Saturday, September 25, 2004

Fox News, The Voter Fraud Police.....Not!

Got this one from IPA in Derelection 2004 on Cursor.

Juliana Zucarro

Zuccaro is a student at the University of Arizona and a member of the Network of Feminist Student Activists, which runs student voter registration drives. She said today: "We were registering students when we were interviewed by Fox News reporter Natalie Tejeda, who claimed that we were committing 'unintentional felony' by registering out-of-state students. She cited Pima County Voter Registrar Chris Roads, a Republican, who said that out-of-state students are committing a felony if they register to vote in Arizona and they don't intend on remaining in the state 'indefinitely.' The report was broadcast with those statements. It felt like a blatant attempt at intimidation, an attempt to scare students away from exercising their constitutional rights."

She added: "While Pima County Recorder Ann Rodriguez later issued a clarification that students can register in Arizona, we feel that the damage has been done, especially since Rodriguez did not retract her deputy Roads' statement. Meanwhile, Chris Roads continues to sow seeds of confusion and possible intimidation with statements such as that future systemized voter databases across the country would help 'catch those who have illegally voted' and that 'while a person may not be caught this month or this year, the chances of getting caught in the future are pretty significant.' In other words, he's trying to make students believe that if they vote while living in Arizona and move away anytime in the future, they will have committed a felony. We've been trying to inform students of their rights but I'm afraid this environment is already making many students scared to cast their vote."

So Faux News and the Pima County Voter Registrar are part of the wave of voter intimidation going on in this country? It doesn't surprise me even a little bit. These Reps are desperate and will do anything to keep that twerp in the White House, legal or not.

Jesus-hating liberals


For the past few days, I've heard about the ads in West Virginia and Arkansas — directly from the RNC, not some smarmy, plausibly deniable surrogate — that charge that liberals would "ban the Bible." Wouldn't you just know that Atrios has copies of them.

Once again, me 'at's off to the Duke.

Stole the whole thing from Glen at A Brooklyn Bridge.

Welcome back, man.


. . . There are plenty of folks who haven't tuned in yet... recent surveys suggest only 5% or so of voters at that time were on line and reading the stories the media dumbed down or skipped over altogether. The recent events at CBS have gotten everyone's attention, however, especially in the traditional media . . .

[. . .]

At Kos.

Hate and Fear

Gordon wrote yesterday:

[. . .]

FEAR Al-Quaeda = FEAR John Kerry. WE and only WE can protect you from THEM! Vote for US or Die!

Fuck you.

There's so much of this Bush fear-mongering that it's running through our posts like a crick through a meadow.

And it is. Between us, 6 posts in the last two days. The Bush Machine is turning up the heat in it's bid to link a vote for Kerry with a vote for Al Qaeda.

Go read this in the NY Times.

Simon . . . er, Jesus says

A new Republican Jesus from the General.


[. . .]

"This great man came to our country to talk about how he's risking his life for a free Iraq, which helps America, and Senator Kerry held a press conference and questioned Prime Minister Allawi's credibility,'' Mr. Bush said at a speech in the southern Wisconsin town of Janesville. "You can't lead this country if your ally in Iraq feels like you question his credibility. The message ought to be to the Iraqi people: 'We support you.' The message ought to be loud and clear: 'We'll stand with you if you do the hard work.' ''

The president was referring to Mr. Kerry's remarks on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, where the senator said Dr. Allawi was contradicting himself by asserting that terrorists in Iraq were on the defensive, after saying foreign fighters were coming into his country from across the border. (From NYT) [my emphasis]

[. . .]

"Our ally in Iraq"? What about all of the 'long-time' allies we've dissed over this mess in Iraq? What about the people who have stood with us and fought with us over the years? Fuck them, right? But heaven forbid we undermine Iraq's creds. As if that puppet government had any credibility to begin with.

From Josh Marshall:

[. . .]

Every so often you just have to sit back and marvel at the Twilight Zone we're living in at the moment.

Here we have a US-installed foreign head of state, whose travel schedule is determined by the US State Department, visiting the US to buoy the president's election campaign and spouting demonstrable lies in order to support a retrospective rationale for war that the White House wants Americans to believe but lacks the gall to state explicitly.

So where's the sovereignty, where's the credibility? Iraq is a joke, Osama's been forgotten, and Bush is Al Qaeda's best recruiter. And, worst of all, our nation is a laughing stock. Do you think anyone outside the U.S. believes what we're telling them? Do you think anyone will show up at our side should we have another terror attack on U.S. soil? America is a paraiah in the international community and we owe it all to President Go It Alone. Fucking rat bastid.

Non-contentious Political Advertising.

The Presidential debates were the topic on Now with Bill Moyers. His guest was George Farah of Open Debates.

For more info, go to either or both of the above and click your ass off once you're there. There's plenty to see and do, believe me.

The general consensus seems to be that these so-called debates are tightly scripted by contractual agreement between the two parties and are not so much debates as bi-partisan press conferences under the control of the political cartel. Having said that, Mr. Moyers and Mr. Farah said that the debates are still important.

The interesting part was how the League of Women Voters, who used to sponsor these debates, pulled out when the Dems and Reps colluded on this deal in '88. They didn't want to sully their own reputation by being associated with the debate any longer.

I am still hoping for a knock-down, drag-out, bare knuckle slugfest, rough and tumble, no holds barred. I want to see Dubya bleed.

Friday, September 24, 2004


From Asia Times:

Korea loves "crackdowns". Whether designed to tackle the scourge of mobile-phone use while driving or to clamp down on drivers stopping past the white line on the roads, South Korean police revel in crackdowns.

[. . .]

This week the police launched another "crackdown". This one, we are told, is designed to stamp out prostitution. But like so many other examples of myopic enforcement, this attack on a well-entrenched component of Korea's culture and economy has been tried before - and failed.

[. . .]

Prostitution has been a component of Korean culture for literally thousands of years, and any attempt to eliminate this still viable cultural artifact will not succeed if it does not address the demand for sex services within South Korean society.

[. . .]

These establishments are in every village and town and in virtually every neighborhood in every city in South Korea . . . The revenue generated is estimated to be more than US$21 billion a year, or more than 4% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Ministry of Gender Equality, which also says more than 500,000 women and girls are employed.

[. . .]

Now, I was stationed spitting distance from the DMZ for three years, and I bounced in a freelance joint in a little town off-base when I was off duty. I also lived on the top floor. Most of the girls are poor, and there are no jobs in these little shit armpit towns, and it's just ridiculous what the cops do over there. Most of the girls are trying to support extended families. The cops knew that the girls would come to the base for checkups and shots (the docs did it to protect the GIs), yet they'd shake the Mama-san down for 'health violations', even though she ran the cleanest club for 50 miles around. They'd get their take and move on. Coupla times I wanted to twist their little heads off when they got a little too eager, but the last thing you want to do is end up in a Korean jail.

Yeah, I don't get it either

Via Skippy. John Emerson at Seeing The Forest:

[. . .]

