Saturday, July 17, 2004

Blogger search

Still looking for a blogger to take over here. Got a couple nibbles but not much yet. Same deal I had with X. Just post insightful political and social commentary and I'll handle the rest. Email me or leave a comment.

Clinton on race

Bill sits down with Cassandra Butts [there's a joke in there somewhere] to talk about race at the Center for American Progress.

Q: Education is seen as fundamental to the future opportunities of all Americans, but the failings of our education system are felt most acutely by children of color. What do you believe was the single most important policy put forward during your presidency to address this problem?

President Clinton: Oh, I think requiring uniform standards and providing more money to the schools to support them, along with after school programs and tutoring programs. This whole idea that we could have uniform achievement, but we had to give more help, and we gave very specific help. We had, by the end of my term, for the first time in American history, a high school graduation rate in the African-American community that was almost exactly the same as it was among whites.[my emphasis]

Read the whole interview.

And contrast Bill's programs with 'No Child Left Behind'. The major difference, Bill funded his programs.

Right-wing jerk offs

From The Agonist:

U.S. Cuts Off Financing of U.N. Unit for 3rd Year
Christopher Marquis | Washington | July 17

NYT - For the third year in a row, the Bush administration will withhold funds from the U.N. Population Fund because the agency cooperates with activities in China that promote abortion. The decision to withhold $34 million has dismayed supporters of the agency, who say it does not condone abortion and advocates voluntary family planning. The debate has election-year overtones.

Comment: Not just a women's issue, of course, but isn't that the case with all of the articles in the "Global Women's Issues" Section?

[. . .]

Entire post.

Just because they promote abortion in China. Speaking of values, who are we to impose ours on others? Overpopulation is a serious concern and even some of the drastic, draconian measures taken by the Chinese government haven't helped. Figures President Stroke-the-base would withold an array of programs just to pander to the right-wing Nazis who will buy him the presidency.


Robbed the entire bloody thing from Athenae at Eschaton:

The Values System

Posted by Athenae

President Bush, citing government stats, makes the shocking declaration that strong families and strong communities lead to lower crime rates, less kids getting knocked up or shot, and less general mayhem.

To which I'd say okay, file it under "no shit, Sherlock" and move on, but for the unfortunate way Preznit Master & Commander makes an argument he's been screwing backwards from day one of his preznitcy. Play along with me:

Preznit words: Children raised by married parents are less likely to live in poverty.
Preznit actions: Tries to deny marriage to thousands of couples, some of whom would likely raise children in that marriage.

Preznit words: Schools can "send the right message" to American children.
Preznit actions: Proposes drug testing in schools and "character curricula," and cuts afterschool programs.

Preznit words: The lot of children in America is improving.
Preznit actions: Presided over the first increase in child poverty in a decade.

I could go on all day with this nonsense, but the real reason it irritates me is that every time Bush talks about "values," it's code word for God, manners and pissing in a cup after lunch hour. And if you need child care, or housing assistance, well, those aren't subjects to be talked about under the guise of "values." Those don't "strengthen communities."

From the article:

Bush and Democratic rival John Kerry are trying to define and dominate the debate on gay marriage, abortion, gun rights and other values issues.

It's time for a radical redefinition of what constitutes the "values issues" in this election. Instead of trying to be slightly less craven than the other guy, slightly less offensive on what Bush defines as "values issues," we should raise our own, what we consider "values." And then make him try to out-liberal us.

It's not that crazy. The reverse has been working for years.

Yeah! One major Amereican value that people forget so easily is 'live and let live'.


From The Jerusalem Post:


Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in Gaza City on Saturday night to protest against the decision to name Musa Arafat commander of the PA national security forces.

The demonstrators called for getting rid of all the corrupt officials in the PA.

[. . .]

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat appointed his cousin, Major-General Musa Arafat, as commander of the PA National Security Forces in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in light of a deteriorating state of chaos and lawlessness.

[. . .]

Qurei was the third top official to submit his resignation to Arafat in the past 48 hours. On Friday night, Arafat also rejected the resignations of General Intelligence Chief Amin Hindi and Preventative Security Chief Rashid Abu Shabak.

The two security commanders cited the growing anarchy and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip as the main reason behind their decision to resign.

[. . .]

"With all due respect to President Arafat, the Palestinian Authority cannot continue to be monopolized by (Arafat) and his relatives," said Abu Iyad, the leader of Fatah's Jenin Martyrs Brigades. "We have our own ways to show our opposition to this move."

[. . .]

This may be interpreted as a good thing. The security people are tired of the mess in the Territories and it seems they're tired of Arafat's intransigence and dishonesty. While still powerful, the cracks are beginning to form in Arafat's coalition and maybe more sensible heads will come to the fore now that they realize they have a genuine opportunity to make things better after the Israeli pullout. With a little give on the Palestinians' part, the results could be fruitful for the people on the street. Hopefully there are still some people there with the vision to see a day when little boys don't throw rocks at Israeli tanks and young men don't detonate themselves on Tel Aviv buses.

Dirty wars

Go over and read this. Lambert at Corrente details Bush's 'war on terror' and likens it to Ronnie-boy's fooling around in South America. This is a far more deadly game, however.

[. . .]

Blowback from the Middle East will probably take the form of the loss of an American city to a loose nuke in the hands of a fundamentalist. However, since most target cities (even Washington, DC) is not part of the base—that is, not SIC, more likely to be gay, more likely to be immigrant, less likely to be white, and much more likely to vote Democratic—they are almost certainly regarded by the Bush administration as expendable. (The rhetoric of "cleansing fire" was already prepared in the aftermath of 9/11. Please refer all comments involving the words "tinfoil hat" to the Department of "No! They would never do that!")

So, yes, the stakes are great in November. Bush—on no authority but his own—has initiated a dirty war in the Middle East that we are almost certain to lose, because a strategy built for Latin America isn't going to scale to the Middle East. In prosecuting this dirty war, which will involve not only "terrorists" but Europe, Russia, and the rest of the Middle East, the United States is going to lose its character as a constitutional republic, plant the cultural seeds of fascism, and lose a city or two to nuclear weapons through blowback.

If you want that, vote for Bush in November.

As I said, go read the whole thing.

