The Sideshow

Archive for August 2005

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Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Things to see

I thought such a suggestion was supposed to be tin-foil hat stuff, but George Bush delivers a new reason for why we invaded Iraq - and it was about oil! Cindy Sheehan is not amused.

Even the conservative Washington Post has an article on the madness of Destroying FEMA. And Will Shetterly sees privatization in action. (via)

And Center for American Progress has a Progress Report on, um, the same thing. (via)

Bush 404 Error, and the luscious art of Charles Dwyer (via)

Liberal bias at Fox!

Michael Bérubé finds that elusive metaphor Bush has been looking for.

Teresa says IceRocket does a lot of the stuff Technorati used to do, and some more. She also links to an article on the invisibility of white riots.

20:33 BST

Heavy weather

If it doesn't make your heart ache, you're probably already dead. I can't write about the human tragedy, it hurts too much. That's why it's the politics, even though that can break your heart, too.

So, Amanda predicted that in order to distract us from the failures in New Orleans that resulted from Bush's having starved local services and removed first-responders and their equipment to Iraq, the right-wing media would shift to victim-blaming. That's already started. And it's a good thing there's no more racism and we never get this kind of thing anymore. Fortunately, those fun-loving folks at Fox can always find the bright side.

16:51 BST

Open windows

Chris Floyd has a new address for Empire Burlesque, where he explains the new Georgia voter ID law:

The problem for which this law was ostensibly designed is, of course, non-existent; i.e., huge numbers of illegal voters showing up at the polls with fake non-photo IDs.

But the problem for which this law was really designed is, of course, all too real: i.e., huge numbers of legal voters of dusky hue showing up at the polls and voting against Republicans.

This week's hero of journalism is Attytood, doing real research to find out why it's Bush's fault: The president told us that we needed to fight in Iraq to save lives here at home, and yet -- after moving billions of domestic dollars to the Persian Gulf -- there are bodies floating through the streets of Louisiana.

OK, they're polling people about whether Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan, and a majority say yes, but they're not polling people about whether Bush should answer Cindy Sheehan's question about why we were in Iraq in the first place. Y'all might want to write to the media and discuss that question and why they keep eliding the fact that this is what Cindy is asking.

Francis Fukuyama's slow progress toward sense has brought him almost to the brink - now, if only he reaches the point of realizing that all courses in Iraq are bad courses, and staying isn't necessarily the better one.

Do enlistees know what they're getting into? Not likely. (via)

14:03 BST

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

News and analysis

The good news about John Bolton's new job is that he's no longer screwing up at his old job.

I never find it particularly surprising to hear of poverty rates rising during a Republican administration. We've been here before, and before, and before. (I did like Dwight Meredith's response to this latest report, though.)

Here's the kind of headline that gives the wingers a charge: Study: Terrorists Exploit Immigration Laws. Yeah, they especially exploit the rules that give Saudi Arabians easy entry and tell our intelligence agencies not to watch them too closely.

The ACLU is still trying to get those Abu Graib pictures released. And apologists for the administration are still trying to pretend that we have to hide them because they might enrage the Muslim world, or something like that. Like they don't already know that their relatives are being disappeared and tortured. The images don't tell them what they already know, they tell Americans what we should already know - and put a stop to. As long as we're in denial, they have no reason to trust us.

Via Kevin Drum, Brad Plumer observes that there is something wrong with coverage of the Northwestern strike. This is, of course, a pervasive problem and has been for decades. (At least this one actually is a strike. What's worse is that even when it's really a lock-out, the media still portrays it as a strike.)

Peter Daou has written an article on the two different kinds of strength that supporters of the invasion/occupation and its opponents respect - moral versus material. Team Bush has tried to present themselves as working from both, but it is increasingly obvious that they have neither.

23:58 BST

You might want to know

Lis Riba says that Opera is giving itself a birthday party and to celebrate they are giving away free registrations. Get rid of that adbar at last.

All our extremists is belong to you - David Neiwert discovers that (a) there are no right-wing Christian extremists(!) and (b) Christian extremists are really allied with liberals (!). James Lileks says so. But this is all part of a pattern the conservatives use - just like there's no racism other than liberal racism, no anti-semitism except liberal anti-semitism, no disrespect to the troops except by liberals, no contempt for America except by liberals, etc., etc.

MadKane sums up the week in verse.

21:10 BST

Stuff I was too lazy to post last night

At Raw Story, ACLU reveals FBI labeled peace, affirmative action group 'terrorist'. And: Documents previously obtained by the ACLU in response to the FOIAs include an FBI memo on Food Not Bombs, a Colorado group that provides free vegetarian food to hungry people and protests war and poverty, and a report on United for Peace and Justice, a national peace organization that coordinates non-violent protests. (via)

I've linked to this page before, but I lost track of it and recently wanted to cite it somewhere again. Fortunately Amygdala just linked it, so there it is, slightly too late for me to remember why I'd wanted it. These are the various sorts of election maps that use different ways to show how people voted. Here's my favorite. (These maps are also interesting - especially this one.)

If Bush were president in 1861...

Want to know what it's like to work at the customer service desk at Sexyland?

13:40 BST

Monday, 29 August 2005

More stuff to read

Talking the Walk: Here's more evidence, as if we needed it, that many employers are lying liars and that race still matters in hiring. Even when the job is a menial one and the applicants are ex-cons, the white guy is likely to get a better shake.

Robert Parry is Explaining the Bush Cocoon, and also asks, Is Bush al-Qaeda's 'Useful Idiot'?

Iraq dictionary: Matthew Yglesias explains the difference between the different groups of killers roaming around the country. He also says that Kevin Drum is right reasoning that whether we stay in Iraq or go, bad things will happen - but staying is the worse option.

Bill Scher sees something promising in a recent speech by Diane Feinstein about the Rehnquist court's pattern of interfering with Congress' right to pass legislation.

Gary Farber tries to help John Cole understand why Georgia's photo-ID requirement for voters is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise citizens.

This is unusual - a major ad buy from an openly gay candidate for a borough presidency. Watch the ad, which is unkind to Bush.

While I was out, commenters commented on that Frank Rich column. I've now read it and I'm not so happy with Rich. Read the recommended antidote by Norman Solomon here.

21:28 BST

Monday morning stuff

People who miss having three hours of Rachel Maddow in the afternoon might want to know that this week Rachel is taking over Franken's show while he and Katherine Lanpher are on vacation. I can't tell you how I'm looking forward to hearing Rachel interview Franken's regular guests, since her 5:00 AM show is too short for that sort of thing. (And callers, too.) Isaac-Davy Aronson will be doing Rachel's early-morning spot while she's getting up later.

Wolcott has a great post that, among other things, spells out a good definition of chickenhawks, not to mention the good taste shown by liberally quoting from Digby.

Next time you hear someone claiming that medical malpractice suits are frivolous and harmful to the profession, show them this article. Carry it around in your wallet if you need to.

I haven't read Frank Rich's The Vietnamization of Bush's Vacation yet, but I've heard good things about it and I want to make a note here so I don't forget.

Peter Daou has a straight news feed at News Unfiltered. . . which I only just noticed.

Avery Ant rants on President PR Bush.

12:02 BST

Notes from all over

Lance Mannion has joined the many people who are trying to figure out why the press treated Clinton so badly. Guys, I keep telling you, it started during the '92 campaign. He wasn't in office yet (so it's not about new rules in the White House or legislation he passed). He hadn't been elected yet (so it wasn't because he won). At some point during the campaign a press corps that had been embarrassingly in love with Clinton suddenly stopped being in love with him and started the weirdest campaign against a president that I have ever seen. (Lance is right about Al Gore, though.)

If you haven't yet seen the Capitol Hill Blue article about how Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides, check it out. This guy is way more of a story than Clinton ever was, and if you think the media behaves the way it does only because it wants "news" that "sells", you need to explain why they don't think this story is a blockbuster. (Ezra?) Via Culture of Corruption.

Other bloggers writing about the axe falling on Jules Witcover: Old Hickory's Weblog, Foma, and EdRants.

Teresa has the weather report - Katrina: Not your usual weather disaster story. With lots of scary links. This webcam is working.

Brad Plumer discusses an article in which David Brooks actually supports the idea of handling the occupation differently. But Brad is right - Bush won't do it, so it's an exercise in futility. (Personally, I think it's too late anyway.)

00:42 BST

Sunday, 28 August 2005

Some more stuff

TBogg has a hilarious story about the wingers in Waco counter-demonstrating against Cindy. (And it's nice to see that Life of Brian scene applied to the other side for a change.)

That reminds me: I've been meaning to say that I don't understand the concept of a counter-demonstration against asking Bush why we invaded Iraq. Does that mean they're demonstrating for Bush not to tell us why he invaded Iraq?

Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa City) has actually signed the House resolution on the Downing Street memos. Well, fancy that.

GOP war on the poor and middle class continues: Lawmakers are drafting proposals that would cut billions of dollars from the growth of Medicaid, slice into student loans just as students return to college, pare back food stamps and trim farm price supports in the midst of a midwestern drought. And which one of these things is not like the other?

Pamela Leavey at The Democratic Daily says Treasongate should be back on the front pages shortly.

Thomas Nephew's Newsrack has a post full of followups that includes a couple of my favorite hobbyhorses. I'm interested in how the word "fraternize" is being defined for labor organizing, and of course I always want to see more people talking about how Maryland's governor is trying to cook the ballot box.

Bulletproof Burkha

22:42 BST

Seen on the prestigious Internet

I see we're having a return to what may have been Andrew Sullivan's most odious moment, when he helped promote credibility for what had been a dying rationalization for out-and-out racism. Atrios picked up the ball from Arthur Silber and keeps running, along with Lawyers, Guns and Money. They're good and there's no point in me trying to add more. But if there was any doubt that The Bell Curve was trash when it came out, George Bush is the living proof; "cognitive elite" my ass.

More for the "Why more professors are liberal" category: The LAT reports that creationist fruitcakes are suing the University of California for "discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints." According to the lawsuit, UC's board of admissions also advised the school that it would not approve biology and science courses that relied primarily on textbooks published by Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books, two Christian publishers. The university's response is simple and obvious: They don't accept students who are unprepared. Via Amygdala (where there is a whole lot of other stuff).

Bush is so unpopular that even Mississippi newspapers are pointing out how unrealistic he is being.

Ari Berman seems to be saying in The Nation that whatever it was Al Gore had in mind for Current TV, he's lost control of it to the business model.

Steve Soto recalls that if Roberts is connected to Iran-Contra, he's connected to drugs - and wonders whether John Kerry is ready to go after this one again. Also, returning to a theme from way back during the 2000 campaign, an army of presstitutes travels on its stomach. (I bet few people remember that brief moment when the press wasn't nice to Bush, before he changed the menu.)

Tom Hayden on the way the administration is handling Iraq: It suggests that the US has chosen to ally itself with Islamic fundamentalism rather than a secular state with a centralized government.

Steeph actually looked at the proposed Iraqi Constitution. It's not exactly a beacon of liberty.

Listen to Norman Solomon's talk on War Made Easy.

16:35 BST

Saturday, 27 August 2005

Open windows

Huh, I don't think I saw Who Won the Election? Who Cares? at the time (but I'm too lazy to check). Via Peevish.

In today's Washington Post, Colbert King suggests that Bush is Rallying the Troops and Avoiding Reality. Well, he's very polite, but he's more than suggesting that Bush is talking about some other planet than this one.

Go here to see NARAL's new, much better ad about John Roberts.

The segmented man (Thanks to Julia for the tip.)

Ted Rall stays the course.

Live Like Slaves (Public Employees Threaten Democracy).

God's ex-Boyfriend on television warnings. Personally, I'd like warnings about unrealistic violence and ridiculous medicine. For example, "The blood-spatter in these scenes is much more spectacular than in real life," or "The medical complications shown in this episode are much more likely to occur in a hospital maternity ward than during a birth at home." (At least in House, the point is that they don't even suggest a case to him unless the horse has been ruled out.)

20:23 BST

Referred pain

Carolyn Kay of Make Them Accountable recommends these three pieces:

John M. Broder in The New York Times, California Accuses Drug Companies of Fraud:

The attorney general of California sued 39 drug companies on Thursday, accusing them of bilking the state of hundreds of millions of dollars by overcharging for medicines.
California officials cited as an example a pint bag of saline solution used as an intravenous drip manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. The lowest price available to health care providers was 95 cents, the officials said. Medi-Cal was charged $9.78 for the same item.

"We have an ocean of it," Mr. Lockyer said. "It's called saltwater."

(Says Carolyn: The cost of health care is kept high by the inflated prices drug companies charge. Get this, friends: We pay for the basic research they use to develop their drugs. Then we pay higher prices because they get to patent the drugs they develop based on that research. Included in those higher prices is the cost of advertising to sell these drugs to us. And also included is the cost to lobby Congress to extend the amount of time they can charge us higher prices. And that's all LEGAL. But it's not enough. No, they have to steal from us, as well. One of these days, we're going to get to call it corruption.)

The Moral-Hazard Myth by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker:

One of the great mysteries of political life in the United States is why Americans are so devoted to their health-care system. Six times in the past century-during the First World War, during the Depression, during the Truman and Johnson Administrations, in the Senate in the nineteen-seventies, and during the Clinton years-efforts have been made to introduce some kind of universal health insurance, and each time the efforts have been rejected. Instead, the United States has opted for a makeshift system of increasing complexity and dysfunction. Americans spend $5,267 per capita on health care every year, almost two and half times the industrialized world's median of $2,193; the extra spending comes to hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
Policy is driven by more than politics. It is equally driven by ideas, and in the past few decades a particular idea has taken hold among prominent American economists which has also been a powerful impediment to the expansion of health insurance. The idea is known as "moral hazard." Health economists in other Western nations do not share this obsession. Nor do most Americans. But moral hazard has profoundly shaped the way think tanks formulate policy and the way experts argue and the way health insurers structure their plans and the way legislation and regulations have been written. The health-care mess isn't merely the unintentional result of political dysfunction, in other words. It is also the deliberate consequence of the way in which American policymakers have come to think about insurance.
In the Guardian, Two fingers to America - Richard Gott on a man who works tirelessly to improve the lot of his people:
He never stops talking and he never stops working. He has time for everyone and never forgets a face. For several years he travelled incessantly around the country, to keep an eye on what was going on. This was not mere electioneering, for he would talk for hours to those who had hardly a vote among them. He exhausts his cadres, his secretaries and his ministers. I have travelled with him and them into the deepest corners of the country, and then, after a 16-hour day, he would call the grey-faced cabinet together for an impromptu meeting to analyse what they had discovered and what measures they should take.
Chavez is widely popular today, but for much of his presidency he has been a contested, even a hated figure, arousing widespread discontent within Venezuela's traditional white elite. Yet although his rhetoric is revolutionary, his reforms have been moderate and social democratic. He criticises the policies of "savage neo-liberalism" that have done so much harm to the poorer peoples of Venezuela and Latin America in the past 20 years, yet the private sector is still alive and well. His land reform is aimed chiefly at unproductive land and provides for compensation. His most obvious achievement, which should not have been controversial, has been to channel increased oil revenues into a fresh range of social projects that bring health and education into neglected shanty-towns.

The hatred that he arouses in the old opposition parties, which have seen their membership and influence dwindle, lies more in ideology and racial antipathy than in material loss.


It's certainly not comparable to a gulag.

