Allawi Proves He's GOP Washington's Man

(Ed. note: We were being kind and changed "Bitch" to "Man", a benefit of the doubt we try to provide to people like Tom DeLay (who isn't bitch but a deep burrowing bug who missed his own extermination service), Bill (here kitty, kitty, let me torture you) Frist, and Denny (my breasts are bigger than any other bitch's) Hastert.)

It was almost sickening to watch, as an American, the Iraqi prime minister giving his slavish support of Mr. Bush and the GOP this week. But just imagine how this played in Iraq.

In other words, Bush and Karl Rove have NO problem using Iraq to promote their agenda, even when it proves the charges that the Iraqi PM is nothing but a figurehead for Washington who has no concern about the Iraqi people as a whole (but lots of concern for Halliburton, WorldCom, Bechtel, et al, and Bush's political future.

"Night of the Living Rapturists" Indeed

Skippy brings us this uh... wow, piece:

now, this is scary.

thanks to atrios, we found this on blast off!: we get wingnuts. it's a transcription of a call to c-span:
    caller (in a very airy voice): good morning. i’m going to vote for president bush because, after all, you know, god made us there, you know, in his image, free from any black color and all [host looks up, surprised]. the only church that kerry can go to is where they say the black mass, and that is in the merriam-webster pocket book dictionary, where it says that that is the devil worshippers. [host looks uncomfortably off-camera, at producer?] i would never vote for, you know, senator kerry.e every effort to give you the same booth again, or very nearso, definitely, i would never vote for, you know, senator kerry.

    and that isn’t the only reason. also, in the bible, god said … god … that, uh, also, like (unintelligible) and faggots, that he says, anybody that lays down with another man and has sex with his own sex, and any woman that lays down with another woman and has sex should be put to death and their blood upon them. it also says that about interracial marriages and everything. so that’s the reason why i’m voting for my president, bush.

    slen: what do you do in, uh …

    caller: and that isn’t the only reason. they also have other reasons also. the other reason is political, because like the political terrorists, they’ve been out there for eight months, and they’ve been out on the road, and they’ve been talking about … they’ve talked against our president. they put him down in every way. and god knows that that is wrong. he’s out there doing god’s work. he’s taking care of all our children.

    like when clinton was in, he made – he tried to make whores and faggots out of our little girls – whores out of our little girls. he put the pornography in the schools. and god’s gonna condemn him for that
What mental illness explains this? How can anyone actually believe any of this?

CNN Says Reports Brit Hostage Beheaded Appear Wrong

Apparently conjecture earlier today said the third hostage from Hensley and Armstrong's group (both men beheaded earlier this week), a man named Bigley, had been beheaded, too. But CNN says that's incorrect and showed an ad some British Muslims had taken out in Arab-language papers with Bigley's picture and an ardent appeal for his safe release.

But why was their so little coverage of the Italian women hostages killed this week? Granted, I expect American news to focus more on Americans taken and beheaded, but they've covered others. These women were NOT contractors for companies like Halliburton.

No New Word on Brit Hostage Threatened with Beheading

As far as we know right now, the third of the trio that was kidnapped less than 10 days ago from their Baghdad home is still alive, despite the fact that the two Americans from the group - Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley - were beheaded this week. Their bodies have already been recovered.

CNN is reporting that a group of British Muslims is trying to make an appeal for the Brit's release. You may have heard the heart-breaking plea for his life that this man made earlier this week. His family also made a heart-wrenching appeal, saying that the hostage takers had shown mercy before and hoped they would this time.

No Blogging for Jon Stewart

From Wonkette:

Time: Writing a book is so retro. Shouldn't you be blogging or something?
Jon Stewart: I can't. It's too hip. Then I'd have to get a BlackBerry, and I'm wired in, and next thing you know, I'm at a Black-Eyed Peas concert with a crack problem. I just can't go down that road.

Also, Wonkette reports that a recent Annenberg Institute study shows "Daily Show" watchers are better informed, especially about the election, than viewers of mainstream news (certainly true, especially if you factor in Faux Newz).

When You Care Enough to Send Email After You're Dead

See this.

