Friday, July 30, 2004

President John Kerry

For My Fellow Americans who might have missed it: Text of John Kerry's speech.


Reporting For Duty Posted by Hello

"We can do better, and we will."


Blonde nod to The Hamster.

No Surrender

What men dare do....


Winners! Posted by Hello

''Tonight, we have an important message for those who question the patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction for our country,'' he [Kerry] said. "Before wrapping themselves in the flag and shutting their eyes and ears to the truth, they should remember what America is really all about.'' "You see that flag up there?" he continued, adding, "I fought under that flag, as did so many of you here and all across our country. That flag flew from the gun turret right behind my head.."

"That flag doesn't belong to any president," he said. "It doesn't belong to any ideology and it doesn't belong to any political party. It belongs to all the American people. "

America Will Do Better

After watching the DNC on C-Span these past four days, I gotta say that I'm finally convinced the Dems are going to take back the White House. Some folks are saying that Edwards' speech night before last wasn't the Edwards they'd seen on the stump over the past few months, that he didn't have the same passion, didn't get the crowd roarin'. Well, ya know what? He did exactly what the Number 2 man was supposed to do. Deliver the message, not outshine Number 1, and go after the swing voters. Finally, a Mission Accomplished that's true!

Last night, John Kerry rocked the Fleet. He was impassioned, forceful, and in 45 minutes or so laid waste to Team Bush. Al implores us:


All the way back to Texas! Posted by Hello


Too many great lines in Kerry's speech to list them all, but here are few of my favorites:

"I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty."

"I defended this country as a young man, and I will defend it as president."

"Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so."

"To all who serve in our armed forces today, I say, help is on the way."

YT sez, HURRY UP, NOVEMBER!


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Random Thoughts

Day 2 of the DNC...

Barak ObamaMania is official. The guy rocked!
"If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child," Obama said. "If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. 'E pluribus unum.' Out of many, one."

Obama contrasted his vision with those who would divide the country. "The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states; red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats," he said. "But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and have gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."


Teresa Heinz Kerry was great. Said hello to everyone in FIVE languages. Eloquent. Classy. Self-deprecating at all the right times. Believable. Personable. And I loved the red suit; much more attractive than her trademark dark clothes and Red White & Kerry scarves.

The Annie-look-alike, Ms. Wexler, also rocked the Fleet, telling the cheering crowd that Dick Cheney needed a looooooonnnnnnnnng time-out for saying a bad word on the senate floor.

Teddy Kennedy's speech was good, if predictable. YT very much enjoyed seeing him whooping it up 'conductor style' later that night on some news program I channel-surfed by.

Howard Dean....was glad to see him receive the longest standing O of the convention -- so far. He really did energize the democratic base, was the first guy out-the-gate to take Bush Co., head on when we anti-war lefties needed a voice, and for that YT will always be grateful to him. My Salon.com piece about Ms. Dean still holds. She's a lucky lady.

Later, after all people had left the Fleet except about a dozen journalists, and the tv talking heads were gnashing the previous hours, John and Elizabeth Edwards stopped by for a peek of the Fleet -- a sorta walk-thru of tonight's speech...the networks (Larry King, Scarborough & Reagan, Hardball) immediately panned to John Edwards and stayed with him the 15-20 min he and the misses were there, commenting on him just standing at the podium! It was unbelievable. Like he was the second coming of Christ, or a rock star! Like it or not, Edwards has JUICE.

Am very much looking forward to John Edwards' speech tonight.

Rock on.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Play to Win

There's a new game in town, giving undecideds 10 Reasons to Stop Bush.


One-Amed Bandit Posted by Hello


Blonde nod to Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

Neil! On Tour!

Rock Royalty to Join Voices Against Bush With Fall Concerts
July 25, 2004

Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, R.E.M., Pearl Jam and a deep roster of other rock stars will unite for politically minded concerts this fall that will give voice to dissatisfaction with the Bush administration.

The all-star rock shows, which are expected to begin in October and target campaign swing states, are in the planning stage but were confirmed by half a dozen music industry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Insiders disagree on the unifying rhythm of the celebrity coalition. Some say it is the promise of the John F. Kerry candidacy, but at least one emphasizes the fear of President Bush's reelection. "There is a range of feeling about Kerry," the source said, "but a uniform belief that Bush must go."


Elliot's mum, but the gig in on! Hey, Rusties, you got your peace on?

The Lowdown and The Showdown

Tom Tomorrow recaps the first day of the DNC and hanging out with Michael Moore. First, the Lowdown:
Wander into the Fleet Center, just to scope out the lay of the land. There's nothing going on--the convention doesn't start until evening--but Michael Moore is on the floor, surrounded by a mob of reporters. (I learn later that he is pissed--some jackass anchor on CNN has just asked him how he feels that "some people want to see you dead.") He invites me to tag along to his next event, a meeting with a group of antiwar activists--recently returned vets and family members of vets. I end up spending much of the day trailing in Michael's wake, observing the media circus and the crazy hassles of being famous on that level, where everyone recognizes you everywhere you go. When we are around media events--in the Fleet Center and at a Congressional Black Caucus event--the behavior of the pack of camera crews and reporters is just appalling. I keep thinking of scenes in A Hard Day's Night, where the Beatles are running wildly from hordes of fans--it's that level of craziness, with genuine violent aggression thrown in. The camera guys will use their equipment to literally whack you out of their way, the reporters will trample right over you if they get the chance. You've certainly heard celebrities complaining about the media, and probably thought, oh ya whiner, get over it. But it is a strange and somewhat frightening thing when you are in the middle of it.

