Saturday, October 16, 2004

What the military thinks

Via The American Street:

WASHINGTON - Members of the military and their families say the Bush administration underestimated the number of troops needed in Iraq and put too much pressure on inadequately trained National Guard and reserve forces, according to a poll released Saturday.

The National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62 percent in the military sample said the administration didn't send an adequate number of troops to Iraq. And 59 percent said too much of a burden has been put on the National Guard and the reserves when regular forces should have been expanded instead. [my emphasis]

Family members were more critical of the administration's Iraq policy than those on active duty.

This critical view comes from a military group that has a more favorable view of President Bush (news - web sites), Iraq, the economy and the nation's direction than Americans in general. [From AP]

[. . .]

The closer it gets to Election Day, news like this and the shortage of flu shots will sway many of the undecideds Kerry's way. Let's hope Bush's smoke and mirror show unravels even more by 2 Nov.

Definitely Not The Ivy League

Following up on my earlier post, Steve Harvey of the LATimes has some more names of institutions of higher learning in California:

Salt Lake, Calif.: A discussion here about college nicknames brought this from Raul Blacksten: "I attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in the early '70s, and there were so many students from California that it was not uncommon to hear it referred to as the 'University of California at Provo.' I think there were even bumper stickers to that effect."
Cal State Whatevers: While we're on the subject, here are some other college nicknames I've collected from readers:
• University of Severe Tire Damage (Cal State Northridge, in honor of the school's many parking lots, which have many more exits than entrances).
• University of California Near Fedco (San Bernardino Valley College).
• University of Lincoln and Manchester or LMU (Loyola Marymount University).
• Under Construction Indefinitely or UCI (UC Irvine).
• University on Colorado between Lake and Allen, or UCLA (Pasadena City College).

I wonder when he'll get around to Cal State San Quentin. Oh, well. Who needs Yale, anyway?

Field Report On Flu Shots

Well, I guess we've all heard about the shortage of flu vaccine and Kim Jong-Bush's health plan: "Don't get sick." If you haven't, read Fixer's post (you can scroll down a little to get to it, too) on the subject, then come back.

See, Fixer does the grand scheme of these things, being the Master and all, while I, the grunt, get down in the trenches and find out what's really going on and how issues affect real people. This one came about quite serendipitously (Hey! Lookee here!) on me and the missus' weekly adventure, aka grocery shopping.

There we were, rounding the corner from the cottage-cheese-and-ice-cream aisle and heading for Frozen Food. The F.F. aisle was blocked by a long line of people, taking up its entire length. They were standing in line for flu shots right there in Safeway. Old people. There were canes and walkers, wheelchairs and electric scooters, and such hair as there was, was your lighter shades. I didn't check their teeth, but I'm sure a lot of those folks could have just held them up if I had wanted to.

We continued our shopping and eventually got to the checker. She told us that there had been a line for the shots since six A.M. (it was about 10:00 at the time) and they had already run out of vaccine once and had to recop. Mrs. G. damn near slapped me when I wondered out loud what might be the significance of herdin' 'em down the frozen food aisle. After all, that aisle is full of preserved stuff. Actually, the pharmacy is at the far end of it.

I did some checking: The shots cost $20 and the high-risk criteria applied to be eligible. They took Medicare, cash and checks. Note: "High risk" does not mean the risk of CATCHING the flu, but the risk of DYING from it once you've got it. We were not eligible and that made us feel young.

We are prepared to undergo any hardship, make any sacrifice, to bring you the latest stuff on this blog. We never did get any frozen food.

Saturday Cattle Dog Blogging

Atrios has his cats, TBogg has his Bassett Hound, and The Dope on the Slope has his invertebrates, so here's our Cattle Dog:

A baby pic of Mrs. F's little monster.

Now I'm done for the day.


I personally blame Jeff Foxworthy for making rednecks sound loveable. Most of the rednecks I’ve met are meaner than snakepiss with the intellect of a walnut-brained alligator.

Now we have a president who’s been part of the pampered class all his life who cannot find comfort among his own class despite all the remedial tutoring and cash bailouts he’s had from all his Dadddy’s friends. He’s far more comfortable displaying all the gator attributes, reaching down to the inbreds and toothless wonders with the politics of hate and division honed to fever pitch, combined with an aw-shucks nice guy camera front that appeals to people accustomed to instinctive response, which is so much easier than actual thinking.

[. . .]

You gotta read the whole thing.

I'm probably done for the day. I have to go to a Bar Mitzvah today that will probably last ALL day. They're conservative Jews. Oy! I leave you in my partner Gordon's more-than-capable hands.

The flu bug

Or, CNN actually asks the right questions. From Digby:

[. . .]

BUSH: If you're healthy, if you're younger, don't get a flu shot this year.

SCHNEIDER: Sounds like rationing, something the president said would result from Kerry's health care plan.

[. . .]

SCHNEIDER: What President Bush warns could happen under the Kerry health care plan, shortages, rationing, that's exactly what is happening now. So the issue is whether the Kerry health care plan would solve the problem, or as Republicans charge, make it worse.

WOODRUFF: Is there any evidence yet how this issue is playing out politically? Do we see polls? Do we pick up what people are saying?

[. . .]

This flu vaccine problem puts Bush's bullshit squarely in the light of day. Even media whores with tenure like Schneider and Woodruff can't shove their heads in the sand over this one. Unlike Iraq, or the rest of Bush's fiascoes, this affects the American people directly. This is only going to get worse for President Clueless before it gets better, and it ain't gonna resolve itself by 2 Nov. Especially if people start dropping dead from influenza in any sort of numbers.

KERRY: There still aren't enough flu vaccinations. What's the president's solution? He says, don't get one if you're healthy. That sounds just like his health care plan to me, hope and pray you don't get sick.

Bush On The Bumper

Go to PST and see over 100 anti-Bush bumperstickers.

Friday, October 15, 2004


Gordon had been pontificating at Bubba's a while back about NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer getting a cabinet post in a Kerry Administration. I didn't think it was a good idea, citing the people of New York need him more. From Reactions [Registration required, sorry]:

New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer is suing insurance broker Marsh over its practice of charging insurers placement service agreements (PSAs), also known as contingent commissions or market service agreements, in return for placing business with them. The broker's share price dropped by 17% following the news.

Marsh is also accused of soliciting fictitious bids for contracts aimed at deceiving clients into believing that competition to underwrite contracts had taken place. Several insurers that benefited from the practice have also been named in the lawsuit. These include American International Group (AIG) and Ace, the chief executives of which are the father and brother respectively of Marsh & McLennan's CEO Jeffrey Greenberg.

[. . .]

