Friday, October 29, 2004

Well, Duh

Who said this? I wonder...

Trying to eliminate Saddam ... would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. ... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. ... Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be in occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.

Why, it's W's father, George H.W. Bush, of course. As written in his memoirs in 1999. How foretelling, eh?

Reminds me of when a reporter asked Bush Jr if he consulted his father before making the decision to invade Iraq, Bush responded that he didn't ask his father because there was a more important Father to consult. I guess we now know why he avoided that conversation and instead held one with only the voices in his head.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

T-Shirt Extravaganza

So you can't get into any Bush and/or Cheney public appearance wearing anything pro-life, pro-Kerry, pro-anything but Republican approved. But you can get in wearing a "Hung Like a Republican" t-shirt? (Which I'll assume is rather small, taking into account their need to over-compensate in everything they do.)

Where's the moral police when you need them? What's this pre-marital reference to the male genitalia? Isn't this the party of Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed?

Well, anyway, I prefer the t-shirt, "Democrats rock. Whoever heard of getting a piece of elephant?"

Missing Weapons

Umm, so the New York Times reported on Tuesday that 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives -- used to demolish buildings, make missle warheads and detonate nuclear weapons -- are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

Nobody from the Bush administration said anything. And now that Kerry is blasting Bush over the missing arsenal of explosives -- which were under surveillance by the International Atomic Energy Agency -- everyone and his brother is trying to cover their asses. Cheney blamed Kerry for being "plain wrong" in his assessment that Bush was to blame. But then when ABC produced pictures which it says appear to show at least some of the explosives in bunkers at the site in mid-April while US troops were there, he changed his tune and came up with another twisting of the facts.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tried to say that the explosives were moved before the American forces even got in the area. But, as before stated, ABC has pictures showing the cache in mid-April while US troops were present.

What to do, what to do? According to the NYT's piece, Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, was only informed within the past month that the explosives are missing. If they weren't there to begin with, why was Rice just now informed that they were missing?

Can this administration get any story straight?

What about the troops? Ahh, US troops, eh? Yeah. Why not blame them? Sure! It's all their fault. Now we just need somebody to voice that opinion.

[Fanfare, please]

Former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani on the Today Show: "The president was cautious. The president was prudent. The president did what a commander in chief should do. No matter how you try to blame it on the president the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?" [Here's the audio file.]

That's right. Blame the soldiers risking their lives every day for 385 tons of missing explosives.

"Did they search carefully enough?" What the hell? We're not talking 385 thimblefuls of explosives. That's 350 TONS. How can you search uncarefully and still miss 385 tons of anything? What a lapdog.

We need a regime change.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Personal Matters

And -- first of all my faith is a very personal matter and I am very mindful that a person in public life like me should never try to impose my religion on anybody.

-- President Bush, an interview with Sean Hannity

For all these reasons, the Defense of Marriage requires a constitutional amendment.

-- Presient Bush, February 24, 2004

What's a non-religious reason for denying marriage rights to same-sex partners? Yeah, that's what I thought.

When Bob Schieffer asked the president at the third debate, "I would like to ask you, what part does your faith play on your policy decisions?", the president responded, "First, my faith plays a lot -- a big part of my life. ... And my faith is a very -- it's very personal."

Aww, so personal that you're going to keep it personal and to yourself?

"I pray for strength. I pray for wisdom. I pray for our troops in harm's way. I pray for my family. I pray for my little girls."

Well, so much that.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I Just Don't Know

Ya know, this just doesn't make me feel very safe -- both the thought that I'm not really all that safe to begin with and the fact that the person in charge doesn't think he'll ever do well enough to make me safe.

While I'm one who always believed that invading a Middle Eastern nation, unilaterally to boot -- don't give me that about Great Britain and Poland helping out -- would unnecessarily incite Muslim extremeists, I'm not so easily convinced with this administration's right-thing rhetoric and am a little wary of the danger out there right now. With 90% of the cargo that enters the United States every day unchecked, are we doing enough? Can we ever be safe?

In a taped interview with Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes," Bush was asked whether the nation would always be vulnerable to another terror attack and whether Americans would always have to live with that.

"
Yes, because we have to be right 100 percent of the time in disrupting any plot and they have to be right once," Bush said. He said the nation is safer from terrorism, but "whether or not we can be ever fully safe is up — you know, up in the air."

-- Associated Press, October 24, 2004

PA Senate Race

As much as I hate his positions, I like the fact that Jim Clymer is going to siphon away votes from Arlen Specter in the U.S. Senate Race in Pennsylvania. His ultra-conservative views give relief to other conservatives in the state who won't vote for liberal Joe Hoeffel, but can't stomach Arlen Specter's pro-choice, centrist ideals. Will it be enough to put Hoeffel in the Senate? I hope so. But I just don't know.

Mr. Specter already had to put up a very intense, hard primary fight against ultra-conservative Pat Toomey (his website used to still have his anti-Specter literature, but that is now gone). And now he's fighting to stay ahead with Jim Clymer in the fold. If he pulls ahead and wins reelection, he'll have deserved it. I don't mind him, really I don't. But I agree more with Hoeffel than Specter.

But either of them are infinitesimally better than Sen. Rick Santorum (oops, this is his link). His time will come. Oh yes, it will come.

Also, I really like the layout of Clymer's website. It's aesthetically pleasing and very user-friendly. I hope he never has a chance to hold any public office, but he knows the right people to make a website.

