Ungodly Politics

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

Sunday, October 31, 2004  
Colin Powell believes U.S. is losing Iraq war

Salon.com reports on a coming Newsweek article.

Secretary of State Colin Powell has privately confided to friends in recent weeks that the Iraqi insurgents are winning the war, according to Newsweek. The insurgents have succeeded in infiltrating Iraqi forces "from top to bottom," a senior Iraqi official tells Newsweek in tomorrow’s issue of the magazine, "from decision making to the lower levels."
I believe that we are paying the price for two things: The Bush administration's inability to perceive reality, and the purge of all generals in the Pentagon who remember Viet Nam.

I mean, who couldn't have predicted this? Really?

posted by lazarus | 14:10 | |

Friday, October 29, 2004  
Bush Asked to Stop Using 'Still the One'

Why is another Republican stealing music? First Reagan tried to hijack Springsteen's "Born in the USA". "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was also used by one of the campaigns, I think Bush1's.

So why are the Republicans musical pirates? Don't their own musicians produce stuff they can use?

Why not have that "boot in your ass" song instead? Isn't that the Bush Doctrine?

posted by lazarus | 12:46 | |

Wednesday, October 27, 2004  
Presidential Politics Gets Ugly in Fla.

Ugly? Yeah, I guess a gun to the head could be considered "ugly".

An anti-John Kerry demonstrator was charged with felony aggravated assault with a gun for allegedly pointing a weapon at the head of a Kerry supporter.

posted by lazarus | 23:27 | |
that was interesting

Blogger was apparently down for a while. Sorry about that.

posted by lazarus | 13:27 | |
New Florida vote scandal feared

Greg Palaststrikes again. Another story you won't hear much about here in the States:

"A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.
Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called 'caging list'.
It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.
An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: 'The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day.' "

posted by lazarus | 10:27 | |
US gave date of war to Britain in advance

Simply amazing. Looks like all the October Surprises are on our side. Betcha a dollar this isn't covered 24/7 here.

Secret plans for the war in Iraq were passed to British Army chiefs by US defence planners five months before the invasion was launched, a court martial heard yesterday.

The revelation strengthened suspicions that Tony Blair gave his agreement to President George Bush to go to war while the diplomatic efforts to force Saddam Hussein to comply with UN resolutions were continuing.

Alan Simpson, the leader of Labour Against the War, said the documents were "dynamite", if genuine, and showed that Clare Short was right to assert in her book, serialised in The Independent, that Mr Blair had "knowingly misled" Parliament.

posted by lazarus | 10:25 | |

Monday, October 25, 2004  
Eminem's Mosh Video

Quite simply The most powerful video I've ever seen. Doesn't matter if you like rap or not, you should see this video.

New link, this one should be working

posted by lazarus | 21:49 | |
British armed forces recognise first ever Satanist

Suppose we'll be seeing this anytime soon?

"A technician in the Royal Navy has become the first serviceman in Britain's armed forces to be officially recognised as a Satanist, the Defence Ministry said today.
Chris Cranmer, 24, has been given the go-ahead by his captain to perform Satanic rituals on board the HMS Cumberland and is reportedly lobbying his employers to register Satanism as an official religion in the armed forces.
'There is a guy who has asked to practice his (Satanic) beliefs on a Royal Navy ship,' a Defence Ministry spokesman told AFP.
'His request was treated sympathetically by the ship's commanding officer.' "

posted by lazarus | 21:48 | |
Tracking the Weapons: Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq

If this doesn't bring down the Bush Administration, something is badly wrong. 380 tons of high power explosives were snuck out of an armory under American control. They've known about this for some time. Condi Rice found out last month, at the very least.

And those explosives are being used to kill our soldiers. And over 380 tons of it are on the loose. And nobody's answering for it.

