Home (Current commentary)
Me: Frank Lynch
These are my mundane daily ramblings. For something
less spontaneous, I maintain The
Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page (over 1,700 Johnson quotes),
with a weekly essay springing from
one of Johnson's quotations.
Dec | Nov | Oct | Sep | Aug | July | June | May | April | Mar | Feb | Jan
31 Demanding resolution of national questions from the Iowa caucuses; the RIAA claims that when you copy your own music onto your own PC you're making an unauthorized copy; funny math with the stock market.
30 The New York Times' hiring of neocon Bill Kristol as an op-ed columnist is wrong-headed.
29 "Amazing Grace" wasn't a Top Ten movie of 2007, but you should still notice it; Bush now wants to veto a bill he demanded from Congress.
27 Bhutto's assassination and empty speculation.
26 Retailer optimism over continual increases in holiday spending is unfounded; support for the war in Iraq erodes among military families.
25 Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood straddles its past and newfound popularity, with the old-timers confronting the change.
21 Fresh Direct, a NYC internet grocery delivery company, isn't all it's cracked up to be.
20 "Stairway to Heaven," as if on Spanish guitar.
19 "Stairway to Heaven," as if by the early Beatles.
18 Does the CIA have greater reason to lie about the efficacy of torture than the FBI?
16 Bush Administration working to enable telecommunications companies to use anti-terrorism surveillance techniques in arenas having nothing to do with terrorism, and again with little evidence of a crime.
15 Video: "Hard Times Come Again No More," from the BBC series "Transatlantic Sessions." Plus, the value of having someone independent of the AG investigating the CIA's destruction of the interrogation tapes.
13 A bill banning torture has passed in the House, and the White House is threatening to veto it.
12 Watching the 1991 Braves on DVD.
11 Exploring "torture;" online candidate matcher.
10 A former employee of KBR says that while she was in Iraq, other KBR employees gang raped her and locked her away in effort to keep her quiet.
9 Key members of Congress were apparently aware that torture was being used, and didn't object when told.
8 The CIA reveals (after a prod from the New York Times) that it destroyed tapes of interrrogations where torture was used.
7 Subway busker on YouTube.
6 In an effort to provide the middle class relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax, GOP senators block taxing hedge fund managers at a higher rate than 15%.
4 Given how hard Bush tried to justify the Iraqi invasion long afdter it was clear Iraq had no WMDs (and dug in his heels), we should be relieved we haven't invaded Iran yet.
3 Does the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran — concluding that Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 — represent a turning point in courage?
2 The New York Times' "public editor" (ombudsman) complains that reporters aren't digging hard enough to resolve conflicting claims.
1 Remembering James Lileks' plea for more boisterous music as we invaded Iraq; Giuliani is self-imploding over NYC finances and his mistress, but is a larger story being missed? Back to Top
Stray anachronistic references in "The Leopard" are driving me up the wall!
Pictures of a neighborhood as it changes; dude, where's my camera?
The Bush move to lower expectations for the Iraqi government even further stresses the unfair burded we've put on the troops, and why they need to come home.
Were Shiite militias behind an attack, as a ruse to persuade the citizenry of their value?
John Sebastian on YouTube; more attacks in Iraq, and a former commander calls for withdrawal over the lack of political progress; a Baghdad search for Thanksgiving ingredients.
The Supreme Court is going to finally weigh in on the Second Amendment and the "right to bear arms."
McCain's suggestion that he'll limit the use of the Secret
Service to protect him reeks of cowboy-dom; Bill O'Reilly dates
the book of Revelations to a thousand years before Jesus.
Bush's radio address shows that he's not handling the concept of
three equal branches of government well.
A rape victim in Saudi Arabia is sentenced to the lash, and you
should think twice about filling up the tank; Barry Bonds is
charged with perjury and obstruction of justice over sworn
testimony on steroids; Newsweek hires Kos and Karl Rove to write
NYC wisely, belatedly, decides against prosecuting a demonstrator
arrested for reading out the First Amendment.
Warnings about the annual release of the "Generosity Index."