Tin Man v. Scarecrow

While chilling this afternoon, I came across this little tidbit and found it rather interesting. I wonder if it means anything.

"I asked one question the Saturday before the election in 2000. I called my call center in Utica and said, 'Put this in the poll: "You live in the land of Oz, and the candidates are the Tin Man, who’s all brains and no heart, and the Scarecrow, who’s all heart and no brains. Who would you vote for?"' The next day, I called Utica and said, 'Whaddaya got?' They said, 'Well we’ve got Gore—,' I said, 'I don't care about Gore. What’s Oz?' It was 46.2 for the Tin Man and 46.2 for the Scarecrow. It was right there that I knew I wasn’t going to know what was going to happen. But I asked this question again two weeks ago and the Tin Man led by ten points."

-- Larissa MacFarquhar, The Pollster, The New Yorker

I Won't Forget

It's one of those moments in time that you'll never forget. Just as when I watched the events on September 11 or listening to Mayo Angelou speak at Clinton's inauguration in school. That moment was watching Ashlee Simpson scurry off-stage in a humiliated sprint last night on Saturday Night Live.

My great friend Flamingo "Ho" Jones and I watched in stunned amusement as the villain of our dreams started to lip-sync to the wrong song. What a dirty, greasy crackcase of a singer.

She later blamed the slip-up on her band. How gracious of her.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Just Vote Already

I cannot wait for this election to be over. It's gotten way out of hand and it's no longer fun. I believe what I believe, you believe what you believe. Nothing anybody's going to say in the next week and a half is going to change any of our core ideals. The election might as well be tomorrow.

Two deaths in my life yesterday have shaken me to the point where I can see how the election of one man or another into power of the United States really has no huge bearing on my life. At least, not as big as people are pretending. Republicans can ban gayness, but people will still be born gay. And they'll continue to have gay sex in their bedrooms. Democrats can ban hate crimes, but people will still kill for nothing more than somebody's differentness. What is one man who lives in a white house going to do about any of that?

You can legislate morality, but people will always be immoral in somebody's eyes. You can attempt to fund humanitarian aid, but people will always call it socialism. You can't please everybody all the time. You can't even do it for a second. And I'm tired of all the negative talk between friends, family and fellow Americans.

I'm not your enemy because I have a view of the world different than yours.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Flip-Flop #1,676,110

Everybody knows by now that there's a shortage of flu vaccines in the United States and that Bush is receiving heat from people who claim he's to blame. Before, the president was against importing drugs from Canada, or at the very least he was wary because of several unknowns about importing such drugs.

When asked during the second debate, "Mr. President, why did you block the reimportation of safer and inexpensive drugs from Canada...?" Bush responded,

And what my worry is is that, you know, it looks like it's from Canada, and it might be from a third world. And we've just got to make sure, before somebody thinks they're buying a product, that it works. And that's why we're doing what we're doing. Now, it may very well be here in December you'll hear me say, I think there's a safe way to do it.

But now there's a political reason to quicken the pace of importing these vaccines, so we'll throw that caution to the wind and import them from Canada. But it's just flip-flopping in the face of political suicide. How do we know they aren't "from a third world"? Do we know that we're buying a product that works? How can they so easily skip over these guidelines now that there's a political reason to?

Where was Bush when millions of people, for the last four years, couldn't afford life-saving, essential prescription drugs?

Before: Drugs from Canada = bad.
Now: Drugs from Canada = good.

This is what I call a steady and unwaivering leader.

(VIA Wanted.)

Not On Your LIfe

The report puts the onus on the Episcopal Church to apologize for the consecration of Bishop Robinson and to stop blessing same-sex couples or risk severing ties with other members of the Communion.

--Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, October 19, 2004

Apologize? Apologize? For doing the right, logical thing? Never.

Liberal Media

Today that liberal-slanting cable news channel CNN did something I've come to expect from Fox News: it mislead the American public in an obvious slant toward the GOP.

I happened to be watching today when this went down.

CNN Live Today's anchor Rick Sanchez, talking to Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson, said, today mind you, "Let's look at what your Columbus Dispatch newspaper is reporting as far as its poll is concerned. It has Mr. Bush at 51 percent. It has Senator Kerry at 44 percent. Is that pretty much the patten that you've been seeing throughout the last couple months?"

Alan Johnson had to rebuke Sanchez, saying, "It's much, much closer than that now."

Sanchez: "Really? As of when?"

Johnson: "As of the last couple weeks..."

Yes, that's right. The poll in question that CNN is using today to tout Bush's 7 point lead was conducted between September 22 and October 1. A poll released today from the University of Cincinnati (conducted October 11-17) shows Kerry with a 48-46 lead. In fact, four other polls have been released between that time and now. What is up with CNN?

Monday, October 18, 2004

You Just Have To

A Must-Read.

Imagining America.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Sunday Moment of Zen

At 10A.M. eastern time Wendesnday, as Colin Powell arrived at the United Nations to tutor some slow learners about the obvious regarding Iraq...

-- George F. Will, Newsweek, February 17, 2003

Oh how wrong was George F. Will? Too bad Colin Powell's entire presentation to the Security Council has turned out to be a combination of false information and blatant lies. I'm not one to say "I told you so," but...

Too True

Unarmored

The U.S. Army Reserve soldiers who refused orders to drive a dangerous route were members of one of a few supply units whose trucks are still unarmored, their commanding general said Sunday.

