Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen

Saturday, July 31, 2004  

The Bush campaign makes a play for the minority vote:

"President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Star refused to provide the information.

Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star's managing editor, to disclose the journalist's race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.

'It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted,' Hayt said later.

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.

'All the information requested of staff, volunteers and participants for the event has been done so to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the vice president of the United States,' he said."
Props to the Star for refusing.

posted by lazarus | 22:45 | |

And the Christians claim to be "oppressed" in this country.

Three Tampa city council members walk out during atheist's invocation: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Three Tampa city council members walked out of chambers rather than listen to an atheist give the opening invocation.

Council members Kevin White, Mary Alvarez and Rose Ferlita left their seats Thursday rather than listen to Michael R. Harvey, a member of Atheists of Florida who had been invited by council member John Dingfelder to offer the invocation.

Even before Harvey spoke, White was pushing to cancel the invocation. These are sacred moments that refer to a supreme being, White said, and this speaker doesn't believe in God.

``We have never had people of an atheist group represent Americans,'' White said. ``And I don't think it is appropriate in this setting.''"
Much credit to council member John Dingfelder for having the bravery to do something right.

posted by lazarus | 02:32 | |

Thursday, July 29, 2004  

Compassionate conservatism in action:

"A campaign worker for President Bush said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.

'Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?' said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt."

posted by lazarus | 15:32 | |

The New Republic has updated an article from a few days back:

The New Republic Online: July Surprise?: "[Editor's Note: This afternoon, Pakistan's interior minister, Faisal Saleh Hayyat, announced that Pakistani forces had captured Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian Al Qaeda operative wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The timing of this announcement should be of particular interest to readers of The New Republic. Earlier this month, John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman, and Massoud Ansari broke the story of how the Bush administration was pressuring Pakistani officials to apprehend high-value targets (HVTs) in time for the November elections--and in particular, to coincide with the Democratic National Convention. Although the capture took place in central Pakistan 'a few days back,' the announcement came just hours before John Kerry will give his acceptance speech in Boston.]

Late last month, President Bush lost his greatest advantage in his bid for reelection. A poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post discovered that challenger John Kerry was running even with the president on the critical question of whom voters trust to handle the war on terrorism. Largely as a result of the deteriorating occupation of Iraq, Bush lost what was, in April, a seemingly prohibitive 21-point advantage on his signature issue. But, even as the president's poll numbers were sliding, his administration was implementing a plan to insure the public's confidence in his hunt for Al Qaeda.
This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. A succession of high-level American officials--from outgoing CIA Director George Tenet to Secretary of State Colin Powell to Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to State Department counterterrorism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official--have visited Pakistan in recent months to urge General Pervez Musharraf's government to do more in the war on terrorism. In April, Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, publicly chided the Pakistanis for providing a "sanctuary" for Al Qaeda and Taliban forces crossing the Afghan border. "The problem has not been solved and needs to be solved, the sooner the better," he said."

So far, the Pakistani spokesman isn't saying much:
"Pakistan has arrested a senior al Qaeda figure with a bounty of up to $25 million on his head, Interior Minister Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat told CNN television Thursday.
He said the suspect had been captured during a raid in central Pakistan a few days ago. He did not identify the captive but said he was 'a person who is most wanted internationally.'"

So, who wants to start a pool on which of the FBI's"Most Wanted Terrorists" this is? They've all got rewards of up to $25 million, so it could be anybody.

I'll bet he's classified as the "mastermind of 9/11", though, no matter who it is. We've only caught "the mastermind of 9/11" two or three times now.

And if this is bin Laden, I have this to say: What took so long? And was allowing Pakistan to spread nuclear arms technology around the world worth it? Because that was the payoff for this.

