Hmmm.... Parts II and III

Here and here.

Would you believe the final Florida count just might show a different winner?


The Columbus Dispatch has investigated the matter and the director of the board of elections within the county admitted that Bush only received 365 votes. He stated that a "glitch" occurred in the electronic voting machine during the vote tally. This glitch could have given nearly 4,000 fake votes to George Bush if it had not discovered.

The Gahanna incident is just one confirmed mistake and was discovered by activists on the Internet. It was a fairly easy "glitch" to detect given the large discrepancy between the head count at the polling station and the votes for Bush. Given this voting error one must ask, how many more glitches occurred that only involved tens or hundreds of votes?

In Florida, exit polling data showed the opposite of the final results provided through the state. Even more surprising are the changes in votes per party that occurred on November 2nd. Counties using e-touch voting machines in Florida showed an average vote gain of 29% for Republicans and a 23.8% increase for Democrats. However the counties that used optical scan vote machines showed drastic differences. Republicans gained by 128.45% in counties using optical scan voting machines while Democrats had a -21% loss (yes, that is negative 21%). Some districts in Florida showed gains over 400% while one, Liberty County, gained over 700% for Republicans.

Did Kerry Win? Greg Palast Says Yes

Here and here.

I believe him. And nothing will be done about it, will it?

Well, I'm going on the record as saying that I'm looking for a way I can be put to good use in trying to determine whether another election was stolen. Note I said determine. I think it was, but I don't have evidence that proves it. I just know of a lot of uncounted votes... votes we haven't looked at yet.

I just can't believe we'll sit and let it happen twice, even as Bush tells us he feels he's got a mandate to destroy what remains of the country we love.

Our Best to Elizabeth Edwards

Let me join MissM and others who've dropped a note or otherwise spoken to me about Elizabeth Edwards' breast cancer diagnosis yesterday. Thankfully, Diebold probably won't be making the equipment used to treat her.

Fight the good fight, Elizabeth. Our best to your family, too. Thanks for putting the country first; now attend to yourself.

He'll Raze Fallujah....

From Maureen Dowd:

W. doesn't see division as a danger. He sees it as a wingman.

The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel.

W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."

The president says he's "humbled" and wants to reach out to the whole country. What humbug. The Bushes are always gracious until they don't get their way. If W. didn't reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed, why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a "broad, nationwide victory"?

While Mr. Bush was making his little speech about reaching out, Republicans said they had "the green light" to pursue their conservative agenda, like drilling in Alaska's wilderness and rewriting the tax code.

"He'll be a lot more aggressive in Iraq now," one Bush insider predicts. "He'll raze Falluja if he has to. He feels that the election results endorsed his version of the war." Never mind that the more insurgents American troops kill, the more they create.

Just listen to Dick (Oh, lordy, is this cuckoo clock still vice president?) Cheney, introducing the Man for his victory speech: "This has been a consequential presidency which has revitalized our economy and reasserted a confident American role in the world." Well, it has revitalized the Halliburton segment of the economy, anyhow. And "confident" is not the first word that comes to mind for the foreign policy of a country that has alienated everyone except Fiji.

Condi as Secretary of State?

God help us, everyone.


Sound Familiar

How many of these sound like our president's policies?
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
5. Rampant sexism.
6. A controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
9. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.

According to this site, these are all symptoms of encroaching fascism. Sadly, they sound very much like they fit life in Bush's America.

Arlen Squeaks

He's expected to take over chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Orrin Hatch gets booted (well, there are some things left to enjoy anyway) and he told Bush today that he wasn't going to take kindly to a series of bogus extremist SCOTUS nominees.

The GOP and Bushies are responding by telling Arlen how they'll tell him to run things. After all, it's Georgie's world and the rest of us are just window dressing and amusement.

Healthy Cynicism or "May We Have a Do Over, Please?"

CNN is asking if we're optimistic about Mr. Bush's second term. With more than 200,000 respondents, about 60% aren't.