-- Associated Press, October 17, 2004

What do you want to bet conservatives use this to bash Kerry for not voting for the $87 billion the president wanted for the war in Iraq? And how many of them will even remember for a second that the president sent the soldiers into Iraq unarmored to begin with?

Well, Yeah

Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a Treasury official for the first President Bush, told Mr. Suskind that some people now look at Mr. Bush and see "this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do." He continued: "This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them."

The president's certitude - the idea that he can see into people's souls and that God tells him what is right, then W. tells us if he feels like it - is disturbing. It equates disagreeing with him to disagreeing with Him.

-- Maureen Dowd, New York Times

Distortions

I'll just touch on a few of the distortions Bush made in the third and final debate. His lack of a touch with reality is disturbing.

1. OSAMA: DEAD OR ALIVE

What Bush said: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama Bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.

The Truth: "I just don't spend that much time on [Osama]. ... I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

2. VACCINE SHORTAGE

What Bush said: We relied upon a company out of England to provide about half of the fly vaccines... And so we took the right action and didn't allow contaminated medicine into our country.

The Truth: The British blocked the shipment, and suspended the license of Chiron Corp.

Bush Humor

Look, look! He's trying to be funny!

In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, nevermind. Heh heh heh heh.

-- President Bush in the third debate.

No one laughed. Well, he laughed at himself.

Forecasting

Okay, what if I say that from now until the election, 47 states don't mean crap to me? What if I say that I'm only worried about Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania?

Okay, hear me out.

Those three states together equal 68 of the 99 votes from the "tossup states." And I say "Screw the rest of the tossup states. Focus on these three." Why? The rest of the country is pretty settled into how they're going to be voting. California for Kerry, Texas for Bush. Nobody's really expecting any surprises from those states. Twenty-six states are solidly behind Bush for 222 electoral votes. Sixteen and the District of Columbia are solidly behind Kerry for 217 electoral votes.

Whoever wins two of those three wins the White House. Guaranteed. Right now, Bush has a slight lead in Ohio. Kerry has a slight lead in Pennsylvania. And guess what. Florida is exactly even at 47%, 47%. Watch those three states. I'm telling ya.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Anyone?

Does it make sense to anyone that the Army's intelligence chief named Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast to lead the Army's intelligence school? She is, after all, the highest-ranking intelligence officer tied to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Has anyone been held accountable for the torturing of prisoners in Iraq? Has anyone been held accountable for the baseless evidence that led this administration to claim weapons of mass destruction? Just wondering.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Republicans In Action, Part Two

That's a dirty, dirty party you belong to, Mr. President.

Tonight six people connected with the South Dakota republican party have resigned over questions surrounding absentee ballot applications. The state director of the Republican Victory Program, Larry Russell is one of them, along with state republican party employee Eric Fahrendorf.

-- Keloland Television, October 11, 2004

President Bush's New England campaign chairman stepped down Friday after the Democrats accused him of taking part in the jamming of their telephone lines on Election Day 2002.

-- Associated Press, October 15, 2004

They're the party of morals, you know. Morals and personal responsibility and treating others with kindness and tolerance. Uh huh. Yes they are!

Sad Truth

FYI: The War in Iraq is getting worse every day.

"Every day you read the articles in the States where it's like, 'Oh, it's getting better and better," said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Snyder of Gettysburg, Pa. "But when you're here, you know it's worse every day."

-- "Will We Need a New 'All the President's Men'?", New York Times

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Detain 'Em, Dano

At about 10 p.m. Tuesday, a 25-year-old Mercer Island man walked to a grassy area along the 6700 block of Island Crest Way and began to pull up Bush signs installed by the two men, police said.

The amateur detectives burst out of the woods and confronted the man, who was apologetic. The men detained him until police arrived.

The man was arrested and released on suspicion of third-degree theft, a misdemeanor, said Mercer Island police Sgt. Lance Davenport.


-- Ashley Bach, Seattle Times, October 14, 2004


Are you allowed to detain someone until the police arrive? Is that not false imprisonment? And why didn't I think of this before my sign was stolen?

Kerry Cream

If the situation in Iraq is genital herpes, then we got it from a Bush and Kerry is the name of the cream that will prevent it from ruining our future relationships.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Questions for Bush, Part Three

You speak of "compassionate conservatism," yet you rarely talk about the poverty that afflicts millions of Americans, including many who work hard at low-wage jobs. Your administration has inadequately financed or reduced the budgets of housing, child care, job training and other programs vital to helping the working poor.

What do you see as government's proper role, and how would you change policies in a second term to demonstrate true compassion?


-- David K. Shipler, New York Times

Questions for Bush, Part Two

In a recent open letter, 169 economists and business school professors, including 56 professors from Harvard Business School, your alma mater, sharply criticized your economic policies. They said your proposals for Social Security and making the tax cuts permanent "only promise to exacerbate the crisis" and that "your tax policy has exacerbated the problem of inequality in the United States."

Do you dismiss these critics as uninformed? If not, what would you say to persuade them they are wrong?


-- Alice M. Rivlin, New York Times

Questions for Bush, Part One

When you were governor of Texas, you complained about the long list of mandates that Washington was imposing on the states without supplying the money to pay for them. You criticized the Republican Congress for ignoring legitimate state complaints. "Mandates are mandates, regardless of the philosophical bent of the person doing the mandating," you said in May 1998. "It starts at the White House."

