Friday, October 29, 2004
Kerry And The Boss Draw 80,000 in Madison, Wisconsin...
Good times...More pics here.
Tuesday can't get here soon enough!
P.S. Here's a great article outlining the implosion of Bush's campaign as of late...
P.P.S. The 380 tons of weapons in Iraq WERE removed AFTER the invasion...
P.P.P.S. The Bush campaign also got busted for doctoring images of troops in a TV spot. Love it...
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Rudy Throws Our Troops Under The Bus To Cover Dubya's Ass...
Take a look...
The president was cautious the president was prudent the president did what a commander in chief should do. No matter how you try to blame it on the president the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?
That I once allowed myself to admire this guy seems more and more like a colossal misjudgment on my part. Rudy's journey from courageous leadership on 9-11 to outright blind partisan shilling has been as unexpected as it has been disappointing.
He's now degenerated to the point where he's no better than your run-of-the-mill Republican Congress-critter that you see holding the president's jock on Sunday morning talk shows...
Even Ahnold has the sense to furthen himself from the stench emanating from the White House...
UPDATE: Wes Clark has come out swinging at Dubya for using Saint Rudy as a surrogate to pin the blame on the troops and not their incompetent civilian leadership.
"For President Bush to send Rudolph Giuliani out on television to say that the 'actual responsibility' for the failure to secure explosives lies with the troops is insulting and cowardly."
"The President approved the mission and the priorities. Civilian leaders tell military leaders what to do. The military follows those orders and gets the job done. This was a failure of civilian leadership, first in not telling the troops to secure explosives and other dangerous materials, and second for not providing sufficient troops and sufficient equipment for troops to do the job."
"President Bush sent our troops to war without sufficient body armor, without a sound plan and without sufficient forces to accomplish the mission. Our troops are performing a difficult mission with skill, bravery and determination. They deserve a commander in chief who supports them and understands that the buck stops in the Oval Office, not one who gets weak knees and shifts blame for his mistakes."
John & Elizabeth Edwards Rally Tomorrow Night In Raleigh!
What: Bringing It Home to North Carolina: Rally with John Edwards in Raleigh
When: Friday, October 29 Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Where: J.S. Dorton Arena -- North Carolina State Fairgrounds Hillsborough Street at Blue Ridge Road Raleigh, North Carolina
Details: Please limit personal items. No purses, bags, or signs. Parking is available at the fairgrounds, but carpooling is suggested.
The message I received said that Jon Bon Jovi will be the musical guest for the event.
Tickets are free, but you need to print them up right here...
See you there!!!
Intolerance Begins Very Early...
I don't have kids, so I can't claim to know how to raise them, but if your 12-year-old daughter instictively says the following when asked a question, you may have made a few mistakes along the way...
The rally was a love-fest in the conservative, rural Florida community. Three busloads of schoolchildren from the Heritage Christian School waited for an hour and a half to see Cheney and clap for the man they said speaks to the issues important to their lives.
Asked to name the country's biggest problem, 12-year-old Vivian Resto said, "Homosexuals. I think it's kind of gross, and my mom and I believe it should be a man and a woman."
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
So I Took 3rd Place In A Halloween Costume Contest On Saturday...
Who woulda thunk that dressing up as the Invisible Man would garner me such notoriety???
I guess covering my whole head in gauze is seen as a net positive. Go figure...
Here's a picture of me and my wife and a friend of hers...
Here's me at the end of the night when I was about finished with my head being wrapped up...
As for my competition, here's the slutty Pocahontas look-alike that took 2nd place...
1st place went to a Rick James look-alike. How original...
I really thought these two deserved to win it all. Kudos to the first person that guesses who they are dressed as...
For more pictures, check out ZSpotlight.com...
White House Line About 380 Tons Of Explosives Falls Apart...
No wonder our fearless leader has been dodging the question since the story broke!
The party line was that an NBC News crew (way to trust the "liberal media", guys!) saw that the explosive materials were gone prior to the invasion of Iraq. Well, they saw no such thing. They didn't even search the Al-Qaqaa weapons depot...
One of the first U.S. military units to reach the Al-Qaqaa military installation south of Baghdad after the invasion of Iraq did not have orders to search for the nearly 400 tons of explosives that are missing from the site, the unit spokesman said Tuesday.
When troops from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade arrived at the Al-Qaqaa base a day or so after other coalition troops seized Baghdad on April 9, 2003, there were already looters throughout the facility, Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, deputy public affairs officer for the unit, told The Associated Press.
The soldiers "secured the area they were in and looked in a limited amount of bunkers to ensure chemical weapons were not present in their area," Wellman wrote in an e-mail message to The Associated Press. "Bombs were found but not chemical weapons in that immediate area.