Now, The Showdown:
We head back to the Fleet Center and as we are getting out of the Town Car, Bill O'Reilly is across the street getting out of his limo. "Hey Moore, when ya gonna come on my show?" he shouts. Michael responds, "When you see the rest of my movie." (O'Reilly walked out of the premiere halfway through.) He claims to have gone back and seen the whole thing, but when pressed for specifics, hems and haws. Nonetheless, Michael takes him at his word and they stand there out on the street negotiating the terms of the appearance as various Guardsmen and law enforcement types gawk and snap photos. They finally settle on a format: they will take turns asking each other questions. O'Reilly agrees not to edit the segment, and to explain in the intro that Michael has only been boycotting him because he walked out of the premiere. (It should air tonight. We'll see if he keeps the last part of that promise.)

YT wonders if Bill's head will explode -- hey, a girl can dream! -- going head-to-head with Michael Moore. Will definitely be worth watching!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Red White and Kerry

Jesse at Kicking Ass has a photo diary of the DNC. Looks like it's gonna be a party!

No Banner For You!

For some reason Al Jazeera's banner was removed from their skybox at the DNC. Hmmmmm. Why?


All 4 One and Not 4 All? Posted by Hello


That's a damn good question, isn't it? Why can every other media in attendance have a company banner at the DNC but not Al Jeezera?
"We contacted the Democratic National Convention and the people who are organising the convention. And then they said it has been removed, maybe for lack of enough space or something like that, although they approved originally the sign and everything on it. And every time we get different answers."

"And finally, they said, 'Sorry, we cannot put it back." And it's the only news organisation sign that was taken," al-Mirazi pointed out.

Sorry? Indeed. And what is being unfurled in place of Al Jeezera's logotype? A banner reading "Strong for America."

May I suggest that in place of the DNC's logotype, a banner should read "Spineless Assholes" or "We Cave To Middle America Pressure" or "Have Accent? Will Bannish."

Friday, July 23, 2004

LIAR!

Yep, you guessed it, the AP's FOIA request for Bush's military records for periods July, August, and September 1972, has a Pentagon official saying today that the earlier contention that the records were destroyed was an "inadvertent oversight."

The records have been found, and produced.

So, what do the records tell us?

Bush was MIA in Alabama.

Payroll records show Bush was a no-show. No duty served, no paycheck.

YT wonders how many soldiers died in Vietnam during the months Bush was partying stateside. Nice how the Pentagon released the info late Friday afternoon, eh? Fuckers.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Down the Memory Hole

Molly Ivins lets it rip:
For the first two days I was on this media marathon, the story du jour was the Senate Intelligence Committee report that concluded the CIA was just flat wrong on its pre-war calls on Iraq. Wrong abut the weapons of mass destruction, wrong about connections to Al Qaeda, wrong about Saddam Hussein having a nuclear program and so on. All of which we already knew the government had been wrong about, but this was the Official Report.

So here's the Republican reaction: "See, the CIA was wrong, so you people owe President Bush an apology." I'm sitting there, brilliantly riposting, "Huh?" Here's the chain of logic. The CIA was wrong, therefore those on the left who say President Bush lied to us are wrong because he wasn't lying, he just believed the CIA. And you people are being rude and hateful and ugly and just mean about President Bush, and we want an apology.

What I'm worried about here is the amnesia factor. Am I the only person around who distinctly remembers an entire 18 months ago? This is what happened: The CIA was wrong, but it wasn't wrong enough for the White House, which kept pushing the spies to be much wronger. The CIA's lack of sufficient wrongness was so troubling to the anxious Iraq hawks that they kept touting their own reliable sources, such as Ahmad Chalabi and his merry crew of fabulists. The neo-cons even set up their very own little intelligence shop in the Pentagon to push us into this folly in Iraq.

Which brings us to the second talking point last week. Iraq never happened. I swear to you, this war and its disastrous aftermath never happened is the new official line. Down the memory hole. Never happened. You dreamed the whole thing. Iraq is now like Ken Lay and Chalabi. They never heard of it. Only met it once. Besides, Iraq contributed to their opponents.

According to The New York Times, "several Republicans," presumably speaking for the Bush campaign, noted that American casualties in Iraq are down from last month. Actually, that is quite untrue. Forty-two Americans were killed in Iraq in June, presumed to be an unusually bloody month because it was leading up to the big handover of sovereignty. As of July 21, 43 more Americans have been killed in Iraq, with 10 days still to go in the month.

Total number of Americans killed so far is 901, but the new line is: What War? We turned it over to the Iraqis, see? Presto, it disappears, just like magic. It's their problem now. Doesn't have anything to do with us. Bush is out campaigning by calling himself "the peace president." Honest. "He repeated the words 'peace' or 'peaceful' many times, as he had done increasingly in his recent appearances," reported The New York Times from Iowa this week.

Make that 20 times.

Of course, the GOP has its talking point: the Iraqi quagmire, the spiriling economy, new terrorists threats, are Bill Clinton's fault. [you're getting sleepy] Everything bad is Bill Clinton's fault. [very sleepy]

Blonde nod to The Hamster.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Pants on Fire Tour

Ben Cohen, of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream has a message for George W. Bush:


Liar Liar Posted by Hello

Excuse me sir, your pants are getting a little warm, don't you think?

The co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is on the road, towing a 3.7-metre-tall effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush with fake flames shooting out of the pants. Ben Cohen says it's an acceptable way to point out what he calls the president's lies. "In a polite society, you don't go up to a person and look at them in the face and say, 'You're a liar,"' Cohen said in a telephone interview before arriving in Spokane, the next stop on the Pants on Fire Tour.

[snip]

The "PantsOnFire-Mobile" is a trailer pulled behind a car. The Bush character wears a flight suit with the words "Mission Accomplished" emblazoned on the back, a reference to the president's declaration aboard the deck of an aircraft carrier that major hostilities had ended in Iraq. An electronic ticker on the front displays what Cohen says are Bush's lies.

Money quote:
The head is a rotating cylinder with various Bush facial expressions

Some are saying that said tour is disrespectful toward the President.

