Saturday, October 30, 2004
A Moron Against Voter Suppression
Am I a moron for being concerned about acts that might lead to voter fraud, disenfranchisement or voter suppression?
Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom thinks so. He is mounting an attack against bloggers like Progressive Blogger Alliance member David Anderson who are concerned about this repulsive flyer which was forwarded to Sierra Club organizer Rosemary Wehnes from Sheila Cochran of AFL-CIO Voter Protection. Mr. Goldstein writes, "My gut tells me this flyer is some sort of intentional parody—either that, or something some delusional leftist thinks actually sounds like the work of a partisan rightwing voter intimidation squad—but I could be wrong. If I am, and if this is actually the work of Republican operatives in the greater Milwaukee area, let me be the first on the right to condemn them. But until then, I’m just going to snicker at whatever moron or morons thinks this cartoon might have an impact on voters either way."
Admittedly, the flyer does seem a bit ridiculous. It's written as if it was sent by the Milkwaukee Black Voters League and it includes such "warnings for election time" as "if you've ever been found guilty of anything, even a traffic violation you can't vote in the Presidential election" and that "if you violate any of these laws you can get ten years in prison and your children will get taken away from you."
But who's to say who might not believe something like this.
Oh, I guess the Bloggers for Bush and unreality say so. In fact, Robert Crawford of Kloognome.com had the following to say on the Protein Wisdom thread: "On the gripping hand, if you really believe what it says, maybe you SHOULDN’T vote."
I'm sorry, Robert Crawford, but even stupid Americans are allowed to vote for or against our stupid occupying commander-in-chief. I think you are stupider than shit but I'm glad we live in a country where you can cast your stupid vote for stupid George W. Bush.
A voter that doesn't speak or read English very well might be dissuaded from voting because of a flyer like this. A voter that is not as politically informed or astute as Mr. Crawford or Mr. Goldstein that has accumulated unpaid traffic tickets might even think twice about going to the polls.
Even if this flyer is a parody, whoever sent it out into the community should be arrested because it is a federal violation to engage in an effort to suppress votes.
Call me a moron, but call me the kind of moron who believes in the United States Constitution and the rights of all Americans to cast their votes.
Friday, October 29, 2004
Pox Shots Shot Down
Buried deep inside today's New York Times on Page A19 is a story from the A.P. wire entitled "Judge Halts Forced Anthrax Shots." Why am I pissed about this? Because "hundreds of service members have been punished or discharged for refusing them, according to the Pentagon." For shame.
On a related note, I am the proud owner of a one-year-old baby blog.
I originally started this blog to advertise my play, "The Rules of Embedment or Why Are We Back In Iraq?" Check out my very first post. I first started blogging in March of 2003 at this address before I stopped to write my play, but it wasn't until a few months ago, when I began blogging more frequently, that my traffic significantly increased (lesson for you bloggers out there just starting out).
Thanks to everyone who has ever landed here, 12,175 hits and counting (a third of those hits just in the last three months alone). Thanks to everyone who has ever linked to me from their website or complimented my words and work (especially you, Mick, because I still keep getting hits from this post). Thanks to the bloggers who belong to the Progressive Blog Alliance for all the support and technorati padding (I'm mighty proud of our work, so far).
Why were the two related?
Forgive me, it was a cheap trick to publicize my reason for being here. A scene from my play which relates to the A.P. story:
LANG - Ted, I’d like your thoughts on something that’s been bugging me out. But forget my name, hometown and especially color because this is strictly off the record.
TED - You have my word.
LANG - I read some stuff on the Internet about pox shots. How it may give you the Gulf War sickness that killed lots of vets. I even had a buddy back in boot camp that refused the shot. They arrested him and threatened him with a lengthy imprisonment on account of refusing orders but, luckily, he got off with just a dishonorable discharge.
TED - That's reasonable.
LANG - Flipping like that ain’t gonna get me money for school so I had to bite the bullet. Do you think I should worry? You took it too, right?
TED - I’ve heard that there may be some unintended negative health consequences but the effects of being attacked with it are horrifyingly evident.
LANG - So even with all your doubts about Iraqi WMD, you still believe that we may face a chemical weapons attack.
TED - Between you and me, honestly, in all probability, speaking strictly from my gut – no. But anything is possible. And it might not be long before everyone in America receives inoculations anyway.
LANG - You really think?
Ted - Remember the anthrax attacks of 2001. Those were mainly directed at the Media but it was normal people and mailmen that suffered most.
LANG - You’re right about mailmen. They ain’t like normal people, either.
TED (chuckles) - I didn’t intend to say that.
LANG - Thanks for keeping it real. It relieves me to know that a man as well informed as you can display such prudence. I’ve read a lot of crazy shit on the Internet. It’s hard to know whom to believe.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
America's Mayor Blames Troops
Rudy Ghouliani on NBC's Today show (Explosive Character) attempting to cover up for the Bush Administration's failure to safeguard the now-missing 380 tons of explosives in Al Qaqaa: "No matter how you try and blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops who were there. Did they search carefully enough?"
No matter how I try to blame it on the ex-mayor of New York City, the actual responsiblity for his comments really would be for Bush's brain, Karl Rove. Did he think carefully before issuing Rudy the day's talking points?
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Why The Wolf Cries Wolf
Remember November to December of 2000? Of course, you do. Remember how the Republicans managed to steal the election all-the-while pretending that it was the Democrats ("Sore Loserman") who were trying to steal it? Well, they're at it again. But this time they're starting early.
A few weeks ago The Drudge Report (google it...I'm not going to provide a link to that asshole) reported that the Democrats were launching a pre-emptive strike to combat alleged Republican voter fraud and intimidation. The right wing blogs have been having a field day with this one, and so have the newspaper/television affiliates of the Fox empire.
On October 14th, RNC Senior Advisor Robert Traynham conducted a Voter Intimidation Call with Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (both African Americans, by the way). Commissioner Williams' had this to say: "As I look at this 66 page guide and look on, I think it's page 54, it actually says in plain English, that if no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a pre-emptive strike. What that means in clear language is, if there is no evidence of intimidation, which we don't expect there will be, because we're not going to engage in it, then make it up and talk about it anyway."
Apparently, "plain English" isn't a clear enough language for Commissioner Williams. What "this" means is that he is full of shit.
Here's a link to the Colorado Election Manual that the GOP has thoughtfully provided for the PDF that puts the offending line into proper context (or you can read the text of the manual at this DNC website. Start at section II entitled "How to organize to prevent and combat voter intimidation" : "The best way to combat minority intimidation tactics is to prevent them from occurring in the first place and prepare in advance to deal with them should they take place on election day. 1. If there are any signs of present or expected intimidation activity, in advance of election day, launch a press program that might include the following elements:"
Now skip to #2 (the "controversial" line): "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a "pre-emptive strike" (particularly well-suited to states in which these techniques have been tried in the past)."
You see. They're lying. "If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet" clearly contains the word "yet." That means that this only applies to cases in which there was or will be intimidation techniques. It certainly doesn't mean that Democrats are supposed to just go "make it up and talk about it anyway."
Mr. Traynham appears to be the point man in charge of crying wolf. On October 22nd he issued this statement about this story on the front page of The New York Times entitled "Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State": "The Ohio Republican Party is taking every precaution to protect and defend the voters of Ohio from having fraud perpetrated on their election system. Every voter should have a guarantee that their vote will not be negated by outside groups’ intent on causing chaos at the polls and fostering an environment that allows fraudulent votes to be counted equally as valid ones."
Clever wolves, ain't they. Funny how the Equal Protection Clause, these days, only applies to Republican voters. The rest of us can go Cheney ourselves.
