Democracy Has Prevailed.
November 23, 2004
PLEASE TAKE HEED!!!! New CDC Virus Warning -- TAKE HEED NOW!
Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the past 4 years, and in spite of having taken measures to protect themselves from this especially virulent disease.
Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea lecthim include, but are not limited to: Anti-social personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical theocracies; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or nothing behavior.
(Thanks to Mike at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WPAforKerry/message/980 )
Dick's Dick, W's Fly and other Purely Puerile Stuff
MSNBC Makes a Boo-Boo:
More here: http://www.wonkette.com/politics/patriotism/is-that-an-insurgency-in-your-pants-025697.php
Hey, Is He Checking Out Her Butt?
We All Wish W Would Just ZIP IT UP:
More here: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/041121/481/edb11411211850
No wonder he has heart problems
-- all that blood is being used elsewhere:
More here: http://www.milwaukeemagazine.com/122004/pressroom.html
BREAKING NEWS: REPUBLICAN CHALLENGES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BASED ON EXIT POLLS
REPUBLICAN CHALLENGES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BASED ON EXIT POLLS
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
from the New York Times
An international election observer mission - from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe - released a preliminary report on Monday declaring that the election did not meet democratic standards.
The observers' findings were seconded by Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Citing the disturbing fact that official results diverged sharply from a range of surveys of voters at polling places, Lugar said, "A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."
Other prominent Western observers were unsparing in their criticism of the state's conduct of the election.
"Fundamental flaws in Ukraine's presidential election process subverted its legitimacy," the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, sponsored by the Democratic Party in the United States, declared in its preliminary report. The institute, cited "systematic intimidation, overt manipulation and blatant fraud" that were "designed to achieve a specific outcome irrespective of the will of the people."
-- New York Times
From GregPalast.com: This reporter was unable to reach Senator Lugar regarding the inconsistency of official election results and exit polls in the USA; the intimidation of minority voters in Florida and Ohio; nor the failure to count two million ballots cast, half by African-American voters, in America's first post-democratic election held earlier this month.
Eastern bloc observers noted that balloting in Ohio, New Mexico and Florida did not meet Ukrainian standards, but applauded America's attempt to restore democratic institutions after the overthrow of elected government in 2000.
November 22, 2004
Jesus' Beatitudes Get A GOP Makeover
Dear Fellow Member of America's Own Taliban:
Tired of the pinko, pacifistic ramblings of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount? Well, goodness me, aren't we all?
That is why I have given our Savior's alarmingly liberal litany a timely Republican overhaul. The Democrat-approving Beatitudes are now the Republican-reproving Bettytudes. Glory!
After 2,000 years of blithely ignoring them -- finally -- Christians can proudly recite the new, improved Sermon on the Amount (I have wisely added new verses that redress Jesus' failure to remind followers of America's multibillion-dollar Christianity, Inc. industry that God only gives credit for tithes after adjusting for the rate of inflation). Be the first at your Thanksgiving table to impress your socially conservative guests with the Bettytudes!
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
|Blessed are those who pour spirits: for theirs is the ringtone of Jenna's Blackberry|
Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land
|Blessed are the sheiks: for they can pilot without learning to land|
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted
|Cursed are those who mourn civilian casualties; for they shall be confronted on "The O'Reilly Factor"|
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill
|Blessed are they that use hunger and thirst instead of justice, for they shall have their coerced confession|
|Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy||Blessed are the preemptively wrathful, for they shall obtain British mercenaries|
|Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God||Blessed are the Diebold machines of the heartland, for they shall see God perform His "loaves and fish" multiplication miracle during vote tabulation|
|Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God||Blessed are the warmongers: for they shall be called "re-elected"|
|Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven||Blessed are they that persecute those who suffer for the Department of Justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Guantanamo Bay|
November 19, 2004
Late Friday Cat Blogging
U.S. debt ceiling set to rise
House votes to raise limit by $800B to $8.2 trillion; White House says Bush will sign.
November 19, 2004: 6:18 AM EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House of Representatives has approved a measure to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $800 billion.
The bill narrowly passed late Thursday by a vote of 208-204, and a statement issued by President Bush's press secretary said Bush intends to sign the bill into law Monday.