Just because

I'm a dog person, and I love the British hounds, (Foxhouds, Harriers, Beagles, Bassetts) so when I saw this at TBogg . . .

By semi-popular demand...

People have written asking to see Satchmo who has been mentioned so many times on this blog Here you go:

Satchmo the Wonder Bassetrt and Beckham the Possessed -By-Satan Bassett.

No. This doesn't mean the beginning of Bassett Blogging Saturday....

And of course, Mrs. F wondered where I put the picture of our little princess. Here it is:

Schoene Maedchen (German) a.k.a., Shayna Maedel (Yiddish) a.k.a., Shayna the Australian Cattle Dog. (Translation: Pretty Girl)

Mo Dowd

Go read:

[. . .]

When the British report came out yesterday declaring that Saddam Hussein had no significant W.M.D., or perhaps no W.M.D., Tony Blair accepted "full personal responsibility" for "the way the issue was presented and, therefore, for any errors made."

Mr. Bush, by contrast, took full personal irresponsibility. Still pressing the preposterous case that he has made America safer, even though we are inundated with threats from Al Qaeda, and that he is winning the war against terror, even though there are more terrorist attacks, the president had to go farther afield to find a sufficiently enthusiastic audience.

Instead of fleeing to Canada to dodge a war, W. had to flee practically to Canada to defend a war. In the middle of July, the president was campaigning in the middle of nowhere, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — the first president to bother to trek up to Nick Adams country since William Howard Taft.

Mr. Bush must have left the buck in deer country because the White House keeps passing the blame to the same C.I.A. that Dick Cheney and his Pentagon henchmen leaned on to supply the rationale they needed for the war they were determined to launch.

They're trying to turn George Tenet from lapdog to scapegoat, while letting Dick Cheney, the 800-pound gorilla who tried to turn the little C.I.A. analysts into parrots, continue his rumble in the jungle.

If this sounds like "Animal Farm," it is. What is more Orwellian than President Bush's rhetorical fallacies?

Campaigning at the nuclear lab in Oak Ridge, Tenn. — he finally found nuclear-related capability — Mr. Bush defended the Iraq war: "So I had a choice to make: either take the word of a madman or defend America." He also said of the terrorists, "We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home."

That's nonsense. Just because more terrorists are attacking Americans abroad doesn't mean terrorists aren't poised to also attack us at home. And in fact, Bush officials keep warning us that terrorists are planning "something big" here, as the acting C.I.A. director, John McLaughlin, said yesterday in a radio interview.

It's just like the president's other false dichotomies: You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists. If we don't stop gays from marrying, it will destroy the institution of marriage.

[. . .]

I got nothing to add. Go read the full editorial here.


From Kevin T. Kieth at Lean Left.  It's amazing that this got through the House at all:

Finally some good news in an ugly week: the House accepted an amendment to an agriculture bill, added by Carolyn Maloney and Henry Waxman, that would prevent the FDA from restricting emergency contraception pills as a prescription-only medication. This would codify the recommendation of the FDA's expert advisory panel last year to release the drug on an over-the-counter basis, which the FDA refused to act on under pressure from right-wing groups. The bill was passed by voice vote this week and sent to the Senate; if the Senate version also passes with the EC rider, the bill will go to Bush for signature. Here's hoping.

Do you think President Dickhead will sign it? Depends what's in the Ag Bill it's attached to. If some of his cronies stand to make money from it, it will pass. If not, it's DOA before it gets to Dick-boy's desk, if the Repubs in the Senate don't kill it first.

Remember Afghanistan?

From Asia Times:

By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE - After much debate and two postponements, presidential polls will be held in Afghanistan on October 9. However, the parliamentary election - which has also been deferred twice - will be held next April. While the deferment of parliamentary elections has been widely welcomed, the decision to press ahead with the presidential poll when the situation in the country is far from conducive for any elections has evoked a mixed response.

[. . .]

Though most of the recent spurt in election-linked violence has been blamed on the Taliban, there is evidence that warlords and their militias are responsible for much of the instability and violence outside Kabul. Militias loyal to General Rashid Dostum and General Atta Mohammed dominate the politics of the north. In a recent interview, President Hamad Karzai admitted that the private militias posed a greater threat to Afghanistan's security and dismissed the threat from the Taliban as "exaggerated".

[. . .]

The authority of the Karzai government is limited to Kabul. A plan to disarm the 100,000-strong militias controlled by warlords before the election is floundering badly, with only an estimated 10,000 having agreed to leave the militias and only 7,000 weapons handed in. Voter intimidation will be high under such conditions.

[. . .]

The rush to hold the presidential elections in Afghanistan in October has to do with the fact that the United States goes to the polls in November. President George W Bush, who has nothing to hold up as achievements on the foreign-policy front, is hoping to present the Afghanistan election, the country's "return to democracy", as a major accomplishment of his administration.

[. . .]

However, democracy is not just about holding elections. It is as much about ensuring that people can vote without fear, about building democratic institutions and so on. But Bush is determined to make the Afghans vote in October and that is all that seems to matter.

President Photo Op and his minions don't give a shit if Afghanistan (or Iraq for that matter) is successful, or acheives democracy. All they care about is that it looks as if it's working until the elections. Rat Bastids.


Via Kicking Ass:

The 2004 Democratic Party Platform. Instead of listening to the talking heads on TV telling you what the party stands for, go read it yourself here. It's in PDF so you'll need Acrobat Reader (free).


From Democratic Veteran

The Donald

Well in the world o'strange, this has to be one of the stranger things I've seen in a while. The Donald has little regard for Preznit No Accountability. In fact, The Donald says he'd fire him...will he put his not-inconsiderable bank account where his mouth is?

"Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we're in. I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box and gently put in their ballot and the winner is happily going to step up to lead the country?," Trump said.

"C'mon. Two minutes after we leave, there's going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he'll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn't have," Trump said in excerpts of the interview released in advance to Reuters. ...

What was the purpose of the whole thing? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and no legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who've been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing!," Trump said....

"Bin Laden would have been caught long ago. Tell me, how is it possible that we can't find a guy who's six-foot-six and supposedly needs a dialysis machine? Can you explain that one to me? We have all our energies focused on one place, where they shouldn't be focused," he said.