In regards to reports that the Kerry campaign has 1,000 lawyers on call and ready to combat voter fraud, Mr. Traynham had this to say, "The Republican National Committee along with the president want this election to be decided by the voters. Democrats want this to be decided by the trial lawyers." Of course, he's right. Democrats must want this to be decided by the trial lawyers since it worked so well for us the last time.
You gotta love the title of this press release composed by the hardest-working-man-in-spin-biz in response to a DNC advertisement that questioned President Bush’s commitment to African Americans: "Democrats Afraid Of GOP Agenda For Black Americans." Well - give my man credit - he wasn't lying when he came up with that title.
And what about Florida. Have you seen this Sun Sentinel article? Can you believe it?
According to Republican Party senior adviser Mindy Tucker Fletcher and Republican Rep. Tom Feeney of Oviedo, "Kerry thugs" have organized an effort to intimidate Republican voters that includes Democrats, Union members and Danny DeVito.
Danny DeVito? As in the dude from the sitcom Taxi?
Republican Lawrence Gottfried, who became a poll watcher in Delray Beach after what he thought was inappropriate behavior at the polls, said the things he saw upset him. Gottfried said that while working at the Delray poll, actor Danny DeVito and his wife, actress Rhea Perlman, showed up. Gottfried is a fan, but he didn't ask for an autograph. "I said, `Look Mr. DeVito, I'm a big fan of yours and Rhea's, but you are blocking the entrance. You're campaigning, you've got a Kerry-Edwards button on, and it's not appropriate." Gottfried, who used to be a Democrat, said the things he saw were "ridiculous." "There is a time for partisanship and it's OK to have a different point of view, but don't violate the sanctity of the polling area," he said.
Danny DeVito. As in the Penguin. Quack. Quack. Quack.
Funny, true, but this is no joke. Ask yourself this question: why are the wolves crying wolf?
There are two possible answers to that question (that I can think of...or that I can think that Karl Rove can think of).
1) On November 2nd, Democratic cries of legitimate voter fraud and intimidation will be effectively parried and countered. In the same way that Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 was constantly linked with the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth Ads, the corporate media will accuse both sides of playing dirty. All Republican dirty tricks - such as the "Caging lists" that Greg Palast has uncovered in Florida and the 35,000 newly registered voter challenges in Ohio - will be downplayed or ignored (The "Caging List" is the number one story in the international press but has been mostly ignored, so far, here). As a result, Bush will be able to steal another controversial, close election.
As bad as that scenario sounds. The other possible answer is much worse.
2) On November 2nd, the votes are counted and Kerry wins by a nose. But...Bush refuses to offer his concession to Kerry because of the perceived Democratic fraud perpetrated on innocent Bush voters. This nightmare scenario could bring about that Twenty-first century civil war which John Dean recently wrote about.
If you think I'm a paranoid android check out this Freeper's plans for election day: "I'm bringing my firearm. Threaten me with physical violence and I will shoot them down like the dogs they are."
In his inaugural address, President Bush touted America's tradition of maintaining a "peaceful transfer of authority." I'm not so sure this time. I can think of at least twenty-five crimes off the top of my head which the Bush Administration should be investigated for. But it's the crimes that no one knows about yet that lead me to believe that Bush will not go down quietly. He just might try to pull a Musharaf.
The Disenfranchisement of New York City?
I live in Brooklyn, New York, and I registered to vote on the last day possible before the election (I've moved 4 times within Brooklyn over the last year). I received my acknowledgment notice about a week ago which told me I was registered and the location of my polling place.
Last night, I noticed that the acknoweledgment notice said "registration effective on 11/09/04...Let's just say I freaked out...
Then, today, as I was about to head to the elections office, I received a postcard which announced that "You are eligible to vote on November 2nd, 2004."
We apologize if you received an original Acknowledgment Notice stating that you were eligible to vote "November 9, 2004." The date on that notice obviously was an error and has been corrected. You should have already received a 2nd notice which states "Your registration remains in effect. A duplicate ID card is included".
If you have any further questions, in regard to this matter please call 1-866-868-3692 (Vote NYC).)
Obviously? Who fucking wrote this message.
Obviously, whoever wrote this doesn't seem too concerned about the fact that eligible voters might now think that they can't vote. Scumbag....(sorry for the language...but I have a right to be pissed...last year when I voted my name wasn't on the roll and I had to cast a provisional ballot even though I had received a card that said I was good to go...as you all may or may not know...provisional ballots aren't counted unless it's a close race...so, basically, my vote wasn't counted last year).
I never received that "2nd notice." I never received a "duplicate ID card."
I called the number...and I was relieved to find out that I AM registered...but how many other people got this notice?
And how many other people didn't get EITHER one of the newer mailings.
I'm going to call every agency I can to let them know about this. If you have a website or a blog...please write about this and trackback to me. This story needs to be on the front page of every New York City paper so that all eligible voters know that they can still vote this election.
Oh...one last thing. Fuck Bush. Vote for Kerry!
Election day is less than a week away. The last month-and-a-half (since the RNC invasion of NYC) has flown right by.
I can't wait until this election is over. All the votes are counted. And George Bush exits the conference, bags in hand, on his way to the elevator which will take him on to the street and into a waiting cab.
Can't fucking wait.
Here's hoping the next 48 days pass quickly for Michael Lane, an Air Force Liaison to the Army, currently deployed in Northern Iraq, where his job is to help the Army get Air Force cargo aircraft for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team swap-out. In 48 days Michael is scheduled to leave Iraq (although he still has 691 days to serve in the United States Airforce.
Michael's been blogging for five months. So far, his site has accumulated 1239 hits. I order all my readers to check out his site, if you haven't been there already.
Peace, Michael, and come home safe and sound.
I Want My Anti-Bush T.V.
One of my favorite artists, Eminem, just released a must-see video for his song "Mosh." (Link from DrFrankLives posted on Daily Kos.) The song is as anti-Bush as you can get. The video contains groundbreaking animation by Guerilla News Network's Ian Inaba. The album Encore hits stores on November 16th.
And this ain't the first time that Slim Shady has spit lyrics about Iraq and Bush. "Square Dance" from his smash 2002 record The Eminem Show contained this incredible verse:
The boogie-monster of rap, yeh, the man's back!/With a plan to ambush this bush administration/Moosh the senate's face in, push this generation/O' kids to stand and fight for the right to say somethin'/You might not like, this white hot light that im under/No wonder i look so sunburnt/Oh no, i won't leave no stone unturned/Oh no, i won't leave one goin' nowhere/Doh-si-soh oh! yo! ho! hello there!/Oh yeh! don't think i won't go there/Go to Beirut and do a show there/Yeh you laugh til your motherfuckin' ass gets drafted/When you're in bed here thinkin' the draft cant happen/'Til you fuck around gettin anthrax napkin/Inside a package wrapped in sarandrap wrappin'/Open the plastic, and then you stand back gaspin'/Fuckin' assassins hijackin' Amtrax crashin'/All this terror, america demands action/Next thing you know, you've got uncle sam's ass askin'/To join our army, or what you do for their navy/You just a baby gettin' recruited at 18/You're on a plane now eatin' that food and that baked beans/I'm 28, they gon take you 'fore they take me/Crazy insane or insane crazy?/When i say hussein, you say shady!
One last note about Eminem. I know that many gay rights activists have targetted him in the past for certain lyrics that - shall-we-say - are politically incorrect. But if Marshall Mathers was really homophobic would his smash hit "The Real Slim Shady" contain this line: "But if we can hump dead animals and antelopes then there's no reason that a man and another man can't elope." That's more than most elected Democrats would publicly say.