"The Dems Will Ban the Bible"

As I said, Swaggart's ilk's intolerance seems like a good lead-in to this mailing by Repugs in the Deep South claiming that Dems will ban the bible, outlaw heterosexual marriage, and eat babies. The president - as always - said he doesn't know anything about it (exactly what does ol George know anyway? There's a $64,000 question.)

But the irony here is that the Repugs are appealing to an inate fear among many Southern Christians that some fundamental right of theirs will be taken away. OK. It's a total lie but I guess any misinformation that gives Georgie a vote is cool to them.

Actually, no, the irony is that the group that fears so much having their rights taken away is the same group who is so RABID about stripping rights from others (gays and biracial couples shouldn't marry, people MUST salute God in government and schools, you do NOT have a choice in religion, women may NOT have a choice over their own bodies).

Please. Could people who haven't suffered brain damage come out and vote in 5 weeks? Pretty please?

Jimmy Swaggart Sorry (Again)

I start off today with this story because it leads into another topic.

Disgraced (how many times?) evangelist Jimmy Swaggart said this week that he would kill any homosexual who looked at him with lust. Now, of course, he's retracted.

But why do the people who always feel they're God's anointed always threaten and perform violence? There are variations on this, but from Falwell to Swaggart, Robertson to those nut cases on his show, these Southern Christians (and no, I do not feel they are representative of all Southern Christians, and some Northern Christians espouse similar things), these are people with hate in their heart and eager to side with God - or so they think - in promoting bias, violence, intolerance, and so much more.

You know, as a woman, I've had more than my share of "lustful" approaches, mostly from men but a couple of women. I might have wanted to take a shower after the encounter just from the talk or behavior, but I've never wanted to kill someone. I loathe Swaggart and his ilk, and I wouldn't like to kill them either.


The Orange Prison Jumpsuit Again

Reader RH wrote in to note that he says he found a place mirroring one of the gruesome hostage beheading videos this week and notes that the one he saw was wearing those US style orange prison uniforms again.

The orange prison uniform (the ones we took to Abu Ghraib and other places, which from what little I can tell, aren't usually sold or used elsewhere) still bothers me. It's like a puzzle piece that does not fit in.

Yeah, you can argue that lots of pieces don't fit together if you saw our treatment of Iraqi prisoners on Nightline last night (very, very disturbing) and what appear to be honest, non-combatants being beheaded on video. But I feel like that orange US prisoner outfit so many hostages are placed in before execution is either a clue or a signal.


West Side Stadium

NY is going nuts, divided among itself, over plans for the new West Side Stadium. Now, they've gotten a few firefighters to promote the project, acting like that's God's seal of approval.

I'm not a big fan of these city, state, and other taxpayer funded sports programs. Sports attendance is declining, they practically had to pay people to attend the Summer Olympics (lots of Athens businesses during the Olympics and NYC businesses during the Republican National Convention closed because there was NO business), and there is no reason why a team of multi-millionaire players and billionaire owners need taxpayers to foot the bill.

But the whole firefighter thing bothers me. Since 9/11, everyone has solicited firefighters to appear for this, that, or the other. Granted. But lots of New York City firefighters aren't magically made into wise divine beings by 9/11. Many were heroes that day, no question. But whoring is whoring. I don't think much of firefighters whoring, and I think even less of those who eagerly sign them as whores.

The building of the West Side Stadium will help some with the construction, but the rest of it is questionable. Wanting to hold the Olympics in your city to me is the height of stupidity (and the stadium is tied to plans to redo part of the city to host an upcoming Olympics - they're hoping maybe 2012, not sure).

Teachers in NY make shitty salaries. So do firefighters and police BEFORE overtime (and more than a few hit the six-figure mark with it - so excuse me if I don't tear up). Money should go to priorities first. Let the million/billionaires pay for their own stadiums and Olympic venues.

"You Know What? The World Would Be Better if We Did Leave"

I haven't found a transcript of this speech, given in the last few days by President Bush, but Jay Leno showed a portion of it last night.

Bush is saying something like, "The world says the country (Iraq) would be better off if we left Iraq. But they're wrong. You know what? The world we be better if we left."

