Wednesday, June 30

Drudge's Fedora Just Exploded

His main headline and sub-headline both proclaim:

FLASH: Kerry campaign will announce Thursday it has raised $175 million, breaking the record that George W. Bush set in 2000 of more than $130 million...
Holy crap, that's great news.

Speaking of Fox News

(Warning - link has screenshot of porno type hooha woowoo hominahomina)

Hardcore porn made its basic cable debut last night.

Cable News: Fox is King of a Microscopic Genre

Sent to us by a couple of alert readers...

Business Wire - a conduit for press releases - has one up from Fox News, claiming a huge victory in the cable news war with 9 out of the top 10 shows.

But when you look at the numbers, it doesn't bode very well for the entire industry.

Network / 2nd Qtr 2004 / 2nd Qtr 2003 / %Change
Fox News / 0.8 / 1.3 / -38%
CNN / 0.5 / 0.8 / -38%
MSNBC / 0.2 / 0.4 / -50%
CNBC / 0.1 / 0.2 / -50%
Headline News / 0.2 / 0.2 / 0%
Essentially, 24/7, Fox and CNN lost 38% of their audience since last year, and the NBC cable nets lost half of theirs. The Iraq War played a huge part of last year's numbers, but as you can see, the percentages of people watching cable news now is essentially miniscule.

Not to minimalize Fox's grand triumph here, but between them and the goofball talk shows on CNBC/MSNBC, you've got about a point - or about 1.5 million viewers nationwide. CNN has half that.

So Fox is king of cable news. Next competition: Which tastes better: oak or pine?

Lest You Think Michael Moore Is Still A Nader Man...

Worry no more. Monday night, he made it crystal clear during the conference call.

Michael Moore's Army On The Move

Michael Moore has a war plan to defeat President Bush. With, he now has his army.

Speaking to an estimated 55,000 liberal activists by conference call Monday night, packed into 4,600 homes nationwide, Moore asked three things of his devoted listeners.

First, get up at 5 a.m. on Nov. 2; take the day off from work and volunteer in your local community to help increase turnout for Sen. John Kerry. Second, take one weekend in October, drive to a swing state and rally people to Kerry's side. Third, find five potential voters who were not planning to vote, and "adopt them." Get them to vote, he urged.
We'll add one more thing to that, Mike. As soon as the F911 DVD is available for pre-order, you'll be able to pre-order it right here at Hoffmania. Sit people down at their homes and watch it with them. Inspire them to make the right vote.

Time for You to Seal the Deal

Updated Post...

A Message from the Kerry Campaign:

With just 18 hours left until the end of June, we have the opportunity to outraise the Bush campaign four months in a row. This is the last time before the Democratic convention that the campaign will report our fundraising figures -- a critical measure of our strength.

July 4th is four days away -- make your gift a personal Declaration of Independence. Show George Bush and his 642 Pioneers and Rangers, who have bundled nearly $100 million in contributions, that they don't control this election.

Outraising the Bush campaign in June will be a stunning show of our grassroots power. Be a part of this incredible moment.
NPR did a piece this morning on voters in New Mexico. Some are voting for Kerry simply because he's not Bush. Others will just leave the presidential ballot space empty. When asked why someone would vote for Bush again, one woman replied, "The president is honest, truthful, speaks his mind, is not a flip-flopper..."

These are exactly the kinds of things we need to fight. We need to stop the fact-ginning and the outright lies that have become the "information" these folks get. Once you understand what Kerry's about, he emerges as more than just a guy to vote for just to get Bush out. The man has a vision, a brain and a conscience. And hopefully, your dollars will go to stop these misrepresentations and show how much America has been deceived by the Bush presidency.

Vision. Brain. Conscience. Strike three, Mr. Bush. We need to do something. Now.

Click to conribute.
Click here to contribute to Kerry

Don't complain if you don't vote.
Click to register. Vote.

Tuesday, June 29

Michael Moore on The Daily Show

See the interview with Jon Stewart here. Fun watching.

So They're Suing Illinois for...NOT Doing Something?

Wait, wait, wait, wait, WAIT.

Anti-abortionists in Illinois ask for a politically-charged and socially-volatile message on a license plate. They get turned down. Then they level a freedom-of-speech lawsuit.


The wingnuts are always blasting their yaps over trial lawyers and frivolous lawsuits, but their minions do idiotic crap like this. The good folks of Illinois should be up in arms over this waste of their time and money.

Suit in Ill. Over 'Choose Life' Plates

Members of a pro-adoption group upset over the state's refusal to allow "Choose Life" license plates filed a federal lawsuit Monday accusing the secretary of state of violating their constitutional rights.

Choose Life Illinois, a not-for-profit group based in Grayslake, is part of a national movement pushing for yellow specialty plates stamped with the phrase "Choose Life."

In a lawsuit naming Secretary of State Jesse White as a defendant, the group said White's refusal to issue the plates without General Assembly approval violated their constitutional rights to free speech and due process.

"It is a totally subjective process that amounts to government censorship," group spokesman Dan Proft said.

The lawsuit seeks a court order barring White from issuing any new specialty plates or renewing older ones under the current process.
Let's make a deal. You dipsticks show us one scintilla of despair and disgust over the deaths of Iraqi babies and kids during our little excellent adventure over there, and we'll give you your stinkin' all-important license plates. Deal?

From the Pen of: Steve Benson

Okay, okay. This is one of those few times where I disagree with Benson. I'm totally at odds with the message of this cartoon. It's an unfair depiction of our last elected president.

That said, it still made the Diet Pepsi shoot out of my nose with laughter when I saw it. I apologize. And Steve - you're wrong. But you're still one funny bastard.

F911's Impact?

Another brilliant obervation from a think tanker:

Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion specialist at the American Enterprise Institute, said she doubted the film's "extraordinarily impressive" weekend box office numbers will affect the campaign between Bush and John Kerry.

"The election is still four months off," she said.
That's right - but the release of the DVD is three months off. F911 will be in people's homes by then. We'll buy it. We'll lend it to our friends. We'll send it as gifts.

And it will make a difference come November, Karlyn.


Bremer comes home. 5600 U.S. soldiers involuntarily ship out. While we were all celebrating the New Free Sovereign Iraq, this was going on:

Army Plans Involuntary Call-Up of Thousands

The U.S. Army is planning an involuntary mobilization of thousands of reserve troops to maintain adequate force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials said on Monday.

The move -- involving the seldom-tapped Individual Ready Reserve -- represents the latest evidence of the strain being placed on the U.S. military, particularly the Army, by operations in those two countries.

Roughly 5,600 soldiers from the ready reserve will be notified of possible deployment this year, including some soldiers who will be notified within a month, said an Army official speaking on condition of anonymity.

A senior defense official said, "These individuals are being called back to fill specific shortages for specific jobs."

The official said the last time the Individual Ready Reserve, mainly made up of soldiers who have completed their active duty obligations, was mobilized in any significant numbers was during the 1991 Gulf War.

Col. David Hackworth has Finally Seen Enough

The good colonel finally hands in his verdict on the Iraq adventure. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Sack 'Em and Rack 'Em
By David H. Hackworth

America would be a whole lot safer if the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, was flying for Virgin Airlines, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was competing on "Survivor." Both war leaders have done so miserable a job honchoing the military side of our critical conflict against global terrorism, and in the process so jeopardized our national security, that they should be sacked for dereliction of duty.

Contrary to continuing political spin, Iraq and Afghanistan both are running sores with little promise of even a long-term turnaround, and our world today is far more dangerous than it was before 9/11. Unless there's a 180-degree change in overall strategy, the USA is doomed to follow the same bloody path through these two brutal killing fields that the Soviet Union took in Afghanistan.

The mighty sword that Rumsfeld and Myers inherited four years ago - the finest military force in the world - is now chipped and dulled. And the word is that it will take at least a decade to get our overextended, bone-tired soldiers and Marines and their worn-out gear back in shape.[...]

Space doesn't allow for the long laundry list of what went wrong after the Iraqi army was predictably defeated by a brilliant "Wham, Bam, Goodbye Saddam" air-and-ground attack and the present occupation phase kicked off. But the key screw-ups are:

* Our ground units went in far too light. They didn't have - and still don't have - sufficiently trained numbers and the right force mix to cope with the growing mess on the ground.

* There wasn't an effective plan to deal with the looting, rioting and civil disorder or the early insurgent attacks. Army and Marine skippers in Iraq from company to division tried to put out four-alarm fires without sufficient force, equipment and logistics. Crisis management prevailed.

* Iraqi police, civil-defense corps, the regular army and border-patrol units - which could have prevented much of the chaos and civil disobedience that followed - were precipitously disbanded. [...]

