Ungodly Politics

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


Wednesday, March 31, 2004  

Josh is right this does defy parody...


SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - An emotional former President George H.W. Bush on Tuesday defended his son's Iraq war and lashed out at White House critics.
It is "deeply offensive and contemptible" to hear "elites and intellectuals on the campaign trail" dismiss progress in Iraq since last year's overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the elder Bush said in a speech to the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association annual convention.

Thing about it
You can read the rest of Poppy's drooling havers here.

posted by RogueTrooper | 02:50 | |


Tuesday, March 30, 2004  

Just got word that RogueTrooper took a dive off a ladder. Sadly, he was nowhere near a pool when he did it, so he fracture his arm in a couple of places. No blogging for him for a few days, so it's back to solo blogging for me for the rest of the week. I'm sure something's happening in the world, right? :-)

Get well quick, RT.

posted by lazarus | 10:02 | |
 

Just broke on the news, Bush and Cheney will testify before the full commission, but not in public (cowards), and Rice has finally figured out which story she's going with, so she's going to testify under oath, which means all the times she said she couldn't testify under oath, she was lying.

This should be fun. They just hung her out to dry.

posted by lazarus | 06:59 | |


Monday, March 29, 2004  

If the government was on high alert in the summer of 2001, as the Bush administratino has stated, why did Bush and Cheney go on a month's vacation in August of that year?

Just another question the "liberal media" isn't asking.

posted by lazarus | 21:53 | |
 

10 Commandments on the move in Boise:

Of course, it wasn't a decision made to honour the separation of church and state. "The city decided to move it last year to head off an attempt by Kansas preacher Fred Phelps to demand space to put up an anti-gay monument in the park."

posted by lazarus | 21:15 | |


Sunday, March 28, 2004  

On an ego-boost note, Ungodly Politics passed a milestone a couple of days ago I hadn't noticed. March 2004 became the first month we've had over 1,000 unique visits. Indeed, we've gone on and are now over 1,100 visits. Thank you, everybody who reads us and links to us.

posted by lazarus | 00:33 | |


Saturday, March 27, 2004  

Are we sure he can't just make it up later, like Bush did?

CNN.com - National Guard soldier charged with desertion: "The U.S. Army charged a Florida National Guard soldier, who went absent without leave while on a two-week break from duty in Iraq, with desertion, an Army spokesman said Saturday.
Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, of North Miami, Florida, will face a court martial, Staff Sgt. Brian Sipp, of Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, said."

posted by lazarus | 12:01 | |


Friday, March 26, 2004  

Hypocrisy, thy name is Bush administration:

The WTO, in its first decision on an Internet-related dispute, has ignited a political, cultural and legal tinderbox by ruling that the US policy prohibiting online gambling violates its obligations under international trade law.

The ruling, issued by a WTO panel on Wednesday, is being hailed by operators of online casinos based overseas as a major victory that could force America to liberalize laws outlawing their business.

But the George W. Bush administration vowed to appeal the decision, and several members of Congress said they would rather have an international trade war or withdraw from future rounds of the WTO than have American social policy dictated from abroad.

"It's appalling," said Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte. "It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the US and make it a trade issue."
I may stop laughing some time tomorrow.

posted by lazarus | 22:03 | |
 

And I'm sure we're going to be seeing Condi Rice testify under oath real soon about all of this, right? And we'll be seeing perjury charges, too, right?

Also, isn't it odd how quickly things become not very important to national security when it suits these people? Why not reveal who leaked Valerie Plame's identity? Why not release the Energy Meeting minutes? Why not release all the minutes of the meetings that Clarke has been talking about that are in dispute, that could settle all of this?

GOP Moves to Declassify Clarke Testimony: "Key Republicans in Congress sought Friday to declassify two-year-old testimony by former White House aide Richard Clarke, suggesting he may have lied this week when he faulted President Bush's handling of the war on terror.
'Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath,' Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said in a speech on the Senate floor.
The Tennessee Republican said he hopes Clarke's testimony in July 2002 before the House and Senate intelligence committees can be declassified. Then, he said, it can be compared with the account the former aide provided in his nationally televised appearance Wednesday before the bipartisan commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

posted by lazarus | 11:06 | |
 

Atheist Newdow Loses Suit on Prayer in Congress

The judge said it "was not enough to show Newdow had suffered sufficient injury." It was apparently also not enough that this is unconstitutional or anything like that.

Newdow is also arguing before the Supreme Court in the Pledge of Allegiance "under God" case. I'm sure that one's going to go well. After all, Antonin "Opus Dei" Scalia as stated:

"The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible. We have done that in this country... "

Yeah, he's going to approach this in a fair and balanced way.
Combine this court with the legislation passed yesterday basically banning abortion, a couple more judges, say John Ashcroft?, and the Taliban could soon find a new home right here.

posted by lazarus | 10:35 | |
 

A brief rebuttal of one of the Right Wing's favourite talking points about Richard Clarke: They've been going on and on about the fact that he's selling a book, and supposedly profit motive is tainting his honesty.

Let's ignore the fact that they're all covering their butts, and have a reason to lie as well, and look at just this one fact:

Would Richard Clarke have gotten anywhere near the coverage he's gotten, on 60 Minutes, the morning talk shows, Larry King Live, anywhere, had he not been selling a book? The media just doesn't work that way. They have to have a hook, and selling stuff is the prime focus of the media these days. Clarke is selling a book, and that fits the media's modus operandi perfectly.

So use that response the next time someone claims he's "just selling a book." Then ask them to actually refute a claim he's made.

posted by lazarus | 08:55 | |
 

First Amendment Rights
You may be unaware of this...


This message comes from Eric Lee of Labour Start
Many of you will remember that in early December, U.S. troops raided the headquarters of the Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU). During the raid, the troops sealed the building -- and today, more than 3 months later, the building is still sealed. The emerging democratic, independent trade union movement in Iraq is working without a headquarters, without office equipment, and without funds. Today, as in December, they are appealing to us to help.


Harry has asked that American readers of his blog let their elected leaders know of the injustice. I would also had that I may be a good idea to let the folks over at the SEIU, AFSCME let them know of this situation

posted by RogueTrooper | 03:35 | |


Thursday, March 25, 2004  

Time for Tom Daschle to go. He just joined Bingaman (D-NM), Breaux (D-LA), Carper (D-DE), Conrad (D-ND), Dayton (D-MN), Dorgan (D-ND), Landrieu (D-LA), Miller (D-GA), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Reid (D-NV), and Rockefeller (D-WV) in voting for the "Laci and Conner's Law. This is better known as the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act".



