Tuesday, November 30, 2004

So, I Hear Things Are Getting Better in Iraq...

King George and his flock of chickenhawks will no doubt assure us that matching the most deaths in a month since the war began is some kind of landmark:
The Department of Defense has identified 127 U.S. service members who died supporting U.S.-led operations in Iraq in November. At least eight more have died but remain unidentified, according to the military. The total of 135, which includes non-combat related deaths, matches April of this year for the deadliest month since fighting began in March 2003.

And since almost everyone in Iraq is calling for postponing the elections, this whole fiasco was started because... to get people killed? We know Bush lied about the initial reasons (War on Terror, WMD, imminent threat, yadda yadda...) so apparently he just wanted this war because he's a blood-thirsty little baboon.

Now if we could just figure out why we elected a blood-thirsty little baboon...

God, Mammon, and Our Spineless Media

When decent Christians (as opposed to hate-filled, white-trash Christians) try to organize and get their message of inclusivity out to the public, the networks blanche:
The ad, part of the denomination's new, broad identity campaign set to
begin airing nationwide on Dec. 1, states that -- like Jesus -- the United Church of Christ (UCC) seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation.

According to a written explanation from CBS, the United Church of Christ is being denied network access because its ad implies acceptance of gay and lesbian couples -- among other minority constituencies -- and is, therefore, too "controversial."

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations," reads an explanation from CBS, "and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks."

Similarly, a rejection by NBC declared the spot "too controversial."

The same network that shows "Will & Grace" finds the spot "too controversial". Bullshit. They're craven, spineless hacks and they have no interest in inclusion or brotherhood or Peace on Earth or anything else than watching their ass with the flavor-of-the-month - racist, bigoted shithead phony-fuck so-called "Christians". As far as I'm concerned, CBS, NBC, and UPN are no better than the ignorant fucks they don't want to offend.

Sorry David Letterman, I like you but you're on the wrong network. Sorry Conan, can't watch you as long as you're employed by cowardly maggots. UPN, I never watch your shit, anyway, so I guess my tiny little boycott is meaningless.

And to the United Church of Christ - right on. You've restored my faith in the goodness of some Christians.

No Laughing Matter

Almost gave up posting today... Ridge resigns as Homeland Security Advisor (so what, it's not like he actually did anything) and although I'm pissed off that Republicans find it more important to give more tax cuts to the rich than to send poor kids to college, I just couldn't find the words...

In the meantime, make sure your chickenhawk friends watch this video about the effects of the use of depleted uranium in weaponry (via Atrios). Make sure their kids are watching it as well because their kids need to decide how proud they should be that their parents support this immoral and idiotic war.

Monday, November 29, 2004

When 2 + 2 = 3

Since the American media latched onto the values lie after the election, a number of issues seem to have emerged, all of them absolutely worthless. When I say 'worthless' I mean that the issues lack merit and substance. We might as well be talking about the color of oxygen.

First of all, significantly more voters rated "moral values" as important in the 1992 and 1996 Presidential elections - elections where Clinton came out as the winner. However, the US media doesn't report that fact. The US media has once again been thrown a rubber bone by the right and our media bobbleheads are chewing on it.

Secondly, and most significantly, without an operational definition, "moral values" is essentially meaningless. Does it mean hating gays? Giving tax cuts to the rich? Blindly supporting Bush? Ask the idiots who pose as pundits on our nooze channels what "moral values" means and I would bet the farm that you wouldn't get a definitive answer.

I can guarantee you that evangelical Christians don't know what the hell "moral values" means. In fact, they're so clueless, they require immoral Republicans to provide pastors with a cheat sheet. Considering that Christ was not too fond of the self-righteous or the rich, Evangelicals seem to have bought into the Protocols of the Elders of Baal.

Not having read the bible for a couple of decades, I'm not exactly up on the Gospels chapter and verse. For that, I refer you to a real-life minister, larryrant on DKos who does a superb job of showing just how wrong conservative "Christians" have gotten it. Yet, no matter how wrong they are - not just regarding their sorry-ass interpretation of the Gospels but in the extent of their "political capital" (which, by historical standards is pretty piss-poor - they continue to try and pressure the administration to pursue a non-existent mandate.

In the midst of all these worthless issues (which almost everyone has gotten wrong, wrong, wrong), I still read play-nice appeasers blogging "Oh, we needn't ridicule red state rednecks, we need to kiss their ass and remind them that liberals really have the keys to the land of lemon drops and ice cream dreams." Screw that. What needs to be done is to remind those crypto-fascist racists that their God doesn't like them for the phony-ass philosophies they feed into, point out the inconsistencies of their inane and simple-minded creeds.

Maybe it's not the Christian thing to do but it's the honest thing to do.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Vote Reform, Vote Reform, Vote Reform

Over at Oliver Willis, the big issue for Dems is "branding" - coming up with a clever sales-pitch to satisfy our sound-byte obsessed society. That's all well and good and I hope he has success with that. Dems obviously need to distill their message in the same way the the Republicans have done.

What you'll get on this blog (aside from frequent incoherent rants) is a broken record of "Vote Reform, Vote Reform, Vote Reform..." because I believe that if the Dems really go after this as an issue, it can only hurt Republicans. If Reps oppose vote reform, it's going to give the impression that they in fact have something to hide and desire a system that could consceivably be manipulated or cheated. Indeed, it would be a simple matter of spinning opposition to comprehensive vote reform as being ANTI-AMERICAN.

As I've said numerous times in numerous posts here, conspiracies aside, Americans need to know their votes matter and the current system hardly allows for that. The very fact that conspiracy theories exist should indicate that we are in dire need of a system that is transparent and holds up to scrutiny.

More than that, even if vote fraud proves to be some chimera invented in the minds of a few sour-grapes Kerry supporters, voter suppression was a very real (and ugly) reality of the last election. Dems lost two points of the Black vote in 2004 from 2000 mostly because the GOP had a little success playing the Gay Rights card. A perfect way to gain back Black support is through vote reform. As MarkUSD pointed out yesterday in DKos, ignoring voter suppression betrays Black voters and the Dems can't afford the perception that they continue to take the Black vote for granted. If you're going to "brand" Dems as the party of Civil Rights, walking the talk goes a long way. If the Dems fight for more voting machines in Black precints commensurate with the numbers of voting machines in largely White precints, if Dems go after voter intimidation (making it clear they will aggressively apply statutes in the Voting Rights Act and pushing for real teeth in the enforcement of those statutes), if Dems draft legislation that makes various acts of voter suppression a federal crime (and a felony with substantial fines and/or jail time attached to those crimes), Dems can only be seen as advocating for the rights of all Americans - Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red, Whatever - while opposing that advocacy would be perceived as a return to Jim Crow.

"Brand" all you want (and to be fair to Oliver, he has commented on this blog that Dems need to make vote reform a platform issue), unless Dems are willing to take their nifty logos to the next level and blacken some eyes, no one will be convinced of the validity of those key words.

Next Wednesday I bring my little Democracy For America group together at The Coffee Warehouse and, as county coordinator, I hope to make vote reform our focus. If Howard Dean gets in as DNC chair, I think we'll have a friend in our corner. If we can mobilize the rest of the Dems to get behind vote reform, Dems can only win this fight and Reps can only lose. We'll be putting the Reps on the defensive and that is not a position they fight well from because they are essentially, hit-and-run cowards.

We can fight and make this a real issue. It's up to us to take a stand and follow it to the end.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

If Orwell Watches Football...