"The President commends the Congress for passing the debt limit increase," the statement said. "Passage of this legislation was important to protect the full faith and credit of the United States."
The Bush administration asked Congress to raise the U.S. debt ceiling to $8.2 trillion, up from the current $7.4 trillion. The Senate approved the measure Wednesday, 52-44, largely along party lines.
Dollar Dump Accelerates
Fri Nov 19th, 2004 at 04:42:29 PST
A full page of comment and analysis in the Financial Times this morning on the accelerating flight from the US dollar.
The US currency came under renewed selling pressure the moment it became clear George W. Bush had been re-elected president. In the two and a half weeks since then, the alue of the dollar has fallen 2.5 percent against the euro and 1.9 percent against the yen. The falls represent an acceleration of the dollar's steady decline since 2002. Since the start of that year, the greenback has fallen 32 percent against the euro and 21 percent against the yen. . . .
Darek Halpenny, currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, points to a "very grim" outlook for the dollar in the near term. "With the foreign exchange market now focused entirely on the problem of the US budget deficit and current account deficits, there is a real risk that dollar selling becomes a crisis of confidence," he says. . . .
There is a fear in the currency markets that the dollar's decline, which has been gradual and orderly so far, will turn into a rout.
Debt crisis much worse than admitted! Comptroller General: You owe Uncle Sam $330,000.
by DC Pol Sci
Fri Nov 19th, 2004 at 15:25:16 PST
David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office:
Question: When you talked about the overall debt, you broke it down; could you give me that figure again, please?
Answer: If you consider the total debt outstanding in the United States, it's about $7.4 trillion. If on top of that, you add the difference between promised benefits and funded benefits under the current structure for Social Security, Medicare, Veterans' health and a variety of other issues, the current accumulated unfunded burden in today's dollars is over $40 trillion, which is about 18 times the entire budget, about three and a half times the economy. We are in a deep hole. First, we have to stop digging, and then, we've got to figure out how we're going to reconcile the gap.
Question: You gave a figure per worker.Answer: Per worker?Question: You gave a figure.
Answer: I'm sorry; $330,000 per full-time worker, $140,000 per American, even the newest newborn.
But, you ask, how does Bush's economic policies really affect me? Just look at what he plans to do now:
Bush Plans Tax Code Overhaul
Changes Would Favor Investment, Growth
By Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 18, 2004; Page E01
Instead the administration plans to push major amendments that would shield interest, dividends and capitals gains from taxation, expand tax breaks for business investment and take other steps intended to simplify the system and encourage economic growth, according to several people who are advising the White House or are familiar with the deliberations.
The changes are meant to be revenue-neutral. To pay for them, the administration is considering eliminating the deduction of state and local taxes on federal income tax returns and scrapping the business tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance, the advisers said.
Now, ask yourself if your employer can keep your health insurance plan at its current level if he does not receive a tax deduction.
And, you didn't really need that state and local tax deduction on your federal return, did you now?
November 18, 2004
Been There, Done That
GROUNDHOG DAY?....You know, I'm more than willing to believe that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a very bad thing indeed. But take a look at what's been going on just in the past few weeks:
- The Israelis have made it clear that they believe Iran is fast becoming an
imminent threat that justifies preemptive attack.
- There's a multinational effort underway to persuade Iran to stop enriching
- The Europeans think they've reached a solid agreement, but the United
States remains skeptical.
- An exile group is loudly claiming that the Iranians are lying and
there's a secret enrichment facility the Europeans don't know about.
- Liberal hawk Kenneth Pollack has a big new book out telling us how
dangerous Iran is.?
I can't be the only one to think I've seen this script before, can I? Is real life turning into Groundhog Day?
You can read Kevin Drum's post (with all the links included in the entry and the comments from readers) here:
Apparently Kevin is not the only one experiences deja vu.
A friend sent me the following screenshot of what was on AOL this morning:
Notice any problems?
This is my screenshot of the same story later this morning (different PC and different version of AOL):
Iran...Iraq...who can tell them apart?
November 16, 2004
The Beginnings of the Typically Problematic Second Term
Now, Ashcroft and Powell are being replaced with Gonzales and Rice -- two people who are extremely close to the President.