That isn't what he meant to say but it's what he did say. Sometimes, his misspeak is quite telling.


Italian Women Hostages Executed

Two of the Italian women taken as hostages in Iraq earlier this month have now been executed, the evening news shows say. Supposedly, there's (yet another) video of this floating about on one of the Islamic Web sites.

Beheadings? No idea.

Horror Close to Home

Word today that a 20-year-old mother and a four-or-six month-old child were stabbed to death in my old town in Connecticut. Seven days ago, another woman was killed in the same town.

This in a tiny city, less than 30,000 people.

New Video Shows Brit Hostage Pleading for His Life

I just saw it and I'm devastated.

Can anyone blame this man? He's no doubt heard about or possibly even witnessed the beheading of his American housemates Armstrong and Hensley in Baghdad, and perhaps how the hostage Kurds had their heads sawed off

When is enough enough? We were wrong to go into Iraq. Everyone is paying the price now (Americans, Iraqis and especially those who try to help the Americans, coalition members, simple contractors and workers).

Third Hostage in Group May Be Beheaded

That's the news from Iraq, with the group holding him (which is purported to have already beheaded Americans Armstrong and Hensley from the same group in the past two days).

Now, there's something here that I'm going to say and which some may not like. Let me preface it by saying that no, I don't think it's normally wise to cut deals with terrorists. But lying about a situation is bad, too, when lives are at stake.

Here's the thing. This group says they're going ahead with the beheadings because the U.S. has not responded to requests to release all female prisoners from Abu Ghraib and other prisons. The U.S. says it only has two women in custody, both officers under Saddam and linked to bioweapons.

True? Don't think so. At least, not based on previous reports from Abu Ghraib and other facilities. Women have been imprisoned beyond these two. We've never heard that all these women were released. Women are not taken into custody with the same numbers as men, but I've read dozens of reports about women being picked up just in the last six months.

If I can pick up this lie, I suspect the Iraqis can. So I expect them to execute the third man, and perhaps pick up others and make the same demand.


Hensley Identified as Most Recent Beheaded Hostage

Contractor Jack Hensley, 48, of metro Atlanta, has been identified as the second hostage to be executed since yesterday by their captors, which the U.S. says is a group loyal to al Zarqawi.

If you watched TV yesterday, you no doubt saw his wife making appearances to ask for his safe return. The couple has a young son.

Feds to Airlines: Turn Over Your Passenger Information

As part of operation Secure Flight, the government has issued orders to airlines to turn over all passenger information, including name, address, flight specifics, credit card(s) used, and even what type of meal has been ordered.

It must be working, too. They picked up the former singer once known as Cat Stevens today because they found the man, now a Muslim convert, is on a terrorist watch list.

Gee, I haven't heard of Cat Stevens planning to blow anything up. Have you?

Bill Baroni, a Real Jersey "Class Act"

I'll let General JC Christian tell you about this jerk in his own special way:

Assemblyman Bill Baroni
New Jersey State Assembly

Dear Assemblyman Baroni,

Thank you for putting Gold Star Mother, Sue Niederer, in her place after she asked our First Lady when the First Daughters were going to Iraq. Your remark that "[s]he really ought to find something to do with her time" was right on the mark. I'm sure the First Family appreciated it.

We're all growing very tired of these parents of slain soldiers questioning our righteous crusade in Iraq. How dare they speak out against the war. Don't they realize that their children died in the defense of freedom? Don't these parents understand that it is irresponsible to use their freedom of speech to criticize our leaders in this way?

Sure, the death of Mrs. Niederer's son may seem pointless, but that does not excuse her for making the First Lady feel uncomfortable about her own children's lack of service. Doesn't Mrs. Niederer realize that someone has to stay home and party to provide our nation with a sense of normalcy in this horrific post-911 world?

Thank God we have courageous leaders like yourself to defend our First Family's honor in the face of these mourning mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children. It's easier to be resolute and unyielding in the face of defeat when you don't have to see those whose lives have been destroyed by your bold, decisive leadership. I'm sure the First Family is appreciative.