Whoever engages in conduct that violates any of the provisions of law listed in subsection (b) and thereby causes the death of, or bodily injury (as defined in section 1365) to, a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this section.

`(2)(A) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the punishment for that separate offense is the same as the punishment provided under Federal law for that conduct had that injury or death occurred to the unborn child's mother.

`(B) An offense under this section does not require proof that--

`(i) the person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying offense was pregnant; or

`(ii) the defendant intended to cause the death of, or bodily injury to, the unborn child.

`(C) If the person engaging in the conduct thereby intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child, that person shall instead of being punished under subparagraph (A), be punished as provided under sections 1111, 1112, and 1113 of this title for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.

`(D) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the death penalty shall not be imposed for an offense under this section.

`(b) The provisions referred to in subsection (a) are the following:

`(1) Sections 36, 37, 43, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 229, 242, 245, 247, 248, 351, 831, 844(d), (f), (h)(1),
and (i), 924(j), 930, 1111, 1112, 1113, 1114, 1116, 1118, 1119, 1120, 1121, 1153(a), 1201(a), 1203, 1365(a), 1501, 1503, 1505, 1512, 1513, 1751, 1864, 1951, 1952 (a)(1)(B), (a)(2)(B), and (a)(3)(B), 1958, 1959, 1992, 2113, 2114, 2116, 2118, 2119, 2191, 2231, 2241(a), 2245, 2261, 2261A, 2280, 2281, 2332, 2332a, 2332b, 2340A, and 2441 of this title.


`(2) Section 408(e) of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 848(e)).

`(3) Section 202 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2283).

`(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the prosecution--

`(1) of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law;

`(2) of any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child; or

`(3) of any woman with respect to her unborn child.

`(d) As used in this section, the term `unborn child' means a child in utero, and the term `child in utero' or `child, who is in utero' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.'.

Is that a slippery slope I see before me? Also worrying is that three of these names (Landrieu, Nelson, and Rockefeller) I've heard bandied about as VP candidates.

Can we at least put that idea to rest now?

posted by lazarus | 17:16 | |
 

Say hello to a brand new blog, The Panda's Thumb. "Dedicated to explaining the theory of evolution, critiquing the claims of the anti-evolution movement, and defending the integrity of science and science education in America and around the world."

I can't think of much that's more important right now, to be honest. Visit often. This is a critical fight, these folks look to be quite good at pointing out the glaring idiocy of the anti-evolution/anti-science crowd. Hooray for them!

posted by lazarus | 14:16 | |
 

International Man of Intellectual Property Rights
I hope somebody sorted out the property rights, for this shocker. If I was Mike Myers, I would be pissed, baby.

posted by RogueTrooper | 10:27 | |
 

Zell Miller, you're a Wanker


WASHINGTON -- The Bush-Cheney campaign Wednesday unleashed its most famous Democratic booster, Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, to make the case that presidential candidate John Kerry advocates policies inconsistent with some of history's most popular Democratic presidents.
Miller, a Georgian who is the lone Democratic senator to back publicly President Bush's re-election bid, criticized Kerry in a speech announcing his leadership of a national "Democrats for Bush" effort. He was joined by a handful of lesser-known Democrats, but the campaign said it would release a more comprehensive list in the coming weeks.
The popular former governor cited the policies of Democratic Presidents John F. Kennedy and Harry S. Truman while contending that Kerry, not Bush, is outside the mainstream on issues ranging from tax cuts to war.

Of course, now that Zig Zag Zell, in a fit of supremely good judgment, is supporting the most corrupt President in the United State's history, he can pretend he never said good things about John Kerry. Zell, drinking from the Bush Administration's lying liars Kool Aid

Miller has not always been so dismissive of Kerry. At the Georgia Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in 2001, he introduced Kerry as one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders and a good friend.
In remarks reported in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miller continued, In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington. Miller said Kerry fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so.

At the end of the year, praise be, Zell Miller is leaving the Senate. Don't let the door hitcha where the good Lord splitcha, when you leave Zell.

posted by RogueTrooper | 10:08 | |


Wednesday, March 24, 2004  

Via The Daily Howler comes Michael Kinsley's excellent rebuttal of Bush's laughable claim of Kerry's '350 Tax Increases'.

Bush really can't help but tell a lie. I think it's just pathological, to be honest.

posted by lazarus | 09:36 | |


Tuesday, March 23, 2004  

This is just beyond cool.

optics.org - News - Concrete casts new light in dull rooms (March 2004): "The days of dull, grey concrete could be about to end. A Hungarian architect has combined the world's most popular building material with optical fiber from Schott to create a new type of concrete that transmits light.

A wall made of "LitraCon" allegedly has the strength of traditional concrete but thanks to an embedded array of glass fibers can display a view of the outside world, such as the silhouette of a tree, for example. "
There are pictures, go look! Apparently, there is no loss of strength, you can build load bearing walls, and the fibers can transmit the light up to 20 meters. Amazing.

posted by lazarus | 07:56 | |


Monday, March 22, 2004  

Just added a few new links to the roll, so go say hi to Dialogic, THE FULCRUM, From the Mind of Sam Vimes, and What's in Scott's head.

posted by lazarus | 16:59 | |
 

"The government today told the makers of 10 popular antidepressants to add to their labels the warning that people who take them should be monitored for suicidal behavior."

Holy Frelling Crap, people. Yes, by all means, let's put a warning on the bottles:

PEOPLE WHO ARE DEPRESSED SHOULD BE MONITORED FOR POSSIBLE SUICIDE ATTEMPTS.

IN OTHER NEWS, FIRE IS HOT, AND WATER IS WET.


Goddamn these people piss me off.

Some clarification: I like anti-depressants, when necessary. They can be a real life-saver. What is ticking me off, possibly beyond rational measure, is the illogic here. Depressed people are likely to attempt suicide. Depressed people take anti-depressants.

And these FDA people are now thinking it's the anti-depressants that are causing the suicide attempts?

posted by lazarus | 14:16 | |
 

Bush's reelection campaign is focused on his "leadership". His "leadership" in the War on Terror, his "leadership" on 9/11 and the days immediately after. Leadership, leadership, leadership.