But your administration has imposed billions of dollars in mandates without even a pretense of offering sufficient money for states to meet them. Did your concern for fairness to Texas and the 49 other state governments simply evaporate when you moved into the White House?


-- Alan Ehrenhalt, New York Times

When the Going Gets Tough

Is Bush giving up Pennsylvania? It would sure seem so. And for good measure. The Keystone Poll had Kerry ahead of Bush by 7 points after the first debate. And according to the New York Daily News,

President Bush appears to be conceding some ground in the hard-fought battleground of Pennsylvania, as the 2004 race, which has been fought in only a small number of states, narrows even further.

Bush has visited the Keystone State 39 times - more than any other state - but a White House source said he does not plan to return soon and Pennsylvania was not on a list of the President's top 10 advertising targets last month.


Just wondering. I sure wouldn't miss the dirty feeling I get when I know he's in the state.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Mandatory Reading

Looong day, and it's already later than I wanted to be up. So let me send two good articles for you to peruse until I can post more.

The first is from the New Yorker.

"Despite a pre-debate “memorandum of understanding” between the Bush campaign and the Kerry campaign that there would be no televised 'cutaways' or reaction shots, more than sixty-two million Americans watched George W. Bush appear to come unglued while hearing, for the first time, John Kerry’s forceful voice of opposition."

And the second, from the Washington Post.

"There, in brief, are the core reasons why polls suggest that undecided and independent voters are having a problem with this president. His tactic of never admitting mistakes is backfiring in light of events. And when asked to take responsibility, his first instinct was to direct attention to others by speaking of his supposedly mistaken appointments."

Did I whet your appetite? Check them out. I'm outtie.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Shocking, I Tell Ya

As president, Kelley says, [George W. Bush] had an African statuette (male) in his private bathroom, and you can guess what anatomical protuberance he hung the toilet paper on.

-- Ted Widmer, Review of Kitty Kelley's "The Family"

Homophobes Unite!

It almost seems natural, being a Sunday and all, but I came across a great Internet movie about the two Johns that doesn't have any qualms insinuating that John Kerry and John Edwards are gay lovers. It's sick, it's disgusting and it's extremely homophobic. This is what Republican politics has come to?

The site was made to advertise a new anti-Moore straight-to-DVD film, made with the help of Dick Morris. He's a hack and his little website too.

(thanks to Caroline for the heads up)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Insulated Candidates

This is an old story, but one that I think has a renewed importance now. We see Bush up on the stage with nothing short of a in-the-headlights kind of stare. I'm not trying to go for the laughs, or the cheap shots here, so let's look at this seriously.

It is widely known that Bush has said in the past that he doesn't want to be surrounded by yes-men, but how many people are going to stand up against him? Cheney, Rumsfeld, Card, Rice, they all tell him what he wants to hear, without any real check with reality. Yes, of course he's going to think Iraq is going smoothly. Yes, of course he's going to think the economy is alive and well. Yes, of course he's going to think he's making all the right choices. How's he supposed to know he made a mistake and apologize for it if he's never told he's wrong?

That's why such pointed jabs at Bush in the first debate through him so, I believe. He wasn't used to being put in such an awkward spot, where he'd have to account for things he thinks he's in the right. Kerry went after him with some tough remarks, and Bush just stood there, slouched, unable to speak properly at times.

Kerry made more points than he would have otherwise because of the inability of this administration to admit that there's a viable alternative with concern to anything.

Case in point, this story I refound this afternoon.

The Albuquerque Journal reported on Friday that people seeking tickets to the Cheney event who could not be identified as GOP partisans -- contributors or volunteers -- were told they could not receive tickets unless they signed an endorsement form saying "I, (full name) . . . do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States."

"...reelection of the United States," eh? Oh well. Back to seriousness. This is exactly what I'm talking about. The same thing happens at Bush events. They insulate themselves with yes-(wo)men and they never get to hone their abilities to combat opposition. So when President Bush went toe-to-toe with Kerry last week, he was trampled.

Nothing of the sort happened at the Edwards event I attended. I don't know if this is the safest thing to report, but we didn't even have to go through metal detectors, let alone sign any documents swearing our allegiance to the President. It's a sad day in politics. It's been a sad four years.

This is just an observation.

Happy 64th Birthday, John



When I get older, losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

If I'd been out til quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

Chicken Wire



That liberal New York Times is asking pesky questions about whether or not Bush wore a wire in the first debate last week in Miami. Of course, it's almost a moot point because he did so horribly. But it leaves open the possibility that Bush and his team are down with any sort of cheating in order to attempt an advantage over his opponent.

The belief that President Bush wore a wire has been bouncing around the Internet (singular) since last week. And now even the New York Times is asking questions.

First they said that the picture showing the bulge in the back of Bush's suit might have been doctored. But when the bulge is quite visible even in the television footage of the evening, Team Bush tried another explanation maneuver.

"There was nothing under his suit jacket," said Nicolle Devenish, a campaign spokeswoman. "It was most likely a rumpling of that portion of his suit jacket, or a wrinkle in the fabric."

In one of the greatest one-liners in New York Times history, Elizabeth Bumiller -- the writer of the piece -- shoots back, "Ms. Devenish could not say why the 'rumpling' was rectangular."

And before anyone wonders, the bulge was not from a bulletproof vest; White House officials said that Bush was not wearing one.

I report, you decide. Tell me what you think.

