Sunday, October 31

How Much Does Jamaica Want Kerry to Win?

Saw this vehicle WAY the hell out in Negril's West End.

Here's a close-up.

Smart people here. And they get these sunsets as a bonus.

Gonna go vegetate now. Yeah. That's something new. More tomorrow. VOTE. ALL OF YOU.

Live from Negril, Jamaica 11/1/04

(Actually I wrote this yesterday, but I didn't get to the internet bar until today.)

It takes the removing of one's self from the country in question (USATB, or The Un-united States of America Thanks to Bush) to obtain the moral and psychological clarity to see that because Osama bin Laden pops up to tell that country, "Howdy! I'm still here" - it's fabulous news for the Bush campaign! That's the conclusion of the CNN pundits whose network manages to seep into the Jamaican TV landscape.

Yes, the videotaped proof that American Enemy Number One can run and can hide from Bush to attack another day indeed spells absolute doom for - of course - John Kerry. And to think we all believed that Bush's capturing of OBL was the October surprise! This is even better than Karl Rove could have possibly dreamed in the deepest depravity of his sheer genius! But there he is - OBL on videotape putting down both guys - proving beyond all doubt that this wasn't some historical footage, as Condi Rice would call it...but a tape made . If Kerry doesn't drop out of the race this weekend, he's crazy!

For the benefit of those who aren't catching the extreme sarcasm, allow me to turn it off.

WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON BACK THERE? OBL's alive, and that's good for BUSH!?! Because it reminds Americans what we're fighting against, and that Bush is the man best suited to fight this guy...who...he still hasn't...y'know. Caught. Or even irritated. Think about that. Bush hasn't even annoyed bin Laden. In fact, from what I saw, bin Laden got some pretty tricked-out video equipment since we saw him last.

Folks, Jamaicans are laughing at our government. They are. A country whose voting choice is always between the Jamaican Labour Party and the Jamaican Labour Party Lite? THEY'RE LAUGHING AT US! They wonder why any living soul who can add two single-digit numbers together and have the common sense of an average house fly would want to re-elect "dat crazy mon."

Why? Because we're Americans, dammit. And we're not gonna let no other country tell us what crazy mon to waste our vote on. (Sarcasm again.) It does seem so simple - no matter where you are. And yet, no one seems able (or willing) to make sense of it.

But here we are. As I write this, I'm on the cliffs of Negril looking westward at the vast sea, knowing that over the horizon, people are paying twice as much as we are to stay in Costa Rica. The difference between there and here? Trees.

Yes, Hurricane Ivan did a splendid job of removing just about every shade-producing vegetation from this part of the island. We're seeing it eight weeks after Ivan, and I gotta say that I'm more surprised at what survived than I am at what didn't. While walls and roofs were destroyed, the little thatched-roof bar which our friend Dennis runs was practically spared in pristine condition, along with his Red Stripe stock, which we plowed through last night.

I must say, that despite everyone seeming totally exhausted from getting the area ready for the start of the season next month, spirits are running high, and the people are still an absolute joy to be with. Everyone has a great Ivan story, and we have two weeks to absorb them all.

Also still in business are the mosquitoes - my favorite pet away-from-home whenever we're here. This time, we not only brought the repellent of the gods, but a Sunbeam bug zapper ($24.99 at Costco). The first night, we toasted about 15 of the little bastards, and we were feeling pretty full of ourselves. That is until this morning as I was brushing my teeth, and the following conversation took place.


ME: Hhph?

MOSQUITO: Here. On the wall.

ME: (spitting) What?

MOSQUITO: Well played. That Sunbeam thing.

ME: Well, the citronella was useless and the coils are lethal to everyone except mosquitoes and why the hell am I talking to a mosquito? And more important, why the hell aren't you speaking Patois?

MOSQUITO: Doesn't matter. So what are you using for skin protection?

ME: Avon Bug Guard Expedition. It works!*
* - Not a paid endorsement

MOSQUITO: Yeah? C'mere. Lemme clue you in. C'mere. I won't bite.

ME: Yes you will.

MOSQUITO: Okay. I'll give you that. But I wanted to clue you in. See what's left of those trees out there? We've been through a friggin' hurricane that shut down the hotel next door. How do I look?

ME: Uh...good I guess.

MOSQUITO: So your spray from Avon's SKin-So-Soft division and that little spark machine in the bedroom? Please.

ME: Gotcha. Can I give you anything to send your guys over to the yuppies in the next villa and leave us alone?

MOSQUITO: No. Sorry. Democratic meat is much better.

ME: But not as thin-skinned as we used to be.

MOSQUITO: Does EVERYTHING you do - even this imaginary conversation with a damned mosquito - ALWAYS have to be political? Now, rinse and we'll talk again.

ME: No we won't. (SLAP)

MOSQUITO: Now you've pissed me off.
So Bullitt, a pissed off mosquito and I will learn to coexist for the next two weeks. After November 2nd, we expect all of you to do the same. It's a metaphor for something, but I'm too relaxed to recognize it. Peace.

(Internet service provided by Easy Rock Cafe. Internet and cold beer. Sweet.)

Wednesday, October 27

We're Gonna Win This Thing

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', this is my message to you-ou-ou:

Singin': don't worry 'bout a thing,
'cause every little thing gonna be all right.

Tonight, we head out to our little corner of sanity. The electicity is still spotty after Hurricane Ivan. The supplies will not be as plentiful. The menus will have fewer items from which to choose. But we'll be spending a lot of time looking at the insides of our eyelids with the sounds of tree frogs trilling as our background music. And using 20 cans of Avon Expedition Repellent to ward off those damned mosquitoes.

I'm feeling really good about the election right now. The winds are just too powerful at Kerry's back, and the stormclouds are finally - FINALLY gathering over the once-unstoppable Bush disaster. The media are waking up. The public is waking up. Funny - America, once proud of being cutting-edge and forward thinking, has simply been either too alseep or too afraid to realize what the rest of the world has known for a couple of years. Bush is a menace to safety. A menace to the economy. A menace to morality. A menace to security.

He had the eyes, ears and hearts of an entire planet when the worst attack on American soil occurred on his watch. Instead of accepting that love and loyalty, he squandered it just so he could get his hands on his personal bogeyman. As the monster who didn't make threats but who actually DID attack us is still at large, the wrong bad guy is sitting in jail - as his former country burns with the same smell of death that he himself ignited a decade ago - this time, under the failed "leadership" of the Bush administration.

Meanwhile, as an estimated $220 billion gets plowed through in Iraq, Americans are still scraping to put meals on their tables. To get education for their kids. To get a damned job long after their unemployment benefits have dried up. To get decent pay for the first-responders who risk their own lives in every American town. America is burning with a much different fire. These are our people. Our parents. Our kids. And we must take care of them.

But this adminstration - as much as they like to think of themselves "compassionate" - calls spending anything on Americans "a handout." "Rewarding the lazy." And as a testament to insanity, they have no problem diverting that money to a war that was so horribly ill-conceived and hideously ill-planned that we're now actually fighting the very people we were supposed to have liberated.

The utter failure of this, now the biggest issue of the campaign, is just one of the many reasons the Bush administration must be stopped.

Thanks to not only the nerve and temerity of a doctor/governor from a small New England state who gave America permission to criticize our government's dismal mistakes - but to a persistent band of fighters armed with keyboards and internet connections with odd names like Atrios, Kos, Bartcop, Buzzflash, Calpundit, Blah3, the late great MWO and too many more to mention - we have proven to the nation and the world that rolling over and playing dead is no longer an option.

We're here. We're proud. And God DAMN it, we're Americans. We're patriots. We love our country. It's out of that love that we're overtly and openly challenging a thug cartel which has harmed our land, our people and the people of the world community, which we must recognize as no less important and no less human than ourselves.

The Bush criminals have never learned that strength does not come from using force, but from setting an example as to how to AVOID using force. They never learned that Bush's presidency could never - by ANYONE'S estimation - be seen as a mandate of the people when 500,000 more Americans voted for his opponent. They never learned that avenging the lives of 3,000 souls in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania by taking the lives of tens of thousands of other souls in a non-involved country is an affront to decency, morality and basic common sense.

Factor in their horrendous record on the environment, corporate crime, education, and just about every single bread-and-butter issue affecting the majority of working America, and you'd be hard pressed to find one single solitary reason to give these bastards another four MINUTES of power, let alone four more years.

