Saturday, October 30, 2004

Always Remember 

Image shamelessly stolen from World O' Crap.

MBF watch: Republican iconography seems strangely familiar... 

There's this:

And then there's this:

And of course there's this:

But I hear the torchlight parades are beautiful!

The Bush - A lie in progress 

"We let Mr. Bush get away with this. And we ought to be ashamed. Now, we need to do something about our own mistakes." ~ Jim Moore

Bush's Tactical Lying by Jim Moore ( author of Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential )
Being wrong is not very gratifying. Still, I had hoped I was mistaken about George W. Bush. But all of the evidence indicated my president was a liar, a man skilled at deception and changing the evidence to construct alternate realities.

I had been interviewing and writing about Mr. Bush consistently for over 15 years and had spoken with him on the record many times prior to his political ascension. I gave him the benefit of believing what he told me. This is what journalists do.

But they also verify. And when I began the business of corroborating and trying to check out George W. Bush and his various narratives, I began to have grave doubts.


Recently, Russ Baker got Herskowitz [ed note: Mickey Herskowitz, Bush biographer] to sit down to a taped interview and talk about what Bush had related when they began work on the Bush biography in 1999. And, according to Herskowitz, almost everything the public thinks it knows about Bush is wrong.

For 10 years, I have been trying to prove Mr. Bush has been lying and obfuscating about his time in the Texas and Alabama Air National Guard. Russ Baker's interview with Herskowitz proved I was right. As I traveled on the 2000 presidential campaign, I grew weary of hearing Mr. Bush claim that he had reported for duty in Alabama and then, in his biography, A Charge to Keep, he claimed he continued to fly with his Texas unit for many years.

Unless our president is pathological, he knew this was not true. I never found a record to prove Lt. Bush ever reported to duty in Alabama, yet the magnificent research work of Paul Lukusiak proved that Mr. Bush got paid.


My own research and writing indicated the future president was given a free pass to simply leave for Alabama and not report to any kind of duty ever again. And that's precisely how Mr. Bush related the story to Herskowitz back in 1999.


The Herskowitz interview with Baker is more evidence that the Bush organization is willing to recreate history, alter evidence, destroy documentation, and mislead anyone who is seeking the facts about their power.

Much more... read entire post at Democrats.com



The wingers think the OBL tape is a gift.

Yeah, right.

Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.


When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Til by turning, turning we come round right

'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,


'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.

(Simple Gifts was a work song sung by the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (more commonly called the Shakers, an offshoot of the Quakers).

"And when we hear what others really think and really feel" sounds a lot like not living in the bubble. Eh?

Try singing this in the lines at the polls....

Why they fight 

Hey, I bet our troll gets GOP Team Leader points for polluting your discourse:

Team Leaders get the inside scoop on what's going on at the Republican Party. Each week you will receive an update, The Team Leader, about the latest stories, bills, and actions around the country.

In addition to being given a "political edge" over the competition, you earn GOPoints for each Action Item completed. Action Items range from writing a letter to your editor to calling local voters and gauging public opinion. The GOPoints you earn can, in turn, be redeemed for collateral of your choice, ranging from leather PDA covers to folding chairs.
(via GOP Team Leader)

Hey, what about the beer coolers?

Line up, sign up, and re-enlist today!

PA in a Landslide 

That's not a prediction, that's an order. Win it by 50,000 at the very least, and then this Republican-projection-of-voter-suppression-charges horseshit will be a bit of post-election trivia. Let them count overseas absentees until the fifth of never, let all of them be for Bush (yeah, right) and let it mean nothing.

(via Phluffya Inkwire)
HARRISBURG - The state will count absentee ballots of Pennsylvanians living abroad and serving in the military overseas that arrive up to eight days after Tuesday's election under a compromise brokered yesterday by a federal judge.

Pennsylvania's 67 counties have sent about 26,700 absentee ballots overseas, but it is unclear how many were mailed to military personnel, who tend to vote Republican.

By settling on Nov. 10, the state leaves itself enough time to count the ballots and factor them into a new law triggering a recount in statewide races closer than half of one percentage point, said Mark Aronchick, a Philadelphia election-law expert hired by the Rendell administration.

For more than a week, Rendell has come under intense pressure from GOP officials who have accused him of trying to suppress the military vote.

His main phone line has been swamped by more than 1,000 calls, prompted by conservative talk-show hosts who have urged listeners to complain.

The Republican Party was exploiting the issue "big time... to try and create the impression that Democrats don't care about the military," Rendell said in one of two conference calls with reporters yesterday.

Bush suppresses secret Supplement to the 9/11 Report until after the election 

And speaking of information that wants to be free:

One last chapter of the investigation by the Sept. 11 commission, a supplement completed more than two months ago, has not yet been made public by the Justice Department, and officials say it is unlikely to be released before the presidential election, even though that had been a major goal of deadlines set for the panel.
(via the-actually-doing-some-reporting-these-days New York Times)

I wonder why it hasn't been made public? Perhaps the content of the report will provide a clue!

Drawing from this unpublished part of the inquiry, the commission quietly asked the inspectors general at the Departments of Defense and Transportation to review what it had determined were broadly inaccurate accounts provided by several civil and military officials about efforts to track and chase the hijacked aircraft on Sept. 11.

Besides the pursuit of the hijacked planes, the supplement, a monograph 60 to 70 pages long, revisits other subjects in the commission's final report of July - telephone calls made from the hijacked airplanes, airline security and orders issued that morning by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney - and provides additional detail or context, former commission members said.

Interesting.... But how, you ask, did this portion of the 9/11 report not get published? A series of unfortunate events:

The monograph was submitted to the Justice Department just as the commission's term expired on Aug. 21, a date selected by Congress after long negotiations to avoid bringing out the commission's report at the height of the presidential campaign.It arrived not only as the commission became legally defunct, but also as many commission members and the staff lost their security clearances, Mr. Corallo said. That meant no one from the commission could discuss with the Justice Department lawyers how to edit material that needed to be changed for security reasons, he said.

"Had the commission gotten it to them two or three days before the deadline, they could have resolved any issue in minutes, as they usually do," Mr. Corallo said.

As a result of these complications, the supplement is the first of the commission's documents to be completely controlled by the Bush administration. While the commission was still in business, it was able to exert pressure on the White House when all 10 members, 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans, simply issued a public request for cooperation.

Well, it's all very simple, isn't it? Bush should just order the release of the secret report...

Then again, why can't the newspaper that published the Pentagon Papers publish this? After all, doens't knowing the orders that Bush gave on 9/11 bear on his fitness to be elected President?

UPDATE It's interesting that this is the thread that our troll chose to infest. Always a good diagnostic about what the wingers hate and fear, eh? The last time, it was when CBS published evidence confirming what we already knew—that Bush did not fulfill his duty to the country in the TxANG; this time, it's the story that Bush is suppressing the orders he and Acting President Cheney gave on 9/11. I wonder why? Go for that beer cooler, trolls! You can do it!

Pax—worse than Sinclair 

Digby has the scoop.

Information Wants to Be Free 

"Free" as in "able to run like an antelope out of control," not free as in without cost or payment. This is of interest mostly to media junkies, but has some interesting points and a couple of (I know you're going to find this hard to believe) fibs by ass-covering members of the Hubbard clan...

(via Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
Monday night, former KSTP reporter Dean Staley called KSTP photojournalist Joe Caffrey to talk about an award the two had just won for their work in Iraq.

Their conversation turned to a story about missing munitions that had run that day in the New York Times and on CBS.

"Joe," Staley told Caffrey, "those bunkers in the story look awfully familiar. I think we were there."

The conversation led to a scoop that's made KSTP, Channel 5, the most popular girl at the media prom this week. News of its exclusive footage of U.S. soldiers sorting through explosives-filled bunkers spread like wildfire through the Internet, radio talk shows and conventional news outlets.

KSTP broke the story Wednesday during its 10 p.m. news. The footage, shot by Caffrey nine days after the fall of Baghdad, appeared to contradict Bush administration assertions that explosives missing from the Al-Qaqaa munitions complex had been removed before U.S. troops arrived.

Thursday night, ABC used its affiliate's footage and "from there it snowballed," said Caffrey. On Friday, KSTP's footage was the focus of a front-page New York Times story, a report on NBC's "Today" show, a Pentagon news conference and chatter on myriad Web sites.
We pause to blush at this point

On a normal day, KSTP's Web site attracts about 36,000 visitors. On Thursday, "it was viewed by 225,000," said general manager Rob Hubbard -- a pace that continued Friday.

It's the kind of news coup experienced by few stations and a somewhat ironic one for the Hubbard Broadcasting station, which has taken flak for its alleged conservative tilt. Now KSTP is the purveyor of a campaign "October surprise."
Now for the fib:

Hubbard also disparaged the political characterization of his family and said the story was an excellent example of its commitment to putting on the news in a fair manner.

