Friday, October 22, 2004

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

We're rollin' these doggie on over the Wordherders! So come on over for a visit on the new site- and check out the neighbors!

Teach your children well. Please.

Amygdala points out that there is precious little discussion about the situation in Darfur, and including virtually no mention of Nicholas Kristof's piece on the situation in Wednesday's NYTimes. (Guilty) It's a short but brutal piece. As Gary Farber points out: Never again!, Indeed.

Possibly even more depressing than the article itself is the window into the minds of America's youth that Kristof posts. More depressing because there is far more in these 'letters' than was probably intended, including, perhaps, an explanation of why nothing ever gets done when actual atrocities are being committed. Kristof posts:

A high school class in Indianapolis was given the assignment of giving President Bush’s response to my columns, asking him why he isn’t doing more on Darfur. Here’s a sampling of the responses – which don’t indicate much sympathy for Darfur:

    As the President of the United States, I have been very busy dealing with the war. I have not had time to think about what has been going on over there. It is not as important as what is going on in the U.S.
    We have our own problems and don’t have to worry about everyone else’s problems. I don’t want to hear any more about this topic.
    Do these monsters need to attack the U.S. before we help? I think we should stand up for the weak and save them from these terrors.
    If the Sudan conflict gets more threatening, let our European allies deal with it. At this time, the U.S. does not have the time or resources, due to Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Before you start to criticize the president, think about what’s going on here, instead of out there.
    I, George Bush, have more things to worry about than some stupid little rebellion over in Sudan.
I’m afraid that these students reflect a much broader sentiment in the U.S., and that fundamentally is why we’re not doing more about the genocide.

We're glad to see that one in the middle- a conscience, by God, out there in the wilds of Indiana!- but this listing reminded us of the Sesame Street bit where you had to pick which one of a group "doesn't belong here." We would like to believe that the last one is some sort of nascent, high schooler political satire, but we fear it is not. It made us cry. Literally.

As we've mentioned in previous postings, Oxfam International is doing work in Chad with the refugees, as is Medecins sans frontiers and Care International. They could all use some financial support. You can also write to your senator, congressman or to the White House.

Alternatively, you could try raising your children better. But that's a longer term project. No worries, though, we suspect that the Sudan's problems are long term as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Mandate of Heaven Reads: Emporer Naked

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Begonia*

For reasons beyond our ken John Kerry decided today that he would take an afternoon off from campaigning and saving his aides from certain peril and from tripping on the stairs (we note that no one had enough love for Karl Rove to extend him the same courtesy) to control the local geese population. You'll note, however, from the location he chose for this little jaunt into nature that he seems not to have forgotten Poland after all.

The administration was not long in sending out their own nature lover and killer of water fowl to show the disingenuousness of the Kerry Call of the Wild. The Veep derrided the hunting trip while at a campaign rally in Sylvania, Ohio. Yes, he noted that Kerry wore a new camouflage jacket, having not brought his old one on the campaign trail. Well, we sure think the Veep has a point there: what the hell kind of real fan, er, sportsman buys a brand new hat, er, jacket when he's going to a game, er, on a hunt. The kind looking for a photo-op with Mayor Twin Towers, er, a dead goose, that's who! Perhaps the Veep just knows that it ain't a real hunting trip unless you take along a Supreme Court Justice whose about to hear a case against you. That's how real men hunt foul, er, fowl: recused in a duck blind with your favorite judge.

Speaking of The Sultan of Scare, the Veep went on the Sean Hannity show where he said of his boss: "But he's great about allowing me to sort of stick my oar in wherever I think I can be helpful. Sometimes he asks me to take on specific problems and go solve them for him. And I'm delighted to do all that." We hope that Jon Stewart was watching: because this is what being a "butt boy" really looks like. Before sticking his oar anywhere, however, Hannity gave the Veep the opportunity to refute claims that the GOP is trying to disenfranchise black voters. Cheney answered "It's just fundamentally untrue. It's another one of those lies, distortions. I've tried hard not to use that that word. A clear misrepresentation. Just an out and out effort to scare people." Huh. That's funny. There's those Florida 'felon' rolls, which are mostly black voters. And there is the issue of a GOP official saying the Detroit vote had to be suppressed for a win in Michigan (as opposed to suppressing, say, the predominately white western Michigan vote). And then the shenanigans in Philadelphia in which the GOP attempted to have 63 polling stations in predominately black neighborhoods moved at the last minute. While the Veep is making denials, his own party members on the ground seem to disagree:

"Race played a role in at least five of the requests, according to Matt Robb, the Republican leader of the 48th ward in South Philadelphia. Robb said he allowed his name to be used because those polling places are in neighborhoods he doesn't wish to visit. "It's predominantly, 100 percent black," said Robb, who is white. "I'm just not going in there to get a knife in my back."
Yeah, that is a Philadelphia Republican leader saying he wants to move the polling station out of a black neighborhood to save him and all the other white voters from being killed by those murderous dark skinned people. But race isn't an issue, right Dick?

Schadenfreude is bad for the soul. Still. Today's schadenfreude moment is brought to you by Bill O'Reilly from his new book for kids. "And guys, if you exploit a girl, it will come back to get you. That’s called “karma.” Yeah, Bill, that is just the dictionary definition of karma. Thankfully "falafel" doesn't appear in the index.

Coming hard upon Ron Suskind's really frigging scary article about the Bush administration's rejection of empirically tested reality, Bush ally and 700 club wingnut Pat Robertson felt it necessary to clear the air by confirming that Dubya does, in fact, live in a fantasy world. Robertson told an interviewer on CNN that just before the Iraq invasion he felt compelled to warn Bush that the conflict was going to be messy. (Robertson says God told him so. Uh, yeah. Well common sense told us. We kinda think that medication might help with the voices, but whatever). Bush's answer? "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties. First of all, anyone out there who said Bush didn't "mean" it when he said, post-9/11, that the war on terror was a "crusade" will kindly go eat their own shoe. Next up, one wonders how he reconciles that pre-invasion MASH note from The Big Guy with the mounting casualties that just keep happening in the real world.

But what the hell do we know? We're part of the "reality-based community." Apparently we should just sit back and listen to the White House Chia Pet, Scott McClellan when he tells us "Of course the president never made such a comment." Of course. Because the PoTUS has such a long history of having any clue about what the hell is going on outside of the bubble.

What gives us extra willies is that despite Robertson saying he "wished Mr. Bush would acknowledge his mistake," he continued to say about Bush: "I think God's blessing him, and I think it's one of those things that, even if he stumbles and messes up — and he's had his share of goofs and gaffes — I just think God's blessing is on him," Robertson said. "And you remember, I think the Chinese used to say, you know, it's the blessing of heaven on the emperor. And I think the blessing of heaven is on Bush. It's just the way it is."

Yes, Pat Robertson thinks Dubya has the mandate of heaven. Check it out Pat, you're right that China's emperors used to claim to have the mandate of heaven. But look where it got them: commiepinkoland. So cut that shit out, okay?

In a completely unsurprising move, Walmart has decided to pull Jon Stewart's best selling mock text books from their shelves when they discovered there were naked bodies shown inside. Because no one that shops at Walmart lives in the corporeal world, and they were afraid that if their employees opened the books to the page purporting to show nude supreme court justices the sight would cause them to burst into flames.

Finally, this is almost funny enough to make us watch television. Almost.

* All Spinmeister Alert colors for the last two weeks of campaigning will be filched from the color names for underpants found in a certain catalog.

Red Sox!!! Whoo-hoo!!

Whooo!!! Yankees suck!!!! Whooo-hoo!!!

Okay, now the agony begins anew.... Oh, will it be 1986 all over again? We can't take it! Put us down quickly, please, have mercy....