Don't think it was that, "I earned the right to have everything my way; I'll let you breathe if you support me, but I'll crush ya like a bug if you don't" victory speech today, do you? I had an associate - a woman who admitted just before the election that her husband had pretty much convinced her they both had to vote for Bush because it sent back signals in a war - send a note today, saying:

I happened to catch his remarks just before lunch and it was like an air raid siren went off in my head. What was I thinking? Why did I vote Bush when I knew better?!?!

I'm not alone either. I confessed this when our usual work group got together at lunch and almost every woman at the table (but the new gal who has a Kerry sticker) said just about the same thing, that we all felt like we'd maybe made the worst mistake we could. One says her husband's had second thoughts since before they left the parking lot after voting. Of the guys at the table, one agreed, one said it's too soon to tell (but didn't argue it either), and the other got up and left without answering.

I wonder how many of us have buyer's remorse now?
This has to be worse than how the Nader people felt in 2000 but we all get screwed.

The Day the Enlightenment Went Out

The Times has an excellent op/ed piece by Garry Wills that better says what I was trying to express in the previous post:

The secular states of modern Europe do not understand the fundamentalism of the American electorate. It is not what they had experienced from this country in the past. In fact, we now resemble those nations less than we do our putative enemies.

Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein's Sunni loyalists. Americans wonder that the rest of the world thinks us so dangerous, so single-minded, so impervious to international appeals. They fear jihad, no matter whose zeal is being expressed.

It is often observed that enemies come to resemble each other. We torture the torturers, we call our God better than theirs - as one American general put it, in words that the president has not repudiated.

President Bush promised in 2000 that he would lead a humble country, be a uniter not a divider, that he would make conservatism compassionate. He did not need to make such false promises this time. He was re-elected precisely by being a divider, pitting the reddest aspects of the red states against the blue nearly half of the nation. In this, he is very far from Ronald Reagan, who was amiably and ecumenically pious. He could address more secular audiences, here and abroad, with real respect.

In his victory speech yesterday, President Bush indicated that he would "reach out to the whole nation," including those who voted for John Kerry. But even if he wanted to be more conciliatory now, the constituency to which he owes his victory is not a yielding one. He must give them what they want on things like judicial appointments. His helpers are also his keepers.

The moral zealots will, I predict, give some cause for dismay even to nonfundamentalist Republicans. Jihads are scary things. It is not too early to start yearning back toward the Enlightenment.

Fundamentalism and Zealotry

This election wasn't a vote for or against Bush in the eyes of many. The people - and the rigged voting machines - that helped him get a slim victory (sorry, 3 million is just 1% of the entire U.S. residential population and isn't the broad victory even the media calls it) - turned out because they hate and fear, and even returning a man who will take their children, empty their wallets, and render a mess everything we value is better than them having to come face to face with what they hate and fear.

This is a terrible irony, folks, because we constantly point at Muslim fundamentalists and demonize them just as the Muslims point to Zionists of the Jewish faith for their damage and destruction. It's so dangerous and hate-filled, we say. We say, including people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and John Ashcroft. Yet here, we're all supposed to become Christian fundamentalists if we want to have a say in how the U.S. is run.

Blind faith of any type is a very evil thing. It's usually born out of desperation and usually demanded by people who feel they cannot control their lives and their world any other way.

I believe in God and I value that greatly. But God lets us know that He/She/the power is beyond the scope of how we do business and politics. My God doesn't ask me to condemn Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and atheists because they don't believe what I do.

God gave us all minds and free will, yet about 57 million people went to the polls on Tuesday and said that their will must reign and they are not partial to situations where the facts don't fit their faith. They've largely decided Christian zealotry is far superior to what those heathens practice. Or they couldn't be bothered to think at all so they just went with the crowd.

And you know what? Christian fundamentalism as practiced here perhaps far more dangerous than any other type, because we use it to club not only ourselves but the rest of the world. Look at Tom DeLay, that great Godly man. He's not content to just screw up Sugarland, Texas - no, he's got to spread his brand of mindless rot to the entire rest of the world.