The alternative rock band A Perfect Circle have two recent music videos which should be of interest to most of my readers: a cover of John Lennon'sImagine and (check out this title) Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums. Their new album eMOTIVe drops on election day.
Robert Taicher, producer of the legendary Jodorowsky film Holy Mountain has spent the last three years working on a documentary that "examines the issues surrounding September 11th and American foreign policy." The title: Rush To War. The subtitle: Between Iraq and a Hard Place. Check out the trailer here. The DVD is only ten bucks, so buy one and host a viewing party.
And if you happen to be the only person on the planet who didn't catch John Stewart on Crossfire then I'll be your monkey. Here's a link just for you.
Monday, October 25, 2004
T.N.T. Done Dirt Cheap
Today's New York Times features a front page article entitled "Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq," reported and written by James Glanz, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger (no link...because I think it's wrong that websites like The Times and The Washington Post make you register to view their stories...I just provide the titles so you can search for it yourself). That's 380 tons of not-exactly-fun that are missing (although it's possible that Bush might be looking under his desk right now like he did for the missing W.M.D.s).
I'd like to draw attention to two links.
The first one is an article written by Robert Fisk from Baghdad on April 17, 2003 entitled "For the people on the streets, this is not liberation but a new colonial oppression." Perhaps it's not insurgents who jacked the explosives:
Because there is also something dangerous – and deeply disturbing – about the crowds setting light to the buildings of Baghdad, including the great libraries and state archives. For they are not looters. The looters come first. The arsonists turn up later, often in blue-and-white buses. I followed one after its passengers had set the Ministry of Trade on fire and it sped out of town.
The official US line on all this is that the looting is revenge – an explanation that is growing very thin – and that the fires are started by "remnants of Saddam's regime", the same "criminal elements", no doubt, who feature in the marines' curfew orders. But people in Baghdad don't believe Saddam's former supporters are starting these fires. And neither do I.
The looters make money from their rampages but the arsonists have to be paid. The passengers in those buses are clearly being directed to their targets. If Saddam had pre-paid them, they wouldn't start the fires. The moment he disappeared, they would have pocketed the money and forgotten the whole project.
So who are they, this army of arsonists? I recognised one the other day, a middle-aged, unshaven man in a red T-shirt, and the second time he saw me he pointed a Kalashnikov at me. What was he frightened of? Who was he working for? In whose interest is it to destroy the entire physical infrastructure of the state, with its cultural heritage? Why didn't the Americans stop this?
The second article is by Cyndi from Mousemusings (a fellow Progressive Blog Alliance member), who has compiled a Timeline of Looting & Incompetence:
"Here is a rough timeline of nuclear facilities, notably April 12, 2003 below when the discovery of looting first occured. It stands to reason that once the discovery was made, that the IAEA would have been consulted and other places of concern to them would have been secured, or, of course, should have been. That 377 tons of explosives are missing from an unsecured military facility absolutely blows my mind! Incompetence is a nice word for it.
Recall the first presidential debate when John Kerry said, ""When you guard the oil ministry, but you don't guard the nuclear facilities, the message to a lot of people is maybe, "Wow, maybe they're interested in our oil."
I'd personally go a bit further and say, "Wow, maybe they aren't even looking for nuclear capabilities, or weapons of any type."" Check out the link to read the rest.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Cocaine, Wrestling & George Bush Part 3
"He was the first real white boy that all of the kids really loved," - Ernie Ladd
Today, there is a Shoe Warehouse located on 1710 McGowen Street in Houston, Texas. But around thirty-six years ago, two ex-football players from the Houston Oilers, John L. White and Ernie Ladd, used that same warehouse (sharing it with a probation office) to house their non-profit organization Project P.U.L.L. (Professionals United For Leadership League), an inner-city poverty program. And about thirty-two years ago, a young Geoge W. Bush operated out of that same warehouse. According to this official State Department website, "George taught basketball and wrestling and organized field trips to juvenile prisons, so his young charges could see that side of life and resolve not to end up there themselves."
In his 1999 autobiography, A Charge to Keep, Texas Governor George W. Bush claimed that "My friend John White, whom I had met during my dad's 1970 Senate campaign, asked me to come help him run the program."
But was it really John White who asked him? And was he really asked?
There has been much speculation (thanks to James Hatfield's infamous book, Fortunate Son) that George Bush volunteered to work with Project P.U.L.L. in order to wipe away a drug or drunken driving arrest from his record. A deal that his dad arranged. His dad, who - at that time - served as the United Nations Ambassador during the Nixon administration.
John White has been dead for over fifteen years, so he won't be talking. But Ernie Ladd might be the man who does know what really happened.
Bill Minutaglio's book First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty recounts the genesis of Project P.U.L.L.: "Ladd, a student at Grambling, had met White when their schools would play their traditional annual football game. White, a streetwise visionary, had asked Ladd what he thought about a program that could bring stars such as baseball players Joe Morgan and Jimmy Wynn, or basketball legend Elvin Hayes, into contact with kids in the beleaugered Third, Fourth, and Fifth Wards of Houston. Ladd liked the idea - he thought it was important for athletes to return something to the community - and they sought to establish a politically neutral program that could lure all manner of supporters from in and aoround Houston. They contacted school administrators, busidness leaders and the most prominent black physician-and-blues-nightclub entrepreneur in Texas, Dr. John B. Coleman, asking for advice, time, money."
According to Peter Schweitzer's book The Bushes : Portrait of a Dynasty, "The two [John L. White and Ernie Ladd] had come to Congressman George Bush in the late 1960s to discuss their plans to start a mentoring program for underprivileged kids in the poorest neighborhoods of Houston. George embraced the idea; he knew what a difference mentors had made in his own life and agreed to become honorary chairman and help raise money for the organization."
I have no idea when or how John L. White first hooked up with the Bush clan.
But Ernie Ladd's relationship with George Herbert Walker Bush began sometime in 1966 during his failed campaign to unseat Lloyd Bentsen from the Senate. Jonathan Tilove interviewed Mr. Ladd for the San Francisco Chronicle in January of 2001 just before George W. Bush's inauguration ceremony: "He wanted to meet someone in the black community. I just had moved to Houston (to join the Oilers) from the San Diego Chargers and they wanted to know who the most popular black person was in the city of Houston and someone told them Ernie Ladd was getting a lot of newspaper coverage." At first he refused to meet with Bush. "I wasn't going to no hotel to see no Republican," Ladd said. But then he challenged Bush to come to his home and meet with him and a houseful of "brothers." "He took the challenge," Ladd said. "He came to my house. My brothers all got after him politically. He weathered the storm, shot us down, and that's how I became a Republican."
In an obscure July, 2000 interview with Greg Oliver of SLAM! Wrestling (The Cat In Bush's Corner) Ernie admitted his allegiance to the Bushies: "I'm stuck pretty close to George Bush's campaign, I've known the family for more than 34 years."
It hasn't been a stealth relationship. In the SLAM! interview, Ernie boasted, "I'm recognized athletically and politically." He also mentioned "that he expects to be sitting in the Bush's private box at the Convention, not out on the floor."
As Jonathan Tilove of Newhouse News Service put it in 2000 (Ernie Ladd's Comeback): "When the Bush team wanted a bigger black presence at inaugural events, they asked one of the biggest black men in America for help." Ernie Ladd was named a special deputy to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (along with Eli Rodriguez, a public relations specialist and GOP activist from Fort Worth, Texas who had been friends with George Herbert Walker Bush since 1964) and placed in charge of the Office of Diversity to ensure that "inaugural activities include a diverse culture and population." He was also a member of the steering committee for George Herbert Walker Bush. Mr. Ladd was responsible for recruiting black faces; while Mr. Rodriguez attracted Latinos.
