Saturday, October 23, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

I'm really concerned that sblogger is going to fail—or do I mean "fail," since these are the guys that pointed to Tech Central Station during the winger triumphalism over the superscript fiasco.

Alert readers: Can any of you think of a backup plan for election day? For example, a server that could take our rather small load?

Lies Lies Lies Yeah Part 1,073 

I'd be curious whether, in reporting the Bush campaign's current denials about what happened at Tora Bora, any major news outlet has made reference to their own earlier reporting which makes it clear that, as nearly as such things can be known, what the president is saying is simply not true.

Indeed, not only is what the president's campaign is saying not true, but as the April 2002 WaPo piece, discussed here, makes clear, what Kerry is charging is backed up to the letter by the administration's own formal and informal after-action analyses and reports about the mistakes made at Tora Bora.

It's really that clear cut.
(via Josh Marshall)
The closest thing I've been able to find to what Josh is asking for is this from CNN:

Kerry was referring to the widely held belief among U.S. military and intelligence officials that bin Laden was in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan in December 2001, when U.S. and Afghan troops were assaulting the area. U.S. forces did largely rely on Afghan forces to go after him, but there is no definitive proof that the al Qaeda leader was really there.
Um, why don't you tell us what "definitive proof" you have backing the fairy tale that W, Dick and the boys are peddling right now? Shouldn't the president of the United States be, um, telling the truth?

In short, once again it's the same old cowardly "he said/she said" bullshit from the media.

For goodness sakes, I'll ask it once again: when will you lily-livered cowards in the media grow some balls?

Republican advisor: Separation of church and state a "myth" 

Well, these are the guys who should know about myths:

The Republican National Committee is employing the services of a Texas-based activist who believes the United States is a “Christian nation” and the separation of church and state is “a myth.”

David Barton, the founder of an organization called Wallbuilders, was hired by the RNC as a political consultant and has been traveling the country for a year--speaking at about 300 RNC-sponsored lunches for local evangelical pastors. During the lunches, he presents a slide show of American monuments, discusses his view of America’s Christian heritage -- and tells pastors that they are allowed to endorse political candidates from the pulpit.

Barton, who is also the vice-chairman of the Texas GOP, told Beliefnet this week that the
pastors' meetings have been kept “below the radar.... We work our tails off to stay out of the news.” But at this point, he says, with voter registration ended in most states and early voting already under way, staying quiet about the activity “doesn’t matter.”

And the Republicans talk about "shadowy groups." Sounds like a very bad case of WPS (Winger Projection Syndrome) to me....

Barton’s main contention is that the separation of church and state was never intended by the nation’s founders; he says it was created by the Supreme Court in the 20th Century. ... Barton is also on the board of advisers of the Providence Foundation, a Christian Reconstructionist group that advocates America as a Christian nation. (Click here for an explanation of Reconstructionism.)
(Belief.net via Oliver Willis)

Well, I guess we know who's locked up the JeeboFascist vote, don't we?

I'm George Bush, and I Approve This Torture 

Good editorial in the WaPo I missed entirely a week ago pointing out a subject that has been mysteriously missing from the campaigns--Abu Ghraib, and the larger issue of trashing the Geneva Conventions, and accountability. As they note:
Mr. Bush is obviously eager to avoid the subject of prisoner detentions. Maybe that's because his public stance on what happened at Abu Ghraib, and what caused it, is entirely at odds with the facts brought out by official investigations. When he last spoke of the matter, months ago, the president maintained that the abuse was the responsibility of a few low-ranking soldiers working the night shift. He has not acknowledged that scores of soldiers have now been implicated for crimes including homicide, or that a Pentagon-appointed panel has found responsibility at senior levels of the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the White House. Nor has he held anyone in his administration accountable.
Why bring this up now? Well, aside from "why the hell NOT?" there's the minor matter that this whole filthy story isn't at all over and done with yet:
(via Boston Globe)
Government documents made public Thursday provide fresh details about allegations of abuse by guards at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and other detention facilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The latest documents were released after a federal court directed the Defense Department and other government agencies to comply with the ACLU's request under the Freedom of Information Act for more details about alleged prisoner torture and abuse.

''After more than a year of stonewalling, the government has finally released some documents, though many are heavily redacted," said Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff lawyer. ''Unfortunately, the government continues to withhold records that would show who was ultimately responsible for the systemic abuse of detainees."

A preliminary review of some of the newly released material showed one case in which three US soldiers were each ordered detained for a month, fined up to $750, and reduced in rank for an incident in October 2003 in which a female Iraqi prisoner was partially stripped, abused, and threatened with more physical harm.
I'd like to see flyers handed out in the street, full-page newspaper ads, a TV bliz, flyers tacked up to power poles and pasted to buildings, hell even biplanes towing banners asking about this. They could use the picture of the hooded guy on the box with the wires, with the message "A Vote For Bush Means You Approve of This."

Supremes: Ralph "I'm a Republican Tool" Nader off Pennsylvania ballot 

God, that was hard. Like scraping, um, gum off your shoe:

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to place independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the ballot in Pennsylvania, leaving in place a state court finding of flawed signatures on voter petition sheets.
(via WaPo)

Now—turnout, turnout, turnout!

Excellent interview with Kerry in Rolling Stone 

Go read.

What a breath of fresh air, to be talked to like a normal human being. Kerry sounds great—relaxed, calm, thoughtful, in command. No bullying, no grandiosity, no code words for the base. What a relief a Kerry presidency is going to be. I thought this quote was good, though it's all good:

Did you get angry at Bush personally?

[KERRY] Look, I know politics is tough, and I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what they do to me. But I do worry, and I am angry, about what they do to the American people. That's what this race is about. It's not about me. I can take it -- I don't care. I've been in worse things. I was on those boats -- I got shot at. I can handle it.

What I worry about is that they lie to America. What I worry about is that they tell the middle class, "We're giving you a tax cut," and the top one percent of America gets more than eighty percent of the rest of the people. I worry that they are unwilling to do anything about the 5 million Americans who have lost their health care.

I worry that there are twenty-eight states in America where you can't go fishing and eat the fish, because of the quality of the water. I worry that they've gotten us into a war where young kids are dying, and they haven't done what's responsible to protect them. That's what I worry about. The rest of it is small pickings.

You don't get angry when Bush outright lies about you?

No, I don't get angry at it. I think it's sort of pathetic.

Were you surprised by how the Swift-boat thing blew up?

I was surprised that the media, even when they knew it was lies, continued to cover it and treat it as entertainment.

Looking back, do you think you handled it correctly?

I think so. Look, when people hold up something that's a complete and total lie, it takes a few days to show people and convince them. We did. They've been completely discredited.

Kerry is saying very tough stuff, in a very quiet way. More like this.

Be sure to DOUBLECHECK YOUR BALLOT before you cast your vote 

A cautionary tale..

Free tickets to see Kerry and The Big Dog in Philly on Monday 

Yes, I was walking through town on my way to the Reading Terminal, and—I know Republicans will find this almost impossible to believe—a young Democratic volunteer just gave me a ticket.

I didn't have to sign a loyalty oath, or anything....

GOTV: Dispatch from the Trenches 

Standing my watch on the ramparts yesterday (yes, I know trenches are by definition underground whilst ramparts are way up in the air. It's a ploy to confuse enemy spotters as to my actual whereabouts and screw up their targeting computers) there was a definite air of calm-before-the-storm.

Okay, actually it was just calm. A few people dropped in...one guy had just traded in his old truck for a new one and needed a new Kerry/Edwards sticker for the bumper. Couple of people came by for yard signs, happily for their neighbors who wanted to add to the classiness of the area rather than to replace ones which had been stolen. Supplies are short and we're living off midnight requisitions from Dem HQ's in surrounding counties for yard signs and stickers, but I keep reminding myself that it's better for demand to exceed supply than the reverse.

One fella, older guy, came in the door and handed me an unlabeled videotape. I was about to direct him to the video store a couple blocks down when he said "You seen '9/11' yet?" Seems he has both a DVD and a VCR and has been dubbing Michael Moore from the former to the latter and handing them out to folks who don't have DVD players yet. Sure wish I'd though of this myself, and earlier. Guerilla warriors come in a glorious variety of guises.

My own contribution to the agitprop front were some refrigerator magnets. We got these to put business cards on years ago, the magnets are the same size with a peel-off label on one side you stick the cards to. Had some old pre-perforated business card blanks, too, so I printed them up with this on it:

Just that, centered. No text, no comment. People would take them, and glance, and start to look away but then their eyes would get stuck and you could see a thought balloon forming overhead reading "WTF?"