Our president says he's not big on reading newspapers. But perhaps former librarian Laura will share this column with her husband and suggest he follow Harry Truman's example of firing his inept SecDef when the Korean War was going badly.
Thanks, Jer

NYT/CBS Poll: Mixed Messages

The two parties who co-op the New York Times/CBS News Poll sure have different ways of reporting it. CBS News leads it with:

Poll: White House Race Tightens Up

Despite concerns about his handling of Iraq, and an overall approval rating of 42%, George W. Bush is still running neck and neck with Democrat John Kerry as the choice of registered voters. Growing public optimism about the nation's economy has helped lift support for the President.

Kerry is the choice of 45% of registered voters, Bush the choice of 44%. This is a sharp turnaround for the Bush campaign in the span of just one month; in May, Kerry had opened up a wide 8-point lead over Bush. The race has been close since April.
...while this morning's Times reports:

Bush's Rating Falls to Its Lowest Point, New Survey Finds

President Bush's job approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll found Americans stiffening their opposition to the Iraq war, worried that the invasion could invite domestic terrorist attacks and skeptical about whether the White House has been fully truthful about the war or about abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison.

A majority of respondents in the poll, conducted before yesterday's transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government, said that the war was not worth its cost in American lives and that the Bush administration did not have a clear plan to restore order to Iraq.

The survey, which showed Mr. Bush's approval rating at 42 percent, also found that nearly 40 percent of Americans say they do not have an opinion about Senator John Kerry, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, despite what have been both parties' earliest and most expensive television advertising campaigns.
Despite these contrasts in reporting, there's still this albatross hanging on the necks of almost half the respondents:

41 percent still think Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, but slightly more -- 46 percent -- think he was not.

Did Saddam have ties to al Qaeda? 45 percent think Saddam was working with al Qaeda prior to the war against Iraq, but still a sizable number -- 38 percent -- think he was not, and nearly one in five aren't sure.
Conclusion: Wondering why so many people still like Bush? Because so many people are still ignorant.

And if 40% of Americans still don't know anything about Kerry and he still has the edge over Bush, that speaks horribly of the incumbent. America will know Kerry soon enough. The man is famous for how he finishes a campaign. Stay tuned.

From the Pen of: Don Wright

Scheer: A Terrorist Working for U.S. Now Runs Iraq we sit back and watch the fun.

Born Under a Cloud of Irony
The new, free Iraq may officially be in the hands of a former terrorist.

The ironies are flowing thicker than crude oil in Iraq these days.

First, the United States surreptitiously turns over nominal control of the country to a government appointed by outsiders while leaving real power in the hands of U.S. military commanders and calls it an exercise in democracy.

And although the interim prime minister is a former member of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who later conducted anti-Hussein terrorist operations on behalf of the CIA - operations in which innocent Iraqi civilians may have been killed - his anointment as leader of a "free Iraq" is being hailed by President Bush as a great victory in the war on terror.

According to several former intelligence officials interviewed by the New York Times this month, the political group run by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in the 1990s, but financed by the CIA, "used car bombs and other explosive devices smuggled into Iraq" in an attempt to sabotage and destabilize Hussein's regime.

With such a record, it is perhaps not strange then that Allawi, who built his exile organization with defecting Iraqi military officers, is already proclaiming the need to delay elections scheduled for January and impose martial law. On Monday Bush said coalition forces would support such a call for martial law, presumably enforced by U.S. troops.

Allawi is also demanding that Hussein be put under his government's control and tried quickly by an Iraqi court - probably a strategic move to seize Hussein's strongman crown directly.

When Allawi was first picked for the prime minister post through an opaque selection process ostensibly run by a U.N. representative, former CIA Iran-Iraq analyst Kenneth Pollack justified the agency's earlier use of Allawi as a terrorist with the comment "send a thief to catch a thief." But the question now is: Do you send a thief to build a democracy?

Monday, June 28

It Seems So Easy To Other Countries

Why has it been so damned difficult for our White House to understand? Oh. Forgot. They're always right.

Even Jamaica understands how much of a nightmare Iraq is - and probably will continue to be.

Meanwhile with characteristic aplomb, US President George Bush told the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday that the Iraqi people had got back their country. The questions remain: Which Iraqis and in what kind of country?

The slate of problems is staggering. The economy is in a mess, unemployment is high, the infrastructure is in a mess and the threat of further insurgency attacks remains. Bush administration officials are pushing the line that any attacks against the new regime should be seen as Iraqi versus Iraqi violence. That, of course, is only partially true. Since the new regime is a US-approved one, there is little distinction to be made between them and the previous one, not only in the minds of ordinary Iraqis but in the minds of the insurgents as well. As some analysts have noted, to Iraqis, members of the new regime may have independent thought, but not independent action. In reality, little has changed.

As part of the restoration to normality in Iraq, the U.S. should seek to draw on the cooperation of those countries which have demonstrated an interest in the rebuilding effort. The defiant and headlong push to occupy Iraq in furtherance of narrow geo-political interests, has proven, to date, to be an unqualified diplomatic failure. There is still opportunity to make amends.

I Remember Ed Koch Before He Went Nuts

His years of doing talkradio have taken their toll on his once-sharp mind.

Try to read this and forget that for six continuous hours every day, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity do their own brand of debate-cheapening nation-polarizing one-sided name-calling disinformation-mongering unsupported by any tangible proof - which generally goes unchallenged by Koch. (Happy positive optimistic smile here) Okay? Okay!

Koch: Moore's propaganda film cheapens debate, polarizes nation

By Ed Koch

Senator John Kerry in criticizing United States' foreign policy and the incumbent president is acting responsibly, albeit I disagree with many of his views. On the other hand, Michael Moore, writer and director of the film "Fahrenheit 9/11," crosses that line regularly. The line is not set forth in the criminal statutes, but it is determined by Americans who know instinctively what actions and statements taken and uttered violate the obligations of responsibility and citizenship they deem applicable in time of war. [...]

I am a movie critic, so I went to see "Fahrenheit 9/11." The movie is a well-done propaganda piece and screed as has been reported by most critics. It is not a documentary which seeks to present the facts truthfully. The most significant offense that movie commits is to cheapen the political debate by dehumanizing the President and presenting him as a cartoon. [...]

The movie's diatribes, sometimes amusing and sometimes manifestly unfair, will not change any views. They will simply cheapen the national debate and reinforce the opinions on both sides.

Events We're Glad We Missed

Seriously - does Disney know about this - that this group has shoehorned itself into this screening? It sure seems extraordinarily counter-productive to the company, knowing that this group has been blatantly trying to block showings of F911 before they've even seen it - and that Disney is under the microscope for jettisoning F911 as being blatantly political.

Disney & Move America Forward
Team Up to Show a Brighter Side of America

(SACRAMENTO) -- Move America Forward is teaming up with Walt Disney Pictures to present an exclusive screening of Disney's "America's Heart & Soul" on Monday, June 28, 2004 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento, California. The private screening takes place at 1:00 PM and members of the news media are invited to attend. "Americas Heart & Soul" opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, July 2nd.

Unlike the negative and misleading storyline of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," Disney's "America's Heart & Soul" features a collection of upbeat storylines of real life Americans who pursue their passions in a way that underscores what makes America a great nation.

WHAT: Screening of Walt Disney Pictures' "America's Heart & Soul"
WHO: Representatives of Walt Disney Pictures
Howard Kaloogian, Chairman, Move America Forward
Melanie Morgan, Vice Chairman, Move America Forward
[Melanie is also a talk show host on KSFO 560 AM San Francisco]
Eric Hogue, KTKZ 1380 AM Sacramento
Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck
Political Leaders
Business Leaders
Invited members of the community
Let's take some time to look at one of Move America Forward's honest and fact-packed press releases, shall we?

Fahrenheit 9/11 Receives Chilly
Reception from Movie Theaters

(SACRAMENTO/SAN DIEGO/SAN FRANCISCO) - Michael Moore's propaganda flick "Fahrenheit 9/11" is getting a chilly reception from skeptical movie theater operators.

A month ago Moore and his partners, Lions Gate Films and IFC Films, had claimed that more than 1,000 movie theaters would be showing his anti-war 'documentary.' Soon thereafter they claimed "around" 1,000 theaters would pick up the film. Then that number changed to 700. In the last few days that number had dropped again to "at least 500." As of today, a review of the film's website showed that only 417 theaters would show the film - and most of those are poorly attended "art house" theaters.
Yup, that AMC 20 Multiplex that needed three screens to handle the crowd I went to is a renowned art house, showing little handmade films like "White Chicks," "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," and "Shrek 2."


By the way, these jackasses have gone and invented a new holiday as well...

National Support The War On Terror Day:

Saturday, September 11, 2004
Nice of them to use the anniversary of the most tragic day in our nation's modern history to launch their Support The War On Terror Day. We need more wars against an emotion, as opposed to the terrorISTS.