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Reality-based community cries uncle

Today Bush said that Kerry doesn't understand the war on terror. But according to an article in last Sunday's NYT Magazine by Ron Suskind, Bush and his administration don't understand reality. More to the point, they don't believe in it:

"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

Yes, you did read that right: one of PoTUS's top aides is claiming not only that the Bush administration doesn't have to bow to empirical reality, he is claiming that they freaking control it. This is like the lost chapter from Orwell's 1984. If you aren't peeing your pants in fear right now you might want to go find a defibraltor, because we think maybe your heart has stopped beating. Regardless, click to the link and read Suskind's article right now.

Market Adjustments

Couple of burps on the market made us raise an eyebrow. Seems that Sinclair Broadcasting's stock plummeted in response to their decision to air the anti-Kerry film. When they decided today not to air it in its entirety (to avoid FCC penalites for an illegal campaign donation) the stock shot back up. Huh. Meanwhile, Deibold, maker of touch screen no paper trail voting machines, whose owner told a GOP fundraiser audience that he would deliver Ohio to the PoTUS, took some pretty serious losses. In a year when states are buying machines to be up to standards with HAVA. It's almost like the market is self-regulating. Except not so much. Mostly because we doubt it's the Robber Barons who'll be feeling this one. More likely it's the employees of Diebold who just got laid off that'll feel this adjustment.

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Luscious Rose

Cause the spinning is just gonna keep on coming. As are the attorneys. Actually, we think that there must be some concern going on in Bushworld, cause they've sent out Condi Rice of the Magical Helmet Hair to mesmerize the masses, convincng the lumpenproletariat that they're all not nearly as loony as you suspect they are, and that they like black people. (When they have oil tankers named after them). We wonder if things are not, in fact, say coming to pieces? We only ask because it kind of looks like something is going to pieces from this picture of Karl Rove throwing himself beneath the wheels of a plane. Maybe he got a glimpse of reality? (Hat tip to Wonkette)

Well your great aunt Edna isn't the only one who won't get a flu shot this year. Seems the vaccines will be by-passing army bases as well. We think we detect a war plan here: they'll win the war on terror by sending flu infected soldiers and their blankets to Iraq. We know this worked really well in the sixteenth century, but that was a) the clap and b) its seems doubtful that the Iraqis are working with the evolutionarily isolated immune systems of, say, Hispanola circa 1510. Nice try, though.

Bush wants to be the 'Ownership' President- but we're a little confused about who he means the owners to be. Apparently not anyone who might need help getting the dough together to buy a house. But mortage debt isn't so bad, says Alan Greenspan. So we guess we're supposed to just suck it up and overextend ourselves into an $800,000 shack in Berkeley. And while we're at it, why not get a few more student loans? You'll be taking out more if you're at a public university. Because public university educations are like a jobs program if you think about it. As long as you have a job to pay for the rising tuition. Debt- it's the American Way!

Looks like being informed on the issues, as opposed lost in a sea of partisan hackery, means you might be more likely to vote for Kerry. But if you're a kid you're also apparently more likely to vote for Kerry- perhaps because you are able to escape the sea of partisan hackery. Of course, being a grown up doesn't mean you are more likely to act like one.

We know that the polls are just bunk, but we must admit to be addicted to Electoral Vote. We are glad to find we are not alone. Someday, when all this election stuff is over, we'll organize a support group or whatever. In the meantime, check our New Mexico.

And finally, the tragedy of Candyfloss Lord Milton. And we thought Best in Show was a mockumentary. Does this mean Nigel Tufnel is out there sniffing the glove?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Dictators Weigh In

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Rhubarb

Oh, the spin machine must be spinning and spinning, because people, despite the fact that there are US Generals are saying Baghdad needs another 10,000 police officers (think may be a late addition to yesterday's theme of shortages), the head of Care International's Baghdad office has been kidnapped, and that recent analysis says that the wealth gap between white families and black and Hispanic families has grown, we're still hearing all about Mary Cheney. You would think that Kerry had said the woman has sex with goats for money the way these people are carrying on. Is anyone paying attention to the fact that Brent Scowcroft, the national security advisor under Poppy Bush, has made public note of the son's shortfalls in the foreign policy area? Well he did. Bush camp response? Dick Cheney again said that a Kerry election would result in "terrorists bombing US cities." This just a day after Bush said Kerry was using "shameless scare tactics" in his campaign speeches. Golly, if saying "elect my opponent and die" isn't a shameless scare tactic, we're kind of afraid of what a shameless scare tactic would look like. Does he think Kerry kills a kitten on stage and then says 'vote for me or the dog gets it next'?

Meanwhile Sinclair broadcasting has fired their Washington bureau chief for voicing a criticism of their decision to broadcast the anti-Kerry sock-you-mentary, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal". (Which maybe should be retitled: Lost Sanity: The Grudge that can never be Let Go) Glad to see that "media" outlets are being run like BC04 campaign rallies. Guess he must be giving succor to the enemy, as they say. Who needs the First Amendment when we can have Dubya?

Oh yes, and Bush has gained a new supporter- Putin has weighed in as a Dubya man for the election. Too bad the polls in Moscow seem to be closed. Especially if you want democratic polls that allow you to vote for governor. It's good to see the world's dictators out there, getting into the swing of things. We wonder how the rest of the dictators will fall out between now and Nov. 2nd. Gaddhafi? Probably pro-Bush- after all, Dubya keeps touting the Libyan strongman 's re-entry into the market system as a Dubya 'win' so why shouldn't Mohmar? Burma's General Than Shwe? Well, the General's a real with-us-or-against-us kinda guy, so we figure they might see eye to eye on some things. Besides, BC04 sent some much needed (especially with the embargo!) cash flowing the way of the Orwellian military dictatorship when they had some Made in Burma campaign gear made up. But Kim Jong Il- that's all Nader/Camejo, baby.

And please, the voter registration shenanigans have just got to stop. Problems with destroyed Democratic registration applications in Oregon and Nevada, while Ohio has crackheads registering Mary Poppins. Don't these idiots realize that Julie Andrews is British? Seriously, this is just disgusting. Is this Nigeria? Is this Cambodia? Is this Haiti? One stolen election andthis is what our democracy has come to? Partisan disenfranchisement and crackheads registering imaginary characters? Thank you, to the Commander in Thief, for showing us that our democracy is, in fact, a house of fucking cards. It must be heartening in Zimbabwe to know that we have something in common.

By the way, if you have the sinking feeling that your neighbors, co-workers, friends and acquaintences might not have that good of a handle on the issues of the campaign, well, you're right. We're betting that Tennessee is probably representative. Hap tip to The Votemaster for this one.

In response to Jon Stewart pointing out that the Crossfire crew are partisan hacks who refuse to actually engage in discourse or provide useful information to the people who watch their show while still pretending to have a useful role, James Carville said yesterday that Stewart was a "pompous ass" for attacking Ted Koppel. We assume we missed that part of the interview, though we think it's curious that "Ted Koppel" appears nowhere in the transcript from last Friday's show. We think James Carville is a pompous ass in general for being on Crossfire. Robert Novak noted that he didn't think Stewart was funny, but that he did think he was uninformed. It's funny, because we think Jon Stewart is hilarious and obviously well informed. But then again, we also think Robert Novak is an asshole. We also think that The Poor Man has inaugurated the best title for Tucker Carlson, besting even Stewart's "big dick" call. We are still chuckling.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Because Tucker Carlson IS a Dick

If you haven't already seen it you should head over to Random Foo to check out the Daily Show's Jon Stewart on Crossfire. It is great to watch because 1) those of us left on this planet whose brains have not been sucked out by the onslaught of mindnumbing Britney Spears videos, "Survivor," Fox "News" and the partisan hackery that passes for "journalism" have been saying the same thing Stewart says for ages, we just say it to our mothers, partners, friends and pets; 2) he means it. Really. 3) Tucker Carlson is a dick, and it needed to be said. The fashion-challenged Carlson wasted no time confirming that he is, in fact, a total weenie, by trying to recast (some might say spin) the entire interlude. Listen, Tucker, you're thirty-five years old and my grandfather has more flavah than you. You look like someone who should be selling ice cream from a white van circa 1952. Clearly the reason why no one actually debates on your show is that you can't take someone with a brain who is actually invested in what they are saying. Besides, how can anyone be taken seriously on a show that actually pays money to Robert Novak?

