Friday, October 29, 2004
[+/-] NASA expert: Bush was wired
Dr. Robert M. Nelson is a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis. Currently he's engrossed in analyzing digital photos of Saturn's moon Titan, determining its shape, whether it contains craters or canyons.
A professional physicist and photo analyst for more than 30 years, he speaks earnestly and thoughtfully about his subject. "I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate," he says. "This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt."
[+/-] Voter supression stories pouring in
[+/-] What do Hunter S. Thompson and The Economist have in common?
[O]ur confidence in [Bush] has been shattered. We agree that his broad vision is the right one but we doubt whether Mr Bush is able to change or has sufficient credibility to succeed, especially in the Islamic world.... Furthermore, as Mr Bush has often said, there is a need in life for accountability. He has refused to impose it himself, and so voters should, in our view, impose it on him, given a viable alternative. John Kerry, for all the doubts about him, would be in a better position to carry on with America's great tasks.Second, and more humorously, from Mr. Thompson:
There is angst in the heart of Texas today, and panic in the bowels of the White House. Rove has a nasty little problem, and its name is George Bush. The president failed miserably from the instant he got onstage with John Kerry. He looked weak and dumb. Kerry beat him like a gong in Coral Gables, then again in St. Louis and Tempe -- and that is Rove's problem: His candidate is a weak-minded frat boy who cracks under pressure in front of 60 million voters....
If Nixon were running for president today, he would be seen as a "liberal" candidate, and he would probably win. He was a crook and a bungler, but what the hell? Nixon was a barrel of laughs compared to this gang of thugs from the Halliburton petroleum organization who are running the White House today -- and who will be running it this time next year, if we (the once-proud, once-loved and widely respected "American people") don't rise up like wounded warriors and whack those lying petroleum pimps out of the White House on November 2nd.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
[+/-] The Nation: Kerry can prevent a slow-motion American coup
[I]f Bush is defeated, his entire presidency will acquire the aspect of an aberration, a mistake that has been corrected, and the American people will be able to say: We never accepted Bushism. We rejected the brutality, the propaganda, the misbegotten wars, the imperial arrogance. And we never, ever chose George W. Bush to be President of the United States.
But even these stakes are not the largest on the table in November. The largest and most important is the protection of American democracy. It is always difficult while enjoying the comforts and privileges of taken-for-granted liberties to imagine that they could be lost; but the elements of Bush's misrule have plainly converged to form this threat....
It is not only all three branches of government that have fallen largely into the same hands; it is the corporations, the military (which tends to vote Republican) and, increasingly, the communications industry, which are either propaganda arms of the party, as in the case of Fox News and other outlets of the Rupert Murdoch media empire, or else simply bow to the pressure of Administration threats and popular anxiety....
The persistent theme of these policies and actions, domestic and international, is to acquire power--to seize it, to increase it and to keep it for good. A systemic crisis--a threat to the Constitution of the United States--has taken shape. At the end of this road is an implied vision of a different system: a world run by the United States and a United States run permanently by the Republican Party, which is to say imperial rule abroad, one-party rule at home....
No one can know when or how the decisive test of democracy might arrive. It could come quickly, perhaps in a crackdown following another terrorist attack on American soil, this time conceivably on a far greater scale than September 11, or it could come slowly, in a protraction of the process, already well under way, of gradual strangulation of independent institutions, amounting to a coup in slow-motion--a hardening of an informal monopoly of power into a formal monopoly--leaving the institutions of democracy technically intact but corrupted and hollowed out from within, helpless to resist a central authority that has drawn all real power into its own hands....
Yet it remains true that of all the things Americans can now do to support democracy, the election of John Kerry is the most important. A Kerry presidency would seriously disrupt the concentration of power at the heart of the present danger....
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
[+/-] Prelude to the second American civil war
It may be days or weeks, if not months, before we know the final results of this presidential election. And given the Republican control of the government, if Karl Rove is on the losing side, it could be years: He will take every issue (if he is losing) to its ultimate appeal in every state he can.I think Bush has lost so much credibility that Democrats would try to deny him even a fairly won contest. A close result will be disasterous.
The cost of such litigation will be great - with the capital of citizens' trust in their government, and its election processes, sinking along with the nation's (if not the world's) financial markets, which loathe uncertainty. After Bush v. Gore, is there any doubt how the high Court would resolve another round? This time, though, the Court, too, will pay more dearly. With persuasive power as its only source of authority, the Court's power will diminish as the American people's cynicism skyrockets.
It does not seem to trouble either Rove or Bush that they are moving us toward a Twenty-first Century civil war -- and that, once again, Southern conservatism is at its core. Only a miracle, it strikes me, can prevent this election from descending into post-election chaos.
[+/-] Top 15 biblical ways to acquire a wife
[+/-] US gave date of war to Britain five months early
[+/-] GOP email contains info on supressing black vote
A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.I reported Saturday about a similar effort in Ohio. Now it looks systematic. Protect your democratic rights. Here's how.
Election supervisor Ion Sancho believes some voters are being intimidated
Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".
It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.
An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day." [...]
In Jacksonville, to determine if Republicans were using the lists or other means of intimidating voters, we filmed a private detective filming every "early voter" - the majority of whom are black - from behind a vehicle with blacked-out windows.
The private detective claimed not to know who was paying for his all-day services.
On the scene, Democratic Congresswoman Corinne Brown said the surveillance operation was part of a campaign of intimidation tactics used by the Republican Party to intimate and scare off African American voters, almost all of whom are registered Democrats.
[+/-] Tips for voters
- If you are newly registered or if you have moved recently, call ahead of Nov. 2 and make sure that you are on the list of registered voters and make sure that you know where you are to vote.
- Get a sample ballot. Call your county or state election official to request it. Or, check your state's election website to print one out - especially if your ballot is going to be complex (many referenda) or if you will be using a new voting technology/machine. Study the sample ballot beforehand. Complete the sample ballot with your choices - slowly, quietly and carefully in the privacy of your home or office.
- Take your sample ballot with you to the polling place. You may bring it with you. This will help you assure that you are voting for whom/what you think you want to vote.
- Do not vote early morning or evening hours at your polling place. Avoid long lines and crowds -- especially in battleground states. Vote mid-day: 10 AM - 4 PM.