"Neither my dad [Stanley S. Hubbard, chief executive of KSTP's corporate parent] nor anybody in my family is Republican," he said.
Google "Hubbard Broadcasting" if you find this assertion somewhat dubious. This is the company that the notorious "Joe Ryan Diaries" author works for. If they ain't Republicans they're the most pro-war Democrats since Zell Miller.

Iraq clusterfuck: Bush STILL hasn't gotten the troops armor! 

Way to support the troops, aWol! Sure, wave the flag, even pray, but as far as actually doing anything? Well, um, no.

When the 1544th Transportation Company of the Illinois National Guard was preparing to leave for Iraq in February, relatives of the soldiers offered to pay to weld steel plates on the unit's trucks to protect against roadside bombs. The Army told them not to, because it would provide better protection in Iraq, relatives said.

Seven months later, many of the company's trucks still have no armor, soldiers and relatives said, despite running some of the most dangerous missions in Iraq and incurring the highest rate of injuries and deaths among the Illinois units deployed there.

"This problem is very extensive," said Paul Rieckhoff, a former infantry platoon leader with the Florida National Guard in Iraq who now runs an organization called Operation Truth, an advocacy group for soldiers and veterans.
(via Times

Was Bush warned? Of course! Has he solved the problem? No! Sensing a pattern?

Before the 103rd Armor Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard left in late February,
some relatives bought those soldiers new body armor to supplant the Vietnam-era flak jackets that had been issued. The mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker, a member of the regiment who was killed in April, bought a global positioning device after being told that the Army said his truck should have one but would not supply it.

And before Karma Kumlin's husband left with his Minnesota National Guard unit in February, the soldiers spent about $200 each on radios that they say have turned out to be more reliable - although less secure - than the Army's. Only recently, Ms. Kumlin said, has her husband gotten a metal shield for the gunner's turret he regularly mans, after months of asking.

"This just points to an extreme lack of planning," said Ms. Kumlin, who is 31 and a student. "My husband is part of the second wave that went to Iraq."

"If we're one of the richest nations in the world, our soldiers shouldn't be sent out looking like the Beverly Hillbillies," said the mother of one soldier in the unit, who, like many parents, asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions for their children.

No reality-based thinking must be allowed to pop Inerrant Boy's Bubble.

According to figures compiled by the House Armed Services Committee and previously reported in The Seattle Times, there are
plans to produce armor kits for at least 2,806 medium-weight trucks, but as of Sept. 17, only 385 of the kits had been produced and sent to Iraq. Armor kits were also
planned for at least 1,600 heavyweight trucks, but as of mid-September just 446 of these kits were in Iraq. The Army is also looking into developing ways to armor truck cabs quickly, and has ordered 700 armored Humvees with special weapons platforms to protect convoys.

Specialist Benjamin Isenberg, 27, of the Oregon National Guard, died on Sept. 13 when he drove his unarmored Humvee over a homemade bomb, the principal weapon of the insurgents, said his grandmother, Beverly Isenberg of McArthur, Calif. The incident occurred near Taji, the town north of Baghdad where the 18 reservists refused to make a second trip with fuel that they say had been rejected as contaminated.

"One of the soldiers in his unit said they go by the same routes and at the same times every day," said Mrs. Isenberg, whose husband is a retired Army officer and who has two sons in the military and another grandson in the Special Forces who was wounded in Iraq. "They were just
sitting ducks in an unarmored Humvee."

Unbelievable, outrageous incompetence. And will someone from the Kerry campaign please jump in this in the current news cycle?

Oh, and it's been nice to see the Presidential Proclamation thanking the military families for all their efforts, and the Executive Order to pay them back.... Oh, wait....

Open GOTV thread 

Visualize winning. (From alert reader scaramouche)


Word is from de la fem, that the lines were long in CO, too. And someone beat her to the punch and had hot cocoa and cookies, but she was inside and didn't get to watch. No sign of polecats at the polls she sez, and volunteers welcome. Goddam I'm tired. Four more days and we can end four more years. Must keep repeating, must go on... The lines are long again today in NM, I'm told... so off we go again after training. I got posters and goodies. Hope the lawyers say it's o

Alert reader cgeye:

Tell Ms. de la Fem that the lines were long in Denver, too: At the local Safeway, the line went out the door, around the parking lot halfway to the street. Since it was a supermarket, as are most early sites in Denver, I figured snacks were a line-save away.


President Edwards 

Here's a riddle for you: The election is held as scheduled. None of the four candidates is subsequently killed or incapacitated in any way. On Jan. 20, 2005, John Edwards is sworn in as President of the United States.

How can this be? You always gotta read the fine print:

(via NYT)
The Constitution provides that the vice president becomes president if the president dies, resigns or is removed from office. But the 20th Amendment states that: "If a president shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the president-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the vice president-elect shall act as president until a president shall have qualified."
This story was up very, very briefly; I saw it last night but the link on the front page had vanished by this morning. It's still there, I just checked. Consider this your Saturday giggle.

Suffer the little children 

Scarred for life...

Say, that "W" graphic really works. Remind you of anything?

Today in the qWagmire 

Since actual news of the actual war has been rather crowded out by political stuff, we thought we'd catch you up:


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- In a bloody day in Iraq, eight American Marines were killed in fighting west of Baghdad on Saturday, and a car bomb killed at least seven people in attack on an Arab television bureau in the capital. Iraqi troops fired wildly on civilian vehicles, killing at least 14 people, witnesses and hospital officials said.

The U.S. military said nine Marines were also wounded in the fighting in Anbar province west of the capital which includes the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

- A militant group showed a kidnapped Sudanese interpreter, Noureddin Zakaria, who was working for U.S. contractor Titan Corp. in Ramadi and demanded his company leave Iraq, in a video aired on Al-Arabiya.
Atlanta J-C

Travis Schnoor, 39, a former Army Ranger at Fort Benning, died Wednesday after the vehicle in which he was riding flipped over after hitting an improvised explosive device near Abu Ghraib, about 20 miles west of Baghdad, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.

Schnoor's friend John Clements said he had wanted to help out in Iraq, but was too old to go back into the Army. So Schnoor resigned from the sheriff's department and joined Custer Battle of Rhode Island, a security consulting firm, Clements said.
Remember, of course, that the late Messrs. Zakaria and Schnoor do not count at "real" casualties, since they worked for contractors.

Overall, today's report--which keep in mind does not even include the final assault on Fallujah since that hasn't started yet--is summed up nicely by this historical ditty:

(via a comment thread over at Atrios)
Now sorry you all for the mess we made
It'sa way we figger that poker's played
Keep yer stinkin' Eye-raqi sand
Don't you fer'ners understand?
We'll all be free
's 'mocracy!
Now drop that RPG

And it's one, two, three
What are we fightin' for?
Don't ask me I don't give a damn
Next stop Eye-raqistan!
And its five, six, seven
No! No! Guantanamo Gate!
Who started this row?
All hat! No cow!
Whoopie! We're all AWOL now!

Come on bloggers around the globe
Post yer comments - and lock 'n' load
Come on journalists,
You know who you are
Bring the feathers and bring the tar!
Up on a rail
Heh Chimp! No bail!
AWOL a hitch in jail!

And it's one, two, three
What are we fightin' for?
Don't ask me I don't give a damn
Next stop Eye-raqistan!
And its five, six, seven
No! No! Guantanamo Gate!
Who started this row?
All hat! No cow!
Whoopie! We're all AWOL now!

GOTV: "Ground War 2004" 

Ground War 2004/The Nation
The first reports show that it's clear GOP operatives are attempting to disenfranchise voters through intimidation, suppression and bureaucratic maneuvers in states coast to coast. In Ohio, thousands of Republican challengers are being deployed to polling places in heavily Democratic--and minority--areas to contest voters' eligibility. In Jacksonville, Florida, Suzanne Charlé reports that GOP officials have resisted calls to process new registrations and open needed polling places in black neighborhoods. And, as John Nichols details in the most recent Ground War 2004 dispatch from Wisconsin, Republican officials there have been playing dirty tricks to suppress the vote in liberal Milwaukee.