Update: So, it isn't bin Laden. It's Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani:
"Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat identified the man as Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani and said he was a Tanzanian national wanted for the synchronized bombings that killed more than 200 people at the U.S. embassy in Kenya and 11 at the embassy in Tanzania."
He's Number 8 on the list.

posted by lazarus | 15:03 | |

Mandatory convention blogging

No, I'm not there, but I got to watch it on TV! I prefer CSPAN, although I keep MSNBC up on the picture-in-picture so I can flip over if it looks like Ron Reagan is handing Joe "Dead Intern" Scarbrough his ass again.

Highlights so far:

The big two speeches, obviously. Clinton's opening night speech made me long for the days when we had a President who could speak eloquently and passionately. Obama's speech made me proud to be both a Democrat and an American. I'm looking forward to his run for the White House. The question is, does he run against Edwards in 2012, or run as Edwards' VP, then make his own run in 2020? He's a young man (43), so a 16 year wait wouldn't be too bad, but after the recent problems with VP's running as President (Bush1 was a disaster, Gore was its own problem we may not want to bring up again), who knows?

The 2004 Democratic National Convention Official Site has streaming video and transcripts of all the good speeches.

I'm excited about both Cleland's and Clark's speaking tonight, and mystified that Lieberman is bringing the Joementum to Boston and is allowed to speak. Shall we let Zell Miller speak, as well?

posted by lazarus | 11:13 | |

Wednesday, July 28, 2004  

Update on my earlier story. It's now 68 dead from that one bombing, and a total of 111 dead (that we know of) yesterday.

Again, for this we gave the lives of over 900 soldiers?

CNN.com - Iraq suicide blast kills 68 - Jul 28, 2004: "Iraqi forces, insurgents and civilians lost their lives in stark, grisly violence Wednesday, with at least 68 killed in a Baquba suicide bombing, 42 dead in bloody fighting in south-central Iraq, and another killed in a blast near a Baghdad police station."

posted by lazarus | 07:09 | |

Thank goodness the Iraqi people are safe, now that we've sacrificed the lives of over 900 Americans.:

"A suicide attacker has killed 51 people and injured more than 55 when he exploded a bomb-laden vehicle outside a central Baqouba police station.
The Health Ministry said 51 people were killed in the suicide bomb attack at the al-Najda police station in central Baqouba, 35 miles north-east of Baghdad.
Al-Azawi said the suicide attacker drove his car into a crowd of people gathering to register for police jobs outside the al-Najda police station near concrete barriers."

posted by lazarus | 02:38 | |

Tuesday, July 27, 2004  

Who's the girlie-man now, Ahnuld?

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > State -- Spending cuts, loans and one-time gimmicks characterize proposed state budget: "Schwarzenegger agreed to lift an enrollment cap at state universities, to drop a proposal to slash wages of home health care workers and to provide a cost of living increase to welfare recipients. These concessions came after he already gave up most of his plans to cut health and welfare programs and to trim union benefits."

posted by lazarus | 22:28 | |

Yahoo! News - Belief in Hell Boosts Growth: Fed Report: "Economists searching for reasons why some nations are richer than others have found that those with a wide belief in hell are less corrupt and more prosperous, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Researchers at the regional Federal Reserve bank acknowledged the importance of productivity and investment in the economic process but looked at some recent unconventional efforts to explain differences in national prosperity."
I'll take "not understanding the difference between causation and correlation" for 1600, Alex.

On edit: I've given this a little more thought, and this is a seriously screwed up conclusion. All of South and Central America is much more religious than America (that heavy Catholic thing), and their economies are in the crapper, and corruption is almost as bad as the whole Halliburton/Cheney situation here.

posted by lazarus | 18:23 | |

Let's all support the troops!

Soldier Ordered To Repay Army: Make no mistake about how dangerous Wilson's job in Baghdad is. His best friend and roommate was killed two months ago in a bomb blast.
When U.S. forces invaded Iraq, Wilson wanted to be there, but his reserve unit had not been called up. He arranged for a transfer from reserve to active duty Army. Within weeks, he was sent to Iraq.

Deb Wilson: "When he told me about joining, it broke my heart. I was so incredibly proud that he felt that sense of duty."

