"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

911Truth.Org
"We want truthful answers to questions such as:

1. Why were standard operating procedures for dealing with hijacked airliners not followed that day?

2. Why were the extensive missile batteries and air defenses reportedly deployed around the Pentagon not activated during the attack?

3. Why did the Secret Service allow Bush to complete his elementary school visit, apparently unconcerned about his safety or that of the schoolchildren?

4. Why hasn't a single person been fired, penalized, or reprimanded for the gross incompetence we witnessed that day?

5. Why haven't authorities in the U.S. and abroad published the results of multiple investigations into trading that strongly suggested foreknowledge of specific details of the 9/11 attacks, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of traceable gains?

6. Why has Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who claims to have knowledge of advance warnings, been publicly silenced with a gag order requested by Attorney General Ashcroft and granted by a Bush-appointed judge?

7. How could Flight 77, which reportedly hit the Pentagon, have flown back towards Washington D.C. for 40 minutes without being detected by the FAA's radar or the even superior radar possessed by the US military?

8. How were the FBI and CIA able to release the names and photos of the alleged hijackers within hours, as well as to visit houses, restaurants, and flight schools they were known to frequent?

9. What happened to the over 20 documented warnings given our government by 14 foreign intelligence agencies or heads of state?

10. Why did the Bush administration cover up the fact that the head of the Pakistani intelligence agency was in Washington the week of 9/11 and reportedly had $100,000 wired to Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader of the hijackers?

11. Why did the 911 Commission fail to address most of the questions posed by the families of the victims, in addition to almost all of the questions posed here?

12. Why was Philip Zelikow chosen to be the Executive Director of the ostensibly independent 911 Commission although he had co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice? "
Link
911 Research
Via Booknotes

Old Bad News
So finally there's a big fuss about 380 tons of plastic explosives left unsecured and stolen in Iraq. Now ask yourself how well the media has covered the war, and how much Bush has been held accountable, because this is from a entire year ago:
"In the weeks before the invasion, the U.S. military repeatedly warned the White House that its war plans did not include sufficient ground forces, air and naval operations and logistical support to guarantee a successful mission. Those warnings were discounted-even mocked-by administration officials who professed to know more about war fighting than the war fighters themselves.
...
But the war fighters were right. Military commanders weren't given enough manpower and logistical support to secure all of the known nuclear sites, let alone all of the suspected ones.

It wasn't until seven of Iraq's main nuclear facilities were extensively looted that the true magnitude of the administration's strategic blunder came into focus.

The White House knew all along, for example, that enormous quantities of dangerous nuclear materials were at the Tuwaitha nuclear storage facility near Baghdad, sealed and accounted for by the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency. Soon after the war began, the IAEA warned the White House that it should strive to secure the facility quickly. When word of looting at the site began to leak out through the international media, the IAEA again warned the White House.

The looting, however, went on for more than two weeks before the U.S. took any action. When the site was finally secured and U.S. authorities permitted a brief inspection by IAEA officials, the inspectors were inexplicably forbidden to check the status of highly radioactive materials that could be used in dirty bombs. Many of these materials are now unaccounted for. What the inspectors were allowed to verify is how much uranium is now missing: at least 22 pounds.

Other looted nuclear sites include the Baghdad Nuclear Research Center, where significant quantities of partially enriched uranium, cesium, strontium and cobalt were stored. U.S. survey teams have not been able to determine how many of those materials are missing."
This is one of those posts where I get the urge to just boldface the whole damn thing.
Link
Via Talking Points Memo

WTF
"Bush administration lawyers argued in three closely contested states last week that only the Justice Department, and not voters themselves, may sue to enforce the voting rights set out in the Help America Vote Act, which was passed in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 election.

Veteran voting-rights lawyers expressed surprise at the government's action, saying that closing the courthouse door to aspiring voters would reverse decades of precedent.

Since the civil rights era of the 1960s, individuals have gone to federal court to enforce their right to vote, often with the support of groups such as the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, the League of Women Voters or the state parties. And until now, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court had taken the view that individual voters could sue to enforce federal election law.

