<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: November 2004

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A minuscule typo

Can you spot it?

"...the miniscule nukes would have a range of two to three feet..."

We know, it only seems right to spell a prefix that denotes diminution "mini"--but in this case, it's spelled "minu," as in "diminution."

(From today's Borowitz Report, www.borowitzreport.com)

Tom Ridge quits

Ridge submitted his resignation in writing to President Bush this morning. In an e-mail circulated to Homeland Security officials, Ridge praised the department as "an extraordinary organization that each day contributes to keeping America safe and free." He also said he was privileged to work with the department's 180,000 employees "who go to work every day dedicated to making our country better and more secure."

Apparently those 180,000 employees have been doing a better job than Bush: a terrorist attack inside the United States has never happened on Ridge's watch.

Or should we say "not yet" happened...Ridge plans to stick around until a successor is named—probably after Bush's inauguration on January 20 (which promises to be well attended by terrorists—er, demonstrators).


Some good news

We didn't even know this case was pending, and it's an important one. A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the government cannot withhold funds from colleges and universities that refuse to cooperate with military recruiters because of the Pentagon's discrimination against gays in the armed forces.

In other words, the feds can no longer punish schools for refusing to allow military recruiters on campus. It's incredible that they ever did so, but then we're talking about the feds here.


Recounts in New Mexico and Nevada

Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik are seeking recounts in two more battleground states: New Mexico and Nevada (both of which Bush "won"). Cobb and Badnarik, who also requested a recount in Ohio, want the recounts because they're concerned that reports of Election Day problems are being ignored.

A "527" organization, the Help America Recount Fund (http://helpamericarecount.org/), is paying for the recounts.

Mr. Cobb, Mr. Badnarik, and Help America Recount: We're nominating you all for sainthood.


Serial killer picks cereal seller for top post

Bush has picked Carlos Gutierrez,the CEO of the Kellogg cereal company, to replace Donald Evans as secretary of commerce.

Bush called Gutierrez "a great American success story" and said he "will take office at a time of historic opportunity for our changing economy." Is that "changing" as in "dying"?

Gutierrez said his experience shows him that Bush's vision of an "ownership society [is] real, and I know it's tangible." Yes, you can touch it, but you can't afford it. Unless you're the CEO of Kellogg.

Frosted flakes, anyone?


Those darned suicide bombers

Yesterday a suicide bomber rammed a car into a group of Iraqi police officers waiting to collect their salaries, killing 12, and a U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb near Baghdad. Today a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives next to a U.S. convoy on Baghdad's airport road, killing several U.S. soldiers, and a car bomb that exploded near a U.S. patrol killed four Iraqi civilians and injured 19, two of them American soldiers.

One hundred thirty-four U.S. troops have been killed so far this month in Iraq—one less than the high of 135 set in April.

And the Bush administration maintains that things are going swimmingly.


Torture at Guantánamo? No!

Say it isn't so! The Red Cross has found that the American military has used psychological and physical coercion "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The Red Cross also said that doctors and other medical workers at Guantánamo were participating in planning for interrogations, which is "a flagrant violation of medical ethics."

The U.S. government's response? It's all lies, lies, lies. Just like Abu Ghraib.


Monday, November 29, 2004

We know it's technically correct, but...

...it just sounds funny:

"Can't there be a database of trustworthy American frequent travelers who are not going to secrete things in their bras?" (—Maureen Dowd, NY Times)

By "secrete" she obviously means "hide," but because "secrete" also means "to form and give off (a secretion)," we'd suggest using "hide," "stow," or "stash" instead.


We don't need students—we need soldiers!

The Republicans are proposing a $300 million reduction in funding for the federal Pell grant program, which was developed to encourage poor and working-class students to go to college. What will the kids do who can't afford to go to college? Enlist in the military!

That seems to be the whole idea, and it's a disgusting one.


Can religion make you sick?

In an attempt to prevent the spread of flu among parishioners, St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro, Vermont, has banned the communal wine and the "sign of peace" handshake during Mass. The ban is similar to one enacted in Canada last year, after 29 people in a Catholic prayer group contracted SARS.

Unfortunately, avoiding the wine and the handshakes won't necessarily prevent transmission of any disease, according to Dr. Arnold S. Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. He says sitting in a pew with a sick person for an hour is enough to make you sick.

Some people even feel sick sitting in a pew with a healthy person...


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Saddam's legal team considers suing Bush & Co. for war crimes

If Canada won't do it, perhaps the Iraqis will. Members of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime are considering suing the Bush administration in the World Court for war crimes in Iraq.

"We are toying with the idea of filing the lawsuit," said Ziad Al Khasawneh, who heads Saddam's legal team. He said the latest American incursion into Fallujah, including the killing of an apparently unarmed and wounded Iraqi by a U.S. Marine at a mosque, was "one of scores of examples of American atrocities."

Khasawneh said the legal team was also encouraged by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statements describing Iraq's invasion as "illegal." In September, Annan told BBC television that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq "was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view. From the charter point of view, it was illegal."

The legal team has enlisted attorneys from the United States, Britain, and France to assist in the possible lawsuit, Khasawneh said.

One way or another, Bush and his neo-conmen are going down.


This is just the beginning

Since school began this fall, Brad Mathewson, a gay 16-year-old student at Webb City High School in Missouri, has been wearing T-shirts to school expressing his support of gay pride. On October 20, when he was wearing a T-shirt imprinted with a pink triangle and the words "Make a Difference!" (What? That's outrageous!), he was called in to the principal's office and told to either turn the shirt inside out or go home and change. Instead, he traded shirts with a friend, who wore the shirt the rest of the day without incident. (Hmmm...was the other student straight?)

A week later, Mathewson was wearing a T-shirt with a rainbow and the words, "I'm gay and I'm proud" (Gasp! Appalling!), and when told again to either turn the shirt inside out or leave, he went home. He was eventually ordered not to return to school wearing clothing supporting gay rights.

The ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri wrote to the school on Oct. 28, citing a 1969 ruling by the Supreme Court that students have a constitutional right to free speech except where school officials can demonstrate that it would "materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school." This exception doesn't apply in Mathewson's case, the ACLU said, since Mathewson had previously worn the Gay-Straight Alliance T-shirt to school several times without causing any disruption. (Except in the minds of the homophobes, of course.)

The school hasn't responded, and the ACLU has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Kansas City, Missouri, seeking an injunction that would bar the school from censoring Mathewson's speech.

Good luck to the ACLU and Mathewson—and a pox on Webb City High School.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Another Bushie splits

This time it's Stephen Friedman, one of Bush's top economic advisers. Friedman (fried man?), who held the job for just two years, says he's leaving the White House to return to the private sector in New York.

Think there's a chance Friedman will be replaced by another incompetent yes-person?