"Orders were not given from higher to search or to secure the facility or to search for HE type munitions, as they (high-explosive weapons) were everywhere in Iraq," he wrote.
Here's the kicker to those clinging to NBC News for their backing:
NBC correspondent Lai Ling Jew, who was with the 101st, told MSNBC, an NBC cable news channel, that "there wasn't a search" of Al-Qaqaa.
UPDATE: Yowza! Even the Iraqis are saying that the tons of explosives couldn't have been taken prior to the invasion.
"It is impossible that these materials could have been taken from this site before the regime's fall," said Mohammed al-Sharaa, who heads the science ministry's site monitoring department and previously worked with UN weapons inspectors under Saddam.
"The officials that were inside this facility (Al-Qaqaa) beforehand confirm that not even a shred of paper left it before the fall and I spoke to them about it and they even issued certified statements to this effect which the US-led coalition was aware of."
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Consumer Confidence Falls To 7-Month Low...
The rip-roaring economic recovery keeps on ripping and roaring...
Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer confidence fell for a third straight month in October, suggesting growing voter discontent with the economy a week before President George W. Bush seeks re-election.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropped to 92.8, the lowest since March, from a revised 96.7 in September, down from the previous estimate. Americans' assessments of the current economy and their outlook for the next six months fell.
The survey is the Conference Board's last before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 2. Since the index began in 1967, every incumbent president has lost his re-election bid when the consumer confidence index was below 99 on Election Day.
"It's not good news for Bush. He can still win, but this is not a good omen,'' said Delos Smith, a Conference Board economist. "People are nervous about their jobs and incomes.''
UPDATE: If this news doesn't interest you, I suggest you invest in a Blindfold For Bush!
Latest Tracking Poll Trends Via Kos...
Bush in Red/Kerry in Blue
10/24/04 46 48
10/23/04 49 46
10/22/04 50 45
10/24/04 48 49
10/23/04 49 48
10/22/04 50 46
10/24/04 46.4 48.4
10/23/04 47.6 47.2
10/22/04 48.0 46.7
10/24/04 48 45
10/23/04 48 46
10/22/04 47 45
Good times, good times...
Monday, October 25, 2004
120,000 Come To See John Kerry And Bill Clinton In Philly...
I mean, just look at this!!!
PA goes to Kerry. Mark it down...
Talentless Hack Ashlee Simpson Exposed On Saturday Night Live...
Jessica Simpson's younger, less attractive, less talented, more annoying, and downright unnerving sister Ashlee got exposed as a lip-synching hack on Saturday Night Live this week.
To get you up to speed, Ashlee has about as much talent in her whole body as her sister, Jessica, has in the right side of her bra. Just mindnumbingly bad.
She is to great singing as George W. Bush is to honest government.
Ashlee is a lock to be a first-ballot inductee into the "Fredo Hall of Fame" along with Ozzie Canseco, LaToya Jackson, Roger Clinton, and Eric Roberts.
Watch her shit her pants on live TV right here...
My most pressing question is this: If you could lip-synch your music, WHY would you choose THAT voice???
P.S. The comparison to George W. Bush isn't a misguided one. In true Dubya fashion, Ashlee blamed the mishap on someone else, her band. Luckily, her band doesn't include Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, and John Ashcroft.
380 Tons Of Explosives Missing In Iraq: Do You Feel Safer Yet???
In Dick Cheney's upbeat campaign missives, he likes to mention that a nuclear device detonated in a US city is the worst threat this nation faces.
Thanks to the Bush adminstration's crappy pre(and post)-war planning, that prospect has gotten a little more likely in the months since the invasion of Iraq.
VIENNA, Austria - Several hundred tons of conventional explosives are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein's efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency confirmed Monday.
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei will report the materials' disappearance to the U.N. Security Council later Monday, spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told The Associated Press.
"On Oct. 10, the IAEA received a declaration from the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology informing us that approximately 380 (metric) tons of high explosive material had gone missing," Fleming said.
"The most immediate concern here is that these explosives could have fallen into the wrong hands."
Securing these materials should have been job ONE after the invasion of Iraq. Instead, Iraq's oil fields were the first area of concern.
We the people could wind up paying the price for the Bush administration's faith-based approach to pre-war planning.
UPDATE: In a hilarious turn of events, the headline just below IAEA: 380 Tons of Iraq Explosive Missing on Yahoo's front page is Bush: I'm Best Candidate to Protect U.S..
And I thought the referees in yesterday's Eagles-Browns game were blind...
Friday, October 22, 2004
To The Editors Of The Boston Herald: You Are Scumbags...
