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Friday, July 30, 2004

[+/-]
 What liberal media?

Don't say we didn't warn you. Just hours before Kerry's speech yesterday Pakistan announced the capture of a major Al-Qaeda figure. Guess they couldn't get Osama himself.

Here's your proof, Freepers: Bush places politics ahead of national security.

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Thursday, July 29, 2004

[+/-]
 Bush's drugs are good for you too!

Susan Sheybani, a campaign worker for Mr. Bush today suggested a remedy for American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs:

"Why don’t they get new jobs if they’re unhappy — or go on Prozac?"

Ah, yes... compassionate conservativism at its finest.

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[+/-]
 Bush Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World

Capitol Hill Blue reports that a sullen President George W. Bush is withdrawing more and more from aides and senior staff, retreating into a private, paranoid world where only the ardent loyalists are welcome. Bush’s erratic behavior and sharp mood swings led White House physician Col. Richard J. Tubb to put the President on powerful anti-depressant drugs.

White House aides say the West Wing has been overtaken by a "siege mentality," where phone calls and emails are monitored and everyone is under suspicion for "disloyalty to the crown."

One long-time GOP political consultant who asked not to be identified says he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.

"We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes," he says sadly. "That’s not good for my candidates, it’s not good for the party and it’s certainly not good for the country."

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

[+/-]
 Military endorses Kerry; Osama endorses Bush

In an unprecedented display of support from the military establishment, twelve retired generals and admirals endorsed John Kerry for president today.

In case you missed it, Osama supports Bush.

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[+/-]
 You only experience what you value

Scientific American has a nice explanation of a principle of probability called the Law of Large Numbers. Basically, the Law of Large Numbers shows that an event with a low probability of occurrence in a small number of trials has a high probability of occurrence in a large number of trials.

In other words, events with million-to-one odds happen 295 times a day in America. (Similar logic is explained in the book Debunked! ESP, Telekinesis, and Other Pseudoscience.)

The mathematics behind this reasoning, when combined with the tendency toward confirmation bias explain a lot about religious behavior. If humans have a tendency to experience only what they value in the first place, then a poor understanding of mathematics (specifically probabilty and statistics) leads to ascribing meaning to meaningless events. This might explain why the most educated among us are not religious.

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[+/-]
 Kerry continues to lead in electoral votes

Things continue to look positive for John Kerry. According to the latest Zogby Interactive Poll of 16 battleground states, if the election were held today, Kerry would win with 291 votes to Bush's 220.

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Thursday, July 15, 2004

[+/-]
 Boys sodomized at Abu Ghraib

Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."

Streaming video of the speech is here. Hersh starts at about 1:07:50.

Sickening, chilling, frightening. Still think it's just fraternity hazing, Rush?

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[+/-]
 The Republican't Mentality

Tom Tomorrow's latest cartoon is a wonderfully simple example of Republican't mentality.

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[+/-]
 CAPPS II Program Shelved

Chalk up a rare win for privacy. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced yesterday that the controversial Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) is being dismantled because of concerns over privacy and effectiveness. CAPPS II would have collected personal information from airline passengers and rank travelers according to terrorist risk level.

Sometimes such announcements are used to merely distract the public from controversial programs before they are submerged into deeper obscurity. Since CAPPS II requires passenger cooperation, however, perhaps it is not too early to cheer for the program's passing.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

[+/-]
 Quantum cryptography network debuts

BBN Technologies, Harvard University and Boston University researchers have built a six-node quantum cryptography network that operates continuously to provide a way to exchange secure keys between BBN and Harvard.

Quantum cryptography schemes allow a pair of correspondents to securely exchange a key that will unlock a scrambled message. The schemes call for transferring each bit of information using a single photon. The systems are potentially very secure because the quantum state of a particle cannot be observed without altering it. If the random string of bits that make up the key have been observed, it will be obvious to the sender and receiver and the key can be discarded.

