Saturday, October 9, 2004

Free speech

From Pandagon:

So far as I know, this is wholly without precedent. For Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose stations penetrate almost 25% of the nation's homes, to demand that its stations preempt their programming in order to run a Moonie-made, SwiftVet inspired attack piece on John Kerry right before the election is a stunning foray into partisanship, particularly for such a powerful member of the "liberal media" (and a big fuck you to the conservatives who aren't vocally shitting their pants over such obvious media bias). After all, it was Sinclair who recently made news for refusing to air the Nightline special that recited the names of solders killed in Iraq. And it's Sinclair executives who, during the 2004 political cycle, have made $68,000 in political contributions, 97% of them to Republicans. And in that figure lies the Kerry campaign's great opportunity:

[. . .]

So, we all agree this is outrageous, right? But Xan at Corrente looks at it a little differently:

[. . .]

First off, given the topic, I don't think viewership is going to be all that great. People did the great Vietnam Rehashing back during the Swiftie Liars thing and those who could be persuaded to that view already were.

Second, look at the qualifications of the filmmaker here. I will defer to John Gorenfeld, expert in all things Moonie, if I'm wrong, but my bet is that this film will be so godawful as to be laughable. So over-the-top that it will boost Kerry votes in the areas where it's seen rather than the reverse Sinclair is counting on.

Thirdly--hey, remember the rules. We are lefties, we are in favor of free speech. The solution to bad speech is more speech. We don't cut off that with which we disagree, we outshout it.

Now is the time to deploy some of that Soros money. Find a competing station in every market Sinclair operates in and buy the time to run Going Upriver* in prime time as close to Oct. 30 as can be arranged.

[. . .]

What we should do with the Soros money (sorry for spending your shit, George) is put out ads highlighting the Sinclair move and tie it to the Bush administration better than we did with the Swift Boat Liars.

Short Takes

Just a "quicky" about the debate before the Mrs. and I go shopping. From AlterNet:

Bush still cannot admit a single mistake. His most outrageous spin (aka "lie") was attempting to argue that the new Duelfer Report, showing that Iraq was disarmed, that the Iraqis were not a grave and gathering threat, and that they had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden or 9/11, proved he did right going to war. No shame.

There's more where that came from.

And one more thing

[. . .]

KERRY: The goal of the sanctions was not to remove Saddam Hussein, it was to remove the weapons of mass destruction. And, Mr. President, just yesterday the Duelfer report told you and the whole world they worked. He didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Mr. President. That was the objective. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

I was just rereading the transcript and this struck me. Kerry should hammer this more. The sanctions aginast Saddam (begun by Bush I, BTW) did work. There was no need for the war, as most of us here on the left know. But I think Kerry should use more quotes from Bush 41 against Dubya. The Dem spinmeisters should make the point that Dubya is suffering from feelings of inadequacy toward his dad. Like a child, he refused to consider his father's position on Iraq and does just the opposite to prove his independence. Both Freud and Jung would have a ball with this and the DNC and Kerry campaign should as well.

Bush went to war in Iraq to get even with his dad. Do you want a President who acts like a petulant teenager?

From now until 2 Nov., the Dems should do their best to make Bush look unstable. Shouldn't be hard, Dubya has given us enough examples.

Dubya = Little Man, Little Dick, Napoleon Complex

Debate impressions

I watched parts of it, flipping back and forth to the Yankee game (Does that make me a flip-flopper?) before I fell asleep. Gordon summed it up best in his post-debate wrap-up.

For an in depth, quote-by-quote review, check out World O'Crap's take.

And here's the transcript if you want it.

Our example

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's first direct presidential election was thrust into turmoil hours after it began Saturday, when the 15 candidates challenging interim leader Hamid Karzai said they would boycott the results, alleging fraud over the ink meant to ensure people voted only once.

[. . .]

The opposition candidates, meeting at the house of Uzbek candidate Abdul Satar Sirat, signed a petition saying they would not recognize the results of the vote, saying mix-ups with the ink used to mark voters' thumbs opened the way for widespread fraud.

"Today's election is not a legitimate election. It should be stopped and we don't recognize the results," said Sirat, who is an ex-aide to Afghanistan's last king.

[. . .]

Full story.

Yup, Bush says he's spreading democracy. Yes he is, and using Florida 2000 as an example. Did anyone really think these Afghan elections would come off without a hitch? And you know we'll have more of the same when they try it in Iraq. Not to mention our own elections in November. Think Diebold.

Thanks to Kevin Hayden at The American Street for the link.

Friday, October 8, 2004

Got Wood?

The debate tonight was a lot closer than the first one. Bush looked better than in that one, but that surely couldn't have been very hard to pull off.

Kerry "won". He didn't do the gran baile del sombrero that I requested, though. Maybe a Lambada.

I hate to admit this, but I thought Dubya got off the best line of the event.

Kerry was explaining what constitutes a "small business" under this administration. Just about anybody with non-wage income. The example he used was, "President Bush got eighty-four dollars from a lumber company he owns and that makes him a small business."

Bush got up and, with his smirk more good-natured than usual, said,"I've got a lumber company? Somebody should tell me these things."

He then looked at the audience and said, "Anybody need some wood?"

We're still gonna do the giant Busby Berkeley production number on him, though.

Tonight, Tonight......

Please, Big John, please, do a Mexican hat dance on Dubya's grille tonight in St. Looey.

If you do, the rest of us can do a Busby Berkeley number on him on November 2.

One More Reason Not To Say "I Do".....

Yesterday South Knox Bubba had a post with a link to an audio/visual clip of an air strike in Iraq. I wonder if this is the same deal?

You're gonna start now?

From AP via Josh Marshall:

U.S. Said to Develop Strategy for Iraq

It's been rumored for some time, but now we can confirm we're gonna develop one.

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has developed a formal written strategy for Iraq that envisions using a mix of diplomacy and military force to try to wrest control of dozens of key cities from insurgents before planned January elections, a senior administration official said Friday. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Shouldn't you have written something down in . . . say . . . Fall of 2002? This should read,' we're actually gonna do what everyone else in the world wanted us to do from the beginning, but we're too arrogant to care, and now we got to win reelection, so we can do what we want all over again'.

Fucking rat bastids.

Kipling on Afghanistan

Afghanistan is going to have elections any minute. This is a good thing, and the US and NATO actually helped in this effort. To honor this occasion I would like to do something completely Politically Incorrect and inappropriate, and thus the following verses from "The Young British Soldier" by Rudyard Kipling:

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier...

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

I typed that 'cuz it's a long poem, but worth reading. You can read the rest of it at your local library or maybe online somewhere. It's probably not on Ashcroft's list 'cuz the Feds ain't that poetically literate.

Hope your election goes well, Afghanistan. Shit, I hope OURS does.

Get Some, LT

From Bushwars:

Marine back from Iraq says No More Bush

Marine intelligence collection officer Andrew Borene talks about Bush's many failures in Iraq

There was a window of opportunity where the Iraqi people genuinely wanted assistance, and we could have exploited that opportunity and used it to the advantage of the Iraqi people and of the U.S. forces in Iraq.

They spent more time on the information campaign, on deceiving the American people about what was happening in Iraq, than they did on actually trying to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

Another issue I had is, in the last 12 months, $34 billion worth of heroin has been exported from Afghanistan.

And that $34 billion worth of heroin, how does it get exported? It gets exported through clandestine shipping networks, the same kind of clandestine shipping networks that one would need to smuggle weapons of mass destruction. So the bottom line for me is, America is less safe because of the way this administration has prosecuted the war on terror.

I guess I used to be what they call “Republican in name only.” Kind of a Ramstad Republican, you know--socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Unfortunately the issues in this election are just too big for that.