Everyone's heard about the 21-year old girl that was killed in the celebration after the Red Sox victory on Wednesday night.
The Boston Herald decided to take their coverage a step further and put the dying girl's bloody image on the front page of their paper.
Please drop these assholes a line if you feel as disturbed as I do right now...
Bush Supporters Aren't Living In Reality...
The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) did a great job last year proving how watching Fox News left its viewers extremely misinformed.
Now, they've turned their focus to Bush supporters and Kerry supporters in general. The results are just as staggering and probably more disturbing...
Among Bush supporters:
75% believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
74% believe Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade.
72% believe Iraq had WMD or a program to develop them.
72% believe Bush supports the treaty banning landmines.
69% believe Bush supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
61% believe if Bush knew there were no WMD he would not have gone to war.
60% believe most experts believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
58% believe the Duelfer report concluded that Iraq had either WMD or a major program to develop them.
57% believe that the majority of people in the world would prefer to see Bush reelected.
56% believe most experts think Iraq had WMD.
55% believe the 9/11 report concluded Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
51% believe Bush supports the Kyoto treaty.
20% believe Iraq was directly involved in 9/11.
Iraqi Insurgents Are Being Funded By Saudis...
...and Bush's pals in the Saudi royal family are doing NOTHING about it...
Iraq's new security forces are heavily infiltrated by insurgents, and the guerrilla groups have access to almost unlimited money to pay for deadly attacks, according to a U.S. defense official who provided new details on the evolution of the rebels.
A significant part of the insurgents' money is coming from sympathizers in Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi government is neglecting the problem, said the official, who was authorized by the Pentagon to speak on the issue this week, but only on condition of anonymity.
With friends like these, who needs enemas?
Tora Bora: Revisited...
As an accompaniment to John Kerry's statement about Bush's inability to properly contain Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when he had the chance, I thought it would be interesting to revisit Bush's other colossal fuck-up in capturing terrorist leaders.
I'm referring to his lack of commitment to capturing Osama bin Laden in 2001. Here's the whole story:
U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight
Failure to Send Troops in Pursuit Termed Major Error
The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda, according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge.
Intelligence officials have assembled what they believe to be decisive evidence, from contemporary and subsequent interrogations and intercepted communications, that bin Laden began the battle of Tora Bora inside the cave complex along Afghanistan's mountainous eastern border. Though there remains a remote chance that he died there, the intelligence community is persuaded that bin Laden slipped away in the first 10 days of December.
After-action reviews, conducted privately inside and outside the military chain of command, describe the episode as a significant defeat for the United States. A common view among those interviewed outside the U.S. Central Command is that Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the war's operational commander, misjudged the interests of putative Afghan allies and let pass the best chance to capture or kill al Qaeda's leader. Without professing second thoughts about Tora Bora, Franks has changed his approach fundamentally in subsequent battles, using Americans on the ground as first-line combat units.
There's plenty more to read. I suggest you always keep this in thought.
Especially when our president says things like this...
Thursday, October 21, 2004
The "Liberal" Media Spins The Polls: Part Deux...
Does anyone recall a phenomenon I mentioned back on September 1st dealing with the media's reporting of polls showing good news for John Kerry as opposed to good news for George Bush?
If you don't, take a look here.
Then take a look right here, because the same phenomenon has popped up today:
AP Poll: Bush, Kerry in Dead Heat
In the AP-Ipsos Public Affairs poll, the Democratic ticket of Kerry and Sen. John Edwards got support from 49 percent of those who said they were likely to vote, and the Republican team of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney got 46 percent, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Reuters Poll: Bush Grabs One-Point Lead on Kerry
President Bush opened a slight one-point lead on Democratic rival John Kerry in a tight race for the White House, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Thursday.
As Kos points out:
3-point Kerry lead="Dead Heat"
1-point Bush lead="Slight Bush Lead"
Will the wonders never cease?
Great Centrist Insights From The Bull Moose...
Now, while I'm more liberal than a lot of Democrats, I do have an appreciation for cogent and insightful denizens of the center. (This does NOT include Zell Miller)
Toward this end, I've always been intrigued by Theodore Roosevelt. I got a new appreciation for him after reading Theodore Rex. He was among the best of what the Republican party used to be.
Marshall Wittmann is believer in the ideals of TR's Republican party, much like John McCain, his former boss. He recently left Sen. McCain's staff and joined with the Democratic Leadership Council to support John Kerry. Here are some comments from his endorsement of Kerry:
This unreconstructed Bull Moose will run with the donkey in November.
I am an independent McCainiac who hopes to revive the Bull Moose tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, and I support the Kerry-Edwards agenda. Don't get me wrong -- this Bull Moose is not completely in agreement with the Democratic donkey. But the Bush administration has betrayed the effort to create a new politics of national greatness in the aftermath of 9/11.