Screw anyone who tells you that you have to join the fundamentalism rhetoric to change the results next election. Evolution happens by natural course; what they practice is anything but normal.

Do we have to understand them and learn to work around them? Hell, yes. But we don't have to slither on our bellies to do so. Let's get back to evolving, rather than devolving, shall we?

The World Grieves Our Bad Choice

Steve Gilliard sums it up. Excerpt here, but I encourage you to read the whole thing.

The Guardian and European Press are mortified by Bush's win. But they miss what happened. Americans didn't ratify Bush's foriegn policy, the war is still unpopular. They voted on values issues, something which is distrubing to Democrats and horrifying to everyone else. Which is to say, they gave vent to their economic frustrations by bashing gay marriage.

That became the symbol of their increasingly frustrating lives. You can't get a raise, you're in debt up to your ass, you never see your kids. So who do you blame? The market, which you had always been told is good? Or the people you pastor says to blame, the homosexual mocking marriage? People take the easy way out until they have to face hard choices. We are not there in Iraq, yet.

Americans are incurably optimistic about economics. They think they're all going to be rich. So they act accordingly. Many think the top one percent of Americans are around $200,000 a year. They strive to be rich, as if that would solve their problems. Frightened people do strange things. Which is ignore a war likely to suck their children in over the abstract of gay marriage. Something which may never touch their lives.

My Hope for the Palestinians

Conflicting words now say Arafat is clinically dead, in a coma, or may have already passed.

Unlike some, I came to respect Arafat who I feel did evolve somewhat from the old warrior to a man concerned with history, with the legacy he would one day leave behind for his people, and with peace. Sadly, while I have felt this about some Israeli leaders, too, Sharon is not one of them.

I am glad for the world and for Arafat himself that he did change. But I also have strong hope that Mr. Arafat's replacement will help lead the Palestinians to better things. Palestinians deserve so much more than they have been given, and it's this shortage that has helped fuel the hatred and violence. But it's not just one way. Israel must change, too, and somehow, these two people - both bound by as much as that which separates them - must find their ways together.

And perhaps there's a bit of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in what we're seeing now with the far right and the rest of the country. Creating greater and greater imbalances, as the president himself and his followers are wont to do, will not help us.

Curious George

So he's scheduled another speech for now, in which he intends to address important things like moral values.

Wow. I'm trying to remember when I needed help on my moral values from a man who has failed every business he's run yet been rewarded outrageously well, a man who may be drinking again according to long-time Washington talk before the election, whose known to take antidepressants (a real bad mix with alcohol) and whose raised two fairly amoral daughters who didn't have to work a bit as hard as I did to go to school during the Reagan put-the-poor-in-their-place acts.

He should worry about the economy, Iraq, and the fraud of the vote.

Curious George

So he's scheduled another speech for now, in which he intends to address important things like moral values.

Wow. I'm trying to remember when I needed help on my moral values from a man who has failed every business he's run yet been rewarded outrageously well, a man who may be drinking again according to long-time Washington talk before the election, whose known to take antidepressants (a real bad mix with alcohol) and whose raised two fairly amoral daughters who didn't have to work a bit as hard as I did to go to school during the Reagan put-the-poor-in-their-place acts.

He should worry about the economy, Iraq, and the fraud of the vote.

Not to Add to Conspiracy Theory

But I wandered over to Black Box Voting. Argh. Look around. Just what we were warned about.


Damn it

On this, sadly, he's right. From James Wolcott:

The election was a victory for George Bush and Rovianism, a victory for Grover Norquist. It was also a victory for Osama Bin Laden. I don't believe for a moment Bin Laden was trying to sway voters to Kerry with his taped address. This was the outcome he wanted, a gift from us to him: an unapologetic Christian Crusader in the White House whose reelection giving lie to the notion that Abu Ghraib was an aberration and that the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians weigh upon America's conscience. This morning America could not look more like a grinning aggressor to the Arab world, an aggressor with fresh marching orders.