Let's make sure Bush, et al., answer for it.

posted by lazarus | 21:47 | |

Friday, October 22, 2004  
Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004

Need I say more? Okay, how about a taste:

Back in June, when John Kerry was beginning to feel like a winner, I had a quick little rendezvous with him on a rain-soaked runway in Aspen, Colorado, where he was scheduled to meet with a harem of wealthy campaign contributors. As we rode to the event, I told him that Bush's vicious goons in the White House are perfectly capable of assassinating Nader and blaming it on him. His staff laughed, but the Secret Service men didn't. Kerry quickly suggested that I might make a good running mate, and we reminisced about trying to end the Vietnam War in 1972.

That was the year I first met him, at a riot on that elegant little street in front of the White House. He was yelling into a bullhorn and I was trying to throw a dead, bleeding rat over a black-spike fence and onto the president's lawn.

We were angry and righteous in those days, and there were millions of us. We kicked two chief executives out of the White House because they were stupid warmongers. We conquered Lyndon Johnson and we stomped on Richard Nixon -- which wise people said was impossible, but so what? It was fun. We were warriors then, and our tribe was strong like a river.

That river is still running. All we have to do is get out and vote, while it's still legal, and we will wash those crooked warmongers out of the White House.
The doctor is in.

posted by lazarus | 12:11 | |
Blackwell offers 'barnyard' take on gay marriage

This is justsickening:

"(Ohio) Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is under fire for saying that same-sex marriage is so absurd that it defies 'barnyard logic.'
That's a lot of bull, responded a gay-rights champion, who called Blackwell an expert in spreading 'manure.' "
Suppose I should send him video of our two male cats humping each other?

posted by lazarus | 11:15 | |

Thursday, October 21, 2004  
Look what happens

This is cool. I take a break for a couple of days (with an ear infection), and get mentioned on Slate.

posted by lazarus | 21:01 | |
Edwards Wonders Who's Minding the Store

Damned good question. It seems Bush has put his whole cabinet on the campaign trail, while Iraq falls apart, we have a serious flu vaccine deficit, and terrorists are about to blow up a nuke in one of our cities (according to Scary Dick Cheney).

posted by lazarus | 14:02 | |

Sunday, October 17, 2004  
No Talent Assclown Ron Silver

He claims he can't find work.

He really, really dislikes liberals, apparently. Odd feeling for a supposed Democrat.

"Michael Moore and that faction of the party was one of the factors that did not let me support the Democratic nominee this year," Silver said. "He is a charlatan in a clown suit. I compare him to Leni Riefenstahl and Goebbels," referring to Adolf Hitler's infamous propagandists.
Yes, a man whose chosen allies are constantly accusing us of calling Bush Hitler is making this statement.

I'll take irony for $1000, Alex. Ron Silver is someone who views the war on terror as a great way to be a bigot without admitting it. His rhetoric, when he's not spewing about how bad liberals are, is about how bad Muslims are.

Silver says his political change of heart and outspoken support of President Bush has exacted a high professional cost in Hollywood, where Republicans are a decidedly rare breed.

"It's affected me very badly. I can't point to a person or a job I've lost, but this community is not very pluralistic," Silver said. "I haven't worked for 10 months."
But has it?
Margery Tabankin, who advises Barbra Streisand and other Hollywood heavyweights on their political giving, said Silver's views, behavior, and claims about his career are in keeping with his persona.
"Ron loves controversy, he loves to say the contrarian thing. That's who he is," Tabankin said. She dismissed Silver's claim about losing jobs, pointing to Republican actors like Bruce Willis and Tom Selleck whose careers have sizzled over the years.
So, he's full of shit, and a hypocrite. What else is wrong with Ron Silver?
"I know John Kerry, I like John Kerry and I respect him, but he is the candidate of the party," Silver said. "And if it's the party of Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich and Michael Moore, then it's not my party."
He is apparently a big baby, too.

Oh, and he's a liar. Let's take a look at his career as listed at IMDB:

2004: 3 listings
2003: 2 listings
2002: 2 listings
2001: 4 listings
2000: 4 listings
1999: 3 listings
1998: 4 listings
1997: 1 listings
1996: 5 listings
1995: 4 listings
1994: 1 listings
1993: 2 listings
1992: 2 listings
1991: 2 listings
1990: 3 listings

The rest of his career is no more than 2 listings per year. As for 2004, he's had 3 TV appearances, twice as himself, once on Law and Order.

