Saturday, December 03, 2005

Cabela's Non-Compete Business Practices: Immigrants Beware 

I mentioned yesterday that the American Dream is not a fair fight based on quality service, products, and fair pricing. Yesterday it was Caribou Coffee, today, Cabela's:

Fast Company Now: Real Estate and the Retail Magnet: "Not only does Cabela's actively seek tax incentives and the like, it often restricts what other businesses can locate near their properties -- and even buys adjacent land so they can control its management and development. It's an interesting read."

Fast Company references the NY Times article Sporting Goods and Its Own Business Model for further reading.

Is Cabela's trying to be the biggest, the best, or simply The Only business in their niche? Clearly, The Only is caused by a flaw in the free market if it's based on anti-competitive practices. That hurts consumers by limiting choice and increasing prices.

Right wingers, where do you stand on this? What playing field provides true based on products and services, leading to a true free market economy?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Realizing the American Dream  

Silly immigrant. She thought the American Dream was realized through starting a business and working hard. Little did she know that it actually involves locking out competition through leases:

Coffee brouhaha leaves owner miffed: "Azeze said she has been told that her lease will not be extended and that her shop has to close by the end of the month. Caribou Coffee, which opened a new outlet in May in the nearby Silver Lake Village Shopping Center, negotiated a lease that prohibits other coffee shops at the development, according to the shopping center's attorney."

Thanks for leasing from us for the last few years. Now leave.

"If America is based on free enterprise, why can't we have two coffee shops?" asked Robert Schwalm, a retired teacher from New Brighton who enjoys the seasonal Ethiopian coffee-roasting ceremonies Azeze conducts at Limu.

What American are you living in, Mr. Schwalm? A free enterprise America where the businesses with the best products and services at a fair price win, or one where competition is handled due to things outside quality of service, products, or pricing? Keep in mind that you live in an America where George W. Bush went to Yale and Harvard over much more qualified students. Free enterprise, free schmentrafise, Mr. Schwalm.

"It's very disappointing," she said. "I never thought this kind of thing would happen in America."

I don't think she'll be down for long. It's a hard lesson, but she'll bounce back from it.

Rove and Luskin in Deep Doo Doo 

It looks like I'm actually ahead of the Daily Kos on this story. I'm sure that won't last. It's interesting to see that Armando independently came to the same conclusion regarding the information on Viveca Novak:

Daily Kos: Vivica Novak: Exculpatory? Wha?: "If this rumor is true, the Rove story is that he found the Hadley e-mail after Luskin heard from Viveca Novak! What does this mean? That Luskin and Rove either ignored the Fitzgerald subpoena or worse, they found the Hadley e-mail and concealed it from Fitzgerald! That would be obstruction of justice on Rove AND Luskin!"

Similar take on the "found an email" timeline idiocy:

5 months to find an e-mail! From the very days in question! WTF? Is that remotely believable?

It looks like Rove & Luskin were being a little too tricky with their presentation of the facts to Fitzgerald. I don't think that's a winning strategy with a prosecutor like this one.

By the way, remeber this quote from OVER TWO YEARS AGO:

Think Progress: 23 Administration Officials Involved In Plame Leak: "BUSH CLAIMED TO WANT TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LEAK: On September 29, 2003, a senior administration official told the Washington Post that Bush said, "�I want to get to the bottom of this,"� during a daily staff meeting which Karl Rove attended."

And a quick reminder of Scott McClellan's response OVER TWO YEARS AGO to reporters asking if the President Bush thought Karl Rove was involved in the leaking of a covert Operative's name to the press:

TalkLeft: Reaction to Report of Justice Dept. Intelligence Probe: "QUESTION: Yes, but I'm just wondering if there was a conversation between Karl Rove and the President, or if he just talked to you, and you're here at this --

McCLELLAN: He wasn't involved. The President knows he wasn't involved.

QUESTION: How does he know that?

QUESTION: How does he know that?

McCLELLAN: The President knows."

Deep doo doo.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rove Finding Emails 

Take a look at this:

Crooks and Liars: "Jane says the word on the street is that Viveca Novak earned the opportunity to testify before Patrick Fitzgerald because she told her very good buddy Robert Luskin in May, 2004 that his client Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source, and Luskin is now claiming this conversation jogged Rove's memory and caused him to go looking for his now-famous email to Stephen Hadley."

I don't know what email program Karl Rove is using, but pretty much every major program offers some form of keyword search. It's amazing how little Rove can find before someone else brings it to Rove's attention that it exists.

How would that not be obscruction?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

AMERICAblog: Why is the Pope so obsessed with gays? 