- Know your rights. Every state is required to provide a list of voter's rights on the sample ballot and at the polling place. If you need help with your voting machine or ballot at your polling place, ask for it You must be given help if you request it. If you have a paper ballot and you make a mistake, call for help immediately from a poll official. You have the right to receive another ballot and to destroy the ballot with the mistake.
- If your name is not found on the registered voters list at your poll on Election Day or if anything else comes up that prevents you from being able to step into the voting booth, demand a Provisional Ballot. Demand it! You have this right! Your Provisional Ballot may be counted after your registration problem/voter challenge has been cleared up.
- Take the time to check your ballot before completing your vote. Give a second reading to your ballot before you cast the ballot. If you spot a mistake, call for a poll official.
- Carry this telephone number with you to the polls: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). If you have any problems at the polling place, call the Election Protection hotline at 866-687-8683. Election Protection is a nationwide program to safeguard your right to cast a ballot on Election Day.
- Mail or deliver your ballot personally. If you are voting by mail or using an absentee ballot, mail it yourself or hand it in yourself. Don't, under any circumstances, give it to someone else for delivery.
- Bring valid photo ID with you. Two pieces if you have them.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
[+/-] Bush fan
Johnny says, "I'm not a Bush fan."
The teacher says, "Why aren't you a Bush fan?"
Johnny says, "I'm a John F. Kerry fan."
The teacher asks why he's a Kerry fan.
The boy says, "Well, my mom's a Kerry fan, and my Dad's a Kerry fan, so I'm a Kerry fan!"
The teacher is kind of angry, because this is Texas, so she says, "What if your Mom was a moron, and your dad was an idiot, what would that make you?"
Johnny says, "That would make me a Bush fan."
Thanks to Maria for the joke.
[+/-] "Why I believe in our president"
I believe income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are the solution to budget surpluses or deficits, high or low inflation, stable or unstable interest rates, expanding or shrinking trade deficits, widening or narrowing wealth gaps, increasing or decreasing poverty rates, rising or falling unemployment, prosperity or recession, wartime or peace....
I believe that a president who insists that hard-working Americans deserve tax breaks should continue to stand fast against cutting payroll taxes – the direct tax on hard work. Clearly, I do not believe that payroll taxes coupled with income taxes on work constitute "double taxation," but the dividend tax on assets does....
I believe a white man of privilege who was accepted to Yale University despite a middling performance in prep school; was accepted to Harvard Business School despite a middling performance at Yale; was admitted to the Texas Air National Guard despite no flight background and an entrance exam score in the bottom quartile; was given funds by Osama bin Laden's father to start a failed oil company; and was chosen to serve as Texas governor and 43rd President of the United States despite a lifelong record of mediocrity, is a man with the moral authority to criticize affirmative action as a policy that gives opportunities to the undeserving.
Monday, October 25, 2004
[+/-] Stem cells are changing the abortion issue
[S]tem cells make the essential premise of the right-to-life movement a much harder sell. It's a real person like you, or it's many people like you, or it's actually you--versus that microscopic dot. The selflessness required to say, "OK, I'll suffer and die prematurely so that this dot can stay frozen for the next thousand years," is much more dramatic than the mostly theoretical selflessness involved in opposing abortion....
The stem-cell debate inevitably affects the older argument about abortion. Once you decide that a five-day-old embryo maybe isn't as human as you or me, the tempting logical clarity of the absolutist right-to-life position disappears. The slippery slope suddenly slopes the other way. The possibility that human life emerges gradually, like so much in nature, and doesn't turn on instantly like an electric light, doesn't seem so implausible. Does this mean that people are hypocrites? No, it means that people are human.
[+/-] Bill Maher's anti-gospel
"How did we get here? I don't know. What will happen when you die? I don't know. Is there a heaven? I don't know," he says, repeating his litany of disbelief. "I don't know if you're on the list to get in. I don't know. You don't know. But it's better than making up a story."...Too bad more of our citizens -- including politicians -- don't have the same courage of their convictions as Maher.
"I believed all this stuff when I was young," Maher begins, smiling wryly. "I believed there was a virgin birth, I believed a man lived inside of a whale, and I believed that the Earth was 5,000 years old. But then something very important happened to me -- I graduated sixth grade."...
Religion is like mercury fillings, Maher says.
"That was something else that was drilled into my head when I was a child that I had no control over, into my teeth -- literally. They would fill our cavities up with [mercury]. Five years ago, or whenever it was, I had it drilled out. And I say the same thing about religion.
"As a child, you cannot be held responsible for the dumb things adults do to you. But you do have to take responsibility, I think, when you become an adult, to drill them out, to undo the damage."...
"One of the many things that annoys me about religion is that it's arrogance masquerading as humility," he says.... It's arrogant to think that, if there is a force in the universe, this force, whom most people refer to as 'Him,' has the time and inclination to listen to your stupid, petty laundry list of what you want in this life. Prayer. That's another, silly Santa Claus notion. Pray to Santa, and he'll give you what you want. It's so silly. It's so childish. And so much of the world is getting over this."...
[+/-] Who is out of the mainstream?
Examining some of Kerry's endorsements, for example, we find the Financial Times, W's hometown newspaper, 24 newspapers that endorsed Bush in 2000, American Conservative magazine, Bush's relatives, and dozens of university professors of business and economics, among others. These are centrists, all. More in line with Reagan than McGovern, certainly.
Among Bush's endorsements we find Al Qaeda and Iran.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
[+/-] American Conservative endorses Kerry
Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation’s children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliché about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy....
[A]s long as Bush is president, we have no real allies in the world, no friends to help us dig out from the Iraq quagmire.... The hatred Bush has generated has helped immeasurably those trying to recruit anti-American terrorists—indeed his policies are the gift to terrorism that keeps on giving, as the sons and brothers of slain Iraqis think how they may eventually take their own revenge.
[+/-] Republican brownshirts deployed to intimidate Ohio voters
Republicans said they had enlisted 3,600 by the deadline, many in heavily Democratic urban neighborhoods of Cleveland, Dayton and other cities. Each recruit was to be paid $100.
Election officials in other swing states, from Arizona to Wisconsin and Florida, say they are bracing for similar efforts by Republicans to challenge new voters at polling places. Ohio election officials said they had never seen so large a drive to prepare for Election Day challenges. They said they were scrambling yesterday to be ready for disruptions in the voting process as well as alarm and complaints among voters. Some officials said they worried that the challenges could discourage or even frighten others waiting to vote.