Thanksgiving reminder

"There is an ecology of eating. Like any good ecosystem, our diet should be diverse, dynamic and interrelated. In 1984 Americans were spending roughly 8 percent of their disposable income on health care and about 15 percent on food. Today, those numbers are essentially reversed. An ever-more reductionist diet - protein this year, carbohydrates next year - ignores plant and animal systems loaded with genetic complexity, and the benefits that complexity passes down to us." —Dan Barber, creative director of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, in today's NY Times

It's shocking that Americans spend almost twice as much on health care as they do on food. Wouldn't it make more sense to eat right than to go broke trying to pay for the results of eating wrong?


How a bankrupt billionaire thinks

"I don't think it's a failure; it's a success. In this case, it was just something that worked better than other alternatives. It's really just a technical thing." —Donald Trump, on the news of his Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts declaring bankruptcy...a second time.

He sounds a lot like someone else we know in a position of power...(wouldn't it be fun to say to both of them, "You're fired!").

Why all the security, and who pays for it?

Every time Bush travels anywhere, in the U.S. or abroad, the security requirements cause a problem or cost a fortune. Two days ago Bush cancelled a dinner in Chile because they refused to provide the security he requested, and yesterday when he appeared in Colombia they brought out 15,000 troops, two submarines, and an array of battleships, combat helicopters, and warplanes to protect him...


...his admirers?


Video game lets you re-assassinate JFK

This is unbelievable. A new Internet video game called JFK Reloaded lets you pretend to be Lee Harvey Oswald, crouch on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository with a rifle, and fire three shots at John F. Kennedy. It costs $10 to play, and the company that created it is offering $100,000 in prize money for the player who recreates the exact timing and angle of the shots that killed JFK.

The company that created the game, Traffic Management Limited of Scotland, calls it a "docu-game." Kirk Ewing, managing director of Traffic, said, "This new form of interactive entertainment brings history to life and will stimulate a younger generation of players to take an interest in this fascinating episode of American history. We've created the game with the belief that Oswald was the only person that fired the shots on that day, although this re-creation proves how immensely difficult his task was."

It'll stimulate a younger generation of players all right—to become assassins.


Monday, November 22, 2004

Donald Trump: bankrupt billionaire?

We see that Donald Trump's book, "Think Like a Billionaire," recently landed on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list.

We also see that Donald Trump's casinos just filed for bankruptcy.

Are we missing something...or is he?

Election fraud update

Two encouraging tidbits from MSNBC's Keith Olbermann (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240):

• Despite appearances, John Kerry's presidential campaign hasn't rolled over and died on the issue of election fraud. The North County News of Westchester, New York, reports that “A top-ranking official with Democratic Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign [said] that although unlikely, there is a recount effort being waged that could unseat Republican President George Bush.” The paper quotes Kerry spokesman David Wade as saying: “We have 17,000 lawyers working on this, and the grassroots accountability couldn’t be any higher - no (irregularity) will go unchecked. Period.”

• There may be more time than we thought to determine whether Ohio's or Florida's votes were rigged. Although the Electoral College casts its official votes for president on December 13, their votes are not opened by Congress until January 6. If there are controversies, such as the disclosure that a state actually went for Kerry instead of Bush, members of Congress can challenge the Electoral College's vote. It requires a written objection from one House member and one senator. Once that objection is raised, the joint meeting of the two houses is discontinued. Then both houses separate again and they vote as to whether to accept the electoral votes from that state.

We're not trying to get anyone's hopes up, but it appears that there is at least still a chance...

When two thoughts collide...

...you get an incomprehensible hybrid like this:

"Already competing against one other in Web search, free e-mail, and techniques for searching individual computers..."

The writer meant either "one another" or "each other," but we suspect she or he fell victim to the jinx of self-editing, which often confounds our best intentions.


Quote of the day

"The new pastime of our culture is watching people drive around in a circle, and all the while we are being told to buy more, think less and hope for a spectacular wreck." —Stephen Arthur ("Hey, NASCAR, it's time to pull over," The Daily Barometer, http://barometer.orst.edu)

Those conservatives are so sneaky

House and Senate conservatives wrote a remarkably clever anti-abortion provision into the just-passed $388 billion spending bill, making it illegal for government agencies to withhold money from hospitals, doctors, clinics, and insurers that refuse to offer abortions.

In other words, more money now will go to health care providers who don't perform abortions--typically, "faith-based" doctors and institutions.

Just like four years ago, Bush and Co. are wasting no time pandering to their base—and screwing the rest of us.


Focus on the Heterosexual Family

So Oliver Stone's new movie, "Alexander," features a bisexual hero (played by Colin Farrell). He's married, but he has a male lover. We know you're wondering what the Christian homophobe group, Focus on the Family, has to say about it, so here it is:

"There will be people who see Alexander the Great's bisexuality as applauding that lifestyle, and unfortunately it will lead some young boys, young men down a path that I think they'll regret someday" (FoF's film critic, Bob Waliszewski).

Right. Young boys and men are going to base their sexual preferences on a character in a fictionalized film set in the fourth century B.C. We hope Stone includes Waliszewski's comment among the testimonials on the DVD cover...


Friday, November 19, 2004

No, Mr. Kerry, it wasn't the bin Laden tape

According to FoxNews.com, John Kerry believes he lost to President Bush because of the video from Usama bin Laden (allegedly) that surfaced just days before the Nov. 2 presidential election.

Kerry supposedly told FOX News' senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera that he believes he lost because the tape may have scared Americans.

Rivera said he spoke to Kerry yesterday as the senator was waiting in a holding room prior to the processional leading up to the formal opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark.

"Tough luck, senator," Rivera said to Kerry, referring to the Democrat's election loss.

Rivera said Kerry responded by saying, "It was that Usama tape - it scared them." Rivera said Kerry said the tape came out too late for the Democratic campaign to counteract before the election.

No, no, no, Mr. Kerry - it wasn't the tape. If anything, the tape should have IMPROVED your chances of winning because it reminded everyone that bin Laden was still alive (if it was him on the tape) and underlined what a disaster Bush's "war on terra" has been. No, it wasn't bin Laden, it was the ELECTION that cost you the election - the hijacking, by Republicans, of Democrats' votes. And if you're looking for something to spend your leftover campaign cash on, that would be a great place to start...


It's not a theory anymore: Kerry won

"Election results are not final until electors vote on Dec. 12. There is still time to find the truth." --Alan Waldman

In an excellent and comprehensive article ("Was it Hacked?") in yesterday's Orlando Weekly, award-winning journalist Alan Waldman spelled out the facts behind the "theory" of the stolen election. Following are the highlights. Read the entire article at http://www.orlandoweekly.com/news/Story.asp?ID=4688.

• Verified Voting, a group formed by a Stanford University professor to assess electronic voting, has collected 31,000 reports of election fraud and other problems.

• University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Steven Freeman, in his November 2004 paper "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," says that the odds that the discrepancies between predicted [exit poll] results and actual vote counts in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania could have been due to chance or random error are 250 million to 1.

• Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jeff Fisher charged that he has and will show the FBI evidence that Florida results were hacked; he also claims to have knowledge of who hacked it - in 2004 and in the 2002 Democratic primary (so Jeb Bush would not have to run against the popular Janet Reno).

• Votes collected by electronic machines (and by optical scan equipment that reads traditional paper ballots) are sent via modem to a central tabulating computer, which counts the votes on Windows software. Therefore, anyone who knows how to operate an Excel spreadsheet and who is given access to the central tabulation machine can, in theory, change election totals.

• Voting machine manufacturers Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, and SAIC are all hard-wired into the Bush campaign and power structure. Diebold chief Walden O'Dell is a top Bush fund-raiser. The election division at Diebold is run by Bob Urosevich, whose brother, Todd, is a top executive at ES&S. Sequoia is owned by a partner member of the Carlyle Group, which is believed to have dictated foreign policy in both Bush administrations and has employed former President Bush for quite a while.

• All early election-day indicators predicted a Kerry landslide. Zogby International (which predicted the 2000 outcome more accurately than any national pollster) did exit polling which predicted a 100-electoral vote triumph for Kerry. He saw Kerry winning crucial Ohio by 4 percent.

• Princeton professor Sam Wang, whose meta-analysis had shown the election to be close in the week before the election, began coming up with dramatic numbers for Kerry in the day before and the day of the election. At noon EST on Monday, Nov. 1, he predicted a Kerry win by a 108-vote margin.

• In the Iowa Electronic Markets, where "investors" put their money where their mouths are and wager real moolah on election outcome "contracts," Bush led consistently for months before the election - often by as much as 60 percent to 39 percent. But at 7 p.m. CST on Nov. 2, 76.6 percent of the last hour's traders had gone to Kerry, with only 20.1 percent plunking their bucks down on Bush. They knew something.

• In 10 states where there were verifiable paper trails – or no electronic machines – the final results hardly differed from the initial exit polls. In non-paper-trail states, however, there were significant differences. Florida saw a shift from Kerry up by 1 percent in the exit polls to Bush up by 5 percent at close of voting. In Ohio, Kerry went from up 3 percent to down 3 percent. Exit polls also had Kerry winning the national popular vote by 3 percent.

• The Center for Research on Globalization's Michael Keefer states, "The National Election Pool's own data – as transmitted by CNN on the evening of November 2 and the morning of November 3 – suggest very strongly that the results of the exit polls were themselves fiddled late on November 2 in order to make their numbers conform with the tabulated vote tallies." Keefer says the total number of respondents at 9 p.m. was well over 13,000 and at 1:36 a.m. it had risen less than 3 percent – to 13,531 total respondents. Given the small increase in respondents, this 5 percent swing to Bush is mathematically impossible. In Florida, at 8:40 p.m., exit polls showed a near dead heat but the final exit poll update at 1:01 a.m. gave Bush a 4 percent lead. This swing was mathematically impossible, because there were only 16 more respondents in the final tally than in the earlier one.

• Kathy Dopp's examination of Florida's county-by-county record of votes cast and people registered by party affiliation (http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm) suggests systematic and widespread election fraud in 47 of the state's 67 counties. This did not occur so much in the touch-screen counties, where public scrutiny would naturally be focused, but in counties where optically screened paper ballots were fed into a central tabulator PC, which is highly vulnerable to hacking. In these optical-scan counties, had GOP registrants voted Republican, Democratic registrants gone for Kerry and everyone registered showed up to vote, Bush would have received 1,337,242 votes. Instead, his reported vote total there was 1,950,213. That discrepancy (612,971) is nearly double Bush's winning margin in the state (380,952).

• Colin Shea of Zogby International analyzed and double-checked Dopp's figures and confirmed that optical-scan counties gave Bush 16 percent more votes than he should have gotten. "This 16 percent would not be strange if it were spread across counties more or less evenly," Shea explains, but it is not. In 11 different counties, the "actual" Bush tallies were 50-100 percent higher than expected. In one county, where 88 percent of voters are registered Democrats, Bush got nearly two-thirds of the vote – three times more than predicted by his statistical model.

• In 47 Florida counties, the number of presidential votes exceeded the number of registered voters. Palm Beach County recorded 90,774 more votes than voters and Miami-Dade had 51,979 more, while relatively honest Orange County had only 1,648 more votes than voters. Overall, Florida reported 237,522 more presidential votes (7.59 million) than citizens who turned out to cast ballots (7.35 million).

• Broward County, Florida, electronic voting machines counted up to 32,500 and then started counting backward. In several Florida counties, early-morning voters reported ballot boxes that already had an unusually large quantity of ballots in them. In Florida and five other states, according to Canada's Globe and Mail, "the wrong candidate appeared on their touch-screen machine's checkout screen" after the person had voted.

• Voters Unite! detailed 303 specific election problems, including 84 complaints of machine malfunctions in 22 states, 24 cases of registration fraud in 14 states, 20 abusive voter challenge situations in 10 states, U.S. voters in 18 states and Israel experiencing absentee ballot difficulties, 10 states with provisional ballot woes, 22 cases of malfeasance in 13 states, 10 charges of voter intimidation in seven states, seven states where votes were suppressed, seven states witnessing outbreaks of animosity at the polls, six states suffering from ballot printing errors and seven instances in four states where votes were changed on-screen. In addition, the Voters Unite! Web site cites four states with early voting troubles, three states undergoing ballot programming errors, three states demonstrating ballot secrecy violations, bogus ballot fraud in New Mexico, and double-voting for Bush in Texas.

• Kerry's victory was predicted by previously extremely accurate Harris and Zogby exit polls, by the formerly infallible 50 percent rule (an incumbent with less than 50 percent in the exit polls always loses; Bush had 47 percent – requiring him to capture an improbable 80 percent of the undecideds to win) and by the Incumbent Rule (undecideds break for the challenger, as exit polls showed they did by a large margin this time).

• Statisticians point out that Bush beat 99 to 1 mathematical odds in winning the election.

Our success in Afghanistan

The United nations announced yesterday that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has reached the highest levels in the country's history--and in the world.

Antonio Maria Costa, director of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, said in the report, "In Afghanistan, drugs are now a clear and present danger. The fear that Afghanistan might degenerate into a narco-state is becoming a reality."

According to the report, the income from production and trafficking of opium this year is estimated at $2.8 billion--about 60 percent of the country's legal gross domestic product. If the drug problem persists, said Mr. Costa, "the political and military successes of the last three years will be lost."

The report also said there are indications that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are profiting from the Afghan trade.

Another mission accomplished!


Poem of the day

The election is over, the results are now known.
The will of the people has clearly been shown.
We should show by our thoughts and our words and our deeds
That unity is just what our country now needs.
Let's all get together. Let bitterness pass.
I'll hug your elephant.
You kiss my ass.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Quote of the day

Maureen Dowd, in today's NY Times:

"Not only are the Bush officials who failed to protect the country and misled us into war not losing their jobs. They're getting promoted."


