January 25th, 2004

NOT lj-cut for a reason - so read it!

George W Bush And The Real State Of The Union -or- More Reasons Why This Bastard MUST Be Voted Out Of Office

232: Number of American combat deaths in Iraq between May 2003 and January 2004

501: Number of American servicemen to die in Iraq from the beginning of the war - so far

0: Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender to the Allies in May 1945

0: Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home from Iraq that the Bush administration has allowed to be photographed

0: Number of funerals or memorials that President Bush has attended for soldiers killed in Iraq

100: Number of fund-raisers attended by Bush or Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2003

13: Number of meetings between Bush and Tony Blair since he became President

10 million: Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, setting an all-time record for simultaneous protest

2: Number of nations that Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into the White House

9.2: Average number of American soldiers wounded in Iraq each day since the invasion in March last year

1.6: Average number of American soldiers killed in Iraq per day since hostilities began

16,000: Approximate number of Iraqis killed since the start of war

10,000: Approximate number of Iraqi civilians killed since the beginning of the conflict

$100 billion: Estimated cost of the war in Iraq to American citizens by the end of 2003

$13 billion: Amount other countries have committed towards rebuilding Iraq (much of it in loans) as of 24 October

36%: Increase in the number of desertions from the US army since 1999

92%: Percentage of Iraq's urban areas that had access to drinkable water a year ago

60%: Percentage of Iraq's urban areas that have access to drinkable water today

32%: Percentage of the bombs dropped on Iraq this year that were not precision-guided

1983: The year in which Donald Rumsfeld gave Saddam Hussein a pair of golden spurs

45%: Percentage of Americans who believed in early March 2003 that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks on the US

$127 billion: Amount of US budget surplus in the year that Bush became President in 2001

$374 billion: Amount of US budget deficit in the fiscal year for 2003

1st: This year's deficit is on course to be the biggest in United States history

$1.58 billion: Average amount by which the US national debt increases each day

$23,920: Amount of each US citizen's share of the national debt as of 19 January 2004

1st: The record for the most bankruptcies filed in a single year (1.57 million) was set in 2002

10: Number of solo press conferences that Bush has held since beginning his term. His father had managed 61 at this point in his administration, and Bill Clinton 33

1st: Rank of the US worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions per capita

$113 million: Total sum raised by the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, setting a record in American electoral history

$130 million: Amount raised for Bush's re-election campaign so far

$200m: Amount that the Bush-Cheney campaign is expected to raise in 2004

$40m: Amount that Howard Dean, the top fund-raiser among the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls, amassed in 2003

28: Number of days holiday that Bush took last August, the second longest holiday of any president in US history (Recordholder: Richard Nixon)

13: Number of vacation days the average American worker receives each year

3: Number of children convicted of capital offences executed in the US in 2002. America is only country openly to acknowledge executing children

1st: As Governor of Texas, George Bush executed more prisoners (152) than any governor in modern US history

2.4 million: Number of Americans who have lost their jobs during the three years of the Bush administration

221,000: Number of jobs per month created since Bush's tax cuts took effect. He promised the measure would add 306,000

1,000: Number of new jobs created in the entire country in December. Analysts had expected a gain of 130,000

1st: This administration is on its way to becoming the first since 1929 (Herbert Hoover) to preside over an overall loss of jobs during its complete term in office

9 million: Number of US workers unemployed in September 2003

80%: Percentage of the Iraqi workforce now unemployed

55%: Percentage of the Iraqi workforce unemployed before the war

43.6 million: Number of Americans without health insurance in 2002

130: Number of countries (out of total of 191 recognised by the United Nations) with an American military presence

40%: Percentage of the world's military spending for which the US is responsible

$10.9 million: Average wealth of the members of Bush's original 16-person cabinet

88%: Percentage of American citizens who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of 2003 cut in capital gains and dividends taxes

$42,000: Average savings members of Bush's cabinet are expected to enjoy this year as a result in the cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes

$42,228: Median household income in the US in 2001

$116,000: Amount Vice-President Cheney is expected to save each year in taxes

44%: Percentage of Americans who believe the President's economic growth plan will mostly benefit the wealthy

700: Number of people from around the world the US has incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

1st: George W Bush became the first American president to ignore the Geneva Conventions by refusing to allow inspectors access to US-held prisoners of war

+6%: Percentage change since 2001 in the number of US families in poverty

1951: Last year in which a quarterly rise in US military spending was greater than the one the previous spring

54%: Percentage of US citizens who believe Bush was legitimately elected to his post

1st: First president to execute a federal prisoner in the past 40 years. Executions are typically ordered by separate states and not at federal level

9: Number of members of Bush's defence policy board who also sit on the corporate board of, or advise, at least one defence contractor

35: Number of countries to which US has suspended military assistance after they failed to sign agreements giving Americans immunity from prosecution before the International Criminal Court

$300 million: Amount cut from the federal programme that provides subsidies to poor families so they can heat their homes

$1 billion: Amount of new US military aid promised Israel in April 2003 to offset the "burdens" of the US war on Iraq