Mr. Trump, we've been asking that since Sept 12, 2001. Unfortunately, the 1600 Crew declines to answer on the grounds it might cost them the election...let's make sure it does.

The Donald knows what makes the world go round, from an economic point of view.  He knows President FTW's tax cut didn't spur the economy along, and he knows what it takes to keep it going strong.  Too bad Bush & Co didn't ask his advice first.

Friday, July 16, 2004


Cross posted from The Fixer:
Just this one on Martha Screwit.  If she wouldn't have been so fucking greedy, she wouldn't have got into this fucking mess to begin with.  Fucking Christ, she only made 40 grand on the deal.  When they caught her, she should have said 'so sorry, I fucked up' and given a hundred grand to the United Way.  The greedy bitch would be a hero today instead of a fucking convict.
Update 18:30:  Just heard her whiny little speech outside the courthouse.  Fuck my ass!  Man if I finagled 40 thousand illegally, I'd be doing 2 1/2 to 5, and I sure wouldn't be allowed to whine about it afterward.  My ass would have been on it's way to Rikers, not Danbury Minimum.  Bitch.



And remember, I'm looking for somone to blog here at The Alternate Brain so I don't have to. Email me or leave a comment here if you're interested.

Light day

I got a wedding this afternoon at 4 so I probably won't be blogging today.  Go wade through the links section.  I'm sure you'll find something stimulating there.

Is Blogspot fucked up?

I can't get this page to display correctly.  It started after I posted this morning.  Anybody else got this?  I changed templates and everything, removed my customizations, all that shit.  And BTW, what's with the new 'Create' page?
Update 13:50:  No it was me and the part of the post I pirated from Glen at A Brooklyn Bridge.  My bad.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Outta here

Got shit to do. If you want to read more of my crap, go to The Fixer. And remember, I'm looking for somone to blog here at The Alternate Brain so I don't have to. Email me or leave a comment here if you're interested.

See ya!

NK, again

From the Agonist:

US: North Korea admits its nuclear programs are weapons related
via AFP Wire

North Korea acknowledged that most of its nuclear programs are weapons related, during the recent six-party talks to resolve the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly said Thursday.

"While they said they wanted to maintain a civil nuclear program, they also acknowledged that most of their nuclear programs are weapons related."

Duh. What I wrote on this subject last week:

Remember my standard bitch, the one I used yesterday on The X over at TAB?

For somebody who was a gleam in their daddy's eye the time I was killing Communists . . .

Well, some of those Communists I'd dispatched were from north of the DMZ. The North Koreans were trying to get nukes as far back as 1980, back then, trying to get them from one of the Soviet Republics. That's about as far as I'll go, the shit we did there is probably still classified, but my point is that we knew they were after nukes 25 years ago. Reagan knew it, Bush 41 knew it, Clinton knew it, and now President Axis of Evil knows it.

[. . .]

It's been over 20 years since I chased those little bastards through the tunnels under the DMZ, over 20 years since we knew of NK's desire for nukes, and what do we do? We attack Iraq when North Korea can blow Hawaii out of the water. Motherfucking, low-life, stupid, lying bastids. I need a drink now.

Tucker Carlson=Slimy Asshole

How low can they go?

Stole this from Atrios:


Posted by Atrios

Because no one blog is big enough to contain him. From Altercation:

In 1994, an eight-year old girl named Valerie Lakey was playing in a wading pool. She got caught in a defective drain. Her intestines were ripped from her body by the suction. She is now 17. She will have to be fed through a tube, 12 hours a day, for the rest of her life. In 1997, John Edwards won her family a $25 million judgment, of which he took a portion. The judgment helped jump-start his political career.

On the first day of last year, as part of his opening comments on Crossfire, this is how the incident was described by Tucker Carlson, whom public and private broadcasting networks tumble all over themselves to hire: "Four years ago, he (Edwards) was a personal-injury lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases."

Jacuzzi cases.

An eight-year old who got disemboweled.

Jacuzzi cases.

A child who'll have to be fed through a tube for as long as she lives.

Jacuzzi cases.

Now, I know it's a terrible thing when Whoopi Goldberg makes salacious fun of C-Plus Augustus's last name. I know that society may simply collapse. But here is a professional communicator at the top of his profession who, because he couldn't come up with anything else to say at the moment, smugly dispatches the tragedy of a child whose guts were ripped out. (Later in the same show, he told co-host James Carville to "Lighten up," about his comments.) It was an interesting evening -- not only should Tucker Carlson have lost every job in the professional media that he has, and not only did he lose forever any right to criticize anyone for intemperate speech, he at that moment should have been shunned by decent people for the rest of his sorry life.

Jacuzzi cases.


This guy deserves to be euthanized.

Health care

Cross posted from yesterday's The Fixer:

Okay, I might sound like a Communist but I think there should be universal (socialized, if you will) health care for our seniors. What we're doing to people (I'm talking the government now, not these rat bastid corporations who fuck with their employee retirement benefits) on fixed incomes is disgraceful. I saw what my mom got from Social Security and the meager pension from 1199 (now SIEU) when she retired was a joke. Thank God that when she was stricken with thyroid cancer, she went quickly.

I know it sounds harsh, but a lot of my customers are old folks, and I see what they pay for medications (they may be old but they can sure talk). We know their situation and we work with them on their car repair bills, but that's beside the point. The problem is that they can't afford the necessaries, and on Long Island a car is a necessity, including food and medications. I wouldn't want my mom in that situation.

These people have worked all their lives, most of a generation who'd worked at the same company for 30 or 40 years, and they have squat to show for it, thanks to the care they need in their advancing years. I know many who've taken out reverse mortgages on their houses, just to pay medical bills that their Medicare won't. We can send billions upon billions of dollars overseas, run up the fucking deficit like money was free, and our seniors are starving to pay for medication.

I got an idea. Why not repeal the Bush tax cut and use it to pay for universal health care for seniors? These people have given the best part of their lives to this nation, why not take care of them when they turn 65? I'll pay more if I know the money would go there. You know, what we've given to Halliburton as we outsource yet another war would cover it. Or all the bucks wasted on the Star Wars shield. Or all the millions upon billions Bush has thrown away, or given away, in other places. It's not just the Republicans, but they've been so blatant about it it's criminal. And it's criminal to have our old folks cutting pills in half to make them last longer.