A nice afternoon at my brother's house for thanksgiving, he and his wife, their kids, my kids, my parents, my sister-in-law's mom, and me. Two turkeys, one roasted and one Cajun fried (YUM!) and football - of course. If you happened to catch the games today, you saw that the Chicago/Dallas game was much more fun than the Detroit/Indianapolis fiasco, at least until Dallas brought Testaverde on in the second half (which was a snooze, tryptophane aside). Ah, the tradition of our national holiday...

The Bears/Cowboys game was on Fox and some attention was paid to the troops in Iraq, a live feed showed them cheering, holding up signs for their loved ones, generally having a great time at three in the morning. Cool, I thought, giving thanks definitely means acknowledging those overseas doing the real work for us back in the states. We're back here fat and happy on the couch and they're over there in the sand, dodging bullets (hopefully), getting their first hot meal in months, being away from their families. The least the networks could do was give our troops the "on air" light and let them hoot for the camera.

Earlier, during the Colts/Lions game, Jon Mellencamp did the half-time show. Good show. He went into "R-O-C-K in the USA" and the camera cut to stands where thousands of ticket-holders waved plastic American flags for the viewing public. Interesting, considering John Melancamp stumped for that commie John Kerry.

Fox had the extremely lame Destiny's Child doing the half-time show with a precision US Army drill team spinning rifles in time to the music. I don't know about you but the drill team looked PISSED, as if the faux-patriotism Fox was trying to stress was really ripping at their nerves. I mean, I assume the guys on the drill team have friends who have served in Iraq and felt the show was a complete sham. No wonder they looked like dancing to Destiny's Child was the equivalent of sacrificing a first born.

Think about all this hue-and cry and you'll see how pathetic it all appears. A drill team twirling weapons to beat the drum for the poor saps putting their life on the line in Iraq, picking up a few seconds of face time for those not fortunate enough to stomp in time to Destiny's Child. The service and sacrifice of our troops deserves far more thanks than just half-assed references by glum spit-and-polish smarties, gratuitous ham-it-up opportunities during the game, a few empty phrases by sportscasters. Thanksgiving should mean a lot more to them and us than cynical caresses of the national psyche.

When Fox took it's cameras to the troops in Iraq, a little flag at the bottom of the screen identified them as "Multinational Forces in Iraq". Not "Our men and women in Iraq" or "US forces in Iraq" but "Multinational". I noticed the "Multinational" designation from the git-go and so watched subsequent feeds from Iraq and... well, they all looked like US forces to me.

Bush has assured us that we're fighting over there with a "multilateral force" and somewhere in Roger Ailes tiny mind it was incumbent that this is true. Recognizing that at least 51% of Americans are stupid enough to believe that "multinational forces" are fighting in Iraq is a given. However, to me, on Thanksgiving of all days, not giving our troops their due is pretty goddamn unpatriotic.

Ok, I'll go there; fuck Fox and the 101st Warbloggers... if you think diminsishing the role of our troops in Iraq for the sake of abstract cheerleading is patriotic, then yes, we have radically different views on patriotism. Minimizing what our men and women are doing in Iraq for the sake of neocon conquest is no less unpatriotic than spitting on a Vietnam vet and calling him a "babykiller". To pan across a field of desrt camoflauge US BDU's and then call them "Multinational" is pure hypocricy.

Then again, I watched 60 Minutes the night before. Someone wrote an angry letter regarding a story about the US soldier abused at Gitmo (posing as a detainee and irreparably injured in that exercise),
Each week, you prove yourselves to be quasi-journalists, reaching for anything in the hopes of higher ratings. Why not try "digging" up a story that may unite Americans and show our strength, courage and fellowship towards one another, as well as towards the world? America is the greatest country on earth. Too bad CBS News and 60 Minutes portrays it as the most savage and despicable country on earth.
--Toni Klopfenstein

What was left out of the online version of the letter but was shown on 60 Minutes II was the last sentence: "God bless America".

Truth doesn't matter much in our country - at least not among the right. Toni Klopfenstein (was that name made up by Firesign Theatre?) wasn't as much concerned with a US soldier being abused, handicapped, and then forgotten by the US government as he was hearing CBS state how nice it is to live in the "Good ol' USA". Fox didn't care so much about honoring our soldiers in Iraq (much less 100,000 dead Iraqis) because it was far more concerned with presenting the chimerical "multinational" force meme for us to digest with our pecan pie, with whipped cream on top.

I can just see Winston Smith looking back on us, nodding: you have your games, you have your multinational force, you have your precision drill team and your Destiny's Child. Oh yes, and you have your turkey.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Bobby Frank Cherry, Meet the Devil

When I got back from my mini-vacation, I noticed not a much happened, news-wise. By far, the best news I saw was that Bobby Frank Cherry died in his prison cell over the weekend.

Cherry was one of three Klansmen (MEN?!? That's a complete misuse of the term... maybe 'klanslimypunks' would be more appropriate...) convicted in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls. Gosh, and it only took our government FORTY FUCKING YEARS to convict that worthless sack of shit but there's some consolation in knowing that Cherry's grandchildren got to hear, "Yeah, your granddaddy died in prison for killing four little girls." Good for them, I hope the white trash Cherry spawned learns a little something from the shame of gramps going stiff in the stir.

As a father, if my children had been killed by that pointy-headed little fuck, he'd have been lucky to make it to prison. He sure as shit wouldn't have been walking around free for almost forty years because I would have ripped open his throat, grabbed his small intenstines, and shoved them in his pestillent mouth. Back in my anarcho-punk days (and when I was playing in an anarcho-punk band), I used to maintain that the only way to fight racism was to pound sense into the racist's empty skull. Cherry deserved that and a lot more.

Every black prisoner in the correctional facility Cherry was incarcerated had to have grown up with the story of the Birmingham church bombing. Although the same government that took almost four decades to convict Cherry was probably the same government that provided Cherry with "protective custody", I'm sure more than a few gobs of saliva (among other items) made it into Cherry's dinner plate.

Bobby Frank Cherry, "In nomine Domini Sabaoth sui filique ite ad infernos." And your mama, too.

My Shit Stinks

I wish I could blame Adelphia, my cable provider. Afterall, they bumped The Daily Show up to midnight because of "inappropriate" content. The cable went out yesterday and last night but it wasn't Adelphia's fault.

Some dude trimming branches disturbed a bee hive and when he quickly turned the bucket he was in away from the rampaging bees, he took several hundred feet of fiber optic cable with him. I live in Manitou Springs and I'm used to the cable going out. This is a little hippie town - a lot of dope smokers - and someone is always digging in the wrong place or shooting a squirrel off a transformer box or something. The cable goeas tits up and some burnout is standing there, staring, "Oh wow, maaaaaaan...."

To top that off, I'm not sure if it was a bad NIC card that added to my headache or a bad PCI controller (I suspect the latter, unfortunately) but I need a new comp. If I was a big shot like Atrios I could appeal to my faithful readers for a gift on Amazon but that ain't happening. So I'll just keep typing with my fingers crossed and hope I can get a new machine before I have a blackout.

Anyway, I had a great weekend and I would have hung out much longer if I could have pulled that off. But here I am and in some weird way, it's good to be back. Even if my shit stinks.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Brief Hiatus Until Monday, November 22

Rice as Secretary of State? Gonzales as Attorney General? Bush sweeping perfectly good agents out of the CIA just because they're presenting information to him that he doesn't cotton to?

This is too fucking much. The country is about to be the world leader of stupidity and little else and I need to escape for a few days. So I'm heading to the mountains, no TV, no internet, no phone, just a few books and a couple bottles of wine.