This is appalling. Apparently the "grownup conservatives" and "moderate Republicans" value their party above their own integrity or the fate of the nation. They might criticize their miserable failure of a President, but they will not oppose him politically. Some even say that the Iraq War "should not be politicized", but that's actually what elections are for: getting the bad leaders out of office. (And of course, the ones who are being "political" here are the Republicans who support Bush even though they understand how wretched his performance has been.)

[. . .]

Aren't our elected representatives supposed to be looking out for the public good? If the moderates aren't wavering, what does that say about the power of the Bush machine? Do they know something the rest of us don't? Do they know the outcome is a surefire win in the 'R' column? I'm thinking Diebold and the other voting machine makers. Yes, my tinfoil hat is on, but in the past, you ususally could count on someone to grow a set of testicles by now. What about Olympia Snowe and Sue Collins? I can't believe they're all right with this administration and their Jesus freak, bible-thumper base.


Bill Moyers at Tom Paine:
[. . .]

How do we explain the possibility that a close election in November could turn on several million good and decent citizens who believe in the Rapture Index? That’s what I said—the Rapture Index; Google it and you will understand why the best-selling books in America today are the 12 volumes of the "Left Behind" series that have earned multi-millions of dollars for their co-authors, who, earlier this year, completed a triumphant tour of the Bible Belt whose buckle holds in place George W. Bush’s armor of the Lord. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the l9th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative millions of people believe to be literally true.

[. . .]

I’m not making this up. We’re reported on these people for our weekly broadcast on PBS, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you that they feel called to help bring the Rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That’s why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It’s why they have staged confrontations at the old temple site in Jerusalem. It’s why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the 9th chapter of the Book of Revelations where four angels “which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released “to slay the third part of men.’ As the British writer George Monbiot has pointed out, for these people, the Middle East is not a foreign policy issue, it’s a biblical scenario, a matter of personal belief. A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed; if there’s a conflagration there, they come out winners on the far side of tribulation, inside the pearly gates, in celestial splendor, supping on ambrosia to the accompaniment of harps plucked by angels.

One estimate puts these people at about 15 percent of the electorate. Most are likely to vote Republican; they are part of the core of George W. Bush’s base support. . .

[. . .]

This is the reason I became a Democrat. American Taliban.


Go read Democratic Veteran, and do it every day.

[. . .]

Fat little Denny Hastert is a special case of a sad sack of shit. A little man who lives in a position of prominence by the grace of others...he's sold his soul to old scratch so many times that there's little real estate left for anything resembling morality or goodness. After all, who among you can say you ever heard of Denny Hastert before he became Speaker By Default?

[. . .]

Fear mongering

Tom at Corrente looks at Dana Milbank's article on fear mongering in American elections:

[. . .]

Of course, Adams and the Federalists ultimately lost a close election in 1800 as most Americans (or, more accurately, most Americans who could vote at the time) rejected this fear-mongering and elected Thomas Jefferson president. Their fear-mongering didn't work.

Therefore it would be nice if history repeated itself in this instance.

Americans simply have to prove that they can't be scared into voting for an incompetent and bumbling incumbent administration. The Bush campaign is doing its best to "stampede the herd" and, so far, it appears to be working.

[. . .]

Much as I'm a big fan of John Adams, bad policy is bad policy. Let's hope the American public wakes up before 11/2.

Update: 16:45:

Josh Marshall:

Can we re-check the sprinkler system in the Reichstag?

Freedom of Speech Takes It In the Shorts...Again

Michael Moore's visit to CSU campus is declared illegal. Read about in The San Diego Union-Tribune via South Knox Bubba.

Some universities have sought to offer a conservative viewpoint in response to criticism of the outspokenly liberal Moore. Moore told The Union-Tribune that when he learned Cal State administrators were concerned about balance, he offered to find them a conservative speaker.

"Some schools want that, and we've done that in the past. We even got Ann Coulter for one place, we held our nose, but we did it," Moore joked. Coulter is an outspoken conservative television commentator and best-selling author.

A college campus won't let a liberal speak? In CALIFORNIA? This shit is starting to suck big time.

Book Review

David Kipen reviews Jon Stewart's book, 'America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction' in the Ess Eff Chronicle.
Here's the book on the aftermath of Bush's National Guard years: "Still haunted by flashbacks that it was the weekend and he would have to report to the base, Bush tried to leave Vietnam behind and somehow begin having the pieces of his life put back together for him."

Our crack staff has even researched the best price for you, guess where, because we know you're going to want your very own copy.

Only in L.A.

The Seal of Los Angeles County can be seen in Steve Harvey's column in the LATimes. He puts oddball stuff in his column that's funnier'n shit. I wouldn't miss it.

The L.A. County seal scandal grows: Yes, the powers that be were so busy excising the religious cross, the oil derricks and the goddess Pomona from the design (see accompanying) that they overlooked two other symbols with shaky origins.

As I've pointed out, they retained Pearlette, a '50s-era cow that was based at Adohr Farms in Ventura County. L.A. County didn't have any noteworthy bovines?

And reader Larry Steidle informs me that the fish in the design is an albacore, more prevalent in San Diego County waters than in L.A. County.

It lacks personality, too — doesn't even have a name. I say replace it with L.A.'s most famous sea creature — Universal Studios' Bruce of "Jaws" fame.

An anonymous poet sums up the county seal controversy this way:

Holy cross!

Holy cow!

Holy mackerel!

For a cool take on this silly shit and the ACLU, also read Al Martinez' article in the same paper:

She demanded that the symbol be removed by moonset or she would smite the Grand Board with a holy condemnation, whose validity would be considered by the Ultra Grand Court, a body of scary old men with the power to determine piety, remove symbols, cash checks and turn otherwise comely El Layians into goats and manatees

I'm 500 miles from L.A. and I still get a kick out of it.

The Old Family Doorstop

By David D. Kirkpatrick in today's NY Times:

Republicans Admit Mailing Campaign Literature Saying Liberals Will Ban the Bible

The Republican Party acknowledged yesterday sending mass mailings to residents of two states warning that "liberals" seek to ban the Bible. It said the mailings were part of its effort to mobilize religious voters for President Bush.

The mailings include images of the Bible labeled "banned" and of a gay marriage proposal labeled "allowed." A mailing to Arkansas residents warns: "This will be Arkansas if you don't vote." A similar mailing was sent to West Virginians.

So why get upset? Given the quality of public education under 'No Child Left Behind', pretty soon no one will be able to read it anyway.

Is bald-faced lying part of a good Christian upbringing? Apparently so.I always thought there was a Commandment against 'Bearing False Witness'.

In their desperation to get Bush elected, they seem to have forgotten the one about 'Worshipping False Idols' too.

These ying-yangs must think everybody's as stupid as they are.

Career change for the Fluffer Twins

From Kos. There's a recruitment shortfall at the National Guard (no shit).

[. . .]

It's time the twins answered the call of their country, for a war their father started, for a cause that supposedly is worth the death of over a thousand of our sons, daughters, mothers and fathers.

[. . .]

The Windup.....And The Fast Pitch

On Thursday,on Wolf Blitzer Reports on CNN, I heard something that disturbed me:

Wolf reported that the Justice Department had sent notice to all 50 states to be on high alert for terrorist activities between now and November 2, election day.

