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Step off, old man!
Thursday, 21 October 2004
Bin Laden endorsement must be next
Wow, Bush is really racking up the important endorsements. From Yahoo news:


TEHRAN, Iran - The head of Iran's security council said Tuesday that the re-election of President Bush was in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaida terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country's nuclear ambitions.

Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body.

"We haven't seen anything good from Democrats," Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.

Though Iran generally does not publicly wade into U.S. presidential politics, it has a history of preferring Republicans over Democrats, who tend to press human rights issues.

"We do not desire to see Democrats take over," Rowhani said when asked if Iran was supporting Democratic Sen. John Kerry against Bush.

The Bush campaign said no thanks.

"It's not an endorsement we'll be accepting anytime soon," Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said. "Iran should stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons and if they continue in the direction they are going, then we will have to look at what additional action may need to be taken including looking to the U.N. Security Council."

Kerry, who says halting nuclear proliferation will be a priority if he becomes president, believes Bush should have done more diplomatically to curb Iran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions. He says Iran should be offered nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, but spent fuel should be taken back so it cannot be used to develop nuclear weapons.

"It is telling that this president has received the endorsement of member of the axis of evil," Kerry campaign spokeswoman Allison Dobson said. "But Americans deserve a president who will have a comprehensive strategy to address the potential threat of Iran's growing nuclear program."


Posted by brettdavey at 9:42 AM EDT
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Another grand success: Army recruitment tanks
It's funny that pundits always question whether Kerry has a plan to get us out of Iraq, but no one ever hits the President for the same thing. I guess "Stay the course..." is good enough for the clowns who work in the national media. It's hard to conceive of someone screwing up the country more than Bush has, even if they tried.

Now, look at the enlistment figures for the Army. "Join the Army, get sent to a war with no end." Gee, guess that recruiting slogan isn't working too well.

From the Wall Street Journal:

"For the second straight year, U.S. Army recruiters fell short of their goal for signing up enlistees in the first month of a new recruiting cycle.

For the first 30-day period in its new recruiting year, the Army was 30% shy of its goal of signing up 7,274 recruits. The Army had a particularly hard time recruiting for the Army Reserve, on which the Pentagon has relied heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan. Enlistments for the reserves were 45% below the target.

In the same period last year, the Army came up 25% short in its goal in the first month for enlisting 6,220 regular recruits and 40% short of its reserve enlistment goal."


Posted by brettdavey at 9:40 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 20 October 2004
Signs!
He's good!

From the Rocky Mountain News:

"A Lakewood Republican stealing campaign signs late one night got nabbed when he ran across a low- hanging driveway chain, fell face first onto a pilfered sign and the concrete and knocked himself unconscious.

Randal Wagner, 50, was loaded into an ambulance, treated at Lutheran Medical Center for abrasions and facial cuts and issued a summons.

Wagner, who unsuccessfully tried to steal a "Dave Thomas" congressional sign that evening, had signs for other Democratic candidates in his Toyota pickup, Wheat Ridge police reported.

"I did a very stupid thing," Wagner said Monday, admitting theft of the signs. "I got caught up in the political passions of this highly contested election."

Wagner said that he and his wife, Jan, who was driving their pickup that night, "want to apologize to the people" they have offended.

"Everybody has a right to express their political opinions," Randal Wagner said.

Jan Wagner, who was not cited, said she did not want to discuss what happened. She also is a Republican.

The incident with the Wagners comes at a time when a record number of Democrats and Republicans are complaining that their signs are disappearing or being vandalized.

Wheat Ridge resident Pete Klammer, whose 911 call last Wednesday eventually led police to the Wagners, said his frustration is that people mistakenly believe only their party is the victim.

He said a Republican neighbor who lost two yard signs insisted, "It's not happening to Democrats."

Klammer said that late last Wednesday, shortly after the last presidential debate had ended, his wife heard a noise outside.

Klammer said when he walked outside with his cell phone, he saw a pickup parked at the curb and someone using a box-cutter to try to take the "Dave Thomas" sign he had bolted to his fence, clearly on his property.