Unfortunately, the same dumbass will still be running the country (into the ground) and most Americans will be just as stupid. But at least I'll be rested, refreshed, and ready to take on stupidity with a fresh vigor.

Enjoy your weekend, I know I'll enjoy mine!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

When Stupid People Vote, Stupid People Win

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
--H.L. Mencken
Everyone on the left has pretty much dispensed with "What if this had been Clinton?" because the batshit insanity of the Bush administration covered up that little gem a very, very long time ago. The time for comparing Clinton getting a blow-job to Junior Nutfuck screwing the entire country has long passed, the comparison isn't even close.

If you just ended pulling submarine duty or you rely on the major networks for news, you might have missed this:
Reports have emerged over the weekend that the White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

One former senior CIA official told Newsday "The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House." The official went on to say, "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."

What the dead-from-the-neck-up dumbfucks who voted for Bush because "Bush can better fight the war on terrorism" need is a nice hard slap upside the head. WHACK! What the fuck were you thinking, shit for brains?

It's called the Central INTELLIGENCE Agency ("CIA" - get it, fuckwit?) but as we all know, Bush's lack of intelligence leads him to resent anyone who might possess some.

Let me guess this straight. In order to hunt down terrorists or stop terrorists attacks on the US, we need CIA agents out in the field collecting facts and passing those facts onto the powers that be so those terrorists can be captured, killed, their plans thwarted. Unless, of course that information is disagreeable to King George and then, all bets are off.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Calling a Spade a Spade

There's probably not many people here who remember George Wallace (I remember him well) but if there's anything of his legacy that endures in our country's collective memory, it's the words from his Governor's inaugural speech in 1963, "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever."

Maybe one person in a thousand could tell you that Wallace ran for President four times - I recalled only his campaigns in 1968 and 1972 - each time running on white disaffection with integration. It's important to note that Wallace's campaigns weren't low-key fringe affairs; although Wallace knew he didn't stand a chance at winning, he felt he could garner enough support to broker an end to civil rights reform. He was not far off and came dangerously close to succeeding.

If anyone thinks, "Well, that was America then, different from America NOW," think again. Wallace's base in all four elections was largely drawn from southern white evangelicals, specifically Southern Baptists, the same base that Bush and Rove found so important in 2004. Although 1976 (the last time Wallace ran for President) is a long time ago, it's not so long in the conservative mind-set, a mind-set marked by fossilized thinking and an unwillingness to change. Considering it was until 1995 that the Southern Baptist Convention deemed it appropriate to embark on its short-lived "racial reconciliation" initiative and apologize for its religiously-sanctioned support for racial segregation, it's not unreasonable to assume that beneath the self-righteousness of most white conservative christians lies an undercurrent of racism.

My own perception of "values" as an issue for conservative white christians is that it's a backlash movement. Specific issues like abortion, gay-rights, or the war in Iraq are not so much principled stands as they are part of a larger reaction to a society in flux, a society that has threatened the imagined birth-right of many white Americans. Joining the skinheads isn't as socially acceptable as joining a church. Take a look at almost every conservative evangelical community and you'll see a snow bank.

Why has the left has not called conservative white evangelicals out on this (especially when its so obvious)? Because the left has still not learned to be the kind of street-fighters that Republicans are. I've read a little here and there about Lakoff's notion of "framing" (although I confess I have still not read his book) but we're not going to get anywhere until we learn how to "frame" issues with gut-level emotion. We're still afraid to assume the worst in people even while Republicans continue to refine their hate-filled attacks on liberals. James Dobson can call liberals "God-haters" and "haters of God's people" (to which many of my liberal Christian friends take exception) and the media gives him a pass; obviously, Republican hate-speech is not just accepted, it's expected. If the left ever needed a cue, it's done passed.

If you have your own doubts about conservative evangelical hate, google up some of the conservative christian discussion boards and see what the self-righteous "values" they're discussing. You'll find all manner of jew-hating, catholic-hating, minority-hating, and Bush-loving comments. Just a cursory glance at those boards showed a love for god and hate for anyone not believing in their values - or wearing the same color skin. If you have any doubts that "values" is just a code word for "racism", you're naive, the evidence is just waiting to be discovered on almost every conservative christian discussion board.

It's time to re-frame the issue of "values" for what it is: white fears of losing their place in some hocus-pocus hierarchy, the politics of exclusion. George Wallace understood how powerful white fears were and ran under a "law and order" platform, a code for "let's put those people back in their place". Unfortunately for him, the left at that time had the guts to call him out on his thinly veiled racism and Wallace was defeated. If the left ever regains its courage, "values" (as defined by conservative christians) can fail in the same way Wallace's platform did. There's no reason we can't declare that hate and racism are not American values.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Get Your Email On

Over at DKos it's been reported that Tom Vilsack's candidacy as DNC chair is
predicated, in large part, on protecting his home state's unwarranted status in the primaries.

Kos backs this up based on this:
Gov. Tom Vilsack is considering a bid to become the next chairman of Democratic National Committee, in part to protect Iowa's leadoff precinct caucuses, a spokesman said Wednesday.

"The governor is interested in preserving the Iowa caucuses," spokesman Matt Paul said [...]

He said Vilsack could help protect Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses from other states hoping to usurp that position.

Democrats typically approve the next round of presidential primaries and caucuses during their nominating convention, but this year appointed a commission to study the calendar.

The DNC needs a major overhaul, not an agenda based on special interests. If you believe (as I do) that we're only going to make progress in 2006 through fresh ideas and not more political grab-ass, then you'll write (as I did) to these guys:
Stephen Gleason, Vilsack's Chief of Staff
Dusky Terry, Vilsack's Senior adviser

Let them know the future of the country is too important to be prioritized behind their petty issues.
Also at DKos in Cedwyn's Diary is this request:
Randi Rhodes is calling for everyone to email F. James Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the house judiciary committee. He has the power to subpoena the black boxes that hold the votes in the counties in Florida that have all those suspicious votes for bush and all used optical scanners. These can be read and verified by a human being. Glenda Hood is the only other person that can do this, and she is never gonna do it.

Copy of a letter is below. She said we should be nice because we are asking for a favor. He is from Wisconsin and may be fairly reasonable and rational even though he is a Republican.

The email address is:
You might want to say this:
Dear Chairman Sensenbrenner:
I am writing to request that as head of the judiciary committee you subpoena the black boxes that contain votes from the 47 Florida counties that have suspicious tallies.

One would be asked to believe that 100% of Republicans, 50% of Democrats, and 100% of Independents all voted for President Bush, despite exit polls to the contrary. To further arouse suspicion, all these counties used the same optical scanner system.

Perhaps if you would subpoena and examine the votes in some of these counties, you could put to rest the doubts and suspicions that many Americans harbor about the election. This would serve our country, our democracy, and help heal our great national divide.

Get busy with the emails. The interenet will still be here when you get back.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Anyway the Wind Blows

Stolen election or not (and as I've said numerous times here, I'll let the jury decide), the system is screwed and it needs fixing NOW. Not just by 2008 and well before 2006 but it's going to take the Dems getting really ballsy and really pushy to hammer the point home that all of our values, as Americans, are tied up in the legitimacy of the vote and making voting accessible to all Americans.

There's an interesting article here, a report on voting in Cleveland from Clevescene.com about how inept the system is in Ohio. People waiting in line for hours only to find out they were at the wrong polling location, arrogant and stupid poll watchers, voter rolls that didn't make any sense... absurd.