Money quote dos:
"I believe that it's disrespectful of the president to essentially lead the country based on lies," he [cohen -- ed.] said. "If that happens, then I believe it's actually our patriotic duty to make people aware of it."

WingNutterisms

The Linda Ronstadt vs. Las Vegas Dumbasses bruhaha is sweeping the media and Net. Reports of ripped posters and flying cocktails and other ‘obnoxious right wing love my country crap’ have folks on the left shaking their heads in wonder at the stoooopidity of some Americans, and folks on the right saying, well, dumbass shit like this:
And Dave, maybe you should move if you feel that way about the fellow Americans you are living around...

The Bush lovin’-flag wearin’-go fuck yourselves are always anxious to silence free speech when the words spoken (or written) aren’t the ones they can pronounce, comprehend, or want to hear. Their typical response to any form of dissent is telling the dissenter to move. Well, excuse me for livin’, Dennis, but America is our country too. Don’t it make your brown eyes blue?

Come to your senses.

Update: Ronstadt rocks LA:
Ronstadt sang to a full-house Universal Amphitheatre on Tuesday night and the crowd reserved its longest and loudest ovation for her endorsement of filmmaker-provacateur Michael Moore and his documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Before closing her show with the Eagles song "Desperado," Ronstadt was handed a bouquet of flowers. She asked the audience if they wanted to know who sent them and then answered their applause: "They are from the most bravest, most patriotic man. I'm going to dedicate this next song to him, Michael Moore."

Bogart...no, the other one...

Powell: Sir, Bashir is supporting the Janjaweed.

Bush: Shhhh. Not so loud. Bashir has some Ganja?

Powell: Sir?

Bush: Ganja. A fatty. Refer. Skunk bud.

Powell: Sir, you don’t understand. Janja—

Bush: Mary Jane. Wacky terbacky. Acapulco gold.

Powell: Sir, the Janjaweed militias. The Sudanese government is assisting the militias—

Bush: Herb. Cannabis. Dry high.

Powell: Oh, never mind.

Sharing the Love

Attaturk sez Thank you, Mr. President.

Can't wait to review this gem on Amazon. Remember the reviews for My Pet Goat...

GW Bush...on the ranch...with cocaine

My bad. I joined Tbogg in a game of Clue


Dick? You in there? Talk to me. Posted by Hello



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

War and Piece

YT nearly fell off her chair upon reading Bush's "We are safer cuz I say so" speech in Iowa. What was it that finally sent me to the floor? Now Bush sez "I want to be the peace President".

For the love of all that is Holy, will November hurry up and get here?!
"The enemy declared war on us," he told a re-election rally. "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president."

Bush has called himself a "war president" in leading the United States in a battle against terrorism brought about by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America.

"I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind," he said in February.

Despite a surge in attacks in Iraq and U.S. warnings that al Qaeda is plotting another major strike, Bush said U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had already made America safer, and that his re-election would let him finish the job.

"For a while we were marching to war. Now we're marching to peace. ... America is a safer place. Four more years and America will be safe and the world will be more peaceful," Bush said.


Yessirreeeee. Bush is the piece President, all right. There are leg pieces and arm pieces and head pieces and unidentifiable pieces of soldiers and Iraqi civilians littering the blood-soaked Mesopotamia sands. You know, that winning of hearts and minds thingy.

The Survey sez...

Ruy Teixeira over at Donkey Rising asks: Can There Be Such a Thing as Too Much Bad News for President Bush?

No. Dog pile! Key findings in recent surveys:
1. Bush's favorable/unfavorable rating is net negative for their fifth survey in a row (going back to the beginning of April).

2. Kerry-Edwards beats Bush-Cheney by 5 points (49-44), including an 8 point lead among independent voters. Note that this 49-44 lead is the identical result that CBS News obtained in their overnight poll after Kerry selected Edwards as his running mate, suggesting that the Edwards bounce has some staying power.

3. Bush's overall approval rating is net negative (45 percent approval/48 percent disapproval) for their fourth survey in a row, going back to late April. His 45 percent rating, while a slight improvement over his late May and late June ratings, keeps him well into the danger zone for incumbents.

4. Right direction/wrong track is at 36/56, essentially unchanged since their last survey about three weeks ago.

5. His approval rating on foreign policy is his worst ever at 39/55, as is his rating on handling the campaign against terrorism (51/43). (Note: this latter trend contradicts a recent Post finding suggesting an improvement in Bush's rating in this area.) His approval rating on the economy is still going nowhere fast and, at 42/51, has still failed to reach the exalted heights of mid-February, when his economic rating reached 44/50. And his approval rating on Iraq is 37/58, practically a carbon copy of his dismal ratings in their late June and late May polls.

6. The Democrats have a 9 point advantage in the generic congressional contest, consistent with the Democracy Corps poll I covered on Friday.

7. John Edwards has a net +22 in his favorability rating, while Dick Cheney is now at -9, his worst rating ever.


I'm lovin' it.

You're feeling safer...safer...safer

Bush really is delusional.


Who, me? Posted by Hello


During a speech today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bush told the crowd that his re-election will ensure safety for Americans as well as for those in the rest of the world in the war against terrorism.

One question: Is he out of his fucking mind?! Yes.

"After four years more in this office I want people to look back and say, 'The world is a more peaceful place,"' Bush told supporters at a community college in Iowa. "Four more years and America will be safe and the world will be at peace."


YT might barf. Safer? Sounds like an Imminent Threat.

Now watch this drive.


Monday, July 19, 2004

It's the Landslide, stupid!

Armpiece in Comments points us to a Washington Monthly article that gives YT the warm fuzzies:
Elections that feature a sitting president tend to be referendums on the incumbent--and in recent elections, the incumbent has either won or lost by large electoral margins. If you look at key indicators beyond the neck-and-neck support for the two candidates in the polls--such as high turnout in the early Democratic primaries and the likelihood of a high turnout in November--it seems improbable that Bush will win big. More likely, it's going to be Kerry in a rout.