Thomas is the Democratic candidate in the 7th District. Klammer said an earlier Thomas sign had been vandalized.

Klammer said he and the stranger tussled over the sign. As Klammer relayed the plate number on the pickup to police, he said the man hopped into the passenger side and the pickup fled west on West 32nd Avenue past Simms Street.

Police said the pickup was registered to Jan and Randal Wagner, but they were not home.

Later that night, the officer heard Jan Wagner's name on the police radio and investigated. It turns out that other officers had discovered a man, identified as Randal Wagner, down in front of an office building at West 42nd and Kipling streets.

Police said Randal Wagner had been stealing a campaign sign that promotes the Jefferson County school district's tax and bond election when he fell and hurt himself.

Police said Jan Wagner was parked across the street and had about two dozen campaign signs in the pickup. They include signs for U.S. Senate candidate Ken Salazar and district attorney candidate Mary Malatesta.

"Jan said she and her husband have never done anything like this (taking signs) before," according to the police report.


Posted by brettdavey at 2:23 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 19 October 2004
Stewart for President
In every movie that involves mind control, there's a scene where the controlled see something that slowly snaps them out of their haze. That's what Jon Stewart's appearance on "Crossfire" was like. It exposed the show for the pitiful farce that it really is. It was great seeing the snarky Tucker Carlson eat his liver while Paul Begala sat there like he was afraid of getting smacked down.

The best place to view the clip is www.thehollywoodliberal.com. Just scroll down until you see "Jon Stewart on Crossfire".

Posted by brettdavey at 3:14 PM EDT
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This article is from today's LA Times. We're living in a sick world, people.

The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket

The agency is withholding a damning report that points at senior officials.
by Robert Scheer

(October 19, 2004) -- It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.

"It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed," an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that "the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward."

When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. "We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report," she said. "We are very concerned."

According to the intelligence official, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, release of the report, which represents an exhaustive 17-month investigation by an 11-member team within the agency, has been "stalled." First by acting CIA Director John McLaughlin and now by Porter J. Goss, the former Republican House member (and chairman of the Intelligence Committee) who recently was appointed CIA chief by President Bush.

The official stressed that the report was more blunt and more specific than the earlier bipartisan reports produced by the Bush-appointed Sept. 11 commission and Congress.

"What all the other reports on 9/11 did not do is point the finger at individuals, and give the how and what of their responsibility. This report does that," said the intelligence official. "The report found very senior-level officials responsible."

By law, the only legitimate reason the CIA director has for holding back such a report is national security. Yet neither Goss nor McLaughlin has invoked national security as an explanation for not delivering the report to Congress.

"It surely does not involve issues of national security," said the intelligence official.

"The agency directorate is basically sitting on the report until after the election," the official continued. "No previous director of CIA has ever tried to stop the inspector general from releasing a report to the Congress, in this case a report requested by Congress."

None of this should surprise us given the Bush administration's great determination since 9/11 to resist any serious investigation into how the security of this nation was so easily breached. In Bush's much ballyhooed war on terror, ignorance has been bliss.

The president fought against the creation of the Sept. 11 commission, for example, agreeing only after enormous political pressure was applied by a grass-roots movement led by the families of those slain.

And then Bush refused to testify to the commission under oath, or on the record. Instead he deigned only to chat with the commission members, with Vice President Dick Cheney present, in a White House meeting in which commission members were not allowed to take notes. All in all, strange behavior for a man who seeks reelection to the top office in the land based on his handling of the so-called war on terror.


Posted by brettdavey at 1:06 PM EDT
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Sunday, 17 October 2004
Breslin rules
When I was a teenager and in my early 20s, I loved Mike Barnicle. His thrice-weekly column for the Boston Globe was a must read. It wasn't until later that I realized he was ripping off Jimmy Breslin, who is still the heavyweight champ. Here's Breslin's column from today's Newsday:

I took the book off the shelf in the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Broadway and 66th Street and began reading it. The book is: "The O'Reilly Factor For Kids." It is subtitled, "A Survival Guide for America's Families."