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Lemon Yellow

Other than Tucker Carlson, the spin was just humming along as usual. The theme today seemed to be shortages. Seems a top commander over at the Pentagon complained last winter that the troop shortages were causing problems in Iraq. Could that be the same troop shortages Paul Bremer was talking about and then tried to pretend it wasn't as bad as he said it was? Hmmm. Seems like there is also too much work and not enough man- and woman-power in police departments such as the perpetually alerted DC area. Wonder if the shortage there has anything to do with reservists, who are disproportionately represented in police and fire departments, being called up for duty in Iraq in response to shortages there... Speaking of shortages, have you seen the lines for flu shots? Whoo-wee. If you aren't over 95 with a compromised immune system, your best bet to deal with the shortage is the lottery.

Speaking of shortages, Bush today accused Kerry of using scare tactics. Which tells us that somebody in the Bush camp reads the Sunday Times. But, uh, guys, it was your Veep who said that if your opponent wins we risk a "devastating" terrorist attack. Nothing scary about that, eh? So we're thinking shortage of memory.

Seems undecided voters are a 'mystery.' And not just because one wonders how they could have held out this long.

Already problems with voting in Florida. Not only is Florida already having problems, but it seems that a Republican group in Nevada and Oregon who were registering new voters may have destroyed registration cards filled out by people who checked Democrat. Not only is this unconscionable, it's also a felony. Glad to see the GOP working hard to set the standard. We would roll our eyes, but watching our democracy get trampled on is too depressing even for cynicism. Looks like this election will be a doozy.

Shock and amazement! Seems that the Texas high court might have something to say about Mr. Delay's redrawing of district maps. Not Mr. Delay! My, my, my, but he has just such a perfect record.

The "filmmakers" who put together the anti-Kerry sock-you-mentary that will be airing on Sinclair networks have been slapped with a libel suit. And not from someone in the Kerry camp. We're shocked, shocked! We never would have guessed.

Dubya may think that things are going better in Iraq- but there seem to be some soldiers who beg to differ.

Kerry warns of Social Security privitization. Bush denies this is what he plans. We wonder if he can explain what he means when he says he wants an "ownership society" where 'young people' will pay into their private social security accounts? Funny how the sound comes out even when his lips aren't moving, innit?

Hmmm. It took three decades to track this guy down. Must be because he was so inconspicuous.

Britney Spears announced today that she will be taking some time off from being a vacuous pop star. She left us with these words of wisdom: "My prerogative right now is to just chill and let all of the other overexposed blondes on the cover of Us Weekly be your entertainment .... good luck girls!"

Yeah.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Weekend Roundup

Election to be scrutinized for irregularities. That's a headline in the LATimes- not about Afghanistan, and not about Iraq, but about the US. We guess with elections it's once stolen, twice shy.

Kofi Annan says the Iraq war has not made the world any safer. We had a sneaking suspicion, but were confused by all the claims to the contrary coming out of the WH. Of course, Kofi reads the paper a little more often, so we figure he probably has a better handle on these things.

So as Dubya plans to keep the "tax-breaks-for-the-lower-and-middle-class-even-though-they-
only-actually-get-14%-of-the-money-and-people-in-the-top-10%-get-53%
-of-the-money," we have often wondered how he would pay for all the regime changin' going on. You can only cut Head Start and the No Child Left Behind Act so many times. And it will only yield up so much. To put it into perspective: the costs about entire US public school system are about $50 billion a year. The Iraq war alone (ie not including Afghanistan) so far has a price tag of $120 billion. So if he shut down the entire public school system, there would still be $70 billion shortage for paying to get a really embarassing picture of Saddam. How's he gonna pay for that since no one making above $150K will be ponying up? Well, there's been a lot of discussion of a federal sales tax. The list of reasons why we think this would be a stunningly bad and unjust idea is too long to ennumerate. The top couple of reasons look like this: 1) the Federal Government (and society) recognize that there are people who are living in dire poverty, and who cannot pay taxes and eat. These people do not have their meager incomes taxed. A federal sales tax would, in effect, tax those society has deemed so poor as to be untaxable. This will take food our of the mouths of children. 2) Did you like your extra $200 from Dubya last year? Do you like it so much that you would rather pay $3000 back? A very interesting breakdown of what this tax would mean in the NYTimes today.

You know that medicare drug card that Dubya's always pushing? The AMA says there should be negotiating over the price paid for the drugs. We agree.

Everybody running for prez wants you to be scared.

We hope San Francisco can work out the hitch on instant run-offs in elections. We'd like to see this go national. It's on our list with Get Rid of the Frigging Electoral College and No Voting Machines Without A Paper Trail.

Speaking of dodgy voting practices and the useless electoral college, some of the supreme court clerks who worked the Election Theft 2000 have started talking. Seems they are saying that 5-4 ruling that out Dubya in office instead of the guy who won the popular vote was sixteen different kinds of partisan manipulation. We're shocked. Oh, so shocked.

What we really are shocked about is that Jeb Bush ignored advice to throw out the tainted "felon" lists for this year's election. Yes, the same disenfranchisement tactics are in play as were in 2000. Not exactly a surprise since Katherine Harris, partisan hack extraordinaire still has her job. But really, this gets the weekend Shameless Award. Of course, the Justice Department will probably be too busy being overwhelmed by complaints about voting machines to pay much attention.

Illegal to screen protestors. Now they just have to point out that it's illegal to bar citizens from public campaign rallies.

GOP dollars in 527s overtakes the Dems. Funny that. Looks like more Not So Swift Grudgeholders on a television near you.

You'll be delighted to know that $700,000 of your tax money went to a PR firm to rate media coverage of the No Child Left Behind Act. Well, we're sure glad those spendthrift liberals aren't in office!

Karl Rove had to give closed testimony in the Valerie Plame (the CIA officer who was outed by Robert Novak) case. We find this whole case baffling-- so far two reporters have been held in contempt for not revealing their sources (NYTimes' Judith Miller and Time's Matt Cooper). Cooper later revealed that he'd spoken with Scooter Libbey. We don't feel huge sympathy for Miller, who played a role in hyping the WMD story for the administration and has refused to apologize for her inaccurate "reporting", however, not feeling a lot of sympathy does not preclude us from feeling more than a triffle concerned. People are being charged and held in contempt for refusing the reveal sources. Scaring reporters who might have an important story that implicates people in power, and scaring people who might want to act as anonymous sources, is a really efficient way of shutting down dissent. Furthermore, Miller did some investigation on the story- but never reported it. So why the hell is Novak walking free when he outed Valerie Plame in print? Stinks like three day old fish to us.

Oh yeah, and Dubya's buddy Vladimir Putin is really making some democratic inroads. In a dictatorial kind of way. "The Kremlin is increasing its stranglehold over political debate in Russia by getting pro-presidential deputies to introduce laws making it harder for smaller political parties to register." Next he'll propose an electoral college. Of course the Russians were one of two (the Israelis being the other) countries whose citizens were polled on American election preferences who chose Bush. The other eight had an average 68% giving the nod to Kerry. But who needs England, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Mexico and France? It's only our closest neighbors and some of our closest allies.