This guy ain't sittin' on no shitter with a magic marker. The Marine Corps is the President's Hell's Angels. When he loses them, he loses.

Turning the corner

MSNBC Breaking News

U.S. economy created only 96,000 new jobs in September - In a blow to President Bush, the U.S. economy created only 96,000 new jobs in September, fewer than economists had predicted.

So tell me again how good the economy is, Mr. Bush, you rat bastid.

Doubleplusungood Dick

This from Slate:

And now for your fun headline, only online and only briefly last night from the NYT: "CHENEY SAYS REPORT FINDING NO ILLICIT ARMS IN IRAQ JUSTIFIES WAR."

What more could I possibly add to that? Yeesh.

Scare update

Re: my post from last night.

(ABC News- October 7, 2004) — The Department of Education has sent a letter to educators across the country which will likely cause some concern about how they keep their children safe.

[. . .]

The discovery of the school plans was made in July by the military, but did not take on real urgency until after the September attack on the school children in Beslan . . . [my emphasis]

So, they found this in July. The atrocities in Beslan happened over a month ago. Yet, they wait until now to issue this alert? Jesus H. Christ, did it take you this long to make the 'obvious' connection? And what, were our kids safer in their schools over the month of September than they are now? No, folks, this has the aroma of partisan political dirty tricks.

In the spirit of Lexington & Concord

WHATCOM COUNTY - The FBI wants to know who checked out a book from a small library about Osama Bin Laden. But the library isn't giving out names, saying the government has no business knowing what their patrons read.

The library in Deming isn't much larger than a family home. Located in rural Whatcom County, it hardly seems the site for a showdown with the feds.

[. . .]

Full story.

Yes, indeed. The new Minutemen are the librarians. As the Bush administration prepares to spin book burning in a way the True Believers will swallow whole without question, the Brownshirts are already beginning a preemptive strike against free speech. Thank God the librarians are willing to fight.

Thanks to Kevin at The American Street for the link.

Thursday, October 7, 2004


This is from one of my dear friends, The King of the Jews, who lives in L.A., and who is a Republican by the way.

Once upon a time, God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael,
the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day.

He inquired of God. "Where have you been?"

God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction, and proudly pointed downwards
through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."

Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to
call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance."

"Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused.

God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example,
northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern
Europe is going to be poor. Over there I've placed a continent of
white people, and over there is a continent of black people."

"Balance in all things," God continued pointing to different

"This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and
covered in ice."

The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land mass
and said, "What's that one?"

"Ah," said God "That's Washington State, the most glorious place on
earth. There are beautiful streams, hills, and forests. The people from
Washington State are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent and humorous, and
they are going to be found traveling the world. They will be extremely
sociable, hardworking, high achieving, and they will be known throughout the
world as diplomats, and carriers of peace."

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then proclaimed, "What
about balance, God? You said there would be balance."

God smiled, "There is another Washington...wait til you see the idiots
I put there."

Bush Getting Desperate

This from Howard Fineman of MSNBCand Newsweek

As things now stand, Bush is left with only one argument and justification for having launched a war that has cost 1,000 lives, $150 billion and whatever goodwill America had won in the aftermath of 9/11. His last-resort reason: Saddam Hussein might have developed weapons that he might have given to terrorists that might attack the United States. And even that reasoning is undermined by the new report of the Iraq Survey Group, which says that Saddam's capacities, whatever they might have been, were withering, not "gathering," under the weight of inspections.

We now know to a relative certainty that there were no WMD, no relationship with al-Qaida to speak of, no close ties to other major terrorists, and that, in the view of Paul Bremer — Bush's own man in Baghdad and a fellow Yalie — the Bush administration pretty much botched the occupation.

One new poll out shows that half the American people now think the war in Iraq was a mistake; as that number rises, and it will, Bush's fortunes will decline, as they are now doing. History shows that only one challenger in modern times has been behind in the AP poll on Labor Day and come back to win. That challenger was Ronald Reagan. Now Kerry is no Reagan, not by a long shot. But if people conclude that Bush was profoundly wrong to have gone to Iraq, Kerry doesn't have to be Reagan.

Thank the powers that be.

Cheney won the veep debate on style points — he was suitably grave and grown up — but as the event fades into obscurity it's clear that John Edwards did what he had to do: Remind voters again and again that Iraq is a flat-out mess.

That was my favorite paragraph and I only put it in because it uses the words Cheney and grave in the same sentence! Thanks, Howie.

This Fineman guy ain't exactly no berserk Lefty, but I've noticed that even the mainstream media is starting to notice the obvious. Trained journalists, every one of 'em. Blinder'n bats, a lot of 'em, when it comes to the Cabal, but the scales are falling off their eyes just in time. I hope they can keep it up for a few more weeks. They still have a lot to make up for.

It's worth going to the article just to see the look on Dubya's face.

Time for your weekly scare

They will come with more regularity the closer we get to Election Day. From AP:

WASHINGTON - The Education Department has advised school leaders nationwide to watch for people spying on their buildings or buses to help detect any possibility of terrorism like the deadly school siege in Russia.

The warning follows an analysis by the FBI and the Homeland Security Department of the siege that killed nearly 340 people, many of them students, in the city of Beslan last month.

[. . .]

The safety advice is based on lessons learned from the Russia incident. But there is "no specific information indicating that there is a terrorist threat to any schools or universities in the United States," Hickok said. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

I wonder what excuse Bush will use to kick up the terror alert around Halloween? We'll probably be at Code Red by Election Day, Bush hoping that people will be too scared to leave their houses and vote. Look for a 'terrorist incident' around then too.

Besides The World Going To Hell In A Bucket, It's A Slow News Day....

Steve Harvey's column in the LATimes has this jewel:

Wherefore art thou Plungeo? I won't keep you in suspense any longer. The winner of the Fluidmaster Flush-Off in San Juan Capistrano Wednesday was Corey Rouse of Toluca Lake.

Fluidmaster, a maker of toilet-repair kits, gave Rouse $1,000 for his vocal imitation of a flushing toilet.

In a salute to Shakespeare, Rouse titled his performance: "Plungeo and Swirliet." The drama began with Swirliet, as Rouse made the sounds of what he called a "troubled flush." To the rescue came the kachunk-kachunk-kachunk sounds of "Plungeo." Problem cleared up. Well, it brought a tear to my eye.

Thanks, Steve, I needed that. Only in L.A.

Last reminder

New Yorkers!!!! Tomorrow is your last day to register to vote in the upcoming election. If you haven't, do it.

If you want to know how YOU can help get out the vote, click here.

At Last, Media Asks The Right Question

At long last, the LATimes asks the question that a lot of us have known the answer to for years.

Although neither group likes to say so, some Americans who support President Bush and many who don't support him have concluded over four years that he may not be very bright. This suspicion was not allayed by Bush's answers in the first presidential debate a week ago.

It's bad if a president is incapable of the abstract thought necessary for these mental exercises. If he is capable and isn't even trying, that's worse. It becomes a question of character. When a president sends thousands of young Americans to kill and die halfway around the world, thinking about it as hard and as honestly as possible is the least he can do.

Does it matter? Yes, it matters.

The question remains: Are the American people smart enough to see through this asshole's lies and contempt for them?

We will find out on November 2nd.

The future of the United States depends on American voters getting the answer right.

It's official. He had SQUAT.

From The Talking Dog:

Picking up from David Kay, Chief American Weapons Inspector Charles Duelfer released his long awaited report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction today, with the report concluding what yours truly told you for the better part of a year before the war of aggression against the Iraqi people in 2003: Saddam had bubkes.