Democrats worry that the challenges will inevitably delay the process and frustrate the voters.
"Our concern is Republicans will be challenging in large numbers for the purpose of slowing down voting, because challenging takes a long time," said David Sullivan, the voter protection coordinator for the national Democratic Party in Ohio. "And creating long lines causes our people to leave without voting."
In several states officials have alerted poll workers to expect a heightened interest by the parties in challenging voters. In some cases, poll workers, many of them elderly, have been given training to deal with any abusive challenging.
Friday, October 22, 2004
[+/-] 6,000 pages of detainee abuse documents
The release of the documents follows a federal court order that directed the Defense Department and other government agencies to comply with the ACLU’s year-old request under the Freedom of Information Act.
A log of the records received is online at and copies of the documents will be posted over the course of the next several days.
[+/-] Vatican denies Kerry excommunicated
"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has had no contact with Mr. (Marc) Balestrieri," said Dominican Father Augustine DiNoia, undersecretary of the congregation. "His claim that the private letter he received from (Dominican) Father Basil Cole is a Vatican response is completely without merit."
Balestrieri is the head of De Fide, described on its Web site as an organization created "to deal with the burgeoning scandal of Catholic politicians supporting the 'right to choose' murder." Balestrieri said he had "received a written response prompted by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirming that Catholic politicians who persist in supporting the right to abortion are 'automatically excommunicated.'"
He said Cole "was delegated" by DiNoia "to formally respond" to questions Balestrieri had sent the congregation. DiNoia denied that Cole, a theologian who resides in Washington, was delegated in any way to address the questions on behalf of the congregation.
"I have no relationship to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ... and the letter that I wrote to Balestrieri was purely private," Cold said. "I wrote it as a private theologian, not with any authority. It has no authority whatsoever. Its worth is disputable."
One Vatican official contacted by CNS said no church official had seriously approached the point of declaring Kerry a heretic.
"No, Kerry is not a heretic," he said.
Too bad the catholic church is backing down on this one. I personally was looking forward to the backlash....
[+/-] Army to Let Halliburton keep its stolen booty
According to Pentagon documents reviewed by the Journal, the Army has acknowledged that the Houston-based company might never be able to account properly for some of its work, which has been probed amid accusations that Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit overbilled the government for some operations in Iraq.Can you imagine the outcry on Fox News if this was John Edwards' former company?
The company has hired a consulting firm to estimate what Halliburton's services should cost, the report said. Officials are considering using the estimate to serve as the basis for "an equitable settlement," under which the Pentagon could drop many of the claims its auditors have made against the company.
Some Pentagon officials see the effort to broker an outside settlement with the company as unusual because the contract is so large.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
[+/-] Bush's relatives are voting for Kerry
I'm voting for John Kerry because I'm a Christian. I know that my second cousin, George Bush, claims that he is the anointed leader of the American people and that God told him to run for office. I believe he may even believe that. I don't....
My Christian faith tells me the peacemakers are the blessed ones, yet George Bush wants to resurrect the Crusades, one of the most shameful experiences in Christian history....
My Christian faith moves toward greater inclusiveness and acceptance, George Bush moves toward punishment, division, and exclusion. My Christian faith seeks to bring people into the circle of decision-making, George Bush seeks to keep them out. My Christian faith seeks to afford equal rights and responsibilities to all, George Bush seeks to reserve more rights for the privileged few.
My Christian faith is not looking for a new Messiah named George Bush.
I am, however, looking for a leader. I believe that leader's name is John Kerry
[+/-] Tom DeLay, you've been served!
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) was subpoenaed in Houston to a Monday deposition concerning his role in the controversial dispute between Democratic Legislators and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) during last year's redistricting struggle.
Texas State Representative Lon Burnam (D--Fort Worth) subpoenaed DeLay in his ongoing lawsuit challenging DPS's use of public funds to achieve political ends and for its destruction of documents following the exodus of Democratic Legislators from the State to prevent a quorum in a redistricting effort that Democrats claim was illegal.
Burnam's subpoena of DeLay comes just days after the Republican House Majority Leader was officially rebuked by the House Ethics Committee for his inappropriate use of government resources in an effort to track down and arrest House Democrats.
"Questions have been raised about Majority Leader DeLay's role in directing both DPS and Homeland Security personnel in the use of the state and federal funds in the search for House Democrats," said Fort Worth lawyer, Art Brender, who together with Austin lawyer Catherine Mauzy represents Burnam in the case.
Help get rid of the bastard here.
[+/-] New poll confirms Bush supporters are dumbfucks
These are some of the findings of a new study of the differing perceptions of Bush and Kerry supporters, conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes and Knowledge Networks, based on polls conducted in September and October.
The poll found that 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.
Steven Kull, director of PIPA, comments,
One of the reasons that Bush supporters have these beliefs is that they perceive the Bush administration confirming them. Interestingly, this is one point on which Bush and Kerry supporters agree.... Another reason that Bush supporters may hold to these beliefs is that they have not accepted the idea that it does not matter whether Iraq had WMD or supported al Qaeda. Here too they are in agreement with Kerry supporters.... To support the president and to accept that he took the US to war based on mistaken assumptions likely creates substantial cognitive dissonance, and leads Bush supporters to suppress awareness of unsettling information about prewar Iraq.The dumbass-itude of Bush supporters extends to other realms as well. For example, despite an abundance of evidence -- including Gallup polls in 38 countries, only 31% of Bush supporters recognize that the majority of people in the world oppose the US having gone to war with Iraq. Forty-two percent assume that views are evenly divided, and 26% assume that the majority approves. Among Kerry supporters, 74% assume that the majority of the world is opposed.
Similarly, 57% of Bush supporters assume that the majority of people in the world would favor Bush's reelection; 33% assumed that views are evenly divided and only 9% assumed that Kerry would be preferred. A recent poll by GlobeScan and PIPA of 35 of the major countries around the world found that in 30, a majority or plurality favored Kerry, while in just 3 Bush was favored. On average, Kerry was preferred more than two to one.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
[+/-] How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. There’s nothing wrong with that light bulb. There is no need to change anything. We made the right decision and nothing has happened to change our minds. People who criticize this light bulb now, just because it doesn’t work anymore, supported us when we first screwed it in, and when these flip-floppers insist on saying that it is burned out, they are merely giving aid and encouragement to the Forces of Darkness.