However, at the very end of the article is a telling vignette:
In Akron, Alan Perella, owner of Larry's Main Entrance, pulls up a seat at the bar, where his regulars wait for televised results. "You think there's still hope?" he asks.

A balding drunk in a Hawaiian shirt places an elbow on the bar as if he's about to answer, but instead, he lifts his beer to his lips, takes a sip, and sighs. He looks dejected. Next to him, Dawn Williams, a bulky woman in a cardigan, appears apologetic.

"I feel really guilty for voting for Bush," she confesses.

People raise their heads from their drinks and exchange puzzled looks.

"Wait. Wha--? Why did you vote for him then?" asks a bulb-nosed customer with a southern Ohio accent.

"Well, I only voted for Bush because I don't like Kerry's wife," Williams answers.

The geezer in the Hawaiian shirt tries to steady himself in the face of his own drunkenness and Williams's stupidity. He grips his pint as he stares blankly at the glowing red map of Florida on TV.

"We're fucked," he slurs.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say, "Wow, I wished I didn't vote for Bush... I didn't think he'd actually win!" And when I respond, "Well, what were you thinking?!?" the answer goes something like, "Well, I kind of felt sorry for him..."

And you know, I have to confess that although I'm appalled that they'd use such mindless criteria in picking their president (especially in the face of the peril our country is now in), I can understand where they're coming from. Bush got trounced in the debates, his own campaign was a fiasco (and repulsive with its negativity), but I think that to many Americans he comes across as the harmless mensch at work who, although of anybody in the place is most deserving to be fired, you'd feel for when they finally let him go.

Kerry (and the Democrats) didn't inspire the kind of anger at Bush that many of us felt. We kept hearing about Republican dissatisfaction at Bush over many issues such as the war in Iraq, the economy, and civil liberties but apparently Republicans had almost 100% voted for Bush (and that's some of the "evidence" that the election was gamed). "I kind of felt sorry for him," hardly translates into, "I was pissed at what he's done to this country, I'd have voted for a poodle."

Second guessing what happened in the primaries, the Dems went with a stiff. The old guard didn't want a firebrand like Dean running so they went with a Mr. Least Objectional. The aversion to Dean was, I believe, that he scared a lot of people. Well guess what, the people he scared were hardcore Republicans because they knew Dean was the kind of candidate that might inspire undecideds and independents with a backlash against Bush and his policies. I remember the talking-head circles yammering about the Dem prospects prior to the primaries and conservatives on those gab-fests being the ones with the greatest enmity towards Dean. Kerry, it seemed, was an "acceptable" candidate to them.

Two things: Dems need to stop taking advice from people like Bob Novak and William Kristol - get a clue, you idiots, they're not offering advice because they want you to win! Secondly, Dems need to re-arrange the primary itinerary, put Iowa and New Hampshire down the list and put states like New York or California (or Colorado) at the top. If you're going to let your base decide who the candidate will be, it needs to be a broader base. Democrats have to decide who their candidate will be based on that candidate's ability to inspire enthusaism not on what a few party hacks think will be a "safe" candidate.

"Values" didn't decide this election (no matter how many sub-intelligent pundits I hear echoing that canard, I've seen more compelling articles debunking that schoolyard fib), the inability to inspire the need for change decided this election. When I hear people say (and I've heard it quite a few times) that they wish they hadn't voted for Bush, it tells me that they wished they'd had a better reason to vote for the alternative.

The time to fix the system is now, both inside and outside the party. In the most important election of our generation, the Democratic party failed miserably by cowering at the liberal label and offering a clearly articulated alternative to Bush. Whether or not the election was stolen remains to be seen but Democrats need to proceed "as if" and make election reform a top priority, externally, party reform a top priority internally. The future of this country depends on how well the Democrats can rise to those tasks.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Feds Investigate High School Band In Boulder

What a colossal waste of resources. From the Denver Post the Secret Service is called out to investigate a bunch of kids rehearsing a Bob Dylan song:
Secret Service agents are still investigating the events of a talent show rehearsal at the school after they received several complaints, Special Agent in Charge Lon Garner said.

The dispute spread across talk radio Thursday morning when the mother of a student called Peter Boyles' show on KHOW 630-AM and reported the threats.

The woman - who did not give her real name on the air - said her daughter had heard members of a band say, "George Bush, I hope you die, and I hope you die soon" and "I'll stand over your grave."
But Cabrera said threats were never made.

The students covered the song "Masters of War," a Vietnam-era protest song by Bob Dylan, he said.

Cabrera also said that while the band had considered calling itself "Tali-banned," they decided on "Coalition of the Willing" after faculty urging.

Lyrics in the final verse of "Masters of War" include "And I hope that you die / And your death'll come soon" and "And I'll stand o'er your grave."

The band's act also included images of war and President Bush in the background.

What a bunch of clowns. Since the election we've become the joke of the world and these shitheads only add to the perception that we're a bunch of paranoid nitwits.

Tis' the Season

Oliver stopped by to defend his stance per my attack of him and other big bloggers in my previous post and we agreed to, um, agree. My point has been all along that the vote won't get overturned, it's not gonna happen. However, the fact that a perception exists equivocating the validity of the vote is an indication that the system needs to be overhauled. OW's point (echoing my own) is that the Democratic Party needs to make National Voting Standards a part of its platform.

That's what I said in my post. Everyone's flopping around looking for a solidifying issue for the Dems and pushing voter reform is it. Drop the "values" red herring, let the DNC figure out if it's going to take Dean/Rosenberg... make vote reform issue numero uno.

OK, numero dos after blocking Alberto Gonzalez's nomination as AG.

Anyway, MoveOn.org is circulating a petition to get congress to investigate the vote. Sign it - why not?

Last year, before the election started heating up, not a day went by when I didn't see a petition for this or that. Seems like we're back at that. Media For Democracy has a petition for network execs that states:
I join other Media for Democracy members to call on mainstream news networks to restore integrity and balance to their war reporting by:

- diversifying your sources to include more independent, non-military experts;

- giving more airtime to Iraqi and Afghan voices;

- more thoroughly scrutinizing for accuracy White House and Pentagon claims;

- reporting on the full extent of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq;

- offering balanced on-air analysis that includes more anti-war perspectives.

You can go and sign the petition here if you think those fuckwits will pay attention to anything other than your idea for a new reality show.

Now, if only someone could get a petition to get the Dems to make National Voting Standards the primary issue of their platform. *sigh*

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Prey? Pray? Which Is It?

The other morning I took my oldest and my youngest to hang out with my mom and her catholic lady friends. Nice ladies, all of them, they meet once a week for a prayer breakfast to discuss their prison ministry. They're all grandmothers and of course they were ga-ga over my kids.

After the waitress (whom my mother tried several times to fix me up with) cleared the plates, the ladies joined hands for a group prayer. My kids, heathens all, looked on with bemused indifference. As the prayers went around, I heard prayers for sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, who were serving in Iraq or were about to be deployed. Cool, I thought, and too bad there had to be prayers about that. I shut my mouth. I wasn't in the prayer circle anyway, being deep into my Belgian Waffle.

However, as the prayers came to an end, I had to open my waffle hole: "I heard prayers for our men and women over there but what about the innocent civilians getting killed in this conflict? What about the 100,000 dead from airstrikes? Aren't you going to pray for them?"

You'd have thought I'd wrapped that waffle around my cock and was fucking the blueberries out of it, the way those ladies were looking at me. "What?!? Pray for THEM"?!?

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you want to make "values" an issue - and you have - then you need to examine the deep philosphical underpinnings of those values. One thing I know about your so-called "values" is that the foundation is based upon Absolutism, the notion that there are Absolute Values in the universe and that those values aren't dependent on situations or circumstances.