Quantum cryptography has the potential to guarantee perfectly secure communications, but until now all of the prototype systems have been point-to-point links rather than networks that share connections. "Any node in the network can act as a relay," said Chip Elliott, a principal scientist at BBN Technologies. The researchers will soon move one of the network nodes across town to link Boston University into the network, said Elliott.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

[+/-]
 Latest poll of battleground states shows Kerry in significant lead

The latest Zogby Interactive poll of battleground states, taken over five days immediately after the Edwards announcement, gives Mr. Kerry his best showing since Zogby began conducting twice-a-month polls of 16 closely contested battleground states. The bottom line: if the vote were held today, Kerry would beat Bush 322 electoral votes to 205.

Notably, all three of the states in which Bush leads are well within the poll's margin of error, while Kerry's lead is in the clear in half of the twelve states he leads.

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[+/-]
 Red Cross Accuses Bush of Hiding Detainees

The international Red Cross said Tuesday that it fears US officials are holding terror suspects secretly in locations across the world, in possible violation of international law. The Geneva Convention provides the Red Cross with automatic access to prisoners of wars.

"We have access to people detained by the United States in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq, but in our understanding there are people that are detained outside these places for which we haven't received notification or access," said Antonella Notari, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Notari said suspects reported as arrested by the FBI on its Web site, or identified in media reports, are unaccounted for: "Some of these people who have been reported to be arrested never showed up in any of the places of detention run by the U.S. where we visit"

The Bush Administration has not officially responded to a Red Cross demand for notification of all detainees, including those held in undisclosed locations, she said.

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[+/-]
 Meet the next Secretary of the Army

It is being widely reported that Bush's Carlyle Group buddy Francis Harvey will be the next secretary of the Army. Carlyle is a high-power Washington investment firm that figures prominently in filmmaker Michael Moore's controversial exploration of the Bush administration, "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Harvey is vice chairman of Duratek, which specializes in the handling and disposing of radioactive materials. Duratek, which reported sales of $286 million last year, has contracts with both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, which is itself one of the nation's top defense contractors. Carlyle owns about 23 percent of the company and appointed Harvey to Duratek's board in 1998.

Can you say "Doctor Evil?" I thought you could. However, here is something that will cheer you up: Chris Ullman, a spokesman for the Carlyle Group, said he's confident that Harvey, if appointed Army secretary, won't show any special favors to former business partners.

Ha ha ha! Hee hee ha ha ha! Ha ha ha!

Sorry, that's just hysterically funny.

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Monday, July 12, 2004

[+/-]
 'Wow, there [are] a lot of nude people here.'

How did the mess at Abu Ghraib happen? Was it, as the Bush administration says, the work of just a few rogue soldiers, a few bad apples? Or did some senior military leaders, despite their denials, know what was going on inside the prison walls late at night?

US News is reporting that the most compelling evidence of what happened is contained in a report completed in March by General Taguba. The magazine has obtained all 106 classified annexes to the report, and the several thousand pages of material provide the most comprehensive view yet of what went wrong at Abu Ghraib and in the Army's management of the teeming prison system in Iraq after Saddam Hussein's government was toppled.

Taguba found, the report says, "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses." The place, the documents suggest, was bedlam. Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, the senior military intelligence officer in the prison, noted that in one 18-hour period he had had to deal with two soldiers abusing a prisoner, another soldier being sexually propositioned by an officer, and a third sick and vomiting in her room after drinking too much alcohol. He also worried, he testified, that "hookers" were living in some bunks.

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[+/-]
 Al-Qaeda supports Bush

Al-Qaeda endorsed Bush for president back in March:
"it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."

I don't know how I missed that one!

Of course, the Bush Cartel initially blocked US secret service investigations on terrorism, while it bargained with the Taliban the delivery of Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid. And although Bush bombed the Taliban in 2001, he did allow most of al-Qaeda to escape at Tora Bora. And although Bush invaded Iraq, he also removed American troops from Saudi Arabia, just as Osama had demanded.

So I guess the support is mutual ;)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.mycavesucks.com

9:27 AM  

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[+/-]
 Elections in a time of national crisis

With reports of plans to postpone or cancel the November presidential election continuing to surface, it is useful to recall Abraham Lincoln's words on the subject:
It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.

On this point the present rebellion brought our republic to a severe test; and a presidential election occurring in regular course during the rebellion added not a little to the strain. If the loyal people, united, were put to the utmost of their strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided, and partially paralized (sic), by a political war among themselves?

But the election was a necessity.