Fafnir interviews the Democratic leadership. This is so spot-on that I really think you should print it out and send it to your Dem reps. Hell, send it to any Democratic politician you've ever heard of. Maybe if they get enough of them, they'll get the message. (via)

11:38 BST

In the cracks of Iraq

Sumana Harihareswara mailed me to say: Isn't "The death of Al Mutanabbi Street" an amazing story?

Well, yes, it is.

Iraqi culture was reborn when Saddam fell, only to die again. A report from Baghdad's fear-haunted literary cafes.
On Tuesday, Aug. 2, walking carefully under the white-hot sun, a man carried a bag down Al Mutanabbi Street and walked into Hajji Qais Anni's stationery store, stayed for a short time, then left without his package. When the package exploded a short time later, the blast killed Hajji Qais, who was sitting near the door where he kept watch over his shop. The bomb set fire to his place, and it is now a blackened shell on bookseller's row.
Ahmed Dulaimi, a young guitarist for Iraq's only heavy metal band, told a story that has been going around Baghdad these last few weeks. There was an ice seller selling ice from a small shop on the sidewalk in the Dora neighborhood. One hot day, a man came up to him with a gun and said, "You shouldn't be selling ice because the Prophet Mohammed didn't have ice in his time." Then the gunman shot the ice seller dead. This story terrifies Iraqis but they often laugh when they recount it, because it is absurd that anyone would get killed for selling ice or shaving a beard. It is also true that the ice-seller anecdote follows a pattern of killings around the capital where Islamic militants have regularly assassinated Iraqis for violating strict, and utterly random, codes of behavior. The point of the ice-seller story is that now, anyone in Iraq can be killed for any reason at all. After Hajji Qais was killed, more than one person mentioned these spontaneous assassinations, and they spoke about them the way they'd describe a sandstorm, an all-encompassing thing that no one can stop.
This literary neighborhood was hated but tolerated under Saddam. In the new Iraq, there are "many Saddams", and there is more fear.
Iraqis still shop in the book district, but most of the intellectuals who felt free to say what they thought in public are either in hiding or have fallen silent out of fear that spies for various armed groups will target them for assassination. Iraqi writers are starting to head underground, retreating to protected offices. Because literary culture is so bound to a particular neighborhood of Baghdad, an attack on Al Mutanabbi Street is an attack on Iraqi culture itself. This is a culture once so vibrant that a famous slogan in the Arab world ran, "Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, Baghdad reads."
But they are not in complete despair - not yet. Read it all.

01:00 BST

Friday, 26 August 2005


Jeralyn Merritt, Colorado Releases First "Sexually Violent Predator", and you'd think hanging was too good for him, but: Who is this inmate? Did he kidnap and rape a small child? Did he accost a stranger in a parking lot or on a dark street and violently rape her before letting her go? Well, no.

Holden recommends this from William E. Jackson, Jr. at The Huffington Post on the bizarre behavior of The New York Times in their strange defense of Judith Miller, a woman who should have been fired a long time ago but who instead they have backed to the hilt in the face of behavior that has threatened the confidentiality of whistle-blowers everywhere precisely because she is protecting someone who was not so much a source as the story.

Of interest in East London is the fact that the new Elijah Wood movie is Green Street, about an American who gets involved with some West Ham football hooligans. The Times had this feature on it in the Sunday magazine a couple weeks back; the trailer and clips can be found here. We didn't recognize any of the scenery in it but they probably filmed it elsewhere. (I was also looking for a link to the story in the same issue on Serenity, but I kept getting a server error on it. If you can find it, it's called "Hang on in there." [Update: It's here, but requires registration.])

Different Baltimore Sun news: Aside from Nils Lofgren, Paul Mattix was the only one of the kids I went to public school with whose whereabouts I knew of. I knew because one day Dave Ettlin asked me if I remembered Paul, and shortly thereafter he came up to me in the newsroom and said hi. He was more charming than ever. I can't say we were friends or anything, but everything I knew about him tells me he deserved the respect he got. And now Dave tells me he's gone. This is the first time I've known about someone I was actually in classes with dying, and that's a bit weird. (Meanwhile, Mike Walsh sent me a link to the article on Jules Witcover from The Baltimore City Paper.)

And D. Potter calls my attention to another good editorial cartoon today by the wonderful Ann Telnaes.

19:37 BST

The unmaking of a love affair

Atrios has linked to Digby's post on Rotten Elites, which is good for a while, but I think stumbles here:

It was clear that Bill Clinton was offensive to the Washington establishment from the beginning, mainly because although he had all the proper elite credentials, he clearly wasn't a real member of the club.
It isn't true. I have never figured out what happened with Clinton (as I've said before), but it was the press corps' fascination with Clinton that buoyed him to the nomination - they seemed to be in love with him.

And then something happened that changed that and they began to behave like jilted lovers. It was as if he had done something to them personally. And it started toward the end of the race, before the election. I've seen two sets of theories on why the press hated the Clintons, but none of them seem to acknowledge that change of affections - either they always hated him, or they hated him because of "Travelgate", or because of some other infraction he committed while in the White House.

I can't pin down the date when the change came - I only know that for a while I couldn't figure out why they were so in love with him, and then I couldn't figure out why they were so rabidly against him.

Certainly it intensified after "Travelgate", when he interfered with their sweetheart deals with the corrupt WH travel office, but it had already started by then, and I've never known why. None of this really explains it.

(Although, it's true, Clinton certainly was cooler than the twerps in the press corps.)

The only explanation I've been able to come up with is that the Republicans suddenly realized they had a threat on their hands and started working full-time to spread the evil memes against the Clintons until it finally took. But is it true? I just don't know.

15:20 BST

Stuff I saw this morning

More stuff that should be obvious from Krugman, filed under "Who is the Economy For?" Does the punditocracy really not notice, or do they just think it's their job to repeat RNC crap about the "great" economy? American families don't care about G.D.P. They care about whether jobs are available, how much those jobs pay and how that pay compares with the cost of living. And recent G.D.P. growth has failed to produce exceptional gains in employment, while wages for most workers haven't kept up with inflation.

This LAT piece on Treasongate has been recommended in a number of places. There are no revelations in it but it provides a good timeline of events and asks some good questions and reminds us of a few significant, forgotten details. Via The Mahablog.

Crooks and Liars has the video of Jon Stewart interviewing Christopher Hitchens. Also, Ann Coulter saying New Yorkers would surrender to terrorists. On the contrary, New Yorkers have irritated people like Coulter precisely because they have failed to surrender to terrorism.

This is nearly a week old, but I kept meaning to post about it and never got around to it and I haven't seen it all over the place (I've seen it at No Capital, though). It's the story of the Salt Lake City Mayor who called for protests of Bush on the occasion of his visit. Now, there's a brave man.

My memories of Subway sandwiches are tinged with gritty late-night desperation and the outrage of seeing Cafe Figaro replaced with a fast-food joint, and then it fades after 20 years of not seeing one. But they've started showing up in London recently and there's now one exactly where I needed a decent sandwich joint for right before the FAC meeting. And believe me, their tuna sub is such an improvement over your standard British version of a tuna sandwich that I actually look forward to it. Anyway, I have no memory whatsoever of how they used to cut their sandwiches, but the fact that they changed it is explained here. Via Bearcastle Blog.

12:41 BST

Spinning Cindy

They just lie:

One of the popular stories circulating in Wingnut World is that Cindy Sheehan has said that "America is not worth dying for." The only problem is, she didn't say that.
What she said:
I'm going all over the country telling moms: "This country is not worth dying for. If we're attacked, we would all go out. We'd all take whatever we had. I'd take my rolling pin and I'd beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq."

10:42 BST

Late links

So, John Bolton is going to clean up corruption at the UN by deleting sections on corruption from the General Assembly draft document (.pdf). Steve Clemons, posting at TPM, has more. (Steve also suggests that Bolton may be undermining Bob Zoellick and Condi Rice - with Dick Cheney's blessings.)

Derivative Work has quotes on file-sharing The Daily Show from an interview in Wired with Jon Stewart.

Via Cursor, the NPR ombudsman gets letters like this one: I have lately come to believe that the "R" in NPR stands for religion. Why do we have to have a comment from a conservative minister on almost every news item reported? And PBS now has a Mormon Access TV station.

Also via Cursor, Linda Hirshman, who is #77 on Bernie Goldberg's list of people who are screwing up America, has started a blog, Screwingamerica, where, she says, "Each day for 100 days I will post a line or two of what Bernie thinks of one of the 100 and then a paragraph about who they really are." She starts with herself.

When will George Bush condemn the terrorist?

An important question

03:12 BST

Thursday, 25 August 2005

Roberts nomination news

So it turns out that hundreds of pages from the John Roberts record involving Iran-Contra are being withheld. (They're also withholding a document involving Bob Jones University.)

At long last, it appears that Democrats are asking questions, and among them:

Yesterday, two other Democrats on the committee, Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, sent a letter to Roberts asking him to explain his participation as a judge in a case brought against the Bush administration by Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni man who was once a driver for Osama bin Laden. The case was being argued and decided this spring and summer, at the same time Roberts was being interviewed by White House officials for the Supreme Court post.

Roberts sided with the Bush administration in the case, which involved a challenge to the administration's use of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects. He interviewed with officials including Vice President Cheney, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Karl Rove, the president's deputy chief of staff, after oral arguments were held but before a decision was handed down by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"Because of the timing of your interviews and court's consideration of the Hamdan case, several leading ethicists . . . have recently suggested that you should have recused yourself from the case," Schumer and Feingold wrote.

I'm happy to see this case brought to public attention - not so much because of the impropriety but because of the clearly unconstitutional outcome that declared Bush to be entitled to the divine right of kings.

People for the American Way have released a comprehensive report on the "compelling case" against confirming Roberts. Oh, yeah, and Feinstein has decided to complain about how he's a threat to privacy rights and Roe v. Wade.

17:00 BST

Catch-up blogging

Editorial pages nationwide condemn Robertson comments, but seem to have missed the fact that this didn't come out of nowhere. The administration has been trying for a long time to smear Chavez as some sort of brutal dictator who is illegally in power - which is, of course, a great load of bearing false witness. But several papers have characterized the whole affair as Robertson giving fuel to Chavez's "paranoid" fantasies that someone in the US is out to get him. Um, not really paranoid when they've already tried to depose you once, is it? Meanwhile, Robertson said many contradictory things about how he didn't say it but ad-libbed it "out of frustration".

Dominic wonders in comments whether Britain's new crack-down on hate-preachers would apply to Robertson.

Digby is surprised to learn of the Christian Assassination Doctrine, and also wonders: ...when did Hugo Chavez morph into a genocidal monster? I certainly understand that free market capitalists have serious beefs with his economic vision and he's not exactly a beacon of transparent governance and political freedom, but he's no Stalin. He's not even Fidel. But also read him on how every dead soldier is a win for Bush.

So-Called Pro-Life Group Attacks Deceased Iraq Marine, His Family & Care-Givers - Faithful Progressive reports.

Lamparello v. Falwell: Jerry Falwell can't stop his critic from using the domain name

K9 Returning to Doctor Who.

Toles: Intelephant Design

13:43 BST

It came in the mail

The only thing worse than travelling is travelling all day and not getting anywhere. So I take a train and a train and a longer train and I get to the airport and my plane has been cancelled, and after some queries and phone calls and what have you all I can do is turn around and go home. Damn, I was looking forward to Edinburgh. Oh, well. So, anyway, here's some stuff that was in my mail:

The Mirror explains everything - Tony Blair to join the Carlyle Group, which is just what he always wanted. (via)

Howard Kurtz has more on Jules Witcover. (Thanks to Dave Ettlin for the tip.)

The Clunk of Civilizations (Thanks to Helga.)

Even more cartoons (Thanks to Derryl Murphy.)

00:45 BST

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Lying scumbag right-wing corporate media

I don't want anyone to miss this item Atrios has posted, so I'm providing it in its entirety for those of you who don't already read him and won't click through:

Radical Clerics

NBC started their Robertson piece with "This was no extremist cleric issuing a death threat. This was Christian Minister Pat Robertson..."

Watch the clip here.

So, it's a non-extremist cleric issuing a death threat. What do the extremist Christian clerics do?

12:10 BST

On the internets

Check out these posts by Jesse and Digby about the fact that movement conservatism and conservative "Christianity" are now just one big industry without a soul. Jesse: The L.A. Times has a story on Christian training for conservative Congressional aides. Now, I was under the impression that there was already a place that trained you how to be a Christian. It's called "church".

The Democratic Daily interviews Ed Asner. What outrages him most? "The Bush administration's hand on the pulse of American apathy. Their ability to control the media and the media's total prostration to the Bush administration."

Down in comments, Alice Marshall (of GOTV) says that if Virginia readers want paper ballots, "NOW is the time to speak out. Contact their local House of Delegates member who is running for reelection."

The Grauniad has a review of the Stones concert in Fenway Park.

Two of my obsessions combine at last! Lego Serenity.

10:36 BST

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

The so-called liberal media

You may remember this Richard Posner article from last month in which he wrote about the media and trotted out all the usual right-wing canards. Even if you didn't read it (and why should you?), you might find it rewarding to read the letters in response from Bill Moyers and Eric Alterman, both of whom put the lie to the old talking points. Oh, there's also a letter from the paper's very own executive editor, Bill Keller, which is a remarkable exercise in lack of self-knowledge. There are also a couple of others, one of which, in its entirety, reads:

The photos selected to accompany Richard Posner's essay say far more about media bias than the words do. The conservatives - Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Trent Lott - look like clowns. The liberals - Dan Rather and Bill Moyers - look serious and intelligent. [-- Bob Hoffman]
Well, actually, no, it doesn't say anything about media bias; it's just that Limbaugh, Drudge, and Lott really do look like clowns.

But all the other letters have more to them. Here's a taste of Moyers:

Over the past three years, on the PBS series ''Now With Bill Moyers,'' my colleagues and I attempted just what Judge Posner advises. We laid bare one abuse of power after another - corporate, political and governmental. We reported on the misrepresentation and distortions leading up to the invasion of Iraq. We reported on troops sent to war with inadequate armor, while billions are spent on exotic and expensive Pentagon weapons that don't work. We reported on wounded veterans poorly treated upon their return, on conflicts of interest in the Department of the Interior, on the evisceration of the Freedom of Information Act and on offshore tax havens that enable wealthy interests to avoid their fair share of national security and the social contract. We reported on campaign contributions that skew legislation to deprive regular workers and taxpayers of their livelihood and security. We reported on overpricing at Halliburton, chicanery on K Street and the heavy, if divinely guided, hand of Tom DeLay. And - because what people know depends on who owns the press - we reported time and again on how megamedia companies are driving journalism down the hierarchy of corporate values, silencing critics while shutting communities off from essential information, and secretly lobbying the F.C.C. for deals that could not survive public scrutiny.

Our subjects - and their powerful political allies - went apoplectic. We were subjected to private campaigns of intimidation and harassment - including threats to cut PBS funding if we weren't ''dealt with'' - and to relentless public attacks from the administration's de facto Ministry of Propaganda in the right-wing media. The ''great social mission'' that Judge Posner applauds is so rare not because the public doesn't want or need it but because elites fear and attempt to squelch it.