Well, that's a sticky wicket, isn't it? However, conservative catholics in the US have some kind of "hierarchy" of Absolute Values where abortion is really REALLY bad but the death penalty is not so bad. Interesting that, considering one can oppose abortion but support the death penalty. Not so Absolute it seems.

Indeed, the philosophical problem with Absolutism is that it's an all-or-nothing proposition and most conservatives (catholic or otherwise) aren't prepared to make that commitment. If Iraqi lives are somehow valued less than American lives, Absolutism becomes Relativism (and we know how much conservatives HATE relativism). If you're going to pray for American lives but forgo praying for Iraqi lives, then obviously some lives are less valued than others. As such, you're suddenly acknowledging that abortion must be peachy with God because some circumstances justify taking an innocent human life.

Damn, I don't want our soldiers dying on the streets of Fallujah, that's why I've been against this war from day one. I have no sympathy for the Taliban-minded thugs our soldiers are fighting but I have to ask: who's Taliban is worse? Or is it the same damn thing? I googled 'fallujah+marines+pray+battle' and I got this nonsense that had no mention of the innocents who would die.
Muhammad Abbud said he watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death at their Falluja home, unable to take him to hospital as fighting raged in the streets and bombs rained down on the Iraqi city.

In the midst of a US onslaught and hemmed in by a round-the-clock curfew, he said he had little choice but to bury his eldest son, Ghaith, in the garden.

"My son got shrapnel in his stomach when our house was hit at dawn, but we couldn't take him for treatment," said Abbud, a teacher. "We buried him in the garden because it was too dangerous to go out. We did not know how long the fighting would last."

Residents say scores of civilians have been killed or wounded in 24 hours of fighting since US-led forces pushed deep into the city on Monday evening.

Doctors said people brought in at least 15 dead civilians at the main clinic in Falluja on Monday. By Tuesday, there were no clinics open, residents said, and no way to count casualties.

If you're going to discuss "values" you'd better be prepared to have all your philosophical ducks in a row and the Religious Right - our own homegrown Taliban - doesn't have the intellectual wherewithall to keep it together. It's easy enough to call out the inconsistency of supposed Absolutists for their pick-and-choose "values". Why the Dems haven't had the smarts or the balls to do that is truly one of the most vexing issues of this or any campaign.

Go to any conservative church this Sunday and ask why they're not also praying for the innocent lives lost in Iraq and I guarantee you, you might as well be fucking a waffle. Ask them how their Absolutism suddenly becomes Relativism when it's politically convenient and I can guarantee that your life won't be worth two cents.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due - With a Big "Fuck You"

Over at Oliver Willis:
What Atrios said. Quit sending emails about me working with the media cabal to "cover up" the story.

Look, I'm relatively new at this. I started my first blog back in 2002 but didn't really get on the political thing until the war started; this blog started during the summer. I acknowledge that people like Dkos, Atrios, OW, and others are in some small part responsible for building a coalition on the left the past few years and creating the "blogger phenomenon" that the nitwit media looks at quizzically and invariably gets wrong. These are sites I stop at several times a day to see what's going on, to get some informed opinion. Lately, however, I've been less than thrilled with the pretense of punditry that some of these bloggers have been aspiring towards.

IMHO, some of these "big dog bloggers" have been reluctant to jump on the vote fraud story because most of the evidence suggesting vote fraud is anecdotal at best, mere conjecture at worst. Fair enough. No one's asking anyone to put a tin foil cap on and start connecting dots to what might be just nonsensical splatter. Frankly, I don't know if there's anything to the Vote Fraud story (in spite of all the links I've been posting the last week to throw suspicion on the vote count), my beef has been with the process itself.

Every one of these bloggers has, at one time or another, spoken up about the potential for fraud in paperless voting; every one of those bloggers has (rightfully) complained about Republican intimidation of voters, disenfranchisement, scrubbing voter rolls, etc. I don't know if it's contrarianism or elitism but I don't buy that these bloggers are "too reasoned" or "too rational" to even mention the possibility of vote fraud. What I do think is that since issues of vote reform currently carry the taint of conspiracy theory (due to it's proximity to the vote fraud issue), those bloggers throw the baby out with the bath water.

Thing is, I've read all of these bloggers post whackier claims than what are being discussed in the vote fraud thread only to eat a little crow when the truth was brought to light. So what makes the vote fraud story different? Why is it that Atrios, OW, TPM, and others won't touch reforming the process? Why couldn't they say, "While it could appear that there might have been some hanky-panky regarding the vote, it's not looking like that to me. However, because the system itself lends itself to those doubts, there's obviously a problem and since we couldn't get them done for 2004, we need to get them addressed now"?

Instead, I'm reading, "In my highly informed and educated opinion, I think X would be the perfect candidate for the King of Cheese and Senator D is a crook," and seeing fucking pictures of cats and dogs. What I'm also seeing is a lot of people howling about how Dems need to get behind something but no great ideas on what that might be. "Oh, we need to (or, rather, THEY need to) create enthusiasm among voters... what that would be is beyond me."

The issue to energize Dems (and voters) is all over the blogosphere and no one has to buy into half-baked conspiracies in order to get behind it.

What I see is a sniff of derision, an attitude of "Let those little guys sully their non-existent reputations with unproven theories, I'm too respectable to join in the fray. When Newsweek comes calling at least I won't have THAT blot on my resume..."

Fuck them and their pretense of respectability. Let em' go down on Wonkette and say they like the taste. Let's have a revolution, right here, right now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Guess You Need To Be a Complete Retard to Be a Republican

I was going to title this post "Internet Spit-Take, Take 2" because how the hell else was I supposed to take this (via Buzzflash):
RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie wants to eliminate exit polls because he says they're not accurate, implying that the final vote was unquestionably correct.

Considering the cheating was so transparent and it was the exit polling that made it glaringly obvious, Ed "God My Colon Tastes Good" Gillespie figures we need to eliminate any suggestion that the machines are rigged.

Gosh, Ed, why not GET RID OF THE FUCKING MACHINES? In Ed's tiny mind, the problem isn't with the machines, hell no, the machines aren't what caused doubts about the vote. Um, well, actually Ed probably knows the machines are the reason why his idiot child "won" the election.

A little more digging around on the vote fraud fiasco brought me to this site that asks some very interesting questions:

The squanderer also makes another interesting point regarding the Florida vote:
In Florida, the figures show that, in counties with one type of voting machine, voters with no Democrat or Republican party affiliation appeared to split their votes roughly 50/50 between Bush and Kerry, which was to be expected; yet in counties with another type of voting machine, unaffiliated voters seemed to vote nearly 100% for Bush!
Some Florida counties used an "E-Touch" voting machine, and some used an "optical scan" machine. Let's look at these two groups:
  • "E-Touch" Voters
    • Approx. 3.86 million total voters in these counties
      • Kerry's Base: about 1.57 million votes
        • Kerry's final tally: about 1.98 million votes
          26.5% more than his given base

      • Bush's Base: about 1.44 million vote
        • Bush's final tally: about 1.85 million votes
          28.6% more than his given base

Conclusion: Close race, as expected, unaffiliated voters nearly evenly split between the two candidates.
  • "Optical Scan" Voters
    • Approx. 3.42 million total voters in these counties
      • Kerry's Base: about 1.43 million votes
        • Kerry's final tally: about 1.45 million votes Less than 1% more than his given base

      • Bush's Base: about 1.34 million votes
        • Bush's final tally: about 1.95 million votes 45.8% more than his given base

Virtually every unaffilated voter would have had to have gone for Bush.