Word is spreading. People are paying attention. Brain cells are igniting. John Kerry and John Edwards are looking destiny in the eye at this minute, and it's calling them to duty. We must heed the call - not just for Kerry and Edwards, but for an entirely new team of responsible attentive fellow patriots as their cabinet. If we can get a few more seats in the house and senate, so much the better.

George W. Bush - we've seen your resume. We've seen your job performance. It is with no remorse whatsoever that we declare you - fired.

Celebrate the one night where you are the star. The night where you make the decision to send our country into that new direction.

The night where you can honestly and proudly say, "I did everything I can to save my country."

Know that I'll be on a friendly little island celebrating with you, hearing it on the local radio station translating the patois rolling out the speakers, and cheering for President-elect John Forbes Kerry. The future begins now. We're gonna win this thing.

America, the greatest country in the world (proven by our resilience against the last four years), has more than earned it. See you on the other side of victory.

Tuesday, October 26

Imagine That: Still MORE Bush Military Records surface

As much as I try to pull myself away, something keeps pulling me back in. I'm hoping that just one - JUST ONE of these seemingly countless strikes which glaringly demonstrate the lack of character and utter lack of courage of this little crackhead will stick. Just one. Then I can vacation peacefully.
AP: New Bush Guard papers leave questions

By Matt Kelley, Associated Press Writer | October 26, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Unearthed under legal pressure, three-decade-old documents portray President Bush as a capable and well-liked Air National Guard pilot who stopped flying and attending regular drills two-thirds of the way through his six-year commitment -- without consequence.

The files, many of them forced to light by Freedom of Information lawsuits by The Associated Press, conflict with some of the harshest attacks Democrats have levied on Bush's Vietnam-era service, such as suggestions that Bush was a deserter or absent without leave.

But gaps in the records leave unanswered questions about the final two years of his military service in 1972 and 1973. Chief among them: Why did Bush's commanders apparently tolerate his lapses in training and approve his honorable discharge?

Bush's commanders could have punished him -- or ordered him to two years of active duty -- for missing drills for six months in 1972 and skipping a required pilot's medical exam. Instead, they allowed him to make up some of his missed training and granted him an honorable discharge.

"Obviously, the commander saw the lieutenant's interest in the guard was waning," said retired Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr., a former head of the Air National Guard. "Had he been good before? Yeah. Does that mean he should nail him to the wall? No. The culture at the time was not to enforce that."

But the culture apparently did not apply to everyone. Although no records mention any punishment against Bush other than being grounded, the Texas unit's files show another airman was ordered to involuntary active duty in March 1972 as punishment.
Thanks, Mark...

From the Pen of: Pat Oliphant

From the Pen of: Tom Toles

Longtime Listener, Third Time Praiser

We really need to give a long-overdue shoutout to Chickenhead Productions. They make some of the most innovative and hysterical stuff on the web. Among their creations and co-creations are the Landover Baptist Church (and its offshoot, Betty Bowers),, and the Animal Defense Militia.

Lately, they've been making real news themselves. Seems a lot of emails from Bush-Cheney campaign operatives have been accidentally finding their way to Chickenhead's domain. Hit their "Dead Letter Office" link, and you'll see them all there, along with this explanation.
OCTOBER, 2004: Recently, we at happened to notice that our mail server had a default "catch-all" mailbox, which for the past several months had been quietly gathering any and all e-mails addressed to [INSERT-ANYTHING-HERE] We felt the need to share.

10.26.2004: Readers may be interested to learn that the "caging" e-mails below (one and two) are indeed the same documents referenced in Greg Palast's latest BBC Newsnight investigation. We sent them to him last week prior to assembling this page.

Worth Another 1,000 Words

Max Cleland recently returned from a campaign swing up to Minnesota, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. In Minnesota, we drove up to St. Cloud where Max addressed a full room of college students and locals. He told them, "You're it. You will influence this country."

One Week Away

The polls are absolutely deadlocked. LA Times and Rasmussen have dead heat ties in their polls today. Bush is still pulling sub-50 numbers which do not bode well for an incumbent. Not in the least.

We can win this. We can absolutely win this thing. We're going to. The news points to it. The groundswell of discontent points to it. We must make sure that when your friends, co-workers, family go into that voting booth (or that card table, depending on your district), they add up everything that has happened to them in the last two years alone. The only conclusion is to elect a strong, experienced and respected John Kerry one week from today.

There are so many ways to counter their arguments, it's almost comical.

"I don't want to be taxed." Baby, you're gonna be taxed. There's no way around it. With Bush's request for another $70 billion dollars for war funding, you're paying. This brings the share for every living adult over 18 to more than $1000. Over a thousand dollars is coming out of your paycheck for war ALONE. And the wrong war at that.

"Democrats are tax-and-spend." We're always faulted for mopping up the economic messes created by Republican presidents. Reagan and Bush I crippled our economy. Clinton fixed it. Bush is crippling it again. And I'll bet every last dime I have that whoever you talk to about taxing and spending has not received an iota of tax relief from Bush. With tax cuts for the rich and money being spent by the trillions by this administration, SOMEONE will pay. Guess who? With Kerry, at least the burden will be distributed fairly to mop up THIS mess.

"Bush is a strong leader." Let's make this clear. Bush is weak. He's small. He's afraid. He's afraid of confrontation. He's afraid of disagreement. He's afraid of the rest of the planet. He's afraid of contrition. He's afraid of showing remorse. He's afraid of showing any strength in negotiating. He's afraid of THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. That's why he screens his rallies so tightly. That's why he never seeks anything except praise and dripping adulation from anyone around him. He's afraid he might have to face something that he's not capable of dealing with. We don't need a timid leader, but we have one. Bush is as scared as a chipmunk. He was scared as a serviceman, and he's scared today. We need someone better than this. We need someone stronger than this. We need John Kerry.

"Bush will protect us from the terrorists." Hate to tell you this. He didn't. His staff didn't. His security advisor didn't. His defense secretary didn't. They all failed him. The ones who DID warn him aren't there anymore. So who's left? The ones who ignored the warnings. I would not trust any of these people to babysit my cat. Not one conviction has come out of all the arrests they made. Not one person who failed us on 9/11 has been fired. John Kerry will replace every last one of these incompetents with people who know, who care and who will WORK. And with 380 tons of lethal explosives now in the hands of terrorists, Bush has proven himself a miserable failure.

"The economy is on the upswing." Please. This one would make the strongest of us turn and walk.

On and on, every one of their arguments do not hold a dewdrop in this last week of the campaigns. We were scared when we were attacked on 9/11. We cannot be scared now. We need to be strong enough to walk into the polls and fire this inept CEO president. We all have stock in this country. That stock is at an all-time low, economically, morally, and in the eyes of the rest of the world.

We must end the reign of fear. We must hit the reset button. We must get John Kerry elected next week. Your country needs you. Answer the call. Do not sleep through this one.

We're stronger than they are. We need to show it.

Just wanted to get in these few words before Bullitt and I take off for our annual two-week battery recharge tomorrow night. We'll be cheering on John Kerry and John Edwards from our Jamaican hideout (yes, we already voted absentee), with a big ol' stock of cold Red Stripe to toast these good men. Since this might be a working vacation, I'll hop online from the local internet bar from time to time to make sure you guys are behaving yourselves.

So behave yourselves.

Monday, October 25

I Need A President Again

From Truthout - I doubt you'll find a laundry list as thorough and as passionate as this one.
I Need a President - Again
By John Cory
t r u t h o u t

I first wrote "I Need a President" during the disastrous end of the 2000 Election. I ended my piece with these words: "Yes, I need a president. But I must wait for now."

The time of waiting is over.

I need a President who does not believe in suppressing votes as he clings to a warped sense of his own entitlement to power. I need a President who does not fear the voice of the people. Not the President of a sanitized America-by-invitation-only, but a President of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I need a President who recognizes that America is a member of the world community and not its master. I need a President who faces the world with a welcoming hand, not a closed fist. A man who embraces questions, and not the coercive rule of unchallenged reign.

I need a President who believes science is a tool for healing and not just a profitable device for the creation of Smart Bombs and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I need a President who sees that stem cell research benefits not only the diseased but also the soldiers with spinal cord wounds and brain trauma inflicted in their service to America.

I need a President for whom "liberal education" is not a partisan pejorative but rather the old-fashioned definition of a balanced and well-rounded education, an education not of political bent, but of the beauty and diversity of life's great treasures. I need a President who sees education as a right, and not a privilege only for those who can afford to buy knowledge.

I need a President whose environmental policy is not only for the wilderness, but also applies to the workplace.

I need a President who understands that family health should never be dependent on family wealth.

