Friday, May 28, 2004

I will probably let up after the election on Tuesday.

Tired of reading about the South Dakota House race?
Then go listen to this NPR story from yesterday's All Things Considered.

If you just can't get enough of Ms. Herseth's race for the House, the Daily Kos has got you covered:

Personal responsibility, SD GOP style

Five Days Until Herseth Wins, Diedrich Internal #s

Zogby poll: strong Herseth lead

Update from Kos: Diedrich concedes defeat?

Thursday, May 27, 2004

"An ugly double standard" indeed.

From USA Today:

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., on Tuesday said he apologizes if any Republicans were offended by his weekend remark that compared a segment of the Republican Party to the Taliban.
"I am proud of the support I have enjoyed from Republicans across South Dakota. In a state like ours, you have to be able to reach across party lines to find consensus. If any Republicans were offended, I apologize.

"It (remark) was directed at the small but vocal group of national Republicans that attacked my patriotism and compared me to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden at the very same time my son was defending our nation in Afghanistan."


Randy Frederick, state GOP chairman, said Johnson's statement was "repulsive" and "an attack on the character of all Republicans in South Dakota."

Johnson's statement was anti-Christian, said Rob Regier, executive director of the South Dakota Family Policy Council. *** "Sadly, he (Johnson) and Sen. (Tom) Daschle and Stephanie Herseth have turned their backs on God's church on key issues such as infanticide, religious freedom and homosexuality. Their contempt for the Christian world view reveals an ugly double standard in the liberal mantra of 'tolerance." (emphasis added)
Wow, how could Sen. Johnson ever see similarities between an open-minded, loving individual like Regier and the Taliban.

New "Get Your War On"

"I'd learn more about the future of Iraq if I read a Golden Book Encyclopedia upside-down in the dark."

If at first you don't succeed...

In response to Al Gore's powerful indictment of the Bush administration's failures in Iraq, the Republican National Committee shot back:
While Gore was vice president, terrorists attacked U.S. embassies in Africa and bombed the USS Cole and the World Trade Center. "Al Gore's attacks on the president today demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror or he has amnesia," RNC spokesman Jim Dyke said in a statement.
Sure -- and while Gore was vice president, Monica Lewinsky performed oral sex on Bill Clinton. But oral sex didn't have a damn thing to do with Iraq, and the terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies or the USS Cole didn't have anything to do with Iraq either.

It appears that the GOP will never stop trying to tangle Al-Qa'ida and Iraq in the minds of Americans.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Argus Endorses Herseth

Stephanie Herseth has received the endorsement of the Argus-Leader:
Herseth shows not only a willingness to tackle the issues but an in-depth knowledge of their impact on South Dakotans. And she offers concrete proposals that make sense and would benefit our state.

Most important, she speaks with a sophisticated voice that would be heard in Congress.

She has the ability to persuade, to sell her colleagues in the House on what's important to South Dakotans. Her closeness to the coalition-building, aisle-crossing, more bipartisan and more conservative Blue Dog Democrats makes that even more likely.

Our primary need is to have someone in the U.S. House who can influence others, to speak up articulately and passionately for South Dakota.
A candidate with "in-depth knowledge", "concrete proposals", "a sophisticated voice", "the ability to persuade." And the ability to "influence others", and "to speak up articulately and passionately."

Those words describe both candidates over on the right side of this blog. Why don't you give one or both a click and help send a couple of quality people to Washington.

Via Daily Kos

Update: And hurry, Herseth's election is on June 1st -- next Tuesday! And if you've got nothing else to do this weekend get on the bus.

Oh, that explains the deficit, the failed war, the economy, etc.

A Washington Post article chronicles the hardships of today's Republican party:
On Wednesday, [Dennis] Hastert questioned [John] McCain's GOP bona fides after the Arizona senator criticized Republicans for refusing to sacrifice their tax cutting and spending agendas in wartime. Hastert added that to understand sacrifice, the former POW "ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] and Bethesda [Naval Hospital]. There's the sacrifice in this country."

McCain -- perhaps the most popular Republican legislator in the country, except among Republican legislators -- got the last word. "I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility," he said.
Hastert's spokesman John Feehery explained, "It's extremely difficult to govern when you control all three branches of government."

Please help make it easier for the GOP to govern.

via: Drudge Retort

Friday, May 21, 2004

Ryan Campaign: Full Disclosure for Thee But Not for Me

It is hard to believe that a multi-millionaire candidate would resort to a low-rent stunt like this. It seems more like something the Lyndon LaRouche supporters would pull. [Polis seems to agree; and Archpundit is all over it.]