Finally! Someone Else Shares My Concern

Alexander at Daily Kos:

What is puzzling everyone at the moment is the discrepancy between the exit polls and the votes that are being reported. The way the pundits are framing this issue is: what went wrong with the exit polls?
But what reasons do we actually have for thinking the exit polls were wrong? Previously, exit polls have reflected fairly closely the finally recorded vote. (On MSNBC, I heard Matthews suggesting that Republicans not liking to talk to pollsters explained the discrepancy: that's a new one to me.)

The technology of exit polling has not changed. There has been a change in voting technology, however -- namely, electronic voting machines. Neither electronic voting machines nor exit polls leave a paper trail. (Actually, exit polls do leave a paper trail, but it has no legal import.) So why should we believe electronic voting machines more than exit polls?

Kos on Retaking the Language of Values

I agree almost 100%:

It wasn't the war or the economy that killed us. It was the notion of "values".
Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, yet Kerry was bad because he had "Massachusetts values" or other such nonesense.

We need to retake the language. We need to reframe the notion of "value".

That's why Obama's speech below is so brilliant. He speaks of God in a way that not just fails to offend this atheist, but inspires me. It's faith used for the purpose of living a good life, rather than faith wielded as a weapon against a whole class of people.

The wedges: gays, abortion, and guns.

Democrats have abandoned guns as an issue, and over the next three or four cycles it will prove an increasingly ineffective wedge. The NRA won. Good for them.

That leaves the two "faith based" wedges -- gays and abortion. And with great skill, the Republicans have equated those two issues with the word "value".

That's going to have to change.
We need to redefine the language and retake the debate. It's far preferable to joining the earth-is-flatters and the my-wommins-sposed-to-be-my-punchin-bag and the gays-make-good-target-practice types. I refuse to do that. So do you.

Oh, and About Bush's Comments About Building Up the Coalition of the Willing Today?

Hungary announced today it's withdrawing from the coalition.

Even Tony Blair seems to have taken Bush's re-election with gritted Brit teeth.

Mandate Indeed

I was going to drop a note about this, but Josh Marshall already said it and well:

there's this from his comments today: "We've worked hard and gained many new friends, and the result is now clear -- a record voter turnout and a broad, nationwide victory."

This is the touchstone and the sign. A 'broad, nationwide victory'? He must be kidding. Our system is majority rule. And 51% is a win. But he's claiming a mandate.

"A broad, nationwide victory"?

It would almost be comical if it weren't for the seriousness of what it portends. This election cut the nation in two. A single percentage point over 50% is not broad. A victory that carried no states in the Northeast, close to none in the Industrial midwest is not nationwide, and none on the west coast is not nationwide.

And yet he plans to use this narrow victory as though it were a broad mandate, starting right back with the same strategy that has already come near to tearing this country apart.
Cheney called it a mandate; Bush called it a broad nationwide victory. That close to 50% of the American people voted very different matters nothing to them. As Matt Walsh from US News and World Report on MSNBC just said, the president feels vindicated and now feels more latitude to proceed along the same path he has.

In a phrase, Oh my God. Not his God.

On a Personal Note...

(I've been struggling to find any pleasant news and I just found some.)

Happy birthday, Miss M (Hally blabbed). May your birthday and coming year offer far more promise than the events of today seem to suggest.

Kerry Concedes

It's hard to know what to say right now.

We face another four years with no balance in government, with the far right making choices for everyone, and I think there are some strong questions about the fairness of this election and its results (example: how did Florida get declared for Bush with a million uncounted votes)?

But Kerry just rolled. I'm not sure he had a choice, but I thought he would mount a better response.

They're Now Projecting Bush Will Win

Kerry would have to win ALL other states in play, and then it only takes him to 269 so the House would decide and they'd hand it to Bush. The epilogues have already started.


Please, Go Vote

If you haven't done so already, please join your friends and neighbors at the polls to vote.

People have struggled long and hard to make sure we can vote, and a lot of them struggled to get there today. But they did it.