I need a President who knows well that secrecy is a cancer on democracy. I want a President who has overcome the fear of battle, not by sending others into combat, but by standing face-to-face against the ravages of war and bringing honor home to the fight for peace and open government.

I need a President who understands that if money is free-speech, the middle class and poor will never have a voice in today's corporate politics; that the dreams of Main Street America will be smothered by the greed of K Street lobbyists and their financial owners.

I need a President who recognizes that corporate crime should not be a reward system for crooked CEOs, while punishing workers with financial ruin. I need a President for whom accountability is not a bookkeeping technique that ensures increased stock value at the cost of American jobs.

I need a President who knows that God is not spelled G-O-P.

I need a President who recognizes the requirement for checks and balances on government, not checkpoints on citizens.

I need a President for whom liberty is not a license to plunder budget surpluses for the benefit of wealthy campaign donors. I need a President, not a corporate puppet, or a panderer to the bigotry of puritanical zealots and self-righteous hypocrites.

America needs a President to whom freedom is not a focus group slogan, tested as justification for the lethal lies of a manufactured war. Not a President who finds humor in the deaths of soldiers in order to get a laugh from the dining room divas of corporate Media.

America needs a President, not a saint without human error. America needs a President who recognizes his own fallibility and rises to the need for change.

America needs a President whose compassion is without label or restriction, who lifts the poor and ignored without making himself tall by standing on the dead and downtrodden. A President who does not limit the colors of America to red, white and blue, but includes each and every variation that weaves the whole fabric of this richly textured nation.

America deserves a President, not an owner.

I deserve a President, not George Bush.

John Cory is a Vietnam veteran. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V device, 1969 - 1970.

From the Pen of: John Sherffius

The Final John Kerry Commercial

It's my dream, and I'll tell it if I want to.

One by one, former Bush administration officials tell their stories about their experiences serving with George W. Bush.
Paul O'Neill.
Joseph Wilson.
Richard Clarke.
George Tenet.
And as a special surprise spokesman (I said it was MY dream), Ari Fleischer.
And their stories are why they think John Kerry should be president of the United States.

Freeway Bloggers International

It's "Feel The Draft" day for the Freeway Bloggers (the original Freeway Blogger insists on the plurality), and the results of the day's work is online.

Let's Check Katherine Harris' Biography, Whattya Say?

C'mon! It'll be fun.
Congresswoman Harris was born in Key West, Florida. She is married to Anders Ebbeson and has a 21-year-old daughter, Louise.
So is that Anders Ebbeson she's canoodling with in the house chambers?

Why no! It's Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona - also happily married! Guess you really have to work closely with your fellow lawmakers to get anything done these days.

"Why Didn't We Get That Son Of A Bitch When We Could?"

Bush is still batting .000 in capturing/killing his arch enemies when he was a hair's breadth of zeroing in on them. First he botched getting bin Laden at Tora Bora - and it may have been even worse than we thought.

And today, we see he squandered his shot at al-Zarqawi when he was dancin' on that proverbial silver platter.
Questions Mount Over Failure to Hit Zarqawi's Camp

October 25, 2004; Page A3

As the toll of mayhem inspired by terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi mounts in Iraq, some former officials and military officers increasingly wonder whether the Bush administration made a mistake months before the start of the war by stopping the military from attacking his camp in the northeastern part of that country.

The Pentagon drew up detailed plans in June 2002, giving the administration a series of options for a military strike on the camp Mr. Zarqawi was running then in remote northeastern Iraq, according to generals who were involved directly in planning the attack and several former White House staffers. They said the camp, near the town of Khurmal, was known to contain Mr. Zarqawi and his supporters as well as al Qaeda fighters, all of whom had fled from Afghanistan. Intelligence indicated the camp was training recruits and making poisons for attacks against the West.

Senior Pentagon officials who were involved in planning the attack said that even by spring 2002 Mr. Zarqawi had been identified as a significant terrorist target, based in part on intelligence that the camp he earlier ran in Afghanistan had been attempting to make chemical weapons, and because he was known as the head of a group that was plotting, and training for, attacks against the West. He already was identified as the ringleader in several failed terrorist plots against Israeli and European targets. In addition, by late 2002, while the White House still was deliberating over attacking the camp, Mr. Zarqawi was known to have been behind the October 2002 assassination of a senior American diplomat in Amman, Jordan.

But the raid on Mr. Zarqawi didn't take place. Months passed with no approval of the plan from the White House, until word came down just weeks before the March 19, 2003, start of the Iraq war that Mr. Bush had rejected any strike on the camp until after an official outbreak of hostilities with Iraq. Ultimately, the camp was hit just after the invasion of Iraq began.

Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, who was in the White House as the National Security Council's director for combatting terrorism at the time, said an NSC working group, led by the Defense Department, had been in charge of reviewing the plans to target the camp. She said the camp was "definitely a stronghold, and we knew that certain individuals were there including Zarqawi." Ms. Gordon-Hagerty said she wasn't part of the working group and never learned the reason why the camp wasn't hit. But she said that much later, when reports surfaced that Mr. Zarqawi was behind a series of bloody attacks in Iraq, she said "I remember my response," adding, "I said why didn't we get that ['son of a b-'] when we could."
Shut up about how Clinton could have had bin Laden. The guy who offered him up was full of shit. These were two verified chances that Bush absolutely screwed up, and our troops are dying as a result.

Feel safer? Didn't think so.

Thanks, Jer...

From the Pen of: Darby Conley


Kerry + Clinton. One Picture. 1,000 words. 125,000 people.

From the Pen of: Jeff Danziger

Mission Failed

Forget all the fake emails about flu shots, securing the mansions and swift boats.

Forget "flip-flop," goose hunting and wind surfing.

Forget wolves, being resolute and the bump in the jacket.

Forget all the cute slogans, the petulant sniping and the smirking.

Most of all, forget any rationale the Bush administration has made before or after the fact for the war in Iraq.

Forget all of it.

America is waking up this morning - not to a new snippy slogan by George Bush about John Kerry - but to a frightening discovery and an inescapable blunder of historical proportions, broken on the web last night by Talking Points Memo.
IAEA: Tons of Iraq explosives missing

Some 380 tons of explosives, powerful enough to be used to detonate nuclear warheads, are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that was supposed to be under American control, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says.

Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told CNN the Iraqi interim government reported several days ago that the explosives were missing from the Al Qaqaa complex, south of Baghdad.

The explosives -- considered powerful enough to demolish buildings or detonate nuclear warheads -- were under IAEA control until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. IAEA workers left the country before the fighting began.
This is not a side-effect of a new democracy. This is exactly, precisely, definitively the opposite of what Team Bush assured us of what the singular original mission of the Iraq War was:

Keeping WMDs from getting into the hands of terrorists.

Thanks to the chaotic and irresponsible non-planning of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and a badgered Powell, their mission was a total failure. A disaster. A complete and utter "gimme" to the very monsters we were trying to stop.

One of the things we won't forget is what Rumsfeld said about the looting that occurred when we hit Baghdad.
"The task we've got ahead of us now is an awkward one ... It's untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that's what's going to happen here. And for suddenly the biggest problem in the world to be looting is really notable."
Not just arrogant, but a blinding miscalculation by the very man who should have known better - and didn't. They weren't looting TVs. They weren't looting museum pieces. They were looting stockpiles of intense explosives which are killing soldiers and citizens, now an average of eight times a day, according to CNN this morning.

Another thing we won't forget is the indelible image of President Bush strutting on the deck of the USS Lincoln, declaring major combat operations completed under a banner boasting "Mission Accomplished."

We're now finding out this morning that the mission failed and failed horribly. The terrorists who - if they existed at all in pre-war Iraq - had been marginalized to the point of irrelevance, have now been handed incredibly destructive explosives, elevating them to almost heroic status among the people who were supposed to throw flowers and chocolates to their "liberators."

Our troops are more precious to America than being the pawns and disposable resources this administration has made them in Iraq. Bush and his thugs have thrown these incredibly trusting and brave souls into a hellhole of Bush's creating.

To put it simply: Bush's reckless war has placed 380 tons of lethal explosives right into the hands of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

If this revelation by the IAEA doesn't torpedo the Bush campaign, and blow a crater into their entire argument for the Iraq war, then there's something horribly wrong with the American voters. The story is out there. It was the lead on CNN and MSNBC this morning. The responsibility to accept and process that information lies with the viewer.

And if the viewer sticks their head in the sand because of blind loyalty to this failed adminstration, then we're no longer the America we remember.