But the Army had an unwelcome surprise for Pvt. Wilson. In a letter, they told him that because he transferred to active duty, he had breached his contract with his reserve unit and had to repay $916 that was given to him as a signing bonus when he enlisted.

Deb Wilson: "What he was doing was entirely loyal to the country and everything. It's almost like a slap in the face to him, that he's in Baghdad and they want this thousand dollars back."
Here I'm going to give a Republican some credit. Senator Arlen Specter has "sent a letter to the Pentagon requesting an explanation as to why Wilson was apparently penalized for doing his duty."

He says, "Have not yet gotten an answer. I think they're going to be embarrassed by this. Look here, you have a private who takes on more hazardous duty. The people of America ought to be thankful, not critical."

Good for you, Arlen.

posted by lazarus | 15:40 | |

Yahoo! News - Adult Corrections Population Hits Record

Land of the free? 1 in 32 adults incarcerated or on probation or parole last year. Yeah, it's our freedoms that the terrorists really hate.

According to The Wall of The November Coalition, 1 in 4 prisoners are in for drug violations. Over half of federal prisoners are in for drug violations.

Oh, and Martha Stewart. And Tommy Chong. (I guess he was sort of drugs, right? Can't sell pipes.)

No bin Laden, though. Or Kenny Boy Lay.

posted by lazarus | 01:32 | |

Monday, July 26, 2004  

AP Exclusive: Bush the mountain-biker rides hard, shrugs off crash

But surely they're keeping the pretzels away, right?

posted by lazarus | 23:58 | |

From Veterans for Common Sensecomes this article about troop morale in Iraq:

"'Scaling back the military and political goals in Iraq's Anbar province has hurt the morale of many U.S. soldiers stationed there, and some have begun to question openly not only their mission, but also the leaders who sent them to Iraq in the first place. ' 'I don't have any idea of what we're trying to do out here. I don't know what the (goal) is, and I don't think our commanders do either,' he said. 'I feel deceived personally. I don't trust anything (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld says, and I think (Deputy Defense Secretary Paul) Wolfowitz is even dirtier.'"

For those who say Iraq is safer, check this passage out:
To carry food from one base to the next in Ramadi, a matter of a few blocks, takes four vehicles - armored Humvees and trucks - all with .50-caliber machine guns mounted on top.

"I’m tired of every time we go out the gate, someone tries to kill me," said Staff Sgt. Sheldon Rivers.

Asked whether most Americans have an idea of how bad the security situation is in Ramadi, Sgt. Maj. John Jones said recently that he was annoyed every time he heard analysis about Iraq from politicians and journalists on TV.

"When people come over here, where do they stay? In the Green Zone. I call it the Safe Zone," he said, referring to the secure area in Baghdad where the government is housed. "They miss the full picture."

What is the full picture?

"It’s just like the West," Jones said, "when we were trying to settle it with the Indians."

He wouldn’t elaborate.

"It means that we have to kill all of them," said a captain standing nearby, half-joking.
No, this is nothing like Viet Nam. It's all going just splendidly. So someone hush up these obviously unpatriotic soldiers.

Or just wait a few days. They'll likely be killed for Bush's war. And nobody's going to hear this anyway. The liberal media will take care of that.

posted by lazarus | 00:48 | |

Thursday, July 22, 2004  

But this is just another coincidence, so stop thinking that:

"And in a related development, at least 13 relatives of Osama bin Laden, accompanied by bodyguards and associates, were allowed to leave the United States on a charter flight eight days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a passenger manifest released Wednesday.
One passenger on the flight, Omar Awad bin Laden, a nephew of the al-Qaeda leader, had been investigated previously by the FBI because he had lived with Abdullah bin Laden, a leader of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, which the FBI suspected of being a terrorist organization.
The passenger list was made public by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who obtained the manifest from officials at Boston's Logan airport. Lautenberg's office was given the document in recent weeks and released it Wednesday in advance of the Sept. 11 panel's report.
Though much was already known about the flight, Lautenberg provided additional details, including the information that the plane, a 727 owned by DB Air and operated by Ryan International, began in Los Angeles and made stops in Orlando, Dulles and Boston before continuing on to Gander, Newfoundland; Paris; Geneva; and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The aircraft, tail number N521DB, has been chartered frequently by the White House for the press corps that travels with President Bush."