I'll mark that day 'cuz 9/11 is a day we'll all so easily forget, you festering sores.

From the Pen of: Ann Telnaes

What's Really Painful

Bill Clinton's book broke all non-fiction records last weekend and continues to do so.

Michael Moore's movie broke all documentary (and a few general film) records this past weekend and continues to do so.

Why the hell does this audience STILL have no radio station to listen to? If the powers that be can't sell Air America Radio programming to radio stations NOW, then sell the network to a company that can.

We now have verifiable proof that the audience is there. DO SOMETHING FOR THEM!

This is insane.

The Handover and the Hightail

This will go down in history as another "Mission Accomplished" to a mission that never should have taken place to begin with (aka: It ain't over). It's also a very VERY sloppy theft of one of John Kerry's plans for Iraq. When the repercussions occur - either there OR here - the White House will happily scream that Kerry's plan didn't work.

Handover Completed Early to Thwart Attacks, Officials Say

The United States handed over sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government today in a low-key ceremony ahead of the June 30 date when it had been expected to do so, a surprise move apparently timed to pre-empt any planning of attacks by insurgents.

CNN reported that after the ceremony L. Paul Bremer III, the chief American administrator in Iraq, his job over, then flew out of the country. It broadcast footage of Mr. Bremer boarding an aircraft in Baghdad.

The transfer of sovereignty took place as NATO leaders held a summit in Turkey.

President Bush marked the transfer with a whispered comment and a handshake with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, gathered with world leaders around a table at the summit in Istanbul, Turkey, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Stealing a glance at his watch to make sure the transfer had occurred, Bush put his hand over his mouth to guard his remarks, leaned toward Blair and then reached out to shake hands, the A.P. reported. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, a row behind the president, beamed.

Sunday, June 27

There'll Be a Slight Switch in the October Surprise...

The U.S. Government apologizes for the roster change.

Washington has a new public enemy number one
DEAD OR ALIVE: The US believes Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is behind much of the violence in Iraq. Kill or capture him, the logic goes, and the insurgency is over

Dominating one wall of the huge room, faced by ranks of soldiers with telephones and monitors, is a screen showing a large map of a substantial chunk of Iraq, direct feeds from predator pilotless surveillance drones, live TV pictures and three slogans: "What has happened? What is happening? What is to be done?"

The screen covers a portion of Iraq populated by nearly four million people. One man is at the top of the "What is to be done?" list.

Fadel al-Khalailah, better known as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is Washington's public enemy number one, almost supplanting Osama bin Laden as the main focus of the global counter-terrorist hunt. The US believes that the 38-year-old Jordanian is the mastermind behind much of the recent violence in Iraq. Kill or capture him, the logic goes, and the insurgency falls apart. The reward for his capture is now US$10 million.

'Bout Damned Time

We're finally seeing Fahrenheit 911 this afternoon. Don't tell me how it ends.

Update: Saw it. Almost didn't. The gate to our multi-dwelling garage got stuck - a situation which was a carbon copy of last year when we tried to go see Bad Santa which we missed (we had already bought tix online as we did today). This time, I was NOT going to be denied. I raced back into my place, grabbed an adjustable wrench and a stepladder, and proceeded to dismantle the demon spawn that was the burned-out garage gate motor. With the help of three other strapping guys who lifted the gate, I managed to manually wind the motor and leave the gate stuck open. We got there halfway through the previews.

F911 is without question Michael Moore's best work - clear, well-edited, funny and disturbing. What I had heard from most folks turned out to be true - if you already know all the crap that's been going on behind the news you've been seeing, there are no big secrets up there. The awe-ignition happens when you're actually seeing it unfold on a two-story-tall screen instead of a little pixelated image in your RealPlayer.

Bush's bewilderment during that excrutiating seven minutes after being told we're under attack is mesmerizing - and although many of us have seen it a zillion times on the web, the close-ups of his facial expressions (or lack of same) became an epiphany. The Bush-Saudi ties are undeniable if not a hair wonky...but I don't see how Moore could possibly simplify it more. The bloated cronyism of this White House and just about every shady character in modern history is well-documented by Moore in the first part of F911. Part Two of the film is essentially the heartache of the Iraq travesty. I challenge anyone to see the Lila Lipscomb story arc and not feel choking outrage.

You've seen tons of reviews to which I really can't add very much - but if you haven't seen it, get into a showing ASAP while the crowds are big. The true experience is akin to having to see a new Pixar film with a theater full of kids. You need to immerse yourself in the audience as well as the film itself. The laughter, the gasps, the applause and the intense hypnotic silence are all part of the show.

Having nabbed seats at the last minute following our garage egress debacle, we were near the back, so I can tell you I only saw ten people leave their seats to use the restrooms (they all came rushing back within a minute). No one - NO one wanted to leave. In contrast to a lot of reports of audible and constant crowd reaction, our audience was more subdued than I had expected. But any doubts I may have had about how F911 affected them were dissolved when the closing credits hit the screen and the theater erupted in the loudest cheer I ever heard for a movie.

If we were closer to the exits, I would have loved to listen in on the parting comments. What I did hear was probably exactly what Moore was trying to elicit. Most notably was the older couple we walked behind, who said, "It's as if we've been wearing blindfolds for the last three years."


Go. Take a Republican. Treat 'em. But do it as soon as you can while the crowds are strong. It's a stirring, wild, and cathartic experience.

Saw it? Nail your thoughts here:

LA Times: "A Monument to Folly"

The LAT usually presents three editorials on its Opinion page. The only exceptions are their election recommendations and rarely, the unusual news circumstance. 9/11 and the beginning of the Iraq war were recent examples.

Today, the three-editorial format was dispensed for one scathing piece on the Iraq handover. If you're a Bush fan, proceed at your own risk.

The Disaster of Failed Policy

June 27, 2004

In its scale and intent, President Bush's war against Iraq was something new and radical: a premeditated decision to invade, occupy and topple the government of a country that was no imminent threat to the United States. This was not a handful of GIs sent to overthrow Panamanian thug Manuel Noriega or to oust a new Marxist government in tiny Grenada. It was the dispatch of more than 100,000 U.S. troops to implement Bush's post-Sept. 11 doctrine of preemption, one whose dangers President John Quincy Adams understood when he said the United States "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."

In the case of Vietnam, the U.S. began by assisting a friendly government resisting communist takeover in a civil war, though the conflict disintegrated into a failure that still haunts this country. The 1991 Persian Gulf War, under Bush's father, was a successful response to Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait - and Bush's father deliberately stopped short of toppling Saddam Hussein and occupying Iraq.

The current president outlined a far more aggressive policy in a speech to the West Point graduating class in 2002, declaring that in the war on terror "we must take the battle to the enemy" and confront threats before they emerge. The Iraq war was intended as a monument to his new Bush Doctrine, which also posited that the U.S. would take what help was available from allies but would not be held back by them. It now stands as a monument to folly.
This is literally just too huge to post here, so instead of having to register to read it, we've mirrored it here. White House staffers will be walking funny after this spanking.

Saturday, June 26

Let Them Have Charlie Daniels and Ted Nugent

Our side rocks hard. Liberals still know entertainment best.

Concerts for Kerry

From a Position of Weakness

Like a freight train...

Bet your house that come Monday, the Bush sycophants on talk radio and talk TV will be proclaiming that the president has scored a major victory by getting NATO and the EU to agree to support the new Iraqi government. This will be trumpeted as acceptance of the Bush Doctrine and will rationalize the actions we took in the war on terrorism.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Bush won absolutely nothing. This is in no way a mandate for what the little maniac did to an area which the EU shares a land mass with. NATO has agreed to train Iraqi troops - not be directly involved in confrontations. The EU, sick and tired of the swirling horror happening so close to their territories, will do practically anything to put a stop to it. And the United States looks like the neighborhood jackass who finally was forced by its parents to apologize for vandalizing the block.

In other words, Bush came to them under the blinding light of protest and white hot anger by their citizens to beg for their help - from a position of weakness and not from a position of strength. He allowed them to make the rules, and at the same time, spank him for putting them in this awkward position in the first place.

President Mary McAleese voiced strong concerns over the maltreatment of Iraqi POWs by coalition forces during a private meeting with George Bush yesterday.

The Irish President told her US counterpart during a 30-minute meeting that there was deep disquiet about the war in Iraq among the people of Ireland and the EU. In what was described as a busy and very honest meeting, she said Irish people as a whole shared the shock and disappointment of the American people as scenes from Abu Ghraib had emerged.
We all know Bush is the first U.S. president to be greeted with hostility in Ireland. Try as they did to keep him shielded from anything negative, including an entire country's scorn, they still ended up 30 minutes late for the meeting to avoid the angry crowds.