Then they'd figure it out, and responses ranged from big ol' grins to outright howling laughs. One lady took three, explaining that she's an LPN who works at a local nursing home, goes to school for her RN in a nearby town, and does training shifts at the local hospital. (Ah, the energy of the young.) Thus does subversion work itself into unexpected places.

You Gonna Scare Me Wit Puppies?? 

I don' tink so.

Gen. Nathaniel Lyon renders his opinion on the new "woof woof" RNC attack ad. Aide-de-camp A. J. Jackson concurs while conserving strength for the next battle.

Saturday cat blogging, since Atrios didn't put any up yesterday.

Election fraud 2004: Here's how you can volunteer to protect the polls 


Iraq clusterfuck: 9/11 Commission member—Bin Laden location known, funded by Saudis 

Well, well. So why can't we go get him? Iraq. That's opportunity cost. Read on:

CLAREMONT -- The Pentagon knows exactly where Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan, it just can't get to him, John Lehman, a member of the 9-11 commission, said Thursday.

Bin Laden is living in South Waziristan in the Baluchistan Mountains of the Baluchistan region, Lehman told The San Bernardino Sun after delivering a keynote speech on terrorism at Pitzer College in Claremont.

In the exclusive interview, Lehman noted, "There is an American presence in the area, but we can't just send in troops. If we did, we could have another Vietnam, and the United States cannot afford that right now."

"We'll get (bin Laden) eventually, just not now," he said. Asked how bin Laden was surviving, Lehman said he was getting money from outside countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and high-ranking ministers inside Saudi Arabia.
(via Claremont Daily News)

Gee, I thought Saudi Arabia was our ally? And Bush was really good friends with them? So how come the Saudis are still funding Bin Laden?

And why didn't we capture Bin Laden when we had him cornered at Tora Bora? (The increasingly shrill Josh Marshall tracks the Bush revisionism on Tora Bora) The answer: That's one of the opportunity costs (back)of Iraq:

Twenty months after the invasion of Iraq, the question of whether Americans are safer from terrorism because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power hinges on subjective judgment about might-have-beens. What is not in dispute, among scores of career national security officials and political appointees interviewed periodically since 2002, is that Bush's choice had opportunity costs -- first in postwar Afghanistan, then elsewhere. Iraq, they said, became a voracious consumer of time, money, personnel and diplomatic capital -- as well as the scarce tools of covert force on which Bush prefers to rely -- that until then were engaged against al Qaeda and its sources of direct support.
(via WaPo)

The test of a CEO, as any shareholder knows, is not whether the CEO made good choices with the shareholders money. The test is whether the CEO made the best use of it. The difference between good (granting the Iraq war to be good) and the best (really nailing AQ) is the opportunity cost. Bush traded Iraq for nailing Al Quaeda. Are you feeling safer? I didn't think so.

NOTE Bush already missed Zarqui—another opportunity cost. Now, apparently, Bush has sent the Marines into Fallujah to get him. Not "too little, too late," but "too many lives, too late." Typical

Election fraud 2004: Republicans facing charges in South Dakota 

Yes, the same people who were promoted to work in Ohio!

Five people face charges in connection with absentee ballot applications that were filled out on some South Dakota college campuses, [Republican] Attorney General Larry Long and other officials said Friday.

They were identified as Joseph Alick, 28; Nathan Mertz, 20; Todd Schlekeway, 27; Rachel Hoff, 22; and Eric Fahrendorf, 24. Fahrendorf had been listed as a Republican Party employee. Officials said the rest were volunteers.

All had resigned earlier from a GOP get-out-the-vote effort after questions arose as to whether some absentee ballot requests were signed by the student in the presence of the notary public whose seal was affixed to the request.

"I don't think we found that it was policy, what we found was sloppy supervision frankly," Long said.

(via South Dakota Argus Leader)

Hmmm.... These days, you really have to recognize Republican "handwriting" (as LeCarre would call it). Does "sloppy supervision" remind you of anything? I'd say "plausible deniability," where the lower-ranking take the fall for the higher-ranking—as at Abu Ghraib. For the Republicans, it's all the same war, and they use the same tactics wherever they are.

Gaslight Watch: No evidence of pre-election plot 

Of course, faith is the evidence of things not seen....

after hundreds of interviews, scores of immigration arrests and other preventive measures, law enforcement officials say they have been unable to detect signs of an ongoing plot in the United States, nor have they identified specific targets, dates or methods that might be used in one.

"We've not unearthed anything that would add any credence to talk of an election-related attack,"
(via WaPo)

Possibilities, possibilities....

Possibility 1. A vigilant administration repelled the threat? Possible. But if it happened, it was most likely by chance. Here's the system the FBI is using:

The FBI's approach depends on "tripwires" to detect suspicious activity. The system, implemented last year and based on the behavior of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, generates alerts if a known subject buys an airline ticket, rents a car or applies for a driver's license -- in his or her own name.

In their own name. Um... And why would the next attack follow the same pattern as the last one? That's just what AQ doesn't do! Fighting the last war...

Possibility 2. Bush got gamed by bad information again; a second Chalabi told Him what he wants to hear. More likely, since that's a known Bush character flaw which the country's enemies are fully capable of exploiting:
Even as the government intensified its campaign, authorities discovered that one of the CIA sources they had relied on had fabricated his story, according to several counterterrorism officials. One intelligence official said the revelation "caused us to go back to square one and reassess where the plotting really is."

Other officials, however, played down the source's importance. "It's thought that what he had said was pure misinformation" designed to mislead the government, a different intelligence official said. But, the official added, that did not increase anyone's comfort level, because there are many other sources indicating that al Qaeda wants to launch an attack.

Possibility 3. If AQ attacked Spain to win political advantage, doesn't it follow that they have not attacked the US, becuase that is to their political advantage? After all, Bush is their most effective recruiter.

Possibility 4. There is no threat. After all, the entire Homeland Security apparat is out on the campaign trail in swing states (Condi, Ridge). Don't they have jobs to do back in DC? Oh, wait.... Electing Bush is their job... What was I thinking.

Possibility 5. All of the above....

Friday, October 22, 2004

Election fraud 2004: And so it begins in Ohio 

I guess know we know why Inerrant Boy hasn't showed his face in Ohio for three weeks (here)—since he knows he can't win, he's going to rely on Republican election officials to steal it for Him:

Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots.

Ohio Democrats were struggling to match the Republicans' move, which had been rumored for weeks. Both parties had until 4 p.m. to register people they had recruited to monitor the election. Republicans said they had enlisted 3,600 by the deadline, many in heavily Democratic urban neighborhoods of Cleveland, Dayton and other cities. Each recruit was to be paid $100.

The Democrats, who tend to benefit more than Republicans from large turnouts, said they had registered more than 2,000 recruits to try to protect legitimate voters rather than weed out ineligible ones.

"Our concern is Republicans will be challenging in large numbers for the purpose of slowing down voting, because challenging takes a long time,'' said David Sullivan, the voter protection coordinator for the national Democratic Party in Ohio. "And creating long lines causes our people to leave without voting.''

Among the main swing states, only Ohio, Florida and Missouri require the parties to register poll watchers before Election Day; elsewhere, party observers can register on the day itself. In several states officials have alerted poll workers to expect a heightened interest by the parties in challenging voters. In some cases, poll workers, many of them elderly, have been given training to deal with any abusive challenging.

The recruits will be trained next week, said Mr. Trakas, who added that he had not decided whether to open the training sessions to the public or reporters.

The preparations for widespread challenging this year have alarmed some election officials.

"This creates chaos and confusion in the polling site," said R. Doug Lewis, executive director of the Election Center, an international association of election officials. But, he said, "most courts say it's permissible by state law and therefore can't be denied."

In Ohio, Republicans sought to play down any concern that their challenging would be disruptive.
(via at-least-they're-covering-it-now-the-New-York-Times)

I'm sure that Republicans gathered around polling places will never seek to intimidate Democratic voters!

I guess I know what I'm going to be doing on November 2....

Operation Pull Starts to Unravel 

Like a cheap sweater. He...can..run..but...he...can...not...hide...

via Knight-Ridder (Philly Inquirer) under the remarkably subdued headline "Bush's volunteer service disputed":

Knight Ridder Newspapers

HOUSTON - President Bush often has cited his work in 1973 with a now-defunct inner-city program for troubled teens as the source for his belief in "compassionate conservatism."

But former associates of White, who died in 1988, have disputed in recent interviews much of Bush's version of his time at the program.

"I was working full time for an inner-city poverty program known as Project P.U.L.L.," Bush said in his 1999 autobiography, "A Charge to Keep." "My friend John White ... asked me to come help him run the program. ... I was intrigued by John's offer. ... Now I had a chance to help people."