Ground War 2004 will provide cutting-edge coverage of the polling wars until the election is settled. Please feel free to link to, quote from, and pass along these important pieces from the key battleground states. - The Nation

"The best defense against voter suppression is to flood the polls." ~ Katrina vanden Heuvel

GOTV - To the phones
VoterCall.org allows anyone, anywhere to make quick encouraging phone calls to young, low-income and minority voters in swing states. Progressive, nonpartisan groups have registered over 2 million of these new voters this year. If they vote, it will make a major difference, and that's why there are so many suppression efforts aimed at them. I hope you can spread the word about VoterCall. We launched a few days ago and have grown to 14,000 volunteers and rising fast. The more volunteers we have the more phone calls we can make. Millions need to be made to get the turnout we need. VoterCall is a project of Res Publica, supported by the National Council of Churches, TrueMajority, Rock the Vote, and National Voice (The November 2 Campaign)

Watch Republicans LIE (again)
Avedon Carol:
I watched tonight's (that is, Friday's) special Question Time in America, with Michael Moore, David Frum (RNC hack), Sidney Blumenthal, Richard Littlejohn (tabloid and TV hack), and Lida Rodrigues-Taseff (civil liberties attorney), with some discomfort as it devolved into an opportunity for Bushistas to recite their talking points, and particularly the one where the people registering new voters and then throwing out registration forms for the other party are Democrats throwing out Republican's forms. - Sideshow


Iraq clusterfuck: New extremely non-political Fallujah offensive 

Looks like Xan was right

See "From Fallujah To the Sea", where Xan wrote:

The "assault on Fallujah," which has been purported to start "any day now" for three weeks, will launch probably Friday, Saturday at the latest. And it will still be continuing on Election Day.

Just wanted to get that on the record. Not that I'm so cynical as to think BushCo would play games with lives and timing just to win an election or anything.

Well, Operation BOHICA looks like it's about to be given the green light:

The American military launched new airstrikes against suspected militant bases in Falljuah Saturday. They also carried out probing attacks on the city's outskirts, as they prepared for a major operation in the city.

U.S. officials say they're taking orders directly from Iraq's Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who has warned officials in Fallujah to root out and hand over militants in the past.
(via CTV)

I really love that "taking orders directly from Allawi" part. Either Bush has surrendured our sovreignty to the Iraqis, or Bush is really the one with his finger on the trigger. Which do you think it is?

I would only amend Xan's prediction as follows: "continuing on Election Day and until all the court challenges are resolved."

Friday, October 29, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

Feels like a roller coaster, doesn't it?

And with all these people running up and down the stairs, yelling, it's hard to sleep....

Iraq clusterfuck: Headline of the year 

From the Times, no less!

Bin Laden Takes Responsibility for 9/11 Attacks in New Tape
(via Times)

I think if I were a winger, or of Those Who Have Taken The Bush Oath, my head would be exploding right now...

But wait a minute... If OBL says 9/11 and Iraq have nothing to do with each other, and Kerry says 9/11 and Iraq have nothing to do with each other... That makes OBL and Kerry moral equivalents, right?

I guess we'll be hearing that all weekend....

Election Fraud 2004: Republicans use 20-year-old playbook to disenfranchise blacks 

And what they're doing is illegal:

The Republican challenges in Ohio, Wisconsin and other battleground states prompted civil rights and labor unions to sue in U.S. District Court in Newark, saying the GOP is violating a consent decree, issued in the 1980s by Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise and still in effect, that prevents the Republicans from starting "ballot security" programs to prevent voter fraud that target minorities.

Debevoise, who scheduled a hearing for Monday, expressed concern that widespread challenges on the fear of fraud could unnecessarily disrupt polling places.

Courts in the past found that Republicans used tactics that were aimed at intimidating minority voters and suppressing their votes. The consent decrees in New Jersey stemmed from several incidents in the 1980s.

In 1981, the Republican National Committee sent letters to predominantly black neighborhoods in New Jersey, and when 45,000 letters were returned as undeliverable, the committee compiled a challenge list to remove those voters from the rolls. The RNC sent off-duty law enforcement officials to the polls and hung posters in heavily black neighborhoods warning that violating election laws is a crime.

In 1986, the RNC tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned. The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to "compile voter challenge lists."

Undeliverable mail is the basis for this year's challenges in Ohio. Republicans also sent mail to about 130,000 voters in Philadelphia, another heavily black and Democratic stronghold.
(via WaPo)

Well, well, well. Sound familiar? Of course it does.

But wait! It just keeps getting better. MyDD quotes the transcript of the hearing in Ohio where around a thousand Partei challenges were thrown out:


General 2004 :: Thu Oct 28th, 2004 at 07:28:44 PM EST

MR. PRY: You have indicated in this challenge form that the person - that you believe that [Catherine Ann Herold] does not live at that residence; is that correct?

MS. MILLER: That's correct.

MR. PRY: And what is the basis for you making this challenge?

MS. MILLER: That was my impression that these items that I signed were for people whose mail had been undeliverable for several times, and that they did not live at the residence.

As if anyone the Democrats registered would agree to sign for mail sent from the Republican party!

MR. PRY: Did you personally send any mail to Ms. Herrold?

MS. MILLER: No, I did not.

MR. PRY: Have you seen any mail that was returned to Ms. Herrold?

MS. MILLER: No, I have not.

MR. PRY: Do you have any personal knowledge as we stand here today that Ms. Herrold does not live at the address at 238 30th Street Northwest?

MS. MILLER: Only that which was my impression; that their mail had not been able to be delivered.

MR. PRY: And who gave you that impression?

MS. MILLER: Attorney Jim Simon.

MR. PRY: And what did --

MS. MILLER: He's an officer of the party.

MR. PRY: An officer of which party?

MS. MILLER: Republican party.

I love it. "The party Partei"...

MR. PRY: What did Mr. Simon tell you with respect to Ms. Herrold's residence?

MS. MILLER: That the mail had come back undeliverable several times from that residence.

As if anyone would sign for registered mail that came from the Republican Party!

MR. PRY: And you never saw the returned mail?

MS. MILLER: No, I did not.

MR. PRY: Now, you've indicated that you signed this based on some personal knowledge.

MR. HUTCHINSON: (Joseph F. Hutchinson, Jr. Summit County Board of Elections) No

MR. ARSHINKOFF: (Alex R. Arshinkoff, Summit County Board of Elections) Reason to believe. It says, "I have reason to believe." It says it on the form.

MR. JONES: It says, "I hereby declare under penalty of election falsification, that the statements above are true as I verily believe."

MR. ARSHINKOFF: It says here, "I have reason to believe."

MR. HUTCHINSON: It says what it says.

MR. ARSHINKOFF: You want her indicted, get her indicted.

MR. PRY: That may be where it goes next.

MR. HUTCHINSON: Yeah, give it a try.

MR. MORRISON: I'm going to enter an objection.

MR. JONES: Can we have you name?

MR. MORRISON: Yes. Jack Morrison. I've just been informed by Mr. Pry that an indictment may flow out of this, and therefore I'm instructing Ms. Miller to exercise her privilege against self-incrimination. She will not answer any further questions

Beautiful! A Republican thug takes the fifth!

Now that We've Lost the Last Four Years... 

...on global warming in particular and environmental issues in general, does anybody in the Reality-Based Community want to shoot for eight?

I didn't think so. And note that Some Dear Leader we won't name has again failed his own global test:

(via NYT (science writer, not politics))
"These changes in the Arctic provide an early indication of the environmental and societal significance of global warming," the executive summary of the report says.

The study, called the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, was commissioned four years ago by the eight nations with Arctic territory - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States - and conducted and reviewed by 250 scientists and representatives of six organizations representing Arctic native communities.

The study was scheduled for release at a conference in Iceland on Nov. 9, but electronic copies of some portions were provided to The New York Times by European participants in the project, several of whom said that publication had been delayed in part by the Bush administration because of the political contentiousness of global warming.
Note that Inerrant Leader's "home" is a good long ways inland. Go read the whole thing, if only because He doesn't want you to. Might forward it to anyone who lives in Florida, Lousiana, or other coastal states, as well as Alaska which is most directly affected by the data in this report. Oh, btw, they are so fucked.

Not arrogant, no no 

Once again, words fail me:

[DICK "DICK" CHENEY] "Afghanistan and Iraq will be studied for years for their brilliance."
(via AP)

Lemon-fresh pledge 

Once again, Bush outdoes himself. When I lightheartedly (back showed a picture of Bush seeming to give a left-handed Nazi salute to his followers, I had no idea that, within 48 hours, I'd be reading about Bush followers taking an oath of allegiance to the person of Dear Leader. Once again, parody becomes an ugly, ugly reality:

"I want you to stand, raise your right hands," and recite "the Bush Pledge," said Florida state Sen. Ken Pruitt. The assembled mass of about 2,000 in this Treasure Coast town about an hour north of West Palm Beach dutifully rose, arms aloft, and repeated after Pruitt: "I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect, re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States."
(via John Marshall)

Um, I think there's a transcription error. Shouldn't that be "raise your right arm"?

The terrifying thing about this, is that once someone was actually gone down this road, pledged allegiance to the person of Goerge Bush, it's hard for to imagine them returning to anything resembling reality; the cognitive dissonance would be too great. These people are entrapped, doomed, lost forever.

Oh, and isn't the double repetition of "re-elect" precious? Like they're stamping down all doubt.