With all this happening in her country, no wonder McAleese had to address it. This is what they do in the real world. They deal with public sentiment. If there is a next time, Bush should try it himself - BEFORE he does anything pre-emptively.

But the pre-emption is what put us in that position of weakness. The strength Bush was seeking for his war never bore fruit in the rest of the world - and more than half of the United States. The old adage of "It's easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission" DOES NOT APPLY TO WAR. And what happened today was not forgiving in the slightest. It's the EU telling us that they'll do whatever they can to knock off the bloodshed next door - which y'know, we started.

Bush got admonished. He got lectured. He got scorn. He got what he deserved.

What he still didn't get - on his OR our behalf - was respect. He won nothing today. What he got was a hot steaming bowl of Fix This Mess.

The "victory" is empty. The emperor has no pride. And the United States still looks like that weak neighborhood jackass.

Don't believe the hype. We're doing the begging. And it's very unbefitting of someplace that calls itself a "superpower" because there's a moral responsibility that goes with the territory.

Do We Just Assume They're Doomed?

On the eve of Bush's visit to Turkey, this.

Iraq militants threaten to behead 3 Turks

Militants loyal to Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is allegedly linked to al-Qaida, said on Saturday they had seized three Turkish hostages and would behead them unless Turkey stopped working with U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

Al-Jazeera satellite channel showed footage of three men crouching before masked gunmen. It said it had received the footage and a statement from Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group, threatening to kill the Turkish captives within 72 hours.

Zarqawi's group beheaded a South Korean hostage earlier this week after Seoul rejected a demand to withdraw its forces from Iraq, and last month decapitated an American captive. Both killings were filmed in footage posted on Web sites used by Islamists.
Ya gotta ask yourself why the Preznit won't go to "Free Iraq" while he's in the 'hood to dole out some Fourth-of-July turkee to the troops who are still there from Thanksgiving. Oh well...

Arnold - The New King of Flip-Flop

Wow! Two within a couple of hours! A new flip-flop record...

Pet Lovers Howl, So Governor Rolls Over
Schwarzenegger quickly drops a plan to save money by letting shelters euthanize strays in 72 hours. "That was an oversight," he says.

SACRAMENTO - The hectoring barks of animal lovers convinced Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reverse himself Friday and keep California's law protecting stray dogs and cats at shelters.

"That's not me. I have three dogs. And of course I grew up with every animal you can think of," said Schwarzenegger, who credited his own daughter for persuading him to change his mind. "I'm an animal lover."

Schwarzenegger's about-face came a day after animal rights groups began besieging the Capitol upon learning that the governor wanted to cut back a six-day holding period for animals at shelters.
Gov.'s Got a New Take on Casinos

SACRAMENTO - Talking tough in television ads during last year's recall race, Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced Indian tribes that own casinos as special interests handing out fat campaign donations while giving little back to the state.

"I don't play that game," he intoned in a commercial featuring a spinning slot machine.

But those were a candidate's words. As governor, Schwarzenegger this week signed deals allowing five tribes unlimited expansion of their gambling operations, subject to legislative approval. In exchange, the state would take a larger cut of those tribes' casino profits than it does now, albeit less than the 25% Schwarzenegger demanded in his campaign.

"This is a jaw-dropping political metamorphosis for a candidate who railed against the...influence of Indian gaming," said Jason Kinney, who was an aide to former Gov. Gray Davis and now works in public relations.

Weekend Broadband Corner

HomeStar Runner. Web animation lives.

Friday, June 25

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pal to the Critters

Some alert folks found something in the new California budget which Governor Gropenator is trying to push through.

Seems when Arnold's pal Pete Wilson was governor, he passed the Hayden Law (named for Tom). In a Humane Society press release from 1999:

"One provision increased to six days the length of time a stray animal must be held for their legal guardian to "find" and redeem them, unless the shelter is open until 7 pm one weekday evening or the animal is held through one weekend day. The six-day requirement will replace the state's current law of 72 hours, making it easier for working people to look for their lost companion."
Now, I'm no PETA-style fanatic. In fact, if I have to sit at a dinner table across from a PETA member who goes into graphic detail about the treatment of ponies at parks one more time while I'm trying to eat, violence will break out. (Issues, Hoff?) But if the new budget passes, here's what to expect...

The two most disturbing elements of the Governor's budget are the return of the animal holding period to only 72 hours for all animals (stray and relinquished) and the elimination of the requirement that shelters seek veterinary care for animals at the shelter.

Among the other policies that will be repealed if the current budget is adopted:
- The requirement that people convicted of cruelty to animals to pay for the costs of the animals' care while the issue of guilt is being determined.
- The requirement that as a condition of probation, people convicted of animal cruelty can be prevented from owning animals for three years.
- The law that made it a duty for shelters to use all currently acceptable methods of identification - including microchips - to determine the lawful owner of any seized or impounded animals.
- The State's policy preference for adoption instead of killing animals.
- The requirement that shelters allow qualified animal adoption/rescue groups to take responsibility for animals if they pay the required fee.
- The requirement that shelters give owner-relinquished animals a chance to be adopted.
This is pretty insane. L.A.'s KLOS Radio is spearheading a campaign to remove this infection from the state budget, with email links and phone numbers. Check it out.

Caption Contest Winner!

You! You're not revering the President's mastery of telephones! GET OUT!

And the winner is Lee Press-On (whose swing big band Lee Press-On and the Nails absolutely rocks) who wins the Mario Cuomo DVD, which I'm sure will go great in their onstage multimedia show. Lee adds in his acceptance of his prize:

"If you know of any Anyone-but-Bush type public events that need a swing band, give us a call! I know the Nails would love to help and show their support."

Congrats, Lee. Keep up the good work.

And thanks one and all for entering.

The Picture We Want To See 10PM Pacific Time November 2nd, 2004

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) gestures as he thanks supporters following a fund-raising concert in Los Angeles, California June 24, 2004. Kerry promised help for struggling workers in the key state of Ohio on June 25 and said President Bush had lost touch with the everyday experiences of Americans.

This man must win in November.

Click here to contribute to Kerry
Contribute. Vote. Win.

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

Atta Boy, GEORGE!

Thanks to you, Mr. President, the women of Iraq are productive working citizens!

From the Pen of: Jim Meddick

The Rest of the Country Sees F911

We sold enough Cuomo DVDs to upgrade our post comments! You now have 3000 characters of ad-free commenting instead of 1000.

So if you saw Fahrenheit 911, leave your enlarged thoughts here.

Jack Off the Ballot

Let me rephrase that. He's withdrawing prematurely.

I mean he's backing out. He's pulling out. He's getting himself off. The campaign trail that is.

Oh forget it. From The Smoking Gun - so to speak...

Days after a California judge unsealed embarrassing divorce court records, Illinois Republican Jack Ryan today dropped his U.S. Senate bid. The 44-year-old pol said he was withdrawing to avoid a "brutal, scorched-earth campaign," according to a press statement.
By the way, it's page three you want.

Bush Basks in the Warmth of Ireland - Emphasis on "Ire"

Is there a country on the planet that isn't pissed at us?

Irish plan cool Bush welcome

When U.S. President George W. Bush jets into Shannon airport in western Ireland this weekend for an EU-U.S. summit, he will face a reception never before afforded an American leader by the Irish: a cool one.

Conscious of its strong emotional attachment to the United States, where some 40 million people claim Irish ancestry, and huge U.S. business interests - half the foreign companies in Ireland are American owned - Ireland has traditionally welcomed U.S. presidents with aplomb.

For Bush, however, widespread opposition to the Iraq war has turned a large swathe of popular opinion against him and made him, for some, an object of scorn.

Most of the crowds gathering in the West of Ireland to catch a glimpse of the president are not waving the Stars & Stripes but banners castigating U.S. policy in Iraq.

Across the country, in Dublin, the council has hoisted white flags along the banks of the River Liffey to signal its opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq.

"As a war criminal, George Bush should not be welcomed in Ireland. He should be arrested for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity," said one letter writer in the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Welcome Back an Old Friend - Inflation!

Wow! Haven't seen that rascal since - the last Republican administrations! Good to see you ol' pal - it's just what the Kerry Campaign needed to seal the deal.

US slashes first-quarter growth, inflation higher

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy grew much more slowly than previously thought in the first quarter while inflation was higher, a government report showed on Friday.

The surprise downward revision to gross domestic product -- which measures total output within the nation's borders -- cut growth to a 3.9 percent annual rate in the first three months of 2004 from the 4.4 percent reported a month ago and below the 4.1 percent pace in the final quarter of last year.

The government also ratcheted up a key gauge of inflation, confirming an acceleration in price rises that has fueled expectations the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates from 1958 lows next week to head off inflation.