Now, I happen to have a source (sound like Josh Marshall, don't I) in the insurance industry and the word is that this is a family feud between the Spitzers and the Greenbergs and Eliot's doing this to tweak their testicles. But Spitzer wouldn't be seeking indictments if he wasn't sure of himself. Greenberg has some serious resources. Besides, you know these two copped a plea for a reduced sentence provided they spill their guts:

The two AIG employees who have pleaded guilty to participating in the practice are Karen Radke, senior vice-president of excess casualty at American Home, a unit of AIG, and Jean Baptiste Tateossian, manager of the national accounts unit at American Home.

According to a spokeswoman at the New York attorney general's office, both have been charged with fraud and face up to four years in prison.

Sorry, Gord, there are too many crooks in NY to let Eliot go to Washington.

Win At All Costs

Paul Krugman in today's NYTimes on the Republican policy of vote tampering, disenfranchisement, and voter registration crimes:

The important point to realize is that these abuses aren't aberrations. They're the inevitable result of a Republican Party culture in which dirty tricks that distort the vote are rewarded, not punished. It's a culture that will persist until voters - whose will still does count, if expressed strongly enough - hold that party accountable.(my emphasis)

If I were President Kerry, I'd convene enough Grand Juries on Jan. 21st to indict every last one of the bastards and build a few hundred gallows, too.

'Sup, Oy?

Just when you think you've seen everything, up jumps the devil. Go read Hebrew Hip-Hop in, where else, the Ess Eff Chron.

Even the name Hadag Nahash embodies the group's spirit. Guy Mar, the band's DJ and one of the first hip-hop DJs in Israel, reveals that the words are a mix up of Nahag Hadash -- "new driver" -- a sign everyone must post on their cars' rear windows during the first year of licensed driving. Streett came up with the name as a form of protest.

"This is the great idea they have to reduce car accidents?" he scoffs. "People either honk at the new driver or stick to (him) or pass him on the right. So actually, posting this sign is stupid and useless. I figured that if we called ourselves Hadag Nahash and got people to put our stickers on the back of their cars, we would help create chaos and confuse the police" -- which, he adds mischievously, "is always a good thing."

Where else could you go after Klezmer, anyway? I'll go quietly.

Signs Of The Times

Check out the signs on Freeway Blogger.

Thanks again, Bubba.

By A Country Mile

Whew! I've predicted for months that Kerry is gonna win by 15%. I know that's a meaningless number, but I use it to describe the mandate that I think he will get, you know the real kind, from the American people. Not the kind Bush thinks he got, from hired judges.

At last, someone with access to a printing press agrees with me and has the guts to say so, albeit not as stridently as I have, but no one listens to me anyway. Byron Williams in Working For Change:
At the risk of looking like a fool, I am prepared to respectfully disagree with conventional wisdom to offer the following contrarian perspective: The election will not be close.

When we want to keep a president, we keep him; Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton are prime examples. Likewise, when we want him out, he's out: Hoover, Carter and Bush 41.

I don't believe we will be in court discussing hanging, dimpled or pregnant chads on Nov. 3.

Thank you, Byron

A cheap and tawdry political trick

From a real live lesbian; Genia at Sisters Talk:

[. . .]

Cheney needs to get off his high horse. It took Dick Cheney and his wife months and months to finally stand up and speak out against the proposed constitutional ban against gays and lesbians -- well after it was defeated in the Senate (a lot of help that did us!). And now, Dick and his wife are angry that Kerry made a reference to their lesbian daughter, who I might add was paid $150,000 a year to help the very duo that fought for the passing of that legislation.

Cry me a river for Mary Cheney. Mary will be fine. All she needs is a little massage at the country club and a quick vacation in Tahiti. She'll be her old self in no time.

'Nuff said.

Update: 18:45:


Bait Casting And Buttplugs

It's another slow news day. Fixer got to the good shit first, so I'm just screwing around reading different stuff. I'm almost to Field and Stream.

This one's big fun: Go read Wolcott. Scroll down and keep reading. How can you lose with shit like this:

So stay tuned, and take a tip from Bill O'Reilly: always remember to rinse buttplug before re-using--it's the considerate thing to do.

We haven't sunk to reporting on O'Reilly yet. If you want that kind of fun dirt, go here.

Check Out The FNG

Got onto a new blog through DemVet. Check it out and report back. The proper response is:"Aye, aye, sir."

Support our troops. Yeah, right.

A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday.

The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq — north of Baghdad — because their vehicles were considered "deadlined" or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook.

Sgt. McCook, a deputy at the Hinds County Detention Center, and the 16 other members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company from Rock Hill, S.C., were read their rights and moved from the military barracks into tents, Patricia McCook said her husband told her during a panicked phone call about 5 a.m. Thursday.

[. . .]

"I would not want any member of the military to be put in a dangerous situation ill-equipped," said [Rep. Bennie]Thompson, who was contacted by families. "I have had similar complaints from military families about vehicles that weren't armor-plated, or bullet-proof vests that are outdated. It concerns me because we made over $150 billion in funds available to equip our forces in Iraq. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Aviation regiments have complained of being forced to fly dangerous missions over Iraq with outdated night-vision goggles and old missile-avoidance systems. Stories of troops' families purchasing body armor because the military didn't provide them with adequate equipment have been included in recent presidential debates.

Patricia McCook said her husband, a staff sergeant, understands well the severity of disobeying orders. But he did not feel comfortable taking his soldiers on another trip.

[. . .]

From the Mississippi Clarion Ledger via Corrente.

Guys like me who are adrenaline junkies go for the 'suicide mission' stuff. Guys who signed up for the quartermaster corps ain't about that and rightly so. While the Jarheads say 'every Marine a rifleman', the Army ain't like that. You can't expect these guys to go out in machines that are unsafe. This all goes back to the top, the civilians in the Pentagon and the morons in the White House who learned all they know about making war from Hollywood movies. Our kids' lives are being squandered and they don't even have decent equipment. Bush and Co should not only be voted out of office, but tried for war crimes committed against both sides.

And by the way. When a sergeant has to put his foot down and say 'enough', what does that say about the officers?

And while we're on the Iraq clusterfuck:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday ordered a freeze on assets of the militant group led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq

He's been bedeviling our people since we went into Iraq and they're just moving to sieze his assets today? And people say Bush is the best one to fight the 'War on Terra' (© DemVet)? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Haben Sie deine Fuehrerschein?

Or, do you haff ze papers? From Xan at Corrente:

[. . .]

Well, whew! I feel so much better now. If you haven't done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about, do you?

For details on how such documents have been used in the past, google "Soviet Union" and "internal passports."