Wittmann's Bull Moose Blog is a great read as well...
Kerry Nails Bush On Losing Al-Zarqawi...
This is a very stinging indictment. It's also one that our president has no answer to...
A CIA report found no clear link between Saddam's regime and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist behind the beheadings of Americans in Iraq and now an al Qaeda ally.
Before the war, the administration claimed that Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq was proof of an Al Qaeda-Saddam collaboration. That was wrong.
In fact, Zarqawi was operating out of a no-man’s land in North Eastern Iraq… next to territory controlled by America’s Kurdish allies… not by Saddam. He and his terrorist allies were reportedly producing Ricin, a horrific biological weapon. We could have… but did not… take them out. That was a terrible mistake that this administration has never explained.
Back in March of this year, it came to light that the National Security Council scrapped a plan to take out al-Zarqawi BEFORE the invasion. Why was it scrapped?
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late — Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone. “Here’s a case where they waited, they waited too long and now we’re suffering as a result inside Iraq,” (Roger) Cressey added.
And despite the Bush administration’s tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, Zarqawi’s killing streak continues today.
In summary: The administration wanted you to believe there was a connection between Saddam and al-Zarqawi.
They could have taken out this threat before the invasion.
The administration wants you to believe they are interested in defeating terrorism.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Axis of Evil Member Endorses President Bush...
This is NOT from The Onion:
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. Though Iran generally does not publicly wade into U.S. presidential politics, it has a history of preferring Republicans over Democrats, who tend to press human rights issues.
"We do not desire to see Democrats take over," Rowhani said when asked if Iran was supporting Democratic Sen. John Kerry against Bush.
So let's get a couple of things straight.
Citizens from Great Britain (a U.S. ally) get together and write letters to citizens of Ohio to urge them to vote Democratic, and that's treated as the ultimate breach of American democracy, but a sworn enemy of America endorses President Bush, and I'm actually hearing crickets chirping???
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
A Quick Musical Interlude...
I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps its just my imagination
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
It's time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation
At least there's pretty lights
And though there's little variation
It nullifies the night
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
It's just overkill
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away...
Good Times And Good Poll Numbers...
DrFrankLives and I had a great time working the Democratic party booth at the State Fair last night.
We got to talk to a lot of great Democrats and several undecided voters that are none-too-pleased with Dubya.
I also got to see a small sampling of the new face of the Republican youth when about 5 teenage boys wearing Bush/Cheney stickers grabbed some Kerry/Edwards stickers off our table and ripped them up and threw them on the floor. Classy kids, to be sure, but they were the exception, not the rule. I refrained from any "draft" talk...
I was extra pleased to see the newest North Carolina polling data for the big three races:
SurveyUSA. 10/15-17. MoE 4%. (10/5 results)
Bush 50 (52)
Kerry 47 (45)
Burr (R) 47 (46)
Bowles (D) 45 (47)
Easley (D) 52 (56)
Ballantine (R) 40 (38)
The only dark spot is the tightening Senate race, where Burr's bullshit ads seem to be having an impact.
John Kerry is as close as he's been here in the Tar Heel state. I'd like to think this is as a result of the canvassing I did up in Rolesville a couple weeks ago, but I'm not nearly that naive...
One more quick aside: VOTE ALAN THORNBURG FOR NC COURT OF APPEALS!!!
UPDATE: A mental powerhouse named "Ray for the Truth" had this to say about the teen Republicans that ripped up some Kerry stickers at our booth last night:
"So you allowed them to break the LAW!!! See again encouraging people not to play by the rules! Littering is a crime! You Democrats can't live life the the rules that MAn and God have laid out for us. What a ashame!!"
This is so fun!!!
Monday, October 18, 2004
Come See Me Tonight At The NC State Fair!
I'll be working the North Carolina Democratic Party booth tonight from 6-10pm.
I'm the guy with the Kerry t-shirt and NC State baseball cap.
Who wants to see Clay Aiken, anyway?...
Jon Stewart Smacks Down The Crossfire Boys...
What a world we live in when the most sane and rational voice on the political scene comes from Comedy Central...
This clip is amazing. Here's the transcript, if you need it...
Friday, October 15, 2004
Where Was Lynne and Dick Cheney's "Outrage" 6 Weeks Ago?
They've gotten themselves into quite a tizzy since John Kerry had the audacity to speak respectfully about their openly gay daughter. They (or Mary Matalin) have even crafted a tight message to keep attention off of Kerry's successful debate performances and the fact that our president LIED about being concerned about Osama bin Laden. Check out these air-tight intra-family talking points:
Dick Cheney: "...I am not just speaking as a father here, although I am a pretty angry father."