Bush will find nothing more in these two but his own reflection.
There will no doubt now be a purge of moderates/liberals at the Department of State as there is ongoing at the CIA.
God Help Us All.
November 15, 2004
Colin Out -- Condi In
November 13, 2004
By the way, were you aware that I have a CafePress shop of my own? Tons of lovely designs! Many high quality products -- including Christmas ornaments!
Click on any of the design links below:
to see the entire line of designs and products.
More "insight" from the Trib
In the aftermath of one of the most punishing Election Day defeats in recent memory, some Democratic Party honchos are vowing big changes to woo moderates along with rural voters in the South.Elsewhere:
Party officials and strategists tell The New York Times that Sen. John Kerry's crushing defeat leaves Sen. Hillary Clinton as the party's most powerful elected official and brightest prospect in 2008.Ignoring the frantic rightwing-nut rants about Senator Clinton, note how they characterize the recent election results. To them, Kerry's defeat was "one of the most punishing" and "crushing." I don't deny that alot of us on the left feel crushed by the election results, but I don't think the editorialists at the Trib were psychoanalyzing us.
No, they're spinning the myth that Bush won big. Mandate big.
Now, let's take a look at the facts.
Bush's margin of victory of 3.6 million votes was the smallest in three decades. Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford by 1.7 million votes or about 2.1% of the votes cast. In contrast, Bush's 3.6 million votes was only about 3.1% of the total votes cast.
Bush's margin in the electoral votes (34) is the third smallest this century. It's only abut 6.3% of the total number of electoral votes. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson defeated Charles E. Hughes by 23 electoral votes (4.3% of the total number of electoral votes). And in 2000, the difference in electoral votes (after the Supreme Court stopped the vote count in Florida) was a scant 5 (or .9% of the total number of electoral votes).
Emotionally crushing, yes. But a "punishing defeat"?
Leave it to The Trib to spin and spin and spin and spin.
November 12, 2004
November 11, 2004
ABC AWOL ON PVT RYAN
This includes Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE...even though the movie was shown on broadcast TV in 2001.
So why not show it now?
Perhaps "everything has changed" after Janet's breast.
Perhaps we just don't want impressionable young people seeing the actual violence of war. I mean how are you going to recruit them for Bush's next war after that?
November 9, 2004
How to tell if you are living in a Red or Blue State
From: Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian
Blue States: Home of good schools
Red States: Homeskooled good
Blue States: Want a big tent for their Party.
Red States: Wears a big tent to her party.
Blue States: Favor electric cars
Red States: Favor electric chairs
Blue States: Concerned about ballooning deficits' effect on capital markets turning gains into thin air
Red States: Concerned about whether it's demons that make balloons float in thin air
Blue States: Dream of making enough money to kite and swim with Czechs in Biarritz
Red States: Dream of kiting enough checks to swim in Schlitz
Blue States: Favor institutionalized health care for the poor
Red States: Favor institutionalizing the poor
Blue States: After the 9/11 attacks, put coffins in the ground
Red States: After the 9/11 attacks, put magnetic flags on the car
Blue States: Forget that God did not give Adam a Steve
Red States: Forget that not only did God give Abraham three wives, He gave Solomon 300 concubines
Blue States: Enormous cities that serve as the engines of human progress
Red States: Enormous Hummers that serve as the engines for Arab oil
Blue States: Provide the "tax" part of "tax and spend"
Red States: Provide the "spend on a new 8-lane highway to link a Wal-Mart to the Olive Garden" part of "tax and spend"
Blue States: Believe we're all brothers and sisters under the skin.
Red States: Don't mind if we're brothers and sisters under the sheets.
Blue States: Fighting to clean up skid row
Red States: Fighting to clean up skid marks
Blue States: Concerned about global warming
Red States: Don't like to travel and are too fat to fit in an airline seat anyway, so glad to hear that the tropics are coming to Texas. Yee-haw!