One Man says, "This happens all the time in the bigs and it makes real sense to do it right now with all of this budget stuff going on." But he doesn't provide any examples of behavior like that described by the Trib:
Warfel [the "in-your-face, video camera-toting campaign aide to Republican opponent Jack Ryan"] went so far Thursday as to interrupt Obama while he was talking to constituents and "heckle him a little bit." *** When reporters asked Obama questions about being followed, Warfel tried to chime in with questions as well.
The Trib quotes Ryan spokeswoman Kelli Phiel as saying, "All we're doing is ensuring that Mr. Obama's message is consistent, just the same that the media does. [The "in-your-face, video camera-toting campaign aide"] only goes to public things and follows him, obviously, when he's in public."

Well, now that the his campaign has revealed Mr. Ryan's deep love of consistency, documentation, and disclosure, perhaps he will behave consistently and disclose his divorce documents -- court records that are "public things" -- and stop battling to hide them from Illinois voters.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

First Lady reveals: President Bush reads newspapers!
Mrs. Bush said that despite what her husband says, he does read the newspapers. She said she directs his attention to articles he might need to see.

"I don't mark them. We both read the newspapers in the morning, and I will point out different things, or he'll point out different things," she said.

When Bush says he does not read the newspapers, what he means is he does not read the White House press corps' coverage of his events because "he's been to those events, he knows what's happened at them."

And, chuckling, she said, "he doesn't read your stories because he doesn't want to be mad at the pool that's traveling with him."
Now whose going to tell Mrs. Bush that this doesn't count as a newspaper?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Powell on Meet the Press

Many of the sites linking to this video are down because they have maxed their capacity.

If you haven't yet seen this infamous video click here for broadband and here for dial-up.

via: Progressive Illinois

Update I: If you wonder why "Emily" -- the State Department's Deputy Press Secretary, Emily Miller -- pulled the camera away during the Sec. of State's interview, you can ask her yourself by calling her office at 202-647-9728.

Update II: Via Kicking Ass: "The exchange makes more sense with a little context: Miller is a former aide of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX)."

Update III: Via Romenesko: State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says of Emily Miller: "I think she's great and she's doing a good job for us." But one reporter says Miller, who controls access to Secretary of State Colin Powell, "is brusque, abrasive, demeaning. She's not doing the secretary a service; she's doing him a disservice."

The Bush Tax Cut and Jobs Plan In Action

Remember this photo:

It was a little more than a year ago that Mr. Bush visited Timken's world headquarters heralding his tax cut and job creation plan.
Did you ever wonder what happened to that plant?

via: Counterspin

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Bush Economic Policy Meets Bush Education Policy

Here's a shocking statistic:
More people filed for bankruptcy in 2002 than graduated from college! The Education Department estimates that 1.3 million bachelors' degrees were granted, while during the same period 1.46 million people filed for bankruptcy.

Draft Cartoons

Lets hope that this Peanuts cartoon and these two Doonesbury strips aren't some form of four-panel zeitgeist.

If he wants to avoid the draft, Charlie Brown should see his doctor and complain of a persistent pain in his ass -- you know like Rush Limbaugh did.

Update: Or Charlie Brown could enlist Lucy's help and avoid the draft the same way Dick Cheney did.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The pen became a clarion.- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Monte Cassino (st. 13)

This Modern World has posted this call for pens:

From Terry Welch:

As many of you know, I am currently in the apolitical position of Army public affairs specialist in Afghanistan...

When I first mentioned on my blog, Nitpicker, that I was going to be deployed, a large number of you asked how you could help me, what I would need for Afghanistan. The truth is, there's not much. However, I just went on my first mission with a civil affairs group and found a way you might be able to help me out.

It seems that the children of Afghanistan want nothing more than they want a pen.

It was explained to me that the villages through which I traveled (near Kandahar, where I'm based) are so poor that a pen is like a scholarship to these children. They desperately want to learn but, without a pen, they simply won't. It's a long story. I won't bore you with it. Trust me, though, when I say that it would be a big deal if even a few of you could put up the call for pens for me. Anyone interested in helping out could either send some directly to me or go to these sites and send them, where you can find them for as cheap as $.89 a dozen.

You can send them to me at this address:

Terry L. Welch
105th MPAD
Kandahar Public Affairs Office
APO AE 09355

Update I: Priority shipping from Chicago is merely $3.85.
Update II: It's very hard to ship to overseas military from Office Depot.
Update III: If you decide to send some pens to the children of Afghanistan, please leave a comment below.

New Favorite Republican?

Look out Honest Abe, Sen. John McCain is poised to become my new all-time favorite Republican.

via Political Animal

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Presidential Trust

At the height of the Clinton-Lewinski scandal, Republican spokesmen often asked "Would you trust this President with your 18-year old daughter?"