The Justice Department. John Ashcroft. Between now and election day. A general alert.

If they have intelligence that a terrorist attack is likely to occur in the next 40 days, why don't they have intelligence that narrows it down a little as to location? Hawaii? Maine? Where?

It sounds like a set-up to me. It fits right in with the administration's ongoing campaign of fear-mongering to scare us into voting to keep zem, er, them in power. Vote for us or die.

I think this administration is less concerned about an act of terrorism than they are that the election might actually take place and oust Dubya from his purloined perch, and this 'alert notice' is the first step towards a cancellation of said election on grounds of 'national security', should they receive more 'information' on, oh, I don't know, say, Halloween. Ghosts and goblins and things that go bump in the night. Perfect.

Call me paranoid. Hell, call me Petunia. I may be going a little overboard here, and of course I hope I'm dead wrong (wouldn't be the first time) and the election goes off as scheduled and ousts Dubya, but I wouldn't put anything past this gang of thieves and poltroons.

The Hell With Laws, Let's Pass Penalties

Go read this column by Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle. I recommend reading the whole thing, but this is the gist of it:

In this spirit of openness to new ideas, in this sprit of what I suppose we must call vigorous debate, I would like to make the following proposal:

The death penalty for Republican senators.

Now, being a Republican senator is not a crime. I understand that. Further, it is unlikely that a Republican legislature would pass a law making wanton Republicanness a felony. But I want Americans to know where I stand. If we could strap a few Republican senators to Old Sparky, think what a deterrent it would be to the rest of them.

Is it important that Republican senators get the death penalty? Perhaps not. But it is important to sow fear and discord among the people, so they will be placid and suggestible. I am doing my duty under the Patriot Act. I call on all Republican senators to turn themselves in and surrender their votes.

I heartily concur.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

My Favorite Texas Babe on DeLay

Molly Ivins via Working For Change, has a good take on 'Bugs' Delay. Here's a taste:

Thomas Frank, author of "What's the Matter With Kansas?" is a subscriber to the theory that so-called "values politics" and lifestyle issues are just sophisticated versions of that old carnival con the shell game, in which the object is to keep the rube's eye off the shell with the pea under it.

You owe it to yourself to read the whole thing, so go back and read it.

I want to see this bozo get his fart pipe tamped in Huntsville (TX) prison. Or Club Fed in Marion, IL, if he's lucky. I'd settle for either.


A long post by Leah at Corrente. A World of Pain: What 'we' have achieved in Iraq.

Ya Gotta Watch Out For Them Greeks. They'll Come Back An' Bite'cha on the Ass

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Read this article in the L.A.Times and see if you can draw any modern parallels. Here's an excerpt:

According to Thucydides, the digression into Sicily in 416 BC — a sideshow that involved lying exiles, hopeful contractors, politicized intelligence, a doctrine of preemption — ultimately cost Athens everything, including its democracy

Wow, deja vu all over again, huh?

Dick Does Reno

More from The Reno News and Review:

A disagreeable visit from Cheney

In 1963, caught up in the excitement caused by his visit to West Berlin, President Kennedy overstated his case. Speaking before a million ecstatic Berliners, he said disdainfully, "And there are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the communists. Let them come to Berlin!"

The problem was, Kennedy was one of those who had been promoting peaceful coexistence with the communists--he was attacking his own policy.

Dick Cheney's visit to Reno saw a similar resort to overstatement.

"We will never seek a permission slip to defend the United States of America," he said.

It's a line he has used repeatedly. And it's dishonest. Cheney knows perfectly well that by demanding that the United States seek international support for Bush war making, administration critics are not kowtowing to anyone. They are trying to enforce the United States' own policies in a situation where George Bush has a peculiar definition of what constitutes defending the nation.

Since the emergence of nation states, an effort to create a body of international law has moved forward. The United States has supported that effort. Often there were those who spoke as disdainfully of international law as Cheney does. "What is this international law?" Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini asked after the U.S. embassy in Iran was seized in 1979.

In that hostage crisis, the United States took its case to the World Court. In future World Court cases, defendants will be able to quote the contemptuous words of the vice president of the United States on international law as a "permission slip." For short-term political gain, Cheney hands ammunition to every war criminal challenging the authority of international law. If it is not binding on us, why should it be binding on Serbia?

Nor was that the only disagreeable aspect of Cheney's visit to Reno. Once again, the Bush administration made political use of the Secret Service.

Building on Ken Starr's use of Secret Service agents in his prosecution of Bill Clinton, the Bush administration, since the Sept. 11 attack, has coaxed the Service into classifying its critics as security threats, in turn convincing too-compliant local officials to keep protestors out of the line of sight of presidential and vice presidential events.

In Reno, the Secret Service was prevailed on to categorize former Nevada State PTA president Wendell Newman of Washoe Valley as a threat to the vice president because Newman is a John Kerry supporter.

If Republican officials want to screen out their critics from their political events, they have a right to do so. But using the protection unit of the Secret Service to provide political cover is reprehensible. Any distraction from the agency's real function endangers the lives of agents--and of those they protect.

The Cheney visit was very revealing of what kind of administration this is.


If you're at a loss to remember all the ways the Bush Administration has screwed this country to Hell, go visit Peskyfacts. Link via Lean Left.

Annoying singers, Janet Jackson's tits, and Dennis Franz' ass

Bob Harris blogging over at Tom Tomorrow. Gordon and I were talking about this in 'comments' yesterday, but with regard to Janet and Dennis.


From Reuters:

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sold stakes this summer in at least five companies after they were identified as doing business with the Pentagon, according to his latest financial disclosure form, made available Wednesday.

Sold were all his shares in Millennium Chemicals Inc. , St Paul Companies Inc., Sonoco Products Co. , VF Corp. and Zebra Technologies Corp. , according to an aide's handwritten note on the disclosure report.

The note, dated June 28, said the companies had been "identified as DoD defense contractors." The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a query about the threshold for such identification, nor about the reasoning behind the sale.

[. . .]

Described in ranges rather than exact amounts, his largest holdings included a trust in his name valued at $25 million to $50 million, farm land in New Mexico valued in the millions and a stake in Gilead Sciences Inc. worth $5 million to $25 million.

Rumsfeld served as chairman of Gilead Sciences, a Foster City, California, biotechnology company, before being sworn in as President Bush's defense secretary on Jan. 20, 2001.

As of July 27, Rumsfeld's designees were "in discussions" about divesting his shares in Community Health Systems Inc. which also was identified as a Pentagon contractor, according to the Pentagon's Standards of Conduct Office, which reviewed Rumsfeld's report for any perceived conflicts of interest. Community Health Systems was held via a venture called FLC Partnership.

Rumsfeld appeared to be under no legal requirement to sell the shares of any of the companies identified as Pentagon contractors, according to Alex Knott of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based government watchdog.

[. . .]

Full story.

