Monthly Archives: June 2004

My Life, by Bill Clinton

“The next day President-elect Bush came to the White House for the same meeting I had had with his father eight years earlier. We talked about the campaign, White House operations, and national security. He was putting together an experienced team from past Republican administrations who believed that the biggest security issues were the need for national missle defense and Iraq. I told him that based on the last eight years, I thought his biggest security problems, in order, would be Osama bin Laden and al Queda; the absence of peace in the Middle East; the standoff between nuclear powers India and Pakistan;, and the ties of the Pakistanis to the Taliban and al Queda; North Korea; and then Iraq. I said that my biggest disappointment was not getting bin Laden, that we still might achieve an agreement in the Middle East, and that we had almost tied up a deal with North Korea to end its missle program, but that he probably would have to go there to close the deal.

He listened to what I has to say without much comment, then changed the subject to how I did the job. My only advice was that he should put together a good team and try to do what he thought was right for the country. Then we talked a little more politics.”

Maybe Bush should have listened a little better.

Guess who wants to control what movies you can see?

Carlyle goes to the movies – 2004-06-21 – Washington Business Journal

Carlyle goes to the movies
Jeff Clabaugh
Staff Reporter
District-based investment firm The Carlyle Group is one of three investors that have agreed to buy Loews Cineplex Entertainment from Onex Corp. and Oaktree Capital Management for $1.46 billion.

The buyout is being led by Bain Capital, an investment firm started in 1984 by Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. Spectrum Equity Investors is also part of the buyout team.

Loews is the third largest movie theater chain, with about 200 Cineplex operations worldwide. It operates 17 theaters in the Washington area. The company, founded by Marcus Loew in 1904, started life as a nickelodeon in New York. At its peak, it had 365 locations.

The Carlyle Group has more than $17 billion in assets under management. Last month it agreed to buy Verizon’s Hawaiian business for $1.6 billion.

Carlyle was founded in 1987. Its directors have included former President George Bush, Collin Powell, James Baker and former British Prime Minister John Major.

Father's Day Foto Fun

Tom’s folks are here to visit for Jonathan’s graduation, and so we went and got Father’s Day pictures taken today at the Picture People in the mall. The picture session was pretty fun, with lots of joking around (my favorite photo is of me with my two boys in headlocks…)

So, we had lunch, picked up our phto prints and did some shoping. I entrusted the carrying of the photos to Tom. We all split up for some shopping and then got back together to head for home.

Get home, and had the big framed picture, but no packet with the rest of the photos, which he had lost somewhere. Sigh. So I called the photo place to get them and mall security on the lookout for the photos, and sent Tom back up to see if they could be retrieved. Luckily, someone had indeed found and turned them in to the Picture People.

I have dealt a lot lately with Tom’s forgetting things and misplacing things, but this was just beyond annoying, since I had just paid over $200 for pictures. I wasn’t pleased at all. I am relieved they were found, but still rather miffed at the carelessness. It makes me wonder what it is ok to trust him with, and what I just have to make sure is taken care of myself.

In some ways, this relates to my current thoughts about our political situation. The adminstration wants everyone to just trust them, even when they have proven now time after time that they are far too careless to be trusted. And I really wonder at those who continue to believe in them, after having been shown over and over again that their trust is misplaced. And I wonder what, while we are all still absorbed in the big picture, is slipping out of the large envelope, being misplaced somewhere, and if it will ever be found or returned to us. And do we dare, after being shown we can’t trust them, to let them return again to the store to retrieve what was lost? Or will they merely take our credit cards and buy out the store and run off with the goods?

At least I know my husband is trustworthy, if sometimes careless or forgetful.

Marshmallow Madness

Marshmallow mix-up lands cruise passenger in Miami jail for day: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Hope Clarke, a teacher’s aide from a small mountain town in Wyoming, may think twice about her next vacation.

The bleary-eyed tourist was led away in handcuffs from the cruise ship Fascination at dawn on Friday, following a spot security check at the Port of Miami.

She spent a precious day of a romantic summer break behind bars — all because of a bag of marshmallows that got her in trouble during last summer’s vacation.

Her story, an odd mix of bungling federal bureaucracy and national security jitters, came out Friday in U.S. District Court in Miami. It began with a bench warrant out of a Wyoming federal court, alleging Clarke had failed to pay a $50 ticket last summer. Her name wound up in a federal database.

She’d been cited for an obscure federal offense, “improper food storage at a national park,” after leaving a bag of marshmallows out at a campsite at Yellowstone Park. The park has strict food storage laws intended to thwart mooching and marauding bears.

Clarke, 32, insisted in court that she used her credit card to pay the $50 ticket because park officials had confiscated her camping gear and wouldn’t give it back until the fine was paid. Studying a copy of the citation, U.S. Magistrate John J. O’Sullivan agreed she’d made good on the fine. “This ticket has been paid. This woman should not be in custody,” the judge said, ordering Clarke released immediately.

When Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Outerbridge protested that might be “some discrepancy” between Clarke’s story and the documents, the judge quickly added, “Seven hours in jail, I think, is a suitable punishment for leaving marshmallows out at a camp site.”

“I apologize to you,” O’Sullivan added, looking down from the bench at Clarke, who was fighting back tears.

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Gee guys, thanks for protecting us from people who leave their marshmallows behind. We all feel safer now…

Hello, gold and silver kitty!

Hello Kitty Lends A Paw To Japan’s Gold, Silver Markets

Hello Kitty has returned to Japan’s precious metals market to again share her marketing magic and hopefully scratch up some interest among first-time investors.

Monday Japan’s Taisei Coins Corp., along with Hello Kitty owner Sanrio Co. (8136.TO), began marketing gold and silver coins featuring the likeness of Japan’s most recognizable feline.

The coins, which are being issued to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Hello Kitty’s debut in 1974, vary in price from Y7,350 for one-ounce silver coins, to Y126,000 for one-ounce gold coins.

The run will be limited to 1,000 one-ounce gold coins, 2,000 one-quarter-ounce gold coins and 5,000 one-ounce silver coins.

On one side of the coin is Hello Kitty adorned in one of six different kimonos, each representing a heroine in a classic kabuki play. The flip-side features Queen Elizabeth II, as the coins were minted on the Cook Islands in the South Pacific.

*ucker Carlson

ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES

Echidne has the goods on *ucker Carlson. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the mysogoinstic bastard just hired to do a PBS radio show. Let’s show PBS some love and let ’em know how much we like this idea. Call or write your local PBS station with some of the lovely quotes from Echidne’s post and your comments included.

Congratulations, Jonathan!

ARIANNA ONLINE – June 16, 2004 – Graduation 2004: Pomp and Crummy Circumstances
It’s that time. And I�m not talking about cicadas. It’s graduation time, and all across the country high school seniors are tossing their mortarboards into the air and heading off to face a future filled with hope, promise – and soaring college tuition and fees.

It’s one of the few areas in which the GOP really has taken the country to a higher level.

The cost of a college education at a four-year public university has risen a devastating 35 percent since George W. Bush took office. He promised to be “the education president,” but in what we now know to be the classic Bush bait and switch, he then did just the opposite, delivering a tax-slashing economic agenda that forced public colleges and universities in all but one state to raise tuition in 2003.

As an added little gift for the new grads, the Bush administration’s latest budget-cutting guidelines will lead to a $550 million reduction in federal assistance to those college students in need of financial aid.

Happy graduation, kids! Enjoy your decades of indebtedness – at least those of you who are not forced to forego college altogether.

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Congrats to my own graduate, Jonathan, graduating from high school this evening. With no job. And no college plans. And an addiction to video games. Sigh. I guess we still have some work to do… but hey, the kid’s eighteen, has never done drugs or drank alcohol, hasn’t gotten anyone pregnant and never crashed a car (he doesn’t have his license yet, either….) And he’s bright and funny and cute, with longer hair than me. And has a collection of over 60 tigers in his room. And his own web site – http://www.blacktigerclan.org/. What can I say, we love the little tiggie.

The Proud Tradition of Southern Baptists

Article 19

President Bush stopped courting Catholic guilt long enough to foment evangelical fervor yesterday, when he spoke live via satellite to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting. Most of it was predictable abortion/gay marriage/God-loves-low-taxes stuff. But my favorite moment was a seemingly benign remark right up front….

“Laura and I are also thankful for your prayers. I have felt them at crucial hours. Your convention has a proud tradition going back to your first gathering in Augusta, Georgia almost 160 years ago. You represent more than 16 million Southern Baptists and congregations all across our country, and many others who serve as missionaries far from home.”
How about that meeting in Augusta in 1845? How did it come about? The Northern-based Baptist Home Mission Society had begun turning down slaveholders that wanted to take their, uh, love of different cultures into the field of church missions. Baptists in the South, wanting to uphold the dignity of the institution of slavery in the face of such discrimination, decided to establish their own Baptist body, because sometimes when your religion conflicts with your lifestyle it’s easier to change your religion. That first meeting in Georgia organized just such a body, so slave holders could do the evangelical work of God with impunity, and with a support network of resources…the Southern Baptist Convention.

Though you wouldn’t know it from their present state, the Convention does actually have a proud tradition, but just like it doesn’t extend to the present day, it also sure as hell doesn’t go back 160 years. What an odd thing for a President of the United States to say.

In January, 4 of the major predominantly African-American Baptist Conventions will meet together in Nashville, in a meeting that will be larger than the SBC meeting. I’m hoping that it will be President Kerry’s first visit to Music City, but do you think a re-elected President Bush will bother to make a similar speech to this group? Tradition not proud enough?

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I guess I never really thought much about where Southern Baptists came from, but it’s not too surprising. No wonder Carter has separated himself from this group. But it certainly fits right in with the general lack of concern Bush has shown towards the rights of minorities. And it’s obvious why he can’t speak to the African American Baptists – there would be far too many heads he would feel compelled to rub…