Then google or otherwise access the works of T. Jefferson, B. Franklin, P. Henry and other such radicals on the topic of of liberty, security, and people getting what they deserve. Or get used to hearing the words from anybody in a uniform, "Let me see your papers."

And you know the Right will spin this to mean the Democrats are so far left that they want a Communist state. After all, it was the Dems who wanted the 9/11 Commission, right?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Worst Presidente Mexico Ever Had

Not exactly high praise for Dubya, El Fisgon (The Peeper) says he's the worst Mexican President in history. From Mother Jones.

Mexican political culture has very defined features and the President of the United States has absorbed them all: The classical Mexican political boss usually inherits his power from his father. The typical Mexican cacique has a love for guns as well as an inclination toward violence and cruelty; he despises legality and intellectual activity, has a personal history of alcoholism and dissipation, lies systematically, and declares himself a faithful servant of God. (Did we miss anything?)

According to Mexican tradition, politicians always reach their positions thanks to a fraudulent electoral process and then surround themselves with a clique which uses its power to conduct "business" on a staggering scale while in office. The Florida electoral thievery and Halliburton's Iraq contract are classic examples of Mexican corruption.

The difference is, if Dubya was president of Mexico, someone would have stood him up against a wall and shot him by now.

Dude, ya got any change?

How's that job going? Pissed at the boss, want to get away from that secretary you used to boink, looking for a place to make more money? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. If you got a job, suck it up, if you don't, well, maybe you might want to think about community college.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of people filing an initial claim for U.S. jobless aid rose more than expected to 352,000 last week, a government report showed on Thursday.

Initial jobless claims rose 15,000 from an upwardly revised 337,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said. Economists forecast a climb to 340,000 from the originally reported 335,000 in the week ended Oct. 2.

[. . .]

The moving average was at its highest since 355,500 in the week ended Feb. 28. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Great numbers, President Livin' Large. And these folks who have lost their jobs and their unemployment benefits have run out, they'll get a job if they get a degree? Hmmm. How they gonna pay for it, Helmet Head?

That's just as brainy as having people start 'healthcare savings accounts' for catastrophic illness. Where are they gonna get that money, bitch? Yeah, President Resolute, gonna give 'em a $300 tax rebate and they can save for school and healthcare. Where will they get that money when they have to pay for shit like gold-plated prescription drugs, diamond-infused gasoline, and those annoying food/rent/heat/light/transportation things.

It's like the cast of fucking Hee Haw is running the fucking country. Howdeeee!

Will Canadian Aspirin Give You A Hard-On?

Ha! That got your attention, huh?

In light of Bush's comment, on the way to his third debate loss, that he has been thinking about getting flu vaccine from Canuckistan, this editorial in the LATimes is timely.

The Food and Drug Administration has been sending bullying letters to governors whose states try to establish safe ways of importing drugs from established pharmacies. The most recent such letter, sent to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, called his state's newly launched I-SaveRx program "illegal." If Bush actually believes that, let's see him put Blagojevich in handcuffs and have the governor do the perp walk into federal court.

They ain't got the balls, cuz that would blow the whole "Medicare Reform" up in their greedy little faces and expose the scam for the taxpayer and senior citizen rip-off it really is.

See, Fixer, we got plenty of windmills left to tilt at.

Op Truth A/V

Go to Operation Truth to hear Specialist Acosta on the Iraq War. Then scroll down and hear a former SEAL sound off on the media.

What do we do?

After John Kerry's success in the debates and the growing momentum, I allowed myself, for the first time, to speculate what could be should he actually win the elections. Naturally, my thoughts came around (I always come around eventually) to the blogs, this one and The Fixer & Gordon. I mean, I got into this whole blogging thing to convince folks that this country is fucked up and we needed a big change in leadership.

I figure TF&G will stay regardless. Gordon and my lives have been too interesting over the years and we have some good stories and wisdom to share on the automotive and motorcycle worlds.

What do we do here if our team wins is another question. Do we turn into a cheering section for the White House? Do we continue our humble attempts to spread the word of a progressive agenda to the five of you? I mean, this is a political blog whose purpose was to highlight the lies of the Bush administration and better explain the facts to anyone who might stumble across it. With a Democratic administration, would we be irrelavant?

I don't have any answers yet, and what comes next will be a decision arrived at with Gordon, but I'd welcome input from anyone who has any. I figure I'd just throw the questions out there and get Gordon's deranged little mind ticking.

I'm down wit it, my dog

The President knows black people.

Fiscal discipline . . . not!

President Financial Genius is at it again. Can you say clusterfuck? From Bloomberg:

U.S. Government Reaches $7.38 Trillion Debt Limit (Update2)

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government reached the $7.384 trillion legal limit on how much it can borrow, forcing the Bush administration to shuffle funds among accounts and prompting fresh Democratic criticism of the president's economic policies.

To avoid exceeding the cap, the Treasury said it would temporarily suspend contributions to a government pension program. The department's plan to announce new debt sales in early November won't be affected. Congress isn't expected to increase the amount of debt the Treasury can sell to fund approved government spending until sometime next month.

[. . .]

So now they're robbing Peter to pay Paul. Let's just mortgage our great-grandchildren. Fucking asshole.

Link via Atrios.

Old Wobbly Will Vote For The First Time

Utah Phillips is an old folk singer, activist, hobo, and anarchist who just happens to live in the county seat of my home county. He has no use for Kerry or Bush, but feels that things are so bad right now that he will break his long-standing oath against participating in the system and vote for the first time in his (pretty long) life. I ran across this article by Carolyn Crane in The Nation.

This is not easy for me. I'm an anarchist and I've been an anarchist many, many years.

But, we are in a desperate situation here. And it's not just us in the United States. There are people all over the world who are affected by these people who have staged a coup on our government.

No, I won't give up the street. But in this instance, at this time, at this place, I think the situation is so dire that yes, I have registered to vote and I am prepared to stand in for one of the victims of the kind of brutality that the people in Washington bring to the world.

I feel lousy about it. I don't feel good about it all. I'm simply going to do it. And if there are consequences of my act, than I harvest those consequences. That too, is anarchy.

If Utah is going to vote, things are as bad as we think they are. Read the article.

I've been a fan of this guy forever. Once known as "The Golden Voice Of The Great Southwest", which was a put-on to begin with, these days he sounds like a train wreck in a gravel pit, but his message is as clear as ever.

Please check out some of his CD's here. Buy some.

My personal favorite CD is "The Moscow Hold" which is stories rather than songs. I pretty much roll around on the floor holding my sides and spewing milk out my nose every time I listen to it.

Update: Later

Go read the words to "The NPR Talking Blues". Or play and sing. It's folk music, only takes three chords.