posted by lazarus | 13:26 | |

Tom Tomorrow making sense.

posted by lazarus | 02:09 | |

Oh, those wacky racist Republicans:

" Democrats on Wednesday denounced a Republican lawmaker quoted in a newspaper as saying the GOP would fare poorly in this year's elections if it failed to 'suppress the Detroit vote.'
State Rep. John Pappageorge, R-Troy, acknowledged using 'a bad choice of words' but said his remark shouldn't be construed as racist.
Pappageorge, 73, was quoted in July 16 editions of the Detroit Free Press as saying, 'If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election.'"

posted by lazarus | 01:05 | |

Wednesday, July 21, 2004  

One billion dollars a day, and no bullets:

"The U.S. military has assembled the most sophisticated fighting arsenal in the world with satellite-guided weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles that shoot Hellfire missiles. But as billions of dollars have poured into the technology for futuristic warfare, the government has fallen behind on more mundane needs -- such as bullets.

The protracted conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and heightened combat training with live ammunition have left the military short of small-caliber bullets. To offset the squeeze, the Army is taking unusual stopgap measures such as buying ammunition from Britain and Israel. It is also scrambling to ramp up domestic production."

posted by lazarus | 20:22 | |

Yeah, they support the troops:

"Making a tough choice with U.S. troops still in Iraq (news - web sites), the House on Wednesday sided with the Republican leadership to embrace spending restraint over an expansion of a program to improve military housing.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, underscored the election-year sensitivity of the faceoff on a military spending bill, saying after the vote that lawmakers might reverse their decision in later legislation.
In a near party-line 212-211 procedural vote, lawmakers signaled their willingness to remove a provision expanding the housing program by $500 million from a $10 billion military construction bill for next year. "
Maybe they're just counting on a lot more casualties. After all, we still have Iran to fight.

posted by lazarus | 14:18 | |

Tuesday, July 20, 2004  

Leave No Child Behind?

"Funding is being eliminated for a federal program that pays the children of migrant workers across the country to stay in school instead of working in fields.
The Department of Labor program pays some young people minimum wage to stay in school while migrating with their parents, who travel across the country looking for seasonal farm work.
Coordinators in 31 states and Puerto Rico were told there was no money to operate the program this year, leaving them to find alternate sources, petition Congress or drop the program.
'This is a remarkable abandonment of the most vulnerable youth,' said David Strauss, executive director of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. 'I don't know what's going to happen to those kids.'
Repeated telephone messages left this week for Labor Department officials weren't returned. "

posted by lazarus | 18:04 | |

Monday, July 19, 2004  

Ohio's being purged:

I noticed that one of the most critical counties in President [sic] Bush's re-[s]election efforts in Ohio, Hamilton County (Cincinnati), had a dramatic decrease in the voter rolls. It went from over 585,000 in 2000 to 519,048 today. I sent an email to the elections board in Hamilton County and received the following explanation for the decrease.
Follow the link for specific numbers. Over 100,000 for "inactivity", and a bunch for movement, death, or felony conviction.

posted by lazarus | 18:04 | |

Yahoo! News - Bush Calls for Transparency in Venezuela Recall: "President Bush on Monday urged transparency in an August recall referendum against Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and backed calls for open access for observers monitoring the vote.

His comments could draw criticism from left-winger Chavez who has clashed frequently with Washington over what he says is U.S. meddling with his government in the world's fifth largest oil exporter.
'The referendum must be conducted in an honest and open way,' Bush told reporters after meeting with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, whom he said agreed. "
What's it mean when you want to laugh and cry at the same time?

Most pathetic President ever.

posted by lazarus | 13:16 | |

I was just thinking about this when I came across this post at Atrios's manor. The Bush campaign must not be going so well.