Heterosexually yours,

General JC Christian, patriot
Mr. Baroni is a crass, class-less, partisan politician of the worst type. He apparently is not suffering too much from this war, based on the careful attention paid to be sure his hair is free of gray, and does not appear to be missing many meals or much sleep.

CNN Says Second Hostage Execution Also a Beheading


Second Hostage Executed

Al Jazeera is reporting that a second hostage has been executed from the group from which contractor Eugene Armstrong was beheaded yesterday. Crap.

CIA Says Voice on Islamic Tapes Showing American Hostage Beheading is Likely al Zarqawi's

Here's the story.

My only issue with this - of course, aside from the sheer horror of decent people of any ethnic background being seized, tortured, and executed - is that we now have assigned al Zarqawi (sometimes spelled Zarqawe) the same bogeyman status we once gave to Osama. Everything that happens, we say it's Zarqawi.

It's probably no coincidence that a) Bush and the GOP try never to raise Osama's name b) seem to systematically "confuse" Saddam Hussein's name with Osama, substituting Saddam's name so they don't have to mention the still-free-Osama, and c) all guilt for any action is now assigned to al Zarqawi.

Oh yeah, and "we've killed" Zarqawi any number of times. They'll say they're pretty sure they got him with the last bombing (and we've bombed dozens of homes and buildings, and killed many civilians in "getting" him), only to turn around and either blame him for something new or announce they've killed him yet again.

However, from what I can tell, I may be the only one - besides the Iraqis - to notice this.

Kerry's Letterman Top 10 on Taxes Last Night

I missed this part. Reprinted from CNN which I assume got it from CBS and Letterman:

Kerry's "Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals" are:
    10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.
    9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.
    8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.
    7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.
    6. Attorney General (John) Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.
    5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.
    4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa (Heinz Kerry) to cover the whole damn thing.
    3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.
    2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."
    1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.

Working in Iraq

This is more of a personal note than anything else. It comes because some of the hostages taken in recent waves are people who went to Iraq seeking work they could not find back at home.

Like some of them, I've been in terrible financial straits recently (one publisher went bankrupt just as they issued me a check I found I could not cash, while others have been very slow to pay; example: after two months of working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, I've yet to see a penny). It's made me weigh the question of whether I would consider taking a higher-paying job in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan on the chance I could stay alive long enough to catch all my accounts up to date. I've actually looked at a number of positions posted online that were based in one of the war-ravaged countries.

It's a sad commentary on the U.S. economy for one. For another, I think most of us with a good sense of ethics get rather desperate to make sure our bills are paid and that extends to consideration of extremes like going into a war zone to work.

It also makes me think of the GIs, many of them choosing the military because there were not other decent job prospects where they came from. Sad news? A recent study shows that in 85-95% of cases, the military screws up their pay. Facing bullets on the job and a desperate family back home, these soldiers must try to find time to get the military to correct problems that may reduce or completely withhold their pay for weeks or months on end. Reservists and guardsmen, with a long history of being able to fulfill their duties on weekends and scheduled times, now find themselves plants in wars for months or years at a time, while their businesses collapse or their jobs evaporate back home.

The Bush Economy, you know.

Bush Masks Outselling Kerry Masks for Halloween

That's what CNN and AP report.

Understandable. Bush is both funnier (in a twisted way) and much scarier. When I was in college, "gay Hitler" and "Joan Crawford as Mommy Dearest" costumes were all the rage.

Is the Goat Named George By Any Chance?

From MSNBC alerts:

CAMDEN, N.J. - Documentarian and liberal rabble-rouser Michael Moore kicked off a 62-speech, pre-election tour Monday with a relatively subtle dig at President Bush.

He read “My Pet Goat” to an audience of more than 6,000. That was the children’s book Bush read to an elementary school class after he heard about the 9/11 attacks.
One can argue that Mr. Moore has the luxury of time to do such reading; on 9/11/01, I do not feel the president did.

Kerry on Letterman Tonight

For me, and considering I caught only the first 5 minutes or so, I found this the most effective sale of himself that Mr. Kerry has given. I like what he said about AIDS because 4 more years of ignorance (added onto all those Reagan-Bush 41 years) has resulted in a rise in AIDS cases throughout the world). We could see many parts of Africa nearly wiped out if this continues.