Just a taste....
This is radio station H O B O
Broadcasting on a vagrancy of 60 to 90 days
Signing off
For now.

The morning after

Around the Liberal Blogosphere this morning, the consensus is about the same as Gordon's below. All the snap polls show Kerry taking the debate handily, 'cept for ABC who called it almost a tie, but their polls have repeatedly been closer than the others. I like this line from Kos:

Kerry was the Zen Master.



And just one more tidbit from Kos:

Anyone notice how Bush's answer to everything was "education"? So if you are unemployed, it's because you're uneducated. If you've been discriminated against, you're uneducated. You have no healthy insurance? You're uneducated.

Interesting how A LOT OF PEOPLE GOT STUPID during Bush's presidency, huh?

We got a couple weeks. Time for Kerry to administer the coup de grace.

More poll links.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Kerry - 3, Bush - 0. Zip-point-shit, zilch, nada, bupkis.

Dubya did a lot better. He's been practicing and it showed. One thimg he should have practiced and obviously didn't was to answer the questions instead of just spewing his crap on whatever he felt like. If there were half a dozen more debates, he might come close to winning one. It was closer than the last two. Kerry had substance and style as usual. Bush threw numbers around and lied as usual.

We're coming into the final straightaway. They're tradin' paint and gassin' it. Kerry's gonna win. Bush is gonna blow. Hell, he blows now.

The cheerleader

Did you play football in college, daddy? No, I was a cheerleader. Look at the technique Bush has with the bullhorn at Yale.

Ve know vere du bist, mein liebchen

This may just be my tinfoil hat acting up again, but I got this from MSNBC.

FDA approves computer chip for humans
Devices could help doctors with stored medical information

Oh, I'm just ever so sure medical information would be the first step, and no doubt helpful. To be followed by the Location Finder, the Pain Generator, the Dopamine Reward-For-Being-A-Good-Citizen Injector, the Come-To-Papa-You-Naughty-Boy Summons Buzzer, and an A/V Feed to Ashcroft's office.

Is it just a coincidence that VeriChip's main office is in Florida? I think not.

Debate Prep

In preparation for tonight's debate, I cleaned the TV screen. Then I erected a chicken-wire screen in front of it like in a live-music shitkicker bar, as the ol' lady has taken to chucking her empty beer bottles at Dubya. Her aim's been improving lately, at least with the first ten or twelve.

The smart money (mine) is on Big John for the trifecta. I think he'll kick the chimp's ass again. I love to see him whine. I love the smell of toasted chimp in the morning.

More on vote fraud

Following up on Gordon's post this morning:

Fraudulent voter-registration forms. Duplicate absentee-ballot applications. Felons registered to vote. Uncertainty about election rules. A lawsuit and a ballot initiative that could change the way votes are counted.

[. . .]

Full story.

This election, just think 'Florida on steroids'. It's gonna be a fucking mess.

Update: 15:40:

WTF Is It Now?? has more.

Update: 19:35:

Kevin at Lean Left talks about a GOP-sponsored vote suppression scheme.


This is very important and very good news. From Ezra at Pandagon:

Earlier today, Jesse pointed us to this Financial Times article in which Germany begins, uh, questioning how firm their commitment to staying out of Iraq is. It's important enough that I want to reemphasize it and point a couple of things out,

[. . .]

As I've said before, I spent a good portion of my life living in Germany and I know the Germans. The reason they've been so uncooperative about Iraq is our Moron in Chief, not the fact of Iraq itself. How much you wanna bet that if Kerry gets elected, there'll be a brigade of German infantry or two in Iraq by springtime, maybe some French Foreign Legion too. Mark my words.

[. . .]

In an interview with the Financial Times, [German Defense Minister] Mr Struck departed from his government’s resolve not to send troops to Iraq under any circumstances, saying: “At present I rule out the deployment of German troops in Iraq. In general, however, there is no one who can predict developments in Iraq in such a way that he could make a such a binding statement [about the future].”

[. . .]

Update: 16:00:

Matt Yglesias has something to say on this too.


USA - Fearing for the safety of his staff from terrorism, Senator Mark Dayton has shut down his Washington office and moved back to Minnesota.

Dayton made the decision after seeing an intelligence report on national security presented by Majority Leader Bill Frist.Senator Dayton says the Washington office will be closed until after the election is over.

Senator Norm Coleman meanwhile says his office will stay open.Coleman's chief of staff says closing a Senate office sends the wrong message to the American people.

I give a shit that he's a Dem. He's still a fucking pussy ass bitch. Hope the Party finds someone else to support when his time is up.

Teufulfrau Cheney

Commentary on Lynne (Porn Queen) Cheney's recent order to burn (or otherwise destroy) History textbooks which contained material she didn't like. From the LATimes.

One of the marks of authoritarian regimes is their effort to stop the spread of knowledge and free speech. In May 1933, Nazi sympathizers in Berlin burned 20,000 "degenerate" books, many of them written by Jews and anti-fascists such as Albert Einstein, Bertolt Brecht and Franz Kafka. Here at home, slaveholders were so frightened by the power of the word that throughout the antebellum South legislatures made it a crime to teach slaves to read and write.

Now, Lynne Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife and the former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has placed herself in the company of dictators and slaveholders. At her urging, the Education Department destroyed more than 300,000 copies of a booklet designed to help parents and children learn more about America's past.

What Cheney really opposes is the prominent place that "social history" has assumed over the last 30 years. Known among its practitioners as "history from the bottom up," social historians argue that American history has too often been taught as the history of famous white men, political parties and industrialists

Destroying books that disagree with one's vision of history will never take us closer to truth and freedom. As President Eisenhower warned Dartmouth College graduates in June 1953: "Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed." His words remain true today.

This administration, and all those connected to it, are scared to death of this country coming "closer to truth and freedom". It's as if they wished that the clock had stopped in the 1950's, before there was much public awareness of government malfeasance and lying, not to mention the subjugation of citizens based on color or national origin. You can't turn back the clock, and why would you want to (except to get a Chevy Nomad cheap)?

Why do they hate America so much? Or is it that they think the American dream is only for rich white people?

GOP Firm Shreds Dem Voter Registrations

Got this one from Daily Kos. There is no limit to how low Republicans will go to keep that chimp and his criminal cabal in power.

Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.

Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats

On the bright side, however, this does show how desperate the bastards are. There's a brand new Nevada State Prison in Lovelock (I always liked that name. Got a ticket there once for passing a guided missile on the right) that's never been opened. Compassionate conservatism at its best. I'd love to see it populated with felonious wingnuts. They'd probably have to expand it on the second day due to overcrowding.

Update: 10:05OWT

You can see the actual video news report on KLAS-TV, Las Vegas.