President Bush said Monday that the U.S. is studying whether Iran had any role in 9/11.

"We will continue to look and see if Iranians were involved," Bush said. "I have long expressed my concerns about Iran. After all, it's a totalitarian society where people are not allowed to exercise their rights as human beings."

The CIA continues to maintain that there is no connection.

Ok, this begs a couple of questions: the first is how the hell would he know what rights human beings are supposed to have? Secondly, seriously, WTF? Is the administration now going to cook up some intel that shows a connection between Iran and 9/11 and use that as an excuse to invade Iran? And what is he going to use for an army?

The question is not whether the Bush Administration would do this but whether the press are going to give them the same pass they did the Iraq War.

posted by RogueTrooper | 11:49 | |

Sunday, July 18, 2004  

The Observer | Politics | PM admits graves claim 'untrue': "Downing Street has admitted to The Observer that repeated claims by Tony Blair that '400,000 bodies had been found in Iraqi mass graves' is untrue, and only about 5,000 corpses have so far been uncovered.
The claims by Blair in November and December of last year, were given widespread credence, quoted by MPs and widely published, including in the introduction to a US government pamphlet on Iraq's mass graves.
In that publication - Iraq's Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves produced by USAID, the US government aid distribution agency, Blair is quoted from 20 November last year: 'We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.'"

No WMDs, no mass graves. They still have torture and rape, though.

Why did we invade again?

posted by lazarus | 02:57 | |

Saturday, July 17, 2004  

Daily Times - Site Edition: "The governments of United States and Pakistan on Friday signed a debt cancellation agreement worth $495.3 million in official government-to-government debt owed by Pakistan to the United States."

Moral of the story: Allow your people to sell nuclear secrets to rogue nations, pretend to be an ally in the war on terror, get half a billion dollars.

Our children will be paying for crap like this. And I mean that every way it can be interpreted.

posted by lazarus | 18:57 | |

Friday, July 16, 2004  

Bush to the Amish: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job."

posted by lazarus | 22:52 | |

Brown (FL03) - Press Releases - Congresswoman Brown Speaks Out on the House Floor

posted by lazarus | 08:20 | |

Thank god they found him. Osama? Eh. We gots us some Bobby Fischer.
Of course, Dick Cheney violated international sanctions a time or two, but he won't be arrested, will he?

Yahoo! News - Japan Detains Ex-Chess Champ Bobby Fischer: "Immigration authorities have detained former world chess champion Bobby Fischer in Japan, an official said Friday.

Fischer, wanted in the United States for attending a 1992 chess match in Yugoslavia in violation of international sanctions, was stopped at Tokyo's Narita International Airport on Tuesday, an airport spokesman said on condition of anonymity. "

posted by lazarus | 08:02 | |

Yahoo! News - Fla. Lawmaker Says 2000 Election 'Stolen': "Think the passions from the 2000 presidential election have cooled? Certainly not in the House, which voted Thursday to strike a Florida representative's words from the record after she said Republicans 'stole' that closely fought contest.
Brown said, "'Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said, 'Get over it.' No, we're not going to get over it.""

They're awful sensitive about this election theft, aren't they?
I just called Rep Brown's office to offer my support. The person on the phone said that the calls they have been receiving have been overwhelmingly positive.

posted by lazarus | 07:57 | |

Thursday, July 15, 2004  

Sorry for the light blogging the last couple of days. I've been spending a lot of time at the courthouse, finalising my paperwork. And just today (yesterday? Wednesday) I was able to get it filed, with a September hearing.

Whew! Glad that's out of the way. I'm amazed at how tiring just sitting around a courthouse can be.

