for punishing people or doing whatever he wants. Streak has also pointed out that while the Texas Dems should have not fled the state to avoid their duty, that the Texas GOP should take some responsibility. Streak is rarely wrong on issues like this. Fade to White

Interesting article (dated now) on JC Watts and the rest of the GOP. Oddly enough, it makes him look a little better to me, (though Streak is still iffy) in that he opposed just dropping affirmative action until other issues could be resolved. It also affirms what many liberals thought about him being used and exploited by white Republicans. None of this makes Tom Delay look good, I might add. His combination of Christian faith and ends justifies the means politics always has struck me as hypocritical. Streak hates Delay. Would bite him.

May 15, 2003

The Onion In History

A little humor for the blog! Streak loves humor.
Cheney's Lynne Problem Timothy Noah

Streak has been pestered with questions about his antipathy toward Lynne Cheney. The article above is part of Streak's problem with her. Not only is he a sensitive dog, but also one who values history. Streak thinks, and I agree, that history is not just about promoting the superiority of the American experiment, but also about analyzing deep problems in American dealings with racial, ethnic, gender, class, and environmental issues. The current Second Lady disagrees. She has written her own children's book on American history, which though I have not read, I am told has omitted many of our Nation's greater sins. Streak objects.
I meant, Streak finds this administration particularly arrogant. Very perceptive dog, is Streak.
Halliburton contract causes concern among senators - May. 11, 2003 Click on this link for story.

This is a great example of the kind of issue that bothers me greatly about this administration. There may be very legitimate reasons to get Haliburton involved, but given the links between the company and Cheney, the administration has a responsibility to show us that this decision is above board. In my estimation, this administration has demonstrated tremendous arrogance regarding policy decisions like this one, and in their entire foreign policy. They refuse to make good arguments for their decisions, instead claiming just that they are doing the right thing.
But Streak's sensitivity aside, these are strange days. It feels like the early days of the Cold War without any sense of history. People are so afraid of terror that they seem willing to give up tremendous civil liberties, while at the same time refusing to give up anything else. In Iraq, the US forces are enforcing gun control and pushing for secularized schools and universal healthcare. Here, Ashcroft is attacking essentially every right except gun ownership.

Everyone I know (with a few exceptions) seems disenchanted with Bush, yet the admin enjoys tremendous popularity, enough to enact government-gutting tax cuts even though so many programs are needed.
And don't get Streak started on Dick or (ugh) Lynne Cheney.
Speaking of Streak's common sense, he has developed a strong dislike for the Bush administration! Not sure exactly how that happened, because I am pretty sure he doesn't actually watch the news, but perhaps his keen dog sense can see when someone is lying.
Welcome to my first blog. I have named it after my dog, Streak, who has been my muse of late. I find that he, like many dogs, has better sense than many of the humans I know.