Estimates of 70,000 dead in Sudan. Okay, it's been called a genocide- a step up from the Rwandan disaster. Can we do something now? If you're interested in helping, Oxfam is doing work there.

Speaking of doing something-- anyone remember Haiti? Nice work on the coup, Mr. Prez, and glad to see you following the long tradition of interference rather than assistance. They could use some help that doesn't involve overthrowing their troubled but elected president. The hurricanes hit even harder than the extra-legal activities. Again, if you're interested, World Vision is at work trying to clean up the mess.


Friday, October 15, 2004

Falafel anyone?

We have figured out why it is that the pollsters don't worry about whether or not they are reaching us cell-phone-only types. Because we're all gonna die of brain tumors apparently. A heartening thought. We recommend an earbud.

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Flaming Fuschia

Here is today's spin: Mary Cheney, daughter of Dick and Lynne, is gay. Yes, she is gay. And it's all John Kerry's fault. Because 7 our of 10 terrorist dentists plan to vote for Kerry. The commiepinko who wants to turn the government into a health care gulag where you will be forced to visit your state senator for medical treatment. Yes, if Kerry had not chosen a trial lawyer for his running mate, then the word lesbian would never have been uttered in the Cheney household.

Kerry shouldn't have brought up the Veep's daughter's sexual orientation. Poor taste. But cheese'an'rice, you would have thought he had suggested everyone eat babies for breakfast from the firestorm afterwards. This only works as an "insult" if being queer is "bad." Which, for those who think being queer is an abomination (in the Biblical sense), it clearly is. Like Alan Keyes, for example, the carpetbagger wingnut the GOP shipped to Illinois to run against Obama Barack. Keyes says that being queer is all about 'selfish hedonism,' and specifically stated the Mary Cheney was by definition a selfish hedonist. The rest of us find a lack of logic here, mostly because the last time we were ever placed in a situation where queer= insult was when Darcy Maunsel told us we were "so gay". In the third grade.

"George W. Bush presents conservatives with a fundamental challenge: Do they believe in anything other than power?" Short answer: No. Long answer? Here.

Looks like Dubya's asking for more UK troops being deployed to the problems areas. Making up for Poland pulling out? Glad there's that "grand coalition". Or maybe he just got sick of hearing Kerry point out the 90% of the casualties are US.

And he's coming down hard on everyone involved with the Abu Ghraib scandal. Lyndie England is going to get court marshaled, but the boss man is getting an extra star. Now that's what we call "taking responsibility." Maybe next he'll promote the guy who was supposed to be keeping an eye on the nuclear facilities. Way to keep those nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists! (That would be reason number 47 for "why we invaded Iraq". Looks like it's back to the drawing board. Again.) Explains why Iraq is requesting the UN IAEA inspectors come back. The ones the Bush administration said weren't getting the job done. Except that now it seems they were. Until they were pulled out. And the administration "took over." I'm sure there were journalists ready to cover the story, but it seems many of them were too busy being abused. Guess it prevents anyone from meeting with Deep Throat. Speaking of promotions, who's going to be getting one over in the accounting office for the unbalanced Iraq books?

The Bush administration has decided against supporting the UN statement on women's rights. 85 other countries signed on to women's right to an education and health care. Dubya would apparently rather see women in Afghanistan remain uneducated and without access to health care than to see them be able to make decisions on family planning. China, Indonesia and Pakistan signed on. Yes, Pakistan. The Saudis must have been too busy dealing with the spike in terrorism to sign.

O'Reilly claims his desire to combine a love for middle eastern cuisine with phone sex was not sexual harassment. We quote our dear and learned friend, Miss A: "
I am totally grossed out at the falafel as sex toy motif. Falafel is pure innocent love!"

Bush on the economy: Kerry is a tax and spend liberal, which is why we have a record deficit. Black is white. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

Worried about election integrity? You should be.

The Christian Coalition has produced a "voter education" guide, which is claims is non-partisan. (Bwah!) "
The guides provide positions on such issues as "unrestricted abortion on demand," "adoption of children by homosexuals," "permanent elimination of the death tax," "federal firearms registration and licensing of gun owners," "affirmative action programs that provide preferential treatment," "allowing younger workers to invest a portion of their Social Security tax in a private account" and several other tax proposals. The only international issue mentioned is "placing U.S. troops under United Nations control." Looks like somebody has been reading those Left Behind books! Oh yes, the United Nations is really Satan's Army, and if you vote for Kerry your son will be forced to fight for The Dark Lord! We'd better pray for the rapture! " Roberta Combs, coalition president, said the guides were an attempt to educate voters and "I don't think the wording is loaded at all." Oh Roberta, are you worried that telling lies will get you 'left behind'?

Golly I'm so glad there is a separation between church and state!

We like the BC04's new slogan.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Alien Invasions

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
(Red) Hotter'n Alabama Asphalt in July

The debate portion of our show has now come to a close, but we feel the need to make a couple of small notations. First of all, mistakes were made all around. But only one candidate lost control of his salivary glands.

On the opening question Kerry noted that Bush has said he wasn't concerned about Osama bin Forgotten's whereabouts. Bush got snarky, saying "Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations." Too bad for Dubya that Kerry quoted him verbatim from a March 13, 2002 press conference. Gosh, I just don't think you're right about that. It's kind of one of those fuck-ups.

Next up was the question about the shortage of flu shots. So why don't we have 'em? "Bob, we relied upon a company out of England" Hey, are you disparaging our brave allies Mr. Bush? Tell that to Tony Blair! Tell that to Silvio Berlusconi! Tell that to Aleksander Kwasniewski! Oh sorry, wrong stump speech.

Well, how are you gonna fix it Mr. Bush? "We're working with Canada to hopefully -- that they'll produce a -- help us realize the vaccine necessary to make sure our citizens have got flu vaccinations during this upcoming season." Canada? Is it safe to get drugs from Canada? Because you see, "what my worry is is that, you know, it looks like it's from Canada, and it might be from a third world. "

Kerry got to play the fiscal conservative, stating that "During the 1990s, we had pay-as-you-go rules. If you were going to pass something in the Congress, you had to show where you are going to pay for it and how. " In response the PoTUS decided to invent a new term: "He talks about PAYGO. I'll tell you what PAYGO means, when you're a senator from Massachusetts, when you're a colleague of Ted Kennedy, pay go means: You pay, and he goes ahead and spends."

First of all, paygo? The gratuitous Massachusetts + Ted Kennedy reference means the PoTUS is drowning here. (And PS as the head of the senate Dick Cheney is technically a "colleague" of Ted Kennedy) Mostly we think this is because if Kerry's economic plan is "paygo", then Bush's is "your grandkids pay and I go to the bank to make a deposit in Haliburton's account."

Mid-debate BS moment: Bush says "I went to Washington to solve problems."

On the archbishops telling their congregations that voting for Kerry is a sin (yeah, much worse than greed or gluttony or sloth. Voting for Kerry was the 8th mortal sin. They just ran out of room when they were writing them down), Bush's answer was "I think it's important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable society is a society where every being counts and every person matters." Huh. Every being? What about all those people on death row in Texas? Did they "matter"? Guess we have a different definition of what a "being" is.

When asked "Who bears responsibility for (rising health care costs)? Is it the government? Is it the insurance companies? Is it the lawyers? Is it the doctors? Is it the administration?"

Answer? BUSH: Gosh, I sure hope it's not the administration.

No comment necessary.