Ernie Ladd also defended George W. Bush's controversial "election" in 2000. "I don't agree with people now that the election is over continuing to attempt to divide the country," Ladd told Mr. Tilove. "These are people who put their political views before the truth. Once our black communities start talking the truth and stop being misled by black leaders who don't bring the whole truth into our communities, we will see a difference."
Three unidentified sources were cited in James Hatfield's Fortunate Son who claim that George W. Bush did community service at Project P.U.L.L. because a Texan judge ordered him to. A Yale classmate said, "George W. was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1972, but due to his father's connections, the entire record was expunged by a state judge whom the older Bush helped get elected. It was one of those 'behind closed doors in the judges' chambers' kind of thing between the old man and one of his Texas cronies who owed him a favor ... There's only a handful of us that know the truth." One of the other sources told Hatfield, "I can't and won't give you any new names, but I can confirm that W's Dallas attorney remains the repository of any evidence of the expunged record. From what I've been told, the attorney is the one who advised him to get a new drivers license in 1995 when a survey of his public records uncovered a stale, but nevertheless incriminating trail for an overly eager reporter to follow."
An article in the Washington Post written by George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano, published on July 28, 1999, seemed to corroborate some of Mr. Hatfield's controversial findings: "By the end of 1972, Bush's father was mulling over a new job offer from Nixon – to be chairman of the Republican National Committee. With his parents back in Washington, Bush went to stay with them for the holidays and was involved in one of the most notorious incidents of his "nomadic" years. He took his 16-year-old brother Marvin out drinking, ran over a neighbor's garbage cans on the way home, and when his father confronted him, challenged him to go "mano a mano" outside. There was no fight, and Bush was apparently able to mollify his father with the news that he had been accepted for the following fall at Harvard Business School. But with nothing to do until then, his father decided it was time to give this restless young man some broader exposure to real life. Shortly after Christmas, Bush began working as a counselor with black youngsters in Houston's Third Ward in a program called PULL (Professionals United for Leadership) for Youth."
Schweitzer's book also contains this quote by P.U.L.L volunteer Muriel Simmons Anderson: "John White was a good friend of their father's. He told us that the father wanted George W. to see the other side of life. He asked John if he would put him in there."
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Part 3...Coming Soon
The Philadelphia Inquirer posted an article today that disputes the role George W. Bush played in Operation P.U.L.L.: Some dispute Bush account of '73 charity work. Meg Laughlin writes, "Some former associates of White, who died in 1988, speaking on the record for the first time, say that Bush wasn't helping to run the program but was instead a volunteer, and that White hadn't asked Bush to come aboard. Instead, the associates said, White told them he agreed to take Bush on as a favor to Bush's father, who was honorary cochairman of the program at the time. They say White, a tight end for the Houston Oilers in the '60s, told them Bush had gotten into some kind of trouble, but White never gave them specifics."
Finally, someone other than little old me (and the late James Hatfield) is beginning to investigate this shadowy period of the silver spoonhead's life - a time which should have been spent fulfilling his commitment to the Texas Air National Guard.
I've held off on posting Part 3 of this story because I was hoping to get some help from other journalists and bloggers. I even wrote Greg Palast and offered him all of my research. But I've put it off for too long.
It was tough work digging up what I could (and I promise you that I did dig up some good stuff) because - as Ms. Laughlin writes - "No documents from Bush's time with PULL exist. The agency, which closed in 1989, left most of its records behind when it moved to another location in 1984."
I should have Part 3 of "Cocaine, Wrestling & George Bush" done within the next few days. In it, I will connect the dots that I have sketched in the last few installments. Specifically, I will show how Ernie Ladd has profited from his support of the Bush family for the last thirty years. I hope others (in the blog world and the larger Media) will follow-up on my work.
There is no doubt that Ernie Ladd is lying about the circumstances behind why George W. Bush spent 9 months in Houston, Texas in 1973, when he should have been fulfilling his National Guard contract.
One final note. The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Ernie Ladd is now a minister in Louisiana. True. But as I have uncovered, Ernie Ladd also happens to be the chief executive of a petroleum and chemical firm.
Do KKKers Earn 100 Bucks A Gig?
Today's New York Times contains a front page story, written by Michael Moss, entitled "Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State." According to Mr. Moss, Republicans have enlisted 3,600 people to monitor the election because they are "concerned about the possibility of fraud involving thousands of newly registered Democrats." At first I thought that this was some kind of mistake. That The Times had accidently reprinted an article from thirty years ago.
There's no way that this could be true. No way.
I mean - just the other night - Fox's Sean Hannity asked Dick Cheney (Transcript) if there was an "orchestrated effort among Republicans to suppress the black vote." The Vice President of the United States replied, "It's just fundamentally untrue. It's another one of those lies, distortions. I've tried hard not to use that that word. A clear misrepresentation. Just an out and out effort to scare people."
Dick Cheney is a liar.
Dick Cheney is a piece-of-shit, dirty, stinking, racist, fucking dirtbag. And I'm not afraid to use any of those words.
Although the Times article mentions that the preemptive strike is targeting heavily Democratic urban neighborhoods, this link reveals that 28% of the population in Cuyohaga Country happens to be black or African-American.
Any registered Republican that doesn't plan to vote for Bush is a hero in my book.
Any registered Republican that plans to monitor a polling booth in an effort to suppress the black vote deserves to...(leave a comment and tell me what you think they deserve because right now I'm so angry I'm not thinking clearly).
Friday, October 22, 2004
How To Make Fibs And Influenza People
The Bush Administration is lying (can you believe it?) about their role in the flu shot shortage. Check out this fantastic blog post from the O'Franken Factor website written by James Norton: Truth, Lies, And the Flu. Mr. Norton has another great article about this at Flak Magazine.
Rather than reiterate Mr. Norton's excellent points I decided to dig a little bit deeper myself (a helluva dig for me since I don't, uh, "dig" science).
Over the last two weeks, President Bush has made and remade the belligerent point of laying the blame on trial lawyers (such as a certain V.P. candidate) for the current paucity of alternative flu shot providers. But this is yet another lie. The real reason that fewer drug companies are in the flu shot business is due to the laws of supply-and-demand. Until a few years ago, supply outweighed demand.
In July of 2003, Chiron acquired PowderJect Pharmaceuticals for $878 million. Prior to the deal, Chiron was the third-largest producer of global influenza vaccines (Chiron's own outdated vaccine does not have FDA approval). Thanks to last years record number of immunizations (in 2003 over 83 million Americans were issued flu shots, the highest immunization rate ever for influenza), Chiron recovered nearly a quarter of the money they spent on the acquisition, and, as a result, they're now number two (as for tomorrow: who-the-hell-knows-now).
But the flu shot business wasn't always such an beaucoup moneymaker. Before the flu shot blizzard of 2003, vaccine manufacturers were forced to eat a good chunk of their own flu shots, with over 12 million alone destroyed in 2002 alone. Too much supply and not enough demand translated into underwhelming profits. In 2000, four companies manufactured flu shots for the United States. But now there are only two (or maybe one, now).
So why did Chiron decide to takeover PowderJect and enter this thinning marketplace? For sound business reasons; demand began to overtake supply.
On February 12, 2004 (Chiron Statement) Chiron President and CEO Howard Pien presented a statement to the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform which explained why. It was largely due to "significant changes in the dynamics of the U.S. influenza market." The key changes being: (1) "The recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on influenza immunization were broadened to include individuals between 50 and 64 years of age and healthy children between 6 and 23 months of age, significantly expanding the potential market for influenza vaccine." (2) "Pricing of influenza vaccines has reached a level that allows manufacturers to invest in maintaining facilities to meet FDA standards and in expanding manufacturing capacity in order to meet increased demand." (3)Reimbursement rates for providing influenza injections have been increased to levels at which physicians are encouraged to proactively immunize patients."