Chirac, you rock

French President Jacques Chirac said yesterday in an interview with the BBC that the war in Iraq has spread terrorism.

"To a certain extent Saddam Hussein's departure was a positive thing. But it also provoked reactions, such as the mobilization in a number of countries of men and women of Islam, which has made the world more dangerous."

He also showed his contempt for Donald Rumsfeld by referring to him as "that nice guy, I've forgotten his name, who talked about Old Europe."

We'll take a super-sized order of Freedom Fries with that...


They did it

And we're outraged, but not surprised. House Republicans voted yesterday to abandon a party rule that required a member of their leadership (i.e., Tom DeLay) to step aside temporarily if indicted.

Mr. DeLay said he hadn't asked for the change but applauded it anyway, saying it could keep "political hacks" from influencing the makeup of Republican leadership. He said Republican lawmakers "fixed the rules so that Democrats cannot use our rules against us."

Mr. DeLay is not completely humorless, however. He said he didn't expect to be indicted anyway, but "This has nothing to do with whether I was going to be or not going to be.'' (Sound of hand slapping knee.)


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

November may become the deadliest month yet

Raise your hand if you've heard anything about this. U.S. deaths in Iraq so far this month are almost 100, making it the second-deadliest month since we "liberated" the country a year-and-a-half ago (the worst month was last April, with 135 deaths). But this is only November 17; there are 13 days left to beat the record!

The total number of U.S. service personnel who have died so far in Iraq: 1,210. The number wounded: 8,956. The number who will lead happy, well-adjusted lives if or when they return home: 0.


Ever received an e-mail like this?

If so, can you explain to us what it means? It reminds us of the lyrics to "Tales from Topographic Oceans," by Yes. Maybe it's an English version of the filler text Lorem Ipsum?

oversupplied militated commie crystallography pillmonger priapean disassociating sappiest mastectomy. bougar cornbird confirmatively unsesquipedalian enwrought. doesn beguilers. hydrophthalmos heirskip precooling uncomminuted psychopompos codifier respirometer encraal microcentrosome fredericksburg. urinative blennioid quatorze affusion autosign merles bedchamber. tallymen cosentient coffle refractory ruck outlearn iridioplatinum enameler moreens prisonlike.

tidinesses temptationless sericate. doolees programer prologize hyperresonant simultaneousnesses stippler teretial disassociating. peising subentries vulnerose epinicial glamoury parallelotropism. azyme holometabolic heroicly superimposing trypanolytic unstemmable animists. anapterygotous cotoneaster dotate jubas leach propupa glebous. argos esoterism scarifier tantawy pinots streamwort curt downgrading sealess. hamated reactionarist hymnarium trichophore. slopeness baser aeromarine bimasty eupneic glamoury sabra neostriatum. glycerophosphoric isonephelic immorality microcentrosome. plannings simplicidentate unblanched unamalgamated saron bulletproof propupa dundee. downgrading haha mahatmas phonate flacons woesome. derival amphisbaenian angarias immorality rehandling bedchamber synclitic. throats pokerish periclitation stereognostic esoterism frige audiotypist. strowing trichophore hymnarium dewiness moonwalking supersphenoid dicr anoid. splatterdash downheartedness practicalize haffet averrer sterneber. moly pneumotomy underclothing plowstilt iridioplatinum consulage dotate. virgules undaub etatist prochein predominate peculiarize cholecystoileostomy. claqueur curt micromineralogical compunctionary myelodiastasis puncheons. philharmonics centripetally kwan. superorganize bulletproof refractory doughnut curt hefted oversupplied nepenthaceous palaeography erotize. bedazzle mousers pianisms whitten frab. styptical catechols oysterhood outpresses diagrams hideboundness reactionism. ultraenthusiastic atomised ingenerability pyrosises ignatia meldrop paracorolla saron contributes. uterointestinal aerosolized amidogen syllabled contraremonstrance hexahydrated gelated consensuses stagedom.


House Republicans are pushing for a rule change to allow members indicted by state grand juries to remain in a leadership post. Why is this outrageous? If the rule is changed, DeLay gets to keep his job even if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury for his questionable fundraising activities on behalf of his successful redistricting efforts in Texas.

And there's a kicker: House Republicans originally adopted this indictment rule in 1993, when they were trying to end Democratic control of the House by emphasizing Democrats' so-called ethical lapses. They said at the time that they held themselves to "higher standards" than Democrats.

So much for their higher standards.


Quote of the day

From H.L. Mencken (1880-1956):

"As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents more and more closely the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."


(Thanks to Sandy Ridlington.)

"Christian" Coalition takes the blame

What makes fundamentalists so...fundamental? Is it a genetic thing, an anomaly of the brain that makes it so they HAVE to think the way they do? What other explanation could there be? Surely no one would CHOOSE to see reality and reason as the enemy?

While you're pondering those imponderables, ponder the following imponderable letter the Christian Coalition e-mailed to its adherents. (Annotated with our corrections and notes.)

Dear Friend,

The elections are over and pro-family conservatives won important victories all across America – and you helped make the difference! Whether in the form of financial support, helping distribute thirty million voter guides, encouraging others to vote, or simply praying, your support was critical to this victory.

In thirteen states [actually, it was 11], by overwhelming margins, voters passed amendments to their state constitutions defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

We now have increased numbers of committed pro-life, pro-family conservatives in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives…as well as a President who is not ashamed of his faith and is willing to stand up for his beliefs.

The exit polls from the election tell why we succeeded. Of all the issues that influenced how people cast their ballot, the number one category was not terrorism, not taxes or the economy, but “moral issues” [actually, the number one category was terrorism].

This clearly tells us that Christian conservatives showed up at the polls in record numbers on Election Day, that they were educated about where candidates stood on the issues and that they were motivated to vote based on those issues. In short, Christian voter-education – specifically voter guides – made the difference!

While we had much success in this recent election, our work is not done. We must now turn our attention to the coming year and to the incredible opportunities that God has given us to advance the pro-family agenda.

Our 2005 legislative priorities include:

* Confirming conservative judges to our federal courts.
* Making the 2001 tax cuts permanent. (Includes the “marriage penalty tax” cut and the “child tax credit”, now set to expire in 2010)
* Passing the "Child Custody Protection Act". (To protect parental notification rights concerning abortions performed on minors)
* Passing the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act." (To free churches from the fear that the IRS if they speak out on political matters) [the IRS will what--remove entire phrases from your e-mails and render them incoherent?]
* Passing the “First Amendment Restoration Act”. (Amend campaign finance reform to restore the free speech rights of Americans who wish to participate in the political process)

The election is over, but our important work continues. With your help, the Christian Coalition was able to distribute millions of Voter Guides and help get Christians to the polls. Will you help us move forward in 2005 and take advantage of the victories we have won by making an online contribution today?

As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s be diligent to give God the thanks and praise for his answers to our prayers concerning our nation.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and financial support. May God bless you and your family.