Sick. Disgusting.

UPDATE Billmon returns!

He's b-a-a-a-c-k! 

And as a five o'clock horror, no less:

The video, broadcast on Al-Jazeera television, showed bin Laden with a long gray beard, wearing traditional white robes, a turban and a golden cloak, standing behind a table with papers and in front of a plain, brown curtain.

His hands were steady as he spoke and he appeared healthy.
(via AP)

Looks like that dialysis worked out just fine!

And nice work on that "Dead or alive" thing, Inerrant Boy...

Gaslight watch: "Never mind!" 

TheCIA can't authenticate the tape:

After a technical analysis, the CIA cannot determine whether a videotape obtained by ABC News in Pakistan featuring a man claiming to be affiliated with al Qaeda is authentic, a U.S. intelligence official said Thursday.

"We have been unable to verify the tape's authenticity," the official said.
(via CNN)

So much for "Shazzam the American" ....

No one's buying it. 

As evidenced by this story, no one is buying the administration's furious spinning about the 380 tons of missing high explosives from al QaQaa.

Yet, even in this story, there's a weasely paragraph that comes straight from Rove that is supposed to show "balance" on the part of the stenographers in our press corps:

Still, 377 tons of explosives amount to a tiny fraction of the weaponry in Iraq. U.S. forces have already destroyed, or have slated to destroyed, more than 400,000 tons of all manner of Iraqi weapons and ammunition. But at least another 250,000 tons from Saddam's regime remain unaccounted for, and some has undoubtedly fallen into the hands of insurgents.
It's apparently supposed to make us feel better that the incompetents in this administration have also lost 250,000 more tons of weapons and ammunition?

That's pathetic.

And Atrios is right, by holding this press conference today they've made sure this leads the news cycle for another day.

How stupid was that, anyway?

Karl Can't Be Likin' This 

Now this story is strictly nonpartisan. But take a look at some of these numbers and tell me who you think these people are voting for. Background: Gwinnett County, Georgia, is east-northeast of Atlanta:

(via Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The first batch of voters started lining up at 4:30 a.m. Thursday, some plopping into lawn chairs outside Gwinnett's only early-voting precinct.

They were guaranteed at least a 3 1/2-hour wait until voting booths opened at 8 a.m. As it turns out, they had among the shortest stays at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

About 500 voters had lined up before the polls opened, county Elections Supervisor Lynn Ledford estimated.

The official end of an early voting day is 5 p.m., but those already in line are allowed to complete the process.

On Wednesday, the last of 2,200 voters finished at 9:45 p.m., Ledford said.
So, Karl, how's that voter-suppression campaign going? Eh? What's that? I can't seem to hear you, Karl....Karl? Are you crying, Karl?

Suppression, anyone? 

Salon asks and Julian Bond answers:

Do you expect the tactics to be any heavier-handed this year than in the past?

Oh, yeah. I think it will be worse than in 2000. For one thing, in 2000 you did not have the law-enforcement apparatus of the government engaged on one side of the contest, as you do now. Attorney General [John] Ashcroft has instituted this so-called ballot integrity program. Yes, despite appeals to him to issue statements saying we're interested in protecting the voters' right to cast their votes, he's focused entirely on suspicions and allegations of fraud. I don't think anyone thinks that fraud is a widespread problem in the American electoral system. Instead, he's instructed his attorneys general across the United States to be on the alert for fraud, rather than be on the alert for people who are likely to stymie voters and keep them from casting their votes. The two parties are much more aware, taking a lesson from 2000, that every vote counts, and the Democrats take the lesson to mean we need to get all our people to the polls, while the Republicans take the lesson to mean we have to keep as many people as we can away.

Why don't you ever hear about intimidation tactics being used in predominantly white precincts?

You never hear about it because if you're walking down the street and you see a black face and a white face, you can make an informed guess that that black face is going to vote for the Democrats, and so minorities are the targets of people who want to suppress Democratic votes. That's true -- you never hear about this occurring in white precincts. And it's evidence of the partisan and pernicious nature of these practices.

As far as the hard-won right to vote is concerned -- and to have that vote count -- what's at stake for African-Americans in this election?

…It's because after years of trying to suppress and nullify black voters, they've [Republicans] now tried to slice away a wedge of black voters. And in 11 states, [they] have these so-called marriage amendments on the ballot [to prevent gay marriage] and have begun an aggressive campaign to solicit the support of conservative black clergy. And in some respects, they've succeeded. Now, the NAACP opposed the federal amendments, which failed, and opposed these state-level amendments. And Kweisi Mfume, the president and chief executive officer of the NAACP, and I as the chairman, have written letters to ministers in these 11 states, telling them of our opposition and saying that these state-level amendments are simply devices to split the progressive coalition.

via Suppression "WorseThan in 2000" (no day pass required--truthout)

There were long lines at the community center early voting station in Podunksville today, and many of the faces were brown, looking tired. So my traveling companion and myself, having rid ourselves of livestock and having a few dollars, bought a bunch of tiny doughnuts and little cans of juice and handed them out to the folks in line, encouraged them to stay. My companion had bought a Kerry mask at the mall, and so he wore that while handing out goodies, saying “compliments of the next president.” Got a lot of laughs and nobody stopped us. Of course, the line went around the building so probably nobody saw us, either, and I think we were outside the limit anyway. Besides, except for asking Dom to take off the mask, I don't think there's any legal basis to run us off--nothing illegal about handing out juice and doughnuts.

Had to take off our Kerry-a-bilia before we could go inside, but once there actually found other mostly brown faces working hard to get the voters through.

This is a good thing. But if Professor Bond is right, all too rare. I’m divided as to whether he’s right about fraud vs. suppression—I can’t say I’ve actually witnessed a big GOP GOTV effort around here except for annoying phone calls, but maybe I missed it. And there has been a real effort, as he says happened among black voters, to sway Native and Hispanic voters to Bush along Church lines. I’m pleased to say it doesn’t seem to be working around here very well. And I didn't see any people with intimidating clipboards or cameras today. But elsewhere? Anybody walked up to one of these folks and asked "who are you?"

Get the base to the polls, folks. Help keep the line happier with goodies and encouragement. And don’t hesitate to stick your head in the door. As long as you’re not partisan or rude, you can watch the democratic process. If your state—or nearby states—don’t have early voting, be ready for 11/2. Watch for suppression efforts, especially among minority voters.

Bu$henomics: "untouched by analysis, history, or evidence." 

Former Nixon administration Commerce Secretary issues S.O.S: Transcript
My name is Pete Peterson. I'm the cofounder and chairman of the Blackstone Group, I chair the Council on Foreign Relations. I've just stepped down as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.


You have tax cuts, and we've become theological about tax cuts. You know, faith directe, more or less untouched by analysis, history, or evidence. And it's morphed into, "Any tax cut, any time." But a long-term tax cut is not a tax cut at all, unless it's accompanied by long-term spending cuts. It's what you'd call a deferred tax increase on the future, which is our children.


So we become a new oxymoron: the Big Government conservative. So my party has, in a sense, lost its moorings in recent years.

He [George W. Bush]'s a charming person. There were about a dozen of us, largely fat cats from Wall Street, and I said, "Well, sir, if you're elected president, there's a moral issue and a philosophical issue." And he said, "What's this moral point?" And I told him about the German theologian, Bonhoeffer, who said that the ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children. And I said, "Sir, as I look at these fat cats around this table, I wonder about the morality of what we're doing here -- because while we're getting tax cuts, our kids are going to get huge tax increases, because of our largesse.

Well, you could see that I'd hit him in the solar plexus, or somewhere else, and I said, "I don't think tax cuts are immoral." He was somewhat shaken or irritated by my comment. And I said, "Sir, I didn't say tax cuts were immoral. I said tax cuts for people like us, before you've solved the costs you're going to be passing on to your kids, is in my judgment immoral. But you could just tell by his steely response that tax cuts are part of the theology.

I'm goin' with the "somewhere else" for purely aesthetic reasons.


The Media Monstrosity 

Todd Gitlin (Mother Jones):
The Great Media Breakdown - The press admits it fell for the administration's line on weapons of mass destruction. But the media's failure goes far beyond Iraq.

But of late, the government has had plenty of help in its efforts at dominance. To a disgraceful degree, the organs of news have been grinding out its tune. Many are the reasons for deference. Reporters and editors are credulous, fearful, and flatly bamboozled. Timid about getting out ahead of a public they respect more when it is "conservative" (read: rightwardly radical) than when it is liberal, they bend over backward to accommodate spin doctors. They grant officialdom the benefit of the doubt. They fear risking independent judgment, which they have defined as occupational hubris. They are terrified of missing out on the perks of access. They fear that detailing the anatomy of official distortion will turn off readers and viewers. Their proprietors, seeking favor in high places, cool their critical engines. So the media yield to temptation and morph into megaphones, and falsehoods too often and too loudly repeated take on the ring of plausibility.