-- John Cleese
[+/-] Iran endorses Bush
Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body.
"We haven't seen anything good from Democrats," Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.
"It is telling that this president has received the endorsement of member of the axis of evil," Kerry campaign spokeswoman Allison Dobson said. "But Americans deserve a president who will have a comprehensive strategy to address the potential threat of Iran's growing nuclear program."
"We should not forget that most sanctions and economic pressures were imposed on Iran during the time of Clinton," Rowhani said. "And we should not forget that during Bush's era — despite his hard-line and baseless rhetoric against Iran — he didn't take, in practical terms, any dangerous action against Iran."
Bush was previously endorsed by Al Qaeda.
[+/-] Bush suppressing CIA report on 9/11 until after election
It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.
"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."
When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."
According to the intelligence official, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, release of the report, which represents an exhaustive 17-month investigation by an 11-member team within the agency, has been 'stalled.' First by acting CIA Director John McLaughlin and now by Porter J. Goss, the former Republican House member (and chairman of the Intelligence Committee) who recently was appointed CIA chief by President Bush.
The official stressed that the report was more blunt and more specific than the earlier bipartisan reports produced by the Bush-appointed Sept. 11 commission and Congress.
"What all the other reports on 9/11 did not do is point the finger at individuals, and give the how and what of their responsibility. This report does that," said the intelligence official. "The report found very senior-level officials responsible."
[+/-] Bush's bulge, uncovered
[+/-] Zogby shows Bush ahead in battleground states
All of Bush's leads are within the polls' margins of error, but if they held up, he would secure a scant Electoral College majority and four more years in the White House. Here's how:
- Assuming that DC and the 34 states that aren't in the battleground poll will vote for the same political party this November as they did in the 2000 election, Bush begins with 189 electoral votes and Kerry with 172 (a candidate needs 270 votes to win).
- Add the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margin or error or the spread between the candidates. Kerry's nine states have 92 electoral votes; Bush's seven control 85.
- Adding up the votes from battleground and non-battleground states, Bush would win by a slim 274-264. This 10 electoral-vote margin between Bush and Kerry is the narrowest Zogby has found since beginning their battlegound analyses.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
[+/-] A must read for fans of Dick
[+/-] Bush's church calls him a criminal
We, the undersigned, do hold that George W. Bush, a member of Park Hill United Methodist Church (UMC) in Dallas, Texas, and Dick Cheney (local membership unknown) are undeniably guilty of at least four chargeable offenses for lay members as listed in 2702.3 of the 2000 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. These offenses are: crime, immorality, disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The UMC, and dissemination of doctrine contrary to the established standards of doctrine of The UMC.The "Chargeable Offenses" include (1) Leading the United States into an illegal war against the sovereign nation of Iraq; and (2) Immorality, in actively and intentionally deceiving the American public by stressing a non-existent connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, by asserting Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, and by claiming Iraq was building a nuclear weapons program; among others.
The statement's conclusion is unambiguous:
[W]e feel that most of [Bush's] actions as president have directly contradicted the philosophy of Jesus. Jesus said to feed, clothe, and shelter the "least of these", not to starve, strip, and bomb them.The church is calling for an immediate and public act of repentance by the Bush and Cheney. If they fail to sincerely and publicly repent for their crimes, their church membership will be revoked.
We are also concerned that the respondents seem completely ignorant of their denomination's stances on many weighty moral issues and have consistently ignored the advice and pleadings of their own Council of Bishops.... Now is the time to hold them accountable, or to be judged ourselves by God for not doing so.
[+/-] Kerry excommunicated?
A letter by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (originally known as the Inquisition), states that Catholic politicians who persist in supporting the right to abortion are "automatically excommunicated:"
Consequently, if a Catholic publicly and obstinately supports the civil right to abortion, knowing that the Church teaches officially against that legislation, he or she commits that heresy envisioned by Can. 751 of the Code. Provided that the presumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty (Can. 15, § 2) and imputability (Can. 1321, § 3) are not rebutted in the external forum, one is automatically excommunicated according to Can. 1364, § 1.The letter goes even further in specifying that any baptized Catholic who publicly states, "I’m personally opposed, but I support a woman’s right to choose," is in fact presumed by Canon Law to be guilty of heresy. The often cited "Cuomo" defense. A pro-choice Catholic politician who says that he is "personally opposed" to the act of abortion itself still commits Heresy by publicly supporting the civil right to choose abortion.
I get the sense this ain't over yet. Check back later for further developments.
Monday, October 18, 2004
[+/-] Like the Democrats of the 1970s, today's GOP is sounding its death rattle
[F]or all its apparent strength, the modern Republican Party has worked itself into a position of profound and growing decay. Worried Republicans are right to look to the past to help sort out their future. But the right date isn't 1994 or 1904. It's the late 1970s--and the party to look at isn't the Republicans, but the Democrats. Like the Democrats of that period, the current version of the Republican Party is supremely powerful but ideologically incoherent, run largely by and for special interests and increasingly alienated from the broader voting public. Today's GOP is headed for a profound crackup. The only questions are when, exactly, the decline will start--and how long it will last.It's a longish read, but a good one. Here's a snippet illustrating the author's comparisons between the Republicans of today and the Democrats of the 1970s:
Jimmy Carter fought against his party's worst instincts, lost, and in losing made himself look weak. His failure to win reelection convinced his party's liberal wing not that they should have been more open to Carter's reforms, but that they had been right all along. In 1984, Democrats rejected the progressive centrist presidential bid of Gary Hart in favor of liberal stalwart Walter Mondale, who in turn chose as running-mate a liberal New York congresswoman, Geraldine Ferraro, to form a ticket that carried one state in 50. By 1988, the Democratic landscape started to shift; the party nominated a pragmatist governor, Michael Dukakis, and a conservative Texas senator, Lloyd Bentsen, as his running mate. But Dukakis, tone-deaf on crime and defense, fit too easily into a right-wingers' caricature of a Northern liberal, and he, too, lost badly. It wasn't until 1992 that the party finally put a Southern centrist, Bill Clinton, at the top of the ticket. And it took Clinton eight years of cajoling and fighting with his party's liberal base (who put up big fights over welfare reform and the president's fiscal conservatism) to put the Democrats more-or-less squarely behind moderate policies. Changing a party takes time.