What did Mr. Pien ultimately want? "Guaranteed purchase of influenza vaccine by the federal government." They didn't get that. But they did get this: "The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has issued a task order under an existing contract to Chiron Corporation of Emeryville, CA, for the production of an investigational vaccine based on an H9N2 strain of avian influenza virus that has infected humans and has the potential to trigger a modern-day pandemic." A new demand for a new supply.
Why might possibly the Bush Administration be interested in artificially inflating demand?
Wouldn't you know it? Chiron has its own political action committee. According to Susan L. Thomas of the East Bay Business Times, "Slightly more than 1,000 of Chiron's employees, who must meet certain grade levels within the firm, are eligible to contribute to C-PAC. According to the latest campaign contribution reports filed with the election commission, Chiron has raised about $30,000 and doled out $5,000. CEO Pien gave $5,000, the maximum allowable. Chiron executives William Green, Linda Short, Craig Wheeler and Bryan Walser ponied up the same. Marguerite Baxter, out of Chiron's D.C. office, gave $4,900. Where has Chiron's PAC money gone? Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, pocketed $1,000. Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt, also a Republican member of the House Committee on Energy and Policy, received $1,000, too. Blunt is the House majority whip."
To be fair and impartial, C-PAC did make some small contributions to prominent Democrats as well, including Governor Dean and Senator Kerry. But that's just good business. You can't put all your flu vaccines in only two baskets.
But the future doesn't look quite as rosy for Chiron anymore. As Paul Elias of Sfgate.com writes, "Chiron Corp.'s aggressive plan to dominate the U.S. flu vaccine market is in tatters and the company's financial future is clouded as the public health crisis it caused continues to mount. After the acquisition, Chiron announced ambitious plans to increase production from 26 million shots made in 2002 to 50 million for this flu season. The company vowed to spend $100 million upgrading the Liverpool factory and analysts were optimistic the company would be able to cut production costs, raise prices and sell more vaccine as the U.S. government continued its campaign to inoculate nearly 200 million Americans. The company also hoped to capture a significant share of the flu vaccine market to put it in a dominant position once it rolled out a new manufacturing process in the next several years. The new technology Chiron is developing would create vaccines in giant brewers vats, replacing the millions of chicken eggs vaccine makers needed each year. Chiron and Aventis Pasteur are the only two major suppliers of flu vaccine in the country -- a duopoly Chiron and analysts had counted on to boost profits."
It's a fact that since 2001 the Bush Administration has succeeded in significantly increasing demand for influenza immunization. Yet - perhaps for immediately obvious political reasons - Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson doesn't consider the present situation a "crisis." Nor does he even blame Chiron. Mr. Thompson recently explained to the media, "What we have to do now is make sure next year Chiron gets the necessary capital to modernize the plant so we don't have this problem next year."
Well, then, what does Mr. Thompson's dismissal say about the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control over the last four years. Was this some sort of drummed up, make-believe terror alert? Is there or is there not a legitimate concern about influenza epidemics? Fatalities due to influenza have grown tremendously since the Clinton years. But do your own conspiracy theorizing. More than a few (let us say...somewhat questionable) websites, such as No More Fake News, speculate that the rise in deaths is due to the reclassification of data used in CDC mortality rates. Their conclusions might be over-the-top, but they do raise valid questions.
Is there or is there not a legitimate concern about influenza epidemics or pendemics? Hard to tell, when - par for the course - everyone in the Bush Administration is lying.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Light Draft, Less Filling
Yet another good link from Eschaton.
The link is funny, but the looming draft ain't no joke.
The Republicans that are denying this second term inevitability won't be issuing apologies after they flip-flop. They won't be attending any funerals either.
The New York Times article yesterday ain't no joke: (via Daily Kos): "The Selective Service has been updating its contingency plans for a draft of doctors, nurses and other health care workers in case of a national emergency that overwhelms the military's medical corps. In a confidential report this summer, a contractor hired by the agency described how such a draft might work, how to secure compliance and how to mold public opinion and communicate with health care professionals, whose lives could be disrupted."
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Getting That Shot
I took this photo at Union Square on September 2nd during the RNC invasion of NYC. The young woman is crying as she sits in front of a boot that represents one of the fallen soldiers during Operation Freedom. I'm not sure if she is a relative or a friend because I was too busy wiping the tears away from my eyes at the time to find out.
But I couldn't help also shooting the many photographers that surrounded her. While they may have been as shaken as me at the sight, the stake-out left me cold. Of course, I did take the picture, too. She made her grief public for a reason. But - none-the-less - I still feel creepy.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Mighty, Mighty Eschaton
As much as I appreciate the traffic, if you only have time to hit one blog for the day, make sure you read Eschaton. When I have some time, I'm going to write a monster post on just the stuff I've read at www.atrios.blogspot.com the past few weeks. He deserves a Pulitzer for this recent stretch.
Just less than an hour ago, Atrios posted a link to a story about a Republican effort to move polling places from "carefully" selected neighborhoods in South Philly. If you follow that link and then follow the link on that link, you will hit upon a quote which reminds me of the infamous Sports Illustrated interview - from a few years back - with former Atlanta Braves closer John Rocker: Republican leader of the 48th Ward in South Philadelphia Matt Robb on why he supports moving the polling places from these neighborhoods, "It's predominantly, 100 percent black. I'm just not going in there to get a knife in my back."
I'm not going to provide the links to the story. That way you don't forget to hit Atrios today and every day.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Bush Trips, Lands On Face
I just caught this Freudian Bushism in an Associated Press story posted on Yahoo News: Campaigning in an area heavily dependent on the military, Bush said, "We will not have an all-volunteer army" before correcting himself. "Let me restate that," he continued. "We will not have a draft ... . The best way to avoid a draft is to vote for me.
The cat's out of the bag, I guess.
How Karl Rove May Beat Michael Moore
This is a transcript of a conversation between RNC chairman Ed Gillespie and Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove that may have taken place a week-and-a-half ago:
Ed Gillespie - You rang, Karl?
Karl Rove - The wire attached to POTUS is experiencing technical difficulties, so, yes, I called you.
Ed Gillespie - Let me guess. You have something up your sleeves and I doubt that it's a rabbit.
Karl Rove - You are correct, sir, that it's not a rabbit.
Ed Gillespie - Good. We need something. The debate thing kind of backfired on us. We never should have agreed to it.
Karl Rove - That's what I personally promoted. But Dick and Donald overruled me. At least we reined in the majority of the pundits. Convinced them to keep their opinions to themselves in the important post-debate pre-opinion-poll period. Most people that didn't bother to watch the debates probably think they were all draws.
Ed Gillespie - True. The substance-as-opposed-to-style argument worked, as well.
Karl Rove - Keep this in your hat but I fear that our boy will do about the same in the last debate. Words are not his strong suit. But there's something that Edwards said in the Vice Presidential debate that I think we can exploit. Heaven help Kerry if he tries the same tactic. Americans believe overwhelmingly that it is wrong to attack the other candidate's family. They won't know what hit them.
Ed Gillespie - Sounds great. Sounds like vintage Rove stuff to me. Is that all you've got cooked up?
Karl Rove - No. There's something else. I happened to catch that silly "Day After Tomorrow" movie last night.
Ed Gillespie - I can't believe Roger Ailes pulled that shit on us.
Karl Rove - Surprising. But it does prove that Fox really is "fair and balanced."