You know, the arrangement might have been legal, but I remember a time when politicians would go to great lengths to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Why does this just seem so hinky to me? A guy who has a stake in the 'national security sector' is also the guy running the war. Hmmm . . . nah, he wouldn't consider his bottom line over the lives of our kids, would he? Can you say, 'conflict of interest'? Can you say 'morally unseemly'? I thought you could.

Bikers Sound Off

Members of Reno-area motorcycle clubs consider themselves patriotic Americans. That's why they're infuriated by laws that lump them with gangs and terrorists

Turns out these guys need to care--because many feel the freedoms they value are under attack. Invasive laws like the USA PATRIOT Act have turned these motorcycle enthusiasts into activists

"This is like the Elks, the Lions, the Optimists. It's a fraternity, a group of guys who share common interests in motorcycles and individual freedom

Yeah, right.

After Street Vibrations in 1999, the Hells Angels filed a lawsuit against law enforcement agencies for, among other things, installing a surveillance camera on a power pole outside the clubhouse.

The Mongols are the elephant in the living room that no one talks about. A Web site attests to chapters in Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Lake Tahoe but includes no contact info. They aren't in the Confederation of Clubs. No number is listed in the phone book

"Heathens!" he says. "We're all fuckin' heathens!"

This is a long article. Read it at the Reno News and Review. It's Reno's alternative weekly.

Are you back yet? Motorcyclists have been second-class citizens for as long as I can remember. This shit is nothing new, but it pops up like this every now and again. Trust me, some of these people are not exactly as pure as the driven snow. Regular folks, most of 'em, 'tho.

One of Reno's biggest events is "Street Vibrations", which draws thousands of Harley-Davidson riders, and others, from all over the country. The cops treat them OK because they're told to by the Casinos and the Chamber of Commerce.

If you're a local, you get screwed. The Patriot Act is a damn good tool for people who are going to abuse your rights anyway.

Micasa Too is one of the best Mexican restaurants anywhere. Their prices went up a little while back. For scooter trash, these guys are pretty well-heeled.


From that smart kid Jesse at Pandagon:

[. . .]

Bush keeps knocking Kerry for saying that coalition where one country bears 90% of the cost and 29 countries bear 10% of it isn't a real coalition, that it's "insulting to our allies". How insulting is it to our allies to hear that the sole point of the war is to prevent attacks on American soil, and, you know, maybe other countries, but if anything happens there, better Madrid than Manhattan, Beslan than Birmingham. When it's terrorism on your soil, it's progress. When it's here, it's a tragedy. [my emphasis]

Entire post.

Now THAT'S fashion

From The Dark Window. This season's Jesus freak coture.

A good idea

This is:

A Diarist over at Daily Kos has launched Operation Shame on You which asks people to review the Bush endorsements in newspapers from 2000, and then write letters to the editor that point out how the Bush administration has not lived up to those endorsements. It’s a great idea, and should give our nation’s editorial boards something to think about. Several of the endorsements are included verbatim in the comments to the post.

[. . .]

From Jenny at The American Street.

A Blogger's Creed

"Bloggers have no checks and balances. [It's] a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas."
—JONATHAN KLEIN, former senior executive of 60 Minutes, on Fox News

Well, last week, the insurrectionary pajama people—dubbed "pajamahadeen" by some Web nuts—successfully scaled one more citadel of the mainstream media, CBS News. One of the biggest, baddest media stars, Dan Rather, is now clinging, white-knuckled, to his job. Not bad for a bunch of slackers in their nightclothes

Read the rest of the story by Andrew Sullivan in Time.

Shit, it ain't cold enough for pajamas yet!

Stress Relief

Keep this one handy: The Daily Show, "The News Organization With No Credibility To Lose!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Since Gord and I have been somewhat obsessing over this Ethics (cough) Committee/DeLay thing, check this out from DemVet.

Pure Neocon Genius

From TPM. That genius Richard Perle:

"A year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush."--22 Sept 2003

Yup, can't wait for the opening ceremony.

Left Coast At War - With Itself

I know this is regional, but I couldn't resist the urge to share this from sea to shining sea. This shit's been going on as long as I can remember. I love L.A.

A Dodgers-Giants pennant fight only intensifies the bad feelings between El Lay and Ess Eff, as the late San Francisco columnist Herb Caen used to call the cities. Which makes this the perfect time to stock up on the insults compiled by Jon Winokur in "The War Between the State — Northern California vs. Southern California."

Here, for example, are comments by some observers who did not leave their hearts in cable-car land:

• "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." (Mark Twain)

• "San Francisco: A hand-tinted postcard left inside the house too long to molder and fade. Its ink is blurred, the message trivial." (Carolyn See)

• "Nothing important has ever come out of San Francisco, Rice-A-Roni aside." (Michael O'Donoghue)

Myself, I won't join this chorus. I love Frisco.


In rebuttal: Some not-so-kind descriptions of L.A. in "The War Between the State":

• "A large city-like area surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel." (Fran Leibowitz)

• "There are two kinds of air: regular and chunky style." (Johnny Carson)

• "When it's 5 below in New York, it's 78 in Los Angeles, and when it's 110 in New York, it's 78 in Los Angeles. There are 2 million interesting people in New York — and only 78 in Los Angeles." (Neil Simon)


Whoops — don't want the Valley to feel left out: Bob Hope defined it this way: "Cleveland with palm trees."

In case you didn't notice, none of the comments are from Californians. They're all transplants or commuters. Us Natives love the joint. All three of us.

If you really want to know what's going on down there check out The LaLa Times.

Scared To Death

From the L.A.Times on what administration-induced fear can do to your health:

About 75% of Americans say the aim of terrorism is "to create distress and fear." Isn't that just what Vice President Dick Cheney's outrageous recent statements tried to do? Isn't that the potential effect of Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's often excessively alarmist language? Isn't that what happened when Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge credited President Bush for success in the war on terror while raising the alert level last month? And surely Howard Dean's shamelessly political statements after the alert level was raised had a similar effect.

Public health is at stake. And not just mental health. Our physical well-being is on the line here. People are being harmed as politicians frighten us to curry our votes. It is fair to demand that they stop, and we should hold them accountable at the polls if they don't.

Probably doesn't hurt the pharmaceutical companies hardly at all either. They love to see those high-priced chill-pills flyin' off the shelves.

$550K and I missed It!

From the L.A.Times:

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators on Wednesday fined CBS a record $550,000 for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," which exposed the singer's breast during this year's Super Bowl halftime show.

Jeez, for that kind of bread, you'd think we'd at least get to SEE the damn thing!

They shoulda fined ABC TWICE that for making us look at Dennis Franz' ass! Fuckin' near blinded me!


[. . .]

  • Before September 11, bin Laden indicated that he was planning an attack on the United States.

  • In August and September, bin Laden operatives around the world were warned to return to Afghanistan by September 10.

  • So, the State Department itself was telling us, less than a month after 9/11, that they had avance warning of a major attack planned immediately after 9/10, and that they knew Al Qaeda was active in many countries but Iraq was not among them. In fact, they had extensive evidence of Al Qaeda activities, and none of it pointed to Iraq or Iraqi terrorist groups - a fact that they openly advertised on a public Web site almost a month after Bush and Rumsfeld had decided to invade Iraq in response to 9/11.