And Eric:
What's more, Posner's ideological sleight of hand does not address the definitions of the descriptive terms ''liberal'' and ''conservative.'' According to a May 2005 survey published by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, 65 percent of Americans who were questioned favor providing health insurance to all Americans, even if it means increasing taxes, and a full 86 percent say that they favor raising the minimum wage. Seventy-seven percent of those polled believe the country ''should do whatever it takes to protect the environment,'' while 63 percent subscribe to that view ''strongly.'' With regard to foreign policy, a May 2005 Rasmussen poll found that 49 percent of Americans say that President Bush is more responsible for starting the war with Iraq than Saddam Hussein, compared with only 44 percent who believe that it was Saddam Hussein's fault. During 2005, strong majorities of Americans polled have consistently expressed disapproval of the war and told pollsters they believe the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into it. By similarly significant majorities, Americans believe the Iraqi incursion has made the nation less, rather than more, secure.

In the mainstream media, these views are considered so ''liberal'' as to be all but unspeakable, save for a few outliers like The Times's Frank Rich and Paul Krugman.

Via Altercation, which also reminds us that Gore won. The occasion for this is the right-wingers' zany reaction to Paul Krugman's column Friday which pointed out that a full count of the 2000 Florida ballots turned out to have shown a Gore win - which resulted in Mickey Kaus actually standing up to say that Krugman has been Overfisked by the wingers. Krugman spoke for himself in response yesterday, and of course the wingers shot back. That last is another reason I don't think machines can ever do the necessary job. Recounts aren't good enough; we need paper ballots, hand-counted in the precinct on the night.

20:09 BST


Down in comments, jello recommends Four Amendments & a Funeral by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone. I vaguely remember posting about this before, but if you missed it, I recommend you go there now.

It would have been convenient for some people to believe that 9/11-connected terrorists could have been stopped by President Clinton, but all the warnings and intelligence didn't start coming in until after Bush was in the White House - where Bush ignored it.

Patrick receives a letter from a fruitcake.

V for Vendetta... sometime.

17:30 BST

What the papers say

More whining Republicans: Governor Ehrlich (R-MD) is being a cry-baby over the fact that he is being investigated for his unethical firings of state workers in order to replace them with his own partisans. Naturally, he is accusing Democrats of "partisanship" for wanting to put a stop to it.

Ehrlich is also fighting to have paperless, hackable machines counting the votes in Maryland, which he probably needs desperately to stay in the Governor's mansion at this point. Even the WaPo can figure out that there's something wrong with that, although their insistence that, "Computerized voting systems are the way to go in Maryland and elsewhere," has some holes in it, too. And, as a reminder: "The state legislature did vote this year for an official review of electronic systems, but Mr. Ehrlich would not buy even this weak move; he vetoed the bill." Why is that? Why is it that Republicans are so adamantly against any moves to ensure voting integrity?

And speaking of vote-scammers, another of our old friends (Katherine Harris' voter purgers) is in the news again. Remember how ChoicePoint tried to hide the fact that its security had been compromised and all your info got "shared"? Well, now they've decided to make you pay to find out what they got from you: Rosen's experience highlights a paradox in the recent string of thefts of personal information: Many of the same companies responsible for safeguarding reams of sensitive data that have fallen into the hands of scammers are now trying to cash in by pledging to protect consumers' privacy.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission report on the death of Jean Charles de Menezes will apparently be completed by Christmas, but it won't be released until "all proceedings in the case, including any criminal or disciplinary measures against the police officers involved in the shooting, are complete."

BBC Radio 1 has announced it's planning a John Peel Day for 13 October, with "gigs across the UK" and "a major gig in London for what it hopes will become an annual event." Presumably you'll be able to listen to the whole thing all day at their site, so you may want to put that on your calendar.

Nick Madigan, the new media guy at The Baltimore Sun, says a lot of people complained about the disappearance of Jules Witcover from the Sun op-ed page, and offers more details about why he's gone. (Thanks to Sun night editor Dave Ettlin for the tip.)

13:51 BST

Creep watch

I see the fruitcakes are out in force showing their true colors. Media Matters has the transcript and video of Pat Robertson advocating the assassination of Hugo Chavez, claiming there was a "popular coup" that unseated him, but since the US "did nothing" he was back in office within 48 hours. This is, of course, factually challenged as well as disgusting.

There are several reasons why Chavez remains in power, but one reason is that his policies show more interest in the needs of his people and his country than in US oil policy, and thus the majority of Venezuelans, to no one's surprise, preferred the man they'd elected by a huge majority to someone installed by the US and Venezuela's wealthy elite. For all that he may just be a politician, he's a politician who apparently prefers not to stiff his people on behalf of the Bush Family Empire, and it's no wonder his constituents chose to hold the line for local democracy rather than go for world oligarchy.

So in the name of "spreading democracy", no doubt, Robertson wants to murder a popularly elected leader. And I suppose the libertoonians can pretend Robertson doesn't speak for them, but you can bet your sweet cheeks the anti-Chevez meme is very much a part of the conservative movement and becoming stronger with every one of these utterances - and if Bush decides to try it again, or invade Venezuela to "liberate" it, the whole gang of latent royalists will be right behind him with many handy reasons why only people with a pathological hatred of Bush could possibly disagree with such a policy.

Back home, WMAL finally fired talk-show host Michael Graham for his insistence on-air last month that Islam is "a terrorist organization" - an assertion he refused to withdraw or modify after nearly a month on suspension. Well, it's nice to know that at least in a market like Washington, DC (the real one) such language is beyond the pale, but in the fake Washington - the one that's always the center of political news - that kind of bigotry is no longer surprising to a lot of people and can be found all over the right-wing blogosphere as well. You'd have trouble reminding these people that Christianity, too, has its bloody history, and the showing it's making in Iraq right now is nothing to be proud of, either. Indeed, our most prominent terrorists at home are loudly calling themselves Christians. And isn't terrorism precisely what Robertson is advocating? Ah, but we're supposed to ignore that, I guess.

10:13 BST

Monday, 22 August 2005

Stops on the Infobahn

Susie Bright on censorship, dying cities, and other things: In the meantime, the country's going to hell in a handbasket and the "opposition party" is trying to score points carping about the danger of pornography. There oughta be a game called "Grand Theft: Your Country."

If you want to see the wingers play the racist card again, John Fund is on the case, insisting there is no election fraud anymore on the part of people who would like to prevent blacks from voting. Instead, it's obviously crazy lefties who are merely using the specter of Jim Crow for political gain. No, the real threat is "voter fraud" by, um, those same wild lefties, I guess. Yes, all those people who went out to celebrate the Voting Rights act and demonstrate their desire to see it renewed were just "using" the issue. Yep, you bet. (I think he knows he's lying, but of course that's just my opinion.)

Brad Plumer is intrigued by the idea that evolutionary psychology is a rubbish theory. There may be a lot going for that approach....

Fred Clark provides The Antichrist Checklist in his continuing Left Behind series.

Harbin Ice and Snow World 2005. God, I love this stuff.

And thanks to the Linkmeister in comments alerting me to this All Things Considered show with Cavett - the page includes clips of Cavett with Bowie and Joplin.

21:34 BST

Dem Dems

So the big political story is that Democrats can't get together on what to do about - well, everything. (I can remember when the Labour Party used this kind of talking point against the Tories.) So whose idea is it to make this a big story right now? Is it an accident that not only The Washington Post but the NYT have this same story today?) Unfortunately, this is true, and Atrios is right about why. I don't think the party benefits at all from having all that top-level jockeying for the presidential nomination, and I wish I could believe they'd stop.

Still, Bill Scher seems to be cheered by how Russ Feingold showed leadership by, "bucking conventional wisdom about what's best for Iraq, and putting forth a bold and comprehensive argument for an alternative policy."

Meanwhile, all the polls are showing that something like 60% of the populace is really on the same page with mainstream Democrats. Thank god that's over with; we can all relax now, I guess. (More here and a lot of other places.)

19:05 BST

Soup to nuts

Mermaid Embroidery triangle bra

Bra of the Week - definitely not a T-shirt bra, but...

Morford: You Now Hate Chocolate Cake.

Fred Phelps answers Cindy Sheehan.

Days later, I am still laughing at this.

Makes a great gift: Dick Cavett Show DVD set of complete shows that included music superstars of the period (and the other guests - but not the commercials). The smartest talkshow host ever talking to Jagger, Joplin, Crosby, Stills, and others. The musical performances have reportedly been re-mixed to improve the sound quality from what some of us still remember.

17:03 BST

Stuff I saw this morning

Some states are rebelling against the crummy voting machines they've been offered (or are already saddled with), and for our favorite voting machine company, this is a problem - especially when a big state like California says they're not interested. So they've found the perfect guy to help out:

With a phone call and a retainer, Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell has launched former Democratic National Committee chairman Joe Andrew on a 50-state ambassadorship for electronic voting.
But Andrew isn't traveling the nation to talk about that or even to talk much about Diebold. So why is a ranking Democratic operative who was convinced Republicans "stole" the 2000 election working for Diebold and O'Dell, a battlestate fund-raiser for Bush-Cheney 2004?
What are the chances that Andrew's reason for taking this job is to sabotage it? No, I didn't think so. (via)

That rat Novak actually has the nerve to suggest that peace groups are sleeping with the enemy. Listen, buster, it's not Cindy Sheehan who announced confidential information about CIA operatives to the world.

Is there any way that the invasion of Iraq hasn't been a failure? Even Chuck Hagel (R-No Man's Land) admits it, now. (Despite being a Republican, he actually knows what Vietnam looked like.) And, of course, now that our government is writing off the freedoms of most of the Iraqi people, it's up to Digby to explain why the last excuse for being there has gone down the tubes.

Jonathan Schwarz says that Actual Journalism has been appearing in The Los Angeles Times under the byline of Steven Bodzin, who is explaining what laws regulating utilities are all about, and the administration's vision of victory in Iraq (which doesn't even rise to the level of a good super-villain - more like the Hulk).

Kathy of What Do I Know? has been in Ireland. There are pictures.

Interactive Alice in Wonderland, via Biomes Blog.

Vorpali, semel atque iterum collectus in ictum
Persnicuit gladio persnacuitque puer:
Deinde glaumphatus, spernens informe cadaver,
Horrendum monstri rettulit ipse caput.
(That was for you, P&T.)

12:42 BST

Links of interest

Ahem... Jihad Watch, Your Freudian Racist Slip is Showing.

Why Sir Ian Blair should resign

David Horsey nails it again.

Just one more reason why you don't want Republicans managing your foreign policy.

Freedom is on the march. I can't stand it.

Congressman Conyers Urges Kerry and Edwards Not to Withdraw From Ohio Recount Case.

What is this?

10:42 BST

Sunday, 21 August 2005

The story so far

Ah, that's better. Dominic's laptop is spiffy but I'm so happy to have my own preferences and stuff back.

I was thinking we should start a movement demanding the teaching in schools of Unintelligent Design, based on the theory that even I could have done a better job of it.

Did I mention that I will be busy Wednesday? If you're in Edinburgh, you could always drop by.

I talked to the folks at the city desk at The Baltimore Sun and found out Tribune just hadn't renewed Witcover's contract. It's a shame, really - he's been there forever. But I liked that final column a lot. Good on ya, Jules.

We can be heroes.

James Wolcott refrains from "dialogue".

Helen Thomas worries that the war is spoiling Bush's vacation.

Connect the Dots.

23:16 BST

Grumble and blink

Still having some technical difficulties here, and using an alien laptop while Dominic tries to heal my computer. So here are the few things I've been able to notice in between trying to get enough files and apps in order to post while hitting the wrong keys:

Does anyone doubt that it's worse for women now that Saddam is gone? And not only that, but they used to have water and electricity, too. I'm waiting for all those pro-war types who used the liberation of women as an excuse to invade to apologize to those of us who said it wasn't going to happen like that. Instead, the women of Iraq are achieving the Cheetos of Freedom. And why? Well, of course, it's all because of 9/11! Or, as Oliver Willis says, when all else fails, your president will lie (and Theresa Was Right).

What's wrong with this story? Twin Cities turning deaf ear to political talk radio shows is the headline, and most of the story is about how people like Rush Limbaugh with syndicated political shows are losing audience share to local programming. But, down at the bottom: "[Al] Franken is an exception, however. Locally, the Minnesota native has increased his audience share to 2.4 percent of listeners ages 25 to 54, compared with 1.3 last year." (via)

While I wasn't looking, Semidi seems to have seriously redecorated the site, now called The Reality Base. And warning that a new right-wing smear should be in the offing for CNN, who will be doing a feature tonight called Dead Wrong - Inside an Intelligence Meltdown.

Not only is this odd, it's not even work-safe. Thanks to Dominic (of Epicycle) for the tip, not to mention the heroic geekery.

13:16 BST

Saturday, 20 August 2005

Thanks for the tea

I looked around for a picture on the web of Marjorie Mowlem as she looked when she invited me for tea in the big pretty building to talk about censorship. She was the sole MP to send us more than a postcard in response to Feminists Against Censorship's mail-out on freedom of expression. She (not her secretary) phoned me up and said she was also worried about censorship and wanted to talk, and would I come to tea with her? So she took me and another colleague to this cute little tea room in the Houses of Parliament with the best view I've ever had of the Thames (and what used to be County Hall), and treated us to tea and cakes and listened to everything we said.

She was beautiful. She was, like me, just reaching the age when she could no longer be called "young", but she was attractive and energetic and vivacious and I loved her. I still loved her after cancer treatment had taken the shine off of her physical appearance, and I loved her even more when she resigned from the government in disgust.

Reports the other day that she was close to death were things I tried to ignore, but now she's gone and after another day of denial I just have to face the fact that we won't be seeing her again. But do me a favor and watch the short video on the BBC page to catch a glimpse of the woman I remember.

Good-bye, Mo. I wish I could believe there would always be more like you, but I'm afraid that would be too optimistic. I'm glad we had you as long as we did. I just wish there had been a whole lot more.

12:17 BST

Blogger's notebook

LiberalOasis on the Democratic failure to react to the Roberts nomination: "It doesn't get much more pathetic than this." Well, um, yeah.

Lawyers, Guns and Money has a good post on how the death of Jean Charles de Menezes has exposed the falseness of the "libertarians" who can't see a reason to limit the power of government.

Yglesias (at TPM Cafe) has a nice take-down of that Ignatius column I mentioned yesterday, and a good thread following it. Let me encourage you to write to the Post and ask them to explain what "new ideas" the Republicans have.

Having read this, I am tempted to print out everything I've written or linked about Judith Miller and mail it to her so she won't feel so deprived.

King of Zembla has links to even more Sibel Edmonds, with a lot of quotation. Oh, yeah, and it makes ya go blind.

I still think this is funny.

Christopher Walken in 2008 (via)

I'm trying to decide whether I like this one or this one better.

11:09 BST

Friday, 19 August 2005

Things to see

Molly Ivins on SLAPP suits and how corporations are not just using them to violate your right to free speech, but also to take away your right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Via The Arizona Eclectic (but read the rest of today's page, too).

Judd Legum and Faiz Shakir at Salon, "The president always knows": Yet, strangely, even the most probing report has refused to raise the possibility that George W. Bush had any advance knowledge of or direct involvement in the leak. It's an irresponsible choice, considering Bush has more experience as a political operative than as president of the United States. Via Mark Kleiman, who doesn't seem to realize that the story was out there, but the right-wing had to completely fabricate stories about Gore's wardrobe consultant to find something more useful to talk about.