Yet even now, the news industry remains unwilling or unable to come to grips with the full scope and system of its failures, and the narrowness of the media's self-criticism does not inspire confidence that they will refuse to swallow government propaganda the next time. (Television news bigwigs, for one, have yet to admit any responsibility for having escorted the nation into a calamitous war.) In fact, the malfunctions extend far beyond the question of WMD, beyond even the routine deceptions of George W. Bush. The machinery of truth-telling has broken down. - continue...

Incestuous Assholification:
Defined as a condition indigenous to todays rightwing radio and cableTV "newspeak" media political culture. Where one only repeats "official" GOP talking points presented in lock-step agreement with reinforcing set beliefs and creating a situation ripe for predisposed imbecilities.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

Eesh. Last night was the last time farmer lures me out from under the stairs. And the pools with the sunken nymphs are for the executives. I just work at The Mighty Corrente Building, buffing the nymphs pools. I don't actually execute anything.

I hope somebody's figuring out how to make the long lines at the polls convivial...

Gave two cheerful drunks some change today and told them "Be sure to spend it on alchohol!" Does that make me a bad person? If they laughed?

Remember: It takes a village to stomp a weasel!

More Qa Qaa about al Qa Qaa 


The satellite image that the folks in the Pentagon are peddling this evening isn't even a photo of a bunker that held any of the explosives in question!

(See a rather revealing comparison photo here.)

(Of course, I haven't ever figured out how you could have squeezed 380 tons of explosives onto two tractor trailer rigs in the first place, but I digress.)

In short, they're lying to us once again.

Will our subservient press even point this out?

(link via Josh)

Al Caca: Bush is Da Bomb! 

Many others have gleefully noted ABC's (!) takedown of the latest YABL on the looting of 380 tons of high explosive from an Iraqi warehouse because Bush didn't send enough troops to guard it. We've got pictures.

But the winger frothing and stamping has obscured the most amazing fact: It's the Iraqis themselves who say the explosives were looted! Which makes the transcendant genius of Bush claiming the Kerry is "leaping to conclusions" all the more mind-boggling. Alert reader riffle, in comments:

The IAEA has a PDF file that includes a page which looks a lot like this one (minus the "confidential" stamp, the border-lines in the table, and misc markings). It includes the text:

We would like to inform you that the following materials which have been included in annex 3 (item 74) registered under IAEA custody were lost after 9 April 2003, through the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security. Therefore we feel an urgent updating of the registered materials is required.

The PDF file is here: IAEA letter.
If that link doesn't work, here's the URL:


So. Um. The goverment that Bush himself installed says the stuff was looted, and then Bush and the entire wingersphere says Kerry's jumping to conclusions. WTF?

How the Republicans support the troops 

No, this isn't the story about how Bush sent the troops into battle without body armor or enough armored vehicles, and didn't have a plan to win the peace.

This is the story about the Republicans desperate attempts to blame somebody, anybody, for letting 380 tons of high explosives get looted during the Iraq war. Ideal for IEDs, don't you think?

It's been quoted all day, but I have to quote it here, for the sheer pleasure of seeing hypocrisy in its rawest, purest, most odiferous skankiest form:

"No matter how you try and blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops who were there. Did they search carefully enough?" Giuliani said on NBC's "Today" show.
(via Reuters)

Right. It's the troops fault.

Why do the Republicans hate the troops?

"Jumping to Conclusions" 

Nice Kerry takedown of one of the index cards KaWen wrote up for Inerrant Boy:

Bush on Wednesday accused Kerry of opportunism, saying: "A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as commander-in-chief."

Kerry threw the words back at the president during an appearance in Toledo, where he announced he was going "to apply the Bush standard" and declared: "Mr. President, I agree with you."

"George Bush jumped to conclusions about 9/11 and Saddam Hussein," he said. "George Bush jumped to conclusions about weapons of mass destruction ... George Bush jumped to conclusions about how the Iraqi people would receive our troops. He not only jumped to conclusions, he ignored the facts he was given."
(via Reuters)


The Wecovery: Unemployment up again. Surprise! 

I wondered why Rove would have Vlastos break the tape on a Thursday, but fifty slaps with a wet noodle for me! That's when the economic statistics come out!

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week by 20,000, the largest jump in a month, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The bigger-than-expected increase pushed total new claims to 350,000 last week and provided fresh evidence that the labor market is still under pressure even though the economic recovery is about to celebrate its third anniversary.
(via AP)

Don't you love that? Three years of recovery and the jobs market still sucks. Some recovery! Some "celebration"!

And—Oh wow!—the economists are wrong again! Can't we please outsource them?

The increase of 20,000 was sharply higher than the 6,000 gain that many private economists had been expecting and was the biggest one-week rise since a jump of 21,000 claims in the week of Sept. 25.

Andmdash;Oh wow!—again!

For September, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.4 percent, but businesses added just 98,000 new jobs, far below what analysts had been expecting.

Why do we believe the analysts? This is the policy result that Bush is aiming for! (A touch of the lash," back) Please, Mr. Overseer ....

Gaslight watch: ABC breaks extremely non-political terror alert story 

You know—the one first leaked to Sludge? (back)

Read all about Azzam the American:!

Or would that be Shazzam the American?

As usual with Bush, I don't know whether to puke or go blind. I guess I'm too reality based. The message seems, um, a little bit mixed to me.

Bush Logic
The Bush logic seems to be:

1. Bush has been President for 4 years

2. There's going to be a terror attack right before the election!

3. Therefore, only Bush can keep the country safe!


Does anyone else understand this reasoning? Because I sure don't.

Is the tape authentic?
UPDATE Oh, uh, authenticity. Here's what the vry mild-mannered Christian Science Monitor has to say:

A new videotape that has surfaced in Pakistan threatens a massive attack against the United States by a purported American member of Al Qaeda. It is not yet known if the tape is an authentic Al Qaeda production, but it bears enough resemblance that some experts are taking the tape seriously.

Well, we'll be anxiously awaiting the word from the Superscript and Times Roman experts on how it's possible to authenticate digital footage from a Pakistani (intelligence?) source on the eve of the election. Eh?

After all:

[It] shows a high degree of sophistication and bears the logo of Al Qaeda's video production house, As-Sahab.

Hey, it's got an AQ logo on it! Say no more! Say no more!

On the video, the unknown man's face is masked with a Palestinian scarf and sunglasses. He stabs the air with his finger, which appears to be fair-skinned, as he delivers his warning in American-accented English.

Couldn't Rove find an authentic Arab? Or is this some subtle, subliminal suggestion about "the traitors among us"?

ABC doesn't know the tape is authentic, releases it anyhow
Great to see the wingers frothing and stamping about ABC doing what CBS did. Oh, wait... Anyhow, here's a look into the hopes and dreams of the ABC producer handling this story:

Gretchen [Peters] a producer for ABC News, worked with local journalists to obtain a tape from an English-speaking militant threatening attacks on the US (see story). She says that this kind of work often means paying people to transport material from these remote locations. "We did pay a courier $500 for bringing us the video," Gretchen says. "He wanted much more, but we bargained him way down. Normally I pay about $200 when people bring videotapes from tribal areas like Waziristan. These guys incur expenses; it takes several days to make the trip." She says that other news organizations also pay for delivery of material.

Still, Gretchen is confident that this didn't compromise the integrity of the information on the tape. While she hadn't worked with this particular courier before, most of the people she uses are local Pakistani journalists who work for reputable daily newspapers and radio stations. "Some people speculate that the tape is a hoax made by people who wanted the cash, but $500 would be a paltry sum to get for the amount of work that went into making that video," Gretchen says.

Oh, Gretchen. Gretchen, Gretchen, Gretchen. The question isn't whether your source made the video for $500. The question is, who made the video for the source? And why oh why did they have to use an Arabic speaker with an American accent?

"The speaker is fluent in English, is extremely articulate, the subtitling is in perfect Arabic, and he makes all the Al Qaeda arguments."

Wow! Good production values! Whoever made the tape had plenty of money! That proves the tape is authentic!

Gretchen agrees that ABC, which had not aired the tape by the time the Monitor went to press, must proceed with caution, especially in the wake of CBS News mistakenly using forged documents in a story critical of President Bush. The ABC tape features an anonymous speaker that the CIA can't identify. "We need to be 100 percent sure, but there are a lot of markings that indicate it is an Al Qaeda video," she says. "I feel it is the real deal. And I'm still hoping we can prove it."

We still hope we can prove it's real.... Oh. My. God. Man, that sure is proceeding with caution!

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

The essential Atrios makes two good points here: (1) Remember the good old days, when Condi said that the networks shouldn't air AQ tapes? What's changed between then and now, I wonder? (2) Drudge's source for the tape was doubtless VWRC operative and winger whore Chris Vlastos. Of course.