Thanks, Armpiece! Now that Iran is on Bush's radar, a Kerry/Edwards landslide is just the news YT needed to read.

Four More Months!

An Atriosian gave a shout out to Citizens For Legitimate Government who covered Chimpy McFlightsuit's July 16th visit to Tampa:

Got their peace on! Posted by Hello

While the Idiot Usurper did not arrive until almost 10:30, protesters began arriving at 8AM. The day started with a light rain which reminded me of countless other Bush protests – there is just something about that man that sucks the light right out of the sky, even in globally-warmed Florida where the heat index is routinely reaching 105 degrees this year. A smattering of Bush supporters stood across the street – some 20-30 strong. Oddly enough, half were teenaged girls. Briefly, they attempted a rousing chorus of “Four more years! Four more years!” but they were handily drowned out by the protesters who countered with “Four more months! Four more months!” Eventually, the anarchist contingent decided that the Bush folks looked a bit lonely, so they rolled up their tie-dyed banner (which proclaimed “Bush el exterminador de humanos” went across the street and unfurled it again directly behind the Bushies. They were followed by two men (OK – well one of them was my husband) with a large “Fire the Liar” banner, and shortly afterwards by a cluster of ladies from Planned Parenthood. Later I overheard a woman from the Planned Parenthood contingent relate the reaction of the Bush supporters, which ran something along the lines of, “What are you doing over here? This is our side of the street.”

[snip]

I cannot help but wonder where that 50 percent – give or take - of the country is that keeps telling pollsters they will vote for Bush in November. As many journalists have written just this past week, it is hard to find them, even amongst life-long Republicans. And who knows? There may even have been a few of those folks on our side of the street.



Limited Mind Unlimited Arrogance

Jimmy Breslin at Newsday lets it rip:
I want to tell you what it's like to type this list of names that runs below. You keep typing these ages of "20" and "19" and "22" and soon, you hear them. They are shouting over loud music. Laughing uncontrollably. Girls, girls, girls. Swearing viciously at their fates. And always with these young fast voices. Why should they die? What right have we to play God and send them to be blown to pieces? I finish typing this job and go to bed. These young should be living in the sounds of an American summer, of water rushing over rocks, or lapping a lakeshore pier, or crashing onto an ocean beach; of music in the soft nights or the elated cries of kids running through a field. If not a field, then enjoying nature's finest sight, a crowded city street.

Anywhere except a box on a plane arriving at Dover, Del., where morgue workers do autopsies and put dress uniforms on the dead bodies. This president, with a face of rich boy smirks and sneers, who lives on the dark side of truth, does not deign to be present. He is not a man for mourning, this George Bush. Life is best when he struts onto a stage in front of an overjoyed white audience in York, Pa., where he sputtered that the people fighting in Iraq had hijacked a great religion and now we would fight them anywhere. That great religion is Islam and it has 2 billion members worldwide and if he wants to fight them, let him go ahead; he likes it so much he was having his teeth cleaned when he was eligible to face bullets.

The names in Breslin's column represent less than a month in Iraq. He sez and I agree that their "ages represent the monstrous crime of young death."

Friday, July 16, 2004

Bombs Away

The Rational Enquirer graphs America's next attack against terrorism.

PYP Funny

The servers are being slammed with traffic, but keep trying this link. It's funny, funny shit. Brought to you by the Jib Jab Brothers.

My sides hurt!

Good News Bad News Friday

The New York Times  reports the good news:
There is one thing the sovereign state of Iraq can offer its citizens today, and Iraqis are banging down the doors to get their hands on it: a passport out of the country.

On a recent morning in front of the newly reopened passport office, bodies pressed on bodies for a chance to get inside. Pink and yellow files, each containing a precious passport application, waved in the air, as a young man tried to climb onto a rust-orange gate to get the attention of the bureaucrats inside. In the chaos, a sign that hung above the front door toppled to the floor.

At one point, Iraqi policemen charged at the crowd, wielding batons. A couple of shots were fired in the air. The line, if it can be called that, disintegrated and the crowd retreated toward a barbed wire fence before lunging forward again.

Jobless, rattled, fed up, Iraqis are dreaming of getting out.

"Escape from Iraq" is how Muhammad Kadhum, 26, a college student, described his intentions. "I cannot live here in Iraq. I cannot feel like a man."

Zeinab Heart, 24, waiting in black in the already wilting midmorning heat for a chance to move to her husband's native Lebanon, lamented: "I want to get out. I want my children to live in a peaceful place."

Wesam Mohammed, 22, who arrived at 4:30 a.m. to claim a choice spot in the passport line, only to lose it when the police struck, said: "There is no comfort here. No stability. Explosions everywhere. This is impossible." He wiped his forehead and said he hoped to go to the United Arab Emirates to join a relative.


The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count reports the bad news: people are still dying. Just halfway thru the month for a total of 1,012 allied deaths, 892 of them American, plus countless Iraqis who have died in Bush's War, the tens of thousands of maimed and wounded on both sides, and the forgotten war in Afghanistan (another 130 dead).

Kos links to Religious writer Jeff Sharlet who reminds us not to forget the bodies.
We've grown tired of reading and looking at this story; the mainstream press is getting tired of telling it. Tired, and wary of the costs of getting the "good stuff" -- true tales of soldiers in action, or even just "man-in-the-street" interviews in Sadr City. This reporter was kidnapped; the guy from Time lost a hand; who, in the end, is really willing to die for a story?
Especially one in which so little happens. A year and more into the occupation, nothing seems to change. Schools get built, city halls get bombed. Troops return home, troops go to war. And the pictures, they keep coming. All these photographs of bodies. So many that nobody bothers to read the captions anymore. All we say is --"Did you see? Those pictures?"