No Mistakes Here

The last question of the second debate was directed at President Bush.

GRABEL: President Bush, during the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. Thank you.

What do you want to bet he answered that question? What do you want to bet he ever answered that question?

Need a Clue?

Bush so clearly iterated his disbelief that Kerry suggested that he had any business dealings in a timber company.


KERRY: And you know why he gets that count? The president got $84 from a timber company that [he] owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right.

BUSH: I own a timber company? That's news to me. Need some wood.


Yeah, I can imagine that most things are news to him. Anybody who checks out, on Dick Cheney's suggestion, factcheck.org (not .com), will see that Bush either has no clue what he's doing or he just lied.

Factcheck.org writes,

In fact, according to his 2003 financial disclosure form, Bush does own part interest in "LSTF, LLC", a limited-liability company organized "for the purpose of the production of trees for commercial sales."

So Bush was wrong to suggest that he doesn't have ownership of a timber company. And Kerry was correct in saying that Bush's definition of "small business" is so broad that Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business" in 2001 by virtue of the $84 in business income.

Kerry got his information from an article we posted Sept. 23 stating that Bush on his 2001 federal income-tax returns "reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise."


Stupidity or ignorance aside, I still think his "Need some wood" comment was directed at the missus. And that, perhaps even more than his gross incompetence, is gross-er.

Republicans In Action

As I posted earlier, Tom DeLay, Republican House Majority Leader from Texas, has been rebuked by the ethics committee for some pretty crazy actions on his part. Not only did they give him a pretty tepid slap on the wrist once, but twice in the same week.

Several charges he faced were that he illegally laundered campaign money to help Texas Republicans, he raised money at a golf tournament run by an energy company whose lobbyists curried special favors in a pending energy bill, and sending federal investigators to round up Democratic state legislators who had fled Texas in an attempt to stall a partisan plan DeLawy had orchestrated to bolster his edge in Washington.

The panel admonished DeLay for excessive and unprecedented arm-twisting as the Medicare prescription bill foundered last year: he privately offered to help the political career of a wavering Republican's son.

And just five years ago, DeLay drew a rebuke for warning a trade group not to hire a Democrat as its top Washington lobbyist.

He's a bad man. And in the spirit of the Republican Party's effort to make everyone account for his own actions, he dismissed all the complaints as rooted in the "venom" of partisan Democrats opposed to his legitimate pursuit of the GOP's agenda. It's all their fault.

The ethics panel warned that "overagressive pursuit" of that agenda "does not constitute a mitigating factor" for his abusive behavior. The Republicans can have him. Democrats aren't that desperate for power.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Second Debate Polling

ABC's poll is up: Kerry 44%, Bush 41%. Any way you look at it, I'm happy to call it a draw. No one really had a knock-out punch, and Bush didn't look all that cranked-out this time around. Both men got their message out, although Bush seemed to be on the defensive more than actually pushing the offense.

And no matter how hard he tried, Bush could not get the "liberal" jab to be effective. I believe Kerry did a good job deflecting the label and made Bush look stupid(er) for playing the name-calling game. Get em where we can.

Okay

Did the president really say "Internets," plural?


UPDATE: The Washington Post has the transcript up already and where the president says "Internets" they have (sic). I'm not just hearing things. Our president really is a little goofy in the head.

Unfair and Unbalanced

Tonight on Hannity and Colmes after the debate, the non-partisan, totally balanced news show will have pundits from both sides of the campaign on to give lively discussion on what transpired. Oh wait, what? No they won't. Karl Rove, the president's chief political strategist, is the scheduled guest. And from what I can tell, the only scheduled guest. So much for fair and balanced. This is the man who, after Bush's disasterous first debate last week, said that it was one of the president's best debates and one of John Kerry's worst. What a schmuck.

Dummocrats

A shout-out thanks to www.dummocrats.com for being so kind as to linking my post about them on their website. I can tell that they get ever so many hits every day because three whole people have come to my site by way of there. I bet they get a whole five or six hits a day. Rockin'!

They're really not all that bad. Just... misguided. Oh how I wish I could reach out and help them break out of their conservative shell. Conservative thought really is bringing this country down. Has been, really, ever since the Dixiecrats of the south left the party and went Republican all because of their inability to comprehend a nation that treats a minority like a human being. So sad.

Check Up

Is it odd that Bush postpones his annual physical for the first time in four years until after November 2?

Electoral College

Correction.

At the time I wrote the post yesterday about the possible electoral votes for either candidate, that day's polling data was unaccounted for in the total. Now, today, I see that there is a clear winner in the race for electoral votes: John Kerry.

Kerry: 280, Bush: 239

These numbers change as often as polling data differs. But with this lead this close to the election, I can't help but be hopeful.


(thanks to Lisa for the heads up.)

School Threat

Does anybody else find it at interesting (a conspiracy perhaps, but at least interesting) that we are just now finding out about this possible terrorist attack on schools around the country? Consider the facts.

"Schools in six states in particular are being watched closely based on information uncovered by the U.S. military in Baghdad this summer, law enforcement and education officials told ABC News." But according to the AP, Deputy Education Secretary Eugene Hickok said that there are no schools in particular named.

Who to believe? But isn't it interesting that this information was found in Baghdad this summer, and we're just hearing about it now? Perhaps it's just a coincidence that John Kerry has taken a small lead in the polls against President Bush. But what are the chances of that little tidbit affecting such things?