Shakespeare's Sister finds a brave message from a hip-hop artist: No more homophobia, and recommends a post from Pam's House Blend, The black and white AmTaliban hop in the sack.

Sticker shock

Friends of America (Don't ya just love 'em?)

Sunset from Science and Sarcasm


18:47 BST

Cindy vs. the media whores

Here's a classic example of an administration tool in the corporatist New York Times:

Conservative Compassion
Edmund Morris

CINDY Sheehan's attempt to have President Bush tell her - again - how sorry he is about the death of her son in Iraq is escalating into a protest more political than personal. As such, it is a legitimate expression of antiwar sentiment. But the individual cry for attention at the heart of it - "Mr. President, feel my pain!" - is misguided. Ms. Sheehan cannot expect a commander in chief to emote on demand.

You would think by now that everyone would know that Sheehan is not asking to meet with Bush just to see if he can fake some compassion. She's asking the question that Morris and every other national journalist should be demanding an answer to: Why did Bush invade Iraq? As she has said over and over, Bush said our soldiers have died "for a noble cause"; Sheehan asks, "What was that 'noble cause'?"

Bush is refusing to meet with Sheehan because he doesn't dare answer that question.

And here's Dana Milbank reinforcing right-wing talking points in his usual way in an online Q&A:

Arlington, Va.: I'm frustrated by Ms. Sheehan's belief that she deserves a second meeting. She has not provided any good reasons for why she didn't ask her questions in the first meeting. You don't always get a second chance in life and she missed hers. It seems to me that she was disappointed by the quality of attention she was given in the first meeting and would like a do-over.

Dana Milbank: No doubt the request for a second meeting is contrived. It's not as if Sheehan really believes she would change the president's mind. But that's just a vehicle that allows her to set up this camp in Crawford.

Of course, at the time of Sheehan's first meeting with America's Number One Phony, there had been no reports released detailing that Bush's given reasons for invading Iraq were contrived, and that he had planned to invade even before 9/11, for reasons unrelated to WMD. Now that the whole world knows it, Sheehan is right to ask what the real reason for that invasion was.

And then there's David Ignatius, who writes Sheehan off as a "shrill" voice to whom the Democratic Party has ceded the entire political terrain, instead of admitting that he and his colleagues have ignored the Democratic contributions to that terrain all along. Every time Democrats present proposals or give press conferences or anything else, the press simply fails to show up, and within days we have another article bemoaning the fact that the Democrats don't do this stuff. (Remember all those "Where is Al Gore?" stories that started showing up after Al Gore started making speeches all over the country which the media ignored?) And, of course, Ignatius still can't get it through his skull that criticisms of Bush policy are about something more than "visceral dislike of George W. Bush," who Ignatius still thinks "much of the country" regards as "a likeable guy." He doesn't seem to notice that a majority of the country is dissatisfied with Bush's policies. (See Armando at Daily Kos for more on how bad this gasbaggery gets.)

In fact, George W. Bush's approval ratings are in the toilet, with very few states showing a rating as high as 50%. The state that likes him the most appears to be Idaho, so Bush is apparently willing to take a vacation from his vacation to go there for the first time. This is fine with me, given that the more public appearances he makes, the lower his support gets. I hope he spends lots of time there letting people know how unimportant they are to him.

Arianna wants to know why the media are having so much trouble covering the Sheehan story, but I think the answer to that is obvious: Every day that she is out there in Waco is a reminder that she wouldn't be there if the Stepford Press had been doing their job.

Dan Froomkin is the rare one who doesn't seem to be falling for it, and if you read his article you get a hint of what's going on. The White House seems to have badly miscalculated on this story, thinking they can make an end-run around Sheehan by launching their attack machine against her. That only gives reporters more to write about, keeping the story alive and even raising its profile. And it's working, to the extent that Rush Limbaugh is now denying his revolting statements about Sheehan being "fake" and the same as Bill Burkett (for which he won Keith Olberman's Worst Person in the World award).

13:11 BST

Recommended reading

Via Mary at The Left Coaster, What They Did Last Fall, in which Paul Krugman gives us a review: In his recent book "Steal This Vote" - a very judicious work, despite its title - Andrew Gumbel, a U.S. correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, provides the best overview I've seen of the 2000 Florida vote. And he documents the simple truth: "Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election."

Also at TLC, eriposte discusses the anti-Americanism and the criminality of the right-wing and of the administration. Definitely read this good, link-rich post, which includes a link to another post at Bradblog on the Republican's fake voting rights group (which includes the news that the DNC has finally noticed them).

Echidne on the usefulness of men.

Can you believe anyone described Marshall Whitman as being "center-left"? Paperwight was sure surprised.

The Cato Institute thinks Bush is a bad CEO.

At Body and Soul, A month at the Baghdad mortuary.

Tami has Sound Advice for England.

The Rude Pundit on Hating Cindy.

10:40 BST

Thursday, 18 August 2005

Maybe it's news

So, it turns out that Sir Ian tried to stop the inquiry into the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes. And what was his excuse? "According to senior police and Whitehall sources, Sir Ian was concerned that an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission could impact on national security and intelligence." Sure, this is always the excuse of the police when they want extraordinary (and largely unnecessary) powers - they just need to be able to do these things to protect the public. They don't seem to get that the people whose privacy, rights, and lives they are destroying are the public. Jean Charles de Menezes was "the public". What did they do to safeguard his life? Ken Livingstone is defending Sir Ian, but it seems to me he's missing the point.

Atrios has linked this piece at BTC news under his "Wankers of the Day" header, but there are some important insights there, too. Not only is it All About Bush, but Bush ultimately doesn't seem to care about any of it, even his image. As long as he can find a core of people who idolize him, no matter how small, he just doesn't seem to notice anything else. (Atrios' own insights are, of course, always worth reading. and Peter Beinart really does have a lot to answer for.)

Bob Herbert on the blue-blood bicycle-boy: Blood Runs Red, Not Blue. Ain't that the truth.

Richard Cohen goes to bat for free speech, and though in the main I agree with him about hate speech laws, I can't help but wonder where he has been while all that other free speech has been attacked and it barely makes the papers.

16:00 BST

Desperate slime

I really want you to listen to today's Rachel Maddow show. She has quotes and clips from the bizarre right-wing talking points about how Cindy Sheehan is "fake". Rush Limbaugh even seems to be suggesting that Sheehan's son did not die in Iraq. Krauthammer has also been on that train.

[Also linked on Rachel's page, the Vanity Fair interview with Sibel Edmonds which suggests that she uncovered bribery of Speaker of the House Denny Hastert by Turkish officials, An Inconvenient Patriot, and an editorial in the NYT on the infuriating administration plan to reauthorize the Ryan White Care Act by diverting AIDS funding from the cities that need it the most to states that have been ignoring the problem. (But it's especially helpful to hear Rachel's take on these things. Download the show if you have the chance. A one-hour show is pretty short when they've taken the commercials out for you.)]

14:05 BST

Stuff saw I

Maru finds some suggestions for Mr. Bush's reading list.

Judd Legum wonders if Judge Roberts has a problem with women. Oh, and the attacks on Fitzgerald have made it to the NYT under Bob Dole's byline.

The wingers are still trying to blame 9/11 on Clinton - but their latest "evidence" doesn't really hold up.

Boys like to set things on fire; wingers blame liberals - of course. (Also: Death on the Fourth of July is now out in paperback.)

Susie Madrak is nowhere near as tolerant of Richard Cohen - or the rest of the Stepford Press - as some others have been. She also recommends Political theater, or, Where's Jesse? at Reading A1, and I concur.

Check out Drug WarRant for more horror stories from the DEA.

Just a few paragraphs from Altercation, but they say it all.

Best offer he'll ever get - nurses make the appropriate response when their pensions are threatened.

Bush: The Good, The Bad, And The Biking

In case you have trouble with that "Wag the Dog" link that Atrios messed up, here's a good one for The Story the Times Forgot. (A link he got right was for this piece listing the enablers of the invasion and describing their sins.)

00:56 BST

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

Background noise

Murray Waas in The Village Voice on how the Treasongate investigation became real - Needlenose says, "I have a feeling that Ashcroft wasn't the only one blindsided by the aggressive end-run approach taken by the Justice Department/FBI staff (and eventually Comey and Fitzgerald). Thinking that their buddy Ashcroft would keep the investigation from going anywhere serious, Rove and others may have been a bit careless with their denials and alibis ... only to be shocked when the probe wound up in different hands."

Leahy and Kennedy defy conservative Dems, not so willing to roll over for Roberts. Did someone mention to them that Americans want their representatives to give serious scrutiny to judicial nominees?

Photos from Camp Casey at Cryptome (keep scrolling), via Skimble, which also discusses Krugman's latest, Social Security Lessons, which warns us to watch out for the next Big Bush Agenda Item.

18:13 BST

Media notes

It's about time someone challenged the RIAA - They say they're busting people for "file-sharing", but what they're charging them with is uploading files, something they can't demonstrate. People are paying them off to avoid long, expensive litigation, but as the post at Techdirt says, "It's almost a form of legalized extortion." Moreover, the cases are founded on the fact that they have someone's IP address, but that doesn't mean the person they file against is the person who has been involved in file-sharing. Finally, someone is going to court, saying she'd never even heard of Kazaa. Via Norwegianity, which also says it's conservatives' turn to shut up.

Right-wingers are still blaming Al Franken, an entertainer, for business decisions made in the early days of Air America that had nothing to do with the on-air personalities, none of whom were consulted about those decisions, and most of whom suffered from them. The wingers just can't shut up about this story. It's apparently more important than the fact that hundreds of billions of taxpayer money has been pilfered and misused to prevent any hope of success in Iraq or on preventing terrorism.

Transcript of Cindy Sheehan vs. Chris Matthews on Hardball. And Who is this woman?

Via Eschaton, Steve Soto gives Richard Cohen just what he deserves, and it turns out The Rude One looks just like I expected.

And via that Steve Soto story, this:

Crier: "When is a source not a source?"

Wolff: "When the source is a story. That's a softball question."

13:31 BST

From the coalition of the willing - where life is cheap

It just gets worse:

But the revelation that will prove most uncomfortable for Scotland Yard was that the 27-year-old electrician had already been restrained by a surveillance officer before being shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.

The documents reveal that a member of the surveillance team, who sat nearby, grabbed Mr de Menezes before he was shot: "I heard shouting which included the word 'police' and turned to face the male in the denim jacket.

"He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the CO19 [firearms squad] officers ... I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his side. I then pushed him back on to the seat where he had been previously sitting ... I then heard a gun shot very close to my left ear and was dragged away on to the floor of the carriage."

But we already knew they were holding him down when they shot him in the head - he was already immobilized. And we already knew they didn't know who they were following. Now we know that the guy who was supposed to be observing the building was actually relieving himself when Jean Charles de Menezes left the flat to catch the bus. And we already knew that they weren't even sure of the suspects or where they were. And now we know the whole op was wrong and that they lied about what happened. Really instills confidence, doesn't it?

So let's recap: A Caucasian man is minding his own business, leaves his home for work, catches a bus, uses his Oyster card to get to a train platform, gets on a train, and gets killed. Let's see what excuses the shoot-to-kill right-wingers have for that.

10:58 BST

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Points of interest

De nada: He was behaving normally, and did not vault the barriers, even stopping to pick up a free newspaper. He started running when we saw a tube at the platform. Police HAD agreed they would shoot a suspect if he ran. He didn't even look like the suspects in the photographs the police had all been shown. He was 27 years old.

Elton Beard has a few words to say about civil libertarians in addition to his Shorter Charles Krauthammer.

Why is Bernie Sanders so amazingly popular? "There is nothing cautious about Sanders's politics: He opposes the war in Iraq, he is an outspoken critic of the Patriot Act, he condemns corporations and he maintains a lonely faith that government really can do a lot of things--like guarantee healthcare for all--better than the private sector."

Casino Nation

The intentional cultivation of a criminal class
The future lit by brightly burning bridges
Justice fully clothed to hide the heart of glass
That shatters in a thousand Ruby Ridges
And everywhere the good prepare for perpetual war
And let their weapons shape the plan
The way the hammer shapes the hand

-- Jackson Browne

23:58 BST

Everywhere a war zone

Democracy & Voting - Ohio 2004 as Lesson in What Can Go Wrong - the first of Deborah White's three-part series on voting.

'Wash Post' Cuts Ties to Pentagon Event After Protests - E&P says the WaPo has finally noticed that supporting the Pentagon's pro-war demo might suggest a bit of bias.

Just how stupid is the no-fly list? Stupid enough that babies are dangerous terrorists. Jeralyn asks: "How do the ticket agents keep a straight face when stopping parents from boarding a plane with an 11-month old because the baby's name matches one on the no-fly list?"

Also via TalkLeft, a White House tale that might worry you if you thought it made any difference: They describe a President whose public persona masks an angry, obscenity-spouting man who berates staff, unleashes tirades against those who disagree with him and ends meetings in the Oval Office with "get out of here!" (And John Bolton visits Judy Miller in jail!)

Steve Soto read this and, while suggesting that, um, Newsweek might be whoring it up good, thinks Bush is also a real emotional disaster.

Conservatives are starting to notice that we are beset by Big-Government Conservatives. But Just for the Record, they don't know the half of it.

Howard Dean is right, and The Washington Times is wrong. Before the invasion, the Iraqi people had water and electricity, and the women had rights. Now they don't. Instead, they are in the midst of a war and are facing Sharia law. Yes, they really were better off under Saddam.

13:03 BST


Well, that was an exciting afternoon and evening of hoping of XP would reinstall....

Digby: Memo to those on the right who say the Left supports Islamic fundamentalists: we're the Godless Heathens, remember? We're against the religious zealots running governments across the board. Of course, that includes your "base" here in the US too so you'll have to pardon us for our consistency and ask yourselves why we find you incoherent on this matter.

I think it's kind of funny that Republicans can't agree with each other on Iraq anymore than they agree with us.

Bruce Schneier says there is good news on e-mail interception and bad news on secure flight.

02:41 BST

Monday, 15 August 2005

Fixing the vote

Project Censored has a good article up on 2004 election fraud, summarizing the facts and the arguments that have been advanced on this subject - and pointing out once again that the idea that the exit polls were wrong is far less believable than that there was widespread election fraud.

(I have a quibble, though. Point #18 makes the same error I often see that, "exit polls were wrong only in precincts where there was no paper ballot to check against the electronic totals and right everywhere there was a paper trail." This isn't true: All types of machines showed unusual discrepancies, including optical-scan machines, which in fact do have a paper trail. What's important here is that without actually hand-counting those ballots, no one is looking at the paper trail, and in most of these cases the final tallies were not close enough to require a hand-count. This is extraordinary given that both pre-election polls and exit polls in many of those races showed either a very close race or a Kerry win, and yet Bush "won" with a wide enough margin that no recounts were triggered. The point is that machines can report false results, and if you want to get away with doing so, you must have a result outside of that recount margin. The minute a recount is allowed, you get caught - so you have to fix it so that you don't get caught. If the tallies were fraudulent, they had to be jacked up high enough to prevent a recount, so factor that into your equations, folks.)

I want to emphasize yet again that there has never been a single piece of evidence to demonstrate that the exit polls were wrong - not one, save for the fact that the machine tally reports said Bush won - while there is plenty of evidence that the Republican Party and its supporters went out of their way to make election fraud not only possible but difficult to monitor.