Lynne Cheney: "I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom."
It's strange that they weren't nearly as angry or indignant when GOP lunatic and soon-to-be Senatorial race landslide victim, Alan Keyes, piped in with the following about their daughter:
After saying homosexuality is "selfish hedonism," Keyes was asked if that made Mary Cheney "a selfish hedonist."
"Of course she is," Keyes replied. "That goes by definition."
Even beyond this instance, wouldn't any father serving as Vice President be absolutely unable to supports any actions taken to reduce one of his own children into second-class citizenship, as the GOP is doing now by trying to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage?
Not Dick Cheney. He'll let it go.
Gotta keep the base happy!
Andrew Sullivan, a gay conservative (can I say that?) had the absolute best take on the whole "Mary-gate" fiasco...
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Bush LIED About Being Concerned About Osama...
From last night's debate:
KERRY: Yes. When the president had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, he took his focus off of them, outsourced the job to Afghan warlords, and Osama bin Laden escaped.
Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, "Where is Osama bin Laden?" He said, "I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned." We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.
SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?
BUSH: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.
Forgetful guy, our president. Here's what Bush did say a mere 6 months after 9/11:
Reporter: But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?
BUSH: (On Osama bin Laden) Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
Think I'm making this up? Go straight to the horse's ass's mouth!
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
GOP Seeks To Suppress Democratic Voters Across The Country...
Where there's smoke, there's fire...and about ten tons of elephant shit.
Kos has compiled several instances of GOP-funded organizations attempting to suppress the voting rights of Democrats in key battleground states.
Put your reading glasses on...this could take a while.
GOP Contractor Destroys Democrats' Registration Forms...
Florida 2000, redux:
The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.
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 assistant to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.
Eric Russell managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in fact, been filed with the county as required by law.
So the people on those forms who think they will be able to vote on Election Day are sadly mistaken. We attempted to speak to Voters Outreach but found that its office has been rented out to someone else.
UPDATE: Don't miss this juicy little nugget at the end of the article:
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.
Jim Baker Keeps Doing His Thing...
First, his law firm was defending Saudi Arabia against the families of 9-11 victims alleging Saudi involvement in the attacks.
Now, he's got his hand in the honeypot as he tries to get several nations to forgive Iraq's debts.
A noble cause, to be sure, but as with most seemingly noble deeds undertaken by the Bush administration, something fishy is going on:
President Bush's special envoy, James Baker, who has been trying to persuade the world to forgive Iraq's crushing debts, is simultaneously working for a commercial concern that is trying to recover money from Iraq, according to confidential documents.
Mr Baker's Carlyle Group is in a consortium secretly proposing to try to collect $27bn (£15bn) on behalf of Kuwait, one of Iraq's biggest creditors, by using high-level political influence. It claims Mr Baker will not benefit personally, but the consortium could make millions in fees, retainers and commission as a result.
Other countries, including Britain, have been urged by Mr Baker to relieve the new Iraq regime of its $200bn debt burden. Iraq owes Britain approximately $1bn.
One international lawyer described the consortium's scheme as "influence peddling of the crassest kind".
There's more to take in here...
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
A Taste Of Philadelphia
This is a site I'd forgotten about for a while, but if you like cheesesteaks, hoagies, Tastykakes, or any other genuine Philly delicacies, this site is all you. They deliver just about every great Philly food right to your door. Check 'em out...
I can (and have) subsisted on nothing but hoagies and Tastykakes for literally weeks at a time. Before I moved to Raleigh, of course...
Their monthly specials are awesome as well...
Matthew Shepard: Six Years Later...
AmericaBlog pointed out that today is the six-year anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard.
They also posted Matthew's father's statement at the sentencing of his son's killer. Here is the part I find most impressive:
Mr. McKinney, one final comment before I sit and this is the reason that I stand before you now. At no time since Matt was found at the fence and taken to the hospital have Judy and I made any statements about our beliefs concerning the death penalty. We felt that that would be an undue influence on any prospective juror. Judy has been quoted by some right wing groups as being against the death penalty. It has been stated that Matt was against the death penalty. Both of these statements are wrong. We have held family discussions and talked about the death penalty. For example, he and I discussed the horrible death of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas. It was his opinion that the death penalty should be sought and that no expense should be spared to bring those responsible for this murder to justice. Little did we know that the same response would come about involving Matt. I, too, believe in the death penalty. I would like nothing better than to see you die, Mr. McKinney. However, this is the time to begin the healing process. To show mercy to someone who refused to show any mercy. To use this as the first step in my own closure about losing Matt. Mr. McKinney I am not doing this because of your family. I am definitely not doing it because of the crass and unwarranted pressures put on by the religious community. If anything, that hardens my resolve to see you die. Mr. McKinney, I'm going to grant you life, as hard as it is for me to do so, because of Matthew. Every time you celebrate Christmas, a birthday or the fourth of July, remember that Matthew isn't. Every time you wake up in that prison cell, remember that you had the opportunity and the ability to stop your actions that night. Every time that you see your cell mate, remember that you had a choice and now you are living that choice. You robbed me of something very precious and I will never forgive you for that. Mr. McKinney, I give you life in the memory of one who no longer lives. May you have a long life and may you thank Matthew every day for it.