See, Ed has to like those odds almost as much as he likes the fact that if there's anyone more stupid than a Republican, it's Wolf Blitzer and his pals. I took a fair amount of stats and probabalities in college and I can tell you what a trend looks like. I also took a little non-linear dynamics (Chaos Theory) and I can tell you that this kind of clustering doesn't "just happen".

Ignore this, ignore tanks rolling in on anti-war protesters and welcome our new pro-torture AG Alberto Gonzales.

Tianamen Square - No, Wait It's BUSH'S AMERIKA

Bad Clip...

I don't know how I've been checking into my usual daily lefty blogs and missed this:
LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2004 - At 7:50 PM two armored tanks showed up at an anti-war protest in front of the federal building in Westwood. The tanks circled the block twice, the second time parking themselves in the street and directly in front of the area where most of the protesters were gathered. Enraged, some of the people attempted to block the tanks, but police quickly cleared the street. The people continued to protest the presence of the tanks, but about ten minutes the tanks drove off. It is unclear as to why the tanks were deployed to this location. Uploaded here is video from the event.

Official explanation? They were "lost". As much as we spend on our fucking military budget and this is the kind of GPS service we get?

Rather, the question should be, another four years of our idiot child Preznit and this is the kind of lame-brained half-assed LIE we get?

I dunno about you folks but tanks showing up at an anti-war protest is an indication that we're not headed for a facsist government...


I wonder how long it will be before I'm in prison for being "dangerous"....

Good Clip....

"Mistake" over at Hategun compiled 4 minutes pf clips to remind our idiot child Preznit of the mistakes he's made the last four years since the nitwit seems entirely incapable of admitting anything.

If those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, we're in for another four years of blithering idiocy.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

James Dobson and My First Internet Spit-Take

Here I was, trying to wind down with a cup of green tea when I read this on TPM, an exchange yesterday between George Stephanopoulos and James Dobson on This Week:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Dr. Dobson, you also have a problem with the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy. I want to show something that was reported in "The Daily Oklahoman" during the campaign. In the "Daily Oklahoman," it quoted you saying, "Patrick Leahy is a God's people hater. I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people." Now, Dr. Dobson, that doesn't sound like a particularly Christian thing to say. Do you think you owe Senator Leahy an apology?

DR JAMES DOBSON: George, you think you ought to lecture me on what a Christian is all about? You know, I think -I think I'll stand by the things I have said. Patrick Leahy has been in opposition to most of the things that I believe. He is the one that took the reference to God out of the oath.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But Dr. Dobson, excuse me for a second. You use the word hate. You said that he's a "God's people hater." How do you back that up?

DR JAMES DOBSON: Well, there's been an awful lot of hate expressed in this election. And most of it has been aimed at those who hold to conservative Christian views. He is certainly not the only one to take a position like that. But
I think that that is -that's where he's coming from. He has certainly
opposed most of the things that conservative Christians stand for.


DR JAMES DOBSON: No apology.

Green tea went all over my goddamn monitor, drops glistening like little rhinestones. I wish I had a video of it, it was classic.

I live in Manitou Springs which is spitting distance from Colorado Springs (believe me, it's a common occurance for me), home of Dobson's little Sturm Abteilung "Focus on the Family" and he's a damned liar (his statement above, "...there's been an awful lot of hate expressed in this election. And most of it has been aimed at those who hold to conservative Christian views..." should put any doubts about that to rest).

Back in 1992, Focus on the Family was trying to foist an amendment on the Colorado voters that would have legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians. The amendment read:
"No Protected Status Based on Homosexual, Lesbian, or Bisexual Orientation. Neither the State of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing."

However, in pushing that initiative, Focus on the Family (Dobson's SA) and their advocacy group "Colorado For Family Values" (CFV) told the voters that it wasn't an amendment for legalized discrimination. The way they positioned it, if the amendment didn't pass, if you were renting a room you'd be forced to rent to a homosexual, gays and lesbians would be recruiting in schools... you know, the same massive bullshit the Religious Right is still lying about when it comes to issues of homosexuality.

One of the local universities hosted a forum with Dobson's lapdog Kevin Tebedo preaching the CFV line. I attended, hot under the collar, wondering how these so-called Christians reconciled using one sin to fight another (ie, lying vs. homosexuality). When it was my turn at the mic, I asked Tebedo why, in his theology, it OK to lie - and lie on a massive scale - in order to oppress others he perceived to be sinful? He claimed he didn't know what I was talking about (he probably didn't; Tebedo may have been clever but not exceedingly bright) and so I repeated what he'd told the audience countless times that evening ("This amendment isn't about legalizing discrimination") and then read the pertinent section of the amendment, "whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination," and then told him he'd been lying "all goddamned night."

I think they got the mic out of my hands after I called him a "lying sack of shit" and "a venal little fuck stick" (and bloodied the nose of one of the people trying to grab the mic from me) but by then 90% of the room was likewise wondering why he felt Jeebus was giving him a pass on the sin of dishonesty.

See, Dobson and his pissant ilk have a definite problem with honesty. It's not (as many have suggested) that they're completely out of touch with reality, although there is a lot of that as well. Believe it or not, Dobson is smart enough to know that he's lying through his fucking teeth - and he has no problem with it. "Values" is nothing more to him than a slogan to sell toothpaste. In the grand scheme of things, people like Dobson wipe their ass with "values", "values" is for saps, a line of hateful rhetoric to be sold to any halfwit hayseed stupid enough to buy it. "Values" is what makes Dobson rich, "values" is what Dobson uses to get his buddy Bush to give him tax breaks at the expense of the neanderthals who buy Dobson's crap wholesale.

Fuck their "values", I like sleeping at night.

A Meme to Call Our Own

Well, it seems Atrios finally got on board with the Voter Fraud story. My guess is that most of the "Big Dog" blogs have been circumspect about echoing some of the wild accusations and conjecture flying around regarding this story because those blogs have now (though the "mainstream media") assumed some level of credibility amongst the media. The notable exception has been DKos where a lot of the voter fraud news has been filtering through and picked up. Whether a lone voice in the wilderness (Keith Olbermann) and the voices of our more prominent bloggers gives this story any more stickiness remains to be seen.

It seems there's a lot to this story, some of it far-fetched and some of it on the money. Over at The Blue Lemur Thom Hartmann's Florida fraud story is given a shrug (though not terribly convincingly, I should add) but then The Lemur throws a lot of weight into some other statistical analysis:
A statistical analysis of exit polling conducted for RAW STORY by a former MIT mathematics professor has found the odds of Bush making an average gain of 4.15 percent among all 16 states included in the media’s 4 p.m. exit polling is 1 in 50,000, or .002 percent.

Let me re-state my position that, although I find many of these stories intriguing (and appalling), I'm not confident it's going to be the downfall of Dubya's second term. As much as I'd like to see that idiotic little fraud tossed into a jail cell - and out of the Oval Office - I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen because of the tricked-out vote in Ohio and Florida. However, as the voting fraud issue begins to make its way into the media, Dems need to prepare ahead of time for Republican arguments and backlash with a carefully constructed meme that is going to whomp the GOP hard and bloody.

As much as I hate to say it, unless there's a smoking gun that ties Bush directly to a gamed election, Dems shouldn't push for kicking him out of office. Instead, Dems should use what evidence there is of a gamed election to relentlessly push for comprehensive election reforms.