Out of the mouths of babes....
In fact, even the freepers think it's fake!

Wonder how long it will take for that post to be wiped? Perceptive comment on the Rovian subliminalness, though—the "traitors among us" would, of course, be gay.

Department of Cheap Little Ironies
The tape comes out on the same day that Bush pulls a doctored campaign ad. And the beauty part? The ad was named "Whatever it takes." Heh.

Math for Republicans 

I ain’t no mathematician, but:

One Cheat:
Before one vote was cast in early voting this week in Florida, the new touch-screen computer voting machines of Florida started out with a several-thousand vote lead for George W. Bush. That is, the mechanics of the new digital democracy boxes "spoil" votes at a predictably high rate in African-American precincts, effectively voiding enough votes cast for John Kerry to in a tight race, keep the White House safe from the will of the voters. via Florida Computers Snatch Thousands of Votes From Kerry

Plus One Real Threat Bushco Ignores:
As I learned while embedded in Iraq, the highly lethal explosives stolen from Al Qaqaa are just a fraction of the mountain of poorly secured munitions that could be turned against U.S. soldiers and citizens. via Lethal Explosives: Tip of the Iceberg

Plus One Pissed Off Military:
Citing the insurgency, a lack of manpower and a plan to reorganize, the service's chief of staff says deployments cannot be shortened. The Army has abandoned the possibility of shortening 12-month combat tours in Iraq to six or nine months, its top officer said Tuesday. via Iraq Combat Tours

Plus One More Doctored Ad:
INDIANOLA, Iowa - President Bush's campaign acknowledged Thursday that it had doctored a photograph used in a television commercial and said the ad will be re-edited and reshipped to TV stations. via Bush campaign to re-edit doctored ad

Plus One Bunch of Liberated People:
(AP) A survey of deaths in Iraqi households estimates that as many as 100,000 more people may have died throughout the country in the 18 months after the U.S. invasion than would be expected based on the death rate before the war. via Household Survey Sees 100,000 Iraqi Deaths

Equals: One Stomped Weasel (as below with a hat-tip to Kos in the article)
With that brief polling primer, anyone can take a look at the numbers and get a sense for the state of the race. And a strict by-the-numbers calculation shows that Bush is in serious trouble.

In Ohio, Bush numbers range from 43-49%, failing to break 50% in any of the 12 Ohio polls in October. Indeed, there are signs that Bush has essentially abandoned the state, working to build his electoral majority by winning three out of four in Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. But October polling in those states also show an incumbent in serious trouble.

In 14 Florida polls, Bush hasn't broken 50% since a SurveyUSA poll conducted between October 1 and October 3. A subsequent SurveyUSA poll now gives Kerry a 50-49 lead in the state. In Iowa, a single poll has him at 51% while six others range between 46% and 49%. Wisconsin is giving Democrats heartburn, but Bush breaks 50% in only one of the nine polls this month. Two independent polls put him as far back as 43%. New Mexico has Bush in the 43-49% range, anaemic numbers in a state Gore won by less than 1,000 votes.

Much can happen in one week, and Republicans are doing their part to prevent a fair election. Perhaps the Bush campaign is right and the 50% rule won't apply to them this year. But the Bushies haven't been right about much of anything the past four years, while Democrats are vigorously challenging voter suppression efforts around the country. As of this writing, this is Kerry's election to lose. via Polling Truth

Explosive Proof 

This is it. No more spinning "The Russians did it!" Guliani can take his "it's the soldiers' fault" and shove it, along with his reputation, rectally.

Let's go to tape, folks. This is from KSTP TV, a Minneapolis-St. Paul station owned by the Hubbard company, whose news director used to do PR work for Republican governors and whose owner has been gung-ho for this war all along.

(via Atrios)
A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew in Iraq shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein was in the area where tons of explosives disappeared.

The missing explosives are now an issue in the presidential debate. Democratic candidate John Kerry is accusing President Bush of not securing the site they allegedly disappeared from. President Bush says no one knows if the ammunition was taken before or after the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003 when coalition troops moved in to the area.

Using GPS technology and talking with members of the 101st Airborne 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS determined our crew embedded with them may have been on the southern edge of the Al Qaqaa installation, where that ammunition disappeared. Our crew was based just south of Al Qaqaa. On April 18, 2003 they drove two or three miles north into what is believed to be that area.

During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew bunker after bunker of material labelled explosives. Usually it took just the snap of a bolt cutter to get in and see the material identified by the 101st as detonation cords.

"We can stick it in those and make some good bombs." a soldier told our crew.

There were what appeared to be fuses for bombs. They also found bags of material men from the 101st couldn't identify, but box after box was clearly marked "explosive."

In one bunker, there were boxes marked with the name "Al Qaqaa", the munitions plant where tons of explosives allegedly went missing.

Once the doors to the bunkers were opened, they weren't secured. They were left open when the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew and the military went back to their base.

"We weren't quite sure what were looking at, but we saw so much of it and it didn't appear that this was being secured in any way," said photojournalist Joe Caffrey. "It was several miles away from where military people were staying in their tents".

Officers with the 101st Airborne told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the bunkers were within the U.S. military perimeter and protected. But Caffrey and former 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Reporter Dean Staley, who spent three months in Iraq, said Iraqis were coming and going freely.
As of five minutes ago, MSNBC's lead on this story was still the Moonie Times' babble about the Russians, which incidentally mentioned neither the dubious nature of the Times, the questionable nature of the Times' source on the matter, nor the fact that the Russian defense department and government at all levels has flatly denied it.

Call all your local TV stations and ask if they have this tape yet. By damn I think we can turn a "he said, he said" story into a "he said, HE LIED, DAMMIT!" story by tonight's network newscasts.

Let slip the wolves of truth!

MBF Watch: The Thuggery List 

Maintained by the ever essential Orcinus.

Ever notice how when Democrats complain about Republican thuggery, it's stuff the Republicans have already done, and when Republicans complain, it's about stuff they say the Democrats are going to do? I guess it's the concepts of "evidence" and "reasoning" as opposed to faith-based pre-emption.... All over again.

Electing the Supreme Court 

Just in case anybody is STILL not motivated to get people to the polls, consider the words of Marjorie Cohn:

…The Supreme Court is currently divided by a razor-thin 5-4 margin. Regardless of the outcome of Rehnquist's illness, he has said he would not remain on the Court for another four years. Bush, if given a second term, would replace Rehnquist with a much younger, right-winger, who would remain on the Court for years to come. Bush would also have the opportunity to choose the next chief justice, who could significantly shape the Court. If Bush had his druthers, he would elevate Scalia or Thomas to Chief. But either choice would invite a nasty partisan battle in the Senate, which must approve the president's nomination by a two-thirds vote. Bush would probably find another right-wing zealot to assume the role of chief justice.

What would the Court look like if Bush were to appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas? Roe v. Wade could be overturned. Abortion could become a crime in most states - back to back-alley abortions for poor, young women. Workers could lose family and medical leave. Gays could be imprisoned for having consensual sex in the privacy of their own homes. Equal voting rights for African Americans and other racial minorities could be at risk (not just de facto, the way they are today, but de jure, as well.) Affirmative action could be eviscerated.
Preservation of the environment could give way to corporate profits. Inmates in this country (not just in Iraq and Guantánamo) could be beaten with impunity…

…The future of the law of the land is at stake in this election. The differences between Bush and Kerry are stark on judicial appointments. During the third debate, Kerry said: "I'm not going to appoint a judge to the court who's going to undo a constitutional right, whether it's the First Amendment or the Fifth Amendment or some other right that's given under our courts today, or under the Constitution." Kerry added: "And I believe that the right of choice is a constitutional right."

Voters will have a choice between an administration that fights to protect the rights of everyone, not just those of straight white rich religious men, and one that promises to remake the Court in the image of those who would deny basic liberties to many.
via Beware Scalia-Thomas Clones

Yes, fine, let fear clutch your heart for a minute. But consider, ye lubbers, that the W-world envisioned by the farmer, below, is not just a theory—if we don’t get out the vote, and then monitor it, and then watch the results, it will be the world we live in. Avast! Throw a voting party! Stage a cookout near a polling station! Volunteer to be a pollwatcher! Don’t take no for an answer! Direct action gets satisfaction! Create a village! Stomp aWeasel! It is possible to be tough and determined without being violent…especially when sweet, sweet reason is on your side.

I’ll be on the road until Sunday, selling off some sheep and chickens before winter (maybe giving a few away to the right causes), handing out GOTV propaganda and nagging people to the polls. Every little thing helps now—the friggin election is NEXT TUESDAY, me hearties.

And we are electing the next Supreme Court, not just John Kerry.