Don't Fuck With Grandma Bubbie...
...because if you do, she'll split your ass the other way!
This is an awesome cartoon clip from the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Check Out The Controversial NC State-UNC Call For Yourself...
The way I'm seeing it, T.A. McClendon's knee STILL hasn't touched the ground...
Bush's Pals Continue To Deny Women The Right To Vote...
Think of this on Wednesday night when Furious George starts going off about women registering to vote in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Women may neither vote nor run in Saudi Arabia's first nationwide elections, the government announced Monday, dashing hopes of progressive Saudis and easing fears among conservatives that the kingdom is moving too fast on reforms.
Some women considered the move yet another indignity in a country where they need their husbands' permission to study, travel or work. But others said they wouldn't trust themselves to judge whether a candidate is more than just a handsome face.
The religious establishment had been lobbying against women's participation in the elections, diplomats said.
But an electoral official cited administrative and logistical reasons Monday for the decision to ban women from the municipal elections, scheduled to be held in three stages from Feb. 10 to April 21.
Freedom is on the march?
Not in Saudi Arabia...
Bush Holds Off On Confronting Insurgents Until After Election...
Now THAT is what I call steely resolve...
Insurgents are killing our soldiers EVERY DAY, but damn it, Mr. Bush has an election to win!
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration will delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.
Although American commanders in Iraq have been buoyed by recent successes in insurgent-held towns such as Samarra and Tall Afar, administration and Pentagon officials say they will not try to retake cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi -- where insurgents' grip is strongest and U.S. military casualties could be the greatest -- until after Americans vote in what is likely to be a close election.
"When this election's over, you'll see us move very vigorously," said one senior administration official involved in strategic planning, speaking on condition of anonymity."
Once you're past the election, it changes the political ramifications" of a large-scale offensive, the official said. "We're not on hold right now. We're just not as aggressive."
The statement I've highlighted says one thing loud and clear:
Winning the election is more important to President Bush than winning the peace in Iraq.
Bush is a tough war-time leader...as long as it doesn't affect his poll numbers...
What a pussy...
Saturday, October 9, 2004
John Kerry 2, George Bush 0...
No great president would ever speak to the American people like they're retarded, but that's exactly what George Bush did last night.
Listening to Bush constantly raising his voice reminded me of an exasperated substitute teacher, right before he/she storms out of the classroom to the principal's office.
Oliver Willis posted a clip of one of the many times Bush couldn't keep his cool last night.
And they said Howard Dean was a loose cannon? This loony asshole has his finger on the button!
Kerry won last night's debate. If you don't believe me, watch it again. Bush did better in this debate than the last, but that's truly not saying much at all. Don't even get me started on the Dred Scott debacle...
Bush had the demeanor of a used-car salesman, Kerry has the demeanor of a President...
John Kerry is the right man for the job and will be our next President...
Check out what the experts had to say.
Friday, October 8, 2004
What Would It Say About The United States If Bush Wins?
It's staggering to me that a president with so many failures to his name still stands a chance of winning a national election. Look at this list:
9/11: Nuff said...
Inability to capture Osama bin Laden...
First president to lose jobs since Herbert freaking Hoover...
Increased the tax burden on the middle class while lowering it for the wealthy...
Failure to finish the job in one war, failure to provide honest salient rationale for another...
Complete inability to learn from mistakes in Iraq and adjust accordingly...
"Bring 'em on"...
Still can't find leaker of CIA operative's identity within his own White House...
I could go on, but I think you probably get the point...But considering all these things, how does Bush deserve a second term???
ON WHAT BASIS???
My larger concern is what it would say about the state of this great nation.
How could rational people take so much shit and somehow magically allow it to be perceived as chocolate pudding?
Don't we deserve better than this?
Dick Cheney Officially Goes Over The Edge...
Apparently, the UN's Oil-For-Food program was enough of a shambles to warrant the loss of close to 1100 US soldiers and about $200 billion of our tax dollars.