But White's administrative assistant and others associated with P.U.L.L., speaking on the record for the first time, say Bush was not helping to run the program and White had not asked Bush to come aboard. Instead, the associates said, White told them he agreed to take Bush on as a favor to Bush's father, who was honorary co-chairman of the program at the time, and Bush was unpaid. They say White told them Bush had gotten into some kind of trouble but White never gave them specifics.

"We didn't know what kind of trouble he'd been in, only that he'd done something that required him to put in the time," said Althia Turner, White's administrative assistant.

A White House spokesman, told about the interviews, denied Bush had been in any trouble or Bush's father, who was ambassador to the United Nations at the time, had arranged the job at P.U.L.L. He acknowledged, however, Bush was not paid for his work there. Bush's father declined a request for an interview.

"It was incorrect to say he was working there," spokesman Trent Duffy said. "He was doing volunteer service and getting paid by the Guard."
This is pretty much the gist of it, the story is based on quotes from people who were there at the time. I doubt it will chelate the koolade from anybody except maybe diehard fans of the early-70's Oilers, if any such persons exist. But why must we rely on verbal testimony rather than documentary evidence? Hmm, good question:
No documents from Bush's time with P.U.L.L. exist. The agency, which closed in 1989, left most of its records behind when it moved to a new location in 1984. The building's owner, Southern Leather Co., said those were discarded. No one seems to know what happened to any remaining records after 1989.

UPDATE Um, what kind of trouble was Bush in, anyhow? And why did he feel he had to do the time? He certainly didn't feel he had to do the time in TxANG...—Lambert

Goodnight, moon 

For your pleasure—"Mosh," the Eminem anti-Bush song.

Wolves and boobies.

Sweet dreams!

Oh, and you are volunteering for a GOTV effort, right?

Here's how you can find where you should vote in Philly.

Flu vaccine powerball 

Thanks to Inerrant Boy, everyone can participate in this fun new game!

The calls kept coming. And coming. With 800 flu shots to give away, Montgomery County's Health Department began accepting names for its lottery at 8 a.m. yesterday.

By 10:30 a.m., about 2,000 high-risk county residents had gotten on the list.

"We only have 800 shots," school nurse Julie Olson said into her phone. "The lucky winners will get it."

The odds of winning -- in a county of about 900,000 people -- have become slight enough that some local media dubbed Montgomery County's solution the Flu Vaccine Powerball.
(via WaPo)

You too can be a lucky winner—or a dead loser.

Come to think of it, doesn't everything in Bush's America work like that? Except for Bush and his friends, of course.

Clinton in Philly! 

Tickets here (via Mithras) Hey, and no loyalty oath!

Guess where?

Love Park! Back)

If the WiFi in the Park is working, maybe some enterprising blogger can cover it live....

I hope all you sk8ers are voting for Kerry.... Cause if you don't, The Big Dog will hunt you down...

Halliburton: Get it while you can! 

Auditor, schmauditor!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Army is laying the groundwork to let Halliburton Co. keep several billion dollars paid for work in Iraq that Pentagon auditors say is questionable or unsupported by proper documentation, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

According to Pentagon documents reviewed by the Journal, the Army has acknowledged that the Houston-based company might never be able to account properly for some of its work, which has been probed amid accusations that Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit overbilled the government for some operations in Iraq.

The company has hired a consulting firm to estimate what Halliburton's services should cost, the report said.

The Journal also cited Pentagon records showing that $650 million in Halliburton billings are deemed questionable. An additional $2 billion is considered to have insufficient paperwork to justify the billing, the report said.
(via Reuters)

Wow! The Army's going to let Halliburton just pick a number! What could be more fair than that?

Bush relatives: "Don't vote for our cousin!" 

"Because blood is thinner than oil!"

Six blood relatives of President Bush who support John F. Kerry's bid for the presidency have launched a website to publicize their sharp disagreements with Bush's policies.

The site, www.bushrelativesforkerry.com, consists of personal statements from a group of decidedly liberal second cousins of the president, none of whom knows him personally. All are grandchildren of Mary Bush House, the sister of Prescott Bush, a former US senator from Connecticut and the father and grandfather of the two Bush presidents.

The introduction to the site opens with the slogan, ''Because blood is thicker than oil!" and states: ''As the election approaches, we feel it is our responsibility to speak out about why we are voting for John Kerry, and to do our small part to help America heal from the sickness it has suffered since George Bush was appointed President in 2000. We invite you to read our stories, and please, don't vote for our cousin!"
(via The Glob)

I guess they'll never be part of the dynasty....

100 reasons not to vote for Bush 

The Nation.

With a handy PDF version for you to give your undecided friends (or any member of the reality-based community).

Republican tool Ralph Nader off ballot in Ohio 

And there's good news tonight!

The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday rejected a move by Ralph Nader to get on the Ohio ballot, further reducing the chance that his third-party presidential candidacy will be a factor in the battleground state.

The court ruled 6 to 1 that Nader's backers waited too long to raise objections about the way nominating petitions were being processed. Objections to petitions designed to put Nader on the ballot in Ohio had left him short of the required number.

Nader issued a statement saying he planned to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, though it was not clear if that process could be completed before the Nov. 2 election.

Nader drew 2.7 percent of the popular vote nationally in 2000 and was widely believed to have cost Democrat Al Gore the election in the decisive state of Florida. In Ohio in 2000 he won 3 percent of the vote.
(via Reuters)

Wonder if the Supremes will find a way to step in ....

Ahhhh, Maybe Not...Then Again... 

So there I was, fixing myself a late-night snack in the wholly inadequate Corrente kitchen, the only room in the old building that is not mighty, when I run into a troubled RDF who, somewhat reluctantly, informed me of a different take than mine on the strategy of a group of independent Green Party members whom I featured in a previous post, who are working to get Greens to vote for Kerry in the swing states.
"I don't know, Leah," RDF said. "I'm registered Green myself, and would love to see a Green Party with enough muscle to influence national policy."

"But I'm in the camp that thinks that's only going to happen if Greens start winning on a local scale: mayors, county commissioners, sheriffs, and so on. It's working for the Libertarians. Maybe in the future somewhere we can envision the means of production in the hands of the workers with enough grassroots work."

"But, in this election, no. In ANY state. I would ask--and have asked--any Green to vote for Kerry. Every vote for Kerry, this time around, is a dart in the heart of the beast that is the GOP, and that's all that matters right now."
Being an old-fashioned liberal, I tend to get mezmerized by any hint that there is a coalition somewhere waiting to be built, even a tiny one, so, though I would still recommend a visit to the website, Greens For Impact noted in my previous post, and though the two men heading the Green ticket are first- rate, except, of course, that the rest of us have not moved the political discussion in this country far enough toward where it was even as late as the early eighties for such a ticket to have a chance of being elected, and though I like the Greens' emphasis on getting public financing of elections as a central issue, the success of which, given our current Supreme Court's reading of the constitution, is a long way off, RDF is right; Kerry needs every vote to insure that he registers a decisive win in the popular vote. That is certainly why we're working so hard to get the vote out all over California, a state where the electoral college votes are as close to already won for Kerry as is possible in an imperfect world.

So here's where we appear to be at, a week and a half away from election day: the single most determinative factor in a Kerry/Edwards win, and let's not forget congress --we could still take the Senate, and advance Democratic numbers in the House -- is going to be getting everyone to vote: the Democratic base, left progressive who are often reluctant Democrats, all those new voters who have registered, minority voters, who are often thought of as part of the base, but who have their own issues with the Bush administration, and let's not forget you, your friends, relatives, neighbors.

This is RDF's territory, so here, for your convenience, are links to various RDF GOTV posts that are sprinkled through-out our recent archives, but are here arranged in ascending order, I hope; if not, the posts are pretty much stand alone calls to action you should look at if you missed any the first time around, and are worth a second look, too.

And here's a reminder to start visiting at least once a day eRiposte's Voter2004 page, wherein is being kept information about voting problems across the nation, the better to get onto fixing anything that's happening close to you.

Here are a few more newly discovered resources for you to check out.

Band Of Citizens.org. Here's how they describe themselves.
We are a band of citizens, powerful and passionate, who want their government to focus on solving the country’s big problems with common sense and plain dealing. Our mission is to be a voice for thoughtful Americans who want positive change.

In 2004, we want to make it easy for people to understand the importance of voting and why John Kerry is the stronger candidate for President, and also easier for them to pass this information along to people who are undecided.

Their way of making it easier is to provide what they call Citizenflicks, e-mailable ads that take on specific issues. An entirely neat idea. You can also contribute your own citizenflick. Check them out here.