But in legal briefs filed in connection with cases in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, the administration's lawyers argue that the new law gives Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft the exclusive power to bring lawsuits to enforce its provisions. These include a requirement that states provide "uniform and nondiscriminatory" voting systems, and give provisional ballots to those who say they have registered but whose names do not appear on the rolls. "
Alright, that's it-Release The Lawyers!. I was greatly encouraged to learn that the Democrats have 400 lawyers on the case here in Washington state versus 150 for the Republicans. I'm predicting a minimum of 2 weeks of legal havok before anyone concedes.
Link
Via Metafilter

Hyperbole
"Kerry, who has mentioned bin Laden almost daily, went first, stepping before cameras at a West Palm Beach airport.

"As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. They are barbarians," Kerry said. "And I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down, capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes, period.""
I know, it's the crazy end-game of the election, and Kerry just wants to sound tough. But statements like this bug me-because if you take them literally they sound insane.
P.S.-First Kerry-critical post, hopefully not the last.
Link


Long History
vote gop

Knock Knock
How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to change a light bulb?

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed,

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed,

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb,

4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either for changing the light bulb your way or for living in darkness,

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb,

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a step ladder under the banner: Lightbulb Change Accomplished,

7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark,

8. One to viciously smear #7,

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light-bulb-changing policy all along,

10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country

Via The Big MoboDaddy

Oops
"BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.
...
The International Atomic Energy Agency publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week. Administration officials say they cannot explain why the explosives were not safeguarded, beyond the fact that the occupation force was overwhelmed by the amount of munitions they found throughout the country.
...
The Qaqaa facility, about 30 miles south of Baghdad, was well known to American intelligence officials: Mr. Hussein made conventional warheads at the site, and the I.A.E.A. dismantled parts of his nuclear program there in the early 1990's after the Persian Gulf war in 1991. In the prelude to the 2003 invasion, Mr. Bush cited a number of other "dual use" items - including tubes that the administration contended could be converted to use for the nuclear program - as a justification for invading Iraq.

After the invasion, when widespread looting began in Iraq, the international weapons experts grew concerned that the Qaqaa stockpile could fall into unfriendly hands. In May, an internal I.A.E.A. memorandum warned that terrorists might be helping "themselves to the greatest explosives bonanza in history.""
NYT Link


Cui Bono?
"The top civilian contracting official for the Army Corps of Engineers, charging that the Army granted the Halliburton Company large contracts for work in Iraq and the Balkans without following rules designed to ensure competition and fair prices to the government, has called for a high-level investigation of what she described as threats to the "integrity of the federal contracting program."

The official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, said that in at least one case she witnessed, Army officials inappropriately allowed representatives of Halliburton to sit in as they discussed the terms of a contract the company was set to receive.

Her accusations offer the first extended account of arguments that roiled inside the military bureaucracy over contracts with the company.

In an Oct. 21 letter to the acting Army secretary, Ms. Greenhouse said that after her repeated questions about the Halliburton contracts, she was excluded from major decisions to award money and that her job status was threatened. In response, Army officials referred her accusations to the Pentagon's investigations bureau for review and promised to protect her position in the meantime."
NYT Link

My Mind Is In The Gutter
Best line in a TV commercial: "My skin needed to be disciplined"-Jessica Simpson

Psst, Hey Buddy
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to notice a surge in Rolex spam.

100 Facts and 1 Opinion
"14. The Bush Administration secured less nuclear material from sites around the world vulnerable to terrorists in the two years after 9/11 than were secured in the two years before 9/11.

Source: nti.org

15. The Bush Administration underfunded Nunn-Lugar--the program intended to keep the former Soviet Union's nuclear legacy out of the hands of terrorists and rogue states--by $45.5 million.

Source: armscontrol.org

16. The Bush Administration has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's money.

Source: sfgate.com

17. According to Congressional Research Service data, the Bush Administration has underfunded security at the nation's ports by more than $1 billion for fiscal year 2005.

Source: American Progress

18. The Bush Administration did not devote the resources necessary to prevent a resurgence in the production of poppies, the raw material used to create heroin, in Afghanistan--creating a potent new source of financing for terrorists.

Source: Pakistan Tribune"

Link
Via Booknotes

Headline
US-Russia Space Crew Lands on Earth -Dude, isn't that the planet we're already on?

Good Deed For The Day
I just edited a Wikipedia page because as much as I love the idea of 70's porn icon Barbara Dare performing at an anti-Vietnam War concert, I think it was actually folk-singer Barbara Dane.