Vice President Dick Cheney asserted on Thursday that a finding by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq that Saddam Hussein's government produced no weapons of mass destruction after 1991 justifies rather than undermines President Bush's decision to go to war.
"The headlines all say no weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Baghdad. We already knew that," Cheney said.
He said other parts of the report were "more intriguing."
The definitive proof that our sole reason for invading Iraq has turned out to be complete crap is just not that intriguing to our Vice President.
Read the rest, and try not to get any puke on your keyboard...
UPDATE: David Kay, the former head of the Iraqi Survey Group who selected by President Bush to find WMD in Iraq is as flustered as I am with the Administration reaction to the group's final report:
Kay told NBC television: "All I can say is 'denial' is not just a river in Egypt."
"The report is scary enough without misrepresenting what it says," he added.
Iraq "was not an imminent and growing threat because of its own weapons of mass destruction," he added.
Thursday, October 7, 2004
Two Great Offers For Triangle Democrats
While responding to a great poster who has had some doubts about the Kerry/Edwards ticket's chances for victory next month, I came to realize that maybe I haven't been doing enough on my side to bring my fellow Democrats together.
In order to make up for my own slackitude, I've come up with a couple of ideas that I'd like to share in an effort to bring us together:
1.) I will be doing some canvassing for the Kerry/Edwards campaign this Saturday. If you like to help me and pitch in, please show up at Kerry HQ here in downtown Raleigh this Saturday morning at 10:30 am.
We already know our mission, now we just have get out and do it...
2.) I'd like to invite everyone (even you GOP'ers, if you behave!) to come to this Monday's (October 13th) meeting of the Wake Democratic Men's Club at Griffin's Restaurant in North Raleigh. I'm the treasurer of the club, so I'll pay for your dinner and you'll get to see an awesome guest speaker in Congressman Bob Etheridge.
I hope somebody (anybody!) will take me up on these offers. We've only got 26 days left to turn North Carolina blue!!!
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Another VP Debate Whopper From Uncle Dick...
"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."
-Dick Cheney at last night's debate
Here's the problem: A quick look at who the acting presidents of the Senate were from 2001-2004 shows that Dick Cheney acted as president of the Senate exactly TWICE in four years.
Once on November 17, 2002 and again on January 7, 2003.
Good work, Dick...
Here's the kicker: Looking at the same list, you'll find that John Edwards acted as Senate president exactly (wait for it....it's coming.....hold on to your hats!!!) TWICE over the same four year period!
Once on October 16, 2001 and again on March 5, 2002.
So, it seems that Senator Edwards is just as capable as Uncle Dick of being the leader of the Senate. Edwards has got just as much experience doing it as he does!
I initially called the debate for Cheney before all the lies started pouring out like Oxycontin pills out of Daryn Kagan's nightstand, but now, I'm sorry Uncle Dick, YOU LOST, YOU LYING PRICK!!!
VP Debate Synopsis...
I personally tend to give the win to Uncle Dick on the basis of being better prepared and staying on offense most of the night. Edwards missed a few good opportunities in spite of the fact that most undecideds preferred him.
I give Cheney this credit in spite of the fact that he LIED to get there...
The biggest lie, in my opinion, was the one I spoke about last month regarding the loss of 1 million jobs immediately after 9-11.
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!!!
Then there's the LIE that yielded the hottest soundbite of the evening. Cheney's claim that he'd never met Sen. Edwards...
Once again, completely BOGUS!!!
Elizabeth Edwards even smacked Cheney down on stage regarding that LIE. To which, Uncle Dick could only muster a brilliant "Oh, yeah."
Friday is only 2 days away!
UPDATE: The DNC has a great ad up about some of Uncle Dick's debate LIES....
Tuesday, October 5, 2004
The Pentagon LIES About Paul Bremer's Request For More Troops...
Let the spin begin. The Department of Defense is already trying to smear Paul Bremer for suggesting that the Bush administration sent too few troops to Iraq.
A senior Defense Department official said that Bremer never asked for more troops and expressed annoyance the ambassador appeared to be second-guessing the advice of military officials. Bremer stepped down after the June 28 handover to an interim Iraqi government.
Funny, because Bremer did, in fact, request more troops in July of 2003:
The top American administrator in Iraq, confronting growing anti-U.S. anger and guerrilla-style attacks, is asking for more American troops and dozens of U.S. officials to help speed up the restoration of order and public services.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld was reviewing the request from L. Paul Bremer, U.S. officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Bremer's request underscores how difficult it has been for his small civilian staff and some 158,000 U.S.-led troops to meet the demands of Iraqis for security and other basic needs. It also conflicts with upbeat public statements from President Bush, Rumsfeld and Bremer himself on the progress made on Iraq's political and economic reconstruction.