For example, it is a fact that Diebold makes ATMs and that the voting machines were actually based on those ATMs with the paper-trail facility removed. Republicans throughout the US have acted deliberately to thwart voter demands that the printing facility be returned to the machines. Why is that? What is the harm in making sure that the legitimacy of the votes can be verified? Who would benefit from that?

"Reasons" for the unprecedented discrepancy between the reported results and the exit polls have never been proven, and in fact have in some cases been specifically disproven. We are offered theories on why it could have happened, but no evidence supports those theories. For example:

  • A poll question asking voters for the principle reason for the way they voted received an answer related to moral values 22% of the time. This was widely touted as explaining a hypothetical surge in moral-right voters. However, the particular poll had never offered "moral values" as a choice before, so there is no way to know whether this represented a rise or fall in the number of people who voted on "moral values". Moreover, it is not clear whether people who gave such an answer therefore voted for Bush rather than Kerry. In fact, another poll which has used this choice in the past found that (a) fewer people gave "moral values" as their answer in the 2004 election, and that (b) the percentage of people giving "moral values" as an answer who voted Democratic has risen.
  • Edison-Mitofsky attempted an investigation into how the exit polls were wrong - the possibility that they were not wasn't even considered. Again, the report's "results" provide only a hypothesis as to the cause of the alleged failure, and make no comparisons to other elections. They noted that younger people made up a disproportionate number of the poll-takers and stipulated that older people were therefore less likely to answer them fully or truthfully. However, there is no evidence that the age of poll-takers had a distorting effect on the result, nor any evidence that the proportion of young people doing the exit-polling had been any different in any other election. Similarly, they said that poll-takers were hindered by being required to maintain a physical distance from the polling place, although this has always been true in elections.
  • Because the final results changed so dramatically toward the very end of the day, it has been postulated that there was a very late surge of right-wing voters. The problem with this is that no one saw such a late surge. The only report I've seen of anyone having looked for such a surge found only a few stragglers - and they were Kerry voters.
  • A historical "explanation" is also dragged out: that there were problems "with the exit polls" in 2000, and therefore the 2004 discrepancies are "nothing new". But the problem was new in 2000, which is why the broadcast networks kept changing their calls throughout the night of that election. The explanation for this at the time was apparently that blacks and Jews in Florida were unusually stupid. The idea that this problem had suddenly and magically spread from Florida to a number of other battleground states should surely have raised significant questions, but our media and leaders seemed unwilling to ask them. (Another problem in Florida was the sudden disappearance of thousands of Gore votes in Volusia County. At the time, it was claimed that the machine had erroneously recorded those thousands of Gore votes and that the sudden drop in his numbers had been a "correction". That was never explained, either. There is some evidence that someone came in and "fixed" an error that no one had reported, and that that is why Gore's numbers suddenly dropped.)

Does anyone remember Matt Bai's Who Lost Ohio? in the NYT last November?

What gnawed at Bouchard was that nowhere we went in Franklin County, a vigorously contested swing county, did we see any hint of a strong Republican presence -- no signs, no door-knockers, no Bush supporters handing out leaflets at the polls. This seemed only to increase Lindenfeld's confidence. He didn't believe in the Republican turnout plan. "What they talked about is a dream," he told me at one point. "We've got the reality. They're wishing they had what we've got." For Bouchard, however, the silence was unsettling. How could there be such a thing as a stealth get-out-the-vote drive?

Bouchard decided that he wanted to drive to an outlying Republican area to see if turnout there was keeping pace with the city. Maybe the Bush campaign was waging a more visible effort in nonurban precincts. Obliging him, Lindenfeld punched a few keys on his in-dash navigation system and set a course for Delaware County, a fast-growing exurban tract north of Columbus where Republicans dominate.
As night fell, we reached the city of Delaware and found a polling place at a recreation center. The only people in the parking lot were a drenched couple holding Kerry-Edwards signs. Inside, the polling place was empty. "Look at this," Lindenfeld said to me triumphantly. "Does this look like a busy polling place? Look around. There's no one here." He repeated this several times, making the point that turnout in the outlying areas was tailing off, while voters were lined up around the block back in Columbus. "Do you see any Republicans?" he asked me, motioning around the parking lot.

Voters were lined-up around the block in Democratic areas, and there were no late voters to be seen in Republican neighborhoods. And yet, we were told, Bush-supporters had turned out at the last minute to upset the early polls. Not only a stealth get-out-the-vote drive, but invisible voters.

Some of them, in fact, were so invisible that they weren't even enrolled to vote. How many precincts, some of them with only a few hundred registered voters, reported several thousand votes for Bush? And how, in the meantime, did some Democratic-leaning precincts have an unprecedentedly low turnout with percentages in the single digits?

It's instructive to read the Bai article from start to finish, because Bai goes through one piece of evidence after the other showing that Kerry was winning, Kerry should have won. But because he began with the presumption that Bush did win, he treats all that evidence as an illusion; the absence of a Republican voter drive or of late Republican voters, even the long, long lines of Democrats, and of course the tiny problem of the exit polls - it was all meaningless, because Bush won.

Having begun with the premise that Bush really did win the election, it was not possible to accept the evidence that he had lost, no matter how comprehensive it was. Every single indicator said Kerry had won, but faced with the question of whether to believe their own eyes or to believe the completely partisan and corrupt Republicans, the media and even the Democratic establishment chose the latter. They have yet to explain why.

Meanwhile, there's always another excuse for why we absolutely have to have unreliable voting methods rather than do it right.

16:33 BST

Deluxe assortment

TBTM: Rove's War. See the trailer, buy the feature.

All Roads Lead to Rove: In an article in the September issue of Vanity Fair (not yet online), Michael Wolff, in probing the Plame/CIA leak scandal, rips those in the news media -- principally Time magazine and The New York Times -- who knew that Karl Rove was one of the leakers but refused to expose what would have been "one of the biggest stories of the Bush years." Not only that, "they helped cover it up." You might say, he adds, they "became part of a conspiracy."

Jon Stewart's interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. about mercury in vaccines and autism. Also discusses government and news media suppression of the subject. Which may explain why Stewart chose to do a straight interview on a comedy show.

It's annual pot-burning season.

Lowered expectations in Iraq - and in America.

CVS, your pharmacy of (no) choice, preventing you from getting your prescriptions filled while cavorting with the corrupt. Oh, wait, that's a redundancy.

The Art of Peace is watching a blog that watches the news, and may have detected...bias.

James Wolcott: There's only one Maverick, and his name is James Garner - and definitely not John McCain.

13:13 BST


They're hiding in plain sight because it doesn't matter - it's not as if there's anyone who is going to stop them, is there?

Susie Madrak calls our attention to Ari Berman's The Strategic Class in The Nation, on the suicidal push by the Democratic leadership to out-Republican the Republicans. Also at The Nation, David Sirota on what we have to do to make them stop it: The Resurgence of Movement Politics.

Have I mentioned lately that Bush thinks it's all about him? You know, I never cease to be shocked by the rubbish he says. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say." If you have to say it, you don't know what it's about, you turkey. "But," he added, "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life." Actually, George, you're being paid to work for people like Cindy Sheehan right now. (via)

More reasons to shoot someone: By studying footage of attacks and even interviewing failed bombers, senior Met officers drew up a list of 'precursor signals' that generally occur shortly before detonation of a device. Most have not been made public but include the potential bomber looking 'detached' from his or her surroundings and becoming introspective. Good lord. The more I read about this case, the fewer reasons I can find for the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, who did nothing more suspicious than any other passenger on the Underground.

Even if i didn't know that the so-called "Air America scandal" is really about Republican operative Evan Cohen, I wouldn't put much faith in reporting that says AAR has "no listeners to speak of." They're doing pretty well in their markets, actually.

Be a character in someone else's story: Stephen King, Lemony Snicket, Jonathan Lethem, Neil Gaiman, and others are selling space in upcoming works for The First Amendment Project. Get your name on a gravestone, die a violent death, or possibly even become a dirty word in a good cause.

Hands up if you consider this a problem.

I've corrected a link down below where I'd linked to something twice instead of actually going to the intended page about talking to the KKK.

02:03 BST

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Trust your leaders where mistakes are almost never made

"Silent soldiers on a silver screen
Framed in fantasies and dragged in dream
Unpaid actors of the mystery
The mad director knows that freedom will not make you free
And what's this got to do with me?
I declare the war is over
It's over
It's over."

-- Phil Ochs, 1968

Someone Tell the President the War Is Over: LIKE the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man? -- Frank Rich, 2005

It is not only Iraq that is occupied. America is too: My country is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits. - Howard Zinn in the Guardian.

Racism is the terrorists' greatest recruitment tool - Naomi Klein in the Guardian.

23:56 BST

It's about power - yours

There's nothing like phony centrism to piss me off. Like John Tierney pretending to be pro-choice (but anti-NARAL):

I wish the pro-choice movement would appeal to centrists of both sexes instead of playing to its activist base. The best way to keep abortion legal is to rely not on the Supreme Court but on the public, because three-quarters of Americans do not want to outlaw abortion.
That's an easy thing to say when you know that "the people" aren't going to have much voice on the subject as long as their so-called representatives in the legislatures are either far-right anti-abortion fruitcakes or scurrying to pander to the far-right anti-abortion fruitcakes.

Yeah, I'm really gonna trust Bill Frist and Tom DeLay to legislate my right to reproductive freedom. Look, these guys already know that the public supports reproductive rights, but if they cared about little things like that they'd have passed that amendment to the Constitution a long time ago and wouldn't be paying attention to the anti-abortion movement at all.

But of course, this argument isn't meant to present us with the cosmic truth about how law "should" be made, it's meant to argue us into a weakened position on the entire idea of Constitutional rights - because rights aren't things you vote on, they're things you already have that no one can take away from you. Under the United States Constitution, we vote to choose leaders, but we don't get to vote on who has rights, because rights are inalienable.

If I didn't already think there was something funny going on, I'd think there was something funny going on. I mean, isn't it interesting that conservatives are now arguing so vociferously in favor of bringing a case to the electorate they have always shunned and derided? And specifically on an issue on which they know the public disagrees with them? If you ever needed a reason to wonder whether they are rigging elections, that's it right there, because the courts are the only thing we have to protect our rights when the public fails to speak up for them, and this sudden confidence in "the people" appears to have made them feel free to work on that last control on their power.

So what Tierney's assurances that he's not anti-abortion amount to is something along the lines of, "I'm pro-choice, but I'm against anything that could actually safeguard that right." Yes, very helpful.

And that's just one little thing that's wrong with his article. See The Mahablog for the defense of NARAL - and the right to privacy.

Oh, and Shoot your TV.

12:02 BST

Saturday, 13 August 2005

Onward Bushian soldiers

Last night Atrios linked to Henry's discussion of Volokh and the call for evidence against "Western commentators who defend the Iraqi insurgents, or at least justify their actions as being a supposed campaign for self-determination, allegedly justifiable rage at Western misbehavior, and so on." Henry comes back with:

In any event, in the spirit of Eugene's appeal, I'd like to put out one of my own. I'd like instances in which commentators make egregious claims that a substantial section of those who opposed the war are, in fact, rooting for the other side.
Among the examples appearing in the comments was this one from Neil quoting Kurt Anderson:
Each of us has a Hobbesian choice concerning Iraq; either we hope for the vindication of Bush's risky, very possibly reckless policy, or we are in de facto alliance with the killers of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians.
Note that the alternative possibility that Bush will somehow think better of his reckless policy and do something that might work (or even that Divine Providence will intervene), isn't in this equation - you must either believe in the impossible or you support the enemy.

Most interestingly, your "good" option isn't defined as peace or even as just "the good guys win", it's defined as Bush's vindication. It's all about him, as usual.

Now, we know that Bush always talks that way, but these guys aren't Bush, and seeing them take this tack really does make me wonder how they can fail to be embarrassed to spew this crap. I think they really do imagine themselves to be some kind of intellectuals, and yet they can't seem to absorb the possibility that people just plain think the policy itself is not workable.

So they evade the serious debate over the efficacy of the policy by dragging us all into the path of a speeding train and claiming that those who warn that we need to get off the tracks are actually cheering for the train to crush us. Bush says we will defeat the train, and the only reason we might think otherwise is that we have a pathological hatred of Bush, which means we must actually hope that the train will prove him wrong - even if it kills us.

And this is the bit I don't understand. We already know they hate us pathologically, but they're still banking on Bush being at the center of what's right, even when he's obviously been wrong all the way down the line. They really do seem to have a religious faith in him - even those who are atheists. They need him to be their god, and thus be able to defy even physical reality.

The thing is, they keep getting the inkling that the policy might not be working, and since it can't be Bush's fault, it must be ours. By suggesting that the policy is wrong, we have destroyed our chances of success.

Now, think about that - they actually say they have been supporting a policy that can only succeed if no one questions it. In other words, it was a bluff. And a really stupid bluff at that, since they already knew that people were questioning it and would continue to do so - they'd been called, their crummy hand was exposed. They never had a chance, did they? They should have folded early and they can't admit it.

But, for all that there certainly is passionate hatred of Bush on the left, it's still always been about policies and outcomes for us, and it's the right for whom it has been about Bush.

Ah, but they didn't start off being Bushians, they started off being conservatives, and their fundamental belief system was not Bushianity, it was just plain hating liberals and liberalism. So the whole system dovetails neatly - we were always "the enemy" for them, so they return to a theoretical framework in which we become indistinguishable from Al Qaeda or the Iraqi insurgents or whoever their enemy of the moment is (just like when it used to be the commies). It doesn't matter that their own ideology is actually closer to that of "the enemy" than ours is - it never did. The insurgents are just the latest excuse to go after us; we were The Real Enemy all along.

15:43 BST

We are the mainstream, and we choose life - and freedom

If you're trying to marginalize the issue of reproductive freedom, you're trying to marginalize the majority of Americans.

Conservatives on Crack: they're not pro-life; it's about control.

We have to stand up - for reproductive choice, and for the Constitution.

It's not just about abortion, of course - the economic/labor/federal issues are all on the line. But, as I've said before, we need to get across to people that the only truly pro-life position is pro-choice. Because the minute you concede that the government has the right to make this choice for you, you're giving it the right not just to prevent abortion, but to mandate abortion, to force sterilization, to take control of all reproductive decisions in any way that happens to be to their liking at the time. If you have to yield up these decisions to the state's interest, it ceases to matter why. Today they can say they are preventing abortions "to protect life", but tomorrow they might decide they need you to have abortions instead, or be forced to use birth control, or even be subject to forced conception.

Yes, there is more to it than that. There is a reason why other decisions, and support for other programs, that most emphatically are pro-life are more commonly found among people who are pro-choice. Virtually every other policy that protects life is opposed by the so-called "pro-life" crowd; these same people support numerous policies that take lives, that kill adults and babies alike.

We are the real pro-life crowd. Don't be afraid to say so.

03:32 BST

Friday, 12 August 2005

Cheap links

The Katherine Harris coloring book (via Maru).

Creationist humor.

Digby examines the professional aspirations of liberals and conservatives, and applauds some aggressive liberals.

Sometimes it's the little things that say the most.

Found: The Bible of the Homosexual Movement.

Kathleen Parker, Ignoramus

Why was General Byrnes really fired?

Stalin's prediction comes true.

The good guys and the bad guys (and how to tell them apart).

Mark Kleiman goes to bat for NARAL.

So What *Is* a Liberal, Anyway?