(They seem to be unmerited, in retrospect.)
I passed Senator Schumer on the street, and regrettably failed to
press him on his vote to confirm Mukasey; more American troops
die in Afghanistan, highlighting the problem with abandoning an
unfinished project before taking on others.
More Giuliani guffaws; Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto is under house
arrest, militating against the concept of democracy in
Wouldn't it be great, if in the face of the current writers'
strike, the television networks resurrected Golden Age shows like
"You Are There"?
Authors at a conservative publishing house sue their publisher,
feeling their retail sales (and royalties) are undercut by deep
discounts through the publisher's other distribution
Giuliani defends his association with Bernie Kerik by claiming we
should all have Kerik's success.
Problems with Rudy Giuliani; can we get the Brits' "Question
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The GAO finds political progress in Iraq is lacking, despite the
surge. Will the Bush Administration invent all new criteria for
A Disney-produced State Department video uses footage from the
Canadian side of Niagra Falls as if it's in the United
Does a local newspaper need a local movie reviewer?
Yemen releases a terrorist to house arrest; the movie "Michael
A FEMA official tries to get away with faking a "press
conference," with all the questions coming from staffers. And the
White House is fairly calm about it all, given that the
Administration has put out PR pieces disguised as news.
What's a "troll"? Redstate.org prohibits new registrants from
talking about Ron Paul.
Tolerance of art: Trevi Fountain went red, but in the meantime an
art project involving petri dishes creates problems in the US,
because it's being charged under the Patriot Act.
PKK intrusions into Turkey's territory call into question all
claims that Bush is revolutionizing the world.
Limbaugh's charity effort will cost him plenty; plus, what rhymes
War President, War Nation: Congress has responsibly focused on
the Iraq war, the major issue confronting the country.
How suspicious should we be when Republicans switch parties? Are
they being opportunistic?
Book notes: even if authors we like are hurt by a boycott of
Ann Coulter's publisher, it's still a good idea.
Book notes: I suggest we boycott Ann Coulter's publisher; Norman
Podhorotz confronts genuine disagreement over bombing Iran.
Bush wants blanket amnesty for telecommunications companies who
broke the law along with him, and one exec reports that for his
failure to go along his company was penalized; external hard
Right wing bloggers work to tear down a testimonial from a 12
year old and hound his family, rather than deal with the
substance of argument.
The White House blows a very carefully nurtured intelligence
Marion Jones' very sincere sounding admission of her guilt is
completely different from Scooter Libby's failure to accept any
Don't interrupt the commercial for "Across the Universe;" the
U.S. secretly endorsed extreme interrogation measures; the State
Department now has a blog.
The failures of Bush's foreign policy, starting with much less
than success, and taking us into Iran; the words of Chuck Hagel
Back to Top
The religious right threatens to bolt the GOP and support a third
party candidate if Giuliani gets the nomination.
The difference between Hitler and the President of Iran.
Chris Matthews may not want to debate women.
Responding to Petraeus's claims of success, Iraqi insurgents
start assassinating security people.
New York is so tough, it can even survive a speech from the
President of Iran.
Is the US intimidating allies from seeking their own
Iraq's champion soccer team can't return to Iraq, over security
concerns; Giuliani's shenanigans with cell phone calls from his
wife; is Blackwater's return to business in Iraq emblematic of
the old invading alien movies?
20 Crying wolf
over terrorism, in order to get legislation passed.
How to hide GOP stonewalling in the Senate; the disconnect in
crediting the "surge" in Iraq with success.
Richard Scaife funds losing publications, and apparently bets
badly on love; MoveOn.org's Petraeus ad, and its rates, draw
Cheney's ire; happy birthday Samuel Johnson.
The New York Times says goodby to subscription fees for much of
its online material.
Troops are spread too thin: if Bush really cared about Iraq he'd
call for a draft.
Mixed messages in a book cover; why did Bush inflate the number
of nations with troops on the ground in Iraq, when he really
really needed to be credible?