A woman came by with a little boy in a stroller. "Here, this is a good one for you," I told the woman. "Read it to your kid." She looked at the cover and her eyebrows furrowed. The kid in the stroller liked the color on the cover. "Here. Tell your mother to buy it for you," I held out the book, but the mother pulled him away.

"No, thank you," she said. She said this in a way that indicated that she was at least suspicious of this rumpled man holding out a sex book.

"Did you see this?" I held it out for another woman with offspring. She looks. "Why don't you buy it?" I said.

"No," she said. Icily.

I browsed through the book, which is O'Reilly's greatest sin at this time. The attempted mugging of readers with sentences made of balsam wood. He has other problems, but they are the usual for these far-right conservative writers and commentators. As a group they are prone to being perverts. Some are trying to say that O'Reilly goes with the territory.

In Florida the other day I was surprised to hear this Rush Limbaugh on the radio. "He's a stone junkie," I said. "Is he still on the air?"

"Sure."

Now in the aisle at Barnes & Noble, I scanned Bill O'Reilly for Kids on the pages about sex: "Here's a big word for today: dehumanization. That's when you go out with someone only for their appearance - their big pecs or long legs. When you are interested in someone only on the basis of physique, you're dehumanizing him or her, seeing that person only as an attractive object. If you are doing that, remember, good sex occurs between two human beings, not between two objects ... Are you surprised by my thoughts on the subject? Did you think that O'Reilly would tell you sex is off-limits? As you know, things are more complicated than that. But I repeat my mantra: Sex is best when you combine sensible behavior with sincere affection ...

"It is also smart to recognize that there is no area more potentially dishonest than the sexual arena. And if you exploit a girl, it will come back to get you."

There are two young women at the next shelf. They are reading the magazine "Sugar." The cover proclaims, "Britain's Best-Selling Girls Magazine." I say to them, "Hey, here, why don't you read some of Bill O'Reilly's book for kids and see what you think." They both stared at me.
Now I suddenly think, "Breslin, in about 15 seconds, one of these young women is going to let out a holler that is going to make people think of you with O'Reilly." I put the book down and in the same motion was gone.

Then, I went into the Coliseum Bookstore at 11 W. 42nd St. and asked if they had the book. "I'm embarrassed to say we do," the manager, Allan Kelin, said. Right away I scolded him. "You're not supposed to be embarrassed by anything printed." "We don't censor anything," he assured me. He led me down an aisle to where Bill O'Reilly's face stared at me from the bookshelf. He was alongside "Tips for Baby's First Year."

"I'll sell it for you," I said to the manager.

Right away, a man came along with his son, who was about 7. "Here you go," I said, holding the book out. "Read it to your kid." He smirked. "I don't even want that one," he said. He pointed to the book under O'Reilly: "Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask)."

You can see how these conservative writers and commentators are devoted to and influenced by George Bush. After three debates, there can be no doubt that Bush is the dumbest president of our time. He cannot speak English. He says he is a leader. Of what? A leader leads a nation with the force of his words. This guy doesn't have the vocabulary or the plain class to do anything but get cheers from pathetic dolts. There were 10 soldiers dead in Iraq on Wednesday night and Bush smirked and chuckled and outright laughed during a debate that was supposed to be about the troubles of a nation. He disgraces the nation.

I couldn't sell any of O'Reilly's book yesterday, except the one copy I bought. I did this when I stopped writing in a pad, for fear of somebody screaming "Degenerate," and brought it home so I could copy the passage about sex that I just typed for you.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:43 PM EDT
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Try these election conspiracy theories on for size...
I doubt Osama Bin Laden is going to be produced in the next two weeks. However, here are two predictions I'll make for the election. They're not mutually exclusive. I'm not saying they'll definitely happen but I won't be surprised if either of them do.

1) Pretend that Kerry cheated.
One of Rove's favorite moves is to attack his own candidate and blame it on the opposition. He's done it with something as simple as a vicious unsigned flyer attacking his own candidate's family. Then his guy cries foul, which leads voters to turn against his opponent. Here's the electoral version of that: take an important state that you're sure Kerry will win by a small margin. Hack into the electronic voting machines and give Kerry a huge win. Then, cry foul. Kerry is immediately branded a cheater and the state's electoral votes are thrown in disarray. Start legal action and a whispering campaign about other states. Hey, it's a lot easier than hacking into the computers of five different states and changing the tallies.