Sadly, however, there are those who think that's a great idea. Some of them, I bet, call themselves Christians.

And yes, AIDS kills far more people every year that even our War on Terror.


The Beheaded Hostage is Eugene Armstrong

One of the three taken from their Baghdad "home" on Thursday. Armstrong and another man taken are Americans, the third in this group a Brit.

MSNBC: Islamic Site Shows Video of American Beheaded

This is a new one, although it's unclear yet whether the American was one of those taken most recently. Boy, this goes from bad to worse to deeper, deeper shit in record time.

Three Iraqi Hostages Beheaded

Man. From AP:

Militants sawed off the heads of three hostages believed to be Iraqi Kurds in a grisly videotape that surfaced Sunday, hours after Iraq's prime minister said January elections would be held on schedule and asserted that American and Iraqi troops were winning the fight against an increasingly bold insurgency.

In another sign of continuing instability 17 months into the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, a suicide car bomb killed three people in Samarra — a northern city that U.S. and Iraqi commanders have portrayed as a success story in their attempts to put down the insurgency.

Over the past week, about 300 people have been killed in escalating violence, including bombings, street fighting and U.S. air strikes. Last week, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned there could not be "credible elections if the security conditions continue as they are now."
This is so, so bad, and Mr. Bush, never one to admit error, says things are going well.

I'm afraid the January elections will be a sham, too, every bit as much as the "American handover of power".

Iraqi PM Claims Terrorists are Streaming into His Country

I'm afraid I'm not inclined to simply assume this is true.

The Bush Administration told us this before (part of their, "let's corner 'emall there so we don't need to fight them in downtown Hoboken" initiative), and it turned out that Iraq was not seeing a huge influx of simple fighters - let alone terrorists - from other lands.

To the trained eye, Mr. Allawi is the U.S. I suspect many Iraqis feel this way, too. It's our mismanagement of things that has turned Iraq into a festering quagmire with mothers, grandmothers, and such suddenly now labeled insurgents simply because they're using their newly-found "freedom to speech" to say they don't like how things are going. And a lot of old men, women, and tiny children are dying with the bombs we drop on "insurgents".

Sunday Night/Monday Morning Cat Non-Blogging?

Er... I'd expected to post more tonight but it's like this. A tiny black kitten (maybe 6 weeks or so old) happened to wander into a friend's dog kennel while she was on vacation; her nice neighbor kept the poor little guy alive with meals for most of a week, but the weather here in Vermont is getting mighty cold.

So "Mabon" (think autumnal equinox) is now rearranging the living room. Tomorrow, we'll make prints of his picture and post it around to see if someone lost this sweet little guy. If not, I think he's adopted us.

Needless to say, none of my four chapters got finished tonight. Eek.

Hastert Needs a Dozen More Eclairs

Maybe that will restore sanity to his fat-besodden brain. From CNN:

At a campaign rally Saturday in his Illinois district with Vice President Dick Cheney, [Republican Speaker of the House Dennis] Hastert said al Qaeda "would like to influence this election" with an attack similar to the train bombings in Madrid days before the Spanish national election in March.

When a reporter asked Hastert if he thought al Qaeda would operate with more comfort if Kerry were elected, the speaker said, "That's my opinion, yes."
Thanks to men like Hastert and DeLay, Washington is far worse a place than it used to be. It's all pork, special interests, and partisanship. Vets can wither and die. We could lose all (poor) citizens under age 21 to this "War on Terror". We can watch the economy go through the septic tank.

None of it matters. The American people don't matter. All that Denny Hastert and company worry about is their next free meal, their next free ride, their corporate contributions, how many millions they'll leave office with (and Denny's certainly worth every bit of his $160K+ base pay since he was a wrestling coach before Congress) and keeping the prince in power. I presume, however, that any wrestling matches the tubby Mr. Hastert won involved sitting on his opponent.

Rural Areas Feel Neglected by Mr. Bush's Post-Hurricane Largesse (Our Money, His Benevolence)

Yeah? Vote for him again! Chant "four more years" in the darkness.