Roberta Combs

P.S. Your voice – joined with tens of thousands of like-minded citizens – will make all the difference! Will you continue stand with us? We need your financial support to be an effective voice for you in Washington. Send your critical gift today. Together, we can build on the success of the 2004 election and have a successful 2005!

Christian Coalition of America
P.O. Box 37030
Washington, D.C. 20013
www.cc.org Telephone: (202) 479-6900
Fax: (202) 479-4262

(Via Colleen Spedale.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Neocons float

Robert Scheer's latest LA Times op-ed, "The Peter Principle and the Neocon Coup," says some interesting things about who's been flushed and who's left floating...

"Meanwhile, incompetence begat by ideological blindness has been rewarded. The neoconservatives who created the ongoing Iraq mess have more than survived the failure of their impossibly rosy scenarios for a peaceful and democratic Iraq under U.S. rule. In fact, despite calls for their resignations--from the former head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Anthony Zinni, among others--the neocon gang is thriving. They have not been held responsible for the '16 words' about yellowcake, the rise and fall of Ahmad Chalabi, the Abu Ghraib scandal, the post-invasion looting of Iraq's munitions stores and the disastrous elimination of the Iraqi armed forces.

"As of today, the neocons on Zinni's list of losers--Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz; the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby; National Security Council staffer Elliott Abrams; Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld--are all still employed even as Bush's new director of central intelligence, Porter J. Goss, is eviscerating the CIA's leadership.

"This is the culmination of a three-year campaign by the president's men to scapegoat the CIA for the fact that 9/11 occurred on Bush's watch."

Could the neocons be nearing critical mass for implosion?


Canada could try Bush for war crimes

This too much to hope for. An article in today's Toronto Star says that when Bush visits Ottawa later this year, he could conceivably be tried as a war criminal.

The article, "Should Canada indict Bush?", by Thomas Walkom, says that Bush may be a perfect candidate for prosecution under Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Although the act, passed in 2000 to bring Canada's laws in line with the rules of the new International Criminal Court, has never been tested, it lays out sweeping categories under which a foreign leader like Bush could face arrest.

For example, it says that anyone who commits a war crime, even outside Canada, may be prosecuted by Canada's courts. A war crime, according to the statute, is any conduct defined as such by "customary international law" or by conventions that Canada has adopted. War crimes also specifically include any breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, such as torture, degradation, willfully depriving prisoners of war of their rights "to a fair and regular trial," launching attacks "in the knowledge that such attacks will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians," and deportation of persons from an area under occupation.

Wow. Bush is guilty of all those crimes. But will Canada indict him? Probably not. According to a Canadian foreign affairs spokesperson, visiting heads of state are immune from prosecution when in Canada on official business. So if Canada wanted to indict Bush, they would have to wait until he's out of office--or hope to catch him when he goes up there to fish.

(Thanks to Eric Dickey for the tip.)


Imminent, not eminent

From a story in today's Corvallis Gazette-Times (about the possibility of a local teacher strike):

"That's one sign that a strike may not be eminent..."

And the writer's chances of winning an eminent Pulitzer Prize are probably not imminent.


There will be a recount in Ohio

David Cobb, the Green Party’s 2004 presidential candidate, is paying the $113,600 fee for a recount of the vote in Ohio.

A demand for a recount in Ohio can be filed only by a presidential candidate who was either on the ballot or a certified write-in candidate in that state. Both Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik will be demanding a recount.

The Cobb campaign is also exploring the possibility of seeking recounts in other states.

If Cobb succeeds and gives Ohio to John Kerry, we're joining the Green Party.


More hemorrhaging at the CIA

The two top officials running the CIA's clandestine service--Stephen R. Kappes, the deputy director of operations, and his deputy, Michael Sulick--resigned Monday, following a series of clashes with Director Porter J. Goss's chief of staff.

Newly minted (and, by his own admission, unqualified) CIA Director Porter Goss later asked employees to remain loyal to the agency. What, so they can go down with his sinking ship?


Good riddance to William Safire...

...who is leaving the NY Times in January.

His parting comment: "It's time to leave when you're still hitting the long ball and have something else you want to do."

Still hitting the long ball? Dude, most of the time you can't even SEE the ball, let alone hit it. But enjoy your retirement. And avoid getting involved in anything remotely connected with politics. You just don't get it.


Fighting the Army

There's no official draft yet, but if this keeps up, there will be.
More than 2,000 former soldiers the Army has ordered back to military work have said "No."

Many of these former soldiers--some of whom have not trained, held a gun, or worn a uniform in years--object to being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan now, after they thought they were through with active duty. They are seeking exemptions, filing court cases, or simply failing to report for duty.

One of the soldiers, Rick Howell, said, "I consider myself a civilian. I've done my time. I've got a brand new baby and a wife, and I haven't touched the controls of an aircraft in seven years. I'm 47 years old. How could they be calling me? How could they even want me?"

Obviously, there are much larger questions to be answered in this situation (such as, why should ANYONE have to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq or Afghanistan?), but come on, 47 years old? And seven years out of training? What is the Army thinking?

Despite the looming threat of a draft, we wish all of these so-called Individual Ready Reservists success in their resistance to this insanity.


Aesthetic dilemma

What would you do if you were in this situation? This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. Please don't answer it without giving it serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test how refined your aesthetic sensibilities are.

The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, where you will have to make a decision between two choices.

Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.

Please read carefully and consider all the facts - this is important for the test to work accurately.

You're in Florida. There is great chaos going on around you, caused by a hurricane and severe flooding. You are an Associated Press photographer in the middle of this great disaster. You're trying to shoot very impressive photos; it's your job and your calling. There are houses and people floating around you, disappearing into the water.

Nature is showing all its destructive power and is ripping everything away with it.

You see a man in the water. He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken away by the masses of water and mud. You move closer.

Somehow the man looks familiar.

Suddenly, you know who it is - it's George W. Bush!

You realize that the raging waves are about to take him away, forever. You have two options: You can save him or you can shoot a Pulitzer Prize-winning picture of the death of one of the world's most powerful men.

Here's the question (please give an honest answer):

Would you choose color film, or go with the simplicity of classic black and white?

(Via Colleen Spedale.)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Those peaceful, charitable, tolerant, forgiving evangelicals

Bob Jones III, president of the fundamentalist college of the same name, wrote a letter to George Bush telling him that "Christ has allowed you to be his servant" so he could "'leave an imprint for righteousness," by appointing conservative judges and approving legislation "defined by biblical norm." He went on to say, "In your re-election, God has graciously granted America--though she doesn't deserve it--a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."

No, we despise Bush--and people like Mr. Jones--because they are hypocrites.


Porter Goss tried to warn us

Porter Goss, the new CIA chief who admitted to Michael Moore's camera crew that he was ill-suited for today's CIA, has a mess on his hands. The latest casualty: John E. McLaughlin, a 32-year CIA veteran who was acting director for two months this summer until Goss took over. According to several current and former CIA officials (of which the number is mounting), McLaughlin resigned after a series of confrontations between senior operations officials and Goss's new chief of staff.