By contrast, George Bush has embraced his party's worst instincts, thereby winning its support and making himself look strong. This image of strength, plus an ineffective opponent, might be enough to win him reelection. But ironically, a Bush win will have the same effect on the GOP as Carter's loss had on the Democrats: It will convince the ideologues that they were right. For that reason, moderate Republicans who truly want to take back their party must secretly hope--indeed, many do--that Bush loses.
[+/-] More on Bush and the draft
Those were George W. Bush's words yesterday on the campaign trail. I believe him: if anyone knows how to avoid a draft, it's W the coward!
Seriously though, on Saturday he said:"After standing on the stage, after the debates, I made it very plain we will not have an all-volunteer army."
Is there a draft in here?
Friday, October 15, 2004
[+/-] Abortion rates increase under Bush
When President Bush took office, the nation's abortion rates were at a 24-year low.... Enter George W. Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to continue its consistent course downward, if not plunge. Instead, the opposite happened....
Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected before this change of direction.
How could this be? I see three contributing factors:
First, two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child....
Second, half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate....
Third, women worry about health care for themselves and their children....
What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues....
[+/-] Photo from 3rd debate proves Bush was wired
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
[+/-] For whom should a humanist vote?
[+/-] FEMA activities on election day
Why is FEMA running a terrorism response training course on election day?
[+/-] Expert says Bush was definitely wired
"There's no question about it. It's a pretty obvious one -- larger than most because it probably has descrambling capability," said Alex Darbut, technical and business development vice president for Resistance Technology in Arden Hills, Minn.
Darbut speculates that the device the president wears is provided by the Secret Service, noting, "They're not going to have him driving around the countryside on his ranch without being in instant contact with him."
Yesterday the Cheater in Chief issued a flat denial, of course.
[+/-] Voter registrations trashed
Employees of a Voters Outreach of America (AKA America Votes) allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.
The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the registrar has asked the FBI to investigate.
Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats: "We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.
Anyone who has recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery store or even government building in the Las Vegas area may be affected.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
[+/-] 100 Mistakes for Bush to choose from
Last week, at the town hall debate, Bush was asked to name three mistakes. He was unable to come up with even one.
In the interest of assisting the President with this surprisingly difficult task, here is a list of 100 mistakes he has made since taking office.
[+/-] Joyful reminiscences from Bush's first term
[+/-] Neanderthals for Kerry
If you don't know Charlie Reese, he is about as conservative as they come: a Republican who is antiabortion, anti-tax-and-spend, loudly critical of "judicial activism," doesn't think much of multiculturalism or secularism; has suggested Clinton "turned the Oval Office into a Whorehouse;" thinks Ronald Reagan is the greatest thing since canned beer, and voted for Bush in the last election.
Americans should realize that if they vote for President Bush's re-election, they are really voting for the architects of war – Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of that cabal of neoconservative ideologues and their corporate backers.
I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory.
It's no wonder the president avoids press conferences like the plague. Take away his cue cards and he can barely talk. Americans should be embarrassed that an Arab king (Abdullah of Jordan) spoke more fluently and articulately in English than our own president at their joint press conference recently.
John Kerry is at least an educated man, well-read, who knows how to think and who knows that the world is a great deal more complex than Bush's comic-book world of American heroes and foreign evildoers. It's unfortunate that in our poorly educated country, Kerry's very intelligence and refusal to adopt simplistic slogans might doom his presidential election efforts....
It is not at all conservative to balloon government spending, to vastly increase the power of government, to show contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law, or to tell people that foreign outsourcing of American jobs is good for them, that giant fiscal and trade deficits don't matter, and that people should not know what their government is doing. Bush is the most prone-to-classify, the most secretive president in the 20th century. His administration leans dangerously toward the authoritarian....
I will swallow a lot of petty policy differences with Kerry to get a man in the White House with brains enough not to blow up the world and us with it. Go to Kerry's Web site and read some of the magazine profiles on him. You'll find that there is a great deal more to Kerry than the GOP attack dogs would have you believe.
Besides, it would be fun to have a president who plays hockey, windsurfs, ride motorcycles, plays the guitar, writes poetry and speaks French. It would be good to have a man in the White House who has killed people face to face. Killing people has a sobering effect on a man and dispels all illusions about war.
[+/-] Freeway Free Speech Day
Look, you really should do this.
I know you're busy: so am I.
Do you really want to wake up after election day with Bush victorious and regret not doing everything in your power to stop him?
Make a sign. Or two. Tell a friend. Or two. Email them. Speak to them about it when you are at that bar tonight. Do it. Please.
[+/-] 8 lies you will hear tomorrow
Jobs: Mr. Bush will talk about the 1.7 million jobs created since the summer of 2003, and will say that the economy is 'strong and getting stronger.' That's like boasting about getting a D on your final exam, when you flunked the midterm and needed at least a C to pass the course....
Unemployment: [T]he employed fraction of the population didn't rise at all....
The deficit: Congressional Budget Office estimates show that [the Bush] tax cuts caused about two-thirds of the 2004 deficit.
The tax cuts: [B]udget office numbers show that most of Mr. Bush's tax cuts went to the best-off 10 percent of families, and more than a third went to the top 1 percent, whose average income is more than $1 million....
Mr. Kerry sometimes uses verbal shorthand that offers nitpickers things to complain about.... Mr. Bush's statements, on the other hand, are fundamentally dishonest....
Monday, October 11, 2004
[+/-] Anti-Kerry documentary to preempt local TV
Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the largest chain of TV stations in the United States, plans to shelve regular programming next week to broadcast a documentary accusing Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of betraying American prisoners during the Vietnam War.
Sinclair has ordered its 62 stations -- some of which are in swing states such as Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin -- to show "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" during prime-time hours two weeks before the Nov. 2 election. The Sinclair station group extends to 24 percent of US television households.
You might recall that this is the same Sinclair that generated headlines last April when it ordered seven of its ABC-affiliated stations not to show a "Nightline" segment that included the reading of the names of US soldiers killed in Iraq, a decision that drew rebukes from John McCain, among others.
"Stolen Honor" deals with Kerry's antiwar testimony to Congress in 1971 and its effect on American POWs in Vietnam. Kerry testified that US forces frequently committed atrocities in Vietnam. The program, produced independently of Sinclair, contains interviews with former prisoners of war.
The report quoted Kerry's campaign spokesman, David Wade, as calling the documentary "lies" and "a smear."
UPDATE! 16:42 Sign the petition.