If the government, specifically the Dept of Education, knew about this plot against schools in the United States, wouldn't they have used that information and warned us a month ago pre- or even during the Beslan school hostage crisis in Russia last month? Wouldn't have that been the perfect time and made the most sense. But the Dept of Education (which Vice President Dick Cheney voted against the creation of during his Representative years) is run by a guy who was appointed by the president. And the president was winning back then.

I'm just laying out the facts, you decided. Ooo, I'm FOX NEWS. Not biased at all, that for sure.

Another curious fact, according to the officials in contact with ABC NEWS, "A man described as an Iraqi insurgent... had downloaded school floor plans and safety and security information about elementary and high schools in the six states."

So let me get this straight. An Iraqi insurgent, living as a guerrilla in Iraq, attacking the US military, has not only the time but also access to a computer with the Internet in order to download moderately sensitive information? And what was this Iraqi insurgent going to do? Give up his day job as an asshole and fly to the United States, attack a few schools, and then get back to Iraq in time for the next wave of idiocy? Jees. Give me a break. Iraqi insurgent, my ass. In other words, it's an easy way of linking al Qaeda activities to Iraq.

And wait a second. The schools that are named by these officials reside in Florida, Oregon, Georgia, Michigan, two in New Jersey, and two in California. Out of these eight, five schools are in battleground states. Such coincidence.

And finally, of course, this was written:

"That being said, the FBI acted swiftly when that intelligence was received, just as it routinely does throughout the year with the thousands of threats that come in. State and local police investigated, along with the FBI. The good news is that this threat was deemed not credible."

But that doesn't matter, this is an election year.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Tsk Tsk, DeLay

The House ethics committee rebuked Majority Leader Tom DeLay for the second time in a week for questionable conduct, sternly warning the Texas Republican to temper his behavior.

The committee late Wednesday admonished DeLay for creating an appearance of giving donors special access on pending energy legislation and using the Federal Aviation Administration to intervene in a Texas political dispute.

Last week, the same committee admonished DeLay for offering to endorse the House candidacy of a House member's son in exchange for the member's favorable vote on a Medicare prescription drug bill.


--Associated Press, October 7, 2004

Doesn't he sound like a charming chap? He's ugly as hell, though. Crikey. Here's a picture of him just two months after having surgery done to tighten his droopy eyelids. Why stop there?

National Makeup

As of October 7, 2004 and according to polls taken in all fifty states, if the elections were held today, Kerry would get 253 electoral votes and Bush would receive 264. Though Bush is currently still leading, neither candidate has enough to claim victory (270+). This is an interesting race.

Interesting-er than that, mostly every poll has something good to say about Kerry and his cohort Edwards. This is a complete flip-flop (if you will) from just a month ago.

The AP-Ipsos Public Affairs poll shows that nearly three-fourths of likely voters said they had watched or listened to the first presidential debate last week. And get this: only eight percent came away with a more favorable view of Bush (rumors have it that they're all his family memebers) and a whopping 39% said they felt better about Kerry. Hell yeah! 39% saw Kerry last week and they like him more now.

Among 944 likely voters, Kerry/Edwards has a 4% lead over Bush/Cheney, with a margin or error of plus or minus three points. So Kerry/Edwards is leading no matter what.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Really?

Cheney voted against Meals on Wheels? Bastard.

Prediction

Allow me to broadcast my friend Tyler's prediction on the Vice-Presidential Debate this evening.

1) Edwards says something smartassed about Cheney's Haliburton connection.

2) Cheney flings the F-word in response.

3) FCC fines FOX/CNN/NBC/et al each $500,000 and pockets a cool $2,500,000+.

He Forgot Poland

During the first presidential debate, Sen John Kerry generalized when he said that instead of building a coalition, "we went in, there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia, and the United States. That's not a grand coalition. We can do better." And President Bush was quick to point out that "he forgot Poland."

There are 30 nations involved in the reconstruction of Iraq, but not quite "standing side by side with our American troops," as Bush put it.

Poland is in Iraq as a military force, but with only 2,500 troops. And Poland's Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said today that there will be a definite pullout date decided upon in that country soon after October 15. While he promises to fulfill Poland's commitments in Iraq to the end of 2005, what happens after that is anybody's guess There's no clear plan.

This news, of course, comes a few months after President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland said that he had been "deceived" by information on weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war and that Poland might pull some troops out of Iraq earlier than planned. That was back in March 19, 2004 when America and the rest of the world started to come to the realization that the current administration lied in order to invade Iraq.

I'm not denigrating the contributions of these brave Polish soldiers, I just they hadn't been shoved into a situation that Bush isn't sure is winnable.

Holy Spending Habits, Batman

If you were in charge of Homeland Security of the United States, how would you spend an extra $5 million? Would you spend it on extra security along our borders? Would you invest in duct tape stock? Would you buy a super-elaborate gas-mask?

Well, if you said a town, you could be the next Tom Ridge! The Department of Homeland Security is buying an entire town in the south-western New Mexico. With a population of 50 people, Playas, New Mexico, has 259 ranch-style homes, a six-lane bowling alley, a rodeo ring, a helicopter pad, an airstrip, a bar, a shooting range and a swimming pool.

The town will be used for anti-terror training.

No word if the 50 people were bought as well, or if they'll just be forced to evacuate their homes in the name of Homeland Security.