Note: When the news person says "Washoe County", that means Reno. Reno is 500 miles and a world apart from Lost Wages.

Thanks to posters Brian A. and Factchecker at South Knox Bubba.


You see what's at stake when a non-profit puts its status on the line. From tgirsch at Lean Left:

For the first time in the organization's history, Planned Parenthood has endorsed a candidate for president: John Kerry. They've got two new ads highlighting this fact. But I do wonder what this means for PPH's tax-exempt status. As I understand it, their political arm, which is not non-profit, is responsible for the endorsement, but I don't think their announcements do enough to differentiate the PAC from the non-profit organization. I'm no attorney, but the law on non-profits and their related PAC arms seems fuzzy to me.

Many moons ago, the Sierra Club willingly sacrificed its tax-exempt status to endorse a presidential candidate. I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see Planned Parenthood do the same.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Bubba does New York

Bubba's been in NYC the last couple days and he's plastered pics all over his site. Go see.

Bush-Cheney Aggies?

I just saw this on "Crossfire" a few minutes ago. They were broadcasting from Arizona State in Tempe in preparation for tomorrow night's debate. Paul Begala's guest was Congressman Pastor (D-AZ). Behind them were a bunch of students holding up mostly Kerry-Edwards signs. Right in the middle, behind Rep. Pastor, was one sign that stood out: Bush-Cheney Farm & Ranch Team. BC-FART. The sign was in green and gold, which I assume to be ASU colors, not red, white, and blue. I suspect a student prank. I had to point it out to the Mrs. Subtle enough to get on TV.


Jon Carroll in the Ess Eff Chron on the "October Surprise."

The last idea mentioned by multiple humans was best expressed by this short note from Steve Fox of McKinleyville (Humboldt County): "Your column implies there will be an election in November. Surprise!"

The speculative October surprises take many forms; we have yet to declare a winner, and we'd rather there weren't one.

We shall see. When the other shoe drops, it will be obvious but "plausibly deniable".

Probably Not Coming To A Theater Near You

Only in San Francisco. A Bush tell-all from the Ess Eff Chronicle..

Safe in the underground hideout of her rescuers, sloshed on sherry and stripped to her underwear, Laura Bush promises to reveal a twisted right-wing White House conspiracy that "makes the Kennedy assassination look like a speed bump." And she does.

...spills the beans on everything from the evil neo-cons to what it means when Condi Rice "debriefs" George.

That may be more than I need to know.

Campaign poster

Stole it from WTF Is It Now?? Appropos of everything.

Blowin' In The Wind

All Marlon Brando fans will want to read about his final resting place in this article in the LATimes.
That's just Brando blowing through

A Good Send-Off. Yikes!

My Child Bride just sent me this joke by e-mail and I felt I had to share:

Cardiologist Funeral

A well-known cardiologist died and was given an elaborate funeral. A
huge heart covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the
service. Following the eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket was
rolled inside. The heart then closed, sealing the doctor in the
beautiful heart forever. At that point one of the mourners burst into
laughter. When confronted, he said "I'm sorry, I was just thinking of my
own funeral. I'm a gynecologist." At that point, the proctologist

Saudi Women

I think all the writers and journalists that I usually steal from are having Writer's Block. Maybe it's just No News Is Good News. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Following up on Fixer's post, here's some more stuff on the way Saudi women are treated from the LATimes:

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayif ibn Abdulaziz, a rock among the hard-liners, announced Sunday that women would not take part in municipal elections next year. The balloting had been billed as a major step toward breaking the shackles of autocratic rule, and there had been hints that women might get to vote.

U.S. forces and international aid groups poured lives, money and effort into helping Afghan women vote. Washington's silence regarding Saudi women is deafening.

Of course they're silent.If Bush is elected, his Supremes might reverse Woman Suffrage along with everything else they intend to repeal to plunge the Nation back into darkness.

If only Ignorant White Men have the vote, Republicans have a lock.


As a red-blooded American male, I like lesbians. I've found out that I'm a lesbian myself. Hell, I like doing the same things to a woman they do. This morning, Jesus' General figures out a way to deal with the growing problem in Oklahoma.

The Republican Senate candidate in Oklahoma warns of "rampant" lesbianism in some schools in the state in a tape released Monday by his Democratic opponent.

[. . .]

In the tape released by the campaign of Brad Carson, the Democratic candidate, Coburn says a campaign worker from Coalgate told him that "lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that's happened to us?" [via Kos]

Why couldn't I have gone to that school?

Loose Nukes

Lambert at Corrente has been hammering this since we went into Iraq.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons are disappearing from Iraq but neither Baghdad nor Washington appears to have noticed, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported on Monday.

Satellite imagery shows that entire buildings in Iraq have been dismantled. They once housed high-precision equipment that could help a government or terror group make nuclear bombs, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.

[. . .]

While some military goods that disappeared from Iraq after the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion, including missile engines, later turned up in scrap yards in the Middle East and Europe, none of the equipment or material known to the IAEA as potentially useful in making nuclear bombs has turned up yet, ElBaradei said.

The equipment -- including high-precision milling and turning machines and electron-beam welders -- and materials -- such as high-strength aluminum -- were tagged by the IAEA years ago, as part of the watchdog agency's shutdown of Iraq's nuclear program. U.N. inspectors then monitored the sites until their evacuation from Iraq just before the war.

The United States barred the inspectors' return after the war, preventing the IAEA from keeping tabs on the equipment and materials up to the present day. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

So all you people still think Bush knows what he's doing? Still think he's the best person to fight the 'War on Terra' (thanks to DemVet)? If you do, you're a fucking idiot. Remember CondoLIEzza Rice talking about mushroom clouds? Yeah, it'll happen, but thanks to President Ineptitude, not Saddam Hussein.

Monday, October 11, 2004

With us or against us

While Bush goes on about the little girls in Afghanistan who are now able to go to school, his buttboy in Saudi Arabia doesn't allow women to vote. From the BBC:

The Saudi interior minister has said women will not be allowed to vote in the country's municipal elections starting in February 2005.

In response to a question about women's getting the vote, Prince Nayef bin Sultan said simply: "I don't think that women's participation is possible."

[. . .]

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, governed according to a highly conservative interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

[. . .]

Women in the kingdom live with highly circumscribed rights. They are, for example, not permitted to travel unaccompanied by male relatives or allowed to drive.

It's amazing how resolute Bush is, yet he can hold his friends to a different standard. Bandar and the rest of the Saudi Royal Family should be under the executioner's blade for what they've done to their people, yet Bandar vacations with Bush in Crawford. I guess Bush figures that a Fundamentalist monarchy would be okay for this country. A Fundamentalist Christian monarchy that is.