The core price index for consumer spending -- a favorite of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan that cuts out volatile food and energy prices -- gained at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the quarter, a bump up from the 1.7 percent reported a month ago.

Thursday, June 24

Caption Contest!

No, really. This time it IS a contest, because we actually have a prize. Rules? We decide. Our decision is final. Whining not permitted. Email your caption through this link so we can keep track of who sent what and we'll post them here. Don't change the subject line or it won't go to the right mailbox. We'll notify you via email if you're picked.

Up for grabs, a copy of our DVD of Gov. Cuomo's nominating specch at the 1992 Democratic Convention.

Contributor Cadillac Jack came up with the idea and he provides the first three.

A. "So, what are you wearing...?"
B. "Sure Dick sure, but look I want to finish reading 'MY PET GOAT' first."
C. "Laura, turn on the gotta see this!"
6am 6/25:
Rule addendum: Limit two entries per person. This ain't the lottery, y'know.

"YOU!! Raiders vs. Packers, channel 13, NOW!!" - Sallyspaw
"Did somebody say 'twins'?" - Sallyspaw again
"Oh, and make sure we get his family members out of the country pronto...yes, you heard me correctly." - Josh
"Mr. President, we're ready to test the Dance Dance Invasion(TM) Fun Pad!" - Allan One
"Look Mr. President! Your cartoons are on! Uh...I mean your audio-visual Presidential Daily Briefing." -Allan One again
"Yeah, extra large with mushrooms and' a large Coke." - Felix
"You, in the white lab coat, the President needs you to test out that "jump to conclusions" mat over there. Don't make me sic Karl on you." - Kerry

1:15pm PT
"New York is in my United States? Really?" and
"Maybe those pilots simply spent as little time practicing flying as I did." - Koledeef
"I'll take the Aggies and the points." and
"So, Jenna, did you make that new connection yet?" - Mad Coyote
Andy Card tries unsuccessfully to get a white woman to join Karl and a distracted George to practice their Four Tops dance moves for the still-uncancelled September 12 White House StarSearch Talent Hunt and Republican Party Fundraiser. - Edgewater Joe
"Now comes the second plane, just like we planned." - Adrian
"No, I'm not going to address the nation now. Gotta wait 'til the other two are down." - JF
"You! On the phone! The President did not say, 'I could use a brew!' He said, 'I know what to do!' GOT THAT?" - Amos
"Yeah, Osama, I got the Air Force fighters to stand down, what next? Oh, invade Iraq?" -Darms
"You! You're not revering the President's mastery of telephones! GET OUT!" - Anon
"Yeah, put the hit out on Michael Moore -- NOW!" and
"Make sure you bring my golf clubs, or else!" - SR
"ABU - GAREF MOTHERF***ERS, then on to MARS!" - merl
"how soon can you get my brown pants delivered?" and
"no, the salute goes up at a 40 degree angle" - preznit

Thanks for all the entries, gang.

But Ma! Blah3 Started It!

This year's "Fair and Balanced" is now...

The Coalition of the Wild-Eyed

Put it on your site today, kids! And blame this guy for igniting this pre-Fourth firecracker.

Take Your Tax Cut. Multiply It By Six. Send It Back.

Furthering that wacky silly notion that you cannot cut taxes in wartime...

Iraq war 'will cost each US family $3,415'

The United States has spent more than $126bn on the war in Iraq, which will ultimately cost every American family an estimated $3,415, according to a new report by two thinktanks.
The report, published yesterday by the leftwing Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy in Focus also counts the human costs.

As of June 16, before yesterday's nationwide attacks, up to 11,317 Iraqi civilians and 6,370 Iraqi soldiers or insurgents had been killed, according to the report, which is titled Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War.

Holy Mother of God - Are You Kiddin' Me?

Newsweek has mined what - under any other circumstance under any other administration - appears to be an explosive revelation about what happened while Bush was enjoying "My Pet Goat." Cheney took over the controls of our country, and actually urged Bush to stay at bay. That might be the very call our brave and strong president is taking when this picture was snapped at Emma E. Booker Elementary School.

This is just head-spinning. It puts to bed once and for all the myth of how strong George W. Bush was on that day. He was weaker than a sick kitten.

Who Was Really In Charge?

America was under attack, and somebody had to make a decision. Dick Cheney, huddled in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center under the White House, had just urged the traveling George W. Bush not to return to Washington. The president had left Florida aboard Air Force One at 9:55 a.m. on 9/11 "with no destination at take-off," as last week's 9-11 Commission report noted. Nor had Bush given any known instructions on how to respond to the attacks. Now Cheney faced another huge decision on a morning in which every minute seemed monumental. The two airliners had already crashed into the Twin Towers, another into the Pentagon. Combat air patrols were aloft, and a military aide was asking for shoot-down authority, telling Cheney that a fourth plane was "80 miles out" from Washington. Cheney didn't flinch, the report said. "In about the time it takes a batter to decide to swing," he gave the order to shoot it down, telling others the president had "signed off on the concept" during a brief phone chat. When the plane was 60 miles out, Cheney was again informed and again he ordered: take it out.

Then Joshua Bolten, after what he described in testimony as "a quiet moment," spoke up. Bolten, the White House deputy chief of staff, asked the veep to get back in touch with the president to "confirm the engage order." Bolten was clearly subordinate to Cheney, but "he had not heard any prior conversation on the subject with the president," the 9/11 report notes. Nor did the real-time notes taken by two others in the room, Cheney's chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby - who is known for his meticulous record-keeping - or Cheney's wife, Lynne, reflect that such a phone call between Bush and Cheney occurred or that such a major decision as shooting down a U.S. airliner was discussed. Bush and Cheney later testified the president gave the order. And national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice and a military aide said they remembered a call, but gave few specifics. The report concluded "there is no documentary evidence for this call."
If that's not bad enough - this so-called independent 9/11 commission was (as many weaker Americans have been in the last three years) bullied into changing the wording of the severity of Cheney's account. Look up the word "lie" if you miss the subtlety.

...NEWSWEEK has learned that some on the commission staff were, in fact, highly skeptical of the vice president's account and made their views clearer in an earlier draft of their staff report. According to one knowledgeable source, some staffers "flat out didn't believe the call ever took place." When the early draft conveying that skepticism was circulated to the administration, it provoked an angry reaction. In a letter from White House lawyers last Tuesday and a series of phone calls, the White House vigorously lobbied the commission to change the language in its report. "We didn't think it was written in a way that clearly reflected the accounting the president and vice president had given to the commission," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett told NEWSWEEK. Ultimately the chairman and vice chair of the commission, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean and former representative Lee Hamilton - both of whom have sought mightily to appear nonpartisan - agreed to remove some of the offending language. The report "was watered down," groused one staffer.
One question jumps out here: Why in God's name was the 9/11 commission report pre-screened by the White House anyway? Did anyone - ONE SINGLE SOUL - allow the salacious Starr Report to be edited and rewritten by anyone in the Clinton White House? HELL, NO, folks. That Republican- and public-funded witch hunt had to show all of America how bad it is to have a girlfriend on the side. FAR FAR more important and more deadly than a majority opinion by the 9/11 commission that Dick Cheney flat-out lied about what happened while New York and Washington were being attacked from the skies.

GOD. DAMN. Give me the strength to do whatever I can to have Kerry win by at least 25% this November, because anything less will be challenged and overturned by these lousy, stinking, heartless, lying, deceiving, treacherous, dangerous criminals.

Pull the steering wheel out of their hands NOW - before they send us all over a cliff.

"The Red States Are Getting Exasperated"

That's the observation of Jon Carroll in the San Fran Chronicle.

It was interesting to watch the Bush administration implode as I was making my fossil-fueled trek across these United States. I was mostly out of touch with that darned liberal media -- although some states, like Wyoming, have unexpectedly good NPR stations -- so I picked up the bulk of my data from USA Today and local newspapers.

The red states are getting exasperated with Bush. He's not the small- government cautious-foreign-policy compassionate conservative that they voted for, and he's almost beyond the benefit of the doubt now. It may be true that, despite sophisticated Rovian techniques, you still can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Meanwhile, the lies proliferated at such a rate that my eyeballs began wobbling. In between the lies were the censored reports, the high-level employees firing bazookas at their former employers, the explosive congressional testimonies. Democrats didn't even have to show up; the GOP brandished a sword and forced itself to walk the plank. You go, guys.

"Coalition of the Wild-Eyed"

The web's buzzing about this bizarre web ad at the official Bush-Cheney site. Bizarre in that it highlights everything America is angry at Bush about. It sets out showing how crazy we Democrats are, but it careens wildly off the tracks, and the overpowering message is that the White House has failed miserably.

The subtext is that we should all just quiet down and be good happy Americans.