What I see as the best possible outcome from all of this is a serious dialogue regarding real voting reforms. As the story of the whacky results of Ohio and Florida (and elsewhere) begin making it into the National Consciousness, Republicans and Democrats will be left with two choices: overturn the election and reform voting in this country. Now, these choices aren't mutually exclusive but it's hard to imagine that the electorate would ask for another election much less tolerate equivocating the results of this election. However, Dems have to dig in with this, prepare for a hard fought battle, and most importantly, make a lot of noise.

My reasoning is that not only will the taint of a crooked election badly hamstring the Bush administration but the long-term effects will fatally hobble the momentum of the GOP. If we can show the country what extremes radical elements in the GOP will go to (namely, usurping our democratic process) in order to push through their agenda, not only will it create opposition to that agenda, it will undermine the legitimacy of their illusory "mandate". Most of all it will, for once, put the game in squarely in the Dem's home field because the Dems will be determining the agenda.

For the Republicans, this is a lose-lose proposition - the very same kind of game they've been playing with the Dems for so long. If Republicans attempt to obstruct election reform they'll be seen as opposing the most basic civil rights granted to every citizen - a completely un-patriotic stance. If anyone attempts to cripple election reform legislation with irrelevant, pork-barrel amendments, Dems need to scream, jump up and down, point the finger. For whatever reason, Dems have believed they can, at the end of the day, go and have a friendly drink with their Republican opponents and that has to stop; if feelings get hurt because someone's called out (very loudly, to the press) for attaching bullshit amendments to legitimate electoral reform, so be it. The time for patty-cakes has long passed.

For specifics, there's an exceptional article at the always superb AMERICAblog on reforming the vote (and dumping the Electoral College) and although there's a great deal that needs to be sorted out, I'm not going to do it here (at least not in this post). My point here is that Democrats have the initiative on this one if the stories on voting fraud take hold. Given that real improprieties come to light, Republicans can ill-afford to be both the villians in this while continuing to perpetrate villiany.

The meme that the GOP is a party of racism, dirty tricks, and a party opposing democracy (while ostensibly trying to institute it in Afghanistan and Iraq) is easy enough to plant in the American psyche. Watching the Republicans fumble it and treat it like a hot potato will be most gratifying, especially as it trumps their attempt to make the tax cuts permanent, push through radical right-wing judges, and shit all over the environment. Put the meme out there and let the games begin.

Monday, November 08, 2004

"Whatever It Takes"

Last Tuesday, as the exit polls were showing a clear victory for Kerry in Ohio and Florida, a chilling thought came to me regarding statements George Bush had made regarding the defense of the US, "I will never relent in defending America, whatever it takes." At that moment my fear was something dramatic, stentorian, and I said my fear was that Bush would construe a Kerry victory as "dangerous for America" and would refuse to relinquish power.

In retrospect, I'm embarassed by how short-sighted I was, how naive, how simplistic my thinking was at that moment. There was no reason to worry about a Bush coup because Bush knew there would be no Kerry victory. The fix was in. Greg Palast saw it before the election and now we're seeing it as we realize things just don't add up in Florida and Ohio. The story of the stolen election is no longer just about inconsistencies between exit-polling and "actual results". The story has now grown into actual technical evidence (via The Smirking Chimp) and is just about to take on a life of its own.

Apparently, "whatever it takes" meant having voting machines hacked and eliminating the paper trails that would throw light on the crime.

Playing the Game

It's nice to see Kos has gotten on board with me (whether he knows it or not) as far as calling the Dems to play the full-contact campaigning that the Republicans play so well.
Negative ads work. And Democrats will need to stop being afraid to wield them. The moralists in the GOP have no problem with going hard negative. Dems should stop crying when the other side goes negative, and instead make sure to be the FIRST to go negative.

"The moralists in the GOP" also know how to make the Dems jump by being on the offensive (or how to be offensive) on this one. Like I was saying the other day about the "values" issue, working in collusion with the media, the Republicans throw out a red-herring for the media to make into the 'issue du jour' - and the Dems choke on it, stumble around looking like utter morons while the Republicans sit back and smile, taunting, playing the Dems and the media until all the political capital is gone and it's time to toss a new red-herring.

No one asks what kind of "values" go into the lies and slander that the Republicans indluge in yet that's precisely the kind of question Dems need to be asking when broadsided by that kind of attack. Has anyone asked Ralph Reed how Jesus might have reacted by his innuendoes of John McCains "black baby", preying on the racism of his ignorant, southern base? No one is asking those questions, the DNC is wringing its hands and looking for a door, trying to figure out how to get a handle on the "values" issue.

What kind of "values" go into stealing our democracy?

Election Fraud Clearinghouse

Here's a link for a site that's collecting everything for this voting fraud story:

Don over at Blah3 brought that to my attention along with this email that has been circulating:

I am angry and getting emails and recrimination from people wondering why KERRY just caved and is not fighting this before the final count in Ohio, before any of the fraud was challenged, before New Mexico and Iowa even came in.

There is widespread feeling that he did not lose the election and that it was taken from him.

There is enough here to warrant investigation and enough to challenge the results. It's coming from all corners.

I understand that he has until the official count certification in Ohio to Un Concede which is several days from now.

Anyone who thinks that he should unconcede should give reasons why - whatever they noticed, particularly in Red Republican Governed States using electronic machines- and send them directly to Cameron KERRY, John Kerry's brother at his law firm at the address CKerry@Mintz.com

They should inform us if they were not allowed to vote provisionally (for whatever reason- they lost forms, ran out of forms, etc.) I personally witnessed a number of things as I reported in Texas with the DCCC. (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)

If you know anyone in particular in Ohio who tried to vote and was turned away at the polls please get their information and notify the campaign.

They should be notified if they experienced lines longer than four hours -particularly elderly or infirm people (we call that torture when they do it to political prisoners) . They should be notified if people were told as has been reported that due to too many people showing up in African American precincts, particularly in Ohio where there were too few booths (some only had two or three for the entire precinct) and told because of heavy turn out they could vote on Wednesday. If the numbers of these sorts of incidents creates a percentage margin that exceeds the margin of victory- Un Concession has to be made to challenge the count.

If people wanted to and tried to vote and were prevented or actively discouraged from doing so, that is a Civil Rights matter and must be dealt with in terms of the ultimate count.

This is the last email that I am writing on this subject in this venue. I am taking it up in other venues.

Please pass along this to your listservs so that we may make Democracy Work in America. We are not a country where he who cheats best wins.

Cynthia L. Butler
1717 K St. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

A couple of nights ago I was afraid we might be tripping into tinfoil-hat territory but this thing just keeps growing and growing....

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Hack the Vote

I don't know how legit this is... seems just pure conjecture at this point, optically scanned ballot counters hacked in Florida. As someone who had his fair share of statistics in college, I'd like a reasonable explanation for this:
While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios largely matched the Kerry/Bush vote, in Florida's counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking – the results seem to contain substantial anomalies.

In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.

Supposedly the FBI has been called in to investigate this - wonder how bad Asscrack wants to hold onto his job - but if there was a chew toy ripe to throw to the good puppy media, I think this would be one.

And be LOUD about it.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Shot By Both Sides

"New offences always in my nerves
they're taking my time by force
They all sound the same when they scream
they have to rewrite all the books again
as a matter of course..."

- Magazine, "Shot By Both Sides"

Ever had one of those hangovers where you were sick for days? Everything's fuzzy and all you can stomach is powdered donuts and beer?

That was my reaction to the election. I still can't watch the news, it makes my stomach churn (despite knowing the old "hair of the dog" dictum) and I refuse to turn it on. Any of it.