Like Talking to a Cocker Spaniel 

Between the uncomprehending, affronted reaction to Stewart's Crossfire appearance and Jim Rutenberg's column in today's Times, you really don't need much more evidence that, as Bob Somerby likes to put it, journalists are from another planet. They are certainly incapable of understanding anything resembling intelligent criticism spoken in plain English.

Witness Rutenberg's precis of Somerby's Daily Howler:
Bob Somerby, a comedian who runs a Web site called The Daily Howler that often accuses the news media of being shallow, lazy, bullied by Republicans and unfairly critical of Democrats, said a more genteel approach would not be effective. (He has referred to this reporter on his Web site as "dumb" and in "over his head" for being blind or turning a blind eye to Republican spin.)

"I've come to feel the only way you can really deal with the press corps is to beat up on them," Mr. Somerby said. Most political reporters interviewed for this article insisted that outside forces did not sway them from being fair, though a couple admitted they could not rule out having pulled punches in small and even subconscious ways.
Yeah, that's what Somerby's talking about. And Rutenberg's interviewed the targets of the criticism, and they all think it's very unfair and misinformed. It's that tenacious interrogation technique that helped keep us from being misled into war in Iraq. Thanks for another howler, Jim.

Speaking of man's best friend, substitute "Bias" for "Ginger" in the second panel of Larson's famous cartoon, and you have a snapshot of how the press interprets any and all criticism directed at it.

To see just how "over his head" Rutenberg is, you know what to do: just click here.

Roveskampf and Selbsterhaltungstrieb 

To the bunker! One of the boys signaled the choir and the whole flock began to sing. And the song they sang that night, on bowed knee before the jaundiced conformation of the Beast itself, in the ambient silver light of an August tuxedo moon, was none other than "the Yellow Rove of Texas" - and it went something like this:

When the campain cash is flowin', the TV lights are bright,
He stalks the halls of power, in the quite DC night:
He thinks we must remember, when we started long ago,
We promised to remain with him and never leave the show.

Oh now we hail Dear Leader, whose heart is burned to marl,
And we'll spin our lies together, our faiths in Uncle Karl:
We'll play the press corps daily, and take cheap shots galore,
And the Yall'r Rove of Texas shall be ours forevermore.

Yes sir. It was a sight it was, and not many folks have lived to tell of it. That, of course, is a brief snip from the 2004 Ratfuckers Ball held earlier this summer in Cuckoo, Virginia. I was there myself and saw it all. Disquised as the ghost of Vidkun Quisling, and claiming to represent Larry Pratt's Gun Owners of America, I mingled easily and made many new friends who read passages from old yellowing copies Der Angriff. I snapped the above photo with my secret spyblogger micro-mini camera which I had surgically implanted under my right eyebrow.

Topics discussed that evening were many, but, when it came to spellbinding crowd pleasing oratorical sway nothing could out match the thundering intoxicating praise for those who spoke on behalf of the tenets of Rovism.

I recorded much of what was said this summer evening on a secret hidden audio recording device baked inside of a sweet buttery Danish pastry which I squirreled away in my jacket pocket. Therefore, I have provided for all of you, some of audio excerpts of that historic evening.

Neal Gabler of the LA Times spoke first on the doctrine of ROVISM:
"Unwavering discipline, demonization of foes, disdain for reality and a personal sense of infallibility based on faith... [...] ...theocracy — the president as pope or mullah and policy as religious warfare... [...] ...Rovism is government by jihadis in the grip of unshakable self-righteousness — [...] It imposes rather than proposes." - more

Next up was Edith Fletcher (no relation to Jessica),
Rove does not compromise and brooks no contribution from outsiders. His facts are what he makes them, and the most agile minds are hired to twist words into blood-letting slogans and lethal sound bites.

He uses faith for his own purposes and provides religious strawmen and tar babies for unsuspecting opponents to flay at or get stuck to. And after all their flaying and cleaning off of mud and tar they end up looking silly and ineffective. They are ineffective -- at laying booby traps and political landmines in the Rovism way because he makes his "ism" swagger and look admirably tough to little people. - still more

The crowd was on its feet! Gabler couldn't contain himself and scrambled back onto the stage once again:
...Rovism is... [...] It is a philosophy and practice of governing that pervades the administration and even extends to the Republican-controlled Congress. As Robert Berdahl, chancellor of UC Berkeley, has said of Bush's foreign policy, a subset of Rovism, it constitutes a fundamental change in "the fabric of constitutional government as we have known it in this country."


All administrations try to work the system to their advantage, and some, like Nixon's, attempt to circumvent the system altogether. Rove and Bush neither use nor circumvent, which would require keeping the system intact. They instead are reconfiguring the system in extra-constitutional, theocratic terms.- still even more

The crowd went wild! Teutonic ninny wild! Es lieght in der luft! Laura Ingraham was on her kness crawling between the tables howling like an Alsatian she-bitch as champagne and jumbo shrimp were tossed into the torpid night air and long red banners displaying a black 'W' enclosed in a white circle fluttered regally in the warm summer breeze; wafting through the open doors as a great floor to ceiling searchlight display postitioned behind the stage lit up the heavens of the hall.

Oh it was something to behold alright. And then they all raised their arms in that creepy three-fingered 'W' salute and beagn to sing again: "He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat - He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat - Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet! - Our Dear Leader is marching on...

"Oh my fucking God!", I thought, "these people are crazy retro-crazed bastards!". And I fled the hall and made my way down the long drive just as it began to rain. I bumped into Jeane Kirkpatrick's limo driver. I informed him that I was so, goddamnit-all, the appointed leader of Vichy France and that if he didn't drive me to the car-pool parking lot in Gum Springs immediately I would have him reassigned to an aerodrome on the Polish frontier. Well, he didn't like the sounds of that, fuck no, who would, so off we went.

We easily located my stolen vehicle which I had borrowed for the evening and which I returned with a full tank of gas to the parking lot at Liberty University in Lynchburg. Then I located my trusty bicycle and, lashed by hail and thirty mile per hour head winds, peddled back to the Corrente building in Philly where I coaxed Lambert out from under the stairs with promises of pictures of torch light parades and audio tape recordings of Ted Olsen - no relation to the twins, as far as I know - singing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."

BTW: I still can't figure out why Lambert hunkers under those damned stairs. The Corrente Building has dozens of available rooms each offering a warm complimentary pot of psilocybin laced fondue and sunken nymph pools teeming with exotic life, terra cotta tiled atriums littered with spent shotgun shells and talking furniture, resplendant with minature golden pear trees teeming with green vipers, and other really neato stuff. Whatever. In any case, it ain't like anyones hiding his mail or anything. Jeepers.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Rovism. It's kinda like a flesh eating virus. Remember them folks I told ya about above with the old yellowing copies of Der Angriff? Well, they're feeling frisky again. Here ya go:

We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. We become members of the Reichstag in order to paralyze the Weimar sentiment with its own assistance. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and per diem for the this "blockade" (Barendienst), that is its own affair. [...] We do not come as friend nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies: As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come. - Joseph Goebbels, Der Angriff, 1935

When democracy granted democratic methods for us in the times of opposition, this was bound to happen in a democratic system. However, we National Socialists never asserted that we represented a democratic point of view, but we have declared openly that we used democratic methods only in order to gain the power and that, after assuming the power, we would deny to our adversaries without any consideration the means which were granted to us in the times of opposition. - Joseph Goebbels, 1935

The parliamentary battle of the NSDAP had the single purpose of destroying the parliamentary system from within through its own methods. It was necessary above all to make formal use of the possibilities of the party-state system but to refuse real cooperation and thereby to render the parliamentary system, which is by nature dependent upon the responsible cooperation of the opposition, incapable of action. - Ernst Rudolf Huber, Nazi Party writer on issues of Constitutional Law.

"For how does one think to fill people with blind faith in the correctness of a doctrine if by continued changes in its outward construction one spreads uncertainty and doubt?"
-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.II, Chapter V, 'View of Life and Organization', page 681)

Yellow blockquotes cited above from:
Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression Volume I Chapter VII:
Means Used by the Nazi Conspirators in Gaining Control of the German State
ACQUISITION OF TOTALITARIAN POLITICAL CONTROL - First Steps in Acquiring Control of State Machinery. From The Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington. 1946

Are ya worried? I don't blame you. But hey, if the Boston Red Sox can 86 an 86 year old curse we can certainly strangle to death the curse of the 'W'. No blind faith required.


Massachusetts On a Roll! 

Red Sox win, and just a note to certain parties (you know who you are) who quibbled at me in Comments after the ACLS that the curse was not really broken until the World Series was won--nyah nyah nyah!