Ed Gillespie - I wouldn't call that movie either of those things.
Karl Rove - Did you see it?
Ed Gillespie - No. But I don't have to. I've heard all I need to know about it. I'm sick of those perverted Hollywood fucks and the way they force their degenerate poison down everyone's throat.
Karl Rove - Well, I'm happy to announce that I may have developed a highly effective counterattack. A way to stop all the non-stop nonsense. A way for us to stop it but by keeping our hands clean.
Ed Gillespie - I'm in suspense. And not because of global warming.
Karl Rove - Good one. To make my plan work we need to find a film of our own. A film that tells our side of the story. But it needs to be a film that attacks Kerry without overtly supporting Bush.
Ed Gillespie - Sean Hannity just sent me a tape of a documentary called "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." Real powerful stuff. Real former-p.o.w.s that tell the truth about how Kerry sold them out to the Communists and left them in grave danger.
Karl Rove - Good. Good. That might do the job.
Ed Gillespie - I'm dying, Karl. Tell me more.
Karl Rove - I was just speaking to our friends at the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. Remember how they worked with us to blackout that Nightline special presentation?
Ed Gillespie - Do I ever.
Karl Rove - Well, my plan is to get Sinclair to announce that they will be forcing their networks to run this documentary just a few weeks before the election.
Ed Gillespie - Why announce it? Won't that give the Democrats a chance to stop it?
Karl Rove - That's the point. We want them to try to stop it.
Ed Gillespie - I'm not following you.
Karl Rove - Look, Ed. These looney libs are gonna lose their fucking minds when they hear about this. Because it's going to be airing so close to the election, I expect that they'll make a lot of big waves, which will help promote it. Some of them will cry for equal time. Sinclair will offer time on the program for John Kerry to respond which he's sure to refuse.
Ed Gillespie - Sounds devious.
Karl Rove - These mutherfuckers have been killing us. Michael Moore is bad enough. But now every Tom, Dick and niggerloving Harry with a camcorder has been getting in on the act.
Ed Gillespie - But how will this stop that from happening.
Karl Rove - They will stop themselves. Minutes after the news account, I expect that there will be websites and blogs devoted to boycotts against Sinclair.
Ed Gillespie - That's what we would do.
Karl Rove - They'll raise such a fuss that - you mark my words - no television station, cable station or movie theater will ever try to pollute the airwaves with this partisan drivel ever again.
Ed Gillespie - Now I get it. Boycotts against advertisers will result in a freeze-out. Then nobody'll be able to watch their propaganda and lies.
Karl Rove - Trust me. It'll work like a charm. They'll never be able to condemn us as the book-burning party ever again. Fucking fools.
This - ahem - transcript is my attempt to protect the First Amendment. During the RNC takeover of Manhattan, I had many disagreements with fellow protestors who didn't seem to understand that freedom of speech applies to what they believe are lies, as well. Some of the most liberal liberals seemed to think that Fox News - for example - should be forced off the air. But, just like beauty, most lies are in the eye of the beholder, and no matter how upset you might get, there is no real way to stop it.
The day the news broke, a blogger named Trooth started a blog entitled Boycott Sinclair. On October 9th, I visited the blog and left this post:
At 5:14 PM, rab said...I think it's wrong that Michael Moore isn't being allowed to buy commercials to promote Fahrenheit 9/11 during this month before the election. I think it's wrong that the freepers forced CBS to yank The Reagans off the year. I think it's wrong when the religious right boycott advertisers because of sexual content in television shows. I think it's wrong when right wingers argue that boycotts (against companies because they advertise during shows that they believe are offensive) aren't attacks on free speech.
I think it's wrong that all the major media in this country are controlled by basically 5 companies and that there is a lot of bias against Democrats and liberals. I think it's wrong that the equal time standards were abolished during the Reagan area, because it is a betrayal of the public trust.
But I also think this is a bad idea, too.
I firmly believe in free speech. I firmly believe that no one should lose their job, liberties or life because of something they said, wrote or implied. I firmly believe that Fox News Corporation has the right to lie. I firmly believe that the Swift Boat Veterans are Truth are lying and despicable, but that they should have the right to express their opinions (though the media should have addressed the fact that their stories conflicted with prior statements and the facts in the Navy's files. I firmly believe that The New York Times, and especially Judith Miller, are more responsible for 1,000 plus soldiers dying in Iraq than anyone in the Bush Administration because they allowed it to happen in order to retain access (through the embedment program) and expand through Mr. Powell's machinations on the FCC panel.
Anyone who would sign on to this movement...is someone that I consider a friend of mine. Because we all hate what's going on. But this campaign is wrong. We lose everything we hold dear by trying to copycat people that try to suppress thoughts and words.
Instead of starting a boycott...I'd rather we raise hell about the hypocracy involved. How about a campaign to get them to show the George Butler movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 or Triumph of the Will (with Bush digitally inserted).
On my website, I sometimes write things that other people would consider outrageous, unpatriotic or even seditious. I've received many hate mails from Repuglicans. What scares me most about Bush is that our freedom of speech is in jeopardy. What do Scott Petersen, Martha Stewart and Lynn Stewart have in common? They have all been persecuted for words that they have said (though petersen might be guilty...he was only arrested because the police taped his conversations and slanted the contents of his conversations).
I'm sorry for not being supportive of this movement. But as a capital L liberal...I can't.
It's almost like the Ralph Nader thing. I'm a hardcore Kerry supporter and I wish Ralph would pull out...but I'm ashamed at all the Democrats who are working to contest his signatures etc.
We shouldn't be like the bad guys. Peace, friends.
My post drove some traffic to my site. I also recieved some e-mails that agreed with me and some that didn't. Trooth then posted this:Equal Time Thread It's not the law, but...Boycott Sinclair has picked up a wee bit of steam. Great. What do we do if this gets anywhere on Monday, when the Sinclair people get back to their desks? I have to say, I'm leaning towards asking for equal time. Sinclair shows "Going Upriver" or Fahrenheit 9/11 or "Outfoxed", and the calls and emails stop. Many reasonable people have warned against acting like the zealots on the right who forced Viacom to yank "The Reagans". Do they have a point? Since Reagan nixed it, Equal Time is no longer the law. But it is FAIR. Thoughts?
At 7:07 AM, rab said...Allow me to presume that I am one of the "reasonable" voices of dissent (although the freepers that come to my website might not use that adjective to describe me). I am glad to hear that you are leaning towards asking for equal time instead of a boycott.
A boycott could make us all losers. Networks and Theaters could refrain from showing ANY documentaries or politically tinged films in general in the future. Leave this sort of protest to the religious right and the enemies of the first amendment.
I mean. Come on. The shelves at the video stores are full of movies and documentaries that support our agenda. Even "The Day After Tomorrow" which comes out tomorrow is a film that can be described as anti-Bush and the corporated controlled government. We don't have much in the media (although I have high hopes for Air America) but we do have most of the artistic community on our side. I'd hate to see a day when anything controversial will be forced to go underground.
Again, though, I'd like to reiterate that even though I disapprove of this "movement" because I firmly believe that all speech and art should be protected and free from censure and censorship, I understand and sympathize completely. Peace.
An additional thought: We often talk about the evil genius that is Karl Rove. He's even quoted at the top of this blog. Couldn't this possibly be the most ingenious dirty trick ever concocted by that crafty bastard? To get the left (unwittingly) to help stop the non-stop barrage of left-leaning films (docs and dramas) which probably do more than anything else (since they reach audiences who don't read newspapers or have access to the internet) to get our messages across.