Was it a surge or an escalation? And what do you call the troop
Joe Zawinul; more unconnected 9/11 dots; a law school dean is
hired and fired over his progressive thinking, but so many of our
schools are named after progressives like Jefferson and
In Senate testimony, intel chief Mike McConnell miscredits a new
law in foiling a German law plot, and argues that its "use" there
is why the law needs to be extended.
Some kind of GOP fax point? A number of pundits claim that the
latest tape from Osama Bin Laden sounds like left-wing
Supposedly Bush had already heard there were no WMDs in Iraq, and
chose not to believe it, which may have explained his desperate
refusal to give the inspectors more time.
The moving goal posts in Iraq clearly demonstrate that Bush wants
us to be there forever; the need to not just allude to press
bias, but explicitly restate the evidence.
Josh Marshall ("Talking Points Memo") garners well-deserved
praise; avoiding the term "liars."
Bush's surprise visit to Iraq, cloistered within a military base,
is only for show.
GOP pride in swiftly guiding Senator Larry Craig to the doors is
Is it time to tone down the 9/11 observances yet? Plus, the
dinner you missed.
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Evaluating troop deaths during the surge; Ovation TV; someone
is distorting the records of Democrats in the Congress before
they meet the troops in Iraq.
Music for a Summer's day: Feist on Letterman; the small moral
ground the GOP claims after pushing Senator Larry Craig out.
A one-sided way of viewing Senator Larry Craig's actions; Patrick
Fitzgerald as a "bold" choice to replace Alberto Gonzales as
Bush cherry picks historical details to create doubt among
pessimists on Iraq; in honor of the picture of the coffee
Giuliani radio ads only tell half the story, the part that makes
him look good.
Senator Warner offers Bush a fig leaf with a mere 5,000 troop
withdrawal; employees in the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration aren't even allowed to tell the press who's at the
Newly released report (declassified version of a year old report)
concludes that the head of the CIA didn't have what it took
to reshape the organization to face the growing terrorism
threats; other priorities, apparently.
Under the threat of subpoena, the White House waits until the
last minute to ask for an extension of the deadline; average
incomes in 2005 were lower than those in 2000.
Gays feel the impact of Giuliani's efforts to move from his prior
positions as NYC mayor.
Orlando's gun "buy back" program yields a missile launcher.
Tour rotations now mean less time at home, and by the way: army
suicides have hit a 26 year high.
Aspirational purchasing: how much does it inflate GDP? Plus, 175
dead in Iraq.
Mitt Romney's kids do public service by working for his
How the Rolling Stones' "Moonlight Mile" stretches our concepts
of a pentatonic song; the Anderson Cooper transcript about the
bridge collapse in Minnesota was just as damning as I'd thought,
when I'd heard it.
The Wall Street Journal fights for nothing in the Rupert Murdoch
takeover; Democrats ask for an early sunset on the revised FISA
bill, but it's not going to happen and it's too late.
Democrats feeling unnecessary pressure to cave in to Bush's
warrantless wiretapping program; Bush's promises over
Minneapolis's fallen bridge fall short of the opportunities.
Ghost Neon Signs; an effort to launch a one-man submarine in
NYC's East River runs into the authorities.
I'd swear I heard the wildest thing from Anderson Cooper...
Increased rate of troop deaths in Iraq.
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VP Dick Cheney tries to support the war in Iraq by calling on an
unverifiable source, future "history".
Repair appliances instead of trashing them; Web page frames;
Iraq's soccer team victory.
Usability issues surrounding my efforts to download and use a
ringer for me cell phone.
Scrutiny about Alberto Gonzales' truth telling suggests
Alberto Gonzales, US Attorney General, weasels on the truth.
The sub-prime mortgage market tanks: Country Wide Financial
announces difficulties, and on the PBS Newshour the human aspect
of losing your home gets notice.
Love-him-or-hate-him city developer Robert Moses shortened
Throggs Neck's name so it would fit on signs?
The Republicans' continuing blockage of Iraq bills in the Senate
amounts to a deadly game of unsupported hope; Bud Selig can stay
away from Barry Bonds' home run chase and still not bear a burden
of racism; the importance of John Edwards' haircut refuted; Bush
wants to renege on the sunset clauses in the tax breaks he pushed
through, and shows how "worst President ever" doesn't begin to
Tony Snow tries to claim that the White House never linked Saddam
Hussein to 9/11; an effort to recreate a 1775 single-man
submarine off Red Hook.