A more old-fashioned type of grassroots GOTV effort, Voter Call has a lot to offer everyone who is determined to do all they can to get Bush/Cheney out, Kerry/Edwards in. Their mission is to make sure that all those newly registered voters actually exercise their franchise, and to that end, they've made a database that consists of the newly registered so that an interested citizen like you can pull up a list from any state and make a personal spiel to make sure such people actually vote.

It's a great idea. They are targeting groups who tend to hesitate to vote, like poor folks. So how you approach such calls gives you an opportunity to make a unique and creative contribution to this historic election. True Majority, the organization put together by ice cream mogul, the Ben of Ben and Jerry's, is one of the groups sponsers, which inspires my confidence. You can find all the information you need about what Voter Call is about by clicking here, and how it all works, by clicking here.

Changing subjects slightly, while I'm providing links to notable Corrente contributions, for those of you who missed the Farmer's graphic take on Bill O'Reilly post-sexual harrassement filing against him, you can find it here. I recommend it, because aside from the humor, farmer has caught the deeply unpleasant truth O'Reilly that the SCLM is going out of ther way not to notice. And if you missed the Farmer's ruminations on debate questions not asked by questioners not invited to ask them, have some fun and click here.

Liberal Math Piracy 

HONOLULU - Often dismissed as too small, too isolated and too Democratic to worry about in presidential contests, Hawaii suddenly has a close race. Neglected Hawaii emerges as swing state

Every state is a battleground state. Voter registration ends today in Alabama.

I’m no mathematician, but it seems to me that if we all take along one or two voters to an early voting place, no matter where we live, then we would triple the impact of our vote. Like in Alice’s Restaurant—

You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine, fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends, they may think it's a movement.

And it is. It’s the Take Some Friends to Stomp a Weasel Movement.

We’re headed into town in the van in just a few. Got a little weasel-stomping to do. There will be twelve of us, and eleven voting early (I already voted.) Dinner afterwards. Arrrgggh. Hoist the Jolly Roger! To the cannons, me hearties! Need motivation? Picture Bushco walking the plank, one by one, metaphorically plopping into the shark-infested waters at the cutlass-wielding urging of your vote, and your friend’s vote, and your friend’s friend’s vote…

Or, picture the Supreme Court in four years. Avast, ye lubbers!


Republican Group Accused of Voter Fraud (AP)

…Nathan Sproul, a former head of Arizona's Republican Party and the state's Christian Coalition branch, denies any wrongdoing and accuses Democrats of making things up…

Oh, well, that settles that. Golly. And I was suspicious for a minute. Read the whole thing if your stomach can take it: Republican-funded firm accused of voter fraud

They're trashing registrations all over, not just OR and NV. Get angry. And then take a THOUSAND people to vote! And check to make sure the ones who think they’re registered actually are. Low-life weasel bait fuckers might have trashed them.

Faith in Action Friday 

Item below from the New York Sun, 1926.

Mrs. Kimball's affidavit charges cruel and inhuman treatment. They were happy until 1918, she said, when her husband took up the study of Christian Science.

"He wanted to try this new belief on me," she asserted. "This caused most of our trouble. On Columbus Day, 1923, I was cooking bacon and eggs when my husband said to me: 'If you have proper faith nothing can hurt you.' He took a spoonful of hot bacon grease from the pan and poured it on the back of my hand. I had a severe burn on my hand for several weeks.

"He had a habit of stepping with his full weight on my feet. Once he threw a chair at me. Another habit of his was to go into the hall where we lived and pray for me in a loud voice. He would ask forgiveness for me and ask that I be delivered from error."

How'd ya like to have a guy like that in charge of the nation's foreign policy and domestic policy and..., hey, wait a minute...

File for divorce on Nov. 3rd.


It takes a village to stomp a weasel 

The new Republican attack ad is entitled "Wolves":

Moody and ominous, the 30-second ad mines the shadowy light-and-dark world of a mysterious forest, with an occasional nano-second flash of danger, before showing the large pack (sleeper cell?) of wolves ready to attack at the first sign of weakness. At the end, the pack is rousing, ready to pounce on....the election of President Kerry?

"Wolves" is the Democrats' worst nightmare -- slick, evocative, memorable, and utterly misleading.

You know what would be really nice?

If some artistically inclined reader would creates a parody ad.

The title? "Weasels." Take it from there ....

What would be even nicer would be if it were in the same news cycle.

Here's The original.

Gaslight watch: So if AQ wants to disrupt the election, why is Condi out on the campaign trail? 

The increasingly shrill Josh Marshall raises a very good point:

Now, you'll remember from the 9/11 commission hearings earlier this year that the National Security Advisor is, or should be, the quarterback when the country faces a heightened or imminent threat of terrorist attack. She's the one who pulls together all the various threat reports and makes sure all legs and arms of the national security apparatus are working in unison.

If this whole 'al Qaida disrupting the democratic process' is on the level then we're entering the red zone right about now. We're ten days out from the election.

So why is the National Security Advisor, Condi Rice, out hitting the campaign trail?

Think about that for a second. Is there any possible good answer? Either all the effort to hype an election day al Qaida threat is just another effort to use the White House's control over the intelligence community as a campaign asset or Rice is shirking her duties at a moment of acute national peril.
(via Talking Points Memo)

Please refer all complaints to The Department of 'No! They Would Never Do That!

Election fraud 2004: Krugman sets the baseline 

Not shrill, not shrill at all:

But we must not repeat the mistake of 2000 by refusing to acknowledge the possibility that a narrow Bush win, especially if it depends on Florida, rests on the systematic disenfranchisement of minority voters. And the media must not treat such a suspect win as a validation of skewed reporting that has consistently overstated Mr. Bush's popular support.
(via Times)

I would be more, well, shrill about it: There's no reason to accept a narrow Bush win as legitimate, especially if Bush's margin of 'victory' is smaller than the number that we already know have been illegally disenfranchised from Florida 2000.

So, for all our sakes, let's work for a convincing Kerry win, for decisive repudiation by reality-based America of all that Bush is, and all that Bush stands for. I'm taking November 2 off to GOTV. Are you?

Science for Republicans! 

Not that they care, of course, since science is reality-based:

researchers believe they have measured the effect that was first predicted in 1918 by using Einstein's theory of general relativity by ''precisely observing shifts in the orbits of two Earth-orbiting satellites.'' The finding constitutes the ''first accurate measurement of a bizarre effect that predicts a rotating mass will drag space around it,'' NASA said.
(via Miami Herald)

Now I know how Rush gets his listeners!

And Rush—speaking of a rotating mass.... Rotate this!

BOLD reality based suggestion 

Ya know, I'm a big fan of quiet understatement. But really, Blogger should change its name to Slogger. Slogger dot com.



Thursday, October 21, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

I hope you're taking election day off to get out the vote or watch the polls.

The Republicans are taking Florida 2000 national.

Down the memory hole! Bush having the White House site scrubbed 

Wow! I wonder why? See BradBlog for the scoop.

And worst of all, so many of the classics are missing! For example, "I'm not that concerned about Bin Laden."

Well, freedom's on the march, isn't it? And for once, Bush is telling the truth. At least, part of the truth. He means "freedom for Bush from any questions is on the march."

Democracy, you see, is all very well when it's a photo op in far away Afghanistan... But at home? Forget about it!

Election fraud 2004: A little light reading 

A magisterial summary by the ever essential Orcinus, who mentions Steve Gilliard, who writes "Diebold is a distraction, this is the real issue, naked voter fraud and supression. Which is why you need to work the polls." Gilliard in turn refers to Kos's Voter Registration Fraud Clearinghouse. Check especially for Nathan Sproul and Sproul Associates. Meanwhile, Rick Perlstein has a fine article in the Village Voice which pays particular attention to the Posner ruling (back).

Republican dirty tricks scare the hell out of me. But Posner giving the dirty tricksters cover scares me even more. I mean, after Bush v. Gore, doesn't a decision that contains the words "The Constitution does not in so many words confer a right to vote" (back) worry you?

Nice to see the SCLM all over this one... As if we could ever trust them.

Dispatch from the "reality-based" Republican community: 

There really is such a thing. Believe it or not. See actual evidence cited below and send a copy to every Republican or undecided or swing voter you know. And while you're at it, send a copy to every one you don't know too. What the hell.

A Former Republican Senator:
'Frightened to Death' of Bush

by Marlow W. Cook

I shall cast my vote for John Kerry come Nov 2.
I have been, and will continue to be, a Republican. But when we as a party send the wrong person to the White House, then it is our responsibility to send him home if our nation suffers as a result of his actions. I fall in the category of good conservative thinkers, like George F. Will, for instance, who wrote: "This administration cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and having thought, to have second thoughts."