Oh, and then there's the small matter of Bremer's own words last month:
"The single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout... Although I raised this issue a number of times with our government, I should have been even more insistent."
In review, the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and Bush White House are all at war with each other...
How is this making us safer???
What John Edwards Should Say To Dick Cheney This Evening...
Forgive me if The Rude Pundit's filthy fucking language offends you!
If, at tonight's "debate", when Edwards is asked, "How do you believe your career as a trial lawyer affects your approach to government?", he doesn't answer, "What the fuck kind of question is that, Gwen? What the fuck are you implying? Holy fuck, have you even looked at the cases I've tried? Doesn't the press do any actual goddamn research on, say, Lexis-Nexis or even fuckin' Google? Or maybe my fuckin' book? My legal career was based on helping individuals dicked over by the very kind of corporate and government culture this evil motherfucker across this stupid ass table has fostered. 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.
Oh, there's more...
Two Administration Top Dogs Speak The Truth...Then Try To Cover Their Asses...
First, Paul Bremer came out yesterday and said that trying to invade Iraq on the cheap led to major looting problems:
"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," Bremer said. "We never had enough troops on the ground."
Then, somebody let Donald Rumsfeld out of his box long enough to come clean about links between Iraq and al-Qaida:
"To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."
It was good to see them speak the truth for once...until somebody decided the truth made George Bush look really bad.
First, Rumsfeld flip-flopped:
"A question I answered today at an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) regarding ties between al Qaeda and Iraq regrettably was misunderstood.
"I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between al Qaeda and Iraq."
Then, somebody pulled Bremer's bullshit string and he tried to cover his ass by saying he thought his remarks were "off the record".
Does that make his comments any less damning to the Bush administration?
Monday, October 4, 2004
Fox News Admits Reporter Posted Fake Story About Kerry
The fact that they owned up to it is far more shocking than the fact that they posted this dopey story that was designed to call John Kerry's manliness into question...
"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" the article by the Cameron read, purportedly quoting Kerry after the event.
"Women should like me! I do manicures," the story also quotes Kerry as telling the crowd.
Carl Cameron, the reporter who posted the bogus story, is a prime example of Fox News' commitment to being "fair and balanced". His wife was a campaign worker for George W. Bush in 2000.
My guess is that his "reprimand" will include a bonus check, dinner at Carmine's on Rupert Murdoch, and full access to the next 2 debates.
Just a hunch...
The Right's Favorite Poll Comes Back And Bites Them In The Ass...
So much for Bush's big lead in the Republican-favored Gallup poll! That's what happens when George Bush is forced to speak without a script.
The candidates are now tied 49-49. Before the debate, Bush led by 8 points...
The bad news only gets worse for Bush in the latest Newsweek poll where an 11-point Bush lead has turned into a 2-point Kerry lead...
Maybe the Bush campaign will find a way to keep Dubya out of one of the two remaining debates for his own good...
Friday, October 1, 2004
King's X Is The Best Band You're Not Listening To...
They're so good, they actually kept me away from the debate last night.
If you've never heard of King's X, they are a progressive rock trio that had a couple of decent-sized hits in the early 90's with the songs "It's Love" and "Black Flag".
Their show last night at The Brewery here in Raleigh was amazing. Anytime you can see a band with that big of a sound in a small venue, it's pretty incredible.
If you'd like to get acquainted with their sound, their 1997 Best Of King's X CD is a great place to start...
P.S. A terrific local rock band called Runaway Cab opened last night's show and they are also a great band to check out. Do yourself a favor and check out both of these awesome bands...
Kerry Wins The First Debate Handily...
I was at a concert (more on that later) during last night's debate, but I taped it. When I got home at about 12:30am, my wife got up out of bed like she was spring-loaded.
I asked her how the debate was. Her response was as follows:
"In a word: UNBELIEVABLE."
It's at this point that I'll mention 3 pieces of critical information:
1.) My wife is about 10 times smarter than me.
2.) She's about 50 times more reasonable than me when it comes to matters of partisan politics.
3.) The degree to which she can judge a situation better than I can cannot even be charted with existing metrics.
She said very specifically that she sat down to watch the debate with a completely open mind, not letting her own views temper her opinions. (Something else she's better at!) She came away with renewed respect for John Kerry, and what bordered upon pity for George Bush, who looked like a spoiled brat that couldn't get over not getting his way.
She works with kids all day, she knows this stuff...
Needless to say, I immediately sat down and watched the debate, not finishing until 2:30 this morning.
It was WELL worth it...
UPDATE: From Oliver Willis, the best example of Bush's shitty attitude.
2nd UPDATE: I just discovered President Bush's notes from last night.