Joe at AmericaBlog nails it:

AMERICAblog: Why is the Pope so obsessed with gays?: "The Vatican and other religious fanatics spend more time thinking about gay sex than most gay people I know. It's really quite odd.

I heard on the Today show that the Vatican studied this issue for 10 years. What were they doing all that time? What makes these religious types such experts on homosexuality? Their obsession is a little too creepy. Me thinks they doth protesteth too much."

Pro-Rove Headlines in Star Tribune and Washington Post 

Testimony of magazine reporter might help Rove

Headline: Testimony of magazine reporter might help Rove

Sub Head: It's not clear how the testimony could benefit Karl Rove, who remains under investigation in the CIA leak case.

Hello? If it's not clear how the testimonay could help Rove, how can you lead with a headline saying that it might?

What I see here is Rove's own attorney testisfying to Fitzgerald about conversations he has with a reporter at Time magazine who happens to be a person friend. That stinks of Luskin trying to sell his client's case through a friendly member of the press. Or possibly coaching a witness on what she shouldn't remember when talking to Fitzgerald?

What are the changes that Viveca Novak, who is close to Rove's lawyer, was NOT one of the reporters who received leaked (or is pissed a better term?) information about Valerie Plame from Karl Rove?

The Washington Post used the following headline for the story on their front page:
Time Reporter Called a Key to Rove's Defense In Leak Probe

Same inconclusive facts, with a headline implying that Viveca Novak is somehow going to clear Rove's name based on an anonymous source who appears to be working for Luskin (if it's not Luskin himself).

Washington Post & Star Tribune: You can do better.

Powerline Blog, David Duke, & Cindy Sheehan 

Scott Johnson makes an ass of himself by suggesting Cindy Sheehan and David Duke are one and the same:

Power Line: David Duke explains...: "Where, oh where are Maureen Dowd and the rest of Mother Sheehan's adoring friends among the mainstream media to cover this illuminating development?"

Scott, a lot of people are against the war. And they have many different reasons for being so. Here are a few:

1. Religious Conservatives who don't believe war is not a peaceful solution to problems.

2. Fiscal Conservatives who can't stand watching Bush waste our country's resources on a war that doesn't need to be fought.

3. People who don't like being lied into a war.

4. The Iraqi people:

Last August, the British defense ministry conducted a secret opinion survey in Iraq, whose results have since leaked out. The pollsters found that over three-quarters of the Iraqi public want a timetable for the end of the occupation. Even the Iraqi political parties least hostile to the United States, including those that won the elections last January, want to know precisely when our troops will go.

5. David Duke

6. Cindy Sheehan

7. Me

Suggesting that Maureen Dowd and the main stream media should cover David Duke is simply idiotic. Is Mr. Johnson honestly implying that the opinions of David Duke should be take seriously?

Man, are they grasping at straws at Powerline Blog, or what?

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Raw Story | Testimony from Rove's former assistant may solidify case that he misled leak inquiry, lawyers say 

Uh, oh. Rove's secretary is REMEMBERING THINGS she previously explained away in testimony to the grand jury. It's funny how people start remembering things after being caught lying to the feds.

The Raw Story | Testimony from Rove's former assistant may solidify case that he misled leak inquiry, lawyers say: "The attorneys say that Rove?s former personal assistant, Susan B. Ralston -- who was also a special assistant to President Bush -- testified in August about why Cooper?s call to Rove was not logged. Ralston said it occurred because Cooper had phoned in through the White House switchboard and was then transferred to Rove?s office as opposed to calling Rove?s office directly. As Rove?s assistant, Ralston screened Rove?s calls.

But those close to the probe tell RAW STORY that Fitzgerald obtained documentary evidence showing that other unrelated calls transferred to Rove?s office by the switchboard were logged. He then called Ralston back to testify.

Earlier this month, attorneys say Fitzgerald received additional testimony from Ralston -- who said that Rove instructed her not to log a phone call Rove had with Cooper about Plame in July 2003.

Ralston also provided Fitzgerald with more information and ?clarification? about several telephone calls Rove allegedly made to a few reporters, including syndicated columnist Robert Novak, the lawyers said."

How clean will Ralston come this time? Are we talking full fledged bean spilling, or more of a one bean at a time deal? Somehow, I think she has more to gain by being forthcoming to Fitzgerald than she does by protecting what's left of Rove's ass.

Paul Mirengoff is a Torturist Apologist 

Paul Mirengoff honestly - I'm not making this up - makes a pro-torture argument on his site, claiming that McCain doesn't know the value of torture while Dick Cheney does! You can't make this stuff up.