Hoax Hoot
" Argument in Favor

MARRIAGE IS SACRED!

The Bible says that marriage is for procreation. God made Adam and Eve, and Adam and Eve made Cain and Abel, not an empty nest.

Marriage is for procreation. If you're not pro-Creation, you're anti-God. And once a marriage has been solemnized, sex is serious business. The solemnity of sex must not be abused for sinful pleasures. Sex is for procreation, not recreation. And marriage is for breeding purposes.

Therefore, it should be Oregon public policy that

  • Homosexuals may not marry.
  • Infertile persons may not marry.
  • Men with vasectomies may not marry.
  • Women with hysterectomies may not marry.
  • Post-menopausal women may not marry.
  • Persons planning to use birth control may not marry.
  • Non-virgins may not marry (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).
  • Inter-racial couples may not marry (Deuteronomy 7:3).

And couples who fail to conceive within two years ought to have their marriage licenses revoked.

Additionally, the Bible says that

  • Divorced persons may not marry (Luke 16:18).
  • And if a man dies without leaving a male heir, it is his brother's responsibility to impregnate the widow (Genesis 38:6-10). If he refuses, he shall be fined one shoe (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).

This is the sacred word of the Lord, steadfast and unchanging.

Traditional morality must become Oregon public policy. All of it. And the older the tradition, the better. The separation of church and state be damned. In order to protect the sanctity of marriage and the sacred institution of heterosexual procreation, unequal treatment and discrimination must be legislated consistently against all persons who cannot or will not breed as God intended. It is God's will that we multiply and fill the Earth and finally subdue it when the population explosion self-implodes. Praise God!

Love is not good enough a reason to marry, because marriage is only for

HETEROSEXUALBREEDING.COM

(This information furnished by M. Dennis Moore, Defense of Heterosexual Breeding Coalition.)

"
Link
Link
Via Metafilter

Eriposte
Vote/Election fraud, vote suppression, voting irregularities, voter intimidation in Election 2004
Via The Sideshow

Al Gore
"Most of the problems President Bush has caused for this country stemmed not from his belief in God but his belief in the infallibility of the right-wing Republican ideology that exalts the interest of the wealthy, and of large corporations over and above the interests of the American people. It is love of power for its own sake that is the original sin of this presidency.

The surprising current dominance of American politics by right- wing politicians whose core beliefs are usually wildly at odds with the opinions of the majority of Americans is a dominance that has resulted from the careful building of a coalition of interest groups that have little in common with each other besides a desire for power that can be devoted to the achievement of a narrow agenda.

The two most important blocks in this coalition are, first, what I would call the economic royalists, those corporate leaders and high net worth families with vast fortunes at their disposal who are primarily interested in an economic agenda that will eliminate as much of their own taxation as possible, and an agenda that removes regulatory obstacles and any competition they might face from smaller, newer firms in the marketplace. They provide the bulk of the resources that have financed the now extensive network of foundations, think tanks, political action committees, media companies, and front groups capable of simulating grassroots activism.

The second of the two pillars of this coalition are social conservatives, many of whom want to roll back most of the progressive social changes of the 20th Century, including many women's rights, social integration, the social safety net, the government social programs of the progressive era, the New Deal, the Great Society, and their coalition includes a number of powerful interest groups like the National Rifle Association, the anti-abortion coalition, and other groups that have agreed to support each other's agendas in order to obtain their own. You could call it the 300 musketeers, one for all and all for one. And, indeed, those who raise more than $100,000 are called not musketeers, but pioneers.

Now, Bush's seeming immunity to doubt is often interpreted by people who see and hear him on television as evidence of the strength of his conviction when, in fact, it is this very inflexibility based on a willful refusal to even consider alternative opinions or conflicting evidence that poses the most serious danger to our country.

By the same token, the simplicity of many of his pronouncements, which are often misinterpreted as evidence that he has penetrated to the core of a complex issue, are in fact exactly the opposite because they usually mark his refusal to even consider complexity. And that's a particularly difficult problem in a world where the challenges America faces are often quite complex and require rigorous sustained disciplined analysis.