I swear, if you have a mom and dad, or aunt and uncle, or care about someone who's a senior, you have to vote Democratic in November. And then we all have to crawl up their asses until they do something. The rich will always be able to afford the best doctors and still eat. The rest of us will be old someday and probably will have to make the decision the Bush cronies won't have to.

At least with Kerry and a Democratic Senate (hopefully), more could be done than with the current situation. Not when the pharmaceutical corporations have the ear of the White House and Congress by the balls.


Kerry and Edwards on Imus this morning at 07:45. It's on MSNBC and 660 WFAN radio here in NYC. Click here to find the cable or radio outlet near you.

Dog's empty, I'm done, off to the fucking mines. It's Little Friday!!!!

Good news, I think

If you're following Alter X's progress in his post graduate education, you know he hasn't posted much in the last 24 hours. That's because he got some good news yesterday. I'll let him tell you in his own time, but it looks like he won't have the time to do much blogging in the future. That's great and I wish him the best, but that means I need someone else to take over the majority of content here at The Alternate Brain. As I said before, The Fixer is my first priority and I don't really have the time to keep up with this.

So I guess I'll be doing interviews of a sort. You can use the comments here to wish the X good luck and let me know you're interested, or you can email me (see my profile).

Atrocities at Abu Ghraib

Brad DeLong has a Seymour Hersh piece on what really went on at Abu Ghraib:

Matt Stoller and Andrew Northrup point us at Ed Cone. Either Sy Hersh has gone completely insane, or the House needs to vote to impeach George W. Bush tonight: Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."

[. . .]

Hersh describes a Pentagon in crisis. The defense department budget is “in incredible chaos,” he says, with large sums of cash missing, including something like $1 billion that was supposed to be in Iraq.

"The disaffecion inside the Pentagon is extremeley accute," Hersh says. He tells the story of an officer telling Rumsfeld how bad things are, and Rummy turning to a ranking general yes-man who reassured him that things are just fine. Says Hersh, "The Secretary of Defense is simply incapable of hearing what he doesn’t want to hear."

[. . .]

Hersh described the folks in charge of US policy as "neoconservative cultists" who have taken the government over, and show "how fragile our democracy is."

[. . .]

Go read it here.

I won't say, 'I told you so'.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Arafat, the wrong choice again

I wrote about this over the weekend and a few weeks ago. The idea of a foreign force, or a multinational force, to keep order in the Palestinian lands once(if) the Israelis leave, is appealing to me. Guest blogger Danny at The Head Heeb says that Arafat is reluctant to let the Jordanians into the West Bank.

Danny Rubinstein writes in yesterday’s Haaretz (Hebrew edition only) about PA resistance to the possibility of Jordanian troops being sent into the West Bank after the coming disengagement (in contrast with greater willingness to accept Egyptian troops in the Gaza strip).

I should say flat out that I regard the elimination of the Jordanian option as a major, and tragic, 'road not taken'. To put it simply, even if Israel will ever be sufficiently generous to the Palestinians and grant them a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza, this will not be a state with which the Palestinians will be happy with. It will be completely dependant economically on Israel (not a good thing), and will certainly not be able to accommodate the return of the Palestinian refugees into its own very modest borders. It will leave many of the conflict’s issues unresolved – it may pretty soon deemed to be a Bantustan by bein-pensants everywhere, putting on the agenda demands for more concessions, the creation of a bi-national state, i.e. suicide.

[. . .]

After the collapse of Oslo, in large part of because of, well, Arafat had a rather blasé attitude about achieving an independent state in the West Bank, it seems that the PLO option isn’t looking that good either. With Arafat discredited and locked up in his lair, Rubinstein reports that the Palestinian leadership fear growing Jordanian involvement in the West Bank. Much of this is of course a power struggle between PLO and Amman, of course; but Palestinian fear may also be a result of what they perceive as a return to the “Jordan is Palestine” attitude. He quotes opposition politician Hassan Khraisheh saying that “there is an essential difference between the planned Egyptian involvement in Gaza and possible Jordanian involvement in the West Bank. The difference is that Israel plans to retreat from Gaza, whereas in the West Bank it intends to stay”.

This is the crux of the matter; if Israel wishes to bring in the Jordanians, and I think that it should, it must convince Palestinians that it does not mean to stay in the West Bank. We are of course still very far from that point, which is why I don’t think we can see Jordanian involvement for some time to come.

Entire post.

Isn't there someone who can untraceably make Arafat die in his sleep? Jesus H. Christ! The Israelis can blow that Hamas guy out of his wheelchair with a Hellfire missile, you'd think they could kill Arafat and make it look like a fucking accident. Then we could probably get on with it, with a little leadership from Washington, of course.

See what I mean

From TPM:

Now, that's pretty pro-life.

Tom Coburn, a former member of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma, who is campaigning to become the Republican party's candidate to replace retiring Senator Don Nickles, recently said he supports the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions.

"I favor the death penalty," Coburn told the AP last week, "for abortionists and other people who take life."

The Republican primary is July 27th; the winner will face likely Democratic nominee Brad Carson.

Do you believe these Christo-Fascist morons? Somebody throw the skimmer in the gene pool.

The Olympics

Does anybody else give as little of a shit about the Olympics as I do? Somehow, I think it will end up being one fiasco after another. They rushed to get all the stadiums and shit built, they're having power failures, and they might as well paint a target that you can see from space over the fucking place. You know every bomb-thrower is salivating over this. Remember Munich '72? My ass puckers when I think of Athens '04.

Oh, this is good


BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide attacker detonated a massive car bomb at a checkpoint near the British Embassy and the interim Iraqi government's headquarters Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 40 others, including a U.S. soldier, authorities said. The attack was the worst in Baghdad since the United States transferred sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government on June 28.

In a separate terrorist strike, the governor of Mosul — Iraq's third largest city — was killed when assailants threw a grenade and fired automatic weapons as he drove in a convoy of vehicles toward Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Okay, if we can't keep the Iraqi officials safe, how in Hell are we supposed to keep the rest of the people in line? Oh yeah, we gave them sovereignty. That means it's the Iraqis' problem now.