I don't know how many of you have been in the military, but I was. Granted, I only did one enlistment, but that was enough to learn some lessons. My wife is a retired Navy Chief, plenty to learn a LOT of lessons; she and I had the same epiphany last night, watching Stephen Hadley talk about Bush's leadership on the War on Terror:

In the military, when you can't manage to come up with anything specific to say about someone, any actual accomplishments that someone has made, but you still want to give them a good write-up, you talk a lot about their "leadership". "This sailor demonstrated a great deal of leadership during the period in question." That's standard write-up talk for, "This sailor didn't do a damned thing, but I don't want to say it."

Leadership is an easy thing to talk about, because you don't have to talk about specifics. You don't have to mention jobs, just leadership on the economy; you don't have to mention actual terrorist acts prevented (or not, see: Madrid), just leadership on terrorism.

You don't have to show what you did. You don't have to have a record. You can just say you showed leadership. That's as fuzzy as it gets.

And it's a sign of incredible weakness. The Bush people are admitting they have no record to run on, in the War on Terror, foreign policy, or any other area they use "leadership" as a primary focus of the campaign. It's up to us to exploit it, by pointing out the lack of a record, by asking exactly what Bush has done that qualifies as "leadership."

Clarke started last night by sneeringly referring to Bush's "nice speech" a week after 9/11. Let's keep it up.

posted by lazarus | 08:41 | |
 

Ouch!

Steve Bell is the Guardian's main cartoonist.

posted by RogueTrooper | 03:42 | |


Sunday, March 21, 2004  

Google Search: left arrow

Check the lower right hand image. Check the source of that image.

Hilarious.

posted by lazarus | 15:55 | |
 

Daily Kos has an ongoing investigation into Vance, Int'l, that is scaring the crap out of me. Go read.

posted by lazarus | 15:24 | |
 

From Australia comes a claim that al Qaeda has suitcase nukes.

A few comments. First, I doubt it. Why wouldn't they have used them already? Unless they're waiting for the Olympics or a Convention this summer.

Second, if they do have them, yes, as predicted, I can easily blame the Bush administration. Bush cut funding to the program Clinton set up to buy up and otherwise prevent the spread of nukes from the former Soviet Union. His administration also cut a deal to let Pakistan's nuclear Typhoid Mary off the hook, something we've since found out Cheney has known about since the 80's.

Finally, what may be the most important bit of the article:

Mir describe al-Zawahri as "the real brain behind Osama bin Laden."

"He is the real strategist, Osama bin Laden is only a front man," Mir was quoted as saying during the interview. "I think he is more dangerous than bin Laden."

So just ignore bin Laden. Ignore the fact that we haven't caught him yet. We'll be getting this guy real soon.

How many "masterminds" have we caught already?

On edit: Sucks being psychic. I just saw this, not 15 minutes after posting the above.

DNA tests on corpse will reveal if it is Bin Laden's deputy

....(General Safdar Hussain, the Peshawar corps commander) said he believed the “gentleman” (al-Zawahiri) was hurt while trying to escape in one of three armoured vehicles that had attempted to break through a Pakistani cordon on Tuesday.

Two of the cars were shot at and crashed, but a third escaped in a cloud of dust. Safdar admitted, however, that the injured person might also be Thuraya, an Uzbek leader.

A senior American official involved in the hunt for Bin Laden said that al-Zawahiri may already be dead. According to his version of events, the Egyptian was in the escaping car and was shot by Taskforce 121, the shadowy rapid reaction force comprising special forces and CIA agents that had helped to capture Saddam Hussein last December.

The body, he said, had been retrieved from the wreckage and was undergoing DNA tests to confirm whether it was that of al-Zawahiri. In deference to the US forces’ hosts, any announcement was being delayed to make it look as if it were a Pakistani-run operation, as well as to have time to use any information garnered to capture other fighters....

posted by lazarus | 13:18 | |


Friday, March 19, 2004  

From the "No, this isn't shocking at all file":


Newsday.com - Business: Long Island and New York City: "The official merchandise Web site for President George W. Bush's re-election campaign has sold clothing made in Burma, whose goods were banned by Bush from the U.S. last year to punish its military dictatorship.

The merchandise sold on www.georgewbushstore.com includes a $49.95 fleece pullover, embroidered with the Bush-Cheney '04 logo and bearing a label stating it was made in Burma, now Myanmar. The jacket was sent to Newsday as part of an order that included a shirt made in Mexico and a hat not bearing a country-of-origin label.

The Bush merchandise is handled by Spalding Group, a 20-year-old supplier of campaign products and services in Louisville, Ky., that says it worked for the last five Republican presidential nominees.

Ted Jackson, Spalding's president, said, 'We have found only one other in our inventory that was made in Burma. The others were made in the U.S.A.' He said the company had about 60 of thefleece pullovers in its warehouse, and that a supplier included the Burma product by mistake.

Bush campaign officials did not return calls seeking comment. The imports are potentially an issue because outsourcing has become a hot political topic in the election.

Bush last July signed into law the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, saying 'The United States will not waver from its commitment to the cause of democracy and human rights in Burma.'

Violators of the import ban are subject to fines and jail, according to the U.S. Treasury Department."
Oh, but how about Kerry?
The Kerry merchandise was made in the United States, according to Mark Weiner, the president of Financial Innovations. The company, whose employees belong to the Communications Workers of America Union, sources most of its merchandise from union factories.

"It's becoming more difficult to find American-made union product, especially in textiles, but you just have to look. We pay more money for them, so we make a smaller profit margin," said Paul McConnell, Financial Innovations' vice president.


Imagine that. Nation above profit.

Now why isn't this in a campaign commercial?

posted by lazarus | 08:00 | |
 

High Noon voted top western

First, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" is one of the finest films ever made.

So it deserves to be higher on this list. Much higher. As in #1. Unforgiven is a deserving #2, being also one of the most quotable films of all time.

"Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."

"Dances With Wolves" shouldn't be anywhere near a Top Ten list, ever, under any circumstances. That's just wrong. Bloated, self-indulgent crap.

It can be summed up with this: Costner's character is "going native", so he falls for an Indian maiden. But he just happens to fall for an "Indian maiden" who is a white woman who was captured as a child and raised as an Indian. Because we couldn't have Our Hero actually sully himself with a dark woman, could we?