The essential cruelty of Bush's game is that he takes an astonishingly selfish and greedy collection of economic and political proposals, and then cloaks them with a phony moral authority, thus misleading many Americans who have a deep and genuine desire to do good in the world. And in the process he convinces them to lend unquestioning support for proposals that actually hurt their families and their communities.

Truly, President Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what rightfully belongs to the American people, and give as much of it as possible to the already wealthy and privileged. And these wealthy and privileged look at his agenda and they say, as Dick Cheney said to former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, "this is our due."

The central elements of President Bush's political as opposed to religious belief system are actually plain to see. First, the public interest is a dangerous myth according to Bush's ideology -- a fiction created by those hated liberals who use the notion of public interest as an excuse to take away from the wealthy and powerful what they do believe is their due. Therefore, government in this system of beliefs, government of, by, and for the people is bad -- except when government can help members of his coalition. Laws and regulations are also therefore bad, again except when they can be used to help members of his coalition. Therefore, also, whenever laws must be enforced and regulations administered, it is important in their view to assign those responsibilities to individuals who can be depended upon not to fall prey to this dangerous illusion that there is such a thing as the public interest, those who will instead reliably serve the narrow and specific interests of industries and interest groups.

This is the reason, for example, that President Bush put the former chairman of Enron, Ken Lay, in charge of vetting all of the Bush appointees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Enron had already helped the Bush team with such favors as ferrying their rent-a-mob to Florida in 2000 to permanently halt the counting of legally cast ballots. They flew on the Enron plane. And then, after members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were appointed with Mr. Lay's personal review and approval, Enron went on to bilk the electric rate payers of California and other states without the inconvenience of federal regulators protecting citizens against their criminal behavior.

Or, to take another example, this explains why all -- virtually all -- of the important EPA positions have been carefully filled with lawyers and lobbyists representing the worst polluters in their respective industries in order to make sure that those polluters are not inconvenienced by the actual enforcement of the law against excessive pollution.

In Bush's ideology there is an interweaving of the agendas of large corporations that support them and his own ostensibly public agenda for the government that he leads. Their preferences become his policies, and his politics become their business. "
Link
Via The Sideshow

Dirty Tricks Pt.4
"An ostensibly nonpartisan voter registration drive in Western Pennsylvania has triggered accusations that workers were cheated out of wages and given instructions to avoid adding anyone to the voter rolls who might support the Democratic presidential nominee.

Sproul & Associates, a consulting firm based in Chandler, Ariz., hired to conduct the drive by the Republican National Committee, employed several hundred canvassers throughout the state to register new voters. Some workers yesterday said they were told to avoid registering Democrats or anyone who indicated support for Democratic nominee John F. Kerry.

"We were told that if they wanted to register Democrat, there was no way we were to register them to vote," said Michele Tharp, of Meadville, who said she was sent out to canvass door-to-door and outside businesses in Meadville, Crawford County. "We were only to register Republicans."
...
Twilla provided the Post-Gazette with a copy of the script he said he had been given.

It instructs the canvassers to hand unregistered Bush supporters a clipboard with a registration form, and to advise them the canvassers will personally deliver the forms to the local courthouse.

A lower portion of the form also advises the canvassers to ask undecided voters two questions: "Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro life?" and "Are you worried about the Democrats raising taxes?" If voters say they are pro-life, the form says, "Ask if they are registered to vote. If they are pro-choice, say thank you and walk away."

The form also tells canvassers, "If anyone asks who you are working for, it's 'Project America Vote.' " "
Link
Via Talking Points Memo

Enjoy The Draft
enjoy the draft!
Via Eschaton

No Sarcastic Title For More Of The Usual Bullshit
"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.
...
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.
...
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. "
Link
Via Boing Boing

Commence Eye Rolling
"Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and thrown out of the President Bush rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds Thursday night, after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties."
...
The women got past the first and second checkpoints and were allowed into the Jackson County fairgrounds, but were asked to leave and then escorted out of the event by campaign officials who allegedly told them their T-shirts were "obscene."