Uh...right. See it. You won't believe it.

So "F#%@ You" is Now Reclassified as a "Frank Exchange of Views"

So much for that jovial uncle figure we saw in 2000. Well, frank exchange of views back atcha, DICK. These are the "adults in the White House."

He better slow down. I'm wearing out that picture of him.

Cheney curses senator over Halliburton criticism

Typically a break from partisan warfare, this year's Senate class photo turned smiles into snarls as Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly used a profanity toward one senior Democrat, sources said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who was on the receiving end of Cheney's ire, confirmed that the Vice President used profanity during Tuesday's class photo.

A spokesman for Cheney confirmed there was a "frank exchange of views."

Using profanity on the Senate floor while the Senate is session is against the rules. But the Senate was technically not in session at the time and the normal rules did not apply, a Senate official said.

The story, which was recounted by several sources, goes like this:

Cheney, who as president of the Senate was present for the picture day, turned to Leahy and scolded the senator over his recent criticism of the vice president for Halliburton's alleged war profiteering.

Cheney is the former CEO of Halliburton, and Democrats have suggested that while serving in the Bush administration he helped win lucrative contracts for his former firm, including a no-bid contract to rebuild Iraq.

Cheney's office has said repeatedly that the vice president has no role in government contracting and has severed all financial ties with the Texas-based oil services conglomerate.

Cheney was chief executive officer of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. He resigned when he became George Bush's running mate.

Responding to Cheney's comment, Leahy reminded him of an earlier statement the vice president had made about him. Cheney then replied with profanity.

Leahy would not comment on the specifics of the story Thursday, but did confirm that Cheney used profanity.

"I think he was just having a bad day," said Leahy, "and I was kind of shocked to hear that kind of language on the floor."

Kevin Kellems, a spokesman for the vice president, said, "That doesn't sound like the kind of language that the vice president would use, but I can confirm that there was a frank exchange of views."

Very Wrong


Cheney Wins One - For Now

We here in California will sleep better, knowing that an event which ripped us off for billions will not have to go through the nastiness of being seen by the public. Congratulations, Mr. Cheney, you jerk.

Court: Cheney does not have to turn over records
Justices send case back to lower court

The Supreme Court refused Thursday to order the Bush administration to make public secret details of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, but kept the case alive by sending it back to a lower court.

Justices said 7-2 that a lower court should consider whether a federal open government law could be used to get documents of the task force.

The decision extends the legal fight over the information. Justices could have allowed a judge to immediately move ahead with ordering the release of the papers.

The issues in the case have been overshadowed by conflict-of-interest questions about Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia had defiantly refused to step down from hearing the case involving Cheney, despite criticism that his impartiality has been brought into question because of a hunting vacation that he took with Cheney while the court was considering the vice president's appeal.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David H. Souter said in a dissent that the judge in the case should be allow to consider what records should be released.

If Iraqis Want To Flee This, Where Do They Go?

Because the jackasses who started and cheered on this war are the same ones who want to seal our borders from immigrants. Hmmm.

June 30th may bring martial law as the first order of business to the great new free Iraq. If there was any reason to wonder why a dictator was needed to run this country, wonder no more. It's now painfully obvious that this White House did not have a single clue as to HOW to do this, never mind WHY.

Between the insurgency and now al Qaeda, we've taken what was a brutal dictatorship, and replaced it with a very deadly shitstorm.

And for your Iraq scrapbook, Mr. Bush? This clipping has everything! Death. Abu Ghraib (or Ghar Reff as you like to say). Inexplicable destruction. All under the banner titled "Iraq: After Saddam." Nice work, sir! This is a keeper...

Scores Die In Wave Of Iraq Attacks

Insurgents launched coordinated attacks against police and government buildings across Iraq on Thursday, less than a week before the handover of sovereignty. Sixty-nine people including three American soldiers were killed, and more than 270 people were wounded, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

American forces used aircraft and helicopters to repel the guerrillas.

The large number of attacks, directed at Iraqi security services, was a clear sign of just how powerful the insurgency in Iraq remains - and could be the start of a new push to torpedo the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to an interim transitional government.

U.S. officials had been warning of this very scenario, reports CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier. The coordinated spate of attacks is intended to show that the coalition and the new Iraqi government cannot provide the one thing Iraqis want most - security.

Wednesday, June 23

Review of F911

It's from Hoffmania contributor Barry Champlain in New York, who provides this uncensored account on how Fahrenheit 9/11 seems to be nothing short of a life-changing experience...

Here is the deal. We all knew this stuff; "we" being, those with a curiosity beyond the national entertainment state, as Gore Vidal put it. It's those other numbnutzes. And that's what this is all about. THEY have to see it. And this is doable. And if it is, there is no way in Hell that anyone who isn't a Republican operative or a Saudi can emerge from this thing, feeling anything but HAD.

And on that note, I stand by what I said earlier concerning getting one numbnutz, fence-sitter ("I'm not political!") or Dittohead into that theater to see it. This is gonna be a word-of-mouth thing, and we're not the ones needing the word-of-mouth.

I assure you, Moore put this all together to achieve the same Infotainment value with what we elite pointy-heads already knew, which the Bushies have used to deliver us such lies before. And he's done so, so cohesively, and with no dull moments, that if one member of the great unwashed sees it, it's the metasticized cancer cell in that demographic.

See this link from The Hill. The Bushies CANnot let this slide. They MUST kill it, because if not, there go four years of deadly-serious work... poof. And they, as I've said before, don't do defeat.

I have to say that from the personal experience of standing for the second day in the crowd drawn by the Big Dog... and hearing WCBS 880 in my Walkman, simultaneously, trumpeting that the significant story here was that Clinton "lashed out!" at some British talking head... there is a total disconnect between the authorized national narrative, and millions of Americans. The returns on these people are diminishing fast, as the overall credibility of these elite fascist media whores plummets.

Also, seeing that this movie actually managed to get to the screen tonight, despite moving of mountains and machinations of Mouse ... I now understand that these motherfuckers have a deep chill of gonad-crushing fear coarsing through their bloodstreams, of TRUTH and THE PEOPLE'S GETTING TO IT.

As well they should. We can win; we will win; I believe it. If we don't, it's because they're gonna steal it again (covered in the first 10 minutes of the movie!). Only this time, if they do, the morning after in this country will be pretty fucking serious.
It hits the rest of the country Friday.

Hey, We Did Our Part Getting The Story Out

Hammer time.

Kerry Calls Bush 'The Greatest Divider'

Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Democrat John Kerry criticized Republicans on Wednesday for denying him a chance to cast a Senate vote, blaming a partisan culture created by President Bush and calling his rival "the greatest divider as a president in the modern history of this country."

As he returned to the campaign trail after a one-day interruption for Senate business, the four-term Massachusetts lawmaker made it clear that he would try to make the political maneuvering in the Senate an issue in his presidential bid.

Kerry told donors at a $2 million breakfast fund-raiser and later in a speech to union workers that he canceled all his campaign events Tuesday to return to Washington to vote for more spending on veterans' health care.

"But oh, no," Kerry said at the fund-raiser. "Oh, no. Not in this Senate, not with these people. Once again, it's my way or the highway, shut the door, lock the people out, don't let them take part in the democracy, don't respect the institution. Don't show the common courtesies that actually bring people together to find the common ground. So they found a way all day to twiddle their thumbs, do very little, attend a reception at the White House, but not let John Kerry vote.

"That's the way they play," Kerry continued.
Hey, WAIT a minute! Wasn't that Nedra Pickler's name in the byline? Why, yes! It is! And that means the famous Pickler Non-Sequitur®!

As he travels the country campaigning for president, Kerry rarely is in Washington to vote, but he wanted to cast a vote for veterans, a Republican-leaning group that he is targeting in his tight race against Bush.
Uh, Nedra. Ahhh...Kerry IS a veteran himself. See where the interest is?

No? (sigh) We figured...

Another Clipping for the Bush Scrapbook!

Quite the proud little pile o'news you have there, Mr. President, and a very...interesting resume'. But our company's not looking for someone like you right now...

Insurgents Kill 18 People in Iraq

Thursday June 24, 2004 7:01 AM

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Insurgents launched a series of attacks on police stations across Iraq's ``Sunni triangle'' Thursday, killing at least 18 people and wounding 13, officials said.

The attacks began at dawn in the western Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Baqouba. Explosions also rocked the eastern side of the restive city of Sunni-Muslim city of Fallujah, witnesses said.

The cities are part of the so-called Sunni triangle, which has been the site of frequent clashes between U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces battling insurgents. Authorities have warned that attacks on security forces would increase in the days leading to the June 30 handover of power.

Insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades on police stations in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad, police said.

I'm Sorry - The Wingnuts Were Saying What?