If you want to see a film about the conflict of Europe and Native Americans done right, rent "Black Robe".

posted by lazarus | 07:45 | |


Thursday, March 18, 2004  

The Guardian

Greg Palast has managed to bag an interview with Iraq's first Pro-Consul, Jay Gardener, for the BBC's excellent Newsnight programme. The Guardian has some of the skinny...


Jay Garner, the US general abruptly dismissed as Iraq's first occupation administrator after a month in the job, says he fell out with the Bush circle because he wanted free elections and rejected an imposed programme of privatisation.

Despite being a protege of Mr Rumsfeld, Gen Garner was the subject of what was alleged to be a White House whispering campaign, describing him as weak.

A year after the invasion, his disclosure of policy differences with the White House highlights the dilemma still faced by the US occupation forces.

US readers can watch Newsnight from the comfort of their own home

posted by RogueTrooper | 13:44 | |
 

The Daily Howler is, as usual, incomparable. If you don't read it every day, why not?

posted by lazarus | 09:10 | |


Wednesday, March 17, 2004  

Our Kung Fu


WASHINGTON - A new television ad by a liberal interest group admits President Bush has created jobs - "in places like China" - while another anti-Bush spot accuses the president of lying to Americans about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.
The Media Fund and MoveOn.org, groups working on behalf of Democrats but independently from presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry, are running the ads in battleground states where Bush is on the air.

The Bush response?

"This is another example of bitter partisan groups blatantly using illegal soft money to create a shadow Democratic Party in order to defeat President Bush," said Scott Stanzel, a Bush campaign spokesman.

Smear the messenger, of course.

posted by RogueTrooper | 12:51 | |
 

Well, they never said exactly where they'd be creating all those new jobs this year, did they?

Powell Reassures India on Technology Jobs: "Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, encountering the other side of a tempestuous debate in the United States, sought to assure Indians on Tuesday that the Bush administration would not try to halt the outsourcing of high-technology jobs to their country."

posted by lazarus | 10:06 | |
 

It should be Noted
We should not waste time being outraged by the behaviour of George W. Bush and his Parcel O Rogues. I know this may seem counter-intuitive to many on the left as, after all, much of what George W. Bush has done has been outrageous. Whether it be Stealing an election; warflogging his way into Iraq; politicising 9/11 for electoral gain; looting the treasury at the behest of his grasping campaign donors; and then fibbing about the consequences; George W. Bush is no stranger to outrageous behaviour. George W. Bush is counting on our outrage for his re(s)election


And by exploding new campaign ads in the local and national news cycle as Kerry travels, BC04 is sure to get deep into framing the news debate on the day of release.

And, ABC News has observed and learned, the secondary explosions might be cleverly designed to go well BEYOND the day of release.

Various Senate officials tell ABC News that the use of footage from the Senate floor in yesterday's new ad is an apparent violation of the chamber's rules. More on that below.

A Bush adviser concedes that courting controversy by including edgy images (the 9/11 stuff, the French Job, and, now, the Senate floor material) is a great way to ensure days and days of free media coverage to amplify the campaign's message and fight things out on their terms.

The President's admakers didn't sit around for months, spending millions of dollars before a single ad aired, twiddling their collective thumbs. And they don't casually choose the images they use — or fail to consult lawyers and communications experts about them.

George W. Bush may be a lying, crookedpsychopathh but he is a cunning lying, crooked psychopathh. Because of his lies, and ourineffectivee outrage, George W. Bush is starting to have a good war. Kos has something to say on this

That was quick. After weeks of the defensive, the Bush campaign and its apologists have ridden the Spain bombings into a fairly coherent and very effective counterattack. After weeks of attack, it is Kerry that is on the defensive.
It started with the Spain bombings, and the developing GOoPer and warblogger argument (firstidentifiedd by Big Media Matt) that if there are no terrorist attacks through election day, then Bush has made us safer. And if there is an attack before election day, changing leadership would be an act of appeasement.

You have to marvel at the effective simplicity of that stupid ass argument.

...snip...

Every time Bush lies, it forces Kerry to set the record straight, taking him off message and wasting a news cycle in the process. The last few days have shown the tactic works better than the truth, and expect a lot more of this crap over the next half-year.

George W. Bush has been talking his way out of trouble all his life and there are few better, or more practiced. George W. Bush's campaign strategy is not just one born out of necessity but out of choice. There will always be some poor son of a bitch with whom he can pin the blame; and there will always be a gaggle of minions, on hand, to make sure it sticks. We need a strategy that will constantly put Bush on the back foot; that will never give him enough time to regain his composure and will never give him the time to launch the type of concerted, coordinated attack he has used in the past to squash Democratic challengers.

posted by RogueTrooper | 08:12 | |


Tuesday, March 16, 2004  

The Reign in Spain
I was not planning to say much regarding the recent general election in Spain. However, Harry posted something interesting on his blog and it has got me thinking.

Firstly, I am inclined to agree with the view that the results of Spanish general election had less to do with a victory of "Al Queda" and more to do with the incompetence of the previous government of Spain. Two events conspired to send Spain's Conservative government packing. Their desperate attempts to pin the blame on Eta, a charge George W. Bush tried to substantiate; and an increase in voter turnout, which favoured the Socialists.


There one other psephelogical point to make. It is that it is entirely possible the Spanish election results had much less to do with the politics of the Madrid bombing than many are saying. Early campaign opinion polls indicated that the Popular party might win c168-72 seats, while the socialists would win c140-45. In the end, the Socialists got 164, the PP 148.

Crucially, turnout leapt from 69% to 77%. The reason for this could simply be a sense of civic responsibility in the wake of disaster. That alone could account for much of the socialist victory, as voters who don't usually vote trend to the left (they are usually younger and poorer) . That is, if they do vote, they're more likely to vote socialist. The bombings may simply have brought thousands more socialist voters to the polls.

As you may have noticed, the right wing are squealing about this turn of events. It is a victory for Al-Queda. The Spanish are cowards. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, This is all pretty standard, reprehensible stuff from the usual suspects. Matthew Yglesias puts it in a slightly different context.

But of course logic has nothing to do with this. The right would like to set up the following argument: If there are no attacks between now and the election, then Bush has defended us from terror and deserves re-election; if there is an attack between now and the election, then voting for Kerry would be appeasement.

Worrying.


posted by RogueTrooper | 06:34 | |
 

According to the NY Times, "some Iraqi leaders now balk at giving U.N. a big role, specifically regarding the elections.