Lord Butler's report . . . so far

X spoke of this last night and now we know. From the BBC via Sadly, No!:

Lord Butler's main findings were:

  • The limitations of the intelligence in the September 2002 dossier were not "made sufficiently clear," with important caveats removed

  • The 45 minutes claim was "unsubstantiated" and it should not have been included without clarification - doing so led to suspicions it was there because of its "eye-catching character"

  • Intelligence was pushed to its "outer limits" but not beyond - and there was no deliberate distortion by politicians, any blame was "collective"

  • JIC chairman John Scarlett should still take up post of MI6 chief - but future intelligence chiefs should be "demonstrably beyond influence"

  • Since the war key claims based on intelligence from agents in Iraq, including claims the Iraqis had recently produced biological agents, had had to be withdrawn because they were "unreliable"

  • There had been an "over-reliance" on dissident Iraqi sources and human intelligence in general

  • The report said "more weight was placed on the intelligence than it could bear," and Lord Butler criticised the government for publicly stating the JIC had "ownership" of the dossier, lending it more credibility than it might otherwise have had.

    He added: "Language in the dossier and used by the prime minister may have left readers with the impression that there was fuller and firmer intelligence than was the case.

    [. . .]

    Can I get an Amen?

    You have to, have to, have to go and read this from Jesus' General. Son of a bitch, I nearly peed myself laughing.

    General J.C. Christian has outdone himself this time.

    Bastille Day!

    Consider the parallels between the original "let them eat cake", and what Bush and the Neocons are telling us now. I wonder if the results will be the same?

    I have another inteview today, which is why I'm up so early. How does the F-man do it?

    On gay marriage

    Got to ranting this morning over at The Fixer. Go read it here if you want to.


    Tuesday, July 13, 2004


    The big news of the day on MSNBC:

    NBC News and news services
    Updated: 3:24 p.m. ET July 13, 2004

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A suspected Saudi al-Qaida militant who had appeared in a videotape with Osama bin Laden was flown back to the kingdom from Iran after he surrendered under a government amnesty, state television said on Tuesday

    . . .

    Al-Harby was the third person to surrender since Saudi Arabia announced on June 23 a one-month government amnesty aimed primarily at militants who have attacked Westerners, government targets and energy sites in the world’s biggest oil exporter. [my emphasis]

    . . .

    Al-Harby was up there, though "not an operational player". Okay, so if the U.S. would have caught him, he would have gone to Guantanamo, right? This man was with bin Laden on the tape admitting he took part in the 9/11 planning. What are the odds the Saudis turn him over to us? I wouldn't bet on it.

    Useless information.

    From The Talking Dog:

    . . .

    A survey of law enforcement officials around the country revealed that they are given the same vague and useless information as the public. The survey concluded that most law enforcement agencies agree that the Bush Administration's playing of the "actual threat information which would enable you to meaningfully respond is, of course, classified" game, undermines the utility of the warning system . . .

    . . .

    This makes me feel so much better.

    Update from The Fixer [19:10]:

    President Handpuppet said today that America is safer today than when he took office. Fine. Then how come we're basically expecting a terrorist attack before the election? Wasn't that nitwit Ridge on TV just the other day saying we have an almost-orange terror threat? I guess we're safer because we know this, but then they tell us to go shopping. President Shit-for-brains, Governor Pataki, Mayor Trollberg, they're all tell us to spend money. I mean it's our responsibility to keep the economy going, right? Gotta spend that fucking tax cut.

    . . .

    From Asia Times:

    Logging on to
    By Sudha Ramachandran

    BANGALORE - While militant and terrorist groups have been using the Internet for almost a decade, its growing popularity as a meeting place for terrorist groups over the past few years has made cyberspace a key battleground in the "war on terror". Far from successful at "smoking out terrorists" from their hideouts in the mountains and caves of Afghanistan, counter-terrorism strategists are finding the task of tracking terrorists and their activities in cyberspace even more daunting.

    . . .

    The Internet has become the terrorists' preferred choice of communication for the same reasons it is popular among people in general: it is quick, inexpensive and easily accessible. What makes it particularly attractive to terrorists is that it gives access to huge audiences spread across the world, provides anonymity and is hard to police or regulate.

    . . .

    But use of the Internet as a propaganda tool is just the tip of the iceberg. Terrorists are using the Internet as a weapon in psychological warfare, to raise funds, recruit, incite violence and provide training. They also use it to plan, network and coordinate attacks. Thomas Hegghammer, who researches Islamist websites at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, says that "in a sense, [the Internet has] replaced Afghanistan as a meeting place".

    . . .

    I wonder if this scares more people than me. I hope that our intelligence people can track funds and follow people electronically, but sadly I think we will be surprised via this avenue as well, as we were at Pearl Harbor, as we were on 9/11.

    What happened to democracy?

    From The Progressive:

    Bush Supports Martial Law in Iraq

    All right, it's come to pass, but where's the outrage about the newly minted martial law for Iraq?

    Dr. Allawi, the veteran CIA man who is now undercover as Iraq's prime minister, wasted no time in office before shredding the final fall-back rationale for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which was, as you'll remember, to bring democracy to Baghdad.

    . . .

    Barely a week into office, Allawi signed a law granting himself extraordinary powers to "restrict the freedoms of citizens or foreigners," to ban groups, to barge into homes, and to hold suspects indefinitely.

    And guess who will be enforcing martial law?

    Not the Iraqis. They don't have enough troops. And they aren't reliable, anyway. No, this task will fall to the Americans, who have been essentially performing it already. And Bush and his generals are more than happy to keep handling the job.

    "We can certainly be supportive of the Iraqi government when asked, on a case-by-case basis," a senior American military official told The New York Times. "I'm sure we can be helpful."

    . . .

    I'm so glad we can believe what our president says. It must be a dismal picture of democracy the Iraqis are getting. Martial law being enforced by foreign troops. Explain to me how this is helpful.

    The Butler Report

    The Guardian, Tuesday, July 13

    The Guardian reports that the "Whitehall consensus" is that Downing Street will be cleared of one of the potentially most serious allegations of "leaning" on the attorney general to change his advice on the legality of the war. It also quotes ITV as claiming that John Scarlett will specifically be mentioned as deserving of his new post as MI6 chief.

    . . .