Yessireebobtail. People absolutely hate Bill Clinton and people loathe Michael Moore. They line up for blocks to buy their books and see the movies - that's how much they can't stand these two.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" turns on box office heat

Director Michael Moore's controversial documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" has turned on the box office heat in its first day breaking single-day records at the two New York City cinemas where it played.

The movie, which aims a critical eye at U.S. President George W. Bush and his prosecution of the war in Iraq, sold $49,000 (35,000 pounds) worth of tickets at the Loew's Village 7 cinema, beating the venue's single-day record of $43,435 held by 1997's "Men in Black," according to distributors Lions Gate Films and IFC Films.

At the Lincoln Plaza cinema, "Fahrenheit 9/11" took in more than $30,000 to top the $24,013 set by "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" in 2000.

It's A Beautiful Day For A Bush Flip Flop

Quick turnaround on this one.

April 18, 2004:

"The president of the United States does not negotiate with terrorists."
- Condoleezza Rice
June 23, 2004:

U.S. Puts N. Korea Deal On Table

The United States offered North Korea energy aid and a security guarantee in exchange for ending its nuclear program, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday as six-nation talks on the dispute opened in Beijing.

FUBAR - Your Rights And Body Fluids

Man, I'm really starting to get sick of the horsecrap frightening things this country is focusing on. I gather this has something to do with rooting out terror? Or is it just a way of harassing people who are trying to escape the horsecrap frightening things this country is focusing on?

Your License, Your Urine

Imagine if it were against the law to drive home after consuming a single glass of wine at dinner. Now imagine it is illegal to drive after having consumed a single glass of wine two weeks ago. Guess what? If you smoke pot, it's time to stop imagining.

Legislation weaving its way through the US Congress demands all 50 states pass laws granting police the power to drug test drivers and arrest anyone found to have "any detectable amount of a controlled substance ... present in the person's body, as measured in the person's blood, urine, saliva, or other bodily substance." Though the expressed purpose of the law is to target and remove drug-impaired drivers from US roadways, the proposal would do nothing of the sort.

Most troubling, the proposed law -- H.R. 3922 -- does not require motorists to be identifiably impaired or intoxicated in order to be criminally charged with the crime of "drugged driving." Rather, police have only to demonstrate that the driver has detectable levels of illicit drugs or inactive drug metabolites in their blood, sweat, saliva or urine.

Any Veterans Out There? You Need To Know This...

Please make sure the military person in your family or circle of friends gets this story. This is what Republicans do - strategize on how to muck up Kerry's campaign over letting him vote on veterans' health benefits. It's the old joke: Why aren't Republicans circumcised? Because there's just no end to those pricks.

I've never been more proud to have that Kerry sticker on my car today.

Kerry Outmaneuvered in a Rare Attempt to Vote
Criticized for his poor Senate attendance, he breaks off campaign to weigh in on a veterans bill that GOP leaders then push back a day.

WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry made a rare appearance on the Senate floor Tuesday in support of a veterans' health measure that was ultimately delayed by the Republican leadership, a move that underscored the tricky balancing act facing the Democratic presidential nominee as he juggles two jobs.

Under fire from GOP critics for his infrequent attendance in the Senate, Kerry cut short a Southwest campaign swing Monday night to return to the nation's capital to vote on a Democratic-sponsored amendment that would increase funding for veterans' healthcare. The diversion forced him to skip a speech and fundraiser in New Mexico, a crucial swing state.

But the Massachusetts senator spent most of the day cooling his heels at the Capitol waiting for the vote, which GOP leaders put off.

Kerry delivered a speech in support of the measure, an amendment to a defense bill. The amendment, sponsored by Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, would increase funding for Veterans Affairs healthcare by $300 billion over 10 years. Kerry accused GOP leaders of breaking with Senate tradition by refusing to accommodate his schedule.

"Evidently, this is not a normal time for those courtesies in the life of the Senate," he said.

"I've been around here long enough to not worry about these kinds of things," Kerry added. "So while this vote may not take place while I'm here, my support will never wane and my commitment to veterans will never be diminished."

His allies charged that Republicans manipulated Senate procedure to keep the Democratic candidate from voting on a proposal to assist veterans, one of Kerry's key constituencies.

But GOP leadership aides said Republican leaders were seeking to delay a vote on the veterans healthcare amendment only as a negotiating tactic involving a final vote on the defense bill.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), however, also wasn't inclined to accommodate Kerry.

"Sen. Kerry, who hadn't been here all year, who's missed 80% of all votes this year, parachutes in for a day and then will be taking off once again," Frist told reporters outside the Senate chamber.
That's the SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, vets. Playing games with your future well-being while acting as the petulant jerk he's now known to be.

God, we have to stop these jackasses. Put up the button.

Contribute. Vote. Win.
Click here to contribute to Kerry

Tuesday, June 22

The Cuomo DVD

We have a very limited number of DVDs of Mario Cuomo's amazing nominating speech for Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic Convention (see original post). We'll offer them for $10 (shipping included). I originally thought 5 bucks would cover it, but wow, was I off. Any profit (small "p" there) will go back into the upkeep of this site.

Those who have previously shown an interest when we first floated the idea back then have already been offered the first shot at buying them - and we thank them for the biz. Now we'll take e-mails and give you PayPal ordering instructions on a first-come first-served basis.

Thanks! Click here if you're interested.

That's A Lot Of Foam Fingers

WOO! We're Number 771!

I'm not making this up: We're the 771st biggest fundraiser in the country for the Kerry Campaign. We have our eyes set on #770. Look out, - we're comin' for you.

Contribute. Vote. Win.
Click here to contribute to Kerry


I love when a wingnut action results in an opposite - and more than equal - reaction. Reader Amber sent this along, and we're hoping it motivates more folks to do the same.

I am a fan and I read your stuff every day. Thanks so much for helping to keep me motivated politically! Also? You make me laugh, too. ;) I don't know if you are familar with the full-page ad Right March had printed in the SPORTS SECTION of today's USA Today. Basically, it quotes that horrible speech Zell Miller gave in the Senate about how he was outraged that people were outraged over the disgusting acts of abuse that took place in Abu Ghraib. Apparently, I am a Liberal Hand-Wringer who gives support and comfort to the enemy because I have issues with state sanctioned torture. Who knew?

I was so pissed off, I went straight to, donated to them and then sent Right March a lovely email letting them know how much they inspired me to give money to the organization they hate most. I feel a little bit better, but I wanted to spread the word and maybe get a few more people to do the same.

Again, thanks for all the writing you do. I really appreciate being so informed and entertained!
Yuks are us, Amber. Thanks...and nice work.

Oh Yeah...Bush Promised Medical Aid to Africa Last Year, Did He Not?

So how goes the health over there?

Nigerian Fears Lead to Widespread Polio Outbreak

Fear and rumors in northern Nigeria about polio vaccinations have led to an outbreak of the disease, undermining an ambitious campaign to eradicate polio by the end of the year, international health officials said Tuesday.

The disease has swept from Nigeria into 10 other African countries that had been declared polio-free, threatening the largest epidemic seen in years, they said.

The epicenter of the polio outbreak is Kano state in northern Nigeria, a Muslim area that suspended polio vaccinations last year after religious leaders warned that they caused female infertility, officials from the World Health Organization said.

From the Pen of: Steve Benson

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

Disgusted Yet?

Yeah. The world's safer. Right. Uh-huh. Bite me.

U.S. raises figures for 2003 terrorist attacks
'Significant attacks' at 21-year high, revised data show

The U.S. government restated its 2003 accounting of terrorist attacks Tuesday, reporting a sharp increase in the number of significant attacks and more than doubling its initial count of those killed.

The State Department's annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report now counts 208 terrorist attacks as having occurred in 2003, with 625 dead. When the report was released in April, it counted 307 deaths in a total of 190 terror attacks.

More Photos For Your Scrapbook, Mr. President

A South Korean woman cries during a rally near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

Journalists' shadows are cast on the road as they photograph a destroyed car after a bomb attack in the capital of Baghdad, June 22, 2004. A car bomb exploded in a Baghdad street Tuesday as a convoy of U.S. troops and Iraqi police drove past, killing two Iraqi bystanders, police said.

Sgt. 1st class James MacKenzie plays 'Taps' during the funeral of Army Ranger Capt. Russell B. Rippetoe at Arlington National Cemetery April 10, 2003. Rippetoe, 27, an Army Ranger from Arvada, Colo., was the first soldier from the Iraqi conflict to be laid to rest at Arlinton National Cemetery.

Daily Show And Cheney's "Bald-Faced Lie"

Sadly, the video clip that Comedy Central chose to post on its site today of last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was just the Clinton book segment.