Much more blogging tonight, I promise.

posted by lazarus | 01:14 | |

Tuesday, July 13, 2004  

With thanks to Holden over at Eschaton, here's a major flipflop in the works from W:

“It makes no sense for assault weapons to be around our society.”
George W. Bush

"The president supports the current [assault weapons ban] law, and he supports reauthorization of the current law."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan
April 2003

So, when's he going to show his leadership on this issue? Clear, moral certainty and leadership, that's Our Dear Leader.

posted by lazarus | 16:28 | |

Monday, July 12, 2004  

Lean Left: Defending Traditional Bigotry (In Time for the Election)

Absolutely, exactly right.

posted by lazarus | 22:57 | |

I need to work on this some more, but I think I've got a new meme that could seriously affect this election, especially if Kerry and Edwards (and Clark, and Dean, et al.) start to use it.

Bush tries to position himself as a "War President."

Well, let's instead call him what he is: The Terror President.

If we push that hard enough, what could happen is that people start to associate all these meaningless terror warnings with the Bush presidency.

Has he really made this country safer? He's definitely made us more afraid. And I don't want my President to make me afraid. Neither should anyone else.

Bush. The Terror President.

posted by lazarus | 03:59 | |

Sunday, July 11, 2004  

But we were all a bunch of traitors and kooks to say these things.
Would saying "I told you so" be gauche?

The New York Times - Panel Describes Long Weakening of Hussein Army: "The Senate's report on prewar intelligence about Iraq, which asserts that warnings about its illicit weapons were largely unfounded and that its ties to Al Qaeda were tenuous, also undermines another justification for the war: that Saddam Hussein's military posed a threat to regional stability and American interests."

So, to sum up:

1. No WMDs
2. No ties to al Qaeda
3. No military threat to anybody, especially the US

Why have so many hundreds of our soldiers, and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, died again?

Oh, wait, the new excuse is to "free the Iraqi people". And put them under an unelected government (something BushCo loves) that starts by imposing martial law.


posted by lazarus | 23:18 | |

Yahoo! News - U.S. Mulling How to Delay Nov. Vote in Case of Attack: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. counterterrorism officials are looking at an emergency proposal on the legal steps needed to postpone the November presidential election in case of an attack by al Qaeda, Newsweek reported on Sunday."
Not being reported: Ridge actually stated that the postponement could occur in case of attack or "threats".

Compare and contrast with another Republican president:
Lincoln on the 1864 Presidential Election:Response to a Serenade

November 10, 1864

It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.

On this point the present rebellion brought our republic to a severe test; and a presidential election occurring in regular course during the rebellion added not a little to the strain. If the loyal people, united, were put to the utmost of their strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided, and partially paralized (sic), by a political war among themselves?

But the election was a necessity.

We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us. The strife of the election is but human-nature practically applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case, must ever recur in similar cases. Human-nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, and as strong; as silly and as wise; as bad and good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.

But the election, along with its incidental, and undesirable strife, has done good too. It has demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a national election, in the midst of a great civil war. Until now it has not been known to the world that this was a possibility. It shows that, even among candidates of the same party, he who is most devoted to the Union, and most opposed to treason, can receive most of the people's votes. It shows also, to the extent yet known, that we have more men now, than we had when the war began. Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, patriotic men, are better than gold."

posted by lazarus | 11:13 | |

Saturday, July 10, 2004  

Yes, there are some seriously deranged individuals out there. Presenting the Lynndie England Fan Site.

He also appears to have a man-crush on Michael Moore. Poor, deluded moran.

posted by lazarus | 01:01 | |

Friday, July 09, 2004  

Stupid, Inappropriate Commissioner - July 9, 2004

Video of Richard Riordan being an ass.

posted by lazarus | 13:04 | |

Thursday, July 08, 2004  

I'll take too damned convenient for 1,000, Alex.

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Pentagon Says Bush Records of Service Were Destroyed: "Military records that could help establish President Bush's whereabouts during his disputed service in the Texas Air National Guard more than 30 years ago have been inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon."

posted by lazarus | 22:26 | |

More on the lies of Christopher Hitchens.:

"Yeah, well, I have myself written and presented about a dozen low-budget made-for-TV documentaries, on subjects as various as Mother Teresa and Bill Clinton and the Cyprus crisis, and I also helped produce a slightly more polished one on Henry Kissinger that was shown in movie theaters. "
But has he?