When Cheney visited Eugene last month, the Register-Guard newspaper reported that Perry Patterson, 54, was cited for criminal trespassing for blurting out the word "No" after Cheney claimed that the Bush administration had made the world safer. "
Link
Via Metafilter

GOP Like Me
"The story's only saving grace was that the truth was so much more unbelievable. Republicans are paranoid enough to expect a mole from the Kerry campaign, but I was far worse than that -- a dissolute, drug-abusing anarchist who reads the battle diaries of Vietnamese generals on rainy days, roots for Russia at the Olympics and once published an article titled "God Can Suck My Dick." I was, in short, the most offensive individual who could conceivably be planted in the campaign of George W. Bush. I was tempted to feel guilty about this. But in the end I figured that it was only fair. Since John Ashcroft has made it easy for FBI agents to infiltrate anti-war groups, it seemed to make sense that an anti-war journalist should infiltrate Ashcroft's party."
Link
Via Metafilter

Cool
"All of us, a thousand times a day, read faces. When someone says "I love you," we look into that person's eyes to judge his or her sincerity. When we meet someone new, we often pick up on subtle signals, so that, even though he or she may have talked in a normal and friendly manner, afterward we say, "I don't think he liked me," or "I don't think she's very happy." We easily parse complex distinctions in facial expression. If you saw me grinning, for example, with my eyes twinkling, you'd say I was amused. But that's not the only way we interpret a smile. If you saw me nod and smile exaggeratedly, with the corners of my lips tightened, you would take it that I had been teased and was responding sarcastically. If I made eye contact with someone, gave a small smile and then looked down and averted my gaze, you would think I was flirting. If I followed a remark with an abrupt smile and then nodded, or tilted my head sideways, you might conclude that I had just said something a little harsh, and wanted to take the edge off it. You wouldn't need to hear anything I was saying in order to reach these conclusions. The face is such an extraordinarily efficient instrument of communication that there must be rules that govern the way we interpret facial expressions. But what are those rules? And are they the same for everyone?"
Link


From The Used CD Emporium
The Cars-Complete Greatest Hits
  Purchased mainly for "Just what I needed", which lately has
  struck me with it's Roxy-ish tone and texture and general minimal
  good taste.
Mascaras And Monsters-the Best Of Alice Cooper
  Underrated.
Frank Zappa-Zoot Allures
  Abusum Non Terminatum
Jethro Tull-Aqualung
  The surprise of the bunch. I expected 2 solid hits-"Aqualung" and "Locomotive Breath" but
  the whole album holds up as a tight rocking piece of solid songwriting.
  I remember it from my youth as this massive sonic slab-but it's really all done with a 5 piece
  band and minimal overdubs. The 70's Rock!

I think I need t-shirts that say "Cranky Old Fart" on one side and "New Shit Sucks" on the other.

The Red Stuff
"There are five known fundamental tastes in the human palate: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. Umami is the proteiny, full-bodied taste of chicken soup, or cured meat, or fish stock, or aged cheese, or mother's milk, or soy sauce, or mushrooms, or seaweed, or cooked tomato. "Umami adds body," Gary Beauchamp, who heads the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in "If you add it to a soup, it makes the soup seem like it's thicker--it gives it sensory heft. It turns a soup from salt water into a food." When Heinz moved to ripe tomatoes and increased the percentage of tomato solids, he made ketchup, first and foremost, a potent source of umami. Then he dramatically increased the concentration of vinegar, so that his ketchup had twice the acidity of most other ketchups; now ketchup was sour, another of the fundamental tastes. The post-benzoate ketchups also doubled the concentration of sugar--so now ketchup was also sweet--and all along ketchup had been salty and bitter. These are not trivial issues. Give a baby soup, and then soup with MSG (an amino-acid salt that is pure umami), and the baby will go back for the MSG soup every time, the same way a baby will always prefer water with sugar to water alone. Salt and sugar and umami are primal signals about the food we are eating--about how dense it is in calories, for example, or, in the case of umami, about the presence of proteins and amino acids. What Heinz had done was come up with a condiment that pushed all five of these primal buttons. The taste of Heinz's ketchup began at the tip of the tongue, where our receptors for sweet and salty first appear, moved along the sides, where sour notes seem the strongest, then hit the back of the tongue, for umami and bitter, in one long crescendo. How many things in the supermarket run the sensory spectrum like this?"
The Ketchup Conundrum
Via Metafilter

Dirty Tricks Pt.3
Daily Kos has a link-filled overview of the "Voters Outreach"/Sproul/RNC voter suppression story

It seems the story is gaining traction in Google News

94 Reasons Not To Vote For George W. Bush
"It doesn't matter who you are or what you believe, George W. Bush has betrayed you, specifically and repeatedly.