Fortunately (who's your buddy? Hoffmania's your buddy!), here's the audio clip from their second story, doing some serious damage to Dick Cheney's ability to - y'know, be honest. Into the story, they played the part of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech which begins the clip.

(Fellow Bloggers - please don't link to this clip from your site. But feel free to download it and post it at yours. Thanks!)

PLAY (323kb MP3)

The Press' Love For Bill Clinton - Still Not Evident

If anyone still believes the media have a liberal bias and have come around to being easier on Bill Clinton since the Starr witch hunt, guess again.

This morning's network TV coverage of the midnight sale of Clinton's memoirs, "My Life," was chock full of observations like this:

"Riding the wave of an unprecidented publicity blitz..."
"...the end result of a huge publicity tour..."
"...people lining up to buy into the excitement."
"The turnout is the result of a heightened media blitz..."

And there's this nugget from

Former President Clinton's weighty autobiography, from his childhood in Arkansas to his eight years in the White House, went on sale Tuesday amid a wave of publicity expected to propel him onto the best-seller list.
Is it really all that hard for these people to admit that people are lining up to buy the book because - THEY LIKE THE GUY? Just about every person on those lines they spoke to said so.

But the press still won't give the Big Dog the credit he deserves. His popularity MUST be attributed to the hype, because according to the White House's Kool-Aid drinkers and talk radio carnival barkers, nobody likes Bill Clinton...and Americans don't have minds of their own.

My Life by Bill Clinton
If you DIDN'T buy into the hype, and still want the book, click here.

Monday, June 21

"Mr. Vice President - I Regret To Inform You - Your Pants Are On Fire"

Tomorrow morning 10am ET, 7am PT.
Tomorrow evening 7pm ET, 4pm PT.
Comedy Central. The replay of tonight's The Daily Show.

It's a keeper.

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

ABC/WaPo Poll: Bush Losing Ground - Again's still amazing that that many people still believe in the little psychopath, but at least we're back on track after the Reagan "bump" and the Harris Poll...

Support for Bush's War on Terror Slips, Poll Shows

Public anxiety over mounting casualties in Iraq and the doubts about long-term consequences of the war continue to rise and have helped to erase President Bush's once-formidable advantage over Sen. John F. Kerry on who is best able to deal with terrorist threats, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Exactly half the country now approves of the way Bush is managing the U.S. war on terrorism, down 13 points since April, according to the poll. Barely two months ago, Bush comfortably led Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, by 21 percentage points when voters were asked which man they trusted to deal with the terrorist threat. Today the country is evenly divided, with 48 percent preferring Kerry and 47 percent favoring Bush.[...]

In a November ballot test, Kerry leads Bush 48 percent to 44 percent among registered voters, with 6 percent currently supporting independent candidate Ralph Nader. Last month, Kerry and Bush were tied.[...]

The president is viewed as a stronger leader than Kerry and as the candidate who can be most trusted in a crisis. He is also seen as best able to "make the country safer and more secure" and the one who "takes a position and sticks with it."

But by a 52 percent to 39 percent margin, Kerry is seen as more honest and trustworthy -- a troubling finding for Bush whose truthfulness in the run up to the war in Iraq has been called into question.

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot - Period

Another handpicked Bush fave doesn't even know how to renew his law license. Fish. Barrel. Boom.

(Say it with me) Now, if it was CLINTON...

Judicial Nominee Practiced Law Without License in Utah

Thomas B. Griffith, President Bush's nominee for the federal appeals court in Washington, has been practicing law in Utah without a state law license for the past four years, according to Utah state officials.

Griffith, the general counsel for Brigham Young University since August 2000, had previously failed to renew his law license in Washington for three years while he was a lawyer based in the District. It was a mistake he attributed to an oversight by his law firm's staff. But that lapse in his D.C. license, reported earlier this month by The Washington Post, subsequently prevented Griffith from receiving a law license in Utah when he moved there.

Bad News, Good News - WaPo Edition

The Bad News - The Washington Post admits it supported the war in Iraq.

The Good News - That doesn't mean it's going to take any more crap from Donald Rumsfeld.

We continue to see flashes of wisdom from the press. Slowly but surely, they're punching their way out of the corner they've been backed into by the White House thug machine.

Torture Policy (cont'd)

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE Donald H. Rumsfeld expressed dismay on Thursday about editorials in which "the implication is that the United States government has, in one way or another, ordered, authorized, permitted, tolerated torture." Such reports, he said, raised questions among U.S. troops in Iraq, reduced the willingness of people in Iraq and Afghanistan to cooperate with the United States, and could be used by others as an excuse to torture U.S. soldiers or civilians.[...]

Since Mr. Rumsfeld referred directly to The Post, we believe we owe him a response. We agree that the country is at war and that we all must weigh our words accordingly. We also agree that the consequences of the revelations of prisoner abuse are grave. As supporters of the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have been particularly concerned about the ways that the scandal -- and the administration's continuing failure to come to terms with it -- could undermine the chances for success. We also have warned about the uses that might be made of it by captors of Americans. What strikes us as extraordinary is that Mr. Rumsfeld would suggest that this damage would be caused by newspaper editorials rather than by his own actions and decisions and those of other senior administration officials.

What might lead us to describe Mr. Rumsfeld or some other "senior civilian or military official" as "ordering or authorizing or permitting" torture or violation of international treaties and U.S. law? We could start with Mr. Rumsfeld's own admission during the same news conference that he had personally approved the detention of several prisoners in Iraq without registering them with the International Committee of the Red Cross. This creation of "ghost prisoners" was described by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who investigated abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, as "deceptive, contrary to Army doctrine and in violation of international law." Failure to promptly register detainees with the Red Cross is an unambiguous breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention; Mr. Rumsfeld said that he approved such action on several occasions, at the request of another senior official, CIA Director George J. Tenet.[...]

Dictators who wish to justify torture, and those who would mistreat Americans, have no need to read our editorials: They can download from the Internet the 50-page legal brief issued by Mr. Rumsfeld's chief counsel.

The damage caused by the prisoner abuse cases is already enormous, and it is not over. We believe there is a way to mitigate and eventually overcome the debacle, but it is not by asking newspapers to go mute. What is needed is a full and independent investigation of the matter, including the decisions made by Mr. Rumsfeld and other senior officials, and a forthright and unambiguous commitment by President Bush to strictly observe U.S. and international law in the future. That pledge should be accompanied by a return to the public disclosure of U.S. interrogation policies. If U.S. soldiers, Iraqi citizens and foreign leaders can see for themselves that American doctrine excludes illegal abuse, then the dangers Mr. Rumsfeld cited will be greatly lessened.
Return THAT serve, Party of Personal Responsibility.

Here's Another Picture For Your Scrapbook, Mr. Bush

Click the photo for the story.

Do You, George W. Bush, Solemnly Swear To...No Giggling In The Court, Please?

Yeah, like even if it does happen, they're gonna tell nothing but the truth.

Lawyer Wants Bush on Witness Stand Over Iraq Abuse

President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should take the witness stand at the trial of a U.S. soldier charged with abusing prisoners in Iraq, the soldier's lawyer said on Monday.

Policies adopted in Bush's "war on terror" created a climate encouraging cruelty, said lawyers for U.S. soldiers accused of subjecting detainees to sexual humiliation and physical abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

"No one can suggest with a straight face that the MPs (military police) acted alone," said defense lawyer Guy Womack, representing Specialist Charles Graner, who faces the most serious charges of the soldiers to be court martialed.

One-Time Bush Veep Possibility Resigns In Disgrace

This sorry story is finally coming to an end. Next.

Source: Embattled Connecticut Gov. to Resign

Connecticut Governor John Rowland plans to resign on Monday after months of uncertainty as the Republican battled corruption allegations and faced an impeachment probe, a political source said.

Rowland planned to announce his resignation in a live television address at 6 p.m., the source said.

The three-term governor of the New England state was once a rising star in the Republican party and was considered a possible vice presidential candidate for George W. Bush in the 2000 election.

Sunday, June 20

Sorry, Safari Users

The venerable Mac browser has a hard time with Java applets, but I just saw something and I say too flippin' bad.

When we had the Kerry countdown clock posted, we raised over $500 for Kerry. The contributions stopped when we took it down. My feeling is you Mac guys can use IE-Mac, Camino, Foxfire or any other browser out there that can handle Java. The clock's back and it ain't going away.

Not over a finicky browser, anyway.

Stupid Blogspot

Always with the system going down and the page not available. Lousy no good lowdown...huh...?

...HEY! We're back!

Deconstructing Kakutani

Michiko Kakutani trashed Hillary's book in the NY Times one year ago by misquoting and misrepresenting what was actually in the book. Looks like Kakutani does the same with Bill's book today, according to David Brock...going a step further in almost plagarizing itself.