Here's IMDB's page listing "Full Cast and Crew for Trials of Henry Kissinger, The (2002)"

Hmm. He didn't write it. He didn't direct it. He's listed as appearing, along with Kissinger himself, and the late Gilda Radner.

9 production companies are listed. Two distributors. Possibly he's an employee of one of them? In what way did he "help produce", other than appearing for an interview?

The film's website calls it "a film by Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki."

The closest connection I can find is that he wrote a book titled The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Oddly enough, the publisher's page on the book neglects to mention that the author went on to "help produce" a similarly titled documentary. Amazing lack of foresight, eh?

Oh, and as for box office, I think we may have struck upon one reason Ol' Hitchy is so upset.

At its peak, the film he "helped produce" played in 8 theatres. It managed to gross a grand total of $515,678. Is it possible that jealousy is also a part of Hitchy's problem here?

While surely not exhaustive, here's IMDB's total listing of his show business career:

Writer - filmography
Hell's Angel (1994) (TV)

Actor - filmography
"Everything You Need to Know" (1993) TV Series .... Host

Miscellaneous Crew - filmography
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) (acknowledgement)

Himself - filmography
Mel Gibson: God's Lethal Weapon (2004) (TV) .... Himself
Hidden in Plain Sight (2003) (V) .... Interviewee
Trials of Henry Kissinger, The (2002) .... Himself
... aka Procès de Henry Kissinger, Le (2003) (France)

Notable TV Guest Appearances
"Dennis Miller Live" (1994) playing "Himself" in episode: "Our Corporate Culture" (episode # 9.22) 26 July 2002
"Dennis Miller Live" (1994) playing "Himself" in episode: "The Primaries" (episode # 8.7) 2 March 2001
"Dennis Miller Live" (1994) playing "Himself" in episode: "Bush vs. Gore" (episode # 7.11) 31 March 2000
"Dennis Miller Live" (1994) playing "Himself" in episode: "Skepticism" (episode # 6.10) 26 March 1999

Oddly enough, a dozen documentaries don't show up anywhere here. Nor have I managed to find them via a Google search.

If anybody can turn them up, I'll happily post to that affect.

posted by lazarus | 01:39 | |

Wednesday, July 07, 2004  

Eric Alterman is right:

"The fact is that while Moore makes a few contentions that are arguable, most of them adhere pretty closely to the known facts. This is not the case of the Bush argument for war -the media by and large reporting those phony contentions with credulous admiration. I'm willing to bet that I could find more lies, phony statements and false accusations in just about any single episode of "Meet the Press," "This Week" or "Face the Nation" devoted to Iraq and the war on terror than can be found in Moore's entire film. I could probably find more in any single five minute segment of an O'Reilly, Hannity or Scarborough show. Why are the media so furious at Moore? Because he is doing their job for them and taking away their narrative. If they did it better, he wouldn't have to. Perhaps those reporters attacking Moore should be good enough to publish some of their own comments on the war alongside it. "

posted by lazarus | 15:09 | |

This is a bad, bad thing:

"Afghan security forces have arrested three Americans and four Afghans after a shootout in the capital and accused them of illegally detaining and interrogating locals, security officials said Wednesday. "

posted by lazarus | 13:51 | |

Tuesday, July 06, 2004  

I've seen the future. Specifically, the debate formats.

The three Presidential debates will be held in Texas, while the VP debate will be held in an undisclosed location.

The moderators will be Christopher 'Drunken Idiot' Hitchens and Robert 'Douchebag' Novak.

Since Kerry and Edwards are challengers, they will be given 15 seconds to answer questions, while Bush and Cheney will simply be offered the floor to say whatever they want, make a PowerPoint presentation, or just run campaign ads.

Audience members will be restricted to members of FreeRepublic, Lucianne.com, and select members of the media. Karl Rove will be in charge of invitations and format.