Are you a law-and-order type? Then you should probably know that Bush has an arrest record (see reason No. 24). Are you a devout Christian? Millions of people just like you think Bush is defiling God's creation with his ruinous environmental policies (reason 20); and God's man on earth himself calls Bush's war wrong and immoral (reason 21). Perhaps you voted for Bush because you fondly recall the days when Republicans stood for fiscally conservative government? Those days are gone, friend (see reasons 64 to 71). Do you think of yourself as an intelligent, rational adult capable of making your own decisions about the world around you? Bush doesn't (No. 28). Maybe you're scared that the terrorists are coming, and think W. is the one who will stop them. Read reasons 1 through 16.

Unless you are the CEO of a large corporation (that donated heavily to Bush's campaign), Bush does not have your best interests at heart. Those are the facts.

Consider the material below a primer, the Reader's Digest version of why you shouldn't vote for Bush. There are thousands - perhaps tens of thousands - of similar facts not included here for space reasons. Whole topics had to be cut; there's no mention of Bush's assault on civil liberties via the USA PATRIOT Act, for example, and no mention of the fact that he cannot explain why he didn't fulfill his commitment in the National Guard.

So pick a reason, any reason, and don't vote for Bush Nov. 2."
Link


Dirty Tricks Pt.2
"Employees of Voters Outreach of America, a GOP-funded voter registration outfit operating in Nevada, say they personally witnessed company employees shredding hundreds or even thousands of Democratic registrations. Now the same company (VOA) is being accused of destroying Democratic registration forms in Oregon.

The head of VOA is Nathan Sproul, a Republican political consultant who used to be the executive director of the Arizona state Republican party.

In gaining access to venues to register voters, he has apparently been claiming that his group is part of America Votes, a voter education and registration groups put together by a consortium of Democrat-leaning groups like the AFL-CIO, Emily's List, the Sierra Club and others.

A quick scan of Nexis shows Sproul's outfit is also operating in West Virginia (see Charleston Gazette, August 20th), where they've already raised some controversy for misleading tactics if not destroying legally valid registrations."
From Talking Points Memo

"October 13, 2004

Hon. Ed Gillespie
Chairman
Republican National Committee
312 First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003


Dear Ed:

In recent weeks, all over the country, the Republican Party has been engaged in systematic efforts to disenfranchise voters--to impose unlawful i.d. requirements in New Mexico, to throw eligible voters off the rolls in Clark County Nevada and to deprive voters of their rights to vote a provisional ballot in Ohio, among other examples.

And the Republicans' excuse for these efforts? It's always about protecting the process from "voter fraud." In fact the AP reported on September 19th that President Bush expressed to Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn and Attorney General Brian Sandoval he was concerned about voter fraud in Clark County.

But just last night, the American people have learned that it is actually the Republicans who are engaging in voter fraud in Nevada, Oregon and potentially other states as well and in fact you are paying for it.

Press reports in Nevada disclosed that a Republican organization, "Voters Outreach for America" has been ripping up Democratic voter registration forms in that state. According to those same reports, on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, that group has been "largely, if not entirely, funded by the Republican National Committee." Indeed, a classified ad recruiting paid workers for "Voters Outreach" in Nevada carried the disclaimer, "Paid for by the RNC."

The Washoe County (Reno) Nevada voter registrar (who was identified as a Republican by Channel 8 News) has asked the FBI to investigate complaints of out of state groups submitting fraudulent voter registration forms and refusing to register anyone but Republicans.

And it is reported that this group has now moved its operations to Oregon, where the Secretary of State and Attorney General are already investigating allegations that a paid Republican canvasser was ordered to destroy forms turned in by Democrats.

In Oregon, "Voters Outreach", also known as "America Votes," has been linked to Sproul & Associates, a firm that has been paid some half a million dollars by the RNC.
Note: "Voters Outreach" has apparently been passing itself off as "America Votes", a separate non-partisan organization

Ed, there are only 20 days left to the election. Early vote starts in Nevada and Oregon over this weekend. We are deeply concerned these reports of Republican National Committee funded felonious activities in these states could serve to discourage all voters from voting because of concerns of problems with their ballot. Regardless of party or candidate, it is the civic and moral duty of both parties to encourage complete and full participation in the democratic process.