Thanks to Kos for the link.

NYC Makeover

To all my friends in The Big Apple, Help Is On The Way. Check out your future at The LaLa Times.

"Don't get us wrong: We always loved New York for those cute skyscrapers," says design team head Sandra O'Sanderson, "but they're so 20th century. It just felt too juvenile, obvious and 'hey, look at me!...

Other changes included a personal makeover of Lady Liberty (tossing aside her old judicial garb in favor of bolder, more revealing attire), a new look and feel for the Empire State Building (featuring gigantic neon-lit King Kong statues), a much needed re-vamp of Wall Street (now closer to Rodeo Drive), and a dozen more freeways throughout Manhattan (to go with the flow).

This is the kind of shit I come up with when I'm jist hangin'.

A Little Humor

Well, it's a slow news day, the wifey is home in honor of The Dead White Man Who Discovered A Place To Sell Slaves, and I'm takin' it easy just jokin' around the web. Here's a couple from All Hat, No Cattle's joke page:

Post Turtle : A country doctor is suturing a laceration on the hand of an old farmer. Old man: "All you need to know about politics is that young Bush is a post turtle." Doctor: "Oh? What is a post turtle?" Old man: "When yer driving down a country road, and ya come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top? That's a post turtle. Ya know he didn't get there by himself, he don't belong there, he cain't get anything done while he's up there, and you just want to help take the poor thang down."

Stick of DuPont's Best at the bottom of the post oughta do it.

Balloon Ride : George W. Bush takes his fancy new hot air balloon out for a ride. After soaring over the country side for an hour he realizes he is lost. After spotting a young girl on a farm below he descended and shouted, "Hey little girl, can you help me? I promised a friend an hour ago I would meet him, but I don't know where I am." The young girl replies, "You are in a hot air balloon over my daddy's corn field making a racket and scaring the chickens!" Peeved, Bush says, "Your daddy must be a Democrat." "He is," says the girl, "but how did you know that?" "Well," answers Bush, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I still have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost. You aren't being much help." The girl below responds, "You must be a Republican." "I am," replies Bush, "but how did you know?" "Well," says the girl, "You're way up there full of hot air looking down on the world, you don't know where you're at and you don't know where you're going. You promised something to somebody you can't deliver on, and you were in this spot before we met but somehow your predicament is all my fault."

Well, yeah, if you're a liberal. How'd you get out of the museum, anyway?

Berchdesgarten in Autumn

When my mom used to tell me about growing up in Nazi Germany I was incredulous. "Why did people let Hitler come to power?" I would ask her. "Didn't they know he was a dictator?"

And she explained the situation in Germany at the time just before Hitler took over. A once-mighty power was brought to its knees after World War 1. Having to pay reparations to the Allies, having to absorb the entire cost of the war, the German economy was shot. Inflation ran rampant; a 50,000 Mark note would only buy a loaf of bread, and people were unemployed and starving. Hitler gave the people someone to blame for their predicament. Not the Allied nations, for publicly decrying them would have brought too much attention on Germany, a poor, defenseless Germany. Instead he blamed the Jews.

The Jews were taking over the economy, the Jews were swindling the German people of their meager savings, and a whole host of other sins. Not true, of course, but when people are desperate, they will believe anything. (Why do you think the Islamic Fundamentalists are so popular today? When people are hopless, they will follow anyone who gives them the promise of better.) Eventually, the blame was placed on anyone who was not a 'true German'. Auslander they were called, anyone who was not of pure German parentage.

As I say repeatedly, things here are very similar. George Bush and his Brownshirts have identified the people to blame. Liberals, gays, people with a world view who see America's place as a part of the whole, not the rulers of the world. No, I am not over the top when I call the Right a bunch of Fascists and Nazis.

The reason I am back on this subject once again is because I found this on AlterNet via Ornicus. An interview with Bruce J. Miller, author of Take Them At Their Words: Shocking, Amusing and Baffling Quotations from the G.O.P. and Their Friends, 1994-2004 (Academy Chicago)

[. . .]

Q:Then here you have the now governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, who was a big Republican lobbyist and made tons of money cutting deals, being a rainmaker, saying that Head Start is good for his state, "Because some of those kids would be better off sitting up on a piano bench at a whorehouse than where they are now." What's the difference between him and radio host Bob Grant? I don't know.

A:Right, that's a good point. We put quotes like that in a chapter called "Cracks in the Melting Pot," because there are a lot of cracks.

Here's one from '94 in the chapter called "Compassionate Conservatism." A talk radio host at a major station in L.A. says, "I believe that the homeless people should essentially be put to sleep. They should. I don't see any reason for them to exist. They're more of a burden than anything else. And as a matter of fact, those who can survive are the only ones worth surviving. These homeless people, for some reason, cannot survive anymore. Not only they're a burden, but it's a waste of space. It's a waste of human life, and I just don't see any other solution that's out there that works. They should just be -- the homeless should just be put out of their misery. It's as simple as that."

That's pretty startling, I think.

[. . .]

Q:I think Blumenthal goes on to say -- he quotes Richard Hofstader, "Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed than with the truth or falsity of their content." That seems to me almost a Rosetta Stone for what you have here. It's the way in which the ideas are believed, so the demagoguery can be piled on without anyone really questioning its validity because the basic assumption is that the other side is evil. So Ann Coulter can say, "Liberals have a preternatural gift for striking a position on the side of treason." Do you have any idea what she's talking about?

A:I don't really know what it means, but I know that it means that they want liberals to disappear. As Rush Limbaugh once said, "Don't kill all the liberals; we want to have some around" -- I've got the exact wording here somewhere -- "so that we can have them like fossils."

[. . .]

Q:You have quotes here even from November, December of 2003. You've got Tom DeLay accusing Kennedy of hateful speech, which has got to be the laugh-out-loud accusation of the decade, if not the century. The chairman of the RNC went after because a couple of videos among the 1,500 that people submitted to the Bush In 30 Seconds contest depicted Bush morphing into Hitler. He said that this was the most vile thing that ever occurred, though their chief radio spokesman, Rush Limbaugh, calls liberals and feminists feminazis all the time, and you never hear a word from them.

A:Or when they say things that are sort of Nazi-like, which many of them do. When Limbaugh says, for example, don't kill all the liberals so we can have some around for display, you can't help but think of the Nazis, where they wanted to kill all the Jews and then have a Jewish Museum that people could go and look at.

Q:And that was Hitler's particular interest.

A:That's what I thought of right away when I read that. There are a lot of instances where their rhetoric reminds you of Nazi rhetoric.

[. . .]