[+/-] Has runaway global warming begun?
An unexplained and unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere two years running has raised fears that the world may be on the brink of runaway global warming.
Climatologists are bewildered why the quantity of the main greenhouse gas has leapt in a two-year period and are concerned that the Earth's natural systems are no longer able to absorb as much as in the past.
The figures could be the first sign of the breakdown in the Earth's natural systems for absorbing the gas, heralding the so-called "runaway greenhouse effect", where the planet's soaring temperature becomes impossible to contain. As the icecaps melt, less sunlight is refected back into space from ice and snow, and bare rocks begin to absorb more heat. This is already happening.
One of the predictions made by climate scientists in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is that as the Earth warms, the absorption of carbon dioxide by vegetation - known as "carbon sink" - is reduced.
Dr Piers Forster, senior research fellow of the University of Reading's Department of Meteorology, said: "If this is a rate change, of course it will be very significant. It will be of enormous concern, because it will imply that all our global warming predictions for the next hundred years or so will have to be redone."
[+/-] Youth believe Bush wants draft reinstatement
The National Annenberg Election Survey found that 51 percent of adults age 18 to 29 believe Bush wants to reinstate the draft. Eight percent said Kerry supports bring back the draft, and 7 percent said both want to. A fourth of those polled said neither candidate favors the idea.
Those youngsters are wrong! If anyone knows how to avoid a draft, it's Bush! :)
[+/-] How the fundies trample science
Scary stuff, and just in time for Halloween!
Due to interference by administration officials, the Grand Canyon's bookstore now sells a book called A Different View, which claims that the canyon was created by the flood that launched Noah's ark.
The National Institutes of Health, under pressure from groups such as the Traditional Values Coalition, has called up researchers to warn them they may lose funding for projects that have anything to do with AIDS, addiction, contraception, or sexuality.
Weekly Bible study sessions at the White House are attended by more than half the staff.
Bush's top advisor has held meetings with so-called Christian Zionists to explain why administration policy toward Israel won't impinge upon their end-times scenarios.
The administration has collaborated with states it considers sponsors of terror, such as Libya and Iran, to forward an anti-abortion agenda at the UN. Meanwhile, doctors sent to restore social services in Iraq were vetted to make sure they were anti-abortion.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
[+/-] The townhall debate photo Fox News won't show you
Friday, October 08, 2004
[+/-] Bush has wood
President Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business owner" under the Republican definition, based on his 2001 federal income tax returns. He reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise. However, 99.99% of Bush's total income came from other sources that year. (Bush also qualified as a "small business owner" in 2000 based on $314 of "business income," but not in 2002 and 2003 when he reported his timber income as "royalties" on a different tax schedule.Dumbass.
[+/-] What Kerry should say tonight
You have got to be motherfucking kidding me, ma'am. That's like asking Martin Luther King if he wipes his ass properly. That's like asking an Iraqi child with his arms blown off by American bombs if he's happy that Saddam's gone. You wanna know what's going on here? You have snorted from the Bush stash. That little bitch hunched on his stool over there has taken two words of mine and thinks he can disembowel me with them. Hey, you stuttering prick, considering your glowing academic career, no fuckin' wonder you're scared shitless of anything that has the word "test" in it.It gets better; check it out.
[+/-] Giftwrap made of blood and oil
If you have school-age children, like me, you have probably seen your kids bring home "Sally Foster gift wrap" to sell to neighbors, friends, and extended family to raise money for the school.
Who is Sally Foster and what does she get out of all of this?
Sally Foster fundraising sales are run by a company called Entertainment Publications based in Troy, Michigan.... Until last year, Entertainment Publications was owned by The Carlyle Group. Yes, that Carlyle Group, the subject of endless conspiracy theories, the one with ties to the Bush and bin Laden families and secretive business dealings all over the world...Here's an idea: instead of buying giftcrap that will only line Barry Diller's pocketbook, ask your kids' teachers what they really need, and go out and buy it for them.
Last year, the Carlyle Group sold Entertainment Publications to USA Interactive (now known as InterActive Corp., or IAC) for $360 million in cash. That's a lot of gift wrap, man. IAC paid that cash for Entertainment Publications in the same year that its CEO, the infamously raptorial Barry Diller, was ranked by Forbes as the fifth highest compensated CEO in the United States....
Diller hopes to triple IAC's revenues over the next five years, according to a recent article in Fortune magazine. According to this article, the company "also plans to kill its competitors by, as Diller put it, spending ‘more than anyone else can afford' – some $1 billion this year alone – on marketing."...
[+/-] Bush claims US attacked Iraq over UN "Oil for Food" program
Ridiculing the Bush administration's evolving rationale for war, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry shot back: "You don't make up or find reasons to go to war after the fact."
"The Duelfer report showed that Saddam was systematically gaming the system, using the U.N. oil-for-food program to try to influence countries and companies in an effort to undermine sanctions," Bush said. "He was doing so with the intent of restarting his weapons program once the world looked away."
Duelfer's report, which was presented Wednesday to senators and the public, found no formal plan by Saddam to resume WMD production.
This week marks the first time that the Bush administration has listed abuses in the oil-for-fuel program as an Iraq war rationale.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
[+/-] Bush aides admit to politicizing war on terror
The strategy is aimed at stoking public fears about terrorism, raising new concerns about Kerry's ability to protect Americans and reinforcing Bush's image as the steady anti-terrorism candidate, aides said.So they are finallly admitting it?!
[+/-] Kerry leads Bush is 13 of 16 battleground states
Mr. Kerry moved ahead in two states (Ohio and Nevada) and increased his lead in seven others -- though Mr. Kerry's margin over Mr. Bush in Ohio, Arkansas and Florida was negligible -- less than one percentage point. Mr. Bush's lead narrowed in the three states (Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia) that he remains ahead of Mr. Kerry. Overall, seven of Mr. Kerry’s leads are within the margins of error, while all of Mr. Bush’s leads are.
If the election were today, Mr. Kerry would win. Here's how:
- Assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battleground poll will vote for the same political party this November as they did in the 2000 election, Bush starts with 189 electoral votes and Kerry with 172 (a candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win)
- Add the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margins of error or the spread between the candidates. Kerry's 13 states have 150 electoral votes; Bush's three have 27 votes.
Note that he results from 10 of the 16 states fall within the margins of error. All six of the states whose results were outside the margin show Kerry in the lead.