In the name of democracy, it is essential that you and the Republican National Committee proactively come forward to address this issue, especially since President Bush will be traveling to both of these states immediately following the debate. You can either let this burgeoning Republican scandal fester, or you can come clean with the American people by:

Giving the Election Officials in Nevada and Oregon, the press and the public answers to these questions immediately:

Why is the Republican National Committee funding an organization that is ripping up voter registration forms of Democrats?

Who's behind "Voters Outreach for America" and what is their link to Sproul & Associates?

How much has the RNC paid for "Voters Outreach" and similar groups to engage in voter registration?

Exactly what were these groups instructed to do about voters they registered who freely chose to register as Democrats?

Disclosing to Election officials, attorneys in Nevada and Oregon and press immediately, all documents, correspondence and invoices between the RNC and "Voters Outreach," Sproul and all other groups employed by the RNC to register voters;

Refusing to pay Sproul and any other groups engaged in GOP "registration activities" until all questions can be answered and information disclosed.

Voluntarily agreeing to make knowledgeable RNC officials available for depositions in the litigation being brought by the Democratic Party of Nevada seeking a remedy for the victims of Republican voter registration fraud in that state and any other state or party seeking relief based on RNC funded efforts.

Ed, please let me know right away whether you will agree to these steps which are essential to address the deep fears and concerns voters now have about Republican voter fraud.

Sincerely yours,

Terence R. McAuliffe
Chairman"
Via Daily Kos

Dirty Tricks
"Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.

Anyone who has recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery store or even government building may be affected.

The I-Team has obtained information about an alleged widespread pattern of potential registration fraud aimed at democrats. Thee focus of the story is a private registration company called Voters Outreach of America, AKA America Votes.

The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.

Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.
...
The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the registrar has asked the FBI to investigate. "
Link
Via Metafilter

Priorities
Let us consider whether I should go see "The Grudge":
1: Very creepy Japanese-style horror, ala "The Ring"-Good
2: Remade by the original Japanese Director-Better
3: Sarah Michelle Gellar shower scene-BINGO

Feel Safer Yet?
" Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons are disappearing from Iraq but neither Baghdad nor Washington appears to have noticed, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported on Monday.

Satellite imagery shows that entire buildings in Iraq have been dismantled. They once housed high-precision equipment that could help a government or terror group make nuclear bombs, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.

Equipment and materials helpful in making bombs also have been removed from open storage areas in Iraq and disappeared without a trace, according to the satellite pictures, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said.
...
The equipment -- including high-precision milling and turning machines and electron-beam welders -- and materials -- such as high-strength aluminum -- were tagged by the IAEA years ago, as part of the watchdog agency's shutdown of Iraq's nuclear program. U.N. inspectors then monitored the sites until their evacuation from Iraq just before the war.

The United States barred the inspectors' return after the war, preventing the IAEA from keeping tabs on the equipment and materials up to the present day.

Under anti-proliferation agreements, the U.S. occupation authorities who administered Iraq until June, and then the Iraqi interim government that took power at the end of June, would have to inform the IAEA if they moved or exported any of that material or equipment. "
Link
Via Martini Republic

A Perl Script Writes It's Own Blog
"vitamin supplements are what i want to talk about here. tomorrow i am going to think about the worlds wickedness. i dont mind vitamin supplements. so! my rambles and vitamin supplements are what i very dont mind to mention today. my friend keith says she dont mind vitamin supplements as well!my friend xavier says she dont mind vitamin supplements as well! or at least it seems to me. they all the time crazily are crappy bad with my english skills my mojo and the problem with vitamin supplements. today i am studying your feelings my yelling and your ideas about vitamin supplements and i also want to learn more about friends.. your ideology is becoming a problem as my friend carl might say. i dont mind you readers!! my yelps of pleasure is very crappy poor as well. sometimes vitamin supplements are fully ultra super lame. tomorrow i am going to think about mom. they all the time intently are totally whatever with the history of vitamin supplements your ideas about vitamin supplements and your comments on my blog. all the time vitamin supplements are insanely ultra super lame. please comment on dad or vitamin supplements here for me to read.next time i will mention mom more.... it is best to ignore my english knowledge. my farts sometimes baffles me and i dont mind it! a lot. vitamin supplements are what i want to talk about here. it is best to ignore parents."
I Am Learn
Via Metafilter

Rodney Dangerfield RIP
"1. I was so poor growing up. If I wasn't a boy, I'd have had nothing to play with.