John Kerry will be joined in Philadelphia today by the greatest diplomat in recent history. The world will applaud the return of President Bill Clinton to the political stage, if half of America, still mired in fake outrage over his singular misstep, will throw mud at the notion.

With this story and the right people delivering our message, let's hope those Americans will finally accept this as a serious slap into reality, and make the right decision November 2nd.

No more failed missions. Game over.

Sunday, October 24

Defanged "Wolves"

This is a riot (link fixed).

Okay. I Want Kerry to Take Office NOW. Today. Immediately.

Or maybe I should say that I want my mommy. This is - again - what I feared most about invading a country accused of having WMDs but not having a reason to use them until they're invaded. Josh Marshall, give us the bad news.
This has been rumored in Washington for several days. And now the Nelson Report has broken the story.

Some 350 tons of high explosives (RDX and HMX), which were under IAEA seal while Saddam was in power, were looted during the early days of the US occupation. Like so much else, it was just left unguarded.

Not only are these super-high-yield explosives probably being used in many, if not most, of the various suicide and car bombings in Iraq, but these particular explosives are ones used in the triggering process for nuclear weapons.

In other words, it's bad stuff.

From the Pen of: Steve Sack

Bush'll Show YOU Who's Vindictive

Read the story of Theresa Chambers. This is what happens to you if you dare to put your loyalty to the environment instead of the Bush crackheads.
Bush Interior Dept. Pepper Sprays Top Cop

Theresa Chambers has become a poster child for the destruction of enduring American institutions. In this case, the National Park Service and the national monuments it protects.

Until last July, Theresa Chambers was the U.S. Park Service Chief of Police. She was responsible for security and public safety at U.S. National Parks and Monuments in urban centers, including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials on the Washington Mall along with many other parks and monuments in the nation's capitol.

On December 2, 2003, Chambers was interviewed by a Washington Post reporter. She spoke candidly of the challenges the Park Service Police faced with stepped up demands for homeland security and declining Park Service budgets. "My greatest fear," she said, "is that harm or death will come to a visitor or employee at one of our parks, or that we're going to miss a key thing at one of our icons."

On December 5, 2003, the National Park Service stripped Teresa Chambers of her gun and badge and placed her on administrative leave for "violating federal rules" regarding the discussion of budgets and for "giving away critical public safety information."

Theresa Chambers decided to fight back. She challenged her dismissal, and as a result, was subjected to a nasty campaign of reprisal by political hacks within the Interior Department. Someone sprayed pepper spray, the noxious chemical weapon used to control violent criminals, into the open door of her office. The harassment included computer break-ins, planting false rumors, leaking misleading portions of confidential reports, and intimidating her supporters from speaking out.

In fact, what has happened to Theresa Chambers is but one example of a "culture of fear" that now exists within the Interior Department. In August, the Interior Department's Office of the Inspector General released an investigative report that included a survey of 25,000 employees. More than one quarter of those who responded said they fear retaliation for reporting problems.

"My Pastor Says...I Should Tell The Truth."

The little crackhead's criminal past is about to catch up with him.
Former workers dispute Bush's pull in Project P.U.L.L.

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

"I realized then that a society can change and must change one person at a time ..." Bush said in a video shown at the 2000 Republican National Convention about his tenure at P.U.L.L., the Professional United Leadership League, whose executive director, John White, had played tight end for the Houston Oilers in the early 1960s.

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

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

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

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

No documents from Bush's time with P.U.L.L. exist. The agency, which closed in 1989, left most of its records behind when it moved to a new location in 1984. The building's owner, Southern Leather Co., said those were discarded. No one seems to know what happened to any remaining records after 1989. White's widow declined to be interviewed.

But many people recall Bush's tenure at the agency.

Turner, who said she has avoided reporters for years, agreed to be interviewed only after phoning her pastor for advice.

When she hung up the phone, she turned to a reporter: "My pastor says if you found me, I should tell the truth."

No Surprise - But Still Great Reading

The Nation throwing its support to Kerry is about as shocking as Al Franken's "surprise" endorsement of him on Friday's Air America show. But what they have to say should be of huge importance - and motivation - to all of us.

And by the way, if you have any friends or family who insist on voting for Bush - and will not change their mind - tell them, fine. You'll give them Bush. But please, for all that is fair, please give us consideration for the senate and Congress candidates who are running in their area. Remind them the war is costing every American adult an average of $918 (less if they're rich enough to get a tax cut, and therefore more if they're not). If they'd rather have the money stay here and help our own economy - don't give one party continued unchecked access to our money. Please. Vote for the Democrats.

Find Your Polling Place

Keith Kritselis brings us My Polling You can find your voting booth in about four clicks. Do it now, and be ready. Nice job, Keith.

Feeling the Draft Over the Freeways?

The Freeway Blogger's National Stop the Draft Day is ready to rock.Here are a few of my beeg ideas.

Caution: Draft Ahead.
Keep Your Kids out of Drafts.
Vote for Bush, Vote for the Draft.
Make plans now to avoid the draft.
Bush avoided the draft. Will you?

Jon Stewart on 60 Minutes Tonight

LINK - The comedian also takes a light swipe at news programs that may not all run on cable. When reminded that the Television Critics Association voted his "The Daily Show" the best news and information program of the year, Stewart says, "I think in some respects, they were punking you, as opposed to praising us."

An Ohioan Speaks Up

Some people can't stand what has happened to their hometown paper. Hoffmania! contributor Kevin has fired this off to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Dear Editor:

There's [sic] rumors on the Internets [sic] -- as Dubya himself would say -- that the venerable Plain Dealer is being forced by its publisher to endorse a deranged, incompetent, murdering religious visionary for the presidency of the Republic.

By extension, that suggests that you are, in the public interest of the people of Northeastern Ohio, endorsing the most corrupt and corrosive administration in the nation's history, as well as the most dangerous cabal of power-seeking sociopaths ever unleashed on the planet.

I refuse to believe these rumors. Such a thing would be unthinkable in the Ohio where I was born and raised, a landscape populated by gentle folks of infinite politeness, who exercised charity and compassion as second nature, who impulsively came to the aid of strangers, who played dumb for effect, were sharp as horse-traders and could spot a con-man two cornfields away.

Although I left my home state 30 years ago, I have carried my "Ohio-ness" proudly into my adult life. Now, alas, for the first time, it makes me ashamed.

The Ohioans I knew could have no use for a man who would deceive them into not one, but two, senseless and bungled wars. They would burn their own fields before they would condone the pointless deaths of our own children, the murder of thousands of innocent people who have never harmed us, and the wholesale torture and abuse of individuals not even charged with a crime.

The Ohioans I knew would not conscience the covert dismantling of the Bill of Rights, the arrogant cronyism that places corporate self-interest above the popular will, and a government that cows its citizens with endless speculation of horrific attacks by nameless bogeymen straight out of a cheap dime-novel.

Above all, the Ohioans I knew did not care to be lied to by the people they trust. And if there is a dark side to being an Ohioan, it is that we never forget an act of betrayal. We carry our memories well and long.
And it's never too late to settle an old score.

Presidents come and -- hopefully, in this case -- go. But the day will come when the PD may be asked to explain why, at the precise moment when its wisdom and resolve could have made a difference, it cast its lot with an administration whose only gift to Ohio will be four more years of war, lost jobs, sinking incomes, gutted educational systems, deteriorating infrastructure, declining social services and local municipalities scraping to survive.

If the Ohio I remember still exists, you'd best have one hell of a spectacular excuse.

Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday, October 23

So If The Terror Alert Is Raised Before 11/2...'ll know it's a desperate last-ditch job-saving election gambit by the crackheads. The story of the FBI finding absolutely no proof of such a plot isn't just in a few fringe outlets. It's EVERYWHERE.

From the Pen of: Ben Sargent

Bush Storm Troopers Alienate Serviceman

On November 2nd, Bush will rue the day he screened people out of his pep rallies. Why do we keep hearing stories like this from the Bush squirt parties, but never from the Kerry rallies? I know. A stupid question.
Soldier, Democratic supporter among those barred entrance

Depending on what side of the fence people are on, crowd control was at an all-time high or low at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township during President Bush's visit Friday.

A 27-year-old registered Republican and member of the U.S. Army, along with three other people around him, was forced to leave the arena before getting inside.

The Wyoming Valley man who did not want to be identified by name because of his loyalty to his service members is being deployed to Iraq in two weeks. His Army service and status were verified.

He explained that he was attending the event in hopes of finding the right candidate to vote for on Nov. 2.

"I thought seeing Bush would be enough to sway my opinion one way or the other. After today, it definitely has swayed," he said.

While waiting in line, he noticed a stranger standing alone and invited the person to stand with him.

"I didn't think that would be a problem," he said.

It turned out to be.

Individuals from the Bush campaign spotted the individual with the soldier and identified the person as a Democratic supporter.

The spotters, and eventually police, asked the Democratic supporter to remove a jacket, a sweater and some other articles of clothing in what was described as basically a police search.

The soldier said the Democratic supporter did what was asked without any complaint. The person also provided a ticket to the event.

The soldier said that when he asked why the person was being hassled, the spotters said the Democrat's name wasn't on their "master list."

"So I asked if we could see the master list? They said they didn't have it," he said.

The soldier said he stood up for the supporter, but was in no way hostile, because he was there to see the president and hoped to justify voting for him.

Not long after showing his own ticket and being told he wasn't part of the "master list" either, the police asked the soldier to leave. He was told the event was for Bush supporters or undecided voters only.

Until Friday when he left the arena, the soldier was an undecided voter. Now he's voting for Sen. Kerry and volunteering for the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

"I thought the whole Bush message was compassionate conservatism. I didn't see anything compassionate from the Bush people," he said.

Cleveland Plain Dealer Holds Off Bush Endorsement

There's a lot of talk about how the CPD editorial board voted 5-2 to endorse Kerry, but they were all overruled by the publisher - and a Bush endorsement was supposed to appear in the Sunday editions. LINK1 - LINK2

But it appears that editorial will have to wait another day. The editorials for Sunday have no such endorsement. Guess the heat got to 'em. Congrats to dKos and Rittenhouse for getting the troops fired up!

"We were tricked by George W. Bush"

I love the internets. Wolf Packs for Truth is online.

Rolling Stone Interviews (and Endorses) Kerry

The interview. The endorsement. Vote, baby.

E-Mail Buster #278

It seems we're getting inundated with false emails every five minutes here. First, it was the 57 quizillion dollars it would take to retrofit and secure Kerry's houses. Now there's one about the flu vaccine shortage being blamed on a lawsuit leveled by John Edwards.

False, false, false. Thanks for your letter. Now on with the countdown.

Sinclair Chickens Out

Apparently, their beeg fat "news special" last night was so watered down and defanged, that it's got the wingnuts' underpants tied up in knots., the Freepers and ChronWatch are all up in arms this morning wanting Sinclair to burn in the pits of hell for backing down from lying through their transmitters - calling them the worst thing they can think of: Kerry sympathizers.

Yeah. I feel sorry for the whole damned lot these jerks. Enjoy each other. Tear each other to shreds. I got baseball to watch. And a Whopper with my name on it.

Friday, October 22

The Campaign of Fear

If you thought politicians would be more responsible having to state their approval of political ads, you haven't been paying attention to Bush. This is one of the most deceptive and fear-inducing ads of the campaign. It's this kind of dark thinking which is turning Americans off to these jackasses by the boatload.

And the terrorist attack they refer to is the 1993 attack of the WTC's garage. They intentionally mislead here so people don't remember Cheney's abysmal intel/military/security voting/recommendation record from back then.

Nice try.

Blah3 points out that the Dems have a counter-spot ready to go when the Bush Crackheads unleash theirs. It's just a touch more positive - and invokes the very symbol of America's strength. Touche'.

Coulter vs. Pie Video

I don't know which is more upsetting - that the pies missed her or that CNN refers to her as a "journalist." LINK

See If Schwarzenegger Puts Him In His Next Movie

JESSE! JESSE! JESSE! Once a showman, always a showman...
Without saying a word, Ventura gets behind Kerry

ST. PAUL (AP) - Former Gov. Jesse Ventura now supports John Kerry for president. You'll just have to take Angus King's word for it.

In a bizarre news conference Friday in the Capitol complex, Ventura stood silently next to the former Maine governor in an event billed as independents for Kerry.

King said Ventura wouldn't be talking but had authorized King to answer questions on his behalf. Ventura, King said, had changed his mind after saying last month that he didn't like either of the candidates.

Asked if Ventura's presence meant he was endorsing Kerry, King replied: "Yes."
First Mick Foley. Now Jesse. It doesn't get any better.


Today's story of Margaret Hassan is gut-wrenching. I saw the video of her pleading for her life this morning, and it's probably one of the saddest sights you'll see this side of 9/11. This woman, who has devoted her life to aiding and comforting others is now living in hell and terror which was not there in Iraq until Bush's Bring-It-On war.

Another Co-Worker Discussion

I just had another chat with a fellow worker - a very pleasant one, I'm happy to say - who as a surprise to me said she's going to vote for Bush. Why? She doesn't want to spend all that money for welfare people and the oh-so-harmful domestic programs.

I told her, "Look - you're paying. If that's your concern, don't worry. You're paying. Your share of the Iraq war so far is already over $600."

She said she didn't mind paying for that. I got all frowny-faced with her and said, "Y'know...I'm funny this way. I'd rather we kept the money here and helped Americans who need the help - not a country that needs our help only because we blew them up. And I'd sure rather have that $140+ billion spent on securing our citizens and getting the REAL bad guys who actually attacked us. Call me crazy."

At least she looked like I gave her something to think about. She finally said she's not crazy about either candidate. I told her to look past the candidates and go several deep in the bench - the cabinet - and at least give THAT some thought.

Maybe I didn't change her mind, but she was receptive. And when walls come down, fresh air blows in.

The American Conservative Knows a Dangerous President When It Sees One

Scott McConnell is the executive editor of The American Conservative. He's endorsing Kerry. A tepid endorsement at best, but that's how much he wants Bush OUT.
Kerry's the One
By Scott McConnell

Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation's children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliche about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy. Add to this his nation-breaking immigration proposal - Bush has laid out a mad scheme to import immigrants to fill any job where the wage is so low that an American can't be found to do it - and you have a presidency that combines imperialist Right and open-borders Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail.

The only way Americans will have a presidency in which neoconservatives and the Christian Armageddon set are not holding the reins of power is if Kerry is elected.

If Kerry wins, this magazine will be in opposition from Inauguration Day forward. But the most important battles will take place within the Republican Party and the conservative movement. A Bush defeat will ignite a huge soul-searching within the rank-and-file of Republicandom: a quest to find out how and where the Bush presidency went wrong.

Diebold Delivering the Votes for Bush

Uh-huh...heeeere we go...
Some Voters Say Machines Failed, Incorrect Choices Appear on Screens

Kim Griffith voted on Thursday - over and over and over.

She's among the people in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties who say they have had trouble with early voting equipment. When they have tried to vote for a particular candidate, the touch-screen system has said they voted for somebody else.

It's a problem that can be fixed by the voters themselves - people can alter the selections on their ballots, up to the point when they indicate they are finished and officially cast the ballot.

For Griffith, it took a lot of altering.

She went to Valle Del Norte Community Center in Albuquerque, planning to vote for John Kerry. "I pushed his name, but a green check mark appeared before President Bush's name," she said.

Griffith erased the vote by touching the check mark at Bush's name. That's how a voter can alter a touch-screen ballot.

She again tried to vote for Kerry, but the screen again said she had voted for Bush. The third time, the screen agreed that her vote should go to Kerry.

She faced the same problem repeatedly as she filled out the rest of the ballot. On one item, "I had to vote five or six times," she said.

Michael Cadigan, president of the Albuquerque City Council, had a similar experience when he voted at City Hall.

"I cast my vote for president. I voted for Kerry and a check mark for Bush appeared," he said.

He reported the problem immediately and was shown how to alter the ballot.

Bernalillo County Clerk Mary Herrera said she doesn't believe the touch-screen system has been making mistakes. It's the fault of voters, she said Thursday.
Cadigan, for example, could have "leaned his palm on the touch screen and it hit the wrong button," she said.
And Griffith leaned her palm on the touch screen five or six times? Yeah. Sure.

And this is just with EARLY voting. November 2nd is going to be a frigging hellhole, which will make Kerry's victory nothing short of remarkable. We've reached the point where you have to bring a cmcorder into the voting booth with you.

Pied Coulter

Too bad they missed, but their heart was in the right place.
Conservative Author Is Attacked With Pies

About 2400 people gathered to hear Coulter defend President Bush and bash the Democrats. And she delivered.

"The Democrats have no actual policy proposals of their own unless constant carping counts as a policy," Coulter said.

But outside, protestors showed that not everyone welcomed Coulter's visit, and at least two even made it inside.

As Coulter addressed a question about terrorism, she stopped mid-statement: "You take away the terrorism and liberals would hate..." at that Coulter gasped as she looked to her left, and began backing away from the podium. Two men ran by, on-stage, and each threw a pie a her. They were mobbed as they tried to exit the auditorium.

"Could the Marines please find them?" Coulter asked aloud, speaking of some of the men in the audience.
They missed the direct hit, but keep trying. Apparently, she sees pies as a WMD.
"You gotta start travelling with a bodyguard. It's a crazy time and liberals are out of their minds and look, someone can harm you and it does make me think maybe I should start travelling with somebody," Coulter said.
Nice to see she can laugh it off like a champ.

Thanks, Jef...

Thursday, October 21

From the Pen of: David Horsey

From the Pen of: Ann Telnaes

From the Pen of: Tom Toles

Your One Vote Can Put All These Criminals Back On The Street

Put 'em all out of work. Vote.

We Were Waiting for This Shoe to Drop

Oooo! Ask us how surprised we are! Still - I'll take this with a grain of salt until I can find out more. From the Pakistan Daily Times...
US tried to plant WMDs, failed: whistleblower

According to a stunning report posted by a retired Navy Lt Commander and 28-year veteran of the Defense Department (DoD), the Bush administration's assurance about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to "plant" WMDs inside the country. Nelda Rogers, the Pentagon whistleblower, claims the plan failed when the secret mission was mistakenly taken out by "friendly fire", the Environmentalists Against War report.

Nelda Rogers is a 28-year veteran debriefer for the DoD. She has become so concerned for her safety that she decided to tell the story about this latest CIA-military fiasco in Iraq. According to Al Martin, "Ms Rogers is number two in the chain of command within this DoD special intelligence office. This is a ten-person debriefing unit within the central debriefing office for the Department of Defense."
Thanks, Barry...

Student Demonstration Time!

Convert this to ballots, you guys. Get Out That Vote. You voice will be the loudest this election because you have so much at stake.
LINK - Just weeks before the Nov. 2 election, researchers at Harvard's Institute of Politics found that 52 percent of all students want the Massachusetts senator elected president, 39 percent support Bush, and 8 percent are undecided.

In 14 hotly contested swing states, the poll shows Kerry leading Bush by 17 points among students.

The data suggest more students are leaning toward Kerry than six months ago, when Harvard last surveyed them. That poll, released in April, found Kerry leading Bush by 48-38 percent with 11 percent undecided.

Red State Weekly Speaks Up: Kerry

Nashville Scene argues its case for the next president.

- George Bush's judgment is so tragically simple as to make us fearful for this nation. When an enemy in Afghanistan attacked us, he instead attacked Iraq. When the economy tanked, he gave money to the rich. And when he wasn't doing any of the above, he was putting on his cowboy hat, swaggering across America and projecting the image of America as Badass.

George Bush ran on a platform of compassionate conservatism. But when the world got dicey and his tiny viewfinder of a mind couldn't handle reality, he morphed into a schoolyard bully. If anything makes this newspaper regret this man's presidency, it is that the strongest nation in the world doesn't need to be a bully. Bullies are bullies because they're insecure and weak and dumb. This nation is none of the above. George Bush is all of above.

And so we endorse John Kerry. We do so without shouting his name from the mountaintops. But we do so knowing that he has a fully formed brain, that he fought honorably for this country and that he would work to regain the respect of nations around the world. We have no confidence he would figure out Iraq. We have no idea how anyone figures that out.

On the domestic front, we feel that John Kerry would respect ordinary working Americans, that he would work to reform entitlement programs for the sick and elderly, and that he would be more involved at an intellectual level with the policy discussions in which every president should be immersed. We also have more confidence in Democrats to get the debt under control. Republicans have totally lost their grip on proper fiscal stewardship.

Over time, John Kerry has grown on us. To a Southerner, his pedantic delivery and royal elocution can be a bit much, but in the debates we've slowly come around. We are confident John Kerry will at least engage with the complexity in today's world. It's not just that Bush won't do that. It's that he can't.
Thanks, Wayne...

UK: We're Doing It, But WTF!?!

Two sides of the UK troop movement in Iraq from the BBC. Of course the flowery perfume-laden bullpoop hype comes from _____(guess which country)_____ and the tough questioning comes from _____(guess again)_____.
Richard Boucher, US Department of State spokesman:

It just demonstrates, once again, the kind of role that Britain is prepared to play in a matter that affects their security and our security, the security of all of us, and that is stabilising Iraq and helping the people of Iraq take control of their destiny and reconstruct their country.

Geraldine Smith MP, Labour (former supporter of war and one of more than 60 Labour MPs who called for a parliamentary vote on the deployment):

We're being told that this is an operational necessity, and if this is true it must imply that the Americans have insufficient of the right type of troops and equipment on the ground in Iraq. And we really need to know why this is so. After all, they are the world's superpower. It does beg the question is it because George Bush is not prepared to commit additional American forces before the presidential elections?

The Wheels are Falling Off

I might be wrong. I might be premature. But all signs are pointing to the Bush campaign getting THISCLOSE to a lot of emergency damage control. Bush's sewer has been stuffed so heavily, that it's backing up and spilling out all over their plans. Lots of stuff today...
#1 - Tenet calls Iraq War "Wrong"

Addressing the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Wednesday night, George Tenet, former director of central intelligence, called the war on Iraq "wrong," according to Clark's article today. Tenet added that while the Iraq war was "rightly being challenged," the CIA was making important strides toward success in the greater war on terrorism.
#2 - Boston Police Union Jumps the Fence

The city's main police union broke with a tradition of backing Republicans for president and voted to endorse Democrat John Kerry, largely because he honored their picket line during the Democratic National Convention this summer.

The union's 50-member House of Representatives gave its backing to Kerry on Wednesday, following a personal appeal by U.S. Rep. William D. Delahunt, D-Mass., to support the hometown candidate.
#3 - Republican Ex-Governor Endorses Kerry Out of a "Growing Sense of Concern"

Former Republican Gov. William Milliken - who served a record 14 years as Michigan's chief executive - is endorsing Democrat John Kerry, saying President Bush "has pursued policies pandering to the extreme right wing."

"I have felt a growing sense of concern for some time and I don't think that I couldn't speak out as a Republican and as a citizen," Milliken said in a Monday interview with The Detroit News from his Traverse City home. "To me, this transcends politics."
#4 - Bush's Approval Numbers at Worst Post-9/11 Level

There has been little movement in how voters assess the candidates on the issues. But a separate Pew Research Center poll of 803 adults shows that Bush's own approval measures have weakened appreciably. Bush's overall job approval stands at 44%, while solid majorities disapprove of his handling of the situation in Iraq (56% disapprove) and the economy (55%). Even on terrorism, the president's strongest issue, his approval rating stands at 49% ­ the lowest level since the Sept. 11 attacks.
#5 - New Pre-War Intelligence Report: Iraq/Al Qaeda Connection Exaggerated by DOD

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released a report today of an inquiry he initiated on June 27, 2003 and conducted by the SASC Minority Staff.

The report demonstrates how intelligence relating to the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship was exaggerated by high ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the Administration’s decision to invade Iraq when the intelligence assessments of the Intelligence Community did not make a sufficiently compelling case.
If you see the Bush Bandwagon broken down on the side of the road, do not stop. Keep speeding into the future. With resolve.

The Kerry Cabinet

Maybe it's time we talked about how removing Bush-F***Yourself will also mean the extrication of the most incompetent, dishonest and dangerously reckless cabinet in history. Ashcroft. Rumsfeld. A defanged Powell. Wolfowitz. Rice. All these people have been completely negligent and underachieving in their duties.

Let's start the discussion. Who would you like to see in a Kerry cabinet?

Wednesday, October 20

Jon Stewarting is Catching On!

Yes, "Jon Stewart" has become a verb - as in Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) Jon Stewarted Sean Hannity tonight on the teevee right after the Cheney interview. Wackyguy posted the transcript at Kos. Why? Because only posted the Cheney interview. Guess the kitchen got too hot for 'em.

Here's the Jon Stewarting:
HANNITY: ...joining us with a Democratic reaction to the interview that I just had with the vice president is Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu.

Let me put on the screen here a Fox News poll from yesterday as it relates to the vice president and his daughter, and I was asking him about it. Kerry's reference to Cheney's daughter: 25 percent said appropriate, 64 percent said inappropriate.

How do you feel about it? Was it inappropriate?

U.S. SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Well, first of all, Sean, let me say, I wasn't call what just happened with the vice president an interview. I think it was an info-commercial for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. With all due respect...


HANNITY: Hey, Senator, if you want to insult me...

LANDRIEU: If I got to watch the interview...


HANNITY: Senator, Senator, I think you're a lousy senator.


LANDRIEU: I'm not insulting you. I'm giving you my opinion about the what the interview ...


HANNITY: Senator, if you want to insult my interview, you can...

LANDRIEU: It's what the interview was.


HANNITY: This is an opportunity to go a little deeper and get a little bit more knowledge in a very comfortable environment for both candidates. So if you don't like it, I don't really care, but we have offered it to both sides in the name of fairness.

So if you want to come on the program and try and insult me or insult the channel, that's fine, but you have been a guest on this program multiple times and for you to do that, I think, is a cheap shot by you. So we'll move on.

Do you think -- to answer the question -- do you agree with the poll or do you disagree with the poll?


LANDRIEU: Sean, I'm not trying to be disrespectful to you. But I'm entitled -- I'm not trying to be disrespectful to you, but I'm entitled to my opinion. You asked me to come on the show and respond to the interview.


HANNITY: I didn't ask you that question though. I asked you about Dick Cheney's daughter.

LANDRIEU: I understand. And I'm going to get there in just a minute.

HANNITY: If you want to be insulting, if you want to make cheap shots, you can...


LANDRIEU: You asked me to come on this program...

HANNITY: Right. So why don't you answer the question I asked you...

LANDRIEU: You asked me to come this program and respond to the interview.

HANNITY: Answer the question then.

LANDRIEU: So I was thinking what I thought about the interview.
May the trend continue.

"Stolen Honor" Transcript Online

The movie Sinclair will/won't/might/will edit to/wants to show on their 62 TV stations has been transcribed by Dr.Z over at dKos.

Site of the Day!

Bush Relatives for Kerry.

Read their story in the Boston Globe.

Flash Animation Corner

Icon Story.

Ha Ha Ha! Funny Arnold! Ha Ha Ha!

Ha ha ha!
LINK - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is married to a Kennedy, joked at a public-policy conference that his sex life suffered after he endorsed President Bush at the Republican National Convention.

"There was no sex for 14 days," he said. "Everything comes with side effects."

Schwarzenegger, whose wife is TV journalist Maria Shriver, had an audience of about 1,000 people in stitches Monday as he took part in a lecture series organized by former Clinton administration chief of staff Leon Panetta.
Ha ha ha! Coincidentally, thanks to Bush, hundreds of soldiers can't have sex either, because their lower bodies have been blown to bits over nonexistent WMDs! Ha ha ha! Funny, funny muscleman!

Behold the Awesome Economic Power of the Democrats

Sinclair - arise! Imagine how your stock would do if they dump the idea of a Kerry-bashing special ENTIRELY?

Bush Lied to Pat Robertson

And of course, holy guy Pat Robertson vigorously supports Bush. Do you see the sense in all this? If not, remember that there's nothing in the Ten Commandments about lying. (Theologically speaking, the "bear false witness" thing doesn't apply to just plain lying.)
Robertson: I warned Bush on Iraq casualties

The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him, "We're not going to have any casualties."

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

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

Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

Lucianne Goldberg Outsources

Or so it appears here. Google News shows that the more-insane-than-the-Freepers (links to Google, not Lucianne) has its servers in Taiwan. As usual, crapping on Americans to get their Americanier Than Thou message across. Jerks.

From the Pen of: John Sherffius

From the Pen of: Don Wright

Wright, incidentally, draws for the Palm Beach Post.

Robert Scheer's Column

A lot of you have heard of this piece. Truthout has the whole thing for your viewing - and it's pretty damned incendiary.
The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket
The agency is withholding a damning report that points at senior officials.
By Robert Scheer
The Los Angeles Times

It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.

"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."

When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."

None of this should surprise us given the Bush administration's great determination since 9/11 to resist any serious investigation into how the security of this nation was so easily breached. In Bush's much ballyhooed war on terror, ignorance has been bliss.

The president fought against the creation of the Sept. 11 commission, for example, agreeing only after enormous political pressure was applied by a grass-roots movement led by the families of those slain.

And then Bush refused to testify to the commission under oath, or on the record. Instead he deigned only to chat with the commission members, with Vice President Dick Cheney present, in a White House meeting in which commission members were not allowed to take notes. All in all, strange behavior for a man who seeks reelection to the top office in the land based on his handling of the so-called war on terror.

In September, the New York Times reported that several family members met with Goss privately to demand the release of the CIA inspector general's report. "Three thousand people were killed on 9/11, and no one has been held accountable," 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser told the paper.

The failure to furnish the report to Congress, said Harman, "fuels the perception that no one is being held accountable. It is unacceptable that we don't have [the report]; it not only disrespects Congress but it disrespects the American people."

The stonewalling by the Bush administration and the failure of Congress to gain release of the report have, said the intelligence source, "led the management of the CIA to believe it can engage in a cover-up with impunity. Unless the public demands an accounting, the administration and CIA's leadership will have won and the nation will have lost."

Their Tanking Stock Had a Little Something to Do With It...

Sinclair backs down - sort of.
Anti-Kerry Film Won't Be Aired
Democrats, Investors Push TV Conglomerate to Alter Broadcast Plans

By Frank Ahrens and Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 20, 2004; Page A07

Under mounting political, legal and financial pressure, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. yesterday backed away from its plan to carry a film attacking John F. Kerry's Vietnam War record, saying it would air only portions of the movie in an hour-long special scheduled for Friday.

"The experience of preparing to air this news special has been trying for many of those involved," Sinclair chief executive David D. Smith said in a statement. "The company and many of its executives have endured personal attacks of the vilest nature, as well as calls on our advertisers and our viewers to boycott our stations and on our shareholders to sell their stock."

Chad Clanton, a spokesman for the Kerry campaign, which had demanded equal time to respond to the planned airing of the 42-minute film "Stolen Honor," said Sinclair "has been all over the map on this issue. One thing that's certain is that they have a partisan agenda."

Andrew Jay Schwartzman, president of the nonprofit Media Access Project, called the Sinclair move "a surprising cave-in" and said the 62-station television company "clearly felt a lot of pressure and this is an attempt to find a face-saving way out."
It also likely dawned on them that no matter the outcome of the election, an undercurrent of public sentiment would probably change the FCC law (or lack of same) which would have allowed them to air their partisan crockumentary.

Tuesday, October 19

Another National Freeway Blog Day!

My neighbor to the south, the Freeway Blogger, has a new challenge for this Monday. Read about it here.

From the Pen of:Tatsuya Ishida

If Polls Were to be Believed...

I'm not kidding myself. There is such a disparity among the polls coming out seemingly every ten minutes that it drives me nuts to follow any of 'em. But this ABC News poll in Ohio of 1,027 registered voters is significant in that Ohio is the battlegroundiest of the battleground states, and Bush is not looking good.
LINK - 50 percent of Ohio likely voters in this ABC News poll favor Kerry, with 47 percent for Bush - a close race, with the difference between the candidates within the survey's margin of sampling error. It remains 50 percent to 47 percent with Nader in the race; he's currently off the ballot with a court challenge pending.
And if polls were to REALLY be believed, Kos shows that winds of change are blowin' all over the Buckeye State. Kerry is surging. There's no question.

Flash Animation Corner

This speaks to me.

Firing Back at a Bullcrap Email

There's a message going around inboxes about how much it would cost to have secret service and retrofitting for all of Kerry's and Heinz-Kerry's properties if he becomes president. The same email talks about how we need to keep Bush in office because all he has is the brush farm in Crawford.

This message estimates the total cost of protecting Kerry's properties would be $7.8 million. So we need to elect Bush or the economy will crater under the weight of Kerry's real estate.

If you receive this email, know first that it's what my dad used to call "horseshit." The estimates are utter nonsense.

My first reaction was that if Kerry and Teresa are smart enough to invest in land and property, then I say that I want this man to handle my country's economy. Real estate is the best investment anyone can make. Bush has the brush hole in Crawford. A lousy investment by comparison.

But let's do something wacky here - the math.

If that over-inflated guesstimate of $7,800,000 is true (and believe me - it isn't), what's the cost to each American over 18 years old? Three cents. THREE CENTS. There are 217.8 million Americans over 18. Do the math. Three damned cents.

By contrast: How much has Bush's Iraq adventure cost the adult population? Total cost, $200 Billion - so far. Per person, that comes out to $918. NINE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN DOLLARS for EVERY PERSON OVER 18. Let that one settle in for a while, okay?