You should, too.

And Now the Wait Truly Begins

Just returned from voting. Was amazed that there were at least 5-7 different presidential candidates listed and sad to see many state and more local spots that were entirely non-contested (that's not always a bad situation but ...).

I voted a mix of Dems, GOP (yes, really - party affiliation means little to me and I knew at least two excellent GOP candidates running at the state or local level who have earned my respect), Greenies, Progressives, and at least one of our more oddball Vermont-only parties. Patrick Leahy, our long-time Democratic senator, and Bernie Sanders, our sole U.S. House Rep (Independent) deserved my vote and received them. After reading and researching, I ended up taking former Governor Howard Dean's recommendation to vote for Peter Clavelle (D) for governor; Jim Douglas (R) has not been as bad as I expected but he's been quite horrible as governor, spending much of his time running around outside VT for Bush at a time when even Republicans here no longer support Bush.

Was delighted to hear turnout was high (not surprising here, where our annual town meetings are standing room-only events, where kids are included to impress early on the value of civic participation) and even learned our little burg actually had lines of people waiting for short periods (Woodbury where I live is tiny).

And I was never more happy to see those huge paper ballots and know that my neighbors will carefully hand count each after 7 PM. In fact, in Vermont, about 5 in every 6 towns still count by hand. No voter challengers, just lots of nice people doing the right thing in a participatory democracy.

I love my adopted state.

What Wolcott Says

I'm in agreement here:

My plan is, If Bush wins, I'm going to allot myself 48 hours to mope and dread--okay, 72--okay, maybe 96--but 96 tops--but after that it'll be time to get on mental war footing. If Kerry wins, do you think conservative Republicans are going to take to their beds for soul-searching? They have no souls to search, most of them. No, they'll be scheming to ratfuck a Kerry presidency, and if history is a reliable guide they'll have allies in the elite media who can't wait to start snarking over Teresa as First Lady and the timidity of Kerry's cabinet picks, whatever. Reporters and pundits who've paid scant attention to the casualties and carnage in Iraq will suddenly find their consciences tucked away in a file drawer, and start wondering when Kerry will show the strength and resolve we expect from our leaders. They will hound him about Bin Laden in ways they never did Bush.


Right now, I have none, regardless of how many people - Dems, GOP, and Indies - have said it will be a Kerry landslide and no matter how frequently I thought I heard true fearful bravado in the voice of Bushies like Don Evans and others.

It's a knuckle-biter, folks.

Go vote.

Faith in America

Today from Paul Krugman:

Florida's early polling was designed to make voting easier, but enormous voter turnout swamped the limited number of early polling sites. Over the weekend, people in some polling places had to stand in line for four, five, even six hours, often in the hot sun. Some of them - African-Americans in particular - surely suspected that those lines were so long because officials wanted to make it hard for them to vote. Yet they refused to be discouraged or intimidated.

Here's what a correspondent from Florida wrote to Joshua Marshall, of talkingpointsmemo.com: "To see people coming out - elderly, disabled, blind, poor; people who have to hitch rides, take buses, etc. - and then staying in line for hours and hours and hours ... Well, it's humbling. And it's awesome. And it's kind of beautiful."

Yes, it is. I always get a little choked up when I go to the local school to cast my vote. The humbleness of the surroundings only emphasizes the majesty of the process: this is democracy, America's great gift to the world, in action.

But over the last few days I've been seeing pictures from Florida that are even more majestic. They show long lines of voters, snaking through buildings and on down the sidewalk: citizens patiently waiting to do their civic duty. Those people still believe in American democracy; and because they do, so do I.

A Failed Presidency

Indeed. From the Los Angeles Times:

If elections were solely a job performance review, President George W. Bush would lose in a landslide. He has been a reckless steward of the nation's finances and its environment, a divisive figure at home and abroad. It's fair to say that Bush has devalued the American brand in the global marketplace.