On how to pay for his health care coverage Kerry began by noting that "Well, two leading national news networks have both said the president's characterization of my health-care plan is incorrect. One called it fiction. The other called it untrue." Bush took the opportunity to bash CBS. "In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, nevermind. " Guess who won't be invited to dinner at Bob Schieffer's house?

In a moment of clarity Bush said "There is a problem for our youngsters, a real problem. And if we don't act today, the problem will be valued in the trillions." And he wasn't even talking about his welfare for the wealthy tax breaks.

Bald-faced lie of the debate award goes to the PoTUS for this stinker: "He talks about middle-class tax cuts. That's exactly where the tax cuts went. Most of the tax cuts went to low- and middle-income Americans. And now the tax code is more fair. Twenty percent of the upper-income people pay about 80 percent of the taxes in America today because of how we structured the tax cuts."

Let's see. The top 10% got 53% of the money handed back in tax cuts. The bottom 60% got 14% of the money handed back in tax cuts. That's what "most of the tax cuts went to the low- and middle-income Americans" looks like? Quoting the WP: "According to an August report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families. The effective federal tax rate of the top 1 percent of taxpayers has fallen from 33.4 percent to 26.7 percent, a 20 percent drop. In contrast, the middle 20 percent of taxpayers -- whose incomes averaged $51,500 in 2001 -- saw their tax rates drop 9.3 percent. The poorest taxpayers saw their taxes fall 16 percent." There's a word for this... it's, uh, it's... oh yeah. Shameless.

W
hen asked about raising the minimum wage the PoTUS bobbed, weaved and then went to education. Wha...? Mr. Bush, should we raise the minimum wage? "But let me talk about what's really important for the worker you're referring to. And that's to make sure the education system works. It's to make sure we raise standards. " Uh, actually, the worker making minimum wage really cares about whether or not the hourly wage is going to remain stagnant at $5.15/hour as it has been for nine years, or if it's going up to $7/hour as Kerry proposes. What does raising K-12 standards have to do with minimum wage for adults? "Listen, the No Child Left Behind Act is really a jobs act when you think about it. The No Child Left Behind Act says, "We'll raise standards."

NCLB is a jobs act when we think about it? Okay, let's think about it.... We thought about it. It's not a jobs act. It's swell that standards for K-12 are going to be raised (especially if you bothered to fund it), but check it out: K-12 standards are not a jobs act for a woman in her forties. Is the PoTUS suggesting that is a 42 year old man in Dayton go back to fourth grade to take advantage of the NCLB Act as a "jobs program"?

"But in return for extra spending, we now want people to measure -- states and local jurisdictions to measure to show us whether or not a child can read or write or add and subtract." Well watch this: we can add and subtract, too. $7.00 minus $5.15 = $1.85/hour. That's what the PoTUS is denying anybody working minimum wage.

Of course, perhaps he has a plan after all. That $5.15/hour is sure better for the corporation than having to pay $7/hour. And, as Bush pointed out when asked about immigration, "If you can make 50 cents in the heart of Mexico, for example, or make $5 here in America, $5.15, you're going to come here if you're worth your salt, if you want to put food on the table for your families." Suddenly makes those temporary worker cards come into focus.

"I remember a lady in Houston, Texas, told me, "Reading is the new civil right," and she's right." Reading is the new civil right? What year is it? 1854? Frederick Douglass has been dead for more than a century!

Moment of clarity when PoTUS says "You cannot solve a problem unless you diagnose the problem. " You can say that again. It's kind of like you can't solve a problem when you refuse to answer the question.

For example, when the moderator asks "you had never said whether you would like to overturn Roe v. Wade. So I'd ask you directly, would you like to?" And you answer:

BUSH: What he's asking me is, will I have a litmus test for my judges? And the answer is, no, I will not have a litmus test. I will pick judges who will interpret the Constitution, but I'll have no litmus test.

?? Actually, what he asked was "would you like to overturn Roe v. Wade." See how that works? He says "would you like to overturn Roe v. Wade", and what he's asking you, "directly", is "would you like to overturn Roe v. Wade."

When asked why he didn't do more to get the ban on assualt weapons renewed, the PoTUS said he was for "backdown checks". What's a backdown check? Is that when you ask to buy an assault weapon and the clerk says no, if you backdown you're out of luck?

Last question was totally silly, and Bob Schieffer should hang his head in shame.

In other news, it appears that the GOP has come clean about the box on Bush's back. He's an alien. While there is a certain comfort in knowing that it is not actually a transmitter for the PoTUS to get debating instructions from Karl Rove, it is a little disconcerting. I mean, this is an example of an alien race smart enough to figure out how to successfully complete long distance space travel? Somebody must be doing too many bong hits over at NASA, man, cause if this guy can do it we really should of been further ahead on this thing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Loofa mitts will never be the same. Thanks O'Reilly. Jerk.

We don't mean to gloat but we're happy to see that the issue of cell phones and the sketchiness of polls has finally found a place at the Associated Press.

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Mustard Yellow

The turntables are on 33rpm today, one assumes in preparation for this evening's debate. There was a piece that popped up in the WP noting that the spin that has been put out there on Kerry's health care plan is what they call "not entirely accurate." Translation: buncha hooey. "Fact sheets provided by the Bush campaign offered little evidence for these and other accusations beyond excerpts from such conservative forums as the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Weekly Standard." Ooooh, that damned "liberal" media!

Meanwhile, James Baker, whom the media has taken to calling the Bush family consigliere, is working on Dubya's plan to convince the world that they should forgive Iraqi debt. Being that this is one of the few areas where we and the Bush administration have a little overlap (we're more on the we need to look at all developing world debt because it kills thousands and thousands of people every year, not just the countries that have become our colonies and whose debt might go to us mode of things, but there is a little overlap), we were rather disturbed (and perturbed) if not surprised to hear that Mr. Baker has figured out a way to make a buck out of it. While he's trying to convince everyone else that they should forgive the debt, he's representing Kuwait's claim to be paid its $27 billion in Iraqi debt. In real estate deals you aren't allowed to represent both the buyer and the seller without full disclosure, and even then it is not recommended. Why are there more controls on the sale and purchase of a used trailer home than there is for the exchange and forgiveness of billions of dollars?

Worried about those voting machines? You should be. Especially if you live in Florida.

Oh yes, and Mr. Delay seems to have wasted no time in circling the wagons. The response to his being admonished three times (and admonishing is pretty wimpy considering) by the House Ethics Committee was not contrition or even apology. Delay is accused of some serious stuff- including bribery- and he has so far gotten off with a slap on the wrist. GOP response? Threats apparently. "House ethics committee Chairman Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) said last week that Republican lawmakers have threatened him in the wake of his panel’s recent admonishments of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay". We'd try to say something snarky, but really, this is just appalling.

Finally, we know that schadenfreude is bad for the soul, but is it schadenfreude to feel satisfaction when the hypocrisy of someone who takes delight in schadenfreude is outed? It probably is. And on some level our souls are sad. But there is some satisfaction in Bill O'Reilly being sued for sexual harassment. Mostly we're just grossed out by the detailed shower fantasy and the apparently fulfilled Thai sex show fantasy. Glad to see spokesmen for the "Right" living upstanding moral lives that steer well clear of things like prostitution and human trafficking. Setting good examples and the like.

Last debate tonight-- domestic issues.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Propaganda Front

The Spinmesiter Alert Today Is:
Fuschia

Because what else could it be when you not only have an entire media propaganda channel, but when all the stations owned by a sychophantic follower or three forces numerous "news" outlets to show a sock-you-mentary bashing your opponent? We call that SuperSpinCycle. Who needs news when you can have propaganda?