    Opposition politicians, who will be allowed to read the report from 6am tomorrow, believe that Lord Butler will criticise No 10 for allowing intelligence to enter the public domain without the usual caveats. Ministers also fear that Lord Butler may take a dim view of the power of political figures, such as Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell, whose seniority may have "subconsciously influenced" intelligence officials, as Lord Hutton declared.

    . . .

    We'll know if Tony Blair will be Prime Minister for much longer or not, tomorrow at six GMT. If it's overly critical of the Blair government, with sentiment in the U.K. and on the Continent toward the mess in Iraq, he won't win the next election, maybe inspire a no confidence vote in Parliament. We'll see soon.


    Via Joshua Marshall at Talking Points Memo from the Columbia Journalism Review:

    . . .

    The roots of the Information Collection Program lie in the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, in which the U.S. authorized $97 million for various programs designed to promote “democratic reforms” in the country. Ahmad Chalabi and his conservative allies in Congress played a central role in the passage of the act. By that time, Chalabi’s INC, which was formed with American sponsorship after the first Gulf War, had already established something of a spotty record with the CIA and the State Department. Nonetheless, over the next two years $35 million went to seven opposition groups, with about $17.3 million of that going to the INC (in all, the INC would receive about $33 million from the government between March 2000 and May 2003). According to a State Department audit, the initial grants were intended to help the INC establish radio and television broadcasts into Iraq, and to “implement a public information campaign to communicate with Iraqis inside and outside Iraq and also to promulgate its message to the international community at large.” According to a March letter from Senators Carl Levin and John Kerry asking the General Accounting Office to investigate the INC, the terms of the group’s agreement with the State Department strictly barred the INC from “attempting to influence the policies of the United States government or Congress, or propagandizing the American people.” The letter asks the GAO to determine if any taxpayer funds were used to obtain media exposure for defectors or to transport them to meetings with American journalists. Laura Kopelson, a GAO spokeswoman, said the agency would examine the charges as part of a larger investigation into government spending on Iraq, which would get under way this summer.

    . . .

    Read "How Chalabi Played The Press" here.

    Class Warfare

    Go see Bill at Whiskey Bar. He has an essay about the class warfare tactics of the Republicans.

    [. . .]

    Now nobody will ever accuse John Kerry of being just another muddy plebeian, even though his own class standing (as opposed to his wife's former husband's) falls somewhere in the neighborhood of Orwell's "lower upper middle class." Maybe a notch higher - Orwell, after all, entered the colonial service as a lowly policeman; Kerry's dad became a diplomat.

    But either way, Kerry can't hold a candle to the Bush family's silver spoon credentials, which fetch back at least four generations and connect, via marriage, with the Walkers, dynastic allies of the House of Morgan (and the source of one of the elder Bush's two middle names.)

    [. . .]

    Gotta go!

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    Jesus and Jimmy

    I know Jimmy Breslin is a nut, but that's why I like him. I stop by Newsday about once a month and catch up with his columns. This one caught my eye:

    Footing the GOP's heavy-handedness

    [. . .]

    Bush says that Christ is on his side on abortion, late-term abortions, same-sex marriages, stem cell research. "Do they think any of this is as important as a mother who can't feed and clothe her children? I don't know where he gets it all from," Christ said. "I never said anything like that in the Scriptures."

    He does not like it a bit when they claim they kill in Iraq in his name. They say they are killing for both America and Christ. Everybody should be in favor of that - Christ waging war in the sands to protect America. They say he is helping them kill guerrillas and insurgents and thugs from other countries. Outside agitators!

    "They are Iraqis," Christ was saying. "They are residents. They act on free will. We are going to see about that later. But I do know that mortals on Earth can't have me killing for America. Or doing anything for America alone. Try using me anywhere in America. Tell people in the mountains in Wyoming, or on a parkway in Memphis. But they cannot say that I am only with America. God bless America. But God blesses Jordan, too. And Syria. And Israel and Palestine both. And I say to you that God blesses Iraq. Watch out, if you think you are the favored people. There are none!"

    [. . .]

    If you read history, everyone claims God is on their side when they go to war. The winners believe it. I'd try and put together a tally of how many lives were taken in His name over the centuries, but it's too depressing.

    It's called the back door.

    From The Guardian:


    Associated Press Writer

    PARIS (AP) - France became the latest nation to re-establish diplomatic ties with Iraq, hoisting its tricolor flag over the French Embassy in Baghdad on Monday for the first time in 13 years.

    The French government adamantly opposed the U.S.-led invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein but wants to play an active part in Iraq's political and economic reconstruction after decades of oppression and war.

    The two nations planned to exchange ambassadors soon, the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    ``The two governments are convinced this decision will contribute to closer ties between France and Iraq and will intensify exchanges to the greater benefit of the two countries,'' the statement said.

    . . .

    Iraq is a sovereign nation now and the French see an opening to primary contracts for infrastructure services and other opportunites reserved for the "Coalition of the Willing". Within a year, they'll be rebuilding the oil infrastructure and the Germans will be helping them. After all, they were dealing with Saddam right up until the UN inspectors left last year. Unlike Bush, they know the land and the people. But now they don't have to deal with the Coalition Provisional Authority. Well, that's if Bush doesn't raid the rest of the Iraqi treasury before they leave.


    Matt Yglesias got a promotion to staff writer at the Prospect. Both The Fixer and The Alternate Brain offer our heartfelt congratulations.

    No break for our seniors.

    Not if Bush & Co. gets their way. From Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway:

    Trade Agreement May Undercut Importing of Inexpensive Drugs

    Published: July 12, 2004

    WASHINGTON, July 11 — Congress is poised to approve an international trade agreement that could have the effect of thwarting a goal pursued by many lawmakers of both parties: the import of inexpensive prescription drugs to help millions of Americans without health insurance.

    The agreement, negotiated with Australia by the Bush administration, would allow pharmaceutical companies to prevent imports of drugs to the United States and also to challenge decisions by Australia about what drugs should be covered by the country's health plan, the prices paid for them and how they can be used.

    It represents the administration's model for strengthening the protection of expensive brand-name drugs in wealthy countries, where the biggest profits can be made.

    In negotiating the pact, the United States, for the first time, challenged how a foreign industrialized country operates its national health program to provide inexpensive drugs to its own citizens. Americans without insurance pay some of the world's highest prices for brand-name prescription drugs, in part because the United States does not have such a plan.