I say, well done George Will, or, even better, from the mouth of the numero uno of conservatives, William F. Buckley Jr.: "If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war."

First, let's talk about George Bush's moral standards.

In 2000, to defeat Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — a man who was shot down in Vietnam and imprisoned for over five years — they used Carl Rove's "East Texas special." They started the rumor that he was gay, saying he had spent too much time in the Hanoi Hilton. They said he was crazy. They said his wife was on drugs. Then, to top it off, they spread pictures of his adopted daughter, who was born in Bangladesh and thus dark skinned, to the sons and daughters of the Confederacy in rural South Carolina.

To show he was not just picking on Republicans, he went after Sen. Max Cleland from Georgia, a Democrat seeking re-election. Bush henchmen said he wasn't patriotic because Cleland did not agree 100 percent on how to handle homeland security. They published his picture along with Cuba's Castro, questioning Cleland's patriotism and commitment to America's security. Never mind that his Republican challenger was a Vietnam deferment case and Cleland, who had served in Vietnam, came home in a wheel chair having lost three limbs fighting for his country. Anyone who wants to win an election and control of the legislative body that badly has no moral character at all.


The writer, a Republican formerly of Louisville, was Jefferson County judge from 1962-1968 and U.S. senator from Kentucky from 1968-1975.

continue reading... HERE


"He just doesn't get it" 

Nice ad. Because Democrats always make nice.


Republican looting: We want to hand Social Security to the financial industry why? 

Thank God for Democrat Elliot Spitzer:

Like the universe itself, corporate chicanery just seems to keep on expanding. Unlike earlier versions, however, the latest scandals tend to implicate not just individual companies but entire industries.

Mr. Spitzer's suit, which detonated Thursday, was filed against Marsh Inc., whose parent, Marsh & McLennan, also owns Putnam Investments and Mercer Inc., the consulting unit. The suit was a shocker even to industry veterans because it disclosed Mr. Spitzer's findings of phony bids designed to direct business to certain insurers and to keep insurance rates high.

Besides bid-rigging, Mr. Spitzer's suit detailed the kickbacks from insurers that brokers receive for sending them business as well as the hidden fees charged to the companies buying insurance. These arrangements, known as marketing service agreements or placement service agreements, were openly used by the industry. But Mr. Spitzer argued that because they were used to steer business, they represented a breach of duty to Marsh's customers.
(via Times)

So, why hand Social Security, the biggest money pot around—and your money, too—to this shameless crowd of hucksters, con men, and thieves? Oh, wait. Campaign contributions! ("When they say it's not about the money, it's about the money".

Now it all makes sense. Phew! My faith was shaken there for a moment!

Election fraud 2004: Diebold pays the price for shoddy workmanship 

I love the free market, don't you?

Sagging performance and mounting legal costs in its electronic voting segment kept third-quarter earnings nearly flat at Diebold Inc., the company said Wednesday.

iebold shares fell 91 cents, or 2 percent, to close at $45.70 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange - toward the lower end of their 52-week range of $43.88 to $57.43.

Diebold's touch-screen voting machines have led to widespread criticism of security and to lawsuits. About 50,000 of the company's touch-screen machines will be used in 11 states in the Nov. 2 election.

Walden W. O'Dell, Diebold chairman and chief executive, said election systems issues in California "had a negative impact on earnings and margins during the third quarter. However, we expect that the modernizing of voting systems in the United States will continue in 2005 and beyond, and we should have better visibility of the direction of the U.S. election systems market after the November election."

Revenue from election systems was $34.4 million, down 28 percent from the $47.9 million recorded last year. Diebold reported the election systems business reduced earnings by 4 cents per share in the third quarter; election systems added 6 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
(via AP)

Ah, we remember Walden O'Dell! He's the one who's "helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to [Bush] next year" (back, see how the entire e-voting process is owned by Republicans) Why is O'Dell so confident about the 2004 results? Does he know something we only suspect?

100,000 WTF's 

100,000 contractors voting with GOP help. WTF?

Interest Groups Mounting Costly Push to Get Out Vote
By Michael Moss and Ford Fessenden, The New York Times
Wednesday 20 October 2004

In a presidential race whose outcome is expected to hang on turnout at the polls, an army of interest groups is pumping at least $350 million into get-out-the-vote campaigns that are rewriting the tactics of elections.

….the fervor has even reached Baghdad, where a Republican lobbyist is trying to help an estimated 100,000 employees of American contractors in the Persian Gulf vote in time to be counted…

…The turnout campaigns are concerned not just with voters in the United States. Timothy B. Mills, a lobbyist working on Iraq reconstruction issues for the law firm of Patton Boggs and a former vice president of the Republican National Lawyers Association, has organized the effort in Baghdad to help the estimated 100,000 contractor employees in the region cast their votes. One plan is to send the ballots en masse to an office in Washington, where they would be separated and redirected to the appropriate local election site

via Costly Push to Get Out Vote

I didn’t even know there were 100,000 of them over there. Ye gods! These people will stop at nothing!

Arrrgggh, me hearties! Raise the Jolly Roger! Point the ship toward the nearest group of slacker Dem voters and march them off to the early voting stations! Give them doughnuts. Give them free beer. Give them a guilt trip. But get them to the polls! Especially the young folks...

Will Bush cause a seismic youthquake? by Arianna Huffington

A taste from ol’ Huffington:

He has sparked a youthful uprising unseen since Robert Kennedy's tragically shortened run for president. Kennedy's 1968 campaign brought together a powerful coalition of progressive young white voters and disaffected young black voters, united in support of his twin platform of fighting poverty and ending the war in Vietnam. Bush's immoral war in Iraq and poverty-spreading domestic policies have brought those same groups together in an effort to topple him.

Bush is the photo negative of Kennedy. The anti-Bobby.

Of course, registration is just the first step -- it won't mean a thing if the new registrants fail to turn up at the polls or if, once they get there, they are turned away by a 2004 Katharine Harris wanna-be.

That's why the key to delivering the youth vote, and with it the keys to the White House, will be which side is most successful at getting out the vote. Studies have shown that the most effective way to do this is through peer-to-peer contact -- and with young people this means knocking on dorm doors and repeatedly following up with e-mails, cell phone calls and text messages.

Which is why the tipping point of 2004 may be reached not by the big, well-funded voter registration efforts, but by the under-the-radar efforts of the hundreds of small, independent, grassroots groups of young people that have joined in the effort to remove the president from office.

Let us hope.

MBF Watch: The War on Teeshirtism 

A lot of sources are running the story of the Ranks and their lawsuit. This is the best one I've seen though, because it ties in the bigger story: John Kerry believes in freedom as well as reality, while Bush believes only in obedience (to Him) and faith (in Him).

(via Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Like many Americans, Jeff and Nicole Rank have an opinion about their president. They wore it on T-shirts they unveiled after entering the West Virginia State Capitol grounds to hear him speak.
The his-and-hers shirts included a photo of the president and the word "Bush" with the international "no" symbol. His shirt also said, "Regime change starts at home." Hers said, "Love America, Hate Bush."

Shortly after the Ranks revealed the shirts, two men they believe worked for the Secret Service or the White House demanded that they remove or cover them. The Ranks refused and were arrested, handcuffed and jailed on trespassing charges.

John Kerry has made fun of the tight security at Bush events. At almost every one of his more than 70 town hall meetings, Kerry has delighted in asking the audiences, "Did anyone have to sign a loyalty oath to get in?"
Hmm, we have a charge and a countercharge. Two statements, both of which purport to be true. Hey, how about an actual experiment? Remember that old "pre-September 11 thinking" stuff like evidence and rationality? Let's live dangerously:
John Prather, an Ohio University math professor, earlier this year tested the tolerance levels of each campaign. He wore a Bush shirt to a Kerry rally in Wheeling, W.Va., and reported that not a word was uttered about it.

The reaction was different when he wore a Kerry shirt to a Bush rally in Cambridge, Ohio. In a narrative about the event, Prather wrote that a "low-level security person" initially asked him to turn the shirt inside out, which he did.

A few minutes later, that same person tracked him down and said his superiors had told him Prather could not stay at the event with the Kerry shirt. Prather took it off and put on another shirt he had with him.

But that wasn't the end of it, wrote Prather, who added that he he had no intention of heckling or disrupting Bush's speech.

"After about 10 minutes, the first security person came up to me again, this time with a second, burlier gentleman. I was asked to stand with the second man in an area somewhat away from the main crowd, and again I complied," he wrote. "A couple of minutes later, a third man who told me he was with the president's advance team (or something like that) came up and escorted me out of the event. Still not wanting to cause trouble, I went out as I was asked, and waited for my friend, who was allowed to stay."