But, You Know

Six months after taking office, President Bush will begin a month-long vacation Saturday that is significantly longer than the average American's annual getaway. If Bush returns as scheduled on Labor Day, he'll tie the modern record for presidential absence from the White House, held by Richard Nixon at 30 days. Ronald Reagan took trips as long as 28 days.

-- Laurence McQuillan, USA TODAY, August 3, 2001

The average American gets thirteen (13) days paid vacation.

[Bush] has spent all or part of 166 days at the ranch or en route -- the equivalent of 51/2 months. When Bush's trips to Camp David and Kennebunkport, Maine, are added, according to the CBS figures, Bush has spent 250 full or partial days at his getaway spots -- 27 percent of his presidency so far.

-- Mike Allen, Washington Post, August 3, 2003

But, you know, it's hard. "We've done a lot of hard work together." "It's hard work." "Everybody knows it's hard work." "It's incredibly hard." "I understand how hard it is."

I want what he's smoking.

Monday, October 04, 2004

I Wouldn't Doubt It



And when the peacenik approached me, I clawed his eyes out like this! Damn long-haired hippies.

So Sad



No one wants to pway wiff me.

And on a more serious note, doesn't this picture symbolize America's standing in the world now-a-days?

Flip Flop Alert

Extreme Flip-Flop Action Ahead
Please cover the eyes of little ones.
Thank you.

Where to begin...

The phrases vary. Some days, Vice President Dick Cheney says Saddam Hussein had "long-established" ties to Al Qaeda. Other days, he says the former Iraqi dictator "had a relationship" with the terrorist group. But the underlying message remains unchanged -- Cheney plants the idea that Hussein was allied with the group responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

-- James Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2004

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday he knew of no "strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda, despite describing extensive contacts between the two before the Iraq invasion. ... "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two," Rumsfeld added.

-- Reuters, October 4, 2004

Jees. A man is given grief for flip-flopping his opinion over a of couple weeks, but a whole administration not getting its information together and contradicting each other in less than 24-hours? That's crazy. I wonder if any single person has ever flip-flopped in a 24-hour period. Hmm... Let me think.

In an interview with NBC-TV's "Today" show, ABC News reports:

Asked "Can we win [the war on terrorism]?" Bush said, "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."

The very next day, he said:

Make no mistake about it: We are winning and we will win.

He flips, he flops. He nibbles and hops. He's Bush!

Sound the Alarm

Fire up the reserves. We have a situation on our hands. The country of Denmark has taken its first step in a very unwise direction. It's seeking total world domination, though they won't admit to it just yet.

Denmark aims to claim the North Pole ... the Science Ministry said Monday.

--Reuters, October 4, 2004

They begin by claiming the North Pole now, then the South Pole, soon the moon will fall under their dominion. Who knows what will come next. They must be stopped now before any irreversible damage can be done. Damn Danes. Sneaky ones, they are.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

No Spin

Karl Rove must have known things didn't go well when the New York Post asked him whether this was the worst debate of President Bush's life. No, Rove insisted. This was one of the president's best debates, and one of John Kerry's worst. "Really?" asked the reporter, Vince Morris. "You can say that with a straight face?"

-- Chris Suellentrop, "Scenes from Spin Alley", Slate

It's pretty darn bad when a reporter from the pro-Bush newspaper the New York Post can't even believe your spin. America's coming around too.

Sunday Moment of Zen

Tomorrow is Monday and it's back to the grind, and the hustle and bustle of the work week. But for now, just this second, take a breather. Let it all in. Then let it all out.

Now... do you want this guy to be your next president?



I always thought he was a little hokey.

Twenty-Three

Do I sense a pattern emerging? Do you think he's trying to tell us something? Here are a few selected excerpts from the debate on September 30. All were said by President George W. Bush.

"It's hard work."
"It's incredibly hard."
"It's the hardest decision a president makes."
"There's a lot of people working hard."
"There's a lot of really good people working hard to do so."
"It's hard work."
"... but it's certainly hard to tell ..."
"And it's hard work."
"I understand how hard it is."
"I see on the TV screens how hard it is."
"... so they can do the hard work ..."
"It is hard work."
"It is hard work to go from tyranny to a democracy."
"It's hard to go from a place ..."
"You know, my hardest ..."
"... the hardest part of the job ..."
"... it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can ..."
"It's hard work."
"Everybody knows it's hard work ..."
"I understand how hard it is to commit ..."
"... been a pretty hard experience ..."
"... going to have to make some hard choices."
"We've done a lot of hard work together ..."

Bad Catholics

"Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives."

-- Barry Goldwater


On that note, share in my ire for yet another underhanded tactic by the Republican National Committee.

What is a good Catholic? Can you really be a bad Catholic? Sure, you can go against Vatican teaching and support women's rights, gay marriage or even condom-use, but does that make you a bad Catholic? Does this liberal stance make you any more sinful than the pro-capital punishment junky (which is also against Church teachings)? And who's so sinless as to be able to tell you that you're wrong?

That would be the GOP, of course! In case you're Catholic and want to know which presidential candidate is right for you, check out Kerry Wrong for Catholics.com, which will sort out those issues for you. But they forgot to mention the Capital Punishment bit. I'm going to assume it's an oversight. That and the Vatican adamently condemning the war in Iraq.

I guess the oversight of upwards to a hundred estimated innocent death row prisoners, thousands of dead Iraqis, thousands and thousands of wounded American soldiers, and over a thousand American casualties is to be expected. It's bad publicity for such an un-Catholic president.