Yeah, he's just dying out there. Maybe he'd get more work if he spent less time whining about how scared he is of the rest of the world, and more time looking for work.

posted by lazarus | 20:19 | |

Friday, October 15, 2004  
Calif. Woman Dies After Wait for Flu Shot

Nothing to say, really. This is just sad.

posted by lazarus | 16:29 | |
Pentagon plans promotion for Sanchez

Standard operating procedure for Republicans. Reward those who screw up, so long as they're not poor or lower class or anything unseemly.

The most telling comment?

Rumsfeld and others recognize that the Texas native remains politically "radioactive," in the words of a third senior defense official, and would wait until after the Nov. 2 presidential election and ongoing investigations of the Abu Ghraib affair have faded before putting his name forward.
Yeah, "radioactive". The man who oversaw Abu Ghraib is being rewarded. This'll give the Iraqis a lot to think about, won't it?

posted by lazarus | 16:15 | |
Platoon defies orders in Iraq

And so it begins:

"A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a 'suicide mission' to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday.

The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq -- north of Baghdad -- because their vehicles were considered 'deadlined' or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook.

Sgt. McCook, a deputy at the Hinds County Detention Center, and the 16 other members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company from Rock Hill, S.C., were read their rights and moved from the military barracks into tents, Patricia McCook said her husband told her during a panicked phone call about 5 a.m. Thursday.

The platoon could be charged with the willful disobeying of orders, punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and up to five years confinement, said military law expert Mark Stevens, an associate professor of justice studies at Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C."
There's much more to this, I find. I normally don't do bulk cut and paste, but here it goes.
"I got a call from an officer in another unit early (Thursday) morning who told me that my husband and his platoon had been arrested on a bogus charge because they refused to go on a suicide mission," said Jackie Butler of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Michael Butler, a 24-year reservist. "When my husband refuses to follow an order, it has to be something major."

The platoon being held has troops from Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina, said Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., whose daughter Amber McClenny is among those being detained.

McClenny, 21, pleaded for help in a message left on her mother's answering machine early Thursday morning.

"They are holding us against our will," McClenny said. "We are now prisoners."

McClenny told her mother her unit tried to deliver fuel to another base in Iraq Wednesday, but was sent back because the fuel had been contaminated with water. The platoon returned to its base, where it was told to take the fuel to another base, McClenny told her mother.

The platoon is normally escorted by armed Humvees and helicopters, but did not have that support Wednesday, McClenny told her mother.

The convoy trucks the platoon was driving had experienced problems in the past and were not being properly maintained, Hill said her daughter told her.

The situation mirrors other tales of troops being sent on missions without proper equipment.

Aviation regiments have complained of being forced to fly dangerous missions over Iraq with outdated night-vision goggles and old missile-avoidance systems. Stories of troops' families purchasing body armor because the military didn't provide them with adequate equipment have been included in recent presidential debates.

Patricia McCook said her husband, a staff sergeant, understands well the severity of disobeying orders. But he did not feel comfortable taking his soldiers on another trip.

"He told me that three of the vehicles they were to use were deadlines ... not safe to go in a hotbed like that," Patricia McCook said.

Hill said the trucks her daughter's unit was driving could not top 40 mph.

"They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at," Hill said her daughter told her. "They would have had no way to fight back."

Kathy Harris of Vicksburg is the mother of Aaron Gordon, 20, who is among those being detained. Her primary concern is that she has been told the soldiers have not been provided access to a judge advocate general.

Stevens said if the soldiers are being confined, law requires them to have a hearing before a magistrate within seven days.