In actuality, I wish they'd hold these in a true debate format. One side asks a question of the other side. 4 minute response, 2 minute answer, and one minute summation, alternating sides. 6 questions per side.

Bush would fold up like a cheap umbrella.

posted by lazarus | 20:10 | |

From Norway:

"Norwegian authorities reacted with shock and disgust Tuesday to a documentary on German TV that American soldiers allegedly have been holding children in prisons in Iraq, and abusing them as well. The Norwegians joined the Red Cross and Amnesty International in calling for an immediate end to the abuse, and release of the underage prisoners, some of whom are as young as 12 years.
In one case, a girl around age 15 was said to have been shoved up against a wall by a group of male soldiers who proceeded to manhandle her. They then started ripping off her clothes, and she was half-naked before military police broke in."
Good thing we have an independent liberal media to investigate things like this, isn't it?

Oh, wait. That was a paper in Norway. Reporting on a documentary on German TV.

As the child torture story starts to break, we are going to find ourselves more and more isolated. Cheney, Bush, and the rest of the cabal need to be sent to the Hague.

posted by lazarus | 10:50 | |

When you hear all the crap the Republicans will be spewing about Edwards over the next few days, remember this:

John Edwards: Four Trials - Reader Reviews: "Senator John McCain
Arizona Republican
'In Four Trials, John Edwards has written movingly of people who were terribly wronged, and whom he helped seek some measure of justice with great skill, determination, and genuine compassion. He shows a perceptive appreciation in these accounts for the strength of his clients' character. And, in the loving portrait of his son, Wade, and the deeply touching account of his loss, John reveals the strength of his own character and gives the reader a look beyond a political biography into the heart of a good man.' "

posted by lazarus | 07:03 | |

So, apparently it's Edwards.

I guess the NY Post has a few explanations?

posted by lazarus | 04:40 | |

Harry Potter and Bill Clinton - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - June 30, 2004

Quite simply the most pathetic "editorial" I've ever seen in a publication that purports to be an actual newspaper. How anyone could read this and still blather on about the "liberal" media...

posted by lazarus | 03:13 | |

Wow, I didn't realise I had gone so long between posts. Oops.

Well, not much news over the weekend, of course. The media take a holiday every weekend, and that's pathetic.

Rumour has it that Gephart is the VP pick (front page of the New York Post Online Edition). While part of me is disappointed it's not Clark, I'm more disappointed that Kerry ignored all the polling that showed that Gep was the worst of the choices he had, and that his base doesn't want Gep.

Are the unions really going to bolt to Bush if we don't pick Gep? Sheesh.

One other thing: Over the weekend, I had occasion to discuss F9/11 with some folks, good liberals. And I ran into the same thing with them that I've seen all over the blogosphere: a pre-concession that Michael Moore is "loose with his facts".

I'm sick and tired of this. First, Moore's films are as factually accurate as any documentary; I've yet to see any valid factual errors of any import in any of Moore's films.

Second, and more importantly, why are we still cutting our throats by being conciliatory and 'fair'? The right wing doesn't "grant" that Bush lied, or made mistakes; why should we give an inch? If we're willing to concede points to the opposition, they'll win, because they're not conceding a single point, ever.

I'll be posting some news up today, as I come across stuff. Sorry for the extended break, folks.

posted by lazarus | 01:35 | |

Thursday, July 01, 2004  

Yahoo! News - Ex-GOP Consultant Pleads to Phone-Jamming: "The former head a Republican consulting group pleaded guilty to jamming Democratic telephone lines in several New Hampshire cities during the 2002 general election.

Allen Raymond, former president of the Alexandria, Va.-based GOP Marketplace LLC, waived indictment and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Concord on Wednesday. Judge Joseph A. DiClerico Jr. released Raymond on his own recognizance pending sentencing in November. "
But Republicans are very, very interested in fair and balanced elections, so stop thinking that.

posted by lazarus | 08:22 | |
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