Immediate reactions to Manhattan's steampipe explosion show how
far the President has to go before Americans will feel
NY vs. California, and kudos to Mayor Mike in his efforts to
start congestion pricing in Manhattan.
After the Republicans successfully block an effort to give troops
proper at-home time, General Peter Pace discusses the strains on
soldiers. But only afterwards.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles settles abuse suits
to the tune of $660 million. You hate to see the need for this,
as it will doubtless take funding from several charitable
efforts. Still, the victims deserve their due.
In writing about a murdered colleague, the New York Times' John
Burns describes the evasive actions which Iraqi fighters have
taken, making sustained, general progress unlikely.
If "progress" is an important yardstick for No Child Left Behind,
why isn't a hard metric applied to Iraq?
Bush again links Iraq to 9/11.
If the Global War On Terror is so important, why are so many
positions at the Department of Homeland Security unoccupied?
Thoughts of having prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald testify to
Congress about the commutation of Libby's sentence don't impress
me; the New York Times publishes an editorial insisting for an
immediate, orderly withdrawal from Iraq.
The government opens up a feedback period to a nuclear spill, but
keeps it secret; impeaching Bush.
Senator Pete Domenici distances himself from Bush's Iraq policy,
but needs to do some persuasion; Michael Kinsley, normally smart,
makes an inept comparison between Scooter Libby and President
Clinton; Microsoft regrets people buying the extended warranties
for at least one of their products.
Bush's favoritism in commuting Libby's sentence.
Celebrating the Constitution on the 4th of July; refusing to
accept Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence; not sure anyone is
truly surprised that Bush commuted Libby's sentence.
Connecting the dots between purging federal attorneys,
organizations who try to keep minority voters out, and the
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The official UN committee investigating WMD's in Iraq finally
calls it quits; Fred Thompson dissatisfies in New Hampshire, with
a nine minute platitudinous speech.
A black mayor, the first, is elected in Ireland.
Issues surrounding congestion pricing in NYC should have been
dealt with decades ago; another great Internet idea; Fairness
Communication Doctrines; Senator Lugar's distancing himself from
Bush over Iraq will not have an impact.
White House spokesperson Dana Perino has a very bad day
over defending Dick Cheney.
Remember when the Administration was thinking of marching on into
Syria? Plus, the inadequacy of the number of troops in the Iraq
escalation could lead to asking for even more.
Our military's "Arrowhead Ripper" would have had more impact if
the enemy's leaders hadn't skedaddled in advance; Bush personnel
moves and other actions designed to avoid scrutiny; Rudy
Giuliani's claims to have run NYC as a business before Bloomberg
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves the Republican party, only
having joined it, really, to become mayor.
White House staff were violating regulations by sending emails
through the RNC rather than the White House system; Fox and CBS
refused to air condom ads because they didn't talk enough about
disease prevention, only suggesting sex instead.
One of the warmest Springs on record.
Carefully parsing Petraeus's promises of what to expect in
Iraq can't be forced to progress, and knows that Bush is enabling
them; Brooklyn's industrial waterfront is singled out as an
endangered historical area.
The Vatican ends its support for Amnesty International, over
perceptions that Amnesty supports abortion.
Three more photolinks for you.
A court rules that uncharged detainees, picked up in the US,
can't be held in the US without legal protections; Libby's
supporters wanted their support letters kept private, for fear of
being discussed on the Internet; the San Francisco Chronicle
trims its staff, probably another casualty to 'free' news on the
Plans for a Bible-based theme park in Tennessee arouse
Justification for Libby's sentence, if you need it.
Petraeus's equivocation over progress (or lack) in Iraq.
Louisiana's Representative William Jefferson is finally indicted,
and a right wing blogger acts like the scandal that fell on
Republicans was undeserved; a court overturns FCC indecency
rulings against broadcasters, citing Cheney's obscenity on the
floor of the Senate.