To quote one: "There is a track record that shows the U.N. is not efficient in these things," Mr. Qanbar said.

I see. And he presumably is hoping that ES&S and Diebold will be providing the equipment? Has he not seen the efficiency of the US at elections? Even Vladimir Putin is cracking jokes about our ability to run a fair election, and these puppets are going to criticise the UN?

Hilarious.

posted by lazarus | 04:55 | |


Monday, March 15, 2004  

But they're not crooked, so stop saying that.

Videos with fake journalists lauding Medicare law under scrutiny: "Congressional investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law.
The videos, a hybrid of advertising and journalism, are intended for use in local television news programs. Several include images of President Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd cheering as he signed the Medicare drug-benefit law on Dec. 8.
The materials were produced by the Health and Human Services Department, but the source is not identified. Two videos end with the voice of a woman who says, 'In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting.'
But the production company, Home Front Communications, said it had hired Ryan to read a script written by the government."
snip
Federal law prohibits the use of federal money for "publicity or propaganda purposes" not authorized by Congress.

Kevin Keane, a Health and Human Services spokesman, said there was nothing nefarious about the broadcast materials, which he said had been distributed to television stations across the country. He said by law the government is required to inform beneficiaries about changes in Medicare.
Unbelievable, until you realise it's the Republicans doing it. Then it becomes easy to believe. There is absolutely no limit to ethics or legal violations for these bastards. They quite simply don't care. The law does not apply to them.

posted by lazarus | 04:41 | |


Sunday, March 14, 2004  

Why I'm happy Bush is going to run on The War on Terror

Key point in the article:


A former senior counterterrorism official in the Bush administration points out that "there have been more major terror attacks in the 30 months since 9/11 than in the 30 months before."


Basically, things are getting wildly out of hand. Had we approached al Qaeda from a police operations strategy and tried to scoop them up, we might have done some real damage. But instead, as the article says, it's possible "that giant American fist has effectively smashed down on a blob of mercury, sending it in myriad directions and making it all but untraceable." The "flypaper strategy" hasn't worked. Instead, we've created even more terrorists, and aimed them at us and our allies.

Nice going, W. Way to make us safer.

posted by lazarus | 04:13 | |


Saturday, March 13, 2004  

Atlantis candidate asks for recount

According to Florida state law, there had to be a machine recount because the race was closer than 0.5%.

Of course, it was done on paperless electronic machines. Suprise! There are 41 of 42 "undervotes" on those ballots, but how are they supposed to figure out what's up?

See, this is how they fixed the chad problem. No ballots, no chads, no problems. Just go away, and assume that the computers never make a mistake. Doesn't matter that it's illegal to have a system where some counties can have recounts and some can't. Doesn't matter that state law requires manual recounts be done, but you can't do manual recounts with electronic voting.

Doesn't matter that the source code is being kept secret, in violation of federal election law.

Since the brothers who own Diebold and ES&S, the two companies that own 2/3 of the electronic voting industry, are good Republicans and Dominionists who love Bush and Ashcroft, who, exactly, is going to stop them?

posted by lazarus | 00:31 | |


Friday, March 12, 2004  

Rumsfeld Kept 9-11 Souvenir So that's where that black box went....

Does anybody else think this is sort of sick? He kept a piece of the airplane and building "on his desk to remember the terrorist attacks." Gee, Don, some of us don't need mementos to remember the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history that occured on your watch.

posted by lazarus | 22:16 | |
 

Well, is this surprising?

"Washington has been channelling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the political opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - including those who briefly overthrew the democratically elected leader in a coup two years ago.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that, in 2002, America paid more than a million dollars to those political groups in what it claims is an ongoing effort to build democracy and 'strengthen political parties'. Mr Chavez has seized on the information, telling Washington to 'get its hands off Venezuela'."
More disturbing is who's doing it. It's not the CIA, it's the Orwellian-named National Endowment for Democracy:
The funding has been made by the National Endowment For Democracy (NED) a non-profit agency financed entirely by Congress. (Note that, although it's financed by Congress, its website calls it a private organisation) It distributes $40m (?22m) a year to various groups in what it says is an effort to strengthen democracy.

But critics of the NED say the organisation routinely meddles in other countries' affairs to support groups that believe in free enterprise, minimal government intervention in the economy and opposition to socialism in any form. In recent years, the NED has channelled funds to the political opponents of the recently ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the same time that Washington was blocking loans to his government.
The NED has some seriously unsavory people on the Board of Directors: Julie Finley, Vin Weber, Bill Frist, and Francis Fukuyama.

Many of these people are members of PNAC, the evil organisation that came up with the brilliant idea of going to war with everybody all the time. You know, Cheney, Wolfowitz, that Gang of Idiots.

The most disturbing members of NED, however, are Evan Bayh and Wes Clark, both of whom are purportedly being considered for the Democratic VP slot. I think Democrats are entitled to answers from these gentlemen, and quickly, about their involvement with this group, and this group's involvement in Venezuela and Haiti.

Update: It's been brought to my attention that Vin Weber, mentioned above as being on the Board of NED, is also a lobbyist for ChoicePoint, the folks Jeb Bush hired to scrub the voter registration rolls in Florida.

Just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? A couple of weeks ago, John Kerry criticised Bush for not funding the NED enough.

"O, Canada, our home and native land....."

posted by lazarus | 21:22 | |
 

Bush is at it again:

"U.S. President George W. Bush has marked International Women's Week by paying tribute to women reformers -- but one of those he cited is really a man.
'Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi Jahmi. She's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy,' the president said in a speech at the White House on Friday.
The only problem was that, by all other accounts, 'she' is in fact 'he'. "

posted by lazarus | 20:34 | |
 

Way Cool Time Waster

What's your Cyborg Name?

posted by RogueTrooper | 09:19 | |
 

Note to George W. Bush
Yesterday I was watching the news and witnessed a particularly ill timed piece of Bush stupidity.
The Basque terrorist organisation called Eta is is not pronounced E.T.A.; it is pronounced Eta, you idiot.

posted by RogueTrooper | 05:45 | |
 

Congressman David Dreier was on CNN with Lou Dobbs last night. It was one of the sillier performances I've seen. Very Orwellian. You know - trade deficit good, job outsourcing is good, remain calm, all is well. He actually said, "we've seen a tremendous increase in the number of computer software engineering jobs over the past few years." Yeah, that'll do wonders for the folks losing their jobs from closing chicken plants in the rural south, Dave.