Also from CNN:

ATMORE, Alabama (AP) -- As President Bush viewed Hurricane Ivan wreckage on Alabama's coast Sunday, many in its rural hamlets felt they were without not just power and water, but also the government's attention.

"We're just forgotten," said Gordon Lightfoot, an Atmore businessman.

Lightfoot, 63, said President Bush, who toured the Alabama coast and the Florida panhandle Sunday, also should have viewed Escambia County's destruction. Lightfoot's home survived, but a tree fell on his car and "poor folks have a hard time getting around with no gas," he said.
I'd read this as presidential way of saying, "You're poor. You won't give me a contribution. I don't need your vote. Fuck you!"


Absentee Ballots

Folks, if you won't be around on November 2nd, be sure you request, receive and return an absentee ballot.

Time is getting slim!

Turkey Confirms 12 Hostages Taken in Iraq

Meanwhile, insurgents are threatening a host of hostages, including many Americans and some humanitarian workers too, with death. The Pentagon seems to be almost laughing it off (oy!) and Mr-in-touch-with-reality-Bush thinks things are going well.

Minorities Must Remember Election 2000; Should Vote

I debated long and hard before I did this, but here goes.

If you're black, brown, Latino/a, yellow, purple with white polka dots and yes, even a woman (I know we're not a statistical minority, but tell the fat old white men in Washington that), make sure you're registered, make sure you vote.

Maybe you're a different minority. For example, maybe you're the minority who has a decent paying job and still retains health benefits. VOTE because you've got friends and loved ones and neighbors who don't, who can't afford four more years.

Or maybe you're the minority who hasn't been affected by the drastic militarization and the backdoor draft. Before you join the majority there, get registered and vote!

We can't afford apathy. We can't afford to just hope things will improve. We need change. We need you. We need you to participate. We need you to vote!

Paid for by no one special except a person who is tired of watching men and women die for unjust causes, of watching public education die and vets' benefits with it.

Maureen Down on Sue Niederer and So-Called Security Moms

From her Sunday column in The Times:

Instead of a gold star, Sue Niederer, 55, of Hopewell, N.J., got handcuffed, arrested and charged with a crime for daring to challenge the Bush policy in Iraq, where her son, Army First Lt. Seth Dvorin, 24, died in February while attempting to disarm a bomb.

She came to a Laura Bush rally last week at a firehouse in Hamilton, N.J., wearing a T-shirt that blazed with her agony and anger: "President Bush You Killed My Son."

Mrs. Niederer tried to shout while the first lady was delivering her standard ode to her husband's efforts to fight terrorism. She wanted to know why the Bush twins weren't serving in Iraq "if it's such a justified war," as she put it afterward. The Record of Hackensack, N.J., reported that the mother of the dead soldier was boxed in by Bush supporters yelling "Four more years!" and wielding "Bush/Cheney" signs. Though she eventually left voluntarily, she was charged with trespassing while talking to reporters.

The moment was emblematic of how far the Bushies will go to squelch any voice that presents a view of Iraq that's different from the sunny party line, which they continue to dish out despite a torrent of alarming evidence to the contrary.

Aside from moms who are handcuffed at Bush events and the Jersey 9/11 moms who are supporting John Kerry after growing disillusioned with White House attempts to suppress the 9/11 investigation, the president is doing very well with women. The so-called security moms, who have replaced soccer moms as a desirable demographic, are now flocking to Mr. Bush over Mr. Kerry, believing he can better protect their kids from scary terrorists.

In the new Times poll, 48 percent of women supported the president, compared with Mr. Kerry's 43 percent - a reversal from July, when Mr. Kerry had the women's vote 52 to 40 percent. This is an ominous sign for the Democrat, who lost his gender gap advantage after his listless summer and the G.O.P.'s convention swagger.

How did the president who has caused so much insecurity in the world become the hero of security moms? He was, after all, in charge when Al Qaeda struck, and he was the one to send off Mrs. Niederer's son and other kids to die in a war sold on a false premise. And that conflict has, despite what Mr. Bush claims, spurred more acts of terror and been a recruiting bonanza for Osama bin Laden.