But it's all brought to you by the Republican National Committee, and they're about as clean as you can get. Check the bottom of the page.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

That's Right, Err -- Left

Kerry/Edwards 49%
Bush/Cheney 46%

-- Newsweek Magazine poll following the Sept 30 debate.

It's Getting Deep In Here

FLIP-FLOP ALERT
or JUST PLAIN LYING

"[Kerry]'s decided to put his faith in the wisdom of the government. I will always put my faith in the wisdom of the American people."

-- George W. Bush, speaking in Ohio

Sixty-eight percent of the American people, in all their wisdom, supported the extention of the Assault Rifle Ban. Bush did not put faith in that. He is a lying liar.


And isn't it telling that Bush so immediately switched gears and is now attacking Kerry on his supposed domestic issue gaffs, when Bush himself has been in power for four years and has nothing to show for it. According the the AP piece, "Bush trumpeted his economic agenda," which isn't working. That's it? Are there fewer homeless people now? Are there more Americans with healthcare? Are there more Americans able to find decent-paying jobs? No. That's the thing, isn't it? Again, just like with Kerry's military record, Bush has nothing to go on with himself, so he attacks Kerry.

Bush is now promising to work to encourage policies that let individuals and families hold a stake in an "ownership society." But where the hell was that for the past four years? You can't say, Forget that I did nothing to help you in the past four years, but instead look what I say I'm going to do for you now! Bush has got nothing, and he knows it. When will everyone else understand?

Go Figure

On a more serious note, Scalia was asked if he had any gay friends. Scalia said he probably does, but he's never "pressed the point."

-- AP, October 1, 2004

Friday, October 01, 2004

Who Won the First Debate?

CNN / Gallup Poll

Kerry: 53
Bush: 37

CBS Poll

Kerry: 44
Bush: 26
Tie: 30

ABC Poll

Kerry: 45
Bush: 36
Tie: 17

Look for yourself.

Mort Kondracke: "This is the President's turf, this is the place that the President is supposed to dominate, terror and the war in Iraq. I don't think he really dominated tonight. I think Kerry looked like a commander-in-chief."

Kate O'Beirne, National Review Online’s the Corner: "I thought the President was repetitive and reactive."

Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's the Corner: "The Bush campaign miscalculated on having the first night be foreign policy night."

Bob Schieffer: "The President was somewhat defensive in the beginning."

Mark Shields: "The President showed a few times obvious anger."

Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard: "I think Kerry did pretty well tonight, he was forceful and articulate."

Bob Schieffer: "Kerry got off to a very good start."

Joe Scarborough: "It was John Kerry’s best performance ever... As far as the debate goes, I don’t see how anybody could look at this debate and not score this a very clear win on points for John Kerry." (MSNBC)

Andrea Mitchell: "This is the toughest we’ve ever seen John Kerry. He attacked the very core of the President’s popularity. He’s basically saying, who do you believe?" (MSNBC)

Tim Russert: "Tonight he seemed to find his voice for the Democratic view of the world."

Fred Barnes on FNC: "Kerry did very well and we will have a Presidential race from here on out."

Saddam v. Al Qaeda

Finally! Hopefully those millions of people who watched the debates last night will finally get it through their thick skulls something that even the president had acknowledged many months ago. But the funny thing is, even though Bush disclaimed the notion that Iraq and Saddam were linked, he had no trouble letting people believe it in his ambiguous words and had no trouble letting his Vice-President continue to spread the lies.

Last night at the debates, when asked if the he would be more or less likely to use another pre-emptive attack on a country, Bush said,

"But the enemy attacked us, Jim, and I have a solemn duty to protect the American people, to do everything I can to protect us."

I immediately started throwing popcorn at the radio (I couldn't stand to watch the video feed) and loudly proclaiming that he's doing it again. And then as soon as Bush's moment was up and Kerry began to talk, it was all good.

"Jim, the president just said something extraordinarily revealing and frankly very important in this debate. In answer to your question about Iraq and sending people into Iraq, he just said, "The enemy attacked us."

Saddam Hussein didn't attack us. Usama bin Laden attacked us. Al Qaeda attacked us. And when we had Usama bin Laden cornered in the mountains of Tora Bora, 1,000 of his cohorts with him in those mountains. With the American military forces nearby and in the field, we didn't use the best trained troops in the world to go kill the world's number one criminal and terrorist.

They outsourced the job to Afghan warlords, who only a week earlier had been on the other side fighting against us, neither of whom trusted each other.

That's the enemy that attacked us. That's the enemy that was allowed to walk out of those mountains. That's the enemy that is now in 60 countries, with stronger recruits
."

When Kerry listens to me, he does well, very well. Now just listen to me more often, damn it.

You've Been Served

"What I worry about with the president is that he's not acknowledging what's on the ground, he's not acknowledging the realities of North Korea, he's not acknowledging the truth of the science of stem-cell research or of global warming and other issues."

-- John Kerry, the Debates, September 30, 2004

Ouch! Bush better come up with some response that encompasses talking about North Korea, stem-cell research, global warming and other issues. What did Bush say?

"Well, I think -- listen, I fully agree that one should shift tactics, and we will, in Iraq. Our commanders have got all the flexibility to do what is necessary to succeed."

Wow. Kerry had accused Bush of not acknowledging some other sides of issues, and when he had the chance Bush didn't take the opportunity to acknowledge those other sides! What a moment.