[. . .]

So you read Gordon's post below, and mine from July, and you're wondering just why these poor kids ended up dead, or missing limbs, or as potted plants? Well, it's official now. It was all for nothing. Thank you, President Savior, you've put us, our children, and our grandchildren in hock for nothing. You made war and squandered our children's lives, you've enrichened your cronies and squandered our savings. And now, this winter, heating oil prices will be at record highs, regardless of your influence (or so you told us) with OPEC. And you did this not for the good of the American people, but for political gain. You should spend the rest of your life in jail.

TBI: The Invisible Injury

This is an article everybody should read. I watched "Nightline" last night and it broke my heart.

Marine Lance Cpl. Raymond Warren took shrapnel to his legs, to his stomach, to his arms and to his head, which made the TBI diagnosis easy. He lost much of his memory, and must wear a protective helmet until his skull heals. Warren could neither walk nor talk when he arrived at the Palo Alto facility in July. Now he can do both. But he has dreams of much more. "Get back to running, drive a car, stuff like that," he said. "Just the normal life of Raymond Warren."

The rehabilitation requires months of work with a skilled team. It also requires a great deal of patience. Warren, for example, needed to relearn basic tasks, from brushing his teeth to shaving. A chart reminds him what to do and when to do it.

"The majority of them, they're incontinent, both bowel and bladder, so we have to retrain them when to use the toilet, how to use the toilet," said Alvarez.

Warren is also proud of his service, proud of the Purple Heart he received. But he questions the war that did this to him.

When Warren went home to Los Angeles for a visit, the welcome from his family and girlfriend washed over him like a tonic.

Even so, he still needs 24-hour supervision. In some ways, veterans with traumatic brain injury are like toddlers again, something of a sad irony.

But there are still times when he feels sorry for himself. How does he deal with that? "I just cry."

Please read it.

LCpl. Warren is a typical tough kid Marine grunt. That's good, because he has a hard row to hoe to get back to anything resembling a normal life. Watching him struggle with day-to-day stuff we don't think twice about was heartbreaking for me. I damn near cried. While writing this too.

You can't get this from the article, but you could damn sure see it on TV: The kid was smiling, but his eyes were screaming in pain and bewilderment.

Ray Warren and maybe thousands of other are going to go through shit like that because of a lie. May God damn you to Hell, Bush.

Twofer On DeLay

They're gangin' up on poor ol' Bugsy DeLay. It's about time. From today's NYTimes:

Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, was admonished by the House ethics committee on Wednesday night for the second time in less than a week, this time for appearing to link legislative action to political donations and for sending federal officials to search for Texas legislators during a fracas over redistricting in that state.

And from today's WaPo:

The House ethics committee last night admonished Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for asking federal aviation officials to track an airplane involved in a Texas political spat, and for conduct that suggested political donations might influence legislative action.

The two-pronged rebuke marked the second time in six days -- and the third time overall -- that the ethics panel has admonished the House's second-ranking Republican. The back-to-back chastisements are highly unusual for any lawmaker, let alone one who aspires to be speaker, and some watchdog groups called on him to resign his leadership post.

"If the Republican Conference wants the American people to believe that it takes ethics seriously," she continued, "it must insist that Mr. DeLay resign his post as majority leader."

Hear, hear. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, asshole.

So what's Bugsy really been involved in? Well, if it was you or me, we would have been charged with: 1) setting up a major dope peddling deal; 2) political graft; and 3) air piracy. All Federal felonies. I'm sure RICO would have played in the first two.

I'm not sure if they could charge him with misuse of taxpayers' money. That's their lifestyle.

What does Bugsy get. Rebuked. Is that stronger than "admonished"?

We need a "three rebukes and you're out" law.

Short and sweet

[. . .]

It matters, it really does that these abominable men in charge of the war either ran out on their sworn duty or deferred themselves out of military service when it was their turn, and that they hold the lives of our men and women so cheap that they would make war for politics.

[. . .]

From DemVet. Summed up nicely.

Maybe we were wrong

With sponsorship from the National Geographic Society and New York's Wildlife Conservation Society, a team of researchers went to the Goualougo Triangle, a remote forest in the Republic of Congo.

There, they set up remote-controlled video cameras and left them running for six months.

The chimps learned to ignore them — and went on to the much more interesting business of catching termites for lunch.

[. . .]

"To see it — the chimps using tools — and then to see it so clearly, it was a window into their lives that we had thought an awful lot about," Morgan said by satellite telephone. "But to be able to see it and to describe it and understand it a little bit better was amazing."

From ABC News.

So, I guess a chimp could be President, huh? Or did they just find the intelligent side of the Bush family?

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

This Just In... From OUR George

From George Soros Correction
We do not own the domain name and are not responsible for it redirecting to We are as surprised as anyone by this turn of events. We believe that Vice President Cheney intended to direct viewers of the Vice-Presidential Debate to

What have you been up to, Fixer?

From the horse's mouth

From Raison de Fem at Corrente:

[. . .]

I, for one, will hand this article to every Deluded Christian for Bush I meet. Especially the poor ones. Like the guy I drove by today--he's got a big revival tent out front, but his house is a rusty trailer and his ride is a busted-ass old Ford 150. And he's got a monstrous BushCheney poster out front. Bet he thinks he's supporting a good, moral party. Wonder if he'd be shocked to learn that he's a "front for the money men," and right from the mouth of one who was inside the machine?

The whole enchilada can be found at Escape from the Elephant House at the DLC site.

Follow this link and read the article. It was written by former McCain and Christian Coalition operative Marshall Wittman who has been rescued from the Dark Side. He gives an insider's view of how the Republicans really work.

A Little Less Drafty

Following up on Fixer's previous post, This from the LATimes:

Seeking to dispel suggestions that the war in Iraq could lead to reinstatement of the draft, House Republicans on Tuesday hastily brought the idea to a vote — with the express intent of shooting it down.

"It's putting a rumor to rest," John Feehery, a spokesman for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), said even before the 402-2 vote to reject the bill that would have mandated two years of military or civilian service for all men and women 18 to 26 years old.

"This campaign — which started as a whisper but has since been given voice by the leading Democrats in the country today — asserts without any evidence whatsoever that there is a secret Republican plan to reinstitute the military draft," DeLay said.

DeLay? That's a little suspect right there. I bet he's suspect in a lot of nasty shit.

Some Democrats ain't buyin' it:

Democrats and activists dismissed Tuesday's House action as hollow. Rangel voted against the very bill he wrote and accused the Republicans of "prostituting" the legislative process for political gain

In response, Congress has appeared to be acting to bolster the all-volunteer force. Influential lawmakers, including Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.), have questioned the wisdom of drafting reluctant soldiers and the cost-effectiveness of training draftees for only a couple of years of service, as opposed to those who join with a career in mind.

In time of war, draftees have historically made the difference, and in time of peace (the Cold War) they filled out the military 'just in case'.

Today's politicians' main reaction to anything is "don't rock my vote", but in this instance, in this stupid 'Bush's War', they happen to be right not to reinstitute the draft.

Having said that, I am for a National Service Act, which could include the military, and would give the kids a chance to serve the country for a coupla years after High School, something like the Peace Corps. It might teach them what this country is all about, give them some pride in it, and help them to grow up a little before college or the workforce.

Show me da money II

Back in August I posted this:

At least $8.8 billion in Iraqi funds that was given to Iraqi ministries by the former U.S.-led authority there cannot be accounted for, according to a draft U.S. audit set for release soon.

The audit by the Coalition Provisional Authority's own Inspector General blasts the CPA for "not providing adequate stewardship" of at least $8.8 billion from the Development Fund for Iraq that was given to Iraqi ministries.