Prather said this week he remains unsure who the third man worked for. It could have been the Secret Service, he said.
Now we get to the giggle part:
Ken Mehlman, Bush's campaign manager, denied there has been any ongoing attempt to stifle protest or opposition at Bush rallies. The president, Mehlman said, is eager to speak to undecided voters and independents.
Ever tried to protect a hideously delicate object that's in the same room with a cat? Imagine how hard it is to protect a soap bubble like Bush lives in.

I Do Not Like Thee, Doctor Frist 

They had a story on NBC nightly news yesterday featuring a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at Vanderbilt University Hospital. In Nashville, Tennessee. She comes in contact with the sickest kids just this side of death, and she can't get a flu shot. This is her Senator:

(via NYT)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Thursday that lawmakers on Capitol Hill who received flu shots in his office were either following federal guidelines or their own doctors' recommendations.

Frist was responding to criticism that his office was used as a makeshift clinic to administer shots to lawmakers two days after the federal government asked healthy adults to forgo the vaccinations because of a nationwide shortage.

``They keep mentioning my name as if I had done something exceptional, when I hadn't,'' Frist said after casting his ballot during early voting in Tennessee.

Frist, himself a physician, said he got his own inoculation before new federal guidelines were announced Oct. 5. Those guidelines urged healthy people to reserve remaining flu vaccine for older adults and young children who are most at risk for flu complications.

Frist also noted that one-third of Senate members are 65 or older, which is within the guidelines for receiving the vaccine.

Other lawmakers declined the shots to avoid the perception of preferential treatment, and legislation was introduced that would require Eisold to give any remaining vaccine to the Health and Human Services Department.
There's an old bit of doggerel about a disliked person named Dr. Fell, with which I have taken the following liberties:

I do not like thee, Doctor Frist
For reasons much too long to list
In '06 you're gone, and won't be missed
I do not like thee, Doctor Frist.

MBF Watch: Wal-Mart Dumps "America" Book 

We know what you want, yes sir and/or ma'am. Better than you do, in fact. And we protect you from things you want but really shouldn't:

(via WaPo)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Wal-Mart canceled an order for a best-selling book by Jon Stewart and the writers of "The Daily Show" after executives learned that it contained a photo of nine naked, aged bodies, each with the superimposed head of a Supreme Court justice.

"We were not aware of the image that was in the book (when Wal-Mart ordered it) and we felt the majority of our customers would not be comfortable with it," said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Karen Burk. "We offer what we think our customers want to buy. That just makes good business sense."

The chain is offering the book on its Web site. Burk said the store's online customers are a "different audience" and that the company wanted to give an option to people looking to buy the book from Wal-Mart.

Its all about the oil painting! 

Bush to visit Saudi Arabia to secure purchase of really expensive French oil painting of naked ladies! Developing...

Or something like that. Rumor details via: Rubber Hose


Yankees Join Ranks of Reality-Based Community 

No team in major league baseball had ever lost the first three games of the playoffs and come back to tie the series.

Needless to say, no team had ever done the above and then won the pennant.

Buncha Massachusetts Liberals (hell, I don't know their politics, I'm just naming them honorary members of the club) just did precisely that. My favorite observation so far, for a couple of reasons:

(via Backslider at Atrios)
Overheard in Hell a few minutes ago:

First Demon: "Man, where'd all this fucking snow come from?"

Second Demon: "Sox finally beat the Yankees. Dude, just be glad the Cubs didn't do shit this year, or we'd really be in for it."
So now we wait to see if the Red Sox get to play the Astros or Cardinals for the misnamed World Series. Much as I detest anything connected to Texas at the moment, I'm still a Cub fan. Don't ask me to call this one.

The Bambino is now at peace, that curse is dead. Maybe we can finally kill off the damn billy goat next year.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

Had a nice experience getting off the train tonight in Philly—said "Good work!" to a young lady carrying some Joe Hoeffel signage.

Then shared my slogan with her: "It takes a village to stomp a weasel." She liked it, and then she gave me a bright yellow Hoeffel sticker, which I promptly decorated my laptop bag with.

And so to bed.

UPDATE Bush is going to be in Crawford on Saturday (via Atrios).

I wonder if He'll be preparing a surprise for Sunday or Monday?

Bush blows off the AARP 

And hiding behind the skirts of one of his many enabling women, sends Leadfoot instead:

The 35 million-member AARP invited Bush and Democratic rival Sen. John Kerry to speak at the Las Vegas meeting. Kerry, who opposed the Medicare law, is on Thursday morning's schedule, AARP spokesman Steve Hahn said Tuesday.

The Bush campaign said it is dispatching first lady Laura Bush to the AARP meeting. The campaign did not immediately explain why the president would not attend even though he will be in Las Vegas, slated to speak at a GOP campaign rally.

Ed Coyle, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said public opinion polling shows the law is unpopular among older Americans. "No presidential candidate wants to risk being booed off stage by thousands of seniors. This drug benefit is not the victory for seniors the president plugs it to be and the president and his handlers know that to be true," said Coyle, a critic of the law.
(via Salon)

Nice shot there, Ed—calling The Holy Gut™a "presidential candidate." Because the best shots is always the truth, isn't it?

And I wonder if Bush's plan to privatize Social Security might have something to do with this? Maybe, since he's about to fuck them over so badly, Bush is ashamed... No, strike that. That can't be it.

Nader's Raiders come to their senses, endorse Kerry 

If you know anyone who is voting for Nader—or anyone who you suspect might vote for Nader—please share this information with them:

Less than two weeks before the election, dozens of former "Nader's Raiders" and other former Nader associates have announced their own opposition to his candidacy and are launching ads in battleground states in an attempt to keep the "Nader Factor" to a minimum. The letter released today from Nader's former Raiders urges voters not to support their former hero, expresses regret that Nader has taken support from right-wing groups, and says progressive voters can be the key to the election, by voting for John Kerry.

The letter, with 75 signatories including organizer Ken Ward, who has served as Executive Director of Rhode Island PIRG and New Jersey PIRG, and Robert Brandon, who served as director of Public Citizen's Tax Reform Research Group from 1972-1977, reads [in part]

"Dear Voters,

Many of us -- former Nader's Raiders and leaders of his organizations -- voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Many did not. This November, none of us will vote for Ralph. We believe there is nothing more important than defeating George W. Bush. Ralph argues that he is creating an independent political voice. In 2000, when he ran as the Green Party candidate, that may have been true.

In 2004, as the candidate of the increasingly reactionary, anti-immigrant Reform Party, and the recipient of financial and political support from right-wing funders and operatives, it is not credible. Unfortunately, Ralph is party to a disingenuous effort to split the progressive vote in key states.

With the major party candidates in a dead heat, Nader is poised to tip the election to Bush -- again. We do not agree with Ralph that there is little difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. We know that the country cannot afford another four years of Republicans controlling the White House, both chambers of Congress, the Supreme Court and the entire federal Judiciary. The price of a protest vote is too high for families who live from paycheck to paycheck, for those concerned about the realities of war, for those who lack decent jobs and access to health care, and for the environment. ....

Join us. Cast your vote for a progressive future and support John Kerry."

(via Salon)

Every time someone votes for Nader, a kitten dies...

No problem with flu shots in "old Europe" 

Gee, universal health care's looking pretty good now, isn't it?

While patients are panicking over a shortage of flu vaccines in the United States, vaccination programs in Europe are progressing smoothly with a good supply of medicine, health authorities say.
(via Times)

Hey, freedom's untidy!

Bush abandoning Ohio? 

Sure, a Democratic pollster speaks, but it's still an interesting data point:

Bush has not campaigned in Ohio for three weeks, though he plans to stop there this week. Unemployment continues to rise in the state. "There is no other explanation for his absence," says Stanley Greenberg, Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign pollster, "other than his numbers go down when he's there. His position on jobs is implausible."
(via Guardian)

His numbers go down when he's there... Hey, Karl—get Diebold on the phone!

Unleash The Big Dog! 

Clinton and Kerry to campaign together in Philly!

Nice shot! 

[Bush] wants to make it solely a contest on national security," Kerry said. "You know, the president says he's a leader. Well, Mr. President, look behind you. There's hardly anyone there.
(via Reuters)

I can think of something that is behind Bush. Here's a clue: He couldn't find it with both hands....

I don't have a TV.... 

... and the last time I went to a sports bar, Smarty Jones didn't win the Belmont ("Fucking Philly!") so don't even tell me the score 'til it's over, OK?