[+/-] Kerry holds small lead over Bush
Nearly three-fourths of likely voters said they had watched or listened to the first presidential debate last week, according to the poll. Only 8 percent came away with a more favorable view of Bush while 39 percent said they felt better about Kerry.
Among 944 likely voters, the Democratic ticket of Kerry and Sen. John Edwards led Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney 50 percent to 46 percent. The Oct. 4-6 survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The race was tied 47-47 percent among all voters.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
[+/-] Professors of economics and business to Bush: Your policies stink
As professors of economics and business, we are concerned that U.S. economic policy has taken a dangerous turn under your stewardship. Nearly every major economic indicator has deteriorated since you took office in January 2001. Real GDP growth during your term is the lowest of any presidential term in recent memory. Total non-farm employment has contracted and the unemployment rate has increased. Bankruptcies are up sharply, as is our dependence on foreign capital to finance an exploding current account deficit. All three major stock indexes are lower now than at the time of your inauguration. The percentage of Americans in poverty has increased, real median income has declined, and income inequality has grown.The list of signers is impressive, with all of the best schools are represented: Harvard, MIT, Wharton, Darden and more. Check it out.
[+/-] The debate photo Fox News won't show you
[+/-] ISG report: Saddam had no WMDs
The government's most definitive account of Iraq's arms programs, to be released today, will show that Saddam Hussein posed a diminishing threat at the time the United States invaded and did not possess, or have concrete plans to develop, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, U.S. officials said yesterday.
The officials said that the 1,000-page report by Charles A. Duelfer, the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, concluded that Hussein had the desire but not the means to produce unconventional weapons that could threaten his neighbors or the West. President Bush has continued to assert in his campaign stump speech that Iraq had posed "a gathering threat."
The officials said Duelfer, an experienced former United Nations weapons inspector, found that the state of Hussein's weapons-development programs and knowledge base was less advanced in 2003, when the war began, than it was in 1998, when international inspectors left Iraq.
[+/-] Big Brother is watching your passport
[T]ravelers carrying around RFID passports are broadcasting their identity. Think about what that means for a minute. It means that passport holders are continuously broadcasting their name, nationality, age, address and whatever else is on the RFID chip. It means that anyone with a reader can learn that information, without the passport holder's knowledge or consent. It means that pickpockets, kidnappers and terrorists can easily - and surreptitiously - pick Americans or nationals of other participating countries out of a crowd. It is a clear threat to both privacy and personal safety, and quite simply, that is why it is bad idea....
[+/-] Cheney lied about not meeting Edwards
- On Feb. 1, 2001, the vice president thanked Edwards by name at a Senate prayer breakfast and sat beside him during the event
- On April 8, 2001, Cheney and Edwards shook hands when they met off-camera during a taping of NBC's "Meet the Press,"
- On Jan. 8, 2003, the two met when the first-term North Carolina senator accompanied Elizabeth Dole to her swearing-in by Cheney as a North Carolina senator
UPDATE 12:05 -- A photo of another Cheney-Edwards meeting has been located! Liar liar pants on fire!
UPDATE 14:20 -- Remember when Dick said "Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session"? Another lie! He has presided exactly twice, the same as Edwards!
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
[+/-] Top 10 reasons to re-appoint Bush
TOP 10 REASONS TO RE-APPOINT GEORGE BUSH:
- Because you don't change horsemen mid-Apocalypse
- Because the deficit is not growing fast enough
- Because corporations are people too
- Because the other guy is distracted by healthcare, education, and the environment
- Because 1.7 million jobs lost is just a start
- Because never has one man done so much, for so few, at the expense of so many
- Because there's a lot more of our oil still trapped under their soil
- Because second-rate people don't deserve a first-rate education
- Because global warming means better tans
- Because Fox News told me to
[+/-] What Edwards should say to Darth Halliburton
And don't you fuckin' gimme that stroke victim smirk, Dick, or I'll come across and start shovin' aluminum tubes up your ass, all 60,000 of 'em, one anodized tube at a goddamn time. Then, with all those tubes up your ass, you can tell me, tell all of us, if they feel like centrifuge tubes or just plain ol' rocket tubes. And then I'll shove yellow cake uranium from Niger up your ass. Then I'll shove the bones and blood of over 1000 Americans up your ass. And the bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqis, right up the motherfuckin' asshole, Dick, right on up. We'll follow that up with Energy Task Force documents, reams of 'em, get it, Dick? Gettin' reamed with reams?Link
[+/-] Phone app tells you if you are in red or blue territory
By taking your current location, and finding the nearest individual donors of campaign funds from the publicly available data from the Federal Elections Commission, red | blue is able to provide you an accurate reading of the political leanings of your surroundings -- red for Republican or blue for Democrat.
It gets even wackier than that. If you are usign a GPS enabled phone, then your GPS position includes the direction in which you're (probably) heading. red | blue takes this information and provides you a compass that details the Republican and Democratic contributions in each direction from your position.
[+/-] Rumsfeld flip-flops on Iraq-Al Qaeda link
A question I answered today at an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations regarding ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq regrettably was misunderstood.He's right -- the 9/11 commission report, issued in July, did mention al Qaeda. Specifically, the report concluded there may have been meetings between Iraqi officials and Osama bin Laden or his aides in 1999 but there was "no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship."
I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq.... I should also note that the 9/11 Commission report described linkages between Al Qaeda and Iraq as well.
Let’s see if we can keep all these changing stories straight. On Sunday, the defense secretary says there were weapons of mass destruction. On Monday, he says there were not. On Monday, he admits no evidence existed to show a link between Hussein and bin Laden. A few hours later, he recants and says the link existed.
But both assessments, and both stories, were based on intelligence he says was faulty. So which lie is based on which faulty intelligence?
It’s hard to sustain The Big Lie when the big liars can’t keep their stories straight.
[+/-] Colin Powell says, "See ya'"
When he goes, the last bulwark against complete neoconservative control of U.S. foreign policy goes with him. The implications are enormous, yet the American electorate appears to be blinded by the Bush campaign's deliberate manipulations of 9/11.