Today from WaPo:

As little as 27 cents of every dollar spent on Iraq's reconstruction has actually filtered down to projects benefiting Iraqis, a statistic that is prompting the State Department to fundamentally rethink the Bush administration's troubled reconstruction effort.

Between soaring security costs, corruption and mismanagement, contractors' profits, and U.S. governmental costs, reconstruction funding is being drained away, leaving little left to improve the lives of Iraqis, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies. Senior administration officials and congressional experts on the reconstruction effort called the analysis credible. One senior U.S. official familiar with reconstruction suggested as little as a quarter of the funding is reaching its intended projects.

[. . .]

But administration officials, lawmakers and think tanks say major changes are needed not only in what the reconstruction money is spent on but also how it is spent. Too much money has been filtered through major American businesses such as Halliburton Co. and Bechtel Corp. on large-scale electricity, water and oil infrastructure projects, and not nearly enough has gone to smaller, more decentralized reconstruction efforts that could be handled by Iraqis, they say. [my emphasis]

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. VP Heart Condition lied through his teeth last night. Even when he said that Hallibuton was the only firm able to handle such a big contract. My dad did business with the U.S. government, especially the DoD, and I know something about how government contracts are awarded. If the contract is large, like the how-many-billion-now-blank-check we gave Halliburton, most times it is broken up to allow more smaller places to bid on it. Several smaller places could do the same job and also keep costs down. One would be afraid to overbill because it would raise a red flag if the others didn't. This is why Halliburton can charge $45 for a case of soda or hundreds per load of laundry.

Cheney used his influence to facillitate Halliburton's billion-dollar rip off of the American people, period.

Oops, almost forgot. Thanks to Kevin at Lean Left for the link.

Tinfoil Hats....With Wings?

It's fitting that this article should appear in the Ess Eff Chronicle, given that city's reputation for nutty shit.

The U.S. Air Force is quietly spending millions of dollars investigating ways to use a radical power source -- antimatter, the eerie "mirror" of ordinary matter -- in future weapons.

"(But) I agree with them (that) we're just not at the point where we need to be doing any public interviews."

"I think," he said, "we need to get off this planet, because I'm afraid we're going to destroy it."

It's comforting to know the Air Force is all over this like a cheap suit. Things must be going swell at Area 51. At least in the bar of The Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel.

The Straight Poop

In our never-ending quest to leave no turn unstoned, to bear any burden, to rush in where angels fear to tread, in order that we may bring you the very latest breaking headlines so you can plan your day, we feel that we have at last outdone ourselves. From Yahoo!.

Kerry beats Bush ... in US marine latrines

Yahoo's heart is in the right place, no pun intended, but Marines call their bathrooms 'heads' in the finest Naval tradition. Other than that minor detail...

The US military, which traditionally avoids meddling in politics, is expressing its views about the US presidential race in the one place where a soldier can speak his mind freely: the latrines

The bathroom wall vents a surprising amount of anger over Bush, considered by many rank-and-file a great wartime president, and heaps a mountain of cynicism on the US presence in Iraq

"Here I sit cheeks a-flexin'. Bout to make another Texan," one rhyme reads, repeated in multiple stalls.

One diatribe says: "The only thing Bush cares about is a good fight to make a name for himself. If you think he really cares about us you're out of your fucking mind. If you really believe 9/11 is related to Iraq then you're just as delusional as the hippie that thinks there will ever be world peace.

"You're not fighting for America. You're fighting for fucked-up politics. End of story Cinderella."

Another pundit opines: "If you are a retard, vote Bush. He is too!"

Who said Jarheads are dumb?

Commenting on the marines' bathroom debating society, Lieutenant Josh Walton suggested the stalls had a loosening effect on the soldiers, especially the service's smaller number of Kerry supporters

In black magic marker, a soldier scrawled a maxim from Plato that rings true whoever wins the November election: "Only the dead have seen the end of war."
This a funny article. Go read it. Having said that, only the last quote got it really right.

Smooth Move, Ex-Veep

Dick Cheney apparently apparently ain't web-savvy enough to know you've gotta be pretty exact when you type in a URL. This from Chris Suellentrop at Slate:

Does Dick Cheney know that he told voters watching the vice presidential debate to go to In response to a series of attacks from John Edwards on Cheney's tenure as CEO of Halliburton, the vice president said that Kerry and Edwards "know the charges are false. They know that if you go, for example, to, an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton." One problem with Cheney's rebuttal: He misspoke. He meant to say "," rather than ".com." George Soros capitalized on Cheney's error, snatched up the URL, and now if you type "" into your browser, you get redirected to a page titled, "Why we must not re-elect President Bush: a personal message from George Soros."

That level of alertness may be why Soros is rich. I'm glad he's on our side.


Got this via Bubba reader gttim:

Gwen Ifill

The consensus: She sucked.

Early morning Veep

Well, I did my damndest to stay awake for the debate. Ha! Was sound asleep before the 8 pm Law & Order was over. Hey, 4 am comes awful early. My first read was my partner Gordon, and then I surfed around the Blogosphere looking for reaction. Here's a sample:

From A Brooklyn Bridge:

Neither did well. Edwards did less well than I expected. Sorry to be contrarian, but there it is.

Lambert at Corrente:

I'm not sure Edwards managed to wrestle Cheney into his coffin, let alone drive a stake through his heart (if any)—but I'd say Edwards held his own, and that's what counts.


Incidentally, damn did Cheney dish a lot of bullshit. Edwards was knocked off stride simply trying to keep the record straight. For that reason, the national defense stuff was probably a draw.


I predict that once the full scope of the lies Cheney told tonight are artfully dribbled out by the Democrats over the next couple of days, Cheney's respectable "draw" will turn into a rout. This isn't 2000 and the Democrats are not going to stand for this shit this time.

Lean Left:

I am honestly not sure why Tom thinks Cheney came across so much better. Edwards did have some problems, but a lot of the time the debate was "He is lying, no he is lying!" To most people, I think, that comes across as a wash without some sort of knockout blow. And I didn't see either side throw a knockout blow.


This debate was...weird. Just look at how the usual suspects are falling: Sullivan thinks Edwards owned Cheney, Kaus is calling draw, I'm calling draw, Drum's calling draw, Jesse's calling slight win for Edwards, Political Wire is calling it for Edwards, and Marshall is calling it a big win for Johnny.

I think this much can be said: Cheney was blisteringly effective when attacking on national security. He began to fall apart (some say he "checked out") when talk turned domestic . . .


I call it a tie, with maybe a slight edge for Cheney. As I predicted a few weeks ago, Cheney would draw on his vast experience and stature (and his ability as a consummate liar), and Edwards's trial experience would help but ultimately be no match.

I couldn't believe how many lies and distortions Cheney got away with. Edwards gamely tried to dispel them, and he got in some pretty good licks . . .

Josh Marshall:

Purely on the basis of this evening's debate, Cheney has a mammoth credibility problem. Again and again he said things that were simply false. In the case of the Iraq-9/11 tie, I think there's no question but that he simply lied when he claimed there was never a connection.

Tom Tomorrow:

Isn't there somebody that Dick Cheney is noticably neglecting to mention? Smirky, hunched-over fellow with shifty eyes? Ring any bells?

Democratic Veteran:

American Angina looked ready for some jump-startin' of the pacemaker on stage tonight. I thought he was going to swallow his lips when Edwards brought up's a-mazing we didn't get a "Fuck You, Senator" out of him right then and there. Decision: Edwards.

Just a Bump in the Beltway:

Unless Something Changes in the next few minutes, this is going to be a tie, at best. Edwards let Cheney set the tone, and John can't win there. Where's that litigators nose for the jugular?