    [. . .]

    From Kevin T. Keith at Lean Left. If you wanna get really pissed off, go read it.

    Every kid left behind

    Jezebel, blogging at Jesus' General on Rod Paige, our Secretary of Education who helped destroy Houston's school system and is now doing his worst with yours and mine:

    Rod Paige, Minister of Indoctrination, has taken some heat for calling unionized teachers "terrorists." Once again, Minister Page was proven right.

    Two teachers from Harding Middle School, in Cedar Rapids, IA, were placed under arrest for sedition earlier this month. An eyewitness who admits sympathy for the disloyalists claimed they were "standing peacefully near the park." Yet Barbara Hannon goes on to admit they were provocative by wearing fealty medallions of The Pretender while less than 10,000 feet from a rally for Our Leader. Local law enforcement appropriately told them that because of the buttons they were "not allowed to be anywhere."

    The soon-to-be-outlawed Demoncrat Party had the gall to post bail for the two teachers. Party Chair Joel Miller proclaimed his communist sympathies by condemning private ownership and capitalism: "So much of the area is private property there is no room for protesters to stand. They have to keep moving away from the rally." Police followed standard procedures in informing traitors that loitering (that is, wearing Kerry-Edwards buttons anywhere) would result in arrest.

    For those not familiar with the General, and you Republicans, this is satire. If I have to explain satire . . . forget it.

    OK, I Pissed 'Em Off - Now Go Get 'Em!

    This by Noam Scheiber of New Republic Online:


    Others have commented on Bob Novak's huge, but hardly surprising, scoop--that the administration plans to withdraw from Iraq shortly after the presidential election. But my favorite part of the column is this paragraph:

    Getting out now would not end expensive U.S. reconstruction of Iraq, and certainly would not stop the fighting. Without U.S. troops, the civil war cited as the worst-case outcome by the recently leaked National Intelligence Estimate would be a reality. It would then take a resolute president to stand aside while Iraqis battle it out.

    It's amazing how quickly conservatives are defining "resolution" down. Up until now, a resolute president meant one who stayed the course in Iraq. Now it's a president who abandons Iraq and resists the temptation to intervene again! And the truly sick thing is, Bush will probably believe he's being "resolute" if he's given the opportunity to "stand aside while the Iraqis battle it out."

    If you want to read the Douchebag For Liberty's column in the Windy City Fish Wrap, go ahead, it's your time. I'd rather just watch my wife yell at him on "Crossfire".

    Josh Marshall has more to say about this in his Talking Points Memo.


    Stumbled on King of Zembla while I was cruisin' for something else. No, not porn. It's a gooder. Go read it.

    More on Campaign Speech to U.N.

    Here's more on Bush's preach, er, speech at the UN in a NYTimes editorial:

    Mr. Bush might have done better at wooing broader international support if he had spent less time on self-justification and scolding and more on praising the importance of international cooperation and a strengthened United Nations. Instead, his tone-deaf speechwriters achieved a perverse kind of alchemy, transforming a golden opportunity into a lead balloon.

    Kofi Annan gave a speech afterward saying something like "People who tell others to play by the rules should do so themselves."

    A Bush grows on the East Side

    I'll try and find a transcript of President Nitwit's speech to the U.N. when I get home from work, but the thing that got me was how he basically demanded the member nations' help.

    Now, I know Europeans, lived there in the summers growing up. You don't diss them, treat them like assholes, and then demand their help, 'cause you ain't getting shit. And at the U.N., as Europe goes, so do the rest of the members.

    It would be nice to have a President who respects other nations and knows the meaning of the word 'diplomacy'. Imagine what we could do with world opinion on our side. Some Brits expressed this to me while I was in London. Most were highly offended that Bush used the 'special relationship' we have with the U.K. to perpetuate this 'Iraq folly'. Yes, on 9/12/2001, everybody was an American. Now, three years later, everybody hates an American.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Hallelujah, Brethren!

    If you feel like taking a break from this serious-as-a-heart-attack political shit, and have some fun and see some cool merchandise, well then, it's time to go to a Worthwhile House of Worship.

    Can't Even See Dick's Lips Move

    This is by Jan at Alternet:

    If Cheney can't say it, Hastert will
    Two weeks ago, Dick Cheney tried to channel fear into voting when he said Americans faced a likely terrorist attack if voters make the "wrong choice" in November. Cheney took a few bullets for that, and it could keep him from saying such things again, but that hasn't stopped him from appearing with other GOP luminaries who push the same message. Enter Dennis Hastert -- he of the Soros scandal mongering -- who joined Cheney at a recent campaign stop in Illinois. Hastert let loose the worst comments yet: When a reporter asked Hastert if he thought al Qaeda would operate with more comfort if Kerry were elected, the speaker said, "That's my opinion, yes."

    That's foul politics, but the truth is, this ruling political class believes in what they're saying about national security. Cheney believes, Hastert believes that to elect Kerry is to leave out a welcome mat for terrorists. Tom DeLay also truly believed that tax cuts in a time of war were the "most patriotic" thing Congress could do. Spin from the White House on a monthly jobs report is something most of them recognize as just "spin." But on many of the issues close to the GOP's vision, they have full conviction -- and faith -- in what they are doing, which makes it all the more dangerous.
    Posted by Jan on September 21, 2004 @ 1:15PM.

    Foul? These bastards are nuthin' but.

    McCain and Un-Able

    Here's one about what McCain might really be up to from David Corn of AlterNet:

    But maybe there was another reason beyond loyalty to the party and to the commander in chief why McCain saddled up with Bush. Perhaps he wanted to get near enough to knife Bush – metaphorically speaking, of course. As in, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. (Think The Godfather)

    Go read it and you'll know what I mean when I say I hope McCain tears Bush's face-off. It is strange when betrayal of another will restore a man's reputation.

    Shit hitting fan?


    [. . .]

    [DNC Chairman Terry] McAuliffe: Will GOP Answer If They Know Whether Stone, Others Had Involvement With CBS Documents?
    Washington, D.C. - In response to false Republican accusations regarding the CBS documents, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued this statement:

    “In today’s New York Post, Roger Stone, who became associated with political ‘dirty tricks’ while working for Nixon, refused to deny that he was the source the CBS documents.

    “Will Ed Gillespie or the White House admit today what they know about Mr. Stone’s relationship with these forged documents? Will they unequivocally rule out Mr. Stone’s involvement? Or for that matter, others with a known history of dirty tricks, such as Karl Rove or Ralph Reed?”

    [. . .]

    A new door is opening in this CBS/National Guard mess and it might look good for us. Go read the whole thing.

    Can you believe these folks are Republicans?

    [. . .]

    Big time political strategist Roger Stone and his wife Nikki: The former Bob Dole adviser and his wife were swingers and The Vault was a favorite haunt.
    "Roger and Nikki were our customers for a long time," Marini says. "They were heavy duty swingers and ran ads on the Internet and in many sex publications. They were heavy players."

    [. . .]