But here's the bit I really found interesting. At one point, he said, "Do you know that 93 percent of what the United States exports to Australia today are actually manufactured goods and, under this agreement, 99 percent of them will be able to go terror-free into Australia."

99% are terror-free? So one percent of our manufactured goods are going to be really frightened on their way to Australia? What in the world does that even mean?

Is this the Republican strategy, to just mention terror in everything?

Could they be any more transparent or pathetic?

posted by lazarus | 01:11 | |


Thursday, March 11, 2004  

Have you ever wondered what The Guardian looks like?
The Guardian Unlimited gets about 8 milllion visitors a month, with about 2 million of these visitors coming from the United States. Now, The Guardian is very famous for it's award winning photo journalism which, if you only read The Guardian online you cannot see.



I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Guardian's design might be a little alien to Americans, who are more used to the ( somewhat ) staid designs of US newspapers. However, if you think this the design is pretty cool and you would like to see what the Guardian looks like every day you can now subsribe to a new digital edition

posted by RogueTrooper | 06:22 | |
 

The Guardian is reporting that the ever expanding trade deficit has just had it's worst month. The deficit just expanded by a cool $43.1 billion ( ~£30 billion ). This part of the article is particularly worrying...


The trade deficit with China, a particular bugbear for the Bush administration, rose to $11.5bn in January, compared with $9.4bn a year earlier.

US treasury officials have put heavy pressure on Beijing to abandon the renminbi's peg to the dollar which they blame for keeping Chinese exports artificially cheap.

But the Chinese authorities have shown little appetite for letting their currency appreciate, which could choke growth.

Has Team Bush left the US economy beholden to Communist China? It would seem so.

posted by RogueTrooper | 04:23 | |
 

Lou Dobbs seems to have found himself on the wrong side of the Mighty Wurlitzer. Apparently Mr. Dobbs had the audacity to criticise George W. Bush's disastrous economic policies. Rather than address Mr. Dobb's issues head on, his critics decided to resort to the tried and tested right wing strategy of character assassination. Fortunately, for us mere mortals, Mr. Dobbs has decided to fight back...


I will tell you it does make a fellow think when attacked so energetically and so personally. But in none of the attacks on my position on outsourcing has a single columnist or news organization seen fit to deal with the facts.

Number one: We're not creating jobs in the private sector, and that's never happened before in our history. Our economists and politicians need to be coming up with answers, not dogma.

Number two: We haven't had a trade surplus in this country in more than two decades, and our trade deficit continues to soar.

Number three: We've lost three million jobs in this country over the last three years, and millions more American jobs are at risk of being outsourced to cheap overseas labor markets.

That seems to me, at least, to be more than sufficient evidence for all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, to question critically the policies of both parties that have led us to this critical juncture in our economy and our history.


CNN has also decided to join the fray.

posted by RogueTrooper | 03:25 | |


Wednesday, March 10, 2004  

Group launches 'defend marriage' campaign...
Technically, they're opposed to gay marriage. Wouldn't it make more sense, if they're wanting to defend marriage, if they would just oppose divorce? After all, divorce ends more marriages than gay marriage does.

Right?

posted by lazarus | 22:47 | |
 

LA Times


Democratic, GOP Groups Target Bush in New TV Ads
WASHINGTON — President Bush comes under attack in two television advertising campaigns being launched today, one by a Democratic-leaning group and the other by a gay Republican organization.

A $5-million campaign by the Media Fund, run by prominent Democratic consultant Harold Ickes, and the $1-million effort by the Log Cabin Republicans are part of an intensifying political ad war in the week since Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination.


Serve's him right for trying to pander hate mongers.

posted by RogueTrooper | 15:51 | |
 

I am inclined to agree with Josh

The president gave a speech today in Cleveland, Ohio. And I'm told he told the audience that while the decision to go to war against Iraq was a sign of his leadership, the ill-effects which the lead-up to the war had on the economy were the fault of excessively bellicose media coverage.

As we've been saying, campaign slogan: It's not my fault.

George W. Bush is most certainly running on the campaign theme of responsibility avoidance.. Whilst this is not Bush's first choice as a campaign stragtegy, avoiding responsibility for his own incompetence is a well worn path in George W. Bush's life.

Thus far, it does not seem to be working quite the way Bush was hoping.

posted by RogueTrooper | 13:59 | |
 

CNN.com - Florida county orders recount in primary - Mar 10, 2004Election officials in Bay County, Florida, plan to recount all of the almost 20,000 ballots cast in Tuesday's presidential primary because of vote-counting irregularities, election Supervisor Mark Andersen said Wednesday.
This doesn't sound familiar at all, does it?

Remember, the Florida Secretary of State has been all over the media telling everyone that everything's just fine, and it's all been taken care of, and there won't be a repeat of 2000. At least this was on optical scan, and not on touch screen, and they can actually have a recount.

No recounts are possible in most precincts in Florida, which is illegal.

posted by lazarus | 12:29 | |
 

Our greatest living writer has done it again:

Hunter S Thompson - Bush's disturbing sleeping disorderThe national news was crowded with big stories this week, and most of them turned out to be somehow joined at the hip with major league Sports -- especially Football and its sinister connections with tainted money and naked women. It was shocking.

"This is horrible news," I said to Anita, as Janet Jackson's tortured right nipple was rubbed in our face for the 55th time in three days. "Nobody remembers the final score in Houston, but we ALL witnessed the shameless quasi-naked sight of that breast and S&M-style nipple shield."

It was like having football and porno all at once, with no holds barred ... Or that's what they said on TV, anyway. CBS News Wizard Ed Bradley called it a magic moment for show business.


But not in the White House. George Bush went out of his way to announce formally that he went to sleep long before the end of the first half.

What kind of all-American boy would say a stupid thing like that while he's running for re-election? Only a fool would deliberately insult the whole Football Nation, at a nervous time when polls show his Job Approval Rating plunging below 50 percent for the first time since he took office in January of 2001. That is like stabbing yourself in the back while you're preparing to fight for your life on a street corner. It is dumb, and so is the dingbat who told Bush to say it.

(snip)

Was he drunk? Does he fear the sight of an uncovered nipple? Was he lying? Does he believe in his heart that there are more evangelical Christians in this country than football fans and sex-crazed yoyos with unstable minds? Is he really as dumb as he looks and acts?