Generally, most of the Liberal blogs call it a draw. I agree with Gord and Josh Marshall, that a even a draw can be considered a win for Kerry/Edwards because Little John effectively countered all of Cheney's 'experience'. Cheney was supposed to win and he didn't. Point, Kerry/Edwards.

The Force runs strong in young Skywalker.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Dick v. The Next Veep

The debate's been over for less than ten minutes. The punditocritous bloviationists are calling it for Dickie.

IF he "won", it was by lying his ass off as per usual. Monkeys still fly out of his butt, and we still haven't seen him with his shoes off. He got in a couple of zingers, but nothing important.

Cheney's performance REALLY made Bush's performance last week look terrible. He was very calm and stuck to the talking points bullshit as we expected him to.

I'M calling it a draw. That means Little John won. I thought he did just fine for being up against the anti-Christ.

Feel free to disagree. Also, feel free to kiss my lily-white ass.

Cloven Hooves & Flying Monkeys...

This is the best take on Cheney I've seen all day, and believe me, I've been looking. Wanted to get it posted before the debate. By Jon Carroll of the Ess Eff Chronicle.

It's the moment we've all been waiting for. This evening, for the first time, we may get an answer to the vital question: Dick Cheney, double- dealing plutocrat or incarnation of evil?

On the other hand, if Cheney is joined onstage by a host of evil flying monkeys and other demons, polytheism is still very much in play. Indeed, the small groups of Democrats who do worship evil flying monkeys would see the manifestation as a gesture to their side, and flock to the polls in higher- than-usual numbers.

The named spokesman insisted that his name not be used. "People get your name, they write it on a piece of paper and put it inside a wax figure and set fire to the figure -- well, you just don't want that to happen," adding that "Dick Cheney" is not the vice president's real name.

Too mucking futch. Or is it S....

I Would If I Could Reach It....

Never one to blow my own horn, I nonetheless do like to think of myself as an actual blogger, albeit a very low-level or even subterranean one, or at least a blogger-in-training (Only the finest sensei for me, eh, Master?) on some level. The Big Time Blogs, i.e. the ones that have been 'discovered' by the mainstream media just recently are the cutting edge of populist journalism. If you have really too much time on your hands, read what Pressthink has to say on the subject.

Veep Debate Buzz

There's lotsa good shit about tonight's debate flyin' around, mostly the goods on Dick.

Cheney's lies and the facts from AlterNet:

"America faces a choice on November 2nd between a strong and steadfast President and his opponent, who seems to adopt a new position every day."

FACT: Cheney opposed invading Baghdad before he supported it. In 1991, Cheney cautioned against U.S. troops advancing into the city, "telling a Seattle audience that capturing Saddam wouldn't be worth additional U.S. casualties or the risk of getting 'bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.'" [American Progress Action Fund, 9/2/04]

FACT: "An examination of Kerry's words in more than 200 speeches and statements, comments during candidate forums and answers to reporters' questions does not support the accusation ... Kerry repeatedly described Hussein as a dangerous menace who must be disarmed or eliminated, demanded that the U.S. build broad international support for any action in Iraq and insisted that the nation had better plan for the post-war peace ... taken as a whole, Kerry has offered the same message ever since talk of attacking Iraq became a national conversation more than two years ago." [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/23/04]

Etc., etc. Lots more of these.

This by Paul Krugman, a truly mild mannered and sharp brained critic of this administration and defender of democracy:

Now it's Dick Cheney's turn.

Mr. Cheney's manufactured image is as much at odds with reality as Mr. Bush's. The vice president is portrayed as a hardheaded realist, someone you can trust with difficult decisions. But his actual record is one of irresponsibility and incompetence

So here's Mr. Edwards's mission: to expose the real Dick Cheney, just as Mr. Kerry exposed the real George Bush.

This one by Charlie Cray on Alternet on questions that need to be asked about Halliburton:

Halliburton is the largest contractor in Iraq, with over $18 billion in contracts. Halliburton employees have returned with stories about $45 charges per case of soda, $100 per 15 pound bag of laundry, the ditching of $85,000 trucks because of flat tires and other minor repairs, and the use of five-star hotels in Kuwait while the troops sweat it out in tents in the desert. Criminal investigations are underway in association with kickbacks and tens of millions of dollars in excess charges for gas imported from Kuwait. Does Vice President Cheney – and the same should be asked of Senator Edwards – support legislation introduced by Sens. Durbin (D-IL) and Craig (R-ID) to establish a special committee modeled after Harry Truman's World War II committee, to root out corruption and save taxpayers the millions of dollars lost through the kind of waste, abuse and outright fraud seen at his old company?

Those'll do for now.


From Atrios:

Republicans - Too Stupid to Breathe

According to the most recent Gallup poll, 62% of Republicans think Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Is it stupid, brainwashing, or denial? How can people refuse to look at the facts? I just don't get it, but it's the way the Republicans do business. If you believe in something long enough and hard enough, it will become reality. It'd be nice if Big John coud give 'em a reality check on 3 Nov.

More Draftier, a lot

Josh Marshall:

No, no, no ... we really really don't want a draft.

House Republicans, worried about the traction of charges that President Bush will be forced to reinstitute the draft in a second term, are rushing to the floor this afternoon to vote on the Draft legislation Charlie Rangel (D-NY) introduced early last year.

No hearings, no notice, no nuthin'.

I'll post more as the situation develops.

Imagine if it passes? As Gordon says, cannon fodder and deck apes.

Update: 16:15:

Charlie Rangel:

The Republican leadership decision to place the draft legislation on the Suspension Calendar is a political maneuver to kill rumors of the President's intention to reinstate the draft after the November election.

I am voting no, because my bill deserves serious consideration. It should be subject to hearings and to expert testimony. The Administration should come and tell us about our manpower needs, about recruitment and retention, about the extent to which out troops are overextended. And they should give us their views about shared sacrifice. If they did all of those things in a serious way, they would have to admit that my bill is an option.

[. . .]

Read on.

Draftiest Yet

Colonel David Hackworth, USArmy(ret) has a lot to say about what he feels is a slam dunk, in Soldiers For The Truth.

Recently, when John Kerry brought up the possibility of a return to the draft, SecDef Donald Rumsfeld was quick to respond that Kerry was full of it.

But my take is that Kerry is right on the mark. Not only because Rummy has been flat wrong on every major military call regarding Iraq, but because this is a war that won’t be won by smart weapons or the sledgehammer firepower we see every night on the tube.

So the draft – which will include both boys and girls this time around – is a no-brainer in ‘05 and ‘06.

Israel, a country that has lived under the barrel of the Islamic terrorist gun for decades, has the most combat-experienced counterinsurgent force in the world – and boy and girl draftees are its major resource.

Count on it. We will follow their lead.

In between the quotes is a lot of red meat. This guy knows a lot more about it than I do.

Dubya, Reach Out And Touch Jerusalem

Good news from Truthout:

Influential American evangelist Pat Robertson said Monday that Evangelical Christians feel so deeply about Jerusalem, that if President George W. Bush were to "touch" Jerusalem, Evangelicals would abandon their traditional Republican leanings and form a third party.

"God says, 'I'm going to judge those who carve up the West Bank and Gaza Strip,'" Robertson said. "'It's my land and keep your hands off it.'"

Anything that would split the Republicans into two parties just tickles me plumb to death, and the Republicans could be rid of the phony nutjob Christians and the Bush they rode in on. Hop to it, Georgie, it's win-win.

Sure, I'll Take Off My Clothes, But First...

Talk about your grass roots in the Heartland! Read this article in the NYTimes.