The burnt skin, the crushed heads. Corpses without limbs. Images without explanations.

But we need stories. The press needs to sell them; the public needs to buy them; and, apparently, politicians need to tell them.

Mr. Sharlet has photos. Not for the timid.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Chilling

Seymour Hersh is making the rounds again, warning that Abu Ghraib isn't going away and worse is yet to come. In a speech he gave last week to the ACLU he charged that children were sodomized in front of women in the prison, and the Pentagon has tape of it.

Salon's War Room sez:
At the start of the transcript here, you can see how Hersh was struggling over what he should say:

"Debating about it, ummm ... Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

"It's impossible to say to yourself how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there? When I did My Lai I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened. I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had, I can tell you some of the personal stories by some of the people who were in these units witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers and so we're dealing with a enormous massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher, and we have to get to it and we will. We will. You know there's enough out there, they can't (Applause). .... So it's going to be an interesting election year."

[snip]

So, there are several questions here: Has Hersh actually seen the video he described to the ACLU, and why hasn't he written about it yet? Will he be forced to elaborate in more public venues now that these two speeches are getting so much attention, at least in the blogosphere? And who else has seen the video, if it exists -- will journalists see and report on it? did senators see these images when they had their closed-door sessions with the Abu Ghraib evidence? -- and what is being done about it?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Fun With Bill O'Lielly

It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. Good thing Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O'Reilly is on the headcase.

Unfair and Imbalanced Posted by Hello

July 14, 2004 - O'Reilly's Power Influences International Travel and the Stock Market

Well, Bill was touting the power of his French Boycott. As proof he states: "Travel to France is not what it was pre-9/11." Really Bill? Wow, that's a pretty powerful boycott you got goin' on.

Think how happy our allies must be in the United Kingdom. God, travel there must be fucking sky-rocketing since 9/11. Oh, wait, travel to the U.K. is down too, you fucking moron.


I caught that bit from the megalomaniac spinerator last night while channel surfing, and thought, what the fuck is he, crazy? SJIHBOR agrees: Bill's a 'Fucking psycho'.

Mother Knows Best

Say hello and tell a friend. It's a MOB scene.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

One Page Wonder

Slate's Fred Kaplan breaks down today's New York Times article, which reports that Team Bush "is refusing to give Senate investigators the one-page "President's Summary" of the CIA's 2002 National Intelligence Estimate dealing with Iraqi weapons of mass destruction."

Fred's first question: The "President's Summary" was one page?

One Page Wonder Posted by Hello

This CIA estimate was a 93-page document, filled with caveats, qualifiers, and footnotes of interagency dissent on several key points. It would take a dedicated master of pith to whittle the NIE's findings and equivocations to a single page. (By the Times' account, the summarizer didn't bother with the equivocations.)

[snip]

Perhaps no president can be expected to read a 93-page document. (Some presidents would have, though. Bill Clinton was an inveterate reader of intelligence reports. Jimmy Carter once asked to see the engineering blueprints for the KH-11 photoreconnaissance satellite. The latter is a case of a control freak gone too far.) Still, the president's summary should stretch beyond the margins of a single page—at least when the fate of nations is at stake.

Really, Fred shouldn't be surprised that Bush's WMD summary was only 1 page. Probably monosyllabic with pretty pictures, too. Our Prez McFlightsuit admits he doesn't like to read...though he did make a big-boy effort with My Pet Goat on 9/11.

Wow

July 13, 2004
Ken Mehlman
Campaign Manager
BUSH-CHENEY '04, Inc.

Dear Ken:
Over the past several months, allies of the President have questioned John Kerry’s patriotism while your staff has criticized his service in Vietnam. Republicans and their allies have gone so far as to launch attacks against his wife and your campaign has run $80 million in negative ads that have been called baseless, misleading and unfair by several independent observers.

Considering that the President has failed to even come close to keeping his promise to change the tone in Washington, we find your outrage over and paparazzi-like obsession with a fund-raising event to be misplaced. The fact is that the nation has a greater interest in seeing several documents made public relating to the President’s performance in office and personal veracity that the White House has steadfastly refused to release. As such, we will not consider your request until the Bush campaign and White House make public the documents/materials listed below:

● Military records: Any copies of the President’s military records that would actually prove he fulfilled the terms of his military service. For that matter, it would be comforting to the American people if the campaign or the White House could produce more than just a single person to verify that the President was in Alabama when said he was there. Many Americans find it odd that only one person out of an entire squadron can recall seeing Mr. Bush.

● Halliburton: All correspondence between the Defense Department and the White House regarding the no-bid contracts that have gone to the Vice-President’s former company. Some material has already been made public. Why not take a campaign issue off the table by making all of these materials public so the voters can see how Halliburton has benefited from Mr. Cheney serving as Vice-President?

● The Cheney Energy Task Force: For an Administration that claims to hate lawsuits, it’s ironic that the Bush White House is taking up the Courts’ time to keep the fact that Ken Lay and Enron wrote its energy policy in secret behind closed doors. Please release the documents so that the country can learn what lobbyists and special interests wrote the White House energy policy.

● Medicare Bill: Please release all White House correspondence between the pharmaceutical industry and the Administration regarding the Medicare Bill, which gave billions to some of the President’s biggest donors. In addition, please provide all written materials that directed the Medicare actuary to withhold information from Congress about the actual cost of the bill.

● Prison Abuse Documents: A few weeks ago, the White House released a selected number of documents regarding the White House’s involvement in laying the legal foundation for the interrogation methods that were used in Iraq. Please release the remaining documents.

We also wanted to wish you a happy anniversary. As we are sure you and the attorneys representing the President, Vice-President and other White House officials are aware, today marks one year since Administration sources leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent to Bob Novak in an effort to retaliate against a critic of the Administration.