What keeps this a close race is voter discomfort with Sen. John F. Kerry and the success of Republicans in stoking concerns about Kerry's fitness for office. But the thrust of the Bush campaign message — essentially, you are stuck with me in this frightful time because the other guy is too unreliable — is a tacit acknowledgment that he can't allow the election to be a referendum on his record.

Bush says John Kerry is ill suited to lead American troops and allies in Iraq, given the senator's doubts about the wisdom of going to war there in the first place. The president's strongest moments during the debates came when he pressed this line of attack — that you can't succeed in a mission you don't believe in. Kerry missed a golden opportunity to turn such reasoning to his advantage, for if there is an overarching theme to the Bush failure as president, it's his inherent disdain for the role of the federal government and for the very act of governing. The mission of the presidency is not one Bush believes in. Though he may see himself as the man chosen by a higher authority to protect the nation, Bush spends a lot of time bashing Washington and, by extension, the government he leads.

Dubya? You're Fired

At 11 PM Tuesday night, let's begin to shout, "You're fired!" toward Washington to join the millions of voters who will tell him during the day.

I feel a win for the country, and another middle finger being raised by Dubya. That's OK. He's been flipping us the bird for 4+ years.

Yes, I predict John Kerry will be our 44th president and that we'll know it by Wednesday simply because the GOP will face numbers they can't trick their way out of (and shame on 'em for trying).

Voter Turnout

Regardless of which candidates win or lose today, the American process wins if we have record turnout and any attempts at voter fraud and vicious voter challenges are staunched.

If you or someone you see is kept from voting, call 1-866-MYVOTE1.

If you are in a desperate situation where you need legal assistance regarding the vote process, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Be prepared.


A Shitload of Qaqaa

MSNBC is reporting that the much-ballyhooed 377 tons of deadly material missing from al Qaqaa may be just part of an estimated 250,000 tons of crap Bush's war failed to secure.

The president keeps telling us, "Well, we got 400 tons accounted for, so what's the biggie?"

Mr. Bush, what of the other 249,600 tons? Are those being used to kill ours and other coalition soldiers? To poison and kill Iraqis? To wage new jihads?

The buck stops with Bush. Boot him tomorrow.

Farewell Deepak Midha

I was greeted this morning by the sad news that a gentleman I used to work with has died; felled by an aneurysm right after casting his early presidential vote.

While we had been out of touch for several years and had some personal disagreements, the news saddened me and it seemed particularly ironic to hear that Deepak, a man who had worked hard to become an American citizen after coming here from England to work, had died right after voting. To him, the ability to vote in his chosen land mattered greatly.

But the news also came during a low moment this morning when, after listening to the news, and the incredible amount of spin guaranteed to make sure no one asks our current president any tough questions or hold him accountable, I had a moment's doubt about bothering to go to the polls myself. I have no doubt that Mr. Kerry will receive all the (1?) electoral votes from our state where even Republicans supporting the incumbent GOP governor Jim Douglas are NOT advertising their support of Mr. Bush. I have seen just ONE Bush ad locally in the last six months (in an area that is not entirely Democratic or Independent country, by far).

Then came the news of Deepak whose last official act was to cast a ballot for the next president. So blue as I may be, and probably regardless of the news about Deepak, I'll trudge out to the polls tomorrow, pick up my huge Australian paper ballot (how we vote here in the hinterlands), and vote. Then I'll join almost everyone else in sweating out the results.


Bush's "Gift"

John at AmericaBlog offers a bit more about the comments by Bush operatives that Osama's tape is a "gift" to this president to help re-elect him:

The Bush campaign has called it a "good" thing that Osama bin Laden is still alive and kicking and threatening to make American blood fill the streets our our country, according to a story in today's NY Daily News. And a senior GOP strategist has called Osama's reappearance and threats to kill thousands more Americans "a little gift."

This election is over, folks.

George Bush's campaign thinks Osama being alive and threatening to kill even more Americans is "good." A top GOP strategist thinks Osama planning to launch an even-bigger-September-11 is "a little gift." I'm glad the 3,000 who died on September 11 were able to give this good gift to the Bush campaign, after all, without their deaths Bush wouldn't have this good gift to enjoy only 3 days before the election.