2. A girl phoned me the other day and said, "Come on over; nobody's home." I went over. Nobody was home.

3. During sex, my wife always wants to talk to me. Just the other night she called me from a hotel.

4. It's been a rough day. I got up this morning put a shirt on and a button fell off. I picked up my briefcase, and the handle came off. I'm afraid to go to the bathroom.

5. I was such an ugly kid. When I played in the sandbox; the cat kept covering me up.

6. I'm so ugly. My father carries around a picture of the kid who came with his wallet.

7. When I was born, the doctor came into the waiting room and said to my father, "I'm sorry. We did everything we could, but he pulled through."

8. Once when I was lost, I saw a policeman, and asked him to help me find my parents. I said to him, "Do you think we'll ever find them?" He said, "I don't know kid. There's so many places they can hide."

9. I'm so ugly. I worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big I'd get.

10. I went to see my doctor. "Doctor, every morning when I get up and I look in the mirror. I feel like throwing up; what's wrong with me?" He said "I don't know but your eyesight is perfect."

11. With my old man I got no respect. I asked him, "How can I get my kite in the air?" He told me to run off a cliff.

12. My uncle's dying wish was to have me sitting in his lap; he was in the electric chair."


Fast Food Reality
I don't know about you, but if I ever wake up in the morning with a fiberglass-headed, berobed Burger King next to me in bed, I'm going to kick his ass so hard it bounces.

Twitchy
"Only a few weeks ago, things looked grim. Bleak. Even posters on the liberal blogsites seemed to be sitting on the suicide ledge peering past the slough of despond into the abyss below. That infamous Gallup Poll which had the race Bush 104, Kerry -6 had many of us rattled. A statistically impossible 110 point deficit seemed a mite difficult to overcome.

But that was before John Kerry grape-stomped Bush into a sullen mash.

In birding, those fanatical about building up the life lists of species are known as "twitchers." But there was no bigger twitcher last night than the bird-hating Bush, who once ignorantly shot a killdeer during a photo op thinking it was a dove, according to Karen Hughes' merde-eating memoir. Bush's face suffered a silent outbreak of Tourette's Syndrome; he grimaced, smirked, sniffed, rolled his eyes, and did some weird thing with his mouth that as yet has no diagnostic name. He was President Twitchy, giving a performance that critics hailed as "peevish" and "petulant."

We've seen President Twitchy before. When Helen Thomas persisted in asking Bush why he was trying to tear down the walls between church and state, and wouldn't be sluffed off with one of his standard nonanswers, Bush, as I wrote in Attack Poodles, went through a battery of irked expressions that ended with him imitating Tony Perkins in the final shot of Psycho, looking as if he had a fly on his nose.

Since then Bush has been wheeled out into forums where no one can dare question or contradict his majesty, where he can lean forward and repeat ad nauseam his patented soundbites. Last night I believe we saw the ugly comeback of the private face of Bush--the irritable expressions he flashes subordinates when he's presented with information he doesn't like or feels someone's taken up too much of his time or is pressed to explain himself to people he shouldn't have to explain himself to because he's the president and fuck you. The notion that Bush is "likeable" has always been laughable. It takes a Washington pundit to be that dumb. He's an angry, spoiled, resentful little big man--I use "little big man" in the Reichian sense of a small personality who puffs himself up to look big through bluster and swagger but remains a scheming coward inside--and next to a genuinely big man like Kerry, shrunk before the camera's eyes."
I didn't watch the debate-prolonged exposure to Bush is hazardous to my mental health. But I remember one TV commercial where I was treated to George and Laura's heads in three-quarter profile, big as life. George looked calm and sympathetic as he talked about the war in Iraq. But just as he said the word "agony" a muscle in one cheek twitched, like a subliminal smile. It probably doesn't mean squat, but it freaked me out.
Link
Via Eschaton