In light of the fact that the Administration began gutting the laws protecting the nation’s forests yesterday, we hope you will accept the paper on which this letter is written as an anniversary gift. (The one year anniversary is known as the “paper anniversary.”)

Sincerely,
Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager


Go Mary! Let 'er rip.

I Spy A Slimey pEye

Kos brings us the Dallas News' [sub req.] heads-up of the GOPs latest dirty tricks against John Kerry:
Opponents of John Kerry have hired a Dallas-area private investigator to gather information aimed at discrediting his military service, say several veterans who served with the Massachusetts Democrat in Vietnam.
Several veterans who have been contacted in recent days accused the private investigator, Tom Rupprath of Rockwall, of twisting their words to produce misleading and inaccurate accounts that call into doubt the medals Mr. Kerry received for his service.

"They're just distorting things," said Jim Wasser, who served with Mr. Kerry. "They have nothing to go after John Kerry for, so now they're trying to discredit him."

Mr. Rupprath was hired by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on the recommendation of Merrie Spaeth, a Dallas public relations executive assisting the anti-Kerry group.

The Repuglicans really are scared shitless by Kerry's military service. As Kos sez:
It's easier to attack Kerry's heroism than it is to defend Bush and Cheney's cowardice.

Word.

And the Survey Sez....

Fewer than 50% of Americans read books. And Cannuck Commenter Drunken Prolitariat wonders why 1/2 of Americans support C student George W. Bush.
...Even taking these numbers with a grain of salt, surely the decline in reading is real. The true worry is about the young. In 1982, 60 percent of 18-to-24- year-olds claimed to read literature. Now that figure is 43 percent. This portends a culturally and morally bankrupt future for America unless we reverse the trend.

Morally, you ask? What does highbrow reading have to do with morals? Plenty, says
Dana Gioia, the South Bay poet who now chairs the National Endowment for the Arts. "Of literary readers, 43 percent perform charity work; only 17 percent of nonreaders do. That's not a subtle difference,' Gioia says.

No, it is not. Force upon your neighbor, your spouse force upon yourself a really good book today.

Blonde nod to Suckful.

File: Ignorant Blowhard

Pinko Commie Biznitch News Network had a run in with an ignorant blowhard and lived to tell about it:
As many of you know, I work at a large BookStore chain as my second paying-off-college-loans job. Located in a rather liberal part of Houston, it's usually a pretty safe place for a pinko commie like me, but sometimes, no.

When the Clinton book first came out, I got my share of grumbles and a few "that book is actually SELLING?!?!" exclamations. My favorite was this little gem: Huh. Huh. How come that book isn't in the fiction section? Huh. Huh.

*eye roll*

The other day, however, I had a wee run in with a man who should really learn to keep his big mouth shut. The book is still at the front of the store because it's currently the #1 non-fiction book and it is SELLING, which, you would think Republican freakos would appreciate, the pursuit of the mighty dollar, yes? Oh, but no. This gentleman was so very concerned with my poor feminine self.

I don't understand how you as a woman can walk by that book and not be appalled! Haven't you had complaints?!?!

Awww. Isn't that sweet? He cares about me as a woman and wants to make sure that I am not being offended. *snerk* I calmly explained to him that the cash register at BookStore was not the place to have a political discussion and then I told him to fork over the money and get the Cheney out of my face. Okay, maybe not that last part. I mean, COME ON! If you really gave a fuck about the rights of women, you wouldn't be running around bashing a guy who isn't even in office anymore. How about dealing with the misogynistic bastards currently in office? Don't use me as an excuse to bash a president you don't like, you ignorant blowhard.

Of course, we have our share of people who come in and complain that we have hidden all the conservative books in the back of the store where all the political science books are located as some sort of conspiracy. Again, moron, the liberal books are new and selling better, so they go to the front of the store. All hail the mighty dollar, yo! Don't you have to have that tattooed on your ass to be a Republican? Jeesh.

Blonde nod to Tbogg.

Meanwhile...

A Baghdad car bomb has killed at least 11 people and a Bulgarian hostage has been beheaded.

Bush's hate-on against homosexuals who want to tie the knot ain't gonna fly.

Tony Blair gets a slap on the wrist for sending Brits to their deaths.

And the younger Bushes jump on the stump. No, not that stump! Sez Jenna (like, wow, ya know, it's her first ever interview!) Bush about her dad's interaction with the girls' boyfriends:
"He's not the shotgun-dad type, he's the joking-around-to-the-point-where-he-scares-the-heck-out-of-them type."


No doubt. A smirking chimp scares the heck outa YT too.

Outing Fox

Wonkette's posted about 30 internal memos from Faux chief John Moody, memos given by former Faux Talking Heads to the makers of the fuck-Fox documentary "Outfoxed". Does Faux News break journalistic rules (an oxymoron?) and skew the news to the GOP agenda? Hell yes!
Here's an example:

From: John Moody
Date: 4/4/2004

MONDAY UPDATE: Into Fallujah: It's called Operation Vigilant Resolve and it began Monday morning (NY time) with the US and Iraqi military surrounding Fallujah. We will cover this hour by hour today, explaining repeatedly why it is happening. It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of "excessive force." We won't be among that group.

The continuing carnage in Iraq -- mostly the deaths of seven US troops in Sadr City -- is leaving the American military little choice but to punish perpetrators. When this happens, we should be ready to put in context the events that led to it. More than 600 US military dead, attacks on the UN headquarters last year, assassination of Irai officials who work with the coalition, the deaths of Spanish troops last fall, the outrage in Fallujah: whatever happens, it is richly deserved.


How many innocent men, women and children were killed in Fallujah? Thousands? I'd like to see Mr. Moody get what he 'richly deserved'. I hear Hell is hot.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Quid Pro Quo?