We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us. The strife of the election is but human-nature practically applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case, must ever recur in similar cases. Human-nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, and as strong; as silly and as wise; as bad and good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.

But the election, along with its incidental, and undesirable strife, has done good too. It has demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a national election, in the midst of a great civil war. Until now it has not been known to the world that this was a possibility. It shows that, even among candidates of the same party, he who is most devoted to the Union, and most opposed to treason, can receive most of the people's votes. It shows also, to the extent yet known, that we have more men now, than we had when the war began. Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, patriotic men, are better than gold.
Given the Bush Cartel's obsession with secrecy why is Newsweek being permitted to report this story? Can you say trial balloon? I thought you could.

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Sunday, July 11, 2004

[+/-]
 Discrimination is never right, even against nonbelievers

As a thought experiment, let's assume you are Christian. How would you feel if your house was burning and the firefighters, who are Muslim, refuse to extinguish the blaze because they objected to your religion? If that weren't bad enough, how would you like it if you brought suit against the fire department and, to your amazement, discovered that the firefighters' lack of response was completely legal?

The Workplace Religious Freedom Act (S. 893), introduced in the Senate by Senator Santorum (R-PA) with bipartisan support, is now being pushed toward a vote. The bill would legally sanction discrimination and place the rights of some over the rights of others.

By altering Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the bill requires that employers show deference for the religious needs of their workers, unless it would result in "significant difficulty or expense." The bill's broad language places both Humanists and people of minority faiths at risk of being subjected to proselytizing from the dominant religious groups in the workplace. Rather than protecting individual rights and freedoms, the bill egregiously allows some people to force their ideas on others. The bill also seriously jeopardizes the wellbeing of American citizens. The broad language of the bill compromises health and safety by allowing healthcare workers to refuse to provide information and services related to family planning and HIV/AIDS treatment. Under the bill, police officers could also refuse to protect buildings if they had a moral objection to the tenant's activities--putting people like abortion clinic workers at risk.

Over the past 25 years, employees have brought an array of claims for employers to accommodate religious practices that would have resulted in harm to critical personal or civil rights. If WRFA had been law, the following rejected religious accommodation claims could have been decided differently:
  • Police officer’s request to refuse to protect an abortion clinic,
  • Another police officer’s request to abstain from arresting protestors blocking a clinic entrance,
  • Social worker’s decision to use Bible readings, prayer, and the "casting out of demons" with inmates in a county prison, instead of providing the county’s required secular mental health counseling,
  • State-employed visiting nurse’s decision to tell an AIDS patient and his partner that God "doesn’t like the homosexual lifestyle" and that they needed to pray for salvation,
  • Delivery room nurse’s refusal to scrub for an emergency inducement of labor and an emergency caesarian section delivery on women who were in danger of bleeding to death,
  • Two different male truck drivers and a male emergency medical technician request to avoid overnight work shifts with women because they could not sleep in the same quarters with women,
  • Employee assistance counselor’s request to refuse to counsel unmarried or gay or lesbian employees on relationship issues,
  • Hotel worker’s decision to spray a swastika on a mirror as a religious "good luck" symbol,
  • Private sector employee’s request to uncover and display a KKK tattoo of a hooded figure standing in front of a burning cross,
  • State-employed sign language interpreter’s request to proselytize and pray aloud for her assigned deaf mental health patients, and
  • Retail employee’s request to begin most statements on the job with "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth."

These examples were all actual cases brought into federal court by employees claiming that their employers refused to provide a reasonable accommodation of their religious beliefs. Applying the existing Title VII reasonable accommodation standard, the courts rejected all of these claims. Congress has no assurance that courts would continue to reject all of these types of claims if WRFA becomes law.

The harm that WRFA could cause is completely avoidable. Congress can, and should, pass legislation tightly focused on strengthening the federal requirements imposed on employers to accommodate workplace scheduling changes for the observation of religious holidays and the wearing of religious clothing or a beard or hairstyle. These two areas of religious accommodation account for nearly three-fourths of all of the religious accommodation claims rejected by federal courts in published opinions during the past quarter-century. A narrowly tailored bill could address these problems for religious minorities without any of the harms that WRFA could cause.