How serious a matter is this? Imagine if John Kerry's people had called Osama plotting to kill thousands of Americans "good"? Imagine if a top Democratic strategist had called Osama bin Laden "a little gift"?

More Qaqaa Hits the Fan

While the president is celebrating our loss of nearly 400 tons of extremely bad shit, here's word that this is only the start of what's floating around uncontrolled thanks to the White House-Pentagon's excellent Iraqi adventure:

From the deserts of the south and west to the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq is awash in weapons sites — some large, others small; some guarded, others not. Even after the U.S. military secured some 400,000 tons of munitions, as many as 250,000 tons remain unaccounted for.

Attention has focused on the al-Qaqaa site south of Baghdad, where 377 tons of explosives are believed to have gone missing — becoming a heated issue in the final days of the U.S. presidential campaign. But with the names of other sites popping up everywhere — al-Mahaweel, Baqouba, Ukhaider, Qaim — experts say the al-Qaqaa stash is only a tiny fraction of what's buried in the sands of Iraq.

"America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani So Desperate for Bush Win and the Spotlight, He Blames U.S Troops

This from CBS News and the American Prospect:

Wednesday on the campaign trail, responding for the first time to the Al-Qaqaa story, President Bush said that John Kerry, in using the story as he has, was "denigrating the actions of our troops and commanders in the field." It's an old tactic: Charge the liberal with not supporting the troops.

So who went on the Today show Thursday to blame the troops? Not Ted Kennedy. Rudy Giuliani, speaking thus: "No matter how you try to blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?"

It's entirely possible that Giuliani was intentionally undercutting Bush. Do not underestimate his potential to do so. The truest and smartest zinger of the Giuliani years in New York was delivered by Al Sharpton in 1997. At the time, Giuliani's aides were floating to reporters the idea that the mayor would make great vice-presidential material. A reporter asked Sharpton about this, and his imperishable reply was that anyone who took on Giuliani as vice president had "better hire a food-taster." It's entirely possible that, to stop the Bush juggernaut that might logically lead to a Jeb nomination in 2008 if George W. wins this time, Giuliani went intentionally off message.

Or it's possible -- probable, actually -- that Giuliani was on message, dispatched by the campaign to plant a thought seed in the public mind that it would be imprudent for Bush and Dick Cheney to suggest themselves.

But whatever Giuliani's motivation, the juxtaposition of the two quotes tells us a lot about just how dramatically the Times story has rattled the campaign and about what depths the Republicans will descend to warp the debate and smear their opponent. Over here you have Bush, accusing Kerry of blaming the troops, which is an obvious lie because Kerry never did any such thing. And over there you have one of the campaign's chief surrogates doing what? Blaming the troops! And because I mentioned Kennedy: Just imagine the howling on the right if he had made that remark!

"How dare you not skew everything toward the president?"

I'm watching Chris Matthews on a special pre-election Sunday program in which Craig Crawford is calling the polls a statistical deadheat, while Andrea Mitchell (Mrs. Alan Greenspan - and Kerry's rumored to be considering ousting Greenspan's butt which hardly makes Ms. Mitchell neutral) and Matthews keep insisting that when Kerry and Bush both have 47 or 48% in the polls, it's a win for Bush. Huh?

They're saying Osama's tape was a big favor for Bush, citing how Bush's people all came out on Saturday to announce Osama gave Bush a gift in giving that new tape. Again, huh? That tape showed us he's alive, well, perhaps smarter than our current prez, and doesn't seem all that much deterred by our efforts.

If Osama blows up Kentucky on election day, will this also be a gift to Bush? Does anything in the world matter except that Mr. Bush gets re-selected?

Well, the Redskins Lost

Let's just hope that history repeats itself. Cough.

Will Redskins Game Today Tell Us Who Wins/Loses Tuesday

From Keith Olbermann's blog (and MSNBC show, Countdown) comes the math details that Redskin win-losses in an election year point to who wins office. Of course, this is absolute right until it's wrong like the Weekly Reader poll and a host of others.