Powell has served both as the reasoned voice of career diplomats and the experienced voice of career U.S. military in the Bush administration. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ignored military advice and excluded Department of State career professionals from Iraq planning. Power was concentrated in the hands of a clique of neocon ideologues he placed in key policy positions, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. In the first term of George W. Bush, protégés of now disgraced former Defense Policy Board member and neocon godfather Richard Perle achieved control or subordination of every executive branch foreign-policymaking body -- except the Department of State.... Now, Powell's departure is seen within the department as an invitation to a lynching.
Monday, October 04, 2004
[+/-] Rumsfeld admits no Iraq-Al Qaeda link
The alleged link was one of the justifications used by President Bush for the invasion of Iraq.
In front of an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Rumsfeld was asked about connections between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden. "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two.... I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over a period of a year in the most amazing way."
[+/-] George W. Bush: Keeping America Scared
[+/-] The Bush record, in cartoon form
[+/-] Terror warnings increase presidential approval ratings
Robb Willer, assistant director of the Sociology and Small Groups Laboratory at Cornell and a doctoral candidate in sociology who expects his Ph.D. in May 2005, tracked the 26 times that a federal government agency reported an increased threat of terrorist activity in the United States between February 2001 and May 2004. He also tracked the 131 Gallup Polls that were conducted during the same period. He then conducted several time-series and regression analyses on the relationship between government-issued terror warnings and Gallup Poll data on approval ratings of President George W. Bush.
"Results showed that terror warnings increased presidential approval ratings consistently," says Willer. "They also increased support for Bush's handling of the economy. The findings, however, were inconclusive as to how long this halo effect lasts." Each terror warning prompted, on average, a 2.75 point increase in the president's approval rating the following week.
Willer's study is published in the Septempber 30 issue of Current Research in Social Psychology.
[+/-] Bush and Kerry tied in latest poll
Independent Ralph Nader got 1 percent, compared to 3 percent in the previous survey.
It was the first poll to show Bush took a hit following last Thursday's debate which focused on foreign policy and national security. Kerry was judged the winner of the debate by more than two to one of likely voters in the poll. Voters also thought the Democrat expressed himself more clearly and he was more intelligent.
The poll found Kerry reclaimed his advantage on the economy and more voters thought the Democrat would handle the economy better than Bush.
[+/-] Supreme Court hangs up on telemarketers
The court, without comment, let stand a 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld the registry of more than 57 million phone numbers as a reasonable government attempt to safeguard personal privacy and reduce telemarketing abuse.
Under the 2003 federal law, businesses face fines of up to $11,000 if they call people who sign up for the registry -- unless they have recently done business with them. Charities, pollsters and callers on behalf of politicians, however, are exempt.
Friday, October 01, 2004
[+/-] One PDA replaces two PCs, a laptop, and three phones
Somewhere in Andrew's house is a hefty Linux server running many applications, including an Asterisk Open Source VoIP software PBX.... [H]e runs a Linux thin client on a Sharp Zaurus SL-6000 Linux PDA....[which] runs applications on the server....
Walking around in his house, the Zaurus (equipped with a tri-mode communications card) is a WiFi VoIP phone running through the Asterisk PBX and connecting to the Vonage VoIP network. Walking out of his house, the Zaurus automatically converts to the local mobile phone carrier, though with a data connection that still runs back through Vonage. At Starbucks, it's a Wifi Vonage phone. At Andrew's office, it is a WiFi extension to the office Asterisk PBX AND to Andrew's home PBX. That's one PDA doing the job of two desktop PCs, a notebook PC, and three telephones.
Yeah, but what about that wireless TV? How does that work?... Link
[+/-] Saddam to declare candidacy for Iraqi elections
Overthrown Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was arrested by US forces last December, reportedly plans to run as a candidate in the Iraqi elections scheduled for January 2005....Then again, perhaps not so weird. People generally prefer security to freedom, and Iraq is no exception. Farnaz Fassihi, a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Iraq, wrote in an email to friends:
Saddam's lawyer Giovanni di Stefano said that there was no law that prevented Saddam from appearing on the ballot. He added that Saddam hopes to regain his presidency and palaces via the democratic process.
Contrary to the statements of Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Stefano claims, "Saddam has no chance to be tried before the elections. Moreover, no international law prevents him from coming forward."
Saddam's lawyer defends that the ambiguity in Iraq will favor Saddam at the polls. Stefano remarked that a recent Gallup poll indicates that 42 percent of the Iraqi people want their former leader back.
Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.
I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad....
The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle....
I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"
[+/-] What Kerry should have said
You watch our President, the nervous hand-hiding, the compulsive water-glass-fondling, the panicked I-wish-I-had-a-whiskey look, and you think, "My god, this is the guy who's supposed to save us from al Qaeda."...By the way, in case you were wondering, like me, what it was that Bush was scribbling during the debate, here ya' go.
Here's what Mr. Tall said … in my dreams:
- "Beginning in March 2001, your Administration began a series of meetings with oil company executives to map the conquest of Iraq and its oil, a plan Americans would pay for in blood. You originally called this scheme, 'Operation Iraqi Liberation' -- O.I.L. We don't appreciate your little joke, Mr. Small."
- "One month after seizing Baghdad you fired General Jay Garner, the man you put in charge of Iraq, after he called for rapid elections in Najaf; after he refused to impose your plans to sell off Iraq's oil fields. In Najaf, citizens denied ballots, turned to bullets. And then, as General Garner predicted, the seizure of Iraq's assets resulted in the type of war one expects -- when seeking to impose colonial control."
- "Mr. Small, you claim we've given a thousand lives to bring democracy to the Mid-east. But so far, your democracy, Mr. Small, comes down to a puppet prime minister, we've installed in Iraq and a puppet government, the Saudis have installed in Washington."
[+/-] Where's the chimp?
[+/-] White House wrote Allawi speech
I want to express my profound dismay about reports that officials from your administration and your reelection campaign were "heavily involved" in writing parts of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's speech.... You may be surprised by this, Mr. President, but I viewed Prime Minister Allawis speech as an independent view on conditions in Iraq.... His speech gave me hope that reconstruction efforts were proceeding in most of the country and that elections could be held on schedule.... To learn that this was not an independent view, but one that was massaged by your campaign operatives, jaundices the speech and reduces the credibility of his remarks....
Her letter was a response to an article appearing in Thursday's Washington Post, which also alleged that Allawi was coached by US officials -- including Dan Senor, former spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq-- in perfecting his delivery of the speech delivered before a joint session of Congress one week ago.
If you read that article, the conclusion is unavoidable: Allawi is W's Mini-Me.
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