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Step off, old man!
Sunday, 14 November 2004
Thanks for making us safer
This is precisely why George Bush is a terrible Commander-In-Chief. And why are we in Iraq and how does it make America safer again? Word is that 100,000 innocent civilians have been killed. Why doesn't the values crowd care about them?

On "60 Minutes" tonight, the former head of the CIA unit charged with tracking Osama bin Laden says the terrorist now has religious approval to use a nuclear device against Americans. From the CBS website:

"The former agent, Michael Scheuer, speaks to Steve Kroft in his first television interview without disguise to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Even if bin Laden had a nuclear weapon, he probably wouldn't have used it for a lack of proper religious authority - authority he has now.

"[Bin Laden] secured from a Saudi sheik...a rather long treatise on the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the Americans," says Scheuer. "[The treatise] found that he was perfectly within his rights to use them. Muslims argue that the United States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans."

Once again, Bush's best friends, the Saudis, come through for us. Remember when the Administration scared everyone by claiming they didn't want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud? They were talking about Iraq, a country that had no weapons capable of causing such destruction. They should have been talking about Al Qaeda.

They took their eyes off the ball. Big time. It's that simple.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:31 AM EST
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Religious intolerance
Some nitwits -- like Joe Scarborough -- are trying to make hay with the accusation that those who denounce the influence of the Christian right are guilty of religious persecution. That's not what it is, Joe. It's the fact that these people seem so ... un-Christian.

Think back to the days after 9-11. Remember Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (the Jason and Freddie of the Christian right) blaming the pagans, homosexuals, and ACLU for that national tragedy? You can look it up. Later , they backpedaled from that crazy-ass accusation but that's how they felt.

The thing that's wrong with those who know it all and are more moral than you -- yes, you -- is that they are usually proved to be just as weak as everyone else. Let's put Rush, Bill Bennett, O'Reilly, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, and the whole bunch on a desert island and host a special "Holier than thou" version of "Survivor."

If that's not possible, let's just put them on a desert island.

Maureen Dowd in the NY Times got it right this morning. Here's her column:

You'd think the one good thing about merging church and state would be that politics would be suffused with glistening Christian sentiments like "love thy neighbor," "turn the other cheek," "good will toward men," "blessed be the peacemakers" and "judge not lest you be judged."
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Yet somehow I'm not getting a peace, charity, tolerance and forgiveness vibe from the conservatives and evangelicals who claim to have put their prodigal son back in office.

I'm getting more the feel of a vengeful mob - revved up by rectitude - running around with torches and hatchets after heathens and pagans and infidels.

One fiery Southern senator actually accused a nice Catholic columnist of having horns coming up out of her head!

Bob Jones III, president of the fundamentalist college of the same name, has written a letter to the president telling him that "Christ has allowed you to be his servant" so he could "leave an imprint for righteousness," by appointing conservative judges and approving legislation "defined by biblical norm."

"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America - though she doesn't deserve it - a reprieve from the agenda of paganism," Mr. Jones wrote. "Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ." Way harsh.

The Christian avengers and inquisitors, hearts hard as marble, are chasing poor 74-year-old Arlen Specter through the Capitol's marble halls, determined to flagellate him and deny him his cherished goal of taking over the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Not only are they irate at his fairly innocuous comment after the election that anti-Roe v. Wade judges would have a hard time getting through the Senate. They are also full of bloodthirsty feelings of revenge against the senator for championing stem cell research and for voting against Robert Bork - who denounces Mr. Specter as "a bit shifty" - 17 years ago.

"He is a problem, and he must be derailed," Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, told George Stephanopoulos.

Sounding more like the head of a mob family than a ministry, Dr. Dobson told Mr. Stephanopoulos about a warning he issued a White House staffer after the election that the president and Republicans had better deliver on issues like abortion, gay marriage and conservative judges or "I believe they'll pay a price in the next election."

Certainly Mr. Specter has done his part for the conservative cause. He accused Anita Hill of "flat-out perjury" for a minor inconsistency in her testimony against Clarence Thomas, that good Christian jurist who once had a taste for porn films.

Some in the White House thought of giving Mr. Specter the post and then keeping him on a short leash. But the power puritans have no mercy. They say he's a mealy-mouthed impediment to the crusade of evangelicals and conservative Catholic bishops - who delivered their vote with ruthless efficacy - to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Mr. Stephanopoulos asked Dr. Dobson about his comment to The Daily Oklahoman that "Patrick Leahy is a 'God's people-hater.' I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people," noting that it was not a particularly Christian thing to say about the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. (Especially after that vulgar un-Christian thing Dick Cheney spat at Mr. Leahy last summer.)