58 million: Number of acres of public lands Bush has opened to road building, logging and drilling

200: Number of public-health and environmental laws Bush has attempted to downgrade or weaken

29,000: Number of American troops - which is close to the total of a whole army division - to have either been killed, wounded, injured or become so ill as to require evacuation from Iraq, according to the Pentagon

90%: Percentage of American citizens who said they approved of the way George Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 26 September, 2001

53%: Percentage of American citizens who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 16 January, 2004

Sources: Vanity Fair magazine, Harper's Index, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, US Army (Washington), US Department of Defence, Iraqbodycount.net, Citizens for Tax Justice, Bureau of Economic Analysis (Washington), New York Times/CBS News Poll (NYC), US Department of Commerce, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (NYC), Coalition Provisional Authority (Baghdad), World Health Organisation (Geneva), Office of Management and Budget (Washington), Centre for Responsive Politics (Washington), Bush-Cheney '04, Inc (Arlington, Va), Election Systems & Software (Omaha), United States Central Command (Tampa)

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"I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart..."

- Chris Martin

I cannot get over this song, I swear.
It makes me feel like it was written about me and for me, a reaction I love from any song.
There aren't many that make me feel like that, either.
Why all of my sentences end up with a comma in the middle, I am not sure.

Yesterday was fantastic. The only thing that would have made it better would have been disposable money to but stuff for my loved ones and new friends - who are well on their way to becoming loved ones. Oh, and to have not suffered travel in the Land Rover. Everything about that car now irritates me, to the point where not even the heated seats make it redeemable. Damien and I took his sister Tina (supertina) with us to Atlanta for the day, and we all had a good time.

Meeting Justin (xtex) was awesome, he turned out to be just as unpretentious and down to earth as I'd hoped he would be. We went straight to his house in Sandy Springs, a formidable abode perched on a cliff with the driveway of death - ugh, don't get me started! Awesome place, by the way.

Anyhoo, we kidnapped Justin and schlepped down to Little 5 Points for lunch and a bit of window shopping. Stopped in at Soul Kiss Imports, my favorite store in L5P and then had lunch at The Vortex. Waddled ourselves over to Junkman's Daughter (no website available) and browsed around for a bit there before heading to Tower Records where my sweetie secretly purchased Coldplay Live 2003 and gave it to me when we were walking out of the store. I've already listened to the CD, and am about to watch the DVD. Thank you again, Damien - I love it!

After that we took Justin home as he is fighting a bout with insomnia that is apparently worse than mine is and was beginning to run out of steam. We drove back to the cliffside fortress and I gave him the discs I burned for him and left him to get some much needed rest. From there we drove to the Dekalb Farmer's Market, one of my very favorite places in the world to be. Picked up some stuff for home and some clover honey for Mom (djrl) before heading over to see my dear friend Charlie.

Charlie lives about 3 minutes from downtown Decatur in a house that he and his boyfriend Jamie are completely renovating. I was totally impressed with the work they've done so far, and cannot wait to see the finished product. This is a big labor of love for the both of them, and it is truly beautiful. He led us to double french doors just off the kitchen to show us where his deck is going to be built and pointed something out that was kind of freaky, to say the least. Remember last October when that Atlanta woman shot and killed the church minister and her own mother before committing suicide IN the church? Well the back of that church is Charlie's backyard. I remember reading a story about it in the news and thinking to myself that Charlie lived in that area, but didn't realize it was that close to him. Pretty fucked up, innit?

Right before we left to drive home Charlie noticed a puddle of something underneath his car's rear quarter panel in the driveway. He stuck a finger and smelled it and said "Hmmm... That's diesel fuel." Then, in true Charlie fashion, came back with "I guess I'm going to have to worry about that tomorrow, huh? Before I finish this, I'm going to tell a quick Charlie story. This is one of the better ones. It's about his Grandmother Rita. She's fucking hilarious, and not because she tries to be. She sent him a gift and he calls her to thank her for it, right? Well bear in mind that Rita's hearing is just about nonexistent and here he is calling her on the phone. She answers and he starts in on how nice it is and how thankful he is for it when she stops him and loudly says "Charlie, I can't hear a word you're saying. I assume you got your gift and that all is well. I love you - goodbye" and hangs the phone up. You know, everyone should have a Jewish grandmother.

I was really hoping to sleep in this morning, but alas it was not to be. I woke up at 6-ish and made coffee and let out the puppies, then started some laundry, which I'm about to finish before watching my Coldplay DVD and finish cleaning up before I pick up the kids and bring them home. All in all, good weekend. Glad I got to spend it with such great people.
  • Current Music
    Coldplay - Amsterdam

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MMMM... New Layout Goodness. I'm undecided about the color scheme, even though I kinda like it.

Haven't heard from Maggie & Nathan since Friday night, which is really worrying me. Cell's not doing anything but sending me straight to voicemail. If I don't hear from them by noon tomorrow, I will have a nervous fucking breakdown.

Time for bed, I'm tired and really need the sleep. I hope I can get some, though I'm quite pessimistic right about now.