It's a long interview but there is a startling similarity between the rhetoric of Josef Goebbels and Karl Rove. If Bush is reelected, the similarities will only become more obvious. I mean, just look at how Bush's people use local law enforcement like their own Gestapo, having them arrest anyone who so much as wears a T-shirt proclaiming an opposing point of view to their rallies. Loyalty oaths? Come on. If Bush is reelected, you might not be permitted to criticize the President at all.

The long fall

From Digby:

[. . .]

If there is one question that I would love to see somebody ask any member of the Bush administration, it is how come they are fighting for their lives when less than eighteen short months ago they not only had a 90% approval rating, they had the entire US press corpse on its knees, quivering and drooling in anticipation of a mere taste of the manly presidential life force. Seems to me that's the real story of this election. How in the hell did they fall so far, so fast? [my emphasis]

A bright side, perhaps? Perhaps more Americans will come to their senses before 2 Nov.?

Draftier still, the rules

Stole this whole thing from Kos:

The President said: "Forget all this talk about the DRAFT". Here's why you shouldn't. On October 4, Tom Delay attempted to defuse fears about a Bush Draft by calling for a vote on Democrat Charlie Rangel's protest legislation to 1) expand the draft from men 18-25, to women and men 18-34 and 2)reinstate the draft immediately. Not only was the legislation defeated by a vote of 402-2, Rangel voted against his own bill--a House first. The Republicans are saying that since the Rangel legislation has been defeated, no one need worry about a re-instatement of the draft if President Bush is re-elected.

The truth is that any President can go to Congress under the Military Selective Service Act, the current registration law, and ask for re-authorization of the Combat Draft. All Congress need do is pass a 1-page "trigger resolution" and the Combat Draft for men 18-25 is back. At the same time, the Medical Draft is automatically activated for men and women, 18-44, with no deferments for health reasons.

The main worry for young people is that beyond Iraq, Bush and Cheney are following the neo-con plan that would involve the invasion of still more countries, such as Syria and Iran. In fact, Wes Clark charges in his book Winning Modern Wars, that a senior Pentagon official told him in 2001 that there was a 5-year plan to topple 7 countries: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Somalia. Assuming Libya is now off the list, that still leaves five countries.

So Bush can reinstate the draft with just a wink and a nod from Congress. And being that EVERYTHING is Repub controlled, they could do this overnight if they wanted.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Wolcott On The Debate

James Wolcott, for an uptown Manhattanian, is almost as genteel as the Fixer. This post blisters Dubya's and the pundits' ass. Scroll down to "Empty Volcano". Only about an inch, don't get lazy and miss this one.

For much of last night's debate George Bush looked like a blister about to pop.

Bush reminded me most of Pat Buchanan last night, not perhaps the best model to imitate if you're courting independents and women.

As Pauline Kael used to say after reading the reviews of certain movie critics, "It's hard to believe they were actually looking at the screen." Fortunately, the cable-news spinmeisters seem to matter less and less in the framing of the debate reaction--they've insulted the viewers' sense of reality too many times.

You know, for a guy with a ten-million-dollar pad on the 600th floor, this fella ain't too bad.

A coupla posts farther down, he comes up with this line about Dubya's rumored earpiece:

He doesn't need the assistance of an electronic feed to hear voices in his head.

I like this guy. He will be on 'Topic A with Tina Brown' tonight on CNN.

LBC On Child-rearing

The Worthwhile Christians at Landover Baptist Church have more advice on child rearing:

As a Christian parent, to find yourself raising a boy who expresses no interest in sports is not only embarrassing to you and your family, but also an insult to the Creator (God) and a public humiliation to members of your Baptist community. If you are in a position where a son you were once proud of, turns out to be a little sissy by asking you if he can quit playing sports, we pray that the helpful tips below will assist you in getting your limp-wristed little Nancy-boy back on the road to masculinity.

For even more advice on how to make your child into a Good Christian, see their massive archives on a subject near and dear to everybody's heart.

Only In California

Steve Harvey's column in today's LATimes:
Don't know if you've heard, but officials at Cal State Hayward up north want to change the school's name to Cal State East Bay, Hayward being either too obscure or too drab for their taste.

A trend could be developing in the Cal State system.

When Camarillo was chosen for another branch a couple of years ago, the school was named Cal State Channel Islands, even though the campus is not on one of those rocky little islands.

What's next? Cal State Long Beach becoming Cal State Queen Mary? Cal State Fullerton becoming Cal State Disneyland?

How about Cal State Northridge becoming Cal State Fault Line?

Afghanistan Votes

Editorial in Washington Post:

AFTER ENDURING Soviet occupation, civil war and rule by a medieval-minded Islamic militia, millions of Afghans lined up at polling stations yesterday for the first free election in their country's history. This was an extraordinary event, the more so because it happened in spite of concerted efforts by the Taliban militia and its al Qaeda allies to prevent it. Thanks in part to U.S., NATO and Afghan forces and in part to the remarkable determination of Afghan citizens to launch their democracy, the enemy campaign failed. The turnout percentage for the presidential vote may rival that of the U.S. presidential election.

Not surprisingly, polls show that Mr. Karzai is supported by most Afghans -- and so is the United States. In a poll sponsored by the Asia Foundation earlier this year, U.S. troops received a favorable rating from 67 percent of the population. A more recent survey by an Afghan human rights coalition showed that 75 percent of voters said they felt free to choose any can- didate in the elections, more than 90 percent said all women should vote and 85 percent believed the election will bring positive change to Afghanistan.

Sounds good. I believe our election will bring positive change to the United States, too. If Karzai was running against Dubya, he'd have my votes.

Lynne 'n Dickie, Sittin' In A Tree......

If you feel that you haven't thrown up enough yet on this fine day, go read this. Gag me with a fork lift.

I'm Glad She's Not Mad At Me.....

My favorite Irish redhead sounds off about Dubya. If the guy journalists had as much cojones as she does, we'd all be better off. Maureen Dowd in today's NYTimes.
We face a choice now between a president who rolled us on Iraq and a senator who got rolled by the president on Iraq.

George Bush is not giving an inch on Iraq. He's toughing out the cascade of confirmation and criticism from his own people about the hyperpower hyperbole that led to an unnecessary war and an unruly occupation. His advisers say it's better for the president to appear out of touch than apologetic. He'd rather seem delusional than deluded.

He can't admit what the Duelfer report says, that Saddam was no threat to the U.S. or any other country. The mushroom cloud was a Fig Newton of Dick Cheney's feverish imagination. That would mean W. didn't fix his father's screw-up, but he screwed up his father's fix. A big Oedipal oops.