Beyond FUBAR 

I nominate this as a serious candidate for the real October Surprise. Whether it would be, after calm bipartisan debate and thorough technical analysis, a good thing or not I have no idea. I think it safe to say though, that thrown into the current environment, thirteen days before the election in question, it stinks to high heaven:

(via NYT)
Bowing to pressure from both the Republican and Democratic Parties, the Pentagon has decided to post a federal write-in ballot on its Web site for civilian and military voters to use overseas if their regular ballots fail to arrive in time.

Political wrangling and late primaries caused local election offices in at least eight swing states to miss the deadline of Sept. 19 for sending out ballots to ensure their timely return from far-flung locales where mail service is slow.

Pentagon officials said that this retrieval system - available through the Web site, myballot.mil - could include only the military because they were using a Pentagon database to verify voter identities. But Mr. Richard, the Pentagon spokesman, acknowledged recently that some civilians working for military contractors could use the system because they are included in the verification database.

Ten states have agreed to make their ballots accessible through myballot.mil, while 23 have declined to participate citing security and other concerns.

No shit, Sherlock. I don't care if these "contractors" have been vouched for by St. Peter before the throne of God, they shouldn't be using a .mil system. And with some states accepting these "votes" and others refusing, they couldn't have set it up better for interminable legal challenges if they'd tried.

"Snafu" entered the language as a regular word so long ago that most have forgotten its origin as a military acronym: Situation Normal, All Fucked Up. FUBAR is one step past that: Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition. We may need new terms for a new centuries' wars. I suggest FUGBUS: Fucked Up in George Bush Usual Style

Flip Flop 

I have no idea which of the Gods George W. Bush or Pat Robertson talk to, (Lambert back), or which of the Gods listen to them.

What I do know, courtesy of Judd Legum of the ever-invaluable "Progress Report", a production of the ever-invaluable Center for American Progress, is that George W. Bush talks to Tim Russert, and lucky us, in that instance, what is said is recorded.

Your assignment - Compare and Contrast the following two bits of information and and ponder on what it tells us, if anything, about our current President and Commander-in-Chief
Regarding the impending invasion of Iraq:

Bush: "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." (to Pat Robertson, March 2003).


Regarding the catastrophic success of the Bush invasion of Iraq:

Russert: "Are you surprised by the level and intensity of resistance?"

Bush: "No. I'm not." (Meet the Press, 2/8/04)

Maybe We're Not So Lame After All 

George Will once argued, in re our historically pathetic rate of voter turnout, that it was actually a healthy sign, because it signaled a general contentment with the status quo. Well, George, if you're right and my state's forecast is representative, your boy is in a heap o' trouble:
Highest voter turnout since World War II predicted
The white-hot 2004 election campaigns will probably result in the heaviest voter turnout in Washington since World War II, Secretary of State Sam Reed predicted yesterday.

He forecast a turnout of 84 percent of the state's more than 3.4 million registered voters and said it could even surpass the record of 84.6 percent set in 1944, a presidential year marked by an "intense feeling of patriotism" among wartime voters.

That was the highest in state voter-registration records that go back only to 1935, the year the state of Washington began permanently registering voters.
(via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Yeah, we're feeling mighty patriotic about our kids dying for nothing. Mt. St. Helens isn't the only thing that's rumbling around in these parts. As a tunesmith once put it, Something is happening here/But you don't know what it is/Do you, Mister Jones?

When You Wish Upon an Asterisk 

This may be the last of these polls before the election.

I wasn't really expecting it to be posted yet but it went up yesterday. I look at Tennessee still red on the Battleground States map and scowl.

My scowl lessens when I remember that at least this is the only poll that even considers Tennessee battleground, everybody else considered it a Bush lock all along. Based on a secret and highly technical statistical matrix of my own devising--namely, that no state with me in it could be considered any such thing--I disagreed.

Go lookee here. Wall Street Journal/Zogby. Scowl at the map as necessary but then go look at the numbers chart on the right.

Every single state still showing a Bush lead is within the margin of error. And some of them pretty damn teensy. In fact the longer I look at these numbers the more amazed I am. Remember Bush is already at his ceiling as the incumbent, there is nothing he can do at this point to get anyone who isn't already a True Believer.

We usually leave the polling stuff to our geek buddies over at dKos who know more about such matters, but this was just too good not to pass on. Keep your cutlasses loose in their scabbards still, but take heart, me hearties, these blackguards are goin' down.

GOTV: Every Little Thing Counts 

When I can say it better, I will. After reading this I'm even more motivated. Direct action does indeed get satisfaction. Someone in Washington State give Paul Loeb a hug for me! A taste:

…On Election Day [2000], there were 15,000-20,000 of us statewide, holding up signs during morning rush hour, calling and recalling voters who hadn't cast their ballots, watching the polls to check off who had voted. As a result of everything we did, and all our previous efforts, not only did Al Gore carry the state by an ample margin, but after a recount, Democrat Maria Cantwell defeated hard-right Republican Senator Slade Gorton by 2,229 votes out of more than 2.5 million cast. If each volunteer accounted for just a fraction of a vote, our actions changed the outcome…

We've done part of the key work already [2004]. Grassroots canvassers have registered record-breaking numbers of likely Democratic voters, particularly in key battleground states. Americans Coming Together (ACT), which has coordinated many of the progressive efforts, together with MoveOn, expects to end up with 2.5 million new voters. Rock the Vote, less partisan, has registered close to a million young voters. The League of Independent Voters has been registering young voters at bars and clubs -- then going back again with guides to an entire slate of progressive local and national candidates. A Cleveland professor had her students register voters at a jail where people were awaiting trial, working with a local prisoner's rights group that registered 700 new voters…

But the Republicans are also registering voters, particularly through fundamentalist churches. They're organized, well-funded, and have skillfully cultivated a politics of backlash and fear. Combining both parties, a million new voters have registered in Florida alone. Since new registrants traditionally turn out far less often than those for whom voting is routine, how many and which voters show up will depend on what the rest of us do, from now through the election.

…For the moment, enough of us are united enough against Bush's destructive arrogance that we'll have decent numbers of volunteers. And most of us will recognize that just as when French voters united behind conservative Jacques Chirac to reject the threat of the ulra-rightist Jean-Marie Le Pen, this is no time for above-it-all purism, like voting for Ralph Nader. But do we recognize how much our individual electoral actions can matter when they're sufficiently multiplied? What would happen if every environmentalist or union member, every MoveOn member, everyone who feels that Bush has led this country down destructive paths, worked in some way to get out the vote? Or worked with groups like the Election Protection Coalition to ensure that every eligible voter gets the chance to vote and that every vote is counted. It's easier if we live in a swing state, or can travel to one -- we simply sign up with ACT or the local Democratic Party and plug in wherever most useful. But even if we don't, we can still contribute money for critical field efforts, and once we've done that, and then join phone banks being run by MoveOnPAC and ACT, calling swing state voters to help convince them to turn out.

via The hundredth phone call

What else can we do? Ideas? Is it too late to become an election official? Pollwatcher?

Hey, are Bush and Pat Robertson talking to the same God? 

If they are, She was telling them different things at the same time:

Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."

"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "

Robertson said [Bush] then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

The White House has made no reaction to Robertson's comments.

Robertson, the televangelist who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, said he wishes Bush would admit to mistakes made.

"I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy," Robertson said. "I warned him about casualties."
(via CNN)

Right. Bush is the "most self-assured man" ... Of course, you can be certain and wrong, eh?

YABL, YABL, YABL: Yes, "Of course" is the Bush tell 

On the Kerry $87 billion:

In September, 2003, as the $87 billion funding package was being debated, Senator Kerry said this on national TV: "It would be irresponsible to abandon our troops by voting against it." That is, against the $87 billion. And then, of course, just one month later, he did exactly the opposite.
(via St. Petersburg Partei rally)

We know it's a lie—but Bush proves it!

You can't catch the flu when you're the boy in the bubble 

Bush ignores the question, as usual. And takes no responsibility, as usual.

Yesterday, on the way from St. Petersburg to New Port Richey, the presidential entourage stopped at the Paradise Restaurant in the little town of Safety Harbor, where the president and his brother posed for pictures and were served coffee and baklava. While in the restaurant, a member of the press pool shouted out a question to the president: "Are you accountable for the flu vaccine shortage?"

Bush ignored the question. And reporters were hustled out of the restaurant.
(via Froomkin)

A little too much "balance" from—gasp!—Froomkin 

After pointing out that Kerry now has Bush playing defense, Froomkin writes that Kerry is making "unsupported charges":

But in the past few days, after the Kerry camp started peppering Bush with essentially unsupported charges -- that Bush has a secret plan that would gut Social Security and may reinstate the draft -- Bush has felt obliged to respond directly and repeatedly.