    Now I give a shit about what anyone does in bed as long as it's between consenting adults, but these folks are the same ones who yell the loudest about 'Christian Values.' What's that smell? I believe it is the stench of hypocrisy.

    Update: 18:35:

    Lambert at Corrente has a musical take on this.

    Update: 06:15 Wednesday:

    The Stones in all their glory, via Atrios.


    We made it here:

    States Writes: a Progressive Peer Directory from The American Street

    Guess Gordon and I are doing something right. Sorry Gord, but they listed us under 'New York'. Great thanks to Kevin at The American Street for recognizing our humble efforts.

    Big John

    "This President has hitched his wagon to the idealogues and we're paying for that every day."

    At his live press conference today. He's on a roll. He looks pissed and he's breathing fire.

    Debate schedule

    • Sept. 30 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.

    • Oct. 8 at Washington University in St. Louis.

    • Oct. 13 at Arizona State University in Tempe

    Via USA Today.

    DeLay, again

    Swiped the whole thing from Kos:

    From a Texas reader:

    Breaking News from Travis County Courthouse
    Texans for a Republican Majority PAC executive director John Colyandro and treasurer Bill Ceverha indicted.

    32 count indictment, some corporations also indicted.

    DeLay untouched.

    There'll be fallout. This was all a DeLay operation.

    Update: This doesn't mean DeLay is off scott-free. Some of the indicted may give up DeLay as part of a deal. How loyal might they be? Will they take a bullet for the guy?

    Do you think the 'liberal media' will begin to ask the tough questions now? Do you think they'll hound that rat bastid until he drops? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

    Update: 16:25:

    Kos is updating this regularly. Go here to follow.

    Oh, and Gordon called it correctly here. And Kos agrees:

    [. . .]

    It's clear that DeLay's circle not violated just ethics laws, but criminal laws. If the House Ethics Committee punts on investigating DeLay, it'll further prove that the ideal of clean government is dead as long as DeLay runs the show. [my emphasis]

    The Last Deception

    Here's a NYTimes Op-Ed by Paul Krugman about Bush's plans to launch a full-out attack in Iraq if he gets elected. I'd just as soon we don't.

    Kerry Blasts Bush on Iraq, Finally

    Speaking in New York yesterday, Mr. Kerry laid out a well-grounded, intellectually straightforward and powerful critique of the Bush administration's past mistakes in Iraq.

    'Bout fuckin' time, Mr. Kerry. Punch him, punch him hard and repeatedly.

    Read the whole NYTimes editorial.

    True Conservatives Should Vote For Kerry

    Here's an exerpt from an article by Robert Scheer on Working For Change:

    If they were true to their principles, moderate Republicans and consistent conservatives would be supporting John Kerry. Instead, their acquiescence to the reckless whims of George W. Bush marks a descent into that political abyss of opportunism where partisanship is everything and principle nothing.

    How else to explain their cynical support for this shallow adventurer, a phony lightweight who has bled the Treasury dry while incompetently squandering the lives of young Americans in a needless imperial campaign? If Al Gore had been knighted president by the Supreme Court and overseen this mess instead of Dubya, the rational remnant of the Republican Party would be rightly calling for his head.

    Liar or Idiot?

    Kevin at Lean Left asks the question:

    [. . .]

    Which do you think Bush would prefer to be known as?? Someone who deliberately lied about terrorism, the signature issue of the day? Or someone who was too stupid to understand the details of terrorism, the signature issue of the day?

    GIs, Morale, & F-9/11

    Everybody's covering this like a blanket.

    [. . .]

    "[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn't matter who ran against Bush - they'd vote for them," said a US soldier in the southern city of Najaf, seeking out a reporter to make his views known. "People are so fed up with Iraq, and fed up with Bush."

    [. . .]

    Read more here, here, and here.

    Kerry Does Letterman's Top 10 List

    John Kerry was David Letterman's guest on Monday night and delivered the Top 10 List:

    Bush's Top 10 Tax Proposals:

    10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. Presidents

    9. W-2 form is now Dubya-2 form

    8. Under simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton

    7. Attorney General Ashcroft gets to write off entire U.S. Constitution

    6. Reduced earned income tax credit makes me want to tear out my perfectly groomed hair

    5. Texas Rangers get loss of credit for training Sammy Sosa

    4. Eliminate all taxes and just get Teresa to cover everything

    3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent

    2. $100 penalty for saying "nuclear" instead of "nucular"

    and finally,

    1. W gets deduction for mortgaging our entire future

    I had to watch Letterman twice, on two different stations to get these, but no sacrifice is too much to bear on behalf of our readers. Some of them may be a little paraphrased but you get the idea.

    4 More Wars

    Here's another one I swiped from AlterNet:

    For more wars...
    ...Vote Bush. Analysts from all parts of the political spectrum and a majority of voting Americans believe that Bush will start another war. And further, no less than a conservative military analyst observed that "It's less likely to happen with a Kerry administration."


    This same analyst, Loren Thompson, of the The Lexington Institute (aka the Institute for Manifest Destiny) used the word that ought to make the nation as a whole cringe in horror: "The Bush administration is on a crusade to make the world safe for democracy and part of that ... is eliminating countries of anti-Western aggression."

    Ahh, "elimination." It's like having a pawn jauntily knocked off the board or watching an unsightly blemish disappear from the youthful face of a supermodel...
    Posted by Evan on September 20, 2004 @ 8:24AM.

    Buy this DVD

    I got a DVD in the mail today. It's called "There's Something About W". It's not a rant like "Fahrenheit 9/11". This one's a wry, measured look at George W. Bush and what he's done. There are lots of neat people in it. It's 40 minutes long and costs twenty bucks.

    You can get info at

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    More on DeLay, the Puke

    This is from a New York Times editorial.

    The committee should have at least approved a formal inquiry by now, but the latest reports indicate that the issue will soon be deep-sixed as the Republican Congress shows no appetite for investigating Mr. DeLay, one of Washington's most feared and bare-knuckled partisans.

    We'll take him for Zell Miller

    Via Kos. Lincoln Chafee is having second thoughts. From The Guardian:

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee said Monday he plans to support his party in November but may write in a candidate instead of voting for President Bush.

    The Rhode Island lawmaker, known for moderate views that often run counter to the Bush administration, said he was going to vote for a member of his party even though he disagrees with the president on many issues.

    [. . .]

    The Republican said the party's direction in the future will determine his political career as well. He said he's ``not OK'' with the conservative platform from the Republican convention, but would not say if he'd consider switching parties in his next election in 2006.

    ``It wasn't that long ago that moderates had more of a voice,'' Chafee said. ``It's a cycle that I hope will come back.''

    See, this is where I see the difference between real Conservatives and the goddamn Jesus freak, bible thumping, right wing, Christo-Fascist, wingnuts that inhabit the area in and around 1600. Hopefully, more of the moderates will start to sit up and think.

    VWOTW Part Deux

    Gordon thinks it's criminal. Me too. This is another part of the same article at AlterNet (I read it after reading Gord's post) that got me. You know, it's bad enough they let Tom DeLay and his cronies gerrymander the fuck out of Texas using the census, now they're using it for something I doubt the Founding Fathers intended. The Farmer at Corrente has more on this too.

    [. . .]

    Michigan is the state that Jon Greenbaum, director of the Voting Rights Project for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, mentions as a potential trouble spot. On July 16, the Detroit Free Press quoted John Pappageorge, a Republican state representative from Troy, Michigan, who said, "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election cycle." Detroit is 83 percent African American.

    Pappageorge later told the Associated Press that he was not advocating suppression of the black vote but that "you get it [the Detroit vote] down with a good message."

    Cecelie Counts, AFL-CIO director of civil, human, and women's rights, says she thinks Pappageorge was acknowledging the truth the first time around. "That is the political reality in most of these swing states," she says. Democrats "can't win Ohio or Michigan or Pennsylvania without the African American vote, without a tremendous African American vote." And, she says, by using census numbers, Republican strategists "can pinpoint places" where minority voters are likely to influence an election. "They know it's Detroit. They know it's Kansas City and St. Louis. They know it's Las Vegas." [my emphasis]

    [. . .]

    Swing state-by-swing state details here.

    Update: 19:05:

    More on DeLay from Kos:

    A Capitol Hill Democratic source tells me that your calls last week, demanding the ethics committee investigate DeLay, made a difference.

    It wasn't so much that committee Democrats want to punt on the investigation, nor that they are more interested in maintaining the ethics truce. Rather, they have been seeking a way to move forward that doesn't invite retaliation from the other side. Of course, given who they're dealing with (DeLay), retaliation seems all but assured if they do anything other than punt.

    [. . .]

    Call the members of the ethics commmittee and keep pushing. Kos even gives you their numbers. Maybe we can get this shyster out of there.

    Bush=Closet Frenchman?

    From Asia Times:

    Washington's strategic position in the Middle East is stronger than it has ever been, contrary to superficial interpretation. With much of central Iraq out of US control and a record level of close to 100 attacks a day against US forces, President George W Bush appears on the defensive. The moment recalls French Marshal Ferdinand Foch's 1914 dispatch from the Marne: "My center is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack." To be specific, the United States will in some form or other attack Iran while it arranges the division of Iraq. [my emphasis]

    [. . .]

    Full story.

    Big John at NYU

    [. . .]

    General Shinseki said it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq. He was retired. Economic adviser Larry Lindsey said that Iraq would cost as much as $200 billion. He was fired. After the successful entry into Baghdad, George Bush was offered help from the UN -- and he rejected it. He even prohibited any nation from participating in reconstruction efforts that wasn’t part of the original coalition – pushing reluctant countries even farther away. As we continue to fight this war almost alone, it is hard to estimate how costly that arrogant decision was. Can anyone seriously say this President has handled Iraq in a way that makes us stronger in the war on terrorism?

    By any measure, the answer is no. Nuclear dangers have mounted across the globe. The international terrorist club has expanded. Radicalism in the Middle East is on the rise. We have divided our friends and united our enemies. And our standing in the world is at an all time low.

    Think about it for a minute. Consider where we were… and where we are. After the events of September 11, we had an opportunity to bring our country and the world together in the struggle against the terrorists. On September 12th, headlines in newspapers abroad declared “we are all Americans now.” But through his policy in Iraq, the President squandered that moment and rather than isolating the terrorists, left America isolated from the world.

    We now know that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and posed no imminent threat to our security. It had not, as the Vice President claimed, “reconstituted nuclear weapons.”

    The President’s policy in Iraq took our attention and resources away from other, more serious threats to America.

    Threats like North Korea, which actually has weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear arsenal, and is building more under this President’s watch…

    … The emerging nuclear danger from Iran…

    … The tons and kilotons of unsecured chemical and nuclear weapons in Russia…

    … And the increasing instability in Afghanistan.

    Today, warlords again control much of that country, the Taliban is regrouping, opium production is at an all time high and the Al Qaeda leadership still plots and plans, not only there but in 60 other nations. Instead of using U.S. forces, we relied on the warlords to capture Osama bin Laden when he was cornered in the mountains. He slipped away. We then diverted our focus and forces from the hunt for those responsible for September 11th in order invade Iraq.

    [. . .]

    Go read the whole thing here.


    This story was in today's Progressive via Alternet:

    In late August, People for the American Way and the NAACP released a report entitled, "The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression in America Today." "In every national American election since Reconstruction, every election since the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, voters-particularly African American voters and other minorities-have faced calculated and determined efforts at intimidation and suppression," says the report. However, it describes recent voter suppression tactics as "more subtle, cynical, and creative" than "the poll taxes, literacy tests, and physical violence of the Jim Crow era."

    Jim Crow is still casting a very long shadow.

    *Voting While Other Than White

    This shit's a sin, and criminal to boot.

    The Straight Poop

    If you're as confused as I am over this whole Dan Rather shit, Lambert at Corrente has the low down.

    Questions? Don't Need No Stinkin' Questions!

    From today's Washington Post Editorials:

    PRESIDENT BUSH hasn't taken questions from White House reporters in nearly a month. He's had just 15 solo news conferences during his presidency, the last a 13-minute session at his Texas ranch. When he does answer questions at town hall-type campaign rallies, they're from pre-screened supporters. As Towson University professor Martha Joynt Kumar notes in a forthcoming article in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Mr. Bush opened a news conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai by saying, "We'll answer questions in the tradition of democratic societies." Under the Bush presidency, that tradition hasn't flourished.

    If I were him, I wouldn't want to answer any questions, either.


    From the sage. Josh Marshall:

    A new Zogby poll out tonight has not great but decent news for Kerry.

    Bush 46%, Kerry 43% on the head-to-head match-up.

    Kerry's got his work cut out for him. But he's very much in this race. And the president's underlying weaknesses are still very much there [my emphasis]

    Let's hope Kerry/Edwards can expose those weaknesses some more (I'm counting on Kerry making Bush look like a fool in the debates). And I'm praying more of the American public comes to their senses.

    Belated Thanks

    To South Knox Bubba. Gordon pointed this out to me last night. Must've missed it while I was in London:

    Programming note...
    Sunday September 05, 2004

    Reader and frequent commenter Gordon (who just recently appeared on the scene here at SKB) has joined up with The Fixer (another reader and frequent commenter) at The Fixer's Alternate Brain blog.

    With Gordon on the left coast and The Fixer in NYC, it's a coast-to-coast tag-team smackdown of everything good and decent about America, and a lot of good clean fun. Unless you are a Republican.

    (Apparently they hooked up here, so you can add matchmaking to the growing list of free services provided by SKB.)

    Great thanks for the good words, dude.

    As much as we'd like to, we had better never forget Vietnam

    A little while ago, we watched today's "Face The Nation" on CBS. At the end, the moderator, Bob Schieffer, whom I like and respect,said that "Vietnam has become the centerpiece of this presidential campaign. That war ended thirty years ago, before a good many of today's voters were even born. A great many Americans would like to forget about Vietnam."

    Yeah, I'd like to forget the time I caught my dick in the woodchipper, too, but I better not.

    Ron Kovic, paraplegic Marine Vietnam veteran and author of "Born On The Fourth Of July", in the movie of which he was played by Tom Cruise, has something to say about lessons learned or not learned, in Steve Lopez' LATimes column on Sunday.

    I'm not a Vietnam vet, but I am a Vietnam-era vet, and I well remember those times. They were fucking awful. It's happening again, goddammit, and I don't like it a fuckin' bit. "Those who do not learn the lessons of history" someone said, "are doomed to repeat it" and that's exactly what is going on with this administration. They didn't have to go, "other priorities" and all, so they have no concept of Vietnam vis-a-vis the fact they're pulling the same shit.

    Let's get rid of this bunch of liars on Nov. 2 and get a man in the White House, actually elect the sonovabitch, who knows not to take war lightly.

    Ugh! Heap Big Stereotype

    Here's some more on the new Smithsonian Native American Museum:

    A good cure for this kind of thinking is to read mystery novels about Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police by Tony Hillerman.

    Sunday, September 19, 2004

    Well torque my sphincter

    Democratic Veteran has this:

    When the Neocons so disgracefully let Gen. Shinseki go off to what they assumed was an ignominious retirement right before their anticipated glory-covered march into Iraq and the hearts of all Iraqis (except the evil man and his evil troll-like henchmen), little did they know that he was a four-star general and a leader fo some reason or another. I guess they thought the Army just naturally promoted knotheads for no reason to the top spot.

    Now, out of South Carolina comes a story that's being given the best possible spin by a someone in the National Guard chain of command. But despite the comments by the Battalion Commander and his top enlisted man, I don't think that morale and readiness are at their don't lock down and punish soldiers who are ready behaving themselves. Unless of course you're Captain Queeg.

    [. . .]

    You gotta read the whole thing.

    Follow up

    Via skippy the bush kangaroo. Remember the woman who'd lost her son in Iraq and got arrested for interrupting Laura's speech?

    Well, some good news:

    TRENTON, N.J. -- Police have dropped charges against a Hopewell woman who was arrested when she interrupted a campaign speech by first lady Laura Bush to ask why her son was killed in Iraq.

    Sue Sapir-Niederer had refused to leave the Thursday rally at a Hamilton fire house and was eventually escorted from the site. Sapir-Niederer wore a T-shirt that bore the words "President Bush You Killed My Son" and a picture of her son, Army 1st Lt. Seth Dvorin.

    [. . .]

    [Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr.] "It is our determination that the police officers had more than enough probable cause to arrest Ms. Sapir-Niederer and were justified in the their actions," said Bocchini. "Taking all factors into consideration, including the recent loss of her son while serving in the armed forces in Iraq, I believe that the continued prosecution of the this matter would serve no useful purpose."

    [. . .]


    Well, at least the DA had some sense. Must be a Democrat. A Republican would have charged her with a capital crime.

    Time for leadership

    From the Cleveland Plain Dealer via Atrios:

    The happy story administration salesmen peddle on Iraq reflects an inexcusable failure to confront war's grim realities

    With less than seven weeks to go before the elections, it's not surprising that Iraq would turn into an all-purpose campaign punching bag over what's gone right and wrong in the war on terror. That does not give the George W. Bush administration carte blanche to waltz through this crucial phase of the war which has entailed the sacrifice of more than 1,025 U.S. military lives and more than 7,000 wounded as if nothing were wrong and U.S. forces were on course to achieving peace, democracy and prosperity for Iraqis.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    [. . .]

    Any objective assessment says the war has worsened and that a change of course that may be even more expensive in time, money and military personnel than the war so far is overdue.

    Yet the president's Pollyannish pronouncements that "this country is headed toward democracy . . . this country is headed towards elections" continue.

    [. . .]

    What is inexcusable is the administration's continuing failure to confront the grim reality and remold policies to make the best of this sow's ear. The delay in gearing up to get the trainers, uniforms, weapons and money that Iraqi security forces need has meant that not a single Iraqi police officer is fully trained and street-ready. The Iraqi army was disbanded with nary a thought to the security vacuum this would create. Our NATO "allies" still are haggling over a skeleton force of 300 military trainers that have yet to arrive in Iraq. Scores of willing police recruits continue to die unnecessarily because of the failure to build secure barriers around recruitment centers.

    [. . .]

    Full story.

    About time

    From Wampum:

    National Museum of the American Indian Grand Opening

    [. . .]

    National Museum of the American Indian Grand Opening
    Location: District of Columbia
    Directions: 4th St. and Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20024

    The National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C., is located on the National Mall between the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol Building.

    [. . .]

    StartDate/Time: September 21, 2004 9:00 AM
    End Date/Time: September 21, 2004 5:30 AM
    Open To Press: Yes
    Cost: Free
    Contact Phone: 202-633-1000

    Bend over and grab your ankles

    The Veterans Administration is considering whether to close the Manhattan VA Hospital and sending everyone to the Brooklyn facility. Trying to cut costs and all. You know what it's like to get from Upper Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn if you're handicapped? It might be only a few miles away, but the hassle factor is incredible. I guess Bush only cares about the troops who are healthy enough to go to Iraq. Fuck everyone else.

    Update: 10:35:

    Finally found a link to this.

    Every Thursday afternoon for the past year, Peter Bronson has gathered with his small group of veterans in front of the VA hospital on E. 23rd St. in Manhattan.
    The country is at war, after all, and the number of American casualties in Iraq keeps climbing at an alarming rate. And not just the dead, which passed 1,000 this week; it's also the wounded, now at almost 7,000.

    To Bronson, a veteran of the Korean War, it makes no sense for our government to be talking about closing down veterans hospitals when the number of wounded from this war was more than 1,100 in August alone.

    [. . .]

    The Bush administration has been developing grand plans for several years to make our nation's huge and unwieldy system of military hospitals more efficient.

    This plan involves closing some hospitals, reducing in-patient stays for veterans and creating more out-patient facilities.

    As with most Bush programs, the plan has a friendly-sounding name: CARES. That's short for Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services.

    When word leaked out that the CARES Commission, appointed by Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, was about to recommend closing the Manhattan VA hospital, a furor erupted among veterans groups and local politicians, especially our two local senators, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton. [my emphasis]

    [. . .]

    Full story.

    Now who's looking out for our vets? Ain't the Bush Administration, is it?


    How silly of me that it took until now to see the light. Yeesh! From Sadly No!:

    Holly Crap!

    Sometimes even reading something isn't sufficient to convince you that it's true. This is one of those times:

    In the lobby, Holly (for Holland) Coors, the thin, blond doyenne of the Colorado beer outfit, had just returned from Madison Square Garden [...]

    "It's [President Bush's] faith," Mrs. Coors said. "It breaks my heart to hear him criticized. They hated our Lord, too." [Emphasis added.]

    Just in case anyone needed a reason not to drink Coors anymore. (Yes, Blair sent us the link.)

    It's gotta be that thin air up in the Rockies. Either that or the water. Never touch the stuff myself. Fish fuck in water.

    Fixer Rule: If it ain't got alcohol, fizz, flavor, or color, I stay away from it.