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January 31, 2005

Update from Nutbarville

Nutbar would like to congratulate -- seriously -- the Iraqi people for their evidently well-run and -attended election over the weekend! One can only hope that next time around, the candidates will be able to campaign without fear of being shot by looted Saddam Hussein weapons depot ammo.

In other news, Nutbar has been on the road for a few days buying some cars with his Bush tax refund.

January 31, 2005 at 09:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2005

Wall Street Journal headline of the day

European antitrust regulators have expressed concern over Microsoft's decision to name its new stripped-down operating system "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition," arguing that the name is unappealing to consumers.

Link: WSJ.com - U.S. Home.

January 30, 2005 at 06:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 27, 2005

Knight-Ridder headline from the "a day late and four years short" department

Who the Shiites are and what they believe

Link: KR Washington Bureau | 01/27/2005 | Who the Shiites are and what they believe.

January 27, 2005 at 10:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 26, 2005

He plans to spend more time lying to his family

[Douglas Feith], the Pentagon's third-ranking policy-maker, has decided to leave his post this summer...

Link: KR Washington Bureau | 01/26/2005 | Pentagon's Feith, an architect of Iraq policy, to leave post.

January 26, 2005 at 09:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is the point of putting Republicans in charge of everything...

...if they're going to pull crap like this?

Are these pinheads aware that the PC business consists of buying CPUs from Intel, software from Microsoft, memory from Micron, and hard drives from Maxtor and putting them all in a box?

Link: WSJ.com - Lawmakers Ask for More Scrutiny Of IBM Unit Sale.

Three Republican congressmen asked Treasury Secretary John Snow to extend government scrutiny of the proposed $1.25 billion sale of International Business Machines Corp.'s personal-computer division to a Chinese rival, citing potential national-security concerns. "Given the relationship between so-called 'private companies' in communist states and their government, we believe that it is manifestly in the public interest to extend the time for review," said the letter, signed by Reps. Henry J. Hyde and Donald A. Manzullo, both of Illinois, and Duncan Hunter of California.

January 26, 2005 at 08:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And another medal

Starkly put, Baghdad is not under control, either by the Iraqi interim government or the American military.

Link: The New York Times > International > Middle East > Violence: Across Baghdad, Security Is Only an Ideal.

January 26, 2005 at 08:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Time to award Paul Bremer another medal!

With just days to go before Iraq's first democratic election, Ayoub, a 52-year-old civil engineer, can't decide: Should he vote, or barricade himself into his home?

Link: WSJ.com - For Iraqi Engineer, A Harrowing Choice: Whether to Vote.

January 26, 2005 at 08:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AP headline of the day

Bush Orders an End to Hiring Columnists

Link: Yahoo! News - Bush Orders an End to Hiring Columnists.

January 26, 2005 at 08:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

I see we've got our top guys on the case

Marketing the [Bin Laden bounty] program in remote places like Afghanistan, where bin Laden is believed to be hiding, has been particularly challenging. The State Department has been tweaking its radio and print advertisements about the rewards to emphasize the Muslim lives lost in most of al Qaeda's attacks. Still, the most effective way of spreading the word in a part of the world where just about everybody smokes has been distributing matchbooks with photos of bin Laden and other fugitives.

But officials concede that sheepherders in Afghanistan often don't understand the value of $25 million, and they are looking into offering other forms of compensation. For his part, bin Laden, citing authority from the Koran, promises his followers who die in attacks on westerners a stable of virgins. Counters one official, "We can't come up with 70 virgins, but we can come up with goats."

Link: USNews.com: U.S. officials pay out millions to tipsters for help finding terrorists (1/31/05).

January 24, 2005 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2005

Level-headed, even-handed Bloomberg columnist John Barry contemplates the Administration's Social Security plan...

...and howls in outrage...

President George W. Bush's assertions that Social Security faces a crisis and is ``flat bust, bankrupt'' are patently false.

Bush and other administration officials are greatly exaggerating potential problems facing the program to push through changes that would undermine the most successful social insurance program in the nation's history.

The system is so far from crisis or bankruptcy that the truly prudent course at this point most certainly would be to make no changes in Social Security at all. Wait and see if even under conservative assumptions the date at which the system's trust fund would be exhausted keeps receding.

In 1994, Social Security trustees put that date at 2030 using their intermediate projection, the middle one of three. By 2004, 10 years later, the date had been pushed out 12 years, to 2042. And even after that, 75 percent of promised benefits could still be paid.

That's neither a looming crisis nor bankruptcy.

Bush has no intention of being prudent. Instead, he obviously wants to undermine confidence in the program to create a political climate in which Congress will approve diverting a portion of the payroll tax that funds Social Security to individual accounts for workers with the money invested in equities and corporate and government bonds.

By assuming unrealistically high returns on equities, the private accounts are being sold as a way to make up for the alleged inability of Social Security to pay promised benefits in the future.

Link: Bloomberg.com: Bloomberg Columnists.

January 23, 2005 at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack