Jerome Corsi: Not Just Anti-Kerry, But Anti Muslim, Jew, Catholic, et al

From Media Matters:

While much has been written about the identity and history of John E. O'Neill -- one of the authors of the forthcoming Regnery book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry (whose links in the GOP go back to his days as "protégé of Nixon-era dirty trickster Charles Colson") -- little has been said about his co-author, Jerome R. Corsi, PhD.
    • Corsi on Islam: "a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion"

    • Corsi on Catholicism: "Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press"

    • Corsi on Muslims: "RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together"

    • Corsi on "John F*ing Commie Kerry": "After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judiasm? He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?"

    • Corsi on Senator "FAT HOG" Clinton: "Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she?"

Bush Supporters Asked to Support Nader to Help Bush's Chances

You can't make this stuff up.

From Fosters:

Visitors walking to President Bush’s campaign picnic Friday were asked to help his re-election chances by signing nomination forms to place Ralph Nader on the ballot in New Hampshire as a presidential candidate.

A spokeswoman for the Bush campaign said later on Friday it had no knowledge of the signature drive.

Democratic Party spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said news of the activity was very disappointing.

Sandy Berger Investigation Reveals DoJ Hypocrisy

Misleader brings us this:

It has been a longstanding policy of the Justice Department not to comment on ongoing investigations. For example, when Deputy Attorney General James Comey, Jr. was asked to comment on the Justice Department investigation into the outing of Joe Wilson's wife as an undercover CIA operative, he said, "I can't tell you about the details of any ongoing criminal investigation because our goal is to make sure ... anyone who might not be charged with a crime isn't unfairly smeared."1 Now, in an effort to undermine the credibility of former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, the Justice Department has abruptly changed its policy.

More Questions About the Swift Boat Rebutters

Skippy has a long and detailed rant about those claiming things about Kerry's service who were not in the boat with him. Check it out.

Breslin: Bush Cries Wolf Way Too Often

From Jimmy Breslin's Newsday column:

"The Boy That Cried Wolf" was so long ago that George Bush forgets it.

For here on Monday he was reading a second fable.

"Osama is coming!" he announced. Suddenly, the word "terror" ran the great city. Terrorism, terrorists, terrorist task force, anti-terrorist task force. Thomas Ridge, Bush's Homeland Security fake, said that for sure he was afraid they were coming. He had new intelligence that was horrifying:

Kerry could have been been doing the least bit better in polls.

Every time something like that happens, Bush stumbles or a 9/11 report comes out to make him look bad, he cries "terrorist." He has done this for over two years now.

Debate Over Politicization of Terror Alerts

From Editor & Publisher:

In recent days, news outlets as varied as The New York Times, Fox News, CNN and the BBC have run stories speculating on the motivations behind the raising of the terror alert for New York, Washington and northern New Jersey -- all home to key financial sites.

Now, newspaper editorial pages are weighing in on the question.

When Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge raised the alert Sunday, he did not mention that much of the surveillance activity he cited was at least three years old. On Tuesday, when the age of the intelligence was revealed, government officials said that there was an indication of reconnaissance updates as recently as January. But neither Ridge nor any other official said how much of the information may have been updated.

While the overwhelming sentiment among the nation's larger circulating newspapers has been to not criticize the motivations behind the latest warning, despite credibility problems surrounding the Iraq war, The New York Times did challenge the administration's claims.

On its editorial page, the Times on Tuesday said that it was right to step up security at the terror-prone sites, "But it's unfortunate that it is necessary to fight suspicions of political timing, suspicions the administration has sown by misleading the public on security."

Then, on Thursday, a Times editorial raising questions about the terror alerts noted that the White House had "expressed outrage at the suggestion that there could be any politics behind any of its warnings, but the president has some history to overcome on this issue...Some of the past terror alerts have seemed aimless and happened when the Bush administration would have benefited from a change in the political conversation."

It also hit Tom Ridge, in his latest terror announcement, for doing "a real disservice to himself, his president and the public by giving what amounted to a campaign pitch for 'the president's leadership in the war against terror.""

Iraq Closes Al Jazeera Office

Here's the story.

It was obvious this was coming. Iraqi PM Allawi had threatened to do this before unless al Jazeera "played ball" with the administration line.

But it's wrong. It just helps confirm for the Iraqis, the Arab world, and the rest of the world that America is an empire, that we try to control the truth through the media, and that Allawi is simply our puppet.

We went into Iraq beating the drum of freedom, and freedom is really quite the last thing we have given them. I don't think our leaders ever meant to offer freedom; it was just a good spin.

But I think many Americans believed our government, that we were "rescuing" Iraqis from the grip of Saddam. It sounded noble.

I wish I could have believed it.

There's the rub. I take no enjoyment in feeling my government is run by people who are careless with the truth and the lives of our soldiers and Iraq's - and Afghanistan's and other countries - civilians, that their agenda is not that of the American people.

Sudden Lull in Chatter "Worrisome"

From CNN:

#A drop in so-called "chatter" among suspected terrorists is troubling some counterterrorism officials, who noticed a reduction in intercepted communications before the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, government sources said.

Diminished communication prompted the concern because the counterterror experts don't know why suspected terrorists would be talking less. But they noted that similar reductions have happened several other times during the past few years.
Do I doubt that there are those who want to hurt America? Not at all.

But do I think the daily photos on CNN of burly armed officers protecting big banking, all the talk from the administration, all of this is just designed to scare people into electing Mr. Bush? Hell yes.

American Fakes Own Iraqi Beheading

You have to read this to believe it, and I'm not sure you can believe it once you do.

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Unemployment Rate

Mr. Bush and several of his cheering section today have insisted that everything's great because the unemployment level has dropped again. Jesus, I've got a professional style blender that doesn't spin like this.

First, the number of jobs created in July was 108,000 less than was needed just to barely try to keep pace (and we've had a number of underages here, so we've got a cumulative net loss).

Second, Bush's people decided long ago to drop anyone off the unemployment rolls who've been out of work for a bit. Unfortunately, that is a LOT of people because while some segments have been able to find real employment again quickly so long as they accept a sharp decline in pay, a very significant number have been out of regular work for 2-3 years or more. I know because I'm one of them. Do I work? Sure. But it's contract work, all whatever I can get, and subject to change in a half-blink. As of months ago, I calculated that I had applied for more than 880 jobs just in two years.

Third, almost every time they report employment figures (which they do on Friday so it gets lost in the other news and weekend excitement), they come back later and even more quietly report that the figures are worse than originally estimated.

Fourth, consumers aren't spending now. That's how worried they are.

Fifth, all three leading economic indicators, as of today, are at record lows for the year.

Sixth, most analysts say there is no reason to expect that the second half of the year will be any better economically.

Fisk: Iraq About to Explode

British independent journalist today on "Democracy Now" says that while it's been talked about before, Iraq really is just about to completely implode and that no one there recognizes the authority of PM Allawi except US handlers.

While it's been impossible to hear much because of all our concern about terrorists here, we've had at least a dozen soldiers killed this week, dozens of Iraqis (not counting the claimed three hundred insurgents we've killed), power failures in 122 degree heat are not uncommon, people are rioting, and there's a new supposed plan to kill Allawi. And that's just a quick roundup.

Possible Applicants for British Court Jester

With England looking for its first official Court Jester since 1649 (the successful candidate must supply his own cutesy uniform complete with jingle bells), I'd like to suggest the following candidates:

    * Rush Limbaugh (he's like Falstaff, only completely dislikable)
    * Newt Gingrich (even his name is assinine and besides, newts are usually friendly and non-lethal which Gingrich is not)
    * Richard Perle (I'd pay to see him in the outfit, wouldn't you?)
    * Paul Wolfowitz (of course, he really has to stop licking his comb first - that could put people off)
    * Donald Rumsfelt (really, he'd be perfect!)
    * Condi Rice (she's not funny, but if her president would enjoy it, she would do it for him; there is NOTHING she won't do for him)
    * George Bush (hopefully, he'll have some time on his hands after 11-2)

More Swift Boat Lies

Even Mike Barnacle on MSNBC tonight, not exactly Mr. Liberal, says there are grave problems with the swift boat ad. Pat Buchanan even grudgingly admits this ad is wrong. They both agreed (thud) that there is nothing to substantiate what the men appearing in that ad said to denounce Kerry.

Those Seven Minutes Mr. Bush Sat There

Now everyone is up in arms because John Kerry dared to suggest that had he been president on 9-11-01, he would not have sat through seven minutes of "My Pet Goat" with the kids after learning the second tower had been struck.

What is wrong with people? It's actually WRONG to admit that sitting there, doing nothing, was a really dumbshit thing for the president to do that day? I keep hearing that Mr. Bush was waiting for his people to tell him what do to. OK, but he's the [bleeping] president. Does he have to wait until someone tells him what to do?

I have no desire to be president. Hell, I don't think I'd be a good one. But I sure as hell would not have sat there. Would you? And, knowing that, would you say it's wrong to question that the leader of the free world DID?

Playing with Facts and Photos

After American intelligence officials insisted that at least one picture of the Prudential Financial complex in Newark came from January of this year, we're now hearing that Prudential officials say that they see nothing in those photos more recent than 2001.

As for who is going to pay the bill for the $1.5 million in just NYC and just for police overtime, NY officials say Washington DC. Which means we all will.

That's going to be hard to do if it's legitimate. And if it's illegitimate?

Good night, Rick James

Dead today of reported natural causes. Maybe it's the drugs or the life, but I had no idea he was just 56.

I was never a great fan, but he was definitely part of the experience. The stuff Dave Chappelle did with him on the Dave Chappelle Show for Comedy Central was hilarious.

Keyes vs. Obama?

From Washington Post:

Illinois Republican leaders asked Alan Keyes, an East Coast conservative and Maryland resident who says out-of-state candidates aren't a good idea on principle, to be their U.S. Senate candidate Wednesday. But like a string of previous potential candidates, Keyes said he needed a few days to think about it.
Yes, gentle readers, this is the same Alan Keyes who couldn't get noticed in the presidential race in 2000, the one who couldn't keep his job on MSNBC (which is craven for low viewer numbers and to be seen as Faux), and who doesn't have much well... charisma.

And he's the same Keyes who bellyached wildly when Hillary moved to NY to run for the Senate. In this case, Keyes hasn't even moved to the state he's going to (in theory) represent.

Desperation isn't the word here.

Those Economic Numbers Sucketh Wildly

The latest jobs report, showing far less growth for July than economists expected, is shaping up as a flash point on the campaign trail with President Bush's stewardship of the economy already a target of criticism by Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry. Even before the report from was released, Kerry blasted Bush, saying jobs have been lost under his administration.
From CNN.

Now step aside from Bush and Kerry and partisanship. The collective information we have on jobs is really quite bad. People - except for CEOs and military industrialists - are earning much less than before. This reduction isn't a matter of having to buy a Kia Sephia over a Ford Taurus, it's a reduction that leaves people late on car, house, etc. payments.

We keep being told that more people than ever before own homes. Unfortunately, more people than EVER before are also losing their homes because of the economy.

No American can afford to buy this BS about the great jobs and the rebounding economy.


John McCain Condemns Swift Boaters Against Kerry Ad

Good for the senator. He's also asked the GOP and the president to condemn the ad, something I expect to happen sometime after I turn into a zillionaire (which right now does not appear to be in the cards).

This ad today seems to set a new low record after years of extremely low standards.

Moreso, it really angers me as someone whose family has served in the military to have people come back later and lie about John Kerry's record in the military. If the situation was reversed, and it was Kerry doing this to Bush, I would be even more appalled (because I'd like to think the Democrats know better, although this is not always true).

It's beyond partisanship. It's beyond Bush or Kerry the men. It's watching a soldier's military service become something that can be discredited and manipulated for political gain... and to have it done for the gain of someone who wouldn't go to Vietnam and wouldn't even fulfill his non-war commitment is just vile.

Bush's Swift Boat Vet Ads Lie - Why?

It's now been determined that NONE of the veterans appearing in the Swift Boat vets ad calling Kerry bad (in an ad in support of Bush) and untruthful ever served with Mr. Kerry except to the extend that they were in the same war: Vietnam.

The men IN that swift boat with Kerry all support Kerry, the only exception being the one who is deceased.

These other vets, the one in the ads, make statements that cannot be proven (or, when they can be proven, they can be proven against the story these vets state). One says he was there in the boat with Kerry and he was not. Another claims to have treated Kerry only his name appears on NO medical records for the injury that got Kerry his first purple heart.

I've been caught in a lot of tough situations in my life, but I'd sure like to think that when the chips were this important, I wouldn't let partisan hatred force me to lie.

A Little Truth in Every Bushism

"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
George W. Bush, speaking today.


I can't think it's any coincidence that every day, the pretty pictures floating by on TV are filled with people with Arab sound names and connections being led off in handcuffs, of raids on houses, of cities shutting down more and more of the residential and business property near landmarks.


Sadly, I don't think so. This is all about getting Mr. Bush reelected. I think Howard Dean has pegged this one with perfect accuracy.

Good Piece on Poor WMD Reporting

The American Journalism Review has a good piece on the rather schizophrenic pre- and post-war WMD related reporting re: the Iraq War. Thanks to Josh Marshall for the link.

In the "Getting Smarter Was Out, So Let's Have Plastic Surgery Instead" Department

Skippy brings us this before/after shot of the Bush twin's (Barbara) nose job.

Albany Mosque

Can you make heads or tails out of this story? Right now, it just sounds like puffery wrapped up to look like a major anti-terror bust and designed to give George Pataki another speaking op. He kept referencing the Lackawanna Six, but that also seems to be a case of people that may have been associated with the wrong people yet had taken no action against US interests.

BUT.. in light of this comes news that terrorist training camps along the Pakistan border are back in operation.

Memphis: Afraid Iraqis Will Learn How to Marry Cousins?

From CNN:

Iraqis visiting on a civil rights tour were barred from city hall after the city council chairman said it was too dangerous to let them in.

The seven Iraqi civic and community leaders are in the midst of a three-week American tour, sponsored by the State Department to learn more about the process of government. The trip also includes stops in Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The Iraqis were scheduled to meet with a city council member, but Joe Brown, the council chair, said he feared the group was dangerous.

"We don't know exactly what's going on. Who knows about the delegation, and has the FBI been informed?" Brown said. "We must secure and protect all the employees in that building."

Orange Alert. Two Wars. And the Media's Focus Today?

That Scott Petersen ordered porn channels a few weeks after his pregnant wife disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002.

I heard almost nothing about the four soldiers killed in Baghdad yesterday but I have to have heard Scott's roster of "adult" channels three dozen times.

Mary Kay LeTourneau

It's really hard to know what to say about this woman. I just hope a)her eggs are used up and b)they don't let her near children in a professional setting again. Oh yeah, and c)she has to get a job quickly to help support her SIX children all of whom have been just so terribly well served by her behavior.

Yes, the sixth grader she was involved with has now passed the age of adulthood, in chronology if not mentality and no, it's very difficult to say how much LeTourneau contributed to his screwed-up life considering it was this situation that helped get him involved with LeTourneau. I'm afraid that their "great love affair" may fade quickly now that it's a)no longer taboo and b)once financial opportunities arising from interviews fade.

At this point, the only victims left are her six children (four with her ex-husband, two with the then-underage boy).


Fencing Off the Capitol

That's the plan now, according to MSNBC, effectively permanently closing residential and business streets.

Tell me again that the terrorists didn't win.

Total Media Control (Again)

Give it to Karl Rove: today, finally (as expected), we're told the coverage of the GOP convention will sky rocket because al Qaeda will try to strike there. The drum beat will be terror, people with uzis, and Bush. Nice work, Karl.

Don't DeLay on Helping Boot Tom (Tyrannic)

From Howard Dean re: Tom Delay:

Representative Tom DeLay of Texas needs to be stopped. He is at the center of machine that launders corporate influence in our political process. And now his machine is at the center of investigations by a grand jury in Texas and the House Ethics Committee in Washington into ethics violations and criminal activity.

But the DeLay racket reaches even into the Ethics Committee itself. We must act now to make sure the job gets done right.

The House Ethics Committee must appoint an outside counsel to lead the investigation. Add your name to the call for accountability:


Four of the five Republicans on the House Ethics Committee, which will review the charges against DeLay next month, have received over $35,000 from an arm of the DeLay operation. They are in no position to conduct an independent investigation.

The examination of Tom DeLay's political money machine should be free from the influence of that machine. That can only happen with an independent, outside counsel leading the probe.

We will deliver your petition to the House Ethics Committee. And we will take your messages to Texas to give DeLay's constituents your thoughts about the man they will have the chance to vote out of office in November. Sign the petition now.

The charges against DeLay filed in the Ethics Committee include trading favors for contributions, laundering illegal corporate contributions to influence Texas legislative races, and improperly directing the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a political witch hunt against Texas Democrats.

Tom DeLay has done more than any other person to construct a system where our representatives sell the privilege of writing legislation to the highest bidder. His contempt for his opponents and win-at-all-costs approach pollute our political life -- and may have broken the law.

Join the call for a proper investigation of Tom DeLay.

Helen Gives 'Em More Hell

From Editor & Publisher:

So what happens when a small weekly newspaper invites journalism legend Helen Thomas to its annual summer social? It gets an earful, that's for sure.

Thomas, for example, said that President Bush's "philosophy is simple, black and white, good and evil, with us or against us, dead or alive. He is messianic...To preemptively attack Iraq was a sorry chapter in our history."

It happened in Virginia at the Falls Church News-Press' annual summer social. A crowd of over 200 filled a church sanctuary down the hall from the News-Press where the event was centered, the largest attendance of any of the events held since 1991.

"We are despised throughout the world for our muscular foreign policy and because we lost our halo, the greatness of our country that others aspired to," Thomas told the audience, who munched on catered pizza from the local Ledo Restaurant.

She also said that John Kerry still had not "defined himself." Other highlights of her talk, according to a transcript released by the newspaper:

* "Both the president and Britain's prime minister say [the Iraq war] was worth it all to get one man. Of course the U.S. expects much more: access to Iraqi oil, big business and permanent military bases, a foothold in the Middle East, the neoconservatives' agenda."

* "What I am saying tonight is that somehow we have to recover our honor. Our ideals. Our humanity."

* "It's interesting about investigating committees and commissions today. They see no evil, no one is to blame. It's the institution that's at fault. So the Senate Intelligence panel found the CIA falsely clocking Iraq's ability, but no pressure from the White House to slant the report. And now 9/11! No one is at fault for the misreading of the clues, it was just a lack of imagination on the part of the leaders, the commission said."

TBogg on Condi Rice

TBogg (nice job he always does, too, although I feel badly he's dropped "devoted Peggy Noonan stalker" from his description) pretty much sums up my impression of NSA chief Condi Rice:

Isn't a $157,000 a year a lot to pay someone to babysit El Presidente Pollo-halcón when she's not busy at her desk practicing writing Mrs. George W. Bush and wishing it had an 'i' so she could dot it with a heart?

Oil Goes Sky High

From CNN:

Oil prices set another record high today, then retreated after a U.S. government report showed a larger-than-expected gasoline inventory. The price of U.S. crude hit $44.34 a barrel this morning, 19 cents above Tuesday's price. Analysts fear another few days of record-breaking prices could damage the global economy.
Methinks Mr. Bush needs to have one of those heart-to-heart talks with Prince Bandar (is it?) again. Americans paying $3.50 a gallon at the pump might finally realize there may be special problems in having oil men (Bush and Cheney) running the world.

The Grinch Who Stole the White House?

Posted by Admin over on Blah3, called "Dr. Suess Sees America":

From an email that's going around....

The Whos down in Whoville liked people a lot,
But the Grinch in the White House most certainly did not.
He didn't arrive there by the will of the Whos,
But stole the election that he really did lose.
Vowed to "rule from the middle," then installed his regime.
(Did this really happen, or is it just a bad dream?)

He didn't listen to voters, just his friends he was pleasin'.
Now, please don't ask why, who knows what's the reason.
It could be his heart wasn't working just right.
It could be, perhaps, that he wasn't too bright.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
Is that both brain and heart were two sizes too small.
Read the rest of this here.

Will Black Boxes for Our Brains Be Next?

The National Traffic Safety Board wants the feds to require all passenger vehicles to carry black boxes.

Lynndie England: "It was just for fun"

From CNN:

Special agent Paul Arthur testified at a military court hearing Tuesday at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, that Pfc. Lynndie England said, "It was just for fun," when shown pictures of her with naked detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. England is one of seven Army reservists charged in the prison abuse scandal.

American Death Toll in Iraq Reachs 921



Lizzie Borden Took an Axe...

In memoriam to Andrew J. and Abby Durfee Gray Borden who died in Fall River, Massachusetts on this day in 1892. Their daughter (and step-daughter, respectively) Lizzie was tried and ultimately found not guilty of the murders. No one else was ever charged with the axe murders.

Waving to Mr. Judd, my fellow Lizzie Borden trivianista.

Mind Numbing Terror Information

Strange thing is, it's not fear that makes all the stuff coming out in the last several days mind numbing: it's more like someone with an outlandish imagination is scripting it and they're not very good. Let's do a run-down (by at least a semi if not a tandem tractor trailer):

- Months of speculation about a "surprise" being planned by the GOP before the election (Osama frog marched through Madison Square Garden, an al Qaeda attack, etc.)
- We hear they're considering rescheduling Election 2004
- Former NSA director Sandy Berger accused of great crimes against the state on the eve of the Dem convention
- The "experts" tell us the media will be the specific targets of the Dem convention
- Relatively little coverage of the Dem convention except for Teresa Heinz Kerry telling a questionable edit page writer to "Shove it"
- Dem Convention ends and immediately, we're in bright orange alert with specific targets like we've never had before - all commercial
- We're told bright orange could last until the GOP Convention
- The Bush Girl Dolts Twins are trotted out to have coffee with bigwigs in NYC's financial district the morning after we hear of the danger
- We hear the information is 3-4 years old and probably has not been updated since 9-11-01 when much (at least in theory and contracts) changed
- Tom Ridge trots out to say that "So what that the information is 3-4 years old!"
- Then we're told the bright orange will last at least through Election 2004 (heh)
- Discussion among the media that maybe they'll have to step up their coverage of the GOP convention because, you know, there's such a threat
- Details come out that a big attack is planned about 60 days before the election; 60 days brings us to September 4th, the day AFTER Bush accepts nomination, so say it's 61 days...

You can't make this stuff up. Or... I don't know... perhaps someone can.

The Bush Economy: Ouch!

From the New York Times (thanks to Lambert at Corrente for the link):

Layoffs occurred at the second-fastest rate on record during the first three years of the Bush administration, a government report has found.

In the government's latest survey of how frequently workers are permanently dismissed from their jobs, the layoff rate reached 8.7 percent of all adult jobholders, or 11.4 million men and women age 20 or older. That is nearly equal to the 9 percent rate for the 1981-1983 period, which included the steepest contraction in the American economy since the Great Depression.

...While job displacement has gradually increased during the 23 years covered by the surveys, the unemployment rate has trended down. For some labor economists - Mr. Farber and Jared Bernstein at the Economic Policy Institute, for example - that makes the rising layoff rate even more striking.

"If you plot the displacement rate in relation to the unemployment rate, it is a staircase going up," Mr. Bernstein said. "You are more likely to be laid off now than in similar levels of unemployment in the past."

...In the latest survey, 56.9 percent of those who said they were re-employed also said they were earning less in their new jobs than in the jobs they had lost. That compared with 46.6 percent from 1991 through 1993, a similar period of recession followed by weak recovery, and 42.2 percent from 1997 through 1999, which were boom years.

The worker displacement survey has been conducted in January or February of each even-numbered year since 1984. The members of 60,000 households, a cross section of the population, are asked if they lost a job at any time in the previous three years because a factory or company closed, there was insufficient work or the position they occupied was abolished. A "yes" answer meant the job was permanently gone, without prospect of recall.

Making it Tougher for Spanish Speakers to Vote

The good folks at Corrente bring us a story about how the Spanish language translations to help voters before November 2nd have been lost in translation and bureaucracy. Well, it's not like most Hispanics were going to vote for Bush anyway.

Electronic Voting

From The Nation magazine:

On November 2, millions of Americans will cast their votes for President in computerized voting systems that can be rigged by corporate or local-election insiders. Some 98 million citizens, five out of every six of the roughly 115 million who will go to the polls, will consign their votes into computers that unidentified computer programmers, working for private corporations and the officials of 10,500 election jurisdictions, could program to invisibly falsify the outcomes.

For more, read Ronnie Dugger's new Nation magazine cover-story now.

Dugger, who wrote the definitive warning essay about the dangers of computerized vote-counting in The New Yorker in 1988, revisits the subject in a comprehensive call to alert the public to the vast potential for fraud and error in Election 2004. Please read and circulate his article today.

Lady Liberty (Finally) Reopens

I swear that the fact that the French gave it to us was a big part in keeping it closed for nearly three years. It's been a grave shame and completely unnecessary.

Governor George Pataki was full of gas (the noxious kind) when he said today, "In a larger sense, this statue was never closed and will never be closed."

Yet, even with the reopening, it's estimated that only a few hundred will be allowed in each day for a guided tour. This is nothing compared to the thousands who used to visit every day.

Sadly, the statue is indeed a symbol of what's happened to our country since 9-11-01, when we talk and talk about our freedoms and then lock everything down. We've let it - and us - be held hostage. We need change because it's not a matter of IF the terrorists will win, for in large part, they (or what our leaders tell us they are) have won. We must take our country back.

Another Deadly Iraqi Car Bomb

[Ed note: When I first turned on CNN this morning, all I heard about was weight lifting and carbohydrates. Who KNEW there was actual news today?]

Another Iraqi car bomb has killed at least four and we're still battling in Afghanistan (repeat after me: anyone we kill in Iraq is an insurgent; anyone we kill in Afghanistan is a militant - then notice how we never report any civilians die).

From CNN:

Afghan and U.S. troops backed by warplanes killed as many as 50 militants in a daylong battle near the Pakistani border, the U.S. military said Tuesday, one of the bloodiest clashes since American forces entered Afghanistan.

At least one Afghan soldier also was killed and three others wounded in Monday's fighting in Khost province, a former al Qaeda stronghold about 120 miles south of the capital, Kabul.

"Allied forces staved off rockets, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun fire throughout the day and into the night," a U.S. military statement said. "The exact number of enemy casualties is unknown, but pilots flying overhead estimated that approximately 40-50 insurgents were killed."


The Bush-Cheney Strategy

From Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo (note the ref to Karl Rove at the bottom):

Now the Bush-Cheney political campaign is telling all who will listen that they will spend the next month running a massive ad campaign (with a price tag of $30 million and no doubt supplemented by on-message talking points sent out to the all the foot soldiers) aimed at mocking John Kerry as a undistinguished and risible figure. According to the Times, this will culminate at the GOP convention where Kerry will be portrayed as "an object of humor and calculated derision."

(As a side note, this telegraphing of a looming attack is classic Rove -- a topic we'll return to.)

Electricity Riots in Najaf

While Juan Cole brings you far more information about the violence around Baghdad yesterday, including that at churches, he also tells us about electricity (or lack thereof) riots in Najaf:

Al-Zaman: For the second straight day on Sunday, angry crowds attacked the Electricity Office in downtown Najaf, protesting interruptions in the electricity supply that stretched to as many as 18 hours straight in recent days. The lack of electricity hurts local industry and agriculture, and leaves the population without air conditioning or fans at a time when highs are 50 C./ 122 F.

Employees fled from the Electricity Office in fear of their lives, and were protected from attack by the Mahdi Army militiamen of Muqtada al-Sadr, who still patrol the Old City. (The role of the Sadrist militia in providing law and order (albeit of an often somewhat fascist coloration) in the past two months has been noted by Awadh al-Taie and Aqil Jabbar.)

One of the protesters said that the electricity situation was something people could no longer remain silent about.

Protesters and the members of the provincial council of Amara, who had been at loggerheads, have agreed that the council would be suspended temporarily. Thousands of followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, members of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and other religious Shiites protested Sunday in front of the governor's office, demanding the election of a new provincial council. The Amara provincial council has been cooperating with the US and the British, even though many of its members say they follow Muqtada al-Sadr.

White House West

Stop by.

I've heard the audio from one of their commercials and it's.. well... pretty good. And I'm not a massive Will Ferrell fan at that, but he does a brilliant W. (With that said, however, Daryl Hammond is extraordinary on SNL; way underused and probably underappreciated though he often turns in the only material that's worth watching).

Commander vs. Bully-in-Chief

They keep telling us Kerry got no bounce from the Dem Convention (what little coverage there was - and trust me, that nice, bright, flaming orange terror alert will bump up coverage of the GOP Convention which ends just before all those 3-year memorials for 9-11), but Atrios tells us that a Washington Post/ABC poll reports Kerry leads Bush on the question of who would be a better commander-in-chief, 52:44.

I don't necessarily want to meet the 44% who think Bush would be a better commander in chief than just about anyone (and I'm not necessarily excluding Ozzie Osbourne, Howard Stern, Jessica Simpson, or Courtney Love).

The Company You Keep

Yeesh and crimminy!

    Let’s talk about what a wonderful president George Bush has been so far. Let’s talk about how ridiculous handicap parking is. Let’s talk about why the Puertoricans think they need to have a parade down fifth avenue. Or for that matter why the gays do too. Why isn’t the Veterans Day parade down fifth avenue? The people who secure our nation get a couple blocks in Brooklyn while the fags and spics get Fifth Avenue."
--actor/filmmaker Vincent Gallo, who will soon attend the GOP convention as a proud Republican and premiere his sexually explicit film The Brown Bunny
If this is the moral party, please God, let me live among their opposites.

Oh - for the full effect, Steve and Atrios noted above tell you to check this out.

Everybody Jump on Howard Dean

That seems to be the message today, because Howard said yesterday that he questions whether the president may use the terror alert system to yank chains.

Is he so wrong? The balloons weren't all deflated in Boston when they issued this alert - which turns out to be based on 3-year-old information. Now we hear it will run until November at least.

Who plays for the alert? Everyone of us. Well, everyone of us but rich fat cats and corporations... like the corporations that are getting all the protection now.

Lori Hacking's Family

I was so impressed today listening to a press conference in which Lori's family, obviously deep in their grief, managed to wish their best to their in-laws, the Hackings.

All too often, these tragedies occur and families that once loved one another are split immediately and irreparably down the middle. When I hear something like this, where out of grief there can still be acknowledgement through the pain, I think, OK, maybe our humanity hasn't gone to hell.

I don't know what happened to Lori. But there was something about her family and her husband's family on TV that struck me as just genuinely nice, good people caught in a horrible nightmare. Sadly, I don't think this is uncommon - many murders are committed by people the victim knew, by people we wouldn't expect would do it. Yet we spend so much time erecting barriers from the dangerous rest of the world.

Tucker Carlson

For God's sake, take up a collection and buy this doof a pair of chinos that FIT!

Money for a hair piece is not needed - although why Tucker bought fake hair fashioned on a 1982 financial broker escapes me.

Let's face it: the only interesting things about Tucker is his bowtie and how easy it is to mistype his first name. Urp.

Manly Throw You've Got There

From Wonkette
We agree with Wonkette (she makes more money, but I'd be happy to make what she - or someone else - pays in bar tabs).

Eerie Similarities Between Anti-Terror Reports?

NBC News in New York (wnbc.com) is airing a special report tonight from Jonathan Dienst stating that a report commissioned by the first George Bush after the bombing of the Panam flight in 1989 is remarkably similar to the report results published by the 9-11 Commission.

In other words, through three presidents (including two of them Bushes, which adds up to like a whole quarter of a real president) and fourteen years, nothing was done.

Perhaps in 2118, there will be a third report, citing the exact same things. By then, Americans won't be able to leave their jobs or homes without court permission.

Look at the Presence of the Bush Women in NYC Today One of Two Ways

The first way is that the government really is just playing games with the terror alert codes (which will cost New York City tens of millions of dollars a week and will last at least until after the GOP convention) as some have predicted they would. Considered that way, why not send Laura, Barbara and Jenna Bush up to thank workers (the expensively paid ones) for showing up?

The second way is that in the Bush Administration, women are pretty much just "pretty" symbols anyway. If you've got to sacrifice anyone, well, it's not like those twins will become president anyway, and Laura you could replace with a B movie mommy actress.

Bush on Intelligence Czar: "I can hire 'im and I can fire 'im"

And that's supposed to make us feel better, that the president is reducing the job to a lackey position that is purely partisan?

Sixty percent of people answering CNN's poll on the subject right now don't think the president's idea is going to protect America (the rest, I assume, have drunk the doctored Kool-Aid).

Lori Hacking's Husband Charged with Murder

The details are still a bit cloudy, but I suspect most people aren't surprised that the missing Salt Lake City jogger" is now at least presumed dead.

Condolences to the families of both Lori and her husband.

This Day in 1990

Was the day Saddam's forces roled into Kuwait, starting the sequence of events leading up to Gulf War I. Another George Bush was president then.

Bush's Speech Today Is About as Reassuring As....

Well, I can't quite think of the word, but it's not good.

His setting up a national security czar, after insisting we didn't need one, doesn't strike me great. All we need are more clueless political appointees (I think the commission meant a real, knowledgeable person).

The Orange Code of Nuts

I arose this morning to signs of armed snipers on buildings throughout NY, DC, and Newark, and to reports that the airlines this weekend booted two passengers: one for committing the great security flaw of wearing a t-shirt with a bare boob on it (tasteless but not exactly al Qaeda, is it?) and a Japanese man copying words he did not know from a newspaper so he could look them up later. Unfortunately, one of the phrases he copied was "suicide bomb", prompting the boobs at the airlines to state, "People have to realize they can't write the word "bomb" anywhere or they'll find their travel plans derailed."

Oops, I've typed bomb here twice. Better not book a plane ticket.


There is Something Scarier and Even Less Informed

than a Michelle Malkin (conservative nutjob columnist) piece: the people who read her devotedly and comment on her site. Cough.

ACLU Says No to Patriot Act Provisions, Goodbye to Half Million in Aid

From CNN:

The American Civil Liberties Union has withdrawn from a federal donation program, refusing to follow U.S. Patriot Act rules requiring use of a government anti-terrorism watch list to check employees' names, a spokeswoman said.

The ACLU stands to lose about $500,000 by pulling out of the Combined Federal Campaign, which allows federal employees to donate to various nonprofit organizations through payroll deductions, ACLU spokeswoman Emily Whitfield said Saturday.

In 2003, the ACLU received $470,000 in such contributions.

"We Will Spare No Expense"

Those were the words spoken today by NY mayor Michael Bloomberg about protecting the financial centers.

OK, that's understandable.

But let's look at some nasty facts. New York teachers make terrible salaries, as do other civil workers. Police and firemen are threatening to strike.

NY school children have lost schools, reading programs, remedial programs, phys-ed, foreign language, music and arts, teachers, and books.

NY city shut-ins face losing their daily food deliveries.

AIDs patients have had a very tough time from Rudy Giuliani on.

Yes, security is important. But isn't there more than one type of security to be concerned about?

Telling Sciafe's Henchmen to Shove It

Joe Conason brings us some deeper background into the much-reported occasion of Teresa Heinz Kerry telling a PA editorial writer to "shove it". Considering what I've read, I'm surprised she didn't boot him in the ass with her heel.

Sign on the Bushy Line

In order to get into a rally being held for Dick Cheney, you must sign a pledge vowing you are a faithful and loyal servant to King George III. If that signature appears on a fat check, all the better.

All Those Target Sites

CNN probably has a few hundred thousand people figuratively striping their underclothes about now with that list of targets like the IMF and World Bank, the Citi banking groups, etc.

And Now, Newark

I see the feds have added Newark, NJ to the terrorist watch list.


You ever been to Newark? Now granted, Newark has a lot of financial dealings. I think AmEx and several big companies have their billing based out of there (but backups exist of everthing in strategic other locations so don't expect to have your AmEx account zeroed out), but strategic?

Even with my partner's family close by there in Morris County, I'm not in the least worried. If anything, it just reminds us that counter terrorism measures in this country pretty much exclusively worry about corporations - not ports, not Americans - corporations.

Declare Farm Income Tax Exempt

Look, if HP and Halliburton don't pay taxes on their massive income, what justification is there to milk the family farm dry?

From Max Sawicky:

That IRS data I discussed has a tidbit continuing a long-standing trend: net income in the farm sector is way negative. It has been according to the table since 1985, if not earlier. For 2002, over $20 billion in losses, versus less than $7 billion in gains.

MaxSpeak's solution, resurrecting what Lester Thurow pointed out many years ago: declare farm income tax exempt. This should increase revenues, since taxpayers would not be able to use farm losses, some premised on fertilized tax avoidance accounting devices, to offset taxable income elsewhere.
I daresay we need farmers more than we need Halliburton.

Raising God-Fearing Heterosexual Babies

General JC managed to permeate my snot-induced fog with this:

The good folks at Landover Baptist Church provide us with an easy ten-point reference for raising good, God-fearing heterosexual babies.

Here's a sample of their wisdom:
    1. A boy must not sit on a toilet unless he is having a bowel movement. Standing straight up, not hunched over while urinating, is a sign of manliness. Squatting on a toilet seat (especially if he hovers to avoid the urine of others or prissily wipes the seat with a square of toilet tissue) to pee is not only effeminate but a sign of shame! It is a secret hobby that homosexuals use in their daily lives. It is a scientific fact that when needing to use the restroom, a male is called upon to engage in the unpleasant undertaking of extruding a poopy in only 1 out of every 3 visits. But homosexuals use all three visits to practice squatting, to limber the cheeks of their bottom in preparation for even the most enormous (Negro) penises. Such calisthenics are neither necessary nor advisable for men who have no intention of squatting over an engorged penis. As soon as your child is able to walk on two feet, you must make that sure he is taught to stand proudly in front of a private or public toilet seat, and to speak not a word, especially in response to the coy whispers of Catholic priests in the next stall.
Whenever you hve good, Godly people working hard like this to rid the world of Homsexuality's siren call, there will be those who try to bring them down. That's what's happened to Landover Baptist Church. There is nothing to fear, however, because the Geeral has taken up LBC's cause.

The Flap Over Margaret Cho

Some of you may have heard some of the talk in the background this week about controversial comedian Margaret Cho (indeed, I seem like a Bush blogger by comparison. The Burnt Orange Report has a few details:

One of the few controversies this week at the Democratic convention was the disinvitation of comedian Margaret Cho to the July 27th "Unity Party" for GLBT delegates sponsored by the HRC (Human Rights Campaign). Cho has a huge following in the gay community, so her participation in the event was widely anticipated by the organizers and many delegates. The Washington Blade provides some background:
    The Human Rights Campaign says it stands by a decision to drop bisexual comedian Margaret Cho from the roster of entertainers invited to perform at a July 27 “Unity 04” party in Boston for gay delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

    Cho had promised to put on an “incendiary” act attacking President Bush, according to HRC spokesperson Steven Fisher. Fisher said such a performance would have diverted the event’s “message” away from the organizers’ aim of helping to elect John Kerry president.

    Some of Cho’s gay fans said the comedian became a victim of efforts by the Kerry campaign and some of its gay supporters, including HRC, to tone down controversial rhetoric inside and outside the convention hall.
I'm not a big fan of people turning on other people (the Dems on Whoopi Goldberg, the Repugs on Richard Clarke and George Tenet, and this).

Update on Baghdad Blasts

Apparently Christian churches (as opposed, I suppose, to Jewish churches and Muslim churches and Buddhist churches - CNN is such a poor organization these days) were the targets.

From the Conservative News Network:

Two car bombs targeted Christian churches in central Baghdad today, resulting in an unknown number of dead and wounded, Iraqi police said. At one church, a bomb detonated during Mass and worshippers fled the building. An earlier roadside bomb in Baghdad killed two Iraqi civilians and wounded two others.
"Free at last! Free at last! Great God Almighty, I am free at last."

Possible Lightness in Posting Today

I have a bad cold and an even worse attitude.

Of course, I also notice that every time I pledge lighter posting, I post more.

With this track record of performance, it's only a matter of time before I'm offered a government job.

The New New York Threat

Now they're saying key points in New York City are about to be hit.

Right. And I'm the queen of Romania and I'm ten feet tall. But then, I'm also Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire, and I own a mansion and a yacht.

Sure, it's possible NY could be hit. But the likelihood? Just think of all the times these doofuses (doofi? - what's the plural for doofus?) have told us suicide bombers would hit banks, train stations, etc. And then they take credit when it doesn't happen. If you believe this, perhaps you'll stop to notice our home-grown anthrax terrorist remains at large.

What I think this is is an excuse to make certain no protestor - hell, no citizen of New York - gets within 10 miles of Madison Square Garden for the GOP Convention.

Two Massive Blasts in Baghdad

All we know right now is that they occurred somewhere near the National Theater.

Mission accomplished, Mr. Bush, or is Iraq a miserable failure?

Husband's Details End Search for Lori Hacking

CNN is reporting that Mark Hacking, hospitalized husband of the so-called missing pregnant jogger, Lori, has given authorities enough details to end the search. That, of course, does not sound good.