McLaughlin warned Goss that his top aide, former Capitol Hill staff member Patrick Murray, was treating senior officials disrespectfully and risked widespread resignations. Indeed, several other senior "clandestine service officers" are threatening to leave, current and former agency officials said.

Why all the attrition? Apparently, morale is low at the CIA because they feel unfairly blamed for the so-called "faulty intelligence" that led to the war on Iraq.

Memo to George W. Bush: Here's yet another chance to prove that you're a uniter, not a divider...


The temperature in hell drops to 32 degrees again

In his column in the 11/13 NY Times, David Brooks was uncommonly contrite:

"Not that it will do him much good at this point, but I owe John Kerry an apology. I recently mischaracterized some comments he made to Larry King in December 2001. I said he had embraced the decision to use Afghans to hunt down Al Qaeda at Tora Bora. He did not. I regret the error."

We wonder what else the rabid right-wingnut has been wrong about...


Why is everyone leaving?

Four more members of Bush's cabinet have resigned: Secretary of State Colin Powell, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Education Secretary Rod Paige, and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. By our count, that's six so far (including Attorney General John Ashcroft and the commerce secretary).

Why the mass exodus? Does anyone out there know whether the number of resignations is unprecedented for the cabinet of a "re-elected" president? And what miscreants will Bush choose to replace these reprobates?

Now all we need is for Bush and Cheney to resign...


Friday, November 12, 2004

Typo or confession?

Subhead under a headline reading "Classmates Die Together in Iraq":

"Two childhood friends who fought in Iraq together we killed Nov. 4."


Sure, blame the editor

Yesterday we e-mailed syndicated columnist Ted Rall (one of our favorite liberal writers and cartoonists), asking him whether he meant "red" instead of "blue" in a sentence that appeared in his column of 11/9. His reply:

"Yes, should be red. Damn editor!"

We hope he's referring to HIS editor, not us...

See Rall's cartoons and columns at www.rall.com.

Can we just let it go now?

No, we're not talking about the election..we're talking about the Laci Peterson murder case, which has finally resulted in a guilty verdict for Scott Peterson.

The Washington Post says Peterson showed no emotion as the foreman read the verdict. That's probably because the trial was five months long, and Peterson had long since lapsed into unconsciousness from sheer boredom.


THIS didn't get a lot of airplay

Diebold actually got nailed for voting machine improprieties in California. The lawsuit addressed concerns over the security of the systems and their ability to accurately record votes. The terms of the $2.6 million settlement require Diebold to pay for alternative voting machines that had to be used where the electronic voting machines were disallowed; pay for backup measures in certain counties where the vote tally is questioned; pay for increased memory for the voting systems in certain counties; and make a number of changes to the voting systems to improve their security.

Now let's hear from all the other states that used the machines...


Quote of the day

"I have concluded that there has not been adequate national debate over the nature of the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and the force he leads and inspires, and the nature of the intelligence reform needed to address that threat."--Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit

(Scheuer, anonymous author of the bestseller "Imperial Hubris," resigned from the CIA yesterday so he could speak openly about terrorism and the government's failure to understand the threat from bin Laden.)


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Quote of the day

"Even as Karl Rove boasts that 'moral values'' swept his boss back into the White House, it never seems to occur to the president that it's immoral to endanger our troops in a war shaped by the political clock, a war with no visible enemy, no coherent plan and no exit timetable."
--Maureen Dowd, NY Times


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

It wasn't the "values votes," it was the e-mails

Web site critic Jakob Nielsen thinks Bush won in part because his campaign sent better e-mails. The crux of his theory: that the Kerry campaign's e-mails mostly begged for money, which turned people off, while the Bush campaign's e-mails mostly addressed issues or events and asked people to "get out the vote." Here's Nielsen's analysis of the predominant themes of e-mailed newsletters sent out by both candidates a week before the election:

Give Money            Bush: 8%      Kerry: 57%
Get Out the Vote     Bush: 38%     Kerry: 29%
Issues/Events        Bush: 54%     Kerry: 14%

While we admit that we were among those who grew weary of Kerry's begging, we also understand that he pretty much had to do it because he was up against someone who didn't have to beg at all--because Bush had over $200 million in "thank you" notes from beneficiaries of his tax cuts. Also, as reader Andrea Dailey (who alerted us to this story) says, "[Nielsen] is alleging a cause-and-effect relationship without having done any testing (that I know of)--a cardinal sin in the scientific community, of which I believe Nielsen thinks he’s a part. In my opinion, he should stick to judging usability, a subject on which he has some credentials, and leave the smug assertions to the jerks."


You mean they didn't stick around to be killed?

We just can't seem to nab the bad guys. Maybe it's because we keep announcing, weeks ahead of time, that we're going to come in and bomb the crap out of them.

According to today's NY Times, "insurgents" (Iraqi patriots) in Falluja probably split before this week's U.S.-led offensive and may be coordinating attacks in other parts of Iraq, which have killed "scores" over the past few days.

Bush's "re-election" is off to an auspicious start. Just like last time.


Ashcroft resigns to pursue singing career

We always thought he was a better singer than he was Attorney General. And he's an abominable singer.

The good news, as Ashcroft noted in his handwritten letter of resignation, is that "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved."

Betcha didn't know that!


Monday, November 08, 2004

Karl Rove: "Size doesn't matter..."

Honest--it's this big!
Originally uploaded by Editor at Large.
"...as long as you're hetero, like me."

Values, or ignorance?

Bob Herbert makes a good point in his column in today's NY Times. He asserts that ignorance played at least as big a role in the election's outcome as values. As evidence he cites the survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (University of Maryland) that found that 70 percent of Bush's supporters still believe Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda, and 33 percent believe WMDs were found in Iraq. Herbert asks, "How do you make a rational political pitch to people who have put that part of their brain on hold?"

To prepare for 2008, Herbert suggests that Democrats add "teach-ins" to their outreach efforts. "Anything that shrinks the ranks of the clueless would be helpful." He also think Demos need to "get a clear message and a bold and compelling candidate." He says the message has to "convince Americans that they would be better off following a progressive Democratic vision of the future" and the candidate has to be "a person of integrity capable of earning the respect and the affection of the American people."

What the Democrats don't need, Herbert says, is "a candidate who is willing to shape his or her values to fit the pundits' probably incorrect analysis of the last election. Values that pivot on a dime were not really values to begin with."


Quote of the day

"The big danger is one of hubris. There's a tendency after you win your second term to think you're invulnerable. You're not just king of the mountain, you've mastered the mountain. That can often lead to mistakes of excessive pride."--David R. Gergen, former presidential adviser


He's going to need it

The Washington Post says security for Bush's inauguration on January 20 will involve thousands of police from across the country, new screening technology for inaugural guests, and a military contingent that could include a combat brigade of up to 4,000 troops.