Certainly, if you believe that Karl Rove provided the possibly counterfeit documents that have damaged, disgraced and, most importantly, distracted CBS News, Dan Rather and both 60 Minutes shows, then you can accept the possibility that THIS could be another dastardly deception. Peace
One of the letters I received (I'm not gonna pull an Okrent and reveal the letter writer's name) attacked me for not reading all the posts, riding a "high horse" and getting on a "soap box." While it's true, that I do have my moments of holier-than-thou-ness, I believe that my posts on http://boycottsinclair.blogspot.com were carefully considered and soft spoken. This is a letter I wrote in response:
Dear ____, I read each and every comment before I commented myself. I believe that my words were sincere and respectfully written. I'm sorry you believe I speak from a soap box or a high horse. Would you like to boycott my opinion, too?
I hope you read the last post I put up in the latest thread. Has the thought ever occurred to you that this whole thing could be some kind of a devious Karl Rove ploy such as what the CBS controversy may turn out to be? That in order to defend against the myriad of left leaning documentaries and films that dominate the marketplace, why not get rid of all of them through the unwitting actions of people on the left. I don't want to live in a world in which provocation in art can only exist as an underground phenomenom.
My words were a vote for equal time instead of a boycott. Some other commenters agreed with this approach. But most, so far, that have left commented seem to be committed to a boycott. The moderator of the blog seems to now agree with the more liberal line of pursuit. I can only assume that my words might have helped contribute to his assumed shift.
Don't get me wrong. I completely agree with your anger and your views on the media and what it is and how it corrupts our democracy. I also agree that we need to do more than shout and write to the mostly already converted. Sometimes, I believe that "the fire next time" is the only way that real change will come about. Sometimes, I believe that the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground are the only sorts of movements that can save this country from tyranny. But...the peace symbol tattooed on my soul always holds me back.
Yes, we need to do more than just bitch and complain. Yes, we need to figure out some other approach that can help us achieve our worthy goals. But I don't believe in boycotts that are designed to stifle or suppress words. Boycotts, themselves, are not neccessarily wrong. Certainly, the boycotts of the Civil Rights Era that protested racist actions along with words were shining examples of democratic actions.
Like one of the hosts on Unfiltered just mentioned, it might even be a good thing that the equal access law doesn't still exist. Because, since Bush doesn't appear in the anti-Kerry bad-excuse-for-a-documentary he would be entitled to force them to show one in which he does appear even though the doc tacitly supports him. Peace, I'm sorry if you feel like I've attacked you in any way, Ron Brynaert
That same person wrote back, "I read as far as "would you like to boycott your opinion?" Um, no, obviously. Aren't I allowed to say you're dead wrong? You are. People are demanding equal time. You missed the point. The only reason I took the time to email you yourself is that I thought you'd be glad to rethink your point. Guess not."
You boycotted my opinion by not reading the rest of my letter. I believe that if you read it in whole, your anger against me would subside. Those were the only mildly inflammatory words that I wrote you in my letter. I have no desire to alienate or exasperate you. We're on the same side, and although we may disagree on the smaller things, we agree on the larger things. If you do end up continuing with the boycott...I support your right to do so. But I just wanted to interject my feelings on the matter...and hopefully to encourage a - in my opinion - more justifiable campaign. Peace.
On Friday, Michael Moore, while appearing on Jay Leno's Tonight Show, offered his documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" free of charge to Sinclair Broadcasting Group. I wrote a letter to Mr. Moore asking him what he thought of the boycott, but I haven't heard back from him and doubt that I will (he must get thousands of e-mail each day), but I believe this offer is my answer.
As I write this, the last post by Trooth on this site reads:DEMAND EQUAL TIME I believe it's time to turn the focus from boycott to Equal Time. The Sinclair "news piece" will run, period. Let's get out there at Monday's protests and give the media OUR view.
My latest post on Boycott Sinclair:
At 11:37 AM, rab said...Trooth, I think you are truly awesome for leaning toward the equal time argument.
I don't know Trooth's secret identity, but he deserves a blurb. Check out his normal blog at Truth: Served Daily and tell him I sent you.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Bush Not Concerned About Lying
Of course, Kerry kicked ass again, and most of the early online polls reflect that un-exaggeration as I write this. Even if the pundits again call it a draw.
Bush didn't go crazy and attack anyone. But he did cut off the moderator once again.
I haven't seen any new photos yet that detect wires or gizmos on Bush's person. But if he had some sort of tape recorder device, it must have gotten stuck, since every other answer of his mentioned education. What the hell does education have to do with raising the minimum wage? I'm sure some travelling freeper will leave a comment to explain the voodoo economics to me.
Bush On a Wire
I won't blame Dubya if he wears an earpiece (or uses a TelePrompTer like Kentucky's Republican Senator Jim Bunning according to Daily Kos) during tonight's debate. After all, it is game two of the New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox League Championship Series. Heck, I'm going to be switching channels back-and-forth myself.
My only pre-debate thought is that I hope tonight's moderator, Bob Schieffer of CBS News, will be provided secret service protection, or at least a corner man. We all remember how close Charlie Gibson came to getting what's-the-frequency-Kennethed at the last debate. Bush might take out all his anger against Dan Rather on his network co-worker.
The sad part is that even if Bush borrowed a move from Ernie Ladd's wrestling playbook - such as giving a giant boot to the face of Mr. Schieffer - the mainstream press would still refrain from remarking on his bad temper just like they did in Missouri.
Isn't it funny how the third estate can't wait to reveal the election results before the polls are even closed, but most of the networks passed the buck before judging the winner of the last two debates.
I happened to be watching CNN last Friday a half-hour after the debate concluded. The commentator claimed that there were no early poll results at the time. But I also happened to be on the CNN website which showed a two-to-one edge for Kerry. Typical. What liberal media?
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
RNC Protest Slideshow
Here's a link to a slideshow composed of pictures I took during the RNC invasion of NYC a little over a month ago. Some of the pictures are scattered across this site...but I'll be adding more to this link in the next few days.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Who Can Really Run And Hide?
I'm going to borrow a much-much-much repeated line by George Bush, especially, over the last few days, while on the fake campaign trail. Fake because, in order to attend one of his charlatan-rainmaker-performances, the prospective attendee must prove party allegiance, sign waivers, and - as The New York Times recently revealed - work the phones or do odd jobs for the Cheney/Bush campaign. Which means: that one of the few presidents unelected-by-the-popular-vote has no wish to attract borderline, wavering or uncommitted voters; normally, the only reason that a candidate would campaign at all. He must know something that we don't, but will know soon within the next month.
A line that seems designed to draw some sort of sinister connection between a man who is the only hope for America and the man who has been second-most responsible for destroying much of the hope of America.
George W. Bush can run but he can't hide from the fact that the invasion of Iraq - under way-more-than-one false pretense - has helped accomplish the Osama bin Laden mission of successfully running away and hiding.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Kerry On The Madman
This Kerry quote speaks for itself. It should also speak for every sane American:
Kerry looked back on Friday's night's debate in St. Louis, Missouri, recalling that at one stage a riled-up Bush cut off moderator Charles Gibson in midsentence to answer one of his rival's statements.
"I was a little worried at one point, I thought the President was going to attack Charlie Gibson."Yahoo News
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Shut the Door! I Still Feel A Draft
So Bush promised America that he won't resume the draft if he's selected for a second term by his friends in the Supreme Court.
Should we believe him?
In my last post I wrote, "that there isn't much of a chance that the endless war on terror will be fought with terminator robots."
So, AMERICA, you have a choice.
Believe Bush and our GOP controlled Congress that there won't be some sort of draft established in order to fight an endless war on terror fought on fronts that have nothing to do with what happened on September 11, 2001.