US modeling long term plans for Iraq after Korea? How does that
square with the 2002 "Authorization of Force"? Plus, the insult
of being called "outspoken."
Windbag speculation hour: in an age of precision marketing, book
publishers still look for the mega seller instead of fine profits
on well-targeted books.
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Early word that the University of Florida's repeat-champion
basketball coach is headed to the NBA (he didn't); PowerLine
wants the US to diss the rest of the world.
With a final determination that Valerie Plame was covert, a
summing up of the White House's misbehaviors.
A Boy Scout in Delaware does public service by making a map of
a fairly untended cemetery. Are our opportunities for public
service merely limited by our imaginations?
America sees we're moving in the wrong direction, but Bush
doesn't: do we remember how Osama Bin Laden basically said Bush
was falling into his trap?
Continued promises from Bush sound like old refrains.
Yet again Bush shows how little he supports the troops, by using
them as pawns in a funding battle.
Jimmy Carter was more on target about Bush before he
Writers held by publishers who won't "publish" them; Rudy
Giuliani tries to take credit for national trends in abortions
and adoptions; word of a pending "no confidence" vote on AG Al
Rudy Giuliani tries to portray CNN as being just as liberal as
Fox is conservative. Really.
Bob Geldof doesn't think Gore's summer concert series is doing
enough about global warming: awareness, he says, is too little to
Politics played a role in how deserving federal attorneys were
passed over for promotions.
Bush suggests he's open to the idea of benchmarks for the Iraqis,
but why believe it?
The lack of affordable housing makes one think NYC has gotten too
big; Senator Mitch McConnell's dissatisfaction with progress in
Iraq should have him siding with Democrats, but it doesn't.
The GOP tries to talk tough on Bush's Iraq policy while
continuing to give him a blank check; the NBA is taking its games
direct to fans through downloads.
Disturbing willingness to hide the truth in Iraq; employee
records in the TSA lost.
Jumbled history of the Vietnam War, thanks to a misbound
Ignoring tax cheats.
Bush's unaccomplished mission in Iraq.
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How the benefits which the GOP has received from the Electoral
College may be diminishing.
Great fish-eye; Bill Moyers, the sleeping press, and Scott
How George Tenet sold out his country; the ridiculous claim that
Congress is trying to "micro-manage" the war.
Polls show more Americans side with the Democrats' views on Iraq
Dennis Kucinich introduces Articles of Impeachment against
NYC Mayor Bloomberg proposes congestion pricing; Iraq's Prime
Minister ends US efforts to segregate Baghdad.
Using your iPod as an audio aid for books on music.
Criteria for evaluating the "surge"; Gonzales' poor testimony
before the Senate..
High approval ratings for Pelosi and Reid argue that Bush's poor
approval ratings really are a problem; arguing for change after
Even if the "surge" isn't working, McCain has no Plan B, but
claims he'll listen to public opinion which he's already
ignoring; Paul Wolfowitz may not be able to argue against
corruption when he's showing signs himself...
Bushies maintained non-White House email accounts and used them
for governmental business; an apparent attempt to avoid
Bush lies about the laws which Congress has passed on support of
Bush's understanding of the Constitution questionable; McCain
steps back from his comments on how safe Baghdad is, but in doing
so claims a right to misspeak for fun.
The many ways in which the Administration doesn't support the
USA Today's collection of top quotes ignores Bush's "Bring 'em
on;" hat's off to my wife; problems with page loading due to
Norton and haloscan? Add www.haloscan.com to your Norton firewall
as a trusted site.
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Connecticut high school won't let its theater group do a play
based on Iraq experiences; contrary to statements to Congress,
the Attorney General met with staff over the US Attorney firings
prior to the ax falling; vacation warning.
Right-winger tries to justify Bush's poor approval ratings by
pointing to approval ratings of Congress, which no one elects
directly (beyond their own member); how the White House is
avoiding accountability over the US Attorney firings.
New York advances its 2008 Presidential primary early, and I'm
not pleased; Bush resorts to a "partisan" charge in trying to get
Democrats to not probe the firings of the US attorneys.