Just in time for tomorrow night's debate, Paul Krugman of the NYTimes has done a little pre-emptive fact checking. And he didn't even post it on factcheck.com!


Weekend Roundup

Domestic issues are such pains! Especially if you are dealing with a domestic issue all up close and personal. Some new stats out say that there are 39 million working poor in America. Despite what Ronnie Reagan used to think about the poor in this country (remember the Welfare Queen in her Caddy?) it seems like that Protestant work ethic Max Weber used to be on about really did take root. Despite being paid diddly people just keep on working instead of milking the system as Reagan so vividly imagined. Funny, innit? Makes you wonder why it is that with America "more productive," as the PoTUS is wont to say, that so many people just seem to be getting poorer. Wouldn't have anything to do with the way that companies are run, or the way their CEOs behave or anything. Or the slowed job growth. Just a thought.

Worried that your vote might not count? You should be. But we're glad to see that people aren't taking it lying down.

David Brooks thinks there are two kinds of presidential candidates with two kinds of visions. David Brooks translates to Broken Record in Hmong.

The people of Wyoming are getting three times as much Homeland Security money as the people of New York City per cap, despite the risk of attack in New York being about a million times higher than anywhere in Wyoming. Sure makes us feel safer.

Shockingly, it seems that much of the rest of the world has not been impressed by Dubya's performance as president. Never woulda guessed.

A number of very right wing Catholic bishops have been doing some pulpit campaigning against the Catholic candidate, because he is pro-choice. Seems like some rather selective reading to us-- the candidate they are stumping for is the former governor of the state that executes the most number of prisoners in the US and who started a war with Iraq. The Pope says that along with abortion both capital punishment and the war in Iraq are wrong. Did we miss the hierarchy of wrongness speech from the Vatican? Was there some special meeting with the bishops where the Pope said Okay, here's the bad stuff list in order of importance: 1) abortion, 2) embryonic stem cell research; 3) gay marriage, and a couple of optional ones at the bottom: executing prisoners is not so nice and preemptive wars that kill tens of thousands are pretty bad too. Worse than masturbating. There is a very interesting op-ed piece on this issue pointing out that very low abortion rates go hand in hand with strong welfare states. You know, when you offer a little (Christian) charity....

Meanwhile, Zora Neale Hurston has been put on the bad list in some Maryland schools, and your tax dollars are working toward getting the Bible place of her work. Instead of "Thier Eyes Were Watching God," it'll be just "God".

Speaking of Maryland, seems the GOP there is in the business of buying up websites just to smear an opponent. Who knew cyberspace would make bad behavior so easy? If you can't win on your own merit...

Everybody is saying they're going to be a little more cautious in calling the election this year. Even Fox. We won't hold our breath.

An Israeli think thank points out that the invasion of Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror. Gee, ya think? We're just gonna call it a mistake.

The electoral college sucks.

Judges are partisan on the envirnoment. Yet. Another. Shock. Not.

If William Saffire every touches down into the space of reality for long enough to read a paper he'll be shocked and amazed to discover that it the oil for food program wasn't just a French plot. Seems there were some of his fellow Americans making a buck off that one as well. Uh-oh....

Seems like the reporters in Iraq are on lockdown- which makes us wonder where the substance of the stories we are seeing is coming from. Might even make a security mom wonder. Some reports are really sounding bad- and worse still, it seems that the real reporting is getting quashed.

Seems like there is a plan for a big military push right around Tet, uh, Ramadan. The soldiers in the delta, er, desert are having a rough ride: "Sometimes I see no reason why we're here," Perez said. "First of all, you cannot engage as many times as we want to. Second of all, we're looking for an enemy that's not there. The only way to do it is go house to house until we get out of here." So rough that some are even heading to Canada- even if they aren't getting a warm welcome.

Oh yeah, and Rumsfeld seems to be very supportive of Kerry's plan to get more support from some of our European allies. Like NATO. Funny, that...



Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Good Steward of The Land Offers Head to Historical Judges- But Refuses to Pony Up to St. Louis Audience on Mistakes

Debates, debates, debates. We know there are people out there who will say that Dubya won the debate last night. For example, Robert Novak (the "political analyst" who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame at the behest of "sources" in the executive branch) had this well crafted "political analysis" of the debate: "I thought Bush won the debate. Kerry didn't make any major gaffes but Bush showed he wasn't the ninny that he appeared to be in Florida." Now that's some hard hitting analysis. Mostly because Robert Novak has great knowledge on ninniness. How much does one get paid to watch the debates and write two sentences?

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Vermillion

Of course the spin machines are up an running, however, despite Novak's oh-so-objective "analysis" of the debate, we are going to have to follow wily's mom on this one. Mother Wily calls it as: Kerry by a nose.

Yes, the PoTUS was definitely more on last night, and he had shed himself of the transmitter shaped hump. He came out aggressive, or as Fast Eddie put it "Jesus, he looks like he's all hopped up on something. He's frothing." It sort of wore off as the ninety minutes progressed. If in the first debate he'd brought 20 minutes of material for a ninety minute debate, this time he brought around 45 minutes' worth. Maybe next time he'll be up to an hour.

Oh, the highlights!

Early on Bush said "In the old days we'd see a threat, and we could deal with it if we felt like it or not. But 9/11 changed it all." and we have to say-- what? We could still deal with it even if we didn't feel like it? What? But after 9/11...? Like what's the opposite of this statement? We can't deal with it whether we feel like it or not? We're starting to see how this works. He hypnotizes voters with his stealth syntactical confusion!

And yes, he pulled out the "Seventy five percent of them (al Qaida) have been brought to justice. " Okay: a) what does he mean by "brought to justice"? and b) where the hell does this 75% number come from? In order for this to be accurate it would mean that a) they knew exactly how many memebers of al Qaida there were before they began bringing them "to justice" (suspend disbelief on this point long enough to finish argument) and b) that there are a finite number of al Qaida members, because if more were joining that would screw up your percentages. In short, this claim is a whole lot of hooey. Someone please call him on it.

"I saw a unique threat in Saddam Hussein." Yes, the unique threat posed by a guy who's got bubkus. Makes us think Dubya must not be very good at poker: like he'd fold when his mustachioed opponent had a pair of twos. So what was this "unique threat" (as opposed to the garden-variety threat posed by nuclearized North Korea and Iran)? "...the unique threat was that he could give weapons of mass destruction to an organization like Al Qaida..." Ah, oh yes. He might have given the weapons he didn't have to al Qaida. Oh yes. That's a real threat. Also known as a pair of twos.

We're pretty sure we saw Dubya lose a vote when he answered this question from Nikki Washington:

<>Mr. President, my mother and sister traveled abroad this summer, and when they got back they talked to us about how shocked they were at the intensity of aggravation that other countries had with how we handled the Iraq situation. Diplomacy is obviously something that we really have to really work on. What is your plan to repair relations with other countries given the current situation?

BUSH: No, I appreciate that. I -- listen, I -- we've got a great country. I love our values....I recognize that taking Saddam Hussein out was unpopular. But I made the decision because I thought it was in the right interests of our security....I recognize that taking Saddam Hussein out was unpopular. But I made the decision because I thought it was in the right interests of our security....

In short Nikki, fuck diplomacy.

We were also a little baffled by the fact that in the course of answering this question Dubya said that "People love America" even when they don't like America's decisions. Wow. People love America. It's kind of like he doesn't get out much. Yes, the Tooth Fairy really will leave a quarter under your pillow for that incisor.

On the question of Iran and nuclear proliferation Dubya said: "I fully understand the threat. And that's why we're doing what he suggested we do: Get the Brits, the Germans and the French to go make it very clear to the Iranians that if they expect to be a party to the world to give up their nuclear ambitions. "

Since when are we sending in "Old Europe" as the heavies?