Newsweek sheds a little light on Nader's financial backers:

Who's Zoomin' Who? Posted by Hello


One in 10 of Nader's biggest contributors—individuals who've written checks of $1,000 or more—are longtime GOP donors.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Right?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Why YT likes Tere$a Heinz Kerry

It's not for her spiffy Red White and Kerry neck scarves; not because she speaks more than a handful of languages; not because she's going to be the next First Lady; I like her because she calls hypocritical their opponents who raise questions about the Kerry's wealth and that of Senator John Edwards:
Those very same people never criticized my late husband for his money or his wealth - in fact, they used it," said Mrs. Heinz Kerry, who inherited an estate estimated at $500 million to $1 billion from her first husband, Senator H. John Heinz III, a Pennsylvania Republican who was killed in a plane crash. "His money was just dandy."

"I find it un-American for people to criticize someone and say they're not deserved for any position, whether because they have too much or too little or because they're black or they're white."


I couldn't agree more.

Amerika?

Seems Team Bush is suffering from Terroristphobia. What now, you ask? Everybody sing: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off -- elections, that is.

According to Reuters, citing a Newsweek report,, US counterterrrorism officials want to get a plan in place that will allow U.S. elections to be postponed if there's a terrorist attack on the day before or of the election.

Joe at The Moderate Voice has a nifty round up of opinions. Here are a few bytes:

Hindrocket at the conservative Power Line: "This report will start the propellers spinning on every tinfoil hat in America. But conspiracy fantasies aside, canceling a Presidential election would send the worst possible signal to everyone, not least the American people. Come Hell or high water, the election should proceed on November 2."

--Daily Kos: "Short of a full-out nuclear exchange of the sort much discussed during the Cold War, do you think there is any justification for calling off national elections?"

--Hullabaloo: "This is absurd. Unless the terrorists are somehow able to prevent large numbers of people from exercising their right to vote by bombing individual polling places there can be absolutely no reason to postpone this election. ...Somehow, I have to believe that if terrorists attack us around the election, Americans will crawl out of the rubble on their hands and knees to vote. But then, that's obviously what they're really afraid of, isn't it?"

--PZ Meyers: "There is no credible reason to postpone an election. These are despicable wanna-be autocrats trying to lay the foundation for a coup in the event that the campaign doesn't run the way they want. I am astounded that anyone could think this proposal is anything but a desperate, illegitimate, and unconscionable idea from a gang of unprincipled thugs."

--Suburban Guerilla: "So let me get this straight. They're worried that the terrorists will try to influence the elections with an attack, and their solution is... to allow the terrorists to influence the election? Or is it simply to postpone Bubble Boy's day of reckoning and hope events will turn the tide in his favor?"

Team Bush can't get away with this, right? Right? Someone wake me when this Nightmare is over, k?

Friday, July 09, 2004

Terroristphobia

Charles Green, a freelance writer in Dallas, experienced Terroristphobia first-hand, when his flight from New Orleans landed at Dallas' Love Field.

"How are you?" asked the airport security person who popped up beside me on my way to baggage claim.

"Uh, fine — thanks," I replied, wondering, why are you asking?

As if she'd read my thoughts, she told me there had been complaints about me on the airplane. Then she asked to see the crossword puzzle I'd been working on during the flight. Huh? I thought. Talk about being puzzled! Still, my grin was smug as I handed it over. I'd just completed the Friday New York Times puzzle, for the first time ever.

But the agent ignored the crossword, turning the paper sideways to read a line I'd scribbled in the margin: "I know this is kind of a bomb."

She pointed to the sentence, her finger resting on the word "bomb." "What does this mean?" she demanded.

Suddenly a light went on in my head. I remembered the passenger on my left leaning forward in his seat as I scribbled while we waited for takeoff. Seconds later, he'd clambered hastily over me without apology to make his way to the front of the plane. I'd assumed intestinal complications, but now that I thought about it, he hadn't used the bathroom. He'd spoken briefly with the flight attendants and returned to his seat. As the security woman looked at me, I now realized the passenger had been about as interested in my puzzling prowess as she was.

"I know this is kind of a bomb" is what I imagine Bucky, my main character, would say to Julie, his love interest, in the critical scene of my novel. I explained to the security woman that this is what happens when a 42-year-old man who is to literature what a karaoke singer is to opera tries to put words in the mouth of a fictional 19-year-old.

I opened my laptop and showed her shining example after shining example of similarly awful dialogue. She understood that that word, b-o-m-b, was no reference to ordnance or terrorist weapons of any kind.

But my explanation wasn't good enough for the three Dallas police officers who meanwhile had surrounded me — summoned, I supposed, for backup in case the dangerous character tried to write something even worse.

One took my driver's license to run a fruitless background check (the closest I ever came to being in trouble with the law was accepting a beer at age 17 from the teen-age daughter of the Nantucket Island police chief). A particularly hostile cop asked me a strangely menacing question: "So, how many books have you gotten made?" I started my usual backpedaling answer to that query, honed to perfection in the Dallas bar scene, but he cut me off: "That's not what I asked." I told him I must have misunderstood. He responded, "You're a writer and you don't understand my words?"

Mr. Green was then escorted to the airport police station and questioned by TSA.
He wanted a summary of my novel's plot to get the context for why I'd written what I had.

I panicked. If five years of working on this narrative couldn't liberate me from software sales, how was a five-minute pitch going to keep me out of jail? I barely got three sentences out when the guy's lids started to droop. Convinced I was headed for the gulag, I prattled faster. Despite my stuttering, the inquisitor must have liked my story, because he let me off the hook. Or at least that's how he made sure I felt: that he was letting me skip ... this time.