Blue States: Follow Jesus, but doesn't believe in Him
Red States: Believe in Jesus, but doesn't follow Him
Blue States: Want to repeal the Patriot Act
Red States: Want to repeal the Emancipation Proclamation
Blue States: Looking for a method to weaken China every day
Red States: Sold everyday china for a weekend of meth
Blue States: Favor drafting annoying laws on assault rifles
Red States: Assault annoying in-laws with rifles after being drafted
Blue States: Want the right for everyone to worship as they choose
Red States: Want the right to choose everyone's worship
Blue States: Women wrestling with the right to choose
Red States: Choose women's wrestling
Blue States: Want a rational energy policy
Red States: Want policy of energetic irrationalism
Blue States: Used benefits to assist victims on account of attacks
Red States: Used attacks to benefit Toby Keith's bank account
Blue States: Watched friends in New York die in foxy attacks on America
Red States: Attack New York on Fox for not being friends of America
Blue States: Believe God loves us and gave everyone free will to be different
Red States: Believe God willed us to freely hate everyone different
Blue States: Believe absence makes the heart grow fonder
Red States: Believe abstinence saves the tart from plunder
Blue States: Believe in Mr. Darwin's theory of "Evolution"
Red States: Believe in Mr. Jesus' "Talking Snake" theory
Blue States: Slave to pay inheritance taxes
Red States: Inherited slaves
Blue States: Buy art
Red States: Collect Beanie Babies
Well, it was obviously time for a new Google Bomb. Go to http://www.google.com/ and type in the search terms:
The first result you'll find is for the following:
Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy...unless the guy was Rick Santorum. Of course, Lil Ricky does have his own Google Bomb.
November 8, 2004
For The Record
"Sporadic" meaning folks who do not vote in 1 to 2 out of the last 4 elections. As each person came in to vote, the poll checker would check their list and remove the cards of any sporadic voters who showed up to the polls. Runners would periodically come by to collect the names and take them make to central staging area. Sporadic's who had not voted by a certain time would then be given reminder calls/visits to go vote.
I am not revealing any heavy duty secrets here as the Republicans were doing the exact same thing.
The "poll watcher" section of the training consisted of being informed of the legal rights of voters and how to counterchallenge challenges Republican poll watchers might make towards Democratic voters. We were also informed that we would be given a special hotline # for our legal team on election day (they feared giving it out to us the night before in case it might slip into Republican hands who might then try to jam the phone line).
And therein lies the rub. While both I and my Republican counterpart were ostensibly there to do the same job, it became clear to me that as poll watchers in a largely Democratic district, I was there to ensure that people could vote and she was there to prevent voting if she could.
I was stationed in Baldwin Boro -- a place from what I could see -- which was overwhelmingly white. At one point, the Republican poll watcher made the comment that she was, "...glad that they hadn't put her in the Hill District or East Liberty." "I'm glad they put me in someplace civilized where I don't have to worry about a lot of voter irregularities."
For anyone reading this who does not know it (or hasn't guessed it): the two "uncivilized" districts that she mentioned are largely composed of African American residents. She was obviously warned to expect to have to challenge voters in those districts and she was happy to have a relatively easy gig in the white suburbs (above and beyond whatever other "fears" she may have had about the "projects" that she gossiped about with a Republican clerk).
Please note that at the legal training we were also informed that the Democrats had discovered that every Crown Victoria car in the state had been rented out for election day. What is the significance of this, you may ask? Crown Vics are used by the police. This is the car model that was used in Florida by Republicans in Florida in 2000 to intimidate African American voters. The idea is to park them outside polling places and staff them with white guys in suits who appear to be taking down names, license plate # 's or taking photographs of voters.
And you probably thought that this crap only took place below the Mason-Dixon line.
I will say that the Republican poll watcher at my post didn't challenge any voter (that I saw). I can't say that her actions would have been the same if she had been sent to someplace less "civilized." (gag)
As I had been instructed to "not make any trouble for the paid poll workers" I did not get into an argument over the nasty comments made about the state of civilization in various neighborhoods. But it does feel good to put it down for the record here.
Olbermann To The Rescue?
"...there is a small but blood-curdling set of news stories that right now exists somewhere between the world of investigative journalism, and the world of the Reynolds Wrap Hat. And while the group’s ultimate home remains unclear - so might our election of just a week ago.
Stories like these have filled the web since the tide turned against John Kerry late Tuesday night. But not until Friday did they begin to spill into the more conventional news media. That’s when the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that officials in Warren County, Ohio, had “locked down” its administration building to prevent anybody from observing the vote count there...