These are all unsatisfactory questions at a time like this. Is it possible that he has already abandoned all hope of getting re-elected? Or does he plan to cancel the Election altogether by declaring a national military emergency with terrorists closing in from all sides, leaving him with no choice but to launch a huge bomb immediately?

All these things are possible, unfortunately, in a White House that is drowning in it's own failures. Desperate men do desperate things, and stupid men do stupid things. We are in for a desperately stupid summer.

posted by lazarus | 12:13 | |


Tuesday, March 09, 2004  

Well, I picked up a pitchfork, joined the mob, and took the Libertarian Purity Test with everybody else. Scored a 19. Not much of a libertarian. I think Libertarianism is fairly silly, to be honest.

posted by lazarus | 11:51 | |
 

The Death of Local Radio

This post reminded of a time I was a DJ, for WVUA. That was, and most likely still is, the college station for the University of Alabama.

As opposed to "hit radio" or "Top 40" or this accursed Clear Channel crap, we had a fantastic format. It was, of course, on vinyl (early 80s). Considered "Album Oriented Rock." Everything was split into 5 categories.

1. Max rotation
2. About to become max rotation, or just left max rotation
3. Oldies
4. The at-the-time new designation "college rock" or "new wave"
5. Stuff that was popular a few months ago that you got sick of

What was best about this was the freedom the DJs had. The rotatino was set up by a pie chart. It went something like: 1, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 5, 3, etc. With commercials and news breaks thrown in. Everything but oldies were set in boxes by the DJ station in order, so you ran the albums in order. However, you didn't have to play any particular song off each album. And oldies were up to you.

And you obviously had to mix and match to make the times fit. One thing I learned: If you only had three minutes left, you always went for the Beatles or Ramones.

Part of the fun of this for DJs and listeners was the discovery of new songs. You got to play tracks that didn't get played on Top 40 stations, tracks that were never released as singles. And that sold albums.

The next time the RIAA complains that they can't sell any CDs because of downloaders, remember the last time you listened to music on the radio. I don't even bother any more. I don't listen to oldies stations, either. Same old crap, over and over. All piped in from a central station in San Antonio.

I remember the first time I encountered this back in late '80s. It was in Corpus Christi, Texas. I was hanging out with friends, and one of them was a DJ. I went down to the station with her, eager to visit the old days.

Not a record player in the place. Nothing but a couple of big reel to reels and a satellite feed. All she was there to do was push buttons and do local PSAs. Horrible.

I honestly think one could track the decline of record sales with the decline of locally produced radio.

posted by lazarus | 11:35 | |
 

New descriptor in honour of our international makeup.

posted by lazarus | 09:37 | |
 

Mel Gibson's Medieval Christianity

As you all may know Mel Gibson is a religious fanatic. However, it was not his fault as he inherited his barmy God bothering ways from his old man: Hutton Gibson. Mel's dad profoundly disapproved of Vatican II and is an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier. Like a good father he passed his values onto his son.

Now, as an old fashioned Catholic Mel is clearly not just content with spreading a bit of Jew hating around the planet. Nope, he is also making some coin from the suffering of his Lord and Saviour ( a note to the Bible Believing Christians(c) don't wear your Nail Pendants during the Second Coming. Jebus might just send your ass to HELL on a flashback ). A practice not seen since Christianity was Medieval and people like Geoffrey Chaucer were satirising this hypocrisy has been resurrected for the 21th Centuary. Charming.

A Question: If you are a Protestant and buy these Pardoner's trinkets do you go to Hell for Idolatry?



My thanks to Laz for inviting me to his blog.

ps As a good Scot I would like to "thank" Mr. Gibson for making s**t up about my country's history in that piece of nonesense "Braveheart." Idiot.

posted by RogueTrooper | 07:59 | |
 

A quick introduction: I'd like to welcome a new member to Ungodly Politics. RogueTrooper is an old friend of mine. He lives in Southern Scotland (London, particularly), and is a good liberal, of course. He's a regular poster on Democratic Underground, and is also a frequent commenter on this blog. And there's no good reason I haven't asked him to join the blog before this except my own silliness and lack of imagination.

posted by lazarus | 07:24 | |


Saturday, March 06, 2004  

9NEWS.com - Newsroom: "A Denver synagogue was damaged with graffiti overnight. Swastikas were drawn on the synagogue on south Monaco Parkway."

But "The Passion" isn't going to cause any anti-Semitism at all, so stop saying that.

posted by lazarus | 22:41 | |
 

I'm trying to figure out how this is not censorship.

The party that controls all three branches of government is warning the media not to air ads that attack it? In the words of Homer Simpson, did we lose a war?


CNN.com - RNC tells TV stations not to run anti-Bush ads - Mar 6, 2004: "The Republican National Committee is warning television stations across the country not to run ads from the MoveOn.org Voter Fund that criticize President Bush, charging that the left-leaning political group is paying for them with money raised in violation of the new campaign-finance law.
'As a broadcaster licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, you have a responsibility to the viewing public, and to your licensing agency, to refrain from complicity in any illegal activity,' said the RNC's chief counsel, Jill Holtzman Vogel, in a letter sent to about 250 stations Friday.
'Now that you have been apprised of the law, to prevent further violations of federal law, we urge you to remove these advertisements from your station's broadcast rotation.'
But MoveOn.org's lawyer, Joseph Sandler, said in a statement that the ads were funded legally, calling the RNC's letter 'a complete misrepresentation of the law.'
'The federal campaign laws have permitted precisely this use of money for advertising for the past 25 years,' he said.
And MoveOn.org, which was planning to spend $1.9 million on an ad buy that started Thursday, said Friday that it would spend another $1 million.
'Soft money' targeted
The RNC charges that because the ads are designed to help defeat President Bush, the group cannot pay for them with unlimited 'soft money' contributions but only with contributions raised in amounts less than $5,000.
Although MoveOn.org is a so-called 'Section 527' organization that is legally allowed to raise soft money in unlimited amounts from donors, the new campaign-finance law prohibits the group from using those funds to pay for ads that directly attack Bush, Vogel said."

posted by lazarus | 15:53 | |


Friday, March 05, 2004  

Report Finds Republican Aides Spied on Democrats: "For 18 months, at least two Republican Senate staff aides engaged in unauthorized and possibly illegal spying by reading Democratic strategy memorandums on a Senate computer system, according to a report released on Thursday by the Senate sergeant-at-arms."