I don't know how successful it would be for us on the left side of the blogosphere to conduct a boycott of the nooze channels but that's what I'm doing. I'm done caring about what Wolf or Tweety or Skelator has to say anymore, I'm done tolerating the cognitive dissonance of knowing that what I'm seeing doesn't fit the facts - yet still watching it. My blood pressure gets elevated enough with BushCo stunts, I don't need to push it further with the perfidy of overpaid nitwits.

Not only did I not want to know about King Codpiece strutting and hooting about his mandate for the 19th century, I didn't want to witness the inevitable hand-wringing and finger-pointing by the Dems. Screw the Democrats, they're pussies. Terry McAuliffe should have been fired when Gore had the election stolen from him. I don't think he's dupilicitous enough to have screwed Kerry's pooch for the sake of Hillary in 2008 (that's Rush Limbaugh tinfoil hat territory), I just think he's an inept pantywaist. The fact that Dems didn't kick Terry McAuliffe and the DLC to the street after the Gore v. Bush fiasco just goes to show how spineless the Democratic Party can be.

Spineless and stupid. Once again the Republicans throw out a chew toy for the puppy media to pounce on and the Democrats fight with the dogs over the damn thing. "Values" this time and the damn Democrats fell for it, grabbed it, tossed it around in the air and tried to figure out how to touch it without getting puppy slobber all over themselves. It happened all spring and summer, the Republicans would toss the media a worthless tidbit and then the Dems would have to backtrack to answer for trivialities.

Instead of answering the Swift Boat Vets For Truth with, "Fuck those guys, they're morons. And liars. And Republican hacks," the Dems minced around with the chew toy between their fingers, "Ewwww!" The five-second clip of John McCain denouncing the ads didn't amount to much compared to the amount of play the media gave the ads, yet all the Dems could muster was, "Ewwww, that's not very nice. Somebody should denounce these ads! Ewwww!"

Values? Why didn't the Dems ask that, "Values?!? You want to discuss VALUES?!?!" and then bring OBL back up or the 9/11 Commission or "catastrophic success" or... PICK ONE THING Democrats and BE LOUD ABOUT IT, just like the Republicans do. It's that easy, pick one thing and be loud about it.

"Values, Democrats?"
"Don't talk to us about VALUES, Wolf, you bloated hack, ask the President about Iraq!"
"But voters are upset with this gay marriage thing..."
"Tell me about Iraq and what values went into getting us into that!"
"Iraq, Wolf, IRAQ, IRAQ, IRAQ!!!"
"IRAQ you pinhead. Where's the WMD? What coalition? 100,000 dead, what's that? IRAQ, you moron, IRAQ, IRAQ, IRAQ!!!"

If the Dems are going to play the game with the media and their Republican handlers, they need to know how to play the game or at least understand that they're playing a game. Then they need to take a page out of Bill O'Reilly's playbook (but leave out the falafell part), "Shut up! I'll tell you about values!" Not only that, they need to go on the offensive, pony up the buck-fifty for a chew toy of their own and toss that to the media.

For me, I'm leaving the media alone, they can lick their own balls. I'm done with newtork and cable nooze.

As far as the Democrats vs. Republicans, I'm stuck between no spine and no brain. It's easy enough to steal a chew toy from a puppy but what the Dems need is the courage to steal the chew toy from the Republicans. It shouldn't be that difficult. They have no brain. It's them having no heart that makes them rutheless.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Four More Wars

If Bush does half of what he did for this country as he did the past four years, we're in for a revolution, kids.

God help us.

What Worries Me

Bush has said again and again "I will do whatever it takes to protect this country."

We all know what a twisted little shit Dubya is. When he says he'll do "whatever it takes" to keep America safe does that mean his diseased thinking interprates a Kerry victory as "dangerous for America" and he'll try some kind of military coup to usurp a legitimate Kerry win?

Are we about to have civil war?

Paranoid, I know but I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking about this....

Chickenhawks on the Run

Stopping in again to pick my daughter up from school; it's almost 3 PM here in Colorado. People I've driven to the polls are telling me there's really no waiting. I'm sure that will change when people start getting off from work but so far it's been a breeze to vote in El Paso county.

We're not seeing any of the problems going on in South Dakota, Ohio and elsewhere. It's still early but the GOP doesn't seem to have a viable voter suppression effort here in Colorado.

If the Republicans hadn't queered the vote in Florida in 2000 would we be seeing any of this? Being the whiny hypocrites they are, Republicans fucked with Democracy back in 2000 (and turned Democracy on its head, making the US the laughing stock of the world, "patriots" that they are) and now the swine are swarming the polls to "watch" and make sure no one does to THEM what they did to others in the last presidential election.

Republicans aren't big on creativity or original thought. Sneaky, yes, but everything the right has done the last 30 years to build their momentum was appropriated from the left.

When I pick up my kids from my ex, I take the same route and on one particular street almost every yard had a Kerry/Edwards sign. I say "had" because obviously some Republican bedwetter got out to steal signs, I saw that the signs were gone on that street when I went to get my daughter to take her to school.

The chickenhawks and their mindless minions are desperate, on the run, Democracy in practice (i.e. increased voter turnout) has shown them what a sham party they have. Now its payback time and the indictments will start, Rove, Rumsfeld, DeLay, et al will soon stand before a judge for the crimes they've committed.

That's why the Republicans are so desperate, my friends. Hard times - and hard time - is about to hit these thugs in a big way.

Light Election Day Blogging

Actually, it's been light the last couple of days as my energy has been thrown into GOTV efforts for Kerry and Salazar. Funny, as a registered "unaffiliated", I've spent quite a bit of time in the local Democratic Party Headquarters the past few months. What's important for me is to walk my talk which means, of course, less talk, more walk. I just stopped in after dropping my daughter off at school and I'm soon back to driving people to the polls.

My vision is that by 11 PM Mountain Standard Time "President John Kerry" will be on TV screens all across the country. From what I've been hearing (from the people I've driven to the polls so far) is the nooze channels are reporting Dems coming out to vote like gangbusters and Republicans are skittish. Keep it up, people. Give me a call if you need a ride, I'm more than happy to get you out to vote.

This is exciting. There is something special in the air that's signifying change, regular people taking our country back from a thug regime that had no respect for citizens or their constitution.

For almost four years I have been fighting this illegitimate President and it's heartening to know that the nightmare is over.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC

Worthless goddamn turds, the bunch of them, I had to turn it off before I went nuclear. What bullshit. The fucking morons picked four college Republicans and tried to pass them off as the entirety of the college vote. "We at MSNBC have so little regard for your intelligence, so certain of your gullibility, we're going to pass off Rovian propaganda as 'news' and titter mindlessly at our craven subterfuge," MSNBC fuckwits seemed to be saying. Ah, but that was not the extent of the insult: they finished the bogus interview by asking the college Republicans if having cell phones had prevented any of their peers from being polled.

I needn't tell you how our college Republicans answered because unlike MSNBC, I assume my readers have intellects.

MSNBC's pea-brained attempt to pull a "BOO YAH!!! We'll show you how wrong the liberals are about college-aged voters! We'll show you how wrong they are about the polls!" should have been enough to make me change the channel. Credit my Buddha-like patience for me not tossing my coffee cup through the tube. No, I had to sit through several more minutes of their "Might as well give up, Kerry voters, Bush has this thing wrapped up!" mantra and then, shamelessly broadcasting Bush's stump speech in Wisconsin...

Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC, Turn Off MSNBC