Or believe that we currently have the technology to fight and win wars by replacing men with robots as Bush bragged about in the second debate with John Kerry last night.
P.S. - A blogger left a comment regarding my post from yesterday. When I checked his personal website and saw the link at the top of his page to www.electoral-vote.com which clearly shows Kerry in the lead (280-248 at this particular time), I assumed he was a Democrat. But it turns out that he's a blogger for Bush. So no wonder he disagreed with me.
I responded to his comments in the haloscan thread. I wrote that I would follow up in a future post...but I don't see a need to, now. Friendly fire disturbs me, enemy fire makes me stand firmer. So I stand by everything I wrote in my last post.
I've written some things on this blog that haven't come true. I've written some things in anger, which I later might have regretted a bit. But that's the life of a political blogger, working without a net, with no editors or fact checking interns. Bush has attacked Kerry for changing his mind. But thats what human beings do. We sometimes change our minds. I reserve the right to change my mind in the future.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Don't Believe The Hype That There Won't Be A Draft
Someone named Paradox (via Tapped and via Mydd) posted a great link on http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/10/7/195645/549 which features "Ohio House Representative Tim Ryan explaining why young people are still afraid of the draft despite repeated Republican denials."
Download this video and watch it on your Windows Media Player (thanks to DjW for sparing some precious bandwidth).
Only a numbskull would discount the possibility of the reinstatement of the draft if there's a second Bush term. That would be the same kind of numbskull that also believes that Saddam Hussein contributed to the September 11 attacks.
Congress can pass all the bill it wants to. But - despite the fact that Arnold is California's Governor - there isn't much of a chance that the endless war on terror will be fought with terminator robots. If not a draft, then what?
This is a letter I wrote The New York Times (which, of course, they didn't print) on December 29th, 2003:
Re: "The Thinning of the Army" (editorial, Dec. 29):
It's been a while since the coming spring rotation for the troops in Iraq has been addressed in this paper. While criticisms of the Bush administration's chronic unilateralism are certainly valid, the more probable and viable "solution" to our soldier shortage goes unmentioned. You don't need a weatherman to know a new draft is coming. That way, more Americans will have the opportunity to play lead supporting roles in the dogmatic war on terror. Fresh troops translates into more military families, which are more controllable, less-inclined to criticize or dissent and, as a result, tend to vote Republican. At least some new jobs will be created.
Can't You Smell That Smell?
I took this picture on August 29th during the march against the Republican National Convention in New York City. Another line from the same Lynyrd Skynyrd song comes to mind when I think about Dubya: "The smell of death surrounds you."
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Cons From a Neocon
Instead of stubbornly sticking with the "flip-flop" strategy that bombed in the first Kerry-Bush debate, Dick consistently deployed the term "consistency." While Senator Edwards used it first, Dick threw it back at him. Again. And again. And again. And again (and Dick's probably somewhere RIGHT NOW still saying it).
"It's a consistent pattern over time of always being on the wrong side of defense issues."
"You're not credible on Iraq because of the enormous inconsistencies that John Kerry and you have cited time after time after time during the course of the campaign. Whatever the political pressures of the moment requires, that's where you're at. But you've not been consistent, and there's no indication at all that John Kerry has the conviction to successfully carry through on the war on terror."
"And you cannot use "talk tough" during the course of a 90-minute debate in a presidential campaign to obscure a 30-year record in the United States Senate and, prior to that by John Kerry, who has consistently come down on the wrong side of all the major defense issues that he's faced as a public official."
"We have not seen the kind of consistency that a commander in chief has to have in order to be a leader in wartime and in order to be able to see the strategy through to victory."
"Makes no sense at all. It's totally inconsistent. There isn't a plan there."
"Well, Gwen, I can think of a lot of words to describe Senator Kerry's position on Iraq; "consistent" is not one of them."
"I think if you look at the record from voting for sending the troops then voting against the resources they needed when they got there, then saying I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it, saying in response to a question knowing everything I know now, yes, I would have cast exactly the same vote and then shortly after that saying wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, consistency doesn't come to mind as I consider that record."
The neocon loves the "con" root. He also made considerable use of "conviction" and "convince."
"...and there's no indication at all that John Kerry has the conviction to successfully carry through on the war on terror."
"The problem we have is that, if you look at his record, he doesn't display the qualities of somebody who has conviction."
"And he's demonstrated, without question, the conviction, the vision, the determination to win this war against terror. And those very special qualities are vital in a commander in chief. And I think the president has them, and I'm not at all convinced his opponent does."
"I'm absolutely convinced that the threat we face now, the idea of a terrorist in the middle of one of our cities with a nuclear weapon, is very real and that we have to use extraordinary measures to deal with it."
Consider Dick's conviction to "consider."
"It's a very significant responsibility when you consider that at a moment's notice you may have to take over as president of the United States and make all of those decisions. It's happened several times in our history."
"And I think that probably is the most important consideration in picking a vice president, somebody who could take over."
"...consistency doesn't come to mind as I consider that record."
But neocons also show "concern."
"Concern about Iraq specifically focused on the fact..."
"And the fact is that the president felt that it was important to make it clear that that's the wrong way to go, as far as he's concerned."
"My concern is specifically with what's happened to our medical care system because of rising malpractice insurance rates, because we failed to adequately reform our medical liability structure."
"And they were deeply concerned because they were fearful that there'd be another increase in malpractice insurance rates as a result of what they believe are frivolous lawsuits and that that would put them out of business."
"The president has been deeply concerned about it."
But, of course, don't forget "confidence."
"And I'm confident that, in fact, we'll get the job done."
"We'll continue to very aggressively pursue him, and I'm confident eventually we'll get him."
Then Cheney concluded with, "I'm confident we can do it."
Will confident Dick con the concerned American public into allowing his confident Neocons to retain their considerable control? Considering Dick's record, he should be convicted.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Dick In Your Mouth All Day
Dick Cheney's finest moments in the debate with John Edwards (NOTE - I'm working off the Fox News transcript which might have been translated by the satirist Carl Cameron):
"The effort that we've mounted with respect to Iraq focused specifically on the possibility that this was the most likely nexus between the terrorists and weapons of mass destruction." Possiblility. Most likely. Now that we know the truth about the location of that nexus (Pakistan) where is the effort?
"The senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11, but there's clearly an established Iraqi track record with terror." Suggested. No. He hasn't. He has consistently insisted in nearly all instances.
"We heard Senator Kerry say the other night that there ought to be some kind of global test before U.S. troops are deployed preemptively to protect the United States. That's part of a track record that goes back to the 1970s when he ran for Congress the first time and said troops should not be deployed without U.N. approval." Some kind of global test. What Senator Kerry really said: "No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons." But, then, Mr. Edwards countered this lie pretty damn well himself.
"I have not heard those numbers with respect to African-American women. I was not aware that it was — that they're in epidemic there, because we have made progress in terms of the overall rate of AIDS infection, and I think primarily through a combination of education and public awareness as well as the development, as a result of research, of drugs that allow people to live longer lives even though they are infected — obviously we need to do more of that." Which part of the Two Americas does Dick belong to? Obviously, the one that knows nothing about a tragedy that did not happen overnight. Obviously, the one that doesn't care about the issues that affect many African-American women.
White House Burns
I took this photograph of RNC delegates fleeing a crowd of protestors on Sunday, August 29, 2004 on 42nd Street and Broadway in New York City. All the delegates were easily recognizable thanks to the orange grab bags they clutched, which were compliments of The New York Times. Of course, The Times didn't hand-out any grab bags to the hundreds of thousands of protestors who probably spent more cash in the city during the weeks worth of festivities.