Does anybody still believe that the Republicans are even remotely interested in following the law, or even being honest in anything? Do these people break rules and lie just for fun?

posted by lazarus | 01:37 | |


Wednesday, March 03, 2004  

I'm having trouble expressing how disgusted I am at this.


AP Wire | 03/03/2004 | Bush Ads Use World Trade Center Imagery:

WASHINGTON - With a huge $10.5 million downpayment, President Bush's re-election committee rolled out its first campaign commercials on Wednesday, using images of the destroyed World Trade Center to claim "steady leadership in times of change."

"What sees us through tough times? Freedom, faith, families, and sacrifice," says one commercial, as clips roll of the Sept. 11, 2001, wreckage, a flag being raised, children saying the Pledge of Allegiance, parishioners at a church, parents with a new baby and firefighters appear.



The campaign had said it would not use Sept. 11, 2001, for political reasons, yet footage from the aftermath of the terrorists attacks is shown in the ads.

Campaign manager Ken Mehlman said the day was a defining moment that led to Bush's accomplishments, including passage of the Patriot Act and the war in Afghanistan that eliminated the Taliban rule. "These are important parts of this administration's record," he said.
There you have it. 9/11 is an important part of Bush's record. Let's run with it.

posted by lazarus | 19:16 | |
 

So, Kerry is our nominee.

I've said some fairly unkind things about him in the past, and I'm still not completely excited about him. I wish we had spent more time vetting and choosing a nominee, instead of rushing headlong into this choice. (Clinton only won 4 of the first 14 primaries, for example, in 1992.)

That said, I will enthusiastically vote for him in November. Bush has got to go.

The big question now, I guess, concerns the nominee for VP. Some of the names I've heard thrown out are horrible, Lieberman-esque choices. For example, Hillary Clinton and Dick Gephardt. Very, very bad.

I'm also not as enthralled with the idea of Bob Graham as some people seem to be. Yes, he was popular in Florida and he's smacked Bush around on 9/11 some, but he's apparently a charisma vacuum. His campaign went nowhere fast.

Edwards would be good, I guess, but I don't like the idea of both slots in the ticket being Senators, and being pro-war, anti-gay marriage folks.

Wesley Clark is a good choice, I feel, and he's already on the Kerry bandwagon. I'd almost rather see Clark as Sec. State or National Security Advisor, though.

Bill Richardson does some nice stuff with the demographics and regionality of the race, being from the Southwest, but he's apparently shot down the idea.

So I don't know who should be picked, to be honest. Maybe we can use the extreme down time Terry has gifted us with to make a reasoned and informed decision.

posted by lazarus | 16:09 | |
 

Democratic Underground Forums - Fox is upset about our use of their intellectual property.

Fox is suing someone else. DU has used a Homer Simpson icon to denote "dumb" in the Top Ten Conservative Idiots list for years.

Fox actually thinks this could confuse people into thinking that DU is run by Fox.

Personally, I agree with the poster who said DU should fight the lawsuit. Ask Al Franken; being sued by Fox is a gold mine. Heck, they even sued themselves.

posted by lazarus | 15:05 | |
 

Kansas City Star | 03/03/2004 | Hussein link to al-Qaida is nebulous: "The administration's claim that Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaida was apparently based on even less solid intelligence than statements that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons.

Nearly a year after U.S. and British troops invaded Iraq, no evidence has turned up to verify allegations of links between Hussein and al-Qaida, and several key parts of the Bush administration's case have either been proved false or seem increasingly doubtful.

Senior U.S. officials now say there never was any evidence that Hussein's secular police state and Osama bin Laden's Islamic terrorism network were in league. At most, there were occasional meetings.

Moreover, the U.S. intelligence community never concluded that those meetings had produced an operational relationship, American officials said. That verdict was in a secret report by the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence that was updated in January 2003, on the eve of the war.

"We could find no provable connection between Saddam and al-Qaida," a senior U.S. official acknowledged. He and others spoke on condition of anonymity, because the information involved is classified and could prove embarrassing to the White House."
So, no WMDs. No connection to al Qaeda.

Nothing but lies.

But at least he didn't get a blow job.

posted by lazarus | 04:59 | |


Tuesday, March 02, 2004  

Bush avoided attacking suspected terrorist mastermind:

Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
Let's say that again:
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.


Share this with a freeper next time they bring up that crap about bin Laden and Jordan and Clinton.

posted by lazarus | 21:15 | |
 

Wire reports are coming in about the wonderful new touch screens, particularly here in San Diego. Big problems.

I voted on them, and I feel violated, to be honest. No recount available, and nobody at the polling place had apparently thought about it. I caused a stink, to be honest. One guy tried to defend them, but fell apart fairly quickly.

When some San Diego poll workers plugged in machines, a screen for the Windows operating system and not the voting program appeared. Officials spent more than two hours getting all machines operating.

The problem, which apparently was triggered by a power fluctuation, affected between 10 percent and 15 percent of the county's 1,611 precincts, said Mike Workman, a San Diego County spokesman.

Officials said they were unsure how many voters had to leave for work before the problem was fixed.
So, how many voters were denied their right to vote due to this problem? And does anybody care?

posted by lazarus | 20:35 | |
 

The Australian: Explosions kill five in Iraq [March 02, 2004]: "SEVERAL explosions were heard in Karbala, where hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslim pilgrims are marking the mourning festival of Ashoura. At least five people were killed.

An Associated Press reporter said the streets were an absolute chaos with people running to seek shelter as a series of at least five explosions went off nearly simulataneously after 10 a.m. local time in and around the city, 80 kilometers (55 miles) south of Baghdad.
It wasn't known what the target of the explosions were."


CNN's reporter was saying that an Imam and others in the crowd are blaming the US.

Latest reports are nine explosions in two areas. This was well-coordinated and planned.

Civil war is on the way. I guess Bush will say this is more of a sign of our "success" in Iraq.

posted by lazarus | 00:18 | |


Monday, March 01, 2004  

Calpundit has an interesting take on the fragility of California refineries.

FYI, we're paying well over $2/gallon right now. $0.51/gallon increase. And Shell is closing its Bakersfield refinery.

We're getting jobbed again, as usual.

posted by lazarus | 14:58 | |
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