Power Line: Cheney or McCain, who is the hero?: "McCain is fond of asserting that you can't get reliable information through torture. In doing so, he relies on his experience in North Vietnam. However, the ineffectiveness of the crude tactics of his prison guards of 40 years ago does not demonstrate that the tactics available to us today are ineffective. In fact, it appears that our tactics worked well with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. If they didn't work, why would Vice President Cheney and our top military leaders be so insistent on not taking them off the table. Surely McCain does not buy into the notion that Cheney takes the position he does because he is evil. In fact, as noted above, McCain's position isn't really that different from Cheney's. It's just that Cheney is willing to take the heat for defending tactics that will save lives. In this instance, Cheney, not McCain, is the American hero."

Is it really honest to suggest that the ONLY data McCain has used to back his anti-torture position was what he learned in North Vietnam? How laughable is that?

Mirengoff has to completely ignore the justifications behind the Geneva Convention to draw the conclusions he does. That's one flying leap away from common sense and decency, and completely ignores the rationalle that our troops are more at risk of being tortured if we use torture tactics against our POWs.

Mirengoff also uses our apparent successful torturing of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to make his case. One question: If that revealed such valuable information, where's Osama Bin Laden.

We haven't heard much about Bin Laden from the pro-torture White House lately, have we?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Right-Wing Bloggers Fear Blog Comments 

Scott Johnsonposts on his blog: "I leave it to others smarter than I to comment appropriately."

Yet he doesn't allow comments on his blog. Strange, eh?

Here is a list of top conservative and liberal blogs (based on recommendations by bloglines.com for Conservative and Liberal politicos), and who allows comments:


hughhewitt.com: NO
MichelleMalkin.com: NO (has trackbacks)
PowerlineBlog.com: NO
rightwingnuthouse.com: YES
watchblog.com/republicans/: YES
theweeklystandard.com: NO


DailyKos.com: YES
AMERICAblog.com: YES
talkingpointsmemo.com: NO (yes on TMPCafe.com)
atrios.blogspot.com: YES
amleft.blogspot.com: YES
washingtonmonthly.com: YES

What does this tell us? Are liberal bloggers more open to differing opinions? Are right-wing bloggers so right in their views that there is nothing to discuss? End of story?

In my opinion, if you truly believe in what you're saying, why would you be afraid to let people easily comment on your thoughts?

Why does Ed Schultz take calls from anyone on his left-wing talk radio show, while Rush Limbaugh screens the crap out of his calls?

Why does George W. Bush have so few press conferences?

Why? Why? Why?

Post your theories below. I don't have all the answers.

People Continue to Die While Bush Struggles with War in Iraq 

Bush want to cut and run to get out of the disaster he's created, but hasn't figured out how to do so yet. While he figures it out, people will continue to die, get tortured, and have their lives ruined because of the trumped up justifications for the war:

AMERICAblog: Iraq's Human Rights Abuses Worse Than Under Saddam, Says Allawi: "Bush wants to claim victory and get the hell out, but Iraq's first Prime Minister says the country is rife with death squads and torture centers and could soon eclipse Hussein's reign of terror. Bush's one-time ally Ayad Allawi is making it very difficult for the President to pretend everything is hunky-dory, thanks to this interview with UK's The Observer."

Powerline Blog's Clueless Paul 

Paul Mirengoff's comments on Joe Biden's Iraq strategy:

Power Line: Clueless Joe: "What we have in Iraq is an armed conflict, not a government program. In this context, timetables and schedules should not dictate events; rather events must dictate timing. But this reality is beyond the comprehension of clueless Joe Biden and most of his fellow Democrats."

Does the success of the Iraqi elections effect the timetable? Would that be an example of an event or a timetable? After all, who set the schedule for the elections? Who determines if they're a success?

Cheney on November 21st:
"A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq would be a victory for the terrorists, an invitation to further violence against free nations, and a terrible blow to the future security of the United States of America," Cheney said.

That's an interesting comment from Cheney, considering that it's completely out of touch with the Iraqi government that's called for the withdrawal of US Troops:

Shiite, Kurdish, and Sunni leaders put aside their mutual differences the other day and released a communique calling for "the withdrawal of foreign troops on a timetable," and Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said U.S.-led forces should be poised to leave his country by the end of 2006.

Does that make the Iraqi government with the terrorists?

For me, the key criteria for withdrawal is whether the justification for war still exists.

Is Iraq today an imminent threat to the United States? Do we have to worry about the mushroom cloud Condi Rice made us believe threatened our country? Are we going to be gassed by Saddam? No, no, and no. So if the justification & threat to America no longer exists, why are we still there?

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