Oh yes, and on that whole draft thing? Dubya says "I hear there's rumors on the Internets (sic) that we're going to have a draft. " Rumors on the Internets? Oh boy. And people jumped on Gore for "inventing" the Internet. His erstwhile opponent doesn't seem to be familiar with it at all. Great. We feel safe being protected by someone who might wonder if he has to do a separate Google search for each of the Internets.

And that's where Dubya started to get a little wingy. The issue was the draft. He said no draft. Kerry said back-door draft already exists. Gibson allows for an extend on the back-door draft issue.

GIBSON: Exactly. And with Reservists being held on duty...

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: Let me answer what he just said, about around the world.

GIBSON: Well, I want to get into the issue of the back-door draft...

<>BUSH: You tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Silvio Berlusconi we're going alone. Tell Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland we're going alone.
There are 30 countries there. It denigrates an alliance to say we're going alone, to discount their sacrifices. You cannot lead an alliance if you say, you know, you're going alone. And people listen. They're sacrificing with us.

And that is the PoTUS' final word on the back-door draft. He's going to issue a stop-loss order on Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland. At least until after the election.

BTW, we think we saw Kerry pick up that vote Dubya lost earlier when three questions after her initial query he still remembered her name and her question. "Now, to go back to your question, Nikki, we're not getting the best cooperation in the world today."

"And there's a lot of good people working hard." Uh-oh. All that hard work. Actually, someone must have mentioned that people didn't really like the whiny hard work stuff. Being PoTUS is hard work, whaaaaaa!

When asked about why he was barring the import of cheaper drugs from Canada, Bush said: "Just want to make sure they're safe. When a drug comes in from Canada, I want to make sure it cures you and doesn't kill you. " Yes. He just wants to protect you from the Third World and their evil drugs. We thought we'd heard that before somewhere. And it seems we have. From the drug companies. And they're totally objective.

BUSH: We've got battling green eye shades.

Uh, yeah. That's what it must be.

BUSH: Is my time up yet?

You wish.

<>Environment? Dubya said "That's why I proposed a hydrogen automobile -- hydrogen-generated automobile. " Yes, he thought it up all by himself, right after he invented the Internets. "That's why I'm a big proponent of clean coal technology, to make sure we can use coal but in a clean way. I guess you'd say I'm a good steward of the land." It's funny, but that is conceivably one of the top five least likely phrase I would use to describe the PoTUS. Sinks Kyoto, wants to open the Alaskan nature reserves to oil drilling, and has overseen environmental havoc. Yes, "good steward of the land" comes just under "suave diplomat" on the list of Things Never Associated with the PoTUS.

BUSH: I own a timber company?

(LAUGHTER)

That's news to me.

(LAUGHTER)

Need some wood?

Yes, Good Steward of the Land.

BUSH: Embryonic stem-cell research requires the destruction of life to create a stem cell.

Um, actually, no. The stem cells are already there.

BUSH: Put a head fake on us.

???

So many interesting assertions, but the closing moment was when he answered this question:

"Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. "

The bobs and weaves are hypnotizing. His answer in its entirety:

BUSH: I have made a lot of decisions, and some of them little, like appointments to boards you never heard of, and some of them big.

And in a war, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of tactical decisions that historians will look back and say: He shouldn't have done that. He shouldn't have made that decision. And I'll take responsibility for them. I'm human.

But on the big questions, about whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I'll stand by those decisions, because I think they're right.

BUSH: That's really what you're -- when they ask about the mistakes, that's what they're talking about. They're trying to say, "Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?" And the answer is, "Absolutely not." It was the right decision.

The Duelfer report confirmed that decision today, because what Saddam Hussein was doing was trying to get rid of sanctions so he could reconstitute a weapons program. And the biggest threat facing America is terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

We knew he hated us. We knew he'd been -- invaded other countries. We knew he tortured his own people.

On the tax cut, it's a big decision. I did the right decision. Our recession was one of the shallowest in modern history.

Now, you asked what mistakes. I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't want to hurt their feelings on national TV.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: But history will look back, and I'm fully prepared to accept any mistakes that history judges to my administration, because the president makes the decisions, the president has to take the responsibility.

Yes, the PoTUS made little decisions and big decisions. And he knows what kind of a sneaky trick question this is! But he is not going to own up to a single specific mistake. No sir! Owning up to actual mistakes is for pussies! He'll take responsibility only when history judges his administration. And not a moment sooner.

On a final note: Afghan elections are today. Let's all hope for the Afghan people it is a peaceful process.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Green Belt to Gold Medal- Props to Wangari Matthai!

We have just returned from the local liquor store with a bottle of fine (enough) Merlot and are all revved up for Uneven Podiums That Remind Everybody That Kerry Is Taller, The Debate, Part II.

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
On vacation

Too busy getting ready to rumble. Though we do note the blogosphere kerfuffle about the Bush "hump". We think it was the battery pack. We'd like to imagine Karl Rove in his lair whispering answers into Dubya's ear, but did you see the debate? That was with help?

It appears that things are getting a little hot on the hill for House Majority Leader Tom Delay. Several members are asking for him to step down as Majority Leader, since it's hard to lead when you are trying to avoid getting slammed for your many 'associates' dirty (and apparently illegal) business. Perhaps he was too busy working on the graphics for the web page www.freedom.gov- which is handily linked to the Majority Leader's webpage. It boldly defies all connection with realty by declaring on its opening page "Victory in Iraq". Earth to Mister Delay: it is a little, ahem, premature to declare victory just yet. The section of this webpage entitled "Why America Is Safer" makes me realize that somewhere Winston is, just now, throwing a copy of an old newspaper clipping down a chute to the incinerator. Along with the biography of Harriet Tubman. It begins with the helpful link entitled "A Trip to Iraq Reveals the need for U.S. Aid" Which makes us wonder if it really required a trip to Iraq in order to come to the conclusion that US aid was needed. Then there is the exceptionally carefully worded trio at the bottom:

Iraq's Quest for Nuclear Weapons

Iraq's Biological Warfare Agents

Iraq's Use of Chemical Weapons

Yes, Biological Warfare Agents. The Quest for Nuclear Weapons. And the Use of Chemical Weapons (in the 1980s).

Note that there is no contact address on this website. There is no email address, no "about us". Because contact information would imply that the people who put this thing together actually want to be contacted. But they don't. So there isn't an email address. What is that, when people put highly questionable and very biased stuff out there and do not allow for dialogue or questioning? There's a word for that.... it's, oh right! Propaganda. You want to hear the real kicker? You're paying for it. Look at the address. Dot-Gov. Nice.

Speaking of putting the kibash on questioning our infallible (Bwah!) leaders, there was an extremely interesting piece on NPR's Morning Edition this morning on the screening being done at Bush/Cheney rallies. High school kids, registered republicans, VIP guests are being yanked out at the request of the sercret service when they are caught with Democratic, KE04, or pro-choice paraphenalia. You want to hear the real kicker? You're paying for it. That's right- we pay for many of these rallies, and we have a constitutional right to attend. And we are having our rights violated. They tried to find someone with BC04 stuff that had been barred from a KE04 rally. The BC04 campaign could only provide one name. And she wouldn't call NPR back.

On a final note for the evening, we are delighted to report that environmentalist and feminist Wangari Matthai of Kenya has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize. This inspiring woman has endured many hardships- including being beaten up- for her activities with the Greenbelt Movement, which she founded in 1977. She is the first African woman to win the prize. She's trying to save the environment for all of us, one tree at a time. Hats off to the indefatigable Wangari Matthai!