And as logical fallacies go, we are privileged to have a doozy, one that seems to have correctly predicted the last seventeen Presidential Elections.

Terror? The economy? The incumbent’s final rating in the Gallup poll? Turnout in Ohio?


It’s the Washington Redskins.

The football team with the politically incorrect name has been anything but incorrect in presaging which party will win the White House. The franchise began its life in Boston in 1932, when George Preston Marshall bought a dormant team that had gone belly-up in Newark. Originally named after the baseball team in town— the Braves— they were re-christened the Redskins in 1933, and thus it would not be until November 1st, 1936, that the ‘Skins played their first game during an election season.

In their last game home before the vote, the Boston Redskins beat the Chicago Cardinals 13 to 10. And two days later, Franklin Roosevelt was reelected president. By the time FDR ran again in 1940, Marshall had moved the Redskins to Griffith Stadium in Washington. And, again, in their last home game before that election, the Redskins beat Pittsburgh 37-10, and Roosevelt was returned to office.

On November 5th, 1944, it was Cleveland at Washington. Redskins won 14-10. Two days later, Roosevelt was re-re-reelected. And four years later, they repeated the trick, preceding Harry Truman’s unexpected holding of the White House for the Democrats. The Redskins were now 4-0 in their “election day games”— and so were the Democrats.

Scarecrows for Bush 2004

"The more we fail you, the greater you should believe in us..."

From Maureen Dowd:

The Bushies' campaign pitch follows their usual backward logic: Because we have failed to make you safe, you should re-elect us to make you safer. Because we haven't caught Osama in three years, you need us to catch Osama in the next four years. Because we didn't bother to secure explosives in Iraq, you can count on us to make sure those explosives aren't used against you.

Add 9 More Marines to Bush's Mission Accomplished Tally

Story here. Plus we can only imagine what kinds of fatalities may be seen - soldier and citizen - if they begin full scale attacks against Fallujah (which they've done unsuccessfully before).

Send the Evil Spell Doers Packing

Do you want more screw-up, no account Condis, Rummys, Tommys, Colins, and Johnnies?

Only One Day Left for an October Surprise

Unless you count Jenna staying sober through most of a 20-minute campaign appearance the October surprise.

The Cemeteries Are Full

Nearly 3,000 on 9/11

Tens of thousands in Afghanistan

Almost 1100 U.S. soldiers

Maybe 100,000 or more Iraqis

Hundreds of contractors, aid workers, journalists, U.S. intelligence agents

Nothing But Decay (and DeLay) Wherever You Look

What an Evil Web He's Weaved

I'm No Bookie But....

If you asked me for a prediction for Tuesday, I'm inclined toward the following (at least, right now):

    * Kerry will win the popular vote
    * Bush will end up claiming victory
    * We'll find out later that even more clearly than 2000, the other candidate really won (popular and electoral) but that Bush and company tactics will give them the WH again
    * The voter fraud level - mostly by operatives - will be record in its scope
    * We'll let them get away with it; we'll be even more impatient than in 2000 for resolution and we'll let democracy be stolen to get it
Please. Prove me wrong.

Beware! Don't Let Black Cats or White Bushes Cross Your Path

John McCain

Find a friend to see the Robert Schmiegel cartoon from tonight's Saturday Night Live if you can. It may be one of his best: a searing look at John McCain's about-face in supporting George Bush after the way Bush and Company treated him, saying words you know McCain did not mean.

I keep wondering what's in it for McCain, unless he figures that's the only way he can stay viable. Cross the Bushies in any way at any time, and the whole machine turns against you, regardless of your political affiliation. Ask the fellow who was bribed then threatened to get his yea vote on Medicare before congress. Ask Arlen Spector. Ask Chafee of Rhode Island and Collins of Maine. And those are the Republicans.

As Karl Rove is wont to say, "I'll fuck 'em like they've never been fucked before."