"George," Dr. Dobson haughtily snapped back, "do you think you ought to lecture me on what a Christian is all about?" Why not? The TV host is the son of a Greek Orthodox priest.

Acting as though Mr. Bush's decisions should be taken on faith, John Ashcroft lashed into judges for not giving Mr. Bush unbridled power in his war against terror.

Speaking Friday before an adulatory Federalist Society, a group of conservative lawyers, Mr. Ashcroft echoed remarks he made to the Senate soon after 9/11 arguing that objecting to the president's antiterror proposals could give "ammunition to America's enemies."

He asserted that judges who interfere in or second guess the president's constitutional authority to make decisions during war can jeopardize the "very security of our nation in a time of war."

And since the president has no end in sight to his war on terror, that makes him infallible ad infinitum?"

Posted by brettdavey at 8:10 AM EST
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Thursday, 11 November 2004
Bush voters ignorant?
Some people get upset when you hint that people who voted for Bush aren't smart. That's not necessarily the case. If someone has all the facts and they think Bush is the man for the job, that's fine. But first, you should know the facts.

This is from Bob Herbert of the New York Times.

"The so-called values issue, at least as it's being popularly tossed around, is overrated. Last week's election was extremely close and a modest shift in any number of factors might have changed the outcome. If the weather had been better in Ohio. ...If the wait to get into the voting booth hadn't been so ungodly long in certain Democratic precincts. ... Or maybe if those younger voters had actually voted. ...

I think a case could be made that ignorance played at least as big a role in the election's outcome as values. A recent survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland found that nearly 70 percent of President Bush's supporters believe the U.S. has come up with "clear evidence" that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda. A third of the president's supporters believe weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. And more than a third believe that a substantial majority of world opinion supported the U.S.-led invasion.

This is scary. How do you make a rational political pitch to people who have put that part of their brain on hold? No wonder Bush won.

The survey, and an accompanying report, showed that there's a fair amount of cluelessness in the ranks of the values crowd. The report said, "It is clear that supporters of the president are more likely to have misperceptions than those who oppose him."

I haven't heard any of the postelection commentators talk about ignorance and its effect on the outcome. It's all values, all the time. Traumatized Democrats are wringing their hands and trying to figure out how to appeal to voters who have arrogantly claimed the moral high ground and can't stop babbling about their self-proclaimed superiority. Potential candidates are boning up on new prayers and purchasing time-shares in front-row-center pews."

Posted by brettdavey at 9:32 AM EST
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Bush voters ignorant?
Some people get upset when you hint that people who voted for Bush aren't smart. That's not necessarily the case. If someone has all the facts and they think Bush is the man for the job, that's fine. But first, you should know the facts.

This is from Bob Herbert of the New York Times.

"The so-called values issue, at least as it's being popularly tossed around, is overrated. Last week's election was extremely close and a modest shift in any number of factors might have changed the outcome. If the weather had been better in Ohio. ...If the wait to get into the voting booth hadn't been so ungodly long in certain Democratic precincts. ... Or maybe if those younger voters had actually voted. ...

I think a case could be made that ignorance played at least as big a role in the election's outcome as values. A recent survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland found that nearly 70 percent of President Bush's supporters believe the U.S. has come up with "clear evidence" that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda. A third of the president's supporters believe weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. And more than a third believe that a substantial majority of world opinion supported the U.S.-led invasion.

This is scary. How do you make a rational political pitch to people who have put that part of their brain on hold? No wonder Bush won.

The survey, and an accompanying report, showed that there's a fair amount of cluelessness in the ranks of the values crowd. The report said, "It is clear that supporters of the president are more likely to have misperceptions than those who oppose him."

I haven't heard any of the postelection commentators talk about ignorance and its effect on the outcome. It's all values, all the time. Traumatized Democrats are wringing their hands and trying to figure out how to appeal to voters who have arrogantly claimed the moral high ground and can't stop babbling about their self-proclaimed superiority. Potential candidates are boning up on new prayers and purchasing time-shares in front-row-center pews."

Posted by brettdavey at 9:32 AM EST
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Roundup
I thought they hated gays?