Hmmm...there were only 1,200 officers on hand for Bush's 2001 inauguration. Why the big increase in security?


The U.S. has been taken over by homophobes

The so-called "values voters" who supposedly turned the election in Bush's favor are really just homophobes. According to the Washington Post, "...more voters (22 percent) said their top issue was moral values than any other single issue, and an anti-gay-marriage ballot initiative in Ohio helped Bush win that crucial state."

Is there such a word as homophobephobe?


This is just too weird

More bizarre news from Ohio: Doctors in Cleveland have received approval to conduct the world's first face transplant. That's right--people with disfigured faces will soon be able to get a new one (from a dead person, of course).

Wow. Take a deep breath and consider all the ramifications of that. Nicholas Cage could look like John Travolta...


Only 600 percent?

Since everyone we know is considering moving to Canada rather than face another four years in Bush hell, it surprises us that Canada's main immigration Web site has received only 600 percent more hits in the past week. According to Reuters, the Web site (www.cic.gc.ca) received 115,016 hits from U.S. computers last Wednesday--95,000 more than normal.

The good news is that Canada still wants us. The province of Ottawa alone is seeking to attract between 220,000 and 240,000 immigrants in 2005. Immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said, "Let's face it, we have a population of a little over 32 million and we definitely need permanent residents to come to Canada. If we could meet (the 2005) target and go above it, the more the merrier."

And they would all be liberals...


Saturday, November 06, 2004

The rapture of the illiberal man

Right-wingnut NY Times columnist David Brooks is in rapture over Bush's "re-election." He is so rapturous--and so out of touch with reality--that he thinks a drowning person's frantic thrashing and gasping for air is "rage."

Here's how he ended today's column: "Some of the liberal reaction reminds me of a phrase I came across recently: The rage of the drowning man."

Liberals are enraged at Bush's "re-election," but we're not drowning. That would require being in over our heads--like David Brooks.


Friday, November 05, 2004

I blog, therefore I am?

Originally uploaded by Editor at Large.
Are you a blogger, or have you been blogged by a blogger? Let the world know...with an official Editor at Large T-shirt.

These shirts make great holiday gifts, and you can order one for as little as $10.99 (and no more than $19.99). C'mon...make our holidays--er, YOUR holidays special...visit the Editor at Large online store today:

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)


A lot of people are examining the election outcomes in Ohio and Florida, and they are discovering some potentially damning glitches. For example, in the Gahanna 1-B precinct of Franklin County, Ohio, only 638 total votes were cast but Bush somehow received 4,258. And that's just one tiny little precinct in one of Ohio's 80 counties. Whether this is just a typo, a tally error, or the result of outrageous fraud, if it turns out not to be an isolated instance, Kerry may wind up retracting his concession.

That's right--"conceding" is a political concept, not a legal one. If by some miracle the tallies in Ohio or Florida ultimately turn out in Kerry's favor, we've got ourselves a new president.

It's a long shot, but we're crossing our fingers anyway.


Arrogant bastard

Bush, at a press conference yesterday: "Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it."


Thursday, November 04, 2004

How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?

Good question
Originally uploaded by Editor at Large.
We wish we knew the answer to this question, posed by Britain's Daily Mirror.

We just don't.

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)

Good questions, and good catch

In response to our entry about rigged voting machines, Colleen Spedale wrote: "I'm hearing some other things about this--and it certainly seems feasible to me that the vote was again stolen. But I wonder, if anyone can actually prove this, would Bush then step down? Would his presidency be declared invalid (which, of course, it's been for a long while)?"

We replied that Bush would never step down voluntarily, but discovery of election law violations might result in jail time for Diebold personnel, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, or Bush strategist Karl Rove.

And in response to our entry, "The Coalition of the Unwilling Expands," Spedale wrote: "I'd be delighted to see other countries wise up and withdraw and leave us holding the bag. I caught 'Uncovered' the other night and, while much of it is incredibly dry, they do play clip after clip of Bush, Rumsfeld and Co., saying the war and reconstruction would be paid for entirely with oil revenues...which in itself isn't really a great thing, but I see us paying for this for many years to come. Maybe this is what the country needs (Bush for another 4 years) for the whole house of cards to come down. Hope we can get out of the way quickly enough..."

She also spotted an error: "...you might want to recheck Singapore's troop numbers...are they increasing or decreasing?" Good catch, Ms. Spedale--they're decreasing. And we hereby name you an honorary Editor at Large (with all the rights, privileges, and honors thereto appertaining, of course)...

Did voting machines rig the election?

According to exit poll numbers for Florida and Ohio (which together decided the election), more people voted for Kerry than for Bush. Yet Bush supposedly won the race in both states. Did the voting machines trump exit polls?

Black Box Voting (blackboxvoting.org), a nonprofit group dedicated to exposing and eradicating fraud in the use of electronic voting machines, plans to find out. They're conducting the largest Freedom of Information action in history, seeking to obtain internal computer logs and other documents from 3,000 individual counties and townships.

Among the first requests they sent to counties (with all kinds of voting systems--optical scan, touch-screen, and punch card) is a formal records request for internal audit logs, polling place results slips, modem transmission logs, and computer trouble slips.

We'll keep you posted as the results of their actions trickle in. Meanwhile, go to http://www.blackboxvoting.org/#foia and donate money...Freedom of Information requests aren't, ironically, free.

Mark Fiore: You've been blogged

In Mark Fiore's latest hysterical Webtoon (which reveals everything Bush has "won" along with the presidency), the title on one frame reads: "A comlete set of irritated allies."

Mr. Fiore, is it too late to make "comlete" complete?

You can view the Webtoon at http://www.workingforchange.com/comic.cfm?itemid=18027

The Coalition of the Unwilling expands

More problems for Bush (and therefore, for all of us): Several more countries in his "Coalition of the Willing" are planning to pull their troops from Iraq. Following the lead of former Coalition members Spain, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Phillipines, and Norway, these countries have announced plans to withdraw within the next few months:

Hungary (300 troops), Poland (2,400 troops), the Netherlands (1,400 troops), New Zealand (60 engineers), and Thailand (450 troops).

Three other countries plan to reduce their contingents of troops: Singapore (from 191 to 333), Moldova (from 42 to 12), and Bulgaria (from 483 to 430).

Things must be going much better in Iraq, if all those countries are pulling out...right?


The Bush mandate: Wallow in his own s**t

John Kerry should be gloating this morning. Not only did Osama bin Laden appear in a new videotape saying that Bush took us to war in Iraq for "black gold" (did Netflix send bin Laden a copy of "Fahrenheit 9/11"?), but several U.S. soldiers told the Los Angeles Times that explosives were, indeed, looted from the Al-Qaqaa ammunitions site--while the outnumbered soldiers watched "helplessly."

Sounds like what 55.4 million of us are doing this morning...