And The Holy Gut™'s responses?

Interestingly enough, Bush's defense consisted purely of emphatic assertions, rather than full-bodied explanations.

• "We will keep the promise of Social Security for all our seniors," [Bush]said. But he offered no specifics about what he does in fact have in store for Social Security.

• "We will not have a draft; we'll keep the all-volunteer army," He said. But he offered no specifics about how he will deal with the severe stresses currently facing the military.

• "I want to assure them that our government is doing everything possible to help older Americans and children get their shots, despite the major manufacturing defect that caused this problem," He said. But he offered no specifics about what went wrong or what the government's role was or should be in the future.
(via WaPo)

Personally, I don't classify what Kerry's doing as making an "unsupported assertion at all. On Social Security, the draft, and the flu, Kerry is saying "2 + 2 ... Voters, that equals what?" And Bush reponds "2 + 2 will never equal 4!" So Bush, in his response, gives all the support to Kerry's "assertions" that they need.

GOTV: And the REAL fun ain't even started! 

Imagine what the MBF targets would be after aWol tanks on 11/2/04… the Left, on the other hand, should take a page from Gandhi and MLK… if anything looks weird on 11/3/04, there should be silent unsmiling mobs in the streets, standing and glaring…

Political Yard Sign Wars Rage as Election Nears
By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) …Lawn signs in swing states such as Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have come under attack, and emotions appear to be running high even in traditionally tame states like Kansas.

"I was outraged," said Lis Ross of Fairway, Kansas, whose "Kansans for Kerry" sign disappeared last week. "What made it worse was that they replaced it with a Bush-Cheney sign. I ran out there and ripped it into little pieces."

…Some people are working overtime to protect their signs. Mark Shemet of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, has had to replace two stolen Kerry signs in the last week alone. Pennsylvania Democrats have threatened to spread itching powder on signs to keep the opposition at bay, and an Illinois family last week covered their yard sign with petroleum jelly to repel thieves.
via Attacks on political yard signs escalate

Better yet, let’s keep overwhelming the polling places. My uncle sends me this:

"Turnout is going to be key," says Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who is campaigning for Democrat John Kerry. "Turning our base out is going to be the most important element in this race and also making sure those registered to vote turn out - the newly registered voters." via Albuquerque Tribune Online

Amen. Plans are in the works here for a trip to town for early voters on Friday, complete with a stop afterward at a local restaurant. I got seven people who said they’ll go, and the driver says he’s got three, so it sounds like it could be fun. His ride is an old church van he bought, so he’s going to leave the church sign on it and put a coupla Kerry Edwards posters around it with tape. Nice visual. I’ve already voted, but what the heck—I’ll go along for the fun of it and to kick in on gas and food. And Oktoberfest is next week in a nearby town. That’ll be a good time to talk things up with some beer for social lubrication (as long as there aren’t any drunken MBF’s). So much to do, so little time. Just glad we all have some time right now.

Rogues' Gallery 

OK, so Kerry may be slaughtering Bush in newspaper endorsements. But to autocrats, Bush is still #1. First Putin endorsed him. Now it's the Ayatollahs' turn:
The head of Iran's security council said Tuesday that the re-election of U.S. President Bush was in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbours al-Qaeda terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country's nuclear ambitions.

Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body.

“We haven't seen anything good from Democrats,” Mr. Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.

Iranian political analyst Mohsen Mofidi said ousting the Taliban and Saddam Hussein was the “biggest service any administration could have done for Iran.”

The article did not get Iranian double agent Ahmed Chalabi's opinion, but I think it's safe to say he concurs.

Meanwhile I hear Kim Jung-Il is scheduled to thank Il Douchbag for making it easier for him to acquire nuclear weapons, and to wish him a long and happy reign.

The new "dumbed-down Republican Party"  

Ya know what? - It's really not all that new...

Yankees are Blind to Blundering Bush, By Eric Margolis

How can Republicans remain so blinkered? Part of the fault lies with the sycophantic national media, which collaborated with the Bush administration in whipping up war fever. The media still are not telling people the truth about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the so-called war on terrorism.

The media utterly failed to remind Americans that Bush, who loves to play war leader, actually claimed Iraqi drone aircraft were poised to fly off ships in the North Atlantic and bombard America with germs. Bush should have been laughed out of office for believing and promoting this comic-book nonsense.

Many Republicans simply don't see what the rest of the world does. So what if Iraq was no threat? Don't bother these golf club Rambos with details. They're delighted to see the U.S. pounding Arabs in revenge for 9/11.

Bush's core Republican support lies in the suburbs and Bible-belt rural areas, where many people rely on TV sound bites for their world view, and have little understanding of history, geography or foreign affairs. This is the new "dumbed-down Republicans Party," fertile ground for nationalist hysteria, religious extremism, and anti-foreign xenophobia.

Declaration as it appeared in the Washington (DC) Star, 1929.
God called Herbert Hoover to be President of the United States as though in response to America's need today for another Abraham Lincoln in the White House. ~ Clinton N. Howard chairman of the National United Committee for Law Enforcement.

And NOW again:
And I also want to say this is the very first time that I have felt that God was in the White House." ~ Gary Walby, Destin, FL

Wow, I remember my first feel too. But, apparently, Gary hasn't felt around enough or he would have discovered brother Clinton N. Howard. On the other hand I'd be willing to bet that Gary's general feelings and feltings and other such moltings didn't begin to flux and smelt and generally grope their way about the tangible world until well after His divine visitation by Master Hoover had sailed off to discuss Belgian mining operations, bobbed hairdos, and the Rum Fleet with the Great Wowser himself. Which is a real shame. Gary needs to more familiarize himself with previous White House apostles.

Lets face it. The average American religious fundamentalist specimen, still spooked by shadows and full moons and black kitty cats on fences, hasn't managed to scrabble one rung up the reality ladder in almost 100 years. Unless of course you consider operating a motor vehicle at high speeds as some kind of cosmic revelation.

Only in a land of the ignorant and superstitious and easily cowed could a delusional slackjawed sneer-n-fear back door preacher like George W. Bush be King.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

I've been happy using "Inerrant Boy" as a term of abuse an accurate description for Bush, since, like the Pope, he's Inerrant; never makes a mistake. Plus, "Inerrant Boy" sounds like "Errand Boy," and Bush is an errand boy for the funders of the VWRC. And Bush is a boy. Men take responsibility for what they do, including their mistakes.

But after Suskind's takedown (back) I got to thinking a stronger meme might be needed, so I settled on The Holy Gut&trade'.

"Holy," because Bush's Base, and Bush himself, really do believe that Bush speaks with the voice of God.

"Gut" because when Bush says He makes decisions from His "gut," that's code for Bush saying that God spoke, and told him what to do.

And of course, The Holy Ghost is one thing that many actual Christians believe in; The Holy Gut™ is what SICs believe in. POTL, all of them.

So, I'm pleased to see that The Holy Gut&trade meme is starting to spread. Thanks to alert reader elvis56. Go thou and do likewise.

NOTE Wouldn't it be great if blogger didn't suck so bad? I mean, all I want is for it to publish when I hit the publish button. Is that too much to ask?

Rapture index closes down 1 on lowered financial unrest 


But guess what? The loons are wrong! The Rapture may be coming, well, like a thief in the night...

Of course, this may be a temporary thing, since it looks like the Europeans and the Asians have decided they don't want to finance our debt anymore:

ut a rash of new data, including Treasury Department figures released yesterday showing a net sell-off by foreigners of U.S. bonds in August, has stoked debate over whether overseas investors -- private individuals, institutions and government central banks -- are growing dangerously bearish on the U.S. economy.

In a speech this March, Lawrence H. Summers, a Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and now the president of Harvard University, warned of "a kind of global balance of financial terror," in which the economic well-being of the United States depends on the actions of foreign governments.

"There is surely something off about the world's greatest power being the world's greatest debtor," he said. "In order to finance prevailing levels of consumption and investment, must the United States be as dependent as it is on the discretionary acts of what are inevitably political entities in other countries?"

In a word, Yes. Because that is what Bush's reckless fiscal policies have brought us too. (Historical note: The Brits, when they had their empire, were lenders, not debtors.)

And a cheerful word from Paul Krugman here:

The twin U.S. budget and trade deficits would set alarm bells ringing if we were a third world country. For now, America gets the benefit of the doubt, but if financial markets decide that we have turned into a banana republic, the sky's the limit for interest rates.

I always wondered why Greenspan recommended that people go for variable rate mortgages...

Anyhow, Dean was so, so right. The Republicans can't handle money.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


copyright 2003-2010

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?