It is important that Humanist voices are heard at this critical juncture. Please contact your Senators and encourage them to oppose the Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) for the aforementioned reasons. You can reach them by calling the Senate switchboard at 202.224.3121. The Senate website also lists the direct office lines and email addresses for every Senator.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be fair, the case with the "swastika" was probably a misunderstanding. If the person was a practicing Hindu, they might have believed the swastika (which was taken by Hitler and perverted) was a holy symbol much like the Christian cross. You can tell the difference because most "good" swastikas sit like a square, while the Nazi swastikas sit at a 45 degree angle.

http://www.luckymojo.com/swastika.html

I'm not trying to excuse the individual for spraypainting a symbol on a wall, it would be the same to me if someone did picture of the Virgin Mary or Zeus or something.

8:11 PM  

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Friday, July 09, 2004

[+/-]
 Donald Trump to W: You're fired!

"Tell me, how is it possible that we can't find a guy who's 6-foot-6 and supposedly needs a dialysis machine?" Trump said. "Can you explain that one to me? We have all our energies focused on one place - where they shouldn't be focused."

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[+/-]
 Irony at the GOP

This is a tad ironic, given the latest antics of Dick F-Bomb Cheney.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic that Cheney used the F-word once, to a deserving pinko asshole who had it coming? Ironic that the bitch Whoopi is up on stage, half-lit, making a complete ass of herself while besmirching the name of a good man. And then the parade continued, with assholes galore--Chase, Lange, Mellencamp, et.al., spouting mindless blather, with no substance. Sort of like all of Kerry's speeches since he became the savior of the pinko wing of the Democrap party. What a bunch of phonies!!!

9:50 PM  
Blogger Knott said...

I think that the comment above is pretty typical of the debate going on between dems and reps in this country. Instead of trying to move forward, everyone is attacking each other at the grade-school, name-calling level. When we teach our children about American politics and how they make this country great, is this what we mean?

10:39 AM  

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[+/-]
 New Cases of Scientific Abuse by Administration Emerge

In the mid twentieth century advances in Soviet biology and genetics were set back decades by Lysenko's state-sponsored theories on evolution. Under Lysenko's guidance, science was guided not by the most likely theories, backed by appropriately controlled experiments, but by the desired ideology. Science was practiced in the service of the State, or more precisely, in the service of ideology. The results were predictable: the steady deterioration of Soviet biology. Lysenko's methods were not condemned by the Soviet scientific community until 1965, more than a decade after Stalin's death.

Today the Union of Concerned Scientists released new evidence that the Bush Administration continues to suppress and distort scientific knowledge and undermine scientific advisory panels in a manner that would make Stalin and Lysenko smile.

The new cases released by the Union of Concerned Scientists detail incidents of suppression and distortion of scientific knowledge on a range of policy issues. These new incidents have been corroborated through in-depth interviews and internal government documents, including some documents released through the Freedom of Information Act. Examples of scientific malfeasance include:
  • Egregious disregard of scientific study, across several agencies, regarding the environmental impacts of mountaintop removal mining;
  • Censorship and distortion of scientific analysis, and manipulation of the scientific process, across several issues and agencies in regard to the Endangered Species Act;
  • Distortion of scientific knowledge in decisions about emergency contraception; and
  • New evidence about the use of political litmus tests for scientific advisory panel appointees.
  • The number of scientists calling for an end to these practices and restoration of scientific integrity in federal policymaking now totals more than 4,000, including 48 Nobel laureates, 62 National Medal of Science recipients, and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences. A number of these scientists have served in multiple administrations, both Democratic and Republican't, underscoring the unprecedented nature of the Bush administration’s practices and demonstrating that the issues of scientific integrity transcend partisan politics.

    This cartoon would be funny, if it didn't cut so close to the bone.

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    [+/-]
     Three American citizens accused of running a fake prison in Kabul

    US State Department and Afghan officials are reporting that Afghan authorities have arrested three American citizens accused of running a fake prison in Kabul.

    Who the hell runs their own prison? Okay, maybe they are crazy, but where's the profit? Doesn't it make sense that they were paid to do this? Of course, the Bush Cartel is denying involvement.

    Just a few more bad apples, right? I mean this isn't in America's national character or anything, right?