Product placement

Newspeak has no word for "wanker" - a Who's Who of Wankers.

Visits with the Ku Klux Klan.

The cure for phishing (via) and the myth of "panic" (via).

23:55 BST

Bloggy topics

One of the big stories in the blogosphere has been the NARAL ad (video) which noted the support Judge Roberts has given to terrorists who violently attack women's reproductive health clinics. Dick Cheney-recommended website was ready with a list of RNC talking points objecting to the ad. NARAL has now withdrawn it, saying the fuss was distracting from the message, but Professor B (via) has the debunking of the debunkers.

The administration is planning to hold a big demonstration in favor of itself at Arlington Cemetery, on the taxpayer's dime, complete with music and support from Pravda. Of course, support for our troops only goes so far.

From Altercation, Eric provides yesterday's Ridiculous Anonymous Source of the Day from the LAT: "The White House aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said political considerations were not one of the administration's criteria in reviewing the documents for release." Eric also points us to his latest Think Again column, They Call This `Changing the Tone?', and to Sydney Blumenthal's piece in Salon on Robert Novak, The informer.

Thank goodness the Pentagon is preventing exposure of the well-kept secret that the United States has imprisoned, tortured, and killed numerous people at Abu Ghraib without trial and in violation of the Geneva Conventions. It would really upset the Iraqis if they knew. (Via Suburban Guerrilla.)

Corporate media fires journalist for not being corporate enough.

14:43 BST

More news than I can cope with

I was kinda busy yesterday so I missed a lot of hot news. And that was a Thursday. I wonder what's coming on the Friday Evening Dump.

Simbaud has been on the job, though, with a whole lotta good stuff. Here he notes a good catch by Needlenose from a Pincus article which reveals that the sole source for the idea that Valerie Plame may have set up Ambassador Joe Wilson's trip to Niger is the State Department memo that, as Needlenose puts it, "would get Karl Rove and Lewis Libby in deep trouble if it was shown to be their source of information about Valerie Plame Wilson."

Simbaud also alerts us to:

Chris Floyd on the bizarre arguments in the Maher Arar case that say it's okay to kidnap foreign citizens at airports - and a judge who seems to be completely confused about his job.

More unaccountability, and a John Dean article debunking the "Ginsberg rule" and noting that this is another lame idea that Joe Biden pulled out of his hiney.

We also get what may be the debunking of a talking point - A former federal prosecutor and Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California says that Chris Hitchens (and, unsurprisingly, Richard Cohen) are wrong: Do you have to intend to harm a CIA agent or jeopardize national security in order to violate the Intelligence Identities Protection Act? The answer is no.

And, intriguingly, The connection between Jack Abramoff and Mohammed Atta.

Meanwhile, this morning's NYT says Abramoff has been indicted on fraud charges, and I think I just heard on the radio that he's been arrested. This is a great story, with gangland-style killings and all.

That first cup of coffee still didn't wake me up, I need more.

11:46 BST

Thursday, 11 August 2005

A handful of links

Bob Herbert: Ask a thousand different suits in Washington why we're in Iraq and you'll get a thousand different answers. Ask how we plan to win the war, and you'll get a blank stare.

Restoring America's Promise - John Edwards on the Great Society: Poverty is all around us. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Instead of ignoring the problem, we can reach out to the people struggling with it. It is time America lives up to its title as the land of opportunity. It is time work is rewarded instead of wealth. Every American who works hard should be able to live comfortably, afford good health care and be able to enjoy retirement.

A fine rant for art's sake at The Smirking Chimp. And Morford on intolerant liberals.

Dave Johnson on why you should Help Cursor/Media Transparency

Atrios has a good quote from Joseph Galloway that's spot on. Despite the fact that invading Iraq was insane, it was always possible that it could have been done right if the administration had felt the slightest commitment to do so. They did not. [Amended]

I don't know about you, but to me this looks like a marijuana-induced laughing jag.

Blogging the Bush indictment

This is not the bra of the week, Scaramouche.

13:33 BST

Feeling safer?

States Opposing Plan to Shutter Air Guard Bases

Officials from New England to the Pacific Northwest argue that the plan would leave them vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Illinois and Pennsylvania have gone so far as to file suit in federal court contending that the Defense Department cannot move Air Guard units without the consent of the state governors, who share authority with the president over use of the units.
Of course, the closures will also affect emergency air cover in case of fire and other disasters.

I guess you don't need things like the National Guard protecting your country when you are prioritizing "security threats" like these.

11:13 BST

That silent majority

William Greider is on a book tour:

People in Washington and Wall Street seem to think that the country is mending, that people did not get very angry about the horrendous losses from corrupted managements and stock-market meltdown. Anyway, people seem to be getting over it, we can return to "normal" (if new scandals would just stop occurring). I think they are mistaken. What I hear from these people is smoldering anger. Americans have been deeply educated by events in the last few years. For the most part, they see nowhere to go with that anger, since neither political party seems alert to what they are experiencing. But plain-wrapper citizens are still thinking about why it happened, examining who and what are to blame. Maybe my book will give them some rebellious ideas.
Via Bad Attitudes.

01:46 BST

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Grassroots Dems

Ron Brownstein has an article in the LAT about expanding the electoral "battlefield" to include all those races the party has been ignoring. Jerome and Kos have both been strong proponents of the idea that Republicans shouldn't run unchallenged just because they have historically made overwhelming showings. (Some of them are making such strong showings because Democrats haven't been working against them.) The professional Democrats have been a bit slow to embrace this idea, but at least Howard Dean is talking 50-state strategy.

And speaking of all that, Chris Bowers says that he and Matt Stoller have written up a paper (.pdf) on The Emergence of the Progressive Blogospere. Give it a read.

22:47 BST

Things I saw

Atrios says we gotta ask Roberts questions because the media seems to think he shouldn't have to answer any. I think everyone should tell the media why lifetime appointees should have to demonstrate that they have the experience, the stature, and the respect for the Constitution that proves them worthy of a Supreme Court seat - especially when it seems so clear that the nominee doesn't fulfill those requirements.

Fake voting rights group, fake Democrats - who could ask for more? Bradblog reports on the further adventures of the phony "bipartisan" group that reported last week that Democrats are worse than Republicans when it comes to trying to disenfranchise voters.

A couple of months ago, Julia was giving us a heads-up on just how much we could trust Bush's appointees to protect our civil liberties.

This is about Hong Kong, but it applies just as well to the UK and the US, where the same sort of people are defending the same sort of thing. If the authorities can't show cause, they shouldn't be subjecting people to covert surveillance.

Here and here, on a president who just doesn't get what's important, courtesy of The Rude Pundit.

It has been pointed out to me in comments that I slipped on a couple of the stories in the post below. (This doesn't mean I've changed my mind about how badly written the articles were, though.) Obviously, it's time for this.

20:11 BST

Morning coffee

So, Maureen Dowd is back, and saying that Bush doesn't have the moral authority of doing what he's doing.

We already knew about Mohammed Atta in 1999: "The Sept. 11 commission will investigate a claim that U.S. defense intelligence officials identified ringleader Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers as a likely part of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the hijackings but didn't forward the information to law enforcement." Oh, boy.

The press still wants to pretend it's pretty good, and certainly no worse than it ever was. I disagree, but even if it's true that it was always a mess, there's no excuse for the crummy job they're doing as our Fourth Estate. Not that it stops them from making excuses, even on a story as significant as the fact that the White House was ginning up a phony "justification" for invading another country - but Mary at The Left Coaster pinpoints the problem when she asks: Then again, why were some news organizations able to do a better job of reporting on this incredibly important story? And why was the foreign press so much better? She says to read this article at TomDispatch to get to the meat of it.

Paul Hackett speaks truth to power: So generally, the consensus is Rush doesn't know squat about patriotism. He's typical of the new Republican. He's got a lot of lip and he doesn't walk the walk. (via)

What the hell is this? The Pentagon finally thinks it's time to hold someone accountable, and the very first person gets fired! For torture? For corruption? For unconstitutional politicization of the military? No! For having an affair! This guy was a four-star general and he gets fired for having an affair? This never happens. He was about to retire anyway. What is this really about? Are they really in such a hurry to appoint their new guy, or what? (And what the hell is that last paragraph doing in the article? It has absolutely nothing to do with General Byrnes.) (via)

12:18 BST

Making up for lost time

There's been a lot of speculation about whether Fitzgerald will be allowed to remain in charge of the Treasongate investigation of the Plame leak; Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake reports that the Attorney General says yes, he will. (Firing people who are investigating illegal activities in the White House is what Robert Bork was first famous for, and should probably be what the verb "to Bork" really means.) My favorite part of this post is Jane's nickname for the AG - "Abu" Gonzales.

Rich at The End of the World is watching the defectives try to avoid the truth.

Sen. Evan Bayh Proposes A Commission To Find Out Who Castrated Democrats.

Seeing the Forest: I'll keep saying it. To understand what is happening to the country you have to listen to Rush Limbaugh, and visit sites like Free Republic and the right-wing blogs. This stuff is the mainstream of The Party now. Limbaugh is so mainstream that his show features things like interviews with the Vice President of the United States.

If you didn't see this post the last time I sent you over to Fables of the Reconstruction (which seems like ten minutes ago in blog-time), I recommend it as the best commentary on the release after 25 years in prison of Luis Diaz, who has now been exonerated by DNA evidence.

Creepy story from Jeralyn at TalkLeft about Florida banning sex offenders from hurricane shelters. And another about a translator who was found guilty by virtue of 9/11.

Melissa Rogers on the dishonesty of claiming that objections to certain nominees to the Supreme Court are based on religious prejudice.

I was frankly delighted when Rosenthal left the editorial pages of the NYT, which he had littered for years with his poisonous right-wing propaganda for the War on Some Drugs. I find it ironic that it's the new conservative on the block, John Tierney, who is now presenting the arguments for liberalization. (Note to Mark Kleiman: Clean heroin in standardized, measured doses, delivered with clean syringes, is not really that dangerous a drug. I don't recommend being addicted to smack or anything else, but it's not the drug that's killing users, it's the illegality.)

You already know they're the pro-death party, but some of their greatest hits masquerade as "pro-life".

01:13 BST

Tuesday, 09 August 2005

A couple of things

I've been having a lovely afternoon, so sorry about not posting, but I just couldn't resist. Here's a couple of things to read:

Down in comments, jello wmr recommends this piece on elections and whether they are stolen and what to do about them, and though I disagree with some of the author's assumptions, it does raise some useful issues.

The stupidest post Scaramouche has read in a while has a delightful theory about who Judy Miller is "really" protecting. No, go read it, I don't want to spoil the surprise.

21:03 BST

A moment of catch-up

And no sooner do I finally post about the four-day-old story of the judge who thinks the Constitution was not made obsolete by 9/11 than The Washington Post publishes an article from someone who disagrees. Calling such concerns about our rights and liberties "judicial cliches", he actually claims Judge Coughenour's reasoning is "a little hard to follow." Well, no, it isn't, but it's no surprise that the right-wingers are pleased with this claptrap.

Peter Jennings' unique moment of sanity on 9/11, when everyone else went mad. And Jon Stewart's interview with Jennings - about UFOlogy. Via Now That's Progress. And a video of Jennings' last broadcast, via TalkLeft.

Why Jude Nagurney Camwell is unlikely to let Republicans do her shopping.

And, finally, congratulations to the Hugo Award winners, nearly every one of whom is a personal friend with whom we have actually broken bread. A near-sweep for the Brits, as well.

00:48 BST

Monday, 08 August 2005

Bits of news

I heartily recommend you listen to Rachel Maddow's show from this morning (download .mp3), not just for the numerous interesting news stories but for the way she delivers the one about the civil liberties board created last year that is supposed to "protect rights in the fight against terrorism but can't since it has never met. The board consists of four conservatives and alleged liberal Lanny Davis, who says he hasn't heard a word from the other four since their appointment. But this isn't the first time the administration and their friends have made a big charade of doing what the people want - their entire homeland security apparatus is much the same.

RIP: I was never in love with Peter Jennings, but there weren't a lot of actual newsmen left on-air on network television news, and it's a shame to see him go.

I never got around to posting about U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour's remarks during sentencing of "millennium bomber" Ahmed Ressam, but if you haven't read them yet, I recommend them. He's a Republican, but he firmly pointed out that proper policing and an ordinary jury trial were all that was necessary to convict the defendant - the system works, without any help from the Patriot Act's relaxation of civil liberties and due process. Right-wingers are outraged at all those liberal values coming from the bench. Read his remarks and the surrounding story from Leah at Corrente.

The other day, Mithras gave us Conservative Blog Taxonomy, but now he has apologized for the fact that the right-wingers have no sense of humor. Via World O'Crap, which isn't done with the subject, either.

17:19 BST


Matt Taibbi says don't expect the Democrats to do much - about Ohio or anything else - because they can't. (And, Kevin, this isn't about the last election, it's about the next election. Do you really want to take the chance?)

The Velvet Vulva, via The Pagan Prattle.

Paperwight's Fair Shot on building a liberal ecosystem, parts I and I-A. Via Blogenlust.

Aristide in Exile explains to Naomi Klein what really happened in Haiti.

Time for the Neocons to Shut Up - When Newsweek says we let bin Laden escape at Tora Bora, some people finally figure it's the last straw. Too late!

Signorile: Could Catholicism be Good for the Gays?

Why does the National Forest Service hate autistic children?

Video: Coulter vs. O'Reilly

Walter Cronkite on Lessons from Hiroshima, 60 Years Later

New crooks for old in Iraq.

Misogyny in real life

Sunrise blogging

It's all Clinton's fault!

Join the fight against Fred Phelps. (More from Julia.)

Alison listens to net radio and discovers Radio Britfolk and other things.

And there will be no justice.

12:44 BST

Sunday, 07 August 2005

Webcrawler's notebook

Ballet Sweetpea underwireBra of the Week (I can't remember if I've posted this one before, but I just like the picture.)

Donna Wentworth wrote about Copyfight the other day and noted that it's hard to find an intelligent debate between the two sides of the issue. And wouldn't you know, someone jumped right in to prove it. (via)

The Times reports that Krauthammer said something was insane again, although this time it's actually something that is insane, proving that even a stopped clock etc. The subject is the teaching of "Intelligent Design" in schools, and Dr. Denial isn't the only right-winger who feels this way. But read what Kung Fu Monkey has to say about all this playing with fire on the right. Via James Wolcott.

The latest from the wingers on the AAR story is that we sweet bleeding-heart liberals should refund the money stolen by Republican operative Evan Cohen. Somehow it's all our fault. And of course, they're still saying things like, "What did Al Franken know and when did he know it?" Really. They seem mysteriously unconcerned with where the $87bn dollars that's supposed to be rebuilding Iraq is going, though. They sure can pick their trivial scandals, can't they?

Do you remember the conservative outcry against trying to force female welfare recipients to wear Norplant-style birth control under their skin? I don't either. Anyway, that's what I thought of when I found out that the guy who has Ratzinger's old job argued in court that a woman shouldn't get child support for a child fathered by one of their guys because she should have been using birth control.

At Tholos of Athena, Copeland suggests that the healthcare crisis will finally wake people up out of their stupor. Alas, it will be too late.

Leah's obituary for Robin Cook was better than mine.

22:52 BST

That's what I want

I see in the WaPo that rich liberals plan to give money to think-tanks and advocacy groups.