2) Sue, sue, sue.
One thing the Bushies proved in 2000 is that the will of the people shouldn't get in the way of an election result. Right now, both sides have lawyers eyeing each other across the battlefield, like some political version of "Braveheart". If Bush loses, get ready for a non-stop legal challenge that will put a January inauguration in question. The good news is, the Democrats are girding for a fight this time. The bad news is, the President still has the Congress, Supreme Court, and media in his pocket.


Posted by brettdavey at 7:37 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2004 7:39 PM EDT
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Bush, the messiah
The Sunday NT Times story about Pres. Bush is both enlightening and frightening. Bush's absolute certainty about what he's doing flows from a confidence that he's doing God's work. He won't say that to most audiences, but he strongly hints at it in front of more religious audiences. Think about this: if Bush wasn't born into the family he was born into, he would never be President. Then, he'd just be an average guy with a messianic complex. As a matter of fact, if you exchange their backgrounds, Bush could have ended up as David Koresh.

Seriously, anyone who believes God is acting through them, especially when the end result is the death of tens of thousands, has a screw loose.

Posted by brettdavey at 7:26 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2004 7:40 PM EDT
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Friday, 15 October 2004
The "L" word
It's hard to say who is more insipid, political campaigns or television networks. I turned on the "Today" show this morning at 7 a.m. They usually lead with the most serious news of the day. The tease showed a picture of Kerry, with the headline "The 'L' Word". I figured they meant "liberal" in reference to Kerry, which is the brush Bush has been using repeatedly. Instead the word was ... (shriek!)lesbian.

Katie Couric, posing as a newsperson, asked the guests the following question (I'm paraphrasing): "With all the serious issues out there, why are we getting mired down in this issue?"

Hey jackass, why is it the number one story on "Today"? Did someone hold a gun to your head?

The reaction of the Bush campaign says to me they think homosexuality is something to be ashamed of, especially when they use the words "cheap" and "tawdry."

Hopefully, this is over and we can get back to the meaningful story of the day -- the Bill O'Reilly "Talk Dirty To Me" saga. Ha!

Posted by brettdavey at 9:34 AM EDT
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Thursday, 14 October 2004
O'Reilly wants to sex you up; Hannity's got a new line
* You really shouldn't revel in someone else's problems, unless of course, that person is Bill O'Reilly, another righteous gasbag who might have a little something in his closet that could potentially bite him in the ass. (He might like that.)

My guess is that the producer who is suing him recorded some of their conversations because there appears to be a serious level of specificity in O'Reilly's alleged quotes. If you haven't read them, just go to www.thesmokinggun.com. They are quite graphic and kind of gross, especially when you consider they may have come out of O'Reilly's mouth.

Memo to Bill: if you're trying to turn a girl on with dirty talk about showering together, don't mention a "loofer." And that's tonight's talking point.

Ha!

* Holy Christmas, is something wrong with Sean Hannity? I saw him on last night's post-debate spinfest, first with Terry McCaullife, DNC chair, and then with Wes Clark. This is not partisan spin: Hannity is thisclose to losing it. His new trick is to berate someone: "No, say it in the camera, no, right in the camera, come on..."

I don't know how people resist the temptation to punch him in his oversized, luggage head. (McCaullife at one point admonished him to keep his hands to himself.) When he asked Clark if Kerry was strong enough to lead the country, Clark said that while Kerry was mixing it up on the ice as a hockey player, Bush was jumping around in a cheerleader's outfit.

Hannity's response sounded like this: "You have something against male cheerleaders? No, say it in the camera! Come on! Say it in the camera! YOu have something against cheerleaders! Say it!"

How the hell does a guy who makes professonal wrestlers look like the models of tranquility get his own television show? The man has come unhinged. And he's done it with a neutered on-air partner designed to give him the least amount of resistance imaginable. Imagine if he had to debate Randi Rhodes every night. The poor boy would be on more meds than Rush.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:51 PM EDT
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