    When will I again be proud to be an American?

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    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    [+/-]
     New estimates on Iraqi resistance

    The Associate Press is reporting that the Iraq insurgency is larger than previously thought.

    Larger than who thought? CIA estimates ranged up to 50,000. Other US intelligence agencies warned Bush administration policymakers before the war in Iraq that there would be significant armed opposition.

    The developing view of the insurgency contrasts with the commonly stated view in the Bush administration that the fighting is fueled by foreign warriors intent on creating an Islamic state: "We're not at the forefront of a jihadist war here," said a US military official in Baghdad, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official and others told the AP that the guerrillas have enough popular support among nationalist Iraqis angered by the presence of US troops that they cannot be militarily defeated.

    Any NeoCons reading this? I would love to hear your suggestions for fixing your mess....

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    [+/-]
     Aww... is your job too difficult, Mr. Bush?

    Today Mr. Bush walked out from a briefing with the media, refusing to answer questions after he was asked about Enron and the reported indictment of former CEO Kenneth Lay, who was a close adviser and fund-raiser for Bush and his father.

    Enron was Bush’s top career patron until last year, with executives and employees contributing over $600,000 to Bush’s campaigns. Mr. President, give that money back.

    RNC Chairman and Enron lobbyist Ed Gillespie received $700,000 from Enron. Mr. Gillespie, give that money back.

    Aww... is your job too difficult, Mr. Bush? Perhaps you should just step down.

    2 Comments:

    Blogger Kolchak said...

    What is that thing under the bottom of his suit coat? Does he have a board strapped to his butt?

    7:08 PM  
    Blogger Nanovirus said...

    Maybe the rod up his ass slipped out? :)

    7:51 PM  

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    [+/-]
     Bush wants Bin Laden captured during the Democratic Party Convention

    The New Republic is reporting that according to one source in Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), "The Pakistani government is really desperate and wants to flush out bin Laden and his associates after the latest pressures from the U.S. administration to deliver before the [upcoming] US elections."

    Another source who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, says that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of [bin Laden] before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." According to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [bin Laden and his aides] were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

    Yeah, this sounds a bit like a lame conspiracy theory, but Pakistan has a history of assisting Republican't administrations. "In Pakistan, there has been a folk belief that, whenever there's a Republican administration in office, relations with Pakistan have been very good," says Khalid Hasan, a US correspondent for the Lahore-based Daily Times. By contrast, there's also a "folk belief that the Democrats are always pro-India."

    Anyway, why now? Pushing Musharraf to go after Al Qaeda in the tribal areas may be a good idea despite the risks. But, if that is the case, it was a good idea in 2002 and 2003.

    2 Comments:

    Blogger Rook said...

    First, let me welcome to the Blogsphere.

    As to the whole "July Surprise," BushCo™ has been nothing but stagecraft since the start, this is just another attempt at stagecraft. Unfortunately, their stage is falling apart.

    11:00 AM  
    Blogger Nanovirus said...

    Let's hope so. What worries me is the Bush Cartel's reaction to the stage falling apart. I do not imagine them leaving town quietly, if at all. I put some thoughts in my 07/04/2004 posting, if you are interested.

    1:51 PM  

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    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    [+/-]
     Edwards versus Cheney

    A new poll finds that Kerry's selection of Senator John Edwards to be his running mate is paying immediate dividends.

    According to the poll, a Kerry-Edwards ticket gets support from 49 percent of registered voters, while President Bush and Vice President Cheney get 41 percent, and independent Ralph Nader and running mate Peter Camejo get 4 percent. In a two-way race, Kerry-Edwards leads Bush-Cheney, 54 percent to 43 percent. These results represent a boost for Kerry's campaign, compared with polls from a week ago showing that the race was essentially tied.

    Comparing the two vice presidential candidates, when asked who would do a better job of running the country, 45 percent said Edwards, while 38 percent said Cheney. Moreover, when asked who is more optimistic about the future of the country, 49 percent said Edwards, while just 28 percent chose Cheney.