And the Harvest Moon becomes the Blood Moon this year. I've seen a number of lunar eclipses, being an astronomy junkie since childhood, and seldom if ever have I seen the degree of redness this one has. I am sure it is dreadful news relating to particulate matter in the upper atmosphere sure to lead to an increase in global warming, but the veneer of civilization is sometimes thin and legends seep out of the bones, and one thinks of omens.

Meanwhile, take a look at Lambert's story on good news from Ohio. Now, out of the land of my birth, comes the second good news of the day on the Republican Voter Suppression Campaign.

(via NYT)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A judge declined to rule Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Republican voters challenging a decision that allows Iowans to cast provisional ballots outside of their home precincts. He said the challenge was premature.

Polk County District Court Judge Arthur Gamble said Secretary of State Chet Culver acted within his responsibility as the state's top election official when he ruled such votes could be counted.

The judge said, however, five Republicans who sued Culver must wait until Friday to proceed in the case; Culver issues his final election rules Thursday.

Des Moines attorney Richard Sapp, representing the five Republican Iowa voters, vowed to refile the case if Culver failed to reverse his earlier instructions.

``Unless this court does something to stop it, the secretary of state ... is about to conduct the Nov. 2 general election in a manner directly contrary to Iowa's election laws,'' Sapp said.
Frankly I don't know what the big deal is about Iowa this year. Five damn electoral votes fer chrissakes? When if they would give me one, just one, trip, and I'll take Edwards or the Big Dog, put the former up in West Memphis and the latter into Nashville and I will take the state of Tennessee which is eleven EV goddammit and Zogby has us this fucking close and....

Ahem. What I was saying is that if Iowa's that damn important, then this is a good damn decision. Votes cast in error can be caught and removed from the tally if need be. Votes which are never cast because somebody intentionally fucked up the polling procedure for pure raw uncut political power of a fascist stench and, er, what was I saying? Votes never cast are just lost, never to be retrieved or revived.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Gaslight watch: Oh wow! There may be an extremely non-political terror alert this weekend! 

Tom posted on this earlier (back, but allow me the pleasure of quoting winger whore Sludge:

[Snip] In the last week before the election, ABCNEWS is holding a videotaped message from a purported al Qaeda terrorist warning of a new attack on America, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The terrorist claims on tape the next attack will dwarf 9/11. "The streets will run with blood," and "America will mourn in silence" because they will be unable to count the number of the dead. Further claims: America has brought this on itself for electing George Bush who has made war on Islam by destroying the Taliban and making war on Al Qaeda.

ABCNEWS strongly denies holding the tape back from broadcast over political concerns during the last days of the election.

The CIA is analyzing the tape, a top federal source tells the DRUDGE REPORT.

ABCNEWS obtained the tape from a source in Waziristan, Pakistan over the weekend, sources tells DRUDGE.

"We have been working 24 hours a day trying to authenticate [the tape]," a senior ABCNEWS source said Wednesday morning, dismissing a claim that ABC was planning to air portions of the video during Monday's WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.

The terrorist's face is concealed by a headdress, and he speaks in an American accent, making it difficult to identify the individual.
(via Sludge Report) [End Snip]

Cunning devils! Concealing their faces!

Well. Just few points.

1. Life's little ironies: I like the picture of ABC telling Rove that they have to be very careful about authentication, after what happened to CBS.

2. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain: I mean, isn't the Rove->Pakistani Intelligence Services->ABC three cushion bank shot just a little too obvious? I mean, how on earth could ABC authenticate this? I guess they would just have to, um, take it on faith.

3. From the Department of "How Stupid Do They Think We Are: "[T]he terrorist speaks in an American accent." Sheesh! Couldn't Rove's production company at least get a terrorist with the right accent?!

(The classic handwriting of the Bush White House: Inability to delegate beyond a small inner circle. If Rove had been willing to delegate faking the tape to the Pakistanis, ABC might have fallen for it; but he used his own production house....)

Goodnight, moon 

I'd post more, but blogger's seemingly intractable suckitude just makes that too hard.

When I stand up and start yelling and waving my arms at the computer (an "Error 500" from a billion dollar IOP?) I hit my head on the low ceiling under the stairs, and that hurts.

But I want to give a real shout-out to Xan for the best paranoid theory about a Bush November surprise.

Of course, Xan it's utterly inconceivable that Bush would time a new Fallujah offensive for voting day, and put troops at risk just to win an election.... Um...

Do you think He'll fly over there?

Looks like we'll actually have plans for election day: (1) a backup site in case blogger tanks, and (2) a small blogathon in Philly. It is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it will be, perhaps, the end of the beginning....

Does anyone have the full-size version of this image? 

This is, of course, the letter from the Iraqi government to the IEAE, informing them that tons of the explosives the IAEA had been tracking were now gone, due to looting.

Yes, they used the word "looting." But alas, the Times unhelpfully does not reproduce the letter at full size, though in the print version they did.

I mention this because it seems to be getting lost: the wingers are frothing and stamping, and Josh Marshall is trying valiantly to keep up with their ever-changing stories, but shit

The Iraqi government—the very government that Bush installed, and whose head He just had over to the WhiteWash House for a fluffing sesssion—says the explosives were looted. Meaning, the explosives were looted because Bush didn't guard the site, because he didn't have the troops to do so.

Bush says this the charge that the explosives were looted is "wild." (Nice one, Karen!) If so, it's a wild charge that the "sovreign" Iraqi government itself is making.


A U.S. District Court judge yesterday effectively ended efforts by Republicans in Ohio to challenge the eligibility of tens of thousands of voters in one of the most closely contested states in this year's presidential race.

Judge Susan J. Dlott in Cincinnati issued an order preventing local election boards from going forward with plans to notify challenged voters and hold hearings until she hears legal arguments tomorrow. But because her ruling means that those election board hearings cannot take place within the time frame state law requires before the election, Dlott's ruling kills the GOP effort that had targeted 35,000 voters, Democratic and Republican party officials said.

Thank God! She made the judiciary an independent and co-equal branch of government....

Oh, and a little lagniappe:

It was the second time that the GOP has lost on the issue.

Frivolous lawsuits... Listening, F/Buckhead?

I didn't know Inerrant Boy was ambidextrous 

No, but seriously folks.

Don't you think the photographs of Bush on the campaign trail have carried the Leni Riefenstahl/ Triumph of the W thing far enough?

Perhaps even too far?

Election Fraud 2004: Decoding the Republican Strategy 

Nicholas Confessore puts all the pieces together:

If Reuters were an opinion magazine, here's how they'd spell out the strategy. First, the GOP, using what appear to qualify as illegal methods, has attempted to mislead thousands of Democratic-leaning voters in Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, into thinking they'd be registered but are not. (And Ed Gillespie, whose own outfit is funding these efforts via Sproul & Associates and God knows what other firms and consultants, is alleging Democratic fraud in precisely those states! Black is white. Up is down.) Consequently, those thousands of people are going to show up at polls and probably run into a lot of confusion and paperwork and problems. At the same time, Republican secretaries of state and election officials in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere are pushing interpretations of election statutes that further muddy the waters for those who do get to vote.

I'd never connected this: The people who registered with the fraudulent Republican outfits—you remember, the outfits that threw Democrats registrations in the trash—will innocently show up at the polls and create disorder, lines, etc. Beautiful!

And now comes the key point:

Having done as much as possible to create the conditions for a confusing election, the GOP is getting ready to cast the inevitable results of that confusion -- people turning up in the wrong precincts, people who've moved from the neighborhood they originally registered and are trying to vote wherever they live now, and so forth -- as symptoms of outright election fraud.

Creating chaos to win power on the promise to make the chaos go away... That sounds familiar... From an old, old playbook. AH! I have it:

In the increasingly desperate situation of 1930, the Nazis managed to project an image of strong, decisive action, dynamism, energy and youth that wholly eluded the propaganda efforts of the other political parties, with the partial exception of the Communists. The cult of leadership which they created around Hitler could not be matched by comparable efforts by other parties to project their leaders ... All this was achieved through powerful, simple slogans and images, frenetic, manic activity.. which underlined the Nazi's claim to be far more than a political party: they were a movement, sweeping up the German people and carrying them unstoppably to a better future. What the Nazis did not offer, however, were concrete solutions to Germany's problems.....

More strikingly still, the public disorder which loomed so large in the minds of the respectable middle classes in 1930, and which the Nazis promised to end though the creation of a tough, authoritarian state, was to a considerable extent of [the Nazis] own making. Many people evidently failed to realize this....
(via Richard J. Evan's magisterial The Coming of the Third Reich, Penguin 2004)

As I said: An old, old playbook.

And why I suggest (back), and possible why RDF, in another wonderful post, suggests , that the answer to Republican thuggery is not, not, NOT violence—which will look very bad endlessly replayed on FUX—but patience, conviviality, food, music, and mockery.

And plenty of cotes. And plenty of pollwatchers. And plenty of bloggers, spreading the news.

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