Over the last six months a range of adult performers - from performance art-oriented burlesque dancers at Emo's to harder-core strip clubs to online pornographers - have conducted voter-registration drives.

Now we're gettin' somewhere!

But What Does It All Mean?

Wow, this debate deal won't go away. As long as there's funny shit like this by Will Durst, that's OK. Here are some samples from "What They Say/What They Mean (Debate Edition)":

WTS: "Sending mixed messages isn't good for our troops or our allies or for the Iraqi people."
WTM: "Logic complicates things."

WTS: "It's hard work. We're working hard."
WTM: "Are my two minutes up yet?"

WTS: "The administration at this time has no plans to re-institute the draft."
WTM: "This is a permanent policy that will last right up until after the election."

WTS: "The economy's turned the corner."
WTM: "Then it rolled twelve times, hit a tree and burst into flames."

WTS: "The Iraqi people hunger for democracy."
WTM: "As long as it doesn't include heretical covenants like women driving and stuff like that."

There's a bunch more like that but I had to stop somewhere. Go read it and have some fun.

Molly Does It For Me Again

I noticed this statement by the president (small 'p' on purpose) during the debate and wondered if anybody else did. Molly Ivins did. She never lets me down.

We all had our debate moments, but the one that stunned me was, "It's (Iraq is) hard work. I see it on the TV screens."

Watching it on TV -- boy, that is tough work all right. And what was the "hard work" thing about?

Isn't TV where Dubya says we've been getting our misperceptions and misinformation about his Divinely-inspired, brilliantly led, flawlessly executed, and smoothly running Crusade in Iraq?

Apparently, he feels that only White House disinformation is the correct disinformation.

I am glad the president saw "hard work" on TV. At least he now knows what it looks like. He wouldn't know "hard work" if it bit him on the ass.

She closes her article with:

Sometimes, I get the feeling the whole country is being run by Paris Hilton.

If she were, I could at least stand to look at the person who is screwing me.

Debate tonight or New Yorkers, take heed!

And I'll probably stay up to watch it. Edwards makes the Mrs. all tingly so she'll want to see him give it to Darth Vader.

Vote note:

Attention all New Yorkers. FRIDAY is the last day you can register to vote in New York State for the upcoming election. Get your ass out and get the form and register, goddammit. I'll be going through the phone book and calling each and every one of you, checking to see if you're registered. You don't wanna piss the F-man off by saying no, do you? And I hope you Jersey people beat the deadline of 9 pm last night.


I know people think this way. Hell, I lived in Ft. Worth and the panhandle of Florida, but it still amazes me. From Jesus' General:

[. . .]

Pastor Armstrong says that we shouldn't worry about things like the economy, insurance rates, or other issues (which I took to mean the Eternal War against Brown People) because God will take care of those things if we stop the homos from getting married.

The moral issues are really going to determine whether God blesses this nation, and if God blesses this nation, we don't have to worry about the economy, we don?t have to worry about what our insurance rates are going to be, we don't have to worry about all these other important issues--the bottom line are these moral issues.

[. . .]

How in Hell can we have intelligent discourse on the future of our nation when this is the thinking of the Republican base? God will take care of us, huh? Then why did he give us free will and cognitive thought? Remember, all dogs go to heaven, but God gave us free will so we could choose our Hell. God helps those who help themselves.

Addendum from The American Street:

[. . .]

The Third Right refers to a GOP where the more extreme elements of the Christian Coalition (who draw support by pressing the fear of Armageddon and Rapture around the next corner) have combined with the major capital wielders of the military industrial complex (who also thrive on the politics of fear) to create a political machine more powerful and more corrupt than any coalition in US history.

Similar in its use of propaganda and fear to the Third Reich, they are not Nazis. Ideologically driven as it is, it’s a close neighbor of Naziism, close enough to earn a sobriquet that sounds close, just to serve as a flashing yellow light that we must proceed with caution to prevent its intersection with that ruthless predescessor.

Just to clarify things. [my emphasis]

American Taliban.

Monday, October 4, 2004

Veep debate warm-up

[. . .]

The H-word is indeed likely to be heard from Edwards, as it has been on the campaign trail. Howard Wolfson, a Democratic National Committee (news - web sites) adviser, predicted a tough indictment from Edwards on Halliburton, which he called "a one-word answer to a lot of questions, and a symbol of corporate malfeasance, crony capitalism and poor planning in Iraq."

[. . .]


I hope Little John slams Cheney's ass on not just Halliburton, but the Enron mess and the California energy crisis. He should also spin it that the big East Coast Blackout of 2003 was somehow Cheney's fault too. Hey, he's a lawyer, he can do it.

Thanks to WTF Is It Now?? for the link.

It STILL is the economy, stupid

From General Glut blogging at The American Street:

The second presidential debate is coming up this Friday and will focus on economic issues. While you can expect all the usual questions about the budget, jobs, economic growth, health care, etc., I suspect one issue you won’t hear much about is the global economy and its effects on the US economy, both now and into the next four years. In particular, Bush and Kerry need to talk seriously about the so-called ‘twin deficits’ this week: both the $420bn federal budget deficit and the $600bn current account deficit. My guess is that the wonkish argument from the first debate over bilateral versus multilateral talks with North Korea won’t make a reappearance. But I’m telling you now, these deficits will have far more impact on your everyday lives than North Korean nukes ever will. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Read on.

I try to read Brad DeLong and some of the others, and I've learned shit, but the General is the only guy that I can understand the first time through. I could never get my head around economics. That's why Mrs. F handles the money. Before I met her, I spent all my money on beer and pussy.

But one thing I do know is that deficits kill the economy and burden our children and grandchildren with mounting debt. It's time we got somebody in the White House who understands that.

Betty Bowers On The Debate

Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, does it again:

Honestly, those Poles remind me of surly Jenna Bush sometimes. Invited to the party – and then gets all tetchy because there's a cash bar.

And speaking of poles, I don't think Jenna's pole-dancing for John McCain and the press once her mother had nodded off after her "bonus" Halcyon kicked in helped with our President's concentration during the debate.

This gal's a hoot. Click around and find her thoughts on the Friends Of Our Lord (FOOL) and Bringing Integrity To Christian Households (BITCH).

My tinfoil hat seems to be stuck to my head today.

Pinocchio/Borg Accused of (Gasp!) Dishonesty

This article in Spinsanity is titled "Bush/Cheney Campaign Fails Honesty Test." Duh.

He said he'd attack terrorists who threaten America. But at the debate, John Kerry said America must pass a "global test" before we protect ourselves.
The Kerry doctrine: A global test.
So we must seek permission from foreign governments before protecting America?
A global test?
So America will be forced to wait while threats gather?
President Bush believes decisions about protecting America should be made in the Oval Office, not foreign capitals.

Kerry did say that he believes a preemptive war waged by the US should pass a "global test." But in context, his meaning was quite different than what the Bush campaign is claiming: "But if and when you do it, Jim," Kerry said to Jim Lehrer of PBS, the debate moderator, "you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

Clearly, Kerry meant that a President must be able to demonstrate to the world that the preemptive war is being waged for legitimate reasons, not that foreign governments must provide "permission."

How long does your nose have to get before you can't open a door without hurting yourself? Oh, that's right, Bush has people for that. They must communicate with radios, they're so far in front of him.

I heard Sen. Kerry say that and his meaning was clear to me.

Dog Story

This is a good story by Jon Katz(?). I know it's a little long, but I'm getting "debate lights" for my tinfoil hat.

Herding was the thing Homer most loved, and there was no more companionable grazing dog. He quivered with excitement whenever we pulled into Raspberry Ridge, the farm where we herded sheep for my friend Carolyn. When I said, "Let's go get the sheep," Homer exploded with glee and rushed to the barnyard fence.