This is what Bush has brought us to: Terroristphobia. Kevin at Lean Left sez it best:
We have allowed an admittedly terrible crime to send us spiraling down into a well of dark and unrelenting panic. The Bush Administration -- instead of acting to inject some needed perspective and calm -- has aided and abetted the fear's spread. Form useless threat levels, to the constant drumbeat about non-existent WMDs and operational ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda, to the legal fiction that some people are so dangerous that they should be now and forever denied a day in court, to the creation of memos asking just how much torture the government could get away with, to vague warnings about unsubstantiated intelligence indicating that somewhere, at sometime, use some method, a terrorist plans to kill you and your family, the Bush Administration has exacerbated, even catered, to the terroristphobia. There is a line between vigilance and panic. The Bush Administration has carried the nation over that line at a dead run without pausing to glance down as it crossed the line. And now we find ourselves a nation afraid, and more, so afraid that we have literally allowed the government to place innocent people on watch lists because, well, someone panicked and reported them to panicky government officials.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself", a great man once said. That is as true today as it was then.

You're Fired!

"Tell me, how is it possible that we can't find a guy who's 6-foot-6 and supposedly needs a dialysis machine?"


Trump's Tower Posted by Hello

-- Donald Trump, quoted by the New York Daily News, saying that if he were president, Osama Bin Laden "would have been caught long ago."

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Rock On

The two Js are taking back America by storm, getting the rock star treatment in Cleveland.

John John Posted by Hello

The rough-around-the-edges city of Cleveland may not have been the most obvious place for a presidential candidate and his newly minted running mate to launch their tag-team bid for the nation's highest office, but from the moment John Kerry and John Edwards arrived shortly before noon local time, the crowd of hundreds treated them like rock stars. There was screaming, a band, placard-waving and even one or two cases of fainting.

Fainting?! YT knows that JohnE is hot hot hot, but fainting? Okay.
"Together we are going to end the Bush presidency," yelled a beaming Kerry on a stage set up in a city centre park. "Together, over the next 120 days, we are going to fight for the America we believe in."

[snip]

"In 1879 something happened in Cleveland," continued Kerry. "You may not know ... the public square was lit by electric street lights, the first city in America to get this. Today you are the first city to get a different kind of electricity - Senator John Edwards."

Power to the People!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Freedom Fried

The AP is reporting that the FBI is rounding up KennyBoy Lay. YT hopes Kenny enjoys the view from his new home:

Got Layed? Posted by Hello

Former Enron Corp. chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay has been indicted on criminal charges related to the energy company's collapse, sources close to the case told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Lay was expected to surrender to federal authorities Thursday.

YT hopes someone told Lay's lawyer cuz on June 21, 2004, he said:
"Ken Lay didn't do a crime," Michael Ramsey said. "I don't believe Ken Lay will be indicted at all, ever."

Ooops.

What a week YT is having! First John John. Now Lay's goin' down. Nothing better than a fried chickenhawk. Yummy yum.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It's the oil, stupid!

Andy Serwer over at Fortune [sub only] tells US, it wasn’t the new PHAT Democratic VP candidate that sent stocks tumbling today. It was tremors in the world oil markets. Oil. Texas Gold. You know, dear reader, that cold black stuff running through Bush's veins.
U.S. price of oil moved right back up over $39.50 a barrel. Dow fell 63 points to 10,219. NAZ was worse, much worse, off 43 to 1963.

Here's what Andy sez about my boy, JohnE:
I think it’s the best choice for the Dems. He is obviously charismatic, telegenic, and an excellent campaigner. It’s not so much that he can take North Carolina (probably not), but can he take Ohio and Missouri (maybe)? The Dems are going to have to carefully figure out a way to deal with the lack-of-experience problem. Come back and say, well, how much foreign policy experience did W. have running Texas, the Rangers, and Harken Energy? How much experience did Harry Truman have? Etc.... As for the problem of him being a trial lawyer, he can talk all about the sick children he helped (boo hoo). He was NOT a class-action, strike-suit lawyer a la Bill Lerach, it should be pointed out. If Cheney tries raising this in the debate, it could work against him. As in Edwards could say, "I’m happy to talk about my previous job before I held public office. Let’s also talk about Mr. Cheney’s job running Halliburton and what happened when he was CEO." Not very firm ground for Cheney....

John John

My heart's aflutter. John Kerry did the right thing and put John Edwards on the Democratic Ticket. We ABBs have our dream ticket and the White House will be ours come November 04. Woohoooo!!!


Dream Team Posted by Hello


Already the GOP attack machine is geared up. This morning, just minutes after John Kerry made his Veep announcement, an ad appeared on the GOP's website and elsewhere that stated Edwards was second fiddle to McCain, that McCain was Bush's boy and no one elses. Well! Kos has the Right Stuff:
But amidst the hoopla over the Bush ads featuring McCain, let's see if the Republicans can explain this, from the back cover of Edwards' book:


McCain's Blurb Posted by Hello

Today is a good day for politics!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Cue Twilight Zone theme music

Ummm...is it just YT or does Dennis Miller look a lot like Saddam?

No soup for you! Posted by Hello


Ooops. Me bad. I meant doesn't Saddam look ...oh, nevermind.

Who's the boss?

About that Iraqi sovereignty.... Salon's War Room highlights a Guardian article about who's in charge in Iraq. Iraqi policeman or US troops? The point of contention, ironically enough: prisoner abuse.

Money Quote:
" … One of the prisoners bared his back after his initial arrest to reveal open welts allegedly caused by baton and rubber hoses. A bodyguard for the head of criminal intelligence, Hussein Kamal, admitted that the beatings had taken place. Nashwan Ali - who said his nickname was Big Man - said: 'A US MP asked me this morning what police division I was in. I said I was in criminal intelligence. The American asked me why we had beaten the prisoners. I said we beat the prisoners because they are all bad people. But I told him we didn't strip them naked, photograph them or fuck them like you did.'"


What he said.