Matt's Blog
...religion, politics, and other things you should never discuss at bars (but probably do anyways).
Saturday, March 29, 2003

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." -General Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

Friday, March 28, 2003

Bridgeport, Conn. Mayor to Resign (

Bridgeport, Conn. Mayor to Resign
Mayor Was Convicted of Racketeering, Extortion Last Week (AP)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Mayor Joseph Ganim, convicted last week of 16 corruption charges, announced Friday he will resign from office. His resignation becomes effective April 4.

Ganim was convicted March 20 of racketeering, extortion and other charges alleging he accepted more than $500,000 in illegal benefits in return for steering millions of dollars in city contracts to his associates and their clients.

The benefits included cash, expensive wine, designer clothing, lavish meals and home improvements, according to testimony.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Statement of Senator Clinton in Tribute
to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Today, we lost more than "The Gentleman from New York," we lost one of the greatest minds of our times. He was our Jefferson, our Lincoln. He was New York's architect of hope. He devoted more than fifty years of his life to public service in order to build a better world. And for Senator Moynihan his service to his country and to the state he loved was more than his career, it was his calling.

For twenty-four years, New Yorkers had the benefit of his intellect and dedication in the Senate. Whenever he headed to the Senate floor to speak, he kept the people of New York close to his heart and came armed with three signature items: his horn rimmed glasses, a bow-tie, and a great idea.

No one believed more in the power of restoration than Senator Moynihan: restoration of our cities as economic and cultural centers; restoration of our historic buildings as public places of pride; restoration of the family when given the proper tools to mend decades of despair; restoration of our government to better serve its people.

SEE LINK ABOVE FOR SEN. CLINTON'S WHOLE TRIBUTE - Former Sen. Moynihan dies - Mar. 26, 2003

Former Sen. Moynihan dies
New York Democrat known for intellect

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat from New York who enjoyed a reputation as an intellectual giant among his peers, died Wednesday after battling an infection stemming from a ruptured appendix. He was 76.
His death was announced on the Senate floor by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was elected to his seat after he retired.
"We have lost a great American, an extraordinary senator, an intellectual and a man of passion and understanding about what really makes this country great," Clinton said.


Campaign for America's Future

The right-wing politicians who now run Washington are out of control.

THEY ARE WEAKENING AMERICA in the service of a few.
They are dividing us by class and race.

Unemployment is higher, wages are lower, and stocks have tanked.

Pensions are under attack.

Health care is in crisis.

Hard-won environmental laws are being rolled back.

We are seeing a campaign of many cuts against women, against the rights of working people, against civil rights protections. And a foreign policy that isolates America rather than our enemies.

Conservatism's Moment of Truth (George Will)

For decades conservatism has advocated a strong, ambitious, confident, power-projecting government in foreign policy, but demure, modest and chastened in domestic policy -- government that is more interventionist in South Vietnam than in the South Bronx.


From DeLay, the Sounds of Silence
By Juliet Eilperin

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) doesn't want to talk about a Texas grand jury's probe that includes questions about the operations of "Texans for a Republican Majority," a political action committee he helped found.

Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle is looking into whether a group called the Texas Association of Business illegally used corporate money. The Republican group mimicked one of the business group's fundraising mailers on behalf of a state representative, which apparently is what has drawn the prosecutor's interest.

When asked about the investigation at his weekly briefing yesterday, DeLay responded, "That's not on the agenda. Sorry."


"I have not watched a total of five minutes of TV coverage since this war has started." -Thomas L. Friedman

Scorecard for the War

Scorecard for the War

I was in a restaurant at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Sunday, and it had an NCAA basketball game playing on the TV at one end of the bar and the Iraq war on the other. Most people were watching the basketball game — probably because it's so much easier to keep score. How will we know if we are winning in Iraq? Here are six things I am watching for:



Source: NBC News


"For the first time since 1994, when a national political revolt washed away the Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, conditions are right for the development of another political 'wave.' But this time, it is the Republicans who are most vulnerable if a wave breaks over the 2004 Congressional elections."

- Stuart Rothenberg, independent political analyst (Roll Call, 3/24/03)

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

No Excuse for Tax Cuts

No Excuse for Tax Cuts

By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003; Page A09
Do the leaders of Congress really want to make their branch of government look foolish? ...

Congressional leaders should not exploit this moment to push narrow ideological agendas. Ramming through enormous tax cuts is not the best way to unite the country or -- the phrase is on the lips of every politician -- to show our support for the men and women in uniform. At a time of war, we should not feel we are witnessing a political Ponzi scheme.


Monday, March 24, 2003

A Double Standard On Dissent
By E. J. Dionne Jr. (Washington Post)

Friday, March 21, 2003; Page A37

Wartime is dangerous to liberty and free expression.
When troops head into battle, the party in power is always tempted to condemn opposition and dissent as forms of treason. Suddenly the president is no longer referred to simply as "the president." He becomes "the commander in chief," a phrase that implies a lot more power.

But the more a president's supporters use the term "commander in chief" to enhance his authority, the more important it is to remember his role as the political leader of a free republic who is not endowed with infallibility, unlimited power or immunity from criticism. That, after all, is the essential difference between our country and Iraq. Our foe in this war is a brutal despot who responds to opponents not with nasty sound bites or 30-second attack ads but with torture and murder. To proclaim the right to dissent is to declare why the United States is a country worth fighting for.

The president's party took an early run this week at shutting down criticism with an all-hands-on-deck attack on Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, a Vietnam-era veteran who had the nerve to criticize the diplomatic failures leading up to this war.
"I'm saddened, saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war," Daschle said on Monday, "saddened that we have to give up one life because this president couldn't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was so critical for our country."

The way the Republicans reacted, you'd have thought Daschle had endorsed Saddam Hussein for reelection. "Those comments may not undermine the president as he leads us into war," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert. "And they may not give comfort to our adversaries, but they come mighty close."

But a different standard seemed to apply after President Clinton launched his 1999 air campaign in Kosovo to protect ethnic Albanians from another dictator.

"I don't think we should be bombing in the Balkans," said Rep. Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican. "I don't think NATO should be destroyed because we changed its mission to a humanitarian one." His colleague Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.) accused Clinton of pursuing "the most inept foreign policy in the history of the United States."


God writes a lot of comedy...
the trouble is,
he's stuck with so
many bad actors
who don't know how
to play funny.

-Garrison Keillor


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