Gluckstern said. "Among the lessons learned was that to bring back the progressive majority in this country is not just a periodic election investment strategy."
Well, it's about time - but wait:
As alliance officials see it, many liberal groups are designed to protect an agenda that was enacted by past Democratic majorities -- as opposed to generating new ideas and communication strategies to win support from voters who do not belong to labor or other traditionally Democratic constituencies.
Communication strategies, yes indeed, but "new ideas"? What new ideas could they mean?

And where's Liberal TV? (And no, it's not Al Gore's new thing, which is something else.) I think people need to see what an actual liberal media would really look like.

Liberal groups have been disproportionately dependent on one-year foundation grants for specific projects, Stein said, while the money flowing to conservative groups has often involved donors' long-term commitments with no strings attached.
We have nothing like that - and I think we need to see some of that action, too.

21:30 BST

Robin Cook, RIP

Damn, he was one of the strongest and most sensible critics of the insanity that got us into Iraq. And only 59. The Beeb site has a bunch of tributes to him (some from people who are probably relieved that they won't have to deal with him anymore). This is a rather serious blow.

13:19 BST

Read this stuff

Murray Waas says:

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has told federal investigators that he met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8, 2003, and discussed CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to legal sources familiar with Libby's account.
But Libby also says that he hasn't given Miller a specific waiver. Digby says:
It's time for the press to go to the mattresses and demand an explanation from the white house.
Hell, yes.

And speaking of Digby, he and Atrios are both talking about one of my favorite subjects - the fact that America is a liberal nation and Democrats should absolutely not move to the right in a cynical ploy to get more votes. Democrats have to stand up for American values instead of right-wing values.

One of those values, by the way, is democracy, so if you want to win elections, you'd better make sure they are free and fair. You're a fool if you assume they already are.

12:35 BST

In the papers

Mark J. McGarry in the International Herald Tribune discovers the virtues of giving away e-books for free, and cites Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross to prove his point. (Gosh, some of those quotes sound familiar, don't they?)

Last week the IHT put William Safire's language column on the op-ed page - not its usual spot. Of course, there have always been times in the past when the language column just seemed like a cheap way to slip in some political snark, but in this case he's managed to merge the politics and the vocabulary lesson in such a way that this actually looks like one of his op-eds. The business at hand is the word "desecration" as it appears in the sleazy flag-burning amendment the House recently passed. (At least he's on the right side in this one.)

Another item I missed last week was Barbara Ehrenreich's article in the Guardian Weekend in which she points out that we have all been subjected to a horrible experiment of the sort that drives lab animals crazy: Typically, experiments involving the administration of random rewards and electric shocks are conducted on rats in laboratories. These experiments - all hellish enough to serve as Peta (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) recruiting material - have revealed much about rodents' reactions to cruel and totally arbitrary environments, in which there is no "right" or "wrong", and consequently nothing to learn. But if you look outside the cage - I mean, the box - you will see that the same kind of experiment is now being conducted using human subjects, and on a population-wide scale. It's the sort of thing that could make you feel so helpless you just curl into a ball and give up. Maybe this explains the Congressional Democrats.

02:23 BST

Saturday, 06 August 2005

Reason #2 why right-wingers hate the mainstream media

Conservo-hacks are still going bonkers over the machinations of Republican operative Evan Cohen, who they keep thinking is Al Franken's best buddy.

MahaBarb traced the stories that seem to be generating the right-wing blogswarm about the "Air America scandal" and noticed that they all seem to emanate from one unnamed source. And the wingers are outraged that the mainstream media isn't all over this story.

Let's remember, boys and girls, that these are the same people who went into a frenzy when Dan Rather did a multiply-sourced story in which one of the many pieces of corroborating evidence turned out to be of dubious provenance. Yet here we have a story of no provenance whatsoever and the righties just can't understand why the mainstream media doesn't want to run with it.

The mainstream media (aka the Corporate Media) carries 95% of the lies the right-wing makes up about Democrats - but failing to carry that other 5% is just plain intolerable.

18:34 BST

Buncha stuff

Colbert King suspects conservatives of hypocrisy on racial profiling: Conservatives, so I had been given by them to believe, stand foursquare against preferences based on group identity. So how is it that they can support law enforcement policies that, if adopted, would allow people to be treated unequally; give preferences in screening based on race, ethnicity, religion and national origin; and no longer honor the rights of individuals but instead judge individuals by the group to which they belong? Well, because they don't actually believe in eschewing "preferences based on group identity", they just say they do because they are afraid such preferences will work against whites instead of in the favor of whites. As long as a policy is more likely to be a problem for people who are not white, they have no objections and they never have. (Speaking of which, the pretence that racism has been wiped out is now playing a starring role in the fight to renew the Voting Rights Act. Shameless, ain't they?)

Via Kevin Drum, I learn that apples don't taste as good as they used to because they aren't, and The New Republic still has an amazing propensity to publish rubbish - like a remarkable article that offers perhaps the fruitiest tax-and-bend plan yet. (Kevin looks at the numbers, but let me add that the plan is also an expensive administrative nightmare.)

Mobjectivist discusses the reliability of right-wing think-tanks.

I missed this the other day - remember that story about how it would take Iran ten years to be nuke-ready? Rachel has a screen shot of how Fox reported it.

And would someone please explain why we had an amphibious vehicle in the desert to begin with? It's not funny.

16:51 BST

Value for money

Joshuah Bearman wonders why press coverage of the energy bill is all politics and no substance when this issue is vital to America's future. Via Peek.

Carla at ThatColoredFellasweblog notes that a major RNC talking point in the Ohio election was that raising taxes is a non-starter that hurts Democrats. According to their cheat-sheet, "Democrat Paul Hackett was defeated largely as a result of his positions on taxes. OH-02 demonstrated emphatically that national Democrats do not have credibility on the tax message and they continue to be extremely vulnerable on the issue." But Carla notices an oddity: If this is the case, then why did every single tax levy on the ballot in which Hackett appeared PASS? (And I wonder how it is that right-wing Republicans win elections in districts where voters turn out to endorse liberal ballot initiatives. Could something funny be going on? Makes ya think, don't it? Unless, of course, you are a member of the press corps.)

Fred Clark keeps trying to explain about corruption, and keeps having trouble in the comment threads. It all seems pretty clear to me - I'd send his points out to the press corps if I thought they could think.

Paul Krugman on the deliberate conservative project of promoting fake science.

Got your family values right here: Echidne on where they are and how not to have them.

11:48 BST

Friday, 05 August 2005

Evening notes

Mark Evanier on Novak's recent performance: Since the rhetoric preceding his little outburst was pretty much the norm for years on Crossfire, everyone wants to know why he stormed off the set. A better question would be why this man was ever allowed on the set in the first place. He's a dreadful reporter and always has been. Back when he was teamed with Rowland Evans, people called them "Errors and No Facts," and the surviving member of that partnership has kept their record intact. No one expects reporters to get everything right or for all a pundit's predictions to be on target but there's such a thing as being so consistently wrong that you just shouldn't have the job.

George Soros' America Coming Together is folding, but Robert Parry argues that ACT's failure is part of a larger problem with the way Democrats have refused to use the real weapons in their arsenal to go after the Republicans.

Has The Heretik located some sexism? IN THE 2000 ELECTION NOBODY COMMENTED ON JEB BUSH looking like a pig feeding too long at the trough, but Katherine Harris was consistently portrayed as some Cruella DeVille witch of a woman.

Why isn't this enough to make it a full blown scandal? Blood and Gravy: Dick Cheney at the Jackal's Feast: By piecing together bits from the fiercely-suppressed and censored reports of a few honest Pentagon auditors and investigators, a joint House-Senate minority committee (the Bushist majority refused to take part) has unearthed at least $1.4 billion in fraudulent overcharges and unsourced billing by Cheney's company in Iraq. Testimony from Pentagon whistleblowers, former Halliburton officials and fellow contractors revealed the grim picture of a rogue operation, power-drunk and arrogant, beyond the reach of law, secure in the protection of its White House sugar daddy.

Joe Palmer dissents from all the praise that's floated around lately about a departing judge, saying good riddance to Sandra Day O'Connor in Courting disaster.

23:01 BST

Cheats and liars

In United Scatinos of America, Steven Hart says what you already knew, but he lays it out really well.

Take the money and run. As long as Republicans are in power, that phrase should replace "E Pluribus Unum" on the national seal. It's the natural outcome of a quarter-century of rhetoric about how government is the problem, not the solution; how government doesn't work; how deregulation is the only way to build the economy. If government is nothing but a taxpayer-funded scam, then why not use it to enrich yourself and your buddies? If the very idea of public service as an idealistic calling has been turned into a mealymouthed joke, then where's the shame in abusing power and running the country into the ground? As long as you can convince just over 50 percent of the suckers to vote your way, you can throw yourself a party and leave the world holding the bill.

This is what they are. This is what they do. Didn't they tell you?


And speaking of ripoff artists, the wingers continue to be charmed by the story of Evan Cohen, who everyone but them has known for a long time nearly destroyed Air America Radio. They really want this to be a big scandal about AAR, but what they don't seem to know is that it's an old scandal, and it's about Cohen's attempt to use the creation of the liberal network as another scam to cream off money and destroy the new network in its crib. It didn't work, but no one is likely to forgive Cohen any time soon. Right-wingers dearly want this to be a story about the people who are the voices on AAR rather than about some guy who has the true values and virtues of a modern Republican.

18:56 BST

What I saw this morning

Thanks to everyone who pointed me to Harper's, which currently has a brief excerpt from Mark Crispin Miller's None Dare Call It Stolen on their site's front page. MahaBarb says, "I still don't know what to do about it, exactly, because as long as the radicals are running the country they are not about to reform the methods that put them in power in the first place. But, at least ... let's not ignore this." Another summary of the Miller piece appears here.

Also at The Mahablog, an explanation for the mystery of why documents were not fully presented by Saddam Hussein - or by Donald Rumsfeld.

Someone should tell Paul Craig Roberts that he has imagined the history of the press over the last few decades. In fact, they were remarkably slow to wonder who beside the GOP would break into Democratic headquarters to look at papers, and Woodward and Bernstein weren't exactly leading a pack of hungry dogs - they were out there on their own. A more alert press would have made sure Iran-Contra got considerably more coverage (and Robert Parry would be a household name today). The real Clinton scandals weren't about things the Clintons did, they were about things the RNC and the media itself did; there is no reason the press couldn't have actually looked at the so-called evidence in Whitewater and exposed the fact that numerous RNC functionaries were ginning up phony charges against the Clintons - but they didn't. The story today is the same as it ever was: The GOP continues to escalate its war on civilization and the press gives them a pass while creating the false impression that the Democrats are at least as bad (if not worse). It's the same old rule: It's OK if you're a Republican (IOKIYAR). Via Ethereal Girl.

Watch Neil Young Rocking in the Free World, via Words Light Fires, via Big Brass Alliance.

13:33 BST

Thursday, 04 August 2005

Recommended reading

Eric Alterman gets a letter that reminds me of how I used to feel before I could read the news on the Internet. It's amazing how many times you pick up the paper and find casual references to someone you've never heard of before as if everyone knows what it's about. But imagine coming back from Iraq and finding you'd been squeezed out of the news by some missing blonde.... (Also, Eric on 'Mature conservatism,' continued.)

The Free Press has a summary of Mark Crispin Miller's None dare call it stolen - Ohio, the election, and America's servile press, with a fairly comprehensive list of all the nifty ways the Republicans found to make it work for them.

Natasha looks at how well we've managed to take money out of politics.

Down in comments, Gary Farber wonders why people haven't followed a whole bunch of stories he thinks are important and they could be following if they would just read all about it at Amygdala.

17:33 BST

Open windows

One of the things that amused me about the Kelo decision is that the non-nutjobs on the court actually did what conservatives say they want from judges - said the issue should be legislated in the legislatures rather than by the courts - and conservatives screamed bloody murder at the evil "liberals". So now, I learn from Kevin Drum, it appears the states are doing exactly what the Court told them to do: If you want the law to prevent "takings" along the lines of Kelo, pass laws to do just that.

Also via Kevin, Mark Kleiman has found that little clue that tells you Karl Rove knew very well that he was doing something he didn't want anyone to know about when he made sure his phone call to Matt Cooper was not in his call log. Kevin says: Since call logging is standard procedure, this could only happen if Rove specifically asked one of his aides not to log the call. "Evidence of consciousness of guilt"? Sounds like a reasonable proposition to me.

David Sirota over at the HuffPo explains How Beltway-itis Rots Reporters Brains & Distorts America's Political Debate, with the WaPo's Dan Balz - "one of the most intellectually impaired reporters working today" - as an example.

Big Media Matt explains why, no, it is not really "bold" for conservatives to call for racial profiling - it's just stupid, ineffective, and of course racist.

Thine Kampf: I am so disappointed at George Bush's flip-flop. I guess he decided he didn't want to be on a jihad after all and has gone back to being The War President.

Send this article to your Democratic reps and enclose a note reminding them to call the SOB an SOB.

14:50 BST

Deluxe assortment

Billmon says the Hackett race was Too Close for Comfort, noting that the candidates were only separated by a few hundred votes when, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer, the optical scan readers experienced a "technical malfunction" - and then suddenly Jean Schmidt had a few thousand more votes, just enough to put her above the re-count margin. Just in the nick of time! (via)

Jesse Taylor explains the difference between the left's and the right's attitudes toward terrorism.

Jeanne D'Arc suspects there may be something wrong with an article that tries to justify Wal-Mart's bad practice.

The poorest country in the world - the US. (via)

Shayera has a close encounter with the dopey Democratic Party.

Bill Scher says Democrats have to play their cards to win the game - rather than whining about having a weak hand and doing nothing.

Robert Parry looks back at Novak's Jeff Gannon connection.

Chris Floyd learns about the value of confetti.

Cernig finds bigotry in The Times.

The Moderate Voice apologizes for posting the article by the phony "non-partisan group" charging Democrats with voter fraud without first substantiating it. (John Cole had a smart take on this while the rest of the right-wing was playing "This proves things!" with it.)

Bulldog Manifesto joins the Struggle Against Ideological Extremists. (Via Crooks and Liars.)

02:13 BST

Wednesday, 03 August 2005


Congratulations to Eli for surviving another anniversary of blogging. Go check out his recommendation for the interview with Norman Solomon, and a lot of other things.

If you illegally arrest hundreds of people and hold them without trial because you don't have anything on them, it's just an embarrassment to have to admit you screwed up and let them go. Bill O'Reilly has the answer: Kill them: "I don't give them any protection. I don't feel sorry for them. In fact, I probably would have ordered their execution if I had the power."

At Peek, the debate on who we would rather see in jail, Karl Rove or Judith Miller. Some people think that if Judy told Karl rather than the other way around, she's the one who goes to jail. I don't think that's true, though - his security clearance requires that he not repeat or confirm confidential material, no matter where he got it. Personally, I'm hoping for a twofer.

Pulp Fiction: Judy Miller

19:30 BST

News bits

It's pretty clear from this that the "bad apples" who are responsible for the war crimes being committed against "detainees" are right at the top. As Digby puts it: They do mention that this happened after the instructions came from on high to "take the gloves off." When you get an order like that it inspires all sorts of experimentation apparently. It illustrates why the military usually operates on a very specific level with rules and orders and discipline. Things do tend to get out of hand when people are given the green light to "do what needs to be done."