The president may not have gotten his money's worth with the report of Charles Duelfer, the chief U.S. weapons inspector. After all, in a vain retroactive attempt to justify his hokum about W.M.D., he had 1,200 people working for 15 months - stretching our scarce supply of Arab linguists - to produce 918 pages at a cost of about a billion dollars just to find out that Saddam would have liked to have had weapons if he could have, but he couldn't, so he didn't.

But at least for his billion, the president got some earnest Introduction to American Literature analysis of the Iraqi dictator and his taste for some Western culture, noting that Saddam felt a kinship with Hemingway's protagonist Santiago, the poor Cuban fisherman (even though the rich Saddam liked to grenade-fish - toss a grenade in the water and then send in scuba divers to fetch the dead fish).

She says that like a it's a bad thing. The old DuPont lure. Saves time. Hey. whattya gonna do, fish, or fuck around?

Mr. Bush tried to pretend the devastating Duelfer report backed him up, noting after the report came out that Saddam "retained the knowledge, the materials, the means and the intent to produce weapons of mass destruction and could have passed this knowledge to our terrorist enemies."

W. should have followed his father's policy on hypotheticals. As Poppy Bush would say, when someone asked him to be speculative: "If a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its tail on the ground."

That gal is hotter than a country boy pissin' on an electric fence!

More from Abu Ghraib

Newly released documents at Intel Dump.

Balls and character

Two things that are missing from our mainstream media. You know, I have to admit I never really liked Mark Halperin of ABC News. He always seemed a bit effete and wishy-washy to me. But I have a whole new respect for him because he says what none have the balls to do.

Below is the content of his memo. I stole it from that moron Drudge.

It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high for the country and the campaigns - and our responsibilities become quite grave

I do not want to set off (sp?) and endless colloquy that none of us have time for today - nor do I want to stifle one. Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.

The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done.

Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.

We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides "equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that.

I'm sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts to complain about our coverage. This is all part of their efforts to get away with as much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.

It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest. Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right.

In this era of media intimidation by the Right, Halperin is a breath of fresh air. A man who stands on principle. I definitely have to reassess my opinion of him. Way to go, Mark.

Update: 12:30:

Jesse at Pandagon has more to say.

The spooks too

A powerful "old guard" faction in the Central Intelligence Agency has launched an unprecedented campaign to undermine the Bush administration with a battery of damaging leaks and briefings about Iraq.

The White House is incensed by the increasingly public sniping from some senior intelligence officers who, it believes, are conducting a partisan operation to swing the election on November 2 in favour of John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, and against George W Bush.

[. . .]

John Roberts, a conservative security analyst, commented bluntly: "When the President cannot trust his own CIA, the nation faces dire consequences." [my emphasis]

Relations between the White House and the agency are widely regarded as being at their lowest ebb since the hopelessly botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by CIA-sponsored exiles under President John F Kennedy in 1961.

There is anger within the CIA that it has taken all the blame for the failings of pre-war intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes.

[. . .]

In the latest clash, a senior former CIA agent revealed that Mr Cheney "blew up" when a report into links between the Saddam regime and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist behind the kidnappings and beheadings of hostages in Iraq, including the Briton Kenneth Bigley, proved inconclusive.

Other recent leaks have included the contents of classified reports drawn up by CIA analysts before the invasion of Iraq, warning the White House about the dangers of post-war instability. Specifically, the reports said that rogue Ba'athist elements might team up with terrorist groups to wage a guerrilla war.[From the Telegraph via Kos.]

[. . .]

So, let's see. The grunts are pissed, the Agency is pissed, and I'm sure there are others waiting to go public as well. It looks like Bush's plans are unraveling. If this were some Third World toilet, I'd tell you to prepare for a coup. In our case, prepare for other government employees to come forward, telling stories of how Bush & Co balled up their departments too, afraid that another 4 years of this will completely FUBAR this country.

Jarhead wisdom

I always kid the Marines that they're not too smart. I'm ex-Air Force, what do you want? But maybe they're not as dumb as they look.

"Sometimes I see no reason why we're here," Perez said. "First of all, you cannot engage as many times as we want to. Second of all, we're looking for an enemy that's not there. The only way to do it is go house to house until we get out of here."

That's from a 20 year old grunt.

"I feel we're going to be here for years and years and years," said Lance Cpl. Edward Elston, 22, of Hackettstown, N.J. "I don't think anything is going to get better; I think it's going to get a lot worse. It's going to be like a Palestinian-type deal. We're going to stop being a policing presence and then start being an occupying presence. . . . We're always going to be here. We're never going to leave." [my emphasis]

Just think about what's going on in the Holy Land, what has gone on there over the last 40 years. Do we want to keep sending our kids into that meat grinder? Read Gordon's post from the other day for more on Bush losing the Jarheads. My partner is one of the smarter Marines I've known, by the way. He'd make good Air Force material. Ha!

Link to WaPo via Corrente.

Michael Moore Stirs It Up At UNR

Michael Moore is scheduled to appear at the University of Nevada at Reno on October 13. His visit has stirred up controversy (You don't say?) amongst top business people. These guys are pretty blatant about wanting to stop him from appearing. Read the whole article at The Reno News and Review, Reno's alternative weekly.

An overweight, unshaven man in a baseball cap seems to be frightening some of the city's leading business people.

Reno businessmen Rob Winkel (Barker Coleman real estate), Len Savage (Savage and Sons plumbing supply), Rick Reviglio (Western Nevada Supply), John Madole (Associated General Contractors), and Larry Sankovich (Sankovich and Simkin accountants) spoke at a Sept. 23 Associated Students of the University of Nevada senate meeting, referring to "the likes of Michael Moore" (Sankovich) and the "naïve and misled" students (Madole) and later even offered money to the young officials to alter the event (Reviglio).

Trust me, these people are used to getting their own way. Big fish in a small pond.

Champagne said that whatever prospect of success the alumni and businesspeople had of convincing the students to cancel the event was probably eliminated by the tone they used.

"And so they came in to oppose the event, and the Senate didn't respond too well because basically they came in with an 'angry parent'-type attitude and really kind of talked down to the senators."

Kudos to those students for holdin' their mud.

Later, Reviglio told the students he went over their heads to university administrators to try to get the Moore visit cancelled and was rebuffed. That step deepened the feeling among students that the businesspeople felt they were dealing with children instead of adults.

Nevada legislative lobbyist Greg Ferraro says that when he was a student at UNR, there was an effort to cancel an appearance by Rolling Stone writer Hunter S. Thompson, but it failed. And then, Ferraro says, Thompson was so drunk that he barely completed his speech.

That quote was just for fun. I LIKE Hunter S. Thompson, drunk or sober, like that could happen!

Read our previous post about Moore's scheduled appearance in September at CSU