Word is that Ken Mehlman, Bush's campaign manager, may be in line to take over the RNC from Ed Gillespie. Since Mehlman was in charge of the President's reelection, he has to bear some of the responsibility for the most homophobic presidential campaign in history. And by the way, most of the state referenda that were on the ballot weren't about gay marriage. They were simply about gay couples having the same rights as eveyone else in regards to visitation of a sick loved one or leaving property to one's partner. Damn, sure glad those got shot down.

The rumor is that Mehlman, who executed this gay-hating strategy that succeeded in boosting turnout, is himself gay. He actually refuses to answer the question. Now, how many straight guys do you know who won't say what their sexuality is? I've seen Mehlman on a number of TV shows. No wonder he looks so miserable. Most self-haters do.


Torturers 'R Us

Yes, Ashcroft is hideous and I'm glad he's gone. But Alberto Gonzalez, the author of the memo that said it's OK for the US government to detain anyone it chooses without notification or access to a lawyer? The author of the US policy that the Geneva Conventions don't apply to our country? This is our new Attorney General? Please, can we inject some sanity soon into our national government?


Tanks in the street of LA

It was awesome to see a pair of tanks in the street of LA during a small protest against the Bush Administration. Holy Tianaman Square! The military actually said later that the tanks were lost, happened upon the demonstration, and asked for directions. I am not lying. That is what they said.


Peter Jennings is an ass

A couple nights ago, Peter Jennings concluded his nightly newscast with a smirky condescending report about the crazies who were claiming the election might be rigged. His tone was unbelievable. I'm sorry, but the election machines are owned by a hardcore Bush supporter who once vowed to deliver Ohio for the President. Just imagine if George Soros owned the electronic voting machines with no paper trail. And then imagine if the exit polls in Florida showed Bush winning but the votes in the untraceable electronic machines showed the opposite. Of course, Jennings made all the people questioning the election into conspiracy nuts.

Then I remembered the way he went after Wes Clark, demanding that Clark renounce Michael Moore when he said the President had been AWOL. Jennings relished acting like a hard ass when he was carrying the President's water. The other night he was just acting like an ass.

There may be no lazier collective group than the national media, especially rich white dudes like Jennings. There's just no other way to look at it.

Keith Olberman is still the only national broadcast journalist covering the voting irregularities. Big thumbs up to "Countdown" for doing what journalists are supposed to do.


Posted by brettdavey at 9:07 AM EST
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Monday, 8 November 2004
Church people
On my local cable access channel, there are probably about 10 different preachers that host their own shows. The shows' styles range from a taping of an actual service to the preacher alone in a cable studio talking to the camera. Conversely, there is one show hosted by a group of atheists.

Here's my point: Non-believers don't, for the most part, get offended if someone is a believer. They figure, hey, to each their own. The opposite isn't true. Believers are usually bothered by someone who is a non-believer.

Translate that to the election: most non-believing voters wouldn't withold their vote for Bush simply because of his overtly religious rhetoric. The flip side isn't true: most believers think of Kerry as less religious than Bush and aren't afraid to base their vote that way.

Also, spare me the "morals" BS in regards to the election. Just suppose 70,000 votes had gone the other way in Ohio. Would that mean voters had given the thumbs-up to the heathen agenda? The media, especially the big corporate media, loves following a spoon fed storyline. In this case, it's the Rove spin that the administration that has killed 100,000 innocents in Iraq and 1,200 American soldiers in pursuit of a wrongheaded agenda is moral. Yes, this the same "moral" administration that won largely because it was able to turn out voters against gays and executed a voter suppression effort against poor and minority voters.

Excuse me if I don't get too excited about their morals.

Posted by brettdavey at 7:28 PM EST
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Saturday, 6 November 2004
The numbers don't add up
As always, the media can't or won't cover real news. Word is that the major networks and newspapers withheld stories the week before the election on Bush's bulge during the debate, the forged Niger documents, and a scathing look at Saudi Arabia because they didn't want to prejudice the election against the President.

Looks like the CBS fake documents scandal, which probably had its roots with Rove or one of his surrogates, worked.

Think about some of the big stories during the campaign: the Swift Boat vets, Bush's AWOL status, Teresa Heinz Kerry telling a reporter to buzz off, the Cheney's lesbian daughter. Man, I can hardly think of a collection of stories that affect my life more than those.