The good news this morning was waking up and learning that Hackett made a terrific showing in the Ohio race. This is a race where the Democratic Party couldn't even be bothered to care - after all, the Republicans got over 70% there last time. But all it takes is a credible candidate to make it a race. So, in a district that was supposedly rock-solid red country, a candidate who came out of nowhere with backing mainly from the netroots took nearly half the vote. It was actually close. Don't let anyone tell you that wasn't a win for us. (Kos is probably wrong, though, when he says, "next stop for Hackett -- statewide elected office." Next stop for Hackett is probably Iraq, but we sure can hope he makes it back for another try.)

I always find stories about journalists being killed in Iraq pretty upsetting, but read TBogg on this.

17:13 BST

Don't believe what you read

No one who uses the phrase "Democrat operatives" is non-partisan, especially if they think the big election fraud story is about "intimidation" by Democratic partisans. Once you start with that level of dishonesty, nothing else they say can be taken seriously. Via No More Mister Nice Blog, which raises the question of why they fell for this press release from an RNC front group. [Update: Marit notes in comments that this article seems to have disappeared from the paper's site.]

Am I not supposed to notice that they are building new bases in Iraq? Or that BushCo can never admit they have already lost the war? I guess so, what with all this noise lately about plans to pull out of Iraq. Norman Solomon calls it Operation Withdrawal Scam.

You have to laugh when Rick Santorum claims he just didn't know that the Catholic Priest scandal was happening in a lot more places than Massachusetts. Of course he knew, it's been in headlines for the last 30 years. He knew.

15:25 BST

Nothing is revealed

The Washington Post has another piece on John Roberts' judicial philosophy as shown from his record; the meat of the story is that Roberts has been absolutely clear that he does not believe in a right to privacy. Thus we see that "judicial restraint" means pretty much ignoring the 9th Amendment - a pretty convenient blind-spot. Conservatives have an interesting way of pretending to cooly-reasoned Constitutionalism when they invent rationalizations for their repressive programs. (Just like invoking "states' rights" as a tool to violate Wisconsin's anti-slavery laws.)

Oddly, the WaPo article doesn't discuss what could turn out to be an even deeper problem with Roberts' philosophy, but The St. Petersburg Times does:

Much of the debate about Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. has focused on his views about abortion, but a controversy is brewing about his interpretation of a sentence in the Constitution dubbed "the everything clause."

Known more formally as the Commerce Clause, it's been used to justify countless federal laws covering everything from civil rights to endangered species.

For many conservatives, the clause has long been a sore point. They believe Congress and the courts have interpreted it too broadly, leading to sweeping federal regulations that the Founding Fathers never intended.

Democrats and liberal groups say Roberts' opinion in a quirky case involving California toads suggests he sides with the conservatives, has a narrow view of the clause and would strike down many federal laws.

"That theory could substantially cut back Congress' power," said Elliot Mincberg, vice president and legal director of the liberal group People for the American Way. "It could mean significantly limiting the ability of Congress to pass laws protecting civil rights, safety and the environment - and throwing out laws that already do that."

That'd be because they hate our freedoms. Maybe that explains some of their other activities, too. In Fisking the "War on Terror", Juan Cole says we are fighting them "over here":
Once upon a time, a dangerous radical gained control of the US Republican Party.

Reagan increased the budget for support of the radical Muslim Mujahidin conducting terrorism against the Afghanistan government to half a billion dollars a year.
Not content with creating a vast terrorist network to harass the Soviets, Reagan then pressured the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to match US contributions. He had earlier imposed on Fahd to give money to the Contras in Nicaragua, some of which was used to create rightwing death squads. (Reagan liked to sidestep Congress in creating private terrorist organizations for his foreign policy purposes, which he branded "freedom fighters," giving terrorists the idea that it was all right to inflict vast damage on civilians in order to achieve their goals).

Fahd was a timid man and resisted Reagan's instructions briefly, but finally gave in to enormous US pressure.

Fahd not only put Saudi government money into the Afghan Mujahideen networks, which trained them in bomb making and guerrilla tactics, but he also instructed the Minister of Intelligence, Turki al-Faisal, to try to raise money from private sources.

Turki al-Faisal checked around and discovered that a young member of the fabulously wealthy Bin Laden construction dynasty, Usama, was committed to Islamic causes. Turki thus gave Usama the task of raising money from Gulf millionaires for the Afghan struggle. This whole effort was undertaken, remember, on Reagan Administration instructions.
In the US, the Christian Right adopted the Mujahideen as their favorite project. They even sent around a "biblical checklist" for grading US congressman as to how close they were to the "Christian" political line. If a congressman didn't support the radical Muslim Muj, he or she was downgraded by the evangelicals and fundamentalists.
In 1985 Reagan sent Senator Orrin Hatch, Undersecretary of Defense Fred Iklé and others to Beijing to ask China to put pressure on Pakistan to allow the US to give the Muslim radicals, such as Hikmatyar, more sophisticated weapons. Hatch succeeded in this mission.
On becoming president, George H. W. Bush made a deal with the Soviets that he would cut the Mujahideen off if the Soviets would leave Afghanistan. The last Soviet troops departed in early 1989. The US then turned its back on Afghanistan and allowed it to fall into civil war, as the radical Muslim factions fostered by Washington and Riyadh turned against one another and used their extensive weaponry on each other and on civilians.

I don't call 'em the Retalibans for nothin'.

12:35 BST

Points of interest

In a post reporting that Litigation Forces Change in Police Department in Easton, PA, TChris suggests that something similar may be needed in Wellington, Florida, the police used "Taser stun guns, pepper spray and their elbows and fists" to break up a teenaged girl's coming-of-age party. "Some guests said that the fight, which began on the dance floor, was over and that people were trying to leave by the time deputies arrived at the quinceanera, a party held in Latin American communities to celebrate a girl's 15th birthday."

Interesting point from Josh Marshall about Ralph Reed - he's intimately tied in with the Jack Abramoff scandal, but it doesn't seem anyone is using it against him in his race for Lt. Governor of Georgia.

Pharyngula has a list of links for people reacting to Bush's endorsement of teaching "Intelligent Design" in schools.

02:15 BST

Tuesday, 02 August 2005

The wrecking crew

If you're working in trouble spots abroad, the last thing you want is to be associated with the US military - which is why the Peace Corps has worked so hard to keep its distance from anything having to do with the Pentagon. As it is, they are constantly in danger because rumors abound that they may actually be CIA operatives. So they are understandably disturbed at an announcement that military enlistees can fulfill part of their obligations by serving in the Peace Corps.

Congress authorized the recruitment program three years ago in legislation that drew little attention at the time but is stirring controversy now, for two reasons: The military has begun to promote it, and the day is drawing closer when the first batch of about 4,300 recruits will be eligible to apply to the Peace Corps, after having spent 3 1/2 years in the armed forces. That could happen as early as 2007.
What geniuses came up with this awful idea?
Two longtime proponents of national service programs, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), devised the legislation "to provide Americans with more opportunities to serve their country," said Bayh's spokeswoman, Meghan Keck. When it stalled as a separate bill, aides to the senators said, they folded it into a 306-page defense budget bill, where it did not attract opposition.
Yes, that's right. Remember that next time someone tells you that either one of these two bright lights would make a great president.

There are moves being made to reverse this policy; you might want to contact your reps to tell them to get on board.

It seems like such a small thing, given the frightening list of things the Bush administration has done, but the Peace Corps still stands as evidence that some parts of America still wish to live up to our ideals rather than down to the lowest common denominator.

A pieced of news that could place yet another obstacle in the path of Bush's imperial plans is the news this morning that Iran may not be nuke-ready for another decade. Or maybe it won't make any difference, because they'll just invent another reason. Or not even bother, just because they can. Who will stop them?

Arthur Silber on the true nature of the enemy we face:

The Bush administration and many of its staunch defenders are determined to ignore history, and all of its crucially important lessons. Perhaps the single most important warning provided by a study of the great nations and empires of the past is this one: what finally destroyed them and brought them down was not an external enemy, but internal corruption and decay. It was the threat at home that killed them in the end. That threat had many aspects: an increasingly intrusive and repressive government; the steady erosion of individual rights; the absence of genuinely free speech, including a free press-a press which took its critical responsibility of exposing government malfeasance seriously, and was able to exercise it meaningfully; the growing amalgamation of government with the supposedly "private" sector, in some version of corporate statism; and the deterioration of the justice system, as a result of which the courts supported and worsened government attacks on individual rights instead of checking them.

16:33 BST

Stuff to watch out for

At Americablog, Black preachers embrace homosexuality as another of God's works - Can "Intelligent Design" be used as a force for Good? "Your job is to get up every day and be grateful to God for your DNA," Forbes said. "It took an artist divine to make this design!" Perhaps this is what Bush meant to endorse for our public schools?

The General writes to David Brooks to bemoan the loss of a fine upstanding boarding school that teaches manliness.

Douchebag of Liberty watch: Novak is making excuses for outing Plame again. Jesse Taylor notes that he's just recycling his old excuses, but I'm perfectly happy to see the old vampire keeping the story in the headlines.

The fact that Democrats are decrying the recess appointment of Bolton has the wingers in a flurry of faux parallelism once again, pretending that Bush's own obstructionism is the same as other recess appointments that occurred in very different circumstances. What none of them will acknowledge is that what delayed the sacred up-or-down vote on Bolton wasn't a refusal to vote on the part of Democrats, but a refusal by the administration to allow the process to proceed. Far be it from the wingers to wonder what the administration was trying to hide about Bolton - what we already know is bad enough.

Raw Story had more details on the Ohio election scandal, and the part that Tom Noe's wife played in it all.

12:59 BST

But are they fat?

Fruitcakes speak up!

A panel of 36 distinguished public policy experts and scholars-ranging from Nobel laureate Milton Friedman to Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey-has selected the Internal Revenue Code as the No. 1 item on this year's Human Events list of the Ten Most Harmful Government Programs.
And the winners are:

1. Internal Revenue Code
2. Social Security
3. Medicare
4. Tax Withholding
5. Medicaid
6. Endangered Species Act
7. Bilingual Education Grants
8. Title X Family Planning Funding
9. Corporation for Public Broadcasting
10. Sugar Import Quotas and Subsidies

And we're supposed to apologize for Michael Moore, eh? Who is out of the mainstream? C'mon, it's a gimme.

10:54 BST

Notable stuff

William Rivers Pitt found a couple of things to choke on in the GOP attacks on Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and the recess appointment of John Bolton.

Faithful Progressive points out that it isn't just Democrats who are choking on the Bolton nomination, either, or on The Ugly American Presidency.

Michael Geist reports that a Canadian ISP blocked pro-union content at the backbone level, violating the cardinal rule that ISPs "transport bits of data without discrimination, preference, or regard for content."

Disinterested Party has yet another reason to despise Jeb Bush.

At Media Matters for America, right-wing nut blames MMA, Rachel Maddow, and the alleged overwhelming liberalism of Tucker Carlson's The Situation for the show's lousy ratings, and Bob Woodward is a total tool.

02:31 BST

Monday, 01 August 2005

Buncha links

Katrina Vanden Heuvel on The Week From Hell.

Susie Bright on The Day the Sex Died.

The Top 10 Bush Sound Bites (thanks to Neil Rest for the tip).

Jonathan Rowe on the appalling Paul Cameron.

The Man Who Made Kathie Lee Cry is Charles Kernaghan, still fighting for the working people. (via)

This whole "can dish it out but can't take it" spin would make more sense if Helen Thomas was the kind of reporter who dished on people's private lives - but she's not.

At least when I was a kid and they taught us from the Gospels in public schools, they taught the actual teachings of Christ and not this crap.

Read everything on this page and then go watch libraryman's slideshow.

18:25 BST

The road we're on

It's one of the scariest below-the-radar items out there on a generally ominous landscape.

You remember that spooky story about the California National Guard having some sort of secret unit that was collecting information on private citizens who may not be sufficiently worshipful of George Bush's majesty? Well, King of Zembla has found evidence that this is a much bigger thing, possibly nation-wide. State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Garden Grove) has been trying to find out what's going on and isn't getting much help from higher-ups in the NG. According to The Contra Costa Times:

After the hearing, Dunn told reporters he was concerned the program may be part of something much larger and more sinister. He said he'd been contacted by several current and former Guard officials from other states since launching the investigation, and was attempting to confirm reports that multiple state Guards had established similar units since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"The question is, was there a federally-inspired program, post 9-11, to get around a law that prevents domestic spying ... it appears that could be a possibility here."

Meanwhile, posting a story from ABC (Australia) saying Leaked emails claim Guantanamo trials rigged, Susie at Suburban Guerrilla titles it: We Used to Be America. Matthew Yglesias picks up a related story at the NYT and observes that among their other accomplishments, the administration has actually "managed to get prosecutors to complain that trial rules are being rigged in their favor."

There's a neon sign flashing in my mental landscape and it says, "Police... State ... Police... State ... Police... State ...."

17:00 BST

Things you should read

At Truthout, Dramatic New Charges Deepen Link between Ohio's "Coingate," Voinovich Mob Connections, and the Theft of the 2004 Election - the bottom third of this article has the election fraud details.

At The Mahablog, How to Fake News: Intermediate Level - how Brit Hume and the right wing are trumping up a "scandal" about Air America Radio.

At Fact-esque, White House Beat: On the Confirmation Tour with John!!! (via)

14:51 BST

Sekrit insider stuff

From Rachel Maddow's blog:

Today's top story is the BIG INSIDER SECRET that Bush is going to give John Bolton a recess appointment as US ambassador to the United Nations today or tomorrow. Now we say that it's a BIG INSIDER SECRET that Bolton is going to get a recess appointment, because we've only got stories tipping us to this fact from CNN, the AP, Reuters, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, CBS News, and Rachel's dog.

Now what gold is worth panning for among all these top political stories on John Bolton? None. There is none. You can read 11 different stories all tipping you to the hot insider point that Bolton is going to get nominated and NOT A SINGLE ONE will address whether or not he is qualified for this job. It's inane. The media down the line, without exception is reporting this like it's some horse race. Like it's some political transaction the only consequences of which are in red v. blue Stratego or something.

And a post by Rachel notes that it really doesn't matter who the experienced Republicans are, because the Republicans prefer not to let those people get the nomination - they like to build their presidents from scratch.

11:07 BST

Even worse than you thought

Here's a report on the newly-completed independent security audit of Diebold's electronic voting machines, and here's an excerpt:

According to the report:

"Exploits available with this design include, but are not limited to:

"1) Paper trail falsification - Ability to modify the election results reports so that they do not match the actual vote data

"1.1) Production of false optical scan reports to facilitate checks and balances (matching the optical scan report to the central tabulator report), in order to conceal attacks like redistribution of the votes or Trojan horse scripts such as those designed by Dr. Herbert Thompson.

"1.2) An ingenious exploit presents itself, for a single memory card to mimic votes from many precincts at once while transmitting votes to the central tabulator. The paper trail falsification methods in this report will hide evidence of out-of-place information from the optical scan report if that attack is used.

"2) Removal of information about pre-loaded votes

"2.1) Ability to hide pre-loaded votes

"2.2) Ability to hide a pre-arranged integer overflow

"3) Ability to program conditional behavior based on time/date, number of votes counted, and many other hidden triggers.

Via Wendy McElroy.

01:47 BST

Avedon Carol at The Sideshow, August 2005

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