Homer licked my hand and stared at the sheep.

Sounds like me when Fixer takes me for a walk.


This was on my tinfoil hat when I got up this morning. I couldn't resist. Resistance is futile....

One day, while walking to the store, I passed by a Nursing Home. On the
front lawn were six old ladies lying naked on the grass.

I thought this was a bit unusual, but continued on my way to the store.
On my return trip, I passed the same Nursing Home with the same six oldladies lying naked on the lawn.

This time my curiosity got the best of me and I went inside to talk to the

"Do you know there are six ladies laying naked on your front lawn?"

"Yes," he said. "They are retired prostitutes, and they're having a yard

Still More Draftier

In the spirit of our ongoing thread about the condition of our military, I offer this by Cynthia Tucker.

The Bush administration is trying to quash a rumor that keeps cropping up in cyberspace. For several months now, e-mails from an unknown source have warned that President Bush plans to reinstitute the draft if he wins a second term.

Fear of conscription continues to float just below the surface because so many voters understand somewhere in the backs of their minds that Bush's military plans simply don't add up. A Pentagon advisory board recently issued a report stating the patently obvious: The U.S. military won't have enough troops in the coming years to meet its continuing war and peacekeeping obligations.

Amazingly, Bush and his aides continue to engage in a denial that borders on the pathological: The U.S. is winning the war on terror; everything is going swimmingly in Iraq; and, of course, the military doesn't need any more troops. Even more amazing, they've been able to get away with this strange cognitive dissonance. Bush's poll ratings go up even as Iraq melts down.

But I have the feeling that more and more voters are getting the sense that something about Bush's policies just doesn't add up. They might not want to think about it. If nothing else, Bush offers certainty in an uncertain world. But you've got to tamp down a lot of doubts to hang onto that certainty.

Bush'll claim he's creating jobs.

The Supremes

The election on November 2 is also going to decide who deciphers the Constitution for the next 40 years. Read this article by Ellen Goodman.

Say, aren't eight of the nine members on Medicare? Isn't John Paul Stevens 84? Didn't Chief Justice William Rehnquist just turn 80? How is Sandra Day O'Connor, a survivor of breast cancer? And Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had colon cancer? Everybody feeling OK? Anybody ready to retire to a golf course in Arizona

In speeches, the Bush-Cheney team talks in atmospheric terms about “activist judges” and “strict principles.” But on conservative talk shows and in rallies, people talk about overturning Roe v. Wade and getting prayer in the schools, about eliminating affirmative action and turning back gay rights.

Conservatives get it. As a lobbyist for the Christian Coalition said, “If you ask people in this group their top priority, the first thing they would say is changing the U.S. Supreme Court.” Activist Clint Bolick told a reporter, “This election could be a twofer -- we win the White House and the Supreme Court.

In presidential politics we're voting for four more years. In the Supreme Court, we're voting for 40 years.

Just another reason to not elect Dubya&Co. That bunch'll get a court in that'll turn back the clock to 1955. I was alive then and life was beautiful all the time. Unless you were black or pregnant and didn't want to be. The liberal court fixed a lot of problems and the next court might undo it all.

Calling all New Jersey residents!

Today is your last chance to register to vote. If you haven't, you'd better, goddammit. I'm gonna borrow Gordon's tinfoil hat and hunt you down if you don't.

On Bush

From Digby. A must. Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway is just as articulate about Bush and Iraq.

The Russians too, Virginia?

Gordon and I have been on a roll lately regarding the environment.

Looks like President Putin fell for that 'junk science' too, huh?

Practically unnoticed in all the hoopla surrounding the presidential debate this week was Vladimir Putin’s signing of the Kyoto Protocol. Although the Russian parliament must still ratify the pact, Putin’s turnaround marks a key moment in the world’s efforts to do something about global climate change, inarguably the most fundamental environmental issue of our time.

[. . .]

From Kos.


I found these under my tinfoil hat after a refreshing nap:

The year is 2029-----

Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia formally known as California. White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.

Baby conceived naturally . . . scientists stumped.

Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the American Territory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).

Iraq still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

France pleads for global help after being overtaken by Jamaica.

Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.

George Z. Bush says he will run for President in

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.

Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.

Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut. (hey! I just sent it. I didn't write it!)

Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.

Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.

Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.

Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.

Capitol Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with congressman.

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.

Florida Democrats still don't know how to use a voting machine

Sunday, October 3, 2004


An article in the NYTimes on Oct. 1 describes how the military is lowering its recruiting standards to help compensate for the current shortfall in applicants for enlistment.

Army officials said Thursday that for the recruiting year that started this week, at least 90 percent of new recruits should be high school graduates, compared with 92 percent last year. And up to 2 percent of recruits can be enlisted even if they scored in the lowest acceptable range on a service aptitude test, compared with 1.5 percent last year.

In 1966, during the Vietnam War, the DoD came up with Project 100,000 in which standards were relaxed to allow Low Aptitude CatIV recruits, those in the 10-30th percentile on the Armed Forces Qualification Test, to enter the service. It was an attempt to elevate individuals out of their circumstances in the War on Poverty. From 1966 to 1971, 456,000 people in CatIV were enlisted or drafted. A high percentage of these went to Combat Arms such as Infantry, Gun Crews, or Seamen. Cannon fodder and deck apes, meaning no offense to my esteemed webfooted brethren.

Read the report to find out how this project, and the servicemen involved, made out.

Since the end of the draft, standards have been high for the all-volunteer force and only the cream of the crop of applicants were accepted. Even the infantrymen are smart. We have advanced to the point where the grasp of technology and its use have superceded the need for cannon fodder. This is a good thing.

It's changing due to the mess that Bush has created in Iraq. The smart kids ain't going for it, and they have to reduce the standards to allow the increased need for warm bodies to be met. By lowering standards incrementally, the military is starting out slower this time. Project 100,000 was sort of all at once. In an effort to forestall a draft, they will lower standards a little bit at a time to generate enlistments, just as they did in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

Reinstitution of the draft will be political suicide for whomever is on the throne at the time. Bush hopes he can forestall it until his term expires in 2009 and screw whomever comes after. Given his inability to correct the situation in Iraq, this is probably his wisest course.

I think that President Kerry is smart enough that the draft won't have to happen and that's the way I'm betting.

Personally, I will defend this country with a slingshot if I have to, though preferably with an M-14 and bayonet. I would go to Afghanistan in a heartbeat, but not to Iraq, and I don't blame the kids a bit for not signing up.

Bush the environmentalist

Gordon had a post the other day about the effects of global warming on the native Alaskan village of Shishmaref. Following this, I found a link to Bush's environmental record since he took office. Unbelievable.

Update: 15:20:

Bubba has more on global warming and the TVA.

An Expert's View on Iraq

Thomas Friedman is an actual expert on the Middle East. Excerpts from his Op-Ed in today's NYTimes:
Sorry, I've been away writing a book. I'm back, so let's get right down to business: We're in trouble in Iraq.

What happened? The Bush team got its doctrines mixed up: it applied the Powell Doctrine to the campaign against John Kerry - "overwhelming force" without mercy, based on a strategy of shock and awe at the Republican convention, followed by a propaganda blitz that got its message across in every possible way, including through distortion. If only the Bush team had gone after the remnants of Saddam's army in the Sunni Triangle with the brutal efficiency it has gone after Senator Kerry in the Iowa-Ohio-Michigan triangle. If only the Bush team had spoken to Iraqis and Arabs with as clear a message as it did to the Republican base. No, alas, while the Bush people applied the Powell Doctrine in the Midwest, they applied the Rumsfeld Doctrine in the Middle East. And the Rumsfeld Doctrine is: "Just enough troops to lose." Donald Rumsfeld tried to prove that a small, mobile army was all that was needed to topple Saddam, without realizing that such a limited force could never stabilize Iraq. He never thought it would have to. He thought his Iraqi pals would do it. He was wrong.