Harris said conditions for the platoon have been difficult of late. Her son e-mailed her earlier this week to ask what the penalty would be if he became physical with a commanding officer, she said.
Things are very, very bad over there.

posted by lazarus | 09:46 | |
U.S. Orders Freeze on Zarqawi Network Assets

Focused like a laserAssets:

"The United States on Friday ordered a freeze on assets of the militant group led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq (news - web sites)."
We're just now getting to this?

posted by lazarus | 09:44 | |

Thursday, October 14, 2004  
Bush administration takes emergency steps to avoid debt ceiling

So, after attacking Kerry over hitting the debt ceiling, the Bush administration has no choice but to cheat.

US President George W. Bush's administration weathered a pre-election mauling as it announced emergency measures to skirt a 7.38-trillion-dollar debt limit.

Treasury Secretary John Snow said he would use pension money to keep the government running.

In a letter to Senate majority leader Bill Frist, Snow said he was immediately suspending payments to a federal employees' retirement scheme, the Government Securities Investment Fund (G-Fund).

The missing money would be repaid in full later, with no net effect on the fund or retirees, he promised.

San Diego tried this little maneuvre a few years ago, and they still haven't recovered.

posted by lazarus | 15:43 | |

Wednesday, October 13, 2004  
debate post

My one comment: I missed the point where Ted Kennedy became our candidate.

posted by lazarus | 19:36 | |

Tuesday, October 12, 2004  
Cheney: Iraq Could Have Been Arms Source

So, let's get this straight. Saddam could have provided weapons he didn't have to groups he wasn't communicating with?

Yahoo! News - Cheney: Iraq Could Have Been Arms Source: "Vice President Dick Cheney, who acknowledged last week that Iraq had produced no weapons of mass destruction after 1991, said Tuesday that under Saddam Hussein the country likely could have served as a source of weapons for terrorists.
'The situation we faced was Saddam Hussein and Iraq presented the most likely place where there could be a nexus between the terrorists on the one hand and weapons of mass destruction,' Cheney said."

posted by lazarus | 10:33 | |

Sunday, October 10, 2004  
It's a back brace, folks

Everyone's up in arms about Bush's being 'wired', particularly since the "hump" showed up in the second debate:

hump 1 and hump 2

There's a particular kind of brace one can wear that leaves that mark.

Remember, he's been seen with this lump before:


Notice how his shoulders are sort of held down, as if by straps? What if he's wearing one of these:

I think the middle one is the most likely.

My personal theory for why they won't admit it?

They can't admit that the boy king has a "weak back". They're scared to death of jokes about how he's spineless, etc.

Why else has he postponed his doctor's visit to after the election?

posted by lazarus | 05:40 | |

Saturday, October 09, 2004  
Wood? Internets?


Beyond hilarious. Read the questions and answers at the bottom.

posted by lazarus | 05:24 | |

Friday, October 08, 2004  
September Job Growth Weaker Than Expected

This is sad for those out of work. But it's also going to make an interesting point in the debate tonight.

U.S. businesses added 96,000 jobs to payrolls in September, the government reported on Friday, a weaker-than-expected total that was expected to sharpen a presidential debate later in the day over the economy's direction.

The Labor Department report, showing the unemployment rate in September held steady at 5.4 percent, will provide fodder for the second debate between President Bush and Democratic Presidential contender Sen. John Kerry. It was the final jobs report before the Nov. 2 presidential election with polls indicating that jobs are of paramount concern to voters.

The September job-creation total came in below Wall Street economists' forecasts for 148,000 new jobs. The department also revised down its estimate of August new jobs to 128,000 from 144,000 it reported a month ago.

Most jobs in September came in the services sector, while manufacturers shed 18,000 jobs last month after increased hiring in the two prior months.
Takes around 150,000 jobs to keep up with population growth. If we added only 96k, and unemployment stayed static, that means 54,000 people just quit looking.

posted by lazarus | 07:24 | |
Beyond the Turnstile

Just made a nice big post on the NBA over at my sports blog, Beyond the Turnstile. Posting's been sparse over there, as we tend to primarily be basketball and hockey fans. Oops. Jeff's been keeping us going with college football, but with the NBA heating up, I'm hoping we can get it fairly active now.

posted by lazarus | 04:09 | |

Wednesday, October 06, 2004  
More debate crap

Okay, I'm not sure. My initial impression of the debate was that of a draw. Cheney was his usual lying self, and Edwards, while good, missed a huge number of knockout blows.