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Rose Madder, Mad as a Hatter

Seems that folks think the debate was a draw. Which apparently means that if you're a Republican you think Cheney won, and if you're an independent you're more likely to think that Edwards won than to think it's a draw, and think a draw more likely than Cheney winning. Funny how party affiliation makes for knee-jerk reactions that go against things you believe in. For example, a new poll by Zogby with 33% of respondants identifying as conservatives and 29% as moderates had 70% of the total (i.e. including liberals) saying they'd rather we had a policy of diplomacy and working with the UN and NATO in world disputes to 25% saying we should go it alone and act as a superpower. (Question 32). With 33% conservatives and 2% Libertarians that means that even if 100% of the Progressives, 100% of the Liberals and 100% of the Moderates voted for the policy clearly associated with Kerry, there are still at least 5% of conservatives and/or Libertarians who believe Kerry is right. Reminds us. of a little book we read once by a German guy. Talking about false something-er-other. Mighta been called Duck Soup.

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Rose Madder

Before we go on, there has been a little clarification on exactly why people who tried to follow the Veep's directions and check him out on "Factcheck.com" were directed to George Soros' site where they were greeted with the banner headline "Why We Must Not Re-Elect President Bush." Seems the for-profit site got upset about having their server overloaded and exacted a little revenge.

Today's big story is that we are being regailed- yet again- with official reports saying in no uncertain terms that the assertions of the administration that formed the bases of the protean reasons for going to war in Iraq have all turned out to be virtually without a whit of merit. No chemical weapons. No biological weapons. No nuclear weapons. No nuclear weapons wish list can I get it for Christmas Santa programs. No connection between Iraq and 9/11. No connection between Osama and Iraq. No connection between Zarqawi and Saddam. Saddam not pursuing these weapons. The White House got it "Almost All Wrong".

Pretty unequivocal, no? Well, bigger men might own up to a mistake of monstrous proportions. Instead, the Veep stated that the very same report that has debunked the claims of the WH justifies the war on Iraq. This is quite literally pointing to something black and telling people it's white. Cause he says so. And he's scary.

Are you gobsmacked? We are gobsmacked. We look at each other in dismay, say WTF?, and slap each other's cheeks hoping it will snap us out of it. Then we remember we are not the ones who are delusional.

What is the rationale behind claiming that a report that says they were Almost All Wrong actually supports their utterly debunked claims? Saddam was abusing the UN Oil-for-Food program. Plus they got a copy of his Christmas list from 1999. This is what it looked like:

A new palace for me
A new palace for my wife, but somewhere else, she is driving me bonkers
A smaller palace for my mistress, between my palace and my wife's palace
A brand new copy of The Old Man and The Sea
A better internet connection
* * * Xtra special: thermo-nuclear weapons

VP Cheney has uncovered that Saddam was corrupt. We are shocked, shocked! We do feel the need to point out that if being this side of ethical is watertight proof of an imminent- oh! I mean gathering- threat, then somebody better start keeping an eye on Tom Delay. You see him with a copy of The Sun Also Rises and we're sure to be invaded by Vanuatu, who will recognize it as proof of a 'gathering' threat.

The PoTUS gave his new stump speech in which he said Kerry would make the world less safe. Off the leash, Iraqi interim PM Allawi mentioned that Iraq- which is in the world- is awfully unsafe right about now. So unsafe that the UN is being urged out. Could that disconnection be connected to the bubble? Who knew the PoTUS and John Travolta had so much in common. Though some people are seeing Tricky Dick 1960. Since the rest of us aren't in the bubble, it might explain why some polls are showing a slight Kerry lead. Most polls are at least calling it close for the moment. That may change if the PoTUS tells viewers on Friday night to check out his performance by visiting Bushrecall.org.

Why not just scare the crap out of people in response? Like, tell them that their children are in danger! Why do that? Well, according to sociologist Robb Willer, because it helps the PoTUS' approval ratings. We could not make this stuff up. Besides, there's data and stuff.

Oh yes, and VA gun enthusiasts have asserted their second amendment right to cart around a loaded firearm whenever they want. Cause they're gonna rock this party like it's 1799. They'll be taking their loaded weapons to National and Dulles Airports whenever they like. Because nobody is supposed to feel suspicious when a guy shows up at an airport with a gun.

In the meantime, have fun with this.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Mistah Tallyban!

Did anyone else notice that Bush called the Mullahs the Moolahs on Thursday? Or that Cheney called the Taliban the Tally-ban? Someone call in some speech therapists. Hey Mistah Tallyban, Tally me banana...

Check this Fact, Baby!

We had a blog about the Veep debates. But Blogger ate it and then burped our my face. We are so sad. So instead of attempting to recreate the most wonderfullest blog ever we will just note that the debate was a draw, and then will list the top five reasons why Darth Cheney sucked anyway.

1) Darth Cheney tried to connect the capture of Saddam to diminished terrorism. He said "Concern about Iraq specifically focused on the fact that Saddam Hussein had been, for years, listed on the state sponsor of terror, that they he had established relationships with Abu Nidal, who operated out of Baghdad; he paid $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers; and he had an established relationship with al Qaeda." The WP notes that the Saudis and the Gulf states did this first. And it didn't stop the suicide bombers that hit two buses in Israel on August 31st. Nor does Cheney mention that there is a picture of his former boss Donald Rumsfeld (yes, Rummy was his boss during the Nixon years. Yes, the Nixon years) shaking Saddam's hand- back when he was a guy they could do business with. Would that be an "established relationship"?

2) Darth Cheney refutes Edwards' assertion that the US is taking 90% of the coalition casualities. He asserts that one should not denigrate the Iraqi army's sacrifices by excluding them from the numbers. What he really means is "I'm going to try to make you watch my right hand while I pull the rabbit out of the hat with my left". We do believe the Iraqi army were not part of the coalition that invaded Iraq. We may be going out on a limb here, but we feel pretty confident that the Iraqi army did not invade itself. You can try to lie with statistics, Darth, but you gotta do it in footnotes.

3) The Veep made the patently ridiculous statement that he "not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11..." Listen, Darth, there are these little things called recording devices. The WP points out a couple of times when the following statements were made:

"it's been pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack."

"We discovered . . . the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague."

Atta "did apparently travel to Prague. . . . We have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer a few months before the attacks on the World Trade Center."

"Cheney described Iraq as part of "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

Nothing there suggesting that there was a connection between Iraq and 0/11!

4) This is a guy who voted against early education for children (Head Start), food for the elderly (Meals on Wheels), a day off in honor of Martin Luther King, and against trying to get Nelson Mandela out of jail. We guess he figures the kids are too young to vote, the old folks to addled with hunger to vote, and African Americans too disenfranchised to have their votes count. That huge African American Wyoming demographic.

5) The Veep attacked Edwards for not showing up for work in the congress- so much so that Darth claimed they had never met. Pictures covered the web today of the Veep and Edwards at the swearing in ceremony of various senators. Oopsy.

In fairness, Edwards was not perfect. This was a draw. He could have done better. But in a debate between a veteran pol, the one term senator held his own.

Finally, two places where Darth Cheney scored some points, even with us:

1) His answers on the gay marriage/ his daughter question were dignified. (But so were Edwards, who seems to want Cheney's daughter to have some rights).

2) Stealthy, shadowy figure- Darth Cheney managed to shoot himself in the shawdowy foot. If only he spent more time in the blogosphere! He would not have a) sent people to the wrong website to check on Haliburton's record. b) but would also not have decided to send them to a website that had more than one article about Haliburton- and most of them not good. Guess he figured people would only read the one. It's there- tucked between the article on the lies in the B/C healthcare bill and the distortions in attack ads on Kerry.