And now, after the election, no one in the mainstream media will examine if the election was conducted fairly. It would upset their corporate masters and they might actually have to do some work. Copy and post these links for exit poll information and Dem. vs. Repub. registration in certain areas. The information is scary.

http://www.rubberbug.com/temp/Florida2004chart.htm

http://img103.exs.cx/img103/4526/exit_poll.gif

Posted by brettdavey at 7:12 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 6 November 2004 7:20 AM EST
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Thursday, 4 November 2004
Jethro vs. Fraser
If you're reading this, you probably don't like country music. Not real country music like Johnny Cash or George Jones, but today's country like Brooks & Dunn or Toby Keith. You probably don't like NASCAR either. And you think those Jeff Foxworthy comedy specials are corny.

And you probably didn't vote for Bush either.

Well, guess what? There are millions of people who love those things. And they voted on Tuesday too.

One of the handicaps Kerry faced was his long windedness, his tendency to use 20 words where one would have done. Also, oddly, the indeptitude of the Bush team made it harder to craft a simple message why he shouldn't have been re-elected. There are so many egregious examples that it's hard to sum up.

How many times have you been arguing with a conservative and you knew what you wanted to say but it came out like this, "But he led us into an unjust war and 1,000 American troops died and 100,000 civilians, and the Patriot Act is taking away our rights, and Cheney's secret energy task force meetings, and Bush was AWOL, and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are nuts and Lynne Cheney wrote a book about lesbianism on the prairie and those guys had all those deferments..."

Not pretty right? Conservatives just say, "Kerry is a liberal who wants gays to marry and won't protect our country from terrorists."

It's nice to be concise. The slogan for Coke isn't "The excellent soft drink that is really tasty with bubbles that sometimes go up your nose and tickle..." You get the point.

To liberals, Bush was like Jethro Bodine, running around barefoot with a piece of hay in his mouth. To conservatives, Kerry was like Fraser Crane, long-winded, self important, and pompous.

Guess what? Jethro won.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:53 AM EST
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Wednesday, 3 November 2004
Lots of questions
I'm listening to Kerry's concession speech. He's relaying his conversation with the President and how they agreed that the country needed to be healed. I wish he had told Bush to screw. The divisions in this country have been caused by this hideous Administration. Arrogance, needless war, disregard for the Constitution, and fiscal irresponsibility are the hallmarks of the Bush team.

I'm left with a lot of questions:

* Can a Democrat from the East Coast ever get elected again as President? In the last 40 years, the only Dems elected president have been LBJ, Carter, and Clinton. Are we nearing some sort of litmus test where East Coast Dems should be eliminated from consideration for President? I'm thinking so and that goes for Hillary too. Who will they put forward next time? Hopefully, someone with a drawl.

* How dumb can people get? Recent surveys indicate that almost 3/4 of Bush supporters think Saddam was behind 9/11 and that we had discovered WMDs. These people are the definition of gleefully ignorant. They like being lied to. Their children and grandchildren will thank them when there's no Social Security or Medicare. And the God of so many of these avowed Christians will hold them to account for supporting a man who has killed more than 100,000 innocent civilians in Iraq.

* Can the Democratic party come back? Maybe, if people stay organized or motivated. After Goldwater got pummelled in the sixties, the conservative dug in their heels until they cam back to power. It took decades but they did it. Left leaning types need to do the same.

* How crazy will the next four years be? Get ready for Bush Unchained. Hell, Bush might even start drinking publicly and snorting lines of cocaine off the Constitution. Get ready for more dead soldiers and civilians, more debt, fewer jobs and civil rights, and more arrogance. Get ready for Colin Powell to resign, thus taking the breaks off the wagon as it rolls down the hill. Party!

Posted by brettdavey at 2:22 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 3 November 2004 2:25 PM EST
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Something wicked this way comes...
I'm going to bed. The networks are edging towards calling it for Bush. There's something really weird going on. Go back to when Saxby Chambliss beat Max Cleland in Georgia, despite exit polls that showed the opposite. Of course, there was electronic voting there.

The sad thing is, we'll never know. Tens of millions of people vote and are left with nothing but questions. And we're stuck with four more years of incompetence, war, and secrecy.

I'm assuming there are going to be multiple legal challenges, but who knows if they'll go anywhere? If they're going to fight this, the Dems better have a legal and pr strategy they can unleash tomorrow morning.

Posted by brettdavey at 1:05 AM EST
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