    Only in the last few weeks have lawmakers realized that the proposed Australia trade agreement — the Bush administration's first free trade agreement with a developed country — could have major implications for health policy and programs in the United States.

    The debate over drug imports, an issue with immense political appeal, has been raging for four years, with little reference to the arcane details of trade policy. Most trade agreements are so complex that lawmakers rarely investigate all the provisions, which typically cover such diverse areas as manufacturing, tourism, insurance, agriculture and, increasingly, pharmaceuticals.

    Bush administration officials oppose legalizing imports of inexpensive prescription drugs, citing safety concerns. Instead, with strong backing from the pharmaceutical industry, they have said they want to raise the price of drugs overseas to spread the burden of research and development that is borne disproportionately by the United States.

    This is a big, sloppy wet kiss for Big Pharma at the expense of the American consumer. It almost looks as if the run up to the election is being treated as a fire sale by Bushco to see how much they can give away to their corporate friends before the election.

    Never let it be said that Bush doesn't repay a campaign favor. My grandmother lives on a fixed income and were it not for my dad and my uncle helping her out, she'd have to make the choice between food and medication. Many of her friends make the trip to Canada for their prescriptions in order to make ends meet. And Bush is trying to close that avenue, lifeline for some. I'm almost as fired up as the Fixer-man.

    I warned you!

    I warned you about this last week.

    Bush has the nerve to complain about activist judges when he puts these two up for the federal bench? You've got to be kidding me. It's like "The Wizard of Oz". Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. These guys want to rewrite Roe v. Wade and many other laws protecting our personal freedoms.

    Today from Jim Hightower:

    People For the American Way: July 6, 2004

    Today the Senate confirmed President Bush’s nomination of Leon Holmes to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The nominee’s record of extremism on reproductive choice, the role of women and other issues had generated concern even among some Republican Senators, several of whom voted against Holmes.

    “Today’s vote provides another example of a far-right federal judge named by President Bush and another failed opportunity for the Senate to fulfill its constitutional role as a responsible check on the White House,” said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas. “Now another extremist has been given a powerful lifetime job as a federal judge. This kind of nominee should have been rejected on a bipartisan basis.” The views expressed by Mr. Holmes about reproductive rights and other issues of critical importance to women are far outside any mainstream understanding of constitutional values. Holmes has callously dismissed the rights of women seeking abortion. He has even minimized the situation of women who become pregnant as a result of rape, stating, “. . . concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.” In fact, studies estimate that between 25,000 and 32,000 women each year become pregnant as a result of rape in the U.S., and about 50 percent of these pregnancies end in abortion.

    Leon Holmes is one of a number of ideologues who has been nominated by President Bush in his efforts to shift the federal judiciary far to the right. But his nomination and now his confirmation are a particularly offensive insult to American women.

    Holmes’ record and extreme views about the role of women and other subjects will make it impossible for many who come before him to expect a fair hearing,” said Neas. “His confirmation is another reminder to American voters that the future of a federal judiciary committed to our rights and freedoms is at stake in this election year.”[my emphasis]

    Do any of the Democratic . . . do any of the 100 hundred senators have a spine? Don't say I didn't warn you!

    What do you mean the economy's bad?

    Not if you make bullets . . . and bombs, and tanks, and missiles, and . . .

    From Intel Dump:

    It's no secret that war means big business for defense contractors -- particularly the ones who provide instrumentalities of warfare like bullets, armor, bombs and missiles. According to the trade journal Manufacturing & Technology News, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been particularly big business for American small-arms ammunition manufacturers.

    [. . .]


    Home at last via NJ Transit. Not bad at this hour.

    The Next DCI, again

    This weekend I was specultaing about the next Director at Langley. Since they're talking about Porter Goss as the favorite to be nominated as the next Director of Central Intelligence, I figured I'd get some background on the schmuck.

    Part of a post at Truthout:

    Cheney Cat's Paw, Porter Goss, as CIA Director?
    By Ray McGovern
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective

    Saturday 03 July 2004

    There is, thankfully, a remnant of CIA professionals who still put objective analysis above political correctness and career advancement. Just when they thought there were no indignities left for them to suffer, they are shuddering again at press reports that Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) may soon be their new boss.

    That possibility conjures up a painful flashback for those of us who served as CIA analysts when Richard Nixon was president. Chalk it up to our naiveté, but we were taken aback when swashbuckling James Schlesinger, who followed Richard Helms as CIA director, announced on arrival, "I am here to see that you guys don't screw Richard Nixon!" To underscore his point, Schlesinger told us he would be reporting directly to White House political adviser Bob Haldeman (Nixon's Karl Rove) and not to National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger.

    No doubt Goss would be more discreet in showing his hand, but his appointment as director would be the ultimate in politicization. He has long shown himself to be under the spell of Vice President Dick Cheney, and would likely report primarily to him and to White House political adviser Karl Rove rather than to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

    [. . .]

    Entire post.

    See what I mean about politcal appointees in charge of the Intelligence Community? It's a bad fucking idea.


    From Xan at Corrente:

    There's a moment in every movie: Dorothy throws the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch. Michael Moore reads from "1984." Darth Vader's ship goes spinning away as the Death Star explodes in the skies over Endor. You know, the moment when the bad guy gets his comeuppance?

    Via WaPo towards whom I am feeling very kindly at the moment):

    In May 2001, Enron's top lobbyists in Washington advised the company chairman that then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was pressing for a $100,000 contribution to his political action committee, in addition to the $250,000 the company had already pledged to the Republican Party that year.

    [. . .]

    Asshole DeLay deserves to be occupying a cell next to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.

    President Fuck Up's role model

    Brad DeLong looks at the similarities between Bush and Herbert Hoover here.

    [. . .]

    But at least Hoover had a distinguished pre-presidential career, including yeoman work feeding starving Belgians. At the same point in his career, Bush was being bailed out of failed businesses by dad's Saudi pals. Quite a guy, our 43rd president.