Bushies continue defending invading Iraq, and our fear of
terrorists still grips NYC.
Open mic night; what will it take before the President recognizes
failure in Iraq? plus, Washington DC's efforts to obtain a voting
representative in the House evokes slave-era compromises on
admitting new states.
Senator Schumer (D-NY) says he's heard reports that the White
House is discussing the Attorney General's exit.
The scandal over the firing of the US attorneys highlights how
inept the White House is at hiring qualified people: let's look
at the Attorney General himself!
Cheney can't acknowledge or recognize how badly he's screwed up
Over-optimistic reactions to the escalation in Iraq; Nevada
Democrats pull out of sponsoring a debate which Fox would
Scooter Libby's conviction reminds me of Lincoln's words, and
what has happened to our country since September 11.
Connecting the dots on the federal prosecutor firings; national
security strategies of the UK may promote war rather than
Ann Coulter's remarks on John Edwards being gay; the New York
Times starts to weigh in the on the scandal of the federal
The failure of America and the press to recognize the spin from
Bush as early as 2005.
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Global warming's impact on tigers in India.
Another bad day in Iraq, and a leading cleric says the "surge" is
doomed to fail.
Powerline hasn't mentioned the scandal over the treatment of
recuperating soldiers at Walter Reed hospital facilities, perhaps
because the news came from the Washington Post.
Bad statistics used to try and make people care more about
immigration than the war in Iraq.
US statistics on terror within the country have been overclaiming
the number of occurrences for the glory of the prosecutors and so
When Right wing fundocrat Richard Scaife has second thoughts
about Clinton, its clear he needed a rudder years ago and may
even have helped get us into Iraq; how PR people manage photo ops
with the President; death of a hard drive.
Claims that leaving Iraq will play into the hands of the
terrorists ignore the fact that Bush did the same by going
Has the White House articulated an action standard for what
constitutes failure in Iraq?
CNN correspondent learns nothing from the pre-Iraq war journalism
mistakes, and goes overboard on the US intelligence on Iran.
Scooter Libby defense tactic: defend him against something he's
not been charged with.
Did Hollywood predict Abu Ghraib in 1998? University of Phoenix
faltering as a business concept? more bad economic news.
Stupid hints about Valerie Plame; a call for Republican
"centrists" to be genuine or leave; suggestions that Scooter
Libby won't testify.
Sometimes seasonally adjusting the economic news hides poor
Republicans refuse to be pinned down on Warner's nonbinding
motion; did you know the Washington Post is the Democrats' "house
After 2004, Bush referred to reelection as his "accountability
moment," but then lied in 2006 about war's progress.
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Vice President Cheney's lesbian daughter defends her decision to
become a mother.
Senator Clinton calls out the White House on passing the Iraqi
"buck" to the next President; "Babel."
The White House's original request for the authorization of force
against Iraq had a scope including anywhere in the Middle East
Scooter Libby claims he was being made a scapegoat by the White
27 more US casualties in Iraq; how corporate owners constrain
In an odd bit of PR, a general suggest that the so-called "surge"
could be over by the end of Summer. Yeah, right.
Chuck Hagel's long history of skepticism about the war in
Lack of winter in NYC.
Idly gathering intelligence, just because.
A Pentagon official complains that detainees at Guantanamo are
getting legal assistance which is too good, and tries to provoke
a backlash against the lawyers' firms.
Polls show that by escalating in Iraq, Bush is out of touch with
mainstream American values; Bush pulls back on divisive judicial
nominees; US strikes against Iran, in Iraq; controversy over the
ownership of the "iPhone" name.
California's move to universal health insurance; that special
Manhattan smell; Florida's left-handed quarterback.
"President" Gore; shifting the discussion to reckless
endangerment of the troops.
Hug your family.
FBI observations of abuses at Guantanamo lend credence to
Newsweek accounts which had been put down by the White
The shame surrounding Saddam Hussein's last minutes; little or no
press attention to polls showing the troops questions about
Hidden tax "cuts," through looser audits.
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