...Thus the majority of the media has yet to touch the other stories of Ohio (the amazing Bush Times Ten voting machine in Gahanna) or the sagas of Ohio South: huge margins for Bush in Florida counties in which registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 2-1, places where the optical scanning of precinct totals seems to have turned results from perfect matches for the pro-Kerry exit poll data, to Bush sweeps.
We will be endeavoring to pull those stories, along with the Warren County farce, into the mainstream Monday and/or Tuesday nights on Countdown."
Tell the world that we know we f'd up
A great site where the other (almost) half let's the world know that we know
just how bad Bush is for the whole world.
And boy are we sorry!
November 7, 2004
Exit Polls: The Next Safeguard To Go?
In the first place, exit polls have not been historically thought to be unreliable. They usually can be counted on to pretty accurately reflect whom the voter has selected. They did receive a bum rap in Florida in Election 2000 because there was such a high level of spoiled ballots that year. In other words, the polls were correct in showing the numbers for the candidates that the voters thought they had voted for but they could not take into account that poorly designed ballots had caused the voters to incorrectly mark their actual ballots which of course changed the outcome of the vote.
Actually, exit polls have long been used as evidence by international organizations (including the US) to challenge rigged elections in foreign countries.
Now in both Florida and Ohio, we have exit polls that differ wildly from the actual vote. However, this time, we cannot go back and review the ballots to explain the discrepancy. We cannot do this because these two states relied heavily on DIEBOLD voting machine that do not have a paper trail to audit.
We knew coming into Election 2004 that electronic voting increased the possibility to rig elections:
(From http://www.crisispapers.org/essays/fixed-election.htm )The Republicans are well aware that exit polls can be used to warn us when "mischief is occurring:
"For example, in the highly suspicious Georgia senatorial and gubernatorial election of 2002, conducted entirely with touch-screen voting machines, the discrepancy between the pre-election polls and the election returns were beyond belief. The Democratic governor, Roy Barnes, who led Republican Sonny Perdue in the polls by 9 to 11 points, lost to Perdue by five points – a swing of about sixteen points. Max Cleland, ahead by five points,lost to Saxby Chamblis by six points.
These were shifts, respectively, of five and four margins of error. Talk to a statistician, and you will learn that the probabilities of such anomalies are vanishingly small. Is there, or was there, any way to validate the vote in those machines? Absolutely not. There is no independent record of the votes. That's just how the machines are designed."
Rather than blame exit polls -- or the bloggers who publish them -- and call for the discontinuation of these polls, we must insure that exit polls are widespread and fairly and impartially conducted so as to serve to remain as strong statistical evidence of fraud and manipulation. More importantly, we must insist on a paper trail for all elections. The Democratic Party let this issue slid by and blew the election this time around.
(From http://www.crisispapers.org/essays/fixed-election.htm )
"Soon after the polls closed in 2002, the exit polls from Voter News Service began to announce trends that were favorable to the Democrats. Then, suddenly, VNS told us that the results were “unreliable” and the entire election day operation was shut down.
How convenient for the GOP! And we have never received a clear explanation of what happened. Just the same message we had heard two years before in 2000: 'Get over it!'
In fact, in the past, exit polls have proven to be the most accurate polling methods. So they must be brought back as “checks” against the non-auditable machines. If the media's service, VNS, won't do it, then the left must demand an explanation of why it won't, and an alternative exit polling service must be put in place".
Will we continue to trust Republican-owned companies such as DIEBOLD to honor our most sacred right to freely elect our own officials?
The Republicans placed antigay marriage amendments on the ballot in eleven states this election. Call it Machiavellian or incredibly smart -- it did the trick to turn out their base.
We must start working now to place "Count Every Vote" (paper trails) amendments on every states ballots in the 2006 midterm election.
It will serve to not only ensure fair and free elections, but it will also turn out our base in an off year.
November 1, 2004
"Your Stories" Video
"How will we find our way forward? How will we keep America safe, and keep the American dream alive? I believe we begin by giving this country we love a fresh start. This morning, I would like to give you as a plainly as I can the summary of my case on how –- together –- we can change America." - John Kerry