Now after watching the Bush administration's repeated bungling endanger our soldiers in Iraq -- and with the Defense Department moving to fill the vacancies in local draft boards and draft appeals boards -- I ask, "Would you trust this President with your 18-year old son?"

Springfield DJ injures anus firing bottle rockets

Jim the Photographer, a "wacky" radio DJ in Springfield, injured while firing bottle rockets from his ass.

"I have done this more than 100 times and never had trouble," said McGill. *** McGill, who suffered burns on his buttock cheeks and anus, was taken by ambulance to Memorial, where he underwent surgery at 12:30 a.m. Monday.

Via Drudge Retort

Obama Holds Wide Lead

Good News.
Both candidates perform well among their party base with Ryan currently receiving 71% of the vote among registered Republicans and Obama taking 79% of Democrats. However, Obama has a commanding lead among Independent voters leading 44% to 15% among those self described as being registered Independent. Obama also leads Ryan among men 41% to 31% and women 46% to 24%.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Bush/Lieberman '04

Forget John McCain as a possible Kerry running-mate, it looks like Joe Lieberman is jockeying for Bush V.P.:
The Congress will politicize this, will spend too much time investigating it. The other danger is, the administration will be defensive about this instead of being aggressive ... This has been a setback for our cause.
After all, there's no reason for this administration to be defensive.

Update I: Joe Lieberman: Wingnut
Update II: and here.
Update III: Last word on Sen. Morality

Thursday, May 06, 2004


Update: Screenwriter and author John Shirley offers his explanation for the Iraqi prison atrocities -- and possible insight into why Sun Times editorial cartoonist Jack Higgins is so clearly, hopelessly, confused.

Who Watches Minimally Supervises the Watchmen?

Via Boing Boing:
Homeland Security and Defense mercenary outfit CACI (motto: "Ever Vigilant") is looking an "Interrogator/Intel Analyst Team Lead" to work in in Baghdad. The job description is priceless:

Assists the interrogation support program team lead to increase the effectiveness of dealing with Detainees, Persons of Interest, and Prisoners of War (POWs) that are in the custody of US/Coalition Forces in the CJTF 7 AOR, in terms of screening, interrogation, and debriefing of persons of intelligence value. Under minimal supervision, will assist the team lead in managing a multifaceted interrogation support cell consisting of database entry/intelligence research clerks, screeners, tactical/strategic interrogators, and intelligence analyst.

Monday, May 03, 2004

"Prisoner Abuse"

Some of the numerous instances of “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” contained in the fifty-three-page report written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and obtained by The New Yorker's Seymour M. Hersh:

Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.


The photographs tell it all. In one, Private England, a cigarette dangling from her mouth, is giving a jaunty thumbs-up sign and pointing at the genitals of a young Iraqi, who is naked except for a sandbag over his head, as he masturbates. Three other hooded and naked Iraqi prisoners are shown, hands reflexively crossed over their genitals. A fifth prisoner has his hands at his sides. In another, England stands arm in arm with Specialist Graner; both are grinning and giving the thumbs-up behind a cluster of perhaps seven naked Iraqis, knees bent, piled clumsily on top of each other in a pyramid. There is another photograph of a cluster of naked prisoners, again piled in a pyramid. Near them stands Graner, smiling, his arms crossed; a woman soldier stands in front of him, bending over, and she, too, is smiling. Then, there is another cluster of hooded bodies, with a female soldier standing in front, taking photographs. Yet another photograph shows a kneeling, naked, unhooded male prisoner, head momentarily turned away from the camera, posed to make it appear that he is performing oral sex on another male prisoner, who is naked and hooded.

I think it's time that we stop referring to this kind of sickening behavior as "abuse" and start calling it what it is -- "torture."'

Update I: Donald Rumsfeld doesn't think its time yet.

Update II: Part I, Article 1 of the UN Convention Against Torture, which the US government ratified:
For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any
act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is
intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or
a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a
third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or
intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on
discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at
the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or
other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or
suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

Maybe Mr. Rumsfeld can take a look at the Convention Against Torture after he finally reads the report on Iraqi prisons prepared by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Who watched this watchman?

From the AP story on the abused Iraqi prisoners:

"60 Minutes II" identified one of the implicated soldiers as Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Chip Frederick, who described to Rather what he saw in the Iraqi prison.

"We had no support, no training whatsoever, and I kept asking my chain of command for certain things, rules and regulations, and it just wasn't happening," Frederick said.

Frederick was a corrections officer at the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Va., until he was called up for active duty, said Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Virginia Corrections Department.
So this corrections officer didn't know that abusing and humiliating prisoners was wrong. Does anyone else think that it is well past time to take a close look at our own nation's prison system?

Update: Electablog thinks so too.


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