So, as usual, it'll all be about the spin. And I think we're going to win this one. The Dems are energised - we finally have the hang of this online poll voting, and how that really influences the news orgs.

And Cheney's lies are so egregious, the factcheckers are probably overloaded. Which way to go first?

Speaking of fact checking, how about Cheney's biggest blunder? It's .org, not .com, you ditz. Our last VP would have known that, seeing as how he invented the internet and all.

posted by lazarus | 06:32 | |

Tuesday, October 05, 2004  

My blood pressure's too high to blog this debate. Never seen so much outright lying before.

Go check Lean Left or one of the others for debateblogging.

posted by lazarus | 18:59 | |
Unsafe Products Reaching Retail Shelves, Consumer Reports Says (washingtonpost.com)

Imagine that.

Unsafe Products Reaching Retail Shelves, Consumer Reports Says (washingtonpost.com): "Dozens of dangerous products that violate federal safety standards are finding their way onto retail shelves, while hundreds of other recalled items banned for sale in the United States are being shipped to shoppers abroad, according to an investigation by Consumer Reports magazine.
After an in-depth study of a decade of government product safety records, and shopping at more than a dozen stores, the magazine concluded that weak laws and lax enforcement are allowing some manufacturers and importers to ignore federal and voluntary industry safety standards."
Why is this happening?
The magazine faulted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for the continued sale of unsafe products both here and abroad. Citing a steep erosion in the agency's budget and staff, it said the agency was inadequately and inconsistently enforcing federal safety laws and policing store shelves.

The result, Consumer Reports concluded, is that consumers are buying many "potentially lethal products," including defective extension cords and electrical items that can overheat and burn; fake ground-fault circuit interrupter plugs that don't always trip when there is an electrical overload; toys that can choke, cut or poison young children; counterfeit batteries that leak acid, overheat or spark; and disposable lighters that leak fuel or explode. Many of these goods are fraudulently labeled, counterfeits to well-known and well-regarded brand-name items.
But isn't that the beauty of Free Market Capitalism? No regulations, and the market will correct itself, right? Any libertarians/free marketers out there care to take up the cause and explain to me why this is a good thing?

posted by lazarus | 05:00 | |

Monday, October 04, 2004  
Samarra update

Samarra update:

"Of the 70 dead brought to Samarra General Hospital since fighting erupted, 23 were children and 18 were women, said hospital official Abdul-Nasser Hamed Yassin, the Associated Press reported."
And this is a victory?

posted by lazarus | 05:48 | |

Saturday, October 02, 2004  
US forces to 'flatten Falluja' before Iraq's first vote

Scotsman.com News - International - US forces to 'flatten Falluja' before Iraq's first vote

"We had to destroy the village to save it."

For those who don't know, Fallujah's got a population of @200,000. That's equivalent to Montgomery, AL; Scottsdale, AZ; Fremont, CA; Ft Wayne, IN; Des Moines, IA; Shrevesport, LA; Grand Rapids, MI; Yonkers, NY; Chesapeake, VA; Richmond, VA; Spokane, WA;, Tacoma, WA; and Madison, WI.

Pick one of those cities and imagine that foreign forces "flatten" it. Imagine how you'd react.

Now imagine that we can possibly win this war in Iraq. Who are we fighting, anyway? What are we trying to win?

posted by lazarus | 19:40 | |
Invisible Laws

Oh yeah, this sounds good.

Wired News: ID Rule Exists, But Can't Be Seen: "Government lawyers defending the identification requirement at the nation's airports from a lawsuit by privacy activist John Gilmore admitted in a new filing Wednesday that the requirement exists, but argued it cannot be challenged or seen in full because it is a law enforcement technique, not a law."

posted by lazarus | 01:17 | |
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