Friends, I return to where I started: We're in trouble in Iraq. We have to immediately get the Democratic and Republican politics out of this policy and start honestly reassessing what is the maximum we can still achieve there and what every American is going to have to do to make it happen. If we do not, we'll end up not only with a fractured Iraq, but with a fractured America, at war with itself and isolated from the world.

I may be just a little biased, but the only chance I see to get out of this Mess-O-Potamia at all will begin with President John F. Kerry.

Read the article.


From Kos:

With that ominous line, the NY Times WIR opens an article about another subject we know all about, and the public is catching up on... the Draft. Saying, 'yeah, I already knew that' doesn't begin to scratch the surface of the very real angst out there with voters. The 5% of political junkies have been talking about it for months, but now it's conversation everywhere.

Well, I wrote about it here and here.

And in my search, I came across this post, which I wrote this past Memorial Day.

Why I Bitch

You're probably saying to yourself. "Boy, the old Fixer-man is a bigger idiot than usual, bitching about this Memorial Day thing, and Americans forgetting what this weekend is all about."

You know why? Because I dodged bullets for four years in Asia, drug interdiction in South America, and killing a few Cuban Communists in Grenada. I've lost friends over the years, guys (and gals, you politically-correct busybodies) who had the same things to live for that I did, families, hopes and dreams to make something of themselves and a better life for their kids. In short, I hate war.

I am a child of war, but call me the silver lining in the dark cloud of World War II. My mom was a German Army nurse during that war, and my dad was a British paratrooper. They met in Jamaica, Queens in 1953, after dad came back from the Korean Conflict. Yes, the poor bastard moved to the U.S. after WWII and was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950. They met and married and gave birth to one child, yours truly. In my family, on both sides, going back five hundred years, military service was understood.

I had to be coaxed, at age 17, to enlist (It was either enlist or serve 6 months on a Grand Theft Auto charge). And I'm grateful that my dad convinced the judge to give me a chance to redeem myself. I served eight years total (6 regular AF, 2 active reserve), and I'm proud of the part I played in protecting the country. I'd go again if they'd take this broken down old carcass, and there are many who would also go to protect this country without question. Old bastards like me who love America and would gladly lay down our lives to protect what we have. There are many like me, a couple million of them serving on active duty right now.

They go, without question, to where our leaders send them. They lay their lives on the line every day to do what our leaders say is a noble job. They will do it again and again because they made the commitment, officers and enlisted, generals to privates, they all made their commitments to the noble ideals of the United States of America. It is our leaders' responsiblity to assure the correctness of their sacrifice. People with such commitment do not deserve to have their lives wasted by those who have never looked into the business end of an enemy rifle. Unfortunately, I feel the lives of our boys and girls are being wasted in Iraq, and that pisses me off.

We have a bunch of guys in Washington who've never served in the military. Yes, I include President No Nuts because the only reason he went into the Guard was that there was no other way out. To these guys, the lives of our military personnel are just numbers on a ledger sheet, not exeptionally trained, valuable resources who should not be squandered in pursuit of imperialistic dreams.

Solders hate war. Anybody who enjoys killing, even in wartime, is a psychopath, period. Ask any general if he wants to put his people in harm's way. he'll tell you that a reality of war is that he has to, but he doesn't want to, and he doesn't want to do it frivolously. The glib frivoloity with which the Bush Administration went to war in Iraq is criminal, and the lack of planning for the aftermath is treasonous. I'm sorry, to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who have perished in Iraq, to the families who will have an empty chair at future holiday gatherings, to all those who have suffered because of this fiasco, but 800 lives have been lost for NOTHING. You have not sacrificed your lives to protect this great nation and the Constitution, you were murdered by people who only see your lives as a means to an end. Hopefully, some time soon, they will be forced to pay.

Yes, I am one pissed off motherfucker this Memorial Day. 800 of my brothers and sisters are dead, close to 5000 wounded, for NOTHING. They say Bush went to war to avenge his daddy. Well, I want vengeance for our honored dead this past year. Getting Bush out in November is not good enough. I want him in jail.

Well now there are over a thousand dead and the draft might very well be a real possibility. Tell me again how staying the course is the right thing to do.

A job for Gordon

Hey Gord, I came across this:

Any Reno, Nevada bloggers want to volunteer to drive the Pants On Fire mobile? (link is a Quicktime video)

You need a clean driving record to qualify. It just visited Oregon and is headed your way. Anyone anywhere can also apply, though I’d say it’d be put to best use in the time remaining in swing states.

Jerry Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s is behind the promo and its site that emphasizes the Pinocchio Presidency’s litany of lies.

From The American Street.

And so it begins . . .

From The Agonist:

Thousands of Floridians who think they're registered to vote could be turned away at the polls Nov. 2 because their voter registration forms weren't completely filled out, officials said Friday.

Secretary of State Glenda Hood said some groups registering voters are turning in application forms with information missing, such as unchecked boxes asking whether applicants are citizens, mentally incompetent or felons.

A group that's been seeking copies of the incomplete applications in an effort to help people complete them said Hood's office, citing state law, has begun blocking them.

"Clearly, way over the number that could determine the election" won't be able to vote, said Judith Browne, a lawyer with the Washington-based Advancement Project, which promotes multiracial participation in voting. She was referring to President Bush's disputed 537-vote victory in Florida.

[. . .]

Just FYI, Glenda Hood is 2004's version of Katherine Harris, the Florida Secretary of State who facilitated the Crawford Putsch of 2000. This is the Republicans' ace in the hole, key Republicans in swing states who are in a position to influence the vote count. And don't forget Diebold, the corporation who makes most of the digital voting machines and a big Bush/Cheney campaign contributor. Remember, Karl Rove told Sean Hannity that he had some 'surprises' for Kerry.

Update: 13:55:

Pink Bunny of Battle: Return to Sender.

No more Land’s End shirts for this rabbit. [1]

Some Lands’ End employees said Tuesday they were hoodwinked into attending a speech by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the company’s Dodgeville plant.

Viewers said the company told them Giuliani’s speech would be motivational in nature. Instead it was a political speach supporting President George W. Bush for reelection.

[. . .]

They'll do anything to win, including attempting to brainwash their contributors' employees.


Don't ask why I'm up this early after partying my ass off last night. Well . . . the dog had to go. So, while I'm up, I found this over at Kos:


The results of wrong war, wrong time, wrong place:

  • Iraqi civilian fatalities: Uncertain, but at least 12,976

  • Iraqi military fatalities: Uncertain, several thousand
  • Coalition fatalities: 1198

  • U.S. fatalities: 1060

  • U.S. fatalities in September: 80 (tied for 3rd highest month and highest since May)

  • U.S. wounded (according to Dept. of Defense): 703

  • Number of Weapons of Mass Destruction found: Zero

  • [. . .]

    And we should stay the course? I don't give a shit if God came down and told Bush to do this personally, it's still wrong.

    Results revisited. From Newsweek:

    Oct. 2 - With a solid majority of voters concluding that John Kerry outperformed George W. Bush in the first presidential debate on Thursday, the president’s lead in the race for the White House has vanished, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. In the first national telephone poll using a fresh sample, NEWSWEEK found the race now statistically tied among all registered voters, 47 percent of whom say they would vote for Kerry and 45 percent for George W. Bush in a three-way race.

    [. . .]

    These are results we like to see.