One solution to the problem

A new North America
Originally uploaded by Editor at Large.
It's time to admit that the Civil War never ended and do something about it: redraw the borders.

(Thanks to Colleen Spedale and David S. Gutterman.)
(Click on the image to see a larger version.)

Consolation and motivation

Bob Harris (http://www.bobharris.com) has this to say about the outcome of the election:

"Even if Kerry had won, America's body politic would still be gravely ill with its all-for-sale, winner-take-all culture, which dispatches the good of the people -- the very purpose of democracy -- as irrelevant.

"And this illness is merely a symptom of a broader American cancer, the broader cultural narrative in which We Are Good and They Are Bad, one which shears away the very ability even to conceive of grey areas, comprehension of which are essential to resolving even the mildest cultural or societal questions in a democratic way. We Are Good and They Are Bad shows up in our sports (staged victory-conflicts, where we revile the opposing team), in our films (which almost always resolve in single-conflict, hero-crushes-evildoer sequences), in our religions (um... Satan?), and damn near any other thing we do. It rationalizes the most horrific behavior. It is the killer of thought and growth. And it is hard-wired into our culture in more ways than I can list.

"Arriving finally at the We Are Good and They Are Bad presidency can hardly be a surprise. Even if Kerry had been elected, we'd still have much bigger problems to address. So...

"We are where we are.

"Let's get started."

Quote of the day

From today's Borowitz Report (www.borowitzreport.com):

"Elsewhere, experts said that exit polls may have falsely predicted a Kerry victory because Kerry voters exited while Bush voters stayed behind and voted again."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What does this tell you?

According to today's NY Times, people who typically voted for John Kerry were women, minorities, young people, political independents, moderates, and baby boomers.

Who voted for George Bush? Whites, men, voters with high incomes, and evangelical Christians.


How Bush "won"

Granted, a lot of people voted for Bush--perhaps almost as many as voted for Kerry--but we think Bush "won" in part because of bogus counts made by Diebold voting machines. Diebold is based in Ohio, one of the two states (the other one being Florida) that ultimately decided the outcome of the election. Over a year ago, Diebold chief executive Walden O’Dell told Republicans in a fund-raising letter that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." And Ohio's Republican secretary of state, J. Kenneth Blackwell, did everything in his power--including alleged suppression of Democratic voter registrations--to make that happen.

Diebold voting machines were used in Florida, where Bush's brother Jeb and Republican secretary of state Glenda Hood did everything they could to suppress Kerry voters. Why else would Kerry lose by over 300,000 votes in a state where Gore "lost" by only a few hundred in 2000?

Here's more, from today's NewsScan Daily e-newsletter:

U.S. voters across the country reported some 1,100 problems with e-voting machines, bearing out scientists' concerns that touchscreen machines are prone to tampering and unreliable unless they're equipped to print out paper records for recounts. Some problems were blamed on factors as mundane as power outages and incompetent poll workers, but there were a number of voters in six states -- especially Democrats in Florida -- who said that although they voted for John Kerry, when the computer asked them to verify their choice, it indicated that they had voted for President Bush. One voter in Clearwater reported that it took her about 10 tries and a quick touchscreen clean-up with a wet-wipe towel before she could successfully select Kerry. A spokesperson for Sequoia Voting Systems said the machines' monitors may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure the touchscreen is sensitive enough to record users' votes. (AP/CNN.com 3 Nov 2004)

If only we could recalibrate the minds of American voters...


When Republicans win, we all lose

As Nicholas Kristoff says in his column in today's NY Times, Kerry supporters "should be feeling wretched about the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting--utterly against their own interests--for Republican candidates." Kristoff says that one of the Republican Party's major successes over the past few decades has been to persuade many of the working poor to vote for tax breaks for billionaires.

How did this happen? Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, says, ""The Republicans are smarter. They've created...these social issues to get the public to stop looking at what's happening to them economically. What we once thought--that people would vote in their economic self-interest--is not true, and we Democrats haven't figured out how to deal with that."

Well, Democrats had better figure out a way to deal with that, if they hope to ever win back this once-democratic country.


Quote of the day

From The Onion: "Observers from around the world report that they were inspired and moved by America's most recent attempt to hold a public election in accordance with the standards of a democratic republic."

Maybe next time...


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

One more reason to vote for Kerry (or at least, against Bush)

In case you hadn't yet seen this or heard about it, here's a chart comparing the job-growth figures of each presidency over the past 60 years. As the chart clearly shows, Bush is the first president during that period to actually LOSE jobs during his tenure. Which makes Bush a LOSER who deserves to LOSE HIS JOB.

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)

The planets say Kerry will win

Astrologers in India (where astrology is popular with top politicians, businesspeople, and movie stars) say the planets have made up their mind: John Kerry will win. Here's the story from Reuters:

"Planets governing President Bush are eclipsed and in an uncomfortable position, making his tenure controversial and his re-election bid unsuccessful, the soothsayers said on Friday, four days before the vote.

"On the other hand, the planets of Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry were in the ascendant, ensuring him success in competitions.

"'Saturn, which is the lord of health and fortune for President Bush, has been eclipsed by the Sun, which is unfortunate and gives him a clear defeat,' Lachhman Das Madan, editor of a popular astrology magazine, told Reuters.

"'Kerry will win,' said Madan, who is also known as 'the emperor of astrologers.' 'It is cosmic writ that George W. Bush cannot become president of United States again.'

"Ajai Bhambi, a senior astrologer and author of several books on the science of predictions, agreed.

"'Kerry is likely to beat Bush in the final verdict,' he told the New Indian Express newspaper.

"Bejan Daruwalla, another top astrologer, told Reuters he had yet to calculate who would win Tuesday's election. But Bush, even if he won, would not be allowed by his planets to complete a full term, he said."

So this is encouraging on two counts: Kerry should win, but if not, Bush won't complete his term. Right on, planets!


Haliburton...Halliburton...let's call the whole thing off

Is it a typo if it's handwritten? We're not sure, but when we alerted August Pollak (www.xoverboard.com) that he had misspelled "Halliburton" in a recent cartoon, he replied: "Hmmm...I'm pretty sure I'm past correction time by now. Eh, I've made worse typos."

We understand--some typos (or write-os) just aren't worth corecting.

Monday, November 01, 2004

"I blog, therefore I am" shirts

Bloggers, acknowledge your own existence with these politically and grammatically correct shirts from Editor at Large. The organic cotton T-shirt (top) is $19.99; the women's tank top is $17.99.

Available from the Editor at Large Online Store at

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)

The Redskins lost...so Kerry will win

As we reported in a previous entry, the outcome of the Washington Redskins' football game on the Sunday before election day has determined the outcome of the last 17 presidential elections. If the Redskins win, the incumbent wins; if they lose, the challenger wins.

Well, on Sunday, the Redskins lost (to the Green Bay Packers)...so either John Kerry will be our next president, or the "Redskin Rule" has just been broken.