But above all else, as TVMc informs us, the whole thing is just not true.

If you get this horseshit email, you're now armed with a reply. You're welcome.

Kerry Needs to Hammer Bush's Weakness

Bush speaks only in front of heavily-screened crowds. Bush will not allow himself to be confronted by the press. Bush makes sure all dissention is cleared before he appears anywhere. Bush lives in a bubble.

And when America was under attack, while Americans were watching the spectacle in horror, he froze in a Florida classroom, not knowing what to do.

Bush is a weak, timid man. Worse, he's a weak, ineffective leader.

I'm Hoffmania, and I approve this message like a mutha.

Air America is Over in New York

Whoa, don't blow a gasket. It's a good thing.

Wrestling fans know the term "over" quite well. When a new guy hits a stride which catches the imagination and support of the crowd, they say he's "over with the fans" - he's crossed over to star status.

Air America is over in NYC.
LINK - CRITICS said it wouldn't happen - but all-liberal WLIB is seriously challenging talk-radio rivals WABC and WOR.

According to Arbitron ratings released yesterday, WLIB thrashed WOR and nipped at the heels of top-dog WABC among the 25- to 54-year-old listeners advertisers chase.

"The elections are giving them an added boost in a largely liberal town, [and] they're benefiting from the whole Bush-Kerry thing," said Mark Lefkowitz of the Furman Roth ad agency.

"WABC has proven that it works in election years and not, [so] it'll be interesting to see what happens to WLIB...after the November election," Lefkowitz told The Post.

During midday, when both stations roll out their top guns - WABC's Rush Limbaugh vs. Air America's Al Franken - WABC is ranked 15th in listeners 25-54, followed closely by WLIB, which ranked 18th.

WOR trails badly, finishing 27th in midday.
WOR on the other over.

From the Pen of: Pat Oliphant

Thank you, Pat. THANK you...


We'll hit the half million mark in unique visitations today. As with each milestone, thanks for your readership. We're just getting started.

Monday, October 18

Stand Up For Terror!

First Bush guarantees that "we will not have an all-volunteer Army." And as reader WDH points out, Bush also wants us to stand up for terror. And yes, it's his closing remark in today's big NJ speech as seen in the official White House transcript.
"In a new term as your President, we will finish the work we have started. We will stand up for terror -- we will stand up for freedom. And on November the 2nd, my fellow Americans, I ask that you stand with me."
Yes, he meant to say "stand up to terror." Forgive him. He's a total moron.

A Full-Blown Clusterf**k

This is getting really out of control. Apparently, some absentee ballots in Ohio don't have Kerry/Edwards on the ballot. This election is turning into a major, MAJOR problem - from the faulty early voting fiasco in Florida to this. If Kerry wins this election - and he WILL win the election - it will be a tribute to his strength of overcoming the most ridiculous odds in the history of democracy.
Kerry left off some absentee ballots
By Barry M. Horstman
Cincinnati Post staff reporter

Some absentee ballots distributed to Hamilton County voters do not include the name of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, local election officials confirmed today.

Because of a printing error -- limited, election officials believe, to only a few ballots in the Forest Park area -- absentee ballots recently mailed out exclude the Democratic presidential ticket of Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards.

"It's a screw-up," said Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections. "This just feeds the paranoia that's out there. The tragic thing is that even though I think we will have a very fair and accurate count here, this will cause people to question the accuracy of our operation."

Although election officials believe only two voters have received the inaccurate ballot to date, Burke said he is worried that the mix-up "will open us up to all kinds of questions and concerns." He also conceded that some may question whether the problem is, indeed, limited to only a few ballots.

Mackris/O'Reilly: I Might Be Wrong...

...but wouldn't even hinting at - or asking a court to justify - firing an employee after her filing a sexual harassment suit be just as bad as actually firing her?
Report: Fox May Fire Producer Who Sued O'Reilly
Producer Says Fox Served Her With Papers

In the latest in the battle between TV personality Bill O'Reilly and his former associate producer, Andrea Mackris, Fox News is asking a court to clarify its ability to terminate Mackris' employment.

Mackris was served with papers about her potential firing Friday evening. She told CNN's Anderson Cooper a man entered into her building and approached her as she entered her apartment with the documents, which she refused to accept

Sources familiar with the filing say Fox News is asking the court to rule if Fox fires Mackris, it is not in retaliation for her sexual harassment lawsuit.

In a written statement, Fox News explained it wants the court to determine if Mackris' allegations are valid.

"We have also asked the court to advise Fox News about the possible termination of Ms. Mackris' employment. Ms. Mackris is still employed and on the payroll of Fox News," according to the statement.

Oh, Yeah. Bush Had His Big Terrorism Speech in Jersey Today

This was the day in Marlton, NJ when he made an important terrorism policy speech. Let's see what he said.
THE PRESIDENT: Most Americans still felt that terrorism was something distant, and something that would not strike on a large scale in America. That is the time that my opponent wants to go back to.


THE PRESIDENT: A time when danger was real and growing, but we didn't know it. A time when some thought terrorism was only a "nuisance."

Oh...I gotta pause here. Did I mention these quotes are not from the Bush-F***Yourself campaign site? These are in fact the official transcripts from the White House site. The site we all pay for. The official site of the President of the United States of America. We continue.
THE PRESIDENT: My opponent has taken a different approach, and it shows in his record. Just one year after the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, Senator Kerry proposed a $6 billion cut in the nation's intelligence budget.


THE PRESIDENT: My opponent has a fundamental misunderstanding on the war on terror. A reporter recently asked Senator Kerry how September the 11th changed him. He replied, "It didn't change me much at all."


THE PRESIDENT: His unchanged world view is obvious from the policies he still advocates. He has said this war is "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation." He has declared, we should not respond to threats until they are -- quote -- "imminent." He has complained that my administration -- quote -- "relies unwisely on the threat of military preemption against terrorist organizations." Let me repeat that. He says that preemptive action is "unwise," not only against regimes, but even against terrorist organizations.


THE PRESIDENT: Senator Kerry's approach would permit a response only after America is hit.


THE PRESIDENT: My opponent promises that he would do better with our allies. Yet, he's decided that the way to build alliances is to insult our friends. As a candidate for President, Senator Kerry has managed to offend or alienate almost every one of America's fighting allies in the war on terror. He has called the countries serving alongside us in Iraq -- quote -- "a trumped-up ... coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought, and the extorted."


THE PRESIDENT: As part of his foreign policy, Senator Kerry has talked about applying a "global test."


THE PRESIDENT: As far as I can tell, it comes down to this: Before we act to defend ourselves, he thinks we need permission from foreign capitals.


THE PRESIDENT: Yet, even the Gulf War coalition in 1991 did not pass Senator Kerry's global test. Even with the United Nations' approval, he voted against removing Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.


THE PRESIDENT: If that vast, U.N.-supported operation did not pass his test, nothing ever could. (Applause.) Senator Kerry's global test is nothing more than an excuse to constrain the actions of our own country in a dangerous world. (Applause.)

I believe in strong alliances. I believe in respecting other countries and working with them and seeking their advice. But I will never submit our national security decisions to a veto of a foreign government. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: Unfortunately, Senator Kerry does not share our commitment to victory in Iraq. For three years -- depending on the headlines, the poll numbers and political calculation -- he has taken almost every conceivable position on Iraq.

AUDIENCE: Flip-flop! Flip-flop! Flip Flop!

THE PRESIDENT: First, he said Saddam Hussein was a threat, and he voted for the war. Then he voted against funds for bullets and body armor for the troops he had voted to send into battle.


THE PRESIDENT: He declared himself an anti-war candidate. Months later he said that knowing everything we know now, he would have still voted for the war. Then he said the war was a "mistake," an "error," or "diversion." Having gone back and forth so many times, the Senator from Massachusetts has now flip-flopped his way to a dangerous position. My opponent -- my opponent finally has settled on a strategy, a strategy of retreat.


THE PRESIDENT: He has talked about artificial timetables to pull our troops out of Iraq. He has sent the signal that America's overriding goal in Iraq would be to leave, even if the job is not done.


THE PRESIDENT: The Senator who claims the world is more dangerous since America started fighting the war on terror is the same Senator who said that Ronald Reagan's policies of peace through strength actually made America less safe.


THE PRESIDENT: The same Senator who said the Reagan presidency was eight years of "moral darkness" --


THE PRESIDENT: In this campaign, Senator Kerry can run from his record, but he cannot hide. (Applause.) Thank you.
Great policy speech, sir. I feel safer already. You timid wretched little boob.