    It's interesting that the poll shows that one of Edwards' perceived weaknesses -- his past work as a trial lawyer -- might not be a liability. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said his trial-lawyer past wouldn't make a difference to their vote, while 14 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for him, and another 14 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for him. I never have felt this was as important as the RNC spinmeisters would have us believe. If Kerry-Edwards can spin this into a defender-of-David-versus-corporate-Goliath story, Bush and Cheney should just start packing their bags now. Besides, wasn't Lincoln a lawyer?

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    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    [+/-]
     Whom Does McCain Support?

    So now we know it will be Kerry-Edwards. The Bush cartel reselection team immediately released a new television advertisement featuring former Republican rival John McCain and titled "First Choice," an effort to paint Edwards as Kerry's second choice.

    Whom does McCain support? McCain did have praise for John Edwards when Edwards released his book "Four Trials":
    In Four Trials, John Edwards has written movingly of people who were terribly wronged, and whom he helped seek some measure of justice with great skill, determination, and genuine compassion. He shows a perceptive appreciation in these accounts for the strength of his clients' character. And, in the loving portrait of his son, Wade, and the deeply touching account of his loss, John reveals the strength of his own character and gives the reader a look beyond a political biography into the heart of a good man.
                -- Senator John McCain
    In related news, here is irrefutable proof that the New York Post is run by idiots.

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    Monday, July 05, 2004

    [+/-]
     Kerry's message and VP

    The Gadflyer has a nice piece today on Why Kerry shouldn't try to out-smile Bush:
    "We don't need a leader who'll be optimistic for America, we need one who'll be determined for it.... What's needed is an antidote to Bush's desperate-ploy optimism, a reminder of where our country actually is rather than where the commercials place it. The Hollywood model needed now is not the indomitable runt who eventually plays halfback, but the tough-as-nails soldier who refuses to give up and radiates can-do grit."
    The Economist this week has a simplistic breakdown of Kerry's VP potentials (subscription required). Personally I really like John Edwards, and he has been teriffic stumping for Kerry, but I think he'd be a poor VP choice: he cannot even bring along his own red state of North Carolina. Governor Mark Warner (D-VA) has a better chance of turning the Old Dominion blue, although that would be a first since LBJ. The most intriguing suggestion is former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Would Rubin's Wall Street credentials be enough to compensate for his lack of electoral experience? I bet he could at least pass the FCC Indececy Quiz, unlike Mr. Cheney.

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    Sunday, July 04, 2004

    [+/-]
     Top Ten George W. Bush Complaints About "Fahrenheit 9/11"

    David Letterman's Top Ten George W. Bush Complaints About "Fahrenheit 9/11".

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    [+/-]
     Happy Independence Day

    I put my flag outside my house today. The past year's events have changed its meaning for me. Today the flag represents the promise of freedom and democracy rather than its fulfillment. The Bush regime is corrupt to the core: it pains me that I cannot find anything kind to say about them. The needless war, cover-ups, weekely scandals, Abu Ghraib, increasing level of terrorism. Is there anything this bunch can do that doesn't make me ashamed to be an American?

    Since the selection of 2000, it has been apparent to many people more learned than me that the Bush cartel does not buy into the legitimacy of the democratic system. If that is true, what is to stop them from attempting to remain in power regardless of the outcome of the November election? Sound far-fetched? Perhaps, but the administration is making plans for it.

    However, the recent awakening of pockets of the American people (even conservatives) to the drunk-with-bloodlust erosion of the Bill of Rights under Bush-43 gives me hope that one day I can teach my kids about the resilience of American democracy rather than its passage.

    It is not yet too late: don't be afraid of your freedom. I know I plan to declare my independence while I still have it.

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    Friday, July 02, 2004

    [+/-]
     Indicators of Democracy

    Last year I asked my wife a hypothetical question:
    "If sometime in the future American democracy ceased to exist, what would the historians write? Surely there would be warning signs that democracy was on its last legs... what would those signs be?"

    She didn't have an answer, nor did I, but the question has been nagging me all year. So let's start a list of reasonable, measurable factors that would apply to the United States as well as any democratic country.

    1. If free and fair elections at a resonable frequency to ensure that the governed support the governors is the staple of democracy, then heading this list would be electoral disruption: elections which are not so free, fair or frequent.
    2. Supression of political parties and organizations that oppose the current regime.
    3. Suppression of civil liberties.
    There must be more... what would you add?

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