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    RNC Schedule

    Stole this from World O'Crap 'cause it's that funny:


    New York, NY

    6:00 PM Opening Prayer led by the Reverend Jerry Falwell
    6:30 PM Pledge of Allegiance
    6:35 PM Burning of Bill of Rights (excluding 2nd Amendment)
    6:45 PM Salute to the Coalition of the Willing
    6:46 PM Seminar #1: "Getting Your Kid a Military Deferment"

    7:30 PM First Presidential Beer Bong
    7:35 PM Freedom Fries served
    7:40 PM EPA Address #1: "Mercury: It's What's for Dinner"

    8:00 PM Vote on which country to invade next
    8:10 PM Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh
    8:15 PM John Ashcroft Lecture: "The Homos Are After Your Children"
    8:30 PM Round table discussion on reproductive rights (men only)
    8:50 PM Seminar #2: " Corporations: The Government of the Future"

    9:00 PM Condi Rice sings "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man"
    9:05 PM Second Presidential Beer Bong
    9:10 PM EPA Address #2: "Trees: The Real Cause of Forest Fires"
    9:30 PM Break for secret meetings

    10:00 PM Second Prayer led by Cal Thomas
    10:15 PM Karl Rove Lecture: "Doublespeak Made Simple"
    10:30 PM Rumsfeld Lecture/Demonstration: "How to Squint and Talk Macho Even when You Feel Squishy Inside"
    10:35 PM Bush demonstration of trademark "deer in headlights" stare
    10:40 PM John Ashcroft Demonstration: "New Mandatory Kevlar Chastity Belt"
    10:45 PM Clarence Thomas reads list of black Republicans
    10:46 PM Third Presidential Beer Bong
    10:50 PM Seminar #3: "Education: A Drain on Our Nation's Economy"

    11:10 PM Hillary Clinton Pinata
    11:20 PM John Ashcroft Lecture: "Evolutionists: A Dangerous New Cult"
    11:30 PM Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh again
    11:35 PM Blame Clinton
    11:40 PM Laura serves milk and cookies
    11:50 PM Closing Prayer led by Jesus Himself
    12:00 PM Nomination of George W. Bush as Holy Supreme Planetary Overlord


    Via WTF Is It Now?? Read today's Doonesbury.

    Read this

    I won't give the kid [Alter X] a stroke by cross posting this from The Fixer, but go read it. If you're African-American, you'd better be voting this fall, and voting Democratic.

    Don't make Fixer-man come to your house and drag your ass to the polls.

    The next DCI

    Hey, I got a novel fucking idea. Why dont' we get a REAL spook to run the Agency instead of some politcal idiot. I've heard a bunch of names mentioned, Porter Goss, John Lehman, Richard Armitage, and a couple others. Of the list, the best in my book would be Armitage. An ex-Jarhead who knows the ins and outs of foreign policy, and about the places we need good intelligence. The rest of them are just fucking politicians who President Ineptitude owes a political favor. Let's get a career person to run the CIA, someone who knows SOMETHING about intelligence gathering and analysis, not some fucking asshole who's only qualifications are sitting on a congressional intelligence committee and reading too much Tom Clancy. (Not that I have a prob with Tom, love his work, but they ain't textbooks.)

    Welcome to the Blogosphere

    From The Fixer:

    There's a new contributor at The American Street. her name is Elayne Riggs and from reading her first post, it is obvious she will be an enjoyable read in the future.

    From The Fixer and The Alternate Brain, welcome darling.

    Another review

    I stole Lambert's whole post from Corrente. I posted a review of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' already here . And The X put one here, but Lambert is almost always right on.

    My reaction:

    "That son of a bitch!"

    The audience was not—pace poor genteel Ellen Goodman (back)—a "club." There wasn't any hissing, or other overt displays. Rather, the audience was extremely quiet, alert, attentive. No cell phones, no conversations, nobody getting up for candy or popcorn. People were really paying attention, aware, perhaps, that the message of the movie isn't coming from anywhere else in our oh-so-competitive media marketplace of ideas.

    A few of my own reactions:

    1. It would be a great mistake to underestimate Bush. F911's brutal closeups reveal a man who's mean as a snake and entirely without conscience. (I'm convinced, by the way, that Moore's reading of what Bush was thinking in the Florida classroom is correct: Bush was thinking "Who fucked me?" You can see the calculation going on behind the pursed lips and shifting eyes.)

    2. The original sin of the Democratic party was not "the war"—it was fighting a war through unconstitutional means and without gaining the consent of the people. As a result, the Democratic party lost "the mandate of heaven" for a generation, and almost wrecked the military into the bargain. The same thing can happen to the Republican party, for the same reasons, and it should.

    The movie was also replete with little facts I didn't know. One of them was that James Bath, grounded at the same time as aWol—and whose name was blacked out on the service records released by the administration—not only funded one of Bush's companies, he did so with Bin Laden money. How odd.

    But the biggest thing I didn't know was this:

    3. When it came time for the Senate to certify the results of the 2004 election, 25 members of the House black caucus tried to block the counting of Florida's votes, on the grounds that we now know, and could reasonably have believed then, that black voters had been disenfranchised. However, to bring their petition onto the Senate floor, it had to be signed by at least one Senator.

    And no Senator would sign (see here).

    Disgraceful. How much trouble would have been avoided today, if that day Democrats had stood up for what they knew was right?

    And, oh yeah, 4. Al Gore is an asshole. So? Better an asshole than a stone sociopath. My opinion.

    My own 2 cents, though I haven't seen it. From what I've read, Bush better be worried about this film. It seems powerful enough to sway the electorate that can be swayed. We're talking about the coveted swing voters, those who are beginning to see, finally, that President Arrogant Psycho is fucking this country all to Hell.


    From the Jerusalem Post:

    One person was killed and over 30 wounded when a bomb exploded behind a bus stop near the old central bus station in South Tel-Aviv on Har Zion Boulevard.

    The explosion occurred just after 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. It is the first terror attack in Tel-Aviv in seven months.

    [. . .]

    And the Palestinians want the wall taken down? You see, this is what chaps my ass. The World Court ruled in the Palestinians' favor this week regarding the wall and then they go and do this. If Arafat wants world opinion on his side, he has to crack down on the radical militants. It's doubtful Arafat has any inkling to do that, his motivations are self-serving, but he loses all crediblity when something like this happens. If the Palestinians want to take the high ground regarding the wall, they will have to also take the high ground regarding terrorism.