Monday, March 07, 2005


The full transcript is here. The relevant section is this:

MR. RUSSERT:: Senator McConnell, 1,500 Americans now dead. How long will we be there?

SEN. McCONNELL: The ink-stained index fingers of the Iraqis going to vote are a symbol of how the president's Iraq policy has galvanized this change that's sweeping the Middle East. We--this Iraq policy is changing the area of the world most resistant to the things we believe in: democracy, human rights and freedom. It's sweeping the whole area.

Here's the poem (and notice how McConnell didn't answer Russert's question--he just held up his index finger)...

They got ink on their fingers
we got blood on our hands
the ink will eventually fade away
but the blood—not so much

The blood stays with you
it’s the mark of a killer
to God if to no one else
most men can’t see the red hands
after soap and water is applied
but it’s there

The men who can see it
are the victims or the victim’s friends
or tribesmen or countrymen
and they know whose hands
their blood is on
and they figure maybe
bloody hands aren’t such a bad thing
after all

So then your son
was ripped apart by that IED
and your brother
was in the the way of that RPG
bloody bloody hands for everyone

Maybe a finger dipped in ink
will stop your silent sobbing
in line at Wal-Mart
(now populated like the PX
with queues of future IED/RPG targets)
or mitigate your rage in the hallway
when you pass the photographs there
that you can’t bear to take down
or look at
or maybe not

Maybe it would take another hand
ripping out another heart
on another dusty desert highway
then dripping with blood
to make you feel better
or maybe, hopefully
that’s the opposite of what it would take

Stories To Ignore

Martha Stewart: Who knew insider trading and jail time could be good for your career?

Michael Jackson: What will the media do when the testimony gets explicit?

STORIES TO NOTICE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bankruptcy Rape Bill-S.256: Those campaign donations sure make a difference. Here's a good summary of what's happening:

Rhetoric can tell you a lot about what senators really stand for—maybe even more than their actual votes. If you listen closely, you quickly realize that the bankruptcy debate is not just between supporters and opponents, but also between two distinct visions of the world: one which corresponds to reality, and one which does not.

Supporters of the bill are determined to ignore the empirical data that shows about 50% of bankruptcies are traceable to medical emergencies (and about 90% stem from illness, divorce, job loss or deaths in the family) and that this bill would disproportionately harm those who go broke through no fault of their own. Instead, they mouth empty platitudes about “morality” and “responsibility,” as if it was immoral and irresponsible to have a heart attack or get laid off. Exhibit A, B and C:

“I think everybody knows when they take those credit cards and they accrue debt, they are supposed to repay that debt. Frankly, we have far too many people taking advantage of credit cards and not paying their debt.”(Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT)

“Instead of falling back on bankruptcy as an option of last resort, more Americans misuse it as a financial tool to wipe away their debts altogether.” (Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA)

“We are drifting a bit to suggest there is no real obligation to pay the debts we incur. If we get to that point, then we have eroded some very important fundamental moral principles about commerce in America.” (Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL)

Sessions is indeed drifting to suggest anyone wants to eliminate that obligation. Opponents of the bill want no such thing; they too want to fight fraud, but not by punishing moral and responsible people who have simply fallen on hard times. In their own words:

Isn't it interesting at a time when health care in America is so hard to come by and so expensive, when the Government is talking about cutting back on Medicaid … that we come up with a bill that is going to make it tougher for those who cannot pay their medical bills? It tells you about this Congress and its priorities. (Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL)

This legislation … rewrites the bankruptcy laws in a way that kicks average families while they're down, in order to pad the already high profits of the credit card industry and other lenders. It is greed, pure and simple. (Senator Ted Kennedy, D-MA)

1,500 U.S. Soldiers Dead In Iraq: Stop the war. The war is wrong. It was based on lies. And now people are dead. And not just any people--people you know and people I know.

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